Jimmy Had US Open Tennis Stars Secretly Slip Funny Words into Their Interviews
'Matches with Murray and Rafa are like night and day'
In the semifinals of the Australian Open, another tennis classic took place between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal - and the Swiss lost again. At the post-match press conference, he analyzed the details of this fight, talked about his mood for the current season, the feelings from the first weeks of working with Stefan Edberg, the wasting time on the part of Nadal and much more.
- What disappointed you the most today?
- Perhaps, how little I created chances to catch on at the reception. I very often walked around the bush, but ... I had the hope that it would be possible to start a more serious fight on his serves, and its absence disappointed me. Had I taken the lead in the first or at least the second set, I would probably have been able to act more relaxed, to play as I hoped - more aggressive. But you had to constantly keep your games in order to maintain equality, you need to play by the score. In any case, it was a tough match.
- Do you still have the feeling that you did not play as well as you hoped, or that Rafael was just too good today?
- I think Rafa played well. I know him very well, and he has acted this way against me many times. I'm not sure just what I served at my maximum today. But for about one and a half sets, he never managed to make a break - which is not bad at all. I was hoping my forehand would work a little better than it actually did. This blow failed me. And the fact that I had so few chances at the reception increased the psychological pressure. He did a good job. Not too much wrong, although I tried to hit tight and flat. I tried to play my tennis; in some moments I was able to act very well, in some - no. But overall, he was more stable and consistent. He deserved this victory because he played better than me.
- How satisfied are you with two weeks in Melbourne with a new racket and with Stefan Edberg on your team?
- All this helps me a lot, there is no doubt about it. I would like to win today and organize a purely Swiss final. This is something that I will regret for a long time. But overall, for me, this is a great start to the season. It would be nice to win in Brisbane, it would be nice to win today, but you can't get everything. I played very good tennis here. I still have the feeling that I am able to add and reach a new level. So I am looking forward to the coming months. I'm wondering how things will turn out. Hopefully by April I will be at my maximum.
- On Wednesday you said that Stefan has some ideas about tactical changes in the match against Rafa. Have you tried something special today that worked well?
- Yes, I have tried something. But Rafa always manages to neutralize the strengths of the opponent well. And besides, as I already noted, due to the lack of serious struggle at the reception, it is difficult to try something unusual in your serve. You just need to play hard, aggessive and stable. So I didn't always manage to do what I wanted, but here I have to pay tribute to Rafa.
- Today you complained to the judge about the sounds made by Nadal during punches. Were they louder than usual? Does it distract you?
- When he does this every time - no. But today it was alternating. They were in one drawing, but not in the other. This is what I drew the judge's attention to. But, of course, this did not affect the result of the match.
- Have you already complained about this before?
- Yes, it happened.
- Does Nadal distract you the most during head-to-head matches?
- No, not always. I like to play against him. Our matches are always held in central arenas, and we have a solid history of confrontation. It is for these moments that you go through hard training. So I am always glad to meet him. Our matches have a special atmosphere, and I enjoy it all. Of course, losing three games in a row is unpleasant. But today there were some good moments.
- In recent years he has played very well against you.
- He has generally good results against me ( Smiles .).
- Does this number of defeats by one opponent undermine the belief that you can still beat him?
- No, not at all. Today Rafa pushed me very well. I think by the third set I'm a little tired. But overall I am very satisfied. He played very well, consistently. So I don't have any acute feeling of regret after the match - after all, I didn't have too many chances. I didn’t expect Rafa to play worse than usual just because of blisters on his palms or because of the fact that he acted with swings in this tournament. In matches against me, he always plays well, one might even say - great. So I knew it was going to be a tough evening.
- Did you feel like you're moving a little slower today than before? Was this the reason why the backhand was not doing very well, especially at the reception?
- This is a completely different match. Honestly, I don't know how to explain it to you. Playing against Rafa is not like playing against any other opponent. Matches against Murray and against Rafa are like night and day. It's not so much about the level of tennis, but about the fact that each rally is played very differently and I need to completely change my game. I am not saying this as an excuse, just fact is fact. I tried to fight, but it was very difficult for me.
- Pete Sampras said before today's match that he was delighted with how fresh and motivated you look at your age. When he was your age, he felt completely emasculated. How much did a good start to the season help you, did it give you extra strength?
- Yes, to the extent that I needed it. I needed to get some kind of positive impulse, because before that I had gone through difficult times. Of course, you can say that in Basel, Paris, London, I performed better, showed better results - but my tennis was not really brilliant there. Yes, I did well, but I like to take the initiative into my own hands, to play the game. In recent weeks I have been able to do this and it inspires me. I feel that I started well this year, so I am not so much upset with today's result. I rolled back a long way and am now returning, even though I did not have surgery like Murray or health problems that knocked me out of the tour for seven months like Rafu. I managed to take a step in the right direction. I want to continue to move forward and I believe that a good year awaits me.
- What can you advise Stanislas Wawrinka in the final?
- I hope he will win and give in this match is everything he has. I believe that he can beat Rafa, and I see no reason not to believe that. Sure, Stan has a poor face-to-face ratio with him, but so is a lot of tennis players. So it doesn't really matter. Rafa will be under psychological pressure here,
who is obliged to win this fight. Stan made it to the Grand Slam final for the first time, so it's hard to predict how he'll play there - and that's good too. He should use this advantage.
- It is clear that this did not affect the result of the match, but we can still say that the referees are too lenient with the sounds made by Rafa during the game, to the fact that is he wasting the time between rallies? There was a feeling that you were waiting all the time.
- Rafa in this regard became much better than he was at first. I don’t really like to complain about time lags. But I've played with him 33 times already. During all this time he received, it seems, two warnings for this reason. I think they just don't pay attention to it. After all, everyone knows how much time he actually spends. I'm not complaining, but there are rules or they are not. If there are no rules, great - everyone can do what they want. All players need to be in the same conditions. You can't let me or Djokovic get away with something just because we are us. Everyone should be judged the same, not that, say, the guy on the 16th court gets a warning for wasting time after a very long rally, but the players on center court don't. In the main arenas, referees are afraid to make such decisions. And I'm just interested in checking them out a bit. I do not want to knock on the doorsteps of offices and constantly complain, I never did that. I just hope they do their job well. Otherwise, what remains for us? Watch and wait. Sometimes you can say something. Of course, these time delays did not become the reason for my defeat. It didn't bother me. I just felt like it should be noted.