The friend of all
Thanks to Inés, we have a translation of Rafa’s words about Moya:
Now that Carlos has said goodbye to tennis, I feel emotion and sadness. I value him as a tennis player. He has been one of the greatest we’ve had, someone who brought something different: a boom of tennis in Spain since he reached the Australian Open final. Then, as a person, to me it is a sad day because having a friend nearby in tournaments and in the very long and tough swings, it helps tremendously. With Carlos I’ve always had an excellent relationship. All the moments we spent together are unforgettable. I’m grateful to him for everything he has done for me since I started the circuit at 15 or 16 years old, when I was a little one. I was a bit shy and he made me feel as one more. He helped me a lot in everything. Having a friend in moments of nervousness, complicated, to talk to someone with more experience than me, helped me a lot.
So it all started. I met Carlos when I was 12 years old, in Stuttgart. I was nervous, as it’s normal, because he was someone I admired, who I always saw on TV. The first contact with him I found it strange, complicated, as is normal for a children, for the young. Fortunately, Carlos is a very easy person, open, who makes you feel comfortable right away. The next day, though he had lost, he gave me the opportunity to train with him for an hour. With 12 years old! What an opportunity! It was really impressive to me.
What he has taught me? Talking, nothing. With his attitude, many things. I can talk about his attitude toward me, which is a good example. Having someone of Mallorca that is going up, that put himself at par of you, as it happened to him with me, to many people it would not be easy to accept. It would be normal for him to want to distance himself a bit. It happened just the opposite. He always supported me and stood by me in many difficult moments. His behaviour in tennis is not available to everyone. He shows it in all the friends he leaves in this sport. He will be remembered as one of the best persons in the circuit. He is a friend of all, on and off courts, he has had an excellent behaviour. I am lucky. For me, a partner is gone, but I keep the friend.
(Please do not reproduce this translation elsewhere without permission from Inés.)