Rafael Nadal says he knows how to ‘fix his problems’ ahead of Roland Garros

Photo by Riccardo Antimiani – Pool/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal speaks to the media after his 6-2, 7-5 defeat against Diego Schwartzman.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What happened out there? Seemed like an extremely tough uphill match from the start.

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, have been not my night at all. He played a great match, I think. And not me.

So when this happens, you have to lose. These things can happen. After such a long time without competing, I played good two matches, and now today I played a bad one against a good opponent.

That’s how it is. I just want to congratulate Diego, and I gonna keep working.

Q. Have you talked about your team about how you will now recover and prepare for the French Open in such a short time between two tournaments?

RAFAEL NADAL: No. Is a completely special year and unpredictable year. I don’t know. I probably go back home and then let’s see what’s going on.

I did my job here. I did a couple things well and other things bad.

And that’s it. At least I played three matches. I fighted until the end. But losing that many serves, you can’t expect to win a match, no? Something that I have to fix.

I know how to do it. I gonna keep working and keep practicing with the right attitude and try to give me a chance to be ready.

Q. You talked about I think on Monday about the lack of matches. Did that play a factor tonight? Do you still feel like you’re missing the amount of matches over these seven months that you hadn’t played?

RAFAEL NADAL: We can find excuses, but I didn’t play enough well. Then we have to think internally why, how I can fix it.

Now is not the moment to find excuses. Just the moment to accept that I didn’t play enough well. Have been a super heavy evening in terms of humidity. Conditions out there was much heavier than the previous days in terms of the bounces of the ball.

For me was difficult to push him back. He did a great job. And even if it’s beginning of the match, for me 2-1, Love-30, I played eight terrible points in a row.

So then from a possibility to be 3-1 with break up, I was 3-2 with break down. Everything changed later.

I tried hard in the second, but losing three times the serve in a row, then you need to find for a miracle, no? I did twice, but the third one, even if I was 15-30, was not possible.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

108 comments

  1. I found this on YouTube this morning:

    “Published on Sep 26, 2020
    World No. 1 Novak Djokovic spoke to media on Saturday ahead of his French Open opener against Mikael Ymer.

    Djokovic spoke out about ‘confusing’ COVID-19 measures at the Grand Slam, saying another test should be done after 24 hours to identify false positives and give players a chance to compete.“

    It looks like the same one I saw yesterday on Twitter, which I cannot find today but Twitter’s version has someone [not in view] telling Djokovic “thank you” for him to end the presser.

    Can anyone help with this? If the videos are real, why would the FO try to shut him up about testing?

  2. Thirteen days from today we would love to see our Champ lifting his thirteenth F.O. trophy.

    Wishing the very best to Rafa. Hoping the new blue Richard Mille watch with the tennis racquet face will prove to be a good luck charm.

    Allez Rafa,
    Vamos..

  3. I just wish Rafa all the best. Read Paulines comments on Moya’s concerns about Rafa – his mind. Can imagine. As it is Rafa’s Problem in the past years has been his mind especially against Djokovic and now ….. . All we can do is support.
    Heard commentators say something about how far back Rafa stood even for the second serve (don’t know against whom) and that they didn’t understand it.
    Very unfortunately seems that this year someone else could pick up the cup. Hope not Djokovic!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Rafa stay safe and well and all your fans are sending out the most positive vibes for and to you.

    🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀
    😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘

  4. I wish I can Watch Rafael playing but I have no heat in my flat. In fact, when the temperatures were hot outside, I only had warm or very hot water and now it has turned the other way round. They have no limits in making me live odd things. and making me pay for their own comfort.
    Plus, I have to go to the doctor and to try to settle the other problems. Hope that this time I will finally get the right treatment.
    Hope that Rafael will have better weather conditions than the yesterday players. At least, I know what they feel in terms of felling cold because of low temperatures.
    This year, public and their encouragements, their questions (I remember a lady asking Rafael if he wanted to marry her), their jokes, their interventions, are really missing.
    Nevertheless, I hope he can hear all of his fans telling him, that we love him, even if we are not around for the moment.

    A propos, if anyone knows a good skin doctor, please let me a message. Not possible to find one urgently. Thank you in advance.

    • Megali, Wishing you improved health. l also hope your heating is restored soon and that you are able to watch Rafa in comfort at some point – few pleasures in these difficult times.

