~*~ Vamos Rafa in Monte Carlo ~*~ [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

~*~ Vamos Rafa in Monte Carlo ~*~

03-27-2006, 11:58 AM
It looks like Monte Carlo is his next tournament.

VAMOS Rafa :bounce:

03-27-2006, 12:57 PM
yep ........it will start in 3 weeks , since then Rafa have to train and train to be better than last year :) Força Campiò !!!!!!!!!!!!!

:woohoo: :aparty: :woohoo: CLAY IS BACK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

03-27-2006, 03:30 PM
¡¡Vamos Rafa!! :bounce: :bigclap:

03-27-2006, 04:06 PM
WOOHOO !!! I LOVE CLAY !!!! :hearts:

Good Luck Rafa in Montecarlo !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :bigclap:

VAMOS !!!!!!!! :bigclap:

03-27-2006, 05:54 PM

when is the draw gonna be out,hope he won't have to face Moya :unsure: again

03-27-2006, 06:35 PM
yeahhhhhh CLAY KICKS GRASS' ASS :lol: :lol:

maty we'll have to wait at least 2 weeks and a half for Monaco's draw !!!!!!!!

03-27-2006, 06:40 PM
Defend your title here :D

03-28-2006, 04:59 AM
:eek: :eek: :eek: OMG, is MC on the way already ??? :eek: :eek: :eek:
I've been preparing to go there for so long, I bought my seats and booked the hotel so long ago I can't believe we're almost there !!! :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
I hope to have a great time again in Monte-Carlo, like last year, but to achieve this, it needs Lil' man's presence... :angel:
I'll try to make great pics to share with you girls...if you're good girls and you behave till then :aplot: ( :secret: that is : no more nasty comments on what rafa's pirates may hold or not :angel: :devil: :ignore: :haha: )

03-28-2006, 06:07 AM
:eek: :eek: :eek: OMG, is MC on the way already ??? :eek: :eek: :eek:
I've been preparing to go there for so long, I bought my seats and booked the hotel so long ago I can't believe we're almost there !!! :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
I hope to have a great time again in Monte-Carlo, like last year, but to achieve this, it needs Lil' man's presence... :angel:
I'll try to make great pics to share with you girls...if you're good girls and you behave till then :aplot: ( :secret: that is : no more nasty comments on what rafa's pirates may hold or not :angel: :devil: :ignore: :haha: )

Rafa really has got to get it into gear with Monte Carlo. I saw him do good at IW. Hope you see him do better at MC

04-06-2006, 04:22 PM
Rafa really has got to get it into gear with Monte Carlo. I saw him do good at IW. Hope you see him do better at MC
I agree I hope he does well ;) He has a lot of points to defend now and he has to start playing well to defend those points. Vamos Rafa :bigclap:

04-06-2006, 07:28 PM
Finally some news related to Montecarlo.

Courtesy of nou.amic :worship: of vr.com:
Nadal has his thoughts on Montecarlo


The world nº2 Rafael Nadal indicated that his thoughts are now on the Masters Series Montecarlo that begins 17th April and that is why he is training "very well and with high hopes".

Nadal made these declarations after taking part in the presentation of the Torneo Islas Baleares de Tenis with Carlos Moya and Nuria Llagostera at the Baleares Government offices in Palma.

The Roland Garros champion reiterated that his main objective at the moment "is to train well every day" and he said that it was a "mistake" for people or him himself to believe that he could repeat what he did in 2005, when he won eleven titles.

"Last year was unforgettable, unrepeatable, but very hard to surpass. Now I only want to train and to make a good start to the claycourt season," stated Nadal, who did not have the results longed for in the US Masters Series in Indian Wells and Key Biscayne.


Rafa Nadal: "I really feel like starting to play on clay"


The Manacor player Rafael Nadal is really looking forward to the beginning of the claycourt season that starts 17 April with the Masters Series in Montecarlo, where he will be defending the title he won last year.

"I really feel like getting started on clay, where I haven't played for a long time," said the world nº2 during the presentation in Palma de Mallorca of the III Torneo Islas Baleares, to be held 23-24 May in Costa d'en Blanes, Calvià.

Nadal has not played a single match on clay since Spain's Davis Cup match against Italy in Torre del Greco. Last year, the Manacor player became the 'king' on clay winning nine titles, including Roland Garros.

However, Nadal insists: "2005 is 2005, an incredible year that won't be repeated" and opts for restraint when announcing his next objectives.

"My immediate goal is the next training session, and having a good tournament in Montecarlo," confessed Nadal who has already put behind him the problems in his ankle that marred his tennis in the Masters Series in Key Biscayne and led to his elimination in the second round by Carlos Moya.

Apart from tennis, Nadal talked about football. Although he is a staunch Real Madrid supporter, he is happy about Barcelona qualifying for the European Cup (Champions' League) semifinals by defeating Benefica yesterday. "I always prefer the Spanish teams to win," he declared.

(This last bit was shown on the Antena 3 news clip and Carlos Moya butted in to say that Rafa was so delighted with Barcelona's win that he had text messaged E'too, who scored the second decisive goal that assured the victory and had a hand in the first one, to congratulate him.)

04-07-2006, 03:44 PM
Thanks a lot mallorn ! Glad to see lil' man so eager to tackle the red stuff again ! :D I really hope to see him play good in MC !!! :bounce: :bounce:

04-07-2006, 07:59 PM
Ti-Anne you are going to MC?

04-08-2006, 07:04 AM
Ti-Anne you are going to MC?

Oh yeah, I'm going and I'm REALLY looking forward to it :bounce: ! I went there last year, tuesday, wednesday and thursday, it was great ! I'm doing the same this year. I definitely love this tourney, everything is so great, the site is sooooooooo beautiful, you can see the sea from all courts, and above all you can go to all training courts, players just walk freely among people (some have bodyguards though, but Rafa had none last year as he was just starting to become a star, I doubt he won't have any this year... :p ). Well, this is holiday as well as good tennis ! I'll take pics as many pics as I can to share with you girls ;) !!

Sweet Lucia
04-09-2006, 11:53 AM
Vamos Rafaelito in Monte Carlo :sport: :sport: :inlove:

04-09-2006, 11:56 AM
I will also go to MC :banana:

04-11-2006, 03:12 AM
Have fun and watch Rafa win! Because he will. Fed cannot match Rafa on clay.

04-13-2006, 05:47 PM
Oh yeah, I'm going and I'm REALLY looking forward to it :bounce: ! I went there last year, tuesday, wednesday and thursday, it was great ! I'm doing the same this year. I definitely love this tourney, everything is so great, the site is sooooooooo beautiful, you can see the sea from all courts, and above all you can go to all training courts, players just walk freely among people (some have bodyguards though, but Rafa had none last year as he was just starting to become a star, I doubt he won't have any this year... :p ). Well, this is holiday as well as good tennis ! I'll take pics as many pics as I can to share with you girls ;) !!

aw thank u so much!!! that would be lovely-we'll look forward to your pics:)
I think its safe to say that everyone here wishes u have a lovely time on your holiday!! mayb you'll even see/meet rafa!! how lucky!!

04-13-2006, 06:51 PM
I will also go to MC :banana:

So we both are lucky !! :p Have you been there before ?

04-13-2006, 08:39 PM
So we both are lucky !! :p Have you been there before ?
yes 2003 and last year. :)

04-14-2006, 07:29 AM
Is Rafa in MC yet?

04-14-2006, 09:26 AM
i think he might come today in Monte Carlo because it's not very far from Manacor by plane !!!!

i hope he is totally fit and that he'll enjoy as much as last year his season on his favorite surface !!!!

04-15-2006, 11:33 AM
Rafa will face clement again...


(1) FEDERER, Roger SUI v Qualifier
ROCHUS, Christophe BEL v HAAS, Tommy GER
VERDASCO, Fernando ESP v (13) GROSJEAN, Sebastien FRA

(11) FERRERO, Juan Carlos ESP v TURSUNOV, Dmitry RUS
CHELA, Juan Ignacio ARG v RUSEDSKI, Greg GBR
HRBATY, Dominik SVK v Qualifier
MASSU, Nicolas CHI v (8) FERRER, David ESP

(WC) SIMON, Gilles FRA v Qualifier
SANTORO, Fabrice FRA v (16) BERDYCH, Tomas CZE

(12) GONZALEZ, Fernando CHI v MOYA, Carlos ESP
HANESCU, Victor ROM v LOPEZ, Feliciano ESP
Qualifier v Qualifier

(7) GAUDIO, Gaston ARG v HENMAN, Tim GBR
Qualifier v WAWRINKA, Stanislas SUI
Qualifier v (10) STEPANEK, Radek CZE

(15) ROBREDO, Tommy ESP v HORNA, Luis PER

(6) CORIA, Guillermo ARG v YOUZHNY, Mikhail RUS
MATHIEU, Paul-Henri FRA v SAFIN, Marat RUS
MIRNYI, Max BLR v (9) KIEFER, Nicolas GER

(14) NIEMINEN, Jarkko FIN v VLIEGEN, Kristof BEL
Qualifier v (WC) BENNETEAU, Julien FRA
CLEMENT, Arnaud FRA v (2) NADAL, Rafael ESP

Thanks GeorgeWHitler ;)

04-15-2006, 11:57 AM
Monte Carlo Official Site
15 April 2006

Nadal to Open Title Defense Against Clement

Second-seeded Rafael Nadal will begin the defense of his Masters Series Monte-Carlo title against Arnaud Clement, following the main draw at the Monte-Carlo Country Club on Saturday.

ATP World No. 1 Roger Federer, winner of ATP Masters Series events in Indian Wells and Miami last month, begins his clay-court season against a qualifier.

Federer has reached the quarterfinals of Masters Series Monte-Carlo on two occasions in 2001 and 2005.

Nadal, who captured 11 titles including four Masters Series shields last season, will look for revenge over Frenchman Clement in their third career meeting. Clement beat Nadal 2-6, 6-3, 5-7 at the Open 13 in Marseille two months ago en route to the title.

The winner will meet either 18-year-old Scot Andy Murray or wild card Jean-Rene Lisnard.

Reigning Tennis Masters Cup champion David Nalbandian will play Xavier Malisse of Belgium in the first round. The No. 3 seed will look to improve upon his 13-4 match record in 2006, following his run to the semifinals in Miami.

Monte-Carlo resident Ivan Ljubicic, currently ranked No. 5 in the INDESIT ATP Rankings, meets Russian Igor Andreev.

Ljubicic, winner of ATP titles in Chennai and Zagreb this year, will hope to replicate his straight-sets triumph over Andreev in Marseille and add to his 27-4 match record.

Fifth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko will play Sweden’s Robin Soderling in the first round, while 2004 winner and last year’s beaten finalist Guillermo Coria – No. 6 seed – faces Mikhail Youzhny.

Two-times former champion Juan Carlo Ferrero, seeded 11th for the third ATP Masters Series event of 2006, starts his campaign against Russian Dmitry Tursunov.

Meanwhile another former winner, Carlos Moya, currently ranked No. 36 in the INDESIT ATP Rankings, will play No. 12 seed Fernando Gonzalez of Chile.

04-15-2006, 12:06 PM
awfull this draw for Rafa !!!! i can't believe all of clay specialist are on his side, not on Roger's side ......... Rafa you'll have to play hard and destroy Clément in the first round !!!!!

04-15-2006, 12:14 PM
Vamos Rafa :angel:

04-15-2006, 12:39 PM
Yes, nadalita. I hate the ATP. They totally rig all the draws. Federer consistently gets easier draws than Rafa. Yeah, like he needs that. I'm getting fed up with tennis again. Same crap all the time.

04-15-2006, 12:52 PM
Rafa never played a qualified !! but no matter who he'll play he'll win cause he'll show'em that no one can"t beat him on clay even if he plays Federer on the 1st ROUND !!!!!

04-15-2006, 12:56 PM
Right on nadalita! You notice how that Federer always plays qualies. I also notice he plays Ivo Minar alot in his opening rounds. Rafa DOES get much tough opening opponents than what you would think for a #2 seed.

04-15-2006, 01:25 PM
at least if Rafa win it would means that he can kick everyone on clay.....but if federer win it would be less worthy to me.....

04-15-2006, 01:36 PM
a little piece of news , my friend is in Monaco and she sent me a message, Rafa is training at this moment in front of a huge crowd (as usual :lol: ) and it starts raining in monte carlo :wavey:

04-15-2006, 01:37 PM
Hi girls and boys!!!!! :wavey:
I'm back to cheer for our Rafa of course!!!!!!! VAMOS!!!!!!!! :bounce: :bigclap: :yippee:
Hope the weather is gonna improver there next week. :D

04-15-2006, 01:41 PM
Rafa never played a qualified !! but no matter who he'll play he'll win cause he'll show'em that no one can"t beat him on clay even if he plays Federer on the 1st ROUND !!!!!
Nadalita & Co, he sure can beat Clement on clay! :bigclap: :bounce: :wavey:

04-15-2006, 01:49 PM
Keep us posted Nadalita with news. I guess I should stop sulking. Vamos Rafa and win the title. :bigclap: :yippee: :)

04-15-2006, 01:56 PM
everytime i'll have live news i'll post :lol:

welcome back Maria V :wavey: i'm really looking forward to see the OOp , i hope Rafa will play on Monday , because i can't watch it on tuesday and Wednesday

04-15-2006, 02:07 PM
vamos Rafa

04-15-2006, 02:55 PM
awfull this draw for Rafa !!!! i can't believe all of clay specialist are on his side, not on Roger's side ......... Rafa you'll have to play hard and destroy Clément in the first round !!!!!

Well, Rafa IS the king of clay so even w "all of clay specialist" on his side, he s be able to beat them ALL. I w not worry about Clement. Rafa is better than he on clay AND he won't lose to him twice.

For once, Rafa does have the tougher draw.

04-15-2006, 02:57 PM
Right on nadalita! You notice how that Federer always plays qualies. I also notice he plays Ivo Minar alot in his opening rounds. Rafa DOES get much tough opening opponents than what you would think for a #2 seed.

Just cos the player is a qualie doesn't mean he's easier. In fact, the qualies have already played matches and won them and are on a roll whereas Rogi hasn't played on clay since... RG05 SF when Rafa beat him. Look at Almagro who beat Juanqui in R1 of Valencia -- which one is in the SF today vs. Marat? ;)

04-15-2006, 03:25 PM
Well, Rafa IS the king of clay so even w "all of clay specialist" on his side, he s be able to beat them ALL. I w not worry about Clement. Rafa is better than he on clay AND he won't lose to him twice.

For once, Rafa does have the tougher draw.

i don't fear them especially cause they are specialist Rafa is one of them too, i fear them because they already played on clay this year not Rafa !!! :)

04-15-2006, 04:05 PM
vamos Rafa, but as it's his first tournament on clay, it will be a bit harder, and after very easy for him!!

04-15-2006, 06:13 PM
Vamos Rafa!!! :bounce:

04-15-2006, 06:57 PM
After the injury layoff and start on hard court... Monte Carlo and the clay court season may be very tough Rafa but I know we can count on him to give his usual 100%

04-15-2006, 07:04 PM
but things are really different when you play on the surface you grown up on !!!! it's always easy , things come naturally on clay for Rafa, that's a big difference. Plus, he really enjoy playing on clay !!!!

04-15-2006, 07:40 PM
Rafa’s tennis may be peerless but I feel this season he is facing a new set challenges. Being defending champion and world No. 2 has placed demands on Rafa’s time and person he did not have to deal with last year.

Carlos Moya mentions the pressures in an interview after his win over Rafa at Miami.


In my opinion, I would think Rafa would be especially vulnerable to opponents who either know his game or have been successful in previous matches.

This season with Rafa may be a rollercoaster ride of emotional highs and lows but I have no doubt he is becoming a Champion we will be proud to cheer both on and off the court.

04-16-2006, 12:08 AM
Good Luck to Rafa in Monte-Carlo !!!


04-16-2006, 12:10 AM
Good luck to Feña too :wavey:

04-16-2006, 12:14 AM
Good luck to Feña too :wavey:

Thanks :hug: :hug: :hug:

04-16-2006, 09:31 AM
Nadal wary before first clay outing
Updated on Sunday, Apr 16, 2006 1:10 am EDT

PARIS (Reuters) - French Open champion Rafael Nadal will step on to a clay court for the first time in seven months when he defends his Monte Carlo Masters crown next week.

The Spanish world number two won nine titles on the surface last year but is making a late start to this claycourt campaign after a career-threatening left foot injury hit his schedule.

Twelve months ago he arrived in the principality having already pocketed two titles on clay but the second seed will be cautious when he steps out on the punishing red dirt for his opening match against Frenchman Arnaud Clement.

"What I have ahead of me is a claycourt season not the defense of 2,300 points because if we view it the other way round we're not going to get off to a good start," he said on his website.

The hype surrounding his return is focused on a possible final showdown with world number one Roger Federer.

Nadal has won their last two encounters, including a 2-6 6-4 6-4 victory in the Dubai Open final last month.

But having contested only four events this year, Nadal wants to concentrate on his own form.

"I prefer to focus on me, I have to play at my best," he said. "At the moment, I can only meet Federer in the final, so I've got to win lots of matches."

Short of match practice, the Spaniard will do well to get beyond the opening round since he was beaten by Clement in their previous meeting in Marseille.

Should he beat the tenacious Frenchman, Nadal could face British teenager Andrew Murray, who will be playing without the guidance of a coach after splitting with Mark Petchey.

The Spaniard's half of the draw also features his predecessor as Roland Garros champion, Gaston Gaudio. Two other Argentines, David Nalbandian and Guillermo Coria, and Russian Marat Safin could also block Nadal's progress.

Swiss Federer appears to have an easier path to the final as he plays a qualifier in his first match of the year on clay.

His biggest test en route to the final is likely to come from former French Open winner Juan Carlos Ferrero.

But with the Spaniard struggling to recover his form after a series of injuries, there is no guarantee he will be able to keep his expected date with Federer in the quarter-finals.

Frenchman Richard Gasquet, who caused a major upset last season when he beat Federer in the quarter-finals, has pulled out with an abdomen injury.


sportal.com.au, Australia
Sunday, 16 April 2006 6:19:11 PM AEDT

Nadal set for clay court return

Spaniard Rafael Nadal will step on to a clay court at the Monte Carlo Masters next week for the first time in seven months.

He won two titles on the surface last year, but has held off his return to the surface this season after a career-threatening left foot injury.

He was full of confidence when he began his campaign in Monte Carlo 12 months ago, but this time he will be extra cautious when he steps out against Frenchman Arnaud Clement.

"What I have ahead of me is a claycourt season not the defence of 2,300 points because if we view it the other way round we're not going to get off to a good start," he said on his website.

Hype is already being generated about a possible showdown with world No.1 Roger Federer, with Nadal winning their past two encounters, but the Spaniard says he is simply focussing on his game.

"I prefer to focus on me, I have to play at my best," he said. "At the moment, I can only meet Federer in the final, so I've got to win lots of matches."

But he has the chance to exact revenge on Clement, who won their previous meeting in Marseille.

If he gets past the Frenchman, he could meet British teenager Andrew Murray in the second round.

Nadal's half of the draw also features Gaston Gaudio, David Nalbandian, Guillermo Coria and Marat Safin.

Original article: http://www.sportal.com.au/tennis.asp?i=news&id=81196http://www.sportal.com.au/tennis.asp?i=news&id=81196

04-16-2006, 10:56 AM
Rafa is right to tell that he doesn't aim at defending the 2300 points , because everybody, medias especially, speculates on it. They are increasing the pressure around him, i hope he'll support this insane pressure !!!!!!

