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Old 05-26-2006, 03:24 PM   #46
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Default Re: *~*~Vamos Rafa at Roland Garros!!! ~*~*

^^^ Sometimes I get the impression that Rafa doesn't know how to say NO.

He's had a lot of distractions lately, no doubt about it.

He should be OK though, I doubt he'll put as much effort into this as Dima. He'll probably be recorded and someone will translate and post what he said.
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Old 05-26-2006, 08:09 PM   #47
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Default Re: *~*~Vamos Rafa at Roland Garros!!! ~*~*

From Rafa's press conference earlier today, from MSNBC:
Quote:
Nadal gets animated over coaching question

Spaniard says uncle is not illegally giving him instructions during matches

Updated: 3:52 p.m. ET May 26, 2006

PARIS - If Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are going to build a rivalry for the ages, it wouldn’t hurt the TV ratings or buzz factor if there were a bit of animosity — or at least a difference of opinion. Well, it looks like they’ve got the latter.

Both usually say all the right things about the other’s talent and place in the game, but a touch of tension arises when it comes to Federer’s contention that Nadal is getting coaching help during matches, something against the rules on the tennis tour.

The topic was raised Friday with Nadal after the French Open draw, in which both players appeared to avoid tough early matchups.

Asked whether his uncle and coach, Toni, provides in-match instruction, something Federer charged after losing their Rome Masters final this month, the reigning French Open champion gave the longest and most animated response of his news conference.

“If my uncle didn’t receive a warning in Rome, it must be because he was abiding by the rules,” Nadal said. “If my uncle was truly giving me coaching tips, he would have gotten a warning. All he was doing was spurring me on, saying, 'Vamos!' (Let’s go!) 'Venga!' (Come on!) 'Con fuerza!’ (Go for it!).”

Nadal said his uncle does the same sort of thing as “every coach in the world, or at least 90 percent of them,” adding that he thinks the rulebook needs updating.

“Explain to me: What kind of rule is this that coaches can’t say anything during a match? In what other sport does that happen?” he asked.

“I mean, you are paying your coach and taking him to Australia to have him do this during the matches?”

At that, Nadal rose from his chair to stand with arms crossed and lips sealed, turning his head from side to side like a spectator following the path of a ball back-and-forth over the net.

“That can’t be,” he said. “These are things that need to change.”

Otherwise, Nadal was quite deferential when talking about Federer, who’ll open his bid to complete a non-calendar Grand Slam on Sunday.

“I know he’s No. 1. He’s the best,” Nadal said. “He can beat me in every surface, any match.”

Really? Nadal is 5-1 against Federer over their careers, including a win in last year’s Roland Garros semifinals and the 5-hour Rome final. After the most recent loss, Federer said about Toni Nadal: “He was coaching a little bit too much again today. Yeah, I caught him in the act.”

So, is it a rivalry?

“We still haven’t played enough yet. Sometimes, a rivalry needs a win and a loss, a win and a loss. That’s not what’s been really going on,” Federer said. “He’s only been on tour for a couple of years. I think it’s heading into a very nice direction for tennis by having a player like him on tour.”

Nadal, who turns 20 next week, will play Robin Soderling of Sweden in the first round. A victory would be the Spaniard’s 54th in a row on clay, breaking the Open era record he shares with Guillermo Vilas.

“It’s amazing what he’s doing, it’s historic,” said No. 8-seeded James Blake, in the top 10 at a major for the first time.

The possible men’s quarterfinals are: Federer vs. No. 7 Tommy Robredo of Spain, Nadal vs. Blake, No. 5 Andy Roddick vs. No. 4 Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia, and Nalbandian vs. No. 6 Nikolay Davydenko of Russia.

Roddick is hoping to recover from an ankle injury, while Blake faces a potentially rough start, with big hitter Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand in the first round, followed by clay-court expert Nicolas Almagro of Spain.

Many figure the June 11 men’s final will be Roger vs. Rafa, a meeting between men ranked Nos. 1-2 and winners of the past four majors.

“I hope, obviously, I’m in the finals,” Blake said. “If I’m not, as a tennis fan, I’m hoping those two are, to see their rivalry continue.”

That forecast got a boost Friday, when past French Open champions Gaston Gaudio, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Carlos Moya all wound up in No. 3 David Nalbandian’s quarter.

Two-time major champion Marat Safin — unseeded and a candidate to fall anywhere in the draw — is in Nadal’s half, but not until the quarterfinal stage. No. 9 Fernando Gonzalez drew Safin in the first round. Another intriguing opening match pits two 19-year-olds pegged as future stars: No. 25 Gael Monfils of France vs. Andy Murray of Britain.

The women’s final eight could be: No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo of France vs. Venus Williams, No. 2 Kim Clijsters of Belgium vs. Martina Hingis, No. 3 Nadia Petrova of Russia vs. defending champion Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium, and No. 4 Maria Sharapova vs. No. 8 Svetlana Kuznetsova.

The woman Henin-Hardenne beat in last year’s final, Mary Pierce, pulled out of the tournament because of a right foot injury that’s kept her off tour since February.

“I don’t feel 100 percent ready to be competitive at this tournament,” said Pierce, the 2000 French Open champion. “I don’t know when I will compete again.”
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/12992349/
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Old 05-27-2006, 09:11 AM   #48
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Default Re: *~*~Vamos Rafa at Roland Garros!!! ~*~*

Very nice interview again, translated by Moondancer!
Quote:
Interview with Sport24.com

« Federer is the number one »

Rafael Nadal is logically the big favourite. The Spaniard is looking to prolong his title. Interview.

By Guillaume Serres
At Roland-Garros

Sport24.com : Rafael, you come here this year as the title holder. Do you think that you will manage to repeat last year's tournament?
Rafael Nadal: I will try my best but you never know. If I play my best tennis, I think that I can win but it will be difficult.

Sport24.com: Last year, you were a young man taking part in your first Roland Garros. This year, the situation is different because you come here as the best player on this surface. Is the pressure different?
RN: We don’t share the same vision on things. Last year, when I came here, everybody was telling me: “you are the favourite”. Last year, I won and it was very hard.
Now, I have won it. This is important since it allows me to be more calm coming here. The pressure I feel is not different than what Federer, Gaudio, Moya or others must be going through…I’m training well and it’s my goal to play well from my first match. But, I’d like to remind you that it is not normal to win everything. That is not normal (laughter).

Sport24.com: Why are you so strong on clay?
RN: I think that I fight all the time. I play every shot at the maximum, I play every ball, every point at 100%. I don’t make a lot of errors and that’s important on clay. Beyond that, you’ll have to ask the experts who analyse my game. Me, I don’t know…

Sport24.com : You are only one win away from a new record of consecutive victories on clay, that you share with Guillermo Villas (red: 53 wins). Does that inspire you?
RN: I feel some form of joy thinking about beating that record. I'm head-to head with Vilas at the moment but there’s still one win to get. I will do my best, not to beat that record, but during the entire Roland Garros. I have a difficult first round against Robin Soderling. I will try to do my best during that match.

Sport24.com: After the Rome final, your last official match in two weeks, Roger Federer complained that you were being coached by your uncle Tony. What’s your opinion?
RN: The court. I have nothing to add to that.

Sport24.com: In Rome, Roger Federer was very close to beating you. Has this changed your state of mind? Are you in more doubt now?
RN (agitated): Each time, people tell me that Roger is more and more close to me. But Roger is the number one, not me! It’s me that’s getting more close to him and who has to do the catching up. In Monte Carlo this year, he was leading 4-1 in the tie break, in Dubai, the first set was nearly all him. Same with Rome. All the matches are tough against Roger, not only in Rome…

Sport24.com: But you win each time. Is it that it could have put you off balance, knowing that he’s so close?
RN: I stayed positive in my head. I always have a good attitude but he’s well and truly the world number one.

Sport24.com: To conclude, can you tell us what the difference is between the Nadal who’s there on that screen (with the trophy of 2005) and the one who is sitting on that chair?
RN: no difference, it’s the same.
http://www.sport24.com/sport24_artic...o_1__8686.html
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Old 05-27-2006, 09:15 AM   #49
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Default Re: *~*~Vamos Rafa at Roland Garros!!! ~*~*

The same press conference was the basis of this article from The Mercury News:
Quote:
Posted on Fri, May. 26, 2006

Nadal, Federer getting testy in rivalry

BY CHARLES BRICKER
South Florida Sun-Sentinel


PARIS - Two days before the Sunday start of the French Open, the enormously popular defending champion Rafael Nadal seems to be everywhere, including deep within the psyche of World No. 1 Roger Federer, whose throne he rocks as no one else in tennis can.

There are still 15 days and six opponents to conquer before these two young, most luminous stars of the ATP tour could play each other for the seventh time and for the third time this year in a final.

But that's the match almost everyone tracking this Grand Slam wants to see - the man many already have anointed the greatest player in history against the powerful teenager from Mallorca, whose infectious personality and record-tying 53-match clay-court win streak have combined to make him the most commercially desirable player in men's tennis.

If Federer had been able to win more than one of these classic matches, this rivalry might be more amiable.

He hasn't, and a soft but palpable tension is beginning to pervade the two camps, apparently coming entirely from Federer, who has now lost four times in a row to Nadal, and five of their six confrontations overall, including last year's French Open semifinal.

There are two sources of Federer's increasing irritation. First, his inability to find a way to beat this one player, despite having two match points two weeks ago in Rome, and missing both times off his famous forehand side.

Second, his uncharacteristic complaint after the Rome final that Nadal's brother, Tony, was coaching illegally from the player's box.

"He was coaching a little too much again today. Yeah, I caught him in the act," Federer told reporters, then went on to claim it wasn't the first time he's been annoyed.

"I told him (Tony Nadal) many times already, through the entire match in Monaco. But it seems like they don't keep a close enough eye on him."

Friday, Nadal refused to be drawn into the controversy. "The court is in the court," he begged off. "When anything pass in the court, that finish in the court. I don't have to say nothing about that, no?"

Whether or not Tony Nadal is shouting instructions in violation of the ATP rules in a match between these two goliaths of the game seems less significant than Federer's complaining about it.

It's likely that Federer's irritation is linked to his continuing failures against Nadal and to his uncompromising drive to win the French Open, the lone Grand Slam to escape him.

The two men met with reporters Friday with Federer pleasant, responsive but unsmiling and Nadal, who turns 20 on June 3, joking a bit, flashing his disarming, broad grin and displaying great respect for the man he has tormented.

"The press always say to me Roger is more close to you now. But Roger is the No. 1. I need to stay more closer than him, no?" he said, smiling.

There is no argument that Federer, who once won 24 consecutive finals, is No. 1 in the rankings, and by the prodigious margin of 2,465 points.

But there also is no argument about who is the king of clay. In the course of matching Guillermo Vilas' 53-match clay win streak, Nadal has won the past nine clay court tournaments he entered.

There are two key elements to Nadal's victories over Federer - speed and left-handed ground strokes.

Nadal's heavy forehand crosscourt shots bore in on Federer's backhand side, where he is less comfortable and, because he's such a great defender and retriever, Nadal is able to counter Roger's consistency.

There isn't a weakness in Federer's game, including a very fine serve. But his serve is less effective on clay, where the ball bites into the dirt and stands up more than races through the court.

After losing in four sets in the Monaco final on April 23, Federer decided he would be more aggressive off his backhand side and attack the net more at Rome, May 14.

That match went five hours and five sets and Federer not only had a 5-3 lead in the final-set tiebreak, but two match points. He hit one forehand into the net and the other long when he had a chance to seize control of those key points.

Was it bad luck or has Nadal gotten deep into Federer's emotional makeup? It's difficult to think of any other moments, against any other players, when Federer doesn't play the trump card when the money is on the table at ultimate moments in a big match.