      • Hello Lorna, thank you for your nice message. It warms my heart. I know that the other people living in my building have heating. Some people here are racist, odd and so Dangerous even with children. I have tried to get help to avoid tensions but found no one, until now.
        The odd thing is that they do not heat my flat for years but charge me for this service. Isn’t life beautiful ?
        I went to the site to see at what time Rafael is playing but I could see it. Hope he won’t be freezing. Some other players have put extra shirts and leggings and put jackets on when sitting between the games.

        I hope I can see him.

  5. Carlos Moya on Rafa’s preparation in the last 7 months(translation by Genny SS): “More than recovering his tennis or fitness, the most complicated has been recovering his head. His head wasn’t ready. It was a difficult situation for all the things that were happening in the world more than for not playing matches.“

    Illuminating and insightful statement by the coach.

    • Yes I agree with Pauline about Moya’s comments. I’ve been saying for months that Rafa has been deeply affected by the sadness of the pandemic around the world as well as in his own country. Its been obvious in his public statements. He is also aware of the dysfunction of government officials in Spain in their response to Covid-19. Perhaps he is a bit angry.

      More than almost any other tour player or athlete (along with LeBron James) Rafa is uniquely sensitive and thoughtful about the world. Its one of those things that make him special. Rafa is looked up to as a leader everywhere.

  6. Andy is wearing leggings and Stan is wearing a vest. There’s nowhere for the players to put their towels. Sound quality on Eurosport is terrible, doesn’t sound like a tennis match, not sure if they’ve put extra wind protection on the mics? You’re right, Lorna, it does look like a practice session.

    Rafa is scheduled to play the last match on Chatrier tomorrow. Vamos!

  7. Nice to see Mark Lopez on court today with Rafa at his practice along with Moya and Maymo. Thought players could only bring two team members with them so not sure in what capacity Mark is there. Will be interesting to see who is in Rafa’s box tomorrow.

  8. It’s so surreal watching Victoria Azarenka and Danka Kovinic step on to an empty Longlen court on a cold, dull, blustery and rainy day – not good for the players’ health. Looks like a practice session that both players don’t want to go through. Temperatures are not set to rise above 17°c during the fortnight. It’s going to be a hard slog and a tremendous challenge for all players in the tournament.
    Both players have walked off court after three games and i don’t blame them!

    • I haven’t seen any of RG yet, I’ve just watched the Hamburg final. It was cold there too. I’m thinking that having a match on any court that isn’t Chatrier is going to be a disadvantage this year, with no spectators and no roof. I expect there will be difficulties completing the schedule on time as well.

      • S. Tsitsipas was serving for the match 5 to 4, but A. Rublev won three games in a row and the trophy, impressive!👏

        I agreed, a disadvantage for sure and with rain delays, some players may have to finish their matches in two days……

  9. Both the men and women start their first round matches tomorrow. Some of the more popular male players on the schedule are Diego, Stan, and Andy.

  10. Serbian player Milojevic has talked about lapses in the so called bubble. The common areas of the hotel are for all the guests. Some are in the gym working out without masks, same case in the lobby and restaurant. The people delivering room service also don’t wear masks.

    The staff at R.G. don’t really have answers to security questions i.e. players can walk unescorted to the practice stadium but the staff only say it isn’t recommended. Also the cars transporting them are not always cleaned after each use.

    Milojevic as a lower ranked player would be at a different hotel than Rafa but I know that where Rafa is they also accepted reservations from regular guests.

    Hoping this player gets after his fellow countryman,the co-director of the PTPA, to ask for stricter enforcement or changes to this situation.

    Wanting everyone to be safe.

    • I agree Pauline. Many have complained that it’s not a “bubble.” I was surprised to learn that. All the talk of strict protocols may be hiding what we cannot see. I honestly feel the tournament officials are not being honest. That’s why I’ve been so worried for Rafa.

      They give the impression that the hotels are for the players and their guests but did mention that a company occupies some floors. There are elevators and escalators. Employees go home and then come back to work. Quite frankly that may be the reason the more expensive PCR test is being used. Tournament Director Forget going as far as saying if the USOPEN can do it so can we, as if it were some type of competition between tournaments to see whose “bubble” is better. Trying not to be negative.

      • Kudos to the Americans for how they handled the U.S. Open. So far unfortunately the French seem less efficient.. Hoping they will improve soon.

        BTW I am of French descent so no disrespect intended. I love Paris.

      • Pauline, I honestly thought the French would’ve done it better than we did; everything by the book, no exceptions, bubble, player safety, yada yada ya. Forget said they learned from us. HOGWASH!

        I hope they make player safety priority one.

