Roland Garros 2011: Rafa wins his 10th GS, equaling Borg's record of 6 RG titles!!! [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Roland Garros 2011: Rafa wins his 10th GS, equaling Borg's record of 6 RG titles!!!

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Metis
05-20-2011, 08:59 AM
Since you are all too scared to step up to the plate, I'm taking the responsibility of opening the RG thread.


Just so you know I was the one who opened the RG 2009 thread. :lol:





Official site: http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/index.html

The draw: http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/draws/ms/index.html



Something to psyche everyone up :D

btPJPFnesV4

Metis
05-20-2011, 09:11 AM
WIN all the way! :rocker2:



How far will Rafa go in Roland Garros? (2000 points :cheerleader:)

1st -
2nd -
3rd - Getta
4th -
QF -
SF - Betty
F - -calimero-, !VamosRafa!, JolanGago, shawshank
W - Bjorki, born_on_clay, Foxy, MariaV, Metis, Minn, scoobs, Sonja1989, tennizen, Veronique, vn01, Xristos

Metis
05-20-2011, 09:49 AM
Nadal in the house
Here he is - five-time champion Rafael Nadal is back at Roland Garros! The Majorcan world no.1 was out on Suzanne Lenglen court on Thursday, enjoying a hit-out with Frenchman Gilles Simon. Rafa's back seemed to be playing him up a little, and he was less than satisfied with the way he was hitting the ball, but there should be no cause for alarm amongst his legion of fans.
Video from Facebook (javascript:openExternal('http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150181403208029',true))





Rafa looking really happy and energetic in the beginning of that video. :lol:

acionescu
05-20-2011, 10:01 AM
:scared: :unsure: :speakles: :( :scared:

acionescu
05-20-2011, 10:02 AM
Maybe Rafa's backhand seemed to be playing him up a little :o

JolánGagó
05-20-2011, 10:06 AM
MIT pick: F

acionescu
05-20-2011, 10:10 AM
Jolan, FFS, change your pick :mad:

born_on_clay
05-20-2011, 11:46 AM
WIN for me

Getta
05-20-2011, 11:47 AM
third round.

!VamosRafa!
05-20-2011, 12:05 PM
MIT: F:sad:
We all know who will beat him in the final:sad:
another plate instead of a trophy:hysteric:

born_on_clay
05-20-2011, 12:31 PM
[1]Nadal v Isner
Giraldo v Andujar
Cuevas v Qualifier
Qualifier v [28]Davydenko
[24]Querrey v Kohlschreiber
Ljubicic v Devvarman
Tursunov v Malisse
Monaco v [16]Verdasco

[10]Fish v Mello
Gimeno-Traver v Haase
Chardy v Dimitrov
Russell v [18]Simon
[27]Baghdatis v Gil
Qualifier v Brown
Qualifier v Qualifier
Becker v [5]Soderling

-------------------

[4]Murray v Qualifier
Qualifier v Qualifier
Clement v Volandri
Berrer v [26]Raonic
[21]Dolgopolov v Schuettler
Haider-Maurer v Sweeting
Kamke v Rochus
Reister v [15]Troicki

[11]Almagro v Qualifier
Berlocq v Tomic
Starace v Qualifier
Kunitsyn v [20]Mayer
[32]Anderson v Mahut
Chela v Smyczek
Roger-Vasselin v Qualifier
Qualifier v [8]Melzer

-------------------

[7]Ferrer v Nieminen
Benneteau v Machado
Nishikori v Lu
Qualifier v [31]Stakhovsky
[22]Llodra v Qualifier
Petzschner v Zverev
Mannarino v Rufin
Qualifier v [9]Monfils

[14]Wawrinka v Qualifier
Qualifier v M.Gonzalez
Serra v Andreev
Hajek v [17]Tsonga
[29]Tipsarevic v Dabul
Dodig v Riba
Millot v Teixeira
Lopez v [3]Federer

-------------------

[6]Berdych v Qualifier
Fognini v Istomin
Haas v Qualifier
Kendrick v [30]Garcia-Lopez
[19]Cilic v Ramirez-Hidalgo
Hewitt v Montanes
Brands v Kukushkin
Soeda v [12]Youzhny

[13]Gasquet v Stepanek
Qualifier v Granollers
Gabashvili v Seppi
Golubev v [23]Bellucci
[25]Del Potro v Karlovic
Gulbis v Kavcic
Paire v Hanescu
De Bakker v [2]Djokovic

Sonja1989
05-20-2011, 12:44 PM
Win!!! :)

MariaV
05-20-2011, 12:44 PM
Since you are all too scared to step up to the plate, I'm taking the responsibility of opening the RG thread.


Just so you know I was the one who opened the RG 2009 thread. :lol:





Official site: http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/index.html

The draw will be posted here later today: http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/draws/ms/index.html



Something to psyche everyone up :D

btPJPFnesV4

Excellent Metis, Excellent! :yeah: :D

Rafa looking really happy and energetic in the beginning of that video. :lol:

BACK?!??!?!? :help: :help: :help: :unsure: :scared:

MariaV
05-20-2011, 12:46 PM
MIT: F:sad:
We all know who will beat him in the final:sad:
another plate instead of a trophy:hysteric:

Yep sadly we do. :sad: :bigcry: :crying2:

But still I'm saying W, maybe that will help.
I mean he did win MC and Barcelona after all. :o :lol:
And he won RG on one leg, was it in 2007?

Betty
05-20-2011, 12:46 PM
Mit SF

scoobs
05-20-2011, 12:50 PM
MIT: Win

bokehlicious
05-20-2011, 12:51 PM
Mit: F

Foxy
05-20-2011, 04:40 PM
Mit: W

Vamos, Roger. Save Rafa's N1!!!

vn01
05-20-2011, 06:53 PM
MIT: WIN

vamos, rafa! win this fucking tournament!

Minn
05-20-2011, 08:48 PM
I'm sticking with Win. It's gotta happen one of these days, right? Right?

Metis
05-20-2011, 09:30 PM
MIT pick: F
Mit: F
MIT: F:sad:
We all know who will beat him in the final:sad:
another plate instead of a trophy:hysteric:

Bibberz has a message for the three of you:

http://www.planetsmilies.com/smilies/mad/mad0244.gifhttp://www.planetsmilies.com/smilies/mad/mad0244.gifhttp://www.planetsmilies.com/smilies/mad/mad0244.gif


:D




I'm sticking with Win. It's gotta happen one of these days, right? Right?

:lol:

tennizen
05-20-2011, 09:34 PM
MIT: Win

Metis
05-20-2011, 09:34 PM
Rafa at the draw ceremony today:


http://www.rolandgarros.com/images/pics/large/b_2005_tirageRG2011_3.jpg


http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/news/articles/2011-05-20/201105201305899162304.html


The draw for the men's and women's singles tournament at the 2011 French Open was unkind to the big names. Rafael Nadal was on hand to perform the women's draw, and then watched as defending women's champion Francesca Schiavone pulled John Isner's name out of the hat as his first round opponent. Clay is definitely not conducive to the American's all-serve, little-return game but at no.39 in the world Isner is nobody's fool and is one of the toughest opponents Nadal could have drawn to open his campaign.

The Majorcan also has Nikolay Davydenko to look forward to in a possible third-round tie, Fernando Verdasco in the fourth round and a potential 2009 rematch with Robin Soderling in the quarter-finals.
...

Metis
05-20-2011, 09:44 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/french11/news/story?id=6569100



PARIS -- Defending French Open champions Rafael Nadal (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=261) and Francesca Schiavone (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=378) were given first-round matches in Friday's draw against Americans who own a combined two career match wins at Roland Garros.

The top-ranked Nadal's bid to tie Bjorn Borg's record of six titles at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament will begin against John Isner (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=1023). He's a 6-foot-9 American with a big serve who is ranked 39th and best known for winning the longest match in tennis history, 70-68 in the fifth set at Wimbledon last year.

"He's one of these players that you prefer not to have in the first round," Nadal said. "His style of game is dangerous. His serve is unbelievable."

Play begins Sunday at the French Open, where Nadal is 38-1. Isner is 2-2.

"Always unforgettable memories, no? Seriously, just to be back to this tournament is a really special feeling," Nadal said. "You remember a lot of things from the past years, so in general, I feel a little bit like home."

star
05-20-2011, 09:59 PM
Isner :scared:

Metis
05-20-2011, 10:06 PM
Another article about Rafa:

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/french11/columns/story?columnist=garber_greg&id=6569104


Rafa's clay résumé simply ridiculous

Still only 24 -- he hits the quarter-century mark on the day of the semifinals -- Rafael Nadal (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=261) seeks his sixth French Open title in seven years.

If he wins, will he supplant Bjorn Borg, the legendary Swede who won six in a span of eight years, as the greatest clay-court player ever?

Mats Wilander, whose three Roland Garros crowns place him in that very brief conversation, says no.

"If he wins?" Wilander said recently from his home in Sun Valley, Idaho. "I don't think so. He's already the best ever on clay. Even the great Bjorn Borg would say Rafa is way better than he was.

"He doesn't only win the French, but everything else, too."

Rafa passed Borg with his 31st title on clay when he won for the sixth time at Barcelona. This, after tying him with a record seventh straight Monte Carlo victory. Even with Novak Djokovic (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=296) playing ethereal tennis on every surface, it seems only a matter of time (based on his average of five titles a year, say, 2014) before the forceful Spaniard will pass all-time No. 2 Thomas Muster (40 titles) and No.1 Guillermo Vilas (45).

For the record, please note that those two great champions each won a single French Open title in a collective 32 tries.

Even with two wins over Nadal in eight days -- he spanked him in straight sets in both the Madrid and Rome finals -- Djokovic is not an automatic choice to win at Roland Garros.

"Oh, yeah," said NBC and Tennis Channel analyst Mary Carillo. "I still think he's the prohibitive favorite. Rafa certainly knows how to win the French, but … no one's playing like Djokovic. His backhand blew me away this past weekend, how aggressive he was.

"He seems to have solved Nadal's spin and goes after it earlier. He's fit enough and confident enough to take it early with his backhand. It's sort of incredible -- the level of problem-solving he's managed to accomplish."

Nadal's numbers, taken as a whole, are still ridiculous.

• He has fashioned a record of 194-8 on clay, going back to 2005. For those of you scoring at home, that's an average of about one loss per season and a winning percentage of 96. :worship:

• Nadal not only holds the record for the longest clay-court winning streak (81), but he is the only player in the Open era to win at least 30 consecutive matches three times. :worship:

• He went a perfect 67-for-67 in April on clay, winning 12 titles in the process, going back to a 2005 loss to Igor Andreev (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=266) in the quarterfinals at Valencia. :worship:

"Those numbers are sick," said Brad Gilbert, an ESPN analyst who once coached Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=436) and Andy Murray (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=235). "Winning 96 percent of your matches; it's outrageous. The best free-throw shooter in the history of the NBA never did that.

"And you know what? He's getting better. Because everybody else is, too, he's upping his game."

This turns out to be a consensus opinion.

Jose Higueras, one of the leading minds in clay-court tennis, has coached Jim Courier, Roger Federer (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=425), Carlos Moya (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=253) and Sergi Bruguera. Today, he is the USTA's director of coaching for elite player development.

"Whoever said that it's tougher to stay on top than to get there was a pretty smart guy," Higueras said from his home in Palm Spring, Calif. "Rafa understands this perfectly. He's become more offensive all around. Before on clay, he'd beat you because he wouldn't miss any balls. He'd kind of wear you down.

"Now, he will take a step forward or two. Instead of being content to hit four of five more balls, he'll take his chances. He has more confidence to hit winners. This is something he's acquired on hard courts. So this development on other surfaces has actually helped his clay game -- which is scary."

Nick Bollettieri, another legendary coach, agrees.

"Rafa always used to hit that heavy spin, but players got on to it," Bollettieri said from his tennis academy in Bradenton, Fla. "His game changed when he flattened out the forehand, especially on short balls. He's serving out wide to the ad box, which is what McEnroe, another lefty, learned to do. After a match the other day, Rafa had a great remark. He said 'I learned a little something. I never stop learning.'

"That's the sign of a person that will keep on achieving." :D

ESPN's Darren Cahill, who coached Agassi and Lleyton Hewitt (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=306), sees a back-to-the-future aspect of Nadal's evolution.

"A couple of years ago, when he was No. 2 in the world, Rafa was pressing more to the net, putting more on his serve -- looking to be more offensive than he needed to be," Cahill said. "Now he's running again, working extremely hard early in matches, not over-hitting anymore.

"He's not littering up the stat sheet with lots of winners, he's letting opponents implode. You can't play tennis when your serve and forehand breaks down. Now, he's playing those shots with confidence, and he looks like a more complete player."

The question, as always with Rafa, is how his body holds up to the pounding his schedule -- and ability to reach the finals -- demand. After playing 12 matches in three weeks on U.S. hard courts, Nadal took a single week off and then launched into the clay season. He won all 10 of his matches in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, took another week off and then played all the way to the finals at Madrid and Rome. If he reaches the final at Roland Garros, that would be 32 matches in 11 weeks -- a lot of wear and tear. :scared:

"I don't know if his body will get any better," said Pam Shriver, winner of 22 Grand Slam doubles titles. "At 25, he's physically even older."

Said Higueras, "Obviously, he's an unbelievable competitor, one of the most determined players I've ever seen. Together, with Borg, playing every point the same no matter what the score is. Their game is the same."

Borg's six titles came from 1974-81; he lost in the quarterfinals to Adriano Panatta in 1976 and did not play the event a year later because he was under contract to the WTT. Borg's career mark at Roland Garros is a heady 49-2, with both loses coming to the Italian, Panatta.

Nadal, who lost to Robin Soderling (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=217) in the fourth round in 2009, is an unimpeachable 38-1.

"Bjorn Borg was always the freshest player when he played on clay," said Wilander, who was a sporty 47-9 at Roland Garros. "Rafa is not the freshest player when he gets on clay because he plays so many tournaments. You have to say that Borg was more dominant than Rafa -- when he played --- but he didn't do it day out and day in.

"Coming in, Rafa's playing four events -- that's maybe 20 matches -- before he gets to Paris. It's kind of ridiculous when you think about it."

And so, the two-week buildup to the final tennis fans are aching for begins. If Nadal and Djokovic get there, it could approach epic. Djokovic would have won all 43 of his matches in 2011. Nadal, with an eye to history, would be trying to break that streak.

"He is the king of clay," Djokovic said after beating him on Sunday. "He is the best player ever to play on this surface. He has given me a lot of confidence for the French Open." :mad:

Said Nadal, "I am disappointed about my match, [but] I am not sad tonight. We will try next time." :rocker2:

Metis
05-20-2011, 10:19 PM
Bottom half is starting on Sunday, so Rafa's match against Isner should be on Tuesday.

More time to recover no? :D

star
05-20-2011, 10:34 PM
I can't believe we will have to listen to Carillo's non-stop yapping on TC. :rolleyes:

Shriver on her observation that Nadal this year is "physically older" :worship: :worship:

born_on_clay
05-21-2011, 09:37 AM
I'm not expecting anything this time
I just want Rafa to play his tennis :)

RafaFan95
05-21-2011, 10:45 PM
I think on clay is Isner not a problem for Rafa.

Veronique
05-22-2011, 01:29 PM
Win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope it's not too late to enter.

l_mac
05-22-2011, 03:09 PM
Rafa will play his 1st round on Tuesday.

Foxy
05-22-2011, 03:38 PM
Rafa will play his 1st round on Tuesday.

Bamos, Rafa!
Go, Rog!

born_on_clay
05-22-2011, 07:59 PM
:scared:

Metis
05-23-2011, 12:08 PM
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/news/articles/2011-05-21/201105211306008186382.html


Roger and Rafa enjoy having a new favourite on the block

Roland Garros may be basking in glorious sunshine but there is one chap in particular who is enjoying clear skies of another kind - world no.3 Roger Federer. The Swiss master may have notched up an impressive tally of 16 Grand Slams during his career, but he freely admits that a "big cloud" has always hung over him at the French Open. Of course, that cloud floated away when he lifted the Coupe des Mousquetaires in 2009 after losing to Rafael Nadal in the final three years in a row, and now, two years on, Federer is entering the tournament with what he describes as a "little less pressure" for the first time in seven years. "Last year I was the defending champion," he said. "The year before, and the years before that I was trying to win Paris for the first time."

Now all eyes are on Novak Djokovic and his incredible 37-match winning streak to open the season, not to mention the threat posed by five-time Roland Garros champion Nadal. "I think this year maybe they expect more from Rafa and Novak, and that could be a good thing for me and more pressure for them," Federer continued. "In the French Open I was never the top favourite. It's true I didn't have as much pressure here than in other tournaments, but this year I have even less pressure because Rafa wants to keep his title and Novak wants to win it." ;)

Nadal meanwhile refuses - as is his wont - to accept that he is a favourite for the title, claiming that this "honour" lies firmly at the feet of Djokovic. ;) "Even last year or three years ago when you told me 'You are the favourite', I didn't feel like this," the humble defending champion said. :awww: The Majorcan is under no illusion about the enormity of the task he will face in the first round against John Isner, the 6'9" American who helped create Wimbledon history last year with his three-day marathon first round win over Nicolas Mahut that took 11 hours, five minutes and finished 70-68 in the fifth set. "Thinking about winning the tournament before the start of the tournament is too arrogant for me," Nadal said. "I will have a very difficult round against Isner in the first round, so I am focused on that."

And what of his new arch-rival Djokovic - the man who has defeated him in four consecutive ATP Masters 1000 finals this year? "He's playing well and the confidence is high. For that reason he's doing everything well. So the thing is he's good and we can congratulate him for everything, because what's he's doing is very difficult," he added. Far be it from Nadal to rain on anybody's parade.... :lol:

MariaV
05-23-2011, 01:36 PM
Rafito the humble as always. :lol: :worship: :bowdown:

star
05-23-2011, 01:38 PM
"Thinking about winning the tournament before the start of the tournament is too arrogant for me,"

:lol:

Björki
05-23-2011, 05:17 PM
MIT: win

:scared:

Metis
05-23-2011, 09:38 PM
Day 3: Tuesday, 24 May

Court Philippe Chatrier 11:00 AM Start

Women's Singles - 1st Round
Virginie Razzano (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta180384.html)(FRA)vs. Jarmila Gajdosova (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta310169.html)(AUS)[24]

Women's Singles - 1st Round
Maria Sharapova (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta310137.html)(RUS)[7]vs. Mirjana Lucic (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta120323.html)(CRO)

Men's Singles - 1st Round
Rafael Nadal (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/atpn409.html)(ESP)[1]vs. John Isner (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/atpi186.html)(USA)

Men's Singles - 1st Round
Michael Russell (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/atpr368.html)(USA)vs. Gilles Simon (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/atpsd32.html)(FRA)[18]

Xristos
05-24-2011, 05:33 AM
Win!

Topspin Forehand
05-24-2011, 08:44 AM
Very dangerous match. Hope Rafa is ready.

shawshank
05-24-2011, 10:31 AM
Final :(

Metis
05-24-2011, 10:44 AM
Update!



How far will Rafa go in Roland Garros? (2000 points :cheerleader:)

1st -
2nd -
3rd - Getta
4th -
QF -
SF - Betty
F - -calimero-, !VamosRafa!, JolanGago, shawshank
W - Bjorki, born_on_clay, Foxy, MariaV, Metis, Minn, scoobs, Sonja1989, tennizen, Veronique, vn01, Xristos

rafa_maniac
05-24-2011, 02:15 PM
Damn I missed MIT. :( I would have said WIN, I still have faith. After all, this is the one that really counts!

vn01
05-24-2011, 02:45 PM
nadal lost the 2nd set against isner in a breaker. it's 6-4 6-7 now. don't know what to say...

born_on_clay
05-24-2011, 04:16 PM
do I have to quote all of you who thaught Isner will be an easy match-up for Rafa ? :o
the draw from hell it is :scared:
Vamos !

Metis
05-24-2011, 05:19 PM
Nadal-Isner 6-4 6-7 6-7 6-2 6-4 :facepalm:



http://i599.photobucket.com/albums/tt71/ILGrimmreaper/almost_epic_fail01.jpg

Björki
05-24-2011, 05:34 PM
he won't win it :awww:

l_mac
05-24-2011, 05:34 PM
I blame Metis.

l_mac
05-24-2011, 05:59 PM
Rafa is blogging for The Telegraph (and El Mundo as usual)


24 May 2011

Hello everyone,

Let me just say first of all thank you for the opportunity given to me to do this blog. I am very happy to be back doing this for my British fans in particular, and I suppose the rest of the world reading in English.

It is the first time I do this for the The Telegraph and I thank you for the opportunity.

I am starting today at the French Open in Roland Garros although I have been here in Paris practicing and getting ready since Wednesday.

I have a very difficult first round match against one of the most dangerous players that you can find in a first round. You all know and remember John Isner from that dramatic match at Wimbledon last year. Well, that was grass and I don't think it will be the same on clay, but I do know how difficult he can be.

Thanks once again for being there, and I looking forward answering your questions over the next days as long as I am at the tournament.

Rafa ...


Q&A, May 24
(To have Rafa answer your questions, on whatever subject, email sportfeedback@telegraph.co.uk now)

Q. What are those funny biscuits you always eat in your press conferences? (JH, Bristol)
Rafa: Hahahahaha, they are the Quelitas (Quely) that we always eat in Majorca. They are salty and VERY good! We always eat them and I have them at every tournament. Very typical Majorca.

Q. What do you think is the most important shot for clay court tennis? (Mark Atkins-Hay, Tamworth)
Rafa: I think every shot is important. Maybe the strategy is the best shot since you have to play with a clear game plan, be patient and know how to do things, every thing.

Q: There has been a lot of talk about the new Babolat balls at Roland Garros – do you have an opinion? How much of a: difference do the balls make? (Sami)
Rafa: They are typical Roland Garros ball. A bit faster and harder than usual which allows speed and high bounces. I actually like them.

Q: I know players often like to eat in the same places – do you ever find it funny constantly bumping into the same players? (Ed, London)
Rafa: No, I normally don't eat at the same places for a matter of luck. I do eat and repeat places because I like them.

Q: Who do you most like to play Pro Evo with, and who is the current champion? (Rich Williams)
Rafa: I am playing currently with Inter de Milan which allows me to defend well and counter attack! No current champions, but I am playing a lot against David Ferrer

Q: Do you think Manchester United have any chance in the Champions League final against Barcelona? (David, Paris)
Rafa: A final is a final and anything can happen. Barça is playing great and they have proven to be a great team. We'll see what happens. I am sure it will be again a nice final!

Q: Hi Rafa, as a keen golfer, do you ever attempt any 'Seve Ballesteros-style shots' on the course, or are you more conservative? (Pat Norman, Wilts)
Rafa: I am a bit more conservative, and not even close to his game or even his talent!

Q: Hi Rafa. Djokovic has clearly found a new level – do you think you have reached your peak of performance, or do you think you can still improve? (Thariq)
Rafa: I think there is always room for improvement, that's why we all keep working!

Q: How much time do you spend in the gym? More or less than you do on the practice courts? (Helen Thomas, Preston)
Rafa: It depends on the time of the year but not much these days. It is more in the pre-season. I don't really go to the gym during a tournament. I focus more on the court practice and physiotherapy.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/rafaelnadal/8532304/Rafael-Nadals-exclusive-blog-world-No-1-answers-your-questions-throughout-the-French-Open.html

vn01
05-24-2011, 06:13 PM
:awww:

shawshank
05-24-2011, 06:16 PM
Rafa played terrible today. He stayed 4 metres behind the baseline. Played terrible breakers, completly without concentration. Was way to passive.
I wasn't really afraid about him losing, but somehow I can't see him beating with this game Davydenko...
And one more thing- this year's Rafa on clay in nowhere near standard he used to show in 2008 or 2010...
Anyway, Vamos Rafa!

Metis
05-24-2011, 06:30 PM
I blame Metis.


He hasn't lost yet. :ras:

star
05-24-2011, 06:39 PM
We're blaming you in advance.

