Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. He was pretty tough to play tonight with some of the shots he came up with?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Well, I think that obviously I had, if not the toughest opponent I can have in the final, one of them, for sure. Like I said, No. 1 in the world right now.
It was obviously a really difficult final to win, but I came trying everything and giving everything. Just, of course, he doesn’t put the things easy to you. He push you. And at the same time, I didn’t really feel, of course, as comfortable or hitting the ball as clean as days before.
Obviously, like I said, part of that is because of him. But, you know, obviously yesterday was a tough match for me with a lot of pressure, and, like, a long match. I had three matches like that. He had also a tough match with Kohlschreiber in quarterfinals, saving seven match points, but yesterday was shorter match than me, and I think that he was a little bit more fresh than me. Also, he’s used to it, to play matches like this more than me.
I think physically, of course, I was, like I said, I was not that fresh. I felt that kind of like in the balls that I needed to stretch so much, or he opened the court so much. And obviously even when I had a little bit of advantage in the first set with the breaks up, I couldn’t really find my rhythm.
You know, of course it’s disappointed. Even if he is No. 1 in the world, I want to win. Once you’re in the finals, you don’t have nothing to lose, but you have a lot to win, a lot of points, a lot of money, and a lot of everything.
I wanted to give everything, but it was just not my day.
Q. This was your biggest final since Acapulco 2012. What does it mean for you to be back in the finals at this level?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Well, it’s great. I said that yesterday that being in the final of a 500 after five years is a great week for me, and I have to take the positive things from this week.
Obviously forget about that 200 points that I could win today and everything that I could win today, because it’s already gone. I’m happy that I tried everything, even if the things was not coming my way and I didn’t really have my best day. But I tried and I fight. It was just not coming.
So I have to take all the positive things, all the good victories I had and all the level that I made this week and take it with me to Indian Wells and Miami now, and then after, Houston, et cetera, and try to keep going and keep even improving to make good weeks like this one. Hopefully I will have another chance to win a 500 soon. And if I have it, hopefully, I will take it.
Q. Your quote that Andy has 700 lives, we will remember this quote. How can you reduce that? Does Andy have any weak points for future matches?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: I mean, obviously he doesn’t have many because he’s No. 1 in the world. It’s not easy to beat him.
He has a great serve, a great return, and the baseline, maybe the best defender in the world right now. So obviously not so many, you know, weak points on his game. But I was just trying to do my game, trying to play with my forehand, like, trying to dictate even if he’s a great defender or maybe the best, you know, doing that in matches against him. I have been close to beating him. Last year in Paris-Bercy, I lost 7-5 in the third.
So I believe in myself before the match that if I had my best day or for sure a great day, I could have chances to win, but obviously if you don’t really play your best tennis, is really — it’s really tough.
I’m just, for that side, a little sad and disappointed, like, after the hard work that I did the whole week to be in the finals. Obviously very happy, but once you’re in the finals, you want to win it, and obviously for one side disappointed that I couldn’t at least play as I really wanted to play.
Q. Do nerves play a factor in a final like this?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Yeah. I mean, of course it’s the nerves of the final, but yesterday was also big nerves, because, you know, like semifinals of a 500, to be in the finals of a 500, like a big amount of different of points, big amount of different of money, playing against a player that is above you — he’s above, right? Under you? Sorry, under you on the ranking. So you have more or less the pressure to win.
So it was also like pressure yesterday. And today I didn’t have — I had nothing to lose, because, like I said, against the No. 1 in the world, normally he need to win, but it’s the pressure of the finals, that’s a big event, you want to win.
But like I said, physically I was not that fresh and he pushed me. He pushed me, of course, more than anybody else during the week. If you start, like, counting things after things, then at the end you don’t hit the ball that easy, sometimes far away from your body, tough to control, tough to put the ball where you want, tough to make the ball run, make winners.
So at the end there are many things that makes you change your game. But like I said, I have to try and get only the positive things. Also see what it was wrong and try to change it for the next tournament.
Q. Do you plan to play Davis Cup?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Well, Davis Cup right now is after a month. I have to be focused first on Indian Wells/Miami and give my 100% there.
I already signed with Houston to play after Miami, so first I have to speak with the captain, Conchita, in Miami, see what’s the team that she wants against Serbia, and then when we finish Miami let’s see how I feel physically, mentally.
Maybe she want me in the team, maybe she doesn’t want me in the team. So I cannot really — like me, normally I always want to play Davis Cup, but obviously there are many players in Spain what makes very competitive the situation to play in Spain, and let’s see. I mean, I cannot really say if I will play or not right now.