19 April 2018: Rafael Nadal (English)

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Rafael Nadal
Press Conference
R. NADAL/K. Khachanov

6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did you enjoy your day today, your match? Did you have any chance to give a look to Thiem, who is your next opponent? And Djokovic, make a comment on that, too.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, a positive day of course for me. A good victory. Straight sets against a difficult opponent. That’s the real thing.

I think I played little bit better than yesterday. My serve worked well. Forehand, too. Forehand was better than yesterday. I had the feeling that my movements have been better than yesterday, and I was able to take the control of the point more times than yesterday from the baseline, and more inside the court. That was against a player that he likes to be aggressive, so that’s a positive news for me.

And, yes, the previous match have been a good match, an emotional one. Yeah, in the beginning looks like Dominic was dominating a lot. Then things changed. He lost some opportunities. Then Novak I think played well between 5-All and the 2-All of the second set. Novak have been better than him, than Dominic, during that period of time. Then Dominic again better. At the end was close, anything could happen.

It’s like this. It was a match between two great players. Anything could happen. Dominic won today. Well done for him.

Q. Do you take confidence from last year’s French Open semifinal win over Dominic and the manner of the win, straights sets, he didn’t win too many games? Does that give you extra confidence against him?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, that’s a different year. No, is one year ago. That happen this week, maybe that can help. What happened one year, as I say the other day, difficult to think about that, no?

Is different year, different feelings for both of us. Is going to be a difficult match. Is a player that plays so good in every surface, but especially on clay. He hit the ball hard.

I can’t let him play from good positions because he has lot of power and will be so difficult to control him if he is in advantage position. I need to take care about that. I need to play aggressive, with higher intensity than him, then we’ll see, no?

The serve will be important, too. Let’s see. Is going to be a difficult match, but at the same time is a very good match to play against one of the best players.

Q. Playing against players like Karen, called the next generation, is there a special feeling for you, that it’s important to get the win against those guys, or is it business as usual?
RAFAEL NADAL: I really don’t think about that, no. I just think about another opponent, a difficult one. I am just thinking about going on court, try to do the things that I want to do. If you win, you win. If you lose, you lose.

At the end of the day doesn’t make big impact if you lose against player from the NextGen or not. A win is a win, and a lose is a lose. My goal is to be in the quarterfinals of Monte-Carlo, not win against one or another.

Q. A different topic. Richard Gasquet made his number 500 victories. Is it the same goal for you? Do you think about such a figure?
RAFAEL NADAL: Is a great news for him. Especially because he’s a great, great person, great guy. Humble. Yeah, he’s one of the players that you want him on the tour. He’s an easy person. He’s a great player. We grow up together. Different countries. He was better than me. We didn’t had the chance to play very often when we was kids because he was better than me, so he was not playing the same age with me. He was playing with the older guys.

We played once in Le Petit A’s. It was great. I think I lost 6-3, 6-4 in the third. And, yes, is a great news for him. I’m so happy to see him playing that well. He’s playing a great level of tennis again.

Yeah, he’s a classic player. I like the way he plays. Well done for him. I wish him all the best.

Q. Physically do you think at all about your leg or you’re not thinking at all when you’re playing? You’re happy with how you are physically?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, you know, I played only four matches after a lot of months. You can’t be 100% safe about that until you play weeks in a row.

But I don’t think about that. I just think about try to play my game and try to play well. Things can go the wrong way, like happened in Acapulco. But you can’t manage that. You can’t have the control about that, no?

I just try to do the things the better way possible to avoid these kind of things. Happened too many times in my career. I just accept it and keep working. That’s all. Try to be positive always about all the challenges that happened to me in that way.

Hopefully it will not happen again. Just going to be the same way, no? Just rest, be with calm, positive, and keep working to come back.

But today I am not thinking about this stuff. I just thinking about my next match, Dominic tomorrow, and that’s it.

Q. The president of the Swedish Federation said he’s going to talk to the older tennis players about the changes of Davis Cup before he will vote in August yes or no to the modification. Are you going to talk to the Spanish Federation? Do you think you have influence on his decision?
RAFAEL NADAL: I already know what going to happen. I have been with the president of the Spanish Federation last week in the Davis Cup.

Q. What he says?
RAFAEL NADAL: That’s private.

Q. Sorry.
RAFAEL NADAL: Let’s see. He needs to keep talking with the people about the new modifications, then he will come back to us. At the end of the day is his decision. Of course, will be nice, and it going to happen, if he ask us what we prefer.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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