:toothy:

born_on_clay
05-24-2011, 07:19 PM
Rafa's 2011 clay season

Monte Carlo 2011
R2: d. Nieminen 62 62 / 1h09m
R3: d. Gasquet 62 64 / 1h33m
QF: d. Ljubicic 61 63 / 1h19m
SF: d. Murray 64 26 61 / 2h58m
F: d. Ferrer 64 75 / 2h16m
SUM: 5-0 10-1 63-34 / 9h15m

Barcelona 2011
R2: d. Gimeno-Traver 61 61 / 1h06m
R3: d. Giraldo 63 61 / 1h23m
QF: d. Monfils 62 62 / 1h15m
SF: d. Dodig 63 62 / 1h27m
F: d. Ferrer 62 64 / 1h49m
SUM: 5-0 10-0 60-21 / 7h00m


Madrid 2011
R2: d. Baghdatis 61 63 / 1h22m
R3: walkover
QF: d. Llodra 62 62 / 1h15m
SF: d. Federer 57 61 63 / 2h36m
F: l. to Djokovic 57 46 / 2h17m
SUM: 3-1 6-3 50-32 / 7h30m


Rome 2011
R2: d. Lorenzi 67 64 60/ 2h37h
R3: d. Lopez 64 62 / 1h16m
QF: d. Cilic 61 63 / 1h25m
SF: d. Gasquet 75 61 / 1h33m
F: l. to Djokovic 46 46 / 2h12m
SUM: 4-1 8-3 63-39 / 9h03m


Roland Garros 2011
R1: d. Isner 64 67 67 62 64 / 4h01m
SUM: 1-0 3-2 30-24 / 4h01m



---------------------------------
CLAY 2011: 18-2 37-9 268-150 / 36h49m

vn01
05-24-2011, 07:38 PM
4 hours against isner on clay :o

andujar should be easier opponent. rafa has to win in 3. vamos :rocker2:

Metis
05-24-2011, 08:21 PM
Match analysis (and photo of Rafa's shoes with the number of RG titles he has won). :D




http://www.rolandgarros.com/fr_FR/news/articles/2011-05-24/201105241306252435235.html


La terre a… un peu tremblé


http://www.rolandgarros.com/images/pics/large/b_0524_nadal02.jpg


John Isner était bien un tirage difficile. Pour la première fois, Rafael Nadal a été poussé aux cinq sets à Roland-Garros. L'Espagnol a tremblé, mais il s'est imposé grâce à un finish solide, 6/4, 6/7(2), 6/7(2), 6/2, 6/4.

Avec ses belles chaussures bleues marquées du chiffre cinq symbolisant son nombre de titres à Paris, Rafael Nadal est le roi de Roland-Garros, de la tête au pied. Mais bizarrement, il a encore du mal à entrer vraiment dans le cœur du public. On se souvient que lors de sa seule défaite à Paris, il y a deux ans face à Robin Soderling, les 14 000 spectateurs du "Chatrier" avaient pris fait et cause pour le Suédois. Face à John Isner, il a encore une fois dû avoir l'impression de jouer parfois "à l'extérieur". Mais la différence est énorme : cette fois, "Rafa" a gagné. Cette fois, "Rafa" a quitté le court sous les vivas.

Lorsque le nom de John Isner est venu se placer sous le sien lors du tirage au sort électronique, vendredi dernier, Nadal, qui était présent pour participer au tirage dames, n'avait pas dû apprécier. Personne n'aime jouer John Isner. Même sur terre battue. Oui, l'Américain était probablement le pire adversaire possible pour le Majorquin. Classé 39e mondial, le géant américain est plus qu'une machine à aces. Avec son grand coup droit, il sait provoquer sa chance et il se montre adroit au filet. Et surtout, il ne donne aucun rythme.

Bien sûr, quand Nadal s'est détaché 6/4, 4-2, on a bien cru que ce premier match serait une formalité pour celui qui chasse le record de Björn Borg. Mais au bord du court, quelques observateurs et notamment des photographes avaient pu remarquer que l'Espagnol était étonnamment nerveux. Deux grosses fautes directes en coup droit ont offert le débreak à Isner. Dès lors, le match a changé d'âme.

Le public derrière Isner

Soutenu par le public, sans doute désireux de pousser derrière l'outsider, Isner a pris tous les risques pour s'adjuger le deuxième set au tie-break, 7 points à 2. Dans la troisième manche, il a tenu le choc jusqu'au jeu décisif. Non sans avoir sauvé deux balles de set à un contre lui, à 5-4, grâce à deux immenses services. De nouveau, le vainqueur du match sans fin (face à Mahut à Wimbledon) a gagné le tie-break 7 points à 2, mais c'est surtout Nadal, malheureux dans certains choix, qui l'a aidé.

Jamais Nadal n'avait perdu un set au premier tour à Roland-Garros. Et surtout, jamais, en six participations dont cinq victoires, il n'avait disputé un match en cinq sets. Mené deux sets à un, il n'a plus le choix. Dans la tribune des joueurs, Toni Nadal a du mal à cacher son agacement. Il parle, gesticule, invective "Rafa". Dos au mur, son neveu va enfin le satisfaire.

Le n°1 mondial s'offre un break dès le début du quatrième, puis il déroule pour s'imposer 6/2. Un break à 1-1 au cinquième enterre presque le suspense. Isner est vraiment trop juste en fond de court pour faire le poids. Même si ses frappes sont parfois retenues, Nadal reste le patron. A 5-4, 30-30, il serre le jeu comme un grand et assène un coup droit long de ligne après un long rallye. La première balle de match est la bonne : service et coup droit dans le contre-pied. Le Taurillon de Majorque triomphe 6/4, 6/7, 6/7, 6/2, 6/4 en 4h01.

Le score est finalement flatteur pour Isner, qui n'a obtenu qu'une seule balle de break de tout le match. Nadal, lui, peut souffler. Et apprécier, enfin, les applaudissements de la foule après cette victoire difficile. Le public salue le champion en titre à sa juste mesure. "Merci beaucoup au public pour le support", lâche-t-il en français dans le texte aux 14 000 spectateurs. L'ovation qui suit est à la hauteur de sa stature. Plus tard, face à la presse, "Rafa" dira avoir été soulagé d'avoir breaké au quatrième set. "Parce que je savais que je ne pouvais pas perdre le cinquième set au tie-break", expliquera-t-il.

Nadal n'a évidemment pas montré son visage de champion, mais il s'en est sorti. Face à son compatriote Pablo Andujar, au deuxième tour, il sera sûrement plus à l'aise. Mais il reste du travail pour changer le petit chiffre inscrit sur ses chaussures…

Metis
05-24-2011, 08:21 PM
My (rough) translation:



The earth shook a little

John Isner was truly a difficult draw. For the 1st time Rafael Nadal was pushed to 5 sets at RG. The Spaniard was shaken but prevailed thanks to a solid finish by 6-4 6-7 6-7 6-2 6-4.

With his beautiful blue shoes marked with the No 5, representing the number of his titles in Paris, Rafael Nadal is head to toe the king of RG. But strangely he still hasn't won the heart of the public. One remembers that the day of his only defeat in Paris, two years ago against Robin Soderling, the 14000 spectators were firmly on the Swede's side. Against John Isner he must have once more gotten a similar impression. But there is a huge difference: this time Rafa won. This time Rafa left the court among cheers.

When Isner's name was placed under his during the draw ceremony, Rafa must have not been amused. :p Nobody likes to play Isner. Even on clay. Yes, the American was probably the worst possible opponent for the Mallorcan. Ranked 39th, the American giant is not just an ace macine. With his big forehand he can create chances and he is capable at the net. And most importantly he doesn't give any rhythm.

When Nadal went up 6-4 4-2, we believed that this first match would be just a formality for the player who is chasing Borg's record. However, down close to the court, some observers and mainly photographers had noticed that the Spaniard was surprisingly nervous. Two big UEs on the forehand gifted the break back to Isner. From then on the match changed completely. :(

The crowd behind Isner

With the support of the crowd, who undoubtedly wanted to root for the underdog, Isner took every risk to win the 2nd set tiebreak 7-2. In the 3rd set, he held on until the tiebreak. Not before having to save 2 set points at 5-4 with 2 big serves. Once more the winner of the neverending match (against Mahut at Wimbledon) won the tiebreak 7-2, but it was Nadal who helped him by making some unfortunate choices.

Nadal had never lost a set in the 1st round of RG and most of all he had never played a 5-set match in his 6 previous visits to RG. Down 2 sets to 1, he has no other choice. In the players' box, Toni Nadal has a hard time hiding his annoyance. He talks, gesticulates, shouts "Rafa". His back against the wall, his nephew will eventually sastisfy him.

The no1 player wins a break in the beginning of the 4th set, then runs away with it to prevail 6-2. A break at 1-1 in the 5th almost puts an end to the suspense. Isner is too far behind the baseline to dictate play. Nadal stays on top of him even though sometimes he holds back on his shots. At 5-4 30 all, he keeps a firm grip on the game like a champion and hits a forehand down the line after a long rally. He takes advantage of the first match point: serve and cross court forehand. The Bull of Mallorca triumphs 6-4 6-7 6-7 6-2 6-4 in 4 hours and 1 minute. :tape:

In the end the score is flattering for Isner who managed to get only one break point against Nadal during the whole match. Nadal himself can now breathe and finally enjoy the applause of the crowd after a difficult victory. The crowd salutes the defending champion the way he deserves. "Thank you very much for the support", he says in French to the 14000 spectators. The ovation that follows is equal to his stature. Later at the press conference Rafa will say that he felt relieved after breaking in the 4th set. "Because I knew I couldn't lose the 5th set in a tiebreak", he will explain. :lol:

Nadal obviously wasn't at his best, but he pulled through. Against his compatriot Pablo Andujar in the 2nd round, he will surely feel more at ease. Nevertheless, there is still work to be done to change that little number on his shoes. :D

Metis
05-24-2011, 08:23 PM
Of course now that I have finished translating, the Englsh article is posted. :lol:

It's a different text though.

http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/news/articles/2011-05-24/201105241306258232772.html




It takes a giant of a man to dwarf Nadal, and at 6'9" that is exactly what Isner is. Given an almost unfair advantage by his great height, the world no.39 is the giraffe to Rafa's bull. His outsized frame is most evident when he serves, reaching high, high, high before crashing the ball down, but also when he receives the ball, legs akimbo like a giraffe at a water hole.


:lol:

JolánGagó
05-24-2011, 08:24 PM
monkey crowd.

Metis
05-24-2011, 08:32 PM
We're blaming you in advance.

:toothy:


In the end I will prevail, like Rafito against Isner. :rocker2:

acionescu
05-24-2011, 08:46 PM
I'm so like the "supporting the underdog" excuse :lol:

yeah, that's why they support Fed against anyone :stupid:

that and "good for the game" :yeah:

Metis
05-25-2011, 01:11 PM
Video of Rafa's interview after the 1st round match:

http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/multimedia/2011-05-24/0130232b28a8000000dc.html

Can't seem to find the text :scratch:

Metis
05-25-2011, 01:16 PM
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/news/articles/2011-05-24/201105241306265445184.html


Marathon man Isner gasps for air in Rafa thriller

John Isner may have set the record for the longest ever tennis match in history when he defeated Nicolas Mahut in 11 hours, five minutes at Wimbledon last year, but it was during his five set thriller with Rafael Nadal this evening that the 6ft 9 American admitted to needing an oxygen mask. His Wimbledon duel may have spanned three days, but the 26-year-old confessed he was out of puff by the time he had pushed the world no.1 to the fifth set. "That 30-all point in the last game, I needed oxygen after that," he told reporters after the match. "I almost collapsed. My legs were dead."

Unseeded Isner entered the match at no.39 in the world, his worst ranking since November 2009, but he produced dazzling tennis to force the five time Roland Garros champion to fight until the bitter end before bowing out 4-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (2), 2-6, 4-6. "Really what it came down to is the way he played in the fourth and fifth sets," Isner pointed out. "I haven't seen tennis like that ever. That's why he's no.1 in the world and one of the greatest players ever."

Yet, Nadal said he felt under the cosh for much of the match and reflected on "tough, tough moments". "When you play against these kind of players, the pressure is there all the time," he said. "You have to play all the time very safe. So I didn't play free during the match after the second set. So it was tough the rest of the match. I'm very happy to be through." :awww:

Rafa admitted he did not play the tie-breaks well because he played "too nervous" a game and as a result was on court for two hours longer than he should have been. "These are things that happen. It's the first round," he reflected. "I could have done better, quite clearly. But you need to see the positive side of things. I was stressed, but I managed to overcome my stress. The negative is that I was in control of the match, and then I lost control and I spent two hours more than what I should have. :( So I made mistakes, but I accept I was nervous. I knew that I would not play the tie break very well. I accepted that. It should not have happened, yet it did."

Isner may have been left gasping for air come the final set but he boasts a pretty good five set record. When asked is he felt threatened by that at all, Nadal simply smiled and said "I think I have a good record too of the fifth set." Point taken. ;)

Metis
05-25-2011, 01:36 PM
Greg Garber's article:

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/french11/news/story?id=6583075


"Tough, tough moments for me," Nadal said. "I played too nervous, in my opinion." :awww:
...

Despite losing the first set, the tall American held strong and forced Nadal into a pair of tiebreaks, where his big serve helped him put Nadal on the defensive.

"That's when I started to sort of believe a little bit more," Isner said, "and started to play with more confidence and strut around more out there."

Even Nadal was a bit worried. So was Toni Nadal, Rafael's coach and uncle, who would later say that from his perch in the stands he felt "very, very nervous, because losing in the first round is not too good for us." :(

But his nephew steeled himself and made zero unforced errors in the fourth set, while Isner made 12. :D

"I didn't play well in the tiebreak, and I didn't have chances to have the break," Nadal said. "When you play against these kind of players, the pressure is there all the time. You have to play all the time very safe."

Nadal broke Isner for a 2-1 edge in the fourth set and called that "the turning point."

Isner's coach, Craig Boynton, agreed.

"Rafa getting up an early break in the fourth really helped his psyche," Boynton said.


you don't say :eek:

star
05-25-2011, 02:03 PM
Video of Rafa's interview after the 1st round match:

http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/multimedia/2011-05-24/0130232b28a8000000dc.html

Can't seem to find the text :scratch:

RG site is the worst of the GS sites. :rolleyes: It looks like they are only having video this year. :mad:

Castafiore
05-25-2011, 02:07 PM
Can't seem to find the text :scratch:
Apparently, they've decided to not give the transcripts any more because it's unfair towards the media :awww: :baby: and you can read the most important quotes in their articles twisted and/or taken out of context/...

:rolleyes:


Copied from the "stupid journalist..." thread in GM:
We are very sorry, we have been asked by the International Tennis Writers Association not to release the transcripts of post-match interviews this year so as not to disadvantage the reporters here at the French Open. You can find many of the relevant quotes in the articles posted on our website."

Roland-Garros team

Metis
05-25-2011, 02:22 PM
RG site is the worst of the GS sites. :rolleyes: It looks like they are only having video this year. :mad:

Apparently, they've decided to not give the transcripts any more because it's unfair towards the media :awww: :baby: and you can read the most important quotes in their articles twisted and/or taken out of context/...

:rolleyes:


Copied from the "stupid journalist..." thread in GM:


WTF? :stupid:

Unfair towards the media? :cuckoo: What they are doing now is unfair towrds the public, because they are refusing access to the full content of the interviews.

star
05-25-2011, 03:05 PM
A

Copied from the "stupid journalist..." thread in GM:

And god knows you can't say "no" to the International Journalists. :rolleyes:

Plus tennis reporters are the laziest reporters around. They don't even watch the matches they report on. At most they watch some on tv, go to the press conferences and then write the articles. :mad: They want the pressers to be their own little private place so they can corner the information and then put it out to the public as if they are some sort of super experts about tennis. :mad:

Like that journalist who asked Rafa if the turning point in the Isner match was the break in the fifth set. wtf? No, dopey. He had to win the fourth to get to the fifth. Rafa explained it to him very nicely, and then he was able to write it as if he knew it all along.

And if this is the "international journalists" why is it only at the French Open this is done? I'm thinking it's more the French journalists, but we will see what happens at Wimbledon.

Metis
05-25-2011, 04:40 PM
Day 5: Thursday, 26 May


Court Suzanne Lenglen
11:00 AM Start

Men's Singles - 2nd Round
Albert Ramos (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/atpr772.html)(ESP)vs. Robin Soderling (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/atpsa49.html)(SWE)[5]

Women's Singles - 2nd Round
Na Li (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta120330.html)(CHN)[6]vs. Silvia Soler-Espinosa (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta311493.html)(ESP)

Men's Singles - 2nd Round
Rafael Nadal (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/atpn409.html)(ESP)[1]vs. Pablo Andujar (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/atpa596.html)(ESP)

Women's Singles - 2nd Round
Pauline Parmentier (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta160515.html)(FRA)vs. Victoria Azarenka (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta312001.html)(BLR)[4]

Metis
05-25-2011, 08:00 PM
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/news/articles/2011-05-25/201105251306344580230.html




Andujar takes the Nadal test


1- How many times has Rafael Nadal won the French Open?
Five.

1 point. He won in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010.

2- Whose record will Nadal equal if he wins the French Open this year?
Bjorn Borg's.

Another point. If Rafa wins the Musketeers' Trophy for the sixth time, he will equal Bjorn Borg's stellar performance.

3- How many Grand Slam titles has Nadal won?
That's a tough one… (he counts them in his head). Nine, is that right?

Another point. In addition to winning five times at the French Open, Nadal has won twice at Wimbledon, once at Flushing Meadows and once at the Australian Open.

4- How many titles has Nadal won on clay?
Hmm, I'm not sure. I'll take a stab in the dark and say 22.

0 points. You're way off, Pablo. He has won 31 titles on clay, and 45 across all surfaces.

5- Where and when did Rafael Nadal win his first clay title?
Let me see. I'd say Costa do Sauipe, but I'm not sure which year. He was born in 1986, and he must have won his first title when he was 17, so that would make it… 2003. Am I right?

0 points. Wrong answer! He won his first clay title at Sopot, Poland in 2004 after beating Jose Acasuso 6-3, 6-4.

6- How many matches has Nadal lost on clay since winning at Sopot?
I have no idea. Five?

0 points. Nice try, but it's actually nine. He lost to Gaston Gaudio in Buenos Aires in 2005, Igor Andreev in Valencia en 2005, Roger Federer in Hamburg in 2007, Juan Carlos Ferrero in Rome in 2008, Roger Federer in Hamburg in 2008, Robin Soderling at the French Open in 2009, Roger Federer in Madrid in 2009, and finally Novak Djokovic in Madrid and Rome in 2011.

7- Of these nine losses, how many were against a fellow Spaniard?
One, against Ferrero!

1 point. Nice one, Pablo. It was in Rome in 2008 and Nadal had a major problem with blisters on his right foot.

8- Who did Nadal defeat during his first ATP match, and how old was he at the time?
Well, I know he was 15, but I don't know who he played against.

1/2 point. He was indeed 15. He was invited to take part in the Mallorca tournament, and beat Paraguay's Ramon Delgado, who was ranked world no.81 at the time.

9- Against which player from Valencia has Nadal never played on the ATP circuit?
From Valencia?

Yes
Active or retired?

Active.
Um… Me?

1 point. Right! You have never played against Nadal on the ATP circuit. Your last match was during the Spanish under-16s championship, when Nadal won 6-4, 7-5.

10- How many five-set matches has Nadal played at the French Open?
Hmm… I'm not sure. Eight?

0 points. Wrong answer, Pablo. One. John Isner is the only player to have pushed Nadal to a five-set match at the French Open.

11- Bonus question: will you be the first Spaniard to beat Nadal at the French Open?
Well, Rafa's the favourite. I'm going to concentrate on my game, and just play my own match. I'm going to try and forget my emotions, forget we're on Centre Court, and just enjoy my time out there. I have nothing to lose.

Metis
05-25-2011, 08:07 PM
Since l_mac is not around to post Rafa's blog, I'll do it instead.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/rafaelnadal/8532304/Rafael-Nadals-exclusive-blog-world-No-1-answers-your-questions-throughout-the-French-Open.html


Hi everyone,


First thing to say is that I am happy I am writing today and that tomorrow I'll be writing again, since I was very close today to being out of French Open (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/frenchopen/) don't you think?

I had no chance to break today - very difficult to play a big server. I did mention this every day before the start of the tournament after I saw the draw. It is not easy! People only talk about the final and I always say you have to go match after match! Today was the proof!

To be honest with you, I think I played very nervous today. I felt I could lose, and was in real danger since I didn't play well in the tiebreaks....

So I am back at my hotel, we went out for dinner, got some work done and now ready to go to sleep, to focus on my practice and the match on Thursday against a fellow countryman.





Q&A, May 25

Q: My question for Rafa is: I know you mainly listen to Spanish music but do you have any faviourite songs in English that you like to listen to, perhaps before matches? (Cassie, UK)
RN: I actually do listen mostly to Spanish speaking music and particularly before the matches. That doesn't mean that I only listen to Spanish music. I also have lots of English music. Those classic rock or pop ones.

Q: Dear Rafa, I've been following you since before your breakthrough matches several years ago at Crandon Park and, I think, in California it was. How do you maintain your intense focus, point after point and match after match? You're famously known for playing every point as if it's a critical one. Is there anything you can tell me that I can use to help keep my own concentration and confidence from slipping during a match? I'm a 3.5-level player. Gracias antemano por considerar esta pregunta, y buena suerte en el torneo! (Andrew)
RN: This is something that like any other part of the game you have to practice. I always say that you practice like you play so I do that with intensity and focus. Then after during the match I am used to that situation. Do that, practice hard and with intensity and I think you will improve that part.

Q: Hi Rafa you birthday always falls when Roland Garros is on,how do you celebrate it,while at the tournament? (Val U.K)
RN: If I am celebrating it at Roland Garros is a good sign because it means I am still playing. Normally I do the same thing as any other day but the FFT also prepares a cake and some gifts which is nice of them. Then I normally go out to dinner with my team and family present.

Q: Hi Rafa, Why are you not hitting the backhand down the line more often ? Noticed this in both your matches against Djokovic, thats bringing in a bit of predictability in your play on the backhand side. Is there a reason? (Sounak Roy)
RN: No reason, believe me I try whatever I can to win every point. Not that easy when the other player is reading your game and keeping me defensive. I do think about those things but....

Q: Hi Rafa, Massive fan from Ireland. Can you infrom us all of your diet, are you on any shakes etc fior extra protein? Just how did you get that left gun so big?? (Conor Daly, Ireland)
RN: Nope, no diet at all, just the normal things of a pro player. Lots of carbohydrates, proteins, meat, fish, salads, .... I think you mean by guns the arms? Believe me that is from playing tennis, no gym at all.

Q: What's your favourite court in the whole world? And Which player would you regard as your best friend in tennis? (Aneeka, London)
RN: This is a tough one... Probably Wimbledon and Monte Carlo are special ones. And my best friend....Carlos Moya, Juan Monaco, Marc Lopez,

Q. Hi Rafa You have fantastic coloured T-shirts when in all the tournaments. Do you pick these colours yourself or is it the sponsor and is it your preference to wear same colour (yellow) for the clay season then change for another tournament etc? (Anne Wade, Isle of Man)
RN: I like colors, I am Spanish, from Mallorca, sun, sea, .... Thanks for the wishes!

Q: Hi Rafa. I would like to know how you control your anger or frustration during the game? As i observe, most of the players they tend to hit their rackets on the ground or even their feet. I don't see that you and Roger Federer would do that?
RN: Just focus on the next point, forget the last one for good or for bad. It is over, you have to focus on the next one!

Metis
05-25-2011, 08:25 PM
Nadal - Isner 5th set:


Part1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzFaDGW9yOw)

Part2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzqlHNniUrQ&feature=related)

Part3 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zN6xf6yhOBg&feature=related)

Part4 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpT8MldczAk&feature=related)

Part5 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHF9OJun1EQ&feature=related)

Part6 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JJStlP3Z4I&feature=related)

Part7_mp (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qT99Bs5Wyvs&feature=related)

star
05-25-2011, 08:34 PM
I love Rafa's question answers. He is always so serious. :lol:

vn01
05-25-2011, 08:53 PM
tomorrow, no mercy for Andujar. 6-3 6-2 6-2 to Rafa :rocker2:

born_on_clay
05-25-2011, 09:47 PM
Rafa, one request for tomorrow. Play agressive :)

Metis
05-26-2011, 08:51 AM
Yay, I have found some more quotes from Rafa's press conference! :bounce: :stupid:


http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/french11/columns/story?columnist=tandon_kamakshi&id=6587273



How will Rafa respond to early scare?

By Kamakshi Tandon
Special to ESPN.com

PARIS -- A fifth set in Paris. Uncharted territory for Rafael Nadal (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=261), but he did manage to navigate safely past John Isner (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=1023) and avoid a first-round upset for the ages. What now? Did surviving the scare put him on track for a record-tying sixth French Open crown or foretell more troubles to come?

In the end, the roller coaster showed it might be possible to defeat Nadal sometime over the next two weeks, but also just how tough that is to do.

After winning the first set Tuesday, Nadal dropped two tiebreakers to allow the big-serving 6-foot-9 Isner to charge to a two-sets-to-one lead, but then summoned his famous battling spirit to produce some fine play in the latter stages of the match. "I haven't seen tennis like that ever," said Isner, whose big serves and impressive net-rushing kept him in the match until fatigue set in during the fifth set.

But Nadal, though relieved with the win, wore a brooding expression afterward. "I didn't play well the tiebreaks," he said. "I played too nervous in my opinion."

"I was a bit lost at one stage -- which happened also during the previous months," he added later in Spanish, and rattled off a list when asked.

"Miami, [Tomas] Berdych [in the first round], that was a disaster," said Nadal, sounding a trifle dramatic in English parlance. "Then Federer [in the semifinals]. I was leading. I had a break. He came back. He won the first set.

"In Monte Carlo, [Andy] Murray. Everything was fine, and then I lost [the second set] and suffered during the third set. So these are disasters. :awww: These are mistakes that I didn't make in the past, and I have been making these mistakes over the last few months.

"I accept this. Once you accept there is a problem, you can face the problem and find solutions to the problems."




Cahill's comments:


Having escaped against Isner, a tough first-round opponent by any standard, Nadal at least now has the opportunity to build his form and confidence as the tournament progresses. He is not expected to have much trouble against fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=620) in the second round.

"Once he got that break , you could see a real lease of life come into his body language," said ESPN commentator Darren Cahill, adding that some of Nadal's tentative play stemmed from not wanting to make a mistake when he got an opportunity to get into a rally against Isner's serve.

"Normally he's more authoritative from the back of the court, but he really didn't want to miss when he got into those rallies, so he did drop a lot of balls short and gave John opportunities to step in and hit short balls. I don't think you'll see that happen as much anymore. As the tournament progresses, he'll start to get a feel for this baseline game. He's still playing great tennis.

"By and all, he's still been as dominant on the clay as he has been in previous years -- if you remove [Novak] Djokovic (http://espn.go.com/tennis/players/profile?playerId=296)."

But after Nadal's four straight losses against Djokovic this year -- two of which came on clay -- the Serb cannot be easily removed from the conversation. Add the stumbles against Isner on Tuesday and Pablo Lorenzi at the Rome Masters and memories of Robin Soderling (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=217)'s win against Nadal at this event two years ago, and there is a sense that the locker room is slowly unlocking the pieces of Nadal's game -- going on court with some ideas of what to do, even if doing it remains another matter altogether. :zzz:




Oh look, there's also a list of ways to beat Nadal! :yeah:


How To Beat Rafa


1. The two-one punch
Novak Djolovic put it on display in Rome -- two shots to Nadal's forehand, keeping the Spaniard in one spot, and then down the line to Nadal's backhand. It forces him to run to his weaker side and subdues some of his legendary speed by making him start from a standstill position. For those who can't change the direction of the ball, there's the slightly easier option of hitting to Nadal's backhand and sending it down the line to the forehand. Murray has pulled this off well in the past, but it must be a more powerful strike to succeed.

2. The short-angle crosscourt
If hit well enough, it works off either wing -- Nadal seems less comfortable with the unusual diagonal movement it requires. But anything that doesn't get him completely off the court is likely to be hit back for a winner, so it's a risky play. Nikolay Davydenko and Lleyton Hewitt have pushed Nadal with this play in the past, but not for a while, and Djokovic can also find the angles to make it work once in a while.

3. The net march
It's a lot easier behind Isner's giant serve, but in Rome, even lowly Italian qualifier Pablo Lorenzi managed to rattle Nadal a bit by constantly charging the net at any opportunity. A few passing shots are sure to fly by, but if Nadal isn't feeling fully grooved, the constant barrage can prompt a few errors, too. In a tour with few net-rushers, however, it's not a play that's attempted too often.

4. The massive forehand
Whaling away with a monster righty forehand to Nadal's backhand is effective for obvious reasons, but only a few players have it -- Robin Soderling, Juan Martin del Potro, James Blake in the past and, yes, Roger Federer. Given how high Nadal's topspin bounces, being tall also helps 6-foot-6 Sam Querrey, for example, says Nadal's ball bounces right into his higher strike zone.

5. A kick in the shins
If all else fails. But it's an unlikely resort against the popular (and muscular) Spaniard. [I](reported :()

JolánGagó
05-26-2011, 09:26 AM
Andujar :scared:

Give the trophy to Nole :bigwave:

TennisOnWood
05-26-2011, 08:10 PM
Rafa, one request for tomorrow. Play agressive :)

He was everything but not agressive.. he just can't make easy forehand points and he must be dead tired all ready, after 2 fuckin matches against mugs

vn01
05-26-2011, 08:59 PM
rafa didn't play well today. we all saw that. he has alrady played more than 7 hours in his first two matches. :( rafa is in a difficult situation, lately. the losses against djokovic made him vulnerable. i can't see him winning the french open this year. it's really sad, but is true. unless rafa raises his game level, he may lose to soderling in the quarter-finals or to murray in the semis :sad:

born_on_clay
05-26-2011, 08:59 PM
<grief>

MM_1257
05-27-2011, 12:27 AM
This RG is stressing me too much. Rafa has zero confidence. :sad:

Edda
05-27-2011, 03:34 AM
This French Open is a boring, stressful piece of garbage so far, just one more stress in a life filled with full tilt stress already. They repeat the same stinking matches over and over. Yet there is nothing else on T.V. and I can't just sit in silence. I hope Rafa isn't still feeling the lingering effects of his recent virus. Poor Rafa has been sick twice this year. Some crud his been going through the Armada. Rafa, Ferru and Nando have all been sick this year.

The boorish behavior of the fans doesn't help. Rafa has been booed, as has Maria Sharapova.

I hope Nole is knocked out before the final and Rafa can win. I'd like to see Rafa and Ferru in the final. The way things are going, it's unlikely to happen, but I can still hope.

Castafiore
05-27-2011, 07:45 AM
Transcripts of his post-match press conferences :banana:

(found them on vamosbrigade)

(rafaholics.com) Nadal vs Isner, transcript of post-match presser (http://www.rafaholics.com/2011/05/rg-englishspanish-press-conference.html)

(thesportcampus.com) Nadal vs Andujar, transcript of post-match presser (http://www.thesportscampus.com/2011052613181/grand-slams/interview-with-rafael-nadal)

Foxy
05-27-2011, 08:25 AM
I don't understand what is this drama queenery here. He played long matches, he played bad, true. No big deal. Every match is different. Form is not frozen in time. Last year he played badly until the semis and look what happened. Both Isner and Andujar played the matches of their life and they were not even close to win the matches. If you ask me Isner never should have won set2 and set3. It was bad luck. Against Andujar once 5:1 Rafa started playing really great tennis. Hopefully against Veic he will finish it this time quicker to recover some energy.

Sonja1989
05-27-2011, 09:10 AM
This tournament remind me the Wimbledon from last year...

born_on_clay
05-27-2011, 01:28 PM
I'm starting to think Djokovic broke Rafa's heart (read:confidence) :shrug:
He is still winning but losing to much energy in the process

Metis
05-27-2011, 02:45 PM
Nadal-Andujar 7-5 6-3 7-6


I have to agree with Foxy here.

Cheer up people, he won in straight sets AND won a tiebreak. :eek: :crazy:


:lol:

Metis
05-27-2011, 02:46 PM
Transcripts of his post-match press conferences :banana:

(found them on vamosbrigade)

(rafaholics.com) Nadal vs Isner, transcript of post-match presser (http://www.rafaholics.com/2011/05/rg-englishspanish-press-conference.html)

(thesportcampus.com) Nadal vs Andujar, transcript of post-match presser (http://www.thesportscampus.com/2011052613181/grand-slams/interview-with-rafael-nadal)


:worship:

Metis
05-27-2011, 02:51 PM
Next opponent: Antonio Veic :scared: :unsure:


Who is Antonio Veic?

- ranking: 227
- playing at RG for the first time
- qualified by beating Zeballos, Bagnis and Bolelli
- beat Cuevas in the 1st round and Davydenko in the 2nd


:scared: :unsure:


:lol:

acionescu
05-27-2011, 02:58 PM
Stop laughing, Pythia :scared: :unsure:

Metis
05-27-2011, 03:10 PM
It's a nervous laugh. :awww:

acionescu
05-27-2011, 03:12 PM
OK :hug:

Metis
05-27-2011, 03:19 PM
Rafa's blog entry May 26th:

Hi everyone,

Short one today since I am going for dinner and I am late... as I am most of the time. Last night I went with [Fernando] Llorente the football player, Richard Mille and part of my team for dinner to a restaurant near my hotel. It was nice and I needed to go out.

After my match against John Isner we needed to talk and we spoke a lot about my early scare. It could have been my last dinner in Paris this year during Roland Garros, but thankfully I am still playing and enjoying this beautiful city.

I went back to practice again yesterday, but believe me I am still thinking about that match!





Rafa Nadal Q&A, May 27


Q: Rafa, I think I found a weakness in Nole that you can exploit. The between the legs shot. You got him with one in Madrid (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/rafaelnadal/8501910/Rafael-Nadals-hot-dog-lob-against-Novak-Djokovic-in-Madrid-Masters-final.html) and remember Roger got him with one at the US Open one time. So next time play him with your back turned and hit every shot between your legs. All the best!! (Phil C, London)
RN: Hahaha. This is a good one. I'll try more but remember this is a risky shot !!!!!

Q: Hi Rafa, i just want to know if you wear a new pair of shoes for every match during tournaments? Thanks and take care. (Beth)
RN: No I don't. I normally use them for 3/4 matches until they wear out. That also have to include the practices of those days. At hard courts I normally use more though.

Q: Can you tell us why you are very particular with your water bottle? (Marie, Toronto)
RN: Hahahahhaha. It is a habit and routine I have. Nothing important. If the fall nothing would change! Just a matter of doing the same thing.

Q: Hi Rafa, my family and I have been your fans for ages. A question about the serve. We think that you "think" too much before serving. This is why you are slower and slower, getting time-violation warnings, and miss several first balls especially when you would need to hit winners or effective first balls, in crucial moments of the matches. But on the other hand we noticed that when you speed up your routine and play more with your guts and instinct you serve better and your whole game benefits from it. What's your opinion on that? (Pat, Genoa)
RN: No, I don't think so but I am sure that you observing have noticed other things...

Metis
05-27-2011, 03:20 PM
"...but remember this is a risky shot."


:spit:

!VamosRafa!
05-27-2011, 04:27 PM
I change my MIT to QF :spit:....and btw what's MIT?

star
05-27-2011, 04:33 PM
I change my MIT to QF :spit:....and btw what's MIT?

You can't change your MIT after Rafa has played. :( :( :( :( :(

Please look at the MIT thread. http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=135598

Metis
05-27-2011, 04:41 PM
Thank you star :hatoff: :D

Metis
05-27-2011, 04:42 PM
Day 7: Saturday, 28 May

Court Philippe Chatrier
11:00 AM Start

Women's Singles - 3rd Round
Roberta Vinci (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta220214.html)(ITA)[30]vs. Victoria Azarenka (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta312001.html)(BLR)[4]

Men's Singles - 3rd Round
Rafael Nadal (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/atpn409.html)(ESP)[1]vs. Antonio Veic (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/atpv564.html)(CRO)

Men's Singles - 3rd Round
Mardy Fish (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/atpf339.html)(USA)[10]vs. Gilles Simon (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/atpsd32.html)(FRA)[18]

Women's Singles - 3rd Round
Maria Sharapova (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta310137.html)(RUS)[7]vs. Yung-Jan Chan (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta312015.html)(TPE)

MariaV
05-27-2011, 05:18 PM
At least he plays quite early tomorrow. :D

born_on_clay
05-27-2011, 05:37 PM
It has to be under 1h40m match tomorrow
It has to.....
And Rafa still thinking about Isner ? :scared:

star
05-27-2011, 06:57 PM
Transcripts of his post-match press conferences :banana:

(found them on vamosbrigade)

(rafaholics.com) Nadal vs Isner, transcript of post-match presser (http://www.rafaholics.com/2011/05/rg-englishspanish-press-conference.html)

(thesportcampus.com) Nadal vs Andujar, transcript of post-match presser (http://www.thesportscampus.com/2011052613181/grand-slams/interview-with-rafael-nadal)

:hatoff: :worship:

Thanks so much.

Sonja1989
05-27-2011, 07:26 PM
I'm starting to think Djokovic broke Rafa's heart (read:confidence) :shrug:
He is still winning but losing to much energy in the process

Well four loss in row didn't help for him sure. :sadface:

born_on_clay
05-27-2011, 09:43 PM
Well four loss in row didn't help for him sure. :sadface:

That's exactly what I meant ;)

vn01
05-28-2011, 01:30 PM
finally a win without any problems. 6-1 6-3 6-0 against veic. waiting for verdasco/ljubicic. vamos rafa! :)

Foxy
05-28-2011, 01:32 PM
Epic ownage. Some silly mistakes but at least he saved tons of energy. Bamos!

born_on_clay
05-28-2011, 01:33 PM
Rafa won in 1h40m, my boy :hug:
:)

dorkino
05-28-2011, 01:51 PM
Originally Posted by Castafiore http://imgsrv2.tennisuniverse.com/mtf/images2007/buttons/lastpost.gif (http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?p=11066681#post11066681)
Transcripts of his post-match press conferences :banana:

(found them on vamosbrigade)

(rafaholics.com) Nadal vs Isner, transcript of post-match presser (http://www.rafaholics.com/2011/05/rg-englishspanish-press-conference.html)

(thesportcampus.com) Nadal vs Andujar, transcript of post-match presser (http://www.thesportscampus.com/2011052613181/grand-slams/interview-with-rafael-nadal)


Thanx a lot :hug: . Does anyone know why the site is not including transcripts of the players' pressers for the public anymore ?? They say thank you for understanding but i can't see the point really :scratch:

Metis
05-28-2011, 02:27 PM
Nadal-Veic 6-1 6-3 6-0



How far will Rafa go in Roland Garros? (2000 points :cheerleader:)

1st -
2nd -
3rd - Getta
4th -
QF -
SF - Betty
F - -calimero-, !VamosRafa!, JolanGago, shawshank
W - Bjorki, born_on_clay, Foxy, MariaV, Metis, Minn, scoobs, Sonja1989, tennizen, Veronique, vn01, Xristos




Getta: :worship:

http://images.cheezburger.com/completestore/2011/4/16/62c7804b-be65-429f-b9e4-d8d5551fcd59.gif (http://cheezburger.com/View/4661812736)

star
05-28-2011, 02:45 PM
Originally Posted by Castafiore http://imgsrv2.tennisuniverse.com/mtf/images2007/buttons/lastpost.gif (http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?p=11066681#post11066681)
Transcripts of his post-match press conferences :banana:

(found them on vamosbrigade)

(rafaholics.com) Nadal vs Isner, transcript of post-match presser (http://www.rafaholics.com/2011/05/rg-englishspanish-press-conference.html)

(thesportcampus.com) Nadal vs Andujar, transcript of post-match presser (http://www.thesportscampus.com/2011052613181/grand-slams/interview-with-rafael-nadal)


Thanx a lot :hug: . Does anyone know why the site is not including transcripts of the players' pressers for the public anymore ?? They say thank you for understanding but i can't see the point really :scratch:

There is a whole thread on GM about it. It was at the request of the International Tennis Journalist Assn. or something like that. The Journalists think that giving the public the interviews makes their stories not relevant (of course that's not what they say) and if bloggers and everyone can get them, the editors won't send journalists to report live.

Castafiore
05-28-2011, 03:07 PM
Interview with one of Andreea's future husbands:

P. Andujar interview (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/multimedia/index.html)
(go to Behind the Scenes, day 6)

dorkino
05-28-2011, 03:43 PM
Thanks Star for informing me. General thread ? :scared: i don't have the nerves to go there now ( Having to imagine some thread titles there :o ) Have been going through enough already.

star
05-28-2011, 03:46 PM
Thanks Star for informing me. General thread ? :scared: i don't have the nerves to go there now ( Having to imagine some thread titles there :o ) Have been going through enough already.

I will post the link to the thread so you don't have to look at the thread titles. I understand completely. :lol:

The discussion was in the Stupid Journalist Questions thread. This link should get you into the heart of the discussiohttp://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?p=11059915&highlight=cronin#post11059915

dorkino
05-28-2011, 04:09 PM
I will post the link to the thread so you don't have to look at the thread titles. I understand completely. :lol:

The discussion was in the Stupid Journalist Questions thread. This link should get you into the heart of the discussiohttp://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?p=11059915&highlight=cronin#post11059915

U're da best !! :D

Castafiore
05-29-2011, 09:57 AM
rafaholics.com - Nadal vs Veil, transcript of post-match presser (http://www.rafaholics.com/2011/05/rg-rafaveic-presser-transcript.html)
(source: rafaholics, via vb.com)


rolandgarros.com - video of press conference (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/multimedia/2011-05-28/01303701d54800000189.html)

Metis
05-29-2011, 05:13 PM
Thanks Hilde :yeah:



Day 9: Monday, 30 May

Court Philippe Chatrier
11:00 AM Start

Women's Singles - 4th Round
Na Li (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta120330.html)(CHN)[6]vs. Petra Kvitova (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta314206.html)(CZE)[9]

Men's Singles - 4th Round
Rafael Nadal (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/atpn409.html)(ESP)[1]vs. Ivan Ljubicic (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/atpl360.html)(CRO)

Men's Singles - 4th Round
Gilles Simon (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/atpsd32.html)(FRA)[18]vs. Robin Soderling (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/atpsa49.html)(SWE)[5]

Women's Singles - 4th Round
Maria Sharapova (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta310137.html)(RUS)[7]vs. Agnieszka Radwanska (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta312251.html)(POL)[12]

Metis
05-29-2011, 05:24 PM
Blog entry, May 28th 2011:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/rafaelnadal/8532304/Rafael-Nadals-exclusive-blog-world-No-1-answers-your-questions-throughout-the-French-Open.html


Hello everyone,


Thanks for being there and reading this blog. Hope you find it interesting although I think I am much better at playing tennis. And having said that I need to find my game, I haven't been playing too good lately to be honest. It did happen to me in the past in previous Roland Garros but that tends to disappear after a few rounds. But the truth is that I am practicing really well so I hope it is only a matter of time!


Today I took it easy with a good practice and a nice dinner with my team.


Speak to you tomorrow!


Thanks again. Rafa.






Rafa Nadal Q&A, May 28

Q: Hi there Rafa, moltes gracies for being very lovely and writing your very interesting blog from Paris and replying to our questions. Rafa, you said that you travel with a lot of stuff, including DVDs... which DVDs did you bring to Paris this year and have you watched any of them yet? (Niamh in Ireland)
RN: Hello and thanks for your support and nice words. It is a pleasure for me to write this. I did bring some of the TV series I normally watch. But I also watch through internet movies so I don't have to carry so many DVDs.

Q: I have a hard time watching you play close matches. I get a lot of cleaning done as I listen to the commentators. I have noticed that Uncle Toni has this same problem and often looks like he is about to throw up, :spit: especially match point during a tough match. Besides Uncle Toni, who has the hardest time watching your matches when they are close? I’m praying for you to win! (Beth)
RN: Thanks Beth. Well I don't enjoy either those close matches. Would prefer to win in straight sets but that's difficult. Regarding Toni and rest of my team, I know they also suffer that's why I also thank them.

Q: Well done against that giant! How important is height in tennis? (Martin)
RN: Very much for the serve. But that is also something relative since the movements on court are also different.

Q: I think the Roland Garros organisers have introduced these new balls which favour hard flat hitters to try to stop you winning the title for the next few years. They think if one player always wins then its bad for the event. What do you think about this? (Graham)
RN: I don't think so to be honest. I know well the people from Babolat (the balls are Babolat) and it is not that way.

Q: Hi Rafa. Firstly, I'd just like to say that I'm a huge fan of yours and I wish you every success for this Roland Garros tournament, and others in the future. My question is, apart from practice, how do you prepare for a match just before you go on court, and does this change if you're playing a more important or difficult match like a Grand Slam final? (Fiona S)
RN: Well it all depends at what time is the match. But one thing important is to practice the day before and to rest as much as possible. That's why I tend not to do many things outside the hotel like doing tourism, sight seeing, etc. I also tend to have lighter dinners without meat and heavy stuff. More fish and pasta for example.

Q: Hi Rafa, I love to watch your movement on court... the way you move your feet is amazing. I think you would be a great dancer... would you consider one day going on one of the celebrity dancing programmes like our Strictly Come Dancing? If you do please do the British 'Strictly' programme... it would be a dream for us your British fans to see you do a passionate paso doble or raunchy rumba... what do you think? Good Luck Rafa in Paris... with you all the way !! (Linda Miller) :haha:
RN: Hahahhahah this is good. Actually my uncle Miguel Angel did this in Spain - dancing with the stars - and he told me he had lots of fun. I actually don't see myself doing this but never say never I suppose.

Q: Hola Rafa, Thank you for bringing a lot of joy and nervous moments to my life since I started following you a few years ago! But hopefully there will be fewer nervous moments and more joy, OK? My question is earlier in the year we read that you were working with a writer on your autobiography. Can you tell us a little bit about it? And I hope if there is a chance for an RG karaoke again you won't refuse. ¡Muchas gracias y buena suerte! (Natalie)
RN: Yes, his name is John Carling and this book will probably come out this summer. We have been working a lot on this book. Hope you'll like it.


lol at the questions :lol:

star
05-29-2011, 05:33 PM
Blog entry, May 28th 2011:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/rafaelnadal/8532304/Rafael-Nadals-exclusive-blog-world-No-1-answers-your-questions-throughout-the-French-Open.html








lol at the questions :lol:

:hatoff:

Loved that! :hearts:

acionescu
05-29-2011, 06:42 PM
I wonder if that with the dancing Q was l_mac :o

born_on_clay
05-29-2011, 06:42 PM
I have something for you:
http://img814.imageshack.us/img814/6008/rafarg11.jpg

acionescu
05-29-2011, 06:43 PM
An autobiography? :facepalm:

star
05-29-2011, 06:46 PM
An autobiography? :facepalm:

It comes with DVDs of the making of the Shakira video and the Armani shoot. :dance:

acionescu
05-29-2011, 06:51 PM
OMG :help:

That's almost Novak-esque :tape:

Castafiore
05-29-2011, 06:56 PM
It's a book written by a respected author who has written a book about Mandela (among other things)

and for the gullible, don't believe star. :p

star
05-29-2011, 06:57 PM
It's a book written by a respected author who has written a book about Mandela (among other things)

and for the gullible, don't believe star. :p

Such a spoil sport. :ras:

:lol: :lol:

Foxy
05-29-2011, 08:36 PM
I have something for you:
http://img814.imageshack.us/img814/6008/rafarg11.jpg

Nice job, mate!
It is good we have you on board here at Rafa's forum. Bamos!

Foxy
05-29-2011, 08:38 PM
OMG :help:

That's almost Novak-esque :tape:

The book will be called "My first Nine Slams!" ;)

born_on_clay
05-30-2011, 07:17 AM
Nice job, mate!
It is good we have you on board here at Rafa's forum. Bamos!

You're very welcome ;)
Thanks :cool:

Castafiore
05-30-2011, 08:23 AM
Such a spoil sport. :ras:

:lol: :lol:
Just a matter of not pushing certain fragile people over the edge, that's all. :ras: ;)


Rafa on Stade 2:
(found it on vb.com)
May 29 - Interview with Rafa on Stade 2 (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xizmke_rafael-nadal-roland-garros-29-05-2011-stade-2_sport)

born_on_clay
05-30-2011, 11:09 AM
I have to buy his book :drool:

MariaV
05-30-2011, 11:25 AM
LOL @ the fragile people here, but good that the book is finally coming out. :lol:

And thanks for all the hard work b_o_c! :hatoff: :worship: :bowdown:

shawshank
05-30-2011, 01:38 PM
I just can't watch it. In my opinion Nadal is playing his worst tennis ever. It's so sad :(

Foxy
05-30-2011, 02:00 PM
I just can't watch it. In my opinion Nadal is playing his worst tennis ever. It's so sad :(

Actually I was not worried until now. But seeing the first set against Clownicic it is a shameful play...

Metis
05-30-2011, 02:53 PM
Nadal-Ljubicic 7-5 6-3 6-3


Vamos! :rocker2:

star
05-30-2011, 03:26 PM
Actually I was not worried until now. But seeing the first set against Clownicic it is a shameful play...

:hug:

Only your lovely optimism kept you from the truth. :hug: :sad:

dorkino
05-30-2011, 03:39 PM
Metis, we shouldn't make fun of Ljubo . It's not a good sign :facepalm:

Metis
05-30-2011, 03:41 PM
I don't believe in such things Noura. Besides I made fun of Veic too. :shrug:

Ben.
05-30-2011, 03:43 PM
I just can't watch it. In my opinion Nadal is playing his worst tennis ever. It's so sad :(

I agree. For the first two sets he had no timing on any of his shots, it did improve but he was still very inconsistant. He is also rolling his serves in, Soderling will love that along with mid-court FHs with nothing on them. It could be a mauling.

dorkino
05-30-2011, 04:00 PM
I don't believe in such things Noura. Besides I made fun of Veic too. :shrug:

If you say so :shrug:

I've only seen parts of second and third set. 'll be eaten alive.:o

TennisOnWood
05-30-2011, 10:10 PM
I was affraid of this.. Nadal just told the press in Paris that if he doesn't win his quarterfinal at RG "I'll walk back home." Don't think he's referring to his hotel room either.

From Australian open Facebook page


He is just sick of everything

Metis
05-30-2011, 10:44 PM
Australian Open Facebook page? :unsure:


Video of part of the interview:

http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/multimedia/2011-05-30/013041a65208000001e8.html


He says he's still a bit too anxious during the match. Also the conditions today were very difficult (there was a lot of wind). He has moments where he makes mistakes in a row and that cannot happen in the next round. He has improved a bit his court positioning. He says he has to play with more conviction (yes he used that word :lol:). He has ups and downs in a match; he has to play at a good level throughout the match in the next rounds.


Some quotes:

"I have improved since the tournament started," said Nadal. "I'm able to play better and I'm going to continue on this path."

http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2011/05/22/Roland-Garros-Monday-Nadal-Reaches-QFs.aspx



"I have improved since the tournament started," said Nadal, who was pushed to five sets in the first round. "I'm able to play better and I'm going to continue on this path."

"For me it will be a tough match," Nadal said minutes before Soderling completed his victory. "He's played two finals here at Roland Garros, so he knows what this means. He's got to play his best tennis."

"It's better for him," Nadal said of Djokovic's advancement. "He is going to really rest ahead of his semifinal."

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/french11/news/story?id=6607025

peixotospbr
05-30-2011, 10:45 PM
I was affraid of this.. Nadal just told the press in Paris that if he doesn't win his quarterfinal at RG "I'll walk back home." Don't think he's referring to his hotel room either.

From Australian open Facebook page

He is just sick of everything


The whole context:
"I have nearly found this type of game again. I have positive thoughts, and next match is going to be important. If I don't win the match, I'll walk back home. But I'll be happy, because I know I'll have done everything I can so that I can fight until the end. That's all I can say."

Way different from what that excerpt alone suggested...

Metis
05-30-2011, 10:57 PM
http://www.rte.ie/sport/tennis/2011/0530/nadal.html




Nadal has been exceptionally candid in press conferences during the tournament, talking at length about his struggles with confidence and his game and the difficulties of staying at the top of men's tennis year after year.

The 24-year-old, whose only defeat at Roland Garros came against Soderling in the fourth round in 2009, said: 'I am not confident. I am not playing well enough to win this tournament the way I played today. That's the truth. You have to be realistic.

'We will see after tomorrow if I am ready to play at this level. I am going to try. But I won five times already here. I don't have an obligation to win six. I am going to try for sure.

'Sometimes it's much more important to win when you are not playing that well than win when you are playing well, because winning when you are playing well probably it is easier.'

Ljubicic admitted a first-serve percentage of 51% did not give him a chance of upsetting Nadal, saying: 'I think it wasn't a bad match from my side it's just that the serve was not there.

'Without the serve against anybody it's tough, but against Rafa, it's definitely almost impossible. But I think he played a really good second set. I think today's match is going to give him quite a lot of confidence.'

Fifth seed Soderling continued his smooth and largely unheralded progress through to the last eight by seeing off France's Gilles Simon 6-2 6-3 7-6 (7/5).

The Swede, who is looking to reach the final for a third straight year, knows it will be extremely tough if he is to repeat his 2009 heroics.

He said of Nadal: 'He's won here so many times. So he's really difficult to beat. But I think no one is unbeatable. Every time you go on court there is a chance, and I think that's the way you have to think.

'I have to play well, be aggressive and serve well. Against any player you will always have a couple of chances, but you won't have many. When you have the chances, you have to take them.'

....

Nadal and Ljubicic differed in their view of whether the break will be a good thing for Djokovic, with the Spaniard saying: 'It's fantastic, no? After he doesn't lose a match all year, you think he'll lose his rhythm?'

Ljubicic, though, disagreed, adding: 'I don't think that's a good thing for him. I think at this stage to have four days off without competitive matches, it's not easy.'

Metis
05-30-2011, 11:05 PM
More:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2011/may/30/french-open-2011-rafael-nadal-ljubicic



...
Were he of a mind, Murray could take comfort in the trials and troubles of others, notably Rafa Nadal, who still looks out of sorts.

The king who talks like a commoner, Nadal set Roland Garros buzzing on Monday when he declared: "I'm not playing enough well to win this tournament."

It is hard to imagine Roger Federer saying that, or Novak Djokovic. They do not lean naturally towards self-deprecation but Nadal is so imbued with natural humility that he can confront uncomfortable truths.

He knows he operated fitfully in the first week and he played an ordinary first set on Monday before accounting for Ivan Ljubicic 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 on Court Philippe Chatrier.

"You have to be a realist," he said later, "and today I'm not playing enough well to win this tournament. I have to hit the ball with a little bit more conviction. We will see after tomorrow if I am ready to play at this level." He meets Robin Soderling, who beat Giles Simon in straight sets.

Asked to compare this French Open with his previous triumphs in Paris, Nadal, who needs one more title to match Bjorn Borg's tally of six, said he "didn't play well" in 2006, "normal" in 2007, "fantastic" in 2008" :cool:, "terrible all the tournament" in 2009 (the only one he did not win) and "so-so" in 2010, although "much better semi-final and final". :lol:

"This year, the second match [against Pablo Andujar] was especially bad. First match [a five-set fight against John Isner] wasn't that bad. Third match [against the Croatian qualifier Antonio Veic] was positive. And today, for moments, was fine.

"For me it's not an obligation [to] play well every day. I am No1 for one more week. :sad: You can be No1, but some days you can play [at the] level of No30."

Nevertheless, the world No1 (for the moment) is a win over Gaël Monfils away from the semi-finals. But, maybe for the first time in his career, he is unsure of himself. He came here nursing the damage of four defeats by Djokovic, the last two on clay, and says he is confused by his lack of confidence and his poor movement, which clearly are connected. Neither looked in much better shape on Monday. :(

star
05-30-2011, 11:14 PM
Gaël Monfils

:confused:

Metis
05-30-2011, 11:21 PM
I know. :lol: They do mention he's playing Sodelring next earlier in the article.

dorkino
05-30-2011, 11:48 PM
More:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2011/may/30/french-open-2011-rafael-nadal-ljubicic

The king who talks like a commoner, Nadal set Roland Garros buzzing on Monday when he declared: "I'm not playing enough well to win this tournament."

It is hard to imagine Roger Federer saying that, or Novak Djokovic. They do not lean naturally towards self-deprecation but Nadal is so imbued with natural humility that he can confront uncomfortable truths.

Yep.

star
05-31-2011, 01:56 AM
I picked this up from another post, but it wasn't attributed and putting various quotes into Google didn't yield a source either.

PLAYING HOOKY AT ROLAND GARROS

Novak Djokovic got a four-day pass from the French Open when Fabio Fognini withdrew from their quarter-final scheduled for Tuesday with a left thigh injury. As a result, following his round-of-16 victory over Richard Gasquet on Sunday, Djokovic will now have four complete days off before Friday when he faces the winner of Tuesday’s quarter-final between Roger Federer and Gael Monfils.

There are differing theories about whether it is good to have that much time off, especially because players at Grand Slams usually play one day on and one day off, except for special circumstances.

I sure got shot down when I asked Nadal how he would feel if he were in Djokovic’s position of having four days off in the middle of the tournament. “Fantastic no?” he answered immediately before adding, “tell me what’s the worst part of that?”

I was caught a little by surprise and managed to suggest, “no rhythm?”

Then Rafa put down the hammer on me, saying, “after you don’t lose a match during all the year with – I don’t know – 40-something (actually 41) straight victories, you think he’s out of rhythm now?”

“No,” is what I could have said – but didn’t.

Getta
05-31-2011, 03:26 AM
Rafa singing Pythian odes.

born_on_clay
05-31-2011, 07:42 AM
Is it all about Rafa's mental condition (attitude) ?
What do you think ?
I still believe in Rafa but will be hard against Soderling :scared:
Vamos !

http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/6008/rafarg11.jpg

Castafiore
05-31-2011, 07:51 AM
Found the transcript of Rafa's presser after the Ljubicic match (as usual, on vb.com) but the person who posted it didn't mention a source or a link so I'm posting it as it is here:

Q. Good result today. How do you compare your form to your other matches this week?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, the result was very positive for me, winning three sets without many problems. Was a fantastic result be in quarterfinals last three matches without losing a set. So that's positive. I think I still playing a little bit with too anxious for moments, so it happened today, no? Because the conditions were very difficult, I think. The court was a lot of windy. But with the 3-2 of the first set, I think I played very, very bad game with my serve-- or 4-3, I don't remember, no? So that's the thing, no? I think for moments I am playing well, but for moments I am still having few mistakes in a row.So that's what cannot happen in next round.

Q. You still feel in control of the ball. It looks like in the first set you're still looking for your rhythm on your forehand. Normally you can spin 20 times, but now sometimes not.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think the opponent was not the easiest opponent to play well, to play with rhythm. If you are not playing very, very well, is very difficult to get the rhythm against Ivan because he has a very good serve. After, he play two winners, two mistakes, so it's difficult to say right now I going to hit five, six balls the same, no, because the rhythm is not there.So wasn't the right opponent to try to find the rhythm, in my opinion, no?


Q. It seems that after the first set you were more comfortable, going for it, going to the net. Is that the key for you this week, to go more for your shots towards the net?
RAFAEL NADAL: The key is play well. To play well, I think I have to play -- I think I improved a little bit the position the court. I am play a little bit more inside than the first two matches especially, so that's the positive thing. But I have to hit the ball with a little bit more conviction, in my opinion. That's what I have to do, is try to repeat the same points. Because for moments I am playing a few good points, but after I have few bad points. So I have to play all the match with regular level. That's the biggest issue for the last final part of the tournament for me.

Q. When you compare how well you've played here over the years and how you're playing now, how far off your best are you at the moment?
RAFAEL NADAL: For sure depends with which year you want to compare, huh?

Q. Any year.
RAFAEL NADAL: Going to be long if I have to have all the comparisons. In 2006 I think I didn't play well during all the tournament; in 2007, normal; 2008, I played fantastic, but I played fantastic especially quarterfinals, semifinals, and final. 2009 I think I played terrible all the tournament; 2010, so-so. Much better semifinals and finals than previous matches. Very so-so, in my opinion, no? This year, especially the second match was especially bad. First match wasn't that bad, in my opinion. Second match was bad level. Third match was positive, I think, in my opinion. And today, for moments was fine. For example, the last part of the second set, in my opinion, was very, very good level. I started to hit the ball well with the forehands, changing directions.In the third set, I started another time well, but after, with the break, 3-1 and everything in my favor, I played another time a very bad game. So that's the things that remain a little bit, no? Try to, when I have that advantage, convert that advantage. If I have to win 6-3 or 6-2, don't win 6-4 or 7-5, no? So that's the things that I am missing more in my opinion.


Q. With Fognini pulling out of the tournament, Novak will have four days off now. How would you feel if you were in that position?
RAFAEL NADAL: Fantastic, no? (Laughter.) Tell me what's the worst part of that?


Q. No rhythm.
RAFAEL NADAL: After don't lose a match during all the year with, I don't know, 40-something straight victories, you think he's out of rhythm now? (Laughter)

Q. In 40 years I follow tennis, and I never heard the No. 1 in the world being asked so many times why you play so badly, why you're not playing that well, how do you feel, what are your mistakes, and so on. Are you surprised about that, that every day you have to explain why you're not at the top of your level when you're playing, in my opinion, well?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, for me that's something fantastic. That's true, no? All the day we are talking about I am playing very bad, but I am in quarterfinals. I play six finals in a row this year. I am having a very good year. One player is doing better than me. That's all. But I'm in good position to finish the year in a very high position of the ranking. For me, it's not an obligation play well every day. For me, I am No. 1 for one more week. The No. 1 not always play at the No. 1 level, no? You can be No. 1, but some days you can play level of No. 30 or level of No. 10, and the No. 10 can play at the level of No. 1. But you are No. 1 because most of the days during the season your level is regular. And even if you are not playing that well, you keep winning. It's true I am not playing that well. But I am in quarterfinals another time, and I going to fight to play a better match next time.Sometimes it's much more important win when you are not playing that well than win when you were playing well, because win when you are playing well probably is easier. Win when you are not playing that well is the more difficult thing. Only the top players can do that.I think that...

Q. You're confident Winning here?
RAFAEL NADAL: Win this tournament again? No, seriously, I am not confident. I am not playing enough well to win this tournament at the day of today. That's the true.The thing is you have to be realist, and today I'm not playing enough well to win this tournament. We will see after tomorrow if I am ready to play at this level. I going to try. But I won four times already here, five times already here. I don't have an obligation to win six. I going to try for sure, but...

Q. Congratulations. Why do you think you have so much experience over the years? How did you handle those situations to maybe get in a better mood off the court or something like that? Is there something different you do this year outside of tennis here in Paris?
RAFAEL NADAL: The same like every year. Nothing special. I am the same places. I spent a lot of time, a lot of weeks here in Paris over my life, so I feel like home. I am in the same hotel, the same places around, so it's nothing new for me, no? Seriously, I feel very comfortable here in Paris.

Q. Are you optimistic that you can find your best level quickly, like next match, next two matches? Or is it inevitable it's a gradual process?
RAFAEL NADAL: We will see. I don't know. I'm not a genius and cannot predict the future.

Q. Optimistic?
RAFAEL NADAL: If you are not optimistic, you are never going to find the solution. Important thing is be enough positive and have the mind enough open to keep finding solutions and to keep fighting every day to find the better performance, seriously. I know that fact. I know that. So that's positive, because I am practicing well. I have to pull out a little bit this nervous for next round, and we will see. Next round will be a very important match for this tournament for me, because, if I win, going to be a very important victory for me. If I win next match, it's because I am playing well. If not, I am on grass practicing next time, next day.

Q. Hello. You have said that you have to be more convinced when you play, you have to believe more in your game when you play tennis.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, people talk a lot about the problems I have. That's true. I'm not playing my best tennis, but, you know, people who want to find problems can always find them. The objective is to look beyond that. It's a good thing I have reached the quarterfinals. If I play that bad, I don't see why I would have reached the quarterfinals. Frankly, I think the stakes are high. I mean, I'm very demanding as well. You are very demanding as well, I think. So everybody is demanding. That is true.The problem is you can't always play your best tennis. That's the problem. I have been ranked No. 1 and No. 2 for seven years. So week in, week out for seven years I've been playing rather well. I will continue and fight until I reach the finals. I don't know if I'll succeed, though, but I'll do my best to do this. People should stop using the word "problem." We should try to find solutions and play with happiness, which is what I know. I know how to do this, being aggressive and intensive. I have nearly found this type of game again.I have positive thoughts, and next match is going to be important. If I don't win the match, I'll walk back home. But I'll be happy, because I know I'll have done everything I can so that I can fight until the end.That's all I can say. You know, I keep repeating the same types of things daily.


Q. Rafa, okay, we've talked about your match today. Now, what about Gilles Simon? Would you prefer playing against Simon or Soderling?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, both players are really good players because they're very consistent. Simon has more consistency; whereas Soderling is an incredible player. If it's Simon, I think I can dictate the game more than with Soderling. But both of them are excellent players.

Q. You've been playing since 2005 here at Roland Garros. From 2005 to now, what do you think about the tournament? What are the differences between Rafael in 2005 and Rafael in 2011, your game, the way you play, but also generally your attitude? Do you live things differently? Do you think you have changed or you're different?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think each year is different. The feelings are different and your life is different. The conditions are different; the circumstances as well, even though it's always the same because you're a bit nervous to play Roland Garros. There's stress upon you, which is normal. But, you know, if I lose, then -- how can I express this? I don't know if you're talking about my feelings, because I could I could say, Okay, I play my matches, I go to the hotel.

Q. I'm not looking for problems - and I'm not going to use the word "problems" - but I have seen some slight changes here and there. You've said there is more stress on you now. Is it something you can say generally about the match, or is it at a given given when you have a breakpoint and you can't really manage or win the breakpoint? For instance you were talking about areas here and there. Is it something we could say if you are a break up, or your opponent, and then you can't really win the point? Is that it?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, that's true about the stress. You know, when you want to do something and then you realize you can't do it, or what happens is not what you had foreseen because there's too much stress and therefore you're not consistent enough, yes, then this might happen once in a while. For example, I won this breakpoint after the third set, 3-1, 3-2, and then I started playing better and better. Sometimes it's ups and down. It's the roller coaster. But I don't know what to say. What should I add? I think I've explained this at length. I've told you already what it's all about, what I intend to do in order to overcome this difficulty. I'm quite serene.

Q. Well, we've asked questions about your feelings and the way you manage them. You might have some doubts. How do you feel?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I'm a bit tired. That's true. I'm a bit tired right now, frankly. But also, I feel good. I'm really happy. I have this desire to do things well. I would like to go through difficult moments and to overcome these obstacles. Sometimes things don't unravel the way you want them to develop, but sometimes it's necessary to go through these difficulties. I've reached the quarterfinals here at Roland Garros. It's been six finals for me here. For the time being, I would say everything is okay. So your question is how do I manage all this? My answer is I try and improve daily. I wake up very happy to practice and I'm really glad. So far things are going well. Of course there are some tiny obstacles I have to overcome, and I'll do it. If I don't do it, as I told you before, then I will try and improve next time I play another tournament. That's the only solution I can think of.There aren't that many options out there. You have to write a lot of papers on this, but tennis is a rather simple sport sometimes. Don't try and split hairs, you know. This sport is not too much of a tactical sport sometimes. There aren't that many explanations. If you play well, you have more options.You know what have to do to play well. As I keep on saying, I'll try.

Q. Congratulations for this victory. I have a question about Ferrer.
RAFAEL NADAL: We will probably be discussing in the locker rooms with Ferrer. He's worked hard throughout his life. Unfortunately, he was defeated today against Monfils. It was something very important for him, and I think in the town of Nice as well. You said is it a drama, and I can tell you that personally speaking, I look at things from a different standpoint. Today I suffered when I watched his match. If you look at the clay season he's played, it's been really good. He had many opportunities; there was a chance he could have seized, but he's missed it. He's a fully-fledged player who has proven to be good. He practices a lot. He deserved to go to the next round. He had this chance today when it was 5-3, 40-15. I thought, He's going to take the chance. But no, it wasn't the case.So I'm really sad for him. I was in the locker room with him and we discussed it. I think he's one of the best players in the world. He's an excellent person. I wish him all the best.

Q. Now, who's next? It's Soderling.
RAFAEL NADAL: Has he won his match?

Q. Let's assume that Soderling wins the match. For you that's going to be a special match to play against Soderling because he's a special person. It would be something special for you here in Paris?
RAFAEL NADAL: For me it will be a tough match. He's one of the best players. He's played two finals here at Roland Garros, so he knows what this means. He's got to play his best tennis. Against him last time he defeated me. But. Anyway, there's nothing to talk about. I won the finals last year. I didn't want to win against him as a person, but I wanted to win the tournament. I have to play my best tennis; I have to have more consistency. He's an incredible, all-round player. It's going to be a hard match. I will have to play really good. I think that I'll have to be more demanding. I will have to live up to my own expectations.I've managed to play good tennis, so I'll have to be optimistic. I think I can do the same again

JolánGagó
05-31-2011, 10:03 AM
Our Rafito is fundamentally tired :bigcry:

Funny how his biggest, purest, truest fans have all but dissapeared from MTF :spit:

MariaV
05-31-2011, 10:08 AM
Funny how his biggest, purest, truest fans have all but dissapeared from MTF :spit:

What do you want to say, I am still here. :o :bigcry: :tears: :sobbing:
;)

JolánGagó
05-31-2011, 10:11 AM
but of course ;)

acionescu
05-31-2011, 10:43 AM
Me too :cool:

Only silver lining to this abysimal display :o

Sonja1989
05-31-2011, 10:59 AM
Ooh ouch. I don't want Soderling! :bigcry:

Thank you for the work to everybody, Castafiore, born_on_clay, Metis and Star! :hug:

MariaV
05-31-2011, 11:03 AM
Teehee, poor Rafababy everyone grilling him why he is playing so badly. :o :awww: And he doesn't remember if he's won RG four or five times. :lol: But he is serene, bless him. :angel: :lol:

shawshank
05-31-2011, 12:13 PM
The only thing during this RG that Rafa is really good at is speaking English! My God, he really speks well, using some words I would never expect him to use :) That's really great and congrats for that!
Hope he will find somehow his game as well...

Metis
05-31-2011, 12:38 PM
I think the 2nd half of the text is the translation of questions in Spanish. Otherwise that would be quite an amazing improvement. :lol:

born_on_clay
05-31-2011, 02:25 PM
I think the 2nd half of the text is the translation of questions in Spanish. Otherwise that would be quite an amazing improvement. :lol:

Frankly it has to be
You can;t improve you english so much in two days :shrug:
It's sad to know Rafa finds himself worried, exhausted both mentally and phisically
I know he's gonna fight tomorrow but sometimes fighting isn't enough
Still, Rafa to win in 5
Vamos ! :cool:

JolánGagó
05-31-2011, 02:42 PM
Rafa's career is dangerously following Bjorg's...

MariaV
05-31-2011, 03:21 PM
I think the 2nd half of the text is the translation of questions in Spanish. Otherwise that would be quite an amazing improvement. :lol:

I'm sure it is allthough there's no remark about the questions in Spanish in this script, no? :o

And Gagó, NOOOOOOOO, Borg quit when he was 26, no? I wouldn't be able to cope if Rafa did the same. Don't even think about it! :armed: :mad: :bigcry: But I bet he is mentally tired of all of it. :o

star
05-31-2011, 06:46 PM
Thanks, Hilde. :hatoff: Once again.

My comments.




Q. It seems that after the first set you were more comfortable, going for it, going to the net. Is that the key for you this week, to go more for your shots towards the net?
RAFAEL NADAL: The key is play well. To play well, I think I have to play -- I think I improved a little bit the position the court. I am play a little bit more inside than the first two matches especially, so that's the positive thing. But I have to hit the ball with a little bit more conviction, in my opinion. :drool: Rafa's English!! :drool: That's what I have to do, is try to repeat the same points. Because for moments I am playing a few good points, but after I have few bad points. So I have to play all the match with regular level. That's the biggest issue for the last final part of the tournament for me.



Q. With Fognini pulling out of the tournament, Novak will have four days off now. How would you feel if you were in that position?
RAFAEL NADAL: Fantastic, no? (Laughter.) Tell me what's the worst part of that?


