VIDEO: Rafael Nadal’s press conference after US Open knee injury

Rafael Nadal speaks out after knee injury forces him to retire in US Open semifinal against Juan Martin del Potro.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You have been playing so well throughout this tournament, how disappointing is it for you to end this way? When did you realize you were having difficulty out there as far as your health? Before the match or during the match?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I had some issues during the tournament. As everybody knows, I had an issue, it was in the second or third match. Then I think was little bit better.

But, yeah, I think was 2-All in the first, 15-Love, something like this in the first set, that I felt. I said too my box immediately that I felt something on the knee. After that, I was just trying to see if in some moment the thing can improve during the match. But no, was not the day.

Yeah, I waited as much as I can. You could imagine very difficult for me to say good-bye before the match finish. But at some point you have to take a decision. It was so difficult for me to keep playing at the same time that way, having too much pain.

That was not a tennis match at the end, no? It was just one player playing, the other one staying on the other side of the court.

I hate to retired, but stay one more set out there playing like this will be too much for me.

Q. How much do you think the five-set match the other night affected your knee?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, you never know. Maybe zero, maybe yes. I was not feeling worst of my knee today before the match or yesterday when I practiced. 

Q. Can you describe the pain in your knee in comparison to the other issues you’ve had with your knee?
RAFAEL NADAL: The knee is always very similar. When that happens, yeah, just accept it. That’s all. I cannot compare the knee with other times because the pain on the knee is always very similar when I have.

The problem is this time was something little bit more aggressive because was in one movement. Was not something progressive. So I don’t know what can happen in a couple of days or in a couple of weeks.

Immediately is much worst when the thing happened like this, immediately in a bad movement, than when is coming.

Q. Because of that, are you worried it might be a structural damage to the knee?
RAFAEL NADAL: Structural damage? What do you mean?

Q. That you actually did something inside the knee that hurt it, not just tendinitis?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. If I have more things, will be tough. So no, no. I know what I have. Similar thing than always. Just about do treatment. Is not an injury that tells you three weeks off and you are back. Is not an injury that tells you six months off, you are back. Is maybe an injury that in one week you feel better, is an injury that maybe in six months you don’t feel better.

I know what is going on with the knee. But the good thing is I know how I have to work to be better as soon as possible because we have a lot of experience on that.

I am sure will not be the six months off. I was just making a comparation [sic]. Is not an injury like when you break something, something like this. It is an injury that is a tendinitis. Then is a decision about yourself, about if you want to wait till you feel almost nothing or you want to keep going with pain, so…

Is not the moment to think.

Q. Of course you’re disappointed, but you have a great spirit and respect for Juan Martin. What does it mean to you to see him get to his first final in such a long time? His struggle has been very long.
RAFAEL NADAL: I can’t say that I am happy because I am not. I will not lie you.

But, yes, he’s a player that went through lot of issues during his career, like me too. I know how tough is this thing. I know how much frustration can be when you can’t do the thing that you want to do. He knows very well.

Happy to him that he’s able to be back in his top level. Yeah, wish him all the best. For him will be huge if he’s able to win again a Grand Slam.

Q. At this point in your career, can you describe how much of your off-court work is pain management, just keeping your body in shape enough to play these five-set matches?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I can’t describe. Is just my work. Is just my normal thing of every day, just to do the work the right way, just enjoy the moments when I have the chance to play with healthy conditions.

I’m having two great years. Yeah, last year was a fantastic year. This year have been a fantastic year until this moment.

I lost four matches. Two of them I had to retired. Negative thing is two of them have been in quarterfinals and semifinals of a Grand Slam, close to fight for titles. That’s frustrating. Can’t tell you another thing. Is tough for me.

Is not about losing. Is about don’t have the chance to fight for it. I feel that I fighted all my career against these kind of things, too. I missed lot of opportunities. But the other hand, I won a lot.

Is tough, these moments, but at the same time, on the other hand, I going to keep going and I going to keep working hard to keep having opportunities.

I know the things are going the right way. I am playing well. I am enjoying on court. I am having a lot of success. I am very competitive at the age of 32. Lot of people in this room, including myself, never will think that at the age of 32 I will be here fighting for titles, fighting for the first positions of the rankings.

