Главная » 2018 » May » 9 » PHOTOS/VIDEO: 2018 Mutua Madrid Open R2 Rafael Nadal vs. Gael Monfils
PHOTOS/VIDEO: 2018 Mutua Madrid Open R2 Rafael Nadal vs. Gael Monfils
2018 Mutua Madrid Open R2 Rafael Nadal bt. Gael Monfils 6/3 6/1
Next opponent - Diego Schwartzman
Rafael Nadal recorded his 20th straight clay-court match win and improved to 48 consecutive sets won on the surface Wednesday as he started his quest for a sixth Mutua Madrid Open trophy.
Q. You've already won 48 sets. You're one away from McEnroe's record. I don't know if this means something for you.
RAFAEL NADAL: You find a new stat. I'm lost. Each time is a less important stat.
Q. Do you have these type of stats in your head? Are they important for you?
RAFAEL NADAL: Look, if it was important, I had no idea about that stat. I am not saying that it's not important, but what is important is I made it to the third round of this tournament. I've played a really good match. I beat an opponent who is difficult. The feelings are very good. This is what matters and what motivates me and gives me joy: the feeling to be able to play another day in front of the crowd here in Madrid. I know that the opportunities are going to one day, and I want to go day by day.
Q. About today's match, if we see that Feli wins, a match in front of these people against Feli, a friend of yours, it's going to be a very special match, right?
RAFAEL NADAL: It's another match, that's all. I don't see such a special match. I'm not going to lie to you. It will be just another match. We have already played a lot of matches of this type. That's all. It will be a third-round match, very important for me.
Each match is important during the whole year, but even more in this stretch of the year. I just go out there on the court, try to give my best, try to be prepared to compete, and to face whatever might happen.
Q. We've been talking about the people, they always support you. In Madrid they support you even more. I wanted to ask you about some whistles we heard against Monfils. I want to know your opinion about people reacting that way against your opponents.
RAFAEL NADAL: I said it in Barcelona last week. In Barcelona last week they also asked me about some whistles. To whistle is not in my way of understanding things. Everyone is free to express themselves the way they think is good. We also have to analyze why they are whistling.
If there is someone who is harming someone, doing something wrong, I understand that you can whistle, that you treat him in a negative way. But the people at a sporting event trying to do everything they can, I don't understand why they should be whistling, not only on a tennis court but in general.
I understand that when you go to a show, you're going to support something, you're not going to try to annoy the opponent. I think that we are in the middle of the court playing, I guess the same with the football players, with other professional players, I want to have the people supporting me, but I think that to support a team you do not need to annoy the opponent. I think that today was something very, very gentle. I think it wasn't anything serious.
Q. Tomorrow Manolo Santana is 80 years old. Do you think it's exaggerated that without him there wouldn't be so many titles in the Spanish tennis world?
RAFAEL NADAL: We can talk nicely and we can say yes. The reality is neither you or me will know because we cannot speculate about these kind of things.
What is a reality is that he did something really tough. He was the first man to do something like that. I'm saying that the people that are pioneers, it's more difficult than for people like us that come afterwards and we do something bigger.
He's the one who opened the way. He's the one that showed us it was possible. I think that Manolo was a pioneer in our country. I think that he's been a reference in Spanish sport in general.
Specifically talking about tennis, I think he's been an important figure inside our sport. He's gone through nearly all of the stages that this sport has. This last one, he's been practically the ambassador of our sport here in our country. So we have to thank him for all his dedication and how well he has treated our sport.
It's true that Spain couldn't have imagined a better ambassador than Manolo. He has done this without stopping during all his life. The only thing that we can say is thank you for everything and happy birthday, and hopefully there will be many more birthdays.
Q. Are you surprised about Djokovic's defeat today?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, at the end of the day when Djokovic plays, normally he's always favorite. Whenever he loses, it's a surprise.
But we're talking about a sport that the matches are normally decided in a few shots, small details. When things are going well, everything works out. When things are not going so well, then everything seems more difficult.