Q. No rhythm.
RAFAEL NADAL: After don't lose a match during all the year with, I don't know, 40-something straight victories, you think he's out of rhythm now? (Laughter)

:rolls:

Q. In 40 years I follow tennis, and I never heard the No. 1 in the world being asked so many times why you play so badly, why you're not playing that well, how do you feel, what are your mistakes, and so on. Are you surprised about that, that every day you have to explain why you're not at the top of your level when you're playing, in my opinion, well?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, for me that's something fantastic. That's true, no? All the day we are talking about I am playing very bad, but I am in quarterfinals. I play six finals in a row this year. I am having a very good year. One player is doing better than me. That's all. [ :yeah: Good Perspective! ]

Q. You're confident Winning here?
RAFAEL NADAL: Win this tournament again? No, seriously, I am not confident. I am not playing enough well to win this tournament at the day of today. That's the true.The thing is you have to be realist, and today I'm not playing enough well to win this tournament. We will see after tomorrow if I am ready to play at this level. I going to try. But I won four times already here, five times already here. I don't have an obligation to win six. I going to try for sure, but... Q. Hello. You have said that you have to be more convinced when you play, you have to believe more in your game when you play tennis.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, people talk a lot about the problems I have. That's true. I'm not playing my best tennis, but, you know, people who want to find problems can always find them. The objective is to look beyond that. It's a good thing I have reached the quarterfinals. If I play that bad, I don't see why I would have reached the quarterfinals. Frankly, I think the stakes are high. I mean, I'm very demanding as well. You are very demanding as well, I think. So everybody is demanding. That is true.The problem is you can't always play your best tennis. That's the problem. I have been ranked No. 1 and No. 2 for seven years. So week in, week out for seven years I've been playing rather well. I will continue and fight until I reach the finals. I don't know if I'll succeed, though, but I'll do my best to do this. People should stop using the word "problem." We should try to find solutions and play with happiness, which is what I know. I know how to do this, being aggressive and intensive. I have nearly found this type of game again.I have positive thoughts, and next match is going to be important. If I don't win the match, I'll walk back home. But I'll be happy, because I know I'll have done everything I can so that I can fight until the end.That's all I can say. You know, I keep repeating the same types of things daily. :worship:

Q. I'm not looking for problems - and I'm not going to use the word "problems" :lol: :lol: :lol: - but I have seen some slight changes here and there. You've said there is more stress on you now. Is it something you can say generally about the match, or is it at a given given when you have a breakpoint and you can't really manage or win the breakpoint? For instance you were talking about areas here and there. Is it something we could say if you are a break up, or your opponent, and then you can't really win the point? Is that it?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, that's true about the stress. You know, when you want to do something and then you realize you can't do it, or what happens is not what you had foreseen because there's too much stress and therefore you're not consistent enough, yes, then this might happen once in a while. For example, I won this breakpoint after the third set, 3-1, 3-2, and then I started playing better and better. Sometimes it's ups and down. It's the roller coaster. But I don't know what to say. What should I add? I think I've explained this at length. I've told you already what it's all about, what I intend to do in order to overcome this difficulty. I'm quite serene. [Again, the English! :drool: and the attitude :kiss:

Q. Well, we've asked questions about your feelings and the way you manage them. You might have some doubts. How do you feel?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I'm a bit tired. That's true. I'm a bit tired right now, frankly. But also, I feel good. I'm really happy. I have this desire to do things well. I would like to go through difficult moments and to overcome these obstacles. Sometimes things don't unravel the way you want them to develop, but sometimes it's necessary to go through these difficulties. I've reached the quarterfinals here at Roland Garros. It's been six finals for me here. For the time being, I would say everything is okay. So your question is how do I manage all this? My answer is I try and improve daily. I wake up very happy to practice and I'm really glad. So far things are going well. Of course there are some tiny obstacles I have to overcome, and I'll do it. If I don't do it, as I told you before, then I will try and improve next time I play another tournament. That's the only solution I can think of.There aren't that many options out there. You have to write a lot of papers on this, but tennis is a rather simple sport sometimes. Don't try and split hairs, you know. This sport is not too much of a tactical sport sometimes. There aren't that many explanations. If you play well, you have more options.You know what have to do to play well. As I keep on saying, I'll try.

Q. Congratulations for this victory. I have a question about Ferrer.
RAFAEL NADAL: We will probably be discussing in the locker rooms with Ferrer. He's worked hard throughout his life. Unfortunately, he was defeated today against Monfils. It was something very important for him, and I think in the town of Nice as well. You said is it a drama, and I can tell you that personally speaking, I look at things from a different standpoint. Today I suffered when I watched his match. If you look at the clay season he's played, it's been really good. He had many opportunities; there was a chance he could have seized, but he's missed it. He's a fully-fledged player who has proven to be good. He practices a lot. He deserved to go to the next round. He had this chance today when it was 5-3, 40-15. I thought, He's going to take the chance. But no, it wasn't the case.So I'm really sad for him. I was in the locker room with him and we discussed it. I think he's one of the best players in the world. He's an excellent person. I wish him all the best. [such a loyal friend!]

Metis
05-31-2011, 06:56 PM
Day 11: Wednesday, 1 June

Court Philippe Chatrier
2:00 PM Start

Women's Singles - Quarterfinals
Na Li (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta120330.html)(CHN)[6]vs. Victoria Azarenka (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta312001.html)(BLR)[4]

Men's Singles - Quarterfinals
Rafael Nadal (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/atpn409.html)(ESP)[1]vs. Robin Soderling (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/atpsa49.html)(SWE)[5]

Metis
05-31-2011, 07:05 PM
Blog entry, May 30th 2011



Hello everyone,

The most important thing for me now is to know I am in the second week of Roland Garros. It is always important since the second week is the decisive week and to be here means you are in the final rounds. It is funny how much a tournament changes.

Now there are very few players and the juniors start their competition. So that players area is very different, completely different. I like this feeling but it is true that you feel the pressure, same as always, nothing new, that you are on the final week.

Speak to you guys tomorrow,

Thanks!





Rafa Nadal Q&A, May 30

Q. Will you visit India (Mumbai) ever? Your fans are really waiting ... I know your schedule is very tough, but please try to come, will you??? Vaammooos Rafa, we love you allot champ! Tanvee (India)
RN: I would love to go and play again in India, for sure one day. For the moment it is difficult since the schedule is very tight in tennis.

Q. Do your fans ask more interesting and fun questions than the reporters in your press conferences? Atchariya
RN. hahahahaha. Sometimes or maybe I should say most of the times? Just kidding.....

Q. Hola Rafa! Como estas? I'm a massive fan and I'm extremely happy you got through the last match without any major faults. My question is ... how long did it take you to learn English? I've been learning Spanish for 4 years now and I'm nowhere near as good as you! And was learning English hard? Good Luck and I'll be cheering you on! (Georgina J, London)
RN. Muy been gracias. I have been learning English on the road since I started when I was 15 so it is a slow process but making some progress. Now I think I am much more comfortable with my English, However it is difficult, still, when I speak about something that is not tennis.

Q. Hi I was wondering Rafa, since the US open, your fast serve you had has not been used so much. Is this due to a shoulder or wrist problem? As I feel it helped you win the US open and would help with all the Slams, I cant understand why you have stopped serving so fast. It would certainly help with Novak. Good luck for the French Open, I'm a big fan. Husain, Cape Town South Africa
RN. NO, I didn't have any shoulder or wrist problems. I am also looking for that serve ... but in any case here on clay is not as important although the balls here are pretty fast.

Q. Hi Rafa,
My family and I love you very much and wish you all the best for the French Open! We have confidence you'll win your 6th trophy in Paris. My question is: there are three Rafaels in your family – your grandfather, uncle and yourself. What do your family call you at home? Do your parents call you Rafa or Rafael?
With lots of love always.
Josephine
RN. Yes, my grand father and my uncle are also named Rafael Nadal! My parents call me Rafael but with the Mallorcan accent it could also be Rafel.

Metis
05-31-2011, 07:09 PM
Rafa Nadal Q&A, May 31




Q: Well done on the tournament so far. How do you stop yourself getting down on yourself after hitting a bad shot or a few DFs or something? Something I occasionally have trouble with. Zainab (London)

RN: You just have to think about the next point! Forget the last one (or at least try to)

Q: You've visited many places in the world, and my question is, which place has left the most memorable impression on you? Mariam Diallo
RN: I love many places in the world but the one I like the most is Mallorca, believe me!

Q: With all your records (Masters Cup missing) and Rogers (Olympic single Gold missing), do you think it would be fair to say that there is NO .....1 single GOAT(greatest of all time), but rather the tennis fan world should just recognise that although tennis is an individualistic sport, there are 2 GOATS??? Mo.
RN: Thanks for your kind words. I don't understand why fans get upset because we beat or are beaten. We even get along well!!!!! They should do the same. And regarding GOATS, I really don't think I am at that level, but thanks anyway! ;-)

Q: You are an inspiration and idol to many, who and/or what inspires you - to be a better person? Sarah, UK
RN: I know a lot of people are looking at us so I try to behave in a proper way. I simply behave the way I am.

Q: Do you think to yourself that ok Novak's on a roll but he has to lose sometime and i can get my number 1 back next year when he has all these points to defend? Val, UK
RN: To be honest with you this is not a goal for me. My goal is to win Roland Garros and the other tournaments after that. I don't know if I'll manage but that's my goal. Certainly he is playing better than anyone right now but it is not easy to keep that.

Q: I know you play tennis left-handed and football left footed but what about golf, do you play laft handed at that too? What’s your handicap? Sam York
RN: I am a right handed in golf and I shoot a 7 (sometimes....).

Q: I always feel that whenever you play against Djokovic, you lose confidence in yourself. You always play better against other players. Does the fact that Novak's threatening to take the number 1 spot have anything to do with it, and do the media reporters bother you when they ask annoying questions about your performance and your losses in the last 4 finals? Dania from Lebanon
RN: No, not at all. I am not under more pressure and I don't really mind what reporters write or say. I respect all of them, they are free to do that but I don't really listen to those comments.

Q: Having been the dominant force almost exclusively on clay for the last six seasons. please what do you think has led to Novak's Djokovic rise on clay and realistically how cn you beat the tennis that the Serb is currently playing? Thank you
RN: He was already a great player before and we played amazing matches on clay (remember Hamburg or Madrid 2 years ago!)

Q: Who do you think are the young up and coming players to keep an eye on in mens and womens at the moment? Jane, Melbourne
RN: Tough to say. We all know that there are a few that tennis people know.

Q: Rafa, is it true that you wear your shoes two sizes too small when you play? If so, how do you manage, I would be in agony!
RN: No, this is not true. I am normally a 10 1/2 and I wear a taylor made one to play that is a 10. But as I say it is taylor made so not a real number...

vn01
05-31-2011, 08:53 PM
it's gonna be a tight match between rafa and soderling. let's hope rafa wins this. vamos!

star
05-31-2011, 09:43 PM
Wouldn't the editors catch that tailor/taylor thing?

Metis
06-01-2011, 08:41 AM
At this point, they could give me the questions and I would know exactly what to write. :lol:

It's always the same questions, always the same answers. :zzz:

Metis
06-01-2011, 08:44 AM
Rafito simply CANNOT lose today. Apart from the fact that there would be a TOTAL FAIL in MIT (:(), it would also reflect badly on me.

I would be the person that opened the RG thread twice and both times Rafa lost early to Soderling. :sobbing:

Björki
06-01-2011, 08:46 AM
if he lose today we will blame you Metis :p :sad:

Metis
06-01-2011, 09:02 AM
:mad:

acionescu
06-01-2011, 09:09 AM
Clearly :mad:

Turquoise
06-01-2011, 10:29 AM
Good luck Nadal! Soderling is just a bend in the road, you know how to take the turn.

born_on_clay
06-01-2011, 11:37 AM
I can't remebrer when was the last time I was so unsure about Rafa's match :mad:

Ben.
06-01-2011, 12:15 PM
Not feeling confident about the QF either but hopefully Rafa can suprise me.

Foxy
06-01-2011, 12:48 PM
It is like a final to me. If he wins today he will skyrocket his chances for the title. Major confidence boost that would be. Vamos!

vn01
06-01-2011, 06:30 PM
very good win, Rafa! he finally played a good match at the french open this year. vamos for the title :yeah:

born_on_clay
06-01-2011, 06:34 PM
Rafa suprised me in a positive way once more
At least less silly mistakes. He's better with every day. Any news on Xisca ?


http://img39.imageshack.us/img39/1370/rafav.png
Vamos for the title !

star
06-02-2011, 01:43 AM
Steve Tignor

"Better" 06/01/2011 - 2:58 PM


PARIS—There’s been a notion at this year’s French Open that Rafael Nadal has been poor-mouthing his own play, talking himself down, putting on a woe-is-the-five-time-champ act.

And there has been some of that. Before today, Nadal hadn’t come out and said that he had played well over the course of an entire match. But the truth is, there has been some of everything from Nadal in the interview room the last couple of weeks, from the dire to the confident to the confusing to the practical. The real story is how much this former man of few English words, this master of the mysteriously profound aphorism, has been rambling in Paris. Rafa has even taken the time to outline a new ATP schedule for the future. The last few months are reserved for 250-level tournaments, and the rankings are compiled over the course of two years. He’s put some thought into it; all that time in first class will probably do that to you.

Today, Nadal began by admitting that he had played “better” against Robin Soderling. That was it to start. Then, after a few more questions along this line, he said OK, the hell with it, this really was a “very good” performance from start to finish, his best so far. Nadal even went ahead and took some positives from his slightly shaky third set, in which he squandered an early break. He said that gutting out a tiebreaker after losing the first point of it will help sharpen him for the rest of the tournament.

To me, Nadal hasn’t been poor-mouthing his play so much as doing what he always does: being realistic about the short-term, fatalistic about the long. Fans and journalists have focused on the fact that he’s said he’s not “playing well enough to win the tournament.” But this year, as he knows after Rome and Madrid, with Novak Djokovic alive and well and crushing the ball, he’s probably going to have to play as well as he ever has to win it again. Today Nadal was asked again if he was playing well enough to win the tournament. He didn't take the bait. "I'm playing well enough to make the semifinals," he said, without a smile.

The presence of Djokovic has changed things for Rafa here. Losing twice to him has shaken his confidence, no doubt. But in a head as level as Nadal’s, those losses may also have a silver lining. He said the other day that, after winning the tournament five times, he felt no “obligation” to win it a sixth, no obligation to tie Bjorn Borg’s record, no obligation always to be the French Open champion. The defeats in Madrid and Rome, honest defeats to a man who was simply too good, may have liberated Nadal from some of the pressure that used to come from being the undisputed king of clay—it’s no longer a disaster if he loses in Paris; its no longer his tournament to lose.

More important, to me, was what Nadal said about his game after his last match, against Ivan Ljubicic. “I have to hit the ball with a little bit more conviction, in my opinion,” he said, despite winning in straight sets. He was right, and he did that today. Nadal came out with a lot of positive energy, seemingly determined to get an early break, which he did. He came out moving and hitting more freely than he had to this point. His forehand had a little extra bite and a little extra bounce. Soderling, who’s at least 6-foot-3, had to take most of his backhands at shoulder level or above. This forces the big man to hit rally balls rather than try to penetrate from that side, a scenario that the much more consistent Rafa will be happy to keep going all afternoon and evening and into the next day if he can.

It wasn’t just the meat and potatoes that he had going. Nadal hit the backpedaling inside-in forehand for winners—that’s a strutting, full confidence shot. He defended well and, as Soderling said later, his serve was effective on a windy day. The first two sets weren’t close, but the rallies were challenging, side-to-side duels that Nadal was often forced to come up with something special—a wrong-foot forehand down the line, or one that dive-bombed near the baseline—to win. From the press seats along the sideline, Nadal’s shots had a different weight, depth, and trajectory than they had against Ljubicic. More, as Rafa would say, conviction.

Yesterday it was Federer, today it was Nadal. The old masters won their quarterfinals in similar fashion—they rolled through the first two sets and found a way to eke out a tight third. How many times have each of them done this in the past, threaded their way past potentially dangerous quarterfinals seemingly without a hitch? It’s not as easy as they make it look. Nadal has said this week that he feels as if he’s been playing for 100 years, and that with the 11-month schedule, tennis has become a job when he wishes it were still a “passion.”

This is how it works. Nadal pushed Federer up, made him seem older, the veteran; Djokovic may be in the process of doing the same to Nadal—they may be similar ages, but Nadal has more miles on him, more pressure moments felt and survived. But there’s an upside to getting older. Today Nadal admitted that he was nervous in the third set, and you could see that his shots dropped shorter and he retreated behind the baseline. But just like Federer, Nadal has won so much by now, that underlying those short-term nerves is an underlying bedrock of confidence, a sense, mixed with the anxiety of the moment, that he’ll find a way because he’s found it so many times before.

Against Monfils yesterday, Federer showed a few nerves late in the third. But he didn’t miss a shot once he got to the tiebreaker. Today, at 5-5 in the third, Nadal hit a forehand that didn’t even reach the net, and he had to save three break points. When they reached the tiebreaker, though, he also didn’t miss a shot. For the first seven points, he stayed back and rallied. At 4-3, Nadal hit an ace. At 5-3, he hit a forehand bomb for a winner.

For a guy who feels like he’s been out there for a hundred years, the passion is still evident in every small thing that Nadal does. As he said today, you have to "enjoy the suffering a little." The winning, too. The match over, he chucked his racquet to the side and jumped in the air. When his opponent walked off and was cheered, Nadal joined in. As he watched Soderling, he caught a glimpse of Uncle Toni in the stands out of the corner of his eye. Rafa squinted hard—his psych-up face—and gave his Uncle a quick fist-pump. Then he started clapping again.

star
06-02-2011, 02:23 AM
BBC

Andy Murray is confident he can beat world number one and five-time champion Rafael Nadal in the French Open semi-finals on Friday.

The Spaniard has suffered just one defeat in six visits to Roland Garros, racking up 43 victories and moving to within one title of Bjorn Borg's record six, but the British number one insisted: "I can definitely win."

Murray has battled his way through to a first semi-final in Paris despite an ankle injury sustained in the third round and admits he has not played at his best so far.

"I feel I can do it," said the Scot. "It's just making sure that come Friday I play my best tennis. I have to play a very consistent match, and I have to be mentally strong. Tactically I'm going to have to be very good."

The pair have met 14 times before, with Nadal having won 10 times including their last match - a dramatic three-set semi-final at the ATP World Tour Finals in November.

Nadal, who turns 25 on Friday, has also won all three of their matches on clay, although Murray will have taken encouragement from his performance in the recent Monte Carlo semi-final, but taking on the Spaniard at Roland Garros is a different test altogether.

"It's one of the best challenges in tennis," said Murray. "Obviously his record here is, well, it's incredible. Definitely I look forward to it. I understand obviously it's going to be an incredibly difficult match for me."

He added: "I know Rafa will play excellent tennis against me on Friday. Pretty much every time we've played we've had some really good matches and he's always played well. Even in practice he plays well against me, so I don't expect him to play badly on Friday."

Murray has won two of their five Grand Slam meetings, but it was the Briton's recent narrow defeat on clay by the seemingly unstoppable Novak Djokovic in Rome that particularly caught Nadal's eye.

Djokovic remains unbeaten in 2011 but Murray got as close as anyone to ending that run, at one point serving for the match in the Italian capital.

"In Rome, I think he played a fantastic match in the semi-finals against Djokovic," said Nadal. "He was the closest player to beating him this year."

Murray, too, took heart from that display, saying: "It was definitely one of the best clay‑court matches I played. The tennis was very high level. For the most part, it was very good.

"And also my match with Rafa a couple weeks before in Monte Carlo was a very high level, but I have to maintain that for a long period. I'll have to play as well as I did for those days to give myself a chance."

Nadal beat Robin Soderling to reach the semi-finals
Nadal openly spoke of his struggle for form during the opening days of the tournament before impressing with a straight-sets win over fifth seed Robin Soderling in the quarter-finals, but he expects fourth seed Murray to pose a real threat.

"I prefer playing against an easier opponent, that's for sure," said Nadal.

"But to play against Andy always is a big challenge, because you know how good he is, and his talent is difficult to compare with a lot of players, in my opinion.

"He has all the shots. He can defend very well; he can attack very well; he runs fantastic. The only way that you can beat him is playing at very, very high level. It's not going to be impossible. That's what I'm going to try."

And asked whether he expected Murray's ankle injury to be a factor in the semi-final, Nadal said: "I believe that Murray was able to play five‑setters lately, and I don't believe the fact that he has some pain in the ankle will limit his performance at all.

"It happened to me also to have some pain, and the issue is how you resist the pain. For me, logically I believe that as the tournament goes on, you improve every day, and you don't think about what you feel.

"I think on Friday he will have no pain anymore. He'll be 100%. He's a very special player; he has a lot of talent."

star
06-02-2011, 03:27 AM
The Tennis Channel had an interview with Rafa. It was on the front of the website when I went there, but you might have to look for it.

http://www.tennischannel.com/video/

MariaV
06-02-2011, 09:41 AM
Rafa talking himself down, bless him. :o :o

At least another Murray vs Djokovic final would be stress free for me and I could even watch. :haha: :haha:

Castafiore
06-02-2011, 10:56 AM
Tennisleaks (http://tennisleask.blogspot.com/2011/06/roland-garros-june-1-2011-rafael-nadal.html)
Transcripts of player interviews

6/1/11
Roland Garros June 1 2011 - Rafael Nadal


R. NADAL/R. Soderling

6‑4, 6‑1, 7‑6


RAFAEL NADAL


Q. You said you were perhaps not playing well enough to win the title after the last match. Do you think perhaps your mind has been a little changed today?
RAFAEL NADAL: I said two days ago today I am not playing enough good to win Roland Garros. We will see in two days. That's what I said.
And today I played better. Much better, in my opinion.


Q. Obviously you're playing Andy in the next round; you know him very well. Can you just talk about your friendship with him and how you've seen his game so far this year?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think he had a fantastic start of the season during Australia. I thought he had one month without playing his best, but after that he came back and very well playing a very good tournament in Monte‑Carlo; after, playing, in my opinion, a good tournament in Madrid. But he lost against a player that ‑‑ Bellucci was playing unbelievable there, so was tough match for him.
And after, in Rome I think he played fantastic match in semifinals against Djokovic. Was the closer player to beat him this year.
So he's doing great. Right now he is in semifinals having tough match against Troicki the other day saving important moments. So he's coming with confidence, and will be a very difficult match for me in semifinals.


Q. Coming back to the match, how tough was it to finish the match in the third set?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, this ‑‑ you cannot expect to be in semifinals of Roland Garros winning 6‑1, 6‑1, 6‑1. That's true, no?
I was winning very comfortable, I think, playing a good level, 6‑4, 6‑1, 2‑0. I think, in my opinion, I had few more mistakes next in that game. Probably I played a little bit more nervous. But he played well.
I lost the game, but the game must be deuce, because the umpire had a mistake with my serve, in my opinion. Because when you do a serve to the line, the opponent cannot return the ball.
In my opinion, the line said out later than Soderling touched the ball. So that game, I came back in that game, and that game must be deuce. And with the moment of the match, how that match came, was big chance on me to put the 3‑0 in the score and probably finish the match early.
But anyway, for me was very positive to play a tiebreak, to win a tiebreak in a tough moment like today, losing the first point with fantastic backhand down the line of Robin. I think I did a lot of things very good today, so...
And in the same time, was positive to have a close end of match. Because you have these feelings, you feel the pressure, and that help me for the next match, in my opinion.


Q. I know it depends also on the opponents, but two days ago you said you couldn't win the tournament. Today, the way you played today, you can win the tournament?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. I can be in semifinals. I am in semifinals. So for me is very good result in semifinals. Six semifinals here in Roland Garros. Easy to say; very difficult to do.
Seriously, for me is fantastic news, fantastic result, especially how the tournament came without play my best during all the tournament.
Today I played well. Quarterfinals another time playing I think a very good match against a very difficult opponent. I don't know if I can win the tournament.
Today I was ready to beat the No. 5 of the world and two‑times finalist in this tournament. We will see what's going on next round.


Q. I'm assuming that you know that Andy hurt his ankle quite badly on Saturday and has been playing with lots of treatment and painkillers. How difficult is it to play a guy you know pretty well when you know he's injured?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, playing five‑sets matches and today playing a tough match and keep winning, probably he have pain, but the pain is not limiting. (Translation.) (Laughter.)
I wanted to say like this but, I don't know if was right. So that's what I feel, no? I think probably that the pain is on the ankle, just turned ankle.
I had sometimes in the past, and is something that you feel pain, but in my opinion, is not limiting you when you are playing, because just resist a little bit the pain. It's not something that you gonna go down or you feel that the foot is not have enough power to keep running, no?
So in my opinion, that's not gonna affect him and his confident to be in the semifinal. He's playing well. He's big player.


