China Open 2017: Final presser – Rafael Nadal on Nick Kyrgios’ latest on-court meltdown

Transcript of the presser Rafael Nadal gave after his win over Nick Kyrgios in the China Open final.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Those first couple games were really intense. How important was it for you to get ahead early?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, of course, very long games at the beginning. Yeah, good level of tennis. I think 30 minutes and we were only 2-1. Very intense everything. Very similar level at the beginning.

Well, I think I holded well during the whole match. I played, in my opinion, a great level of tennis tonight. Of course, I think one of the best matches of the year.

Yeah, always very tough opponent to play against. But today I think my serve worked well, and I was returning a lot of balls, putting a lot of balls inside, then taking the advantage from the baseline a little bit more often than him. I was a little bit more aggressive, and that was the key.

I was playing very high intensity the whole match, changing the directions and not making many mistakes.

Q. I notice you haven’t won the Shanghai Masters yet. Do you have any expectation for the coming matches? How will you adjust in this kind of tight schedule?
RAFAEL NADAL: Today is the day to talk about Beijing. Is an important title for me. Is a title that last year that I had the trophy with me was in 2005. In 2005 I never will believe that I will keep playing tennis in 2017 unless winning another title here, no? Very happy.

Shanghai is a couple days for me. Hopefully I going to start Wednesday. I hope to be ready for it. I know every tournament is important now.

Shanghai is a tournament that I didn’t win. I have been there couple of times, semifinals and final. Let’s see. This year I am playing well. I played very well during the whole event here, so let’s see if I am able to hold that high level there in Shanghai. If that happens, I hope to have my chances.

Q. Was it hard to stay focused when your opponent was really agitated throughout the match?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. I do my way, that’s the real thing. I am 31 already. I spend a lot of hours on competition during my career. No, no, was not difficult.

But, of course, some moments was little bit strange for me, something little bit unusual. But, no, I was very focus.

I have lot of respect for Nick. He’s one of the players with more talent on the tour. Of course, when he’s playing well, when he really wants to play, without a doubt is one of the toughest opponent to play against.

He’s having a good run here during the whole week, so for me was a big test. Very happy the way that I managed.

Q. Last year’s China Open champion Andy Murray took the high-speed railway to Shanghai.
RAFAEL NADAL: The train?

Q. Yes. Will you take it this year?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know yet. I take the train every year since long time ago. Nothing new for me. Every year I go with train to Shanghai. The only problem this time is I have an event with my watch, Richard Mille, tomorrow afternoon in Shanghai, and I want to practice. The good train for us was 9:00. That one arrives at 1:30, but is full, booked. We checked today in the morning. The other train takes almost six hours to go there.

Will be very busy for us, so we’re thinking about taking the plane.

Q. You won the first China Open championship in 2005, 12 years ago. You won this title this year. How is it a different feeling from the 12 years compared to 2005?
RAFAEL NADAL: Oh, is completely different. I even don’t remember that one (smiling).

The feeling is probably better this year. First thing, the tournament is bigger than 2005. It’s a 500 event. Before it was 250. 175 at that moment. Every title later in your career is more special than when you were younger, no?

I had very tough draw here. When I saw the draw at the beginning of the tournament, I know that will be very, very difficult to have a good chances here. But I was lucky the first day saving that two match points. After that I think I played one of the best events of the year, playing very solid the whole event, playing against very tough opponents.

Q. What do you think Nick is going to achieve in the future?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I cannot predict that. The feeling is if he really wants to play and wants to work, is one of the players that have more talent to achieve a lot of things in this sport, no? He has everything. He has an unbelievable good eyes. When you play against him, looks that he has time for everything. That’s very difficult. Then, of course, he has great hands and a fantastic serve. He has everything to fight for almost all the events of the year.

So let’s see what can happen in the future. But of course will be a candidate for everything.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


  1. My sister in Idaho, USA just got interested in tennis 6 months ago. She is 85 years old and ask me who she should follow, If course I told her Rafa ! !..( I have been following him since he first came on the scene, many, many years ago. ) Since, she became a fan I get e-mails each week asking when and where Rafa plays. LOL. We always discuss his wins after each tournament ! !…I live in Lake Havasu City, AZ and only wish the tournaments weren’t at 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning here ! !… We both love Rafa and will continue to watch him and root for him as long as he continues to play ! !

  2. Wow Rafa you sound now as if you need to have some rest,

    love and prayers,


  3. Rafa was just too good . Really blasted his winners on both wings . Nick is supremely talented indeed . Rafa is Rafa the gladiator & had answers for almost everything Nick threw at him. Magnificent match . Awesome to watch Rafa !!! Cheers

  4. Thank you for your patient and polite responses at these pressers, Rafael. It must get difficult after a tournament and you need some😴 Good luck-enjoy your
    journey to Shanghai😍

    • I think Rafa got the plane rather than the train to Shanghai. Just seen the videoclip of him practising in Shanghai, so many fans taking photos. 😀Such a good welcome. There is a Nadal Quiz on the Internet today with 7 questions. I scored 1,200, the max. is 1,400. 😀 Try it, you fans. Fiona in Paris

  5. Nick has great talent but he is his own worst enemy. He told the umpire he couldn’t play when he was angry. In that case he needs to control his anger. All players at some stage experience bad line calls, including Rafa.
    Until Nick learns to move on from such situations he will never achieve his full potential.
    In any case Rafa played such an aggressive, focused game he was virtually unbeatable. Happily Nick was full of praise for him during the trophy ceremony.
    I wish Rafa the very best for Shanghai but to maintain that high level for another week will be a big ask. He must be tired but on the other hand he is full of confidence and that might carry him through.

  6. More about Kyrios and Andy taking the train to Shanghai than about Rafa’s victory. If research done they would know that Rafa travelled by train to Shanghai many times. What relevance has Andy travelling by train to how Rafa travels? More stupid questions.
    Great tournament for Rafa, survived Pouille and then powered his way to success. Loved his game yesterday, even though he lost the first two Kyrios service games he put immense pressure on Nick and sent a strong message. He played such an intelligent game.
    The behaviour of Kyrios took from the occasion, I can understand his frustration at bad call but most players have had that experience and got on with it. It was early in the match so lots of time to recover but he choose to rant all through.
    Happy for Rafa , his team and loved ones.
    Hope he skips Basel, he needs time to rest and restore his body and not risk injury.

  7. Vamos Rafa! We are so proud of being fans. You look tired. Get some rest and be yourself and play your best. We will support you always. 😀

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