interview onrafa

Marc Lopez Interview Talks Rafa


"Rafa's day to day's aim is to improve"

Marc Lopez and Rafael Nadal get along perfectly well on and off court. They are training partners, doubles partner and, above all, friends. They also share a fondness for golf. In fact, they recognize that Indian Wells, "the golfer's paradise," according to Marc, is their favorite tournament. After his disputed victory against Dlouhy and Hanley, the Spanish pair are one step closer to defend the title they won last year.

Together they have won three titles. The alliance with Nadal's has changed Lopez's career, who is now number 14 in the world in the doubles ranking. An achievement that's most valuable when your friend, the world number one tennis player, says, "It's a pleasure to help him" and wishes him a "great future", while acknowledging that "their relationship is fantastic."

- How did Rafael Nadal come to your life?
- We met in Barcelona. In 2009, a mutual friend asked Rafa if he wanted to play doubles with me in Doha (Qatar) and he accepted. It was the first tournament we played and we won it. Since then we have participated in six tournaments.

- And how's Nadal playing?
- Unbelievable. He has an intensity and a pace of the ball that you can not find in anyone else. Even when training.

- Are you nervous when playing alongside the world's No. 1?
- I'm often more nervous than him. Rafa plays mainly with me to do me the favor, but he proves to be a good partner on court and, if I'm upset, he reassures me. He is attentive and very close. Besides a partner, he is a friend.

- Have you learned from him?
- He's a role model for me. He's a winner, a fighter and a person that giver everything his 100%. He's always positive, showing his desire. His day to day's aim is to improve.

- Do you have some sort of code on court?
- We don't have signs. Just before each point we talk about where to serve... There is no secret. During the matches we try to have fun, sometimes we joke or talk about things that have to do with tennis. We have fun.

- The formula works, you are in the semifinals at Indian Wells.
- Winning here is always difficult, but each match we are getting better. At the moment, it's all good.

- What is the hardest thing of being a tennis player?
- Tennis forces you to sacrifice a lot of things. You spend very long periods away from home and you miss your family, friends and girlfriend... But otherwise, it is fine.

- How have you prepared the season?
- In December I trained with Rafa in Manacor. We spent a month preparing, both tennis and physical training.

- Now that you're number 14 in the ATP doubles have you thought of playing singles?
- My goal is just the doubles. Last year I did very well and I want to repeat it. In 2004, when I was about to enter the Top 100 singles, I lost a very important match in the tie break and it was a difficult moment.

- If you played singles, what player would you like to meet?
- Rafa Nadal. I played with him in training but never in competition. I would also like to play with Federer. At the moment, he's the best ever.

- Spain is the only country with three players in the top 10 of the ATP. What is the secret?
- We are living the best time in history. Before they were also Ferrero and Moya, who unfortunately has retired. Now with Rafa, Ferrer, Verdasco, Almagro, Montañes, the Spanish tennis shows good health and I hope it stays that way for many years. The secret? I guess we left our skin on court.

- Do you like the nickname Spanish Armada?
- Yes ... it sounds pretty good (laughs).

- If you were not a professional tennis player...
- I would have devoted to golf. I love this sport and I will continue playing it when I retire.

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