ROLAND GARROS

 

June 11, 2017

 

Rafael Nadal


Paris, France

R. NADAL/S. Wawrinka

6-2, 6-3, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Well done. Congratulations. I'd like to know if you see that there is a difference between you now and before, because now you're winning in two hours and 10 minutes in three sets, which means you're playing probably more aggressive. Has your game changed a lot in that sense? You hit more winners with the backhand and so on?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, it's obvious that during the years my game changed a little bit, no? The same time it's true that in Australia, few months ago, I played a match of, I don't know, five hours, semifinals? Yeah, that's the real thing, no?

This tournament I have been playing great during the whole event since the beginning. So have been, I think, a perfect Roland Garros for me. So it's not that I am playing more or less aggressive or -- no. I am playing well. And when you play well, you have the chance to play more aggressive, no?

And I won in two hours because I didn't lose a set during the whole event, and even no one set arrived to 5, you know, to 5-All. So that's why the timings on court have not been that long.

That's only reason, because I played well.

Q. This is your first Grand Slam title with Carlos Moya coach. Maybe last Roland Garros with Toni as a coach. What does this mean to you, this title?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, this title means a lot by itself, no? Is true that the support of Carlos have been so important for me. We have been working great. The team spirit has been very positive since the beginning. Great combination with Frances, Toni, and Carlos, and physical. You know, with everybody, all the team.

No, we have been working a really good atmosphere and that really helps. So very happy for everything, and, yeah, was great to have Toni in the court today. Had been something special for me and I think for him, too.

Great feelings. Thanks to the organization for all the things they did for me on the ceremony and during all the years. Have been very special. Very unique moment. Many thanks to them.

Q. Your 10th Roland Garros title. Every time you win, you celebrate like it's your first win and you dive onto the clay. Do you think you have perfected your dive onto the clay now, or would you like to do that again in future?
RAFAEL NADAL: I would love, no (smiling)?

It's not about the things that you choose. It's about the work of every day. Yeah, happened 10 times here already. Have been magical all the things that happened in this tournament for me. So very happy for everything.

Today was a very important day for me. Have been some tough moments last times, injuries, so it's great to have big success like this again.

But that's it, no? Happy because I have been working a lot to be where I am today.

Q. Congratulations. At what point during the match did you know today that you are going to win? Secondly, have you got already any plans about how you're gonna celebrate the 10th title?
RAFAEL NADAL: With the 4-1 in the third, you know you are very close, no? Especially when I made that game 5-1, I say, Okay, probably I gonna win, no (smiling)?

But before that, you know, I have been very focused all the time without thinking about title or the trophy, you know. I just think about the next point, you know. Been couple of times that I was close, like Australia 2012. Like this year in Australia that I finally lost.

I know Wawrinka is a very dangerous opponent, so my mentality was there all the time thinking that I cannot give him the chance to be back on the match, because then he starts to hit so strong from the baseline, and he's able to produce amazing shots.
 

Q. Great congratulations. Today was such a strong performance. When you are out there and your game is flowing, you're hitting so many winners, there's a flow, what is going through your mind? Is there a joy, and can you just talk about the joy you feel of winning this title?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, on court I don't feel this kind of stuff, no? I am just focused on trying to keep playing well. And that's it, no?

I was nervous at the beginning, had some bad games at the beginning. Probably Stan was some nervous at the beginning, too. Then I saved a very important game and that was very beginning of the match. But sometimes these moments change everything, no?

And I saved that break point, that game with 1-All. Then starts the match to become a little bit more normal match, no? Because at the beginning was a lot of mistakes for him, for me. So was a lot of nerves out there.

Then after saving that game, I felt a little bit better, and my serve worked well. So then I start to feel, well, I am playing very well for two weeks so I cannot play bad here, no?

I start nervous, yeah, but I am playing too good to play a bad final here. I start to think that and just try to play the easy shots, closing close shots. And when I start to feel the ball again, I was able to change the directions.

Q. Stan said he thinks you're playing the best tennis you have ever played. I know you don't necessarily like to compare, but do you feel like you have never played better than how you're playing right now?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know (smiling). I cannot say; I cannot say not. These two weeks have been, yeah, great level of tennis, is true. But I already won two Roland Garros, too, without losing a set before this one, no? 2008, 2010, I didn't lose a set. Probably I was playing good, too, no (smiling)?

