Rafael Nadal

THE MODERATOR: Just like to confirm with the win tonight Rafael Nadal will move to No. 1 on the South African Airways ATP rankings on the 18th of August. Should he win the tournament on Sunday, he will move to No. 1 on Monday. I'd like to open it up for questions, please.


RAFAEL NADAL: And if I win tomorrow and I lose the final?


THE MODERATOR: You'll be on the 11th of August.

 
Q. Given all the hard work that you put in to get to No. 1, what was more satisfying accomplishment: Getting on your 32-match winning streak, getting the No. 1, or winning Roland Garros, the first one, in '05?


RAFAEL NADAL: Well, so many different things, no, so difficult to compare. But when you win Roland Garros it's in the moment, no? It's, I don't know, very emotional.
Right now I know I going to be No. 1 and I'm very, very happy for be No. 1. Be No. 1 always is, I think, is a present for a lot of work in the past, no? So that's satisfying me a lot, no? But for be No. 1 you only can be No. 1 winning Roland Garros, Wimbledon, so...


Q. Did you feel like your serve was stronger tonight than last, and how do you feel going into tomorrow?


RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I was a little bit tired, no? I have a lot of matched in my shoulders in the last few months. I am a little bit tired. Probably the movement are a little bit slowly than usually. But at the same time, very happy for be in the semifinals, no? I hope for tomorrow play my best match here in Cincinnati. Only like this I going to have chances for win, so I gonna try.


Q. What do you have to do specifically to avoid a letdown tomorrow? For instance, you're 9-3 against Djokovic head to head. He beat you at Indian Wells this year and you beat him the other two times.


RAFAEL NADAL: I have to play more aggressive than today, that's for sure. I have to play a very solid match, very important serve well, and when I have the chance try to do it, no? I know Djokovic is playing well. He's the first or second player of the world on this surface, so I have to play very well if I want to win.


Q. With so much riding on this match for you personally, if you win your No. 1, did that weigh on you at all during the match? Did you think about that at all?


RAFAEL NADAL: A little bit, but important thing is continuing play good, no, continuing win. So if I continuing playing like I did the last months, I know don't gonna be the last chance for be No. 1 this year, no? I am in very good position in the race and having good distance to the second in the race, so I hope if I lost today have more chances, no? For that reason I was with calm, no?


Q. It seems every year you get better and better. In the last couple years your backhand has just become this awesome weapon and you're serving so much better. Can you talk a little bit about how that happened. Did it just evolve, or did you work specifically to make that happen?


RAFAEL NADAL: Working, I don't know. Always Without being satisfied with my game, no? Always want to be better and better. But it's important always have one player in front of you. When you watch Federer play, you always see you can be much better, no?


Q. What goals have you set for the rest of the year now that you're the No. 1 at least?


RAFAEL NADAL: The goal only is try to play a good match tomorrow, first of all. Later try to play a good Olympics and later try to play a good US Open and later try to beat United States in the semifinals and later continuing playing well in Madrid and Paris.


Q. It was harder to get to No. 1 than you thought it would be when you started playing tennis, or did you have any idea what it would take to get here?


RAFAEL NADAL: I can't say if it's harder or not right now than what I thought in the past, because I never thought about be No. 1, no? So just when you start, when you are a kid start playing tennis, your dream is be professional tennis player, play Wimbledon, play Roland Garros, play US Open, Australia, but you don't think but ranking, no? I, myself.


Q. Do you feel a greater sense of responsibility to be an ambassador for the sport overall as the No. 1 player in the world versus someone chasing No. 1?


RAFAEL NADAL: (Through translation.) I don't feel more responsibility right now than before, no? I always try to do the best for the sport. I always work hard for try to improve the sport of the tennis. If I can do everything for improve I always gonna do, no?


Q. How much of a concern is the fatigue? Going into the match tomorrow, I mean, are you worried about your fatigue?


RAFAEL NADAL: A little bit. For sure a little bit, no? I play a lot of matches. I know how tough is play Toronto and play later here in Cincinnati with the humidity. The weather doesn't help a lot, so gonna be difficult be 100%. But I hope I will try to do the last push hard.


Q. How excited are you now that you've reached this goal to be No. 1?


RAFAEL NADAL: Very happy. But at the same time, my goal is continuing be there, no? So my goal is continuing be there Olympics and US Open, so no time for enjoy.
For sure it's, well, it's a big satisfaction be the No. 1, but we can celebrate when the season is done, no, or after Davis Cup in Madrid.


Q. Is there a present you're going to give yourself?


RAFAEL NADAL: No. No. My present is be here. All my family is in good condition, so it's no problems. Everything is perfect, no? I just can say thank you very much everybody in the life, because without you have the help of the family, of my team, it's impossible to be there, no?


Q. Have you received any phone calls or massages congratulating you?


RAFAEL NADAL: I didn't see the phone.


Q. Was there any aspect of your performance tonight that you were not happy with?


RAFAEL NADAL: I served better a little bit today than yesterday. Well, yesterday in the final of second set I have three very good games with my serve, a lot of aces. But during all the match I have a lot of mistakes. Today I served better. I still have to continuing still improve a little bit the aggressivity for tomorrow, the backhand a little bit, and the movements.

 
 
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