J. TSONGA/R. Nadal
7‑6, 4‑6, 6‑3
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Can you give us your thoughts on that match and how well Jo played, how difficult it was against him tonight.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, first thing I have to talk about myself. I think I didn't play well tonight. The first two sets I didn't play bad, but I didn't play well, and to win these kind of matches you have to play well. I played without nothing special tonight, no?
Jo knows where I hit every ball during the point. I didn't had surprise shots during all the match. So that's very difficult at this level, no?
I was solid, but to slow with the legs. The forehand didn't had enough pain to him. And backhand normal, okay?
After the second set, the end of the second set, I was in a little bit better position than him. At the beginning of the third, the same. But I didn't play enough well. When I felt the match was little bit more to me than to him, beginning of the third, I played little bit too anxious to win that match.
So that's what happened. If the two first sets wasn't bad, but wasn't good, the third was disaster. That's the true, no?
He's a dangerous player. For sure is not easy to play against him, big serve, aggressive player. To play against these kind of players, you have to do something else more, no, and I didn't.
Best of luck for him. Congratulations to Jo. He deserved tonight more than me.
Q. Do you feel that you haven't been at your very best form since the US Open? If so, why would that be?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, in the Davis Cup of Spain after US Open, I played great. In Tokyo I played one of my best sets of the year against Murray, the first set. Yeah, after that wasn't my best, that's true.
Q. Why is that?
RAFAEL NADAL: Seriously I can talk one hour for that. Is because of lot of things. Because probably I was little bit less passion for the game probably because I was a little bit more tired than usual.
I happy how I practiced last three weeks. That's the true. Very happy with the right attitude to play tennis. That's important because I was in the right way. But to compete I wasn't in the right way.
We can find excuses, we can find problems for more time, but is not the moment to say that. Is the moment to, you know, still fighting. Is the moment to say the season is over. I had good season. Happy for that. Not happy about a few things during the season.
And now is the moment to analyze little bit more what I did good, what I did bad, and for sure know in what about I have to practice for the next month. That's all.
Watch through the Australian Open and have the right practice, continue with the right practice like I had the last three weeks. And that's the only way to try to arrive to the 2012 season with the right conditions. That's about I dream, try to arrive in 2012 with very good conditions, and I going to practice and I going to do it all in my hands to be perfect for the beginning of 2012.
This end of the year wasn't easy for me. That's hard to accept. But at the same time that's give me little bit more of illusion and little bit more goal for the beginning of 2012. That's what I going to try.
Q. How confident are you that you can recover your form in time for the Davis Cup?
RAFAEL NADAL: We'll see. I don't know. I don't know.
That's completely different conditions. I going to be for one week practicing on clay. Even if I am not playing perfect, the surface help me. Because sometimes little bit more about confidence, sometimes little bit more about the movement. I was a little bit slower than usual, but I think I was a little bit slower than usual because my mind wasn't perfect, so the reaction was late.
So on clay I have more time to think. The movements are a little bit easier for me. I going to have the right team there supporting me and practicing hard. I will be try my best every day to try to win the Davis Cup for my country. I'm lucky, the team, not only myself, if I'm not in the right conditions, the captain can choose another player.
Q. How eager are you still to be out there competing? It's not been a particularly easy year for you. Is your level of confidence and eagerness to get out there and play still as strong as it's ever been?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, this year was a tough year for me, no? I think was positive one for moments, but at the same time was hard for moments. Accept what happen during all the season, needs time for the think.
The only thing, the only important thing, today I say I didn't have big expectations for this tournament. I know how I arrive. Always you dream that the situation can change. If I win today, you never know.
But the thing, the normal thing, is what happened. Accept, the only way to accept. And I know only one way to change situation is to work more, think more about tennis, do everything in the right shape, do everything good inside the court, everything good outside the court. And that's what I going to try to do for the next month and for the rest 12 months of 2012. That's what I can say. That's what I can do.
If one player do better than me or another player is better than me, accept, congratulate the opponent. But what I have to do is try to arrive to my best, to be with calm with myself. That's all.
That's what I feel today I didn't, and I need to do for next year.
Q. Are there similarities with 2009?
RAFAEL NADAL: Oh, no, no.
Q. How is it different?
RAFAEL NADAL: Completely different situation, I think. First of all, I never like to compare the situations. But second thing, you know, 2009, I had different kind of problems. This year is a completely different year.
Is not the same situation, especially because I am two years older (smiling).
Q. You were saying a little while ago about the passion had dropped a little bit. Has that happened before to this extent like you've experienced this time? While you were going through that, how frustrating was it?
RAFAEL NADAL: Oh, 'frustration' is not the right word for me. I am happy. I am here. I qualified like No. 2 of the world for the World Tour Finals. I am here playing in a fantastic stadium. I never dreamed about that if you tell me 15 years before.
So frustration is another things.
In your career you have moments here, you have moments here, you come back, you go down. And today is not my best moment because I need not a lot of things. Because the experience says me to change are just small things, but these small thing change at the end of the day a lot of things.
That's what I have to do: work hard, working hard every day, morning, afternoon. I going to have my chance for next year to be competitive to win the big tournaments.
My illusion is there. My motivation I hope the same. I will do it. If not enough, is not going to be enough. But I will be satisfied with myself.
See you next year.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports