Rogers Cup 2018: Semifinal post-match interview

Watch as Rafael Nadal reflects on his semi-final victory over Karen Khachanov at the Rogers Cup in Toronto.

Transcript of Rafa’s presser after the Khachanov match.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You’re in the final now. Have you made a decision on Cincinnati yet, whether you go for sure or will you rethink it because you need some rest before the US Open?
RAFAEL NADAL: It’s not moment to talk about that. It’s a moment to be happy because have been a great week until that moment.

Tomorrow is an important match. But anyway, and I think I am happy tomorrow that I am satisfied with the week, no? Arriving here for me it was difficult to imagine that I going to be in the final one week and a half after, no?

So great news. Happy about everything. Of course I can play little bit better, but that’s the work of every day. And all the matches helps to improve my game, and I believe that I can do it.

I did a lot of things well in the whole season. Tomorrow is a day to play a great match against a very tough opponent. And I hope to be ready for it.

Q. Two more tight sets tonight. What kind of challenges was Karen throwing at you and how did you overcome them?
RAFAEL NADAL: He’s a great server. Big shot from the baseline. He has especially great backhand and he can hit the forehand very strong too.

It’s true with the forehand sometimes he have mistakes too, but he plays very aggressive and he hit the ball very strong, no? 

I need to resist and play aggressive. When I was able to move him, I think I was a little bit more on the control. But it’s difficult to make that happen because he hit the ball very strong.

Q. Tomorrow what aspect of Stefanos’ play will be most challenging for you?
RAFAEL NADAL: He’s a complex player. He has everything. He’s young. Has passion for the game. He has a great forehand, great backhand, good serve. So he’s not about one thing. He’s about everything.

These kind of matches you need to play very well to win, and that’s what I’m going to try.

Q. When you played your first Rogers Cup final in 2005, you were about 20 years old against veteran Andre Agassi. Tomorrow the roles have sort of changed. You’re the veteran player coming up with this younger player, this NextGen player. What do you make of these young guys coming up, your impression of this NextGen, and how does it feel to be on the other side now as the veteran in the equation?
RAFAEL NADAL: It feels better when you are younger. But no complaints. Since 2005, I never imagine that I am going to have this kind of career that I am having.

Yeah, tomorrow it’s the opposite thing. Hopefully the final result will not be the same than in 2005 in terms of the younger wins. But anyway, is good to be in his position, but at the same time it’s good to be in my position, no?

After all the good things that I am doing during the whole season and be able to be in another final, great news.

And is a match that I know is not a pressure match. It’s a match that you — everything is to win. The week is good already, especially the way that I arrived here. But anyway, the week always going to be good when you end the final of Master 1000 that 19 of top 20 players are here.

So that’s it. Is a day to play aggressive, to play with the right determination and try to win.

Q. First set tie-breaker you seemed to elevate your game a little bit more. What was going through your mind to try to take that set?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I needed to don’t have mistakes on the tie-break to take it, and I think I did well. I played a solid tie-break.

I know the first set will have a very important impact on the match, especially if I win it, and that’s what happened in the second.

I think I had — I don’t remember that I had a break point against in the second. And I had some opportunities on my return, on his serve, no?

So, yeah, been a positive second set for me.

Q. So you have won 79 times on the ATP tour. What would it mean to you to get No. 80 and to do it here in Toronto?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, if that happens it will be fantastic. It’s another Masters 1000. But still a lot of work to do. But if that happens, yeah, going to be great news of course.

Canada is a tournament that I — Canada, Montreal, Toronto, it’s a tournament that I play well a lot of times in my career. And it’s a very important result for me to be back here where I am.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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41 thoughts on “Rogers Cup 2018: Semifinal post-match interview

  1. mjus

    I think the thought of winning his first master title on hardcourt in a long time might have made him nervous. Overall in my opinion i think he should play cincinnati and rest after the us open by withdrawing from beijing and laver cup and only focuss on davis cup sjanghai paris and atp finals

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  2. Mac

    There, champ! Long road ahead to defending your US Open crown, and you just made the first step! Keep it going Rafa. Congratulations, well done CHAMPION!!

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  3. Maria(England)

    Well done Rafa, another title to add to your long list for 2018. Take a few days rest and come out fighting in Cincinnati, good luck.

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  4. jas_uk

    Rafa appeared to stop trying after breaking Tsitispas’ serve in the second set. Now he’s in trouble. Was he trying to not humiliate Stefanos on his birthday? Give the crowd a good match? Give himself a challenge? I really don’t know what to think, but it’s backfired on him. Come on Rafa, don’t let this opportunity go to waste!

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      1. jas_uk

        It was written in the heat of the moment and I admit not the best choice of words. Rafa fights harder than anyone, but tonight in that second set it seemed to me as if he was content to just hold serve rather than going for the insurance break. I’d completely understand him getting nervous serving out the match, especially given that it meant his first hard court M1000 in five years and in only his second HC tournament of the year. Anyway, it all turned out well in the end!

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