VIDEO: Rafael Nadal Speaks Out After Cincinnati Loss

Photo by Frey/TPN/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal talks to the media after losing in three sets to Borna Coric.

THE MODERATOR: Tough luck, Rafa. This was your first match since Wimbledon. How did you feel out there in general?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, obviously I didn’t play my best match, no? Something that can happen. Yeah, historically this tournament have been difficult for me. So coming back from, yeah, a tough period of time, something that easy to accept and easy to say congrats to Borna that he played better.

That’s it. Just well done to him.


Q. What did you find encouraging and what did you find discouraging about your game?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I mean, difficult to take a lot of positive things, but, I mean, I need to improve. I need to practice. I need to return better.

I need days, and that’s the true, no? Obviously I had my chances the beginning. In the tiebreak I had two important chances with two set points that I played terrible with two more-or-less easy shots.

And then, yeah, bad game in the third. That’s it. Tennis, under these circumstances, against a player who served well, I had my chance at the beginning in the third with Love-30 and I played a couple of, yeah, terrible points.

So, yeah, of course it’s better because when you are coming back from a period of time outside, if you are able to win the first match, then things gets better, no? But was not the case today. One day will happen.

Obviously a lot of times coming back from injuries I did positive things, but in this particular case, it’s obvious that I was not ready enough to win the match today, and, as I said, credit to Borna that he played brave. He served, I think, well.

I mean, easy to say that if you are not able to play a little bit more aggressive that the circumstances and to take a little bit advantage and opportunities, then these kind of things happens.

You lose. You move forward. I know the way. The main thing for me is stay healthy. Have been difficult injury to manage, to be honest. The last month and a half haven’t been easy, because having a tear on the abdominal, you don’t know when is 100% over the thing, so that affects a little bit in terms of not sure if you are able to try your best in every serve.

So I say before the tournament, no, I need to take step by step, and happened, and that’s it. Well done for him.

Q. How do you feel physically? You obviously served a lot today. How did that feel?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, in some ways difficult to analyze, no? Because when you have scar, then the line is very thin. You know, when is because the scar don’t have enough flexibility, then you feel it. But you don’t know if you feel it because of that or if because something are not going well.

So you need to take care in every single moment. So I probably gonna do some test after here to confirm that everything stays the way that we want. But that’s it, no? I am positive. I was able to have a week of practice here, trying my best in every single day, practicing days better, practicing much better than the way that I played today, honestly.

So, yeah, nothing happens. Of course it’s better to win, but at the same time, of course, remain one week and a half for me New York. I say before the tournament I am sad to not play well here, this tournament is enough important, but in that moment, I have to move forward mentally, no? In terms of practice, I need to start to be in a Grand Slam mode, practicing the way that I need to practice to be competitive since the beginning there, and I hope I will be able to make that happen.

Q. This has been a tough tournament results-wise in the past. New York has been very good for you recently. What do you think it is about New York that brings out the best in you? Are you looking forward to this feeling?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, difficult to talk, no? But it’s true that this tournament haven’t been the easiest for me during all my tennis career, even if I was able to win one year. But was the year that I was achieving almost everything.

I make a couple more semifinals, I think, or one. Is true, I don’t know, for some weird reason this tournament, I never had the best feelings, but in the other hand, I felt very welcome here all the time.

I can’t thank enough the organization for making me the things very easy. I try my best. They know and I’m sorry that I’m out in the first round, no, but that’s tennis, that’s the sport. The other opponent plays well, and he played better than me today.

In terms of New York, I don’t know. It’s a Grand Slam. It’s a different kind of tournament. But at the same time it’s tennis, no? If I am not playing well, probably I will follow the same route than here.

But I know the way that I have to do to gain a different condition. Is true I’m going to have already two weeks and a half on the tour practicing with the guys, something that I was not able to make happen before here first set. I was only able to play two sets before this match in the last 40 days.

So, yeah, that’s the thing, no? And that’s it. No, no, just I played against a tough opponent that he already beat me in the past, so he know how to do it. He’s brave. He’s a fighter. He went through some tough moments with injuries too, so happy to see him back.

I need to move forward and just start to think about the energy that the crowd give me in New York. I know it’s a very special place for me, and I enjoy it, unforgettable moments there, and I gonna try my very best every single day to be ready for that.

Q. US Open is only Grand Slam that has different balls for men and women. Some women are not particularly happy with that. They wish they were playing with the men’s ball. Just wondered if you ever actually practiced with the women’s ball or…

RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I don’t have any idea of that. I see that the women’s ball have the number in red. Our ones have the number in black.

But of course I didn’t try, because I practice with the ball that I played. But I don’t think is an important topic at all (smiling).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


  1. Borna Coric, the unseeded tennis player on Cinci Open, is playing against Tsitsipas on the final match.
    Imagine Coric who was 152 at the start of the Cinci Open, winning against all seeded players on the bottom half of draw.
    This proves, Nadal, who is still recovering from an abdominal injury, is really a strong player. He was the only player in the group who has beaten Coric at least a set.
    Vamos Rafa! More power goes to you from me for a successful US Open 2022.

    • That’s right … it was just bad luck that Rafa got him on his first match.Coric was one of the next-gen’s along with Theim Tsitsipas & Zverev that I thought would break through Rafa Roger & Novak. I don’t know what happened to him or Theim but Coric is back! I loved how the Cincinnati fans gave Rafa a standing ovation & a loud thunderous welcome! Rafa is very beloved ! Win or lose it doesn’t matter fans are just thrilled to see him!

  2. Let me get this out of the way first. I cannot believe the women are complaining about having different balls than the men. Rafa is spot on – it’s not worth discussing. If the women want to be treated equally, then they need to play 5 sets in a major. Men and Women are simply DIFFERENT. Get that and move on.

    As far as Rafa goes, I’m just so thankful he’s back on the court. No one is as honest as him regarding how he plays. He played a couple bad games and lost. As he said, “That’s tennis.”

    I am so thankful to have been alive in the time when the greatest tennis player of all time is alive and playing. We never know when Rafa will play his last match so I treasure every minute he is on the court. I will be praying for him to have a great run and stay healthy at the US Open. Thank you for all you give to us and to the game, Rafa. Vamos!

      • Wow, Borna Coric made it all the way to the cincy finals beating everyone in straight sets along the way after barely beating Rafa in 3 sets. If Rafa had gotten a different draw, I am sure Rafa would have played himself into the tourney. And would not have lost to Coric. I am confident that Rafa will have a great chance to win the US Open as long as Rafa is healthy!

      • Agree, I am sure Rafa is still following the event and realizing that he could have played a lot better and dispatched of Coric in straight sets. So close! Rafa had some rust to shake off in his first match back from a nagging injury. Rafa really should have been in the Cincy final going for the title. Oh well, onward and upward at the US Open for Rafa! No worries, Rafa. Can’t wait to see Rafa lift the US Open trophy again and regain the #1 ranking!!

      • Yep, I feel like Rafa seeing Coric get to the finals and maybe even lift the title at Cincy should in a weird way make Rafa realize that he is on the right path and will be back on track! Hopefully getting the US Open title happens for Rafa again at the US Open. Dreaming of #23 major and #5 US Open trophy for our dear great Rafa! The NY crowd and their energy will also be behind Rafa for sure!

      • I can’t wait to see Rafa back at the US Open again (and hopefully win the title)! Dreams come true!

  3. Rafa-great to see you back on court. You are having a remarkable year, but, you know we
    are insatiable and always expect more. Your patience in pressers is without parallel. As you state, your health is the #1 priority, and you have no need to justify a win or loss. The list of player injuries is endless, and going deep in a tournament allows players no turn around time. Enjoy NY-it is a fantastic slam, and the fans adore you. No one brings more passion and charisma to the game-all the best of luck and good health👍👏🤛💪🎾🍀❤️

  4. Anybody know whether Rafa is currently in New York? Barcelona to see his doc?

    I also wonder if he is playing sets with Coach Lopez. Dominic Theim might be available for practice as he was awarded a wild card for New York.

  5. Rafa you’ll get back into the swing of things. Unfortunately you had a rough patch to recover from and you’ll just need time to get back on track again after some good practices but I know you will. Good luck on your upcoming Grand Slam tournament in New York. Vamos Rafa. Prayers and Gods blessings.

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