Rafael Nadal speaks to the media after his second round victory over Matt Ebden.
Q. Did you feel that was a step forward from your first-round performance?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, is a different match. Was a little bit more logical match tonight. He is not an easy opponent. Have been a very positive victory for me. I happy the way I played. I started a little bit slow, especially on the return side, serving I think was good from the beginning. Then I saved that game in the 3-All. After that things changed. I think I play well.
Q. Jim Courier asked Roger after his match today if he does things differently because of his age. Now that you’re over 30, in your routine and physical preparation, do you do things differently now than you used to maybe a few years ago or when you were 25?
RAFAEL NADAL: When I was 18, I did different things than when I was 12, and when I was 25 I did different things than when I was 18. Now I am 32 and a half, I do different things than four years ago. Is normal things that happens in your life, even in the normal life, not only in about sports.
Is normal that things are changing, and you do different things.
Q. In the same section of your draw, a lot of seeded players lost. Anderson, Isner, Edmund. You still have to play de Minaur. Does it make a difference to a player when you see a lot of strong players in the same section of your draw that they disappear? Or you don’t even give a look?
RAFAEL NADAL: I going to be very honest with you. Normally I look all around the draw. In the situation that I am today, coming back from an injury, I am just going on every day. I even don’t know that Edmund was on my part of the draw or not. I just know little bit the beginning of the tournament. I have now a tough opponent like de Minaur. I think he already won seven matches in a row.
Is a challenge every day. Today have been a very important step forward for me. The way that I played have been very positive, in my opinion. I am happy about the rest of the things. If the seededs are seededs because they played better the last 12 months, that doesn’t mean they going to play better during these two weeks.
When they lost, there are another player that are playing better, that’s all.
Q. Another Australian up next. What do you make of Alex?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, he’s a great player. Great player, young, playing with big confidence after winning matches. It will be tough one. I need to be ready for it.
Q. Roger was talking a little bit about the new balls here, kind of saying he thought it was difficult to out-spin people, particularly late at night. What have you made of playing with the balls in a night session tonight, whether you were able to get spin on the ball?
RAFAEL NADAL: The ball is big. With colder conditions, especially during the night, the ball is bigger. Yes, the ball is going a little bit more slow, no? Not that high bounces that sometimes we used to have here.
But the ball is what there is. Is fair enough. Is a good quality ball. I can’t complain about the ball. Personally if you ask me, I like little bit faster ball than this one. But I can’t say is a bad ball because is a good ball. I feel is a fair ball for everyone.
Q. Before the game when you were walking out, through the tunnel to the court, the TV cameras showed you pausing in front of the sign dedicated to your championship, looked like you had a bit of a moment where you high-five’d your poster or gave it a bit of a touch. Tell us if that’s new, what that was about?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t remember at all. I don’t know about what you are talking. No, no. What I did what you told me? I didn’t understand very well.
Q. While you were walking through the tunnel.
RAFAEL NADAL: I understand that, but later? The poster that I won, the year that I won?
RAFAEL NADAL: What happened? Maybe I did, but I was probably maybe coincidence. Sorry for that.
Q. You said on court about de Minaur being half Spanish. Were you aware of him coming up?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, since couple of years ago we know that we have a good player coming. I think he improved a lot during the last three years. Today is one of the best players of the world. That’s the real thing. He’s young, very young. He is winning a lot of matches.
He’s having a great improvement year by year. So let’s see. Going to be a tough one.
Q. What do you do between now and Friday night? Do you like to get out and explore the city or stay around your hotel and Melbourne Park?
RAFAEL NADAL: Tonight?
Q. Next few days, explore the city a bit?
RAFAEL NADAL: Is difficult. During a tennis tournament, is late. Is a late night. I going to go to sleep. I going to try to rest well. Tomorrow I have to recover, so I have to practice. I going to practice for around one hour, then going to do some work with my physio, try to be ready for the next day.
Having only one day in the middle is difficult to visit the city. By the way, is not the first time I am in Melbourne. I more or less know it.
Source: Australian Open