Monte Carlo winner eight times from 2005 to 2012 Rafael Nadal bowed in the final last year, face Novak Djokovic. Nadal is back this week on the Rock, and discusses his return to clay courts, but his rivalry with Serbian.
Rafa, What It Feels Like To Be Every Year The Man To Beat On Clay?
I do not see things this way.
This may be your feeling, not mine. This is not because I played well in the past on clay that will be the case this year. All that concerns me is to prepare myself and be 100% when starting the competition.
With Experience You Have, You Feel More Relaxed Now When You Attack The Clay Season?
For me, it is true that this is an important moment of the season. But I think it’s the same for everyone. After that, it is sure that when I get to a tournament like Monte Carlo, I “feel” really matters, because I experienced so much success.
For You, It Is Easy To Move From Hard To Clay, Right?
This is not true! We must not forget that I only play five or six tournaments a year on clay. I need time to find my rhythm and get out move. It is probably easier for me to players who grew up on hard, but I also need time.
“Any Statistical Stops One Day”
How Was Your Preparation For Miami? And Having Played In February The South American Tour On Clay You He Helped?
I started training on clay Friday of last week. I’m glad I know where I am. Regarding the tour in South America, I played very poorly there (laughs). In addition I had backache. So I do not think it has helped me to tournaments that begin now.
You Stay On A Defeat Against Djokovic In The Final In Miami. On Your Last Three Games Against Him (Final Beijing Masters Final, Final Miami), You Have Not Managed To Win A Set. Does This Affect Your Confidence It?
We’ll see. It is true that Miami I have not played my best in the final. Novak played very well but I have not pushed to its limits. After what had happened the previous month (back injury), I think I was not ready to play at this level. As at the end of last year, Novak played really well. When you lose several times against the same opponent, of course it affects you. But it also prompts you to come back stronger.
Where Are You On Your Back Problem? Are You 100% Today?
Yes, I’m fine.
You Remember The Final Of Last Year (Lost Against Djokovic 6-2, 7-6), Your First Defeat In Monte Carlo In New Editions? Novak Was Just Stronger? Or Were You Just Tired?
Novak played an incredible first set. But even if he had led 5-0, it was a bit surreal because there were a lot of long and hanging points. Later I had the opportunity to win the second set, I had failed to do. Any statistical stops one day, and I knew I would not win this tournament forever.
Is that the world number one spot is something important to you something?
I watch a lot of Race (classification which takes into account the points made since 1 January), but I look very little technical classification. Race tells you where you are. I have to be number one or two (it is said that it is second at 95 points Djokovic). Yes, I know, but Novak has 150 points Davis Cup are in fact those of the 2013 final (true). So that is number one or two, whatever!
Last Question, Rafa. Did You Improve Your French?
No, I have not studied at all and it is still very bad! I can read, and if you speak slowly I understand a little, but that’s it!