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June 3, 2015
N. DJOKOVIC/R. Nadal
7‑5, 6‑3, 6‑1
THE MODERATOR:Â Questions in English.
Q.Â After a tough start of the match, you really came back into this first set.Â Do you think this one was the key, or did you feel throughout the match it was tough today?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â I think, yeah, I had my moments, but in general, Novak have been under control most of the time.Â So he was better than me.Â That's it.Â Here is simple:Â when the opponent plays better than you and is in better shape than you, then can happen.Â That happened, and I just congratulate him.
Q.Â For sure you didn't celebrate your birthday the way you wanted, but did you expect this morning that the match could go like that?Â Did you feel fine and in great shape, or were you doubtful about yourself?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â I was doubtful about myself the 11 years that I have been playing here.Â I won nine and I lost twice.Â Doubts are good in life.
Some days the things are better.Â Some days the things are worse.Â When you play against an opponent that is winning almost every match like Novak and you are not playing enough consistent during the whole match, then is an option that this thing can happen.
Not happy about my first set, obviously.
The second, yes.Â I was there.Â I lost a game.Â That's it.Â Good fight in the first.Â Good fight in the second.
In the third, I am not happy about the way, but I tried.
Q.Â If not today, if not Djokovic, some other player some other year, someone would have ended your dominance here at Roland Garros.Â The fact that you lost to Djokovic who is the best player right now, does that ease your pain?Â Is it better than losing to a lesser‑known player?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â As I said every year when I won here, the only thing that makes me happy is have the trophy with me.Â Doesn't matter the opponent.Â Important thing is the victory and the title.
Today I lost quarterfinals of Roland Garros.Â Is true that I lost against the best today, but that's it.Â I lost in quarterfinals.Â At the end of the day, that's it.
Q.Â Obviously this is only the second time you have lost here.Â Are you able to deal with this defeat the same way you would deal with any other defeat, or is it a little bit different because it's here?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â No, is not a big surprise, no, after year that I didn't win enough before here.Â Something that could happen.Â When you see the draw, quarterfinals against Novak, obvious that is early, a big match like that.Â I was playing fine.
I am happy the way that I recovered my level the last month, but probably not enough yet to play against and to win against Novak.Â To play, yes.Â I competed, but not to win.
And I gonna fight.Â I lost in 2009 and was not the end.Â I lost in 2015, and is not the end.Â I hope to be back here the next year with another chance.
Q.Â You said you were not happy with the third set, the way you played.Â Thinking about it now, is there any reason you can find as to why the set got away from you so quickly, the third set?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â Well, first break was very painful for me.Â After that, everything was too quick.Â You know, it's circumstances.Â You know, the match, everything goes in his way.Â You know, a few points that was important points, he won that points.
Then another ones that he played great, few mistakes of myself, and the score goes quick when you play against a player like Novak and he's leading two sets to love.
You want to be competitive in the set.Â You have to be there from the beginning.Â I had a bad mistake in the first game.
Q.Â There is an extra week before Wimbledon this year.Â You are also finished earlier than you usually are when you play until Sunday.Â What are you thinking in terms of looking on to the grass season and how to improve on results from the last few years?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â The last thing?
Q.Â What are you thinking in terms of your prospects for improving on your grass court results from the last few years?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â Last year I didn't play bad on grass.Â I played a good Wimbledon.Â I had a good chance to be in quarterfinals.Â I lost a match that I could win.
That's it.Â I am booked Stuttgart and Queen's and then in Wimbledon probably.
Q.Â In terms of Novak's level compared to the rest of the field, where do you see him compared to everyone else?Â Is it hard when you win a match like this for Novak to follow it up, to go back into the semifinals and have to win two more matches?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â Well, he has to win two more matches, but this match only increase the confidence.Â He's probably in the best moment of his career.Â He has a good chance to win here.
Q.Â I hope this defeat won't ruin your birthday.Â I would like to know what are you going to do now?Â Will you stay in Paris?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â Like you can imagine after 20 minutes of losing, I don't know what's gonna happen the next couple of hours.Â It's my birthday, yes, but, you know, I have my family here.Â I gonna be with them, and I gonna go back to Mallorca.
Q.Â Your history and great dynasty come to an end; you are the greatest to play here.Â Do you think this defeat is the turning point of your dynasty?Â Do you think that you will come back to win next season here?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â The only thing that is sure is I won nine times.Â I don't know if I gonna win ten, but nine I already won.Â (Laughter.)
I gonna come back next year and I gonna try to be competitive, to try to be better prepared than this year, and try to arrive with a little bit more good confidence.Â But, yeah, I don't like to talk about dynasty or these kind of things that you said.
I have been very successful here for nine years to eleven.Â I lost twice.Â Everybody lose in every place.Â I lost not many times here, and that day arrived today.
