N. ALMAGRO/J. Tipsarevic 6‑4, 6‑4, 6‑4

 

NICOLAS ALMAGRO

 

Q.  I guess you’re happy to win in three sets against a tough opponent like Tipsarevic?

NICOLAS ALMAGRO:  Yes, of course I’m very happy.  I think I played great tennis today.  The day was a little bit cloudy, but now it’s really sunny for me.  (Smiling.)

Now that win is one of the best moments of my career, and I want to enjoy and I’m very happy with my tennis.

Q.  If we assume that you’re playing Rafael, I know it’s asking the obvious, but can you just put into words how big a challenge that is, to try and…

NICOLAS ALMAGRO:  He need to win, no?  Or he won?

 

Q.  It hasn’t started yet, but if we can assume that he wins.

NICOLAS ALMAGRO:  Well, I will try to play my tennis.  In quarterfinals in Roland Garros I want to enjoy.  I will try to play like today, and we’ll see.  What can I do?  Is the only thing I can say.

 

Q.  I remember four years ago, I think it was in room 3 before facing Rafa, you said, Rafa is my boss.  Do you still feel the same four years after?

NICOLAS ALMAGRO:  Of course (smiling).  He’s the man on clay, and we are trying to be close to him.  We are working hard to do our best.

 

Q.  Do you think he’s even stronger and more impressive than four years ago, even two years ago?

NICOLAS ALMAGRO:  I am stronger, too, than four years ago.  Is different.  It’s another match, and I’m ready to fight.

THE MODERATOR:  Spanish questions, please.

 

Q.  He played one point close to the line, and you almost fell into the crowd.

NICOLAS ALMAGRO:  Well, yes, I fell almost into the flowers.  I fell on my bottom, but I’ve got a big bottom so nothing happened.  (Laughter.)

It’s a slight thing.  You know, I’m sitting now, so no problem, no concern whatsoever.  It didn’t really hurt me.

Well, I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed this moment when I landed in the flowers, but nothing serious.

 

Q.  Could you tell us what has changed?  What are the differences now in Nico Almagro?

NICOLAS ALMAGRO:  Well, many, many things have changed in my life.  You might wonder, perhaps, why there have been changes at the best moment in my career, but this is something I have felt within myself, something I thought about beforehand, something I discussed at length with my family.

I wanted to be closer to my family.  I needed to be with my nephews, my nieces.  And, you know, I was traveling all the time.  I was too far away from home.  It was difficult for me.

But now that I feel closer to my family, I can take my car and visit them when I want.  I feel a lot better.

And also, you know, as years go by, I have realized what really matters for me in life.  I’m getting old, you know.  I’m getting older.  I’ll be almost 27 soon.

I think that these situations, these moments, I’ve lived them in the past already, or rather I wanted to live tennis too much and I didn’t make the most of my family.   Now I’m trying to enjoy each second, each minute of my life.

It’s also thanks to the team who’s with me and more particularly one person, probably.  I was thinking about Juan Carlos Ferrero who has helped me a lot through these difficult moments.

I discuss a lot with him.  You know, when you’re close to a former No. 1 and when you’re with a Roland Garros champion, there is a lot you can learn.  This is what I want to learn day in and day out.  I know I still have a lot to learn from him.

 

Q.  It’s the third time you have reached the quarterfinals.  Okay, Monaco, Nadal.  Nadal defeated you very quickly, and another time against Nadal it was more difficult for him.  What do you think about all of these matches?

NICOLAS ALMAGRO:  Nobody’s going to give you a free gift during the quarterfinals in Roland Garros.  I’ll continue and play my game.

I’ll play my best tennis.  Today at the beginning of the match it was a bit difficult.  He was leading 3‑Love, and I decided to fight for each point, which is what I did.

Whoever the opponent is, it is going to be difficult also for my opponent.  It’s going to be difficult for me, as well.  These will be quarterfinals.  We all want to play our best tennis.

 

Q.  You have signed something.  What was this?

NICOLAS ALMAGRO:  Well, this was very special.  My nephew this night sent me a video with Mazinger.  I think he’s a very strong person, so I remembered this.  I signed this.

 

Q.  Why are you not yet a father?  I have the impression you love your nephews, your nieces, et cetera.

NICOLAS ALMAGRO:  Well, are you really asking this question to me?  Well, frankly, I don’t know.  I didn’t really think about this.  Not yet.  The moment has not come in my life for this.

I think I still have to enjoy a lot of matches, and then when I’m ready to be a father, I’ll spend all of my time with my children.

I can’t say the contrary, that’s true.  I’d like to be a father.  But for the time being, I will do my best on the courts, and then when the moment comes, I’ll have a family.  This was a real question, but my answer is a real answer.

 

Q.  Nadal has not yet won the match, but I remember in Madrid you played semifinals against Nadal.  The beginning of the match was outstanding, and then here during the quarterfinals you played against Nadal.  What has changed in you?  How do you think you’re going to cope throughout the match?

NICOLAS ALMAGRO:  I remember as well Paris‑ Bercy, the match point, I don’t know if you remember this.

 

Q.  Yeah, but that was not on clay so I didn’t ask.  It’s true that I had forgotten.

NICOLAS ALMAGRO:  I remember well.  As I said before, I told you before, that I think we have to adapt to each situation.  We try and do our best each time.

Maybe in the past I was not constant enough.  I wanted to have many experiences, and I wanted to go to the depth of things.

Now I’ve changed.  As I told you, I want to enjoy each match, each point I play.  I like dictating the pace, the rhythm of the match.  I think you’ve probably noticed this.

Whereas in the past I had probably more difficulties in finishing a Grand Slam match and finishing it quickly; whereas now I’ve gained more confidence, and that’s the main change in me.

But here again, I think it’s due to maturity.  I think this is the result of experience gained, a lot of experiences.  Some were good experiences; others were more bitter.  But I think that today I play a good tennis and I feel soothened.

 

Q.  I think that your objective would be to win a Grand Slam in your tennis career.  Which is the one you would choose?  Is there one that you would prefer?

NICOLAS ALMAGRO:  Well, for the time being it would be this one, Roland Garros, because, you know, I was defeated in the round of 16 in Australia, so maybe US Open.  But, you know, winning a Grand Slam is a dream for the time being.  I’m still here at Roland Garros, and I’ll fight hard.

 

Q.  (Off microphone.)

NICOLAS ALMAGRO:  Well, of course, if you ask any player which Grand Slam they would like to win, they would say, The four of them.  I have reached quarterfinals here in Paris, at the Paris Open, and I’ll try and win this one.

 

Q.  Now, back to this match you played today.  We have not yet talked a lot about this match.

NICOLAS ALMAGRO:  Well, this match today, I knew from the outset it would be a very difficult match, because Tipsarevic had a lot of confidence in his game.  Janko had a lot of confidence.

I played my tennis.  It was very difficult to win the first set.  And then I thought, I have to remain calm.  I managed to turn the match around in my favor, and that’s when I gained more confidence.  I was more aggressive when I played.

Entering the third set I lost a break point and then I won another break point.  I had to fight hard.  I was like I felt, I’m swimming, I’ve got to switch faster to reach the shore.  And therefore I’m very happy about what I’ve done today.

 

Q.  You’ve talked about your different lifestyle today.  You’ve changed in your life.  Today you’ve played against a player who is known as Perlas.  What are the benefits of Perlas?

NICOLAS ALMAGRO:  I think he’s given me everything now in my tennis on courts but off courts.  Perlas has helped me become a professional, to put it this way.

I was breathing tennis 24 hours a day with him for several years.  These were the best three years of my whole career.

I hope that what I will do in 2012 will be better than 2011.  2011 with him was an excellent year.  I owe him a lot.

I keep on telling him regularly, I say, It’s thanks to you that I’ve managed to gain these tennis routines both on courts but also off courts.  That’s why I’m one of the best players now.

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