N. DJOKOVIC/R. Nadal
5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5
Q. How are you feeling physically?
RAFAEL NADAL: Fine. No, I'm tired, sure. Physically was the toughest match I ever played, if not the tougher. I am tired.
Q. Has this sunk in, the results, the magnitude of the match?
RAFAEL NADAL: Can you repeat?
Q. Has the results sunk in yet? How do you feel mentally as well as physically?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes. No, no, no, nothing to do on that, no? Just accept.
I think we played a great tennis match. It was I think a very good show, my opinion. I enjoyed being part of this event and this match. That's the true, no? I wanted to win, but I am happy about how I did. I had my chances against the best player of the world today. I played one against one. For a long time I didn't felt that I was playing in less advantage than him, you know. I didn't play at lower level than him for a long time, so that's a very positive thing for me. I am very happy about my mentality tonight, the mentality worked like in my best moments. So very happy about the beginning of the 2012 season. That's all that I can say. Yeah, I had big chance for the 52, yes. I had that easy passing shot with the backhand. I miss it, yes, but I was 43 Love40 in the fourth, too. Anything can happen when the match is there. Important thing for me, during all 2011 I didn't play much like this. I'm happy I am in the real right way.
Q. If the day before the championship someone would say you would play a fivehour53minute match in the final, would you have been completely surprised that you could even compete?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, seriously, 20 hours before the tournament start for me I was more worried and try to play the first round, try to play the tournament, because I had a really strange thing, as you know, the Sunday afternoon. So that's past. I was lucky. Recovery was fantastic. I had very good people around me here working for me, doctor, physio, so that helps a lot, no? If you are alone here, you don't have this team around, is impossible to recover that. But I am lucky that I have all of this team around me. Without them, probably I gonna be at home two weeks earlier, no? So very happy for everything. Very happy with my level during both weeks. Is the moment when I realize the whole tournament did I well. I did a lot of very positive things, much more than in 2011 for the most of the time. I played more aggressive. I played with more winners than ever. My serve worked well. The mentality and the passion was there another time better than probably never another time. So that's very positive aspects on whole game that I am very happy, no? So I just lost the final of a Grand Slam. I am not happy to lose the final, yes, but that's one of the loses that I am more happy in my career.
Q. Did you feel at any time in the fifth set the match was in your control? Given that he had to play so long against Murray a couple nights ago, were you surprised that he could stay with you that long?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. I didn't have any doubt that he would be ready for that, no? But the match under control when you're in the fifth set, when you won the fourth like this, you don't feel the match under control in that moment. You are worried in every point, no?
Well, with the 42 was advantage because I felt very well physically in the moment. I felt with very positive energy, and I played a fantastic first point of the 42 with the forehand winner down the line after he had that return. Is something unbelievable how he returns, no? His return probably is one of the best of the history. That's my opinion, no? I never played against a player who's able to return like this. Almost every time. It's true I had big mistake with 3015. But it's not moment to think about that. That's another just moment in an almost sixhours match. Forget about that knowing that I really had real, very real chances to have the title and to win against a player who I lost six times last year. But I didn't. I never put him in this situation during 2011, all 2011, so that's another positive thing for me. I didn't have mental problems today against him. I had in 2011 all these mental problems. Today I didn't have. I compete with normal conditions against him, no? So that's another positive thing. Probably never say that many positive things after I lose. (Laughter.)
Q. You always said that Roger is the greatest that ever played the game. How great now is Novak?
RAFAEL NADAL: Now he's the best of the world. That's how great it is. Five Grand Slams, so the history says that he has a part in the history today winning five Grand Slams, winning a lot of titles, No. 1 of the world. We'll see where he arrives.
Q. You have been a part of two of the real epic battles in tennis history, this and the 2008 Wimbledon final. Is that something that you're proud of or a reason why you think you...
RAFAEL NADAL: A pleasure. That's means that I did a lot of things well to compete against best players of the world and winning on them, losing on them, but always having tough matches. And final 2008 Wimbledon and this one was very special. For me it was a little bit more special the 2008 (smiling). But I really understand that was a really special match, and probably a match that gonna be in my mind not because I lost, no, because the way that we played. So that's happy be part of these two great matches, my opinion.
