May 11, 2017

 

Rafael Nadal


Madrid, Spain

R. NADAL/N. Kyrgios

6-3, 6-1


THE MODERATOR: Questions in English and Spanish.

Q. (Translated from Spanish) Andy told us this afternoon about the Gerard Piqué proposal to do a new tournament like the Davis Cup. Have you spoken with him? Are you interested in it? What do you think about that proposition?
RAFAEL NADAL: (Translated from Spanish) I'm not going to speak about Davis Cup because I've already spoken many times about the Davis Cup. I'm not going to talk about that.

I know from a long time ago there was a group, that Gerard Piqué is inside of this group, that they wanted to do some kind of competition, like a world championship. I think it would be great. It would be very interesting to be able to compete for our country.

I know that the format will be a 10-day tournament in the same spot. I think that it will be a really good initiative. Hopefully it will take place.

Q. (Translated from Spanish) Talking about tonight, were you expecting more from Kyrgios? Do you think that he was a little bit off?
RAFAEL NADAL: (Translated from Spanish) I think I played really well tonight. Since the beginning of the match, I committed just a few errors. I think I returned the ball very well, even better than normally.

I think I served very well, committed very few errors. I think I made a step forward compared to yesterday. Of course, to be able to win 6-3, 6-1, whatever the second was, I can't remember, I think it's great news. I think it's not normal to win against an opponent like this because Nick is a really good opponent.

Well, in a few minutes he will be here and you can ask him about his impressions. From my side, I think I played a really good match today.

Q. (Translated from Spanish) Tomorrow you face Goffin. You played him in Monte-Carlo. It was a comfortable victory. What are you expecting tomorrow?
RAFAEL NADAL: (Translated from Spanish) Well, no, it was a comfortable victory, but the match was not comfortable. The match was very difficult. The first set actually was quiet tough.

Tomorrow I'm expecting a tough match. It's going to be one of the best players. He's very fit. He's up there with the good players. I know that I have to play at my highest level, perhaps similar to today or even better.

I have to hit with my forehand stronger. I think my backhand was good, and my forehand was there. I think I have some margin to do it even better tomorrow, to step forward. Hopefully I will make it to the next round. Tomorrow is a day I have to be ready and give my 100%.

Q. (Translated from Spanish) Talking about the tournament that Gerard is talking about, do you think it's a tournament similar to the ITF? You've been asking for changes for a long time.
RAFAEL NADAL: (Translated from Spanish) I mean, it would be an answer to the ITF if it was an initiative ourselves. It's not an initiative from the players, it's an initiative from a group of people. It is an opportunity to make a new tournament in the World Cup style. I think it's going to be a great thing for the players and the people. I think right now we are lacking a tournament like that.

I don't want to talk about an answer to the Davis Cup. The Davis Cup is a completely different tournament. It's an important tournament. It's an important competition that I've had the opportunity to play for many years, which have been great years. I have had really great moments in the Davis Cup. They were unique moments. I'll never speak badly about the Davis Cup.

The ITF, now there is a new president, a new council. I'm sure they will try to do things. I think that's what we need right now, the International Tennis Federation needs that. It's true that during a lot of years, we have had some managers that were ruling the ITF that didn't do anything at all. They haven't adapted to the new days that we have today. They haven't looked for solutions.

Q. (Translated from Spanish) I want to know if you have spoken with Gerard Piqué personally? Do you support him? Can you give us some more details?
RAFAEL NADAL: (Translated from Spanish) No, I can't give you any more details. I don't know Gerard. I haven't spoken with him. I don't think that Gerard is the boss of this. I don't think he's the leader of this group. I think he's part of this group.

I'm happy that he and his group wants to invest in our sport. I'm very happy. They are always welcome, they always should be welcome. Anyone that wants to invest in our sport is going to be welcome.

Hopefully his proposal will end up in good hands and it will take place.

Q. (Translated from Spanish) This year we celebrate the 21 years that Guga won Roland Garros. Do you have good memories about that? If you get the 10th title in Roland Garros, do you think it would be special if Guga presented you the trophy?
RAFAEL NADAL: (Translated from Spanish) If I win, it doesn't matter who gives me the trophy (laughter).

I do remember the first victory of Guga. I think it was a surprise because he was -- well, it was 20 years ago. I was 10 or 11 years old. From that point of view in that moment, Guga was an unknown player back in the day. To be able to win such an important tournament as Roland Garros was a big surprise.

After the years, you see what Guga did. It was not a surprise anymore. He was a really good player.

I think Guga was amazing. He was a very important player for our sport. He promoted tennis in Latin America. I think he was an icon. He was someone that you would look up. I think he needs some recognition for his 20 years.

Q. (In English) Do you think against Goffin the conditions will change things a little bit compared to Monte-Carlo? Is there a specific area of his game that has improved more than the others for you?
RAFAEL NADAL: (In English) David is a complete player, no? He has all the shots. The conditions here are completely different than the rest of the Masters 1000s or the rest of the tournaments on clay.

Anything can happen. It's easy to lose the positive feelings here than in the rest of the tournaments. Matches are becoming a little bit more crazy, little bit more difficult. So you need to be ready for everything, to accept more mistakes, you need to play a little bit more aggressive.

Tomorrow is a match I need to play my best. I know if I am not playing my best, I probably not going to have the chance to win. I need to be ready for anything. Let's see what's going on tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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