Showing posts with label Nadal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nadal. Show all posts


What a week it has been for sports fans…

First up: Rafael Nadal who progressed to the third round in Wimbledon 2014 defeated Lukas Rosol after being nearly down by two sets and today again he won the match after being first set down!

Second up: The underdogs (Team USA) who no one (except Jurgen Klinsmann and his 23 players probably) gave even the slightest of the chance to win a match, leave apart advanced through the next round in the group of death in World Cup ’2014.

Third Up: – Roger Federer who will be turning 33 next month, played a sublime match to advance to the next round in Wimbledon’2014.

If you are a sports fan like me, you have to be pumped up after seeing what we saw this week in the world of sports.

In all the 3 matches, the one common theme that came out was how every result depended on the willpower and belief of the players.

If you watched the match between Rafael Nadal and Lukas Rosol, you have got to wonder how can a player time again and again, come up from being a set down and still win the match. Nadal was not only a set down, he also faced a set point in the second set. But as it always happens, it is Nadal we are talking about here – the man whose nerves are made of steel. He faced the point, won it and then went on to win the set. Very common, right? But when his opponent faces a set point, he succumbs and loses the match.

What is it about Nadal that makes him so tough to beat? The answer lies in the statement that he made after the match: I was just trying to fight. I was waiting for my moment, trying to find my moment.”

For a moment let’s understand his statement very carefully:

“I was just trying to fight” – To me it shows how Rafael Nadal plays point by point and does not get overwhelmed by the situation. To him, it is very clear, he has to fight every single point that he plays. He doesn’t believe in giving gifts to his opponents by making an unforced error and makes sure that the opponent wins by their own brilliance.

Lesson 1: Fight for every point in life or match. No matter what situation you are, give your best without worrying about the consequences. 

“I was waiting for my moment, trying to find my moment.” -  Lukas Rosol was playing brilliantly until the end of the second set and he would have continued to play like this if Nadal would not have persevered on in the second set in spite of being a break down. Like Nadal said, he was waiting for the moment when he would have an advantage and to me that is a clear sign of a winner. As soon he got his first set point at 7-6 in second set tiebreaker, he pounced upon it and closed the set with the next point itself. We all know this isn’t the first time Nadal has done this, we can all ask Roger Federer about it... 

Lesson 2: There are going to be situations in matches or life when things will not go in your favor, hang on there and wait for your moments.  Believe it or not, after a certain point you will get a small window of opportunity and if you are alert, you will seize it and leave behind the chances of failure comfortably. 

About the USA match, I will just write one small paragraph (if you want to read in detail, you can click on this link : USA advances in the group of death beating all the odds- A very important lesson to be learnt from Jurgen Klinsmann and the US team! http://bit.ly/1m16hss). I am sure pretty much no one even imagined that USA will advance ahead of Portugal and Ghana in this group of death. Jurgen Klinsmann said after the match:

“Nobody gave them a chance but we took the chance”. The critics had completely ruled them out of having any chances at all of advancing and yet they progressed.

Lesson 3: No matter what the people say about your chances of success, they have no clue at all about the reality. The reality is only and only defined by YOU. If you think you can, you will. Shut the critics out from your life and focus on your goals, preparation and how you can move forward. 

As far as Roger Federer is concerned, I will be back in my next article after his third round match on Saturday to express, how as a sports fan, what can we learn from this champion? Remember in spite of his age, he continues to fight on against players younger than him by 5-10 years.

So in the end I will end with this statement:

“It doesn’t matter what others think about your chances of success as long as you believe in yourself. Give your 100 percent in every moment, fight it out and even if the going gets tough, hang in there to wait for your moment. When the moment comes, make sure you are ready to pounce upon it with full force.”
If you have any comments or suggestions, you can contact me at [email protected]

If not inspiring, then what?



What a week it has been for sports fans…

First up: Rafael Nadal who progressed to the third round in Wimbledon 2014 defeated Lukas Rosol after being nearly down by two sets and today again he won the match after being first set down!

Second up: The underdogs (Team USA) who no one (except Jurgen Klinsmann and his 23 players probably) gave even the slightest of the chance to win a match, leave apart advanced through the next round in the group of death in World Cup ’2014.

Third Up: – Roger Federer who will be turning 33 next month, played a sublime match to advance to the next round in Wimbledon’2014.

If you are a sports fan like me, you have to be pumped up after seeing what we saw this week in the world of sports.

In all the 3 matches, the one common theme that came out was how every result depended on the willpower and belief of the players.

If you watched the match between Rafael Nadal and Lukas Rosol, you have got to wonder how can a player time again and again, come up from being a set down and still win the match. Nadal was not only a set down, he also faced a set point in the second set. But as it always happens, it is Nadal we are talking about here – the man whose nerves are made of steel. He faced the point, won it and then went on to win the set. Very common, right? But when his opponent faces a set point, he succumbs and loses the match.

What is it about Nadal that makes him so tough to beat? The answer lies in the statement that he made after the match: I was just trying to fight. I was waiting for my moment, trying to find my moment.”

For a moment let’s understand his statement very carefully:

“I was just trying to fight” – To me it shows how Rafael Nadal plays point by point and does not get overwhelmed by the situation. To him, it is very clear, he has to fight every single point that he plays. He doesn’t believe in giving gifts to his opponents by making an unforced error and makes sure that the opponent wins by their own brilliance.

Lesson 1: Fight for every point in life or match. No matter what situation you are, give your best without worrying about the consequences. 

“I was waiting for my moment, trying to find my moment.” -  Lukas Rosol was playing brilliantly until the end of the second set and he would have continued to play like this if Nadal would not have persevered on in the second set in spite of being a break down. Like Nadal said, he was waiting for the moment when he would have an advantage and to me that is a clear sign of a winner. As soon he got his first set point at 7-6 in second set tiebreaker, he pounced upon it and closed the set with the next point itself. We all know this isn’t the first time Nadal has done this, we can all ask Roger Federer about it... 

