Interview with Rafael Nadal – China Open, September 27, 2014

AP Photo/Vincent Thian
AP Photo/Vincent Thian

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  After not playing for nearly three months, how much of the exhibition that you just played helped you moving forward into the China Open?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, at the end is a match.  All the time that I had the chance to spend on court against the players of the tour help me to be faster on rhythm.  And for sure an exhibition is time, little bit of match against a good player like Jo.  So hopefully can help me a little bit more to adapt to the speed of the ball again and to the rhythm of the game.
Yesterday I practiced here.  I have hopefully few more days before I start.  Hopefully I start on Tuesday to have one more day for practice, and we’ll see.

Q.  Was there any rust when you were playing the exhibition that you could noticeably see?
RAFAEL NADAL:  About the injury?

Q.  Yes.
RAFAEL NADAL:  I am fine.  I am much better.  The thing is the injury, the evolution of the injury, is a little bit slow and take a little bit of time.  But that’s it.
I try to be back when I am recovered.  I just feel the wrist a little bit when I am starting, when I start to play every day, but then disappears.
Yeah, I mean, I’m in good conditions to compete again.

Q.  Does coming back from injury give you extra motivation to do well in this tournament?

RAFAEL NADAL:  No.  My motivation is always high.  I am coming here to Beijing for a big tournament.  Best players are here.  I try my best always.
No, it’s not because I’m coming back of an injury.  This part of the season always has been a little bit difficult for me, and will be for sure even more this year after stopping for three months at the middle of the season.  That was a really bad news for me.
But remain the last part of the season.  I going to try to be ready for it.  These two tournaments, I don’t know in which conditions I going to be in terms of tennis, but I hope to practice and play as much as possible to be in rhythm again for the last part in Europe.

Q.  Djokovic has dominated this tournament recently.  Do you think he has much chances of winning?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Novak dominates, you know, almost all the tournaments, no?  He’s always there, semifinals, finals, winning.  He’s one of the best players that I ever seen.
Is normal that in a good court for him, like this one, he’s having a lot of victories, no?  Is a tournament for good conditions for him.  Normally he likes to play here.  We’ll see what’s going on this year.

Q.  This is your second year in a row at this tournament after taking a few years off.  Do you think you will plan on playing at the China Open every year?
RAFAEL NADAL:  You never know what’s going on in the future, no?  But I feel comfortable here.  I like the tournament.  I like the city.  I feel comfortable here.  Director of tournament is a good person.  So I feel that way.  You never know.

Q.  What about your injuries in the wrist?  For the China Open you got the champion in 2005.  In the Olympics you got the champion in 2008.  Last year you got back to No.1 in the world.  What is Beijing in your mind?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, the injury I my wrist, as I said before, I cannot say 100% because I still feel something when I start for the first five minutes of the practice.  But in general the injury is not limiting me to compete.  The injury is past, I think.
Beijing always was an important part, important city for my career.  I know I won in 2005.  Last year I played the final here, became No.1.  But for me the most unforgettable moment here was the Olympic Games 2008, one of the most important moments in my career.  Was here in Beijing.  Beijing is always a place that I will not forget.

Q.  We know that Beijing is a city with a long history, a lot of tourist attractions.  Last year you went to the Summer Palace.  In your interviews you said you really want to go to the Great Wall.  Do you have any plans to go there this year?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, I had the chance to visit a few things here in Beijing in the past.  I never had the chance to went to the Great Wall yet.
Is true that for the moment will be difficult these few days because I practice in the morning and the afternoon.  I need to be ready for the tournament.  Let’s see what’s going on later in the tournament, if I lose or if I have days off in the middle.
For the moment I am here to try my best.  I didn’t play tennis, in a tournament, for three months.  The thing I want to do is practice hard to be as much prepared as possible for the match.
Thank you very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


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