Davis Cup 2019: Post-final presser

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

THE MODERATOR: Let’s start with English questions, please, first one.

Q. Congratulations to each of you, really tremendous team effort. You saw the reaction from the crowd this evening, they’re just over the moon. What are your feelings tonight, Rafa, Sergi — actually, everyone, if you can just weigh in on that, I’d really appreciate it. Thank you.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, it’s been amazing, the whole week of course. When you finally win the title after all the things that we went through I think this week. And playing at home is something difficult to describe, no?

It’s an amazing feeling and especially share this great moment with all the people that supported us during the whole week is just unforgettable, for all the fans, I think, no? And share this victory too with the rest of the team, our six. But honestly, there is a much bigger team behind-the-scenes, no.

So we can’t thank enough all of them. Everybody here in Madrid, the organization, everybody. Because it’s been an unforgettable week for all of us, without a doubt, no? So super happy. And, yeah, honestly, it’s one of this weeks that we’ll never forget.

Q. Roberto, can you talk about how difficult it was for you this week and to play tonight?
ROBERTO BAUTISTA AGUT: Well, it was very difficult, no? I was speaking with Sergi the situation, and I took the decision to go home on Thursday, Thursday morning, and I was back yesterday afternoon to support the team.

I was trying to, trying to support the team to get the win and to go through the final. And I was trying to do everything. Well, I had the opportunity to play today because all the team and all the players and the rest of the team did an unbelievable effort during the first day — since the first day, sorry.

And, well, it was an amazing feeling on the court today.

Q. Congratulations to all of you. My question is: This Davis Cup, like it’s a new format, it’s a compressed format and it’s just best-of-three sets and it’s only three matches. So how different is this triumph compared to the previous ones? Did you feel that this is one of the toughest ones? How would you compare this to the previous ones, especially since it came on an indoor hard surface?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: Well, of course, it’s a very different situation to be playing, you know, only three matches and best-of-three sets in all of them, it’s a completely different format. I think this format makes everything very even, this is my opinion. Because it used to be five points and now you have only three.

But it’s very exciting. So I think for the crowd and, in general, it couldn’t be more exciting. For us it’s more demanding probably because also if you’re playing in a week, it’s very demanding physically. We were going to bed very late every day, almost every day around 2:00, 3:00, sometimes 4:00 in the morning.

So it was very tough for us, we went through a lot of things this week. Obviously, most of the things has — they have nothing to do with this format, but some of them, yes, because we play every day and it’s been really tough to go over everything.

But I think we managed to control the situation and, you know, and we decided that we need to — we need in order to perform that well, I think especially Rafa playing singles and doubles almost every day, he’s been, I think, our MVP this week. Of course, I want to give credit to all of us, but he’s been amazing what he has done.

Q. Congratulations to all of you. I think the best and most emotional moment was when Rafa put up Bautista Agut on his arms. I would like to know from Bautista what you felt in that specific moment. And also if you dedicate your win to anyone. And then at the end, just that you know that Rafa hasn’t lost his serve since he played versus Medvedev when he was down 3-Love in the set in the second round of the ATP Finals. 90 games in a row without losing your serve.
ROBERTO BAUTISTA AGUT: Well, that’s why he’s our MVP, no? (Laughing.)

To be a part of this team, it’s very special. Also, we could learn a lot of good things from each other, and especially sharing a lot of moments in the court and outside the court with Rafa and Sergi and the rest of the team.

I have to say, it’s one of my best weeks in my tennis career. And, well, me and Rafa and all the team when we — when Rafa won the last point was amazing. It was an unbelievable feeling.

Q. Rafa, I’m wondering, what did you make of Denis’s performance against you? He’s still quite young and hasn’t been in that situation many times in his career. So I’m curious, what did you make of how he played against you?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, he didn’t, but he will be, a lot of times, my opinion.

Yeah, the Canadian team is amazing. They have — they are amazing today and I probably — they’re going to be one of the teams that’s going to be almost unbeatable in the next couple of years. They have a very strong team in more ways and in all surfaces.

Yes, so a lot of credit to all of them. Denis is special. He has a lot of things that you can’t practice, you need to — you have it or you don’t have it. And he have, he has it.

And I’m very happy because I played against one of the toughest opponents possible. And after a very, very long and tough week for me physically and mentally, too, no, because the energy that I tried to put in every single moment on the whole event have been all the things, all what I have inside me. And, honestly, it’s the perfect end of the season for all of us.

We know how difficult it is to win this trophy and we know how difficult it going to be keep winning in the future. And we knew that we need to convert this opportunity, no? And we fight very hard. And what Roberto did today is out of this planet, in my opinion so…

But, as I say the other day, our team is great. I don’t see a lot of teams that all five players take part on the competition. Everybody of us played a match at least, and that makes this competition even more special because everybody of our team participate in the victory.

