Since very few people see the shows on The Tennis Channel (in the US) I thought I would give a small description of the show they recently had with Rainer. The show is called No Strings and is a 30 minute show that follows a player around for a day. I've seen other shows with Younes, Wayne F., Nadal, etc.
This one with Rainer was filmed during the US Open. Basically its just the player talking to the camera and interacting with people as he does various activities. They started with Rainer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art looking at the various exhibits (Egyptian, Armour, Classical European statues, etc).
After the museum he went to a Tae Kwan Do studio. I think that Rainer must have some previous martial arts background because he was too good for someone who had never done that before. They had him doing a variety of kicks and he was good at doing high sideways kicks. The funny thing was one drill which had him doing a series of kicks at a target that was moving backwards after each kick, which meant that Rainer had to keep moving forward to make contact. After about 3 or 4 kicks in a row, on the next kick he completely missed the target and landed flat on his back on the mats.
Then they had him do some punching/ducking/kicking routine with an instructor. The last thing they had him do was break some boards by kicking it with his bare foot. He said he had never done that before. They started with a slender board and Rainer was pretty jazzed that he chopped right through it easily. They went to a thicker board which he also broke, but it looked like he felt it a little bit in his foot.
Next stop was a German restaurant. He went into the kitchen and helped the chef prepare bratwurst, potatoes, and sauerkraut. They tried to get him to drink some beer but he turned them down. The food looked great and at one point the guys were talking in German . I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard Rainer speak in German!
So Rainer sits down with the food and after the first bit says “Its not as good as my Mom’s.”
Then he made a point of saying the food was good, but he liked his Mom’s better.
The last stop of the day was at a trapeze school. They had a net and towers set up by the seaside and I guess you can just go and learn how to do some circus stuff. What I learned from this is that Rainer does not have a very flexible back (sorry Alfonso
). First they had Rainer on the ground and were teaching him how to do that swinging flip you need to do in order to end up hanging by the trapeze bar from your legs and feet. Then he climbed up the pole to the platform . He was not comfortable with the height. So I guess no Nalbandian bungee jumps in his future. He grabbed the bar and swung out but didn’t manage to flip over from his hands to his feet. He admitted that he was too concerned about the height to focus on the flip. So later they had him try again and this time he was able to swing out and flip over to his legs and let go with his hands. Then they tried to get him to reach back in the position a trapeze artist guy does when he is getting ready to catch the flying girl, but Rainer could not bend his back at all in that backward arched position. When it became obvious that it wasn’t going to happen then they had him drop down.
That was the end of the show. Rainer was very charming and comes across as a very likable guy and a good sport.