Rafael Nadal def. Karlovic 7‑5, 6‑7, 7‑6
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. That was a really close one. Can you go through this returning game you’ve done at 5‑4 first set. Do you think this game put you back on track?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, yes, obviously. That game was so important. Probably one of the best games return in my career. Yeah, almost a miracle. Three winners from first serve of him. That was really amazing.
Then after that, I have an opportunity at the end of the second with that Love‑30, but wasn’t a real opportunity because then I didn’t have chances on the return.
I think I played a good match. The only negative thing was the first game of the match. The real thing is he played so well the first set, the first game, too. He played well.
The first game start against a player you know you can’t lose the serve, that was tough, very tough, start the match like this. But in terms of level of concentration and attitude and control of my emotions, was a fantastic match. To win 7‑6 in the third is very important victory for me, especially because I believe in the last tiebreak I did not lose no one point with my serve. That’s because I was on self‑control again of my emotions. That’s the most important thing for me today.
Q. First rounds are always tricky. Do you think this one eased your nerves a bit?
RAFAEL NADAL: In a Masters 1000 like this, every round is so tricky, no? Tomorrow another funny match.We’ll see what’s going on tomorrow. Tomorrow is a match on the return you don’t have lots of chances. Going to be another day I need to be very focused again and serve well and try to wait for my opportunities on the return.
We’ll see if I am able to keep going tomorrow. I am happy. Today is a good victory for me. He did win a lot of matches like this this year. I was under pressure because of the opponent. I enjoyed today. I hope tomorrow I wake up well, have a good warmup and play a good match again.
Q. Do you have physical concern about the next match with Raonic?
RAFAEL NADAL: No physical concern, no. Matches like today helps. I believe that I going to be fine tomorrow, yes.
Q. How do you feel with the conditions here at night regarding Beijing? Big difference here?
RAFAEL NADAL: The ball is different. That’s the real thing. Something tough to understand that is not good for the players. Tokyo have the same ball like here. Beijing not. So having a Masters 1000 this week, the dominant term is the Masters 1000, so should be the same ball for the previous weeks, too. That’s the difference.
The court is a little bit faster here than in Beijing. That’s it. Court a little faster, ball different. But the conditions were good. Not much wind. Very beautiful court to play here. I enjoyed.
Q. Having to play another huge server tomorrow with Raonic, is it easier now that you’ve been playing Karlovic or is it tougher because it’s a huge focus?
RAFAEL NADAL: You don’t want to play these kind of matches. That’s the real thing. At the end of the day, I won today. I played well. I had the control of the emotions. I have the control of nerves. I had the control of the point a lot of times. But I won by one point at the end for a double‑fault of him, and with the good points of me with my serve on the tiebreak.
So tomorrow is another match that decides in a very few balls if I am able to play well with my serve again. So we’ll see. It’s true that you don’t want to play against big servers a lot of matches because the risk is higher and higher.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports