RG: Bad play and bad singing?

Photo by BORIS HORVAT/ AFP/ Getty Images

Rafa’s new blog and Q&A are up. First, the blog:

Let me start by saying that I played really bad today. Having said that, I always had a so, so start here in Roland Garros and 4 times went well in the end… It is funny but I have been practicing really great these days, I have been playing well at the previous events and I am felling great. Then I stepped out on the court, first round and… I played terrible. I really don’t know the reason. I have been asked if that worries me and i have to say that it really doesn’t… for the moment. I hope that on Thursday things will be better. I was really angry for my game today.

That poor elliptical machine…

I also would like to say that some people, specially media, asked me about being put to play on the second court. To be honest I think it is normal I played there my first match. It was not against me, I know that. It is normal that if I am playing with a young player like Gianni, they put us on that court. The pressure for him was less and it is a good way to protect him and get him better from the start. No worries as they say in Australia… (I learned that!).

So pfffft to all the conspiracy theorists. I love how excited he sounds about learning “no worries.”

Now, the Q&A

What one song would you like to sing in the Karaoke Booth at Roland Garros this year? – Dustin, USA

Rafa: I am thinking about it. If Marc Lopez does it with me, I’ll do it. otherwise I’ll simply introduce Novak singing Gypsy… :-)

Rafa/Marc! duet? Oh please, please, please, please…it must happen.

I’m learning to drive at the moment, although I don’t think I’ll have an Aston Martin when I pass! How old were you when you started having lessons, and did you pass first time? – Shani.

Rafa: I didn’t learn with an Aston Martin either. It was a Kia which, by the way, I still have and use… I started later than normal, the contrary to my tennis…

Let’s see…two part question, one answer. *check!*

In one week from today I will have surgery on my knee. Do you have some good advice for me on what to do to recover quickly so that I will be able to return to the tennis courts as soon as possible? I miss playing tennis so much. Thanks! – Anna (Netherlands)

Rafa: You should definitely listen to what you doctor say and not my case. You should take care of your self before running again with a racquet in your hands… Try to avoid injuries that will come back!

You hear that An? Dr. Rafa has spoken.

Do you eat more and different food before a five-set match and how long before the match do you have a meal? Isn’t it difficult sometimes to judge correctly when the match before yours is much longer or shorter than expected? – Cheryl Klopper

Rafa: No, not really. I eat the normal food. Otherwise it would be too heavy. To answer your second part of the question, yes, sometimes it is difficult if there is not a fixed time.

“To answer your second part…” *shock!!!!*

I love watching you play tennis and particularly love it when you are pumped up. My question is when you watch your games back and see your amazing ‘vamos’ and fist-pumping gestures do you ever laugh at yourself, or what do you think? Good luck for the tournament! – Sharon Davies

Rafa: Many thanks. Sometimes I have to admit I do… Funny. But I know the moment and know that that really helps me.

You know what I’d love to do? I’d love to watch his face as he watches the ’08 Wimbledon final. That’s not creepy, right? It would just be interesting…

It’s great to see you back at your best! As I know you’re an avid Real Madrid fan, what do you think of Jose Mourinho’s move to Real Madrid? Do you think he can bring Real the same success Barca has had in La Liga and the Champions League over the past few years? Also, what do you think of Spain’s chances at the World Cup? – Joanna, Sydney

Rafa: Many thanks. I better keep my thoughts for myself. I just hope that Real wins next year… :-) and regarding Spain, I truly think we have some good chances but we will see. I’ll tell you more during Wimbledon and how things go.

Footie question? *check!*

I know you’re a big Phantom fan so was wondering whether you’ve seen the new sequel, Love Never Dies, yet. If not, do you plan to when you’re next in London? Can’t wait to see you at Queen’s and Wimbledon – you are awesome. – Rachel.

Rafa: No, I haven’t. But thanks for the tip. Maybe I’ll come during Queen’s.

Not touching that one.

If you were to play mixed doubles, which WTA player would you like to play with? – Atch

Rafa: I really don’t have time so I don’t think about it. Sorry… :-(

Sorry Atch…but that means the position is still open if you lobby for it.