04-16-2006, 12:13 PM
Rafa news from MC. :D But his left index finger is still heavily taped. :( :(

Nadal Opens Players Locker-room
On the eve of the 2006 Monte-Carlo Masters Series presented by ROLEX, defending champion Rafael Nadal opened the new players locker-room.

The Spaniard cut the ribbon in the presence of Madam de Massy, President of the Federation Monégasque Tennis and Committee of Tournament, as well as Tournament Director Zeljko Franulovic, Director of the Monte-Carlo Country Club Francis Truchi and Managing Director of ATP Europe Horst Klosterkemper.


04-16-2006, 01:08 PM
Oh boy, I missed all the drama with the draw...:lol: Well it's a tough one for sure, but I hope Rafa can still win the tournament. I'm actually more worried about the blister on his left hand. :( How come it hasn't healed yet, he's had it for weeks now? :(

Anyway, maybe the bandage is just a precaution...in RG he started the tournament with a taped finger and finished it without the tape.

I'm away and can't check the news very often, not to mention watching matches, so a big VAMOS! from me in advance. Go get Clement, Rafa! ;)



04-16-2006, 03:42 PM
Ok Mallorn, I try to be here to help Veyonce then. ;) :wavey:
Where are you if I may ask?
I'll have MC on my TV and hopefully can see Rafa and cheer for him as hard as I can. :D

04-16-2006, 04:07 PM
Does anyone know when Rafa plays his first match?

04-16-2006, 04:59 PM
:woohoo: :woohoo: i just saw Rafa interviewed in live by the french TV, he said he feels quite good now, he looks forward to play Monte Carlo , he is not injured anymore and he'll play his best game !!!!! he was so lovely in his yellow and green t shirt , he is very tan , so everything is perfect girls !!!!
i hope it too my sweet Rafa :lol: !!!!!!!!!

04-16-2006, 05:17 PM
Thanks for the news Nadalita. :kiss:

And no, the OOP for Monday still isn't out yet. :( *going looking again*
Edit: OOP finally out. Rafa's not playing tomorrow so he'll play on Tuesday.

04-16-2006, 05:23 PM
you are welcome Maria V :kiss: , i found him a little bit nervous during the interview, hope it was just an impression ... the essential is that everything is OK :yeah:

i'm waiting for it too, my friend is in Monaco and she didn"t find it too .......

04-16-2006, 05:34 PM

04-16-2006, 05:38 PM
Sorry about that Nadalita. :hug: :hug:

04-16-2006, 05:42 PM
Vamos Rafa!You can do it again!

04-16-2006, 05:47 PM
to wait till tuesday i have THAT (the interview feshhhhh, he did it just one hour ago enjoy)


04-16-2006, 05:53 PM
another one Nadal Federer : the dual


another one on the lefty skills !!! nadal is at the end !!!


04-17-2006, 03:20 PM
Nice video! Gracias, Nadalita! ;)

04-17-2006, 05:12 PM
Rafa will play 3rd on Court Central! VAMOS!!!!! :bigclap: :bounce:
I'll try everything possible to watch it live on TV but I'm not sure. Hopefully I can see it at least later in the evening. :D :wavey:

04-17-2006, 05:24 PM
Nice video! Gracias, Nadalita! ;)

de nada....L (sorry i always do this stupid joke ) :rolleyes: RogiFan88 !!!!

well if Rafa plays on third i won't see him :bigcry: hope you'll take care of him girls :confused: :wavey:

04-17-2006, 07:23 PM
Ok Mallorn, I try to be here to help Veyonce then. ;) :wavey:
Where are you if I may ask?
I'll have MC on my TV and hopefully can see Rafa and cheer for him as hard as I can. :D
Thanks for the help, Maria! :kiss: :wavey:
I'm in Edinburgh for the Easter break, visiting my family. :) I can only check the news sporadically. :(
I see Rafa's playing tomorrow, I'll keep my fingers crossed then.



04-17-2006, 10:55 PM

Good luck tomorrow !!!


04-18-2006, 03:30 AM
Vamos Rafa ;)

04-18-2006, 01:20 PM
Ohhhh boy!!!! 2nd set Rafa has just broken Clement's serve. Ya es tuyo Rafa!! VAMOSSSSS!!!!!

04-18-2006, 01:25 PM
HE WOOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love this game... :bigclap:

Rafa you're the best. Thnx

04-18-2006, 01:27 PM
Well done, Rafa :bigclap: I have to admit that it was more difficult that what I thought but he won and that's what is important. ;)


04-18-2006, 01:29 PM
http://img2.menstennisforums.com/500/thumbs/yu.gifGooooooooooooooooo Rafiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii http://img2.menstennisforums.com/500/thumbs/yu.gif


04-18-2006, 01:51 PM
Nadal starts Monte Carlo defence by beating Clement
Tue Apr 18, 2006 2:40 PM BST

MONTE CARLO, April 18 (Reuters) - Rafael Nadal started the defence of his Monte Carlo Open title by beating local favourite Arnaud Clement 6-4 6-4 on Tuesday.

World number two Nadal, making a late start to his claycourt campaign after a foot injury hit his schedule, looked a bit rusty but did enough to reach the second round of the Masters Series event.

Clement, who overcame Nadal in the semi-finals of the Marseille Open in February before taking the title, troubled his opponent with an early break in the second set.

Spaniard Nadal then had his right ankle strapped before he fought back to level the set. He broke the Frenchman in the ninth game to serve for the match.

The French Open champion earned two match points and wasted the first before Clement hit a cross-court backhand wide to bow out after 95 minutes. Argentine sixth seed Guillermo Coria, the 2004 winner, started his pursuit of a fourth consecutive final appearance in the principality with a straightforward 6-3 6-1 victory over Russia's Mikhail Youzhny.

Former world number one Marat Safin, struggling to recapture his best form after a long injury break, made an early exit, Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu beating him 6-0 7-5.

Russian Safin, who twisted his ankle in his semi-final defeat by Spaniard Nicolas Almagro in Valencia last week, lost the first eight games and needed 44 minutes to hold serve for the first time.

(Writing by Patrick Vignal in Paris)

04-18-2006, 02:00 PM
I don't understand the meaning of strap in english sorry.... he has problems in his ankle again?

04-18-2006, 02:21 PM
Think he strapped his ankle as a precaution measure..

Order of Play for Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Court Central start 10:00 AM
A Seppi (ITA) vs (3)D Nalbandian (ARG)
(6)G Coria (ARG) vs P Mathieu (FRA)
(1)R Federer (SUI) vs A Martin (ESP)
(WC)J Lisnard (MON) vs (2)R Nadal (ESP)
(1)Bjorkman/Mirnyi vs Haggard/Tursunov

Nadal off to winning start
From correspondents in Monte Carlo
April 19, 2006

SPAIN'S Rafael Nadal has kicked his clay-court season into gear as he won his 37th straight match on the surface with a 6-4, 6-4, defeat of Arnaud Clement at the Monte Carlo Open.

The first-round victory puts the holder on track as he bids for a title repeat. He now stands 9-1 at the venue.

He last lost on clay to Igor Andreev in last year's Valencia quarter-finals.

With Roger Federer dominating the top seeding, teenaged Nadal, who will also defend the Roland Garros title next month, would like nothing better than to repeat as champion in the principality.

A year ago, he lifted the first Masters Series shield of his career here as he beat three-time finalist Guillermo Coria.

Getting past Clement was a relief after the Frenchman handed Nadal one of his three losses this year at the semi-finals at Marseille in February.

Nadal started his season at that event after a foot injury suffered in 2005.

The Spaniard was playing for the first time since losing to Mallorca mentor Carlos Moya in an opening match in Miami last month.

Paul-Henri Mathieu defeated former world number one Marat Safin 6-0, 7-5 to set up a second-round match with sixth seed Coria, who beat Mikhail Youzhny (6-3, 6-1.

Mathieu, ranked 39th and playing his first event this season on clay, stunned Safin in the first set and held on as the unseeded Russian began a brief fightback in the second.

The Frenchman won the first eight games of the match before the 26-year-old Safin, a semi-finalist last week in Valencia as he makes a comeback from a longstanding knee injury, began to challenge.

The Russian finally got started as he broke for 1-2 in the second, but promptly lost serve again. The breaks continued with one more for Safin in the fifth before levelling for 3-all.

But Mathieu got in the last word with a concluding break in the final game, advancing on first match point when Safin returned a backhand wide.

Mathieu was joined as a French winner by wild card Gilles Simon who defeated another Russian, qualifier Teimuraz Gabashvili, 6-4, 6-2.

Czech Tomas Berdych, seeded 16th, beat the French veteran Fabrice Santoro, ranked 47th, 6-2, 6-4. Italy's Potito Starace defeated Niclas Mahut 7-6 (7/2), 6-2 in their first-round match.

Safin, 26 is still trying to recover his form after sitting out from last August until February with his knee problem.

The Russian produced his best result of the year on any surface in Valencia, He dropped to 9-7 in Monte Carlo, where he played the 2004 semi-finals.

Swede Robin Soderling earned the scalp of fifth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 and former Roland Garros finalist Coria beat Mikhail Youzhny 6-3, 6-1 on a poor day for the Russians.

Agence France-Presse


Nadal Too Good In Monte Carlo
Eurosport - Mike Hytner 15/04/06


Second seed Rafael Nadal proved to be too good for Arnaud Clement on Tuesday, beating the Frenchman 6-4 6-4 at the Monte Carlo Country Club.

It was by no means an easy ride for the world number two as he made his season debut on clay following his recovery from a foot injury which had delayed preparations for the upcoming French Open.

There was a hint of revenge to the result, after Clement - a local favourite in Monaco - had disposed of Nadal in the semi-finals of the Marseille Open two months ago.

But there was to be no repeat of that upset, although the Frenchman took an early break in the second set to set Nadal's nerves jangling.

Nadal recovered and took and first set 6-4, but once again found himself in bother when he required strapping on his right ankle after three games in the second set.

But the 19-year-old proved too strong in the end, and he broke Clement in the ninth game to serve for the match. He took the second of two match points to grab victory after 95 minutes.

Nadal goes through to the second round, where he will face Jean-René Lisnard, who beat Andrew Murray 4-6 7-6 (5) 7-5.


The British hopeful slipped to defeat in a three set thriller against on the Court des Princes, but only after he fell victim to yet another injury.

Murray started slowly against his inexperienced opponent and dropped the first set 4-6, but recovered well to take a hard fought second set on a tiebreak 7-6 (5).

But then the Scotsman's trademark injury problems hit, and his game took a dive. Breaking point for Murray came at 5-5 in the final set as the pain became too much, leading to an easy break of serve for Lisnard.

Murray's trainer raced on to try and remedy the situation at the changeover, but it was too late, as Murray was effectively forced to stop playing in the final game, allowing Lasnard to pick up his first ever Tour win.

04-18-2006, 03:59 PM
Oh, yeah, hopefully it was just a precaution with the ankle. Nice start, it's always difficult to play the 1st match after a break. :D 1h 35 min didn't take too much time. :D
Vamos Rafael!!!!! :bigclap: :bounce: :yippee:

04-18-2006, 04:19 PM
Congrats to Rafa on the win ;) And I hope that right ankle is alright :unsure: That was an odd choice of words. I would have loved to have seen Rafa's ankle, but I can't see the Tournament here in the U.S. I would have thought that Rafa would have had tape put on his ankle :confused:

04-18-2006, 04:43 PM
Gongrats Rafa!! :bigclap: I hope his ankle is ok too ;)

04-18-2006, 06:14 PM
Have you seen how cute he looks like at the end of the video that alexito have put in the video download thread? when he send a mini kiss to the camera... :drool: i hope that mini kiss was to all of his fans (not just for someone special.....)

04-18-2006, 06:26 PM
The tape he had on his right foot was too tight (according to the tv commentator) so they needed to retape his foot but just a bit looser.

No problem...Just a precaution, I think.

04-18-2006, 06:31 PM
. Nadal/ A. Clement

6-4, 6-4

An interview with: RAFAEL NADAL
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Rafael, are you happy to be back on clay?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, sure, I am happy for this day. On clay, is my first match after a long time so is important begin with a victory.

Q. How did you think you played?

RAFAEL NADAL: Not good (smiling). Maybe I don't play very good, no, but is normal, no. I lost in Miami first round. My first match on clay, so I was a little bit nervous, but that normal, no.

And then I am happy because I am practicing very good every day, no. So when I finish my nervous, I think, and when I gonna play a little bit more aggressive, maybe I gonna play good, no - I hope.

Q. Were you a little bit disappointed by your results in America?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, no. I lost in semifinal in Indian Wells so it was very good week for me. I lost against very good player, Blake, who was playing unbelievable.

And second week, sure, is not my best result in first round in Miami, but Carlos play a good match with a lot of confidence. And maybe I don't play good, no.

Q. What was difficult today? Which part of the game was difficult today? Was it footwork?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, no. Clement play very aggressive, no. Maybe Clement don't play bad today, I don't know. But maybe he don't play bad. He play very aggressive. And I play lot of defensive, no, so that's bad, and he play little bit more aggressive with a little bit more intensity.

So maybe the worst is play too much defensive, no. I need play with a little bit more intensity and aggressive. And if I find that, I gonna play good because I touch good the ball - I am touching good the ball (smiling).

Q. What is the problem with the foot?

RAFAEL NADAL: Foot, forget. I don't want to speak more about the foot.

THE MODERATOR: (Speaking in Spanish).

RAFAEL NADAL: Oh, no, no, no, no, no. No, with the tape. No, no, don't pain with the foot. The tape push too much.

THE MODERATOR: It was too strong, too tight.

Q. You have a lot of pressure because now we are on clay, you have a lot of points to defend. Do you think about that?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't have a lot of points to defend, no, because in the Race I am the 8. So the most important thing is the Race, not the defensive points, because every year is different. So I am the 8, and if I play good tournament here, I gonna be a little bit better.

So the important is the Race. Sure, I don't gonna defense all points, no.

Q. Can we compare your level of play now compared with last year at the same time.

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I can't compare that, no, because I don't know very good exactly. But last year I don't play good the first match here, too, no. I remember very well because I have the match, I watch all matches on TV.

Sure, I was playing last year in Buenos Aires, Brazil, Acapulco. I have a lot of matches in my shoulders. So after now is my first tournament on clay, but I gonna try my best, no. I want to play good here, and maybe I can.

04-18-2006, 06:47 PM
There are two audios of the post match interview on the montecarlo website.

thx Nadalita and everyone for the pics

04-19-2006, 07:01 PM
Thanks for the interview :) And :worship: Vamos Rafa :worship:

04-19-2006, 08:03 PM
Heeeeey! Rafa did pretty well today. :D Not as fast as Roger but 6-4 6-1 vs Lisnard was good enough. :D
Hope Vliegen won't be too tough tomorrow. :D
Fed can come! ;) :devil:

04-19-2006, 08:05 PM
And here today's interview.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

R. Nadal / J. Lisnard
6-4, 6-1

An interview with: RAFAEL NADAL
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You found it a little bit difficult to begin with, did you?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, because I begin 1-0 with break 40-0 in my serve. So here in this moment I lost my concentration. I make a double-fault.

But I was 2-1 down and 30-- Love-30. And after I can won this game (indiscernible). Maybe I play little bit better after, no, in the second set. When I won the first, I play a little bit more aggressive in the second. So that's better, no.

Q. Overall, are you satisfied now with your progress on clay after these two matches?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, yeah, I improve a little bit, today especially in the second set. But I need improve more, no, I need improve every day little bit. I was playing on clay very good last year, but is a long time ago, no. So I need little bit more confidence, little bit more matches. I hope gonna be better, no, tomorrow.

Q. Let's have a football question. We have Fabregas playing for Arsenal and a lot of Argentines playing for Villareal tonight. Who are you going to support?

RAFAEL NADAL: Sorry, but I gonna support Villareal, no. He's (sic) a Spanish team. But Arsenal was have a very good team, and the Spanish guys, too, no.

Q. What do you think is missing from your game at the moment? You say you're not as happy as you were last year on clay.

RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, no, no, no, I don't say. I don't want to think about last year. I don't want to compare this year and last year, no. This is a different year. And if I do the comparation (sic), always is bad, because last year I won all, no. But last year I won lot of tournaments, but I not play very well all matches, no. Sure, that's sure.

Maybe I need to play little bit more matches, you know, on clay, no? Is my second match. Maybe finally in the second set I move a little bit better, I go a little bit more in. Then play little bit more tough and with a little bit more aggressivity. So that's all, no. And serving a little bit better I need, too, but maybe that's why ‑ I gonna serve better when I gonna play matches.

04-19-2006, 08:08 PM
why nobody asked him about his secret code :lol: :lol:

04-20-2006, 12:40 AM
Good Luck tomorrow Rafa !!!

04-20-2006, 06:57 AM
Federer and Nadal have crowd awaiting the ultimate showdown
Steve Bierley in Monte Carlo
Thursday April 20, 2006
The Guardian

While the 7,000 spectators watching the central court are naturally enthused by French and Italian players here on the Côte d'Azur, they have reserved an especially vibrant roar this week for Roger Federer, as befits the world No1. It is as if they are willing him to the title, and then on to further success in the French Open next month. Europeans are proud of their clay, and they want the world's leading player to prove he is the best on this surface too.

And yesterday, dressed in Wimbledon white, and as imposing as one of huge yachts that glide by from time to time, the reigning Australian, Wimbledon and US Open champion treated them to a near perfect display, defeating the Spaniard Alberto Martin 6-0, 6-1 in a mere 46 minutes. If Federer can reproduce this form from now until the second Sunday in June then he will surely become only the sixth player to win all four slams.

In this mood the Swiss gives off an aura of complete invincibility. As James Blake of the US said recently when asked what his aims were: "To get myself to No 2 in the world and then wait for Roger to retire."

Martin, who has been in the top 100 for seven years, scuffled and scrambled but to no avail as Federer unfurled a range of shots as varied as the shades of blue in the Mediterranean - the backdrop to this tennis club. The one comfort for those who await him on the terre battue over the next couple of months is that he had no clear idea why this ravishing form suddenly cloaked him after something of a struggle in the first round against the Serbian teenager, Novak Djokovic.

In the previous match it had taken Guillermo Coria close to three hours to defeat Paul-Henri Mathieu of France 1-6, 7-6, 6-4. The Argentinian saved four match points in the process. Federer had waited with some impatience and, or so it seemed, Martin suffered in consequence.

Spain's Rafael Nadal, the reigning Monte Carlo and French Open champion who is seeded to meet Federer in Sunday's final, was hardly slower than the Swiss, defeating Andy Murray's first-round conqueror Jean-René Lisnard 6-4, 6-1 in an hour and 19 minutes of vicious hitting. Nadal is an exception, rather as Boris Becker was, in that he emerged as a teenager on to the world tennis stage with the physique and power of an adult. Lesser mortals, like Murray, need a little longer to allow their bodies to develop.

Nadal has had his fair share of injuries, coupled with lengthy periods out of the game, but he has already won 13 career tiles, something only Bjorn Borg, with 16, has bettered as a teenager in the Open era. And the boy-cum-man from Majorca holds a 3-1 career lead over Federer. Left-handed bruiser vs right-handed sophisticate. Tennis can hardly wait for the next showdown.


Nadal provides teenage kicks
By Mark Hodgkinson in Monte Carlo
(Filed: 20/04/2006)

Teenage celebrations have been in noticeably short supply on the Cote d'Azur this week. Rafael Nadal, the lone teen through to the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters, yesterday won another match to move into the last 16, but life on the tour has not been so straightforward recently for the other it-boys of men's tennis.

