Rome Masters: Pre-tournament interview

Rafael Nadal looks ahead to competing at the Foro Italico for the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, where he is an eight-time champion.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How do you feel without to win a tournament in this season? It didn’t happen from a long time ago, this time of the season.
RAFAEL NADAL: I feel good. Is true that I didn’t win a title, but is true that my feeling is, for example, maybe in 2015 I won Buenos Aires, I think, but the feeling is much better.

Sometimes winning a title or not doesn’t make a big difference, no? I didn’t win a title. It’s true I missed a couple of tournaments. At the same time is true that when I was playing, I was close to win it. I didn’t play enough good to win, but I didn’t play very bad. I am there.

I have been in three semifinals in a row. Well, four semifinals in a row, since Indian Wells. But that’s it. That’s tennis: sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

Is true that I lost a couple of matches that playing good probably I will win. But that’s how it works. If you don’t play enough good, then the opponent is good, too. The matches that I lost, I deserved to lose.

Only one, my opinion, I deserved to win that I lost. Against Kyrgios in Acapulco. The rest of the matches I lost I deserve to lose.

Here to try my best another week.

Q. Do you feel you’ve recovered physically from the virus of Madrid or are you maybe lacking energy?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I am good. I am good. I am feeling good. I’m happy to be back here in Rome. I take a day off yesterday. I had a good sleep tonight. Just excited to be back in this special place for me. Try to have a good practice this afternoon, and let’s see if I am ready to compete at the level that I want to do.

Q. Your Uncle Toni said he never wanted to get money from you, but for him the priority was to be honest with you in difficult and happy times. How did you react to this choice by Toni?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sorry, is not an answer that I want to talk about it now. Was not exactly like this. That’s it. That’s internal things that I don’t want to talk about it.

Doesn’t matter if you pay your coach or not. Is about the player. If the player is enough smart to let the coach do his job, or if you are not enough smart, doesn’t matter if you pay or you don’t pay. You will not make feel the coach freedom enough to tell you the true in every single moment.

In my opinion, with all the coaches that I have been, they always felt free to tell me if I am playing bad, if I am playing terrible, or if I am doing one negative thing or another good thing.

I don’t feel that no one coach that I had in my career have been afraid of telling me the true or be honest with myself for fear of his job. That’s not my case. I never fired no one.

Q. Novak will be trying to go for his fourth consecutive Grand Slam at Roland Garros. Sum up what it’s been like to have the great rivalry you have with him, what it’s like to face him across the net.
RAFAEL NADAL: We talked about this one thousand of times. It’s every year, every week the same.

We just have been together during the last 10 years fighting for the most important moments, with Novak, with Roger. Is great to be part of this good moment of our sport. He’s a great competitor. He did a lot of great things.

We’ll see. I hope to face him in Roland Garros. Will be great news.

Q. In the season just Roger, Novak and one other I think won two tournaments. It means anything at this moment?

Q. In the season, just three players won two tournaments until now. It means anything, or changing situation?
RAFAEL NADAL: What means is difficult win a tournament.

Q. It’s always difficult, but it means something is changing, the situation at the top level of players, or not?
RAFAEL NADAL: Roger is 37, I am almost 33, Novak is 32 already. That’s what all it means. Win the things we have been winning the last 14, 15 years, I think is something that didn’t happen very often in the history of our sport. That means is something difficult.

Q. Did you have a chance to look at the draw? What do you think about your draw here? Are you looking forward to maybe meet Roger in the semifinal?
RAFAEL NADAL: I have plenty work to do. I have Chardy or Gasquet in the first round. That’s my draw. The rest of the things for me doesn’t matter now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


  1. Rafa congrats on your engagement and hope you are feeling well look forward to seeing you play in Rome .

  2. Rafa i am looking forward to seeing you play tennis in Rome hope you are feeling well and are eager to play your fantastic style of tennis , good luck and go lift that trophy.

  3. I remember Novak, Roger and Andy saying that marriage was good for their tennis because it made them more calm and contented. I think it will do the same for Rafa and we will see much more confident tennis from him.

    • I’m not surprised he looks tired with all the mental and physical stress he’s been under and being asked the same old questions time and time again ☹. Afterall, Rafa is only human.
      Get yhat killer forehand into action Rafa! 💪😘

  4. Vamos Rafa,! You’re the GOAT no matter we love you Rafa n Real Madrid always Hala Madrid! This is where the worl starts Rafa n Zizou ! Good luck men !

    • For Pete’s sake, Mr. Whelan, everybody is entitled to their opinion, but that doesn’t mean you should go about mouthing untruths – sincerely, can you honestly compare Rafa’s record with Novak’s, sincerely?

      At the end of the day, at the end of their careers, these will be their legends:

      Rafa will go down in history as the greatest clay court tennis player that ever lived.

      Roger will go down in history as the greatest grass court tennis player that ever lived

      Novak Djokovic in all truth will go down in history as the Greatest Tennis Player of All times – the beloved G.O.A.T.

      That of course is my opinion which I’m entitled to, but at the same time, it is the Universal truth.

      The legend of Djokovic will be finally sealed when he wins the French Open next month,

      The Deep Thinker is all for the truth and nothing but the truth, Mr. Whelan.

      But as always, we’d see……cheers

      Rafa rocks (apologies to the great Mr. Margo)

      • I suggest you deep six your “thoughts” on a Djokovic fan site, if you can find one. They are out of place here, Snake Lady.

  5. This is where your winning season starts Rome then Paris! It’s normal no? YES Vamos Rafa!

  6. Ana Maria the biggest fan of Rafa 🎂🍾🥂🍷🍹🎉🎈🥂🍺🍻💕😍❤️🎈🎉🎂🍾🥂🍷🍸🍺🍷🍷🍷🥂 says:

    Rafa congratulations in your engagement good luck vamossssss champ love your fans 🎂🎉🎈🥂🍸🍸🍻🍷🍹🍺🎂🎈🎉👍🥂🍾🍸🍷🍹🍻🍺💕🎂🎈🎉🥂🍾🍸🎊🍷🍹🥂🥂🍾🍾❤️

  7. Are Rafa and Xisca getting marry next month? Agter Rolland Garros?

    It Will be great to see Them Happy and marked…..


    Sent from my iPad

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