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June 13, 2007

Rafael Nadal



Q. You're yawning. Why are you tired?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sorry, can you repeat?

Q. How do you feel?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, very well. I'm happy. Always tough match, first match on grass. Very difficult to win, but is more difficult have good feelings. Today I have good feelings. I'm very happy for that.
After some games, I start returning so much better. Very comfortable whole time, whole match, with myself. For the rest, well, some mistakes, but very normal mistakes because I am playing on grass. Feeling very well the ball. I was practicing very bad with my backhand, but in the match I feel so much better.

Q. When you come to your first match on grass, you're playing someone who is 6'6", do you think it's going to be a very difficult match, someone who can serve that big?

Q. A three-set match on grass can go very quickly.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, for sure the match always is difficult. Del Potro is very tall. He serve not bad. He serve good. Better than I was thinking, no, here. He start serving very fast, 135 miles every time. Is a lot.

Q. You have to stay very focused?
RAFAEL NADAL: I was playing with him in Miami and Roland Garros third round. He serve slower. Was surprise for me. But I think is a very good player. Is a very good victory for me because he beat in first round Johansson. Johansson is a very good player on grass.

Q. How do you prepare your game for grass? Do you change your strategy at all?
RAFAEL NADAL: Right now just try to be concentrate and touch good the ball because is tough, is difficult find the good position to have a good feeling with the ball. After that, sure, I need play more aggressive, try to return the serves more inside the court. And just when I have the opportunity, have good shot and go to the net. Important not to repeat lot of times the shots, change every time the direction. That's very important on grass because to run is difficult.

Q. You're entitled to be very tired. You played a lot of tennis. How do you feel inside yourself?
RAFAEL NADAL: If I feel tired? I feel so much better today than the last two days, than Monday and Tuesday, no? Yeah, yesterday was terrible in doubles, really terrible. Well, very tired, no? I want to move and I can't move, I can't do anything.
Today I wake up, today morning, with illusion better. I don't feel like this. I go to breakfast. For one time in my life I was prepared before the coach and the physio, so that's good (smiling).

Q. Did it surprise you when Roger pulled out of Halle, said he was exhausted?
RAFAEL NADAL: No really. No surprise. Well, is very difficult play the week after when you are playing a lot of matches and two weeks with a lot of pressure, big concentration every day. Is tough play the next week, no, especially if you lose the final.

Q. Are you still thinking about Paris or it's now all in the back?

Q. Yes.
RAFAEL NADAL: Is good think about Paris, no, because it's a very, very important title for me. But I going to have the title for the rest of my career, so very happy for that. Is one of my goals of the season, always have a very good clay season. So was done. Was very, very good. Very happy for that.
But I want to play very good second half of the year, no? Last year I wasn't play very well. This year I want to continue playing good, enjoying playing tennis.

Q. Do you think the British public here perhaps last year weren't quite sure what to expect from you, but this year you won Roland Garros again and there is a greater appreciation of you as a player from the British public this time, more warmth, support?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, very happy about the British public always, no? Every time when I'm going to Wimbledon or last year here, too, the court was full every times. That's very, very nice atmosphere.
Play one tournament like this is always special. Is a club. Is a very traditional place. Is not the same play when is a big stadium, but just all new, just for the tournament. Here is a club. If I am playing in Monaco, in my club doing one tournament like this, always is different feelings. So is nice.
The public, he always is very, very nice with me, no, maybe a little bit better than Paris.

Q. Is it a good idea to use Hawk-Eye here and at Wimbledon?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, surprised, three in the set. New rule. I wasn't know. The referee tell me before the match. Well, it's fine. Not bad for me. Is good, no?

Q. Is it especially good to use it on such a fast surface?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, in the fast surface you can't see. Sometimes the lines don't see the ball. But me, too, I can't see. The ball is too fast. Today I asked for one Hawk-Eye. Was terrible inside (indicating by a lot). Better didn't ask for another one.

Q. You don't always trust it, though, do you?
RAFAEL NADAL: I always say is a good thing, a good thing for the show, but sometimes is not working very well. I'm continuing saying that because I remember in Dubai, the ball of set point against Youzhny, I remember that, was out for sure. Hawk-Eye say it was inside.

Q. Does the fact that Roger has broken his usual preWimbledon routine, feels unable to play at Halle, does that offer encouragement to people like you and a few other players who can seriously challenge him at Wimbledon and maybe break his run at Wimbledon?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think who knows better Roger than himself. If he is not playing Halle is because he thinks his best preparation is be one week out of tournament and recover everything and go to Wimbledon with his better mentality, no? Well, I'm playing here and I know. For example, if I lose tomorrow, not doesn't matter for me, but is not the same than if Roger losing Halle. You understand me? The lose is not the same. For example, if I go to Barcelona and I lose in second round, the lose affect more if I lose in my best surface than if I lose in, well, one of not my best surfaces, no?
I am coming here with not much pression, just try to play good tennis, try to adapt the faster as possible to grass. If I'm playing three matches, going to be very good for me because I'm going to have more hours on court before Wimbledon. But for himself, I think he goes to Halle and he has a lot of pressure for win the title, too. Is different situations. That's my opinion.

Q. Because you reached the final of Wimbledon last year, do you have some different personal expectations on grass this year?
RAFAEL NADAL: The expectation always is play good in every place. If I'm playing good, I am going to have my chances for play good matches here on grass because I have good results.
But just like every day try to come to Wimbledon and try to play my best tennis. That's my expectation because I know in Wimbledon anything can happen. Especially if you aren't a specialist of grass, if you don't have a big serve, anything can happen because here depends of three points every match. Yeah, it's not the same for me and Roger because he has more margin in every match. Well, is the same when I'm playing on clay. I have a little bit more margin in the match. I am not depending of two points. Every game I can do the break. Every game I can win my serve without serving my best. For Roger is the same on grass.

Q. There is the suggestion from some of the past players that feel you would win Wimbledon before Roger wins the French. Do you have any comment on that?
RAFAEL NADAL: Who says that?

Q. Some past players. I think there was a suggestion from Stich, Ferreira.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I really not agree with that. You never know what's going to happen. I play one final of Wimbledon. Yeah, good result, but just one year. Roger have two finals of Roland Garros, one semifinals, four titles in Hamburg, important Masters Series, finals of Monte-Carlo two years consecutive, finals in Rome two times, too. Is unbelievable player, on clay, too. We know that.
People don't know, and me, I don't know if I'm a very good player on grass. The results for Roger is yes and for me not yet.

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