Semi-final presser transcript

(Photo by AFP PHOTO/Robyn BECK)

(Photo by AFP PHOTO/Robyn BECK)

ASAP sports has posted their transcript of the semi-final presser.

Q. We’re used to seeing you hit hard off of both wings most of the time. Today you seemed to be incorporating a backhand slice. What was your strategy behind using that shot today?

RAFAEL NADAL: It wasn’t a strategy. It was just the slice backhand, no? But in some times, sure, I played too much slice backhand today. Sometimes it’s good have the slice backhand to change the rhythm of the point.

I use it too much today. That’s not the right way.

Sometimes a slice is just a slice.

Q. Today was the second time you were serving for the match and you got broken. Can you take us through what happened there in the second set when you were serving for the match?

RAFAEL NADAL: Scared maybe.

Q. Scared maybe?

RAFAEL NADAL: (Laughter.) I don’t know. Yeah, it was — yeah, I had important mistake. I have important mistake in 30-All with the forehand. I have bad selection of the shot, because I was — I played with too much risk. Yeah.
For me, the worst game wasn’t the 5-4. For me, the worst game was the 2-1, 30-0. For me, that’s the worst, because in 5-4 you are serving for the match, and always is tough. But with 2-1, 30-0, 6-4, 2-1, 30-0, I had the match completely under control.

Yeah, this is not the right moment to lose that game, no?

No.

Q. After your last match you went out and practiced your serve. Were you happier with your serve today?

RAFAEL NADAL: Some moments, yeah. Some moments, yes; some moments not very happy. But, well, not bad.

I’m guessing it’s his attempts to improve the serve that have thrown him off. Change often does that. Let’s just hope it leads to a better serve in the long run.

Q. Yeah. It’s normally pretty calm here. In those circumstances, what do you have to do to play well in the wind?

RAFAEL NADAL: Move. I have to move more than usual. That’s what I think.

Sometimes if you stop, I don’t know, half second before to touch the ball, now you have to stop later because the ball can move all the time.

So I have to keep moving all the time and try to play inside the court. Because if you play the ball when the call is coming, I don’t have to wait to the ball. I have to go to the ball.

And it’s his ability to move and make last minute adjustments to the ball that give him an advantage over most opponents in windy conditions. (And on grass, FWIW.)

Q. You, of course, are known for biting the trophies, but you won many trophies over your career so far. If you had to choose just one or two trophies as your very favorite, which would they be?

RAFAEL NADAL: Trophies in my career?

Q. Yeah.

RAFAEL NADAL: Wimbledon and Roland Garros, yeah.

Q. Which Roland Garros?

RAFAEL NADAL: Second.

Q. Because? Why?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I had important injury in 2006. End of the season was tough moments to me, yeah.

I really don’t know in that moments if I gonna have the chance to come back in the top positions or still there playing at the same level than before.

Yeah, when I won there it was really emotional, no? Some tough moments in the last moments of Roland Garros 2006.

Awww.

Q. You talk about Andy Murray has gotten a lot better this last year. What have you seen him do that’s taken him to the next level?

RAFAEL NADAL: What he has to do to…

Q. What has he done this last year to get so much better?

RAFAEL NADAL: I think he’s more focus all the time mentally, no? He’s more regular, no?

Yeah, before he has one good match and later he played one set well and two sets not at the same level. Right now he’s playing all the time very solid and very regular. He’s not having strange illusion, no?

You look his results the last seven, eight months, he’s not losing against anyone. He only lose against the best, and not a lot of times. I hope tomorrow. (Laughter.)

Regularity is important…

Q. It seems like maybe one of the reasons why you’ve been dominating and almost never losing now, is because even when you’re not playing so well, you’re finding ways to win; is that true?

RAFAEL NADAL: That, I think, is not new for me, no? I think the best players — I think everybody can play and can win. Everybody can play well and can win everybody when one player a playing at his best level.

The important thing is continuing win a lot of the matches when your level is not in the top. So I think all my career I have that. Yeah, I think that’s (Translated from Spanish.)

THE MODERATOR: It’s a quality of mine.

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I think it’s a positive quality of mine. If I’m not playing at my best level — normally I didn’t have a lot of loses in first, second round. Hopefully. You understand right now, no?

But, yeah, that’s what I did well all my career, no? That’s a mentality thing: Being positive and accept if you are not playing your best, you have to fight.

Rafa sums up Rafa.

Q. Any disappointment not playing Roger?

RAFAEL NADAL: No. I don’t know, no? I think tennis are not only Roger and me. I told you guys one hundred times, but, you know, it’s very difficult play against Roger every final, no?

You know, in the history, how many Grand Slam or finals we have? I don’t know. Big rivalries, Børg, McEnroe, how many? Do you know?

Q. Four.

RAFAEL NADAL: Four? We already have three, three and one. Seven, so it’s a lot. That’s very difficult to be all the time both players on the final in the same level.

It’s really strange.

Heh, I love the “I’ve told you 100 times” comment.