Rafael Nadal Interview - Toronto, Aug 13Posted on August 14, 2010
R. NADAL/P. Kohlschreiber 3 6, 6 3, 6 4
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You have always tough battles with Kohlschreiber on hardcourt. Is there any specific reason?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, he's well, first of all, every match is tough, no? And second thing, he's a good player. I think today I started terrible in the beginning, but anyway, always he's difficult to beat, no?
So it is a good victory for me, especially because I finished the match playing better in the third. Sure, being in the semifinals is very good news for me, no, for me the very first tournament on hard after one month and a half without competition.
So I happy to be in semifinal and now I want to enjoy the match tomorrow and gonna be difficult. Well, I hope be ready to play my best tennis and try to have chances.
Q. Philipp said you've improved so much through the years that he's played you in being aggressive, especially noting that off the second serve you're putting the ball in play and really being aggressive on the second ball. Could you speak a little bit about that? Is it something you've really tried to focus on?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, it's important in this surface is play aggressive, no? To play, you must be playing well. If not, is impossible. Well, probably today I didn't play well, no? I still trying to play aggressive for moments when I had the chance.
Finally, when you have lot of years here on the tour like I have now finally, you understand that's is impossible to win big tournaments like Toronto without play aggressive. Anyway, you playing defensive, you can win a few matches, but be or have the chance to be in semifinals or finals is impossible playing defensive because finally you play against the best players of the world. And if you have defensive in this court, it's impossible to beat these players. Anyway, playing well or playing bad, I have to play aggressive.
Q. You play Andy Murray next. Is Andy more difficult to play on a hardcourt than on the other surfaces?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think so, yes. I think here is the favorite surface for him. The hardcourt I think is the surface that is more difficult to beat him.
I had good battles against him in every surface, but on hard I have few wins, win Australia in 2005 and 2007, I think, or like this year in Australia was a good match, I think. I had to retire in the beginning, but it was a great match.
Last year in Indian Wells was too windy, and in Rotterdam I was injured. So always was tough, and he's playing well. He did a very good match today and will be very difficult tomorrow, for sure.
Q. You talked earlier this week about the importance of attacking the return. Why is it that sometimes you do that and sometimes you have to tell yourself to do it?
RAFAEL NADAL: (Through translation.)
Q. Sometimes you do it, and sometimes you have to remind yourself?
RAFAEL NADAL: (Through translation.) Well, is easy for me to return inside on grass than hard, because the bounce stays a little bit lower, and, you know, on grass you know you can have mistakes because it's part of the game and here is mixed, no? Is no play that you can play two meters behind the line the first shot and tough to go inside.
Here, if you lose court, you go three meters behind the line, you have to play a very good shot. If not, they have the control of the point and is almost impossible to come back on the point no?
I did a few times, but this is impossible finally to do all the match, no? So, sure, is important return inside, but is a little bit more difficult for me here than grass that I think on grass my return is more effective when I play aggressive than the rest of the surfaces.
Here I would love to keep improving that and try to keep, in the end, return like I do on grass, but I worked a lot on that, and I have to keep working to keep improving. Is not enough, I think.
Q. Andy always says when he's watching tennis, you're the guy that he likes to watch because of the way that you play. Do you enjoy the matches between and you Andy? The one at Wimbledon recently, the standard of tennis was fantastic.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah. Well, sure. Just can say thank you to Andy for the words, but play against him always a challenge, because if you are not playing your best is impossible to win, and playing your best at the same time is very difficult, too, almost.
Sure, always is good to play against him, because you have to find the right way to try to win. In Wimbledon, grass is a little bit different because I know how, what I have to do exactly, not because I know the tactic, but is because the court says that and I have to play aggressive. I have to serve well and play aggressive all the time.
Here is a little bit more different, no? I am sure, if I really want to have chances to win, I have to play aggressive. I must play aggressive. Is not going to be impossible but not exactly like grass. So we will see what happen tomorrow, but for me is good to have these kind of matches on hardcourt, to keep going to my best level, no? I need to improve a little bit my level for tomorrow. I hope I think I can do it, but is a good test tomorrow, yeah?
Q. I wonder if we're seeing your best ever level, because the season you're putting together is unbelievable: two Grand Slams, three Masters Series already, coming back from your injury problems, has been amazing. Is this your best ever season and best ever level?
RAFAEL NADAL: We will see when I finish the season. I don't know. In 2008 I did the same, winning Olympics, too.
So right now in the five Masters Series, I won three no. This is the sixth, so I won three. I had two semifinals and then am in semifinals another time. So is very regular season for me. That's very positive and is very good news. I won the three hardcourt tournaments, Masters 1000. I was in the semifinals. I hope this one can have the chance to be in the final.
Q. You had treatment on your knees after Wimbledon. After three matches, how do they feel?
RAFAEL NADAL: I feel perfect. Thank you.
Q. About the return, about being more aggressive, do you go into the match making the adjustment, especially on the hardcourt? Because you're not sure of the balance, you know, how much to be aggressive, how much to play a little more neutral? Do you, literally in the match, are thinking, okay, I need to be more aggressive or is it just aggressive all the time?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. It depends on the moment, is the feeling you have in that moment. Some moments you can go inside and some moments you think, well, I have to go two meters behind and I have to play a solid point because he's having more mistakes than me. So it depends of the moment. Depends how the match is going.
Q. A lot of it is based on your confidence, then? Just believing in what you're going to choose to do and just do it?
RAFAEL NADAL: What?
Q. A lot of it is based on your confidence? If you're feeling good, then you'll just choose the tactic and go forward?
RAFAEL NADAL: If I feel good, I don't know if I gonna be inside or two meters behind. Depends at the moment, I repeat, because if I feel good playing two meters behind, I can play a long shot the first one and tough to play to have the control of the point with my forehand.
If I think I have to put pressure on the rival for the first shot, I have to go inside. I play aggressive shot from the baseline trying to find a winner. But I repeat: depends of the feeling. Sometimes I am returning and I think, well, if I go inside this time I think I gonna have a mistake because of more risk, so I go two meters behind.
I don't know. Everything change. The mind change in every minute, I think.
Q. You've now won I think 34 of your last 35 matches. Is this as well as you've played over a long period of time since 2008 where you went through all the way to the gold medal in Beijing?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah. Well, sure is one of the best moments of my career. Is a stupid don't say that, because that's true winning three Masters 1000, winning Roland Garros, and Wimbledon, I'm now in semifinals here. That's true, no?
But I want to be with Super Glue, because, you know, four months ago I was I never gonna everybody says Rafa, I don't know, never gonna be another time on the top, and now I am the best.
I don't think it's not like this before, and I'm not that good right now, no? Is always a mix, no? I think in that moments I wasn't playing well to win. This time I played unbelievable and I was ready to win, and now we will see what happened, no?
But I always work hard to be here and to be competitive in every tournament that I play. Sometimes works well; sometimes didn't work like this. Didn't work perfect, no? But I always try my best, and that's what I gonna keep doing, if I win, if I lose, doesn't matter.
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