SEOPEN Monday Press Conference



Miami, Fl., U.S.A.

March 28, 2011
R. NADAL/F. Lopez
6 3, 6 3
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.
 Q.  You think it's more difficult for you to play against good friends or does it make you more comfortable on court?
 RAFAEL NADAL:  I think nothing change, because when you are on court, you're on court.  You compete, and is nothing new for us.  This is ninth time against each other.  We are very, very good friends.  We had dinner yesterday together, so this is normal. 
 That's the sport.  That's competition.  One player have to win; other one have to lose.  And accept both things, no?  We were talking in the locker room.
 Q.  I can't imagine when you play Davydenko, for instance, and you play Feliciano, is it not different for your mind or... 
 RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, is different because we know each other 100% better.  But about being the friend, I don't know, maybe if something is    close ball, you can say was good, you can say, I don't know... 
 That's the difference, I think.  Nothing important.
 Q.  What did you like about your play today?  What would you like to improve on?
 RAFAEL NADAL:  I like almost everything.  I think I played solid match in general.  I played good shots, very good passing shots.  I served well for moments, much better than Indian Wells. 
 And seriously, no, I think I play with the right rhythm.  Always is difficult play against Felly, because is not comfortable.  He play slice, he play aggressive, he has a fantastic serve, he doesn't want to play long points.
 Always is difficult to find the right feeling, and I did.  I think I had the right feeling against a difficult player, so that's a very positive.  I am happy how I am playing, serious.
 Q.  Are you planning to play the upcoming Davis Cup tie in Austin? 
 RAFAEL NADAL:  Remain a lot.  Remain a lot.  Remain a lot of months to go there and a lot of things can happen.  We will see what's going on here, in the clay season, grass season.  Is difficult for me. 
 Too important things for me to come to think about the Davis Cup next round, no?
 Q.  I was wondering what do you remember at this tournament in 2004 when you beat Federer?  It was a big upset at the time; you were 17.  Do you remember that match and do you remember what it meant to your career at that point in time?
 RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, at that moment was the most important victory in my career, no?  I think I played fantastic match.  For sure Roger didn't play his best in that moment, that day, so I was able to beat him, no? 
 It was a very important victory, big confidence for me at the moment.  But seriously, I lost at the next round against González.  So was a good victory, but at the same time wasn't a fantastic tournament, because I lost against González in the next round, serious.
 Q.  Can you talk about your position now, sort of as the dominant No. 1 guy?  You've got people now chasing you rather than you chasing them.  How do you feel in that position of being No. 1 and feeling that?
 RAFAEL NADAL:  You know, I don't think about the No. 1, no?  I think about every day, and doesn't matter if I am No. 1 or No. 2 or No. 4.  I think about go on court, practice hard every day, try my best in every moment, and when I am playing matches the same, no, try to play well, try to win. 
 But for sure most important thing is try to work hard every day to be better player, no?  I think about the race more than the ranking.  I know I'm No. 1 in the ranking right now, but in the race I am No. 6 this year.  I didn't play for a month. 
 Last week's final was a very important result for me, and I have to play well here to keep improving the situation in the race, to be in good position when the clay season start. 
 So I am here to try my best, and we will see what's going on, no?  I don't feel I am better than the rest because I am No. 1, no?  No, I feel I played fantastic last year.  For that reason I am No. 1 today. 
 But we will see what's going on next months, no?  I know I have to defend a lot of points, but seriously, I don't feel that I have to defend the points.  I feel in every tournament that I am going to play I have the chance to win points, not to lose points, no? 
 For me every year start from zero.  Right now I am No. 6, and I would love to play well next tournaments and have the chances to be in better position. 
     FastScripts by ASAP Sports

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