All my career everybody say that because of my style, I will have a short career. I still here. I still here because I love what I am doing. I still have the passion for the game. I going to keep fighting and working hard to keep enjoying this tour and keep having chances to compete at the highest level. So that’s all.

Q. When you look at the injuries that you have dealt with, Novak, Roger, Juan Martin, have as well, is this the reality of modern tennis: you’re going to have to sustain these injuries to play at the level you play at?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sorry, but is not fair to compare myself with them. They didn’t have a — Novak had something last year. Roger have couple of ones. But at the age of 36 is not the same.

You can go to the history and you can compare how many Grand Slams I missed in my career, Masters 1000s, you can compare how many they missed. Sorry, but is not the real comparation [sic].

But is part of the game. I can’t and will not complain. Is just something that is like this. Even like this, I am in a good sport of the history of this sport, and keep going. That’s all.

Q. Is hard court particularly difficult on your knees given your injury history at this point?
RAFAEL NADAL: It’s okay (tearing up).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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57 thoughts on “VIDEO: Rafael Nadal’s press conference after US Open knee injury

  1. Fan love

    VAMOS SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) KEEP YOUR HEAD UP AND KNOW YOU ARE IT IN TENNIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) THIS , LIKE OTHER TIMES, HAD A LOT OF UNFORTUNATE AND UNNECESSARY OBSTACLES LOT ……BS….A WHOLE LOT OF BS……INFACT, It is as bad as Wimbledon… WITH THE LAST MIN UTE BS ROOF OBSTACLE AND PLAYING WITH POOR UMPIRE……..
    HERE, WE HAD TO LISTEN TO a lot of crappy, bad, idiotic politics where the two dumb, shallow, AIR HEADS brothers, one a player the other follows his shadow, kept speaking mostly bs and discussing MOSTLY THE opponents. Also this umpire is always bias, unfriendly, and way lazy to make proper over turn of poor miscalls…..plus SO MANY miscalls from the side were absolutely outrageous….both OF YOU players had to frequents use up YOUR challenge because OF YOUR RIGHT DECISION…. OF mistrusted those sideline poor calls…..
    So THIS SUCKS all in all. IT SUCKS BECAUSE IT ALL ADDS UP up to A rather unpleasant, unfair, AND PURPOSELY DISCOURAGING experience. IT SMELLS BAD, LOOKS AND APPEARS TO BE OLD FARTS POLITICS…. and it is all intentional to try and stop OUR PRECIOUS YOU, RAFA NADAL, BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD, NUMBER ONE IN THE WORLD, from surpassing princess r….and guess what….Rafa YOU WILL surpass that protected, shilled little irrelevant princess. I trust SWEETHEART THAT YOU RAFA NADAL always had to step beyond the bs politics….and so nothing new…..YOU ARE BLESSED AND YOU KEEP YOUR FOCUS ON MOVING BEAUTIFULLY FORWARD…..keep going sweetheart….we love you and know YOU ARE IT IN TENNIS WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) ALL YOUR SPONGERS KNOW AND SEE YOU ARE THE ULTIMATE BELOVED TENNIS PLAYER….GLOBAL IN YOUR APPEAL….AND YOU ATTRACT FANS AND FILLED STADIUMS….SO PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE KNOW THAT DUE TO LIVE INTERNET, ALL TENNIS FANS KNOW WHERE IT IS AT. YOUR MILLIONS AVID TENNIS FANS AND GLOBAL MEDIA SEE EXACTLY WHAT IS TAKING PLACE AND WHEN YOU ARE PLAYING WE ALL SALUTE YOU WITH ADMIRATION AND RESPECT BECAUSE YOU EARN IT….YOU SWEAT IT…..YOU SHOW UP……YOU ARE CLASSY BRILLIANT PLAYER……IN SHORT AS GOOD OLD NIKE BEAUTIFULLY PUTS IT…. YOU “JUST DO IT” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) FANS DESIRE IS TO OVER LOOK THE ON GOING BS AND SIMPLY ENJOY YOUR BEAUTIFUL FEISTY TENNIS….SO THAT IS WHAT WE DO YEAR IN AND YEAR OUT….AND THAT IS ULTIMATELY IN YOUR HONOR AND HARD WORK AND BRILLIANT DISPLAY OF TENNIS. KUDOS SWEETHEART AND ALWAYS TRUST THAT THE RIGHT THING ALWAYS HAPPENS….AND YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE YOUR BEAUTIFUL, HONORARY TITLES AND TROPHIES FULLY IN TACT AND WORLDLY ADMIRED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : )
    TAKE GREAT CARE OF YOUR KNEE AND YOUR PRECIOUS SELF AND ONLY ATTEND THE TOURS THAT FEEL RIGHT TO YOUR BODY….WE LOVE YOU DEAR RAFA NADAL AND SENDING LOTS OF HAPPINESS AND GOOD WISHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) HAVE A BEAUTIFUL WEEK! : ) XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

