The transcript from Thursday’s presser is finally up.
Q. You played better than yesterday today?
RAFAEL NADAL: I played better, yes. I played better than yesterday because I played higher, I played close to the lines, and my feeling is I had more control on the ball than yesterday, no?
Good backhands. Very good forehands down the line. I played very well, yeah.
Played higher? Did you have the munchies after too?
Q. Anything to complain about? Something you’re not happy with?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, the first, for some moments, I didn’t serve my best. But later when I started to serve a little bit more slower, not the speed slower, the movement a little bit slower, and more calm, I did better.
So I finished the match serving better. No, I am, yeah, happy.
Heh – moving slowly on the serve is helpful. Eventually, it’s going to take him more than 5 minutes to get the ball into play.
Q. You may play against Jo.
AFAEL NADAL: Yeah, Tsonga, he’s aggressive, really aggressive player. I saw him in the second set. He’s playing really aggressive. Especially with his serve, he can go to the volley. He’s very dangerous, no?
Juan Carlos is a player who win more matches this year on clay and he is coming with big confidence. Going to be really difficult.
So both players going to be difficult. I think for me, try to play like today, but I know going to be a different level and I have to play better, no? So that’s what I gonna try.
Funny, you didn’t make it look difficult. That’s a good thing, no?
Q. Jo, since he beat you in Melbourne, you played him several times. You won every time, and every time more easily. The score was better every time. Any reason for that? Anything you understood in his game?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I think against him I played very well, very good matches, the last few matches. Last year in Bercy, and for sure this year in Miami, too, I played really well. I saved a lot of breakpoints in Miami, several breakpoints. That was decisive on the match, no?
So I think hopefully not, but I’m sure that’s gonna change a lot.
Yes, you played Jo well in Miami. Very well.
Q. Which is the most dangerous part in his game?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, is a different player because he can serve really well. You don’t see really well where he’s serving. He has amazing forehand. When he stop and he saw the ball coming, and he has the right position, is very difficult to stop his forehand, no?
So I think the important thing is make him feel like he can play watching the ball every time come. So play a bit more inside, play more to the sides and move him. His movement is not bad, sure. He move well. But is the way, I think.
Hey, interviewer – see how ridiculous you look a day later when you assume you know which player is going to win? Think about it. (Yeah, I know, they are focused on French players, but still!)
Q. Are you more happy to be here back in Monte Carlo because, A, you always win, B, it’s clay, C, for your body to play on clay is better? Which one of the three things more?
RAFAEL NADAL: For me most important thing is be here in one of my favorite tournaments, if not the favorite. I love be here. Monte Carlo is a pleasure. I always say this. Is the tournament for me.
To just be here and play this very nice center court for me, very nice atmosphere around, so is a pleasure. So for me the important thing is be in Monte Carlo and play this tournament because I love this.
Yes, you always say this…about a lot of tournaments. ;)
Q. If you had to compare the three different clay surfaces, clay in Monte Carlo, clay in Rome, and clay in Paris, what is the difference from your point of view?
RAFAEL NADAL: Clay is clay (smiling). Probably between here and Paris is very similar, very similar, the clay. In Rome is a little bit different.
Unless it’s blue – then it’s radio-active and would clash with his outfit.
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I don’t know if is faster. But the clay is not the same clay, you know. There is different clays, different material.
So probably here is closer. I don’t know if is the same, exactly the same, but my feeling is very close to the same like Paris. And in Rome is a little bit more similar than the clay we have in Spain.
But I thought clay was clay? Quickest self-contradiction evah? :D (Yes, I know he was joking before, but this amuses me.)
Q. How much is it important for you here to have the sea?
RAFAEL NADAL: I love the sea, no? I love being at the sea. And I live on the sea. So wake up, I have very nice views from my room. Wake up watching the sea, that’s give me a lot of energy.
Q. To be back home?
RAFAEL NADAL: The sea is the same. Is Mediterranean. So I love that (smiling).
But is it really the same or is it different?