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December 1, 2011

Albert Costa

David Ferrer

Feliciano Lopez

Rafael Nadal

Fernando Verdasco


THE MODERATOR:  Questions in Spanish, please.

Q.  Regarding the antidoping tests this morning, I would like to know whether the Spanish team was also subject to the same antidoping test and what are your feelings about the situation?
RAFAEL NADAL:  We have currently not been subject to the tests yet, so I suppose we will be doing the test today or tomorrow.  But we are never for given.  They always test us week after week, so we are always being tested for antidoping, so I think it's logical that they are making the tests.
We are going to want to have clean sports, and we are happy to be subject to controls.  And thanks to the good faith of people, we have clean sports.
I think the antidoping control is something which, over the last few years, has been intensified and strengthened.  I don't know if it's necessary or not, but it is what it is.  I don't always share the way they do the tests, but I want a clean sport, fair play, and 100% security that my opponents are clean and they want us to be clean.
So it's what everyone wants and what all athletes want, sports without cheating, because it's the only way we want it.  It's the only sport we understand.
The way they carry out the tests and the system that they are using leaves a lot to improve, should be improved.

Q.  You are playing against a friend like Monaco.
RAFAEL NADAL:  We will see if Monaco plays or not.  There could be changes.  Maybe I play against Monaco or Nalbandian.  I don't know who is gonna play.
Yes, it's gonna be very important for the team to start the tie with victory, but it will give us a lot of peace of mind.  I'm going to do my best to get that point.
So whether we win or lose, we will see.  It's what happens when you play sport.  It is the way it is.  This is what sports is.  It's what makes sports interesting and what makes sports good sport that you come out to the court and you do what you have to do.

Q.  Can you comment on the type of balls that are used in this tie and if it has an effect on your stroke and what can be done with the ball.
RAFAEL NADAL:  The ball is the same we always use at the Davis Cup.  It's exactly the same ball.

Q.  David Ferrer, all points are important, and the one that gets three points wins, but everybody is saying that your point with Del Potro is key for the tie.  My question is:  Do you think that that is so?  And the other question is:  Talk about Del Potro and how you see the match.
DAVID FERRER:  All points are key, so it's clear that my match can tilt the balance in one way or another for the tie, but many things can happen.  Del Potro is a tough player, is gonna be a very difficult rubber with many rallies, and it will depend on key moments, I'm sure.
It's complex to play against Del Potro because he controls all types of shots.  He's very good.  I don't know if we are gonna win or not, but it's going to be a long and hard match.

Q.  For Ferrer, I want to know if you have any preferences regarding the time of the match, whether you prefer to play first or second, and whether if, for you, it's easier to play against Del Potro, Nalbandian, or Monaco?  What's your preference?
DAVID FERRER:  As for whether I want to play first or second, I don't mind, because just go on the court and you do your best regardless.
It's clear that when you go at the beginning you feel safer.  As for preferences, I think all players are very good.  Martin, because of the ranking, he's a player which has a lot of quality.

Q.  For Captain Costa, the order of the draw, what do you think?  Are you happy that Nadal starts?  What do you think about the order?
CAPTAIN COSTA:  The draw went well.  The fact that Rafa is playing the first match helps the team to put their minds at rest.  But David is at a very high level also today.  You could have gone either way, and both David and Rafa are in a good moment, good shape, and they will go to the court giving 100% of themselves.
We hope that we can win the first point and the second point afterwards, but you never know what can happen.  Sports is very complex, and we can win both points or lose both points.
So the best thing is to go to the court with a chin up, give 100% of ourselves, and then we will take it from there and we will see if we are better or not.

Q.  For Rafa, you said that you could play Monaco, Nalbandian, and they could change the player one hour before.  But let's imagine you play Monaco.  The rumor says that that is already one point for you if you play against Monaco.  Can you elaborate on that?  Can you tell me what match you would expect against Pico?
RAFAEL NADAL:  We are aware of the difficulties of the match.  He has finished the season really well, so a rubber is not finished until it's not finished.  Playing against him, he has a very high potential, and this is physically very important.
He's very solid, close to the net and in the back.  It's going to be a difficult match.  I'm going to play very well; otherwise I won't win.  We face every match thinking that we can win or lose.
We're going to try and do our best in each situation before the tie starts.  We are a team.  We will trust everybody.  We are a team.  We play as a team.  We don't give more importance to a match compared to another.  All matches are important, and all points will be very difficult.  We just find it all the same.

Q.  For Rafa.  Based on your good relationship with the Argentinian players, would you like Argentina to win the Davis Cup?
RAFAEL NADAL:  I always want my colleagues and my friends to do well in life, in general.  My colleagues, that they win in tournaments and events, that's very good, and that makes me happy, as well.
I hope that they don't win this one, though, if possible, please.  They can win next year.  But of course I wish them the best of luck, that's true.

