Friday Notes and Quotes from the BNP Paribas Open

Notes and Quotes from Friday, March 16, 2012

Q.  You always not a big fan of HawkEye.  Do you think what happened today showed again the inconsistencies of…

ROGER FEDERER:  No, I mean, it happens.  I mean, I seen something worse happen here years ago between Murray and Ljubicic.  I mean, it’s always gonna happen, stuff like that.

But, you know, back then with the bad calls sometimes you get these arguments, you know.  It was just different to see.  You know, there was a different momentum, something you kind of talk about sometimes.

I don’t know, it just has more flare to it, you know, when you have these bad calls from time to time.  Now it’s just straightforward; you move on.  There’s a good call, bad call, the worst that can happen is you run out of challenges and the umpire then misses everything and the linespeople too.

But the chances of that happening are virtually impossible.  Yeah, I mean, it’s fine what it is, you know.  But I liked it the way it was, and I’m fine with what it is today.

Q.  You have had so many matches with Rafa, hours and hours.  Hung out with him some off the court.  Over the years, either what have you learned the most or admired the most about him on court and off?


ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I mean, he’s got a great work ethic, and obviously he’s one of the great players, you know, of all time.

I have had some great matches with him all around the world by now, you know.  So I hope I can play him here.

Q.  You’ve never played him here, which is kind of interesting.  You guys have played 27 times.  Can you evaluate how the conditions or this court, do you think, will play, if you end up playing him?

ROGER FEDERER:  I think this and Miami probably plays best for Rafa on hard court, you know, because it’s very slow.  Miami can be windy, which I don’t think he minds.  I mean, I don’t mind that, either.

Just the slowness of the courts helps his play.  He has such great movement that obviously this is a court that, you know, works well for him.  I think also the results show he’s been incredibly consistent here particularly here over the past years.

I don’t know how consistent he’s been in Miami, but he’s been also very tough to beat over there.  That’s why if I play him I would expect a difficult match.

Q.  There is a cliché that says clay is the slow surface on the circuit, but surfaces have become slower and slower through the years.  Is this cliché still available?  Are there surfaces that actually play at least as slow as clay?

ROGER FEDERER:  I’m sure, yeah, absolutely.  This ain’t a whole lot faster than clay, if not slower, you know.  Because on a nice day on clay the ball bounces a lot.  You have the bad bounces, and, yeah, you can serve big really on clay.

And then with the sliding, if you play it the right way, you can really make someone really uncomfortable.  Which here it’s always great footwork, great grip on the court, and all that stuff.

From what I heard, the rallies are longer now on an average at Wimbledon and at the French Open, believe it or not.  There you go.  I think the balls and all this stuff have slowed down way too much, but it’s where we’re stuck with at the moment.


Q.  Obviously a very long first game.  You had a couple of chances, and then there was the controversial call.  Can you talk us through what was going your mind at the time and your conversation with the umpire.

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  Yeah, I understand against Federer or the top guys maybe you have more chance to take advantage in the first games of the match than the rest.

But today I had two break points before the conversation.  I made the mistake with my forehands, backhands, and there was a problem with that call.  It was clear out, and the machine doesn’t work.  I don’t know what’s happen.

But then the chair umpire told me he made a mistake, and I was really I don’t know how you explain ‑ but at that time he was talking to me, I made the mistake, so could be a big chance to me to change the way of the match in that game.

But everybody can make a mistake.  I make mistake with my forehand, he made the mistake with the call, but that’s it.  I think after that I was not concentrating the match and Roger playing better, take all his opportunities.

He was really tough to me to playing good level when I saw him in high level.

Q.  Do you think the umpire should have seen the ball out?  I mean, you saw it out; Roger said he saw it out.

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  He saw out, also?

Q.  Yes.

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  (Laughing.)  Don’t tell me that.

No, I know Roger, he stayed in the same position to play the second serve.  Everybody can make a mistake.  Now the match is over, and even if I won the first game maybe I will lose, anyway.  So doesn’t matter.

But I don’t know.  Anyway, I don’t want to talk anymore about that.  I made a good tournament, anyway.  I have good relationship with Mohammed, and everybody knows he’s a nice chair umpire.  So everything is okay.

Q.  I heard that you can play with Nalbandian in the Olympics.  Do you confirm that you will play with maybe Nalbandian in the Olympics?


Q.  Is it true you’re going to be carrying the Spanish flag during the Olympics?  If so, what will that experience mean to you?