Q. What do you think about Djokovic/Federer semifinal?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, the best player of the world today against the best player of the history, so difficult to say more things. Gonna be, in my opinion, fantastic match. Will be for sure a really tough match, in my opinion.
We will see what's going on. I think both of them have chances to be in the final. Djokovic is playing fantastic; Roger did very well during all this tournament. Roger have enough potential to beat everybody, and you know how good can be Roger in the final rounds of a Grand Slam.


Q. Was there anything you did or any adjustment you made that got you to the point where you played to this great level today? Was it an adjustment you made in practice? Was it really not until you got on court that you felt, Okay, I've reached this new level and I feel better?
RAFAEL NADAL: It was nothing secret, nothing magic. Just I said every day, and I don't want to change what I said every day. Just I try my best in every moment. I try my best in every practice, in every match, trying to play with positive attitude all the time, trying to find solutions all the time.
Today I found a lot of solutions in my opinion. So I am happy about how I arrived to the semifinals, especially after the big victory of today I think against a difficult opponent.
So that's what I did. Is no secrets in this sport. Only try your best every day and try to enjoy it, suffering sometimes.


Q. Matches between you and Andy seem to produce something special every time, almost like you enjoy playing against each other. He certainly says he always enjoys playing against you. Is it the same for you?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I prefer playing against an easier opponent, that's for sure. (Smiling.)
But play against Andy always is a big challenge, because you know how good is he, and his talent is difficult to compare with a lot of players, in my opinion.
Yeah, he has all the shots. He can defend very well; he can attack very well; he runs fantastic. The only thing that you can beat him is playing at very, very high level. It not gonna be impossible. That's what I gonna try.
THE MODERATOR: Spanish questions, please.


Q. Incredible match. Once again, you're going to spend your birthday here. Well, we'll see on Friday. But today you were able to control the serve of Soderling and you returned very efficiently.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think I was able to move very well, even better today than in any other matches in this tournament. I had the feeling I was really covering the court much better and I was able to run a lot better than the former matches.
Sometimes he was putting me out of the court, and I was able to run back. I think he was a very tough opponent, and I was able to put him out of the court because this is how I like to play. What I like is play a bit slower with higher balls, and I was able to play that game.
I needed to hit the ball very many times before I was able to win the point.


Q. I think what counts beyond the score is in fact the way you were able to win that match.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, what satisfied me most without any possible doubt was the improvement in my game. I'm happy to be in the semifinal again of the French Open.
But now what I believe is I was able to overcome a very tough situation. I reached the semifinal without playing my best tournament. Well, today was my best match, I believe. My highest level in the tournament.
I think I improved every day. I was able to today find solutions that I didn't think I was able to find. So I'm very happy that I was able to find those solutions today, and I was happy because I was very focused during the whole match.
I think during the whole match I didn't have any letdown, so I was able to maintain my game at the level I wanted. He's a tough opponent, and I was able to play very good points to be up in the score.
He gave me nothing. I had to fight all along the match.


Q. The other day you were saying that every time you were meeting a tougher opponent you were adding something to your game and you were doing something better. Can you tell us how you can practice that? And also, two break points, one in the tiebreaker, you were able to serve extraordinarily well. How can you save those serves for these important moments?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I never try to save something. Never. I always try to do my best. And also, how can I raise my game when I need it? Well, you know, your opponent helps you to improve your level.
Today I was able to improve my game enough to be able to win. Sometimes it's not enough. I don't know if you can practice on that or not. But I believe the best players always are able to do that, because otherwise they wouldn't be the best players.
During the past years, I was among the top players in the world and I was able to do that. I believe one day I won't be able to do it anymore, but today I did it. I'm going to keep going and remain very cool, because what I did is now reach a semifinal in a very important tournament for me and for everybody else, too.
I was able to win many points, and I have many points to defend. But what is important is not the points I'm making but just playing well and just being in a good position in the ranking.
Now, of course, for the serve I always try to serve the way I believe is the best for me to win the following point, and I always try to hit where he doesn't expect. I don't want to give him an easy ball.
Sometimes I try to gain some time. I try to serve in a way that gives me more time to return. In the beginning he ‑‑ what I tried to do is serve on his backhand. I tried to serve in the important moments on his backhand and put him out of the court.
Because if you always serve in the same place he always goes to the same place. Sometimes I tried to surprise him. That's always what we do. Sometimes if you do the contrary that you have been doing before, you surprise him. This is what happened in those moments.
So I used that in the tiebreaker, and it was very useful. It was also very useful in other important moments.


Q. I would like to know, can we say that this was the most complete match you have played in the season on clay, given the opponent you had?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, not of the whole season. I played two finals in a row. You should not forget that, because you can't reach finals in a row like this being unsatisfied with your game all the time.
I think those matches were good. I don't believe this is the best match of my season. I played very good matches in Barcelona against Ferrer or the first round in Madrid, against Llodra in the quarterfinal.
So I had many matches that were pretty good in my view. And also the final in Rome was very good for me. I played a very positive match there. I think that I was able to play my level on clay. Sometimes when conditions are more complicated I was able to play well all the same, and this is very positive.
Also, I was able to recuperate after tough matches, and this is good.


Q. Can you answer in Spanish something you answered already in English? Can you tell us what do you feel that now you are playing Murray? And what do you think about the other match between Djokovic and Federer?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I believe that Murray was able to play five‑setters lately, and I don't believe the fact that he has some pain in the ankle will limit his performance at all.
It happened to me also to have some pain, and the issue is how you resist the pain. For me, logically I believe that as the tournament goes on, you improve every day, and you don't think about what you feel.
I think on Friday he will have no pain anymore. He'll be 100%. He's a very special player. He has a lot of talent. He does many things very good. The only way of beating him is to play my best level, very aggressive.
I have to oblige him to play many good points to win me. I will enjoy my match. I will play very focused, and I hope I will play as well as I did today. He's one of the best players.
Among Djokovic and Federer, I believe it's the best player of the time against the best player of history. So there again, it's going to be a beautiful match.
I would watch it if I was a spectator.


Q. This year you seem more serious. You don't laugh as much. You used to make many jokes before. You seem a bit sad. Can you tell us why? Is there a reason? Are you just tired of the press or the questions we're asking? Maybe it's just an impression of mine.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, maybe. Maybe you're right. I didn't realize. I'll think about it, and I'll come with a smile next time. I'll try to be more happy. (Laughter.)


Q. The level of the tournament is very high. You had difficulties. Of course people must realize it's very tough what you're doing and the tournament is difficult.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, people who are just spectators who are not in this world of course don't always know what is our daily life and what are the difficulties we have every day. Because we have to keep winning every day, and to reach where I am, again, it takes a lot of work.
But it's not a problem for me. Everybody knows I think that in top competition anything can happen. In end, there's only one winner. It's just mathematics. The other hundred players lose. Every tournament is the same.
I believe it's a very demanding sport, mentally and physically.

dorkino
06-02-2011, 11:47 AM
Thanks , Hilde

MariaV
06-02-2011, 12:48 PM
Thanks Hilde! :hatoff:

star
06-02-2011, 03:42 PM
Danke, Hilde!

bettybaby
06-02-2011, 04:38 PM
hi all:wavey: i've just stumbled upon this site, and am pleased to see so many rafa fans! :woohoo:

thanks for posting all the interviews, i always enjoy reading/listening to him. not sure i have ever seen someone as modest as him, and the language thing is definitely adorable and giggle-worthy at times!

i was happy to see his form improve drastically against soderling, and i'm hoping he can pull this off!

star
06-02-2011, 06:41 PM
hi all:wavey: i've just stumbled upon this site, and am pleased to see so many rafa fans! :woohoo:

thanks for posting all the interviews, i always enjoy reading/listening to him. not sure i have ever seen someone as modest as him, and the language thing is definitely adorable and giggle-worthy at times!

i was happy to see his form improve drastically against soderling, and i'm hoping he can pull this off!

:wavey:

Welcome Betty. Now we have two Bettys! :yippee:

Metis
06-03-2011, 03:03 AM
Thanks star and Hilde! :hatoff:

Metis
06-03-2011, 03:10 AM
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/news/articles/2011-06-02/201106021307023528238.html



Match of the day: Rafael Nadal (ESP) (1) v Andy Murray (GBR) (4)

Thursday, June 2, 2011
By David Tutton

The defending champion and top seed has a 10-4 head-to-head record against the Brit, and has never lost to him in three matches on clay. He has only ever been beaten once at Roland Garros, where he boasts a 43-1 record. Unsurprisingly then, Rafael Nadal is a firm favourite to defeat Andy Murray and progress to his sixth French Open final.

Rafa right back on form

The Majorcan's 2011 French Open campaign exploded into life with his quarter-final win demolition of Robin Soderling. His progress through the tournament had been scrappy up until that point, but against the giant Swede the old Rafa was back, bristling with aggression and energy. His trademark forehand was deadly, whipped and full of top spin, sending the ball spitting and kicking into his opponent's midriff.

His retrieval skills were classic Nadal too. Reaching low, especially on his backhand side, he was able to get even the most brutal of Soderling's groundstrokes back. His second service was also firing, and mentally he hung tough to repel the Swede in the deciding third set. Understandably, Rafa was sounding far more bullish after his quarter-final than at any other time in the tournament.

None of that bodes well for Murray, but the Scot does have reasons for optimism. The Spaniard's form in the earlier rounds was not as impressive, and should he slip back to those standards he has a real chance. Nadal has been beaten twice already this season, by Djokovic in the finals at Madrid and Rome, and does not carry the usual air of invincibility around with him this year.

Braveheart Murray

Andy Murray's progression to the semi-finals has been anything but straightforward. Straight-sets wins over Eric Prodon and Simone Bolelli were not as easy as the score suggested. Then, just as he was finding form against Michael Berrer he went over on his right ankle, twisting it and damaging a tendon in the process. Had Berrer mixed things up more, he would have been in real trouble there and then, but luckily for Murray, the German let him off the hook and stopped hitting drop shots seemingly out of a sense of fair play to his injured opponent. Murray escaped with another straight-sets win.

The Scot then showed great courage, first in getting back on court against Viktor Troicki with the ankle strapped. Then, after struggling with the injury, he had to fight back from two sets and a break down, and from 5-3, 30-0 down in the fifth set, to beat the dangerous Serb.

To complete the catalogue of calamities, Murray then managed to break a tooth before his straight-sets win over Juan Ignacio Chela and had to dash to a dentist after disposing of the tricky Argentinean. :eek:

Overcoming such obstacles can make a player believe in his lucky star, and Murray, very much a mood player, has been sounding more and more optimistic these past few days. He takes great heart from having hung in there despite not playing well, in spite of injury, and on the back of a poor start to the season.

After making it to the third Grand Slam final of his career in Australia, Murray then suffered what is almost becoming an annual post-Melbourne slump and only really got going when he got to the European clay, a surface he used to find the hardest of all. That aversion to the red dirt has gone in the last two years, as he has successfully adapted his game to the slower rebound.

The fourth seed took Nadal to three sets in Monte Carlo and got closer than anyone has all year to defeating Novak Djokovic in Rome, serving for the match and getting as far as deuce as night fell on the Foro Italico, only to falter on the big points.

Offense/defense

Nadal will look to impose his game on the more defensive Murray, no doubt hoping to repeat the fast start he made against Soderling. He will test Murray's ankle by sending him chasing, and hope to keep the Scot literally and metaphorically on the back foot all match long.

What makes this encounter different to the one with Soderling is Murray's natural counter-punching game, which is more suited to soaking up Rafa's pressure and then pouncing on any opening that comes his way. Whether the Matador from Manacor will leave any openings remains to be seen…

born_on_clay
06-03-2011, 04:36 PM
Rafa def. Murray :sport:

http://img716.imageshack.us/img716/659/rafa11.jpg

Foxy
06-03-2011, 05:03 PM
Great job, Rafa. Vamos for the title. Don't give a sh!t about the N1!
Great benchmark except the Inser match. Really well done!

born_on_clay
06-03-2011, 05:07 PM
Great job, Rafa. Vamos for the title. Don't give a sh!t about the N1!
Great benchmark except the Inser match. Really well done!

I really can see Federer winning today but as well don't care about rankings atm. RG +W are important ;)

Ben.
06-03-2011, 05:14 PM
Better from Rafa again, hope he continues his improvement for the final. Still there were times when he was dropping the ball short and he made too many errors but he was more aggressive than he has been. His CCBH looked much much better, even had a few flat hits down the line. Inside out FH was clicking but not much going on with the down the line FH and he could do with holding his serve a bit easier too. Good way to spend your birthday I'm sure.

vn01
06-03-2011, 05:23 PM
YES! VAMOS RAFA! he played well, imo. time for the 6th FO title :rocker2:

Foxy
06-03-2011, 09:53 PM
I really can see Federer winning today but as well don't care about rankings atm. RG +W are important ;)

Thank you very much Roger for the birthday present!

Actually I think Rafa's game will be better suited for grass this year.

FlameOn
06-04-2011, 12:11 AM
Happy birthday! :bigclap:

bettybaby
06-04-2011, 03:08 AM
:wavey:

Welcome Betty. Now we have two Bettys! :yippee:

thank you!!!!!

and yay for 2 bettys :yippee:

can i say that i was floored--happily so--by fed's win today??????

i'm really happy for him, and i'm sure he must feel deeply satisfied given that the majority of the media has been treating him like a hack as of late.

of course another Fedal final is great to see, and i'm looking forward to a great match, and another RG win for Rafa!!!!!

Castafiore
06-04-2011, 08:09 AM
Tennisleaks (http://tennisleask.blogspot.com/2011/06/roland-garros-june-3-2011-rafael-nadal.html)

R. NADAL/A. Murray

6‑4, 7‑5, 6‑4


RAFAEL NADAL

Q. First, happy birthday to you.
RAFAEL NADAL: Thank you.

Q. I have a question from Henri Leconte. He wanted to know what made the difference today in the match.
RAFAEL NADAL: Always in these kind of matches is small things. But I think I started the match playing fantastic the first set. After the 5‑1, I think I started to have few mistakes. I lost a little bit the way that I was playing since that moment. I had two bad mistakes with the 5‑2, 30‑15, one with backhand down the line and one with the forehand with the 30‑All long. After that, he played well the next game. Serving against the wind with 5‑4 was a tough match. It was a crucial game, my opinion, no?
Because with the first set for me, you know, the match gonna be long always. In normal conditions that can't help me, no?

Q. You saved 15 break points out of 18. You made 6 breaks out of 13. Do you think that the key is that you made always the most important points, you played better the most important points against him? And second, did you watch the first set of Federer? What do you think?
RAFAEL NADAL: Is true, I saved a lot of break points. I played well in important moments. But another thing that's true, I was all the time with the score in my favor. So I was up in the match all the time.
I had 5‑1 in the first set. In the second set I was break the beginning, another break, so all the time he never was break for him in no one time during the match, no, that's true. But anyway, he had good chances. In the third set I had to save a lot of important moments with my serve. In general, I think that's something important.
I said before, no, to win these kind of matches are always the small things, and the player who plays better these kind of points or who has a little bit more lucky in these kind of points has better chances to win. Today I did. For that reason, I am in the final, no?
I saw the first set, yeah. It was good quality of first set. Yeah, always.

Q. The conditions, they were slightly similar to the final of Indian Wells a couple of years ago in the wind.
RAFAEL NADAL: Not that much. (Smiling.)

Q. Not quite that much, perhaps. But in terms of trickiness of playing in that wind on this court with the dust blowing around, how hard was it out there today?
RAFAEL NADAL: Was hard, no? From outside is difficult to appreciate how difficult is to play well here with these conditions today. I think for moments was okay, but for another moments play with the wind. You know, from the right to the umpire, from that sun, was very, very difficult, no?
You feel scared to hit the ball because was crazy wind and a lot of changing directions all the time. So was very difficult, no? I don't like to play with wind, but I think when there is wind outside is not the bad news for my game.

Q. Do you feel like the confidence is back, or are you still having a few little doubts during the match? Talk about how you think you might feel during the final, whether you you'll be able to play the best game that you have.
RAFAEL NADAL: Seriously, being in the final of Roland Garros you can't have problems. You cannot have doubts.
If we talk in terms about the level, no, doubts about win, lose, everything, the doubts is part of the life, so is part of the sport.
Is nothing. I think everybody have that, and I'm not an exception.
But if you compare from now to one week ago, is completely different.

Q. As you are 25 today, how do you look back on your career thus far and what you've accomplished?
RAFAEL NADAL: Last couple of years?

Q. Since you became pro.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, is nine years ago already, so long time here flying around the world. You know, a lot of things changed. What never changed is the illusion to keep playing tennis, the illusion to keep doing well the things, and the illusion to be in a good position of the ranking and play these kind of matches like today, or the kind of match that I gonna play on Sunday.
So that's never change.

Q. Last week you said you felt like you were almost 25, but you felt like you were...
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I didn't say that. I read that. Maybe I didn't say it well in English, but I didn't say that. I said seems like I am here for 100 years, not I feel like I have 100 years, no? That is a big change. (Laughter.)
Anyway, you can do the question. (Laughter.)

Q. If that's not what you said, the question was based on that. So I have no question.
RAFAEL NADAL: Better for me. (Laughter.) No, because I read that, and I don't know where.

Q. How old do you feel now, Rafa?
RAFAEL NADAL: I feel 25. (Laughter.) Not on court, but outside of court, yes.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about Murray and how difficult he is to play on this surface and every surface and how he is improving as a player, do you think?
RAFAEL NADAL: You know, I always liked a lot Andy like a player, like a person. So, you know, every time that I beat him in these kind of matches, I feel sad for him, because he deserve to win a Grand Slam for sure. In my opinion he gonna do it. I still believe that he gonna do it, for sure, because his level and his talent is fantastic.
Remain a little bit of luck sometimes, but he's improving in every surface. I always said he's a very complete player, and he has the chance to play very well in all the surfaces. Clay is not an exception.
He's doing better and better every year. He had a fantastic clay court season. Right now start grass for him. I think he's a good player on grass, and especially on hard later he will have very good chances to have a fantastic year.

Q. Do you expect Borg to be in the stands for the final? Because you know you can equal his record in Roland Garros.
RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, for me, seriously, I don't think about that. A lot of respect for the great Bjørn, but I am focus on try to play well. For me, is much more important win Roland Garros than equal Bjørn.
If Bjørn around there I would be happy to say hi to him, but not for that reason he must be here, you know.
THE MODERATOR: Spanish questions, please.

Q. Congratulations. Happy birthday. Again, congratulations for this match. It was very intense against Murray. Murray fought hard, and the wind was blowing in all directions. It was probably something tough.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes. Well, thank you very much. That's true. We can say it was a very intense and varied match. We had different chances and occasions to seize.
As you know, we've played three sets. We've played a bit more than three hours, a bit more than an hour per set. So very long rallies. We have played many rallies and very long games, intense moments and complicated situations for him, but also for me.
Therefore, I think that this match was a high‑level match. I think I played really well the first set mainly, until we arrived at 5‑1. That's when I played really at a high level.
And then my game went down a little. I played more flat shots along the lines and I made a few mistakes; whereas I could have ended the set earlier, I think.
But anyway, I managed. The match was tough. I was always leading, I think. I had the upper hand throughout the match, and whenever there was an obstacle, I managed to overcome this hurdle, even though I missed some type of control, which is normal against a player like Murray.
Yet I think I managed to dictate the game, so all of this I think is very positive.

Q. You've started celebrating the victory already?
RAFAEL NADAL: Of course I'm happy.

Q. Now that you've reached the finals, this probably is something special compared to other finals.
RAFAEL NADAL: I was saying each week is different. Each day is different. Each time I'm here to answer your questions, I'm telling you the truth. That is what I feel. Each time I'm in front of you, I'm telling you the truth.
To start with, in the tournament I was not playing that well. I was saying at the time, I have to change the situation, I have to have a better attitude, otherwise I could walk back home is what I said.
But, fortunately, things have changed for me, and I was very present on the crucial points. It was positive for me, and I'm going to celebrate, because reaching the finals of Roland Garros is not something easy.
Well, you know, this is something that people would dream of, reaching the finals. Nobody's ever certain that they can reach the finals. Today this is a dream come reality to me. I'm really happy to be playing the finals for one of the most important tournaments in the world on clay, so I have all the reasons to be satisfied.
As you know I've had to overcome very difficult situations in the past one‑and‑a‑half weeks. I have reached the finals, that's true, and I'm very happy.
I had to forget about this type of anxiety or the fears I had something like two weeks ago, and now I have gained more confidence. Well, during the first rounds, the first round, the second round, I was not feeling that confident.
I thought I shouldn't lose any of these matches; otherwise my ranking is going to be impacted. But now I have more confidence. I think I fought for all the important points. I have no fears concerning my ranking any longer.
It's not going to go down, so to me this is a splendid year. This is what counts. This is what I'll take away with me, what I remember, a very good year.
I'm really very satisfied. Maybe I have had a few incidents, but apart from this I'm really, really happy. The rest does not really matter. I remember the positive sides.

Q. Now, out of curiosity, when it was 6‑4, 6‑5, you've not changed your racquet. Have you realized this? Maybe you have not realized this. It was 6‑4 and then 7‑5 and then 2‑0.
RAFAEL NADAL: Were there new balls when we reached the 2‑0?

Q. Let me see. 7, 16, 25...
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I don't realize. Yes, I think so. I think I changed my racquet when the balls were new. Every eight games I change my racquet. I don't think I made a mistake.
For instance, 4‑3 ‑‑ no, no, no, I changed my racquet. When I serve I never change my racquets, but it's on my return games that I change my racquets.

Q. This was probably a special day for you because it's your birthday, and also because you've reached the finals. How did you manage your emotions, your feelings? Since now you're reaching the finals and it's your birthday, how can you manage all this? How can you live up to all these things?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, you know, six finals, so that's why I can manage my emotions. You can play well or play poorly, but it's easy to manage emotions when you have enough experience.
I have enough temper. I am the person who can manage his emotions. As I said, I have plenty of experience to manage these types of emotions, these types of feelings.
In any case, you have to, whether you win or whether you lose, you know that the week after is going to be different. I'll be playing Queen's if I lose this tournament, and then next week I have another opportunity to win.
If you lose, you have to go back home and start again. The feelings are the same. I try and manage them and control them. I'm very happy and satisfied.
When I look at all that I've accomplished, I'd like, by the way, to thank all of those who supported me, surrounded me. Thanks to them, I'm here now.

Q. I'd like to ask you a question concerning the break points. We had 18 break points, and you've saved 15 out of 18 break points. Now, another player could have done perhaps not as well as you.
RAFAEL NADAL: That's true. I had 18 break points against me. I saved 15. But I'm not worried, even though I saved 15, because I try to pay attention to my service game and not serve too strongly. I try and serve differently with more spin in the ball, perhaps more slowly, and then I play on my forehand.
If the balls are a bit too deep, then I have to make a few adjustments. I have to play a wee bit more slowly. In some cases I was in an awkward situation because he was returning too fast, and that was a problem for me.
So that's when I think I have to slow down the game to start with, to slow down the game and the pace. Now, having said this, that's true, there were several break points, and he played really well.
Well, it was not really a problem for me. I managed to save many of those, and I had to serve mainly on the lines. The moment when I broke him I had problems, otherwise I didn't really have any problems with my service game.
It's just after the break. That's when I started having some difficulties. You know, when you have to convert your break point.

Q. I'd like to ask you something, Rafa, which is, now that you're 25, what, according to you, is the difference between the 25‑year‑old Rafael and the 19‑year‑old Rafael? I have another question: You've beaten a record. You will be the No. 2 player here who's won Roland Garros several times. RAFAEL NADAL: Well, each player is different; each career is different. There's nothing special about this. You might be rated No. 1 or No. 2. Well, if you look at the past 10 years, so many things have changed that I think this doesn't really matter very much. It's an anecdote.
During the tournament, it's not necessarily the No. 1 player who has to win the tournament. Each tournament is different, and each tournament has its own challenges. When you're on the court, you know that you might lose as well as you know that you might win the match.
It varies daily. Now, you've asked another question that is what about Rafael today and Rafael seven years ago? Well, when you're 18 and when you win here for the first time, what you think about is, Oh, okay, I've won one match.
Now, maybe it's going to be easier in my career now, but I can tell you that this is not at all the case. This is a lie. If you win, there's more pressure on you. There's even more pressure on you. When you win, you want to win more matches.
The fact that you have reached the finals is something you want to repeat. It's always renewed. The appetite is still there. It's an incredible feeling, and I'd like to continue on the same path.

