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May 13, 2018
(INTERVIEW OF RAFAEL NADAL)
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Rafa, please, with the microphone.
Q. Rafa, now that you've had a couple of days after Madrid, I'm just wondering what was your biggest takeaway from that week? And how do you feel heading into Rome?
RAFAEL NADAL: I repeat the same always.
When I win, I don't talk much when I'm in the next events about the previous weeks. And when I lose, the same, no?
In a sport that there is not much time to think about what happened.
Okay, what happened last week was - - forget it. And, yeah, that's it.
I should been playing better than what I did. I know what I did wrong, and I gonna try to change that for this week.
Q. How long ago did you learn how to forget results?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sorry?
Q. How long ago did you learn how to forget results? Have you always been able to do that?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, in a sport that every week, all the players --
All the weeks, all the players lose. Only one wins. So, the lose is part of our life. So, no problem about that.
I don't gonna win every week that I play, I know that.
I'm very happy about my comeback after the injury. And winning two tournament, now quarterfinals and here is another opportunity to play well.
So that's what I'm looking for.
Q. How big is the change in conditions between this tournament and then Roland Garros? Is there a big difference? Is it just balls, or more?
RAFAEL NADAL: Close, in my opinion, the event that is closer to Roland Garros is Monte-Carlo, probably, in terms of conditions.
Madrid is the complete opposite. And probably here is a little bit more different than Barcelona, too.
You know, here the court is a little bit smaller than Barcelona or Monte-Carlo or, of course, Roland Garros. Things happen a little bit quicker.
But, of course, it's closer to Roland Garros here than last week, no doubt about it.
Q. For a player like Dominic Thiem, it seemed like last week when he trained with you in Madrid, it was a good opportunity to come up with a better plan for the match. How do you balance between the need to train against top players and the risk it involves for them to get closer to you?
RAFAEL NADAL: Um, probably this kind of things are just for you, not for me.
I play. He practices with me, but I practice with him, too, you know. So, I could be ready for a game plan, too.
So, it's not about that. We practice between each other every week.
So, what you mean? That in two weeks, he had -- two weeks ago, he lost 6-2, 6-0, then he beat me in straight sets. So, things changed the game plan?
No, things don't change like this because he has a different game plan. Things change like this because we play in different conditions, because he's a great player and because, of course, I didn't play as good as I should do to win these kind of matches.
So, his game plan, I don't know, you can ask him when he arrives here. I am not on his team.
But it was a tennis match, and I lost the match because we play between two good players. And that day, one of these two players played worse than the other.
Not about game plan in that case, I think.
Q. In your opinion, what are the difference between clay court tennis now compared with when you were younger, say - -
RAFAEL NADAL: Sorry, what do you mean?
Q. The differences between clay court tennis now compared with when you were younger, 14 years ago?
RAFAEL NADAL: Still clay. No, no, no.
I don't know. Things changes.
But, all the sports have changes but, in my opinion, it's still clay. It's a little bit different, but that's all. Not big deal.
Q. Does it take any of the pressure off going into Paris not having such a big record-setting streak going now?
RAFAEL NADAL: If it is less pressure for me?
I really don't care about if I -- of course, will be much better to have the full pressure because I won all the matches. No, no, no.
That's kind of things ...
I don't know if you understand a little bit about the sport, in general.
But, you know, after, I don't know, 14 years being in the position that I have been fighting for, important things, I can lose, I can win.
But, for sure, I am not gonna lose, I am not gonna win in Roland Garros because I lost.
Of course, the loss of last week don't help me for Roland Garros. And, of course, the defeat of last week will not go against my possibilities in Roland Garros. That's the real thing, in my opinion.
But, of course, it's better to win all the matches. Not because I won more I have more pressure. Normally, it's the opposite. When you win more, you have less pressure.
Q. Do you think Rome is just preparation for Roland Garros, or are you here to win?
RAFAEL NADAL: What?
Q. You are here to win the tournament?
RAFAEL NADAL: I'm here to play. And then I'm gonna try to win.
That's the real thing.
And I never consider no one of these events like preparation for another one. Never approach it -- no one event, Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, like an approach for Roland Garros.
Every tournament is very important for itself. And for me, even more. Because I have a great story on all these events.
I won here seven times. And, for me, it's very special always to play here in this tournament.
So, I can win Roland Garros losing here, and I can win Roland Garros winning here. I don't think what gonna happen here gonna make a big impact on what can happen in two weeks.
But there is one thing that is 100% sure, I am not thinking in Roland Garros when I am here. I am thinking all about Rome.
Q. I've been talking to a lot of players about how where they grew up helped shape their personalities. I was wondering for you, growing up in Mallorca, what was the biggest impact from your environment that you feel has helped you as a tennis player and the qualities that you have as a person?
RAFAEL NADAL: No doubt that there is players from all around the world. So, there is not a key that you need to be from one place to be a tennis player.
Tennis is a global sport, and you can become a great tennis player from everywhere.
Q. I'm not saying about why you're successful. I'm just saying, what do you feel was from your environment, no, the biggest qualities?
RAFAEL NADAL: It's about the people that you have around you, in my opinion.
Of course, if you have good weather, of course if you have good conditions to practice better, it's a little bit more helpful.
But, in my opinion, the most important thing is to have the right family and the right people around you. And I have it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports