Rafa’s post-final presser transcript is up.
Q. First title in nearly one year. How big a relief is it?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, yeah, is a title since almost a year. Well, important thing is I told you during all the week, no, important thing is play well. I was playing really well since the start of 2010 season. I didn’t win a tournament yet. I won this week, not before. But I was ready to win before this tournament, no?
I told you, I was relaxed. When I watch me play well in Doha, in Australia, in Indian Wells, in Miami, when you play like this, you know you’re going to have your chance soon.
I had two chances, two important chances, in Indian Wells and Miami. I didn’t convert. But the third one, yes, here in Monte Carlo.
Sure for me is very emotional. Is probably my favorite tournament. I love this tournament. Win here another time is a dream for me.
Third time’s a charm.
Q. You looked a little nervous when you had to serve at 4 1 in the second set. Were you nervous?
RAFAEL NADAL: I was, yeah. I was nervous. Little bit, yeah.
Yeah, win Monte Carlo, every time when I have the chance to win Monte Carlo, is very important tournament for me. I was a little bit nervous, no? I didn’t win a tournament for a while, and I saw the chance. My feeling is I was playing really well, so you are a little bit more nervous than usual. But is normal.
Normal nervous is okay….much better than choke-y nervous.
Q. You said last year you did not play well. This year you’ve lost only 14 games in the whole tournament. What does that mean for you? There is such a huge difference between you and all the others, or not, when you play at your best?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I told you last year I didn’t play well. That’s true. But I still winning, no?
This year, the level is completely different. But that doesn’t mean that I gonna win easy. I think that the results, the scores this week, was too much. I think that’s not real. But I was playing really good. I was very focused in all points.
When you didn’t win for a while, you are playing really well, you really want to win, you are focused more than ever, no? So maybe for that reason I won easier than usual.
Sure, that’s not normal. Gonna have lots of problems on clay, too, in the future (smiling).
One more time people – he sucked last year. Never mind that he won here last year, he felt he sucked. Got it? And I’ll take this kind of “not normal” any day, Rafa.
Q. Do you think you’re back to your best level now?
RAFAEL NADAL: I back to my best level in January, 1st of January. I win a tournament now. In Abu Dhabi, 1st of January, I was playing my best level.
Again: winning a tournament doesn’t mean the same thing as playing well to Rafa. Neither does losing one automatically equate with playing bad. How many times does he have to tell the press this?
Q. Can you explain what are the keys to be successful on clay? What do you concentrate on? Is it the movement of the feet? Is it the forehand?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I think is more important than the surface is the tactic on court. You have more chances.
You can attack, you can defend. Is important to be very regular. Is very important don’t have a lot of mistakes. No mistakes when you are offensive and no mistakes when you are defensive.
So that’s the key, no, and know how to play.
So. Make no mistakes? Yeah, that’s easy.
Q. Is this the best final you have played since when you played and beat very easily Federer at Roland Garros, that you really destroyed him?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, the first set this year against Davydenko in Doha was unbelievable. The match was good. I don’t remember. Final of Olympics, I played really well, too. And here probably was one of the best level on clay I played this week, one of my best levels on clay, sure.
Q. You say the scores here are a little bit unreal. Who do you expect to be your toughest opponents on this surface?
RAFAEL NADAL: Always are a lot. You know, there is big players, Federer, Djokovic, Murray, Verdasco, David Ferrer, Ferrero. Del Potro going to be there sure. Soderling, Berdych. A lot of opponents. Nalbandian.
Heh – he demolished three of the players he mentioned this week alone…
Q. Last year you won here, you won in Barcelona, in Rome, final in Madrid. When you arrived in Paris, you were tired and a little hurt. Now that you have won here, could you change your schedule or do you intend to play all the clay court tournaments like last year?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, we will see, no? Right now I just want to enjoy today. The victory is very important. I’m very happy. It’s emotional day for me. I don’t know yet. We will see.
As I’ve said here, enjoy the freaking moment, worry about tomorrow tomorrow.
Q. You looked very emotional on the court. What was going through your mind at that moment?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, it was a lot of work, a lot of work. At the same time, a little bit hard moment for me because after I came back from the injury, the injury time last year in the summer, when I came back, I had the abdominal break. At the end of the season, I did semifinal, I did final, but I didn’t feel ready to win. I didn’t feel at my level to try to win against the best players and to win important tournaments.
Sure, when you win a tournament, very emotional tournament for me like Monte Carlo, is a dream for me, no? Win sixth time for me is unbelievable. I never expect something like that.
Q. You often talk about the crowd, how much the crowd helps you here. Could you talk about how special the crowd is for you here.
RAFAEL NADAL: The atmosphere here is unbelievable. The views. Is a club. It’s very nice to play in a big court, show courts, but when you are in a club, it’s like Barcelona, no, the feeling is different, the atmosphere is different.
Here the tradition, you greet something, the history of tennis, no? I love this tournament. One of the reason is this. And, sure, the crowd was always unbelievable with me here. I feel like home. The crowd was supporting me. No one match during seven years I felt the crowd against me. So that’s unbelievable.
I just can say thank you very much everybody. The organization, too, was always very nice with me. Everything was very easy for me.
Thankyouverymuch too Rafa.
Q. The memory of this tournament is very fresh, of course. But out of the six Monte Carlo tournaments, is there one that sticks more than the others for you? The first because it was the first, or others?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. Every one is really important, no? Every Monte Carlo is special, no?
So stop asking him – it’s special because it just is, okay?
Q. When you beat Federer, there is more…
RAFAEL NADAL: No. First time, was first Masters Series for me, and first Monte Carlo at the same time was a dream for me, no? Winning Monte Carlo, I always saw Monte Carlo on the TV. So like I win very important thing, no?
After that, the beginning I played against Federer. I didn’t expect to win. But I played against the No. 1. I didn’t feel favorite, so was emotional to win.
And, for sure this year is really special for me, one of the most special, because I had little bit hard time for the last year. Well, little bit more than a year. To win here is like, I don’t know, very emotional for me, very special.
The hard times make the good that much better.
Q. When you play, you know every inch of the court. Everywhere in the world that you play, do you feel you know every inch of that court?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I don’t know every inch, no? But, no, when you play a lot of times on the same court, you win a lot of matches on the same court, you feel comfortable, no, and you feel that it’s easier to play well than another places.
So, you know, this court is like I am playing in my court. So I love that and I feel very good here all the time.
Six in a row? I’d say it is your court, Rafa. It is.