  11. Fernando Verdasco has been denied entry to the FO because of testing positive. He said he had the virus in August. Since then, he was tested in Rome and Hamburg and three more times until in Paris where he tested positive. He feels he is the victim of his antibodies citing Popovic’s case and saying he had the perfect profile of a false positive.

      • Pauline, the other day I found out that when RG does do a retest for those testing positive, they use the same blood sample. They said retesting Pospisil’s coach would not change the first test results so no need for a redo.

        This new change may mean they will retest from a new blood sample?

        Am I the only one confused? LOL

  12. RG version of Stan and Thiem meetup for practice.

    “You don’t get to be the first anymore,” he says to the recent winner of the US Open. Why are you late for training? You find that normal after just one Grand Slam title… ”

    Stan joked but made his point that Thiem has to stay grounded.

  13. Rafa and Jannik Sinner were practicing on Chatrier today. No roof, sun shining brightly.

    Stan had to put Thiem in his place for being late to practice. “You cannot be first. After one Slam things are like this?” LOL

  14. I was expecting this day because I wanted to read the 9 reasons announced by a fan on his comment. I could not find it. Maybe later on ?
    I was also wondering how the fans will manage to have some autographs ? I know they are full of resources. Come on, share your tips.

    • Magali, I’ve seen a photo today of Rafa signing an autograph for someone outside his hotel. The hotel Margo mentioned is the right one. I would think that any fans attending RG will be kept well away from the players.

      • Hello jas_uk, I have not seen this photo. I wish I could come to Paris because I was expecting a visit who will probably not come and furthermore I am still suffering from cramps since yesterday as well as stomach disorders since the beginning of the months without finding a doctor to give me the appropriate treatment, even if I have seen a lot since the first Week of September.
        If I was not so tired and if I still had my car (only a bus per hour here), I would have go outside because températures there are less freezing than in my appartment, which is a very odd situation. In the past, it was about 25°C without us being able to control it but from some years now, I Don’t know what happens in my place. and who are the thieves who are organizing all these stuffs.
        And you, do you also have problems of températures in your place for years ? Thieves and all kind of problems of this sort ?

  15. There seems to be a correction regarding the 1,000 per day fan limit allowed at the French Open according to the NYTimes.

    “On Wednesday, Olivier Véran, France’s health minister, announced that large planned events in many parts of France, including the Paris region, would be limited to no more than 1,000 people beginning Saturday.

    “On Thursday after the draw, Jean Castex, the French prime minister, said in a French television appearance that the 1,000-person daily limit applied not only to fans but to all accredited personnel on site. That would include players and their team members, officials, security workers, reporters, broadcast technicians and others. According to the French Tennis Federation, the number of those accredited far exceeds the 1,000-person limit.

    “There is no reason we would not apply the same rules to everyone,” Castex said, when pressed on the issue.”

    Earlier on Thursday, Bernard Giudicelli, president of the French Tennis Federation, told French reporters that the tournament would go ahead and late Thursday night, L’Équipe, the French sports site, reported that Castex had misspoken and that the 1,000 limit only applied to spectators, not to those accredited, all of whom have been required to record a negative coronavirus test before accessing the site.”

    I can only surmise that Giudicelli thought the 1,000 applied to fans only.

      • It appears that way, for now anyway.

        FYI I read that Stan and Andy practiced on Philip Chartrier.

        I have also spotted conflicting reports between French language articles and English language articles on the same subject matter possibly explainable by the constantly changing guidelines due to Covid-19. I’ve had it already. I am simply waiting for Monday to throw my full support behind Rafa when he plays. Not happy he is in that environment but trust he will do everything to protect himself.

  16. 2020 has been a year like no other, everyone has been affected by Covid more or less. Although this year might be the toughest conditions for Rafa, I am just thrilled he has returned to play. I know he will fight for every point as he always does. All the best to Rafa for lucky 13🍀 Vamos Rafa ❤️

    The best to the tournament too! Thank you for all the hard work🙏

  17. David, in reply to yours @10:15PM – no link

    I was quoting from the tournament rules that any practicing would be done at the designated practice courts [plse see my earlier comment on that as I don’t recall the name of that tennis complex]. Players are relegated to their hotel rooms and hotel dining area, cannot be on tournament grounds except on THEIR match days, and the designated tennis court complex for any practice sessions. I have no idea what accommodations they may have made for Rafa or they just changed the rules but I can’t find anything on that front. Since they permitted Rafa to practice on tournament grounds Hey, I’ll take it.

    Qualifying matches finished today. I think the women in the main draw start on Sunday.

