Player Blog: Rafael Nadal @ the Sony Ericsson Open [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Player Blog: Rafael Nadal @ the Sony Ericsson Open

veyonce
03-28-2008, 04:27 PM
Rafa's blogs are always very interesting so I thought that a thread should be started for easy reference. Rafa will be blogging for tennis.com in Miami Open.

http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/2395/bannernadalblogod6.jpg

THURSDAY, MARCH 27

Hi everyone,

It is the first time I write a blog on this website and on this country, although I wrote a blog from the US Open for other outlets.

Let me say that I want to thank you for this opportunity and that obviously, someone is helping me with it, with my English, with what I write, since as you all know my English is not that good. So this is not fake, simply I get some help so that you can understand it :-)

I am starting this blog the day before I play and as usual at night when I have the chance at my hotel (now in Miami) to sit down, think and write. Tomorrow I play my first round match and I am excited about it. I arrived to Miami on Monday very early morning and have been getting ready since then. I actually, we, landed at 6.30 am local time since we flew from Palm Springs to Miami that same Sunday night. We were supposed to get to Miami that day since I had to do a photo shoot for the Sony Ericsson Open here in Miami with Serena Williams. For this reason the tournament was so kind to have a private jet to bring me and my team here so that I could be at the shoot on time.

I have had some questions about the passengers in that plane and I think it is no secret that I asked Ana Ivanovic and her team to join us. I knew she had some problems to find a ticket to Miami, she was on a waiting list and we had room left so I thought I could ask them to join us. The tournament also thought it was OK and they actually supported the idea so everyone happy. I remember Roger gave me a ride from Montreal to Cincy last summer and I know how it feels to be stuck in a place when you want/have to leave to play the next tournament. I didn't know much Ana before that but now that I had the chance to meet her during the flight I think she is a very nice person, a really nice person. Also her mother and her physical trainer who all flew with us and it was very nice to meet them too.

So we landed that early and I went straight to sleep. I got up around noon and after having a quick lunch I went to do the gig for the tournament at the Swimming pool in South Beach. I thought it was nice and I enjoyed the time there. I also think that all these gigs benefits our sport and I am happy to do them. I know it is painful sometimes but I know it is important. After this I went to practice to the site since I had not done so on Sunday in Indian Wells (I went to play golf and rested that day).

On Tuesday I had also some work to do but again it was more to support a friend. I practiced in the morning twice and after a very quick lunch I went to Wellington (near Palm Beach) to a charity event with David Nalbandian and his foundation. He had prepared a surprise and we played one set in front of polo players, patrons, team owners, members and general public. I went to the International Polo Club. I didn't know that's the place where the US Open of Polo is played. I actually don't know much that sport but had the chance to meet the "Roger Federer" of the sport, Adolfo Cambiaso. We had some fun playing and also managed to raise some money for David's foundation. It was a nice experience. The only thing is that we drove over two hours on a very heavy traffic and on a busy day since I'd practiced twice. But the cause was good and I am very happy we did it.

On Wednesday I had a lot of motivation for that day. You all know I love to compete, I love the feeling and flavor of competition. I prepared an early double session of practice in the morning since I the Sony Ericsson Open people got me a tee-time on the Blue Monster course at the Doral. Big match against Lleyton Hewitt, Ivan (his physical trainer) and Juan Carlos Ferrero. Two against two and also the one against one, you know...

I better keep for myself the result since we lost badly to them and I personally also played bad and lost :-) Well done Lleyton and Ivan! I will be back, don't worry ! :-). At night we had the players party that I thought was really good and cool. Miami is a special place and one of the best places to do a thing like this.

And Thursday I had another typical tennis day. I practiced at 12 and at 4 and getting ready for tomorrow. I also did some media work that we have to do before a big tournament (press conference, TV interviews, etc.) and got back to the hotel pretty early (around 6.30 pm).

As I say Friday is my first match and I am really excited about it. Hope it goes well.

See you all,

Rafa

cinamoon
03-28-2008, 05:16 PM
Oops, I posted his entry aswell. I posted in the Rafa blog bit.:angel:

I wish he gave more info about the jet ride.:devil: i'm all for Rafa and Ana! :devil:

The Pro
03-28-2008, 06:45 PM
Rafa's blogs are detailed, he certainly tells us what happens to him.

But what does he think? What does he feel? The small terror in the late watches of the night, his pet peeves, his gossip, his favourite colour??? I fear these things will remain a mystery to us. :sad:

Metis
03-29-2008, 05:57 PM
I didn't know much Ana before that but now that I had the chance to meet her during the flight I think she is a very nice person, a really nice person.


:aplot: :D

platinum
03-29-2008, 06:28 PM
Rafa's blogs are detailed, he certainly tells us what happens to him.

But what does he think? What does he feel? The small terror in the late watches of the night, his pet peeves, his gossip, his favourite colour??? I fear these things will remain a mystery to us. :sad:

I wonder also which is Rafa's favorite color??????

l_mac
03-29-2008, 08:05 PM
I wonder also which is Rafa's favorite color??????

He doesn't have a favourite colour :rolls:

He's scared of lots of things .. heights, horses, dogs :haha: :haha: He's not a very brave boy. His pet peeves are ATP players not saying hello to him in the locker room, and the press making out he is constantly injured :mad:

He'll never give us gossip :(

l_mac
03-29-2008, 08:09 PM
Day 2 Blog :D

FRIDAY, MARCH 28

Hi everybody,

Here we go with my second blog entry from Miami. I am sorry it is always coming late at night but I only have the time to sit down and write it after I come back from dinner. This is true, believe me, since I don't have that much free time during the day. I do think from time to time on what I can write, but physically I don't have much time during a normal day. I finished tonight all my work at 10 pm!. Then I went for dinner (a very Spanish time) and here I am.

So to explain you my day, we had decided the day before to meet at the lobby of the hotel at 11 am. We went to have a coffee next door to the hotel and got on the car to drive to Key Biscayne at around noon. I had a warm up practice court at 1 pm so we thought we had plenty of time. Bu the truth is that we got to the site very late. It took us over 45 minutes to do a very little distance because of the heavy traffic. I am staying at a hotel in Brickell and so it is not far away. But the traffic was unbelievable. I normally need like 30 to 45 minutes to get ready for a practice or warm up since I have to do the taping of both feet and the taping I use on my knees. Lots of people keep asking me about those tapes I wear. I simply have them for protection, just in case. Since I had that injury on my knees, I wear them. It worked with the first one and then I got injured the second one so that's the only reason.

So as I say, I got late and had to do everything really fast, which I don't like to do when it is about this. Got my warm up and then simply waited in the locker room for the start of my match. I don't think I need to talk about the match since you probably read here, on this website, the reports about it. It is always good to start well and with a striahgt-set win to build up more confidence, but it is also not that important. At least for me.

I left the tournament site around 7.30 pm and had a meeting at my hotel with my manager Carlos Costa. Initially it was supposed to be a 30 minutes meeting but in the end it lasted for almost two hours. Not a problem but I had to do a TV interview and I started the interview at 9.45 pm! I am sorry Aarthi (the woman that interviewed me) for being so late...

Anyway, tomorrow I have also a match but this time doubles. I have a practice at 12 noon and then the routine work to get ready for the match.

See you tomorrow and thanks,

Rafa

http://www.tennis.com/tournaments/2008/sonyericsson/sonyericsson.aspx?id=123358

veyonce
03-30-2008, 08:37 AM
Day 3 Entry
SATURDAY, MARCH 29

Hi everybody,

Here I am again writing this blog for Tennis.com. I hear that this is one of the biggest web sites in tennis so I am happy that the tennis fans are the ones really getting to read this.

Today I would like to talk about doubles. I do this since I played today a fantastic doubles match. I don't refer to the way I played. This comment is more about the atmosphere we lived today out there on court. It was Tommy Robredo and me against the Bryan brothers. We played on Court No. 1 and it was really a fantastic atmosphere. I hear there were really big queues to come to the court. The match was also a great match and I think the people had a great time watching it. I had a lot of fun playing it since I love to play. I love to compete and also in doubles since as I have said many times it is a team playing. Really, I had a great time out there today. We lost but that's not the most important thing...

As I say the atmosphere on court was unbelievable and I also feel we had a lot of support from the crowds although we were playing against two locals. But well, maybe in Miami with so many Spanish speaking people we are also locals... :-)

I have always said I like doubles and I like to play doubles. But I also think that there are some rules nowadays that make us not play as often. It is true it is easier now to play since we can get in the doubles draw with our singles ranking but there are also times that when we have an injury, or we lost in singles and don't want to stay for doubles, only we have to stay and play or we lose ranking points and prize money. Then we play with no motivation and it is kind of ridiculous. They explain that the rule is to avoid that we sign in and then we retire, but in the end I am not sure what's worst, specially for the spectators. I would redo these rules and make them better, to tell you the truth.

Coming back now to my day and singles, tomorrow I play my second match against Nicolas Kiefer. I know it is not easy but it is important for me to go through this round here and go into the second week. I am planning on leaving at 11 am the hotel since I have my warm up at noon. My father and some of his friends arrived today so I also take the opportunity to thank the tournament organizers who very kindly gave me some extra tickets for them. My family normally never travels but when they do they always come with friends and it is not easy to find tickets for a tournament like this. So really, thanks... they are really nice to me and I have to thank them also here.

Let's see how it goes tomorrow.

Many thanks to all,

Rafa

mallorn
03-30-2008, 09:12 AM
I don't refer to the way I played.
No? :awww:
I know it is not easy but it is important for me to go through this round here and go into the second week.
:yeah:

I hope dad and friends coming over will be supportive not distracting.

platinum
03-30-2008, 09:03 PM
Day 3 Entry
SATURDAY, MARCH 29

My father and some of his friends arrived today



Rafa looks so much like his dad, the resemblance is uncanny. In 30 yrs. Rafa will look exactly like Sebastian does now.

hra87
03-31-2008, 03:23 PM
Day 4:

SUNDAY, MARCH 30

Hi everybody,

Today it was a match day, and first of all I want to say that I played really good and that I am very happy with my performance out there. The funny thing is the rain in Miami. Lot of people asked me about that but after Wimbledon I can't complain if things like this happen. This was nothing, only a couple of times in and out. At Wimbledon it was the whole day, for more than a couple of days!

So we came back a few minutes to the locker room and I simply had a little chat with Francis Roig, my coach here during this March swing. I was playing great and I was feeling really good about the match so we didn't talk much. Only a few tips here and there on a few shots that I made some mistakes. But as I say, I was feeling great and really enjoying my time out there.

The day was long at the tournament. In the end we (or I should say I) spend a lot of time on-site. I left the hotel at 11 and got back at 9.15 pm. That's 10 hours on site. I like to get there early rather than late and hang around and wait for my match rather than the other way around. Beside, yesterday my soccer team was playing and I managed to watch it in the locer room before I went on court. A few of us gathered to watch the match and the atmosphere was pretty funny.

As I said yesterday, my father came to Miami (you know that he normally doesn't travel much to tournaments) with some friends. I say this because then at night we are a few of us going out for dinner. I think we were 10 tonight and we went to a Spanish restaurant here very close to the hotel. New restaurant called Dolores Lolita or something like that. Good food. We just came back from the restaurant.

Tomorrow I have a "free day" since I don't play. Still got some work to do since I am practicing at 12 noon and then I have some autograph sessions at 1.15 pm at the Babolat stand. I hope I can see a few of you there. After that I think I am going to play some golf with my uncle Miguel Angel, my coach Francis and my PR manager Benito Perez-Barbadillo. Well, he will try to play and the three of us will play :-)

See you all.

