Tuesday June 21 , 2011
Rafael Nadal wins over Michael Russell 6 4, 6 2, 6 2 at Wimbledon 2011
LONDON--(LadyDragon.com)21/06/11--Q. You never got to defend your first Wimbledon title. You finally got that moment of walking out first on Centre Court as defending champion. How did it feel?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, fantastic. Seriously, I never played in a court like this. Was a big emotion be the first player to play in this fabulous court. So seriously was a very, very exciting feeling.
Fantastic how see the court in the really, really perfect conditions. So, yes, very, very happy for everything.
Q. Your final in 2008 against Federer is remembered as one of the greatest games ever. But this year there's a lot of talk about the top four seeds all being very equal, Murray, Djokovic and Federer. Who do you see as your biggest opponent?
RAFAEL NADAL: My biggest opponent is Sweeting now. I am focused on my part of the draw. I'm focused on myself. To play against Andy or Djokovic or Federer only can be in the final, against Andy in the semi-finals.
So remain a lot for that. So let's talk about today. Let's talk about tomorrow. Not let's talk about in 10 days or 12 days, because I don't know if I am here or I am fishing in Mallorca. You never know what's going on in a tournament like this.
So happy about the victory in the first round. Especially happy how I played in the second and the third set.
Q. You responded to his breaking your serve in the first set very vigorously. Were you surprised that he took that game?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think he started playing very well, I think aggressive, having good returns. I started, in my opinion, trying to play too fast in the beginning probably. I had few mistakes with the backhand, with the forehand. So he had the break.
But after that I started to change a little bit more the rhythm with the slice, trying to play a little bit longer points, try to hit the forehand when I had the chance. I think I did well after that first moment of the first set.
My level in general I think was very positive, no?
Q. What opportunity did you have yesterday to watch the U.S. Open golf, and have you had any communications with Rory since he won?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. I for sure text him a message. You know how when you win a tournament like this how many messages you have on the phone.
Anyway, he did amazing. He played solid yesterday, doing what he had to do all the time, no mistakes. So mentally, we talk about the level of the golf, well, only Tiger a few times. Saw one player play like this.
Was perfect, in my opinion, round of golf, every day, yesterday. Because after the nine holes, he played solid all the time with no mistakes. Is tough when you have to be solid and you don't have to do mistakes.
When you have to play aggressive, you know what you have to do is probably sometimes easier, but when you have to defend the advantage, you start to play a little bit more defensive. Sometimes can be dangerous. And he did perfect. He managed the moments perfect, in my opinion.
Q. He said he's going to be here next Monday. What are your thoughts on him being here and being in the Royal Box?
RAFAEL NADAL: Hopefully have the chance to congratulate him in person.
Q. In the last eight years you're the only player to win Queen's and then go on and win Wimbledon. How important do you think it is to get a win on grass before you come here, or is it not that important?
RAFAEL NADAL: For sure is important. I did in 2008. I won in Queen's and after I won here in Wimbledon. But I heard before that was a long time without a player. How many years?
Q. 2002, Lleyton Hewitt.
RAFAEL NADAL: Oh, 2002 Lleyton Hewitt did it. I thought it was more.
No, for sure I prefer to win a tournament before I start Wimbledon than don't win a tournament. If not, is stupid say another thing.
Different tournaments. But for sure if you win in Queen's, you have chance to win here for sure, little bit more because the confidence, because everything.
Q. How nice was it for you to see your mother and father sitting in the Royal Box in the front row?
RAFAEL NADAL: Too many beautiful things to saw my mom and my dad in the Royal Box. For sure can just say thanks to Wimbledon, to the people who organize this fantastic tournament to invite my mother and father to the Royal Box. I think for them was a great experience. So, yeah, everything in general was very, very nice today.
Q. You have two free nights before your next match. Will you stay in your apartment, or do you think you'll go out in London?
RAFAEL NADAL: Two free nights?
Q. Two nights before your next match.
RAFAEL NADAL: Like always. Always is the same. Is a Grand Slam. Always you have two nights before your next match, no?
Q. But will you stay in your apartment or go out?
RAFAEL NADAL: I didn't have time to plan what I gonna do. I don't know. I will talk with my team. If they want to go out not for a party, if they want to go out for the dinner in London or they want to stay at home, for me doesn't matter. Everything is fine for me.
Q. What are your thoughts on your next opponent? You mentioned that's the only match you're thinking about now.
RAFAEL NADAL: I played against him two times this year, one time in Australia, one time in Indian Wells. He had a fantastic comeback today, so probably he arrives to the match with good confidence.
I think he's a good player, no? I saw him winning matches around the tournaments. He's playing better and better every time.
We will see. I have to play my tennis. I have to play aggressive like every day. That hopefully will be enough. If not, congratulate the opponent.