Q. Stan wasn’t at all happy with what he put into the match tonight. How happy were you with your performance?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think I play well. I think I play a solid match. I had one bad game, the first one of the match. But then immediately I was playing well, no?
I had a good week of practice here. I think I played the way that I wanted to play. I played aggressive. I played with not many mistakes. Just the thing I can do a little bit better is serving. For the moment I didn’t serve as good as I was doing in the previous days.
But for the rest, all the shots worked well: backhand, forehand, good volleys, good smash, no missing the smashes today. So that’s good.
Q. Your movement seemed so good today. We think of the breakpoint you saved in the second game of the second set. Did you feel you were moving better?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am working well. I am happy the way that I am working, happy the way that I am competing the last couple of actually two, three months. For me is important to keep going the same way, no?
Is obvious when you coming from a bad period, not everything will be like this. But in general, the dynamic is very positive. Every day for me now is an opportunity to enjoy on court, enjoy the competition, something that I missed for moments this year. Just try my best in every single match. That’s what I am doing.
I am feeling myself well on court. Just enjoying.
Q. Actually since Beijing you seem to be playing better and better. Do you feel it? Do you think this surface in a way, which seems quite slow, helps your game more than others or not?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t play very well in that slow surfaces. I play better in little bit faster surfaces, not slow.
People thinks because I had a lot of success on clay, people thinks I play better on the slower surfaces. But the real thing is in hard court, in the courts that I had more success are in fast courts. Montréal is one of the fastest courts. I had a lot of success in Montréal. When I won the Olympics, was very fast court. Madrid 2005 was a fast court. And for sure Shanghai is fast, no?
When you are playing well, you are playing well in all the surfaces. When you are playing bad, you are playing bad in all the surfaces. Is not true that I play better because the surface is slow, no. I prefer to have little bit faster surface than a slower surface.
I am playing better since Montréal. I was practicing well there, in the US Open, too. If the results don’t say that, you don’t see the practices, but I know how I was practicing there.
Then the results on Beijing, Shanghai, Basel, Paris confirms that I am playing much better, no? So happy for that. As I said in Beijing, my main goal is try to start next year with my level, with the level that I want to be. I am working to make that happen.
Q. When you are playing better now, are you able to take that confidence into next year, or is it too far away that it doesn’t make any difference?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sure makes a difference. I don’t know what’s going on next year, but for sure the end of the season helps. The way I am playing at the end of this season helps to try to start the next year with a different energy than what I started last year.
It’s obvious that I am working hard. I really feel that if I am able to keep working the way that I am doing, keep competing the way that I am doing, I think that I am playing in the toughest surface for me to play, indoor, and in the worst part of the season always for me, these last tournaments of the year. If I am able to play well here, I think that’s great news because that can be a good chance to start next year again with positive feelings.
As I said, that’s my main goal.
Q. You just used the term ‘bad period’ from earlier this year, the way you were playing. During that period, how tough was it for you, or was it tough, to try and stay positive and believe that it was all going to turn around?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I don’t want to keep talking about that. We talked a lot about what happened this year. I have been very honest with all of you what’s going on, the problems that I had.
But that’s it. At the end of the day it’s sport. Have been hard. Have been as hard as can be. Don’t play well, don’t feel comfortable on court. The things in life, there is for sure many more important things in life than tennis, no?
I was not happy the way that I was working on court. At the same time is only a game. When you see all the things that happen sometimes around the world, that’s nothing. That’s the world that we live here in tennis. Is completely a small thing, and that’s it.
I was believing that the things can be back if I am able to work well. I keep believing.
Q. You play Andy now on Wednesday. How do you see that match going?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, obviously is an opportunity for me to compete against the No. 2 of the world, a player who had a great season, a fantastic player in every surface, but especially in this one he likes to play.
I’m excited to play that match. I only take that match like an opportunity to play against him, to try to play a good match. I going to try.
Q. If you are playing better and better, maybe you can actually win this tournament this week, no?
RAFAEL NADAL: I won the first match, that’s all. No, no, I cannot think about that, seriously. I didn’t win enough this year to think about this kind of things. Think about winning a World Tour Finals in a year that I didn’t win very important tournaments. I didn’t win enough. So thinking about winning the tougher tournament of the year for me, because is in the worst surface possible, against the worst players possible, so is going to be so (indiscernible) for me to think about that.
Q. But you were just also saying when it’s fast out there, you won Montréal, you were playing great, you won Wimbledon, it was fast. If it’s fast here, maybe you can win it?
RAFAEL NADAL: I never say that it’s fast here. I never say that is fast here. Here everybody is saying that it’s slow. It’s not that I’m saying it’s fast.
The court is not fast. The court is okay. But it’s obvious that I am playing against the best players of the world. I only won the first match. That’s important for me, very important. But remain a lot to qualify for that semifinals. I cannot think about winning the tournament today when I only won the first match.
I think about the next match. Then if I am able to win next match, probably I will be in that semifinals. If not I going to keep fighting in the third match to try to be qualify for that semifinals.
I go day by day, that’s all.
Q. You’ve won on grass, hard, obviously a lot on clay. Why is indoors a more difficult surface for you?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think the feeling on the ball is different than in outdoor. The things that during all my career worked very well in outdoor courts, in indoor have been more difficult. Is obvious that the opponents had more chances to play the way that he wanted to play against me. The topspin is less important. The serve gets bigger impact in indoor than in outdoor. Try to play two, three shots helps a lot. Wind is not there. I like to play with more different conditions.
But is true that I played good tournaments indoor, too. I will be lying if I am not saying I played a couple very good tournaments on indoor. It’s not like I am playing bad in indoors at all. The opponents are good. I believe the opponents I have here feel them play a little bit better than me.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports