Australian Open 2012: Rafael Nadal Reflects On Losing 'Toughest Match'

Rafael Nadal didn't have any reason to hang his head after losing to Novak Djokovic in the finals of the 2012 Australian Open. The Spaniard's comments in his post-match interview reflected that, too, as he looked back on a match that may have been tougher than the toughest match he's ever been involved in.

"No, I'm tired, sure," Nadal said according to the tournament website's transcription of the post-match interview. "Physically it was the toughest match I ever played, if not tougher. I am tired."

It wasn't how Nadal wanted to go out as he lost 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 7-5, but he found the positives in defeat.

"I wanted to win, but I am happy about how I did. I had my chances against the best player of the world today. I played one against one. For a long time I didn't felt that I was playing in less advantage than him, you know," Nadal said. "I didn't play at lower level than him for a long time, so that's a very positive thing for me. I am very happy about my mentality tonight, the mentality worked like in my best moments."

If nothing else, Nadal saw his performance in the Aussie Open as a solid start to the year.

"So very happy about the beginning of the 2012 season," Nadal said. "That's all that I can say."

For more on the tournament, visit SB Nation's tennis hub.

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