Q. Are you satisfied after what you have done tonight?
RAFAEL NADAL: Obviously yes. I won in straight sets against a difficult opponent. So very happy for the victory, no? I think I can do things better, is true. I can have some less — I need to have some less mistakes. But in general, I have been playing well. I played solid with my serve.
Then I created lot of chances on the return against a player that serves, well, no? So that’s a good news.
Conditions changed a lot. I didn’t play during the night before I went on court. The ball change drastically, no? Is a big change of the ball during the day and with warm conditions, the ball is flying a lot, the ball is quick. During the night, the ball is big and heavy, no? Needed a little bit of time to understand what happened.
When the match was coming, I was playing better.
Q. Very animated when you won that last point. What does it mean to you to be playing the sort of tennis you are after struggling last year?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am happy to be on the tour. You know, for me the most important thing is win matches, no? When you have been away, off the tour for a while, you need to come back. The thing that you need is win, victories, no?
I know I have been working great. I know I have been working a lot and very well. I have been practicing at high level. So every time that I have the chance to go on court, I am able to have more confidence on what I’m doing, no?
I have now a chance after tomorrow. That’s an important thing for me. I’m very happy for that.
Q. Your next opponent, your thoughts on him? He’s obviously a big challenge.
RAFAEL NADAL: For sure, no? Is a great player. Is one of the best players of the world, without a doubt, today. And he’s a player that is for sure one of the next Grand Slam winners. He has a big chance to become the future world No. 1, no? If he’s able to keep improving the way that he’s doing, I don’t have doubt that his potential is so, so high.
I know I have a very tough match, and I know I need to play my best if I want to have chances. That is what I am looking for.
Q. It must have been a bit of a shock to see Novak go out today after he’s been so dominant here. Were you able to take much notice of it or were you just focused on your match?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I really didn’t see the match. I was playing a game with my team. I just see, the real thing, I just see the last point.
Yeah, what Novak did here is just amazing. Six victories here, six titles. For a lot of years he have been in the semifinals, finals, and winning here. So is normal then. Is not possible to be every time in that situation, no?
But he played great one week and a half ago or two weeks ago in Doha, winning the title. So then today was probably an accident, that’s all. He’s playing well. Everybody has the chance to lose when you go on court, no? We are athletes. We know when we are going on court we can lose and we can win. Everybody wants to win. Everybody has a good level.
Today Denis played well. That probably was a combination that Denis played a great match and Novak didn’t play his best. When this combination happens, then you are in trouble, no? Everything can happen. And happened.
Q. What is it about Zverev that sets him apart at this early age?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, all the top players start very young. I started very young. Roger started young. Novak, Andy, Hewitt, Sampras, everybody. All the great champions are good in the young, early.
He has all the shots: great serve, great forehand, great backhand, everything. He’s a complete player. I need to put a rhythm very, very high to try to don’t let him play in comfortable positions. That’s what I going to try.
Source: Australian Open