Presser: April 13th

Mini-tennis exhibition

Transcript of an April 13th presser.

Q. Not much time to rest since Miami. How do you feel? You were seemingly very tired after Miami. How do you feel now?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I think very well, no? I was coming back to, yeah, one of my favorite tournaments, if not the favorite. Is always a special place, playing in this tournament. The few days in Mallorca with the friends and family was really good for me.

I had some days off, and later some practice. Yeah, everything was perfect. And am very happy to be here. Everything perfect coming back to Monte-Carlo.

Always a special place.

Q. How quickly do you adapt? Clay is your best surface. Do you feel the first hour you hit very comfortable?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, no. Sure no. Clay, yeah, the last years I had very good results on clay. But I only play three, four tournaments every year, no? So the rest of the year I play on hard. So always is a change to adapt to clay. I need some days.

Q. What is the most difficult part of adapting to clay?

RAFAEL NADAL: Everything, no? I think the movement is important. The slide another time. Sure, the strategy, no? You have to play with more control, playing more inside, more outside, of course. You have to move more inside and outside. You have to play more angles.

Everything change, no?

But the important thing is have some matches, no? When you have some matches, you have your routine.

Q. Does the movement, sliding, come naturally to you again?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, no. I told you, no? Is important thing, slide another time, everything. The movement is the tougher thing, no? I think to play good on clay, you have to move well. If you don’t slide, is very difficult.

Heh. “I told you.”

Q. Are you still planning to play four clay events in five weeks or are you now thinking about Madrid?

RAFAEL NADAL: You never know, no? You never know. Always depends of the results. But, no, my normal schedule is these four. But you never know what’s going on.

Uh – normal? Isn’t this the first year Madrid is on clay and in this part of the season?

Q. Is it special for you coming here being No. 1 in the world on your best surface? Is it different?

RAFAEL NADAL: Is the same like last year. Every year is the same, no? Always come back to clay is special. I told 100 times, no, for me doesn’t matter be No. 1, No. 2. I am not more happy right now than the last year coming here be No. 1 or be No. 2. I no thinking about all the day if I No. 1 or No. 3, no?

I think about play my best tennis, try to play my tennis here on clay. If I find my best performance I gonna have chances to have good results. The goals, be No. 1, be No. 2 are the same.

100 times, people! Pay attention.

Q. Do you feel a lot of pressure when the clay court season starts?

RAFAEL NADAL: No. Maybe less than ever because I won in Australia, I won in Indian Wells. I started the season better than ever. That’s give me more calm than the last years, no?
In the end, the mistake is thinking you have to repeat the same like last four years, no? But I never thought about that, no one year, to repeat like the year before.

So for me the only important thing is think about first round. I am thinking about the match against Chela. Hope to play well. That’s what I think. You start to think you have to defend, the pressure, you have to repeat the year, is impossible to play like this, no?

I am No. 1 on the race now. One thousand points difference between Murray and me. That’s the important thing for me. I looking at that. I never arrive to the clay season with this difference. I have to try to play my best tennis.

1000 points between him and Murray? Wrong player or wrong point spread?

And now, for the standard Federer portion of a Rafa presser:

Q. For the last three or four years, Roger Federer has been the closest player to you on clay. Do you expect him to do the same this year?

RAFAEL NADAL: I would love, yeah.

Q. But you think he would be closer than anyone else?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know if I gonna be the first one. I don’t know that, so I can’t know if Roger gonna be the closer to me. Maybe he gonna be better than me. You never know that.

Q. Do you think there is a problem for Roger Federer during the first part of the year? We saw him crying. He broke a racquet. Do you think there is a problem with him?

RAFAEL NADAL: A semifinal, two semifinals in Masters Series is very good results.
But I think doesn’t matter if he break a racquet in Miami. I think everybody talks about this. But in the end is only a thing, small thing. A lot of people broke a lot of racquets on the tennis court, no? So one time doesn’t matter.

I am sure he’s confident to start another year the clay court season and I think he start the season very well. The only thing is he didn’t win a title, but the results are very good.

Q. Did you call him to send your congratulations for his marriage?

RAFAEL NADAL: No. I congratulate him because he gonna be a father. But for that not yet. For true, I didn’t know. I know yesterday.

Q. Do you remember when you broke a racquet yourself last time? Have you by any chance also gotten married the last weekend?

RAFAEL NADAL: I never broke a racquet. That’s the first thing. You never know in the future. Hopefully not.

And, yes, I am thinking about that, be married and be father right now for the next years (smiling).

5 Responses

  1. johanne says:

    Definitely sounds like it was imperative he have some days at home. Yay, I love happy Rafa :)

    Oh and I guess technically it has been his “normal” schedule to play 4 clay events in 5 weeks, all leading up to RG. He did it last year: Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome and Hamburg. Got knocked out 1st round in Rome when he had those nasty blisters. Recovered in time to then go on to win Hamburg. Pretty impressive taking 3 of those 4 tourneys PLUS also winning the French. Here’s to staying healthy! VAMOS RAFA!

  2. strobi says:

    The points Rafa mentioned between him and Murray are race points, that officially doesn’t exist any longer but obviously the players still find is useful. I miss the race, it was so informative, why did they abolish it altogether?
    I loved the last part about marriage and kids, Rafa was bent in laughter afterwards!

  3. faecoleman says:

    thanks for the information on the race points plucker, I too find it interesting and so do the players by the looks of things, nice to see rafa relaxed but not too relaxed I hope, rafa always plays well under pressure. Loved his interview, all the best RAFA!!!!!!!!!! Love you!