Rafael Nadal looks ahead to competing at the Foro Italico for the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, where he is an eight-time champion.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How do you feel without to win a tournament in this season? It didn’t happen from a long time ago, this time of the season.
RAFAEL NADAL: I feel good. Is true that I didn’t win a title, but is true that my feeling is, for example, maybe in 2015 I won Buenos Aires, I think, but the feeling is much better.
Sometimes winning a title or not doesn’t make a big difference, no? I didn’t win a title. It’s true I missed a couple of tournaments. At the same time is true that when I was playing, I was close to win it. I didn’t play enough good to win, but I didn’t play very bad. I am there.
I have been in three semifinals in a row. Well, four semifinals in a row, since Indian Wells. But that’s it. That’s tennis: sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
Is true that I lost a couple of matches that playing good probably I will win. But that’s how it works. If you don’t play enough good, then the opponent is good, too. The matches that I lost, I deserved to lose.
Only one, my opinion, I deserved to win that I lost. Against Kyrgios in Acapulco. The rest of the matches I lost I deserve to lose.
Here to try my best another week.
Q. Do you feel you’ve recovered physically from the virus of Madrid or are you maybe lacking energy?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I am good. I am good. I am feeling good. I’m happy to be back here in Rome. I take a day off yesterday. I had a good sleep tonight. Just excited to be back in this special place for me. Try to have a good practice this afternoon, and let’s see if I am ready to compete at the level that I want to do.
Q. Your Uncle Toni said he never wanted to get money from you, but for him the priority was to be honest with you in difficult and happy times. How did you react to this choice by Toni?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sorry, is not an answer that I want to talk about it now. Was not exactly like this. That’s it. That’s internal things that I don’t want to talk about it.
Doesn’t matter if you pay your coach or not. Is about the player. If the player is enough smart to let the coach do his job, or if you are not enough smart, doesn’t matter if you pay or you don’t pay. You will not make feel the coach freedom enough to tell you the true in every single moment.
In my opinion, with all the coaches that I have been, they always felt free to tell me if I am playing bad, if I am playing terrible, or if I am doing one negative thing or another good thing.
I don’t feel that no one coach that I had in my career have been afraid of telling me the true or be honest with myself for fear of his job. That’s not my case. I never fired no one.
Q. Novak will be trying to go for his fourth consecutive Grand Slam at Roland Garros. Sum up what it’s been like to have the great rivalry you have with him, what it’s like to face him across the net.
RAFAEL NADAL: We talked about this one thousand of times. It’s every year, every week the same.
We just have been together during the last 10 years fighting for the most important moments, with Novak, with Roger. Is great to be part of this good moment of our sport. He’s a great competitor. He did a lot of great things.
We’ll see. I hope to face him in Roland Garros. Will be great news.
Q. In the season just Roger, Novak and one other I think won two tournaments. It means anything at this moment?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sorry?
Q. In the season, just three players won two tournaments until now. It means anything, or changing situation?
RAFAEL NADAL: What means is difficult win a tournament.
Q. It’s always difficult, but it means something is changing, the situation at the top level of players, or not?
RAFAEL NADAL: Roger is 37, I am almost 33, Novak is 32 already. That’s what all it means. Win the things we have been winning the last 14, 15 years, I think is something that didn’t happen very often in the history of our sport. That means is something difficult.
Q. Did you have a chance to look at the draw? What do you think about your draw here? Are you looking forward to maybe meet Roger in the semifinal?
RAFAEL NADAL: I have plenty work to do. I have Chardy or Gasquet in the first round. That’s my draw. The rest of the things for me doesn’t matter now.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports