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Rafael Nadal Blogs From Roland Garros

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Saturday, June 9, 2007

Hola!

Tonight I write to you quickly from my room before going to bed in order to relax for the so important day of tomorrow. Today was an intense day. A lot of people around me all the time, during practice, with the press, at the hotel, in my room and even at the bar where we went to see the football match.

I will be fast today, coming straight to the point. Today I practiced at 1 PM on court 3. It is a court which is close to center court and it has got stands. They play matches there during the tournament, but now that almost all competitions are finished we could practice there. There were quite a lot of people in the stands and that’s nice. I don’t know, the people support you a lot and they are really lovely.

At the beginning I didn’t have to do press today because I did quite a lot last night and I didn’t think that it was necessary. Yesterday I went for dinner after press, then directly to bed and this morning to practice. Actually the practice court was full of journalists and cameras and I was pleased to talk to them at the end of the practice session. I show a picture which was taken during today’s “improvised” press conference that Benito organized with the Spanish press. After that I had to do some international press as well upstairs in the press room, something that wasn’t planned at the beginning. Today I ate pretty late (at 3:30 PM) and at 4:15 PM I went back to the hotel to relax.

NadalDuring the afternoon in the hotel I was chatting a bit over the internet with some friends and then I went downstairs for an interview with Alex Corretja and Rosana Romero from TVE. Who do I chat with? With friends from Manacor, with people I know etc. Not many, to be honest there a only a few to who I talk always. But I like to keep in touch with the them and with internet it’s much easier. Since I have a web cam in my computer they can see me and I can see them as well.

As I said I had an appointment with TVE at 7:30 PM but I went downstairs a bit later, just on time to do the interview and go out for dinner at a bar where Carlos Costa has made reservations to see the matches of the Spanish League. Yes, yes, the matches. We saw the two at a bar in the center of Paris and they were really unbelievable. I was excited because I hadn’t seen matches for quite some time and we had a lot of fun. We also ate there and afterwards I went back to the hotel to sleep early.

NadalMany of you will be asking if I’m nervous tonight. I want to be honest with everybody. Of course I’m a bit nervous and it will cost me more than usually to go to sleep. I imagine (and I know) that it’s a normal thing. Of course it’s normal to be nervous before an important final. I’m sure that other sportsmen feel the same before playing a Champions League final or so. Tomorrow when I walk on court I will be nervous for sure and the important thing is to know how to get through that moment. That and playing well, of course. But yes, I’m a bit nervous and that’s normal.

Tomorrow I practice at 11:30 AM. Today after practice I asked Vittorio Selmi from the ATP to look for a player to warm-up. It will be a 30-minute warm-up and then I’ll go to the locker room, take a shower, eat something and I’ll focus on the match in the locker-room.

Well, we’ll see how it goes, wish me good luck.

Greetings to everybody.

Rafa

Friday, June 8, 2007

NadalHello Everybody,

I don’t know, if the other day I was trapped with writing, today it’s impossible… I really don’t know what I can write nor what I should write. I’m sorry. I know that some people criticize me for that but I only tell you the truth. Today I played one of the most important matches of the year and still I’m a bit blocked for writing. I don’t know if it is because I have too many things that I could tell you or simply because I don’t think I should tell them.

The case is that we are here, happy once again to be in the Roland Garros final. I’ve already talked about it in the press conference and I imagine that you’ll get the comments since there were more journalists than ever. This happens at almost every tournament like here, since the event is bigger there are also more journalists. I think that it will be easy for you to find news about the match. I only tell you that I think that I played at a very good level and that I’m feeling well.

Before matches we warm-up. It’s a bit different from practice on a normal day when there’s no match because we do the movements we except to do on court and for example we don’t play competition points. The person who accompanies you, who helps you warm-up, knows that it’s not a useful practice session for him. Today I practiced with a Colombian boy, a junior called Alejandro Gonzalez. A very nice guy and I hope that he’ll do well here and in his career. He told me that he lost in the first round in the juniors tournament here but I’m sure that he’ll be more lucky at other tournaments because he plays pretty well. I saw what he did and I saw that he lost against the player who’s now in the final. Well, he’ll have more opportunities.

My mother, my grandmother, my uncle Rafael and his wife joined my father and the rest of the team here in Paris. They were in the club this afternoon and they came back to the hotel before me. I arrived at the hotel at 9:30 PM and we went for dinner at 9:45 PM. We went to the Italian restaurant of the other day where Moyini did the trunk flexions. Vitto had booked a table for the whole group. Giorgio was there as well and we ate pretty well once again.

To tell you the truth we do a lot of press work after the match. Today it was a bit shorter but I understand and know that it’s like that. They tell me that I have another press conference tomorrow and that’s what I don’t understand. I really don’t know anything new that I could tell them. I’ve said everything today!!! Besides that there was a funny moment when I was asked about my favorite female player and I said that it was Henin. When I said that she was it because of her tennis and only that, all journalist were laughing, thinking about the double sense. I had to make clear that I just referred to the one which seems the most complete playing tennis. NOTHING ELSE!!!

Well tomorrow I will tell you more things. I also wanted to send greetings to a “Mallorquin” who sent me a message via Carlos Costa today. His name is Jose Ramon. Thanks a lot for the email that you sent me today. I only tell you to be very enthusiastic and thanks again for the support. I hope that you continue being motivated for the tennis.

Hugs to everybody.

