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January 24, 2010

Rafael Nadal


R. NADAL/I. Karlovic
6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Are you playing as well as you would like to at this stage, with a view to playing the final? Is your form to your liking?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, sure. I started the season well. You know, today the match is probably one of the most difficult matches to play well because is without rhythm all the time.
So the victory is the only thing in this kind of match, no? I did. I think I returned aggressive. When I had a chance to touch the ball, I did well. So I happy for that.

Q. How difficult is it to imagine where the serve is coming? You study the serve of an opponent before or you guess.
RAFAEL NADAL: No, no. You try to see where he put the ball, where he tosses the ball. But you know a lot of times he change, so... I thought was there, and was there (indicating the other side).
So just, you know, is like a penalty. You go to one place.

Q. You always play every point very strong. Against that kind of player, is it more important, every point is more important, than any other player?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, sure, no, because first thing, if you lose one time your serve, probably you lose the set. And second thing, when you return, you have to be focused, hundred percent focused all the time, because you have to wait your chance. If he had some mistake with the first serve, try to be there all the time. Or if you can return well a few first serves is the only chance to have the break, no?
If you are not focused all the time, is impossible.

Q. How were you feeling at the start of the third set?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I was a little bit unlucky in the end of the second set, in that game, with two nets and one return, strange return. Anyway, I had mistakes in that game.
Later, he was playing a little bit better, no? But I was there and just wait my chance, be focused on my serve, try to not have more mistakes in my serve, and wait the chance on the return. I think I was returning really well when I had the chance to touch the ball.

Q. Andy was pretty impressive tonight. Do you feel like this is a really big test for him, where he can play you when it really matters instead of in smaller tournaments? Is this a big moment whether he can stand up or not?

Q. Yes.
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't think Andy have to show nothing to nobody, no? He have enough results to be confident of win a Grand Slam or win everything. No, for me is not a test for him, no? He can win, he can lose. But, anyway, he gonna have a lot of chances to win a Grand Slam, and he gonna do for sure.

Q. Is it a more difficult test for you than you would like at this stage of the tournament?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. That's the draw, no? No, I happy. The important thing, I am in quarterfinals, losing only two sets. I think I am okay. And I have to play better next match if I really want to have chances to win. That's what I gonna try. Is one of the more difficult players to play against, Andy. I have to play my best tennis.

Q. What do you think of your record against top-10 players over the last eight months?
RAFAEL NADAL: Let me know what do you think?

Q. You tell us.
RAFAEL NADAL: The numbers are the numbers. So probably is not the best moment in my career against the top 10, no? But two weeks ago I was one point away, no?

Q. Is it an issue with confidence at all?
RAFAEL NADAL: You know, you have some up and downs in your career. And probably the last eight months or six months, I had more problem than usual with my knees, later with the abdominal. And I don't know what's gonna happen after tomorrow.
But, you know, I am here to fight. Nobody can ask me more when I try all my best all the time, no? So, you know, if I lose another time in two days, I gonna try in next tournament. If not, next. And if not, next.
So the important thing is don't have loses against the players that you have to win. So I did very well that last eight months, too. I didn't had bad loses outside of top-10 players. So when you are there all the time, finally you win.

Q. Which would you prefer, for you to win the Australian Open or for Spain to win the World Cup?
RAFAEL NADAL: What kind of question is that? Is no chance to answer this question, no?
I think, yeah, first of all, is yourself, so after is your team. And the Spanish team for sure is very important for me. But I think is one of the more strange questions I answered in my life.

Q. You spoke about your knees giving you trouble. How are you physically? Are you fine for right now at this stage?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I'm perfect, yeah.

Q. You talked about Murray being a very difficult opponent. What is the hardest part about playing Andy Murray?
RAFAEL NADAL: First thing is he is very good. Yeah, he's one of the most talentest players on tour. He can play offensive, he can play defensive. He can do a lot of things during the same match. So that's a most important thing.
Later, he's a big player and he's a winner. Yeah, is important. Is very important player.

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