Rome: Semifinal videos [Updated]

Okay, I’ve had a bit of a lie down and have recovered a bit…

Post match interview on or YouTube.

Last game and post-match celebration:

Spanish Interview:

Translation from Inés:

Rafa, good afternoon, super tired, first of all congratulations

Rafa: Thanks

I was saying that I believe that in recent years, perhaps, except the RG match against Soderling, the match you have taken hard to win in clay, no? At least it was very hard to you

Rafa: No, I’ve had many tough matches with Davydenko here, with David Ferrer I’ve played some very difficult matches, ehhh, bfffff, with Federer, let alone, with Djokovic, so …. The matches are difficult especially when you play tournaments that they are all the best in the world like are the Master 1000 and the GS 1000 annnnnnnd the truth is that is a very important victory for me, I am aware that in the second set at moments I have lost completely the timing of the ball, but it was also difficult, no? He was serving very, very hard, all serves over 205 – 210-215 (km / h) and apart his serves were in a lot and when I served, I played with much more pressure than I’m used to and that,and that, therefore made me play much more defensive and that of course, it has taken me away the aggressiveness that I had been playing in recent matches aand automatically when you are playing more defensively you are slicing the ball more and the ball loses speed and the other has it easy and I’ve really started to play very bad

A great analysis from Rafa Nadal, the next question is from Tomas Carbonell

First of all congratulations and I think that these matches at the end, add up and reinforce the moral and the question that I would ask you is, if you could play this match in 24 hours What things would you change, mainly?

Rafa: Well, I would try to lose much less court. Also I was not feeling very well the ball, Gulbis has started playing very aggressive and playing just two shots and that means that the match was much more complicated. Here, in contrast to MC, as the players commented me in Barcelona, the court is much faster, the ball bounces a lot and it was very difficult to control the ball, and until the third set that I managed to calm me and and I managed to play long points, trying to make the ball fly over his backhand, it took me a lot, I tell you. The main thing I would change is, to play a little more inside and try to be more often in control of the point

Rafa, the third and last question is from Joan Balcells

Rafa: ok

Good afternoon, Rafa, congratulations first, you’re a great champion, and my question is. How do you confront, because seeing the percentage of first serves and the speed that Gulbis was hitting with, how to confront the BP, because in the bp we have seen that each bp, he got the first serve and over 200 each time?

Rafa: Yes, today I’ve lost all the statistics, (laughing). In the circuit each week they give us a note of all the statistics for all players, I was number 1 in converted bp and with today’s match, I have lost all. The truth is that he was serving very hard and I was just waiting my time, waiting to have a point that it could play and I could start, to try, at the minimal (opportunity) I had, to try to hit deep balls, to try to get the forehand and at least, to equal the point one on one, it has been practically impossible until the last point, I’ve managed to make the point and it gave me the match ..and wait for my time, trying to stay focused with my service and then wait for the moment to try to break

Well Rafa, just remind you, tomorrow your final 50, to see what happens

Rafa: Well, see what happens, very happy to be in the final and now a very difficult rival as David is and to enjoy it and try to do all my best, thank you very much

Thank you very much, to rest,see you tomorrow

28 Responses

  1. Amanda says:

    Great vids… I want to kill that little half-wit kid in the background of the second one though.. :)

  2. Stf says:

    I’m pretty sure this match will work wonders on his confidence. If he managed to pull this one off…it’ll be extremely difficult for him to lose. Such a delight to see him so happy!

  3. dutchgirl says:

    And with that georgious, happy face of the 2nd vid I will go to bed and have some sweet dreams… :)

  4. sia says:

    So cute and chatty … and animated.

  5. cindy says:

    pretty though oppenent today but i think rafa was not in his best chape i didnt see his down the line shots (17 or 18 winners only for rafa!!!!), his agressive way of playing either ; most of his shots were near the center which gives advantage to gulbis to attack and impose his gameplay on nadal.i think gulbis played much better than rafa in my opinion , he had great chance to oust rafa from this semi finals.
    thanks God he made it at the end , it was a nice victory !

    • Fay says:

      I agree Cindy, I have just watched the highlights and Rafa was winning nearly all his points on Gulbis’s errors! but Rafa’s anaylsis on the match was also prehaps why, he says that because he had so much pressure on him to hold serve he lost also his timing and found it hard to attack the way he was in previous matches, I really think his mental strength of staying with Gulbis and trying to threaten him with bp’s, thus threatening his serve a little later on in the match did help a little but god, did he Just and only Just get through this one… congrats Rafa indeed..

