Wimbledon 2019: Rafael Nadal’s pre-tournament presser

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal speaks to the media ahead of Day 1 of The Championships

Q. How are you? There were rumors you may have fallen over in practice?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am good, yeah. Nothing.

Q. Did you fall over?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes, I fall over, but… In grass, sometimes is slippery. Nothing happens.

Q. What do you think it means for the sport to have you, Novak, and Roger all playing at the same time and playing so well?
RAFAEL NADAL: We have been talking about that enough, I think, no? Have been lot of talks about this. This thing, of course, we have been playing so well for such a long time. That’s something, yeah, unique in this sport because, of course, never happened in the past that three players more or less during the same timing achieved that much.

But here we are.

Q. You said in Hurlingham that you didn’t feel ready to play points, kind of match ready. You lost both your earlier matches. You have a tough draw here. How are you going to be ready to kickstart straightaway when you have guys like Kyrgios, Shapovalov, Cilic? Do you feel ready to take on those opponents?

RAFAEL NADAL: I feel ready to practice this afternoon and to practice tomorrow. That’s my goal. It’s day by day, step by step. I have been improving every single day since I arrived here. I hope to be ready, being honest. I think I see the normal evolution.

Is normal that after when I played in Hurlingham I didn’t play bad, just played against players that have been playing on grass for many more days, competitive start.

That’s it. I played against two good players. I play against Sugita the first round. That’s the main thing for me, the main preparation for me. Then we can talk about that if I am able to win that match.

Q. Quite a bit of talk the last few days about the seeding situation. Some of it has been about Wimbledon’s formula for the seedings, some critics saying with the grass courts changing the way they have in the past 10 years, maybe the formula used to calibrate grass court results is not so useful any more. Can we have your thoughts on that?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, I respect all the situations. The stuff is about ATP. ATP we give two thousand points to this event. We let them to do whatever they want. That’s something that I don’t understand, because I can’t create an impact, not by myself.

I really come here to play tennis. For me the goal is the same always, it doesn’t matter if I’m second or third. Of course, can create an impact in the rankings at the end of the year, for example for Sascha, for Dominic.

It is not only about grass. The season is not only on grass. All the players work so hard to be where they are, then arrive here, they see a possibility to be in a tougher draw because of that.

Talking about if is fair or not, I respect the Wimbledon rules. Another thing is if I believe that is fair or not, that’s another story. I really personally believe is not. But I really respect the tournament so much. I really respect the history of this event. I really understand that they see the sport from another perspective. They want to do it by their own rules.

Another thing is we are an organization like ATP that, I repeat, we give two thousand points to this event. We supposed to have something to say about this Wimbledon rules when we are giving them the maximum points possible in one event.

Q. When you’re trying to win titles like this, the Grand Slams, how important is it for you to get through the first rounds, the first week, with as little damage physically as possible in terms of trying to get through fast, not spend too much time on the court?
RAFAEL NADAL: There is no two equal situations. I won 2010 I think here after a very, very tough first couple of rounds. Sometimes that helps, especially in this event, that you arrive here without playing much on this surface.

But the only thing that really matters is win the matches, no? Doesn’t matter how, what is the score. So just I really believe that the main thing is win at the beginning, of course, especially in my situation. Every hour and every match I am able to win helps a lot because I am playing well, I am coming with good confidence after playing a good end of the clay court season.

Is a different situation, different surface, so I need to spend time on court. I’m improving every day. But, of course, in terms of competitive match, on Tuesday going to be my first match. Going to be a tough one, a tough start against a player who already played three matches here. So is a challenge.

Q. Nick Kyrgios could be your opponent in the second round. What is your relationship with him? He’s had things to say about you, the clash in Acapulco. What is your understanding or friendship relationship with Nick?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know Nick, being honest. I don’t want to talk about Nick much because I am not playing against Nick. I am playing against Sugita. Every match is tough. If I am able to win my match and if Nick is able to win his match, you will have the time to ask me about the next match, no?

That’s all.

Q. Can I ask you about Andy’s comeback. He’s obviously just playing doubles. Have you seen him? Are you happy to see him back? Do you think one day you might play him in singles in the future if he continues his recovery?
RAFAEL NADAL: It is not about I am happy to see him back. Everybody should be happy to see him back. He is one of the most important players of our sport in the last 10 years. Is good news when we have the top players back. Most important thing, happy for him personally that he’s able to keep playing.

Hopefully he will have the chance to keep playing on singles. But anyway, he’s able to enjoy again tennis without much pain, as I heard. That’s the main thing and the most important thing.

I know how tough is being injured, when you want to recover and you don’t find the solution… Happy to see him on court again and enjoying.

I was practicing next to him. He looks very happy practicing. So happy for that.

Q. Now that Wimbledon is one week later, you are now spending one week in Mallorca practicing on grass courts to Wimbledon specifications. How does that help your preparation for Wimbledon?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, probably if I will not have this court on Mallorca, maybe I will do another story. But having a girl’s tournament in Mallorca, I have the chance to practice there. That’s positive news for me because I can keep practicing on grass and being at home.

Sometimes that is important, too. Close to the family, close to the people that you love. Sometimes it’s tough to be away such a long time.

Source: Wimbledon

27 comments

  1. Twenty-year old de Minaur has eliminated Checchinato [26YO]. I have to say I am surprised. I can’t recall who recently said “watch out for Checcinato.” I guess we don’t have to watch out anymore in this tourney.

  2. Gilles Muller is now a commentator for Tennis TV. When talking about that famous 2017 match he praised the Nadal team and family to the highest. He said they all came up to him afterward to offer their congratulations. A very classy group indeed.

    • Class act? ABSOLUTELY. And I wouldn’t expect anything less. Obviously they all have a good “education”.

