Rome : An angry Rafael Nadal, paying the price for two weeks of clay success in a compressed spring season, slammed the door Wednesday on talks with the ATP supremo Etienne de Villiers after losing his opening match as defending champion.
The Spanish ace who was aiming for a fourth title in a row at the Foro Italico, fell victim to a badly blistered foot in a 7-5, 6-1 loss to compatriot and former number one Juan Carlos Ferrero.
With the ATP boss in Rome, Nadal categorically refused to voice growing complaints after the structure of the clay season in this Olympic year.
“I don’t have nothing to speak with this man, no more,” he said firmly.
Nadal, Roger Federer and a majority of the world Top-20 have reportedly signed a letter to “ET” (de Villiers) voicing their complaints about the calendar plus the expulsion of Hamburg from the elite Masters Series in a 2009 shake-up.
That matter is going to court in the US in a financially draining scenario for the ATP, which according to published reports in the US lost $5 million in 2007, due in part to growing legal fees.
Nadal just cannot be bothered with a Hamburg date next week and his shot at four in a row at the French Open starting May 25.
“You just lose more time trying to fight for nothing, it’s very stupid. Last year I lost a lot of time trying to understand why he doing these things. He’s impossible to understand,” Nadal said of the South African, who has been at the helm for less than two years.
“It’s not the moment for speak about this. When I lose, people will think it’s an excuse.”
Nadal said the blistered ball of his right foot was so painful on match morning, “I woke up and thought it would be impossible to play.”
“I was in the doctor’s yesterday and the day before and they put special protection, very big protection. They put some anaesthetic cream, and I didn’t feel the same pain.”
Nadal put aside his personal dramas in favour of applauding a job well done on court by Ferrero.
“Just congratulate Juan Carlos, because this is an important win for him. Just be happy for him because he’s a nice guy and a very good player.”
Nadal called the current ATP calendar “impossible”, as his loss may open the door for Federer to make a run at the trophy he’s never won.
“The calendar is impossible. Last week and in Barcelona (fourth title in a row) everybody is talking about how you feel about the calendar and everything.
“I said for me it is going to be impossible four weeks in a row to play well, no? That’s it, no? I just try to go home to have some rest, and after that try to go with my best feelings to Hamburg.”