VIDEO: Rafael Nadal semi-final press conference | Wimbledon 2018

Rafael Nadal speaks to the media after his 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(9), 3-6, 10-8 defeat against Novak Djokovic.

Q. You’ve played so many brilliant matches against Novak. Where does that rank?
RAFAEL NADAL: Being honest, I didn’t have the chance to analyze where rank. I don’t remember all the matches.

Have been a great match. I think a fantastic level of tennis for both of us. I think I was not a spectator, but I think was a great show for the fans.

Of course, not happy with the final result. Of course, happy about being part of this match that have been a great one.

Q. When you play him, what is the biggest challenge and what is the level of respect that you have for him?
RAFAEL NADAL: Biggest challenge is I am playing against one of the best players of the history. Probably for him is something similar.

And the respect? The respect is very high because is an opponent that we played a lot of times. We played in the greatest stadiums, greatest moments for both of us. We shared on court a lot of big moments for both of us, no?

Is a great rival. Today was another battle that stays there for the — I don’t know. Stays there.

Q. You had five breakpoints. In the first four, in my opinion, you couldn’t do much. The fifth was when you went to the net maybe with a little impatience. Is that maybe the key point, the one point that could have gone another way?
RAFAEL NADAL: Of course, if I have the break, I win the next game, I am here with the victory. That’s 100% like this.

But ‘impatient’? I came back from a defensive position. I hit a great backhand across. I decided to go inside. Worked very well a lot of times hitting backhands and go to the net. 

For me, was not like this. For me, I take the decision to go forward, to play aggressive. I tried to go to the net to put pressure of him. I couldn’t play the backhand down the line because I was running to the ball. Was a big risk hit down the line.

I hit the ball going to the net. I couldn’t wait. I decided to go like this. The only negative thing is that the ball went little bit to the middle.

But for me personally, nothing to complain with that. I don’t feel that was impatient. I feel that I take the position to go to the net to play aggressive. He played a great passing shot. If he missed, we would be here talking how brave he was that he went to the net.

He hit a good passing shot. Now is impatient? That’s the sport. That’s the real thing. I am not saying nothing wrong about your question, but that’s the sport. Final result changes everything. That’s part of the game. I accept it. Nothing to complain. He play great.

I can say he deserve it, because he deserve it. In my opinion, he deserve it. I deserve it, too. Both of us deserve it. As I say the other day against del Potro, anyone could win. Today I say the same. The other day was for me, today was for him. That’s it.

Q. Difficult time to assess, but this was meeting number 52 with Djokovic. What do you think this rivalry has done for your own game and for the sport of tennis as a whole?
RAFAEL NADAL: I cannot analyze that because I am part of it. Well, imagine if I come here and say that’s fantastic for tennis. Would be very arrogant from my part, no? You can create your own opinion and will be great. If you think is terrible, if you think is good…

For me is always the same: having great players in front push you to improve always your level of work, your level of tennis, and your level of trying to improvement all the time. That’s it.

Q. You haven’t had much time to process this, but do you think there is something you did that you would change or that you maybe did wrong tactically or strategically in this match? There were many shifts of momentum. Is there something in your mind?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. Normally I am very critic with myself. I hit a great shots. I played aggressive. I missed balls, not too many, but I missed some ones. When you play with that intensity, with that level of risk, that level of passion, sometimes you go over, no?

Nothing to complain. I think I played a great match. I have not much more inside me. I give it my best, and that’s it. It’s fair to say that was a great match and he beat me. Well done for him. That’s all. That’s sport.

These kind of matches between probably two great players, playing so well both of us, anything could happen. That’s it. Today was for him. Well done.

Q. Do you think it made much sense to have the roof closed today?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. But I will not talk more about this. If not, you going to write about this, and I don’t want you to write about this today.

Q. What do you take away from this tournament as a whole? Positive feelings as well as the disappointment of the loss?
RAFAEL NADAL: Repeat that. I’m sorry.

Q. How do you feel about the tournament as a whole, what will you take away from it?
RAFAEL NADAL: From this tournament?

Q. Yes.
RAFAEL NADAL: Played great. Semifinals, after a while without being there. Winning some great matches, especially in that quarterfinals against del Potro. Today was another great match.

I felt, of course, that I lost an opportunity to try to win another very important title for my career. But that’s it. No, nothing else. I go for holidays proud of the things that I’m doing, no?

I lost two matches. Well, I retired in Australia. Happened when I was playing that quarterfinals match, what happened about injury. Then after that, this is my second lose of the year, playing a lot of matches, playing well almost all the time.

I think I did a great work. Is difficult to come back after injuries for a long time and have these kind of results, so I am proud of myself.

