Nitto ATP Finals

Tuesday, 15 November 2022

Turin, Itay

Pala Alpitour, Torino

Rafael Nadal

Press Conference


6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: How do you assess your performance overall today?

RAFAEL NADAL: Good. Well, better than the other day in general terms.

But, yeah, not able to take any of my chances. I lost, yeah, a terrible game on the 4-3. I fight till the end, but when the things are going that way, is difficult to change the dynamic and the result, especially under these circumstances.

With this surface, playing against big servers, great players, yeah, nothing to complain, just to accept that it's what we have today: opponent in another situation playing better the key points.

Well done for him.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Given how little you've played this fall, are there positives that you can take from this week as you head into the off-season, then hopefully next year? Any progress you've made in terms of getting yourself healthy that you've drawn from this experience?

RAFAEL NADAL: It's the main thing, no? Yeah, have been six tough months in all ways. Just accept that. When you are facing all the circumstances that I faced the last six months, be here is positive. That's the main thing.

Experience what's going on today - 'today' I mean the last couple of weeks on the court - is not a big surprise. That not mean that I am not sad about the results. It's something that can happen, no?

Have been, yeah, super difficult months that I went through. Just accept that tomorrow start my 2023 season. That's all. The only thing that I can do is keep working, keep doing the things that I need to do to give myself a chance to start with real chances in 2023. That's the thing.

You asked me positive things. Yes, couple of positive things. I was able to play two tournaments in the last three weeks. That's the positive thing, something that I was not able to do it for a while.

I mean, I don't think I forget how to play tennis, how to be strong enough mentally. I just need to recover all these positive feelings and all this confidence and all this strong mentality that I need to be at the level that I want to be.

And I don't know if I going to reach that level again. But what I don't have any doubt, that I going to die for it.

Q. I could be wrong, but I think a couple of months ago you suggested that to get the year-end world No. 1 ranking, it would be a big achievement and something would be really fantastic for you. I think there's no chance now. With that in mind, is there great disappointment or it's just one of those things if you don't get it?

RAFAEL NADAL: Probably you only heard one part of the answer. Of course, finish the season as world No. 1, it's a great achievement. Would be an amazing achievement at this stage of my career. But in the other hand I say that I will never be following that goal again.

That happens, because the situation brings me to that position, fantastic. But my body, my age, my personal situation don't allow me to follow that goal any more, no?

Winning two slams was not enough. Of course, was not enough because I was not able to play. I don't know how many tournaments I played, 10, 11, maybe 12. Finished maybe nine, 10, in good conditions.

It's difficult comparing and fighting against the young guys that they are super good, and at the same time they are able to play as many tournaments as they want, no? Is normal they are in the situation I was, like, 15 years ago.

Just well done for Carlos in this case. Happy for him. Big achievement for him. Well done. Yeah, great news for our sport in Spain. Yeah, he deserved after a great season.

Q. Your next opponent, Casper Ruud, you have a good relationship to him. Does he mean anything extra to you because he's developed in your own academy?


Q. Your relationship to him, is that something extra because of the way he has developed?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, it's obvious that I shared more with him than with others because he spent some time in Mallorca. Sister is practicing there. I know well the family. Great family. Not only for that, but because he's a great guy in all ways, has a great family around. Very good persons.

Yeah, going to be hopefully a good match. I don't know. I mean, I need to keep fighting, keep trying to finish the season in a positive way. Not saying winning, but just offering an image for myself that really in some way helps me to keep going on my preparation for next year.

Let's see what's going on.

Q. You played Felix in Paris, Roland Garros, now here. Sure, two different surfaces, but did you notice something different in his game today?

RAFAEL NADAL: I mean, sorry, but I cannot tell you clear answer and accurate answer.

It's obvious he had a great season when you are in the ranking he is today, and winning a couple of tournaments in a row, is because he is doing a lot of things very well.

It's difficult to compare that situation with this situation today. It's obvious that he's young and he's a good guy and a good worker. Normal thing in the young guys: if they are humble enough, they like to work, they are improving.

Yeah, he had a great season. Happy for him. Yeah, all the very best for him for the rest of the tournament.

Q. You always say a clever man must have some doubts. At the same time you have always been optimistic. I would like to know if you think the next season, starting with the Australian Open, is for you an approach where you are optimistic, or you have more doubts inside of yourself?

RAFAEL NADAL: You can be both ways. I mean, as you said in the question, you can be optimistic and have doubts. Why not?

For me the doubts, as I said plenty of times, are very good in this world. People who don't have doubts, probably is because they are too arrogant, from my point of view.

If you are not optimistic or positive, it's impossible that the things going to go the proper way. That's my point of view and that's my approach.

What can happen in Australia? I don't know. Remain a month and a half. What can I do to give myself a positive chances to have a good season next year? As always, be humble enough to accept that I have a challenge in front, that the last six months have been very difficult for me, and I need to work more and I need to recover things that I lost because I was not able to practice the proper way, I was not able to compete the proper way.

What I have to do now is come back, work hard, stay positive every single day, accept the challenge, accept that I going to need to suffer a little bit more.

If I will be ready to go through all this process, we going to know in a couple of months I have the determination going through that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
127165-1-1004 2022-11-15 15:52:00 GMT

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