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Madrid: Quarter Final Press Conference


Nadal (6.5.2011)

R. Nadal b. M. Llodra 6-2 6-2
Q: You showed a really good level on court; before the game did you think it was going to be like this?
A: Well no I really don’t think before I start the match – I don’t think if I’ll win 6-2, 6-2 or if I’m going to lose. The only thing I think of is to play well. I try to play how I know and then I go out there and try to win every single point and then we'll see. Sometimes it goes okay, sometimes it goes bad. Obviously today it’s been quite good especially here with the altitude it’s a little bit more complicated because it’s more difficult to go over him. It's a bit more difficult with the serve. I felt quite good on the court, I served well and when we played the points, in the second set there were quite a lot of rallies and not so many in the first and I think I played really well.

Q: Hopefully tomorrow a semi-final with Federer and probably Djokovic on the other side; do you think it's a difficult draw? How are you going to face it?
A: Well it´s quite a difficult draw as in the other Masters because the best players are here and if we haven’t got these players then that means that we have got the better players here playing. Whoever the rival is tomorrows it's going to be a difficult match. With Federer it’s always a special match. With Soderling, he’s a dangerous player when he’s playing well. You cannot have control of the match all the time when you play against Soderling and this makes it uncomfortable and the one who beats the other one will have go to a difficult semi-final. I'm worried about the match tomorrow and not the other side of the draw.

Q: You’re in the semis having played less minutes, first because of Juan Martín Del Potro; how do you feel about yesterday with not having played and as a supporter of golf what do you think about Severiano Ballesteros – you know that he’s not in good health?
A: About yesterday, it' doesn't affect me a lot. I don’t need much court time. I’ve played all the matches that I can on clay and yesterday’s match was a complicated one – we didn't play it so instead of training for 40 minutes I trained for 1hr 30 mins. I hope that Del Potro recovers as soon as possible. I don’t know what it is due to I only hope he recovers as soon as possible... Talking about Severiano well he's one of the big ones of this country for sure. I think that he’s a reference of all Spanish athletes. I've been lucky enough to know him, to play golf with him and sincerely I wish him the best. I hope that he comes out and can go forward. In some ways life is cruel, difficult, these last years have not been a good time for him – we can see that. On many occasions he has tried to go forward. He is still doing things through his foundation thanks to all the knowledge that he has been able to acquire. He’s an example for all the society, for all the athletes, all the kids. To him and to his family, who I also know, I wish them all the best for many more years.

Q: I would like to know after yesterday’s match which do you prefer, to have a rest or do you prefer to play to get the rhythm because of you play more matches you’ll feel more comfortable?
A: Really I prefer to have a rest because it’s a match that I can lose for sure. Nobody likes to beat someone that way. For the people we didn’t play so it’s a pity and people wanted to see the match which would have been quite interesting. On the other hand for me, I didn’t play a match and it’s really nice to play here in Madrid but over the long term I don’t need to play more matches. I don’t think that if I play more matches I’m going to feel better. Maybe if I’m playing bad but I’m playing quite good. Since the start of the clay season I’m at a good level. Maybe I can have better days or bad days and tomorrow maybe I can lose or I can beat the other guy. Whatever I do tomorrow it's not because of what happened yesterday on the eighth-finals with Del Potro. I’ve played enough you know.

Q: How do you see Ferrer for tonight against Djokovic?
A: David has been playing at a really high level since the start of the season. Since he started in January, he won in Auckland, he had a lot of opportunities in Australia to beat Murray and afterwards when he went to the US he was unlucky - I think he had a very difficult draw in Indian Wells because he played Karlovic, In Miami he made it to the quarters and since he started on clay you can see he has made it to two finals - there he is here again making it to the quarter-finals and he is one player who can beat Djokovic and afterwards we’ll see what happens. Obviously I wish him the best. I think he is working really hard and he is one of those players who works day after day. He’s got talent, you can see that. People believe that you just simply have to train but it's not just that you have to have the talent and I think that David had the talent and because he trains so hard he deserves the victory so I wish him the best.

