Rafael Nadal talks about his strong performance in Indian Wells and says he will try to keep the same positive level in Miami.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Just found out a few minutes ago that Roger had to withdraw this morning with a stomach virus of. What’s your reaction? He put in a lot have work to get back here.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, just sorry for him. Sorry for the tournament, for the fans, for everybody. It’s obvious that tournaments with Roger is always better. Is good that it’s stomach problem, not the knee, so not a big deal. Obviously terrible news for the tournament.
Q. It’s been an amazing career, 67 titles. You’ve got a big milestone coming up. You’re turning 30. What drives you right now?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I am happy doing what I am doing. That’s the real thing, no? I enjoy playing my sport. It’s about love for the game, about passion for what I am doing, and I am going to be here until I am unhappy doing what I am doing.
Q. Rafa, you have a lot of fans in South Florida. People come here to watch you play. There is a chance this tournament may not be here much longer. They’re talking about potentially moving it. What do you think about that?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think it’s obvious that Miami is an amazing city and is unbelievable for us to be here in Miami, to play here in Miami.
The same time, for the Latin people, Spanish people, we feel close because very big community of Latinos here. So in my opinion, will be not good if the tournament moves from here.
At the same time, it’s obvious that something needs to happen. It’s obvious that all the tournaments are improving. All the tournaments are making improvements on facilities and everything, and is true that this tournament didn’t make that happen for a while.
So it’s obvious that both events, Indian Wells and Miami back-to-back, you see all the things that Indian Wells is improving day by day.
Miami it’s obvious that probably for the situation it’s difficult to make something bigger because you are just in the middle of the — almost in the middle of the city.
So probably of the comparation is not helping to this tournament. But still, an amazing event. For sure I love being here. I love this tournament. I would like to keep watching this tournament here.
Q. Just a little bit back. You’ve I think been in four finals here, but no titles. How do you kind of reckon that in your mind or why or what you’re feeling about the tournament being that you’ve come so close and not come up with the goods yet? Maybe this year.
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I think I played well in my career here, no? Four finals; another semifinals; some more quarterfinals probably. So was a positive tournament for me. Only negative thing is I finally never win it.
But the feeling, the atmosphere here is great. I enjoy being here. The fans here are amazing with me, so just enjoy.
Q. Toni wrote an article about tennis equipment getting bigger, and he worries tennis will become a game of speed and power and not so much skill and tactics. Do you agree with him?
RAFAEL NADAL: The sport in general needs to improve in all aspects, and it’s obvious that the players today are taller than before. The racquets hits the ball harder than before, four years before.
Same time, is true that nothing changed in our sport in terms of rules. How high is the net, everything. So for the moment is obvious that the tennis have been tremendous successful for I think a long time now. The sport is healthy, but it’s obvious at the same time we need to move to predict the future.
I’m not talking for my generation, but for the next generation. It’s true that the people, in my opinion, likes the drama, the rallies. I don’t remember amazing matches that was only one serve and one shot. The matches that the people remember most are matches that they are slow matches with unbelievable points, and the applause of the people or the emotions of the people are not only with one serve and one shot.
You know, the people gets emotional when the points are intense, long. If every time we make that happen less often, it’s obvious that our sport can be in trouble for the future.
Q. When you had the rivalries like you’ve had with Roger or Djokovic, as compared to when one when player is dominating for a while, which do you see as better? When you have the rivalries or one player is on a roll?
RAFAEL NADAL: Unfortunately it’s obvious that now is better for Novak. I don’t know. Depend for who. I think the real thing is rivalries are good. In my opinion is not good if win a tournament every week a different player, because if there is 20 players winning tournaments different weeks, the people arrive to the tournament and nobody knows who are the favorite to win.
It’s difficult because the people needs to support one player. So you need the stars. To create the stars you need players that have been there for a long time and players competing for the most important events very often.
At the same time, it’s good to have combination of styles; it’s good to have different players that fights for the important things, and one or another can win.
So I think happened the last 10, 12 years, and now for last year and a half, two years one is dominating maybe too much.
But he deserves.
Q. A year ago you sat in that chair and told us about the crisis in confidence, how you weren’t believing in yourself. Can you just tell us what the difference is in the space of a year?
RAFAEL NADAL: The difference is I’m enjoying on court. I’m not feeling that nerves on court. I’m not feeling that strange feeling that I never felt. I am enjoying on the practices, I am enjoying on the tennis court. I feel with the right energy. I can lose, I can win, but I am happy on court. That’s the most important thing. That’s the big difference on what happen last year, what I told last year.
Q. How do you feel today? I saw that you warmed up, the weather, do you think it’s kind of hot today for you, this weekend, weather-wise.
RAFAEL NADAL: It’s not very hot. It’s very humid. That’s it.
Q. (Question regarding Barcelona and Real Madrid.)
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, remain one week and a half. We have time to talk about that.
Always is a special match, a special clash, and I going to enjoy watching. Is true that it’s less emotional than other times because the league is almost done, but Real Madrid is competing for the second place, too, so we’ll see.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports, Video: Miami Open