Interview with publico.es

Photo by MANU MIELNIEZUK for publico.es

There’s a new interview published on the publico.es site today. (Google translation) I don’t know if it’s because I’m super rushed or what, but the Google translation seems worse than usual and is hurting my head. Looks like he’s saying he’s very doubtful for DC (I think it’s probable that he’s a “no” and just doesn’t want to come out and say it) and is still planning on Indian Wells for his return.

(Sorry to whomever sent this in as I’ve misplaced your email and can’t say thanks!)

18 Responses

  1. An says:

    From what i understand off it, not to much “new”!

    Yes, he is saying that he thinks DC is probably to early for him to play, that he is working verry hard but that the time is most likley to short and that he hopes he can contribute in next rounds!

    He will most probably return in Indian wells.

    He thinks he was not that far away from his best tennis before the injury in AO and that he knows what he has to improve and that he will be working on it evry day as long as his careera will last wich he says he thinks,hopes and is motivated for will be for quite some time more!

    They talk about Madrid, the altitude wich isn’t good for the preaparation of RG but that he still likes to play it because he likes the city a lot. They talk about blue clay wich he rather sees staying its natural red because he thinks it might have an effect on the properties off the clay because they have to work in it to turn it blue.

    They talk about the calendar and the changes wich they are trying to make and how hard it is because all the intrests and they talk about doping…

    Bottom line they talk about the team and about changing coaches wich he says he never will because they all trust each other verry much and he wants it to stay that way.

    If someone thinks i miss interputed on something… feel free to correct me!

  2. Ch F says:

    He actually said that when he won Madrid it was one of the most emotional victories of his career and even though it isn’t the best preparation cause it’s very different from RG it is an important tournament for him.

    It’s possible that Google translation killed the spirit of the interview, so I’d like to say that having read it in Spanish I can only once again admire Rafa’s clear mind, positive take on things, his clear straight forward answers. He did say Agassi was a person who gave a lot of things to tennis, he did mention that what he revealed was pretty bad but he ended his answer saying one needs to balance all the positive aspects of Agassi’s career against the negative revelations and it could still be that the positives weigh more. Brilliant answer, I thought. Saying what needs to be said without undermining Agassi’s career.

    Interesting that he didn’t seem to think he squandered his match against Davydenko in Doha; he gave his account of the two match points he had in the 2nd set. As for his match against Murray in the AO, he said the usual thing, ie that he wasn’t calm enough to hold serve while at the same time Murray was playing all the important points extremely well.

  3. faeaki7 says:

    Thanks for the official translations everyone, as a linguist I always find these translations terrible and since spanish I have yet to learn, its great to have people on here that can understand for the most part. x

  4. Mr X says:

    The translation
    ______________

    Q: How was the return to practice?
    RN: Physically well, very well. I started slowly, you have to do this kind of things progressively. Coming from an injury, you must be careful the first days and that’s what we are gonna do. But the tear is closed.

    Q: What kind of work are you doing in the rehab?
    RN: We’ve working with the appropiate machines to cure the tear as fast as possible and i’ve also done a lot of gym work. Things went very well.

    Q: Many people are wondering if Nadal will ever be the same he was before.
    RN: What does “being the same” mean? Let’s not trick ourselves, i made QFs in Australia and F in Doha. I dont think i’m far from being the player i was. We are playing on a difficult surface. It’s not my worst, not by a long shot. Indoors is my worst surface. But it’s a kind of surface on which i have only won when i was playing very well and my confidence was at its maximum level. I think i’m very close to the level i had before getting injured.

    Q: In Australia, you played well against Murray. You went ahead in both sets but you could close the deal. What happened?
    RN: I was playing very well, ready to win the match, i think, but Andy did really well in the key moments, served very well and he played a great match. I, probably because it’s been a while since i won a match like that one, lacked that extra of calm to hold my serve being up 4-2 in the 2nd set and 2-1 in the 1st, i couldnt take the chances i had. My level was close to his, i was playing well, very well, in my opinion, and there were moments when i felt i was in control of the match. But i didnt close the deal.

    Q: Something similar happened to you in Doha against Davydenko, when you started destroying him and ended up losing.
    RN: I dont think it was similar. Matches like that one, i win 9 out of 10, for sure. So many things went wrong, i had 2 MPs in the 2nd set with my serve: in one, i thought i had made a DF when the ball had touched the line, he made a good volley in the other one. Then, i had 3-1 and 15-40 in the 3rd set, 2 BPs that would have given me a double break and virtually the end of the match. There, Davydenko played 2 good points, i sent a passing long and he came back and won the match. Every possible thing turned the wrong way to prevent me from winning. It was a very strange match.

