An interview with Rafael Nadal (August 16, 2013)

R. NADAL/R. Federer
5‑7, 6‑4, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Rafa, please.

Q.  Rafa, in the first set, it looked like you had a hard time finding the range on your shots, like your forehand was sailing long and your backhand was landing short.  Was there a problem with your range at the start of the match? 
RAFAEL NADAL:  It was more because Roger played very well than because I played bad.  That’s my feeling, no?
He didn’t put rhythm on the match.  He played very aggressive, take the ball very early all the time.  I just felt a little bit slow at the beginning, and it was very difficult to find my rhythm.
But I will repeat:  It’s because Roger did a lot of things very well.

Q.  Rafa, how would you compare how you served in the first set and the third set?  It seemed like Roger was really anticipating your second serve more than the first.
RAFAEL NADAL:  I don’t see that.  Really, I don’t agree on that.  I think on the second, he had one 15‑30, one Love‑30 too.
In the first, he had one 15‑30, and then he had a break.  But I felt that I had a lot of games under control with myself.
In the third, similar situation.  I think it didn’t change a lot.  I felt that that was not a history about that.  Was more history that in the first set and a half, for me was very difficult to return his serve.  I didn’t find the right position on court to return the ball.  He was really winning all the games on his serve very, very easy.
Finally, I found a solution.

Q.  Rafa, how do you think that you turned that match around?  At what point, and what adjustments were you able to make? 
RAFAEL NADAL:  I think my movement starts to be better, more intensity.  I started to put more balls inside on the return, and I started to have more times control of the ball from the baseline with my forehand, something that didn’t happen the first set and a half.
But the match was there.  It was very close.  He had a good chance in the second.  I think I played a good few points in important moments.
And then I started very well the third.  I think I had the third, I had the match more under control than him, in general, because I felt that he didn’t had no one breakpoint in the third, and I had breakpoint for 5‑1.
I had then a few times deuce to create the first match point with the 5‑2.  I was closer than him on the return games, so that makes a difference.
Then the last game was close too.  The last game, I was in control 40‑Love and I played a bad point, just the first one, and then he played great.

Q.  You said it took about a set and a half to get the moves down to actually start returning the serve better.  At that point, do you think the caliber of his serve dipped a little bit, or was it mostly you making those adjustments? 
RAFAEL NADAL:  No, I think it was more because I did things better than because his serve goes down, no?  I didn’t had that feeling.

Q.  Rafa, for next week’s rankings, for the first time, Roger is going to be out of the top 5 in about 11 years.  Just wondering if that ranking has any significance at this point of his career and what it reflects. 
RAFAEL NADAL:  At this point in his career?

Q.  At this time in his career, does the ranking mean anything? 
RAFAEL NADAL:  The ranking means that probably he didn’t play very well during a lot of moments on the season.  But if he plays the way that he played tonight, his ranking going to be much higher in not a long period of time.
So for example, in my opinion, he played a very bad match yesterday.  I saw him play yesterday with a lot of mistakes, and today he was on court with a different tactic, with a different level of tennis.
So if he is able to play this way‑‑ and I’m sure he will be able to do it‑‑ I see his ranking is going to be higher at the end of the season.

Q.  Rafa, you played so many meaningful finals with Roger.  Now you’re meeting him in the quarterfinal.  Did you approach it any different being a quarterfinal versus a final? 
RAFAEL NADAL:  It’s a match.  That’s all.  But always the emotions are there when we play each other, I think.
But the emotions in the final are always more special than when you’re playing quarterfinals.  Then when you play final, there is a winner here.  Tomorrow at 2:30 I will be on court.

Q.  Rafa, your next opponent is Tomas Berdych.  Can you talk about that matchup and what you’re looking forward to doing in that match. 
RAFAEL NADAL:  He is playing great.  He’s playing at a very, very high level.  Played yesterday great against Robredo.  Today he had an amazing victory against Andy.
Only way is play my best.  I know if not will be impossible.  Here the court is quick.  His serve and his flat shots are very, very dangerous, and tomorrow will be my first day that I’m going to play on the day.
So that’s a change.  I will try to be ready for that.
Thank you very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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