A joyous Rafael Nadal met the press after a 75, 64 win over Novak Djokovic today in Rome. Nadal sixth Rome victory gives him 35 titles on clay, 49 overall, and makes him the No. 2 seed at the French Open.
Nadal didn’t lose a set at the tournament, nor did he lost one during his Barcelona and Monte Carlo title wins.
After the match Nadal agreed with Djokovic’s assessment that he didn’t play that well.
Congrats to all the Rafa fans.
Here’s the unedited Nadal presser from Rome:
Q: Congratulations. Bravo and can you tell us if you were feeling a little bit off. It seemed you played short and behind and then suddenly things changed He was taking the initiative and you seemed to be a little worried?
NADAL: At the beginning of the match? I do not agree. Sorry – I started playing winners with my forehand and later he had good point with his serve an did lose the break point and went against the net and I lost attacking not defending the ball and when he plays long it is difficult to attack and when I had my chance my tactic was aggressive and when I have to defend I defend and when I can play aggressive I did and I don’t have the feeling that I play short and 5m behind the line but you have your opinion and mine. We can check on the TV.
Q: Also Djokovic said he though you did not play at your best. He said Nadal did not play extremely well?
NADAL: You think is was a bad final?
Q: No but I’ve …….
NADAL: I didn’t consider myself that good I can do better.
Q: You played … you think last year you were too defensive, too far from the base line and this year closer?
NADAL: I am trying but against him its difficult for example in Montecarlo – my feeling is similar to Montecarlo I played but my serve did not work that well today. When you are not serving 100% perfect then you are in trouble because he returns hard. I am trying to play more aggressive and I am touching better the ball and my forehand is more painful(?) that last year and that is why I am able to go more to the side. Last year I tried to hit short but not enough good and this year it is good and I am happy and ……. that I won in Rome without losing a set but here is the best players in the world like Berdych and Ferrer and Djokovic and so I am happy and the most important thing is not to win against that player but to win the most important title of the year for me and this why I am happy now and the important things is to ….
Q: Montecarlo, Barcelona and Rome and a clay season coming up to Paris – you are expecting to ride to the perfect Paris?NADAL: The clay court season better for me apart form the mistake of Madrid. I am playing well and at the right level in my opinion and so normally it is a little bit more – not easy but les say easier to find the right feeling and to develop my game and I think I did well and I played well almost every match and I played solid but the second set against Mayer wasn’t my best and when the conditions are right then I play and I am more than happy the way the concentration worked during this tournament.
Q: Last summer you said I know what it is I have to work on but no time and so I’ll wait to the off season. Are things now working well this year?
NADAL: I said this when I lose some final and you cannot expect to be perfect and your opponent is not going to be perfect all the time and when you are losing finals like I did last year and one this year you have to control of your emotions when you lose and win and nothing is terrible when you lose and fantastic when you win and you just find the right point and keep working and keep winning and be competitive in every tournament and work every day and accept the lose because this is the game and in this sport you always will lose – you finish 3rd or 5th or you lose in the semi or the quarter or the finals – you win only one but it is normal that you lose and be you need to be patient to wait for you moment and I accept my loses and to keep being competitive… And you win a few points and you lost and you lose a match and today I won and this is the difference. You don’t need to find great things – it is the small things that make difference.
Q: Is it important mentally to come back no 2?
NADAL: Yo know it I said before it is better 2 that 3, and 3 better that 4 and netter 1 that 2 but after 8 years being top 2 in the ranking no big difference and it is normal is to change the ranking in the next month after Roland Garros or Wimbledon and I an few points from Roger but I am in the race and I am in the right position and few points away from the number one and this is the most important thing and I am happy about everything and the right position for the ranking and number 2 of the race and closing the race and this is the motivation for today and I am going second in the league.
Q: Rafa I think this win is important psychologically or no different and also a question – were you asked to go on court to explain or you thought it could be a bad idea?
NADAL: You are asking wrong that is not my job. We were here until 8.15 and we play today we love this tournament. Yesterday the conditions were not perfect and it is much more crowd today. We do not decide it – it is ATP and in my opinion was the right situation. It was a sad situation but I stay one more day in Rome and have could have had a rest and so it we prefer to say another day and because we love this tournament and this is the thing, We take this tournament like one of the important one in the season and so we believe to play in the right conditions.
Q: Rafa in Paris you will be going for your seventh title —- be a record?
NADAL: Yes – but I win in Rome and I will have a press conference in Paris and we will be in Roland Garros we are in Rome and it is a happy day to be here with the title another time. This is part of the system and Rome is historical and it is for me very important to keep playing to keep winning and I did today and this is a personal satisfaction.
Q: Psychologically was this an important victory today
NADAL: Winning is important and this for everyone when you lose you play with doubts and this is a tennis match and an important thing for me I will have this trophy in my bedroom and I won the .. it is a dream and the confidence I am playing well and this comes when I play at the right level and hopefully I will keep playing like this.
Q: You said you cant expect to play best every day- What expect from yourself
NADAL: Try my best in every tournament. When you play best you cannot do more – passion and love for the game and love for the match and you cannot ask for more.
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