Rafael Nadal talks about a tougher-than-expected win over Mikhail Youzhny as he reaches the Rogers Cup quarter-finals.
Q. In the last few years, a lot of talk about the big four. You have certainly dominated the majors. Of the upcoming youngsters, who do you see as the next challengers?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I am out of the top four now anyway (laughter).
Well, seriously think I obviously Raonic is the one that can be there. You know, Zverev, new young player from Germany. Kyrgios, Kokkinakis. Berdych. I don’t know. There is a couple of young players that are there and for sure are the future of our sport.
Q. Your thoughts on Youzhny tonight? Ranked 107 of the world, but at times he didn’t look like it.
RAFAEL NADAL: When he’s playing like this, of course his ranking is much higher. His level of tennis is much higher than what his ranking says.
He’s having a tough year, but he play great here. When a player like him is playing well, is very dangerous. Winning four matches already in this tournament.
If he can play like this, for sure he will finish the season in a higher position in the ranking. No doubt of that.
Was a positive victory for me. I think I played great because he was playing at a good level of tennis. I should play well to win 6‑3, 6‑3 against a player like him.
Q. What are your thoughts on the Kyrgios affair?
RAFAEL NADAL: I was not watching the match, you know. I watched the video. I don’t understand very well why he say that, you know. Is completely unnecessary. Is out of what a tennis match should be, no?
The world of tennis, I think we should represent and we should be an example for new generation of kids. So is good that the players who are in front of the TV, the players who are in front of a lot of audience, especially in front of kids, because the rest it’s fine, but especially the kids, we show the good values, the good example.
Obviously yesterday was not one of these moments, no? So that’s it. That’s my thoughts.
It’s obvious that when you are in the tour, you are in the locker room every single week of the year, you are with colleagues around, and the life is much easier and more happier if you have a good relationship with the rest of the colleagues, the rest of the players.
What happened yesterday doesn’t help to that.
Q. Murray blamed it on his age maybe, how tough it is to grow up in the spotlight. Would you say his age excuses something? And how do you feel about your win on this left‑handed international day?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, happy for the victory, and thanks.
We can accept, I think everybody can have mistakes. Age is not an excuse. We are here. Most of the players who are around the tour started very early, no? I started on the tour with 16, Novak probably with 17, Andy with 18. The age is not an excuse at all, no. Is just about respect.
He was wrong yesterday. I hope he’s able to recognize his mistake and I hope he’s able to change his attitude that sometimes in the court is necessary to change if you want to be in the tour, that the people respect you not as a very good tennis player. For sure he’s a fantastic tennis player, and possibly he can be No.1 in the future.
But as I always said, no, you can be as good tennis player as you want, but most important thing in this life is the human person, no, the respect. You have to go on court and you have to do the right things. Yesterday he was not doing the right things.
As I say before, he has time to improve that attitude. I am sure that he’s smart and he will do it.
Q. Could you talk to us about how you feel about your serve. Your average speed is a lot higher in this tournament than it was in Hamburg. You have two different surfaces, but it’s a considerable improvement.
RAFAEL NADAL: I had a problem on the shoulder in Hamburg.
Q. Now the problem’s gone?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes. It’s not a problem anymore. I did treatment straight after Hamburg. I went to Barcelona. I visited the doctor. We did some treatment. It worked well. I don’t have pain anymore in the shoulder.
But during the Hamburg tournament I couldn’t serve very well. I was just trying to put serves in, very slow speed. But happy the way I served today. I think I was serving very well tonight.
Q. You’re playing tomorrow night in singles and right after in doubles. How do you prepare for that?
RAFAEL NADAL: I prepare for the singles, then we see (laughter).
Q. It’s the Bryans in doubles.
RAFAEL NADAL: I have Nishikori and Goffin in front before. I am more worried about that.
Q. How do you feel you played on the pressure points tonight?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, the time that I was serving for the match, the second serve, I hit a great forehand in the 15‑30, then good serve in the 30‑All. I think I played some good shots in important moments.
I play a mistake with my forehand in the 4‑3, 30‑40. Good return down the line, then easy mistake with my forehand go into the net.
But in general I didn’t lose the serve during the whole match, I think. So I saved some good moments, I served well, and I played well.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sport, Video: ATP World Tour