An interview with Rafael Nadal (November 8, 2013, London)

Photo via Tennis Magazine
Photo via Tennis Magazine

R. NADAL/T. Berdych
6‑4, 1‑6, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  I know you’ve been in this situation before.  Is it slightly odd when you’re playing and you know that other people’s fate is in your hands, so to speak? 
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, at the end that doesn’t matter, no?  At the end I play for myself, 200 points.  I am playing against a great player like Tomas.  For me have victory against big player like him, in any surface, is important.
It mean that even more because is a bigger win for me.  So I went on court like if I am playing for the qualification, no?
Is true that after the first set I know that I had already the first goal converted, that being the first of the group.  But at the end just winning a set, the only thing that I had was that.  No points, no confidence if I didn’t finish that match playing like I played.
So was important to finish that match the way that I did.  Very happy for that.

Q.  You always seem to find a way to win when it gets tense.  You’ve beaten Tomas 16 times in a row now. 
RAFAEL NADAL:  How many?

Q.  16 times in a row.  What is it that you do better than they do in the important moments?
RAFAEL NADAL:  I don’t know.  That depends on the moment.  That depends on the confidence of everyone in every moment.
Is true that during all my career, you know, when I am playing bad, when everybody is playing bad, is impossible to play well the pressure moments or the important moments, because when you are playing bad, you don’t have the right feelings to play with the right determination.
When I was playing okay or good, during all my career I think play well the important moments is something that I did very well.  So at the end lot of tournaments, lot of matches, decides in this small but very important moments.
I was able a lot of time to find a way to escape on that tough moments and to be through.  That’s give me a lot of opportunities to win matches and tournaments.

Q.  Who do you prefer to face in the semifinal? 
RAFAEL NADAL:  I did my goal.  I am in the semifinals without losing a match.  So that’s most important thing for me.
Any opponent will be very difficult.  We are playing against the best players of the world.  So if is del Potro, if is Federer, both players know very well how to beat me, in this surface especially.  The only way to win the match of semifinals is playing my best match, playing fantastic tennis.  That’s what I gonna try.
I have one day off.  One day tomorrow to keep playing well, keep trying to improve a little bit more.
The first set was great today, I think, in my opinion.  Played my best set of the tournament.  So that’s the way.  That’s the goal that I have to do, the thing that I have to work on.

Q.  After his match against you the other day, Wawrinka in the press conference here said he felt that Toni was coaching you throughout the match, that it was too much.  Was that true?  What is your reaction to him saying that?
RAFAEL NADAL:  No, I understand.  At the end almost everybody have some talk with the coach during the match.  I think everybody does.
But the thing is the way that you do.  And is true that the other day Toni was not coaching because he didn’t told me nothing in particular about tactics.  But he told me just support me, just told me, C’mon, in the moments that the people was quiet, so I was in the other part of the court.
Stan was there.  Stan, you know, I think three times after the point probably Stan heard that.  It was after Stan lost that first set, in a very bad way at the end.  It was in the beginning of the second.
So, you know, the moment I understand that Wawrinka get upset in that moment.  But, no, is nothing about coaching.  And then after the match, Stan and Toni talked in the locker room.  So Wawrinka felt sorry because he did that in that way, and Toni felt sorry because Toni never had the intention of bother Stan during the match.  They talk for three minutes.  Nothing happened.
Wawrinka is one of the players that I have a better relationship on tour.  I feel sad during the match that he felt that way.  In sense I told him, I’m sorry, not going to happen again.  That’s why I told Toni stop because the relationship is more important than any match, and that’s it.

Q.  The second half of this year we haven’t talked much about your knees, which is good.  Are you playing pain‑free or do you still have pain during matches that you have to manage?
RAFAEL NADAL:  That’s doesn’t matter.  The only thing that matters is I did my goal during the whole season.  I was able to play since the beginning until the last tournament of the year.  And obviously I played with a good conditions, free movements.
Is true that I need to keep improving on my knee to try to have the chance to compete in the way that I competed this year ‑ not talking about results, I know that’s impossible, but talking about feelings on court.  So I need to keep having better feeling than what I have lot of days.
So we are working on.

Q.  You’ve been training with Philippe earlier in the week.  He’s left now.  How did that affect your preparation for today?  What do you think of him as a player?
RAFAEL NADAL:  That’s not affect my preparation.
But is good to have a player like him.  I always like to play with players that play with passion, goes for every ball, players who really try his best in every practice.  He’s doing in every one.  He’s a great guy.  I wish him all the best because the way that he practice, he deserve to be in the professional tour very early.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


  1. As ever a lovely interview -his brilliance shines out and I’m not surprised he’s so popular! From one of his devoted fans!!

  2. QUOTE RAFA: “That’s why I told Toni stop because the relationship is more important than any match, and that’s it” UNQUOTE: .This is the attitude of Rafa that makes him a loved player among his companions and shows his sincerity and greatness. Rafa you are a sweetheart for all your fans and to the lovers of tennis. I wish you many more years of good health and competitive spirit and glory in the sport.

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