Photo: Jon Buckle/AELTC
June 28, 2014
R. NADAL/M. Kukushkin
6/7, 6/1, 6/1, 6/1
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Is there anything about the first sets in general that are particularly difficult for you?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. Normally I am a good first‑set player. I think my opponent played great the first set today and I think I was playing fine. He played fantastic. The only thing that I did not good in the first set was some returns with the second serve that I make a few mistakes with his second serve.
And then in the tiebreak I didn't serve well, didn't serve enough well. Then I give him the opportunity to attack me with the second serve, my second serve. He did well. He was playing great.
Accept that the match is long. Accept that if he is able to play like this for three sets I will be in trouble. But always waiting that I can improve one step. If I improve one step, I can be there. I think I did.
Q. You told us many times that you much prefer playing tennis with the sun on your back. You're not a big fan of playing indoors. Would I be right in thinking the match with Rosol two years ago was the only other time you played under the roof?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah. When I played the first set, I said that maybe the roof here in Wimbledon is not good for me (laughter).
No, it doesn't matter.
Q. Does it change the conditions for you?
RAFAEL NADAL: A little bit always, no? When you play with some wind, when you play outdoor, the court is a little bit more dry. When you play indoors, humid days, the court is a little bit more slippery. That makes the match a little bit different.
In general is true that the roof is great because there is lot of light coming, so your feeling is not that you are closed, completely closed, like an indoor tournament. I think that's better for us.
But for me, talking about my personal opinion, is better because I don't like to be in closed places only with lights, you know.
I think I played a great match. Didn't affect me a lot, but...
Q. After the three matches now, how do you feel on grass?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am playing well. I would be lying if I say another thing. I think I am playing well.
But the surface is open opportunity to everybody because the matches can be very close. That's what happens. To win 6/1, 6/1, 6/1 the last three sets against a good player like Kukushkin who didn't play well is impossible.
I lost 7/6, and then I won in straight sets and with a positive score. The feeling was great. I played aggressive. I had great movements. Some ones in difficult positions, I was able to come back on the point. Then when I had chances with the forehand, I was able to play aggressive. That's what I did.
The first set was very difficult to play aggressive because he was playing so long. Every ball that he was touching is like ‑‑ he touched a lot of lines first set.
Q. You took a toilet break after the first set. Was that to use the bathroom, to change clothes, to get reset perhaps?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I needed. I needed to go to the bathroom, that's all (smiling). I bring my T‑shirt and my bandana to change that there because I had to go to the bathroom. Not because I wanted to have a break, no, no. I needed.
Q. Wimbledon is a very special tournament. What do you like most about Wimbledon?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think Wimbledon is part of the history of our sport. Is one of the most traditional tournament. And the combination of improvement of the courts, improvement of the club with the tradition and the history of this place, that combination makes the tournament very, very special.
I think even if the people, some people, don't like play on grass, even some people never played well here, players who played well here, nobody can say that this place is not special because it is.
Q. If Nick Kyrgios gets through, he'll be your next opponent. This will be a pretty big story in Australia. What do you know about him and what would you expect about playing him in the fourth round potentially?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. I saw him play in Australia this year. I remember that match against Paire.
He's a young player, always there. Young players are very dangerous as always the young players have something special. They are able to play with no pressure. They are fresh.
Is good to have new players on tour. That's real. He has a great serve. He's aggressive player. I saw him few times. Not 50 times like other players. So I cannot talk too much.
Q. There's a lot of rain today. A lot of matches not being played. How important is it for you that you did get to play, that you're finished, that you're through into the next round when maybe your opponent and other players won't be?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, always is positive that. In one way is very positive to have that work already done. In another point, I don't know how Wimbledon going to react after a day like today, if they are not able to play more matches because tomorrow is Sunday and the tradition is here nobody plays on Sunday.
But is true that, for example, if my opponents are not playing tomorrow, they are playing on Monday, I will be playing on Tuesday, and the winner will be playing again on Wednesday. That's not good. That's not a positive thing.
In one way is positive that I already done. For sure my opponents are in a worse position. But again, cannot be perfect.
Q. On a bit of a side note, Wimbledon have installed a gate into the players box in Centre Court to stop people from climbing over the roof. In 2008 you did that. Do you think it's disappointing we might lose an unofficial Wimbledon tradition?
