MC: 3rd round presser
The transcript from Rafa’s match against Kukushkin is up:
Q. The match was more easy than you expected or…
RAFAEL NADAL: Sure, you never expect win 6-1, 6-1. But the match started in the perfect way. I played much better than yesterday, in my opinion. More aggressive, more solid. My serve was much better. The return, too.
In general today I very happy how I played.
In general, I was too.
Q.Two players twisted badly their ankles during the tournament. Do you think that the clay is a little bit more dangerous this year?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. But the clay in general is not dangerous. The problem is if the part behind of the court is not hundred percent flat, that’s when is dangerous. Happened to another one, the qualifier, one French guy I think. I didn’t see. But in the main draw, happened to Juan, and today to Julien. I saw both.
The problem was exactly the same because in your mind you think that you are slicing, but when you find a piece like this in the court (indicating uneven), the part behind is normally stiff, hard, solid. So you find a part a little bit higher than another one, this is when you are dead. Happened in the same place, in my opinion, no?
So probably the court is a little bit like this. When your mind think you are slicing, the foot finds something.
I’m glad that, in general, the clay isn’t dangerous…but stay away from that his spot!
RAFAEL NADAL: Is bad luck. The guys who make the court, they have to look around this afternoon, in my opinion, no, because I was scared. I played with tape in both ankles.
But I think is not a problem of the clay; is a problem probably of that part of the court is a little bit different. Is not in perfect conditions.
In my opinion and in general, I agree.
Q.Could you talk about what Toni brings, what his presence brings when he’s at the tournament, and then when he’s not?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, depends of the way the question is done. Is not nice for the other coach, no, when he comes with me.
I believe Toni knows me better than nobody. We are working together since beginning of my career, since I have three years old. So probably he knows my game better than nobody, no?
But Toni bring me important things. When Francis Roig with me bring me different things, probably positive, because help my game, too. Together makes a good combination for me.
If I have to say thanks to anybody, I have to say always to my uncle, no? Without him, always be impossible be where I am today and have the career that I had. I don’t think I have any doubt on that. I can say thanks to all my life to my Uncle Toni, no?
But today I feel very good when he’s with me. But I feel very comfortable with the other one, with Francis Roig, too.
In general and in my opinion, I’m glad you are comfortable with both of them. Whatever it takes to help the game, no?
Q.A sad day for Novak today. I don’t know if you heard about his grandfather. Do you think he was brave to play today?
RAFAEL NADAL: These are personal things. I cannot have a real opinion that because you have to be in the position. Depends how the thing happened. It depends is something you are expecting for a long time and you can imagine.
But always when happen is tough, no? So I think he made a fantastic effort today. That’s mean that he is very strong mentally today. So just congratulate him for what he did this afternoon, no?
I’m sorry for him. I’m sorry for his grandfather. Well, I tell him in the locker room. Is difficult to say something in this situation. Just congratulate him because his attitude was very positive.
Grieving is a very personal thing, and we all go about it differently. Even the same person processes grief differently on each occasion. None of us can know what Djokovic is thinking, feeling or going through. I wonder if his grandfather had been ill. I’d wondered that since Djokovic dedicated the Miami win to him. Unexpected or inevitable, death is very difficult to deal with and sometimes the distraction of work helps.