US Open 2017: Pre-tournament presser


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What are your thoughts about being the No. 1 seed?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, no, being No. 1 seed, yeah, is good to be No. 1 of the world again, of course. I think it’s a good achievement after three years having some troubles. So just happy for that.

Yes, no, just excited to start the US Open. Doesn’t matter if you are seeded 1 or seeded 20. No, for me always is special to play here in a tournament that I had success, a tournament that I enjoyed a lot of good matches, and a tournament that normally I have a great connection with the crowd.

Q. The US Open experimented with a shot clock for serves and player coaching during the qualifiers. Do you have an opinion on either or both of those?

RAFAEL NADAL: I think in terms of coaching I think is normal. In terms of sports, if you have a coach in some ways is stupid to not use the coach in the most important moment. So I think is a good improvement.

About the clock on the court, well, I tell you one thing: Depends on what the fans want. You know, if the fans want short points and players playing without thinking, the matches, only going for the shots, maybe is good.

If you want to have matches like I played here with Novak, probably the three finals that I played here with Novak, probably that kind of match that the crowd is more involved because the points are so long, well, you cannot expect play 50 shots’ rally and in 25 seconds be ready to play the next tennis point.

I think that’s not possible for a great show. But if you don’t want a great show, of course it’s a great improvement.

Q. How do you comment the absence of Novak Djokovic from the tournament?

RAFAEL NADAL: It’s his decision. There is no comments. Just sorry for him because he’s injured, and probably having an injury probably he prefer to rest, to rest mentally, physically, and to recover from a lot of years doing amazing things.

Just everybody’s free to do whatever is better, whatever works for itself, and just only thing that I wish to him is just is important to have fun, to be happy with the family, and then he will be back, for sure, in a good level.

Q. How surprising is it to you that this year the Grand Slams have been all about either Roger and you and we’re sitting at the 2017 US Open and Roger and yourself are considered the favorites? Does that surprise you at all?

RAFAEL NADAL: In January, yes. Now, a little bit less. In terms of favorites or not favorites always is the same. Always Grand Slam we start talking about favorites and all always the same. The player who plays better is the player who has better chances. 

Yeah, of course, is something that probably you and we don’t expect to have that much success, but here we are. And we worked well, we worked with passion, and we played well.

So let’s see how we finish season.

Q. You and Roger played each other all over the world but never here in New York at the US Open. That is a possibility, assuming you both get to the semifinals. How much would a match between you two be different here in New York than anywhere else?

RAFAEL NADAL: I cannot tell you, because I never played. (Laughter.)

Remain five matches, so ten matches, ten victories to have that match. A lot of points and games to play, so now is not the moment to think about that. For me, I think about Lajovic. That’s my goal.

Q. Roger was just in here saying he would love to play you here, especially if there was a night match. I mean, would you love to play him if it got to that point?

RAFAEL NADAL: If I am in semifinals, not. I prefer to play against another one. Is obvious, no? I am not that way. Sounds very good, but the real thing, I prefer to play against another player, an easier one if it’s possible (smiling).

I know you want to hear the other way, that I would love to play with him. No, of course I understand that gonna be great for our history. Is true that we played in all Grand Slam finals. We never played here and for sure this year we are not going to play in finals. Finals are more special than semifinals, in that case.

But anyway, meeting him here in semifinals with Roger, if that happens that will be something great and amazing, but as I say before, we made a lot.

Q. The defending champion Stan isn’t here. Novak isn’t here. Some other Top 10 players out because of injuries. Do you think that is merely a coincidence, or does it point to a larger problem in terms of injuries that maybe could be addressed by the tour?

RAFAEL NADAL: There is a couple of things that I’m sure we could do it better. In terms about the balls, of course is very bad decision to play Toronto, Cincinnati with one kind of ball and play here with a different kind of ball, because there is not even similar ball, you know. That’s very bad for the wrist, for the elbow, for the shoulder. That’s bad, seriously.

That’s something that there is contracts and I understand, but there is some ways that you can fix it, no?

So that’s something that will be a great improvement for the players, no, that we don’t have drastic change balls. You know, I know in some parts of the year is impossible. You know, when you come from clay to grass, of course, it’s different. But when you play here at the US Open, serious, if we are playing here with the Wilson US Open, why we don’t play the whole, this part of the season with the same ball. That’s something that will help in terms of health.

And the rest of the things, don’t forget that we are not 21 anymore. That’s something that can happen. Stan is 32, you know, I think. I am 31 and a half almost. Novak is 30. Andy is 30. Yeah, we are not that young anymore, so it’s normal that we had some things, and I tell you because I had much more things than all my competitors, no?

Sounds new for them, for Novak, and Andy that now missed a couple of tournaments, and for Stan the same, no?

But I tell you one thing: I missed much more than them, and sometimes in your career, in sport, is normal that you have some injuries. That’s the coincidence that it happen at the same time.

Q. Just generally, do you think this is just a snapshot in time?


Q. So many missing, of the well-known players, or do you feel this is just a start of a gradual shift with younger guys coming up and maybe a changing of the guard?

RAFAEL NADAL: Raonic is not that old, no? Nishikori is not that old. No, no, it’s not about that. That is only two players, but is obvious that I don’t tell you is the start, but is obvious that the players, with all their age, don’t forget that Sampras probably at my age was not playing tennis, Borg was not playing tennis. A lot of great players were not playing tennis at our age.

Is normal that we are still playing, we try our best, but it’s normal that we have more troubles during this.

Q. It’s been a while since you first earned the No. 1 ranking many years ago. If it did, how different did it feel this time getting back to the top compared to the first?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, the first for me was more important than this one, of course. Yeah, I care. I have been — in 2008, for sure, was more important the ranking for me than today, because I believe — well, I think I did a lot of great things, I was winning a lot of tournaments, I’m playing very solid, and I was not able to be in that position, so I think in some ways in that moment I deserved to be No. 1 at that point. It happened and it was great.

I enjoyed that, and then of course 2013, yeah, was very special after a lot of injuries and, yeah, was an amazing season. This year, let’s see. For the moment I am very happy the way that I played during the whole season. I enjoyed almost every event that I played.

I’m here at the US Open, and doesn’t matter if I No. 1 or not. Today, only thing that matters is try to work well and try to be ready for the first match and try to play a good US Open. That’s my goal.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


  1. Happy Birthday Señor Moyá. 🎂🍾🎉🎉🎉 May you have many more. I hope Rafa gives you a present on September 10.

    Your astrological sign, Virgo, characterizes you as intelligent, disciplined and generous. Please work your magic on Rafa.


  2. Just to include some objectivity to the discussion of Rafa’s comment, here goes….

    Roger expressed his relief that he did not have to face Rafa, or any of the other Big Four at this year’s Wimby final. Even though his H2H against Cilic was a whopping 6-1, he still had the jitters facing Marin. Roger mentioned his loss to Cilic at the 2014 USO semi-finals saying how great Cilic played, and many know that Roger does not give out free compliments. Maybe he is mellowing with age.


  3. Rafa you just do what you know you need to do.

    Carlos I am sure will coach you in the right direction.

    Love and prayers,


  4. I am sorry but after reading the pre presser i got the feeling that rafa is still struggling with his nerves. When you are saying that you dont want to play federer in the semifinal you are giving a signal to your opponent that you are not confident about your game and that the opponent in this case federer is in nadal head which is logical since he lost four times in a row to federer.

    Also combine that with the fact that he has not won a title on hard court since 2014 and he was beaten by shapolov and krygios gives me the feeling that we should not overhype the expectations and keep it reasonable and very low.

    Moya needs to give nadal the mental support he needs in order to believe that he can compete for the us open title and doesnt have to fear the big servers and players like zverev, dimitrov, krygios, cilic and federer

  5. I am sharing this message of peace again here for all of brothers and sisters especially Rainier and Margo….

    I have my 💯% support to all the Rafa Fans here….I really like and appreciate all the guys here who regularly comment here about Rafa’s game and his life….I always like the Rainier Preview and Margo too along with Susie, Maria, Navdeep and co but I really don’t like this negativity from anyone on a forum which is belonged to a Man Known as Rafael Nadal which has meanings like humbleness and down to earth personality….I only follow him bcoz of his passion for the game and humbleness and in my real life i kind of try to follow him in my daily life….. Kindly don’t spread this hate between all of you….we are brothers and sisters here
    And Margo and Rainier are too cute too quarrel……
    Vamosssssss Rafa 😎😍😘🤗😚
    Good luck from all of usha
    Love you both
    I hope my message has conveyed

    • No hate needed, but critical support is essential. Strong voices in the fanbase are the best. Having no strong coaching voice in camp Nadal was part of the reason for the 3 year dry spell. Now Rafa is struggling again and it seems that Moya’s frequent absence contributes to that. We all hope that somehow Rafa will find his form at the US Open but the expectation level should be very low. He won one small HC title in the last 4 full years.

