London: Rafa Nadal put a positive spin on his latest setback after being out-foxed in a 6-3 6-7(6) 6-4 defeat by Ukraine`s Alexandr Dolgopolov in the first round of the Aegon Championships at Queen`s Club on Tuesday.
The former world number one was hoping to back up his title at Stuttgart last week with a strong showing on the west London grass courts, but was stopped in his tracks by a tricky opponent.
Nadal`s early loss at the traditional Wimbledon warm-up event means his chances of climbing back into the top eight of the ATP rankings from his current 10th spot in time for the All England Club fortnight are gone.
Nadal, 29, said he would most likely return home to Mallorca once he is out of the doubles at Queen`s, satisfied with his preparation for Wimbledon where he will bid for a third title having been champion in 2008 and 2010.
“I never played more than this (on grass) before Wimbledon,” the Spaniard told reporters. “The year I played five matches, that was the year that I won (at Queen`s) in 2008 and this year I already had five matches.
“There is nothing very negative. I won a tournament last week. This week I lost an opportunity, but, my feeling, my thoughts are no different today than yesterday.
“I am better, I am playing better than before and enjoying more on court than before.”