VIDEO: Rafael Nadal on playing with no crowds

Rafael Nadal spoke to John Fitzgerald on the court after his win over Cameron Norrie in the third round of the Australian Open.

Q: He pushed you pretty hard for part of that match. He fought hard and he was a great competitor, wasn’t he? It took an effort to get past that.
Rafa: Of course, all the matches are tough. He came here winning a couple of good matches. Yeah, I think I didn’t convert the opportunities that I had at the beginning of every set, so then the situation become a little bit more difficult. I had, I think, a lot of lapses with a couple of 0-30s, break points I didn’t convert it. Then, of course, you play against the best players of the world, so normal that you’re going to suffer a little bit than later. Happy now. Good feelings. Of course, I need to keep improving, but tomorrow another day to practice. So in the second week, that’s the main thing for me now.

Q: I’m not sure if you knew, but you’ve won now your last 16 matches against left-handers, so you must feel quite comfortable going against them.
Rafa: No, I didn’t know that before. Just is about adapt little bit. I don’t put a lot of attention on these things, just to change a bit, some kind of shots when you need to attack or defend. But for the rest – all the things I just tried to play my game. I think I played – I combine it, very good games with another couple of unforced errors that I need to fix it, but it’s normal. First matches in a lot of time. Now I already have three matches that I hope really will help me for what’s coming. I hope to be ready for Monday.

Q: OK. It is a bit different. It’s strange times. It doesn’t seem to affect your play, but it must affect the enjoyment a little bit.
Rafa: Of course. Feeling is completely different now. Nobody wants this, but as I repeated plenty of times, it’s not the moment to forget about the situation that we are facing, it’s a moment to be responsible and Australia like the country is one of the best examples in the world. So maximum respect for what they are doing. Hopefully the situation will improve and for the end of the tournament, crowd will be back.

Q: Let’s hope so, fingers crossed. It is what it is, I guess. You don’t normally want to know who your next opponent is, do you?
Rafa: I know. It’s Fognini. I saw.

Q: You know, OK. Alright. You’ve had a bit of a history with him.
Rafa: Yeah, we played a lot of times. He beat me a couple of times. He came here after the – an injury. He will be hungry to play well, very impressive victory today in straight sets. He will come to that match with plenty of confidence. Let’s see, I need to keep improving. Of course, you don’t expect an easy round at the round of 16, want to be a tough one. I need to be ready for it. I hope this can happen.

6 comments

  1. You have lots of your fans on euro sport watching you l am sure it’s not the same without the crowds but Australia as been able to let games go ahead and l know you want mind as long as the tennis is going ahead as planned all the best for your next match vamos rafa xxx

  2. Yesterday Rafa had some treatment, I’m guessing it might have been something new, and cancelled his scheduled practice in order to rest. He was asked in the press conference about his back. He said it was the first day there had been any improvement and he is now able to use his normal serve motion. Very good news, and let’s hope the improvement continues.

  3. A very good job and well done oncemore, ooh yes Lorna I’m crossing my fingers, don’t wanna hear the retirement of our boy, he is the greatest of them all, let’s wait and hear how his going to demolish the Italian boy infont of an empty stadium, vavamos RafaR come oooonooo

  4. Rafa did a good job in fending off Norrie who was a tricky opponent. Next an even trickier opponent in Fognini. Waiting to hear what Rafa has to say about his back.

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