Rafael Nadal Wimbledon Interview - July 5

Posted on July 6, 2007

R. Nadal - 5 July
Thursday, 5 July, 2007

Q. When you were two sets down, did you have any feelings you would be going home to Majorca tomorrow?

RAFAEL NADAL: Maybe today. Sure, Youzhny was playing very good. Well, I feel -- I'm feeling not playing my best. But the true, he play very well. For that reason I can't play very well, too.

True, I play little bit defensive. His game is very good for this surface, no? He play very flat all time, fast. He has one serve, the serve is always going down. He doesn't bounce high. Yeah, is tough.

After the first two sets, the next three sets maybe I play my best game in grass in my life, no?

Q. Now that you have defeated Youzhny, who was one of only three players to have beaten you twice in the last 12 months, does this success today mean now it's easier to beat Fed Express and Berdych?

RAFAEL NADAL: Maybe not. For me was important victory for me, sure, because Youzhny is maybe 11 in the world. Very good player in fast surfaces, and I lost against him the last two times in hard: Dubai and US Open. I won in clay, but is a little bit different.

Well, very important victory for me. But especially I'm especially happy for my game. The last three sets, I never play better. I never play like this on grass. Very aggressive all time, serving well, returning very well, especially the second serve.

Q. Are you concerned about playing one match every day between now and the finals, particularly because today was a five-set match?

RAFAEL NADAL: What can we do? Is not another option. That's it. Try the best every day.

Q. Every player protests sometimes after the scheduling. If you were the person who has to make the schedule on Saturday, two semifinals, one women's final, what would you say before? How would you make the schedule?


Q. On Saturday. Saturday is two men's semifinals and one women's final.

RAFAEL NADAL: Two men's semifinals?

Q. Saturday, for sure. If you finish the tournament on Sunday, you have to play two semifinals on Saturday.

RAFAEL NADAL: What is the question? I don't understand the question very well.

I put the two semifinals, one on Court 1, the other one on Centre Court at the same time, and after the final of woman's. You like my schedule (smiling)?

Q. At the start of the third set you suddenly found your game really well. Did anything change? Did you try something different? What suddenly started it?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I was there all time, no, and the inspiration coming later (smiling).

No, I just play aggressive, moving faster the legs. Better movements all time. Every ball always try to do something. Every time when I touch the ball, try to have painful to the other one.

Try to put the ball close to the lines every time and, well, serve hard all time. Everything change about play a little bit more aggressive. That's the decisive moment in the game.

Q. You said you played better today on grass than you've ever played before. Do you think you played better today than last year against Federer?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yes, sure. Sure I play better now. For me last year my best match was in semifinals against Baghdatis.

Q. He seemed to have a back injury. Did that change the way you played in the third set?

RAFAEL NADAL: I can say nothing because I didn't speak with him after the match. But anyway, I'm sorry for him if he has any problem.

Anyway, I play good game and I don't know if he feel -- if it affected him, the back problem. I can say nothing about that. Just sorry for him.

Q. Many people say Federer has a massive advantage because of the rain delays. Do you find now maybe that is the case, or do you still feel motivated to give it a good go? If so, would it be your biggest achievement to even get there?

RAFAEL NADAL: If I am not motivated here in Wimbledon, where I going to be motivated, no? I am motivated in every tournament always because I love the competition.

But, sure, if you play one tournament like Wimbledon, anyway if is raining one month, I going to be motivated hundred percent, no?

Q. Tomas Berdych said he feels grass gives him a slight advantage over you. What are your feelings on that?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, sure. He won the tournament in Halle. He's an unbelievable player. He's playing the last month so much better than the beginning of the season.

So, well, for tomorrow I think for the surface, for everything, he is favorite, no? Just I going to try my best, try to play like today after, but just play my best. I know going to be a very, very tough match.

Q. Do you feel you made a little bit of a breakthrough today in your mind about playing on grass? Do you feel more confident now after the way you were able to express yourself today?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, sure. With every win you improve the confidence in every surface. But especially if you are playing like today little bit more, no? But gonna be -- you never know what's going on tomorrow.

Q. But you feel better about yourself and grass today?

RAFAEL NADAL: I feel playing great. Grass is not my worst surface for sure, no? Play in the final last year, quarterfinals this year, quarterfinals two times in Queen's. So I like lot playing on grass, no?

The important thing is serve, serve good. That's the point when I am working hard always because I have to improve if any day I want to win here.

Q. How did it feel to be playing on Court 2?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, a little bit strange because for the last month, last years I didn't play on one court like this. Little bit smaller. The sensation, the feeling is a little bit different, no, because you feel the ball is coming faster than the other courts because for the space.

But, well, was great atmosphere. Full court with people support a lot. Very, very nice.