Mutua Madrid Open 2014. Interviews. Rafael Nadal: “You never win without playing well. This is the reality. You don't win a Masters 1000 playing badly” - UBITENNIS
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Mutua Madrid Open 2014. Interviews. Rafael Nadal: “You never win without playing well. This is the reality. You don't win a Masters 1000 playing badly”

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TENNIS Mutua Madrid Open 2014 – R. Nadal d. R. Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-3. An interview with Rafael Nadal.

 

Q. Congratulations. Can you just a little bit sum up how you’ve been improving during the week and how you feel your game is getting better and better, and was that the case today?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, thank you. Yeah, it was an important victory for me. After I think a great match yesterday, have the confirmation today that the improvement is real is a very good news for me, important one for me. I think for moments I played great tennis against an opponent that is playing really well and improving a lot.

He’s a really dangerous one today. He has already this year great victories, a lot of good ones. So is an important one for me.

And be in a final here in a difficult tournament at home after losing two weeks in a row quarterfinals means a lot to me. So very happy. (Smiling.)

 

Q. Ferrer has beat on you repeatedly on clay; Nishikori, the last time you played together was in Australia. Who do you think suits better your game tomorrow for the final? Who would you like better?

RAFAEL NADAL: I really don’t know. I have no clue. Really, I don’t know. We’re talking about top players. They’re really good. They’re the players that are playing really well.

Nishikori has done a really good season. He comes from winning in Barcelona, so he has a lot of confidence.

Well, David played really well in Monte Carlo. In Barcelona he had an accident, and here he’s already had several complicated matches that he has won. A match with Isner, and with Ramos he suffered and he managed to get through it.

He has had two really tough matches. He won today in two sets, so very well.

And tomorrow, you know, I would like to play against the one who plays not so good, but I don’t know who.

 

Q. You talking on the court before, and is it more important this week to win than to play well?

RAFAEL NADAL: You know, you never win without playing well. This is the reality. You don’t win a Masters 1000 playing badly. That’s impossible.

You can play well, normally very well, or incredibly well. These other three options you have in order to win a Masters 1000, not only playing well. You need several circumstances in order to achieve it.

Times I have won tournaments like this without playing well, I would say never. So to win, of course it’s important, and especially more when you come from not winning.

So for me, the fact of being able to win four matches in a row is something really positive. It’s always true. As I said at the beginning of the week, I think that in Barcelona I could have done it. I should have done it, but I let that match go.

Well, it makes you, you know, suffer a little bit and it makes you next week start from zero.

But it’s true that the feeling was much better in Barcelona than in Monte Carlo. That’s why maybe I got here with a better feeling and also more calmness, you know.

We could see that in the matches. As you keep on winning, you have more confidence and play more calmly. That allows you to go the match with some calm that allows you to do your match, to do your game. It allows you to do what you’re thinking to do.

In the end, important thing is the nerves    the important is not the nerves. As I always saying, the nerves are good for you. The bad things is when the nerves don’t allow you to do what you want to do on the court.

 

Q. Compared to Monte Carlo, how do you see yourself? Talking about your legs, your mobility, your reactions.

RAFAEL NADAL: I think that I’ve done pretty good things. Not only talking about legs. Of course legs are pretty important, but I think I’m doing things much better in general.

Again, I’m doing my logical game that I’ve always done on clay. I think I’m playing well with my drive and defending very well. Especially when I have intermediate balls, my drive is dangerous again. I don’t have to put it really close to the baseline. I play like safe shots so I am managing to move the opponent around the court without assuming great risks.

That’s the key for playing on these kinds of courts, on clay. I think that in this tournament I managed to do it well. I think today I had an opponent that was playing very well. I started well and managed to break, and then a double fault with my serve. I managed to do that well.

He also played a couple points good and complicated it again. Psychologically, Monte Carlo and Barcelona, whenever I had thoughts, moments, I was not ready and I was a little bit down.

Over here I managed to be ready straightaway. For example, in the second set I had a ball to go 5 0 and he played well and then I committed an error with a deuce in the 4 1.

At 4 3, I responded again. I managed to serve well and play a good passing shot and to break again. All of those symptoms are symptoms that I am mentally more stable and more confident that things are going to go well.

This is great news in order to go out and play tomorrows’ match, but also for what may come in the future.

 

Q. You played constantly with the noise of an internal riot. Had that happened to you before?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I didn’t know. I asked the umpire because I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t know if it was noise from the inside of the tournament or not. He told me it was a riot outside of the complex. It’s uncomfortable, but I cannot do anything about it.

There are riots. We have them. They have freedom in order to do them, so no problem at all with that. Just a pity that it’s really close to here. That’s the only thing I have to say.

 

Q. One day left for the tournament to win, the Magic Box is still not full. Today was the fullest, but still not full. Do you agree with the philosophy of the tournament on the ticket prices?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know the philosophy that the tournament follows, but I can’t talk about it in the Davis Cup when I’m talking about something which is public.

After all, we’re playing with the Spanish Federation, which I don’t know if it’s private or public. At the end, it’s just an organization. I don’t know how it works. I guess it’s 50/50.

