CNN Interview – partial video and translation
Part of Rafa’s interview with Ana Pastor on CNN Español has been posted here:
A quote filled article about the interview is available here. Thanks to genny_ss, we have a translation:
“My big goal is to be in Australia, but I do not know when I will be able to return”
Sidelined since June due to an injury, “Rafa” Nadal gave an exclusive interview in which he announced how he plans his return, his dream of winning in Rio 2016, the Messi-Cristiano debate and the possibility of being #1 again in 2013,
June 29, 2012 has become the last day that Rafael Nadal stepped on a professional tennis court and, until today, he has not been able to return: it was in the second round at Wimbledon, losing to Lukas Rosol, number 100 in the world, when his knee said enough. Now he’s going through the days of recovery in search of his big goal: playing the Australia Open, which begins next January.
In an exclusive interview with CNN in Spanish, the world number 4 talked about his misfortunes due to injuries, the excitement to return, life without tennis, choosing between Messi and Cristiano and his main goal as a tennis player: giving his all to get to the Olympic appointment in Rio 2016.
o The injury
“I did not get injured in the last match: I already had problems and we were putting patches on the knee. Since I retired in the SF of Miami I have not been well. I’ve been able to play with better or worse days, at Roland Garros I had a hard time, so did in Wimbledon, where I played infiltrated and that was a mistake. Then the pre-Olympics time came, I tried, I was not feeling well and that’s what happened, I was putting patches until the knee said enough.”
o Retirement Rumors
“I never thought I would retire because of this injury. It is complicated when time goes by and it still bothers you and there is uncertainty about when you will heal, but that is one thing and a very different one is to think of retirement. At no time doctors have told me anything close to that.”
o The return
“I’ll be back when I feel OK and fully recovered.”
“It’s very difficult to stop when you are in competition because you’re in pain but you put temporary remedies and do everything possible to play the next day, but when you stop like I did, you think of being back when you feel the knee is really perfect”.
“I should start gradually, with a lower intensity than that required by a Masters or a Davis Cup. We have to see how everything evolves, and otherwise we will wait what is necessary.”
“The desire to return is huge but when one does not feel prepared, the desire is not the same. Right now I have no desire because I know the knee will hurt.”
“Hopefully we will get over this soon. This is an attitude in life, we can not complain every day for everything that happens to us. The world is not perfect and we can not expect it to be so because otherwise you’re obviously going to be bitter probably many times in your life, since perfection is hardly achieved in anything. I have to deal with the situation right now, which is not good for me, but is not bad either. You have to look at it in the most positive way possible. This break has been mentally tough for me because it was at a sweet moment in my career, with options to finish the year as world number one, but these things have to be accepted: every cloud has a silver lining, and who knows if this does not help me have a longer career, that is the goal. ”
o Days of treatment
“In the first nine weeks I could see no improvement and that’s what is really complicated. During the past few weeks it has been when the news have been really better. Slowly the tendon is regenerating, but it still bothers me. I’ve lost muscle tone, I have to recover it, but the priority is to remove the pain and then get ready to compete and withstand competition. ”
“I have had difficult times: for wanting to advance, I have receded a little.”
“I was disappointed not to be in the tournaments I wanted, so I prefer to go day by day.”
“I feel better every week, but it still bothers me. I’m following a very specific work day by day and we are in the stage closest to the recovery.”
o The Davis Cup final (16 to 18 November)
“I see difficult to be able to play it. I have been three or four months without training on court. I wanted to return for the London Games and the U.S. Open, but the results were not as positive as we expected.”
“I would be thrilled to be able to be [in DC], but first we have to see if I can get ready tennis and physically wise and if I were ready, it would be necessary to see if I’m the right choice because there is a very well prepared team for a very difficult competition, but that’s a decision that I would not take, but the captain would.”
o Australia and the great goal of his career
“My desire is to be in the Australian Open and be competitive.”
“Brazil 2016 is not a deadline, but a great goal. I was disappointed not to be in London, I hope that was not my last chance. I’ll work hard to get to Rio in a position to compete.”
o The top of the ranking
“It is not impossible to go back to number one. What is likely is that maybe I’ll become number 6, 7 or 8, depending on how I start the year because I have been for a long time without competing, therefore during the second six months of the season my points are zero, which means that I will have accumulated the amount of points that currently allow me to be number 4 during the five or six first months of the season, that’s where I can lose points. During the second half of the year I can only add: I can be number one, the fact that I have added no point in the last six months has no impact for me being able to finish as number one next year. Where it does affect is that it is impossible for me to be number one in the first six months, but being number one at the end of the year is possible. ”
o Do you change your schedule to take care of your body?
“Some things are pure logic: the most complicated courts to my knees, my feet, for all the joints are the hard courts. When I recover we will have to choose the schedule and priorities. It’s very complicated, if one wants to be in the first ranking positions, to stop playing on hard courts because 6 out of the 9 Masters 1000 are on cement, 2 out of the 4 Grand Slam are on cement… We will see, for me the priority is to have a long career: if it means having to go a little further down in the rankings but your career is longer… Although I’m not announcing anything, it may be an option. ”
o Will he change his aggressive style of play to avoid further injury?
“I’m not good enough to change my style. Those who follow me know that my style is very different today from when I started, but that is not because I have adapted my game due to my injuries, but it is the evolution of someone who is working every day to be better and more complete on every surface. ”
“If I play differently, it will be another Rafa Nadal in the results. You are the way you are and play the way you can, with your style. Changing my style of play is impossible, what I know how to do is what I do every day in a tennis court” .
o Life without tennis
“To lead a normal life I have no pain and that’s important because life has more important things than tennis. I am enjoying things I could not before, but my mind is focused in returning.”
“The only concern for me would be if I had no desire to return, but that is not my case. I think I have the motivation and desire, mine and of my tream, to get out of this situation. To get back to where I was before this break and where I hope to be in a few months. ”
o Messi or Cristiano?
“Messi is better than Cristiano for BarÁa and Cristiano is better than Messi for Real Madrid. We have to enjoy who probably are the best two players in the world and it is very fortunate that we have them in “La Liga”. I, as a Real Madrid fan, enjoy seeing Messi, even though he is not in my team, and being lucky enough to see him every weekend, as it must be for Barcelona fans with Cristiano, but obviously I’d like to have Messi in Madrid”.
o The crisis in Spain
“I do not think it’s the only country in the world or in Europe that is going through a bad time. Mainly we should not feel we are bad: it must serve to show that we can, we have people prepared enough to go out from it. Until recently we were considered an example, but you have to find the middle ground to be neither the best nor the worst.”
“The feeling of not knowing how you’re going to do to keep going forward is a terrible feeling, so it’s okay for people to express themselves. I think we should work hard every day, trying to get up every morning with a positive, non-negative or defeatist, attitude, not with so many complaints because with just complaining we will not succeed. Expressing ourselves yes, but not complaining. Seeking solutions to the problems we are having.”