Rafael Nadal went through a very tough battle on Friday against Grigor Dimitrov, prevailing by 6-3 in the third set. The Spaniard admitted it 'was very tough match'. 'I think both of us, we played at a very high level of tennis', Nadal said.
'The conditions, of course, have been different today than the two previous matches. First match for me outdoors, so is a different story, but at the same time, I enjoyed, no? Have been I think a great battle between two players who are playing all the time very focused, very intense points all the time.
I think both of us served very well during the whole match, so yeah, decides in just a few balls, and anything can happen.' What was the mindset or the feelings between the end of the tiebreak and the start of the third set? 'Well, the things in this surface was quick.
The court is fast, and the most important thing for me is I played well during the whole match. Is true that at the end of the second, that tiebreak, I make couple of mistakes with the forehand. I had mistake, bad decision going for the forehand in that slice backhand in the 4-2 of the tiebreak.
I should hit that ball with the backhand, but I decided to go with the forehand before he hit the ball. So when you start the run to your forehand, then it's so difficult to change the mind, no? But the real thing is to hit a better slice backhand than what I thought.
Then also difficult to come back to the point from that position. And then, yeah, two good serves for him, 5-4. Then I had the tough mistake with the 5-4 with my forehand. I changed my mind in the last moment trying to hit crosscourt forehand, and in the last moment I saw him running.
I changed my mind. I was too late. That's all. Beginning of the third, I was serving well. Is true that I hold that game, but is true that I had a break point against in that game, but in the same time in that game I was 40-15, too, no? He hit two amazing shots.
And in the second I had a break point, important break point that I could have a passing shot. Mistake, bad position again with the lob, with the backhand. But in general terms, very good match. I think was great match to see and great match to be a part of.' You have had a lot of good matches with him this year.
Where has he improved in terms of his game? What's made him a stronger player this year? 'No, he's more solid. He always had an amazing level of tennis. The only thing that remained a little bit to him was to hold that high level for a long period of time, no? And he's able to do it now, and is good because he has one of the most beautiful games on the tour.
And he's a very good person, is nice one. I'm happy to see him playing that well. Playing like this, he's able to fight for the most important events on the tour without a doubt.' ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal: 'This year I am thinking about tennis, not my body' .