Lesson 2: There are going to be situations in matches or life when things will not go in your favor, hang on there and wait for your moments.  Believe it or not, after a certain point you will get a small window of opportunity and if you are alert, you will seize it and leave behind the chances of failure comfortably. 

About the USA match, I will just write one small paragraph (if you want to read in detail, you can click on this link : USA advances in the group of death beating all the odds- A very important lesson to be learnt from Jurgen Klinsmann and the US team! http://bit.ly/1m16hss). I am sure pretty much no one even imagined that USA will advance ahead of Portugal and Ghana in this group of death. Jurgen Klinsmann said after the match:

“Nobody gave them a chance but we took the chance”. The critics had completely ruled them out of having any chances at all of advancing and yet they progressed.

Lesson 3: No matter what the people say about your chances of success, they have no clue at all about the reality. The reality is only and only defined by YOU. If you think you can, you will. Shut the critics out from your life and focus on your goals, preparation and how you can move forward. 

As far as Roger Federer is concerned, I will be back in my next article after his third round match on Saturday to express, how as a sports fan, what can we learn from this champion? Remember in spite of his age, he continues to fight on against players younger than him by 5-10 years.

So in the end I will end with this statement:

“It doesn’t matter what others think about your chances of success as long as you believe in yourself. Give your 100 percent in every moment, fight it out and even if the going gets tough, hang in there to wait for your moment. When the moment comes, make sure you are ready to pounce upon it with full force.”
If you have any comments or suggestions, you can contact me at [email protected]
Rafael Nadal took a contentious time out today for back injury at Australian Open Finals against Stan Wawarinka, only to be booed by the crowd as soon as he entered the arena. Was it a time delaying tactic or a genuine time out?

There has been a lot of talk going on about Rafael Nadal’s contentious time delaying tactics that are being employed by him during the matches to ruffle his opponents
.

Let’s look back at a few timeouts taken by Nadal during important matches:


1)   Finals at Monte-Carlo, 2008- Federer was leading 5-2 in the first set and Nadal calls for a timeout. When treatment was over, Nadal played brilliantly to defeat Federer. (This is of importance as Fed then lost French Open and then Wimbledon in the epic match to Nadal)

2)   Finals at Hamburg, 2008: A time break, which lasted for 6 minutes, was called by Nadal for thigh massage, just before Federer was going to serve for the set.  Obvious result: Federer lost his own serve and eventually the match.

3)   Wimbledon 2008: It is well known to the world about the time taken by Nadal/Djokovic between serves. In the epic final Nadal, on an average, took around 30 seconds (maximum went to around 50 seconds) between his serves against Federer who took on an average 20 seconds.(Rule was for 25 seconds)

4)   Wimbledon 2010: Against Philipp Petzschner, he called his trainer numerous times on the court. Nadal won, 6-4, 4-6, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-3. Petzschner said he did not notice a difference in Nadal’s movements before and after the timeouts.

5)   Wimbledon 2011: Nadal calls for a timeout at 6-6 in the first set and goes on to win the match against Del Potro.


After the match today, it was told that he felt back problems during the warm up before the match. Was this statement a strategy to calm the outside world down or was it actually an injury; only Nadal can tell. But one thing is for sure, we cannot undermine the determination of this player. Nadal's sportsmanship can be a question but his records are unbelievable and will go down as one of the greatest in tennis history.

What  do you think? 

Follow ApekshaHA on Twitter for Latest Updates: http://twitter.com/#!/ApekshaHA

If you have any questions, you can mail me at [email protected]

(Link to previous post - Try Again,Fail again. Fail better - Stan Wawarinka , The New Iron Man in Tennis)
Rafael Nadal's  Injury Timeouts-Strategy or Real?

Rafael Nadal's Injury Timeouts-Strategy or Real?

Rafael Nadal took a contentious time out today for back injury at Australian Open Finals against Stan Wawarinka, only to be booed by the crowd as soon as he entered the arena. Was it a time delaying tactic or a genuine time out?

There has been a lot of talk going on about Rafael Nadal’s contentious time delaying tactics that are being employed by him during the matches to ruffle his opponents
.

Let’s look back at a few timeouts taken by Nadal during important matches:


1)   Finals at Monte-Carlo, 2008- Federer was leading 5-2 in the first set and Nadal calls for a timeout. When treatment was over, Nadal played brilliantly to defeat Federer. (This is of importance as Fed then lost French Open and then Wimbledon in the epic match to Nadal)

2)   Finals at Hamburg, 2008: A time break, which lasted for 6 minutes, was called by Nadal for thigh massage, just before Federer was going to serve for the set.  Obvious result: Federer lost his own serve and eventually the match.

3)   Wimbledon 2008: It is well known to the world about the time taken by Nadal/Djokovic between serves. In the epic final Nadal, on an average, took around 30 seconds (maximum went to around 50 seconds) between his serves against Federer who took on an average 20 seconds.(Rule was for 25 seconds)

4)   Wimbledon 2010: Against Philipp Petzschner, he called his trainer numerous times on the court. Nadal won, 6-4, 4-6, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-3. Petzschner said he did not notice a difference in Nadal’s movements before and after the timeouts.

5)   Wimbledon 2011: Nadal calls for a timeout at 6-6 in the first set and goes on to win the match against Del Potro.


After the match today, it was told that he felt back problems during the warm up before the match. Was this statement a strategy to calm the outside world down or was it actually an injury; only Nadal can tell. But one thing is for sure, we cannot undermine the determination of this player. Nadal's sportsmanship can be a question but his records are unbelievable and will go down as one of the greatest in tennis history.

What  do you think? 

Follow ApekshaHA on Twitter for Latest Updates: http://twitter.com/#!/ApekshaHA

If you have any questions, you can mail me at [email protected]

(Link to previous post - Try Again,Fail again. Fail better - Stan Wawarinka , The New Iron Man in Tennis)


What do you do against a player who has defeated you 3 times in the GS since last year, who has taken away the World No.1 ranking from you, more than that who has owned you mentally?

You challenge him on your own turf daring him to do the unthinkable…You are ready for the challenge, you have put in hours and hours of work daily to improve your game,  you are ready for the moment, you are ready to reverse the table.. But can you?

Yes, because we are talking about the Wall here…the player who is mentally the toughest competitor out there…the player who is the greatest clay court player in the world….

 53-1, 5 sets dropped till date, 7 French Open titles…something not even the greatest players like Bjorg, Laver, Federer has been able to achieve… Ladies and Gentleman: That’s Rafael Nadal for you!

Rain Delays, heavier balls, nerves, nothing could stop this warrior who is also one of the nicest guys on the tour, to claim his 7th French Open title. When he first won his French Open in 05, no one had thought that this 19 year kid from Majorca would surpass the record of Bjorn Borg in a matter of just 8 years.

Both Nadal and Djokovic were running for a place in the history,  one trying to win his 7th French Open title trying to cement his status as the greatest clay court player, the other trying to be the  seventh player  to win a career grand slam.

The match was pretty interesting with Nadal coming out yesterday in ominous form and winning the first two sets comfortably. But then mother nature interrupted and Djokovic won 8 straight games (first time someone has ever been able to do that against Rafa on clay court and the only human element shown till now by Nadal on this surface).  And then again play was called off to be resumed the next day. And when it did, Nadal came out playing with the same intensity that he has always been known for.  It was just 10-15 minutes in the game and the question in everyone’s mind was: will Djokovic even be able to keep his own serve leave apart the thought of the next set?

The final scoreline was 6-4,6-3,2-6,7-5 with Djokovic committing a double fault on match point. To  be fair to Djokovic, he played good tennis but against Nadal on clay court, good, great are not enough. You have to be at an exceptionally high level to beat this guy on his own turf (which makes Soderling victory even more special). In the words of a commentator when Nadal won his 11th GS equaling Borg and Laver : "This is the best marriage one will ever see between a player and this court!"

Nadal once again proved to all of us that it is the human will which defines the realm of our goals. Things thought impossible are only so because of the limits of our imagination. I have always believed in this one line: If one man can do it so can you! But Nadal today has redefined it: If one man has done it, I can do even better!

And with Nadal winning today after what he went through last year:  Only one quote comes in my mind:

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved."



Lost Hope?

If you have any questions- You can mail me at [email protected]http://twitter.com/#!/ApekshaHA or http://on.fb.me/pouTOy 







The PhenomeNADAL Experience against Novak Djokovic!



What do you do against a player who has defeated you 3 times in the GS since last year, who has taken away the World No.1 ranking from you, more than that who has owned you mentally?

You challenge him on your own turf daring him to do the unthinkable…You are ready for the challenge, you have put in hours and hours of work daily to improve your game,  you are ready for the moment, you are ready to reverse the table.. But can you?

Yes, because we are talking about the Wall here…the player who is mentally the toughest competitor out there…the player who is the greatest clay court player in the world….

 53-1, 5 sets dropped till date, 7 French Open titles…something not even the greatest players like Bjorg, Laver, Federer has been able to achieve… Ladies and Gentleman: That’s Rafael Nadal for you!

Rain Delays, heavier balls, nerves, nothing could stop this warrior who is also one of the nicest guys on the tour, to claim his 7th French Open title. When he first won his French Open in 05, no one had thought that this 19 year kid from Majorca would surpass the record of Bjorn Borg in a matter of just 8 years.

Both Nadal and Djokovic were running for a place in the history,  one trying to win his 7th French Open title trying to cement his status as the greatest clay court player, the other trying to be the  seventh player  to win a career grand slam.

The match was pretty interesting with Nadal coming out yesterday in ominous form and winning the first two sets comfortably. But then mother nature interrupted and Djokovic won 8 straight games (first time someone has ever been able to do that against Rafa on clay court and the only human element shown till now by Nadal on this surface).  And then again play was called off to be resumed the next day. And when it did, Nadal came out playing with the same intensity that he has always been known for.  It was just 10-15 minutes in the game and the question in everyone’s mind was: will Djokovic even be able to keep his own serve leave apart the thought of the next set?

The final scoreline was 6-4,6-3,2-6,7-5 with Djokovic committing a double fault on match point. To  be fair to Djokovic, he played good tennis but against Nadal on clay court, good, great are not enough. You have to be at an exceptionally high level to beat this guy on his own turf (which makes Soderling victory even more special). In the words of a commentator when Nadal won his 11th GS equaling Borg and Laver : "This is the best marriage one will ever see between a player and this court!"

Nadal once again proved to all of us that it is the human will which defines the realm of our goals. Things thought impossible are only so because of the limits of our imagination. I have always believed in this one line: If one man can do it so can you! But Nadal today has redefined it: If one man has done it, I can do even better!

And with Nadal winning today after what he went through last year:  Only one quote comes in my mind:

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved."



Lost Hope?

If you have any questions- You can mail me at [email protected]comhttp://twitter.com/#!/ApekshaHA or http://on.fb.me/pouTOy 








Rafael Nadal Interview Transcript!
Q.  Two very small questions.  First, when you were sitting down, everybody was taking your photo.  You picked up the trophy, and you were looking at the names on the trophy, counting them.  Whose names were you looking at, yours or someone else’s?
RAFAEL NADAL:  No, I was looking at the winners.  No, no, no, no.  For me is very small, and I wasn’t counting.  I just go year by year.
Q.  Downstairs your Uncle Toni was telling us that he thinks that you are unlucky to be playing in this era of Djokovic, Federer, you.  Is that how you see it?  Do you think you’re unlucky to be in such a fabulous era for tennis?
RAFAEL NADAL:  I feel very lucky to achieve all what I achieved until today.  I have great rivals, but, you know, even if it’s good era of tennis, playing against fantastic players, no, I’m more than happy to enjoy matches like I had.  I enjoyed a lot the final of Australia, today.  I suffered, but I enjoyed.
A lot of important finals for me, a lot of important matches that I was able to enjoy against fantastic players like Novak, like Federer, like Andy.
For me, you can feel unlucky or lucky, both.

