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March 13, 2012
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
R. NADAL/M. Granollers
THE MODERATOR:Â Questions, please.
Q.Â Seemed like you had a pretty routine match today.Â Obviously it doesn't feel it's easy.Â What are your thoughts on that?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â Interesting press conference.Â Yeah, well, no, I think I played well.Â It was comfortable first set.Â I think I did very well in the first set.
In the second, I didn't play my best in the second.Â I stop little bit the legs at the second for moments, and at the end in the set I was in a little bit danger, no?
It's true that I had to win a little bit easier the second because I had few chances, 15‑All and easy passing shot that like this out.Â You know, with the 3‑1, I believe 3‑1, yeah, I had 15‑30 and not any difficult backhand to have the double break at 4‑1 and close the match, no?
The true is I had a few mistakes, especially for the backhand and in the second, and then I was in a little bit trouble.
But I am happy that I finished the match well.
Q.Â Just an hour.Â Were you watching the tiebreak of Federer‑Raonic?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â I was working a bit with my physio and I watched the tiebreak.Â That's all.
Q.Â I know you watched the Murray‑Garcia‑Lopez match earlier in the tournament.Â Do you watch a lot of matches when you're at a tournament like this?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â I like tennis and I like sport.Â I am not gonna change my schedule to watch a match, but if I am at the hotel, like now when I'm going back to the hotel in probably 10, 15 minutes, yeah, I'm gonna watch the second set of the match.
There is an interesting match.Â Garcia‑Lopez against Andy last night was interesting match, too, so I like to watch good tennis.
Sure, if I am at the hotel, I can watch the tennis, I watch.
Q.Â Do you watch women's matches?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â Sometimes.Â Less times.Â (Smiling.)
Q.Â Do you have a favorite woman's player to watch?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â I don't gonna say that.
Q.Â For the fun of it, if you could go back and play any player in the past who you've never played...
RAFAEL NADAL:Â There are a lot.Â A lot.
Q.Â Borg?Â Connors?Â Who would you like to play?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â There are a lot of great champions in the past with different style of play, so for me is impossible for me to say one.Â That's an answer that's never gonna happen.
So I can't give you an answer on that, because for everybody I think will be nice to compete against best players of different eras.Â So as always, if something like that can happen real, not exhibition match, as something real, would be very interesting.
But I believe that never gonna happen.
Q.Â What do you make of the pace or speed of the court here?Â Would you say it's slow, very slow?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â No.
RAFAEL NADAL:Â You feel that?
Q.Â I'm not out there playing unfortunately, but...
RAFAEL NADAL:Â No, but like a spectator, do you feel like?
Q.Â Looks slow to me.
RAFAEL NADAL:Â Looks slow?Â I think the ball flies quick.Â Probably the ball in the air I believe is is quick, the bounces are high, and the court is normal.Â No slower, in my opinion, than Australian Open; not slower than most of the hard court tournaments.
That's my feeling, no?Â In my opinion, the ball here goes faster in the air than in a lot of places.
Q.Â When you arrive in Paris when the cycle comes around for Roland Garros, what do you feel inside?Â What is it like just coming to Paris in the late spring and being there and the championship of clay court tennis?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â Nervous, first thing, but every Grand Slam is special for me.Â Naturally Roland Garros is the one that I win more times, so is the one that I feel that if I am playing well I will have more chances.
But always when you arrive to a place when you have the success, be back in the center court of every place where you have success in the past, the emotions are there and the memories are there, so every time when I go to Roland Garros and saw the center court, a lot of memories come to me.
More memories than the rest of the Grand Slams, but every one are special, no?
And the same like coming here.Â I have huge memories of this tournament.Â This court is special for me, and this tournament that I love.Â So I believe when you arrive to a tournament that you had great success in the past and you feel comfortable in that tournament is special.
Q.Â Do you remember anything when you were first starting, maybe a match, I don't know, Court 2 or the bull ring?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â Here or...
Q.Â No, at Roland Garros.
RAFAEL NADAL:Â I played my first match in Court 3 maybe.
Q.Â The bull ring?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â Yeah.
Q.Â Court 1.
RAFAEL NADAL:Â Yeah.Â Against Burgsmuller.Â I remember that match.Â More nervous than normal because everybody talk that I can be the favorite of that tournament, and I was a kid.Â 2005.
But you know what?Â When you are a kid and you are like say a rookie when you are 18, 19, 20 probably, you have a different, completely different feelings, because everything is new for you.Â You appreciate everything.
But at the same time I remember 2005, I remember how beautiful was for me to have this fantastic season.Â But if I have to say means more to me to win 2005 than 2011?Â 2005 was the first one.Â That's always special.
But my answer will be not, because when you have years on the tour, when you have troubles, when you have injuries, when you have, you know, tough losses, hard times, good times, you really know how tough is win another time, how tough is win a tournament.
And when I won in 2010 Roland Garros, when I won in 2011 Roland Garros, the emotions are very high, because you really don't know if you will able to win another time never.
So when you do another time in every tournament is special, is very special, and especially when you have lot of years on the tour that, you know, how tough is win every time.
Q.Â If I could, your ability to go from Roland Garros to grass and Wimbledon, is that something that you're particularly proud of that you were able to make that transition in your game and triumph?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â But I will tell you something on that.Â Sure, I am happy that I improved my game on grass, but don't forget that the people who always said that I will be in trouble on grass probably are you.Â (Laughter.)
Because I played in grass in 2002 probably, the juniors, having two years less with 16 years old, and I did the semifinals with good chance to be in the finals.Â Was on grass and not on clay.
I did Wimbledon semifinal with two years less, and the first Grand Slam that I played, if I don't remember bad, was Wimbledon was 2003, and I won against grass court specialist like Mario Ancic the first round.Â I win against Lee second round from England, so they know how to play on grass.
So I did the third round with 17 years old, so wasn't bad result.Â So that means that my level on grass and my ability to play on grass wasn't a disaster when I started on the this tour.
So that's true I improved my serve to play better on grass; that's true that I am able to play more aggressive, to slice better, to go to the net better than before; but one of the most important things on grass is the movement, and probably in 2003 I had fantastic movements, too.
So I understand how to play the grass, and most important thing is believe that you can do it well there and enjoy the surface and understand the surface.Â Don't go against the surface.Â If the surface says that you have to play aggressive, you have to play aggressive.
But nothing crazy, because at the end of the day you have your game so you can do something ‑‑ I don't gonna go to grass and play serve and volley because it's not my game.Â I will do it, yeah, five more times than in the rest of the surfaces, yes.Â But not every time.
And that's something that in the past probably or today some players forget.Â You have to do your game understanding how to play that surface.
But most important thing is believe that you gonna do it well there, and enjoy the feeling.
Q.Â After you have taken a break like you did after the Australian Open, how long does it take you to feel that you are playing at a level that you're totally satisfied with?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â I am playing weeks and weeks straight and a lot of times I'm not satisfied.Â So that, I cannot answer that.
Maybe I will be very satisfied the first day, and after two weeks playing in Miami I wouldn't be nothing satisfied with my game.Â So that's true that when you come back after a period of out of competition you need a few matches to get the rhythm, to, you know, remember a few things in competition.
But you can arrive and you can play fantastic tennis after a period of time outside of competition, no?
And I have to say something, if I stayed five years ago one month and a half or something like this without compete, probably will be much more difficult for me to compete well than now.
So I am losing less the rhythm than before if I stop for a while, you know, before it was much more difficult for me.Â Today I think I improved my game a little bit, and when I come back I have more solutions, more options to do.
Before I needed to be on a run to play my best.Â I needed to be in perfect conditions physically, running, the movements.
Today I am able to play more comfortable without having the perfect rhythm, no?
Q.Â And what about Alex in the next round Dolgopolov?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â He's a crazy player.Â He's a crazy player, not like a crazy guy.Â He's a crazy player because you can expect everything.Â That's true, no?Â He can play really aggressive; he can play very fast; he has a very goodserve; and ball is going too fast sometimes, no?
He can beat you and you will not have‑‑ you have always something to do, but you will have small chances.Â And he can play with mistakes, but you never know because he's a special player, and it's very difficult to wait something.
But the thing I gonna wait is he will play very fast, he will play very aggressive, and I have to be ready to accept everything what he gonna do in the match.Â Because he will play with very aggressive shots because his ball is going very fast.
I have to play long to make him hit the balls in more difficult positions.Â That's what I have to do.Â But I know he can hit a winner from every place on the court.
Q.Â After not playing matches for a month, how are you feeling physically after a couple of matches under your belt?
RAFAEL NADAL:Â I am fine.Â You know, wasn't very big demanding physical matches, no?Â 6‑1, 6‑3 and 6‑1, 6‑4, one hour and something, so that's good start tournament like this, sure.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports