Without too much euphoria because, he repeated, after all, this is just a quarter-final match, Rafael Nadal shows optimism and happiness for how he has beaten Novak Djokovic in the Parisian night and the way to here. In communion with the stands from the start, for a magical night. "The crowd has been incredible since the beginning of the tournament. I know I won't be here many more times. The feeling of playing in the most important of tournaments and with this support is very difficult to describe. I want to thank everyone in Paris for this unforgettable night. I think people appreciate the effort I've made in these years here, fighting, and behaving well in delivery.
And they also know that it is a very important tournament."
But tone down the excitement now for the next challenge, holding his own against Alexander Zverev in the semi-final on Friday. "This is still a quarter-final. I haven't won anything. I've earned the opportunity to come back in two days in a tournament that means a lot to me. I have experience and I know that emotions run high and then they run low. I try to be in balance. It's a great night, you have to enjoy it, but the main objective is to be focused on the next game. It was an important game because we have a lot of history together with Djokovic. In very important moments we've played together. I've been emotional because the last few three and a half months, all I can say is that it hasn't been easy. And he elaborated on the idea: "It has been a bit surprising for me to get the level when apparently I didn't have it. But the track is special to me, it has something unique. On the day that I have needed it the most I have managed to get a level that apparently he had not. Happy. And now that it has been achieved, the challenge is to maintain it".
He analyzed the meeting with all the detail he knows and that comes out. "Everything is decided in a few balls. I think that if we look at the four hours of the match, for more minutes I have been more dominant and that is why I have won. I was playing at a very high level in the first set and a half, dominating in general , regardless of the result. In attacking positions, being able to control Djokovic's game. I was the one who had the options. But when you give him a little life he always comes back, he served better and I've lost that aggressiveness a bit. from dominating to being dominated. These are games where you are always on the limit".
I shouldn't have missed the second set and that made the match difficult. But this is playing against Djokovic. I have played the best game of the last four months. Due to lack of habit, perhaps I lost that second set. Playing well, maintaining physical and mental intensity is also a habit and in these three months I haven't been able to train or compete. It's one more effort, that's why it has more value after losing the set with a double break. I turned it around again in the third and fought it in the fourth without losing hope because it was very complicated".
He flew over the shadow of the foot again, of which he stressed that it has no solution, although it does not rest on finding one either. "I'm going to do my best to play this tournament in the best conditions. I don't know what will happen next." And he left another message on the air of those that are expected with fear on the tennis planet: "We will talk after the tournament and you will understand everything a little. I don't know what can happen after here. I think I can compete here and after here we will see how it turns out Right now is not the time to give explanations, but he has it. When I finish I'll explain it."