Rafael Nadal Interview - Australian Open, Jan 18Posted on January 17, 2011
Q. Is it good to save energy for later or would you have preferred a tougher match?
RAFAEL NADAL: You never know, no? The worst thing is that he had an injury. He's for sure a really nice guy, really nice person. I really sorry for him. I wish him all the best for the recover. Hopefully is nothing really, really important.
But that's all what I can say. Save energy or not, I think the way that the match came doesn't make big difference, no?
Q. Were you generally happy with the way you were going anyway?
RAFAEL NADAL: Is difficult to say something, to say I played really well, I played bad. I think I played right. I played some good shots, some long shots. The serve can be a little bit better. Yeah, that's the only point that I think I can improve. I can improve in everything for sure.
But the only thing I feel I have to improve more if I want to play well here. So that's it. For the rest, forehand and backhand, I felt okay.
Q. What about the serve? What do you need to do that's different?
RAFAEL NADAL: If I know, I will do it before. I don't know. I will try to practice a little bit. I practiced already after the match a little bit. Hopefully going to be fine.
Q. So you say after the match you went straight to the practice courts?
RAFAEL NADAL: Only for serve. Half an hour for serve.
Q. You're winning a game like that 2 love and you can see your opponent is injured and hurting, does it enter your head to give an easy ball?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. For sure I am a professional and I try my best in every point, no? That's the best thing for respect the opponent in that situation. I think that's the best way, no? So sometimes if you do something and you let him win a game is worst, no?
I think he started the match injury. He tried his best during the match. He didn't want to retired. That says a lot of him. Not everybody's able to do this. So all the respect for him. And I think he did all in his hands, but he was really injured.
Q. Does a Grand Slam require a specific routine for you because it's two weeks and it could be a five set match sometimes? Do you have a special routine compared to other tournaments?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. I try my best in every tournament. Sometimes works well; sometimes not that well. I don't have a special routines in no one tournament.
Q. The fact that you have a day off between each match...
RAFAEL NADAL: The only thing is you have a day off. The day off, I don't know, you can relax. Little bit of swimming pool, that's all. Practice little bit. Not many things.
Q. I guess you're not too happy about the result of Real Mallorca last night against Madrid. Can you talk a little about the start of the season for Mallorca and how Michael Laudrup has influence on the team?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think for sure is not a positive result. Was 3 0. Mallorca is doing a great season. Is 27 points already. For us the main goal is keep in the first division, so we are in the really good way.
I think the coaches are doing a great job. The situation of the club one year ago wasn't ideal, the perfect one, so a lot of changes on the club. Not easy for the players, I think, and for everybody.
So if we know everything about that, the situation is much better than in the best dreams that we thought.
Q. How close do you follow Mallorca traveling around the world?
RAFAEL NADAL: I try to see all the matches always. Not today because I had to come here very early to practice because I played early. But I sure try to see every match. When I am in Mallorca, if I have the chance, I go.
Q. Who did you want to win if they're playing Real Madrid?
RAFAEL NADAL: Always depends of the situation. But my uncle is the second coach of Real Mallorca right now. For sure the family is the first thing.
And after, if my uncle is not there, always depends. If Real Madrid plays to win the league and Mallorca plays for nothing, I want Real Madrid to win.
If Mallorca plays to be in the first division and Real Madrid plays for not much, I want Mallorca to win. So always depends of the moment, of the season.
Q. How close do you think you are to your top form, and how many games do you think you'll need to play before you're at your best?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. I don't know where is my best level and what far I am from that. So I try my best every day. Sometimes you play well; sometimes you play a little bit worst. I can't say if I am playing at my best or not.
I think I am in the right way. We will see what's happen when I gonna play the next match.
Q. We're writing a lot about you going for four Grand Slam titles. Do you ever read any of the stuff that's written about you or do you deliberately try to ignore it?
RAFAEL NADAL: I never read a lot about me, so this is not an obsession. Seriously, the most positive thing that's talking about that is because I won the last three. The rest of the things doesn't matter, no, because I know how difficult is every tournament. I am not ready to think if I am ready to win this tournament or not right now, no?
So you have your job; I have my job. You can write what you think, and I gonna try my best every day to play well and to be competitive when I am on court.
But I never think about winning the four Grand Slams in a row because that's very far right now.
Q. You're a great fan of football. Do you also like Formula One? Did you watch Fernando Alonso when he was fighting for the championship in Abu Dhabi?
RAFAEL NADAL: I watch on the TV in Mallorca, yeah. Was tough day.
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