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Interview: Rafa Nadal on XLSEMANA


[I've translated as best I could]

Genny Bluemoon has some scans of the complete article [spanish] with some photos. Gracias Genny!

The season had not started too well. Djokovic him a bitter end after another. Roland Garros started even worse. Almost lost versus 39 of 'ranking'. But, suddenly became the best rafa. With the mental toughness that characterizes it, beat Federer in the final Pparís, set a record of Borg and maintains the number one threat to the ambitious Serbian tennis player.

Let's see, do not think I'm a guy who is going to play tennis, come back to your home or hotel and forget everything. Of course I care about the story and of course I know everything I've done. I realize now, and so was three years ago. "Rafa Nadal speaks slowly, with calm to which we are accustomed, but with an added maturity that allows it to address issues that until now preferred to avoid.

"To tell you the truth, I do not entertain this issue in interviews, because when you start talking about being among the best ever, it is very easy to get wrong. And I never want to seem arrogant. But obviously, to this day my career is better than I dreamed and I guess I've earned a place in tennis history. Although not up to me to say at what level. "

Nadal has made ​​tennis history is unquestionable. But in addition, he has done so twice. Being the world number one in a profession and a merit. But in addition, the Spaniard has managed to surpass himself in adverse situations, some even more than what has transpired and continues to 'bite' trophies, like the recent Roland Garros, even when the odds are against him. No doubt his mental strength is its most distinctive feature, which makes the difference at a level at which all players are technically very good. Where does that strength to overcome the adverse moments?  

"The strength gives you the feeling of having done everything you can, personal peace that will go as I have done everything that was in my power to make things right," he says. And the answer is understood from the analysis of the game, even from the moments before the game, but what happens during the game, the tension of the game, or 'hot'? How does your mind?

"I get heated a few times. There is the tension of the game, but I keep my head in place. You know you can win and you lose, but if you can not control the nerves have many more options that things are not going well. In a game of tennis a few times I feel that I have a cool head. "And that is trained mental strength? "Of course you train. My uncle worked in that respect me as a child. It is a matter of habit. If you're used to going to the fullest, as you go to the full. The strength gives me hope to win and do well and improve my career. Mental toughness is to think that things can always be better than they are. "

The first time Nadal had to overcome a barrier of large and unexpected dimensions was late 2008 when his knee had enough. Tendinitis in his right knee forced him to suspend the participation in various tournaments. "These are difficult times. I'm used to playing with pain, but this is a different pain, again, who can not control, "said then Rafa. That turned on all the warning lights of his team and his followers and made the naysayers, those who argue that his tennis is too physical, and therefore very limited in time, rubbed their hands. Things got worse and in 2009 had to stop two months.

Overcome the injury, thanks to its strength and a great medical team that accompanied him then, Nadal admitted he had learned to live with suffering. "I think it is a virtue I have." Nadal's injury, as explained by your doctor Angel Ruiz Cotorro is the result of new equipment and materials. "A faster, bigger problems. Tennis has changed a lot. Before we talked about injuries to the elbow, shoulder or wrist. Now there are new diseases. He hit the ball faster and harder and in new positions, so we have problems in the spine, knees and hips up. "Nadal has tested the latest treatments, such as infiltrating autologous plasma rich in growth factors a therapy that ensures feel much better. However, although his knees seem controlled, not this year, things began 'well'. That is not all perfection is expected of Nadal. This time, the problem seemed to have name: Novak Djokovic. Four finals played against the Serb, four defeats.

His start at Roland Garros last month could not be worse. And not just because the Spaniard was playing poorly. Rafa Nadal is complaining! Went on to say that he enjoyed playing tennis. What was happening? Well, apparently nothing. The proof: he won Roland Garros by winning on the way back to Roger Federer did it in a game that Rafa was a new and important demonstration of mental power, because at some point the game from the stands looked lost. But as Rafa said, "we must keep superiority all the time. When Federer plays well, wins, when not playing so well, lost. And you have to play an entire game until the end. "

The triumph at Roland Garros has been a morale boost importantly allows you to keep the number one threatened Djokovic and equals six titles in Paris of Bjorn Borg.
"I am conscious of having gained something that days before seemed possible. I am pleased to have been able to overcome the initial disaster. What makes you want to win and win is to do whatever is necessary for this: work when you do not want, hold in the difficult times ..

Rafa not only wants to win. Novak Djokovic has made ​​clear it wants a lot. And Roger Federer is not willing, at age 30, to quit. What is the difference between playing against Federer and Djokovic do? "They are two very difficult opponents, but very different, says Rafa. There are two ways to approach the game because they have a different style. But even I can not worry about what the opponent, but what I do well for me to play at the highest level. Tennis is a sport where you can make many variations. You are good when you get to do very well so that you can do. I'm trying to play my game very well and then hope they do not have the most inspiring days ... (Laughs). "

It is true that in the last finals, the Serbian tennis player Nadal is tax, but so is that this earned him many times before. The question is why suddenly he choke Djokovic?  
"I have not been choking me. It has been choking us all. To Roland Garros had not lost a game all year. I'm the one who has faced him more because I'm the one who has reached the finals more times, but it's not that I was choking. Is that the other is a great player who is in the best level of his career. Are phases. When players are the best in the world are at their peak, it is very difficult to defeat. Is it a mental issue? Well, mental and 'tennis'. Make no mistake, tennis Djokovic who has practiced this season is very hard to match by anyone. "

Against whom would prefer to play? "Nor should we delude ourselves: I prefer Federer. My results against him this year are three wins and one defeat and Djokovic are four defeats. This is what you get. Then I guess I will not lose to Djokovic every time you play by the end of my career and I will not always win Federer. It depends on the conditions under which reach them and me. Anyway, I do not play the next end with either, if I'm in the final. "

Rafa has a good relationship with both rivals, but it is known its special affinity with the Swiss, who did not hesitate to describe as the best player in history. He has said on numerous occasions. "It's clear that Federer games are always intense. When I go to play the finals with him, I feel something special, I guess people feel the same. To me, I've always fallen Federer very well. I think the good thing about them is that we have always known lose, besides winning. He is a gentleman. "

Rafa on chivalry is insufficient evidence, but neither is it is not ever complained. It has for the ways and means that are carried out doping controls - "can not be treated like criminals, does not seem right '- the tracks too hard -" the hard court is more damaging than the grass or earth to the body, and every time we play more in these areas. In my humble opinion, would have to change it a bit, "but usually does so in a restrained, when last year was faced with an arbitrator, the YouTube video swept unusual. It was at a tournament in Miami in a match against Czech Tomas Berdych. It was a point of no great importance. Berdych bounced ball on the baseline. Nadal raised his hand, thinking it was bad, and the umpire gave the point in principle the Balearic Islands, but Berdych Hawkeye asked and showed the ball was thrown inside. The judge changed his decision and gave the point to Berdych, and that drew the ire of Nadal. Then he admitted he was wrong, but claimed the right to discuss. "If I think I have reason, I can discuss. I can not be wrong, but to discuss? I'm in my legal time to do it, "recalled Nadal. The surprise is that we are not accustomed to see him angry, what makes you lose patience? "I have enough patience. Do not get angry easily. What makes me lose it is to have the feeling of not doing anything, be at home, sitting on the couch, watching TV ... I'd rather be doing something. "

And Rafa makes many things besides playing tennis and to meet its advertising commitments. It also has hobbies. Football was his passion as a child and as an amateur, still is higher, but your knees will not allow you to practice with their friends as before. Now his 'obsession' is the golf, they say it plays like a pro. And that makes it to the right. In tennis left-handed, but it is a false left-handed, well trained by his uncle at age 11. His passion for golf made him a fan of Tiger Woods, who has said, is admired as an athlete, despite his marital infidelities. Nadal has always insisted that what happens in an athlete's private life should be private and only judged by the people affected.

He can not be more discreet in his. Only one girl is called: Xisca, and although the paparazzi harass them like any other celebrity, Nadal says that does not change his life: "I never stopped doing anything because I go to take a picture. If they do, bad luck. "

But do not ever get angry? Is there anything to you out of their boxes? "It costs me out of my boxes. I have enough self-control. I do not usually act out a lot of things. It bothers me sometimes people who are rude. Not the one that comes to autographs, but the next so rude. But if something bothers me, I say what I think. From there to lose patience ... it's not. "
The family and a more

Rafa Nadal's universe revolves around his family. We know that his coach is his uncle Toni, but are equal or near his parents, his sister and his girlfriend, with whom he speaks daily. His parents, who split in 2009, have always supported but had trouble accepting this early success. They were worried about not finishing school. Left at 4. ° ESO. "He missed a Roland Garros because I had to take the exams. Do not let him go and he understood. But then, everything is rushed and started winning tournaments. He turned pro too soon and could not reconcile it. I took it very badly. I could not consent to assess, but life just will impose things, "recalls his mother, who now heads the Foundation Rafael Nadal, dedicated to helping disadvantaged children.

  • His girlfriend Xisca Perelló 22 years, daughter of a builder of Manacor, graduated in Business Administration. She's a friend of his sister.

  • His father made ​​his fortune with Sebastian glass company. Now also has a restaurant and real estate.

  • His mother and sister Anna Maria and Maribel, 19, who studies INEF. To his admirers, that and no-notice, has a boyfriend

  • SOURCE: Thanks to NadalCuriosities2 for finding the article & helping me! 

    Ana Tagarro

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