Q. Now, if Djokovic is going to play against you on Sunday, do you think he's the favorite?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes. I would be very happy. He's the favorite, that's true. But not just Djokovic, you know. I don't really believe in these favorites, you know.
But anyway, if it's Djokovic who is the favorite, then I can say that that's true. He's not been defeated at all recently in a long streak of matches, so he deserves this.

MariaV
06-04-2011, 08:13 AM
PLEASE PLEASE TELL ME RAFA IS NOT GOING TO LOSE TO FEDERINA IN THE FINAL! :bounce: :bigclap: :banana: :cool:

Metis
06-04-2011, 01:33 PM
RAFA IS NOT GOING TO LOSE TO FEDERINA IN THE FINAL! :bounce: :bigclap: :banana: :cool:

Metis
06-04-2011, 01:38 PM
Nadal-Murray 6-4 7-5 6-4 :D



How far will Rafa go in Roland Garros? (2000 points :cheerleader:)

1st -
2nd -
3rd - Getta
4th -
QF -
SF - Betty
F - -calimero-, !VamosRafa!, JolanGago, shawshank
W - Bjorki, born_on_clay, Foxy, MariaV, Metis, Minn, scoobs, Sonja1989, tennizen, Veronique, vn01, Xristos



Betty: enjoying her FAIL on the beach


http://www.jokeoverflow.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/pic302381.jpg

Edda
06-04-2011, 01:42 PM
Happy Birthday, Rafa! You already recieved some great presents-a win over Murray and retaining your Number One ranking. Good luck, Rafa-and win against Roger! I like both-but you are my favorite of all, Rafa!

Metis
06-04-2011, 01:45 PM
Rafa Nadal Q&A, June 1




Q: Rafa,
How you handle a defeat? Is it hard to continue playing with the same confidence? (Tamires)
RN: In tennis is more usual to lose than to win every week. Defeats are part of the game and of course that I don't like to lose, but you have to learn from defeat and congratulate your opponent. If he was better nothing to say, just congrats and keep working to improve as a player.

Q: Rafa,
Well done this year, got to the finals of many tournaments, that fantastic! Out of all the grand slams, which one do you focus on winning the most each year?
RN: Thanks. I focus on every tournament I play. They are all important and fans pay to see you play so they deserve respect.

Q: Hi Rafa,
I was lucky enough to watch you at Roland Garros last week. On Friday, I followed you to the practice court, along with many other people and it made me wonder: don't you wish you could go around the tournament site without being surrounded by security people all the time? (I know I would...) (Myra)
RN: Thanks. Unfortunately not a great match, sorry about that. WEll, about the people, it is nice to see they all come to see you practice. It is true that I would like to stop and sign an autograph to everyone but it is not possible.

Q: Whenever you play a match and you find that the crowd isn't supportive to you...How do you manage to come over it and play?? (Aayushi)
RN: I always say the crowd have the right to support whoever they want, not a problem for me. But clearly it is nice to see them supporting you, much nicer.

Q: Rafa, Spain has hit the heights of many a sport in the last few years. Yourself being a multi Gran Slam winner, Spain winning the World Cup, Barcelona dominating on the European stage, Fernando Alonso still regarded as one of the best drivers in F1 and Albetro Contador winning the Tour de France and establishing the no.1 Cyclist spot. What’s the secret behind Spanish success? (Daniel)
RN: Lot of work! Some luck also and lots of sacrifices. I also think we help each other by seeing what we do.

Q: Hi Rafa,
At all the tournaments you go to you are constantly bombarded with crazy Rafa fans. I was wondering when you are a tournament or at home, what is the weirdest thing that a fan has said/done to you? Not including the man you came down and kissed you at the US Open a couple years ago. (Ethan)
RN: Probably that one in NY was the funniest and weirdest. He didn't kiss me though! :-)

Metis
06-04-2011, 01:55 PM
Blog entry 03 June 2011


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/rafaelnadal/8532304/Rafael-Nadals-exclusive-blog-world-No-1-answers-your-questions-throughout-the-French-Open.html


Hello everyone and thanks for being there.

The tournament is getting close to the end, and the question is who is playing the final.

There are now only four of us left and Andy Murray (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/andymurray/) is there again. I know there are a lot of expectations in Britain for this and that's also pressure for him.

Every time we play it is a very good match, very close, very tight and with great points. So far I have been lucky and won important matches.

He also defeated me at important matches so we all expect a very tough match. We'll see but in any case Andy is a great player!

Thanks all,

Rafa






Q&A, June 2

Q: Hi Rafa.
I always enjoy your matches at Roland Garros you are incredible to watch! Good luck for the rest of the tournament! My question is do you ever google yourself or search for yourself on YouTube? Alba (UK)
RN: No not really. I never look for that. I might look for videos of certain matches but not other type.

Q: Hola Rafa,
I am really looking forward to the semi-final between you and Andy Murray. You are my two favourite players. Can I ask if there is one part of Murray’s game that you wish you had for yourself? And what part of your game would make Murray a better player too. Lara (Newcastle)
RN: Andy has a great talent and he can do amazing things with the ball anywhere and everywhere. He has it all so I don't think he needs anything from me! And for sure don't give it to him tomorrow anyway!

Q: Hello Rafael,
Mine is maybe a stupid question, but I've always wondered: what are the first words that you say with your opponent in the match, if you've won the match just ended? "In bocca al lupo" for the semi-finals! Francesca (Roma)
RN: It depends the match, the rival, the way everything went. Normally the intention is to congratulate him and wish him luck for the rest of the tournament or congrats for the tournament if it is the final!

Q: Hi Rafa,
Is it Andy Murray’s mind stopping him win a major? Does he puts too much pressure on himself to win one? Did you put huge pressure on yourself at Roland Garros in 2005? Lauren (Pittsburgh, USA)
RN: I always said that I think Andy will win a major so I wouldn't be too concerned if you are a big fan of him. As I say, he has it all to win! And regarding '05, sure I had pressure, probably as much as tomorrow for this semis or any previous final!

Q: Hi Rafa,
You are an idol and an inspiration to many young tennis players all over the world, (including myself), who were your idols when you were growing up? Josie (U.K)
RN: Many thanks, but I really didn't have any idols in tennis.

Q: Hi Rafa,
I am a big fan of you and also a fan of Andy Murray. Is it different playing him in Roland Garros to Wimbledon when he has big home support? How do you deal with the fans supporting the other player (though it doesn’t happen too often I know)? Mike (Glasgow)
RN: Not a problem. It is normal they support players. They have the right to do so and I don't mind too much.

Metis
06-04-2011, 04:46 PM
Day 15: Sunday, 5 June

Court Philippe Chatrier
3:00 PM Start

Men's Singles - Final
Rafael Nadal (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/atpn409.html)(ESP)[1]vs. Roger Federer (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/atpf324.html)(SUI)[3]



Vamos! :rocker2:

born_on_clay
06-04-2011, 05:54 PM
It's schuduled to rain :mad:
Why not to start earlier ?

shawshank
06-04-2011, 07:20 PM
I checked on www.weather.com and they say that at 6 PM it should stop raining... So there is a hope that they will play tomorrow :)

Metis
06-05-2011, 09:01 AM
WTF? RAIN????? :fiery: :rolleyes:

Metis
06-05-2011, 09:03 AM
Blog entry, June 4th 2011

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/rafaelnadal/8532304/Rafael-Nadals-exclusive-blog-world-No-1-answers-your-questions-throughout-the-French-Open.html



http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01912/nadal_1912914c.jpg


Hello everyone,

The first thing I would like to do is to congratulate Andy on a great tournament. I really like him as a player, I think he is incredibly talented and will soon win a Grand Slam. There is no doubt about it, or at least I have no doubt about it. And I also like him a lot as a person. I wish him all the best and I enjoy always being with him and his team. Having said that we always play great matches and yesterday it was also a great tennis match.

I am very happy to be back in a final. I have said I am very happy with the season since I have been in many finals. Clearly there has been a better player than me so far and I have to admit that, but my year has been very good so far. So I am back in the final here in Paris and that really is something special for me.

I was watching the match in my room between the great Roger and Novak and it was really exciting. I said on court that the best player ever was playing against the best player of the year who whoever made it to the final would be a very difficult opponent.

Many thanks to all.

Rafa




Q: Hi Rafa,
It was so great to see your best tennis came back when you beat Soderling, you played magnifico! I was wondering if you did anything special or different to get your best tennis back? Juliette (UK)
RN: Hi, thanks for your question. I really didn't do anything. I was practicing well but I was not playing well. It is only a matter of confidence and in the last two macthes i played well. I am very happy for that.

Q: Hi Rafa,
I am a big fan of yours. Who do you think would win if you were to play Sampras or Agassi? Anupdavid
RN: I don't really understand what you mean. I would think that on clay Agassi had more chances. Is that it?

Q: Hi Rafa
You modelled underwear for Armani this year - and looked vastly better than Cristiano Ronaldo. Any plans to bring out your own underwear line like Bjorn Borg did? Amy (UK)
RN: Thanks for your comments. I don't really plan to do that for the moment! But thanks

Q: Rafa,
Your mental strength, not just your physical strength, seems greater than many you play against. Were you born with that or did you develop that mental strength ? If so how ? Best of luck at Roland Garros, James Connor (UK)
RN: I always say you can practice everything in tennis and the mental part is also a part of it. It is something you work every day since the beginning of the career.

Q: Rafa,
Thank you so much for taking time to speak with the fans. It’s great that you answer our questions. My question is this. Apart from Andy Murray british tennis players are not as good as those from Spain. What do you do different in training and development in Spain and what do we need to do be improve our standing?
Vamos Rafa! Erica (Birmingham)
RN: This is a very complicated question that would need a lot of space to answer. I think there are a lot of factors why Spanish tennis has been so successful lately in the years. But I could not give my opinion about British tennis since I don't know well their structure. So I suppose I'll leave this for another time.

Metis
06-05-2011, 09:33 AM
http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/french11/columns/story?columnist=tandon_kamakshi&id=6625472


Bonus chapter in this great rivalry

By Kamakshi Tandon
Special to ESPN.com


PARIS -- Two weeks' worth of matches, drama and heroics on the red clay of Roland Garros, and who is left at the end: Roger Federer (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=425) and Rafael Nadal (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=261). So familiar, yet so unexpected.

Nadal was always supposed to get here somehow, despite the struggles and doubts. Never mind the four straight losses to Novak Djokovic (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=296). He was still the five-time champion, beaten in Paris only once in his career, still the Rey of Clay until someone manages to wrest the French Open crown from the Spaniard's head and wear it himself.

Federer is a surprise arrival. His slot had been booked for Djokovic, the new second man in men's tennis. Instead, with an opportunity to take the No. 1 ranking and win his record-tying 42nd straight match since the beginning of the season and reach the final of the French Open for the first time, Djokovic fell to Federer in four sets.

The Serb was not always at his best during the match, but Federer was frequently remarkable. He served well when it counted, finishing the match with a sizzling delivery down the line. He hit his backhand with pace and variety. He scrambled behind the baseline and stepped up to hit glorious winners. The pro-Federer French crowd was electric with excitement. :rolleyes: This was the Federer of old, holding his own against newer, better opposition.

Now he faces his old rival for a shot at a second French Open crown. Back down to earth? He has lost to Nadal in three finals at this event, his lone win coming in 2009 after Nadal was upset by Robin Soderling (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=217) in the fourth round. Despite their history in Paris and Federer's poor head-to-head against the Spaniard -- 8-16, with 10 of the losses coming on clay -- he says he is looking forward to the occasion.

"[It] almost feels somewhat like I've won the tournament, which is not the case, you know," Federer said after his win against Djokovic. "Silverware is still out there to be won, and I'm looking forward to the match with Rafa, which I guess is my true rival for all those years, you know, since he became world No. 1. It always seems to me that Rafa needs to be in a French Open final to make it special, and I got the match I guess I was hoping for.

"After beating Novak, it's in a way a gift that I get the chance, and I'm looking forward to it."

After the match, the atmosphere was indeed like a title victory. Federer's parents toasted friends with beer. His wife, Mirka, talked and texted excitedly, unable to stop smiling. Agent Tony Godsick's phone was in overdrive. :spit:

There were celebrations for Nadal after his semifinal victory over Andy Murray (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=235) as well, but of a different nature. It was Rafa's 25th birthday, and he was feted with cake by the tournament. After winning his match, Federer joked that he had given Nadal a nice present by keeping Djokovic from becoming No. 1.

But Nadal's ranking is not yet secure. Djokovic would have been guaranteed to take over if he had made the final, but will still become No. 1 if Nadal does not win the title. So the Spaniard must defeat Federer to maintain his spot at the top, which would also put him equal with Bjorn Borg's record of six French Open titles and give him an even stronger claim of being the greatest clay-court player ever.

Shortly after losing the semifinal, Murray described the experience of playing Nadal on Rafa's "home turf" on Court Philippe Chatrier. "It's a very big court," he said. "So when he does get you running, you feel like you're moving a lot. There's a lot of space either side, and he can sort of work you all over the court -- backward as well. He can push you a long way back, because of how heavy his shot is.

"He has his sort of patterns of play, and I think on this surface, as well, it's the way he plays on the great points. It's a lot harder to just, you know, as the person that's returning, hit one big shot and you win the rally. You need to really work it well. He normally puts in a high percentage of first serves. He varies where he's serving on the break points well.

"Then he looks to dictate the points with his forehand."

It is that forehand, which leaps up high on Federer's one-handed backhand, which has been so problematic for the Swiss in the past. To make an impact against Nadal, he must play at a similar level as against Djokovic and hope that Nadal's confidence dips as it has during this event and in previous weeks.

But after an unconvincing start, the defending champion is looking better after two solid wins against Soderling and Murray in the previous two rounds.

"He's so much better. He play the two last matches at a good level," said his uncle and coach Toni Nadal in an interview with ESPN.com. "When we start the tournament, he has played very bad. And now our game is normal, is a good game.

"Is not [at the top], but is enough good now."

Asked if Rafa had ever lost to a player four straight times, Toni said, "No, never," and acknowledged it had affected Nadal. "When you lose against a very good player like Djokovic, it's a problem. And then it's difficult to have the same confidence. But at the moment, he's playing again, and trying." :awww:

Rafa's struggles were psychological, so the work had been off the court.

"Talking, talking all the time," Toni said. "I know the problem was the mental, because he was good on the practice. So now it's different."

Contemplating the possibility of facing Federer in the final, Toni told reporters in French, "He comes in with no pressure. And he's the best player in history."

Nadal repeated the sentiment when speaking to reporters Saturday. "So for me, I am happy to play against him because always is an honor to play against the best player of the history," he said. "I know I have to play at my highest level to have chances to win, because he is playing fantastic. The match of yesterday probably give to him a little bit more confidence.

"Nothing new against Roger. I know what's gonna happen. I know he gonna play aggressive, for sure. I have to try to play long, to play consistent all the time, and try to be aggressive when I have the chance."

Both are looking like their old selves, and the event that was supposed to mark a new, dominant rivalry in the sport now gets a new, bonus chapter in an old one.



Rain, Rain, Go Away

The official weather forecast for Sunday's final is "unsettled," particularly during the match's start time of 3 p.m.
"The morning will be under a slightly cloudy sky, with a shower again possible," reads the forecast. "In the afternoon, the clouds cover the stadium again. They could bring showers, with gusty moments." Predictions of a downpour have eased, but some rain is still expected.

Heavy rain would delay play, but matches can continue on clay in light drizzle. The court also plays very differently in sunny and rainy conditions.

Said Nadal, "For me, I prefer the sunshine always, and higher bounces. So for my game is better if the ball is fast and if the bounces are higher.

"If rains, if the rain is there and the day is cloudy, sometimes the ball stays lower. So that's a little bit an advantage for him. :( But seriously, I don't have the power to control the weather."

On the other hand, Federer does not like playing in damp conditions. "I think you have to be able to play your best in all conditions, he said last week. "I figure that the slow clay would be the worst [for me]. But, then again, the slice kind of stays lower and it gives you a bit more time, a bit more grip when you slide. And then when it's fast, obviously the serve takes off more, and it's more slippery and harder to control. So I'm not sure, you know. I think both are tricky. And it depends also who you play against in those conditions.

"Yeah, so honestly I don't have a preference as long as it's not raining," he added, perhaps recalling last year's loss in the rain to Robin Soderling. "I think that's just uncomfortable for everybody."

born_on_clay
06-05-2011, 09:37 AM
Thanks Metis ;)

Edda
06-05-2011, 01:14 PM
Rafa and Roger again! How exciting!

star
06-05-2011, 06:14 PM
:woohoo: :woohoo:

I'm so happy for Rafa. I actually teared up a bit when he won. I wanted that 6th one so badly for him, and this tournament was very difficult for him. The will and resolve in this young man are astounding.

:worship: :worship:

Björki
06-05-2011, 06:15 PM
Rafa :worship: :bigclap:

Ben.
06-05-2011, 06:20 PM
Yes Rafa! Into double figures :worship:

Didn't think we would be here two weeks ago, or even a week ago.

rafa_maniac
06-05-2011, 06:23 PM
I get the feeling this will be one of Rafa's last Slams so I'm going to enjoy the hell out of this one. Double figures reached, Borg's record matched. :yeah:

Metis
06-05-2011, 06:27 PM
Nadal-Federer 7-5 7-6 5-7 6-1 :woohoo:



How far will Rafa go in Roland Garros? (2000 points :cheerleader:)

1st -
2nd -
3rd - Getta
4th -
QF -
SF - Betty
F - -calimero-, !VamosRafa!, JolanGago, shawshank
W - Bjorki, born_on_clay, Foxy, MariaV, Metis, Minn, scoobs, Sonja1989, tennizen, Veronique, vn01, Xristos




-calimero-, !VamosRafa!, JolanGago, shawshank: Oops... FAIL!


http://images.cheezburger.com/completestore/2011/4/18/4855fe69-e480-442f-83ed-d36f7132de4a.gif (http://cheezburger.com/melolonta/lolz/View/4668045056)




Bjorki, born_on_clay, Foxy, MariaV, Metis, Minn, scoobs, Sonja1989, tennizen, Veronique, vn01, Xristos: You have prevailed!!! You can now enjoy the fruits of your labor!



http://images.cheezburger.com/completestore/2010/9/15/a1eae143-3bca-4a33-9e85-ebb1e1d58b76.jpg (http://cheezburger.com/Leo24/lolz/View/3970108928)

Metis
06-05-2011, 06:28 PM
Finally! The RG 2009 monkey is off my shoulder. :sobbing:

Mimi
06-05-2011, 06:51 PM
All hail Queen Metis :bowdown:

Castafiore
06-05-2011, 06:54 PM
No Metis curse. :bounce:

vn01
06-05-2011, 06:55 PM
SIMPLY FANTASTIC! I don't know how to say, cuz I am very very very happy! :worship:

THANK YOU, RAFA! VAMOS! :worship:

evilmindbulgaria
06-05-2011, 07:00 PM
Congratulations to those of us who never lost faith on Rafa! VAMOS!

acionescu
06-05-2011, 07:00 PM
Rafa :woohoo: :woohoo:

And with bakery :drool:

metis :worship: :worship:

e476
06-05-2011, 07:01 PM
:worship: Congrats Rafa!! :bowdown:

shawshank
06-05-2011, 07:25 PM
Amazing Rafa :D What a great day :)
I think Rafa should skip Queens!

Foxy
06-05-2011, 07:25 PM
Surreal. A bit shaky but got job done against relatively decent Rog! Congrats, mate!
Is it only me or the grass will suit him best this season? Better even than clay. Vamos!

Fujee
06-05-2011, 08:08 PM
Congratulations to all true Rafa fans - he didn't play great but he's still just a beast on the clay. Good luck for rest of the season :)

born_on_clay
06-05-2011, 09:12 PM
Amazin Rafa, just amazing :hatoff:
http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/1381/rolanggarros2011.jpg

born_on_clay
06-05-2011, 10:24 PM
http://img684.imageshack.us/img684/9647/rafargafterfinal.jpg

bettybaby
06-05-2011, 11:27 PM
Congratulations to those of us who never lost faith on Rafa! VAMOS!

YES!!!! gotta admit, i wasn't so sure as this tournament went on...between Rafa's less than strong start, and Nole's win streak, i thought maybe it wouldn't be his year.

i'm very happy for him, and for me, that first set comeback showed how strong he really is.

loving all the quotes as well...and this one for me, optimizes why i'm a huge fan apart from his skills on the court....

There’s no question that Nadal is as good as it gets in Paris—45-1 for his career, and the same number of titles there as Bjorn Borg—but the Spaniard already also has shown that he is much more than the King of Clay. And Sunday’s victory only will raise more questions about whether Federer truly deserves to be called the Greatest of All Time if he is not even the Greatest of Right Now.

Nadal leads their head-to-head series 17-8. That includes a 6-2 advantage in Grand Slam finals and a 5-0 edge at the French Open (in the 2005 semifinals, and the 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011 finals).

When a reporter recited those numbers and asked for an assessment, Nadal replied: “Well, it means I can play well, too.”
With his victory in the French Open semis, Roger Federer has an opportunity to win his 17th major if he can get by Rafael Nadal on Sunday.
(AP)

“When you talk about these statistics, when you try and make these comparisons, really it’s not very interesting to me,” continued Nadal, who would have ceded the No. 1 ranking to Novak Djokovic with a loss Sunday. “I’m very happy with what I have, with who I am. I’m not the best player in the history of tennis. I think I’m among the best. That’s true. That’s enough for me.”
http://sports.yahoo.com/tennis/news?slug=ap-frenchopen

christallh24
06-06-2011, 12:26 AM
:bounce::clap2::bigclap::dance::yippee::woohoo::ba nana::cheerleader:


RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DOUBLE-DIGITS, BABY!!!!!!YEAH!!!

:bowdown::worship::rocker2::rocker::speakles::sobb ing::sobbing::sobbing::nerner::ras:


That is all.

iramlatif
06-06-2011, 01:07 AM
big congrats to rafa. totally deserved this. he played marvelously!

Topspindoctor
06-06-2011, 02:00 AM
:worship:

He won at least one GS every year since 2005!

belco
06-06-2011, 10:49 AM
Congrats Rafa :worship: Here is the final in SD and HD


Roland.Garros.2011.F.Nadal.vs.Federer.X264.ENG (http://tennishaven.com/details.php?id=1310)

Roland.Garros.2011.Mens.Final.Rafael.Nadal.vs.Roge r.Federer.720p.HDTV.x264-BALLS (http://tennishaven.com/details.php?id=1308)

MariaV
06-06-2011, 11:50 AM
:woohoo: :woohoo:

I'm so happy for Rafa. I actually teared up a bit when he won. I wanted that 6th one so badly for him, and this tournament was very difficult for him. The will and resolve in this young man are astounding.

:worship: :worship:

Indeed, simply incredible! :worship: :bowdown:
And all respect to Roger, he gave it his all, he is playing really well again (the match-up with Rafa is simply too tough) at the age of 30 soon and being a father still motivated to keep pn playing! :hatoff:

Foxy
06-06-2011, 04:28 PM
Guys, can you help me, where I can find some interviews and comments after the final with McEnroe and some celebrations videos from the locker or something after the final. Thanks. :)

Metis
06-06-2011, 04:51 PM
Blog entry June 5, 2011 (before the final)


http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01913/rafa-nadal_1913320c.jpg





Hello everyone, and good morning.


It's rainy today in Paris but we are finally in the last day. It's been an amazing two weeks where there were points that I thought I would not make it to the final day. I wasn't playing well and, as I said, I had to play better to be able to reach the final. This says a lot about the importance of confidence in tennis. It is possible to not play well one day and well the next and all of that is mainly confidence. I was practicing well but playing bad.


And what to say about Roger. A lot of people were saying he was finished, the changing of the guard and all those things. There you go, he is again in a final and playing amazing. Because his match against Novak was amazing. So I am very happy for him, really, he deserves respect because he is a great champion, the best ever in our sport. :awww:


If we play today it will be a very good match, I believe. Looking forward to it.

Rafa.





Q&A, June 5

Q: Hello Mr Nadal, do you get nervous before a big match like the upcoming finals in a big tournament? Robert
RN: Yes sure. We all get nervous before a match and especially more if it is before an important one like today's. The important thing is to be able to control that. Both Roger and I are used to it.

