Interview with Rafael Nadal: Australian Open 2014 final – Nadal vs. Wawrinka

Q.  Obviously a very difficult occasion for you emotionally.  Did your back go when you played that forehand in the first game of the second set when you doubled over?
RAFAEL NADAL:  No.  The back, since the beginning I felt a little bit, from the warmup.  It was a little bit worst in the first set.  End of the first set, I start to feel worst.

Then at the beginning of the second was the key moment that I felt, during a serve in a bad movement, is very stiff, very bad.

That’s not the real moment to talk about that.  Is the moment to congratulate Stan.  He’s playing unbelievable.  He really deserve to win that title.  I very happy for him.  He’s a great, great guy.  He’s a good friend of mine.  I am really happy for him.

So just congratulate him for everything.  He had a great year last year and start the new year winning two titles is just amazing.

So congratulations.

Q.  Much as it’s not easy to talk about, could you share with us what happened when you went off the court?  Presumably to have treatment.
RAFAEL NADAL:  Yeah, what I did?

Q.  Yes.
RAFAEL NADAL:  Just try to    I don’t know.  You can ask the physio, because in that moment I was too worried to think about what happened.  The physio tried to relax a little bit the back.  When that happen during a match is almost impossible.  I tried hard.

Last thing that I wanted to do was retirement.  No, I hate to do that, especially in a final.  Same time, is tough to see yourself during the whole year you are working for a moment like this, and arrives the moment and you feel that you are not able to play at your best.

So was not an easy situation for me to be on court like this, but I tried hard until the end, trying to finish the match as good as I can for the crowd, for the opponent, for me.  So that’s what I did:  tried everything until the last moment, but was impossible to win this way.  Opponent is too good.

Q.  You said you felt it go in the warmup.  Can you explain what you were thinking?  Did you think it was going to get better throughout the match?
RAFAEL NADAL:  I talked about that enough I think.  Sorry for the answer, but I talked enough about that.  Is not the moment, as I said after the first question.  Is the third one after I say that.  That is not the moment to talk a lot about the back.

Is the Stan day, not my day.  As I say before, I try my best and was not possible for me today.  I’m obviously disappointed and very sad about what happened.  But that’s life, that’s sport.  I really had a lot of great moments in my career.  That’s a tough one.  Just accept and trying to keep working hard for what’s coming.

Q.  How did you feel about the crowd reaction when you came back onto court after the medical timeout?
RAFAEL NADAL:  The crowd was great with me in the whole weeks, no?

Q.  By the end they were shouting your name, cheering.
RAFAEL NADAL:  Sometimes is tough for the crowd to understand.  The crowd, only thing wants to do is enjoy great match.  They paid ticket to watch the best match possible, and I was not able to offer that to them for moments.

I wanted to try my best until the end.  But I can understand very well the reaction.  They understand later that I was bad.  I was trying all what I can try on the court with that situation.  The crowd was great with me during both weeks.  Support has been enormous, more than ever.  I feel very, very proud about they treat, how the crowd is supporting me here.

You never will heard me talk badly about the crowd here.

Q.  Did you sense that he was getting particularly nervous at the stage when you began to play with a bit more rhythm?  He began to miss a lot.
RAFAEL NADAL:  Yeah, is normal, no?  When you see the opponent playing that way, you get nervous.  You are playing for the first title.  Is something that is completely normal.

I fighted.  I tried to produce that opportunity, but was a lot to win a set.  Talking about the set that I won, I saved two 15 40s, one 40 30.  Was completely no real the chance that I was having, no?

Is true that you never know what’s going on if you are able to arrive to the 4 All or something like this.  But win two more sets with that situation, you know, at the end you are playing against a top player, an opponent that will not miss.

The only way to win for me was mistakes from the opponent because I was serving too slow and too predictable.  I was surviving because he was having mistakes on the return.

Q.  Right up until tonight’s game, has your campaign over the past two weeks been as good of tennis as you’ve been playing in your career?
RAFAEL NADAL:  The best?

Q.  Yes.
RAFAEL NADAL:  No.  I played a few good matches.  I played a great match against Monfils.  I played a great match in semifinals against Roger.

I didn’t play my best in Round of 16 and quarterfinals.  You know, I played enough well to be in the final and enough well to arrive to the final with the right confidence to think that I will have my chance tonight.

I was happy the way that I arrived to that final.  I was playing well in the right moments.

I cannot say nothing wrong about me neither.  I am happy.  I am proud about my attitude today on court, my attitude in both weeks.  When somebody’s giving everything every day on court, nobody can say nothing, no?  I cannot say to myself, If you will do something…

No, I try my best every day, every practice, practicing, playing with the right attitude, fighting for every ball the whole weeks.  I think during whole my career, no?

I go home with the calm that I did as much as I can.

Q.  You’ve had great victories here and won the championship.  Last year you were out and in years past there have been physical problems, then again this year.  Is that just a part of sport?  Is it a coincidence?
RAFAEL NADAL:  You know what, is true.  Is true that I was not very lucky and this is a tournament that is painful for me.  Is a tournament that I love so much.  Is a tournament that I feel the conditions are good for me, warm conditions that I like, good crowd.  Court, is true that is faster than the previous ones.  Normally we play in normal speed conditions that I like to play.

So, yeah, is a tournament that I really had some troubles physically in my career and is something that is painful for me.  But that’s part of life.  That’s part of sport.  Is not the end of the world.  Is just another tough moment.  Is not the first.

I feel very lucky that I was able to enjoy much more happy moments than tough moments.  At the end is a sport of victories.  People remember the victories, don’t remember the loses.

For me is a tough one tonight because I felt that I was ready to compete well.  But in a few weeks that’s going to pass.  I’m going to keep playing, going to keep training hard, Nd I’m going to keep enjoying the world of tennis.

Is great.  I feel very lucky to be able to work in something that I really love to do.  Not everybody’s able to do that.  Nothing wrong.  Just bad day, tough day.

But lot of people in the world have lot of very tough days.  I am not this kind of person, so I feel very lucky.

Q.  Despite your injury, were you impressed at how Stan came out and played, the game plan, serving and volleying?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Yeah.  He was playing amazing.  Is very tough to stop him when he’s playing that way.  So just congratulate him because he’s playing better and better and he’s playing with amazing confidence, hitting every ball very, very hard, moving himself great.

In a court like this one, the court goes quick, the bounces are a little bit lower and quicker than usual, is very difficult when somebody’s hitting every ball very hard and with that confidence to stop him.  That’s it.

Source: ausopen.com

36 comments

  1. Rafa i am really sad for what happen but ur inspiration to millions of people around the world who want to fight to get their goals .Salute to you Wish you best of luck and come back soon i won’t watch tennis until ur back.

  2. Rafa, so sorry for the disappointment. I knew first set something was not right. That was not u out there 100 percent. But thx u for being the competitor, the professional, the number one champion u always are u r a credit to the sport and win or loose u show us the tennis community and viewers how noble and warrior like u are. U r a winner because u carry ur self so dignified and gracious. 2014 will be a great year for you. The entire Australian open this year was strange, painful and sad for a lot of great players. Like life sports has it’s twist and turn. One can never be too sure of victory and u model that trait w true humility. Get well soon and be good too ur self.

    And Uncle Tony don’t be so negative w /Rafa; acknowledge ur nephew is a great Champion and man. A great talented star; I hope u see that. Q

  3. Es muy cierto Rafa todo lo q’ tus fans han comentado acerca de ti. Yo al igual que ellos me levanté a la 1:30am. Para ver tu partido y sufrí contigo, pero eres mi Campeón !! Eres admirable, sencillo, respetuoso y un gran guerrero. Cuídate y que tengas pronta mejoría . Siempre tendrás mi apoyo, te admiro mucho. Sabes te sigo desde q tienes 17años y me simpatizaste mucho. Te veo como un hijo!! Bendiciones para ti y todos tus seres queridos.

  4. Desejo sinceramente que, hoje se sinta muito melhor e tenho a certeza que tudo vai continuar bem .Será sempre o meu jogador favorito.Força

  5. Beautiful person, just so gracious and humble and has priorities in order. The world saw that you had a problem with your back – you didnt lose because you arent the best. Go on and win all the remaining grand slams this year Rafa, you deserve it. You are a great man. Sorry about last night, but you can’t help that. Just go on, better than ever! xxxxxoo

  6. Thank you, our champion, for your innate goodness as a sportsman and a man. In your time of pain and sadness you gave US words of comfort to enable us to carry on.

    You are in our hearts and we will not be quite the same until you are whole once again and able to conquer the next hurdle. Eagerly awaiting your return! Be well.

  7. rafa on some level that goes beyond being an awesome tennis player you were the champion today. Hope all goes well with your back. Tennis is not the same without you. I love your spirit and you lift me up every time you play win or loose.

    • You are so right Sandra. Rafa is a true warrior. The way he played it was obvious he was not well, the public did not see that `till last three,two sets, Nadal the real sportsman is an inspiration to all……

