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May 11, 2024

Rafael Nadal

Roma, Italia

Press Conference


6-1, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Rafa, please.

Q. When we saw your face, it seemed to be a real big deception today regarding your match and your performance.

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I think have been a tough one, obviously. It's obvious that I started well the match. First few games, almost half an hour first two games, having a few chances and playing well. Then I had the break and I lost little bit the way to push him back, the way to create that much on him. In the first set I think the score lie a little bit about what the game was. Then he was much better than me in the second. I don't have that feeling in the first, but in the second, yeah. I was not able to push him back.

That's the case, no? Starts to be more difficult. Here is not the biggest court. He was serving well. It was difficult for me to return. It's difficult to feel yourself with real chances of come back with his serve and without being able to create enough damage to him and creating mistakes.

That's it. Just accept that. Tough day for me in all ways because I felt more ready than what I showed. That's give me a bad feeling because feeling myself better not being able to show myself on court.

Something else is something that in some way create me doubts. That's it, no? Just accept the situation. As I said before the tournament start, I am little bit more unpredictable today, not playing enough for the last two years.

Too many doubts. Too many questions in all ways, in different matters on the game. That's it.

Q. For a person like you, after so many years here, so many years all around the world, what it means, what do you feel when you see so many people around you calling you? What would you like to be remembered from them?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I always felt very well loved and supported during all my tennis career. Now is an exception, no? Probably when the people start to see that will not be many chances to watch me play again, probably they feel little bit more emotional, little bit more sad because at the end is in some way the end of probably an important era on the history of tennis. Of course, I am the player who won more times here. That's it, no?

I think as a tennis player, I just want to be remembered as the results I had. As a person, I hope to be remembered as a positive example of being respectful, well-educated, and good person. That's it.

Q. How difficult is it trying to find your form after the time you spent out and the injuries and the doubts? Also, will you be in Roland Garros?

RAFAEL NADAL: You can see today on the court how difficult is. That's the answer, no? Yeah, that's an option that can happens today and you need to accept.

Now is two ways:

Probably one is to say, Okay, I am not ready, I am not playing enough well. Then is the moment to take a decision in terms of not playing Roland Garros.

Another is accept how I am today and work the proper way to try to be in a different way in two weeks.

The decision, as you can imagine, is not clear in my mind today. But if I have to say what's my feeling and if my mind is closer one way or the other way, I going to say be in Roland Garros and try my best.

Physically I have some issues, but not probably yet enough to say not playing in the most important event of my tennis career.

Let's see what's going on, how I feel myself mentally tomorrow, after tomorrow, and in one week. If I feel ready, I going to try to be there and fight for the things that I have been fighting the last 15 years, if now seems impossible.

Q. Roma loves you. Do you want to say anything to your fans in Roma?

RAFAEL NADAL: I said all my tennis career, no? I always say that I will never be able to thank enough all the love and support that I receive around the world. Here in Rome is obviously one of the most important events in my tennis career, one of these events that's as going to be in my heart for so many reasons.

But here I played few of the most important matches, beautiful matches, emotional ones. In a lot of moments of my tennis career, I was able to come back from tough moments playing here in Rome, especially the last eight years when I arrive here with some doubts, then I started to play well here.

Obviously it was not the case today, but it really happened in the past. Yeah, I enjoyed a lot playing in this court.

I don't know if going to be the last time I'm going to play here or not. Of course, is much more chances that that's today the last one. But, of course, I am not a guy that I make decisions in a hot moments, in the tough moments. Just try to let it be little bit the time and then let's see.

Q. In Madrid you mentioned playing doubles with Alcaraz at the Olympic Games. Have you got any tournament in mind that you'll be playing in in preparation for the Games with him?

RAFAEL NADAL: Can you say again?

Q. In Madrid you mentioned about playing doubles with Alcaraz at the Olympic Games. Do you have any tournament in mind that you'll be competing in with him?

RAFAEL NADAL: Looks difficult. I don't know yet. I mean, he got injured in Madrid. I was not with enough good physical conditions to play before. Looks difficult because not remaining lot of tournaments that we can play together before Olympics. Remain only Roland Garros, and that will not be the case. I don't know later. Looks difficult, but let's see.

Q. I have to ask you because we were expecting the ceremony on the court. Also because for Italian crowd, it's the last occasion to see you, as you said. I would like just to ask you about the ceremony on the court that were expected for you.

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know about that. I never said going to be my last tournament here. I said in Madrid because that was that case. Here I am not 100% sure. Was probably 98%, but I will not say 100% when is not 100%, so...

Different feeling here than Madrid. Different story. Different kind of moment for me. I don't know. I didn't expect any ceremony honestly, no.

If I retired, I think hopefully they going to have time if they want to do something in the next few years.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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