Beaten Andy Murray has vouched for the sportsmanship of rival Rafael Nadal after the Spaniard denied the Scot his Wimbledon final dream in four sets.
Nadal came to the court with a heel injury from Monday which had drawn rebukes from fourth-round opponent Juan del Potro, who suggested that the Spaniard was acting a bit and taking advantage of injury time out rules.
Despite his heartbreak as he stalled at the last four for the third year running, Murray put all the blame on his own performance.
Nadal did not fake or exaggerate injury in order to gain a psychological or other edge with opponents, he said. “Rafa doesn't feign injury. Everyone has problems this stage of the season because it's so like going from the French to the grass,” said Murray.
“And Rafa obviously in the last few months has played so many matches on the clay.
“I think he played the maximum amount of matches he could have played.”
After Del Potro comments, the controversy grew so heated that the Nadal camp went so far as to issue a denial of “cheating.”
“People can say what they want but they are mistaken,” Nadal's uncle and coach Toni old local media. “Rafael is one of the most correct players in the world. He has never cheated in his life. If you think that, it is your problem.”
Nadal, whose ranking drops to second on the ATP next week after the rise of Novak Djokovic to the top spot, has frequently been accused of slow play but is rarely warned by chair umpires.
The Spaniard habitually makes opponents await at the net prior to the start while he arranges his water bottles with labels facing a certain way and goes through other rituals before every serve, including wiping the lines with his foot, fiddling with his hair and re-adjusting his tennis shorts.
Andy Murray habitually consumed a food mountain during the run-up to the Wimbledon semifinals, with the formerly scrawny specimen of a few years ago replaced by a muscled tennis hunk.
London's Daily Mail newspaper revealed the details of the Brit's mighty diet, which packs in 6,000 calories a day — a contrast to the normal adult male who needs around 2,500.
But on-the-go Murray is no ordinary punter, with his body demanding constant refuelling as he fits in practice and matches.
The newspaper detailed a typical day on the plate of the world No. 4, starting with two bowls of cereal and some bagels with peanut butter.
Keywords: Wimbledon 2011