Have a good flight home, Rafa! AO Thread. - Page 10 - MensTennisForums.com
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post #136 of 258 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 09:09 AM
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Re: Nadal reaches first ever Hard Court Slam Semi Final!! Painfully.

Despite the fact that I actually like watching Nieminen (he's not a flashy player but he's crafty at times), Rafa's matches against Jarkko have always been sort of annoying to watch. On Eurosport, they wondered if this has something to do with it being a lefty vs a lefty.
They asked Rafa if it's harder for him to play a lefty because he's not used to it but Rafa said that playing as a lefty himself helps him because he knows how a lefthanded player tends to think. They asked him if he was surprised or excited to have reached his first SF on hardcourts. He said "neither" and he admitted that there's a bit of luck involved as well as hard work (not just in the tournament but also in the preparation)


But he's through to the SF. The rest is icing on that cake(walk), as they say.
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post #137 of 258 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 09:17 AM
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Re: Nadal reaches first ever Hard Court Slam Semi Final!! Painfully.

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Originally Posted by Castafiore View Post
Despite the fact that I actually like watching Nieminen (he's not a flashy player but he's crafty at times), Rafa's matches against Jarkko have always been sort of annoying to watch. On Eurosport, they wondered if this has something to do with it being a lefty vs a lefty.
They asked Rafa if it's harder for him to play a lefty because he's not used to it but Rafa said that playing as a lefty himself helps him because he knows how a lefthanded player tends to think. They asked him if he was surprised or excited to have reached his first SF on hardcourts. He said "neither" and he admitted that there's a bit of luck involved as well as hard work (not just in the tournament but also in the preparation)


But he's through to the SF. The rest is icing on that cake(walk), as they say.

Hilde! Yes I saw the ES interview. Rafa looked so cute.
I watched the match on Russian NTV + tennis pay TV channel though with a truly lovely commentator who liked the match very much actually (just like me ), his point was that it doesn't have to be a thriller score-wise to be remembered for a long time, it can also be nice game-wise which this match was. And I whole-heartedly agree with him, there were wonderful rallies and wonderful shots from both guys, Jarkko's fh on fire in the 1st set and Rafa's amazing jump smash and passing shots. The commentator said Rafa could be a volley ball player with jumping ability like that.
I don't bother listening to those ES hatas when I can.

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post #138 of 258 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 10:16 AM
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Re: Nadal reaches first ever Hard Court Slam Semi Final!! Painfully.

congrats rafa for your first SF at the AO! I'm so happy for him! hope he can go even further! I can't beleive he still hasn't lost a set! I hope it will help some to understand that rafa is a great player no matter the surface!
vamos rafa!

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post #139 of 258 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 12:18 PM
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Re: Nadal reaches first ever Hard Court Slam Semi Final!! Painfully.

That's a funny headline, considering.

Quote:
Fresh Nadal looks to break duck
Tuesday, 22 January, 2008
By Adam Lucius

A fresh and injury-free Rafael Nadal believes he is in the best shape to win his first Grand Slam away from the claycourts of Roland Garros after reaching the Australian Open semi-finals.

The three-time French Open champion overcame a first-set blip - coming from 4-5 down - to ease past Finn Jarkko Nieminen 7-5 6-3 6-1 on Tuesday and book a semi-final berth against either Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Mikhail Youzhny.

It’s already the Spaniard's best performance at Melbourne Park and has arrived without the usual energy-sapping five-set marathons, leading the powerfully-built left-hander to predict the best is yet to come.

"It's better than usual (because) I always play a lot of time on court," Nadal said.

"This year, not one match more than two and a half hours, so it's very good for me. That's a very good thing about my game."

"I'm happy because I am here without losing a set. That's always an important point."

Nadal made the Australian Open quarter-finals last year and reached the last eight at the 2006 US Open.

But that's where his hardcourt roll of honour started and ended - until Tuesday's victory over Nieminen.

"It's a good moment for me - being my first semi-finals on hardcourt at a Grand Slam," he said. "I'm happy because it's important to cross the quarter-finals."

"I try my best (to reach) the final. If I'm in the final on Sunday it's going to be a dream for me, to start the season like this."

"I'm very happy about my start here. It's better than I thought."

Nieminen, who was beaten but not disgraced in a heartening centre court performance, is backing Nadal to go all the way.

"I think he's playing great. I had some weapons to win almost any point and any game, but in the long run, he's so good," the Finn said.

"He gets so many balls back and when he can go around with his forehand, then it's always trouble."

"To beat him best of five, it's very tough. I think he's playing very good at the moment."
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...994456078.html

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post #140 of 258 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 03:47 PM
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Re: Nadal reaches first ever Hard Court Slam Semi Final!! Painfully.

Well looks like Nadal finally got over the quarterfinal hump. Well I suppose the AO ends for him here. I was very sure Youzhny would beat Tsonga but what happened!! Well Tsonga will have his revenge for the USO. As far as I can remember he wasn't too pleased with his loss then.

