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August 14, 2010

Rafael Nadal


A. MURRAY/R. Nadal
6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Tied at 3 in the first set you had a couple of chances to break his serve, and he kind of took over from there. Why was he so hard to put away at some points today?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, well, playing against Andy always is a challenge. Is very difficult player in every surface, I told you yesterday. Here a little bit more than the rest, in my opinion, no?
But anyway, I had the chance 3-All, 15-40, and he made double fault. The referee was watching another court, but was double fault. (Laughter.)
But sure is not an excuse, is only a point and the match is a lot of points, no?
Anyway, sure, was important point, but after that he played better than me. My serve didn't work well. My serve was the worst thing in my game, I think, today for sure, and to play and to win Andy, I had to serve much better than what I did today. My serve was very bad today.

Q. Talking about your serve, before the game started, you took a few more minutes to practice your serve. Were you feeling that that was going to be a problem?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. Well, I didn't have the big chance to practice with the serve, because I have go slowly. Last year I started in Montreal after important stop, similar what I had this year, and I started hard with the serve and I broke my abdominal, no?
So I prefer to don't practice too much the serve during the week, because I feel this part of the body, the abdominals, a little bit more challenged than usual, and the most important thing is be healthy physically, no?
And I am perfect conditions physically, so the serve I gonna have now Monday and Tuesday to keep practicing hard with the serve and a little bit more with the backhand.
And the rest of the game I think is in the right way, is normal. I am a little bit more slow than usual, but I think is normal the first week after a stop, and I am a little bit more tighter than usual too when I play long points.
But I not worried about this, no? But about the serve, sure, I have to keep improving my serve, but that's another thing at the same time. Right now I have to serve like I usually serve, no? Not like I did today.

Q. Some of the points were fantastic today, the standard of tennis, as usual between you and Andy, very, very high. Do you think that's the best he's played against you?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. I don't know. I don't know. Every match is different, but -- he always is -- he's great player. Always, between good players, always have good points, no?
Andy, is normal have great points against him because his movements are great from the baseline, is fantastic, his movements, and he has unbelievable hands to return the ball, no?
That's one of the best things on his game. And his serve was very good today, no?
Andy, I think he played well, sure, but he can do it better, too. So I think he played at his good level but not perfect.

Q. Overall, how do you compare yourself to how you feel now versus a year ago? A year ago was very different from your point of view. How does it feel a year on after everything that's happened?
RAFAEL NADAL: I never like the comparisons, even when I lose or even when I win. The feeling is different, but I can talk about my feeling right now, not one year ago.
Right now the feeling is good, because I won I think 34 of my 36 matches, so that's a very good record for me. Very happy how I played all the year, and sure, this tournament wasn't the bad start for the hardcourt season, no? I had the semifinals here, playing a few good matches and having chances to be in the final. I lost 6-3, 6-4, but I had 15-40 with 4-3 in the second and two second serves for Andy.
In the first, I told you before, I was a break for me. Finally wasn't the break. So I was there. I wasn't very far the right way to win, but remain a little bit more to really have to produce more chances to win, no?
I had, but I need a few more, because if you have -- everything have to be perfect to win. If you produce more chances, you can lose chances but you still have, so that's -- to make these chances, I have to be playing a little bit better. My movements have to be a little bit better, and I have to be more solid with my serve, because if I am more solid with my serve, the other players can feel the pressure, too, when he's serving, when they are serving, yeah.

Q. Let's say everything is good, perfect. You go to the US Open and you win the US Open. What would that mean to you?
RAFAEL NADAL: Nothing, because remain a lot to -- is not the case. Right now is the case I lose in semifinals of Toronto with good start of hardcourt season with a good game for moments, but remain a lot of work to have this chance that you are talking, no?
So right now, let's have one day off tomorrow and keep practicing, Monday and Tuesday in Cincinnati, to keep improving and to adapt to the new conditions of Cincinnati. Because even if hardcourt, the feeling in every tournament is different, and try to keep playing good matches there and keep playing well.
So improve a little bit more the rhythm and the serve, and with this, I hope be ready to try to play with tournament in Cincinnati, and after that we gonna have one week more to talk about US Open. Right now these tournaments are too important to speak about US Open now.

Q. You said you needed to improve your serve and your backhand. Did I hear you right? What's wrong with the backhand? You said you wanted to practice a bit more.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I didn't play bad with the backhand today, no? But probably -- I had to think too much in every shot when I was playing the backhand. So I need to practice a little bit more to play the shot without think nothing, no? And the movements, just think about where the ball have to go, no?
So that's -- yeah. That's what I think I have to improve a little bit for the next week. I repeat, wasn't bad, my backhand today. Yesterday was terrible in the beginning, but today, I'm not -- I happy how I touched the ball, no? That's the true. Remain a few things.

Q. You said that you have a different feeling when you -- like you're going to go to Cincinnati and see what the feeling was there. What was the feeling you had here in Toronto?
RAFAEL NADAL: About what?

Q. I'm not sure, because you said there was a different feeling here, the feeling you were going to move on to Cincinnati.
RAFAEL NADAL: Always the court is different. Is not the same speed, the court.

Q. Oh, you were talking about the court surface?

Q. I thought it was something emotional or the crowds or...
RAFAEL NADAL: No, no. The conditions, I said the conditions in every -- even if it's hardcourt, the condition change a lot between tournaments, no? Because the speed of the ball is not the same. Depends on the humidity, the weather, so change everything.

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