2011 Roland Garros Blog @ The Telegraph
＃１ May 24, 2011
Let me just say first of all thank you for the opportunity given to me to do this blog. I am very happy to be back doing this for my British fans in particular, and I suppose the rest of the world reading in English.
It is the first time I do this for the The Telegraph and I thank you for the opportunity.
I am starting today at the French Open in Roland Garros although I have been here in Paris practicing and getting ready since Wednesday.
I have a very difficult first round match against one of the most dangerous players that you can find in a first round. You all know and remember John Isner from that dramatic match at Wimbledon last year. Well, that was grass and I don't think it will be the same on clay, but I do know how difficult he can be.
Thanks once again for being there, and I looking forward answering your questions over the next days as long as I am at the tournament.
1. What are those funny biscuits you always eat in your press conferences? (JH, Bristol)
RN: Hahahahaha, they are the Quelitas (Quely) that we always eat in Majorca. They are salty and VERY good! We always eat them and I have them at every tournament. Very typical Majorca.
2. What do you think is the most important shot for clay court tennis? (Mark Atkins-Hay, Tamworth)
RN: I think every shot is important. Maybe the strategy is the best shot since you have to play with a clear game plan, be patient and know how to do things, every thing.
3: There has been a lot of talk about the new Babolat balls at Roland Garros – do you have an opinion? How much of a difference do the balls make? (Sami)
很多人談到今年法網使用新的Babolat網球 - 你有什麼看法？用這種球比賽造成多少差異？
RN: They are typical Roland Garros ball. A bit faster and harder than usual which allows speed and high bounces. I actually like them,
4: I know players often like to eat in the same places – do you ever find it funny constantly bumping into the same players? (Ed, London)
我知道球員經常喜歡在相同的地方用餐 - 你有覺得經常碰到相同球員是有趣的嗎？
RN: No, I normally don't eat at the same places for a matter of luck. I do eat and repeat places because I like them.
5: Who do you most like to play Pro Evo with, and who is the current champion? (Rich Williams)
RN: I am playing currently with Inter de Milan which allows me to defend well and counter attack! No current champions, but I am playing a lot against David Ferrer
6: Do you think Manchester United have any chance in the Champions League final against Barcelona? (David, Paris)
RN: A final is a final and anything can happen. Barça is playing great and they have proven to be a great team. We'll see what happens. I am sure it will be again a nice final!
7: Hi Rafa, as a keen golfer, do you ever attempt any 'Seve Ballesteros-style shots' on the course, or are you more conservative? (Pat Norman, Wilts)
Hi Rafa，身為一個高爾夫球熱愛者，你曾經在球場嘗試任何"Seve Ballesteros式揮杆"嗎，或者你是
RN: I am a bit more conservative, and not even close to his game or even his talent!
8: Hi Rafa. Djokovic has clearly found a new level – do you think you have reached your peak of performance, or do you think you can still improve?(Thariq)
Hi Rafa，Djokovic很明顯地進入了一個新的境界 - 你認為你已經達到你的巔峰狀態，或是你覺得你還
RN: I think there is always room for improvement, that's why we all keep working!
9: How much time do you spend in the gym? More or less than you do on the practice courts? (Helen Thomas, Preston)
RN: It depends on the time of the year but not much these days. It is more in the pre-season. I don't really go to the gym during a tournament. I focus more on the court practice and physiotherapy.
＃２ May 25, 2011
First thing to say is that I am happy I am writing today and that tomorrow I'll be writing again, since I was very close today to being out of French Open don't you think?
I had no chance to break today - very difficult to play a big server. I did mention this every day before the start of the tournament after I saw the draw. It is not easy! People only talk about the final and I always say you have to go match after match! Today was the proof!
To be honest with you, I think I played very nervous today. I felt I could lose, and was in real danger since I didn't play well in the tiebreaks....
我今天沒有破發機會 - 和重砲手對打非常辛苦。在賽事開始前我看過籤表之後，我就每天都提到這一點。
So I am back at my hotel, we went out for dinner, got some work done and now ready to go to sleep, to focus on my practice and the match on Thursday against a fellow countryman.
Thanks for your support
1. My question for Rafa is: I know you mainly listen to Spanish music but do you have any faviourite songs in English that you like to listen to, perhaps before matches? (Cassie, UK)
RN: I actually do listen mostly to Spanish speaking music and particularly before the matches. That doesn't mean that I only listen to Spanish music. I also have lots of English music. Those classic rock or pop ones.
2. Dear Rafa, I've been following you since before your breakthrough matches several years ago at Crandon Park and, I think, in California it was. How do you maintain your intense focus, point after point and match after match? You're famously known for playing every point as if it's a critical one. Is there anything you can tell me that I can use to help keep my own concentration and confidence from slipping during a match? I'm a 3.5-level player. Gracias antemano por considerar esta pregunta, y buena suerte en el torneo! (Andrew)
親愛的Rafa，我從很多年前你在Crandon Park (Miami)突破性的比賽之前就追隨支持你。你是如何
RN: This is something that like any other part of the game you have to practice. I always say that you practice like you play so I do that with intensity and focus. Then after during the match I am used to that situation. Do that, practice hard and with intensity and I think you will improve that part.
