ROLAND GARROS

 

June 4, 2017

 

Rafael Nadal


Paris, France

R. NADAL/R. Agut

6-1, 6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Are you satisfied of what you have done this afternoon?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, sure, no? Gonna be very arrogant if I say not after the result, no?

I played against a very good player, and I was able to win in straight sets with very positive result. So happy for that. Probably I didn't play as well as I did the other day, but I still played well, no? I played some very good shots.

It's true for some moments I make a few mistakes, but, no, not important ones. In general terms, I played well.

Q. What was the bigger birthday present for you? The fact you didn't have to play in the rain and weather yesterday or the fact you got through these first few rounds as seemingly easily as you did so far?
RAFAEL NADAL: For me, the only thing is I am in quarterfinals, and I am healthy and I am playing well. That's the only important thing for me, no? The rest of the things doesn't matter. You know, sometimes happens that rain, sometimes happens you don't play that well, but the important thing is accept all the situations and fight for the goal, no? The goal always is try your best every day and try to be through to the next round.

That's what I did since that moment, so very happy about the first week of competition, obviously. Now I gonna play against Milos or Pablo, tough opponents. I need to be ready to play my best.

Q. You have very good results since January. Can you define the part of Carlos Moya in this success? How did he help you to improve?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think I asked like five times this question here since beginning of the event. But I gonna do it one more time (smiling).

Carlos is a very positive incorporation for me. First of all, is a very good friend, person that I have a lot of confidence with him and he has confidence with me. We have a great relationship since a long time ago. We know each other very well. He knows very well my uncle and Francis. So they are working together in a very good way, so very happy with that.

The spirit of the teamwork have been very positive since the beginning, and I feel very comfortable with that. Yeah, we changed a couple of things on the practices, but it's obvious that Carlos is very important help for me.

Is true that the most important thing for me is I was able to play with no injuries and not too many problems since the beginning that he came, no? So we were able to practice as much as we want and the way that we wanted.

So that's something that I am not able to do it all the time. That makes a big difference.

Q. Toni said at the end of last season when you decided to stop your season, you all sat down and he told you, next season, if you want to go back to the top you need to change two things: You need to get your forehand back; and you need to change your face, your attitude while you are competing. Can you just elaborate on that and were those changes easy to make?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. I think everybody knows what you need to do to be competitive and to have chances to compete for everything. If you are not very stupid, you know it.

Another thing is how to work to make that happen, no? So that's the difference. Since that moment, I am playing well. Happy the way we are working. I am happy on the practices. I am playing with the right attitude all the time.

I believe that my attitude never was wrong, so is not the question of attitude. It's a question of tennis and is a question of healthy. That's all, no?

If you're healthy, it's easy to play with good attitude and easy to practice, as well.

At the end of the day, only thing or the most important thing that, you know, to be successful, only thing is the work. So if you are able to work, then you have much more chances to have success. If you are not able to work, still have chances but less for sure, no?

For a lot of moments in my career, I didn't have the chance to work the things that we wanted to put to work, because my physical issues. But that's part of my career, so I am very happy about all the things that happened, and happy that I am playing well now but is not the moment to talk about that. We are in quarterfinals of Roland Garros. That's it.

Q. I'm sure you have heard about the latest terror attack in the UK. Are you at all worried about coming to London at the moment, and will you be happy to go out in London as you would do normally?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, it's terrible to hear these kind of things all around. Is very bad news, and with these kind of things, you cannot feel 100% safe in the one place. That's the real thing. That's very bad news for everybody, no?

But I don't know. I don't know if the world is scared, is respect, and that's it. Sorry for all the families that are suffering. It's tough to accept these kind of things, but it's happening very often today and is difficult to change that for the moment.

Q. You have left this tournament only three times without the trophy, but last year was different because you didn't lose. You had to withdraw. I'm wondering if you felt cheated or robbed by that experience, and if that changed how you felt coming back to Paris this year.
RAFAEL NADAL: No, not at all. Last year for me was an opportunity lost. That's all. It was an opportunity lost because I felt that I was playing well. That's the real thing, no?

In 2009 was an opportunity lost too, but is true I had a lot of problems on the knee. And in 2015 there is one player who was playing much better than me. So was different stories every time I didn't have the trophy here. But I never expect to only have three times coming back home without the trophy since that moment, so very happy about everything.

This year for sure am excited to be back here. Is a tournament that is in red spot because is probably the most important event of the year for me. But not because what happened last year, I played this different tournament, no? In a different way in terms of mentality or attitude, no?

I am coming, as every year, trying my best, and I always had the same motivation to play well here and to try to win.

Q. How did you celebrate your birthday yesterday? You said you are going for dinner. Did you have some cake?
RAFAEL NADAL: What?

Q. Some birthday cake.
RAFAEL NADAL: I had couple of ones but I didn't eat much, no? I have been with the family. I have been here celebrating with all the people in Roland Garros here downstairs. Was very nice always. There is a lot of people that works here that I have great relationship with. We follow them and is always beautiful to celebrate this special moment with all of them. It's a little bit of tradition here. Was a very beautiful moment, no?