I feel I was playing well since beginning of the season, but it's true that in my career I have had a lot of good years. This year has been very special since the beginning. I am playing very well. I don't like to compare.

The only thing that I know is I am playing well now. I am happy. I am enjoying every week, and I want to continue and I gonna try to keep working hard to try to enjoy more beautiful weeks.

Q. Congrats. You're No. 2 in the world right now. Is getting to No. 1 a big goal for you right now or are you looking more at taking it one match at a time?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am playing well. I am in a good position. I just won the most important event of the year for me, so that's the only thing that matters today, no?

Winning these kind of titles, then you have chances to become any number on the ranking. I don't know. I am playing well. If I am able to keep playing well, why not?

Q. Congratulations on your inspirational comeback. In the last three years when you failed to win a slam, did you have any fears? Were you going through any doubts? Any apprehensions? Could you please talk about the emotional struggles and how you overcame that?
RAFAEL NADAL: I have been very honest with you all the time. I have doubts every day. It's not about the -- the doubts, I think, are good, because the doubts give you the possibility to work with more intensity, with being more humble, and accepting that you need to keep working hard to improve things.

So for sure I have doubts. During that three years, I had doubts. Right now, I gonna have doubts even in a few days, because in tennis every week is a new story and that's part of the beautiful thing of our sport. Life is not that clear.

So if you have no doubts probably is because you are too arrogant. I don't consider myself arrogant at all. So I think the doubts or don't consider myself very, very good let me work so hard all my career. And for that reason, I am having the success that I had.

Q. The other day you mentioned 2013 as your special year here and just in general. But if you had to rate this in the 10 that you won here, where would you put this year in level of importance of French Open titles?
RAFAEL NADAL: I say the same, no? For me, every Roland Garros have been very important for itself, no?

You have some ones that are more special than others, obviously, but every one have been unique. Yeah, I enjoyed every one, no? Is true that this one is gonna be one of the more special for the number, for what happened on the ceremony after the final, for so many things, no? And because I am 31 already and not a kid anymore (smiling).

Because of the level of tennis and accepting that I have been in the problems, physical problems for the last period of time, that's an important one.

Q. Probably your best day in Roland Garros so far, maybe we can say that it's today with your 10th glorious victory here. It's a big achievement. If I say that the hardest day for you in all these years was maybe in 2009 when you lost to Soderling, that was your hardest day, do you think that's true when you look back to all these years?
RAFAEL NADAL: Last year was not an easy one. 2009 was a tough one, obviously. Was for sure tougher than 2015, without a doubt.

Yeah, but last year was a really hard one for me.

 

Q. When you got the trophy today, did it feel to you that it's been three years since you won a Grand Slam? Did the spirit feel for you that it's long or short?
RAFAEL NADAL: You think about that. I don't think about that, no? I really do my way.

And is true that the Grand Slams, and especially for me this event is the most important event of the year and the event I probably have more pressure, the event I am more nervous before the event start and during the event.

But we cannot reduce our sport in four tournaments per year. That's the real thing. For me, winning Monte-Carlo means a lot, then Barcelona, then Madrid in front of my crowd. So enjoyed all these things and all these titles are so important for me.

Yeah, today is more special, true. Win the 10th Roland Garros is something unique and different is true. And I am very happy and emotional, but I cannot think all the time about slams. For me, every week is a different story and every week is beautiful event, and I enjoy playing tennis every week.

If I only think about Grand Slams, all the players on the tour going to be very frustrated. Because during the last ten years, I don't know how many champions have been in a Grand Slam. And there is a lot of players that are having great careers out there without winning a Grand Slam, so we cannot only focus our sport in these four events.

Q. Can I ask you about Wimbledon? I know you have won Wimbledon before when there was only two weeks between the French Open and Wimbledon. There is now three weeks. Do you think that gives you better chances? And when will you start hitting on grass?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know if it's a better chance or not, because with two weeks I played five finals.

There has been a while since I don't play very good Wimbledon. It's true that after 2012 what happened with my knees have been tougher and tougher to compete on grass for me. That's the reality, no? Let's see if I'm playing well since the beginning of the season.

I love grass, everybody knows, and it's a surface that I really enjoyed a lot playing there. And I miss play with Wimbledon again. So I hope that my knees hold well and I can have the preparation that I really need and the preparation that I wanted.

