Post match presser – 3rd round

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Transcript of Rafa’s presser after his 3rd round match with Gil.

Q. What did you know about your opponent before? He said he remembered one time many years ago when you were 14 and 15.

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I know that. But, yeah, no, yeah, he did well in Johannesburg. He did well in Sauipe. He’s doing a good season, no? I want it congratulate him for that.

Q. Was it tough to get motivated today? Looked like you were a little flat and listless out there.

RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. Yeah, I didn’t feel very well on court. Yeah. Sure, every match is very important for me, no? I want to win always, and the motivation when you go on court always is full in every match, no?
But, yeah, today, you know, you can’t play well every day, and today was one of these days.

Q. Any special reason why you didn’t feel good?

RAFAEL NADAL: If I know that reason before, I gonna play better, no?

Q. Nothing physical?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, no. No physical , no.

Yeah, his problem lately seems to be more mental/emotional than physical. Once his managed to pump himself up on-court, his tennis improves by leaps and bounds.

Q. It seemed like you were playing very deep on the court today, and you’ve been doing so well on hard courts by playing inside the court. Was that part of problem, and did you fix that as the match went on?

RAFAEL NADAL: If I didn’t play inside it’s because I didn’t have the chance to play inside today, you know. Maybe, but the problem is I don’t touch the ball as well as I want.

If you’re not doing that, you lose court. You play two meters behind the baseline, or three, and that’s bad because the opponent have more time or you didn’t see where you have to put the ball. Everything is going worse, you know?
When you play more inside you have more chances to have the winner. Yeah, the court bigger. When you are more behind, the courts looks smaller, and the potential has more time to think. So the sport is really easy. Yeah, the sport is easy.

That’s the thing. You don’t need to study a lot or know about the tennis.

Heh. Yeah, it’s easy.

Q. We’ve had Hawk-Eye around for a few years now. Most of the top players, their percentage is quite low. You’re 36% for getting it correct. I’m wondering, why is that? What do you think of electronic line calling?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, sometimes I ask. I don’t know why. For relax a little bit. Another ones I have mistake. And another times I think the machine is not exactly okay.

Not exactly = I’m trying to be diplomatic but am sure I’m right.

Q. Are you a bad loser? Do you sleep well after a loss, or do you say it’s just tennis and it’s okay? I mean, how are you after a loss?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, perfect. No, no. Sure, no problem.

Q. And that was always that way? Even when you were younger, no problem?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, well, if you lose the final of Wimbledon, having a good chance to win, maybe this night an a little bit tough, no?

But for the rest, no problem. Yeah, when you go on court you know you can lose and you can win. You have to accept both things.

Zen master, Rafa.