“For life be, after all, only a waitin' for somethin' else than what we're doin'; and death be all that we can rightly depend on.” - Bram Stoker, Dracula
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post #141 of 258 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 04:23 PM
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Re: Why are you serving so badly, stupid boy??

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Originally Posted by l_mac View Post
@ the attempted jump smash, 3rd game 3rd set.
I had to laugh too. Good LORD. He was all off balance. Looked a little like a really drunk Spiderman.
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post #142 of 258 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Nadal reaches first ever Hard Court Slam Semi Final!! Painfully.

Presser

Quote:
Q. Is that the sort of match you needed at this stage of the tournament?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, maybe I wasn't play my best match, my best tennis today, but it was enough. I'm happy about the victory. I didn't play bad.

I played very good with my forehand, I think. I touched the ball when I have time, touched the ball perfect every time. Well, the rest, little bit worse than the last match, the serve and the backhand.

That's Points to improve on this match if I want chances for win.


Q. Do you believe overall you are playing your best hardcourt tennis?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't think, no? I am playing well. I'm playing good tennis, good level, but last year I played very good level in many tournaments. In Indian Wells I played very well, I think. Similar, little bit better than here.

I don't know, some more tournaments. But last year I played very nice tournaments on hardcourt, no? Anyway, it a good moment for me. Be the first semifinals on hardcourt, Grand Slam, and so it's very important for me. I'm happy to because I am here without losing a set. That's always an important point.


Q. Does this surface suit your game more?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. No, I think when I am playing fine, when I am playing well, I can play well in all surfaces, no? It's not new play good in hardcourt. I had some quarterfinals, but didn't have semifinals yet in Grand Slam. I say before, I play very good tournaments.

So happy, because always is important cross the quarterfinals. I play it in here and in United States, US Open. So closest, this round, is very important for me.

I right now try my best for being in this final, no? If I'm in the final on Sunday, going to be a dream for me here, no, start the season like this. I'm very happy about my start here, playing the final in Chennai and being in the semifinals here. It's better than I thought.


Q. You saved nine set points in the first set since the beginning of the tournament. How important is it to win the first set to enter in the match?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, for sure it's very important, save set points in the first set, especially because if you save set points, go a little bit more down later, no? But I think I'm playing well in important moments, I'm playing fine.

Serving with good position in this moments. And I'm happy because I save some important moments this week.


Q. What can you say about Jarkko as a tennis player and a person?

RAFAEL NADAL: Very, very nice guy. Very good person, I'm sure. He never has any problem with nobody, so I have very good relation with him. I think he's perfect person and he's very good player, very complete player, only a little bit second serve.

But for the rest, he has all the shots, no? He can do backhand, very good backhand, good forehand, very fast on court. So he can do very well. For the last years, he's in the very good position in the ranking.


Q. How does your body feel compared to last year at the US Open and hardcourts?

RAFAEL NADAL: My body is perfect, no? (laughter) Physically speaking. Nothing perfect.


Q. At the US Open last year you were struggling a bit at the end. Is it much better now?

RAFAEL NADAL: Sure, no? Last year I played ‑‑ second of the tour who played more matches, and they only had the problem at the US Open. So it was a very, very good year for me, physically speaking. And this year I start very well, no? I don't have any problems at US Open and I'm in semifinals without losing a set.

Always help a little bit because would be more fresh in the slams, no? But physically I'm very happy, no? I don't have any problem.


Q. Will you watch the other quarterfinal tonight?

RAFAEL NADAL: Sure. I'm going to watch a little bit in the hotel. Relax. Go little bit to the swimming pool. Rest.


Q. Do you have to tell yourself on court to play aggressively on hardcourts, or is it coming more naturally to you now?

RAFAEL NADAL: I have to continue to play more aggressive, no? I ‑‑ I need start good the matches, like the match before against Mathieu, no? More aggressive, trying to go inside the court and trying to do the point with the forehand.

Because I am touching perfect the forehand. So sometimes I play like this with my forehand, so it's easy to understand I'm a little bit more behind. But right now I have to go inside because I am touching very good the ball with the forehand, and I have to do for this in the semifinals if I want to win. ( Didn't understand a word of this)

And for sure everybody tell me you have to play more aggressive in hardcourt. You have to serve better. I am trying. I am working very hard always. This is what I do in practice. When I say a lot, it's a lot.

Well, with my uncle ‑‑ well, sure, my uncle always repeat me the same: Go inside. Don't lose court. Don't go behind the line. I'm working very hard on this. (Can't say I'd notcied)


Q. So you think this would be a good season, or this season, for you to win an Open rather than Roland Garros in one of the other surface? If this season, 2008 will be the season where we see Rafael Nadal to win an Open than the Roland Garros one?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I am semifinals right now, no? I don't want to think about that, because winning Grand Slam is very difficult. In grass, in clay, everything difficult in Grand Slam. This year I gonna try my best, but the same like every year. Not like this year is the year.

Last year I try my best. This year I gonna try my best another time. If it's better. This year I start better than last year. If not this year, next year, next year, next year. I gonna try my best all the career for try to win Grand Slam outside of clay.


Q. A lot of your opponents are stepping into the court taking time away from you. Tsonga and Youzhny both have that game plan, as well. How are you going to try to overcome that?

RAFAEL NADAL: Can you repeat?


Q. Simon and even, say, Nieminen was stepping into the court, sort of taking time away from you. Tsonga and Youzhny can sort of play that similar sort of game. How are you going to overcome that? What are your thoughts?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, everybody can do it, because every player tries to go inside the court, try to play aggressive against me. (Cheaters!) Because the people knows if we play long point from the baseline, I have bit more chances. But the people try to go inside the court.

Youzhny is a difficult player for me to play against him. I lost some times against him. The final of Chennai doesn't count. It's not in my mind, this one, because I can't play, no?

But the last times, yes. He beat me in Dubai last year, in the US Open 2006. And I beat him, yeah, sometimes too. In Wimbledon, in Bercy at the end of the season.

So always it's a very tough match against him. He play very aggressive, he go inside the court and he's playing very well, no?

And Tsonga the same: Big serve, very aggressive player. Everybody can do it, no? The thing is try to play like this. I have to play aggressive if I want to win the semifinals, aggressive and good.


Q. This might be the first time that you've reached a semifinal at a Grand Slam, and you haven't played so many hours on court. Can you talk about that and whether that's a very good thing for you?

RAFAEL NADAL: Not about experience. It's better than usually. I always play a lot of time on court. This year, no one match more than two hours and a half, I think. So it's very good for me. That's a very good thing about my game, no?

Sure, I have little bit luck against Mathieu, but the rest of the matches is a good move. Play not more than two hours and a half. <------ a little bit of luck? Hoe JMP doesn't see this
RAFAEL NADAL: My body is perfect, no? (laughter) Physically speaking. Nothing perfect.

Oh, Rafa
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post #143 of 258 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 05:38 PM
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Re: Nadal reaches first ever Hard Court Slam Semi Final!! Painfully.

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Originally Posted by l_mac View Post
Presser



RAFAEL NADAL: My body is perfect, no? (laughter) Physically speaking. Nothing perfect.

Oh, Rafa
I hope he never perfects his English. I would SO miss these little gems.
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post #144 of 258 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 06:17 PM
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Re: Nadal reaches first ever Hard Court Slam Semi Final!! Painfully.

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Originally Posted by l_mac View Post
Presser



RAFAEL NADAL: My body is perfect, no? (laughter) Physically speaking. Nothing perfect.

Oh, Rafa
Now that's a good presser

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post #145 of 258 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 08:24 PM
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Re: Nadal reaches first ever Hard Court Slam Semi Final!! Painfully.

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Well looks like Nadal finally got over the quarterfinal hump. Well I suppose the AO ends for him here. I was very sure Youzhny would beat Tsonga but what happened!! Well Tsonga will have his revenge for the USO. As far as I can remember he wasn't too pleased with his loss then.
Wow...way to keep positive

Thank God the semi is shown overnight here so at least I'll get my disapointment over with early in the day
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post #146 of 258 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 09:22 PM
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Re: Nadal reaches first ever Hard Court Slam Semi Final!! Painfully.

I'm soooo happy he went through the 1/4,now serious things begin Tsonga has a lot of confidence,but Rafa is the favorite so he has no pressure for this match...i'm really positive!! VaMos!! The French media are doing their work ...puting pressure on their champion!Everybody's talking about Jo on the Tv,Newspaper,Radio etc...

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post #147 of 258 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 09:37 PM
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Re: Nadal reaches first ever Hard Court Slam Semi Final!! Painfully.

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Wow...way to keep positive

Thank God the semi is shown overnight here so at least I'll get my disapointment over with early in the day
Every unexpected win of Nadal's is a blessing for me. So my expectations start with him losing in the first round

“For life be, after all, only a waitin' for somethin' else than what we're doin'; and death be all that we can rightly depend on.” - Bram Stoker, Dracula
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post #148 of 258 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 09:53 PM
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Re: Nadal reaches first ever Hard Court Slam Semi Final!! Painfully.

It's been a great tournament, Rafa. See you in Dubai.
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post #149 of 258 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Nadal reaches first ever Hard Court Slam Semi Final!! Painfully.

Little video of Rafa's press conference today

http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/ver/251...php?cl=6040190
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post #150 of 258 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 10:41 PM
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Re: Nadal reaches first ever Hard Court Slam Semi Final!! Painfully.

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It's been a great tournament, Rafa. See you in Dubai.
Rotterdam...

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