Rafa: “I really believe I played a great two weeks of tennis” [VIDEO]

Rafael Nadal kicks off his speech by congratulating Djokovic and his team. He then thanks the tournament organisers.

Good evening, everybody. First thing I have to say is many congratulations to Novak and his team. It was an amazing level of tennis tonight and during the two weeks. Well done for everything.

I want to continue saying thank you very much to all the people who make possible the event. I have to continue saying many thanks to all the people in Tennis Australia who make possible this amazing tournament. There is no one tournament that is improving every single year like this one. The job you are doing is just fantastic. Thank you for making this tournament probably the best in the world.

It has been a very emotional two weeks, even if tonight wasn’t my best night. It’s been a very important two weeks. I have been going through tough moments in last two years – I had to retire in two events last year including here and that was painful.

Even if tonight was not my night, to me it’s so important to be where I am today, coming back from injury.

I really believe I played a great two weeks of tennis. That’s going to be a good inspiration for myself for what’s coming. Thanks to all my team.

I can only say one thing – I am going to keep working and keep fighting hard to become a better player. Every moment, keep fighting. I’ve been trying since long time.

Sometimes its been difficult for me in terms of injuries and sometimes in [opponents like tonight], but I will keep practising.

Sources: BBC, Australian Open

37 comments

  1. Rafa i commend you for reaching the finals in AO. That was quite the feat after having surgery a couple months before. I am so proud of you. You played great and i am excited to see you at Roland Garros. You have accomplished so much even though you haven’t played since us open. Eveytime i watch u it is so exciting and i hope you can overcome your medical problems and be the worlds #1 as it should be. You are loved by all. Keep up the good work and kép your chin up. YOU ARE THE GOAT AND THE KING OF CLAY!
    🏆🇪🇸👏👏👏👑

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  2. Rafa my love you play I taught this would be your moment but it did’nt work out as plan but I understand i’m not mad was before clam down and look but at a bigger picture your healthy and doing fine at that’s all that matter now so my champs take a timeout get some deserving rest you need that.

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  3. I have read all the comments. his nerves were not good you… all say, I do not agree. he has had agreat tournament, but by his lips I could see anger (pain ) perhaps not djok.but when Rafa overshot the court , djok started with the awful faced posing with his arms that would make me mad..the mans a fool . so Rafa let it go , take no notice of the mean comments they are not true fans .. bless you KEEP ON WITH MOYA XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  4. Overall when I consider all of the injuries Rafa has had since August which prevented him from being able to play until now, therefore not having opportunities for many points, he is still over 1800 points ahead of Sasha who is No. 3. And then the gap gets bigger as you go down the top ten and beyond. And he played the whole tournament and is healthy to continue the season. That’s important.

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  5. Read a depressing but mostly true article about this match in the telegraph UK – I think the daily telegraph.

    Feel very down! I really feel if Rafa and co do not see the underlying problem not much is going to change. And Federer is going to play the clay court season too.

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    • Yes,agreed with you…he will continue practicing, but nothing will change until he takes away his inferiority complex to Novak out of his mind….he has a mental block playin Djokovic and doesn’t matter how good he plays….he will loose at French even if he play Djokovic at final with that mindset unfortunately

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  6. Let me say some positive things:

    At least nadal still has a good record against the young guys. And this was his first tournament of the year but for havent sakes the next time rafa plays against nole i wanna see that rafa learned from this loss not playing the same old game because then he will get crushed again.

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  7. Alex, thank you for your comments. You have brought a measure of comfort to this breaking heart. Sorry if that sounds melodramatic, but that’s how I feel at the moment. I agree with all you have said, and will try and feel more positive.
    I can think of no other sport where the loser has to go on, within minutes of the loss, and have to make a speech in front of the world. Rafa’ s courage and dignity in his speech were outstanding.

