http://www.nadalnews.com/2009/09/15/pre-semi-final-interview/ Part I How do you feel: mind, body and limbs? The mind, better than ever, with maximum illusion [sic] after being off for a time. Physically, well. Apart from the abdominal, the knees have not been a problem since I’ve been back. And that is always important when one is coming from an injury like the one I’ve had. It gives you confidence. All the work done has been productive. What are you wearing to protect your abdomen? I’m wearing a cummerbund, but well… I have what I have. I rather not talk about injuries in the middle of a tournament. When I finish I’ll say what I have and the reasons for not going to the Davis Cup, much to my regret. Why don’t you want to talk about it? When you talk about it you think more about the injuries than about playing. Everyone have problems, and it seems mine are named too much. Sometimes you are playing and are afraid of asking for the trainer. If I’m going to play the next day with options of winning, I don’t want everybody knowing something is wrong with my abs. I understand your job, but you must understand mine, which is to be my possible best every day. It’s not positive that the next day the headlines say I have an abdominal tear. Gonzalez and Monfils have almost put in doubt your injury. It’s a normal reaction when you lose and you’re being told the other one is injured. I don’t want to say if I’m alright or not for that reason too, because is not nice for the rival. I’ve been two months out of competition, two months waiting at home and I’m back playing two Masters Series, not on clay at Bastad. My body is not ready to compete with the best 50 in the world. I’ve had this muscle overload that probably has become a tear. When you are playing at the US Open, naturally it’s not going to get smaller. If I feel I can try and compete the next day, I don’t want to talk about it. Today I felt better, but the other day with Gonzalez, before the suspension, I felt bad, serving at 96 miles. But sport is overcoming, not only playing when at your best, but to do what you can even knowing you are not going to win. It’s overcoming yourself, not only the rival. What did you do on such a long day as was Friday, without playing? I was in the players’ lounge, in the locker room, I watched, for a while, the games already played with Gonzalez, what I did better and worst. Did it remind you to your experience two years ago, at Wimbledon, with Soderling? No, that was much worst. Last year, right here, my match with Murray had to be suspended. Simply you have to be patience, to be calmed and trying to do everything in a normal way. Do you feel specially appreciated here? Truth is they always have been good to me. There are also many Latinos. It’s a different tournament than Wimbledon and Roland Garros. There is more show around. What do you think is the reason for such fascination? I’ve always been correct on the court. I’ve never had bad gestures to anyone. Maybe you remind them to Jimmy Connors because of your temperament? It’s different. Connors got pissed much more than me. I’ve only seen some of his points in the locker room. Sometimes I’ve been compared to him though. What things do you have time for here? I’ve seen the musical “Mamma Mia”, and the “Phantom of the opera” for sixth time. I’ve been cycling in Central Park, and another day in the Fifth Avenue. This year I’ve not been to Ground Zero, I’ll go back when they have the new project. In which way Del Potro is better than you, apart from his height? In the service too. In everything else, it depends of the day. If I play to my best level I have options of winning. I have to try to get him moving, to tire him, don’t let him play comfortable, I have to do different things. And see if the abdominal is alright so I can go to the match with guarantees and get much more than what I’ve gotten. Gasquet has thank you publicly for your support after being suspended for doping. There are not a lot of gestures of solidarity in the circuit. One should never forget this is a game. Winning at any price is useless for me. I’ve had only two problems with players in my life: one with Berdych in Madrid and one with Soderling in Wimbledon. Truth is with Berdych I went overboard and shouldn’t have said what I said, even though he didn’t behave like he should. That’s the past. We were even going to play doubles last year in Bangkok, but at the end I didn’t go. I’ve practiced with him many times and we have a good relationship. I cannot say the same about Soderling. I’ve tried to say hello, but he goes about his business and is the only one I have no relationship with in the circuit. I know Gasquet since I was 12. I spoke with him after what happened in Miami. He had been not playing well for a while and the pressure was overcoming him, I asked him what happened. He said: “I’m like you and would never in my life take that”. I’ve always believed in the players’ good faith. Nowadays whoever wants to go for you can break your career. How? Any way. You are in the locker room, someone puts something in your glass and leave you totally K.O. and it’s not your fault. That’s the reality. You have to be always alert and it’s not nice. Is it easy to be a role model? Yes, because I don’t consider myself a model. I always behave absolutely normal. What have you learn in all this time away from work and with difficult personal circumstances? I’ve always been strong and I know that there are moments in life when not everything goes well for you. When you are injured at one of the most important moments of the year, you feel really bad. When your parents get divorced, naturally is an important change in your life and it’s normal to feel bad. You have to accept that feeling and from there to be positive. At the end of the day life goes on, and luckily time fix everything. I cannot consider myself unfortunate in any way for being injured or my parents getting divorce. The reality is that I’m 23, I’ve been able to work doing what I like, playing tennis, my job is my hobby and, on top of that, I’m successful doing what I do. Simply for this I have to feel lucky. Growing up so fast maybe has help you to toughen up? Yes, maybe in the way that you learn to be alone, to live with yourself. How do you see the world from up there? People like you probably see the actual [economic] crisis like something far away. No, not that far. You have the money in the bank, an inversion somewhere. That it affects me in a different way, is possible. But if you don’t suffer, someone close to you does. At the end you always have friends without jobs, relatives suffering in their companies. You are not detached from life. Lot of people cannot pay their mortgages. And personally I’ve lost exhibitions to play, some tournaments have lowered their prizes, events that has been suspended. Of course it bothers me. I’ve talked to business people and they hope it will get better soon. It’s not nice to see the people around you having a hard time. All your closer relationships come from your childhood or adolescence, your girlfriend, friends, your uncle as your coach. Is it then when the most solid ties are build, when you still were not that important? I’m not very important, I can assure you. I have lots of friends since I’m a professional player, but I keep my all time group of friends since I was six years old, from the school, six, seven or eight friends I always go for dinner with around Mallorca, they are my lifelong friends, the ones I’m going to have always. Carlos Moya is a close friend, even if I’ve met him later in my life. It is to your credit, because you have not become arrogant. Don’t think so. I think it has more to do with the Mallorcan society. The fact of living in a small town like Manacor makes you have an easier relationship with your family and friends. When you are in a city, there is more stress to see a friend. Me, in five minutes walking can meet one of my friends. Everything is easier. In a couple of hours you can organize a dinner with your friends. This is much more difficult in a big city. You could have moved to other city or other country. I’m happy where I am, being Spanish and being Mallorcan. Every time I go back to Mallorca I’m happy. And you pay taxes in your country, something not very usual among tennis players. Well, every one do it as they can or as is better for them. I’m not the one that take care of those things. I suppose the people who does have considered the best thing is to keep paying the taxes here. Are you surprised about the relevance your uncle Toni has acquired?. In some way he has become almost a guru. He is a very critical person and always makes you keep your feet on the ground and offers you a point of view different to others’. He makes you think things more than once and restrain your impulses. He has always had something different, he says things different to what most people say.. I’m where I am thanks to him, and the fact that I’m who I am also makes people to expect more from him. He says you prefer a criticism to a praise. I’m quite demanding with myself, sometimes even more than him. From very young he has taken me down a peg many times, and that makes you think you are less than you really are.