Rafael Nadal speaks to the media after his 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 defeat against Andrey Rublev.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Can you talk us through the match, what you think made the difference, how you feel you played.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, have been an easy match to explain, no? When you face great player like him and you don’t play well, you should lose, no? That’s easy to analyze.
For some reason I had problems with my serve. I don’t know understand why because I was not having problems on the practices at all. But today was one of these days that my serve was a disaster.
Serving like this, the serve creates an impact on the rest of the game. When you serve with no confidence, you are just focus on try to serve, not think about how you want to play the ball. You just think about what you have to do with the serve to put the ball in. Then you have problems continue and prepare the point the right way, no?
Easy: he played well, he deserve more than me. I fighted, yeah. That’s the positive thing, I was there. But you can’t expect win against a player like him losing my serve I don’t know how many times, but too many. No chance like this. Six, seven times? It’s too much.
He played well. That’s true. He played great. He played aggressive, as I knew. Well done for him. Happy for him. He’s a great guy. Wish him all the best.
Q. This tournament is special to you. What was the biggest (indiscernible).
RAFAEL NADAL: Can you repeat that? I can’t understand you.
Q. What was your biggest takeaway from this tournament for you?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, of course, have been such an important tournament for me during all my tennis career. Always sad to lose here, of course, because it’s an important one for me. I missed an opportunity to start the clay court season in the right way.
But that’s it. I can’t complain. It’s not the moment to complain. When you are not able to do the things you had to do on the court, then is not the moment to complain after, no?
The only thing that I can do is go to Barcelona and keep practicing, keep practicing, try to fix the things that didn’t work well. I think my backhand today was not enough well. Lots of mistakes. I was not able to open the court with my backhand then.
Yeah, is small things that I know, and difficult to explain. A few things that makes a big, big difference on the result and on my game that I was not able to make it today.
Q. What chances do you think Casper Ruud has against Rublev tomorrow? Will you give him any advice as part of your academy? You know him quite well after he has had a breakthrough in the sport of tennis.
RAFAEL NADAL: Good chances. I mean, is a tough match for both of them. Casper is a great player. Especially in this surface, he’s one of the best players in the world. Will be a tough battle tomorrow.
I don’t see a clear favorite. I think both of them can win. Casper is playing great. Another great guy. I wish him all the very best. Yeah, will be nice that somebody from the academy, he’s playing there very often, stays in the final of Monte-Carlo and win it.
Yeah, let’s see. I mean, going to be a good match to watch. I don’t know if I going to watch it because tomorrow I have to fly. But let’s see. I have confidence that Casper can win, and of course Rublev is a little bit more favorite because of his ranking, but anything could happen.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports