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August 11, 2010

Rafael Nadal


R. NADAL/S. Wawrinka
7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. After such a long time without playing tennis, how difficult was it to find your rhythm today?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I was pretty happy, no? Less difficult than other times. So I happy the way that I played. Sure, I had the few mistakes in the tiebreak, one smash, one easy volley, backhand easy volley, yeah, one backhand in important moment. But in general, I think I played well, so is not always easy after stop. Play well the first match, and I beat against very tough opponent like Stanislas, no? So I very happy.

Q. What was your goal coming into the match? Were you trying to be more aggressive than normal or trying to play with more margin?
RAFAEL NADAL: My goal was to win. That was my goal today, no? When you come back after a few time without play tournaments, so is always difficult, so just try my best and try to find my rhythm there, no?
I know before the match going to be a very dangerous match against Wawrinka, so I was worry about the match before.
Sure, it's very important to start with victory, no? Because if you lose today, especially -- first thing, is important tournament. Second thing, you wait another week to play another match, and for me, the important thing is keep playing matches. That's very good victory against big opponent.

Q. Was that first-set tiebreak as much fun for you as it was for us? Do you remember having a tiebreak like that at all?
RAFAEL NADAL: I played one here two years ago against Gasquet I think same, 14-12. I lost. So never is fun play tiebreaks like this because lots of pressure in every point, but if you win, gives you a lot of confidence. So always important win tiebreaks, so I think -- I have a little bit of all, a little bit of everything today being the first match after a while without compete.
So I had difficult moments. I had moments that I played well. I played more aggressive in the second set on the return. So I did a little bit of everything, and that's very positive.

Q. Did you have any doubts throughout the tiebreaker at all?
RAFAEL NADAL: If I have...

Q. Did you have any doubts throughout the tiebreaker at all?

Q. Through the difficult parts, yeah.
RAFAEL NADAL: In every point. (Laughter.)
Yeah, sure. Match was very close.

Q. You've complained in previous years coming into the US Open Series that your forehand was a little bit off to start on your first match. Do you feel that that's something that you really want to improve going forward throughout the week, and if so, what do you need to do to get it to where you want it to be?
RAFAEL NADAL: (Through translation.) I don't remember these things, but my forehand is my best shot. So if I not happy with my forehand, I have a big problem. (Laughter.)

Q. In previous years when you've arrived at this time of the season, it's often been quite difficult for you because you've had so many matches and you've been quite tired. How do you feel now compared to previous years? Do you feel fresher?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. I don't know. I feel good, so I came here with big motivation and for sure big illusion to play my best level, my best tennis. Here gonna be a challenge for me because the first tournament, but every day improves a little bit, and finish play my best level as soon as I can.
For me, for sure, this American hardcourt season is very important. I think I am fine. I gonna be fine, I hope, physically. But mentally I'm sure I gonna be fine.

Q. Has there ever been a year at the US Open where you didn't feel like your physical condition was a reason for your loss? And what are you doing this year to make sure that doesn't happen?
RAFAEL NADAL: (Through translation.)

Q. Like part of the reason for the loss at the
US Open. Has there ever been a year where you felt like your physical condition wasn't a reason for your loss?
RAFAEL NADAL: (Through translation.) Yes. I lost in 2008 being perfect physically in semifinals, being perfect physically in semifinals against Andy Murray, so I was tired, but physically I was perfect. I was tired mentally. I lost, and he played better than me.
So 2006 I was perfect physically, and I lost against Youzhny quarterfinals. 2005 I lost against Blake in third round. I was perfect physically.
I had a few problems in 2007 with my knees, with my left knee, I think. And in 2009 I have abdominal broke. So I broke my abdominal here -- well, in Montreal last year. So I played Cincinnati and US Open with a tear on abdominal and bigger and bigger every time.

Q. After you won the first set, Stan's coach said that if Stan plays the way he did in that set it speaks well for the future of his career. You've beat him many times. Is this some of the best tennis you've seen from him?
RAFAEL NADAL: He played well. He's a very good player. He always was a very good player, I think. He was in the top 10, so I know Stan can play at this level, and it's not a surprise.
So I think he has enough potential to be in the top another time, and for me it's not a surprise watch Wawrinka beating me or beating top players. I think he's a top player.

Q. Your doubles experience with Novak only lasted one match. How did you find the Canadian pair that you played? And will you and Novak team up again in the future?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, well, it was very positive, no? I think play with Novak was a good experience. Sure, we would love to have the chance to win, but Canadians played very well, good serve, very good movements on the net.
We had our chances, but they played better. But maybe in the future, yeah, why not? Why not we can play another time?
I don't play a lot of doubles, that's true, but I love to play doubles. I don't play a lot because I had a few problems physically, physical problems in the past, no? But I love doubles and I love play doubles because I think is a very positive thing to improve your tennis.

End of FastScripts

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