Q. Yesterday was such a marathon match. You and Novak were in the locker rooms for a long time. Do you think there is an argument that in a fifth set, it should just go to a tiebreak rather than keeping players cooped up for so long?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I don’t have a clear opinion on that.

Q. What did you do while you were waiting?
RAFAEL NADAL: Putting little bit. Warming up like 10 times. Just watching the match. That’s all.

Q. To come back on yesterday, to go on court, I guess you knew you couldn’t maybe finish when you started that match yesterday, going through the match with so many circumstances outside of the game?
RAFAEL NADAL: That’s how it is. It’s true that the schedule was little bit tight knowing that the first match between two big servers, of course you can’t predict that they play that long. But yeah, knowing that, maybe will be better if they play us first at 1:00, that’s all. The rest of the things you can’t complain anything that happened.

Q. Novak has had a difficult couple of years. What did you make of his level in this match?
RAFAEL NADAL: He playing great. No, no, my opinion, he’s playing at his top level again. I said before the match, and that’s it. He’s in the final of Wimbledon. The problem is we achieved that match the last couple of years, seems like you are in the final of Wimbledon, and this is not that match. You can’t be in the final of Wimbledon, even if your name is not Novak Djokovic, without playing a great level of tennis. So that’s all.

Source: Wimbledon


  1. Rafa is the master of putting disappointments behind him. After a baf shot, he is quick to regroup and move on to the next point. After the loss to Novak, he was philosophical about it and had no compaints. Why? Because he knew he played well and was so close to the win. He knows there are more opportunities shead. Rafa is happy with life, sunning himself with his mates on Beethoven. Like him, i think we should just move on. The next battle awaits 😁.

  2. As much as I love Rafa, I’ve always been irritated by the way he puts Djokovic and Federer on a pedestal, praising them and even hinting that he would not like to play against them and at times one could almost sense the fear behind the words. A few years ago even Toni said something amounting to omG we don’t want to face Djokovic. Unfortunately I can’t remember the exact words but I had commented on these things at the time. Rafa cannot afford to give these psychological boosts to anyone least of all to D and F. As Maria (snake island) mentioned I too noticed after Rafa’s quarter final press review Rafa’s answer about what he thought about the semis and playing and in comparison Djokovic’s – and felt annoyed. D is arrogant enough and has no need for any more self confidence. That’s why I was happy and relieved to hear his post sf interview where he doesn’t just praise D but says good things about himself too. He must get rid of this pattern!!!!
    In the past Ive also written here before a match ‘telling’ Rafa not to give too much respect to his opponents.

    Cmon Rafa create a healthy respect for yourself and others and become a tiger on court!

    Wish you a lovely break and all the best in the coming tournaments.


    • Rafa fan 1, thanks for mentioning that. Rafa did not answer the question. He gave a non-answer.

      Q: What was your reaction when you heard that Federer was out to a player that he had always beaten?

      Rafa: “I was playing tennis, I was not thinking much about what’s going on in the other court. I am not that good to have the chance to think about all the things that’s going on outside.”

      Rafa is not stupid by any means. He knew what the reporter was asking.

      I don’t think he is afraid of Roger or Novak, I think he is angry when he loses to them. And then his losses make him anxious when he has to face them in a match. It’s normal to be nervous before a match but not to the extent that it impairs a player to play his best. Only Rafa can know what’s going on.

  3. Rafa “has had 6 lives already while we’re still fuming about Wimbledon”

    The above quote was posted by a fan on Twitter and Instagram accompanied by a picture of Rafa partying at the Nassau Beach Club in Ibiza. His face is beaming with his signature smile and he is clearly enjoying himself. I am starting to feel better already. RAFA ROCKS ON


  4. Thrilled that Rafa arrived back home only hours after his Wimbledon semifinals match to start his summer vacation.

    He will start training for the Toronto Masters [Aug. 6-12] at the end of July. That gives him barely three weeks to replenish his body after such busy and arduous clay- and grass-court tournaments. I hope he will be up for the challenges ahead without taxing his body further. A healthy Rafa is a winning Rafa.

    Cincinnati is next and then the last Slam of the year, the US Open.
    [Source: Joan Solsona, London. 7/15/2018. Marca]


  5. The reason why Novak is very likely to resume his domination of Rafa is because Rafa always psychological boosts Novak’ego ahead of their matches. In fact, Novak is the only player Rafa praises to such incredible high heavens before they play. It’s so embarrassing that it’s has become a ritual and not surprising, Novak’s feeds off these praises to beat/dominate Nada!.

