Q. Did you feel something started to go a different way between the first two sets and the last three ones?
RAFAEL NADAL: He play great. It was not a match that I lost, even if I had opportunities. It’s a match that he wins.
So accept. Not happy that he played better than me, but that’s what happened. He played better than me, no? I didn’t play bad at all. I played a normal match, but not enough.
So not happy with that. But accept that he was better than me today.
Q. Do you have some problems with your legs, cramping?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. Perfect.
Q. I want to know, when you were always behind one break in the fifth set, then you were coming back, what were your feelings at that moment?
RAFAEL NADAL: I fighted until the last point all the time, good attitude. Not enough to win today. I lost a couple matches this year like this.
But the good thing is my mind allows me to fight until the end as I did during all my career. Sometimes this year I was not able to do that.
So I am happy with that. I enjoyed the crowd. Was amazing support out there. Just very special feeling be out there with that support. I enjoyed that.
I tried to fight until the last ball. I believe I did, but was not enough today.
Q. What is your plan for the rest of the season?
RAFAEL NADAL: Probably Davis Cup and then Beijing, Shanghai, Basel, Paris.
RAFAEL NADAL: I can’t tell you now. I don’t know if I going to qualify.
Q. Is this tougher than other losses?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. Is another lose. Not tougher. As I tell, you know, my mind allows me to fight until the end. Is something that I was missing for a while, that feeling that I am there.
For the nerves, for the anxious that I had for a long time this season, I was not able to do it. I was not able to be fighting the way that I was fighting today. So is an improvement for me.
I take that like a positive thing and I know what I have to do. I going to work on it.
Q. It’s the first time in the last 11 years that you cannot win a Grand Slam tournament. What does it mean to you?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, the only thing that means is I played worse than the last 10 years. That’s the real thing.
By the way, for me was amazing win 10 years in a row Grand Slam. I think nobody did. You can imagine how difficult is make that happen.
Accept that was not my year and keep fighting till the end of the season to finish in a positive way for me. Finish the season with the feeling that I improved something from the beginning of the season. That’s something that I think I am doing.
I think I have a good base now. As I said, good thing is I am not playing terrible matches like I did at the beginning of the season. When I am losing, I am losing because the opponents beat me, not because I lose the match, as I did a lot of times at the beginning of the season.
That’s an improvement for me, so I have a base now. That is a start. I know what I have to do and I going to work on it.
Q. You lost three times to Fabio, so you know him well. Did he do anything surprising you tonight especially? I’ve never seen anybody making 70 winners against you.
RAFAEL NADAL: Maybe I am slower. I don’t know. (Smiling.)
Q. What is your opinion?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. He’s a player with a great talent, with huge shots, and he played amazing shots. But what I am doing worse is playing worse than what I used to do the last couple of years. That’s it.
We can be talking for one hour trying to create a reason. But the sport for me is simple, no? If you are playing with less confidence and you are hitting balls without creating the damage on the opponent that I believe I should do, then they have the possibility to attack.
I am playing with little bit less mistakes than before. I have better feelings on the ball. Now remain to have again the speed, that extra speed on the ball, on the winner.
I want the defense, defense a little bit more longer, and hit easier winners. Have been little bit tough for me to hit winners tonight.
But that’s it. Not a big story. Is just improve small things that make a big difference.
Q. Do you feel slower?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. I was joking.
Q. You say you’re feeling good mentally now. What feels different? What is not as good as you want it to be?
RAFAEL NADAL: If you hit the ball a bit shorter, the opponent has more space. If you hit the ball with a little bit of less confidence, then there is not as much topspin like used to be.
If you hit shorter, you will run slower. Is not you run slower, but the opponent take the ball earlier so it looks like you are slower, no?
Is easy to understand, easy to explain, difficult to change, but I going to do it.
Q. Tiger was in your box. You have almost the same number, and ESPN make a survey who going to win the 15th, you or Tiger. You know the new generation is coming in golf and tennis. Who has the bigger chance you win the 15, you or Tiger?
RAFAEL NADAL: I hope we make that happen next year both. It was a great honor for me to have Tiger in my box. For me like a sportsman he’s a big example. His attitude on the golf course for me always was a big inspiration.
So when I saw him play, when I saw his attitude, I see the eyes that he has when he has to shot, has the difficult shot, the decisive shot. Is very special. I don’t see a lot of sportsmen with that self-confidence, with that intensity on his face when he had to hit the important shot.
So for me, he’s a great example, great inspiration. I always say the same. I don’t have idols. But that’s closest thing that I have: him.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports, via Tennis Panorama