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January 24, 2008

Rafael Nadal


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously you're not very happy. What happened to your game out there tonight?

Q. Nothing?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't think so, no? We have to accept today. He played unbelievable. Playing very hard the ball every time, serving unbelievable. Sometimes he miss. In the backhand he didn't miss not one. Forehand, every time he does the forehand was winner, so congratulate him. That's it.

Q. You never seemed to be able to get into your rhythm.
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I was in rhythm, no? But the true is I don't have chances in this match. I was playing fine, but, well, you can say me -- ask me some more things, but the true is that's my feelings right now, no? He play better than me. I have to accept that. That's it. Continuing improve.
But, anyway, play like in this level like he play, this guy play this way tonight, very difficult to stop.

Q. You played Federer maybe 14 times. Has Federer ever played better against you than Jo-Wilfried did tonight?
RAFAEL NADAL: Federer is Federer, no? He can play at this level or little bit better, but better than tonight is really difficult. It's tough say. Difficult to compare. Is different the styles, but Tsonga tonight was unbelievable.
Some volleys, I can't believe some volleys. I have some good passing shots and then dropshot volley. I didn't understand, no? So nothing. Nothing was more, no? It's difficult to say a lot of things about this match because I say it, no? He play better than me, and for that reason he beat me.
I try to play my best; I tried to play little bit slower; I tried to play a little bit faster; I tried to play more inside the court; behind the court. No chance. Not today. Maybe next time.

Q. In the break volley, did you think it was the turning point at that point?
RAFAEL NADAL: Better be 2-0 than 1-1 in the third, no? The true is he was playing unbelievable. Well, if I had this break maybe he can feel a little bit more the pression for be in Grand Slam final.
But, well, this point is, there's no explanation of how he's playing, this guy, no? I play a very good point, good passing shot. I arrive to the dropshot. Very good shot to the ball. Touch the ball shit, very bad, and the ball was very close on to the line, no? No chance.

Q. So you mean it was lucky sometimes? He was lucky sometimes on some shots?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, come on. I didn't say nothing about that, no? I said he play very, very good and he's not lucky, no. Not lucky when he beat Murray, when he beat Gasquet, when he beat Youzhny. It's not lucky.
It's a lot of times playing very well in this tournament. We will see when the year is coming, but in this tournament, nothing to say.

Q. Can he beat Roger? If Roger gets through, can he beat?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think he gonna feel the pression in first Grand Slam final. Roger or Djokovic, if he play like today he have his chances against both, but I think he going to feel the pression for the final, no?

Q. Were you amazed that he didn't feel more pressure out there tonight, even in a semifinal?
RAFAEL NADAL: It's very different. It's very different play final than win a very important title. For my opinion it's totally different.

Q. What did the umpire have to say? There was a change of ends and the umpire was speaking to you. What was that all about?
RAFAEL NADAL: Nothing. No, nothing important. He say me, (In Spanish)...
BENITO PEREZ: Like if he's faking the serve, you know? Like faking the serve and then serving. He said that Tsonga said he was sort of faking the serve and then he was serving, not doing the whole movement. You know what I mean? Very strange thing. It had no sense. He said Tsonga told him, but he didn't argue too much.

Q. Until you ran into Jo tonight, did you feel you were playing well enough to win this tournament?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes, I think so. I was playing very fine, very good, but not for beat Tsonga tonight.

Q. When you played him at the US Open, could you see the kind of game he could bring like he did tonight back then a few months ago?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, we have to think, no? Difficult right now he is in the best moment of his career. He's playing with zero pression. He's playing -- everything is going good for him.
So when you are playing like this every ball is going to the line. Every ball is going inside. Is not the real level I think. Is not his real level. Sure, he can play like this, but not every week. It's impossible, no? Right now he's -- what's his ranking now?

Q. 38.
RAFAEL NADAL: What do you think? This level he can be 38 never, no?

Q. Maybe that's the not real level of his game. He's been hurt a lot.
RAFAEL NADAL: He's improving. He improve a lot. But the true is I think he can't play at this level every time, no? Running unbelievable, physically very explosive, everything. What I can say? Nothing bad about his game tonight. I have to find something. I gonna think all the night, no?

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