    According to a social psychologist, “when there is too much respect for somebody, it turns into fear over time” For crying out loud, Rafa and Novak are competitors. Novak has even gone ahead to emphatically clarify that “I cannot be friends with anyone in the Big 3” And that’s the truth – competitors cannot be FRIENDS! It’s as simple as that.

    In their semifinal pre-match presser, while our dear Rafa was winning about playing “such a complex player, most difficult to beat for me. Djokovic is one of the greats in History bla, bla, bla bla bla….” Novak, on the other hand, simply had this to say as usual:
    “Well, I don’t know whether I’m the Underdog or Favourite, but I’m definitely going to give it my best shot” A very simple and short statement without any sentimental attachment to anybody. Purely business!

    To win against Novak, Rafa has to immediately change his pre-match psychological warfare. He must see their matches henceforth as a WAR and be prepared to do whatever it takes to win.

    Now guys let’s tell ourselves some home truths: Now that Djokovic is 95% back, Rafa must quickly forget those 2 easy victories he had over Djokovic when Djokovic was still struggling with form ( which was then at 40% level).

    By August Novak would have been 100% fully fit which will be a big challenge to Rafa’s defence of the US Open.

    But, as always, we’d see…….

    • I cant resist myself laughing on your analysis and that too on player of rafa caliber . ..we will see ok. …it just great sportmanship from rafa and accepting waht it is…..

      • Also any player having a win over his opponent more frequently will have some confidence and vice versa …and it for a players in all sports

    • I hope you are wrong.

      Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Rafa lost by a hair under adverse conditions on grass so let’s see how he does on hard court. He is on holiday at the moment and hopefully he will come back even stronger than at Wimby.

      • I’m no sports psychologist, so I can’t comment with any authority. But it seems that part of Rafa’s winning mentality is never being complacent about an opponent’s prospects (even on clay). We hear every round how the next opponent is a “tough one”, with detailed strengths of their game. I just think this is how he operates, and it makes sense.

        There may be a particular mental difficulty against Djokovic, but I’m not sure that’s linked to him being generous in press conferences. He’s generous to a lot of people in press. I’d say his mental issue with Djokovic has more to do with what happens on-court than off. It’s the fact that Djoker is amazing at getting winners back into play, and never seems to go away. I’m not sure being surly towards him in press would help that. If anything, it would indicate a greater sense of frustration with the situation.

        Lastly, I want to make a wider point about mental health in tennis. Singles players are under extraordinary pressure, and to stay at the top of the game must be very lonely. I know they have their own families and teams, but the tour is relentless. I’m sure it’s a relief to occasionally bond and relax with your competitors – e.g. kids’ days, exhibition matches, promotions – and I wouldn’t begrudge any of the top players this important pressure valve. I know Djokovic has questioned whether Rafa and Roger have been too friendly in the past, but I think some personalities are just better at compartmentalising than others. Maybe they need to be relatively social to continue functioning at the highly competitive level we all love and celebrate?

    • MARIA, after posting my first response to you I searched for “THEIR semi-final pre-match presser” you referred to. Do you have the name of the presser? When was it conducted? Is it on YouTube?

      Rafa’s ONLY pre-match SF comments about his pending Novak match were in his post-QF presser after winning over del Potro.

      I disagree with you if that is the presser you based your analysis on. Rafa ALWAYS compliments his opponents before a match, from the lowest ranked to the highest. I didn’t sense any adulation for Novak in his statements. Rafa has said much of the same about much lower ranked opponents. Novak is also a 12-time slam winner [now 13]. Just as Rafa mentions other players’ achievements he did the same regarding Novak. Had he deviated from this longstanding practice I feel the media would have had a field day.


  6. Rafa, Proud of the way you played. The best points in the match with Novak were won by you. The transition from Clay to Grass was brilliant and I am sure there are many more GS on the way the way you are playing .
    Also great to see you sign autographs before you left the court after losing. Very rare to see this these days.
    Continue to Rock Rafa!!! The sight of you playing gives joy to all your fans.

  7. I am so proud to be a Rafa fan. Despite his heartbreaking loss, Rafa still waited for Novak and even signed more autographs before leaving the court. As several of you have noted, Rafa exceeded expectations on grass. He played the best matches and has retained the number one ranking for a while longer. His match against Delpo is the match of the year so far. I still don’t quite understand why Moya was not there, but I have to trust Rafa on this. I hope Rafa enjoys his boat and time off. He so deserves it.

