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Rafa Nadal L'Équipe Interview Translated

3/20/2012Rafaholics ™


Thanks to a very special devoted French Rafa Nadal fan @bluemathilde she sent me the entire interview follow her she's a great Rafa fan!

L'Équipe, Tuesday, March 20, 2012, Interview by Julien Reboullet (Indian Wells)

Nadal: "After a certain moments, It's tiresome"

Rafael Nadal his vision of the recent attacks on Spanish sport and him in particular. He also talks about tennis, Djokovic at Roland Garros ...
There was Noah and the magic potion, the Horns and the "fuel" magic. There was also in Spain on charges of tax evasion, and then, globally, the role of spokesman for the grunts of the players on the excesses of the calendar. In recent months, Rafael Nadal has not had to deal only with his backhand cross and his footwork. The world number two, six-time winner of Roland Garros (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011), has agreed to deliver last Friday, the eve of his semi-final at Indian Wells against Roger Federer (6 -4, 6-3).
His big bag of dirty clothes under his arms, he sits in the back of a car of the organization, on the way back to his home, seated left, to give more room to his right leg, tired . Raised and determined, Nadal returns for half an hour on the controversy, said his vision of doping in professional sports and talk, too, Djokovic at Roland Garros and a few other things. All with a simplicity and sincerity that commands respect.

- Q: You had planned to spend your February for an intensive preparation, to prepare for a new season to start from the Indian Wells tournament, but, ultimately, have you managed to get everything done of your schedule given all that has happened?

Rafael Nadal (RN): It was a calm month at times and not calm. Let's start with the charge of tax evasion (1). I gave an interview on Spanish television for all to clarify about my businesses based in the Basque Country. It was evident that I had to speak publicly.I’m a tennis player and I already have enough job-related problems as it is, let alone having to deal with all of that as well. But when the press began to get these stories of alleged fraud, it was anything but pleasant. And, above all, it was wrong. Everything was done legally, I pay all my taxes in Spain. I did what I had to do, I said what I had to say. Especially for people in Spain, living a difficult period economically. To me, it hurt me.

- Q. : Beside that, a few days before that debate, the “Guignols de l’info” aired their sketch on tv showing your puppet urinating in the tank of your 4 x 4 before leaving with a bang, as if doped ... Who made aware of the existence of this sketch?

RN: I am not used to reading about myself in the press and I'm not really aware of what was/is being said about me. However, a lot of people talked to me about this and so, I ended up looking at this famous skit. It does not make me laugh, but each his own humor. Each country also has a different humor. French humor and Spanish humor are not the same. On the one hand, I understood the first sketch, but in Spain, there were too many reactions to it. It has increased day by day. Anyway, luckily, it stopped.

- Q. : So you have not been amused for a second then?

RN: I’m always in for a good laugh, I love to joke, but I think there is a problem especially at the bottom of it all: there is a part of the population who do not know at all what professional sport is all about. When you don’t have a full understanding of the almost daily anti-doping tests. We must be localizable three hundred sixty-five days a year. Not a day off! When you know all this, we are a bit in the middle of the sport, so this sketch still remains unpleasant, but it does not matter. However, what bothers me the most is for people who know nothing about the system and who do not know that with all these constraints, all the controls, it is impossible to cheat, to have illegal substances in the body without slipping through the cracks. It is subject to a comprehensive system. I think this sketch could create a negative opinion, for me as for Spanish sport, for people who are less familiar with all that. I find it unfair. Tennis is a clean sport. There were very few cases of doping.


- Q. : But the way you see things, is it not somewhat naive?

RN: Maybe I'm naive, but perhaps then it's better that I am. I'm so far from the world of doping that I have a total misunderstanding. I don’t know anything about doping. Zero! What I do know are that of the doping tests. For me, those who use doping and get caught, they must pay the consequences. People can see me as naive. Some think that the controls are behind on doping, but nothing helps me think. I have confidence in the people as no harm is demonstrated. The subject of doping exists and will exist, but I find that in France they are a little obsessive about it. Of course, there can be no cheating in sports, in business, in life, in everything. I'm not a cheater, I never tried to cheat. My lifestyle, that's sport. And, for me, sport is the spirit of surpassing a daily personal effort, strength of will to always strive to improve. And the best way to get results is to work. I do not mean the sport in other ways. Some listen differently, perhaps using drugs, but I think the majority agrees with me and I do not accuse anyone without proof. The problem you have, in France, and I do not know why is that you doubt everyone. You can not accuse me of the magic potion, because the magic potion for me is work and effort. There are people who are doped everywhere, whether in Spain, in France as in Switzerland, the United States, etc.. In all parts of the world. There are those who used it that were punished and that’s all there is to it. I do not accept that others put the label “doper” on me when I have worked hard in the last seven years: that’s millions of hours, every darn day! In the end, all of it tires me out.


- Q. : One last question still on the subject. Can you clarify your position relative to Alberto Contador, whom you sent a message of public support via Twitter?

RN: First of all, I support Alberto Contador because he is my friend. It's a good guy. He says he is not doped and I believe, because this is my friend. When the positive test of Richard Gasquet was released in 2009, I immediately said that I did not think he was used doping, because knowing him since the age of eleven or twelve years I could not believe it. And I wanted to be as clear as possible so that people in France, to listen carefully. Alberto has been sanctioned but also Richard, at the time (3). What people fail to believe all is that it may suffice that whoever slips a prohibited substance in a drink and we did not realize that it could ruin a career. Alberto has been sanctioned but I wish him, with all my heart to come back strong, with the spirit that characterizes a champion.


- Q. : Is it in Spain because of a painful economic environment, the top athlete does not play a role disproportionate social context? As a valve to everyday problems of the population?


RN: I think we should be examples. That sport should continue to represent something healthy. This is the daily effort, with the end in victory or defeat, but the search for the maximum. It is sure that people are very involved. They love sports, but me first! Me it makes me happy when I as a spectator sport, it gives positive energy, to see the Spanish athletes shine through the world.


- Q. : Does it also gives extra pressure or extra motivation, "playing for the people"?

RN: Neither, I'm doing everything I can, Like I have always done throughout my career. When you give everything you can, you can not demand more from you ...

- Q. : Since the end of last season and your involvement in the claim of players for a less busy schedule, it seems that you have a lot to handle off the court. Are you able to easily train yourself as you want and keep your ability to be "here and now" in competition?

RN: When I am involved in something, I do it a hundred percent. Whether it when I play tennis, golf or when I fight for what I find to be correct. Regarding the schedule, I think ninety percent of the players agree on the subject. It is too full, there are too many injuries. I love tennis, I love competing and I do not want to retire at twenty-seven or twenty-eight years, nobody wants it. If you want to stay in the upper regions of the ranking, you have no choice; you have to play from early January to late November. I express myself vigorously because that’s how I am in life. I have lost too much energy in all of it, that’s certain, but I thought that those who represent us in the ATP were not doing their duty. When 90 % of the players want one thing and it doesn’t happen, it’s a sign that the representatives aren’t representing us very well. I admit that this was more tiresome for me than what has happened in February and those events won’t happen again.


- Q. : Back on the court. And especially on your biggest opponent, Novak Djokovic. You have said several times that you were not looking for a specific solution to face him. Yet at a time, Roger Federer admitted he was looking for an anti-Nadal plan? Would you consider it foolish to undertake a similar conquest yourself?

RN: I must improve my tennis in general to have more options against Djokovic, but I'm not obsessed with anyone. I think to myself well before you think about Novak, Federer, Murray or Ferrer. In the morning I get up to try to be better than yesterday. For me, first. We'll see if that will be enough to beat those I would fight. Novak is in spectacular form, but I spent nearly beat him in Australia ...


- Q. : Just one question on that fabulous final: the “easy” backhand passing shot in the corner at 4-2, 30-15 in the fifth set, did you watch it again?

RN: I saw the match when I got home. No problem to talk again about this point. I missed this one, but, for Novak to 4-3 in the fourth set and 0-40 on my serve, I could have finished faster too ... It's like that. One point does not sum up a six hours of a match ...


- Q. : You said you were happy with your game in Melbourne, despite the defeat ...

RN: Because that's the way: play well, aggressively, and find solutions. And the solutions are there (points to his heart), not there (he points his index finger to the inside). It will take me to be stronger, more consistent, mentally and physically stronger than last year against Djokovic.


- Q. : Play more aggressively, does that not stray too much from of your personality?

RN: Nothing is easy, everyone has their own way of playing that makes him feel comfortable, safe. Every change I make is an effort to bring something to my game that’s not obvious. This must be done, to try with courage and enthusiasm.


- Q. : There is no fear of losing your strengths by exploring other avenues?

RN: Everybody has fears, everyone has doubts, I am not arrogant enough to not having them! But all the progress I have made since the beginning of my career, I'm really happy. I feel happy, grateful for life and all those who helped me.


- Q. : Among the moves that have evolved since you started, there is the service. The one, fantastic, the US Open 2010, which has happened?

RN: I think I can find but it is not my priority. I won many other titles without that service. I can hit a service to 215 km / h today when I want, but should not serve so hard probably not the rest of my game My percentage may fall too low and I need a high percentage make early trade my account with my forehand. It was really well during this US-Open, I had a perfect feel on my action throughout the fortnight, but overall, it's not for me the most effective way to serve ... It can give me more free points, but it does not fit my mentality. I tried again sometimes serve as strong again, but it makes me feel a bit lost control of all of my game.


- Q. : Today, what is the role of Toni (Nadal, his uncle and coach ever) according to you? Is it evolving? Could you imagine, for example, playing a Grand Slam tournament without him?

RN: Toni will be with me in a Grand Slam as he wish to be there. If one day he told me he was tired of traveling, I can imagine myself without him, but I’m happy with him. IHe gives me a lot, but I also have a team around me that’s being helping me since a long time. Everybody changes when growing up, the relationship changes, we’re not the same as when I was 12 years old, of course….

- Q. When you see a Lendl (coach Andy Murray since the beginning of the season) in the players' box, don’t you tell yourself that the aura of such a big name can influence your opponent?


RN: I do not know. What I know is that it is a champion like Lendl back in the sport. What matters is that it helps Murray to improve. But, it’s not a matter of hiring a big name or else, every coach would be a big name….

- Q. : What’s your position on Davis Cup? After the final in Sevilla, last December, you said that you would skip the 2012 campaign.

RN: We'll see, it's something to think about daily. It's a great competition but it must be determined priorities, I have won four (2004, 2008, 2009, 2011). It really motivates me to represent my country, but I think I represent when I also aligns at Indian Wells or Miami. The Davis Cup is super, super hard but at the same time. Its format hasn’t changed since a long time in a world in constant evolution. Its format does not favour the presence of the best players all the time.


- Q. : And possibly a semi-final between France and Spain, it inspires you?

RN: I’m thinking about the quarter final against Austria, so the semi-final in September….


- Q. : The number 7, does that hold a special significance for you?

RN: Not specifically, but I would like it to be (laughter). By winning a seventh Roland Garros ... But there are many tournaments and matches by then. I do not think at all, how could I when I play tomorrow against Federer! (He spoke in the wake of his victory in the quarterfinals against Nalbandian.). Fortunately, I have no trouble staying in the moment. Besides, I never imagined winning as many French Open titles as Borg, so beyond that… I will do my best to go as far as possible in Roland Garros, like I always do.

- Q. : You remember your first match at Roland Garros?

RN: Okay, in 2005 against Lars Burgsmuller (6-1, 7-6, 6-1), I was more nervous than normal because I heard many people say that I could be the favorite of the tournament while I was a kid. If someone asks me which of my titles mean the most between 2005 and 2011, the answer might be 2005, because the first is always special. But actually, no, because with experience, challenges, wounds, painful defeats, the good times and bad, you take more aware of how hard it is to win again. When I won Roland in 2010 and 2011, the emotions were very, very strong, because you never know if this is the last or not.


- Q. : But every time you return to Roland Garros, it should still boost your confidence, right?

RN: Every time I get to Roland Garros, the first feeling is nervousness ...

Interview/Written by Julien Reboullet

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