Rafael Nadal speaks to the media following his 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(3) win over Nick Kyrgios
Q. Congratulations for your attitude on court once again today. How do you feel to win in four sets against a player like him?
RAFAEL NADAL: Of course I happy for the victory. Been a tough match obviously against a very tough opponent. Yeah, I think I played a great first set, I think. But the things started very well for me with that break, early break. Serving comfortable in all the service games, no? Until the last one that was 30-All, but I closed well.
In general terms, have been a very positive first set. Tough beginning of the second. But then I came back. I think I lost little bit the concentration after all this conversation with the 4-3, no?
Then I played a bad game. Against a player like him, you lose a second, playing on grass… I think I never had a breakpoint again during the whole match. So have been a tough third and fourth.
But very happy the way that I hold the pressure. Very happy the way I played the tiebreaks with the right determination.
Q. You’ve had some difficult luck at Wimbledon, some tough draws as well as injury problems. What does a win like this, in a situation like this, so many people talking about it, what does this do for your confidence and your general sense of relaxation here?
RAFAEL NADAL: Is a second-round match. Is not semifinals or final. Is just a second-round match. That’s all.
Is true that have been a tough draw, a tough opponent for a second round. Honestly, as I said other day, maybe the one that you want to face less in a second round like this, especially here.
Is an important victory for me. That give me the chance to keep going. Of course, victories like this help because I spent hours on court. I played under pressure. I had to do lot of things well. I was able to find a way to be through. Now I have another tough opponent in front, Tsonga. Every match is tough. My draw is tough one.
Is no time to relax at all. Is just time to enjoy today because have been a good victory. Win two tiebreaks against him is difficult. Have a small work tomorrow after a long match today. I don’t need to work much tomorrow, just small work, keep in shape.
Q. Nick said when he was in here the thing he respects most about you is how hard you try all the time on every single point. He has not been able to do that in his career so far. If he were able to do that, what do you think he would be able to achieve?
RAFAEL NADAL: If, if, if. Doesn’t exist. As I said plenty of times, he’s a very top, talented player. But there is a lot of important things that you need to do to become a champion, no? He has a lot of good ingredients.
But, of course, remain an important one sometimes, and that is the love, the passion for this game. Without really loving this game that much, is difficult to achieve important things.
Anyway, with his talent and with his serve, he can win a Grand Slam, of course. He has the talent to do it. Is true that things can be completely different for him if he wants to play all the matches the same way that he try today.
But if you see the first round against Jordan Thompson, he was able to win the match, but the intensity on court, the way that he played, the way that he was focused, was different than today.
He likes to play these kind of matches. But to win important things, you don’t need to play against the top players, you need to play against another players that they are so good, too. You need to win that matches.
Q. You say it’s only a second-round match. You celebrated as if it was something more. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you more angry during a match. A Spanish-speaking friend of mine lip read you and thought you said ‘pendejo’ and ‘hijo de puta’.
RAFAEL NADAL: Me?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sorry, false.
‘Pendejo’ is Argentinian. And ‘hijo de puta’, I never said at all. So check the videos again before saying that, okay?
Q. What made you the most angry? Was it the fact, he’s admitted in press he was trying to hit you, he didn’t apologize? Was that what really made you angry?
RAFAEL NADAL: Honestly, is not about what I feel or what I don’t feel. Honestly is about we are in a game that the history of this sport is about respect and is about playing fair during the whole time.
I don’t say Nick does this stuff to bother the opponent, but is true that sometimes he’s dangerous. When he hit the ball like this, is dangerous. Is not dangerous for me, is dangerous for a line referee, dangerous for a crowd. When you hit the ball like this, you don’t know where the ball goes.
I know he’s a big talented player, but I am a professional player, too. I know when you hit this kind of ball, the ball can go anywhere. This time the ball went in, almost hit me, no problem. I am professional, so I know how to avoid this.
But another one, the ball goes straight to the back. So have been dangerous moment for the line umpire. That ball hits an eye or something like this, is a problem. That’s it.
Is not about I am angry about him at all. It’s about I want to play a match of tennis. Sometimes is difficult.
Q. There’s been some articles written about the watch you’re currently wearing. A lot of other players don’t seem to wear one when they’re on the court.
RAFAEL NADAL: Sorry, can you repeat that?
Q. No other players wear a watch while they’re playing. Why do you choose to wear one? Is it because you’re getting paid for it?
RAFAEL NADAL: That’s so light, I think. Is just 18 grams.
Of course is a sponsor. At the same time doesn’t matter how much money they pay me. If the watch is not working the perfect way for me to compete at the highest level, I will never wear a watch.
So I am wearing the watch because they created a special piece that adapts very well to my wrist. We worked together for such a long period of time before I started playing with the watch years ago.
I am super happy to have this watch on my wrist, not only because is very comfortable for me, but because I have a big personal relationship with the boss of Richard Mille, that is Richard Mille. I am very honored to wear his watches.
Q. Some young players were very emotional after losing early. Some they cry in front of the press. Do you feel that you’ve learned how to deal with a loss over the years with your experience? How do you deal with loss?
RAFAEL NADAL: I always accepted well the loses, no? Honestly, I never came in front of you and cry. Is just part of the game. When you go on court, you can win, you can lose. You need to accept both things. Maybe you are not able to accept that when you go on court you can win. But you can lose, too. That’s this sport.
There is only one winner every single week. The rest of the players lose. Every time that you start the tournament, you know that is difficult that you don’t lose that week because only one not going to lose.
Knowing that you fight for the victory, you give your best. At the end of the day, of course, win is important and special. But personally what I feel is when you try your best, when you do the right things, you come back home knowing that you did as much as you could, you are in peace with yourself.