    Yes, I’ve been watching the weather reports also. YUK! Rafa practiced while it was 48 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Wishing the best for our champ. I hope he is simply downplaying his chances for a win. Or maybe he’s letting us know what he’s up against – Mother Nature.

    • It is a pity that the players are relegated in their hotel rooms and dining areas while there are such beautiful curiosities to discover in Paris. Anyway if Rafael feels it, you can tell him that “Mrs Magoo” would be very proud to guide him around, after she sees a real ophtalmologue (and please explain to him what I mean with “Mrs Magoo”, in case he does not know).

  18. Rafa said his first match will be on Monday, three more days.

    By all accounts, Rafa’s first week should be doable so I am hoping by week two he will have adjusted very well to the awful weather conditions to win this tournament. As I recall, Rafa has always been sensitive to any changes on the same court, or a brand of ball, and of course his rackets. He has adjusted before and can do it again: hopefully in time to reach THIRTEEN.

    BEST OF LUCK RAFA

  19. I thought I would find some new photos on Rafa in RG. I am wondering how the players will manage to play under these conditions. The weather has turned very quickly to be very cold, rainy, windy. Hope that everything is OK for our champ.

  20. Rafa, who was interviewed by L’Equipe, stated that the new Wilson balls could prove dangerous for players if used during the present weather conditions. These balls are not good for playing on clay. He said the balls become enlarged and very heavy and suggested that tournament officials take a serious look at this because it could become dangerous for players’ shoulders and elbows. The playing conditions are the most complicated I have ever known here.

    He went on further to say that the balls are very slow and the weather is cold. Admitting that conditions are the same for everyone he’s there to battle it out and will keep a positive attitude.

    Keeping a positive attitude is very important knowing that coming back on tour is never easy in the beginning and I accept that I won’t have the best feelings for the game. With a good attitude… I have already made comebacks after long periods without playing.

  21. According to Jose Morgado Rafa is unhappy with the Wilson balls RG is using this year. He practiced with them at home in the heat but still found them slow and heavy. They will only be worse under Paris conditions. Next week’s forecast is for chilly and rainy weather but Rafa will play under the new roof.

    Thiem agrees with his assessment. They both preferred the Babolat (their sponsor) balls used previously.
    Rafa true to form says in spite of this he is remaining positive in his attitude and will do his best.

  22. I wonder if Rafa will be able to get any practice with the roof closed, because it looks like that’s how PC is going to be for much of next week. The weather forecast is bleak.

    • Yes Lorna, a short clip of Rafa practicing under the roof was posted on Twitter about 2 hours ago by Quentin Moynet of L’Equipe.

      I was very happy to see that but was perplexed because the FO said no players would be allowed on the grounds of Roland Garros unless it was for a match. Period. Perhaps they let Rafa in very early in the morning or late at night. Whatever the case may be, glad to see him practicing there.

      • Replying to Margo, I read a short piece on ESPN noting that players would only be allowed on the grounds on match day. Perhaps that refers to the actual period of the tournament, i.e., Rafa is able to practice on the grounds during these few days prior to the start. My guess. Are there qualifying matches going on now?

        The weather forecast I pulled up calls for rain on Monday and also Friday and Saturday with high temps in the 60s all week.

        Overall conditions are obviously terrible but at least its the same for everyone.

        We had hoped all summer that the virus would be under control in France for the tournament. Now it appears that things are at a very dangerous point with more than 15,000 new cases today and 150 deaths in France. Its probably a bad idea for this tournament to be held this year.

        Nevertheless, I’m hoping Rafa can make his adjustments and win that first match and gain confidence as he goes like he always does.

  23. Thanks for these detsils, Margo. I suppose everyone has no choice but to go with that ruling. I’m sure Rafa will take a stadium with a crowd of 1000 and some atmosphere over the eerie silence of an empty one. I’m just thankful that the event is happening.

  24. Following is part of the article explaining why the number of fans allowed has been further reduced.

    “Ce mercredi 23 septembre 2020, le ministre de la Santé Olivier Véran a indiqué la nouvelle carte de France des différentes zones d’alerte. Comme Paris et les départements de la petite couronne se trouvent en “zone d’alerte renforcée”, la jauge d’accueil du public est automatiquement abaissée à 1000 personnes maximum pour tous les évènements maintenus. Le Premier ministre Jean Castex a confirmé la nouvelle au soir du jeudi 24 septembre 2020.”

    Yesterday it was my understanding that authorization for 5,000 fans was never formally approved by health ministers. It’s possible that tournament officials were hoping for a special dispensation which was not allowed.

    Here’s hoping for Rafa’s and other players’ safety.

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