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  2. Nr.1 fan

    I would take the rest of the year off. At least until London. World no.1 is not the priority, Grand Slams is the important thing. In 2017 Rafa only played Brisbane, after a long time away from the tour, and still made the finals.

    A fit Nadal has a great chance of winning in Australia. He should forget about Beijing, Shanghai and Paris. Rafa should fix a court at his academy that has the exact same surface as the Australian Open and practice until Brisbane. Work on the serve for example. It is hard to work on your game when you are playing matches week in week out.

    I want to see Rafa have the chance to win grand slams for at least the next 2 years minimum. So I would rest until at least London in November.

    Like

    1. Alex

      I feel the same way as you. Now, I have no professional tennis standing, or insight into the Nadal camp. But my instinct says: yes, this. To take enough time off, by choice, to completely restore the knee, and go deeper into game improvement.

      For instance, I would love Rafa to have a proper chance to work on his serve. Because Rafa with a reliable and fearsome first serve would be a definite winner. And a quicker winner.

      As I said, I am probably ignorant of the reasons why Rafa has not developed a more penetrating first serve recently. There could be good reasons why not. But I suspect that playing regular tournaments in different time zones is one of the more prosaic blocks to progress.

      Who really cares about year end no.1? As long as he is among the top four seeds, he’ll keep the practical advantages (byes, etc). And he’ll probably get no.1 inadvertently if he’s winning whenever he plays!

      Like

    1. Alex

      I think I know the answer to your question; we don’t have enough time either 🙂

      “Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte.”
      “I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter.”

      — Blaise Pascal

      Like

      1. Fan love

        : ) : ) : ) : ) : )
        ACTUALLY, AS OBVIOUS, WE WRITE TO RAFA AND SO WE ALL WANT TO BE SURE HE GETS THE SUPPORT AND NURTURING AND LOVE HIS GLOBAL FANS HAVE FOR HIM AND HIS BRILLIANT TENNIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) WE MUST BE THERE FOR HIM AS HE ENCOUNTERS A LOT OF BS POLITICS….YES, VERY SORRY TO BE WRITING LONG MESSAGES….BUT I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT TO VOCALIZE WHAT WE SEE AND BRING IT UP FRONT FOR OTHER FANS TO READ…. AGAIN SORRY I AM WRITING OFTEN AND LONG….

        Like

  3. susie

    I think Rafa should take a long break. I knew he was in pain. He does not have to probe anything else to anyone. He is great. Rafa, cuidate mucho y estaras en nuestras oracion. Desde Mexico on carino.

    Like

  4. Alex

    For anyone who wants a little laugh… check out the 09/08/2018 episode of the podcast Beyond The Baseline, with “Comedian and Impressionist Josh Berry”. He does an impression of Rafa and co. They really made me laugh. He’s rude about them all, including Rafa. But where I’m from, piss-take is the sincerest form of flattery XD

    Like

    1. jas_uk

      I’ll check that out. Laughter is the best medicine. Have you seen Elliot Loney’s Rafa impressions? Instagram and Youtube. Very funny, but made with love, as all the best piss-takes are, just as you said.