Rafa

Thursday, June 7, 2007

NadalThursday was a waiting day. Relaxing and waiting for Friday’s match. A difficult match, since we are in the semifinals and everything becomes more complicated. Everybody is here to win the title and the last four are the ones who want to win it most you can say. Djokovic is a young player who is one year younger than me and already third in the ranking of the year which we call “Race”. This means that he has been playing very well and that he’s up there. We’ll see. Actually he’s a very young player, he’s one year younger than me but still it seems that I’m older. Maybe because I’ve been on the circuit for four or almost five years, which are a few years already… I think that he’s been there for about two years which is a lot as well and now he has very good results. I think that he might be a future number 1.

Today I’ll try to live my normal life. Another day between matches. Get up, relax, breakfast, trip to the tournament and practice. I knew that I was practicing at the same time as Djokovic but of course on a different court. I wanted to practice at 11 AM as I said last night and I finally practiced at 11:15 AM.

After that I didn’t do a lot because I wanted to have a quick lunch at the club and run back to the hotel. Today I spent less time in the club because I wanted to go back quickly and relax and do something afterwards. That’s why I went back to hotel early as I said.

During the afternoon Carlos Costa called me in the room telling me that he was going out for a walk with my uncle Toni. I don’t usually go for walks in the afternoon because normally I stay at the club, but today I felt like going and I took advantage of the opportunity. I knew that they were going for some shopping and I joined them. The three of us went for a walk on the Champs Elysées together with my father and we bought some things in the Hugo Boss shop there. They told me that it’s the biggest in Europe and they really have everything there. We’ve been there for a while and I picked-up a few things I needed. I don’t go for shopping very often but I think that it was good to stay with the family, get some fresh air and do something different.

As I got back to the hotel David Nalbandian called me on the phone to see if I wanted to … play a play station game. David is still in Paris practicing and he will be leaving to Halle tomorrow. Of course I wanted to play! Moyini went back to Palma after yesterday’s match and Ferru, as you know, went back a few days ago and therefore the level went down a lot. The rivals? Benito who is worse every day (all the other way round) and a special guest who knows about football: Esteban Cambiasso. Cuchu (that’s how they call him) likes tennis a lot and he came here after the match he played in Barcelona with Argentina to see the quarters and the semis and since he also stays in our hotel, he plays with us. David and myself beat him 2-0, better for him that nothing was at stake… I imagine that Chuchu would have to team-up with somebody else in order to see if he can beat us. He plays very well. Who knows, he might look for Crespo to see if they can score some goals… The night before we also played a few games but it
as Benito and me against them, you’ll know who won and who lost… I don’t say anything else. Only that it’s better not to play with Benito… We went down to the Third Division and we started playing in the Champions League…

NadalOf course I’ve seen comments asking about what we talked in our conversation with Antonio Banderas. I don’t know if I can tell you because those are private conversations even if we didn’t speak about how to save the world from wars or something similar I still think that they have to remain private, right? Actually he seemed to be a very very nice guy. A great person. We talked about many things and he talked to us about shootings, how they are done, how they film dangerous scenes and that some people got really hurt doing it and how much time you need to do a movie etc. It’s unbelievable how many days they film. We talked about many things and the conversation was very entertaining. My uncle Toni also took advantage of the situation to ask him many questions. And he also asked us many questions about tennis. You can see that he likes it quite a lot. A very nice guy as I already said.

Hasta mañana and thanks for the support.

Greetings to everybody,

Rafa

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Hello Everybody,

NadalHonestly I don’t know what to write today. Now that I’m starting I don’t have an idea about what to tell you. I still don’t want to write about things that the press covers nor things that I think that other people don’t need to know. I imagine that you’ll tell me that this is what you want to know. I’m very sorry about that but I’m a very reserved person in such things and I keep them for me. My parents tell me that every now and then. I keep everything for me and end up bursting almost… Well in this case I’ll keep it for me and I’ll tell you about sensations besides what the press at the tournament told you today.

Today I went to the club pretty early. I say early because a few of you know that I played the second match after Noon. Actually Djokovic played Andreev first and then we played. Andreev also stays in our hotel and in case you don’t know it, he speaks perfect Spanish. He’s a very nice guy as well.

NadalAt 10:15 AM we left to the club with my uncle Toni, my father, Rafa Maymo, Carlos Costa and Tuts. As we arrived I went directly to the locker room to pick-up my rackets and go to practice. The locker room is very good here in Roland Garros and I always leave plenty of things in my locker. It’s not one of the tournaments where we have to take everything back from the club and bring it back the other day. This locker room is very good and the lockers are huge. I got the same as last year. I was warming-up and after that I did the typical thing, I went back to the locker room before the match. I ate something and didn’t leave the locker room anymore.

As I said before I’m not going to talk a lot about the match. The press already did it and everything is said and written there. They asked me many questions in the post-match press conference about my feelings after winning against a friend.

Everybody knows what I think. Charly is a phenomenon, my friend and when we play against each others we give everything. That’s professional and that’s how you should do it. We played for a place in the semifinals of Roland Garros. I’ll say again that Carlos is the person it hurts less losing against. I’ve also been asked about the shake hands at the end. For a few people it was cold, but I have my relationship with him and there’s so much confidence that we don’t have to show things in public. I’ll say it again here, but I don’t think it’s important. We don’t need to hug on the court in order to know that we are friends. The real relationship is the one in which you don’t have to act nor feign anything. It wasn’t a match in which everything is decided at the end of the 5th set with both playing an unbelievable match. I don’t think that a hug at the end would have been sincere.

