Teenage Rafa

Just barely past the tot stage and playing at a tournament that has no one to hold his towel. Ah, the rough times. Am I hearing right? Does he mention Wimbledon?

Description by the FernadoReyTapias who posted the video:

Fragmentos del documental sobre Rafa Nadal a los 16 años cuando ganó el Torneo Satélite de Vigo.

55 Responses

  1. ang says:

    Yes he did mention Wimby!!

  2. Lee says:

    According to my two year Spanish class background in college, he was asked what tournament would he prefer to win. He said Wimbledon, but it’s very difficult and you have to work a lot. Or something like that.

  3. CC says:

    Ahhh…pretty boy. Those eyes, so intense even at this young age. And see, he does look great in short hair! :)

    Love the “Nooo!” when he mishits that backhand.

  4. janp says:

    Yes that’s it, Lee, from my limited Spanish. He looks adorable! And yes the short hair is cute. Such determination and that forehand…

  5. Silhouette says:

    what a cute young boy he was!! If we were in the same school, I’ll be hot on his heels! He still sounds the same and at some times, Rafa now still looks like this age…albeit with less eyebrow raising and frowning when answering questions :D

  6. Atch2 says:

    Sweet 16. Absolutely Rafadorable. The bronzed skin is gorgeous.
    Weird seeing him look tall and skinny then before he bulked up.

    • natch says:

      I can’t watch the vid. I feel like a pervert just clicking on “Teenage Rafa” ;)

      …I might click on the video, though…just to have a laugh over how much hair he has lost.

      • CC says:

        Hey, it’s fine. He looks pretty *grown up* for his age here. Mind you…if you struggle to look at his face now, at 23, then this might be a bit mucho for you. ;)

      • An says:

        Just do what you always do Natch! Don’t look at the face but look at the other parts;)

        • natch says:

          I can’t. I have to go take a Silkwood shower now, because I feel so dirty.

  7. Yaritza says:

    So cute! He was asked which was his favorite type of court and he said he prefers grass over clay, though he likes clay also. Then the interviewer asked him is there was any player that he aspires to be like or that it’s his idol and he said some name that I didn’t catch and that he’s a great player and he’d like to be like him. The next question was if there was a specific tournament that he’d like to win and he replied: “Wimbledon but it’s too difficult and there’s a lot of work to do”.

    • Zoe says:

      That’s what I figured he said too :D I think the player he said was his idol is Carlos Moya, but he says it pretty quickly.
      How CUTE is Rafa!!! So much foreshadowing in that Wimbledon question xD

  8. Fay says:

    Awh, so cute! I do prefer Rafa with his hair longer actually, infact now is perfect! it shows of his incredible masculinity which is in abundance. I don’t think he looks at all skinny here for his age, even here you can see he is developing into a beautiful specimen… its great to see his intensity even back then, how driven he is in what he says and how he plays the actions on the forehand are similar… and the Wimbledon comment is just adoreable, god I would love to see Rafa take Wimbledon again, people adore him here in the UK.. but its hard to think about that now when its so far off right?
    Funny that comment back then about a player he would like to be like” he always says in interviews that he didn’t have an idol growing up! I think he likes the way he has been compared to Bjorg because of his clay court prowess and success on grass though. He has said also that he admired Carlos Moya,(spanish players of course), when growing up? I think… Great blast from the past Miri, thanks for keeping us all entertained, when his not playing these vids are so much fun to browse through!!!

  9. Inés says:

    It’s weird the answer that Rafa gives in the first question, lol,

    Rafa :I prefer to play on indoor courts or grass than on clay, although I like clay also,

    Question:Is there any particular player that you’d like to be or is your idol?

    Rafa: Yes, Carlos Moya is a great player and I would like to be like him

    Q: And, the tourney that you would like to win ?

    Rafa: Wimbledon, but is very difficult and there is a lot to work( to get it)

    • natch says:

      Oh, I thought he said, “I hope one day Miri makes a website for me. I hope all the Rafanatics (pretty advanced for his age, wasn’t he?) go there and talk about me. One day I want to meet them all, especially Miri. She doesn’t seem like a pervert.” ;)

    • imjimmy says:

      Thanks. That’s interesting. I’ve always wondered what makes Nadal good on grass. Typically players who play first strike tennis (big servers, good returners and big hitters) do well on grass. Nadal’s case is surprising because, not only has he won at the slow grass of Wimbledon (which is more suited to his style), he’s also won Queens, which is fast like the “real” grass of the 90’s.

      The only explanation could be his athleticism, movement and reflexes. But is that enough? This interview offers another perspective i.e he is good on that surface because he really wanted to. Right from when he started playing.

      Personally I love grass court tennis, and I am really curious to see how Nadal does this year. He’s almost played nothing on grass since 2008 (assuming the two exho matches in 2009 were meaningless). That’s the problem with grass coz if you miss Wimb. you miss ONE whole year of grass court tennis.

      Nadal’s movement is not what it used to be, but he is playing more aggressively so that compensates. Will he be as fluid and as nimble as he was 2 years ago?I can’t wait to see. It’s always a pleasure to see him during the grass court season.

  10. An says:

    So cute!
    I’m certain that i would have fallen in love with Rafa even back in that age…. typicall the type off boy i was intrested in in my teenage years;)

    And, already a thing for Nike then Rafa?

  11. Ch F says:

    Nice to see some vamos-ing and the forehand are already there!

  12. Laura says:

    How can he be so handsome already at that age? I mean his skin is perfect!! Was it only me and my classmates that were fighting spots (and losing the battle!) at that age? :-)

    • miri says:

      Hell, I’m 46 and am still losing that battle.

      • Laura says:

        Hee hee. So we have proof that life’s unfair – all that beauty and talent in one person…thank goodness he’s such a nice guy!!

      • CC says:

        Well, the odd spot keeps you young, no? That’s what I try to tell myself, anyway. ;)

        I’m sure I’ve seen pictures of spotty teenage Rafa, though.

        • natch says:

          OMG! I just figured out you are talking about acne, no?
          *points and self and laughs*

          I..uhm..erm…*whispers* don’t usually get spots, either. I didn’t know what Clearasil (US “spot” treatment) was until I was in my twenties and somebody told me.

  13. CJ says:

    Wow. I can’t even play this good now, much less at that age. I do like his hair that way though. Aw Rafa, so much talent.

  14. Marilyn Wasserman says:

    So cute! Interesting, too. I didn’t see him use his buggy-whip forehand – he’s finishing it over his right shoulder more in the standard fashion.

    Don’t think I’ve ever heard Rafa say that clay’s his favorite surface, although practically every writer says it at some point. He did say before Monte Carlo that it will probably always be a bit easier for him to win on clay. And of course he’s often said that clay is easier on the body. It seems to me that Rafa’s fought hard throughout his career to avoid being stereotyped as a clay-court specialist and he has had hard court success ever since he first started winning ATP tournaments.

    • Atch2 says:

      Maybe clay isn’t his favourite bec it’s not challenging enough. He’s a fierce competitor so he wouldn’t like it to be easy, and grass is a challenge. Few Spaniards have won Wimby, so it’s like the Mount Everest.

      • miri says:

        I’ve often had the same thought about the challenge aspect, Atch2.

      • tiemyshoe says:

        Good point. He obviously loves Wimbledon more than Roland Garros – which says interesting things about his psychology and love of challenges.

        It’d be kind of bizarre (but sorta fitting) if it comes out years later that Rafa was incredible on clay, but actually hated playing on it, heh. (Sort of an Agassi-esque “I hated tennis”-type admission.)

        • natch says:

          I would settle for him wearing the neon spandex bicycle shorts like Andre did. ;P

          Rafa, por favor??

          • Karen says:

            Rafadorable. Love that he still hits the ball in the same manner and was as intense back then as he is now. He really is maturing nicely!!

  15. Sofia says:

    How cute (:

  16. CC says:

    I wonder when he developed issues with his underware, that seems to be missing…

    Love the 12 year old video btw, thank’s for adding that link, missed it last time.

    • Atch2 says:

      He hadn’t fully developed his ass yet, so maybe a bit later when he increased his body mass.

    • CC says:

      Urm… I was reading this comment thinking, “did I really leave that? Can I not spell underwear?” Then I realised it wasn’t me! Two CC’s, that’s a bit unimaginative. :D

      • an says:

        oh.. How i’m supposed to know its realy you or not realy you then..? I promised Natch to wave to you in her abscence…

        • CC says:

          Heh, I don’t know, An. I will ask miri to send you my email, when she has time, no? :)

          • An says:

            Ah, on the normal computer i can see who is who by the Avater….:D

            But yes, Miri can give you my e-mail off course!

            • CC says:

              Ah, the avatar!

              *slaps self*

              You’re so clever, An. :D

              • Cat - aka CC the second says:

                Sorry CC the real one! I didn’t realise, I sometimes write CC when I’m being lazy, I’ll try to remember to use Cat on this site

                • CC says:

                  Heh, no need to apologise, I just got confused! :D

                  “CC the second”- I like that!

  17. guest says:

    Sorry I have to say this…

    Is that a 15 yr old Novak Djokovic he is playing against??

    although I can’t see the face… the grunt, the posture, the technique and build…

    You can see there was passion even in their junior matches!!