Rafael Nadal responds to Ernests Gulbis’ comments after the Spaniard’s 1-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory in the Rome quarterfinals. Gulbis said that he was the better player on the day.
“I thought I was the better player in the match and also in the second and third sets but he is the champion and well, I lost against him in Indian Wells when I also thought I played better than him," Gulbis said. "He is solid and he didn't do anything special and I made mistakes and so he won.”
Nadal disagreed, saying that winning matches is not all about hitting hard and going for winners.
“Tennis is not like football where you score a goal and you stay back and you can win the match,” he said. “In tennis you play every point and not only, normally but not always, the best player wins and if you understand that the best player is him. If you hit as hard as you can and hit every ball at 216 [kilometers per hour] or 220 and then that means being the best player then perhaps he was the best player.
"For me the best player is to try and find solutions against the other player, and when I served for the second set and I lost and also in the third and I still was fighting and I found solutions so the best player won. Gulbis is a fantastic player and he needs to pace himself a little more and he asked too many times to the umpire to look at the ball and I never do that. I don’t like this attitude on court but everyone is free and he needs to be a little cool.”
Gulbis said he should be a major threat when Roland Garros begins a week from Sunday.
"I am confident going into Paris and I think I'm the toughest unseeded player,” he said.