3. Hi Rafa you birthday always falls when Roland Garros is on,how do you celebrate it,while at the tournament? (Val U.K)
RN: If I am celebrating it at Roland Garros is a good sign because it means I am still playing. Normally I do the same thing as any other day but the FFT also prepares a cake and some gifts which is nice of them. Then I normally go out to dinner with my team and family present.
4. Hi Rafa, Why are you not hitting the backhand down the line more often ? Noticed this in both your matches against Djokovic, thats bringing in a bit of predictability in your play on the backhand side. Is there a reason? (Sounak Roy)
RN: No reason, believe me I try whatever I can to win every point. Not that easy when the other player is reading your game and keeping me defensive. I do think about those things but....
5. Hi Rafa, Massive fan from Ireland. Can you infrom us all of your diet, are you on any shakes etc fior extra protein? Just how did you get that left gun so big?? (Conor Daly, Ireland)
RN: Nope, no diet at all, just the normal things of a pro player. Lots of carbohydrates, proteins, meat, fish, salads, .... I think you mean by guns the arms? Believe me that is from playing tennis, no gym at all.
6. What's your favourite court in the whole world? And Which player would you regard as your best friend in tennis? (Aneeka, London)
RN: This is a tough one... Probably Wimbledon and Monte Carlo are special ones. And my best friend....Carlos Moya, Juan Monaco, Marc Lopez,
這是很難的一題...也許溫布頓跟蒙地卡羅是特別的。而最好的朋友...Carlos Moya、Juan Monaco、
7. Hi Rafa You have fantastic coloured T-shirts when in all the tournaments. Do you pick these colours yourself or is it the sponsor and is it your preference to wear same colour (yellow) for the clay season then change for another tournament etc? (Anne Wade, Isle of Man)
RN: I like colors, I am Spanish, from Mallorca, sun, sea, .... Thanks for the wishes!
8. Hi Rafa. I would like to know how you control your anger or frustration during the game? As i observe, most of the players they tend to hit their rackets on the ground or even their feet. I don't see that you and Roger Federer would do that?
RN: Just focus on the next point, forget the last one for good or for bad. It is over, you have to focus on the next one!
＃３ May 26, 2011
Short one today since I am going for dinner and I am late... as I am most of the time. Last night I went with [Fernando] Llorente the football player, Richard Mille and part of my team for dinner to a restaurant near my hotel. It was nice and I needed to go out.
今天是簡短的一篇，因為我要去吃晚餐了，而且我遲到了...昨晚我跟足球員[Fernando] Llorente、Richard Mille
After my match against John Isner we needed to talk and we spoke a lot about my early scare. It could have been my last dinner in Paris this year during Roland Garros, but thankfully I am still playing and enjoying this beautiful city.
I went back to practice again yesterday, but believe me I am still thinking about that match!
1. Firstly Rafa, your humility is always very impressive. Do you ever watch your fellow top players, or an upcoming opponent, play a live game? Often the news reports that a player knocked out, say, in the quarters or semis, leaves the city where the tournament is in. But don't you want to watch a final at a great tournament, even it's the rare occasion when you're not playing? Bonne chance! (David)
RN: I used to watch them much more on court but now it is very difficult for me to go out since a lot of people come to me asking for autographs, pictures and so on and that can create a lot of distraction from what goes on on court. There are some tournaments I can do it though and I like to go. Otherwise I watch on TV.
2. If you were to play a mixed doubles match, which WTA player would you choose? (Makachou Minha)
RN: I have been asked this before and I still have no answer :-)
3. Rafa, I am a massive fan of yours. You are the best tennis player ever... but my question is, if you could play against any player in the history of tennis who would it be? (Saleema, UK)
RN: This is also another very difficult question to answer. I always say that who I play is who I play. I don't have the choice to go back.
4. When you are in Paris what is your favourite way to relax? I know your time off is probably limited with practice and matches, but are there any places you find yourself always going to or doing in your off time? (Eryn Teel)
RN: I like to go out to the Champs-Élysées and walk. I also go for dinner every night with my team or with friends. I also enjoy visiting the city if I have two days off.
5. You have an amazing ability to step up your game and play aggressively when you are coming from behind. What do you tell yourself during those times that helps you overcome your nerves or fear to play such great points. (Laura W)
RN: I always think about the next point and try to forget the one before. It is important to feel that so I can focus and you know that until the last ball is hit you have a chance to win.
