Rome: Ribbon cutting ceremony

Rafa took part in the ribbon cutting ceremony marking the opening of the new center court in Rome. (Wait, didn’t they play on it yesterday?) Any way, here’s a video about the ceremony:

Posted by Patxy270180. (With hope, there will be a better quality one posted by iB3 later.)

And the one picture I could find (with sources) so far when running late for work – I’m sure there will be more later.

Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

44 Responses

  1. loverafa4ever says:

    I like the picture with Fed… Rafa looks soo happy! :D.

  2. Atch2 says:

    Is Rafa speaking Italian? Or is it Espantaliano again?
    The shy unsure speech, the dimples, the eyebrows, the smile. Totally Adorable. The wet hair makes Rafa look like a bit of an Italian playboy.

    And they blessed the stadium with holy water like we do in Buddhism.

    That blonde woman is there again. Hope she didn’t force Rafa or Fed to do anything embarrassing or awkward.

    Could the scissors be any smaller?

    • tiemyshoe says:

      Hee, tiny scissors!

      Maybe Rafa can get the number of Fed’s tailor? He always seems to be slightly swimming in his suit.

      Otherwise, adorbs, as always.

      • Atch2 says:

        Yeah. I think Fed has Anna Wintour’s tailor on speed-dial.

      • Nana says:

        He has broad shoulders and a small waist, a nice V shaped torso! But he will have trouble finding a jacket that fits perfectly without alteration. Obviously he’s not too fussy about it.

        • Karen says:

          Rafa could do with ironing his jacket although I can’t quite imagine him doing that himself, so I’m offering to be his personal dresser!! Promotion from just tying his ties!!

    • Laura says:

      Atch2, it is mostly proper Italian he speaks, though generally that doesn’t last long into the second sentence!

      And, not wishing to be pedantic or unduly patriotic, but please note ‘that blonde woman’ is Lea Pericoli, and she has helped write quite a few pages of tennis history, as well as beat breast cancer. She is a very, very nice person and, incidentally, loves Rafa to bits.

      • Atch2 says:

        Sorry. Didn’t mean to be rude. I just remember her pressuring Nole to doing something he didn’t want to do during the finals ceremony last yr.

        • Laura says:

          No need to apologise! I often cringe at the unrepressed Italian need to shout loud and make a spectacle of everything. The only reason I watched the trophy ceremonies at Rome in the las few years is that lovely mangled Italian Rafito comes up with – to me, it’s even better than his Spanglish!

          • sia says:

            Laura, I like it too when Rafa speaks ( a little) Italian. I think he understands much more than he feels confident enough to speak.
            The new stadium looks great … I would love a visit to Roma.

  3. Fay says:

    Great clip, the media just continue to love these two champions, the rivalry, their presence and appeal, especially Rafa, good luck champ!

  4. Annie says:

    So nando finally gets rid of the ‘wet’ look and now rafa’s doing it? Hope it doesn’t become a habit even though he looks great as always. I think that jacket is one of those unstructured types. Not really meant to be tailored. Both guys look great. And yes, Lea Pericoli is a very sweet woman.

  5. TU2 says:

    Wow! Rafa always looks gorgeous especially with gel on his hair. He looks so Italian;) I really like Rafa when he spoke Italian and made a “shy boy” face after people applauded. Ohhh so adorable, want to X him to the fullest! Tnx for the post :)

  6. CC says:

    Right. Roger looks great in his suit, he always does. Rafa doesn’t look great in his jacket, he very rarely does. Would I want to do Roger? No. Would I want to do Rafa? Yeees. Conclusion? Who cares.

  7. Rafafan says:

    Wow I love it when he speaks Italian and then goes all totally shy when they all applaud him. It’s like he saying inside gulp, help gosh I feel embarraseed and am only gonna say one sentence like – hello good to be here. Oh he is sooooo gorgeous. I didn’t realise but I do think the Italians have a really soft spot for him – even more so than the fans in Monte Carlo no?

    Let’s hope he is on game tomo and doesn’t lose in the 1st round like Federer!

    • Laura says:

      Rafa is by a long shot the most loved tennis player in Italy. It is rock start reception for him wherever he goes in the country (last year the paparazzi got a little too much, to be honest).

      What can I? We Italians know the bet when we see it!! ;-)

      • Laura says:

        *best*, sorry.

      • Adriana says:

        Is he? I didn’t know that. It’s good to know other European Rafans. And yeah, you Italians have an exquisite taste but so they say about French and see how they treated him in the last Roland Garros :(

        • Silhouette says:

          I still remember how mean the French were to Rafa at the last Roland Garros. That is one reason why I am determined to go to RG next year to show my support for Rafa. Can’t do it this year and I haven’t quite figured out how to get tix for Grand Slams. They seem incredibly difficult to get?!?!

          It is nice to see Rafa getting good support wherever he is playing. Rafa, being so passionate about tennis and having such a good character, deserves all our support!!

          • dutchgirl says:

            I managed to get tickets for RG, 2nd round, by staying behind my computer the entire afternoon on the day the sale started. Finally, at the end of the day, I was through!
            I know it works different for Wimbledon, and I don’t know about the other Slams.

            • Silhouette says:

              That’s great for you!!! Hope you’ll be able to catch Rafa in play! So tickets for RG are available through internet sales? You know those tickets that allow entry to the grounds but not the courts, are those available for sale on the day itself? Or are they available on internet sales too?

              Yes Wimbledon is very different. By balloting right? Darn, I’m all the way from Asia and my chances for Wimbledon doesn’t seem that high? I would love to attend RG and Wimbledon and see Rafa win!

