AO Rafa blog & Q&A day 3

Photo by PAUL CROCK/ AFP/ Getty Images

Thanks to Atch2 for letting me know that day 3 of the blog and Q&A was up on the Heraldsun site.

Hi everyone, I’m writing this blog at the end of another day in Melbourne. No match for me today and only a good practice to get ready for tomorrow’s match.

It has been actually the first practice with my Uncle Toni since he could only arrive on Sunday night due to a problem he had before departing on Tuesday last week. It was kind of awkward not to have him around before.

Aww, he missed Toni.

So I got my practice done in the morning and by 1pm I was done.

Had to do some promotion for one tournament, had lunch at the site with my team and my father and then had all the afternoon free.

*waves to Papa Nadal*

I got some rest, watched some tennis on TV, met with my agent for some work and simply went for dinner to a restaurant close to the hotel. This is a typical routine day for us at a very important tournament like this.

Some people ask us if we go out sightseeing and visiting. To be honest we don’t have that much time for that and it also takes energy away.

Sightseeing is exhausting! (Yep, tired from my weekend in NYC.)

At tournaments like this you need everything to be perfect and can’t waste much energy and/or time.

Some people might think it is boring but I see it like the part of the job you normally like less. We have other times to go visiting, sightseeing when we finish the tournament.

Now we are more focussed and with all the work, tennis, press, etc we tend to stay more calmed.

Hope to be here again tomorrow writing more.

And now for the Q&A:

Q: Hi Rafa, You appeared to be having difficulties with blisters on you hand against Peter Luczak. What was the problem?

Patrick, Melbourne

Rafa: No, no, it’s okay. Just a small blister on my hand. Nothing to be worried about.

Good. Looked like a small blister on his pinkie finger.

RAFA, I was absolutely inspired by the Hit for Haiti exhibition you, Roger, Serena, Andy, and all of the other wonderful tennis players participated in. You guys did such a great job!

We enjoyed watching you all interact, tease each other and joke around. It was so much fun!

Don’t worry about your English, you did great! You made so many fantastic jokes that you made me laugh and smile throughout!

Gabriel, Melbourne

Many thanks. It was Roger’s initiative and I was happy to be asked to be there helping out. I also had a great time.

Really? It was difficult to tell with all that smiling going on. :)

RAFA, you have accomplished SO much in your career but you have yet to win a mixed doubles title. Do you think that it will ever be possible for you and Serena Williams to play mixed doubles together?

She has yet to win a mixed doubles title in Australia and at the French Open and you would be a PERFECT doubles partner for her.

Z Young, Saudi Arabia

I think this will be difficult since I normally don’t play doubles at slams.

Yeah, I can’t ever see him having the time to do mixed doubles.

HI Rafa. You seem to have very good endurance, able to stay strong and fast even towards the end of a long match. What do you do to keep fit? Running? Weightlifting?

James, Melbourne

I do practise a lot and that helps endurance.

Practice a lot? You? Naaaah!

HAVE you ever been snow skiing? I’m sure you would be very good at it!! You’re such a great athlete.

Chris Kluge

Not much snow in Mallorca. But I have been skiing. Not a good one.

Picturing a half frozen Rafa bundled up to the max with gear it probably took him forever to get into standing at the top of a steep hill and…rethinking the whole thing.

GOOD luck in Australia, Rafa!

I enjoyed the Hit for Haiti and wonder if you might play doubles this year with Novak Djokovic.

Teresa Bridges

Maybe. Last year we were going to play together in Cincinnati but I had this stomach problem and decided we couldn’t there.

I hope they can manage it – that would be fun to watch.

HI Rafa, I noticed you are a couple of metres away from the baseline when you play. Is this not an obvious giveaway to the other players on how to play you?

Celia B Allum, England

I would like to be closer to the baseline and I am trying so that I can play more aggressively. But it is not easy as they push you back there!

Stand your ground! Don’t let them bully you around, Rafa! (Yeah, I know. Easier said than done.)

I KNOW the holidays are over, but do you sing Christmas carols in Spain?

Jane, North Carolina

We have our songs. They are called canciones de Navidad


WHEN you go to play a match, how many racquets do you take?

Patrick Bajen, 12


So, half as many as the questioner is old.

ARE you ambidextrous? Can you use both left and right hands?

Marty H

Not to play tennis. I am left-handed for some things and right-handed for others, such as writing.

Any excuse to link to this video (hint, stick around for the post-match interview).

ALTHOUGH Monday was a rainy day, how do you feel with the heat in Melbourne? Is it something that disturbs you in practising or playing?

Mathilde, France

If the heat is extreme it disturbs everyone. Also the rain. :-)

Let’s just hope it doesn’t get hot enough to require ice/water on the foots.

HI Rafa, I just wanted to know how your forehand developed over the years to what it is now. Did you always have the relatively extreme grip and the whipping action, or did that come over gradual improvements? Thanks mate.

Tim H, Melbourne

There is always a component of development but you can watch videos and see that it is the same principle with different strength.

So, the pretty much the same but more muscle?

DO you re-watch your matches more when you lose to analyse what you did wrong or more when you win to analyse what you did right?

Cedrine, London

Sometimes I do.

Non-answer answer.

RAFA, I was watching you practise just before the Open and I have to ask how you developed so much pace on your forehand.

I am a coach and the kids just love you so much. Perhaps I can get them to practise some more with some motivation with you!

Thanks, you’re awesome

Julie Dybendahl, Queensland

The important thing is that they have fun and learn. Thanks for the comment and good luck!

Um. That was…helpful?

RAFA, loved the Hit for Haiti and was really impressed with how well all the tennis players got along. Is it usually that friendly outside of playing time?

Bronwyn Sugden, Melbourne

The ones we were playing with have a good relationship.

Just don’t ask about any of the ones not there…

HOLA Rafael, knowing you’re a big fan of soccer and Real Madrid, if you had to choose one trophy for them to win this year, which one would that be?

Edgar Ortega, Sydney

Looking at the way Barca are playing and knowing where they are, any title would be good. But clearly the Champions League would be amazing since the final will be played at the Bernabeu!

Sounds just like when he’s talking about his tennis: any title would be good.

SO you are a Gemini (the sign of the twins). Do you believe you have two personalities?

June, USA

Nope, not at all.

It’s okay Rafa, admitting it doesn’t mean we think you are hearing voices in your head or anything.

HEY Rafa, I would really like to know, if you weren’t a tennis player what would you be doing?

Jake Bilardi, Melbourne

Not sure, but I would have loved to be a professional soccer player.


RAFA, you are an awesome player and I just can’t get enough of you.

Is there anything you wear or carry that you believe brings you good luck?

Cansu, Melbourne

NO, not into that … already have too many other ‘routines’.

So very true!

7 Responses

  1. Kate says:

    Miri we love your comments keep up the good work!

  2. Maya says:

    I find myself chuckling through these blogs because of your comments.
    This is the 1st place I come to get the lowdown on Rafa, so thanks for all the work you do.

  3. CC says:

    I love how he says “very important tournament”. So serious. :D

    Yep, I’m sure I’ve seen a pic of lickle Rafa in a ski lift.

  4. Isabelle says:

    Hadn’t seen the “left hand video” before, hilarious! Thanks Miri.

  5. nic says:

    Yeah I thought it was totally sweet how he mentioned Toni and that it was weird without him. Rafa’s such a sweetie pie. Will they please please put one of my questions to Rafa already!!??? It’s been more than a year I’ve been sending them in to every darn paper that he blogs for but no luck so far :(

  6. faeaki7 says:

    Oh sorry you haven’t been answered yet nic, but guess what? me neither, its nice that he has so many fans to answer to though.

    Love your comments Miri, I wonder how many people actually get! an answer unless its footy, he is so self guarded about his technique and so forth.
    Glad that Uncle Toni is back around to support him, bless he really counts on him at the big ones!

  7. g says:

    He looks so good in this blue shirt. mesmerizing indeed.