Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Rafael Nadal - The Times Blog

Rafael Nadal2 hours ago
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Hello everyone and please find here a few words before the answers. Those of you who have seen the match, I am sure you have enjoyed it. It was a great level of match and to be honest I wasn't sure I could finish it. 

At some point I felt a lot of pain, like if something had broken... I almost cried of pain and of thinking I could have really gotten injured. I went after the match to get an MRI of my ankle/foot. Will give the results to the press in the morning.

Tomorrow Rory McIlroy is coming to Wimbledon and I am really looking forward to meeting him again!. Had the chance to meet him in NY last year and now I will see him again after he's won a major! I am normally hitting in the afternoon, at around 4 but will come to the tournament site just to see him.

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Since you are such a good mover on the court, are you also a good dancer? Loreta
No, not at all! I am a bad dancer!

During the 2008 Olympics, I had an opportunity to see the Spanish national basketball team play and was impressed with Ricky Rubio.  Now I see he is going to play in the NBA.  Do you have any thoughts?  Do you follow basketball? Jane
I think he is a great player and will do very well, really looking forward to playing against the best. He is really, really good!

Have you ever watched Bollywood movies?Kaushik
Not for the moment.

Are there some places in the world (besides Manacor) where you can still walk around without attracting too much attention?Cynthia Tanner
Not that I am aware of but it is nice to see people like you.

Is it true, that the taller the player, the bigger and better his serve is? Tathagata
That is normally the case.

Was it too much to play in the Davis Cup on hard court just one week after Wimbledon?Goran
I have said it loud and clear to the media on Sunday and again today. Things must change in the Davis Cup. I love to play for my country and the way it is scheduled is simply impossible.

I love the traditions at Wimbledon but the one where both players walk off the court together seems to have been overlooked this year. What do you think? Natalie W
I haven't realized that since I always walked on court and out with my rival.

What did you think of Andy Murray's performance today. Are you worried about possibly meeting him in the semi-final?Julian
Andy is a great player and I have always said it. Right now my main concern is Mardy Fish, my next rival. Have to be frank with you.

You've said before that you like Wimbledon as a place but have you had an opportunity to visit anywhere else in the UK? If so where?Kirstie
Not much, apart from London I have not had the chance. One day I suppose. Benito, my PR guy, tells me there are many beautiful places down south too.

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Q&A: Get your questions into Rafa by e-mailing rafa@timesonline.co.uk and follow his progress in his own words. 

Did you see Spain U21s win in the European Championship Final. Has it inspired you?Alexei
I did have the chance today to watch the whole match. Last night I went for dinner and could not watch it live. I did follow it after when I came back and saw the result.

During the US Open 2010, you were consistently serving at 125-130 mph. It played a big part in your winning the tournament. But currently you are serving at around 115-120 mph. Is it intentional, or is it because you haven't found the same rhythm? I remember uncle Toni saying after the French Open this year, that if you serve faster then the returns come back quicker which makes it difficult for you to control the rally. So can you explain the variation in the speed of your serve? Jonas
There is not much difference but it is true that I have to try to get my serve a bit better as I did at the US Open last year. Not that I don't want to, simply that I have to find it.

Will you be more circumspect in your scheduling in the future? We love you and want to see you have a long career with no more injuries! Also, is it true you will retire from tennis at 28-29? Sandy, Los Angeles
I have never said at what time I will retire so not really sure. There is not much chance on deciding what to play since with the Grand Slams and the Masters 1000 of the ATP plus the mandatory 500 there is not much room NOT to play.

A couple of years ago you were having problems with your wisdom teeth. Did you ever get them removed? Kate
Yes, it was in Miami when I had trouble. Had them finally removed.

Can you make Crema Catalana? Jorge
I can only eat it!!!! :-)

If you had to rank the tennis players in terms of their football ability, who would be your top 5 (excluding of course, you and your wicked lefty leg)? Eno
Wow, tough question that will get me in trouble for sure! I would say Murray, Francis Roig, Fernando Vicente, Djokovic.

Did playing against a big server on Friday/Saturday help your preparation for your game against Juan Martin Del Potro?Sharon 
No, not at all. Different matches, different player.

Has the possibility of a semi-final with Andy Murray crossed your mind yet? Jules
No, not at all. I am only thinking about del Potro since yesterday. Before that each player I played. It could be that on Friday I am already at home!

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