Australian Open QF: An Interview With Rafael Nadal (January 27, 2015)

Q. Were you feeling at all unwell or unfit today?

RAFAEL NADAL: No. I am feeling okay. Just was not my day. I didn’t play with the right intensity, with the right rhythm, and the opponent played better than me. In sport, when you are going to play against an opponent, was a day that the opponent played better than me.

Q. Do you think it’s also the fact that you haven’t played such a player for a while, the whole process of coming back?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, is probably not the day to talk about that. We talked enough about that before the tournament and almost every day, so is a day that I just can congratulate my opponent, accept that. Is obvious that I needed something more to be more competitive, as I did in the third. The third was the right set, the right game that I have to play. But is obvious that before I didn’t play with the right confidence, with the right intensity, losing court, playing very short. I make him play very easy. So you cannot expect to win matches in quarterfinals of Grand Slam helping the opponent to play well. That’s what I did. The first two sets, the beginning — since the beginning of the third, I played with more character, more the way that I have to play to have chances to keep being — to be where I want to be, to be where I have been for the last lot of years. I don’t know how many. So that’s it. Just will keep working hard on the things that I have to do. As I said when I arrived here, the process always is not easy. When you have injuries, are difficult the comebacks. There are so many examples around the world of sport that have been tough to be back. For me, I’m not an exception on that, no? I have to take the positive things. Without being at my top level of tennis I was able to be here in quarterfinals. Is not a bad result at all for me arriving here the way I arrived: only with one match, only with five matches in seven months. So taking the positive part, that’s the thing that I have to take. That’s just the beginning of the season, and I want to keep having chances to compete well against everybody. I need to keep working the way that I am doing for be ready for the next. The season is long, I know. Beginnings are tough. I need to be ready to accept all the situations that’s going to happen or happened and try to be strong, accepting everything, and working hard to be back the way that I want to be. When I say ‘be back,’ I don’t mean win or lose, I mean have the feeling on court that when you are there you feel confident, you feel you can compete against everybody with equal conditions.

Q. We will never know, but do you think if you had won that third set it could have changed everything, or were you still feeling that Tomas had a little bit the upper hand?

RAFAEL NADAL: “If” doesn’t exist in sport. That’s the real thing. If, if, if – never comes. The thing is, you have to do it. I didn’t have the chance to play the fourth; I lost the third, so that’s it. That’s sport. I lost the third. He’s happier than me in the locker room. I am not very happy because I didn’t competed the way I wanted to competed the first two sets and that’s something that I don’t like. But I tried my best again in the third. I was closer. I had some chances with the 4-All, some breakpoints. The tiebreak I was there fighting even that the situation was tough. But he played aggressive. The tiebreak, he served well. Two sets to love advantage makes the opponent play with more calm than if he is one set to love or one set all. That’s a big difference.

Q. Speak a little bit about Berdych today. Do you think he has what it takes to go all the way in this tournament?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know if he can go all the way to win this. There’s so many good players there that are playing very well. Andy is playing so well. We’ll see. It’s true that Tomas is playing well. Just happy to see the way that the tournament develops. The best players are there fighting for the tournament. Tomas is a very regular player that he deserves to be there. He have been in the top positions of the rankings for a long, long time, being very regular, being very professional on what he’s doing. So he deserve that. And now let’s see what’s going on, no? For me, I feel that he resisted well in the third. But before was too easy for me to analyze the way he played. He played well, obvious. But my feeling was that I help him a lot in the beginning, no? Is easier to play well when you are up in the score, one break up, two breaks up from beginning of every set, no? That’s a big deal, big difference.

Q. The TV showed you taking a pill at some stage early in the third.

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, happened nothing. I am feeling well. That’s it. That’s part of the things that happen sometimes during the matches, but nothing important to say.

