Just after losing to Alexander Zverev in the ATP World Tour Finals on Monday, Rafael Nadal nearly suffered a loss for words in the post-match press conference.
The tennis star, who is currently ranked number one in the world, got into it with Italian reporter Ubaldo Scanagatta.
The journalist questioned whether Nadal’s recent wedding to his girlfriend of 15 years had anything to do with his defeat in the finals. Nadal and Xisca Perello wed in Mallorca on Oct. 19. He previously said that he took only one day off after their wedding.
“Tonight, you were playing very short many times ― I don’t know why, you’re not used to that. I’d like to know, for many people to get married is a very important, distracted thing. Before the marriage, during the marriage, after the marriage,” Scanagatta says, though he doesn’t appear in the video of the exchange.
“Your concentration on tennis life has been [a] bit different even if you were going out with the same girl for many, many years,” he added.
“Honestly, are you asking me this?” Nadal said to the reporter, clearly in disbelief. “Is this a serious question or a joke? Is it serious? Yeah?”
The tennis player began rubbing his face and grimaced before answering.
“It’s a big surprise you’re asking me this after being with the same girl for 15 years and having a very stable and normal life. It doesn’t matter if you put a ring on your finger or not,” Nadal said. “In my personal way. I am a very normal guy. Maybe it was for you ― how long have you been with your [wife]?”
When the reporter said that they’d been together for 30 years, Nadal replied, “And before? Ah, maybe before you were not sure. That’s why. OK. We move to [the] Spanish [interview portion], because that’s bullshit.”
He signed off with a “Thank you very much,” before ending the English portion of the press conference.
Nadal has said he took time off before the wedding, but had only one day with Perello after the wedding before hitting the court again.
“After the wedding I had the Sunday off,” Nadal told the Tennis Channel’s Prakash Amritraj in October. “And then Monday, Tuesday, practice.”