RAFAEL NADAL: The winner cannot go anymore there?
Q. They're going to try to stop them. They have to go up and around and through the gate. After Pat Cash did it in 1978, it's almost an unofficial tradition.
RAFAEL NADAL: This is I first knew about that. I saw Andy there last year. I did the first time that I won, 2008. Maybe they be able to put a lot of security there, they can stop the winner, no?
Q. Do you think they should be allowed to do that then?
RAFAEL NADAL: Doesn't matter. If they don't go there, they going to go to another place. That's fine.THE MODERATOR: Leave that till later in the tournament, I think.
Q. Some of the players who are trying to make it to the finals, win majors for the first time, have talked about how they admire the big four. What do you think the four of you have in common that you would most like these younger players to learn from?
RAFAEL NADAL: At the end the best thing that I think that we did, talking about tennis, is we were able to play with very regular level for a lot of years, no? We were able to be there competing for quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals almost in every important tournament of the year.
That's very difficult. That's didn't happen‑‑ we talk about the history of our sport. We never saw that that often how we did that.
I don't know how many times I played against Novak, like 43. Against Roger, lot of ones, too. Roger and Novak played a lot of ones. I played already with Andy lot of times.
So we only can meet each other in semifinals or finals. That shows that we have been in that position a lot of times. That's very difficult mentally and physically.
I think the young players, the example is we were fighters. We were fighters for every single tournament, even if is Grand Slam, Masters 1000, 250, we were there fighting for the whole year, another year, another year, and another year.
I think is a good example for the kids, the motivation and passion for the game.
Q. How about off the court in terms of sportsmanship and other qualities?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think the positive thing about this era is we have been playing a lot of times under a lot of pressure, playing for very important things for our careers. We are in the locker room. We still talk each other. We have very good relationship between us. That's important because at the end the tennis at the end is only a game. The relationships, in my opinion, are more important than only a game. Tennis is a game at the end.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
There is a few other quotes from +TennisTopic that cami_melescanu translated here: (Don't know why ASAP sports did not add the drama questions about Rafa taking too much time)
Rafa: There is an umpire that is to umpire.Enough with coming here in the press, putting always pressure & talking about the same things.— Camelia Melescanu (@cami_melescanu) June 28, 2014
Rafa: We have to let the umpires to dictate what's fair. If you don't do it, you disregard the umpires that are on the court telling them— Camelia Melescanu (@cami_melescanu) June 28, 2014
Rafa: ...that they are not doing their job.— Camelia Melescanu (@cami_melescanu) June 28, 2014
Rafa: If I am slow then punish me. And if I'm not slow then don't do it. Now for something I left the counsel.— Camelia Melescanu (@cami_melescanu) June 28, 2014
Photo: Jon Buckle/AELTC
Clips via Wimbledon!
Check out: Rafa Nadal celebrating his win & gifts a headband to his fans: http://clips.wimbledon.com/g/v/leJ08R94xse
That Forehand! http://clips.wimbledon.com/g/v/LjQIqu83zq1
Rafa Tumbles http://clips.wimbledon.com/g/v/eNFUOZKlRvH
Rafa slips http://clips.wimbledon.com/g/v/wez2YpPwokX
Rafa Nadal routine b4 walking on court! http://clips.wimbledon.com/g/v/Qe5FHzFNYwk
Presser Clip via Wimbledon
Rafa Nadal hits the practice courts
Rafael Nadal Post-match Interview / R3 Wimbledon 2014 via Rafael Nadal King of Tennis
Nadal and Henman attempt the Copa-uppy challenge
Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty
Photo: AP/Pavel Golovkin
Transxript via Wimbledon.com
Rafael Nadal speaks to the media following his 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-4 victory against Lukas Rosol.
Q. You came through in the end.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes. Every match is so difficult here. Especially when you play against players that they, yeah, really decided to play every shot full power, with serve, with the forehand, with the backhand.
So when that happens you are in trouble if the inspiration is there for the opponent, no?
I played a bad game in the 4-All and I lost the first set. I think until that moment I was playing better than him, but didn't have my chances on the return because he was serving well.
I was confident with my serve, but I lost that game. Then he start to hit every ball full power, every serve serving unbelievable. I feel that was very important the second set when I had the break back in the 4-3 I played an unbelievable game, I think. Great returns.