Hi Rafa, I’m watching the 2006 French Open men’s final between you and Roger right now and I was wondering if you ever watch old matches for motivation or to see if you should change anything about your game? Thanks! – Lisa, USA

Rafa: Yes I do. Not for motivation but to see the tactics and remember things. Clearly I will try to adapt and change what needed if possible.

So he doesn’t stare at himself longingly? Guess that’s just us. Oh, and we analyze how far his game has come along. That too.


Rafa’s also answering questions in Spanish for elmundo. Here’s his first offering (and the Google translation).


45 Responses

  1. kefuoe says:

    I vote for Marc! and Rafa to sing Willie Nelson + Julio Iglesias duet, “For All the Girls I’ve Loved Before”

  2. teejustice says:

    Seems like Rafa is “enjoying” his blog more and more each slam. Using several emoticons, giving himself kudos for learning “no worries”, answering the 2nd part of the questions… good on ya Rafa! Love it ;)

  3. tiemyshoe says:

    Rafa/Marc! duet??? To what heathen god must I petition for this to come true?

    My song recommendation: Elton John & George Michael duet, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.” Seriously the first thing that popped into my head. Don’t know why my brain went straight for Super Gay Duo… :P

    Also, the quip about Nole singing Gypsy = I think we now know one of the guys who’s been hasslin’ Rafa about Shakira in the locker room.

    • CC says:

      Heh, also makes me think that Nole is the most jealous of them all for Rafa getting to have fun with Shakira. I can see him tease one minute only to curiously ask questions about it the next! ;)

    • Nana says:

      “I think we now know one of the guys who’s been hasslin’ Rafa about Shakira in the locker room.”

      I’m sooooo surprised ;p

  4. ang says:

    The ‘no worries’ thing is adorable, I also loved how he seemed concerned about Gianni. I hate that he is being so hard on himself I hope he has a nice day off and some good practice. It would be really fun to watch him watch his matches. I would love to watch the AO SF with Rafa and Nando that would be kinda cool.

  5. Graks says:

    a duet with Marc! or Nole! me want that!!!!! :D

  6. Atch2 says:

    Serbian before and now some Aussie lingo. ‘Fair Dinkum’ would also sound so cute coming from you. Or calling the WTA players ‘Sheilas’.

    God damn adorable Q&A.

    If Rafa doesn’t do it himself, Nole doing Gypsy would be Hilarious. But a duet with Marc! and those 2 French comedians (?) would be truly crowded and DorkyCute.

    YES! He answered my mixed doubles question with a sortof non-answer and a sad :-( face. Actually thought he would say Henin. Taking your advice though miri and going to lobby hard for that doubles position.

    An, are you having surgery? Wouldn’t you luv Dr.Rafa by your bedside?

    • an says:

      Uhm… By my bedside.. Yes, i would love him taking care off me as long as i have to stay in bed.. I was hoping for a secret invitation to join him in some swimming pool off course;)

  7. Susanna728 says:

    No it’s not creepy to want to watch his face while he watches Wimbledon 08. I love to watch his face anytime, doing anything – well I’d love to watch his face doing one thing in particular.

  8. miri says:

    Added a link to Rafa’s Spanish Q&A in elmundo

  9. CC says:

    Awww…sweet An, I didn’t know you were having surgery next week. I’m sure you’ll be back on your feet in no time. Feels good to know that Dr Rafa has spoken, you make sure you listen to him, no?

    *puts on mum’s stern face*

    Who knows, I might be able to send Rafa over after Queens for some *rehabilitation*. He might need it after that week too. Just not in his knees. ;)

    Atch2, I think that was an invitation from Rafa. He wants you to put him out of his misery about being hassled about a mixed doubles partner and go train with him yourself! Sounds nice, no? :D

    The thought of Rafa and Marc! doing karaoke together is one of the best so far this year. Or one of the scariest. I can’t decide.

