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August 18, 2017

Rafael Nadal

Cincinnati, Ohio


6-2, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How tough is it to play Nick when he's serving so well today?
RAFAEL NADAL: He obviously is a tough match always, no? Nick is a great player, but I played bad, obviously, no?

I started the match well, and then I played a very bad game in the second set when he break me. And then I managed -- I was lucky. I don't know. I played some good points. He had some mistakes and I was able to be back in the match. And then I played terrible game.

So, yeah, was a bad match for me. Congrats to him. That's it.

Q. At 5-All in the second set, that first point when they made that call and you hit the forehand up-the-line winner, how did that affect your mindset for the rest of that game?
RAFAEL NADAL: Of course 15-Love, Love-15 change a lot, but at the same time, of course, we cannot think about one point.

No, no excuses. Nothing at all. I didn't play well, and if I don't play well, of course I cannot win against a player like Nick. That's it.

Q. Tough loss tonight, but how do you feel physically going into the US Open? Do you feel pretty good?
RAFAEL NADAL: Hopefully yes, no? Is true that this tournament is a tournament that didn't work very well for me during the history of my career. I never had a very good feelings here. I don't know. The humidity, still don't like this ball. Still I think needs to improve a lot this ball.

But in general terms is a tournament that, yeah, I played one time great that I won, 2013, but the rest of the times have been very tough for me to play well here and find more than win or lose. No, for example, Miami I never won but I had positive feelings.

No, here in this tournament, I love so much the tournament. Tournament is improving every year. But I don't know why I don't find my rhythm here, no?

Is tough for me to compete well here. But I'm going to keep trying next year. That's all. That's all what I can say.

Saying that, New York is a completely different event. Different ball, of course, and in the history of my career in New York I played much better. That's true, no? No, I think I am practicing well. I gonna give my best during this week of practice. Probably gonna rest two days and then starting on Monday again, and I gonna give my best during that week of preparation in New York and I hope to be ready for New York.

I believe that I did the things enough well during the whole year to be ready to compete at the highest level of New York, so I am looking forward to it. And, yeah, tough loss, but at the same time is not the moment to think a lot about that. Just analyze what's the things that I have to do better and do it.

Q. A black ribbon on your jacket I'm assuming is for Barcelona. How much has that news back home been on your mind in these past couple of days?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, what happened is terrible, no? Of course everybody is destroyed in Spain, including, of course, me, myself. So, yeah, is a tragedy, the feeling that you are not safe in nowhere.

So that's terrible, no? So just very sad. I'm very, very sorry about what happened, to all the victims, all the families, friends. Yeah, all my support. Yeah, and is the moment to be together like a country and all the being together, we go for these kind of things.

Q. A little bit of an odd scenario with having to play two matches today because of the weather, you and a lot of other people. I'm wondering what you did between the end of the first match and beginning of the second to prepare or rest. Can you elaborate on what you did?
RAFAEL NADAL: Not at all, not much. Just, I eat a little bit. I tried to rest a little bit during the physio's room. Just tried to have a good warmup before the second match. That's all.

Q. Despite the tough loss tonight, you're still going to be No. 1 on Monday. Does that provide any consolation?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, is not a consolation. Is an amazing, positive news. No, no, being No. 1 after all the things that I have been going through the last couple of years is something unbelievable, so is, for me, is an amazing achievement to be back to that position after few years, three years already without being in that position.

But here I am. I'm very happy for that, and that's the moment that in the most important, in the last most important event of the season, I need to show why I am in that position now, no?

So I gonna work hard to show myself and why I am there. So I'm going to work hard, and I gonna try my best to play at the highest level possible in New York.

Q. I remember 2013. You played well here. You played really well in New York. A lot of talk about your serve. People were saying you were serving much different, much better, US Open 2013. Where is your serve today compared to that? How are your feelings on the serve?
RAFAEL NADAL: Is not true. I was serving much better in 2010. Not in 2013, by the way, I tell you (smiling). In 2013 I was playing great tennis. Not serving great, no?

My serve is working well. Just, you can take a look at the statistics of the season. Tonight obviously not. But I am, after Karlovic, Isner, Federer, Raonic, I am the player with high percentages of service games won during the whole season, so that's the great news.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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