Friday, 31 July 2009
Everyone knew Rafa's signature look ... tight fitting 3/4 capri pants, sleeveless top to show off that intimidating muscular physique, all topped off by the trademark bandana.
But when Nike decided to update Rafa to turn him into a more respectable No.1 as opposed to the swashbuckling contender, only the bandana survived. We've all moved on from that now and whilst I still feel Rafa's "new look" has yet to take off, maybe this season's hardcourt outfits will do the trick.
Attached is a piece on tennis and Rafafashion, notable for the following stirling quote of "... All that notwithstanding, the "emperor's new clothes" might have the potential to generate more revenue, what it doesn't have is enough character. Or oomph." (wonder who they're talking about ... hmmm??). Also attached is a video clip that I love of a 17 year-old Rafa with his best mate Feli shopping in Milan ...
On the 16th July, I posted a video clip but alerted you to the fact of hang the content ... move straight to 0.54 seconds!!!
I now make no apologies for posting a till shot. For those of you who may be easily offended ... avert your eyes!!!
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
We had snippets earlier, but now attached is Rafa's full interview, along with a translation provided by 606-er Ketada. The interview speaks for itself, and whilst it conveys absolute caution and a doubt that Rafa may not even make Montreal, it so good to see him relaxed, smiling and heaps better than that sad boy we saw from March to June.
Its totally wonderful to see him again ... keep working hard in your rehabilitation. Vamos Rafa!!
Q - After 2 months many people are asking the same question: how is Rafa Nadal?
RN - Actually, I'm fine. But it's also true that we still must see how I keep evolving. Because I just started training a week and a half ago, and when you start training you always feel better mentally, and I have started with hope, but as I said, we still have to see how I evolve when I really push the knees, witch will happen in the next days, and hopefully everything will go well.
Q- (By Rosana Romero) Rafa, what happened? Suddenly, Wimbledon comes along and you say you are not able to compete, and you don't compete. What happened?
RN - Well, what happened was that I had been the same way several months. When I came back from Miami, training in Manacor, I started to have pain in my right knee, mainly, and it was a different pain than usual. I took off the tapes, which made everybody think things were perfect. And the problem was that the pain was no longer under the knee, but over it, and the tapes didn't help at all. From there things started to get worst step by step. We just kept putting on patches for the pain, as I have been used to play with pain for many years.
Q - Did you play RG with pain?
RN - The thing is, it came from MC. I played MC with pain, Barcelona with pain, Rome, also Madrid where I went to have some tests, because I realized things were going wrong. I didn't feel comfortable playing, I have played almost every day with anti-inflammatories, even sometimes being infiltrated at RG and I arrived too banged up to the tournaments for me, RG and Wimbledon. Also there comes a moment when you just get tired of playing with pain and not evolving, so in this case, I decided It was better to stop and try to recover, because you even lose your will "illusion" to train and compete, because you don't see yourself with the same energy, and it destroys you step by step.
Q - On that note, it's said many times that the head moves the legs. You were not mentally fresh either, you have admitted it. Does your family problem, that has been commented on, have something to so with that?
RN - Well, obviously my family has always been a srtong support for me, it's always been praised how I am who I am today thanks to my family and the atmosphere that has always surrounded me....
Q - You are the first son, the first nephew, the first grandson...
RN - Right, the first everything of the family and all that has helped me a lot to arrive where I am, for sure, and well a moment comes when some changes happen in the family, and I'm obviously human and in the beginning it's tough to ... to not accept ... but get used to, and I personally feel it more because I'm not at home., But that's not what has affected me, because that happened some months ago, and I won IW, MC, Barcelona, Rome, but the real problem were the knees. It obviously doesn't help, but you can live with that other stuff and I consider myself a positive person, and I have totally, well, almost, gotten over that. It's a new situation and we have to learn to live with it.
Q - You don't specially like to talk about your family your entourage.
RN - No I have never talked about my family or anything personal, and I have liked to extend myself talking about this and to be honest, my real problem are my knees. That's why finally stopped, no need to give it more thought, and that (the knees) is what mentally keeps destroying you, because you feel defenceless, you feel that in the end, it's too much of a struggle every moment. I personally enjoy the bad every day, you can't move well, every match is a different story and you don't know how you're gonna feel, in the end your head is full of doubts, and you can't live with that in a competition as tough as tennis with those problems. That's why I decided to stop in that time, and I hope it has been positive.
Q - It's been 2 months, which is very unusual in tennis players of your level. What have you done these 2 months? What have you missed?
RN - Well, at the beginning I wasn't willing to do much, because I felt bad. I was disappointed, mentally touched, and I felt I hadn't done things the way I should with my schedule, which was my mistake, as I'm the one that make the decisions in the end and the problem is mine for, maybe not knowing when to stop, when to rest. Is difficult to know because I have been through these many things so many times, playing with pain and most of the time coming through in the end.
Q - (Rosana Romero) What I realize is that your perspective, your way to take your job has changed this couple of months.
RN - I don't think so, but it's true always said you must learn from your mistakes, and I must try not to repeat things that have gone wrong, and value certain situations with more caution, which maybe I wasn't used to, as I'm used to give everything always.
Q- In these 2 months, have you had vacation time?
RN - Unfortunately not much, I've made many hours of rehab with several machines on my knee, to a total time of 5 and half hours each day, plus one that I sleep with, which obviously doesn't affect my daily routine. I have many hours of work and I sincerely haven't enjoyed myself as much as I would have liked to, because you know me, and I have problem keeping still and to not do anything, I'm quite an active person, I like to do several things, specially playing football in the beach in the summer, I haven't been to the beach a single day, except with the boat, but to go to the beach and watch my friends play football while I'm lying on the beach I prefer to stay here. Not so much of sacrifice, it's what it is, and you have to go through these situations in life.
Q - These are obviously bigger sacrifices in life, but I mean you have an enormous ability to sacrifice?
RN - No, I was just told not to do many things, and be as still as possible, and that's what I've done. I've spent more hours on the couch these couple of months than in the last 4 years.
Q - I want to ask you about your mental strength, that makes you able to win a set when you are 0-5 down.... What do you think in these moments. Do you think about the opponent, his weaknesses and strengths?
RN- That happens very few times. Most times, when I'm doing that bad, I think "I've lost".
Q - What is, for you that mental strength we all talk about when we refer to your game?
RN- The mental strength is being able to overcome difficult situations, or even more being able to face difficult situations with a positive attitude. As I said before, learning to enjoy the struggle is a very important thing, because many times you have long 5 set matches, that are decided in the end by a couple of points, and you must be able to keep your focus. That extra something is what makes you win, and that's a work of years, I've worked the mental side my whole life, specially my Uncle has trained that always, or almost always, have been ready to fight. I think that not fear to lose, but that absolute respect for your opponents has made me win a lot of tough matches. That respect I have towards my opponents has 2 sides, as it sometimes makes me have more doubts before a tournament. For example right now I'm in a sea of doubts.
Q - Are you afraid of coming back?
RN - Not afraid but....
Q - Maybe some doubts? But it happens to you many times before you start a tournament.
RN - Many times, I'm not afraid but it depends on the moment, as right now I haven't competed in 2 months. My main concern right now is having my knees in the right shape, because when I look at my numbers in the past years, it gives me confidence to know that things have worked well when I've been alright. I know that's not forever, but I'm confident it will last for some time. I have worked for this my whole life, and I still do, and I'm not gonna lack anything in that department, but the truth is I haven't competed in 2 months and when you return, it's always....
Q - And what is your goal now? In these 2 months, you have lost the #1 to Federer, that you had previously taken from him. Is the #1 ranking your goal?
RN - Not at all. My only goal as always, even if people don't believe it, is feeling right, being happy playing tennis, and improving. I know that if my knees are not in perfect shape I can't improve, because I can't train hard. So my first goal is getting the knees in perfect shape. Looks like I'm doing fine but I want to be sure I'm fine before I get back on court.
Q- When are you coming back?
RN - Even I don't know. I hope it's Montreal. In a week and half, but I'll also tell you in the next 3 days I'm gonna push my knees, because I'm not gonna go there without having tested myself, and if things go wrong and I'm not at the right level I won't and I know finding my form against top level competition is gonna be tough at the beginning. But my goal and my hope is to be there, but not to be #1.
Q - Out of curiosity, has Federer called you?
RN - I sent him a message after Wimbledon which he answered and sent him a message for the twins, he hasn't answered yet. But be must have thousands of messages.
Q - What is you best memory of this 2 months?
RN - Without any doubt, all the support I have received from people, with thousands of messages in my website and my celll phone, from people of all kinds, sportsmen, politics, friends, people I know that makes me going forward because it shows that my people care about me and love me.
Q - Are you free to come back Rafa? Are you free to decide for yourself, or is there pressure from the sponsors, the ATP, the tour?
RN - I've never had any pressure from my sponsors to come back, and from the ATP, that would be the last thing, after the schedule they make. No I'm free to come back when I feel ready, and let me tell you, as well as I say a month ago I wasn't mentally prepared to return even if my knee had been fine, because it was a very tough blow not being able to compete in Wimbledon after losing at RG, and all that combined with the pain. Right now I feel mentally ready to return, and I don't have any doubt that once I'm fine, I'll come back to give everything I have. Then, the results, as you know arrive sooner or later, or they don't arrive at all, but I'll do all I can to make them come sooner rather than later and, most importantly to make them come.
Rafa has purchased a lovely beachside home in the exclusive residential complex, Playa Nueva Romana in the Dominican Republic.
The community will have "1,200 luxury homes, a marina, a five-star hotel, and an 18-hole golf course. This new development represents an investment of more than US $180 million and covers an area of 620 acres of coconut groves, just 45 minutes from Santa Domingo's international airport.
Now I know where to come for my Caribbean holidays ...
Tuesday, 28 July 2009
Rafa and Xisca have been laying a bit low of late ... but here they are snapped in the obligatory bare torso/bikini shot.
By the way ... my bottom was that size when I was 7 years old ... and that man is HUGE in comparison.
There's much excitement tonight as Rafa appears on TVE1 to discuss his injury, his rehabilitation, maybe the future.
I am trying as I might to find a live stream, but its like finding live BBC1 on your laptop. However, as a taster, a couple of video clips have been released. The longest so far shows Rafa working with his personal trainer, swimming and with lovely Rafa Maymo working on his physio. Some lovvvvvely shots of the Rafabod. *swoons*
More clips and translations will be posted as they appear.
Sunday, 26 July 2009
Ahhhh ... the Number One, el Numero Uno.
Lovely Rafa. Attached is a little documentary on Rafa and whilst its all in Spanish (blimey ... we are going to fluent by the end of this recovery period!!!) ... it just gives us a taster of the magic that is the man, Rafael Nadal.
If we hadn't been missing him enough already, a short film documenting his tennis and some of his winning magic makes you realise just how much tennis is missing him. Here's hoping the rehabilitation is going well, as I soooooo want him back. Vamos Rafa!!!
Saturday, 25 July 2009
As a reminder of what we've been missing and in honour of the up-coming tournament in Montreal, I thought we could have a reminder of we've been missing, and a flashback to last years Canadian Open; when Rafa was in his pomp in that summer of unprecedented success, looking fit, healthy and gorgeous.
Listen out for the fabulous Rafagrunts and he ends it with a magnificent Rafaroar. Vamos Rafa !!!!
"Pftt" as the lovely MarcusinKensington would say. There is no, and I mean absolutely no Rafanews at the moment. Not a picture, not an article ... nothing, nada, zilch.
My only offering is Rafa in training this week ... and that's hardly exciting. But at least we get salacious knee shots ...
Thursday, 23 July 2009
There's not much Rafanews to report at the moment. Here's hoping his work after the injury is progressing well.
However, Rafa was recently at a family Communion, and here's a sample of the pictures. See how the kids love being around Rafa. Bless him ...
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
As reported yesterday, lovely Rafa is back in training ... but what's this?? Head in his hands, despairing looks?? Let's face it ... its the very first day back after him last hitting a ball at Huntingdon ... what more can we expect?
