Post QF presser

(Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)


The post-match presser is up on the Australian Open site. Some excerpts:

Q. You’re through to the semifinals without dropping a set again, like last year. Can you compare your level here this year versus last year?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I never like the comparisons between years. This year I am playing more regular than last year, no? I think last year I played against Troicki saving set points, against Serra I think easy. Next I played against Simon, saving set points. Today tough match, too, without playing very well, and against Mathieu I didn’t play very well.

The feeling I am playing well. I only had little bit worse match the second round, but for the rest I played very good third round. Against González and Simon I think was very good matches.

Today was tough, because play against Simon is always difficult. I can’t play exactly my rhythm because when I play my rhythm with the forehand trying to change directions with the forehand for him is good, no? I think he feels very well two meters behind the line and running all the time.

I think I had to change a little bit the strategy, trying to play a little bit more slice, short balls, try to change the rhythm, no? Play higher, play lower. So that’s what I try today.

[snip]

Q. Will it be very emotional to play a compatriot, Fernando Verdasco, in the semifinal?

RAFAEL NADAL: Always is good to play against another Spanish player in semifinals of Grand Slam, no? Is very good news for us. One player gonna be in the Final. But, you know, Fernando is playing at his best level. I never played against him when he’s playing at the level like right now, because I think he never played at this level before, beating Murray, beating Tsonga. Sometimes in the past he had some mistakes in important moments and he lost a little bit of concentration. But right now he’s changing these things, no?

I think he play very well in Brisbane, but right now he’s playing well, no? I saw his two matches against Tsonga and Murray. He was very focused all the time, knowing what he want to do all the time. So going to be very tough.

[snip]

Q. You’re from a hot country. How important is it going to be for players to stay out of the heat as they’re going further into the tournament?

RAFAEL NADAL: Believe me, not like here. I never had the same ‑‑ I never feel the same like today when I was warming up outside.

[snip]

Q. Does having the roof closed or opened, the way it changes the way the court plays, is that good for your game or bad for your game?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, in the end you have to play well in both situations, no? Change a little bit, but not too much. Maybe is a little bit faster with the roof. But that’s it.