Halle: Quarterfinal presser transcript
Q: Rafa, was it the difficult match today that you expected yesterday?
NADAL: I said yesterday that it was going to be a very tough match. He plays well on this court. I didn’t have a lot of time to play, to practice. But, just congratulations to him. He played great. He played very well and he played very aggressive. And playing best of three with everything that we know it’s a very difficult match for me today.
I’m already getting tense about the Olympics being a best of three lottery on grass…
Q: It was obviously a very tiring final in Paris. Did that catch up with you today?
NADAL: It’s not the moment to try to find excuses, to try to find why I lost today. Why I lost today is easy, he played much better than me. My movements were not good to play against a player, who hits every ball hard, aggressive. He was playing the ball very fast. So, I need a little bit more time. But playing against him here in my second match on grass only having a few hours of practice was very difficult today.
Kohlschreiber is a solid player whose game transitions well to grass – no shame in losing to him.
Q: What happened to your backhand because you had to slice all the time?
NADAL: The bounces are very low here. You need time to practice a little bit, you need time to adjust your shots. But that time was not. I said the first day that you need to remember how to hit the ball on grass. Probably I will practice in Wimbledon next week. The bounces here are a bit lower than in Wimbledon. The weather conditions for the last days and today playing indoors makes the court more difficult for me, especially with no time. So, that’s all. Nothing happened with my backhand. I was hitting fantastic my backhand five days ago. So, I didn’t lose my backhand.
Glad he neither lost the backhand nor had it stolen while in Paris!
Q: I think that today it was also mentally a problem to stay focussed on the match?
NADAL: No, I saw that he was better than me. I saw that I was suffering much more than me when I was serving. And I saw that I didn’t have that energy to change to the situation. If the match today is against a player, who plays worse, sure my mental part is going to be there because I’m going to see my options. But today in the beginning it was tough for me having the break and then he served well. I think it’s more a tennis problem than a mental problem because when your tennis is not working the mental part is more difficult.
“Didn’t have that energy to change to the situation” – excellent way of putting it. When things aren’t going your way, it takes a lot of mention and physical energy to change the flow.
Q: When you see in Queens the top two seeds are out, you are out. So it’s difficult for the top players to make the transition from Roland Garros obviously?
NADAL: Sure, the transition is difficult but it depends on how much time you have. And don’t forget that playing on grass best of three sometimes is a little bit more of a lottery. It’s a fast court. It’s a court where you don’t have time for nothing. If you have mistake with your serve probably you lose the set. So, that’s the game here on grass. If you’re not playing with full confidence, fully adapted, every match is more of a lottery. Best of three especially, everything is very quick.
*nervious* Wait. Wimbledon first. Then nervious.
Q: Rafa, what are you going to do now? How are you going to spend the next days?
NADAL: I’m going to be in Mallorca.
Party in the basement!
Q: But you cannot practice on grass there?
NADAL: No, I cannot practice on grass but I think it’s better if I don’t practice for a few days. I played enough tennis for the last couple of months. The calendar is tough. I played almost every match possible since Indian Wells. I’m very happy with how I’ve been playing the whole season. It’s the time to rest a little bit, to be at home with family and friends, to enjoy the weather there in Mallorca, relax. And when I feel ready to come back I’ll fly to London and practice there in Wimbledon.
Enjoy the break, Rafa.
Q: Djokovic chose not to play this week. Could you do the same in the future?
NADAL: No. You don’t know what’s going on in the future but I played this week every time for the last eight years. I didn’t play in 2009 because I had a big problem with the knee. It always worked fantastic for me. Usually, I don’t play the week before the Grand Slam. I understand that even if I lost today, the match of today, the match of yesterday, these few days of practice on grass helped me a lot. Hopefully, next year I will be back here.
I wonder about doing a tournament rather than something like The Boodles. (Actually, I just wanted to type “boodles.”) Although, the warm-up tourny has worked well for him for years…why change things if they aren’t broke?
Q: Say something about the Olympics because the grass season is longer this year. You’ve got the extra week. Does that mean that your preparation on grass is going to be different, better?
NADAL: No. Because at the end you have to prepare for Wimbledon. Wimbledon is next week. So, I don’t want to think about the Olympics now having Wimbledon round the corner. When Wimbledon finishes I’m going to think about the Olympic Games. You know tennis for a long time, you know the calendar is what it is and you cannot pretend to think about Halle or about Wimbledon before Roland Garros. So, we are not going to think about the Olympics before Wimbledon.
Thanks for the reminder.
Q: Was the weather a bit difficult for you today? Wet and cold? Or you don’t mind.
NADAL: It never helps. I think for me the conditions, especially on grass are better if there is sunshine there, that the court is drier, the bounces are a little bit more higher. When the days are humid like today and a few days in a row, that makes the court a little more slippery, more softer. Then it’s a little bit more difficult for me everything, yes.
Yes, Rafa likes to have his balls energized.
Q: You mentioned that you played so many tournaments this year. Do you think the calendar in general of the ATP Tour that there are too many tournaments?
NADAL: It’s not the moment to talk about that. We’ve talked about it a lot of times. Sorry but I prefer not to answer this question.
You go, Rafa. Or don’t. You know, whatever works for you.
Q: Did the audience help you a little bit? Because of course we are divided, we want you and we want Kohlschreiber to win?
NADAL: I think the atmosphere is great for me here. Since the day I arrived here on Tuesday, I felt every day the love of the people. They make me feel great in every moment. All the organisation was fantastic and I’m looking forward to come back next year. That’s hopefully what is going to happen. For me everything was great. I think the tournament in general is fantastic.
Is it one of the best in the world?