Rafa Roundup: Nadal politely corrects Times journalist in press conference

AP Photo/Aaron Favila


“The first four days were terrible, I couldn’t move. I had awful joint pain,” he remembers in detail. “I was either on the sofa or in bed, unable to move. I had a high fever. That was the first four days. Then I was very tired for three days. Around the eighth day, as I have a bike at home, I started to do half an hour very lightly in order to start working. Then I had a negative [test] and I was able to train the odd day at home. I decided to leave for Australia because I understood that it was best for me mentally and in terms of my tennis.”

“I know that I’m coming from a very tough situation. I understand that expectations are always high, because of what I’ve done in my career, but my approach is a little different. I will try to make every day, every training session, count. At the moment, I don’t feel like a genuine contender for what might come in a week. Later, you never know. Things change quickly in sport. What I have to do is be prepared for what might happen. If things improve, I’ll be here. You know I will give everything to try and have a chance. That’s why I’m here. Right now, my only goal is to stay on my path, work hard during the week and see if I am ready when I get there.”

Rafael Nadal’s 7-6 (6), 6-3 victory over American Maxime Cressy in the final of the Melbourne Summer Set today brought him his 89th career ATP title, and extended his streak of winning at least one ATP title a year to 19 years in a row. But it also continued another impressive trend: Nadal has now won his last 9 finals in a row, as well as 14 of his last 15, and 20 of his last 22.

In addition to stretching his finals winning streak, Nadal also hit a pretty cool titles milestone after his victory in Melbourne—he now has a combined total of 100 career ATP titles, with 89 in singles and 11 in doubles. Among those 100 combined ATP titles are 20 Grand Slams (all singles), 39 Masters 1000s (36 singles and 3 doubles) and 2 Olympic gold medals (one singles and one doubles).

Social media related to Rafa:

Q. I just wanted to ask, you haven’t reached the semifinals at the Australian Open since you won the title in 2009. I just wondered if there’s anything you find difficult or challenging about the conditions compared to other Grand Slams. Also, do you think that this year it’s not normal for you to play a warmup tournament at Melbourne Park because that option hasn’t been there in the past. Do you think that will help you?

I am very sorry to tell you – I don’t want to – but I have been in the final of 2012, ’14, ’17, ’18. I got injured a couple of times here in my tennis career, so of course it’s been a great tournament for me, and of course I had a lot of challenges in terms of injuries in this event.

Sorry to correct you.

Rafa Nadal


  1. I have long recognized that Rafael Nadal is not only a great tennis player but also a person of wisdom, judgement and inspiration. The lengthy quote at the top of the page is evidence of that. Rafa not only speaks in terms of important things he also lives by what he says.

    Rafa says that he doesn’t feel like a contender, at least at present. Even we die hard Rafa fans must admit that he faces many obstacles. Not only has he been away from competitive tennis until very recently but hardly three weeks ago he was flat on his back with a high fever. Was it around Christmas time that he felt well enough to do thirty minutes on his bike? Even so he made his way to Australia. This is what Coach Moya means when he speaks of Rafa’s willpower.

    But beyond that is Rafa’s philosophy of sport and of life. Rafa says that he wants to make every day and every practice count. Rafa doesn’t know when he will feel like a contender again but he makes himself open and available for good things to happen. What a great statement of attitude and philosophy, an inspiration.

    I think good things are already happening. To me his serve against the American in his last match was much improved. Whether its at the AO or later I am confident Rafa will make it all the way back.

  2. Great to see Rafa biting another trophy! Yahoo!! Ooops, interviewer did not do his research…. we can blame it on covid brain. Rafa handled this situation with class and professionalism, as he always does. More reasons to adore Rafa!!

  3. Love your smile Rafa. And yes, I remember those 3/4 pants and loved them. You were too cute for words and did things your way. Still do.

    Best of luck at the AO.


  4. This is the definition of a true professional athelete. He respects the sport and the people that cover it and will with total respect call you out for an error. Rafa is a true gentleman!!!

  5. Nancina, you hit it! Tired or not, he was unprepared. No doubt everyone is mentally fatigued at this time, but it is just not good enough. Other athletes would have simply left.

  6. It was a bit daft. He’s been in four finals, two of which were absolute epics – still upsets me to think about how close he came in both of them. That’s a bit much to forget!

  7. It’s unforgivable for a journalist not to have the homework done pre the press conference. It’s a basic requirement of journalism. Where has this guy been? Rafa was so courteous and amused.
    Great to see Rafa back and happy on court. His victory in Melbourne was an asset. 🇪🇸⭐️👏

  8. Ahhh overachieving journalists. I bet WE fans could have done better with Rafa’s stats! Also, now that he’s got his Covid natural antibodies, he should be good to go if the vaccine doesn’t get his heart! Praying for Rafa daily

    • You are so right!…journalists are not what they used to be, especially now..with all the
      disinformation they are intentionaly spreading. I am so upset that Rafa took the
      clot shot!! I will be praying for him also,
      Vamos Rafa!

  9. Who looks better on court than Nadal in neon💪🥰He is a professional on court and off. Just totally inexcusable when journalists have not prepared thoroughly. Show some respect.

  10. That journalist who asked that stupid question about Rafa not reaching the SF of AO after his 2009 win really didn’t do his homework! It’s great to see Rafa correcting him, in a way telling him off!

    Well done Rafa, for all your achievements.

    • Let’s not be so cruel. Stuart even attended some of Rafa’s final matches Down Under and just like he tweeted he was perhaps too tired. Since Rafa didn’t take it too seriously, let’s do the same. 😀

      • It’s not being cruel to expect someone do their job properly!
        Besides, he probably got in free to
        see Rafa play because of his job.
        I’m so tired of people dancing around the truth as to not offend
        someone, as Rafa knows how to do very well.

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