Rafael Nadal has taken time out from his Wimbledon preparations to discuss Spain’s shock World Cup exit in Brazil this summer.
The recent French Open winner was speaking ahead of the grass court Grand Slam, and was quickly asked about the national football team rather than his preparations for the latest major.
“I am sad. Everybody in Spain is sad for what happened in the World Cup," he told a packed press conference at SW19.
“That’s the sport. You know, that’s the life. That’s normal and that can happen.”
TIPPED FOR GLORY
Spain, who were tipped by many to claim a fourth consecutive international tournament victory, crashed out of the competition at the group stages after suffering back-to-back defeats.
The current world champions suffered a heavy 5-1 loss to the Netherlands in their opening game, before a 2-0 defeat to Chile put them out of contention for a place in the last-16 with a game to spare.
Scoring just one goal, which came from a Xabi Alonso penalty, Spain seemed to lack the same hunger that has seen them dominate world football in recent years.
The current number one in men's tennis stated that his home nation's early exit will prompt Vincente del Bosque to overhaul the squad before the 2016 European Championship, which he has been unable to do in the past due to the success of the team.
“Is difficult to make changes on the team when the team had the success that this team had. Is normal that probably the coach didn’t have the changes for this World Cup," he added.
“So now after that lose, you feel free to make the changes.”
After claiming his fifth straight French Open, having successfully defended his title against Novak Djokovic earlier this month, Nadal turns his attention to Wimbledon as he tries to win the tournament for the first time since 2010.
The Spanish star admitted that he has been putting in extra hours in the build up to the 2014 Wimbledon Championship, in order to make sure he is playing at the highest level, as he looks to ensure he does not suffer an early exit from the tournament for a third year running.
Having crashed out of Wimbledon in the first and second rounds in the past two years, Nadal is not looking beyond his opening game with Martin Klizan.
“Biggest threat? I don’t see further than that today. I have a tough first round against Klizan," he concluded.
“Probably some of you think that Rafa, when the tournament start, analyse Djokovic, Federer, the other ones. I start from the first round in every surface.”
AVOID EARLY EXIT
Nadal kicks off his Wimbledon campaign on Tuesday 24 June, and will be hoping he does not suffer a similar fate to the Spanish national football team this summer.
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