I gonna tell you that right now. When I go on court, I don’t think if I lost last time is gonna be revenge. I never go by this way. I think that’s if you think of that, you think this way, your mind is not 100% calm to think what you have to do.
I *heart* it everytime Rafa says this because I’m so tired of the fake revenge drama announcers like to drum up.
Q. It seemed to me in the first point of the second tiebreak you served and volleyed.
RAFAEL NADAL: You like it today, no?
Every day, Rafa, every day. Oh. Tennis. Okay, serve and volley? Sure, why not.
Q. Yeah. Is that fun for you? All the thinking, is this the right time? Should I try now? Is that enjoyable to think of all the tactics?
RAFAEL NADAL: I gonna repeat the same like last time: I am not thinking I gonna do serve and volley before the serve. But if I see the serve is good and the opponent was like this, I have the chance to go inside?
This is where I just throw my arms up and surrender. I’m a perve who will find double entendres everywhere.
Q. When you do that, is there a satisfaction because maybe it’s very clever, very smart that you surprise your opponent?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am satisfaction because I won a point (Smiling.)
Q. You’re facing the Austrian Jurgen Melzer in the semifinals. What do you know about him, and what do you expect?
RAFAEL NADAL: He’s playing unbelievable. He played against David Ferrer, I saw him in the match. Last round against who? Gabashvili really was difficult match, too, because Tiemuraz was playing really well, too.
And today is a big comeback against Djokovic playing high level. I saw him in the end of the match playing very aggressive, serving well.
So will be very difficult opponent. If he’s in semifinals, is because he’s the best of his draw.
Hmm. Rafa’s friends with Ferrer, shares a part-time coach with Gabashvili, and shares a PR rep with Novak. This is your “revenge” match people. ;)
Q. Does playing a left hander pose you any different problems?
RAFAEL NADAL: Always is a change a little bit the tactics and a little bit the game. But he’s the third one for me in this tournament. I don’t hate to play against left handers. I like.
And your record shows it.
Q. Someone was telling me that you changed your strings in December, January maybe. Are you playing with different strings now this year?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, the black. I had before yellow.
Q. Is it just the color or is it…
RAFAEL NADAL: No, it’s totally different string, yeah.
Yep, just the color. That’s what all the hooplah is about.
Q. Are you going to celebrate your birthday tomorrow? Because, well, at least this year you’re here. Last year you went home and relaxed. But this year you have time.
RAFAEL NADAL: I gonna celebrate during the day, not during the night, I think. I gonna have time at Mallorca to celebrate the birthday during the night (laughter.)
I’m sure you have lots of volunteers to help with that.
So I managed to win, because there were some tiny differences on the tiebreak. So I played better. He had a beautiful game, but I managed to serve well today. And if I won this match, it’s thanks to his mistakes.
Q. It’s been a long time you’ve not had a warning from the umpire for the time you take, and at 5 4, did you talk about it with Carlos? Was it about time?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I talked to Carlos because well, on the first one to accept this, because if I deserve it, I deserve it. And I think this put a bit of pressure on me, and then I had to play with pressure.
But these are the rules, and I understand the rules. So if I need a warning, and if I deserve it, I deserve it. They told me already I was a bit slow and taking a bit too much time.
I said I would improve, and at 5 4 in the second set I had this warning because I was taking a bit too much time. I was a bit too slow.
I thought I was being very fast. I didn’t even take the time to wipe my face. I need a bit of time to think, and I had the feeling that I was, you know, too much aware of the time. I didn’t want to be fined or to get a penalty point. I was making big efforts to be as quick as possible.
But I couldn’t be any quicker, honestly. I think the second warning was not a warning I deserved. But, well, okay. I have a watch. I could have watched it. I didn’t. (laughter.)
Honestly! Now, if the watch maker could make a watch that senses when a point end and then lets out a nice ding when time is up to serve, that might be worth $520,000.