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Rafael Nadal Interview - Wimbedon, June 19
Posted on June 19, 2010
Q. The last time you were here, you were climbing into the box to hug your family. What is the emotion you feel to be back here?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I was here last year, but I didn't play, yeah.
Sure always this tournament is very special I think for everybody because the tournament is probably the nicer in the world.
But, you know, for me always was a special illusion to play well in this court as I did for three years. Finally I won. So always be here is very nice memories and is always a pleasure be in this very beautiful club.
Q. How would you describe the last year in your life since you came here and weren't able to play?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, a lot of very good things, a few bad things. So, no, I still here. I am very happy about the 2010 season. I am playing probably one of my best seasons since before this tournament because the level was high in all the tournaments for me and I was healthy. So that's very important.
And the 2009 season, the last six months of the 2009 season, wasn't easy. A lot of injuries, problems. I worked hard to be back. I did, winning in Monte-Carlo, Rome, Madrid, and after in Roland Garros. Is very important personal satisfaction to be here.
Q. You may not have as much grass tennis as last year and two years ago. What is important before a big tournament like this? Is it to be used to the surface or be fresh mentally? Between both, what is the most important?
RAFAEL NADAL: Everything is important, no? If you are fresh like ice, but you are playing bad, you're going to lose. If you are playing very well but you are too tired, probably you gonna have the chances to win a few rounds, but finally you gonna lose. That's what happened for me in the US Open 2008.
But no, no one thing is happening to me. I am not very tired. I don't know if I am fresh or not probably. But the clay season was a hard clay season. But, you know, after winning three tournaments, very important tournaments for me, and Roland Garros, you lose a little bit attention for the moments. But I hope to be ready to play well on next Tuesday.
Q. You were hurt at Queen's Club and complaining of a leg injury. Has that cleared up now?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am fine. I am perfect. Thank you.
Q. You're playing against Kei Nishikori, the Japanese guy. I think you played against him two years ago. What are your impressions of him?
RAFAEL NADAL: He a very good player. I think he had an injury, a very important injury, for the last year or last two years. But he has amazing potential. I think he has enough potential to be in the top 10 if he is healthy and he's still improving a little bit.
I know going to be a very difficult match.
Q. Our queen is going to be here on Thursday. The All England Club are leaving it to the players whether they bow to the box or not. What have you decided to do?
RAFAEL NADAL: I would love to be Thursday to have the chance to do it. I don't know. I have to win the first match before on Thursday.
Q. And if you get through, will you bow?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sure. I respect everything.
Q. You and Roger seem to get on very well for people who have a great rivalry. When Switzerland beat Spain in the World Cup, did he send you a text or get in touch?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. We are fair play inside and outside. No, no. I saw him just a second here. I congratulate him for the football. But, you know, remain a lot.
Q. Did you get a chance to go back to Mallorca after Queen's and relax?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sure.
Q. When did you come back to London?
RAFAEL NADAL: Wednesday.
Q. So you had the fine weather.
RAFAEL NADAL: I had a few days in Mallorca, perfect days. Unlucky for me, Monday and Tuesday, the day was cloudy.
Q. But Sunday was good. Were you able to go to the beach last weekend?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, sure. I went for party with the friends. I played golf. I go to the beach. So I had a perfect Sunday. I need it.
Q. Where did you watch the football match on Wednesday? Alone or with friends?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I watch it here at the house with my uncle, with my physio, with Feliciano López and his physio.
Q. What are your thoughts about the match?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, first thing we probably didn't play our best, but we never had to lose that match. Was a big unlucky, very bad luck, I think. But, you know, this World Cup, a lot of teams are playing very defensive and is difficult to play against this kind of teams.
You see, all the matches are very close, 1-0, 0-0. Germany won first one 4-0. And Argentina I saw two days ago playing well. All of them, the rest of the matches end 1-0 or 0-0.
Q. You dealt with the disappointment of not being able to defend last year. You must have very warm memories of your win here and the final. How does that rate in the things you have achieved, the 2008 final here?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, win the title like Wimbledon probably is one of the more emotional moments in my career because I worked all my life hard to improve my tennis in the rest of the surfaces than clay. In clay, too. But is a little bit more easier for me.
For a Spanish player, when he is like that everybody saw that very far before, but a lot of players are doing very well here, Juan Carlos, Fernando Verdasco, Feliciano López, and myself, too. We have the illusion to change that and win here.
When I did, is like, I don't know, all the work you did to play well, to be more complete player and play well in all the surfaces, you did, and you winning the most difficult surface. Probably the most important tournament of the world, so was very important for me.
Q. You've won seven Grand Slam titles now. Same as McEnroe, one more than the likes of Becker. Are you interested in that type of thing? Do you have an eye on how many you can go on and win, like Roger getting the 16?
RAFAEL NADAL: I go day to day. I am not thinking about 16 and these crazy things. I think about the first match here. I have seven. That's more than what I dreamed six years ago or five years ago. So I am very happy about my career.
But, you know, four months ago, everybody says don't know if I going to be another time at the top. Four months later, not everything change. Wasn't too bad four months ago, and wasn't too good right now, so...
You know, is moments of your career, you have a lot of good moments, you have a lot of bad moments. Important thing is have enough motivation to keep working hard all the days with humble and trying to be better player than before. So that's what I did, and I gonna try to continue doing this.
Q. You have few bad moments, winning many matches. When you lose, that's very rare. Is there something you gain from it, something you learn from it? For example, the last time you lost, what did you learn from that match?
RAFAEL NADAL: Not a lot.
Q. Not a lot?
RAFAEL NADAL: Not a lot, no, not in that match. You know, you play on grass. Was the first week for me on grass after a lot of matches on clay. You know, I tried my best. But at the same time I had a little bit problem on the leg. So I was a little bit scared to run at hundred percent.
But sure, you learn with the loses, you learn with the victories. You are more happy if you learn with victories than with loses, no? But the important thing is accept everything the same. So you have to be with calm when you are winning and you have to be with calm when you are losing.
That's what I always thought. I'm very happy when I win. And when I lose, you know, I'm disappointed, but next day I'm fine.
Q. You just on to the next match?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah. Well, you have to analyze why you lose or what you have to do better to be better for the next time, and that's it. Keep working. So that's the only way for me.
Q. When you switch from clay court to grass court, what is the most important thing to concentrate on? Is it technically or mentally?
RAFAEL NADAL: Technique for me. Mentally I think I know how I have to play to play well on grass. But is difficult to do it for me, no?
Q. Technical adjustments you have to do?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, the movements are very important, how to move. The way that you are touching the ball is very important because you have to -- you know, on clay you have more time to think.
Here, if you are not touching the ball perfect most of the times, is very difficult to have the control of the point.
So the important thing is adjust your game, adapt your game to play well on this surface. So you have to put the ball more inside the court. You can't defend on this surface because when you run to one place, is very difficult to come back, especially after the first week. After the second week is more like clay. But especially the first days is very difficult, so is very important.
Thank you very much.