Rafael Nadal US Open Press Conference: Wimbledon Court Faster Than US Open [Video]
by Tom Gainey | September 4th, 2010, 3:41 pm
  • 9 Comments

Here’s video of Rafael Nadal’s press conference following his 62, 76, 75 win last night over Denis Istomin.

Nadal says the Career Slam is not a goal of his “at this moment”. And he also points out that Wimbledon’s grass is a faster playing surface then the US Open. Some in tennis suggested that the US Open had the fastest courts, not so says Nadal.

Rafa plays tomorrow in the US Open third round against Frenchman Gilles Simon.

If you do not have video capability or it doesn’t come up I’ve attached the transcript below.

An Interview With: Rafael Nadal

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It’s early, but what would winning this tournament and also having the chance to win three straight Grand Slams mean to you?

RAFAEL NADAL: Doesn’t matter if is straight or not straight for me. Just if any day I have the chance to win here, it would be a dream, no? But I told you now, I do not thought about win here now because this year I am five matches away, so is a lot. And if I come back another years, like I hope to come back a lot of more years, remain seven every time. So is very far. For me, just be here and have a chance to win the fourth is just unbelievable thing. When I was younger, seven years before or six years before or three years before, I never really thought I really can do that. So I am very happy what happen in my life, in my career, in all my career. So just enjoying that moment and trying to fight every ball because if there is any chance to win here, convert this chance.

Q. How much pressure is there, do you think, because this is the one you haven’t won yet?

RAFAEL NADAL: You know, I gonna say what I think seriously. I don’t think about win this tournament now. So probably the pression is going to be there any day if I am in the final. But before that remains too much to have the pression to win. I have the pression, like every Grand Slam. And, believe me, I have less pressure here than when I play in Roland Garros. So is completely different. And, you know, is like I need to play well a lot of matches. So remain a lot. I am not thinking about the victory. Maybe in any moment I think about the win here and complete the four Grand Slams, maybe, yes, is pressure. But seriously, for me I think about point by point and winning next match. So right now I am very happy to win today and think about Simon.

Q. How have you found the rhythm of your serve, because you’re serving very well?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, Toni arrives and everything under control. No, seriously, I don’t know. That’s pretty strange, because I wasn’t serve very well the previous days. I started to serve well one or two days before the competition. But the week of practice, I wasn’t serve really well, no? I changed a little bit the grip, like five or six days ago, because I felt when I played against the wind I didn’t have free points. So I needed that, no? So I tried to play the serve a little bit more aggressive. For the moment, it’s working really well, so I going to try keep playing like this. And, sure, serve like this is a big confidence on my game.

Q. There was a lot of talk about a storm coming in and maybe you wouldn’t get your match in tonight. Given your schedule, it’s Friday, you’re playing your second match, were you relieved to get the match in tonight so you can get your rest?

RAFAEL NADAL: If you play every day night, is no problem. The problem is if you play night, very late, after you play day. So is not a lot of rest, no? But that’s the US Open, and they do what they think is better I think for everybody. I accept the rules. If I have to play second round on Friday, I play second round on Friday. No discussion of that.

Q. How fast would you say the court is, and how does it affect the time you have on your returns?

RAFAEL NADAL: Is fast, the court. Is faster the center than the practice courts, for sure. And, yeah, is not like Cincinnati. Cincinnati’s faster than this. But is one of the fastest.

Q. How does it compare with Wimbledon, for example?

RAFAEL NADAL: Everybody talks about Wimbledon is very slow. Maybe because I won two times. (Smiling.) When I started to play on Wimbledon in 2003 or 2002, I don’t remember, 2003 we are in 2010, so I played like eight Wimbledons. The speed of the court always was the same. That’s my feeling. So there’s no discussion Wimbledon is much faster than here. Is another sport than here. But I like the faster courts.

Q. It was a very exciting point when he went up 5 1. The crowd got into and you applauded, and then he didn’t win another point in that tiebreaker. You play with passion. But when someone shows that emotion, do you lift your emotion accordingly?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, he fighted a good point. He played a great point. I had to win that point three times before. But he did well. Finally he was fast going for the dropshot and he pass me, no? Just was a tough point for me, because 4 2 or 5 1 going to the other place, to the other side, is easy for the wind, but is hard for me. But I think I stayed very well mentally in that moment. I was playing with big calm and big concentration. And finally I was a little bit lucky, for sure. Is impossible to come back from 5 1. I had a little bit lucky. But the concentration, I had a good point. It was a very important moment of the match.

Q. You saw how hard it was for Roger to complete the career Grand Slam, how long it took him to win the French Open. What thoughts did that give you about your quest to win the career Grand Slam?

