Dealing With Defeat

In the above video you can watch Rafael Nadal in his post match interview at the 2009 French Open tournament in Paris. Nadal is considered one of the best players in the Open era and is widely regarded as one of the most liked player's on the Professional tennis tour.

During the match prior to his press conference Nadal lost a crucial match to Robin Soderling, who entered the contest as the underdog but was able to outplay Nadal from the start. Nadal was the 4 time defending champion and is the most successful tennis player of all time, and after this loss received a large amount of public criticism and speculation that his tight grip on clay court tennis, and tennis in general, was diminishing.

The interesting part of the above video is how Nadal goes through 5 very important phases during a very short interview that show his professionalism and integrity, but moreover, allow him to continue to be successful in the future.

  1. Acceptance
    • Be able to accept the defeat with grace
  2. Understanding
    • Understand what factors contributed to the defeat
  3. Acknowledgment
    • Give your opponent credit by acknowledging his performance
  4. learn
    • Be able to learn from your mistakes and be able to make changes in the future
  5. Responsibility
    • Be fully accountable for your actions and avoid excuses as these will prevent you from making necessary  improvements

Winning the French Open title ensured that Nadal had won approximately 1.5 million dollars in each of his previous 4 outings at the French Open, but after taking a 4th round loss to Robin Soderling in 2009 he walked away with a relatively insignificant $93,000, not to mention the crucial rankings points he was not able to defend, and the loss of his 31 match winning streak at the French Open. I hope that you will put your own losses in to context after seeing the video above and this may give you a better chance of succeeding in the future!

In 2010, Rafael Nadal won the Roland Garros title and the Wimbledon title back to back.