W: Times Blog & QnA #5


Trust my luck rain comes while I am off Centre

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

Well it had to happen I suppose. First time I don't play on center court this year and rain! 

Couldn't finish my match and tomorrow I will resume play during the morning. Not a big deal. if you compare it with other players that had to play two or even three days in a row other years. 

We are lucky to play on center court where you have the roof and in my case this time I played on court #1. 

Some people are asking if there was a problem with me since I asked for the trainer before the end of the set. It was at the same time as the beginning of the rain and therefore the delay. 

I had some issues before even I felt but nothing serious. I should be Ok for tomorrow.



 Ask Rafa: winning titles are more important than my ranking


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

Do you think there is a point in Serena Williams’s moan recently about some players always get to play at the show courts and others (like her) get moved around?  Sharon Lam
I don't think I should go into this discussion. I don't know really the problem and didn't ask her or the scheduling people. Should hear both before any comments

If you were to give one tip about temperament, and how you manage to pick yourself up after a fall, what would it be? Tom
Don't really know what you mean. I think I have a good temperament though....

Every time you lift the Conde De Godo trophy after winning the Barcelona Open I’m scared you’ll injure yourself. Is that the heaviest and largest trophy that you have ever won? Atch
ME TOO! It is really heavy but the feeling to win it is too good to realize!

Routines and rituals are commonplace in many sports but you seem to use them a lot.  In what way do you think they help you perform better (if at all)? Do you think you pay more attention to them in high pressure situations such as the changeover before a key game?  Robin
I think they help my concentration and to know what I have to do but it doesn't change anything if for example the bottles I carefully put on the floor fall. In a few words, it is more a habit but not really a change if I don't do it.

What would you do if a player knocked over your water bottles at a change of end in an effort to psyche you out?
Nothing would change, really. 

What do you write on the tape on your fingers? Renata
Nothing, it is only the way they are. 
I noticed that lately you've been hanging out and practising with Feliciano Lopez a lot. Who schedules your practice and your partner? Celeste
Normally it is Toni who arranges it. But sometimes I speak to Feli on this particular case.
Have you ever doubted your ability to reach the top? When you were starting your career as a pro did you ever think ‘wow, this is tougher than I expected?’ Janice
Actually you never think about that. You only tend to think about being a professional player and you start setting up goals little by little. You really never think at a young age about being at the top. You just want to play and compete.

If you lose your world No 1 ranking, how will you react? Will it hurt? Will it make you more determined? Or will you just shrug your shoulders and say ‘hey, my time will come again’? Jon C
I don't really care that much. I don't think it is as important as winning the big tournaments. If I lose that #1 position that would mean that someone else has been better and I will have to continue improving!

Why do women get criticised for grunting, yet the men seem just as bad? Scott F
Good question. Do they get criticized? Do we do the same?


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