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May 3, 2009

Rafael Nadal


R. NADAL/N. Djokovic
7-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations, Rafa. What this victory means for you?
RAFAEL NADAL: Thank you very much. Sure, one of the most important of my career, no? Win in Rome is a big title. I have right now 15 Masters Series in my career, so that's a lot, and I'm very happy for that.
Sure win here in Rome is always unbelievable. It's a very good tournament, and very happy for the victory.

Q. How did you feel during the match? You started very well and then it became more difficult.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes, I started well, no? I have 40-15 for him the first game. Later I won the game. It was important the first break.
But later was really tough to return. The ball is having big bounce. And, well, when he put the first serve in it was really tough.
I didn't have chances to have the second break only in the 5-3. 5-3 I had another one set point, important set point. I hit one backhand to put the winner, and I didn't play good backhand there, no?
But later I think I have a little bit unlucky with the 5-4. I played two good points and I had two mistakes with the forehand down the line.
But, yeah, it was well-played, because I played aggressive, no? In the 6-5, something -- I played, yeah, a little bit worse in the 6-5, no? But I had my chance. I have I think 30-Love, so, yeah, tough moments. That was the toughest moments of the match.
First point in the tiebreak was for him, but important thing for me was I was anyway having two times the serve to win the set. I lost both times, but I was 100% mentally for the tiebreak, so that's important. Really important.

Q. You mentioned that you've now won 15 Masters Series titles. Are you interested in breaking records for the most Masters titles?
RAFAEL NADAL: I would love have more than -- yeah, I would love have more than 17, no? Right now I have 15. I'm very happy for that. I'm gonna try my best in the next tournaments. Important thing for me right now I have 15. It's a lot. Sure, I would love to have more than 17, no?

Q. You get asked this after every tournament, but how are you feeling physically after three successive weeks and three successive tournaments and three successive wins?
RAFAEL NADAL: Really well, no? Yeah, I have one long match against Novak in Monte-Carlo, but after that I never lost another set. So, yeah, I didn't play very long matches during this tournament. It was 7-6 today, but the other matches I think I have always 6-3 the maximum.
So that's very good to play three weeks in a row. In Monte-Carlo and Barcelona the same. I play 6-2, 6-2; 6-2, 6-0; 6-3, 6-2, and, well, the final 6-2, 7-5. But not very long set, so it's only today. So that's really important to play three weeks in a row.

Q. About the sets that you never lose. If you never lose a set, you lose only one set in three tournaments. In Roland Garros how can you expect to possibly lose three sets?
RAFAEL NADAL: Every tournament is completely different, no, so it doesn't come nothing before. So right now I'm focus on Madrid, you know. Yeah, Roland Garros is after two or three weeks, so, yeah, first Madrid. Later in Roland Garros we will see.
Important thing is play well. If I am playing well, I gonna have a lot of chances to have good results in both tournaments. But you never know what can happen, no?
Tennis is always like this.

Q. How much it have been important for you for Djokovic to know that you are the best on the clay, and then of course you are the best in the world. Do you think this is really important in this match? Of course now when it's possible that you meet the opponent that have a sort of -- be afraid because are the first?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think every match is different than -- you have to win on court. You never win off court. You never win the matches before the match. You win the matches playing, so that's what I feel, no?

Q. Did you think the impersonation of Djokovic of you was good? Did you like it?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, for me, doesn't matter, no? Yeah, well, if the people ask, the normal thing is do, no? For me, doesn't matter. I think it was funny.

Q. Are you more surprised about yourself because you're able to do this, or are you surprised about your opponent because they don't beat you? They are not very, very strong? Are you surprised about something in this long streak you have?
RAFAEL NADAL: I didn't listen. Tell me. (In Spanish.) Ah, yes, I think when you start the clay season always is the same, no? Last few years you think it's impossible to repeat the same like last years. That's what I feel before I start.
But right now I didn't. I didn't. Not already. Because remain win in Roland Garros to repeat the same. But anyway the result of Roland Garros or my clay season was really good, no? Because in the end, if I go to Roland Garros and I lose, I think it's not fair to say I didn't play very good clay season.
Anyway the result on Madrid and Roland Garros, the clay season is unbelievable. I'm very happy for everything. Sure it's a big surprise for me to win three titles in a row in three weeks. But, yeah, I never did in the past, so it's a good thing for me to know I can do.
But, sure, I prefer have week off between Barcelona and Rome, no?

Q. Could you give us a feeling about Roger Federer's week here? Do you think he could be enough well prepared for Roland Garros?
RAFAEL NADAL: Madrid remains. I think you forget Madrid, no? He had good matches and he almost win yesterday. He has set and 2-0 and breakpoint for double break in the second, 3-1 in the third. So he has lost the chances to win and to win against a very good player like Novak.
So, yeah, he's at the level. Tennis level is there. That's not will be a problem, sure.

Q. You played Djokovic in Monte-Carlo and here. Where was more difficult, and was there any difference between the two matches? Were you more in danger in your head there?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I was more in danger in Monte-Carlo, because I had breakpoint in the first game of the set and I lose the set. But my feeling was I was playing a little bit better here than Monte-Carlo. The court is more dangerous here than in Monte-Carlo to play against him. You understand me?

Q. It's more difficult here?

Q. Why?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sometimes it's really hard to control the ball, no? The ball is flying a lot. Monte-Carlo the ball stays a little bit more. If I'm playing well, I have more chances to have control of the point more times when I am returning, no?
But, yeah, it's stupid to say this court is not good for me when I won four times. This court is perfect for me. I like a lot of the crazy bounce, but you have to be playing really well. If you are playing so-so, it's more danger.

Q. Are you happy to have to play in Madrid now? Because it's another important tournament for you. Is it not too much in a row before the French Open?
RAFAEL NADAL: That's the calendar, no? I have to play. Sure playing in Spain is always special motivation. The only thing is playing in altitude. The last tournament of Roland Garros is completely different conditions than Madrid and Paris. Believe me, because I played there and I know.
Gonna be a really difficult tournament, no? Bu, yeah, maybe I would love don't have the tournament in altitude before Roland Garros. I prefer have, for example, another tournament with similar conditions than Madrid before Monte-Carlo -- before Roland Garros.
But that's the calendar, and I gonna try my best there to have a good result.

Q. How will you spend the next two or three days? Will you not pick up a racquet?
RAFAEL NADAL: (Imitating golf swing.)
Q. Golf.
RAFAEL NADAL: A little bit.

Q. You're going to Mallorca?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah. Well, not Mallorca. London with rain, no? (Laughter.)

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