Q.  Congratulations, Rafa.  You had a hard two‑part final.  Since last night, how did you prepare technically, physically, morally?  Analyze the situation where you lost eight games in a row on clay, which is very unusual.  How did you handle it this morning?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Yeah, the conditions were really unusual, too.  No, the ball was heavier than ever.  At the end, the bounces start to be bad last half an hour of match yesterday.
In my opinion, the conditions were much more favorable for Novak than for me.  At the same time, I am playing against the best of the world, the best of the world with good conditions probably for him.  He played, in my opinion, fantastic that eight games in a row.
He didn’t have mistakes.  He return fantastically well, and he did probably everything very well in that part of the match.
That’s true that I lost meters behind the baseline.  I really felt that I wasn’t able to push him back like I did, especially at the beginning of the match and then for moments.
He was able to push me back almost all the time.  I felt that I was in a completely, you know, negative positions almost every time on that period of match.
So, for me, the last game was very important after eight games in a row, losing the last one and before the stop.  That game that put the 2‑1 on the score was very, very important.

Q.  Congratulations.  Were you happy that the match was stopped last night?  Was it easy for you to sleep last night?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Seriously, I was very nervous during all the night.  I was a little bit anxious to play what remain of the match.  But even if was clearly good thing for me, I stop the match yesterday, because with that conditions, well, seriously, the last couple of games, the conditions of the court was not the right ones to play a final of a Grand Slam, you know.  We had to stop.
Anyway, I felt that was a positive stop for me.  I really felt that the stop against David Ferrer in the semifinals with set and 4‑1 was not positive for me.  At the end was positive for me.  And the stop before that we come back to the court that with 6‑4, 5‑3, I felt that was not positive for me, too, neither.
That’s true.  The last stop was important for me, especially because the conditions of play was not the normal ones in this court.

Q.  Congratulations.  You’ve won this title seven times.  Can you talk about that?  Novak said you’re definitely the best male player to ever play on this surface.  Can you address that?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, thanks for the words, what Novak said.
I don’t know if I am the best or not.  I really ‑‑ I am not the right one to say that.  The only thing is I have probably one of the best results ever probably in this kind of surfaces, and for me is great.
For me is a real emotional day, win another time here.  Sure, the seventh is important because I am the player who has more today, but like I said yesterday:  that’s after.  For me, the important thing is win Roland Garros even if it’s the first, second, third, or seventh, no?  That’s what makes me very happy, very happy the way that I played today, because I played much more aggressive.
In my opinion, I started very well yesterday the first three games, played fantastic levels.  But later, after that, I felt that I didn’t play fantastic yesterday after that first games, no?
I felt that today this set I played better than yesterday.  My serve especially worked very well, and my forehand, my movements, were more aggressive.

Q.  You say that you enjoy winning every title, but the emotions, when you went up to be with your family in the player’s box, they seemed very strong this time, maybe even stronger than normal.  Was it not that way?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, was that way, sure.  Was important victory for me.  I really spend a really hard day since yesterday.  You know, I am playing this match since Friday afternoon, so is a long time preparing the match.  Yesterday with all the stops and today, I really felt tired and nervous before the match.
My feeling was I wasn’t ready for the match one hour ago, two hours ago, two hours before the match, and I felt ready to go on court three minutes before.  That’s the first moment since we stop the match yesterday ‑‑ the first moment that I really felt that I am here to play and I feel confident to try was three minutes before go on court, because for the rest of the time I was a little bit too nervous, more nervous than usual probably for the situation.

Q.  Djokovic lost with you making a double fault on match point in Rome.  Then double fault on break point at 3‑All.
RAFAEL NADAL:  In three of them.

Q.  Three of them.  And then one in first game of the second set and match point today.  Do you think something change in his attitude that last year when he was invincible it would never have happened, or do you face him like he’s a little bit more tense than he was, for instance, last year or not?  Do you have a feeling that he’s changed or not?
RAFAEL NADAL:  The things are like this, you know.  You cannot expect to save all the moments fantastic well.  You cannot expect to be in every tournament playing at your best and saving the important moments with fantastic shots.
Seriously, if I say something wrong about Novak probably gonna be a big mistake, because don’t forget that he won in Australia, he won in Miami, played semifinals in Indian Wells losing 7‑6 in the third, playing final in Monte‑Carlo and final in Rome and final here.
So his season has been great, and the double faults, that’s only coincidence, in my opinion.  Don’t forget that last year he saved unbelievable match in the semifinals of US Open.  This year he saved two unbelievable matches at semifinals of Australian Open and final of Australian Open.
In this tournament he saved two sets down against Seppi.  He saved four match points against Tsonga.  You cannot expect save all the time like this, playing great like he did in the match points against Tsonga.
He’s doing fantastic, but is impossible for anyone play every time perfect.

Q.  Last year this time you won here, and then you didn’t win another title.  Do you think your level is higher now than it was a year ago, and will you be able to carry it over to other surfaces especially with success this time against Novak?
RAFAEL NADAL:  I won four titles already this year in my favorite court.  That’s clay.  I don’t have that chance to play in my favorite court the rest of the season.  That’s the thing.  No, no, no.  That’s the calendar.  The calendar says we only have this period of time on clay, and I don’t have more chances to play on clay.
Don’t forget that I play the last five Grand Slam finals in a row.  That’s not a victory, that’s not a title, but that’s fantastic results.
I don’t remember last year, but after here I played ‑‑ I played very bad in probably Montreal/Cincinnati.  Yes, I played a great US Open, and I played probably bad in Shanghai and in the end of the season in the World Tour Finals, but in the Davis Cup final I played great another time.
You have to find your moments, like I said.  With Novak I say the same to me.  Is not possible to be perfect every time, be 100% in every tournament.  And I gonna try to keep having chances to win, produce chances to win.  I produced a lot of chances to win last year, but I lost almost every one.
Hopefully I will keep playing well, and I will keep having chances to win and try to win.

