Laver says Aussie 'embarrassed' Nadal
Australian tennis great Rod Laver said local teenager Bernard Tomic "embarrassed" world number one Rafael Nadal in their Australian Open clash, according to reports today.sports Updated: Jan 24, 2011 09:24 IST
Australian tennis great Rod Laver said local teenager Bernard Tomic "embarrassed" world number one Rafael Nadal in their Australian Open clash, according to reports on Monday.
Nadal took the third-round clash in straight sets, 6-2, 7-5, 6-3, but didn't have things all his own way, and was forced to fight back from a 4-0 deficit in the second set.
Laver, the only player to twice win the Grand Slam -- all four major tournaments in the same year -- was full of praise for Austraila's Tomic, aged 18 and ranked 199, and said he exposed weaknesses in Nadal's game.
"I watched him play Nadal and he showed some good form all the way through," Laver said in the United States, according to a report in The Age newspaper.
"He wasn't embarrassed playing Nadal and I think Nadal was a little embarrassed with what Tomic had done to him."
Another Australian tennis great, Roy Emerson, the winner of 12 Grand Slam titles, said Tomic's tactics had clearly rattled Nadal.
"Nadal seemed to be a little worried, particularly in the second set with the change of pace that young Bernard was doing, and it was upsetting the rhythm of Nadal," Emerson said.
Speaking after the match, Nadal said he didn't play his best, but admitted the unpredictable Tomic was a tricky opponent.
"He's a kind of player that is very difficult to play against," Nadal said. "His style of game is not easy to play.