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August 19, 2010

Rafael Nadal


R. NADAL/J. Benneteau
5-7, 7-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What happened in the third set where you broke him three times? Was he doing anything different? Seemed lie it was easier to break him in the third set.
RAFAEL NADAL: In the third? Well, he was I think destroyed physically. Yeah, he was very tired. Yeah, with the serve he slow down a lot his power. So was I think was more physical than another thing.

Q. Julien said that the key to his success in the first two sets is his return. Sometimes even to your first serve. Do you feel so? Do you try to adjust?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think he played great; he played very good tennis. Especially in the beginning I wasn't play bad. I was playing sure not perfect, but well. He was playing really well, very aggressive, very good shots from his backhand, even if he arrive in not very good position.
So, yeah, his serve works very well. So was a very difficult match, I think.

Q. When you were younger, did you practice a lot on faster surfaces, maybe more so than maybe your peers?
RAFAEL NADAL: For me it's not a very big problem playing fast are surfaces, no?
(From translation.) No, I practiced more on little bit slower courts.

Q. It seems that you brought at least the best point down - the match point at the very end of the tiebreak, seemed like you really started to get the intensity, the focus, and the hitting was also at the best. What do you think about that?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, well, for me the match was good, especially in the first set. In the 5-All, I played a terrible game, few mistakes with the forehand. But at this point, the ten first games of the match for me was very good level from both of us. So after that the match was a little bit more up and down. I had terrible game in that moment. In the 6-5 I had very good chance to break back.
And in the beginning of the second, I did a disaster, because I was 2-0 with break. He give my his game because he did three double faults, and I played another time very bad next three games.
So I was 3-2 down with a break for him, so I was at the limit in that point, yeah. (Smiling.) I was very close to lose in that moment. I was lucky I played a few good points; he had few mistakes; I came back.
But the tiebreak, I didn't play bad in the tiebreak. I played well. I think he played well, too, with two very important aces for him, 5-4. I hit a very bad forehand with the 5-3 to go to 6-3 and was the set and almost the match, but I missed that shot to the net.
After, he played two aces, and after I played very good. The match point I played two very good forehands, and in the 6-All I play very good serve and forehand winner.

Q. Do you think that moment though that your game maybe turned right there?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. No, I think my game was on and off for moments. No, no. I think the forehand worked very well for a moments, and for a moment I had two mistakes in a row. So that's my serve. I am happy.
I lost my serve few times, but I think the movements I felt much better today than the rest of the days on the movement, more comfortable with the my serve.
The only thing the backhand.

Q. You have a really dominating record against Marcos. You've never lost to him in six previous matches. Why do you think your game matches up so well with him?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. I don't know. We had very tough matches in this the past, too. Sometimes win or lose depends on a few things. It's not depends on a game, sometimes depends on few points.

Q. Do you think there's anything that have to do specifically well against him tomorrow?
RAFAEL NADAL: I didn't see him playing, but to beat against Berdych he must be playing really well. I have to play aggressive, I have to serve well, and return better than today, because today my return was, no comments.
And that's it. Just wait that he doesn't have his inspiration there, and just try to play my best tennis.

Q. Quite a few players have pulled out of games or have not been able to finish games or are getting blisters or hurt or are complaining about being tired. What do you think is going on? Is particularly difficult here, or it's just coming after one week's action?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, the hot here is important. It's not easy to play here. Yeah, the season is long.

Q. How are you feeling yourself going through three sets?
RAFAEL NADAL: I feel good. Physically it's no problem.

Q. You mentioned that you're gonna have to be a little bit more aggressive against Baghdatis. Do you feel that...
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I didn't say that. I said I have to play, no more aggressive. I think I played aggressive, but the ball sometimes wasn't inside the court when aggressive I played.

Q. I guess what I meant to say is do you feel you played aggressive enough? Or looking back maybe in the first couple sets, do you think you wanted to play more aggressive but necessarily you didn't?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, the thing is not to play more aggressive. I played aggressive. The thing is I don't have to slice my backhand like I am doing. Seems I am a little bit afraid to hit the ball with the backhand. The feeling I know is not the best for me now with the backhand.
But anyway, I have to hit if I really want to have chances to keep winning. It's gonna be impossible keep winning here, and for sure for the US Open gonna be impossible. I have to do it, and I gonna do it. I am sure.
The court here doesn't help me for get the right feeling to do this, because I don't have a lot of time and the bounces is low. But I have a good backhand. Not now, but I gonna do it. I am sure.

Q. Fans are really hoping to see a Rafa/Roger semifinal. Do you miss playing Roger? You've only played him three times in the last two years.
RAFAEL NADAL: That's a lot. (Smiling.) I don't know. No, I don't miss play against Roger, no? For sure always is a pleasure play against him, especially because if we play each other always we play for very important things.
So always was a pleasure play against him, but I am not thinking about play against him. I'm thinking play against Baghdatis now.

Q. Coming back to Julien Benneteau, he's only 32 in the ranking. Were you surprised by his level of play today?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I think he improved a lot his level last couple of years. He keep improving every year. And for sure if he playing like this, he gonna have good chances to keep improving on the ranking. His level is high.
The thing is play at this level a lot of times. You know, to be in the top of the ranking and to be top 20 or something like this, the players that are in that position is because they can play good a lot of times.
So for sure Julien can play at very good level. You can see. I am sure if he continues like this, gonna have very good chance to be higher in the ranking, no? Thing is play like this a lot of times.

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