Q. Where does that rate? How tough was that? Was that the toughest match? Toughest game you have been involved in? Where does it rank?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think it's the longest one that I played ever.
Q. Are you going to watch it again on videotape?
RAFAEL NADAL: Too long. (Laughter.) Highlights only.
Q. When you're in that match, did you ever look at the clock? Did you ever look at the clock during the match, at the time?
RAFAEL NADAL: The time? No, you watch, you look around and you see the watch, five hours, four hours, three hours, finally five hours, 30. Seems like never gonna finish, no? But that's nice be there fighting, you know, trying to go to the limit, bring your body to the limit of his chances. Something I really enjoy, and I always said is good suffer, enjoy enjoy suffering, no? So when you are fit, when you are, you know, with passion for the game, when you are ready to compete, you are able to suffer and enjoy suffering, no? I don't know if I express very well, but is something that maybe you understand. So today I had this feeling, and is a really good one. I enjoyed. I suffered during the match, but I enjoyed all the troubles that I had during all the match. I enjoyed. I tried to be there, to find solutions all the time. I played a lot with my heart. I played a lot with my mind, and is something that is nice to be around and not just play tennis.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports
AO2012 HQ photos 1/28/2012Rafaholics ™
Saturday, 28 January, 2012
Q. How are you feeling after your session on court just now?
RAFAEL NADAL: Fine. I practiced for two hours. So having day off yesterday, today I felt with energy to practice a little bit more. I felt that I needed to move well the body, to stay with rhythm. I did, and I am happy, no? Enjoying these two days off.
Q. Did you stay up late last night watching the match the other match?
RAFAEL NADAL: I watched the second set, beginning of the third I went for dinner, and I came back after the 4‑1 in the fourth and I watched the rest of the match.
Q. What did you think of it?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think the second set was fantastic. Was really impressive level from both of them. First set I didn't see, but the fourth seems like Andy was very tired. He wasn't ready to play the fourth, and Nole was much more fresh.The fifth seems like Andy was very tired, too, because Novak have the control of the situation. But in the 5‑3, Andy break with Love‑40, so after he had fantastic chance. With a 5‑4, 15‑40, he little bit of mistake with the forehand in the return on the deuce on the 15‑40; 30‑40 was an amazing point. Djokovic finished with unbelievable forehand down the line.Another point for Andy, big mistake to the net for him with his backhand. He didn't miss not one backhand during all the match, and he missed in that moment. It was a tough moment for him.After when that happens, playing for four hours forty‑five, it's normal you will be in trouble in the next game; Novak plays well and match was done.It was an emotional match, and I enjoyed watching on TV.
Q. Novak's coach said yesterday that it's unfair that he has only one day rest and you have two days. What do you think?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, that's what it is. 2009 I played longer than him in the semifinals. I played more than five hours at very high intensity, too. I had only one day and Federer had two, no?I was recovered for the final, so I think you can say it's unfair, yes, but not crazy unfair.Really unfair is the US Open when you don't have day off between semifinals and final. That's really unfair. If the match of yesterday happened in the US Open and the other semifinal is in straight sets, you are in big trouble for the finals.Having one day off, I believe you are not in big trouble.
Q. What does it mean for you to face another time Novak Djokovic in a Grand Slam final?
RAFAEL NADAL: For me what means is I am in the final of another Grand Slam, fourth in a row. Happy for that. The opponent at the end is the best player of the world today, so that's why I played the last few finals against him.So will be always a really tough match for me. He is the favorite after being No. 1 in the world and after playing fantastic and beating me the last six times. So just happy to be there.For me, the tournament is really, really good. Right now I going to try to play my best tennis and fight every ball knowing that is going to be a tough one.
Q. Do you think with the changes you've made to your game in the off‑season, the things you're doing differently, can you surprise him tomorrow with some new things?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am trying to play a little bit more aggressive and hit more winners. You know, the improves that I want to do is not complete.No, no, I didn't practice a lot with that, so I need time to play with this aggressive plan during all the match.Probably I need few more months and tournaments. But I am happy how I am doing, no? I don't know if going to be enough for him. I going to try to play well like I did all the tournament.I need to play a little bit better, in my opinion, to have chances, but I am happy about how I am doing. I think I'm in the right way to compete against the top players of the world. I did here winning against the No 6, against the No. 3.So it's is fantastic way to start season. Now is another big, big test. I don't know if I am enough ready to win the match of tomorrow, but I believe that I can do it and I going to fight for it.
Q. You remember what it was like of course last year coming in here going for the slam. It was at that stage. It's slightly different now, isn't it? You can understand what the expectation is like on Djokovic tomorrow because you've been there. Is that a tough thing to do?
RAFAEL NADAL: He is not playing for the Grand Slam.
Q. No, no, but he's the No. 1 player in the world and playing for three in a row. It's a tough situation to be in.
RAFAEL NADAL: No is a fantastic situation to be. (Smiling) It's really not a tough one.
No, I played for the three in a row US Open 2010. When you are coming with that confidence everything is a little bit easier, no?I was a little bit unlucky here last year when I played for the Grand Slam. I didn't feel the extra pressure for that. That's true. I felt that I was ready to compete. I had an injury in the quarterfinals so I was out.That's it. Go home. Keep practicing. I think for him is an advantage, not a pressure, to be in that situation.
Q. Novak's coach said yesterday that it's very difficult to make winners because the balls are very heavy. Do you feel that way?
RAFAEL NADAL: For him is being very difficult. Seems like he cannot do one winner. (Smiling.) No, he's playing very well, no? He's doing fantastic tournament.
Q. Do you feel with the ball it's difficult to make winners?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. I feel it's difficult to make winners when the weather conditions are cold. When the weather conditions are warm or hot, I think the ball is the right one.When it's cold, for example, the week before the tournament it was very cold here. The ball was very big, very heavy. I don't believe today it's happen.
Q. Novak has been having some trouble with breathing in the last two matches. Do you think it'll be a factor tomorrow and something you can take advantage of?
RAFAEL NADAL: It's funny, no? I saw the match yesterday on the TV she show on the Channel 7 when he was in the fifth set moving fantastically well, and they show images from two hours fifty before and seems like he was destroyed. Two hours fifty later he was in perfect condition.So is difficult to imagine that he has these problems. I don't know.
Q. Andy said last night that he thought he had closed the gap on the top three. Do you feel there has been a little to choose between yourself, Roger, Novak, and Andy now?
RAFAEL NADAL: He never was very far. That's the true. He's playing well. He always played fantastic. He's unlucky not to win a Grand Slam yet.Yesterday he lost another very good opportunity, in my opinion. Because winning two sets to one, winning the third set, probably losing a lot chances, and then winning with 7‑6 ‑‑ to win a tournament like this and to play against player like Djokovic, you cannot start the fourth set like this.It's the moment to play with more intensity than ever, not start with 3‑Love down and two breaks in five minutes. That way you lose the match. You want to win the tournament, you cannot start ‑‑ you can lose ‑‑ the other can beat you, but you cannot lose in the beginning.But he's playing well. He's playing fantastic. He deserve to win a Grand Slam. He was unlucky at the end, but the only negative thing for me in his match is the beginning of the fourth.When the other have more doubts, is in really trouble, you make for the opponent easier than what should be, no? That's my feeling.For the rest, he can be No. 1 at the end of the season. I don't have any doubt on that. The level is there. When you are able to play how many, five Grand Slams in a row playing semifinals or final, it's only a mental thing.The rest of the things are there. He started the season another time playing very well winning a tournament, playing semifinals here, and few points away to win against No. 1 player of the world.He's ready for everything.
Q. Can you remember a situation that you were in like that when the expectation was to go on and win a Grand Slam and you got very close and how you coped with that situation manage your mind? Because as you say, so much of that sport is what happens in the head.