Q. Was there anything particularly about Tomas’ game today that you found difficult to deal with?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, it’s always that he serve very well. He played aggressive. But I say before, no, in the third, yes, I was able to maintain the rhythm of the ball, to try to put one more ball inside. If I’m able to do that for two hours and a half, three hours, then he can feel the pressure, he can feel more tired when he’s going for the shots. But the real thing, I tested him for one hour, for a set. For the rest of the thing I didn’t test him in general. As I said before, Tomas is ranked No. 5, No. 6 of the word, No. 7, I don’t know. He’s a top player. We cannot expect the things that — all the challenges that he put me on court today because he’s a top player. You have to play well to win against a player like Tomas. I didn’t play my best today. He played better than me and that’s it. That’s the sport. Sometimes, almost every time, is simple: the player who plays better, the player who is able to maintain the better rhythm, the better concentration, play with less mistakes, is the player who has more success. And today this player has been Tomas.

Q. Have you ever had a tournament like this where you felt like you’ve been so up and down? If so, how were you able to manage your expectations coming in today? Were you…

RAFAEL NADAL: I’m sorry. Can you repeat the beginning?

Q. You have been very up and down. You’ve had a very good match and you’ve had a so-so match today.

RAFAEL NADAL: No, not so-so, very bad. You can say, no problem (smiling).

Q. How hard is it to go on court not knowing what to expect from yourself each match?

RAFAEL NADAL: Nothing new in my side. Is not the first time in my career I have been injury. Is not the first time that I have bad feelings when I am coming back. Is normal and is part of the process. Is part of the process that when I am playing bad, I cannot play that bad. When I am playing well, I have to be able to maintain that level of tennis. When you are coming back from an injuries you lose more easier the feeling than what you do when you are on rhythm, when you are with no injuries, when you are confident in yourself that you played a lot of matches. And that’s the thing that happened, no? When I was playing well, I played well. But at the same time, against Sela I played two well two sets, played bad the third. Against Anderson, was probably the only match I played regular. Played the right level during almost all the time. The rest of the matches have been lot of up and down. Against players, top players like the one that I played today, you need to be more — you cannot be here and here. When you are playing a five-set matches, you’re not going to be during the five sets here. But when you are playing bad, you cannot come here. You have to be here. You cannot make that big difference of level during the match. That’s the things that can happen when you are coming back from an injury, when you are out of rhythm.

Source: Australian Open

31 comments

  1. Rest well, and keep the positive attitude. Today I bought my tickets for Montreal in August, I look forward to seeing a healthy and happy Rafa.

  2. Rafa win or lose you are still the BEST. I just wish and pray to God Almighty that he will give you good health to be in your best form to compete and winning more grand slams. Nevertheless I wish that you will achieve everything you desire in life! God Bless!

  3. An added thought to my previous post. Rafa you are a genuine person, and by that I mean your outstanding character, integrity/honesty and kindness, and desire to improve makes you the player you are. One cannot fake those qualities. You are very couragous and smart. I sincerely hope you go on to win at least five more majors. May God Bless you and keep you healthy in body, mind and spirit. Love you — and BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. Marylynn

  4. Rafa I love you and always will. I feel I love you as a son. I’m sad that you have had so many physical problems throughout your career. But you always manage to come back. I pray that in 2015 you are in good health and pain free, with calmness, confidence, intensity, passion,a very competive spirit and with much love for the game you love!! You deserve to win so believe in yourself, you are just as talented and deserving as any pro tour player. I WISH THE VERY BEST FOR YOU – I PRAY YOUR DREAMS WILL BECOME A REALITY.

  5. “I doubt about myself. I think doubts are good in life. The people who don’t have doubts I think only two things—arrogance or not intelligence.no?.” Rafa for life,

  6. es muy extrano que yo estaba muy triste desde el partido hasta ahora por esta perdida, todo lo que espero de tu es que te quede saludable y competa bien en los proximos partidos, saludos desde egipto Rafa <3

  7. Sad to see him struggling and not being the Rafa we know and love. But as always, disappointed FOR him, not in him.
    Here’s to a healthy year with no injuries. Doubters, try listening to Rafa, he is always very clear on what happened. He is not in an age decline, but, rather, coming back from injury. Look at what happened in the past, he has experience with this, no??

