Miami Open R4, Rafa’s Press Transcript
R. NADAL/N. Mahut
THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.
Q. There are a lot of difference between you and Roger, even right down to your age. Fairly big difference of five years. But you’re in such similar situations now. Does this surprise you at all?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I don’t know, no? I think is a good start of the year I think for both of us. Obviously a little bit better for him. But at the same time, I am happy the way that I am playing, happy the way that I started the year after a tough second part of the year last year with injuries. So I think it’s positive for both of us that we can still be around here and being very competitive almost every week we’re playing.
Q. If someone said to you after you lost to him in that final here after two sets in 2005 that you would be in this position today with him, what would you have thought?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sorry?
Q. If someone told you in 2005 that you would be sitting here in this position with him today with this kind of record and stuff, what would you have thought maybe?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know, no? I never — of course is difficult to imagine something like this when you have 17 or 18 years old, so for me was something impossible to even dream aboutwhat happened later. I went day by day and I enjoyed all the good things that happened to me. Here we are 12 years later, so that’s a great news.
Q. Now that you’re in your 30s and given the injury issues you’ve had over the years, have you changed your training sessions at all? Do you have to adapt as you get older in terms of maybe the intensity? Do you reduce the amount of training sessions you do?
RAFAEL NADAL: I practice a lot during December, no?
When I have physical problems is obvious that I need to adjust and I need to practice less, no?
But if I am healthy, then I am playing well. I started well 2017 because I had the chance to work as much as I can, as much as I would like, for one month and a little bit more, no? So that’s always my goal: just have the chance to decide what’s better for you. For a lot of years of my
career, a lot of periods of my life, I didn’t had that opportunity, no? I just practiced what the body told me, not what I really feel that I need.
Q. Jack Sock next. I think I Beijing was the last time you played him. Look ahead to coming up against him again.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, he’s a very aggressive player, very powerful player, big serve, big forehand, and a good backhand, too, no? He plays quick with his backhand. So I need to play aggressive. That’s the only way. If I let him play in a comfortable position going to be impossible for me. So I need to be focus with my serve, but at the same time I need to be aggressive.
Q. There has been a lot of talk about changing surface from clay to hard courts in South America tournaments Rio and Bueno Aires. The goal is to have a stronger players list. Do you think that will happen, and how do you feel about that?
RAFAEL NADAL: For example, if we change Beijing and Shanghai to clay then we’ll have stronger tournaments in all the hard court tournaments, too, stronger players. Is obvious that if every day is less clay court tournaments, is obvious that there is less strong players on clay. That’s the normal thing, no? If there is 80% of the tournaments on hard, is normal that the best players of the world are hard court specialists, Not clay court specialists, no? So if we still putting more tournaments on hard, then no one top player will be a specialist on clay. These
tournaments for sure will never have a top player because the top players are always on hard and they want to play on his surface, no? That didn’t happen in the past when there was more tournaments on clay, that there is a lot of great players on clay, stars on clay, like Gaudio, Ferrero, Coria, Carlos Moya. Situation change because ATP is pushing more and more the hard court tournaments. If that’s what we want to do for our sport then it’s fine. It’s obvious that I am not talking because I am a better player on clay than on hard, because when these changes probably will happen probably I will not be here around. So I am talking about the benefit of the sport in general. I think it’s the same thing that I’m playing the Masters Cup every single year on hard. I don’t understand. I don’t understand that I qualified for 11 or 12 years on Masters Cup. I had to play all the Masters Cup on hard when you qualified on grass, clay, hard, and indoor. So it’s fair in my opinion not. It’s the same thing. If you put more tournaments on hard, every time you have less tournaments on clay. For me is not fair enough. At the same time, for the body is worst.