Rafa’s in Rome and has already done a presser – it never ends. Article from the official site with some quotes from the presser.
When asked about the problem of having another surging Spaniard, Fernando Verdasco, in his quarter of the draw, Nadal refused to be drawn into any predictions. “I don’t know if we are going to be in the quarter-finals. Seppi – I’m looking there. I don’t know if Verdasco looks to the quarterfinals but, me, I look at the first round.”
“The most dangerous competitor every day is the opponent,” he continued. “That’s the thing, and I know how tough it is to win every match. When I go on court, I have a lot of respect for every player. Before the match I always think I can lose and I can win. I have to accept both things, so I go on court and try my best every day and respect the opponent. Federer or Djokovic or Murray, sure, they are the No2, 3, and 4, but every player can play really good on every surface. The clay court players can play very well on the rest of the surfaces and the hard court players can play very well on clay because the surface is different, but not like before. The hard is not really, really fast and the clay is not really slow.”
That is the true. The speed of the different court surfaces are much more similar than they used to be back in the day.
When asked how “only” three Rome titles compares with Monte Carlo and Barcelona, the two most recent tournaments in the calendar which he has now won five times, Nadal again showed his characteristic press-room modesty. “I’m very happy to have three titles here. Not disappointed to not have the title last year. The normal thing is not always to win, the normal thing is to lose. It is unusual to win five Monte Carlos in a row and five Barcelonas in a row. For me, that’s more than a dream, that’s totally unbelievable – I never expect something like this. It’s more usual to lose in the first round in Rome than win three Romes in a row.”
He’s a smart lad.
Despite having opened up a clear lead at the top of the rankings, the Majorcan is by no means resting on his laurels,. “Sure, when I came to be No. 1 last year it was important – it gave me satisfaction because I worked very hard all my life to be there,” said Nadal. “But in the end, I have the same goals right now as when I was No2. I’ve said that to myself a hundred times this year. My goal is to continue improving my tennis and continue having good results, and try to improve. Always.” He may be modest, but the steely determination is there and few would bet against him losing on clay between now and mid-June…
Full transcript can be found here.
(Photos by Julian Finney/Getty Images and AP Photo/Felice Calabro)