By clothing-bag, 15/03/2023
Nadal, at 30: "I am Rafa, I have no double life"
Pone Rafa Nadal voz de sorpresa cuando se le pregunta si es consciente de ser una leyenda. El mismo timbre de asombro que pondría cualquier otra persona. Una que no haya ganado 14 torneos del Grand Slam ni haya sido el mejor jugador del mundo en 2008, 2010 y 2013, si alguien le dijera lo mismo por teléfono. “Son cosas que ni me preocupan mucho ni me planteo”, dice con tono contenido. Es un guerrero, y los buenos soldados luchan, no alardean de sus victorias.
One remembers that in Love Game, 2014 book that recounts the conversion of tennis of a Victorian hobby to a global phenomenon, Elizabeth Wilson, its author, refers to Nadal as "the last Spartan.Like the citizens of that Greek polis, Rafael Nadal (who turns 30 on June 3) was trained since childhood to support the greatest challenges.Not to give up.To fight until the last breath.Leonidas would have admitted to this Mallorcan of 1.82 and 75 kilos among its mythical 300 who defended the passage of thermopylas against the Persian army.Surely he would have accepted the challenge.And possibly, if they get to have Rafael Nadal, they would have resisted.Because what has done from the Mallorcan a legendary athlete is his ability to resist when everything indicates that doing so is meaningless.There is no article that does not mention your tenacity and your physique.In 2008 Wimbledon won for the first time, in a game that for many is the best in the history of this sport and for some the best sports confrontation ever seen.The longest final in the history of the championship: four hours and 48 minutes of combat against his nemesis, the Swiss Roger Federer.
He was 22 years old and the London newspaper The Observer greeted him as the player of the future.“The muscular child, the result of the changes that have taken place in the tennis of the last three decades.The antithesis of the players of the past, which were all nerve, ”he said.Nadal's analogy with the Mediterranean warrior of heart and claw is a constant.Not even David Foster Wallace, one of the brightest writers of his generation and a passionate of tennis, escaped from the cliché.He associated Nadal with "the passionate virility of southern Europe".He said that his style of play is "butcher knife".
"I have made my life, my career, always trying to give the maximum every day, in each training and in each game," explains Rafa.“Then, obviously, I am aware that things have come out very, very well.Much better than any of my environment or I would have dreamed.I have to be very grateful to all the people who help me and have helped me.And to life, for giving me all these things that I am living ".
In that answer Rafael Nadal's philosophy is summarized.One: The most important thing is effort, hard and constant work.Two: that is no use without a fortune point.Three: The biggest fortunes is having an environment in which to shelter.Four: be modest with your achievements.
He will not think that it is a legend, but the world does.Nadal is valuable as a jewel and is taken care of as such.More than a person seems like a mythological creature.The only difference with the Yeti is that every minute that passes in public has been documented.According to Google, is the most famous living Rafa in the world.It is above Rafa Márquez, central to the Mexican soccer team, of the dancer Rafael bitter and even Raphael, the ph singer.
In spite of that there is something impenetrable in him.Although he talks a lot to the media, it gives the impression that we barely know him outside the track.It is possible that this feeling that it does not give interviews and that in them there is hardly anything because they all seem the same.As if it were an exam to each issue, an answer corresponds and only one.But he flatly denies the existence of a private rafa, unknown to the public."There are really no differences.I am Rafa.I don't have a double image or double life.I think I am a rather natural person both inside the track and I have never hidMajorca.And I am comfortable like this ".
It is reserved.An example.In a recent interview, one in which La Guardia went down a little, mentioned that in recent times he had learned to enjoy life between the games.But when trying to specify, know what he does, the answer is generic.“Normally, if I have the option, what I do is return home.What happens is that there are long tours that leave a few days in between.Before I would have tried to return and now I look for fun, be happy and train well out of Mallorca.Experience gives you the option of living life differently.I think that over the years I have already learned to enjoy those free days among tournaments.It is clear that we live in a world, that of the professional circuit, which is like a bubble for a series of years.I enjoy it to the fullest, but I am aware that it has an expiration date and that my real life is another ”.A curious thing.Sometimes he answers questions that have not been asked.For example, the expiration date.That issue that is in the environment after its two worst seasons in the circuit.
