'Excess Ambition?' No, Nadal Says It's About The Joy Of Sets
Spaniard pinpoints four reasons for his win over Federer
“[But] the day that I start thinking about if it's incredible or not, will probably be the day to do another thing,” said the Spaniard, who has a 92-2 match record at the clay-court Grand Slam championship.
“What I have to do today is not think about if it's incredible, because it's a real thing for me. Even if it's something I never dreamed about five, six, eight years ago, it's happening today. And my goal is just try to keep going. It’s not about having excess ambition, but it’s about just trying to keep enjoying the things that I am doing.”
“I hope to have a lot of time to think about it when I stop my tennis career. Today is about just enjoying the day today. Of course, it has been a very important achievement for me. Being in final of Roland Garros again means a lot again and especially coming back from not an easy situation after all the injuries that I’ve had.”
When asked about the keys to his victory over Federer, Nadal cited four key moments in the 39th FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting of their careers (24-15).
“First of all, winning the first set, and that's always a great step forward. [The] second key moment was when I broke back against the wind… then breaking and winning my serve and then coming back from 0-2 [in the second set].
“And the last key moment was at 4-3 and coming back to 4-4. I was 15/30, then he had two Ads, and then there was an easy shot. I played a crosscourt passing shot and another one with a very high bounce. The position was more favourable for me and I was able to take the ball very fast. That gave me a winning shot.
“And then winning the next game, where he was leading 40/0, he could have broken my serve at 4-3. And if he doesn't break your serve, you serve against the wind. So I moved from there to serving for the second set.”
“There are no two people like Federer on this planet. Luckily, actually… We [have] played many times against each other. But these are matches where we can always find this small plus, this additional shot. And when I play against Roger, I always expect the best from him and I prepare myself accordingly to respond in the best way I can to his tennis.”
When asked if he thought it would be the last time he would play Federer at Roland Garros, Nadal said, “[It's] a logical reality, because years are going by. We all have our small problems. We all have our age, which is increasing. I hope that it was not the last time yet. And I believe that him and I appreciate such matches. We live them with particular emotion after all that we have shared on the court. And it's true that we are getting older, but at the same time, we are still in the semi-finals of the French Open. So if we are here, we don't think about retiring.”
Last year’s finalist Thiem leads 2016 champion Djokovic 6-2, 3-6, 3-1 in their semi-final, which has been suspended due to bad weather and will resume on Saturday from 12 noon local time.