6. Firstly thank you for blogging and answering our questions I know all your fans really appreciate this, secondly you scared the life out of me on Tuesday during the Isner match please no more matches like this, it isn't good for us fans :-) However, my question is this. You have given us some amazing matches during your career, but I'm wondering if you were a fan, what match of yours would you have liked to have sat and watched as a spectator and why. The match that automatically jumps out to me would be the Wimbledon 2008 final simply because of all the drama attached to it. Thank you and bonne chance for the rest of the tournament and season. (Debbie)
RN: Thanks for your comments. I think the Wimbledon final I won against Roger was amazing. Everything happened and I think that I would have enjoyed for many reasons. So yes, you are with me on this! Thanks!
7. Hola Rafa. Sure this will come as quite a shock to other readers too, but I only just discovered you're naturally right handed. Do you think you would have reached the heights of the game that you have if uncle Toni had coached you as a right-handed player? Best of luck with the tournament (until you play Murray).
RN: This is a story that has probably been taken a little out of context. Toni never did really tell me to play lefty. I was playing to a double-backhand and forehand and he told me that he had never seen a player with that technique that won big tournaments so he asked me to play with a one hand forehand and that I had to choose. I did go for the left hand like I play football with my left foot. But for the rest I am a righty!
8. I really hate you Rafa for what did you do to our nerves in the match with Isner. You made me cry after losing the third set, but I'm very happy that you finally won. This is the first time you have played five sets in the first round at Roland Garros. Do you think this will affect your concentration and confidence in the next rounds or is it good to play a tough match in the early rounds. Does it help you to correct mistakes early, especially Isner was not an easy rival to face it at the first round. (Zainab Sairafi)
RN: Ha ha ha... I didn't enjoy it too much either. Did you see the way I celebrated? Not easy, believe me! But thanks for hating me for this.:-)
＃４ May 27, 2011
1. Rafa, I think I found a weakness in Nole that you can exploit. The between the legs shot. You got him with one in Madrid and remember Roger got him with one at the US Open one time. So next time play him with your back turned and hit every shot between your legs. All the best!! (Phil C, London)
RN: Hahaha. This is a good one. I'll try more but remember this is a risky shot !!!!!
2. Hi Rafa, i just want to know if you wear a new pair of shoes for every match during tournaments? Thanks and take care. (Beth)
RN: No I don't. I normally use them for 3/4 matches until they wear out. That also have to include the practices of those days. At hard courts I normally use more though.
3. Can you tell us why you are very particular with your water bottle? (Marie, Toronto)
RN: Hahahahhaha. It is a habit and routine I have. Nothing important. If the fall nothing would change! Just a matter of doing the same thing.
4. Hi Rafa, my family and I have been your fans for ages. A question about the serve. We think that you "think" too much before serving. This is why you are slower and slower, getting time-violation warnings, and miss several first balls especially when you would need to hit winners or effective first balls, in crucial moments of the matches. But on the other hand we noticed that when you speed up your routine and play more with your guts and instinct you serve better and your whole game benefits from it. What's your opinion on that? (Pat, Genoa)
RN: No, I don't think so but I am sure that you observing have noticed other things...
5. Greetings Rafa and best of luck to you at Roland Garros. You've given so many interviews and answered so many questions over your career. We've even seen this video on YouTube of you doing an interview when you were 12. Do you remember when and where you did your first interview?
RN: Yes, I did an interview with the local TV. I was around 10 I think.
6. Hi Rafa, I noticed you don't use drop shots a lot, it might save your legs, especially when your opponent is on the other side, what do you think? (Celia)
RN: Yes and no. It depends on the surface, the conditions, the balls and also and most important on how I'm feeling that day.
7. How do you stop your mind working overtime when you are trying to sleep? Both before and after a match. (Barrie)
RN: I simply watch a movie or something like this. I am pretty good at sleeping well, not much but well.
8. Do you ever consider getting someone - like a big player from the past (John Mcenroe, etc) to help you bring a little change to your game or get some variation in your service game? (Nakkie Symms, Pretoria, South Africa)
你曾經考慮有某個人 - 像一個過去的偉大球員(例如John McEnroe)幫助你稍微改變你的球技，或是在你的
RN: No, not really. I have been doing well with my team, Toni and Francis.
＃５ May 28, 2011
Thanks for being there and reading this blog. Hope you find it interesting although I think I am much better at playing tennis. And having said that I need to find my game, I haven't been playing too good lately to be honest. It did happen to me in the past in previous Roland Garros but that tends to disappear after a few rounds. But the truth is that I am practicing really well so I hope it is only a matter of time!
Today I took it easy with a good practice and a nice dinner with my team.
Speak to you tomorrow!
Thanks again. Rafa.
1. Hi there Rafa, moltes gracies for being very lovely and writing your very interesting blog from Paris and replying to our questions. Rafa, you said that you travel with a lot of stuff, including DVDs... which DVDs did you bring to Paris this year and have you watched any of them yet? (Niamh in Ireland)
RN: Hello and thanks for your support and nice words. It is a pleasure for me to write this. I did bring some of the TV series I normally watch. But I also watch through internet movies so I don't have to carry so many DVDs.
