Rafael Nadal has doubts about United Cup format: "We play for nothing"
by LORENZO CIOTTI | VIEW 326
Rafael Nadal, engaged in the new team competition called the United Cup lost his two matches. Spain is already certain to abandon the tournament due to the defeats also of the Majorcan, who gave way to Cameron Norrie in the match debut and to the landlord Alex De Minaur in his second singles match making himself reassemble the initial advantage (6-3 1-6 5-7).
Nadal, who instead in 2022 had won the first 20 games played: a passive, this, never recorded in his career. Data that arouses a certain concern in everyone except Rafa himself, who indeed says he is satisfied with the level shown.
He told: "We are only at the beginning and honestly I'm not even that worried. Last year I lost the two games in Abu Dhabi and we all know how things went." Nadal who, net of his results, however, was keen to highlight some critical issues regarding the United Cup formula.
The 2023 season could not have started as worse for the Spanish champion Rafael Nadal.
Nadal and doubts about the format of the United Cup
While placing himself in the perspective of not making drama, actually feeling satisfied with the game played, starting a new year with the disappointing score of two defeats out of as many games played certainly cannot be considered acceptable, since it is Nadal.
Setting aside personal results for a moment, however, the 36-year-old from Manacor highlighted what, according to him, are flaws to be corrected, those that emerged from this first outing of the newborn United Cup. Rafa explained: "Putting things in perspective, I find a negative point in this competition.
The competition is great and the idea is great but it's not nice that we play for nothing now. It's the first year of this competition and I think there are some things that need to be fixed, improved and made more interesting for everyone.
I think that in a group of three, the loser of the first tie should play the team that hasn't played yet, because this makes the competition much more interesting. Because, for example, even if we lost in the first tie, I would probably have played the last mixed doubles match, because maybe that match can make the difference.
So it's not fair for the others either, because yesterday in the double final we didn't put ourselves at our best, so we gave Great Britain an advantage. So I don't think it's good for the competition that we played against Australia today, both of us being out of the tournament.
This would not happen if the country that didn't play at the start played the loser of the first day and so all matches would make sense. That's the thing that I think would improve this competition for the future."