Hamburg, 17 May 2008
Press Conference with RAFAEL NADAL
Nadal - Djokovic 7:5, 2:6, 6:2
Q: It was a very special match.
NADAL: Well, I think special because we played very good tennis, at a very good level. It was an amazing match. I think Djokovic played very good on clay. Especially today. But the conditions weren't very good for me, because I prefer it a little bit faster. The ball stayed very low, so he got more Chances. But I probably played one of my best matches.
Q: Do you really enjoy it when you are out there or do you just focus?
NADAL: Yes, of course I like the pressure and I like matches like today. I liked this match because I think we played at a very good level. I felt very fast on court, running very well.
Q: Novak said you were the best defensive player ever in tennis.
NADAL: I won't say anything about this. Thank you for this compliment of him.
Q: Were you surprised about the way you ran on court today?
NADAL: Yes, I was very fast. Yesterday I was also feeling very good physically. Well, I'm probably in good form. I am a bit tired now, but it was a very tough match today. I don't know how it will be tomorrow, but it will be difficult.
Q: Can you talk about tomorrow, playing Roger?
NADAL: Well, I play in Roger's home, because he won here 4 times, this is probably his best clay court. I don't know, it will be a very tough match. Probably the ball here doesn't get the same topspin as in Roland Garros, Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Rome too. So it will be a little bit different and more difficult, too. It will be tough, too, because he played a little over an hour and I played over 3 hours. I hope, this doesn't effect me too much tomorrow.
I will go on court with my best motivation. This is a Mastes Series where I haven't won so far, so that is a special motivation for me, too. Just go on court, and try my best.
Q: Do you feel better now compared to last year?
NADAL: You know, last year I was very tired, mentally tired. This year not. I prefer it like last year, because I played Rome with 100% condition, this year I didn't play Romewith a good condition. All the tournaments in this short season are very important for me and I lost one, that's tough for me. I had Sunday for rest, and I started this tournament not feeling too sure, because I didn't practice too much before the tournament, because I had the blister. I didn't play too well against Potito, but I got better every day and I played a very good match today. I need a little bit more for tomorrow.
Q: Do you feel ready to play again tomorrow?
NADAL: You have to wait until tomorrow morning, it depends how you feel in the morning when you wake up. Hopefully yes, I have to be 100% if I want to have chances to beat him.
Q: Now that the match is finished, are you pleased that you saved the no 2 ranking?
NADAL: I am happy to be in the final of Hamburg. Save the no 2, sure it's important for Roland Garros. But the important thing is that I am improving, I am doing a very complete season. I am happy for that. Later, we will see when the season finishes.
Q: On court you said Djokovic will be the next no 1.
NADAL: I think so, because he played very good, he's a tough player, so he probably has very good chances to become no 1. He will have very good chances in the next years, because he's very good and he's very young.
Q: What was the decisive moment in the match?
NADAL: It was important when I saved the two balls for 4:0, because he was playing very well, and if I managed 4:0 it would be impossible for him to come back. If you lose the first set, at least stay in the set, don't lose it 6:1, 6:2. Afterwards in the first set the first break was important.
Q: And the last game of the match?
NADAL: Yes, it was very tough, it was unbelievable, I had some very good chances, I missed a forehand volley, because I didn't know if his ball was out or inside. It was tough, but it was also a very good end to the match.
Q: When it was important, your first serve was very good.
NADAL: I think I served well on the important moments. This week I am serving much better than in Monte Carlo, and better than Rome, for sure.