madridopen2014 transcripts

Madrid Open: Semifinal Press Conference Transcript

5/11/2014Rafaholics ™

Photo: JulianFinney/Getty



MUTUA MADRID OPEN

May 10, 2014
Rafael Nadal
MADRID, SPAIN
R. NADAL/R. Bautista Agut
6‑4, 6‑3


THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. Congratulations. Can you just a little bit sum up how you've been improving during the week and how you feel your game is getting better and better, and was that the case today?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, thank you. Yeah, it was an important victory for me. After I think a great match yesterday, have the confirmation today that the improvement is real is a very good news for me, important one for me. I think for moments I played great tennis against an opponent that is playing really well and improving a lot.
He's a really dangerous one today. He has already this year great victories, a lot of good ones. So is an important one for me.
And be in a final here in a difficult tournament at home after losing two weeks in a row quarterfinals means a lot to me. So very happy. (Smiling.)
THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish.

Q. Congratulations for your sixth final here in Madrid, and also for your 28th Masters 1000?
RAFAEL NADAL: 27.

Q. I added one there.
RAFAEL NADAL: Thank you for that.

Q. Ferrer has beat on you repeatedly on clay; Nishikori, the last time you played together was in Australia. Who do you think suits better your game tomorrow for the final? Who would you like better?
RAFAEL NADAL: I really don't know. I have no clue. Really, I don't know. We're talking about top players. They're really good. They're the players that are playing really well.
Nishikori has done a really good season. He comes from winning in Barcelona, so he has a lot of confidence.
Well, David played really well in Monte‑Carlo. In Barcelona he had an accident, and here he's already had several complicated matches that he has won. A match with Isner, and with Ramos he suffered and he managed to get through it.
He has had two really tough matches. He won today in two sets, so very well.
And tomorrow, you know, I would like to play against the one who plays not so good, but I don't know who.

Q. You talking on the court before, and is it more important this week to win than to play well?
RAFAEL NADAL: You know, you never win without playing well. This is the reality. You don't win a Masters 1000 playing badly. That's impossible.
You can play well, normally very well, or incredibly well. These other three options you have in order to win a Masters 1000, not only playing well. You need several circumstances in order to achieve it.
Times I have won tournaments like this without playing well, I would say never. So to win, of course it's important, and especially more when you come from not winning.
So for me, the fact of being able to win four matches in a row is something really positive. It's always true. As I said at the beginning of the week, I think that in Barcelona I could have done it. I should have done it, but I let that match go.
Well, it makes you, you know, suffer a little bit and it makes you next week start from zero.
But it's true that the feeling was much better in Barcelona than in Monte‑Carlo. That's why maybe I got here with a better feeling and also more calmness, you know.
We could see that in the matches. As you keep on winning, you have more confidence and play more calmly. That allows you to go the match with some calm that allows you to do your match, to do your game. It allows you to do what you're thinking to do.
In the end, important thing is the nerves‑‑ the important is not the nerves. As I always saying, the nerves are good for you. The bad things is when the nerves don't allow you to do what you want to do on the court.

Q. Compared to Monte‑Carlo, how do you see yourself? Talking about your legs, your mobility, your reactions.
RAFAEL NADAL: I think that I've done pretty good things. Not only talking about legs. Of course legs are pretty important, but I think I'm doing things much better in general.
Again, I'm doing my logical game that I've always done on clay. I think I'm playing well with my drive and defending very well. Especially when I have intermediate balls, my drive is dangerous again. I don't have to put it really close to the baseline. I play like safe shots so I am managing to move the opponent around the court without assuming great risks.
That's the key for playing on these kinds of courts, on clay. I think that in this tournament I managed to do it well. I think today I had an opponent that was playing very well. I started well and managed to break, and then a double fault with my serve. I managed to do that well.
He also played a couple points good and complicated it again. Psychologically, Monte‑Carlo and Barcelona, whenever I had thoughts, moments, I was not ready and I was a little bit down.
Over here I managed to be ready straightaway. For example, in the second set I had a ball to go 5‑0 and he played well and then I committed an error with a deuce in the 4‑1.
At 4‑3, I responded again. I managed to serve well and play a good passing shot and to break again. All of those symptoms are symptoms that I am mentally more stable and more confident that things are going to go well.
This is great news in order to go out and play tomorrows' match, but also for what may come in the future.