In January, the Robinson report program dedicated its space to Rafa Nadal.He had never seen the tennis player so closely.The thesis was moderately optimistic.It was recognized that 2015 had been a terrible year.The first without relevant titles for almost a decade.A disrupted that, and in this everyone seems to agree, began on January 26, 2014.That day he lost unexpectedly against Wawrinka the final of the Australian Open.They assure that a defeat was not forgave that would have shot its goal of being the player with the most Grand Slam tournaments in history, in front of a Swiss whom he had overcome until the 12 occasions in which they had faced each other.Not even winning that year his ninth Roland Garros consoled him.Tompicones ended 2014 and in 2015 it stuck.
The problem is not so much defeats but how they occur.A nadal failing easy balls, obfuscated.He recognized it publicly.It wasn't right, he wasn't, he didn't recognize himself.Had lost that unconditional faith in itself.And sometimes, he even lowered his arms.The unthinkable.
But in that program there was talk of a recovery and it was argued that the Christmas break and the change of digit were going to be almost magical.In 2016, the waters would return to their channel and Nadal would triumph again, something that their victory in the masters 1000 of Montecarlo seems to corroborate.One of the most enthusiastic statements issued in that Robinson report was by John Carlin, co -author of the most exhaustive biography about the tennis player, Rafa, my story."If I had to bet my life that Rafa Nadal will win a Grand Slam tournament, I would do it," he said.
A month later, Nadal is in Buenos Aires.Play the city tournament, and also grant this interview as Ambassador to Tommy Hilfiger.At one point, an English voice interrupts the talk to warn that there is only time for a question remains.
–Afa, would you advise Carlin to bet?
-No.Never.In life there is nothing that is safe.I work to the fullest to try to give me that option.But then we'll see what happens.
Rafael Nadal Parera will turn 30 on June 3.The age that for athletes is, in the best case, the beginning of the discount time in the elite.The birthday will catch him, if everything goes well, in Paris.That day the male semifinals of Roland Garros, his fetish tournament are played.The place where the image of the indestructible tennis player was forged.
His place in history is already assured.Even in a sport like tennis, a specialist in replacing an idol with another at a dizzying speed, it will cost to erase your memory.And it will still be more difficult to find a substitute.That for tennis in Spain is a tragedy.This is a country in which football eats everything.The only way to have relevance is to be at the top, without faltering.If not, it happens as the rallies once removed Carlos Sainz or the water polo after stating you: they vanished as if they had never existed.So the question is: Are you thinking of retiring?“Today I am active and I hope to remain active for a long time.I cannot say that my illusion is the same as the first day because every moment is different and the sensations are different.That does not mean that I always maintain the illusion.The day that is not so will be the time to say goodbye and think about other things ”.
"No," he says again with a tone of absolute surprise when he is told that, at least in appearance, his activity outside the track has increased."I have no more things now than before, I always have the same.We have normally maintained a certain number of sponsors.In my opinion, we have not been practically ever surpassed, and this is so.My priority is tennis.But obviously everything I do outside the track is also part of my life and my work.And, the truth is something that is appreciated ".
Among them, his link with Tommy Hilfiger.Something that has made this winter appear in underwear in the marques of half the world.“Well, it is a new and exciting experience to know a universe like that of fashion by the hand of a great brand like this, with which I get a relationship of many years.I met Tommy in 2006 in Montecarlo.We have a very good relationship and keep the contact.Last year he gave me the opportunity to be his ambassador and I am very grateful to work with a firm that he believes and trusts me ”.
There is a special project.Something that excites even more than being the banner of Spain in the next Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.In June the opening of Rafa Nadal Tennis Academy in its city, Manacor is planned.“It is a very dear project behind the one we have been.It is a challenge to open an academy and we will try to make it a success and a world reference place.We are going to try to train young people, get the best out of them at the tenistic level.But we know that the percentage of professionals that leaves there will be scarce, because there are very few professionals.We will try to get the greatest possible number, but the most important thing is that those who do not get it come out prepared for life.The values that we will try to instill them are those in which we believe.Those who are more important to me and my family: respect, education, passion, spirit of overcoming, discipline and doing things right.But the most important thing is to be good people.What we really are looking for is that they are good people ".