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. Spectators have been reduced to 1,000 for Roland Garros after tournament and health officials met to discuss the high number of infection rates. Paris is in a red zone and the maximum number of people allowed in an event such as the FO is limited to 1.000.

  2. Rafa’s R1 opponent will be 27-year-old Belarusan Egor Gerasimov, currently ranked 83 and whose highest ranking was 71. This will be their first meeting.

    GOOD LUCK RAFA

  3. I find it highly unusual for two 3-time Slam champions to face each other in a Grand Slam. I am referring to Stan Wawrinka and wild card Andy Murray who will face off in the first round at this FO. It’s unusual because both champions are working their way back up in the rankings after surgery. Andy and Stan are currently 111 and 17 respectively. Obviously both can’t win but I am wishing them both good luck.

    • I agree….Two big names …round 1…..
      Dominic Thiem plays Marin Cilic in the first round, who was a force at one time… Marin is now ranked 39 and Dominic beat him in the 3rd round of the US Open recently… I do wish Marin’s first round would have been easier than the draw he received….

      • Former world #3 Cilic has been struggling for the past year, past 2 years?, with knee problems, a shoulder problem and confidence problems. At #39 he’s lucky he didn’t get the current #1. As you probably know, clay is Cilic’s least preferred surface. If he’s healthy, he does have the potential to give Thiem a hard fight.

        And who knows how prepared Thiem is after his first Slam title. He said he was going back to Austria to really celebrate his win. I want to know if he celebrated in moderation and then started to get ready for RG.

  4. Djokovic has the easiest quarter and he’ll breeze through. The second quarter is the least predictable as there are quite a few in the mix. Thiem has the trickiest quarter with Wawrinka and Schwartzman in it. Rafa will get through his quarter ok, even with Zverev in it.

  5. So it’s Rafa versus… Thiem, Djovovic, players 10 years younger than him, the roof, the autumn, 2020, his knees, other body parts, Federer’s record, the number 13, lack of matchplay , being 34, and an almost empty stadium.

    It looks like an uphill battle, but I’m glad Rafa didn’t get Thiem’s draw.

  6. Thank you jas_uk for the information. One information is missing : in which hotel he is staying ? I was in Paris the whole day, probably not in the same area where he is. Hope that everything will be ok for the champ and that he is in good conditions.

    • Hi Magali, I have no inside information, I’m just a fan! Rafa posted a photo on his Instagram a few minutes ago, it’s probably the view from his hotel, as he can’t go anywhere else right now. If you know the city, you might be able to work out where it is, looks like it’s close to the Eiffel Tower. If you find him, please tell him best wishes from all of us here!

  7. Rafa will travel to Paris tomorrow. He will need to isolate until he receives the result of his first COVID test at the tournament, then he will be able to start practising. Vamos Rafa!!!

  8. Like or hate him, Novak Djokovic is the undisputed World No 1 and has become virtually unbeatable, virtually unplayable. He has edged out Rafa in number of Masters 1000s and could surely increase the tally to 37 in Paris later this year.

    RG is around the corner and has been a good hunting ground for Nadal over the years.

    I am not a pessimist, but as I predicted for this Rome tournament, I do not see Nadal faring well in France. The playing conditions and atmosphere has drastically changed caused mostly by the pandemic.

    Apart from the 13th being an oddly mysterious number, I will be giving 9 reasons why Nadal may not prevail at RG this time around. I will publish these 9 reasons on the eve of commencement of the FO on September 26, 2020. So, y’all watch out!!!

    However, to wet your appetite, I will just give 3 of 9 reasons now:

    The other half of the year from August to December has traditionally not be favourable to Nadal’s game. He hasn’t wins anything at this time of the year.
    The humidity is a big challenge for Nadal as well at this time of the year.
    Nadal draws his strength, his inspiration from the fans in large numbers. But only a few fans will be allowed.

    So that’s is – I will publish the remaining 6 reasons on September 26, 2020. I will also give 10 reasons why Novak will also not win the FO this time.

    So, do not by any means miss my post of September 26, 2020! It’s a collector’s item. A must read.

    But as always, we go point by point, game by game, match by match and day by day…….. cheers

  9. The essential is on the top of this page. A very nice photo. And the advantages of this site remains in the fans often making very interesting comments. I Don’t know where they get all these informations so quickly. I was wondering when Rafa will come to France and if there are still tickets to buy to see him play.
    I have read that he wanted to go back to Spain inbetween. Hope that he has changed this mind according to the sanitary situation over there and all the nice things to discover in Paris. Hope so. France is safer, Rafa.
    Come on.

  10. This was just a blip.Rafa has suffered but he will be back and very soon we shall see what he is capable of in next weeks RG.Go Rafa!You can do this.

  11. Rafa get ready for the French Open vamossssssssss champ you can do it your fans support all the way 👍🎾😘👍🎾😘👍🎾😘👍🎾😘👍🎾😘

  12. Believing one can change the molecular structure of polluted water with positive thoughts is extreme. Not just free-spirited. Zverev crying because his parents tested COVID positive is a sobering sight.
    More than wins and losses is at stake. “Brighter” minds participated in the Adria Tour and the euphoria afterwards?🤔

    • Isabel Lee, calling it “extreme” is too kind. I would call it unequivocally mumbo-jumbo, whacko, pseudoscience or just plain ignorance.

