Q. Just talk about your level today. Tough match?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, yes, tough match. Never easy, no? The result was not very difficult. That’s always important. The level improving better than yesterday, for sure, so happy for that.
Q. How are you feeling physically at this point in the tournament?
RAFAEL NADAL: Today a little bit tired. Well, two days in a row. I didn’t play more than three sets the last two days. But anyway, there are three sets ‑‑ six sets in two days, and two days before, the first match, I was in the locker room all the day.
So that’s tough. And well, happy about that. I survived the first three days playing three matches in a row to winning the three matches in three sets, so that’s very important.
Right now I am a little bit tired, but I think with one day off, tomorrow going to be very important day for me.
Q. Tired mentally or tired physically?
RAFAEL NADAL: Everything a little bit, no? But is because of last three days, no?
Q. When you come back to Paris, do you have the superstition of wanting to stay in the same hotel or same house, eat at the same time, go to the same restaurant, do exactly the same as you did the year before?
RAFAEL NADAL: This is too much. I go with the same hotel, but is not superstition. We have a contract with this hotel every year, so I didn’t have the reservation for the hotel. I have my agency.
No, I didn’t go to the same restaurant always, no? I change. No superstition with this, nothing. Nothing is special, no.
Q. You talked this spring about the clay court season, a lot of tournaments in a small period. The grass court season is very small, as well. I’m wondering if you think that that should be made longer, bigger, the grass court season, or what do you think about that?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, the grass court season is very, very, very short, no? I always say the same, no? It’s not fair, you only have two weeks prepare for very important tournament like Wimbledon no?
No, it’s very difficult. And, you know, change the Grand Slams, the date of the Grand Slams is not in our hands. It’s not ATP, it is ITF, no? Masters Series, clay court season is not only Roland Garros. It’s Monte‑Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, Hamburg, Estoril.
Anyway, this is in the ATP hands, no? So is not fair.
Q. Just one question about the Olympics. Because so many Spanish players are in contention to go, how they do in Paris is very important. Are the Spanish guys talking about this, like who is going to make it, who’s not going to make it based on their results here in Paris?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, David Ferrer is inside, I am inside, and the rest, I don’t know. Almagro have chances. Almagro is inside?
(In Spanish) I don’t know exactly how the points is going, no? But I know Robredo, I think if he ‑‑ if Verdasco don’t go to quarterfinals, he’s inside. So that’s…
Q. That’s tight.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, it’s very tight. Going to be interesting.
Q. You talk about short period to prepare to Wimbledon. If you were first to choose to have more time to prepare to Wimbledon or be without grass season, what do you prefer?
RAFAEL NADAL: Without grass?
Q. If without grass or longer grass? (In Spanish.)
RAFAEL NADAL: (In Spanish) Boy, I never thought the calendar without Wimbledon, so prefer longer grass court season.
THE MODERATOR: Spanish questions?
Q. The feeling we had is that you looked into this match. You studied things. You didn’t exactly know what to do and who was playing well and who was playing badly. That’s my first question. Second question, what about your foot and what you’re suffering from?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, it was a normal match. It wasn’t an incredible match, but I played better. This is still very positive. I go on improving going from a lower level to a high level.
So, no, I had not studied the match before. I was not studying it. It’s never easy against Nieminen, but I controlled the match from A to Z. The first ‑‑ the first three games were okay. The rest was quite controlled, and I didn’t suffer at all, which is a good sign.
What about your second question? Okay. My foot and the blister. Yeah, I was suffering a little, but I didn’t want to do much about it, what happened a week ago to happen again.
Q. What about the next opponent? Who would you like to play against, Youzhny or Verdasco? Another lefty, it would be a very difficult match. What do you think about this?
RAFAEL NADAL: I like to play well. This is what I like to do: play well. This would be a tough match against either of those, but I would want to win, of course. And then I don’t really care, either of those two players.
We’ll see what’s going to happen. We can even play five hours. Who knows?
Q. Your parents are here with other friends. You’re always supported by Benito and Carlos. Is it good for them to be here?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, you know, at such tournaments ‑‑ you can’t spend much time with your family because you spend the whole day here, more or less.
Well, sometimes in between matches you have some time off, and I’m happy they’re here. I didn’t spend much time at home this year. When you look at all the matches, I didn’t have much time over the past three or four months.
I spent six days at home, so it’s always a good thing when the family is here with me. It’s always a good thing, because they are a support to help you. Everything’s a lot easier and it goes on more smoothly. You see the ones you love, and that’s a help, of course.
Q. What about having two lefties on the court? Is it going to be more difficult for you to change your style if you’re against a lefty?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, you see, changing my game wouldn’t be bad. But so far it was okay, you know, three lefties in a row and then another one, so there’s nothing exceptional about it. I practiced well.
Q. Do you know more or less what the opponents want to do against you? Are they first class opponents, categories A or B or C like this one, is it going to be tougher, easier? You know, could you tell us how you appraise your opponents?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, everything varies, you know. It’s a question of feelings that vary. The impression I have depends very much on the opponent himself and the way you play.
