Rafa Nadal: ‘I knew Andy’s chance would come again’

Photo by REUTERS/Toby Melville

A rather unexpected blog entry from Rafa at The Times.

Rafa Nadal: ‘I knew Andy’s chance would come again’
by Rafa Nadal
Published at 12:00AM, July 7 2012; The Times

It is the late evening in Sardinia where I am having a small holiday and I have had a call saying that Andy Murray has reached the final of Wimbledon. I did not see the match, but I can only begin to imagine the emotions he must have been feeling.

For Andy this is an amazing achievement. It is the home tournament. To be in the final, to be playing against the best in history in Roger Federer, he has been fighting for this for a long time and now it has happened. I am very happy for him.

To be in so many Wimbledon semi-finals and not be in the final — I am sorry that it was me who beat him on the last couple of occasions — is disappointing for him, but I knew the chance would come again and that if it did come, he would take it.

For me, he has had a great career already, even without winning a final of a grand-slam, but this means so much more. This is the special one of the four major tournaments we have in our sport, especially for a player from Britain.

This is the best possible final for Wimbledon. They deserve it. I wish all the people there that it is a great occasion. I know what it is like to play Roger on the last day of a major championship. He is still here after years and years of competing and if he wins the tournament he will become the No 1 player in the world again. He deserves that, Andy deserves to win a grand-slam. It is going to be a special afternoon.

For me, 2008 against Roger is still an unforgettable memory. It is impossible to describe or to put into words how I felt that day but it was beautiful, I know that. It was my dream always to win Wimbledon and I am sure the same is true for Andy. All I know is that it will be a match that no one who sees it will forget. I don’t know if I will be watching or not, it depends on my schedule.

I am a little sad that it is not me who is playing. I had to cancel an exhibition I was due to play against Novak Djokovic in the Bernabéu stadium in Madrid next Sunday for my foundation because I am still having some problems with my knees.

I needed a couple of infiltrations after the French Open final and I was not at my best to play at Wimbledon. I am very sorry for that but I have to look after myself first.

I’ve had a good year so far, I believe. I won Monte Carlo for the eighth time, Barcelona for a seventh time, Rome for the sixth time and Roland Garros for a seventh time, so I cannot be too disappointed with that.

I want to find the best tennis levels of my career again and to do that I have to make sure that I rest properly. I am hoping, hoping that I will be all right to play in the Olympic Games.

90 Responses

  1. Allyn Sims says:

    As much as I’d like Rafa to return to No 1 or 2, he might want to take a page from Serena’s book. Don’t worry about your ranking, don’t worry about the draw, play the tournaments you want to play, take the penalties on the others, and take care of your body.

    • Julie says:

      Absolutely…and enjoy your passion for playing tennis.

      • Julie says:

        And, Rafa would be the first to tell all of us to accept the situation, whatever it is, and “we will see what is going on.” He is his own Zen master:)

    • faeaki says:

      Well said Allyn, thats how it is, anyway as long as you play well when and where it matters then the rankings kind of take care of themselves, but Rafa does like to [play matches to get match tight, get his confidence going, unlike Roger..

  2. Kevin says:

    I hope Murray puts that old 31-year-old arrogant Federer in his place! Can’t believe how Federer has belittled Murray in their last Grand Slam meeting (in Australia).

  3. Sam says:

    Had to comment on the Nadal “blog” from the Times.

    Maybe I’m just cynical but I have a different take on it. Not so long ago Nadal used to write a blog for the Times during all slams. The more usual sort about his routine during the tournament. Not long ago this was dropped and most of the Times coverage of tennis centers on Murray. As a tennis and Nadal fan I was particularly disappointed with the papers coverage of Nadals historic win at the French. It sort of lost interest once Murray was out.

    At the start of Wimbledon the Times had an article on Djokovic and his visit to Scotland. It was less about Djokovic himself and more about Djokovics diplomatic responses about how nice Murray is and how he will win a slam. When Nadal lost early not surprisingly this was presented as a great opportunity for Murray.

    And then this “blog”. Are we meant to believe Nadal volunteered his views? To me it is obviously Nadals usual very diplomatic answers to questions about Murray and the final. Read like that it is equally supportive of Federer. The paper chooses to present it as a sort of fan letter to Andy. Put on the front page and Nadal given as the “author”. On the same day the coverage of Federer’s win over Djokovic was limited to a snide piece on how arrogant he is. The reader is left with a very clear view on who they should be supporting in the final.

    Personally I don’t like to be manipulated in this way and don’t think it’s fair to use top players as bit part players in the Andy show.

    BTW love this site and often peek in for it’s excellent coverage.

    • miri says:

      While you are certainly entitled to your opinion, to my knowledge, The Times did not drop Rafa’s blog, it was his decision.

      • Sam says:

        Oh! Have to admit I don’t know why it was dropped but I was really commenting on it reappearing now when Nadal is out of the tournament and on holiday. A one off “blog” because that is how it is described from Nadal. Many are interpreting it as if it is Nadal saying he wants Murray to win the final. I don’t read it like that at all as it just reads like diplomatic responses to the usual questions. In fact I would be very shocked if Nadal did say he wanted Murray to beat Federer! That wouldn’t be diplomatic at all. Imagine if Federer said he wanted Murray to beat Nadal? It’s just that the paper is presenting it like that.

        • Cristina says:

          I would be surprised if Rafa didn’t want Andy to win. They’re close friends.

          I don’t think Rafa sounds optimistic about his health here…

  4. Claire says:

    I agree with Sam.I really can’t see anything in what he said that warrants the attention it’s been given. It’s an English newspaper (currently viewing Andy as British, but he may be back to being Scottish later today)trying to manipulate ‘news’ by making it. It’s only what Rafa, Roger and the PoD(and any other player that’s been asked) have been saying for years, regarding Andy. Add to them every former player that has ever been asked about Andy’s chances of winning a Slam event.They all say the same, to the same old questions. Can he win one? Will he win one? The questions aren’t new and neither are the answers.I, therefore, found the piece platitudinous and a thinly disguised work of propaganda to rally the British Isles around ‘their man’.Or, put another way,this wasn’t The Times of London looking to do a piece on Rafa,concerned with how he’s shaping-up, it was merely using him for it’s own ends. As both Sia and Sam have pointed out, he’s equally as glowing towards Roger and I would agree wholeheartedly with Rafa’s sentiments in the paragraph Sia highlighted.

  5. Fifi says:

    As a Scot, and supporting Andy more than usual, I agree the British press is being their normal biased self. On the other hand we don’t have much sporting success-especially in Scotland, so I can’t really blame them. Referring to the blog – apart from the medical update, Rafa has pretty much said it all before and so it is the Times using it as a story. I’m sure, of all people, Rafa knows how hard it is to beat Federer at Wimbledon and the blog suggested that too. Do I have much hope of Andy Murray winning? Not really though it would be great with the London Olympics weeks away. One good thing is I won’t be a bundle of nerves, which I would have been if Rafa had been in the final – wish I was a bundle of nerves …. Hope Rafa’s knees improve quickly!