Nadal is patently something special, especially when his heavily-spun forehands are bouncing off a clay court and throwing up large red clouds of baseline dust.

Spain's 19-year-old world No 2 extended his unbeaten run on the surface to 38 matches when he accelerated through the second set for a 6-4, 6-1 defeat of Jean-Rene Lisnard, a wild-card entry from the principality and a winner over Britain's cramping Andy Murray on Tuesday.

All at the Monte Carlo Country Club have been hoping that the week has been building towards a Nadal and Roger Federer final on Sunday afternoon, particularly after Switzerland's world No 1 dispassionately thrashed Spain's Alberto Martin 6-0, 6-1 in just 46 minutes.

Making any direct comparisons between Nadal and the other teenagers has sensibly been avoided by most tour-watchers. Nadal won 11 tournaments last year, with his eight titles on clay including victories at the French Open and here in Monte Carlo, and he has become the only proper rival for Federer before even reaching the end of his second decade. No one else will develop at the freakish rate enjoyed by Nadal last season.

This year began with a group of four teenagers ranked behind Nadal in the top 100. The two Frenchmen, Richard Gasquet and Gael Monfils, Murray and Serbian Novak Djokovic were all hyped to make an immediate impact on the sport, but that was to ignore the fact that tennis players are not like racehorses; they do not easily give way for the next generation.

The year so far has shown that, though the teenagers have produced some excellent results, they have yet to achieve any periods of great stability on the main tour.

Though Murray won his first title on the ATP Tour in San Jose in February, which was an astounding achievement as he defeated American Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt in the last two rounds, he has won just three matches since. Gasquet, absent with injuries, and Monfils, a first-round loser against Belgium's Olivier Rochus, and Djokovic, defeated in the opening round by Federer, have also experienced similar lean periods.

For a teenager who is still growing accustomed to the physical, mental and emotional demands of playing most weeks of the tennis calendar, it is close to impossible to play at or near to his best on a regular basis.

Even Nadal has had some difficulties this season, as a slow-healing foot injury forced him to withdraw from the first grand slam of the year, the Australian Open, and this is only his fifth tournament and his first on clay.

04-20-2006, 03:50 PM
Our wee Rafa won Vliegen 6-3 6-3. :D Nice win. :D Took a bit long but I'm not really worried. I hope to see some of the match later. I just saw the very end, Rafa broke Vliegen twice in the 2nd set and stepped up at the end when it was needed.
VAMOS RAFA!!!!!!!! :bounce: :bigclap: :yippee: :dance:

04-20-2006, 07:35 PM
:woohoo: a really nice match of our petit Rafa !! vamoooos !!!

04-20-2006, 08:49 PM
Here Rafa interview after the match. Funny as always. :D He needs to keep on studying English even if he has improved a lot. :lol: I'm sure his driving skills are better than his English.

Thursday, April 20 , 2006

R Nadal / K Vliegen
6-3, 6-3

An interview with: RAFAEL NADAL
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Are you satisfied with your level of play of today compared with yesterday?

RAFAEL NADAL: What do you think?

Q. My opinion is not important.

RAFAEL NADAL: Okay, so maybe I play better. I play -- I played so much better with my forehand especially. My serve, too. Then it improve a little bit with my backhand, no, because I am running a lot for play all the time the forehand, no.

But I am happy, no, I am improve in my level. I am practicing after the match. The backhand, it's better. So I hope tomorrow play good match, no.

Sure, I am in quarterfinal, I am happy for that. So now I want to enjoy the tournament.

Q. Maybe you are going to play Coria - maybe. Coria, you know that Coria is making a lot of double-faults. So what are you expecting for that game?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, but tomorrow, sure, he don't gonna has a lot of pression, no. Different than the other matches. So for that maybe he gonna serve better, no?

Of course is a tough match, no. I beat him last year three times, but all times very tough match, no - matches. So is 50% for any player.

Q. How much do you feel the pressure of repeating what you did last year?

RAFAEL NADAL: No. I want to play good, but I don't think about repeat, no, because I know that's very, very, very difficult - impossible maybe, no? Win all matches was -- is impossible.

So I am happy I am improving my game. So that's my goal now, no.

Q. Where can you improve the most at the moment, in which respect?

RAFAEL NADAL: The backhand maybe.

Q. Which strokes?


Q. Backhand?


Q. And serve, what about the serve?


Q. What about the serve?

RAFAEL NADAL: Maybe I serve better today than the other days, no. So in clay the serve is important, but not the most important shot, no.

Q. You're playing a very physical kind of tennis. Are you afraid of injuries because of that?

RAFAEL NADAL: Afraid, no. Not now, no. I hope the injuries is over. I hope I gonna be a long time now without, no.

Q. Coming back to Coria, can you understand what happens to him on the serve? It's only mental or...?

RAFAEL NADAL: I can't. I can't say nothing, and I don't want to speak nothing about the problems of the other players, no, because...

Q. Because you have your problems.

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah (smiling).

Q. I know that there is a lot of questions about Federer, but is he some kind of an idol for you in special ways?

RAFAEL NADAL: If he -- if Federer is idol for me?

Q. Yes, yes.

RAFAEL NADAL: I never had idol, no. I never had idol. I admire him a lot because he's a very good person, especially for that. Second, because for me, is the best of the history, no. I don't know (indiscernible), but maybe he is the best.

Q. Are you kind of friends with him?


Q. Friends, are you friends, you and Roger?

RAFAEL NADAL: We have a good relationship, no. But the friends, you know, is not -- not easy for that. You listen me in English (laughing)?

Q. I'm listening.

RAFAEL NADAL: I can't speak too much, no (smiling).

Q. But you talk to him?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yes. Yes, sure. Yeah, when he won anything, I send him SMS, no, always.

Q. I heard you call him like "Rogelio"? Something like that?

RAFAEL NADAL: Si, when I speak with him, Roger, but normally Rogelio.

Q. Who are your best friends on the tour then?

RAFAEL NADAL: Moya, especially because I have a lot of confidence with him, no. I practice always with him in Mallorca and I know him a long time ago, no, before I am in the tour, no.

So I have a very good relation with lot of players, no. In Spain, Feliciano. A lot. Alberto Martin. So I have a good relation with all, no. Ferrero. My best friend with out Spain is Monaco, no, from Argentina. But I have good relation Zabaleta, all players. Nalbandian.

Q. One technical point. Is it possible to practice a dropshot? Do you practice dropshot?


Q. Dropshot, yes.

RAFAEL NADAL: You don't like mine (laughing)?

Q. I just wanted to know if you practice dropshot.

RAFAEL NADAL: Dropshot may be the shot of the confidence, no? If you are playing good and you have confidence, you gonna be ‑‑ you gonna have a very good dropshots, no.

Sure, you can practice. I was practicing a lot when I was young. I don't have a very bad dropshot, no. Today I was ‑‑ I don't have the best shoot, but I don't have the worst. So when I am playing good, I have a normal dropshot, no. It's important shot on clay.

So is important. Maybe is not the most important have a very good dropshot, no. Is important use the dropshot in a good moment.

So you understand me?

Q. Yeah, yeah.

RAFAEL NADAL: Because not always is -- you don't need the hundred percent good dropshot for win the point, no? You need do the dropshot when the opponent is going down.

Q. I was wondering, back home in Mallorca, how is life for you like as a star? It's very small, Mallorca.

RAFAEL NADAL: Oh, not very small. Is normal, no? (Speaking Spanish).

Is not very small, no. Is normal.

Q. Mallorca does not have a lot of stars. Is not big like...

RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, no, no. Moya. Elena Gomez, you don't know her? World championship of gym.

Q. Gymnastics.

RAFAEL NADAL: Gymnastics. Llaneras won a medal, Olympic medal.

MarioFullana, Olympic medal with bicycle, too.

You don't know that, huh? So is not very small, huh (smiling). My uncle, yeah.

Maybe we have a good sport. But I ask you a question, no? The life in Mallorca is normal, no, because I live in a small town, a small village, Manacor, so I know all the people. But not now because there, we know them always, no. So I am not a star there, no, I am normal.

Q. How important is your family?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, maybe for everyone is very important the family, no. For me, is very important, no. I live united, I have a united family. So it's important. The family is important for me - very important. Friends also is important.

Q. Are you a good football player?

RAFAEL NADAL: Unbelievable (laughing).

Normal. I was practicing when I am young. Normal. Nothing special.

Q. Did you ever think of also becoming a football player, like your uncle?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yes, I was thinking that before, no. But I am playing -- I was playing football, tennis. But I won the champions, European championship, then is the Spanish championship, so I decide then tennis. But I like a lot the football.

Q. Who is your favorite in the Champions League?

RAFAEL NADAL: Now Barcelona, no. Barcelona is the favorite.

Q. Do you often go to football matches yourself? Do you often go to the stadium yourself?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, sure. When I can, I come, no? I was sometimes in the Bernabeu, in Nov Camp, too. Mallorca, so much sometimes, too. So when I can, I go to the stadium. I like a lot the football.

Q. Do you have any relations to Switzerland?

RAFAEL NADAL: Switzerland?

Q. Uh-hmm.

RAFAEL NADAL: Federer, no?

Q. Except Federer.

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. Basel, I play the tournament.

Q. Did you see anything else?

RAFAEL NADAL: No because in Basel, I don't know if you know any special thing in Basel, because I don't know.

Q. Maybe you like chocolate?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I like a lot the chocolate, yes. That's very good. That's good.

Q. Maybe you put your money in the Swiss bank (laughter)?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, no. I don't want to speak about that because it's not my...

Q. What about your car? You had problem parking your car last time. You said in Dubai that you have many problems driving your car and the parking.


Q. It's okay now, you can drive?

RAFAEL NADAL: I am improving. I am improving.

Sure, in the parking I have a lot of problems always because I can't do a lot of lessons with the teacher because I never stay in Mallorca.

But, no, I need a big space. Driving the car is normal. Not very bad, normal. Bad, but not very (smiling).

Q. I heard you are a fan of Hollywood movies and stuff. What is your favorite movie?

RAFAEL NADAL: I like a lot "Gladiator," "Titanic." I like a lot the cinema, no. I like.

Q. It's a serious question. When do you think that you might be ready to challenge the No. 1 position of RogerFederer?

RAFAEL NADAL: First of all, is not -- it don't depends of me, no? Because if he won all tournaments, I don't have no chance, no.

And, second, I am thinking about improve every day, no. I am young, I just have 19 years old, and I want to improve a lot because if any day I have a chance for be there, no, for converted the chance, no.

04-20-2006, 09:04 PM
:haha: :haha: Rafa seemed to be happy after his match, he is so funny :yeah: ...he made me laugh a lot !!!!!

RAFA AKA DOCTOR NO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 50 "no?" in this interview INCREDIBLE :lol:

thanx Maria V :hug:

04-20-2006, 09:11 PM
[I]Q. One technical point. Is it possible to practice a dropshot? Do you practice dropshot?


Q. Dropshot, yes.

RAFAEL NADAL: You don't like mine (laughing)?

:p :cool:

04-21-2006, 11:39 AM
Thanks everybody for posting all the news and interviews and articles. :hug: :hug:

I'm finally back home and I can't see Rafa live because the channel which is broadcasting the tournament has disappeared from my list of channels. :sad: :smash: So I'll probably next see Rafa in Rome and for now I have to follow the live scores (again!!!). :(

Rafa just won the first set against Coria 6-2 in 42 minutes. :cool: Keep it up, Rafa!

04-21-2006, 12:05 PM
Great Win!!!6-2, 6-1!! Tomorrow against Gaudio!Vamos Rafa!!

04-21-2006, 12:51 PM
Oh that's just tooo bad Mallorn, about the channel I mean. :hug: :hug: :hug:
YESSSSSSS! :D Now kick some Gaudio butt and on to Fed!!!!! I want a HUUUUUUUGE final and some nice warning to Fed - hands off the RG trophy!!!!!!! :devil: :devil: :devil:

04-21-2006, 01:09 PM
Oh that's just tooo bad Mallorn, about the channel I mean. :hug: :hug: :hug:
YESSSSSSS! :D Now kick some Gaudio butt and on to Fed!!!!! I want a HUUUUUUUGE final and some nice warning to Fed - hands off the RG trophy!!!!!!! :devil: :devil: :devil:
Thanks, Maria! :hug: Hopefully I'll have it back for Rome. :rolleyes:

I'm worried about Gaudio, he's had a pretty easy path to the SF judging by the scores and from all accounts Rafa hasn't been playing great. Still, I hope we'll get a Rafa-Roger final...Roger's been playing very well, he won the first set against Ferrer 6-1 and is 4-1 up in the second. David! :o

BTW, does anyone here go to Rogelio's forum? I do sometimes to read the news. :angel: The Rafa-obsession of some people there has reached scary proportions. :eek: :lol: They seem to be talking about Rafa more than about Roger. If Roger happens to win this tournament, some posters might actually explode. :lol: ;) :p

04-21-2006, 01:19 PM
LMAO Mallorn. No I haven't been there lately :eek: :eek: Geez those Fedtards. :rolleyes:
Ususally I just go there to watch some Fed pics. ;)

Well, Gaudio's had it easy but he seems to be nervous as Betty told and he can be unpredictable, he might have a good day or a bad day tomorrow. :shrug: He lost to Marat last week and was pretty mad about it.
Rafa didn't have to do much vs sick Guille today but that's OK so he didn't get tired or anything. The stats look decent enough. The serve worked really well. And he did some really beautiful dropshots and outsmarted Guille on some points. (I ran home to see the match. :lol: ) I'm positive that his game's gonna get better, Rafa can pick it up. :D

Fed's gonna be hard of course but our baby's done it before so .... :devil: :devil: :devil: I'm in :devil: mood thinking about the final. ;)

OK, I'm off to read what those Fedtards are obsessed about. ;) :wavey:

04-21-2006, 01:40 PM
OK, I'm off to read what those Fedtards are obsessed about. ;) :wavey:
:lol: It's not so much what they say as how often they mention Rafa...although I've just seen a post in GM declaring Roger the new King of Clay! :lol:

First post match news:

Reigning champion Rafael Nadal set up a semi-final showdown with Gaston Gaudio by demolishing Guillermo Coria in straight sets in the Masters Series event in Monte Carlo on Friday.

Nadal, the number two seed and reigning French Open champion, was mightily impressive against the man he beat in last year's final as he wrapped up a 6-2 6-1 victory.

The Spaniard is yet to drop a set this week and takes a 40-match winning streak on clay into his last-four encounter with Gaudio.

Former French Open champion Gaudio, the seventh seed, looked just as convincing in his earlier quarter-final against Tommy Robredo.

The Argentinian was comfortable throughout as he swept aside his Spanish opponent 6-1 6-3.

Gaudio did not drop a service game and managed to break Robredo on four occasions.

Nadal has won his last two meetings against Gaudio - in the 2005 Monte Carlo quarter-finals and in a final in Stuttgart in 2005.

Rafa = Fed Killa
04-21-2006, 01:50 PM
I read the King of Clay comment as well.
Some of the Fedtards are hyper optimistic. :D

04-21-2006, 01:54 PM
Some of the Fedtards are hyper optimistic. :D
I think they are hyper period. :lol:

From Reuters:
Nadal outclasses Coria to reach Monte Carlo semi-finals

Fri Apr 21, 2006 2:28 PM BST

MONTE CARLO, April 21 (Reuters) - World number two Rafael Nadal passed his first real clay-court test of the season with a 6-2 6-1 demolition of Guillermo Coria of Argentina in the Monte Carlo Masters quarter-finals on Friday.

Nadal will face Gaston Gaudio in the semi-finals. The seventh-seeded Argentine, winner of the 2004 French Open, defeated Spain's Tommy Robredo 6-1 6-3.

"I fought well today. I'm satisfied with my performance but Gaudio is a real clay specialist and he played a very impressive game against Robredo," Nadal said.

The Spanish titleholder and defending champion beat Coria, his 2005 final opponent and 2004 winner of the tournament in one hour and 51 minutes.

Coria, who had battled through three sets against Paul-Henry Mathieu of France and Nicolas Kiefer of Germany the previous two days, broke Nadal's serve to lead 2-0 in the first set.

It was to be his only impact on the match as Nadal won 11 games in a row to lead 6-2 5-0.

Coria finally managed to break Nadal's serve to escape a humiliating 6-0 and saved two match points in the next game but the 19-year-old Spaniard sealed the match on the third.

Nadal has now won 40 consecutive matches on clay which puts him joint third with Austrian Thomas Muster of Austria on the all-time list led by Argentine Guillermo Vilas with 53 in a row.

From official website:
Nadal, Gaudio Secures Spot in Final Four

Defending champion Rafael Nadal will go head-to-head with Gaston Gaudio for a spot in the final after both picked up quick victories Friday at Masters Series Monte-Carlo, presented by Rolex.

Nadal made quick work of his 2005 final opponent Guillermo Coria, who fought his way into the semifinals after marathon matches the previous two days. Nadal, who remains the only player who has yet to drop a set this week, dismissed the Argentine 6-2, 6-1. Coria narrowly escaped the bagel in the second set when he succeeded in breaking Nadal in the second to last game of the match.

The 19-year-old Spaniard takes a 40 match winning streak on clay courts into his semifinal clash with Gaudio. Gaudio leads the career series 3-2, but Nadal has claimed the last two meetings - in the 2005 Monte-Carlo quarterfinals and in the 2005 Stuttgart final.

Gaudio confidently booked his spot in the semifinals as he began Center Court action on Friday with a 6-1, 6-3 over Spain's Tommy Robredo.

The seventh-seeded Argentine held serve throughout the 78-minute match while breaking Robredo four times to advance to the Monte-Carlo semifinals for the second time in his career. In his previous outing against Dominik Hrbaty in 2000, he conceded a first-set lead to lose 6-4, 5-7, 2-6.

Gaudio, who picked up his 15th career win in Monte-Carlo with Friday's victory, will be appearing in his second semifinal of 2006 - also his second on clay. In Acapulco, he lost to eventual champion Luis Horna in three sets.

First-time Monte-Carlo quarterfinalist Robredo, the No. 15 seed, upset World No. 3 David Nalbandian in a three-set battle Thursday. The Spaniard also lost in his last meeting against Gaudio at the 2006 Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati.

From Coria's post match interview:
Friday, April 21 , 2006

R Nadal / G Coria

6-2, 6-1

An interview with: GUILLERMO CORIA

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What did you find most difficult out there today?

GUILLERMO CORIA: (Through translation.) The difficulties were, first of all, the heat. Also, my physical condition and the intensity that Nadal puts in each point. Also, the fact that I was coming out of two very long matches, three hours, and yesterday I finished very late. Today I was very tired.

The first two games were very long and very intense, and after that I started feeling sort of nauseous and without strength and I started being tired. That's why there was a great difference between the first two games and the rest of the match.

Also, it's very difficult to win against Nadal if you're not 100%.

Q. Have you ever felt quite as bad and had to have your blood pressure taken on court before?

GUILLERMO CORIA: (Through translation.) Well, I was concerned because I was trembling. I felt nauseous. I was very tired. They took my blood pressure early because I had doubts, but when they told me it was normal, I was relaxed. They just told me that I was very tired and today it was warmer than the other days.

Also, Nadal plays very aggressively. His balls are very heavy. It cost me a lot to play.

In fact, it's very difficult. Nadal played very well the important points, and even if I had been 100% fit, it would have been difficult for me because he played with a lot of confidence.

Q. Is he the hardest, toughest player that you've encountered anywhere in tennis?

GUILLERMO CORIA: (Through translation.) On this surface, on clay, yes, he's the toughest player because every point is very intense. He plays very intense.

Also, on both sides he hits very hard. Until 4-2, all the games were very tight, but he ended up winning them because he had a better physical condition. He is like a beast, an animal, on the court. He's very strong and he's very well prepared.

Q. Last year you could play five hours against him. What is the difference between last year and this year?

GUILLERMO CORIA: (Through translation.) In fact, in Rome the surface was a bit faster than here in Monte-Carlo. Also, I hadn't played two long matches of three hours before.

But I don't know what happened to me this time that I got tired so quickly. In fact, I played two or three loose games and then he came up, and with a lot of confidence.

In Rome, the situation was different. In fact, I was better prepared physically to play against him.

04-21-2006, 02:48 PM
Well done, Rafa! So far, the players I wanted to win, won! Just waiting for Fena but I think Ivan will beat him, unfortunately...

Rafa's doing well considering he's the favourite and is NOW under pressure to defend his first title from 2005.

As for those Fedtards, I try not to get mixed up w the crazy GM threads... it's SO boring... :haha: Rogi, the king of clay? Nah... Rafa was last year and still is... I don't see anyone dethroning him for a few years yet. ;) [and if Rogi can do it, I'll be one happy RogiFan]

But Rafa did his job today and Guille will lose a few pts... and he failed in his bid to topple Rafa.

04-21-2006, 05:18 PM
Well done, Rafa! So far, the players I wanted to win, won! Just waiting for Fena but I think Ivan will beat him, unfortunately...

Rafa's doing well considering he's the favourite and is NOW under pressure to defend his first title from 2005.

As for those Fedtards, I try not to get mixed up w the crazy GM threads... it's SO boring... :haha: Rogi, the king of clay? Nah... Rafa was last year and still is... I don't see anyone dethroning him for a few years yet. ;) [and if Rogi can do it, I'll be one happy RogiFan]

But Rafa did his job today and Guille will lose a few pts... and he failed in his bid to topple Rafa.
Some people don't believe there are "good" Federer fans. I have never felt that way myself; but if I had, your post would have changed my mind. It was a very nice post and yes Rafa is the King of Clay. But just like Rafa beat Roger on a hardcourt earlier this year who knows maybe sometime Roger will beat Rafa on clay :shrug: Oh and Vamos Rafa for his next match ;)

04-21-2006, 05:23 PM
Thanks, Maria! :hug: Hopefully I'll have it back for Rome. :rolleyes:

I'm worried about Gaudio, he's had a pretty easy path to the SF judging by the scores and from all accounts Rafa hasn't been playing great. Still, I hope we'll get a Rafa-Roger final...Roger's been playing very well, he won the first set against Ferrer 6-1 and is 4-1 up in the second. David! :o

BTW, does anyone here go to Rogelio's forum? I do sometimes to read the news. :angel: The Rafa-obsession of some people there has reached scary proportions. :eek: :lol: They seem to be talking about Rafa more than about Roger. If Roger happens to win this tournament, some posters might actually explode. :lol: ;) :p

The Rafa obsession must be a very dangerous illness because even on french tennis forums they don't speak about Roger ......but about Rafa.....it's because no one care for Roger except them so they try to bring attention on him saying bulls**** as "roger is the king of clay...or clay is for dummies"

i find it very sad especially for him that such a quiet player have so loud fans :o

thanx god it still exist people as RoggiFan who is very realistic .....Fedtard cannot say Federer is the king of clay if he beats Rafa , as Rafa's fan cannot say Rafa is the king of hard because he beat Federer ...it would be stupid !! :lol:

04-21-2006, 06:52 PM
^^^ So it looks like the obsession knows no language barriers. :lol: ;)

Of course I wasn't talking about all RogiFans, and certainly not about RogiFan88. :hug: ;)

The OOP for Saturday has been put up on the official page.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Court Central start 11:15
(3)Santoro/Zimonjic vs Acasuso/Prieto
Not before 13:30
(7)G Gaudio (ARG) vs (2)R Nadal (ESP)
(1)R Federer (SUI) vs (12)F Gonzalez (CHI)
(1)Bjorkman/Mirnyi vs Bhupathi/Stepanek or Allegro/Federer

Which means I'll not only be unable to watch it on TV, but I'm not even going to watch the live score thingy because I need to go out before 2 pm. :sad: :(

Still no transcript of Rafa's post match conference :shrug: but there is one quote from Rafa in this article from FoxSports:
Federer, Nadal ease into Monte Carlo semis

Associated Press

MONTE CARLO, Monaco (AP) - Top-ranked Roger Federer and defending champion Rafael Nadal won quarterfinal matches in straight sets at the Monte Carlo Masters on Friday.

Federer defeated eighth-seeded David Ferrer of Spain 6-1, 6-3, and Nadal beat No. 6 Guillermo Coria of Argentina 6-2, 6-1 to be one match each away from meeting in Sunday's final.
Federer improved to 32-1 overall this season in reaching the Monte Carlo Masters semifinals for the first time, while second-ranked Nadal of Spain extended his winning streak on clay to 40 matches.

The seven-time Grand Slam champion is 4-0 over Ferrer after beating him for the first time on clay.

"I played excellent again today," Federer said. "I knew on clay it was going to be more difficult. I always know that I can play with anybody, on any surface. I proved that again today, so I'm very pleased."

Federer, who is preparing for the only major he is yet to win - the French Open - next month, led 4-0 in the second set before Ferrer rallied briefly to win three straight games.

He plays 12th-seeded Fernando Gonzalez of Chile, who upset fourth-seeded Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia 7-5, 6-1. Federer has a 5-0 record against Gonzalez, and has beaten him three times on clay - at Monte Carlo and in the French Open last year, and at Hamburg in 2004.

Federer believes his form is quickly improving on his least favorite surface.

"I have an opportunity to maybe play a final here now," Federer said. "I've got plenty of matches early in the clay-court season, so I mean, the start could not have been any better."

Gonzalez has only taken one set off Federer in the five matches they have played - a tiebreaker last year at Monte Carlo.

"You have to change history," Gonzalez said. "I'll just try my best. Roger has to lose one day, but I don't think he has any weaknesses."

Nadal next meets No. 7 Gaston Gaudio of Argentina, who beat No. 15 Tommy Robredo 6-1, 6-3.

Nadal considered it his "best match of the week" after extra practice with his coach Thursday night to work on his backhand.

"I'm very happy with how I played," said Nadal. "I got some confidence back. My backhand was not 100 percent today, but it was good."

Having served an ATP three-set record 23 double faults in his previous match against Nicolas Kiefer, Coria added another eight to make it 51 in his last three matches.

Coria, the 2004 champion and two-time runner-up, won the opening two games of the match - but then lost the next 11.

After losing one long rally, the Argentine pointed his racket at Nadal, mimicking a machine gun as if to shoot down his opponent in anger.

"The first two games were very long and after that I started feeling nauseous and without strength," Coria said. "I was trembling. Also, Nadal plays with such intensity and aggression, so it took a lot out of me."

Gaudio, the 2004 French Open champion, broke Robredo four times in the match.

"I played really well during the first set," Gaudio said. "I think he was a little tired, he seemed asleep. So I took advantage."

Gaudio said his success at Roland Garros proved that Federer and Nadal don't deserve all the focus.

"Well, nobody was talking about me in 2004 either," he said. "And I won the French Open. So, you never know."

04-21-2006, 07:18 PM
I'm just happy w the SF players and if they could all win this title, it w be a dream! ;) I want to see some good tennis, that's all!

Finally we're getting a Rafa match -- right now -- vs. Coria... what happened w Guille? He was sick? I can't watch the whole match -- too busy w work...

04-21-2006, 08:55 PM
RoggiFan RULES !!!!!!! :rocker2:

Coria said he was sick but he also said that even if he would be at 100% he wouldn't be sure to be able to beat Rafa !!

Now Gaudio, it will be tough i think.......but VamOs Rafa

04-22-2006, 01:07 AM
RoggiFan RULES !!!!!!! :rocker2:

Coria said he was sick but he also said that even if he would be at 100% he wouldn't be sure to be able to beat Rafa !!

Now Gaudio, it will be tough i think.......but VamOs Rafa

hi nadalita

:wavey: ... a question for you... this was on your signature

"Gonzo y Señor Tor..." <--- who is "Señor Tor"?? :confused:

04-22-2006, 04:17 AM
April 21, 2006
R. NADAL/G. Coria
6-2, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. So it started as a close game and suddenly it was not a close game. What happened?

RAFAEL NADAL: Maybe I have my chance in the first game, Love-30. He returning the 30-Love little bit short and he give me a dropshot. And after, I play a good point and he touch the net, and going down.

So I -- he play well, no. He was beginning playing good. I don't begin -- I wasn't begin bad, but he was play little bit better in the first two games.

But after, no, he started change, no? I can won the third game. I get a lot of confidence then, no. Maybe I play more aggressive with my forehand especially. I serve well. The backhand, so much better. So I play a complete match, no. I happy for with my level today and with the victory. Is important victory, and stay in semifinal.

Q. Do you feel as though you are beginning to play now at a very, very high level, at one of your highest levels?

RAFAEL NADAL: Today is the first day.

Q. Today is the first day.

RAFAEL NADAL: Yesterday, I don't play very bad. I don't play bad. But today is the first good match for me, no. I play the best match in the week, for sure. I am happy for that, no. Is important for me play well, especially in quarterfinals. So I am happy because I play my best match in the more difficult match, no? So that's important.

Q. Have you been watching Gaudio at all? He seems to be coming back into very high form as well at the moment. What do you make of his performances so far?

RAFAEL NADAL: Gaudio is playing very well, no. I saw him today. He was playing unbelievable level with his backhand especially.

But, you know, no, I only think about my game, I only think about play good me, no. So if he play very good and beat me, congratulations, no. But I need play good me. If I don't play good, sure, I don't gonna win, no.

Q. Coria said that your balls were very heavy today. At one time he said you are so strong physically, that you are a "beast."


Q. Yeah.

RAFAEL NADAL: Today maybe I play more heavy, no. I touch the ball harder than the other days, so much harder maybe. And that's important, sure, no, because for play good, you need play harder and go play aggressive, so that's important. And also (indiscernible).

So clay is not exception.

Q. Did you understand what happened to Coria towards the end of the match? He looked tired. Did you speak with him?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. No, I don't speak with him after. But maybe he was a little bit dizzy. But, you know, no, if you watch the last matches of him, yeah, he play very tough, with a lot of tension, because he was serving very, very bad. Today he served bad so, sure, he don't serve well, but because his serving is low. But compared with the other days, he just serve bad one game with three double-faults, no.

Maybe he was a little bit tired, because the mentally was unbelievable in especially the last two matches, no, against Mathieu and Kiefer. The two matches was losing easy and then after he can change the match. So you can do one day, two days, but every day is impossible.

Q. Do you watch the Federer matches?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Q. What do you think of his condition on clay now?

RAFAEL NADAL: Always the same, no (smiling)? Same condition always, no? So good.

Q. When you say you played your best match today on clay, what is the most important thing for you during a match to consider your level good? Is it the depth of the shot? Is it the power? Is it the concentration? What is the key when you judge yourself?

RAFAEL NADAL: I'm hit few mistakes and play aggressive, on the lines (laughing). No, I am joking.

No, I play without mistakes and tough, no, harder. And that's all. Aggressive without a lot mistakes, and aggressive with my forehand, no, that's all. And consistent with my backhand.

(Speaking in Spanish.)

BENITO PEREZ-BARBADILLO: He said that came good out of nothing.

Q. In the rally when you got three great shots back, a couple of smashes, in the 5-2 game, fantastic rally, he turned around and he got his racquet and he went like that to you (indicating), as if he wanted to shoot you. Did you actually see that? Did you see him do that?


Q. In the 5-2 game.

RAFAEL NADAL: In the very large point?

Q. Yes, yes.

RAFAEL NADAL: He dropshot and after --

Q. He got his racquet out and went like that.

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't see.

Q. I think he thought his best chance was to shoot you.

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know (smiling). I don't see. I just thinking about my breathe (sic).

Q. When you prepare for a match, do you have a strategy for each match, tactics?

RAFAEL NADAL: The special strategy is playing good, no. Playing good, and I'm play my game. After, you can prepare. After that, you can prepare the match.

So some aspects you can prepare, yes. Always I prepare a little bit the matches, no.

Q. But together with your coach?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, sure. Yeah, always I think about what I need do for... (speaking in Spanish).

BENITO PEREZ-BARBADILLO: So that the opponent is uncomfortable.

RAFAEL NADAL: Always we was thinking about that, especially in the very tough matches. But normally I am thinking about my game, no.

Q. So you know exactly how to play against Roger?

RAFAEL NADAL: Exactly, no, because you know, no. If you look him bad point, bad shot, I don't see. I don't see. He has a very good backhand, unbelievable forehand, good serve, good volley, good slice, good dropshot, he's fast.

Q. So it's very difficult.

RAFAEL NADAL: Confidence (smiling).

What's the chance, you know? There's a chance you play unbelievable. If I am play unbelievable, I can win. But if you see what's the bad point, maybe you don't gonna see, no.

Q. So you can attack him on his backhand with your forehand, it's an advantage.

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, but you can play tough. I need play tough. I can attack but, sure, I need play very good. Because I beat him in Dubai. I play -- I saw the match sometimes on TV and he was playing unbelievable in the first set. I don't have any chance. After, he start change a little bit, but I was playing very tough all the time with his backhand against his backhand. But I can't play all time against his backhand because he has good backhand, too, no? I need change.

Q. You were saying you were having problems with your backhand.

RAFAEL NADAL:My backhand? I improve today.

Q. What was wrong before? What do you think was going wrong with it before, though?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. If I know before, I was playing better two days before, no (smiling)?

So, no, I don't know. I get a little bit confidence with the match of yesterday. After the match of yesterday I was practicing after with my coach 25 minutes, 30 minutes, and that's important, no, maybe always. And today I feel more comfortable, no.

Maybe today I touch the backhand not a hundred percent, but good, good level, no?


May I say one thing. The reason why he came late is because the players' restaurant closes at four. If he doesn't get to eat before four, it's a disaster. So that's why he came late. That's the reason why.


04-22-2006, 08:12 AM
Thanks, veyonce!

Now we know why the transcript was posted so late. Rafa needed to eat. :lol: BTW, how can the players' restaurant close at four?! Matches end later than that! :confused:

For the first time I'm impressed with his English; he's starting to use grammar so much better! Also, he's been joking a lot more in his interviews, which is a sign of growing confidence in his English. As a result we've got a very interesting interview because he's able to express himself more freely. We're finally starting to see in his English interviews what we knew from translations from Spanish: that he's very articulate, funny and smart. Bravo Rafa! :D :yeah:
Gaudio is playing very well, no. I saw him today. He was playing unbelievable level with his backhand especially.
Oh boy. http://img460.imageshack.us/img460/8586/iconnervous1ex.gif (http://imageshack.us)

Two more articles after yesterday's match. From The Times:
The Times April 22, 2006

Nadal serves up health warning for opponents


SO IT is official, playing Rafael Nadal can seriously affect your health. Guillermo Coria is as clever a clay-court cookie as there is here and yet he was reduced to a trembling, nervous wreck by the Spaniard, who is beginning to look as awesome as he did before his left foot started giving him problems at the end of last year.

After 45 minutes of yesterday’s Masters tournament quarter-final, the world No 9 from Argentina was so concerned at how nauseous he felt that he asked to have his blood pressure checked.

Only when it was ruled to be normal did Coria shuffle reluctantly back to the fray, where he promptly lost four of the subsequent five games and the match, 6-2, 6-1.

“He is a beast, an animal,” Coria said. “He plays with such intensity on every point and on clay he is the toughest in the world, very strong and very well prepared. I had hard matches in the last two rounds and I didn’t feel well.”

Nadal, scrambling, lurching and picking his spots with clubbing winners, may be a humble prince of the courts, but he does not play the sympathy card. Coria was systematically sliced apart.

A year ago, the pair were at each other’s throats for three hours and nine minutes in the final, before the Spaniard prevailed. From here, he went on to win the Rome Masters — beating Coria in five sets in a match that lasted over five hours — and the French Open, his first grand-slam success. There is something magically compelling about Nadal and these red-brick courts.

The bad news for the rest of the players is that Nadal is refreshed and recharged. The time he took off from October until February as tests were carried out on his injured foot and special shoes were manufactured for him means he is entering the prime of his playing year with even greater eagerness than usual. He plays every ball as if it is going to be his final rally, he goes through his meticulous routines, he loves the contest and he runs and runs.

Today, he meets Gaston Gaudio, of Argentina, the 2004 French champion, who defeated Tim Henman in the first round and appears in decent nick himself. If only Gaudio would look as though playing this great game provided him with a moment’s pleasure. That said, he will probably spend this afternoon in a decidedly glum mood.

Roger Federer did not take kindly to being kept on court for an hour by David Ferrer, another Spaniard. Federer was a set and 4-0 ahead before Ferrer scrambled back to 4-3, 15-40 on the No 1’s serve.

There was no more nonsense after that, Federer securing his first Monte Carlo semi-final, 6-1, 6-3.

• Neil Harman has become the first Tennis Correspondent of The Times to win the Association of Tennis Professionals’ Ron Bookman Award for Media Excellence — named for a former executive director and media liaison officer of the ATP who died in 1988 after being knocked from his bicycle near his home in Dallas, Texas. Harman will be presented with the award at the Monte Carlo Country Club today by Etienne de Villiers, chairman and chief executive of the ATP.


From The Independent:
Federer developing clay-court skills for streetfighter Nadal

By Paul Newman in Monte Carlo
Published: 22 April 2006

The man is clearly losing his touch. Having taken just 46 and 55 minutes respectively to dispose of his previous two opponents, Roger Federer laboured his way into the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters here yesterday. The world No 1 needed all of an hour and one minute to beat David Ferrer 6-1, 6-3.

While many might have predicted that victories over Alberto Martin (world No 66) and Benjamin Balleret (351) would be delivered by Federer express, most would have expected the Swiss to run into occasional traffic against Ferrer. The Spaniard, a clay-court specialist, reached the semi-finals of the last Masters series tournament in Miami, although his Florida fun ended when he took only five games off Federer. If the world No 15 had drawn some encouragement from the fact Federer had never got beyond the quarter-finals in five visits here, that must have all but vanished when he was serving at 0-40 and 5-0 down, having won only eight points.

Five points in a row gave the Spaniard his first game, but Federer served out for the set, took the next four games and would have won in less than an hour but for a brief interlude when Ferrer won three games in succession. "Maybe I was playing so well that it was hard to keep it up," Federer said.

Clay is the surface that gives Federer the most problems and he is delighted with his early form as he embarks on a campaign which he hopes will end with victory in the French Open, the only Grand Slam crown that has eluded him.

The Swiss has been sliding across the terre battue here with all the assurance of a Spanish or an Argentinian clay-courter, which is just as well as he will meet Rafael Nadal or Gaston Gaudio in tomorrow's final, if he can overcome Chile's Fernando Gonzalez, who yesterday defeated Ivan Ljubicic, the world No 5.

A Federer-Nadal confrontation would be an enthralling prospect. Federer's only defeat in 33 matches this year came in Dubai last month at the hands of the Spanish teenager, who in turn has lost just one of his four meetings with the world No 1, a five-set thriller in Miami last year.