RAFAEL NADAL:  I cannot answer the second one because the first answer, that’s not true, no?  I don’t know.  I would love to do it, you know.  If that happen will be an honor for me and I will be very glad.

But seriously, nobody give me that information or confirm to me that information.  So that’s something that, you know, normal thing that happens for you.  The press, you know, says things, but the real thing is I really don’t have the confirmation of the Spanish COE.  So I cannot answer that question.  That’s the true, no?

I would love to do it, and it will be an honor if that’s happens.

Q.  Did an entire column on doubts.

RAFAEL NADAL:  I believe everybody have doubts.  I believe everybody who is not too arrogant have doubts.  That’s the real life.  I have doubts.

At the same time I believe that I can do it, but I don’t think  I don’t want to go to bed tonight thinking I gonna win the match of tomorrow.  I gonna go to bed tonight thinking that hopefully I will play a fantastic match and hopefully I will have my chances to win the match.

That’s my real thoughts.  They are doubts, yes, because I don’t believe that I gonna win the match.  I believe that gonna be a very difficult match for me, and I don’t know if I gonna be able to play my best.  I don’t know if I gonna be able to win another time.

But that’s part of the game, and that’s the beautiful things about the sport, in my opinion.  I gonna go there.  I gonna fight every ball and try to play my best tennis and I hope that’s gonna happen, but I don’t know.

Q.  You came in after that and said he was difficult for you to figure out.  You just didn’t know how to play him.  Is that still the case?

RAFAEL NADAL:  I think is different case today than few years ago because I was playing better tonight, this afternoon, than few years ago before the match.  That’s my feeling.

So I started the match too nervous without any reason today.  Because I think I was playing very well during all the tournament.  I didn’t lost my serve during all the tournament.  I felt very well, playing fantastic tennis.

I started the new season playing well, having a very good tournament in Doha then in Australia.  I feel confident.  I feel the things are going better, and I am able to play better tennis than for a lot of moments last year.

So that gave me a lot of confidence.  I believe my level is a little bit higher for moments this year.  But another time the doubts are there, and today was a typical day that I started the match with some doubts.

Nalbandian always gives me problems on my game, and that probably make me feel a little bit not safe before the match.  That’s why probably I had more mistakes than usual.

But I am in semifinals; I am through.  I am very happy.  That’s the true.  Tomorrow I have a fantastic match to enjoy and to try to play aggressive, to try to play another time very well, and to try my best in every moment.

But being in semifinals after outside, a while outside of competition, is a fantastic result, and very happy for that.  Everything is to win now.

Probably the pressure is not any more for me.  But in that match probably, yes.

Q.  Roger suggested these courts are very slow, almost as slow as clay, and that most of the tour events are played on slow courts these days.  He suggested he may like to see faster courts.  How do you feel about that?

RAFAEL NADAL:  The most of what?

Q.  He suggested she is courts are very slow?

RAFAEL NADAL:  Federer, yes, but the rest of the thing?

Q.  That the tour is also playing more tournaments on slower courts and there haven’t very many faster courts to play on these days, that perhaps that would be better for…

RAFAEL NADAL:  I don’t know the past days.  I only know these days.  My feeling this court is not slower than most of the hard court courts from the rest of the season.  That’s my feeling.

That the ball flies quick here.  The ball is fast, my opinion, and the surface is normal hard court.  Not quicker than the rest; not slower than the rest.

I feel good.  I like this court.  I don’t know, maybe next year will be much faster if Roger says, no?  I have already this week a lot of time violation.  That’s the true.

Q.  Is clay more fun?

RAFAEL NADAL:  For me, yes.  (Smiling.)

But I gonna say is more than more fun, is more healthy.  That’s the true.  These kind of courts are not.  Hard courts are not healthy.  That’s the true.  That’s my feeling, and that’s something that not gonna change for my era.

But the people who runs this sport have to think about that.  Today we have lot of injuries in the knees, in the ankles, in the hip.

So I believe.  I am free to say that today after, you know, probably winning in every court.  I’m feeling that I can play my best tennis in all the courts, not only on clay.

I didn’t feel free to say that probably five years ago, but today I feel free to say that because I don’t have to show nobody that I am ready to play well in every place.

I am not saying that because I prefer clay.  I am saying that because I believe grass and clay are much more healthy for the body than hard courts.

That’s something that for the future, if the people who run this sport are not smart to change, that will be a big advantage for this sport.

