‘Court Rafa Nadal’ in Barcelona: King of Clay now has a court named after him

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Transcript of Rafael Nadal’s presser after the Ramos-Vinolas match.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Rafa, please.

Q. What does it mean to you to win 10 times this tournament?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, is really unbelievable, no? Win 10 times in such an important event like Monte-Carlo is something difficult to describe the feeling. Every year have been a different feeling. At the same time is always a unique moment every time I have this trophy with me.

Yeah, is a little bit of luck, lot of things together should happen to made this 10th title in an event like Monte-Carlo, no?

I feel lucky to keep playing tennis, being healthy all those years, to compete in one of the most beautiful events of the year, without a doubt.

Very happy to win another one. For me is a very important day in my career.

Q. Ramos said you are almost playing your best tennis level. Do you think you can improve more than this?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I am satisfied the way that I am playing. Is obvious that there is always things to improve.

But being honest today, my serve worked great. Backhand, have been hitting very well the backhand during the whole week. The forehand better and better every day. So I should be happy about everything.

Is always the motivation to play better and better. But I think we are in a very good way to keep winning matches. That’s most important thing for me.

Q. Was it especially important for you to win this week, after losing the other finals this season, or…
RAFAEL NADAL: For me is important to feel myself competitive every week that I am playing. That’s what happened since the beginning of the season. That makes me happy.

For me, that’s the most important thing, feel myself happy when I am playing. If I am healthy and I feel myself competitive, I am happy. Then is obvious I would like to win. But I know if I am in finals of important events, the normal thing is I finally win titles.

So today was another chance. I lost first three finals this year, but with positive feelings. Today I won a very important title for me.

Arrive in just the right moment, I believe. After losing in Miami, the first tournament on clay for me is always an important moment of the year. Have the victory here is an important step forward for me.

Q. They showed you on the big screen with all your victories. I think you were laughing at some of the pictures of you before. What do you remember, for example, from your first victory here 12 years ago?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, for me the first one here have been so special, no? Was the first Masters 1000, Masters Series at that time, in an event that for me was always so special.

When I was a kid, I always wanted to play in Monte-Carlo. In Spain, Monte-Carlo is a very important event in tennis, one of the top 1000s of the year.

The real thing is since the first time I came here in 2003, I had very positive feelings. Winning in 2005 against Coria in that final was unbelievable moment for me. Was a tough final, but at the same time semifinal was hard against Richard. Very tough match in the third.

There is some moments on the career of everyone that are important ones. Is obvious that first title on clay makes a big difference. After that, I was confident enough to keep going, winning in Barcelona, in Rome, then in Roland Garros.

Q. Some people say that Federer never worked so hard like recently, because there was so much talent. I would like to know if you had been working harder this year because today you were running like I haven’t seen you in some time? Is this something that paid off and you’re working harder and harder?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I think is about confidence. Is about doing the right things. Is about being healthy. Is not about if I want to work or if I don’t want to work. Is about if I can work or if I can’t work.

During the off-season for one month and a half I think I was able to work the way that I wanted to work. Well, when I say ‘the way I wanted to work’ I mean the way we wanted to work, me and my team. I was enough healthy to work harder than usual.

But is easy to understand that at the end of the day everything resumed to one thing: health. If you are healthy, you can work. If you can work, then the chances of success are higher.

Q. How do you feel to play next week in Stadium Rafael Nadal in Barcelona?
RAFAEL NADAL: Just thanks to organization for that. They ask me about that couple of months ago. I was completely happy to heard this thing.

Barcelona, the tournament is, for all the Spanish players, an amazing event. I think is one of the top events on tour because is a historic event with a lot of tradition. A lot of years of the tournament, a lot of great players have been playing there. And it’s in a real tennis club. It’s like here, is a real tennis club.

When you are playing in a place that they are not only in stadiums for two weeks or for one week, is always little bit more special. The place breathes tennis, no? That tradition makes the event, I think, a little bit more important.

That’s why I think it’s so important in our tour to combine historic events and traditional events with great new shows and great new stadiums. That makes our sport bigger and bigger.

To have the name, my name, in the center court in Barcelona is something that is very beautiful. Just can say thanks very much to the club for this award. 

Q. You won 10 times here in Monte-Carlo. Your fans want now a victory in Roland Garros, 10 victories. Is it the next step for you also?
RAFAEL NADAL: I want. I really want it too, no (smiling)?

Q. But Roland Garros is special for you.
RAFAEL NADAL: The next step is not Roland Garros. The next step is Barcelona. That’s the real thing. Today is a good start of the clay court season.

But I never take Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, Madrid like a preparation for no one tournament. These tournaments are so important for itself. That’s the real thing. Then Roland Garros arrives later. Is another so important event for me.

Don’t believe today that I am happy because winning here, that’s gives me confidence for having more chances in Roland Garros. Today I’m very happy because I won a very important event. That’s the most important thing for me.

Next week, I am playing another very important event for me at home and I’m excited about that. Then I going to keep playing at home in Madrid.

Is difficult to think about Roland Garros now. I have one that I already had lot of success in the past, then Roland Garros arrives. If I do the right things before Roland Garros, probably I will arrive well-prepared for trying an important thing there.

But is few weeks away already. There’s so many opponents to play before that, so many important matches. Every event in this part of the season for me, in my heart, is so special. I enjoy every day.

Q. At the beginning of the match you had a little problem with your eye. Can you tell us what it was? Did it disturb you during the match?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, was just a few points. When I was running for a ball, the clay went straight on the eye. When something happens on the eye, is difficult to see very well. It bothers a lot.

Happened, but I still have some clay I think inside, but is not bothering me anymore. I feel something, but obviously doesn’t bother.

Q. Some players say in tennis it’s difficult to enjoy when you have such a nice day like you had today because you have the next tournament, the next week. Do you take time to enjoy? Will you take time to enjoy this very special moment?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think after a lot of years of experience on this tour, you learn how to enjoy every moment. Today is a day to enjoy. Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow is a day to start thinking about the next event.

In this part of the season, there is not much time to celebrate, but is time to enjoy. I enjoy every day of practicing here in Monte-Carlo. I hope to do the same during the next week in Barcelona.

Today is a day to be very happy about what happened during this week, to relax, to have some good dinner with the family and team. Tomorrow to start the practice in Barcelona.

I really enjoy. There is time to enjoy, but there is no time to celebrate. We will have time to celebrate after the clay court season, if there is something to celebrate. At the moment we have something to celebrate (smiling).

Especially you have time off after Wimbledon. That’s my moment to celebrate well and to forget about everything, to go out with friends, family and enjoy some weeks of Mallorca.

Q. Rafa, back to being healthy in the game. Does it get tougher the longer you’re in the sport? Do you handle it in a different way when you get a little bit older? Could you spare a moment to perhaps mention del Potro, who was the comeback player of the year last year, has got back up the rankings.
RAFAEL NADAL: Everybody handle in different way, I think. Everybody is doing the best things possible to still healthy and to play as long as possible.

Is true that del Potro had a lot of problems on his career. Is difficult to accept these things sometimes. But even like this, he’s having a great career.

And for me personally, I had the same. A lot of times I had some problems, but I always had the passion and the personal motivation to keep going, to keep working hard, keep fighting for the things that really motivates me. That’s all.

When you get older, if you are healthy, is not a problem. If you don’t have the health, then you go home.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports