Rafael Nadal on Andy Murray’s US Open withdrawal: “You retire on Monday morning or Sunday afternoon, not Saturday morning”

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THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Difficult first set but then you seemed to find your rhythm and pace and got through it pretty easily the second two. Talk about the match and where things began to turn for you.

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, tough beginning of the match. Some nerves, obviously, after a week here practicing well, I think. I was practicing, I think, every day at very high level, no? Today I didn’t play at that high level, but just like this, important thing is I won, and I have one more day to keep practicing and another chance to play better the next day, no?

Yeah, the important thing is win, because is normal that you have some nerves at the beginning and you get a little bit tight at the beginning of the tournament. So important thing is be through, and that’s what I did today, no? Tough start but then I played better, of course.

Q. It was very noisy under the roof. Does it disturb you? You have to adapt your game to the noise?

RAFAEL NADAL: Being honest, is a little bit too much (smiling). You know, I don’t know how to control that or the umpire have to control that, because, yeah, at the same time is not fair only say that. The real thing is here, the energy and support of the crowd is massive. I enjoy it and I have unforgettable memories from this tournament and this court, because the energy is different from in other places.

But at the same time is true that today, under the roof, was too much (smiling). Too much noise, no? I was not able to hear the ball when you are hitting, no?

So I don’t know. I understand it’s a show, at the end of the day, and I enjoy that. I feel part of this, of course, but under the roof, you know, we need to be a little bit more strict about the noise, in my opinion, no? Because all the noise stays inside, and this is difficult, no? With the roof open, feeling change a lot.

Q. What are some of your thoughts about the defeat in Cincinnati? Did it affect any of the things you worked on during the week in between?

RAFAEL NADAL: The losses always affect. The victories always affect, too, in a positive way. That’s part of the game.

And the player who is telling you another thing is lying to you (smiling). I not gonna be this kind of player. My approach to the tournament obviously is still positive. I have been playing well during the whole season, and I really had a very positive week of practice here.  Continue reading “Rafael Nadal on Andy Murray’s US Open withdrawal: “You retire on Monday morning or Sunday afternoon, not Saturday morning””

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US Open 2017: Pre-tournament presser

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THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What are your thoughts about being the No. 1 seed?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, no, being No. 1 seed, yeah, is good to be No. 1 of the world again, of course. I think it’s a good achievement after three years having some troubles. So just happy for that.

Yes, no, just excited to start the US Open. Doesn’t matter if you are seeded 1 or seeded 20. No, for me always is special to play here in a tournament that I had success, a tournament that I enjoyed a lot of good matches, and a tournament that normally I have a great connection with the crowd.

Q. The US Open experimented with a shot clock for serves and player coaching during the qualifiers. Do you have an opinion on either or both of those?

RAFAEL NADAL: I think in terms of coaching I think is normal. In terms of sports, if you have a coach in some ways is stupid to not use the coach in the most important moment. So I think is a good improvement.

About the clock on the court, well, I tell you one thing: Depends on what the fans want. You know, if the fans want short points and players playing without thinking, the matches, only going for the shots, maybe is good.

If you want to have matches like I played here with Novak, probably the three finals that I played here with Novak, probably that kind of match that the crowd is more involved because the points are so long, well, you cannot expect play 50 shots’ rally and in 25 seconds be ready to play the next tennis point.

I think that’s not possible for a great show. But if you don’t want a great show, of course it’s a great improvement.

Q. How do you comment the absence of Novak Djokovic from the tournament?

RAFAEL NADAL: It’s his decision. There is no comments. Just sorry for him because he’s injured, and probably having an injury probably he prefer to rest, to rest mentally, physically, and to recover from a lot of years doing amazing things.

Just everybody’s free to do whatever is better, whatever works for itself, and just only thing that I wish to him is just is important to have fun, to be happy with the family, and then he will be back, for sure, in a good level.

Q. How surprising is it to you that this year the Grand Slams have been all about either Roger and you and we’re sitting at the 2017 US Open and Roger and yourself are considered the favorites? Does that surprise you at all?

RAFAEL NADAL: In January, yes. Now, a little bit less. In terms of favorites or not favorites always is the same. Always Grand Slam we start talking about favorites and all always the same. The player who plays better is the player who has better chances.  Continue reading “US Open 2017: Pre-tournament presser”

Cincinnati: Quarterfinal presser – Rafael Nadal hopes to be ready for US Open

Rafael Nadal talks to the media after the 2-6, 5-7 defeat against Nick Kyrgios in Cincinnati.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How tough is it to play Nick when he’s serving so well today?
RAFAEL NADAL: He obviously is a tough match always, no? Nick is a great player, but I played bad, obviously, no?

I started the match well, and then I played a very bad game in the second set when he break me. And then I managed — I was lucky. I don’t know. I played some good points. He had some mistakes and I was able to be back in the match. And then I played terrible game.

So, yeah, was a bad match for me. Congrats to him. That’s it.

Q. At 5-All in the second set, that first point when they made that call and you hit the forehand up-the-line winner, how did that affect your mindset for the rest of that game?
RAFAEL NADAL: Of course 15-Love, Love-15 change a lot, but at the same time, of course, we cannot think about one point.

