Rafael Nadal Interview
Sony Ericsson Open - Miami
April 1, 2011
R. NADAL/R. Federer 6 3, 6 2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Well played, Rafa. Even if he had taken that breakpoint at the start of the second set, did you still feel that you were in control of this match all the time?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. (Smiling.) You never know, no? Always if that happen, that's what happened and he didn't break me and I had the chance to keep playing well and to have the break at the next game, no?
If he had the break at the first game of the second set, you never know if he gets confidence, he start to play better, and you never know what's going on the rest of the match.
So that's not happen. I was lucky with the net and inside. So in general, I think I played a very, very good match, very solid and serious. First set especially I think I played very, very good.
Second set I think he played worse. He had more mistakes than usual. He tried to play shorter points, so I think second set he didn't play well.
First set I think was very good level of tennis.
Q. Did you feel immediately well on the court from the first point?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am feeling well every day, seriously. It's not like Indian Wells last week. I wasn't play well during almost all the tournament, no? Even the final, semifinal, I improved a little bit my level, seriously.
But the feeling when you come after playing a few bad matches, it's not easy to find the right performance or the right feeling, even if you are playing better, no, because the bad feeling is too close.
So this week didn't happen that. Playing the final even without play my best in Indian Wells was very important for my confidence, and I started this week playing much better, no? Since the first round I was playing I think very, very good.
I didn't have a good draw; last week I think I had a better draw than this week. This week I had a tough draw. In general, I think I played a very good week.
Now remains one match.
Q. Do you sense that he became discouraged pretty early in the match? Did you have any feeling about that looking across the net or the vibes you were getting?
RAFAEL NADAL: Wasn't easy for him tonight because he had the break in both sets very early, so that's tough. Because I was playing very good from the baseline, without mistakes with my forehand, playing aggressive, so wasn't an easy situation when you are back all the time in the score.
So, yeah, in the second set I felt he started to he wanted to play more aggressive, play shorter points, and probably he didn't have the perfect feeling to do this tonight.
Sometimes it works really good because he has fantastic forehand, fantastic volley, and his movements when plays inside the court a lot of times are unstoppable. Tonight he had few mistakes. I played long, so wasn't easy for him to go inside.
In general, that's always happen, no, when one play very good and the other one don't play perfect. It's always same. Sometimes, you know, when both players play at higher level, always matches are very emotional and very nice, no?
But that's happen very few times, because both players must feel perfect to play both at very highest level, no? Because if one is playing really well, the other one, it's tough to play at highest level. The same happen again.
Q. Talk about Novak.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, he's winning very easy all the matches. He don't to lose a match this year, so we'll see is what's going on. He's playing fantastic. I just can congratulate him about what he did the first three months of the season. It's fantastic.
We'll see what's going on, no? I felt I had a chance last week in Indian Wells. I lost a little bit the focus and the rhythm on the second set, the intensity of the legs and of the shots, so I started to play a little bit more defensive. Against one player like Novak, is impossible win the match play like this, no?
So on Sunday have to play very well all the match if I want to have any chance. I have to play aggressive and I have to play all the points, and that's what I going to try.
Q. Do you like this court better, the speed?
RAFAEL NADAL: Than Indian Wells? No. I like play better. Always is the same, no? I love every surface when I am playing well; when I am playing bad, I don't like no one surface.
Indian Wells is a fantastic surface for me. I played six semifinals in a row, I think, and two champions, one final. Here I never won, so I can't say it's better surface here than Indian Wells. For me both are good. We'll see.
Q. We saw a couple years ago at Wimbledon you had the bandages on the knees. You look healthy now and very fast on the court. What's the key for your fitness as far as getting rid of the knee problems?
RAFAEL NADAL: Is no one key and no secrets. Always is the same: work hard. Sometimes you are lucky and sometimes you are not lucky. I wasn't lucky in the beginning of the season. I am healthy now, but I had a problem in Australia and I had a virus in Doha, Qatar earlier in the season.
That's part of sport. Sometimes you are feeling good and sometimes you are not feeling that good. You have to accept both things, because that's part of the game.
Right now the important thing I came back after not easy start of the season, because I felt before Australia I was feeling perfect, playing very, very well.
For different things, I didn't have the results that I thought I going to have the chance to do, no? So wasn't easy for me to accept I didn't play the last rounds of the first tournaments of the season, because I felt I was ready to do it.
But I came back, and this is the second final in a row, so that's fantastic comeback. I'm very happy right now. We'll see what's going on in this final. I'm very happy about everything.
Q. Can you remember anything of your 2004 match against Roger here? You beat him 6 3, 6 3; you were 18. Can you remember anything about that?
RAFAEL NADAL: I was 17.
Q. 17, okay.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah. Sure I can remember, no? Was my best level since that movement. He didn't play well. I don't know, he had something, virus or something I heard.
But for me was unbelievable, that match. Very emotional. Finally, I won, so... I never going to forget that match.
At that point was nothing, but if you see after seven or eight years how many important matches we played against each other, was a fantastic start.
Q. Yesterday you had a shoulder issue. Is that resolved, because you served really well tonight?
RAFAEL NADAL: The serve?
Q. You had a shoulder problem against Berdych.
RAFAEL NADAL: It was the right. Doesn't affect on the serve.
Q. Just in general is it okay?
RAFAEL NADAL: In general it's not perfect, but doesn't affect to my game. I feel some nerve, but that's not going to affect to my game. Affected it a little bit yesterday because it's something new and I didn't know the situation at that point in the match.
I say yesterday in the press I know what happened, and if it going to happen tomorrow, don't going to affect about my concentration, about nothing.
I am lucky it's the right arm, so...