Sorry if this has been posted already. I couldn't find the interview on the official site (Tennis.com). I think you have to buy the magazine. So basically I'm typing this by hand since I don't have a scanner. If someone has a link, I'm going to feel so stupid.
Would you consider this your best season so far?
I think this is even a better year than 2004 and 2005. I won 3 GSs in 2004, but this year I reached all of the finals. I also lost fewer matches, reached more finals overall, and was so consistent throughout the whole year.
When you turned pro, how successful did you think you'd be on tour?
I was hoping to become good. The dream was to play Wimbledon, but I never thought I would be as good as this and dominate the sport. You can dream of winning 1 GS if you are lucky. But to play so well- I never thought it was possible.
Your rivalry with Rafael Nadal has brought drama to men's tennis. Has it made you a stronger player?
For me it was clear that Nadal would become very strong when I palyed him in Miami. He just could not develop his career earlier because he had to skip the French Open two years in a row. He showed me some weaknesses in my game. I already knew them but he could exploit them better because he is a lefty. He made me think and work more specifically in practice.
Some experts say your record against Nadal would be better if he wasn't a lefty. What's your take?
I agree. It'd be more difficult for him. But it's how it is and he does it well with his left hand. And he also improved his backhand. But one shouldn't put too much weight on our head to head stats. Four of the matches were on clay, his favorite surface. If he would start to beat me more on hard courts, then you could maybe say that he is better than me. But I don't see it that way. In Dubai and Rome, I should not have lost and in Monte Carlo and Paris I had my chances. At Wimbledon, where I had to win, I beat him and was dominant for most of the match.
How do you get along with Nadal?
Our relationship is good. It was tense only one afternoon after I complained in Rome that [Nadal's Uncle] Toni was coaching him from the stands. Shortly after that we met in Barcelona for the Laureus ceremony. We were sitting at the same table, with the princess of Spain between us, and we realized everything is not that wild. It was the media that made a big story out of it. For him it was tougher. A lot of people started to question his behavior and his relationship to his coach.
Okay my hand is getting tired now. I only posted the important parts (things that would get MTF riled up)