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Subventricular Zone 02-07-2013 12:32 PM

Nadal L'Equipe Interview: "I want to become like before"
 
Steve Tignor of Tennis.com tweeted this article that was published on L'Equipe. Here is the link to the translation:
http://tinyurl.com/ar4vqjm

Quote:


I want to become like before

LíEquipe, 7 February 2013
By Frťdťric BernŤs

So, there is a post-Lukas Rosol. But, we had to wait almost 8 months before Rafael Nadal could turn the page on that nightmare of a defeat in the second round of Wimbledon on the 28th of June 2012. Heís suffering from Hoffaís syndrome on his left knee, infiltrated since Roland Garros and it still hurts him today. But, according to the doctors, the healing is right around the corner, very close.

The idea for this interview in Chili was discussed and sealed with his PR agent during the Australian Open. When we arrived here, we were suddenly stopped. He was said to be stressed, worried, not wanting to open up and not very eager to have an interview before his first round. And since Monday morningÖring, ringÖthe telephone sounds. If we could meet in his hotel. Arriving there, we witness him undergoing a weird event organised by the sponsor of the tournament. A room, teenage music and whole collection of guests from reality tv shows. All in mini-skirts and revealing shirts, the jet-set of ViŮa del Mar has its time in the spotlights with Nadal. The women ask him questions he canít hear because of the music, cameras light up and then, it stops. Done. So, we go upstairs to his room with his press agent Benito Perez-Barbadillo and his manager Carlos Costa.

As usual, Nadal doesnít look at his watch. At the end of his last answer, after a 50-minute conversation, the tape recorder is stopped. But Nadal kept on talking. He went downstairs to the lobby to join his uncle Toni and his physio Rafael Maymo after which the discussion continues. Since two or three lolitas are still in the vicinity, he had to pose for more pictures. Which he did, calmly.

Q: Whatís the predominant feeling today? Relieved to have been able to put an end to the forced stop, joy to be able to play again, stressed out of fear of not going to do well or fear of still hurtingÖ?
Rafa: Fear? No. Stress, yes. Thatís normal. I feel relieved and joyful, thatís certain. In fact, the theme of the moment is patience. I need to take it step by step and accept that Iím not going to be at my maximum level right away. I havenít played in seven months. If Iím not humble, itís not going to work. Iím not afraid because I know in what state my knee is in. Since three weeks, all the tests I have undergone have shown perfect results. The truth is that my left knee is in fantastic shape compared with the other one (laughs). I know now that if I run, I wonít risk torn tendons. Thatís ďimportantissimeĒ. The doctors have promised me that. So, itís alright, no anxiety. Even if the tendon still gives me pain...

Q: Is that pain normal. Did the doctors warn you about it beforehand?
Rafa: Yes, they told me that it would disappear gradually. Normally, it should be gone by the end of February. I will regain my normal mobility on court. I just need to give my patellar tendon time to get used to intense efforts.

Q: How would you describe that pain?
Rafa: Itís a settled pain. I could feel it in the morning while getting up and in the afternoon while Iím eating or while hitting a backhand. My first two days in Chili were difficult: I was feeling a lot of pain and I didnít have one good training session. On Sunday and Monday, it went well. So, I was very pleased by that. I need to accept it. Before, I had pain 9 days out of 10, then 8 out of 10 and itís getting less and lessÖ.But, well, pain or not, the overwhelming feeling is the joy of being here, to train with the pros, to have a match, to play, to feel the competitionÖ

Q: You have never had to stop for such a long time. Starting again now must be more stressful than in 2006 when you had a foot injury which forced you to stop for three months.
Rafa: Honestly? No. Remember that my foot injury was bad. Doctors painted me a picture of the end of my career. With my knee, that was never the case. What was different is that in 2006, I was just starting out. Today, Iím still only 26 years old. I still have time and I want to continue playing for years. What both injuries have in common is that nobody found the formula to get rid of the pain.

Q: Being sidelined for nearly eight months, what was the toughest moment?
Rafa: The worst was when I realised that I could not compete in the Olympic Games. At the start, I thought that I would heal quickly. What was difficult is that my knee let go at the best moment of my career.

Q: The best? Youíve won more in 2008, 2009 or 2010Ö
Rafa: Yes, but in 2012, I really played better. The Australian Open final against Djokovic, even if I lost it, was great. I continued to win Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, Roland Garros. I exploded on court.

Q: If you had lost against Delbonis, would that have been bad?
Rafa: No.

Q: How about having high expectation? And ambitions?
Rafa: I havenít lost them. That, never! But here, the result is the least important of all things. Same with the ranking. If all goes well, my goals will change obviously within two months. I aim to be at 100% to attack in Monte Carlo and in the following events on clay. To lose here, pffft, thatís no problem. Seven months of rest, seven months of never being able to practice at full tilt: the logical thing would be for me to lose here. It would only be a drama if my knee would hurt too much.

Q: If those knee tests are perfect since four weeks, that means that even without that stomach virus in December, you wouldnít be ready to compete in the Australian Open.
Rafa: Thatís correct. The question was: can I win in Melbourne? The answer was no. I donít see myself going to a grand slam with that answer is no. Here, in ViŮa, it would not affect me as much as if I would have lost early in Melbourne.

Q: A lot of people are talking about your return as if youíre starting a second career. Is this correct?
Rafa: My career is already quite full as it is. I donít feel like beginning another one. (laughs). I will continue with this one if thatís alright with you (laughs). Iím still the same. I still feel passionate about the game. I still have the same demands with every shot I hit. Iím still as motivated as before to train. If my knee allows me to train for longer than three hours per day at full tilt and if I can run without thinking about my knee or the pain, why wouldnít I be able to do what I did before? The fact that I was playing excellently when I was forced to stop, is helping me right now. The memory (of those good sensations) is really fresh.

Q: With whatís happening with your knee, are we going to get back to the Nadal of before? Very strong on clay, capable of winning Wimbledon but in difficulty on hardcourts?
Rafa: Everything depends on the knee. If it holds up, I donít have the intention of changing my schedule by playing more on clay than before. Why? Because if you want to become the first, second or third in the world ranking, you have to play and win on hardcourts. Honestly, I think itís possible.

Q: If we tell you that you will win the US Open next year, do you think that this would be possible?
Rafa: I will tell you that I donít know. And Iím telling you that I didnít know it in 2010 before winning it. But if my knee is well, give me a reason to prevent me from believing in it. Just one. I spent the previous eight years being the world number one or two, so I dare to hope that I havenít forgotten how to play tennis within seven months. I donít want to appear arrogant but I just want to say think that I can go back to that level.

Q: And if we tell you that youíre going to win Roland Garros in four months, does that seem possible to you?
Rafa: Iím telling you that I donít know (laughs). Nobody knows. If I can play Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome the way I want it, I will have a chance. And I will try it.

Q: In Australia, Mats Wilander said that you wonít have enough time and that even if your name is Nadal, you will be an outsider in Paris this yearÖ
Rafa: Good. Alright. Weíll see. Itís true that I wonít be the favourite in Paris but I donít need to be in order to win.

Q: Agreed, but do you need this here in order to get back to the top 4 in order to prevent a quarter final against Djokovic, Federer or Murray?
Rafa: First of all, I still need to get to the quarter finals and given all the points that I have to defend in the coming months, it will be difficult from here to the end of May. After that, do I need it to win Roland Garros? No. I can get back to the level needed for the top 4 without being in the top 4. After all, whatís more difficult: to get back to the top 4 from now until Roland Garros or to win Roland Garros? In my opinion, the first is harder.

Q: After the recent finals in New York, Melbourne, some Ė among which Marian Vajda, the trainer of Djokovic Ė have said that this is the start of the Djokovic-Murray era. You have an ego. How does it take this?
Rafa: My ego is calm. (laughs). It doesnít bother me to hear that. Itís not wrong. Itís correct at the moment, isnít it? These are two superb players who have played the last two grand slam finals. It would imply and end to the Federer-Nadal rivalry one but who knows. Iím only one year older than Djokovic and Murray so perhaps now is not the time to bury me. Eight months ago, I was in an excellent position to become world number one again. Letís not forget to quickly. Now, I will try to nudge myself in that Djokovic-Murray era (smiles).