RAFAEL NADAL: You are focus on this. Maybe for Roger was a big goal because he is the best of the history and he needed Roland Garros. He deserved Roland Garros because he did three finals, another semifinals. Seriously, for me, complete the Grand Slam at this moment is not a goal. For me the goal is try to improve my level, to play well the next match, and we will see what happen next Sunday, no? If I have the chance to be there, gonna be a chance for me to complete. But if not, remains a lot to be there. If not, I gonna come back home, try to keep improving to come back a lot of years here to try. For me is not an obsession and is not a real goal.

Q. What do you think your chances are to be the best in history, the way you’ve described Roger?

RAFAEL NADAL: For me? I never thought about that. I think I am not ready to be the best of the history. I think is not the right moment to talk about that, seriously. Because I have 24 and a half, a little bit less 24 and a few months years old so talk about the history when one player is playing is difficult, no? I am very happy, eight Grand Slams, Olympics, 18 Masters 1000. I am probably in one part of the history of tennis, no, so I am very happy with that. Now everything is to win. I don’t know if I gonna have the chance to keep winning Grand Slams. I gonna try for sure. But be the best of the history is almost impossible.


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9 Comments for Rafael Nadal US Open Press Conference: Wimbledon Court Faster Than US Open [Video]

kimberly Says:

Very classy as always


van orten Says:

the us open are definitly faster than than wimby grass????!!!! well it def. bounces higher there (in wimby) ergo advantage nadal


Bleditor Drew Says:

I just shared a link to your blog with the community at bleditor.com. Thanks.


grendel Says:

” Everybody talks about Wimbledon is very slow. Maybe because I won two times. (Smiling.) When I started to play on Wimbledon in 2003 or 2002, I don’t remember, 2003 we are in 2010, so I played like eight Wimbledons. The speed of the court always was the same. That’s my feeling.”

That’s witty (the first two lines). I like it. However, the point he goes on to make is irrelevant, since the grass changed before he ever played on it. So naturally the speed has stayed the same.


bibi Says:

With Nadal, there are 5 different factors influencing his game: surface type, surface speed, bounce height, ball type, air quality (heat, humidity, elevation).

He prefers natural, softer surfaces (clay and grass more than concrete) because they are gentler to joints and muscles.

He prefers faster surfaces (RG and Rome clay more than Hamburg clay) because his spinny shots must not sit up too comfortably for his opponent, but not super fast (IW and Canada hard more than Cincinnati hard) because then he has trouble handling hard flat shots.

He prefers higher-bouncing surfaces, but can peferctly adapt to a lower-bouncing natural surface (Wimbledon, Queen’s) because of his superb footwork on a sofer surface with irregular bounce. On the other hand, if it’s a lower-bouncing artificial surface with regular bounce (Cinci, USO), his joints suffer on hard court and he loses advantage of athleticism becuse then even those not so quick movers have time to set up.

He prefers heavier ball that takes spin better (Slazenger more than Penn).

He prefers sunshine but not scorchingly hot, a bit more humidity and being at sea level (all this slows down those fast servers and flat hitters by making the court slower as well as preventing the ball fly too quickly through the dry/thin air).

Of course, each tournament is a mixed bag of those 5 factors, some more important than others, some even decisive (for example, those light balls adverse to spin).

So, when he declares that Wimbledon is faster than USO and you wonder how come he won at the faster court and not at the slower one, consider those other factors as well.


bibi Says:

Murray concurs. From his presser:

Q. What are your thoughts on the speed of this court versus the speed at Wimbledon and how that affects Rafa’s game?

ANDY MURRAY: It’s quite clear the balls are a lot faster, a little bit harder to control the balls. Guys are serving harder. But I think the court itself I think grass is definitely still quicker than here. I just think because of the warm weather and obviously the balls being they seem very light in comparison to the Slazengers, which are pretty heavy. I think it’s just a little bit harder to control the ball on the return. Obviously guys serve a little bit bigger, which might make it a bit harder for Rafa to break.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Grendel,

Thanks for pointing that out, something I have hammered home in the past, and the facts are facts. Wimby was a much different playing surface in the era prior to Rafa playing.

Also to the Anti-Fed fans, can we finally put this subject to rest, from the great Rafa himself;

“RAFAEL NADAL: You are focus on this. Maybe for Roger was a big goal because he is the best of the history and he needed Roland Garros. He deserved Roland Garros because he did three finals, another semifinals.”

and

“I am not ready to be the best of the history. I think is not the right moment to talk about that, seriously”

” I don’t know if I gonna have the chance to keep winning Grand Slams. I gonna try for sure. But be the best of the history is almost impossible.”


Skeezerweezer Says:

Bibi

Nice stuff you posted :)


Tennis Racquet Bargain Says:

I hope Nadal maintains his streak.

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