"He made a mistake with two forehands, one which was quite simple for him," Nadal said.

Federer, of course, will never admit to mental weakness. Number ones don't do that. "I'm on the right track," he says. That means aggressiveness and more aggressiveness.

"For me just to hit it and move backward again, that's not the way I learned the game," he said. "My way of thinking is you come to the net and finish it at the net. That's what I'm doing pretty well at the moment, and that's what makes me win the matches."

It's not so easy to do with Nadal, however. His speed along the baseline means he usually doesn't have to rush his passing shots and, when he gets to his forehand, particularly, he hits with such heavy topspin that the volleys are often difficult to control.

This rivalry began at the Nasdaq-100 Open in 2004 with Nadal winning 6-3, 6-3 in the third round, at a time when Federer had won the 2003 Wimbledon and 2004 Australian Open.

A year later, in the Key Biscayne final, Federer had to rally from two sets down to beat Nadal for the only time. Since then, Nadal has won them all.

And if they meet in the final here and Nadal wins his 60th consecutive clay-court match, it can only add to Federer's frustration.

There will be the obvious comparisons with Pete Sampras, who also never won the French among his 14 major titles.

There also will be the hope of many Spaniards and, indeed, Nadal fans all over the globe that he is ready not only to beat Federer in Paris but at other Grand Slams as well.

It's no longer Federer and the rest of the ATP Tour. It's a two-man race.
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercu...s/14678658.htm
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Old 05-27-2006, 11:29 AM   #50
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Default Re: *~*~Vamos Rafa at Roland Garros!!! ~*~*

Quote:
Originally Posted by mallorn
The same press conference was the basis of this article from The Mercury News:

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercu...s/14678658.htm
Mallorn where did u get that avatar...its GORGEOUS!!
i think i will be stealing ti to use as a screensaver on my mobile phone
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Old 05-27-2006, 11:52 AM   #51
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Default Re: *~*~Vamos Rafa at Roland Garros!!! ~*~*

I thought Rafa's smile is avatar-worthy.
It's from Rome. I made it from this picture:


I don't mind you "stealing" it.
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Old 05-27-2006, 12:35 PM   #52
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Default Re: *~*~Vamos Rafa at Roland Garros!!! ~*~*

Good luck!!!
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Old 05-27-2006, 06:15 PM   #53
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Default Re: *~*~Vamos Rafa at Roland Garros!!! ~*~*

Vamos Rafa!!
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Old 05-27-2006, 07:15 PM   #54
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Default Re: *~*~Vamos Rafa at Roland Garros!!! ~*~*

There's an announcement of the blog on the ATP site:



Today, Rafa took part in the Benny-Berthet day. From the official website:
Quote:
Benny-Berthet draws in the crowds
Despite the cloudy skies, the fans turned out in force for this year's Benny-Berthet day, brought forward to Saturday in a departure from the norm. Fabrice Santoro, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal played to a capacity crowd on the Philippe-Chatrier court while the other courts were similarly well turned out, and particularly those staging the qualifiers. Court number 7 saw Virginie Pichet, cheered on by Aravane Rezai's family among others, book her ticket for the finals shortly after lunch. Even the training sessions were held in front of packed stands, including a popular stint between Marat Safin and Olivier Rochus. And the youngsters were delighted with the opportunity to get close to their heroes, often more interested in their autographs than their aces.
Also, there was something called "Vach'Art" or cowparade, where players left their handprints on a huge cow. There's a lovely picture of Rafa in the official gallery:



Thanks, Emily!
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Old 05-28-2006, 07:22 AM   #55
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Default Re: *~*~Vamos Rafa at Roland Garros!!! ~*~*

Eurosport interview with Rafa: Rankings Important

mms://vipeurosport.yacast.net/eurosport/2006/05/27/05_25501_4_57_0_320x240.wmv

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=CMPE80A4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jpQ4stepl8

http://media.putfile.com/Eurosport-2...Rafa-Interview
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Old 05-28-2006, 08:26 AM   #56
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Default Re: *~*~Vamos Rafa at Roland Garros!!! ~*~*

I just hope Safin doesnt make the Quarters, Hes known for using too much energy in the early rounds of the French so thats a plus, its just that if he makes it to Rafa it may really be a fight, Safin is always inspired and always enjoys himself when he is versing a great opponent, the big names like Roddick, Federer and now itll be nadal who will be riding that Clay court streak, he loves to prove himself as being a big gun but only when he comes up against the big guys, he plays like a fool against the "less important players" I want Marat to make a comeback cos im a big fan I actually wanted it to happen at the French, but not with him on Rafa's Side, I want Rafa to win it, I woulda liked to see Marat and Rafa in the final but Rafa is my home boy and deserves everything he gets, especially on clay!!! COME ON RAFA KEEP YOUR HEAD UP AND KEEP BELIEVING AND TAKE IT EASY!!! KILL EM ALL!!!!
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Old 05-28-2006, 01:08 PM   #57
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Default Re: *~*~Vamos Rafa at Roland Garros!!! ~*~*

There are some new long articles, so I'll just post the most interesting one here and links to the others if anyone's interested.

From The Independent:
Quote:
Federer fired by Nadal phenomenon

World No 1 is 'excited' by the emergence of his brilliant shadow and anticipates thrilling rivalry

By Ronald Atkin in Paris
Published: 28 May 2006


When Roger Federer turned up to talk about his chances of winning what would be his fourth consecutive Grand Slam, it was disconcerting for the great man to be seated beneath a gigantic picture of Rafael Nadal, the reigning champion of Roland Garros and the man fancied by every bookmaker (at odds on, moreover) to extend his domination over the world's greatest racket exponent by lifting the trophy again.

Federer will today kick-start his campaign to add the French to the Wimbledon, US and Australian titles he has annexed over the past 10 months when he faces a local hero, Arnaud Clement, the first time Roland Garros has moved forward 24 hours from a Monday start. But it was inevitably Nadal who was on his mind, though he dismissed their confrontations as a rivalry, explaining the results had been too one-sided (Nadal leads 5-1).

"I think maybe it's getting there slowly," said Federer. "We still haven't played enough yet, and a rivalry needs a win and a loss, a win and a loss. That's not what's been really going on, he's been winning the last few. Though [Nadal] has only been on the tour for a couple of years, it's heading into a very nice direction for tennis by having a player like him. For me, once again it's an exciting time."

Federer was cut down by the Nadal combine harvester in last year's Roland Garros semi-finals, since when he has not been able to close the gap on an opponent who spent the winter rehabilitating a foot injury yet who has sprung into the clay-court season like a demented flamenco dancer.

Though not a topical, trendy metatarsal, Nadal's problem had its origin in a stress fracture in 2004. Then last autumn he damaged the tendon and muscles around the old stress injury. Now he plays with remedial inserts in shoes specially made for him by Nike. Specially labelled, too, with "Vamos" ("Let's go") on the left heel and his name on the right. Nadal has been vamos-ing through the clay season, winning consecutive tournaments in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome, where he survived two match points against Federer in a five-hour classic.

For the moment, his English does not come near matching the excellence of his tennis, but in both fields he tries, he really does. Pointing out that Federer is the world No 1, while he is only No 2, Nadal explained his continuing success thus: "I am positive always, no? I am very good attitude always. I always play my 100 per cent. I fight always. Every match, every ball. I don't have a lot of mistakes. And maybe in clay that's important, no?"

Tomorrow's first round against the Swede, Robin Soderling, should see Nadal shatter the record of consecutive clay-court victories which he currently shares with Guillermo Vilas on 53. But, charmingly, he stressed that records were not paramount in his thinking. "I'm going to be trying my best, not for the record, for Roland Garros." So Federer, and everyone else, knows the direction the exciting young Spaniard is pointing.

The draw was not kind to Federer, landing him in the same quarter as David Nalbandian, someone else who is capable of giving him a hard time, especially on clay. If the Argentinian avoids ambush before the last eight and if Federer overcomes him, a Swiss-Spanish final looks certain, since there appears no one capable of giving those "Vamos" shoes an extended run.
In nine of the past 10 years, the Coupe Mousquetaires has been hoisted by Latins, either from Spain or South America. The exception was 1999, when Andre Agassi completed his full set of Slam crowns. Sadly, the Bald One is absent because of ongoing sciatica worries, allegedly keeping his powder dry, and his hip free of pain, in readiness for one last charge at Wimbledon.

So the American battalion will be led into battle by James Blake, someone who has known, and continues to know, what it takes to play tennis in pain. So well has the popular New Yorker done this season that he is seeded eighth here, and it is bleak news for Andy Murray that, should he get past his keenly anticipated first round against his French teen counterpart Gaël Monfils (known as Sliderman in these parts), he would probably run up against Blake, though the American would need first to see off another Spaniard, Nicolas Almagro, not far behind Nadal in the vroom-vroom stakes.

Still, the cheery news for Murray is that this time a year ago he was competing in the junior event. And after this he will move on to the scene of 2005 triumphs at Queen's and Wimbledon.

The other Britons, Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski, should not be long in heading for the grass, either. After two winnable rounds, Henman - a semi-finalist here in 2004 - would run into Nalbandian, while Rusedski's fate, if successful in the first round, would be to clash with the Croatian Mario Ancic, who is formidable on any surface.

There are, without doubt, lurkers in the French field who can upset even the best clay people - the 6ft 10in Ivo Karlovic, whose serve can be hidden in low cloud; that mighty Chilean forehand smiter Fernando Gonzalez; Marat Safin if he stirs his stumps; Andy Roddick if his ailing ankle is better; Ivan Ljubicic on any favourable day. But it is hard to look beyond Nadal v Federer a fortnight today.

KING OF CLAY: ANATOMY OF A TENNIS POWERHOUSE WHO SIMPLY NEVER STOPS RUNNING

Heart
Not since the heyday of Jimmy Connors has tennis seen someone who fights for every point with such ferocity, which is why clay and its sliding qualities suit Nadal's style perfectly.

Muscles

The physical build-up has been going on since Nadal opted for tennis over football aged 12. It is directed by his uncle Miguel Angel Nadal, Barcelona's former hard-man defender.

Hands

A right-hander who was advised to switch arms to strengthen the left side of his body, Nadal has extra backhand power since it is his "natural" hitting action.

Legs

The crucial "engine" of every tennis player. Nadal's rigorous training programme ensures that he is one of the game's most durable runners and finest movers.

Feet

The source of Nadal's only fitness worries. Following a stress fracture in 2004, he damaged a tendon near the old injury last autumn and now wears shoes with special inserts.

http://sport.independent.co.uk/tennis/article620658.ece
Nadal looms as tennis' Man of Clay

All in the shadow of Nadal
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Old 05-28-2006, 01:11 PM   #58
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Default Re: *~*~Vamos Rafa at Roland Garros!!! ~*~*

The OOP for Monday is out, Rafa's first match is scheduled for tomorrow!

Monday, 29/05/06

CHATRIER 11:00 Start

Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Michaella Krajicek (NED) vs. Patty Schnyder (SUI)[7]

Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Sebastien Grosjean (FRA)[21] vs.Andrei Pavel (ROM)

Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Virginie Razzano (FRA) vs. Kim Clijsters (BEL)[2]

Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Robin Soderling (SWE) vs. Rafael Nadal (ESP)[2]



VAMOS RAFA!

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Old 05-28-2006, 05:18 PM   #59
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Default Re: *~*~Vamos Rafa at Roland Garros!!! ~*~*

Good luck 2morrow Rafa !!

I hope I can see him play school
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Old 05-28-2006, 05:22 PM   #60
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Default Re: *~*~Vamos Rafa at Roland Garros!!! ~*~*

Yeah, VAMOS Rafa! I can see it!
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