Madrid, Oct 20: Rafael Nadal tried to look on the bright side despite suffering his heaviest defeat in three years when he was overwhelmed 6-1 6-2 by David Nalbandian in the quarter-finals of the Madrid Masters.
The world number two, who seemed to suffer the after-effects of Thursday night's gruelling win over Andy Murray, surrendered his serve five times, lost nine games in a row and made a host of unforced errors as he exited the tournament he won in 2005.
''Analysing it in the changing room I had the game under control and I don't know how it escaped me,'' the 21-year-old joked in his post-match news conference at the Madrid Arena yesterday.
''No, seriously it is a game that isn't easy to analyse, David played a great match and for me it was difficult to play worse.
''Everything went wrong for me out there. I had a clear idea of how I wanted to play but...it wasn't my day.
''I'm sad to lose in the quarters, disappointed for myself and disappointed for the fans who came to support me. Even though it was a terrible match for the fans they kept on supporting me to the end.'' But Nadal, who had been out of action with tendinitis of the knee since losing to David Ferrer in the last 16 of the US Open, refused to dwell on the negative aspects of his surprise defeat.
''At least I'm happy to be playing again after a month and a half out injured and I did quite well until today. Today was a disaster but we can't look only at the bad things.'' Nadal, who has already qualified for the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai, refused to blame his defeat on fatigue after his energy-sapping win over British number one Murray.
''I don't usually make excuses. When you lose you lose and that's it. He (Nalbandian) was better than me and the score reflected that more than enough.
''I just want to finish the season well even though this tournament has left a bad taste in my mouth.''