The world No.2 is all set to take on another edition of the Mutua Madrid Open, a tournament which has given him many successes. Before meeting with the media today, he took time out to give us an exclusive interview here at the official web page of the Mutua Madrid Open. Read about his impressions here.
Spain’s Rafa Nadal has won the Mutua Madrid Open twice and after losing the final last year against Novak Djokovic, he will be determined to get the title back at the Caja Mágica. Before his 2012 debut, the Spaniard met with us here at the official web to answer our questions.
After a period of a few months without winning any tournaments you have bagged back-to-back victories in Montecarlo and Conde de Godó, two tournaments you’ve won on eight and seven occasions respectively. How does it feel to get back to winning ways in to tournaments that are so important to you?
These tournaments have always been really important in my career. They are the first ones played on clay every year and, like I say, it’s a really important moment for me because I know it’s where I’m most likely to play well, so the first few weeks really influence everything else. Luckily, everything went really well and I was able to double up victories which at the end of the day is all that really matters.
You’ve also managed to get out of your rut against Novak Djokovic after a run of seven finals lost to him. What where your thoughts after finally defeating him in Montecarlo?
Yeah, it’s true that he’d beaten me in the last seven encounters we’d had before then, and I must say that, while I don’t like losing, I was playing against him in finals, which is already a good result. In Australia, towards the start of the year, I came close, but it wasn’t to be. And like I always say, you just have to keep going, keep training and keep getting better. I think in Montecarlo I played at a really high level against him and I was finally able to break the losing streak and take the title.
Last week in Barcelona and again here in Madrid you have huge support from the home crowd. How important to you is it to play in front of your fans and fell that support?
Yeah, playing in Spain, at home, is always special. I’ve always said that playing here is like no other place in the world. The crowd here in Madrid has always been incredible. Some of my achievements would have been impossible without their support. I still remember my match against Ljubicic. It was the crowd that helped me turn that match around and win that final. But I also remember the game against Djokovic in the Caja Mágica three years ago. I owe a lot of that semi-final to the crowd.
In these difficult economic times, you and the other Spanish players are a source of happiness for many people. What is it like having this responsibility?
First of all I want to thank everyone who comes to give us their support. These are tough times and we all have to stick together and work hard. So for people to make the effort to come and watch us play tennis, I can’t help but be grateful.
You have won the Mutua Madrid Open twice and reached the final on another two occasions. What are your fondest memories of this tournament?
Yeah, the truth is that despite this tournament’s added challenges, I’ve had incredible success here for which I am very proud and also hugely grateful to the public and the organisers. The final in the old setting of the Casa de Campo against Ljubicic or the final I won here against Federer two years ago were both important. However, it’s not just the victories I remember – moments from certain matches, my time in the hotel, in the city and the tournament in general stick out in my mind as well.
What do you think it’s going to be like playing on the new blue courts?
I have already spoken in detail about my thoughts on this matter and of the discontent the majority of the players feel towards the ATP’s decision. Without a doubt this tournament is one of the best in the world and there’s nothing more to say. It is what it is and now all I can do is train hard and do my best.
What are your main objectives for 2012?
To continue improving and preparing for each tournament as best as I can.
Thanks for your questions!