Wild Wonders of Europe Exhibition Interview with Rafa Nadal


INTERVIEW | About the exhibition 'Wild Wonders of Europe'
Rafa Nadal ... naturally

Alfredo Merino | Madrid
Updated Saturday 9/29/2012

The No. 3 player in the ATP world, came this week in Madrid's Retiro Park to the opening of the photographic exhibition 'Wild Wonders of Europe'. He did it as goodwill ambassador of United Postcode Lotteries, sponsor of the sample and Nadal Foundation. spoke with him.

What does nature has to do with tennis?
Hummmm ... I think very little.

Well, competition between adversaries, physical effort, strategy to capture the trophy, triumph of the fittest, clay ...
No, they have nothing in common. I really think that tennis is very different from nature.

In any case, it seems that you like nature.
Very Much, I have always been close to it and as soon as I have a free moment I get lost at the sea.

It seems an interesting project that proposes Rewilding Nature, letting natural environment go wild again by itself...
It's great. It seems incredible that no one has come up with the idea before.

To allow nature to evolve itself seems impossible in many places.  
Yes, it's true that reclaiming of some areas would require investment of a lot of money. And nobody wants to do that.

Could you point out some specific places?
Well, sure ... those sites that have been developed wildly.

In Mallorca there are some of those places you are referring to, like Magalluf, for example.
Yikes, that was horrible. But I don't mean there should be no construction. For me it's necessary to build well. What I believe is that construction should always be done while respecting natural environment, without destroying it, or raising offensive buildings.

You are talking about traditional architecture.
Yes, I believe it's something nowadays that is almost forgotten.

It's true that in your native Mallorca there are sites where environment has not been respected, but it also retains exceptional places such as Sierra de Tramuntana.
Of course, you couldn't believe the sites that have been well preserved as Tramuntana or Cabrera. That is really a wonder. A lot of fish there. (And while he answers, he takes his time admiring an underwater picture showing a shoal of the nearly extinct red fin tuna. "How nice!" he exclaims).

The images in this exhibition are very beautiful.
That's true. It seems impossible they can take such lovely pictures. Nature is very beautiful, but these pictures enhance it even further.

Which one do you prefer?
All. All look great. (And he stops in front of another photo, this one showing two massive musk-deer fighting amidst arctic blizzard. "This one looks fantastic, how good it is!" he says aloud).

If you agree, let's change the subject. Not to ask you about your return to competition would be unforgivable. When do you think you'll return to the courts?
I've said it before. I will be back when my knee is fully recovered. This is the only priority.

It seems to be going well.
It's going very well. But it still needs time. I am currently working on rehabilitation and will soon begin practicing again. It's still early to know when I will return.

Have you been afraid of a possible retirement?
No. I was very sorry not to play at the Olympic Games, this has been the worst, since they are only held every four years and who knows what will happen by then. I was also sad to miss the US Open and the Davis Cup, but I have never had doubts that I will play again.

If you are recovered by the time of the Davis Cup final, will you play it, even though it could mean that next year you would lose the #3 ATP ranking?
It's something that doesn't worry me. But I don't think I will be recovered. And if I am, I don't think I will be in better shape than my other colleagues, who have been more in form than me and who have defended Spain superbly in the previous rounds. To think otherwise would be lack of respect for them and for the country we all represent. Ultimately the captain will decide. But all that is speculation, the only thing that matters to me now is to recover perfectly, no matter how long it takes.

Source: Elmundo

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