Rafael Nadal Interview - Indian Wells, Mar 14

Posted on March 15, 2011

Rafael Nadal Interview
March 14, 2011

R. NADAL/R. Sweeting
6-3, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That's two very effective, impressive performances. You must be pretty satisfied with your game so far?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, no, I think I didn't play nothing really impressive, but I played solid. You know, I didn't have big mistakes.
So I think today the more positive thing is I finished much better than the beginning of the match. So improve during the match always very good news, no?
In general, happy with the serve, happy with the backhand. Forehand I need to -- forehand always is my best shot, and I need to be aggressive to have chances, good chances to be in the right position to have good tournament.
That's the only thing, in my opinion, no, but probably is the most important thing.

Q. How about your doubles game? That's the important thing?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, that's true. Fantastic beat for us yesterday. We played well, I think.

Q. You always care about issues around the world. You played a lot of matches, charity matches. I was wondering, as No. 1 in this sport, do you have any plans on Japanese earthquake?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, we are thinking about what we can do. But, you know, these big events, for sure for us always before the tournament start, when the tournament starts, everything is difficult because the court is full, not all the players can be on court because one player today, another player play tomorrow. So is difficult, no?
But I am sure -- well, all of us are have compromise with Japan, especially myself. I was there last year, and the people was always really nice with me, so I am open to do everything for Japan, and am very sorry and so sad, because what's happening is terrible.
So hopefully the situation gets better soon. Seems like gonna be difficult. But, you know, if we can help, I don't know which way, but for sure we gonna try something.

Q. Outside of hard court tournaments you have played, how does this surface rate in terms of speed and high bounce?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think is the court that the ball gets more topspin on hard court, no? The hard court tournament, the bounces are more crazy.
Is difficult to control the ball for moments because sometimes if you are not touching the ball at the right place, is very easy to put the ball longer than usual.
But seriously I think is a tournament, a hard court tournament that I had better results in my career. I had three semifinals, two champions, so I think I don't have these results in another hard court tournament.

Q. You really enjoy playing with Marc. Can you tell us about your friendship with him and how long you two have been playing together doubles?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, we have fantastic relationship since long time ago, and for sure I love play doubles. Is impossible to play more times. I would love to play more times, but the calendar is this one, and is impossible to play more.
But when I have the chance and tournaments like here that I have to stay here in United States, even if I lose in singles I have to wait for the next tournament. And if I am winning, doesn't matter, because I have one day off almost every day.
So I can play, and I happy to play and happy to help a little bit Marc. I think he don't need help right now. He is No. 14 of the world. But last year and two years ago he needed this help, so for me is important satisfaction, personal satisfaction, that I see him right now No. 14 of the world.
We start to play together two years ago in Qatar; we won. And last year we won here. I think he start to -- I think he really start his career another time, no, in doubles right now.
So he has a good future in doubles, I think, for long time, because in doubles you can play longer, so is good to see him in a good position.

Q. Actually in terms of keeping up the momentum, what happened to you last year losing as you did in the singles and then winning the doubles, I mean, Andy Murray is in that situation now. He lost in the singles and he's in the doubles. If there was no doubles here you would have then probably 10 days before...
RAFAEL NADAL: That's what I say before. Is the perfect tournament, because even the tournament is long, if you win, you can keep playing; and if you lose singles you keeping -- you are in competition, you are still in competition.
So be here for 10 days or 12 days without competition is very long. So is important pay attention to doubles, and sometimes doubles important for the confidence, too.
I think is not the same case last year. I was in semifinals and I had a big opportunity to be in the final. And after that I play the finals of doubles two hours later, no?
But for sure is hard to be here one week without playing singles and without play doubles. It's hard to be here if you are singles player only play doubles, but is for sure harder if you don't have nothing.

Q. Milos Raonic was in here last night saying that after his match with Mardy Fish he went to the net and he apologized to Mardy for some of the things that went on during the match. He felt that maybe Mardy thought that Milos disrespected him in some way during the match, so he apologized after the match. When you were younger and coming up on the tour, how did you deal with situations like that? Did you have older players...
RAFAEL NADAL: What happened exactly?

Q. Milos said that he was bending over during the injury timeouts and maybe thought that Mardy thought he was disrespecting him by stalling, something like that.
RAFAEL NADAL: What happened? He fight a little bit at the net?

Q. No, no, no. He went up to the net at the end of the match and apologized to Mardy.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think the physio is a rule, and you can ask the physio if you want. For sure the fair thing is ask the physio if you really have something. If you don't have nothing, for the opponent is not that fair.
But I'm sure he asked the trainers because he had something. I don't know exactly why, what he had, because I didn't talk to him.
But I believe in Milos and I believe in all the players. All the time when I see a player asking for the physio, I don't thought this because he wanted to stop the match or he wanted -- I don't know. Is because he has something, no? Not because he wanted to lose, to stop the rhythm of the opponent.
That's my opinion, but I am not in the mind of everyone.

Q. Did you have older players that when you were first coming on the tour you would go to for advice on maybe how to act on the court sometimes? Milos said he's new to the tour, so he didn't really know if Mardy was offended or not.
RAFAEL NADAL: To don't know nothing, he's doing really well, no? (Laughter.)
I think the tour is nothing really different about the life. Finally is do the right things. And if you do the right things, you can ask the physio as many times as you want. Important thing is be correct, be good person, and respect all the players, respect everybody, and for sure not be arrogant.
That's what I tried all my career. In my opinion I did. In the opinion of someone, for sure I didn't. So is impossible everybody likes, you know? But important thing is be happy with yourself and try to be the right things all the time.

Q. You're talking about playing doubles here. Would you ever consider playing doubles in a Grand Slam?

Q. Why not?
RAFAEL NADAL: I played. I played in 2005; I played in Australia. And 2004 I played, for sure. But is difficult, because if you play long match, five sets, and next day you have to play doubles, sometimes is too much. It depends of which is your goal, what is your goal playing the tournament, no?
If your goal is trying to win the tournament, probably is better not play doubles. If you go there and you are happy to be in fourth round or quarterfinals or third round, you can play doubles, no?
But anyway, somebody - I think Kafelnikov - won in Roland Garros singles and doubles. For sure is nothing impossible, but for me I think yes.

Q. You spoke earlier about Japan, but you've chosen to do some significant charity work in India. Could you tell us about that, why you chose to do that work? Aren't you doing charity work in India?

Q. Yeah.
RAFAEL NADAL: I did because, you know, like all the new projects, like when you start something new, you need help, you need to have experience, and we had a good opportunity about work there with Vicente Ferrer Foundation. That's very important foundation of Spain, and they have his base on India.
What they did in Anantapur, in that place, is amazing for more than 20 years. So we have opportunity to go there and to work with them, to build tennis courts, to build a school for the kids, and not for ourself doing together project.
So for that reason we started there, no? And for sure, for me and for my mom, for Claudia, it was a fantastic experience, and we learn a lot about what they did there and how they work. For us is important thing right now we are trying to be bigger and bigger all the time, but we need to get experience from these projects.
But seriously, for me, I want to start working for Spain, we have a lot of work to do in Spain, too. And if the foundation in the future is enough big, enough important to can work in all different parts of the world, I will be more than happy, no, with that. But in the beginning I would like to start in my country.