S.O. de l'US OPEN : Interview31 août 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Will you tell us a little bit about how you're feeling right now and whether you've progressed all since Montreal in terms of your condition?
RAFAEL NADAL: I feel well, no? I happy to be here. I play really well the first two tournaments after stop. Very happy to come back to the tour, and very happy how I did in the first two tournaments.
Q. Your feelings about playing your opponent in the first round?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think he's a very good player. Sure, he had to stop few times but probably is one of the players with more potential outside of the seeds, seeded.
Q. What has it been like for you since the French Open?
RAFAEL NADAL: I was at home. I was at home recovering from my knee. Yeah, maybe I was injured in the worst moment of the season to be arrive at the worst moment physically, one of the most important moments of the season, but at the same time, I must have been in Mallorca in the best moment of the season, too.
Q. How are your knees feeling? How are you more generally physically? Are there any other problems you're dealing with?
RAFAEL NADAL: Hopefully not, no. The knees are perfect right now, my feeling. I think everything is okay, so I don't have any problem.
Q. How tough has it been psychologically for you to deal with what you've dealt with the last couple of months?
RAFAEL NADAL: Psychologically for me now, I am perfect. After important stop, came back with more energy than ever, no. Probably I need few time to be ready, to get the rhythm, to play your best tennis, but the energy and the illusion is 100%.
Q. What is your level of confidence coming into this tournament?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know the level of confidence, but much better than what I expected when I started to play in Montreal, for sure.
Q. Have you changed your workout routine at all? Have you slowed down because of the knees? Work less, shorter hours?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. When you come back after an injury, you start slow always. You have to be progression, but later I am like normal right now.
Yesterday I practice two hours and a half. Today I practice two hours. I am feeling really well.
Q. Is it a bit of a psychological advantage to be a bit of an underdog here because of the injury? Less is expected so you can be more relaxed. Is there anything to
that line of thinking?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I don't know why, no? I think I am perfect, no? I am relaxed to be here another year and to try my best another time.
Q. What significance would it have for you to win here? Is there something special about completing a career Grand Slam that would mean something to you?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, sure, but we haven't start the tournament yet. That's the true, no?
For me, have the title here, doesn't change my career, but I'm going if I had the title here, finish the cycle, no? I win the fourth. So it be unbelievable.
Right now, I really can't think about that, no? Third tournament after an injury, I am well and I gonna come here every year with the best illusion, best attitude and try to prepare this tournament as good as I can to win this title.
Q. Is it a significant difference, the court in Australia to the court here?
RAFAEL NADAL: No one court is the same. That's true, no? Few years ago I did quarterfinals, last year I did semifinals, so I feeling I am improving every year.
Q. Do you feel there is a bit of real difference between playing here and playing in Melbourne?
RAFAEL NADAL: The truth, the feeling is not a big difference. That's my feeling, no?
Maybe in this court, always in the center court is always more wind than there, but for the rest, the ball is a little bit different, but that's it.
Q. How much tennis did you watch when you were away from the game? Did you stay in touch with Wimbledon and watch most of the tournament?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I watch the final of Wimbledon. I watch a little bit of final of Roland Garros and saw the Davis Cup of Spain in Germany. That's it. That's it. I watch a lot of sport, but I watch the Tour of France. (laughter.)
But tennis, I watch a little bit of Wimbledon. That was the final. I watch few games, you know, normal, but not a lot.
Q. You showed a lot of support for Gasquet when he was suspended. He says he appreciates that very much from you. Can you talk about the reason, what went through
your mind? You showed so much support for him.
RAFAEL NADAL: The true is I support him a lot. First thing, because I believe in him. Second thing, because I think he's a very nice guy. I know him since 13 years old or 12 years old.
I talk with him what happen. He told me he didn't take nothing. So I believe him 100%, and I think you know, it is open. I don't want to speak a lot about that and a lot of history is out about when I speak about that, but it's not 100% perfect sometime. If someone wants to kill you, somebody can kill you, you know? And you didn't do nothing. That's the true, no?
That's my feeling what happened with Richard, and of course they say that, no? He won. In the beginning, it was three years, and then it was three years because he didn't take nothing. So I'm very happy for that, and I am sure a lot of players are very happy for Richard.
Q. Can you say you are 100% well to play this tournament?
RAFAEL NADAL: What?
Q. Can you say you are 100% well, feeling well, for this tournament?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am 100% well to play this tournament, yeah. (laughter.)
I don't know if I am playing at my best level, but I am 100%. You want me 100%? Me too.
Q. Last week you commented on the schedule, the men's tennis schedule being too long. What sort of reaction have you gotten to that, the longer off season?
RAFAEL NADAL: Because the season starts 1st of January and finish 5th of December. Well, that's not the moment to speak about that, no? My feeling can change, but we have to discuss between us, not in the press.