R32 match in the press

Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images

Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images

Nadal Staves Off Seppi (thanks patzin)

A slightly strained abdominal prevented Rafael Nadal from diligently working on his serve in practice this week. But Nadal’s serve was working for him when he needed it most today.


“The truth is I didn’t work a lot with the serve these days, no, because I had the problem in the abdominals. So it was all inspiration,” Nadal said provoking laughter in his post-match press conference. “No, no, sure, the serve is very important part of the game. If you are serving well, you can play the rest of the match with more calm, no? So it’s important. Today it was important. In important moments I had good serves. I had three aces in breakpoints, so that’s very good news and very happy for that. I have to improve always my serve, but I have to continuing serving like this if I want to have chances to win tomorrow.”

Colm, it’s colm, people!

“Here the ball is fast and the ball is not getting bit top spin, so it’s tough. It’s difficult conditions for me, no?” Nadal said. “My results here in this tournament say that. It’s not easy tournament for me. My best result was last year semifinals. Always difficult for me to play a good tournament here. But, you know, I don’t know if I play very well, but I was there all the time, no? I was fighting every point, and that’s the important thing, no? I don’t know if it was a very good match for me, but it was very important, because these matches help me a lot to get my best performance and to get physical training, too.”

He doesn’t know if he played well? Is that a way of saying he thought he sucked but doesn’t want to admit to it?

“I think I am okay in my movements. Sure, I have to improve a little bit more, because that’s in one week is not enough to be a 100 percent,” Nadal said. “But I feel okay in my move. But after feeling okay of my move, I need a little more time to adapt the speed of the ball and to get confidence. Winning matches like today is the only way to take this confidence, no? So that’s it. To be confidence and playing inside the court, I need to be in the back on the court running before.”

So, that’s it.

Here’s a full transcript of the presser from the tournament site.

Here’s an article about the scheduling of yesterday that I find to be interesting – so many requests for the director to juggle.

Spanish TV coverage:

Posted by vamosrafelnadal.

12 Responses

  1. johanne says:

    Great attitude, as per usual. But if one more person asks about why he’s not taping his knees…….get with the program, people!

    • CC says:

      I know, and they call themselves sports journalists. Obviously haven’t got a clue… ;)

      • mary says:

        Whoever asked the last question is a dick!!!!! Has anyone ever played poker? No one knows how the cards are gonna get served. Just gotta get the best hand in this case tennis game going for you on the day. Why do some of these journo jerks even have a job.. Deh!!!

        • Suzanne says:

          How in the heck do people like that keep their jobs as journos and our Miri can write rings around them and not be an official journo? She does the job of two, writer and photographer, and outshines ’em all!

  2. kefuoe says:

    Love that his serve was “all inspiration”. That ace up the middle after the first rain delay (with added drama of Hawkeye) certainly inspired me.

    Speaking of movement, when I finally got to see the match yesterday, it seemed to me that his movement did seem off (as the commentators were saying), but not so much slow as late. He seemed a step behind. I wondered if he were not seeing the ball as well or as soon as normal. Some of the second serve returns looked so tentative and whacky. Maybe it’s a timing issue.

    • johanne says:

      Honestly I think it’s such a habit for Rafa to run practically every single ball down, and I think he’s backing off a bit (in a good way). But instinct is still telling him to “go go go” for everything. I think it’s a smart move to pick & choose a bit more, but it makes him look a little awkward at times. I may be way off, but that’s what it looks like to me.

      • killian says:

        That sounds like a good analysis to me–he’s struggling a bit with instinct/habit, and that throws him off. But he’ll get he hang of it; he’s Rafa! :D

  3. An says:

    As i posted on the neither rain, nor storm comments i saw a lot of improvement in the moving…
    The timing, i agree on that, is still a bit off, but he explanes that himself too with explaining how fast the courts are here.

    Lets not forget that he lost to the same Seppi two years ago on the verry fast harcourt track in Rotterdam 2008 and by then he was not comming back after 2.5 months out off the competition. So….
    I think he did pretty well!

    • Suzanne says:

      I agree, An. Also, the timing and rythm issue is very common after a long layoff or injury. Fed had the exact same thing going on in the winter/spring of 2008 after his mono. His issues might have been complicated by his age, so hopefully Rafi’s being 5 years younger might be a help. I really do believe that so much of this is mental and with each win he gets under his belt his “mentality” will be strengthened. Can’t wait until tonight’s match…a little more than 30 minutes!!! BTW, is it my imagination, or does everyone’s game seem a bit scratchy right now. Most of the big boys seem to be out of sorts and up and down. I wouldn’t bet on anyone right now, were I a betting person.

  4. mary says:

    Flov, yeah absolutely flov the “inspiration”. Hope & pray you get heaps Rafi! That tummy muscle would make it a bit tight on movement though. Hope it’s minor.
    Funny how you haven’t been practising your serves & yet 8 aces for the match is better that you’ve done possibly ever!! You see Rafi I’m right when I say you gotta let your natural abilities flow & not stress yourself over having to be perfect every time cause life ain’t like that. Relax, refresh & enjoy.

  5. Suzanne says:

    Just watched the pre-match interview and Darren Cahill asked Rafi how the knees were and he said, “The knees are perfect”. Sounds pretty good to me!

  6. Atch2 says:

    From Jackie Roe’s diary (at TennisWorld):

    8:55 PM

    Nadal arrived for his presser, wearing a “Worn to be Wild” t-shirt (clever!). As I stated earlier in my account of Federer’s presser, I suspect many of you have already checked out the Nadal transcript: He fielded several questions about his knees (one particularly memorable quote on the subject – “perfect is impossible”) and noted that he’d have to play much better in his next match.

    Nadal looked relaxed, even while struggling with his English (I actually had quite a bit of difficulty understanding him, which I didn’t expect). He’s got a great sense of humor, as well. For example, when outlining his goals, he reminded us that there’s an “important” tournament in a week and a half and that the favorites for the USO include the “player who won the last 5 years, no?”. Might not look funny on paper, but we all had a good laugh.