Well this is it. Tomorrow I’ll go to the club to practice at 11:30 AM since I have a court at 1 PM. I don’t know yet who I’m going to practice with, but they’ll tell me when I arrive there. Tomorrow will be a day on which I’ll try not to do anything besides the normal things.

Hasta mañana.

Rafa

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

NadalHello Everybody.

Another day here in Paris during the second week of Roland Garros. I don’t know but it seems like we arrived in Paris yesterday but it’s also true that we’ve been here for many days, thinking about the fact that we’ve almost been here for two weeks now.

Today was also a rather normal day. We went to the club at 11:30 AM and practiced around 1 PM on court 11. Today Vitto had organized for practice with a 16 year-old junior who of course plays the junior tournament and whose name is Vladimir Ignatik. He’s from Belarus like Max Mirnyi who came to practice on the same court with his partner Björkman as we finished. After that I ate at the club, having the typical spaghetti with fish and butter. I ate with my father, Maymo, Tuts and Carlos Costa. Everything was good. I saw that Charly ate before us and said hi to him. Juan Amador, a journalist from Mallorca who is here covering the tournament took a picture of us and said hi.

Carlos Costa, Rafa Maymo, Toni, Benito, Pepote Ballester and Tito Tous who came from Mallorca today went to play football. In theory they were my team (because they played with my colours) against Nalbandian’s team. They lost like 14-3. A disaster. And they came back telling me that they won… Actually I stayed in my room when they went to play, relaxing and preparing for tomorrow’s match against Carlos. Before that Rafa gave me a massage in order to relax and stretch well.

NadalAfter that I only played the play station in my room before going to dinner. When there are no matches because players are missing (Ferru went already back to Spain), I use to play the Master Liga. Today I got Tevez for my team and I’m playing as Manchester. I did a great match against Zaragoza…. Lobito talks about him a lot and so I decided to buy him and to see how he is.

The other day I told you that I didn’t find the camera, I think it was yesterday and today I finally found it on the table J I put you a few pictures here and I’ll comment them: This is a picture which was taken the day of my birthday during the action the tournament had organized for me. The picture which you see in the press is the one those photographers are taking with the cameras you can see. Lets say this is what you don’t see in the press.

NadalThe other one is with my father and Carlos Costa, having dinner at my birthday which I already told you. The other shows Tuts from Nike, about who I already told you, he had arrived that day, Carlos Costa my manager, Vitto from the ATP and myself.

And the last picture was sent to me by Benito today and he told me that Rosana sent it today. It’s the picture they took with the huge ice cream that TVE gave to me for my birthday on Sunday (above). The question is: What did I do with the nine and a half liters? Well I took them to the hotel and told them to put it in the freezer. Every afternoon since Sunday and also every night after dinner there’s a small ice cream ‘degustation’ in the lobby of the hotel. There is everybody who almost doesn’t fit the pants having ice cream hehehe. We still have more than half of it.

The last picture has been taken during the practice session on Sunday. There’s a lot of people at practice and that’s really nice. You feel very good with the people and they show you that they like you.

Well I imagine that you want me to tell you about tomorrow’s match (today’s when you are reading the blog). As I said I know that it will be a very difficult match. Carlos is playing at a great level. He already did it in Hamburg when he beat three Top 10 players during the week and got close to beat Federer. We know each others very well and have played and practiced many times. I know that he’s the person I care less Nadalabout losing against but  it’s clear that I’ll do everything I can in order not to lose. It’s a pity that we play against each others but it’s also good to know that one of us will advance. I don’t know, it’s a strange sensation, but that’s how sports and tennis are. On court we’ll show the highest respect for each others but there we will be rivals and we’ll have to forget about our friendship. Five minutes before and five minutes after we’ll again be the friends we are.

Bona sort! (this means good luck in Catalan).

Hasta mañana,

Rafa

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

NadalHello Everybody on another day. Once again I would like to thank you for all the messages and gifts I got yesterday for my birthday. I continue getting a lot of messages over the internet. I’ve seen a few that are published on the website (www.rafaelnadal.com).

Many of you ask me what goes through my mind before and after the matches. I don’t know it depends very much on the match and the situation. If I’ve played well or not changes a lot. If I’ve played bad I quickly see the match in my mind and try to analyze the mistakes I did in order to try to improve. If I’ve played well I’m happy but I still try to improve.

Today before playing against Hewitt I already knew that I would play against Moyini if I win. Well in my case, I don’t think about that but about the match I have to play point by point. I don’t think about who I would play if I win, even if I’m asked about that very often. I only think about the player who stands on the other side or who will be standing on the other side. Once the match was over I did think, well now I have to play against Charly. You all know that he’s my friend. The person which helped me when I got started, a great person. What goes through my mind? What do we think? How to play against a friend? I think that I answered all those questions for the press today.

You would like to know what we did today? Knowing that we’ll be rivals Wednesday… We went out almost every night, went to have dinner almost every night… Well we did the usual thing, we went for dinner all together to an Italian restaurant which isn’t far away from the hotel and was recommended to us by Giorgio di Palermo, an Italian who works for the ATP as a Tour Manager and who is a very nice guy. At the end there were plenty of people from the world of tennis because Vitto invited also some people who work for the ATP. Since we were so many they sat us at different tables. At my table there were my father, Rafa Maymo, Albert Molina, Tuts, a friend of Tuts and myself. At the table next to us there was Moyini with his girlfriend Flavia, his physio Pere, Alex Corretja and Charly a friend of Moya’s. At another big table there were many ATP people: Vitto (who organized the convention), Zeljko Franulovic, the tournament director of Monte-Carlo, Nanette, Simon, Nicola, Stéphane, Fabrizio, the umpires Cedric and Mohamed and a Greek called Peter who doesn’t work for the ATP but comes to many tournaments and is a professional tennis spectator as we say. At another table there was Lobito with a few Argentine friends and the former tennis player Karim Alami. Today when we came back from the club in the car with my uncle Toni, Rafa Maymo, my father, Benito and Lobito we were actually talking about Alami. They told me that he was a very popular player on the circuit and that he now works as a commentator for an Arabic TV channel. Well there he was having dinner.

I mentioned all those people also because they were witnesses as the stake of the play station game from the other day was “paid”. Actually I made Moyini pay for the game by doing ten trunk flexions in the middle of the restaurant. There are no pictures and there won’t be any (even if there was a camera which immortalized the moment), but he did it… He paid the stake. Moyini did ten trunk flexions in the middle of the restaurant!!! What a laugh…!!! I was laughing so much and I tell you that I didn't laugh because of malicious joy, but because two years ago, exactly two years ago, I had to do the same thing. In the middle of the Champs Elysées with two hundred people staring I had to do ten flexions in the middle of the street on the zebra crossing. The owner of the restaurant was staring a bit as well but has was laughing quite a lot. I have been looking on my computer for the picture they took of me two years ago, but I couldn’t find it. I swear that I’ll show it in the blog if I find it.

For dinner I had a pizza with shrimps and anchovies and some pasta (spaghetti) with shrimp and mushrooms. It had to be quick because we had an appointment at the hotel to do some TV.

Tomorrow I practice at 1 PM, which means that I’ll go to the club around 11:30 AM to practice and after having lunch I will come to the hotel in order to relax. I’m sorry for not having photos today either but I cannot find the camera. I will look for it in the room or maybe in the locker room to see if I can find it.

A hug to everybody and hasta mañana.

Rafa

Sunday, June 3, 2007

NadalHello Everybody on a special day for me. As many of you know, today is my 21st birthday.

First of all I would like to thank all the people who've sent me messages and gifts. That surprises me every time and I’m grateful about it. I know that messages have been sent from all around the world. I’ve seen messages from Hawaii, Argentina, Peru, Canada, Uruguay, Colombia etc. Thank you so much. You know that I cannot read all of them, but they are there and I’m grateful. I would also like to send special greetings to the people of my web team who receive all those messages as well as to the people who do the other sites. THANK YOU!!!

Today has been a “normal” day. Probably it would have been different if I was at home. Normally I would have gone out for lunch with my family and then out for dinner with my friends at night. But this is the third year in a row that I celebrate my birthday here in Paris during Roland Garros. I don’t want to say that I’m not happy about that. The opposite is the case. I’m happy to celebrate it here because it means that I’m still in the tournament. Saying that, I can tell you that I did more or less the normal things of every day here in Roland Garros. In the morning I came directly to the club at 11:15 AM. I didn’t have time to have breakfast because breakfast closes at 11 in the hotel on weekends. Normally I would have arrived 10:55 AM, but last night…last night…well we played the last play station game…the last game with the quartet that has been competing for a few months now. Ferru and I won one game and lost another… I imagine that you must already be tired of so much play station, I talk a lot about the play station, but let me tell you that we really had a lot of fun and we were playing with plenty of enthusiasm. Yesterday Ferru lost and today David lost, so they will leave and I will have to play together with Moyini against the others to “clean shots” as you say in terms of tennis. I’ll tell you…

As I told you we went to the club to practice in the morning. Today I practiced with a Portuguese boy whose name is Gastao Elias and who plays in the junior tournament here. Francis Roig put me in contact with him from the distance and Vitto Selmi took care of coordinating the practice session together with my uncle Toni. Today we practiced on court 13, which is pretty far away from Center Court. It’s just behind Suzanne Lenglen and there were lots of people during my practice session. While I was practicing they were singing Happy Birthday. Later I got to know that it was Rosana Romero’s idea, the girl from TVE who follows tennis… As I told you there were a lot of people and I’m grateful for all the support they give me. Besides my uncle Toni and Rafa Maymo who are always with me during my practice sessions, there were also my father, Vitto and Benito. To reach that court there are a few small paths without people, which allows us to reach the courts quickly. If we had to walk in the middle of the people it would take us quite some time. I don’t say it because of me, but because of all the people who stay in the club. It’s impressive.

After practice I ran to the locker room because I wanted to see the MotoGP race. Actually I also like motorbikes a lot, all categories and I also follow all the races. I had an appointment with the media at 2:45 PM and to tell you the truth I arrived a bit late because I wanted to see the last laps of the race. The meeting with the press was a “surprise” organized by the tournament and they had a cake and champagne to celebrate the birthday. There were loads of photographers and cameras, those of you who follow the media and TV might have seen it. To tell you the truth, I don’t like such actions a lot. I also told Benito because like that everything looks very artificial. I understand that we have to do it in order to have a birthday picture and I’m also grateful for all the media showing up. But I already told you that I don’t like it too much because it is somewhat artificial. Well, as Moyini would say, that’s how it goes. After that I went to eat quietly.

