F. VERDASCO/G. Zemlja
7‑6, 7‑6, 3‑6, 6‑3
Q. Were you surprised at the level he played?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: The level he played?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Well, not surprised because I never saw him before. So I cannot really be surprised when you never see someone before. You know, what I saw in the match is that he served really good, and he was like hitting good shots with the backhand, maybe more so than with the forehand.
But in this surface, just with the good serve and put in like a lot of percentage of first serves in around 115, 120 miles per hour I think is pretty tough to return, no?
And also, I think that, you know, he didn't have anything to lose against me today. So he played much loose than me, no? But I think that he play well, and I really need to fight so much to try to win the match.
Q. Your next station afterWimbledonwill be Umag. Do you have any thoughts about that? Because you have in Umag perfect record.
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Well, I first just want to think about this tournament, no? I think it's enough big and important for me to right now just be focus on here, try to do my best here and give me best here.
Then, after this, I will have some days to prepare as best as possible in Umag. Like you said, no, last time I played a tournament I won the tournament. I'm happy that I'm coming back this year, and hopefully I can play as good as I play few years ago when I won the tournament, no?
But like I said, is the next one. I'm still in this tournament, and I'm right now just thinking about this tournament.
Q. Do you have any superstitions that you have, like on the court or on the day that you're playing?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Not really. Like I just do whatever I feel that I need to do to be comfortable in the court and to be confident, no?
But I don't really have any rituals or anything. No, I don't think so. I just maybe when I'm in the court just to maybe sometimes I do some steps before the return or I just bounce the balls just few times just to try to get focused.
But not something that I do every point or before every match, no. Is just I don't really think that I have anything like that.
Q. How special is for you to be playing atWimbledon? It seems that the game also is favoring more mature players. So can you tell me how special? BecauseWimbledonis a special tournament. You're playing well and seems that you know what you do out there.
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Well, yeah, for me of course it's very special, but being realistic, it's not like the best surface that maybe my game can adapt to, no?
All my like forehand, like my backhand, I can hit my backhand, I can hit my forehand more flat or I can try to use the slice more, but normally my shots are more with speed. Here with speed it's not really like dangerous, no? It's not really like sliding the ball on the court and really like moving fast like if you have like a really flat backhand or forehand that the ball wouldn't touch the floor, really slide, and it's very dangerous, no?
But I think that, you know, the same life for me can be like for Rafa, no? Maybe like if you see him, he doesn't have like shots that is perfect for grass but just fighting and just trying and just giving his best he won two times Wimbledon, no?
But I think that the best things that the Spanish players we have is that we always try no matter which surface we're playing, and even if our game maybe is not the best for this kind of surface, we can still win. The players, they are good on this surface because we just fight from the first ball to the last ball.
Even if it's much harder and the matches are much closer, like mine today, two tiebreaks and one break for him in the third set, one break for me in the fourth set, and the matches are really close, even like that we still win matches in every surface. I think it's because of our attitude, no? We really try very hard to win in every surface.
Q. Players have been saying and Malisse just said he felt the courts are slower. You have been here I think it's your 10th. I don't know.
FERNANDO VERDASCO: I don't know.
Q. But do you feel the difference? Is it slower, do you feel? Do you feel any difference? There are more rallies, it seems.
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Well, it's more rallies. Depends against who you play, you know. With a guy I played today, with his serve, I didn't have many rallies like today, no?
He hit like very good serves, and as soon as I put the return in, he was just making a winner or missing, just few rallies in the whole match.
So like physically like in that kind of conditions that you can feel in clay that you are rally after rally after rally, here you don't have that feeling.
And, yeah, Malisse can be right, that maybe the court is slower and, you know, I feel sometimes that the ball, like the court is slower. Depends how the ball is coming or depends the ball how you hit it. If you hit the ball not very clean or with speed, the ball as soon as touch the floor it gets really like slow. It doesn't slide.
But if you really serve strong with speed or flat or you play like a flat backhand or forehand on the baseline, the ball really, when it bounce, really go fast.
So it's always depending of how your game is. Of course, grass is better for the players that they play flat, because the ball gets much faster when touch the floor, no?
Well, maybe even because I think Malisse play more flatter than me, for example, but even like that, maybe he can feel that the court is slower than other years. This may be possible.
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