London prep

Photo by  JOSÉ JORDÁN

Photo by JOSÉ JORDÁN

Vic sent in a translation of this article by Juan Jose Mateo at elpais.com. (And yes, I was sleeping – I’m on US time.)

To London with the gymnasium on his back
Nadal prepares Wimbledon in a swimming pool and travels to the tournament with the physical therapy machines

Rafael Nadal is in the swimming pool. nine days have passed already since he lost in the fourth round of Roland Garros. Seven since two days of medical tests in the knees have recommended rest, and forced him to resign from the tournament Queen’s and have put in danger his participation in Wimbledon, which will start on Monday. Nevertheless, the champion not solace under the sun, but he sweats. The swimming pool is not an entertainment. It is hard work. The number one, whit his position at stake, devoted two hours daily to tennis and some more to his physicist while he was working in Majorca, divided between the court, the gymnasium, the stretcher of the physiotherapist and the swimming pool, where his joints do not suffer the impacts of the soil. It is not enough for the time being. Nadal went yesterday to London with a heavy baggage: with him there were traveling three persons and the machines of thermotherapy, mesotherapy and physical therapy with which he recovers from the tendinitis of insertion and the bony edema that he suffers.
“Rafael has worked very well the physic, with short times of recovery, big intensity and force, looking for resistance”, says Francis Roig, his technical adviser, that has just closed a cycle of five working days with the Majorcan in Manacor; “he has been swimming at home to do aerobic work. Joan [Forcades, trainer] is very satisfied. Rafa is doing a correct preparation, forcing more each day. He is not in top form, but there’s time left. He has been doing machines and he is well”.

“I see the evolution of the injury going well”, doctor Cotorro coincided yesterday while he was waiting for a call from the tennis player to know how his first practice had gone on grass: “He is training solid, but until Friday we will not know how he adapts himself to the grass, where the supports are different”. The number one is considering playing the Hurlingham exhibition that day. Then he will know if he disputes Wimbledon or not. What remains to be known is the state of his mind, of his interior balances, the perspective with which Nadal looks at the new stage. Then, the matter is playing in Wimbledon without having disputed a previous grass tournament as Roger Federer did before winning in 2007.

“The best thing that Rafael has is the mentality “, Roig sums up, who together with Toni Nadal, uncle and trainer of the Majorcan, devoted time and words to reinforce his pupil’s best weapon, the one which has suffered most: the mind, the muscle with which Nadal moves mountains. “If someone can overcome it, it is him. He had Roland Garros in property and to lose made him annoyed. That was going around his head because he was having an excellent year, with his number one under control, and now it is in danger. The three were speaking about it: Toni, him and I. ‘You have to take a look at what you have done, everything that you can do, and not what you have lost’, we were telling him.: ‘You have four Roland Garros with 23 years and many more to be won again!”.

“We have insisted on trying to play more forward, on looking more for the ball, going out for it”, says Roig; “also he has work a lot on the serve, its direction, which is a little more cut and, at the level of gesture, more loose. He has been serving very well when on the clay tour it was something that cost him more. On grass, the movement, the jump, everything is more complicated. Not having gone to Queen’s, it is clear that Wimbledon is not the easiest thing. But the first week is not the same as the second one!” If Nadal plays in Wimbledon, he will dispute two tournaments. In the first week, according to the drawing, he can be exposed to big dangers. If he gets to the second one, say the experts, whatch out: the champion will be on the loose.

8 Responses

  1. nic says:

    Poor Rafa, looks like he was pretty hard on himself about RG. He is only human, of course he would have been. It’s interesting to hear Francis Roig talking bout how he and Uncle Toni were giving Rafa words of encouragement. Yes indeed, 4 RG titles at 23, and plenty more to come!!

    With this article it becomes clear the amount of intense work and effort Rafa has been putting in over the last few weeks into trying to get fit. He’s so determined. He really wants to defend his title at Wimby and is giving it his all to make it there. What an amazing drive.

    Dunno, bout from few of the articles here so far, sounds like things are moving in the right direction for Rafa. Just hope it gets better and better with each day and that he gets a good feeling at the exhibition matches this week.

    Btw he’s looking gorgeous as heck in so much white. Can’t wait to see what Nike’s gonna dress him up in! Last year’s was just perfect.

    Did anyone see Andy Murray’s getup btw?? I’m very impressed by Fred Perry. Finally!! Using their heritage design to proper effect. The outfits Andy’s been wearing all this time are sooo not Fred Perry. The v-neck sweater though is kinda Rog.

    • CC says:

      Totally agree with you on the Fred Perry bit. “Finally” was my thought, too!

      If you click on the link to Down the line! on the right, you can see pics of Rafa’s Wimbly kit there.

      • nic says:

        Thanks for pointing me there CC! Mmm I’m really liking Rafa’s kit. Putting in subtle hints of the Wimbledon green and purple colours is a really nice touch. Gee Rafa’s gonna look so yummo. Really hope he can play, and play well.

  2. CC says:

    Thanks for translation, Vic!

    “What remains to be known is the state of his mind, of his interior balances, the perspective with which Nadal looks at the new stage.”

    I didn’t think Rafa took the loss that badly in RG, that he was with colm, but reading this makes me think it affected him a lot more than I originally thought.

    Also interesting they have both Toni and Roig there (maybe they often do?). Guess they are really trying to boost his confidence and get him back on track. Hope they succeed!

    On a lighter note, where are the photos of Rafa in the swimming pool?!?!?!

  3. johanne says:

    “He had Roland Garros in property and to lose made him annoyed.”

    Why do I find it interesting that Rafa was “annoyed” by losing. Seems that might be motivation enough – something to reignite the competitive fire. Hopefully he can dig deep and find his confidence once more. I like that his team is reminding him of what he has, not what he’s lost. That can be easier said than done, but it’s an important point, nonetheless. Rafa is already a great champion and I can’t wait to see what he’ll do next. :)

  4. faecoleman says:

    Very well said of Uncle Toni and Roig, not what he’s lost but what he has achieved at just 23 and how much more he can achieve. It must have been a shock to him though, I mean last year he won it soo easy that he himself had said that he “couldn’t imagine himself not winning at RG!” however one can never predict such things like injury, he hasn’t looked comfortable except say in Rome after A/O and still had remarkable results, also he said that he has to learn so although it maybe a long road to recovery, as they say if anyone can recover and come back stronger, its Rafa! Maybe he might see this as a challenge, the biggest challenge yet!

  5. loverafa4ever says:

    “If he gets to the second one, say the experts, watch out: the champion will be on the loose.”

    I luv this… And I can’t wait for the second week at Wimbledon where Rafa will rock and send all the opponents home… And the fact that they are positive about his knee is a gud thing… I hope everything goes well at the exhibition…

  6. somarem says:

    really hopeful that things are on the right track.

    thanks miri and vic