Rafael Nadal will launch his quest for a 10th Barcelona title against 69th-ranked Brazilian Rogerio Dutra Silva on Wednesday.
Date: April 26, 2017
Match time: Around2:30 PM local time / 8:30 AM EDT – New York, Montreal / 1:30 PM BST – United Kingdom / 2:30 PM CET – Spain, France, Germany, Italy / 10:30 PM AEDT – Melbourne. To convert to your local time, use this website.
Rafa and Rogelio will meet for the second time on the tour. Their only previous encounter came four years ago at the US Open, where Rafa easily won 6-2, 6-1, 6-0.
Rafa is 48-3 lifetime in Barcelona and 47-2 in his last 49 matches there.
Transcript of Rafael Nadal’s presser after the Ramos-Vinolas match.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Rafa, please.
Q. What does it mean to you to win 10 times this tournament?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, is really unbelievable, no? Win 10 times in such an important event like Monte-Carlo is something difficult to describe the feeling. Every year have been a different feeling. At the same time is always a unique moment every time I have this trophy with me.
Yeah, is a little bit of luck, lot of things together should happen to made this 10th title in an event like Monte-Carlo, no?
I feel lucky to keep playing tennis, being healthy all those years, to compete in one of the most beautiful events of the year, without a doubt.
Very happy to win another one. For me is a very important day in my career.
Q. Ramos said you are almost playing your best tennis level. Do you think you can improve more than this?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I am satisfied the way that I am playing. Is obvious that there is always things to improve.
But being honest today, my serve worked great. Backhand, have been hitting very well the backhand during the whole week. The forehand better and better every day. So I should be happy about everything.
Is always the motivation to play better and better. But I think we are in a very good way to keep winning matches. That’s most important thing for me.
Q. Was it especially important for you to win this week, after losing the other finals this season, or…
RAFAEL NADAL: For me is important to feel myself competitive every week that I am playing. That’s what happened since the beginning of the season. That makes me happy.
For me, that’s the most important thing, feel myself happy when I am playing. If I am healthy and I feel myself competitive, I am happy. Then is obvious I would like to win. But I know if I am in finals of important events, the normal thing is I finally win titles.
So today was another chance. I lost first three finals this year, but with positive feelings. Today I won a very important title for me.
Arrive in just the right moment, I believe. After losing in Miami, the first tournament on clay for me is always an important moment of the year. Have the victory here is an important step forward for me.
Q. They showed you on the big screen with all your victories. I think you were laughing at some of the pictures of you before. What do you remember, for example, from your first victory here 12 years ago?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, for me the first one here have been so special, no? Was the first Masters 1000, Masters Series at that time, in an event that for me was always so special.
When I was a kid, I always wanted to play in Monte-Carlo. In Spain, Monte-Carlo is a very important event in tennis, one of the top 1000s of the year.
The real thing is since the first time I came here in 2003, I had very positive feelings. Winning in 2005 against Coria in that final was unbelievable moment for me. Was a tough final, but at the same time semifinal was hard against Richard. Very tough match in the third.
There is some moments on the career of everyone that are important ones. Is obvious that first title on clay makes a big difference. After that, I was confident enough to keep going, winning in Barcelona, in Rome, then in Roland Garros.
Q. Some people say that Federer never worked so hard like recently, because there was so much talent. I would like to know if you had been working harder this year because today you were running like I haven’t seen you in some time? Is this something that paid off and you’re working harder and harder?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I think is about confidence. Is about doing the right things. Is about being healthy. Is not about if I want to work or if I don’t want to work. Is about if I can work or if I can’t work.
During the off-season for one month and a half I think I was able to work the way that I wanted to work. Well, when I say ‘the way I wanted to work’ I mean the way we wanted to work, me and my team. I was enough healthy to work harder than usual.
But is easy to understand that at the end of the day everything resumed to one thing: health. If you are healthy, you can work. If you can work, then the chances of success are higher.
Q. How do you feel to play next week in Stadium Rafael Nadal in Barcelona?
RAFAEL NADAL: Just thanks to organization for that. They ask me about that couple of months ago. I was completely happy to heard this thing.
Barcelona, the tournament is, for all the Spanish players, an amazing event. I think is one of the top events on tour because is a historic event with a lot of tradition. A lot of years of the tournament, a lot of great players have been playing there. And it’s in a real tennis club. It’s like here, is a real tennis club.
When you are playing in a place that they are not only in stadiums for two weeks or for one week, is always little bit more special. The place breathes tennis, no? That tradition makes the event, I think, a little bit more important.
That’s why I think it’s so important in our tour to combine historic events and traditional events with great new shows and great new stadiums. That makes our sport bigger and bigger.
(AFP) – Rafael Nadal moved up to fifth in the latest ATP rankings released on Monday a day after claiming a record 10th Monte Carlo title. (Last Monday he was 7th.)
Spain’s 30-year-old king of clay won his 50th trophy on his favourite surface, his 70th overall and his first title in almost a year as he beat compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1, 6-3 in just 76 minutes.
Britain’s Andy Murray remains top ahead of Serb Novak Djokovic and Swiss Stan Wawrinka.
“It really is unbelievable. To win 10 times at such an important event like Monte-Carlo, it’s something difficult to describe my feelings,” Nadal said. “I feel lucky to keep playing tennis [and] being healthy all those years, in order to compete in one of the most beautiful events of the year, without a doubt. I am very happy to win another one. For me, it is a very important day in my career.”
“But I never take Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, Madrid like a preparation for one tournament. These tournaments are so important for [themselves]. Then Roland Garros arrives later. Is difficult to think about Roland Garros now.”
But, when he was asked to contemplate what 10 titles at Roland Garros would mean, Nadal smiled.
“Thanks to life,” Rafa said, looking upward, “for giving me this great opportunity.”
Thanks to life; thanks to his own life, and how consistently he has lived it. Even with his unprecedented success on clay, and his reputation as the best male player on that surface secure, Nadal still wants to win every tournament on it as desperately as ever. The surest sign of spring in tennis is the sight of Rafa bouncing back from whatever struggles he has endured over the course of the year and dominating again. Nothing in the last 14 years has dimmed that desire.
Nadal says each title in Monte Carlo has felt different. But you don’t reach La Décima without playing the same way—as if every match is your last, and every win is your first.
Q. Did Rafa tell you anything?
DAVID GOFFIN: No. Rafa has nothing to do with this. He knows his forehand was heavy and long and deep. But he was on the other side of the court. He couldn’t do anything about it.
Rafa is one of the most fair players on the tour. He was just playing his match. I have nothing against him.
King of Clay Rafael Nadal: Ten Monte-Carlo Titles | TennisTV