Shanghai Rolex Masters
Thursday, 12 October 2017
R. NADAL/F. Fognini
Q. Before the US Open, you haven’t won a title on hard court for more than three years. Now 14 wins in a row with two big titles. What’s your analysis for this big turnaround?
RAFAEL NADAL: I answered this question a couple of times, and is true I didn’t win a title, but of course two reasons. First reason, because in 2015 I had a bad year. That’s the first reason. I didn’t play enough well. 2014 I get injured second part of the year. 2016 I get injured the second part of the year, so I didn’t play much tournaments on hard. And this year I didn’t win a tournament before the US Open, but I played the final in Australia, I played the final in Acapulco, I played the final in Miami.
So the level was enough good to win titles. Then you win, you lose, but that’s part of the game. There is a very clear difference between 2015 or ’14 and ’16. First thing, injuries. Second thing is I play better. That’s all.
Q. Beating Fognini like this, a player who caused you a lot of problems in the past, it’s a good indication of how you feel on the court?
RAFAEL NADAL: Of course I played a very good match. I don’t know how many mistakes, how many unforced errors, but very few. And I played very well in all aspects. Serving well, hitting well the ball in difficult positions, hitting good the ball when I was trying to have to control the point from the baseline, going to the net often and with good success. Slice backhand is working well.
So in general aspects, I have been doing the things very well. So otherwise, of course, big result. 6-3, 6-1 against a player like him that he can winning Verdasco and Pouille, two good matches, for sure today is a very good result for me, and being in quarterfinals of course is great news.
Q. We know you as a player who can hang out there for a long time to get a match done. Yesterday was 54 minutes. Today 63 minutes. Does that matter to you that it’s shorter or doesn’t matter?
RAFAEL NADAL: Of course is good news, and especially in this part of the season. Is better like this than having long matches. You save a little bit more the body.
But here we are to compete, and doesn’t matter how long you are on court. Most important thing is be enough competitive to accept all the situations, no? And tomorrow I gonna have a tough match against Grigor. I know I have to play my best if I want to keep having chances of success. I hope to be ready to do it, because I am playing well.
Q. Usually when player getting older, you have more injuries, but you played a whole year in top physical condition, very healthy, no injury. Is that because you know your body better or you change your way of fitness training? Any reason?
RAFAEL NADAL: That’s because I didn’t get injury (smiling). That’s all. No, no, last year I get injured, and in 2014 I get injured, too. So I do the best things possible to avoid these situations, as I did all my career.
I was not very lucky with that during my career, because I had some tough injuries. This year for the moment things are going well. You never know what’s going on, but of course happy that I am able to play until today the schedule that I wanted to play.
No, I had the chance to decide my schedule, not thinking about my body, thinking about what’s better for my preparation for the tournaments and practicing the way that I wanted to practice, and of course is a little bit less difficult have success if that happens.