      • The Adria tour is in fact the best proof that things work fine the old way. A few people get the virus and recovered fine in a few weeks. Like with other influenza viruses. Keep believing the NWO propaganda.

  13. It is so hard to be perfect every single moment….not possible. May Swartsman take Rome!!! He has the same kind of valor as Rafa…hard working and humble! I hope for Rafa and know he will always give his best. To stay at the top for two tournaments in the same arena is great….12 is close to heaven. 13??? Be gentle on his great spirit…he is hard enough on himself.

  14. He had 2 brilliant matches ; awesome indeed. Herein his serve was not good enough. & his ground stroked DTL – was missing or few & far between. The bite on his FH was just not there. all in all not a great match but maybe 70 % of his usual level ; He will do v well in FO after 4-5 days of great practice. But remember Spain was very badly hit and emotionally too Rafa was sad at so many deaths in his home country. He is very humane. Cheers and see you next week Rafa.

    • I think the lockdown must have had a big effect too. It was bad enough here in the UK, and at least we were allowed out for a walk every day. In Spain, you couldn’t go out at all unless it was to buy food/medication or for medical reasons. Weeks of being cooped up at home would do anyone’s head in, especially someone who’s used to being on the go all the time. But he was excellent in his first two matches.

  15. We fans have been spoilt by 12 FO wins. Now add the cloud of the pandemic to that staggering stat. No one knows better than Rafael Nadal what is before him. Our undaunted support goes to the
    Nadal team-we clearly see the Warrior who fought until he won the US Open last year. The missing factor now? The fans. Fear not-we will drown out those 5,000 in attendance. Stay healthy, stay fierce. We are there. 👏👍💪🤛🎾🍀❤️

  16. Nadal is paying the price for his extreme Covid 19 fears. You can’t expect much unfortunately after the fear that has been spread by the Spanish government and government media. But the winners – unsurprisingly – so far are the brighter minds like Thiem and Djokovic who are more free spirits than Rafa. They are able to read the data and are as afraid now, as they were during the influenza wave of 2018.

    • You are right. Still strange that Rafa wasn’t afraid in 2018 when influenza took more lives in many countries than the c19 has done this year.

    • I think that the scheduling of USO and RG was as important, if not more important, than COVID concerns for Rafa’s decision. If he was hiding away because of fear of the virus, he woudn’t have played Rome either. Had Rafa gone deep at USO, it’s unlikely that he would have been competitive at RG, so it was probably a choice of one or the other. Given that nobody could have foreseen Djokovic’s exit, I think it would have been reasonable to assume his better chance would be at RG.

      Yes, that decision may have cost Rafa a title in Rome, but Thiem may well have won USO even if 2020 had been “normal”, his win wasn’t the result of playing endless exhos during the break, he was already knocking at the door in slams. Anyway, let’s see how the free spirits and the tactical thinker fare – it’s anybody’s guess right now.

  17. Hi All my team Rafa

    I think Rafa has set the bar so high especially on clay, then when he loses, we tend to run for the hills. I’d rather he lose to Diego who’s such a fantastic guy, than get a beatdown by Djokovic, which would be a blow for Rafa’s confidence.

    Coulda woulda shoulda.

    Anyhow I have no doubts about RG… Rafa will return very strong and hopefully make it 13. Which just sounds totally ridiculous!

  18. You are a pillow of society and as this person you bring values and respect you will get your game in good shape l am sure you have a kind heart vamos rafa

  19. Such stupid questions for Rafa! If he looses, it’s
    like the spanish inguisition. Rafa knows whats
    important to him. Vamos Rafa!

  20. Yeah, 5 set matches are completely different… he came out of situations like this many times in best of 5…more importantly even when he is not in great form…

    I think his serve was main culprit, he served very bad….can see his reaction after every 1st serve… He knew chances are less without the serve…

  21. One upside to this happening is that clearly Rafa hasn’t peaked as yet; he’ll build up the momentum across the 7 rounds of the French Open. Call it practice in anticipation of the big one. He’s coming off the stupor of the past and current state of affairs covering all of eight months from February. And he’ll be right later, you’ll see.

    And remember, there’s a huge difference between 3- and 5- sets.

    Another tennis great, Pete Sampras used tournaments prior to Wimbledon to get the body working. He didn’t care much whether he won or lost in those matches. But being the champion that Pete was, he simply switched it on for the big events. And we all know how Rafa does the same.

    But that’s where the similarity ends. It matters to Rafa. It didn’t to Pete.

    Let’s not cry over spilt milk. Let’s just do better.

  22. I admire his honesty and no excuses . Rafa is so intelligent and will figure it out . The humidity appeared to be intense. Onwards and upwards Rafa . You are a true champion person and player . Support always .☘️🇪🇸🌟

    • Jamais de circonstances atténuantes et pourtant Nadal ruisselait comme jamais , lourd , c’était très lourd Bravo tout de même à Diego qui a fait un super match ? J’attends avec impatience R G , Vamos Rafa , je sais que tu feras tout pour gagner

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