But afterwards we understand when we’re talking about the federation that referring to a public organization, not like here which is a private tournament.

When you have a private tournament you have the freedom and the right to price the tickets as you want. We don’t have anything to say about that.

Of course, each one of us does with the tournament whatever they think is more convenient for the tournament. I cannot talk about that, and I will never do it.

On your own you can do whatever you want. You’re free to do whatever you want. I really don’t have anything to say about it.

 

Q. Do you miss Federer and Djokovic because they haven’t been here this week and maybe not going to be next week? Does that mean more relax or rehab?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, there is no rehab at all. No rehab for me. As I said before, in Barcelona and Monte Carlo I didn’t get to the round to play against them, so that’s a completely different story.

Of course for the tournament it’s better that these players are present, and also for the fans. But we also to have get used to tennis    the tennis is not only Federer, Djokovic or me. We have it get used to that. Or Murray. Because we’re going to leave one day.

We’re not 20 years old anymore, and tennis is way more important than just for the player. This is the reality of the situation. We have to get used to it. You have to get used to it, and the fans also.

But you are the ones who help the fans so that their mentality can change. You can do that because you communicate with them. I think that tennis is way more important than any player.

In this case we’re talking about some of the best players in the world currently. It’s a pity that they’re not here. I would have liked that they would be here for the tournament and the fans.

But talking about a Masters 1000 who has all the other 50 some best players of world, it’s a really good tournament. This is the reality of the situation. I don’t think that the tennis should depend on just these four or five players. These players, as I said, are just going to leave. Me too. I’m also going to leave, and tennis will still be there and other players will come.

 

Q. I wonder the main difference you’re feeling in the sensations on the court between here and how you played and how you felt in Barcelona and Monte Carlo.

RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. At the end, I said before the tournament start, no, very few details make a big difference.

I think in general I am able to hit more forehands than a few weeks ago. I was playing too much with my backhand. To play on clay I need to play with my forehand and use my forehand to create the possibilities to create angles.

In normal balls during the points    there is always normal balls. I’m not talking about when you are hitting a winner, when you’re trying to defend a difficult ball. Talking about a normal ball, I think I am able to create that spin that I was not able to create few weeks ago.

With that spin I had the possibility to change the direction of the ball down the line. I feel that to put the opponent in a problem, I don’t need to play that close to the line because the ball starts going quick again and with the right spin.

So playing with the right, you know    I don’t need to play few centimeters to the line. Playing one meter away from the lines, the ball is still very good. That’s the basic thing on clay that I’m doing better.

 

Q. Do you ever read what people say about you? When you lose a couple tournaments like you did and certain people say it’s the end, he’s not the player he was, and things aren’t going well, do you ever read or listen to that or hear it?

RAFAEL NADAL: I never read a lot about me when I’m winning or losing because I understand that there is always    I don’t know how to say    but when you are winning, people talks here; when you were losing, people talks here.

I always understand there is a middle point. That that’s always the real thing. There is always moments of your career. There is always situations, ups and downs. You know, the people are very quick put you on the top and very quick to say that you are over, no?

So just try to maintain the calm, trying to keep working doing the right things, and one day will be the end.

But I don’t know if it’s that moment yet. (Smiling.)

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Andy Murray Fights Back To Reach First ATP Final In 27 Months

The Brit was in impressive form against America’s Reilly Opelka.

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Andy Murray (GBR) AELTC/Simon Bruty

Former world No.1 Andy Murray is on the verge of re-entering the world’s top 100 after battling into his first Tour final since 2019 at the Sydney International on Friday.

 

The three-time Grand Slam champion recovered from a set down to beat Reilly Opelka 6-7(6) 6-4 6-4 in a marathon clash which lasted almost two-and-a-half hours. Murray, who is currently ranked 110 places lower than his American opponent, faced just one break point in the match which he saved. Impressively the Brit produced 16 aces and won 88% of his first service points. After dropping the opening tiebreak, he managed to turn the match around in his favour by breaking Opelka once in each of the next two sets.

“I love competing. You want to try to finish the matches if you can but I lost a tight first set and not easy to come back against someone who serves like that. I kept fighting… and managed to get the win,” said Murray who produced just 10 unforced errors.

It is the second time this week Murray has beaten a seeded player in Sydney after edging out second seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in three sets. He also beat eighth seed David Goffin in the quarter-finals who was forced to retire whilst trailing 6-2 due to injury.

The 34-year-old has reached his first Tour final since winning the 2019 European Open when he defeated Stan Wawrinka. He now has a shot at claiming his 48th ATP title on Saturday where he will play either compatriot Dan Evans or Aslan Karatsev.

“It would be amazing to start the year with a win,” he said. “It’s been a great week for me, great progress against anything I’ve done in the past year. I’ll go for 47 tomorrow. It’s been a good week. I’ve played better with each match.”

It has been two years since Murray last played a tournament on Australian soil. Back then he was facing the prospect of having to retire from the sport due to a serious hip injury but later received resurfacing surgery which has enabled him to continue playing. Murray now plays with a metal rod inserted into his hip.

Should he prevail in Saturday’s final, Murray will crack the top 100 for the first time since May 2018.

