(May 11, 2014) Rafael Nadal is back on track for the clay season. World No. 1 Nadal won his fourth Madrid Open on after Kei Nishikori was forced to pull out of the match with a back injury with Nadal leading 2-6, 6-4, 3-0 in the final on Sunday.
“I’m very sorry for Nishikori,” Nadal said. The No. 1 Japanese player was leading the Spaniard 6-2, 4-2 when he first felt pain.
“He’s an unbelievable player that will fight to be in London (ATP World Tour Finals),” Nadal added. “I am sure of that. I really hope that the injury is not too bad and he will be able to compete in Roland Garros.”
“I suffered a similar situation in Australia this year,” said Nadal who lost this year’s Australian Open final to Stanislas Wawrinka. “So I know what I’m talking about and how bitter it is, especially when you’re playing an important match.”
Nishikori, 24, who was participating in his first Masters Series final, said that despite the injury he has a positive look at the future.
“There is a lot of confidence I get from this tournament by beating (Ferrer) in three sets and playing well in the final today. It’s going to be very exciting at (Roland Garros) because I never feel like this on clay. I’m very confident of whatever I hit going for winners. I can hit from either side – forehand or backhand – so it’s a very good feeling that I have on clay right now.”
The loss ended Nishikori’s consecutive win streak at 14. He has already withdrawn
The victory gives Nadal his 27th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title and his 63 ATP career title. Nadal now is alone in sixth place in tournament wins in the Open Era.
“Winning at home is always more special than winning anywhere,” said the 27-year-old. “Having the chance to play in front of your home crowd… is unforgettable for me. This city gives me a lot. This is a very important victory for me.”