Rafa, this is the fourth time I’ve interviewed this summer. I promise, I’m not following you around. Thanks for stopping and talking to us. Are you aware that we think that’s the 43rd time you’ve made a quarter final in a Grand Slam. Are you aware of that?
No, no, no, not that I know. Yeah, good numbers.
It’s a good number, very good number. I know that you would have been very wary of Fabio. He’s come back from two sets to love before to beat you and he’s beaten you a couple of times. When you got up one set and he came back a little bit in the second, it must have been a little bit worrying.
Every match, you know, when you go on court, in a round of 16 against a great player like Fabio, you’ve got to worry every moment. But at the same time you can’t expect to go on court and to don’t have problems during the match, facing these kinds of players. So it’s normal that in the second set I don’t think I played a good game when he broke me. I was lucky to have the break back immediately and then I saved 0-40, that was the key. So building this couple of games, I was little bit lucky to be able to have a score 5-4 for me on serving. I think in the beginning of second set from the beginning, I think I was better than him, then from 3-2, especially to 4-4, he was much better than me and I was able to hold the score and that was probably one of the biggest parts.
Did you find the daytime conditions much different than the evening?
Yeah, well, today has been very humid, warm. But the conditions are quicker during the day. I honestly like a little bit more.
The end of the tournament, which we hope you continue to, is played more in the evening. I don’t know if you have a preference, but it seemed like the ball was a bit quicker today in the daytime.
For me it’s a little bit better playing during the day. Normally I like the ball flying a little bit faster on there. But I need to adapt to every single condition. That’s why I am here, to try to be ready for every condition, something that I think I have an experience. Just keep trying, happy to be in quarter finals again. That means a lot to me. A positive start.
OK. You’re aware of what part of the draw you’re in. You’re waiting for a match tonight. Obviously no preferences, I’m sure, but Berrettini and Tsitsipas, they’re very good players, aren’t they?
Of course, quarter finals of Grand Slam, you’re going to face a very tough opponent now. Stefanos, Matteo, both of them are young, strong, a lot of energy players, so going to be a big challenge. Happy to be through today. Has been an important victory for my confidence and for everything. Let’s try to be ready for day after tomorrow.
I’m sure you will be ready. For you now the tournament actually starts, Rafa.
Well, tournament started one week ago, but, yeah, I’m happy that the back is holding better.
Yeah, tomorrow going to be an important day of practice again. Hope to be able to do it well. Let’s see if I’m able to play a good match.
Well done. Congratulations.