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Rafael Nadal: 'It was impossible to be at my best against Benoit Paire'
From the WebDesk, 10/08/2018, New Delhi

 Rafael Nadal dropped off just five games against the Frenchman Benoit Paire, prevailing 6-2 6-3, and in press conference the 32-year-old admitted he didn't play his best tennis. 'I was not at my 100% today', Nadal said. 'But at the same time it's true that it's impossible, no? After a while, you need matches. It's true that I did good work here the last five days, but at the same time it's true that I didn't work very hard at home. I just did the basics to come back to the competition. So first match is important. It's important victory for me, for my confidence. It's important that I have another match tomorrow too. So just try to keep going. And, you know, I think I played a solid match. It's true that with myself in the second set I had some troubles, but my return worked well. And it was not about the serve. It was more about the mistakes from the baseline in my opinion.'

Nadal often hit dropshot winners. Commenting on this tactic, he said: 'It's important to be a little bit unpredictable, especially on grass and on all the surfaces, no? But on clay, if you are predictable but you do the right shot, you know, is still tough for the opponent to take advantage. Here it's important to be on the rhythm. It's important to play matches. It's not about tricks. It's about to play well. These tournaments are so hard. Since the beginning you play against the top 50 players. So it's a big test from the real first round. So that's all. You need to be ready. And today I found a way to be through, and let's try again tomorrow.'

He was also playing his first match since Wimbledon semifinals loss against Novak Djokovic: 'It's not the same (to) play the first round after playing tournaments in a row. For example, for me, it's not the same play in Rome after playing Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, and that first match in Monte Carlo and Davis Cup when I played the first match this year. And here, I don't play a singles match on hard court since Australia. So is a long time. And that's it. You need time. And the victories of course helps and good to work on the practice for sure, no? But even if you have a good work on the practice, you need matches to get that percentage that you need.'



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