First person with Rafael Nadal [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

First person with Rafael Nadal

nobama
08-27-2005, 01:22 AM
SI Players lobs to Rafael Nadal just before the Open (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/tennis/specials/us_open/2005/08/26/nadal.players/index.html)
As told to Richard Deitsch

ON HIS MANY NICKNAMES IN THE PRESS SUCH AS GLADIATOR, WONDER BOY, GERONIMO, HERCULES
I prefer Rafael. But just call me whatever you like.

ON HIS HOMETOWN OF MANACOR, ON THE MEDITERRANEAN ISLAND OF MAJORCA
It's a very small village. Everybody knows each other. I live by the sea and during the summer I go to the beach, play golf, watch movies and fish. In the first week of August I went out tuna fishing with Carlos Moya and I caught 12 fish!

ON LEARNING ENGLISH
I don't take classes very often because I'm always abroad. My English is not good right now, but I have the courage to speak and that is a big thing for me. English is not a hard language to learn. It's just a matter of practice. I also understand a bit of Portuguese and a bit of Italian but I don't speak them.

ON READING FOR RELAXATION
A few months ago I finished La Tapadora [John Grisham's The Partner] and I just read La Ciudad De Las Bestias [The City of the Beasts] by Isabel Allende. At the moment I'm not reading anything. Too busy.

ON WHAT THE LEFTY PLAYER DOES WITH HIS RIGHT HAND
Everything, except tennis. I write, play golf and eat with my right hand. I don't know why this is. Moya is the other way around. He is a righty in tennis but does everything else with his left hand.

ON HIS FLASHY OUTFITS
I don't have anything to do with the design. Nike gave me some pants to try on. I said I liked them and so I played with them. The look and outfit feels normal to me.

ON HIS MUSIC CHOICES
I like Latin music like ManŠ and Alejandro Sanz. Right now I'm listening to The Best of Me, the greatest hits of Bryan Adams. I like this very much.

ON WHAT STROKE HE WOULD STEAL FROM ANOTHER PLAYER
Roger Federer's forehand. It's the best.

ON HIS FAVORITE U.S. CITIES
New York and Miami. New York a little more because it seems more spectacular. The city itself, the buildings, the general city atmosphere. Espectacular.

ON HOW HIS LIFE HAS CHANGED SINCE WINNING MAY'S FRENCH OPEN
Not much. My friends are the same. When I go back to my city, I do the same thing with the same people.

ON HIS COMFORT ON HARDCOURTS
I made the finals in Miami and the fourth round in Australia, so I don't play so badly on hardcourt. But, obviously, I don't feel as comfortable as I do on clay. I don't look at goals for the U.S. Open. I know I have to be at my best level to play well there.

ON WHOM HE WATCHED GROWING UP
Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. They are the players I most remember from when I was small. And of course Spanish players like Moya.

ON LIVING WITH HIS MOM AND DAD AND UNCLES
There's nothing bad about living at home. I have a family that I get along with very well. The time I get to be at home, I value a great deal because I'm not there much.

lau
08-27-2005, 02:01 AM
Nice kid
:lol: @ Rafa and Carlos fishing tuna
My English is not good right now, but I have the courage to speak and that is a big thing for me
That`s for sure :lol:

mangoes
08-27-2005, 03:10 AM
Nice Interview

zethand
08-27-2005, 03:14 AM
Yeah thatīs nice... :)

LoveFifteen
08-27-2005, 03:20 AM
ON WHAT THE LEFTY PLAYER DOES WITH HIS RIGHT HAND

Everything, except tennis. :tape:

whosnext
08-27-2005, 03:40 AM
Nice interview :)

tennis4eva
08-27-2005, 04:15 AM
:lol: 12 fish??? geez, that's alot of tuna. :eek:

superpinkone37
08-27-2005, 05:09 AM
Thanks for posting this mirkaland :) :hug:

LoveFifteen
08-27-2005, 05:10 AM
Yes, thanks for posting this. I always love reading about Rafa, and I am glad that he prefers Rafael to all those stupid nicknames.

Rex
08-27-2005, 08:52 AM
thnks for the post.

adee-gee
08-27-2005, 10:20 AM
What a nice, down to earth lad. Thanks for the article

Castafiore
08-27-2005, 10:41 AM
Thank you, Mirkaland. :)

In a lot of his interviews, you get the impression that he's indeed down to earth and he doesn't get carried away by all the hype.
But, obviously, I don't feel as comfortable as I do on clay. I don't look at goals for the U.S. Open. I know I have to be at my best level to play well there.
Let the others set incredible goals and let him just get on with things. One match at a time.
Indeed, he'll need to bring his best level to the USO.

