French Open: An Interview with Rafael Nadal (June 3, 2015)

Rafael Nadal spoke to the media after his loss to Novak Djokovic at the French Open.

 Video: Roland Garros

30 comments

  1. So humble for such a great player. Stay positive and evaluate your weaknesses, you can once again be the dominant man on court with some minor adjustments. It has been a pleasure watching your passion for the game.

  2. Rafa has lost his edge. Its as simple as that. He leaves the ball short most of the times, his serve (which was never great) has diminished, he doesnt have that long rally in him anymore like he used to when he can hit the ball 15 times and then run down the ball and hit the ball cross court with his backhand (which was the most devastating shot i have ever seen a tennis player do) and most inportantly doesnt possess that fear factor to other players. I hate to see the great ones fall but it is what it is!!

  3. Didn’t finish my last comment … . Rafa puts himself down (not on purpose) – his speech, words are usually undermining – negative. Rafa, please look at yourself as a winner which you are. You are in no way arrogant – too humble – but thinking well of yourself will not make you so. You are truly a tennis superstar and in every other way too – lovable to no end. Please BELIEVE in yourself. You are the greatest!!! In addition make a few changes to your game, additional coach? and go all the way. Love you! VAMOS

  4. As someone mentioned, molly-coddling Rafa is all very nice and I also have done it and want to do more. But does that help Rafa?

    Read some things today that I have always maintained. Billy Jean King said that Rafa needed to change his thinking pattern – he says ‘I have not’ he should thing of what he has. Yes, he often says I’m not ….. I don’t know if I can etc. Of course he always says I will try. Novak as a teen thought that Rafa was beatable on clay and unfortunately has proved it. That’s the main difference between them. Novak is very positive especially after 2010. He doesnt put himself down and I’m sure his thoughts are also positive.

  5. Kindly improve Service Mr. Nadal,

    Aces wins matches
    Defence wins Matches
    Rallies wins matches

    U r in second category most of the time Mr. Nadal. Improve to No1, you ll be unbeatable

  6. Common Wimbledon s der, U ll be the Champ if you change attitude from physical to Mental tennis.

  7. change the game plan Mr. Nadal. You are easily predictable now a days, thats y u lose today, even after 2 sets u still have 3 sets to play, but u lost the hope after 2 sets. Hopeless play ends in loss, thats wat happens today, Jus sketch like roger federer or nole in 5set matches, the way u r approaching 5 Set match is not a good game plan , It shows in your face in all 5 set matches u played. U can beat nole if u play with that past confident in last three sets.

  8. Dear RAFA: I don’t say sorry for the Qf loss gainst nole but sorry for the loss that snapped your 39 match winning streak at Roland garros and it happened on your 29th birth day.
    Overhauling is such a huge word to suggest but there are few things to be sorted out .You have been hitting short since last year facilitating the opponent go for strong forehand and back hand shots leaving you in defence. Please sort it out RAFA and Uncle toni would there to help you as always …..VAMOS RAFA….

  9. Tough one today. Very hard for us fans that love and respect Rafa not to share in his pain. He certainly can get his “A” game back as long as he is healthy and motivated. I understand the division on the idea of a new coach. Of course, Toni doesn’t need to leave but maybe a new voice for motivation, perspective and challenge could help. Just like at work sometimes a new boss can bring new energy, new ideas. I must say I would love to see Rafa spend some time w Borg. I think there is more in common w their games and ability to play all surfaces than people realize. Whoever gets to pick Borgs brain someday will be a very lucky player. Anyways I think some new blood in Rafas camp could bring many things. I’m sure Rafa n Toni will consider all options together. Now, go get a little rest champ and get started on the grass!! Vamos Rafa

  10. Rafa today it was not your day is OK.your fans for ever .we love you .happy Birthday.no one have 9 French Open.you have to bi happy .the King of clay.❤️😍❤️😍❤️😍❤️😍❤️😍❤️😍❤️👍

  11. ps: Ola again dear Rafa….your game is relevant & evolving…. your team is wonderful & effective….keep up the great work! You are the only Tennis player I know who has such passion and success with improving, practicing, & eagerness to learn…..plus you have the best courts in Majorca & your hard court tennis has developed beautifully as well!!!! Please take pride & comfort with your current improvements & above all please do not consider new coach suggestions….as none of the older top players are as gifted or good enough for you!!! None of the old players have good enough records to teach you or have anything relevant to contribute….on the other hand, uncle Tony, you, & the rest of your team has such an awesome success together…. VAMOS!!!!! : )
    pss: Will cheer Daveed & Tsonga to win RG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) They can do it!!!!!!!!!!

    • You sound like you want Rafa to keep losing. Because that’s exactly what will happen if he sticks with Uncle Toni. Stop living in the past. This is 2015. Not 2013, 2010, 2008. He’s won only ONE tournament in the last 12 months – a small ATP 250 event in Argentina where the competition was weak. His game is in free fall. He’s getting worse at a point in his career when he should be getting better. Uncle Toni has no answers. Or he has the wrong answers. Rafa needs to hire a new coach. Just like Serena, Federer, Sharapova, Djokovic, Azarenka, Murray and nearly all the other top players have done in recent years. If you want to coddle Rafa and wipe away his tears, that’s your choice. I’m not into that. I just want him to be the best player that he can possibly be. Nothing more. Nothing less. VAMOS!!!

  12. Vamos dear Rafa for being such a classy player & Happy Birthday sweetheart!!! This was just another match… no more no less…. you played strong ….and thank you for playing with such strength & taking chances & coming back from 4: 0 to equal to 5 : 5…. It was so good to see you out there playing well. Like others pointed out here…. YOU ARE the better player & you had much more endurance & energy and could go on and on….it was very obvious….and I hope when you look and view the match you will see the score does not reflect anything that happened and how close it was….. Novak did have a few reaching returns where he made the extra effort and won few sharp winners…. BUT OVER ALL he did not win the match by his skills or winners, but by playing with your missing some shots , plus he had ongoing umpire on his side…that helped him, and gradually gave him the added up scores. But each point if you review, you can tell that you were right up there dear Rafa….so congratulations for playing the quarterfinals…& for improving your serve & movement so incredibly much!!!! : )
    I don’t want to make this too lengthy & I am sure other fans will write many notes too….but just wish to point out a few more things…. the umpire was not equal in his calls with respect to time either….. and when Novak was taking too long getting ready to serve , catching his breath & taking his time…instead of getting umpire late serve warning, the umpire addressed the crowd to quite down…. clearly unequal match coverage….. When the crowd was cheering you dear Rafa, the umpire shut them right down swiftly so that there wouldn’t be a momentum shift…. BUT you blessedly won the point and the game after the poor call, and you did build up a beautiful momentum regardless…so I was very happy you did not let him effect your playing much…. BUT what I saw is that the umpire did manage to encourage Novak enough, so Novak had it easy throughout the match knowing he was on his side. This very same umpire used to do good job…he used to be objective & professional many years ago….but somehow, after you won so many times, he and other French official are having resistance they not trying to hide….makes zero sense since YOU ARE THE ONE DRAWING MOST TENNIS FANS, BRINGING IN THE FULL CROWDS & SELLING MOST MATCH TICKETS IN ADVANCE…..
    There is so much goodness & blessings in your game Rafa, and when you view the match w Uncle Tony, you will also notice Novak was beginning to loose energy already in the end of first set….then he had cramps & was loosing energy in the third set, and looked tired… On the other hand, you were out there looking blessed, healthy & fit . So all in all this was a good match …..and you can have a beautiful Birthday and celebrate & enjoy yourself moving forward!!! God bless you & best wishes always!!! : )

  13. And while I’m at it, let me add that there’s 3 key technical & tactical changes that Rafa needs to work on with his new coach:

    1 – Court Positioning – positioning himself 0-5 feet behind the baseline, not 5-15 feet like he is now, so that he gives his opponent less time to react to his shots.

    2 – Balance – hitting off his toes, not off his heels like he is now, so that he has forward body momentum into the shot, and more power and depth as a result.

    3 – Racquet Follow Through – hitting THROUGH THE BALL before finishing up high, not sharply over the ball like he is now, which causes so many of his shots to land short or into the net.

    These adjustments can be accomplished relatively easily and quickly if Rafa and his new coach totally commit to them in practice, in drills, in video analysis, and in matches. It will give his ground-strokes the added depth, power and penetration that he so desperately needs at this point in his career.

    I earned varsity letters in tennis throughout my college and high school years. I taught tennis for several years. I’ve closely followed professional tennis for 40 years. I understand the game inside and out. Discount my input all you want. I’m not the only person offering it. Several of the professional analysts on Tennis Channel and ESPN have made similar suggestions. I just wish Rafa and his team would listen. VAMOS!!!

