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Rafael Nadal - US Open 25. August Interview

Q. I guess there was a little bit of a scare out there today in round 1. I guess all the talk about facing Federer, you have to worry about the Mardy Fishes and the Robby Ginepris of the world before you worry about a championship?
RAFAEL NADAL: I never talk about playing against Federer, no. You talk a lot. I know how tough it is every round. I try to go round to round. I'm not thinking far away than second round right now.

Q. Do you think he played much better than his normal level today against you?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think I help a little bit him, to play to this level. Sure, he's good player. He played well today. But I didn't play with normal intensity. I play a little bit less intensity than last few months for sure. Important thing, final, is win. I know I am playing well, because I did very well the last few months.
Probably I'm a little bit tired more than I usually. And the thing is try to be good, no? Mentally and physically, because I think I am playing good tennis, no?

Q. How difficult is it to make the change from Beijing and going through that tournament, doing all this flying, and starting with a few days' rest? Is that difficult?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't -- well, I don't think so, no? It's important, jet lag. But for the rest is fine. The problem is play Toronto, Cincinnati, Beijing, come back here.
So in two weeks, two times, 12 hours' jet lag. Before, after Wimbledon I only have 6, 7 days for recover. Before Wimbledon I play Queen's, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Hamburg, Roland Garros, and Wimbledon, too. The system is very tough, no?
But the same time, I have to be very happy. I must be very happy how I did this year, anyway, if I lose, for example, tomorrow, hopefully not. But anyway, I am happy about how I played this year. And just try to continue playing like this in this tournament.

Q. Do you think you're more worn out physically, emotionally, or mentally?

Q. Yes.
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. Yeah, I think it is a little bit of everything, no? Probably the toughest thing is mentally, no? Because I for the last month or last -- yeah, last weeks, I was very concentrate all the days with how, have break, you know, maybe sometimes the more difficult part is be all the day focus on one thing, no?
So I did that for a lot of months, so right now I think I don't want to say another time I'm tired. I am a little bit tired, yes, but it is US Open so I have to try my best here, and I'm going to try my best for sure.

Q. Elena Dementieva said earlier today that she was having a bit of hard time shifting focus from gold medal victory in Beijing and now to come here. She said it's just been a difficult shift of focus.
RAFAEL NADAL: No, for me, not. For me that's sure not the problem. I win, from here win a lot of things from here. The problem was while I was very exciting one week ago I win the gold medal but at the same time play here, I have to play here in one week. For me, that's not the problem, I win Roland Garros and in one week I have to be 100% ready for Wimbledon. I think I'm ready for these things. The thing is be ready for rest of things, because I played a lot. First round always is difficult, and hopefully next round I play much better, no? That's what I think.

Q. Are you concerned a little bit about how long it took to play this match as far as continuing on, especially because, as you say, there is a little bit of being tired involved because of the travel?
RAFAEL NADAL: I won in three sets. The result is good for me, the result is always good. Win in three sets is always good result. I had some difficult moments, so that's going to help me for a little bit, be prepared for the pressure moments. So I play well when I have the pressure moments, only if I fall with the break, no? I play bad. But for the rest, I think I was serving fine, what is important thing.

Q. Why do you think you haven't had great success here? Is it the court? Is it the atmosphere? Why haven't you had a good...
RAFAEL NADAL: Probably tough part of the season. It's the last -- I played a lot, straight, and probably when I arrive here, always is tougher part of the year, no? Because after here, you have normally some weeks off after prepare the last part of the season, the indoors. But when you arrive here, you play Wimbledon, we don't have lot of time here for prepare hardcourt season, and we play Toronto, Cincinnati, and here.
But I don't know. You know, the thing, I didn't play very well here in the last years, no? In 2006, I was playing fine, no? I had tough match against Youzhny. He played very well, but I had big chances beat him and be in semifinals. Right now hopefully just play better.

Q. Are you feeling more comfortable on the hardcourts?
RAFAEL NADAL: I did very well this year, yeah.

Q. For the last three years you've been chasing No. 1, and that's always been a big motivation in front of you to do well in tournaments. This is your first Grand Slam as the No. 1. Does that change the way you feel playing, the way that you're motivated towards your setting goals?
RAFAEL NADAL: Doesn't matter for me, no. Not the truth, believe me. I have the same goal - play now same as I was No. 2. When I was No. 2 I was very happy. I'm very motivate to play tournament, not for play tournament, for be No. 1. You understand me now?
I have the same goal. Right now I try to play very good tournament for win the US Open, no? When I was No. 2, the goal was the same, was win the US Open, but the goal wasn't win the US Open for be No. 1. The goal is win US Open, no?

Q. Do you feel the balls are playing the same this year as they were last year? I understand they're playing a little bit heavier.
RAFAEL NADAL: You know, I think yes, no? The feeling always change for us, because it depends. For example, I put example. When you are coming, when you play Cincinnati and when you coming from Montreal, Cincinnati seems slow. And when you are playing Cincinnati and comes from Toronto, Cincinnati is very fast. So it depends on the last, no? The Olympics was the same ball, but seems this here a little bit heavy, no? I think it's the same like last year.

I just chose several interviews from the 25th August, Jelena Jankovic, James Blake, Elena Dementieva, Andy Murray and this one of Rafael Nadal.

You can read more interviews after US Open day one here.

(via ASAP Sports, photo/Elsa/Getty Images)

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