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USO: Semifinal Presser Transcript

9/11/2011Rafaholics ™


VIDEO: Rafael Nadal- Day 13 #USO11

 via ubi

Q. How does it feel to be going back to the final?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, for sure is emotional day for me, you know, winning against one of the best players of the world and being in another final of the US Open.
So is very, very special, especially because it's a final Grand Slam. That's the first thing. Second thing, I had a few tough moments this summer, and I think every day I wake up with big motivation, big illusion to practice and try my best at every moment, and finally I had a very positive result.
I am playing very good level, I think every day better, and today I played my best match against a most difficult opponent.
Q. It's a repeat of last year's final. What similarities and differences do you think might be out there on Monday versus last year?
RAFAEL NADAL: Similarities is we are the same players. Differences, last year I don't know if I had matches against him, but this year I lost last five matches against him, five finals. This will be the sixth.
That's an advantage for him. He's obviously the favorite for the final, and I know I have to do something better than the other matches to try to change the situation.
That's what I gonna try.
Q. Did you watch his match against Roger, or were you already focused?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I was watching the football and I was watching the match in the same time, yeah.
Q. What do you think of his game?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think he play fantastic later. The beginning Roger I think was playing very well. His serve was working really well and he was playing aggressive with his forehand. Was a little bit of mistake for Roger in beginning of the third, in my opinion. But after, he was very unlucky in the fifth, no?
Matches like this, you lose one every lot of, lot of matches, and he lost one two in a row in this tournament, last year and this year. Probably was worse this year, because last year he had the match points but on the return.
This year he had the match points with the serve. The return from Novak with the 40 15 was I don't have words to describe, because, you know, you hit a shot probably without thinking because you see the match total lost with 40 15 and serving for Roger.
Is not a normal serve. Is one of the best serves of the world. He returned the ball with eyes closed. The ball went to the line. After, one mistake from Roger and the match changed completely.
Hats off to Roger. I think he deserves to be in the final because it's hard lose two years in a row with a similar situation. But Novak this year is playing fantastic level mentally obviously, and he won few matches that in normal conditions he's supposed to lose.
That's, yeah, big confidence.
Q. Will you have a new strategy Monday? How much are you looking forward to having tomorrow's day off that you really wanted?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think I gonna do serve and volley. (Laughter.)
You know, I have my game, and I beat him in the past playing my game. The thing is play my game very well and be enough strong mentally all the time, fight every ball, believe in the victory in every moment. That's something that for moments this year I didn't.
But just play aggressive, try to play a similar match than last year here. I saw that match a lot of times and I know what I have to do, but I don't know if I gonna be able to do it. (Laughter.)
So that's always the same.
Q. What about the Sunday off that you really, really seemed to want?
RAFAEL NADAL: Is beautiful have one day off after few days. It's fantastic. Only negative thing I going to arrive later to the Davis Cup semifinals. But for me be in a final of Grand Slam and have one day off in the middle I think is a very positive news for me, because I played three matches in a row.
Q. He'll take one. Can you just talk about how Novak's two handed backhand comes back differently against your forehand as opposed to Roger or someone with a one handed backhand?
RAFAEL NADAL: Murray didn't have a bad backhand. Andy, the player that I played against today. He has fantastic cross backhand, too, very similar to Novak's. So that's nothing new for me. Didn't change a lot.
If I play my good shot against his backhand, the forehand with topspin long, normally I will take advantage on the point. But I have to do it not one time. I have to do it 1000 times during the match. That's what I really have to do, and that's what I gonna try.
Q. At the start of your book, you say the hardest thing you have to do on court is to keep your mind quiet, and that Wimbledon is really hard because it's so silent there, so quiet at Wimbledon. Could you talk about performing on Ashe Stadium where it's so huge, so noisy. What is that like as a professional athlete?
RAFAEL NADAL: Every court is special. Every court is different. You have to understand the different situation and enjoy the different situations. I enjoy the tradition of Wimbledon. I enjoy the calm of the crowd.
But for sure I enjoy a lot of passion from here, and the support from the fans was really important always. In Wimbledon I think I have huge support, but here, too. A lot of people here supporting me from two weeks and from few years ago.