I believe a lot in dynamics, in momentum. For example, my match today, I had a breakpoint in the first set, then with 2-0 I had a breakpoint against me. I managed to save some breakpoints, and I was 3-Love. Something that could have been 3-Love down was 3-Love up, so...
These are things that matter, things that happen. Usually when you have confidence, these things fall on your side. Maybe when you don't have momentum, you're in a more difficult moment, other things happen.
Look, today Djokovic I think in the 4-3 he thought it was out, it was in. Small things happen that normally when you're in a good momentum, those things don't happen. When you don't have that momentum, you're in a negative way, these things happen.
Saying that, I think he's going step by step to be able to recover and be at the category he deserves. I don't have any doubt that he's going to be back up at the highest level.
Q. Del Potro was talking yesterday about his forehand, he said it was not so good. He said that you or Federer have the best forehand. You have faced all the tennis players. If you were to choose one forehand, which forehand would you choose?
RAFAEL NADAL: It's difficult. At the end I don't think all of the forehands are as good. I think that maybe my forehand is better than Federer's on clay, and hard court or grass I think that his forehand is better than mine of course.
Well, del Potro's forehand perhaps on hard court, his forehand is better. Here on clay, I don't know. I don't know how to answer you. If I were to choose one in general, I would choose Federer's forehand. This is the reality.
THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.
Q. A lot of people nickname you the King of Clay. You've also had amazing results on hard courts and grass. How do you feel about that nickname? Do you feel it takes away from your achievements on other surfaces?
RAFAEL NADAL: I really don't care much, first thing (smiling).
Second thing. Of course, I achieved a lot on clay, so I understand that. But that doesn't mean that they don't appreciate the value of all the other things that I did, no? I won all four Grand Slams. Twice every one, almost Australia once, and I won lot of tournaments, important ones, on hard. No question about that.
I really don't care much about this.
Q. When you win so many matches in a row like this, what kind of analysis do you do after the match about your game? Are you still searching for something to improve or do you feel there's no need? What's the process?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, the process is very simple for me: is analyze every day the things that happened and try to fix the things, my team and me, we need to keep improving, and keep doing the things that are working very well.
Every day is a different day. What happened the week before or two weeks ago is past. We were thinking just about the match of today. Now we are thinking about the match of tomorrow. That's the way that I analyze the things, no?
I don't think if I had a lot of victories in a row. I think that I have another tough match tomorrow, I can go on court and win or lose. Of course, there is always things to improve. I go on court every day to try to make that happen.
Q. Before you came on court, Novak was losing. Did you watch any of that match? If so, what were your thoughts on it and his general situation at the moment?
RAFAEL NADAL: I was watching a little bit. Not much, being honest. I saw a couple of games. I was doing my things, the tapings, warming up. I didn't see much to have a real opinion.
But that's tennis. Things are difficult. Nothing is easy in our sport. I really believe that he knows that, I know that, and everybody knows how difficult is stay there all the time, no?
What Novak did on this sport is amazing. He will continue doing a lot of great things in the future. I don't have any doubt of that.
Q. In this stage of your career, do records still mean anything to you, like now you can be better than McEnroe with 49 sets in a row? Is it something special for you or you take it as it comes?
RAFAEL NADAL: Believe me that when I going to go on court tomorrow, my only goal going to be try to play my best and try to win the match. I don't want to think about these things.
If happen later, okay, happened, good. But being honest, I don't know if these kind of records are very important. I don't say I don't care because better to have these kind of things than don't have it. But I am in a tennis tournament, and think about that, nothing else.
Q. Since your return from your latest injury, what are you most proud of in terms of improvement in your game?
RAFAEL NADAL: I can't improve a lot because I didn't practice. That's the real thing, no? I have been injured, and I didn't had the chance to prepare my game a lot.
What I am more proud, of course I did a lot of things well since I came back. I play with the right intensity, the right focus all the time. My backhand is working great. The forehand working well, too, as always, more or less. But the backhand is a shot that is working well.
What I am most pleased with is I am recovered from my injury on the psoas. That makes me feel strong and to go on court with confidence that I can hold tough matches. That's important for me especially on this surface.