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    • It doesn’t sound melodramatic at all. I have such bad feelings too. Things like this really hurt. For me personally, Wimbledon SF hurt more, and seemed to be more significant. But that’s just subjective. Similarly, let’s all bear in mind that we don’t know Rafa’s thoughts. Although I doubt he will find many positives from today, it might not be as damaging as we imagine. In my opinion, he wasn’t ready for this test, and he knew it. Therefore he didn’t believe. Therefore he was beaten before he walked on court. It was horrible to see, but it might be something he contextualises more easily than we realise.

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  8. Guys I wrote this below in a reply, but I’m going to repeat it up top: put this match in a different box to the rest of the two weeks. Nadal today was a different Nadal to those other days. Djokovic is a particular problem. We know and hate that. But rejoice in the fact that against the rest of the field, Rafa has brought new weapons to his game. He’s unlocked something crucial. He believes in his serve and first punch. It’s shortened his time on court and preserved his body. How great is it that he’s had a whole Aus Open without an injury? I am overjoyed at that.

    He hadn’t played competitively for months. I expected better from him today, but I didn’t expect magic. He needed to bring his whole new game, untested against his nemesis, on his favourite surface, in front of the whole world, after no warm up tournament or close Djoker matches, with the mental groove of all that previous default play, and heavy nerves. I think it was too much to ask. Doesn’t mean he won’t be taking a more measured, gradual approach at it from now on, though. Every tennis player needs practice. Rafa did *amazingly* to get where he did without it. Do try to see these two weeks as the huge positive they are. Just edit Novak out for now.

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    • Thanks Alex! Sorry Rafa couldn’t get there tonight, but so proud of him for his effort! And for finishing the tournament uninjured!!! Losing wasn’t my biggest fear, injury was. Also very proud for his attitude, summoning a big smile, and promising to ‘get better’.

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    • As I’ve said before, I’m amazed at how well Rafa has done with the new game. It was obvious that he had to change, stop grinding it out over 5 sets and wearing out his body, but I thought it was probably too late. I imagine for a tennis player it must be very difficult to alter things that have been ingrained for years, even if you’re willing to do so. My guess is that the situation reached crisis point after the USO and I am hugely grateful to Carlos Moya for encouraging Rafa to do what was needed.

      I agree that Rafa needs to get some more practice against players who can actually give him a close match but without the high stakes of today. Fortunately Rafa has finished the tournament healthy enough to have a chance to do that.

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    • Great to hear all that Alex! It’s a process for Rafa. He got to the final and got owned by Djoker.

      Rafa will improve. We now know that he’s willing to make changes to his game. He’ll have to build on the improvements. I believe Rafa will come back strong!

      This loss to Djoker is a bitter pill to swallow but it doesn’t hurt so much because at least Rafa is healthy and that’s most important going forward.

      Vamos champ! Today was not your day. You lost a battle today Rafa, but the war is just starting!

      Rafa, you’ll be my champion always!

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      • Yeah, Djoker and Rafa were both coming back from injuries but Djoker was in a totally different part of his upswing and much further into the process. Rafa did wonderfully well, but faced his biggest test too soon, and freaked out. He knows he played sh*t. He’ll probably be embarrassed for himself and upset for the fans / ticket holders, but the actual defeat can be accommodated within the larger injury recovery narrative.

        Samuel Beckett:

        “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

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  9. This was the first time that I did not watch Rafa’s match. It was on at 3:30 am, but I woke up for the others. We Rafans have to take comfort that Rafa completed the tournament without retiring. He made other improvements to his game, but Novak is just a poor match up for him. Rafa will have to keep trying. He did routinely defeat Roger until he made changes to his play. I said after the USO that Novak could have an incredible 2019, but I will never give up on Rafa.

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  10. I’m a tennis player Rafa some day are not your day ,and is Ok he is not a machine bad day ,Rafa we soport you all the way,😘❤️😘❤️

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  11. Also rafa if you play you opponent so many times you have to now that the serb serves a lot through the middle. I watch your courtposition you left the middle complety open just like you did at wimbeldon which give him the chance to hit a lot of aces

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  12. Indeed nice words rafa but the hard thing to realize is that there is simply no improvement in your game when it comes to playing novak. You havent learn anything from your previous losses against the serb.