Nadal's 6-2, 6-1 victory over Guillermo Coria, who has played in the last three Monte Carlo finals, suggested that he is climbing towards the peaks he scaled in dominating last year's clay-court season. Coria lived with Nadal for the first four games but by the time the Spaniard was a set and 1-0 up the contest was heading in only one direction.

At that stage a dizzy Coria called for the doctor, who took his blood pressure. Having come through long matches in the previous two rounds, the Argentinian had woken up feeling tired and nauseous, not the ideal state in which to confront a muscular 19-year-old who hits every forehand as though he is conducting a personal vendetta against the ball manufacturers. The doctor gave Coria the all-clear to continue, but Nadal was in no mood to show any mercy to his opponent.


04-22-2006, 09:17 AM
I forgot to mention earlier that two RafaFans from vr.com are in Monte Carlo for the tournament and writing a blog for vr.com. The entries are hilarious, I strongly recommend reading about their adventures. :D

MadAliceCudlip and Spanish Eyes's Monte Carlo Blog (http://iw2006.blogspot.com/) :yeah:

04-22-2006, 09:47 AM
Hi Mallorn! :wavey: Yeah, I couldn't wait for the interview last night. :(
Gaudio's bh was incredible indeed vs Robredo. Yeah, a thing of beauty, but I hope Rafa will be ready for that.
And his English has improved a lot too this past year, just after beating Vliegen he wasn't too focused or smth. ;) Rafa's ability to learn is simply unbelievable. :worship:
VAMOS today vs Gaston!!!!!!! :bounce: :bigclap: :yippee:

04-22-2006, 11:21 AM
Hi, Maria! :hug:
OK, I need to leave in about fifteen minutes and I won't be able to check the score for a few hours http://img460.imageshack.us/img460/8586/iconnervous1ex.gif (http://imageshack.us) so I wanted to shout a loud VAMOS! for Rafa. I hope Rafa's H2H against Gaston will be 3-3 when I get back. ;)




04-22-2006, 11:35 AM
Vamos Rafa!You will do it today!!!

04-22-2006, 12:04 PM
Just what I wanted to say and forgot to say yesterday, he doesn't have tape on his left index finger any more. :D So seems no blisters. :D
But he lost his serve to Gaudio. :( I'll go back to the match now.
VAMOS now baby!!!!!!!! :bounce: :bigclap: :yippee:

04-22-2006, 12:15 PM


04-22-2006, 01:48 PM
Phew Rafael!!!!!!!!!!!
He lost the 1st set 5-7 and I was already worried. Gaston vs Fed final would be deaaaaaaadly boring again, maybe not 3 bagels but not much more that some breadsticks. :yawn: :yawn:
The 2nd set 6-1 to Rafa. Now take the 3rd set fast baby!!!!!! :bigclap: :bounce: :yippee:

04-22-2006, 02:38 PM
Rafa took the 3rd 6-1 too so the match 5-7 6-1 6-1 to Rafa!!!!!!! :bounce: :bigclap: :yippee:

Now on to smashing Fed tomorrow!!!!!!! VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
:devil: :devil: :devil:

04-22-2006, 02:42 PM
http://img2.menstennisforums.com/500/thumbs/yu.gifhttp://img2.menstennisforums.com/500/thumbs/yu.gifhttp://img2.menstennisforums.com/500/thumbs/yu.gifhttp://img2.menstennisforums.com/500/thumbs/yu.gifoooooooooh yeah baby!!! http://img2.menstennisforums.com/500/thumbs/yu.gifhttp://img2.menstennisforums.com/500/thumbs/yu.gifhttp://img2.menstennisforums.com/500/thumbs/yu.gifhttp://img2.menstennisforums.com/500/thumbs/yu.gif

04-22-2006, 03:19 PM
Nadal outpowers Gaudio to reach Monte Carlo final
Sat Apr 22, 2006 3:50 PM BST

MONTE CARLO, April 22 (Reuters) - Title holder Rafael Nadal stepped up a gear after losing a tight first set to move past Gaston Gaudio 5-7 6-1 6-1 on Saturday and reach the final of the Monte Carlo Open.

The second seed will meet world number one Roger Federer or Chilean Fernando Gonzalez in Sunday's final of the Masters Series tournament.

The battle between the last two winners of the French Open was close only for one set.

Spain's world number two Nadal, who succeeded Argentine baseliner Gaudio as French Open champion last year, fought back from a break down in that first set.

A combative Gaudio broke his opponent again in the 11th game to serve for the set, which the Argentine took after 78 minutes.

Nadal broke Gaudio in the fourth and again in the fifth game of the second set before wrapping it up.

The muscular Spaniard stayed on top in the decisive set courtesy of his trademark, aggressive baseline play. (Writing by Patrick Vignal in Paris)


Nadal advances to Monte Carlo final
April 22, 2006

MONTE CARLO, Monaco (Ticker) - Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal appear to be on a collision course for yet another marquee matchup.

The world's top two players, Federer and Nadal can set up a clash in the final of the ATP Masters Series Monte Carlo with victories Saturday.

Nadal did his part with a 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 victory over seventh-seeded Gaston Gaudio of Argentina in the first semifinal on Saturday.

The match pitted the last two French Open champions - Gaudio in 2004 and Nadal in 2005. But Nadal has now won the last three meetings against Gaudio after losing the first three.

In order to defend his title here, Nadal will have to beat either the top-seeded Federer or 12th-seeded Fernando Gonzalez of Chile on Sunday.

Even though Federer is the No. 1 player in the world, Nadal is the "King of Clay" after winning last year's French Open. The 19-year old Nadal has also won his last 41 matches on the surface.

Federer is an amazing 129-5 since the 2004 Olympics, but two of those defeats have come against Nadal. The Swiss superstar is just 1-3 against the Spanish lefthander, who posted a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 triumph in the Dubai final last month - Federer's only loss in 33 matches this year.

Federer is 5-0 lifetime against Gonzalez, whom he beat in three sets in the third round here last year and again at the French Open and Wimbledon. Federer reached the semifinals of this event for the first time with a 6-1, 6-3 triumph over eighth-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer on Friday, while Gonzalez downed No. 4 Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia, 7-5, 6-1.

Federer has won a record 28 straight matches in Masters Series events.

Updated on Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 10:42 am EDT

04-22-2006, 03:48 PM
Yes! 3-3 it is! :dance: :dance: :dance:

Well done, Rafa! What a long match, though. 2 hours and 39 minutes, wow! :eek:

Nadal extended his winning streak on clay to 41 matches, the third-longest in the Open era. :D :D :D :worship: However, he dropped his first set since July in the final at Bastad, Sweden, against Tomas Berdych. :eek:

Only Bjorn Borg, with 46, and Guillermo Vilas, with 53, have won more straight matches on clay. http://www.sportsline.com/tennis/story/9390671

04-22-2006, 04:31 PM
Federer sets up dream final against Nadal

(Recasts after Federer victory)

By Eric Salliot

MONTE CARLO, April 22 (Reuters) - World number one Roger Federer crushed Fernando Gonzalez 6-2 6-4 on Saturday to set up a Monte Carlo Masters final against number two Rafael Nadal.

Top seed Federer, who had never gone beyond the quarter-finals previously in the tournament, played close to perfection to move past Chilean baseliner Gonzalez.

Title holder Nadal, the second seed, stepped up a gear after losing a tight first set to outpower Gaston Gaudio 5-7 6-1 6-1 in the other semi-final.

The battle between the last two winners of the French Open was close only for one set.

Spain's world number two Nadal, who succeeded Argentine baseliner Gaudio as French Open champion last year, fought back from a break down in that first set.

A combative Gaudio broke his opponent again in the 11th game to serve for the set, which the Argentine took after 78 minutes.

Nadal broke Gaudio in the fourth and again in the fifth game of the second set before wrapping it up.

The muscular Spaniard stayed on top in the decisive set courtesy of his trademark, aggressive baseline play.

"It was my toughest match this week," Nadal said,even though he never appeared to be in trouble after the first set.

"He had beaten me three times on clay before and I knew it would not be easy," added the 19-year-old Spaniard.

Nadal has won 41 consecutive matches on clay, which puts him third on the all-time list behind Guillermo Vilas (53) and Bjorn Borg (46)

(Writing by Patrick Vignal in Paris)

04-22-2006, 04:32 PM
hi nadalita

:wavey: ... a question for you... this was on your signature

"Gonzo y Señor Tor..." <--- who is "Señor Tor"?? :confused:

:haha: :haha: all the chileans asked me this questions :)
it's a code with a friend, a nickname we gave to Nico Massu, i reassure you it's not wicked or something like that it's friendly :) Tor...is the start of "tortue" in french (tortuga en español) I find Nico very funny and a great player ....but sometimes he makes me think about a "tortuga" :angel: Don't worry as you see he is in beyond my fav players ;)

04-22-2006, 04:53 PM
Nice win! Iam very happy for him!

04-22-2006, 05:35 PM
GOOD LUCK TOMORROW IN THE FINAL RAFA !!!!!!!!!!!!!! :bigclap:

VAMOS !!!!!!!!!!!!! :banana:

:banana: :bigclap: :dance: :banana: :bigclap: :dance:

:haha: :haha: all the chileans asked me this questions :)

That's true :o :lol:

04-22-2006, 08:00 PM
Until we get the full transcript, we must do with bits of the post match interview in various articles. From BBC Sport:
Federer coasts to Nadal showdown

Federer will meet the defending champion in Monaco on Sunday
World number one Roger Federer set up a Monte Carlo Masters final showdown with Rafael Nadal after cruising past Fernando Gonzalez 6-2 6-4.
Federer, who had never previously gone past the quarter-finals in Monaco, produced a near faultless display in Saturday's semi-final.

Defending champion Nadal, meanwhile, had a far tougher match as he came back from a set down to beat Gaston Gaudio.

The Spanish second seed eventually came of the court victorious 5-7 6-1 6-1.

The 19-year-old left-hander has now chalked up a remarkable 41 successive wins on clay.

That leaves him third on the all-time list behind Guillermo Vilas (53) and Bjorn Borg (46).

"It was my toughest match this week," said Nadal afterwards. "He had beaten me three times on clay before and I knew it would not be easy."

Federer and Nadal have already met once this season - in Dubai - a match the teenager won.

And the Swiss star said: "I want to take revenge for Dubai in the final. I've had a great week and I'd love to finish it with the title.

"He is on a string of 41 wins on clay. I'll try to end his run. I'll try to beat him on his best surface after he beat me on hard court."

Nadal added: "He has only lost one match in 2006. If he plays at his usual level, it's going to be tough. Playing five sets could be an advantage for me."

Federer also lost to Nadal in the semi-finals of last year's French Open, the only grand slam tournament he has not won.

04-22-2006, 08:25 PM
Can I repeat how happy I am. :D At least for tonight. :D
And for those asking - yes, he did write the word FINAL on the camera at the end of the match. :D

04-22-2006, 11:57 PM
From The Times: :)
The Sunday Times April 23, 2006

The Big Interview: Rafael Nadal

The 19-year-old who is the only serious challenger to Roger Federer says his success is a family affair, writes Alison Kervin

Monaco in springtime, and the world’s best tennis players are out in force, scattered across the clay courts of the Monte Carlo Country Club and filing past well-dressed, heavily bejewelled Côte d’Azur spectators.
Andy Murray scuttles by, tentatively signing autographs before being led off to the locker room. Juan Carlos Ferrero stands tall, smiling and making small talk with the youngsters who have gathered around him and hover somewhere down by his knees. They reach up with their scraps of paper and tournament programmes, waving pens at him and shouting their names.

But the real action is taking place on the court opposite us, where the stand shakes with the delight of hundreds of eager supporters. Only this court is bursting with fans as they jostle for seats. The cheers ring out into the chilly mid-afternoon sky: “Rafa, Rafa, Rafa.”

The stand is overflowing, so I am ushered courtside to watch Rafael Nadal conduct his training session. His coach Toni, who is also his paternal uncle, approaches the court at the same time, his shoulder heavy with the weight of half-a-dozen rackets. He smiles and shakes my hand. “Welcome,” he says. I’m told it is the only English word he knows.

Standing on court while the world No 2 plies his trade is a rare treat. The colossal speed of the ball and the unnerving accuracy of every shot are there in all their glory. Their impact is exacerbated by proximity. It is all breathtaking. The 19-year-old from Majorca fires heavily spun forehands across the net with such power that it is hard to see most of them coming. What must it feel like to face these balls? And this is only a practice session.

Nadal adjusts his headband as his admirers adjust their binoculars. Like a rock star reaching for a microphone, there are screams of appreciation as he moves to flick the ball expertly on to the face of his racket and send it thundering over the net.

Nadal had a tremendous year in 2005, and, despite injury at the end of it, is seen as the only man likely to challenge Roger Federer, the world No 1, in the immediate future. The fact that he plays with similar flair and excitement to Federer has earned him fans worldwide. There are fists pumping and leaps of elation with every point scored.

Then there are the clothes. The Capri-length shorts that have been the subject of much mocking on phone-ins and websites across America. The citrus-coloured shirts that have ranged from an arresting orange to a stunning lime green. The curly, jaw-length hair, held back by a flat, wide alice band that owes more to the style of Doris Day than John McEnroe.

But what Nadal lacks in sartorial judgment, he more than makes up for on court, with his slashing topspin forehand and fancy footwork. Well-judged shot after shot skids to within millimetres of the baseline, while the supporters stand three deep beside the stand, mesmerised.

Nadal is the only man to have beaten Federer this year. With every match, he grows more accustomed to the physical, emotional and mental demands of life as a tennis professional. The energy-sapping clay-court season has just begun. At its climax is the French Open at the end of next month, followed by grass and the Stella Artois and Wimbledon.

“Rafa, Rafa, Rafa,” they shout as he continues his practice, apparently oblivious to the furore he is causing all around. They coo when he fiddles with his hair, and as he dances around the court, leaping, prancing and twirling through his warm-up, their eyes never leave him.

“It’s crazier than this in Spain,” says Benito Perez-Barbadillo, an ATP Tour representative as well as being Nadal’s confidant and sometime translator. “There, he’s treated like Ronaldo.” He says pictures of Nadal sell out as soon as they go on sale in Spain. And it is not just in Europe. Perez-Barbadillo remembers walking through New York City with Nadal. “We were on 90th Street or something, miles away from the centre.” They went to step through the doors of a building when a large, rough-looking man stopped them in their tracks. “Hey,” he cried out, aggressively. “You Rafael Nadal? Nice to meet you, man.”

IT IS 8PM NOW, and Nadal has returned to the hotel. He was on the practice court for 10 hours, but feels that he didn’t do quite enough. When the rain delayed his second session, he headed inside while the fans stayed outside, awaiting his return beneath umbrellas, afraid to give up their seats for fear of losing them. Such was the demand to watch the young man from Manacor practise in the rain.

“It was too dark to play any more,” says Nadal, still musing on his lost court time as he lounges across a sofa, eating crisps as fast as he can move his hand to his mouth. He requests a bottle of Coca-Cola “with a straw” and sucks thirstily until it is quickly gone. He requests another. He looks like a teenager now — about a quarter of the age of the rock star tennis player on court No 8 earlier.

“This is nice,” he says with a smile, still shovelling crisps with staggering speed. “I am a simple boy, really. I like simple things. I like fishing on a boat. I like being with my family. And . . .” he smiles at the empty bowl “. . . and I like crisps.”

Today the simple boy from a simple place, with simple likes, will take on a simply monstrous task. Nadal plays Federer in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters, to defend his title. With a victory over the Swiss player in Dubai under his belt, Nadal has some psychological advantage for which to reach as he approaches the match, but he knows how far ahead of the pack Federer is: “Look at his points. He is the No 1. That is all there is to say. He is there to be beaten.” The Spaniard admits to watching the video of his victory over Federer before leaving for Monaco, to give him the “lift” of knowing that he could beat the world’s best player.

“That win was very important for me,” he says. “It came in the second tournament after I came back from injury. I enjoyed the match. I went to the court with a great calm that day and winning was a very special sensation.”

Since he and Federer are ranked first and second, they only meet in the final stages of tournaments, “so there is always some added pressure on us”.

Nadal says he usually knows fairly soon in a match whether he will win. He gets what he calls “a very special feeling in me” when he has the measure of his opponent, and it drives him on to victory.

“Last year when I went to Barcelona, I had it,” he says. “A special feeling from the start and I won.”

There may well have been a number of very special feelings last year. Nadal had the sort of 12 months of which most tennis professionals can only dream. He has won more than 40 consecutive games, and hasn’t been defeated on clay for more than a year. He is in Monte Carlo seeking his 14th title after winning 11 tournaments last year, with eight titles on clay.

In the space of a glorious 27 days he won 17 matches and three singles titles on clay: the Masters Series championships in Monte Carlo and Rome on either side of the Barcelona tournament. But it all went wrong at the end of the year when he suffered a stress fracture to his left foot that kept him out of competition for four months. “Now I haven’t got that rhythm that comes with match practice. I’ve only played four tournaments, and last year I had played double that,” he says. “But every day, every match I improve a little. I feel stronger all the time. Injury makes you appreciate everything so much more.”

THE RAFAEL NADAL story is the tale of three brothers — his father, Sebastian, and his two uncles Toni and Miguel, who live close to one another on Majorca. His tennis adventure began 16 years ago. As a three-year-old with a burgeoning passion for football, he was introduced to tennis by Toni, a competitive tennis player who had some success at national level in Spain. Miguel, meanwhile, was a footballer, a fine defender with an imposing physique who played for Spain in the three most recent World Cups and had a long, successful club career with Barcelona and Majorca before retiring this year.

Toni encouraged his young nephew to play tennis for fun alongside his football practice, but noticed quickly how confident the boy was with a racket in his hand. “I carried on playing football as well as tennis, but slowly played more and more tennis with my uncle,” says Nadal. “But I still preferred football. That was my real love when I was a young boy.”

By the time he was five, he was going to the tennis club twice a week to play. When he was eight, and a promising striker in the local football team, he won the regional tennis championships for under-12s.

“That’s when people started to say maybe I could make it to the top in tennis,” he says. Winning a tournament for boys three years older than him did not go unnoticed. Clubs began calling and inviting him to play for them, and Uncle Toni started to work more seriously with his young protégé. He began urging his nephew to rush to the net, even when he was beating opponents from the baseline. He also encouraged his young charge to change hands and play with his left, even though he is right-handed. “He noticed that I was playing forehand shots with two hands, so one day he told me to try with one hand. I used my left foot in football, so he thought I should try that. I did. It worked.”

Too right it worked. By the time he was 12 he had won the Spanish and European tennis titles in his age group and was playing either tennis or football all the time. Then in stepped the third of the three brothers, Rafael’s father, Sebastian. “My father made me choose between football and tennis so my school work didn’t suffer,” Nadal says. “I chose tennis. Football had to stop straight away.”

Had he opted for the kicking game, there is every chance that he would be preparing for the World Cup in June, instead of the Stella Artois and Wimbledon. By the time he was 13, he was playing tennis every day. He went to school from 9am until noon, played tennis from 12 until 2, had lunch, school in the afternoon, then played a further two hours in the evening.

At 14 the Spanish tennis federation suggested that he leave Majorca to train in Barcelona, the centre of Spanish tennis. But his parents wanted him to stay. “They were worried about my education suffering too much,” Nadal says. “My uncles both agreed with them, so I stayed at home.”