  8. Hoy me levante temprano para disfrutar de una hermosa final, que esperaba con ansias lo ganara mi atleta favorito, pero contrario imperio me tope con un partido diferente, cargado de muchas contradicciones, sufrido y emocionalmente desestabilizan-te..que aprendí de todo ello? dos cosas muy importantes…1) Que NO EXISTEN RIVALES PEQUEÑOS, QUE NO IMPORTAN LAS ESTADÍSTICAS, QUE UNO PUEDE SUPERARSE CADA DÍA MAS; 2) EL RESPETO Y AMOR PROPIO, EL NO TIRAR NUNCA LA TOALLA, AUNQUE LAS CONDICIONES SEAN TAN ADVERSAS QUE TE LO GRITEN DE TODOS LADOS, A RESPETAR AL OPONENTE..PERO SOBRE TODO A RECORDAR QUE SOMOS SERES HUMANOS!! FELICIDADES WAWRINKA UN DIGNO CAMPEÓN DEL AUSTRALIA OPEN! FELICIDADES RAFAEL NADAL POR ENSEÑARNOS A PROPIOS Y EXTRAÑOS QUE MÁS ALLÁ DEL DOLOR ESTA EL RESPETO HACIA LOS DEMÁS, ESO TE HACE CADA VEZ MÁS GRANDE!! ESTO RECIÉN EMPIEZA CHIQUILIN..ASÍ QUE VAMOS RAFA A POR MÁS!!!

    • Excelente Comentario Enseñanza de Vida para Grandes y pequeños, para extraños y amigos, mejor dicho para el mundo entero por que los grandes se conocen por su Corazón.

  9. Hi Rafa I was very sad for you,but you know how to get up and continue to play.You inspire me and hope my son will one day play like you with great pride.

  10. Hi Rafa I watched you play in Auckland New Zealand many years ago and since then have followed your career. You are an amazing sportsman and an inspiration to so many. Thankyou for the gift that you are giving with your sportsmanship, humbleness, and positivity. You are a real inspiration.

  11. +Dearest Rafa: No matter – you are the winner and always will be. You are a great tennis player and a great example for all. I’ m so so sorry about your back – please rest and receive treatment you may need. All tournament you were great Rafa and I hope you are proud because we, your fans are. We all love you, and I speak for all who know and love you. I was very sad for you during the match. I feel as if in some unexplainable way – the match was strangely taken from you. I can’t explain what I mean, but it should have been yours. But, I know that all will soon be well again for you. You are the most caring, generous person and athlete that ever was. My husband and I love you as if you were our own son. That is hard to explain, but that’s how we feel. Please recover from your back pain, hand/blister pain, and knee pain. Please give us the joy of watching you play tennis for more years to come. God bless you and your loved ones Rafa. Love, Marylynn

  12. Sigues siendo muy “¡¡G R A N D E!!” cuida tu mano, sigue bien en tanto no dejare de continuar apostando fuertemente por ti, eres todo un Campeón, Rafa Cheer Up en Canarias nos veremos, cta. siempre con mi incondicional apoyo y afecto. C. Javier

  13. It takes a great athlete to be gracious in defeat but a noble human being to commend his opponent’s victory, despite his back problems he still focuses only on Stan’s win! RESPECT AND ADORATION RAFA <3 .

  14. That first set was so hot with the fierce strokemaking, that it was exciting to
    anticipate the next sets. So unexpected to see Rafa leave the court with the
    trainer. How quickly ones emotions can change. Utter sadness to watch him
    return and try to continue as we all knew he would not default. I wanted
    Tony Nadal to throw in the towel for him. I cant shake the depressed feeling
    and know it will take days to get back to normal – for Rafa’s fans and Rafa.
    Bravo Rafa Nadal, and brave Stan on your title.

  15. It was a hard match to watch, but congrats to Rafa for completing the match even with pain. You were gracious as always in defeat just as in victory. We are behind you 100% in good times and bad. Take a good rest and we look forward to supporting you in your next match!

  16. We love you Rafa & thankful so much for great moments you make for us,
    Today isn’t a good day , even for me , & I think all of your fans all around the world had a similar feeling like me, but no problem, we are a big family , love each other because of you , so you are great hero who can do this ,
    I wish my best wishes for your healthy & I want God to keep you for us .
    Be happy in every moment of your life , when you are happy & healthy of course , we are too .
    Love you so much & I believe that you ‘ll be okay soon .
    Vamooos our hero, our champion .

  17. very sad for Rafa, today it ,ment so much fir him to win , I am more worried about his back,
    he plays with all his streanth , and heart, so, Rafa go home rest your body , you deserve to
    and vamoss next tournament ,

  18. I don’t know how you feel, but I really feel bad. I am so sorry, so so sorry, it should be your night… Thank you for this two amazing weeks… I hope that it’s a small injury… Why now???

  19. congrats to stan, amazing game!!rafa is an Amazing person and amazing athlete!!get well soon rafa you are always our champion!!¡¡Vamos!!

  20. Both players were gracious, Nadal is the heart of all things great and respectable in tennis. Stan has a great mentor in Rafa, we have a great mentor in Rafa, so much wisdom he bestows every time we see him. Onto the next challenge and victories.

  21. What a true sportsman! Shame about that awful crowd! Win or lose, I’m a Rafa fan to the end. No one can quite match up to this great guy. Stan won the trophy, but Rafa won our hearts! Vamos Rafa! You are my Champion.

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