2. I have a hard time watching you play close matches. I get a lot of cleaning done as I listen to the commentators. I have noticed that Uncle Toni has this same problem and often looks like he is about to throw up, especially match point during a tough match. Besides Uncle Toni, who has the hardest time watching your matches when they are close? I’m praying for you to win! (Beth)
RN: Thanks Beth. Well I don't enjoy either those close matches. Would prefer to win in straight sets but that's difficult. Regarding Toni and rest of my team, I know they also suffer that's why I also thank them.
3. Well done against that giant! How important is height in tennis? (Martin)
RN: Very much for the serve. But that is also something relative since the movements on court are also different.
4. I think the Roland Garros organisers have introduced these new balls which favour hard flat hitters to try to stop you winning the title for the next few years. They think if one player always wins then its bad for the event. What do you think about this? (Graham)
RN: I don't think so to be honest. I know well the people from Babolat (the balls are Babolat) and it is not that way.
5. Hi Rafa. Firstly, I'd just like to say that I'm a huge fan of yours and I wish you every success for this Roland Garros tournament, and others in the future. My question is, apart from practice, how do you prepare for a match just before you go on court, and does this change if you're playing a more important or difficult match like a Grand Slam final? (Fiona S)
RN: Well it all depends at what time is the match. But one thing important is to practice the day before and to rest as much as possible. That's why I tend not to do many things outside the hotel like doing tourism, sight seeing, etc. I also tend to have lighter dinners without meat and heavy stuff. More fish and pasta for example.
6. Hi Rafa, I love to watch your movement on court... the way you move your feet is amazing. I think you would be a great dancer... would you consider one day going on one of the celebrity dancing programmes like our Strictly Come Dancing? If you do please do the British 'Strictly' programme... it would be a dream for us your British fans to see you do a passionate paso doble or raunchy rumba... what do you think? Good Luck Rafa in Paris... with you all the way !! (Linda Miller)
有一天參加個名人舞蹈節目，像是我們的Strictly Come Dancing？如果你會，請參加英國的"Strictly"...
RN: Hahahhahah this is good. Actually my uncle Miguel Angel did this in Spain - dancing with the stars - and he told me he had lots of fun. I actually don't see myself doing this but never say never I suppose.
哈哈哈哈哈，這很不錯。事實上我的叔叔 Miguel Angel在西班牙做過 - 和明星們跳舞 - 他告訴我很有趣。
7. Hola Rafa, Thank you for bringing a lot of joy and nervous moments to my life since I started following you a few years ago! But hopefully there will be fewer nervous moments and more joy, OK? My question is earlier in the year we read that you were working with a writer on your autobiography. Can you tell us a little bit about it? And I hope if there is a chance for an RG karaoke again you won't refuse. ¡Muchas gracias y buena suerte! (Natalie)
RN: Yes, his name is John Carling and this book will probably come out this summer. We have been working a lot on this book. Hope you'll like it.
(I'm looking forward it!!)
＃６ May 29, 2011
So tomorrow I have another difficult match against a big server, just like in my first round against Isner. Ivan is playing well, very well, and is someone who plays also well on clay since he practices all the time in Monte Carlo. Again, it won't be an easy match, that's for sure.
1. Hi Rafa! It looks like your legs and your form are back. Yippee! Best wishes for your match tomorrow, we will be cheering so hard for you. My question is - in order to keep your muscles limber, do you practice yoga or pilates? Or, does Maymo have a special routine that you follow for stretching? Speaking of your team - it's the best looking in the tennis world. Especially Uncle Toni. Please give him a hug from me! Thank you! (Robin in the USA)
RN: Thanks for your message. I actually don't practice Yoga or Pilates. What I do is stretching with my physio, Rafel Maymo, and work hard every day with him, before and after practice and/or matches. This is very important. Regarding the best looking..... I will tell Toni...and his wife about it :-)
2. Hi Rafa, I know that you also like to play and watch football. Did you watch the Manchester United and Barcelona game and what did you think? (Scott from Sussex)
RN: I did indeed. Barça were amazing, probably the best team I have ever seen. Unstoppable and amazing the way the pass the ball and play. Really enjoyed the match as an observer.
3. Hi Rafa. For a while we've been hearing about another competition you are playing, namely your Playstation battles with Andy Murray which sound great fun! Who's winning these at the moment? You and Andy seem to be good friends and you always play the best matches against each other so would you also think about playing doubles sometime with Andy? Enjoy biting the trophy on Sunday Rafa and looking forward to seeing you at Wimbledon (I've got tickets!) (Andrea Lancaster, UK)
Hi Rafa。有一陣子我們聽到關於你所參加的其他比賽，名字是與Andy Murray的PS之戰，聽起來相當有趣！
RN: Haha. We do play sometimes, but not here in Roland Garros since we are staying in different hotels! But they are very good matches, not sure if better than the tennis ones but still lots of fun.
