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IW: Rafael Nadal Press Conference


Rafael Nadal, Press ConferenceMarch 13, 2011

R. NADAL/R. De Voest
6-0, 6-2

Q. How you felt the injury playing? Do you feel like it’s completely gone?[/B
]RAFAEL NADAL: I played last week Davis Cup. Not the first match.

[B]Q. You feel like it’s completely gone?

Q. Do you like tighter matches in the first round, or is it good to have a breeze?
RAFAEL NADAL: Always a lot of people ask me these questions in Australia, when the first matches wasn’t too difficult. But the thing is what you prefer, what you do not prefer, that’s not the thing. The thing is I won today 6-0, 6-2. Was a good victory for me. I prefer to win. Doesn’t matter 6-0, 6-2 or 7-6 in the third. I prefer to play well and to win.
Today I think probably my opponent played a little bit more nervous than usual. For that reason, maybe I think wasn’t one of the these matches that I had to play my best tennis. So I really can’t say if I played really good or I don’t played good. I think I played – I did what I had to do to win, no?
Difficult to make big analysis of the match.

Q. You played him eight years ago, 16 year old.
RAFAEL NADAL: Eight years ago?

Q. 2003.
RAFAEL NADAL: I think it was more.

Q. Was more?

Q. You were 16. Do you remember anything of that match?
RAFAEL NADAL: Okay yeah. Eight years ago. Sorry. Sure. Was in 2003 in Cherbourg, maybe, in Challenger. I won, I think, in the third, no?

Q. What do you remember of that encounter? How are you different now from back then?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I think a lot of things changes, no? The same time not that much. Only the level I think improves. My level improves for sure.
In general, I am better player than in that moment. I am eight years older.

Q. If I could go back to earlier in the week, you had that wonderful exhibition in Eugene. It’s very unusual for tennis to go to Oregon, to the northwest part of our country. Do you think it’s good that there was that exhibition, and what did you like most about that area? What did you like about going to the Nike campus.
RAFAEL NADAL: I spent two days in the Nike campus. I was there five years ago, but very short time, because I had to fly from Mallorca to do a test for the shoe, and I come back. So I was there five hours, and I take the plane another time back.
This time I had more chances to know everything about the Nike campus, and I think was fantastic to know everything from there, because it’s a really unbelievable place.
And the exhibition was fantastic. I like Oregon for sure. The people was crazy about the exhibition, crazy about the tennis. Hopefully in the future we can go more often there with one important tournament or with, I don’t know, important event.
But seriously, the atmosphere was really, really impressive.

Q. When you won the US Open you were serving very hard for your first serve. Then the velocity seemed to drop down a bit. But today you were serving in the high 120 miles per hour. Was that a change of technique again? Was it the balls? Was it something that you were trying to do?
RAFAEL NADAL: I didn’t go down after US Open. I still served really well in Tokyo and Bangkok. And end of the season, yes, I didn’t serve that fast. But if you don’t find the right rhythm to serve fast, you have to serve a little bit slow and try to put more balls inside, no?
So that’s a little bit of feeling. In the US Open my feeling was great on the serve. Right now I think I am serving well. I served really well last week in the Davis Cup, but here the conditions are completely different. I am trying to adjust a little bit the serve, because with the same movement didn’t work exactly like what I – with the same movement, the ball is not going the same like few days ago in the Davis Cup in Belgium.
Conditions are too different, and I am trying to serve with high percentage, and for sure try to serve fast, no? But here the bounces are crazy sometimes, and it’s more important to have a good spin than a very fast ball, no?
Because if you serve very fast but the ball stays at the right place for the opponent. Doesn’t matter you serve at 132 miles. Opponent gonna have an easy return sometimes. Serve well or not, is not all about the speed, is my opinion.

Q. We saw you on the golf course this week. What do you do for leisure?

Q. We saw you earlier on the golf course this week. What do you do for like pleasure, leisure between matches?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, here I play golf. (Smiling.)
I was playing with Fred Couples, so it was always a fantastic experience playing with him. I played a few times last few years with him, so he’s really nice with all my team. I think he’s a really good person.
Play with a player like him always it’s an unbelievable experience. So after that when I am at home, I love to – I love the sport in general. Sometimes I can’t practice as much of sport as I love, because it’s a little bit dangerous for the injuries.
But I do. I go to fishing. I love to go with friends, be with the family. I have a lot of small cousins right now, and I love to play football with them, soccer.

Q. You play golf right handed and Toni of course converted you. If you play tennis right handed, if you had always played tennis right handed, do you think you would be as good as you are, and does being left handed give you some advantages?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. You know, I don’t know if I am righty or lefty. That is the true. Because is sometimes really strange. I don’t have nothing of feeling with the left, because if I have to give you that with the left, I don’t know, I have no feeling. With this I gonna have all the feeling.
And to play tennis, well, I never tried with the right. I didn’t have feeling, and with the left, seems like it worked well the last couple of years. (Laughter.)
It’s difficult imagine that I can be as good as I was these couple of years or all my career with the right.

Q. Do you remember when Toni said, Hey, you should play right handed? Do you remember that?
RAFAEL NADAL: Toni never said, You should be played right handed. That’s sometimes the history, but that’s press says. That’s not the right history. I played two hands, backhand, two hands forehand, when I was a kid, because I start when I was really small and I didn’t have enough power to play with one hand. I played two backhands because I changed the grip.
So one day at 10 years old, Toni says, Well, if you watch on the TV, you are gonna see a lot of very good players play two hands both shots, no, backhand and forehand. So we had to change and play with one hand, and naturally comes the left. That wasn’t the decision right or left. I play with left.

Q. What do you think about the fact that you’ve won this tournament in doubles and the Bryans have not?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am better than them. (Laughter.)
That’s not the case, no? So the thing is probably I have the best partner of the world, yeah. I have a fantastic partner. Marc, he has amazing talent, and when we play together, we have a lot of fun.
You know, I would love to play more tournaments doubles, but for me is impossible for the calendar and everything. Is too much.
But when I have the chance, I play. I played this year in Doha. I normally do in this tournament because is a long tournament and I have a few days in a row that there is a lot of – with the super-tiebreak helps a little bit to the players, but can have more chances to keep helping the players to play more and more doubles.
Because I think if the best players of the world play doubles, is a very good fun for the crowd, and for us, too, because we play a little bit more relaxed. At the same time, we practice, you know. If we have more facilities, is easier to practice playing doubles and is better practice playing doubles than practice only on the practice courts.

Q. This match this afternoon, when you were up 6-Love, 2-Love, does your mindset change at all, or do you just stay exactly the way it is from the start to the finish?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, the first match, the first important point is I don’t know what’s going to happen, so try to play very focused and try to win the match.
After that, I saw the match was in very good position for me, so I say, Just be focused. Try to keep having the right feelings for the next matches, and for sure, be at 100% focus all the time, because you never know if the match can change.

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