Mutua Madrid Open 2014 Interviews. Rafael Nadal: “The ranking is lying a lot of times. The ranking is not fair a lot of times.” - UBITENNIS
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Mutua Madrid Open 2014 Interviews. Rafael Nadal: “The ranking is lying a lot of times. The ranking is not fair a lot of times.”

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TENNIS Mutua Madrid Open 2014 – An interview with Rafael Nadal.

 

Q. You’re in a little bit weird month because it’s been a time that you didn’t go in Monte Carlo on a Friday, Barcelona you left on a Friday. You’ve got a lot of the time to rest. Do you think that’s good for Madrid?

RAFAEL NADAL: No. It’s not good for me. The good thing is when you’ve been winning it’s good for you. You have momentum and you can keep doing things well.

Well, when you lose, you have a hard moment, you have more doubts. Well, yes, I have a little bit time. I need more time to move, choose where to strike the ball.

But no, no, that’s what happened. I’ve already said it several times. I didn’t pretend to win Monte Carlo 12 times or Barcelona 12 times. Maybe that may not be normal. This is the reality of the situation.

Maybe it’s normal to lose three times on the quarterfinals. Maybe what’s not normal is what happened during the past nine years.

But we’ll be here to fight and to try to play even better. I don’t think I have to change many things. I think I can change very small things, and the change can be quite drastic and quite big.

That’s what I’m working on right now.

 

Q. These small changes that you’re talking about, what do you think they are? What are the changes you’re talking about?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, they’re pretty simple. In the end, tennis doesn’t have a lot of capacity of analysis. It’s not a really complicated sport. It’s pretty simple. I have to move a little bit better on the court. I have to be better in my drive with a little bit more decision.

I think the backhand, I’ve been doing it pretty well. I just need a little bit more authority when I’ve been training with my drive. Just a little bit more authority on my drive. The backhand was working well. If I work on my drive well, the backhand is going to be better on its own.

I just need to win. I think that in Barcelona I had a good opportunity. I think I was pretty close. I think that in many moments I deserved to do it, but that tennis is a fair game. The game all the time was on my side.

So, you know, I was playing    my attitude was pretty well. So I think I cannot have a better attitude than what I had in Monte Carlo, for example. The attitude I wanted to win in Monte Carlo, it’s not something about wanting ir or not wanting it. It’s about momentum. I’m feeling better.

I feel really good to play here. It’s a very special tournament for me, and the energy this tournament gives me is something a little bit different to others.

I’ve been training trying to do things properly, as I’ve been doing always. I hope that it just works out.

 

Q. I don’t know what does Madrid have, but in the past editions nobody managed to win the title again. In your case you could do it this time. You have a third opportunity. Do you think it’s because people normally don’t win twice?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, it’s not because of nothing. To repeat is really difficult in every single place. We’re talking about tournaments we have the top players every single year. It’s obvious when the best players are working. It’s really tough that the same guy wins from year to year.

You look at the history of our sport, it’s something that be doesn’t happen very often in our sport. It’s true the last few years some players have been winning tournaments year after year.

If we look at the history we can see that few players have been able to do this year after year, and that just shows how difficult the sport is in general.

In this case, in tennis, many matches are decided in a small points. Well, sometimes the balls always fall on the side of a guy. It’s something special that has happened several times during the past years.

It’s happened several times for some players, but it’s not very logical. It’s not very logical what happens in the last five, six years that the same players have been playing for the really important tournaments.

This can happen three times, but during so many years it’s something pretty different. I think that these things don’t happen many times during the history.

 

Q. I would like to talk about your defeat in Australia. What did that leave on you? Physically talking because a problem in your back that you couldn’t train for a week, or mentally because of the fact of not being able to win?

RAFAEL NADAL: The defeat in Australia is the past. We don’t have to talk anymore about Australia. It’s gone. We will go back in 2015 to try to be well there again and try to compete well in Australia.

Just another defeat with a problem. That maybe leaves you afterwards a little bit more insecurity to that loss. Because you always have that moment that you’re just dreaming about it and then you have a problem.

But this is sport. You know, the sport is just to accept, to feel done, and wake up again and stand up and try to recover.

You know, when you compete at this level, when you’re playing at the limit, sometimes you crash. You crash against the wall.

All the crashes you get during your career, you just have to survive. You just to have try not to be a mortal kick. I don’t think that’s the case in Australia.

After Australia it’s been a little bit difficult for me to get back in the rhythm for the competition, but also there are some other things over there.

In Australia where I was playing well, after Australia I stop for three weeks, then I played Rio. Even though I win Rio, I didn’t play with really good feelings. I played the tournament, but doesn’t matter. In the middle I have to leave because they have to treat my back, put something on my back, syringes.

That happened in Rio and then I cannot train after 12 days. So, you know, there I was a little bit close. And all of this in general, well you create    you need continuity in order to play well.

In Indian Wells I managed to play well against Dolgopolov. I tried to win that match. These things happen.

We went over it and just have to work on it. You have to start from zero.

In Miami, was that really positive tournament for me.

Afterwards, I lost two matches here in Spain and I think I could have won.

Ferrer was much better than me, especially in the second set. The first set was really close. I think it’s a match that I should have won, but I didn’t.

In this case I have to work for here, for Madrid. That’s what I’ve been doing. I been working since I lost in Barcelona. I tried to train well to come here. If things don’t come out well, we will go to Rome; if things don’t work out there, we will go to Paris.

That’s everything. You have to continue and continue and continue, and think that things are going to work out for you. That’s what I’m going to try to do all of these days.

 

Q. These two defeats, do they create on you more doubts?

RAFAEL NADAL: You know, they create you doubts. That’s what happens in the defeat. That’s why if someone tells you the opposite he is lying to you. The defeats create doubts. Not more be will to play. What creates will to play is that you’re feeling well on the court.

When you come from tough moments like this or injuries or whatever, you don’t manage to be on the positive line, well, you know, you then come back with a little more intensity to try to be back as soon as possible.

I just to have try to be back on that line. That’s what I’m trying to do right now.

 

Q. Are you surprised to see Andy Murray ranked No. 8? And you know what it’s like to recover from injuries. Do you think he’ll be able to come back after his back surgery and get back to the top of the game?

RAFAEL NADAL: You know, the ranking is lying a lot of times. The ranking is not fair a lot of times. Having one year ranking when you get injury for a while, when you lose just a few tournaments or you have some problems and you are not able to play your 100%, it’s very easy to lose ranking.

So it’s not an issue for a player Andy that already won Olympics, Grand Slam, Masters 1000s. The ranking probably is not his priority. It’s to play well and have the chance to win the most important tournaments and feel himself healthy and competitive.

I don’t have any doubt that he’s fighting again for the best tournaments of the world. It’s always natural and normal that after an injury it’s tough to be back on the top of your game very soon.

So for me, it’s not an issue. He’s there. He will be fighting for the best tournaments and he will be in the top positions of the ranking if he wants to be or if he’s able to do.

When you get injury and you have some physical problems and you are not able to play all the tournaments at your 100%, then I repeat: having the ranking just one year on the calendar, you know, it’s not enough to be at the top if you were not able to play all the tournaments at your 100%.

 

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Svetlana Kuznetsova upsets Ashleigh Barty in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career

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Russian wild card Svetlana Kuznetsova edged top seed this year’s Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty 6-2 6-4 in the semifinal of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career.

 

Two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova, who is now ranked world number 153, scored her third win against top 10 players this week  after beating former US Open champion Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova.

Barty missed her chance to regain world number 1 spot from Naomi Osaka, who was forced to retire from her quarter final.

Barty earned the first break of the match in the second game of the opening set, when Kuznetsova netted a backhand. Kuznetsova broke back in the third game with a smash winner and earned another break at 2-2 when Barty netted a backhand. Kuznetsova hit a return winner to build up a 5-2 lead. Barty asked a medical time-out to treat he right leg. Kuznetsova held serve at 15 to close out the opening set after 30 minutes.

Kuznetsova went up a break in the first game of the second set. Barty won just three points on return in the second set. Kuznetsova closed out the second set with three winners in the 10th game.

“I am really happy. I am not really an analyzing person, but on my intuition, I am doing so much better, not repeating so many of my mistakes, just playing smarter and wiser now. It’s been so many different things when I was off, so I just enjoyed time off. Honestly, I was not missing at all the travelling and all the stress when you play tournaments, but now I have missed it and I feel good. I feel joy staying here and being here. It definitely helped me to have some time off to see other things outside tennis”, said Kuznetsova.

 

Kuznetsova set up a final against Madison Keys, who beat Sofia Kenin in straight sets. The Russian 34-year-old veteran player has qualified for her first final since last year, when she beat Donna Vekic in Washington.

 

“Madison is extremely tough. When she is on fire, it is really hard to play against her. It’s going to be a difficult match-up”, said Kuznetsova.  

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David Goffin reaches his first Masters 1000 in Cincinnati

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David Goffin beat Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-4 on an overcast afternoon to reach the first Masters 1000 final of his career and his 13th title match at ATP Tour level at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. Goffin has dropped just one set en route to the final.

 

Goffin is returning to his best form this summer under the guidance of former Swedish player Thomas Johansson. He reached the final in Halle and his first quarter final at Wimbledon. He received a walkover after Yoshihito Nishioka was forced to withdraw from the match due to food poisoning.

The Belgian player started the match with two consecutive holds before breaking at love to open up a 4-1 lead with a backhand winner down the line.

Goffin held his next service games to seal the opening set 6-3. Gasquet earned an early break to open  2-0 lead, but Goffin won five of the next six games with two breaks. The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up served out the win at love in the 10th game after 1 hour and 16 minutes, as Gasquet sent his backhand long.

Goffin reached the semifinal in Cincinnati last year, but he was forced to retire due to an arm injury.

“I am very happy. It’s a tournament I like and I have played the best tennis in the past few years. I am really happy to reach my first Masters 1000 final here. It’s a great moment for me.”

 

 

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Richard Gasquet reaches his first Masters 1000 semifinal since Miami 2013

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Frenchman Richard Gasquet edged past this year’s Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-2 after 2 hours and 12 minutes to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal since the 2013 Miami Open.

 

 Gasquet missed six months of action after undergoing groin surgery last January.

The French player set up a semfinal against David Goffin, who reached the semifinal after his Japanese opponent Yoshihito Nishioka withdrew from the match due to illness.

The first set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Bautista Agut hit a backhand wide at 1-2. Gasquet sealed the tie-break when Bautista Agut hit a forehand long.

Bautista Agut earned two breaks of serve in the second set and sealed it, when Gasquet made his third double fault on set point.

Gasquet broke serve with a volley in the third game of the decisive set. The French player went up a double break to race out to 4-1 lead. He saved two break points to hold his serve at deuce before serving out the third set on his first match point.

“I know how tough it was to come back. I know the moments I had at the start of the year, so I just wanted to enjoy, to fight. It is not easy to come back after six months out, but I am here. I am in semis tomorrow”,said Gasquet.

 

 

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