Q. Rafa, last week in Barcelona you where talking about your interest on playing the Davis every other year. I don´t know if this is correct can you confirm it? Also, I read a news paper where you had a proposal where you said that it would be correct if the Olympic Committee would give money to the athletes. Is this correct?
A. First of all, I didn’t say this thing about playing every other year. I only said that we have to look for solutions, because when everything is perfect, don’t do anything but when the competition is not working, well make changes. I believe that all of the changes are complicated but, or we make changes or the competition is going to lose status. The best players in the world are not playing. The Davis cup has a lot of history, that is an important value, but apart from that, all competitions really gain value when all of the good players are playing. That is not happening in the Davis Cup recently. So there has to be some changes, I don´t know how, I am not the right one that should say that, I have already shown my options on top of the table, which I am not going to expose in here. But it is something that must be changed. I think it´s not logic. About the Olympics, It´s quite unfair that with all the money that the Olympic committee rises thanks to this games… - thanks good nor ourselves, nor basketball players, nor football players, which much more professional sports globally speaking, obviously the money for us is quite relative, when I am talking about that I am not referring to ourselves because we are very well paid. Luckily we have our lives solved. But all of these athletes who are the real soul of the Olympic games, who work really hard- Obviously there are World Championships, European-Championships every year in all of the Olympic sports- these people are really getting prepared and live each day towards the Olympics, which is only once every 4 years. To have all that preparation and viewing all the effort they put in the sport… -thanks to that the sport is big and the Olympics are where they are. I think these people deserve much more than a gold medal, which is not even made out of gold and a scholarship which is not great. As I say I am not talking about well paid sports like ours, I am talking about other sports in which they work really hard possibly more than ourselves, they are much more sacrificed than us and there only motivation-I believe all sports are pretty similar either you earn money or no- is the personal satisfaction of having met your goals. It´s true that is quite different when you finish your professional career and you have your life solved than when you finish it and you have to start all over again. So I believe this should change, that is what I said the other day.

Q: I want to ask you here about the spectators in Madrid and what do you expect for the weekend with the matches that we have?
A: I´m expecting the same. I think the spectators here are the ones who support the players the most. For me it’s been a really good place to play, I’ve got a lot of victories in this city thanks to them. I cannot forget .. I can only congratulate them .. to the city of Madrid for how they have been supporting me and in relation to the weekend I think that the spectators are a very important factor and hopefully they’ll be on my side.

Q: Due to the special conditions in Madrid, with the altitude and all that; can we use this to calibrate what’s going to happen in Roland Garros?
A: Can I use this to adjust to Roland Garros? They are completely different conditions but I can adjust to Roland Garros. Of all the clay tournaments this is the one that is most different to Roland Garros. If you play a good game you will get a lot of confidence which will count for Roland Garros. For me to be in the semis is good news but now I’ve got the most complicated work and I hope to be well prepared for the completion that I’ve got to face and I’ve got to fight and be happy about how things are going in the last few weeks.

Q: Rafa, do you enjoy playing someone like Michael who attacks you playing serve and volleys? It’s very different.
A: It's a different style – that's good for the sport to have different styles of players and he is one of those that makes the match a little bit different. For sure it’s a different challenge which I enjoy. In general, I think when you play on clay and when you play on a not very fast surface and you can return the serve it’s good for the fans otherwise it can be boring, no?

Q: I know you've played golf with Seve Ballesteros you must be very sad that he is very ill right now?
A: For me and I think for everybody, especially in Spain who had the honour to meet Severiano he’s is a really good example for all Spanish people for all the kids of the world because what he did in sport as unbelievable. He is one of the top sportsmen in Spanish history and for us he was a big inspiration. All I can say is to give my best wishes for him and his family because I know it’s been a difficult time for the past few years.

Q: Next week the new rankings come out and there's not going to one American player in the top 10 in the history of the ranking. Is that a surprise to you or what’s up with American tennis right now?
A: I don't know better to ask the American people, they know better than me. I think Roddick has had a fantastic career – many years at the top but it’s very difficult to be 10 years in the top 8 or top 5. So what he did is fantastic. I don’t know how many master he has already played but the new generation has to come. In my opinion he will come back into the top 10. He has enough potential to do it and he is a great competitor. Sam Querrey, John Isner, Harrisson these guys have to come and be there in the future – that's the new generation.

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