Q.  I’m from Germany, and the German fans are a bit worried you might not go to Halle now.  Can you say if you decided yet?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Yeah, I decided few months ago that tomorrow I will be there, and I will be practicing tomorrow afternoon there.  We play doubles on Wednesday and singles on Thursday if no one injury comes this night.  (Laughter.)
Q.        At the age you were last week, Bjørn Borg decided he didn’t want to play tennis anymore.  The way you feel right now, how many years do you think we have left of you?
RAFAEL NADAL:  I really don’t know how many more years I will be here playing.  Is impossible to predict the future, no?  I will be here until my physical respect me, until the injuries, you know, respect my chances to keep playing and until my mind stays with motivation, with passion for what I am doing.  Hopefully for a long time.  I don’t know.
That’s what I will try, and that’s my goal.  I work hard every day.  I wake up every day with enough motivation to go to practice and to keep improving.
When that change more days than usual, probably will be the time to say, Good‑bye, Guys, and see you in a lot of things.
That’s not the case today, I hope (laughter.)
Q.        You’re always very humble, but if I could ask you to brag a little bit, what would you point to as an explanation for why you have been so successful on clay, and particularly on here, so much better than everyone else?
RAFAEL NADAL:  In my opinion, not particularly here.  On clay, in general, yes, because I didn’t win more titles here than in Monte‑Carlo or Barcelona, won more than Rome, yes.
But in general, all the tournaments that I played on clay I had a good success the last eight years.  I don’t know.  I think I worked hard all my life.  I think my game naturally adapts very well to this surface.  My movements are probably the right ones to play here, and my natural shot probably is the right one to play on clay, the normal conditions, no?
So then probably my mental part probably on clay is one of the most important things, especially on clay, more than in the rest of the surfaces, because you have to run, you have to suffer sometimes, you have to play with more tactics, because you have more time to think, to do things.
Probably the reason is because I always was scared to lose.  That’s why I go on court every day against other opponent with the full respect, knowing that you can lose and you can win.
Then I think I was very focused for the last eight years, because winning as much as I did in this surface the last eight years is not because I played great every time.  Is impossible to play great every time.  Because when I played so‑so, I was there mentally.  The mental part was there 100%, so probably that’s why the reason.
THE MODERATOR:  Spanish questions, please.

Q.  Congratulations, Rafa.  So apart from this magic number, seven, after all these years when you were fighting hard, you managed to get the support from the crowd.  Did you learn French?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, I spent quite a lot of time in France, and I understand French very well when people speak it slowly.  And don’t forget that the French language is very close to Catalan language, so this is probably the reason why I tried.
Maybe I made a lot of mistakes, but I tried and people understood me, I think.  And the most important is that the crowd was great.  They supported me.  I want to thank the crowd, because it’s a fantastic feeling.  The crowd was really supporting me, and that’s also why I want to make efforts and speak French.

Q.  I’d like to know if you think that this final today was the most difficult final in the seven you played here because you were playing against No. 1, because the conditions were appalling, and because the match was stopped.
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, I had already played against the No. 1 on quite a few occasions, and Federer was No. 1 for several years.  So this is not the reason.
It was very difficult because ‑‑ well, I think we need to analyze this match a bit more and analyze all the others, but this was a very complex final except for the last two sets.
I had lost three Grand Slam finals in a row to him.  That’s why it was important for me to win, and this is why I was a bit more nervous and there was a lot of emotions.
But the result was important for me, just as important as my final against Federer in 2006 or against Puerta.  But when I played Puerta, I had three set points, which was not the case here.
In 2010 it was difficult, but I didn’t suffer too much.  I was quite focused.  Last year was a difficult match with a lot of emotion.  I had had a few losses before.  Actually, this year I had won three finals on clay before, which gave me a lot of self‑confidence.
Of course I have great respect for the No. 1 on the other side of the court, but as I say, these are great moments, and in an athlete’s career, you need and remember those moments.
I feel better than last year.  Things change.  We all have ups and downs, but at the end of the day we were very close during that final.

Q.  As compared to the previous years, what is the salient point from this final?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, from a tennis standpoint, be realistic.  In 2010 I had won the final without losing any set, as in 2008.
This year I played better than in 2010, and this year, all along the tournament, if you take everything into consideration, I qualified for the final without losing any set.  I just had a tiebreaker against Almagro.
As for the rest, I had won quite easily to David, Monaco, Almagro, and when you play that well, means that you’re in great shape.  That’s a fact.
Then, for the final, I was obviously a bit more nervous than usual.  I started playing very well in the beginning, 3‑Love, 30‑Love.  I made a mistake.  Then the set became more complicated.  Then my game was no longer as clean as it used to be.  I made a few mistakes.
I think the three first games yesterday were my best level, and today when we resumed, I was slightly more aggressive with my forehand and I moved well on the court.  I was more aggressive.
I don’t like talking about the tournament.  I like to talk about the clay season.  But I can’t deny that this was probably my best season on clay.  I won three tournaments, and I managed to make it to the final of the fourth tournament before I lost my first set.
So Rome, Monte‑Carlo.  You all know it’s not easy to achieve such result without losing one set.
So of course I’m very happy.

