PRESS CONFERENCE: Rafael Nadal (d. Marin Cilic)

Friday, Aug 10

Rogers Cup

Friday, August 10, 2018

Rafael Nadal

Press Conference

R. NADAL/M. Cilic

2-6, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Big celebration at the end for you. Was that because it was such a fight today or was it at all going through your head that the last time you faced him was at the Australian Open and you didn’t have the result that you wanted that day obviously because of the injury?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, no. I never believe on revenges at all. No, no. It’s not because of Australian Open match, not at all.

Was just because have been a very important match for me. Being in semifinals is great news at the start of the hard court season in a good way. And winning three good matches in the first Master 1000, yeah, so important for me.

And especially the way that he played in that first set was unstoppable, no? So I resisted. I play with the right tactic. I tried to find my solutions, but was so, so difficult.

So that’s why it was an important celebration, no? It means a lot to me to be in the semifinals.

Q. You were down 5-1 in the first set. What did you feel was the turning point for you in the match where you started to feel a little more confident?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, the match became so difficult. I had a good break. Well, safe, of course, the first game of the second was the key. He had break point. If he had the break in that first game of the second set, the match will be so difficult, no? Because the dynamic was very bad for me and unbelievable good for him. So I know that beginning of the second set will be decisive.

And then in the 2-1, I had that break that he missed couple of balls and was the first time in the match that he make some mistakes, and I had the break.

So, yeah, it was so important. Maybe that was a key moment. And of course that last game of the second set that he was 40-15, and he make two mistakes. So yeah.

Q. You briefly left the court before coming out for the second set. Why was that?

Q. You briefly left the court before coming out for the second set. Why was that?
RAFAEL NADAL: Because I needed to go to the toilet.

Q. You showed such fight tonight. You showed a lot of fight last night against Stan. How much satisfaction does it give you that you’re able to dig deep, and where do you feel like your hard court tennis is right now? Maybe it feels like you’re not necessarily fully into the swing yet on the hard courts?
RAFAEL NADAL: I’m in semifinals, man. That’s the most important thing. I said before at the tournament, no, I was not — I didn’t practice a lot before here. I needed some period off.

And coming here is always difficult. Was the first match for me on — first tournament on hard after a while.

And all the facts makes the tournament difficult. But being honest, semifinals is a great result. Is a Masters 1000. And when 19 of the top 20 players have been playing here, so being in semifinals is great news. And without playing more or less well it’s impossible to be in that round.

Already won a couple of good matches against tough opponents. So let’s see how the things go tomorrow. A tough opponent. He’s playing well. He’s dangerous. He hit the ball so hard too. So let’s see.

I need to keep playing aggressive and keep serving well. Then we’ll see. I’m happy about the things and I’m happy about my result, and it’s an opportunity to keep going.

Q. So your last two matches have been fairly tricky, a tough one against Stan last night and a big battle tonight. Do you find that having tough matches like that kind of help you find your rhythm as you get later into the tournament?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, of course this kind of matches are important and good to play. That’s why we wake up every morning, go on court and practice hard. That’s why we play that kind of matches. That really means a lot.

You have the chance to play in front of a great crowd. Amazing support for me tonight. Can say thank you very much to all the people here in Toronto.

And, yeah, the energy, the passion, I love to play this kind of matches. I’m very happy for everything. It’s been an important week for me, and things keep going.

Q. I noticed at the end of the first set you were coming in or you came in on a couple of the serves and you stood closer to the baseline, then you backed off a bit for the rest of the match pretty much. What was going through your head at that point about trying to get a read on his serve, and how did you manage to do it? Because you were returning better for the rest of the match.
RAFAEL NADAL: I was just trying to let him think a little bit because he was playing without thinking, just hitting every ball fantastic, hitting all the right spots in every shot.

I was just trying to make things that let him think and let him doubt a little bit. That’s all, no?

Q. There’s a rumor that you’ve qualified for London now. How do you feel about that?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yesterday already, no? Not today?

Q. Today they announced.
RAFAEL NADAL: One application said yesterday. I don’t know if today they announce it, but it was yesterday. ATP was late. It was Nicola’s fault. (Laughter.)

Yeah. No, is good news. And I think it’s my 14th qualification for the World Tour finals in a row. So it’s great news.

Q. Do you feel like Cilic has been much better over the last couple of years?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, he already won the US Open which year?

Q. That was 2009, I think.

Q. 2014.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I don’t know. Being honest, I feel that probably — I played and I practiced with him a couple of times last year, and I felt that he was not playing that well. This year, since the beginning of the season, he’s playing fantastic.

Before Wimbledon, I said to my team, for me, Marin was one of the real candidates to win Wimbledon then. He loves that match. That can happen against Guido Pella.

But saying that, you know, I tell you how much I respect him and how good he is. He’s playing aggressive. He’s very difficult to stop and very difficult to play against him when he’s playing that way.

It’s true that when you play that aggressive, it’s true that normally is a little bit — you play under a lot of risk too. So it’s normal that you play sometimes good, and sometimes you have matches that you have more mistakes because you play to the limit.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #366 at 2018-08-11 03:16:00 GMT

ASAP sports

tech 129