June 7, 2017


Rafael Nadal

Paris, France

R. NADAL/P. Carreno Busta

6-2, 2-0 [Ret.]

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. You're through to the semifinal. I guess not in the manner in which you would have wanted to go through. What did Pablo say to you at the end of the match and what did you say to him?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, yes, obviously was not the perfect way and especially against a good friend, no?

Sorry for him. He was playing great. He had a great event. Is tough when these kind of things happens, but he had a great event. Overall, I think he will be positive about what happened here, and that's important I think for him, for now, but at the same time for the future, no?

He's in a privileged position on the raise. He's gonna fight for important things for this year and fight to finish season top 8, top 10. Gonna be a big, big improvement for him.

No, Pablo felt something in the 5-2 with one serve wide. That's what he told me. It's impossible to analyze now how bad it is. But I hope it's not very bad, because he stop quick enough.

I had that in 2009 US Open, and I played during the whole event with this. And I started with a strain, 7 millimeters on the abdominal, and I finished it with 27, 28. So was stupid for my part, but I played event, no?

But I think is much better what he did, and that's probably the best way to keep going without wait for a lot of weeks.

Q. It's good to be rested. Is there any such thing as too much rest and not enough match play here?
RAFAEL NADAL: Is always the same, no? If it's too much, is too much. If it's less, is less.

I am in semifinals. That's all. I am in semifinals and with a very positive feelings. I played well all the matches here. Until the 5-2, I think I was playing well, too, today. So positive feelings and playing well. The rest of the things, you never know.

So it's difficult to say. Better, worse? I want to be in that position. That's all (smiling).

Q. Thiem and Djokovic are still playing. Have you seen any of their matches this week? What do you make of each matchup for you separately?
RAFAEL NADAL: They are playing. Dominic is winning for the moment, set and 4-1 when I went up. And I didn't see a lot. I was doing my way, and that's it.

Both players are top players. Only way to try to be in that final is play my best, and that's what I'm looking for.

Q. You're one of the players who handles the wind quite well usually on the court. I was just wondering why and how difficult is it when the conditions change a lot within a tournament?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. Is about accept the mistakes and accept the tough things that can happen during the match. It's always that you're gonna miss balls that you don't expect. Some balls that you hit well and you think gonna be a good shot, then the ball goes out. That's just part of these kind of days, no?

You have to find the balance between playing aggressive but don't take a lot of risks. Because when you take a lot of risks with that wind, then big chance to have mistakes.

I think important thing is the mentality and the movement, no? If you're able to move yourself well until the last moment, then it's a little bit less difficult.

Q. There are records and records. Some are more important, some less. You won nine Roland Garros. Borg won six. He lost only 32 games in 1978. Is there a record that would be somehow important to beat, or you couldn't care less?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know how many games I lost this year, but I really don't care about this, no? I only care that I am in the semifinals. That's a positive event for me already.

A lot of points and a lot of days enjoying the most important event of the year for me. And now remain probably the toughest part against a very tough opponent in the semifinals.

And my only goal is try to be ready to play my best, no? The rest of the things, we can always find behind the stones. And we gonna find more and more records, but at the end of the day these kind of things are not important.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish.

Q. Can you tell us what you told Pablo about this situation?
RAFAEL NADAL: It's very simple. Unfortunately, at 5-2, he served and he felt some abdominal pain. It happened to me once. Had an abdominal pain. It was in Montreal and at the US Open in 2009. I had 7-millimeter strain, abdominal strain. I was playing against Del Potro. It was very painful, especially when I served.

When you serve, it hurts you, but you can, however, deliver some shots. But it's a big problem, especially when you serve. On the x-ray, you don't know immediately what is the extent of the injury, but he had an abdominal pain. He was right to stop the match and retire.

Q. You said during the tournaments you need a match for you to trigger off your game. Any match that clicked when you have some doubts, when you don't play very well, you need something to click out?
RAFAEL NADAL: So during the season, I didn't get some good results. And when I got some good results, I injured my wrist. So it's a totally different situation.

But here at the French Open, I don't have any doubts. So far have posted some good results. The situation is totally different.

The past few months, I have been playing very well. I have played good matches on the whole. I am in the semifinals. Maybe I could have had a more difficult match. It wasn't the case.

But all of the tournament I have played well. And despite the weather conditions, I played well. I'm not quite sure that I need a sort of reference match. Maybe I will tell you about a sort of reference match when I win the trophy.

But I'm playing well, I'm moving ahead, and for the rest, I mean, I can't say much.

Q. I might ask you a question about your opponents, future opponents. So you were defeated by Thiem in Rome. You won in Madrid. Do you think that these matches will have an impact?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. Thiem is a tough player. I hope that I won't lose. I won in Barcelona, Madrid, and I lost to him in Rome. We played three times with Dominic. We can have a look at the statistics. We can talk about statistics for hours, but what is important is to consider the match.

So either you play well and you advance to the next round or you lose and you're out. If I play well, I hope that I will be able to book my spot in the final. If I don't play well, I will be out of the tournament.

Q. It will be a battle, a full-fledged battle. He defeated you in Rome, so will this have an impact?
RAFAEL NADAL: I mean, we can speculate, but we will see who will win. I might be playing against Novak. We don't know exactly who wins.

But anyway, if I play well, I will be able to reach the finals. So my tennis level will have to be good and intense. I will put pressure upon their shoulders immediately.

I need to choose the right options and, whoever the opponent, Thiem or Djokovic, they are awesome rivals.

Q. We journalists, when we talk among ourselves, we agree that you are the favorite. You are picked to win the tournament. I put the question to Bautista Agut. We also agree on the fact that it will be difficult for an opponent to defeat you. Any impact on you?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, it doesn't impact me. I'd like to thank all those who say that I'm a favorite, but I'm on the court. What matters is to play well.

So what is being said is positive, but maybe I won't be up to the challenge. We'll see. On D-Day, we'll see if I can set my game up. I will make sure that I play my best and produce my best tennis.

Beyond all that, as I said at the start of the tournament, everything that is being said and written, of course, you have a job to do, but my job is to play tennis. I have been on tour for many years, and I know that each day there is a different match and there is a different opponent.

Q. Zeballos said that when he played against Thiem that he was very good on both sides, forehand and backhand, heavy forehand. What can you tell us about the forehand?
RAFAEL NADAL: He's a very good player. He hits the ball very hard. He's very powerful on both sides. Forehand, backhand, serve. These weapons are quite good. He steps in the court. He has a huge potential to tap, and he can hit the ball very hard. He doesn't give you a lot of options. I will have to play deep balls. You have to put him in uncomfortable situations.

In Rome it was not a good day for me. I was not in a position to play well the way I wanted to. He put me in a difficult situation, so it's up to me to avoid being put in uncomfortable situations.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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