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An Interview With: Rafael Nadal

Monday, August 31, 2015

Q. You started this match very well for two sets.

RAFAEL NADAL: I think I played great. The first two sets I played a very high level of tennis. Seriously, then I get a little bit tired. I had some problems. I was sweating a lot. I lost little bit -- you know, I don't feel enough strong after that, no?

I had little bit of stomach problem so I felt not perfect, physically perfect then.

But then in the fourth I recovered little bit. I played again more aggressive. Finally was important victory for me. Happy the way that I played when I was, you know, physically good.

Q. How great was it to be back in New York after a tournament you won in 2013? Does it feel like a vindication? Not vindication so much, but just you getting back to business now and that in 2015 you're relatively healthy and able to make a run at another championship?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, is not the moment to think about that, no? Was tough to miss last year because the opportunity of 2014 will not be back. So that's an opportunity lost.

But that's part of my career, too. I had few opportunities lost during my career. But at the same time, I converted more than what I expected, no?

So great to be back in New York. Is a tournament I like a lot. Atmosphere here is just amazing. The crowd, I feel the love of the crowd and the energy of them, so I enjoy a lot playing in the Arthur Ashe Stadium, especially night sessions.

Seriously, I had a great week of practice before the tournament start, no? I don't know how it going to goes, but I practiced at a very high level of tennis during the previous weeks, no? Something that was tough to arrive to that level at practice the rest of the season.

That gives me calm. That gives me confidence. I know if I'm able to keep having that feelings, I don't know here, I don't know in next tournaments, but I will have the success again. I will have the feeling that I can compete against everybody with good conditions.

Q. Physically you will be able to recover?

RAFAEL NADAL: Sure. No, no. Is not the problem at all. Is small thing. But this small lose of energy is more lose of speed during a match against a player who is a fighter. He's a great player. He is tough, no? He take a set.

Then in the fourth, you know, is tough. Is true that in the fourth he only had one 30-All, I think, something like this. For the rest, I was returning great in the fourth, returning aggressive. I had chances on the return in almost every game. Not breakpoint, but 30-All, and he didn't.

But when you arrive to 3-All, you know, small mistake and you are in a big problem in the fifth.

Q. There are many players coming on the tour right now. Do you think Coric is among one of the best ones coming right now?

RAFAEL NADAL: Let's see. Let's see in the future. We have a few years to see. The best player will be the one who will be able to improve more. One of the things that I believe that our generation did well - I know is different generations, but we competed for a long time, Federer, Novak, myself, Andy, David Ferrer - you know, the real thing is we are always, during 10 years, we improved a lot of things.

So that's the thing that will make the difference on this new generation. But they are good. We didn't had one generation like this for a while. They are here now. That's good for tennis.

Q. You're the last teenager to win a Grand Slam. There are 10 in this tournament, which is the most in 25 years. Do you think there will ever be teenage champions in the future, or is it too hard at this time in tennis?

RAFAEL NADAL: Is not too hard. I did that. Hewitt did. It's not a question of the tennis changed and that's tough. Is a question if the new generations are good enough to do it, if the new generations are mentally prepared to do it.

Seems like, you know, now again, Coric is No. 33 in the world and he's 18. He's very young, too. He going to be in a very high position of ranking very, very soon. I'm sure of that.

So is not a question of how hard it is or if the tour changed, is a question of if the players are good or less good. That's my feeling. And if they are able to be ready mentally at that young age.

Q. You said you had a moment where you didn't feel perfect. You mentioned a stomach problem. Is that a muscle thing?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, was not a stomach problem. Was little bit of just dishydration [sic]. Was very humid tonight out there. I was sweating a lot. Sometimes happens this these days.