Rafael Nadal Interview - Wimbledon Champion, July 4

Posted on July 4, 2010

Rafael Nadal Interview
Wimbledon Champion
Sunday, 4 July 2010

Q. Pau Gasol wanted me to say hola to you. Congratulations. Can you compare this to what he did, back‑to‑back Lakers championships and your own as well, two straight here at Wimbledon for you?

RAFAEL NADAL: Thanks a lot. Everything is difficult, and very difficult compare, two different sports, no? But I am in contact with him all the time. For sure to have unbelievable sportsman like Pau inside the court, inside the court and outside the court is very, very good for our country.

Q. Is it even more special for you to come back and win it a second time?

RAFAEL NADAL: Every one is really special, no? Is difficult to say this one is more special. The other one was more dramatic, the way to win. So first title is always very, very special.

And for sure after not easy year for me. Be back on my favorite tournament of the world here and play well another time, and not only play well, so finish with the trophy is amazing for me.

Just can say thank you very much all the organization, all the crowd, because when I am on the court what they make me feel is unbelievable.

Q. How does it feel to be so popular with the crowd here at Wimbledon?

RAFAEL NADAL: You know, probably is the best crowd of the world, no? More respect. They have a lot of respect for every player, I think.

If I speak about myself, was always amazing with me, the crowd, especially yesterday or two days ago when I played against Andy Murray, a British player. For sure the crowd support him, but the same time was supporting me a lot, no? That's unbelievable. Just can say thank you very much.

Q. Did you expect a different or tougher match from him?

RAFAEL NADAL: I cannot say the same because I don't expect nothing before the match. I expect play my best in every point and try to fight every point like the last. I don't think if I gonna have a very difficult match, I gonna lose, I gonna win. I don't think about this.

I just think about try to go on court and try to fight every point and play point by point. Not thinking any more of the next point.

Q. You had a lot of support from home, your girlfriend, parents, people from your club. Is that important to you?

RAFAEL NADAL: I have all the family, my team here, so, sure, is nice to have the friends here. Is always nice have your people around you.

Q. How have you changed your game to become so comfortable on grass where you now have two Wimbledon championships?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. The main thing I think is if you want to play well, you gonna find a way. So if you really want to play well in one surface and you are a good player, I think in the end you gonna find a way.

And play for me on grass always was my dream, and play here for me was all my life a big goal for me. So I think I have very good thing to play here on grass is the movement. I move well on this court, and that's very important part of the game.

Sure, later my serve always was improving a little bit. Is important play more aggressive than the rest of the surfaces, no?

But, sure, I tell you, the main thing is really want to improve in every surface. On grass is the main thing.

Q. How hungry are you regarding winning the US Open? How important is it for you to win the US Open, as well?

RAFAEL NADAL: Right now I'm very happy to win Wimbledon. Yeah (smiling). We gonna think about US Open in one month. Right now we just relax and enjoy for me this amazing season.

Was very difficult for me to be back at my best. I did, so is very important and emotional moment for me. I want to enjoy that. For sure, keep working to try to be in the US Open finally ready to try to win. But for sure US Open gonna be one of my goals for rest of my career.

But right now is enjoy the beach, fishing, golf, friends, party, and Mallorca.

Q. You're known for playing all the points with great intensity and focus. It seems on the critical points, like today at the breakpoints, you really focused, you lift your game. Can you talk about what you do on the big points.

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, today I was a little bit more nervous than usual. I was a little bit lucky on few moments with the breakpoints. I had two good forehands, and later I have a rally with the slice backhand. So he finish missing the backhand to the net.

So I don't know. I just try my best in every moment, every practice, every point. Important thing is be there all the time. If you are there all the time, you are have more chances to save the breakpoints.

Q. You talked before about the importance of the movement. Even if you don't like to speak normally about injuries, you still run like a rabbit or a jaguar, it depends what kind of animal you think. How do you explain it? You talk about knees, this and that. Nobody is capable to run like you.

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I don't have any problem today. I didn't have any problem today, and for the last four matches I didn't have any problem. So that's all. Without healthy is impossible to be where I am today.

Q. Is there a special practice you do to be quicker than somebody else, to react?

RAFAEL NADAL: No. I think all my life I practiced with my high hundred percent of intensity in every ball in the practice.

So when I have only controls ‑‑ normally I never have controls, normal controls. I play every control like a point.

That's why I think today I am faster, no? Probably now I'm not practicing with the same intensity like when I was a kid. When I was a kid, I practiced, believe me, like crazy.

Q. Did you expect this kind of return?

RAFAEL NADAL: No. For sure, no. I gonna say another time the same. I go day by day, and I wake up every morning with the illusion to practice and to improve, with the allusion to play well another time.

So last seven months or six months of 2009 season I wasn't ready to play at this level. I was ready to fight, but not to play like I am doing now.

The positive thing in that seven months is I didn't lose in first round, second round, no? I wasn't ready to win, but I was there all the time, semifinals, quarterfinals, one time one final in Shanghai. So without playing well, I had not bad results. So that's very important for the confidence.

And when I finish the season 2009 and I went to Mallorca and I start to practice, well, you see the difference. If you play semifinals and quarterfinals, you see everything a little bit more easier, because without play well I was there.

So just keep working, be ready to work hard to be ready for 2010, and if I improve, I gonna have the chance another time to win.

Q. Today Lorenzo won in motorcycle. Spain is in the semifinal of the World Cup. You won here. What is so special in Spanish athletes? If Spain reaches the final, will you go there to see it?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I don't know. For the last two years we had amazing success on very important sports. So maybe is a little bit lucky, because is impossible to have one No. 1 like Pau Gasol, all the unbelievable players of the basketball in Spain.

Q. And Lorenzo?

RAFAEL NADAL: Sure, Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Contador. For sure, we won the Europa Cup with the football, and right now we are in semifinals in the World Cup. So we are in probably the best moment of our history in sport.

That's very difficult to do. We have to know how difficult is be there and enjoy these moments, because gonna be very difficult to repeat another generation like we have now.

Q. Will you go to the final, Cape Town?

RAFAEL NADAL: I have to do treatment right now on the knees. I have to have serious work, the same time to try to ready for the American season. So I don't think so. I gonna see.

But for me would be a pleasure to be there. I am a crazy fan of football, and for sure a big supporter of our team. I am in contact with the players. You know, I just wish the team all the best.

But if the World Cup can be a little bit closer, gonna be easier for me to be there.

Q. You surprised some people with your summersault at the end. Is that something you thought through or did spontaneously?

RAFAEL NADAL: I didn't thought nothing about that. That was my reaction that moment, no?

Q. Winning the French and Wimbledon back to back, it's been said, is the hardest thing in tennis. You've now done it twice. How special do you think that is as an achievement?

RAFAEL NADAL: It didn't happen since Borg, so now last three years it happen twice. So how crazy is the life.

Q. The way you played in the clay court season, to be able to transfer that to grass, how tough is that?

RAFAEL NADAL: Is difficult. For sure is difficult. But important thing is I repeat the same than before: have enough illusion to play after winning in Roland Garros, to play well on grass.

So after a few years for me, I know how important is the grass court season. And after winning in Roland Garros Sunday, I am practicing on Monday in Queen's because I know how difficult is to change and to adapt the surface. Every day is goal to be ready to play here in Wimbledon.

So is difficult, yes. But if you have experience in the past and you have lot of matches on grass in the past, that's gonna help you a lot.

Q. You mentioned you were a bit nervous. Was it different playing here? You played three finals against Roger. Was it different today playing as the favorite?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. If you are not nervous in the final of Wimbledon, you are not human, so...

Q. This year tennis fans remember this championship for your win, but also Isner and Mahut. What message do you have for them?

RAFAEL NADAL: I saw the match. Was unbelievable. Just can congratulate both players because what they did. They show amazing good spirit for the crowd, for the young people, because the attitude was very positive and fighting a lot every point, like for 10 hours or 11 hours, I don't know.

So was just amazing. Both players need to acknowledge, the rest of the people, especially the tennis people.

Thank you very much.