MadridOpen: Final Photos-Transcript-Video



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May 14, 2017

Rafael Nadal

Madrid, Spain

R. NADAL/D. Thiem

7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English and Spanish, please.

Q. (Translated from Spanish) It was a great match. Very few times we see you playing a player like Thiem, that hits the ball so high.
RAFAEL NADAL: (Translated from Spanish) I think it was a tough match since the beginning, especially here in altitude, which is difficult to make breaks against a player like Thiem. Returning the ball is difficult, especially when he hits it so high.

Since the beginning, I was playing with a lot of pressure. Fortunately I managed to come back and break. I think he made an error, so I managed to break again.

After that, I calmed down. I think I played a good first set. Anything could have happened at the end of the first set. But I think I played well the important points at the end of the first set. I saved a few set points playing some good shots with my forehand. After that I went for it.

I knew at the beginning of the second set, it was going to be very important. Once you finish a first set like that, it's normal to lower your level a little bit. I had to play well in the second set. I started with a break, so that was very good towards what I had to do after that.

Q. (Translated from Spanish) Three clay tournaments, No. 1 in the race. At the end of last year's season, were you expecting to be where you are right now?
RAFAEL NADAL: (Translated from Spanish) Normally, I don't expect anything. I go my way and things happen. I just try to do things as best as possible. After that, I am conscious that if I am fit and I can play well, I have the capacity. I see myself being able to win important titles and achieve my goals.

After that I don't think whether I can or whether I can't do something. I just play every single tournament without thinking a lot of things. I just try to focus. I'm not thinking about the race or anything like that.

I just try to go to each tournament to give the best of myself, being conscious when you are in the good way, as I am this year, I have confidence and security in myself.

But in December or January, I was not expecting to play badly, because I knew I was doing a very good off-season. I was expecting to play well. Of course, things are working out, and I'm very happy for that.

Q. (Translated from Spanish) Now you're ahead of Roger in the rankings. That's very good for you going to Roland Garros. Perhaps it allows you to play with more calm in Rome.
RAFAEL NADAL: (Translated from Spanish) To try to win Roland Garros, you don't need to be No. 4 or No. 1 or No. 5, what you need is to play tennis very well. This is the situation right now.

If I am No. 4 and I played badly, I'm not going to have chances. If I am No. 5 and I play well, I will have the same chances as if I'm No. 4 or No. 5. It's just circumstantial.

In my career, being No. 4 or No. 5, I don't think it changes a lot for me. What I'm really happy about, I really enjoy, is to achieve a title like here in Madrid, to win a title like this.

Today is a day to be satisfied, to be happy, and to have this trophy. I thought I was going to take it, but apparently it's going to stay here. After tomorrow, I will think about Rome. That's everything I'm thinking right now.

This is a very emotional period of the season. I really enjoy these tournaments. I just try to go for all of them. I try to compete. In Monte-Carlo and Barcelona I did well, same here. I hope to do the same in Rome.

Q. (Translated from Spanish) Do you have some injury on your left knee? It seemed you were not walking very well because of your left leg. Moya said you had made sacrifices out of the court. Can you say something about what he said?
RAFAEL NADAL: (Translated from Spanish) No, physically I'm feeling fit. It's logical that after a hard week, I've been playing a lot of matches, a lot of hours out there on the court, I feel like it's sore, a little bit tired.

Because I'm not walking perfectly doesn't mean I have an injury. I'm just a little bit sore, tight. I'm 31 years old. That's all.

As far as sacrifices out of the court. I think I've been working well. I've done things the way they should be done, the way I think they should have been done. I try to do things the best possible way, on the court or off the court, without doing anything crazy. When I care about is being happy. I try to do things that make me happy.

But I think that I'm working in the right way for quite a long time. Right now the results are there, and that gives me more capacity to keep on doing things. Tomorrow I'll wake up with joy, and I will want to do things even better. That's the joy that keeps you going, that keeps you alive.

At the end of the day, training for training is dull. You don't want to do that. But you need the motivation to do things better, to change some small details. That's what keeps you motivated to keep on going day after day.

Q. (Translated from Spanish) You spoke about going to Rome, about being 31 years old. Does it ever enter your head to not go to Italy?
RAFAEL NADAL: (Translated from Spanish) Well, it's difficult, whether to choose one option or another, either going to Italy or not.

If I don't go to Italy, it doesn't guarantee that I will be better shape in Roland Garros. Not going doesn't mean that I'm not going to be in good shape in Roland Garros. No matter what you choose, no matter what you do...

I try to go day by day. Last year perhaps I made a few mistakes. I made a mistake going to Rome. But I think I wasn't wrong last year because my wrist was injured here, then I went to Barcelona to have a checkup. They said everything was fine, my wrist was fine. They said I could go to Rome. After that, I think it was a bad decision.

I think today the decision is completely different, the situation is different. I don't have any problems, any injuries. It's a very important clay tournament. I'm playing with a lot of joy.

I think what is logical is to go to Rome, try to give 100%. After that, I think I have a few days to rest. I mean, it's difficult to think about all these things right now.

I just finished a great match. I've been talking with my team, with some people that are here to see me. The only thing I care about today was to win this trophy. I was really happy about it. I really wanted to go for it. Tomorrow I'll think about something else. Today I'm not going to think about that.

Today I'm very happy for what I achieved. I think it's did I to win three different trophies in a row on clay. They are all important championships. Tomorrow we'll think about what happens in Rome. I'll think about Rome.

Q. (Translated from Spanish) How important do you think it is for Spanish tennis to have such an important tournament as this?
RAFAEL NADAL: (Translated from Spanish) Well, I think that we are very lucky. There are many places in the world that would pay a lot of money to have a tournament like the one we have here in Madrid. We first of all have to be very satisfied about it, look after it.

I think that the city is backing it, and it is very important. It's very important to have a tournament of this category in our country.

It's true that the city makes an effort to make this happen. I think the return, economically, taxes, all of the things that a tournament like this produces, hotels, sponsors, everything, I think that the benefit that the city gets out of it is bigger than what it puts into it.

But the city, of course, supports the tournament. We have to be grateful to Madrid, all the sponsors, which are also here from Madrid. They support us every single day.

Hopefully we'll be able to look after this tournament, the way we are doing it until now. Today this is a very important tournament globally. It's one of the most important tournaments in the world. I think that after the Grand Slams, there's very few tournaments ahead of this one, generally speaking.

I think we have to look after it. Hopefully the community of Madrid, the sponsors, will continue to support this tournament so that this tournament turns into something even more important.

This tournament should keep on growing not only when Spanish players are here, but also in the future when we might not have so many Spanish players. Hopefully we'll keep on working on this.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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