Rafael Nadal Interview - Australian Open, Jan 20Posted on January 20, 2010
An interview with: RAFAEL NADAL
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Apart from the win, what did you like about your game today?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think I played serious match. I think I played the match what I need to play. Winning 6‑2, 6‑2, 6‑2 is a really good news.
Q. You weren't overextended?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think I did well, no? I was playing, moving well in the beginning without mistakes, having with the control of the ball.
No, I think I played right way. Very good match, yeah.
Q. Did he surprise you sometimes with some of his shots?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, no. Everybody plays really well. No, no. I never feel surprised. Someday, yes. But, sure, everybody can play really well. And he's young player, aggressive player. Sure, he can play really well.
No, didn't surprise me.
Q. Do you think you played better than against Luczak the other night?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, well I played with more relaxed, no? Second round always is easier to play. You are more adapt to the conditions and everything. Always the debut is more difficult, no? I think I improved a little bit. I can still play a little bit longer, but that's it.
Q. Davydenko told us yesterday he never wants to be really famous like Federer or you. How do you feel about being so famous?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think you are or you are not. You want or you don't want, that's not an answer, no? You are or you are not. That's it, no?
I feel okay, no? I like my life. I'm feel very lucky to be where I am. And, sure, I work in my hobby. So not everybody can say the same. So I feel very lucky person.
Q. After your knee problems last year, how close do you think you are to full fitness now?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I am okay. I am very good. No, no, I don't have any problem.
Q. Last year the first part of your season was exceptional. A lot of people thought you could realize the Grand Slam. Then you had injuries. This year before the tournament, there were many questions about what you can do, having lost against a lot of top‑10 players. How do you deal with that? Were you sad? Do you read about that?
RAFAEL NADAL: I didn't connect to Internet. Normally I didn't read a lot about myself. But, no...
Q. Is it difficult for you?
RAFAEL NADAL: Difficult what?
Q. One year ago you were a king, and this year will you win. Many questions about you.
RAFAEL NADAL: You made the questions.
I feel very happy what I did in this sport. I still having really happy with what I am doing. With 23 years old, having 15 Masters 1000 and six Grand Slams is more than what I expected all my life. So everybody can tell, but these titles are as home, so nobody gonna take me these titles.
Sure, everybody can talk, but I still working as much as I can to be in the top. And, sure, there is lot of very good players. But, you know, I always do all in my hands, and nobody can ask me more than when I do all what I can do.
Q. You were ranked No. 2 for so long, then got No. 1. Last year you won your Grand Slam title, losing your No. 1 ranking to Roger. Now you're No. 2 again. What is more important, getting the No. 1 ranking or winning more Grand Slam titles?
RAFAEL NADAL: Anything gonna be perfect (smiling). Sure, no, for me right now my goal is try to be in third round of Australian Open. That's my goal right now. We will see what's happen.
First, about No. 1, you are No. 1 or you are not No. 1. Can't be a goal. Is not possible have your goal to be No. 1 because if you're not winning important tournaments, you're not going to have any chance to be No. 1.
So my real goal right now is just try to be competitive in every tournament that I gonna play, and feel when I go on court I can win against everybody. So that's my goal, no?
If you talk me about the ranking, I was for the last five years top two all the weeks, no? So be No. 2, No. 4, No. 5 doesn't affect myself a lot. Sure, be No. 1 is a little bit different, but the rest doesn't matter. Only thing is be competitive to win titles.
Q. You're very popular here with the crowds. Do you find Australian crowds push you and you feel the love from the crowds other than your home?
RAFAEL NADAL: I always feel really well here, no? I played amazing matches in the past since the first time when I arrived here against Hewitt. Second time what I came back, I lost against Hewitt in five sets. And the crowd always was really nice with me, no?
The crowd here is special that they show a lot his emotions, and is nice going on court here. I just can say thanks.
Q. You seem to take a lot of time signing for fans.
RAFAEL NADAL: I did in all the place. If they support me or if they didn't support me.
Q. Roger had a tough match yesterday against Andreev. Did that surprise you about how tough that match was? Do you prefer to have these tough matches initially so you get challenged and build on that momentum?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I prefer win straight if is possible, no (smiling). No, but I didn't surprise. Everybody plays really well. Maybe you are more surprised than the players, because the players know every match is really difficult.
Del Potro lost a set, too, the first round. Everybody can win everybody, and the level is really close. In one match, everything can happen.