Monday, 31 January 2011

Rafa at the football

Nice to see Rafa out enjoying himself at the football on Saturday night.  Well not sure enjoy is the right word as Mallorca got beat 4-0.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Rafael Nadal - Nike Exhibition

What is this!!!!  Bloody hell Rafa, stop with the exhibitions matches.

Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams will be joined by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on March 8 in the "NIKE Clash of the Champions."

This tennis exhibition will benefit each of the four athletes' charitable foundations and will be hosted at the University of Oregon's new facility.

The matches will begin at 5:30 p.m., and the first ones coming out to entertain the fans will be Sharapova and Williams, who will play a singles set. Then a mixed doubles set and then to end the event Federer vs Nadal.

Ticket prices range between $25 and $85 and can be purchased at from February 4th.

"We are extremely excited to host some of the biggest names in professional tennis in Matthew Knight Arena," said Oregon Director of Athletics Rob Mullens. "Our unique partnership with NIKE has allowed us to attract this one-of-a-kind event to the University of Oregon and the Eugene-Springfield community.

"The NIKE Clash of the Champions is going to create tremendous buzz up and down the Willamette Valley," said Mullens. "It is a great example of the variety of events we are able to feature at Matthew Knight Arena."

Courtesy: menstennisblog

Facebook update

Short update from Rafa on FB

Hola a todos ya desde casa en Manacor. Muchas gracias por todo el apoyo que me habeis dado. No pudo ser esta vez. GRACIAS con esas mayusculas.Lastima que ayer perdiera David.

Hi everyone. I am already back at home. Thanks for all the support you've given me these weeks. BIG THANKS in capital letters! Too bad David lost yesterday.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Rafael Nadal - Back in Mallorca

Rafa has landed back home.  Hopefully over the next few days we will learn more about his injury and a timeframe for the recovery.  Some are reporting 30 days though that is not known for sure or if that is the amount of time before he can return to play or training.

Courtesy: iB3

Can Rafael Nadal Hold On To #1

Starting with the French Open in 1999, Andre Agassi went on one of the greatest Grand Slam runs in history, going 27-1 in those matches (the sole loss being in the Wimbledon final) and becoming the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to own three majors at the same time. 

He set out to defend his French title the following year, but went out in the second round courtesy of an injured big toe. He wasn't able to repeat his finals appearance at Wimbledon, lost his U.S. Open title and eventually lost the No. 1 ranking, as well. Agassi wasn't playing terribly -- he did defend his Australian Open title in 2001 -- but that level of greatness is hard to maintain.

As Rafael Nadal will soon find out.
Yes, losing in the Australian quarters to David Ferrer -- thus losing this chance at a Rafa Slam -- hurts. But the pain is just beginning. He now has to try to defend the 6,000 points attached to the three majors he won last year. And, like Ferrer, nobody will care whether he's at full strength, at half strength or shows up at all; the other players want his trophies, the rankings points and the check that goes with them. And a resurgent Roger Federer? He is only 3,000 points back and has made it clear he wants his spot atop the hill back.

Last season, we saw just how dominant Rafa could be as a predator.

This year, we get to see him as prey.

Success can be a mixed blessing. Because of 2010, Rafa reached a height in tennis that only foes Agassi and Federer, who twice owned three Slam titles at the same time, can fully understand. And because of 2010, he will now be hunted like them, as well. Despite all that the Spaniard has accomplished, this is something new for the soon-to-be 25-year-old. He has nine Slams, but so far has managed to defend only the French. Nadal made it to only the quarters in defense of his 2009 Aussie title, and he wasn't healthy enough to defend his 2008 Wimbledon win. To keep Federer -- and perhaps Novak Djokovic, Robin Soderling and Andy Murray -- at bay in the rankings, he's going to have to do better than that, especially if his most recent injury hampers his ability to play as many second-tier and third-tier tournaments as he would like.

 After his amazing Slam run, Agassi, then 30, couldn't maintain his standing as age and injuries proved to be opponents as tough as the upstarts on the other side of the net. All of which makes Federer's years of dominance so much more impressive; he's been defeating top opponents, avoiding major injuries and beating the odds week after week after week.

Winning a major means that, for a short time, a player was the best among the best on a particular surface. Maintaining the No. 1 ranking, holding on to titles and holding on to majors for years mean that, in his prime, that player was among the all-time untouchables. As of now, Federer has been No. 1 for 200 more weeks than Rafa, and doesn't even hold the record. Pete Sampras owns that at 286. Do we see Rafa holding on to that top spot for four more years? Given the tally of points he has to defend and the history of injuries that continues to haunt him, will he even stay No. 1 for the rest of 2011?

Now Rafa lovers, don't get bent all out of shape. I'm not questioning Rafa's place in history. That's been secure for some time. I'm just wondering where he is right now. Last year, we saw a great player elevate his game. This year, we will see whether he peaked.

