AO 3rd round presser

Photo by GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images

The presser transcript is up on the official site.

Q. How have you pulled up after that long match?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, the most important thing is I won, so I happy for that. I am less happy about my game, what I was practicing.

What he was practicing? Hmmm.

But, yeah, you know, everybody have not very good days. I think I played much better the fourth set than the rest of the sets. The second sets, few moments I played well, too. But the first set and the third, I played bad.

Yeah, I need to play a little bit more aggressive for next matches.

Pssst – and fewer errors too.

Q. Anything in particular you think you need to work on?

RAFAEL NADAL: Just play a little bit more aggressive, play a little bit longer with the forehand and backhand, and that’s it, yeah. Play more aggressive and longer; everything is easier like that.

Well, that sounds easy.

Q. He seemed to attack your serve, especially your second serve. Are you worried about that?

RAFAEL NADAL: No. I was serving 145, 150 lot of times. So is not bad second serve. A lot of players, when play against the top players, play more aggressive than usual. So is nothing to do about that, no?

Cahill seemed to think Rafa wasn’t placing his serve as well as he usually does and that the fact that Kohlschreiber’s stronger side is the backhand had something to do with it. Rafa usually gets into a grove hitting to a players backhand but couldn’t do that with Kohl.

The balls, if they are with confidence, the ball goes in, like few moments today for Phillipp, is difficult to stop. Is difficult at the same time do this thing all the match.

Q. How was your confidence tonight?

RAFAEL NADAL: I think I started slow. I started little bit slower than usual. Later I save lot of breakpoints in the first set. First set I didn’t feel playing really well. But after that I played much better the second. And in the third I started terrible, no?

I had big chance with Love-40 to break back. If I did, yeah, that was very important game in the third, no? And in the fourth, he played well, and I think I played much better.

Definitely better than the third.

Q. Does that match help you going into the rest of the tournament, that you improved?

RAFAEL NADAL: I hope so. You never know, no? You never know. I hope so.

I am ready to play well, but I have to wait.

Wait for…? We are ready for it too, Rafa!

Q. What about your next opponent, Karlovic? How do you approach that match?

RAFAEL NADAL: Always a really difficult opponent, no, because the match is decides in a few points. So the thing is very be concentrate with my serve all the time and try to convert the small opportunities that I can have on the return. That’s it.

Rafa’s return of serve has been off since coming back from the knee injury. I’d be lying if I said I was 100% confident about the next round.

Q. Did the heat affect you at all? Do you prefer playing earlier?

RAFAEL NADAL: Doesn’t matter for me. I happy with everything.

Even with the lack of marriage proposal in this match?

Q. Do you spend time tomorrow analyzing this match or do you immediately look at the next one? What do you take from it as you move on?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, analyze this match today. Tomorrow is practice and try to practice well to get good confidence for the next match, no? I talk with my coach already in the locker room. Maybe we will talk a little bit more later. But that’s it. Tomorrow is another day.

The sun will come out, tomorrow. (Oh great. No that cheese-fest of a song will be stuck in my head all day.)

Q. What level do you think you need to get to feel confident? Do you need to beat a top-10 player again?

RAFAEL NADAL: Top-10 player again? What do you say?

As in, you haven’t had a good record against the top 10 lately…

Q. What do you need to accomplish to get your confidence? What kind of level of player do you have to beat before you are fully confident again?

RAFAEL NADAL: I am confident. The season is long anyway. If I lost here next round, I gonna have a chances to play well during all the season. So Australian Open is very important tournament, but is not the end of the world.

You have a lot of time to get your full confidence, to play well. So I am there all the weeks fighting, try my best. When you are there all the time, finally you do.

*tries to be patient*

Q. You played some amazing shots tonight. The volley after the pickup, some running passing shots. Do you surprise yourself sometimes with your shots?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, yes, no? Few ones, no? The forehands, surely I surprise. But I like this shot, running with the passing shot with my forehand. But, yes, the point that give me the second set, outside the net, yes, was one of the best forehands in my life probably.

