I included a link to Rafa’s Spanish Q&A for elmundo in the English blog/Q&A post last night, but Inés has been kind enough to translate the entry for us who are Spanish-impaired. (No promise she’ll have time to keep this up! It’s hard work translating.) As usual, please do not post her translation elsewhere without her permission.
1. Hola Rafa, cheer up for your new year at RG. The luck has not favoured you in the draw with all the Spaniards on your side and also with Djokovic…How do you assess your road and Federer’s (in the draw)? Marcos González (Ciudad Real)
Hi, greetings. The truth, I always say it, and trust me it’s true, I have not seen the draw. I see who my next opponent is and that’s it. My concern is to try to play well against the next rival that I have.
2. Cheer up Rafa and your next title will be in Paris. Surely you are lucky. The reaction Verdasco had has seen everywhere although he has apologized. Don’t you think you can not have these reactions? Although sometimes you really want to shout and much more things … Julian Garcia (Cuenca)
Thank you very much. I hope so. It is difficult that I can think or say something about it. I have not talked with Fernando and I don’t really know what happened. When I talk to him I will tell you.
3. Congratulations Rafa for the season you are having on clay . Do you think that there can be a ‘new Soderling’ this year? Who you see that can surprise? Carlos Perez (Leganés)
Thank you very much. I hope and continue. I do not know who could give a surprise. It is clear that tennis is very competitive and new players always emerge who give surprises. Yes, many of these surprises are not so good for people in tennis.
4. Federer is the number one … Do you think that is the maximum favorite to win again at Roland Garros? Or is a surface like clay is more for a specialist like you, Verdasco …? Miriam Latorre (Alicante)
Clearly, if Roger is not the favourite, he is among the two or three favorites. Just look at his history and how he is playing.
5. Hi Rafa, luck and go for them, that this year you come back to win. They say you’ve changed the strings of your racket … What has that helped you with? Do you really notice it so much? I think Almagro has also done the same and also achieved great results. Thank you. Jorge Muñoz (Fuenlabrada)
Yeah, I changed early this year. It’s thinner and helps me to give more depth to the ball on the court. I feel very comfortable with this new string. Believe me that I notice it a lot.
6. Luck for Paris. Do you see possible the number one at the end of the year? From now the one who has most to loose is going to be Federer because of the points that he has to defend. Hugo De la Peña (Guadarrama)
Thank you very much. For me the important thing is to play well in every tournament and give it all. About the number one it’s something that I don’t pay attention. Of course it is important and could be obtained again, but it’s not my main concern or goal.
7. Hi Rafa, I guess you feel at home in Paris. This is already the sixth year and I hope will be many more. Are you still visiting the same sites as the first year? I guess you always have routines that you do every time you are in Roland Garros Which are they? Luck. Carlos Fernández (Avilés)
Yes, the truth is yes. I’m in the same hotel and practically we have dinner at the same sites. I also continue with my ‘Play’ and my games after dinner (and before writing this Q&A …). Believe me we do not have much time for more. Before the tournament started, yes.
8. Good luck Rafa. I know you love a lot soccer, how do you see the World Cup? we are almost there. Do you think that we are facing the best opportunity ever to win? Or it’s going to happen as always? Joaquín Reina (Luanco)
I like very much football. And I will follow the World Cup for sure. I will try to see almost every match. I think Spain have options. In fact today I did an interview about this and we commented that we have a great team, with options. Later, we’ll see and you never know, but certainly we’re there.
9. Gulbis’s defeat in the first round was rather a surprise to me … More than anything because of the shape he came or he seemed to have. Was it the pressure of a Grand Slam, the mentality? What do you think? Carolina López
Yes, in first round of course it has surprised. He said he was a bit injured with an injury. I met him at a restaurant Wednesday night and he told me. I don’t think is pressure, rather a physical matter, an injury. I hope he recovers soon
10. Hola Rafa, what do you think about the change of venue for Roland Garros? Do you think the court is outdated? Thanks and good luck for your fifth title. Juan Carlos Rodríguez
I prefer not comment on this issue, but believe me I have my opinion. Thank you.