Rafa

http://www.tennis.com/tournaments/2008/sonyericsson/sonyericsson.aspx?id=123358





The blog got me thinking abour Francis Roig. Is he Feli's coach? What part of the season is he with Rafa, just the American hardcourt spring? If that's right, could he possibly be part of the reason Rafa has done well at IW/Miami the last 2 years (especially the serve) rather than just the surface speed?

cinamoon
03-31-2008, 03:28 PM
Rafa looks so much like his dad, the resemblance is uncanny. In 30 yrs. Rafa will look exactly like Sebastian does now.

no!!:sad:he'll look better.:cool:

mallorn
03-31-2008, 03:31 PM
The blog got me thinking abour Francis Roig. Is he Feli's coach? What part of the season is he with Rafa, just the American hardcourt spring? If that's right, could he possibly be part of the reason Rafa has done well at IW/Miami the last 2 years (especially the serve) rather than just the surface speed?
Isn't Albert Costa Feli's coach now? :scratch:

Roig travels with Rafa to the USA in spring and summer. Toni usually joins Rafa at the USO, I think. So I'd say his coaching success is qualified ;) and the surface does play a big role.

l_mac
03-31-2008, 03:38 PM
Albert Costa has been Feli's coach for a while ... Roig does work with someone else, but I can't remember who right now.

hra87
03-31-2008, 03:48 PM
Heh, I knew Costa was his main coach, but I could have sworn Roig was also working with Feli or at least was.

Yep, found it. http://www.feliciano-lopez.com/ingles/37.php

But if he's there for the summer, so much for the theory

l_mac
03-31-2008, 04:29 PM
Heh, I knew Costa was his main coach, but I could have sworn Roig was also working with Feli or at least was.

Yep, found it. http://www.feliciano-lopez.com/ingles/37.php

But if he's there for the summer, so much for the theory

Yeah, Roig is always with Rafa in Canada/Cinci.

Those courts are a lot faster and lower bouncing than IW/Miami. I honestly think that's the difference rather than Roig vs Toni.

Castafiore
03-31-2008, 05:20 PM
Yup, I agree that it probably has more to do with surface characteristics


my PR manager Benito Perez-Barbadillo. Well, he will try to play and the three of us will play :-)
:lol:
Didn't he mention in a previous blog that Benito is a bad playstation player as well?

I also get the feeling that the translation from Spanish to English is not really fantastic but...hey, I'm not complaining.

hra87
03-31-2008, 07:13 PM
Yeah, Roig is always with Rafa in Canada/Cinci.

Those courts are a lot faster and lower bouncing than IW/Miami. I honestly think that's the difference rather than Roig vs Toni.

But it doesn't really explain the improvements to his serve. Perhaps a confidence thing, once the rest of it starts working?

l_mac
03-31-2008, 09:10 PM
But it doesn't really explain the improvements to his serve. Perhaps a confidence thing, once the rest of it starts working?

His serve has been good in patches this year, and even the end of last. DOn't be tricked into thinking it is truly improved :lol: He served very well some matches in AO, Montreal last year etc.

hra87
03-31-2008, 09:21 PM
His serve has been good in patches this year, and even the end of last. DOn't be tricked into thinking it is truly improved :lol: He served very well some matches in AO, Montreal last year etc.

Good point, although during those tournaments his "good serving" was basically just a high serve percentage, an increase in speed, and thus more aces. But the placement was still the usual. During the Miami/IW tournaments it seems the placement is also improved, but it could just be a trick of the memory. We'll see when he loses to PHM tomorrow.

mallorn
04-01-2008, 06:24 PM
The latest entry.
MONDAY, MARCH 31

Hi everybody,

Here I am once more writing this blog. I hope you are enjoying it and finding out more about what I do during a tournament week. I am sure that most of you have questions and I don't know if this could be arranged so that I can answer some of them [Ed. note: send questions here]. What I try to do here is to explain to you what I normally do. I prefer it like this than going into more deep stuff. I don't know if you know what I mean.

As I said on my previous post, which I only did this morning, and for that I apologize, today it was a "free day". Before I tell you about my day, I have to say that last night I couldn't write the blog and only did it this morning since we came pretty late from dinner and one drink (I actually didn't but the rest of the people with me did). It was kind of late (midnight) and I was tired. So apologies as I say. I hope you understand.

This morning we went to the site at 11 am as I said and got the practice at noon. I had an autograph session planned with Babolat on-site but I arrived much later than agreed. This was due to some work I had to do after the practice. Sometimes, depending on how it went, we normally continue the work on a gym, and maybe have to do some icing or taping here and there. For this I also hope that the fans that were there waiting till I arrived are OK. Sorry for the delay. I was the one more interested on finishing on time and early since I had tee time at 3 pm. I was surprised of the amount of people there today. It is really great to see so much support. I really appreciate it and I hope everyone understands that at some point I have to leave. I know that a lot of people stay there waiting for an autograph. Believe me that I feel bad when someone can't get one and that I would really love to sign them all. But please understand me. I always try to stay more, but it would never end. Please forgive me those who didn't get one. To give you another example, today when I was leaving (late) the site, some people in Spanish shouted at me asking for an autograph. I was already getting in my car to leave and couldn't get back down. Sorry. I hope you are there tomorrow and I sign it to you, OK?

Golf today was not very good. I think it was the worst match I have played in years so I hope my tennis compensates tomorrow... :scared: :unsure: It happens! When I play bad tennis I play good golf so I hope that it is the other way around tomorrow. http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/images/smilies/This_and_That/pray.gif As I say I went with Francis, my uncle Miquel Angel and Benito. I know that there was a photographer so I hope we get the pictures tomorrow to post them here. I'll get Benito to work on it.

Tomorrow it is Francis Roig's birthday so we will have something prepared for him. I think we are going to a Spanish restaurant here in Miami to celebrate. I hope we can celebrate also that I am into the next round.

See you all,

Rafa

Castafiore
04-01-2008, 07:13 PM
but I arrived much later than agreed
:lol: surprise, surprise.

Ed. note: send questions here
Hey, when I read it on tennis.com, the "Ed.note" wasn't there yet.
:yeah:



Edit: Just noticed this:
A donation is being made by TENNIS.com to Rafael Nadal's choice of charity for this blog

nashty
04-02-2008, 07:36 AM
He takes it against himself that he was not able to give his autograph to everyone. What an angel.:angel:

mallorn
04-02-2008, 03:15 PM
TUESDAY, APRIL 1

Hi everybody,

First of all thanks for all the questions. I answered many of them (below). The guys at tennis.com were fast. Many thanks.

Another important thing is to say that today it was April 1st but that for us in Spain doesn't mean anything. We celebrate this day on December 28th so no one played jokes on me or anything alike. I was told today but I keep loyal to our traditions in Spain :-)

Today, talking about my match, I think we played a very good and fast match. Fast meaning the speed of the ball. The first two games where really long and really it was very important to win them. I will talk about my match which I usually don't since there were no journalists in my press conference. :scratch: On the other hand, when I was leaving the court, It surprised me, and I actually didn't like it very much, that Arantxa who is commenting the matches for TVE (Spanish TV) said at the end of the match when interviewing me that I won although the match was not too good. :cuckoo: I completely disagree, since I think it was a very good tennis match with great deep balls. Maybe the score looks like a boring or easy match but the reality is that it was very good with great points.

But the highlight of the day was that it was also the 40th birthday of Francis Roig, my friend and also coach for these 4 weeks here in the US. We had prepared a dinner for him at the Spanish restaurant next to the hotel. He invited all of us for dinner. We were 22 people at the table and we had a lot of fun. He is a really funny guy and we all had a fantastic time. Among all, my father and his group of friends with Ramon, Salvador and others, my uncle Miquel Angel and his friends, Carlos Costa, Rafa Maymo, Benito Perez-Barbadillo, Albert Molina, Nico Almagro and his coach Antonio, and some others. We all gave Francis a present for his birthday.

