R. NADAL/E. Schwank 6‑1, 6‑3, 6‑4
Q. Was it your best match since the start of the tournament?
RAFAEL NADAL: It was my best match?
Q. Don’t you think it was your best match since the start of the tournament?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I think I did well. I played a solid match, but say it’s my best or not, was similar to the second against Istomin. And today I think ‑‑ I mean, Istomin I played a very high level the third set. Today the third set I stopped a little bit, you know. I didn’t play as good as I did in the previous two.
I probably stopped a little bit my legs, and I had the break, and after the break I was solid with my serve.
But in general is important victory for me. Straight sets, good feelings. That’s most important thing, and I happy.
Q. Maybe I’m wrong, but it looked so easy for you, all three matches so far. So is there kind of personal challenge you take for yourself, let’s say, to try something special against those opponents?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, the special thing that I try is try my best in every moment. Sometimes my best is here, sometimes here, and sometimes here. But I always ‑‑ in every match of the year, I try to play as good as I can.
I did well. I started well the tournament. I’m in the second week, so that’s the important thing. That doesn’t matter, the past.
I start the most difficult thing now with big confrontation against Monaco. He’s playing great. He’s doing a fantastic season. Will be a very tough match. And doesn’t matter if I won comfortable the first three matches, because you have another match the next day.
THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish.
Q. An easy match, when we look at the score, but then you had to move around a lot. But you were always there on all the points to return them all.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, okay, I have to move around on the court so that I can win, because this is a Grand Slam. It’s the third round. Those who would believe it’s different would be totally wrong.
Well, he plays well on clay. He was going to the net quite often, and this is why I started improving on the side of serves, first and second serves, and then I had a number of break points.
And perhaps he found his focus at the end of the match more than at the beginning. I suffered a little with my serves, but not too often. Perhaps once during the beginning of the second set, and then afterwards I could have winning serves, which is very important.
For the time being, everything is okay. Maybe I could improve my game a little, because the most difficult match is yet to come.
Q. At the beginning you said that you’re less nervous this year than you were last year. Would you say that this is why you’re more consistent? You were more consistent during these first three rounds?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, yes. This is what I said on the very first day here, and I had less perhaps fear than the years before. But, as you can see, the result is, in any case, positive. In the past, I perhaps had some fears, but the results were positive as well.
Now the first week has gone by. It’s always the most complicated week to manage. And what is important is just to try to win the Grand Slam, even though you know that you might lose it.
The most difficult match will most certainly be the one I play against Juan Monaco. I hope I will continue on this interesting and winning streak of matches.
Q. I think Monaco is one of your friends. You practice from time to time. How do you see this match from the tactical point of view and, also, he’s one of your best friends on the tour?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, he’s one of the players I really like on the tour. I really get on well with him. We know each other very well, personally speaking, but also from the point of tennis. We spend a lot of hours together. We practice very often together.
So we both know what we’re going to try and do when we play together. We’ll try and be very aggressive. We’ll try and speed up and change gears. And we’ll see who’s going to win.
Q. How do you feel after winning 250 matches on clay?
RAFAEL NADAL: 250 matches? Well, okay, that’s a figure. I don’t have the impression it’s a huge number, because more and more ‑‑ or, rather, you know, in 2005 I played many matches on clay. And there was Buenos Aires, Acapulco, another one, then Valencia, Monte‑Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, Roland Garros, Stuttgart. That’s ten, I think, ten tournaments on clay, and after this I think five or four more.
So, you see, I don’t have that many opportunities of winning that many matches. There aren’t that many tournaments. But maybe in the future there’s going to be more matches on clay. Maybe the timetable will be more favorable so that I can win more titles.
Because, you see, I only play against the best players in the world, so it’s always very complicated to win titles.
Anyway, I’m very satisfied with my results on clay, and I must admit that my results on clay are quite special.
Q. I’d like to know something. Now, on the other side of the draw, there’s Federer and Djokovic. Is that something that worries you, or do you keep your focus on yourself?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, if I’m interested, I’ll have a look at the draw, but, otherwise, no. I’ll do what I’ve always done: Think about what I have to do.
If I have to watch them play, I wouldn’t look at them at opponents, but I’ll watch their matches because I like watching tennis matches.
Q. What will you do tomorrow for your birthday? Have you planned anything special? Will you take a rest? Will you have some practice? Will you see a match that is taking place in Spain?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, nothing special, you know. I’m here at Roland Garros. The time has not yet come for me to celebrate. I’d like to focus for the round of 16, and I’ll practice, as usual.
I will have my treatment, as usual. I don’t know if there’s going to be something special, which is always the case here at Roland Garros.
I’m always very happy, because something has always been prepared for me, a cake or a very quick celebration. If this is the case, I’ll be very happy. But if there is nothing whatsoever, I will not really care. I will do as I usually do. Tomorrow is going to be a day like any other day.
Q. Now, you have a new racquet that has not yet been certified, I think. And Babolat has a racquet with a microchip that measures tension or that gives you data. What’s this all about? I don’t really understand.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, that’s not a racquet to play with but to practice. Maybe in the future I’ll use it to play with on the courts. But, for the time being, the only thing it can do is help the coaches in the future.
For me, there’s not much I could do in addition to what I’ve done for a number of years. You know, well, of course I always try and improve, but, you know, at my age, at my level, it’s always more difficult to use these types of gimmicks or gadgets.
Of course, had this racquet been available two or ten or fifteen years ago, this would have helped me considerably, because it’s going to give you data, you know exactly where to hit the balls. It’s interesting data that these things provide you with.
I think this is an interesting development. I’d like to congratulate Babolat for this.