    Q: Since you came back from your injury at RG you’ve had problems to beat Top 10 players. You could only do it against Tsonga. Do you have anxiety issues, confidence issues?
    RN: No, i think the problem was with my level more than with my confidence. Among the doubts with my knee, still in rehab proccess, i had the ab injury at the USO. Probably, being forced to stop, the lack of rythm, the doubts about whether or not you can play at 100%, everything gets together, and things get more and more complicated. Besides, that part of the season is played on my worst surface, indoor HCs. I had trouble beating the best players, but i think i was much readier (is that a word? I mean “more ready”) to do it this year.

    Q: If some of those tournaments at the end of last year would have been on clay, would things have been different?
    RN: I couldnt tell, because that’s not the way it was. I’m sure my options would have been different. It’s silly to speculate about that, but we’ll see in a couple of months, when the clay season begins.

    Q: Is clay less taking physically?
    RN: No, no, you must be very fit on clay too, if you dont, it’s impossible. Being fit is important and tactically, it’s the surface where you need to think more. Playing on clay is different, but it’s also very taxing.

    Q: Do you need to improve your serve to make points shorter and spend less energy?
    RN: It’s more that i need to do it to play better. I think i must do it, and i’ve tried for many years. I’ve improved, but it’s not enough, i must try harder. I work on that every day and i’ll do it until my career is over. I’m aware that i must improve, but it’s not easy. Some of us have more toruble with certain things. To me, the serve has always been tougher. That’s why i must put twice the effort on it.

    Q: Will you play the first round of Davis Cup?
    RN: I wont be training at full speed until next week and then it will be a little late to get there in time, so i dont think i’ll play. I would need to get to good form in a week and i dont think i can do it. I hope i’ll be able to help in the next rounds.

    Q: Will you return at IW, then?
    RN: Yes, but it will be tough to return a month and a half later. I hope it’s not too soon. It’s a good tournament for me, i’ve won it twice.

    Q: Your clay season includes MC, Barcelona, Roma, Madrid and RG, Have you considered taking a tournament off that schedule to make it easier on your body?
    RN: We’ll see how the season goes. It’s not how many tournaments you play, it’s the number of matches. If you only play one match by tournament, it’s not very hard. The way the schedule goes in the end will depend on the results and the number of victories.

    Q: In Madrid, last year, you got to the final and you played a great match in the SF against Djokovic, but you never looked confortable. What happened?
    RN: Madrid is a tournament more complicated than most, because of the altitude, it’s tough to control the ball and it probably isnt the perfect way to prepare RG, that starts shortly after. It’s a tough court, but i’ve always said that Madrid is very special to me and my tilte there in 2005 is one of the more emotional of my career. Last year, with the circumstances completely negative to face the tournament, i played because it was Madrid. If it wasnt there, i wouldnt have played.

    Q: Last year some of your critics towards the tournament werent very appreciated.
    RN: Everybody is free to have an opinion. I didnt criticise the tournament, but it must go through an adaptation process. It was a completely new event and i just expressed my opinion.

    Q: Are you still not liking the blue clay?
    RN: Clay is red, not blue. (Take that, Evil Blue Lord). Even if you say it doesnt change, when you paint it, it’s different. You are changing its natural color and its conditions change. Besides, the clay season has a history and it’s with red clay; we already play on blue courts when we play on HCs. The clay season is important enough not to need significant changes. Still, i’m nobody to say whether or not clay must be red or blue. I just express my opinion as a plyer, and then, the ones who must make the decission can decide whatever they want.

    Q: Does the altitude have so much influence?
    RN: Look, many times, journalists havent played, at least, not at this level. So it’s normal that you think it’s criticising Madrid or veting Madrid. Not at all. I’m pro-Madrid. I cant tell you anything bad about this city, because apart from everything else, the people have always been great with me. But the altitude is there, whether we like it or not. I would love that there was no altitude in Madrid, but it’s there. And expect those who are from Madrid, you can ask any player: it’s a factor that has an influence.

    Q: You got back the No.3 ranking this week, it’s not Murray anymore.
    RN: Really?

    Q: Looks like you arent very worried about it.
    RN: Well, i would like to be 1 or 2, of course, but when you’ve been 5 years in the Top 2, ranking becomes secondary. The world ranking is important, but it isnt the most important thing. The main thing is to start every tournament knowing you have a chance to win it.

    Q: Federer is back to his best, did you think in his bad moments that his fall had started?
    RN: That fall was more a thing of the press than the truth. He had played 4 Slam finals, what a fall! He has won everything there is to win and he will probably keep on winning. Now, there is a strong competence at the top, but he’s one of the best and having won so much helps him to come out of tough situations.

    Q: You started playing very young. Will your career be shorter?
    RN: It depends on what you mean with short. I may finish my career earlier than other player who started theirs at 21, but i started at 16. When we consider the career length, we must look at the number of years in the tour. This is my 8th season. Players who have been professionals that long already have a long career. I’m 23, and i dont think my end is near, not even close, you can be sure of that. Barring big fatalities, i’m happy with tennis. No matter what happens, my sports career isnt short at this point, but it will be much longer.

    Q: Players complain about the tough schedule. You are in the players council. How are the negotiations with the ATP going?
    RN: It’s a slow process, there are many interests involved. There are many tournaments, but neither the players nor the ATP executives are anybody to suddenly say “you are no longer part of the tour”, because it would be a brutal lack of sensitivity towards the tournament. We are trying to work it out in the less drastic possible way, finding the way that is less harming for all the parts involved. From there, we are trying to make the schedule shorter, we are looking for a way.

    Q: Will you reach a pact?
    RN: Let’s hope so. Hopefully, the agreement will come in time for our generation. If that’s not possible, for the next ones. We must try that the next players have a more relaxed career, not having too play such a loaded and tense tour.

    Q: In sports, there’s a lot of talk about doping, but not so much in tennis. Is there any reason?
    RN: Some sports have hurt a lot. Sports that have hurt other sports a lot becasue of the overload of doping issues. All the rest are paying for it now. I am the first one to want a clean sport, completely clean. I dont want to face any cheater, i want any test possible to be made. But sometimes the way they do it isnt appropiate. However, tests are necessary. I think tennis is one of the cleanest sports and it shows. With the huge number of tests we have, there are very few positives. We’ve proven we are clean. I think there are some exceptions, but that happens everywhere.

    Q: Agassi was tested postive and he was covered, is his an exceptional situation or is it possible that it has passed other times?
    RN: I’m convinced it hasnt happened other times. At least, not these days. If it had, i wouldnt be talking so openly about this issue. Today, everything is very controlled. Besides, it’s controlled by WADA, not the ATP. Obvioculy, a case like Agassi’s doesnt help the sport at all. He did very good things, and we must thank him for that, but you must also put in the balance what has come out now, which doesnt help. Maybe in the end the positives will have more weight.

    Q: Is Federer way over his opponents?
    RN: Yes, because of his history and what he has achieved. But now, the level is pretty even, and the player who has a better day or more confidence wins, there isnt a significant level difference.

    Q: Who do you like more, Murray or Djokovic?
    RN: Both are good players, but they are different. We still have to see Murray on clay, he has improved every year, but he is still slightly behind.

    Q: What goals are left for you to achieve in tennis?
    RN. My first goal is the personal pride of being better every day, year after year. Then, overcoming your own limits, which is the most important thing. You must know when your career ends that you have done everyhting you could, to be able to retire without regrets. My goal is clear, being as close to the top as possible, winnning as much as i can, and work as hard as i can.

    Q: You had bad moments. Did you consider changing your coach, even if it was for a period of time?
    RN: Not at all. I’m happy with the team i have, there’s a lot of confidence between us. I’ve had the same coach all my life and things havent gone bad, all the opposite. I’m fine the way i am. Sometimes, things go worst and there are nerves, people start to have different opinions. That’s fine, but i’ve had rough times before and i’ve returned to my previous level with the team i have now. I think to get where i would like to be, this is the best team i can have.

    Q: But your uncle did suggest it to you.
    RN: Some years ago, in 2006 or 2007. I told him the same i just told you: i dont need anybody else. This is about oneself. If you win, it’s because of you and if you lose, it’s your fault too. From the outside, they can help you, but in the end it’s you who matters.
    ___________

    • miri says:

      Thank you so very, very much.

      • Missy says:

        Mr. X. You are AWESOME!

        I also thank you a bundle AND some for the time you’ve taken to translate for us. <3

    • kefuoe says:

      Thanks! It makes all the difference to read a proper translation. It’s easy to forget how seriously and thoughtfully Nadal can talk about his career and sport when he does so in Spanish rather than English. I’m not slamming his English, but I think between the English-speaking press’ questions and his self-consciousness about speaking English to the press, we don’t always get to see the depth of responses he would be making in Spanish.

      • Missy says:

        I agree. Absolutely fantastic interview. I could listen to him talk and read what he has to say all day.

        Such a wonderful mind and a beautiful human being.
        Vamos Rafa! Just as you are! <33333

        Again, thank you very much Mr.X for the translation. You have made many people very happy with your time and effort. Vamos Mr.X! :))

    • Necitas says:

      Very clear and well written translation. Thank you!

