PHOTOS/VIDEO: 2021 Madrid Open QF Rafael Nadal vs. Alexander Zverev
2021 Madrid Open QF Rafael Nadal vs. Alexander Zverev 4-6 4-6
Rafa: “I had the match under control at the beginning, playing well for six games, probably playing better than him. In the 4-2, serving for 5-2, I had a disaster. Another bad game with my game from 30/0. Of course, playing against one of the best players of the world, under these circumstances, with this speed of the court, it is very difficult to still confident. I tried, is true that the serve was difficult to control today. Well done to him.”
“I’m leaving Madrid with an overall positive feeling, but at the same time with the ugly feeling of having played a match like this today against a great player. I think for most of the first set, I was playing better than him. And this is the negative part; while playing better than him in the first set, I still lost 6-4."
“This is very difficult to understand, especially for me. When this happens to me, it’s usually in the opposite way – I find a way to win sets even though I’m not playing my best or as good as the opponent.”
“I felt like I was playing better for much of the first set, but after a couple of errors – unjustifiable errors at the worst times – I found myself down a set. The outlook of the match changed there, both for me and for him. I knew then that a lot of suffering was waiting for me, and for him, the knowledge that he just took a huge step forward during the match.”
“It’s not that I wasn’t able to find my ‘minimum level’, it’s that you’re playing against someone whose serve gets you into big trouble. Every serve goes above 220, so in conditions like these I have to return like six metres behind the baseline and even then I’m still hitting the returns at shoulder height.”
“Where the clay season stands is very simple: quarters, champion and quarters. And now comes Rome. That's all there is. I’ve been able to reach quarter-finals in Monte-Carlo, win in Barcelona and reach quarter-finals here, and I feel like I’ve been moving forward.
“We’ll see what happens in Rome. For me, the objective before Roland-Garros is to go to Rome and win it. That’s the truth.”
• After his match today Rafa met with 95-year-old Manuela, one of his biggest fans
Manuela is passionate about tennis at the age of 95. Her idol is Rafa Nadal, and this Friday she is fulfilling her dream of seeing the Balearic tennis player play at the Mutua Madrid Open. Manuela insists that she has seen all of Rafa's matches and always watches him play. She also wanted to be able to take a picture with Rafa. Manuela's story was told by her grandson Carlos Carrizosa. His grandmother, from the very beginning of Alzheimer's disease, dreamed of seeing Nadal play before she forgot what tennis was.
Photos: MMO; Getty Images; AP; AFP; EFE
• Press conference