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Bernard Tomic Tells Umpire He Thinks He Has Covid During Australian Open Qualifying Match

The tennis player says he is ‘really sick’ after crashing out of the tournament.

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Bernard Tomic (image via https://twitter.com/rnadalacademy)

Bernard Tomic has taken a swipe at Australian Open officials over their testing system for COVID-19.

 

The former top 20 player crashed out in the first round of the qualifying tournament to Roman Safiullin, who impressed many during the ATP Cup last week. Tomic was on the court for less than an hour as he lost 6-1, 6-4. This was the first match he had played since September 2021.

During the second set of his clash with Safiullin, the 29-year-old was heard telling umpire Aline Da Rocha Nocinto that he believes he has COVID-19. Saying he would ‘buy her a meal’ if he was wrong.

“I’m sure in the next two days I will test positive, I’m telling you,” he said.
“I’ll buy you dinner if I don’t test positive in three days, otherwise you buy me dinner.”

Venting his frustration, Tomic said he was shocked that no official PCR tests are required for players, just rapid tests. However, Tennis Australia later clarified that all players must complete a PCR test before participating in the tournament and their result must be negative in order to play.

“They’re allowing players to come on court with rapid tests in their room, c’mon … no official PCR testing,” he continued.

Following the match Tomic posted an update on his Instagram account saying that he is currently feeling ‘really sick’ and has been asked by doctors to isolate in his room. During the match he did have a medical time out and was seen checking for his own pulse.

“Feeling really sick, I’m now back in my hotel room,” Tomic wrote.
“Just spoke to the doctors on site and they’ve asked me to isolate. They couldn’t treat me yet to avoid contact.
“Thank you for all the support on the court today. I really appreciate it! I’ll do better next time.
“Very disappointed as I really wanted to make Aussies proud and perform well on my home turf.”

Tomic has not commented on why he decided to play his match if he believed he could have covid. It is also unclear as to what symptoms he experienced leading up to today or the severity of them.

In a separate development, Portugal’s Nuno Borges was forced to pull out of the qualifying draw after he tested positive for COVID-19.

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Eight Questions For Novak Djokovic

So far Djokovic has been anything but transparent. His positive COVID-19 result was made known by the lawyers, not him. He trusted Craig Tiley’s assurances that he misinformed him. Here are the questions we would ask him.

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Novak Djokovic at the 2021 Rolex Paris Masters (Credit: Roberto Dell'Olivo)

By Roberto Ferri

For several weeks the troubled events relating Novak Djokovic and his participation in the Australian Open have been taking place.

 

For the few who still do not know them, I will summarize them briefly.

In order to take part in the 2022 edition of the Australian Open it is necessary to have completed the vaccination cycle against Covid-19 or, alternatively, to have requested from the competent local medical authorities a certificate of exemption.

On January 4, Djokovic announced in a post that he had obtained medical exemption and was on his way to Australia. Some may say it was kind of naive post, but it’s hard to believe that it was his responsibility to check consistency between the exemption that had got and the Australian federal laws.

Before his arrival at the Melbourne airport, the Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison – perhaps under the pressure of a large part of national and international public opinion who had immediately expressed their discontent with this concession – declared: “Djokovic will be sent home on the first plane if he is unable to provide sufficient evidence to support his exemption from vaccination ”.

Djokovic arrived in Melbourne on January 5th but his visa to enter the country is rejected by the border authorities.

Tension rose between Australia and Serbia with the Serbian government summoning the Australian ambassador.

Djokovic’s lawyers are appealing against the visa refusal; the judge in charge of examining the appeal reserves the right to make a decision on Monday 10th January.

While awaiting the sentence, Djokovic is accompanied to a hotel of the lowest level; many fans of the champion gather in front of the hotel to protest in his favour.

In Serbia, Djokovic’s father made a series of statements in which he compares his son to Spartacus and Jesus, we assume not necessarily in this order of importance.

In the meantime, through the papers supporting the appeal filed with the Melbourne court, we learn that Djokovic had requested an exemption because he recently recovered from COVID and that he had obtained it from the Medical Director of Tennis Australia on December 30th. In the same documents we read that Djokovic’s positivity to COVID was ascertained through a molecular test carried out on December 16th.

If we (UbiTennis) had the chance, I would like to put these eight 8 questions to the Serbian champion:

1- The documents filed by your lawyers state that on December 16th you took the test for COVID 19. Why did you take it that very day?

2- On what day did you know your test result?

3- In this circumstance you considered it appropriate not to publicly reveal your positive result unlike what you did in June 2020. Why?

4- Between the day you learned about your positivity and the following days did you take part in public events?

5- If you took part in public events, what precautions did you take to avoid transmitting the infection?

6- When you arrived at Melbourne airport did you have complete documentation that provided all the evidence supporting the exemption?

7- If you had not contracted COVID you would have not been able to apply for vaccine exemption; what alternative strategy did you plan to participate to the Australian Open?

8- Would you get vaccinated if it were the only option to be able to take part in ATP and ITF tournaments during 2022?

Is Novak Djokovic going to answer them?

Only time will tell.

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