Again, accept like I always accept the defeats, and the only thing is there is only one sure thing:Â I want to work harder even than before to come back stronger.
THE MODERATOR:Â Questions in Spanish.
Q.Â Would you say that the first set was a key set?Â You started 0‑4 and then 4‑All and then 4‑5.Â That's when there were a few break points and you managed to come back.Â Then you had a very difficult game.
RAFAEL NADAL:Â Well, yes, of course the first set was key.Â But then, you know, when you lose in the way I lost today, I'd say c'est la vie.Â It's the way it is.Â That is, if you look at the score I'd say I didn't win enough games.Â He played better than I did.
When this is the case, you have to accept it and congratulate the other player.Â Then you have to analyze the reasons and then work really hard.
This is what I think I'll have to do now.
Q.Â Last year when you won here you were totally exhausted when you had to go to Wimbledon.
RAFAEL NADAL:Â No, I wasn't exhausted.
Q.Â (Off microphone.)
RAFAEL NADAL:Â No, I had broken my wrist.Â I was not physically tired or exhausted.
I hope I'll be able to continue on the tour, and before the end of the year I'd like to be even fitter and to work on the parts of my game that I have to work on.
Physically I have to be good.Â You know, last year I had some physical incidents, but so far this year I feel good.Â I'm not injured.Â This is something very important.
You know, when you're injured, there is not much you can do.Â So far, as I was saying, everything is good.
This month was quite positive.Â Even though, as we speak, I must say that today was not the greatest of all days.Â But as I said earlier on, you know, whether you win or lose, life must go on.
Next week we will have other competitions, and such is life.
In my case, life will continue whether I win or lose.
Q.Â During the match I think there was this discussion as to whether we have to sprinkle a little water on the court or not.Â Could you say also a few words about the warning you had on time.
RAFAEL NADAL:Â Well, we have already talked about this warning on time.
And as far as the courts, I said this year it's easier to slide on the court, which is what I said before during my first press conference.Â You could ask Novak.Â He said the same, I think.Â It's easier to slide.Â You slide better this year on the courts.
Well, it slides as much as it does for him as it does for me.Â I didn't really discuss the warning ‑‑well, the time warning, I didn't even talk about the court being too slippery or perhaps I was sliding too much.Â No, there was no discussion on this.
Q.Â Well, when we were watching at your match we saw that you had a number of opportunities.Â Would you say you're satisfied even though you lost?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â No, I'm not satisfied at all.Â I'm not happy.
Look at what I did during the third set.Â I couldn't really do what I had done during the first and second sets.
What's even more is that, well, this was really a struggle, really a battle from the beginning of the match.Â He played really well as of the first set.
He served well, and his returns were good, as well.Â When we reached 6‑5, 30‑15, I missed a smash.Â It was an important moment.Â These types of details, you know, they were very important details.Â Against Djokovic you can't do these types of things, these types of mistakes.
Q.Â What do you think about this loss in your career?Â You couldn't win for the 10th time.
RAFAEL NADAL:Â Well, you're talking about this, but as I said, I will continue on the same tracks.Â It's not a new situation, is it?Â Frankly, I have always looked at things in a very stable way, if I can say.Â I wouldn't say things are extremely positive or extremely negative.
I will continue, and I'll follow the path I'm treading on.
I have, how can I say, been playing a poor game for something like six months, and really poorly during three‑and‑a‑half months.
Q.Â You have been defeated on the court where you had won before, and the crowd put their hands together for you quite loudly.Â Would you say that when they were applauding they were perhaps showing some type of recognition of who you are?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â Well, you know, my first year was a big difficulty with the people, but since then I have never had any problems with them.
In the recent past I have seen that they are always supporting me.Â There is some type of emotion.Â In the past I could feel this in the streets in Paris when I was starting my career; whereas now, I suppose that people in general like me.
I thank them for this.Â It's very important for me to receive support and the emotions of people, people who watch my matches.Â It's something special, you see, something quite moving.Â They applauded me and they put their hands together for me.
As I said before in English, I will be back.Â I will be back and play Roland Garros, the French Open.Â I will be back, and I hope I will be back to win.Â I will do my best to be back to win.Â I will do my utmost to have more wins.
I don't know if this will be possible, but I will do my best so that this becomes reality.
Q.Â Back to the match.Â Were you surprised given the number of dropshots he played and the number of times he volleyed at the net?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â No.Â There were many dropshots that he played before, at Monte‑Carlo, for instance.Â You know, when you're on the court, the match has started, and when you're dictating the court you can play dropshots.Â That's why he's played so many dropshots.Â He was in a position to play these shots.
I couldn't succeed.Â I couldn't do this myself.Â I was not an attacker myself, frankly.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports