A chastened Rafa Nadal said even his best tennis may have not been enough against a rampant Novak Djokovic after being thrashed by the Serb in the Australian Open final on Sunday.
The Spanish second seed came into the clash in outrageous form but was dominated throughout the 6-3 6-2 6-3 loss at Rod Laver Arena, the worst in his Grand Slam rivalry with the world number one.
Although reaching the final without dropping a set, Nadal said he was still short of his best after a long injury lay-off following the U.S. Open and lacked an edge to pressure the Serb.
“Of course, he played, I think, fantastic. At the same time it’s true that when he’s playing that way, I think I needed something else,” the 17-times Grand Slam champion Nadal told reporters.
“I was not able to have that extra thing tonight, being honest.
“Playing the way he played tonight, I needed that defensive game to finally have the chance to be offensive.
“When he was hitting, it’s true that maybe it was difficult to beat him even if I was at my 100 percent (level). But probably it would have been a little bit more of a fight