Brisbane R1: An interview with Rafael Nadal (January 3, 2017)

Rafael Nadal of Spain signs autographs after winning his match against Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine on day three of the 2017 Brisbane International at Pat Rafter Arena on January 3, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Jan. 2, 2017 - Source: Chris Hyde/Getty Images AsiaPac)
Rafael Nadal of Spain signs autographs after winning his match against Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine on day three of the 2017 Brisbane International at Pat Rafter Arena on January 3, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Chris Hyde/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Transcript of Rafael Nadalโ€™s presser after the Dolgopolov match.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did the conditions compare to what you played on last week?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I don’t know because of how late it was, but ball was a little bit bigger and a little bit — the court is not as slow, but the ball, yes, was slow tonight.

But great conditions to play tonight, no? Not very warm. That’s great. Great crowd out there.

Yeah, I enjoyed — it’s a beautiful court, beautiful court with great crowd. So always is a great experience.

Q. Were you sort of legitimately worried that this was a danger game for you, given you just got there, had some jet lag? Were you concerned that it was going to be a tricky one to get through?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah. No, I said yesterday it was an important match for me. It was an important match for me and not much time to adjust the game and to adapt myself to the conditions, so it was great that I was able to play late. I think that helps.

In terms of the jet lag, helps for me this week if I play later. I think I played a solid match with not many mistakes. That makes me feel good and happy for the victory, obviously.

Q. He broke you early in the match, and you came back very well. Were you a little bit concerned at first?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. He played — it’s tough to play against him. He’s able to — he play little bit Kamikaze, you know. He’s little bit — very aggressive with all the shots. It’s difficult to construct a point with him, no, because you cannot expect to hit, I gonna hit one ball there and one ball to other side and then try to hit a winner. Because you hit one ball there and maybe the one he miss or he plays a winner, so he plays a bomb. So it’s difficult to prepare your match against him.

The break, I had one mistake, and then he played two good points. Then in the last point, he played dropshot. I arrived well but I missed. I don’t understand where he’s going, and he plays a good volley and had the break.

But in all the games at the beginning, I had 15-30, 15-30, and then I had the break. It was important to keep believing on what I was doing and I did. I feel I played a solid match.

Q. Would you like to play a day match next time?
RAFAEL NADAL: Day match? I don’t know. Depends how I adapt to the jet lag, because playing early — for example, today, at 2:00 in the afternoon I was on the bed. I was destroyed. I’m not sure if it’s better play earlier or not. I think for the moment I think it’s better for me to play later.

Q. You play Mischa Zverev next. He’s been around for a while. What’s your assessment of his game?
RAFAEL NADAL: He finished last year playing great. He’s a player, offensive player with a great serve, good volley. You know, it’s important to be very focused with my serve when I’m serving, try to be very focused on what I am doing and playing aggressive.

I cannot let him play comfortable, because if not, I will be in trouble because he goes to the net frequently. So gonna be a match that I need to play aggressive, I need to play long, changing directions, not giving him a lot of chances to take control of the point from inside and win the position, no? So I am focused on trying to make that happen.

Q. You obviously had a great week in Abu Dhabi. Happy you played solid?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah. I played great in Abu Dhabi. I like the conditions there, and a lot of years I play well there. That’s always important for me. Start well is important for the confidence, no?

When you have a break like today and you know you are playing well the last few days helps to believe that stay with calm and believe that, okay, it’s okay. I believe I gonna come back, no?

And the matches in Abu Dhabi helps for that. And here is important event for me, because is the second event of the year and first ATP event. Great to start the new year with a victory in the ATP Tour.

The draw is difficult, so I need to be ready for everything. Next match is gonna be another test, and I really looking forward to play the match.

Q. I think you said before you came that you had heard that this arena was quite unique or that you were looking forward it playing out on that court. What did you enjoy about it?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, the crowd was great. I feel a lot of support from the crowd out there. Just very excited during the whole match, and I feel the love of the people, no?

Just can say thank you very much for all the things that the crowd make me feel on my comeback on the tour.

I can’t wait to play again. Just very happy to be here for the first time and very happy with the support of all these people.

Q. Is it strange at this point in your career to be playing somewhere new, somewhere you haven’t played before?
RAFAEL NADAL: I never played against who? Against Zverev?

Q. No, in Brisbane.
RAFAEL NADAL: Ah, no. No. No, or yes. I don’t know. (Smiling.) But is true that I am very happy to be here, but at the same time is true that Brisbane is far from Mallorca. And the only thing is why I have not been here before probably is because of the dates, no?

In Spain, Mallorca, I live in a small village, and during these dates, during Christmas and then the New Year, you like to be with the family, with the friends. Playing not that far, you have more days to be at home. That’s the only reason why I was not here before.

Q. Presumably you practice tomorrow. What do you do to relax?

Q. To relax, yeah. Your day off.
RAFAEL NADAL: Sleep. I gonna try to sleep well. It’s late. Gonna try to sleep well tonight and just not wake up very early tomorrow. I gonna practice in the afternoon, 4:00.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


  1. Shirley Tata, I can’t imagine there are many players that have the age range of fans that Rafa does ,and it’s easy to see why. His game is brilliant , but his personality just draws you to him , if there were more people like Rafa in the world it would be a peaceful place but I’m afraid he’s a dying breed . Looking on the bright side Rafa will be on the court shortly and although you haven’t seen him in person I hope you are managing to watch him on TV. Good luck Rafa๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Yes, we Aussies sure love you Rafa, n also Roger F. Whom I like second to you. I am 81 n I adopted you when you were a teenager! Wish I could see you play in person. God bless you Rafa. Your Aussie Abuela. xxx

  3. Happy New Year Rafa. May it be a very good one for all of us n may it bring peace in the World. Congrats on your winning the Cup. Have a lot of rest to help you get over the Jetlag. I also love your curly hair look, but better to keep it short in this heat. Wish I could see you play in Melbourne, but I live in Perth. God bless you Rafa. Your Aussie Abuela. xxxโณโณ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜‡

  4. Rafa I know you cut your hair because of the heat right?? Please let your hair grow back. I love your curly hair. I’m so glad your back playing tennis. Hope you get to play against your friend Roger. I like to watch him play but I love to watch you play tennis. Keep up the good work. Tennis hasn’t been the same when you weren’t playing. Sending our love and best wishes for a good season.๐ŸŽพ๐ŸŽพ๐ŸŽพ๐ŸŽพ๐ŸŽพ๐ŸŽพ๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ‘‘๐Ÿ‘‘๐Ÿ‘‘๐Ÿ‘‘๐Ÿ‘‘๐Ÿ‘‘

  5. Rafa , I just love your interview it makes me smile when you get confused a little with your yes and no,s , you are playing great and I’m in know doubt that tomorrow will be the same . So much tennis being televised this week with Brisbane, Doha and the Hopman Cup it’s hard to keep up with what form the other players are in coming into the AO. I have seen a few and Novak and Sir Andy seem to be struggling. Good luck tomorrow Rafa you have great support from the Australians who seem to love you , they have such great taste๐ŸŒž

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