Rafael Nadal says he lost confidence in his forehand

BEIJING, CHINA - OCTOBER 07: Rafael Nadal of Spain attends a press conference after his defeat against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria on his Men's singles Quarter Finals match on day seven of the 2016 China Open at the China National Tennis Centre on October 7, 2016 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Etienne Oliveau/Getty Images)
Photo by Etienne Oliveau/Getty Images

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

Q. You didn’t find a way to your best tennis today. How do you analyze this match? Grigor played a great match, but on your side how did you feel?
RAFAEL NADAL: I feel bad. I feel that I played a bad match in a lot of aspects. Yeah, is obvious that Grigor played much better than me, so he deserved to win. And on my side, you know, I cannot have two breaks and lose 6-2 the first set. When this happens, something is going very bad, no? If you have two breaks, you should have a big possibility to win the set. Having two breaks, I lost 6-2.

Start in the second set again with a break, and it was a disaster. Losing five serves in a row is something that you cannot win a match like this. That’s it. I fighted until the last ball, but going all the time against the score and all the time against the bad feelings, psychologically bad feelings, because I was losing and suffering later with my serve all the time. 

So when that happens, what you have to do is go to the next tournament because you don’t deserve to win like this.

Q. Did it start yesterday in the second set? Is it different sensations?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, it’s different feelings. Today I lost a lot of serves, but was not because of my serve. I feel I lost a lot of serves, and from the baseline I was missing balls that I should not miss. That’s what happened.

When you miss a couple of ones, then you start to feel a little bit the nerves. Losing the first serve, okay. Having the break back again, and again having the break back, and losing again the serve, psychologically that’s tough.

I was ready. In the next game I had again a breakpoint. But the real thing is that stays in your mind and that make you lose the confidence.

Q. In the first set you lost four games straight after the fifth game.
RAFAEL NADAL: Happened that I lost two games with the serve of Grigor. That’s normal thing. And I keep losing my serve. That’s it.

Q. It’s a tough loss, but what can you take away from your Beijing trip?
RAFAEL NADAL: I was playing good, no? I was playing well. I practiced well. I don’t have bad feelings on the ball. Today during the match I started not bad. At the end of the match I feel again better. But in the middle of the match, for too much time I lost the confidence with my forehand and I missed more than what I need. That’s it.

From Beijing, 90 points. That’s something that is not a big thing, but is something that maybe can help for the World Tour Finals. But that’s it.

Is always a pleasure playing here in Beijing. I had good tournaments here. Always great memories. Was another year. I am sad that I was not keep playing again here tomorrow in the singles.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


  1. Teresa & Beverley: 👍🏼❣️ Totally agree a 100%. Thanks for taking the time to explain so well in your language why it is impossible for most of his fans to judge over Rafa because of those “out-of the blue”- losses that are happening since two years.

    Teresa, thanks for mention the 2013 WTF. I almost forgot. I started to believe that “it” was getting much more severe after that horrible AO- final and came to a peak in 2015. But I need to check up again about 2013.

  2. Just been reminded of how wise Rafa is: “Human beings & especially us Spaniards have the bad habit of believing victories are the norm”

  3. Same patterns… same old.. same old.. once any top 30 player starts hitting and serving hard and making more than 70% of the said shots in.. Rafa just loses it. Add to that his ‘serve’ His trophy position b4 serve if you notice is same as 2007 2008. His had racket face the center lines man in the duece side .. on the ad side its worse since he want to slice it out wide or on the body. I could guess where he was going watching TV. No wonder even a gregor who was having a crappy 2 years could step in. Murray would have fed our Rafe breadsticks or beagels. Please dont abuse me…. I watched the game and did not have the heart to comment here. He racket position was upright in 2010 and and 2013 b4 serve load up and no wonder it was more effective. I CANNOT comprehend wtf his team is doing. At this rate he may win a masters 1000 here and there on clay if he gets lucky like Madrid to play a mofils etc, but nothing is going to happen on any other surface. This in not WTA where u can drop server and get to the S.F. forget about winning titles. U cannot do the same stuff again and again and expect different results when it has not worked for 2+ years now.

    • U wont get many replies here except agression. Many of the commentators here are only about blind appraisal. Calling facts – indeed wtf has his team been doing, they basically show that the success of 14 slams is all despite them – ain’t appreciated.

    • I will only say with what rafa playing in china open, if he continue play like this he will for surely lift many for master and grandslam what may be the surface
      so keep calm and vamos rafa

    • @ serve out: Most on here respect these opinions and yours is perfectly reasonably put. We can all see what’s happening and have come to expect these inexplicable losses to previously ‘lesser’ players. We know he is playing below par and we feel bad as a result. But, some of us have concluded that the problems are not Rafa’s technique, team etc. More importantly, Rafa has said it’s not down to technique or his team. He can play brilliantly and then have a sudden downturn. ‘Walkabouts’ or ‘yo-yo’ playing the commentators have called it. This is not consistent with technical problems in his game. Rafa’s physical condition may not be allowing him to exercise many changes. He made adaptations to his shots in 2013 to compensate for knee pain – but inevitably this compromises his game (a quick recap of his 2013 season shows this was talked about quite a bit). During the US Open (2013) the commentators were predicting what movements would be painful for him. There may be no more things he can adapt. His team are professionals – if there were solutions they would find them. The other problem (the one he cites as most important) is mental. Rafa has opening talked about not enjoying the game, training and suffering anxiety attacks – which started at the end of the 2013 season (because of playing through too much pain = trauma). I was shocked to see him in the World Tour finals 2013 for instance, he did not look well and was shaking from head to foot – I felt strongly that something was wrong then. Rafa said playing through this level of anxiety was impossible for him (understandable to anyone who understands how brutal anxiety attacks are). He was managing to get this under control this year and to recover from his last injury. We saw him win at MC and Barcelona as a result. He started to play well at RG but was set back with yet another injury (the nature of which he may never fully recover from). Some of us choose to support him with an understanding of this rather than criticise his game without putting things into perspective. In tennis terms he is not young and has been playing professionally longer than most of this age. He has physical and mental limitations that we have to respect and choose to support him regardless. Whatever he wins now (clay or otherwise) is a bonus.

      • Teresa,my sentiments entirely.
        Some fans, or fair weather fans in some cases, are on the attack every time Rafa does not meet with their expectations.
        They list all the things he is doing wrong and all the things he should be doing in their opinions, together with calling for a new coach. Then on to his 14 grand slams with the inference that he would be winning more if he took their advice.
        But, as you say, not putting things into perspective. Never a mention of the fact that he has been on the circuit since he was 15 years of age, his numerous injuries and the constant fight back from those, his problems with lack of confidence, etc.
        Those of us who support Rafa are accused of being blind to how Rafa is playing and not facing up to facts.
        Most of us do face up to facts and the facts are that Rafa will probably never be the Rafa he used to be for the reasons listed above.
        But we support him for all the years of wonderful tennis he has given us. Every win is a joy for us and every loss we do our best to accept because of the march of time and the effect of that on his body.
        All champions eventually reach a time when their fitness levels deteriorate.
        No one can go on forever.
        Real fans do not kick them when they are down. Or expect them to adopt lines of play that their bodies may not be able to manage at this stage of their careers .
        I have said before he does not need a new coach. He needs a new body.
        Having said this I respect everyone’s right to an opinion and don’t expect everyone to agree with me.


  4. Rafa all the best in the doubles campaign.

    Then onto Shanghai, so all the best in every game,

    Love and prayers,


  5. I agree with JayBeer: same old excuses-no improvement. Rafa is doing the same thing over and over again: hitting balls short, concentrating on cross court shots, keeping same court position etc. Every player has figured this out-and it is easy pickings for them, the latest being Lucas and Grigor.
    If Rafa is not serious about changing coaches, tactics and tennis mentality, he might as well quit. His game right now epitomizes the true Einsteinian definition of insanity.

  6. Wow… Beating the Bryan brother is no easy task! Now they face Tomic and Socks…two young guns! I hope and pray that they can win the trophy… It will help the hurt from yesterday’s Calamity!

    • Wow… Beating the Bryan brother’s is no easy task! Now they face Tomic and Socks…two young guns! I hope and pray that they can win the trophy… It will help the hurt from yesterday’s Calamity!

  7. Rafa, we have much confidence in your ability to prevail during trying moments. This loss does NOT define you as a player and/or the splendid person you are. YOU will decide your future performances, and WE will ALWAYS SUPPORT you. VAMOS, RAFA!!!!!!!

  8. Team Nadal needs to help restore his confidence. If it is frustrating to watch, it must be worse to be playing. Set fire to the warrior! 😡👺👹👊🔥♥️

  9. No worry rafa dont get that nerves again
    for me u r playing superbly and play in shanghai like u did here
    just a little adjustment in serves will do greats
    find ur body serve

    good luck rafa
    u r on right track

    • What a pity, the nerves again? Wtf as if he was winning anything the last years when not ‘nervous’. Lame bs after lame bs.

  10. VAMOS DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) You are a bright player and your take is always so incredibly enlightening & honest!!!! : ) VAMOS & thank you for all your beautiful Tennis!!!!! : ) : ) : ) SO HAPPY FOR YOU that you won Semi Doubles today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) 🙂 : ) : ) God bless you sweetheart & VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) Enjoy your day & lots of love & happiness!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : )

  11. Good luck in Shanghai Rafa. At least our man is in the doubles final, so Beijing hasn’t been a total write-off!

    Maybe as Rafa’s power diminishes in singles, his power grows in the doubles?

    Anyway, happy weekend everyone.

  12. Ça arrive au meilleur malheureusement il faut maintenant reprendre confiance 👍👍❤❤vamos rafa

  13. Nadal ne perd pas courage , tu es un joueur fantastique , allez vamos ce n’est pas un drame , les meilleurs ont traversé aussi des difficultés , tu vas revenir en forme
    Nous t’attendons à Shahgaï

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