The cynic in me used to interpret Rafa's constant deference to Federer as the game's best as some sort of Phil Jackson mind game. After all, anyone who had watched their rivalry in the past five years could see Nadal owned the Swiss, especially in the Slams, where he hasn't lost to Federer head-to-head since 2007. But perhaps what I didn't see was the one question that remains in regards to Nadal now: Can he keep this up?

Can he defend enough of his points to stay No. 1 for years to come?

The making of a king was a fantastic story in 2010. Watching him try to defend his kingdom in 2011 may prove to be even more so.

Courtesy: ESPN

Thursday, 27 January 2011

The Final Times Blog Entry :(

Hello everyone,

Well, the Australian Open came to an early end for me. It is unfortunate but this is how it is. No excuses, no nothing.

David played a great match and he deserves to be in the semis against Andy.

Too bad for me since I would have loved to play Andy for a chance to be in the final. We had a great match in London and it would have been nice, but the one who will play him deserves it more.

I am flying back tonight to Spain and will get some rest before starting again practice. I will do some tests to see if there is something serious or not but I am sure I will be fine.

Maybe I get the question about the Rafa Slam? Well I never spoke about that as you all know. That was more the media who pushed that and I understand it.

But this shows once again that match by match is what you really have to look at and not those records before they happen. It didn't and I knew it would be very difficult.

Once again I want to thanks all my fans and you for being there, supporting me and reading what I write... Not sure I would do it :-)

Thanks to The Times also for the opportunity and we will do this again during Roland Garros, The French Open. Hope it will bring me luck again over there.


Rafael Nadal - Quarter Final press conference video

Here is the press conference in full, I understand some people cannot view Eurosport videos

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Rafael Nadal - press conference in full

I cannot embed the video so here is the link

The Spanish press conference follows the English one, around 15 minutes in.

Please note that the video may take a while to load as it is 26 minutes long.

Rafael Nadal - press conference, short video

Here is part of the press conference after today's match

Full transcript here

Rafael Nadal - Torn thigh muscle

According to an article on RTVE website Rafa has a torn thigh muscle :(  The exact extent is not known but the source was Uncle Toni.

Toni Nadal, uncle and coach of Rafael Nadal, who lost to David Ferrer the quarter-final of the Australia, confirmed that world number one suffered "a torn left hamstring fibers", which realized during the crash because the player told the court he could not run.

"Rafa told me on the track I could not run and she had a broken fibers in the hamstring," said Toni Nadal.

"Rafa is sad. It happened this last year here in the match against Murray," continued the coach, which revealed that the disease was "in the second game of the match, trying to reach a backhand cross-Ferrer" he said.

Toni Nadal said the world number one had not been withdrawn "because he left here last year. This is a Grand Slam. But I could not continue. It is unfortunate but true," he said.

The trainer of Spanish tennis player lamented the misfortune that came to his nephew in the first years. Toni Nadal . "I think the flu or virus that took in Doha has been able to do more prone to such setbacks muscle. It has been affected," he said Toni Nadal.

Courtesy: RTVE

Rafael Nadal - Quarter Final press conference

Short press conference video here

Q. What can you tell us about the injury? What did David say to you at the end of the match?

RAFAEL NADAL: I can say nothing about the injury. Seriously, I would prefer don't talk a lot about the injury.

Tonight, first of all, I don't know nothing. Second thing, for respect to the winner and to a friend, I prefer to talk about the match. I think he played at a very high level. I just congratulate him and wish him all the best for the semifinal. I think he's doing a fantastic tournament. If he keep playing like this, he going to have a good chances.

What David told me at the net is for me and that's it.

Q. How emotional is it for you tonight?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yes, is a difficult day for me. I lost in quarterfinals another time. So I tried my best. I couldn't do more. Tonight I think I played against a great player, a great opponent. Today I really can't do more than what I did. So he played at a very high level, and I wasn't able to compete against him tonight.

Q. It's going to be difficult for us to write a piece without appreciating how well you could move. It seemed to us you couldn't move as well as you would like to have been moving tonight. Is that a fair statement?

RAFAEL NADAL: You see the match?

Q. Yes.

RAFAEL NADAL: So you are ready to write everything. I don't have to tell you about what I felt on the court because I tried my best all the time. But is obvious that I didn't feel at my best. I had a problem during the match, in the very beginning. After that, the match was almost over. So that's what I can say.

But you know what, for me is difficult come here and speak about. In Doha I wasn't healthy. Today I have another problem. Seems like I always have problems when I lose, and I don't want to have this image, no? I prefer don't talk about that today. If you can respect that, will be a very nice thing for me. Thank you.

Q. What was the problem, though?

RAFAEL NADAL: You are listening me? I can't tell you which problem I have. First thing, because I don't know. That's my answer.

Q. What you achieved in the last year was nothing short of amazing. Does this break your heart a little bit that it had to happen like this?

RAFAEL NADAL: The tennis career, you have higher moments and lower moments. I had almost all the time very, very happy moments and very nice moments in my career. That's part of the sport. Last year I was very lucky. I was healthy most of the year. I was playing unbelievable during all the year.

This year I did I think all the right things to start the season playing really well. And, seriously, I was playing like this in the first exhibition in Abu Dhabi. After that starts the problem. Was a difficult month for me, no? That's part of the sport. Accept; keep working; try my best in the next tournament. That's what I can do.

Last year I had a fantastic year. This year the year just start. Last year in the beginning I had problems, too, and finally was the best season of my career. I think is almost impossible to repeat that. But remain a lot, and remain a lot to have hopefully really good moments, and at the same time, too, really negative moments.

So this is one of bad ones, one of negative moments. That's part of the sport. I think I am very, very lucky sportsman about what happened in my career. And I have to accept the fantastic moments that I had during a lot of years with the same calm that when I have problems. And if I am ready to accept both things with I think let's say everything the same, I going to be able to come back and play my best tennis another time.

Q. How do you think David will get on in the semifinals?

RAFAEL NADAL: He's playing fantastic. But I think he's not the favorite. But if he keep playing like this, hopefully he can have a good chance to be in the final or win the tournament. I would love. Is a fantastic person. Is a close friend of mine. So I wish him all the best.

I think that Andy is playing very good, too, but David is playing at high level, no? If he's able to keep playing like this, I think he gonna have a good chances. I hope that. I wish him all the very best.

Q. After what happened in Doha, coming here a little bit late...

RAFAEL NADAL: Coming late?

Q. You were ill in Doha and came to Melbourne a little bit late.

RAFAEL NADAL: I didn't came late. You are wrong. I was here one week before the tournament. Is more than enough.

Q. The question is, with you being ill in Doha, then what happened after the Tomic match, did you feel that maybe this tournament wasn't meant to be, wasn't destiny to win?

RAFAEL NADAL: I tried my best in Doha. Was a difficult week for me. Here, seriously, before the match of today I started to feel that I am playing much better and I am very healthy and don't have no problem in general. So I was happy about happened during the first week because I was through without being perfect.

I started the second week with a very good match against Cilic and improving my level every day. Seriously, I was practicing much better than in the beginning of the tournament, and I felt ready to play this quarterfinals. But wasn't the day.

Q. What will be your next tournament?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know yet. I have to think a little bit about everything and we will see what's going on in the next weeks.

Q. We appreciate your fair play, and we understand what you're saying. I just would like to know if you didn't have in front of you a friend of yours, would you have kept till the last ball and point to stay on court or would you have left a little before?

RAFAEL NADAL: I hate the retirements, so this wasn't the day. I did last year. I hate that moment. I didn't want to repeat that.

Q. The match against Cilic showed you were recovering well. Did you feel anything unusual the last couple days?

RAFAEL NADAL: I felt fantastic the last couple days. I practiced very good yesterday. I had a fantastic warmup today before the match. Only feeling that I can say was very positive. I started the second week, and when the second week started, everything was better and better for me: the health, sweat, the level of tennis. Everything was better and better.

Q. Earlier today Andy Murray said there's a number of guys on tour who on any given day can beat each other: yourself, Robin, Roger...

RAFAEL NADAL: I didn't understand.

Q. He said any one of the top six or seven players on any day can beat each other. Do you think after the year you had last year, our expectations of you are probably higher than yours, given the evenness of the top six or seven players?

RAFAEL NADAL: For me there are much more than six or seven on the tour that can beat everybody. I think is more than these few. In general, the expectations, I don't know which expectations you have about me. I have my ones. I have my goals. Probably we think different ways, no?

I live day to day with myself. You see everything from outside. I know how difficult is everything. Probably, you know, not exactly the same. This part is difficult, no? This part is very competitive. You have to have be in perfect conditions to win. The season is always crazy, very long. You can't have time to rest and come back to prepare perfect in a season. That's this game. Only the best players, only the more prepared players physically and mentally are ready to be here and to be in the top positions a long time.

My expectations, I said before the tournament, I said before the year start, is enjoy every day and practice hard every day with same illusion, humble and motivation that I did all my career. So that's my principal goal, in general, no?

I lost in quarterfinals today. We'll see what's happen in next tournament. I'll work hard to be ready.

Q. Can you tell us your feelings tonight compared to this time last year?

RAFAEL NADAL: Is different because last year was the knees. I had a problem, big problem, in the knee in the past. So was hard for me to have another time the same. I didn't see a solution in that. Is not the case.

I came last year after probably six, seven months really hard for me of injuries and of problems in general. So was a hard situation. This year everything is a little bit different. I have three more Grand Slams at home, a few more Masters 1000s and a few more tournaments.

I can say nothing wrong because I had a fantastic time last year. Not possible be all the time at hundred percent. Not possible all the time to have all the positive factors together to win in every tournament.

