An interview with RAFAEL NADAL (June 24, 2013)

Rafael Nadal gives his Wimbledon press conference following his 7-6(4) 7-6(8) 6-4 first round loss to Steve Darcis.

Getty Images Europe
Getty Images Europe

Q.  What would you say went wrong today and what went right, if anything?  What happened?

RAFAEL NADAL:  Happen that is sport.  And sometimes you play well and you have the chance to win.  Sometimes you play worst and the opponent play well and you lose.

That’s the good thing about the sport.  That’s all.

Good things today for me was not a lot of things good.  But, you know, just congratulate Darcis.  I think he played with the right decision, played well, and that’s all.

Q.  We saw you limping a little bit out there.  Was there an injury reason or physical reason for this loss?

RAFAEL NADAL:  Is not the right day.  I tried my best out there in every moment.  Was not possible for me this afternoon, and that’s all.

The opponent played well.  I had my chances.  I didn’t make it.  So in grass is difficult to adapt yourself, to adapt your game.  When you don’t have the chance to play before, I didn’t have that chance this year, is tougher.  I didn’t find my rhythm.

Q.  What did you do after the French?  How long did you have off?  How long did you practice maybe on a hard court at home before you came to the grass? 

RAFAEL NADAL:  I arrived here on Tuesday.  Before that I was working at home on the gym and trying to make the right things to recover my body from a very long and success straight tournaments.

So that’s all, no?  Nothing special.

Q.  How much of a blow was it for you not being able to play at Halle in the context of this tournament?

RAFAEL NADAL:  I didn’t have that chance this year to play on Halle.  So is tough to talk right now.  The only thing that is important today is that even I don’t play Halle is obviously I wanted to play, yes.

But today we cannot come back.  We cannot come two weeks before. That what happened.  I didn’t have that chance.  I tried my best.  Was not possible.  That’s all I can say.  Just congratulate the opponent.  At the end is not a tragedy.  That is sport.

Q.  How is the situation similar or different from last year when you lost here?

RAFAEL NADAL:  I don’t see any comparation [sic] at all.  I really don’t know how to answer this question.

Q.  Well, last year you said you were hurt after the loss to Rosol.  How is the situation now with you?

RAFAEL NADAL:  With what?

Q.  With your physical condition.

RAFAEL NADAL:  I say before I think is not the day to talk about these kind of things.  I am confident that I will have a good recover and be ready for the next tournaments.

I played much more than what I dreamed before here after the injury.  So that’s a fantastic and very positive thing for me.  I know the grass is a difficult surface for the way that I need to play to play well here.

Was not possible this year.  I gonna try my best for the next couple of years.

Q.  Did you have any sign at practice in previous days that it was going to be a tough first round here?  How big is the disappointment?

RAFAEL NADAL:  You was here on Saturday?  I said is probably the toughest surface for me today, because I had to move and I have to play in a lower position than in the rest of the surfaces.

So that’s the real thing.  I was not lying to nobody on Saturday.  So that’s all.  I gonna keep working hard for the next.

Q.  You turned a lot around your backhand to play your forehand, and also you didn’t move that well.  Was your knee 100% today?

RAFAEL NADAL:  I think you are joking.  I answered this question three times or four times already.  I don’t gonna talk about my knee this afternoon.

Only thing that can say today is congratulate Steve Darcis.  He played a fantastic match.  Everything that I will say today about my knee is an excuse, and I don’t like to put any excuse when I’m losing a match like I lost today.

He deserve not one excuse.

Q.  You talked a little bit in Paris about your schedule, adjusting it.  I’m wondering if you think you might need to look at that more closely.  Obviously you love playing on the clay, but it’s a lot of matches.  Is that something you think going forward you need to look at more closely?

RAFAEL NADAL:  What?  I didn’t understand that.

Q.  In Paris you talked about your schedule, maybe adjusting it.  I’m wondering if you think physically it’s a lot on your body to play so much on clay, even though you love that surface.

RAFAEL NADAL:  If I play too much?  That’s the question?

Q.  I’m wondering if you need to look at your schedule.

RAFAEL NADAL:  In which way?

Q.  To play less in the spring.

RAFAEL NADAL:  To play less?

Q.  Yes.

RAFAEL NADAL:  I cannot predict the future.  I cannot say when I do a calendar if it was wrong or if it was positive.  Since six hours ago was a perfect calendar, now is a very negative calendar.  That’s not true.

I played, as I said, since I came back after the injury, I played when I had the feeling that I can play.  And my feelings were that I played the weeks that I felt right to play.

And to here is Wimbledon, so I try to arrive as good as possible to this tournament, knowing that probably this year will be harder than ever, and it really was.