  8. Yesterday, I bought the cable, so I can watch you. Later on, I could not find you. dont worry Rafa. To me you are the best and we do have bad days. Try to recuperate and rest. To me you are el CAMPEON de todos. Suerte

  9. Eres neutron CAMPEON, Rafa! TIENDA una attitude excelente y eaperamos con gran anticipation tush esfuerzos en el ano 2015! M
    VAMOS RAFA!

  10. Pedi a DEUS força e saúde para este jogo, não deu dessa vez, mas é vida que segue.Estou com um misto de sentimentos; minha torcida é que tudo em teu físico, cabeça e coração esteja bem. Continue sendo essa pessoa apaixonante, intensa e determinada que és. Que DEUS triplique a sua fé, confiança e paixão pelo tênis e por seus fãs…Pra cima deles RAFA!

  11. Rafa I Love You Just the same win or loose ,Thank god you are Back ,Fit & healthy ,Just need to play more ,You will be fine for Clay Season .Much Love & Good Luck <3
    <3 X0.

  12. your interview today Rafa was very profound, as always you were gracious in defeat, making no excuses, you will come back,as we say here in Australia “you can,t keep a good man down” Rest now and we,ll see you in the ATP tournaments and Roland Garros where I hope you will make it10 in a row Vamos Rafa

  13. It’s Ok. U hv a long way to go. It’s just the beginning of 2015. I watched every match of yourS here in India. I know how you feel. Your pain of losing is shared by all your fans who love U. Keep Smiling. ☺☺☺💟

  14. I am very, very sad about this match. But I’m looking forward for a positive year 2015 for you. Hope you are healthy and injury free, then you will win a lot of matches and turniers. That’s Important!
    So I’m think of you and are always with you, my great Champion!

  15. You have good days and bad days! That doesn’t change anything !
    Once a king,always a king!! No one can take that away from you! There are so many players coming and going and their existence is mediocre ! Never in top! You were and are always in top: as a player,as a character,as an amazing young man! The best of everything to you

  16. Vamos Rafa. Big disappointment to go out and to go out like this. But hey, keep focussing on #15. Faith will have it that somewhere in the next 4 years, you will win the Aussie Open and equalize or break Fed’s major record. It’s written in the stars. Vamos!

  17. Don’t know any other player who can come back from injuries, operations, setbacks, etc and reach the 1/4 finals in a major tournament like Rafa has done in the Aussie Open. Roll on the next tournament – Go Rafa – you are incredible.

  18. rafa ..so sorry dear about the match..Yes fought great Champion..if u would have won the last point that would turn the tables…but yeah its ok honey..there are good days ahead for us..I know God is watching u n hearing me daily..stay strong n health..its just like any other game..cheer up dear….

    I thought I t would be great to win this year bcz last year it was just missed bcz of injury….but God’s plans are different and great away from ours…but just a matter of less match practice bcz 6 months out of court..thats all ..everything is good what God does..BUT THANK GOD HE HEALED HIM HE IS FIT NOW n TAKE REST GOD PLS GIVE HIM COMPLETE MATCH FITNESS N CONFIDENCE.

    But I know God will help him in the French Open to lift it up for the 10th time where no one could have ever imagined to do so.. i’ll Pray for that so hard..Believe in U God….Praise to the Lord Almighty..:)..
    Guys all of u Pray for him please daily..:)..Cheer him who personally know him..

  19. very unfortunate and very very sad. unfortunately read many predictions about rafa’s form this year going to plumet. could even retire. hope not. hope gets back belief in himself, beats all odds and starts winning again. we have faith in you – please have faith in yourself. VAMOS

  20. It was really, really as sad and disappointing day for Rafa and the fans. But let’s take the positive aspect of his run in this AO 2015 since his comeback. The important thing is that he is healthy and injury-free. Let’s wish him all the best and we all look forward to the clay season…. Vamos Rafa!!!

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