Last year happened in almost every one. This year we start with a little bit of unlucky. I gonna work hard to come back and to keep having chances and to compete against the best players and to keep being in the top positions of the ranking, so...

I love playing tennis. I love the competition. And I love, in general, the hard moments because you are ready to change the situation working hard, working every day with a goal and with illusion.

Q. You said your preparation was good for this year. Was the vacation long enough after London?

RAFAEL NADAL: The vacation long enough? No, one day is enough, you think? Never is enough. With this sport you never have vacations enough. This part is special for different things. This factor is one of the special things that makes the tour hard and difficult. Only the best players mentally prepared are ready to be here long time.

I said before, wasn't a problem of holidays, the start of the season. The only problem was a little bit of unlucky. In general, I had a virus. When you have a virus, your body goes down and you have more risk of everything. That's probably what happened. That's the simple thing.

Now we have to accept. I said 100 times. But the only thing I can say is, accept the situation and work to try to have another very good season.

Q. How did the fireworks display disrupt your rhythm?

RAFAEL NADAL: Nothing, nothing, no.

Rafa is out

Not to be.  A combination of this awful bug that he just can't seem to shake and a thigh/groin injury that was first picked up against Cilic has put Rafa's quest to hold all 4 slams to the sword.

Credit must go to David for battling on when it was most obvious that Rafa was not 100%.  He kept his nerve when needed and fought out the win and will now play against Andy Murray for a place in the Australian Open final.

I will wait until i have read/seen Rafa's press conference before commenting further.  Once i see the press conference i will post it here.

Rafael Nadal - practice photos

Rafael Nadal - New Armani photo

Yummmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy, drooooooooollllllllllllllllllllllllll

Gimme gimme gimmeeeeeeeee

More pics here 

Armani Jeans Website here

Behind the scenes here

Rafael Nadal practice session - videos

Videos of Rafa's practice session.

Courtesy: tsumayuki

Courtesy: NadalwinLive

Rafael Nadal - The Times Blog


Hola Rafael! I just want to tell you that you are such an amazing champion and I am having a wonderful time watching you play tennis! As you have spent quite a lot of time with Roger Federer over the past few months, did you get the chance to see his twin girls? Siga así campeón y mucha suerta para todo! Anne-Claire, Paris

I have seen them, but not because of the matches we played - they stayed in Dubai this winter during the two exhibitions. Very cute both!

Dear Rafa, congratulations for your fourth round victory! Do you ever watch replays of your own match to see where you've done well and not done so well, or do you just focus solely on your next opponent? Best of luck for your next round! Qing Qing, China

Sometimes I do, but it is not something I usually do.

Congratulations for your match against Marin Cilic, Rafa! Fantastic! I keep reading about how your friends make you do things when you lose on the Playstation, (like when Carlos Moya made you run in the street in Umag), but what is your revenge if they lose to you? Good luck against Ferrer! Cedrine

Many thanks. I make them also do things in the same way. Something that should stay between us!

Hola Rafa. You like routine and are superstitious. Do you like to stay at the same hotel for each tournament, and do you ask for the same room?
Once again many thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Much love, Clare x

No, I am not superstitious. I have my routines, thats all. I normally stay at the official hotel and I don't mind changing rooms.

Hola Rafa! In the build-up to the charity matches you played in December, it was really nice to read the interview your mother gave about her role within it. She must be so proud of you, but are you also proud of her with the work she is putting in to your foundation, and can you describe more about her role? Love, Jules xx

Yes, sure. She is taking the foundation very seriously and working a lot. The Madrid exhibition was a lot of work and she was on top of every single detail. She was coordinating all efforts and she also did a lot of interviews to promote the event. She only did interviews as president of the foundation.

Hola Rafa! Even though you're in Australia, did you manage to watch the "big" match on Sunday, Real Madrid vs. Real Mallorca? If so, what are your thoughts on the result and can you explain a bit more on your involvement with Real Mallorca. Jim

I did. I was divided there since I am a fan of both teams and my uncle Miquel Angel is the second coach of the Mallorca team.

Hi Rafa. How do you go about trying to ‘pick’ your opponents' first serve direction? Do you try to look for differences in the serve action or do you look at tendencies and stats for what players like to do in different situations? From what I've read, Sampras tended to try to read his opponents' serve action while Agassi studied what players liked to do in different situations - unless he noticed a give-away clue like Becker's tongue pointing to where he was going to serve! As a fantastic serve returner, I'd be fascinated to hear your approach. Many thanks and best of luck for the remainder of the tournament, Robin Jackson

It depends on the opponent. Sometimes you can't read anything and you take a chance on going to one place. Other players I know them well and I think I know where it goes. And others you can read it.

