January 6, 2017 Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

M. RAONIC/R. Nadal
4-6, 6-3, 6-4


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously not the result that you wanted out there tonight, but how did you see it, especially in that third set? He got that momentum from the second set, and it seemed to carry over.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes, I think I had 10 minutes that was very hard, and playing against a player like him, that's terrible, no?
He played aggressive, he played great, he returned -- his return on my serve during that games had been very, very aggressive, and the serve was huge, no?
I tried to go inside a couple of times, maybe returning to behind the baseline, but I was not watching clear way to return, no?
Well, I lost against third of the world. Very close match. I had been playing six matches already this year. That's positive for me, winning five, losing the sixth.
But a close result, no? It's important to win a lot of matches, of course, but at the same time it's important to -- when I lose, it's important to lose with just a small difference.
So that's what happened today, and that's, at the same time, with being negative, because losing always is negative. But the result was so close, and that's positive, no? Because that mean that my mind was ready to keep fighting until the end, and that's what I did.
Even in the third, I had some moments that he had some chances to have the double break, so I was there and I saved a couple of good points. And then I had my opportunity, but only returned one break point and he served well and he hit the winner from first ball, no, so that's it.
He played aggressive, more than me. It's true that with this serve it's a little bit easier to play aggressive than with my one. But he was, I think, a little bit better than me tonight. He deserve, and congrats to him.

Q. Do you think you would have been ready for a five-set match tonight if you were in Grand Slam mode?
RAFAEL NADAL: Easy answer: Let's see it in two weeks, one week and a little bit more. That's it.

Q. If you have a good Australian Open, by your standards, do you think we can see you back here next year, starting next season?
RAFAEL NADAL: We don't know what's going on next year. I loved the atmosphere. I really just can say thank you very much to all the organization of the tournament. Is unbelievable. People is so nice. Make me feel more than, better than like home, maybe.
Was a great experience to be here in Brisbane. Just can say thank you to the crowd, thank you to the organization, to the people who make possible the event, because they are doing unbelievable good work, no?
Doesn't matter what gonna happen in Australia to decide if I come back or not next year. No, no. I know I played good Australian Opens playing Doha, good Australian Opens playing Chennai, and very bad Australian Open playing Doha.
No, it's easy or not fair to say after the tournament if I play good, I gonna come back, or if I play bad, I don't wanna come back because it's not the right preparation. I feel that I played six good matches, as I said before, winning five, losing one.
I feel that remain one week and a little bit more for the Australian Open start, so I really hope that I can be ready for it, and I gonna fight and to practice hard to make it happen. Then what gonna happen, I cannot predict, but anything is possible.

Q. Do you feel your preparations for the Australian Open are on track? You had six matches now. Do you feel you've got enough obviously to look confidently towards Melbourne?
RAFAEL NADAL: You never can feel confident, you know. When you are going to an event, you know, you have to put attention on every moment, every practice, every match. All the opponents are dangerous.
So maximum respect for everybody and for the tournament itself. Last year I felt that I was ready, played great in Abu Dhabi, played great in Doha, I had a good week of practice in Melbourne, and then I lost in the first round. So you never know, and you cannot predict.
The only thing that is in my hands today is try to keep working the same way I am doing. I try my best in every moment. I work so hard to come back after the injury in Mallorca, and I feel that I am on the right way.
But as I said before, I said in Abu Dhabi a couple days ago, no, is not a question, I cannot analyze my game or my results only in Abu Dhabi, Brisbane, and Australia. When you come back a period of time, you didn't play tennis, you need, you know, longer -- you need to see a little bit, overall a little bit more.
Looking overall first two weeks of the season have been positive for me, and I cannot focus only on Australian Open, no? Let me play for three months, and then we will see what I am, no, because, you know, I can go to Australia and I can play very well, but at the same time, I can lose. You never know what's going on.
But probably after Miami gonna be a good moment to analyze a little bit what's going on and to see where I am being realistic, because you can play some good matches, but you need to see a little bit more tournaments in a row to analyze a little bit your real performance.

Q. Milos said he felt in Abu Dhabi he didn't match your intensity, that he wanted to focus on matching your intensity tonight. Intensity as far as his approach, being up, being ready for the match. Do you feel like there was 10, 15 minutes where things kind of dipped that he was zoning in, or did you lose your intensity a little bit?
RAFAEL NADAL: Always is a balance, no? Matches decide in just a few things. Probably if I put that passing shot forehand cross, I had the break in the second set, big chance that we will be here one hour before with a victory, maybe 6-4, 6-3, or 6-4, 6-4, no? That's another thing.
That's tennis. That passing shot was long, and that's it. Then he had the break and match changes, no?
We can talk a little bit overall, and overall, I think, before he had the break in the second set, I think I was playing better than him. That's my feeling. And I think that's the real feeling. I was being better than him on court, and after that he was better than me, you know.
Not big difference when I was better than him and not big difference when he was better than me. Just small details, but that's what happened tonight. I had a big chance. I didn't convert that chance. And then he was aggressive and he played well

Q. Looking forward to this year, what are your goals for 2017?
RAFAEL NADAL: My goal is -- tennis goal?

Q. Yes.
RAFAEL NADAL: My tennis goal is try to win every match that I play. That's my main goal. When I go on court, try to be competitive and try to be healthy and play the full schedule, be able to work the way that I am working for the whole year.
And then if I make that happen, I believe I gonna fight for good things and I can have something beautiful this year.

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