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R. Nadal - 8 July
Sunday, 8 July, 2007


Roger Federer beat Rafael Nadal

7-6 (9-7), 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 2-6, 6-2

Q. What would you say made the difference in this match?


RAFAEL NADAL: Some points. Just have big chances in the fifth, 15 40. Especially, well, I wasn't feel I play worse than him from the baseline, no? Maybe if we have to find any difference, maybe the difference is the serve. He serve better than me, and that's important in every surface, but in this surface more, no?

Q. Federer says yesterday in the conference you are in the driver's seat when it comes to clay, and not on grass.


RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I play great tournament, no? I play very good level, playing against one of the best of the history in this surface, having two chances for a win I'm playing at a similar level. I can say nothing bad about my tournament. Well, today was a little bit disappointing because I have good chances. But happy, tomorrow I will be happy about my tournament and about my game.

Q. Being broken for 4 2 seemed to maybe just push your game down a bit. What were you feeling at that time?


RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, was tough for me, no, because I have two 15 40s in the fifth. One was big chance for have the break. I wasn't lose the serve till the second game of the match. I know if I have the break in the fifth I have very good chances for have the title, no? Well, he save some points with the serve. And later when he has to win, he has to break me, he play very good. So, well, just congratulate him. Good win for him.

Q. What about the knee, and the injury?


RAFAEL NADAL: Well, was not the best moment, no, because I was playing fine in the fourth for a while and I have to call to the trainer. But doesn't matter, no? Just right now is better, so doesn't matter. Don't worry about the knee. Thank you, but was fine.

Q. On one of the breakpoints in the fifth set, you had a backhand volley to the open court but you didn't hit it that hard. Was that the key shot?


RAFAEL NADAL: On my breakpoints? No, sure not. I remember all the breakpoints if you want.

Q. What was your best opportunity?


RAFAEL NADAL: My best opportunity was in the 30 40 of the first breakpoint, the first game when I have the breakpoint. I have good return. He come back. I touch very good close backhand, and, well, he return very good the ball and I miss the forehand for go to the other side, the winner forehand. That's best chance.

Q. Federer has won so many Grand Slams now that some people are saying he could become the greatest player of all time. How much would you agree with that?


RAFAEL NADAL: Well, the best player of the history have 14. He has 11. So he's very close. He's still playing unbelievable. Anyway, if he going to win 14 or 16 or 13, my opinion, the tennis level is the best of the history.

Q. Do you feel now that your rivalry with Roger has moved beyond questions of about preferred surface, and now there's only a few points separating you on any surface anywhere in the world?


RAFAEL NADAL: I said yesterday and this season, no, I am playing better. I am playing better than last year. I am better player than last year, sure. Maybe, well, compared with Roger right now is not possible yet because he has 11 Grand Slams, me three. But, well, I am young. I am improving every season and try continuing improving every day, practice with illusion. Well, today was tough for me, but at the same time, well, is good watch me playing one final like this against the best of the world on grass, playing at similar level. So, yeah, happy about my game and happy about my season right now. I have to continue.

Q. Today you looked very angry. Were you angry or just intense concentration?


RAFAEL NADAL: On the match?

Q. Yeah. No smile, no light, nothing.


RAFAEL NADAL: You watch me smile in the last matches when I am on court? And you watched me the other matches of the week?

Q. Yes. Is the same.


RAFAEL NADAL: The same? So is nothing different. Just concentrate.

Q. You seemed to be playing a lot closer to the baseline in this match. Was that conscious? Was this a change of strategy to try to get to the net faster?


RAFAEL NADAL: I tried to play as aggressive as possible. That's my strategy. Just try to play good. I was touching very good the ball yesterday in the practicing, afternoon, today morning. During the match I was playing fine, touching very good the ball. Just try to play hard with the forehand and with all shots.

Q. You must be very tired as well. What is your preparation now for the hard court season?

RAFAEL NADAL: Clay right now.

Q. You have America coming up.


RAFAEL NADAL: I come back to Stuttgart right now next week. Important tournament. I have now the best preparation is have some days off, recover the power. After Stuttgart I going to have some more days off, one week and a half for prepare Montréal, Cincinnati and US Open.

Q. Right after the handshake at the net, the way you were sitting in your chair, you seemed very, very disappointed. Were there things going through your mind? Were you just exhausted? Did you feel the match got away from you?