I am also sending, as promised, some pictures of us playing golf. Benito tells me that they were taken by a photographer that lives here in Miami called Michael Leshay. So thanks to him too for sending them.

See you and thanks for following this,

Rafa

http://tennis.com/uploadedImages/Tournaments/2008/Sony_Ericsson_Open/General/2008_04_02_Nadalgolf_article.jpg

http://tennis.com/uploadedImages/Tournaments/2008/Sony_Ericsson_Open/General/2008_04_02_Nadalgolf2_article.jpg

Rafa also answered fans' questions.

TUESDAY, APRIL 1

Hi everybody,

Quick answers to some of your questions:

What do you write on your hand? -- Helen
Things to remember on-court.

Bjorn Borg recently said he thinks you'll be the next No. 1, and that you're working to become a complete player. How do you react to that? -- Reema
I thank him for that. I am working hard on it.

Do you get a chance to practice on grass at home between the French Open and Wimbledon, or is it all in England -- Liz
It's all at Queen's and then at Wimbledon just the week before the start of the tournament.

I understand that athletes have to be very healthy about the foods that they eat. But when you want to treat yourself to something not healthy, what do you choose? -- Anon.
Mcnuggets, candies, sweets, ...

Do you find it difficult to play with your long hair? -- Nellas
No, that's why I wear the bandana. Get a haircut already!

Did you fool anyone today or get fooled? What happened? -- Brinda
No, actually we celebrate fools day in Spain on December 28th. We call it "dia de los inocentes" so nothing happened this time here...

Who do you find more difficult to play, Roger or Novak? -- Johnathon
Roger. You always have to be 120% against him. Or more....

Are you playing doubles at the Olympics? Who will be your partner? Will you stay in the athlete's village? -- Cilla
Yes, I will be playing there I think with Tommy Robredo.

Who are your close friends on tour? -- Catalin
Carlos Moya, Feli Lopez, Juan Monaco, ...

What did you think of Youzhny hitting himself with his racquet like that? It looked quite dangerous -- Evangelina
I actually watched it last night at dinner. Nico Almagro was with us and he had it on his iPhone. :spit: It's amazing. I don't think it is dangerous since it might have a small cut but it certainly looked strange to do that.

What color clothes do you like to wear on court? -- Tricia
I actually wear what I like. But I think the light blue I am wearing here in Miami is really nice.

What are the differences between your two coaches, Toni Nadal and Francis Roig? -- Deisi
Toni is my main coach and the one who tought me tennis. Francis comes when Toni can't come. But I like both.

What do you think of the WTA's on-court coaching experiment? Would you like to see it on the ATP? -- Libby
I don't know much about it. But I do know that I think is is good and normal to have coaching. That's why the players pay to have them, right?

Who makes you laugh most in your family? -- Lauree
My uncle Miguel Angel.

Are there any Playstation marathons happening in Miami? -- Donna
Not big ones. I am only playing against Benito and Rafa Maymo since Moya, Monaco, [David] Nalbandian, Almagro or [David] Ferrer where not in the same hotel. Easy this time... :-)

Every year you seem to be improving your English. Are there any interesting phrases or words you're learned recently? -- Abbey
A few. Yesterday I learned how to write 'briefing'... :-) :lol:

What do you do with your trophies? Do you ever shine any of them? -- Rosemary
I have them all at home,. It is a very important thing for me. I am still missing the one from Acapulco that got lost on my trip back to Spain when I won it. I know we are getting it soon.

veyonce
04-02-2008, 09:39 PM
Thanks, mallorn! Think Rafa's play at IW and Miami has improved a lot especially since he defeated Blake twice in a row. Now we have to see whether he can do the same against Berdych if he defeated Andreev...

MariaV
04-02-2008, 09:47 PM
Yes Veyonce, I agree, Rafa has been playing better in Miami of what I've seen. :D And IW was not too bad either except for the Djokovic match as he himself admitted.
Let's hope he can go all the way now. :D

veyonce
04-07-2008, 06:48 AM
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2

Hi everyone,

One thousand apologies for writing this blog almost a day late. The truth is that last night when I got back to the hotel, we were going fast for dinner with the big group and when I came back I was very tired and could not write the blog. This morning I went to the site and practice and now, back at the hotel, I have this time to write. Apologies since I always keep my word.

Having said that, I want to talk a bit about yesterday's match. I finished tired. I think it was a great match. I don't think I played very well but this was not because of me but instead because of James . He puts unbelievable pressure and it is very difficult to play against him. It is more a mental thing than physical. So that's also the reason why I could not write the blog earlier. I always say that normally (not always) when a player plays great it is difficult to play better. It is like a balance. If one is too good, the other can't be that good. And a bit of that is what happened yesterday.

James has a style of game, hitting so fast and hard, that I get not much rhythm and that creates me more problems. Also I have to be very, very focused on every single point. It is not that if I am 30-0 I can think, 'oh well, I have this point,' etc. With James you know he can just hit four unbelievable returns and he breaks. Or the other way around serving. It is very tough. Great opponent and that's why it is special to win against him. He is also a very polite and educated person so that's also great of him.

Anyway, I'll keep it short and I will write some more stuff about today later on or tomorrow morning.

Many thanks to all,

[b]Rafa

veyonce
04-07-2008, 06:55 AM
THURSDAY, APRIL 3

Hello everybody,

It is strange to write two blogs posts in one day. But I came back early to the hotel since we had an early dinner. Well, early for a Spaniard like me, since we left the hotel at 8.45 pm for dinner. That might be very late for some of you reading this. But for me it is quite early since I normally go for dinner at 9.30 pm the earliest. We went to the Argentine restaurant close to the hotel. We have been going there almost everyday before a match. It is really nice and the food and atmosphere is great. We were five people. My close team (except for my uncle Toni who, by the way doesn't normally come with us for dinner) here in Miami with me. That is Carlos, Benito, Rafel and Francis.

My father, uncle and all their friends went to see the match between Roddick and Federer. Talking about that, I followed the match on the internet before going for dinner. It is quite a surprise, although Andy is playing very good lately. He played really good in Dubai and it seems he is playing here at that same level.

I hope the media don't start "killing" Roger for this. He doesn't deserve it and he is really a great guy. I am sure he will win soon again.

As I say I went for an early dinner since tomorrow I leave to the site a bit earlier. I am warming up at 10.30 and as you know I go to the site like an hour before so I can get ready. We just finished playing some soccer on the Playstation and finished a massage after that. I am ready to go to bed and be ready for tomorrow. It is an important match since I would love to be back on a final here in Miami.

Thanks all for your support and win or lose I will be here tomorrow to write and talk about what happened.


More reader questions answered:

You always appear so self-contained on court. When you were younger did you ever lose your temper and behave badly during a match? -- Belinda

No, my uncle always taught me not to do so.


It seems like you prefer to start the match by receiving serve. Is that true? -- Cedrine

Yes, I always do that.

How much time do you put into developing varying strategies for different opponents? -- Andrea

I always talk to my coach (my uncle or Francis) before the matches. Either the night before or the same day.

The current balance of ranking points on the tour is 60% hardcourts, 30% clay and 10% grass. How do you feel about this? Would you like to see more events on clay, or on grass? -- Rosangel

Not only that. I also think that clay and grass are better for the body and therefore we would have less injuries, all of us. So I think it is easier for hard court players to have better ranking. But that's the way it is. In the end we all play. Probably the thing less fair is that clay is all played in a very short period of time.

Do you ever read the forum on [your official site] rafaelnadal.com? -- Evu

I did sometimes when I was blogging. But I don't usually look at the forums. Too many threads! :-)

Are there any questions you get in interviews that you're fed up of answering? -- Anna

Sometimes but that's the way it is.

What does Rafa Maymo write in his notebook when you're training? -- Maria

Good question. He writes EVERYTHING we do. I mean everything!

