AO 2nd round presser

Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

I guess I don’t need sleep…presser transcript is already up. There was no public weigh-in. I feel cheated!

Q. Apart from the win, what did you like about your game today?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think I played serious match. I think I played the match what I need to play. Winning 6‑2, 6‑2, 6‑2 is a really good news.

A serious match. *puts on serious face*

Q. You weren’t overextended?

RAFAEL NADAL: I think I did well, no? I was playing, moving well in the beginning without mistakes, having with the control of the ball.

No, I think I played right way. Very good match, yeah.

What about that match would have anyone think Rafa was overextended?

Q. Did he surprise you sometimes with some of his shots?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, no. Everybody plays really well. No, no. I never feel surprised. Someday, yes. But, sure, everybody can play really well. And he’s young player, aggressive player. Sure, he can play really well.

No, didn’t surprise me.

Guinness book of World Record holder for the most uses of the word “well” in one paragraph: Rafael Nadal.

Q. Do you think you played better than against Luczak the other night?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, well I played with more relaxed, no? Second round always is easier to play. You are more adapt to the conditions and everything. Always the debut is more difficult, no? I think I improved a little bit. I can still play a little bit longer, but that’s it.

I kind of thought he played better first round, but totally get what he’s saying about condition and nerves. And, it looks like he put on some higher traction shoes this time.

Q. Davydenko told us yesterday he never wants to be really famous like Federer or you. How do you feel about being so famous?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think you are or you are not. You want or you don’t want, that’s not an answer, no? You are or you are not. That’s it, no?

I feel okay, no? I like my life. I’m feel very lucky to be where I am. And, sure, I work in my hobby. So not everybody can say the same. So I feel very lucky person.

I think Rafa kind of lost his train of thought midway through that…or couldn’t figure out how to say what he really wanted to say in English.

Q. After your knee problems last year, how close do you think you are to full fitness now?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I am okay. I am very good. No, no, I don’t have any problem.

Good to hear.

Q. Last year the first part of your season was exceptional. A lot of people thought you could realize the Grand Slam. Then you had injuries. This year before the tournament, there were many questions about what you can do, having lost against a lot of top‑10 players. How do you deal with that? Were you sad? Do you read about that?

RAFAEL NADAL: I didn’t connect to Internet. Normally I didn’t read a lot about myself. But, no…

Q. Is it difficult for you?

RAFAEL NADAL: Difficult what?

Q. One year ago you were a king, and this year will you win. Many questions about you.

RAFAEL NADAL: You made the questions.

Woot! Love this. You go, Rafa.

I feel very happy what I did in this sport. I still having really happy with what I am doing. With 23 years old, having 15 Masters 1000 and six Grand Slams is more than what I expected all my life. So everybody can tell, but these titles are as home, so nobody gonna take me these titles.

Sure, everybody can talk, but I still working as much as I can to be in the top. And, sure, there is lot of very good players. But, you know, I always do all in my hands, and nobody can ask me more than when I do all what I can do.

Well said.

Q. You were ranked No. 2 for so long, then got No. 1. Last year you won your Grand Slam title, losing your No. 1 ranking to Roger. Now you’re No. 2 again. What is more important, getting the No. 1 ranking or winning more Grand Slam titles?

RAFAEL NADAL: Anything gonna be perfect (smiling). Sure, no, for me right now my goal is try to be in third round of Australian Open. That’s my goal right now. We will see what’s happen.

First, about No. 1, you are No. 1 or you are not No. 1. Can’t be a goal. Is not possible have your goal to be No. 1 because if you’re not winning important tournaments, you’re not going to have any chance to be No. 1.

So my real goal right now is just try to be competitive in every tournament that I gonna play, and feel when I go on court I can win against everybody. So that’s my goal, no?

If you talk me about the ranking, I was for the last five years top two all the weeks, no? So be No. 2, No. 4, No. 5 doesn’t affect myself a lot. Sure, be No. 1 is a little bit different, but the rest doesn’t matter. Only thing is be competitive to win titles.

Anything perfect…just like for Real Madrid.

Q. You’re very popular here with the crowds. Do you find Australian crowds push you and you feel the love from the crowds other than your home?

RAFAEL NADAL: I always feel really well here, no? I played amazing matches in the past since the first time when I arrived here against Hewitt. Second time what I came back, I lost against Hewitt in five sets. And the crowd always was really nice with me, no?

The crowd here is special that they show a lot his emotions, and is nice going on court here. I just can say thanks.

Awww…he loves you, Aussies.

Q. You seem to take a lot of time signing for fans.

RAFAEL NADAL: I did in all the place. If they support me or if they didn’t support me.

Oh, snap!

Q. Roger had a tough match yesterday against Andreev. Did that surprise you about how tough that match was? Do you prefer to have these tough matches initially so you get challenged and build on that momentum?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I prefer win straight if is possible, no (smiling). No, but I didn’t surprise. Everybody plays really well. Maybe you are more surprised than the players, because the players know every match is really difficult.

Del Potro lost a set, too, the first round. Everybody can win everybody, and the level is really close. In one match, everything can happen.

Because, remember, everyone can play well.

27 Responses

  1. Courtney says:

    RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think you are or you are not. You want or you don’t want, that’s not an answer, no? You are or you are not. That’s it, no?

    I think he means that you don’t choose to be popular, you just are or you are not. It’s up to the fans, mostly. I like Davydenko, but I think his comments were harsh, unfair, and unwarranted (saying that Rafa and Roger have no life outside tennis, etc). Rafa is defending himself by saying he didn’t choose to be popular and that it’s not affecting his happiness much. Unlike what Davydenko seems to have implied, Rafa can be a popular tennis pro and still have a good life.

    You tell ’em, Rafa! ♥

    • Ch F says:

      Yes I like Davy as well, but I think some complexes are starting to surface since he’s been in the spotlight. He talks about fame so much saying he doesn’t care about it, it’s almost a contradiction. But then again his English is not native and I think a lot of what he says comes across as totally blunt in the end.
      Now Roger has a wife and two kids, that’s the living proof of the fact that he does have a life outside tennis, and the fact that he’s still there playing tennis with everything that’s been going on in his life only shows how much he loves it, in my opinion. He’s done it all, he could afford to retire to be with his family and if he doesn’t it’s because he loves to be there and play tennis.
      As for Rafa, if he didn’t have a life he wouldn’t have been affected by his parents’ divorce that much. That in my opinion says it all.

    • Necitas says:

      I also notice from his previous interviews that he is becoming cockier. He hasn’t even won a grand slam yet…

    • nic says:

      I was just going to say what you put into words to Courtney. Absolutely get what Rafa meant. You can’t choose to be famous or not. But he’s not unhappy with it at all. Rafa’s so good at balancing it all.

    • miri says:

      Oh, I totally got what he meant by the first part, it was the segue to the “work in my hobby” thing that had me scratching my head. I mean, I see how it fits together, but it just felt like Rafa fitting on one of he prepared phrases – returning to a comfort place. :)

      • Courtney says:

        Yes, I can definitely see that. He does like to stay in familiar territory when at all possible.

        I was so proud of him during Hit for Haiti… he claims that his English hindered him a bit, but I have watched it three times now and made a HANDWRITTEN transcript of the entire thing, so I feel qualified to say that Rafa cracked as many jokes as Nole and Roger and seemed to understand everything! I was so surprised when he said that because the only issue he had was with the ‘wot up and down?’ bit (and I feel that was because he was busy warming up and wasn’t paying attention, not that he didn’t understand). Anyway, I think he’s much better at English than he lets on ; )

  2. emir says:

    well davy clearly have attention complex i cant blame him this guy is a top ten player for years NODOY CARES….and then he is playing the tennis of his life nowadays still cant get enough respect…he isnt getting big sponsorship deals hurts him MOST….

    • Karen says:

      We asked Davydenko for his autograph at WTF and he said ‘no’ in Russian so I think that says it all!!He won’t get famous if that’s his attitude, but then if he doesn’t want to that’s just fine by me. Rafa & Roger cope with it admirably.And as we all know Rafas life outside of tennis is just great. Family, friends, Xisca, fishing, football, golf, beach etc etc. Many men his age would love his life. And he deserves every bit of it.

  3. aRafaelite says:

    “What about that match would have anyone think Rafa was overextended?”

    Quite! Having just finished watching it and I am almost felt like he was bored, particularly towards the end of the first set. When he lost those two games, if I didn’t know better, I could have sworn he was thinking. “Ok, I so bored now, I gonna let this guy win couple of games, make more interesting, or maybe I fall asleep in second set!” ;)

    • An says:

      You know… I realy was playing with that tought when i saw him play his service game 5-0 up in the first set, thinking he is letting him winn this game, maybe he’s scared that when he winns the set 6-0 he will begin tot take it to easy ( this tought came to me while i do think that the 1st set against Davy in Doha went to easy for Rafa ) but then i threw it overboard right away again.

      I realy don’t think its Rafa-like to ever give something, not even one point, away if the oponent does not deserve it, nor do i think that he was’nt taking his opponent serious enough to think that he could make a training match out off it!
      Sure he was trying to be aggresive and he missed quite a lot because maybe he wasn’t too concnetrated cause not so challenged by Lacko… He was quite irritated with himself to from time to time.
      And yes, i do think that he played better 1st round too! But again its not Rafa-like to fess that up when he just beat an opponent 6-2,6-2,6-2…. If he should have said that he wasn’t playing at his best how would that poor guy have to feel…

      Thats my toughts, for what it mathers:)

      • dutchgirl says:

        That’s what I’ve been thinking as well. Not that I thought Rafa would hand his game to Lacko at 5-0 in the first set, but he did seem to loose concentration now and then. And to be honest, I wasn’t that concentrated watching as well! I even considered going back to bed and get maybe half an hour of sleep before going to work…
        Maybe he was frustrated because he was trying some things that didn’t work.

    • CC says:

      “I am almost felt like he was bored,”

      Right, that’s why I commented on Rafa saying “Well, I think I played serious match.” It felt like he was trying to convince himself that’s what he had done.

  4. kefuoe says:

    “You made the questions”

    That was perfect. Nadal seems to do naturally what many people in the media take a long time to learn: He doesn’t let the press frame the issues; he frames them himself. He doesn’t try to respond to their logic, but imposes his own.

    • Atch2 says:

      His English may not be perfect but he can get his point across quite well and I luv that rest of the answer.

      And the knees question is back. Again.

      Another phrase that deserves to be on a t-shirt is “I just can say thanks”.

    • tiemyshoe says:

      YES. I love that he called the press out for one of their common hypocrisies, i.e., concocting an issue (Rafa’s 2009 was the worst ever!), blowing it out of proportion (he will NEVER BE THE SAME), and then turning it back on the players themselves (so, Rafa, how do you feel about your worst year ever and never being the same?). Rafa: 1, Press: 0.

      I suspect Rafa’s savvy has to do with watching the Spanish football media deal with his uncle and in general. They are certainly comically overblown in their reactions to EVERYTHING.

      • miri says:

        I know – I loved it as well. It was a perfect way of calling them out without being rude and without looking defensive and thus adding fuel to their attempt to start a fire. I’ve always wondered about how watching his uncle in the spotlight affected his relationship with the press…that would make a good question that he wouldn’t answer for the blog/q&a. ;)

        • teejustice says:

          “that would make a good question that he wouldn’t answer…”

          LOL. so true. he is so cheeky with his non-answers :)

          • Missy says:

            “You made the questions”

            “That was perfect. Nadal seems to do naturally what many people in the media take a long time to learn: He doesn’t let the press frame the issues; he frames them himself. He doesn’t try to respond to their logic, but imposes his own.”

            Kefuoe: Well said! Absolutely spot on!

            Like all of you, I too loved that response. Just perfect.

      • Stf says:

        I’ve heard this entire thing about him never being the same again and having the worst year ever and blah blah blah while hailing other players as the next big thing. They certainly can be but I don’t see why a lot of people are writing Rafa off already. The man is only 23 and he’s accomplished so much more than most of these guys have combined.

        So, okay, he had a bad year. Federer had a bad year but he eventually returned. I don’t mean to make comparisons but at such young age, Rafa still has quite a few years of good tennis. The thing is to be consistent. Maybe Djokovic, Delpo and Murray are playing great tennis now but can they keep it up? No one knows how they’ll be next year or even this year.

        It just annoys me when I see that the media occasionally deem every player out there born to be a winner and Rafa is referred to as the poor guy who cannot play against the big boys. He is a big boy himself, he has won 6 Slams, for crying out loud. What does he need to do for the media to finally accept that he’s one of the best players? Does he need to beat everyone right now? If that’s the case…bring it on. I am certain he can do it.

        Rant over. Thank you. :p

    • GB says:

      That’s definitely the true. It’s what Steve Tignor always says: “Rafa won’t let you put words in his mouth”.

      Pretty friggin impressive, given that he’s dealing with a foreign language, started so young and manages to not be pissy about it!

  5. Necitas says:

    Yes, Rafa was very impressive…He takes pride of his achievements without being boastful. He and only he knows the amount of work and sacrifice he have to go through to reach where he is now, and no one can take that away from him…especially most of the press who tends to emphasize on the put downs…

  6. CC says:

    “Well, I think I played serious match.”

    Did somebody tell you you didn’t, Rafa?

    • Susanna says:

      Miri, I also think it seemed like he played better against Luczak. I remember Rafa once saying after he totally stomped someone that it is sometimes tougher to play when he’s winning easily because it’s a bit harder to concentrate. On the other hand, Darren Cahill (whom I adore) said something interesting. That it was fine that Rafa made more errors yesterday — Since he was winning easily it was exactly the kind of match where it made sense for him to try to go for more on every shot, and use the match to get practice finding his range on the lines etc. So…I’ll choose the latter explanation. Can’t wait for the Ferrer-Baghdatis match except I love them both and don’t want either of them to lose!

  7. An says:

    No public weigh-in??? So you do wait for me and my camera than Rafa?:)

  8. Bats says:

    still waiting for the weigh-in. i’m afraid there will be a public uprising if it doesn’t happen. :D should we start a signature campaign? :D