2018 Australian Open: Third round presser

A transcript of the presser Rafael Nadal gave after his win over Damir Dzumhur.

Q. What was your day like, how did you prepare for the match, whether the match met your expectations?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, no, was a good match, of course. When you win 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 in the third round, is always a great result, no? Without playing well, is impossible to have these kind of results. So happy for that. Happy to be through, yeah, fourth round. Already is good news.

Yeah, my preparation was normal. Just wake up, gym, coming here, having some warmup in the gym, then some warmup on court, had lunch, played some Parcheesi. That’s it, that’s all.

SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images

Q. Did you think your form was this good coming into the tournament? Did you think you were playing this well when you arrived?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know, no? I didn’t think about when I arrived how I going to be in two weeks. I am already two weeks and one day here. I just try to go day by day. 

I needed hours of court, hours of practice, hours of playing sets with different players. That’s what I did. I think I did a good preparation here. I felt myself playing well. That’s all. Here I am. I am in the fourth round. That’s because I am doing the right things. Let’s see how far I can go.

Q. What is your opinion about having players going out there when it’s 40 degrees?
RAFAEL NADAL: My opinion that is not safe enough sometimes, you know? But is not the only place. That’s the real thing. Have been very, very tough conditions yesterday and today. Yeah, sometimes is too much and can become little bit dangerous for health. That’s the real thing. It’s not nice to see players suffering that much on court.

But there is one positive thing, only one: was not humidity, was dry. That’s make a big difference. Even if is very warm, still very tough. But in my opinion is tougher, for example, Rio de Janeiro than here, because the humidity there is crazy and almost the same heat.

That’s the only positive thing. The rest of the things are very negative to play in that conditions.

Q. Do you think is big advantage to play at night in cooler conditions, and there should be a balance on who should play in the night and who in the afternoon? We have the impression some players only play at night, and some others play any time.
RAFAEL NADAL: Being honest with you, having one day off, doesn’t make a big difference. You are in the same conditions than your opponent. If you have to play the next day, playing during the day or playing during the night, probably will make a difference. Having a day off I don’t think will make a difference for the next day.

In terms of competing that day, is dangerous because you can lose sometimes the control of your body when it’s that warm. But you are in the same conditions than your opponent.

Playing day or night? Of course, there is players that plays more on night.

Q. Because they sell more tickets or other reasons?
RAFAEL NADAL: You are here since a while, no (smiling)? You know the same like me why there is player that play the night and others play the day. There is television, there is tickets to sell, there is players that achieve more than others. That’s why some players plays in prime time and other ones don’t play in the prime time.

That’s easy to understand. It’s not about fair or not fair.

Q. How do you think the game has changed the most during your time playing?
RAFAEL NADAL: Hmm. In my opinion, there is less work inside the point. Before the players was trying to play one ball there, one ball there to finish the point. Since couple of years ago, I feel that the tour became little bit more crazy in that aspect, no? People are going for the point quicker than before. The players are returning faster than before, going for the winners since the return. From the baseline, at the minimum opportunity, peoples goes for the shot, no?

We used to wait for the right ball to go for the winner. Now you go for the winner even in not very good positions.

Q. What challenges does Schwartzman present for you?
RAFAEL NADAL: He’s a great player. He’s a player that last year had an amazing year, and this year start again playing so well. So already won three matches here, playing again at very high level. He’s a very complete player.

Being honest, he’s a player that if I don’t play my best, probably I don’t going to win. He’s a player that have all the shots, big control from the baseline, don’t miss much. He’s able to change directions easy. He’s a player that already played the quarterfinals in the US Open. He’s already in the fourth round.

Tough one, and I need to play my best.

Q. Have you seen the Hollywood movie “Battle of the Sexes”?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. Sorry, but I didn’t see.

Source: Australian Open

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23 thoughts on “2018 Australian Open: Third round presser

    1. Rainier

      It will be cooler indeed but higher humidity unfortunately, Margo. Rafa doesn’t like humidity, especially that he already sweats more than most. Plus he said it’s tougher to control the ball and more taxing for the arms. Generally he would feel tired more quickly in such condition.

      Not very timely as he will need to hit through Schwartzman with his incredible speed and defense.

      Like

  1. Bona Lirios

    Rafa has played some evening matches. What I noticed, though, is some “great” player has not played at Margaret Court while Rafa, who’s seeded & ranked # 1 played there yesterday. Just saying . . .

    Good luck, Rafa.

    Like

    1. Fan love

      Rafa’s girlfriend will be there at the Finals and watch him hold his trophy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) GO RAFA GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : )

      Like

  2. Positive thinker

    CONGRATS RAFA ON YOUR WIN 👍. YOU ALWAYS BRING A SENSE OF CHEER AND HAPPINESS TO ALL YOUR FANS WHEN YOU ARE ON COURT. LOVE THE WAY YOU GIVE YOUR ALL, WHEN YOU ARE PLAYING.

    LUCK AND LOTS OF LOVE FOR YOUR NEXT MATCH.

    LOVE YOU ALWAYS RAFA.❣💟💞💝💚💙💗💖💕💘💓😙😙😙😙😙

    Like

  3. I guess Rafa has answered the question why some players play at night.

    RAFAEL NADAL: “You are here since a while, no (smiling)? You know the same like me why there is player that play the night and others play the day. There is television, there is tickets to sell, there is players that achieve more than others. That’s why some players plays in prime time and other ones don’t play in the prime time.
    That’s easy to understand. It’s not about fair or not fair.”

    He seems to be saying that market forces are in control.

    Rafa loves the sport and does everything to promote it.

    RAFA ROCKS

    Like

    1. hearn fiona

      Yes, I went to see him at Paris Bercy in 2015 in the evening. 😀There was more atmosphere then and more people. Luckily he won. I had already been in the day 2 days before and also Nov 1st 2017, the day, as I have already said there are more empty spaces and you can get closer to the scene. 😃I think in the big city most people work in the day and prefer to go in the evening. Fiona in Paris

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      1. Fiona, thank you for sharing your first-hand observations regarding this subject.

        The thought of Rafa feeling that he is less of a “draw” than other players or that tournament directors are playing favorites really get me angry. His feelings have been my concern since I started reading fans’ comments about which court he plays or the time of day. His statement here makes me feel so much better.

        Rafa is the most exciting thing that has happened to tennis as far as this fan is concerned.

        RAFA ROCKS

        Like

    2. Margo, I feel Rafa’s reply to the question of night play for some players is just an example of his diplomacy.
      If ticket sales and Tv audiences are the main reason why more popular and gifted players get night sessions, how is it that Rafa, who is number 1 has played two night and two afternoon matches while Fed has three night matches in a row? He finally got an afternoon match today but the forecast was for much cooler weather.
      I know you get upset if you think Rafa is being ignored and Fed is being favoured and so do I. This is ,in my opinion, what is happening here. Fed is being protected from the heat but it doesn’t matter for Rafa evidently because the powers that be want Fed to win
      Sorry if I feel cynical but that is how I see it.
      I think deep down Rafa knows what is going on but he would never say it. How can he really believe that the best players get more night games when he doesn’t get that consideration?

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      1. Margo

        Hi Beverley…I do hope you’re feeling better and that the humidity is not driving you nuts.

        I am glad you brought up his statement as I was going to let it rest.

        After first reading and then posting Rafa’s reply re time of day for matches, I honestly believed his words. It made me happy that he wasn’t bothered by the discrepancy re him as NUMBER ONE IN THE UNIVERSE and being relegated to play on less prestigious courts and in adverse conditions

        I was happy for a moment but then I went back and reread his reply several times and came up with two other possible analyses of his statement. The first was yours re his diplomacy. So yes, I agree.

        The second was that Rafa was being satiric, sardonic, or sarcastic. He has done this so many times before. Remember that he smiled when asked the question. The only thing missing was a wink.

        Rafa asked his interlocutor something like “You’ve been here before or for a while,” and this could be a question or a statement as I see it. It could mean, “How can you be so silly?” Or, “you should know better.” In other words, Rafa knows what’s going on but will not make waves. All too often the media has placed him in a controversy. He probably feels the less he says, the better. I can’t fault him for that. No one can.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if he hasn’t discussed it with his team.

        What I was surprised at was hearing him say the AO was his “favorite” tournament. I thought it was the FO.

        Another surprise was the time, I believe it was a statement about fans, when he stated his South American fans were his best fans or something to that effect. No, I wasn’t offended, just surprised.

        I am upset that he doesn’t DEMAND better playing times. Then again, who knows if Rafa didn’t ask to play earlier in the day instead of later.

        It’s been a long journey with Rafa; sometimes exhilarating, sometimes sad, but never dull. It has never entered my mind to hang up my Rafa fandom.

        RAFA ROCKS

        Like

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