PACIFIC LIFE OPEN
March 20, 2008
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You were very expressive at the end that match. Can
you tell us how much beating James meant for you tonight?
RAFAEL NADAL: The thing is not beating James, no? The thing
is being in semifinal and beating against two big players
like Tsonga and Blake in quarterfinals. So for me it was
very important two matches.
Because in the last months I didn't have bad results.
Semifinal in Australia, final in Chennai and semifinal in
Shanghai and final in Bercy. So it wasn't bad results. But
the true is I feel like I didn't win against the best
players the world, no? So when I have two consecutive wins
against these players, so that's very important for me.
Q. At the same time, obviously the most important is
getting through. But because you lost three times before to
James, that must feel nice to know that you can win?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sure. I know he's a very difficult player for
me for play against him, no? Very aggressive player all the
I like to play a little bit more from the baseline, no? And
he play so aggressive all the time and it's very difficult
for me. Sure, after three loses, it's very important for me
and I'm very happy for that beat against big player like
James and difficult player for me, no?
Q. Can you talk about the end of the third set,
especially the game where you broke him. You were very
aggressive with the forehand and the return of serve.
RAFAEL NADAL: I fought all the time. If I have the chance
with the second serve in that game, I going to play
aggressive. I going to play the winner inside or outside,
but I going to try to do the winner with the forehand, no?
Sometimes in the match is some moments you have to do what
you feel, no? And at this moment I feel like I'm playing
good, good tennis, very good tennis today. I feel very good
the ball with the forehand. So I think if I have to win this
match, I have to win with my forehand. Well, lucky for me
the ball is on the line.
Q. Next match is Djokovic in the semifinal. You have a
better score than Djokovic. Any thoughts on that? Are you
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, probably I play against one of the --
well, the best player of the first part of the season, so --
well, this is an interesting match for me, going to be
challenge for me play against him.
The same time, very happy for be in the semifinal. Anyway,
right now I have very good tournament, the first Masters
Series of the year in hard court for play the semifinal is
very good result, and for sure I going to try my best for
play against Djokovic on Saturday.
So going to be a very tough match, I know. I have to play
like the last part of the match if I want it bin.
Q. If you can compare, if that's possible, his game and
Roger Federer's game, aside from the double-handed backhand
and one-handed backhand, what are the similarities and
differences between the two styles of the game?
RAFAEL NADAL: I'm nobody for speak about that, but I think
the style is so different, no? I think, I don't know, what
can I say? But I feel like Federer is more talented player,
for sure. Both have very good forehand, both have good
control with the backhand, and, well, good serve. Good serve
for both, no?
Probably not big powerful serve, but always very good
direction, 200, 210, 207 kilometers per hour. Perfect serve
for his game, no?
Q. In the first set today, you were serving for the first
set and you were down Love-40. Can you take us through what
you did to turn it around and win that game?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, first, he has one mistake in the return
of Love-40 with backhand on second serve. Later I think I
played two good points, no? I play one aggressive point. And
later in the 30-40 I have a good serve on his forehand and I
put one forehand to his backhand and he put the ball out
So, well, the true is it was a very important game, no?
Q. What did you tell yourself going into the third set,
because it looked like after the second set he had regained
control and he was, like you say, very aggressive and
dictating all the time.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes, but I didn't feel playing bad, so I am
happy for play good. Try to go to the third set for -- try
to play my best and enjoy the match and enjoy playing my
game, because I'm playing fine. Be concentrate, so that's
So just try to play my best tennis. I know if I play my best
tennis, my thought was I have to win my serve, because I
think I going to have one chance for the break, no? I going
to have chances for break.
But I know his big returner, so going to be tough save my
serve for all the set. I have some breakpoint in the first
game I think.
Q. Can you talk about the hard courts here? Just seem to
be very comfortable on these hard courts. How are these
different from like other hard courts here in America?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think the different is the ball, no? The
ball is getting more topspin here than probably in
Australia. The Penn ball is a little bit more favorable for
me than the Wilson, that's for sure.
Well, for other reason I have more comfortable with the
forehand, with the backhand, no? The ball getting more
topspin and, well, my game is better like this.
End of FastScripts