Rafael Nadal: “For the moment I’m playing tennis. We’ll see for how long”

“Winning is what you play for,” Rafael Nadal told AFP in a telephone interview on Monday.

“In high-level competition, what counts is victory. That is a reality.

“And beyond the victory, there is an even greater personal satisfaction because at certain times I have had to make sacrifices to achieve the goal.”

Rafa was just 19 when he first won at Roland Garros and quickly established himself as the King of Clay by winning four French titles in a row.

“What has changed is age,” he laughs. “The only negative is that I am 15 years older.

“Everything else, the basic and important things in my life, have not changed much.

“I still live practically in the same place, with the same friends and the reality is that my way of life when I am out of tournaments has changed relatively little.”

– Coronavirus –

There is another negative, though, and that is the coronavirus pandemic which has killed over a million people since the outbreak emerged in China last December.

With tennis in lockdown for several months, Rafa struggled to keep his body and game in condition, prompting his decision to skip the rearranged US Open to focus on Roland Garros.

“After the confinement I didn’t feel great, I trained very little for many weeks,” he said.

“I couldn’t train in the way I wanted, especially for the first two months after the confinement.

“My body suffered a little from the whole lockdown. The reality is that for bodies like mine with a lot of kilometres on the clock, a drastic stop makes the return to normal work much more complicated.

“In my case, the body responded badly for a few months and little by little things started to sort themselves out. They were tough weeks.”

Rafa admits that he watched with “sadness” as the virus unfolded across the world.

“I am a sensitive person and when I see so much suffering, so many deaths, so many people having a bad time… I had a bad time,” he said.

“At one point I stopped watching the news because it made me so sad it wasn’t healthy. I live with worry and now it seems that things are getting worse again.

“I hope this nightmare will be over as soon as possible and that people can go back to living in a more pleasant and happier world.”

As for what Rafa will be doing in another 15 years time, the Spaniard is loathe to commit.

“I am not into making such long-term plans. But I have a lot to do, with my foundation, the academy and other things that are about to start.

“For the moment I’m playing tennis… we’ll see for how long.”

Source: AFP

134 comments

  1. Mimi, mine @ 1:51am and yours @ 6:05am on Oct. 25;

    I was referring to FAA’s loss to Diego. I didn’t realize FAA had lost to AZ.

    Yes, the media are reporting on FAA’s excellent progress during this truncated 2020 season. I believe he was out on injuries during 2019.

    • Margo, I knew you were referring to yesterday’s match. Alex will try to win Cologne Double today, but I hope Diego will stop him.

      • Mimi, 👍

        GO DIEGO, GO!

        I don’t know how he can keep going like this. Tomorrow starts the main draw for Vienna.

      • Margo, Alex was too good today! Congratulations to The King of Cologne 👏 I hope Diego stays fit and strong as he is in ND’s section. Hopefully he won’t play his first Vienna match until Wednesday, so he can catch his breath 😅

  2. Good luck to Rafa today at the Balearic Golf Championship in Mallorca.

    You know when some golfers sway their hips from side-to-side before teeing of? Well, Twitter has a clip of Rafa doing just that and, it’s a fun sight to behold. Adorable!

    • Margo, after I read your post, I couldn’t find the clip you mentioned, but saw some photos and a video clip 🤩😍

      Alex vs Diego tomorrow

      Good luck to Rafa and Diego🍀❤️

      • I didn’t mention Diego because I know you are an FAA fan and he didn’t make it.

        Worried about Diego because he has dropped two sets on his way to the final. I think he is tired but he still has Vienna, Paris and possibly London. I hope his leg is not giving him trouble.

        Rafa was doing good today until his ball landed in water so he lost points.

      • Thanks Margo🙏

        FAA already lost to Alex last Sunday, maybe it is better Alex vs Diego this time? Wish FAA the best of luck winning his first title soon after losing all six ☹️

        I think Diego is okay, good luck to him against Alex🍀 Alex also dropped two sets this week, and he has played two weeks in a row.

        The best to Rafa the rest of the tournament!❤️

  3. According to the RolexShMasters Twitter account, Roger plans to play the Australian Open.
    A Fedal final?

    “RolexShMasters
    @SH_RolexMasters
    ·
    19h
    It’s great to hear
    @rogerfederer is on track with his recovery. He says he’s training with no pain and is expecting to play the Australian Open in January.”

  4. Mimi, yours @ 4:19am Oct. 22

    Hmmm, your husband is “a normal Fed fan” …. reports are that a few of Rafa’s Slam trophies were located in Switzerland after Mr. Mimi visited the academy AND Fed does own a plane. I told Interpol my lips are sealed.

    Awaiting detailed news update. 😂

  5. “You might think that after the millions and millions of balls I’ve hit, I’d have the basic shots of tennis sown up, that reliably hitting a true, smooth, clean shot would be a piece of cake. But it isn’t. Not just because every day you wake up feeling differently, but because every shot is different; every single one. From the moment the ball is in motion, it comes at you at an infinite number of angles and speeds; with more topspin, or backspin, or flatter, or higher. The differences might be minute, microscopic, but so are the variations your body makes — shoulders, elbow, hips, wrists, ankles, knees — in every shot. And, there are so many other factors — the weather, the surface, the rival. No ball arrives the same as another; no shot is identical. So every time you line up to hit a shot, you have to make a split-second judgment as to the trajectory and speed of the ball and then make a split-second decision as to how, how hard, and where you must try and hit the shot back…Tennis is, more than most sports, a sport of the MIND.” Rafael Nadal

    [Source: @SportPsychDunc on Twitter]

    • The title of the Tweet is:

      “A great quote from @Rafael Nadal which speaks to the importance of variability in practice.” Duncan Simpson, Ph.D.

      • Yes, a wonderful Rafa quote. It explains perfectly just how technical and intricate the art of ball striking in tennis is.

    • By reading the post, I was thinking the person who talks like this is a passionate before I saw the signature.

  6. Mimi, again no link near your response @ 10:30pm Oct. 21.

    I don’t think that’s a good idea. When the lights go out the more prestigious trophies may not appreciate being so close to the lesser trophies and may start WW111.😂😂 BUT, if they follow Rafa’s example, there will be peace because they all count.

    Rafa doesn’t boast or brag; never has as far as I know so I cannot imagine how proud must be inside his heart knowing what he has achieved against all odds. An athlete of athletes.

      • Credit goes to you Mimi. When you suggested to your husband that Rafa could move the trophies closer to each other I simply participated in anthropomorphism; I gave the trophies human traits.

  7. “Rafael Nadal blitzes Djokovic to win Roland Garros 2020, tie Federer’s Grand Slam.

    The 34-year-old has now won at least one major in each of the last four years, and in 14 of the last 16 years.

    Nadal’s 20 major titles came in just 60 appearances. By comparison, Federer won his 20th major—at the 2018 Australian Open—in his 72nd attempt; the Swiss, who missed the 2020 US Open and French Open through injury, has now competed in 79 Slams. Djokovic won his 17 Slams in what is now 62 career appearances, with his latest coming at the 2020 Australian Open.

    [Thus far] Nadal became the only one to defeat Djokovic in a completed match in the 2020 season.

    Nadal’s 20 major titles came in just 60 appearances. By comparison, Federer won his 20th major—at the 2018 Australian Open—in his 72nd attempt; the Swiss, who missed the 2020 US Open and French Open through injury, has now competed in 79 Slams. Djokovic won his 17 Slams in what is now 62 career appearances, with his latest coming at the 2020 Australian Open.

    Nadal is 24-16 lifetime against Federer, while Djokovic has a 27-23 lifetime edge over the Swiss.

    With Nadal drawing level with Federer’s all-time major mark, the race for singular status—and title No. 21—is on.”
    [Source: Email received from USOPEN.org]

    Interesting comparisons.
    I knew Rafa was ahead in wins vs Federer but didn’t realize it was that many. ND is 2 over Rafa. I hope Rafa can triple that 2.

