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Rafa Nadal addressed the media after beating Karen Khachanov in what he himself considers his best match so far at the Australian Open. The Balearic believes that he improved in all aspects of his game, although he does not want to generate too many expectations.

Solutions: “These are decisions that you make during the game. I always have the utmost respect for the competition and for each rival. I have tried things to find the solution to win the game, to be better than my rival. I was playing at a very high level in both the first and second sets, and then at the beginning of the third as well. There have been three pretty critical games that have made me somewhat on the alert. I’ve gone back, too far back. At the beginning I was dominating all the points, maybe also because he wasn’t playing well, because I was putting pressure on him and I wasn’t giving him time to develop his game. When I went back and he started to have time, he started to play really well. I decided to go back and try to put balls inside and see if he would make any mistakes that way, but well I decided to end the set like this and see if I could return the break, but I realized that in the end he was playing better and better and I I needed to get back into track position. That’s why I decided to go back to the rest and hit the ball a little harder again, to try to keep him from turning forehand, change directions, and the truth is that I’ve done very well. I think that has a very important value for me. With the level that was the fourth set after losing the third and coming from where we come from, being able to react as I have is something that I am very satisfied with”

Improvement: “I think I have improved in everything, in court position, legs, with the backhand without a doubt it has been my best day. I was hitting the backhand without feeling of failure, being able to change directions, attacking quite well. I think I raised quite a few times too, I was getting a lot of returns from the inside. During the day you can still try to be behind because the ball jumps a little higher and the rival has a little more doubts when entering the ball. At night, being behind the rival hits the ball without feeling of error. I managed to stay up front quite well. I think the second serve I did well. The general reading of the game and the quality of the shots have been good. It is a time to be very happy with the evolution, with enthusiasm, maximum humility, but also with positivism

Physical and movement: “Today I did move well, better than the other day, because the blows were better. When you are playing with more dynamism, with more confidence, hitting without having to think about the shot, just thinking about where you are going to shoot the ball, it is because you start to have confidence and when that happens, you do not waste a thousandth of a second thinking about your shot and that makes you much more dynamic, much faster. The games also give you that and obviously this has been my best game in every way, this is a reality. Because it was the most difficult rival, an important rival with experience on the circuit and with many good games. We are not going to throw bells on the fly, but it is a day to be happy for that level increase

Ready for the second week?: “I swear I don’t think so, I mean it. In the end I go day by day and I have done it throughout my career. I am where I wanted. A month and a half ago I would not have dreamed of being in this situation, but beyond being in the second week, because of the general feeling. I’ll try to be 100% recovered for the next match and if possible, do a little better, but I think today’s level was high and if we continue to maintain it, we’ll see what can happen. You have to keep working, always with your feet fully on the ground and even more so in this situation. It was a special day for playing at this level. I’ve been chasing nights like this for a long time.”