Cincinnati: Quarterfinal presser – Rafael Nadal hopes to be ready for US Open

Rafael Nadal talks to the media after the 2-6, 5-7 defeat against Nick Kyrgios in Cincinnati.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How tough is it to play Nick when he’s serving so well today?
RAFAEL NADAL: He obviously is a tough match always, no? Nick is a great player, but I played bad, obviously, no?

I started the match well, and then I played a very bad game in the second set when he break me. And then I managed — I was lucky. I don’t know. I played some good points. He had some mistakes and I was able to be back in the match. And then I played terrible game.

So, yeah, was a bad match for me. Congrats to him. That’s it.

Q. At 5-All in the second set, that first point when they made that call and you hit the forehand up-the-line winner, how did that affect your mindset for the rest of that game?
RAFAEL NADAL: Of course 15-Love, Love-15 change a lot, but at the same time, of course, we cannot think about one point.

No, no excuses. Nothing at all. I didn’t play well, and if I don’t play well, of course I cannot win against a player like Nick. That’s it.

Q. Tough loss tonight, but how do you feel physically going into the US Open? Do you feel pretty good?
RAFAEL NADAL: Hopefully yes, no? Is true that this tournament is a tournament that didn’t work very well for me during the history of my career. I never had a very good feelings here. I don’t know. The humidity, still don’t like this ball. Still I think needs to improve a lot this ball.

But in general terms is a tournament that, yeah, I played one time great that I won, 2013, but the rest of the times have been very tough for me to play well here and find more than win or lose. No, for example, Miami I never won but I had positive feelings.

No, here in this tournament, I love so much the tournament. Tournament is improving every year. But I don’t know why I don’t find my rhythm here, no?

Is tough for me to compete well here. But I’m going to keep trying next year. That’s all. That’s all what I can say.

Saying that, New York is a completely different event. Different ball, of course, and in the history of my career in New York I played much better. That’s true, no? No, I think I am practicing well. I gonna give my best during this week of practice. Probably gonna rest two days and then starting on Monday again, and I gonna give my best during that week of preparation in New York and I hope to be ready for New York.

I believe that I did the things enough well during the whole year to be ready to compete at the highest level of New York, so I am looking forward to it. And, yeah, tough loss, but at the same time is not the moment to think a lot about that. Just analyze what’s the things that I have to do better and do it.

Q. A black ribbon on your jacket I’m assuming is for Barcelona. How much has that news back home been on your mind in these past couple of days?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, what happened is terrible, no? Of course everybody is destroyed in Spain, including, of course, me, myself. So, yeah, is a tragedy, the feeling that you are not safe in nowhere.

So that’s terrible, no? So just very sad. I’m very, very sorry about what happened, to all the victims, all the families, friends. Yeah, all my support. Yeah, and is the moment to be together like a country and all the being together, we go for these kind of things.

Q. A little bit of an odd scenario with having to play two matches today because of the weather, you and a lot of other people. I’m wondering what you did between the end of the first match and beginning of the second to prepare or rest. Can you elaborate on what you did?
RAFAEL NADAL: Not at all, not much. Just, I eat a little bit. I tried to rest a little bit during the physio’s room. Just tried to have a good warmup before the second match. That’s all.

Q. Despite the tough loss tonight, you’re still going to be No. 1 on Monday. Does that provide any consolation?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, is not a consolation. Is an amazing, positive news. No, no, being No. 1 after all the things that I have been going through the last couple of years is something unbelievable, so is, for me, is an amazing achievement to be back to that position after few years, three years already without being in that position.

But here I am. I’m very happy for that, and that’s the moment that in the most important, in the last most important event of the season, I need to show why I am in that position now, no?

So I gonna work hard to show myself and why I am there. So I’m going to work hard, and I gonna try my best to play at the highest level possible in New York.

Q. I remember 2013. You played well here. You played really well in New York. A lot of talk about your serve. People were saying you were serving much different, much better, US Open 2013. Where is your serve today compared to that? How are your feelings on the serve?
RAFAEL NADAL: Is not true. I was serving much better in 2010. Not in 2013, by the way, I tell you (smiling). In 2013 I was playing great tennis. Not serving great, no?