  14. I fully agree. The year has been rounded. 12 months of ‘excusez le mot’ poop. It started a year ago in Halle with a brutal beatdown by Brown, and it’s been going on and on and on. Instead of immediately going defensive about Toni when someone suggests a new or an extra coach (looking back at the successes), for once look ahead. Is there a plan? I don’t think so. Is there a strategy to tackle the mental block that’s been there since Aussie 2014? I don’t think so. TIME FOR NEW BLOOD FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

  15. Congrats RAFA
    Weakness against Djokovic
    1) looses 80% of points when Djokovic is serving to Rafa right hand. So even though Djokovic loose 1 point he has 80% chance of winning another. Rafa needs to improve this
    2) Rafa should mix Top spin with flat hitting that will upset even the best player.
    3) Today he was too short. Means Djokovic factor tremendously affects his game. I think he should do YOGA to improve focus.
    4) Anticipate the next move. When Djokovic knows he is defensive and can’t convert to winning point, he takes risk by droping the ball or hitting deep ball. Thats way he has chance of winning loosing point by 50%. It is of know use running after ball while your defensive.
    5) Nadal needs to take risk when he is defensive rather than developing a long rally.
    6) Djokovic has changed his game and Rafa needs to catch it.

    Strenght of Rafa
    1) If he improve 1st serve in & nice return to Djokovic serve & deep ball & anticipate the next move of the opponent. RAFA WILL BE DANGEROUS AGAIN !!!

  16. Rafa looked totally demoralized and devastated in the 3rd set and immediately after the match. He looked like a beaten man through and through. He can put on a happy face and deny it all he wants. The cameras and photos don’t lie. This was a brutal loss for him, his team, his family, and his fans. We’ll all get over it in a few days or a few weeks, but there’s no getting around the fact that Rafa’s game needs a serious overhaul if he intends to ever win another slam, much less overtake Federer’s total of 17 major titles. If that’s not his goal, then he should just retire instead of hanging on just for the sake of hanging on, and embarrassing himself with these lopsided defeats to the likes of Djokovic, Wawrinka, Murray, Fognini, Verdasco and Berdych.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Rafa must hire a new coach with proven championship experience, such as Paul Annacone, Darren Cahill, Jim Courier, Mats Wilander, Jimmy Connors, the list goes on. He has clearly reached a dead end with Uncle Toni, who should voluntarily step aside if he truly cares about his nephew’s future on the ATP tour. Nearly every other top player on tour – male and female – has changed coaches in recent years, and nearly all have significantly improved their games by doing so. I am absolutely positive that Rafa would too, as long as he hires the right person. It’s a no-brainer. Do it Rafa. Do it now. VAMOS!!!

    • @move in Rafa or move out – I have to agree with you. I love him as if he were my son, but he needs to add a great coach to his team. Marylynn

  17. Let’s face it !
    Rafa lost the match this afternoon.
    I am not offering pathetic wishes for better luck in the future.
    Rafa lost and he is deeply hurt.
    But let’s face what perhaps is by far more important:
    RAFA IS TEACHING A LESSON.
    A lesson of proportions.
    A lesson of modesty.
    A lesson of courage.
    Lesson in perseverance: “To accept set-backs and never give up”.
    How much more important an overall contribution it is.

  18. Rafa my boy please don’t be sad n just enjoy your birthday. You are still the King of Clay n our Champion. Too many injuries in more than a year have set you back n dropped your rankings, but by the grace of God may you be blessed with good health in the future, n get back to your old form n top ranking. You’ve got a tiger in your tank n you’ll be back in 2016 at RG to take back what is yours. God bless you. Vamos Rafa. Love your Aussie Nana. 😀😊😄🎈🎈🎈

  19. Always my Hero n forever will be 💙💚💜🌷🌹🍀💕💝💟🌻💛💜💚💙💟🌻

  20. Dear Rafa: So sorry you were not the Victor. You are really the better player, but you need to belief that. You must change it up when you play against Djokovic And, many times today, because of your predictability you allowed Novak to control the match. And I mean this: you are a better tennis player than Novak please start believing in yourself more. We in this household will always love you and cheer you on. You will forever be number 1. God Bless you Rafa. Love, Marylynn

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