May 11, 2022
R. NADAL/J. Isner
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Rafa, please.
Q. You need to train more after the match? You were not happy with your performance? Why did you go back to the court?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I talked very clear since I came back, no, that I am in little bit in a rush, that I have to find as soon as possible the best feelings. I need to recover things that I missed because of the injury, of course.
I need to work as much as I can to be ready for in a couple of weeks. Of course, tomorrow is the priority today. But at the same time, the medium term, long term, I need to keep going.
The only way for me to give myself a chance to recover the level that I want to recover, or I want to reach, is to work.
The match today was not that strong physically or demanding physically, so I felt myself a little bit more can keep helping, no? That's it. Nothing more than that.
Q. You have Denis again, same round, same tournament. How do you reflect on last year's match? How do you look ahead to the next one?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, last year I was super lucky. Was a match that he had in his hands plenty of times. I don't remember exactly, but I remember that was almost a miracle, no?
For me today is not about which player I have in front; it's about trying to improve every single day. Tomorrow is another day with a chance to play better.
That's the main goal today, no: be better and better, try to reach a higher level every single day. Tomorrow I going to have a tough test with a great player. Is an opportunity for me to keep trying. That's what I going to do.
Q. There is talk right now between ATP and WTA to take away the points, the ATP points, WTA points, at Wimbledon because of the Russians who cannot play. I'd like to know what is your opinion about? Have you or others talked about boycotting Wimbledon as happened in 1973 at the time of Niki Pilic?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I don't have a clear opinion on that. I prefer to don't give you a clear answer. That's it. There are some private conversations on the council about this kind of stuff, something that I honestly think is no good to go public.
Only thing we can do is be in touch with Wimbledon and the rest of the ATP management to do the things that works better to protect every single player in the ATP. At the end, that's our job: to protect the players and to work in the benefit of every single player that we are representing. That's all.
The rest of the things, I am not able to talk about it.
Q. On the same subject, there's been some suggestion that a ranking freeze for Wimbledon might work, be more fair, than completely taking away ranking points.
RAFAEL NADAL: Can you repeat that?
Q. There's been some talk that freezing the ranking points for the players not involved in Wimbledon would be more fair than taking away ranking points for everyone. I just wondered your thoughts on that, if you think it's a situation that Wimbledon have kind of brought on themselves in moving away from the rest of tennis with this decision?
RAFAEL NADAL: I know maybe for you and for the press it's something that is important because is actuality. But I am here in Rome. Wimbledon is weeks ahead.
Honestly, my thinking, it's not about what going to happen in Wimbledon. By the way, as I said, we are working on the council to protect every single player and to work in the best interest possible in the players.
What's going to be fair or most or less fair for everybody, nothing is perfect. When things like this happens, nothing will be perfect because we need to know that not for everybody will be perfect.
My personal opinion, I going to say it, and I already say it in private, but it's about the tour, it's not about my opinion. Talking about things that really affects a lot of players, I think will not be good if I give my personal opinion here. We need to work in-house and then let's see what's going on.
Q. Iga Swiatek mentioned before that after the Australian Open you sent her a message of encouragement, which meant a lot to her. She's No. World No. 1, winning four tournaments in a row. Why did you feel the urge to send her that message? What do you make of her incredible run?
RAFAEL NADAL: She's doing amazing things, no? Playing amazing and winning every single event he [sic] played, I think last four in a row. Winning Indian Wells and Miami in a row, something difficult.
Just happy for her. She's very spontaneous and natural girl. Is good to have girls like this, good people like her having success. That's all. Nothing else.
Q. How different are the conditions in Rome compared to Madrid? Then, given the sensational results and records by Carlos...
RAFAEL NADAL: I understand the difference, but the second thing?
Q. Given the success and results by Carlos, I want to know if this Alcaraz is stronger than the 19-years-old Rafa?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know, man. And I will not be able to talk every single day about who is going to be or who is stronger at that day, no? I forgot how was myself.
The only thing that we can do is enjoy the career of an amazing player like Carlos. Will be better, even if it's interesting, you stop comparing him on me.
If he's able to win 25 Grand Slams, going to be amazing for him and for our country, and I will be happy for him. But let's let him to enjoy his personal career.
I enjoyed my personal career. I think I am super happy the way that I was able to manage my tennis career. Is his moment now to manage his personal career the way that he want it, no?
We cannot be all time thinking about how was it, how he is today. He is what he is. He is fantastic. Probably in 2005, I will not say about myself that I was fantastic, but I think I was quite good, too. That's it.
Different moments. Different careers. Different way to approach things because the times are changing. But let's enjoy him. That's it, no? Don't put pressure, extra pressure, on him. Don't ask me every time. Every time that you going to ask me, I going to say the same thing.
I am super happy to have an amazing player like him in our country. It's super good for our sport. Honestly, in an egoistic way, like a spectator, have somebody like Carlos that we going to have a chance to enjoy his career for the next I don't know how many years, it's great.
But now I still playing. I am focused about trying to do the things that I need to do. That's it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports