AO2012 AOblog

AO: TheAge Blog #1


Do you have a question for Rafael Nadal? Email or ask your question via our live blog and Rafa will respond.
Look for his answers and comments about the tournament on and in The Age.
Here's a few of the questions that readers have already sent in, with Rafa's responses below.

Question from Ashley McGlynn: For many years there was you and Roger on the top of the heap battling for the Grand Slams, and the number one spot. Now, with Djokovic at the top of his game, Murray looking more and more likely to win a slam sooner or later, and guys like Ferrer, Berdych and Del Potro all lurking around the fringes, have you changed your preparation, attitude or philosophy? Ashley McGlynn
Rafa says: Well yes, you always have to improve and try to be a better player. If you stay and do nothing clearly you will lose. Novak has improved a lot and his year last year was amazing. Roger is still Roger and he is always someone who can win everything. Murray also played unbelievable last year and that is the prove you have to keep improving. Sure I try to adapt and change things to be a better player.

Question from Ashley McGlynn: More on your image than tennis, many non-Spanish speakers may not know the real Rafeal Nadal, what makes you get up every morning? What drives you to do what you do? And, what are your plans, if you have any yet, for life after tennis?
Rafa says: Well I like the competition and everyday I love the challenge to be there and competing to have the chance to win. This drives my motivation and I like this. I am still focusing almost 100% on my game, on my tennis life and to be honest with you I don't really think about my life after tennis.

Question from David Dennis: Do you think Bernard Tomic can beat Roger Federer if and when they meet? What do you like most about Tomic's game and what can he improve on?
Rafa says: Bernard is still young and he has a great potential. If he continues this line he will for sure be up there in the rankings and a serious contender to win titles. I am not sure if he can beat right now Roger. Roger is Roger and he is still the big favorites to win every match he plays.

Question from Mary Tomalaris: I see the bookmakers have you fourth favourite for the tournament. How does it feel not to be favourite as usual? Does it take the pressure off at all?
Rafa says: It feels great. I don't ever had pressure from the bookmakers but in any case I have no problem with that, even better, also for my fans.

Question from Jon Davis: Is there really a feud going on between you and Roger or just a difference of opinion playing out in the media?
Rafa says: I think we are all grown up and we can agree and disagree. I made a mistake I now regret in telling the media all my thoughts, as I always do. Sometimes you can't say everything and it is better to discuss things among ourselves. My relationship with Roger is and will always be very good, I have a lot of respect and admiration for him even if we don't agree on everything which on the other hand can happen and is a normal thing in life. I am sure you agree.

Question from Judy Green: What are your favourite places to go out in Melbourne?
Rafa says: The aquarium, I love it and I always go there. I also enjoy St. Kilda. I also like the great restaurants here!

Question from Ramon Martinez: How many people do you bring with you in your entourage when you come to Australia?
Rafa says: I normally travel with my coach Toni and if he doesn't come with Francis Roig. Also with my Physio Rafel Maymo and my PR guy Benito Perez-Barbadillo. These are at every tournament around the world. Also Carlos Costa, my manager, that comes to all the big events. Here in Melbourne this year my father and my uncle Miguel Angel are here too. Marc Lopez with whom I play sometimes doubles is here competing in doubles but I could say he is part of the team too! And Tuts and Roy from NIKE who are also here!!!! Big group here that I enjoy being with.

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