Ahhh – we do get two doses of Rafa today.
You all know, the ones who follow me, that I am always referring to the Balearic Island as my favourite place for holidays. I really like the place, and I am lucky to have been born there since I have it right there. Sure that there are a lot of places out there in the world that are really nice and interesting, but I am honest, very honest when I say that my favorite place are the Balearic Islands. I find it a place where you can find almost everything. Nice weather, nice locations like beaches, cities, culture, food, nice people… in the end this is it. So believe me I am honest when I say this. And I went to their gig today since I am also collaborating with them in the promotion of the islands. Tourism is very important there, the main industry, so it just makes sense.
I believe you. I’d love to come visit. Can you get me some cheap airfare and place to stay? I figure you might have connections.
Well, tomorrow more competition for me and a great match for the fans. I play Lleyton Hewitt who by the way I like a lot as a person. I have had the chance to know him these years I have been playing and he has always been very nice to me, and I am very thankful. Maybe the only exception is when we played golf last year in Miami and he literally killed me… Since them we haven’t played again and I am really looking forward to that. But seriously now, tomorrow it will be a great match, I am sure, and I am really excited about this one.
So Rafa has been literally dead since last spring? Maybe that explains how other-worldy the rest of his season was! It’s always nice to hear when players actually seem to get along – these guys played doubles in Montreal in 2007. (Uh, yeah. I happened to be looking through old draw sheets on the Rogers Cup site last night. That’s not weird, right?) Can you imagine how much court they could cover between the two of them?
If Real Madrid had been playing in last night’s Champions League final would you have found it more difficult to keep your mind on tennis?
RN: No, it would have been the same. As I said yesterday I am a tennis professional and first thing is first. The most important thing for me is this tournament I am playing and if I have time for other things then I do them. Still I think everything is compatible.
So, just stop with all the “do you love football so much you’d tank a match” questions.
What is your first memory of watching or even playing sport as a child?
RN: I always, since I was a little kid that I don’t even remember I have been playing. Sport is fun, and I played to do sports, for fun.
Fun, fun, fun! (Oh wait, no one here’s heard of the Big Boys and will get that. *sigh*)
How hard was it to miss last season’s Davis Cup final through injury? Did you find it painful to watch?
RN: It is tough, for sure. I would have loved to be there and at the Masters in Shanghai. It was very unfortunate for me although the team did great and won. I am happy to have contributed at the ties I played, specially in Madrid.
Weren’t there reports of him texting “helpful hints and ideas” to the team?
Lleyton Hewitt fights as hard as anyone on court and never gives up, are you preparing yourself for a battle?
RN: sure, I am always preparing my self. This is exactly what I say to every media who asks me about a potential final. Lleyton is a great player with a great history on this sport and it won’t be easy that’s for sure.
He will have to play good to have his chances, no?
How are your knees at the moment?
RN: Very good, thanks. I am feeling good.
If you could change one rule in tennis what would it be?
Isle, Hong Kong
RN: I think I am going to keep this one to my self and discuss it at the next player council meeting. It is not just one…
Ooo, such a tease!
Do you find it hard to balance your tennis life with you personal life?
RN: No, right now I know that tennis is most part of my life and I accept it. I also have my personal life and I only ask for respect.
I’m guessing he means respect for his privacy?
Other than the Spanish players, who are you closest to on the tour?
Eleinee Lopez, Melbourne
RN: Argentinian Juan “Pico” Monaco is one of my best friends.
Oh, Pico. What a match today – sorry to see him out of the tournament. He’s been playing so well lately.
What was your worst subject at school?
RN: Let me tell you that once I got an F at Physical Education…
Didn’t he mention that last year as well? I need more details. Even I didn’t fail gym. (Then again, in the US, they don’t like to actually fail people – might have an effect on their self-confidence, you know.)
If you had to describe yourself in one word what would you say?
Nafeea, Trinidad and Tobago
If he’s normal, the world needs more normal.
Any chance of you turning into a professional golfer once you’re done with tennis?
RN: I probably would like to but I think it will be too difficult. I just play for fun.
It always comes back to…fun, fun, fun! (That song will be stuck in my head the rest of the evening.)