My serve is working well. Just, you can take a look at the statistics of the season. Tonight obviously not. But I am, after Karlovic, Isner, Federer, Raonic, I am the player with high percentages of service games won during the whole season, so that’s the great news.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


  1. Well, I think the window of opportunity is closing on Federer, Rafa, Nishikori..etc.
    The Zverevs, Thiems and Shalapalovs look like young lions roaming in the jungle, waiting for their chance to take over and reign. I hope Rafa can get to 19 grand-slams before the door slams shut.
    Rafa needs to realize that time is running out and therefore needs to introduce drastic measures to his game, and its doable. It’s just that Rafa is hardly flexible when it comes to changing anything in his game. The serve has improved a lot, but he still struggles on grass and hard courts. If Rafa admits the ball feels different in Cincinnati, then why not use a different tennis racquet to counter that??
    If top spin is not that effective on grass and hard courts then why not resort to more flat shots?? I feel he needs to take the ball early to change the pace. Also, Standing way back the baseline kills Rafa’s rhythm, he returns the serve so hard because he is standing way behind the baseline but when he steps into the court he hits the ball so hard it goes out. Rhythm will suffer accordingly, no?

  2. Rafa, we here in NY await your arrival with open arms. Hope I get a glimpse of you when you are in Manhattan. Wishing you a great US OPEN.


  3. well i am happy you acknowledge that you have to play like a nr 1 in order to win the us open rafa. But adressing what you should do in order to win is one thing. Now you have to bring it into practice.

    I said many times that in order for you to be compete on other surfaces besides clay you should improve your game:

    – Improve your return, hit it deeper, mix it up like federer is doing sometimes
    – Improve your courtposition
    – Be more agressive, your groundstrokes needs to be a lot deeper
    – But foremost work on your nerves. You have the money to hire people. Why not hiring someone who can help you to calm down in tense moments in a match. You have lost matches because of that. Because you couldnt keep your composure and couldnt play your best tennis in tough moments. The matches against federer, muller and shapolov are coming into my mind

    Without these points rafa its hard for me to believe that you can win in new york. Now I have to say that you have suprise me many times this year. So it will be up to you one more time to prove that you critics are wrong in doubting you.

    One last thing champ. Carlos is your coach you should let go your politness and demand that he will be there for you at the important tournaments. I think you need carlos more then over to give you the confidence you need in order to win big things.

    I am going to cheer for you this us open champ. Please proof to me and your critics that they were wrong again and win that trophy. I now it will be not easy but play match for match

    GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. I know about all the injuries you had to go through these past years and I also know you worked hard to bring your game to where it is now. congratulations on a very well deserved world # 1 God bless you and your family… you bring a lot of excitement to this sport. vamos rafa!!!

  5. A good positive attitude shown by Rafa at the press conference. It’s understandable that he would be a little emotional given his loss and what’s happened at home in Spain, but it’s good to see that he’s determined to come back fighting strong at the US Open.

    I just saw Dimitrov beat Kyrgios in the final and Kyrgios couldn’t cope with his backhand slice and balls with no pace In contrast Rafa gave Kyrgios a lot of his topspin balls which he put away with ease. Perhaps Rafa should think more strategically when facing tricky players like Kyrgios. Rafa certainly can’t afford to be predictable at the US Open if he’s to make a deep run there.


  7. The best of luck at the US Open Rafa Champ 🤗❤️🍀
    and congratulations with returning to the #1 spot – amazing achievement 🎾💪🏼🥇😘

    VAMOOSS!! 😃

  8. That serve of the 2010 US Open…indeed…if we could have that one back just for a few weeks….

  9. Too bad the interviewers try to introvert Rafa. It won’t help him. He said he played badly. His coach will figure it out.

  10. Keep positive Rafa was a bad match but everyone one has bad matches at times so you are know different from any other tennis player Nick was better on the night but it’s over with now and you can concentrate on US Open we your fans have every faith in you and you will do well there
    You do deserve the no 1 spot so don’t think otherwise !!!
    Good luck in NY Vamos Rafa

  11. Adelante!!!! Rafa nos vemos en el Us Open…se k vas a preparar bien como siempre lo haces..VAMOS!!!!!

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