WATCH: Rafael Nadal very gracious in Australian Open defeat to Roger Federer

Rafael Nadal congratulates Roger Federer on his Championship win, whilst accepting his runner up trophy.

Rafa’s post-match press conference:

Videos: Australian Open

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No regrets for Rafa after Federer defeat

Q. How do you feel physically?

RAFAEL NADAL: Good. Little bit tired obviously. But good.

Q. And your emotions?
RAFAEL NADAL: Good, no? I think have been a great match. I enjoy to be part of it. I fight to try to have the trophy with me. I had some chances in the fifth with break up.

But is true that after I had the break, he played very aggressive, hitting a lot of great shots. So was tough to hold the serve every time, no?

I had the chance to keep holding the serve. If I hold that one, you never know. You are two games, just two games away. But I didn’t, so…

Well, that’s it, no? I believe that he played super aggressive during the whole match. Tough chances to play the way I wanted to play. But still like this, I played, I think, with the right attitude, trying to do my things, fighting for every ball.

Is true that probably remain a little bit of speed today compared to the last day in my legs probably, little bit. But that’s normal after what happened one day and a half ago.

Like this I think I tried. I didn’t play bad. But is true was difficult to play a lot because he really went for the shots, almost for every shots.

Q. Where would you rank that amongst the many matches you’ve played against him over the years?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I don’t know now. I just feel that have been a good match, five-sets match, in a very special final for the fans and for us. Is great to play against him again after couple of years without make that happen in a big final.

But that’s it. I cannot rank this final now.

Q. Personally for yourself, what did it mean to be back out there in a Grand Slam final? It’s been a few years. Can you describe how you feel about it all.
RAFAEL NADAL: I feel happy. I played a great quality of tennis during the whole month that I have been playing. That’s a great news for me.

The only goal for me is keep going. I believe that if I have my body in the right conditions, I can have a great year because I feel that I am playing well.

Q. Do you think you didn’t recover as well as you wanted from the semifinal? Did that play a part today?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I recovered well. After five hours, is not easy to recover the way that I did. I feel that I was enough recovered.  Continue reading “No regrets for Rafa after Federer defeat”

Australian Open SF: An interview with Rafael Nadal (January 27, 2017)

Q. How do you feel? And if you remember, how did you feel when you beat Verdasco seven years ago? Do you think you can recover in time?
RAFAEL NADAL: That what I going to try. I did in 2009. I am seven, eight years older. But now is not the time to talk about that. Is time to be happy, very happy. Have fantastic match. Very emotional.

I think Grigor played great. I played great. So was a great quality of tennis tonight. So just for me, is amazing to be through to a final of Grand Slam again here in Australia at the first of the year. Means a lot to me. I feel the love of the people here. They give me a lot of positive energy.

Just I think I feel very happy to be part of this match, no? Arrive moment in the fifth set that for sure I wanted to win. I say to myself, I am giving my best, I am playing very well. If I lose, that’s it. Grigor deserves, too.

I think both of us deserve to be in that final. Was a great fight. Finally was me. I feel lucky. I am very happy for that.

Q. A while ago you opened your new academy and invited Roger to come. If someone said when you were both hurt, you could not play your exhibition, that you would meet your rival in the Australian Open final, what would you say to them?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, that moment was amazing for our village, Manacor. I said hundreds of time, but I can’t stop to say thanks because was very emotional moment for everybody in Manacor, for everybody in the academy, for the kids, too.

No, in that moment, for sure we never thought that we had the chance to be, again, in a final, and especially in the first of the year. Happened. Both of us I think worked very hard to be where we are. Is great. Is great that, again, we are in a moment like this and we going to have a chance again to enjoy a moment like this.

Just very happy for me and very happy for him because I think going to be a very nice moment.

Q. Has this been the best match of your last two years and the most exciting of all?
RAFAEL NADAL: I just go out of the court. I don’t have the chance to think that much. But obviously have been a very emotional match, very special one.

