N. DJOKOVIC/R. Nadal 6‑3, 6‑4
Q. Could you give us your thoughts on tonight’s final.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think the level of tennis was similar, my opinion. The level of serve was not similar. That’s first thing when I think about the match, first image that I see. If I can say about one thing that makes the difference in today’s match was the serve, that I didn’t serve well, he served well, I didn’t. So in this kind of court, first shot is very important, and he did that first shot much better than me.
For the rest I felt that when I was playing, I was not far away off his level. But he, you know, played with advantage almost all the match because I give him opportunities with my serve.
Q. Yesterday you said you needed to be very aggressive to have a chance today. In the first set, you hit two or three winners, and Djokovic hit 10, I think. Was it his play that prevented you from being as aggressive as you wanted or what happened in terms of that aggressiveness?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I think at the beginning he was playing much better than me. First three games, no doubt. Even the fourth. After that I didn’t see that difference. You know, the winners are when the opponent didn’t touch a ball. That doesn’t make the big difference on playing aggressive or not. That’s just a shot.
After that, I feel I was playing aggressive, going for the shots. I had the control of the point lot of times with my forehand after that three games.
But was always a little bit unlucky at the end of the first set with a few balls. I played a good breakpoint. Then I lost a breakpoint, when he has the breakpoint with 4‑3. Then the 15‑30 ball with the 5‑3 for him.
So at the end I lost little bit probably not the concentration. I don’t know how to say in English. I think I lost little bit. For example, the game, 1‑All, I played too aggressive with the first shot. That’s too much. I had three unforced errors with my forehand in the same game, and that’s cannot happen, so…
After that is another time advantage for him mentally because he’s up in the score again. One break in these scores is a lot.
I felt that I was playing enough well to be little bit closer than the score. But at the end, I lost 6‑3, 6‑4. I lost 6‑3, 6‑4 because the opponent played better than me.
The only thing I can say is congratulate him and I hope to be ready for Australia to play my best again. Is a little bit more favorable court for me. I gonna try to prepare myself as good as I can.
Q. Do you feel like Novak has made some changes or adjustments tactically when he’s played you the last couple of matches? Secondly, talk about the rivalry. You’re No. 1, he’s No. 2. You’re quite far ahead from the other players in the points right now, heading to Australia. You played six matches this year, 3‑3. You’ve played each other 39 times.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I didn’t feel that he changed the tactics. I feel that he play better than me. In this kind of matches, the winners the player who is playing better. We playing in a court that he likes to play. We played on hard. Even if I beat him twice in the American hard court season, the normal thing is he’s a little bit better player than me.
But anyway I think that in Beijing I didn’t play well, I played bad. Here I didn’t play a bad match, in my opinion, but not enough consistently. That’s why the result. He was more, you know, consistent than me on the serve. In the end that makes a big difference because he doesn’t let you play with more calm the rest of the shots.
Rivalry? Yes, I think is amazing playing 39 times. What’s happening the last five, six years, four years, is just amazing that the same players have been competing for every tournament, every single important tournament of the year. So that’s something that didn’t happen very often in the history of our sport.
We are in a special moment of the history of tennis. I don’t say that’s a better moment than anothers, but is special for this fact. So I don’t know for how many years we will have the chance to repeat that situation. Only thing I am sure, I gonna try to keep working hard and hopefully I will be healthy to keep competing the way that I am doing.
Q. Can you tell us what you’ll be doing the next few weeks. After a very long season, what is the one thing you are looking forward to doing the most away from tennis?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I gonna now first few days, I go to Necker Island to do a charity event with Richard Branson. It is great to be there in the end. We going to be in an island, a good holiday for me, but at the same time working for my foundation. That’s important thing for me to do when I have the chance.
Then I gonna be playing few exhibitions in South America. That give me the chance to know different places that I didn’t have the chance to visit in the past. So gonna combine the matches with a little bit of touristic. That give me the chance to be a little bit with my people, the same time to visit people that is very difficult to visit for me around the world. I gonna enjoy that situation.
Then I will go back to Spain around 26. I gonna do a checking of especially the knee. Gonna probably do a little bit of recover on the knee and to try to have the chance to work hard for 15 days in December, no more. Then fly to Abu Dhabi and Doha to start the season.
That’s my schedule. I don’t gonna have the chance to work a lot at home because after these few weeks in South America, I gonna rest for a while, probably until the 9th or 10th of December. Then the 26th I am flying to Abu Dhabi.
I know I going to arrive to Abu Dhabi and Doha in probably not the best physical and tennis conditions because gonna be very short, the period of time I gonna have the chance to work. But I really hope that both events in Abu Dhabi and Doha give me a chance to prepare myself at my 100%, to be 100% ready for the first Grand Slam of the season.
So that’s what I gonna try.
Q. You had your own match to focus on. Did you get a chance to see anything of the Marrero/Verdasco? Do you have any reaction to their win?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes. Happy for them. I watched a little bit the match on the locker room. They played great. Very happy. Very great achievement for Spanish tennis, two years in a row winning the Masters, two Spanish teams. So that’s something that didn’t happen very often in our country, winning doubles. Just congratulate them and happy for them.
Q. How disappointed are you? You could have made history today with being the first player to win all Grand Slams, Olympics, et cetera. Is that an extra disappointment for you?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. That’s the sport. Seriously I think not gonna change my career, winning or losing today. I will not be better player, talking about the history with that match or without that match. That’s my feeling, personal feeling. Maybe I am wrong, but that’s my feeling.
That’s fine. I normally accept very well the loses. I am not very disappointed. I know that I was not the favorite for the match, even if I tried with the right attitude, in my opinion, fighting for every moment, trying to be positive in every moment, even if the match was not going the way that I would like.
So only thing that I can say is congratulate the opponent and at the same time congratulate all my team because all the achievements, all the success that I really had this year, I am talking honestly 100%, without all my family, all my team, is impossible to have all what I really had this year, all the success, all the special feelings, special moments.
Is very special what happened this year. For me, the emotions of this year after a tough year for all of us have been fantastic. And certainly is the day to say congratulations and thanks to all the people who were behind me supporting me, let me work in the days that I was down. So just thanks to all of them to give me the opportunity to be back where I am.
Thank you very much, everybody, for everything during the year. See you next year.
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