No, no excuses. Nothing at all. I didn’t play well, and if I don’t play well, of course I cannot win against a player like Nick. That’s it.

Q. Tough loss tonight, but how do you feel physically going into the US Open? Do you feel pretty good?
RAFAEL NADAL: Hopefully yes, no? Is true that this tournament is a tournament that didn’t work very well for me during the history of my career. I never had a very good feelings here. I don’t know. The humidity, still don’t like this ball. Still I think needs to improve a lot this ball.

But in general terms is a tournament that, yeah, I played one time great that I won, 2013, but the rest of the times have been very tough for me to play well here and find more than win or lose. No, for example, Miami I never won but I had positive feelings.

No, here in this tournament, I love so much the tournament. Tournament is improving every year. But I don’t know why I don’t find my rhythm here, no?

Is tough for me to compete well here. But I’m going to keep trying next year. That’s all. That’s all what I can say.

Saying that, New York is a completely different event. Different ball, of course, and in the history of my career in New York I played much better. That’s true, no? No, I think I am practicing well. I gonna give my best during this week of practice. Probably gonna rest two days and then starting on Monday again, and I gonna give my best during that week of preparation in New York and I hope to be ready for New York. Continue reading “Cincinnati: Quarterfinal presser – Rafael Nadal hopes to be ready for US Open”

Cincinnati Masters: 3rd round presser

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

 Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Q. Can you give us your thoughts about being in the quarterfinals here, and also your thoughts on what happened yesterday in Barcelona.
RAFAEL NADAL: For sure very happy to be in the quarterfinals. Was a tough match this afternoon against Albert, and now another very, very difficult match against Kyrgios, no?

So I just need to be ready, to play my best. The only way to try to have success in that match against Nick is just playing aggressive and play very focused all the time, and of course play at a great level of tennis.

And, yeah, what happened yesterday in Barcelona was, of course, terrible. Everyone is very, very sad. I don’t have words to say, because when these kind of things happen, is difficult, no?

All my support to Barcelona, and especially to the people that are suffering a lot, for all the families of the victims, no? So just keep going and sorry for everything.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Rafael Nadal: “I am going to keep playing while what I’m doing makes me happy”

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

Rafael Nadal of Spain fields questions from the media during day 3 of the Western & Southern Open at the Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 14, 2017 in Mason, Ohio. (Aug. 13, 2017 – Source: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images North America)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You always talk about the importance of playing with the right intensity and right feelings. Do you feel like you have that right now to make a run here and possibly at the US Open?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. Just the start of the tournament. Was important start for me. Always important to win the first match, especially after what happened last week, losing the match that way.

So just happy for the way that I played, and of course for the victory, no? So let’s see. Tomorrow another tough match against, you know, against Albert. I know him very well. He know me very well. Going to be a tough one. I hope to be ready to play well.

Q. Knowing that you’re going to be returning to No. 1 in the world no matter what happens, how is that affecting your outlook here and at the US Open, as well?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, in no one different way, no? My goal, I always say the same, is important thing for me because to come back to that number after all the things that happened to me since the last time that I have been in that position is something very important and very difficult, no? I worked a lot to give me another chance, and here I am.

Just to be back to that position is something that makes me happy, and of course is going to be an emotional moment for me.

But that doesn’t change my goals. My goal is try to play a good tournament here, and of course then we gonna think about the US Open. But now it’s Cincinnati.

Q. Why do you think you’ve had so much success against Richard?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. He’s a tough opponent in all the rounds, but especially in the first round he is a tough one.  Continue reading “Rafael Nadal: “I am going to keep playing while what I’m doing makes me happy””

VIDEO: Rafael Nadal discusses his return to world No. 1

Top seed Rafael Nadal discusses his early exit from Montreal and his reaction to his guaranteed to return to No. 1 in the ATP Rankings this week in Cincinnati.

Rafael Nadal hard on himself after loss to Denis Shapovalov in Montreal: “It is probably my worst loss of the year”

Rafael Nadal talks to the media after the 6-3, 4-6, 6-7(4) defeat against Denis Shapovalov in the third round of the Rogers Cup.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did you underestimate Denis?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. I am not this kind of person. I respect everybody.

Yeah, obviously is a tough lose for me. Is a bad lose. Probably is the worst lose of the year we have, without a doubt, for me.

That’s like this. He play well. I play really bad. When this kind of thing happen, only thing you can do is wish the opponent the best, all the best.

Q. Why do you exactly say this is one of your worst losses of the year?
RAFAEL NADAL: Probably my worst loss of the year because I lost against a player with a lower ranking. At the same time because of the opportunity I had here to come back to the No. 1. Always tough, but the draw was not that impossible after all the matches that were happening. So was an important mistake for me. That’s the real thing, no?

Is a bad lose. Just accept that and keep working.

Q. Usually when you come to Canada, you have the crowd behind you. I thought it was almost a Davis Cup crowd out there today. Talk about the crowd and the atmosphere, playing against the crowd.
RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, no, nothing about the crowd. I am used to it. No one excuse about that. Sometimes the crowd is for you. Sometimes the crowd is against you. That’s it.  Continue reading “Rafael Nadal hard on himself after loss to Denis Shapovalov in Montreal: “It is probably my worst loss of the year””