    Just analyze this final with your coach by video. You will see the same pattern as we saw in previous losses:

    – you serve complety dissapear it looked a little bit like you were going back to your old serve

    – you returns were just aweful. No depth, very safe and in the middle of the court giving the serb enough time to take the initiative you did it much better against the other players.

    – you were just keeping attacking his backhand when you know from previous matches that that is just simple a losing strategy because that ishis strenght he can hit to your forehand putting you under pressure or hit it down the line.

    – There were no depth in your groundstrokes. Also no agression from the baseline. Maybe its because of your courtposition standing so much behind the baseline put you on defense against the serb

    As long rafa as you keep playing same old same old you will never be able to beat nole on hard court again.
    And now you have to be careful because the serb is on a mission and can beat you at the french open he has already done that one time.

    WAKE UP CHAMP DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT STOP BEING STUBBORN AND ADMIT YOU CAN NOT HURT THE SERB BY PLAYING YOUR OLD GAME. THE NEXT OPPORTUNITY FOR REVENGE WILL BE IN INDIAN WELLS AND MIAMI. IF YOU CAN BEAT HIM THERE YOU WILL BREAK HIS MOMENTUM BEFORE THE CLAYCOURT SEASON STARTS

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    • Mjus,Omg…your words are my words completely. Like you were reading my mind😆
      He has mental block when playing Novak and the final was…Rafa inferiority complex against Djokovic in action. I really don’t understand why nothing changes in that department. He will continue practicing, but dear Rafa,nothing will change until you don’t do drastic measures, working with psychologist maybe to get Novak out of your loosing mindset. He will beat you up even at French if you play him af final with your “going nowhere “mindset and strategy against him. WAKE UP PLEASE. IT’S URGENT

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  13. Rafa you play this 2 weeks amazing tonight it wasn’t your day move too the next ,we love ❤️ your fans all over the world,we are with you all the way .💪😘❤️😍🇺🇸😘❤️😘❤️😘❤️😘❤️🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

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  14. ………..
    I really believe I played a great two weeks of tennis. That’s going to be a good inspiration for myself for what’s coming.
    ………..

    Ooh exciting! What’s coming Rafa? I’m standing by you champ! Get better, keep fighting!

    I think Djoker just did to Rafa what Rafa did to Berdych:)

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  15. Nice speech but too polite. He could’ve said that Novak played well, better than him but that he played badly. More true – atleast for me.

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    • It wasn’t to be, but I didn’t expect it to be that bad. I thought at least if Novak was going to win, Rafa would be able to get to a tie-break or two. But too many nerves equals too many errors. 28 UEs and a single break point.. oh Rafa. Sigh. I also wonder if the extra day off made him lose some momentum, but no excuses.

      He did play two weeks of great tennis – until today, then sadly let himself down. When he did manage a good serve and next shot, it often worked, even against Novak. At least Rafa has survived in one piece physically. I would rather he lost than be injured. And I still think the changes to his game are a positive thing, going forwards.

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      • Totally agree, on both counts:

        The importance of the changes to his game cannot be overeoverestimated. They will save his tennis future, and bring new ease and confidenc on hard courts. Think about the extra points he will gain. Think about the decline in injury risk. The fact that he wasn’t able to bring them out at the first time of asking in the biggest stage against his nemesis, is completely understandable. He’ll have other less pressurised opportunities to try them out against Novak. Hopefully that will form a basis for future, more important, wins.

        And it’s so encouraging to see him leave an Australian Open uninjured.

        He got fairly beaten today. I accept that. It’s better than an injury. That was the thing I was most dreading. He and his team did so well to avoid one.

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      • So right Michele he is such great champion and human being and my heart is laso breaking and my eyes will not stop shedding tears but he will be back to win his 12th Roland Garos with the help of GODa

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