The transcript from Rafa’s quarterfinal presser is up on ASAP Sports.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
RAFAEL NADAL: Hello. Sorry for the lateness. It was a little complicated.
Heh, when isn’t it complicated?
Q. Congratulations for your victory. After how the match went, after playing against who you’ve played, I think you’re a little bit more inflated with confidence. Looking forward to what you have tomorrow or the next day?
RAFAEL NADAL: For the moment you have to look at what we have tomorrow. To win matches like today is always important. For me physically these matches help me, these kind of matches that ask the most of you physically.
Really I’ve been already weeks playing, but matches like this one that ask of you the most makes you get even more physical performance. It’s very positive.
Talking about tennis, I think I played well. I had some highs and lows. Some moments I was playing aggressively. I think my drive, I think I was playing really good with my drive. The ball is flying quite well. I’m hurting the opponent.
Well, good. And talking about the other things, a little bit more continuity with my aggressiveness in my drive is the only thing I’m lacking. I need more regularity in the match. I’m played against one of the best players of the world. I can expect a match as difficult as today’s.
I think we have to be very happy for making it the to semifinals, and even more as to how the match has gone. I could have been very close to thinking about the next tournament right now.
I’m happy, and I just to have try and take advantage of this opportunity.
Rafa? Inflated with confidence? (Drive = forehand)
Q. I want to ask you, David was close to match point. Have you seen that he went more for the volley in this match, he was going more to get the volley?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, no, David has a really high level, you know. I think that David from several years to here has achieved a really good regularity. He has an average level of game that is very high.
I think he played a very high level first two sets; third one he went down a little bit, which is pretty logical. I think it was very complicated. Things were pretty complicated for me, too.
I think that he did really well with his backhand; with his cross backhand, and with his forehand, we know he has a really good forehand.
David is pretty solid right now. I think his attitude is always an example. Only thing we can do is thank him for all the examples he gives us and for fighting, and just to wish him the best for everything that is to come.
Something Rafa said reminded of an old quote from Mats Wilander about himself. To paraphrase: Sometimes, my biggest asset is my consistency. Sometimes, my biggest weakness is my consistency. So yes, Daveeed has an average level of game that is very high. But that average is also his highest level of game. That level just doesn’t seem to be enough to get him past the guys who always seem to have that one extra gear.
Q. You were talking about the difficulty of the match. Before he said that loop was very harmful for him. Have you seen that point also as a key point in the match, as a turning point?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, it could be. It’s true if I lose that point it was 15-40 and two match points for him. The match is nearly done.
Yeah, I was lucky. Fortunately I guessed where he was going. The last moment I did a really good loop.
Also, after the loop I also had a really good forehand and I finished the match on the other side. It was a good point. The next point was also pretty good.
I think I had a really good forehand, and I think over there was the turning point. We made it to the tiebreak, and then in the tiebreak I started with mini breaks and he did two points when he was returning.
Fortunately, I start to be 3-2, and then consolidated with a good return. Then he committed some errors.
Well, I knew that if I won the second set I had some pretty good options in the third set.
Loop = lob? That lob was amazing…practically Marc!like. ;)
Q. Right now Andujar and Nishikori are playing; first set to Andujar. I guess you prefer playing against him because he’s Spanish.
RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, not at all. I think it’s more simple. The one who wins the match today is the one who’s the best player. The one who makes it to the semifinal is the player who is playing better.
Between Nishikori and Pablo, I think there is not one better or worse. The one who wins will be more difficult tomorrow.
Hard to argue against that logic.
Q. You said David Ferrer did really well. Of course he’s had a very good career. I would like to know if you believe that if you were not dedicating yourself to tennis how many Masters 1000s would he have? Because he only has one in Paris because he has to face you. You’re the king of clay. He doesn’t get the candy.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think that David has achieved a lot of things in his career. I think that our era is complicated. Not only because of me; I’m just one player.
Our era is complicated just because in the past in Masters 1000s or Grand Slams, they had more time. You had chances to get through some draws.
From some years to now the draws are complicated. Nearly always the best players are there. If not, you can see that the results are there. Year after year, Masters 1000s are won by the best players. David is there always. He has options of winning some like he had in Miami.
And here, if he had made it to the semifinals today he would have had an opportunity also. I think that perhaps he deserved more than what he has. I’m very convinced about this.
All of the time he has been able to get opportunities to be in semifinals, finals. He deserves to have more Masters titles than he has. I repeat: The era is complicated.
We can see this year in Indian Wells I won, but Djokovic made it to the semifinals. Del Potro, Federer, they are always up there. Berdych. The best players of the world are up there.
In Miami, he played against Murray who is the third best player the world. Each time you go there you’re playing against the best of the best.
You never have a final where you say it has opened a little bit here. I have a final where I’m not playing one of the six player. That hardly ever happens.
In the past I think it used to happen more often than it is now. So that’s why it is so difficult to win titles.
Theme of the day: complicated. And the bottom line of his answer: he can’t win Masters 1000s because he’s playing in an era with a bunch of freakishly good and consistent tennis players. (Also, tennis players who are required to play these tournaments unlike the days of old when players could pick and choose a bit more.)
Q. I wanted to ask you about Pablo again because you always support Spanish players. I don’t know if you remember the match you played in 2011 in Roland Garros which I think you finally won. What can you say about Pablo? He had a bad run, but right now he’s out there playing really good.
RAFAEL NADAL: He’s a player with really good rhythm. He has very good intensity. He moves very well on the court. Both his drives are very good; he returns pretty good; he can play aggressively.
I think here in altitude he plays good and his shots harm you even more. After that, after a player comes from a bad run – because I know he has some injuries, shoulder or knee- and he sees himself again with possibilities to compete, well, with guarantees to achieve something.
He’s feeling good. So it’s some fresh air. You just want to take that. That’s what he’s doing right now. I just want to congratulate him.
And wish him all the best for the rest of the season?
THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.
>Q. Just one question about Federer. He lost against Nishikori. Is this for you a surprise? You were the only one so far that beat him in this stadium.
RAFAEL NADAL: Sorry?
Q. You were the only one to beat Federer here in this stadium, in Caja Mágica.
RAFAEL NADAL: It’s always the same. I answered before that question in Spanish. But it’s something similar. It’s a surprise, yes, because happened just very, very few times in the last years, things like this.
But should not be a surprise. He played against Nishikori. He is a fantastic player, he’s an aggressive player. In tennis, you are there all the time. The match is close a lot of times and you can lose.
Yesterday it happened. He played a very good second set I think, Roger; and then in the third, you know, few mistakes and Nishikori end the match playing fantastic, very aggressive, and serving well.
So that’s it. Then it’s not easy after eight weeks, seven weeks outside of competition to come back and play and have the best feelings.
Sure this week is going to be positive for him. He will be getting rhythm, and Rome will be better for him, I am sure.
So, it sounds like he found a TV channel to watch Federer’s match…
Q. You got so close to losing that match. Do you think it was because David played very well or you were not feeling so well during the first two sets?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think I played well for moments. I played a little bit up and down during the whole match. Very good games then few mistakes.
When you play up and down against players like David, you know, it’s very difficult to win. I was lucky at the end of the match. I am very happy with what happened.
But David is a fantastic player. He was very, very unlucky today to not be in the semifinals. That’s my feeling.
He was consistent; Rafa wasn’t. Consistency doesn’t always cut it in a sport with such a funky scoring system.
Q. Because you so rarely find yourself in that position, a set and a break down in a best-of-three set match, what are you feeling then? Worried, or are you always confident?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sure I’m worried. When you are a set, 6-4, 4-2 and serve for the opponent, I am not worried? I am completely worried, you know.
I know that my match– I am in a very difficult position. I am not arrogant. I know my situation. But I try to fight the next game for sure, because 5-2 is big advantage.
I need the break at 4-2 to be back in the match with 4-3. I was very lucky. I played a few great points in the 4-2: One winner forehand, passing shot with a backhand, so was very important game for me and I played well.
Completely worried…just like all of us!
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports