presser wimbledon2011

W: Press Conference Transcript 2nd Rd




June 22, 2011

Rafael Nadal


R. NADAL/R. Sweeting
6-3, 6-2, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please, for Rafael Nadal.

Q. You must be very pleased with how you played today.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I think I was playing well. I was playing well the first two sets, and especially the beginning of the third. I think I was playing aggressive and with good feelings. But 2-1, 40-Love, I had a few mistakes. And, yeah, he break me back. And after the match was tougher and closer then.

Q. Was that because he started playing better or do you think your level dropped a little bit?
RAFAEL NADAL: I had a few mistakes. Two volleys at that game. So I felt playing very well in that situation, serving much better than the beginning.
No, after that game he started to play more aggressive. He had very good points, very good shots, was dangerous match for me.
In general, I think I did good.

Q. Did you feel any difference in the conditions, playing under the roof?
RAFAEL NADAL: More humid conditions inside. And I don't know if for this change because the atmosphere inside the court with the roof is more humid or because was raining before the match or something.
But seems like the court is a little more slippery than usual, the left part of the opponent's place of the royal box.

Q. In Paris you got to renew your rivalry with Roger in a final for the first time in a while. What else is going on this year is it seems some people think there's another rivalry emerging for you with Novak Djokovic who defeated you four times this year. Do you think this rivalry thing is something that players think about or something that just journalists think about?
RAFAEL NADAL: I cannot talk for the rest of the players. I can talk for myself.
You know, I always say the same: that you feel the rivalry at the end of the season. We will see who gonna be my rival or with which rivals I gonna compete to finish No. 5, No. 6 of the world, or No. 1 or No. 2.
Depends how I played during the season. In September I can tell you who is my rival at that moment. Today my rival is every day my opponent and myself, too, because I have to do well in every tournament in every match. To play against Novak, I only can play against him in a final.
Is true I played already four finals with him this year. But Roger was there all the time, semifinals. And finally he played a final of Roland Garros, beating Novak in semifinals.
I understand you have to write, you have to create histories. That's part of your job. But, you know, we will see, no? With Roger, we had a big rivalry probably because we played against each other in finals of Grand Slams, in finals of important matches for both of us, for a lot of years.
With Novak is happening the same. We talked about Novak this year, but Novak for the last four years stays at the No. 3 of the world. He wasn't No. 25. He was there inside this rivalry, no?
And when everybody talk about the rivalry of Roger and me, Novak was there. I consider Novak like a rival. Andy Murray, too.
The thing is not always between two. I think is a lot of players there, and especially the top four had great years the last few ones. Between Andy, Novak, Roger and me, we played probably the biggest matches the last couple of years.

Q. The difference with Roger, though, was that you were deemed to be in the ascendancy. If you look on the Wimbledon website today, the most popular story is you being toppled as No. 1 if you don't win this tournament and that you may be a man in decline. Do you feel like a man in decline?

Q. Yes.
RAFAEL NADAL: Maybe. But I won Roland Garros two weeks ago. I don't forget (smiling). Maybe you or the website yes.
After winning Roland Garros, two weeks later is a little bit fast to say I am. You can say that maybe next year, but probably now is a little bit dangerous to say that.
But, no, you know, is my seventh year without be out of the top two. Is a lot of years. Probably I started to be decline, but hopefully not. Maybe they are right. I don't know.

Q. Did it feel slightly odd today to be playing indoors with a roof on when everyone else was playing outdoors in sunshine?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, that's something strange. But they told me they gonna open the roof. But after the last minute, they told me they predicts a shower. Never comes. We gonna close the roofs.
A new experience for me, a good experience. But the tournament is outdoor, is not indoor. And I prefer to play outdoor.

Q. How do you look at Michael Laudrup's first seen in Mallorca?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, the goal was convert. We still in the first division. I think they did well. A lot of changes in the club. Last year, a lot of new players, new president, new people managing the club. So wasn't an easy situation, and I think they did well. They did enough points to be in the first league next year.
So I think with the team that we had, we had a fantastic season, and I think the coach and the people who worked for the coach, with Michael and himself, they did a very good work for Mallorca. I am very happy with them.

Q. Did you get nervous in the end?
RAFAEL NADAL: More than nervous. Last day was terribly dangerous.

Q. You played Muller a few years ago in the second round and lost. You probably didn't expect to be playing him perhaps in the third round. What is your view of Muller, your memories of that match? How have you changed in your game and your belief in yourself since then?
RAFAEL NADAL: I played six years ago, seven years ago. Was a long time. But he beat me. So that's what happened.
He's a very dangerous player. Very sorry for Milos today, what happened to him. That's terrible for any player. I wish him all the best to recover fast.
You know, Gilles is a very dangerous player. He has a very good serve, good volley. He's especially very dangerous player in this kind of surface. So will be tough match for me. I have to be very focused all the time with my serve and try to convert the small chances that I can have on the return.

Q. In your spare time when you go home, are you still cooking in the evening to relax?

Q. Yes.
RAFAEL NADAL: Seriously, this year, I cooked every day, every day for me or for the team. Toni have diet, so I don't cook for him. But for the rest of the team, I cooked almost every day.

Q. What's your specialty?
RAFAEL NADAL: A lot of things. No, very simple things. I do pasta.

Q. Are you as good a cook as you are a tennis player?
RAFAEL NADAL: Probably not.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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