Turning down the offer meant resigning himself to less financial support from the federation, but his father offered to pay for his training. Those close to Nadal, including Toni, claim that the decision to stay at home with his family was crucial to his development into the player he is today. He continued to train with his uncle, but took it all much more seriously. He would play at least twice a day as well as compete regularly; by 2003 Nadal was, at 16, ranked in the world’s top 50.

“I think that having my uncle and coach with me has been the best for me. He is uncle first and coach second. It is a nicer life to travel round with your uncle there. My family can’t come to all matches, but I always have my family there in my uncle.”

We meet a week after Andy Murray’s departure from his coach and the start of his search for a new mentor. “I realise how lucky I am,” Nadal says. “There is no question of that with me. We are a team — my uncle, me and my physical trainer. We work together.”

Uncle Toni is credited with keeping the youngster’s feet on the ground. Stories abound about him making Nadal carry the rackets and balls, and not letting his vast success change him in any way.

“My goal in life when I was a young boy was to be happy. My goal now? To be happy. Nothing has changed. I have got better at tennis, but that is all. Nothing in me has changed. People think they will meet me and I will be a different person, but I won’t. I am the same. I still want nothing more than to be happy.”

And what makes a 19-year-old millionaire tennis prodigy happy? “My family make me happy. It is my No 1 wish for them to be all healthy. For my friends to be happy. For me to be able to play tennis.”

Simple wishes from a simple boy. “What more could anyone want?” he asks. To beat Federer and become the world’s No 1 player? “That would be good. That could help me to be happy,” he says with a laugh.

“I am serious, though, when I say I think first of my family and that they are most important to me. In Manacor I’m normal. People have known me since I was a little kid. They congratulate me when I win something, but treat me like everybody else. I have the same plans for my life as everyone else.”

Football still fascinates him. He watches it whenever he can, and says he will be “hyperactive with excitement” when the World Cup comes round.

Away from the international game, he supports Real Madrid because he remembers his father giving him a Real shirt when he was very young. “My uncle was playing at the time. I think my father gave me the shirt to have a joke with him.”

Nadal says the things he dislikes the most are losing and pain — in that order. “My uncle keeps saying that losing is important in this game. If you play tennis, you lose, that’s how it is. Only one person can win every game in a tournament. No one man can win every tournament. The best players lose; everybody loses some time. I am learning that lesson, but I do feel much more nervous when I come out to play after having lost. Every week is a different place, a different tournament. You learn that losing is part of this game. But winning — ah, winning is so much nicer.”

Nadal is a particularly powerful clay- court player, but says the grass of SW19 appeals to him most of all. “My tennis dream is to win Wimbledon. The Spanish do not do well at that tournament and it is a special event. I think every tennis player dreams of winning it one day, don’t they? It would be a beautiful moment to have success there. It’s so special.”

ONCE the interview has finished, Nadal stands up politely to shake my hand, then reaches for his mobile phone, which has been flashing and jumping on the table throughout the interview. “Goodbye. Thank you for come,” he says. “Sorry my English not so good. I only speak quarter of English. Maybe quarter of a quarter. Not good.” I tell him that his English is really not so bad, but he promises to work on it all the same. “Next time you come, I be better,” he says.

He pumps a series of numbers into his phone as I turn to leave. “I call Moya now,” he explains. “He very good friend.” He says he has a half- arrangement to meet the fellow Spaniard in a couple of hours for dinner at a Japanese restaurant. “I must eat soon,” he explains, pointing at the crisp bowl. “See. I’m very hungry.” He says he always calls Moya before booking his flights, because he loves to travel with lots of people. “

It’s more fun always to have friends and family around, isn’t it? I like to have lots of people around — for eating, for flying. Always.”

I leave him to his dinner plans and head for the reception area, to take the lift back up to my room, six flights up in this hotel full to the rafters with tennis players. As the lift doors close, a hand pushes through the gap to stop it, and in steps Uncle Toni.

“Ah,” he says, spotting me, as I stand in the corner, fiddling with my tape recorder. “Journaliste. Halo.” Over the next few seconds we attempt to chat. He does not speak English. The only other language I speak is French. We both shrug and smile stupidly at one another.

“I have just interviewed Rafael,” I try again, speaking loudly for some reason and indicating the tape recorder and the notebook, bulging with notes about his famous nephew. Toni just nods and says a few things in Catalan which I think mean “How did it go?”, but may have meant, “I really don’t understand what you’re talking about.”

I battle on. “He was very good,” I say, speaking in the sort of slow, clear English that one might use when talking to a toddler or a helpless drunk. Still more smiles and nods, then we arrive at his floor. Toni stands in the lift door and takes a deep breath. “He good boy,” he says. “He work hard and he look after people. He nice boy. Goodbye.”

Then, with that succinct summary of his nephew in a language he can neither speak nor understand, he is gone.

The time may arrive when Nadal’s desire and enthusiasm fade, when his eagerness to throw himself after every shot and head straight home with his uncle after every match becomes subsumed by the effects of money, fame or injuries, but for now Nadal is a treasure.

His self-effacement, lack of self-indulgence and sheer joy at the life he is leading make him a refreshing antidote. Here’s hoping that success doesn’t change things.

04-23-2006, 02:35 AM
A simply wonderful article on Rafa :worship: Thank you so much for posting it :cool: And as for tomorrow :bowdown: Vamos Rafa :)

donna karen
04-23-2006, 05:02 AM
this article is a beauty. does anyone know where to find rafa's interview after his semi. its not on the tournie website.

04-23-2006, 09:24 AM
YESSSSSSSS! The interview is finally up. :D :D I won't make it as beautiful as Veyonce but here it is. :D

Saturday, April 22, 2006

R Nadal / Gaston Gaudio
5-7, 6-1, 6-1

An interview with: RAFAEL NADAL
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. After losing the first set, how did you feel? Were you confident?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I was tired. In the 5-4 up in the first, I was tired. He played tough the last three games of the first set, and I feel tired, no, finally, in the first set.

But after, when I begin the second set, I feel a little bit better. I think about the match and my final decision is I need play a little bit more aggressive because if I don't play aggressive, I gonna finish. And the match is change after, no? Maybe I play good. I play good all time. In the first set, I play good, too, no.

And I play little bit more aggressive after and I can go up to the score in the second set. That's important goal for win 6-1 the second, no.

Q. Was it a mental strength because you were mentally stronger?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, no (speaking in Spanish).

No, no, I don't know if I am stronger than him or not, but I won today. I play with a lot of concentration all time. Maybe with confidence, I am playing very good, no.

Q. He said you were stronger mentally. He said that, Gaudio .

RAFAEL NADAL: He said so, I don't know.

Q. He said it was a mental thing at that time because both of you were tired in the beginning of the second and he said, We were both tired but he was a little bit more strong.

RAFAEL NADAL: I always think about the victory, no. I was tired, but I always think about the victory because it was very important for me stay in this final. I say first day is very important for me play good tournament for get confidence for the rest of the clay season. And for stay a little bit with more calm, no, because I know.

The important thing is the Race, no. I know is a lot of points if I am playing bad. That's important, no. With this victory, I gonna be the third in the Race. So very good, no.

Q. And today you were satisfied with all your strokes forehand, backhand, serve.

RAFAEL NADAL: Drop, you like today (laughing)?

Q. Not at the beginning, but at the end.

RAFAEL NADAL: I am happy, yes. Maybe I can serve a little bit better. When I was tired, I serve, I going down a little bit with the serve. But I mistake, little bit mistakes. Playing aggressive with my forehand. Backhand, so much better, playing better, too. Running better.

So for me is the best match, sure, no, in the week and good preparation for the final.

Q. Do you think you're playing better and better in this tournament?

RAFAEL NADAL: Sure, sure.

Q. Was it a surprise for you that you are in so good shape already after the injury break?


Q. You are in so good shape, you play so good tennis after your injury.

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I am a little bit surprised, no. Always I have the confidence I gonna be 100% I gonna play good after the injury, no.

But I begin well: Semifinals, champion, semifinals, third round, and now final is unbelievable beginning. And I am now the third in the world in the Race without the beginning of the season, important tournaments.

So I am very happy, no, that very good news, no. And the best news is the injury is forget, no?

Q. Roger Federer is playing well, obviously. How do you look at the meeting with him?

RAFAEL NADAL: He's playing well, no? He's winning all matches very easy. I don't know the final of this one, but he is winning easy all matches. Not the first one against Djokovic , but after he play very well.

And the same, like always, no? I need play my best for try the victory. And if I am play my best and he play his best, will be very difficult, too.

But if I play my best, any chance I have, no.

Q. Do you feel he might be fresher than you?

RAFAEL NADAL: He gonna be fresher?

Q. More fresh.

RAFAEL NADAL: Maybe, maybe yes. But maybe for tomorrow I hope stay hundred percent, no. Is important match for me. Masters Series final. I won the last 10 or 11 final, I don't know.

Q. Eleven.

RAFAEL NADAL: Eleven? No, no, no, 11, no. No, because I lost in Miami and after I won here, Barcelona , Rome , Paris , Stuttgart , Bastad , Montreal , Madrid and China Peking 9. Dubai, 10.

So, sure, is difficult play against the No. 1. He don't losing lot of finals, too, huh, no? So gonna be difficult, sure.

Q. If you have to play Federer on clay, do you prefer to play best of three sets or you prefer to play him best of five? You think you have more chances when the match is longer or when is shorter?

RAFAEL NADAL: If I am good physic, I don't know now, no. I don't know if I am in my best performance physical because I begin late, and after injuries not sure.

But today I play a tough match, and, sure, I was tired in the first set, but after I can run, I can play good too, no? Normally, I can play, I prefer play best of five, no.

Q. Once again, Federer always said that he doesn't like to play you because you put pressure on his backhand with your forehand, so the strategy is quite simple: To play his backhand.

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, very simple (laughter).

If you look the window, is very, very easy, no (laughing)? Why all the players don't do the same, no?

Maybe not easy, no.

Q. You could do it in Dubai .

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, in Dubai .

I gonna try my best. I gonna try play aggressive. I gonna try play with determination. And that's the chance, no? No more chances. Play good, play with good determination, and play with confidence for the victory, no? And if he play very good and beat me, so congratulation, no.

So for me it's okay. Good tournament, sure, to stay in the final. Tomorrow I have a nice match and I want to enjoy playing good.

Q. Did you look any matches of Federer on television here?


Q. Did you have the feeling that he change something compared to last year?

RAFAEL NADAL: He's winning the same, I don't know.

I don't know, no? I don't know exactly. I don't know. Maybe he's coming a little bit more to the net sometimes. But not change a lot, no, maybe.

Q. Is it important that you beat him three times and he only beat you one time?

RAFAEL NADAL: Sure, is important for tomorrow. Because when I go to the court, I have three wons, no, and that's important for think about the victory, no. If you lose the last five times, I gonna think about the victory, too, but the chances is less, no?

Q. I have a general question about the mental side. You are only 19 and already mentally very strong. How do you explain that?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I am young, I am enjoying the competition, I enjoy a lot the competition, I like a lot the competition not in the tennis, no, in all aspects.

And always when I am tired, the same like today, no, I am very tired but always I think I am tired, yes, but the other one, I don't know, no? It's possible if I am tired, he's tired, too.

So when I am tired, I always think gonna be a little bit more, a little bit more, and you never know what's the... (speaking Spanish).

THE MODERATOR: You never know when is the end of everything because you don't know how the other one is either.

Q. If you play Federer tomorrow in the final, do you think it will depend of him or of you?

RAFAEL NADAL: He is the No. 1, no? So I just can say that, no. He is the No. 1. He has just one lose this year. If he play his best, it will be very difficult.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports...

04-23-2006, 09:33 AM
Thank you ma'am!!! :kiss:

04-23-2006, 09:36 AM
thx for the interview...rafe is soooooooooo nice! it looks realy hard to speak english for him...think it's cute! I like the "fresher????" "more fresh" so funny!
btw I realy hope rafe will win this final...he deserves it more than roger! vamos rafe!!!!

04-23-2006, 12:27 PM
thanx for this interview ....Rafa's english is still so cuuute :inlove:

Vamoooos Rafa suerte suerte para la final!!!!!!!!! Sé que puedes hacerlo !!!!!


04-23-2006, 02:13 PM
after winning the 1st set 6-2 he wasted a 5-3 lead in the 2nd :sad: it's 6-5 for Roger rite now. VAMOS RAFA :rocker:

04-23-2006, 02:27 PM
ooooooooooooh I can't believe this!!! Come on Rafaeeeeeel :bounce: concentrate and VAMOS :bounce:

04-23-2006, 02:40 PM
vamos rafito!!! puedes hacerlo!!!!!! I can't believe this roger federer is leading right now!!! the best is our rafe!!!! VAMOS!!!!

04-23-2006, 02:46 PM
Animò Rafito por favoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooor hazlo para nosotras !!!!!!!!!!!

04-23-2006, 02:52 PM
si! para nosotras...he was playing so well in the first set tssss...VAMOS RAFA!!!!!!!!!!

04-23-2006, 02:57 PM
si! para nosotras...he was playing so well in the first set tssss...VAMOS RAFA!!!!!!!!!!

it's awful i can't believe what Sport+ did, they promised all the week that we'll have the final in live ....and what we get instead....the ***** Fed Cup , awww i forgot Dechy/Penetta worthes 1000 times more than Federer/Nadal ...... stop being so chauvinistic frenchies our tennis suck admit it !!!!!!!!

vamos Rafa, now Federer wins all his games too easily ....Rafa no deja !!!!

04-23-2006, 03:01 PM
VAMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOS RAFA!!!!! don't give up!!! french are too chauvinistic as you said...I realy hope that france will NOT win! anyway Rafa can still do it...I'm sure he will do it!!!

04-23-2006, 03:04 PM
VAMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOS RAFA!!!!! don't give up!!! french are too chauvinistic as you said...I realy hope that france will NOT win! anyway Rafa can still do it...I'm sure he will do it!!!

i hope they'll loose too ....... i hope Rafa will play better and be efficient on his serve !!!!!!!!

Vamos Rafiiiiiiiiitooooooooooooooo

04-23-2006, 03:11 PM
vamos rafa!!!! you must take this one!!! let's cross our finger!!!!!! omg I'm soooo stressed for him...I want him to win soooooo much!

04-23-2006, 03:16 PM
vamos rafa!!!! you must take this one!!! let's cross our finger!!!!!! omg I'm soooo stressed for him...I want him to win soooooo much!

the pressure is too high, i really wonder how Rafa can resist to it...thanx god he is not like me :lol: since the beginning of the match i must have said 3000000 "vamos rafa" :confused:
my fist is pumped ...i think i'm gonna have some cramps ...but i don't mind vamoooos RAFAAAAAAAAAAA

04-23-2006, 03:19 PM
LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL he is doing it!!! I hope he will do it....at least he listened to me and take the serve of federer!!! VAMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOS RAFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

04-23-2006, 03:25 PM
here it is!!! he won!!! I'm sooooooooooooo happy!!!!!!! this lil guy deserves to be number one now!!!! congrats rafe!!! so proud of him....nadalita it was a pleasure to support him with you ;)

04-23-2006, 03:50 PM
here it is!!! he won!!! I'm sooooooooooooo happy!!!!!!! this lil guy deserves to be number one now!!!! congrats rafe!!! so proud of him....nadalita it was a pleasure to support him with you ;)

wait wait cc , the match is over yet :lol: :lol: Rafa has to won 3 sets to be the winner ;) . He is leading 3-2 in the fourth set ..........Vamos Rafa !!!!
anyway it's a pleasure for me too to follow Rafa ;) :worship:

04-23-2006, 04:35 PM
Rafa wins :worship:

6-2 6-7(2) 6-3 7-6(5)

04-23-2006, 04:41 PM
rafa is my herooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ooooooooo

04-23-2006, 04:44 PM
:woohoo: :woohoo: :woohoo:
Isn't he incredible? :D :D :D

But watching the SB was nerve-racking. He should've won earlier! :lol:

04-23-2006, 04:45 PM
:woohoo: :woohoo: :woohoo:
Felicidades Rafa :worship:

04-23-2006, 04:48 PM
RAFA!!!! :worship:

I'm sooooo happy right now..and im sure everyone else here is too ;)

but how scary was that 4th set tiebreak..i was preparing myself for a 5th set when our lil rafa won on his FIRST match point against number 1 fed!! :bounce:


and a big :hug: to all the rafa fans here!!

04-23-2006, 04:52 PM
Congrats and well deserved ;)

04-23-2006, 04:58 PM
Congrats to Rafa :) Great great match, he played here. And once again, he's proved to the world he was the only real opponent to Roger.

Uh, about Sport +... From what i understand, they're linked to Canal + (that's why the monte carlo final was aired on Canal + Sport?)...
So yeah. It's just that they'd been airing the Fed Cup... They wouldn't have stopped it while the first match of the day had not finished yet, would they? That would have been weird and, well, rude to the WTA fans.

04-23-2006, 04:58 PM
You deserve to win,Nadal! :worship:

04-23-2006, 05:01 PM
From BBC Sport:
Nadal powers to win over Federer

http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/8008/41591500nadal2037sq.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

Nadal's clay form is already looking ominous for his French Open rivals

Rafael Nadal retained his Monte Carlo Masters title with a 6-2 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-5) win against Roger Federer.
The Spanish second seed took the first set after racing to a 5-1 lead, but Federer found his form in the second.

Nadal still broke him to love in the seventh game before his nerve wobbled, allowing the Swiss star to break back for 5-5 and then win the tiebreaker.

But Nadal showed why he is the world's best on clay in the third set, then edged a tense fourth to seal victory.

Federer looked to have extended an epic final into a fifth set when he took a 3-0 lead in the second tiebreaker.

But the 19-year-old Spaniard fought back as the shadows lengthened at the Monte Carlo Country Club and won on his opponent's serve.

Nadal had also inflicted the world number one's only other defeat of 2006, beating him in the final of the hardcourt Dubai Open on 4 March.

Federer also lost to Nadal in the semi-finals of last year's French Open, the only grand slam tournament he has not won.

The left-hander has now chalked up a remarkable 42 successive wins on clay.

He is third on the all-time list behind Guillermo Vilas (53) and Bjorn Borg (46).

Agassi Fan
04-23-2006, 05:03 PM
Yes, he won!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

04-23-2006, 05:05 PM
Congrats and well deserved ;)
Rogi gave me several heart attacks. :lol:

04-23-2006, 05:08 PM
From Reuters:
Nadal tames Federer in Monte Carlo final

Sun Apr 23, 2006 5:56 PM BST

MONTE CARLO (Reuters) - Rafael Nadal won a superb battle against world number one Roger Federer 6-2 6-7 6-3 7-6 to retain his Monte Carlo Masters title on Sunday.

The only man to have beaten Federer this season, world number two Nadal has now done it twice after stopping the Swiss in the Dubai final last month.

The 19-year-old Spaniard, who improved his record against Federer to 4-1, again proved too tough for his gifted opponent, scoring his 42nd consecutive win on clay.

Playing close to perfection, French Open champion Nadal opened up a 4-0 lead in the first set, which he wrapped up in 42 minutes by winning his last service game to love.

The second set was a lot closer, Federer fighting back to 5-5 from a break down.

The Swiss levelled the match after taking the tiebreak 7-2 with an ace on set point.

Nadal dropped his serve in the opening game of the third set but he broke back immediately and again in the eighth game. The Spaniard served for the set and took it with a superb forehand winner.

Nadal won the first three games of the fourth before Federer recovered to level the set and force another tiebreak.

Although Federer went 3-0 up, Nadal underlined his battling instincts to take it 7-5. A forehand winner on his first match point sealed victory after three hours and 49 minutes of thrilling tennis.

