Federer-Nadal unlikely to meet in Rogers Cup final
Globe and Mail Update Published on Friday, Jul. 30, 2010 12:41AM EDT
After all these years Ė five to be exact Ė itís just a natural reflex to think that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will only play in the final of any tournament they enter.
In fact, from July 25, 2005, until the ATP rankings that came out last Monday, there have only been a total of 23 weeks when Federer and Nadal were not No. 1 and No. 2 or vice-versa.
Four of those weeks were last August/September when Nadal slipped to No. 3, and then there were another 15 weeks from February to May this year when he dropped to either No. 3 or No. 4.
Since his French Open triumph on June 6, Nadal has been firmly ensconced at No. 1 while Federer, following his quarter-final ouster at Wimbledon, has now dropped to No. 3 behind Nadal and Novak Djokovic for the past four weeks.
That may be significant for the Rogers Cup in Toronto, with main-draw action starting on August 9, because Nadal will be seeded No. 1 followed by Djokovic at No. 2, Federer at No. 3 and Andy Murray at No. 4. After the two top seeds are placed at the top and bottom of the draw, seeds No. 3 and No. 4 are drawn to determine who goes in the top half and who goes in the bottom half. That means thereís a 50-per-cent chance Federer will come out in the top half and potentially have to play Nadal in the semi-finals.
Over the past five years, Federer and Nadal have only entered four tournaments when they werenít the two top seeds. Those were the 2009 U.S. Open as well as Indian Wells, Miami and Rome this year. And only in Rome did Nadal, then No. 3, come out in Federerís half of the draw. It turned out not to be of little consequence because Federer, after a bye, was upset in the second round by Ernests Gulbis.
The fateful random placement of the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds for this yearís Rogers Cup will occur up the CN Tower in Toronto at 4 p.m. next Friday, with Nadal present for the official draw ceremony.
Both he and Federer will be playing their first tournament since Wimbledon and should be ready and eager, though maybe not quite at peak form because of a lack of tournament play.
They have never faced each other at the Rogers Cup in the five years when they have both been entered, and each of them have won the title twice Ė Federer in 2004 (Andy Roddick) and 2006 (Richard Gasquet) in Toronto, and Nadal in 2005 (Andre Agassi) in Montreal and 2008 (Nicolas Kiefer) in Toronto.
If they were both in the same half of the draw this year, and if form prevailed and they reached the semi-final, chances are it would be the featured semi-final in the evening on Saturday August 14.
Ideally, fans would probably prefer to see them in the championship match on Sunday the 15th, but an evening semi-final on Saturday would also have the added cachet of the electricity and sense of occasion that goes with tennis played under the lights, just like at the U.S. Open.
The Federer and Nadal head-to-head is a fairly lopsided 14-7 for Nadal, but on hard courts things get much more competitive. They are 3-3.
With Federer turning 29 on August 8, and with the Olympics in London on grass as a potential complicating factor for the Toronto event in the summer of 2012, this year could conceivably be the last opportunity fans will have to see a Federer-Nadal match-up in Toronto.
What's your MIT pick?
I'm going with win for now.
08-06-2010, 06:15 AM
Win , vamos :rocker2:
I really hate this "no freedom to pick" regime that it's inforced on me :sobbing:
08-06-2010, 07:30 AM
Haha, it would actually be better to see at least the first match and how Rafa's doing after the knee treatment and vacation and stuff before predicting anything. I should at least wait for the draw.
08-06-2010, 09:05 AM
Woot, has it really been a month since Wimbledon? Time's flown by! Anyway... I'll say semis.
08-06-2010, 01:17 PM
Nadal said he was not at 100% physically because of his knee so i don't understand why he plays double with Djok ?? Isn't single well enough ???
08-06-2010, 03:05 PM
In an effort to get back into groove after a long lay off post Wimbledon, top players Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have decided to play doubles at the first Masters series event of the summer hardcourt season in Toronto on Aug 7th 2010.
In the latest facebook entry of the tournament page, tournament director Karl Hale revealed the information regarding the unlikely Spanish-Serbian pair.
Both Nadal and Djokovic had contrasting results during the first half of the season where Nadal claimed two Grand Slams and three masters series crowns but Djokovic failed to win a title since his first and only triumph in Dubai this year where he successfully successfully defended the title.
In the singles competition, Scot Andy Murray will make an attempt to defend his crown which he claimed last year by defeating Juan Martin Del Potro in the marathon final.
Interestingly, the women's event follows the men's week but in Montreal where Elena Dementieva is the defending champion.
Thanks Minn for that lovely picture of Toronto. Such an amazing city! Hope Rafa does well here, but nothing is certain, with Nadal having had a mini-break from tennis, getting treatments on his knees and a vacation. Who knows where he stands, especially on hard court. But I do hope we see a well rested, 100 % fit Rafa. Sure, HC is his least favorite surface, but who knows, he won AO, so everything is possible. He has won HC tourneys before, so it's not impossible for Rafa to win, even though there are people who are bigger favorites for the title than Nadal. I still say VAMOS! Give them your all, Rafa!
08-06-2010, 08:48 PM
08-07-2010, 07:32 AM
SF for me, please :)
08-07-2010, 10:46 AM
:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
08-07-2010, 12:52 PM
08-07-2010, 02:35 PM
08-07-2010, 04:09 PM
Draw as posted on GM.
L. Mayer - Q
Q - Querrey
Cilic - Troicki
Tipsarevic - Kohlschreiber
Duclos - Q
OK, let's try SF after the long layoff. Hope for my fail though and Rafa's title. :lol: :tape: :bolt:
08-09-2010, 02:03 PM
I'll go and pick WIN :D
08-09-2010, 02:16 PM
I think he will atleast get to the SF, I think he will actually win it!
08-09-2010, 05:17 PM
FINAL please :D
08-10-2010, 04:32 AM
Rafa must be a more forgiving person than I am--I don't know how he could play Doubles with Nole :ras: I remember it wasn't all that long ago that all Nole did was make fun of Rafa. I don't know about this Tournament with Rafa's knee problems every Tournament can be very difficult to predict now. And since we are in Hard Court Season that will be even worse on Rafa's knees :sad:
08-10-2010, 04:35 AM
08-10-2010, 09:09 AM
08-10-2010, 09:43 AM
although mind says semis.
08-10-2010, 09:44 AM
If he wins, he should pull out of Cincy.
08-10-2010, 02:21 PM
Nadal and Djokovic lost in doubles to Canadians Vasek Pospisil and Milos Raonic. Hope Rafa does a lot better in singles.
08-11-2010, 09:31 AM
Rafa plays Wawrinka at 19:30 local time tonight. Bad scheduling for Europeans :(
08-11-2010, 11:30 AM
R3 for me... After such a break Rafa will loose to Querrey :(
Rusty Rafa starts slow but holds for 1 all. Stan served 1st.
Geez! Stan is serving lights out so far. 2 huge serves to erase a bp and get a game point. Game Wawrinka. Rafa's strokes aren't quite penetrating yet. His position at the baseline isn't terrible but I wish he'd stand in a little closer. Stan leads 2-1 on serve.
08-12-2010, 12:09 AM
Much better serving for Rafa this time around. He holds easily for 2 all.
08-12-2010, 12:15 AM
Stan serving 0-15, 15 all (goes behind Rafa), 15-30 (Rafito with a running fh volley to answer Stan's S&V attempt), 15-40 (vicious lefty inside-out crosscourt winner), 30-40, another explosive fh crosscourt and he breaks to lead 3-2.
08-12-2010, 12:22 AM
Rafa serving up a break, 3-2, 0-15, 15 all, 15-30, 30 all (delicate drop volley), 30-40 (unlucky netcord), broken back. Back on serve 3 all.
08-12-2010, 12:25 AM
Stan serving 3 all, 15-0, 30-0, Wawrinka out-acing Rafa 4-1, 40-0 ridiculous fh UE, ace. Game Stan. 4-3.
08-12-2010, 12:32 AM
Rafa serving 3-4, 15-0, 30-0, 30-15 arghh 13th UE, 30 all 14th, only 3 of 8 on the 2nd serve points won, 40-30, seals the game with a smash. A really nice exchange. 4 all. Rafa has not lost a single point at net.
08-12-2010, 12:32 AM
Veronique -- come join us spamming in the Rafachat. We'er all nice there. :)
08-12-2010, 12:38 AM
Stan serving 4 all, 15-0, 30-0, 40-0, 40-15, 40-30 another delicate volley at net, amazing exchange I forgot how many strokes but Rafito prevails,deuce, ad Stan, game Stan. He leads 5-4.
08-12-2010, 12:39 AM
Veronique -- come join us spamming in the Rafachat. We'er all nice there. :)
08-12-2010, 06:23 AM
08-12-2010, 07:31 AM
nice to see Rafa winning again :D
08-12-2010, 08:39 AM
Rogers Cup: Rafael Nadal Second-Round Press Conference
August 12, 2010
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. After such a long time without playing tennis, how difficult was it to find your rhythm today?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I was pretty happy, no? Less difficult than other times. So I happy the way that I played. Sure, I had the few mistakes in the tiebreak, one smash, one easy volley, backhand easy volley, yeah, one backhand in important moment. But in general, I think I played well, so is not always easy after stop. Play well the first match, and I beat against very tough opponent like Stanislas, no? So I very happy.
Q. What was your goal coming into the match? Were you trying to be more aggressive than normal or trying to play with more margin?
RAFAEL NADAL: My goal was to win. That was my goal today, no? When you come back after a few time without play tournaments, so is always difficult, so just try my best and try to find my rhythm there, no?
I know before the match going to be a very dangerous match against Wawrinka, so I was worry about the match before.
Sure, itís very important to start with victory, no? Because if you lose today, especially ?? first thing, is important tournament. Second thing, you wait another week to play another match, and for me, the important thing is keep playing matches. Thatís very good victory against big opponent.
Q. Was that first?set tiebreak as much fun for you as it was for us? Do you remember having a tiebreak like that at all?
RAFAEL NADAL: I played one here two years ago against Gasquet I think same, 14?12. I lost. So never is fun play tiebreaks like this because lots of pressure in every point, but if you win, gives you a lot of confidence. So always important win tiebreaks, so I think ?? I have a little bit of all, a little bit of everything today being the first match after a while without compete.
So I had difficult moments. I had moments that I played well. I played more aggressive in the second set on the return. So I did a little bit of everything, and thatís very positive.
Q. Did you have any doubts throughout the tiebreaker at all?
RAFAEL NADAL: If I haveÖ
Q. Did you have any doubts throughout the tiebreaker at all?
RAFAEL NADAL: Doubts?
Q. Through the difficult parts, yeah.
RAFAEL NADAL: In every point. (Laughter.)
