madridopen2015 transcripts

Madrid: Semifinal Press Conference Transcript



May 9, 2015
Rafael Nadal

R. NADAL/T. Berdych
7‑6, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in Spanish, please.

Q.  At the beginning Berdych was winning some rallies then you came around.  How did you see the match?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, it went fine.  Went really good.  I think I played a very good match, the best match of the tournament without a doubt.
Much more than that, I think it has been a long time since the I played that level.  In general, very happy.  Of course Berdych wins some rallies because he beats Federer, Djokovic, a lot of good players.  He's a really good player.  He's up there in the top 3.
Berdych is really good and playing every single week.  He's always competing and fighting for titles.  So I think it's a very important victory for me, one of the most important victories that I've had in a long time.
I'm very happy to make it to the final.

Q.  In Barcelona you said that your forehand against Fognini was not vulgar.  What do you think about it now?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Vulgar?  No, I wouldn't say vulgar.  Today it wasn't vulgar.  Today I a good forehand, a high level forehand.  If not, I wouldn't have beaten him.
You just see things the way they are.  When I see them some way, I say it.  When it's the opposite, I also say it.  I think today I had a very high level forehand, a really high, elite level.  That's why I had the game that I had today.
But not only the forehand, the footwork, the energy on the court, everything was very positive.  I think I did very well during the whole match.
That's a very important point.  After all, I would say the same, and I said the same in Barcelona:  if my forehand is not good then my game is not good.  If you don't have a good game, then you have options to lose against any player.
Today that was not the case.  You know, it just changed.

Q.  I want to ask you how much did you need a victory like this and how much do you need tomorrow's victory?  How much do you need a championship like here in Madrid?
RAFAEL NADAL:  We're all thinking what do we need next and then what, what, always thinking about the next thing.  I think the important part of the job is done.  We had to go from less to more, recover good feelings, and play high level.  I did that, especially during the last two days.
I did something that's really complicated, to change thinks and go from less to more.  With better rivals day after day, they were demanding a lot.  I managed to do that, and today I had moments where I played really well.  Very, very well.
So tomorrow's victory would also give me another Masters 1000 title and also be at home.  That means an awful a lot.  But a week ago I would have signed for what I've done.  I would've signed without even thinking about what I've done, even making it to the final and losing it.
With the things the way they are, I came here with a complicated feeling, and the today the feeling is different.  But I just have to be humble, because you never know when things can change again.
But it's true that I'm very happy with the week.  Tomorrow hopefully I'll be ready to play a good match.

Q.  Rafa, could you talk a little bit about your two possible opponents tomorrow?  Nishikori had a great week in Barcelona, and Andy Murray, also his first title on clay.  Tell us a little bit about both of them.
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, no matter who I play, they have different types games, different styles.  In the end, I think it's the same:  I have to play with high intensity, with the same energy that I played with today.  It's not a matter of being much better for tomorrow.  I think I that there is not a great margin to be better.  You can always be better and improve things, but there is a smaller margin.
To be honest and clear, there were moments today that I played at a really high level.  I cannot play much better than what I did today.  May I do better things?  Yeah, I can improve some things, but the goal is to keep on the same path, try to play as aggressively as I played today.  When I go make my shots, I have to go for them.
The good thing about today is that from the third game my opponent didn't know where I was going to place the ball.  I think he didn't know where they were going.  I had some really good shots.  Whenever your opponent doesn't know where you're going to shoot, then you're going to do a lot of damage.
Whenever you play a repetitive ball without changing the direction or speed, the opponent starts to be more comfortable and he knows where you're going to place the ball.  Today that was not the case.
So to compete against rivals like the one of today and tomorrow you have to play at the highest level.  If I don't play like that, I'm not going to be able to play against these opponents.
Today I managed it, and I have to do ir tomorrow if I want to have options.

Q.  During the whole week you only lost your serve on two occasions.  Today you only lost ten points on your serve.  Do you think that the great part of your confidence during the last matches is due to your serve, that you're doing with better with the serve?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, it already happened in the past, and this question that you're asking is not new.  You know, just because I make two aces a game on my service doesn't mean I can't lose my service.  I managed to be strong with my serve if I take the initiative of the point.
I just have the capacity of dominating the point with my forehand or backhand in the next point, not just because I'm serving good.  I'm doing well.  It's true that I'm serving quite well and perhaps a little bit better here in Madrid.  It's true that here in Madrid with the altitude helps.
But the difference is mainly in the consistency.  I'm very consistent.  I keep being regular with the game, especially the aggressiveness with the next ball.  That's what makes my service important.  If I had served the way I am right now and I was playing from the back like I was two weeks, ago, then I would've lost a lot of serves, too.
You never know what can happen.

Q.  Can we say that between Grigor Dimitrov and Berdych today, who was more tough to win?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, you know, I don't like to make comparisons between players.  Each players has good and bad points.  Perhaps some have weaknesses, and I think that today and yesterday I just took advantage of their weak points.
I think that today's match was a more all‑round match.  In general, I was closer to losing a set today because we went to the tiebreak, and you never know what can happen in the tiebreak.
But it's true that I didn't suffer with my serve during the first set.  It's true if you go to the tiebreak with player like Berdych you go to the limit.  Anything can happen in that tiebreak.
Well, both of them, I've had problems with both of them.  I think that yesterday I did a quite good match.  Today I did an even better match.

Q.  You said everything about your forehand.  I want to ask you about your backhand, perhaps those things that you might want to improve.  Perhaps the parallel backhand?
RAFAEL NADAL:  No, no, the parallel backhand went fine.  There was a thing at the beginning of the match.  The problem was not that I missed a couple of parallel backhands.  You know, it's just that I had a slow ball and he had a possibility to take the initiative.
It's true that he played a good game, but whenever I did the backhand, you know, I didn't have the possibility to just change the game.  There was also another difference.  Dimitrov yesterday played differently.  He was playing with a slice ball.
Today the ball didn't come with that slice.  The ball came just a little bit more flat.  When it comes flat, I cannot change the rhythm as much as I like.  That's why I commit some errors sometimes.  Then little by little starting to get more rhythm, I just adapted to his shots.
I just managed to do better.  I just wanted to finish the game.  Maybe he did a little bit softer, and then at the beginning he was going too fast and I just left the balls too short.
Then of course after that I started to adapt to his game and managed to do a little bit better.  Whenever I was going out of that position, then I managed to go with my forehand a little bit better.  That's all.

Q.  Last year we saw you in Madrid celebrating the 10th Champions League of Real Madrid.  How do you see yourself this year in Roland Garros?  Talk about Roland Garros.
RAFAEL NADAL:  I am here in Madrid.  I don't want to talk about Roland Garros now, or Rome.  I'm here in Madrid and I made to the finals.  It's one of the post important tournaments of the year.  When we go to Roland Garros we will talk about Roland Garros.

Q.  Today Real Madrid is playing at 8:00.  Are you going to see it or is it not a good idea because you have an important match tomorrow?
RAFAEL NADAL:  No, no, tomorrow I'm playing at 7:00, so that doesn't change anything, whether I go to see Real Madrid or whether I don't.
It's just not going to have an impact on tomorrow's match.  We'll see what happens.

Q.  Are you going to go?
RAFAEL NADAL:  I don't know.  Still depends.

Q.  Can we talk a little bit about your old racquet?  Do you think you're doing better here because you're playing with your old racquet?
RAFAEL NADAL:  No.  I said before the tournament that I didn't want to talk more about the racquet.  The racquet is just a part of the game, but it's not the most important point in the final result.
With that racquet I played a really good tournament in Monte‑Carlo.  I played at a really high level over there.  I won a match against David, which I think he played really well there.  And in semis I lost 6‑3, 6‑3 to Djokovic.
But 6‑3, 6‑3 that could have been a much more fair result than what it was.
But talking about the racquet, no, it's not a key point.  With the racquet I was playing with before, it's a great racquet.  I think I'm going to end up working with that one.
It's true that I haven't had enough time to train with that one.  Just a few days before Monte‑Carlo I trained with it.  Also, it's a racquet that sends the ball a little bit further.  If it had worked okay in Barcelona and I had good feelings as I had in Monte‑Carlo, perhaps I would've played with it.
But I also knew here in Madrid with the altitude it's not easy.  I'm not used to it, so I have to go with the old one.  I was not so confident, so I was not sure if it was the best idea to have that racquet.  That's why I was a little bit more conservative, wanted something that I knew a little bit better, that made me a little bit more calm when I play, gave my a little bit more control.
So I decided to play with this one for another season.  Whenever I have time, I will go and play with the other racquet.  I guess that will happen in the future.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions in English, please.

Q.  On today's match, in the Australian Open you lost in straight sets to Tomas Berdych.  What has changed fundamentally, apart from returning to clay?  How would you compare your game now versus January?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Every moment of the season is different.  Australia was a great tournament for me because playing really bad I was able to arrive to the quarterfinals.
So playing at the level that I was playing there, I cannot ask for more.  Quarterfinals was a great result with that level.
One week ago, two weeks ago I felt it didn't improve much from Australia, just a little bit, but now is different, no?  The sport changes quick with some good moments.  Important thing is work enough and be ready for to catch that opportunities, know?
For the last couple of days I have been playing better and better every day.  That's always a very good news.  And that's it.  I am in the final.  I am happy for that.
I am enjoying a lot the fact that I am playing in front of unbelievable crowd.  With me, that's the best crowd of the world without any doubt.  So that gives me a lot of really positive energy.
Let's enjoy this day and try to be ready for tomorrow.

Q.  You sounded pretty devastated in Barcelona, especially in the press conference.  You were a bit harsh on yourself.  My question is you made it to the final, so regardless whether you win tomorrow, are you happy with what you achieved here so far and, can you finally move on from what happened in Barcelona?
RAFAEL NADAL:  When I was in the press conference of Barcelona I have been honest.  I am honest today about what's are my feeling, no?
In Barcelona my real feeling and the real thing is I played a terrible match; I lost second set having three times break for me, so I played at very low level.  That's what happened there.  I said that in the press conference.  I was not too hard with myself.  I was honest with myself.
At the same, today I'm honest with myself and today I'm playing again at a very good level.  I did yesterday; today I played at a very, very high level.
Let's see tomorrow if I am able to continue with that positive feelings.  I said this before in Spanish, no, the week has been fantastic for me.  This is very important result, and that's confidence, that's positive energy.  That's calm, too.
Let's try to continue tomorrow and try to continue with that good feeling next week.

Q.  Could I just have a word from you on potential final opponent Andy Murray.  You've played him many times on clay over on the years.  How much do you think he's improved?  How improved is he on clay today than the first time you played him?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, seriously, Andy played two semifinals of French Open.  He played few semifinals in Rome with good chances.  Well, last year with me good chance in the third.  Few years ago with I think match points against, or very close to have match points against the best Djokovic in 2011.
So Andy is world talented player in every surface.  With his talent, there is not one reason not to play on every surface in a very high level.  He is doing, so one is surprised to see Andy winning in every surface.

Q.  Is there a sense of relief to see that your forehand is back to its best level?  Were you doubting that maybe it would come back at some point?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Today was great; yesterday was better.  Today was great.  That's part of the work.  That's part of the positive attitude that I am playing.  I worked a lot to have that feeling, and today I had that feeling that I was trying to find since a while, no?
So very happy for that.  I don't know if can continue that level for the next couple of weeks, but I going to keep working hard to try to make that happen.  If that happen, let's see how far I can go.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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