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February 12, 2021

Rafael Nadal

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference

R. NADAL/M. Mmoh

6-1, 6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Do you want to tell us your thoughts on tonight's match, please.

RAFAEL NADAL: Good. Have been of course a positive victory for me, because I was able to win in straight sets. I did things well, things that of course I could do better but happy for the victory.

The goal was done today.

Q. Your thoughts on what happened towards the end of the second set with the woman and giving you the finger and all that?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know, no? Eh? No, wasn't me. Eh?

Yeah, yeah, was to me I think.

No, no. I don't know. Maybe she taked too much gin or tequila. I don't know. But honestly was strange situation, but, yeah, funny at the same time.

You know, sometimes there is people for everything around the world (smiling).

Q. Obviously that never happened to you before, but were you a little bit shocked when it happened?

RAFAEL NADAL: No. For me was funny (smiling). Honestly, somebody doing the finger to me with, I don't know the reason, but was -- yeah. I was surprised, yes, but at the same time was thinking, Poor girl. Because probably she was drunk or something like this. I don't know.

Q. Have you got the back spasms under control now? What is the situation with that?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, not under control, honestly. No, I am keep doing the things that I can. If you see my motion on the serve is different than what I would like, but I am trying to find solutions every day. I just keep fighting for find a solution.

Of course, yeah, the preparation the last 15 days have not been the ideal one, but here I am. I won two matches in straight sets. I have another opportunity to be on court in two days, and I have tomorrow to keep doing things and trying to find solutions for my back.

We are doing everything possible to try to be better and better and still alive. So still alive, still hope to be better and to try to be competitive. Let's see. Gonna be a good test against Norrie.

Q. Your solutions could include reaching out to a good friend who has gone through the same things in Tiger. Would you consider doing that, like reaching out to him for suggestions, tips?

RAFAEL NADAL: If I am talking to him, it's something between him and me, and that's it. Sorry for that. I can't say private conversations here.

Q. What are your thoughts on Norrie?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, he won two good matches. Winning against Evans -- honestly I don't know his opponent tonight. I don't know him, but I know how good is Evans.

He came to the tournament winning the week before, so Norrie was able to beat him. Lefty. Good player. He has experience on the tour already. Gonna be the toughest test, without a doubt.

I need to be playing at high level if I want to keep having chances to be through. And I am looking forward to try to make that happen.

Q. How would you describe your philosophy about dealing with pain? How has it changed, if at all, during your career?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, when things happens, that's the only thing that you can do is accept it and keep going.

I always try to be fighting until I cannot anymore, and that was my philosophy during all my tennis career, no? Just keep fighting until I am not able to do my job anymore.

In this tournament will be the same. There is time to try to find solutions, and that's what we are trying. The solutions that we tried until that moment didn't work enough. Tomorrow we're gonna keep trying things.

Q. You have never played Cam Norrie before. He has nothing to lose. Does that make him quite a dangerous opponent, because he could just go out there and hit the ball freely?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, that's a philosophy, nothing to lose. But at the same time, he has a match to lose or to win, the same like me (smiling).

I mean, we are in the third round of Grand Slam. I cannot expect an easy opponent in front. Norrie will not be an easy opponent. So I know he has a great level of tennis, and I gonna try to be ready for the challenge. Gonna be a good test for me, and at the same time I need to play tough matches to be ready, no, and to be tested. Against Norrie will be one of these ones.

I am hoping to have a good practice tomorrow and be ready. That's it.

Q. You were asked about your backhand just right after the match, but I'm just curious, I have seen you use a backhand slice a lot in the past when you play on hard court and you predominantly played your two-handed backhand tonight. Is part of that trying to save energy and manage the back, or was that just because of good feelings with the two-hander in the match?

RAFAEL NADAL: Nothing is 100% prepared. So I just tried to play the way that I feel in every match or in every moment. I like to use the slice backhand, but today I feel comfortable with topspin backhand too, no? Or even a little bit flatter.

I don't know. I just feel that the slice backhand is a very important and good solution for a lot of moments. Tonight I didn't feel that I need that solution. I tried to play with the things that I thought that would work, and that's it, no? Of course is an important shot for me.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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