4. Hello Rafa..I am a great fan and my day isn't complete if I haven't heard the latest news of you. My question is... how do you make time for your loved ones (mother, father, sister and Xisca ) despite having such a busy schedule? :) (Joy, Philippines)
RN: Thanks for your support. It is tough the tennis schedule to do what normal people do with their loved ones. But we speak every day (mother, girlfriend, etc) and when I am home I am always with them (and playing golf). They also come to tournaments from time to time.
5. Dear Rafa, you have won many matches in your career so far, but I would like to know, is there a particular win of yours that you are most proud of? Thanks for answering, and ¡buena suerte! (From Jasmine).
RN: This is a difficult one since I have great memories from many important wins that I have been lucky to achieve. I could point out many but Wimbledon, the first Davis Cup is Sevilla, Madrid, Roland Garros, Us Open, .... many.
6. Hi Rafa! Thank you so much for doing this blog, it's great that you keep in touch with your fans so much. I would like to know what is the craziest fan experience you have ever had? Thank you & VAMOS! (Grace, Rugby)
RN: Thanks. I have had many funny things happening to me and to be honest it would be difficult. Remember the one in Australia last year when someone screamed form me to marry her? I thought that was funny.
＃７ May 30, 2011
The most important thing for me now is to know I am in the second week of Roland Garros. It is always important since the second week is the decisive week and to be here means you are in the final rounds. It is funny how much a tournament changes.
Now there are very few players and the juniors start their competition. So that players area is very different, completely different. I like this feeling but it is true that you feel the pressure, same as always, nothing new, that you are on the final week.
Speak to you guys tomorrow,
1. Will you visit India (Mumbai) ever? Your fans are really waiting ... I know your schedule is very tough, but please try to come, will you??? Vaammooos Rafa, we love you allot champ! Tanvee (India)
RN: I would love to go and play again in India, for sure one day. For the moment it is difficult since the schedule is very tight in tennis.
2. Do your fans ask more interesting and fun questions than the reporters in your press conferences? Atchariya
RN: hahahahaha. Sometimes or maybe I should say most of the times? Just kidding.....
3. Hola Rafa! Como estas? I'm a massive fan and I'm extremely happy you got through the last match without any major faults. My question is ... how long did it take you to learn English? I've been learning Spanish for 4 years now and I'm nowhere near as good as you! And was learning English hard? Good Luck and I'll be cheering you on! (Georgina J, London)
RN: Muy been gracias. I have been learning English on the road since I started when I was 15 so it is a slow process but making some progress. Now I think I am much more comfortable with my English, However it is difficult, still, when I speak about something that is not tennis.
3. Hi I was wondering Rafa, since the US open, your fast serve you had has not been used so much. Is this due to a shoulder or wrist problem? As I feel it helped you win the US open and would help with all the Slams, I cant understand why you have stopped serving so fast. It would certainly help with Novak. Good luck for the French Open, I'm a big fan. Husain, Cape Town South Africa
RN: NO, I didn't have any shoulder or wrist problems. I am also looking for that serve ... but in any case here on clay is not as important although the balls here are pretty fast.
4. Hi Rafa, My family and I love you very much and wish you all the best for the French Open! We have confidence you'll win your 6th trophy in Paris. My question is: there are three Rafaels in your family – your grandfather, uncle and yourself. What do your family call you at home? Do your parents call you Rafa or Rafael? With lots of love always. (Josephine)
冠軍。我的問題是：在你的家族中有三個Rafael嗎 - 你的祖父、叔叔跟你自己。你家人在家裡都怎麼
RN: Yes, my grand father and my uncle are also named Rafael Nadal! My parents call me Rafael but with the Mallorcan accent it could also be Rafel.
＃８ May 31, 2011
1. Well done on the tournament so far. How do you stop yourself getting down on yourself after hitting a bad shot or a few DFs or something? Something I occasionally have trouble with. Zainab (London)
RN: You just have to think about the next point! Forget the last one (or at least try to)
2. You've visited many places in the world, and my question is, which place has left the most memorable impression on you? Mariam Diallo
RN: I love many places in the world but the one I like the most is Mallorca, believe me!
3. With all your records (Masters Cup missing) and Rogers (Olympic single Gold missing), do you think it would be fair to say that there is NO .....1 single GOAT(greatest of all time), but rather the tennis fan world should just recognise that although tennis is an individualistic sport, there are 2 GOATS??? Mo.
RN: Thanks for your kind words. I don't understand why fans get upset because we beat or are beaten. We even get along well!!!!! They should do the same. And regarding GOATS, I really don't think I am at that level, but thanks anyway! ;-)
4. You are an inspiration and idol to many, who and/or what inspires you - to be a better person? Sarah, UK
你對很多人來說是一個啟發跟偶像，誰或是什麼啟發了你 - 成為一個更好的人？
RN: I know a lot of people are looking at us so I try to behave in a proper way. I simply behave the way I am.