Q.  You and Roger have played 27 times already.  When this sort of a meeting happens, everybody sits up and takes notice.  When you go out on the court to play him, is everything different?  Is everything new?  Is there a lot of the same stuff from other matches?  How do you feel when you go out each time to play Federer?

RAFAEL NADAL:  Always are special matches, no, especially because always are in very important matches for both of us.  That makes always the match very special.

But even if it’s not the final, being in semifinals is important match.  But I play always against Roger means a little bit more than against the rest of the opponents because, you know.  I am playing probably against the best of the history, and because I played probably the most important matches in my career against him and probably him against me.

So that’s why it makes the match a little bit more special than the rest.

Q.  You made a deep run.  You had your chances on this match.  How would you evaluate your night and tournament as a whole?

ANGELIQUE KERBER:  Yeah, I mean, I had some chances.  I didn’t get it, but she’s a great player and she plays very good in these moments.

Yeah, actually, I did everything I can today.  Yeah, but she was better today.

Q.  Going to Miami, how difficult is the transition from playing in Indian Wells where it’s very relaxed and it’s dry and it’s the desert to Miami where it’s loud and, you know, hectic and humid and stuff?

ANGELIQUE KERBER:  I think we will see.  I mean, I will go there and make my preparation like here and try to give my best.  We will see.

Q.  Sometimes when you hit a winner, you shout allez.


Q.  Sometimes it’s, Come on.

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Yeah, it’s really unconscious, you know.  Because I have French team, and, you know, also in English; sometimes I say in Russian.

So it’s really unconscious, you know.  My coach says allez on the sidelines.  My team says allez.  Somebody says come on.  It’s kind of like back and forth.

Q.  Mix it up?


Q.  If Sharapova wins this match, any thoughts on who might be the loudest in the finals?

THE MODERATOR:  We’ve addressed that many times before.

Q.  Can you tell us what happened?  When did you start feeling any pain?

ANA IVANOVIC:  Well, I started to feel it in the middle of the first set.  I did not actually feel like anything pulled or anything, it just gradually got worse and worse.  I really found it hard on 3‑4 to return.  I really couldn’t push off and get up.

And then on my serve very next game it was getting worse and worse and I couldn’t jump off my leg.  I start to feel a lot of pain through my glute and couldn’t load on my backhand side.

So after the treatment, it was just getting worse and worse rapidly.  We taped it and then I tried to continue, but, like, it was at the end, I couldn’t even return.  I couldn’t even stand there on my return.  I couldn’t load even if it was just on the right side.

Q.  It was quite a high‑quality through that first half of that first set.  Can you talk us through just before you picked up the injury kind of how things were going out there for you?

ANA IVANOVIC:  No, I’m very disappointed, because I felt like I was playing really good tennis and it was great match.  We were pushing each other, and we both had been playing well actually from the first moment on in that match.

I thought that the whole two weeks I have been playing really, really well.  It’s very disappointing to finish it this way.  You know, at the end, it just wasn’t about tennis, you know.

Yeah, I’m sad.

Q.  You were talking earlier this week about how you regretted playing through the thumb injury that you had after Wimbledon.  In terms of picking up another injury now and we’re heading into a pretty busy part of the schedule, I mean, how are you gonna use that experience to look at which tournaments you play, which ones you pull out of?

ANA IVANOVIC:  Yeah, that’s why I really want to get it checked tomorrow so I know exactly what I’m dealing with.  At this moment I don’t know.  I just know it’s painful to walk up the stairs.

Yeah, I just want to actually see what I have.  But I’m gonna try ‑‑ I have physio in Miami, so she’s gonna be there.  I’m gonna try and get there as soon as I can and start treatment.

But definitely gonna take a few days off and see how that plays out.  But that was another reason I thought there was no point of continuing, because these kind of injuries only can get worse.


Q.  Before Ana was hurt, seemed like it was a high quality match.

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, definitely.  It was unfortunate that it had to end this way.  I thought towards the end of the second set we started playing really good, high‑quality tennis.

Yeah, it was a surprise, because I thought  I didn’t notice anything was wrong until she called for that medical timeout, and then…

Yeah, obviously I would have loved to have finished the match the right way, but I am happy after, you know, a long match yesterday that I got a little shorter one today.

Q.  How do you make the decision whether or not to wear your visor during night matches?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  It depends.  Usually if I wear it at nice usually it’s because it’s really humid and I’m sweating a lot.  I don’t like to wear headbands anymore.  I did it a long time ago.

But if I do wear a visor at night, it’s usually because of the sweat.