doha presser

DOHA: Nadal/Youzhny Presser Transcript



January 5, 2012

Rafael Nadal


R. NADAL/M. Youzhny
6‑4, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Nice finish.  Maybe talk about the match, and especially when you're playing an opponent like Youzhny who has beaten you before and has been up to No. 8 in the world in the past.
RAFAEL NADAL:  Yeah.  Very happy.  I think I played my best match here today.  Doing a lot of things very, very well.  Not like I read in some press.  They said I did just a few things well yesterday, and I never said that.
So I believed that I think I did a lot of things very well today, no?

Q.  Such as?
RAFAEL NADAL:  I returned the first set very well.  I went inside the court.  For moments I enjoyed a lot playing tennis tonight.
That's true, I had a mistake with 4‑1 to close the match, 5‑1 it's finished, but after that I suffered a lot with 5‑4, 15‑40, but that's, you know, just a small thing, no?  If we talk global of the match, I think I played very, very well.  Very happy.

Q.  There is this interesting rivalry between you and Roger Federer, which has been making lines every so often.  We hope to see the two of you back together again.  My question to you is:  If there was one strength of Roger's that you could incorporate in your play, what would that be?
RAFAEL NADAL:  A lot of things, but for sure I will choose the serve.

Q.  Did he help you to play well?  Because he also played extraordinarily well, didn't he, in this match?  Did that help raise your level?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Maybe.  I know he's very dangerous player.  He's one of these players that when you walk on court that you know you can lose the match.
I think he did a good match.  I believe he didn't have a lot of mistakes.  His movements was good.
But seriously, it's one of the days I go back to the hotel very, very happy about what I did.  For a lot of moments during the match, I played at very, very high level, moving very well, going inside the court, having the control of the point most of the times against a player that I normally don't have the control of the point, because his level always put me in trouble in the past.  It's his style of game.
So that means that I did a lot of things very well, so very happy.  For sure, keep working for tomorrow.

Q.  It looked like the best of, I don't know, two, three, or four months you played.  Why did it suddenly come, such a good performance like that, right now?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, I think I am fresh mentally.  That's important.  But I want to do it well, and I really am motivated to try to play well.
But, you know, I need more.  Is not enough.  I played very well today, but for sure I need more practice and I need time.  But I said at the beginning of the tournament I played three good matches, but I cannot say I am in my best, you know, time just to play a few matches.
I am in the right way.  That's what I can say.  My feeling is I am in the really right way.  We'll see what's going on.  I am doing much better than what I felt before this tournament, so that's a really positive thing.  We'll see.  I'm gonna keep working hard to continue with the same way.

Q.  There is a chance that you might play Monfils in the semifinals.  What do you remember from the match two years ago here?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Three years ago, I think.

Q.  Three.
RAFAEL NADAL:  I remember that he played very aggressive.  He played very well.
He's a player that is fantastic, no?  His movements are really impressive.  He can move very quick.  He's one of the fastest players on the tour.  His serve can be very well.
You know, he can produce fantastic shots very easy, no?  It will be a tough opponent tomorrow if I play against him.  I will try to keep playing like I did today.

Q.  You hit many winners today, and you mentioned with the heavier racquet that you were concerned a little bit about the control.  Did you feel you were in control today with the racquet?
RAFAEL NADAL:  I felt the ball under control all the time today.  You know, I need days.  I said before these matches are helping me, are helping me a lot.  So every day I feel more control on my racquet.
We believe that the racquet, with the new weight, can help me to hit a little bit more winners.  I believed for a long time of this match I played very aggressive, and I hit much more winners than usual.

Q.  Over the last week or so you've talked about physically getting ready in practice and stuff, but you mentioned mentally.  I mean, are you feeling differently than you did maybe coming off of last season?  Were you a little bit fatigued?
RAFAEL NADAL:  No, I was in perfect conditions when I arrived here last year.  I was very unlucky at the beginning of the season last year.  I got sick here, and I didn't arrive ‑‑

Q.  No, I'm saying...
RAFAEL NADAL:  No, no, but in general I was perfect at the beginning of the season.  I was playing better than ever.  I played in Abu Dhabi at fantastic level.  I came here feeling that I was totally ready to try to win Australia, but I got sick.  The body goes down, so the physical performance wasn't there.

Q.  No, what I meant was at the end of 2011...
RAFAEL NADAL:  At the end, yes.

Q.  Mentally do you feel that you're more fresh now than you were then?
RAFAEL NADAL:  For sure I'm better now mentally than last three months of 2011.  That's true.  But not at the beginning of 2011.
And I end the season very well in Davis Cup final.  I think I was very positive in that matches.

Q.  Did you meet with Raul now in the locker room?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Yes.  I met with Raul.  He came to locker room.  He's a good friend of mine, so just can say thanks to him to come here and support me.  It's a very good feeling.
I said hello, had picture with all the team of Schalke.  So all of them were very nice with me.  Thank you very much, all the team.

Q.  What do you talk about?  More about tennis or more about football?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, I talk a little bit more about the life.  You know, his life changed a lot over the last three years living in Germany, so he's enjoying.
Well, we didn't have a long time, but hopefully we can have, on Sunday, a day off and have a chance to have lunch together or something.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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