QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN
January 6, 2016
R. NADAL/R. Haase
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Thanks for coming before Novak. Talk a little bit about the match. It seemed pretty straightforward for you today.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes, good match, good performance. I think I played at very high level against a player that I think he played well for a lot of moments. He played with not many mistakes and serving well.
I think I returned so well tonight. And the serve was a little bit worse than yesterday, but in general, I played much better than yesterday, no? So very happy with the victory and with the level of tennis.
Q. A great win over a tough opponent. What areas of your game were you particularly happy with tonight?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think I did almost everything okay, no? Good backhands, especially, and some good forehands. Some good defending points, saving some good balls, and the return especially had been very, very positive.
Q. You had spoken to us that in the offseason you were working on a few different things and positions in the court and things like that. Do you feel that you're able to see these differences in your game early on?
RAFAEL NADAL: Is just the beginning, no? I think I am playing well. I finished the season playing well, and I started again playing at a very positive level. So just my goal is keep going, no? And if I am able to keep going, I am sure that I will be able to do the things that I want to do, and I think I am doing, I'm playing more inside the court, losing less court than a year ago. That's important for me.
I am playing with a little bit more confidence on the return and on the winner shots.
Q. Kuznetsov tomorrow. Talk a little bit about him.
RAFAEL NADAL: He's an aggressive player, no? I played against him in Roland Garros a couple years ago, and he's able to produce great shots. He plays fast and he will be a very tough opponent. I know I have to keep playing the same way like today, and I hope that I can keep doing.
Q. This is about your performance. You are no doubt a great player, a wonderful player. Do you think that sometimes your serious personality is a hindrance?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sorry?
Q. Your serious personality.
RAFAEL NADAL: Serious? I am not serious (laughter). No, I am serious on court, but outside of the court I am not much serious.
I like to enjoy life in general, and I think I'm a hard worker. But at the same time I know how to enjoy my life. I always say the same. The tennis is a very important part of my life, for sure, but is not everything.
For sure the way that I understand the sport is working and trying to do the right things to improve my game, I think that was one of the keys of my success during all my career, no? And having the right people around me, I receive what I think the right education when I was a kid, the right values. You can be a great athlete or without great values or great education, but I think is easier you have the right education.
Q. Your opinion about the idea maybe of change a concept of Davis Cup in the future?
RAFAEL NADAL: Woooff. Why that? Because some news about changing something? Please? Can you come back with the microphone?
Q. To have the competition in one week or two weeks, one time each two years, you know, change maybe the spirit of the sport competition.
RAFAEL NADAL: No, seriously, I talked enough about Davis Cup for so many years, and I am a little bit old already to keep pushing for things that should be done years ago. So I don't have an opinion anymore, because I don't want to keep pushing the idea for saying things that they don't like to hear.
Q. You have had such a great and long career, but, I mean, there has to be times when it's hard to motivate yourself. How do you get through those times, and what do you tell yourself to keep going for this many years?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sorry?
Q. It's hard to keep motivated, and at the high level you have played all your life, sometimes I'm sure you have to say something to yourself to motivate yourself to keep the interest and stuff for that long a period of time.
RAFAEL NADAL: The real thing is if you have to tell something to yourself or you have to motivate yourself in outside things, then is a problem, no?
I always loved this sport, I always loved the competition. I love playing tennis. My motivation is that I am happy doing what I am doing, no? I'm sure I can be very happy outside of tennis, and I hope I will be very happy after my career.
But today I am happy doing what I am doing, no? I want to do the right things to stay here as long as I can. I'm working hard to try to make that happen, no?
I always had, I think, the right motivation to compete well. That's why I have been so regular in terms of positive results for so many years, and I hope to keep being very competitive for the next couple.
Q. Talking about your career, you just said that you are too old. For how long do you think that you will...
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I am not too old. I am too old to keep talking about changes or these kind of things. No, when you are 21, 23, 24, you want to push and you want to change things that you believe that can be good for sport, no?
But after a lot of years, trying to bring some ideas and difficult to make changes, so with 29 is not the right time to keep doing that, no? There is a new generation that they have to push for the things that they believe. And I don't know for how long I gonna play tennis. I gonna play tennis until the day that I am happy doing what I am doing.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports