Photo : Pascal Ratthé / Tennis Canada
R. NADAL/D. Medvedev
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Could you describe how you turned the tables on Medvedev in the first game. What kind of tactics did you change to get the upper hand?
RAFAEL NADAL: First game have been tough. He played a great game. Some very long rallies. For me personally, was important to start the match in a good shape, no? He came to that match playing so well, playing a lot of matches the last weeks.
For me, it was a different story, no? I only played three matches on hard before this one, playing against a ^ newcomer like him was important for me in the beginning of the match.
I think I played a good first game, too. Is true that he had some breakpoints. I played well. I saved that game. After that I think I played a solid match, my best match of the week so far without a doubt.
I did a lot of things well: changing directions, changing rhythms during the point. The slice worked well this afternoon. I played some high balls, then changed down the line. I think I played smart this afternoon.
Of course, I played smart because I had a good feeling on the ball. If not, you cannot.
Q. You obviously won here in 2005, your first hard court tournament as a teenager. Could you go back and tell that Rafa something 14 years later, what would it be?
RAFAEL NADAL: Rafa did it very well (smiling). Probably better if that Rafa will not hear my advice, no?
I think words are important, but most important things are examples that you have around you, people that you have daily around you. That’s the best advice possible, no? That’s it.
I think I have always been around good people and good professionals that help me in all terms. I think I have been enough humble and smart to listen all the time to the people that are older than me and have a better knowledge than me, of life in general, no, and at the same time on tennis.
Q. In May you were coming through a tough stretch with injuries. You said to the press then that there were some injuries people knew about and some they didn’t. I’ve always been wondering if you could talk about what those ones that we don’t know about. We know about the foot surgery, tendinitis.
RAFAEL NADAL: Of course, I don’t want to talk about injuries any more, no? I talk about injuries when I am injured enough. I have been injured more than, of course, what I would like to. When I am healthy, I don’t want to talk about injuries.
Of course, I said the beginning of the season, during 2018 and beginning of this 2019, there have been a lot of issues. Some of them you know. Some of them you don’t know. I cannot come here every day and say different stuff. Will not be nice for me, for the opponents, for no one. That’s it.
I am healthy for a while. Since Madrid I think I have been improving in all terms, especially on the body. The body is feeling better. That makes me play better, too, because my mind is focused on tennis, not thinking about if I can do this thing or another thing.
Q. It seems in matches like today you get into your rhythm. Watching you from a distance, it looks like you are basically on cruise control. How does it feel when you get in that kind of a zone?
RAFAEL NADAL: On this sport you are never under full control, no? Things changes very quick. When you play against especially almost every player, when you play Masters 1000s, every single match is tough. Everybody has the potential to cause problems and everybody is dangerous.
Even if you are winning, especially today I was running 6-3, 4-0, I know I have an advantage, but of course I cannot be 100% calm knowing that I going to win the match.
Probably for that reason I achieved all the things that I achieved, because I am never too confident. I always respect every situation and every opponent. That’s why I’m always putting my 100% attention.
Q. How much was the wind a factor today?
RAFAEL NADAL: The wind had been important. But honestly, when we warm up at 12 was worst than when we played the match.
Q. What makes Montreal, the city and its fans, so special and unique? What do you remember the most or think of fondly?
RAFAEL NADAL: Every single place have a different atmosphere, different feeling. Every place is special by itself.
But honestly here, I think they are very passionate about the sport. They are very passionate about tennis. I always felt when I have been playing here, have been always an unbelievable atmosphere out here, full crowd. That’s so important for our sport and for me personally. Go around the world and see when I am playing, see the court full, it’s a big personal satisfaction.
I always enjoyed the city. Is a great city. Is very European city. I am lucky that I have been here during the summer all the time because speaking with Jacque, my driver here since 2005, he always says that the winter is terrible (smiling).
The city is beautiful. I always have fun to go out every evening for dinner and to walk around a little bit.
Q. Is Jacque a good luck charm?
RAFAEL NADAL: Of course, is not only a good luck charm, is a great man. I am super happy when I see him always. We know each other since a long time. Is great to have him around.
Q. You’ve gone deep in all of your tournaments this year. Does that affect how you plan next week, the US Open, and the fall season after so many years on the tour like this?
RAFAEL NADAL: If I plan my schedule?
Q. When you are going deep in every tournament.
RAFAEL NADAL: I not playing that much any more, no? I am playing not many tournaments. I am just trying to play when I feel healthy, when I want to play.
Honestly, I have to skip things because, as I said before, I had more injuries than what I would love to, no? That’s the main issue. When you feel injured, you have to recover, you have to take care of every movement. That takes you out days of tennis career. Mentally is frustrating.
I am just trying to avoid these things. If I am playing well, if I am able to win matches, of course I have a better possibility to choose my calendar, yes.
Q. Do you think the seasons are too long, it doesn’t give you quite as much recovery time at the end of November and December?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I don’t think the seasons are too long. What is too long is the mandatory events. For me the seasons can be longer. Is not about this problem, no?
The season is longer is better because we create more jobs. There is more players that can play tournaments. The sports are not only big when the top guys are winning a lot of money. Tournament sports are bigger when there is more people living this sport.
My feeling is we can have more and more tournaments. That’s not the problem, no? The problem is the mandatory tournaments are until very late November. Yes, that is a problem.
Mandatory tournaments, you have to face the best players of the world. People always sometimes gets criticized when we play exhibitions. Okay, is a different world. Is not the same to play an exhibition than to play an official tournament against the best players of the world.
For me is about mandatory tournaments are until last week of the season. That’s the main thing. If we were able to change that to skip — not to skip, but have the mandatory events before, then keep having tournaments, will be better for everyone, my feeling.