Rafael Nadal: My Knee Was Very Good Today
by Staff | January 18th, 2012, 7:34 am

Rafael Nadal eased into the Australian Open third round on Wednesday, dispatching Tommy Haas. Nadal had a scare Sunday when his right knee flared up almost causing him to withdraw from the tournament. But since he has been sharp winning all six sets.

Nadal, who won the Australian Open in 2009, will meet Lukas Lacko on Friday in the third round.

Q. Was that the perfect kind of match for you? Because you played well, but you got tested by a good player and you get through in straight sets.
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know if it’s the perfect match, but I won in three sets. I started match playing fantastic, especially the first seven games.

So everybody arrives late because they thought that I am late, no? (Laughter.)

THE MODERATOR: I’m so sorry.
RAFAEL NADAL: I usually am very late, so they know that.

Q. Were you worried when Tommy had the…
RAFAEL NADAL: Sure, when he had the break point at 54 with the first set? Yes. No, I had a mistake with the 52, big mistake with one forehand in one deuce.

I was a little bit unlucky at that game with the 54. I had 30love. After I had breakpoint again, but I was lucky that I had two aces in a row. And a third one in the set point, Tommy had the fantastic serve, too, and forehand winner.

So I end the set well. I started the second set very well another time. Second set was, I can say, comfortable for me, because I had the break at the beginning. I didn’t suffer a lot with my serve, and I had the second break with the 53.

So it’s important, the break, I had a very bad game in the beginning of the third. After that, you know, the set is in trouble. If you don’t have the break back next game, you will be fighting all the set to try to come back, no? Finally I did.

I think he played well. He played aggressive. He played with very good second serves. For a moments his first serve was really difficult to read.

Yeah, I think he played well. My way has to be the seven first games of the match.

Q. How do you feel your game is at the moment?
RAFAEL NADAL: I really practiced well. I had very good preparation in my opinion. I practiced very well. I won already two matches in straight sets with positive feeling. I am well.

You never know. (Smiling.) We are in the first week, and, you know, every match will be difficult. Next one will be not be an exception.

Q. How is the knee today?
RAFAEL NADAL: Very good.

Q. Federer has the next day off. Would you like to have the same? He doesn’t play because his adversary is out.

Q. Would you like to have the same?
RAFAEL NADAL: Before the day start, yes. Now I played and I win, no, I’m happy. (Laughter.)

Q. Is it good to have a tough match like that early on?

Q. Uhhuh.
RAFAEL NADAL: Good like…

Q. Like today.
RAFAEL NADAL: Sorry, but I’m not agree. Tough match is when you play five sets. When you play three sets  every match is tough. I cannot say I won easy; for sure not.

You cannot expect win easy against nobody, and especially against Tommy Haas. He’s fantastic player. That to say, happy to have this strong match early on; I not agree on that.

Was a positive match, but not that very strong, demanding. We didn’t play four hours and a half, five hours. Three sets, so wasn’t that tough, thinking that all the matches is tough.

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2 Comments for Rafael Nadal: My Knee Was Very Good Today

Lou Says:

Nadal is showing some good positive signs on the court! He is hitting his shots with more power and aggression. His movement has also become better. If we look at his stats from 2011 and this year so far (Rafael Nadal- Early Signs Of Improvement! http://bit.ly/wvSe0f ), he is playing better and winning more % points on his first serve.

Throughtout the match there were no signs of physical discomfort for Nadal- good indication for the rafa camp!

Michael Says:

That is understandable what Rafa says. If he wins, he often forgets the injury problem. But only when he loses be brings that into picture. His Presser will go like this “Although I suffered from a foot injury I will not bring it as a cause for my defeat and only the Opponent played well – Congratulate him”. Thefore, although he gives the opponent credit, harping on the injury factor he indirectly belittles an opponent victory. Knowingly or unknowingly Nadal is doing this for time immemorial.

Leaving aside Nadal’s bad habit, I see good signs of his form in this particular tournament and he is looking ominous especially I saw that with his match against a very good player like Haas. Nadal might well go on to win the tournament only if Novak is not in the finals and I would like to underline that “Novak is not in the finals”. In his semi-final bout with Roger, I see Nadal coming through just because I do not see Roger playing at his best in this tournament. Although it is just one match he has played, yet the way he is playing right from the Abu Dhabi exhibition leaves a lot to be desired.

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