Home » 2016 » April » 22 » PHOTOS/VIDEO: 2016 Barcelona Open QF Rafael Nadal vs. Fabio Fognini
PHOTOS/VIDEO: 2016 Barcelona Open QF Rafael Nadal vs. Fabio Fognini
Rafael Nadal is back in full force. The eight-time champion has reached the semi-finals at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell for the first time since 2013, taking revenge for last year’s exit in the third round against Italy’s Fabio Fognini. The Mallorcan needed one hour and 48 minutes to beat Fognini on a packed Pista Central 6-2, 7-6 (1).
“It was a match on a really high level. Great win against one of the best players on clay in straight sets. I can’t complain,” said Nadal in the press conference.
“I’m trying to play better every day. I do not compare myself to anyone and do not think about past achievements or victories. What matters is today and that is what I am focusing on,” added Nadal.
On the road to equaling Guillermo Vilas’ historic feat of 49 titles on clay, the Mallorcan World No. 5 dominated the first set in style but was forced to fight back in the second set from 3-5. At 6-5, Nadal missed out on three consecutive match points but closed out the encounter in the tie-break.
Next opponent - Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Source: Barcelona Open
Photos: Getty Images; AFP; AP; EFE; Barcelona Open; Banco Sabadell
Alex asks Rafa how difficult is to play a player like Fabio who has BH, FH, DS, change of rhythm... Rafa says that Fabio has all that & in addition is super fast. He looks like he's stopped/walking & all of a sudden he can reach any position on court. Besides all this, what happens w/him is that you're dominating the point but, as he's so fast & w/fast hands, you're under pressure all the time 'cause you feel he can change the dynamics of the point at any time. Anyway, Rafa says he was playing very, very well & it's been a pity not being able to consolidate for 3-0. He's played a very bad game. He'd played very well till 40-15, but then till being broken he's played badly. After that, Fabio's started to play well & on top of that, he acknowledges to have wasted a few chances in next to games (at 40-15 & then 15-40).
Fortunately, he's been able to break back at *5-4, although again *5-6, 0-40 he couldn't convert any of MP. Rafa's asked how do you recover from being up 6-2, *2-0, playing really well & then after failing a couple of FHs, you see that the opponent starts to play a perfect tennis to the point of complicating the set & almost having to go to a 3rd set. Rafa says that, honestly, if that had happened last year, it'd have been, not a drama, but surely an attack of nerves. This year things are different. He's accepting all the situations better, w/o feeling those continuing nerves. He knows Fabio can change the dynamics at any time & that's why he was annoyed for not having consolidated for 3-0 & set a distance. He's aware Fabio's a player who plays by "feelings" & the match can change at any moment, as it indeed happened. So, he accepted the situation & kept fighting 'cause in the same way Fabio's able to play unbelievable at times, there are also other moments where he makes errors & thus he had to be there to try to take advantage of the opportunity if it came. Finally, Alex asks Rafa if he finally went to the cinema yesterday. Rafa says he did. He went to watch "London has fallen". Alex asks him if he liked it & Rafa says it was OK. He spent one hour & half quiet & calm, as it was the kind of movies that don't make you think too much [smiles]
• Interview for IB3
• Press conference
“The game was quite in control as of being a game of tennis. During the game I have enjoyed playing. Honestly, since 2-2 until 4-2 I have had 40/15, 15/40 and I didn’t take advantages of the opportunities I had and the set got complicated. He played very well his drop shots and the hitters. In general it was a good game that could have been closed before. I felt the support by the public since I am playing at home. I am happy for the victory and for being in thesemifinals.”
“I could have lost, in the end in tennis you lose. The feelings weren’t the same as last year. You don’t always loose but it happens on a tennis court and feelings are not comparable to last year. Fognini is one of the best players in the world on this surface. It is a very positive result against a very difficult rival that under the circumstances could have been more or less favorable than it has been.”
“I don’t pretend to do anything and I don’t compare to nothing. I live life day by day. I aim to play better every day that is my comparison, not to other years or other titles. At the end of the day I compare day to day. From there I try to be the best. There were moments were I played a very high level. I know I was playing well and that I have done by backhand well. Tomorrow there is another opportunity.”
“The mind is what permit you do better with the right hand. You have to do it without handing over points and without making mistakes. When you achieve this mental strength and avoid making many mistakes the rest comes little by little.”
“Kuznetsov and Kohlschreiber are different players. They are different players but complicated. Whenever they play well they are capable of playing a good game.”
“I have great feelings. There was a great crowd. I enjoyed the match a lot. The atmosphere was unbelievable on the court today. I feel the support of the crowd and it is something very special for me to play at home. I am happy for the victory and I think that I was playing great tennis for the most of the time today. I am just happy to be in the semifinals and have another chance tomorrow to play well.”
“I know he has a huge potential and that he can hit a lot of winners. At the same he has the chance to play so well but he takes a lot of risks too. He will hit winners but the same time he will make mistakes. I will have to find the balance to not missing but also not giving him the chance to push me back or to hit too many winners from not too difficult positions. “
“My aim is never revenge. I don’t believe in revenge and that kind of thing. I believe that last year was a different year than this year and a different kind of match. I never thought about the match last year coming into this match. I thought about playing my tennis. I know I was playing well and if it would stay like that then I would have my chances.”