Shanghai Rolex Masters
Wednesday, 11 October 2017
R. NADAL/J. Donaldson
Q. Would you be able to explain the differences or how hard it is for players to win a title like you did on Sunday and come here and back it up? Is it a difficult challenge, and how do you overcome that?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, it is better to be here with a title than without, of course. But of course there is a couple of things that makes a little bit difficult the transition. That’s what I say the other day. Just balls different and the court always is different, no?
So the same time, yesterday was super-warm conditions, very humid. And in Beijing was not like this. But that’s something that we cannot control. But the other two things we can control, more or less. Something that we can work on.
Q. Correct me if I’m wrong, but have you started playing without your lovely Richard Mille watch on your wrist?
RAFAEL NADAL: Today in the match?
RAFAEL NADAL: No.
Q. No? Oh, okay.
RAFAEL NADAL: Not today. I practiced yesterday without.
RAFAEL NADAL: I practiced yesterday, because I wanted to change that. Was in the store. (Smiling.)
Q. Can you talk a little bit about the match? Obviously very clean serving. You only lost four points on your serve. You know, maybe a few thoughts on Jared.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, was a very quick match in all aspects. I think Jared started playing very well at the beginning, serving big, and then hitting very strong from the baseline, no?
Of course I started trying to play a little bit more safe, you know, without looking for big shots. Always the first match, as I say before, is difficult and the transition is not easy. So you’re always a little bit, at the beginning, you respect the new conditions.
But of course I was happy to have that break in the 3-2 in the sixth game. Helps me that he made some double faults, two double faults. Then I played some good points, I think.
After that I think I played a great match. Not many mistakes. Playing very aggressive with the backhand/forehand. My serve worked well. I don’t know the percentage, but probably was high. And when I was serving, the second serve was a big second serve too, no?
Happy with everything. For me it was difficult to imagine a better start. But just the beginning, no? Tomorrow another tough match.
I think Jared have a positive future, in my opinion. Of course today was a difficult match, as I said, because the things went so quick from beginning, but he’s a player that improved a lot during all the years, so if he continues with that improvement, probably we will be talking about a top player.
Q. You spoke about Nick on Sunday after you played him in the final. He’s obviously had another situation here yesterday. Are you surprised that it’s kind of blown up again for him so soon after Beijing?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, not big surprise, but I really don’t want to talk much about that. I have my opinion, but at the same time, you have to talk with — I was sleeping in my room. That’s the real thing.
So I just check. I just saw, when I was checking the (indiscernible), so I don’t know what happened. But you can ask the ATP, not me, because I don’t have the whole information.
Q. You have said that you don’t like to be Roger’s boyfriend, but we saw that you interact with Roger, like, hug and joking. So I want to ask, how is your relationship with Roger privately?
RAFAEL NADAL: Privately is not very interesting (smiling). No, we have a good relationship. We always had a good relationship. Of course a lot of respect for each other since the beginning.
We have been under pressure situations during all our careers playing against each other, so I think is very good news that at this point we still have that very good relationship, no?
And of course being together in the Laver Cup was a little bit closer with all the players, and of course with Roger have been in a special situation that we were, I think, to — well, almost to all the guys on the team.
Yeah, we spend time together. We spoke a lot about things, tennis, we played the doubles together. So that makes the relationship a little bit stronger, no?
But always have been a positive one, and now probably a little bit more.
Q. This is a tournament where they start giving us the information on the possibilities for you to end the year as year-end No. 1, and Roger, and what happens. Do you pay attention to like what the scenario is at this tournament for you to guarantee that you’ll be No. 1? And how important is that, really, particularly at this stage in your career?
RAFAEL NADAL: That happens, will be I think a very important achievement for me, no? Will be No. 1 four times in my career end of the season with so many years of difference I think is something very difficult.
But remain work to do. I have probably one of the toughest opponents that you can have to achieve that thing, and especially in this part of the season. He likes to play in the surfaces that we’re gonna play, indoor, and here that the court is very fast. So probably he is maybe more favored than nobody else, these kind of surfaces.
But let’s see. I am playing well, I think. Last week have been a very important week for me, and today I started well the tournament. Every match is important now. But as I said in Beijing and here, I don’t gonna change my plans. I not gonna go crazy to fight for No. 1. I said, at the beginning of the season, is not my goal. Of course if I am playing very well and with my calendar I am the No. 1, for sure, super happy. Until that moment, that’s happening. Let’s see what’s going on in the last events of the year.
But for me the most important thing and what makes me more happy than anything else is feel myself competitive and healthy and playing well tennis, no? Enjoying that. Then of course if I’m able to make that happen will be something very important for me. But remain time. And for me, as I always say, the only way to achieve that is keep winning (smiling).