PHOTOS/VIDEO: 2017 China Open R1 Rafael Nadal vs. Lucas Pouille
2017 China Open R1 Rafael Nadal bt. Lucas Pouille 4/6 7/6(6) 7/5
Next opponent - Karen Khachanov
Q. That was a close one, two points away. How do you think you succeeded in the third to make the difference?
RAFAEL NADAL: Was so close, no? He had two match points, one of them with an easy forehand more or less. But it's like this.
I remember the match against him in the US Open that I had 6-All in the tiebreak, an easy forehand I missed to the net, too. That time was for him, today was for me.
Was a very tough first round, as I say the other day. He played well, I think. Very aggressive. He's serving well. For me was little bit difficult at the beginning. Then I started to play better, I think.
But still, I didn't have the control of the match for almost all the time. And, yeah, was a tough one. I am very, very happy to be through.
Q. Did you think of the US Open match in the tiebreak?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I don't think that match, no. I just worried about the next point. That's all.
Every year is different and every match is different. You cannot compare things. What happened in the past doesn't make an impact about what can happen today, no?
Yeah, he had the chance. I think I was there and I fighted until the end. I had a very good break in the 5-All, played a great game on the return, the break for me, then closed well.
Q. You played Lucas in the US Open and lost. This time he played really strong. How do you manage yourself facing those strong players, facing two match points?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, was difficult, of course. He played a great game to break me in the first set with some great shots, and then you are in trouble. Love-30, 15-30 with the second serve later to break him back, but I miss it.
He played well. For a lot of moments he played better than me. Is true that the conditions with cold, playing little bit later, are a little bit different than playing during the day. The ball become smaller and more difficult to have the feeling. But that's like this.
So just try to adapt myself and try to be positive all the match. I saved an important match. That give me the chance to have a day off tomorrow, I think, practice well tomorrow, try to be ready for Thursday another tough match.
Q. Given the events in the last couple of days with the Catalan vote, did playing today and winning in this kind of an emotional way, did it have an extra significance or emotion for you today?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, not at all. We need to start separating things. Sport and politics are not the same, in my opinion. And is sad what's happening, but that's all. I talked other day about that. Very delicate thing, so...
I think is better if I don't say anything.
Q. Did the cold weather bother you?
RAFAEL NADAL: What do you mean?
Q. Did that bother you?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, not bother me. The only thing is the weather was good to play tennis. The only thing is the ball changed a lot during the day conditions than during the night conditions. I didn't practice at that period of time. Was little bit strange feeling.
Q. It's an anecdote, but you lost your shoe at some point and you fell. Not the first time it's happened to you. Do you see any reason why?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, probably it's my fault with my movement. I don't know. I think I did too aggressive movement or something strange. I have a lot of power on the foot sometimes. If I push not in the right way, maybe these things can happens. That's all.
Not important at all.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Photos: China Open; Getty Images; AP; Osports; Sohu