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Nadal Voices Respect for Hewitt, Bryans

New York, U.S.A.

Nadal© Getty ImagesRafael Nadal respects Lleyton Hewitt's fighting qualities

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal, who won through to the fourth round of the US Open by defeating Ivan Dodig in straight sets, has been keeping an eye on other matches, including Friday night's five set battle between Lleyton Hewitt and Juan Martin del Potro.

"I watched a lot of moments of the match...my feeling is Hewitt played great, played amazing," said the Spaniard.

"[It] was a good match.  I was happy for Lleyton, he's a great fighter. [It] is great for a player like him for have a big victory like he had yesterday against a very tough opponent," said Nadal. "[The fact he is] still on the tour with motivation to keep playing, keep fighting is something that I admire a lot [about] him."

"For del Potro to win that match, [he] should play a little bit more aggressive than what he did yesterday," said Nadal, adding that he felt sorry for the Argentine.

The 27-year-old Nadal said he hasn't thought ahead to whether he'll still be striking forehand winners when he is the same age as Hewitt, or 32.

"My motivation is [to] keep playing for a long time.  I don't know if [it will be] three, four, five, six years.  I don't know that, I go day by day. [The] important thing is be happy.  I'm happy today," said Nadal.

The 12-time major winner gave his best wishes to No. 1 doubles pair, Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, on their quest towards a calendar Grand Slam. "I wish them best of luck for the tournament.  I think if they really make it, [it] is something very difficult and will be a very good thing."

Nadal commented that doubles is different to the sport it was two decade ago, due to many players becoming either singles or doubles specialists, compared to the likes of John McEnroe and Yevgeny Kafelnikov, who contested both.

"Today the situation is a little bit different and probably [the Bryans] are one of that small group of doubles players that they really work all day thinking about doubles, and they are good.  They are brothers, they know each other very well," said Nadal. "[The] most important thing is at the end of the day, they have confidence [in] each other...so probably they have the chance to be the best team [in] history."

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Nadal, who is yet to drop serve this tournament, believes confidence breeds success.

"I am winning because I am playing well from the baseline and I am making the right decisions in the right moments," he said. "When you are playing well, you have the chance to play more aggressive.  When you are playing bad and you are not feeling [the ball] very well, I am not that [prepared] to keep playing that aggressive."

Nadal holds a 9-1 FedEx ATP Head2Head lead over his next opponent, German 22nd seed Philipp Kohlschreiber.

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