Hey Rafa - if you overcome David Ferrer (which I’m sure you will!) you face the winner of Andy Murray and Alexandr Dolgopolov. Do you prefer the easier game against Dolgopolov, or would you rather test yourself against Murray? Do you feel more proud when you win a tournament when you have beaten better opponents? Thanks! Sam

I don't think a semi-final is an easy match in any case. However, as I say, I have a very difficult match tomorrow against David and that is the only thing I am thinking abut right now.

Hi Rafael! As you are ranked No 1 in the world, does that add more pressure to you to win every tournament you play in, as you are the favourite and expected to gain success? Would you say pressure is a good thing? Good luck with the rest of the Australian Open! Neill

No pressure for me, believe me. The pressure is to win a match and to play good to win the tournament if possible. The ranking comes with results, not the other way around. The pressure is to win!

Rafaaaa! I am a big fan and have supported you for years. After Spain won the World Cup you were one of very few people allowed into the dressing room afterwards to celebrate with the team. If you win another major tournament, who would you most like to join you in celebrating your success? Anyone in particular from the Spanish national team? Love Maria

I would love to have them all in the locker celebrating, for sure! But I don't see that possible :-(


blog post photo

Hello everyone,

What am I going to write about today? I am really running out of stories. Just to tell you what I have done - I suppose some people will say, so what!?!?!?!

Let me then talk about the tournament. I see Andy [Murray] and Novak [Djokovic] very strong, but also Roger who really played very well today. It is a very interesting tournament here. The first grand slam of the year and the place where normally surprises occur. So far it looks like Roger and Novak are not ready for that and that the semis will be interesting.

I have a tougher match tomorrow than what people think. David [Ferrer] is a very, very good player and has started the year in a very good way winning the event in New Zealand. So, not easy at all. And Andy is playing amazing and tomorrow has an interesting rival.

Tomorrow I play at a good time, a time that is really nice. It will also allow my fans in Europe to follow the match since it will be 9.30 am in CET or 8.30 in the UK. Hope to be here tomorrow writing rather than on my way to the airport....



Rafael Nadal - Facebook update

Hola a todos. Hoy partidazo contra David Ferrer que esta jugando muy pero que muy bien. Lo bueno de esto es que habra un español en semis. A las 3 me voy para el torneo para calentar a las 4.

Hi all, today great match agaisnt David Ferrer who is playing great tennis. Good news is that there will be one Spaniard in the semis. I am leaving at 4 to the tournament for the warm up.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Rafael Nadal - Armani Jeans Website

Here is the Armani jeans website.

Roll your mouse of the 2 pics of Rafa for an enlarged photo and the chance to scroll.  Very nice !!

Armani photos here

Behinds the scenes @ Armani photoshoot here

Rafael Nadal practice session - video

Video from Sunday's practice session.

Rafael Nadal - The Times Blog


Hi all,

I am back at the hotel after a tough match. I think I played one of my best matches, definitely the best so far here in Melbourne and I am happy since I was a bit worried about this match.

I am now back at my hotel and have had some room service. While waiting I am watching some YouTube videos of past tennis champions and also some documentaries. It is something amazing, YouTube. It is something you start watching and you can't stop. One thing brings you to another and sometimes I go to bed really late because of that. Since I also bought an adaptor that goes from my laptop to the TV, I also have the chance to see it on a big screen!

Tomorrow I practice at 1 pm so I am now going to bed after a quick dinner.

Thanks all for the support.



blog post photo

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

I read your interview after the Tomic match where you say you sweat and feel more tired than usual and that you might not be fully recovered from the virus you caught in Doha. I myself I'm suffering from a virus right now and can only imagine what it must be like going out there to play at least three intense sets! I am worried for you. What precautions are you taking on your days off? Cedrine

Nothing special since the tests went well. I actually sweat much less today. Hope you get better soon.
Hola Rafa, I totally share your love for the sun and the sand (I can't stand cold places and hate the winter!), and I was wondering... apart from the beach(es) in Mallorca, if there's any other beach that you really like? By the way, you should totally visit India for the beaches! We have hundreds, and the best ones are in Goa :) Love, Mohona, India
Thanks for the tip. Maybe one day. So far I have only been in Chennai playing tennis and recently for the school we opened.

Hi Rafa, Hope you keep on winning in Australia. Great work in beating Tomic. During that match, the commentator said you changed shirts 5 times.  What is the highest number of shirt changing in one match for you? Thanks for answering questions. Stay healthy. When you are healthy, no one can beat you. Sharon, Leatherhead, UK

Many thanks. I think that has probably been one of the matches I changed the most!

Hola Rafa!! I have been very impressed by some of the sports photography taken of you at this tournament. Do you or anyone within the family keep scrapbooks of your matches and your career to date? Love, Julie xx
Yes, Benito and Carlos do keep a good digital book.

Hola Rafael! First, I wanted to tell you that you are such an amazing champion with a wonderful personnality (and you are quite a handsome man as well, by the way!). I read an interview your mother gave in December to talk about the Madrid exhibition where she said she used to give piano lessons. So I came to wonder as I also know you absolutely love listening to music: have you taken advantage of your mother's talent and ever played the piano ? And if so, were you skilled at it ? As for now, I imagine you playing better with a tennis racket than with a piano, but maybe I am wrong. ;-) Siga así campeón y mucha suerte para todo !!!!!!!! Anne-Claire, Paris

Many thanks, very kind of you. I am nule at playing music! My grandfather is a musician, my mother likes it but I am not able to play any instruments.

Hi Rafa, you mentioned before that you are a big Lost fan. How did you find the ending of it? Were you satisfied with it? Agi from Hungary

I want more!

Day 10 Australian Open - OOP

Rafa is the night match on Rod Laver in his Quarter Final match against David Ferrer.

Rafael Nadal - 4th Rd Press Conference video

Here is the press conference after Rafa's win over Marin Cilic in the 4th Rd.

Courtesy: yerangell

Monday, 24 January 2011

Rafael Nadal - 4th Rd Press Conference transcript

Q. How are you feeling? Do you think you're fully recovered?

RAFAEL NADAL: Today I felt very good, no? I didn't sweat like the other days. So that's fantastic news for me. The better news is I played much better than the rest of the days.

I was able to play with high intensity, very good rhythm, playing more inside the court. So play more aggressive, changing rhythms with the slice and with the topspin, backhand. The serve worked better today.

So, in general, I think it was a very good match for me and very important victory. So very happy for everything.

Q. Do you have any idea as to why you didn't feel that good a couple of days ago? Is it a medical situation or just you didn't feel great?

RAFAEL NADAL: I think so. I don't know, no? I don't have more information than that, no? You see, I was sweating like crazy the other day. I play night session, too. So the conditions wasn't very different.

I say the other day, it's true, I playing better. When I play better, I play with a little bit more calm and with less anxiety. For that reason, I am anxiety less.

I say the other day, too, today in the practice, I didn't sweat like the other days, too. I sweat much less. Hopefully continue like this.

Q. Cilic just said he had some kind of trouble with the weather. How did you feel with the weather, with the cold? He said it was a bit cold for him. It suited you better than him.

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I didn't find that cold. Was normal condition. Is a night session. Not playing with the sunshine, so is normal conditions.

Q. I think he was saying that because it was cold and the ball wasn't bouncing as much.

RAFAEL NADAL: The ball is bouncing less?

Q. Yes.

RAFAEL NADAL: When is hot, the ball bounce higher.

Q. He was saying it was less.

RAFAEL NADAL: He must say the ball stays lower today.

Well, in general, I think is more positive for him than for me, no? I like the high bounce. And I think for my game is more positive if the bounce are higher. I can play with the topspin. Is easier for me to play. Seriously, for me, I don't know if he was a little bit tired of the other day, but I am very happy how I played. I played my best match here by far.

Q. We'd like to know, apart from winning, what do you enjoy most about being on court? Do you enjoy saving the breakpoints or hitting passing shots, hitting a winner?

RAFAEL NADAL: I enjoy the competition and I enjoy play well. I enjoy everything, no? I enjoy the moments that you have to do something to play well. You have to do something to change some situations. These kind of changes, mentality changes, I love that sometimes and other times it didn't work a lot and you can't enjoy.

Q. You've spoken before about the strength of Spanish sport generally. Is it special for you to play against David in a quarterfinal here?

RAFAEL NADAL: For me is not as special. For me is a very good news because one Spanish is going to be in semifinal, so that's fantastic for our country I think. Start the first Grand Slam of the season having one player in semifinal. That's good news.

I'm happy for him. He's playing good. He won in Auckland. He's in quarterfinal. Is going to be a very difficult match. I wish him all the best. Hopefully I can play my best tennis and have good chances to win. I don't know.

Q. You've seen a lot of him over the years, played against him a lot. You know each other's game pretty well.

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, we know each other perfect. We played a lot of times against each other. At the same time we practiced a lot of times, no?

I think he's a fantastic player for a lot of years being in the top positions. That's very difficult to do, and he did. So all the respect for him. I know gonna be a really, really difficult match.

Q. Is playing David going to be a tougher test of your fitness and your health compared to the match today?

RAFAEL NADAL: We will see. I don't know. Cilic is a great player. He's a very tough opponent. Before the match, I was scared seriously. Well, scared in a good way because I know how good he can play. Only match against him I lost 6 1, 6 3 in Beijing. I have no chances. Is true it was a different situation for me.

But these kind of players is very difficult to play. David will be something different. We know each other perfect. He's very good. He's No. 7 or 6 in the world. You are in quarterfinals. In quarterfinals you can't have an easy match.

