AO Rafa blog & Q&A day 4

Towelling off

Photo by REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

Day 4 is up on the heraldsun site.

Hi everyone. A shorter blog today since I am a bit tired and I really want to get some rest

Just came back from dinner with my team. It was my fathers onomastic so he paid the dinner.

We went to a Japanese restaurant here in Melbourne. We thought we were going to a normal Japanese restaurant, you know, sushi, salmon with teriyaki sauce, warm edamame.

I just had edamame for dinner. Well, that and cookies.

We got to this restaurant where, basically, you have to cook your own things at the table. I mean, the quality of the food was great but i was actually expecting something different, so … not that good.

Don’t mess with Rafa’s routines and expectations!

Then we walked back to the hotel and, as I say, now planning to go to bed.

Today, as every match day, I wanted to get to the site early. Sometimes people close to me say, why do you go so early?

JMac often likes to gently mock Rafa on how early he gets to the tournament site when he’s calling a match.

I was picked up at the hotel at 9.15 and was already hitting at 10.30. I like to be ready, take things easy and prefer to sit and wait in the locker room rather than rushing to get things done and maybe getting there late.

And yet you are often the one late when they send out the match call. Silly boy.

So even I knew there were two matches before mine, the first one starting at 11am, I prefer to get early to the tournament.

Tomorrow more. Thanks for understanding.

But of course – and that offer for a tuck-in or bedtime story still stands.

Q: Rafa, How many more years can you see yourself playing tennis at the level you are playing now? It must be physically taxing on your entire body! Keep it up Rafa.

Joel Teague, Melbourne

RAFA: Tough to know but I am only 23 and still enjoying my time here. Please don’t retire me too soon …

There’s no crystal ball, people. He’ll play as long as he’s able/ready to.

RAFA, Do you think Spain will have a chance to lift the FIFA World Cup this time around?

Ivy, Malaysia

I think they have a good chance this year. We actually discussed this tonight at dinner.

You discussed footy at dinner? SHOCKING!

HI Rafa, first of all I just want to say I’m a huge fan and love watching you play.

I want to know why you don’t wear singlet tops anymore when you play.

Bianca, Melbourne

I wanted a change and feel great with this.

*yawning at the question*

HEY Rafa, I could use some new towels and those official Australian Open ones look nice. Could you steal one for me, please?

Beth, Melbourne

Hahahahaha. I already have a lot of friends asking for them. And I don’t steal them … they give them to us.

But you could still get me one! (Oh, and look – I’ve moved to Melbourne…why am I not at the tournament?)

RAFA, Do you or your family save the magazines you are in and create an album of all of your great memories?

Nader, USA

Not at all.


RAFA, How many tennis balls do you think you have signed in your career?

Dustin, USA

I have no idea but I try to sign as many as I can anD I would love to have them all signed!

See? He’s so much nicer than me. I would have said: Too damn many!

RAFA, I think your English is fantastic and you look fabulous in your new clothing line. What did you think of Roger Federer making the grunting sounds and imitating you when you played with him in Hit for Haiti?

Consuela, USA

Many thanks. Still a long way to go with my English. I think Roger was funny doing that and we had a lot of fun.

Roger doing the loud grunts was hilarious.

RAFA, I’m a big fans of yours, you are a very inspirational person.
I was wondering, do you have any input into the clothes you wear at each tournament because they are very creative and colourful. Do you help design them?

Lazaria Delomne, New Zealand

Yes I do have an input. It is not me designing them. Clearly. I like the colours, it is like Mallorca.

Bright sunny and cheery, yep, sounds right.

RAFA, What do you miss most about Mallorca when you’re travelling around the world?

Ange, Melbourne

The food, the people, my home …

Aww. *gives him a pat on the head*

39 Responses

  1. nic says:

    Still don’t get the onomastics reference…. Wow Miri you got yet another question answered. Good on ya! Boohoo for me though :( I think I shall resign to the fact that it’s never gonna happen.

    I love that he said he likes the colours, they’re like Mallorca. Too sweet! And another football question got answered? Man, how predictable. Can’t imagine how annoying it must be for Rafa to keep encountering the same questions about the sleeveless and how long can you keep this going. I’d like to kick someone’s head in by now, and especially since he was tired and not happy with the dinner :D Think you better stick to your favourite Japanese restaurant at the hotel Rafa.

    • faeaki7 says:

      I would say that onomastics means something like they have in Greece too, a name day celebration. Onomastic comes from the greek word ‘Onoma’ meaning name.

      • Ch F says:

        Confirmed!! It’s the celebration of a person’s name.

        • glors27 says:

          Yes in spanish it’s el día del santo – Long ago…people were named the name of the saint of the day they were born – So, one’s name has a saints’ day – (if it’s a christian name) – there’s a book with the names and dates- Rafael’s name day is: 24th october – day of St Rafael archangel!! so, next oct. 24th, sent him greetings. They say “es el día de tu santo”
          In Spain this is more important than a birthday.

    • Denizen says:

      The “colors like Mallorca” phrase was coined by Nike in a press release for when Rafa was supposed to introduce the polos at the 2008 USO. As you may recall, Rafa bailed on the polos, so Nike had to do some emergency spin to rationalize Rafa’s continuing to wear sleeveless. Expect Rafa a/k/a Benito to continue to have to deflect questions like that, as well as Rafa’s alarming weight loss, until Rafa wears clothes that actually don’t make him look thinner. I think the IW kit will accomplish that, based on the drawings I’ve seen – the color block appears to be flattering.

      • miri says:

        Why is everything a conspiracy? Maybe Rafa said the colors look like Mallorca and Nike picked up on that? We don’t know.

        I noticed that first orange polo from 08 USO didn’t have mesh in the sleeves – the sleeve fabric matched the rest of the shirt. The sleeves were also much tighter than they are now. I think Rafa said they weren’t fitting like he wanted and weren’t cool enough and asked Nike to adjust them before he’d we could wear them in competition.

    • Bookshere says:

      It means name day.

  2. jba says:

    i’m not impressed with some of these questions. they’re so typical. c’mon herald sun, pick some more questions that are fun!

  3. Atch2 says:

    Didn’t get the onomastics reference either. It’s something to do with words but that’s all I got.

    Rafa cooking Japanese and probably smelling like the kitchen when he got back to his hotel. LOL.

  4. Kate says:

    I love these daily blogs and the comments – the video on facebook was cute too (when I finally got to see it) sooooo cute!

  5. tiemyshoe says:

    First – excuse the rant, but if I ever have the privilege of running into one of those people who cannot stop bothering Rafa about his shirts, I daresay HEADS WILL ROLL. When will people get over it? It makes me mad that about half of what he hears from fans must be about his SLEEVES.

    Second – my life is not complete without daily updates about what Rafa eats for dinner. :)

    Third – mmmmm, sushiiii…

    • CC says:

      I know, I’m SO pleased that he’s started telling us about what he’s eating again. He left that out in the last couple of Grand slam blogging sessions. I might ask him if he still eats cocopops for brekkie. ;)

      Am I the only person in the world that doesn’t like sushi?!

  6. faeaki7 says:

    I agree tiemyshoe, alot of people loved the old Rafa look but to honest its all a bit dated now.
    Rafa has matured into a fine young man and I feel that he feels much more comfortable and sophisticated in his new classier so to speak attire, the pirates were the Rafa of old, going back to his teenage years so its time people moved on I think. He must indeed get tired of the same questions.

    Glad to hear that Rafa indulges in healthy foods like sushi, salmon etc.. keep that bod in optimal condition please Rafa and not too many cookies, (well just a few prehaps for the head no?).
    He seems more routine conscious than ever this year, arriving early at the site, getting himself extra prepared, or was he like this last year? I do remember him saying last year that he didn’t go out sightseeing as he wanted to concentrate on his game, and focus,focus focus.

  7. CC says:

    Onomastic is name-day, no? Mine are on 2nd August and 19th December. Wait…does that mean I have to pay for dinner, then?!

  8. CC says:

    “RAFA, Do you or your family save the magazines you are in and create an album of all of your great memories?

    Nader, USA

    Not at all.”

    I have the ones where you are half-naked, in case your family change their mind!

    • Atch2 says:

      I think that would be creepy for the family to have. LOL. Nice thought though cc.

    • Eliana says:


      Maybe you should make one album and send it to him. In case he doesn’t wanted it, I will give it a nice and warm home in the tropics ;)

      • Yaritza says:

        Can we share? Oh, and we should invite him here. I’m sure he’d love Puerto Rico..a Culebra!

        • Eliana says:

          Well, my mom taught me to share so, of course!

          About Culebra, we definitely should make plans because he would freaking love Flamenco Beach. I can already see it: a white sand and crystalline beach, Rafa, in his bronze god status, playing some football, alone, because nobody in PR plays football at the beach. That reminds me Yaritza, we should learn to play football…

  9. Nana says:

    I think Rafa had shabu shabu – which I don’t like either… something I have in common with rafa! LOL

  10. mary says:

    I was happy to get a copy of the official book of the AO from 2009. In it it says exactly where Rafa eats his japanese food. As I’m staying just around the corner, guess who will be eating at that restuarant in Melbourne? And it won’t be just japanese yummies I’ll be munching on. ;-)

    • Atch2 says:

      What’s the name of the Restaurant? Is it Nobu in his hotel?

      • mary says:

        Aha!!! Yep thats what it says!!
        I was thinking of that series “Sex in the City”, where Sam makes sushi. I think that is how I’d like Rafa to be. ;-) Yum, yum, munch, munch!!

    • nic says:

      Mary! I sooo thought of doing that myself if/ when I head to the AO. But what are the chances of catching him there the very same time?! Maybe just gotta have EVERY meal, day and night there in the hope :D
      Good luck!!

      • Atch2 says:

        I can imagine its mega expensive Japanese food. I read he goes there often with his posse. So much so that the 2 brother Chefs were invited to his Qtr finals match last yr.

        It would be fun eating with Rafa bec he likes desserts as well.

  11. CC says:

    Rafa: “Yes I do have an input. It is not me designing them. Clearly. I like the colours, it is like Mallorca.”

    Pffft. Clearly, Rafa. How would that look?! :D

    Now, I’ve been to Mallorca. A few times. I’m really trying hard here to associate the orange, pink and the whatever on the shorts to Mallorca. I obviously have no imagination. Unlike Rafa. ;)

  12. faeaki7 says:

    Well the orange is like the sunset along with the pink that you get from it in the sky, my view when I lived in sunny ole Greece. However the shorts I cannot quite place Rafa* twiddles thumbs*

  13. ejl says:

    on onomastic day(as i have asked to the orthodox priest) it’s advisory to go to the church and say some prayers in front of the saint’s icon whose name u’re given and ask for the best for u.. so it might have been better if father Nadal’had done the same and asked for Rafa’s success to ST Sebastian better be4 the dinner cause it’s hard to pray with your tummy full with sushi :D