RG:The Telegraph Blog 3


Hi everyone,

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.
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!

Q&A, May 25
(To have Rafa answer your questions, on whatever subject, email sportfeedback@telegraph.co.uk now)
Q: 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.
Q: 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 :-)
Q: 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.
Q. 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.
Q: 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.
Q: 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!
Q: 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!
Q: 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.:-)

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