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Rafael Nadal, US Open,August 29, 2008
   

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Rafael Nadal

US Open

August 29, 2008




Q. Very content with the way you played tonight?

RAFAEL NADAL: I starting touching the ball with the forehand having a lot of winners.

So, well, he started a little bit nervous. He had mistakes in the beginning. I did well. I did well.

Later when he start playing better always the same. When you are winning almost easier later when he start playing better you feel a little bit ‑‑ with a little bit more doubts, no?

But important thing I have comeback in the third with three zero games, and so happy for the victory.


Q. I was here on Saturday and also on Monday, and both days you said that you were feeling a little tired. You're fortunate in that you've had a few days to rest up. Do you feel less tired? Do you feel more rested?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think the thing is not have two days off. I thing is forgot a little bit about tennis for recover a little bit, no?

But right now is not to think. I am in the third round; happy for be in third round. For me it's a very important tournament here, and just going to ‑‑ I have to improve for next round, and now I have a tough opponent. Play against Troicki. He's a good server and he's playing well. I know I have to play well for try to beat him, no?


Q. What do you do on your couple days off? You said you sort of maybe forgot about tennis a little bit.

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I play golf on Tuesday afternoon.


Q. Where did you play?

RAFAEL NADAL: In Deepdale close to here. Very nice course. The people was very nice with me there, so invite me and everything. Just thanks very much for everything.


Q. Do you think this is the best tennis you're playing of your career, the streak you're on: The gold medal and getting into the third round here? Do you feel like you're at the top of your game?

RAFAEL NADAL: I did very well the last few months, not yet here in New York.


Q. More room to grow?

RAFAEL NADAL: I think. I hope so. But, yes, I played my best tennis this season.


Q. What did you shoot at the golf course, Rafa?

RAFAEL NADAL: We didn't finish because it gets dark, but I was doing fine.


Q. How would you compare your golf game to your tennis game?

RAFAEL NADAL: I can't answer this question.


Q. How do you feel about Djokovic's impersonations of the other tennis players? Have you seen them?

RAFAEL NADAL: I didn't see, no.


Q. You haven't?

RAFAEL NADAL: No.


Q. Ana came in today. It was disappointing for her. She came in as No. 1, and there was a lot of talk about her about just coming in with the pressure of being No. 1.

RAFAEL NADAL: For Ana?


Q. Yeah. Do you feel that when you come in, especially when it's something that you just achieved and expectations are a lot higher of you, can that be difficult to deal with at times?

RAFAEL NADAL: I think it is different case of Ana and me. Ana is probably ‑‑ last year she start doing very well; this year she is continuing doing very well, no?

So she played the final of Australia, she did very well in Roland Garros. After one win like this, like in Roland Garros, after your first Grand Slam title, the normal thing is going a little bit down, no?

I think it's not for the No. 1, because you feel alive. I don't know. You feel a little bit alive when you win your first Grand Slam, so that's normal for her.

But I think she's very good and she going to continuing doing very well.


Q. Do you think playing in the Olympics on a hard court right before the US Open has helped you here getting used to the hard court here?

RAFAEL NADAL: The hard court game...


Q. No. What I'm saying is you're seeing it right before at a high level, right before this tournament; has it helped?

RAFAEL NADAL: (Through translation.) No. The true is the win at the Olympics doesn't help me a lot for this tournament, no? The Olympics was very important title for my careera.

But the thing what can help me a little bit, is the practice and play a lot of the matches in this court. No, I did very well this year in all tournaments in this court.


Q. What does it feel like to be out there during night sessions in Arthur Ashe Stadium? Is that a pretty magical kind of stage to be a part of?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, it's special, no? The court was unbelievable. The court was full. Always very nice to go there with a crowd like this. Just special. The biggest court on tour, so it's always special feeling.

It's good, no, all the show, everything is fine.


Q. How do you adjust to the time zone differences as a player?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, right now, fine. I have one week and a little bit more for adapt, so...

When it's coming 12:00, 12:30, something like this normally I go to sleep at 1:30 and something like this, and right now when I go in the room at 12:00, 12:30, I dead.


Q. Today we have got a calendar of the tournament for the next three years of ATP. Have you seen it?

RAFAEL NADAL: I saw a little bit, yes.


Q. Is it something that you agree with, players and you? Is there a problem with the calendar?

RAFAEL NADAL: I think it's for sure better than this year, no? Well, was easy to do better than this year, no?

But sure is better than this year. I think, you know, the biggest problem always is the same: It's the European clay season. It's always put there Monte‑Carlo, Barcelona, Rome straight. That's unbelievable, no?

So that's very tough for play for the European players, and for the clay court specialist players. I'm not talking about me only, no? I'm talking about all the Spanish and all the South American. So it's very tough, no?

But, you know, the biggest problem on tour is always the same: Indian Wells and Miami for one month.


Q. Do you think that it will stay three years or it might change in a year or two?

RAFAEL NADAL: I think it's okay, the calendar is not bad, no?


Q. Do you want to call yourself the best player in the world now? Because Roger said the other day that the cheers from the fans led him to think that he is still the best player.

RAFAEL NADAL: You know, no, this week I am the No. 1. I don't know in three weeks what number I going to be, no?

So some days ago I was No. 2; this week I'm the No. 1. But if you can say me right now you are the best player of the world, you never know, no? Depends of the week.


Q. But do you have a better chance to finish No. 1 end of the year?

RAFAEL NADAL: If I have good chance? (Through translation.) I have my chances, yes. I have good points. But going to be important. Right now every match is very important in US Open, no?

I have Monday, right now, today, so next match will be important. So every match is very important, important because a lot points. Every match you win you get a lot of points. Right now every point is important if I want to finish No. 1, no?


Q. What type of relationship, if any, do you have with Roger Federer?

RAFAEL NADAL: What type of relationship?


Q. Yes. Are you friends, cordial?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. We had ‑‑ we have very good relationship. My friends are in Mallorca. I say already. My friends are from the school from five years old.

My English is still ‑‑ well, is almost perfect, but can improve. (Laughter) So, you know, always is very tough have very close friend with my English.

But for sure we have a good relationship, no? We talk always a lot.


Q. Novak Djokovic beat you in Cincinnati, and then you beat him in Olympics. If you meet him over here, who is advantage? Who can win? You can beat him over here?

RAFAEL NADAL: I play against Troicki first third round, and Djokovic on the other part of the draw. Right now Djokovic is not in my mind, no? I would love play against him another time. If I play against him I going to be in the final.


Q. Do you train to zone out the crowd, or does the crowd ever distract your game? Do you learn to just zone them out and tune them out as you play?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, the crowd was good, no?


Q. Do they ever affect your game at all? Too rowdy and loud?

RAFAEL NADAL: No. The crowd doesn't distract me, no? The crowd support you or the other player. That's always good for the tennis.


Q. What are you drinking right now?

RAFAEL NADAL: Milk shake of vanilla.

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