ChinaOpen2013 interview

NADAL: 'I fight for every week, I fight every match'


Rafa Nadal regained his #1 ranking in Beijing today. The Ranking officially will change on Monday. Since returning from seven-month absence due to a left knee injury in February, Rafa Nadal has compiled a 65-3 match record on the season. He has won 10 titles from 12 finals, including the Roland Garros and US Open crowns plus five ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophies.

By reaching the final, Nadal is one win away from claiming his first China Open title since 2005. His current winning streak is at 21 matches. It's the sixth season in his career than Nadal has posted 20 or more consecutive victories.

Nadal will attempt to retain the year-end No. 1 ranking for the first time since 2010 and the third time overall (also ’08).

"[It] will be a great finish [to] the season if I am able to finish the season [at] the No. 1 spot. For that, I am sure I need to win more matches if I want to be there,"

"[This is] a great year, one of the best years of my career without any doubt," sad Nadal. "[It] sure is special be back to the top position of the rankings after more than a half year without playing tennis."
"At the end, it's just a number... What [makes] me happy is [everything] I did to be back where I am today."

"If I am able to be No. 1 at the end of the season, then, that's an important achievement because I will be the best of the year... That's something that really motivates me,"

"I felt during the [whole] season, very excited, every time I [went] on court," said Nadal, adding that he mentally recharged during seven months away from the ATP World Tour. "[I was] very excited to compete again, and compete well, and [be] competitive against everybody."
"I worked hard every day with the right attitude I think, and because of that, I am today in this situation," said Nadal. "I am No. 1 today, but it's not [assured] for the end of the season."

"I [won't] go to sleep tonight feeling that I am the best player of the world. That's something that I never thought, and I don't... think [that] now today,"

"I played a very complete season, and that's why I am the best in the rankings today."
"Without health, nothing is possible,"

"I know tomorrow I going to have a very tough opponent. I need to play my best, playing aggressive, playing without mistakes, being solid with my serve. If these kind of things are not happening, I will not have chances,"
"I know what I have to do [but] it's very difficult to do it, because the level of the opponent is unbelievable."

"Celebrations are for the end of the season, not before," he said, adding that even if he is not No. 1 by then, there will be plenty of reasons to cheer. "[It] is not my time for celebrations, it's time [to] keep being focused. The season is not over, my work is not over."
"[In tennis], when you achieve something important, you don't have time to celebrate [because] in a few days you will be... competing and playing against a player that is trying to beat you." Nadal added that once a player loses, they have an opportunity to win in a similarly short time.

"I fight for every week, I fight every match."

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