      • Yes Jason, I see your point, ☺We are pleased for Rafa to play in US but I have a feeling that he and Roger are not going to make it. I would have preferred him to win Wimbledon, an even number is better. Twice more. He said in the Press Conference that they are all in their thirties now, the top ones but Roger has won 2 this year. Age is not always to count. I met a Jason at the local in July, a French tennis fan and he said, Federer could play for longer as his style is different, his position at the baseline, what about injuries ? 😐 Fiona in Paris

      • Federer for sure has a style that is less depending on physical and mental top fitness levels than Rafa. Simplified: what does Rafa need to be solid? Be agressive, be fast, defend like a hound dog amd hit fully from both wings, dominate the rally. Federer? Well for starters I believe it takes him approx 30% of the efforts to win his service games compared to Rafa. Solid serve, 1-2 done. Rafa needs to climb mount Doom all the time. Federer breaks his opppnents serve usually by putting some extra pressure in one or two games. Rafa battles it out non stop, cause he knows it will take a battle to be able to force a break. Federer is older but Rafa has got more mileage.
        Nobody mentions it by the way, but if Nole would have been there fully fit, Fed would still be at #17.

      • jason,

        i agree with you. I have been a critical nadal supporter. I was watching his press conference he didnt appeared to me as someone who believes he can win the us open. His problems are mental the fact he said he didnt want to face roger in the semifinals is telling. That means he doesnt believe he can win the title.

        When it comes to moya unless i dont know all the details i dont understand why you appointing a coach who is not with you at the important tournaments. The presence of moya the beginning this season was signifcant. I never saw nadal playing that good in a long time

        I hold moya personally responsible for the disaster at wimbeldon where he lost against mueller and the losses against the canadian kid and krygios. Nadal needs mental support and the believe that he can overcome these guys on hardcourt like: federer, querry, zverev, dimitrov and krygios and all the other big servers.

        So please mr moya give the champ the mental support and the believe that he can win.

  6. Rafa is so honest and so patient in his interviews and has a sense of humour. When he said he would prefer not to play Roger in the semis but someone easier I’m sure he really meant it but he got a few laughs from the press. However I wish he hadn’t been quite that honest as Fed would have lapped it up knowing that Rafa was apprehensive , especially since Fed said in his interview how he was looking forward to a possible match with Rafa ( ie, that he was feeling confident. ) Mind games.
    It is a pity that Rafa and Roger are both on the same side of the draw . A possible final between them, if they both got that far, would have been what everyone would have wanted.
    I hope that Carlos Moya can help Rafa keep his nerves under control so he can play freely and go for his shots , especially that forehand down the line. He tends to omit that when he is nervous.
    By the way, happy forty first birthday, Carlos.!

  7. Rafa first off Congratulations on being Number 1 seed. I like the way you responded to the interviewer about that you are here to pllay a good match and that you have enjoyed most of the matches you played this year but No. 1 or No. 20 as long as you enjoy what you are doing that is important . I love they way you play it gives me great Joy to see you win a point and even more Joy when you win the match. Always have fun at what you do but always remember to focus and win the point . Concentrate on that point you are playing at the moment , and you will win the WIN the game and then the match. pick up one stick at a time and you will gather enough for a pile , so one point leads to many and then you win the game. Good Luck in the U.S. OPEN and thanks for many Joyful times watching you play
    your Fan,

  8. Rafa good luck tomorrow .you can do it CHAMP from your fans 🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾👍👍👍👍👍👍😇😇😇😇😇😇🇺🇸❤️

  9. GOOD MORNING & OLA & VAMOS DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) 🙂 : ) : ) : ) I love your practice photos with the blue sleeveless shirt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) That’s the important first point! YOU LOOK MORE GORGEOUS THAN WORD GORGEOUS CAN BE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) ci……ci……ci……ci…..& ci……..: ) Secondly, I love how your intelligence over rides & makes up for the meaningless pre scripts interview questions. Your bright mind and TENNIS INTELLIGENCE and longevity in the sport is priceless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) 🙂 : ) WE LOVE YOU DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ): ) : ) : ) : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) You are feisty in your BEAUTIFUL TENNIS and DEEPLY PASSIONATE and YOU ARE THE REAL DEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) YOU CONTINUALLY EARN YOUR TROPHIES WITH SWEAT & DRIVE & COMPETITIVE EDGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) NO EASY, BEHIND THE SCENE PRIVILEGES………………………..SIMPLY BY BEING YOU RAFA NADAL…….THE GOAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) THE GENUINE REAL GOAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) YEH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) ALL TRUE TENNIS FANS , EDUCATED IN THE SPORT ARE WELL AWARE OF YOUR GENIUS LONG TERM BRILLIANT PERFORMANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) 🙂 : ) YOUR HARD WORK IS ADMIRABLE AND GROUND BREAKING PRACTICES & RESULTS ARE ALL YOURS GENUINELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) 🙂 : ) NO NEED TO PROVE NOTHING TO NO ONE……PLAY YOUR BEAUTIFUL TENNIS FREELY & WITH LOTS & LOTS OF FUN!!!!!!!! : ) : ) THAT’S WHAT REALLY MATTERS IN THE END OF THE DAY…… MOST FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) ; ) ; ) 🙂 : ) I LOVE THAT ABOUT YOU SWEETHEART !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) THAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) YOUR LIFE IS INCREDIBLY REWARDED WITH FUN & LOYAL FRIENDS & FAMILY LOVE & BRILLIANT ACCOMPLISHED TENNIS CAREER & BUSINESS ENDEAVORS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ALL THAT IS A BLESSING FOR YOUR WAYS OF ENJOYING AND LOVING WHAT YOU DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) 🙂 🙂 YOUR PRESENCE ON TENNIS COURTS BRIGHTENS FANS ENJOYMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) HAVE DONE THAT SEVEN TIME FOLDS OVER THE YEARS……..RESULTS SPEAKS FOR THEMSELVES…… GO RAFA GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) WE LOVE YOUR CLASSY STYLE OF PLAY & TRUST THAT DESPITE ALL THE BULL SHIT OVER INSIGNIFICANT FEW SECONDS BETWEEN SERVES, YOU ARE ADJUSTING & IMPROVING & THRIVING & YOU ARE BLESSED WITH ALL OF US WHO ADORE YOUR TENNIS…….YOUR GLOBAL FANS ARE MIGHTY PROUD OF YOU AND LOVE YOUR BRILLIANT RAFA STYLE STAYING AT THE TOP TOP TOP OVER THE YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) IT IS ALL VERY VERY SPECIAL & UNIQUE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ): ) : ) : ) : ) ENJOY EVERYTHING SWEETHEART !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) 🙂 HAVE A BEAUTIFUL TOUR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) YOU ARE SO GOOD ON HARD COURTS & SO MIGHTY ATTRACTIVE WITH YOUR FEISTY, STRONG TENNIS……… WE ABSOLUTELY LOVE YOUR POINT BY POINT FOCUS & TIE BREAKS GENIUS. GO RAFA GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) LOTS OF LOVE & HAPPINESS DEAR RAFA & VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) Have a great day & a beautiful week & celebrate with THE TEAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) VAMOS & XOXOXOXOXOXO

  10. Good luck on Tuesday Rafa, go out and show everyone why you are Number 1⃣ and will be taking home to Mallorca the trophy from the last Grandslam of the year. 🎁 Happy 4⃣1⃣st Birthday Carlos 🎂 have a great one

  11. love you Rafa and only wish you the best – your 70 year old fan that you have given so much joy and pleasure to watch over the years. VAMOS RAFA

  12. T deseo suerte para Us Open…y m alegro d k entres como n.1…y desearte mucha fuerza fisica y mental para k lo mantengas k es la parte mas dificil..
    Sea como sea y estes como estes en el
    ranking SIEMPRE CONTIGO..
    Has sido eres y seras siempre n.1…eso nunca se pierde…VAMOS!!!!!!!!!

  13. We are behind you Rafa…enjoy it and hopefully no injuries….we love you matter!!!!

  14. Rafa, just go out on court and give it your best. That’s all we your fans want. If you win we will be ecstatic but if you don’t we will be disappointed but still love you as long as you are uninjured.


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