An interview with RAFAEL NADAL (March 11, 2013)
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Is it kind of a letdown? How close were you to the match when you found out?
RAFAEL NADAL: I was ready. I was doing my fingers tape. Yes. That’s bad news, for sure, especially for the fans and for the opponent, and for Mayer, especially. I talked with him. It seemed like it’s nothing very, very bad. Just typical, you know, back problem just beginning when he was warming up his serve. But I really hope you know, physio says maybe in four days, five days will be ready. That’s most important thing that nothing serious.
Q. Did he say anything to you, I’m sorry, or tell you he couldn’t play, or did you guys not talk?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I am sorry, not. How he can say sorry, no? He in the worst position, so sorry for him especially. I talked with him just one minute, two minutes. No, he was with calm and no. Sad situation. Happened the same to him in São Paulo this year, so that’s negative and frustrating sometimes. But that’s the sport, and when you bring our body to the limit conditions, these kind of things can happen. No, I repeat: Important thing in the end is nothing serious, and he will be able to be playing very soon.
Q. Will you practice extra today?
RAFAEL NADAL: I gonna go a little bit to the gym, I gonna go practice a little bit more later, but no match. I am not practicing a lot.
Q. I saw on social media you were maybe having a hit with Larry Ellison. I just want to know your thoughts on him and his contribution to the sport and this tournament.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, is great, no? I played with him last year. I had the chance to play again yesterday a little bit with him. Always it’s a really honor. He’s improving a lot. His backhand improve especially a lot from last year, so that’s great. He changed to Babolat racquet, so… (Laughter.) No, this tournament is a really pleasure. It means a lot for me, and especially for the tennis, have somebody like Larry who is supporting like this our sport. I think is very important. He’s great, one of the most important person of the world. He loves tennis and support one of the best tournaments of the world. It’s great what he’s doing for tennis and especially for this tournament, no? I think this tournament I saw all around every day more and more people, more fans. For next year gonna be fantastic stadium. I think gonna be one of the best, best tournaments around the world without any doubt.
The players can say thank you for all his support.
Q. Did you talk to about tennis or business…
RAFAEL NADAL: He knows more tennis I think than me. (Smiling.) No, yeah, we talked a lot about tennis, about many things. Both of us, we have a passion for the water, no, and we were able to talk for a while and to practice and we have new relationship. I really enjoy and say thank you very much to him personally from me what he did for his hospitality, for everything. Great. Every time that I am coming back here, have somebody like him here is great. Thank you for everything.
Q. Did you feel the earthquake this morning?
RAFAEL NADAL: I was very scared. First time in my life. Yeah.
Q. What were you doing at the time?
RAFAEL NADAL: I was doing I was on the massage table preparing for my warmup. I think the massage table moves even worse more. (Smiling.) I really get I finish the earthquake, and I was my legs were like this. (Indicating wobbling.)
Q. It’s supposed to be very hot, 90, I don’t know, 32, 33.
RAFAEL NADAL: Here?
Q. Yeah, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Do you like that?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, not a secret that I love the hot. I hate the cold weather, no? For me, for my knee, for my foot, for everything is better when the conditions are warmer, no?
Anyway, I love practicing and playing in days like today: no wind, fantastic weather, good, hot temperature. So I enjoy a lot the practice. Sorry I couldn’t play the match, but I have the day to keep doing things. Indian Wells is the right place to be.
Q. Just when the earthquake hit, how long did it take you to figure out since this was your first one what was going on? When you’re preparing and all of a sudden the ground starts shaking, how long did it take you to figure out it was an earthquake?
RAFAEL NADAL: Probably in half second. (Laughter.)
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