Telegraph Blog 2


Rafael Nadal's exclusive blog: world No 1 answers your questions throughout the French Open

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

Q: 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.
Q: 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)
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.
Q: 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.
Q: 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....
Q: 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.
Q: 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,
Q. 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!
Q: 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!

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