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Re: Articles & Interviews
Mathieu shows Nadal is not unbeatable on clay
Sat Jun 3, 2006 8:30 PM BST
By Julien Pretot
PARIS, June 3 (Reuters) - France's Paul-Henri Mathieu, defeated 5-7 6-4 6-4 6-4 by Rafael Nadal on Saturday, has shown the French Open champion is not unbeatable on clay.
Mathieu, seeded 29, was one set up after winning a 93-minute battle before the Spaniard took control of the third-round match.
The local favourite, however, said he did not play his best tennis.
"Had I played my best tennis I would have won the match. Physically and mentally, it was difficult but I've already played better," Mathieu told a news conference.
"If I had won this match I would have won the tournament. Nadal is the number one on clay court."
The Spaniard second seed was troubled by Mathieu, who kept attacking his backhand and tried to rush to the net.
"I had played him four times before. Each time he gave me good possibilities. He plays crosscourt with his forehand and I knew that," Mathieu said.
"When you play him, my advice would be not to be too impressed by him and show him you're on the court to beat him.
"He is very good on clay but not impossible to beat."
Mathieu hinted Nadal was still the favourite to retain his title despite having played almost five hours.
"I think he is used to play long matches. I don't think he is going to be tired," he said.
Nadal, who won Roland Garros on his debut last year, has yet to lose in Paris and is undefeated in his last 56 matches on clay.
"History is filled with losers who never won anything themselves, but who ruin the success of others."
Last edited by Ome; 06-04-2006 at 12:37 PM.