So if that happens, why not? If I have pain on the knees, then I know from experience that it's almost impossible. Because I need to feel strong, low, and powerful legs to play well in Wimbledon. If I don't feel that, then probably my chances are not there, no?

But if I am healthy and I am able to have the right preparation and feel healthy during the Wimbledon, then probably gonna have my chances to play well.

Q. I know you said 9 was already really good and 10, of course it's amazing, but you didn't want to put so much importance into it. Still, do you feel that it could change the mindset for the rest of this season and your career? It's done, you get the number 10, you get the 15th Grand Slam. Can it make you play more free or without pressure at all?
RAFAEL NADAL: I'm going to be under pressure in one week when I play in Queen's. No, that's the real thing and that's the sport. And that's the beautiful thing about our sport I say before, no? 15 is an unbelievable thing for me. And 10 here, much more.

My motivation is still there. I really want to keep competing for important things, and I gonna keep working hard to try to have more days like today. That's my motivation, and that's why I am playing tennis, still playing tennis, because I have the passion for the game and I like the competition.

I keep having chances to compete for the most important things, and that's what I want to keep trying to do.

Q. Congratulations. During these 15 days you won seven matches. Which was the most difficult that you played or the hard moment during these 15 days?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. Difficult to say. It's obvious that semifinals and finals, the nerves are there, you know, more than before. But the beginning of the match against Dominic and the beginning of the match of today probably two tougher moments.

Is true that the closer set that I have been to be in trouble probably was in the first round against Benoit in the second or third -- second set? Yeah, that he was 3-1, I think. Yeah. Yeah, he has a break with 3. That's the closest thing I have been to lose a set.

But the real thing is during this event I have not -- I won all the matches with unbelievable results. So difficult to say another thing.

Q. Congratulations, first off. Secondly, when an opponent shows obvious frustration as Stan did when he took it out on the racquet, what does that do to your perspective of the game and how you play it?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sorry? Can you repeat the last part?

Q. Sure. How does that make you feel? Does it change the way you look at the game or you just keep on doing what you're doing?
RAFAEL NADAL: I do my thing, no? I don't think about what's going on on the other part of the net. And sometimes, yes.

Sometimes is frustrating some moments, and I understand that he breaks the racquet. That's part of our sport too, no? I don't like to do it, but the real thing, that's the show, too.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish.

Q. You talked about the ceremony and it seems that you were very moved, right?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes. I was very moved indeed, but it wasn't the only one. I have been moved similarly before.

Today was special because I had this very special gift. I had the replica of the Cup, and then the video, as well, which was shown on the court, and I am very grateful, very grateful.

I would like to thank the organizers, the French Tennis Federation.

I would also like to thank the crew, the ladies working at the reception. They made a small video for me before the match. They showed it to me after with wonderful moments. I was truly moved.

Q. Could you describe your emotions? You sat down right before the trophy ceremony and you were crying. Could you tell us about what you felt at that very moment?
RAFAEL NADAL: You know, on paper, when you look at the scores, it all seems fairly easy. But it's not. As I said before, the French Open is "the" most important tournament of the year. That means when you arrive in Paris, I'm very nervous and I know that it's going to be difficult for me. Year after year it's becoming increasingly difficult, because I'm getting older, also.

Last year things did not work out, and I don't think I'm entitled to complain about it. I was not able to catch my chance last year. This year I was. Again, this trophy means a lot to me.

Again, it's possible only because I have been physically strong and I have been mentally strong.

Again, the French Open means two weeks of a lot of pressure, and then finally, when you win the trophy, it all stops. It all comes to an end all of a sudden. And it means the adrenaline goes down and that brings a lot of emotions. That is probably why I have to sit down. You know, all of a sudden, the pressure comes down.

Q. I have a question about the match. The impression we had as we were looking at you playing is that you are very good at reading your opponent's play. Do you think that this is maybe what caused him to become so frustrated?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I don't think so. I was focused on my play. I wasn't really paying attention to what he was doing. Of course, when he breaks a racquet, I see it and I hear it, but that's it. Nothing more. I was very focused on myself.

I don't really pay much attention to what happens on the other side of the net, and generally, I'm pretty good at knowing when I need to accelerate.

