A transcript of the presser Rafael Nadal gave after his win over Diego Schwartzman.
Q. What made that really challenging?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, of course. You can’t expect easy matches when you’re playing in big tournaments. Yeah, against good players.
So, yeah. Yeah, was a tough match in general terms. I missed opportunities in the second. That’s the true. Three times break up in the second. Then you lose that many chances and you’re in trouble. But of course he played well, and he played aggressive. Yep, he did a lot of things well, and I didn’t play as aggressive as I did last couple of days. That’s why I was suffering more. Conditions out there were not easy this afternoon. Very humid.
Yeah. And was a tough match. But very happy to be through, of course.
Q. How much did you need a hit-out like that going to the second week, a tough match like that?
RAFAEL NADAL: Is always better winning in two hours than in four. But that’s it. It was a good test for me. It was a lot of hours on court. Moments under pressure.
So, yeah, a lot of positive things that I managed well. After the second set, it was a very tough moment. The third set was a great set to win, being honest. My serve start to work much better after the second. I started to win some free points again with the serve, because for a set and a half almost I didn’t win a free point with my serve. So that’s not good news during that part of the match. That’s why I lost that many chances, three times the opportunity to be break, to confirm the break, and I didn’t.
Then in the third and fourth my serve started working better, and probably that’s why I am here with a victory.
Q. You said you were suffering in those conditions. Can you describe how that was, how that feels?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know if I said suffering, but everybody suffers in four-hours’ match. Tough conditions out there with a lot of humidity.
Sometimes — I said the other day — sometimes it’s tougher for the body. You know, less hot but more humidity. Today was that case.
Q. Was that probably your toughest match physically since the Del Potro semi at the Open? Thinking back at your matches over the last few months.
RAFAEL NADAL: Was much tougher today than against Del Potro in the Open. I think so. I remember. I lost the first but then was 6-Love, I don’t know.
Q. I think it was 3 and 2, I think.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah.
Q. Trying to remember the last time you played such a physically demanding match.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, yeah, against Mayer, I think, in the US Open was demanding physically, too.
Yeah, was a while since I played tough matches. I played some good matches in Asia, too, against Grigor, against Pouille at the beginning. Some tough ones, but of course not four hours is not the best of five.
Was a good test, and at the same time, I said before, I prefer to win in two hours than in four. But being honest, too, moments like this helps to be more confident in yourself, in your body.
And now we start the second week. Quarterfinals already. Now is the moment to make a step forward, to play again more aggressive. I know I gonna have a tough opponent in front now, Cilic. I need to play aggressive and play well. That’s what I gonna try.
Q. Normally when you have to play a baseline player, anyway, you probably, I think, more confident than when you have to play a player who has a strong serve that depends also a lot on him. Is that correct what I’m thinking or not? You have to play Cilic, and he is someone who can serve incredibly well sometimes. Is it more dangerous for you from your perspective or not?
RAFAEL NADAL: On this point, today is the most dangerous player that I can play against, because is the one that I gonna play (smiling). That’s the real thing, no?
I can’t say another thing. All the matches are tough, and if you are in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam, you can’t expect an easy match. Against Marin will be a tough one, but at the same time, is a beautiful match to play against a great player. We know each other. We played a couple of times already.
And, yeah, I know I need to play well. That’s the real thing. I know I need to play well. That’s what I gonna try. I hope to be ready to make that happen.
Q. Kyle Edmund just reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal. What do you think of his potential?
RAFAEL NADAL: Oh, he’s good. He’s a good player, of course, and for me not a surprise. It’s the normal thing for me. Was a little bit more surprising for me last year he lost a lot of close matches, I think. But, no, I really believe on his potential. He has a huge serve, huge forehand, and he hit very strong the ball, no?
So I really think he gonna have a great year.
Q. Do you feel like you’re at the same level as this time last year? Stronger or same level?
RAFAEL NADAL: I do not remember what level I was last year. I don’t know.
I am in quarterfinals, and that’s it. If I am not wrong, last year in the same round I was 4-2 against Monfils, 2 sets to 1 up for me but 4-2 for him in the fourth. It was a big chance to be in the third. It was a tough match, too.
I don’t know, you never know about what’s going on. The most important thing for me is after not playing anything. Before here I am able to be in the quarterfinals. I played some great matches. Today a little bit worse for moments, but I resisted very well. Very happy. Very proud about the third and fourth set, because situation was not easy for me, and I was able to hold my serve all the time. Sometimes with saving tough moments.
But I played with determination, and that’s what I gonna need, and I gonna need to serve well. I’m going to need to play with more determination with my forehand in the next match. I am focusing on trying to make it.
Q. After Seppi lost, Fognini is the last Italian survivor in this tournament, and he has to play Berdych tomorrow. Would you be very surprised he could beat Berdych?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, but it’s true that Berdych is playing well. He already had some great matches against de Minaur, a win against Del Potro 6-3, 6-3, 6-2. If you’re not playing well, it’s impossible.
Yeah, Fabio is a player with a lot of talent. He can win against everybody. That’s my feeling.
But maybe here a little bit more favorite, Tomas. But, yeah, it’s an open match.
Q. Last year you and Roger Federer had this great comeback. Now it’s a little bit Djokovic time. What do you think about that? Do you think he’s capable to do the same kind of comeback after this injury?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know what he gonna do, but of course he gonna fight for the most important thing. He is too good to not fight for it.
Source: Australian Open