(Writing by Patrick Vignal in Paris)

04-23-2006, 05:11 PM
:worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship:


04-23-2006, 05:47 PM
Congrats to Rafa it was a great match and very nerve wracking. Really thought Rog might win the fourth and take it to a fifth. Rafa played so well

04-23-2006, 05:52 PM
Congrats and well deserved ;)
Awww thanks! ;) :wavey: Very nice of you to drop by. ;)

I simply loooooooooove that kid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :hearts: :inlove: It's simply incredible!!!!!! :worship: :worship: :worship:

Great great match! :yeah: Incredible shots form both, but Rafa was playing much deeper today than the 1st set vs Gaudio yesterday. He was more aggressive today. These 2 DFs at serving for the 2nd set at 5-4 and him losing both breaks in the 4th showed he's not made of steel but he could keep it together in the end! GREAT GREAT GREAT! Simply incredible for the kid! :worship: :worship: :worship:

04-23-2006, 06:29 PM
:worship: ENHORABUENA MI CARINO !!! :bounce:

:inlove:Aaaawww, once again, words fail me to say how proud I am of my lil' angel... :angel:

04-23-2006, 06:57 PM
Oh, and I forgot to say how well he volleyed this match. :yeah: :yeah: Simply amazing!!!!!!!! :worship: :worship: :worship:

04-23-2006, 07:19 PM
¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡ENHORABUENA RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:[/SIZE]¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡CONGRATS RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :hatoff: :hatoff:

¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡AMAZING MATCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :worship: :worship:[/SIZE]

04-23-2006, 07:30 PM
Of course I'm disappointed that Rogi lost but it's normal that Rafa w defend his MC title. Well done and congratulations, Rafa! You did yourself proud, not only defending your first title, but also overcoming pressure and a little rust! ;)

04-23-2006, 07:30 PM
btw I have not seen this match!

04-23-2006, 09:09 PM
gracias Rafa for all these great points, all these great moment, even if i couldn't see the match in live, i've just finish to watch it , and Rafa played incredible,even if when i was following the scoreboard, this afternoon i thought Rafa wasn't playing that well but i was wrong!!!

he did his best match since 2006 !!!

04-23-2006, 09:16 PM
Congrats to Rafa :worship: Now finally Federer knows how other players feel when they have to play him :lol: I love it ;) A 19 year old young man from Spain has no fear of Federer at all :cool: And I think that fear is part of the reason Federer normally wins his Matches the other player thinks he has lost before the Match has even started. But not Rafa :inlove:

04-23-2006, 09:46 PM
RogiFan and you have Rafa avvy! ;) Ahhhhhh, I need a new gorgeous Rafa avvy too! :bigcry:

04-23-2006, 09:58 PM
awesome week for Rafa :yeah: congrats :banana:

04-23-2006, 10:07 PM
Yeah, great avatar, RogiFan! ;) :hug:

Very interesting comments from Rafa and Roger, translated from French by Moondancer of vr.com.

Rafael Nadal (ESP, winner): “This is a very beautiful victory. You never get used to a success like this, esp. against Federer. It’s very special to start to the clay court season with a title. The match was very hard. I was disappointed that I did not take my chance in the second set. After that, I had some difficult moments. I was broken in the third set but he then made some errors which allowed me to equalize again. On the whole, I’m very satisfied with my performance; I was very aggressive with my forehand, very regular and concentrated throughout the entire match. I simply did not serve well. I have a little problem with the sand (?) but that’s not an excuse: it was simply not good. At the end of the 4th set, of course I began to think about a 5th set. Whether you win it in 4 or in 5 is not that important. I knew that the trophee was very close. I made a little effort necessary to get there. Sure, the fact of having achieved 42 consecutive matches pleases me. The record of Borg and Vilas? Yes, I’m thinking about it. I think it’s already great to be the all time number 3. Now, to get beyond Borg, I have to get to the final in Barcelona. That’s not easy. Every day, I can lose, even on clay. Well, I’m at 100%, I know that I have good chances to win but frankly, there are plenty of players who can beat me."

Roger Federer (SWI, finalist): I was asking myself a lot of questions before arriving here and I had a really great week. I took a huge step forward. Today, I almost made it and I think that my chances to win Roland Garros have increased this week. One step has been taken. Playing against Nadal helps me to progress. Since he’s here, I have already improved a couple of things and the more I play opposite him, the better. I have played a good match even if I have my regrets on a couple of opportunities that I did not manage to take; break points among other things. My number of unforced errors? That statistic does not interest me. Nadal left me no choice; you have to take risks against him. Those who say otherwise: I suggest them to try it in my place. Having lost the last three times I played against him, does not discourage me. Nadal is too strong for me? I don’t agree. Today, it was very close so it would be wrong to say that. I did love the fight. I feel like an equal with him. The only little advantage I will concede is that he’s a lefty and there are not many of them on tour. I’m not used to it and it explains my poor start of the match. I do have my trainer (Tony Roche) who is a lefty but, well, he’s a bit old.”

This article also has an interesting comment from Rafa. From TSN:

Nadal upends Federer in Monte Carlo

Rafael Nadal
Associated Press
4/23/2006 2:13:33 PM

MONTE CARLO, Monaco (AP) - Rafael Nadal called his latest clay-court win over top-ranked Roger Federer easier than the one at the French Open.

Federer believes he is closer to figuring out how to beat Nadal on clay.

Second-ranked Nadal defended his Monte Carlo Masters title with a 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-6 (5) win over Federer on Sunday, handing the seven-time Grand Slam champion from Switzerland his second defeat of the year.

Nadal has beaten Federer four times in five meetings, and twice on clay after winning in four sets last June at Roland Garros. Federer, who had 78 unforced errors on his least-favorite surface, is now 28-2.

''I was beating him easier today than in Paris,'' Nadal said. ''To begin the clay season like this, for me, is unbelievable.''

Nadal extended his winning streak on clay to 42 matches and can pass Bjorn Borg's mark of 46 and move behind Guillermo Vilas (53) if he wins next weekend at Barcelona.

''One day, for sure, I'm going to lose on clay,'' said Nadal. ''I just hope it isn't next week.''

Federer complimented himself on ''a fantastic week'' and felt his chances of one day overhauling Nadal on clay ''went up.''

''I've got to adjust quite a bit to play Rafael,'' Federer said. ''But I already feel like I'm improving a lot. The more I play against him, the more I'll be able to figure out his game and the easier it will be.''

Nadal broke Federer seven times, overcame a 3-0 deficit in the fourth-set tiebreaker and won the match with a forehand pass that bounced on the line.

''It's very special for me to defend the title,'' Nadal said. ''Beating Federer in a final is special too. I was very aggressive with my forehand and I had a good touch.''

Federer lamented missed opportunities, felt his serve was below par, and was upset at converting only 4-of-18 breakpoint chances.

''I was not serving well enough or just playing well enough from the baseline,'' Federer said. ''I thought I gave him a little too much.''

Nadal used his big forehand to pressure Federer on his weaker backhand.

''He's a lefty, so I'm always going to have problems,'' Federer said. ''I enjoyed the battle against him. I have answered some questions I had about how to play on clay.''

Federer appeared in his 12th consecutive final, but his winning run in Masters series matches ended at 29. His previous Masters defeat came at Monte Carlo in a quarter-final loss to Richard Gasquet of France last year.

Federer started with a string of erratic shots that helped Nadal race to a 4-0 lead.

He finished with twice as many unforced errors as his opponent, and his first-set loss was the largest margin this season. Federer's previous worst sets were 3-6 against Olivier Rochus, Nikolay Davydenko and Tommy Haas.

''I don't care about the unforced errors, as I had no choice but to attack him,'' Federer said. ''I'm going to make errors because I'm the guy pressing.''

Nadal served for the second set at 5-4, but Federer broke him, and closed out the tiebreaker with an ace. At the start of the third set, Federer broke Nadal to love and looked comfortable on serve before suffering a lapse.

''I thought I let him have a couple of breaks, you know, just stuff out of the blue really,'' Federer said.

Nadal broke for a 5-3 lead, and Federer screamed in frustration while losing the next game.

Early in the fourth set, Federer called himself an ''idiot'' after one backhand shot looped out. He trailed 3-0, rallied to a 5-4 lead, but Nadal easily won his two service games to force a tiebreaker.

He arched his back in triumph and pumped his fists when his forehand pass bounced in on match point.

04-23-2006, 10:56 PM
I'm glad you like my avvy. I've changed it not only because Rafa won his 2nd MC, but also in preparation for Barca! ( :secret: I've already pencilled his name in as champion because I can't see anyone else in the draw who can beat him.)

04-23-2006, 11:03 PM
Mallorn, can you post the original of the above comments fr Rogi and Rafa or a link? Gracias... ;)

04-24-2006, 01:09 AM
Sorry for being so late but I couldn't access MTF in all day :sobbing:

CONGRATS RAFA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :banana: :bigclap: :banana: :bigclap:

The match started very early here in Chile so in the first set when Rafa was leading 3-0 I fell asleep :o but I watched the last three sets and it was a great match :worship: I was so nervous in the fourth set when Rafa was up two breaks and Fed broke him back twice and then the tiebreak :eek: but I'm so happy Rafa won !!! :worship:
So well deserved victory for him :D

VAMOS RAFA !!!! :banana:

04-24-2006, 01:41 AM
Federer quest undermined by nemesis Nadal
By Paul Newman in Monte Carlo
Published: 24 April 2006
The Independent

When you see a figure like 78 alongside Roger Federer's name you expect it to be associated with a winning run. Yesterday, however, it referred to the number of unforced errors made by the modern game's supreme player as he was beaten 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 by Rafael Nadal after nearly four hours of gripping tennis in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters.

It was only the second time that Federer has lost this year and both defeats have been at the hands of the 19-year-old Spaniard, who has now won all but one of his five matches against the world No 1. While Federer had come here saying he would be happy simply to better his exit at the quarter-final stage 12 months ago, it could prove an important psychological setback during a clay-court season in which the Swiss hopes to become the first man since Rod Laver to hold all four Grand Slam titles at once.

The French Open is the only jewel missing from Federer's crown and Nadal, who won at Roland Garros last year after a season in which he totally dominated on clay, is the man most likely to thwart his ambitions. The world No 2 is now unbeaten in 42 matches on clay; in the Open era only Guillermo Vilas (53 matches) and Bjorn Borg (46) had longer winning runs.

Unlike last month in Dubai, where he lost to Nadal after being totally in command in the first set, Federer rarely looked at ease here. He knows he does not play enough against left-handers * in 70 matches since he lost to Nadal in Paris last year only three have been against "lefties" * and the Spaniard's forehand, in particular, is a shot to which he all too frequently succumbs.

Nadal concentrated his attack on his rival's weaker backhand side, though the flow of Federer errors came from both flanks. Mishits were frequent and when he did find his racket's sweet spot the ball regularly flew wide, long or into the net. Federer feels he has to play aggressively against such a dogged retriever, but perhaps he still needs to find the right balance between attack and defence.

Federer said he was not concerned by the number of errors and was pleased with "a fantastic week". He felt he had run Nadal closer than when losing at Roland Garros last year. Nadal said it had been "special" to retain his Monte Carlo title by beating the world's best player.

With Federer miscuing badly at the start, Nadal had raced into a 4-0 lead. The Spaniard failed to convert two set points at 5-1, but served out to draw first blood.

Federer, who had made 24 unforced errors in the first set, fought back from a break down in the second, saved a set point and played an immaculate tie-break, which he won 7-2. When he broke serve in the first game of the third it was the first time he had led in nearly two hours of tennis, but Nadal hit back immediately and made another decisive break in the eighth game.

Nadal broke twice to lead 3-0 at the start of the fourth set, whereupon Federer, infuriated by a line call, smashed a ball out of court, and received an official warning. The world No 1 fought back to 4-4 and took a 3-0 lead in the tie-break, only to lose seven of the last nine points, Nadal sealing victory with a thumping forehand. It was only the second tie-break out of 15 that Federer has lost this year.

Until he faced David Nalbandian in the final of the Masters Cup in Shanghai five months ago Federer had won 24 finals in succession. Now he has lost three of his last seven. Although he has still lost only six matches since the start of last year, the fact that three of them have been against Nadal might just be starting to trouble tennis' coolest head.

© 2006 Independent News and Media Limited


Nadal muscles in on historic victory
From Neil Harman in Monte Carlo
April 24, 2006
The Times

THE first, in 1897, was England’s Reggie Doherty at 25 in cravat and belted trousers, the 50th one Hugh Stewart, a Californian who barely made a subsequent mark on the tennis landscape. The 100th Monte Carlo Open champion, crowned on a day of exquisite perfection, was Rafael Nadal, a muscled, exuberant youngster of whom we are going to hear quite a bit more.

Nadal defeated Roger Federer, the world No 1, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 and now has a 4-1 career advantage over the player who, rather dismissively, said on the eve of the final that he was “one-dimensional”. It is unusual to question someone as remarkable as this champion Swiss, but what is unarguable is that the 19-year-old Spaniard understands the dimensions and tricks of a clay court better than anyone in the sport and when he is on his game, as he was for most of the three hours and 49 minutes yesterday, he is unstoppable.

Federer felt that he had worked his opponent out, but in truth he had not. Of his six defeats in the past 16 months, three have come at the bludgeoning hands of Nadal, who has won 42 matches in succession on clay, closing in on Bjorn Borg’s 46 and Guillermo Vilas’s 53, marks that he may well pass before he reaches the French Open for the defence of his title next month.

Even as the crowd, deep into the fourth set, released a chant of “Roger, Roger”, hoping for a fifth set to decide this historic match, so Nadal pumped himself up and set his jaw more sternly. Losing the first three points of the tie-break did not faze Nadal, either, for he took five of the last six, completing the task with a trademark forehand when the racket lands around the back of his neck with his opponent up to his in trouble.

What is remarkable about Nadal is that he never considers changing his pace to suit anyone else, let alone Federer. He compromised the rigidly-set start time of the final by receiving treatment to the middle finger of his serving hand — and he did exactly the same having lost serve in the opening game of the third set. When he didn’t want to receive serve, he dropped his head, causing Federer to pause, and if there was a mark to check, he was not slow in persuading Gerry Armstrong, the British umpire, to climb down from his chair.

This is a player of quite extraordinary gifts, not least an inability to concede that he is beatable. In the previous two rounds, against Guillermo Coria and Gaston Gaudio, he won on the principle that he knew he was stronger physically and now he knows, too, that he has a mental hold over Federer.

And he has a host of original strokes, not least the backhand cross-court played from around his hips and the half-volley from the baseline, off either flank, played with his knees a couple of inches from getting a dusting. To these even Federer, with his classical balletic movement, could not fashion a consistent answer. The official scorers counted 78 unforced errors, though many were when he had to contrive to remain in rallies from impossible positions.

Side note:-
Roger Federer took time out before yesterday’s match against Rafael Nadal in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters to present Neil Harman, Tennis Correspondent of The Times, with the ATP’s annual Ron Bookman Award, the organisation’s foremost media honour.


04-24-2006, 07:57 AM
oh seems roger is really a bit too frank, calling tony too old :p
I do have my trainer (Tony Roche) who is a lefty but, well, he’s a bit old.”

04-24-2006, 11:39 AM
Mallorn, can you post the original of the above comments fr Rogi and Rafa or a link? Gracias... ;)
Sure, here you go:


Rafael Nadal (ESP, vainqueur): "C'est une très belle victoire. Un succès comme ça on ne s'y habitue jamais, surtout face à Federer. C'est très spécial de commencer la saison sur terre battue par un titre. Le match a été très dur, j'étais très déçu d'avoir laissé passer ma chance dans le deuxième set. Après, je suis passé par des moments difficiles. J'ai été breaké dans le troisième set, mais ensuite il a fait quelques erreurs et ça m'a permis de repartir de l'avant. Dans l'ensemble, je suis très satisfait de ma performance, j'ai été très agressif en coup droit, très régulier et concentré tout au long du match. J'ai juste très mal servi. J'avais un problème avec le sable mais ce n'est pas une excuse: c'était nul, tout simplement. A la fin du quatrième set, j'ai bien sûr pensé à un cinquième set. Mais peu importe de gagner en quatre ou cinq manches. Je savais alors que le trophée était tout proche. J'ai fait le petit effort nécessaire pour y arriver. Le fait d'avoir remporté 42 victoires de suite sur terre battue me fait évidemment plaisir. Le record de Borg et Vilas ? Oui j'y pense, c'est déjà +sympa+ d'être le N.3 de l'histoire. Maintenant pour dépasser Borg, il faut que j'aille en finale à Barcelone. Ce n'est pas facile. Tous les jours, je peux perdre, même sur terre battue. Bon, si je suis à 100%, je sais que j'ai de bonnes chances de gagner. Mais, franchement, plein de joueurs peuvent me battre."

Roger Federer (SUI/finaliste): "Je me posais beaucoup de questions avant d'arriver ici et ce fut une très belle semaine. J'ai fait un grand pas en avant. Aujourd'hui, j'y suis presque arrivé et je pense que mes chances de gagner Roland-Garros sont à la hausse après cette semaine. Une étape a été franchie. Jouer contre Nadal m'aide à progresser. Depuis qu'il est là, j'ai déjà amélioré des choses. Et plus je l'affrontre, mieux c'est. J'ai fait un bon match même si j'ai quelques regrets sur le nombre d'occasions que je n'arrive pas à saisir, notamment sur des balles de break. Mon nombre de fautes directes ? Cette statistique ne m'intéresse pas. Nadal ne me laisse pas le choix, contre lui il faut prendre des risques. Ceux qui prétendent le contraire, je leur propose d'essayer à ma place. Avoir perdu trois fois de suite contre lui ne me décourage pas. Nadal trop fort pour moi ? Je ne suis pas d'accord. Aujourd'hui, ça s'est joué à tellement peu que ce serait faux de dire ça. J'ai bien aimé notre combat. Je me sens à égalité avec lui. Le seul petit avantage que je lui concède c'est qu'il est gaucher et il y en a pas beaucoup sur le circuit. Je n'y suis pas habitué, cela explique en partie mon mauvais début de match. J'ai bien mon entraîneur (Tony Roche) qui est gaucher mais, bon, il est un peu vieux."


04-24-2006, 11:40 AM
Finally the interview transcript is up. Enjoy. :D :wavey:

April 23, 2006

R. NADAL/R. Federer
6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 7-6


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Rafa, how excited are you about defending your title and beating Federer in the same time?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, was a very, very good week for me, no. Was unbelievable week for me. Is special for me I begin the clay season like this. Is very, very important.

And beating Federer in the finals is special, too, no. Is more special.

Q. When he came back to win the second set after you'd had set point, were you concerned? Were you worried then?

RAFAEL NADAL: Sure. Is not easy, no. Is difficult because I am -- I was a little bit disappointed because I had a very important chance in the second. I can't convert it. And after, I have difficult moments but because I begin the third with break down. But Federer had some misses in the next game. I can return the break. And after that, I feel with a lot of confidence, no.

Q. What was it that enabled you to win the match? What do you think enabled you to win?

RAFAEL NADAL: I think I am play very good match, no, very aggressive with my forehand. I touch very good the ball with the forehand today maybe. And maybe I play all time, no, all time very, very concentrate. That's the decisive, no.

Q. In the fourth set you were 4-2 up and then he comes back. In the tiebreak, you were 3-Love down. Mentally then were you preparing for a fifth set? Would you have been prepared for a fifth set?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, sure. If I lose the fourth, I gonna be in the fifth, no. I was win -- I want to win this final and if in four, better. And if in five, better. Good, too, no?

