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April 2, 2017

Rafael Nadal

Miami, Florida


6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations on your win, and I would like to know, how do you feel after the game and if you're ready to give it another try?
RAFAEL NADAL: I lost, by the way.

Q. Yeah, I know, but it's a win anyway.
RAFAEL NADAL: Um, good. I think I have been playing well during the whole event. Was a positive tournament for me obviously. A lot of points, a lot of confidence for the most important part of the season for me that's just in two weeks.

So I hope to have a good two weeks of practice now at home and be ready for the clay. That's my goal now.

Q. You're both in the midst of great comebacks from injuries. Tell us what is different about Roger than maybe two years ago. Is his backhand better to your side? Is his inside out forehand creating a problem for you and your forehand? Is this a little difference in the last few years?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, he's playing good, no? That's all. He's playing good and with high confidence. When a top player like him is playing with this high confidence and playing that good then it's tough to win.

Today was a close match in my opinion. Was 6-3, 6-4, but I had opportunities to have the break before him on the first set. I don't believe in luck, but I was not very lucky in the first set in a couple of points that I think I played well and I lost in the break points, and that's it.

Then he has the break and you are in trouble.

In the second I had 30-All, second serve in the 4-All. I missed that point, and then 30-All, net for him, and go in.

Few things decided the point, the decided the match, and today was for him. For me was a much closer result than -- much closer level today than what the result says, and completely different than last week.

Q. (No microphone.)
RAFAEL NADAL: I think that I was close. I think I was close enough to win the first set. Was not the day. Is true that when somebody is coming with that dynamic like him that he's winning an a lot, I know that feeling, all the things are going to your way, no?

So that's what happened today, because in the first set I think anything could happen. Then in the second was close. The same, one break and that's it. That's all. It's easy to see that match was a close match. In my opinion anything could happen and was in his way, so well done for him.

Q. You've had a complicated road back for a while.

Q. You've had a complicated road returning for some time now, difficult time coming back for some time now. You're playing well, but is there anything you feel is still missing from your game keeping you from where you need to be, and what would it be?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. I think I am close to what I need to be. I am at a very high level of tennis and I believe I am ready to win titles. I already played three finals this year, losing three times with a player that didn't lose a match - only one match that he never would lose in normal conditions in Dubai and that's it.

I'm playing enough well to fight for everything I think. I have good hopes that I going to be ready for Monte-Carlo. Always when I am playing that well, on clay always helps a little bit more for me. I need to work hard to be ready for that. If I am ready for that, I think I am very excited about playing back on clay again.

Q. Rafa, congratulations on your run in Miami. You had a great run. Simply in your own words -- you faced Roger 37 times over the course of your career now. Could you just explain in your own words, when it comes to a great rivalry, what goes into that? What makes a rivalry great in sports?
RAFAEL NADAL: When you play that many times, that's the first thing. Then when you are No. 1 and No. 2 of the world for a long time and you play so many times in big stages, that makes the rivalry, no.

So that's it.

Q. Who do you think would be your major rival to win the French Open?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. I didn't play on clay for one year. I don't know if I am a candidate yet to winning the French Open. Remain four tournaments before the French Open. Let's see what's happening in those four tournaments.

Then in the French Open we'll see who's the player who won more matches before and then we'll see.

No, I don't think about the French Open now. I think about rest a little bit, have fun a little bit in Mallorca - happy to be back home after one month and a half - and then start working hard on clay. That's my goal now, not the French Open.

My goal is feel myself ready to play on clay again, and I know if I have good preparation and I have healthy transition to the clay and I find my rhythm on clay, I know I can be one of those candidates.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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