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Rafael Nadal Third Round Press Conference

Indian Wells, CA, USA

March 15, 2010

R. NADAL/M. Ancic
 
6-2, 6-2
 
An interview with:
 
RAFAEL NADAL
 
 THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

 Q.  I have to ask, do you like those Nike shorts that you've got now?  They're certainly different.
 RAFAEL NADAL:  What do you think?  You like it?  (laughter)
 No, no?  Well, it's different.  I think    yeah, I don't know.  It's more different than usual.  (laughter.)  That's the thing, no?
 It was a little bit fashion for me, I think.  Is too much, a little bit for me, but going to be for this tournament.

 Q.  Just for this tournament?
 RAFAEL NADAL:  Yeah.  I change everything in Miami.

 Q.  Many people liked the pink shirt at Roland Garros last year.  They thought it was very, very nice.  But because of the result we won't see that shirt anymore?
 RAFAEL NADAL:  No, no, no, I'm not superstitious on that.  The color of the shirt doesn't affect anything of the game.  So no, we will see in the future.  I don't know.  I don't know.
 Similar color will be this year, but not at Roland Garros.

 Q.  It was a match that you won fairly straightforwardly, but I don't remember seeing you win points so quickly before.  I mean, many of the rallies lasted four or five shots or fewer and the point was over, so is that something you've been working hard on for the hardcourt season?
 RAFAEL NADAL:  I am playing well.  That's the thing, no?
 I think I am playing at the good level with my forehand when I touch the ball all the time.  I try to do something, playing aggressive, playing long, changing the direction, so that's very important on my game, no?  No, I am doing well here, that.
 Just try to keep working like this, keep playing like this, and try to play a little bit more aggressive with the backhand.  That's it.  For the rest, I am very happy how I am playing.

 Q.  How are you feeling with your confidence?  It's a tricky thing.  How are you feeling?
 RAFAEL NADAL:  I am very well, yeah.

 Q.  Do you feel confident?
 RAFAEL NADAL:  Yeah, I am here.  I am in third round winning 6-2, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4, so it's very good start of the tournament for me.
 I started the year playing really well, very well in Doha, and after in Australia I played very good match against Murray.  No, I am feeling good, yeah.  I am feeling confident.
 I need a bit length for a few months without a stop, that's winning matches, winning important matches, and after that everything is easier.  But I am ready to do it, I think.

 Q.  Do you feel after the month off, like after two matches that you know what to do in the matches?  You don't feel rusty or...
 RAFAEL NADAL:  I feel really well when I arrive here.  I was practicing really well in Mallorca, and I am practicing really well here.

 Q.  But in the matches.  It's different to practice than to play.
 RAFAEL NADAL:  We'll see.  I am feeling great.

 Q.  I think you are very happy with your performance today, especially with your serve.  The idea or the goal is just to minimize the rallies in case you just get to the final again?
 RAFAEL NADAL:  The goal is play well.  My game is play with the rallies.  I don't want to play serve and volley or serve and one shot or ace.  Everybody has to know that.  For sure I know very well, no?
 My game is play with intensity, play good rhythm all the time, and try to play long times without having mistakes.  When I am ready to play long point without having mistakes, I gonna have the chance to play shorter points because I can feel confident with my forehand and play winners before that, no?
 But my game is my game, and I am not going to change my game.

 Q.  You have to be pretty happy with that serve.  I think you only lost five points on your serve today.  Is that the best you've served in a while?
 RAFAEL NADAL:  No, I started the season serving really well.  In Australia I served a little bit worse, but in Doha and Abu Dhabi I was serving really well.
 But in my opinion, the serve was important, but was more important was my rhythm from the baseline.  I lost only few points because I didn't have mistakes, only seven unforced errors in two sets and 29 winners, that's very good statistics.

 Q.  Today Andre Agassi apologized for some of the things he said at the match Friday night with Pete, saying, you know, he was sorry that he called Pete cheap and they were joking around a little bit.  What was your take on that Friday night?
 RAFAEL NADAL:  I said what I had to say yesterday or before yesterday after my match.  For me, the only way to talk about what happened two nights or three nights ago is in positive.  We make a good job for Haiti, for a good thing.  The people was happy, the court was full, and the atmosphere was unbelievable.
 For me, it was an pleasure to be part of the event and try to help these persons that they need.  But I didn't feel any tension on court.

Q.  Did you take it that they were just having fun with each other, joking, back and forth?
 RAFAEL NADAL:  You know, I repeat:  Everybody told me after the match what's happened, but during the match, you know how fast speak Americans, and I am Spanish.  (laughter.)  I didn't understand nothing.

 Q.  With your knees and all, are there things you've done differently with your training?  With your knees, have you done different things in your practice or training?  Have you altered things doing different things more or less?
 RAFAEL NADAL:  No, no.  Well, sure, I didn't practice with the same intensity now that what I did with 14 years old.  But that's the life.  That's normal, no?  You have to improve all the time, and right now they way what I had to practice is different than what I had to practice before.

 Q.  It is?
 RAFAEL NADAL:  Sure, but not only for the knees, because I have to    I have the intensity, and I have to practice more technique and specific shots than playing and playing, no?
 I think playing a little bit I feel the ball.  I don't need to practice as long as I did before.

 Q.  If you play your best, do you actually expect to win the matches?  Do you feel like the matches are in your hands if you play your best?
 RAFAEL NADAL:  You know, I don't want to be arrogant with this answer, no?  Because always you    you have to look the opponent, and if the opponent    everybody can feel the same.
 But when I played well, I had a good chances to have good results.  That's what I can say.

 Q.  Novak said today he grew up and Pete was kind of his idol.  Did you watch Pete and Andre?  Did you have one as your favorite more than the other when you were growing up?
 RAFAEL NADAL:  No.  You know, I watch a lot of match on TV between Pete and Andre, but, no, I didn't have any favorite.  When I was very young, my favorite was Carlos Moya.  Sure, I enjoyed a lot watching them, the matches of a Andre and Pete.
 I didn't have any favorite.  Both players different styles and very nice.

 Q.  Seems like it's very important to you now that you can play for six to eight months in a row and show your best tennis.  Last year when you were having physical problems, do you just want to put that behind you and say, Look, here I am; my best level is still there; don't worry about me?
 RAFAEL NADAL:  I say    I don't want    I think I don't need to show nobody how I can play or if I can win a tournaments or if I can win a matches, no?
 I did a lot of times in my career, so right now the only thing is keep enjoying, keep playing well, and keep improving my tennis.  I know if I have eight months without injuries and I can play when I want to play, not when the body give me the opportunity to play.
 I think I am playing enough well to be there.  That's my feeling.   

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