Q. What was the lowest point last year, the point where you never would have dreamed this was possible?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am a positive person. I never say never because I worked very hard to be where I am. I really have been working very hard and very well.

Before coming here, I said in the press conference before the tournament, I am practicing very well. I didn’t thought about be where I am today. I always had the confidence that if I am able to win some matches, then anything can happen.

But last year was tough. When you feel that you are playing very well and you have to go from Roland Garros without going on court, I remember myself crying on the car coming back to hotel, no? That was a tough moment.

But then I tried very hard for to play the Olympics. I take risks to play Olympics because it is a very special event for me. To represent my country there was so important. I take the risk. Was a great Olympic Game for me. Having gold medal in doubles. I was close to having a medal in singles. If I have to be back there, I would play again.

But after that, I played the US Open with okay conditions. After that, the hand was not there any more, no? I had to stop, and was a great decision, I think.

Q. The talk over the next couple of days will be about the romanticism of you playing Roger, two legends playing in a final. Is that something you think about, or is it just another final?
RAFAEL NADAL: Is special play with Roger again in a final of a Grand Slam. I cannot lie. Is great. Is exciting for me and for both of us that we still there and we still fighting for important events. So that’s important for us, I think. That’s very special.

After that, you know, is a final. Is a very important match for both of us. I hope to be ready to compete well again. I need to go back to the hotel, to rest well, and to recover from now.

Q. Does the fact that you have a better record against Roger, and you also beat him the three times you played here, have any value when you get on the court on Sunday or not really?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, was a long time ago. Is a different match, different moment for both of us. I think this match is completely different than what happened before.

Is special. We have not been there in that situation for a while, so that makes the match different. I really don’t think about what happened in the past. I think the player who play better is going to be the winner.

Q. Recovery is going to be ultra important. Given your opponent has an extra day to recover, is there anything special you’re going to do over the next two days?
RAFAEL NADAL: Now I going to go back to the locker room and say thanks to my team for the support, then just try to recover. First of all, I need to go to sleep. That’s the first thing that is important for the recover. After that try to do all the things the right way to be ready for Sunday.

Q. Do you think it’s fair to have semifinals in two different days or should be played the same day?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes, is not a problem. For me is fair enough. Is true that if you play a match like I had today, probably is true that you are in disadvantage, yes. But that’s a special situation, no? I cannot complain about that. I think is good.

For me was much more unfair when you played the US Open two days in a row because then, yeah, you are in a big disadvantage. If you play a match like I played today, probably tomorrow you are dead, no chance. That’s a more disadvantage than here. I cannot say that’s not fair.

Q. Of your 34 matches with Roger, 21 of them have been played in the finals. What does your great rivalry with Roger mean to you?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, was amazing for me, for me and I think for tennis, too. Is the combination of two different styles that makes the matches really special.

Is different way to play tennis. Both of us, I think, having a lot of good success with these two different styles. I feel that this rivalry go not only in the tennis world. People from outside of our world talks about this, and that’s good for our sport. Is good that we are back there.

Q. It’s not only you and Roger, but it’s also the Williams sisters who a lot of people might not have thought would have been in a final either. How incredible is it that four such incredible champions in their 30s are going to be playing in the finals?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, probably is a unique situation. Let’s enjoy of this because probably will not happen again (smiling). That’s what I can say. Just well done for both of the sisters. Going to be a great moment, too.

Q. Crowd-wise that final set, especially the last couple of games, they seemed to get right behind you. Did that lift you?
RAFAEL NADAL: I feel the crowd behind me during the whole event. Was unforgettable. For me receive that huge support means everything to me. Really bring me to another level of energy. I enjoyed a lot.

Just can say many thanks to everybody here in Australia, organization, people who makes possible the event, Tennis Australia, and especially the fans because I feel like home here.

