FB – a real menace

A baby-faced Rafa takes on good friend and mentor Carlos Moya. For the most part, the match was fairly boring – Moya wasn’t playing his best and Rafa wasn’t showing a lot of emotions. I included two change-overs in the vid because of what the announcers are talking about in one of them (too much tennis, physical and mental burn-out – yeah, they’ve been singing that song since way back when) and to show how cold it was in the second one.

And here are some post-match presser vids posted by veyonce77.

13 Responses

  1. CC says:

    “I just hope they’re going to be very careful with his scheduling, so they don’t burn him out…”
    They knew back then, they KNEW! And nobody did anything…

    On a lighter note, steamy Rafa is…yum! Looks like he’s just come out of a sauna, but with clothes on. (Would discussing Rafa in a sauna be considered off topic here…?)

    Normally when I see pics or clips of Rafa at this age, I think he’s cute, but here he’s actually really quite hot.
    Although his physical appearance has changed loads since then, his eyes are the same. Dark, piercing…very nice, no?

  2. mary says:

    i’m glad they mentioned Lleyton. Lleyton has always played a very physical game, but Rafa takes it to another level.

    “I just hope they’re going to be very careful with his scheduling, so they don’t burn him out…”

    Yep, the way Rafa plays his game you know it’s gonna put pressure on all his joints & muscles. Those closest to him should have realised long ago that Rafa is not invincible (they should have made appropriate changes to his schedule). If we feel cheated imagine how Rafa feels. He knows!!!!! Lleyton dare I say it had to have hip surgery bec the way he plays such physical tennis and its not as gruelling as Rafa’s.
    And yes on that lighter note the steam coming off him was incredible. I know he is young there but wow I’m feeling a little hot and bothered right now. My glasses are steaming up already.LOL :)

  3. killian says:

    I am totally impressed that as recent as 2003 he was using a translator for the entire presser–and just listen to him NOW in 2009!! In addition to becoming #1, he has become an English-speaker in his “spare time.” My love to continues to grow. And the steam doesn’t hurt! :D

  4. sia says:

    Poor Carlos … he helped create the monster. The beautiful, powerful and noble monster we call Rafa. That he has such huge power so young is unusual but his control … astounding! Oh so great just to see him play. Thanks miri … won’t be long now before you are à Montréal.

  5. Atch2 says:

    That Menace sure has a killer forehand. Luved watching that. Rafa really going for his shots and winng the match.

    Can’t believe he’s only 16 there cos his face looks so much younger. When he starts to talk in the presser the facial expressions, esp the eyebrows, he looks like he does now. But his body has sure bulked up, not so lanky. And he’s starting to perfect the bottle placemt inbtw his feet.

  6. nic says:

    So feisty! On court that is. But so cute!! In the close ups in the press con Rafa looks very handsome I think. Yeah, pretty amazing to watch his match at 16 years old. Such confidence and maturity. Rafa’s been pretty yummy from way back when. Hehe.

  7. An says:

    Yeah…. you could see it all comming!!

    He simpley improved in evrything that makes us all want to call him “our Rafa” but it was all there way back then..
    Even the cell phone :)!

    • aRafaelite says:

      This was a real sight for sore eyes. Even then it was hard to take your eyes off him on court! His tactical brilliance is evident even at such a young age, and it was great to hear the commentators recognising that instead of just going on about his physicality. Boy, have I missed watching you the last few months Rafa! Can’t wait to see you back in the game!!!

  8. Bookshere says:

    Rafa isn’t showing much emotion because he’s playing — and beating — his good friend and mentor, Carlos Moya. I love it that even at this young age, Rafa’s happiness at beating a much higher ranked player (Rafa is 70th, he himself says; Moya is 4th) does not seem more important to him than his friend’s feelings. He says as much in his interview after the match: Rough translations here:: 1) “would’ve wanted to beat a similarly ranked player, but not him”; 2) “my best victory so far, but no, not my happiest day, because it gave me a bad feeling. He wasn’t able to play well; he was very nervous and couldn’t play well.” 3) “If you saw at the end of the match, you saw that I hardly even celebrated, which is very rare for me. During the match, I wasn’t animated, not even a ‘Vamos’. And if you know me, I get very animated.”

    This is a 17-year old kid talking and getting at the essence of what tennis sportsmanship (“esportivity”!) is all about. Wish other players had his innate honesty and real class.

    • Carol says:

      Thx for the translations. Final comment is spot on – Amazing maturity for his age both on and off court(he looks so very young here, if I didn’t know, I would not have thought he was even 16 or 17).

      I thought Rafa looked embarrassed in that conference – I really don’t think he liked talking about beating Moya, who is, as you say, his friend and mentor.

      Great to see these early videos and to see a really genuine and decent person and talented sportsman emerging(after reading all the doom and gloom news right now).

  9. faecoleman says:

    Yeah I noticed that too, his respect and lack of celebrations at the end because he was playing his friend who he must have idolized at the time. Great tenacity he had even way back then, he’s backhand like a rocket! You always see Rafa animated on court when he has a tough match and then suddenly produces a great shot, this gets him pumped up when he is having to fight… He was lovely even at such a young age, those expressions, he was always so comfortable and yet so mature about his career, so focused! amazing! but coming from a family with an Uncle as a professional footballer I suppose he was well prepared. I agree CC, he’s team around him are to blame as much as anyone for allowing him to push himself as far as he has done.. Obviously Rafa is a very driven sportsman, you have to be but its all about finding the right balance, I just hope he can do that now, for the sake of his fans and of course for the sake of Tennis.. and for himself of course as tennis is what he loves doing most! as he points out..

  10. Suzanne says:

    Interesting to me that Rafa is a righty playing lefty and Charly is a lefty playing righty. I wonder what the thought process was behind that for Moya. We know why Rafa plays lefty, but what advantage could switching the other way be for Moya? He sure has done well anyway. As far as Rafa’s humility and consideration in the win, he is always that way and never dances on anyone’s grave. Even when he does celebrate, it’s not in an in your face manner. Interesting how even the players and former players who were “in your face” seem to respect and love Rafa so much. Often when someone is of such a high caliber jealousy rears its ugly head. He seems to mostly garner wonderful responses. Deservedly so.

  11. Suzanne says:

    I was just thinking about a comment Moya made about Rafa several years ago. He said that he’d asked Rafa if he aspired to a career like he’d had and he said that Rafa’s reply (said with the innocence of a child) was that he aspired to more. How amazing is it that he can say something like that and not be misunderstood because of his character. I think that Carlos has always had a regard for our boy.