So I just can say thanks to them. Going out in a bigger tennis court of the world always is special, and that means playing in the center court of one of four Grand Slams. But I think the crowd is doing fantastic. Every feeling is different.
Roland Garros is not the same than Wimbledon. Australia probably is a little bit more similar to here. But, you know, here we are here.
Q. Do you ever take a moment before or during the match at all to look up at the arena? It's such a huge, huge arena.
RAFAEL NADAL: When I go out and they say my name, I go out, I normally look around. That's the only moment really. The rest I am there. I don't look too high.
Q. At the end of your match on court you said a few things about 9/11 to the crowd and to New York. What prompted you to say that, and was that planned?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, for sure I felt real bad. Is the really I don't know exactly how to say in English, but the image, what I remember from that moment is probably... (Through translation.) Unforgettable.
So that was really fresh for me at that moment, because I have been there, in the top of the twin towers, four months before. I went here for holidays with my family. So I really didn't believe what's happened.
So, yeah, that's a hard day for all the people here in New York tomorrow, all the people in America. But I think for all the people around the world, too, no? Because this kind of tragedy for everybody is hard to accept, hard to understand.
I am not an exception. I felt much pain and I suffered, too.
Q. You lost a lot of big matches to Novak this year. Before that, I think you were very good against him in big matches. What about him tennis wise has changed? What are you feeling from him on the court that wasn't there before?
RAFAEL NADAL: Probably his movements are better than before. He's having less mistakes than before. His level is similar, you know. You cannot have big change in one moment. He's playing with high confidence. Victories like today is big confidence for everybody. He's great to keep his mind fresh in important moments, fight every point. He's doing everything fantastic.
I had to win one of the first two matches against him this year, the final of Indian Wells or the final of Miami. After that I felt favorite, a little bit more favorite than in the other places in the final of Wimbledon, because I think I played very well during all the tournament.
Probably played my worst match against him. But when you are playing the worst match against him, and I was playing very well before. It's because he is doing something really well. I cannot just look at me, on my side. I have to look around a little bit more and understand why I didn't play that well. He's doing a few things very well.
I am not very happy about my mental performance against him this year. That's true, no? Because for moments I didn't believe really 100% with the victory. That's big problem. Because when that's happening, you have your chances less, much less than if you believe. Because if you believe, you are running more, you are putting one more ball inside.
So that was problem, and that's what I gonna try to change for Monday. If I'm not ready to change for Monday, I have a goal to do it for next year. So I am ready to work hard. I am ready to work my tennis, to work my mental part, and hopefully I will ready for Monday.
That's what I would like. But if not, yeah, I really believe that I can come back next year and do it better.
Q. In your book you described leading up to last year's US Open final. You were very complimentary of Djokovic. You basically said he had no real weaknesses. How does that affect your approach when you admit that Djokovic is solid throughout his game?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think he's very complete player. You have Novak in front and you say, How I can beat him? You know, the backhand is fantastic; the forehand is fantastic; the serve he's doing really well; the movements are probably the best of the world today.
The only way to beat him is believe in the victory, play aggressive, and play every moment perfect. So that's what I have to try. My approach to the match is always the same: try my best in every moment and try to play my game very well.
Q. Andy said to me just a short time ago he felt the mood was a bit different because of the approach of this very sensitive anniversary tomorrow. A lot of New Yorkers will be silent at 8:46 and 9:03, the times when the planes impacted the Twin Towers. Just wondering, is that going to be part of your day tomorrow and whether it gives you a different perspective on tennis being here tomorrow at such a sensitive time?
RAFAEL NADAL: (Through translation.) I already say before, no? But tomorrow at this time I gonna be at the hotel. So, you know, I cannot do much. The only thing that I can say is all the support from the families of the victims for all the people here, from New York.
You can have silence in memory of them, but the pain is done. It's difficult to accept, and the only way to you cannot do much. Just remember the moment and have the support for the families.

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