Rafa’s first 09 Rome presser

Rafa’s in Rome and has already done a presser – it never ends. Article from the official site with some quotes from the presser.

When asked about the problem of having another surging Spaniard, Fernando Verdasco, in his quarter of the draw, Nadal refused to be drawn into any predictions. “I don’t know if we are going to be in the quarter-finals. Seppi – I’m looking there. I don’t know if Verdasco looks to the quarterfinals but, me, I look at the first round.”

Refused!

“The most dangerous competitor every day is the opponent,” he continued. “That’s the thing, and I know how tough it is to win every match. When I go on court, I have a lot of respect for every player. Before the match I always think I can lose and I can win. I have to accept both things, so I go on court and try my best every day and respect the opponent. Federer or Djokovic or Murray, sure, they are the No2, 3, and 4, but every player can play really good on every surface. The clay court players can play very well on the rest of the surfaces and the hard court players can play very well on clay because the surface is different, but not like before. The hard is not really, really fast and the clay is not really slow.”

That is the true. The speed of the different court surfaces are much more similar than they used to be back in the day.

When asked how “only” three Rome titles compares with Monte Carlo and Barcelona, the two most recent tournaments in the calendar which he has now won five times, Nadal again showed his characteristic press-room modesty. “I’m very happy to have three titles here. Not disappointed to not have the title last year. The normal thing is not always to win, the normal thing is to lose. It is unusual to win five Monte Carlos in a row and five Barcelonas in a row. For me, that’s more than a dream, that’s totally unbelievable – I never expect something like this. It’s more usual to lose in the first round in Rome than win three Romes in a row.”

He’s a smart lad.

Despite having opened up a clear lead at the top of the rankings, the Majorcan is by no means resting on his laurels,. “Sure, when I came to be No. 1 last year it was important – it gave me satisfaction because I worked very hard all my life to be there,” said Nadal. “But in the end, I have the same goals right now as when I was No2. I’ve said that to myself a hundred times this year. My goal is to continue improving my tennis and continue having good results, and try to improve. Always.” He may be modest, but the steely determination is there and few would bet against him losing on clay between now and mid-June…

Few indeed.

Full transcript can be found here.

And…photos!


(Photos by Julian Finney/Getty Images and AP Photo/Felice Calabro)

19 Responses

  1. CC says:

    Wow, thanks Miri!

    “I never expect something like this”- classic Rafa.

    Is he…is he…growing a beard?

    • johanne says:

      CC, I was JUST thinking how it was weird he didn’t shave yet. I mean it’s the start of the next tourney…he usually does, right? Hmmmmm…

      Btw his hair is super curly in these pics. Cute!

  2. miri says:

    Just added another pic I found (and am officially late for work…again). It’s another one that makes me wonder how Rafa can see the ball so well on the court when off the court his eyes often seem to be going in different directions. ;)

  3. CC says:

    Yeah, *flove* the curls! But not a fan of caps, never have been and Rafa’s been wearing them a lot lately…

    I’m up for a beard, though! Would be hilaious.

    • johanne says:

      Agree on the caps thing…but good thing Rafa is so hot that it’s easy to look past it! The beard on the other hand, NO. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Rafa scruff, but not a full-on beard!

      • CC says:

        OK, you might be right about the beard. But still…I am curious… (-:

        • miri says:

          He just won a tournament yesterday and then had to fly out that night (or early this morning). I bet he just didn’t feel like shaving and I don’t blame him (even though I prefer clean shaven). Unless he’s decided to copy Maymo who looked like he was sporting a beard in Barcy. (And a darn scruffy looking one too – shave!)

          Okay, I should at least pretend I’m working (and stop typing in parenthesis)…

          • CC says:

            Yeah, I prefer Rafa clean shaven and smooth looking too.
            And I prefer Maymo clean shaven, it made him look 55 years old with that scruffy beard!
            (Gosh, posting galore for me today, I love it!)

          • johanne says:

            haha i’m sure we’re not at all contributing to your problem of not working ;)

            you’re going to hate me, but Steve Tignor is continuing his Rafa love (LOVE IT!):

            http://tennisworld.typepad.com/thewrap/2009/04/rafa-review-rome-preview.html

            • miri says:

              That’s it. I hate you. ;)

              Okay, what I really hate is the DTs I start to have if I don’t check my email every few minutes…

          • tiemyshoe says:

            I’m all for him growing a beard, not ’cause I think he’d look good, but because I have a morbid curiosity for what people on VB will say. BWAHA.

            • kefuoe says:

              That’s funny. I’d have to say, I’d be against a beard ’cause it looks like it’d be too sparse. On the other hand, I have an overwhelming urge to touch that scruff!

  4. dutchgirl says:

    I love how consistent he is in pointing out that it’s always one match at the time.

  5. faecoleman says:

    Classic Rafa answers, I don’t dig the cap on Rafa personally, and he quite often wears a little stubble, but beard nah, just not Rafa, like you say he probably couldn’t be bothered with the flight and all, bless him….

  6. nic says:

    Rafa’s hair is looking awfully nice in these pics. Such a nice shade of brown.. sigh… I actually quite like him in caps, I think he wears them well. Especially when they bear his trademark bull. Mmm.. he looks so at ease. Relaxed. Tanned. Yum!

    • nic says:

      Btw I love how wise Rafa is. The way he said losing is the norm, and winning is unusual. Just always seems to say the right thing, put things in the right perspective. Gotta love him for it. And all this in English too. How can people say his English hampers his popularity in certain regions?! Why do they want everyone from every country to speak absolutely perfect, flawless Engish?! There’s so much character in the way Rafa speaks.