Q: Hi Rafa. Congratulations on making it this far, and good luck for the final!
I find it interesting that the US Open is the only Grand Slam to use a fifth set tiebreak to decide a match, so my question is, what is your opinion on using a fifth set tiebreak, do you think more Grand Slams should allow it or do you think it is better to play the fifth set until a player leads by two games? Natalie (Kent, UK)
RN: This depends on each one. I think that it is nice to have matches like the one at Wimbledon last year that lasted so long. Or many other epic matches on Grand Slams. But also the tie break is exciting for the crowds and the tension of players, but probably less fair. Both are good options but I stay with traditions.

Q: Hola Rafa, congratulations on another Grand Slam final. Can you tell me which of all your final victories is the best in your mind. The Wimbledon 2005 againt Roger Federer I think was not just the best tennis final but one of the greatest moments in sport. Kelly (Dublin)
RN: I have plenty of them, fortunately, but probably the '08 Wimbledon final as the big one because of the rival, the conditions, the darkness etc. But also '05 in Rome against Roger or the OZ Open final...

Q: Hi Rafa, many people had written and said that Roger Federer's best days are behind him, but here you are again playing him in another final after he beats the most in-form player on the tour. Is he the best ever player and what do you have to do, how many slams do you have to win before you are considered the best ever? Said (Doha)
RN: I am happy to see Roger up there. He deserves it. Regarding the number of slams you can make the numbers. Not easy to achieve what he's done.

Q: Hi Rafa! I'm a huge fan of yours and I really hope you win at Roland Garros this year! Earlier in the tournament you said that you don't think you're playing well enough to win, after your amazing win against Andy Murray, do you still feel that way? Thank you and GOOD LUCK for the final! Fing Nung
RN: I am playing much better and I feel better. I hope I can play like this today. I need to be at my best to have a chance against Roger.

Q: Hi Rafa, hope you had a great birthday. My birthday is on the 8 June so can you please answer my question as a birthday gift... What was your most embarrassing memory when playing tennis? Zara
RN: I don't really know you so it is tough to know your likes. I suppose the best gift is to have one from the people you love no matter what it is. :spit:

Q: Rafa, thank you for answering all our questions. Mine is: what is the best bit of advice you would offer to a young tennis player just starting out who dreams of one day being as good as you? Lisa (Washington)
RN: To have fun, to have fun and to keep having fun!

Metis
06-06-2011, 04:54 PM
Final Interview (posted in the chat thread by l_mac)


Q. Congratulations. First of all, we are used to clapping the winner in the press room.

RAFAEL NADAL: Thank you.

Q. Can you tell us what changed in Nadal during this tournament? Because just few days ago you say if, I play like this, I cannot win the tournament. You won it and you deserve it.

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think sometimes can happen this way; sometimes not. But what I said one week ago is I am going to put everything to try to change the situation, to try to play better, and that's what I did.
I try my best in every moment with the right attitude all the time, so finally I was able to play my best when I needed my best.
So for that reason, today I am here with the trophy. Very happy for that. It's a big personal satisfaction to win this tournament, especially when you started without playing your best.
My mind was open to change the situation, so that makes the victory probably more special ‑‑ if it's possible be more special, because win Roland Garros is always ‑‑ you can't win something more special, no? It's the highest level of tournaments in the tennis world.
So in general, very, very happy for everything.

Q. You always say that this tournament is the most important for you for the season. Why is that?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, always is the tournament where I feel that I have more chances to win ‑‑ if we talk about the Grand Slams. So this is my biggest chance of the year. If I win this tournament, I know my year is fantastic.
You are able to play with less pressure the rest of the season; you are able to keep playing with the same attitude, with the same positive attitude playing every day, but with less pressure than before and with better confidence than before.
So win this title always was very important every season. For me, when I won here, I always had a successful season. So in general, this probably the most important tournament of the year for me.

Q. Can you talk about maybe how tough it was today and what was the key to succeed today?

RAFAEL NADAL: To win?


Q. Yeah, against Roger.

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, Roger, I think, played a fantastic tournament, in my opinion. His level was very high during both weeks; semifinals match was very, very high level.
Today I think he did well. He was a little bit unlucky at the first set, and after that, he came back fantastically well in the second. In the third I had 4‑2, but seriously, I think he played very, very good from that moment to the beginning of the fourth.
So when Roger plays like this, the opponent has nothing to do sometimes. I just waited my moment, tried to be there all the time, tried to put him in not easy situations all the time. And save the Love‑40 of the first game of the fourth was very important for me, no?
That was a big turning point of the match, in my opinion. I think Roger did well; I think Roger played well, played good match. It's true my style is a little bit different than Djokovic style for him. I let him play higher than Novak, so for him sometimes it's more difficult to go inside and to hit the ball in perfect conditions all the time.
But in my opinion, today it was very hard, because sometimes ‑‑ a lot of times in the past when I serve against his backhand I was able to start the point under control. Not today. I think he returned very well with the backhand, better than ever in this tournament. So that was a big problem for me.

Q. Your focus has been very intense since the start of this tournament, perhaps more than any of us have seen here. Is that because you came in here perhaps a little hurt by your losses to Djokovic in Madrid and Rome and you were very, very desperate to win this title?

RAFAEL NADAL: No. I think I came here probably with a little bit less confident than other times for that reason, because I saw him playing fantastic. Even if I was there and I was happy about my match in Rome, was hard to lose another time. Lose four finals in a row is not easy.
My feeling was I am having a fantastic year, because was six straight finals when I was healthy. Before I had problems in Doha and Australia, so when I was healthy, I was every time in the final.
Normally I have a good record in finals. This year I only had the chance to win two. Even if I had very good chance ins Indian Wells and Miami to win the finals, I didn't.
So that was hard for me mentally probably. For that reason, I started the tournament a little bit less confident than other times.

Q. Rafa, in the beginning, after Federer had won against Djokovic in that great match and he led 5‑2 and he was playing some of his best, did that really make you think, What is this? This is not one of our regular finals here. Were you more scared for the match at that point than any other final? And the second thing is, when we look at the match, you have been very like letting Roger lead the game. He makes mistakes or he makes points. Did you think he would win on percentage overall?

RAFAEL NADAL: I think was tough to say that, because with the 5‑2 wasn't an easy moment for me. But 2006 I lost 6‑1 the first set, so worse than 2006 wasn't. I know the first set was important. Always is important set for me, the first one.
But even if I lost that set, you know, on clay the matches are long, and it's not easy to play all the time at your best and play aggressive and play with no mistakes.
Roger was doing that very well in the beginning. I say before, I was lucky with the 5‑2 and with the 5‑3. After that, I think I played very good tennis for the next two sets.

Q. Last week you came in and were very honest and open about not feeling confident. Now, can you tell us what it is that was able to change your state of mind and make you more confident? Was there something in the match with Soderling or before or after where you suddenly were able to turn the switch on on your confidence?

RAFAEL NADAL: Seriously, I was practicing not that bad, so that's a point that give my confidence. But what I didn't understand very well is when I go on court and play match, I am playing with too nervous, too anxious.
For that reason, I wasn't able to play the same in practice than during the match. But when you feel that you can play good in practice, you know, the feeling of play well is not that far. So that's give me confidence at the same time.
You know, you arrive to quarterfinals and you play against Soderling; you know you have a tough match. You know if you don't play well, you go home. You have to do it, and I did, so...

Q. Is it a mystery how it comes and goes even for you, the confidence?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, it's not a mystery, no, because sometimes happen like this. You are not playing that well, but when the opponent let you play at your best, you are ready to do it.
If I was practicing well, I had a good chances to do it in the match when the opponent give me ‑‑ let me play at this level, no?
It's true, from the first round I wasn't able to play this level. Second round neither. But after that, I think third round, fourth round, I had to play much better than what I did, because the level start there in the practice.
So I didn't probably because the opponent wasn't ‑‑ they don't give me (through translation) T hey didn't demand that level.
Even for the match of Soderling I wasn't confident, but I was on court. I was able to play, focus, and to start to play my tennis on clay. I finished the tournament playing very high level of play for me.

Q. Is it possible for you to compare how satisfied you are with today's win compared to some of your other titles? Seems like a massive achievement for you.

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, every title is ‑‑ always this kind of title is very satisfying. It's difficult to say this one, I am not satisfied with this one, because to win a tournament like this you have to be playing really well.
But sometimes when you fight a lot to win, when you try your best in every moment to change the situation, it makes the title more special. For example, in 2008 I think I played better than ever, but I finished the tournament and, you know, I didn't feel that I won Roland Garros because I won in three sets. Not that difficult fourth round, quarterfinals, semifinals, with not many tough moments.
Playing fantastic tennis, but every tournament is very special. But when you come back after not easy situation, makes the tournaments and the victories more special for sure.

Q. Well done.

RAFAEL NADAL: Thank you.

Q. You said to win Roland Garros is fantastic. You now will have less pressure on you for the whole year. Now that you have won, do you feel relieved? Do you feel younger than 25?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I feel 25. I am happy with 25. I don't want to go back four or three years, because I don't know if I am ready to do what I did another time.
So, no, I am happy. All the victories makes me happy, but not the victory is what makes me happy. What makes me happy is what I had to do before to have a victory like this.
So a lot of hours of practice, a lot of moments with high intensity, with positive attitude. When things are not going well, keep progressing with the same attitude. That's what makes me happy; that's what makes me feel very satisfied with myself.
Not have this title for sure ‑‑ this title is very important for me and for everybody, I think, but what makes me feel very happy is all the work what I did to be here and to win the title another time.

Q. You said before that you weren't confident coming here. How do you feel going into Wimbledon?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, before Queen's, so not Wimbledon. Now I have to work a little bit on grass. You know, is always a big change. Even if I had success on grass last years, for me is a big change all the time.
So I have to adapt my game another time and try to remember what I did well on grass, why I played well on grass, what I have to do to have the same feeling another time there.
That's hours and hours on grass court. So I going to start tomorrow a little bit. Play doubles hopefully Tuesday, and Wednesday start the singles. After winning a title like this, you go there with a different attitude, with very positive confidence.
So for me, win here makes me play Queen's and Wimbledon with less pressure. Not for that with less allusion or less motivation.

Q. Congratulations. You equal Bjorn Borg's record of six here. What does that mean to you? I spoke with Jim Courier, and he thinks that maybe your six are more impressive because of the level of competition you faced in getting them.

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, for me it's something very special equal the six titles of Bjorn, for sure. But for me, the most important thing is win Roland Garros, no? It's really honor to have this record with him. I going to keep working to be here next year and to try to play well another time.
But today is a day to enjoy this title, because is very difficult win this title. Six times are a lot. So seriously, it's a real honor, the comparison with Bjorn.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish, please.

Q. Rafa, can you tell us about the final and about the tournament in a few words, how you raised your level of game and how this process took place? And likewise, when was the real Rafa back?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, the real Rafa is both the Rafa who wins and the Rafa who plays well and the Rafa who suffers and doesn't play that well.
You have to face this situation. You also have a Rafa that plays very well and wins. These two Rafas are real Rafas. The most positive thing is that I was capable of reversing situations and keeping a good attitude in order to reverse the situation.
I prepared, I practiced, I focused, and motivated myself thinking things would change. Even though sometimes things were not very good for me, I knew that at the end of the day things would turn out right for me.
So I had this positive attitude that was sufficient to change the situation, especially during the first week.
Today's match, likewise, I mean, I started slowly. He was very aggressive and it was very difficult.

Q. I have two questions: First, when you reached the fourth set after losing the third, we saw that you had a slight injury and you recovered. How did you manage to come back? Second question, how do you feel after winning this tournament?

RAFAEL NADAL: When the third set was over, the only thing I felt is that this is going to be a very complicated match, because he played at a very high level and I had to find a way to win.
When Roger plays at this level, the only thing we can do is observe and wait because he's fantastic. So you need to wait with a good attitude, to be ready, and take all opportunities.
At one stage, I thought he was playing better than me. I was down Love‑40. I knew I could come back. This was a key game in the match. I was thinking, Well, he plays very well. At the moment, he plays better than me.
But you have to keep playing and wait for the right moment in order to try and take control of the game again. But I also had another thing in mind. For example, if he wants to win, he has to keep playing at this level of game during the match.
I didn't want to make things easy for him. That was clear. So I had to make it difficult for him. At one stage, I had an opportunity; I took it. This is when I started leading again.

Q. Congratulations. What about when there was the rain? You had to wait. How did you manage that? Was it like in Wimbledon? Are you getting used to it?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, it was very short. We were at 5‑4, 40‑All; these were very important points. Winning the second set was almost vital for me. I knew that during the second set he had to maintain a very high level of tennis in order to win.
It would have been impossible. For two hours and a half it was very difficult to do. The match was more in my favor after I was leading two sets to love.
Then I made a mistake; I did not return well on one point. He had a set point, but I managed to win the second set.

Q. At the beginning of the tournament, you said you have to raise your level or you go back home.

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, for me, what's important is the tournament; winning the tournament is the most important. I think Djokovic deserves to be at his ranking. I don't know if he is No. 1 already. I don't know if he can be No. 1 after Queen's, Wimbledon. :(
Each match is very important, like a match point. But in any case, I want to be very competitive. I want to stay at a very high level. This is my seventh final in a row for this season, so things are fine. My objective is to continue with the same level of intensity, motivation, and continue playing very well.
Along the year I had ups and downs, but I'm very happy and satisfied.

(TV break. )

THE MODERATOR: Spanish questions.

Q. Rafa, Roger is regarded as the best player of all‑time by many people. What happens when you look at your record compared to his? You won 17 titles and many other statistics are in your favor.

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, it means I can play well as well. It means that things went well when we played against each other. But this does not prevent anything else.
And when you talk about these statistics, when you try and make these comparisons, really it's not very interesting to me. I'm very happy with what I have, with who I am. I'm not the best player in the history of tennis. I think I'm amongst the best. That's true.
That's enough for me. I have a very high level of tennis. I am quite satisfied, and very happy with what I managed to do. I'm very thankful for everything that's happened to me up until today. I can't say that the opposite.
Now I need to continue working and do everything I have to do from a mental and physical standpoint.

Q. First of all, congratulations. You started this tournament being a bit anxious. Was it more anxiety than you've felt in other tournaments? If so, why? Second question, there were times where you could have closed the match before. Was it because you felt pressure? Did the crowd play a role?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think the atmosphere was awesome. I think the crowd, the people out there were very supportive. Maybe a bit more of Roger, but that's not a problem. I think the people were very respectful. I had no problem.
Now, about your question about anxiety and fears, I think during this tournament I was probably a bit more anxious, at least more anxious than I should have been, and more anxious than usual.
But you know what, when I come to Roland Garros I'm usually a bit more anxious than other tournaments. It took me a bit of time to overcome this feeling. But in the other years it was the same thing.

Q. The crowd was shouting, Roger, but also, Nadal or Rafa and there were many Spanish people.

RAFAEL NADAL: Yes, the Spanish people were there. They were wonderful; they supported me. There were people coming from Spain, Mallorca, and there are people supporting me through TV throughout the world.
To me, it's a great satisfaction knowing that some people want me to win. That's something that helps me a lot. I think the crowd here was very respectful.
The other day they were slightly more aggressive during the match between Novak and Roger, but today they were really fair. They saw a match that was a very high‑quality match. I think it's a very special match as well, because of all this past or history that we have, Roger and I.

Q. Can you explain what you felt when you finished the match? Did you ask yourself the question as to whether you were the second‑best player of all‑time?

RAFAEL NADAL: I didn't ask myself this question. I was just happy I won Roland Garros. Beating records is fine; it's perfect. It's an honor to say that I have as many wins here as Borg, I won as many titles here as he did. That's awesome. There was a lot of emotion.
But the main satisfaction comes from all the work you did to get to this stage. You have difficult moments; you have wonderful moments. You come here, and I work with a team which has always been very supportive. Without them, it would be impossible for me to be here today. It's all thanks to them.
Quite honestly, I had lots of emotions when I won. You know, sometimes some matches were more difficult. As I managed to overcome my difficulties, I had the reward, which is this trophy. That's a great satisfaction because of all the work I had to do to succeed.
This is what gives you satisfaction. Thank you very much.

http://www.ubitennis.com/sport/tenni...dal_2011.shtml (http://www.ubitennis.com/sport/tennis/2011/06/05/518968-rafael_nadal_2011.shtml)

Metis
06-06-2011, 05:07 PM
Article by Greg Garber:


http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/french11/columns/story?columnist=garber_greg&id=6628250

Rafa winning at ridiculous rates

By Greg Garber
ESPN.com


PARIS -- The day before Sunday's final between Rafael Nadal (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=261) and Roger Federer (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=425), the 1999 French Open champion told a story here.

Nine years ago, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras met in the final at the U.S. Open. Sampras was 31 and, though no one knew it, playing his last tournament. Coming in, Sampras had scuffled to beat lesser players.

"He was playing not so great," said Agassi, sitting in the Roland Garros tennis museum. "But when he saw me on the other side of the net, nothing else mattered. It didn't matter, because he was comfortable in our many matches. He knew what he could do. Knew what he would do.

"It's the same for Nadal. He hasn't been playing that well, his confidence was low the first week of the tournament. But when he sees Roger out there, he'll feel relaxed, comfortable. :devil: They've played 24 times and Rafa has won most of them."

Hard to imagine the sight of the imperious Swiss, believed by many to be the best player of all time, as comforting. But Nadal has always had an exceptionally keen vision of his game, as well as his place in it.

Ultimately, Nadal wore down Federer 7-5, 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-1. It was not a great match, running 3 hours, 48 minutes, but it was solid and satisfying.

And then he thanked life itself for giving him the opportunity to make this sterling piece of history.

"A big personal satisfaction, especially when you started [the tournament] without playing your best," Nadal said. "Finally, I was able to play my best when I needed my best.

"[The French Open] always is the tournament where I feel that I have more chances to win. This is my biggest chance of the year [to win a Grand Slam]. I know if I win this tournament, my season is fantastic. I then can play with more confidence and less pressure." :D

Thus, Nadal retains his No. 1 ranking for a few more weeks anyway, before Novak Djokovic (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=296) threatens it again. Federer, who turns 30 in August, has never beaten Nadal here in five tries, four of them in the finals. :dance:

Coming into the tournament, Nadal had lost four straight finals to Djokovic. For that reason, he admitted, he came into Roland Garros with less confidence than ever. :awww:

In the eight Grand Slam singles finals between the Swiss and the Spaniard, Nadal has now won six.

How can Federer be the greatest of all time, his skeptics wonder, if he isn't the best player of his generation? Here's a thought: What if Nadal is the best player of his generation and, at the age of 25, building a résumé that one day will be considered the greatest ever?

The numbers suggest it is now possible. Nadal:

• Won his 10th major title, leaving him only six behind Federer's all-time-leading total.

• Earned his sixth championship at Roland Garros in seven years, tying him with Bjorn Borg (1974-75 and 1978 to 1981). The stylish Swede won his six titles in a span of eight years.

• Is the second-youngest man in history to win his 10th Grand Slam singles title. At 25 years, 2 days, Rafa is nearly a year behind Borg -- but he retired from the sport a year later at the age of 25. Rafa looks like he's good for another three or four more years.

Perhaps more interestingly, in the ongoing arms race for supremacy, Rafa beat Federer to No. 10 by 171 days. That means he can open up some more ground at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, tournaments he won a year ago.

Another thought: If Federer, instead of losing six of eight major finals, had managed to break even, he'd be up 18-8 in the overall standings. That's a big swing.

After he ended Djokovic's 2010-11 winning streak of 43 matches in the semifinals, Federer sounded almost satisfied just to reach the final match.

"Almost feels somewhat like I've won the tournament, which is not the case," he said. "Silverware is still out there to be won." :hug:

In the grand scheme of things, Rafa has proved to be more adaptable than Federer. Although Nadal has been almost unbeatable on clay -- winning 11-of-13 -- he has evolved dramatically on Federer's favorite surface, the grass at the All England Club where he has won six titles. After losing the finals to Federer in 2006 and 2007, Nadal changed the karma in a spectacular 2008 final there. Likewise, Rafa won his first Australian Open championship in 2009 and his first at the U.S. Open a year ago.

There were times, usually critical junctures, when it looked like Federer just didn't have the requisite energy for the task. He would hum along for a few games, a frail forehand would find the net and Nadal would move back ahead.

Nadal beats Federer -- 17 times now out of 25 -- because he is both fearless and relentless. Here is an example from the first set, with Federer serving at 5-all:

In a position of supreme advantage, Federer fired a shot indelicately at what we will call Nadal's midsection. Somehow, the Spaniard got his racket on it, and Federer's scrambling response was a floater just above the net, which Nadal crushed with a swinging forehand.

It might have been the pivotal point of the match, because it gave Nadal the break point he needed to take that first set. Federer tapped out, hitting an awkward forehand into the net.

Nadal, who had saved a break point and trailed 2-5, won the last five games of the frame. The aggressive Federer, who had come out serving as well as he did against Djokovic in the semifinals, was gone. He returned, just as the rain was gathering over Court Philippe Chatrier. Following a 10-minute rain delay, he broke Nadal in the 10th game of the second set, saving two set points in the process.

Federer, whose backhand had been deteriorating through the match, lost control of his forehand in the tiebreaker, falling into a 0-4 hole. Rafa ran around another backhand and pounded a forehand winner for his second set.

Taking advantage of Nadal's dropping level, Federer won the third set but the effort cost him dearly. There wasn't much left as Rafa, rejuvenated, ran out the clock on the proud champion.

"I thought Rafa played well," a red-faced Federer acknowledged later. "He dug deep to come back in the first set. It was tough all the way through.

"For me, of course it's a bit disappointing, but it was a good tournament for me, as well. Ten Grand Slams is a lot. He knows this; I know this; everybody knows this. It's really good for him."

Nadal, because of his great defensive skills, did not have to take the kind of risks Federer did. He finished with 39 winners and only 27 unforced errors, plus-12, while Federer's numbers were 56 unforced errors and 53 winners.
For Federer, though, this tournament reinforced his ability and desire to hang with the big two.

After beating Djokovic in the semifinals, Federer wagged his index finger, an admonishment to the critics, perhaps, who wondered if he still had any big-time matches left in him. In his postmatch news conference, Federer expounded on this angle.

"I mean, I told people that we should wait six months after the Australian Open when people thought Rafa and me were done," Federer said. "It's unfortunate that it goes so quickly at times. Now we're back in the finals and now it's different talk again. I don't go even there, because I knew it wasn't the case.

"He's happy to be Rafa, I'm happy to be Roger. That's why we like to play each other, maybe." :lol:

But Federer may think otherwise if Nadal continues to close the Grand Slam gap at this rate.

star
06-06-2011, 05:22 PM
Thanks for the interviews and article, Metis. :worship:

I do have to say thought that I think it's disgraceful (that's the kindest word) that nowhere in the news is it mentioned that METIS STARTED THE MATCH THREAD.

I mean for god's sake, let's give credit where it's due.

:worship: :worship:

MariaV
06-06-2011, 05:34 PM
Star :lol:
But Roger's really like they're an old couple with Rafa, aren't they just adorable together. :lol: :awww: :couple:

star
06-06-2011, 05:37 PM
Star :lol:
But Roger's really like they're an old couple with Rafa, aren't they just adorable together. :lol: :awww: :couple:


I can't agree with you there. :p

True that Rafa:angel: is adorable. Fedgie™ spoils the pic. :ras:

MariaV
06-06-2011, 05:42 PM
I'm getting soft on Roger again Star, I'm getting old just like Roger. :o :o :awww: :sad:

star
06-06-2011, 05:52 PM
I'm getting soft on Roger again Star, I'm getting old just like Roger. :o :o :awww: :sad:

That's ok. :hug: I won't love you any the less for it. :)

I start to get soft on him and then I read his presser or see him wagging his finger in the air and he reminds me again of what an asshole he is. But, I thought he played very well this RG. Thought that Rafa did not play as well as he had in the past, but that could be because of Federer's improved play. :shrug:

MariaV
06-06-2011, 05:54 PM
Oh yeah, even if I'm not his biggest fantard, I admit too (like our Rafiangel did) that Roger played really well these 2 weeks and gave his all in the final. :hatoff: Being objective here. :angel:

JolánGagó
06-06-2011, 05:59 PM
I kinda was getting softie on old Feddie but after the presser... :tape: :spit:... ASSSSSHOOOOOLEEEEE!

star
06-06-2011, 06:06 PM
I kinda was getting softie on old Feddie but after the presser... :tape: :spit:... ASSSSSHOOOOOLEEEEE!

:lol:

What is that in Spanish?

JolánGagó
06-06-2011, 06:11 PM
tonto del culo :shrug:

:spit: