Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Rafael Nadal - The Times Blog

I seem to be a day behind, oops :)

If I wasn't a tennis player I'd be the king of the swingers

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Hola Rafa, does all the adulation, fame, money, championships ever overwhelm you and make you think 'how did I manage to get here at such a young age'? – Ganesh, India

RN: No, I don't pay attention to those things. I just enjoy playing tennis, I love the sport and I try my best. I never thought I could get so far but I always knew i wanted to play tennis, become a professional and started setting up goals. So far I ma very happy and have to be very thankful.

Apart from the Aston Martin, what do you consider to be your biggest mistake? - Frank, UK

RN: Wow, this car thing is really something, huhhh? I have made mistakes but that one probably was the biggest one, let's put it like this.

When you are in Australia, will you be doing anything to help the flood victims in Queensland? Your work with Federer and others at the exhibition match for the Haiti earthquake fund was amazing. All the best! - Sharon Lam

RN: We already played that exhibition on Sunday and we managed to collect some good money to help.

I used to see many pictures of you and your team kicking around a tennis ball on the tennis court after practice; however I don’t see pictures of you guys playing anymore. Have you stopped – and why? - Zine

RN: No, not at all but we dn't always do it. It is a good exercise. The problem is to find good partners.... hahahaha

I’m Spaniard (54 years old) and I’m just trying to improve my English to understand better your interviews around the world and also to be able to speak with other fans of yours… I’m wondering if you still take English classes or it is enough for you to practice English in your travels? You have all my support, Rafa, you can do it, good luck in AO!! ¡VAMOS! Un besazo desde Madrid. – Rosi

RN: I never took classes but I am always trying to learn, listen a lot, sometimes Benito and other of my team help me. You know, traveling the world you need to speak English so the traveling has given me the chance to improve.

Congratulations on your 2010 year and all the best for 2011! I love watching you and Marc Lopez play doubles...will he join you at Indian Wells? And if you weren’t playing with Marc, who would you most like to play alongside? - Terry

RN: Thanks. I enjoy playing with him. Yes i'll play with him there, normally.

All the best for you match tomorrow. I will be cheering for you. I would love to know how would you describe your own fashion style? -Love,Joana!

RN: No description I suppose. I dont know how to describe it to be honest. I suppose I like the colours since I am from Spain, maybe that?

Glad you seem to be over your illness in Doha. How hard is it to recover when you are banned from taking certain medications due to drug tests? - Love from Clare & the Rafateers

RN: As you know we are very limited on what we can take, In the case of Doha I had to take antibiotics and that's quite not comfortable.

If you had to choose another sport other than tennis to play professionally, what would it be? Golf? - Matt, UK

RN: Football or nowadays golf.
Wednesday 19 January

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Hi everyone.
I did something today that to be very honest with you, I'd never done before.

I had practice this morning not too early (11am) and then decided to go to the beach and have lunch with my team at a restaurant there, next to the sea. Most of my fans know I love the sea and I today it was a nice day and we decided to go there.

It is different from Majorca but we had a great time, we ate some nice fish and then we came back to the hotel since I have a meeting with Adam Helfant, the CEO of the ATP to talk about some things related to our sport.
A nice day I have to say that gives me the energy for tomorrow's match. Hope everything goes well.

Thanks for your support.


Tuesday 18th Jan

Hi everyone,

The first round is over almost for everyone and that means that already half of the draw is out of the competition. This is the thing about tennis: 128 players were here to start the main draw but after only two days of competition there is only half of the draw left. It went well for me today since I won the match pretty fast. I am sorry for Marcos [Daniel] who had to retire: it is always an uncomfortable situation since I felt bad for him. He is a nice guy and I hope he recovers well and soon.

Since the match didn't last too much and also considering I served not that well at the beginning of the second set, I decided to go out and serve for 30 minutes. I felt well after that and was happy after. I got some rhythm on my serve again.


I bought a piece of the court you played on for your foundation - it was a great idea to raise money. Do you have any other fundraising activities planned? - Juliette, UK

Hi Juliette, many thanks for this. I hope you liked the piece and that you are happy. The money is going to a good cause and the foundation will do well for kids. We are planning other things but will let people know.

My question is, what do you like most about being on tour apart from playing tennis? Do you get time to do fun things in the cities you are staying? All the best for the Australian Open! - Jamie

I don't have that much time anymore to visit. I like to go out at night to restaurants and enjoy the food with my team and other players.

Why did you decide to model underwear for Armani? Surely it wasn’t just for the money? Was the photoshoot fun? – Liana, Greece

The shoots are never that much fun, to be honest. I am a tennis player and I like sports, not really photo shoots. I decided to go with Armani since the idea is fun and it is a great brand to be with. Very happy with the decision.

Hola Rafa! I am impressed with the different modes of transport that have been laid on for you to get you to tournament sites.  The boat along the Thames to go to the WTF, the helicopter in Toronto, as well as the usual tournament cars. What’s your favourite mode of transport? - Love, Julie

Walking from the house I rent in Wimbledon to the tournament site. Really!

Dear Rafa - I notice that sometimes you train with other players - Feli L√≥pez, Novak Djokovic etc. Do you ask the other players to train with you or do other people arrange the training sessions for you? Good luck for your first round match! - Qing Qing, China 
It depends. Normally I ask other players or they ask me, or Toni takes care of it, or the tournament finds me someone, or the ATP, it depends. Many ways.

Hi Rafa! Congratulations for your amazing 2010 season, I wish you many more like this one! For how many years have you been playing golf? What or who gave you the idea to play golf, and how did you learn? Bonne chance pour l'Open d'Australie! - Mathilde, France

I love to play golf, really enjoy it. I have been playing for some years now and my uncles (Miguel Angel, Rafael and Toni) got me into it.

I noticed Kylie Minogue watched one of your matches at the World Tour Finals. Do you have many famous friends? If so, who do you like to spend time with? – Veronica, New South Wales
Yes she did. She and her boyfriend came to one of my matches. Andres, her boyfriend came for dinner with us one night and he was very nice. I was happy to see them.

Hi Rafa. If you don't mind, I read that you have been with your girlfriend since you were 14. Your sister introduced you, is that true? - Cedrine

Not true. We have been for almost 5 years together and I am 24 turning 25 this year.

Hi Rafa - firstly good luck for the next two weeks at the Australian Open. I am always amazed at your ability to recall stats and scorelines even from matches you played a long time ago. So I'm wondering was this ability to remember things as good when it came to school, like when revising for exams, or is it only good where tennis is concerned? Thank you and again best of luck. - Debbie, Ireland
Hi Debbie, many thanks for your message. Let's hope I am here two weeks. I have a good memory, actually very, very good. I remember almost everything.

Hi Rafa! So you regret buying the Aston Martin.. what about the Harley Davidson, is that also a regret? - Kim, London

I do actually. Regarding the Harley, it is a long story but I still haven't used it! Will let you know.

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