Saturday, 25 June 2011

Rafael Nadal - The Times Blog

I had completely forgot all about this, oops.  After a brief switch to The Telegraph Rafa is back with The Times.

Here is the Blog so far (you need a subscription to view online)

Well done Rory, the big news of the weekend

Rafael Nadal June 21 2011 1:08AM

blog post photo

Good morning everybody and thanks again for letting me this opportunity to do this blog. 

I arrived to London last Wednesday and one thing different this year is that .... it has been raining all the time! We had such a lovely summer last year! :-) Anyway it is great to be back here in the UK playing this fantastic event. 

Lots of things to tell you but really not many different things except for this weather. Hopefully it will change and will allow the tournament to go on without many headaches! Because imagine all those players from the section of the draw I am playing that spent the whole day at the tournament waiting to play and that in the end they could not play!

And just wanted to say something about the big news of this past week end! Rory amazing!!!! Big congratulations to him! IT is so nice to see him play! He deserved to win and I am very happy for him and for all his family, team, friends and fans! Well done!


Winning in Paris has made me calm

Rafael Nadal June 21 2011 9:58AM
blog post photo

Get your questions into Rafa by e-mailing and follow his progress in his own words.

When you were my age (11), for how many hours a week did you play tennis and how did you manage to find the time? Sinead Ryan
Rafa: Hello, I use to spend 2 or 3 hours playing tennis and even football. But at that age more or less I had to stop football since it was too much and stayed with tennis. You know classes and studies together with sport was what I was doing.
You like to cook here – do you ever use a recipe? What is your favourite dish to prepare besides gambas and pasta? Teresa, USA
Yes I like to cook here in Wimbledon at the house. I also prepare fish and vegetables, grilled. I buy very good tuna fish and salmon here which I love. The salmon I do it with teriyaki sauce.

How do you remain so humble whilst you look totally arrogant on court? Elaine Marock

Wow! So you say I am arrogant? I am only focused and concentrated on the point. I don't think I behave arrogant, sorry to not agree with you.

I queued over 24 hours in order to see you play! Is there anything that you would queue that long for? Kim Mackenzie
Not sure I would do it, specially here with all this rain! So i really admire all you and thank you for doing that. I would queue for the golf event!

What are the main adjustments you have to make to play on grass at Wimbledon? Do you have to stay closer to the baseline, take the ball earlier and be more aggressive? Will you be adjusting your service motion and position as well? And do you feel comfortable with the courts and balls this year? I hope you have a great tournament, again. Best of luck. Alexis Grohmann
Yes, there are many adjustments to the grass compared with clay for example. Almost everything is different. Like all fast surfaces you have to try to stay closer to the base line. The serve os also more important and also the body position here is lower since you hit the ball down more than up. Many things to change actually.

Hi Rafa,how does it make you feel when other players say you are their toughest opponent to play? Val Brighouse
Well, I am not sure they always really mean it. But it is something that helps I suppose.

If you could have had a long conversation and ask questions to someone famous from the past who would you like to have talked to and why, what would you like to have asked them or learnt from them? Juliette Westbrook-Finch, England UK
This is a very interesting question but I really don't know the answer would have to think about it. BUt for sure someone historic, some one who was important in the history of my country. or maybe some sportsman that had really important moments to ask how he handled the situation. OR some world businessman... I don't know but thanks for this since will think about it.

As Wimbledon gets underway, do you feel a lot of pressure is off of you now that you won Roland Garros? Jennifer Wilkens
We always have pressure but the fact of winning Roland Garros really releases some of that pressure and makes me play with more calm.

Ask Rafa: the crowds at Wimbledon are very correct

Rafael Nadal June 22 2011 1:15AM

blog post photo

You've often mentioned that you enjoy the musical The Phantom of The Opera (great choice by the way ) but did you know that Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber has a house in Mallorca and spends a good deal of time there? Perhaps you should make contact and he can give you a personal rendition? Julie Tingle

Rafa: I didn't know. As you say perhaps after Wimbledon we could meet. That would be very nice. Thanks for the tip!

Hi Rafa, as you are on British turf, do you find it difficult to motivate yourself if you are falling behind when you are playing against a British player, i.e Murray as the crowd will be supporting their countryman more? Kylie Pang

Rafa: No, I think the crowd here is extremely polite and correct. I have played Andy here at Wimbledon before and they were amazing, very correct. It is obvious they support the local player but no complaints whatsoever, actually the other way around.

How have you improved since Wimbledon last year and in what areas?  Sharon Lam

Rafa: I am not sure I have improved. I do have more experience though....

