‘Just another match’ is how Rafael Nadal defined the tie that he won this afternoon at the Mutua Madrid Open against Gael Monfils. “Every match is important, whoever the opponent is and even more at this time of year. I always try to start off aggressively”, opened the Mallorcan in his post-match press conference.
Regarding the tournament, he mentioned that, as is well known, the clay in the Spanish capital is perhaps the most atypical on the whole tour, with very different conditions that all players have to adapt to. “In both Monte-Carlo and Barcelona you feel like you have more control, here it’s difficult to get that feeling. Even more so in the first days, until you start getting used to the speed and the ball flight”, commented Rafa.
As he always does, Nadal thanked the spectators for their support: “These fans have given me everything and I try to make the most of my chances to play here”. Asked about the atmosphere in the stands, Nadal indicated that he does not agree with the whistling at his opponent that was heard on court. “Whistling does not come into my understanding of things, everyone is free to express themselves in the way the feel is most appropriate. What we sportsmen want, and footballers, is for the fans to get behind the team they are supporting, there is no need to whistle the others”.
After his match with Monfils, the defending champion of the Mutua Madrid Open spoke about other subjects related to the tournament; regarding Djokovic, he stated “I myself, in my match, was a break point down in the first game and another two at 2-0. I saved them and made it 3-0, which could have been 0-3. When you are confident things go your way, and when you are finding things more difficult, whatever happens, happens”.
He was also asked who had the best forehand on tour, to which the Balearic Islander responded “it’s difficult to choose one. Not all forehands are equally good, my forehand is better than Federer’s on clay, his on fast court and grass is better than mine. On hard court Del Potro’s is better. I don’t know what to say, if I had to choose one in general maybe I would say Federer’s”.
Finally, regarding Manolo Santana‘s birthday, he said that all he can do is thank him for a life dedicated to tennis.