Former Russian tennis player Andrei Chesnokov has given a detailed account of the reason that he thinks caused Rafael Nadal lose to Novak Djokovic in the final of the 2019 Australian Open. Djokovic won his 15th Grand Slam title in style by defeating Nadal in straight sets in Melbourne earlier this year.
The final took place on 27 January, Sunday, and the two semi-finals took on 24 January and 25 January. Nadal defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets on Friday to enter the final of the first Grand Slam of the calendar year. Djokovic defeated French tennis player Lucas Pouille to enter the final. Chesnokov says Nadal had a disadvantage of having more days of rest, due to which he lost the rhythm while facing Djokovic in the final.
"We got used to it. When it takes place four times a year, players do not compete because they do not want to get tired," Chesnokov told Sport24. "I will be interested to see the new format featuring just one week. The previous format is obviously a tradition. But I would change them. For example, the Wimbledon traditions are silly ones. Not playing at Wimbledon on the Middle Sunday is stupid.
"Take any player. He played a match on Friday and he should play the following one on Sunday. But since this is a day off, he will not play. And on Monday the weather is a bad one, it rains all day and so a player takes a rest on Saturday, Sunday, Monday.
"When in a Grand Slam tournament you play every two days, you get used to that rhythm. But like this you do not have it anymore. At the 2019 Australian Open, Nadal played the semifinals on Thursday and the final on Sunday. And we say, "Oh, he played bad."