RG: Rafa blog and Q&A – day 3

Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

First up, the blog entry. It’s all about convenience. I’d like to say, I’d find it convenient to see a Rafa/Marc! karaoke.

Hello everyone,

I am writing this blog tonight a bit later than in the past days. I started the week by writing before going to dinner and that way I could tell you fresh stories just coming from the site. Tonight we had scheduled to go out to dinner at 9.30 pm. As a matter of fact we were all downstairs at that time to go for dinner but at the lobby we stayed watching the final moments of the Monfils v Fognini match. It took so long, they played almost until 10pm, could see anything and on top of that it was very exciting to watch.

Today we had the first rain of the tournament. Hopefully it won’t rain tomorrow since I am scheduled to play fourth match on centre. This time is not the best of times. I know that someone has to play fourth and I am not complaining.

I am simply saying that it is not the most convenient time. For me or for any of the players. The reason is that if it rains during the day and the previous matches are long then we could risk of not playing tomorrow. If that’s the case then the winner of my match would play two days in a row and that during a Grand Slam is not the most convenient thing since the matches are best of five sets and that day of rest is really important. Just wanted to explain it to you.

Thanks all for being there.

I can just imagine him watching the Fogini/Monfils match and being glad he wasn’t stuck in that massive mess. Oh, and Fogini is another client of Benito. And it looks like the chance of rain is low for tomorrow, let’s hope that the weather people have it right.

And now, the Q&A

Does your family still play practical jokes on you, like when you were a kid and you thought you were invisible? – Atch, Thailand

Rafa: I think I am a bit older and more difficult to do these kind of things. I would say it is me now doing it..

I’m sure he’s enjoying playing the jokes on his wee cousins. (And you are on a roll, Atch!)

The weather has turned to rain this afternoon. How much of a difference do the heavier conditions make to the courts and what do you change to your game plan? – Clare

Rafa: In my case I didn’t have to play today so it was OK. It did affect my practice since it rained during the 2 hours I was supposed to practice, I believe it is not going to rain tomorrow afternoon so it really won’t affect me. But clearly the courts become heavier and slower if it rains. The sun makes them faster and the balls too.

But I still want to know if heavier courts/balls benefit him. The press always seems to say it does, but it seems like the lower bouncing ball wouldn’t help him. Guess I shouldn’t have included an offer to kill someone to make the Marc! duet happen when I submitted my question.

Hi Rafa, does it make you more nervous when stars like Ronaldo, Raoul and Zidane turn up to watch you play? Good luck, Rafa – you can do it! – Love Sam

Rafa: Not really. Probably more when I meet them… :-)

*pictures shy grin* *approves*

Hello Rafa! We all know you are a huge fan and a great advocate of the Davis Cup, having served Spain so well. However, do you think that a “World Cup” for tennis could work? – Wooffs

Rafa: It is too early to talk about these things. I have heard this idea before.

Don’t ask Rafa to talk about something until he’s ready! He’s still busy sucking down his energy pack.

In the past, I read that you watched series of Lost or Prison Break. What are you currently watching at the moment? – Kim, London

Rafa: I am watching the movie Moby Dick, a classic.

Heh. He said Dick. Heh. (Hey, I started a pattern and now feel compelled to write something cheeky after after question, no matter how freaking lame it is.) But honestly, it’s always good to see those dang youngsters paying attention to the classics. Unless he means the 1998 TV version. Then, not too classic, but at least it includes Patrick Stewart.

We heard Jake Gyllenhaall, the actor who plays the Prince of Persia in his new movie, said he was inspired by you (physically) while creating the character. What do you think about it? Did you ever play the original video game? Many thanks and best of luck! – Upoma & Paroma, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Rafa: Nope, Never played it. I think someone told me about this or read about it. I am thankful to what he said, hopefully we can meet one day and I can thank him personally.

With a shy smile on your face?

Not long ago, they used to say that the surface of Monte Carlo was quite similar than Roland Garros. Looking at the aces in Roland Garros compared with Monte Carlo, I wonder if that’s true. More importantly, there are rumours doing the rounds that they’re gradually making the Roland Garros surface faster with a thinner layer of clay so that it almost plays like a hardcourt surface. Since I have no way of having this confirmed, may I ask your expert opinion on that: Is it true? – Jules

Rafa: The conditions in Monte Carlo are the most similar to the ones in Roland Garros. The courts here are really good and I don’t see much of a change with previous years to be honest.

So, there you go.

Have you had any time to ride your Harley motorcycle back home in between tournaments this year? Amanda, USA

Rafa: Yes, a bit. But I am not a good driver… So i am safer with a car in my hands…

Oh, thank the gods.

29 Responses

  1. aRafaelite says:

    I think seeing Rafa and Jake together might be the cure for this hard-to-shake dose of FeVer I’ve been suffering from! On the other hand, my temperature might rise so high it kills me. At least I’d die happy. Of course Rafa & Marc! karaoke might help too. I could die laughing. In any case, these are clearly all heavenly scenarios!

  2. Atch2 says:

    As long as Rafa doesn’t think he’s James Bond on a secret mission in his Aston, he should be safe.

    I only sent that question last night. I actually wanted him to answer whether he ever uses a comb/brush. And do I get the grand prize if he answers a 3rd question from me?