Love the banana shot!

Q. Who chose your orange shirt?

RAFAEL NADAL: Myself and Nike.

Q. Do people like it? Have you had good feedback about it?

RAFAEL NADAL: You can ask the people.

What’s a Rafa Q&A without a shirt question. *rolls eyes* If they are really worried about his fashion decisions, they should ask about those shorts.

18 Responses

  1. Kate says:

    I seem to be the only one that likes the orange/pink combo shirt however not too keen on the sort check shorts, especially the brown combo lol!

    • SapphireSwell says:

      I like the Creamsicle/sherbert Rafa too. It adds to his sunny-ness :D However, he does clash when running into the ball boys…

      The real question should be to the AO committee asking, “Hot pink outfits with ear/neck flapped hats? Really?!” It’s absurd and distracting.

      • Atch2 says:

        The Aussie heat is a killer. The flaps are to protect them from it. I’m surprised not many ballkids faint during play, bec it’s so hot. And it’s part of their uniform design. And the AO ballkids are great. Luv watching them bec they’re so efficient and very alert, and come in different small sizes. The USO kids are like grown-ups.

    • karen says:

      I love Rafa in any bright colour as long as the shorts are white which really suits his tanned skin!As for his next match once he has returned serve he’s gonna have to move Karlovic around alot to tire him and then move in for the kill!!!Hopefully he’ll be able to return tons of serves which will make K’vic think a bit.Let’s all be with positive acktitude and our man will get the vibes!!

  2. CC says:

    “And in the third I started terrible, no?”

    Oh, I wish I could listen to this. I love it when Rafa says “terrible”.

    “Well, yes, no?”

    Love it!!! :D

  3. deeps says:

    The Australian Open is doing a good job of getting all the pressers up quickly. I just wish they would put the videos up too.

    The presser backs up my feeling watching his matches that Rafa hasn’t found the range of his shots especially his more aggressive ones for the conditions at the AO this year. At the same time I feel a lot more positive about his game in general. He may not find the range in time to do major damage or shut up his critics at the AO but he is showing more and more glimpses of the old Rafa. Plus he is healthy and running and getting to shots again. He is also showing signs of making mid match adjustments again instead of just getting the ball across the net.

    Rafa’s crappy record during the indoor season at the end of the year means he always comes into the AO as a slight underdog. But he always manages to get it together at some point during the year and till he shows me that he no longer can, like him, I will always believe that he will get ti together at some point.

  4. dutchgirl says:

    In a way I think it’s healthy that Rafa says there’s more than winning the AO, but on the other hand I can’t help but asking myself if he isn’t too relaxed about it.
    I mean, I love a smiley Rafa after a match, but I could totally understand if he was a bit moody because he didn’t play that well.

  5. sia says:

    He won. I’m happy.

  6. Bats says:

    must say those outside-in forehands are awesome.

    i kinda like the shorts. (ducks)

    still waiting for the weigh in… (drums fingers)

  7. aRafaelite says:

    I thought about proposing Miri, I really did, but not sure how to let Fer down… ;

  8. faeaki7 says:

    Yes that was some shot! and I agree Miri, I am so not confident about his match with Karlovic, but it will be good practice, I think he has the right attitude towards his game tommorow, concentrate on holding his own serve coz breaking Karlovic’s is like doing the impossible unless you have a Murray return of serve. Also he must play his ground strokes better, too many errors and he will be screwed!

    • Ch F says:

      I don’t like it when Rafa says it’s not the end of the world if he loses in the next round, it gives me the impression he expects it. If he goes out there thinking like that, I don’t see how he’ll fight for every point. He probably says that to show he’s ok with it and to put on some sort of calm, but then he’s not calm at all during the match.
      If he is so cool about it, might as well use that calm to play his best relaxed tennis.
      Is it me or is he so focused on his serve right now that he sometimes forgets to play the rest of the point? And that could be important against Karlovic, who doesn’t like long rallies.

  9. Marla says:

    I got no sleep, this presser was a little depressing – not a positive as the previous, and have no fingernails left.

    Does anyone else think that the reason Rafa’s shots have been so “off”, or more specifically “out”, is not confidence or knees, but the new string? His new string is completely differnt and I haven’t even seen him send his rackets out during a match to be restrung, which he does faithfully, especially in 5 set matches. This new string is definitely thinner and I think is why so many mishits. And you know he has probably been practicing with it for many months, just didn’t bring it our until the start of the year. Remeber Djokovic and his new racket, well to me new string is even more of a change than racket. He used that old thick poly for many, many years.

  10. sia says:

    I’m excited about this next match … don’t think it will be a thriller in terms of the tennis, although I’m really hoping for some sizzling returns from Rafa. This will be great match practice for returning and if all goes well super for his confidence.

  11. Missy says:

    “Cahill seemed to think Rafa wasn’t placing his serve as well as he usually does and that the fact that Kohlschreiber’s stronger side is the backhand had something to do with it. Rafa usually gets into a grove hitting to a players backhand but couldn’t do that with Kohl.”

    Miri, I think Cahill missed a VERY IMPORTANT POINT!

    I completely disagree that Rafa wasn’t placing his serve. Exactly how many break-points did Rafa save in that match? And he did it with his serve! How? By serving with imagination and intelligence. Several times he had Kohl going the wrong way or left baffled by which serve Rafa was going to use!

    Rafa was so smart in serving to Kohl’s FOREHAND. He focused more on that wing because Kohl loves to use his backhand and he was actually holding his racket with a backhand grip on most returns. That is one of the major reasons why he shanked so many returns on Rafa’s serve. But he would also then serve to Kohl’s backhand just to surprise him and catch him off-gaurd (e.g. on break-point/second serve/Rafa hit an ace out-wide to Kohl’s backhand and he never saw it coming!)
    Rafa also seems to be getting so many more aces and non-returnables on his serve. That is a great sign! Fantastic!

    Yes, his second serve was somewhat “attackable”, but it’s no where near as vulnerable as it was towards the end of last year. And he’s using it quite well to set up points. It seems to me that the entire stragtegy that Rafa was employing was completely missed by Cahill. Then again, a commentator? Missing the point? NO! [/sarcasm]

    Also, Rafa hit some gems in that match. Particularly his forehand passing shots, his bananana (WOOOT!) and (one of my favorites) that amazing reflex volley on break point. He’s also approached the let 21 times and was playing on the baseline and doing his best to actually stand inside the court. Keep it up Rafa!

    As for his match against Dr.Ivo. No doubt it will be tough. No one wants him in their quarter. But as long as Rafa finds his rhythm on his serve (which will probably take a few games) and hits some aggressive returns and makes Dr.Ivo actually PLAY…then he should be just fine. :D

    A return like Murray’s? PFFFT! Don’t forget that Rafa is one of the BEST returners in the game. In fact, before his injury last year, he was THE best returner in the game.


  12. Missy says:

    ” Q. Who chose your orange shirt?
    RAFAEL NADAL: Myself and Nike.

    Q. Do people like it? Have you had good feedback about it?
    RAFAEL NADAL: You can ask the people. ”

    YES! I flove the shirt. The colors are great on you Rafa. Also, I like the shorts as well. You’re outfit is jazzy, unique, and it looks great on you. Add that to the fact that you’re an absolute sweet-heart and an utter cutie who plays KICK ASS tennis…You stand out and you are one in a million.

  13. faeaki7 says:

    You stand out and you are one in a million.

    Yes he does, did anyone notice that the Aussie Tomic was wearing the same outfit as OUR RAFA, except that the shirt was white version but the shorts were the same and he didn’t have the snazzy tangerine shoes! Rafa does put his outfits together better, I love his signature shoes the best, also with a physique like Rafa’s there is no comparison, was a bit ticked off though to see another player wearing his line but as I said Rafa wears everything so much better!