So, sure, if we go to the fifth, I can lose. Federer was getting a lot of confidence. And important, I know the title is near. In the 3-Love down in the tiebreak, I know, but is just seven points, no? I need do the special effort, and I can change the situation, no.

Q. What did satisfy you more the whole match apart from winning?

RAFAEL NADAL: The title.

Q. Huh?

RAFAEL NADAL: Win the tournament.

Q. In what way you can improve, because you are in such a high level. What do you think that you can improve?

RAFAEL NADAL: I think maybe today the worst thing is the serve. I serve bad today maybe. I have some problem with the sun, too, and I serve bad.

But not the excuse, the sun, no. For me and for him.

Q. You've now won 42 matches on clay.

RAFAEL NADAL: 42 or 41?

Q. 42.


Q. Borg has 46. Vilas has 53. Is that something you're thinking about, or do you not worry about statistics like that?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, sure, is important for me be the now the No. 3 in the history. Is nice, no?

For Borg, 46? 46, no. I need do the final, final in Barcelona for tie with him, no. Not easy, no.

Any day, I gonna lose, no, on clay, sure.

Q. When?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know, but I hope not the next week, no.

Q. At the end of the match Roger said that he felt he is getting closer to you every match on clay. Do you have the feeling he's closer to you than in Paris last year?

RAFAEL NADAL: I know every match is different, no.

Q. Did you feel he was more dangerous today than in Paris?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know, because in Paris I lost the second set and -- I lost the second set 6-4. Today, I was winning 6-2, 5-3 and set point.

I was beating easier today than Paris, no? So after, no, sure. After, no, because I wasn't -- I was a little bit nervous and he play better the important moments in the 5-4.

But the match, the general match, because he maybe - I think, huh? - he might get a little bit bad, I don't know, nervous. I don't know.

But I play with confidence after the second set. Sure, after this is more difficult than Paris, no. But I was winning 6-2, 5-3. I win the fourth -- the three -- the third 6-3. In the fourth, I was winning 3-0 with two breaks.

Sure, the match is tough always, no.

Q. How do you explain nine mini-breaks in twelve points in the final tiebreaker? Nine mini-breaks.

RAFAEL NADAL: In clay that's normal, no.

Q. Out of twelve?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know, no. But in clay every point is tough, no. Is possible that, no. Last year against Gasquet in semifinals in the first tiebreak, in the first set, 7-6, I was lose 7-6, I don't win no one. I remember because I can't win any one, no.

But sometimes on clay, sure, is not normal. But with my serve, yes. With him, no.

Q. What do you think it means that Federer is winning so easily here against everybody? Maybe the first match was tougher, but the other matches, easy. Then he plays against you and he lost. Means that you are just Nadal and Federer and that's it, or are there other players that can compete with you and Federer?

RAFAEL NADAL: You know. You know the other players can compete perfectly with me, sure (smiling). With Federer, I don't know. But with me, sure (smiling).

Q. Do you think Federer now has a complex?

RAFAEL NADAL: I can't say nothing about that, no. Federer is the best, one of the best of the history. What complex, no?

Australia, Indian Wells and Miami, final here (speaking in Spanish).

Q. Rafael, was your first set against Gaudio tougher than anything Roger produced today?

RAFAEL NADAL: Every match is different, no? The strategy is different, the player is different. The rallies tougher with Gaudio, but with Federer is a lot of different things tougher, too, no.

Q. Is it normal for you now to win all these tournaments, or is it still a surprise when you succeed like that? It's something normal or...?

RAFAEL NADAL: Normal is never, no. Win a Masters Series is not normal for me, no?

Sure, I know if I am playing my best, I can win on clay a Masters Series, no. But I know I need play very good and I know is very tough because on clay and other surfaces all players is dangerous, no.

Q. Twice during the match when a call was given in your favor, you asked the umpire to check the mark. Is that something you did because you're playing Federer, or you think it's sporting to do that? Why did you do that?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I always the same, no? Sure, if the ball is good, is good and if the ball is bad, is bad. So maybe is important the fair play in the sports, no.

Q. What do you think, which feeling do you have when you play Federer? Which shot do you think he doesn't like about yourself? What he doesn't like exactly? Is because every time you return one ball more, you are always there? Is what, is the pressure?

RAFAEL NADAL: You can ask him, because I don't know.

Q. I ask you, because it's more interesting. Is it physical strength?

RAFAEL NADAL: My forehand against his backhand is the best intercambio (speaking in Spanish).

End of FastScripts...

04-24-2006, 11:41 AM
Thanks, Maria! :D

Roger's interview:

April 23, 2006

R. NADAL/R. Federer
6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 7-6


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Roger, bad luck, especially at the end of the second set, beginning of the third. Did you feel you were about to get control of the match?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, obviously, the momentum shifted so I felt like if I have a chance, it's right here, right now. So I took advantage. I took a break. Was actually feeling very good. Played, unfortunately, a bad game to get broken back.

But all in all, it was all right, you know. I thought it was a good match. I enjoyed the battle against him, and sort of have the feeling it answers me a lot of questions, you know, I was asking myself prior to the clay court season. So this was a fantastic week for me.

Q. What have you learnt then?

ROGER FEDERER: I won't tell you (smiling).

Q. You obviously felt you had to attack. You made a lot of what are supposedly called "unforced errors." Did you feel you had to try and keep the pressure on him all the time?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, he leaves me no choice. I'm not going to start looping the ball if he's in the middle of the box, you know. He obviously plays a lot of shots, you know, that tease you to come in. It's obvious I'm going to make the unforced errors because I'm the guy who's pressing and not him.

So, you know, the unforced error stat, I don't care really, seriously. That's what I was really actually angry about at the French Open, people telling me I was going for too much. They should play him and then see if they're not gonna go for it, you know.

No, I thought I played a smarter match today, and I was actually what I expected from myself, you know, that I got closer again a step. Especially on clay, I think that's very important.

Q. In the start of the match you seemed to have trouble to find your way. Was there nervousness, was it wind?

ROGER FEDERER: No, not on both. Just he's got the edge, you know, being a lefty and me not being used to it. It's just tough to get into it, really.

And was unfortunate, you know. I don't know. I also would like to be able to answer more clearly why it happened, but I've got to try to change it next time. I've got to play aggressive, and it's tough to do that from the start, you know. Maybe it's that, and he takes advantage of it. Maybe the serve is not working like it should. I don't know, maybe he had a couple good games, too. So I think it's a combination of many things.

Q. Do you think he improved a lot on the backhand and good dropshots and does something more compared to last year?

ROGER FEDERER: No, no. I don't remember his backhand being bad last year. I mean, I thought it was the way I -- it's exactly the same as the French, I thought, really. I mean, obviously he makes improvements here and there because of experience, because of more matches, and so on. But I didn't have the feeling he was coming up with totally new stuff, you know. The dropshots he hit, they were well hit sometimes, and that's because I was far back. So it was a good shot to hit.

No, so I didn't feel that.

Q. If there is anything you regret about the match, when is it?

ROGER FEDERER: Oh, many times. I thought I let him have a couple of breaks, you know, on and off just out of the blue really. That's what I've got to try to cut down. And if I do that, I'm in a much better position instead of always running behind. That's obviously tough against him, even though I got back into the match twice like this.

Q. Would that be the start of the third set, when you broke him and then you looked pretty comfortable, and suddenly he breaks back.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, obviously it happens and he plays very well every point of the game, you know. No matter if he's down Love-40 or 40-Love, you're always going to get the same guy, you know. That's the same with me, you know. That's what the lower-ranked players tend not to do, you know, is they go for too much when they're losing or also when they're winning. So it's obvious that you get broken sometimes.

But I just thought, you know, I was not maybe serving well enough or just playing well enough from the baseline to really, you know, win some games. I just thought I gave him a little bit too much there.

Q. Are you satisfied with your game today?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it was all right.

Q. You won only 4 break balls out of 18. Is it a number you care?

ROGER FEDERER: This stat, yeah, I'm not happy about, because it would have changed, I think, a lot of things even though maybe not in the first set. But after that, you know, I don't know how the stats look after that, probably not that bad. But, yeah, he doesn't have the biggest serve, so I really expect myself to do better on breakpoints.

Anyway, you know, it happened, and I've got to try to do better next time.

Q. In the final tiebreaker, you lost the five final points on your serve. You were up 3-Love and you lost twice your -- you had the mini-break. 4-3, two mini-breaks. Last point, mini-break. How do you explain it? Do you think it's just coincidence or something happens, you don't serve as well, or he's more aggressive?

ROGER FEDERER: I mean, it was very even from the baseline, I thought. He got the better points, you know, the points he wanted to have. And, no, I mean, of course I could have maybe served better, but also, you know, I'm not the guy who's gonna serve aces all the time so I've got to expect to be in the rally. That's a tough thing to be in, you know, in a tiebreaker, in the end, when you're against the wall, you know.

So maybe he had little bit more, you know, I don't know, confidence and he didn't have that much to lose after all. So maybe it was easier for him to play then.

But, no, I cannot explain because I wish it was different.

Q. What did that match and that tournament tell you about your chances to win in Paris?

ROGER FEDERER: Say it again.

Q. What do that match and this tournament tell you about winning in Paris?


Q. Yeah, about your chances.

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think they went up, in my eyes. I think matches against Rafael are going to help me actually beating up players, too, you know. Because I've got to adjust quite a bit to play against Rafael, I mean, let's face it. So I've got to make tough decisions, you know, in a split second right away because it's always coming from the left-hand side, you know, and so forth.

So I think I'm actually going to improve a lot by playing more against him, and I already feel like I have since he's been around, you know. That's maybe a good thing to be in. Like I said, the more I think I play him, the more also I'll figure out his game and the easier it's going to get for me. Maybe I'm too optimistic, but I really believe it, so.

Q. Will you try to get a lefty sparring partner?

ROGER FEDERER: I have a coach that's lefty. You know why I have him, no (smiling).

Q. Three losses in a row against Nadal. Does it mean anything?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I wish I could have won them, but they don't break down my will or hope or anything because what I care about is looking at the -- well, trying not to lose against him in Grand Slams, and then be ahead of him 2,000 points in the ranking, that's what I care about, and not really losing tonight. I made points against him, so he's under pressure.

But, yeah, it would have been nice to beat him. But I don't know, you guys have to have more to write about than I have to talk about. So this is for me one night and then I'll be on the road and I'll forget about it, so...

End of FastScripts..

Andre forever
04-24-2006, 01:40 PM
woooho.. NADAL is so powerful... i watched the match lastnight..

i like him... his good....

04-24-2006, 03:17 PM
Congrats Rafa, awesome week! :yeah:

04-24-2006, 05:02 PM
wait wait cc , the match is over yet :lol: :lol: Rafa has to won 3 sets to be the winner ;) . He is leading 3-2 in the fourth set ..........Vamos Rafa !!!!
anyway it's a pleasure for me too to follow Rafa ;) :worship:

yesterday I guessed everything! that france will loose, that russia will loose too and of course that our rafito will win!!!! But I must confess that I thought that he would have done like against gaudio...to me federer could NOT come back in the match AT ALL...well he did a lil bit...anyway Rafe is still better than him! this victory prouves it!!!!! CONGRATS RAFITO!!!!

04-24-2006, 10:26 PM
From The Wrap, by Steve Tignor:
Full Monte

Posted 4/24/2006 @ 12:32 AM

http://img187.imageshack.us/img187/5988/20060424a3bw.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

The long, winding, scattered, sometimes-pointless pro tennis schedule does offer at least one consolation: the fresh start. These come every month or so, as the tours take up temporary residence in a new part of the world. With the shift comes a new setting, a new surface, a new style of play, a new cast of characters, even a new way of arguing line calls.

Last week brought perhaps the freshest start of all, as the men left the palm trees and hard courts of the U.S. and took over the Monte Carlo Country Club to begin the European clay-court season in earnest. This was the 100th anniversary of a tournament that’s been won by every great champion from Bill Tilden to Bjorn Borg to Gustavo Kuerten. As much as its tradition, Monte Carlo is also known for the picture-book view from its center court high above the Mediterranean. Which is appropriate: Monte Carlo stands with Roland Garros in Paris and the Foro Italico in Rome as one of the capitals of the grinding, clay-stained version of the game that’s been played for decades in the countries along the sea.

There’s no tennis player more Mediterranean than Rafael Nadal, who was born and still lives on the island of Mallorca off the coast of Spain. Monte Carlo is fast becoming a second home for him. On Sunday, he won his second straight title there, and last year’s event marked the beginning of his winning streak on clay, which now stands at 42, third-best in men’s history. (Don’t get too cocky, Rafa, you’re still 83 wins behind Chris Evert’s all-but-unbreakable all-time record.) Nadal was a little rusty to begin the tournament, but he peaked, as he always seems to do, just in time to beat Roger Federer in the final.

This was a very good match, of a much higher quality than their pressure-cooker encounter at Roland Garros last year. It may even go down as a classic, though I think we’ll get something better down the road. From the start, Nadal did what he always does against Federer: play more aggressively than usual. He hit his backhand flatter and harder than he had just the day before against Gaston Gaudio, and he was proactive with his forehand, forcing Federer to scramble from sideline to sideline. In his earlier matches, Federer had been able to get on top of the ball and control the rallies; yesterday Nadal’s topspin had him hitting at his shoulders and off his back foot in the early going.

That form held until Nadal was up 6-2, 5-3. Federer, who had looked listless and confused, with no purpose to his shots, suddenly played his best service game of the match, which made Nadal nervous. The Spaniard played an uncharacteristically jittery game at 5-4, double-faulting twice, and was broken. By the end of the tiebreaker, Federer seemed to have found a new understanding of clay-court tennis. He was on top of the rallies, he was winning points at the net, and he was even using the drop shot, which he has said he hates, to draw Nadal out of position. It looked like the world No. 1 was about to turn a major corner in his eventual quest to win the French Open. Instead, an old Federer flaw would surface at just the wrong moment.

If Nadal’s technical advantage over Federer is his heavy topspin, his mental advantage, at least on clay, is his concentration. Nadal, like Jimmy Connors and Maria Sharapova, plays each point as if it’s a war. This works well on dirt, where the length of the rallies and the relative unimportance of the serve means that matches are won one point at a time, in the baseline trenches—one service break does not spell the end of a set. Federer, like Pete Sampras, prefers to cruise. He uses his serve and forehand to hold and then comes up with a few big shots at the right time to break. Before Federer became No. 1, one knock against him was that his concentration could waver—you never knew when a series of ugly shanks might come off his racquet.

At the start of the third set yesterday, Federer broke Nadal, and the Spaniard took an injury timeout to have a finger retaped. Whether this was fair or not (it left a bad taste, though Federer had also taken a timeout to have his ankles taped after losing the first set), Federer lost his concentration in the next game, loosened up, and made a couple of strange errors after being ahead 40-15. That was enough for Nadal, who was still fighting for everything, to break back and square the match. I don’t know if this stat is kept anywhere, but Nadal must win the most games of anyone from 0-40 and 15-40 down. After winning the third set, he broke Federer from 0-40 down to start the fourth.

Federer wasn’t finished, of course. As he did against David Nalbandian at the Masters Cup last year, Federer played with a glorious fury to come from two breaks down in the fourth set and go up 3-0 in the tiebreaker. Unfortunately for him, the only person on earth who could fight off this assault of jaw-dropping tennis is Rafael Nadal. The teenager finished it by sticking with his original game plan, taking the attack to Federer and drilling a forehand winner on his first and only match point.

Before the final, Federer had said that the biggest thing for him was to “just stay with (Nadal), for the entire time.” He was right, but mentally he couldn’t pull it off over three out of five sets. Still, Federer should take heart from the second and fourth sets, periods when he appeared for the first time to have found a way to take the initiative from Nadal on clay without overhitting. Federer also proved conclusively that getting to the net is key; at one point he was 31 of 43 up there. On the down side, Federer will need to find an answer for Nadal’s lefty serve into his backhand in the ad court. The Spaniard saved 14 of 18 break points, many of them with that serve, and often used it to close out service holds.

The world’s No. 1 and 2 are entered in Rome and Hamburg in the weeks leading up to Paris, and they’ll most likely face each other at least once. Anything can happen in five weeks, but based on his play in Monte Carlo, I’d say that Federer will win the French Open—but only if he doesn’t have to play Nadal.

Just for the Record Department
Best Set
The opener of the Gaudio-Nadal semifinal. The last two French Open champions put on a tense clay-court clinic, with touch, angles, up-and-back movement, and big hitting in each point, before Gaudio won 7-5. It exhausted them both. Nadal said he was utterly drained at the end of that set, but it was Gaudio who barely won another game.

Best Match
It’s hard to beat a final between No. 1 and No. 2 for drama, but the early round encounter between Guillermo Coria and Paul-Henri Mathieu certainly came close. Coria, who has struggled this year, particularly with his serve, went down 6-1, 5-1. That’s when he decided to start fighting. He came all the way back to win the set in a tiebreaker after saving four match points. Coria seemed to go to great lengths to torment Mathieu, camping far behind the baseline on crucial points and just scraping the ball back until the Frenchman self-destructed. In the third set, the roles were reversed, as Coria, who would double fault 20 times, blew six match points before rifling a forehand winner on the seventh. A psychodrama to remember.

Finally, Monte Carlo did not employ instant replay, as the last Masters Series event, in Miami, did. The old system of checking the marks on clay is still the trusted one here. But that hasn’t stopped TV producers from using Hawk-Eye for viewers at home. In the past, there were occasional discrepancies between the mark that a chair umpire would find and the judgment of Hawk-Eye. This year, the two were in agreement every time I watched, until the final. I was prepared to write how reassuring it was to see such an old-fashioned method—no computers, no big screens, just a guy looking and pointing—continue to measure up.

That was, until the the fourth set of the final, when Federer hit a ball close to the sideline that was called out. Umpire Gerry Crawford checked the area and said there was “no readable mark,” which meant the original call would stand. Hawk-Eye showed that the ball had indeed been out, but that didn’t help Federer, who pounded a ball into the air after losing the next point. Or perhaps it did help him, because he played the rest of the way in a controlled rage that almost won him the set. Either way, it was a mystery that could have been solved. Why should I know that the ball was out, while Federer didn’t?

04-25-2006, 05:56 AM
well done Rafa :yeah: :woohoo:

Michael Armando
04-25-2006, 07:34 AM


04-25-2006, 04:33 PM
Well done Rafael and congrats to his fans.

:worship: :worship: :worship:

The boy deserves everything he gets and much as I would wish for Roger to clean up on the clay it won't happen while Rafa is about. A great spirit from the kid from Mallorca.


04-25-2006, 05:29 PM
Hi stebs, thanks a lot! I appreciate you coming here. :) :hug:

Rafa is great on clay no doubt, but Roger was close this time. And he was so furious after he lost, it scared me. It was obvious he'll do anything to win next time. Thank goodness Rafa is not as faint-hearted as me. ;)

04-25-2006, 07:21 PM
Well done Rafael and congrats to his fans.

:worship: :worship: :worship:

The boy deserves everything he gets and much as I would wish for Roger to clean up on the clay it won't happen while Rafa is about. A great spirit from the kid from Mallorca.

Hi Stebs! :wavey:
Fed got really close and that was an AWESOME match. Hopefully we'll have some as great matches in next weeks and who knows what might happen at RG. Roger can be very determinated too and he's improved on clay a lot already. :yeah:

Mallorn! :hug: :hug: Thanks God for Rafa's mental fortitude. :angel: