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post #12 of (permalink) Old 04-25-2005, 01:15 PM
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Re: >> Rafa news and articles <<

Including the pics here's the Iberia article.

Iberia Magzine April 2004 (of course the statistics here aren't right anymore )


When players of the stature of Carlos Moya or Juan Carlos Ferrero are still at the height of their careers, this 18-year-old from Manacor in Mallorca has become the man to watch in Spanish tennis.

His list of achievements include three tournament wins as well as a Davis Cup won in December. This run of successes has placed him 31st in the world rankings and 6th in the annual ranking.

*Aren't you frightened by such rapid progress?
RAFA: Not at all. Since I was little I have alwasy stood out from the crowd and this is a situation that you have to accept. It's good luck.

*What would you have done if you hadn't become a tennis player?
Rafa: I would have liked to be a footballer

*How would you describe yourself?
Rafa:As a normal kid who lives in Mallorca and who spends little time at home because of his profession. A boy like any other who likes to play golf, fish and have fun with his friends.

*Do you think that you are priviliged?
Rafa: Of course. I'm lucky to be able to work at what I like and that things are going my way.

*Now that you are famous do you like being stopped in the street or does it bother you?
Rafa: Neither one nor the other. I accept it and I try to treat people kindly and with modesty.

*Do you think that your popularity could go to your head?
Rafa: I don't think so. I have my feet on the ground. Maybe some people think I am conceited, but that is because they don't know me. When they get to know me, they realise that I am just an ordinary guy.

*You Have now won nearly one million euros just in prizes. Are you worried about the future?
Rafa: Not at all. I never notice what I earn. I"m young and I think I have many years ahead to secure my future.

*Is it true that you don't have any idols?
Rafa: I don't admire anyone in particular. Well, maybe the only one is Fernando Alonso, a great racing driver and he's the sportsman I follow most.

*What are your goals in tennis?
Rafa: To go on improving and to go as high as possible. That is why I work one hundred per cent.

*What defects do you have to eliminate to improve?
Rafa: Especially my serve and short backhand. Oh and I do have to make my shots more accurate.

*To what do you attribute your succes?
Rafa: Especially to work. I practise tennis for 3 and a half hours every day and work out for an hour and a half. obviously, my natural talents also have an influence, something of a genetic origin. My coach, my uncle Toni, has had a great influence on me.

*You're an example of precocity. This is because you were the youngest Davis Cup Champion at 18 years and 187 days, surpassing Pat Cash's 1983 record of 18 years and 215 days. Have you ever seen yourself as a child prodigy?
Rafa: No. Things happen this way. I have to thank my family for my normality. The family has always helped me a lot and given me the right mentality.

*What do you feel when you win a Davis Cup?
Rafa: It's an incridible feeling. Nothing like anything I have done before. I have always said that after winning the four Grand Slams it's the highest thing that a tennis plyer can aspire to.

*After this year's fiasco, will Spain win the cup again?
Rafa: There's always a chance. Spain is a great tennis power and we have some very good players. The thing is to have luck in the draw and be able to play at home.

*You were a junior semi-finalist at Wimbledon and reached the third round in the seniors event. Does this mean that you don't fear grass?
Rafa: I don't mind playing on this surface. Feliciano Lopez, Moya and Ferrero have shone on grass in the past few years and I believe that I can also do well, although as I couldn't go last year I have almost forgotten what it's like.

*What does a star like Carlos Moya mean to you?
Rafa: Apart from being a good friend, he's a great guy. An example to follow. He's modest, friendly and has helped me a lot. When I joined the Circuit I didn't know anybody and he introduced me to other players and trained with me when I was an unknown.

*What is the thing you like least?
Rafa: Without a doubt, travelling, continuously moving from one point to another.

*Great football fan and a confessed supporter of Real Madrid, although your uncle was a die-hard Barcelona follower. Would you have exchanged your Davis Cup triumph for a decisive goal in a league championship football final?
Rafa: They are very different things, without any possible comparison. There's no doubt that it would be exciting to score a decisive goal in a final, but I wouldn't change places. I am happy with what I do.

*Spanish fans will be able to see you at the Conde de Godó Trophy in Barcelona from 18 to 24 April. What does this competition mean to you?
It's a very important tournament played at home and the major competition in Spain along with the Madrid Tournament. I'd be delighted to play well there.........

Undoubtedly fans enjoy the fighting spirit, power and quality of this young player who seems to be destined for the highest spots in world tennis***
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Rafa 1193 ibmag0405.jpg (51.0 KB, 87 views)
File Type: jpg Rafa 1194 ibmag0405.jpg (37.7 KB, 68 views)
File Type: jpg Rafa 1195 ibmag0405.jpg (34.4 KB, 71 views)

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Last edited by Carlita; 04-25-2005 at 01:20 PM.
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