Transcript of the presser via ASAP sports. A few excerpts:
Q. It felt like you had bad calls go against you. How did you avoid getting too frustrated?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, that’s just sport, no? Sometimes in your favor, sometimes against, no? Sometimes it’s tough, because I had important in one breakpoint. But for the rest, doesn’t matter.
See, my answer would have been, “Mother-effing bad calls when I had break points? Are you kidding me??”
Q. In the second set, you played so much better than you did in either of the two sets yesterday or the first set today. What was different? What clicked for you?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I think I started the match playing bad, especially with my backhand I had a lot of mistakes. But during the match I change a little bit, and I, yeah, I improved my level when the match was coming, no?
So I think in the end of the first set I played better, and in the end of — well, in all the second set I was playing very well, no? So very heavy for that.
Spanglish plus transcript errors = fun.
Q. Did you feel your timing was better today? If so, it was a matter of positioning?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think I lost less court than yesterday for sure, no? And I defended a little bit more inside the court, so that’s important.
I finished playing better because I changed the directions easier than yesterday. In the beginning I only was playing cross backhand, and then I finished playing down the line, too. That’s very important for my game, to have the confidence to change the place of the shots.
Interesting. At first, I thought he was saying his movement was improved, but he meant his shots…although, I guess you have to move well to them in order to be able to change the direction of the shot.
Q. In the second set especially it seemed you got to several balls that seemed like they were winners. You know, you ran them down and returned them for winners also. Did you sense that demoralized him a little bit or made him try desperate things or affected him?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, no. That’s one of my best shots on the tennis court, no? When I had the very, very tough point in very difficult condition, a lot of times I save a very difficult shot with another very good shot.
So that’s very important part of my game. When I am with confidence and I’m physically well, I can do it.
So it’s a very good news if I start to do shots like the passing shot with the backhand.
Very good news indeed.
Q. You seemed absolutely thrilled after the match with your level of play. How great does it feel to be back smacking around tennis balls after such a long layoff?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, it’s nice to be on court another time. I said in Montreal, only be here is very nice feeling for me. Sure, when you start to play better and you play your best match after coming back off injury, I must be really happy of that, no?
So for that reason I’m happy, because I think I played my best match after injury.
And we must be happy too!