MonteCarloRolexMasters2011 presser

Monte Carlo Nadal Press Conference

4/14/2011Rafaholics ™


Montecarlo Masters
R.Nadal - 13.04.2011
Nadal d. Nieminen 62 62

Q. You seemed to have a good start of the tournament for you today. How were you feeling?
RAFAEL NADAL: Good. Is just the first match on clay, so is important victory for me for sure start winning.
But we will see, no? I didn't practice perfect as usual the week before because I need matches on clay. So today was a positive start. I think I played better that what I practiced the last days, so that's always positive. For sure was a good victory, I think.

Q. Obviously this tournament, the upcoming ones, are important to you. At this stage, do you already have one eye on Roland Garros? Do you try not to peak too soon?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, that's impossible to have the control of this. If you are playing well now, I try my best every week, no? I don't know the way how to be at perfect conditions in Roland Garros. That's a first answer.
The second is, for me Monte‑Carlo is very, very important. I try to be at my hundred percent in every place that I play, so...

Q. What do you expect with Federer on clay this season?
RAFAEL NADAL: About what?

Q. With the rivalry with you. What do you think?
RAFAEL NADAL: He is doing well. He played two semifinals, semifinals in Australia, final in Dubai, champion in Doha. He's playing well.
I expect always his top level. He played three finals here, I think. Three finals of Roland Garros, one title. He won in Madrid. He won a lot of times in Hamburg. Playing two finals in Rome. Expectations must be always very high, I think.

Q. Did you have all your sensations back on clay today?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think I needed a few more days. Is just the first match. Is positive the way how I played with the forehand. Was positive the way that my serve worked. It wasn't bad. I have to play a little bit more aggressive with the backhand. I have to move better, have few less mistakes that I had today. That's all.

Q. What do you remember from your semifinal here against Richard six years ago?
RAFAEL NADAL: It was very tough match. He had good chances at that match. I think he played very, very well.
Well, I don't remember exactly all the match. But, seriously, I remember was a very, very difficult match, and he was close to beat me.

Q. He said from since then, you won six titles here, he only won six matches in the tournament, and now there is a huge difference between the two of you. How do you imagine the match tomorrow?
RAFAEL NADAL: Very difficult. He's coming back better. I'm very happy for him. I'm very happy to see him another time playing very well. Was very tough for him, what happened a few years ago. Is not easy to come back from that situation.
He's doing great. He's a fantastic guy, fantastic person, I think. That's positive for tennis. For sure, all the players are happy to see Richard back.

Q. When you say he's coming back, do you think he can get back to the level he was three or four years ago, beating Roddick at Wimbledon, be a top 5 player?
RAFAEL NADAL: What is his ranking right now?

Q. 18.
RAFAEL NADAL: Why not? He is there. When you are 18, when you are 15, 14, be top 10 or not depends on one tournament. If you play very well one tournament, and if is a Grand Slam or Masters 1000, you have the right week there, you win that match that you can lose or you can win, you win that match, you can get the top 10. That's the difference of the ranking, no?
Exactly for me, if I win these kind of matches, I going to have my chances to be in the top positions. If you lose these matches of semifinals, quarterfinals or finals, you're going to have less chances to be in the top.

Q. What is your attitude to records, to numbers? Do you give importance to them or not that much? You know you won six tournaments here in Monte‑Carlo; you won 30 matches without losing a set; 33 in a row; 72 sets. Nobody has done more than 70, except Muster and Nastase. Are these numbers somehow important or you don't really care that much?
RAFAEL NADAL: Is difficult to think about numbers when you are playing, no? For sure I love the history of tennis. I care about the records.
I always answer the same, but that's what I think: We will see when I finish my career where I am. Right now I am playing. I am trying my best every day. I think think about records will be a big mistake at this moment.

Q. Jarkko hit the net cord today in the match, but you still won the point. Do you feel sometimes that when you win such points, that your opponents, you're breaking their will or they're losing confidence or...
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. I fight every point. I played like this all my life. Sometimes on clay that works well. Sometimes on hard was not the same.
But, anyway, that's part of the game. I try my best. Some days I am playing well and I can arrive to these balls and I can come back from difficult situations. Other times, you don't have this luck, you're playing worse, and you don't have these chances, no?
I don't know what is the answer.

Q. Is it more difficult to find your serve on clay?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. My serve? I don't know which is my serve (laughter). For me is less difficult because is less important when you play on hard. I know I have to serve really well when I play on clay. The serve always is still important, but is a little bit less.

Q. About Gasquet, do you think he will be a permanent top 5, top 10 player in the next few years?
RAFAEL NADAL: If I say he gonna be top 5? I never say that. I don't know. I know exactly the same than you, so...

Q. It's not fact, but do you think he can get back there regularly?
RAFAEL NADAL: But he wasn't regularly in top 5 in the past, no?

Q. But can he?
RAFAEL NADAL: He was there in the past? No. So he's not come back there. When I say 'to come back,' he came back close to the top 10. He played one Masters. He was No. 8 that year, No. 7 maximum. So he can come back there.
Can he come back to top 5? Never was in top 5. He can do it maybe if he plays really well. But you know the level of the players sometimes can change during the years.
You see Blake, he was there later on his career. Ljubicic did later on his career. Why not Richard can do it? I don't know.

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