Last USO Q&A and blog

Photo by REUTERS/ Eduardo Munoz

Photo by REUTERS/ Eduardo Munoz

Rafa’s final blog is up and he talks about what he can take away from his semi-final match.

It has been great being able to be with you all these past two weeks. In the end I left NY on the final Sunday but unfortunately it was not after playing the final. The semi-final match was not the best I’ve played and that loss will help me think about some things and hopefully keep improving. I wasn’t really there yesterday. The other guy simply played much better than me and I feel I am not playing at that level needed to win a major.

Lots of people asked me about my injury and also if that affected my game. The truth is that I didn’t play well and there is no excuse whatsoever for the defeat. He played better and deserved to win. Now I am flying back home and also would like to get my abdominal muscle checked. It doesn’t look too good since I am in pain when serving but hopefully it is nothing serious.

I didn’t want to talk about the injury during the US Open. There were several reasons for that: 1) I didn’t want to give any extra information to my rivals. In the end I am playing, I knew I was going to go out and compete and there was no reason why to say I’m injured. 2) for respect to my opponent. I wouldn’t feel too good if someone who says publicly that he is injured beats me and 3) I didn’t really want to stop and wanted to play no matter what. I didn’t want it to be checked after I did the last one a week before the tournament started.

Now I am back and will do everything to get it checked.

Once again many thanks for this opportunity of writing the blog and I hope to be back with you all soon.

I like how careful he is to not use the injury as an excuse while still explaining how it affected him.

And, the Q&A.

What would you think about a musical based on your life and would you take part in it?

RN: Didn’t come to my mind. Not sure it would be an interesting topic.

I’m trying to imagine a musical ode to Nutella and gambas…

Did you attend many classical concerts growing up (since your grandfather was an orchestra conductor)? – Robin

RN: Not that much. I did go to see Placido Domingo the day before I went to Montreal and I really liked it.

Domingo was at the Gonzalez match and when they played a snippet of his singing before showing him on the jumbo-tron, Rafa looked up at the screen. He also watched the Chris Evert bit before they showed her.

Can you enjoy the crowd cheering for you, or are you too focused on the match? Also, which tournament has the craziest fans? – Leslie, US

RN: I sure do. It is very important to have the crowds supporting. To the second question probably NYC but in a good positive way!

Nah, they are just nuts.

How much do your personal feelings against your opponents affect your game? – Eva, Minneapolis

RN: IT is hard to play either a friend or someone you like less…

Someone you like less makes it difficult? Interesting.

Have you ever hit yourself in the head with your forehand follow-through? It looks like you barely miss smacking yourself every time! – Lauren, Canada

RN: You are right… but I never did.

Well, that’s good.

8 Responses

  1. CC says:

    “What would you think about a musical based on your life and would you take part in it?”

    I’ll answer that question for you, Rafa: “No”, is the answer to the first part. Double “no” is the answer to the second. ;)

    Hey…there was another blog before this last one, no?

  2. johanne says:

    That pen pic is super cute of Rafa. Too bad he looks about 8 yrs old. LOL

  3. donnaalba says:

    thats why i love rafa; he’s a tremendous player with a big heart! a sportsman that really likes to give the opponent the respect he deserves…but i bet losing to del potro hurt like hell:( literary !
    i just hope we’ll have some good news soon, & by that i mean i want to watch him beat every single top 5 player that is out there, especially delpotro & federer!( i just cant stand the 2 of them)

  4. Rosemarie says:

    Raffa, you were really hurting yesterday. I came from Toronto to see you and felt that you were not playing to your potential. PLEASE take care of yourself. We need you around for a long time, long after Federer is gone!

  5. Mim says:

    I agree! That pen picture is just too precious! How sweet can a person look?

    LOL at the musical question! I can imagine the biggest hit song would be one involving “Vamos!” “fishing” and “cookies”.

    As for his forehand, I agree, it is a deadly stroke. I remember nearly knocking myself out when trying to attempt it! It should seriously come with a disclaimer. hehe, OF COURSE Rafa’s never actually hit himself. He’s just that awesome! His forehand should have its own announcement: “And next on court is the world’s most gorgeous tennis player, world number two, but number one in our hearts, RAFAEL NADAL and his lasso FOREHAND!”

    Of course the crowds cheering is important! Not only the live crowds, but those at home! That’s why I make a point to cheer, clap, jump up and down and throw myself to the floor in celebration when watching him play. It make a difference you know!

    On a serious note, yes it’s wonderful that he doesn’t want to “make excuses”. But in truth, this isn’t an excuse. An athlete depends on his body and if there is something physically wrong (especially something this serious) it affects the player’s performance. Simple as that. It’s the reality. And acknowledging a player’s injury does not mean that the other player did not deserve to win or that their performance on that day doesn’t mean anything. It just means that they played an injured player and made the most of it, as they should.

    Rafa, we are extremely proud of you! Not only did you give us spectacular tennis at the US Open and memorable and sweet/funny moments. But you also regained your #2 ranking (we know this isn’t most important for you, but we reserve the right to gloat :D). AND you demonstrated such heart, determination, courage and fight. Your humility and graciousness is astounding! We were all just happy to see you on court competing! Get well soon and return to kick ass!

  6. Atch2 says:

    Rafa, u played thru a painful injury but didn’t want to use that as a excuse. Most players would have retired but u’re a fighter and we u/st that u enjoy the battle just as much as the victory.

  7. Carol says:

    “The semi-final match was not the best I’ve played and that loss will help me think about some things and hopefully keep improving.”
    Hopefully that includes thinking about how to squash Delpo and the other “altitudes” on hard courts…;-)

    “I didn’t want to give any extra information to my rivals.” Spot on, Rafa, and up yours journos! :-))

    Isn’t that just so typical and humble of Rafa to say that he would not be an interesting subject for a musical? He’s more likely to propose Real Madrid or Uncle Miguel Angel as subjects!

  8. Kym says:

    Rafa’s an outstanding human being who has the best attitude – an absolute gem. Tennis is lucky to have him in this sport. What a fine addition.

    The other tennis stars, including Roger Federer who is generally very sportsmanlike, should take a chapter from Rafa’s book. He is one classy tennis star !! And he is so charming — WOW.