I had some lunch with family in the hotel, and Richard Mille and Melanie. So was great. With atmosphere, I was relaxed. During the evening was not celebration. It was a moment to see the football, and that's it (smiling).

Q. You're through to the quarterfinals. Will you just now concentrate on that match, or will you also think about what you will need to do to progress and possibly win Roland Garros this year?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am focused on every day. Now I am happy about what happened today. I am excited that I have one day off now, and then I gonna try to be 100% ready for after tomorrow. Going to be another important match for me against a tough opponent. Is true that now every match makes a big difference in terms of points, in terms of everything, no?

I need to be ready for the fight, for the tough moments that's gonna happen and this tough opponent for sure in next round. Only way to keep having chances is play my best. That's what I'm going to focus on.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish.

Q. Carlos Ramos gave a warning, and therefore a serve point was taken from you. What would you say about this? I have watched your matches, and I don't have the impression you're wasting so much time. What would you say about this?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, what can I say? I'm not satisfied with this, of course. But it's not something new. There are umpires who sometimes put more pressure than others, and you'll have to accept this. That's all.

Q. Can you tell us how you manage to increase your tennis level since Monte-Carlo? Would you say you have reached your best tennis level?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, the level I have on clay is difficult to assess. I can't tell you if it's come up or down, because last year I was injured. Yet I won Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, but I was injured when I reached quarterfinals. It was my wrist that was injured. But until then, I had lost no matches. And then from that moment onwards, it became more complicated.

But my game level on clay, I think, is good. Out of four matches, five, ten -- 21 victories. One loss. I'm happy about this.

This week was very positive. My level was good throughout the match. I won quite easily. Therefore, this has given me quite a lot of confidence. I have the impression I'm doing things well. I'm on the right tracks. I have the impression.

And yet I fully respect each opponent and I respect the tournament itself, and each situation, as well.

It's not because things go well for you that everything is going to continue like this. You have to be ready to take the moment when you're down, the more difficult moments. You have to be ready so that you can react to bad moments that might happen.
 

Q. Milos has reached his fifth set. I think he's broken Pablo. What would you say about any of these two next opponents, Milos or Pablo?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I know these two players. I have known them for a while. I have played against Milos but not against Pablo.

But he's developed really well and improved. He's a friend whom I appreciate very much.

I hope things are going well for him, and he's someone I really like. He's a good person. I think he deserves it.

And as far as Milos is concerned, he's a very tough opponent. His serve is so strong. He puts a lot pressure on you. You know you're going to suffer. If it's against Milos, I'll have to be ready.

Well, in any case, both opponents are tough. They play a different type of tennis, but they are among the best players, I think.

We're fighting, in any case, for quarterfinals. What can you expect? You don't have someone who doesn't play well in quarterfinals. I will have to be extremely careful, I'll have to be very aggressive, and I'll have to keep my focus.

Q. After the first warning during the break you told Ramos to stop. Will you ask him questions or not?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, no, no. What happened on the court will stay on the court.

All things being equal, well, there are people who love being involved in the match. I, for one, don't think it's a good thing for me, because there are rules. The rules are the rules, and this is it. This is a rule that we have.

Theoretically the umpires are here to analyze the match and they are not here to use the stopwatch, otherwise we should have a stopwatch on the court. That's the whole point.

Some dictate things or give their calls in a certain way. Other umpires have different styles. It happened in the past. I remember this pressure in the past, because I take time before I serve. I have received pressure when I serve. Sometimes I feel I'm under pressure during the whole match, and this was a five -- I remember it was a five, a best-of-five sets match, a very tough match.

If you want to play well, you have to let players breathe a little. We're not machines. We're not machines that cannot think. That's my viewpoint. But of course I fully respect other views and other points of view.

What else can I say? I'm telling you this with some type of sadness, because I don't want to have any problems. But this umpire is, I think, trying, in a certain way, to look for my faults, my errors. This is the impression I have. Of course he's put pressure on coaching, but frankly, I don't know.

What I told him, the only thing I told him, is that he will have to give me many warnings, because if I can't even -- I have not yet grabbed my towel, that he's going to give me a warning.

Never mind what's happened on the court will stay on the court. I respect him a lot. No problem.

But I think it should work both ways.

Q. I was about to ask a question, but I think it was asked before. We will be talking about football. I don't know if you watched the final yesterday, Real Madrid has won 12 Champions League and three Champions Cup in four years. What do you think about this?
RAFAEL NADAL: It's a historic moment. I'm happy, very happy. I spent this time with my family, and I'm very happy. Very happy with this win.

The second half was extraordinary. The first one was so tough, but what else can I say? I think that you have to go through tough moments, head winds. It was the case for Real Madrid and then during the second half it was a leap forward in terms of quality for them. I'm so very happy. Even if it's my club, you know, and a Spanish team, as well.

Their performance was excellent.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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