In any other era, I would already be number one: Nadal [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

In any other era, I would already be number one: Nadal

Google
11-23-2006, 10:46 AM
Your career literally kickstarted at Chennai with the doubles title in 2004. How do you look back at that experience and what expectations to you have from the event this time?

Though I lost in the singles to Thierry Ascione, I managed to win the doubles title with (Tommy) Robredo and this victory was a very important landmark in my career. I was looking forward to come back in Chennai this year but a niggling foot injury forced me to stay out of quite a few tournaments and I had to pull out. Now I am happy that I will be coming next year. I am looking forward to play in Chennai. I like the crowd there, very sporting and they enjoy their tennis. I would like to start the year on a winning note and gain some valuable points in the ATP rankings. I wish to take my game to the next level.

Which has been the most memorable win so far in your career?

Well, itís kind of difficult to single out one particular match. All the matches that I have won have memories to be cherished. However, I believe winning back-to-back French Open titles (2005 and 2006) would be definitely up there in the top.

Who has been the biggest influence in your career?

I think I owe it all to my uncle and my coach Tony. He has been greatly instrumental in shaping my career and getting me this far. In my formation phase, it was really hard. When I used to go training, I felt almost upset. He always put tons of intensity in the training, always yelled at me a lot, he was always on my case. I guess all of thatís helped me to be who I am and to have so much self-control. Heís a very special person, who thinks a lot and if you listen to him, says things that arenít the usual. I also would give a special word of mention to my friend Carlos Moya who has always given me valuable advice and support when I needed it.

How will you compare achievements in 2006 vis-ŗ-vis 2005? How much were you influenced by the weight of expectations?

It is tough. When one becomes number two, you have to work really hard to defend the points and you play with a lot of pressure. On the other hand, when youíre ascending (positions), everything comes really straight-forward. You donít think much. If youíre young, your nerves donít oppress you or anything. When youíre already up, you are the head of the series. If you know how to use it, itís hard to go too far back. This year, I have started well but not been on the road to winning 11 tournaments again. I canít complain. I wouldíve never imagined that, at this point of the year, Iíd already have five titles out of eight that Iíve tried to win and that Iíd only lose once on the first round. I think itís incredible. I have improved a lot this year with some aspects in my game. I think I play more comfortable with more security in my serve. Thatís important because when I go to the return, I can play with more calm. That is a good improvement for me. This year I feel little bit more solid, more tough on court. I donít have lot of mistakes. Unforced errors a little bit always in the matches. Thatís another improvement for me this year.

Looking back, how was the entire experience of winning the French Open at the very first attempt?

It is such a wonderful feeling to win your first major Grand Slam title. It will always remain very special. Going into the final, I was not thinking much about it as I was just coming from a hard-fought victory over Roger Federer in the semi-finals. Federer in a semifinal of a Grand Slam, itís incredible. Itís incredible to beat Federer. Winning a semifinal is already incredible, and beating Federer is even more amazing. While, it was my first final in a Grand Slam tournament, I was not too nervous as I had played lots of finals that year. I also spoke to good friend Carlos (Moya) for some valuable tips before the final. All this helped me to concentrate much harder and stay focused.

Youíve an impeccable record on the clay courts and in 2006 even surpassed Guillermo Vilasí 53-match winning streak. How much do you value this record?

Itís very special. It wasnít very important for me, but I started to value it as I got closer to beating it. Itís hard to achieve that. And, on top of all, against the number one player and in a master series. Itís not easy to win a Master Series. I rule myself based on its logic. Iím conscious of how much it takes to win so many straight matches and Iím surprised to have done it. You can always have a bad day. I looked at my results and truly I only suffered a lot in two or three of them. That means that I maintained a great level of focus. When problems arose, I got lucky, but I also was mentally strong.

You are no stranger to hard courts either. But your performance in the majors on the surface isnít as good as in other tour events. Why? You made the finals at Wimbledon this year, and unlike others Spaniards donít refrain from playing on grass. Do you give yourself a chance of winning the Wimbledon title in the future?

I understand concrete and clay. Iím only missing grass. I give myself two-three years to improve that. In order to play well there you have to have good feelings with the court, and actually understand playing on grass or hard-courts. But Iím still young. Thereís a lot that I still need to improve. Iím trying to improve on a daily basis. On clay, this year Iíve had good results. But Iím going to play on other types of courts, as well. My intention is to play in Wimbledon so that I can also keep on learning.

On a normal court, in ground, you have to have a really defined way of playing. Not on grass. You have to learn to move better, to run better, to serve better, and to move to the front or to the back..., get used to the sliding balls. But when I retire, I want to have a clean conscience and know that Iíve done everything I could in order to play well on grass. Itís a special tournament and I always look forward to playing it each year.

Spaniards, in general, have a tendency of making it to major finals on hard surfaces only to come up short - like say Carlos Moya, Juan Carlos Ferrero etc. A Spaniard is also yet to win the Australian Open or the US Open (on a hard court). Do you think thereís a psychological reason behind this?

I donít think there is any psychological reason. The important point is that you have to be consistent and stay mentally focused all the time. You have to win the important points and feel good all the time.

Your rivalry with Roger Federer is the only rivalry in menís tennis in present times. How do you look at Federer as a rival and how do you manage to beat him almost every time? What, according to you, are the weakest aspects of his game?

I will not call it as a rivalry. Itís just that we play quite often and all our matches are tough and close matches and thatís what makes it interesting. Heís a great player on court and an excellent person outside of it. Heís a very complete player. Heís got every right shot. Federer for me is the best player. He is an amazing player. I have a good relationship with him. I have to play my best, probably 120% and try to hold on as much as I can. It is true that I have played him more on clay and thatís to my benefit, but we always have close matches. I donít really know of any secret. As I say I give all my best all the time and maybe thatís helping me.

Apart from Federer whom do you consider as your toughest rivals?

Itís very difficult to single out any one player. The top seeded players are so competitive than anyone can beat you. The question is that you have to be good; stay focused and keep improving all the time. I did look in the past at players like Moya and other Spaniards.

There have been instances where former players have criticized you and the various aspects of your game. How do you take these criticisms?

It really doesnít bother me so long as it is positive criticism about my game. Well, I had one of the worst serves in the circuit. Now itís a lot better, well, itís not one of the best, but it isnít the worst one any more. Iíll have to keep practising. Iíve never been floating high up. Whether Iíve won or lost, my motto has always been the same: to work every day so things wonít twist the wrong way. Itís the only way to achieve something. I always go with the intention of giving it a hundred percent. They know that and that helps me. They see me so determined that they get nervous.

Experts believe that modern tennis has seen power deprive the game of the touch that was visible say till some twenty years back.

I personally donít think so. You might have a big booming serve, but today you need to have an overall game that can be adapted to all courts on the circuit. Above all, you have to be good, feel good and stay fit and mentally focused. With so much traveling in the calendar, the stress might get to you at times.

Considering your uncle played football, did you ever consider playing the beautiful game yourself?

Yes. Iíve always loved sports: soccer, tennis, golf... thatís what made it easier. In fact, had it not been for my uncle who insisted on me training hard and concentrating on tennis in my formation years, I would have been playing football like my friends used to do after school. But, when I look back, I am privileged for doing what I loved to do.

So many achievements in so little time ó is it frightening?

Life is full of challenges. No work is a bed of roses. Yes it feels nice to have titles under your belt. But it is just half the battle won. My main objective is to become a better player and to be happy. Right now, I have slim chances of becoming number one because Iím in a time period where I have to play against the best player in history. In any other time period, I would already be number one because of all the points that I have. And that makes me very happy. But itís true that someday Iíd like to become number one.

JackPumpkinHead
11-23-2006, 01:56 PM
nice article

Beat
11-23-2006, 02:01 PM
both questions and answers are straight out of the handbook for sports interviews. boring, boring, boring.

Derek1206
11-23-2006, 02:06 PM
He's probably right. ;)

Or at least this era minus Federer. :p

nobama
11-23-2006, 02:46 PM
He's probably right. ;)

Or at least this era minus Federer. :pYes since great clay court players (minus Nadal/Fed) don't exist right now.

Sunset of Age
11-23-2006, 03:17 PM
Somehow it just doesn't sound like him...

World Beater
11-23-2006, 03:45 PM
:lol:

this sounds about as truthful as federer's comments on nadal's one dimensional game, and almost sound just as arrogant. Actually it might sound even worse given what nadal is implying about past legends like sampras :tape:

amierin
11-23-2006, 04:30 PM
Is there a link for this article? Thanks.

R.Federer
11-23-2006, 04:37 PM
He is correct that with those kinds of points he would probably be Number 1 if this era did not include Federer. He might have already been the first person since Borg to win the French Wimbledon double as well, and the youngest Number 1 to date. It's a pity for him but there is a chance in the future for the rank.

cmurray
11-23-2006, 05:14 PM
Somehow it just doesn't sound like him...

He must have done the interview in spanish and had it translated? Because there aren't any "very goods" or no?'s " (which I find utterly charming, BTW).

And he's probably right. With what he ended the year points-wise, he probably WOULD have been number one at any other time. But that's the way it is, and I think he understands this.

Raquel
11-23-2006, 05:22 PM
There's a link on Eurosport with this interview - http://www.eurosport.co.uk/tennis/atp-tour/2006-2007/sport_sto1015914.shtml

Nadal heaps praise on Federer

World number two Rafael Nadal has praised Roger Federer and also said that in any other era he believes he would "already be world number one" because of all the ranking points he has earned.

In an interview with DNA India, Nadal also said that he has nothing but deep respect for the Swiss master and refused to talk up their rivalry.

"I would not call it a rivalry, it's just that we play quite often and all our matches are tough and close which makes them so interesting," he said.

"He's a great player on court and an excellent person off it, he's a very complete player, and he's got every shot.

"For me he is the best player, an amazing player, I have a good relationship with him and have to play at my best, probably at 120%, and try and hold on as much as I can whenever I play him."

Nadal also said that he was happy with his 2006 season, despite it somewhat fizzling out after he reached the Wimbledon final in July.

"I have improved a lot this year with some aspects of my game. I think I play with more comfort and security in my serve, and that's important because now when I'm returning I can play a calmer game.

"This year I have felt a little more solid, a bit tougher on court. I'm not making a lot of mistakes now."

He also said that despite reaching the Wimbledon final, he still has to put in a lot of work on grass, but he admits that it is tournament he would love to win.

"I understand how to play on concrete and clay, and I'm now only missing grass," he conceded.

"I'll give myself two to three years to improve on that. On grass you have to learn to move better, to run better, to serve better, and to move to the front or to the back, you have to get used to the sliding balls.

"When I retire, I want to have a clean conscience and know that I've done everything I could in order to play well on grass.

"(Wimbledon) is a special tournament and I always look forward to playing it each year."

Eurosport - Sean Fay - 23/11/2006 17:05

Raquel
11-23-2006, 05:23 PM
And this look like the link to the original article - http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1850607,00070002.htm

atheneglaukopis
11-23-2006, 07:04 PM
He must have done the interview in spanish and had it translated? Because there aren't any "very goods" or no?'s " (which I find utterly charming, BTW).

And he's probably right. With what he ended the year points-wise, he probably WOULD have been number one at any other time. But that's the way it is, and I think he understands this.Oh, it's definitely either translated from Spanish or heavily rewritten for English fluency. No question about that. Even so, I agree with others that it doesn't sound much like his normal voice when translated. :shrug:

Sunset of Age
11-24-2006, 11:25 AM
He must have done the interview in spanish and had it translated? Because there aren't any "very goods" or no?'s " (which I find utterly charming, BTW).

And he's probably right. With what he ended the year points-wise, he probably WOULD have been number one at any other time. But that's the way it is, and I think he understands this.

Yes, I believe the interview has been translated and put into correct English - and with that, it's lost a particular Rafa-charm... his 'no?'s are so charming, indeed!
Of course he's right - if Fed weren't there he'd be the no.1 for quite a period already. But that's the curse of being the no. 2...
I'm glad to read that he's very mature about it. Just like Fed said, BTW.

payrol
11-25-2006, 02:32 AM
guys..just curious..which era was Nadal referring to? if this era minus Fedex..it would be yes..i think...nevertheless....great article...:worship:

Sunset of Age
11-26-2006, 06:26 PM
guys..just curious..which era was Nadal referring to? if this era minus Fedex..it would be yes..i think...nevertheless....great article...:worship:

"Right now, I have slim chances of becoming number one because I’m in a time period where I have to play against the best player in history."

Who do you think he's talking about here? ;)

payrol
11-27-2006, 02:39 AM
"Right now, I have slim chances of becoming number one because Iím in a time period where I have to play against the best player in history."

Who do you think he's talking about here? ;)

oo..yeah..my bad..;) he would have won wimbledon this year if there's no fedex...but then..the race to the no.1 would be close..that would be cool..heheh

atheneglaukopis
11-27-2006, 04:48 AM
"Right now, I have slim chances of becoming number one because Iím in a time period where I have to play against the best player in history."

Who do you think he's talking about here? ;)Marat! :crazy: Right? :angel:

Sunset of Age
11-27-2006, 12:34 PM
Marat! :crazy: Right? :angel:

:haha: :haha: :haha:

Yeah, of course - never thought of him!
No kidding, I hope Marat will do better the coming season. I kind of expect that, too. :p

Getta
08-17-2008, 01:56 AM
** B U M P **



So many achievements in so little time ó is it frightening?

Life is full of challenges. No work is a bed of roses. Yes it feels nice to have titles under your belt. But it is just half the battle won. My main objective is to become a better player and to be happy. Right now, I have slim chances of becoming number one because Iím in a time period where I have to play against the best player in history. In any other time period, I would already be number one because of all the points that I have. And that makes me very happy. But itís true that someday Iíd like to become number one.



Somehow it just doesn't sound like him...



He must have done the interview in spanish and had it translated? Because there aren't any "very goods" or no?'s " (which I find utterly charming, BTW).

And he's probably right. With what he ended the year points-wise, he probably WOULD have been number one at any other time. But that's the way it is, and I think he understands this.



Yes, I believe the interview has been translated and put into correct English - and with that, it's lost a particular Rafa-charm... his 'no?'s are so charming, indeed!
Of course he's right - if Fed weren't there he'd be the no.1 for quite a period already. But that's the curse of being the no. 2...
I'm glad to read that he's very mature about it. Just like Fed said, BTW.

16681
08-18-2008, 08:40 AM
That just didn't sound like Rafa at all, no? I love the no BTW. But he is #1 now :D

jaybee
08-18-2008, 12:06 PM
I'm loving the ATP site, with that opening congratulatory note for Rafa. Cool.

star
08-18-2008, 12:59 PM
That just didn't sound like Rafa at all, no? I love the no BTW. But he is #1 now :D

He is # 1, no?

;)