The Championships WimbledonThursday, 26 June 2008
at Wimbledon, England
R. NADAL defeated E. Gulbis 5-7, 6-2, 7-6, 6-3
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Rafael Nadal.
Q. The way the match started, was there perhaps a fear in your
mind you may have missed kickoff?
RAFAEL NADAL: If I lose?
Q. With losing the first set, there was a fear that the match
might drag on.
RAFAEL NADAL: If I'm going to miss the football? If I play the
longest match in history, yes.
Q. In the first set you got to a dropshot on time, but the umpire
incorrectly ruled it. Looked like you flew into a rage. What was the
conversation you had with him about that?
RAFAEL NADAL: My English is not very well. Especially when I am a
little bit nervous on court worse.
Well, I only said it wasn't ‑‑ was easy one bounce, not two bounce. I
say that's unbelievable how you can't see something like this, no? I
said probably for your fault I gonna lose the set. Disappointing for me,
I lose the set.
But wasn't for this. I lose the set because I played terrible,
terrible next game.
Q. The challenge for you in this match was to find a way to stop
all of his power, his great serving. Did you change tactics here and
there to find a way to win this match?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sure, I changed a little bit after the first set,
trying to return a little bit more behind, with the second serve
Because in the beginning I tried to play aggressive with the second
serve, going inside, but was impossible. With the first, the same, and
it was impossible, no? He was serving too good. The second serve, too,
was very difficult.
But later I go little bit behind and I felt like I had little bit
more control of the situation there, no? I can play the first shot with
more time, playing normal shot, but starting the point.
Q. How dangerous do you think Gulbis will be when he has more
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, for sure he can improve. But more than right now
is not easy, because he has very good serve, very good forehand,
unbelievable powerful, no?
So I think when his game stops maybe a little bit, because in one
moment he has to think a little bit more and don't hit all the balls
with this power, he gonna be in the top positions for sure.
But, you know, sometimes I don't know is better stop a little bit or
don't stop, because player like this is very dangerous. If you stop
little bit the opponent have more chances for playing against you, no?
But you never know.
Q. I know the Spanish players are proud of how well they're doing
on grass right now. Do you feel like you led that progress? Were you the
leader for the Spanish players on grass?
RAFAEL NADAL: I answer this question the other day. Before me was
good players like Feliciano Lopez doing quarterfinals here. Ferrero do
the fourth round here.
So I don't know if I am the leader. Probably I was the first ‑‑
because Feliciano has a very good serve, very good volley. Everybody say
Feliciano, he going to be a specialist on this surface.
But probably I was the first who did a very good result playing
normal: aggressive from the baseline, but changing a little bit the
tactic. But for sure I can't play the same like clay or hard, but
playing from the baseline and playing rallies, for sure playing
But I think everybody right now is trying to play similar in Spain
because is our game. Our game is not going to the net. But probably in
the past was a little bit mistake try to change a lot your game when you
are playing on grass, no?
Q. Are you happy with today's performance?
RAFAEL NADAL: Very happy with my win today, sure. I know I had a very
tough opponent. Before the match I know that. Very happy on my win. Is
very important win for me.
Q. He hit a great number of dropshots today. For the most part you
did not do well with them.
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I didn't did very well.
Q. Have you ever had a day where you had a worse day dealing with
someone else's dropshots?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I did terrible today when I arriving to the
dropshots, so for the next day I gonna do better.
Q. What can you do about it?
RAFAEL NADAL: What can I do? Well, change a little bit the tactics.
Probably another dropshot. I never did another dropshot when he give me
Q. You are very young, but he obviously is still a teenager. Does
it make you feel old to play a player that young?
RAFAEL NADAL: Not old, no? But lucky for me or not lucky for me, I
had six years on tour. No, I feel young. But I feel like 22 years old,
very young person. But when we speak tennis player, not the same.
Q. You are aware that Manolo Santana won this tournament in 1967.
RAFAEL NADAL: So?
Q. So when they ask you if you're the leader of Spaniards on
grass, he would be the leader, right?
RAFAEL NADAL: He was the leader in his moment, but right now maybe
the Spanish are not watching how Santana played in that moment.
Q. Are you friends with any of the Spain footballers on duty at
the moment? Has there been any contact between you in the past few days?
Have you been in touch with them, encouraging each other?
RAFAEL NADAL: I only send message to say best of luck to Casillas.
Q. Do you think the good weather is helping your game this year?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. Worse than last year is impossible and I did the
Q. When playing Gulbis, which shot did you find the most
challenging with him being so young?
RAFAEL NADAL: The most impressive shot him has? I think the serve and
Q. Is it a special challenge? Do you enjoy playing younger guys
because you have to be a little more careful because you don't know them
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, always is dangerous to play against very good
players like Gulbis. If he's young more, because he had always a special
Probably he don't have the same respect for the top player, because I
know for me. So always very dangerous play against one player like
Q. What are your expectations for the game tonight that Spain will
RAFAEL NADAL: Win.
Q. Any other details that you'll be looking for?
RAFAEL NADAL: Only win.
Can't find what you're looking for? Try Google