Rafael Nadal on Maria Sharapova’s reduced doping ban

Rafael Nadal of Spain attends a press conference after winning against Paolo Lorenzi of Italy on the Men's singles first round match on day four of the 2016 China Open at the China National Tennis Centre, on October 4, 2016 in Beijing, China. (Oct. 3, 2016 - Source: Etienne Oliveau/Getty Images AsiaPac)
Rafael Nadal of Spain attends a press conference after winning against Paolo Lorenzi of Italy on the Men’s singles first round match on day four of the 2016 China Open at the China National Tennis Centre, on October 4, 2016 in Beijing, China. (Oct. 3, 2016 – Source: Etienne Oliveau/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Transcript of Rafael Nadal’s presser after the Lorenzi match.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I noticed when you come into the stadium, you waved to your fans. There were many Chinese fans with Spanish flags. How do you feed off the atmosphere in the stadium?
RAFAEL NADAL: Great. It’s always special to play in this part of the world. The fans are great, very enthusiastic. You feel the passion, no? It’s great. Just can say thanks to all the fans.

Always have been a huge support from them here in China. I really enjoy a lot, no? Is great to be far from your home and see a lot of Spanish flags out there.

Q. Towards the beginning of the match, you had several double-faults. What was going on with your serve?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. You have the statistics. I don’t know how many I had. I think I had maybe two or something like this. Was a good day. I think I played a great match.

Q. You also wiped something on the ground with a towel.
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. Was my own sweating. There was some. Was a little bit slippery.

Q. You were in great form today. How are you feeling after your doubles match yesterday? Do you think it helped you warm up, get into the swing of things?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think we played a good doubles match yesterday. I was practicing good during the last couple of days. Is obvious having a doubles match before the singles starts is a positive thing. That’s why I asked to play before.

Yes, is a good start for me. Today I think I played a very solid match, playing very aggressive with my forehand. I only played one not very good game. That was in 3-1 of the first set. But for the rest I played a very good match. I very happy.

Q. You seem to be playing much closer to the baseline in practice and during this match. Is it because of the conditions here or do you think it will be the trend for next season, that you’re taking the ball earlier?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. I am trying to play like this during the whole season, no? Is not something new from here. Since last year here — no, I am wrong. Since last year in Montreal I am trying to play closer to the baseline and trying to return closer to the baseline, trying to play a little bit more aggressive.

I think I did well this year. When you get injury for two months and a half at the half season, in the middle of the season, is tough, is difficult. But even like this, I came back well. I came back well playing in Olympics and US Open, too. I lost a match that I could win, had big chances to win, but against a good player.

No, I happy. Considering how difficult is to get injury in the middle of the season, I am happy the way I am playing.

Remain a little bit to finish the season. Today is an important victory. There are points to try to qualify for the World Tour Finals. That’s a good victory.

Q. In the last press conference you said making tennis quicker is not the way to make it more interesting. You said there are other solutions to get people more involved. What kind of solutions are you thinking of?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t want to talk any more about that. I am just a tennis player, no? I do what the guys who run the sport thinks is better for the game.

I just said you need to have changes on the rules to have the match more interesting, as all the sports does. All the sports improves, adapts to the new times.

But you cannot pretend to have sets to four. I think is something good for the young kids, but not for the professionals. The matches, you start one break against, 3-0, you are over for one set. I think is not fair enough. Is not enough time to compete.

Q. The verdict on Maria Sharapova’s ban appeal is due later today. Do you think it’s positive if she’s allowed back? Do you think it will be positive for tennis if she’s allowed back on tour after a year?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t have all the information, no? Is not good that the people decides on that or have an opinion on that. It’s good that the people has to decide on that decides the right way and do his job. It’s a decision for the people who really knows about it. They going to make the right decision. So that’s all.

I cannot pretend to have an opinion. You know, an opinion of this kind of case, you need to know all the information that probably you don’t know, I don’t know. Is not good to create an opinion or write things that maybe are not hundred percent right. Can be painful for some people. I am not agree with that. I am not happy with that, no?

There is somebody, and there is a legal instruments that they have to take the decision. They going to do it well because that’s they job.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


  1. I missed seeing Rafa’s interview when he made the Sharapova comments. Of one thing I AM certain; Rafa respects the game of tennis and all those who participate in it. Ms. Sharapova is no exception. Rafa will comment on that which he knows; he will NOT speculate.

  2. Rafa is extroardinarily professional,qnd sure knows what to say,
    and what not to say.

    ALl the best for your next matches Rafa.

    love and prayers,


  3. Crikey what a disaster, error after error with a few outstanding points slotted in between . What the hell went wrong today, and to rub sort into the wounds in Dimitrov’s previous matches to lesser players he was lucky to scrape through. Just so disappointed for Rafa , it will be interesting to see what he has to say about his form in this match..

  4. It’s not fair putting these players on the spot expecting them to comment on serious issues, particularly on someone they’ve often known as a friend since they were virtually children. Sharapova has ticked the press off for dwelling on Rafa not obtaining a slam in the last 2 seasons – she rewrote the headline ‘Rafa has won SLaM for 10 conservation years ‘.

  5. Rafael has been very diplomatic and wise as he and Sharapova are in the same profession and are like colleagues. She has, in the past, been very supportive of
    Rafael and his accomplishments. It is sad to have Maria’s illustrious career
    marred by cheating accusations.

  6. I saw this conference and he was having a dig at the press again – good on him! ‘create an opinion and write things that are not 100% – can be painful for some people’. He knows all about that. A lot of those reporters are the same people he sees year in year out and he knows exactly who’s saying what.

  7. Well said Rafa about Sharapova verdict, everybody need to know exactly what happened and why before to give an opinion and only the people who are in charge of that case have the right decision

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