In the last four weeks Rafael Nadal played 15 matches winning three titles on three played. Probably the Madrid event was the most tiring as he suffered a lot to beat Fabio Fognini and then on Sunday Dominic Thiem. After winning the final 7/6(8) 6/4, the Mallorcan player admitted how the week just ended was very tiring: 'It's logical that after a hard week, I've been playing a lot of matches, a lot of hours out there on the court, I feel like it's sore, a little bit tired', Rafa said.
'Because I'm not walking perfectly doesn't mean I have an injury. I'm just a little bit sore, tight. I'm 31 years old. That's all. I think I've been working well. I've done things the way they should be done, the way I think they should have been done.
I try to do things the best possible way, on the court or off the court, without doing anything crazy. When I care about is being happy. I try to do things that make me happy. But I think that I'm working in the right way for quite a long time.
Right now the results are there, and that gives me more capacity to keep on doing things. Tomorrow I'll wake up with joy, and I will want to do things even better. That's the joy that keeps you going, that keeps you alive.' Does it ever enter his head to not go to Italy? 'Well, it's difficult, whether to choose one option or another, either going to Italy or not.
If I don't go to Italy, it doesn't guarantee that I will be better shape in Roland Garros. Not going doesn't mean that I'm not going to be in good shape in Roland Garros. No matter what you choose, no matter what you do...
I try to go day by day. Last year perhaps I made a few mistakes. I made a mistake going to Rome. But I think I wasn't wrong last year because my wrist was injured here, then I went to Barcelona to have a checkup. They said everything was fine, my wrist was fine.
They said I could go to Rome. After that, I think it was a bad decision. I think today the decision is completely different, the situation is different. I don't have any problems, any injuries. It's a very important clay tournament.
I'm playing with a lot of joy. I think what is logical is to go to Rome, try to give 100%. After that, I think I have a few days to rest.' Analyzing the match played against Thiem, Nadal said: 'It was a tough match since the beginning, especially here in altitude, which is difficult to make breaks against a player like Thiem.
Returning the ball is difficult, especially when he hits it so high. Since the beginning, I was playing with a lot of pressure. Fortunately I managed to come back and break. I think he made an error, so I managed to break again.
After that, I calmed down. I think I played a good first set. Anything could have happened at the end of the first set. But I think I played well the important points at the end of the first set. I knew at the beginning of the second set, it was going to be very important.
Once you finish a first set like that, it's normal to lower your level a little bit. I had to play well in the second set. I started with a break, so that was very good towards what I had to do after that.' Three clay tournaments, No.
1 in the race. At the end of last year's season, was he expecting to be where is he right now? 'Normally, I don't expect anything. I go my way and things happen. I just try to do things as best as possible.
After that, I am conscious that if I am fit and I can play well, I have the capacity. I see myself being able to win important titles and achieve my goals. After that I don't think whether I can or whether I can't do something.
I just play every single tournament without thinking a lot of things. I just try to focus. I'm not thinking about the race or anything like that. I just try to go to each tournament to give the best of myself, being conscious when you are in the good way, as I am this year, I have confidence and security in myself.
But in December or January, I was not expecting to play badly, because I knew I was doing a very good off-season. I was expecting to play well. Of course, things are working out, and I'm very happy for that.' With this result he overtakes Roger Federer at the fourth place, which is very good heading into Roland Garros.
Perhaps it allows him to play with more calm in Rome. 'To try to win Roland Garros, you don't need to be No. 4 or No. 1 or No. 5, what you need is to play tennis very well. This is the situation right now.
In my career, being No. 4 or No. 5, I don't think it changes a lot for me. What I'm really happy about, I really enjoy, is to achieve a title like here in Madrid, to win a title like this. Today is a day to be satisfied, to be happy, and to have this trophy.
I thought I was going to take it, but apparently it's going to stay here. After tomorrow, I will think about Rome. That's everything I'm thinking right now. This is a very emotional period of the season. I really enjoy these tournaments.
I just try to go for all of them. I try to compete. In Monte-Carlo and Barcelona I did well, same here. I hope to do the same in Rome.' ALSO READ: Fabio Fognini: 'I thought Novak Djokovic would beat Nadal in Madrid'