Indian Wells R4: An interview with Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal speaks to the media after his fourth round match at the 2015 BNP Paribas Open.

Q.  You have a great run in the tournament so far.  Can you talk about the way you’re playing and how you’re feeling out here at Indian Wells this year?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, I think last couple of weeks I felt that I was playing better.  In Rio de Janeiro is true I lost a match I didn’t have to lose, but I was not playing bad.
In Buenos Aires I played some good matches.  That’s important for me.  Here I think I played very good first match, then the second round was tough yesterday.  I feel that I did what I have to do to win, but could play better than what I did.
Today I think I played a solid match against a tough opponent like Simon that is not easy tactically how to play.  Tactically I think I played a very positive match.
In general, I played solid.  Only two bad games with my serve I played bad.  Made few mistakes, especially with the 1‑0; and then 5‑2, 30‑Love, 30‑15, one mistake, unbelievable mistake.
But for the rest I played solid.  I played with not many matches waiting for the opportunity to go for the point, and I went for the point when I had to do it.  Happy the way I played.  It was an important victory for me, for sure.

Q.  When you win a first set and you go down 2‑Love beginning of the second set, is your mindset, I’ve got to get after him right here?  I’ve got to turn this around right here?  Is that the whole important turning point of that match?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, obviously when he has a break, 2‑love, then is a big change if you are able to have the break back, because 2‑1 is a big different than 3‑Love, no?
3‑Love you see the set ‑‑ you lost half of the set like this.  (Snapping fingers.)  Lucky I played a good few points in that game to have the break back.  Is true that he make an important double point on break point.
I was there mentally waiting for the opportunity.  The good thing is after playing a bad game with my serve I was able to be completely focused and mentally ready to be back and ready for the next game.

Q.  And when you do that, do you see him let down?  You come back 2‑2, 3‑2, do you see him let down mentally?  Do you feel it?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, no, I don’t feel it.  I play point by point.  I know I need to be ready for everything.
He’s a player that is tough, because sometimes you feel that you have the match under control, but, you know, he’s able to be back.  He’s able to play very well in defending positions.  And then from defending position, he’s able to come back and have the control of the point.
He’s not an easy opponent.  He’s a tough one.  He started the season well.  He’s No. 10 in the race, 11.  Is a good victory for me.

Q.  The conditions were different today than yesterday.  How does that affect the way you played?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Yeah, the conditions were much slower today.  The other day the ball make big change with the weather conditions.  Ball today was softer, bigger.
The whole day yesterday was very small and very hard.  No control.  Today you have more control of the ball.

Q.  How hard is to your body is to play singles and one hour later return to the court to play doubles?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Then I don’t play tomorrow, so is something that I’m not doing very often, you know.  In this tournament only happen today, and is something that I should be ready for it.  (Smiling.)

Q.  You have always credited yourself on pretty high first‑serve percentage.  Today your first serve was up 126, 127 miles an hour.  Were you trying to get a little bit more?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Yeah, we are working to try to serve a little bit better, trying to serve a little bit bigger.  Always the serve, if you are not Raonic, Karlovic, Isner, these kind of players, Federer, these kind of players that has the serve.
The serve is one of the most important things of the game.  The serve is a part of the confidence too.  When you are relaxed, when you play with that confidence, the serve goes better.

Q.  Speaking of him, you’ve got Raonic next.  Your thoughts on his serve and his game?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Yeah, obviously he’s an opponent that you don’t want to play against because he’s an opponent that you play under a lot of pressure everything, every point.  You know, every point has a lot of value.  You cannot lose your concentration in no one moment with your serve.
You know, what happened today with my serve twice cannot happen next day if I want to have any chance.  And then the return is very difficult to have points, no?  Then he’s able to play very aggressive from the baseline.
So will be a very tough match.  I know that.  I know I need to be at my 100% to have any chance, and that I gonna try.

Q.  What is your thought on Wayne Odesnik and his 15‑year suspension?
RAFAEL NADAL:  15 years suspension?

Q.  15 years for his second doping violation.
RAFAEL NADAL:  When he had a second doping violation?

Q.  Today.

Q.  Just how that maybe tries to clean up the sport.
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, if somebody is not doing the right thing, he’s obviously ‑‑they cannot be playing, you know.  I didn’t have enough information to have an opinion of that.  I really don’t know about him, so it’s difficult to say one or another thing.
But obviously when that happens twice, you don’t deserve to be on the tour.

Q.  You’re saying two matches today, singles, doubles; tomorrow you’ve got the day off.  What sort of things do you do on your day off?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Maybe I gonna ‑‑well, I gonna practice, for sure.  I gonna practice for a while and try to keep working well on the things that I am working, and maybe I gonna play some golf tomorrow.
It’s a day off.  Is a good day to relax and to have fun.  Weather here is normally great.  I don’t know if it’s rain tomorrow or not, but probably not.
If rain here, the rain is not very often.  Just try to be with calm with the team, enjoying the day.  It’s always very important this tournament that if you are not losing early, because if you lose early, as I did last year, then is big period of time between here and Miami that you get tired without being on competition, no?
It’s important to keep winning matches.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP SportsVideo: BNP Paribas Open

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