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Rafael Nadal, US Open, September 1, 2008

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Rafael Nadal

US Open

September 1, 2008

Q. How difficult was that match?

RAFAEL NADAL: It was difficult, no? It was very difficult, especially after my big mistake in the second set. I was playing normal, fine. Nothing special, but nothing bad.

I had the match under control, no? 6‑4 break, but he break back for me. But I can't understand exactly, because I was serving against wind and was difficult because the wind was heavy today.

But with the 5‑4 on serve, I didn't lose any serve with the wind. With the wind in my favor, I didn't lose any game during all the match, and I lost the game in 0, no? So it was terrible.

Later he break me another time, so the match was crazy like that, no? I served it very bad in the second, so in the third ‑‑ but the important thing I played my best tennis in the tiebreak.

Q. Did he impress you?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I know him. I know him. He has a good serve. I think he start playing not very good, and later he play better. But he's a good player, no? We know that.

Q. How much did the Olympics help your confidence at hard courts? This look like the most comfortable you've ever been here so far over the years.

RAFAEL NADAL: Not today. The Olympics maybe didn't help me right now for this tournament, no? The Olympics was one of the most important title in my careera. But I was playing good in hard court before the Olympics, no?

I won in Toronto, semifinals in Cincinnati, and semifinal in Indian Wells and Australia, and Miami final, no, so the results was very good, no?

Q. When you come into a Grand Slam, do you anticipate that, yes, there will be one match maybe in the middle where you won't be playing so well and you'll have to fight a lot and be fighting against yourself?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't think too much. I don't think those things before the tournament, no?

I just go and try my best ever match, no? It's not in Grand Slam; in every tournament you have one bad day. That's the normal thing.

Important thing is win. When you are playing not your best, the important thing is win. I did today, so I have a chance for practice tomorrow and for play another time on Wednesday. So that's the important thing. I'm very happy for that.

Q. Do you feel fully recovered from the travel from Beijing?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, if I don't feel recovered after two weeks, we have a big problem, no?

Q. The ATP is making a change with Etienne having left. You are now in a position of power within the ATP.

RAFAEL NADAL: You never know.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about what you would like to see this new person to do most importantly when he or she comes in?

RAFAEL NADAL: For me, most important thing is, first of all, a little bit more communication than the past.

For sure, the second thing is one person who knows a little bit about the tennis, no? And one person who wants to talk about with the persons who knows the tennis well.

Because Etienne, well, had some new ideas, so that's my opinion. Wasn't bad, because, you know, always when you have a change, you can be wrong, but you can be right, no?

So he had the change, so in my opinion, that is fine, but the wrong thing is ‑‑ well, never talk for the other people, for ‑‑ to consult another people who really knows the tennis, no?

Well, in my opinion a lot of people knows the tennis. Tour managers was here since more than ten years and never talk with these guys who know about how was the problems for the tennis for the last few years.

I think they know better which problems they have then the new CEO that was Etienne, no? So I think the new have to have more communication with the people who knows the tennis good.

Q. Will the schedule be one of the things, one of the problems?

RAFAEL NADAL: The schedule, when you start, first of all, the 1st of January and you finish the 20th of December, 25th or 30th of November, it's always going to be a big problem, because it's very difficult be at 100% 11 months during the year, no? So that's tough for the players.

But for the rest, the calendar worst than this year going to be impossible. So anything going to be better.

Q. How fresh do you feel going into the quarterfinals now?

RAFAEL NADAL: Normal. Probably I am not in the freshest moment in my life, but I am fine. So important thing, I am there.

I am in the quarterfinals. I have a tough match against Fish. Hopefully I have to play my best for the last part of the tournament, no?

Q. Can you talk about what will the keys be to playing Fish? He'll be is different type of player, a lot of serve and volley and attacking the net.

RAFAEL NADAL: He's a very good player, no? He played the final in New Haven last week. He played the final in Indian Wells too this year.

So he's a dangerous player in hard court, no? Right now he's playing very well. Big serve, very good backhand, good volley.

So he's playing with big confidence, and I have to play very well if I want to win.

Q. How much does the excitement of New York City fire you up now? You must be enjoying the Big Apple?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't have a lot of chance for enjoy, no? I practice every day, I play, so ‑‑ one day I going to come for holidays another time, no? I did in the past.

Q. Last year when you were here, you were very concerned about the health of your knees, especially at hard courts. Have you solved that problem? Are your knees feeling better?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I am fine, no? Last year I didn't have a lot of problems. I only have the problem in the final of Wimbledon and here another time, no? The big problem was ‑‑ the two times when I had the problem was in Grand Slam, so...

But I feel very well physically, no? The last few years, very happy for that. For sure I'm a little bit worried about the tennis, because it's moving always in the way for play more and more in hard surfaces, no?

Hard surfaces, I think, is more difficult for the body, no? You go to the trainer's room. When I go, I am never alone, so that's not a good news for the sport, no? So we have to think a little bit about that.

Q. Many people have said your victory over Roger at Wimbledon was the best match in tennis history. When you think back to the match and everything that happened, and greeting your family and the Spanish royalty, what was the most special moment or memory that you have from that match, that experience?

RAFAEL NADAL: Everything for me was very, very nice, no? I start winning two sets to Love, but I think was little bit lucky, because he had 4‑1 in the second.

Later, we stop, I have big chance in the third with Love‑40 ‑‑ 3‑All, Love‑40, I think. He served well and then bad returning the 30‑40, and for the rest of the match, was amazing, no?

I have amazing double fault in the 5‑2. Later in the fifth, anything can happen there, no? But most important thing, well, the more special moment for me was when Roger push the forehand to the net, no? For sure that's it.

Q. Could you see then? At that time, could you see what was going on? It was dark.

RAFAEL NADAL: It was very dark. The last game was very dark. Too dark.

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