PHOTOS/VIDEO: Rafael Nadal Media Day at Barcelona Open, 23 April 2018
Rafa Nadal is already in Barcelona and has come to the tournament full of energy after triumphing in the Masters 1000 of Monte Carlo for the eleventh time. "It was a great week with an important victory and I want to maintain the level here" said the RCTB-1899 player in the first press conference prior to his debut at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.
To win in the principality, Rafa had to overcome Kei Nishikori, Grigor Dimitrov, Dominic Thiem, Karen Khachanov and Aljaz Bedene, and in Barcelona he could face some complicated opponents in Nishikori in the second round, Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals, Goffin in semis and Dimitrov or Thiem in the final. A picture that does not scare him "every tournament is a different story, that Djokovic plays complicates things more but I think it's something very good for the tournament and I will give my best to win" he assured. "Without a doubt, I believe that this year there is one of the most demanding draws of all the times I have participated," he added in front of a crowded press conference room and to finish he said “it is the best ATP 500 tournament of the world on clay”.
In spite of the physical problems that have plagued him during the months and that prevented him from completing the Australian Open and the hard court season, he is currently in full physical faculties to face a very important clay court tour for him. "I arrived at the most important part of the year with great confidence and in a very good form, I trained very well in Valencia (Davis Cup) and last week I felt very good in Monte Carlo too ... I hope to follow the same line here in Barcelona" Nadal stood out full of confidence before the challenge that appears in the court that bears his name and that has seen him grow throughout his career.
• Rafa with Alejandro Blanco (President of the Spanish Olympic Committee)
Photos: NurPhoto; EPA; EFE; COE; Banco Sabadell; Mundo Deportivo; Barcelona Open; @RAFAaddicted; @bamosanyone
• Press conference
Rafa saying he's very happy MC is the 1st event he's been able to finish this season & finished it w/ a win. Also very happy w/ the whole week (as he was after the week of DC), as he's played well & defeated good players in a very important tournament & part of the season for him
Rafa talking about the draw. He acknowledges his draw is a difficult one, but also because the full draw is one of the best (if not the best) in the history of the tournament.
Rafa's asked if he's the best of the history in this surface. Rafa's not comfortable talking about this because he's not the one who should say that. Yet, he says that he can't deny his numbers & achievements on this surface, where he's done things no one else has done.
Rafa's asked on the boos to Spanish anthem in the final of the Spanish Cup between Barcelona & Sevilla. He's not comfortable w/those Qs, even less so for being where they are, but says he can't understand those boos & is keen of respecting everyone [These Qs about soccer...
Rafa asked about the points he has to defend... he says it's been a long time now that he is not playing for the points, but for the pleasure of playing, competing & giving himself chances for more wins.
Once again asked about defending points & once again Rafa explains (as he's always done) that he only cares about the RACE ranking. The ATP ranking only useful for seeding purposes, for the rest, for him, the raking starts from 0 at the start of the season & he just tries to add.
Translated by Genny SS