Nadal terms 2010 season as the most emotional

The 24-year-old world number one played one of the matches of the year to battle past Andy Murray in a three-hour semifinal but he found Federer in sensational form as he went down 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in one hour 37 minutes.

“I think is not the right moment to talk about that,” Nadal told reporters when asked if he was suffering physically against the 16-times Grand Slam champion. “The thing is everybody saw the match yesterday, so everybody's free to think his own opinion.

“But I'm not gonna say I lost the match because I was tired. What I'm gonna say and what I feel is I lost the match because I played against a very good Roger Federer on one of his favourite surfaces. When he's playing like this, it's very difficult to stop him.”

Rather than dwell on his defeat, Nadal preferred to look back on a year he described as the most “emotional” of his career. After going 11 months without a title he returned to form in Monte Carlo in the Spring, winning on the Riviera clay for a sixth consecutive year, and the confidence flooded back. From then on he was virtually unstoppable, winning the French Open and Wimbledon back-to-back for a second time and completing his career Grand Slam by winning the US Open.

It was all a stark contrast to 12 months ago at the London finale when he failed to win a set in three matches. “This was a fantastic week for me,” Nadal said. “Beating four top-eight players in the same week on a difficult surface for me. I think that's never happened in the past. There have been a lot important moments for me during the season. I think it was a very emotional season. There were difficult moments in the beginning, but after a tough time, I was able to play with ambition all the season and I managed to have chances to win and keep winning.

“Once I won the first tournament in Monte Carlo, everything was easier, all the pressure and anxiety left and I started to play really well.”

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