Rome trophy ceremony

Rafa gets his trophy; Nole is forced into a difficult situation; neither knows what the hell to do while the theme from Chariots of Fire keeps playing and playing.

38 Responses

  1. johanne says:

    This ceremony is all kinds of awkward! Good thing the boys can laugh it off. Anyone know what Rafa says to Nole at 5:57 (he’s off camera)? If I were to guess, it would be something like “just do it!” :)

    In the end, what could Nole do? I think he handled the situation well, and I think Rafa was totally fine with it.

    • Estrella says:

      Rafa said that he never saw how Nole imitate him ;)

      Sorry, I don´t speak English very well :$

  2. patzin says:

    During the Chariots of Fire song thought Rafa and Nole might take a lap around the stadium – seemed appropriate with the music. They seemed to handle it ok, laughing and talking. Rafa looked a little embarrassed that the song kept going on. Nole put under pressure when requested to do the imitation. They seem to have a good relationship. Also liked the Tina Turner song at the end.

  3. strobi says:

    The best trophy ceremony i’ve ever seen. Rafa’s italian is not so bad, but at times he kind of mixed the languages and got embarrased.

  4. skyejaden says:

    LOL that whole Chariots of Fire thing was making me laugh so hard…so, so random! I thought it was bad timing to ask Novak to do that in front of Rafa, but they’re such good sports, they handled it well and ended up being a very giddy ceremony. :) Still wish Rafa would have doused Nole with the champagne though!

  5. faecoleman says:

    That was funny with the chariots of fire music and all, kept them laughing too by the looks of it, Novak looked so uncomfortable bless him he handled that really well, these to seem good mates on and off court, wasn’t Novak with Rafa doing the charity gig for Malaria along with Iker in Spain, I seem to recall seeing him there. Btw just had to add that Rafa looks gorgeous as usual….

  6. Maria says:

    I thought the ceremony was funny, until that stupid woman made Nole do the impression of Rafa. Of course they were both too polite to say no, but, if you watch it back, you can see the hurt in Rafa’s face when the polite smile fades.

    I am trying to find the right contacts to express my disgust at how this was handled. If you know anything about Rafa, you would know how these impressions hurt him! Just ask Soderling! He made fun of Rafa in front of the crowds, and this year, Rafa pounded him into the clay in front of the crowds! He played with a vengeance!

    The Djoker apologized for his impressions in the past, but I agree, he was forced into it!

    I wish Rafa would have shot that woman in the face with the champagne and knocked her Sophia Loren wanna be glasses right off of her face!

    It was very poor judgement by the organization to disrespect the greatt tennis champion. Add to that, the cheesy music… give me a break!

    • miri says:

      I respect Rafa and any feelings he might have on the matter, but someone with as many ticks as he has needs to develop a thick-skin and sense of humor about them or he’s going to have a long and uncomfortable life. I didn’t think Nole’s impersonation was disrespectful at all – it was done in good humor and not in the mean-spirited way that Soderling acted at Wimbledon.

      That being said, I don’t think the impersonation belonged in a trophy ceremony and think that Pinkie should just get over herself.

      • CC says:

        Hm…this is interesting.
        I don’t think Rafa was hurt at all by the impersonation, neither do I think that Nole minded too much. It was a trophy ceremony, always a bit awkward with speeches, etc. But the boys seemed happy.

        I also find it amazing that us fans go back to a match between Rafa and Robin, that 1. happened two years ago and 2. was a match played under quite extreme circumstances. I don’t at all want to defend Söderling’s pulling of the pants to mock Rafa, but it was done in the heat of the moment (and not in a mean-spirited way, me thinks). I’m sure Rafa shrugged that off as soon as he won the match.
        I don’t think any of us know Rafa, but to say that Rafa played with a vengeance is truly not how I feel Rafa would act. He is a true sportsman and always wants to WIN. Not ‘pound other players into the clay’.

        Sorry, just had to say this.

        Now back to Rafalove.

        • miri says:

          In general, I think fans are far more over-sensitive on these issues than Rafa is. It always makes me laugh how someone who seems to live his life without drama (and refuses to be pulled into make-believe drama) attracts so many people who seem to thrive on it.

          • CC says:

            Yeah, you’re absolutely right. And I suppose that’s part of being a fan. However, it just gets a bit ridiculous sometimes…

          • tiemyshoe says:

            “It always makes me laugh how someone who seems to live his life without drama (and refuses to be pulled into make-believe drama) attracts so many people who seem to thrive on it.”

            I just did a little fist-pump of agreement when I read that. YES YES and YES EXACTLY.

            Also, I think it was cute how when Djokovic was hemming and hawing about the imitation, Rafa took his plate and kinda turned his back like, Don’t worry, I won’t look.

            • miri says:

              Yeah – he was giving Nole permission and letting him off the hook. They both really handled the situation well.

              • johanne says:

                They both really did handle that lady and the general awkwardness well. Nole looked like he about wanted to die when she brought it up! That’s why I think it was good of Rafa to alleviate the situation by giving Nole permission, like miri said. Way more embarrassing for Nole, in my opinion.

                • Denizen says:

                  As for Soderling, Rafa did hold something of a grudge, as during a French TV appearance during the Paris Masters that year he was asked who he wanted to play doubles with. He immediately said, “Federer.” Then, “Who do you NOT want to play doubles with?” “Soderling.” It was immediate, visceral. He certainly looked like the cat who ate the canary after the match this past week.

                  ITA with miri’s comment of 7:26. Pinky is a moron, but the guys handled her idiocy as well as possible. Once that was over and done with, Rafa seemed to be happy and relaxed with no trace of rancor. Though dousing Pinky with champagne would have been nice…

                  BTW, I loved the music! Macho Man and Simply the Best – ha ha!

        • dutchgirl says:

          I think that a player of Rafa’s stature should be able to laugh at his own habits, especially when it’s imitated in a respecful manner like Nole did). I agree that this was an embarassing situation, but maybe more so for Nole than for Rafa.
          They handled it well, I think. Suppose they’re used to strange requests like this.

          And I agree with you CC, back to Rafalove!

        • strobi says:

          I agree, the Soderling think happened in a very tense circumstance. However, what i think bothers Rafa about Soderling is the fact that he never returns a greeting. That is plain rude. Nole is not like that, and a proof of the good relationship he has with Rafa (maybe they are not friends, they are only friendly) is that he took part in the Malaria benefit last December with Rafa, the only non-spanish player to do so.
          I have seen the video like 5 times now and i fail to see any hurt face from Rafa or any straight face for that matter. He was smiling all along, and from watching Rafa’s comercials, we know he is not a good actor, so i don’t think the smile was fake. Moreover, he did quite a bit to encourage Nole to do the impersonations, taking his plate, pretending not to watch him etc. And afterwards, did you see they high-fived? That is not a sing of a hurt person. If Rafa can hold a grudge for a thing like this, that is childish, i am sorry to say it, because the impersonation itself is a childish thing that should be taken with humor. Both players are really young, but they have to learn how to deal with these things, and as uncle Tony said, it makes life much easier in the tour if you have a good relationship with most people.
          I think many Rafa fans, specially spanish fans expect Rafa to be treated as some sort of a royal respect, but i don’t think a 22 year old likes to be treated like that. He doesn’t even like to be called “usted” and the relationship he has with his friends from the tour is quite playful. You have never seen Juan Monaco telling Rafa he can’t push a button to save his life on the play station? Watch some Tenis Pro videos and you will see how well Rafa deals with mocking, and he does it too to other players. Give Rafa some credit, he is not a spoiled kid that gets hurt whenever somebody doesn’t do his way!

        • faecoleman says:

          They actually interviewed after that match @ wimbledon 2007 and he had complained about Soderling saying that he was not respected by his peers on tour and thought his behaviour was most unprofessional and that when he had tried to speak to Soderling in the locker room or somewhere else on tour just as a friendly hello’ he had ignored him, Rafa also continued to say that he thought him a strange guy. However, I agree, that was 2 years ago and I am sure too that he is far too professional to take such thoughts into his match in Rome, after all he didn’t have to, a bagel proved once and for all, who’s got class and who hasn’t, once again during this match, Soderling made a fool of himself over a line call.

    • Mim says:

      Maria, I just noticed your post. You made me laugh-out-loud. Oh the visuals! Make it stop! LOL! :D

      *wipes tear then grins*

      You are a very passionate version of what (mostly)I said.
      I can understand your feelings. Hehe, if I were the lady in pink, and I saw you in Rome 2010….I’d run.

      P.S. Just a thought, is anybody reminded of “Professor Umbridge” from the Harry Potter series when they watch her? It may be all the pink and sing-song voice..hmm..

  7. miri says:

    Interesting – seems like Spanish TV wasn’t happy about the imitations:

    There is some controversy in Spain over the public broadcaster TVE’s decision to cut the transmission and miss what were good-hearted humorous impersonations from Djokovic, who was asked by the Italian TV host of the prize ceremony to impersonate Nadal’s serve gestures.

    • strobi says:

      It’s getting borderline ridiculous with some people. They blame Nole for everything, but most of all, for embarrasing poor Rafa who is totally spineless and needs to be protected from anything that could upset him. Come on!

      • miri says:

        He is not a baby who needs protecting. That view of him pisses me off so much I get completely irrational.

        • strobi says:

          That’s exactly my point, Rafa is not a baby and is no strager to heavy handed teasing (again, in TenisPro videos). So no impersonation Nole could make will send him crying to the locker room. He is 22 years old, and guys that age say and do sometimes nasty things to each other in a friendly manner. The impersonations are completely harmless.

  8. Mim says:

    In my opinion I think the WOMAN who forced both Rafa and Djokovic into that situation was out of line and showed her lack of class.

    Personally I don’t think Rafa gives a hoot about the impersonations. I doubt his feelings are hurt, and I doubt he’s even thinking about that now. He’s laughing all the way into the history books (and bank).
    No doubt he’s already plotting his next moves on how to sink his teeth into another trophy.

    However, this was a TROPHY CEREMONY, meant to honor the CHAMPION. Rafael was making all kinds of history, and for that woman to degrade the ceremony with her tacky and low-life antics was abhorrent.

    I believe both Djokovic and Rafael handled the situation wonderfully. They are both young men and they had to face an out-of-control old women with a microphone in front of millions.

    The interesting thing about the imitations is that, if that old woman meant to “embarass” Rafael, it back fired. I think it was most embarrassing for Djokovic. Here you have a young man who already faces alot of flack for his attitude on and off the court. He was in plenty of trouble in the past and was developing a (self- inflicted) reputation that no one would envy. Djokovic is trying to turn all of that around. He is trying to establish himself as a serious athlete, and he is trying to get away from the “Class Clown” lablel.
    He’s had many positives during the clay court season so far, and he’s trying to be taken seriously. And here, after a hard-fought battle, after an impressive performance, after a loss, he’s forced to act the monkey and put on a show for the crowd.

    Such a situation created by that clown of a woman was very inappropriate given the significance of the situation and the stature of the champion.

    This in no way reflects on Rafa, if anything it just proves what a great sport he is.

    I wonder if she’d have dared do that if it were Roger Federer up on that podium in place of Rafael Nadal.

    I for one hope for the next trophy ceremony they allow a true champion with class hand out the trophies to the victors.

    • kefuoe says:

      You’ve made some excellent points. On my way home today I was wondering if the mistress of ceremonies had decided to pressure Djokovic for an impression regardless of the winner. As awkward as the whole thing was, it would have been 20 times worse if Novak had won.

      • johanne says:

        “As awkward as the whole thing was, it would have been 20 times worse if Novak had won.”

        I agree. Too bad she probably still would have pressured Nole considering she asked him to do impressions during last year’s trophy ceremony too. What the hell! Nole found his way outta that one though.

        (request comes around 5:20)

        • miri says:

          She must be stopped!

        • Mim says:

          Second that “I agree.”
          *sigh* I’ve never seen “milking the limelight” so personified…

          I thought the past champion that was introduced during the ceremony was more suited to hand out the trophies to Rafael and Djokovic. After all, she had won the Rome Masters four times in a row. (Sadly her name escapes me, I know there’s an “M” in there somewhere.)

          Something tells me she wouldn’t have conducted herself in the manner that that woman-in-pink did.

        • strobi says:

          I guess Rafa didn’t help much by saying he didn’t mind and taking Nole’s ashtray :)
          I think that Rafa actually found it funny, because some of those things don’t apply anymore, he doesn’t do the socks and the clothes are different. Moreover, Rafa told an interviewer last year that he planned to end his carreer without any of those routines and he was very proud of getting rid of the sock thing.

  9. Mim says:

    Oh, and a quick comment to Strobi.

    You say: “I think many Rafa fans, specially spanish fans expect Rafa to be treated as some sort of a royal respect, but i don’t think a 22 year old likes to be treated like that.”


    I disagree, I think Rafael’s fans (and any self-respecting Tennis fan in general) expect our champions to be treated with the respect they deserve.