THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Looks like you’re continuing to feel good, striking the ball well out there. Talk about how you felt today?
RAFAEL NADAL: Good. I think, yeah, I have been a positive, of course, positive match. I think I did a lot of things well. Started very well the match. Then I missed a couple of balls in that Love-30 in the second game, but then arrive a moment that I think I was playing too aggressive. So then I stopped a little bit the game, playing — changing the rhythm of the point more times, and I think that worked well for me.
Happy by the way that I played. I did a lot of things well. My serve worked very well, especially in the first set. But during the second, I was doing things well anyway, no?
So just happy having a match that I suffered in the past against Diego. We know each other well. So it’s a positive victory for me. It means that I did the things very well.
Q. Is there anything that you take from this match that you’d like to take to the next round, to your next opponent, things that you’d like to improve upon, for instance?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I saw him play today, and he came from the qualifying. He’s playing so well, winning against Medvedev, one of the players that won more matches this year, and the other day against David Goffin, too.
Yeah, he’s in the big confidence. I saw him playing very well this morning. So gonna be a tough one. I need to keep playing the way that I’m playing, if it’s possible even improving a little bit more couple of things.
But in general terms, I should be happy, no? I can’t complain much, winning 6-1, 6-1 the first day, today 6-3, 6-1 against good players. So that’s very positive results.
I need to keep being confident and believe in the things that I’m doing.
Q. According to most of the players, this is a fairly slow and high-bouncing hard court. Is it the kind of hard court that you prefer, or you prefer something a bit more in the way that the ball doesn’t bounce as high?
RAFAEL NADAL: I always liked to play here. I played a lot of positive events here.
But, no, no. I can tell you that people most of the time thinks, because I won a lot on clay, think that if the ball is slow and the court is slower it’s good for me.
And I invite you to analyze in the events that I had success on hard, if the courts have been quick or fast. More times the way, the tournaments that I won on hard have been on the fast conditions, not slow conditions.
At the end of the day, it’s about play well, if I am playing well I know I did well here. But if I am playing well, I can play well probably in all the surfaces, no? Even if I’m playing bad, doesn’t matter the surface.
Q. I read some quotes from you in Acapulco saying you might change your schedule and not play Miami or Madrid. I wanted to check with you what your schedule look like until Roland Garros?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, my normal schedule is, as I said there, I have to think about it always. I need to do the things the best way possible to avoid years, like last year have been a very tough year for me. I suffered a lot in terms of injuries. So I want to try to suffer less, because mentally is tough to play only nine events per year and finish only seven. So that have been a tough one.
If you play nine events because you only want to play nine events, good. But if you play nine events because you have been under a lot of troubles, then the situation is different.
I try to avoid that in my calendar. Going to go in that direction always thinking about what’s better for my future and for my body. So I can’t tell you one thing or another thing. I go day by day.
And my calendar, we’ll see weekly. Of course I’d love to be in Miami, and of course I’d love to be in Madrid, and I’d love to be everywhere. I can’t be everywhere.
But of course play in Madrid at home is always special.
Q. You have been playing some amazing hard court tennis this season. You looked very confident and very aggressive in Australia. You look that way here, as well. But the match against Novak in the final of Australia, you know, was clearly one-sided. Has that in any way, shape, or form affected your preparation for the balance of the year? Do you look at that match specifically as something that you need to use as a gauge to be prepared for the rest of the year for when you face him again or when you face perhaps Roger again this year?
RAFAEL NADAL: Is all about moments, and it’s all about the moment that you arrive to these kind of matches.
I have been playing very good tournament in Australia, but at the same time, honestly, I will not repeat because you can look at what I said couple of times before the Australian Open, no?
All the things that I have been going through, the four months, five months before the Australian Open start, have been tough ones. So arriving under that conditions and be able to play the way that I played in Australia have been great news. Of course I can be happy about that final, and all the matches helps to take an experience and to learn a little bit about it, no?
So I will try to do it better the next time. Is more about the moment than the level in general terms. When Novak was playing very well, he beat me. A lot of times when I have been playing very well, I beat him a lot of times. So it’s more that thing there than another thing. He arrived to that moment with probably better preparation than myself in general terms, in all terms. He deserve it. He was much better than me in that match.
Q. You have been on tour for a while now. What impact do you think your style of play has had on the tour? Have you noticed any younger players that play like you these days?
RAFAEL NADAL: You can ask them. I cannot answer you (smiling). I can’t answer this question, because any answer will be…
Q. I was wondering if you feel like your style of play has had an impact on the way other players play and on younger players?
RAFAEL NADAL: Okay, I was answering, but you put some faces, so I didn’t know if I answer the wrong question (smiling).
I can’t tell you. You have to ask them, I repeat, because I didn’t ask them, and I don’t know if I have any impact on the new generations.
Probably, of course, when Agassi, Sampras was playing, and I was a kid, of course you look to these kind of players, Carlos Moya. And of course probably the young players are looking to me, to Novak, to Roger, to all the top players that have been around.
But if my personal style created an impact or something different in this sport, is something that you have to analyze by yourself. I am not the right one to ask it.
Q. We are at a time in this sport where there are a few teens sneaking in, Felix and Denis, top 100 on the guys’ side, teens on the women’s side. Karlovic, Roger, Venus, getting up towards 40, still playing good tennis. What’s it say about the sport at this time?
RAFAEL NADAL: Is always — well, tennis always is a good sport, because is a very global sport. So that’s important. Probably this period of our sport have been special for different facts, and now it starts another period of this sport that is new generations combining with old generations.
And of course they are the future of this sport, so we need to take care of them, and at the same time, we need to promote them. I believe that in our era between us have been good relationship between each other, good respect on court, good values in general terms.
So I believe is something that probably we did well in terms of examples for the new generation. So is something that’s hopefully really creates a good impact on new generation, is going to be something positive.
Q. Getting back to today’s match, you’ve got a near absolute perfect record against Schwartzman other than two sets. What is it that works for you in his game that allows you, knowing that he’s such a good player, that allows you to score seven wins out of seven against him?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I had some very tough battles. In Roland Garros he had been set up and break up for him. In Australia have been a very long four-set match, I think.
No, I don’t think that is something special that his game works well for me. Have been very tough battles out there. Today I played very well, and take my chances. I was solid with my serve, and I did a lot of things well, I think.
I don’t believe is something about Diego. Is something about the way that I played today more than anything.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #366 at 2019-03-12 22:48:00 GMT