              • dutchgirl says:

                As far as I know these tickets are available on internet as well. You’ll have to make an account and then you can order (though I think most of the days are sold out as well).
                Otherwise, there will be an official ticket exchange within a week or so, on Tickets will be put up for sale for the original price there.
                As a matter of fact, I’ll be putting two spare tickets up for sale for centre court, for 25th of May… (these tickets give access to all the side courts as well).

                • Adriana says:

                  I could only get tickets for Madrid. I was hoping to go to Paris but they’ve been sold out for months! You are lucky Dutchgirl!!! It’s getting harder and harder to find tickets for any tournament.

                  • dutchgirl says:

                    I know I am! Last year I spent all sunday to get through on the RG site, but by the time I did, all tickets for the main courts were sold out.
                    Now all I need is the luck that Rafa will be scheduled on center court, which isn’t always the case in Paris… (provided that he gets to 2nd round, ofcourse).

        • Laura says:

          Oh yes, he is extremely popular, gets mobbed a lot. Too much IMO. I thik in general, we Italians feel culturally very close to the Spanish too, which helps.

          On the contrary, please do not compare us with the French!!! They are a very different type, thank you very much :-)

          • Adriana says:

            I know we are close to each other, I’m Spanish ;)

            • Viva says:

              Come on girls ! I’m a french girl, studying in Paris, and I’m such a big fan of Rafa !! It’s true that in France, there may be a bit more of Federer fans : the fact that he’s from Switzerland, that he speaks French fluently, (and I actually do not know what the extra reasons could be !…) which gives the impression that Rafa’s hated here. I do want to believe (and am sure) that’s wrong !
              The Rafa’s community is such a great family which doesn’t have any boundaries ! :-)
              Plus, I dare to think that French people are not such a different type from the Italians as one of you suggests… Try to get a trip to France – elsewhere from Paris! – and you may notice the French can also turn out to be welcoming people (Although maybe not as much of the chatterbox type as the Italians… ;) ) ! Each of our respective countries owns its amount of clichés, let’s attempt not to reduce ourselves to them !
              Hope I’ve convinced you ! ;)

              • Adriana says:

                What can I say? I’m convinced! We are not here to talk about nationalities but to enjoy Rafa’s game and Rafa in general. So… Vamos Rafa! (incredible match today, btw)

  8. Adriana says:

    So don’t you think it’s amazing how Rafa still gets invited to do these things even being number 3 at the moment? I’d be pissed if I was in Djokovic shoes lol

    • Stf says:

      I was thinking that as well. But Nole is nowhere as popular as Rafa and Roger. I suppose, if you asked people who don’t know much about tennis who the faces of the sport are, most of them would tell you Roger and Rafa. Definitely not Novak.

      • rubik says:

        Adriana and Sft,
        In my opinion, the reason for having Federer and Nadal at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new central court in Rome is very straightforward and logical :

        Federer is the no 1 player in the world right now (ATP ranking, I mean) while Nadal is the 2009 defending champion of the Rome Masters 1000.

        Nadal is defending his 2009 title in Rome this week. In fact, Nadal has won the title four times in the last five years (he didn’t win in Rome in 2008, if I remember correctly).

        In contrast, the Rome Masters 1000 is one of the «serious» Masters Federer has never won.

        In addition, Federer and Nadal now hold 16 ATP Masters 1000 titles each, right now, which is 1 short of the 17 Masters 1000 title record held by Agassi.

        In other words, both Federer and Nadal could tie Agassi’s 17 Masters 1000 titles this week at the 2010 Masters 1000. However, Federer has already lost his 1st singles match against Gulbis in the 2nd round in Rome this afternoon.

        So, right now, should he successfully defends his title in Rome this week, Nadal would win his 17th Masters 1000 tournament (and his 5th title in Rome, but not consecutive titles because of his 2008 loss) and would hence tie the Agassi’s current record.

        VAMOS, Nadal !

        • rubik says:

          However, as miri would say, “Ssshhhhh!” about this. You have not read my previous comment.

          • Adriana says:

            Yeah, we better “Sssssshhhh” about it ;) Though I still think he would be there even not being the defending champion. As somebody else said, in the end this sport is all about Rafa/Roger, at least until one of them retires from the competition or fails to be at the top 3. But “ssssssssssssssshhhhhhh”

    • GB says:

      Yeah, Fed and Rafa have the most pull, both separately and as a couple:) But I think in this case, Rafa’s involvement makes more sense than Nole anyway. Nole’s no 2, but Rafa’s the defending champion and has won the tourney more times than anyone in history.

  9. patzin says:

    Rafa has the X factor; such charisma and joy in him.

  10. Rafangel says:

    Yuk, nasty suit and wayyy too much gel. But aw, SO sweet and sexy when he goes all shy with the Italian. It’s as CC said: you just would.

  11. miri says:

    High quality video here – click on “Inaugurato il nuovo Campo Centrale” if another vid starts playing. I can’t find a way to link directly to it.

    Thanks, Inés

    • rubik says:

      Thanks, miri and Inés. That’s a much clearer and nicer video, indeed!

      Amazing the respectful way Federer has been looking at Nadal in pictures and videos over the past few months. It almost looks as if Federer cannot believe it himself that THE Nadal is actually back!

      (The size of the scissors appears more reasonable from this point of view…)

      VAMOS, Nadal!

  12. Amanda says:

    I think I’m dying here. That’s it. I’ve died and gone to Heaven. Rafa looks PERFECT to me.

  13. Viva says:

    The video of the ceremony from another point of view :