Yeah, sure. Match was very close.
Q. Youíve complained in previous years coming into the US Open Series that your forehand was a little bit off to start on your first match. Do you feel that thatís something that you really want to improve going forward throughout the week, and if so, what do you need to do to get it to where you want it to be?
RAFAEL NADAL: (Through translation.) I donít remember these things, but my forehand is my best shot. So if I not happy with my forehand, I have a big problem. (Laughter.)
Q. In previous years when youíve arrived at this time of the season, itís often been quite difficult for you because youíve had so many matches and youíve been quite tired. How do you feel now compared to previous years? Do you feel fresher?
RAFAEL NADAL: I donít know. I donít know. I feel good, so I came here with big motivation and for sure big illusion to play my best level, my best tennis. Here gonna be a challenge for me because the first tournament, but every day improves a little bit, and finish play my best level as soon as I can.
For me, for sure, this American hardcourt season is very important. I think I am fine. I gonna be fine, I hope, physically. But mentally Iím sure I gonna be fine.
Q. Has there ever been a year at the US Open where you didnít feel like your physical condition was a reason for your loss? And what are you doing this year to make sure that doesnít happen?
RAFAEL NADAL: (Through translation.)
Q. Like part of the reason for the loss at the
US Open. Has there ever been a year where you felt like your physical condition wasnít a reason for your loss?
RAFAEL NADAL: (Through translation.) Yes. I lost in 2008 being perfect physically in semifinals, being perfect physically in semifinals against Andy Murray, so I was tired, but physically I was perfect. I was tired mentally. I lost, and he played better than me.
So 2006 I was perfect physically, and I lost against Youzhny quarterfinals. 2005 I lost against Blake in third round. I was perfect physically.
I had a few problems in 2007 with my knees, with my left knee, I think. And in 2009 I have abdominal broke. So I broke my abdominal here ?? well, in Montreal last year. So I played Cincinnati and US Open with a tear on abdominal and bigger and bigger every time.
Q. After you won the first set, Stanís coach said that if Stan plays the way he did in that set it speaks well for the future of his career. Youíve beat him many times. Is this some of the best tennis youíve seen from him?
RAFAEL NADAL: He played well. Heís a very good player. He always was a very good player, I think. He was in the top 10, so I know Stan can play at this level, and itís not a surprise.
So I think he has enough potential to be in the top another time, and for me itís not a surprise watch Wawrinka beating me or beating top players. I think heís a top player.
Q. Your doubles experience with Novak only lasted one match. How did you find the Canadian pair that you played? And will you and Novak team up again in the future?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, well, it was very positive, no? I think play with Novak was a good experience. Sure, we would love to have the chance to win, but Canadians played very well, good serve, very good movements on the net.
We had our chances, but they played better. But maybe in the future, yeah, why not? Why not we can play another time?
I donít play a lot of doubles, thatís true, but I love to play doubles. I donít play a lot because I had a few problems physically, physical problems in the past, no? But I love doubles and I love play doubles because I think is a very positive thing to improve your tennis.
08-12-2010, 08:54 AM
Thanks for posting the itw transcript. Rafa being rusty could be expected. Let's hope he'll improve with every match now.
Rafa has a night match again.
Not Before 7:30 PM
Rafael NADAL (ESP) vs Kevin ANDERSON (RSA)
(I've been there but not since I was a teenager. It was a fun place then.)
Nadal makes no promises before Cincinnati start
CINCINNATI, Ohio (AFP) – Two-time semi-finalist Rafael Nadal won't make promises about his progress at this edition of the ATP Cincinnait Masters after squeezing in a pair of practice sessions.
The Spanish world number one maintained his standard low-attitude heading into the last bit even before th August 30 start of the US Open.
Nadal refuses to look farther ahead than American qualifier Taylor Dent, his second-round opponent.
"The competition starts tomorrow. I only had the chance to play a few games today in the morning," said Nadal, who lost at Cincinnati in the semi-finals to Serbia's Novak Djokovic the past two years.
Reigning French Open and Wimbledon champion Nadal lost to Britain's Andy Murray in the Toronto Masters semi-finals last week and was unhappy with his serve.
"Things will change," Nadal vowed. "The serve will be very important. I must serve much better if I really want to have any chance to be in the tournament. That's what I'm working on."
Nadal said conditions between the two hardcourt Masters events could not be more of a contrast.
"The court is completely different. It's very fast here, much faster than Toronto," Nadal said. "It's not easy to adapt to this court after the semi-finals or final in Toronto. But for sure I am here to try my best."
You have about three hours to make your MIT pick if you haven't already.
08-18-2010, 03:34 PM
How far will Rafa go in Cincinnati? (1000 points :dance:)
1st - Bye
QF - Metis, rafa_maniac
SF - Betty, born_on_clay, -Evita-, Foxy, Minn
F - nashty, shawshank, tennizen
W - acionescu, Luinir, MariaV, Snoo Foo
08-19-2010, 08:38 AM
Rafa is playing after Gulbis vs Murray today.
Not Before 12:00 PM
Ernests GULBIS (LAT) vs Andy MURRAY (GBR)
Rafael NADAL (ESP) vs Julien BENNETEAU (FRA)
And as I'm nice I'll post the pre-tournament presser for you too. :angel:
August 17, 2010
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You actually have won more matches in your career on hardcourt than you have on clay. You haven't yet won the US Open. What is it gonna take for you to break through there?
RAFAEL NADAL: That's really normal. I play 60% or 70% of the matches on hard over here, no, so that's normal. Well, I gonna try my best in the US Open, but I am in Cincinnati now, so I am focused on Cincinnati.
Q. The US Open obviously is the only major you don't have. With all due respect to SeŮor Roig, I was wondering why your Uncle Toni doesn't come to these tournaments?
RAFAEL NADAL: That doesn't matter if my uncle came to these tournaments or not to prepare the US Open. But first thing, I don't play this tournament to prepare the US Open; I play these tournaments because these tournaments are very important for me. (Smiling.) :angel: :tape:
Q. You're known as a very sort of superstitious player on a lot of things. I notice that you're wearing pink again in Canada and probably again here. When you were wearing pink last was at the French Open in '09 when you lost to Soderling there. Do you think about that at all?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am not superstition on these things. :speakles: :tape:
RAFAEL NADAL: For sure not. You if you play well, you win; if you play bad, you lose. That's all history in general. This boy is soooooooooo wise beyond his years. :haha:
Q. What was the bigger story: you winning Wimbledon either time or Spain winning the World Cup in Spain? :spit:
RAFAEL NADAL: That's no doubt. You know, winning Spain World Cup, for sure that was amazing for everybody. The football is the king sport of Spain, and for me, and I think for everybody, it was just amazing live this experience, no?
You know, for so many years we deserve to win there because of our tradition with all sport in general, but especially football it's unbelievable. Finally we did, so it was, yeah, all the country was on the street. :D :D
Q. Can you talk a little bit about your decision on why you decided to change to the strings that you're using now?
RAFAEL NADAL: The string?
Q. Yeah. Did you change the strings for more spin or...
RAFAEL NADAL: I changed before the year, yeah.
Q. Right. But was there something in your game that was lacking that you decided...
RAFAEL NADAL: No. Nobody told me it was better. I tried, I like it, I change. (Laughter.)
Q. How did it change your game?
RAFAEL NADAL: The string?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I don't think so. Nothing.
Q. How is your practice the last couple days working on the backhand and serve that you wanted to do after Toronto?
RAFAEL NADAL: One day.
Q. Only one day?
RAFAEL NADAL: Just yesterday and today a little bit. I gonna practice a little bit more this afternoon after, when I finish with you, and that's it.
No, it was good. The court is completely different. It's very fast here. Much faster than Toronto, it's not easy to adapt to this court when you arrived to semifinals or final in Toronto.
For sure I am here to try my best.
Q. Is the ball jumping more?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, stays lower, and, yeah, it's faster. Much faster.
Q. Does it feel different being No. 1 this time than it did being No. 1 last time, two years ago?
RAFAEL NADAL: Doesn't make any difference. Doesn't for me. Finish No. 1 in the end of the year, that's something that I would love to do it. But right now I don't think if I am No. 1 or I am No. 5. So I am Rafa, and I go to every tournament to try to play well and to try to be competitive and win as many matches as I can.
For me, important thing is that I feel that I play well, feel that I am competitive to try to win everybody. And when we finish the season, we will see where I gonna be, no?
Sure, was -- no good for me was more important to come back to my best tennis and to win in Monte-Carlo, Rome, Madrid, Roland Garros and Wimbledon than be No. 1. So that's most important thing for me. :angel: :worship:
Q. You set a record earlier this year for most career Masters Series titles, and people talk about the US Open being the only slam you haven't won. You're close to having won almost every Masters Series tournament at least once, too, which would be a pretty tremendous accomplishment. Cincinnati is one of the ones you have not won yet. Does that give you extra motivation to win here to try to complete that set?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, it's difficult to -- I think it's almost impossible have all the Masters 1000, no, because that's change. Grand Slam didn't change, but that's change, no?
For example, I won in Madrid indoor, and right now is Shanghai; I won in Hamburg, and right now it's clay, Madrid. That's true, I won in Madrid now on clay, too, no? But too much coincidences to win all nine.
So it's nothing that I really focus on, no? I try my best, and I would love to win here in Cincinnati. But I am in first round, and conditions and opponents gonna be very difficult.
Q. What specific changes do you need to make to your game to move from Toronto, a slower court, to a faster court here?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. We will see. The competition start tomorrow. I only had the chance to play a few games today in the morning with Sam, so that's my first feeling. Because yesterday I practiced specific things with my coach.
We will see. I don't know. Sure, gonna be change. Gonna be very important the serve that didn't work me very well the last week in semifinals. I didn't serve well in that match for sure, so I have to serve much better if I really want to have any chance to be in the tournament competing for something.
So I am working on...
Q. You and Novak plan on playing doubles again in the future?
RAFAEL NADAL: Why not? Yeah, if we have the chance. I have a very good relationship with him. If we find the right week, why not? :D
Q. Do you think that if the US Open was at the start of the year rather than at the end of the year that you would have won it by now? Is the timing of the tournament part of the reason why you've yet to win it, given all your efforts to do what you do throughout the year getting to this stage of the season?
RAFAEL NADAL: I didn't understand nothing. (Laughter.) (Through translation.)
I don't know. I really don't know. That's is impossible to know. The thing that I can say is little bit easier for me, no, because I lose a lot of energy with the clay season and grass court season. That's true, no? It's a lot matches for me, a lot of tension in that three months, so was -- it's a very important part of season for me, and I put everything there. And after that, it's normal go down. Since everything is very good like it was this year, it's normal go a little bit down.
