Australian Open R3: An Interview With Rafael Nadal (January 23, 2015)

REUTERS/Issei Kato
REUTERS/Issei Kato

Q. How did you day yesterday go and how did you feel today on the court?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yesterday was okay. Seriously I feel that I was in terms of legs I wake up in the morning better than what I thought. In terms of, you know, I was still a little bit dizzy yesterday. I think I lost lot of fluids the other night. But in general I was not very, very bad. Knowing that I going to play tonight, I know — I hope that I — I thought I going to be ready for tonight, no? Happy the way I was physically on court tonight. Obviously happy the way I played the first two sets. Then the third play with more mistakes, but all is part of the process that I am doing. It’s normal to play every day with a little bit more ups and downs when you are out for a while.

Q. Was it focus in the third set or because it goes on and on the body needs to adjust to compete again?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, it’s a little bit about confidence, a little bit about the feelings on everything. You know, when you are on the tour, playing better or playing worse, you make some mistakes. But normally that don’t affects for the next balls, no? But obviously when you’re not there on competition for a long time, without having that feelings for a while, you need to readapt your mental part, your confidence again to the court. Happens when I have some mistakes that I am losing little bit of confidence for a while. It’s positive that at the end of the match I play with the right position, right determination again. But it’s true for that games I was having more mistakes than usual with my forehand again.

Q. You saved all seven breakpoints he had against you. That must please you.

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, it’s true the other night, at the end of that fifth set that I play with the right determination, even if I was very tired, some good balls, good shots. Today again with the breakpoint I think I really served. My serve worked well on the breakpoints. I had one lucky break, that was at the net, with my forehand. But the rest of the points I played with determination, going to the net, having some good serves. The last game, I am happy the way that I lost the first match point trying to go for the winner with my forehand. Even if I had the mistake, I think it was the right thing to do in that moment. Happy to be able to take that position in that moment. With 6-5, never easy. Then with the next point I was able to finish with the forehand, no? I play with the right determination in the right moments. That gives me confidence and a way how to play for the future.

Q. You played some amazing shots tonight. Even after all this time, do you sometimes surprise yourself with some of the shots you play?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, when you are on the confidence, you feel that that shots comes without thinking. When you are little bit on that process, all the shots are important for you. When you are making good shots, always surprise you a little bit. But is true that for two sets I was able to adjust very well the balls, playing some very good forehands down the line. If I want to have chances to keep being competitive in this tournament, I need to play this way. I need to play more aggressive. I need to play with that determination. I really hope the suffer of the other night and then the way that I played today going to help me for the next round. Going to be a big opponent, no? Big server. Kevin is very aggressive player. Going to be a big, big test for me. Very tough match.

Q. About the conditions, you played in the night. How do you feel if your next match is going to be played in the daytime, playing Kevin Anderson?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. All my career, if the conditions are not very humid, I like the faster conditions than slower conditions, no? I feel during all my career I like when the ball is faster, flying quicker through the air, and has more topspin. Always help me more my game than when we play during the night. As I say before, seems like the next couple of days will not be very hot. That’s what I saw yesterday in the predictions. So after what happened the other day, for me is not negative thing.

Q. You said on the court that you don’t like to sleep very much. Were you joking or was that a serious answer? A lot of athletes like to sleep a lot because they need to.

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I never like to sleep a lot, no. It is obvious when I am on competition and when I am practicing a lot I always sleep that eight hours that I need. But, no, I am not big fan of being relaxed on the sofa, watching TV, sleeping a lot of hours. I like activity. I like the sport. I like to do things. During all my career, during all my life, I was that way. Is true that the last couple of years I take the life little bit more easy without doing that many things that when I was 18, 19, 20, 21. But even like this, I am a person who likes to do things.

Q. There’s been some thoughts about changing the schedule of the tournaments. Like between the French Open and Wimbledon, an extra one week this year. There’s been talk that the Australian Open would also benefit from a later start, say in February or March. Your thoughts on that? Would it benefit the players if you had more time for preparation for the Australian Open if it starts in February or March?

RAFAEL NADAL: Is difficult to imagine about these kind of things. I don’t know if in February the conditions are warmer here even. I don’t know if that’s a good idea. Is not very healthy when you are playing under 38 degrees or 36 degrees or 40. Is not the ideal thing. But anyway, is true that have such an important tournament that early in the year, is true that —

Q. It would give you two or three weeks extra preparation, everyone.

RAFAEL NADAL: Sure, is always that for everybody. Is better to have, for example, more than one tournament before the Australian Open, no? It would be great if we are able to go early with two more weeks would be great for different facts, no? For us, is important to spend the new year at home. Is important to spend Christmas at home with family. That dates are, you know, very important. Players have family. Players have small kids. You want to spend that time with them. With that calendar, is tough to have and enjoy this period of time with your family. Is true that if we went two weeks, better for that. But at the same time, is better to play one tournament or two tournaments before Australian Open. Would be great. Two tournaments will have the right period of time before the tournament to play. But today we are talking for talking, because I don’t see a change in that calendar for the future.

Source: Australian Open


  1. i am a fan of rafa from india….
    he is an inspiration for me..
    he is amazing guy….
    i watch tennis only because of rafa..
    one of the dream of mine is to watch rafa live on roland garros..
    hope 2015 aus open trophy in rafa’s hand

  2. Rafa says talking for talking meaning no actions being taken to change the hectic schedule! So it’s a waste of time talking about that! Rafa knows how to express himself very clearly! Great job Rafa! Good luck on Sunday!

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