A report posted on Rafa's website was sensibly cautious and low key:-
Rafa is finally back training! It was the moment we’ve all been waiting for, especially Rafa and his team.
In what was a very light session lasting an hour and 15mins, the champion had a hit with his uncle and coach Toni Nadal. “It was just a quick training session, with no pressure to get a better idea of how he feels and on top of everything, make sure there is no pain,” said Toni.
“I’m very happy to be back training, get to touch a racket again and do what I love doing the most. At the same time, it was just a very light session, without putting too much pressure; just enough to see how I am".
“I still have to be very careful and I think within the next week and a half we will know more. Nevertheless, I’m still very happy,” said Rafa after the training session.
Below are a series of video clips which look like a 'fly on the wall' type series. What makes me howl is Rafa's apparent inability to play on his Playstation without clothes on. Well ... except for his underpants ... but who's bothered?
Another thing which is amusing is how Rafa is such a SORE loser when playing. But hey ... isn't he playing as MANCHESTER UNITED ??!!???!???
Monday, 20 July 2009
Oh boy, this is cuteness personified. I'm sure Rafa has had some, erm ... unusual things presented to him to sign ... but a BABY!!!
At Indian Wells this year, Rafa undertook signings for the fans inclusive of a baby gro with the baby still in it!! I love to see the excitement of the fans though in getting to meet him, have photographs taken and gain autographs. Vamos Rafa!!
Following last week's tests in Barcelona, Rafa took the practice courts again today. Hooray!!!
Here's a translation of an article that appeared in Marca:-
In the opinion of the doctor Angel Ruiz Cotorro, Nadal “is moving and will continue his physiotherapy treatment and strengthening muscle” while training re-starts.
Nadal admitted that this season it will be very difficult to try to regain the world number one but he warned that he's still got a lot to give to the battle. “Even if you are already at one hundred percent, we must be realistic. The remainder of the season will be difficult because after being out for a month, which will be nearly two, you lose the rhythm of the competition while others have continued in theirs . However, I have an advantage over Federer - I'm still only 23“ he said.
I'm just simply delighted for him to be within a shout of competing ... whatever the outcome may be.
Here are a couple of videos showing Rafa's practice session and an an interview.
Sunday, 19 July 2009
Rafa today features in a fashion article in the Mail on Sunday. Essentially, it seems to be a mixture of various Rafa quotes cobbled together to form a piece.
What tickles me though is the trouble that Rafa has in getting trousers to fit because of his chunky thighs!!! LOL ... nothing at all about his huge ass though, but Rafa wouldn't have trouble with his trousers if he was around me. Because he wouldn't be wearing any ... *winks*
Toni Nadal appears in a an article today given to the El Mundo magazine in Spain. One of our esteemed Rafateers - Pearl - is having a stab at translating.
She does advise that the article is not just about Rafa or his injury, but gives Toni's views on philosophy, life and tennis. Toni also confirms the separation of Rafa's parents, but states that sometimes in life, these things happen and that in this context, Toni has been more of an Uncle to Rafa than a coach.
Keep looking after our boy Toni !!!
Saturday, 18 July 2009
Bloody golf. Hate it. Largely because I spent an awful lot of time being a golf widow in a former life along with being bored to tears trudging around various courses. The only time I enjoyed it was when I got a corporate ticket in 2001 (or was it 2002?) for The Open, which meant lots of eating and drinking in the club house of Royal Lytham. Now that's what I call enjoying golf.
Anyhow, its a passion of our lovely boy's and he apparently has a single-figure handicap. Rafa today took part in a charity golf event, accompanied by his Nadal uncles:- Miguel-Angel who played, Toni and Uncle Rafael, along with his pal Tomeu. Love the inter-action with Uncle M-A ... and I just love Rafa in green ... but what is that Rafa? Surely not "butt picking" of your golf trousers??? LOL.
Whilst Rafa is hot, gorgeous and the sweetest thing you'll ever have the pleasure to meet ... Marat is pure sex. He is smoking. And whilst Rafa is obviously still very young in these pictures, he looks completely out of his depth with Marat.