5. Do you think to yourself that ok Novak's on a roll but he has to lose sometime and i can get my number 1 back next year when he has all these points to defend? Val, UK
RN: To be honest with you this is not a goal for me. My goal is to win Roland Garros and the other tournaments after that. I don't know if I'll manage but that's my goal. Certainly he is playing better than anyone right now but it is not easy to keep that.
6. I know you play tennis left-handed and football left footed but what about golf, do you play laft handed at that too? What’s your handicap? Sam York
RN: I am a right handed in golf and I shoot a 7 (sometimes....).
7. I always feel that whenever you play against Djokovic, you lose confidence in yourself. You always play better against other players. Does the fact that Novak's threatening to take the number 1 spot have anything to do with it, and do the media reporters bother you when they ask annoying questions about your performance and your losses in the last 4 finals? Dania from Lebanon
RN: No, not at all. I am not under more pressure and I don't really mind what reporters write or say. I respect all of them, they are free to do that but I don't really listen to those comments.
8. Having been the dominant force almost exclusively on clay for the last six seasons. please what do you think has led to Novak's Djokovic rise on clay and realistically how cn you beat the tennis that the Serb is currently playing? Thank you
RN: He was already a great player before and we played amazing matches on clay (remember Hamburg or Madrid 2 years ago!)
9. Who do you think are the young up and coming players to keep an eye on in mens and womens at the moment? Jane, Melbourne
RN: Tough to say. We all know that there are a few that tennis people know.
10. Rafa, is it true that you wear your shoes two sizes too small when you play? If so, how do you manage, I would be in agony!
RN: No, this is not true. I am normally a 10 1/2 and I wear a taylor made one to play that is a 10. But as I say it is taylor made so not a real number.
＃９ June 1, 2011
Hello everyone and good morning.
I am writing this just minutes before going to the tournament site and getting ready for my match today!. I am practicing at 12 noon and then closing my self in the locker room waiting for my match, a very difficult one as you all know. I lost to Soderling 2 years ago and I am not playing well today. I have to play much better than what I have played so far f I want to stay alive in the tournament. Otherwise you'll see me sooner practicing on grass.
And one more thing, I went last night to receive the trophy that the ITF gives to the #1 player of the year. I was very proud of that and thankful. It was in front of the whole tennis family and that's very important since we are like a big family in our sport. And as a family we have to take care of each other and the ITF must also do that...
1. Rafa, How you handle a defeat? Is it hard to continue playing with the same confidence? (Tamires)
RN: In tennis is more usual to lose than to win every week. Defeats are part of the game and of course that I don't like to lose, but you have to learn from defeat and congratulate your opponent. If he was better nothing to say, just congrats and keep working to improve as a player.
2. Rafa, Well done this year, got to the finals of many tournaments, that fantastic! Out of all the grand slams, which one do you focus on winning the most each year?
RN: Thanks. I focus on every tournament I play. They are all important and fans pay to see you play so they deserve respect.
3. Hi Rafa, I was lucky enough to watch you at Roland Garros last week. On Friday, I followed you to the practice court, along with many other people and it made me wonder: don't you wish you could go around the tournament site without being surrounded by security people all the time? (I know I would...) (Myra)
Hi Rafa，我很幸運上禮拜可以看你在Roland Garros比賽。星期五我和很多人跟著你到練習球場，
RN: Thanks. Unfortunately not a great match, sorry about that. WEll, about the people, it is nice to see they all come to see you practice. It is true that I would like to stop and sign an autograph to everyone but it is not possible.
4. Whenever you play a match and you find that the crowd isn't supportive to you...How do you manage to come over it and play?? (Aayushi)
RN: I always say the crowd have the right to support whoever they want, not a problem for me. But clearly it is nice to see them supporting you, much nicer.
5. Rafa, Spain has hit the heights of many a sport in the last few years. Yourself being a multi Gran Slam winner, Spain winning the World Cup, Barcelona dominating on the European stage, Fernando Alonso still regarded as one of the best drivers in F1 and Albetro Contador winning the Tour de France and establishing the no.1 Cyclist spot. What’s the secret behind Spanish success? (Daniel)
RN: Lot of work! Some luck also and lots of sacrifices. I also think we help each other by seeing what we do.
6. Hi Rafa, At all the tournaments you go to you are constantly bombarded with crazy Rafa fans. I was wondering when you are a tournament or at home, what is the weirdest thing that a fan has said/done to you? Not including the man you came down and kissed you at the US Open a couple years ago :) (Ethan)
RN: Probably that one in NY was the funniest and weirdest. He didn't kiss me though! :-)
＃１０ June 2, 2011
Hello everyone and thanks for being there.
The tournament is getting close to the end, and the question is who is playing the final.
