Rafael Nadal

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Does a quick match like this do more harm than good in terms of preparing you for this tournament since you don't have a chance to work on all your shots under game conditions?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, very happy for win, for be in third round. Happy because, well, not long match. It's important always you are playing a lot of the matches to have one match like this. But, well, for the other reason and for find the best feelings is not the good match, no?

Q. But because it's so tough usually for whoever wins Canada to come here and play well, including you in '05, it's probably a good thing to get of the court as soon as possible.

RAFAEL NADAL: I said, no? It's important not only for Canada, no, because I played a lot of matches in the lasts months. Too much I think. For that reason it's very important win one match like this.

Q. How hard is it to go from winning Canada and coming down here and doing well? Traditionally the last ten years it hasn't gone well for the Canada champion.

RAFAEL NADAL: It's always difficult. It's always tough. But, you know, I mean, in a good performance I am with confidence and I am playing well for the last few months. I'm playing very well, no? So just I going to trying my best for continuing play well in this tournament, no? If I play a good tournament here I going to have a very good chance for be in a good position on the race, no?

Q. How much more confident are you this year during the hard court season compared to a year ago?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know, no? I don't want to compare the years, no? So this year I'm playing my best season, not on hard, on every surface, so I'm confident for that reason. I feel a little bit better player. I don't know, I did very well in Toronto this year, but hard season continuing.

Q. Are you thinking about becoming No. 1? Is that inevitable, or that doesn't weigh much on your mind?


Q. Yes.

RAFAEL NADAL: Everyone wants to be No. 1, no? Right now I'm focused on this tournament in Cincinnati. It's a very important tournament, no? My only goal is continuing playing like what I did in the last four, five months. If I continue like this I going to have a lot of chances for be No. 1? If not, I don't want to be No. 1 because my opponents are very good.

Q. Prior to tonight you had a 3 and 4 record here in four previous appearances. Why has this tournament been so difficult for you to play well historically?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, sometimes because I arrived late from Canada, and other times because I wasn't in my best moment of the season, no? That's the reason.

Q. How tough is it on the body to play on this surface? Because grass is nice, is...

RAFAEL NADAL: Softer, yes.

Q. Yeah, and clay is also better. But is it really hard? It's hard on the joints?

RAFAEL NADAL: You know, the top management of ATP are, well, always think about continuing playing more and more tournaments in this kind of surface. I think it's not a good way, because if I look the locker room and you look in the trainers' room, everybody have problems, no? On the knees on the foot, every play, no, here (pointing to the hip.). So I think it's not the good way. It's the hardest surface for the body, that's for sure.

Q. Am I right, because Federer said it's the hard court season from now until Monaco. What do you do? Do you have clay court tournaments in between?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't have.

Q. There's nothing.

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't play clay tournaments, no? I play the same clay tournaments than Roger. Less one year. This year. One less tournament on clay I played this year than Roger.

Q. So the longest season is on the hardest surface. You can confirm?

RAFAEL NADAL: I said always same, no? That's a big mistake, in my opinion, for the tour. That's one of the biggest mistakes, no? Because if you saw the players, injuries, how many injuries the players have in the last months, you know, you have to think if we are going in the good way, good direction or not.
For that reason it's happen.

Q. Looking at the locker room it's what, ankles, knees, and hips?

RAFAEL NADAL: I think everything, no? Not everyone have the same, but I saw a lot of player with problems in the knees and the foots, too. Everybody is tape. You have to tape. You know, it's very tough, this surface.

Q. You always say there's no easy matches in tennis. Seems like if there ever was one today was it. Was there any difficulty in your game or his that you found tonight at all?

RAFAEL NADAL: Never easy match, no? But today he did a ?? well, he didn't play, no? I think he was a little bit nervous and he play very bad today, no?

Q. With the win at Wimbledon to go with the four French, do you place more of an emphasis, if at all, on the hard court season?

RAFAEL NADAL: (Through translation.) I always did the same, with same emphasis, no? My opinion have the same importance this tournament right now than the last year or the US Open this year than last year. Nothing change, no?

Q. How has winning Wimbledon this year changed your life? Does it give you a lot more confidence on the faster surfaces? You did pretty well before.

RAFAEL NADAL: Sometimes the people who are not following the tennis every week always think I am only clay court player, no? But if you were following the tennis every week and see the results you're going to see I am not only clay court player, no? I have semifinals in Australia, semifinals in Indian Wells, final in Miami, final in Chennai. I won in Madrid and I won in Canada two times and I won Indian Wells, in Dubai. So a lot of...China, too. I played two finals in Wimbledon and I won Queen's and I win another time in Wimbledon. So some very, very good results without play on clay, no? Because I am No. 2 of the world with unbelievable points, and I only play four or five tournaments on clay every season, no, you know.

Q. Sure. So going into the US Open on hard court, it's a pretty nice run you're on. Are you feeling pretty confident this could be your year?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. My goal right now is play in Cincinnati. Later I going to play in Olympics. That will be a very nice experience with me. Later I going to think about US Open, no? It can be me year, yes or not. I don't know, no? You never know.

Q. I think you said before you feel like you've played too many matches. Is there anything you can do about that?

RAFAEL NADAL: You know the calendar is like this and I don't have any election, no? I can't do nothing.

Q. You can't play less?

RAFAEL NADAL: I can't do nothing less. The calendar a terrible this year.