Q. You’ve been involved now in two of the best matches most of us have ever seen: the Wimbledon final and now this one. What was the emotion at the end of this one?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, a lot, no? Was very emotional today. Well, was amazing match, no? Verdasco was playing unbelievable. I don’t know.
I think seems like in the fourth set he was little bit tired. But he start to serve at 212, 215 all the time, and all the serves in. I didn’t have any chance for have the break in the fourth. I was okay with my serve, I was playing well, and I didn’t have chances in the fourth. In the tiebreak, he played unbelievable, no?
So I think I was very good mentally all the time, believing in the victory and being very focus, because was very tough, no? In the fifth set even, I had a lot of opportunities, and he served all the time unbelievable, no?
So was too tough. But for sure for me is amazing be in this final, especially with one match like today, no? Fernando was playing I think his best level in his career. He continues like this, he’s gonna have chances for be in any number of the ranking, no? So for win against Stepanek, 6‑4, 6‑0, 6‑0, against Murray and against Tsonga, he must play very well, no? He’s doing very well, yeah. Too well.
Q. You said the other day that you never played with the best of Verdasco when you beat him six times. Did you expect he could play so well like he did tonight or were you a little bit surprised?
RAFAEL NADAL: When I went to the match, I just thought if he beat Tsonga and Murray, and Murray was coming very well, and Tsonga, too, he must play very well, he must be playing very well.
Q. Tonight he played even better, no?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. You have to ask him. I saw his level very good, yeah.
Q. How would this compare in drama and emotion to the final at Wimbledon against Federer, then maybe the Rome match against Federer a couple years ago?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, you can’t compare the matches, no? The final of Wimbledon was the final of Wimbledon. After two finals for me was little bit more emotional.
But today was, yeah, one of these matches you gonna remember long time, no? Well, the emotion was big, because in the last game with the Love‑40 I start to cry. Was too much tension, no?
Q. What did you say to each other at the end of the match?
RAFAEL NADAL: I said him, he played very well, and congratulate him. I just congratulate him for his tournament, for his start of the season, and just say, If you continue like this, you can do everything, no?
He deserve this final, too, because his level was very well, very good. Well, he congratulated me, for sure.
Q. You’re not only the No. 1 in the world, but you are one of the top players in the politics of the ATP. Is there nothing you can do to avoid this problem of scheduling, that you have one day of rest and Roger has two? Apart from Wimbledon, every tournament is screwed up. The US Open, they do what they want. Roland Garros, they do what they want. Here the same. Don’t you think the players should do something?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think Roland Garros is not like this, no?
Q. They play sometimes one day before the other.
RAFAEL NADAL: No. The last four years not (smiling).
Well, the US Open was for both player the semifinal the same day. Here is the only tournament is not like this. But, you know, you still have one day off. So that’s the sport. For sure is a little bit more fair if you play the same day.
But is like this. Last year was for me, and this year was for Roger in this case, no? Last year I played on Thursday. I lost. I didn’t play the final. But, anyway, I play on Thursday, and Roger play on Friday.
Well, this little bit unlucky play one match like today, too hard. So for sure Roger gonna be in much better performance physically than me for the final.
But at the same time I gonna try to be recovered for the final and play my best. I don’t know if we can do something because we are involved of the council. But the true, right now I not ready for speak about politic.
Q. How hard is it to keep up that level of intensity for over five hours?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, was hard because I know have a break gonna be very tough when he was serving. But, anyway, I have to be very happy with me, because I served well all the time. I have 100% concentration in all the moments.
And, for sure, is tough when you’re playing against one player, he always play aggressive, playing winners. So that’s killing you all the time, no?
But that’s nice, too, no, for try to find solutions, try to change the tactic ‑ I don’t know. These matches improve yourself, no?
Q. What will you do tomorrow? What can you do to help yourself recover?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I don’t know what time I gonna sleep. What time is it?
Q. Quarter to 3:00.
RAFAEL NADAL: No, because I have the Spanish time here (laughter).
Well, I don’t know. Is tough to sleep after one match like this, no? The tension, everything. Have to eat something, doing a little bit more massage. Tomorrow sleep. I don’t know at what time I gonna wake up. Probably in the afternoon around 6:00, 7:00 have some practice.
Q. How exciting is it for you to finally play Federer in a Grand Slam on hard court?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, always is ‑ I don’t know ‑ special play against Federer any match, no? You play another final of Grand Slam is more exciting, no?
Little bit unlucky. Don’t know how I gonna be for the final. I gonna try my best for sure for recover my body and my physical performance. But, you know, after one match like this, the next days you feel much heavier, no?
But for sure for me is amazing play another final of Grand Slam. Here in Australia, the first one. Well, unlucky all the time is against the same: the best. For sure, I prefer another opponent. But that’s makes big the sport, too, no, finals like this.
Q. Do you plan to play closer to the baseline against Federer? Tonight you had to run really a lot.
RAFAEL NADAL: Was tough to be more inside, no? What do you think? Did you see the speed of the ball or not (laughter)?
Q. I saw he was able to stay farther in front.
RAFAEL NADAL: I would love to be more inside, yeah. I gonna try to be more inside for the final, but I am playing against Federer.
013009 friday/info-photo via Australian Open / Getty Images