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Spain's Euro success buoys Nadal
July 01, 2008 14:57 IST
"To be able to see all that has helped me," the Spanish second seed said after reaching the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Mikhail Youzhny of Russia [Images].
Nadal, who loves to be at home in Mallorca and misses it when he is on the tennis tour, said it had helped to fill the hours when he was not practising or playing at Queen's Club, which he won the week before last, and Wimbledon so far.
Spain's victory over Germany in the final of soccer's European Championship on Sunday, the mid-tournament rest day at Wimbledon, had been a particular pleasure.
"It was a great joy for all the Spanish and for me," he said of the win which he watched with around a dozen people, including his own staff and that of fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, the 31st seed who has also reached the last eight.
The 22-year-old, whose uncle Miguel Angel was a Spanish football international who played at Euro 96 in England [Images], said he celebrated "Jumping. The champagne I will reserve for the finish of the tournament.
"I sent a message (of congratulations) to (Iker) Casillas," Nadal added, referring to Spain's goalkeeper and captain.
"At last, justice has been done," he said after Spain have so often promised more than they have delivered in major football tournaments. Euro 2008 [Images] was their first major title since they won the European Championship in 1964.
Asked if the experience of watching the match had been draining, he said: "If I say that and today I won 6-3 6-3 6-1 I'm going to be very stupid, no?"
Spain having won the football, a Spanish double depends on Nadal winning Wimbledon with British hope Andy Murray up next.
"I think for now we have the first thing (title), and the second is going to be difficult," he said.
"Both are very good players, young players... both are going to be very tough opponents, I know that. I have to play my best tennis if I want to be in the semi-finals."
He said the Wimbledon crowd had always been good to him.
"I know if I play against Andy Murray, probably the crowd is going to be with him. But I think with me they are going to be nice, too, no?"