  8. I am still so sad about Rafa’s loss, but mostly for Rafa himself. He came so close, but Novak was just a little better on a couple of points. I am mad about the closed roof, but blame the tournament director. He could have opened it even with Novak’s preference. I would still be upset even if Rafa had won. It was a beautiful sunny day, and it is an outdoor tournament. I am still wondering why the AO roof was closed for Fed. In this case, I do not think the decision was made to favor Novak but it was a poor one.

  9. The QF & SF that Rafa played were the very very best at Wimbledon . Just amazing .
    Nole won deservingly but Rafa was just amazingly fabulous . Yes outdoor must have been the way forward on Saturday .

    Rafa rocks … big time .

  10. Rafa you did your best, you don’t have to prove anything to anyone we know that in Tennis you win or lose that’s is sport… Tennis will be lost without you , you are unbelievable professional and genuine tennis player, your not easy to beat any players try to defeat you, that they know your tough to beat….well done Rafa Vamos see you at Australia 🇦🇺 open from your number 1 fan 💋

  11. What is remarkable about Rafa is he just won the French Open title for the 11th time a month ago.
    Then he doesn’t even play in any grass court tune-up tournaments at all. He makes it to the semi-final round after he just defeated another great champion, Juan Martin in by far the best match of the tournament and perhaps this 2018 season so far. Epic!

    If only Rafa’s match against Novak would have been scheduled first before Isner/Anderson. I am 100% certain Rafa would have beaten Novak outside in the heat. Of course, with the roof closed that favored Novak. In any event, Rafa is truly the king of tennis. I agree with Lillian, “Rafa is also my king of tennis”. No one fights and competes harder. I am astonished by his amazing tennis performances from transitioning from clay to grass without any tune-ups. See what happens when his body and mind are in the same healthy place. That match against Juan Martin was so spectacular, so much better than the final. But unfortunately, Kevin was physically impaired. from his 6.5 hour match.

    Whereas, Roger skipped the entire clay court season to optimize his chances of defending his title at Wimbledon 1 year ago and that back-fired. I can’t believe it but Rafa gets better and better. I can’t wait to see him compete on the hard courts. I saw the ranking today and he has a nice cushion over Roger as well. Rafa rest and relax at home. You so deserve it for all the tremendous entertainment, skills, athleticism and passion you provide to all your fans around the globe. You’re the best!

  12. Rafael Nadal is a professional on and off court. That is obvious. It is a privilege to witness your play; your respect for the fans is what brings them back. Make no mistake-hate to see you lose, but you left everything out there. Vamos💪

  13. You tell em Rafa! These reporters ask stupid questions. Rafa answers are great.
    You are definitely the greatest. And you maintain your cool and act like a champion at all times. That is most importante to you fans. Play your own game and be proud as we are of you.

  14. Rafa did much more than 99% had expected from him. He went beyond the 4th round and the first time doing so in 7 years and he made an impact on the grass like he had not done in so many years. Rafa played with offense and aggressive temperament with no timid apprehension. That is more than we can expect of him. I feel this was a great match for Rafa because now he has the confidence that going into the late Fall season, he will not be fearing the indoor matches. He showed everybody that he is formidable not only on clay and outside conditions, but also on his weakest surface of grass and indoors conditions and did so well that he nearly won against arguably the best indoors players this decade, so I have high confidence and belief in Rafa that he will continue to do well for the rest of this season for the Summer hard court tournaments as well as the Asian swing and indoors tournaments at the end of the year. Also, I believe Rafa has a REAL chance of winning the ATP finals this year. TRULY!

    Vamos Rafa!

  15. Compare this to RF’s self-centered whingeing after his loss to Anderson. All he could force himself to say re Anderson was”Credit to him.” And that was it!

    Rafa is so generous, and gracious, not a trace of self pity, or blaming anyone/anything. A true champion, a genuine sportsman.

  16. Rafa no h podido leerlo xk no se ha traducido…pero solo decirte k m encantò como jugaste..a ese nivel…uno tenia k ganar y l tocò a el…estuvisteis igualados e inclusive diria yo k tu nivel fue superior…pero el al ir por delante le aventajò la bola d partido sino ya hubieramos visto
    Sigue como vas y adelante…CAMPEON!!!

  17. Rafa you gave your fans a wonderful Wimbledon..I think this from having watched all your matches. I am proud to say that
    Rafael Nadal is my King of Tennis.
    Vamos Rafa. Buenos noches amigo.🇪🇸🇮🇪🎾🎾❤

  18. Rafa your much it was beater dan the Finals ,it was so close 10 – 8 in five sets ,you play so well ,I’m so proud of you.vamossssssssssss champ I hope you play in the US OPEN. In N Y.all your fans love you.🎾🎾🎾🎾👍👍👍👍❤️❤️❤️❤️

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