It turns out Andy Murray’s quite the Rafanatic – even after suffering a disappointing three set loss to his hero in the Wimbledon semifinals.
From Friday’s press conference:
Q. What did Rafael say to you after the match?
ANDY MURRAY: He said, Bad luck. I just said, Good luck for the rest of the tournament. You know, that was it.
But, you know, I’ve said it for a few years. I love watching him play. He’s my favorite player to watch. That’s why I enjoy playing him so much. So I hope he wins.
Q. Is it annoying to have to wait so long to receive serve?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I don’t care. He can take as long as he wants on any point. I love watching the guy play. No, I don’t care. He can take as long as he wants.
Rafael Nadal says “Aw, shucks!”
Q. How well aware are you that he’s such a big fan of yours? He kept talking about you’re his favorite player to watch.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, just can say thanks. He don’t need to admire a lot of things of me because he’s too good to admire me.
He had some kind words for Andy, too:
Q. What about Andy, you said to him after the match that he could win a major.
RAFAEL NADAL: I wished him best of luck for the rest of the season, and sorry for today. I know it was an important match for him I think because he play at home, and this is a chance for him to win probably the most important title for him win here at home in Wimbledon.
Just I felt sorry for him because he’s a very nice person, very good person. I am sure he gonna win a Grand Slam very soon, because when you have final in US Open, final in Australia, semifinals here this year and the last year, you are there all the time. So one day you win. I am sure he gonna win. He deserve to win.
Rafael Nadal won Friday’s semifinal vs. Andy Murray with a fairly routine scoreline: 6-4, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, but it was a hard fought, nervy match on both sides. All three sides, I should say, as the British public - including David Beckham in the stands – played its role as Greek chorus.
Nadal appreciated the moment and his opponent: “For me was amazing day, very important victory for me, one of the more difficult victories of my career because the opponent was playing well and I need really to play my best tennis to try to win.”
He’ll have another important, amazing and difficult day on Sunday, when he plays first time Major finalist, Tomas Berdych, in the final. Tomas took out Novak Djokovic 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 in the other semifinal. “I’m looking forward to the next one,” Berdych told the press afterwards. “And definitely not fear to anybody.”
Serena Williams in her pre-finals press conference:
Q. Do you ever have those ‘I’ve got to pinch myself and wake up because I can’t believe what kind of career I had’ moments?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I’ve never had one of those moments, not tennis‑wise.
Q. Do you want to talk about the offcourt‑wise?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It’s probably not appropriate to discuss (smiling).
Vera Zvonareva is experiencing an entire “pinch me” weekend, as she finds herself in both the singles and doubles finals (with partner Elena Vesnina vs. American Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova.)
Forget Soderling! Sweden has another man in the finals – Robert Lindstedt pairs up with Horia Tecau of Romania against Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner.
Familiar names in the mixed doubles final as Wesley Moodie and Lisa Raymond face Leander Paes and Cara Black.