Q. You played constantly with the noise of an internal riot. Had that happened to you before?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I didn't know. I asked the umpire because I didn't know what was going on. I didn't know if it was noise from the inside of the tournament or not. He told me it was a riot outside of the complex. It's uncomfortable, but I cannot do anything about it.
There are riots. We have them. They have freedom in order to do them, so no problem at all with that. Just a pity that it's really close to here. That's the only thing I have to say.

Q. One day left for the tournament to win, the Magic Box is still not full. Today was the fullest, but still not full. Do you agree with the philosophy of the tournament on the ticket prices?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know the philosophy that the tournament follows, but I can't talk about it in the Davis Cup when I'm talking about something which is public.
After all, we're playing with the Spanish Federation, which I don't know if it's private or public. At the end, it's just an organization. I don't know how it works. I guess it's 50/50.
But afterwards we understand when we're talking about the federation that referring to a public organization, not like here which is a private tournament.
When you have a private tournament you have the freedom and the right to price the tickets as you want. We don't have anything to say about that.
Of course, each one of us does with the tournament whatever they think is more convenient for the tournament. I cannot talk about that, and I will never do it.
On your own you can do whatever you want. You're free to do whatever you want. I really don't have anything to say about it.

Q. Do you miss Federer and Djokovic because they haven't been here this week and maybe not going to be next week? Does that mean more relax or rehab?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, there is no rehab at all. No rehab for me. As I said before, in Barcelona and Monte‑Carlo I didn't get to the round to play against them, so that's a completely different story.
Of course for the tournament it's better that these players are present, and also for the fans. But we also to have get used to tennis‑‑ the tennis is not only Federer, Djokovic or me. We have it get used to that. Or Murray. Because we're going to leave one day.
We're not 20 years old anymore, and tennis is way more important than just for the player. This is the reality of the situation. We have to get used to it. You have to get used to it, and the fans also.
But you are the ones who help the fans so that their mentality can change. You can do that because you communicate with them. I think that tennis is way more important than any player.
In this case we're talking about some of the best players in the world currently. It's a pity that they're not here. I would have liked that they would be here for the tournament and the fans.
But talking about a Masters 1000 who has all the other 50‑some best players of world, it's a really good tournament. This is the reality of the situation. I don't think that the tennis should depend on just these four or five players. These players, as I said, are just going to leave. Me too. I'm also going to leave, and tennis will still be there and other players will come.
THE MODERATOR: Question in English.

Q. I wonder the main difference you're feeling in the sensations on the court between here and how you played and how you felt in Barcelona and Monte‑Carlo.
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. At the end, I said before the tournament start, no, very few details make a big difference.
I think in general I am able to hit more forehands than a few weeks ago. I was playing too much with my backhand. To play on clay I need to play with my forehand and use my forehand to create the possibilities to create angles.
In normal balls during the points‑‑ there is always normal balls. I'm not talking about when you are hitting a winner, when you're trying to defend a difficult ball. Talking about a normal ball, I think I am able to create that spin that I was not able to create few weeks ago.
With that spin I had the possibility to change the direction of the ball down the line. I feel that to put the opponent in a problem, I don't need to play that close to the line because the ball starts going quick again and with the right spin.
So playing with the right, you know‑‑ I don't need to play few centimeters to the line. Playing one meter away from the lines, the ball is still very good. That's the basic thing on clay that I'm doing better.

Q. Do you ever read what people say about you? When you lose a couple tournaments like you did and certain people say it's the end, he's not the player he was, and things aren't going well, do you ever read or listen to that or hear it?
RAFAEL NADAL: I never read a lot about me when I'm winning or losing because I understand that there is always‑‑ I don't know how to say‑‑ but when you are winning, people talks here; when you were losing, people talks here.
I always understand there is a middle point. That that's always the real thing. There is always moments of your career. There is always situations, ups and downs. You know, the people are very quick put you on the top and very quick to say that you are over, no?
So just try to maintain the calm, trying to keep working doing the right things, and one day will be the end.
But I don't know if it's that moment yet. (Smiling.)

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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