If you play very good type of tennis it goes on very smoothly. But if your level is not as good as what you expect, then you look at the draw and you see that you don’t want to play against any of these opponents.
So, no, I have no such thing as an A, B, C type of rankings for the future opponents. But there are some opponents that are tougher than others, and other players against whom it’s easier. But it’s the same for all the players.
Q. Well, you probably heard that Federer and Djokovic will apply for the federation. It’s not good for the first top world players to do this?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, there are many things we don’t really agree to. We don’t like how things were done. But, you know, we would like to have been informed beforehand before things happened, like this time we want to perhaps foresee things. We don’t want things to go wrong, which was the case in the past.
In this case, things were done beforehand. It’s always very important to be informed about everything, because, you know, the council represents the players. The council have to inform us, keep us posted.
And if you’re on the council, you have more clout and you have informed before things happen.
Q. Are you surprised because you didn’t play two days here on the central court when you had fewer people here on the central court than on your court?
RAFAEL NADAL: Surprised? No, not really. I didn’t even think about it. I suppose the ones who organized these matches know better what is more suited to us, if it’s better to play on the central court or who has to play on the central court.
I respect their decision. I don’t think there’s anything special about it. I don’t think there’s anything very important if you play on the center or less than courts.
Q. Do you intend to have another communication or release against the president?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know if we have to have a press release, if we publish a press release. Okay with me, but most of the players seem to think alike. Nothing has changed.
The only thing is that things worsened, you know, a week ago. We had difficulties with our chairman or president, with all the messages that were sent out. Now it’s even worse.
There are things that have happened that are not acceptable, and for the majority of players they should be unacceptable for Spanish tennis.
But as I was telling you, it’s not something that we have the upper hand on, and we follow what we did before. I don’t know if we’ve done all that we could, but we’ve done what we were entitled to do.
That is the freedom to make the decision between what we want to do and what we don’t want to do. Therefore, in light of all that happened, with our friends, I’m going to say that if we look at tennis since we’ve been at the chairmanship, we will see what we can do with him. We will see in the future.
Q. I have a question along these lines: As you know, tomorrow there’s a territorial meeting in Madrid. I don’t know what the players expect from this territorial meeting. It seems that people are asking for a motion of censorship.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, as I said before, what we have said was crystal clear: I’m here to play Roland Garros. I’m not here to say anything against the president or chairman, and mainly a chairman who we think doesn’t represent us. Now we’re trying to fight. We’re trying to do our best here. We want to play our matches. That’s all.
What about this meeting in Madrid? Well, we’ll see. The outcome will be the best type of outcome according to them. But what would be normally said, you know, this gentleman manages things in a certain way, so what would be logical is that the majority should be against him.
Q. Many people say that mentally you’re the strongest. Now, you’ve said you are tired now after playing three days in a row. Could you tell us more about this, please? That is, how you can still keep your focus on these matches, three days in a row, as I said?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, all sorts of things affected me. You know, I played well the days before, and then two days without practicing. The conditions were totally different. It was ‑‑ we had gone from warmth to a very dry type of court, and then to a damp court. Now the clouds are here hovering on the courts.
So the situations have changed on the court. The court is slower. The ball has less spin. The feeling’s different, and the ball is almost stuck on the ground. I’ve been waiting for two days, so more and more, I was getting nervous for the next match. With all that, my body was therefore suffering a bit more.
It’s as if you were drawn a little and the muscles are tenser and you feel more fatigue. That’s my opinion. If you don’t play well, if you play poorly, and if you have to fight for a match, even though you win 6‑4, 6‑4, you’re much more tired than playing in good conditions 7‑6, 7‑6. Because physically, mentally, you’re more relaxed, at ease. Everything changes in this case.
And as I said before, this is a very important tournament for everybody. In this case, it was not good for me to wait for two days and then to play three days in a row. You know, when you expect a fourth match, you’re more relaxed. But in this case, I was interrupted. We couldn’t even leave the locker rooms.
But the good thing is I managed to survive these three matches without even losing one set. I’m not that tired. I don’t feel that much fatigue, and tomorrow I’ll rest for a while. Therefore, I’ll be able to recharge the batteries, and then on Sunday I’ll be here 100% so that I can play an excellent match.
Q. Question for Argentina: Now, you have close links with some players, so were you surprised to see that not many of them are still here after the third round? It seems that it’s like a cycle, you see, a cycle that reaches its end for some Argentinian players.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, you see, what’s very important is that these ‑‑ well, I wouldn’t say a cycle. We can’t say a cycle. But Monaco is a young player, you see, and he’s in a ramp‑up phase. There are always players that go away, who go away.
But, you know, if you look at the best 20 or 30 players in the world, there are Argentinians, and sometimes it makes the situation more complex. Some people don’t even realize this.
Well, as far as the other countries are concerned, I don’t know. Other countries haven’t got 6 or 7 players in the best top 20 or top 30, so this is why things are more complicated here in Roland Garros.
I know the world is huge. Many people would like to play here, and several players for one country. So it makes the situation more complex. But sometimes there are moments in life when you go up, sometimes when you go down.
Argentinian tennis has good potential, and I think it’s a ramp‑up phase for the Argentinians.