What is the best thing about Wimbledon off the court, as opposed to the other slams? Gindy, Richmond

Rafa: That I am at the house and have the choice of doing a "normal" life like today staying for dinner, watch TV on a sofa surrounded by friends (team) and family.

Do you like horror movies? Dina, Egypt

Rafa: I AM SCARED OF THEM!!!! Not too much to be honest!

Can I hit with you if you ever come to Chicago?  I'm a left-hander, too. Andrew Cuison

:-) Not planning to come to Chicago for the moment. I used to go there in transit on my way from Madrid to Palm Springs. Iberia fly there.

Did the grass feel different from the last time you played on Centre? It looks so lush and soft and good enough to sleep on. Natalie

Rafa: Very much!!! it is amazing to play the first match on center. The grass is so perfect and green, something really amazing!!!

I enjoyed the sunshine, let's hope it stays that way

Rafael Nadal June 22 2011 1:20AM

blog post photo

Hello everyone.

What a lovely afternoon it was today, so sunny, so nice! Let's hope it stays like this!!!! 

Had a quiet day today, played some playstation (you probably saw that on my facebook, and simply stayed at home for dinner with Maymo, Toni and Carlos. 

Very quiet, very nice. 

Tomorrow people might think it is an easy match but that is not correct. 

We'll see how it goes!

Ask Rafa: thanks to Yen-Hsun Lu for helping out

Rafael Nadal June 23 2011 1:36AM

blog post photo

I've seen a photo that you warmed up with Yen-Hsun Lu today on your Facebook. What do you think about Lu and his game and how do you feel hitting with him?  Rachel, Taiwan
Yes, I had the chance to warm up with him today I think it was on Court 10. He was good to hit with and I am very thankful to him for accepting. I wish him all the best of luck!

My sister and I are South Africans and are BIG fans; we wear your tennis gear with PRIDE. Do you think we will ever realize our dream of getting to watch you mesmerize us live in our shores? Bongiwe

I have been in South Africa 3 times, once playing at sun city, another to the Nike Junior Tour prize-giving ceremony and last year for the World Cup football. Hopefully one day will be back again there to play. Thanks!

I was wondering if maybe one day we'll get a Rafa cook book, full of your recipes? It would be very popular. Cedrine, London
Not that I have too many recipes to be honest. But the one with pasta and seafood is pretty good!

You play a lot on PlayStation and seem to like watching TV. Do you have to test your eyes often? Céline S.

No, not really. Things working fine for the moment with my eyes. And not that i play too much playstation.

I saw a photo of you holding Maymo's notebook in a Madrid practice session. Were you trying to delete notes on how much chocolate you had eaten? Atch

Hahaha ah. No, no. Only having fun with him. He keeps everything under control and well written.

I know you are a fan of Rory McIlroy, but do you have any thoughts on Jason Day, the young Aussie golfer who's also doing really well at the moment? Lisa, Brisbane
Yeah, I love golf and I love to see all the players. Had a great time watching Rory at this US Open. And sure I have seen Jason Day play. He is also a very good player and as you say doing really well.

I was very happy to see Rory McIlroy win the US Open and I know you texted him with encouraging messages. What is the most encouraging message you have received from a fellow sportsman? Nita B
I have had the luck to receive many text messages during my career and I have to say that some has been very inspiring to me. But I prefer to keep this between the sender and myself. Hope you don't mind.

I'm discovering new things at this Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal June 23 2011 1:45AM

blog post photo

Hello everyone,

Good day today for me at the championships since I had the chance to play today for the first time with the roof. It is a Wimbledon that I am discovering new things, that I am doing new things I had never done before.

I played the opening match on center with that amazing grass and today I played with the roof. To be honest i prefer to play outdoors, since this is an outdoor event but have to admit it was nice to play with the roof.

Tomorrow hopefully we will have better weather and I can get some good practice. It is important for me and obviously for all players to be able to play and practice in order to have a good rhythm when we play. But I suppose for the tournament the most important thing is to get the matches finished so that the next rounds can be played.

Ask Rafa: I never wear the same shirt twice

Rafael Nadal Yesterday, 11:08AM

blog post photo

You always say that you like summer and sun, with tennis you chase summer 11 months of the year, don't you get ever tired of it? Stella
No, not really. I love the sun and enjoy playing with nice weather. But let me remind you that we also play in the fall in Europe and that's pretty dark! Not that I complain but just for the record.
Now that you've played under the roof, how do you think it changes the conditions apart from getting humid? Is the court any faster indoors? Jamie
Indoors is normally a bit faster since the humidity has some influence but also since there is no wind. Conditions change.
Are you fully satisfied with your volley skills now, or will you improve it more and more, and switch from a baseline game to serve-and-volley? Maria Rafael
There is always room for improvement on anything, and specially my volley! It would be nice to do just serve and volley but I think a lot of people would be doing passing shots like crazy.
Rather than answer a question, please, tell us a joke? Jeanna
Is that a joke? :-)
For all the years that Nike has been sponsoring you, do you still have all the items they gave to you? How many sets of attire do they give to you per tournament? JacklynYes, I have one of each I have played with. I keep them as memory. And to answer the second part of your question, I normally get two to three shirts for each match calculating I could make it to the final.
Is there any chance that we will get to see you playing doubles at the Olympics with Marc Lopez? Sharon
That would be great but we both need to qualify!

Hola Rafa! Who is your pick for the women's title at Wimbledon this year? Kim MackenzieTough one this is. I actually thought Na Li would have won.

Do you enjoy coaching and would you ever consider coaching professionally when you retire? Gigi
I don't think so but never say never!

If you were going to a desert island and could only take three things with you, what would they be? Karen
I prefer to go to an island but not a desert! This way I can avoid answering this question.

Do you ever lose track of what the game score is? Anthea 
No, never, or almost never. If I do I ask the umpire but it is not the normal thing!

Hoping the rain stays away

Rafael Nadal Yesterday, 11:28AM

blog post photo

Hi everyone,

This is just a quick one since I am writing this after the dinner and I realised it is quite late. I had a quiet dinner at home with Carlos, Maymo and Albert Molina. The rest of the team and some others preferred to go out to the village and to London. So I stayed and cooked - the same pasta as the other day (Benito did the shopping) - and enjoyed some quiet time at home getting ready for the match. It will not be an easy one and on court No 1, too. That is always a bit different from Centre and with the risk of rain. Hopefully it won't be the case.

Trust my luck rain comes while I am off Centre

Rafael Nadal 15 hours ago

blog post photo

Q&A: Get your questions into Rafa by e-mailing and follow his progress in his own words.
Well it had to happen I suppose. First time I don't play on center court this year and rain! 

Couldn't finish my match and tomorrow I will resume play during the morning. Not a big deal. if you compare it with other players that had to play two or even three days in a row other years. 

We are lucky to play on center court where you have the roof and in my case this time I played on court #1. 

Some people are asking if there was a problem with me since I asked for the trainer before the end of the set. It was at the same time as the beginning of the rain and therefore the delay. 

I had some issues before even I felt but nothing serious. I should be Ok for tomorrow.


Q&A: Get your questions into Rafa by e-mailing and follow his progress in his own words.
Do you think there is a point in Serena Williams’s moan recently about some players always get to play at the show courts and others (like her) get moved around?  Sharon Lam
I don't think I should go into this discussion. I don't know really the problem and didn't ask her or the scheduling people. Should hear both before any comments

If you were to give one tip about temperament, and how you manage to pick yourself up after a fall, what would it be? Tom
Don't really know what you mean. I think I have a good temperament though....

Every time you lift the Conde De Godo trophy after winning the Barcelona Open I’m scared you’ll injure yourself. Is that the heaviest and largest trophy that you have ever won? Atch
ME TOO! It is really heavy but the feeling to win it is too good to realize!

Routines and rituals are commonplace in many sports but you seem to use them a lot.  In what way do you think they help you perform better (if at all)? Do you think you pay more attention to them in high pressure situations such as the changeover before a key game?  Robin
I think they help my concentration and to know what I have to do but it doesn't change anything if for example the bottles I carefully put on the floor fall. In a few words, it is more a habit but not really a change if I don't do it.

What would you do if a player knocked over your water bottles at a change of end in an effort to psyche you out?
Nothing would change, really. 

What do you write on the tape on your fingers? Renata
Nothing, it is only the way they are. 
I noticed that lately you've been hanging out and practising with Feliciano Lopez a lot. Who schedules your practice and your partner? Celeste
Normally it is Toni who arranges it. But sometimes I speak to Feli on this particular case.
Have you ever doubted your ability to reach the top? When you were starting your career as a pro did you ever think ‘wow, this is tougher than I expected?’ Janice
Actually you never think about that. You only tend to think about being a professional player and you start setting up goals little by little. You really never think at a young age about being at the top. You just want to play and compete.

If you lose your world No 1 ranking, how will you react? Will it hurt? Will it make you more determined? Or will you just shrug your shoulders and say ‘hey, my time will come again’? Jon C
I don't really care that much. I don't think it is as important as winning the big tournaments. If I lose that #1 position that would mean that someone else has been better and I will have to continue improving!

Why do women get criticised for grunting, yet the men seem just as bad? Scott F
Good question. Do they get criticized? Do we do the same?

No comments:

Post a Comment