No regrets for Rafa after Federer defeat

Q. How do you feel physically?

RAFAEL NADAL: Good. Little bit tired obviously. But good.

Q. And your emotions?
RAFAEL NADAL: Good, no? I think have been a great match. I enjoy to be part of it. I fight to try to have the trophy with me. I had some chances in the fifth with break up.

But is true that after I had the break, he played very aggressive, hitting a lot of great shots. So was tough to hold the serve every time, no?

I had the chance to keep holding the serve. If I hold that one, you never know. You are two games, just two games away. But I didn’t, so…

Well, that’s it, no? I believe that he played super aggressive during the whole match. Tough chances to play the way I wanted to play. But still like this, I played, I think, with the right attitude, trying to do my things, fighting for every ball.

Is true that probably remain a little bit of speed today compared to the last day in my legs probably, little bit. But that’s normal after what happened one day and a half ago.

Like this I think I tried. I didn’t play bad. But is true was difficult to play a lot because he really went for the shots, almost for every shots.

Q. Where would you rank that amongst the many matches you’ve played against him over the years?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I don’t know now. I just feel that have been a good match, five-sets match, in a very special final for the fans and for us. Is great to play against him again after couple of years without make that happen in a big final.

But that’s it. I cannot rank this final now.

Q. Personally for yourself, what did it mean to be back out there in a Grand Slam final? It’s been a few years. Can you describe how you feel about it all.
RAFAEL NADAL: I feel happy. I played a great quality of tennis during the whole month that I have been playing. That’s a great news for me.

The only goal for me is keep going. I believe that if I have my body in the right conditions, I can have a great year because I feel that I am playing well.

Q. Do you think you didn’t recover as well as you wanted from the semifinal? Did that play a part today?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I recovered well. After five hours, is not easy to recover the way that I did. I feel that I was enough recovered. 

As I say before, just remain little bit of speed in moments. That’s something normal. For the rest of the things, I happy the way I recovered.

Q. What did you feel about him taking that medical timeout? Second match in succession that he had quite a long break after the fourth set. The momentum was with you.
RAFAEL NADAL: No opinion about that. I don’t know what’s going on.

Q. Where do you think it turned in the fifth set when you were a break up? Did you feel something started not to switch on your side?
RAFAEL NADAL: The only negative thing is in the fifth, after having the break, I didn’t win no one serve not easy. All the serves that I did, I suffered a lot. I served breakpoints. Even if I played great in the breakpoints, I was suffering a lot, no?

He probably remained a little bit more free points with my serve. That’s what I needed in that moment, and I didn’t had.

Then the way that he played, he can put the balls in or not. And he put a lot of balls in, taking a lot of risks, and taking the ball very early, playing very fast. So then he had the success. Well done for him.

Q. Could this be a platform for you for the rest of the season?
RAFAEL NADAL: I cannot predict what’s going on in the future. That’s always the same thing. I just think that I am playing well. I just think that I worked hard to be where I am. I believe that playing like this, good things can happen. Can happen here in this surface, but especially can happen on clay.

If I am able to play like this, to hold matches like I hold the other day, and recover well as I recovered, but on clay I recovered better than here, then the opponents don’t get that many free points, and I am playing from the solid baseline.

If I made that happen, I think I can keep having success in hard courts, but on clay can be special.

Q. In terms of your fitness and your form, is this as good as you felt in January for many, many years?
RAFAEL NADAL: Not many, many years. In 2014 I played the final here. I have been playing great. I feel good physically. I had the problem in the back in the final. That’s all.

I feel good. Being honest, last year I felt myself great coming here, not that well like this year. I felt great. But I lost in the first round. So when that happened, is difficult to explain to you that I feel well. Being honest, that’s the true, no?

But you always need little bit of luck. This year I won important match against Zverev in the third round. That’s important. I won great matches against great players. I competed well against everybody. That’s the most important thing for me. That makes me feel happy.

Of course, winning an event like this is so important. For me, if I won that one, will be amazing. But the real thing is what makes me more happy, more than the titles, is go on the court and feel that I can enjoy the sport.

Today I am enjoying the sport. Last year I only had the chance to enjoy the sport between Indian Wells and Madrid, because in Madrid I got injury in quarterfinals. That’s the real feeling.

At this moment in my career, more than titles, for sure if I am playing here, I believe that I going to win titles. More than all these kind of things is being health enough to work the way I need to work, to fight for the things I want to fight. I’m going to keep trying to do and to work the same way.

Q. How important was it to win some of those really tight matches you had along the way for confidence going forward?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, very important. I said before the tournament start, I felt that I was practicing great. Then you need to do it on the matches, and I did.

