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Madrid: 2nd Rd Press Conference

5/06/2011Rafaholics ™


Rafa Nadal vs Marcos Baghdatis

(4.5.2011)

Q. How was your first day on the central court and tomorrow you have a really important match, what are your thoughts about Del Potro?
A. Well I feel in general I’ve played quite good. I think I played quite a good match, I made very few errors. I attacked a few times quite well with my drive. To sum up I’m quite happy with the match. I can’t say much more. I think he made more errors than he would normally make. But from my point, I think I did what I had to do to win the match. I think it was more or less a comfortable match against a rival who is always complicated cause last time, in fact, he beat me. I’m happy about the win and it’s true that tomorrow I’ve got a match that normally you wouldn’t like to play in the second round, you would normally like to play it a bit later but this is the draw, you’ve got to accept it and you’ve got to be ready for a defeat, you’ve got to be ready to fight and obviously you have to accept that you can win it or lose it. It’s one of those matches where you go out and play and anything can happen. For sure I’m going to try my best; I’m going to try to play my best, to play aggressive, move with a lot of intensity. That´s something that I won’t be lacking. On the other hand if my opponent plays at a really high level then I have to congratulate him and move on because I think I am on the right road.
Q. How are you going to focus on the game against Juan?
A. Well focus? There aren’t many ways to focus on a match. You can only focus on it in one way which is to try to do your best. I’m going to try to be aggressive, to look for my drive when I have return with a backhand, shoot it long, try to play with a good percentage of first serves and obviously get him moving on the court. I don´t want him to feel that he doesn’t have to move because he’s a very strong player. He has a lot of control of the ball. If I manage to get him moving and to make him feel uncomfortable then I can hurt him. It’s quite difficult to manage this because he’s very tall and from the very back he can hit very good shots but it’s true that I am in good form recently. I’ve got to try to keep it up and tomorrow is one of those matches that of you lose it you go home unhappy because it’s a tournament that you always play with a lot of hope. If you win you get a moral boost because you have played against one of the best in the world. You know that normally you wouldn’t play against him so early – in the second the round. Normally you would play against him in he quarters or semis because this one of the errors that the ATP has as when you get injured you fall down in the ranking quite a lot which is quite unfair. A player like Del Potro and it is not reflected in the rankings. Accept it and fight till the end – that’s the plan.

Q. Yesterday Verdasco was complaining saying that there was very little clay on the court. Today I saw you making gestures to the grandstand. What do you think about this?
A. No I didn’t make any gestures to the grandstand. As I said from the start, in a court that is not especially dedicated to tennis as in Monte Carlo or Barcelona, it’s difficult to get the set-up right because a clay court needs time so that the court is flat, the sand is firm. But in fact, the court is not bad at all. It’s good. The truth is that the court is not bad much better than last year.

Q. Spain is in a very good moment in tennis as we can see from recent tournaments. Why do you think this is the case?
A. Well Spain is having a very good moment in sport in general. It’s been many years since Spain has been at the top level. We’ve started the year quite good. David Ferrer has started quite well, me too in the last four tournaments, Feliciano made it to the final last week as did Verdasco in Estoril so we can say that Spanish professional tennis is very good and we will try to maintain this for as long as possible.

Q. Novak Djokovic said after his last game a few hours ago that of there is any clay tournament where anyone can beat you then it’s this one because of the conditions. Do you agree?

A. Well I believe that I can be beaten at any tournament. Unfortunately this is the situation that I face. So maybe this is the most complicated for me. No doubt because here you don’t have control of the match but that’s not an excuse because I made it to the final in 2009 without playing very well and in 2010 when I was playing really good I won. So in the end, I’ve been champion twice so we can see that the conditions suit me.

Q. I would like to ask you what you thought about the game last night? Do you think that the elimination of Real Madrid and Barcelona’s qualification is fair? Do you think that there is tension between the players in the Spanish team?
A. First of all, in sport the one who qualifies is normally the fair winner. I think that Barca are the best team in the world and talking about the referees, we can say that they don’t make mistakes on purpose. Both games have had a strong influence but I think that it has always been against Real Madrid. Real are having quite a good season and in relation to Barca, this is the time that they have been closest. You’ve got to look at it in a positive way and realise the positive the things that have happened and try to be calm which is something that I think is lacking here in Madrid. You have to accept the defeats and you to accept the victories. You have to accept that Real Madrid have a young team. They are in a building process and they’ve got a bright future. Afterwards I think that the players are smart enough, they know how to win the Euro Cup, the World Cup. You can only win those by being a team with comradeship and I don’t believe that the last four matches are going to break this union. If that was the case, I think it would be a mistake and they wouldn’t forgive themselves.

Q. Your thoughts on today’s match?
A. Well, I think I played well, I think I played a solid match, not many mistakes so in general it was a very positive victory against an opponent that I lost to last time. I’m very happy to be back in Madrid to play in front of this crowd have always supported me in the past. Tomorrow will be one of those days that I will need the crowd because the match will be difficult and always the crowd has been with me.

Q: As you said tomorrow you are playing Juan Martín Del Potro who is really starting to play well now after his injury. You wouldn’t have expected to play another Grand Slam champion so early?

A: Yeah, that’s what happens when you have an injury. Everybody knows the level of Del Potro is higher than what is ranking is right now and everybody wants to see him back in the top because I think it’s bad news for him, it’s bad news for him, bad news for the tournament to have the match now and not in the quarter-finals or semi-finals because one is going to be out. But that’s sport, accept the draw. I’ll try my best on court as we’ll see but the winner will have a lot of confidence for the rest of the tournament I think

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