Rafael Nadal speaks to the media following his 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 win over John Millman in New York City.
THE MODERATOR. Questions, please.
Q. You struggled with injuries for a while. Your body is a lot leaner now. How did your new body and style of play come into this tournament, what do you think or feel about it?
RAFAEL NADAL: I have the same body. Well, I would love a new body, but not possible for the moment (smiling). Maybe in 100 years you will be able to change all the things, but not now.
I don’t have a different style of play. I play my style. Sometimes better, sometimes worst. When you are under confident, I am playing well, seems like you have a different style because you can play more aggressive than when you are playing worse you are playing more defensive. That’s part of the job every day, no?
That’s it. I’m happy the way that I was able to win tonight. It’s a good start. Let’s see.
Q. Your next opponent, the last time you played him he was young, a teenager. I’m sure you followed how much he’s overcome over the years. What is your impression of how he’s kept battling back, your impression of his game?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, he’s young. He has a big forehand, big serve. He’s a dangerous opponent, of course. I need to go on court and to play well. If not, will be a very difficult match.
So let’s see. I think I had more or less positive feelings tonight. I need to keep improving every single day. Winning with that result allow me more to have a good practice. I hope to be ready for after tomorrow knowing is a tough challenge, Thanasi in the second round.
Q. You said on court you told Andy he could use or boat. Do you trust him with it?
RAFAEL NADAL: What?
Q. Do you trust Andy with your boat in Mallorca?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think he use it already in the past, no? I just text him when I knew that he going to play in academy. I just text him a couple days ago saying, If you need anything, just let me know. You want to go out with the boat or anything, I can help you, just let me know.
For us in the academy, is a great news that he’s there, of course. I saw the court yesterday where he was playing. Was full crowded. I think is great for him, great for us.
For me personally, as I said a couple of times, happy for him. Honestly he did a lot of things to try to be back on court and keep playing tennis.
The decision to go and play a challenger is because he feels well, my feeling, the way that I see it. If you don’t feel it very well, you play normal tour and just let’s see how it goes.
If one player like Andy is able to go and play a challenger is because physically he feels well and he wants to play matches.
Q. 10 years ago here, you, Novak, Roger and Andy were the top four seeds. 10 years later, three of you are still among the top four seeds. If I had told you 10 years ago three of you would be here in that position, what do you think you would have said?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. Is so difficult to answer this question because is so difficult to think about what’s going to happen in 10 years. Difficult to know where you’re going to be or if you’re going to keep playing tennis or not.
That’s something special, that situation. Since 2005 I have been more or less in that positions. Since 2007, Novak, Roger and I have been in the same positions for such a very long time.
I think if you ask Roger or Novak or myself what we think about that, we’ll say it’s something very difficult. But here we are. For us, that’s a good news.
Q. What about 10 years from now?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. We will no be here, that’s for sure. Where we going to be? Hopefully enjoying the life in the way that we decide, or the life decide for us. You cannot predict very well what’s going in the future. You can prepare the future, but then things change so quick in this life (snapping fingers).
Q. At Wimbledon, Coco Gauff was a sensation. Today she won her first match in the main draw of the US Open. From what you’ve had the chance to see of her, what has impressed you the most?
RAFAEL NADAL: I saw her a couple of days playing Wimbledon. I think she is very strong to be — she’s 15?
RAFAEL NADAL: She’s tall and she has a lot of power. I think she has a great intensity playing. Let’s see. Of course, looks like she has an amazing future in front. I really wish her all the very best.
Is tough to put lot of pressure on her now or talk too much about her now. Even if she’s doing amazing things, she is very young.
In my opinion, she needs to internalize the things step by step. If not, is easy to lose a little bit the perspective. I really hope that she has the right people around, and she will become a big star of this sport for sure.
Q. What was your reaction that four of the top 10 seeds on your half of the draw all lost today?
RAFAEL NADAL: Four of the?
Q. Top 10 seeds.
RAFAEL NADAL: Who lost?
Q. Thiem, Tsitsipas, Khachanov and Roberto.
RAFAEL NADAL: Khachanov lost, too?
RAFAEL NADAL: That’s tennis. That’s all the reaction I can say, no? When you start the tournament, you have difficult opponents in front. You need to go on court and respect every single opponent.
I went on court today against a tough opponent knowing that I need to play well to win. If you play bad, you can lose. Tsitsipas had a very tough first round. Of course, Karen is a surprise. I think Thiem have been very sick for the last 10 days. I feel very sorry for him.
Other one was?
RAFAEL NADAL: Roberto was a surprise. Honestly, I’m very sad for him.
Source: US Open