The Bawss 02-07-2013 12:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Subventricular Zone (Post 7198347)

I want to become like before

LíEquipe, 7 February 2013
By Frťdťric BernŤs

So, there is a post-Lukas Rosol. But, we had to wait almost 8 months before Rafael Nadal could turn the page on that nightmare of a defeat in the second round of Wimbledon on the 28th of June 2012. Heís suffering from Hoffaís syndrome on his left knee, infiltrated since Roland Garros and it still hurts him today. But, according to the doctors, the healing is right around the corner, very close.

The idea for this interview in Chili was discussed and sealed with his PR agent during the Australian Open. When we arrived here, we were suddenly stopped. He was said to be stressed, worried, not wanting to open up and not very eager to have an interview before his first round. And since Monday morningÖring, ringÖthe telephone sounds. If we could meet in his hotel. Arriving there, we witness him undergoing a weird event organised by the sponsor of the tournament. A room, teenage music and whole collection of guests from reality tv shows. All in mini-skirts and revealing shirts, the jet-set of ViŮa del Mar has its time in the spotlights with Nadal. The women ask him questions he canít hear because of the music, cameras light up and then, it stops. Done. So, we go upstairs to his room with his press agent Benito Perez-Barbadillo and his manager Carlos Costa.

As usual, Nadal doesnít look at his watch. At the end of his last answer, after a 50-minute conversation, the tape recorder is stopped. But Nadal kept on talking. He went downstairs to the lobby to join his uncle Toni and his physio Rafael Maymo after which the discussion continues. Since two or three lolitas are still in the vicinity, he had to pose for more pictures. Which he did, calmly.

Q: Whatís the predominant feeling today? Relieved to have been able to put an end to the forced stop, joy to be able to play again, stressed out of fear of not going to do well or fear of still hurtingÖ?
Rafa: Fear? No. Stress, yes. Thatís normal. I feel relieved and joyful, thatís certain. In fact, the theme of the moment is patience. I need to take it step by step and accept that Iím not going to be at my maximum level right away. I havenít played in seven months. If Iím not humble, itís not going to work. Iím not afraid because I know in what state my knee is in. Since three weeks, all the tests I have undergone have shown perfect results. The truth is that my left knee is in fantastic shape compared with the other one (laughs). I know now that if I run, I wonít risk torn tendons. Thatís ďimportantissimeĒ. The doctors have promised me that. So, itís alright, no anxiety. Even if the tendon still gives me pain...

Q: Is that pain normal. Did the doctors warn you about it beforehand?
Rafa: Yes, they told me that it would disappear gradually. Normally, it should be gone by the end of February. I will regain my normal mobility on court. I just need to give my patellar tendon time to get used to intense efforts.

Q: How would you describe that pain?
Rafa: Itís a settled pain. I could feel it in the morning while getting up and in the afternoon while Iím eating or while hitting a backhand. My first two days in Chili were difficult: I was feeling a lot of pain and I didnít have one good training session. On Sunday and Monday, it went well. So, I was very pleased by that. I need to accept it. Before, I had pain 9 days out of 10, then 8 out of 10 and itís getting less and lessÖ.But, well, pain or not, the overwhelming feeling is the joy of being here, to train with the pros, to have a match, to play, to feel the competitionÖ

Q: You have never had to stop for such a long time. Starting again now must be more stressful than in 2006 when you had a foot injury which forced you to stop for three months.
Rafa: Honestly? No. Remember that my foot injury was bad. Doctors painted me a picture of the end of my career. With my knee, that was never the case. What was different is that in 2006, I was just starting out. Today, Iím still only 26 years old. I still have time and I want to continue playing for years. What both injuries have in common is that nobody found the formula to get rid of the pain.

Q: Being sidelined for nearly eight months, what was the toughest moment?
Rafa: The worst was when I realised that I could not compete in the Olympic Games. At the start, I thought that I would heal quickly. What was difficult is that my knee let go at the best moment of my career.

