Roland Garros

Monday, 23 May 2022

Paris, France

Rafael Nadal

Press Conference

R. NADAL/J. Thompson

6-2, 6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: How happy were you with your first match here at Philippe Chatrier?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, is a good start, of course, straight sets. That's it. I mean, I played good for a while. Then things that I could do better and I need to do better. But is a positive start, and that's give me a chance to have one more day on practice tomorrow and then another chance after tomorrow.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Moving on to the second round. You said there were some areas that you wish to improve. What are those areas? Is this the kind of first-round match that you anticipated having?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't anticipate match (smiling). I don't know. I need to improve in all ways. I think I need to improve my movement, for moments the speed of my forehand, the speed I think could be better and should be better. It's true I did things well, for a while was good.

Is true that today the conditions were heavier than usual here, very humid, the court. I don't know why. I don't know why the court was very humid today, having the roof on for a long time.

Yeah, I mean, happy with the performance, by the way, no? Have been a positive start. Then of course I am kind of player that I always looking for something else, looking for better things. That's what I gonna try to find on my practice tomorrow and then in the next match.

Q. You looked in pretty good shape, at least for the first one-and-a-half sets, but how is your foot right now? How is the injury? With this injury and you only playing five clay matches before Paris, how is your confidence level compared to past years?

RAFAEL NADAL: Of course the confidence is higher when you win Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, or Rome. Without a doubt things are easy in this world to understand, no? When you are winning more matches and more tournaments you have better confidence. The opponents feels that too, and at the end, you are more used to the level that you need to play to win matches.

When this is not the case, things are different. But I never expected to be winning 15 Monte-Carlos and Romes, so that's the situation today. I got injured, and that's it. What happened is past, and here we are. We are in Roland Garros. I am here to try my best.

And how is my level of confidence, how the things would be or if I didn't get injured, I don't know. We never know. So I'm not a big fan of think about the things that could happen if -- "if" is a dangerous word. And then is the moment to accept the moment, to accept the situation, and to have the confidence to put all my effort in every single day, to get better and better. Let's see how far I can keep going.

Q. My question is not about today's game, but rather Toni, your uncle and ex-coach, who is now an adviser for Felix Auger-Aliassime. What did he bring to you to the beginning of your career and what type of coach he is? What he can bring Felix in his career?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, more than anything else is my uncle, so what he brings to me: Everything. I play tennis because of him. If I am a professional player, without a doubt is because of him, no?

Now it's a question for Felix, not for me anymore. You can ask him about what's the things that he feels that Toni brings to him, and I am sure that Toni can help him and is helping him in a positive way. He has a lot of experience, and he's passionate about this sport. He's smart, no? He knows a lot about tennis, so I'm sure gonna be able to help for him.

Q. What's your view on the ATP's decision to remove ranking points from Wimbledon?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't have a clear opinion. The problem with the players' side is always the same. From the tournament side, there is always a person and a board, a person or a board who make decisions. And the rest of the people running the event follow that position. In our tour, every single player have a different opinion, and that's why we never achieve the things that we could achieve if we will be together.

Doesn't matter if everybody have a different opinion. At the end, in this world, is necessary, somebody who makes decisions. If I am agree or not agree with that, today doesn't matter. The board, the ATP board make a decision. We need to accept that decision. The rest of the things I will not be the player who comes here and who put my board in a tough position for decision that they make.

That's my point of view. I think players, we are not prepared enough well to make important decisions, because at the end is an individual sport. Everyone have their personal view in terms of how much profit they get from every single decision that ATP gets.

At the end, I understand both sides. I respect and I understand Wimbledon position, without a doubt, but in the other hand, I understand and I respect too that the ATP is protecting their members.

That's it. Is not that one is doing a negative thing and the other one is doing the good thing. Everyone half.

In my personal opinion, have good reasons to make the decisions that they make today. Hopefully ATP and Wimbledon can be together and sit together and negotiate a better future for both sides.

Q. I have a question about your opponent today. Very strong kick serve from the left. What do you think was the most tough for you to overcome in this match?

RAFAEL NADAL: Can you repeat that? Sorry.

Q. What was the toughest to overcome on your opponent today in the match?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, the match started well for me, no? Immediately I had breaks so was well the results say was more or less a solid match from my side.

Is true that when he's serving well, then things becomes more difficult, no? He's fast. He has good legs and can be fast and can be dangerous.

But is true that here with such a big court like this one and playing on clay you have more chances against a player like him that he can produce great points and great shots, but at the same time, he has mistakes too, no? So on clay that's difficult.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
120602-1-1063 2022-05-23 17:05:00 GMT

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