The 3rd round post-match presser video and transcript are up on the official Roland Garros site.
Q. That was a really great match today from your side. Are you close to maybe your best? What are your thoughts about that? How did you feel on the court?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I feel, yeah, I feel much better today than the other days. I improved a little bit every day. I play better the second day than the first. Today is important improve, no? Always a win against Lleyton is a very good news. You must be playing well.
So I won 6-1, 6-3, 6-1, so is amazing result for me. Very happy for being fourth round right now.
You must be playing well.
Q. I know you’re not happy with some of the rules from the world anti-doping agency. Could you tell me again why you think that these rules are so problematic?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, always the same, no? Always when I say something, later you write. I am the first one who wants the sport totally clean, no, the tennis totally clean.
But I think, I don’t know if it’s — well, I don’t know, no. I know that’s not correct. Have to reserve one hour every day for the anti-doping, no? I think it’s not nice they are at your room at 8:00 in the morning. They call you and say, We are here, and you have two more hours for sleep, no?
I think that’s not nice. And the second thing is we have to work in another matter. That’s what I feel, no? Because I against this new rule, no? (Through translation.) It would be better, but never mind.
Oh, dear. They aren’t going to let this go are they?.
THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish, please.
Q. What were you saying in English? Could you repeat this in Spanish?
No, they aren’t going to let it go.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, yes. You know, people write all sorts of things, and, you know, things were written in the papers here in France. I wouldn’t say stupid things, but I would like this sport to be as clean as possible.
There’s no doubt about what I said. You see, of course there are those who cheat, should be punished. This is all. When you practice this type of sport, what is important is that, you know, they have to find me and know where I play.
These guys have to know where I play. I was on Monday in Madrid. I was with my friends. Then I have a bath. My mother called me. She told me the guys were in my house in Madrid. It was my only free evening. I have to take this anti-doping control. It was the same several days ago. Ferrer and Fernando were tested as well, at 6:00 a.m. because they had to play from 6:00 to 7:00, or they had just played, or rather they had played a five-set match. It’s crazy.
Wait, so they had a test 12 hours after their match was done? Is that what he’s saying? I’m not clear on the am/pm thing here. If the match was done at 6 PM and they still had showers/massage/press/transport to do, they probably didn’t even get back to the hotel until 9 PM and then they have to wind down, have some dinner, etc…and then a 6am test? Why not just test them right after the match instead? Or later that day? Nothing’s going to show up at 6 AM that won’t show up at those other times.
I don’t know if, from the legal point of view, this is correct. That is,to know where you are every single moment of your life, and to account for this. This is what I think.
I don’t think this is a right thing to do. It’s wrong. It’s a high price to pay to practice your sport, to play tennis. I want tennis to be as clean as possible, of course. This is crystal clear. But there’s room for maneuvering. You see, there’s a certain type of leeway.
I know these guys are pros and that this is part of the job and that some people probably get better test times than others (just like match scheduling), but this just seems stupid in a sport with no set times like tennis. Why not just make the testing part of the pre- and/or post-match process? Most players play so many weeks out of the year, just testing them in-season would reveal any kind of doping that would enhance performance, wouldn’t it? I don’t know. Maybe I don’t understand it all that well.
Q. In Australia, during a press conference you’ve talked about this, and I realize that nothing has changed. It seems that nothing will change.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I have the impression that all the players say the same about this. I don’t know if there’s one player who says something different, but I don’t think so. The vast majority are against this rule.
Q. How could players be against this?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, that’s not what I meant. And I don’t want to keep on talking about this during the whole press conference. You know, we’re all players. That’s all it is.
I know that drugs is not an easy matter to deal with, but we’ve paid the price for this. And, in fact, the ITF should take measures. I don’t have the impression that it’s good to put so much pressure on us. They harass us, I think.
The ITF should do something about it, otherwise we could perhaps come up with another solution, another remedy, another solution for us to play tennis in a more tranquil way.
You know, if I lose tomorrow, I’ll go back to Mallorca, and who will know where I am if I have no access to Internet, if I don’t send e-mails to my family?
Now, if they knock at my door in Mallorca, they’re going to give me a warning. It’s happened to Carlos before. They sent him a warning, and this is most unfair.
It’s this part that ticks me off. One of the Bryan Bros got a warning because he wasn’t home (where he said he’d be) at the appointed time. Where was he? Stuck on the highway with a flat. It seems that the warnings aren’t appealable. That’s not right. That’s presuming guilt.
Q. I promise it’s going to be the very last question on drugs or anti-doping. This year it seems that there are more tests. In addition to the international federation, there are more tests. What do you think about this?
RAFAEL NADAL: More analyses?
Q. Yes. More than what is done by the ITF. It seems that the French agency has decided to carry out more tests. What has happened to Gasquet, for instance.
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I don’t know anything about this. I think that this is not yet clear. Okay, Gasquet has been tested. I support him. I’m certain that he’s not taking anything. He’s not taking cocaine. I know him. He’s a good friend of mine, and I discussed this with him last week.
No, no, impossible. He’s most certainly not taking cocaine. You know what the world is like today. You know, when you go to a party, anything can happen these days. If you kiss a girl who’s taken cocaine, anything can happen, and that’s the truth. That’s reality, and this can destroy your life or your career, rather, and this is most unfair.
You know, I wanted tot ell him again that I support him fully. He’s got my total support. I told him on the phone, and sometimes I think these measures go too far and they’re most unfair.
He’s really going out on a limb here for Reeshie. I hope it doesn’t end up biting him in the butt.
Q. Now, let’s talk about the match. I suppose you’re happy. Your game is developing nicely, and we’ve seen that since the first round. You’ve changed. You’ve evolved. What about your feelings? Is it like last year’s?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, last year I didn’t play that well during the third round. But what is important is what has happened so far.
Each day I play better, and I think, you know, this is what it’s all about. I have to improve daily. I’m happy, really. My backhand is good. To start with, I played good shots. My drive is better.
You know, when it was 3 to 2, I was up 3-2, and then Love-30, that was good. I managed to fight back. But at the end of the day, the result was good, which is excellent news.
Excellent news indeed.