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May 13, 2016

Rafael Nadal

Rome, Italy


7-5, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Do you think it's best performance against Djokovic since the last final at Roland Garros? Is the first question. The second is if you think it's better for you to play against Djokovic on the best-of-five sets than on the best-of-three sets.
RAFAEL NADAL: I am playing well. No, no. I have been, I think, a beautiful match, a little bit unlucky for me today, so many chances in the first set. Obviously with that 4-2, Love-30, and then 15-30, good point for me, good forehand that was a winner and was out for just a little bit. We don't need to talk about I think in the second, no?

So happy in a very close match, and I have to congratulate him. He played, I think, great. And that's it. He's winning a lot, so probably that makes a difference.

No, when somebody is winning as much as he is doing last year and months, two years, we know the dynamics are so important. He was hitting great shots in important moments, no? That's it.

But I am playing well. I think I am playing well during the whole clay court season. It's true that in Madrid I didn't play well the last two matches against Joao and especially the last two sets against Joao Sousa in quarterfinals, and semifinals against Andy I didn't play very well.

But in general I'm playing well in the most of the matches most of the time. And today I was there mentally fighting for every point, hitting good shots. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know if it's better for me best-of-five or best-of-three. Is something that I don't think about it now. The only thing that I think is I have been very, very, very close this afternoon, and that's positive.

Q. After a match like this, what is the lasting feeling? Comfort of knowing how high a level you've played today or disappointment of the loss?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, no. I came late here not because I was disappointed. I came late because I was in doping and just for like this (indicating small space between index finger and thumb) I didn't came before, maybe a little bit.

No, I was not disappointed. Well, it's obvious that when you feel that you are so close to take both sets, you know, it's obvious that you go out of the court and you feel that you cannot be 100% happy.

But overall I am playing well. As I said before, I have been competing at the highest level against the best player. Play a match like this, best player of the world, that's the only thing that give me the confidence that I am ready for the things.

Q. Obviously your head to head with Novak is much more even than the head to head you have with Roger, but can you see a similarity between this rivalry and the rivalry you had with Roger, which went through phases when you won a lot even if matches were really, really close?
RAFAEL NADAL: I answered that question so many times. You know, let's talk about all of this -- I'm tired about asking these kind of questions. The only answer for me now is I feel happy to be part of both rivalries.

You know, have been both special ones and that's it. And we're gonna talk about that when we finish our careers. Hopefully not very soon (laughter).

And that's it. No, no, I feel lucky and unlucky at the same time to be at the same moment than those great players.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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