Q. Do you think you’ll be able to find sleep tonight?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Yes. Why not? You know, is sad, no, to play one match like this and lost after five hours. But, you know, for the other side, I need to be proud for the tournament I made and the level I played today also. I think it was unbelievable match.
You know, we both played unbelievable. I think, you know, Rafa, I said always, you know, in these matches, five sets, he is the toughest player. You know, and I was there all the time, too. So, you know, for sure I will have this match in my mind all my life.
You know, I’m so proud of all the things I made today and these two, almost two weeks.
Q. Can you imagine you only served four double‑faults in the whole match, and sadly, in the last game, you served two?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Tennis is like this sometimes, no? What can I do? I was trying the same like in all the other games in the match. But, you know, just to try a good second serve, I played two double‑faults.
But I think I need to be so happy with the level I was serving today. You know, I made 20 aces. I was serving 210, 215 a lot. So I cannot think about that I made two double‑faults in one game, you know, and think about this, because tennis is like this sometimes and you don’t need to think about this so much, no?
Q. What would you consider more surprising, the fact that you made 95 winners against the No. 1 in the world, or the fact that you are 25 years old? Normally players become very strong when they’re 20, 21, 22, but not 25.
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Okay (laughter).
Q. What do you consider more surprising of these two facts?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: You know, the winners, it was a so long match, so it is normal that I made a lot of winners. I was taking more risk than him also. For sure I made a lot of more unforced errors than him. I was playing more aggressive than him and trying to look for the winner more than him.
But, you know, about the age? I don’t know what to say, no (laughter)? Anyway, you know, I was practicing this pre‑season in Las Vegas, like everybody knows, with Gil. And Agassi have the best career after 30. So I’m 25. I’m so young (smiling).
Q. When you hit a great shot, and you open your palm, what do you mean by this?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Nothing. Is just something that I have with my friend. Is just like hi, you know. But only one special thing I have with one friend that is here with me. The same like do this (clenching fist). Just one thing more. To have motivation and be all the time 100% in the match.
Q. What were you thinking at Love‑30 deep into the fifth set? Did you think that was your moment, that was your chance?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Yeah, yeah. No, I was thinking that, you know, I need to go 100% for that game. With 15‑30, it was second serve, and I miss my forehand to the net.
I think that it was, you know, my biggest chance in the fifth set. You know, just because I was trying to be aggressive, I made that mistake.
Now, after, is easy to see everything. Now, you know, if I can return in time and have this chance, I will take a lob and put the ball in and try to run and try to fight the point. But in that moment, I thought that it was good to try to take the forehand, and hit an aggressive forehand and I miss it.
But, anyway, for sure it was the big chance in the fifth set, no? But is a pity also. I was trying all the time my best, and I had that chance. He had a lot of other chances. You know, I think both of us, we had a lot of chances. We played unbelievable match. We need to be happy, no?
Is also a pity that, you know, now for Rafa for sure that he won the match that he played that long match for the final, when Roger played one day before and a much shorter match.
You know, is really a pity. I want him to be 100% to play that final and to try to win. I lost against him. He’s a big friend. I wish him the best of luck in the final. I hope that he will win.
Q. About Nadal having one day less to rest, don’t you think that players should do something to avoid these problems all the time? At the US Open they play Saturday the semifinal before the final. Here they play one day, then the next. Don’t you think you, as players, should start to do something?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: I will speak with them in next tournament (smiling).
No, but I think, for sure, the semifinals supposed to be the same day, both semifinals, because I think, you know, is the most fair for everybody, no? Because like right now, yesterday Federer play three sets, and today Rafa play five sets, five hours, and he will have one day less, and with a semifinal much longer.
I think that for sure they supposed to play the two semifinals like the womans, the same day. And I think also with two weeks, you have enough days to make the schedule right and have it like this.
But I don’t know why they did it, no? I promise, I didn’t know that Federer was playing yesterday. I thought that yesterday was playing only girls, and today two semifinals. When I saw that he was playing yesterday, I was a little bit in shock. I was like, Why he’s playing one day before us? He will have much recover, and in the final he will have a little bit more of advantage because he had one day more.
So I don’t know why they did it. And I think that, for sure, they need to change it.
Q. Only Wimbledon has the perfect schedule. The others do what they want.
FERNANDO VERDASCO: I think this is one thing that for sure they need to change. If they hear me here, the guys from Australian Open, I’m so happy because I make semifinals here, and is my biggest tournament. But I think that for sure they need to make it better.
And I think if they put the two semifinals the same day, is gonna be more fair for everybody, for all the four players.
Q. You had 95 winners. You played extremely offensively, but Rafa still gets so many balls back. What is the most impressive thing about his defensive skills?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Everybody knows that he is the best player making this, no? He gets unbelievable balls. You need to win the point against him three or four times more than against all the other players.
Anyway, there are so good players like Federer, Murray, Roddick, Blake, whatever, all the top players. With Rafa you need to win the point three times more than with all the others.
He have unbelievable legs. He run unbelievable. Anyway, he’s taking the ball, you know, like so difficult. I think that he always have a chance to put the ball in unbelievable, no?
Today was a lot of points like this. You know, I remember that point unbelievable that I made a smash like so close to the net, and he just put the ball in. I put it again to the forehand, and he made unbelievable passing shot cross‑court with the forehand. I was, like, I couldn’t believe, no?
But, you know, with Rafa after, I start laughing because I say like, With him is normal. With the others, no. But with him, I’m not surprised of this, no? I saw him play a lot of times, and he made things that all the other doesn’t make. So this is why he’s also No. 1 in the world.
Q. In the fourth set there were a couple of points early where you looked tired.
FERNANDO VERDASCO: When?
Q. Early in the fourth set you looked very tired after some points. Within minutes you seemed to snap out of it and you were playing out of your skin. Was there a time when you thought mentally to yourself, I just have to do anything I can to stay in the point or…
FERNANDO VERDASCO: No, I was no tired. Just, you know, when you lost the third set and you are two sets to one down and the other guy, he’s playing so good also, you know, you need to take a little bit of energy, no? Matches like this, so long, you cannot be like all the points jumping, 150%.
So at the beginning of the fourth set I was taking a little bit break, no, just trying to take my serve, win my serve, and with the return, you know, try to make shorter games. You know, in the end of the fourth, when I saw that the score was closer in the end of the fourth, I start to think that I need to put a little bit more to try to win this set. Because if not, the match is over.
I start to play, you know, with more spin and I start to play more aggressive. I think the end of the fourth set, it was the best level of myself today.
So, you know, these matches, anyway, they are so long, there are so many chances for both players, so many situations, they can change a match. So is difficult to know everything.
013009 friday/info-photo via Australian Open / Getty Images