Today’s entries are up on the Times Online site.
Not much today, just the usual day off after a match. It is true that after the first round match, the tension is not the same as it was last year on the day off before the final. It is a day that I thought about the match yesterday. Analyze what I did right (not too many things) and what I did wrong. Try to correct things. I went to practice with that mentality, thinking on the things I have to improve. It is important to have a close look at things. Tennis is not maths and you just can’t see things and automatically change them, you need to work on them at the practice.
Aww…”not too many things”? (And some people need a lot of practice at maths too…)
MY TEAM: Now that the tournament has just started, I wanted to talk about the people here with me. I have most of my team here with me this week. Each one of them has its role and they also support me when is needed. My coach and uncle Toni, my physio Rafel Maymo are the ones that came with me on Wednesday night last week. Carlos Costa, my manager, came on Thursday morning and left. He is back in Paris now and I am sure he would have loved to be in Rome tomorrow watching his team FC Barcelona. Benito, “filete Barbadillo”, my PR guy came for the weekend and left Sunday night. He is coming back tomorrow. The doctor, Angel Cotorro, is also here and is a great help in case things go wrong with any injury that might happen. Roy Sakaguchi from Nike is also here, he is part of the team as well as Tuts who will be coming later in the tournament if I am still here.
Costa making the supportive sacrifice!
We know you support Real Madrid and Manchester United, but your uncle famously played for Barcelona. So who will you be supporting in the Champions League final?
RN: Hi Jackie, tricky question? The answer is easy, I am Spanish so I would like to see the Spanish team win. I like ManU a lot and I always play with them at Play Station but Barcelona is Spain so I will cheer for them. If they would be playing another team not Spanish, I would support them. It will be an interesting match.
Where do you plan to watch the match?
RN: Well I have been scheduled last match tomorrow so it could be I watch it on-site after my match. If not I plan to watch it at my hotel with my team and other players staying there as well.
Party in Rafa’s room!
Who’s better at football, you or Andy Murray?
RN: I don’t know. Good question. We both like football a lot and I see him paying foot-tennis too. He’s pretty good.
I smell a future exhibition match: Nadal v. Murray in foot-tennis.
Do you think that gamesmanship is a necessary part of sporting success.
RN: Absolutely. this is very important. In the end sport is a game, tennis is a game. When it’s over, it’s over and the competition stays on-court.
But none of his stuff is gamesmanship, right? (strobi makes an excellent point that perhaps Rafa was thinking gamesmanship = sportsmanship.)
Are you happy with changes made this year by the ATP? Is there a way to make the schedule less demanding for players?
RN: Not many changes to be honest. The calendar last year was a bit crazy, but specially for being an Olympic year. I would have liked Monte Carlo to stay as a Mandatory Event but in the end almost every top player was there anyway.
He’s been pretty solid in his support of Monte Carlo as a mandatory event.
You have said that you really like your new pink outfit. Does it disappoint you that you can only wear white at Wimbledon?
RN: No, it doesn’t. I like this outfit but I also know that Wimbledon has it’s rules so I respect that.