Rafael Nadal Comments on Relationship with Roger Federer

A transcript of the presser Rafael Nadal gave after his 2nd round win over Jared Donaldson in Shanghai.

Kevin Lee/Getty Images

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Would you be able to explain the differences or how hard it is for players to win a title like you did on Sunday and come here and back it up? Is it a difficult challenge, and how do you overcome that?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, it is better to be here with a title than without, of course. But of course there is a couple of things that makes a little bit difficult the transition. That’s what I say the other day. Just balls different and the court always is different, no?

So the same time, yesterday was super-warm conditions, very humid. And in Beijing was not like this. But that’s something that we cannot control. But the other two things we can control, more or less. Something that we can work on.

Q. Correct me if I’m wrong, but have you started playing without your lovely Richard Mille watch on your wrist?
RAFAEL NADAL: Today in the match?

Q. Yes.
RAFAEL NADAL: No.

Q. No? Oh, okay.
RAFAEL NADAL: Not today. I practiced yesterday without.

Q. Without?
RAFAEL NADAL: I practiced yesterday, because I wanted to change that. Was in the store. (Smiling.)

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the match? Obviously very clean serving. You only lost four points on your serve. You know, maybe a few thoughts on Jared.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, was a very quick match in all aspects. I think Jared started playing very well at the beginning, serving big, and then hitting very strong from the baseline, no?

Of course I started trying to play a little bit more safe, you know, without looking for big shots. Always the first match, as I say before, is difficult and the transition is not easy. So you’re always a little bit, at the beginning, you respect the new conditions.

But of course I was happy to have that break in the 3-2 in the sixth game. Helps me that he made some double faults, two double faults. Then I played some good points, I think.

After that I think I played a great match. Not many mistakes. Playing very aggressive with the backhand/forehand. My serve worked well. I don’t know the percentage, but probably was high. And when I was serving, the second serve was a big second serve too, no?

Happy with everything. For me it was difficult to imagine a better start. But just the beginning, no? Tomorrow another tough match.

I think Jared have a positive future, in my opinion. Of course today was a difficult match, as I said, because the things went so quick from beginning, but he’s a player that improved a lot during all the years, so if he continues with that improvement, probably we will be talking about a top player.

Q. You spoke about Nick on Sunday after you played him in the final. He’s obviously had another situation here yesterday. Are you surprised that it’s kind of blown up again for him so soon after Beijing?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, not big surprise, but I really don’t want to talk much about that. I have my opinion, but at the same time, you have to talk with — I was sleeping in my room. That’s the real thing.

So I just check. I just saw, when I was checking the (indiscernible), so I don’t know what happened. But you can ask the ATP, not me, because I don’t have the whole information.

Q. You have said that you don’t like to be Roger’s boyfriend, but we saw that you interact with Roger, like, hug and joking. So I want to ask, how is your relationship with Roger privately?
RAFAEL NADAL: Privately is not very interesting (smiling). No, we have a good relationship. We always had a good relationship. Of course a lot of respect for each other since the beginning.

We have been under pressure situations during all our careers playing against each other, so I think is very good news that at this point we still have that very good relationship, no?  Continue reading “Rafael Nadal Comments on Relationship with Roger Federer”

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Shanghai Masters 2017: Pre-tournament presser

Transcript of Rafael Nadal’s pre-tournament presser.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. After the last few years with injury, how do you compare the feeling when you win a tournament this year compared with before? Does it feel the same? Does it feel better?
RAFAEL NADAL: Of course it’s important, no, for me. Always have been important. But at the same time is not the first time that I get injury and I win tournaments later, no?

Of course is a nice feeling, but is a feeling that I already had a few times in my career. Of course is not the positive thing, because is better don’t have injuries, but at the same time the injuries — the only positive thing about injury is when you come back and when you have success, you appreciate it even much more.

Q. Your current ATP ranking is No. 1. Do you consider the ranking as a motivation or a burden?
RAFAEL NADAL: Motivation or?

Q. Or a burden that gives you a lot of stress and pressure.
RAFAEL NADAL: Pressure. Ah, no. No, no. With 31 years old, no, no. No, not a motivation and not a pressure at all. Motivation, okay, during the year never was my goal to be where I am today, but of course I always say the same, no? Is much better be No. 2 than No. 3 and No. 1 than No. 2.  Continue reading “Shanghai Masters 2017: Pre-tournament presser”

Shanghai Masters 2017: Rafael Nadal’s pre-tournament interview [VIDEO]

Rafael Nadal is hoping to continue his stunning 2017 at the Shanghai Masters, but he is not thinking about the title. His focus is on the match against Jared Donaldson.

China Open 2017: Final presser – Rafael Nadal on Nick Kyrgios’ latest on-court meltdown

Transcript of the presser Rafael Nadal gave after his win over Nick Kyrgios in the China Open final.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Those first couple games were really intense. How important was it for you to get ahead early?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, of course, very long games at the beginning. Yeah, good level of tennis. I think 30 minutes and we were only 2-1. Very intense everything. Very similar level at the beginning.

Well, I think I holded well during the whole match. I played, in my opinion, a great level of tennis tonight. Of course, I think one of the best matches of the year.

Yeah, always very tough opponent to play against. But today I think my serve worked well, and I was returning a lot of balls, putting a lot of balls inside, then taking the advantage from the baseline a little bit more often than him. I was a little bit more aggressive, and that was the key.

