PHOTOS/VIDEO: 2017 Paris Masters R2 Rafael Nadal vs. Hyeon Chung
2017 Paris Masters R2 Rafael Nadal bt. Hyeon Chung 7/5 6/3
Next opponent - Pablo Cuevas
Q. One question. During this summer, you have preparation with Dimitrov in Manacor, in your home place, on the hard court, after that you make really good season. Is it better when you're training at home for you?
RAFAEL NADAL: For him too?
Q. For him too. Obviously.
RAFAEL NADAL: He won the first match the tournament of his life.
Yeah. I always practice at home. It was not a difference for me. The only difference is I was able to practice with Grigor this summer and for sure was good for me and I believe for him too.
So I think going to happen again this December.
Q. It wasn't a goal at the start of the season to end No. 1 but tonight officially you have clinched it. How does it feel and what does it mean?
RAFAEL NADAL: Of course it was not the goal. It was impossible for me to think about that when you are coming back from a tough period of time without playing tennis and with so many injuries in last couple of years.
But yes, here we are, happened. And very happy of course. Means a lot, no? After almost ten years since the first time that I finished the year with this number.
So I think it's a very important achievement and is important achievement for itself finish the year like world No. 1 is different than being the world No. 1. For me have much more value finish the year than being No. 1 in the middle of the season. Even both things are important but it's different.
And that big gap between the first time and this time, that's so difficult. It means a lot to be able to keep playing at this level after that long time.
Q. You are the oldest No. 1 at the end of the year, 31.
RAFAEL NADAL: Ever?
Q. Yes. In the history.
RAFAEL NADAL: Really?
Q. And your opponent today was 21. What do you think about Chung and the new generation, the next generation of players?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, good, no? I think there is, of course, a new group of great players. And he's so quick. He has a good rhythm from the baseline. He's always the same. He's all about keeping improving all the time. And if he's able to keep improving every year we will be talking about the player with chances to fight for important things.
Q. I would like to know how do you define a winning mentality and what does it mean for you?
RAFAEL NADAL: Define winning mentality? It's not about winning mentality, no? It's about the passion for what you are doing. It's about the mentality of waking up every morning with the right motivation to go on court and improve something. That's the winning mentality, no?
Everybody wants to win when we are competing and when we are on the tennis court.
Another thing is wake up every morning with the passion to go on court and with the passion to improve something and practice every day with the right attitude to try to make that happen. So that's another story, no? That's not everybody is able to do it.
So for me that's the winning mentality to do the right things to try to give you chances to be better player.
Q. What are your thoughts on your level of play today?
RAFAEL NADAL: It was not perfect. It was not bad. There is room to improve, but I think I am ready to try to improve, no? I am on a good dynamic, playing well the whole season.
So is always tough the first match. Of course I played indoor during Beijing, Shanghai because it was raining but it's a completely different story, no? Very high and different feelings, no? There's no comparison to play, for example, in the US Open indoor or playing here. Is completely different thing. So for me was the first match of the year under these circumstances.
So it was not perfect but it was not bad and that's the good news. And talking about was an important match for me because that's winning today already achieved that important thing for me. So able to put that back and just think about playing tennis and play better every day.
So tomorrow is a tough opponent. Pablo is always a tough one. I need to play well, but as I say, I hope to be ready to make that happen.
Q. You spoke about getting up and having passion to go on court and practice. But does winning actually help as well? Does that fire the passion?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah. But is everything combined, no? So, of course, the victories helps to keep going on court with the passion because you believe that if you were doing well and you keep practicing well, you're going to keep having chances to have success.
But the only way, if you don't practice with the right passion every day probably you will not be in that position. So it's true that I have been for a lot of time almost always with that winner dynamic, let's say, no? I have been winning a lot during almost all the time in my career, no?
But I had periods of time that I have been injured. I've had periods of time where I was not winning. And when that happen, of course I had doubts. Of course, you know, believe in yourself. Everybody says, you know, is important to believe in yourself.
But at the end of the day for me it's not about believing in yourself. It's belief when you work. You have to believe when you work. Then when you win, you believe in yourself. When you don't win, you don't believe that much in yourself. But if you're able to believe in the work of every day, then you're going to have the chance to win again probably, no?
And that's what I did well, I think, all my life.
Q. You're playing excellent volleys. Why don't you use it much more often?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. I have good volley, no? I go very often to the volley. I don't know how many times I went today, and I go very often during the whole season.
But is always the same story, no? It's not about why I'm not going to the net more often. It's about playing well. If I play well I go to the net. If I don't play well, I'm not in an advantage positions and I don't have the chance to go to the net. So when I go to the net it's because I'm playing well.