I am with big personal satisfaction. I cannot say that I am sad. I wanted to win, yes, but I am not very sad. I did all the things that I could. I worked a lot during all these months. I keep working, and I competed well.

I enjoyed the competition. I won against the best players of the world, and I competed well against everybody. That’s the most important thing for me, and that give me confidence to keep playing, and that’s what I going to try.

Q. You were playing for your 15th title, he was playing for his 18th. Did that weigh on both of your minds, at least in the first set?
RAFAEL NADAL: At the end of the day is another title. There is a winner, there is a loser. In these kind of matches, anyone can win. Being honest, in these kind of matches, I won a lot of times against him. Today he beat me. Just congratulate him. Is not more than another important title for him, another important two weeks for me. Even if didn’t finish the way that I wanted, have been an important two weeks for me.

The only thing that I can do is congratulate him and go back home with very positive feelings for me.

Source: Australian Open

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42 thoughts on “No regrets for Rafa after Federer defeat

  1. susana

    This is my last comment for all of you so call fans of Rafael Nadal. See the scores when he won the first to matches. Roger played very well and if his leg was hurting under the Tennis Law, he had the right to take the 10 minute time off. I love Rafa and Roger very much, but you his fans has trash Roger very bad and I have hurt some negative comments from Rafa too. I had my plans to go and see him play un Acapulco and because of you so call fans that dont know anything about tennis, the rules, etc. etc. I have cancel my plans. I have played tennis since I was 8 years old. I know more about rules more than anyone of you. Dont even write to me, because I will not be a fan of Rafa thanks to you ignorant people that know nothing about tennis. GOOD BYE Rafa with all your fans,

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  2. bpnm

    Agree with you. He was almost there. It was painful to see him lose that one, because unfortunately opportunity like this will not come very often. Fed deserved to win with his aggressive play. Rafa was so far behind the line(maybe he was tired), but that’s not excuse. He must play aggressive in this last few games to hold his break and trophy. He must understand he can’t afford to play his old defensive style anymore if he wants to win.And even if he said the opposite, he is sad, he is very sad. And he must be sad for miss opportunity(a lot was on line).I love Rafa a lot and I believe he deserves more GS. But I was angry at him after that final.Fed played with better tactics and smarter than him, so …I am disappointed. Just yesterday I checked SI phone interview with Federer from Swiss Alps….grandiosity in action again, pretty disgusting. But hey…he won and that’s what count in the end.I am worry for Rafa that this huge disappointment from the final will affect his future play. I hope he get his 10th FO.Vamos.

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  3. Jason

    This final in terms of the outcome, is a nightmare for hardcore Nadal fans (some of whom happen not to be the biggest Fed fans, to put it mildly). My analysis remains (after watching those last 5 games again) that this final was lost for three reasons: Rafa being tired, Rafa choosing a too defensive strategy (may have to do with the tiredness), Federer going more on full attack than before. I compared the stats of this match with the one of the 2009 final. The difference is: Federer hit way more aces in the 2017 match (this has to do with Rafa standing too far back for sure), Rafa hit way less winners in the 2017 match (did not play offensive enough) and, the most important point (in one of the good previews that I read, it was mentioned as the key to success for Federer): Federer played better on the big points, the break points. Rafa converted less break chances (% wise), and fought off less than usual. Rafa in the form of his QF and SF would have won this one. Federer was at an average form all tournament, he was not playing that great honestly, there were periods in this match (and in his match against Zverev, Kei, Stan) where he played terribly (this is another reason I find it hard to accept this loss). Rafa hardly had bad spells all tournament, except for the final, where he looked exhausted. The good thing is: Nadal is a mental person. He can remain positive after this Aussie Open (because he knows why he lost, and he even got close to winning, despite the state he was in). With Djoko and Murray sliding downward, there should be no other favourite for RG than Rafa. He should consider skipping Wimbledon, as it hurts his knees and his confidence (he will surely lose to a hard hitter there) and focus on the US Open after RG. If he can keep this momentum and stay relatively healthy for 2-3 years, he may very well add another 2 (maybe 3!) majors to his tally. I just hope he grabs his second Aussie Open in the process, and, icing on the cake, destroy the Weak Era King one more time at a major, to remind all them Fed trolls that it is 9-3 at the majors for a reason (because Rafa is a better player).

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    1. Jason…. Why do you think Rafa stands so far back? I’m sure Moya is working on that with him but he continues to stand so far back. He did play five sets with Grigor and only had one day off but no excuses here from me! With that being said I so happy that he is getting back to where he belongs …just such a shame he didn’t beat the arrogant RF …just what he needed to feed his bloated ego!!

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