And, yes, I managed to read my opponent's play. Some points, especially the most crucial ones, you can't miss. And with experience, you have improved readability, but that's pretty much it. I don't really know what's going through his mind. That's really not what I'm interested in.

Q. Congratulations. Today's match was the best match. Would you agree with that? Of the year.
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I don't think so. I don't think today was my best match. It wasn't even my best match at the French Open. I played well throughout the tournament; otherwise I would not have had the scores I got.

Don't get me wrong. It was a good match. I think the sensations were a bit different compared to the other matches, because I think I was more nervous. But I had better sensations when I played Basilashvili, for example. That's only for myself. I'm speaking only for my emotions and sensations.

I guess if I watch the match on TV or video I may have a different opinion. I was nervous. I wasn't really comfortable when I came on the court. If you asked me what was the best match during the tournament as far as sensations, as far as I'm concerned, was Basilashvili. His play was very, very good, especially in the first games. I ended up winning the match, but he played well.

And there were other days where I felt very free. I think that in today's match maybe my serves were better than before. I served well, not just here but throughout my season on clay.

At Roland Garros, my serve had not been very good until today. Today it was very good. I don't know why. I don't know why.

Then my forehand, again, I think I made some progress. At the beginning of the match, it wasn't that great. Then I improved as the pressure went down.

Q. I don't know if you had time to realize that you actually just won your 10th trophy here at the French Open. Do you realize?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think so. I think so. It's a lot of joy, a lot of joy.

But work goes on. And as I like to say, if I can do it, someone else can do it. But you need the right circumstances, the right ingredients to win 10 French Open titles. I don't know if I will ever get to meet the player who will do better than I did.

It has been very special to me, and it's true that it is unprecedented. Trust me, I'm very happy that I'm the one who did it. I'm very happy.

For the rest of the year, we shall see. I don't know yet. Right now I am very privileged. I'm in a very good position. I am right now seeded No. 2. We will see what happens during the rest of the year. It really depends on me.

If I can continue what I'm doing right now, if I'm injury-free, I think I can win other tournaments and more victories.

Q. 33 titles between you and Roger. Roger won Australia. Would you say that there is some sort of rivalry between the two of you for Grand Slam tournaments? And also with Djokovic.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think that during the first six months, yeah, there has been some rivalry, because we won the first Grand Slam tournaments, the 1000 tournaments. Zverev picked up one, as well.

I won a 500 tournament and made it to the final of another tournament.

So I think that during the six first months of this year, we were both very, very successful. So, yeah, you can call it rivalry, I guess.

Q. Back in 2008, you won Wimbledon. Do you think you could do it again?
RAFAEL NADAL: I'm motivated. Grass is not my specialty, but I'm very motivated. My game, my play, my style, the fact that I have been successful on clay is one thing.

But keep in mind I, you know, played five finals in Wimbledon. But since I have had problems with my knee, since 2012, playing on grass has been very complicated for me.

You know, we'll see. We'll see how my knee behaves. Playing on grass is very special. You need to play at a lower level. The body posture is down. You have less stability on grass.

But I like playing on grass. On grass, anything can happen. I could win the first two matches and then things could change. You know, the fact is that the two first matches could be very dangerous. The opponents could be very dangerous.

Q. When we look at videos of you between 2005 and today, you saw the video on the court. How does it feel looking back at 13 years?
RAFAEL NADAL: In 2005, I thought in 2017 I'd be fishing on my boat in Mallorca. I didn't really think I'd have such a long career and win so many tournaments.

So this video was very special. It showed great moments of my career. And back then, of course, I couldn't even think a second that this would ever happen to me.

Q. 10 titles here at the French Open. As you said, your career, there's only so much of it that's left. If physically you're feeling good, what would be your next objectives going forward?
RAFAEL NADAL: Hard to say. You know, I think only that very organized people, very proactive people know exactly what they're going to do next. I do things as they come.

Right now, I don't really know. I'm just going to keep on playing as long as it makes me happy. If one day I get up in the morning and I'm no longer motivated to go train, well, I guess that day I will put an end to my career.

You know what? I'm not worried about this. I'm a happy person. I'm happy to do things. And if one day -- and this will happen. If this happens, well, I'll accept it, and I'll move on to the next thing.

Right now I'm very motivated. I'm happy to train. I have been doing this for years, and I'm still excited to do it. Again, provided my body allows me to do it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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