RG round 1 presser

Stretching for the backhand

Photo by JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/Getty Images

The official RG site has a video and transcript of the presser up.

Q. This question is not about the game. It’s about your dress. You are in pink today. Why you are in pink today?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. Yeah, same like always, why I was white and yellow two weeks ago. Because it’s better than dress the same color every week, no?

Why is he in pink? What kind of question is that? When will people get over the idea that certain colors are for certain genders? It’s just…stupid.

Q. The start of the game was a bit difficult today. Any reason?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, always tough, you know, beginninghere. Roland Garros always isdifficult. Yeah. I say, no, I expect a tough match, and it’snormal, now. And when I start, normallyI didn’t start to play my best here the last four years. But the important thing is be with positive mentality and try to win, no? And I win. I won in three sets. That’s important.

I played in some moments in the third a little bit better, so just try to keep improving to play better in this match.

His play did step up in the third set and the unforced errors drop. If he was trying to establish a trend, I approve.

Q. Yesterdayyou were telling us you’re a bit nervous, anxious. Was it the way you felt today when you walked on the court?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, not really. Maybe at the beginning to start with. The court is big, and at the beginning, I didn’t quite get the best feelings, but I won in three sets. That’s very positive. I should have won more easily, but at 5‑4,when I had to serve, then I had to serve again ‑‑ sometimes I missed some opportunities to win the set earlier, but it was a difficult match.

I had practiced well before, but I know that I can improve, and I hope I’m going to continue improving for my next match.

The court is big? It’s not like that’s something new, is it?

Q. My question is not about your game but about Fabrice Santoro. He’s playing his 20th tournament here. What do you think about him, about his career on the tour?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, he is a legend on the tour. He plays with his very own personal style. Two hands. He was a very charismatic player on the tour,and he’s a model for all of us. 20years, long career. That’s fantastic. We all wish we can play for 20 years.

So he had a beautiful career, and he really deserves a tribute.

Salute!

Q. What can you tell us about the way Marcos Daniel plays after your game?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I don’t know. His backhand is better than his forehand, but I think I made it a bit easy for him. That’s my opinion.

Indeed.

Q. How fit are you as compared to the previous years?

RAFAEL NADAL: Oh, comparing again. Well, physically, I feel ‑‑ well, I don’t want to compare with last year, because I can’t remember. That was a year ago, you know.

But I feel good, and last year, I played a match ‑‑ well, I didn’t play well, really, and little by little I felt better. This year ‑‑ well, it’s not a very good start. I’m not going to say it’s positive. I would have preferred to start with a very positive start, but I hope this tournament is going to be long enough for me to give me time to adapt and to improve and get good feelings all along the tournament.

“Oh, comparing again.” – love it.

Q. About the fact you didn’t play that well, are there any compartments inthe game where you felt you were not at your best?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, my leg game was not that good. I didn’t play well with my legs. But, you know, in sports it’s ‑‑ in a tenth of a second you have to catch the ball and everything can change in a game. You need to be present there, on time. If you play well, you have the feeling you’ll be on top of the next ball, but today I was a bit short in my shots. I was not very precise. It wasn’t neat and clear during this match,so this is what I need to improve.

I need to play more ‑‑ I need my shots to be longer, and I do need to improve on that.

There were a few times when I thought Rafa’s footwork seemed off and he seemed to hesitate going to shots. It was…odd. His footwork is usually impeccable.

Q. You played at the hottest hour of the day. Now, for the upcoming matches, what would you prefer? Would you prefer to play at a different hour because of the heat? Is it affecting you?

RAFAELNADAL: No, I have no problem with that. I can play at any hour, and this is perfectly bearable temperature.

Any time, any place, he’s ready to go. (Just no high altitude, please.)

21 Responses

  1. mary says:

    I think the pink shirt looks HOT.

  2. Debbie says:

    Love the pink and agree with Miri…what is up with the gender/color thing? No blue for us girls either then!
    And is this an important question for a press conference? Oh well. Sounds like Rafa was not happy with his performance today. I was though. :)

  3. tiemyshoe says:

    Last year’s rout set him up for a bad time this year – everyone expects him to be winning everything 1 and 0. That’s quite unrealistic.

    I think in the past, Rafa’s won RG without playing his very best on clay – like ’07, for instance. Last year’s draw, I have to say, ended up being kind to him all the way up to the semis. This year’s quarter is much tougher.

    So I agree with Rafa: no use making the comparisons, or basing expectations around what happened in the past. It just doesn’t make sense when you think about it.

  4. natch says:

    “Why is he in pink? What kind of question is that? When will people get over the idea that certain colors are for certain genders? It’s just…stupid.”

    I wonder if you have considered the fact that gender may have had no role in the question. I happen to hate pink (including the shade Rafa is wearing. It looked different on the DTL site) and would have asked him the same question. Boy or girl, I hate pink. Except I’m not a journalist. It’s not the brightest question for a journalist to ask. Also, pink is not a good choice to wear against the red-orange clay. Not in television terms anyway. So that may have spawned the question. Stupid, yes. But I would consider every angle it could come from before I made an assumption about gender. One thing I learned many, MANY years ago is that people think differently. I think the only safe assumption you can make here is that everyone on your site loves Rafa (no matter what he’s wearing.) :D

    • miri says:

      You are right, I made an assumption because I couldn’t think of any other reason for that question to be asked. I mean, he hasn’t been asked “why blue? why green? why yellow?” in the past. That, plus all the snickering going on by the live-feed announcers about it not being a very manly color and what does that say about Rafa *wink wink* just has that on my brain.

      I own no pink clothing and never will. I don’t like it and I look like crap in it. The only place for pink in my world is on flamingos. But, I would never walk up to someone and go, “why are you wearing pink?” I just don’t get it!

      • natch says:

        I haven’t heard the announcers, thank God. I have my television on mute during his match.

        But I would have asked him in that “Why have you forsaken me?” vein. Only the restraining order requires me to never get close enough to him to ask. ;) Had he worn a lime green shirt, I would have been so happy, and somebody else would have been dissatisfied. People just think differently.

        But the question could have been asked (and poorly worded) in the sense of “Does that pink have any significance?”, like during October in the US when it’s breast cancer awareness and everyone wears pink ribbons. That doesn’t mean it was. The asker could have been an idiot and asked it just the way you assumed. Probably was. There just are probably a million different reasons why that the question could have been asked.

        As for him wearing different colors than everybody else, I like that. As someone else said, it shows how secure he is in himself. Not as a man, but as himself. He rarely wears the same colors as everyone else. Remember the USO red pants? *pant, pant*

        • miri says:

          But the question could have been asked (and poorly worded) in the sense of “Does that pink have any significance?”, like during October in the US when it’s breast cancer awareness and everyone wears pink ribbons.

          Yeah, I could totally get behind a question like that. Aside from the fact that Rafa appears to like pink (he wears it a lot off-court), I do wonder if the colors were chosen because of the bull-fighting capes. I know Rafa doesn’t like bull-fighting, but the bull imagery is strong in his Nike stuff.

          • natch says:

            omg, Rafa doesn’t like bull fighting?! Me neither (I’m a vegan)!! I flove him so much more now. :D I honestly know almost nothing about him. I just likes what I sees. :D Thanks for the info.

            BTW – WAY OT, but I really liked Monfils in the yellow today.

    • tiemyshoe says:

      For me, last year’s outfit is better than this year’s. But there’s something kind of striking about wearing the pink – it’s a big gesture in defiance of “what’s expected” of men’s tennis attire, and makes as much of a statement as did the sleeveless. I kinda like that.

      • Kalliopeia says:

        I love it. And I love it when men wear pink, anyway. I don’t know, I guess it sort of makes me think the guy is very secure and self assured, because it is such a stereotypical girly color. And that’s pretty attractive. :)

        And I really can’t help but be cheered that his colors so precisely match the yarn colors I’ve been using in my Rafa-blanket all year. I take it as a sign that he’s going to take #5 in two weeks. :D

  5. patzin says:

    Men who are secure in themselves aren’t afraid of pink. I expected Rafa to respond something like – it’s just a shirt.

  6. johanne says:

    Love how the presser video cut out the pink question. They just started with the second question – HA!

    I think I’d ask the journalist: “You are in this room today. Why are you in this room today? Who the f*ck let you in?”

  7. Nada H. T says:

    Thank YOU !

    Great pic. it’s my desktop pic. now :)

    No matter what color Rafa wears, he always manage to make it more

    sizzling and unique as if you never see such a shade before which

    is exclusively Nadalic. ;)

  8. skyejaden says:

    I love the pink a lot. It’s not my first choice against clay, nor do I like it on myself, but it stands out and I think that’s fitting for him in a sea of cookie cutter outfits and colors. Journos are so obsessed with it though and commentators. I guess that will wear off as days go by. :)

    I’m glad the first round is over. More often than not it feels like first round matches are kind of an awkward getting-settled kind of thing, which makes sense. But now we can settle in and dig in and get to it.

    Vamos Candy Shoppe Rafa! :DDD

  9. Wooffie says:

    Rafa looked completely bored, distracted and cheesed off with some of the banale questions asked by “journalists”. I appreciate that press conferences are all part of the job, but surely … where’s the story? Rafa gives nothing away, trots out the same sort of answers and if they can’t think of anything more intelligent than “why are you wearing pink” … why bother?

    And as for the “pink”, I love it. Compared to that hideous egg yolk yellow effort he’s been wearing for the past few months, I could go down on my knees and thank the heavens for the change!!!

  10. sia says:

    I love the pink. And as an artist I love it against the red clay.
    After he plays Hewitt and mabe Ferrer (both of whom he can beat easily) he’ll have some good workout matches under his belt and will probably feel much better.

  11. faecoleman says:

    Rafa is masculine enough to wear pink, sure I would prefer him in a fresh citrusy green to go with his lovely brown eyes, but I love the way he doesn’t care, he likes pink, he wears it off court alot. He stands out from the rest in this attire and is not afraid to just like when he wore his pirate pants all those years thats what I love about Rafa, he radiates charisma and yet is completly unaware of it. I prefer him in the pink from the yellow thou, kind of makes him look special because he is special! and honesly Journalists and their stupid questions!

  12. faecoleman says:

    Btw, I read somewhere that Rafa has always found the large court at RG too big, funny eh considering he’s success on it! At the davis cup there capes were described as the Matador colours as you correctly pointed out Miri they have used the same colours for his attire fittingly so..

  13. nic says:

    I love how Rafa looks in the pink and yellow. Think it suits him to a tee, and he stands out from the crowd. Can’t imagine how people can still say he’s become boring in his collared shirt and shorter shorts when he’s looking absolutely unique and gorgeous in every one of his outfits this year. the play with colours and shape (as in how form fitting the shirts are) has made him stand out and look ever more the unique and original champion that he is. i am so glad round 1 is over, i was really anxious to get rafa on court and fired up for the tournament. glad with his performance.

  14. June says:

    The pink is very original on him as a tennis pro & noticable (like he doesn’t get enough attention — the shots of his behind, etc. — I don’t think they do that much of Ivanovich wearing her blue tennis attire). Nike’s PR really knew what they were doing though. My son, who plays soccer (age 21) does wear pink occasionally — I think his girlfriend “encourages” him to wear it when they go out(LOL)! I love wearing pink myself, but my daughter doesn’t (go figure this one) & think that “macho” guys can pull it off very well, especially athletes.