Thursday, July 30, 2009

All About Rafa

Spain's tennis player Rafael Nadal plays golf during a charity tournament, on 18 July, 2009, in Llucmajor, on Mallorca Islands.

Spain's tennis player Rafael Nadal plays golf during a charity tournament, on 18 July, 2009, in Llucmajor, on Mallorca Islands.



Lorenzo Mila and Rosana Romero from TVE (the leading news channel in Spain) interviewed Rafa Nadal yesterday at his summer house in Porto Cristo.

During the show, Rafa spoke about his days away from the tennis courts, about his recovery, his return to the tennis circuit, but most importantly, how he is...

So how is Rafa Nadal?

“Good, the truth is that I feel good. But also, I have to wait and see how I continue to recover because I’ve only been back training for a week and a half and you always feel a bit better anemically. You start with lots of hope, but again, the real test would be to see how I go when I really push my knees and I think that is likely to happen in the upcoming days. So I hope it’s all good,” said Rafa.

What happened?

“What happened was that I was in a lot of pain for a while, when I came back from Miami and I was training in Manacor, I started to feel a strong pain, especially in my right knee. It was a different kind of pain [to what I’ve experienced before], so I took off the bandages in my knees,” he explained…”and everyone thought that it was because I felt great, but the problem was that it didn’t hurt there anymore, now it hurt in the superior end of the knee cap. And well, the bandages weren’t helping me at all and that’s when it all started to get worse, little by little.”

Rafa said that he should have rested after Rome to play at his best in Roland Garros, but he wanted to play the Masters Series Tournament in Madrid, which turned out to be a big mistake. At the same time, he admitted that he had “been playing almost every day with an anti-inflammatory and I had too much pain to play well at both tournaments that were important for me, Roland Garros and Wimbledon."

"I decided it was best to stop and recover," because "you lose the drive to go back to train and compete, because you are not with the same energy, little by little it destroys you," he explained.

According to Rafa, it is "knowing how to overcome difficult situations or face them with a positive mindset and learn to enjoy suffering," that has kept him going. "It is a virtue that I’ve always had, I like to suffer, I have learned to enjoy suffering and I believe that is what helps me."

At the same time, the support and love he has received from his fans and family has been the one highlight out of this painful experience. “Without doubt, the best memory in the last two months has been the support I have received from everyone. From my website, where they’ve sent me tons of messages. I have nothing but gratitude for their gesture”.

So what has Rafa been doing in the last two months?

"I have spent more hours on the couch these past two months than in the past four years", he confessed.

This time away from competition has also allowed Rafa to follow other aspects of the sport today, politically and economically, "I've been able to follow many things, to see how colleagues have won some very important things, such as Contador at the Tour of France, or Pau Gasol in the NBA when he won 'the ring'. Of course I'm interested in the [economic] crisis and also in politics, but I never like to talk about those things".

The four-time Roland Garros champion said that his "dream" is to return to the ATP for the August 9 start of the Montreal Masters Series event, "I would like to come back in Montreal in a week and a half. I [will] have to force the knees and just see how far I can go."

"My main objective is not to regain the number one ranking. My main goal is to be well and happy to be playing tennis," Rafa said.

"I’m mentally ready to return now!"

(Thanks, Savannah)


edma1022 said...

Hi, Craig. This is OT but ... what is "arugula" ??? (a form of beet?)

Pamela said...

I'll be happy when he returns and actually plays a winning match. I'm anxious but cautious about his game. He seems very reserved about things, guarded even. I'm a little worried.

Beth said...

I think he's just being smart and giving his body a full chance for recovery. He should be guarded. He needs to be. Let's see how Montreal goes.

Craig Hickman said...

Arugula is a spicy salad green often found in mesclun mixes.

Matt said...

Rafa looks simply divine no matter what sport he's playing! ;)

Katri said...

He does seems reserved yes. I wish he would say that his body is perfect... I'm not too worried though, anymore. By taking these necessary steps to recover his body
he shows everybody that he wants to have a long career.

Hoping the best for Montreal, but if he is not fully recovered I think he will skip it because surely US Open is his main goal now. I want him to win US! What a comeback that would be, winning 2 of 4 slams this year(and getting a career slam the same year Fed got his).

Also watching the video it strikes me that the X-force is still strong in Rafa...;-)