IW: Semifinal presser transcript
Rafa’s semifinal presser is up:
Q. Were the conditions as bad as they looked from up here?
RAFAEL NADAL: Was the worst day, yeah. The weather conditions, yeah, wasn’t easy to play. But it was a good match. He played fantastic, and just congratulate him.
Q. You’ve played plenty of matches in the wind, and you’ve done in the wind. Was today different? Maybe it was cold? Did he do anything to surprise you?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I think he started the match playing more than unbelievable. Me too. Me too. The beginning of the match, the wind was not there yet. Just a little bit.
That makes the game possible for me. I was able to play with some tactic. I was feeling the ball great. I felt that I’m ready to compete and ready to win the match.
But later start the crazy wind, and was very, very difficult for me to play with a clear tactic, no? I lost court, I had more mistakes, and I think he played very aggressive. He played fantastic.
His serve was with high percentage, and I wasn’t able to play my usual tactic against him with that conditions. He hit the balls, every one inside the court, and the weather conditions makes more difficult the topspin for me.
But, you know, here is a place that the ball have high bounces with the normal conditions, hot; but today was colder, the ball stays lower, and that’s makes the match a little bit more comfortable for him, I believe.
So I tried. Fighted until the last ball. I lost against a player who played better than me this afternoon. Congratulations. That’s all. Keep fighting for me for next week. Happy about the tournament. Happy the way that I played the most of the tournament.
Not yesterday. Not happy about the match of today than yesterday, more even if I had few important mistakes with the 4-3 of the first set. That was the only game that I am a little bit sad.
But for the rest, nothing. Nothing to say. No, he was better than me, and that’s it.
So, he was bugged more by the cold and humidity than the wind? That makes sense to me because he’s played well in the wind before.
Q. Rafa, at 5-2 when he was serving for the match, you broke him at 15-40, and it seemed like all the aggression came back to you, that you were dominating the points. Can you talk about that game and then whether you really thought that you were gonna get back into the match?
RAFAEL NADAL: I fight every ball, even with 5-2. That’s what I tried. I know that’s very, very difficult situation for me in that moment, but I have to try, and I did.
I hit a good return in the first point, and then I was lucky in a few points because playing against the wind. But it’s true, I played more aggressive than before. That’s help me a lot. React too late. I had to play more aggressive before with that conditions. I understand what I had to do too late to win the to have more chances to win the match.
With that conditions I cannot stay behind the baseline and waiting against hitting against his backhand, because the ball stays low and I don’t create pain to him with my shots. So that’s why I was wrong when the wind start with my tactic.
I played more aggressive at the end and worked well. Even I had few chances in the last game, too. So playing well. I had a mistake with forehand, but that’s the way. That’s it.
I am happy about how I played the ball, how I touch the ball, the feeling of the ball. I am happy about how I played, especially when the wind wasn’t that crazy.
I am not happy of the game at 4-3, but for the rest I am happy how I finished the match fighting and trying to find solutions. I lost against a fantastic player, so accept and try to be ready for doubles match of tomorrow and ready for Miami.
If only he’d played like that 5-2 game more frequently. It’s frustrating that his back has to be totally against the wall before he’ll play that aggressively.
Q. How would you compare the wind today to other very windy conditions you’ve played in before? It looked very extreme out there.
RAFAEL NADAL: It was tough tonight. I don’t hate the wind, that’s true. For me is nothing really. A lot of times worked well for me the wind, so the wind is not an excuse.
The excuse, the real excuse was he played better than me. That’s the best excuse that I can find, and that’s it. The game is simple. I tried but wasn’t enough, and that’s all. No more things.
Good to know he doesn’t hate the windy. :)
Q. Do you go to Miami happy of the way you’re playing at the moment? Do you feel like you can you play better?
RAFAEL NADAL: Always I believe that I can play better.
But I am happy. I stayed one month and a half almost outside of competition. I came back winning a few comfortable matches in straight sets against not an easy opponent like Marcel Granollers. I don’t know against who I played first round.
Q. Leonardo Mayer.
RAFAEL NADAL: Leonardo Mayer, so then I played against – very distracted this tournament, no? I always remember everything, and this time is, I don’t know.
RAFAEL NADAL: Si, Dolgopolov is another one. So that’s the real thing. I won a few matches very comfortable, three sets, and not suffering very much. I played a bad match yesterday, that’s all. For the rest, I am practicing well and happy the way that I am playing.
I think I am doing things better than last year. That’s the important thing, a positive thing. Today I lost, and that’s it. One have to win, one have to lose. I lost today.
What this with him saying he’s distracted? How weird that he couldn’t remember. Too many parties at Larry’s house?
Q. Looking ahead, Rafa, on the court, what would you consider a successful year this year for you?
RAFAEL NADAL: The thing is not what I consider. The thing is what the people consider a good year at the end, because seems like 2011 was a bad year for me, for you, for most of you. (Smiling.)
I don’t consider myself that good to consider the 2011 like a bad year, you know. I am doing a good year playing finals in Australia and semifinals here, for me, for myself, is a very good start of the year.
But you never know. You never know. The feel is myself. The results last year, in my opinion, was great results for me. The feeling wasn’t that great. You know, I get tired of the competition few times, and that’s a that’s not the best feeling.
I am playing with energy. I am here very happy to be here to compete against the best players of the world and to try my best every day in every practice, no?
So I gonna consider a good year if I keep playing the way that I am playing. Even if I don’t win something really important, I am happy. And the most important thing at this moment of my career for sure the titles are important but what is more important is the feeling.
I feel happy today to be here, and I am enjoying the tour. That’s the most important thing, keep doing to this way. That’s the way to have success this year. Play aggressive like I did the last few games and like I did the beginning of the match, that’s the way.
I have to follow this way. I did in Australia. I did here for the most of the time. I will try to keep doing in Miami a little bit better if it’s possible and wait to have a good success.
I’m glad to hear you are enjoying it, because it sure didn’t look that way in the match.
Q. Because of that rain delay, you and Roger had a long wait before you came out to start your match. What did you do to pass the time?
RAFAEL NADAL: Nothing. I stayed in the locker room with the team. I was in the player lounge for moments. That’s it. Nothing. Go to eat something before, but that’s it.
How comfy is that locker room that it’s a place to stay for hours? Most pictures I’ve seen of locker rooms don’t look that comfy.
Q. Did you get a chance to watch the match before, Isner and Djokovic, and your thoughts about that?
RAFAEL NADAL: I watch all the match. John played great match and Djokovic played a good match, too.
Seems like at the beginning of the third John was tired, so that was the moment for Novak to have the break and win the match. But John serve. His serve worked fantastic when he was tired at the beginning of the third.
Against a player like Isner, you arrive to 4-All at the third set and that’s a lottery, no? With this serve, anything can happen.
John played very well, very aggressive, without, you know I felt that he wasn’t scared about to win the match, no? He did. He played aggressive. He did what he had to do to win the match. He was the winner this afternoon.
The frustrating thing about Isner is that he can look like he’s at death’s door and yet still whip out aces like it’s no problem. That’s maddening to me, a view; I can’t imagine how maddening it is to his opponent.