    • an says:

      I hope things go well and am going to work hard on a quick recovery CC…. And off course i will listen to Dr Rafa:) And please do send him over after queens… By that time i possibly will be allowed to do some *light* training again, No? ;)

      • Atch2 says:

        Ask Dr Rafa for the treatment Maymo gives him on the massage bed and more.

        When he’s with you, please put in a good about me being a great doubles partner. That is, please LIE for me.

    • Atch2 says:

      Rafa and Marc! re-enacting the Gypsy MV can only be ScaryCuteAwkwardFunny.

      • Dolcefuga says:

        Someone just posted on gototennisblog,
        “Novak is tonight on the karaoke, he will do a parody of Shakira/Nadal’s videoclip with Troicki and he will be Shakira”

  10. Nana says:

    We should do a petition for the RafaMarc duet! Now that’s a petition I don’t mind to sign ;p

    An, sorry to hear about your surgery. But having Dr Rafa taking care of you should make things go very smoothly.

  11. An says:

    Thanks all! The surgery is needed when i want to play tennis again… and i so do want that! So altough nervous i’m also looking forward to it because after that i will be able to work on recovery. The sooner the better i would say.

    I did hope for a more detailed awnser from Rafa, something he did wich worked well for him, power is knowledge someone ( miss you Natch *waves at you* )told me :)… that i had to listen to my doctor i figured that one out on my own Rafa;) but still its verry sweet that you awnsered me!

    You know what would do wonders for my recovery, No?;)

    And iff i can’t have that i would love a karaoke duet from Marc! and you…. And for you to play youre best tennis for have chances to winn a shiny new trophy being bitten would do wonders for my healing too!

    • aRafaelite says:

      Goo Luck with the surgery An… but you don’t need to ask Rafa for recovery tips… you just have to have faith in yourself and your future the way he does ;-)

  12. Marilyn Wasserman says:

    Best of luck, An!! And even more than your doctor, listen to your physio! Hope he’s as cute as Maymo. Mine was.:-) And also as good as mine was. I had a total knee replacement, so hopefully your surgery/recovery will be much, much less traumatic than mine. I guess it is a bit like tennis in a way – hard work, patience and pain endurance really pays off!

    Oh, about the duet, is there any way we can contact Marc!? Send him a petition or something? He probably doesn’t even know he’s got fans here!

    • An says:

      Thanks Marilyn! Oh yes… much less traumatic! Only a partial removal off the meniscus! I feel like a wimp for wining about it compared to youre surgery!!

      Is Marc! at RG? We should ask Rafa…
      He must, must, must do that duet!! Please Marc!

      • sia says:

        An, Marc is playing doubles with Pere Riba (and winning so far).
        Sorry about your knee … :( . Hope it is better soon. Sad summer without tennis:( .

        • An says:

          Thanks Sia, i didn’t have time to look at the doubles draw jet… But now i know!:)

          Jep, i hope to be back playing tough this summer!

      • Marilyn Wasserman says:

        An, you’re not a wimp! All surgery is scary, serious stuff. I got through my rehab by re-watching Rafa’s 2008 AO semi and final while I did my exercises. I thought about what he must have gone through during those grueling matches and all the effort he always puts into his tennis and training and the pain he endures. I didn’t get a trophy and I can’t play tennis (I’m a 71 year old arthritic) but I can walk again!!!

        • rubik says:

          Bravo, Marilyn, for your right-on comments on Nadal’s most unreasonable 2008 AO SF and final matches!

          You must have thoroughly enjoyed the 1st round 3-set victory of 39-year old Date Krumm against Safina at RG yesterday! It was an unbelievable match, such an awesome physical and mental effort by Date Krumm! I was so impressed with Date Krumm’s efforts that I found myself cheering for her although I really wanted Safina to win her 1st round match at RG 2010!

          An aside of interest about Date Krumm, among a bunch of most interesting things about this truly amazing lady. Date Krumm is in the exact opposite position than Nadal and in exactly the same position than Moya when it comes to her being a right-handed tennis player. She plays tennis right-handed despite being a natural left hander. In Date Krumm’s case, that choice was made when she was young on account of the Japanese tradition on such matters.

          An, lots of courage and luck for your surgery!


          • Marilyn Wasserman says:

            Thanks, rubik. Yes, I was cheering for Date Krumm, while at the same time feeling for poor Safina, too. It’s been a really interesting FO so far, so much early drama. (sorry, miri) Please, Rafa, have a nice BORING match tomorrow!

  13. ali says:

    i’m still getting over the shock that he answered a two-part question completely!
    love the aussie slang. it makes me strangely happy when people mention australia…:-)

  14. Rafangel says:

    Lol just found out what Verdasco did…
    Have to say I agree with him on the subject of the French crowds. There’s a part of me that’d like to see Rafa react like that at RG – tho not really, obviously. But really, the RG crowds have no manners at all.

    Good luck? An:)

    • miri says:

      Verdasco behaved like a total ass. This isn’t the first time he hasn’t been able to handle a crowd and I doubt it will be the last. The day Rafa behaves like that…I dunno.

      • Adriana says:

        Everybody can have a bad day… but I really don’t see Rafa insulting people like Verdasco did.

        Miri you are right, he behaved like a total ass. There’s no excuse for keep swearing the entire game. A brief outburst it’s alright, human and all. What Verdasco did stays out of the question. I guess he’s been fined for this. He totally deserves it, though.

        • miri says:

          That was my problem – that it went on and on. I often find the occasional on-court outburst to be humorous and imagine they can be cathartic for the player…but get it out of your system quickly and move along.

          That being said, I do totally get him not wanting to answer questions about it over and over again. He put out an official apology – the press needs to move along as well.

      • rubik says:

        I agree 100%. Verdasco’s behaviour in that Nice final against Gasquet last weekend was a total disgrace. In my personal opinion, not the slighest chance in a million years that Nadal ever comes close to that kind of “spoiled kid”‘s behaviour on a tennis court!

      • tiemyshoe says:

        The good thing is, I learned several new ways of insulting people in Spanish, so … thanks, Fer!

  15. Marilyn Wasserman says:

    I saw that match. Verdasco was provoked and really lost it. He’s played just a TON of tennis lately. I thought he was crazy to play Nice on top of all the other Euro clay court events – he’s gone deep in all of them. Turns out he was crazy, probably out of his mind with from exhaustion. Gasquet is from the area around Nice so that was a real home crowd for him plus they haven’t had much to cheer about from him for quite awhile.

    No chance of Rafa ever, ever, ever acting like that though. Maybe one of his steely stares….

  16. Maria says:

    I don’t think and I truly hope that Rafa will not act like that ever. After all, in everything he’s done he’s proved to be a genuine class act. For this reason only, let alone tennis, he should ‘healthily envied’ by Fernando, as Fernando himself said not long ago.
    But the crowd bullying ‘the other player’ with booing and hissing and the like, just as it happenned until seconds ago in the Fognini/Monfils match, is not ok on a tennis court.

  17. Rafafan says:

    Yeah I saw all the hissing and booing in the Fognini match. It was outrageous. Fognini wanted to come off – the light was so poor it was nearly 10. The umpire made a terrible decision to play on and Fognini got a penalty point for appealing!

    If that was a French player they wouldn’t be booing like that.

    BTW – Fognini is one hell of a cute guy (reminds me of Rafa) – the deep eyebrows, lovely eyes. Take a closer look – he is on to finish his match. Would love a Fognini Rafa match up. Two hotties on a hot court Wowwwwwwwww

  18. Rafangel says:

    That’s what I meant by not really wanting him to behave like that – because if he did so it wouldn’t be a one-off, but rather part of a character I struggle to respect, instead of the extraordinary, gracious man I admire so much. When I said i wish he would do that, I meant I’m sick to death of the unbelievable bad manners and just plain nastiness of the RG crowd, and I wish someone with status would come out and say it’s rude and unacceptable (like Toni did, but someone more official in the game – like Rafa), and hopefully so,ething ,ay be done about it. It has to be made clear that it’s not on, though not like Verdasco did (but it did make me laugh).

    Conflicted, moi?!