There are now only four of us left and Andy Murray is there again. I know there are a lot of expectations in Britain for this and that's also pressure for him.
Every time we play it is a very good match, very close, very tight and with great points. So far I have been lucky and won important matches.
He also defeated me at important matches so we all expect a very tough match. We'll see but in any case Andy is a great player!
1. Hi Rafa. I always enjoy your matches at Roland Garros you are incredible to watch! Good luck for the rest of the tournament! My question is do you ever google yourself or search for yourself on YouTube? (Alba UK)
RN: No not really. I never look for that. I might look for videos of certain matches but not other type.
2. Hola Rafa, I am really looking forward to the semi-final between you and Andy Murray. You are my two favourite players. Can I ask if there is one part of Murray’s game that you wish you had for yourself? And what part of your game would make Murray a better player too.
RN: Andy has a great talent and he can do amazing things with the ball anywhere and everywhere. He has it all so I don't think he needs anything from me! And for sure don't give it to him tomorrow anyway!
3. Hello Rafael, Mine is maybe a stupid question, but I've always wondered: what are the first words that you say with your opponent in the match, if you've won the match just ended? "In bocca al lupo" for the semi-finals!Francesca (Roma)
RN: It depends the match, the rival, the way everything went. Normally the intention is to congratulate him and wish him luck for the rest of the tournament or congrats for the tournament if it is the final!
4. Hi Rafa, Is it Andy Murray’s mind stopping him win a major? Does he puts too much pressure on himself to win one? Did you put huge pressure on yourself at Roland Garros in 2005?Lauren (Pittsburgh, USA)
Hi Rafa，是否是Andy Murray的念頭阻止他贏下一座大滿貫？他是否為了贏一座大滿貫而給自己太多的
RN: I always said that I think Andy will win a major so I wouldn't be too concerned if you are a big fan of him. As I say, he has it all to win!
And regarding '05, sure I had pressure, probably as much as tomorrow for this semis or any previous final!
6. Hi Rafa, You are an idol and an inspiration to many young tennis players all over the world, (including myself), who were your idols when you were growing up?Josie (U.K)
RN: Many thanks, but I really didn't have any idols in tennis.
7. Hi Rafa, I am a big fan of you and also a fan of Andy Murray. Is it different playing him in Roland Garros to Wimbledon when he has big home support? How do you deal with the fans supporting the other player (though it doesn’t happen too often I know)? Mike (Glasgow)
Hi Rafa，我是你的球迷而且也是Andy Murray的。跟他在Roland Garros比賽是否跟在溫布頓不一樣，當他
RN: Not a problem. It is normal they support players. They have the right to do so and I don't mind too much.
＃１１ June 3, 2011
The first thing I would like to do is to congratulate Andy on a great tournament. I really like him as a player, I think he is incredibly talented and will soon win a Grand Slam. There is no doubt about it, or at least I have no doubt about it. And I also like him a lot as a person. I wish him all the best and I enjoy always being with him and his team. Having said that we always play great matches and today it was also a great tennis match.
I am very happy to be back on a final. I have said I am very happy with the season since I have been in many finals. Clearly there has been a better player than me so far and I have to admit that, but my year has been very good so far. So I am back on the final here in Paris and that really is something special for me.
I am watching now the match in my room between the great Roger and Novak and it is really exciting. I have said on court that the best player of the history is playing against the best player of the year who whoever makes it to the final will be in any case a very difficult opponent.
Many thanks to all.
1. Hi Rafa, It was so great to see your best tennis came back when you beat Soderling, you played magnifico! I was wondering if you did anything special or different to get your best tennis back? Juliette (UK)
RN: Hi, thanks for your question. I really didn't do anything. I was practicing well but I was not playing well. It is only a matter of confidence and in the last two macthes i played well. I am very happy for that.
2. Hi Rafa, I'm a big fan of yours. Who do you think would win if you were to play Sampras or Agassi? Anupdavid
RN: I don't really understand what you mean. I would think that on clay Agassi had more chances. Is that it?
3. Hi Rafa You modelled underwear for Armani this year - and looked vastly better than Cristiano Ronaldo. Any plans to bring out your own underwear line like Bjorn Borg did? Amy (UK)
Hi Rafa，你今年做了Armani的內衣模特兒 - 看起來比C羅還要棒。有任何計畫要出產你自己的
RN: Thanks for your comments. I don't really plan to do that for the moment! But thanks
4. Rafa, Your mental strength, not just your physical strength, seems greater than many you play against. Were you born with that or did you develop that mental strength ? If so how ? Best of luck at Roland Garros, James Connor (UK)
RN: I always say you can practice everything in tennis and the mental part is also a part of it. It is something you work every day since the beginning of the career.
5. Rafa, Thank you so much for taking time to speak with the fans. It’s great that you answer our questions. My question is this. Apart from Andy Murray british tennis players are not as good as those from Spain. What do you do different in training and development in Spain and what do we need to do be improve our standing? Vamos Rafa! Erica (Birmingham)
RN: This is a very complicated question that would need a lot of space to answer. I think there are a lot of factors why Spanish tennis has been so successful lately in the years. But I could not give my opinion about British tennis since I don't know well their structure. So I suppose I'll leave this for another time.
＃１２ June 5, 2011
Hello everyone, and good morning.
It's rainy today in Paris but we are finally in the last day. It's been an amazing two weeks where there were points that I thought I would not make it to the final day. I wasn't playing well and, as I said, I had to play better to be able to reach the final. This says a lot about the importance of confidence in tennis. It is possible to not play well one day and well the next and all of that is mainly confidence. I was practicing well but playing bad.
And what to say about Roger. A lot of people were saying he was finished, the changing of the guard and all those things. There you go, he is again in a final and playing amazing. Because his match against Novak was amazing. So I am very happy for him, really, he deserves respect because he is a great champion, the best ever in our sport.
If we play today it will be a very good match, I believe. Looking forward to it.
1. Hello Mr Nadal, do you get nervous before a big match like the upcoming finals in a big tournament? Robert
RN: Yes sure. We all get nervous before a match and especially more if it is before an important one like today's. The important thing is to be able to control that. Both Roger and I are used to it.
2. Hi Rafa. Congratulations on making it this far, and good luck for the final! I find it interesting that the US Open is the only Grand Slam to use a fifth set tiebreak to decide a match, so my question is, what is your opinion on using a fifth set tiebreak, do you think more Grand Slams should allow it or do you think it is better to play the fifth set until a player leads by two games? Natalie (Kent, UK)
RN: This depends on each one. I think that it is nice to have matches like the one at Wimbledon last year that lasted so long. Or many other epic matches on Grand Slams. But also the tie break is exciting for the crowds and the tension of players, but probably less fair. Both are good options but I stay with traditions.
3. Hola Rafa, congratulations on another Grand Slam final. Can you tell me which of all your final victories is the best in your mind. The Wimbledon 2005 againt Roger Federer I think was not just the best tennis final but one of the greatest moments in sport. Kelly (Dublin)
RN: I have plenty of them, fortunately, but probably the '08 Wimbledon final as the big one because of the rival, the conditions, the darkness etc. But also '05 in Rome against Roger or the OZ Open final...
4. Hi Rafa, many people had written and said that Roger Federer's best days are behind him, but here you are again playing him in another final after he beats the most in-form player on the tour. Is he the best ever player and what do you have to do, how many slams do you have to win before you are considered the best ever? Said (Doha)
Hi Rafa，很多人寫或是說Roger Federer最巔峰的日子已經過去，但在他擊敗最進入狀況的球員後，
RN: I am happy to see Roger up there. He deserves it. Regarding the number of slams you can make the numbers. Not easy to achieve what he's done.
5. Hi Rafa! I'm a huge fan of yours and I really hope you win at Roland Garros this year! Earlier in the tournament you said that you don't think you're playing well enough to win, after your amazing win against Andy Murray, do you still feel that way? Thank you and GOOD LUCK for the final! Fing Nung
RN: I am playing much better and I feel better. I hope I can play like this today. I need to be at my best to have a chance against Roger.
6. Hi Rafa, hope you had a great birthday. My birthday is on the 8 June so can you please answer my question as a birthday gift... What was your most embarrassing memory when playing tennis? Zara
RN: I don't really know you so it is tough to know your likes. I suppose the best gift is to have one from the people you love no matter what it is.
7. Rafa, thank you for answering all our questions. Mine is: what is the best bit of advice you would offer to a young tennis player just starting out who dreams of one day being as good as you? Lisa (Washington)
RN: To have fun, to have fun and to keep having fun!
＃１３ June 7, 2011
Hello everyone and many thanks for all your support during these past two weeks in Paris. It was a new experience to do this blog here and the feedback I got was very positive.
I am now in London and happy to be back on grass. I arrived yesterday (Monday) from Paris, after we celebrated on Sunday night and then went to Disney World in the morning.
When I arrived in London I went straight to practice on the grass of the Queen's Club.
I love being here and the sensation to play on grass. Some people say I should not be here playing but I think this is the best. I will rest after Queen's a bit and then get ready for Wimbledon, but it is important to be here for many reasons. LOVE TO BE HERE!
See you and hopefully will be doing this again from Wimbledon...
1. Hello Rafa, congrats on winning. I just would like to know what you were thinking at 5-2 down in the first set? (Patrick Barnaby)
RN: The only thing you have to do is think on each point. Get back on track and keep fighting.
2. Please could you tell me how you manage to produce your best game and highest confidence at the worst times, when you have been unconfident, playing below your best, and are facing the most intense pressure? It is astonishing. (Emma Chesterman)
RN: I have always said that the mental part of the game is practiced from the beginning of your career. To produce the best of your game at difficult moments is part of that mental practice.