So very happy. Is a very important victory for me. To be in the third round here again after two, three years is very positive news and I think I finished the match playing at a very high level.
Q. What were the biggest differences, besides the result, from the last time you played him here until now?
RAFAEL NADAL: The difference maybe is one point. Maybe if I lose that set point in the second set, if that forehand down the line went out, maybe will be here with a lose.
But that's the sport. That forehand was a perfect forehand for that moment. Is true that even if I was losing, I was fighting for every ball. I was fighting mentally, physically. Positive thing about tennis, I was able to find solutions through the whole match. At the same time my physical performance was different today than a few years ago.
Q. You talked about the game at 4-3. There was a huge celebration on the second point in that game. Can something like that help get rid of tension?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. Was Love-30. I didn't lose my tension there, no, losing that point. Was a set down, 4-3 for the opponent. I didn't have breakpoints before that moment. Love-30 is a match. I know if I come back on the match I will have my chances again. Love-30 was a very important point.
Q. Is there any way you can prepare differently to face an opponent like Rosol? Can you do anything different to prepare for a match like that or do you react to the way he's playing?
RAFAEL NADAL: I can try my best in every single point. That's the only way to win. The negative thing was I had a bad game. That's the problem in grass, that you have bad game and you are in trouble for the rest of the match.
Especially against players who are able to serve very well, hit the ball very aggressive. That's what happened in the first set.
In the second, he was playing amazing. No, no, no. I really cool in the match for a lot of moments in the second set.
I am very happy the way I played seriously. Is a great win for me. Is the best level I played on grass since long time ago, the last three sets. That's very important news for me.
Q. When you're a set down and you get broken in the second, do you think back to 2012 at that point?
RAFAEL NADAL: I said other day, no, when I am playing the match today, I am not thinking about the match two years ago. I am thinking what I have to do to win the next point in that match.
What happened happened. That's it. We already congratulate him for what happened two years ago.
Today is another history, another story. I needed to find the solution. Finally I did. That's the most important thing.
I think I played with fantastic energy during the last three sets. Very positive. Very quick with my legs. You know, very quick mentally. I was returning great last three sets. I was able to have more breaks.
But he was serving well, hitting the ball well. When I had the chance to touch the ball with the return, every return was in, and a good one. So I am very pleased the way that I played.
Q. How much confidence does that give you now, playing as well as you did? How much confidence do you have going forward?
RAFAEL NADAL: Every day is different. Is true, as I said before, is an important victory for me. Every victory will mean a lot to me here in Wimbledon. Always very dangerous surface. Every opponent is tough.
My draw was difficult from the beginning because two players that can hit the ball very strong, good serve. You will have the chance that you will not be able to get some rhythm from the beginning. Especially in my case that I didn't play many matches for the last three years on grass.
So is difficult to start. But as I say before, I arrived here after winning Roland Garros, less pressure. So more confidence. I said before the tournament that this year I feel myself little bit better physically. So I tried my best in every single practice, in every match that I played on the practice courts.
I was trying everything to be able to compete well again. I was practicing with a different energy than the last two years because my knees works better.
Q. It looks like the rain is coming. If it does go indoors the next couple days, do you have to change anything the way you play?
RAFAEL NADAL: I would love but I am not that good.
I prefer to play outdoors. Is obvious. If we have to play indoors, we play indoors.
Q. How easy do you find it to switch off between matches? Any particular places you like to go out to eat when you're here at Wimbledon? Anything you particularly like to do?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am here in a house. The easier is World Cup year. Germany/United States starts in 15 minutes, so...
We are in a nice house. I have my coaches here. I have Marc Lopez with me at the house. I have my team. We play little bit of different games. Maybe one day we go out.
But seriously we go to restaurants every single day of the rest of the year. So when we are here I like to cook, I like to be a little bit more relaxed at home and see the World Cup. I love football.
Q. Was there a moment in that match today where you thought you could lose? If so, does that inspire you to come back?
RAFAEL NADAL: My inspiration is the motivation to play Wimbledon. That's my motivation and that's my inspiration.
Talking about if I thought that I can lose that match, during the match I thought that I can lose before the match, during the match. Now that the match finished, I really know that I had the chance to lose the match.
But I didn't today. That's the positive thing. Very happy for that.
