With Measures Of 'Luck & Suffering', Rafa Rules In Rome Again
“It's amazing to have the trophy with me again, one more time here in Rome,” said Nadal, after he defeated World No. 1 Novak Djokovic 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 on Sunday in the final at the Foro Italico. “I really wanted this 10th here in Rome... After achieving 10 at Roland Garros, 10 in Monte-Carlo, 10 in Barcelona, I really wanted this one. It’s [a] super important tournament for me.
“I went through a lot of things during the week. Some positive, some great moments, some lucky moments, suffering moments. At the end I think I played a very solid week of tennis… It's the right moment to win an important title.
“I don't put myself extra pressure [on myself] at all. I want to win every day and every tournament that I am playing. Something that I know [is] not going to happen. But the passion and the motivation to try is always the same. I know how to handle the pressure.”
Nadal, who equalled Djokovic’s tally of 36 ATP Masters 1000 trophies on Sunday, is now 18-3 on the season, which also includes capturing his 12th Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell crown on 25 April.
“I think I have been playing better and better with my forehand in the past couple of weeks, getting [more] confident. Today has been a positive day… That's a huge improvement for me, [a] very important shot. Especially on clay, it's give me confidence. I think my serve is working better, too. I think I had a great week. I played plenty of hours, so I feel good. I feel tired, but [it’s] a very satisfying victory.”
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The 34-year-old will now return to Mallorca to rest, and also prepare for a tilt at a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam championship crown with his 14th Roland Garros title.
“[I’ll] take a couple of days off and then start working," said Nadal. "I think I can work on a couple of things that I can do a little bit better. I think I have been improving this week, but I need to keep going with [those] improvements, because when you improve, you're able to do it every day for longer time. Then it [gives you] more confidence and you feel more confident … to do it in the next tournament.
“I just need to keep going. I know what I need to work [on over] the next couple of weeks, and I'm going to do it. Work, relax mentally, and work the right way.”