J. TSONGA/R. Nadal 64, 06, 75
An interview with:RAFAEL NADAL
Q. It seemed from the second set to the middle of the third that you had found a good rhythm against him, maybe were more solid than him. Why do you think you lost this one?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think I played a bad first six games of the match at the beginning. First six games he had too many times the advantage on the point. He was in better positions than me. That’s why was tough for me, that first set.
After the 4 2, I played well. I stayed there all the time. I played a great second set. I think I played a good third set.
But he serve amazing. His serve in the third set was very difficult to stop. So very high percentage of all the serves. Over 205, 210, 215. So good the way he played the third, especially with the serve. After the serve, serving like this, everything is a little bit easier, no?
I was there. I fighted until the end. As I said before, I am happy the way that I played most of the matches here and in Beijing. Playing against these kind of players that they serve so good, I played against Karlovic, Raonic, now against Tsonga, so was not the ideal draw to play in a quick court like this one.
But I did well and I was there close to be in the final again. So happy for that. At the same time not happy because was an opportunity for me to be in another final. Will be important for me to be in that final, to have lot of points, that going to work well for the whole year of all next year.
But anyway, the most important thing are feelings. The feelings are good, much better. Looking well, looking that I am playing at high level again, looking that I am not having up and downs always I did before. I’m playing more solid. So important for that, no?
I lost the serve only, I believe, three times in the whole tournament. I lost two today, one against Karlovic, so three serves during the whole tournament. That’s not much, no? That says that I was playing well, I was playing with the right decision, and that’s it.
I lost against a player who played very well. Congratulate him. He was a little bit better than me, not much but little bit, and that’s why he is in the final.
Q. What is your next plan of the season?
RAFAEL NADAL: The next tournament?
Q. Of this season, yes.
RAFAEL NADAL: I believe you tell me about the next tournament, no?
I going to play in Basel next in one week.
Q. In the third set it really looked like the match could go either way. You looked really disappointed when you got broken at 6 5. Were you disappointed at the moment?
RAFAEL NADAL: What do you think?
Q. Yes, yes.
RAFAEL NADAL: Very well for 30 seconds. I started the next game fighting again, having 15 30, playing few good points. That 15 30 I had a very good return, very long one. I go for the winner with my forehand. The ball touched the last part of the net. So that’s it.
I was not that much disappointed. I was ready to play the next game and fight till the end, and that’s what I did.
Q. Final in Beijing and a semifinal in Shanghai. Is that much better than what you expected when you came to China?
RAFAEL NADAL: When I arrive to places, always what I expect or don’t expect, I don’t care much about that, no? I came to the tournaments, tried to do my job, tried to work well, to go day by day. After the tournaments, we analyze if both tournaments have been well or not well.
In general, have been a very positive two tournaments, finals and semifinals, obviously in tournaments that are not easy for me. Was able to win a lot of matches, but not only win matches, but playing at a very good level again.
I think have been one of the most positive two tournaments in a row on hard court of the year without a doubt, especially for the feelings. The feelings are that I am getting better and better.
Bad news that we go to indoors now the end of the year. At the same time I know how it works and I going to work hard to try to keep doing well, keep enjoying. I am enjoying on court. I lost, but I am not very disappointed because I was able to enjoy every match and play with the energy that I want to play and do the things that I want to do.
I am really satisfied the way that I finished that two tournaments, and I think was a very good warmup for the beginning of next year.
That’s the way. I was playing much inside the court than during the whole year with more control of everything. Playing like this, keep working like this, the only thing that can happen is be better and better. I going to continue that way.
Q. You talked a lot this week about confidence, the mental aspect. Were there some points in the third set where that started to go away, where you felt the confidence slipping in tight moments, or was that there all the time?
RAFAEL NADAL: I saved Love 40 playing great, like five great points in a row going to the net, playing aggressive. Then I lost the last breakpoint. The point he break me, I was on the net again.
It’s not that I played defensive, I didn’t go for the shots, that was not the case. I didn’t feel I did not have the confidence. I went for the shots. I just had one mistake in that 15 30 of the third set that he had the smash and then I missed the backhand.
But when I was winning a lot, I was having mistakes, too. We cannot analyze the confidence on one or another shot. In my opinion, we have to analyze the match in general. As I say before, everybody can their the opinion. But the only negative thing are the seeds, four seeds, the first games of the match. The rest I was playing well.
I won 6 Love against a player who is playing well. Then in the third he serve huge. Even like this, I had a small opportunity. Was not enough.
I was there until the end. Was not the day to win. Just need to adjust little bit few more things. But in general I have to be happy. I believe there is no doubt that the confidence is higher now than a couple of months ago.
Q. You mentioned you lost very many close matches this season. Do you think today is one of them?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, no. Is different story. I lost this year a lot of matches that I should win because I was on advantage during the match.
Today was not the case. I lost the first set, I won the second, then was very close, the score. The match could go to any player. Went for him. That’s it. Congratulate him.
But is not the same case like Fognini in Rio. Is not the same case like Berrer in Doha. Is not the same case as Wawrinka in Rome. Fognini in Barcelona, I had hundreds of opportunities in the second set. I don’t know. Fognini in the US Open.
A lot of matches that I should win because I was under control, and I lost. I don’t mean winning that much I will be No. 2 of the world, because I will be lying. But winning the matches that I should win, probably the year will look a little bit different.