Q: The best? Youíve won more in 2008, 2009 or 2010Ö
Rafa: Yes, but in 2012, I really played better. The Australian Open final against Djokovic, even if I lost it, was great. I continued to win Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, Roland Garros. I exploded on court.

Q: If you had lost against Delbonis, would that have been bad?
Rafa: No.

Q: How about having high expectation? And ambitions?
Rafa: I havenít lost them. That, never! But here, the result is the least important of all things. Same with the ranking. If all goes well, my goals will change obviously within two months. I aim to be at 100% to attack in Monte Carlo and in the following events on clay. To lose here, pffft, thatís no problem. Seven months of rest, seven months of never being able to practice at full tilt: the logical thing would be for me to lose here. It would only be a drama if my knee would hurt too much.

Q: If those knee tests are perfect since four weeks, that means that even without that stomach virus in December, you wouldnít be ready to compete in the Australian Open.
Rafa: Thatís correct. The question was: can I win in Melbourne? The answer was no. I donít see myself going to a grand slam with that answer is no. Here, in ViŮa, it would not affect me as much as if I would have lost early in Melbourne.

Q: A lot of people are talking about your return as if youíre starting a second career. Is this correct?
Rafa: My career is already quite full as it is. I donít feel like beginning another one. (laughs). I will continue with this one if thatís alright with you (laughs). Iím still the same. I still feel passionate about the game. I still have the same demands with every shot I hit. Iím still as motivated as before to train. If my knee allows me to train for longer than three hours per day at full tilt and if I can run without thinking about my knee or the pain, why wouldnít I be able to do what I did before? The fact that I was playing excellently when I was forced to stop, is helping me right now. The memory (of those good sensations) is really fresh.

Q: With whatís happening with your knee, are we going to get back to the Nadal of before? Very strong on clay, capable of winning Wimbledon but in difficulty on hardcourts?
Rafa: Everything depends on the knee. If it holds up, I donít have the intention of changing my schedule by playing more on clay than before. Why? Because if you want to become the first, second or third in the world ranking, you have to play and win on hardcourts. Honestly, I think itís possible.

Q: If we tell you that you will win the US Open next year, do you think that this would be possible?
Rafa: I will tell you that I donít know. And Iím telling you that I didnít know it in 2010 before winning it. But if my knee is well, give me a reason to prevent me from believing in it. Just one. I spent the previous eight years being the world number one or two, so I dare to hope that I havenít forgotten how to play tennis within seven months. I donít want to appear arrogant but I just want to say think that I can go back to that level.

Q: And if we tell you that youíre going to win Roland Garros in four months, does that seem possible to you?
Rafa: Iím telling you that I donít know (laughs). Nobody knows. If I can play Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome the way I want it, I will have a chance. And I will try it.

Q: In Australia, Mats Wilander said that you wonít have enough time and that even if your name is Nadal, you will be an outsider in Paris this yearÖ
Rafa: Good. Alright. Weíll see. Itís true that I wonít be the favourite in Paris but I donít need to be in order to win.

Q: Agreed, but do you need this here in order to get back to the top 4 in order to prevent a quarter final against Djokovic, Federer or Murray?
Rafa: First of all, I still need to get to the quarter finals and given all the points that I have to defend in the coming months, it will be difficult from here to the end of May. After that, do I need it to win Roland Garros? No. I can get back to the level needed for the top 4 without being in the top 4. After all, whatís more difficult: to get back to the top 4 from now until Roland Garros or to win Roland Garros? In my opinion, the first is harder.

Q: After the recent finals in New York, Melbourne, some Ė among which Marian Vajda, the trainer of Djokovic Ė have said that this is the start of the Djokovic-Murray era. You have an ego. How does it take this?
Rafa: My ego is calm. (laughs). It doesnít bother me to hear that. Itís not wrong. Itís correct at the moment, isnít it? These are two superb players who have played the last two grand slam finals. It would imply and end to the Federer-Nadal rivalry one but who knows. Iím only one year older than Djokovic and Murray so perhaps now is not the time to bury me. Eight months ago, I was in an excellent position to become world number one again. Letís not forget to quickly. Now, I will try to nudge myself in that Djokovic-Murray era (smiles).