      Like

      1. Alex

        Ha ha yeah I’ve seen Elliot Loney’s clips before. They were very entertaining. I love impressions. Josh Berry’s take is less pantomimey, and gets the vocal mannerisms better, I think. Hope it lifts your spirits 🙂

        Like

  5. Jeffrey Tuller

    very disturbing to ne to see Rafa lose the first set in a tie breaker . Rafa was not playing well enough to dictate play . Delpo’s backhand was very reliable and actually produced some important passing shots and winners . The second set was a disaster for Rafa . He was being outplayed and had the knee pain which seaked the loss.

    Like

  6. ashish patil

    I really felt that rafa could h win wimbeldon and us open thos year as he was playing so strong….he missed by whisker …but he will definitely win this title again i am pretty sure about this

    Like

  7. ashish patil

    Rafa played the 1 st set differently than he was playing in us open this year…i mean the intent was clear that rafa want to win the 1 st set in any case he was very aggressive….just the served didn’t clicked as it wss required for rafa….he played the 1 st set i think not calmly as he played previous matches i think rafa dont want to win in 4 sets just in 3 because he already handled so much pressure in previous matches that he don’t want hin in that position again….if rafa could have won 1 set we dont know….but its sad during drop shot in 1 st set it was evident that in one moment he felt the pain and it was serious in 2 nd set…..anyways rafa u played like a warrior in this tournament and played the positive game ..be this always still fighting till last ball hitting ur forehands i just love to watch u play so inspiring to watch u playing with that attitude….that aura….we miss u…..be healthy rest well and get soon on tennis courts fighting for grandslams……AO rafa is winning this

    Like

  8. jas_uk

    Thankfully didn’t have to wait too long for some news. Although the news isn’t good, it could be a lot worse. A journalist on Twitter (GuilleSalatino, from his profile pic he looks like one of the journos who was at the press conference yesterday) has written that Rafa has a small lesion in his patellar tendon and will be out of action for a month. It isn’t clear whether that’s a month of rest or not playing tournaments for a month. If true, Rafa will miss the Davis Cup, but he might still be able (my analysis only) to play Beijing. I’m taking this as legit, hopefully we’ll get some official confirmation soon.

    Like

  9. Isabel Lee

    Ridiculous questions-he is facing issues which all elite athletes must eventually endure. He is asked how disappointed he is!!! The list of injuries among players keeps growing. Scheduling review?
    Rafael Nadal-thank you for everything you have given to tennis-you deserve to make decisions that are best for yourself and your illustrious career. Personally, there is little interest in the final now. Good luck with your recovery. We are there
    for your return to court. Kudos for your honesty, your humility, and mind blowing fight💪👑❤️

    Like

  10. jas_uk

    Rafa is right to think of this as a good year, although it’s had its tough moments as well. He made the quarter final or better of every tournarment he has played this year so far, including all four slams which is a rare achievement for any player. One slam win, two semis and one quarter. That’s so impressive. Hopefully more yet to come.

    The explanation Rafa gives in this presser of his knee problem is very clear and I wish all the people that diss him by saying he’s never injured and it’s all gamesmanship etc would watch it. I think, even as fans who try to understand, we may underestimate the amount of discomfort and pain that Rafa puts up with as a normal thing, but still he gives us such magnificent tennis.

    Now comes the not knowing and the waiting. It’s hard as a fan, needing to know how he’s doing, checking the news to see if he will be playing or has to withdraw from tournaments, but it must be so difficult for Rafa himself, actually having to make those decisions. I hope it’s not too long before he can get back to doing what he loves – and what we love to see him do. Take care Rafa!

    Like

    1. Alex

      I agree that his progress through the slams this year has been impressively consistent.

      I am so puzzled by people who deny that Rafa has legitimate injury concerns. If people want to criticise him for moaning about them, fair enough; that is a matter of interpretation. But when there are actual medical reports, and no contradiction from the other players or officials on tour… How is “faking injury” something people can rationally suggest?

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      1. Holly lyons

        People who say he is faking injuries are nuts. He will be back, I’m sure of it. His passion and love for the game is far greater than any other players. His match against thiem was incredible! Rest up Rafa and know we are all thinking and praying for you. You are the best ever!!!

        Like

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