    • Nana says:

      I also asked him something about his hair before and didn’t get answered… maybe he dislikes those questions ;p

    • jba says:

      i hope he you DO get a third question answered. that would be awesome. how did you ask him questions though? do you send in numerous individual questions or do you put all of your questions into one email for him to choose?

    • aRafaelite says:

      Fight For The Third Atch! *anti-jinxing* Glad you’ve got some love from Rafa ;-)

  3. Nana says:

    These Spaniards really have late dinners. During my trip it was very hard for me as the restaurants I wanted to go opened only at 8:30 or 9pm….

    And now I wanna watch Prince of Persia.

  4. rebel naughty says:

    I knew that Jake Gyllenhaall and I had a lot in common!

    Good luck Atch!

  5. mary says:

    Thats awesome you had your questions answered Atch. I might have to tame mine down as I’ve been a bit cheeky with them. Hehehe!!!!
    It’s good in general that more intelligent & diverse questions are being asked. And I swear Rafa is getting funnier the older he gets.

  6. rafandready says:

    Woohoo, Rafa answered my question (the one about Ronaldo, Raoul and Zidane making him nervous) and a smiley to go with it. I am a happy girl this morning :-)

  7. Wooffie says:

    Rafa “answered” my question too. About the tennis world cup. :-)

    Us little Rafateers in the UK have now had 5 questions answered between us and several comments posted. Its just great!!

  8. Maria says:

    Poor Rafa! His fears about the rain delay have come true after all. No match today. Not the best of the times indeed…

    • Stf says:

      He can be quite unlucky, obviously. I’m not sure how much he likes evening matches and I suppose he’ll be playing early tomorrow so maybe that’s a good thing after all…hopefully, it won’t happen again as the tournament goes on and as the opponents get more difficult.

      • Maria says:

        A bit unlucky, yes. I’m looking on the tournament site and, if I’m not mistaken, he’s the only one of the top 10 seeds who will play his 2nd round match tomorrow. I also imagine his match will be the first on PC. Is it good for him because he plays early as opposed to playing very late this evening? No idea, really…:-?

        • Atch2 says:

          But seeing how the schedulers have been annoying both French and Non-French players in general, I wouldn’t be surprised if Rafa was not put first tomorrow.

          • Stf says:

            Yeah, didn’t Tsonga complain as well? It just makes sense that Rafa’s match would be first or second, if there’s a women’s match before his.

          • Maria says:

            True. Seems like it’s the most obvious theme of the tourney so far – bad decision-making about OOP.

          • miri says:

            Exactly – look who was scheduled last yesterday despite rain being an almost certainty? Monfils. In fact, look at every day prior to today – who’s scheduled last? A French player. I think the “last” place is the headliner – a match with at least one popular player so that the crowds will hang around all day and not leave after some of the earlier ones. Just think of it as one of the drawbacks of being popular.

            I’m glad they redid the schedule and let the players know it was okay to go chill and not sit around in the locker room waiting to play. It was total bullshit when they did that at the USO last year. This way, he won’t get stuck waiting around all day, maybe playing just a bit and then having to come back tomorrow and finishing up.

        • Stf says:

          Obviously, playing two matches on two consecutive days isn’t all that great but the Hewitt – Istomin match, the winner of which will play Rafa in the third round, is tomorrow as well. So that’s pretty fair, I guess. I do think Rafa prefers to play in the morning rather than in the evening. So maybe it’s not all bad.

    • CC says:

      Rafa is not playing today? Great! That means I’ve got time to do what I need to do this afternoon. :D

      Seriously though, these things happen, no?

      • Maria says:

        It’s raining again! Maybe he’s playing the day after tommorow?

      • An says:

        I organize some torunaments now and then myself….

        Let me tell you, scheduling, when rain interfeers, is one off the most dificult things to do in organising tournaments! You always try to keep evryone ( players, public, sponsors and trainers ) satisfied and you just cannot do it right!

        • CC says:

          I can only imagine. It seems to be a no win situation. Somebody’s always going to be unhappy. Rafa, I’m sure, will be fine and go with the flow… :)

        • Maria says:

          I can see your point. There’s a saying in my country according to which, when you’re organizing something, even a small party at your home, you will never succeed in making everybody happy. While I generally agree with that & I am totally against any conspiracy theory ref Rafa here in RG or elsewhere, I still think that the tournament so far has been less inspired about scheduling. That’s all. I’m done with this topic. The Watts Net on Eurosport was funny enough to put me in a happier mood.

          • An says:

            Its ok to be critical off course… I just wanted to say there is a lot to scheduling…

            An yes CC, i imagine myself Rafa as one off those players who works along with you as an organizer and accepts the inevitable. I would love to one day schedule his matches in a tournament altough off course i would be a total wimp and give in to whatever request he may have;)

      • mary says:

        I’m glad as well, cause this means I get to sleep again. No sleep & work aren’t generally a good mix. It means you have to pretend you are being efficient & productive while in fact you are sleep walking & hoping you aren’t being noticed. Hahahahaha!!!!!

  9. Rafangel says:

    Would love to hear him say ‘dick’. Though my greatest wish for “would like to hear him say…” came true at the USO last year: we got “I love you” and “kiss” all within a few moments (still recovering). Just need you to say all that TO ME now, Rafa.

    Lucky Jake. Tho I think I’d model myself on Rafa WAYYYY better.

    And he’d be safest with me in his hands.

    All this deprivation is making me uber-lecherous *leer*