An Interview With Rafael Nadal (Doha, December 31, 2013)

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R. NADAL/L. Rosol 6‑2, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Well done.  How much did it mean to you to get your revenge?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, I never take revenges, first thing.  Thinking about revenge is a bad way to start the match, my opinion.  You have to start with the calm and with the mind very open to analyze what’s going on in the match.
I was a little bit nervous.  I didn’t have a great memory of the last match playing against him.  After that match I didn’t play not one more match in a tennis court for almost eight months, so it was a bad feeling in that moment.
Today, first match of the season, always a little bit nervous playing against a player that I lost last time.  Not a lot of practices on my shoulders yet, but I felt that I should win before.
I had a lot of chances in the beginning of the second.  I finished the first set playing a little bit better, so the second set I had a lot of mistakes in that important moments, too, but in my opinion I should go and make the difference on the score from the beginning.
So then became very close, everything, and I was close to lose the set.

Q.  He hits the ball flat and his style is difficult. 
RAFAEL NADAL:  Yes, he hit the ball very hard, very flat.  But at the same time, probably for moments I played too short, no?  If I’m able to play longer, to play a little bit higher or longer, he takes a lot of risk in every shot. 
Playing from more difficult positions, in my opinion, he will not have that success that he had in the second set, no?  So my opinion was more my fault.  But he was in the match until then.

Q.  You said yesterday that because you had some treatment on your knee that you had a bit less time to practice during this last offseason.  Will that make it especially difficult for you going to the Australian Open this year?  Because everyone only has two weeks of competition, anyway, and you’re saying you had less time to practice this year. 
RAFAEL NADAL:  I don’t think so, no.  Always more difficult for me here.  Starting in Australia, I think I will have two more weeks practicing with the best players.  That makes you feel on rhythm, and I won a match today.  That helps.  Always a win is important, but is more important today because I have another chance tomorrow I play again.
It is beginning of the season, and without having a lot of time for practice at home, every match that I will be able to play will be very important practice for me.  That will help me to get the rhythm faster.  So the victory means to me today I gonna try tomorrow again.

Q.  Obviously New Year’s Eve.  Wondering if you’re the kind of guy who makes any kind of declarations about next year, what you like, any kind of resolutions or New Year’s resolutions. 
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, at the end it’s another day.  It’s true that ends a very special season for me, and season 2013, this year, will be in my heart forever.
Just the same, like everybody says, but is difficult to say another thing, no?  Health for everybody.  That’s most important thing.  Without health, the rest of the things are impossible.  So for everybody that’s the most important thing.  That’s it.
Then, sure, a lot of things to work in this world to make the world better for everybody.  Don’t have this big disadvantage between someones and other ones.  That’s why I have foundation that I’m working, and hopefully everybody gonna do it more and more in the next years and will try to help more people and will be a more fair and equal world.

Q.  Is it easier to come back to play in a year following a year that you have been out for injury or something?  Is it lesser expectations on you in the new season like it was for you last year and maybe for ‑‑because if you had a bad year, the next year, if there is less pressure when you come back like maybe for Federer this year. 
RAFAEL NADAL:  No, the pressure ‑‑my feeling, you know, at the moment of our careers or my career, the pressure is only the pressure that you put on yourself.  The rest of the pressure today doesn’t exist.
I did more than what I ever thought I ever dreamed, so just the pressure is try to keep having chances to compete well, keep chances to enjoy to play in the best stadiums, in the best matches, and be part of these matches.  Then hope to be ready for the next year.
I feel the same pressure today than one year ago.  Just makes the difference that today I already had one year on my shoulder playing with my knee, and one year ago, one year before, a little bit less was everything new for me.  I didn’t know what’s going on after the injury.
So hopefully stay healthy and can play again another full season.

Q.  We all know that you are a big fan of football.  You probably know that two of the most prestigious teams of soccer will be here, some of your friends of the Real, will be playing against Paris Saint‑Germain.  So will you be going?
RAFAEL NADAL:  We are playing tomorrow?

Q.  After tomorrow. 
RAFAEL NADAL:  After tomorrow.  I don’t know.  If I lose tomorrow, sure (smiling).  Hopefully not.

Q.  The game is at 6:00 p.m.
RAFAEL NADAL:  Is not the best timing for us if I still in the tournament.  If I’m not on the tournament, then I will have the chance to practice in the morning and visit the friends and visit the match on the afternoon.
So we’ll see what’s going on.  Hopefully I will not have that chance.  I gonna try my best to not have that chance.

Q.  I’m just curious, is this kind of a strange week because you’re playing next year but it’s still this year?  Is it confusing at all?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, no.  It’s fine, I think.  Good thing is next year we start later.  Last year that will happen this way.  Next year we start the season around 4th, so that’s better for everybody, my opinion, because it’s good to start the new season is really the new season, not when you’re in the last season.
So that’s all, no?  As I said before, at the end it’s just another day, but it’s true that tomorrow we will say we are in 2014, and at the end that’s a good thing.

Q.  Andy Murray wins his match today with less efforts.  Do you think this is a good thing, positive thing, or negative thing?

Q.  With less efforts. 

Q.  This is positive or negative for a player coming from injury?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Doesn’t matter.  Important thing for him, if I be in his position, positive thing is if he’s able to play with no pain, he’s able to compete and to have matches in his shoulders today.  And winning, it’s true that the match, his match of today, I saw a little bit, and was not ‑‑it was not real match, because at the end he played against a wildcard, and even if the wildcard tried hard, you know, was a hard moment for him, I think, for the wildcard.
Important thing for him is he take a feeling on court, on the competition again, and now tomorrow will have ‑‑he will have another opportunity to compete better against a very serious opponent like Mayer.  So I think it’s positive for him.  It cannot be negative.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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