Some gems from Rafa's Tuesday presser:
[R]ight now I don't think if I am No. 1 or I am No. 5.... I am Rafa, and I go to every tournament to try to play well and to try to be competitive and win as many matches as I can. For me, important thing is that I feel that I play well, feel that I am competitive to try to win everybody. And when we finish the season, we will see where I gonna be, no?
Physically I'm perfect. Give me two weeks to broke everything. (Laughter.)
And then there was this exchange, which I found funny and then interesting:
Q. Do you think that if the US Open was at the start of the year rather than at the end of the year that you would have won it by now? Is the timing of the tournament part of the reason why you've yet to win it, given all your efforts to do what you do throughout the year getting to this stage of the season?
RAFAEL NADAL: I didn't understand nothing. (Laughter.) (Through translation.)
I don't know. I really don't know. That's is impossible to know. The thing that I can say is little bit easier for me, no, because I lose a lot of energy with the clay season and grass court season. That's true, no? It's a lot matches for me, a lot of tension in that three months, so was ‑‑ it's a very important part of season for me, and I put everything there. And after that, it's normal go down. Since everything is very good like it was this year, it's normal go a little bit down.
But I am perfect mentally. I say if I didn't win the US Open, it's because I wasn't ready to win the US Open in the past. I don't know if I gonna be ready this year or in the future. That's what I gonna work, and that's what I gonna try every year.
So I am focus on keep improving my tennis to have more options to do and to have more options to do when the matches are difficult in that tournament. But I gonna do all what I can all my career. But remember, is a Grand Slam, and every Grand Slams is very difficult.
Q. So you don't think it's a physical thing?
RAFAEL NADAL: Was a physical thing a few years; another years wasn't a physical thing. 2005 I was perfect physically. That's true. I was worse playing on this surface in 2005 than what I am today.
2006, I still was worse than what I am today on this surface, but I lost in quarterfinals because Youzhny played better than me. In 2005 I lost against Blake in third round because he played better than me, and that's all.
In 2002 and 2007 I had problems on the knees, and I lost against David Ferrer in fourth round.
In 2008 I arrived perfect physically but destroyed mentally winning in Roland Garros, Wimbledon, Toronto, Olympics. So it was crazy for me. Very hard season.
And last year was another time. I broked my abdominal in Montreal, so I played here with a little bit broken abdominal. But every match was bigger and bigger ‑‑ (through translation) the tear, the abdominal tear was bigger.
I finished the US Open destroyed, so for me it was amazing result being in semifinal last year.