It did not look good after the first set and Rafa had to fight hard but finally after four sets and over four hours on court Rafa made it to the Semi Final where he will face Roger Federer.
In the night session at Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday, Rafael Nadal had to rally past Tomas Berdych 6-7 (5), 7-6 (6), 6-4, 6-3 in a four hour and 16 minute battle.
“I think the level of the third and fourth set for me was very, very high, top level for myself playing on these courts,” said Nadal. “Very happy about how I finished the match. I think I finished playing at very, very high level.”... Full Story Here
RAFAEL NADAL: At the beginning wasn't exceptional for me.
RAFAEL NADAL: Maybe, but I think the level of the third and fourth set for me was very, very high, top level for myself playing on these courts. Very happy about how I finished the match. I think I finished playing at very, very high level.
The first set especially I felt that I started the match too nervous, no? I wasn't able to hit the ball long. My movements weren't enough strong, enough fast.
It's true is difficult against a player like him, because you don't have chances on return. He hit the ball very, very hard and very flat. Very difficult to find the rhythm.
But I had to do it a little bit earlier, no? I was a little bit unlucky at the end of the first set. I was lucky with the 5‑4. I saved that three points, four set points. But I was unlucky with the 5‑All, because I believe that ball was out.
The umpire was right. I didn't discuss with the umpire his decision, because I know that if we had the rule book and we read how the rule is, he's right.
But I am not happy. They are there to make something, not just to call 15‑All or 15‑30 all the match. That's the only thing I'm unhappy about.
The rest, I know he's right. I came back to the middle. But, you know, is natural act, because in the 5‑All, seriously I saw the ball out, and I believed that the line called something. For sure wasn't like this, but that is what I believe at that moment and I stopped.
But anyway, very happy with anything. Semifinals is fantastic result for me. Start the season with semifinals in the first big tournament of the season is very good news.
The level is very positive, much, much better than the end of the season. The character on court, the way to win the points, everything was much more positive, so I'm very happy.
RAFAEL NADAL: The numbers are important, No. 1 and No. 2, No. 3, No. 4. The ranking is important, but when we talk about a player who won 16 Grand Slams and I won 10 and we played a lot of matches between each other and all ones, in very important moments for our careers and very high moments.
So the match is special. I don't know how many we played, but the most were finals or a few semifinals in a Masters Cup.
But for everything, for what represents the match, all the matches against him are special and will be special even if we are 20 against 25.
RAFAEL NADAL: I want to believe that was harder in 2009, but I am three years older.
RAFAEL NADAL: No 2009 matches; 2009 was much harder. Was harder, I believe. After the match I really couldn't move next day. I hope tomorrow I will be able to practice with normal conditions, but not perfect condition, but I will be able to practice.
2009, the day after, I wasn't able to practice. That's important.
RAFAEL NADAL: Every match is completely different, and every situation is completely different, too, no?
I was nervous because he was playing well. I thought that I didn't put enough balls in when I was returning, so I only had a break point in that second game, so ‑‑ two break points.
For the rest, I felt it was really important match for me, because quarters to semis is a big chance. You start with very good feeling the season. You know, quarterfinals is not a bad result, but at the same time is not a good one, no?
Semifinals is a good one. Is start of season being in the four best of the first important tournament of the season. So is very good way to start the season.
That's why maybe I start the season a little bit nervous, and that's human. That's what it is. But the attitude was positive, because was the right one to overcome the situation.
I did, and finally I think I finished the match playing at one of my best ‑‑ fourth set was one of my best levels on this kind of surface, returning inside the court, making a lot of winners from with the first ball, the return, having serve, and winner.
So that's something that I really miss a little bit, especially second part of the season last year. The first part of the season was positive, but winning with a different way, not that way.
So most important thing too is the character. How I acted on court was completely the right one tonight. For moments at the second half of the season last year wasn't. Was not the perfect one. Today was the perfect one.
RAFAEL NADAL: I will try my best from the beginning. I tried my best from the beginning tonight.
Sometimes the things didn't work as good as you would like, but that's the sport. I will try from the beginning if happens the same than tonight.
So I will keep fighting with positive attitude, and the normal thing is lose. But if I play like the third or fourth set, hopefully I will have my, you know, my chances.
Always playing in these kind of surfaces he's the favorite. His level is fantastic, and he won today a fantastic match against one of the best players of the world, Del Potro. So he's doing very, very well. Did he lose a set yet?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. So he's doing well and he's playing fantastic and he had a fantastic end of the season last year. So he's coming with confidence. It will be a very, very difficult match for me, and I will try.
But for me, the most important thing I had the calm. The feeling of the level of my game during all the tournament was really satisfying. Even if I lose, I come back home with very positive feeling about how I played, and for sure the result is good.
For me, semifinals after two years with troubles, injuries, is, you know, I must be happy for that.
RAFAEL NADAL: No. I prefer that, but, no, every match is different, and I know I will be on court playing against probably the best of the history, playing well him.
So obviously my only way and my only chance to win is play aggressive, play very well, and to play to a limit. That's what I gonna try.
RAFAEL NADAL: If happens the same than in the Masters Cup three months ago the physical performance doesn't affect. (Laughter.) Hopefully will never repeat.
If the match stays strong and the physical performance affects on the result, hopefully that's gonna be a little bit advantage for me or not, because he's very fit.
He never had the physical problems. No injuries, no problems. Very good, you know.
Carlos is a fantastic umpire, one of the best on tour. But for everybody the work when now is match is much easier. They don't feel the pressure than before, because at the end, if you want to stop, you stop.
So that's why sometimes I miss more overrule. Because happen before I had to stop one point. One ball was clear out, and another ball there. You can see like this. I had to ask the Hawk‑Eye, because remain more overrules on the umpires. That's my feeling.