Q. Rosol, how would you describe his game and why it's difficult for you?
RAFAEL NADAL: If he plays well, is difficult for everybody, not just me. The players who are able to serve 130 miles, good first serve, good second serve, and hit the ball that quick with his forehand and his backhand, especially on this kind of surface, will be dangerous for everybody if he's playing well.
Photo: (Florian Eisele/AELTC)
Rafael Nadal Def. Lukas Rosol
Jun 26, Completed
Rafa Nadal Covers France Tennis Magazine
Take a look inside the mag..
Rafa Nadal Covers Germany's Tennis Magazine
Frisches Heft ist da, zuschlagen am Kiosk! Inhalt http://t.co/eE0i8yTxy2 Online kaufen http://t.co/3QURWFspxi Cover pic.twitter.com/5MRjNtd0ZE
— tennis MAGAZIN (@tennismagazin) June 20, 2014
Rafa Covers Australia's Tennis Magazine
"Yours is the Earth" - Rafa on the cover of GRAND SLAM Magazine
Rafa Covers TVE Tenis World Issue Nº 61. Julio 2014.
Photo: EPA/ANDY RAIN
Nadal vs Klizan, Wimbledon 2014 R1 Highlights via +NadalPower
Highlights via Nadal Le Roi
Match Point via +Wimbledon
Andy Roddick talks Rafa Nadal
Rafa enters center court
Photo: Carl Court/AFP
Rafael Nadal speaks to the media following his first round victory over Slovakian Martin Klizan 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.
Q. How would you describe your transition to the grass this time around?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, was a positive match for me. First thing because I won. That's the most important thing. I didn't play much on grass for the last three years. So always is like you restart.
So happy for the victory. In the end the match was difficult. After the first set was even more difficult. So I was able to fight. I was able to try to find some solutions, some changes during the match. I think I can do it better than what I did today, but at the same time I know I will not play today at my 100%. I will not play perfect today after not playing in grass for a while.
So you need to find the routines again. You need to find the confidence on some shots. The only way to find that things that comes automatic, the only way is play matches.
Q. You had two early exits here the last two years. How much was that on your mind going into the match? How determined has that made you to succeed this time around?
RAFAEL NADAL: That's part of the sport, no? Grass is a difficult surface, a surface that I played so good during a part of my career. So is a surface that I really have positive result and have in my heart because here was one of the most important tournaments of my career.
So I am excited to be back here, to win again a match in Wimbledon, in the Centre Court. When you go on court and you lost last year in the first round, the year before in the second round, no, I don't going to lie nobody, sure, it stays in your mind.
But in the end is a tennis match. And winning Roland Garros, you are able to go on court with a little bit less pressure than if you don't really win there, and that helps.
Q. You served well today. There was one serve where you hit the frame on breakpoint. Was that the pressure of the breakpoint? I don't remember you doing that before.
RAFAEL NADAL: No, happened to me before. No, is not the first time.
I don't know. I think I saved a lot of breakpoints serving well and playing well. But always you have pressure on the breakpoints. That one I missed. So that's the real thing. I don't know if it was because was a breakpoint or not. I lost the coordination on that serve.
Q. When you went the first set down, did it creep into your mind what happened the last two years or did it make you more determined to get back into the game as quickly as possible?
RAFAEL NADAL: When you are on the match, you are not thinking about what happened last year, two years ago, five years ago. When you are on the match, you're thinking about the next point, you're thinking about finding a solution for that match.
What is past is past. What happened, happened. We don't want to change that. The only way to try something is try to change what's happening right now. What was happening in the match is I lost the first set having some chances in the first set. But I played a bad game there in the 4-All. Then I make two mistakes in the next game because I had Love-30 again and I lose the set.
The second set was very important because he had some chances at the beginning. I was able to save that ones, so that was very, very important for me.
Q. That first set, you've given a few of your opponents a chance at dropping the first set, the semis at Roland Garros as well as the final, but you always come back winning three straight sets. Does it spur you on or do you feel you're giving too much of a chance to your opponent early on?
RAFAEL NADAL: I try my best in every moment. When I lose the first, I try to win the second. If I win the second, I try to win the third and then the fourth. That's the tennis, no?
I want to win the first game, the first set with the same intensity as the second. It's not something that losing the first helped me to be back on the match. I prefer to win the first and then you play with a little bit more calm. But the opponent plays, too. I'm not the only one on court. The opponents are good. The opponents want to wins.
Today he was able to play aggressive. The first match, the opponents try to play very aggressive. The court is a little bit more slippery. In the beginning of the tournament, is a little bit more difficult the movement.
As I said before, you need to find the automatic things that gives you the matches on the surface. When I am playing on clay, I don't have to think a lot about what I have to do when I am in semifinals of Roland Garros because I have all the things comes together and automatic, no? I just think about how I want to play that match.
Here, you know, you need to adjust the movement. You need to adjust the rhythm. You need to find the right feeling on the speed of the ball. You need to find the right places to serve because the serve is so important.
So all the things that you need to keep doing, and at the beginning the things are not going that easy, after a few matches you are able to win and play with the right tactic.
Q. Next up Rosol, of course. Do you take many lessons from last year's match?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I lost. I lost because he's a good player. He's a player that can play very well on this surface.
He's aggressive player. Will be a tough match again. I know if I want to have chances to win, I need to play very well. That's what I going to try. If not, I don't have chances to be in the third round. But I going to fight for it.
Q. Is winning back-to-back French Open and Wimbledon titles the toughest beat in tennis, do you think? Is that the hardest thing in the sport to do?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I don't think so. I am not sure on that because if we are thinking about our era, I don't see a big difference of winning Roland Garros and Wimbledon because in the end if you're in the final, you really make the same adjustment. You were able to play very well on grass, too.
I was able to do that five times. Djokovic was able to play the final in Roland Garros or semifinals and then win here. So that match will not make a difference.
I don't see that win Roland Garros and Wimbledon is so difficult one tournament by itself. The tough thing today is at the end mentally and physically you play a long clay court season. Not only the clay court season. You are coming from American hard court season. So one month in America, then one-month-and-a-half or two months in Europe playing on clay. Then mentally if you are able to win Roland Garros, you already played a lot of your time at your top mentally and physically. Is normal you go down little bit.
The real thing is you don't have lot of time to prepare and to play matches on grass. But the best players were able to do it very well the last couple of years, the transition.
Q. People say the grass at Wimbledon is either too fast, too slow. Does it really make any difference because everybody has to play on the surface no matter what?
Q. Next year we go one week later, which will give you more time to prepare. What would you like to do between Roland Garros and Wimbledon with this extra week?
RAFAEL NADAL: The problem with the players always is the same. If I am playing very well, I see the grass slow. If I am playing bad, I see the grass very quick. That is the same for me and the rest of the players.
The feeling are not the same every year for the same players, no? You arrive to, for example, a tournament Montréal that is very fast. I remember 2005 I was there. I had an unbelievable feeling, I was playing great before I arrive to the tournament. I arrive to the locker room, everybody was saying the court was playing that fast. I didn't feel the court was that fast. Is always about the personal feeling of the people.
My personal feeling, I repeat my personal feeling is I am playing in Wimbledon since in 2002. In 2002 I played Wimbledon junior. We are 2014. I don't see no one difference between that period of time. I don't know before.
RAFAEL NADAL: That's great for the grass court at the end because is a historic surface. The grass deserve to have one more week. That's the real thing.
For the players who are able to play very well and long on clay have this extra week that you don't have to play, for example, Halle, Queen's, that week to prepare Wimbledon. Helps. Physically you are always a little bit more dangerous when you are finishing Roland Garros on Sunday and you have to play Wednesday. You are dangerous a little bit more physically. Is tough to help make the right preparation for the tournament.
Q. In the first game of the third set, there was a point where you slipped and you covered on the baseline both sides of the court and hit a winner, a passing shot. Can you describe what was going through your mind and what you were feeling after the point?
RAFAEL NADAL: During is difficult to find a feeling because you are running. When you fall down, you try to go up as quick as possible and come back to the match, no, to the point.
Then after the point, I know I make something difficult because the movements on grass here are difficult. When you fall down, when you lose little bit the stability, is difficult to come back.
In that point I was able to do it twice and then finish with a great passing shot with the backhand. So was a great point.
Q. What feeling did it give you?
RAFAEL NADAL: Positive one. That give me a breakpoint.
Photo: Javier Garcia/AELTC
Rafael Nadal def Klizan
Current tournament:Wimbledon (Men's Singles)
Jun 24, Completed