SILENT BAN!

Clarky21 02-07-2013 12:38 PM

It's nice for Nadal to have a dream, but he's never going to get back to where he was before this latest injury. He's turning 27 this year which is getting up there for a tennis player. He's probably older in tennis years than Fed is, and Fed is 5 years older.

sureshs 02-07-2013 12:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Bawss (Post 7198354)
SILENT BAN!

No need to quote the whole post for this

sureshs 02-07-2013 12:42 PM

He is going to thrash Murray and Djokovic very soon

Cesc Fabregas 02-07-2013 12:48 PM

Great interview thanks for posting.

ivan_the_terrible 02-07-2013 12:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 7198364)
He is going to thrash Murray and Djokovic very soon

Did *** hijack your credentials or what? First the cutesy pics of Rafa, followed by some fanboy-type poasts, what gives?

DropShotArtist 02-07-2013 12:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 7198361)
No need to quote the whole post for this

Speak for yourself

Subventricular Zone 02-07-2013 01:14 PM

Here is the rest of it:

Quote:

Q: Did you watch the Australian Open?
Rafa: No, I didnít have access to Eurosport.

Q: Excuse me?
Rafa: Our satellite tv channels have changed in January so thatís why. Well, I did see images of it. What can I say about it? First of all, Djokovic has proven once again that heís a great competitor he is. Secondly, that heís a superb tennis player. And thirdly, that he is a player who doesnít get injured. Thatís lucky. He can do what he wants and it all works well for him. Give me two years without an injury andÖ.

Q: Have you undergone anti-doping tests during your time off?
Rafa: Nine. Three blood tests and six urine tests. Thatís a lot for somebody who is stuck at home without being able to play. The last two weeks, I was tested four times, two of which close together.

Q: At the end of the previous season, Murray and Federer regretted the fact that they had less doping tests in recent months, esp. out-of-competition tests. Do you agree?
Rafa: If they decide tomorrow that Iíll need to be tested weekly, thatís no problem at all. Great. Life is beautiful, perfect. I need to know that those Iím playing against are as clean as I am. So, if you say that more testing needs to be done, thatís easy. When you say a thing like that, everybody applauds and everybody would sign for it.

Q: Donít you think that the results of the doping tests need to be made public?
Rafa: That would be the best. Thatís the thing! If all tests would be made public, it would calm down the rumours surrounding the sport. Iím all for it.

Q: What do you think of the possibility of introducing a biological passport in tennis?
Rafa: I donít know what it is (laughs). Biological passport, the Puerto trial, thatís far from my world. Whatís happening right now in Spain in a court of law, is something that I donít understand. I donít understand why doctor Fuentes doesnít give names. I donít understand why the judge doesnít ask him to name them. That has disappointed meÖIt would be best if the doctor just tells them and those who are caught, suffer the consequences. I donít know why they donít go right down to the bottom of it all. We need to cleanse it properly. I have heard that this doctor has worked with foreign athletes but because the doctor is Spanish, the prejudice is mainly aimed at Spanish sports people. As a Spanish sports person, this affects me badly. Because of people like Armstrong, all our reputations are in doubt.

Q: Do you know that some people think that your 7-month absence is due to a silent doping ban?
Rafa: Yes and those rumours exist because those doping tests are not made public. The ITF needs to be transparent. Same with WADA. If not, it will continue and I will be forced to have to hear the stupid comments Christophe Rochus (*) utters without any evidence. Itís incredible to me that something like that gets published without any evidence. Give me evidence and Iíll be okay with it.

Q: The ITF says that the blood tests are too expensive and thatÖ
Rafa: (interrupts). You know what is costly? The bad image of the sport. Thatís what has a high price.

