Impossible for Nadal to maintain 'almost the highest level' against Goffin

By Sports Desk May 31, 2019

Rafael Nadal admitted it was impossible to maintain such lofty standards after he dropped a set following an electric start against David Goffin at the French Open.

Second seed and 11-time champion Nadal looked to heading for a third straight-sets victory at Roland Garros this year but allowed Goffin back, though he eventually completed a 6-1 6-3 4-6 6-3 triumph on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

The Spaniard, who defeated world number one Novak Djokovic in the Internazionali d'Italia final in Rome, twice dropped his serve in the third set of his second-round clash with Yannick Maden, something he put down to a lack of concentration.

Nadal denied it was the same case on Friday, however, insisting that having performed "perfectly" in the first set and a half, a dip in quality was inevitable.

"[In the] first set and a half it was really fantastic, incredible. It's difficult to play so well. I did everything perfectly," said Nadal.

"I couldn't lose my concentration today. With respect to the [Maden match], I was 100 per cent focused. I was able to keep the intensity.

"You need to be realistic. The level that I kept during the first 45 minutes [against Goffin], you can't really maintain that easily. It's very difficult, because it was almost the top level, the highest level I could play.

"Afterwards, when you play at that tennis level, each time you decrease your level, it seems that things crumble in some way. It's strange. But then today I played against an excellent player."

Nadal will next face Juan Ignacio Londero, a 25-year-old Argentinian who is making his first main-draw appearance in the singles at a major.

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