Words of Toni Nadal...
Rafa said earlier that he had not the level to win RG. Now he has?
I donít know if itís enough to beat Federer or Djokovic. But at least it is better than the previous matches. Thatís a good thing.
Rafa arrived in unusual conditions according to his standards: two losses on the clay. Do you grab (correct??) him differently?
Off cours! It didnít go the way it supposed to go. I try to speak more to him, give him the necessary confidence.
Does it work?
We shall see.
Rafa has won RG already five times. Is it not becoming difficult to motivate him?
Excuse me? If you're at Roland Garros and you're not motivated, then you can better stop playing tennis.
What keeps him driving? That sixth title, something only Bjorn Borg achieved?
Thatís not on our mind. For us, it is like the first time. Records is something you can look back to, after your career.
Could it be, that the dip form the last couple of weeks, is caused by less motivation?
It was partly technical. His game was not good. And partly mental. During his training sessions he touched the ball well, but when we arrived here, it didnít work anymore. It was like he had lost his serenity to play. Rafa is obvisiously more nervous than other years, he has become afraid.
By whom or what?
By losing to Djokovic. By the tension and stress which is here in the air. That makes that he is scared. And that's a problem.
Who causes him more fear: Djokovic or Federer?
I donít know? I think he is afraid the next opponent.
Can you compare the stress of tennis player with the stress of a footbal player?
Football players donít know any stress. I know this because my brother played by Barcelona. And by the Spanish team. You have to check their faces when they enter to field. Football players laugh, joke in the playersí tunnel. The face of tennis player is convulsive, characterized d by the tension and stress. There is much more to lose. If he loses, heís out. Next, the stress of the following tournament starts. If you win, you can barley enjoy your victory, because the next day the following match takes place. Football players always have a whole week to prepare for their next match. I saw my brother loosing the champions league final, against milan. Iím not saying he went partying afterwards, but he wasnít very down either. Rafa is not only playing for a sixth title, but the number one ranking as well. Does that cause any extra pressure?
I would sign immediately to become number 2,3,4, ... as long as we win roland garros. Winning is the only thing that counts, the ranking is subordinate.
In the man's game the four best players of the world made it to the semis. As a tennis lover, you must enjoy this?
Absolutely not, I preferred 3 players who are more weak by the last 4. Or that they were on the other side of the draw. Unfortunately that's impossible. Federer, Djokovic, Murray, i like watching them play, but not against us. They are too good.
We are from Belgium, so a Belgian question: what did you think of Kim Clijsters?
Kim clijsters, has she played, here?
You are kidding?
Non i did know that. Has she lost?
2 round, against a Russian player, number 144, while she was 6-3, 5-2 up and had two match balls. Do you understand that?
Incomprehensible, but it happens more often in tennis. In tennis the mental pressure is very high. When you are 3-0 up in football, you win the match. In tennis you can be 6-3, 5-2 up and still lose the match. Youíre never sure. This is partly due the scoring. Even if you win 3 points, you can lose the game. So the points you won, were for nothing. This is frustrating and causes stress. As a result youíre never tranquil.
Federer-Nadal final tomorrow. Who has the most pressure?
Everyone has the same pressure. You can not be in the final without having any pressure. They both want to win Roland Garros. And who can win, has the pressure.