autobiography interview

Carlin on Nadal: I would not last a day in Nadal's skin


"I would not last a day in Nadal's skin"

You, who has traveled with him around the world, do you think that in Spain we are aware of the dimension that Nadal has ?

I was struck by the impact he has in many places. Not only among tennis fans. There is something in the image and personality he projects that resonates in many people, a charisma. He is one of the biggest names in the world beyond sport.

Why does figure of Nadal captivatesl? In 'El País Semanal' quoted an article on Juanma Trueba in AS, in it was alluded to an "exercise of beating" in every game.

Although he has been number one or two for six years, I share that sensation of Trueba that always seems that he is David and the other Goliath, more talented, stronger Rafa has to overcome a larger force than his own, it is a game of counterattack, and that kind of personality attracts a lot.

The book begins with a first-person account of the 2008 Wimbledon final where Rafa beat Federer. Why?
Technically, I figured it would be better to break the ice by getting into the game of his life. I got the video and we saw it together and it worked very well. On the other hand, when I'm at an epic clash like this I wonder: 'What is he thinking this guy?'. I end this project with such incredible tension and I can only think to run.

Reading the book are far apart two "Rafa': The inside and outside the court, with his doubts and fears, his mother Ana Maria describes him "full of ambiguities."

That was the challenge to collaborate on this project. I always had the impression of a warrior and who becomes the gladiator on court and on the other hand, had a very sweet guy. He believed deeply in this interesting and well. Indeed there are two Rafas. His own girlfriend (Xisca Perello) told me that she Rafa does not recognize him on track. He becomes something else, a kind of a superhero.

Moya says in a chapter that "the secret of his attraction to everyone is that you can see the passion of McEnroe and self-control of Borg. A cold-blooded killer." Do you see that?

Funny how these things combined. You can associate him with Borg, but not quite, because he was pure ice, while Rafa is fire control. He also has the passion of McEnroe but not overflowing.

Rafa can not be understood without his uncle Toni. The pressure exerted on him looks somewhat brutal.

Brutal, but seeing it in retrospect, fundamental. It is a Spartan regime. The book reflects the relationship between Toni and Rafa has not been a bed of roses. They inhabit a world tense and depressed and there has been friction, of course.

The ethics of this pair is a work ethic very applicable to any field, right?

Yes, yes. There are clear lessons. Seriousness, discipline, tremendous work continuity. What is striking in Mallorca, as Moya said it has a Caribbean setting, they seem more German than very rigorous Germans.

The family is the anchor that Nadal needed for balance. The description of the relationship is so strong that it's almost scary.

Yes Rafa's story is not like Agassi, full of controversy, drama, drugs, Hollywood actress, it is the portrait of a person who has lived a remarkably stable, surrounded by lots of love. Without these foundations of the family he would not be even remotely the champion that he is.

The shadow of the champion is Rafa Maymó. Key in his life.

Yes. He is called Titin. He is absolutely fundamental. He is his oldest friend, but have more intimacy with him than with his girlfriend. They are always together and Maymó is not just physical therapist, but a psychologist, consultant, counselor. Someone very, very important. If Maymó let him it would be a hard blow.

It is known, but in the book further demonstrates the awe of Nadal for Federer. How is their relationship?

On one side he feels an admiration and respect for Federer as pure talent. Recognizes the variety of options on the court, has more of it. And feel the respect that one should feel for a great rival. It's a rivalry that could have easily turned ugly or spiteful as a Real Madrid-Barcelona. But contrary. They are close friends. An example.

By the way, Djokovic is hurting him a lot this year. Will the warrior Nadal will come out to beat him?

Now that I know his nature well, I know when this kid is presented with a difficulty, he overcomes it. It is the story of his life and he has had many lows. he knows he overcome the challenge posed. In my opinion, Djokovic did to him what he did to Federer has got to his head. It shows that tennis is tremendously a mental sport.

What words define him?

Humility and discipline. In the beast. I, who have traveled extensively and have been complicated contexts, could not survive a day in his skin. As he lives, with such intensity. There is a tremendous pressure point. Never relaxes. His rituals, how to prepare. It's brutal. He has little to do with our concept of how to be Spanish.


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