Rafael Nadal arrives in Shanghai on the back of his runner-up appearance at the China Open last week, his first hard court final of the year.
Q. How is your physical condition right now?
RAFAEL NADAL: Very good.
Q. Have you some plan for the winter training?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, now I in Shanghai. I practiced a lot here. But I’m here to play a tournament.
The winter training going to arrive when the season finish. I am quite happy the way that I am practicing now. Playing well, I think. So this last part of the season for me is very important part of the training for next year.
Q. When you say you’re feeling physically good, does that mean the foot injury you had in Beijing is completely healed?
RAFAEL NADAL: Was nothing. Was just a scary moment. Something happen. But I wake up the next day with no problem. Q. Maybe you will play semis with Roger. It’s over a year you haven’t met. Do you expect that match?
RAFAEL NADAL: I expect the first very tough match against Karlovic tomorrow. I didn’t play semifinals on hard court until last week this year. So I go day by day.
I happy the way that I am playing. Last week was a very positive week for me, playing better every day. I keep playing well here the first two days that I am practicing, but tomorrow have a match that sometimes play well or play not that good. Cannot make the difference.
Depends all in a very, very small details. So we’ll see what’s going on tomorrow.
Q. If someone had said to you in January that in October you would be world No.7, you won’t have any Grand Slam titles, but you’ll be fit and healthy, would you have said, Okay, that’s all right, or would you think that would be a bad year for you?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, obviously is not a good year for me, even if I am healthy. I don’t want to lie nobody.
But at the same time being healthy, I am practicing a lot. The last couple of months I am practicing more than what I did last, let’s say, six, seven years.
My physical condition allows me to practice all what I want. That’s a very important step for me to try to recover the level that I missed. I think I am doing well.
My main goal is, I said in Beijing last week, just try to finish the season. I take that last part of the season as preparation for next one. This season not going to make a big difference on my year, not going to make a big difference on my career.
The tournaments that remain, I am on the fastest surfaces for me. Here is quick. Even if I like, is quick. Then I play in indoors, the toughest surface for me to play, no? Very tough tournaments.
So I take like a practice. Every match that I can play is an opportunity to practice different things. That’s what I am doing: practicing a lot between matches, taking every warmup before the match like another practice, not like a warmup for a match.
Last week I was practicing before every single match more than one hour, taking just every moment like a preparation for next year. That’s what I am doing.
That does not mean I not try my best in every match. I know this end part of the season can help me to finish with good feelings, so I am trying my best.
Q. I heard you came to Shanghai by train.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes.
Q. Do you like the trip?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes, I enjoyed. Some places beautiful views, and very comfortable. Yeah, was the first time. I wanted to do it last year but finally I couldn’t. So I did this year. I enjoyed. If I play Beijing next year, I going to repeat the same trip because I like it.
Q. You kind of touched on it two questions ago, but you always said in the past that going indoors after here is probably your least favorite part of the season. You don’t like playing indoors, you prefer having the sun over you. With having missed most of that indoor season last year, you just played one match, is there added motivation this year?
RAFAEL NADAL: The same like always, no? Actually, as I said before, for me every match and every practice is an opportunity to practice the things I have to do for next year, not the results.
Talking seriously, I have a lot of points on the 500s and 250s. For example, playing in Basel, to add points in my computer, I need to play the final, I believe. Less than a final will not count for me.
In Bercy, depends on the result that I do in Basel. Maybe playing Bercy, I going to lose points. So that’s the real thing.
But I really don’t care much. I am only care about the possibility to finish the season with better feeling than what I had. And I am on the way to do it. I feel the last couple of months I was playing better than what the results says. I lost a couple tough ones, like in US Open, like in Cincinnati. But feeling better in general, no?
One of the biggest problems that I had during the whole season, I was not able to control my emotions on court, something that I always had the right control doing all my career. The real thing is the last couple of months, that is much better. I feel almost under control again. That’s a very important step for me to, first of all, enjoy, and second thing, to have the possibility to practice and to compete at the level that I want.
Q. As somebody who is used to a lot better results than you’ve had this year, how hard has it been for you to keep motivated, to keep going forward this year, to try to work out those problems with your emotions?
RAFAEL NADAL: Is not hard at all. I have even better motivation than before. For me is a challenge and is a new will to do the things again.
Sometimes I recover from injuries. This time what I had with my not having the control of my nerves or my emotion is like coming back from an injury, too. Is not a physical injury, but is a mental injury. And this for me another challenge.
I am working hard. I never had such a long period of time without playing at the level that I wanted. I played at the right level as close that I want, but I still lost a lot of opportunities this year that can change the dynamic of the year.
When you are feel that you are playing better, I lost the matches that I should win, close matches, third‑set matches. No one of these important matches, I win no one of those ones. So sometime is like a restart.
I believe that I am much better. I don’t know what the result going to be till the end of the season. But I really believe if I continue with the same quality of practices, the same health on my body, I really hope and I believe that I can start the next year with another energy and I believe another level.
Q. I think you and Fernando withdrew from the doubles. What was the reason behind that?
RAFAEL NADAL: Him. I think he had some problem on the I don’t know where exactly. But he told me he should come back to home to visit the doctor. He had some problem after the match with Bernard here. So that’s it.
First of all is the health, and that’s it. Is good that happened before the tournament start that another players can come in the draw. That’s good for the tournament, too.
For me, at the same time, will be great for me to play a match today, a doubles match today before the singles start, but at the same time I played enough last week. Today I had very long practice, a good one.
So I going to play doubles in Basel, I going to play doubles in Bercy. Next year I probably going to play more with…
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports, Video: ATP World Tour
Excelente jugador y mejor persona! Vamos, Rafa!
You are doing fine. Keep up that smile and positive attitude. You are on your way back. Lord be with you.
About Rafa: “They broke the mold when they made him!”… except he doesn’t fit any mold — he is truly a unique human being! So proud of him and so inspired to try to be a better person.
You are a great champion Rafa! You are a global icon but yet remain humble and gracious.Vamos Rafa!
Always so humble. And yes Rafa is getting back into his groove.
Rafa is such a great person. Always with him. Vamos Rafa <3 <3 <3
Very nice ! : )