Q. This is for you, Feliciano. Time and again we see Rafa do truly amazing things, in Paris, in New York this year, last night, again today. You know him very, very well. What makes him so special as a tennis player, but more importantly as a man?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: Him? (Smiling.) It’s a tough question, I guess. I mean, I think — I find it difficult to speak about a friend, you know.

It’s always difficult to speak about Rafa. To be honest, there is things that you cannot describe with words because the things that he was able to produce yesterday in the doubles, today against Denis, during his whole career, there’s things that only people like Rafa are able to do. So if you ask me about an opinion of that, I can tell you that he’s a superhero. But that’s probably not the answer you’re looking for.

And it’s tough to say, honestly. He is able to do things that none of us are. So what do you want me to say? I think he’s a great person. He’s a great human. And he’s an extraordinary tennis player and I’ve never seen something like this. So what do you want me to say?

I mean, it’s so tough for me to answer this question. But for sure there’s things that Rafa is able to do that nobody’s able to do it. This is for sure.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

12 comments

  1. The Match in Africa

    “DStv has confirmed that it will broadcast the upcoming exhibition tennis match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on SuperSport.

    The event, which has been dubbed “The Match in Africa”, will take place on 7 February 2020 in Cape Town.

    The match will be broadcast by SuperSport to both a local and an international audience.

    The event will also include a celebrity-professional doubles match pitting Federer and Microsoft founder Bill Gates against Nadal and comedian Trevor Noah.

    “This is a dream come true,” said Federer.

    “I will play in my mother’s home country against my toughest rival and friend Rafa Nadal. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime moment for my family and me.”

    “Roger and I have shared so many magical moments on and off the court,” said Nadal.

    “Travelling with him to Cape Town and playing for the benefit of children is something I am very excited about. It will be my first time in the region with Roger as a tour guide – that will be fun.”

    The professional-celebrity doubles match will be broadcast at 19:30, while the main event will take place at 20:30.”

    Like

  2. There is a nice short video of Rafa, Maria and the team at a reception in Madrid. It’s on @spaintenis.

    Also Rafa is opening another Academy in Kuwait in February. Will play an exhibition to insugurate.

    Like

  3. Rafa is just too brilliant too focused too passionate too humble too nice & above all a fantastic human being !!!

    Just a genius who gave us massive joy pleasure ecstasy & unbridled energy when watching him .
    Tx champ Rafa .
    Vamos Rafa

    Like

  4. Rafa has been nominated by fellow players for the 2019 Stefan Edberg award:

    Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award: The player who, throughout the year, conducted himself at the highest level of professionalism and integrity, who competed with his fellow players with the utmost spirit of fairness and who promoted the game through his off-court activities.

    Roger Federer
    Rafael Nadal
    Diego Schwartzman
    Dominic Thiem

    Fans’ Favorite and other category winners will be announced in December according to the ATP Tour.

    Like

  5. What Rafa said: Perfect end to the year. Enjoyed Feli’s description of Rafa. What can you say? Ordinary guy who does some very extraordinary things? I guess that’s how Rafa describes himself. Not superhuman, certainly not an “alien” or “beast”. But maybe the best description of Rafa came from the priest who performed his marriage: “He loves and is loved.”

    Enhorabuena, campeon! May your holidays be filled with love and happiness.

    Like

  6. Bravo Rafa;you were like allays exceptional Great……

    Congratulations to you and the team for Spain…..

    Gusdalupe Reusing
    MONTREAL,canada

    Sent from my iPhone

    Like

  7. Rafa congratulations for your team vamossssssssss well don champ 💪🇺🇸🎾❤️😘💪🇺🇸🎾❤️😘😘

    Like

  8. It seems even Rafael Nadal’s teammates are at a loss for words in describing World Number 1. Thank you, Rafa, for all you have given and accomplished for tennis. It is you who brought me to tennis, and it has been an amazing ride. We will never tire of seeing you fight on court—the heart of a champion. Off court, you are an example of grace and humility. Enjoy this win-a fantastic way to
    finish a tremendous year. You overcame such adversity and it is inspiring-congratulations👑👏👍💪🤛🏆🎾❤️

    Like

  9. Congratulations a million times over! But still, I saw all the Rafa matches on YouTube and of course they emphasize and show only the best points and the incredible points that demonstrate Rafa is really the GOAT. I hope it is worth it to him and I believe it is, but it’s also upsetting, frankly. Rafa’s efforts are extreme to the max. It’s great but painful to watch sometimes. May he be well!!!

    Like

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