The transcript is up on the Monte-Carlo site.
Q. How tough was it when he broke back in the third set?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, was tougher in the second I think. Yeah, no, I started the match playing well. The first game, well, he play really bad. Later he played well with the 3 1. But later I played good tennis. But in the first game of the second was really important, no? I won five games in a row.
Yeah, the first game of the second I had an easy passing shot to win the game, one game point. Yeah, I had the mistake. And later I had some more mistakes in that game. He started to play well. I play a little bit short. I had the big chance in 2 1, one 15 40, one easy forehand. I played well, but I take out like this. Yeah, later I play a bad game with my serve. Was impossible the second, no.
But the third, yeah, the beginning I have a little bit lucky because he has two breakpoints and one dropshot, important dropshot. I came back. That point was really important. After that I think I played really well the third, no? Important moments, I was focused all the time. Was tough the 2 1, but I know I was really focused.
I had two important mistakes in the 2 0 for 3 0. I have two game points. I was playing with topspin and I want to put forehand little bit too much low and I put both two in the net.
Having a little bit lucky is always a good thing. Especially when you follow it up with playing really well.
Q. Overall it seemed like an up and down match. Did it feel like that for you?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes. Well, the second for me was like this. But the third I think wasn’t up and down, no? I think was very long points a lot of times. Yeah, I was well physically. I feeled well physically, and mentally really well in the third. I played well, no? I had some good passing shots. Well, I didn’t have mistakes in the third. I think the third was more regular.
I’m glad you think the third is more regular, ’cause I liked the third.
Q. When it’s close, is the fact that you have such an amazing record here, you seem to play well here, does that help? Does that give you a different degree of confidence?
RAFAEL NADAL: Having the four titles here?
Q. Yes. Just playing so well here.
RAFAEL NADAL: No, no. Well, I had very good results on clay last few years, so that’s give me a little more confidence. When I am in tough moments, I know if I am there all the time I have chances always. But every match is different, no? I am only thinking about the match, not if I won 100 matches, no?
The old standard question and the old standard answer.
Q. Would you say it was your toughest final here?
RAFAEL NADAL: If this one was the toughest?
RAFAEL NADAL: I have against Coria a really tough one. Against Federer one year I had four sets, too. No, I have tough finals always. This one was tough, sure. But I have other ones was tough.
This one was shorter than 4 hours, so definitely not his toughest!
Q. Are you able to carry the confidence to next week?
RAFAEL NADAL: Always is really important for me start the clay season like this, no, for the confidence. But the most important thing is the title more than the confidence. Win another time here is more than a dream for me. Is, yeah, unbelievable, no? Fifth title here in Monte Carlo. I never expect something like this.
But, yeah, I feeled very emotional today, no?
So did your fans, Rafa. We feeled it too.
Q. And for Barcelona, five also.
RAFAEL NADAL: For Barcelona, Wednesday first round, not five.
Q. Does it represent something special for you to win five titles here?
RAFAEL NADAL: Is one of the more important tournaments of the world. Is a really historic tournament. Best players of the history was playing here. Always play here for me is a pleasure, no? Is a dream when I came to Monte Carlo in 2003 I think for the first time, play here was a dream for me. And right now, yeah, have five titles, I never thought, no?
Q. Do you realize you made something very huge?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sure, to win Masters Series is always really tough. But now win five, yeah, for me, if I want to choose, if I have the chance to choose one Masters Series before the start of the season to win, Monte Carlo is gonna be in the first positions, no? The city, the atmosphere, everything is special, the history of the tournament. Yeah, always is special for me this tournament.
Q. You said at the start of the week you were going to play without strapping on your knees. How are your knees at the end of the tournament?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, was okay. Everything fine, no? No different without than with the bands, no? I don’t feel any difference.
Q. You think you won’t play with them in the future?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, we gonna try to continuing play like this. But you know if someday I play with the bands, that doesn’t mean I have a problem. Right now we try like this. Right now it’s okay. But I don’t know if in a few weeks I gonna start another time.
So don’t start saying I’m falling apart if I put them back on again, you hear?
Q. When you win in Monte Carlo, after you win in Roland Garros. Is that a good sign?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I did four years. That’s nothing, no? Is completely different tournament and remain some weeks to Roland Garros. I am focused on Barcelona and Rome later. So, yes, some important tournaments are before.
They can try all they want, they aren’t going to get him to skip ahead. It’s always one step at a time for him.
Q. Can you talk about Novak’s performance. Is that one of the best games he’s played against you on clay?
RAFAEL NADAL: Maybe the best was last year in Hamburg. That was the toughest one. But, yes, he is a very good player, no? On clay, too, he has very good results on clay. He’s top three, top four, top two. Yeah, I think top three or top four on clay. Last few years he did. Always play against him is tough, no? And today wasn’t an exception.
Hamburg last year was an amazingly tight match.
Q. You improved a lot on hard surfaces. Do you think you can improve on clay?
RAFAEL NADAL: Everyone can improve in every surface, no? No one is perfect. Sure, I can improve. And I work always to improve because when you feel you can’t improve, is difficult to wake up and go on court and practice with the illusion, no?
If I am here, is to continuing improve all the time. That’s my illusion, my motivation, no, go on court and continuing improve my tennis.
When someday I don’t gonna feel something like this, I gonna go, I think. Always you can improve. If you don’t have this illusion, you are not prepared to play.
Q. What would you like to improve most?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, the serve is really important because I was serving better in the beginning of the season. This tournament I didn’t serve very well. Especially the second serve was sometimes 120 kilometers per hour. So that’s disaster. Yeah, I have to play more, have to serve better next week. I gonna have two days to work.
Both Nole and Andy really attacked Rafa’s second serve so it’s difficult to disagree with Rafa about his own game here. ;)