Rafael Nadal had a pretty clear, honest and interesting opinion about his three sets win over Fabio Fognini in Madrid. The Mallorcan player, who prevailed 7/6 3/6 6/4 after almost three hours, said his performance wasn't good at all.
'I haven't played bad, I played really bad. Well, I think that even though I played really badly, my attitude has been very positive. My attitude and the will to win today's match was there. My level of tennis was not so high today, but I managed to make it through the first round.
It was uncomfortable. I think before it wasn't so windy, but when I started playing, it was a really awful day. It was really windy. It's true I've been through some difficult days with the issue of my ear, which cost me a little bit of general stability.
I feel a little bit strange. But it's something that is getting better day after day.' Nadal added: 'Talking about the game in general, it's quite simple: I think there was a moment where he was playing really well.
There was another moment where both of us played really badly. The third set, we leveled up. I think we both played better than what we played in the first two sets. This is a positive thing. But that together with a couple of things, you know, it was the first match in altitude, then it was against an opponent that doesn't give you a lot of rhythm, and the weather today was not really good.
Those three things are not good. Also another thing I forgot. I was a little bit nervous today because it was the first day I played, and the conditions were completely different to the previous days. That makes the match very different.
Luckily I was able to win, and tomorrow I have another opportunity. Hopefully I'm ready to do much better than today.' 'If tomorrow I don't play well, I will go home because tomorrow's opponent will be very difficult.
I hope that tomorrow I will be playing better and I will be able to make it through tomorrow's round. During the year there are always ups and downs. There are matches that you play well, matches that you play bad. The matches you don't play very well, you manage to make it through, they are very important.
They give you a lot of confidence.' Nadal hit five double faults, which was a pretty inusual thing so far this year. Is there a special reason why it happened? 'Is always the same. Is not the serve, no? When you played bad, you play bad.
I am not Karlovic, I am not Raonic, Isner. If I am playing bad from the baseline, the serve going to hold it, no? I can serve well, but I not a player that going to do 20 aces. Serving well for me is serving well to have the chance to take the control from the baseline.
It's true that today I make some double-faults. But the biggest problem was when I serve well, the ball came to my forehand and I was not able to take advantage of that shot. That's the biggest problem, not the serve.' Speaking about his third round match against Nick Kyrgios, Nadal said: 'He's a very difficult opponent.
He's one of the most difficult players you can play. It's true that I think on clay he's a very, very tough player. But perhaps here he's a little bit less difficult to play. But here we have the altitude, and that makes him very complicated.
He can be even more complicated than a hard court due to the altitude we have here. Let's see what happens tomorrow. If I play late, the conditions will be a little bit slower. But, well, he's an opponent that's going to put a lot of pressure on me.
He has a very good serve. He's very aggressive. I have to try to be very solid with my serve, too. I'm going to try to play at a high rhythm. I think I'm ready to play well because of things in the past months I've been playing really well.' ALSO READ: Fabio Fognini criticizes ATP: 'Good schedule here in Madrid'