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January 9, 2016

Rafael Nadal

Doha, Qatar


6-1, 6-2

An interview with: RAFAEL NADAL

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you give us your thoughts on the match? What are your biggest takeaways from the week and from this match?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, for the match is easy to analyze. I played against a player who did everything perfect. I know nobody playing tennis like this ever. Since I know this sport I never saw somebody playing at this level.

So just congratulate him and that's it. I know I can do a few things better, but the real thing is with these conditions playing during the night and with the feeling of the ball here, it's so difficult to have chances against him playing like this. Is probably impossible.

But the real thing is I had a positive week. I am playing well, and I gonna keep working hard to try to be ready for Australia. And I think I will be. I am motivated for it.

And Australia is a different story, different conditions. And it's obvious that Novak playing like this is going to be so difficult to beat him for anyone.

But for my side, the only thing that I can do is watching positive all the things that I improved the last couple of months. If I lost 6-1, 6-2 today, it's because I played against a player that played at the level that I didn't know since the day of today. So that's it. Not because I did a disaster or not because I am playing bad or because -- no. The opponent was too good. And when something like this happens, the only thing you can do is applause him and congratulate the opponent.

For my side, I am happy the way that I am working and I gonna keep working.

Q. You have played Novak 47 times now, more than anyone else on tour. Are there still any secrets between you two, or do you pretty much know exactly what to expect each time?
RAFAEL NADAL: You don't expect play against a player who plays at this level. So that's it. Every match is different, you know, a little bit how it goes, but today was so special.

Q. You have obviously talked about his game, which was more or less perfect, probably the most perfect game you have ever seen. Is it the length of his groundstrokes that sticks out? Because he was hitting more or less any ball right at the baseline, which made it impossible to do anything.
RAFAEL NADAL: When I say perfect, is not one thing in particular. It's everything. If not, it's not perfect.

Q. In response to the first question you said one of the things you are trying to do is get ready for Australia. How far are you from winning a Grand Slam again? Are you ready? Are you there?
RAFAEL NADAL: Maybe I am three weeks away, maybe I am five months away or six or nine, or maybe I am forever away. You know, you never know how these thing goes.

I am playing good. We will see what's going on in the next four next Grand Slams and see what's going on the next couple of years. I cannot tell you how far I am. I know last year I was so far (smiling). This year is different story.

Q. In Novak's matches earlier in the week he was not at this level at all. Were you watching his matches? Were you surprised at how he managed to elevate it so much today?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, when somebody is arriving with that confidence and when somebody is so good like him and arrives with that self-confidence, something like this can happen, but the real thing is I saw him playing yesterday. I saw him playing before yesterday a little bit. And from TV it looks a little bit different like today, but that's it.

No, he played so good. Accept it and, as I said before, congratulate him. No, no, nothing to say. The only thing is the opponent is better than me today. And here especially. Let's see in Australia and let's see later during the whole season. I'm going to fight and I feel ready to fight, and I feel ready and excited about this fight and I hope to be closer.

Q. You said that you're pleased with the way things are going from your side. But when you see a lot of positive things on your side and then you step on the court against someone who is, like you said, playing perfect, is there any sense of frustration or you're able to not feel that way?
RAFAEL NADAL: If you get frustrated for somebody that is better than you, it's stupid. The real thing, no, is I always think that if you are frustrated because somebody knows how to do something better than you, you are too arrogant or you are not smart enough. No, that's it.

When somebody is better than you, you accept and you work to try to improve yourself. That's it. No, no, for sure I am not frustrated. I look the things very clear, and I am always honest. Today he's better than me without a doubt.

We will see during the whole season. No, no, that's all. Today? He's better than me. We will see in two weeks or we will see in five months. The only thing that you can do is wait that the opponent is not playing like this all the time. That is difficult to play like this all the time, it's obvious. And I gonna wait my moment.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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