INTERVIEW: Rafael Nadal’s hunt for ‘La Decima’ in Barcelona

Rafael Nadal reflected on his semi-final win over Horacio Zeballos in Barcelona and looked ahead to a final clash against Dominic Thiem.

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Rafael Nadal: I’m very respectful to everyone (Barcelona Open QF)

Rafael Nadal discusses the test that Hyeon Chung brought at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell and moving through to the semi-finals.

Rafael Nadal: “I think I played a great match” (Barcelona Open R3)

Rafael Nadal discusses what went well in his third-round victory over Kevin Anderson at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.

Continue reading “Rafael Nadal: “I think I played a great match” (Barcelona Open R3)”

INTERVIEW: Rafael Nadal will try his best to win 10th Barcelona Open title

Rafael Nadal talks about his Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters title and a historic honour he has received in Barcelona.

‘Court Rafa Nadal’ in Barcelona: King of Clay now has a court named after him

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Transcript of Rafael Nadal’s presser after the Ramos-Vinolas match.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Rafa, please.

Q. What does it mean to you to win 10 times this tournament?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, is really unbelievable, no? Win 10 times in such an important event like Monte-Carlo is something difficult to describe the feeling. Every year have been a different feeling. At the same time is always a unique moment every time I have this trophy with me.

Yeah, is a little bit of luck, lot of things together should happen to made this 10th title in an event like Monte-Carlo, no?

I feel lucky to keep playing tennis, being healthy all those years, to compete in one of the most beautiful events of the year, without a doubt.

Very happy to win another one. For me is a very important day in my career.

Q. Ramos said you are almost playing your best tennis level. Do you think you can improve more than this?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I am satisfied the way that I am playing. Is obvious that there is always things to improve.

But being honest today, my serve worked great. Backhand, have been hitting very well the backhand during the whole week. The forehand better and better every day. So I should be happy about everything.

Is always the motivation to play better and better. But I think we are in a very good way to keep winning matches. That’s most important thing for me.

Q. Was it especially important for you to win this week, after losing the other finals this season, or…
RAFAEL NADAL: For me is important to feel myself competitive every week that I am playing. That’s what happened since the beginning of the season. That makes me happy.

For me, that’s the most important thing, feel myself happy when I am playing. If I am healthy and I feel myself competitive, I am happy. Then is obvious I would like to win. But I know if I am in finals of important events, the normal thing is I finally win titles.

So today was another chance. I lost first three finals this year, but with positive feelings. Today I won a very important title for me.

Arrive in just the right moment, I believe. After losing in Miami, the first tournament on clay for me is always an important moment of the year. Have the victory here is an important step forward for me.

Q. They showed you on the big screen with all your victories. I think you were laughing at some of the pictures of you before. What do you remember, for example, from your first victory here 12 years ago?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, for me the first one here have been so special, no? Was the first Masters 1000, Masters Series at that time, in an event that for me was always so special.

When I was a kid, I always wanted to play in Monte-Carlo. In Spain, Monte-Carlo is a very important event in tennis, one of the top 1000s of the year.

The real thing is since the first time I came here in 2003, I had very positive feelings. Winning in 2005 against Coria in that final was unbelievable moment for me. Was a tough final, but at the same time semifinal was hard against Richard. Very tough match in the third.

There is some moments on the career of everyone that are important ones. Is obvious that first title on clay makes a big difference. After that, I was confident enough to keep going, winning in Barcelona, in Rome, then in Roland Garros.

Q. Some people say that Federer never worked so hard like recently, because there was so much talent. I would like to know if you had been working harder this year because today you were running like I haven’t seen you in some time? Is this something that paid off and you’re working harder and harder?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I think is about confidence. Is about doing the right things. Is about being healthy. Is not about if I want to work or if I don’t want to work. Is about if I can work or if I can’t work.

During the off-season for one month and a half I think I was able to work the way that I wanted to work. Well, when I say ‘the way I wanted to work’ I mean the way we wanted to work, me and my team. I was enough healthy to work harder than usual.

But is easy to understand that at the end of the day everything resumed to one thing: health. If you are healthy, you can work. If you can work, then the chances of success are higher.

Q. How do you feel to play next week in Stadium Rafael Nadal in Barcelona?
RAFAEL NADAL: Just thanks to organization for that. They ask me about that couple of months ago. I was completely happy to heard this thing.

Barcelona, the tournament is, for all the Spanish players, an amazing event. I think is one of the top events on tour because is a historic event with a lot of tradition. A lot of years of the tournament, a lot of great players have been playing there. And it’s in a real tennis club. It’s like here, is a real tennis club.

When you are playing in a place that they are not only in stadiums for two weeks or for one week, is always little bit more special. The place breathes tennis, no? That tradition makes the event, I think, a little bit more important.

That’s why I think it’s so important in our tour to combine historic events and traditional events with great new shows and great new stadiums. That makes our sport bigger and bigger.

To have the name, my name, in the center court in Barcelona is something that is very beautiful. Just can say thanks very much to the club for this award.  Continue reading “‘Court Rafa Nadal’ in Barcelona: King of Clay now has a court named after him”

[VIDEO] Rafael Nadal: ‘I’m enjoying every moment’

Rafael Nadal discusses winning his 10th Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters title and his performance in the final.

Rafael Nadal shares his thoughts on controversial call against David Goffin

Rafael Nadal of Spain shakes hands at the net after his straight sets victory against David Goffin of Belgium in their semi final round match on day seven of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 22, 2017 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (April 21, 2017 – Source: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe)

Transcript of Rafael Nadal’s presser after the Goffin match.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Is it the first time for you that you come out winning a match, going into a final, and being whistled at by the crowd, even if you don’t deserve it? Has it happened before?
RAFAEL NADAL: Didn’t happen in the end.

Probably sometimes that happens because sometimes the people don’t have the whole information. That’s the real thing, no? Sometimes the people don’t know what’s going on real on a tennis match. I can give a ball, and I did a lot of times in my career, if the ball is in my side.

The proof that I believe on what David thinks when I see that David marks the ball, I went to pick up the towel, preparing for the next game. You can check on the TV.

When the umpire goes down and says the ball is good, what I can say? No, the ball is out. That’s why there is an umpire there. If the ball is on my side, I see the ball is in, I give the ball to the other side. There is realistic, no?

Well, for me is sometimes sad, especially in a place that I had a lot of success, in a place that I love. Difficult for me to love a tournament more than this one. But that’s part of the business, too.

Sometimes that happens. I receive huge support from the crowd always, all around the world. Here, too, every day.

Today, I don’t know why. But happened. That’s it. But I’m sure is only a thing of today. At the end of the day, it’s not true, when I qualify for the final, the people was (whistle) to me. Was during the match, not at the end of the match. Not at all.

Q. Do you think this kind of situation makes a point for having Hawkeye on clay, too?
RAFAEL NADAL: Tough thing to say. In my opinion, if we made that happen, then the Hawkeye will be on trouble, you know?

Q. That means that you don’t believe that much in Hawkeye?
RAFAEL NADAL: Not hundred percent. I am sure.  Continue reading “Rafael Nadal shares his thoughts on controversial call against David Goffin”