October 6, 2016
R. NADAL/A. Mannarino
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Compared to the first set, the match was tougher in the second set. How do you feel about your performance today?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes, was a tough one. I think I played a fantastic first set. Great level of tennis, serving very good, hitting so good.
During the second, I think I slow down a little bit the rhythm, and he really played well, no? He really played with not mistakes, returning so well. It was tough, no?
I had the break advantage at the beginning of the second, but I was suffering a lot with my serve the first three games of the second set. Finally he have the break back. I think he serve it.
After that I had a couple more chances to have again the break and probably have a good chance to close the match, but didn't happen.
Then in the tiebreaker, was a tough one. Always the tiebreak, anything can happen. I feel very happy that I won that tiebreak, no? Is always very important for the confidence win these kind of moments, tough moments, pass through these moments.
So just very happy with that. I think I played with the right determination in the tiebreak.
Q. Can you talk about your forehand in this match.
RAFAEL NADAL: I think I played a lot of very good forehands in the first set and at the end of the second set, too. In some moments of the second, is not a problem of the forehand. I think I choose not the best moment to try to hit my forehand. I had some mistakes with the forehand in two breakpoints, I think. But I was wrong. I had a mistake because was not a ball to try to hit the winner. I should waited for a little bit more.
In general, I am playing well with the forehand. That is a key shot for me, no, if I want to have chances to compete for the most important things if our sport, I need to recover my forehand 100%. That's the shot that makes the difference. That's what I am focus on. I am trying to hit more forehands again. Is true that last four months I really could not because with the problem on my wrist, I was trying to cover my forehand, hitting more backhands.
Even if I improved my backhand, my forehand is my shot. I need to play with my forehand if I want to have better chances of success.
Q. Do you think the doubles match can help you to feel confident in the singles match?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, for sure. For sure the doubles helps with the volley. But not today. Today my volley was very bad. I went to the net a couple times. Even if I won a few points, was not because I had good volleys, was because the opponent missed the shot. My volley today was absolutely very bad, so...
Q. Next round your opponent is Dimitrov. How do you prepare for that?
RAFAEL NADAL: He is a great player. He is a player that is playing well. He is one of the players with high potential on the tour.
I prepare the match the same like every day. I know I have to play my best tennis to win against a player like him. I am focus on try to do that.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports