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May 26, 2016

Rafael Nadal

Paris, France

R. NADAL/F. Bagnis

6-3, 6-0, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Today you won your 200th Grand Slam wins. How do you feel after your second round?
RAFAEL NADAL: Thank you. I even didn't know that, so for me, most important thing is a victory in the second round more than the 200 victories, no? No, that's only another number, and that's it.

Is always to be able to win in straight sets again is good news, and just looking forward to play the next match.

Q. It looks like an ideal start of the tournament for you game-wise. Do you feel like this? Sensations are perfect for now?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I won two matches with comfortable results, I can say, but I not improve things, it's obvious, no? But at the same time is true that having a very positive start of the tournament, too, no?

I think I played the way that I had to play to be in the third round, and today after difficult three first games, then I think I played a solid match with not many mistakes and having the control of the situation most of the time.

So I need to keep playing better and better if I want to keep having chances in the next round, but I happy the way that I'm playing. Let's see if I'm able to play the same or a little bit better.

Q. When you arrived here your first practice partner was David Goffin. Can you tell me why you like practicing with him and what you think of him as a player.
RAFAEL NADAL: I practice with all the players. No, no, no, I practice with him because I have a good relationship with him, and that's it, no?

It's a good feeling between us. That's it, I think. With his coach, too. So he's a great player. He's having -- he's doing a great season. He is one of the candidates to be in the end of the season in top 10, without a doubt.

Going to be an important next three months I think for everybody, for him, too, because he has an opportunity to be in a very high position of the ranking.

Q. Do you think you'll see each other next week in the quarterfinals?
RAFAEL NADAL: That gonna be great news.

Q. When you play against another left-hander like today, in general do you find it any more difficult or any easier than when you're competing against right-handers?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, it's a change. It's a different story and need to change a couple of things, but nothing crazy, no? I think at the beginning I make a mistake. Is true I started slow, but at the same time I was playing too much against his backhand, no? Then when I was opening the court against his forehand and changed completely the dynamic of the match.

So you can do small adjustments, but nothing very important, no. I have to play my game and open the court, and if that happens, then it's obvious that the forehand against the backhand is more effective than forehand against forehand.

But I think I played well during all my career against left-handers.

Q. Some players decide to skip the Olympics in Rio. First of all, can you understand them? And second, do you think it's a bad thing for tennis if some of the top 20 players are missing there?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't think a lot of players gonna miss that, because gonna be -- well, everybody's free to do whatever, but experience of competing in an Olympic Games is completely different than any other event, no. The Olympics is the most important event in the world of sport.

If you don't want to be in the most important event in the world of sport, then is difficult to understand what's the motivation for the rest of the things, no?

So my feeling is everybody free to do what's better for everyone, but I know how tough was for me when I had to lose the 2012 Olympics in London. For sure, I cannot understand people who don't want to go to Olympics. No, is something that is not every year. Is an event that you can compete only once, twice, or three in your career maybe, if you are lucky.

So you don't want to miss that.

Q. As a top athlete in tennis, you have to play clay and grass and hard court. Sometimes you're healthy. Sometimes not so healthy. Sometimes winning, sometimes really struggling. Could you just talk about having to deal with all these changes to be flexible? What's your approach to that? Is that flexibility important to having a good career?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think it's obvious that there are players that are more specialist in some surfaces than others, but it's obvious that that's the way that the ranking is today, if you want to be a top player in the higher positions of ranking, you need to play well in all the surfaces, and the top players are able to play very well in all surface.

So there is not clay court specialist anymore on the top or there is not all the hard court specialists anymore in the top. No, the best players are able to play very well in all the surfaces. That's the real thing.

Q. I have a question about playing on clay. Clay is only surface on which you can continue to play if it's raining a little. It happened -- I remember the final in 2012 against Novak Djokovic who played long moment under the rain. Can you tell us when game has to stop under the rain and when is it fair to continue to play on clay with a little rain? How can you feel that you have to stop or you can go further?
RAFAEL NADAL: Is easy to know. Depends on if it's dangerous or it's not dangerous.

The players and especially the umpires and the supervisors should know that. But for sure the players knows when that's safe or when is not safe.

That is not a line or is not a way to measure if you can stop or you can continue. The only way that you can know that is if the players are comfortable, players are not comfortable playing. That's it.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish.

Q. I wanted to know something. What is the difference between here and Madrid? That is in terms of time you spent on the courts.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, during the tournament it doesn't mean much, but for this round it happens. When you lose you feel the impact because you're out immediately. But then if you win a match, and then you have a day to rest, physically if it was not too tiring, it's not a problem.

Q. 200 wins here. Do you remember the first Grand Slam you played, where it was, which court, et cetera? Otherwise I'll help you.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think it was in 2003, and that was my first Wimbledon. I played at Wimbledon. It's always been a dream for me, and I think it was in 2003. Yeah, 2003. It was a major victory for me, a win.

At the beginning of the year I played a challenger match against Mario in Hamburg. It was an indoor court and he had really won easily.

Q. Could you tell us more about your feelings after these first two rounds compared to the previous years? What would you say about yourself? How do you feel?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. Each year is different. Things keep on changing. We have a new story to write. The only thing I know is that I have reached round No. 3. That's the only thing that matters for me, and what I know is I have to play at a very high level in order to go deep. That's my sole objective, only reality. The other is mere speculation. And that's not something I like.

What I do is I do things I have to do daily. I was really okay with my first two rounds. I played well. Look at the results. The results were really good for me. But then trying to think about how I feel, et cetera, I don't think about this. I play my matches each day, I'm happy with what I do. I know there are still things I can still improve. This is why I'm still practicing and working on them.

Q. Yesterday there were people who were saying that there was a group of players who really are at a high level. They are well-ranked, but they are getting perhaps older and there are no new faces. What would you say about this?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I don't want to tell you what I think about this. That's my own opinion. I don't want to say anything that's good or negative against them. It's always the same in life. You know, we need to have different types of people. Some people have dreams and desires. They want to do good things.

But then there are others who have more experience. Not everybody, but some people are more experienced than others. And yet they can adapt.

Oh, I think you're talking about the referees? Oh, okay, there are referees that have gain skills during the years and other referees and umpires that have perhaps worsened. Everybody would develop in their own way, I would say.

Well, that's only my opinion. This is not "the" truth.

Q. I think that you wanted to discuss with the ITF to talk about doping. This should be made public?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sorry, I don't want to talk about this. I have said everything I have needed to say on that. Now, you know, it's gone to the courts, so I don't want to talk about this now. I'd like to talk about tennis, and that's all. I don't want to talk about antidoping tests. No.

I have always said what I thought clearly. I have always said that things have to be made public, but then, you know what? The only thing that matters for me is Roland Garros, the French Open.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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