Rafa Roundup: “I miss being young”

Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images


What does he miss about the Rafa Nadal of 2005?

“I miss being young. The years have taken their toll, which I don’t like. I think I’ve always been pretty consistent, accepting every moment of my life and my career. There are times and moments that are for enjoying some things and having certain experiences and others for having others”.

“Nostalgia? No, honestly I’m happy with the great memories of the various stages of my career. Of course, in 2005 everything was new, it was a feeling of experiencing new sensations and emotions every week and now when you’ve been on tour for so many years, those feelings are different, you value it differently, although no less intensely. I’m not hugely nostalgic, I’m happy at this point to be doing what I do with my life. If I look back, all the things that have happened to me have been good and I am thankful for that. I think that my sporting career so far has been better than I could have dreamt and let’s hope I can keep enjoying what I do for as long as possible”.

“Barcelona was an important week for me,” Nadal said in a press conference on Sunday. “Without playing my best since the beginning, I was able to be passionate, to stay positive and to accept the challenge to try to win matches without playing my best. I was able to achieve another important title in my career. That’s important for my confidence. I really believe that winning these kinds of tournaments when you are not playing that well can then make a big difference for the next ones. I feel that that was a positive week. Now is another week and I hope to be ready.”

“Madrid is the most difficult event on clay for me, everybody knows that,” said Nadal. “But at the same time, it is one of the most emotional events for me, playing at home. We are going to have a chance to play with a crowd again so that means a lot to me. I am super happy to be back here.”

“I think he’s constantly improving his game,” Dominic Thiem told the press in Madrid when asked about Rafael Nadal.

“I first played in Buenos Aires in 2016, so over five years ago. Oh no, seven years at Roland Garros. I think since then he’s improved every part of his game. It’s also what you need to do to be successful each new year. That is why he is such a good role model.”

Nadal seemed to turn a corner in his clay preparation last week, but he’s never a lock in Madrid the way he is in other places at this time of year. Since the tournament moved to clay in 2009, he’s “only” won it four times. The last time he played it, in 2019, he lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semifinals. How will Rafa react to Djokovic’s absence? It seems to me like it may free him up to simply play his tennis and let the chips fall where they may. That’s usually a winning proposition for him on this surface.

On May 2, 2007, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, the two best players in the world, played a unique exhibition match in Mallorca, called the Battle of Surfaces. The court they played on was indeed split over two surfaces, one side of the net being clay while the other side was grass, as a reference to their rivalry in which the Spaniard prevailed on clay while the Swiss dominated on grass. Nadal eventually won 7-5, 4- 6, 7-6 (12-10).

PHOTOS: Monday practice photos



  1. The one thing Rafa hasn’t changed his mind about is the subject of his aging. Even at the tender age of 8 he was thinking about aging. The fact that he is playing less and carefully choosing which tournaments to play as he gets older may show that he is coming to terms with the inevitable.

    “I always wanted to be young,” Nadal said. “Even when I was 8 years old, I was not very happy to when I was, my birthday, to be 9. Still the same. I am 31, and I am not happy when my birthday going to be 32. I am happy being young, no? I don’t want to get older. For the moment, I didn’t find the way to stop that watch.”

  2. I just feel that RAFA should stretch and loosen up more before matches to stay loose and flexible .. Aside from that , Rafa rules and should win out the clay Court season .

  3. At age 85, I know that wisdom and true grit and determination fuel the body to do the deed. You are at the peak of your body and mind working well together. The mind will help you through as you take on the challenges. Be whole, be Rafa the mature player and thinker. It is truly who you are now. Vamos man.!!

  4. Rafa you can do it, you are the best!
    I miss my youth too,big time, and as a fellow Gemini who will turn 70 in a month, believe me I get it.
    You are still young!!!!

  5. Rafa, I miss my youth too but every stage of our lives are different and enjoyable. Rafa is still playing at a very high level and his personal life appears to be happy plus a fantastic support team.
    Every success and please don’t do too much as we want you fit , fresh and 100% in Paris. I got my tickets to day so Paris here I come. 🇪🇸🌟🍀

    • Wow I envy you! I was born in Paris so at times I get home sick. I reside in NY and unfortunately I am not financially set to make a trip there, at least for now.
      I have never seen Rafa live and that is a sad thing as he is one of my favorite athletes.

  6. Miss being young? Who doesn’t?😃you just keep fighting. Stay healthy and positive💪👍👏🤛🍀🎾❤️All the best.

      • Back to back victory playing at home will be sweet!🤗🍀🎾💪❤️

        Margo, Diego lost in singles and doubles already.😔

      • Yes Mimi, I saw that. Rub it in😬
        I am ready to strangle Diego for messing around. I thought he would try harder to stay within the top ten, at least. Maybe he’s going through a bad spell.

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