Toni Nadal recently gave a long interview with the Argentinian journalists of FueBuena. The topics touched on ranged from doping to the problems of the schedule. Many are the doubts and questions that Toni wonders about, chief among them the 2013 season: "Before stopping, because of the injury, Rafael was playing very well, I think he was number 1 in the race, if I’m not wrong. From Roland Garros he started to have problems and all has changed. From here, you wonder how it will be next season, I don’t know what to expect. There is no fear of getting hurt again because you can’t play thinking that there could be a relapse. We’d do well, that’s for sure."
Rafael Nadal won a lot during his career and he’s still very young so why not to think to play for numbers and for history: ”I don’t think this is our goal. At this point of the career you play because you love tennis and you are happy when you practice it. If through the tournaments will arrive also historical numbers, it’s secondary. Obviously all would like to arrive higher as possible and have a place in history but it’s more important competition and personal satisfaction.” The number 4 of the world won four tournaments on clay before the stop: “ His best moment was the match against Ferrer in Paris, but we weren’t lucky enough. Then Wimbledon has come… without diminishing Rosol’s merits, but I highly doubt that in normal conditions Rafael would have lost that match. Before going on court we knew we weren’t in good shape, we were more worried about the knee than the adversary. Anyway it belongs to the past, Rosol deserved to win.”
The schedule of 2013 won’t change for Nadal who will play the same number of tournaments on hard court of the past years: ”If it was up to us we would play always on clay but it’s not something possible. Of the four Slam tournaments, two are on hard court. The Master 1000 are play almost all on hard court. It’s complicated to change the rules. There’s nothing to do. The only thing we can do is competing on fast surfaces. Then usually we have 3 Masters on clay, last year just two… having permitted to Tiriac to change surface in Madrid was a failure.” The fault of the injury it’s not, up to Toni, of the schedule in itself but to his tight rhythm that doesn’t allow the players to rest.:” When you compete at such a high level it’s hard, almost impossible, not to be victim of injuries. We can do a recap to create a list of the players victims of injuries: Kuerten, Norman, Safin, Moya, Nalbandian, Del Potro… I named just some of them, but there are many others who had to stop for a long time. It’s not schedule’s fault but I can certainly affirm that so many tournaments don’t help tennis players.” But many will be the exhibitions that will be played in December:” tournaments like the one in Abu Dhabi don’t require a big physical effort, it’s completely different.”
Corretja declared that in 2013 hopes to have all the available players. The first round will be Canada- Spain, long transfer after the Australian Open: “We’ll do what the doctors suggest us. Rafael would take part to the Davis Cup. If we lose in Doha and Australia at the first round, then we can prepare for Davis. If instead we play four matches in Doha and sixer in Australia, at that point doctors will suggest us to rest.. We’ll see.” Roger Federer and Andy Murray ask more blood controls to make sure that tennis is clean:” I follow what the chiefs of ATP decide. I’m fine because Rafa is clean, it’s impossible to dope in tennis. If ATP thinks that is right to increase anti- doping controls, do what they think it’s better. It’s true that there was the case of Mariano Puerta, but since then no top tennis player has ever doped, I think that they are all clean. It’s hard to dope.” The rivalry between Federer and Nadal enriched sport but also caused insults between supporters:” The rudeness of some people is evident, often one insults the adversary to defend the own idol. This is wrong, we must enjoy this moment rich of entertainment.”
The Master of the end of the year has been always played on hard court: “The surface can’t be changed because ATP has so decided. I think that it’s not fair to play always on the same surface simply because tennis is also played on court and grass. Probably because of ATP, Rafael has never won, until now, a Master. Which is the problem? The problem is very simple. When you ask the players where they want to play it, most of them, specialist of fast surfaces, answer hard court. This shouldn’t happen, ATP should take a decision apart from the players.” Christmas is getting closer, a wish for next year: “ Play without injuries. And since for Christmas you can ask also the impossible, we will play to win everything ( laugh). We hope to reach the level of the first half of 2012, it’ll be enough to go back to win a great tournament.”
Tennis World Magazine - issue 27
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