Q.  For Feliciano or Verdasco, any of the two players, you are doing practice together since Belarus.  What are the main features that you have strength in your game so that you can guarantee the Spanish team that you're going to get the doubles point?
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  Well, guarantees?  We can't give guarantees.  A doubles rubber is difficult, and it has always been very dramatic over the last few years.
But I think that since the day we played in Belarus till now we have improved as a couple.  We are more competitive, we are better, and we have improved slowly but surely.  In this tie, I don't expect anything different from that.
Our opponents are going to be really tough.  They're going to make it very difficult for us to win.  As Rafa said, we have to play really well.  We have to show our best if we want to win.

Q.  This is for Feliciano and Verdasco.  You know David very well, but do you know Eduardo Schwank?  And what do you expect of the match?
FERNANDO VERDASCO:  I personally played against Eduardo once, a singles match.  I have never played a doubles match against him.  I played against him a singles match in Toronto last year.  It was a tough match with three sets.
And I don't know if my colleague has played against him, but I have never seen like Nalbandian play in doubles.  I have always seen him playing in singles.  And I remember from Mar del Plata we know how good he is, and he always gives his best at this type of international tournaments.   He always gives very high level of play.
As for Eduardo, he's very good close to the net, but I haven't seen him play much.  He plays a lot of doubles matches very often with Ceballos and not so much with Nalbandian.  But as Feliciano says, each match is difficult, and we will do our best if we want to win.

Q.  For Feliciano or for Verdasco, your unexpected victory in Mar del Plata in 2008 in the final against the same rival now, what do you think about the fact the match is going to repeat in history?
FERNANDO VERDASCO:  Yes, it was unexpected, our triumph, yes, because 1,000 people, it wasn't even 1,000 Spaniards that made it to Argentina.  So we thought we had lost even before we played, and we ended up winning.
But a final is different, and we proved that, even though they were the favorites, we proved that you have to play the tie anyway.  So in this tie, we are the favorites but we say the same thing.
We are not going to be complacent.  We know it's going to be difficult.  We know Argentina has good players, and if we want to win, we're going to have to give 100%, each and every one of us.

Q.  For Rafa, how does it feel to be back in Seville seven years later than when you played your first final in 2004?  And how was the 2004 final in Seville, how did it influence your career afterwards?
RAFAEL NADAL:  I have very good memories.  The 2004 final was one of the victories that I will always remember in my life.  And I don't think that it has marked my career.  We will have our own careers, but it was then in Seville when people began to get to know me a bit more.
It was an important victory for me.  It was the most important victory of my career up till then, and the atmosphere that we went through, it was our second Davis Cup for Spain and it was very special.  I have very nice memories.
Luckily I'm here seven years later, I'm still in the circuit, and with good results.  I wouldn't have even dreamed of this life I have now then, and I have been through a lot since then.  I'm very happy to be back here to play again at a very high level to try and get another Davis Cup final for Spain.

Q.  Rafa, I read in the newspaper that you are using that recovery chamber, a recovery chamber with air.  I read it in a newspaper today.  Can you tell us what this is?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, it is not a recovery chamber.  What we do is we do a treatment in a bubble, it's a bubble, and you only breathe fresh air in the bubble.
We feel comfortable in it.  We have used it for a long time.  We like it and its use, and it works well for us.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions in English.

Q.  Can you talk about playing first and what your thoughts are on playing Juan Monaco in the first match?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Somebody have to play first.  I gonna be the first one to try to play my best and to try to win the first point for Spain, and it will be a big challenge.
Every match is really difficult.  We are playing against specialists, on this surface too, on clay court.  Tomorrow we will have a great match against Monaco or Nalbandian, I don't know yet.  We will see, no?
I have to play aggressive, I have to play my game.  And for sure if I don't play very well, my chance is gonna be less, no?
So I will try.  I had very good practice during all the week, all playing very hard this week.  Fernando and Feli practice for two weeks already on clay, very good practice.  So we think that we are ready to compete for tomorrow, no?  We have to try to play our best.

Q.  Rafa, how are you feeling now?  You've had a couple of days off since London.  You said you were feeling tired there, but the fact that you're with your teammates, you're back on clay, has it lifted your spirits?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, I did not have one day off, practicing every day hard.  The motivation, you know, the illusion to share with all my friends here, this final is completely different, the surface is different, and emotions too, no?
For sure, even if I am tired, I try my best to arrive to the match of tomorrow with my best conditions.  Tomorrow is a day I have to be very well.  I have to be ready to fight every point or run every ball, and to accept that point will be a difficult one.

Q.  Rafa, can I ask you to look back at 2004 at the last final here in Seville?  What are your memories of that weekend?  How nervous were you, and how important do you think that was in your breakthrough as one of the world's top players?
RAFAEL NADAL:  I think that the final in 2004 didn't affect me as, you know, something really important to my career later, no?
What effects of my career later is the spirit of improvement in every moment, and that's why today I'm here seven years later with the results, no?
2004 was an unforgettable memory for me.  You know, I played the final with my best friend, Carlos Moya, with Juan Carlos, and it was really, really special.  It was one of the biggest match in my career, and wasn't the most important in my career since that moment, no?
It's very nice to be back here seven years later, and I gonna enjoy this moment like the first one.  Hopefully we can feel the competition with the same result.  We can try our best to do that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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