Q.  I wanted to ask you a question.  This awards ceremony in Paris is quite special with the National Anthem being played.  It’s quite special.  What do you feel?  You were probably feeling great emotions.  What came to your mind at that moment?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, as I said before, there was a lot of emotion.  There is always in such moments.  You don’t know if you will ever win another victory.  You don’t know if this year is going to be the last one.
I achieved it this year, but as time goes by, you give more value to those very precious moments.  When you play at a very high level with such beautiful seasons ‑‑ look at what happened last year, for instance.  I lost three Grand Slam finals in a row.  And you realize that you’re about to win, as in the US Open, and I felt I could win the match and I didn’t.
In Australia I was pleased with the tennis I played, yet I was a bit disappointed, as well, because I had the opportunity of winning.  I have four opportunities in a year, and you can’t expect to play your best tennis all the time.  And to win a Grand Slam, you have to play your best tennis.
There are very few opportunities, so you have to make the most.  If I had lost a fourth final, this would have been very difficult for me.  So I felt it really was worth it giving my best, given everything I have achieved since the beginning of the season or even since the beginning of my career.
When you lose, it’s because you don’t deserve the title.  So in my mind, this was the final I had to win.  This is why there was a lot of emotion.

Q.  I remember during the US Open when you said, I know what I have to do.  Now that you’ve won all those titles here in Paris, what kind of feelings do you have, or will you start feeling something in a few hours’ time?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Of course I’m very happy.  I want to think my Uncle Toni, my family, my friends, all the people who supported me.  After the US Open when I said, I know what I have to do to win, of course I know.  Now the question is:  Am I capable of doing that?  There is theory and there is what you do.  So I just wanted to give a bit of context to that sentence.
In Australia I was not in a very good shape, mentally speaking.  I could have won, but for mental reasons, as I had lost, I was probably not in the best mental status.  Now I’m here, I made it, I did everything I could to win this match.  For me, it’s great emotion.
Maybe at the beginning of the year you start thinking, okay, what’s the tournament I really want to win and I want to start playing in a very good shape?  Well, for me, it’s this one.
I also know that my season is going to be good moving on, because I’m in great shape, but I’m very pragmatic, and I need to prepare for the others.

Q.  Did you sleep well last night or did you see the match in your head or did you watch the soccer team?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Yes, I watched the soccer match in the locker room.  I didn’t see it when Italy scored a goal, but I didn’t want to watch my match nor read any articles or anything, so I looked at TV, the news a bit, and the football game.
Then I watched a series, and strangely enough, I had no movie to watch.  So I went to bed at midnight.  Then I looked at chapters of Sengoku and that was it, because I had no movies.  So I read a few chapters of my favorite comic book.  I read those three times, and I fell asleep.


courtesy: http://freedomtennis.wordpress.com/


Nadal's Press transcript after winning his 7th French Open title!

Nadal's Press transcript after winning his 7th French Open title!


Rafael Nadal Interview Transcript!
Q.  Two very small questions.  First, when you were sitting down, everybody was taking your photo.  You picked up the trophy, and you were looking at the names on the trophy, counting them.  Whose names were you looking at, yours or someone else’s?
RAFAEL NADAL:  No, I was looking at the winners.  No, no, no, no.  For me is very small, and I wasn’t counting.  I just go year by year.
Q.  Downstairs your Uncle Toni was telling us that he thinks that you are unlucky to be playing in this era of Djokovic, Federer, you.  Is that how you see it?  Do you think you’re unlucky to be in such a fabulous era for tennis?
RAFAEL NADAL:  I feel very lucky to achieve all what I achieved until today.  I have great rivals, but, you know, even if it’s good era of tennis, playing against fantastic players, no, I’m more than happy to enjoy matches like I had.  I enjoyed a lot the final of Australia, today.  I suffered, but I enjoyed.
A lot of important finals for me, a lot of important matches that I was able to enjoy against fantastic players like Novak, like Federer, like Andy.
For me, you can feel unlucky or lucky, both.

Q.  Congratulations, Rafa.  You had a hard two‑part final.  Since last night, how did you prepare technically, physically, morally?  Analyze the situation where you lost eight games in a row on clay, which is very unusual.  How did you handle it this morning?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Yeah, the conditions were really unusual, too.  No, the ball was heavier than ever.  At the end, the bounces start to be bad last half an hour of match yesterday.
In my opinion, the conditions were much more favorable for Novak than for me.  At the same time, I am playing against the best of the world, the best of the world with good conditions probably for him.  He played, in my opinion, fantastic that eight games in a row.
He didn’t have mistakes.  He return fantastically well, and he did probably everything very well in that part of the match.
That’s true that I lost meters behind the baseline.  I really felt that I wasn’t able to push him back like I did, especially at the beginning of the match and then for moments.
He was able to push me back almost all the time.  I felt that I was in a completely, you know, negative positions almost every time on that period of match.
So, for me, the last game was very important after eight games in a row, losing the last one and before the stop.  That game that put the 2‑1 on the score was very, very important.

Q.  Congratulations.  Were you happy that the match was stopped last night?  Was it easy for you to sleep last night?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Seriously, I was very nervous during all the night.  I was a little bit anxious to play what remain of the match.  But even if was clearly good thing for me, I stop the match yesterday, because with that conditions, well, seriously, the last couple of games, the conditions of the court was not the right ones to play a final of a Grand Slam, you know.  We had to stop.
Anyway, I felt that was a positive stop for me.  I really felt that the stop against David Ferrer in the semifinals with set and 4‑1 was not positive for me.  At the end was positive for me.  And the stop before that we come back to the court that with 6‑4, 5‑3, I felt that was not positive for me, too, neither.
That’s true.  The last stop was important for me, especially because the conditions of play was not the normal ones in this court.

Q.  Congratulations.  You’ve won this title seven times.  Can you talk about that?  Novak said you’re definitely the best male player to ever play on this surface.  Can you address that?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, thanks for the words, what Novak said.
I don’t know if I am the best or not.  I really ‑‑ I am not the right one to say that.  The only thing is I have probably one of the best results ever probably in this kind of surfaces, and for me is great.
For me is a real emotional day, win another time here.  Sure, the seventh is important because I am the player who has more today, but like I said yesterday:  that’s after.  For me, the important thing is win Roland Garros even if it’s the first, second, third, or seventh, no?  That’s what makes me very happy, very happy the way that I played today, because I played much more aggressive.
In my opinion, I started very well yesterday the first three games, played fantastic levels.  But later, after that, I felt that I didn’t play fantastic yesterday after that first games, no?
I felt that today this set I played better than yesterday.  My serve especially worked very well, and my forehand, my movements, were more aggressive.

Q.  You say that you enjoy winning every title, but the emotions, when you went up to be with your family in the player’s box, they seemed very strong this time, maybe even stronger than normal.  Was it not that way?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, was that way, sure.  Was important victory for me.  I really spend a really hard day since yesterday.  You know, I am playing this match since Friday afternoon, so is a long time preparing the match.  Yesterday with all the stops and today, I really felt tired and nervous before the match.
My feeling was I wasn’t ready for the match one hour ago, two hours ago, two hours before the match, and I felt ready to go on court three minutes before.  That’s the first moment since we stop the match yesterday ‑‑ the first moment that I really felt that I am here to play and I feel confident to try was three minutes before go on court, because for the rest of the time I was a little bit too nervous, more nervous than usual probably for the situation.

Q.  Djokovic lost with you making a double fault on match point in Rome.  Then double fault on break point at 3‑All.
RAFAEL NADAL:  In three of them.

Q.  Three of them.  And then one in first game of the second set and match point today.  Do you think something change in his attitude that last year when he was invincible it would never have happened, or do you face him like he’s a little bit more tense than he was, for instance, last year or not?  Do you have a feeling that he’s changed or not?
RAFAEL NADAL:  The things are like this, you know.  You cannot expect to save all the moments fantastic well.  You cannot expect to be in every tournament playing at your best and saving the important moments with fantastic shots.
Seriously, if I say something wrong about Novak probably gonna be a big mistake, because don’t forget that he won in Australia, he won in Miami, played semifinals in Indian Wells losing 7‑6 in the third, playing final in Monte‑Carlo and final in Rome and final here.
So his season has been great, and the double faults, that’s only coincidence, in my opinion.  Don’t forget that last year he saved unbelievable match in the semifinals of US Open.  This year he saved two unbelievable matches at semifinals of Australian Open and final of Australian Open.
In this tournament he saved two sets down against Seppi.  He saved four match points against Tsonga.  You cannot expect save all the time like this, playing great like he did in the match points against Tsonga.
He’s doing fantastic, but is impossible for anyone play every time perfect.

Q.  Last year this time you won here, and then you didn’t win another title.  Do you think your level is higher now than it was a year ago, and will you be able to carry it over to other surfaces especially with success this time against Novak?
RAFAEL NADAL:  I won four titles already this year in my favorite court.  That’s clay.  I don’t have that chance to play in my favorite court the rest of the season.  That’s the thing.  No, no, no.  That’s the calendar.  The calendar says we only have this period of time on clay, and I don’t have more chances to play on clay.
Don’t forget that I play the last five Grand Slam finals in a row.  That’s not a victory, that’s not a title, but that’s fantastic results.
I don’t remember last year, but after here I played ‑‑ I played very bad in probably Montreal/Cincinnati.  Yes, I played a great US Open, and I played probably bad in Shanghai and in the end of the season in the World Tour Finals, but in the Davis Cup final I played great another time.
You have to find your moments, like I said.  With Novak I say the same to me.  Is not possible to be perfect every time, be 100% in every tournament.  And I gonna try to keep having chances to win, produce chances to win.  I produced a lot of chances to win last year, but I lost almost every one.
Hopefully I will keep playing well, and I will keep having chances to win and try to win.

Q.  I’m from Germany, and the German fans are a bit worried you might not go to Halle now.  Can you say if you decided yet?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Yeah, I decided few months ago that tomorrow I will be there, and I will be practicing tomorrow afternoon there.  We play doubles on Wednesday and singles on Thursday if no one injury comes this night.  (Laughter.)
Q.        At the age you were last week, Bjørn Borg decided he didn’t want to play tennis anymore.  The way you feel right now, how many years do you think we have left of you?
RAFAEL NADAL:  I really don’t know how many more years I will be here playing.  Is impossible to predict the future, no?  I will be here until my physical respect me, until the injuries, you know, respect my chances to keep playing and until my mind stays with motivation, with passion for what I am doing.  Hopefully for a long time.  I don’t know.
That’s what I will try, and that’s my goal.  I work hard every day.  I wake up every day with enough motivation to go to practice and to keep improving.
When that change more days than usual, probably will be the time to say, Good‑bye, Guys, and see you in a lot of things.
That’s not the case today, I hope (laughter.)
Q.        You’re always very humble, but if I could ask you to brag a little bit, what would you point to as an explanation for why you have been so successful on clay, and particularly on here, so much better than everyone else?
RAFAEL NADAL:  In my opinion, not particularly here.  On clay, in general, yes, because I didn’t win more titles here than in Monte‑Carlo or Barcelona, won more than Rome, yes.
But in general, all the tournaments that I played on clay I had a good success the last eight years.  I don’t know.  I think I worked hard all my life.  I think my game naturally adapts very well to this surface.  My movements are probably the right ones to play here, and my natural shot probably is the right one to play on clay, the normal conditions, no?
So then probably my mental part probably on clay is one of the most important things, especially on clay, more than in the rest of the surfaces, because you have to run, you have to suffer sometimes, you have to play with more tactics, because you have more time to think, to do things.
Probably the reason is because I always was scared to lose.  That’s why I go on court every day against other opponent with the full respect, knowing that you can lose and you can win.
Then I think I was very focused for the last eight years, because winning as much as I did in this surface the last eight years is not because I played great every time.  Is impossible to play great every time.  Because when I played so‑so, I was there mentally.  The mental part was there 100%, so probably that’s why the reason.
THE MODERATOR:  Spanish questions, please.

Q.  Congratulations, Rafa.  So apart from this magic number, seven, after all these years when you were fighting hard, you managed to get the support from the crowd.  Did you learn French?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, I spent quite a lot of time in France, and I understand French very well when people speak it slowly.  And don’t forget that the French language is very close to Catalan language, so this is probably the reason why I tried.
Maybe I made a lot of mistakes, but I tried and people understood me, I think.  And the most important is that the crowd was great.  They supported me.  I want to thank the crowd, because it’s a fantastic feeling.  The crowd was really supporting me, and that’s also why I want to make efforts and speak French.

Q.  I’d like to know if you think that this final today was the most difficult final in the seven you played here because you were playing against No. 1, because the conditions were appalling, and because the match was stopped.
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, I had already played against the No. 1 on quite a few occasions, and Federer was No. 1 for several years.  So this is not the reason.
It was very difficult because ‑‑ well, I think we need to analyze this match a bit more and analyze all the others, but this was a very complex final except for the last two sets.
I had lost three Grand Slam finals in a row to him.  That’s why it was important for me to win, and this is why I was a bit more nervous and there was a lot of emotions.
But the result was important for me, just as important as my final against Federer in 2006 or against Puerta.  But when I played Puerta, I had three set points, which was not the case here.
In 2010 it was difficult, but I didn’t suffer too much.  I was quite focused.  Last year was a difficult match with a lot of emotion.  I had had a few losses before.  Actually, this year I had won three finals on clay before, which gave me a lot of self‑confidence.
Of course I have great respect for the No. 1 on the other side of the court, but as I say, these are great moments, and in an athlete’s career, you need and remember those moments.
I feel better than last year.  Things change.  We all have ups and downs, but at the end of the day we were very close during that final.

Q.  As compared to the previous years, what is the salient point from this final?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, from a tennis standpoint, be realistic.  In 2010 I had won the final without losing any set, as in 2008.
This year I played better than in 2010, and this year, all along the tournament, if you take everything into consideration, I qualified for the final without losing any set.  I just had a tiebreaker against Almagro.
As for the rest, I had won quite easily to David, Monaco, Almagro, and when you play that well, means that you’re in great shape.  That’s a fact.
Then, for the final, I was obviously a bit more nervous than usual.  I started playing very well in the beginning, 3‑Love, 30‑Love.  I made a mistake.  Then the set became more complicated.  Then my game was no longer as clean as it used to be.  I made a few mistakes.
I think the three first games yesterday were my best level, and today when we resumed, I was slightly more aggressive with my forehand and I moved well on the court.  I was more aggressive.
I don’t like talking about the tournament.  I like to talk about the clay season.  But I can’t deny that this was probably my best season on clay.  I won three tournaments, and I managed to make it to the final of the fourth tournament before I lost my first set.
So Rome, Monte‑Carlo.  You all know it’s not easy to achieve such result without losing one set.
So of course I’m very happy.

Q.  I wanted to ask you a question.  This awards ceremony in Paris is quite special with the National Anthem being played.  It’s quite special.  What do you feel?  You were probably feeling great emotions.  What came to your mind at that moment?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, as I said before, there was a lot of emotion.  There is always in such moments.  You don’t know if you will ever win another victory.  You don’t know if this year is going to be the last one.
I achieved it this year, but as time goes by, you give more value to those very precious moments.  When you play at a very high level with such beautiful seasons ‑‑ look at what happened last year, for instance.  I lost three Grand Slam finals in a row.  And you realize that you’re about to win, as in the US Open, and I felt I could win the match and I didn’t.
In Australia I was pleased with the tennis I played, yet I was a bit disappointed, as well, because I had the opportunity of winning.  I have four opportunities in a year, and you can’t expect to play your best tennis all the time.  And to win a Grand Slam, you have to play your best tennis.
There are very few opportunities, so you have to make the most.  If I had lost a fourth final, this would have been very difficult for me.  So I felt it really was worth it giving my best, given everything I have achieved since the beginning of the season or even since the beginning of my career.
When you lose, it’s because you don’t deserve the title.  So in my mind, this was the final I had to win.  This is why there was a lot of emotion.

Q.  I remember during the US Open when you said, I know what I have to do.  Now that you’ve won all those titles here in Paris, what kind of feelings do you have, or will you start feeling something in a few hours’ time?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Of course I’m very happy.  I want to think my Uncle Toni, my family, my friends, all the people who supported me.  After the US Open when I said, I know what I have to do to win, of course I know.  Now the question is:  Am I capable of doing that?  There is theory and there is what you do.  So I just wanted to give a bit of context to that sentence.
In Australia I was not in a very good shape, mentally speaking.  I could have won, but for mental reasons, as I had lost, I was probably not in the best mental status.  Now I’m here, I made it, I did everything I could to win this match.  For me, it’s great emotion.
Maybe at the beginning of the year you start thinking, okay, what’s the tournament I really want to win and I want to start playing in a very good shape?  Well, for me, it’s this one.
I also know that my season is going to be good moving on, because I’m in great shape, but I’m very pragmatic, and I need to prepare for the others.

Q.  Did you sleep well last night or did you see the match in your head or did you watch the soccer team?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Yes, I watched the soccer match in the locker room.  I didn’t see it when Italy scored a goal, but I didn’t want to watch my match nor read any articles or anything, so I looked at TV, the news a bit, and the football game.
Then I watched a series, and strangely enough, I had no movie to watch.  So I went to bed at midnight.  Then I looked at chapters of Sengoku and that was it, because I had no movies.  So I read a few chapters of my favorite comic book.  I read those three times, and I fell asleep.


courtesy: http://freedomtennis.wordpress.com/