Rafael Nadal speaks to the media after his 6-2, 6-2, 6-2, victory against Joao Sousa
Q. Some players have suggested the courts are playing a little slower this year. Has that been your experience?
RAFAEL NADAL: I have been answering this almost every day.
I say the same: for me not. I feel I’m here since 2003 playing almost every year. For me, tell me I have zero feelings, but that’s all been something that is not the chances like this, it’s not very high. Normally I have feelings.
Honestly, I don’t think the courts are playing slower today than in 2003 for when I came the first time. Personal feeling and personal opinion.
Another thing that I say the other day is that sometimes maybe what makes the game little bit slower are the balls.
I see normal feelings.
Q. I think you won today in under an hour and a half. Ash Barty was playing in a tough contest. Do you think there was an argument for her game being on the Centre Court today?
RAFAEL NADAL: Can you repeat.
Q. Ashleigh Barty was on the Court 2, she was world No. 1, knocked out. Your game was over in under an hour and a half. Do you think there was an argument that Barty’s game should have been on Centre Court?
RAFAEL NADAL: But can we predict the future or not?
Q. She’s the world No. 1.
RAFAEL NADAL: I am the world No. 2 and I won 18 Grand Slams (laughter).
Q. So no?
RAFAEL NADAL: My answer is not no or yes. My answer is they make a decision. You are putting Ashleigh Barty in front of me. For me, both decisions are good.
In the world of tennis today, honestly, my feeling is today I am little bit more than Ashleigh Barty, even if Ashleigh Barty is the first player of the world and she already won in the French Open and she is playing unbelievable good.
But we can’t create polemics every single day about decisions that they have to take. At the end of the day they have to make a decision.
A day like today, everybody is playing, of course Djokovic is not playing in the Centre Court. For me the first day I have been playing in the Court 1. I played in Suzanne Lenglen in Roland Garros, if I’m not wrong, in the second round.
Every day is a decision. We cannot create polemics about that. Court No. 2, okay, they have to make decisions. Today they probably decided that. They have another girls playing on the Centre Court now.
Q. Could you talk about each of your possible next opponents, Tennys Sandgren or Sam Querrey.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, they are both big, serving so well, both hitting strong from the baseline. Is a quarterfinals match, so… Just the best stay out there. I expect a very tough opponent.
Q. Querrey has done very well at Wimbledon in the past few years.
RAFAEL NADAL: I think he played the semifinals in 2017, close match to be in the final. 2017 was an amazing year for him.
When he plays well, he can be very, very dangerous in all surfaces. But, of course, in fast surfaces, when he serves with his aggressive game, maybe more.
Q. Serena Williams a few minutes ago said of you, Roger, and Novak that it’s a fantastic story and a privilege to play in the same era as the three of you. What message do you think the three of you guys send to the guys trying to get through at a major continuously winning the way the three of you are?
RAFAEL NADAL: Honestly, I think we are not sending a message to no one. We try to do our personal careers as good as possible. We think in our way, and that’s all.
Personally, I am not thinking about sending a message to no one or about the next generation, how they are coming or not. I know they’re good. I know there going to be a day that they going to be in front of us because they will play better than us or because we are leaving, we are not kids any more. That’s all.
That’s the thing, of course, is special what we achieved in the last 15 years. Something special, difficult to repeat I think, so many titles between three players. But sometimes these kind of things happens.
Q. Most of the top players are from Europe. There are two Grand Slams from Europe, Wimbledon and Roland Garros, which are slams where you play very well, you won the most. In your opinion, European tennis is more important than the rest of the world tennis?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. Tennis is a worldwide sport. Is a global sport. I really don’t think that’s like this.
Is true that during last period of time three players have achieved almost every single important tournament. They are from Europe. There is a lot of good players from the rest of the world.
Q. Yesterday you had a day off, you’ve come back today stronger than ever. Did you have a special routine yesterday to relax? What did you do yesterday?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I was just practicing in the morning. I did the same as every single day off, Sunday. Is true that we had a friend who cooked a very good paella at home. That’s all. Then in the afternoon I watched Jon Rahm victory on television. At night I watched the Matthew Wolff victory on the television. I watched the PGA and European Tour.
Q. Can you compare how you feel at this stage of Wimbledon with how you felt at other stages of Wimbledons when you got beyond the fourth round?
RAFAEL NADAL: The problem is when we compare, I can remember match, but I can’t remember feelings. Is one year ago. Difficult for me to remember how I felt.
I never liked the comparations [sic]. Every year is different. Doesn’t matter how I felt last year comparing to this year. Of course, I am in quarterfinals. Of course, I have been playing good matches. Today was another good one. That gives me confidence.
I know now starts the most difficult part of the tournament. Querrey, Sandgren going to be there in front of me. Going to be a big challenge. I hope to be ready for it.
Q. You said you spent yesterday watching golf and practicing. Do you ever switch off completely from sport?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sorry?
Q. Do you ever switch off from sport completely?
RAFAEL NADAL: If I don’t think about sport?
Q. Yes. Is there ever a moment in your life you’re not practicing, playing or watching sport?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am a big fan the sport in general things.
Q. So no then?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I watched some women, the World Cup, of football, Women’s World Cup. I watched some great matches. Yesterday was emotional end of the PGA. Am happy for Jon Rahm, the Spanish, that won the tournament. That’s why.
I follow series, films. I try to be informed, well informed, about the world reading the news every single day. But be away of sport, if it’s possible, no. I like sport (smiling).