RAFAEL NADAL: I was lucky in that situation, because I really didn't had that pressure or that feeling to win a Grand Slam.And the first time that I went to play a Grand Slam with the feeling that I can win Grand Slam, I won. That's the true.Because we talk about the Roland Garros 2005, that's the really first one. Few months ago I really started to play well, I really started to win, and was in the first Grand Slam that I arrived with real chances to win.Before, wasn't the chance. I played in Australia and make Round of 16 against Hewitt with chance to be in quarterfinals, but knowing that I don't going to win never, no? But in that moment yes, and I won. So that's a little bit of lucky that I was there.I did. And after winning one, it's easier win two. After win two, it's easy to win three.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports
|© Ben Solomon/Tennis Australia|
After going to bed around 10 am this morning.. I think it's safe to say that I really needed some sleep! So this is why the late update! But after a match like yesterday .. who wouldn't be drained? Ive uploaded around 300 photos? wow that can't be right.. to my imageshack.. you can take a look at them below along with some videos & headlines.. while I go back to bed & muster the strength we will all need for Rafa's match on Sunday!
Rafael Nadal, who beat Roger Federer at the Australian Open on Thursday, says that reaching his 15th Grand Slam championship final is a fantastic way to the start the new season.
"[To] start the season with the final here is a fantastic start and that gives me a lot of confidence," said World No. 2 Nadal, who has now reached four straight major finals. "At the same time, [it] gives me confidence about how I [am] working.
"I played not bad [in] the second half of the season in 2011. Not bad, but not very well. So I really need to win points to stay in the top positions of the [South African Airways ATP] Rankings."
- HD On Court Interview with Jim Courier [english] via partidoapartido
- HQ Post Match Interview [Spanish] via partidoapartido
- Post Match Interview with banesto [Spanish] via banesto
- Net Cord Defeats Federer -AO
- Night Session Highlights: Day 11 -AO
- Rafael Nadal Press Conference -AO
- Shot of the Day: Day 11 -AO
- Amazing Passing Shot - ESPN
- Nadal Knocks Off Federer -ESPN
Last Chance to Enter Tennis Channel's Australian Open 2013 Sweepstakes
- Nadal again proves Federer's nemesis Sydney Morning Herald
- Rafael Nadal beats Roger Federer to reach Australian Open final -LATIMES
- Spaniard Rafael Nadal beats Federer to advance to Australian Open final.-Fox News
- Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal's advice to Andy Murray -DailyStar
- Rafael Nadal beats Roger Federer at Australian Open in thrilling, but predictable, match -TorontoStar
- Nadal wins, but still one match to go-Sky News Australia
- Nadal beats Federer in Aussie Open thriller -yahoo
- Nadal stops Federer in thriller - AO
Photos: GettyImages, Ben Solomon,TennisAustralia
R. NADAL/R. Federer
6-7, 6-2, 7-6, 6-4
Q. Congratulations. How do you think you have succeeded to turn this match around tonight?
RAFAEL NADAL: Thank you very much. Well, I think he started playing aggressive, very, very high level at the beginning of the match.
Always you can do a little bit more, no? But I really felt that when he plays like this, it's almost impossible to rise there to that level, no?
But after the first three games I started to have the chance to hit balls, to play with a little bit with my rhythm, so I started to hit a few good forehands so I felt that the point stays.
So before one shot winner, another shot winner, so almost impossible for me, no?
After that moment I felt that the level start to be closer and closer. I had the break in the 42, and for the rest of the set I think anything can happen.
I felt at the end of the first set that my level was there, close to him. For moments I felt dominant at the end of the first set. That gives me confidence.
You know, finally I lost the set, but even the first game of the second that he had the break he was playing with the wind in his favor, so he played fantastic game, first game of the second.
But that moment was a little bit more calm, because in just the first game of the second set I felt that I had chances on my returned, too. So was very important to have break back in the next game.
But in general, after that I think I started to play aggressive. I started to play my game finally. I had the chance to move him a little bit more. Open the court from his forehand after changing to his backhand.
I didn't play as I played hundreds of times against him. I didn't play all the time against his backhand like I did a lot of times.