1sun
08-27-2005, 11:00 AM
byran adams :tape:

nobama
08-27-2005, 11:46 AM
Yeah he is a cool kid and certainly seems to be flying under the radar screen this US Open. I know he went home after his loss in Cincy. Does anyone know when he arrived in NYC?

Saumon
08-27-2005, 12:07 PM
Yeah he is a cool kid and certainly seems to be flying under the radar screen this US Open. I know he went home after his loss in Cincy. Does anyone know when he arrived in NYC?
2 or 3 days ago i believe

avocadoe
08-27-2005, 12:26 PM
Thanks Mirkaland. for the Nadal Q and A..i'm impressed he reads Isabel Allende...& is this a Roger quote? "I would like to be loved, to have fans around the world. I had a moment last year when I felt people always wanted me to lose because I was winning too much. Now I think differently about that. Maybe losing in the Australian, but fighting and fighting, showed I was human. In Paris when I lost I felt the fans were for me. Those losses were so important to me. They made a difference in how fans see me and how I see the game."

Ti-Anne
08-27-2005, 12:59 PM
:inlove: Aaaaaaaaaaaw, so cute !!! :angel:

knight_ley
08-27-2005, 01:58 PM
cute interview :)

nermo
08-27-2005, 03:22 PM
thanks Mirkaland, for posting the interview,it's really nice,and i really hope Rafael 'll keep his down to earth attitudes along while time goes on inshALLAh it's admirable..and it's wise of him to look that way at the Us open, hope he does his best too and gains better experience..(and results inshALLAH.. ;) )

Pea
08-27-2005, 03:32 PM
:lol: Rafa liking Alejandro Sanz!:worship:

Castafiore
09-01-2005, 04:53 PM
I found a great interview on another message board (I didn't want to start a new thread so I'm adding this here)
It's translated from German.

Nadal: I had a very good run on clay.

Rafael Nadal is the only professional who can see eye to eye with Roger Federer in the course of this season. The 19-year old Spaniard already has won 9 tournaments, the last one on hardcourt (Montreal, against Agassi)

Nadal, the worldís number two, belongs the select few top favorites for the US Open. This Wednesday, he went to the third round with a victory against Scoville Jenkins (USA) (6-4, 7-5, 6-4).

In a universe of his own
Q: Rafael, nowadays you are the only player who can hold pace with Roger Federer in the world ranking at the moment. Do you feel like a strong challenger?

Rafael Nadal: When he plays like he did in Wimbledon, nobody can hold pace with him. There are moments when he is simply in a universe of his own. Nobody can beat him when heís in top shape. This year, he will be nearly impossible to beat. But, Roger is not a robot; heís a human being of flesh and blood. He can not be perfect all the time.

Q:...like you have proven in Paris, in the semi-final against Federer.
Nadal: His self-assuredness is not so outspoken on clay as on the other surfaces and this year, I had a huge run on clay. That was an unbelievable moment, that victory over Roger. Everything just clicked. That match felt like a fairy tale, one absolute bit of luck.

The ranking is just a representation at a particular moment in time
Q: In the world ranking today, thereís Federer on top and then thereís you Ė and after that we have quite a gap with the next player in. Are you astonished that the battle for the first place has been reduced to a duel?

Nadal: Tennis is a fast moving and changing sport. This ranking list is just a representation at this moment in time. One weaker period, lesser confidence, maybe an injury Ė and things can totally change directions. Iím very happy with my victories but you always have to think about the next step; you always have to think on how youíre going to improve your game. A standstill is in fact taking a step backwards, especially in tennis.

Q: Does the superior position of two players surprise you because for years, people have been talking about the leveling within this sport?

Nadal: I think itís phenomenal how Roger deals with the status of the number one player. Because, itís a simple fact that you can be beaten at any moment and that applies to the number 150 up to the number one. The question still remains whether anybody will ever succeed in holding the number one for six, seven years, just like Peter Sampras could hold on to the top spot for so long. Itís becoming tougher and tougher because more and more countries are producing top players. Maybe we will have a Chinese number one soon. Impossible is nothing.

Federer is the standard
Q: Whatís still missing for you to become the number one player?
Nadal: Roger Federer is the standard for every player out there. And heís a much better all-rounder than I am today. Heís at ease in every situation and he wins on every surface. But, Iím still young and I have the potential to play world-class tennis all year long and win titles.

Q: We often quote your uncle Toni Nadal. He says: an outstanding player like Federer is the best that can happen to Rafael, because it gives him an aim to measure himself up to.
Nadal: Absolutely correct. Itís very normal to look at the number one and to ask yourself: what does he do in a certain situation, how does he react, and what shots does he play at what moment. But also: how does he organize his life on tour, how does he prepare the slams? Of course, I do not want to blindly copy him but you have to be able to spot the useful and the correct things but not just with him but also with the other players and at the same time, you have to find your own way. Other players also look to me and they ask themselves: what does he do better at the moment than me?

Q: You have surpassed Roddick, Hewitt and Safin in the pursuit of Federer. What do you think are their strong points that make them up until now, the toughest rivals for Federer?
Nadal: In Hewitt, I admire the way he motivates himself for every game and how he pumps himself up to a very high level. His fiery ambition is irresistible. Iím not bothered by his shouts to encourage himself, because there are a lot of emotions he lets out on the court. Roddick has a superhuman serve, that gives him a lot of points. He has dealt with the pressure of being Americaís next big star very well, despite his loss on Tuesday. Safin is simply a fun sort of player and itís great to see him in action. His unpredictability is at the same time his strong and his weak point. You never know where you stand with him.

Q: And Agassi, the old man who could almost be your father?
Nadal: Quality has no age. I admire Agassi for what he accomplishes. How he can still get in top shape at the age of 35 and he can still hang tough with the younger generations. Thatís really something to admire. His long career that has lasted almost longer than 20 years, his comebacks after the many injuries, thatís simply awesome.

Q: Did you have an idol when you were younger?
Nadal: I was never that sort of person who said to himself: I want to be like Pete Sampras, like Andre Agassi, like Boris Becker. I never aimed to be like somebody else. Iím simply myself Ė Rafael Nadal.

Q: Who were your most important motivators in your career?
Nadal: Without a doubt, my uncle and trainer Toni. Itís him I have to be thankful for, for getting where I am now: at the world top, among the best of the best. But also my parents were very important, because they gave me the necessary freedom for my development. They have supported me in my risky choices but at the same time, they looked out for me that I could fall back on a school education to give me some securities in my life.

Q: Experts swoon over the fact that you are so mature and so ahead for your age Ė in your game but also in your professional attitude, with the way you behave within your profession.
Nadal: I was lucky because my family had experience with top sport. My uncle Miguel has played for FC Barcelona for many years but also for the national team. That was a big example for me. I have witnessed how tough the pressure to get results can be and what you have to do to stay on top all the time. You can never take it easy but youíve got to be willing to become better all the time, you have to be willing to work hard on yourself, very hard, every single day. A lot of people simply can not muster the discipline, so they tend to get stuck along the way.

Q: Can you get your mind off the tennis?
Nadal: Iím not the lazy type; I just canít take it easy and do nothing for a long time. I have to keep busy. When I have free time, I like to play Golf or I love to go fishing or I go to watch a football match. Often I bring a videogame with me and even then I want to win. Competition and the will to win, thatís in my blood. Itís sometimes not that easy to deal with for my friends but also for my uncle Toni.

Q: Do you have friends on tour or is there no such thing as a friendship in the sport?
Nadal: Carlos Moya is my best friend. Heís also from Mallorca and I could always turn to him when I had questions about the sport. Heís an incredible advisor. We, the Spaniards on tour, are one big family; we are sometimes very competitive amongst each other but when itís us against the rest of the world: we stick together when itís necessary.

Interview by JŲrg Allmeroth.
Article in German: http://www.n24.de/sport/mehrsport/index.php/n2005090110012900002

propi
09-01-2005, 05:43 PM
Maybe we will have a Chinese number one soon. Impossible is nothing.
:eek::eek: That's soooo ADIDAS!!! I thought you're Nike :p

MariaV
09-01-2005, 06:43 PM
Very nice interviews. :D Thanks mirkaland and Castafiore. :worship:

mandoura
09-01-2005, 06:48 PM
I love that kid. So nice and genuine.

Geniey2g
09-01-2005, 06:48 PM
ON WHAT THE LEFTY PLAYER DOES WITH HIS RIGHT HAND

Everything, except tennis. :tape:
An excerpt from an interview between Rafa and Chela on Zabaleta's Tenis Pro TV programme:

Chela: So, Rafa, do you have a girlfriend?
Rafa: Not even crazy! (Rafa's English :lol: )
Chela: Why not?
Rafa: Nobody loves me?
Chela: I think you don't love anyone! So, how do you release all your energy?
Rafa: By myself (laughs)


lol!

mangoes
09-01-2005, 06:51 PM
I found a great interview on another message board (I didn't want to start a new thread so I'm adding this here)
It's translated from German.


Article in German: http://www.n24.de/sport/mehrsport/index.php/n2005090110012900002


Those are really mature answers from a 19 year old......Impressive.

Clara Bow
09-01-2005, 07:11 PM
Nadal has a good head on his shoulders. I wish he would become more fluent in English so some of that could come out more in his English interviews.