Here’s a transcript of Rafa’s pre-tournament presser. Excerpts:
Q: It’s been a tough year in terms of injury which meant you took time away from the game. Do you feel any fresher?
A: It’s been a more difficult year for me because I had an injury of the knee and then the stomach, abdominal injury in the US Open. Results are good. I’m happy being number two and very happy to have 3 master series and one grand slam. Important for me to finish the year as good as possible and try to be ready for the Davis Cup final for my country-have time to practice to be ready for next year.
I certainly hope he finishes the year strong.
Q: You obviously took time off after the U.S. Open after abdominal injury, how do you feel now? Are you fit and ready to go?
A: I hope so, I hope I’m ready now, it’ll be good. But after one year like this, you are always a little bit scared.
Just don’t be so worried you are tight and then make things worse. Not that you’d do such a thing, but still.
Q: Follow up question: some people say your style of tennis makes you more prone to injury- so aggressive- is that something you’ve thought about changing?
A: A lot of people have a lot of opinions. There’s a lot of talk, but you know what, I started being professional tennis player at 16 years old. So that’s probably not the best time to start when your body is not completely done. I have had seven years under my belt already- I think that’s a very long career already, no? Lots of players start at 21 and finish at 29. I’ve played the last five years without going out of number one or number two, except one week this year, so if you’re not fit and your body is not in good conditions its impossible to be five years in the top two. Everybody said that in 2005, and we are in 2009 and I’m still at the same number. I always work hard to be okay, and that’s what I’m going to do all my career, and yeah, I have aggressive style of game, but I think no one can choose what style to play. I do all in my hands to play my best tennis, sure I would love to serve like Karlovic and volley like Federer, but my game is another. I’m happy with my game. With my game I have a very good career right now. If I play 3 more years 3 more years…1 more year, 1 more year…10 more years, 10 more years…but it’s impossible to say right now that I’m going to change the style of the game.
That’s the longest, “Oh STFU already” ever.
Some photos here.