      Which brings to mind the recent verbal onslaught from Kyrgios when he responded to uncle Toni’s comment about Nick not having a good “education”. Nick let it be known that he has a very good education, he finished high school. I guess to whomever he compared himself perhaps he does have a good education.

      Not to say you need a formula education to be educated. We do have our autodidacts.

      Little does Kyrgios know that in Spanish “education” means upbringing; manners, values.” Depending on context it can also mean a formal education.

      A few years ago I noted the different usages of the word here on RNF. Rafa had used the word in an interview so I explained what he meant by “education” because some comments here just didn’t make any sense. Of course some “know it alls” responded that it wasn’t so. Oh well.

      RAFAMAZING ROCKS

  3. Tsitsipas and Alex Zverev are out in the first round. As usual we can expect the unexpected at this tournament.
    Isabel Lee: Agree completely that Rafa is such a supreme competitor that he would win wherever they would put him.

    • RR…. Who would have thought….

      And….. Coco Gauff beats Venus Williams (wow!) and Naomi Osaka loses in straight sets!!

      Upsets!! Upsets!! Can’t wait for tomorrow!! 🙂

    • Crap ALMIGHTY!!! I thought Tsitsipas would go further. At least Wawrinka is on to his second match.

      RAFA ROCKS

  4. Whichever court, whoever the opponent, Rafael is ready. A professional. Impressed with the assertive attitude he has with the journalists, not allowing them to “interpret” his words or actions. We saw Rafael battle and win through a clay windstorm-we wish him nothing but the best at “traditional”
    Wimby👏💪👍🤛❤️

  5. They have no respect for anyone as you can see from Stan’s court assignment today. He is higher ranked than Edmund AND a three-time Slam champ.

    Rafa is my guy so I’m just gonna keep on cheering him and sending him lots of good wishes.

    RAFAMAZING ROCKS

  6. Don’t believe Harris will be up to the task of beating Fed but we can always dream. If the ogres running Wimby are trying to turn everyone off other than RF fans they’re doing a bang up job.

    • RR, Oops. My 6:06pm comment was in response to you but went out as a general comment.

      In any event, don’t let Wimbledon’s shenanigans spoil your fun and hopes for Rafa. I flipped them the bird for Rafa 😂😂😂🏆🏆👍🤗

  7. Rafa’s match tomorrow is scheduled on Court 1 not before 4pm UK time. Fed of course plays Centre Court. More disrespect.

      • That would be wonderful Marileena!
        I am not surprised they scheduled Rafa on Court 1.
        Vamos Rafa💪❤️

  8. Everyone has been up in arms over Rafa’s draw… News flash…ALL of those players when they saw they were in Rafa’s draw were like ” Uh oh… I have to play Rafa..”
    He just destroyed the competition 4 weeks ago in Paris, taking out each every player in his path…
    Poor Dominic Thiem… using expressions in Paris like “Rafa stepped on me” . which is the American equivalent of Rafa “crushed” me and crush him he did… as he did everyone … You think Dominick is happy he’s facing Rafa again? Need I remind everyone that Rafa destroyed Roger Federer sending Roger home knowing that very fact…. You think Roger is happy that he needs to get through Rafa to get into the finals? Cool, calm Roger knows what it’s like to play Rafa…. He’s not thrilled…

    All of Rafa’s opponents know that Rafa made it to the semis last year. on this surface!!! Could have gone either way…. No one is happy to face him! But first, they have to win to get to him… There will be upsets along the way… Maybe Nick will explode during his first match out of the gate… Huge possibility….

    Rafa says he is ready…. We’re ready, to stand behind him and root him on!

    Watch out everyone…. Here comes Rafa!!!

    VAMOS RAFA!!!

  9. Both Gilles Muller and Djokovic have won two matches each against Rafa. Muller retired from the Tour last year.

    What I noted is that Muller beat Rafa by two points in a fifth-set decider in their 2017 match [4R].

    Rafa lost to Djokovic last year [SF] by two points, also in a fifth-set decider.

    Rafa said he is playing well and that’s great news. That along with confidence and a strong mentality should bring him across the finish line. He just won his 12th: that alone should propel him to the front of the line to leave everyone else in the dust. It won’t be easy but if anyone can do it, Rafa is the one.

    BEST OF LUCK RAFAMAZING

    • Yes, I did not know that Muller went out last year after US Open , one old enemy threat less to Nadal in Wimbledon ☺ Rosol went out in the qualifications , another one less ☺ I saw Nadal beat Rosol in Paris Bercy 2015 😀 a revenge. The first time I saw him play, so good to see him win a match. 😅 Fiona in Paris

      • I only found out because I made a list of all Rafa’s Wimbys and realized that he lost to two guys by a mere 2 points in a decider. So I looked up Muller and was glad he retired. Now to get Djokovic to retire. LOL

        Rafa has to keep his nervousness in check. Or his concentration. I am just speculating. I want him to have another AMAZING moment.

  10. Rafa is fine I hope after the fall. Please Champion stay healthy through this Slam. BUENA SUERTE RAFA xx

  11. No, I’m no mathematical genius. Can anyone explain how K. Edmund [R30] wound up on Center Court today but Stan Wawrinka [R19], a three-time Slam champion, is relegated to Court 2? Oh my gosh!

  12. I watched Rafa play against Novak again in the semi final which was one of the best matches EVER the only thing Rafa needs to change is getting free [POINTS on a lot aces otherwise he out played Novak all over the place, plus Rafa has an eagle eye and most of the time he has two eagle eyes GO FOR IT RAFA AND GOOD LUCK

  13. I don’t know about “…ahead of day 1”. Isn’t this Saturday’s [Friday’s?] interview?

    I don’t remind repeating GOOD LUCK RAFA.

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