I'll be in Bremen to support Spain in the Davis Cup tie - good luck Are you comfortable that playing Davis Cup won't affect your preparation before your busy clay schedule? -- Rosangel

Davis Cup is important for me. I like to play for my country.

Did you get a chance to go to the Melbourne aquarium like you wanted to? -- Tamika

I didn't. I had planned to go a couple of times but in the end I could not make it.

For the past three years, you've seemed tired and subdued during the second half of the year. Will you make any changes to your schedule this year? -- Zola

I don't think I was tired at all. I actually played pretty good at the end of last year with good results. THe only thing is that I did not win a title but for the rest I am happy.

See you,

Rafa

veyonce
04-07-2008, 06:56 AM
SATURDAY, APRIL 5

Hi everybody,

Sorry, sorry and sorry for not sending one blog yesterday. I have been quite busy with things and I had to sit down and write it... I hope this one works. It will be short but I hope it works.

I am very happy because I am again in a final. Also because it is very difficult to beat Berdych on hard and I think I played a correct match. Tomorrow (today when you read this) it is the final day and that's always special. A final of a Masters Series. For me this is very important. I said I reached my goal for this US march swing since I got 1000 points. But now playing the final, I have gained much more than what I set. This is great. I am also feeling very well and with confidence on my game. I can win or I can lose tomorrow. I prefer to win, obviously, but still the sensations are good and I will get to the clay court season with great confidence on my game.

Tomorrow we are leaving early to the tournament. We will leave at 9.15 am since I hit to warm up at 10.30. The match is at 1 pm and they say it could rain. Hopefully not. It would be a shame.

I'll write a blog after the final before the party we have (win or lose).

Thanks all for your support,

Rafa

veyonce
04-07-2008, 06:56 AM
SUNDAY, APRIL 6

Hi everyone,

Well, this is my last blog for tennis.com from Miami and I have to say that I have enjoyed it. I did, believe me. I think it also brought me some luck and I enjoyed it much.

I am writing this blog from my hotel room on Sunday. I am much better now than right after the final. I have to admit I wasn't too happy with myself today and with the performance on court. Nikolay deserved to win, he played much, much better than me today and he is the winner. No excuses. I simply didn't feel well at all. I never found my strokes, my game, my backhand, my nothing! This is why I am upset. Very upset with myself. But now it is over. Nothing I can do. I will learn again from this match and hopefully I will win a title soon again. I hope that in Monte Carlo. I need a title. I have played well, very well in the hard court season from the beginning of the year. I am happy with that. Final in Chennai, semis in Australia and Indian Wells and final here in Miami is very good. It is the best I have ever done on a swing in hard courts, so I am happy for that. I know I can play well here. I knew it already and I proved it again. It is true that I would have loved to win a tournament again. But it is nt easy. I always say it.

Anyway, Miami is almost over. I mean almost since now I am going for dinner with my team. We are going back to the Argentinean restaurant we have been going many times this week. It is called Novecento and we had a great time there always. Yesterday they were also very kind to prepare a room for us where we had lunch and watched on TV the Mallorca vs Real Madrid soccer match. My two teams playing against each other. They have prepared a nice dinner a bit of party for tonight there. I won't party too much since I lost and since I have to go tomorrow to Bremen and get ready for the Davis Cup.

Anyway it has been a pleasure writing to you. I understand this is more a place where US people read. So I am very happy for that. As I said during press conferences, I feel great here since people treat me here very good. Specially here in Miami with so many speaking Spanish. That makes it easier for me :-) You know my English is not that good so...

Take care all and thanks for all the support you've given me.

Rafa

MariaV
04-07-2008, 07:12 AM
Thanks for posting Veyonce. Rafa is always such a sweetie, bless him.
The jetlag in Bremen is going to be tough. I'd rather he not play but well, we'll see.

FluffyYellowBall
04-07-2008, 05:34 PM
Hes been so honest in this blog, even though half of the entries were late :p
I need a title was a bit sad to read though :sad: