2020 Rome Masters R2 Rafael Nadal bt. Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1 6-1
Next - M. Raonic or D. Lajovic
Q. Would you say it was more difficult than you thought, playing without spectators, when you're used to playing in front of such big crowds, especially here in Rome?
RAFAEL NADAL: Good feeling, of course, going out there. Not beautiful, the feeling playing without the spectators, because the energy of the fans is impossible to describe.
But for me, at least, have been today a very positive comeback. I played a very solid match, no? Maybe Pablo was a little bit tired from a great tournament there in New York, but thinking about myself, I played a very solid match and very serious and doing a lot of things very well, no? So very happy.
Q. Do you think there are some things you need to work on in terms of accepting this new reality and getting yourself ready in such a short time for Roland Garros?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, of course I have to improve things, no? But the things that I have to improve, the only way to improve is to keep practicing with the right attitude and with the right intensity and to spend hours on the competition matches, no? That's the way.
And today have been a positive start for me. That give me the chance to win a good match against a tough opponent and to give me a chance to play again after tomorrow.
Was good news that I'm gonna be able to play one more match. By the way, I never take Rome like preparation for nothing else, no? Rome is one of the most important and historic tournaments in our sport, so I always came here with the highest motivation possible.
This year, of course situation is different, but I gonna keep trying my best.
Q. Do you think that based on what we saw from Pablo today that the players who competed in New York at the US Open are at a disadvantage going into Roland Garros?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't think so, no. If Roland Garros is this week, maybe yes. Roland Garros two weeks away, of course, I don't think so, no.
Q. I wonder if you can tell us for how many weeks have you been practicing on clay?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. I don't know. I have been two months without touching a racquet for lockdown. Then I start to practice on hard for a while. And then I switch to clay.
But I really do not remember when, honestly, no, no, no. But quite a lot. But I have been practice on and off not every single day since the beginning. I had to come back very slow. After two months without touching a racquet, I needed to make things step by step, trying to avoid injuries.
And of course after the lockdown, the body had some issues, too. Just trying to do the things the best way possible to come back when I felt ready.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Photos: Getty Images; AFP; Internazionali BNL d'Italia
• On-court interview
• Press conference
♦ ♦ ♦
• buy a mask ► shop.rafanadalacademy.com