2018 Australian Open: Second round presser

A transcript of the presser Rafael Nadal gave after his win over Leonardo Mayer.

Q. It’s always difficult to finish a match maybe. You held your serve all the time. When you had to finish, you lost the serve, is that correct?
RAFAEL NADAL: Is totally correct.

Q. Is coincidence or more attention? He played well, you played bad?
RAFAEL NADAL: Did you see?

Q. No.
RAFAEL NADAL: No. Okay. You have to see.

Yeah, is not always the same. When you have a break in the serving for the match or serving for the set, there is always some breaks. Of course, is not a good thing.

Michael Dodge/Getty Images

But in this case particularly I personally was not losing the game because I was too nervous, because I felt too much tension. He played a great game, all the returns in, very long, playing so aggressive, hitting all the balls super strong, and having success.

I was there, no? I had small chances. I hold until deuce two times. But that’s it. He really went for the game. The opponent always have the chance to play aggressive. If he’s right at that moment, then is so difficult to stop. 

Only thing, I could serve a little bit better. Maybe yes. But I didn’t serve worse that game than the rest of the games that I won all the games.

Q. Tomorrow and the day after they forecast a heat wave. I know you like to play in the sun and the heat in Mallorca. Do you prepare differently when you know it’s going to be very hot? What is the key in the heat?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, only thing that I hope, if is extreme conditions, I hope the organization puts the roof. That’s all. I think is a health issue. Even I like sometimes play with hot. When is too much, becomes dangerous for the health.

I would not like to see here retirements. Conditions that create a bad show for the crowd. The crowd is suffering to there. In the courts that we have the roof, why not put the roof when the conditions are so extreme?

By the way, I going to practice indoor tomorrow.

Q. A few years ago I remember you came out of the ATP board for many reasons, but maybe what everybody is talking about these days. The players didn’t have enough power with all the other federations, ATP, ITF, so on. Now everybody seems to be talking about Djokovic, a new union, more money to the players because they get very small money compared to what the slams do. Could you say that is something you foresee five, six years ago and is happening now? Is the same situation in a way or not?

Q. No, not at all?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I went out from the council for my personal reasons that I not going to talk here.

Q. You told us at that time or not?
RAFAEL NADAL: If you have the transcript, check it. I not going to explain again. I have my personal reasons. At that moment I was not comfortable there any more, and that’s it.

Today is a different story. As I say the other day, we’re in the middle of an important event. But anyway, the problem with all of this is when you talk about money. At the end of the day is not about money.

Q. Money, power, influence.
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know much about it. I really don’t want to talk much about it. Just to be clear, at some point, I don’t know 100% about what’s going on or not, but at some point is good that the players speak between each other about what we want or what we don’t want. That’s all. Not about union or not union. Forget about this. Just about speaking about what’s the things that are right on the tour, what’s the things that can be better. That’s all.

Q. For minor players to get something more to help the young tennis players to grow, these kind of things?
RAFAEL NADAL: I believe that the tennis improved a lot the last couple of years for the lower ranking players. Well, I know what we did a couple years ago. We were fighting with the tournaments – not fighting in a negative way, but fighting for the players that are lower ranking to have better money to survive.

One sport is bigger not only when the top guys wins a lot of money. Is bigger when a sport creates a lot of jobs. If there is 300 people living from tennis is better than if there is only 100. But that’s my opinion. The real thing is if we can help at some point to the players that needs more help, will be fantastic.

We have great improvements on the tour. We can say thanks to our sport because our sport is in good shape and we really should be thankful for all the things that’s going on because every time the tour is better.

Q. Next you have the 28th seed. Looks like you played him once before in Miami maybe. You had to retire. How do you match up on him?
RAFAEL NADAL: He improved a lot from there. He is a tough opponent. He’s a tricky one. He knows how to play tennis very well. He play with the right tactic always. Is a player that don’t going to give you nothing, no? The only way to win is play in a high rhythm than him and try to play aggressive, try to put the highest intensity possible out there. That’s what I going to try. Hope to be ready to make that happen.

Q. Do you see any proportion between 600,000 (actually 6,000) soccer players who make more than $100,000 per year, and only 150 tennis players who get the same money? Do you see if is the right proportion or tennis should be closer?
RAFAEL NADAL: You know what? The market is the market. We cannot fight about the market. We have to work about making our sport as big as possible, to promote our sport the better way possible. The real thing is talking negative about our sport will not help.

Our sport have a lot of fantastic things. Probably our sport is more global than football. At the same time the sport is much bigger, the football than tennis, in terms of money, in terms of millions of fans.

But we cannot compare the sports. We have our sport. Football is another sport. Golf is another sport. We have to fight for our goals. We have to fight to make our sport better, bigger, and to have the best show possible for the crowd. Only like this we going to grow in all terms, no?

Source: Australian Open


  1. Rafa has it right. Concentrate on the Sport you are in not compare one to another it’s like comparing Apples to Oranges. Different Fans Different Sport all is Different. Rafa just Concentrate on your Health the Enjoyment playing Tennis gives you and each and every point. Your Fans love you and your Wonderful Decision to go Sleeveless . Yeah I had to get that in. . You give me great joy to watch you play. Man you make me Smile
    Thanks Rafa for being you
    love ya Kathie

  2. I like Rafa’s take on the sport and what if offers. It is always getting better; it is always important to focus on the positive than the negative. Also, I agree, in the middle of a big event like the Australian Open there is no room for that kind of conversation. Tennis is amazing.. I don’t think we as fans have anything to complain about. Sit back, relax, and enjoy. I love watching Rafa play. I know the sport is better because of players like him and Roger. 😊

  3. Rafa is a private person 👩‍💻 why ask him questions he prefers not to answer. He’s a good descent honest player. A much loved player by millions. Let’s concentrate on him just winning the Australian Open.

  4. Sometimes the press ask the the most crazy question. Like do I really have to answer that. Go Raga. My Mr Tennis

  5. Rafa’s on the break:

    “Yeah, is not always the same. When you have a break in the serving for the match or serving for the set, there is always some breaks. Of course, is not a good thing.

    But in this case particularly I personally was not losing the game because I was too nervous, because I felt too much tension. He played a great game, all the returns in, very long, playing so aggressive, hitting all the balls super strong, and having success.”

    He gives full credit to Mayer. That’s gracious but mostly and more importantly fair imo.

    Didn’t expect anything less from Rafa and also that’s why I wasn’t disappointed about the break but more congratulating Mayer for this brave play getting rewarded, which is not a very popular view on a Rafa fans’ site. 🙂

    In the end, I do believe appreciating Rafa’s opponent can only help us appreciate Rafa’s game even more.

    Well done, Rafa. It was a very good match. High quality and entertaining tennis from both players.

  6. It s no secret that without you and Roger at the tournaments, attendance is scarce. I have been there when you and Roger have taken time to
    greet fans. You are the sport’s premier ambassadors, not only to fans, but to
    other players. God knows, the world is desperate for capable, intelligent role

  7. rafa..bravo…..great match, straight sets, all good….we will see you in miami and at laver cup….stay healthy and strong…no fun when you are not playing…….rest today and vamos manana…..:-]

  8. Bravo Rafa!!! I love what you said in this interview!
    I cannot see Tennis without you in it so never go away. Stay in some capacity please! Looking forward to your next match and seeing you at Indian Wells! 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼 For your health and for you to be in Tennis for years to come.❤️

  9. Well said Rafa and I completely agree with you 100% .
    You are my #1 favorite rather your on or off the courts.
    I adore and admire you for the humble ,competetive, honest, sincee man you are. Much love and Vamos

  10. Rafa, where do you get the patience? You made it clear you didn’t want to dwell on some things like yr reasons for leaving the ATP Council, but they still persist in badgering you – I think it’s great the polite but firm way you respond.

    Also you were so gracious and sporting re Mayer breaking yr serve at the end of the match, giving him credit for playing a great return game. Unlike RF, you always praise yr opponents when they play well, and don’t make excuses for yrself.

    Your new outfit is a winner. Best of luck, champ! You’re worth getting up at 4 a.m. to watch!

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