Rafael Nadal speaks to the media after his win over Alex De Minaur.
Q. It was your first match against Alex. How do you think you performed today?
RAFAEL NADAL: Good. I think he’s very energetic player, very quick. I think he likes to play in this surface. His style of game probably works well for this surface in the future.
Q. It means you’re guaranteed to be No. 1 still when the new rankings come out on Monday afterwards. What will that mean to you? Will it mean nothing if you’re not Wimbledon champion again?
RAFAEL NADAL: Of course, I prefer to be No. 1 than No. 2, no doubt about this. I really don’t came here to hold No. 1. I just came here to try to do the best tournament possible.
Of course, is very positive to be already in the second week, winning three matches. That’s it. Just happy the way that I played during the first week. Three matches, every match have been more and more positive. I am playing well. Good start. Second match I played so well. Today, again, I played a good match.
Very happy for that and looking forward to keep playing well.
Q. Alex is a young, up-and-coming player. Can you remember what your mindset and emotions were like when you were a teenager facing the big players on the biggest courts in the game?
RAFAEL NADAL: How old is him?
Q. He’s 19.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, he’s young, no? Always there is a positive feelings you go on court with, not much to lose. It is true that with me with 19, I was lot of things to lose already. But I can compare when I was 16 or 17.
You go on court with a lot of energy, nothing to lose. All the things are positive. If you win two matches, great; if you win three, unbelievable; if you lose, it’s okay, you have another week coming. So is a different way to see the sport when you are that young.
Q. It’s been pretty warm this year. How is the court playing? How is that affecting the quality of your tennis?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, my tennis is not affected much. I prefer these kind of conditions because the life is happier with the sun there than when is raining all the day.
But the rest of the things… Of course, when it’s warmer, the conditions changes than when is colder. But that’s the same here than in any surface.
Q. What did it mean to you 10 years ago to reach No. 1? How is it different now?
RAFAEL NADAL: Of course, as I said couple of times, 2008 was a very important moment for me when I achieved the world No. 1 for the first time in my career because in some way I felt that I deserved. I don’t like this word ‘deserved’ because the sport, you are or you are not. The sport, you don’t deserve, no?
In some way I felt that I was playing so well for already three years, being there, having great results without being No. 1. Some way I believe that was good. I did the things good enough to be there at least once, no? Was an important moment for me.
Today is a different story. Is not my biggest goal, to be No. 1. Of course, as I said hundreds of times, I prefer to be No. 1 than No. 5. The most important thing for me is be healthy, be happy playing tennis. Both things are very close.
Q. Given all that you’ve been through, to achieve it again now at this age, what importance does it have? What do you think it signifies?
RAFAEL NADAL: For me is great to have all this great experience again, playing so well later in my career, having a great year last year, having a good year this year. Of course, the beginning of the year have been very tough for me with injuries.
All these problems that I am going through during my career, at the same time makes me enjoy more the good moments that I am having. Just happy for all the things. Just can say thanks to all the people that helps me in life, for all these possibilities.
Q. There’s been a few shocks in the women’s draw this week, a lot of the seeds are gone, a few in the men’s, Cilic being the biggest one. What is it about Wimbledon that makes everyone play their game and raise their level?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, it is not that everyone raise the level. It’s about the surface is a tricky surface because we don’t play very often on this surface. All the matches are dangerous. The match is decides in just a few balls is a big difference between clay and here, for example.
In clay, you have time. Here, you don’t have time, for example. Probably here, if you don’t have a big, big serve, you can’t feel yourself safe enough.
Q. In that third set, did you feel any change in the atmosphere at Centre Court as the England-Sweden match drew near, prompting some people to leave, others to become somewhat distracted with their devices?
RAFAEL NADAL: I know England is playing at 3, but I don’t see the people distracted. That, of course, don’t bother me at all.
Q. Can I ask about the tradition of having the athletes in the Royal Box. Do you like that? Was there anybody in particular you were happy to see in there today?
RAFAEL NADAL: Of course, is a great honor playing in front of these great people, great athletes, no? We talk the same language. Is great to have all these people close to the court. Is a great feeling.
I was able to shake hands after the match with couple of them, with Sergio, with Tommy Fleetwood, a couple of more. Yeah, was a great feeling. Is a good tradition here.
Q. Sir Bobby Charlton stayed till the end of your match instead of going off to watch the football. Is that a bit of a compliment to how well you were playing?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sorry?
Q. Sir Bobby Charlton stayed to watch the end of your match rather than going off to find the football. A great England player.
RAFAEL NADAL: That’s great.
Q. Is that a great compliment to how you were playing?
RAFAEL NADAL: Of course. That’s a great feelings. I saw him on TV before I went on court. Just can say thanks to him for respect our sport that much.
Q. I spoke to a former Wimbledon champion in doubles today. He thought you and Roger Federer would make a great doubles team. You played in the Laver Cup. Do you think it could actually happen in an actual ATP tournament?
RAFAEL NADAL: You never know. You can’t say never. Is true that our calendars are not easy. Probably something that will be nice if happened six years ago, seven years ago, that we were younger. Today’s a little bit more difficult.
But why not? He is able to do it, I am able to do it.
Q. The way the draw is scheduled, you and Roger are scheduled to meet in the final. It’s a match everyone would love.
RAFAEL NADAL: Repeat the beginning.
Q. The draw, you and Roger, scheduled to meet in the final if you go through. Is that a match you would like to happen again?
RAFAEL NADAL: If I am in the final, I prefer to face an easier opponent. I am not stupid (smiling).
But if I am in the final, will be great news. Any opponent will be difficult, of course.