March 26, 2017

 

Rafael Nadal


Miami, Florida

R. NADAL/P. Kohlschreiber

0-6, 6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Wanted to ask you, Andy Murray is now the No. 1 player in the world. What are the special qualities that he has that have made him No. 1, and are you surprised that he became No. 1?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. No, for sure is not a surprise, no? He was there close to it for a couple of years. His quality is everything. He has a good talent on backhand, forehand, serve, volley, good movement, he has everything.

He was able to be very solid mentally especially for the last year during the whole year, so he deserve be where he is.

Q. Today was your 1000th match. How was your journey? Do you remember the first match?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, the same like every other one. No, no, just a good number. 1000 matches is a lot of matches obvious and good news, because that says that I am having a long career. That's something important, especially that during a lot of years I heard that I going to have a short career. So it's something important for me.

Yes, during the match was good feelings to have a comeback like I had today. The first match I remember very well because it was at home in Mallorca. It was my first victory on the ATP. Was a great feeling.

Q. While we were just on the point of world No. 1, players in the past, great players in the past, have said once you got to No. 1, you've achieved it, after that it's a case of been there, done that. While it's nice to be No. 1 obviously, it's not the be all and end all. What do you think having been No. 1 yourself?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes, is obvious that for me first time that I was there in 2008 was important feeling for me because I had the feeling that I have been there for four years very close to it, but I had somebody in front that was playing unbelievable. So takes a lot of time and a lot of effort and a lot of the mentally and physically fight to be there, no? So was special feeling.

And then 2010 when I came back obvious was important year for me.

But be back to No. 1 in 2013 probably was the year that I am more proud.

Q. Kohlschreiber has only beaten you once I think in Halle a few years ago. He had a great start today. Was he doing something different to get that kind of a start today?
RAFAEL NADAL: He was doing everything good. So that's sport, as I said hundred of times, is easy, and when somebody is playing the way that he was playing the first set, what have to do is lose the set because he was playing too good. That's it.

Then match is long, and positive thing is I hold very well the pressure this afternoon after a very tough first set. I resisted well the first few games on the second, and then I think I played a great second and third set.

Q. Nicolas Mahut next. You played him only twice, last time in 2011. What do you think about this matchup?
RAFAEL NADAL: He's playing great, no? He had already couple of great victories here. He's a very dangerous opponent. His serve is huge and he's able to play so aggressive, hitting the ball very, very early and going to the net very often.

So he's a player that I need to be quick and trying to be very solid with my serve, because I know that probably I don't going to have a lot of options on the return, no?

But I think this victory have been very important for me. Tomorrow is another day for practice, and I hope to be ready.

Q. First, congratulations for winning.
RAFAEL NADAL: Thank you.

Q. I wanted to ask you, after the first set finishes, what goes through your mind? Do you change your strategy? What exactly is going on in your head at that time?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, what I needed is to change the dynamic of the match, no? It's obvious that the points have been too quick. He was able to return so quick and to hit every ball as hard as he could.

So I need to play a little bit longer points, no, more than I decided to be a little bit less aggressive, no? I mean, it's not about being more or less aggressive, it's about changing a little bit the position on the court. I went back on the return; I tried to play a little bit higher balls against his backhand.

The thing that I was trying to do in that moment is just to put balls in, you know, to recover the feeling on the ball. I went for practice this morning and I practiced great, but then on the first set he was not able to touch a lot of balls.

So that's what I needed, no? That happened. I was able to make that happen for a while, and then I started to had the chance to hit a little bit more with my forehand than with my backhand.

I think my serve worked so good in the second and third set.

Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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