  8. Pauline re your @ 7:53pm [no link]

    It would be something for sure but sadly Andy is out again injured. He is still having post-op pain and problems. I hope he doesn’t damage the work his doctors did on his hip because it could lead to major complications and further surgery. Wishing him the best.

    • Yes so unfortunate for Andy. He is vowing to return soon and hasn’t ruled out accepting a wildcard into Paris. Still holding out hope that we can see him play Rafa again before all is said and done.

  9. The latest news on the Paris Masters is that the government is allowing them to have 1,000 fans daily but only for daytime matches as there is an early evening curfew in the City. Fans will only be allowed in the main stadium and not on exterior courts.

    The players will be staying in the same hotel as for R.G.

  10. I’m looking forward to seeing Rafa play at the ATP Finals. As it’s the last time that the tournament will be held in London, it’ll be great to see him round off the year there.

  11. Rafa’s award as explained by Montero.
    He
    “He has 20 Grand Slams, he won a gold medal at the Olympics both individually and in the doubles, he is a five-time Davis Cup champion, thirteen-time Roland Garros winner and we are honoured to give him this distinction, not only for his sporting achievements, but also for embodying the values we want to pass on to our young people,” said government spokesperson María Jesús Montero.
    [Source: SUR English]

    • Wow!!! Thanks for posting this Margo….

      Sometimes I marvel at the information that many of the Rafa fans post on this site because of their interest and love for Rafa as an athlete and as a man… It’s very special as you bring us closer to him, whether it’s about his schedule and his tennis or any personal info about the man and his family etc that has leaked out to the press (as we know he is Mr. Private for sure)

      This honor is huge…. Perhaps similar to the English “Knighting” that Sir Elton John has…

      It’s certainly deserved, as his achievements both in the sport of Tennis are beyond huge at the age of 34, coupled with who he is as a man, and what he stands for in life which includes his Foundation and all that comes with that.

      Congratulations Rafael…. A tremendous honor for a tremendous man….

      • You’re welcome Marileena. I have to confess I stumbled upon it as I was hoping to find more info on his schedule from the Spanish media. At first I thought it was fake news, but then I thought who could make up the name of the award [it’s a mouthful in Spanish] and now he’s Your Excellence.

        Yes indeed, I agree with you that it’s HUGE and wondered why the English language press wasn’t covering it. He is WORLD renowned as a sportsman. So yes, I am miffed.

        HIS EXCELLENCY RAFA NADAL ROCKS

      • Wonder if we will get to see Sir Andy Murray play against Sir Rafael Nadal. That would be history making wouldn’t it?

  12. The Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sports has awarded Rafa the highest award for sports, the Royal Order of the Great Cross for Merit and Sports.With this award comes the title of Your Excellency Sir Rafael Nadal Parera.
    [Source: 20Minutos]

    I am not sure I translated the title of the award correctly so any help would be appreciated.

    CONGRATULATIONS RAFA

  13. So glad Rafa has remained fit and healthy, with the energy to play at the Paris Masters. Hopefully, he’ll continue the momentum and get his teeth on another trophy.

  14. Hopefully it’s warmer in the indoor arenas than at RG. The cold temperature affected Rafa so badly that it appears he played the RG final with anaesthetic in both knees. I was sad to find out about that, but I guess if he’s practising again already, everything must be OK. I’d love him to win Bércy, after all it’s Paris, his second home!

    • jas_uk, I hope it was only temporary due to the weather in Paris. How anyone could play tennis, much less walk, with anesthetized knees is beyond me. Perhaps he used a topical instead of an injection?

  15. yes. I hope that rafa will be playing very well in Paris and also atp tour finals. I think its time rafa to start performing well indoor. He has proven himself on clay but he should start doing better indoor.

    Rafa has a terrible record when it comes to playing indoor. Only won two tournaments indoor in his career that is very bad.

  16. What happy news to wake up to. I was prepared to be missing him until the AO.

    At Paris, Rafa could gain 640 points if his transition from clay goes smoothly. I am expecting him to stay healthy because he’s had such a lengthy absence from the courts.

    Has Roland-Garros released an unstoppable Rafa. I sure hope so.

    RAFA ROCKS

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