barcelona2015 interview

Nadal: 'I am calmer than in previous weeks'



Nadal: "I am calmer than in previous weeks"

How does it feel to be back in Barcelona?
I come here with positive feelings because Monte Carlo has been the most positive week of the year for me. I was focused and played calmly and smoothly. I did not experience the very bad moments of the previous weeks.
What is still missing from your game to win again?
Not winning even with so many positive moments. Tennis is a game of regularity and now a 'break' leads to losing a set. Now that I'm calmer and it is clear that things do not go from zero to sixty my goal now is to play well every week.
What symbolized your week in Monte Carlo?
Beyond winning or losing I hope that this was a turning point for playing with calmness and confidence. My goals are not to win against a specific player, either Djokovic or whomever, nor return to be number one, but seek continuity of the things that work. Miami was a bad tournament for me but in Monte Carlo and against Ferrer, it had been a long time since I played at that level. With Djokovic I lost with 3-3 and 40-zero in my favor. That cannot happen, and he was a worthy winner.
What do you expect now?
I just want to continue doing what I am doing now and hopefully retain the level of Monte Carlo for a few weeks. Concentration and a mentally low effort game is becoming a high priority.
Has your attitude changed?
My attitude is always the same and since I returned I have tried to be full of enthusiasm and attitude to get the calm necessary to do what I want to do; see things realistically and undistorted and put them into perspective to return to play tennis at my level.
Are you more positive now?
2014 was a difficult and bumpy year and when I wanted to do it right it was not possible which caused anxiety. The truth is that I needed time to regain focus, but in my case when I came back I wanted everything to be as it was before and that's not possible.
Was the racket a positive change in Monte Carlo?
The racket change was something I have been wanting to do since early in the season, but even in Miami I was not ready. At the end of Miami after returning home I tried it and felt that I was doing well while using it. It puts more spin on the ball but has less control. Even so, I do not think the problems I had come from the rackets because in the past I won everything that I won with the old one. I think it's more of a mental and tennis theme.
What is the goal in Barcelona?
My goal in Barcelona is clear. It is true that I have had anxiety and had a good week in Monte Carlo, but it is more complicated. I really wanted and hoped to play here and I am prepared to go as far as possible and achieve continuity to a point that I think it is at my level of play.
Do you play in Barcelona already thinking of Roland Garros?
I don't think of Roland Garros, or Madrid, or Rome, or anything because when I play a tournament like Barcelona just think about that; when I play in Madrid, just about Madrid and in Rome, only about Rome. Each tournament you have to play with maximum concentration and Barcelona is a tournament that I want and where I've had good results in the past.
Do you think Djokovic is better this year than in 2011?
For me Djokovic has been a big player in 2011, 2012 and 2015. In 2011 he had a flawless year and in 2015 he has been flawless again, this year is the best ever. Now I just want my level to match up.
Nico Almagro will be your opponent in the opening match. Last year he won in the quarterfinals. How do you see him now?
Nico Almagro is a very dangerous opponent on this surface and wherever. I will try to play well and complicate things. If he wins, well and if I lose I will go home and continue working.

(translated by Chris Boardman for Rafaholics)

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