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December 3, 2009

Albert Costa

Rafael Nadal


THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, we are now ready to begin the Spanish team for the press conference.

Q. Rafa, you come off of a hard week last week. Can you talk about that in preparation for this, and are you happy to be back on the clay? Would winning this be a bonus for you to end the year?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, yeah, everybody talk about hard week last week. But wasn't a big surprise. I didn't arrive with the best confidence on the Masters Cup, on difficult surface, against the best players of the world. So when you are not a hundred percent, you play one tournament like the Masters, the normal thing is lose, and I lost.
So here I practiced hard and well during all the week. I am happy to be here and be part of this very good team. We practiced all the time with big illusion, trying our best in every practice. And I think and I hope be ready for tomorrow.

Q. Captain, can you give us all the reasons why you chose David Ferrer as player number two?
CAPTAIN COSTA: Well, the reasons are that he's a very good player. I think tomorrow he will have a good chance to beat Stepanek. Well, I think he's the best player in our team to play this match on Friday. So that's why. Also because Fernando has to play the other day, so I think it's the right player to be in tomorrow.

Q. So nothing to do with Fernando's injury?
CAPTAIN COSTA: Fernando is full recovered from this contracture [sic] he had in the Masters Cup in London. He's a hundred percent. He was able to play Friday. So I choose David.

Q. Mr. Nadal, what does Davis Cup mean for you? How important is this for you?
RAFAEL NADAL: Davis Cup for us is the only competition with the Olympics that we can represent our country, no? And we play by teams, so the spirit is different. And, sure, for me to play representing Spain, not only for me, play for the other friends, is always a different feeling.
You know, when you win or when you lose, win alone or win together, always is nice win together. Everything is nicer. And, sure, be part of the team is a very good thing for me. And Davis Cup is a very important competition for us.

Q. Rafa, what does this Davis Cup mean especially for you in this moment of the season? Is it so you can start the next season better? Is it to save the second part of this season? Does it mean something special for you?
RAFAEL NADAL: No one. The only thing is win Davis Cup. Davis Cup is enough important to think. To think to save the second half of the year, I don't have to save nothing. I did all that I can in the second half of the season. I play good tournaments. I didn't won, but I didn't play really bad tournaments. Only remain to win against the best players.
The only important thing is win the Davis Cup. Is a very important competition and one of the biggest things that you can win on tennis. So the motivation is that, not to start the next season better, no. Now is only win this tournament.

Q. Can you say what you thought last year when you were not on the team and your friends won the title.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, they didn't need me, no? That was a positive thing. I didn't went to Argentina. They did unbelievable.
Well, I had a very good but very hard season last year, and I had problems on the knee, the right knee, in that moment. I didn't play the Masters. Was important for me.
And, sure, Davis Cup, you never know if you gonna have another one. So watching at home, trying support the team from the television, and enjoying the victory. And, sure, is tough not be there.

Q. Rafael, you said you weren't a hundred percent in London. Are you a hundred percent now?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I was a hundred percent in London. I wasn't playing my best tennis. I was there and fighting every point. I lost. You can lose and you can win. Here I am hundred percent, yes, sure. The same like London. I think playing a little bit better, I hope.
No, that's the things. In sport you can go on the court, you can win, you can lose. Not always you can play perfect. I think I am playing enough to try to win tomorrow, and I hope.

Q. Albert, obviously you're considered the favored team, but they're a rather formidable team. Can you talk about them, the competition you're expecting.
CAPTAIN COSTA: Well, we will have a lot of competition this weekend. It's gonna be a very tough tie. They are a great nation. When they play for the country, they play a hundred percent. We will try to do the same.
For the competition, the weekend is going to be unbelievable. It's going to be the best tennis of the world here in the Palau Sant Jordi. But I hope that Spain will win in the end.

Q. They obviously nominated a different doubles team, but they've gone with Berdych and Stepanek all year. Are you expecting to see a swap on Saturday?
CAPTAIN COSTA: Well, I think they will change the doubles, but we have to respect these two other players. They are very good also. We'll see what happens.
My idea, my thoughts are that they gonna change.

Q. Rafael, it's been a very difficult week for Tiger Woods. I was wondering what your reaction is to the news about Tiger Woods? As an international athlete known around the world, you go to parties, there's a lot of temptations, are you surprised someone who we regard on a pedestal can fall into these temptations?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am surprised that you talk about that.

Q. Everybody is talking about it.
RAFAEL NADAL: That's my surprise. Everybody can have his privacy life. We are nobody to talk about his privacy life, no? He don't has to say, explain to nobody about what he's doing in his private life. That's my think. I think he's a big champion and we have to respect his private life.

End of FastScripts

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