There are a lot of bad translations from some recent Rafa interviews. The worst one claims that Rafa said he will not be playing at the Australian Open. Per our helpful Spanish speakers, he did not say this at all. He plans to play, but, in his usual Rafa-way, played down his ability to win a tournament after not having played competitive tennis for so long.
Once again, @genny_ss has stayed up very late to do some hard work for us. First, a translation of this transcription of the Spanish parts of one interview. Here’s the audio files:
Nadal talked about everything: even about playing in South America
Tomeu Terrasa knows Rafael Nadal very well. Both are from Majorca and Manacor is an inescapable appointment point between this journalist, who follows him [Rafa] around the world, and his audience in “Ultima Hora ABC Radio”, inexhaustible source of first hand information.
It is not surprising then that this initial Monday in December Rafa has devoted a good part of his time and of his best answers to Tomeu.
The return, his idea of undergoing surgery, the opportunity to make it to South America and his obsession with being well for the European clay season in 2013 are part of the agenda.
This is a summary of his talk in Spanish, in an interview that also saw him answering in Majorcan.
Q. It is always a downside to return after six months, although perhaps it is a bit mitigated because your rivals come from one month off, as it is not the same as being back in the middle of the season with them already having a lot of match play, is it?
A. The Australia Open is not something I worry about, nor the South American tour or Miami. I worry about returning and doing it properly. I’m aware that whenever and wherever I return, I won’t be able to perform well and it will take me some time. I do not mind the initial results, obviously. For sure I would like to return soon enough to try to reach Montecarlo with 100% chances [to win]. The period from Monte Carlo to Roland Garros is very important for me and that I can say it openly. Regarding what I’ve said previously, I repeat: I’ve spent 8 years being at the Top-2, now, after being out for a long time, I’m not worried about which position I’ll go, be it the 4th, 5th, 8th, 28th or 1000th. I just want to be back ready to compete, train and prepare well. The first tournaments I’ll play will be a source of happiness for me because I will return to compete, as well as of hard work to regain as soon as possible the level that I had in the first six months of 2012. Things take a process of work, effort and that’s how I understand life. I wish it wasn’t so in this case, but the fact that achieving goals is so hard is part of the sport and of the beauty of life.
Q. Has surgery ever crossed your mind?
A. Yes. The chances were there. There was a possibility to undergo surgery but in the end it was decided not to because they [doctors] believed that this was the best and least risky way. Maybe it was a little more conservative and has taken me a longer time, but it’s been well spent. We made that decision and I’m happy. Now I can train thinking about a return date. Before, I was going to the gym and training was very hard without knowing when I would return.
Q. On several occasions you have been asked about the possibility of retirement. Was that possible?
A. I can understand why the question arises. When you have been a while without competing there can be speculations and all the people are entitled to their opinions. But it is not the case. This time the injury I have has not made anyone retire and the doctors made it clear to me. Recovery may take more or less time but it is not an injury that will cause me impediments to continue playing tennis in the future. A very different thing is the injury I had in the foot in 2005, then yes, it was really more complicated.
Q. There have also been speculations about your calendar for 2013. Even about your possible participation in Acapulco.
A. In fact, I’ve signed for Acapulco. I was supposed to play in Dubai [in 2013], let us be honest, but due to a series of personal circumstances, and feeling really sorry for Dubai where I’ve always been exceptionally well treated, we have decided to play in Acapulco. Since 2005, it has always been a tournament where I wanted to return, and although in 2013 I had all arranged with Dubai, it seems I will go to Acapulco and I’m happy with it, as it brings back unforgettable memories.
Q. Is there any other [change] confirmed?
A. Not for now, we’ll see. If I need to get rhythm, I could play in Chile, Brazil or Argentina.
Q. Is it that Nadal conforms to the calendar and not the calendar to Nadal?
A. I always say the same thing: I will play what my body and my matches require. A priori I may have a calendar, but if I play badly and lose matches, and instead of making semifinals or finals, I just play first or second rounds, what really counts or what really wears you down are not the [number of] tournaments you play but the [number of] matches you play. For example in football you know how many matches you have to play, in tennis you don’t know if you are going to play the next day or not. It depends on your results. In this case, depending on when I’m back, playing in South America is an option, yes, and in the end the process would be slower.
Q. Are you prepared for the possibility that the results could not go well when you return and that you could not be the center of attention?
A. I am grateful to all the people who have supported me during these last years. I’m happy for everything that has happened to me. If five or six years ago, I would have been told in 2012 you will have all this and you go home, I would have signed it without any doubt. If that happened and I stopped winning, if I became the 15th in the world, what would happen? Nothing, there are many ways of being the number 15 in the world. One is because you’re trying everything and however you do not get to another level, another is because you go for another kind of calendar where you don’t care so much about the ranking. But, whatever the way it is, you accept it and I believe that, with all that I have achieved during my whole career, whether I am the momentary center of attention or not, I feel loved by the people in every tournament where I go and I will go on playing while I am happy playing tennis and while I am competitive enough to enjoy. If winning or fighting to win Doha still gives me inner satisfaction, I will keep playing till my body endures. If that feeling disappears when fighting to win a tournament like Brazil for example, then I would stop playing. It’s something personal that, as of today, I can not say or think. My idea is to return, preparing myself thoroughly and, when being on tour, to continue working hard. Things can go well or badly, but I don’t think of that, I just plan to do all I have at hand to make things go well. In the past they have gone fine and I am a positive person.
Q. How have you experienced this year with many players, like Roddick, Fernando Gonzalez, Juan Carlos Ferrero…, who were a reference when you started to play and are retiring now?
A. It’s life. One day it will be our turn, another day that of Federer, Djokovic, Murray, David Ferrer. It is so. No one is forever.
Obviously in recent years we have had major losses. Among the last, the most important for me was that of Carlos Moya, then that of Ferrero this season. Juan Carlos was also another close person, one of the best players we have had in this country together with Carlos and other past players. Roddick has been the most significant and most surprising, but his decision is to start another life and he’s spent many years fighting. If he feels that he doesn’t have chances to win something that motivates him, or the motivation he finds is not enough as to continue to work as hard as needed to win a tournament, if the effort is not compensated by the results, then the decision will be to go to another activity. Life will not end with tennis anyway.
Q. You haven’t talked much about the Davis Cup, have you?
A. We lost, we did what we could. They were better than us, or better said, they won. They are not better or worse, they won and what we can do is to congratulate them.
Q. Does not it seem to you a little unusual that the Czech team has managed to win the Davis with just two players?
A. I think they have more. They are not only two players, but they decide that only two play and things have turned out well for them. Playing the 5th point, after playing two days in a row, could have gone badly for them. In part they were lucky that David Ferrer won rather easily the first day and Stepanek was not too much worn down.
Q. How is the relationship Rafa Nadal and Davis? You haven’t retired from Davis Cup, have you?
A. I already said last year that the following year it would be complicated because I wanted to try to do the same as in the first six months of 2012, that is, to focus on recovering my best level, since last year I went through moments where I had lost a little of energy and I believe I recovered it very well. In fact I said it would be difficult but I did not say I could not play. I was going to participate in the second tie, after Miami. What happened is that the knee began to bother me and I had to retire in the semifinals, otherwise I would have played.
If the captain counts on me and circunstances don’t hurt my knee too much, I’ll be happy to defend Spain, which has always been an amazing feeling. We have lived some moments in the Davis Cup that are hard to find in other competitions.
@genny_ss says that her Mallorcan is good enough to get the gist of the bits of the interview that were conducted in that language, but not enough to do a translation. She does provide this summary, however:
“The evolution of the recovery of the knee has been good in the last weeks and doctors are happy. We have to think of my career long term, 4-5 years from now and not rush my comeback as if my career was ending in six months or a year. So far, the feel on court is good, but I’m not doing practice sessions of 3 hours yet. We have to get there, but making sure that the knee can endure more and more work progressively.”
“This summer I’ve been able to do things that, during the rest of year, I can’t do with family & friends in Manacor.”
“I’d like to return in January, but I don’t expect to arrive and win the Australian Open. We have to be realistic.”
Rafa also did an interview for Onda Cero Radio. @genny_ss doesn’t know if she’s going to have time to translate that one. Here is a link to a summary and a video from the interview: Nadal: ‘Es improbable que pueda llegar al Abierto de Australia y ganar’ (mangle) – all that eyebrow raising? He’s talking about the doping procedures.
@abbey_tennis Saying that w/ WADA people being there, before going to pee, he must take his shirt up/off, pants down & make a 360 deg turn..
— Genny SS (@genny_ss) December 4, 2012
And a video where Rafa analyzes his recovery: Nadal analiza su recuperación en Onda Cero.