But I am perfect mentally. I say if I didn't win the US Open, it's because I wasn't ready to win the US Open in the past. I don't know if I gonna be ready this year or in the future. That's what I gonna work, and that's what I gonna try every year.
So I am focus on keep improving my tennis to have more options to do and to have more options to do when the matches are difficult in that tournament. But I gonna do all what I can all my career. But remember, is a Grand Slam, and every Grand Slams is very difficult.
Q. So you don't think it's a physical thing?
RAFAEL NADAL: Was a physical thing a few years; another years wasn't a physical thing. 2005 I was perfect physically. That's true. I was worse playing on this surface in 2005 than what I am today.
2006, I still was worse than what I am today on this surface, but I lost in quarterfinals because Youzhny played better than me. In 2005 I lost against Blake in third round because he played better than me, and that's all.
In 2002 and 2007 I had problems on the knees, and I lost against David Ferrer in fourth round.
In 2008 I arrived perfect physically but destroyed mentally winning in Roland Garros, Wimbledon, Toronto, Olympics. So it was crazy for me. Very hard season.
And last year was another time. I broked my abdominal in Montreal, so I played here with a little bit broken abdominal. But every match was bigger and bigger -- (through translation) the tear, the abdominal tear was bigger.
I finished the US Open destroyed, so for me it was amazing result being in semifinal last year.
Q. So this year you go there in a good position to win? That's an interesting list, but this year how did you arrive if August?
RAFAEL NADAL: We will see what happened there, no? Every year is different. You can be playing very well here and you can arrive there and lose. You can be playing bad here and arrive there and start the tournament slow, better and better every day, and you can finish playing your best tennis and win.
You never know. This year I start Roland Garros for me playing terrible, and finally I played very well the final and semifinals and finally I win, no? You can do it everything perfect, and not for that reason you gonna win or you gonna be playing well in that moment. So that sometimes is the...
Q. Physically now you're 100?
RAFAEL NADAL: Physically I'm perfect. Give me two weeks to broke everything. (Laughter.)
But I don't think that's gonna happen. I think I am fine. I am fine physically. Hopefully doesn't gonna happen.
Q. Is there anything specific you're working on this week other than your serve that will get you in a better position to do well, not only here, but also at the US Open? Any area of focus?
RAFAEL NADAL: You know, I gonna try to have the best result as I can here. After that, I gonna have one week in New York to adapt to the court, to adapt to the balls, and to prepare US Open.
The conditions here to the US Open are completely different. The ball is different; the court is completely different; the weather is different, too. So all these many different things makes the tournament another sport. So, yeah, it's difficult to compare. That's true.
If you win here, for sure the confidence is higher and you can arrive there and play a little bit easier. But 2008 I was playing better than ever winning in Olympics in not very different conditions, the same ball, and I arrived there and I played very bad.
I lost in semifinals, but seriously I was playing bad.
Thanks, Maria. I took a quick look for the presser after the Dent match and couldn't find it.
08-19-2010, 01:46 PM
Thanks, Maria. I took a quick look for the presser after the Dent match and couldn't find it.
Oh, I looked earlier too and it wasn't up yet. :( :rolleyes: Still isn't but the day over there is only beginning so...
Only a short video on the ATP site.
08-20-2010, 05:29 AM
what a disgraceful match.
rafa will get slaughtered by federer in the semi.
i hope he tanks to baggy.
08-20-2010, 07:39 AM
Oh that match just killed me!!!! :help: :help: That was horrible, horrible, Benneteau's cramping just save him barely. he could've lost the TB and the match in 2 sets. His serving is still off and those UEs. I have no expectations for the USO whatsoever. At least he has defended his points from last year pretty much so it's OK. He can lose to Baghdatis. :D Btw they have the night match tonight. :( :(
Not Before 7:00 PM
Rafael NADAL (ESP) vs Marcos BAGHDATIS (CYP)
08-20-2010, 08:02 AM
And just for the lazy ones the presser after the match vs Dent. ;)
August 18, 2010
R. NADAL/T. Dent
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. What was will key difference between the first and second sets today? Looked almost like two different matches.
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I don't think was two different matches, no? The beginning I think he had a lot of mistakes. When I put the ball inside, he had too many unforced errors.
And in the second, yeah, you know, it happens when I play against big server like Taylor. The match was close, and I was waiting to have my chance, but you are out of the rhythm a from the baseline, no, because he's not giving to you the long point, and it's difficult to have the touch of the -- the feeling of ball, no?
So he played a good game, one winner after a good close return. And, yeah, that's what happened. He break me, and I was a little bit lucky after that to have the break with one net. That's help me, so one mistake from him.
So, yeah, was close second set. After, I came back to break. But anyway, I think I had more chances than him in the second, too. I was break down, but I had a breakpoint in the first game on the second, I think. So it's true. Was closer the second, but I still think I deserved to win the second. :o
Q. The speed of the courts here compared to Toronto, a lot players have been saying they've been playing a lot faster. This was your first match here in Cincinnati. Can you elaborate on the differences between two big hardcourt tournaments back to back, but yet different speeds?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, that's something in the future the tournaments can work to make the courts more...
RAFAEL NADAL: The same, no? Make the courts similar, more similar between Toronto and here or between Montreal and here, no? Because, you know, for us it's difficult to adapt, especially if you only have one or two days. When you arrive semifinals or finals, it's not easy to adapt, especially in the beginning.
So it's big change. This first match always is very dangerous.
Q. When you're in a match, what are some things that you say either to yourself or to the crowd or the with the fist pumps? What do you do to get through a match, to either stay in it or get through it?
RAFAEL NADAL: (Through translation.) Nothing. I don't know. I think my point, so...
No, I was there fighting every point and try my best. I don't say nothing to me. (Smiling.)
Q. Your return points, you did very well on the return. The first serve in the 30%, and the second serve in the mid-60s winning percentage when he was serving. Speak about that, about your return today. I think it was improved.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, not easy to return his second serve. For sure the first is more difficult, no?
But the second serve is fast, too. It's coming with spins, different slice, kick. So wasn't easy to return. I know I can't go back two or three meters behind the baseline, because the court is faster here and then I didn't have the chance -- if he had a good serve and volley with second serve, I didn't have the chance to pass him if I go three meters behind.
So I try to return inside the court the second serve, and I think I did okay. I did well, so I'm happy with that.
Q. When you're playing such a big server like Taylor, what adjustments do you make in your return game? You broke him four times today, and you were only broken yourself once.
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I just try to wait my moment, be patient a little bit. And after, is important -- you don't gonna have a lot of opportunities, so when he miss the first serve, it's important that he feels the pressure. He feels that if he miss the first serve, he gonna have big chance to lose the point.
So that's the only thing you can do.
Q. Do you stand further behind the baseline?
RAFAEL NADAL: Depends of the court. If I have to return this second serve on clay, I gonna go three meters behind and play a long shot and we gonna have the point. Or if he do serve and volley with the second, I gonna have much time to try to have the passing shot.
I played against him in Miami and the court was slow. I can change a little bit, I can return inside few times, and be behind the baseline another times.
But here with this court, it's faster, the first day without rhythm, it was difficult for me go back three meters and try to be inside for the ball. It's not an easy position for him.
Q. Going back to the previous question about the speed of the court from Toronto and here, which of these two is more comparable to New York?
RAFAEL NADAL: All different, because the ball is a big difference. You know, the ball here is Penn and is the Wilson at US Open. So it's very different, the ball. But is a mixed between both, I think. I think it's slower than here for sure, but at the same time it's a little bit faster than Toronto. The bounce is not that high than Toronto.
So I will love to have that ball in US Open.
Q. A what's your inspiration to do your best, give your best when you're out on the court?
RAFAEL NADAL: No one. I just focus on the match. My motivation is keep improving my tennis, enjoy to play, because I am, I think, very lucky guy to be here for the eighth year on the tour. So it's long time. Still 24, so that's unbelievable for me.
I did more than what I thought seven, six years ago, so I feel very happy. My motivation is just keep improving, and I think just not only when I am on the court, when I gonna practice. That's my motivation. Be better player year by year. :angel:
Q. When you have some free time during a tournament, what are some things you look to do off-court visiting cities?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, here I don't visit nothing, no? It's a little bit far the city, so I stay at the hotel or I gonna play golf before.
Q. If you're in another city, some of the other ones...
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, well, next week for example in New York, yes, I walk around a little bit in the city. I go for the musicals sometimes, to watch musicals. But that's before the tournament.
When you start the tournament -- the day of, yes, maybe you have the afternoon to do a few things. But it's difficult because you practice and everything is -- you don't have a lot of time. When you come back from a practice or if you play a long match the last day, you want to relax a little bit.
In this case, next week I gonna have one week there before the tournament. For sure I gonna do different things.
Q. There's nobody playing on the circuit today that was even born the last time there was no American ranked in the top 10. Is that bad for the overall health of tennis, not to have an American in the top 10?
RAFAEL NADAL: (Through translation.) The ranking is the ranking. Looks a little bit strange, but Roddick gonna have big chance to finish the year top 10, I think. I think he gonna do it.
Sam Querrey and John Isner are potentially Top 10s if they keep improving, I think, no? So it's bad for the tennis? Well, always the same. Tennis is a global sport around the world, so I think doesn't change a lot if the Americans are 8 or are 11.
I think that doesn't make a big difference.
Q. Do we need an American to be among the top players then, maybe the top 3 or 4? Like when you were growing up there was Agassi and Sampras, and we don't have that now.
RAFAEL NADAL: That's very difficult to have that always. Now other players, you know; it's not only in America that you play tennis. Tennis players in all the world.
America is a big country, yes, very important country for the tennis, but...
Q. I just wonder if you worry about losing the casual tennis fan, not the hard-core tennis fan.
RAFAEL NADAL: (Through translation.) I repeat. I think, for example, Roddick don't need to be top 10 to be very famous or to be very popular around the world. Because he did a lot for the tennis and did a lot on the tour the last ten years.
So I think, I repeat, you know, if next year I gonna be -- if I am No. 12, do you think it change a lot? No. The thing is if you are ready to win tournaments. You know, when I start and when I was 18 years old, 20 years old, for me was very important for me the ranking, because you start and you want to be in the top.
For me, still important, no? But the more important thing is be ready to try to win titles. And if Andy, for example, is ready to win these titles, I think for him is not the most important thing the ranking, because he was in the top 8 for ten years.
Q. Your next match is against Benneteau, and you haven't played him in five years. Talk about his game, what have to do well, and the challenges of playing someone you haven't played in a long time.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I don't remember. But anyway, I know him; he know me. I think gonna be a very difficult match. He's playing well, beating Wawrinka and beating Llodra in the first round. So I think gonna be a very difficult match.
I gonna try to play my best tennis. Only like this I gonna have chances. I have to be aggressive and try to have control of the point. That's it.
End of FastScripts
Wasn't your best tennis, no? :o And not aggressive either. :o
what a disgraceful match.
rafa will get slaughtered by federer in the semi.
i hope he tanks to baggy.
you are too mean to poor rafa :mad:
08-20-2010, 06:40 PM
Here the presser after the horror-match vs Benneteau. :o
August 19, 2010
R. NADAL/J. Benneteau
5-7, 7-6, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. What happened in the third set where you broke him three times? Was he doing anything different? Seemed lie it was easier to break him in the third set.
RAFAEL NADAL: In the third? Well, he was I think destroyed physically. Yeah, he was very tired. Yeah, with the serve he slow down a lot his power. So was I think was more physical than another thing.
Q. Julien said that the key to his success in the first two sets is his return. Sometimes even to your first serve. Do you feel so? Do you try to adjust?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think he played great; he played very good tennis. Especially in the beginning I wasn't play bad. I was playing sure not perfect, but well. He was playing really well, very aggressive, very good shots from his backhand, even if he arrive in not very good position.
So, yeah, his serve works very well. So was a very difficult match, I think.
Q. When you were younger, did you practice a lot on faster surfaces, maybe more so than maybe your peers? :scratch:
RAFAEL NADAL: For me it's not a very big problem playing fast are surfaces, no?
(From translation.) No, I practiced more on little bit slower courts.
Q. It seems that you brought at least the best point down - the match point at the very end of the tiebreak, seemed like you really started to get the intensity, the focus, and the hitting was also at the best. What do you think about that?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, well, for me the match was good, especially in the first set. In the 5-All, I played a terrible game, few mistakes with the forehand. But at this point, the ten first games of the match for me was very good level from both of us. So after that the match was a little bit more up and down. I had terrible game in that moment. In the 6-5 I had very good chance to break back.
And in the beginning of the second, I did a disaster, because I was 2-0 with break. He give my his game because he did three double faults, and I played another time very bad next three games.
So I was 3-2 down with a break for him, so I was at the limit in that point, yeah. (Smiling.) I was very close to lose in that moment. I was lucky I played a few good points; he had few mistakes; I came back.
But the tiebreak, I didn't play bad in the tiebreak. I played well. I think he played well, too, with two very important aces for him, 5-4. I hit a very bad forehand with the 5-3 to go to 6-3 and was the set and almost the match, but I missed that shot to the net.
After, he played two aces, and after I played very good. The match point I played two very good forehands, and in the 6-All I play very good serve and forehand winner.
Q. Do you think that moment though that your game maybe turned right there?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. No, I think my game was on and off for moments. No, no. I think the forehand worked very well for a moments, and for a moment I had two mistakes in a row. So that's my serve. I am happy.
I lost my serve few times, but I think the movements I felt much better today than the rest of the days on the movement, more comfortable with the my serve. :o :help: :tape:
The only thing the backhand.
Q. You have a really dominating record against Marcos. You've never lost to him in six previous matches. Why do you think your game matches up so well with him?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. I don't know. We had very tough matches in this the past, too. Sometimes win or lose depends on a few things. It's not depends on a game, sometimes depends on few points.
Q. Do you think there's anything that have to do specifically well against him tomorrow?
RAFAEL NADAL: I didn't see him playing, but to beat against Berdych he must be playing really well. I have to play aggressive, I have to serve well, and return better than today, because today my return was, no comments.
And that's it. Just wait that he doesn't have his inspiration there, and just try to play my best tennis.
Q. Quite a few players have pulled out of games or have not been able to finish games or are getting blisters or hurt or are complaining about being tired. What do you think is going on? Is particularly difficult here, or it's just coming after one week's action?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, the hot here is important. It's not easy to play here. Yeah, the season is long.
Q. How are you feeling yourself going through three sets?
RAFAEL NADAL: I feel good. Physically it's no problem. :tape: Suprised he didn't say he feels/is prefect again. :o
Q. You mentioned that you're gonna have to be a little bit more aggressive against Baghdatis. Do you feel that...
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I didn't say that. I said I have to play, no more aggressive. I think I played aggressive, but the ball sometimes wasn't inside the court when aggressive I played. :o :lol:
Q. I guess what I meant to say is do you feel you played aggressive enough? Or looking back maybe in the first couple sets, do you think you wanted to play more aggressive but necessarily you didn't?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, the thing is not to play more aggressive. I played aggressive. The thing is I don't have to slice my backhand like I am doing. Seems I am a little bit afraid to hit the ball with the backhand. The feeling I know is not the best for me now with the backhand.
But anyway, I have to hit if I really want to have chances to keep winning. It's gonna be impossible keep winning here, and for sure for the US Open gonna be impossible. I have to do it, and I gonna do it. I am sure.
The court here doesn't help me for get the right feeling to do this, because I don't have a lot of time and the bounces is low. But I have a good backhand. Not now, but I gonna do it. I am sure.
Q. Fans are really hoping to see a Rafa/Roger semifinal. Do you miss playing Roger? You've only played him three times in the last two years. :o
RAFAEL NADAL: That's a lot. (Smiling.) I don't know. No, I don't miss play against Roger, no? For sure always is a pleasure play against him, especially because if we play each other always we play for very important things.
So always was a pleasure play against him, but I am not thinking about play against him. I'm thinking play against Baghdatis now. :angel: as always
Q. Coming back to Julien Benneteau, he's only 32 in the ranking. Were you surprised by his level of play today?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I think he improved a lot his level last couple of years. He keep improving every year. And for sure if he playing like this, he gonna have good chances to keep improving on the ranking. His level is high.
The thing is play at this level a lot of times. You know, to be in the top of the ranking and to be top 20 or something like this, the players that are in that position is because they can play good a lot of times.
So for sure Julien can play at very good level. You can see. I am sure if he continues like this, gonna have very good chance to be higher in the ranking, no? Thing is play like this a lot of times.
Q. More than 40 unforced errors. Was that the key?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, no. No, because the key of the match -- the matches are a lot of points, but few points are the key of the match, no? I think I did the more difficult thing, is change the dynamic of the match because I wasn't play well.
But I came back well. I started to play a little better with my backhand. That was very important, very positive thing for me. I started to serve a little bit better. I was in a good position in the end, no?
Yeah, it's true I had unforced errors. But, yeah, the thing, or the positive thing, is I finish the tournament better than I started. That's what is positive. :o :o
Another thing is in important moments when I had all in my favor I came back after difficult situation, set and break down, and I had all in my favor in the third, no? 4-All, Love-30, playing few good points. I missed two returns, two second serve returns. That was the key of the match, no?
After that he played well. I think his serve was very good today. Just congratulate him. He's very good person, and it's very positive for our sport. I am happy for him. He had injuries and he came back, and now he's playing well another time. :D :D :D
Q. Was his serve a lot better than you were expecting? You only got seven points off his first serve all night. That's kind of low for you.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, that's very few points. But he served really well, that's true. A lot of very good first serves, and close to the lines. So yeah, it's not easy to return.
But I repeat: I was in the right position at the right moment 4-All, Love-30, two second serves. So I had the match there.
Q. Were you a little disappointed by your net cord play? Looked look you didn't finish some points at the net on a short ball, for instance.
RAFAEL NADAL: No, that was unlucky I think. At the 4-All I was a little bit unlucky in that situation, because I was playing - 30-15 - I was playing well during all the game, and two balls was there in difficult position for me behind the baseline, behind the net.
I had to go to the net. I didn't have another chance on this ball, no? First one I thought he was waiting for me a lot of times to his backhand. I thought I gonna change, and he had a very good passing shot winner.
And the next one I played a good forehand to his backhand, and he had a good defensive, a little bit lucky, because the ball was very low in that moment. I didn't another option to do that and repeat the shot to his forehand and go to the net, and he hit another good passing shot.
So nothing to do in that moment. After the double fault was (indiscernible). But that's it. After he served well last game. Nothing to do.
Q. So today it was a mental problem you think?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. Not only a mental problem, no? My game can improve, that's for sure. Must improve if I really want to have chances to have some opportunity in two weeks or in one week in New York.
So I have one week to keep working, keep practicing hard, and that's what I gonna try: to keep improving my confidence with the backhand. And the serve I think I am in the right way, but I need to keep working. I gonna have a good chance to work.
And the forehand, I am playing well with the forehand, but I am having too much unforced errors for the moment. But the feeling with the forehand is good. I need to be a little bit more consistent. That's the only thing, no?
So forehand maybe is not the problem, but the backhand, yes. So I have to improve. The positive thing today I started to hit the ball with the backhand, no, not to play with the slice all the time. I finished the match playing much better with the backhand than I started, no?
So that's positive. But that's what I had to do yesterday. I didn't try yesterday, so... yeah, probably that reasons I played bad the important moments today.
Q. The forehand errors you talked about, was that more as a result of just playing aggressively?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sometimes. I think I have to play aggressive, but sometimes I am playing too aggressive with the forehand, no, trying to have more winners too fast. So that's another thing that keep improving. But maybe it's because I wanted to protect the backhand, no?
But I think if my backhand improve all my game's improve, because my movement's gonna improve a lot because I didn't have to cover the backhand with the forehand. So I gonna cover better the position on the court.
I can serve with more calm the first serve, because if I miss the serve and he has a return, for me it's no problem to play with the backhand. But right now, when he had a good return to the backhand, I started all the time the point in the very bad position. So I think the backhand change all my game, because I had to make too much adjust to save that shot.
But I am happy I finished, because I started to play with the backhand with more confidence, no? So that's positive for me.
Q. You are going to train with Toni very soon?
RAFAEL NADAL: I gonna keep practicing. I am gonna have now I think two days off. Remain one week, and I don't need I think to practice all the days. Maybe I gonna have a few days off.
After I gonna practice three days with Francis in New York, and Toni arrive on Wednesday, no? But I repeat: Doesn't make the difference if Toni's here or not. The thing that make the difference is myself. Always is the same. When I win, I win. Sure, I had the support of all my team. But when I lose, it's my fault. And when I win, it's mine also.
So I think in the end, the player is -- if the player wants to do it, the player can do it with any coach, no? So for me, I repeat, the important work for the coach, the biggest work is when you are a kid. So that's the more important work for the coach, no?
Today, you know what you have to do. The coach can help you in few things for moments, but doesn't change a lot.
Q. Do you think the matches that you had in Toronto and Cincinnati are enough preparation to go into the US Open feeling comfortable?
RAFAEL NADAL: I hope so. (Smiling.) What I can say? I don't know. I don't know. We will see in two weeks the result in New York.