Today I think I played more normal match, playing in his backhand, playing in his forehand, too.
I really wanted to do that before the match, because I felt that in the last match against him in London he played very aggressive with his backhand, so he was very inside the court. Was very difficult for me to find, you know, spaces to move him, no?
Even the final of Roland Garros, the same. He played more aggressive with his backhand. On clay is different. You have more time.
But today went on court with the idea change a little bit more the direction against him, and in my opinion it worked well. Because I think he was a little bit tired.
Q. When you're in a match like that and he has started so well, can you draw on your experience to having beaten him now so many times in Grand Slam matches? Can that be an inspiration for you even when he's playing well?
RAFAEL NADAL: Any moment is different, and what happened in the past is past. Last match against him was 63, 6Love in 50 minutes.
Q. That's not a Grand Slam.
RAFAEL NADAL: Not Grand Slam, different conditions. What give me more calm is I play best of five. I play not indoor. I play outdoors. That's always a little bit more advantage for me, because when you play indoor, when you play best of three, he plays aggressive. Is very difficult to come back when he start like this, no?
Playing best of five outdoor, you normally have more time to do things and to try to find solutions and on the problem that he's causing, no?
So in general, I am happy about how I did. I think I played a good match with some mistakes, as usual. But I tried to play aggressive with my forehand, trying to hit winners with my forehand.
I did for moments. For moments I had few mistakes with the backhand. But I am trying with the backhand to not go behind the baseline, to stay in the baseline, to hit the ball earlier than before.
That's something that I am working on and something that we believe that I have to keep improving, to don't lose court, to play more inside. It's working well.
I a, very happy about my result on these two weeks. I did much better than what I thought, what I dreamed for three weeks ago. So very happy for everything. It's a fantastic victory for me. Very, very happy playing against the greatest of the history in semifinals, big match on Rod Laver.
It's one of the victories that's gonna stay in my mind forever, no? It's a fantastic way to start the season. Very happy for everything. He deserves to be there because, in my opinion, he was a little bit unlucky for the last year and a half in a few matches.
He was a little bit unlucky in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon; a little bit in the semifinals on the US Open. So he had the chance to win more Grand Slams the last year and a half, and he lost a few matches that he really had chances to win.
Today he had his chances, too. So the match was close. Anything can happen there. I won.
Q. You celebrated like it was a final. Did it feel like that to you?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. Didn't feel like that. I feel like semifinals match of Grand Slam. That's a very important match for me. Start the season with the final here is a fantastic start, and that's give me a lot of confidence. That's give me a lot of calm. At the same time, that's give me confidence about how I working.
You know, I working in few things that are working well. With nothing of practice, just thinking a little bit about what we have to do to be better player. I really didn't had the chance to practice a lot. I practiced one week and a half in Mallorca.
Seriously, Doha was a very important tournament for me. Qatar I think I played very, very well there, because I arrived without preparation. Play four matches there was decisive to my preparation for Melbourne, no?
So was a very important tournament. And for the rest, just these kind of matches actually better like this, because I played not bad the second half of the season in 2011. Not bad, but not very well.
So I really need to win points to stay in the top positions of the ranking. Because the final of the US Open give me calm, yes. But for the rest I had a few struggling results in Masters 1000.
That's a lot of points for me. It's a fantastic way to start the season.
Q. I guess the question is whether or not you feel like you're playing aggressive enough with the forehand and more inside the court with the backhand and feeling calm enough if you have to play Novak this time to get over on him again.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I happy about how I am doing. Any time to do this during all the match, as I am doing for moments for moments I am playing a little bit like before but when I am able to play inside, to play aggressive, I think the things are working fantastic.
I don't know if it's gonna be enough against Novak or against Andy. But what can I say? I'm very happy about my tournament. I gonna try my best to try to play a fantastic final, and hopefully I will have my chances.
But if the opponents play better than me and he beat me, I gonna go home very happy about my tournament. I gonna go home knowing that the way that I am working is working very well, and keep working on this way. Probably this way give me a good success in the next months.
Q. You said when you were interviewed on the court that if you were told before the tournament that you had made the final you would not believe it. Is that because of the injuries you have had or what?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I explained before the tournament. I explained that after my match on the first round of Monday, not what happened the Sunday before on my knee, something very strange.
But that's why, because Sunday afternoon, 24 hours to play my first match, I was in my room crying because I believe I didn't had the chance to play Melbourne.
So it was a very, very tough situation for me, these hours. Two weeks later I am here in the finals, so is a dream for me because having very bad expectations 24 hours before the first match, and now two weeks later I am playing well. I am in the final.
Always play Grand Slam final is very good news. I played last four Grand Slams I have been in the finals, so is a great effort, I think.
Q. How is that knee feeling?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am feeling great. No problems.
Q. Do you think having the extra days to recover on the final will be a big advantage for you? Having the extra day advantage for the final? Your opponent plays tomorrow night.
RAFAEL NADAL: I am fine physically. I believe that they are strong. They are feeling very well, very fit, so not gonna be decisive, no?
When happens like the US Open that you play the day before, yes, because if you have five hours match, four hours 30 match, next day you can be destroyed physically, no?
But one day in the middle, if it's not something very, very crazy, you will not have problems. I had that four hours 30 match two nights ago. I was in perfect condition today.
So you can have a tougher match, yes, but four hours and a half is a lot. The recovery is very good, and they don't have problems on that, no?
If you play a match like I played in 2009 against Verdasco semifinals, maybe yes, you can have a little bit troubles for the final. But that's something not usual.
Q. Roger says he has the impression that you play your best tennis against him. Do you have that impression, as well?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think sometimes. London I didn't play my best tennis. I play my best tennis against him when I am ready to play my best tennis. I don't play my best tennis because it's Roger in front. I play my best tennis because I am ready to play my best tennis.
That's what I can say. Normally when I play against Roger it's because I am playing my best tennis because I always was in a finals or was in a very important matches, and having a good confidence because I have won a lot of matches before.
It's true I played a lot of good matches against him during my career, so is something fantastic. But I believe that he played a few fantastic matches against me too during his career, during our rivalry, no?
So I enjoy playing against him. It's always a special feeling because our matches always have been special, and especially today after a lot of ones, a lot of important moments for our careers.
So our relationship always have always been in a very positive way. So for all of this facts our matches are special, no?
I think hopefully we will repeat soon.
Q. Would you rather play Andy in the final than Novak?
RAFAEL NADAL: I prefer the player who gonna play worse that day. (Laughter.)
That's what I can say, no?
Q. What are your thoughts on the other semis, and how closely will you watch that match having in mind Andy changed his coach and Djokovic had so much success against you last year?
RAFAEL NADAL: Both players are top players, very, very high level.
The level of tennis of both players is fantastic, so gonna be a fantastic tennis match tomorrow. I gonna watch the match, because it's gonna be a fantastic show, my opinion.
Both are playing very well. Novak has the advantage that he won the last two Grand Slams. He's No. 1 of the world. He's coming with big confidence.
But Andy is doing really well. Only lost one set at the first match of the tournament. After that, he won all the matches you cannot say easy, because nothing is easy but with very comfortable result.
So when you win with a comfortable result, it is because you are playing well. That's true. So both players gonna have chances. The player who will play better tomorrow gonna be the winner.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports
Even a superstar like Rafa can get starstruck, taking the opportunity to take a quick snap on his phone when he met Australian legend Rod Laver!
Rafa Nadal defeats Tomas Berdych 6-7(5), 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-3, in four hours and 16 minutes, on Tuesday night. It was the Spaniard's 10th straight win over Berdych.
"I think the level of the third and fourth set for me was very, very high playing on these courts," said Nadal. "[I'm] very happy about how I finished the match. It's true it is difficult against a player like [Berdych], because you don't have chances on return. He hit the ball very, very hard and very flat. [It is] very difficult to find [any] rhythm."
Some of my favorite photos of the match & they are plenty to choose from which took a very long time to save & resize about 200 are at the below links..Photos have been split into three albums for better viewing..
Photos: GettyImages, TennisAustralia