RAFAEL NADAL: Nothing special, no? I have good chances for winning very important tournament for me. And normal. I lose one hour before. I am a good loser. I accept the loss very well. And, well, the lose don't affect me more than some hours. After that I forgot and I am hundred percent fine. But, well, first moment, especially losing in fifth set, it's not easy, no?
 

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I look forward to Rafa in Stuttgart!:worship:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
He should be heading to the hardcourts- why is he playing on clay now?
It won't help his hardcourt preparation, but it will get him closer to #1. Put that in the bank.
 

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Hmm he sounds very down to earth and objective. He knows that despite he lost (which is tough) he gave a hard time to the very best player on grass - and he's just 21. If I was the rest of the ATP tour, I'd be afraid of the times ahead. :devil:

Maybe there's another domination similar to Fed 2004-2006 knocking at the door already...
 

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:hatoff: hats off to rafa! :hatoff:

:worship: a great champion knows how to lose indeed :worship:

better luck next year ;)
 

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Rafa played unbelievable well today. It was the most exciting slam final of the recent years. Congrats to both Rafa and Roger.
 

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This was it from Roddick. A real tear-jerker. :bigcry:


A.Roddick - 6 July
Friday, 6 July, 2007

Richard Gasquet (FRA)[12] def Andy Roddick (USA)[3] 4-6, 4-6, 7-6(7-2), 7-6 (7-3), 8-6
Q. How did that one get away from you?
ANDY RODDICK: Very carefully. :)

Q. Can you expand on that a little bit, talk about what happened in the match.
ANDY RODDICK: Not really. I mean, I played okay. I mean, you know, it's tough when you double your winners to unforced errors and lose. I thought I played pretty well. I thought he played very well.

Q. Don't you feel you played a little bit too much on his backhand, especially
going to the net?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, you know, if I can get someone running and hitting passing shots off their shoe tops, then I'm never going to sit here and say that's a bad play.
If it means approaching up the line or approaching cross court, there's something else to think about. How much trying to make him fit it in a tight spot on passing shots.
I don't know if it's as simple as hit to it forehand or hit it to the backhand.

Q. What has been your practice with Jimmy together after a loss? Does he typically look at a videotape of a match? Is there any breaking down, or do you just focus on what's ahead?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, you probably focus on what's ahead. You know, I don't know if I need a videotape to tell me what happened out there today. I had a pretty good view.

Q. How do you think he's going to do against Federer in the next round?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, considering it's 8:00 in the evening right now, Roger's played for an hour in the last week, I'm going to go out on a limb and say Roger's probably the fresher of the two.
You know, it was kind of an emotional up and down with the rain, with that match, with everything. I'm going to go out on the limb again and say he's probably fresher mentally, as well.
I don't know if that bodes well for Richard.

Q. Is this as hard a defeat to take as you've had recently?
ANDY RODDICK: Yes.

Q. He's been around the fringes. He's blown some opportunities. Everyone always said he has a great game but hasn't pulled it together. Do you feel a little bit like wrong place, wrong time for you?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I don't know about wrong place, wrong time. I had opportunities and I didn't take 'em. But, I mean, he definitely played to his potential or maybe even more so today.
Credit to him. I mean, I'm sitting here looking. He had 90 something winners and his errors were in the 20s. I'd probably take that most times.

Q. How does his backhand compare to the other great backhands you've faced?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, he's got to do it a little more often to go up there with the best backhands I've faced. I mean, this is his first semi.
I think the difference between him and the top guys is just doing it on a week to week basis. Maybe this is a jump start for him. Who knows.

Q. You said this is definitely the hardest or maybe as hard a loss as you've had. Can you elaborate on why. What were you feeling going in?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it's another lost opportunity at Wimbledon. I mean, I don't know if you really I don't know if I really need to spell it out for all of you. I'd love to make you try to understand what it feels like in the pit of your stomach right now, but I don't know if I can do that. I don't know if I'm articulate enough to really put that into words for you.

Q. Playing well the first two sets. Is there a point at all where the idea of playing a semifinal against Federer here enters your mind at all?
ANDY RODDICK: No.

Q. Are days like this the toughest part of being a professional athlete?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I'll probably wake up tomorrow with a better sense of perspective. I'm sitting here feeling pretty crappy right now. But I promise you I'm aware in the grand scheme of things I'm still pretty blessed and very lucky and very fortunate.
That being said, you know, when you put your blood, sweat and tears, everything you have into something, and you can almost taste it, you envision something and it doesn't work out, it's not easy.
But that's what makes you addicted to the competition, you know, is the feeling when you do win. That's what gets you back on the horse.
 
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