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January 11, 2020

Rafael Nadal

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

R. NADAL/A. de Minaur

4-6, 7-5, 6-1

Team Spain - 2

Team Australia - 0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You're doing two of these press conferences in one day. Did you get enough sleep between the finish early this morning and this evening's match?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think last time that I was able to see the watch yesterday night was 5:26. Probably I sleep after 5:30.

Yeah, that's how it works. Yeah, have been tough couple of days, especially for Team Spain coming from Brisbane [sic] [Perth] with jet lag to make things even a little bit more difficult. But here we are.

Have been important day for us. Roberto played an amazing match, and I had a great comeback.

Q. Were you surprised at the level that Alex got to in that first set, until first two sets really he was going with you?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I wasn't surprised, no. He's young. He has a lot of energy. He plays with a lot of passion. Sometimes even too much (smiling).

And I was a little bit lower energy than usual. That's why he was able to take advantage. And I think when the match was going on, I was able to play better and better, to find a little bit better the rhythm and the energy back to my body.

I think I played a good third set, good end of the second. My feeling is was tough for me to win points on the return for a while, no? But with my serve I was doing things well.

I lost my serve in the first game, and then I lost another time my serve in 4-0 in the third. He's a great returner. So with my serve, things have been working well. On the return, later on the match I did much better.

Q. The match tomorrow, such a storied rivalry with yourself and Novak, but on hard courts he's had quite an advantage. I think it's been six years or so since you have had a win. What do you do to turn that around?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. No idea yet. I'm just happy now tonight to be where we are. Like a team, we are in a final. This is not a singles competition. This is a team competition.

For me and for us always have been when we played like a team is a team over any individual thing, no?

So tomorrow is three matches tie. First probably going to be Roberto against Dusan. Both are playing well, I think. And then going to be probably Novak against me. Gonna be a tough match for me, of course. He has been playing some great matches this week.

But here I am. I think I finished with positive energy tonight. I know I have to be ready to play at my highest level to have my chance tomorrow. I need something else, and I'm looking for it.

Q. When a player like Alex or anyone else is playing some of the best tennis you have seen them play, what are you thinking? What kind of conversations are you having with your coach during the changeovers about the opponent's level?
RAFAEL NADAL: He was playing well, but I can't be focused on what he's doing. I have to be focused on what I am doing.

If I'm doing the things very well and the opponent is doing better than me, then we have to be focused on what the opponent does. But in my opinion was not that case, no? He was doing the things well but I was not doing the things that well, so I needed to fix my game. And then if I fix my game and the things still not going well, then we're going to find solutions on what he's doing better or worse, no?

But for me the main thing have been to recover my level of tennis, and my personal feeling is and our personal feeling on the bench have been if I recover my level of tennis and my energy, I will have much better chance to win the match just doing the things that I have been doing.

Q. Of course it is a team competition, so when you battle through and find your level, get back to your best level, is it even more rewarding because you're doing it for teammates and your country?
RAFAEL NADAL: Nothing new for us. We played together since very, very long time ago. We have been playing Davis Cups together for the last 15, 16 years.

Don't forget that in the first tie of the Davis Cup that I played in Czech Republic, Feliciano and me, we have been part of the team. And here we are, like, 16 years later.

Is something that for us is usual. We have fun playing together. We know each other very well. We know that when we are playing for a team, the player who is playing better have to play over if there is one player that is ranked higher than the other, no?

Probably because we knew that very well from the beginning, we were able to have a lot of success during all these 15 years.

Q. I'm curious, the top players seem to just turn a switch when it's really needed. At 6-5 in the second set, suddenly things changed. From out of the blue you break him to win the set and then go through. Are you able to explain what happens at those sort of moments?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, you need to have the mind open and clear to find solutions, and I was not able to win many points on the return during all the second set. I needed to change something, and that's what I did.

I think I advanced my position around one meter, one meter and a half on the return, on the deuce especially, and I take the first point. And then game change, because then the pressure is on the other side of the court.

So just tried to change a little bit the dynamic, tried to change a little bit the energy of the match in that moments and tried to make feel the opponent something different that is not going the same way that have been going for the last 30 minutes.

So that's what I tried. And today it worked.

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