Roland-Garros: “I didn’t want to win like this”, admits Rafael Nadal, qualified for the 14th final

Fourteen: The number is staggering but Rafael Nadal will take part in his 14th final at Roland-Garros on June 5th. He hasn’t lost any yet. Therefore, it will be proposed to win a 14th Paris victory and a 22nd Grand Slam victory against the Croatian Marin Cilic or the Norwegian Casper Ruud who will face the other semifinal. However, more than an hour after the classification, it was with a broken heart that the Spaniard came to talk about his feelings.

His first thoughts were for his unfortunate opponent. Alexander Zverev lost in retirement. While after three hours of play, both players had not yet finished the second set (7-6, 6-6), the world number 3 was injured in the ankle. He left the track crying in a wheelchair before greeting the crouched audience again. Rafael Nadal wanted to win but not like that.

How do you feel after this rating?

RAFAEL NADAL. It’s not easy to talk after what happened. All I want to say is that I hope Alexander isn’t too bad. I sincerely hope it just twisted my ankle and didn’t break anything. I know he has to pass exams and I hope everything goes well for him.

How did you experience that moment?

The match was hotly contested from the start. Sacha started off incredibly well. I know he wanted to win his first Grand Slam. We know each other well, we are teammates, we often train together. Of course, it was my dream to qualify for the final, but not like that. I didn’t want to do it seeing a colleague get hurt and regret so much.

Have you talked to him?

I went with him when his ankle ultrasound was checked I thought. I was there just to see, but I have no right to speak for him about what he told me and heard. I don’t want to speak on his behalf: if he wants to do it, he will.

Is your injury due to slippery, damp ground?

No. It’s an accident, it wasn’t the court’s fault. It was the fault of bad luck, unfortunately. Nothing more.

Looks like you didn’t get into the game properly. Because ?

The playing conditions were not good for me. These were the slowest conditions I have seen in a long time at Roland-Garros. There was a lot of moisture, the balls weighed a lot and it was hard to spin. It was harder because Sacha played well. I couldn’t set up the game I wanted to master. It’s a miracle for me to win the first set (7-6). But I was there, struggling to find solutions. Sacha is an exceptional player and it was difficult to push him back with such harsh conditions. He felt that my bullets did not have the effect that I usually put on them. He was in survival mode.

What do you have left to prove yourself by playing a new final here?

The problem doesn’t prove it to me. I’m here doing what I love, which is playing tennis. If you like to play golf, you’ll do it while you can, right? Me, it’s tennis. As long as I can play, I continue. I like wrestling and I think I’m not bad in this field. So I go as far as I can without trying to prove myself.

Physically, how are you?

Physically, I’m fine. My problem is not physical performance. Today has been a difficult, humid condition and under those conditions it is necessarily more difficult for me. I suffered but so did Sacha: there were ups and downs for both of us during this match. When the balls are slow and the conditions heavy, we suffer more. Is it like that.

And mentally?

I’ve talked about it a lot. I haven’t changed my mindset. I wasn’t very positive about my situation after Rome three weeks ago, but I knew I could play in Paris. That is the case. So I did my best to give myself a chance to get where I am, in front of you. Qualifying in the final means a lot to me. I make the most of it.

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