I had an appointment with TVE and together with Carlos Costa I went to their set which they have here at the tournament and we were chatting with Alex and Rosana for a while. While we were “on air” they gave me a giant ice cream which was a barrel (is this how you call it?) of cookies and cream. A detail, but I preferred not to eat more than what you saw… Without showing it on camera they also gave me a gift which I liked very much. This year TVE comes to all the most important tournaments. At the beginning of the year Rosana came to Melbourne with a camera man called Miguel (there was also somebody for the sound called Andres and I would like to say hi to him). He’s a camera man at TVE who goes to all (or almost all) wars and he can tell you a thousand stories. Already in Melbourne he told us a few. He’s a very nice guy and in Melbourne I was impressed about what he told us and what he had been through. Actually he didn’t come to more tournaments after Melbourne and suddenly he’s here again. He told me that he has been in Iraq and other places during that time and he gave me a collection of bills of Saddam Hussein which he brought from his last trip to Iraq. A detail which I liked a lot. Thousand thanks, Miguel! I hope to see you at more tournaments! Hehehe.

Well after that I went to the hotel to relax during the afternoon. Tonight I will go out for dinner with my father, my uncle, Rafa, Carlos and I’ve been told that Tuts arrived as well. Tuts is the person from Nike who helps us with everything. A phenomenon! Tomorrow I will show you pictures from today. I don’t have time to insert them now, because I have to go to the dinner appointment. Tomorrow I will put a few from today.

Hugs to everybody and thanks again for all the messages you sent today.

Rafa.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

NadalHello Everybody on another day.

Today was a day of competition, a day on which I do more or less the same thing. Actually I don’t really know what to tell you today. I had breakfast in the hotel, after that I took a car to go to the tournament and warm-up.

Vittorio Selmi of the ATP found me a player to warm-up with today. I had already practiced with him in Rome and he’s a pretty cool guy. After that I went to the locker room and waited for the match to start. Actually today the matches to be played before mine were pretty quick and therefore I didn’t play too late. Even better. In the locker room I saw matches on the screens that we have there while I was listening to music and preparing the rackets.

But today my father surprised me. Without saying anything he appeared in Paris, he came here for the weekend. I was very happy about that. You know how many people stay with me here, but still nobody told me anything. You all know, especially if you’ve read the book that talks about the last few years, that I have a very good and special relationship with my father. We had very tough moments last year and he always supported me. Last year after the final it was very emotional to hug him. Well, I won’t explain everything either. You already know.

Since today I don’t have much to tell you either, I’ll tell you that today I read more of the comments and messages about the blog. I saw that people are asking about the flavor of ice cream. I usually take three balls of vanilla with cookies. Today I had one on the way back to the hotel after dinner and before…the big game of play station. Once again it was the quartet that is due to come to its end, since Ferru lost today and will go back to Spain.

Also somebody told me to talk about the matches, but I don’t think that it’s correct, since the press is here in Paris to cover the tournament. As I already said I think is fair for them. In this blog I write things that usually don’t interest a journalist very much. They usually don’t have enough space to talk about those things.

NadalToday I practice at noon and after that I’ve been told that I have a few activities with the press. Actually I would prefer to be quiet and not do many things those days. Things is a question of routine, but I know that I have to do certain things. For example tomorrow the press will come when the tournament will celebrate a players’ birthday as always by bringing me a cake. I imagine that tomorrow you’ll able to see that on TV or in the newspapers. They also told me that I’ll do an interview for TVE tomorrow here at the tournament. Talking about birthdays here I remember that two years ago Pau Gasol came to the interview room in the middle of the press conference with a cake and a few bottles of Champagne. I knew that Pau was watching the match but I didn’t expect him to come with this cake. Last year it was something more artificial because it had been prepared and I imagine that tomorrow it will be something similar. I hope that this year my uncle won’t throw cake in my face as he did last year.

We’ll also see if I can blow out the candles… Last year it was a show.

Well, I have to go now, I’m sorry that I don’t have pictures today. I forgot the camera in the hotel… Sorry about that…

Greetings to everybody and hasta mañana.

P.S. The pictures of the stakes have been censored, so nothing, we only have to say that tonight…

Friday, June 1, 2007

NadalHello everybody on another day.

Well, many of you will be waiting for the pictures and the results of the play station game of the other night. I can tell you that at the end the stake couldn’t be “paid” by one of the two teams. David Nalbandian played his match today more or less at the same time as our practice session ended and our schedule didn’t match David Ferrer’s either. We’ll see tomorrow if the winning team gets what it deserves from the losing team.

Today we went to the club at noon. Today we went in a car with a driver who spoke Spanish which I think is great, my uncle Toni, Rafa Maymo and Benito Perez-Barbadillo, my PR manager who finally managed to get up in time to come with us – because we left a bit later today he, he, he. He says that he works from the room in the morning… I don’t know.

First I wanted to practice with Toni from 12:30 PM on, but since there was plenty of traffic from the hotel to Roland Garros it took us more time than usually. In the car we were talking a bit about history, my uncle knows history very well. He never stops talking about those things and today we were talking about North American presidents because we drove through Roosevelt Avenue. We also listened to the radio in the car and heard one of the best songs of the year. The problem is that I don’t know its name and I cannot tell you which one it is nor download it from the Internet. I might try to find it tomorrow.

As I said we arrived a bit later than usually because of traffic. At the beginning we had planned the practice session with my uncle. As we arrived we saw that Carlos Moya went to practice on the ground courts next to Roland Garros and I asked him if he wanted to practice with us. I know that Lobito was already prepared to practice and warmed-up. I came directly from the hotel with the tape on my ankles and ready to practice, therefore I just went to the locker room to get the rackets and then I went to practice. The practice went pretty well today and we were laughing a lot. Before starting we talked about the play station game of the night before and Moyini told me that he had read in the blog that I was going to show the pictures of the stake. He told me “no way” – “nanai” so I won’t be able to show anything once again. You’ll already know who won that game… David N destroying joysticks, Moyini vetoing pictures in the blog… :-) I don’t have to say anything else.

NadalComing back to today’s practice session I tell you that we played three “Eleven” after warming-up. That means that we play to eleven points and you have to win with a two-point difference. We do it without serve and you cannot play return winners. We laugh a lot despite playing seriously, because it seemed that some balls “were stolen”. Actually I have the picture of a ball, which Charly told me was out and you can see that it was good. They also took a picture of us while we were discussing and there you can see Lobito laughing and covering his eyes in order to say that he hasn’t seen the ball, as well as Toni and Moyini who laugh like crazy. In the other pictures you see me discussing the ball, which was in for me, but they told me it was out he, he, he. We try to keep a great atmosphere at these tournaments.

Hugs to everybody and gracias.

Rafa.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Hola, everybody once again. Today I write very late, very late and from the hotel as always. Today was a day of competition and to tell you the truth I’m very happy to be in the third round. I played on court Suzanne Lenglen which is a bit slower and you never know. Carlos Moya told me that he lost five times there.

Well, today I left the hotel at 10:30 in the morning. Before that I went downstairs to have breakfast with my colleagues. There where Maymo, Lobito, Pere and Carlos Costa who came in while he was having a look at the media. I had bread with “nocilla” or Nutella, I don’t know. Or lets say bread with chocolate and a few juices.

Actually we left a bit later than 10:30 AM, around 10:40 AM because my uncle Toni came downstairs a bit later. He usually comes downstairs a bit earlier and goes for a walk in the morning. We waited downstairs in the tournament car to go to the site. There I had to warm-up and do the same as always. I actually like to do the same thing every time. I have my routine which almost everybody knows. After warming-up I usually don’t leave the locker room if I don’t go to the restaurant to eat something. Tomorrow I’ll tell you more about my routine in the locker room.

Yesterday people were talking a lot about the crowd. I told the press that besides two years ago during my match with Grosjean I’ve never had any complaints about the crowd here. They treat me well, especially in places or tournaments like Marseille. Here too. When I go to the courts to practice they are always packed with people who say hi to me, ask for autographs and show me that they like me. I really don’t have any problem.

Maybe the translation error after last year’s final had some influence. I remember that I started my speech congratulating Roger Federer, saying that I was very happy and proud to have beaten him and that he might be the best tennis player of all times. The translator (which we know well because he’s also in Monte-Carlo and at some others tournaments) didn’t understand well what I said and translated the opposite, which would mean that I was the best player of all times, etc. Afterwards he came to the locker room and said that he was sorry about the mistake. He didn’t have his best day. That happens to all of us. The case is that maybe the crowd still remembers that, but well, I don’t think that it’s a big deal.

Talking about today again, tonight a few of us we went for dinner and I’ll show you a few pictures we took. We went to a pizzeria again and had some ice cream afterwards. I had my typical gambas, which I love; olives, which I also like a lot and a plate of pasta, which only I eat (because it’s white with butter or oil). On the pictures you see Albert Costa who coaches Feli Lopez (Fidgiano), Carlos Costa, Rafa Maymo, my uncle Toni and Francis Roig who stays in a club outside Paris with a few pupils who play in a satellite tournament not far away from here. He comes whenever he can and we also talk over the phone quite often. You also know that he comes with me to some tournaments and to practise when my uncle Toni doesn’t come.

Today we ate pretty fast and went back quickly at 11 PM, because we had another “meeting”. You’ll already know what I’m talking about… A playstation match!!! The legendary Ferru (David Ferrer) and myself against our tough opponents Moyini (Carlos Moya) and David Nalbandian. A match of five again and something at stake… I’ll tell you tomorrow and I hope that I’ll have photos… If I can tell you that David Nalbandian broke a joystick again. A new joystick, which we bought yesterday. This one I offered to him, but the one from tomorrow he will pay for… You can inagine who the winners were…I don’t say anything…you’ll see the pictures tomorrow…:-) Of course we played as pros.

At the end of today’s press conference they asked me about those games. I don’t know if Ferru or Moyini talked about what is at stake… I don’t and it’s better because all of us lose at some point… Finally. Actually we were laughing a lot in the press conference.

I would also like to comment a bit about what I told you in yesterday’s blog. I usually don’t talk about matches here, about how I feel and also those more technical things because the press who comes to Roland Garros tells you about that. Here I tell you about the little things which I don’t think are very interesting to write about in the newspapers or talk about on the radio or on TV.

Well, as it’s so late I’ll go to sleep. I’m sorry that it’s so short again. Tomorrow I’ll tell you more and lets hope that it won’t be only about the playstation.

Greetings to everybody and thanks for all your support messages. Today I didn’t have time to see many of them.

Rafa Nadal

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Hello Everybody once again,

I write the blog for you and first of all I would like to thank you for all the comments you write on the sites. I haven’t had time to read all of them and I don’t know if I will, but I’ll try to see all of them. Thousand thanks.

I’ll tell you quickly about today, once again I’ve started writing the blog a bit late today. I could have written it before, but I was busy and didn’t do it. Therefore it will be a bit shorter.

Today was a day of relaxing for me. I didn’t have a match and I only practiced. Besides the tennis I also had some work to do with the press. The two pictures from today where taken when I was with them. I had agreed to meet them at 3:15 PM in the players’ restaurant and I was on time. I took a quick shower in the locker room after practise and went to eat with my uncle and Rafa Maymo once again. I had a plate of white pasta with fish. To tell you the truth, I must say that you don’t eat very well in the players’ restaurant at this tournament, but you don’t have to complain about it either. There are worse things in the world and I don’t like to complain nor criticize. This is only a comment.

So I ate as I told you and then I met with the Spanish journalists who came to this tournament. I could name everybody, but if I forget somebody he might get upset, therefore I made people take this picture to let you see all of them (or almost all of them). Usually I meet with them during tournaments before Roland Garros and we do the interviews there. This year it was difficult because of all the matches and my press officer also told me because I played doubles in Barcelona and had less time because of that. Therefore we decided to spend some time with them to talk about the tournament, how I got here, etc. I think that it’s normal to meet with them, because they make the effort to come here, hopefully for many days and that’s good for me and the other Spanish players in the draw. We have to give them some of our time. I stayed with them for about 30 minutes and we talked a bit about everything. I suppose that you’ll read in the media what we’ve talked about. It was curious that we started outside the restaurant but then I was told to go inside because there was too much noise.

Besides that it was a quiet day as I said, since I went back to the hotel a bit earlier than usually. I got back at 4:30 PM and started looking at things on the computer. I usually read the press, chat with my friends or watch a movie. That’s when I saw the messages and comments that you wrote about the blog. Talking about movies, I saw “The English Patient” which is a great movie to me, very good. I always bring movies to watch on the computer or the playstation in my room. Rafa Maymo joins me most of the time to watch them with me.

A bit later, around 7:30 PM I played the playstation with Maymo (he’s very bad hehehe) before we went to dinner. Who did I go with? With Moyini, Lobito (his coach), Pere (his trainer) and Maymo. One day I’ll talk about Lobito because he is a phenomenon. Very funny. We were laughing a lot with him in Rome and especially in Hamburg. Today he was very happy about Carlos’ win. Me too, I’m very happy for him because the match became difficult, starting with 4-0 down in the fourth set today.

Well, tomorrow I’ll get up more or less early, I’ll have breakfast and go to the club to practice and concentrate on the match against Cipolla. I play on court Suzanne Lenglen which is a bit slower than Center Court. We’ll see how it goes.

Thanks to everybody and hasta mañana.

Rafa Nadal

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hello everyone. Here I am again writing the blog from Roland Garros on my web site ( www.rafaelnadal.com ). I know that El Mundo and atpworldtour.com are picking it up too.

Today, I’m writing after dinner that’s why it is so late. I won’t talk about the match or the press conference. After each match we have a press conference, and I usually go 20 to 25 minutes after finishing the match, sometimes, not often, I go before and other times a little later. I talk to the journalists in the press conference quite frankly and tell them everything that goes through my mind. I still have to talk to them about the play-station and the defeat. I’ll get to that in a minute.


First, I want to tell you that I’m writing this blog now, after dinner, because after finishing so late (I played the 5th match) and returning from the club after dealing with the press, I took a quick shower, and we went out to dinner. There were my uncle Toni, who doesn’t always come to dinner, and who, if he comes, eats very little, Rafa Maymo, who is my trainer, as you know, and Alex Corretja. We went to a pizzeria on the Champs Élysées, and from there I went to have an ice-cream with my uncle before returning to the hotel. By now, it is 1 o’clock in the morning, and before going to bed I’m writing this blog, which will be short.

Returning to the play-station, I’m going to tell just a little and will write more some other time. It is already somewhat known on tour that we play soccer matches in each tournament. When the four of us are in the same tournament and above all at the same hotel, we usually play some matches, Carlos Moya and David Nalbandian against David Ferrer and me. The day before yesterday, we played and lost. Carlos, who is quite good and assertive, they beat us. However, yesterday’s [match] was UNBELIEVABLE! We always play the best of 5 matches, 5 sets as we call it. Whoever has three wins and whoever loses does something that we bet on like some push-ups or whatever.

In this case, Ferru (David Ferrer) and I won the first two matches and in the third one, which should have been the decisive one, we marked the golden goal… It looked like we had won. We started to jump around and all, when suddenly we saw that they had cancelled our goal for being offside. Golden goal, and the referee overturned it. Unbelievable. In the end, as you might imagine, we lost the three matches. This is the story – so sad and so unfair, hahahaha. Today, we were not able to play, but we’ll see to it that we get our revenge soon. But first David has to get a new remote control, because he broke one yesterday.

As for today, I got up not too late for breakfast. I had it peacefully in my room and ate some chocolate cereal. We went to the club around noon, as warm-up was at 1 p.m. Since there were so many matches scheduled today, the courts were all full and that’s why the tournament makes more players share them. Those who play have priority in using the courts at the club for warm-up; those that are not playing that day usually go to another club to practice on those first days. Hence, I was on court warming up with Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and there were also some other players.

