Rafael Nadal’s interview with Jim Courier after the match.
Video: Australian Open
Q. Why did you check your watch just then?
RAFAEL NADAL: I was checking how late I am (smiling).
Q. Are you always late?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah. In Mallorca, the time is, you know… In Mallorca, there is a thing, when we are going, we say, I am coming. Time is tough to be 100% on time in an island. But we work a lot (smiling).
Q. You didn’t have many problems today. You won all your serve games, which is a good sign for you. It’s a good sign for your form, isn’t it?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, is always the same, no? When I win my serve, there is two things. Obviously, you need to serve well. Most important thing, I not a player who win the serves because I serve aces or free points, no.
When I winning a lot of serves is because I am playing well from the baseline. That’s why.
Q. How did it feel, in general, to be back out there playing?
RAFAEL NADAL: Great. I think I played solid match, no? It was great to be back on the big stadium. I feel the support of the people, love the people. That is something that is very special for me. Just happy to see the court like this and the people supporting me. So just can say thanks.
I am happy the way I am playing. I had good weeks of practice. Never easy the first round. Is always little bit more nerves at the beginning. I didn’t play against an easy opponent. The way that he plays is not a conventional game. You know, he change a lot of the rhythm of the point, you know, changing with a slice, then he hit a winner. Then he play little bit slower ball. Is not easy to read his game, no?
So just am happy the way that I played. I played good all the key points. That’s very important for me.
Q. Straight sets, center court. Would you say it’s the best possible start for you?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I am in the next round without losing a set, so… I don’t know if is the perfect start or not. I don’t think about that. I am just think that I played a solid match, straight-set win. I hit a lot of winners. That’s a positive thing for me. Continue reading “Rafael Nadal: I’m going to fight to be better than No.9 in the world”
Here’s what Rafael Nadal had to say ahead of the 2017 Australian Open!
Q. How are you feeling heading into the Open this year?
RAFAEL NADAL: Good. I think I am ready. I think I practiced very well for one month and a half in Mallorca. I had good start of the season in Abu Dhabi and Brisbane. I am practicing well this year, the week before.
Q. What have you sort of taken confidence from in your game so far?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am happy with everything more or less, no? I am playing well. When I’m saying I’m playing well is because to play well today on this sport you need to be a complete player, no? You need to be ready to do backhand, forehand, server, return well.
Q. Can you talk us through the decision to start working with Carlos Moya, please, in terms of what did you decide that was something you wanted to do and how that came about?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, Carlos, more than anything, is a good friend of mine. I talk with him often. Doesn’t matter if he stays in my team or not, no? I have a great relationship with him.
Yeah, in December, you know, after knowing that he will stop with Milos, you know, we talked with him, myself and my uncle. For me is a very good option, no?
I know him very well. I know he wants the best for me. He knows my personality, he knows my game, too. Could be a good help for me and at the same time for the team, for the rest of the team, have somebody like him on the team is always something that I am very happy with because is good to have good people in your team.
He’s a person who loves this sport. He’s a person who knows my tennis very well.
Q. Can you even imagine back to a time when players didn’t have a team? Vilas and Borg were the only ones who came with a coach. McEnroe very rarely. Can you imagine what it was like back then?
RAFAEL NADAL: Different parts of the history, no? I believe you need to be comfortable with what you have. I am not a complicated person. You know, is true that I have a big team now. But I am happy with less, too, no?
I am a person who doesn’t like the big changes, who needs to be comfortable, have a big team. But more the real thing is I have the same people from the beginning, no? Now is Carlos. But is not like 100% new thing to me.
He’s a person that I practiced with him during almost all my career since I had 15 until he retired. Even last year sometimes when he was in Mallorca or two years ago, I was practicing, hitting sometimes with him.
Is not a big deal, no? He is close to my house. He live in Mallorca, too. He going to help us with the academy, too. That’s something that I am very happy with, too. Is important for the academy have somebody like Carlos that can be big help for us and for the kids, too.
For me, is very special to have him on the team and I am very happy.
Q. Is there a particular reason why now is a good time for you to bring Carlos in? Why not a few years ago?
RAFAEL NADAL: Things happens. You cannot predict the things. You cannot know when is the right time or when is not the right time. You take decisions. I am not a person who takes decisions like this (snapping fingers). I need to talk.
More than anything, you know, my uncle is my coach. He is a person that is decisive in my career, so I need to talk with him before taking any of these decisions. I will never take a decision like this if Toni is not happy with.
First of all is the stability for me, so important. Toni is happy with. I am happy with that decision, too. Everybody’s happy because Carlos is a friend of the rest of my team. We know each other. Carlos knows all my team because my team is the same one since 15 years old.
Is just like an introduction, but very easy introduction to the team.
Q. You mentioned Abu Dhabi. You played a great final there against David Goffin. A high-level match for an exhibition. Has he impressed you? Do you think he can cause a surprise here in this tournament?
RAFAEL NADAL: David? Continue reading “An interview with Rafael Nadal – Australian Open (January 15, 2017)”
(AAP) While others may doubt him, Rafael Nadal continues to believe he can challenge Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic for Open glory.
If I believed that if could not have this chance during this next 11 months, I would be home fishing.
My real goal is to try to compete for the important things and to compete for the important things I know I have I want to try to beat these guys.
If I am working hard and I have the motivation and passion to keep going, I feel that if I am happy and I can work the way I want to be, I can be.
The 2009 Melbourne Park winner and 2014 runner-up admitted last season was tough and that he’d be lying if he claimed to be at 100 per cent fitness heading into the summer slam.
It’s not easy to come back that quick and it’s not enough to say playing six matches in two weeks that I am back to my full fitness moment.
I feel that Melbourne is an opportunity to play well again and to have positive feelings and then anything can happen if I start to feel good and competitive.
I love playing in Melbourne. It’s an unbelievable event.
“I’m very excited to come back. Last year was a tough year and I just hope to change things this year and play better again.
Transcript of Rafael Nadal’s presser after the Raonic match.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Obviously not the result that you wanted out there tonight, but how did you see it, especially in that third set? He got that momentum from the second set, and it seemed to carry over.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes, I think I had 10 minutes that was very hard, and playing against a player like him, that’s terrible, no?
He played aggressive, he played great, he returned — his return on my serve during that games had been very, very aggressive, and the serve was huge, no?
I tried to go inside a couple of times, maybe returning to behind the baseline, but I was not watching clear way to return, no?
Well, I lost against third of the world. Very close match. I had been playing six matches already this year. That’s positive for me, winning five, losing the sixth.
But a close result, no? It’s important to win a lot of matches, of course, but at the same time it’s important to — when I lose, it’s important to lose with just a small difference.
So that’s what happened today, and that’s, at the same time, with being negative, because losing always is negative. But the result was so close, and that’s positive, no? Because that mean that my mind was ready to keep fighting until the end, and that’s what I did.
Even in the third, I had some moments that he had some chances to have the double break, so I was there and I saved a couple of good points. And then I had my opportunity, but only returned one break point and he served well and he hit the winner from first ball, no, so that’s it.
He played aggressive, more than me. It’s true that with this serve it’s a little bit easier to play aggressive than with my one. But he was, I think, a little bit better than me tonight. He deserve, and congrats to him.
Q. Do you think you would have been ready for a five-set match tonight if you were in Grand Slam mode?
RAFAEL NADAL: Easy answer: Let’s see it in two weeks, one week and a little bit more. That’s it.
Q. If you have a good Australian Open, by your standards, do you think we can see you back here next year, starting next season?
RAFAEL NADAL: We don’t know what’s going on next year. I loved the atmosphere. I really just can say thank you very much to all the organization of the tournament. Is unbelievable. People is so nice. Make me feel more than, better than like home, maybe. Continue reading “Here’s why Rafael Nadal won’t judge his progress until March”
Watch and savour Rafael Nadal’s good play at the net!
Video excerpt from Rafa’s post-match presser:
Videos: Brisbane International