Q: ViŮa del Mar is your first tournament since the umpires were asked to be more strict with the 25 seconds of time between two points. This change could be called the ďNadal-DjokovicĒ change since you two are particularly slow and particularly targeted. Did you train in respecting that time?
Rafa: Iím slow, I recognise that. But for me, to apply those 25 seconds in all circumstances will affect the quality of the game. If you strictly apply 25 seconds, my US Open final in 2011, especially the third set, and the Australian Open final in 2012 would not have the same level. Itís impossible to keep on playing incredible points one after the other if you donít have time to take a breath. It happens that Iím slow after a normal point. When the umpires sanctions me then or gives me a warning, no problem. But if youíve just played a crazy point, no. Otherwise, what will happen after an enormous point is that your serve or the shot after that will miss the line by 3 meters. Thatís not tennis, that. They tell me that those changes are made for the tv public, but donít you think that those people watching tennis on tv would prefer beautiful points being disputed? No?

Frťdťric Bťrnes

(*) Mid-January, the Walloon who was the world number 38 in 2006 and now retired, has uttered suspicions on Belgian radio on the true reason behind the long absences of Rafael Nadal and Robin SŲderling, both sidelined for months, the first because of a knee injury and the second because of mono. About Nadal: ďHow can you be so strong in Roland Garros and a month later, supposedly, you canít play any more? Thatís what is suspicious, but there is no proof. It could be that he really is injured.Ē

MichaelNadal 02-07-2013 01:21 PM

Now this is what I want to hear from Rafa. Some drive and not negativity. Nice to hear. I especially like...

"But if my knee is well, give me a reason to prevent me from believing in it. Just one. I spent the previous eight years being the world number one or two, so I dare to hope that I haven’t forgotten how to play tennis within seven months. I don’t want to appear arrogant but I just want to say think that I can go back to that level."


The Bawss 02-07-2013 01:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 7198361)
No need to quote the whole post for this

Oh I'm sorry, maybe I should post a useless post to reply to your useless post saying my previous post was useless?

sureshs 02-07-2013 01:24 PM

Seems like the Rafa is enjoying with the women in revealing dresses as per the article

President 02-07-2013 01:25 PM

Nadal sounds a lot more confident about himself and his chances in Spanish than he does in English. He isn't nearly as dismissive of his ability and a lot more assertive in his native language.

Gonzo_style 02-07-2013 01:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 7198364)
He is going to thrash Murray and Djokovic very soon

In IW? Miami? :confused:

NatF 02-07-2013 01:26 PM

He sounds very positive. Good.

DropShotArtist 02-07-2013 01:35 PM

Q: The best? Youíve won more in 2008, 2009 or 2010Ö
Rafa: Yes, but in 2012, I really played better. The Australian Open final against Djokovic, even if I lost it, was great. I continued to win Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, Roland Garros. I exploded on court.


Nadal admits his level of play was better in 2011/2012 than 2008.

Clarky21 02-07-2013 01:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DropShotArtist (Post 7198468)
Q: The best? Youíve won more in 2008, 2009 or 2010Ö
Rafa: Yes, but in 2012, I really played better. The Australian Open final against Djokovic, even if I lost it, was great. I continued to win Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, Roland Garros. I exploded on court.


Nadal admits his level of play was better in 2011/2012 than 2008.

Yeah and Fed thinks he's better now than he was when he was losing 4 matches a year. It's just ego driven delusion.

NatF 02-07-2013 01:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DropShotArtist (Post 7198468)
Q: The best? Youíve won more in 2008, 2009 or 2010Ö
Rafa: Yes, but in 2012, I really played better. The Australian Open final against Djokovic, even if I lost it, was great. I continued to win Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, Roland Garros. I exploded on court.


Nadal admits his level of play was better in 2011/2012 than 2008.

Perhaps he just means on clay?

vernonbc 02-07-2013 01:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by President (Post 7198450)
Nadal sounds a lot more confident about himself and his chances in Spanish than he does in English. He isn't nearly as dismissive of his ability and a lot more assertive in his native language.

He always does. In Spanish he is very articulate and bright and philosophical and well spoken. It's unfortunate his image has taken a beating in the English language media because of his difficulties with what is his fourth language.

sureshs 02-07-2013 01:44 PM

He is the real classy guy


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