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Rafael Nadal, Australian Open, January 18, 2010

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What are your thoughts after the game?

RAFAEL NADAL: Happy. Happy always starting Grand Slam. Winning in three sets is good news, so very happy to be in second round.

Q. What were your thoughts maybe through the first set, because it didn't look like it was all going to be as easy as you thought it might have been.

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I never thought it was going to be an easy match before going on court. And, sure, playing the first round of one Grand Slam, you know, you know always the first round is a little bit more nervous and you have to start. First rounds are always difficult to play very well.

So I thought gonna be a tough match. First set was tough. Later was easier.

Q. Did you step it up in that tiebreak? Did you find something in that tiebreak and go on with it from there?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I think, well, Peter was playing really well in the first set. I was playing shorter than usual. I played with more mistakes.

So late in the tiebreak he had three mistakes, so he helped me. And I was serving well, so I won the tiebreak. After that I started to play longer, I started to play more aggressive, so I started to play more my tennis.

Q. What is the difference, when you say you started to play longer, more aggressive? Is it just confidence and getting more belief in the second and third sets?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, when you relax a little bit. The first set I had the chances for the breakpoint. One breakpoint I played well, but I had the passing shot mistake to the net, very close, and he played well.

So you start always. I said before, a little bit more nervous than usual. When you win first set you relax a little bit more, you can play more your game, no?

I think I did. I was playing really well, practicing before in Doha and Abu Dhabi, too. I think I'm always in the right way. I told you before, when you relaxed, you have the chance to play more your tennis.

Q. How was the crowd?

RAFAEL NADAL: Always is nice. The atmosphere here always in Australia is special. The crowd are emotional. I played few matches against Lleyton, too, here. Against an Australian, he has big supporters.

Q. Were you having some problems with your shoes or the grip on the court sometimes?

RAFAEL NADAL: No. I think the problem my shoes was a little bit more used than what I thought before the match. I was slipping a little bit more. I gonna change for next one, new ones.

Q. A bit old, were they, the shoes?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, wasn't old. But here the court, yeah, I started to play with the new shoes two days ago, but the court here is aggressive. Behind the foot was thinner than what I expected.

Q. And the fingers?

RAFAEL NADAL: The blister.

Q. Are you in favor of this World Cup of tennis that people are talking about?

RAFAEL NADAL: We will see. We will see what's going on. I think ATP wants to do something. Sure, World Cup with all the players, best player of the world and playing for your country, with good organization and a big event, for sure I am in favor.

Q. You seem a bit slimmer than last year, a bit lighter.

RAFAEL NADAL: Can we bring scales tomorrow? Everybody ask me the same. If we bring something here, I gonna put... I have the same weight than last year. I weigh the same five years ago. I didn't change.

Q. After the match, Jim Courier was asking you about last year, reflecting on the semifinal, the final. Coming back to Melbourne, have you been thinking about that a lot?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I am thinking about try to play good tournament. Sure, when I walk around and I see my picture there, being on the floor, so always is a very nice memories.

You know, was one of the more emotional victories of my career, semifinals and final. So always when you come back in a big event like this, you remember the matches.

Q. Is it an advantage having the feature match at night now being the earlier match? You know when your starting time is going to be.

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, sure is good if you have exactly the time what you're gonna play. But it's true we play indoors, too.

But anyway, I am happy to finish. I feel lucky to finish my match today. That's important. I was a lot of times in the other situation than the rest of the players. Is not easy wait all the day to play.


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