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January 20, 2007

Rafael Nadal


THE MODERATOR: Question, please.

Q. Was it a harder match than the scores indicated?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes, always. Every match is tough. Every match is different. Every match have difficult moments.
But today maybe I won 6-2, 6-2, 6-2. But always the points are tough. But in every set I have 4-1 with two breaks, so that's important, no?

Q. Are you happy with your form going into the second week? Is this where you would like to be?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, for sure I'm happy today. I play my best match, hundred percent. I play good today - very, very good. I'm happy for that.

Q. It was the first time you played Wawrinka. What do you think about him?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, he has a very good shots. He serve well. Very good backhand. On the forehand sometimes irregular. So what? He's young, too. He can improve. He's No. 31 in the world right now, so that's very good number, and improving.

Q. If you play Murray next, how different will he be to Wawrinka, the challenge?
RAFAEL NADAL: A hundred percent different. He's a different player, different style, everything different. You can't compare the matches, no?
We will see. If is Murray, is going to be very difficult match. If it's Chela, too. We will see Murray's improving his game. He's very young. Just one less than me, yeah. Well, he start good the season in Doha playing the final. We will see.

Q. You knew him in Spain?
RAFAEL NADAL: When he was in Spain, I never practice with him. He was in Barcelona and I live in Mallorca all the time. Different places.

Q. How much more confident are you having played like that compared to Thursday night?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am improving, no? I tell last night I finish with very good feelings in the fourth set. I play my best tennis in the season, and today improve the tennis. I play may best today for sure all the time.
I feel very comfortable with my forehand, with my serve, with my backhand, too. Today maybe I played a very complete match. That's it. I am very happy because if I continuing play like this, like today, I have a chance for a win, for a winner's match. I can lose too, but I have chance to win.

Q. Are you peaking at the right time?
RAFAEL NADAL: From this year?

Q. Yes.
RAFAEL NADAL: For sure, yeah, hundred percent.

Q. Do you feel physically 100% now?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, for sure. Before the match was a little bit tired, because last match, last night, I have a difficult match, and I don't have too much time. I finish very late. I was sleeping at 5:30, 6:00 in the morning. Just have one day and a little bit more.
But, well, today was not very long match. That's important. For Monday, I going to have hundred percent, for sure.

Q. You don't feel the injury any more?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I don't feel nothing. Thank you.

Q. You have won many titles as a young player, have lived with the pressure of being No. 2. You've seen in England on your visits what happens to English players under expectation. The pressure that Murray is under, is it the same as yours, or do you see it as different?
RAFAEL NADAL: Oh, well, the pression, everyone have his pression, no? I am No. 2, but maybe he wants to be the No. 2 or No. 1, no? I am No. 2 right now. But I have my pression because I want to continue being No. 2, and he have the pression for come to No. 2. That's it.
I want to enjoy when I am on court. Now I am -- I feel with a good feeling when playing tennis. When you are playing well and you are in third round, fourth round in Australia, you have to be happy and play. For sure I want to win and I have pression, but everyone have the same.

Q. Is Murray one of the players that you think in years to come will be one of your great rivals?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I don't know, no? I say he's very good player. He can be one of the best players in the world. He is one of the best players of the world right now, no? But he can continuing like this and win Grand Slams, win very good titles. That's it.
I don't know if in three years, four years I going to be in the top five. But you never know in the future, no? So for sure he has a very good potential. But is coming very good players, too, no?
Young players, new generation, still very good generation: Nalbandian, Hewitt, Roddick, Federer, Davydenko, Blake, Robredo. Every player is there and everyone wants to win because Federer is not old, Roddick is not old, Blake is not old, too. Robredo, Davydenko, every player is maximum 26. So everyone have the chance.

Q. After you won the French Open this year, people were surprised you haven't won since. Coming into 2007, is there any reason why you didn't quite go on in the second half of last season?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I know every player in the tour knows how difficult is win a title, no? I don't know. Ferrero was four years maybe playing the Masters Cup, or three. He has 11 titles. Moya, I don't know, a lot of years playing the tour, five Masters Cup, one of the best players of the world every year. He has maybe 19 titles. You know how difficult is win the title, no?
I play very bad -- me, in my opinion, I play very bad in Toronto, Cincinnati, the first two Masters Series of the second half of the season. After I play a very good US Open. I play a good US Open. I have a very good chance for be in the semifinals. I lost against Youzhny. Youzhny was playing very good. I play very good in Madrid. Lost against Berdych, was playing a very good match. I lost the semifinals of Shanghai against the best, Federer. That's it. I don't play too much tournaments, just play six tournaments. I have my chance in three.

Q. Murray has made a habit of beating Spanish players. He beat Martin, then Verdasco. Have you spoken to either of them since they played the matches?
RAFAEL NADAL: We will see. I have chances -- more chances to lose than to win. I don't know. Every match is different. Every player is different. No one Spanish player is the same. I don't know. For sure he has the chance.
If he win today, he has a chance for beat me and arrive to the final and win the tournament because he's very good player. But I will try my best.

Q. What about Chela?
RAFAEL NADAL: If it Chela, going to be tough match, too. Chela is a veteran player. He has good experience in all surfaces. Going to be tough, too.

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