Q. You played many times more than five hours per match. What was your reaction when you heard that yesterday Schiavone and Kuznetsova played 4 hours and 44 minutes in just three sets?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, it makes it possible that there is not tiebreak in the third. Was a fantastic match, I think, no? Is good for the sport. Sure is a good show for the tennis world.

The worst thing, the winner can be a little bit tired. But I think she has today rest, no?

Q. Did you see any of that?

RAFAEL NADAL: I wasn't see. I wasn't see the match. But I heard about that. That's good. Is a good victory, and I congratulate Francesca.

Q. You were capable to come back after a long match with Verdasco and play well in the final. Many people were surprised. Do you think Francesca Schiavone can be strong enough to play Wozniacki, or you don't think it's possible?

RAFAEL NADAL: Why not, no? If I did, a lot of people can do it. We will see, no? Is very personal thing. At the same time, even the same person, you play a long match and you can be better or you can be worse, depending on the moment. For example, I played against Andy Murray here in 2007, I think. I played very long match in fourth round, Round of 16. I wasn't able to play in quarterfinals against González. It happened in 2009 against Verdasco, and I was ready to play a long final, no?

Depends of the moment. You never know.

Q. Do you find it distracting when everybody is calling out, I love you, Rafa?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I feel fantastic (laughter).

Q. Are you able to block it out?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I heard everything. But is nice (smiling).

Q. What about when the girls whistle at you and take pictures of you when you're changing your shirt?

RAFAEL NADAL: That's a very good feeling (smiling).

Q. Could you tell us more about this Armani campaign? Was it a good experience? What do you think of the pictures?

RAFAEL NADAL: Was a long experience, but very good experience, no? Is always nice to know different worlds. The fashion world is something that I didn't know before.

Yeah, was a good session of photos, long one. But hopefully the result are satisfactory, so... I worked very hard, seriously (laughter). So, yeah, was nice. A different experience and I enjoyed.

Q. Do you find you sexy on the picture?

RAFAEL NADAL: I'm not the right person to say. I always watch myself so so. But what do you think? Do you like it?

Q. Yeah, I do.

RAFAEL NADAL: I happy if I like it (smiling).

Q. You say it was long. How long were you one next to the other?

RAFAEL NADAL: Was different shootings. We talked enough about that in the past.

Q. Just a question about the Hawk Eye system. Is it difficult to know when to challenge and when not to challenge? How do you feel when you challenge and the result is that it's just in or just out or very close?

RAFAEL NADAL: That's part of the game, no? Is difficult to see sometimes. But sometimes is important point and you challenge. We'll see what's going on. When you see the ball, you are praying to have the positive result for you, no?

I think is a positive thing for the sport. I think the crowd enjoys the Hawk Eye. I think that's a good really good improve in the tennis world when the Hawk Eye came, no? I think is very positive and I enjoy because you have your chance. That's good.
Match report from Official Website

World No.1 Rafael Nadal is through to the quarterfinals of Australian Open 2011 after a straight sets demolition of Croatian Marin Cilic, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3.

Nadal, looking considerably more comfortable in the steamy conditions of Rod Laver Arena than he did on Saturday night against Bernard Tomic, pressured the Croatian from the off-set, pushing him to deuce on his opening service game. Although Cilic held on, it was merely delaying the inevitable, as Nadal broke twice to take the first set in just under an hour.

Cilic made more of a contest in the second set, keeping on serve with Nadal throughout, only for the Spaniard to break in the penultimate game and serve out the set. The third set also featured a late break of serve, Nadal breaking to go ahead 4-3, and then again to win the set and the match 6-3.

Despite hitting 32 winners to Nadal's 26, Cilic was let down by his 48 unforced errors to the Spaniard's 21.

"Before the match I was a little bit nervous, I know how aggressive he can play, this kind of player he is very very dangerous. I tried to play with high intensity all the time, and I'm very happy because I think I played my best match here at Australian Open.

"I'm not sweating so much, the other days I was sweating like crazy, so today was the first day I really felt perfect physically, so that's the most important thing."

Sky Sports

Rafael Nadal - on-court interview after Rd 4

Here is the on-court interview with Jim Courier after his win over Marin Cilic in the 4th Round today.

Courtesy: yerangell

Rafael Nadal - Rd 4 photos Part 2

Part 1 here

Rafael Nadal practice session - video

Footage from the practice session before today's match against Cilic. The video moves on to Roger after halfway as they shared court.

Rafael Nadal - Rd 4 photos

In-play photos from the 4th Rd match against Marin Cilic.

Part 2 here

Nadal v Cilic - Live Score links

Point scoring

Match commentary:

Rafa & Novak in Bogota

Ticket prices have been released for the exhibition match between the 2 players on March 21. More information is given in that the 2 players will hold tennis clinics (this seems to be normal nowadays at exhibition matches). The court will of course be HC and according to Manuel Mate, director of Bancolombia Open de Tenis, the speed will be "fast"

Prices vary from $155 (£30) for the cheap seats to $740 (£130) for Platinum.

Translated article here

Rafael Nadal - Facebook update

We have pictures from Rafa's trip to the Melbourne Aquarium. Lucky penguins!

Short update as well:

I am having lunch and on my way to the site at 3.

Rafael Nadal - Why 2011 Is The Most Important

Courtesy: Bleacher Report

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 20:  Rafael Nadal of Spain serves in his second round match against Ryan Sweeting of the United States of America during day four of the 2011 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 20, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia.  (P
Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Every player or team in any sport has a window of opportunity.  Whether we're talking about team sports like the NFL, soccer (a.k.a football) and baseball or lone athlete sports like tennis, the window of opportunity is often short.

The span of a tennis player's career is dependent on many factors, but barring any career-ending injuries, the ages between 22 and 27 is considered to be their prime.  It's the window in which they have the best chance
to mark their career for greatness and win the titles that mean the most; that means the slams.

It's the point in their career when everything comes together.  Their fitness, mental fortitude, work ethic and overall game on the court is at its absolute zenith.  In short it's the time in which they are most capable of succeeding at the game's highest level.

Rafael Nadal is no different.  The one difference is that he's been winning slam titles since a few days after he turned 19.  That head start, plus the continual maturation of his game and the fact that he is currently sitting in the middle of the best years of his career at 24, means that this year is by far the most important of his career.

Some might think that last year was, but they are wrong.  Last year was important because it allowed him to get back to the player he was a year earlier, when he was unquestionably at the top of his game.  Together with Federer's dipping form, Nadal mercilessly destroyed everyone in his path and became a better player in the process.  He also completed the career grand slam, but it still isn't the most important year in his career.

Here are 7 reasons why this year is so important

#1 - Novak & Andy are catching up

#2 - The next great champion is coming

#3 - A remedy for the knees

#4 - Momentum

#5 - Zenith of his career

#6 - A legacy in progress

#7 - A run at the Slam record

Rafael Nadal - The Times Blog


blog post photo

Hi all,

Short one today since it got late and I have to go to sleep. Lots of people talking about me sweating and losing weight. I am well, still suffering a bit from the cold I had in Doha.

Tomorrow I know it will be one of those very difficult matches, since I played Cilic once and he beat me. We'll see and hopefully I can continue blogging from Melbourne. It sort of brings me good luck!

Thanks all



There was a clip of you on channel IB3 practicing in Manacor and your little cousins were there too. One said they want to win a trophy later.  I was just wondering if your cousins have shown a real interest in tennis and whether they have started to practice seriously with your uncle Toni as coach? Cedrine.
RN: Yes, they love to play tennis and Toni when he is at home.

Hi Rafa. Firstly, congratulations on your brilliant 2010 season, and secondly, good luck for the rest of this year and your time at the Australian Open.  I am wondering, does playing a new and up and coming player such as Sweeting excite you, when you know relatively little about the player and their style? Does it keep tennis fresh for you in the sense that you don't really know what to expect when you play them?  Or do you prefer playing someone you are more familiar with and know their playing style? Thank you. Deborah, Northern Ireland.

RN: It is always difficult to play players you have not seen before and that happens often at Grand Slam events since the draw is bigger.

Hi Rafa, hope you continue your run of good form at slams. I read Tom Oldfied's biography of you and I found it wasn't very good.  Do you have someone writing one for you or are there any biographies of you currently in the bookshops that you are happy about?  I am talking about English ones.  I can't read Spanish unfortunately.  If you have the choice, who would you ask to write your biography?  Thanks. Sharon Lam.
RN: Thanks. I don't know who Tom Oldfield is so I don't understand how someone can write a biography of someone without knowing the person. I have never seen him or even heard of him, imagine! Hope that answers the rest of the question too. I am having someone that will write something soon but I will let you know when it is time. It will be in English too :-)

Dear Rafa! Have you been playing the Playstation in Melbourne? I remember last year you and Pico Monaco beat Moya and you blogged about it. ;) Wendy, Melbourne.
RN: Yes I have, but not soccer since I don't have it here. I played Gran Turismo, also competed against Marc Lopez on this.

Hi Rafa, Bernard Tomic gave you a difficult match and looks like a player who could challenge for slams in the future. Which other young players do you think we should keep an eye out for? Martin, USA.
RN: Yes, Tomic is a very talented player. I am sure he will be up there in the future if he does things right.

Hola Rafa. Which is your favourite country to visit on the tour and why? Brett, Melbourne.
RN: I enjoy many places and countries, and specially Australia I have to say. But I try to take also the best of other places and enjoy!

You said earlier you always carry music with you. What music do you listen to, and what sort of things do you have on your laptop? Mark, Scotland.
RN: Spanish music in general and also some dance, pop music

Rafa, you have got a great life, but if you could change one thing about it, what would it be? Stevo, Sydney.
RN: I wouldn't change anything of my life at the moment.