  6. karen says:

    Just love hearing him speak his mother tongue although I didn’t understand a word apart from maybe the words “Grand Slam” at some point.Also his ability to raise one eyebrow and wrinkle half of his forehead is so,so cute and extraordinary.There really is no-one else quite like him and rightly so.

  7. miri says:

    Updated with a translation from Inés.

  8. sia says:

    Inés is an angel …

  9. CJ says:

    This game was a nail biter! I almost jumped as high as Rafa when he won. I love the vids. I haven’t seen him this chatty and excited in a while. VAMOS RAFA!

  10. Fay says:

    Thanks again Ines for the translation, what a difference it makes.. he is looking so relaxed and smiley here..

  11. sunset says:

    Was able to catch but glimpses of the match, but watching the last game, 0-15, when Gulbis teased Rafa with the ball before his serve, reminded me of the same thing he did earlier, that I happened to notice in one of the few moments I did manage to see the match. Did I miss something? Was there a legitimate point Gulbis was making, i.e. did Rafa do something wrong to piss him off?
    Back to the match…I was beginning to think me watching the match was jinxing Rafa’s game because whenever I turned it on he would lose point in a bad way. Good thing that I had to leave home in the middle of the third set.
    Eventually I had to call someone to find out the result of the match, while on my way driving. Was unbelievably happy, and on the other hand, feeling very much the same way as Ch F put in her posts under “Survivor”–Rafa was pressured into the passive mode, was not playing “his tennis” and could have very well lost the match. He was helped by his own improved mental state but there is certainly room to do better. Best of luck tomorrow Rafa!

    • miri says:

      Teased him with a ball? What are you talking about? Do you mean when he started his ball toss and then stopped because people were moving? That’s standard.

      • sunset says:

        I didn’t realize that people were moving…so just my own misconception then. Good thing to clear it up because I was thinking maybe Gulbis was unhappy about Rafa taking too long to serve, etc.

        • miri says:

          They were both taking way too long to serve. Rafa was taking just a bit long than Gulbis, but not by much. So, Ernie had nothing to complain about.

          edited – I just looked at it and I think there’s a little kid with a red/pink shirt on who was right behind Rafa and was waving something yellow.

          • sunset says:

            Tell me about it…29 vs 28.3 seconds.
            Again, I am glad this is cleared up because I don’t want to think ill of this Gulbis kid–his performance today isn’t half bad.

  12. tenissfun says:

    thanks Inés and miri

  13. Atch2 says:

    Yes Inés you are an angel.

    I’m amazed how Rafa can sit colmly down, and analyze himself right after the match.

    So so glad he overcame a big server like Gulbis. Good experience before meeting the Del Pos, Cilics, Soderlings, Karlovics …

    And if he lost the match, he would have been so pissed off at the bp chances he missed. But in the end he won the first bp opportunity in the most important game :)

    • Nana says:

      He was spot on about the BPs. I had an ominous feeling when he failed time and again to convert them. But fortunately he came out strong in the end! Vamos!

      BTW, I think I said Vamos 1000 times last night!

  14. Atch2 says:

    When he said ‘final 50″ did he mean that this is Rafa’s 50th tournament final of his career?

    Also I just read in that if Gulbis has won he would have become the 1st player to beat both Roger Federer and Nadal in the same tournament on clay. That doesn’t happen often, and especially on clay. The last time may have been Del Po at the USO 09 on hc.

    • Nana says:

      Yeah during the match Robbie and the other commentator (what’s his name?) kept saying that. I really wanted them to yell “yes I know so would you stop saying that?”

    • Inés says:

      “When he said ‘final 50″ did he mean that this is Rafa’s 50th tournament final of his career?”

      Yep, sorry if some parts of the translation are not very clear, but he makes long speeches when he talks with the spanish tv, I guess because he is very relax with them. When he was interviewed by Rosana, it happened the same, btw, Rosana has had a baby boy a couple months ago, that’s why she didn’t make the on court interview lately

  15. CC says:

    It makes me feel with colm to hear Rafa so spot on analyse his own game and know exactly what didn’t work with his game and why. Thanks for the translation, Inés.

    That smile at the end of the Spanish interview is precious. So cute. :)

  16. tennisfun says:

    it seems i can’t write my name correctly for the life of me

    i hope i did right this time .

    rafa wow you did it.

  17. tennisfun says:

    sorry i was too excited