Rafael Nadal Press Conference
Indian Wells, USA
by ATP Staff|
R. NADAL/L. Mayer
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. It looked impressive, but how did you feel, the first match back?
RAFAEL NADAL: Very happy to be back in competition, that's the first thing. This is a tournament that I love. I enjoy a lot playing this tournament. Always in my career had good success here. I played very good matches. Is nice to be back playing at the very good level, in my opinion. Winning is the most important thing. Not easy be back after a while without competition, but I did, I believe, really well. I started the match very focused, very aggressive. Today only thing I can say, I'm very happy. I'm very happy about almost everything.
Q. Roger Federer has suggested that he feels that sometimes you take too long
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I answered this question the other day. Don't recreate history about that.
Q. I have something I'd like to add. Today I timed the period between the end of the point and your serve, and you were always within the allowable limit. Were you hurrying because of what Roger said?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sure after a long career that's going to affect on me. But anyway, you know, that's the only thing. We are nobody to say things that the umpire decides. That's the only thing that I can answer.
Q. The top four men in the game now have been so dominant and lose so rarely. When something happens like Murray losing in his first match last night, do you take notice of that? When he lost last night because the top men don't lose very much now, does that catch your attention when that happens?
RAFAEL NADAL: Always a surprise, but the real surprise is what's going on today. In the past, a lot of very, very top players lost in early rounds. Today is very strange, and is, you know, is very special part, my opinion, of the history that for the last few years the top players almost never lost hardly, no?
But happens in everybody. Happened to me last year there in Shanghai. So that's normal. Nothing strange on that, no. I think Andy is doing a fantastic season. Andy lost a match last year here in third round here against, I believe, Donald Young.
But in my opinion, the attitude was completely different yesterday from last year, no? Yesterday he tried in all moment being positive. Last year probably he didn't fight as much as he did yesterday. I think Guillermo played an unbelievable match. That's true. He saved all the important chances: Love 40 in the second, Love 30 in the second. And when this special situation happens, you know, the chances of lose the match increase a lot.
Q. You are known for many things, but also including your mind, your mental strength. When you're in trouble, when your game is not working well, what goes through your mind? What do you say to yourself?
RAFAEL NADAL: During a match?
Q. Yes, on court.
RAFAEL NADAL: I just try to win the match fighting every ball and running every ball. Today the level is not there, so have to win the match another way, not playing good tennis. So fighting, running, trying to play with the right tactic and thinking about solutions in every moment, in every point. That's all. Just when you're playing bad, the most important thing is win. That's because you have another chance the next day to play better. That's all.
Q. Does your mind ever go too fast? Does it ever race when you're in trouble, or do you stay calm?
RAFAEL NADAL: Nobody's perfect. No, no, even if I had in my career, most of the times I had good mentality, a positive mentality, a good mind. Sometimes I had the mistakes, too, and I wasn't ready to fight every point. I wasn't in perfect conditions to think about what's going on and to analyze the right way the match.
Happened to me; happened to everybody. Important thing is to try to not happen very often that, you know. Have the fresh, the mentality and the mind fresh and open to analyze well what's going on and to analyze well the opponent, and when you're playing bad to find a solution, to try in the end to win the match.
Q. You had a lot of victories in Roland Garros, but what is your best memory there if you had to choose just one?
RAFAEL NADAL: Just one?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. (Laughter.) I had a lot of ones. Ask me for one, for me, it's impossible to say.
Q. You lost today only three or four points on your service. Did you work especially on it during your...
RAFAEL NADAL: I worked on my serve all my career not in one month, so I'm not gonna improve my serve in one month. If I lost today four, five points with my serve, it's because, sure, my serve worked well, but I didn't have the mistakes from the baseline.
I played aggressive the first ball, so I had the chance almost every time to hit the first ball with my forehand and to take advantage of that. Play aggressive without unforced errors, so that's why I lost very, very few points, not because I served crazy aces. I think I served one ace during all the match. The important point I think I had the right percentage of first serves in, around 70%, so that's a positive thing.
That's give me the chance to start the point with an advantage. That's my game. If I start the point with an advantage, with my forehand, normally I have the control of the point.
Q. You have spoken about yourself, Roger, Novak, Andy, this group of players that's around at the moment.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, there is much more players.
Q. Exactly. Del Potro and all that. What I ask is from what you heard of the past players in the open era, do you think what we have now is probably or possibly the greatest era of men's tennis?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am not the right one to say that. Probably will be very arrogant if I answer this question yes. You know better the history probably than me, and there is very qualified people around to analyze that. I am part of that, so I am not the right one, I believe.
Q. We watched you play doubles, and you're a wonderful volleyer.
RAFAEL NADAL: I am not. (Laughter.) That's why I am playing doubles, to try to keep improving.
Q. You don't go to the net much. Is that because you win without going to the net?
RAFAEL NADAL: In singles or the doubles?
RAFAEL NADAL: Singles.
Q. If you ran into a person who is better at the baseline than you, would you become a volleyer?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think the best players always finally find solutions for everything, you know. The game says today the best players of the world are from the baseline, so that's says the game you know, the game, ask that for us, and is true I have to go to the net very often, more often than before. I have to play more aggressive, and if I am hitting well the forehand, I am inside the court, I will have more chances to go to the net to finish the points there. Is something that I know that I have to do. And when I am able to do it, my level of tennis improves. Is something that for sure I try.
Q. On your serve, we saw in the US Open in 2010 that the velocity of your serve went up, and it seems that since that it hasn't been at the same level. I'm wondering, is that the conditions of the balls or the conditions in New York?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. It was the conditions of my game. You know, I served very fast during all the US Open because I felt that I had the perfect feeling on the serve. But the week before in Cincinnati my serve didn't work that well. That's the true, no? Because at that moment I was serving fantastic. I had the feeling that to win the US Open I had to serve faster. Worked well in that tournament, but in general, I don't need to serve that fast.
You know, the problem when I am serving fast, the percentage is going a little bit down. The problem is if I don't serve the perfect serve the ball come back faster, so I need to play a little bit slower game to have the control of the point. And serving that fast I can have more free points, but my mentality and my style of game doesn't go to this way. That's the thing. When I am serving that fast, I tried in another times, but I feel like I am losing a little bit the control of my whole game.
That's why I am trying to serve with high percentage, trying to serve, sure, as fast again with the right percentage and trying to start the point the right way to have the control of the point with my forehand or try to hit the first ball in a good position with my forehand.
That's the reason. Today I can go on court and serve 132 miles with not many problems. The problem is probably is not the right tactic for my game.
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