    • Nana says:

      Many people have said it already but I have to say it again. Thank you Mr. X! The interview/your translation made my day!

    • Jan P says:

      Yes, thanks so much for a great translation–really captured the flavor of the interview! I’m constantly amazed at the wisdom of one so young–he is truly a gem.

  5. Missy says:

    “Q: Last year some of your critics towards the tournament werent very appreciated.
    RN: Everybody is free to have an opinion. I didnt criticise the tournament, but it must go through an adaptation process. It was a completely new event and i just expressed my opinion.”

    Rafa’s response to that question reminded me of you Miri. I wonder why? *scratches chin while giving Miri a sideways glance*
    Throw in a few expletives and an analogy and I’d SWEAR it was you responding. :))

    *pokes*

  6. Missy says:

    My favorite quotes from this interview:

    “What does “being the same” mean? Let’s not trick ourselves,”
    “I was playing very well, ready to win the match,”
    “Every possible thing turned the wrong way to prevent me from winning. ” (he has a fantastic memory!)
    “It’s silly to speculate about that,”
    “Being fit is important and tactically, it’s the surface where you need to think more.” (Rafael Nadal, you are one of THE best chess players on court)
    “It’s more that i need to do it to play better.”
    “To me, the serve has always been tougher. That’s why i must put twice the effort on it.”
    “It’s not how many tournaments you play, it’s the number of matches.”
    “Clay is red, not blue.”
    “Look, many times, journalists havent played, at least, not at this level.”
    “But the altitude is there, whether we like it or not.”
    “Really?”
    “but when you’ve been 5 years in the Top 2, ranking becomes secondary.”
    “The main thing is to start every tournament knowing you have a chance to win it.”
    “That fall was more a thing of the press than the truth.”
    “He had played 4 Slam finals, what a fall!”
    “..having won so much helps him to come out of tough situations.”
    “I’m 23, and i dont think my end is near, not even close, you can be sure of that.”
    “Barring big fatalities, i’m happy with tennis.”
    “No matter what happens, my sports career isnt short at this point, but it will be much longer.”

    “..it would be a brutal lack of sensitivity towards the tournament.”
    “.. we are looking for a way.”
    “We must try that the next players have a more relaxed career,”
    “Maybe in the end the positives will have more weight.”
    “We still have to see Murray on clay, he has improved every year, but he is still slightly behind.”
    “My first goal is the personal pride of being better every day, year after year.”
    “overcoming your own limits”
    “to be able to retire without regrets.”
    “My goal is clear, being as close to the top as possible, winnning as much as i can, and work as hard as i can.”
    “I told him the same i just told you: i dont need anybody else.” “This is about oneself. If you win, it’s because of you and if you lose, it’s your fault too.”
    “From the outside, they can help you, but in the end it’s you who matters.”

    *****************************

    I enjoyed the transcript you put together Mr.X. So much so, that I compiled a list of my favorite quotes from this interview. I did because I know that I will want to come back and re-read some of these quotes, so creating a list makes it easier to find them.

    So many gems in there. ^_^

  7. Necitas says:

    It was a very impressive interviiew. Rafa was sure of what he wants and how he will get it. The motivation and goal is clear. He’s confident with his progress and the people that he’s working with. Hearing Rafa talk this way is always more breathtaking for me than any other extra activities he does outside playing tennis. VAMOS Rafa!

  8. jba says:

    indeed, VAMOS RAFA! thanks, mr. x for the translation. :)

  9. nic says:

    what a fantastic and clear translation, thanks mr. x.
    it’s so great to be able to read an interview with rafa in his native language and get so much clarity from how he responds to each and every question. i love the introspection, the thoughtfulness, the honesty, and saying it as it is. rafa sounds in this interview to be at a really good place and with a clear heart and mind. vamos rafa! hope indian wells is a good omen for your much-awaited return.

  10. An says:

    Thanks so verry much mr. X!

    You’re translation gave us, what Nic summed up so beautifull above, the introspection, toughtfulness, and honesty off Rafa’s awnsers!

    I see that i still have to learn a lot….. when i said there wasnt much “new” in the interview i was maybe wrong, i meant that the subjects and the awnsers where all about what we heard before but the depth off his awnsers in his own language are verry good “new” indeed!

    I truly admire youre skills!:)

  11. CC says:

    Gosh, I read this and I think “he’s such a clever boy”. What a fiiine young man he is.

    Thanks for translation, Mr X. That made all the difference. (Oh, and I loved the “Take that, Evil Blue Lord”! ;))