So that’s all, no?  The calendar was for me perfect, winning seven tournaments of the nine, and playing two finals.  I cannot say I will make something different today because I will not.  I will repeat my calendar.  My season has been fantastic, much better than what I have thought five months ago.  So I am happy about everything.

I know that that thing, that lose of today, can happen, and it happened.  That’s all.

Q.  Do you still feel you can come back and win this championship again?

RAFAEL NADAL:  I didn’t know that in 2003 and 2004 and 2005, 2006 and 2007, so…  I don’t know that.

The only thing I can say I can do is keep working hard and keep giving me chances about my game on this surface.  I think and I hope to have a few more years to play here and to play at the right level.  I was not able to play great this year or last year.  It’s obviously.  But I gonna try.

Q.  Last year after you lost to Rosol we didn’t see you for seven months.  What should we expect this time?  Can we be optimistic and see you when?  Which tournament are you planning to come back?

RAFAEL NADAL:  Not very late.  Not that late, for sure.

Q.  When you came back over here in February, was the French Open always your priority?  Of the three majors left, was the French your priority or was it equal with Wimbledon?

RAFAEL NADAL:  Seriously, I don’t have a priority.  I try my best in every tournament, even if is a 250, is a 500, or is a Grand Slam.  Is obvious, you know, the Roland Garros championship adapts better to my game.

But in this sport, I don’t see a way that you can prepare one tournament in particular.  I think you don’t have that chance because depends on a lot of things.  You need to win matches when you arrive to important tournament to be confident.  You need to play matches to be enough fit.  Then I try my best in every one.

Sometimes I arrive good in one, worse in another.  That’s all.  I tried and I played that way during all my career.

Q.  Even as well as Darcis played, that has to be a disappointing loss.  Are you able to let it go right away or does it sting for a few days?

RAFAEL NADAL:  Life continues, that’s all.  I say before, is not a dramatic thing.  That’s the sport.  That’s the game at the end.

Two weeks ago I was in a fantastic situation, winning a fantastic tournament.  Two weeks later I lost here in the first round.  That’s the positive and the negative thing about this sport.

Is tough losing in the first round.  But, as I said before, the tour continues, life continues, and this is a sport of victories.  It’s not a sport of lose.  Nobody remember the loses.  People remember the victories.  And I don’t want to remember that lose.

Q.  You’ve said that only an arrogant man would not have doubts.  You’ve said that a couple of times now.  Do you have some doubts on your play on grass?  And are you proud of your legacy on grass for a person who was brought up on clay?

RAFAEL NADAL:  Obviously I have doubts.  I have doubts on grass.  I have doubts on clay and hard, for sure in indoor.

If I don’t have doubts is because I really don’t feel the passion for this game.  You don’t see myself with doubts the first week of Roland Garros?  Yes, with a lot of doubts.

Today I play with doubts.  I lost, yes.

Q.  But you’re proud of your grass court play?

RAFAEL NADAL:  If I’m proud today?

Q.  Not today.  Over the years, what you have done on grass.

RAFAEL NADAL:  What do you think?  Five finals, two victories.  I don’t know how many players have that.  I think for me is a lot.  That don’t mean I not going to keep trying to have success in this surface.

Source: Wimbledon


  1. Tu est vraiment l’homme généreux et le sportif génial! On ne peut pas tomber, ne s’étant pas levé. En avant, vers US OPEN! Nous croyons à toi! Nous sommes toujours avec toi!

  2. Rafa is great. I like his attitude , no excuses, just facts – sport is sport. I dislike the reporters
    who endeavour to put words into the mouth of the person being interviewed and make him
    say things that he doesn’t mean. Rafael Nadal is still at the top – for many years to come.

  3. I like his answers to question’ he’s a true sport man he doesn’t give excuses dats d spirit . I’m still a big fan of urs

  4. YEAH ! ..Rafa ,you did your best .This is sport sometimes u win & sometimes u lose…As long as long as you’re healthy enjoy every game you gonna play in future VAMOS RAFA !!!

  5. Great player, great character … respect Rafa Nadal, people should read this, players should read this, world should read this interview … Thank you Rafa!

  6. Rafa is an ultimate sportsman acknowledging the fact that in sports you can;t win them all. sometimes at any point in time other players play very to try to outdo champions like Rafa, Roger, Nole etc.because beating any of these three players give them the chane to recognized in this field of Tennis.

  7. well answered..five finals, two championsips on grass… ur fans are proud of u. Keep on going.

  8. Proud oF the fact that Rafa acknowledges. Darcis played an excellent match today and remains humble in defeat he is a perfect gentleman. He remains a great player and role model.

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