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September 3, 2008

Rafael Nadal


R. NADAL/M. Fish
3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Great match tonight. Just if you could describe the atmosphere out there and how you feel about the way you played.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, it was a great atmosphere out there, no? He started playing well and serving unbelievable. Playing good from the baseline, too. He has a break, so I have some chances but he served too well, too good.
Just for me it was very important win, no? Very happy for be in the semifinals, for sure. That's a, well, another important thing in my careera: Play the semifinals in all Grand Slams in the same season. That's very good and very important for me. Close the quarterfinals here in New York.

Q. You're playing an American out there, but I sat through the whole match and it was an electrifying crowd and a lot of support out there for you tonight. Did you feel the support?
RAFAEL NADAL: The crowd was always very nice with me, no? All the time. I arrived here two weeks and a half ago, and all the time they give me a lot of support. So just can say thank you very much.

Q. You played Andy on clay, hard court, grass. You've beaten him and you've done well again, but he's certainly coming in as a very hot player.
RAFAEL NADAL: He's playing very well and having a very good summer. Playing quarterfinals in Wimbledon, after playing semifinals in Toronto, and champion in Cincinnati, no? So he's very, very good player for sure. He's top, 4, no?
So right now going to be very tough match.

Q. Is he more dangerous on this surface now than when he was when you played him at Wimbledon because of the good run he's had?
RAFAEL NADAL: I have all the respect for him always, no? In Wimbledon, the same respect like right now, no? I know how good is Andy and how good he can play.
So I know the only way for a win is play my best tennis, no? I did very well in Wimbledon and I played one of my best matches there. I beat him in the semifinals of Toronto, too, but it was a very close match and I played well. My goal is try to find my best feeling and my best performance, all the chance for winnings, play very well for me.

Q. Did it bother you at all to start a match at 11:30 at night?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, it was not usual, no. So for sure -- not the best conditions to play a tennis match. But sometimes the schedules are tough, like here, and Australia, too. So sometimes it's difficult.
But nothing to do, no? Just accept and go on court and for sure try my best.

Q. It must be a good story to tell your children that you played a match over two days. It started on Wednesday and ended Thursday.

Q. Your experience in semifinals is enormous. Andy has never been to this stage before. What asset is that to you?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think nothing, no? I'm not playing against a guy who his ranking is 50 and for him being in the semifinals is unbelievable, no?
Andy, when I come here, for sure he know he can be in the semifinals and he can win the title, no? So for sure his first semifinals in a Grand Slam, but he played very important matches. So going to be nothing strange for him, no?

Q. Was there a difference between you energy level early, and as the match went on, were you increasing your kind of energy?
RAFAEL NADAL: I have more energy after the match, later?

Q. No, I mean, as the match went on, from the first set to the second to the third.
RAFAEL NADAL: Can you repeat that?

Q. Was your energy level at its highest from the start, or did you have to play into the match?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I try my best from the beginning, no? I always try my best from the beginning. I have a lot of breaks in the first game.
In my careera, no, I had a lot, so that's the important point, to start very strong. And I always try this, but today he started stronger than me.
But anyway, I have a breakpoint in the first game.

Q. But you were not happy with your game today, the way you played?
RAFAEL NADAL: If I'm not happy?

Q. Yeah.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, if I not happy and I'm in semifinals of US Open I going to be very stupid, no? For me, it's very important result. I told before, I not play like last week -- two weeks, three weeks ago in Beijing. Yes, I'm not playing at the same level like Beijing.
But if you're in semifinals, you have to be something good for be there, no? For sure I'm doing well. Important thing I have another match for try to improve a little bit more, no?
I feel better today than the last days in some moments, so I hope be at 100%for the semifinals.

Q. You've had so many major accomplishments this year. This is a first for you, getting beyond the quarterfinals here at the US Open. How much is that alone an accomplishment for you?
RAFAEL NADAL: Be in the semifinals?

Q. Yeah, being in the semifinals.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, for sure you want to play good in all places, no? My goal is always to play good in all places. I feel in the past here I always did not well, no?
So when you are in semifinals, for sure. Anyway, whatever going to happen in the last two rounds, for me it's a very good tournament, no? So that's true.
I have to be happy for be in the semifinal, because the season are very long and I arrived a little bit tired.
Anyway, I still doing well, so that's important because since my level it's going very well, no?

Q. You did say you were tired coming into the tournament. Do you feel your body has recovered?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think I'm with very special motivation.

End of FastScripts

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