I was playing very high intensity the whole match, changing the directions and not making many mistakes.

Q. I notice you haven’t won the Shanghai Masters yet. Do you have any expectation for the coming matches? How will you adjust in this kind of tight schedule?
RAFAEL NADAL: Today is the day to talk about Beijing. Is an important title for me. Is a title that last year that I had the trophy with me was in 2005. In 2005 I never will believe that I will keep playing tennis in 2017 unless winning another title here, no? Very happy.

Shanghai is a couple days for me. Hopefully I going to start Wednesday. I hope to be ready for it. I know every tournament is important now.

Shanghai is a tournament that I didn’t win. I have been there couple of times, semifinals and final. Let’s see. This year I am playing well. I played very well during the whole event here, so let’s see if I am able to hold that high level there in Shanghai. If that happens, I hope to have my chances.

Q. Was it hard to stay focused when your opponent was really agitated throughout the match?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. I do my way, that’s the real thing. I am 31 already. I spend a lot of hours on competition during my career. No, no, was not difficult.

But, of course, some moments was little bit strange for me, something little bit unusual. But, no, I was very focus. Continue reading “China Open 2017: Final presser – Rafael Nadal on Nick Kyrgios’ latest on-court meltdown”

China Open 2017: Semifinal presser

Transcript of the presser Rafael Nadal gave after his win over Grigor Dimitrov in Beijing.

Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. After the second set, how did you change the momentum to get back on the winning side?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, good was a little bit lucky that I had that first break in the first game of the third. But I think I was playing great. In the first set, I played a great first set, in my opinion. I was playing good at the beginning of the second. Probably I had almost match point with that two breakpoints for 3-Love double break. The dynamic had been so good until that moment. After that, I didn’t win that two points. He started to push me. I stopped a little bit to go for the points, no? I have been too many times in defending positions. Then, of course, he’s very good, no?

In the third, again, I feel that I started going little bit more for the points again. Is true that in one moment of the second set, my serve didn’t work that well, and my backhand, I stopped a little bit with the backhand, too. But then I find the rhythm at the beginning of the third again. I think I played a great third set.

Q. After 11 years, you made it to the China Open men’s singles final. How do you feel about that?
RAFAEL NADAL: Very happy to be in that final again. Of course, is very important achievement for me to continue with the positive feelings after winning the US Open. Be back here and be in the final with that very tough draw I had since the beginning is a great effort. So very happy.

I am very pleased the way that I have been playing the whole week, after saving a very tough first day. So here I am. I am in the final. Very important points, too, for me, and another chance tomorrow to compete in a big match. That’s important for me. That’s why we practice every day and we try to improve every morning.

Tomorrow is another day. Happy for that. Let’s try my best tomorrow.

Q. You’ve had some great matches out on that court. You had a big match against Novak. Is the abiding memory for you here always the Olympic gold medal?
RAFAEL NADAL: Of course. But I didn’t win in that court, was in the other court. But of course that semifinals match against Novak and that final against Gonzalez, yeah, I achieved here one of the most important things in my career without a doubt. Olympic gold medal is probably the most difficult event that you can win. So I feel lucky that I won that time. Yeah, for me was unforgettable.

For me was my real first Olympic Games. I enjoyed a lot. The feeling to be with the Spanish Olympic team and with the rest of the teams in the Olympic Village for me was one of the experiences that stays with me probably forever.  Continue reading “China Open 2017: Semifinal presser”

China Open: Quarterfinal videos – highlights, hot shot, interview

Watch as Rafael Nadal turns defence into offence in a flash, claiming Hot Shot honours in the China Open semis.

Match highlights:

Continue reading “China Open: Quarterfinal videos – highlights, hot shot, interview”

China Open: Second round presser

Transcript of the presser Rafael Nadal gave after his win over Karen Khachanov.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You have been to Beijing six times. Every time you play into the quarterfinals. You also got an Olympic gold medal here. Do you think Beijing is one of your lucky places?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I have been in a lot of places that bring me good luck. Beijing, is true that I am not winning the title here since 2008 Olympics, so I don’t know if is lucky or not.

Of course, being in quarterfinals again is a positive thing, no? Happy about the match of today. I think I played a solid match. Tomorrow will be a tough one against Isner, that he’s playing unbelievably well. I saw his match today. He played huge.

So let’s see what’s going on tomorrow.

Q. Since the US Open you have won nine matches in a row. In total you won 30 matches on hard courts. It’s the best performance in the last four years. Did you make any special changes or improvements before the season?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes, play well. That’s the biggest improve that you can do, no?

When you are playing well, everybody talks about improvements or things that you are doing different. At the end of the day of course I try to improve my game. But the sport is not that difficult: If you are playing well, then you have more chances to win a lot of matches. If you are playing worst, the chances are much less. This year I have been playing well almost every week. That’s why I have been having lot of success.

So today was a positive match for me again. That’s important for my confidence. Let’s see what’s going on tomorrow. That’s all.

Q. It seems you had maybe better sensations today than the previous match, no?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes, of course I played better today. But is true that Pouille played so well the other day. There is always a reason. But obviously first match after a while is tough. First one against Pouille is a difficult one.  Continue reading “China Open: Second round presser”