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Rafael Nadal, US Open, September 7, 2008

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Rafael Nadal

US Open

September 7, 2008

Q. How did you feel about the match being suspended yesterday and having to come back out today?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, for me it was a little bit lucky, no? Yesterday I was not playing, so today I played a little bit more. So just accept, no?

Today was a different match. I played with a little bit more energy. It was later. Before I don't know where was the energy. Well, he played well, no? I have my chance in the fourth. I didn't convert. He beat me. Just congratulate him.

Q. What was the problem yesterday? You started too early? What was it?

RAFAEL NADAL: Probably more than 84 matches, no? It's difficult, no, every day be fresh, so I know one day going to happen something like yesterday.

Well, wasn't the best moment because it was a semifinals of the US Open, but at the same time never is a good moment, no?

If that happen one week ago in the Olympics going to be a terrible moment. If that happen two weeks ago or three weeks ago when I was fighting for be No. 1 in Toronto and Cincinnati going to be terrible moment, too.

Always is bad moment, but I'm very happy for everything. I tried my best during all the tournament. I wasn't very fresh during all the tournament. I did semifinals, so very happy for that.

Today I tried my best for try to come back to the match. I did ‑‑ well, it wasn't 100%, but I did well, so happy for everything.

Q. When you say that you didn't feel that fresh, it's normal, you're a human being. But how did you see? Do you think you're a little slower, or do you think you are not so mentally focused all the time? For instance, when you missed that volley you were 3‑2 and 40‑30 and then 40‑All and you missed an easy drop volley when he was very far away on the fourth set.

RAFAEL NADAL: That's part of the game, no? He play better than me and he beat me. If you saw the match yesterday when I have to split and run, much slower than usual, no? That's the true.

Well, it was more difficult be all the time concentrate, no? That's it.

Q. You had that one game where you held off six, seven breakpoints, and then held serve and came back and broke him right away. Looked like things were changing there, but then he came right back. Were you surprised that he came back as strongly as he did, or did your level go down a little bit?

RAFAEL NADAL: No. I had my chances. If you remember, I had 3‑1, Love‑30, no? So I had a big chance in that moment of the match. I saw the match for sure not impossible. I was feeling better. He had some mistakes.

But at the same time, I had a little bit lucky for be in that moment, because I had a lot of breakpoints against me yesterday too in the second set. So he played well.

Later he served very well, and he played last game a little bit lucky for the two lets. But that's part of the game, you know. He beat me because he was better than me.

Q. How disappointed are you to only get this far, and how do you think he matches up against Federer?

RAFAEL NADAL: Disappointment for me?

Q. Yes.

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I accept the loses with the same calm when I win. So I am disappointing? Yes. But at the same time, I am happy because I did good semifinals here.

Probably when I arrived here my situation wasn't the best situation for play a good tournament with too many tournaments and too many matches in my shoulders.

I fight well and I had a good tournament, so I go from the US Open with positive things, with a good tournament, no?

So tomorrow Andy has his chances. I think Federer going to be the favorite. That's for sure. But Andy is doing very well, no? He's having very good second part of the season, Toronto, Cincinnati, right now here the finals. So he's very, very good player. He can do it everything.

Q. You obviously have had a long season and played so many matches. Besides being tired, there are some injuries that you have to deal with coming into this tournament? And two, is it a consolation that last year you lost fourth round and this year you're in semifinals in terms of your ranking and your position in the...

RAFAEL NADAL: (Through translation.) Injuries? What injuries?

Q. We know you're tired from playing so many matches, but do you have any injuries?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, no. Not one during all the season.

Q. You had talked about how you raised your energy level for today's match versus yesterday. Did Andy Murray do anything differently today than he was doing yesterday?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know, no? I didn't see ‑‑ probably Andy played well, but I think Andy ‑‑ I played against him in Toronto. The first set of Toronto, in my opinion, he was playing very well, too.

So my feeling was Andy was playing better the first set of Toronto than today's match. That's my feeling.

Q. Was that unusual for you to try a dropshot on match point? Did it bother you that he stood that far behind the baseline to return serve?

RAFAEL NADAL: For sure both things. First thing, dropshot, well, I run a lot in the point before. I was against wind. The ball was difficult because with the backhand higher, so it was not many chances to do.

He was far away from the baseline, but that's good for me. If I am good I can serve outside and later have the control of the point with the forehand. That wasn't bad for me, for my game.

Q. Your shots seemed to fly on you a little today more than usual. Was that because of the wind or because of the lowness and the hardness of his shots?

RAFAEL NADAL: (Through translation.) No. The true, I was happy how I was playing today, no? If you comparing yesterday, well, everything going to be good. I go on court only with calm. Just try to fight. I just go and fight as much as I can and go back home knowing I tried everything. So that's why I go today like this.

Q. You played so much this year. Is it possible that for next year you will change your schedule and reconsider it so maybe you can be fresh until the very end?

RAFAEL NADAL: Every year you guys ask me the same questions. But one time if I feel injury, one time if I feel tired, but the answer always is the same: If you want to be in the top positions you have any chance for play less or not. Do you think?

Q. No, no chance.

RAFAEL NADAL: Okay. So that's my answer.

Q. You've had an incredible run: Roland Garros Wimbledon, becoming No. 1, the gold. Could you talk about your feelings about this season? Are you thrilled with it? Is this something that you expected? What are your thoughts about this incredible run?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, almost perfect season, no? So I did incredible things for me. What I didn't expect was one season like this. When I started the season I started the season playing so‑so.

Without bad results in Australia, semifinals, but my level was so‑so. I have some tough loses because I have a good tournament, like semifinal. Losing one strange match against Seppi in Rotterdam.

Well, I did well, no, because I played semifinals in Indian Wells and final in Miami. But both tournaments I have very good results. When I lost I lost 6‑2, 6‑4 and 6‑3, 6‑2, so always I go to the next tournament with bad feeling, no, knowing I played a good tournament.

So after Miami everything change, no? I start playing my best tennis in my careera. I played Monte‑Carlo, Barcelona. The only problem I have in my season, physical problem, is the blister in Rome.

But after Rome, later impossible, no? Hamburg, Roland Garros, perfect tournament. Queen's, yes. Unbelievable win Queen's after Roland Garros.

For me, the more unexpected victory of the season, Queen's. And later, Wimbledon, well, you know how important is for me win Wimbledon after two years playing the final, having a good chance last year.

And later, for sure after Wimbledon, I had a big goal in my mind, no? The No. 1 and the Olympics and for sure, finally, the US Open.

So I did every tournament very well, so happy for everything. But the season is not over. I have semifinals of Davis Cup. Hopefully I can recover for this important confrontation against U.S. and later try to be good for Masters Series of Madrid, Paris, and Shanghai.

Q. What was the one key to stepping up?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. I always tried my best every day with my practice and my match. I try my best always. I try to fight in every moment. The goal still was always the same: improve, no?

Q. You've now played Andy Murray on every surface, and this is the first time he's beaten you. What do you think the state of his game is, and where do you think he's going? Do you expect him to be there with you and Roger at the top?

RAFAEL NADAL: And Djokovic. And more. That's the true, no? Well, his ranking is right now No.4 of the world, so he's there. He don't need to be closer for be there with us, no?

So, you know, Andy have very good potential because he serve well and he has very good talent. When he's playing aggressive he can beat everybody, no?

Q. You had a nice embrace with Andy at the net. What did you say to each other?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, he congratulate me for everything, for all the season. Told me it was a pleasure play with me. I congratulate him for the match and wishing best of luck for tomorrow, no?

Q. Every tennis player of your caliber will remember certain tournaments or milestones in your career. In your case, was it first ATP title in Sopot, the first Roland Garros, or Cincinnati when you obtained the No. 1 ranking?

RAFAEL NADAL: The three most important moments in my careera probably was first Roland Garros ‑‑ well, maybe first Davis Cup, first Roland Garros, and first Wimbledon, and later Olympics.

Q. Is it true that you invited Andy to come to Spain to practice? And if it's true, do you regret it or not?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, no. That's not true.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports


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