Afterwards, I spent most of the time in the locker room waiting and watching the different matches being played on the monitors, especially the ones of the Spaniards. I only left the locker room to go eat. We went upstairs and my uncle, Maymo and I ate with Nico Lapentti and his coach Bebe Perez. Afterwards I returned to the locker room and did not leave it until they called us for the match.

As I said, you can find out about the match and the press conference in the media. Tomorrow, I will practice at 1 p.m. and then take a shower and eat before meeting with the Spanish press at 3:15 p.m. I feel relaxed with them and talk a little bit about everything. About my impressions here, how I feel. They will be here throughout the tournament and I like being with them.

By the way, I wanted to say that I never was at Djokovic’s party in Belgrade last week. Some media outlet published that I was there, while I was really in Mallorca playing golf with my uncle and others and working out in the afternoon.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Hello Everybody,

I’m Rafa Nadal and I write this blog for the second year in a row from Paris. Actually I got to Paris on Thursday afternoon last week, I think it was the 24th of May and today I start the blog which I will be writing for www.rafaelnadal.com during this tournament.

I didn’t know if I would be doing it again this year, but I think that quite a few people liked it last year and that some people had fun reading what I wrote at the end of each day. It’s almost like a diary and people like reading diaries. I’ve read many of the comments people wrote about the blog. I usually have a look at the media on the internet and I also check out people’s comments. It’s unbelievable that some people almost put themselves in our position and they know what we think. Others a bit less, but that’s fine. I respect everybody and I enjoy reading the comments.

Now we are back to Roland Garros again, one year later and we’re delighted to be here. The season went well so far and I come here in a very good mood. I know that it will be very difficult to win here. In a tournament everything can happen, even more if the tournament goes over two weeks. I always try to focus on every match, knowing that every match will be difficult and that you only have to think point after point, and if you win, you start thinking about the next match. That’s the only way you can reach goals.

Since this is my first day doing the blog, I would like to tell you about what I did since I arrived in Paris, as well as talk about my week before Roland Garros. As I said before, I arrived from Mallorca on Thursday.

Before that, I left Hamburg on Monday, flying to Barcelona with an early flight, at 9:20 AM. At 7:30 AM I met in the lobby with the driver who would take myself and Alex Corretja who was on that flight as well to the airport. After a few weeks of competition I had to take part in two activities in Barcelona which my agent Carlos Costa had set up for me. One of them was a NIKE presentation. I don’t think I have to tell you more about that since the media already reported about it. The other activity was filming a spot for PlayStation 3.

I left to Manacor at 8 PM and to be honest I have to tell you that I was a bit tired. I stayed at home with my parents and my sister on Tuesday and Wednesday, and I also played some golf with my uncle Miguel Angel and some other people. This helped me a lot to refresh my mind and to make better fitness training in the afternoon and I got to Paris feeling very well after those two days of relaxing.

My uncle Toni, my trainer Rafael Maymo and myself left from Palma airport on Thursday morning, where my father took us by car. We had to stop in Barcelona where Carlos Moya and his team, as well as my manager Carlos Costa, joined us for the rest of the trip. That afternoon we had arranged for a practice session with Carlos Moya, who you know is a very good friend of mine and a great person. On the plane we talked about several things, including the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monte Carlo. Moyini (that’s how I call Carlos Moya) and myself like Formula 1 a lot and we talked to Carlos Costa to see which Grand Prix we could visit. It’s difficult because tennis is played every week and that makes it difficult to find a date on which we could go to a Grand Prix. That’s why we were looking at the calendar. We’ll see. Hugo Boss invited us and we are checking what to do.

I’ll also tell you what I did on Sunday: After having breakfast in the hotel in the morning, we went to practice with Albert Montañes from 11 AM to 1 PM. We had enough time to go slow, practice well and to sit in front of the TV to watch the start of the Grand Prix in Monaco at 2 PM. As you know it was raining quite a lot yesterday but I think that we were lucky because we could practice from 11AM to 12:45 PM. Afterwards it started raining and we had to stop. It’s ok, in the end we played an hour and 45 minutes and that’s good if you think about all the rain after that. Besides that, as I said, it gave us the opportunity to be ready to see the race which we saw and enjoyed on site.
After that we went back to the hotel.

Today was also a strange day. We got up and came here while it was raining so much that you have to change your plans. At 11:45 AM I left the hotel with Toni, Rafa Moymo and Carlos Costa. We went to Roland Garros where we had to decide whether to look for another site where we could practice. Carlos knew an indoor place where we could practise and we went there. It took us like 10, 15 minutes by car. I was practicing with Nenad Zimonjic and we went there all of us together and could practise for two hours, which is not bad at all since with all the rain today there where no matches and there was no practice either. After that we got back to Roland Garros to have lunch and then we left to the hotel.

Today I wrote the blog before going out for dinner and therefore it is a bit shorter since Moya, Rafa Maymo, my uncle and others are waiting for me downstairs. As I play tomorrow I like to have dinner a bit earlier. Tomorrow I’m the fifth match and we’ll see what happens. Besides that something happened, but I don’t want to speak about it yet…nothing serious, nothing important, but unbelievable. I’ll tell you about today’s defeat at the playstation.

Greetings to all of you.

Rafa Nadal. 

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