Q. For the second time in the tournament you were given a time violation. What do you have to say on that?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sometimes I deserve. Sometimes not. But sometimes I deserve, yeah. That’s it. But playing a match like today, if you like the sport, if you like these matches of 50 minutes, people don’t remember. Matches like this, the people remember. These kind of matches make the sport little bit bigger because that makes the people more involved on these kind of matches.

If you want to keep watching that great points for five hours, you need to be flexible with that. I think the umpire give me time violation. But then he was flexible with that because he understood that the level of tennis have been just brutal in terms of physical performance. So he understood that. I feel happy for that. Well done for him.

Q. Is this the type of match that speaks for not going to the best-of-three at a Grand Slam, keeping to the best-of-five?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think, yes. These kind of matches, even for the body, destroys your body, but that’s tennis. That’s special. Much more special than playing best-of-three. Should be like this, in my opinion.

Source: Australian Open

Rafa: “It’s special to play with Roger again in the final of a Grand Slam” [VIDEO]

Rafael Nadal shares his emotions following his epic five-set win over Grigor Dimitrov in the semifinals of the 2017 Australian Open.

Video: Australian Open

Rafael Nadal comments on possibly playing Roger Federer in Australian Open final

Q. What does it mean to be back in the semifinals of a slam?
RAFAEL NADAL: Great. Is a good news. Especially winning against difficult players: Monfils quarterfinals, Zverev round of 16, and now Raonic. I think all of them are top players. So that’s very important for me because that mean that I am competitive and playing well, no?

So just excited about be back in final rounds of the most important events. You know, I am here to try to make this, no? Is always difficult, but I fighted and I worked hard to try to make that happen.

Very happy that after a lot of work, be in this round again. Is special thing for me, especially here in Australia.

Q. Has it felt like you were far away from this round, the semifinals, or you feel like you’ve been close in the last couple years?
RAFAEL NADAL: Depends, no? I missed a couple of slams for injuries. Last year, obviously, here I was far. In the US Open I was close because was in the round of 16, having 4-3, 30-Love in the fifth. I was close to make that happen, but didn’t.

Here happen. So happy for that. Playing and competing very well during the whole event. That’s very important for me.

Q. Milos said compared to Brisbane you’ve changed things tactically against him, maybe the return position. Can you just share some things about that.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I received inside the court. In Brisbane I was receiving like six, seven meters behind the baseline.

I watched the match before, and I decided to go in, no? Talking with Toni, with Carlos, we know that we needed to change that. Before the match we were talking about trying to combine, you know, returning sometimes very close to the baseline and sometimes back. Continue reading “Rafael Nadal comments on possibly playing Roger Federer in Australian Open final”

VIDEO: Rafa says he’ll be watching the Federer-Wawrinka match

Rafael Nadal shares his thoughts after he won through to his first Grand Slam semifinal since Roland Garros 2014.

Video: Australian Open

Australian Open R4: An interview with Rafael Nadal (January 23, 2017)

Q. What does it mean to you to win in four sets?
RAFAEL NADAL: For me means a lot because for me I really start the season playing quarterfinals in a Grand Slam again, especially on hard court after a couple of years without being in this round is a great news.

Yeah, very happy with an important victory against a very good opponent.

Q. You played nine sets in your last two matches. How do you feel physically, given that it was a very hot and humid today?
RAFAEL NADAL: Today was tough. The other day the humidity was less. Even if the match was probably tougher the other day, but today the humidity was much higher, no? The match became little bit tougher.

No, I feel good now. Let’s see how I wake up tomorrow morning. You’re not going to know after finishing the match. You need to wait.

Q. Even though Monfils came back, did you still feel like you were in control of the match, holding serve more easily than him, keeping on top?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am not this kind of person that are that arrogant, no? When you lost the third, you are down 4-2 in the fourth, you are not under control, no. That’s the real thing.  Continue reading “Australian Open R4: An interview with Rafael Nadal (January 23, 2017)”