October 9, 2020
R. NADAL/D. Schwartzman
6-3, 6-3, 7-6
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. There are players at this tournament whose perspectives have been changed for the better because of things you've said in English. I was wondering what you think of that, given how hard you've worked to be able to express yourself in this whole other language?
RAFAEL NADAL: I honestly don't understand your question. Can you repeat that?
Q. There are players whose perspectives have been changed for the positive because of things you've said this tournament in English about how to look at the world, how tennis is just a small part of what's going on. I'm wondering what you think of that, given you've worked very hard to be able to communicate deeply in this whole other language that is not your native tongue.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, that's a normal thing. My English is not perfect, but after almost 20 years on the tour, the normal thing is I have enough level of English to answer the questions in English, no?
That's it, no? For me personally is always something important. I remember when I started on the tour with my English that was not able to understand and to answer the questions the right way. Happy that today situation is a little bit different.
That's it. Here we are. Keep trying our best.
Q. What do you think was the biggest difference between the match against Diego in Rome and the match today?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I don't know. Well, yes, I know. Sorry (laughter).
I think different scenario, first of all. Second thing, I think I am little bit more prepared here, no? Rome have been my first event after six months, and was the first challenge against Diego.
Today I think the experience of Rome help me in some way because I was able to take a look on the match, to analyze the things that worked well and things that, of course, didn't work. Have been most of them, no?
We tried to go on court with a plan, with the right determination. In some way I think I played tactically the right match. I think at the half of the first set I make a couple mistakes tactically and of course technically. But in general terms, I am super happy about the match. Have been an important victory for me against a very tough player. To win against Diego, you have to work a lot and you have to play well for such a long time.
That's what I did today, no? I think I played solid. I played with the right determination in most of the moments of the match. Especially in the tiebreak I finished the match playing well.
I needed to be a little bit more aggressive - a little bit - at the half of the third set when I had the score in my favor. I lost couple of opportunities there to close the match before and to not suffer like I suffered at the end.
Q. I don't know if it's easy for you, but could you just evaluate the difference between playing nighttime your quarter against Sinner and playing in the daytime today against Diego regarding the speed of the ball, the higher the bounce? Can you evaluate that a little and give us a percentage of the speed of the ball?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, knowing that the speed and the bounce of the ball are not very, very high this year, because even if you play during the day, the conditions are not very warm. But, of course, the conditions out there today have been one of the best of the tournament, no? Have been 16 degrees, not much wind. I think the feeling is better.
I don't know, but the shadows have been tough. The sun reflecting the crystal there have been an issue for a while. But in general terms, the conditions out there to play tennis today have been logic. Not bad conditions to play tennis, no?
Honestly, play at 11:00 in the evening with that cold the other night is tough. In some way little bit dangerous for the body, especially for an old body like my one (smiling).
Q. Talk a little bit about your play at the end of the third set, maybe specifically the 5-5 game. Is that something that can give you confidence moving forward, the fact you were able to put your faith in your forehand, be aggressive, get out of that set?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, of course, no? Is important to go through all the process. You have to suffer. You can't pretend to be in a final of Roland Garros without suffering. That's what happened there.
But I found a way, no? I did a serve and volley later. With the 15-40 I played two great forehands. Then in the deuce, again another good forehand to the line.
Of course, that's the way. I need to play that way. At the same time is important because, you know, is not like an unusual situation, no? Is unusual I didn't play much tennis for the last six months. To believe that you can keep doing this kind of stuff, you need to win matches, you need to go through this process again.
Winning these kind of matches, going through these moments with playing that aggressive with the forehand, knowing that you can have success like this, make me feel positive and make me feel confident. That helps, of course, for the future.
Q. Obviously we don't know as yet if it's Novak or Stefanos for you in the final. Let's say it's Novak. What's happened in the past between you two at Roland Garros, does that mean anything, the fact that he was only one of two players to defeat you here, yet you've beaten him I think every time you played in a final here? What's happened in the past? Does that have any bearing on what comes up on Sunday?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't think so. Different circumstances, different kind of tournament and different situation, no? I don't know. I will let you know on Sunday.
I can't predict the future, no? The only thing I know is to play against Novak, I need to play my best. Without playing my best tennis, situation is very difficult. I know that is a court that I have been playing well for such a long time, so that helps. But at the same time he has an amazing record here, too, being in the final rounds almost every single time.
Is one of the toughest opponents possible. But I am here to keep trying my best. I like to play in this scenario. I know I have to make a step forward. I think I did one today. But for Sunday is not enough. I need to make another one. That's what I'm looking for. I going to work hard to try to make that happen.
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