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Old 02-07-2013, 01:14 PM   #9
Subventricular Zone
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 202

Here is the rest of it:

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
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