interview

Rafael Nadal: My comeback is a small miracle

5/26/2013Rafaholics ™


(interview was translated from German so please excuse any mistakes) Article was posted on May 22, 2013.

Rafael Nadal Interview: "My comeback is a small miracle "

Rafael Nadal (26) is the giant of clay court tennis. Even after his serious knee injury dominated the returnees this season again his favorite discipline and took five of his six titles on the red clay. At the French Open champion, the record (seven wins) goes as defending champion and top favorite at the start.


Mr. Nadal, since your comeback in February, you rush from one success to another.Who you should really stop in Paris?

Rafael Nadal: Any player who I play against. So I go into each game. Always with the thought: This is an enemy that is world-class tennis to play, it has it to hit me. If you do not have this respect, you can not be in this sport. Carelessness you may not have, that is the beginning of the end.

So do not go as a big favorite in the French Open race?

Nadal: I will never call myself a favorite. Or say that I have to win a tournament. That would be arrogant and presumptuous. I have also just ten months not played best-of-five match more, since I can not go out and knock spells.

Are you surprised by the quality of your comeback?

Nadal: This is more than a surprise, which is, quite frankly, a little miracle for me. Which I have not even dared to dream. I was most important that I stay healthy. That was the main goal.

You can now completely safely go to the place without feeling that something happened to your knee?

Nadal: Well, I already feel the knee.

What is feeling?

Nadal: Well, there's a bit of a pain. The key point for me but I can compete with anybody out there. I now have often proved to me in recent months.

My uncle and coach Toni once said that he knew of no other man who could ignore the pain as like you.

Nadal: I'm used to test my limits as a player. I live for the struggle, from the use of, the willingness to invest a lot to win. This mental toughness part of me as a professional.

Are you again today as powerful as your best times, we see the 100-percent-Nadal?

Nadal: The maximum is always the maximum in a moment. I always give 100 percent for me. The only way I can ever live in professional tennis. If my 100 percent is not enough, then my opponent was just better. But I still can not go home with a bad feeling.

How hard were these seven months injury, the absence in the Olympics also?

Nadal: It was a hell of a hard time. Simply because it was no improvement for a long time.I woke up in the morning, tested my knee - and felt that nothing went forward.

On Facebook and in some Spanish newspapers saw pretty relaxed pictures of you: go fishing, the trip with the family.

Nadal: No, you can not call this relaxed. You can not, if you're injured - and have a burning desire to return to tennis again. My family was of course still very important: it has given me so much positive energy that the hard times but was easier.

Were there times resignation thoughts?

Nadal: No. Those were just the usual rumors that strewed some newspapers. My goodness, I might even have one to one and a half year wait to return. I still feel young as a professional, even if I take a couple of years now through the world.

Not much has happened to the balance of power in the men's tennis indeed changed in your absence. Why the top people so lonely since her circles forward, FabFour with Djokovic, Federer, Murray and Nadal?

Nadal: Crucial is perhaps just this accumulation of very good players at the top. One of us is always in exceptional shape, plays on the limit in a tournament favorite. And usually you have to be just two of us beat to win the title. Nevertheless, we keep players like Berdych, Tsonga and del Potro on the go. We all know that this power is not self-evident, it is - despite all the statistics - just a power on time.

What is important for you at this stage of your career?

Nadal: I have accomplished more in my life than I have ever hoped for - it was when I went to the first challenger tournaments and the great tennis was still far away from me.Health, that's all that matters. To be healthy, stay healthy. This is more important than anything else. I'm now with a certain peace of mind in the tournament program, even if it does not always look like this: I know that I have everything already achieved. And that I have nothing to lose. Much of the excitement that is constantly being produced by me and my tennis, let me simply cold.

So you are less ambitious?

Nadal: No, certainly not. I go into every tournament with the firm intention: That you want to win. I've always ticked. Another Nadal does not exist.

They were always in a relationship a rarity in this circus tour - you have had only one coach over the years, her uncle Toni. How do you see this partnership today?

Nadal: First of all, he is my uncle, one of my family. With him, I know that he is doing all this because he loves me. Not because he wants to get out and have something out of this. He just wants only the best for me. When I was a child, he has called me weird. Every day we went to the limit. Since there was no compromise. He was a strict teacher, but a good teacher. This apprenticeship has made ​​me what I am.

One of your colleagues, the German Tommy Haas, the world champion of involuntary comebacks in tennis. After five surgeries and five return missions he is now back in the top 20

Nadal: What he has done in recent months, speaks for itself. He plays again, as in his best days, and it's fascinating to see how happy and elated he goes to work. For me he was a role model - just as he has not let it get out of the injury. I just hope that he still has some good years ahead of him.

At Haas, you could also at its sole stint in Germany meet at the Gerry Weber Open.

Nadal: It is a pity that Germany does not have as many high-profile tournaments. I always like to play in Germany because people really understand the sport. In Hall I want to do better than last year. Since I was already handicapped by my knee injury.

Germany is a few days before the Champions League final in football fever already.Both Spanish team played against Bayern and Dortmund were on the track. What the expert says Nadal?

Nadal: I congratulate the two German teams. You have the fully deserves. Dortmund have a good team spirit, plays with great passion. Nevertheless had a real good chance to reach the finals in contrast to Barcelona. They have a beginning, can make two goals, then everything would have been possible. Barcelona? Well, what did the last six, seven, eight years, which is actually unreal. That was the best thing I have ever seen from any team. Simply overwhelming. But now they are not gone into great shape to the semifinals, either physically or mentally. Bayern does. High speed, full conviction - they had absolute control.

Who will win the final?

Nadal: Bavaria is the slight favorite. But in the finals, anything is possible. Football is not like tennis. A situation, a red card, for example, can change everything. In tennis you play 200 balls as you can iron out mistakes again and again. Football is unpredictable. But one thing is fixed times: If you, like Bavaria, three times in four years reach the final of the Champions League, you've really done very much as a club.

Play even more football?

Nadal: Yes, of course. Whenever it is possible. As a child I played until I was 13. I love football. 

Interview: Jörg Allmeroth.
http://www.tennisnet.com

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