Rafael Nadal: I Am A Person Who Doesn’t Like Big Changes, But Carlos Moya On My Team Is Nothing New
by Tom Gainey | January 14th, 2017, 11:24 pm
  • 54 Comments

A healthy Rafael Nadal returns to the Australian Open hoping to start the climb back up the top of the rankings. And maybe, win a second “Career Grand Slam”.

Nadal fell last year to Fernando Verdasco in a first round stunner, and later suffered a wrist injury which he says hampered him from May until the rest of the year. Fortunately, though, he says he’s ready to fight. He’ll begin against veteran Florian Mayer on Tuesday afternoon in the heat of the day.

Nadal seeded down to No. 9 but comes in with new coach Carlos Moya. And the addition of Moya was a big topic as Nadal met the press today in Melbourne.

Q. How are you feeling heading into the Open this year?
RAFAEL NADAL: Good. I think I am ready. I think I practiced very well for one month and a half in Mallorca. I had good start of the season in Abu Dhabi and Brisbane. I am practicing well this year, the week before.

Q. What have you sort of taken confidence from in your game so far?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am happy with everything more or less, no? I am playing well. When I’m saying I’m playing well is because to play well today on this sport you need to be a complete player, no? You need to be ready to do backhand, forehand, server, return well.

Q. Can you talk us through the decision to start working with Carlos Moya, please, in terms of what did you decide that was something you wanted to do and how that came about?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, Carlos, more than anything, is a good friend of mine. I talk with him often. Doesn’t matter if he stays in my team or not, no? I have a great relationship with him.

Yeah, in December, you know, after knowing that he will stop with Milos, you know, we talked with him, myself and my uncle. For me is a very good option, no?

I know him very well. I know he wants the best for me. He knows my personality, he knows my game, too. Could be a good help for me and at the same time for the team, for the rest of the team, have somebody like him on the team is always something that I am very happy with because is good to have good people in your team.

He’s a person who loves this sport. He’s a person who knows my tennis very well.

Q. Can you even imagine back to a time when players didn’t have a team? Vilas and Borg were the only ones who came with a coach. McEnroe very rarely. Can you imagine what it was like back then?
RAFAEL NADAL: Different parts of the history, no? I believe you need to be comfortable with what you have. I am not a complicated person. You know, is true that I have a big team now. But I am happy with less, too, no?

I am a person who doesn’t like the big changes, who needs to be comfortable, have a big team. But more the real thing is I have the same people from the beginning, no? Now is Carlos. But is not like 100% new thing to me.

He’s a person that I practiced with him during almost all my career since I had 15 until he retired. Even last year sometimes when he was in Mallorca or two years ago, I was practicing, hitting sometimes with him.

Is not a big deal, no? He is close to my house. He live in Mallorca, too. He going to help us with the academy, too. That’s something that I am very happy with, too. Is important for the academy have somebody like Carlos that can be big help for us and for the kids, too.

For me, is very special to have him on the team and I am very happy.

Q. Is there a particular reason why now is a good time for you to bring Carlos in? Why not a few years ago?
RAFAEL NADAL: Things happens. You cannot predict the things. You cannot know when is the right time or when is not the right time. You take decisions. I am not a person who takes decisions like this (snapping fingers). I need to talk.

More than anything, you know, my uncle is my coach. He is a person that is decisive in my career, so I need to talk with him before taking any of these decisions. I will never take a decision like this if Toni is not happy with.

First of all is the stability for me, so important. Toni is happy with. I am happy with that decision, too. Everybody’s happy because Carlos is a friend of the rest of my team. We know each other. Carlos knows all my team because my team is the same one since 15 years old.

Is just like an introduction, but very easy introduction to the team.

Q. You mentioned Abu Dhabi. You played a great final there against David Goffin. A high-level match for an exhibition. Has he impressed you? Do you think he can cause a surprise here in this tournament?
RAFAEL NADAL: David?

Q. Yes.
RAFAEL NADAL: No, David, he cannot give nobody surprise because he’s a top player. I don’t know. He’s 11 in the world. When you are 11 in the world, you are there for a couple of years, then you are not a surprise. You are a great player.

You come here and you fight for everything.

Q. The court seems to be playing faster this year again here. Some players have said so. I was wondering what was your opinion on the conditions.
RAFAEL NADAL: I like the conditions. I don’t see the courts faster or slower. Is true that the outside courts are a little bit faster than the inside courts, the show courts.

There is two things that make that happen. First thing is when the court is smaller, looks like the things happens much faster. Second thing, you know, when you practice and you play more on the courts, the floor gets quicker. That’s why that’s happens.

For the rest of the things, I see the tournament great, as always, and every year better. I don’t see a tournament like the Australian Open around the world that is improving that much every single year. So is great to see how good are doing the things Tennis Australia.

Q. A lot of people would think your next best chance of winning a Grand Slam is at Roland Garros. Do you come here believing that you can win seven matches in a fortnight on hard courts?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I don’t know. That’s really don’t worries me because I don’t think about it. I think about the first day and I think about the practice of every day.

You cannot say I am ready for it or I am not ready for it. Let’s see. The only thing that I can say is I am practicing well. I am enjoying every practice. I feel myself ready for the competition, yes. Then if that happens during the next couple of days, I am able to compete well from the beginning, you never know what can happen. I feel myself happen. That’s the real thing.

Q. Are you feeling pain-free at the moment? Obviously you had some physical problems last year.
RAFAEL NADAL: What do you mean ‘pain-free’?

Q. Are you carrying any injuries that concern you?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am not injured, no. Pain-free is a long time ago (smiling).

Q. If you’re not able to win the title, what would you be satisfied with?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am here. I am enjoying. I am coming back on the tour after a while. People can think is not that much because he stopped after Shanghai. But being honest and being realistic, after Roland Garros, the only tournament I played with okay conditions, not 100 per cent conditions, was the US Open.

Because on Olympics, even if was a great event, I still had a lot of pain on the wrist. Then I had an edema on the hand. Was so difficult to play, no? I played because I didn’t want to stop again. I wanted to keep trying.

I went to Beijing and Shanghai with too much pain. So during the last seven months, I played just a couple of matches, no? That’s the real thing. I am playing tennis because I am happy doing what I am doing.

As I said a couple of days ago, if I don’t see myself, and if I don’t believe that I can be competitive, and when I mean ‘competitive’, is fighting for the things that I fighted during the last 10 years, I will be probably playing golf or fishing at home. I am being honest with this.

If I am here is because I believe — I don’t know here, I don’t know Rotterdam in a couple weeks, in Acapulco, Indian Wells, Miami, and Roland Garros, I don’t know. I can fight for the things that really motivates me.


You Might Like:
Rafael Nadal Has Added Carlos Moya To His Coaching Team
After Best Season Milos Raonic Parts Ways With Coach Carlos Moya
Milos Raonic Hires Carlos Moya To His Coaching Staff
Milos Raonic Explains The Hiring Of New Coach Carlos Moya
Will Carlos Moya Really Add Anything To Rafael Nadal’s Game?

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54 Comments for Rafael Nadal: I Am A Person Who Doesn’t Like Big Changes, But Carlos Moya On My Team Is Nothing New

J.S. Says:

Great interview with the ONE and ONLY RAFA!!!
Can’t wait to watch you play on Tuesday and hope for a terrific 2017.


Giles Says:

Just do it Rafa!
Vamos Champ!
πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘


Willow Says:

Thank goodness, Rafa and on court tennis talk, rather than off court crap, do your best, take it one match at a time, who knows what will happen ….


Giles Says:

^^^^ What do you mean by ” off court tennis crap”????


Navdeep Says:

he will do it Giles.


Willow Says:

Navdeep i love your summary, and hope your right, at least somewhere along the line ;-) ….


Navdeep Says:

Willow,
he is Rafa, the man who made me realize what hope means n now I don’t loose hope on him


Willow Says:

Navdeep thanks for the feedback, nice to have another Rafa fan here, they are so few now ….


J-Kath Says:

Folks:

There’s no getting away from Roger’s influence. Even though he’s currently No. 17, he has been given prime time for his first match.

Willow:
Rafa still has a very good following…No.2.
Nole: No.3
Andy: No.4


J.S. Says:

This is a great interview on Rafa’s practice with his “new” coach! I enjoyed it, I hope you do too!!

http://www.tennisworldusa.org/news/news/Rafael_Nadal/39647/carlos-moya-nadal-is-too-demanding-with-himself-it-takes-time-to-evolve-/

Rafa has more followers on social media than anyone.
Rafa 11.7 M
Roger 6.4 M
Andy 3.7 M
Novak 6.8

It doesn’t matter BUT I am not convinced Rafa isn’t #1 w/ fans


J.S. Says:

Navdeep -
“he is Rafa, the man who made me realize what hope means n now I don’t loose hope on him”

THANK YOU FOR SAYING THIS!!! SO wonderful!


Willow Says:

J.S Many thanks for the link ….


Willow Says:

J.S By the looks of it he is number 1 with fans ;-) ….


jane Says:

hi j.s., not that it matters too much but i think you mean twitter specifically

novak has most instagram followers and he & serena have most interactions

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2016/09/09/novak-djokovic-and-serena-williams-are-tennis-biggest-social-media-stars/#349bea7a46b5

fed and rafa have the most facebook followers by far; fed has 14 mill there alone

i think they’re all doing well on these platforms. it’s awesome to be able to hear directly from them too.


J.S. Says:

That’s an interesting article TY!!! With all the interactions I am surprised Novak doesn’t have the followers Rafa/Roger have? Give the guy credit for trying….

Here is another one that is interesting!! COST PER TWEET, CRAZY!!
http://opendorse.com/blog/2016-highest-paid-athlete-endorsers/


jane Says:

where on facebook? well he rose up much later but he has over 7 mill there, and on twitter he has the same amount as roger, and on IG he has the most. so… he’s doing really well methinks

don’t forget, he’s eastern european and he broke up the fedal duopoly in 2011, so i think he’ll always have those things to shoulder.


J.S. Says:

I agree JANE – I am sure Djok is happy being #3 behind Rafa and Roger. Although, I like Rafa and Andy, my fav 2 but I don’t think Andy cares about those things.
AND…I think I am the only person who could take/leave Roger, not someone I have followed.

We are hours away from some tennis! Sleeping will become 2nd priority


jane Says:

ofc that’s not exactly what i said, but okay. :)


J.S. Says:

UH OH!!
Let me re-read your post, :)


J-Kath Says:

Looking at all the slightly conflicting stats. Doubt it’s much different overall from what I first said. Sorri – can’t be bothered tonight re-confirming but will do so if required tomorrow….but seriously, does it really matter?


Willow Says:

J.S Enjoy your tennis travels, and keep us all posted ;-)


J.S. Says:

No travel to tennis tourneys until Rotterdam – but I will take lots of pics and keep you updated.
For now I am anxious for some AO tennis, so excited!!!

Everyone having to watch early morning with time difference?


Truth Says:

The young kids aren’t Twitter following Fed. In 2007, FEDAL fans thought Fed would be the most followed. It doesn’t mean much because the fedal rivalry didn’t exist.
A bunch of RAFA beatings then barely any matches after 2010. Rarely a good match.
No U.S. Open meeting.


J.S. Says:

TRUTH – I am so confused, haha!!
I am NOT a FEDAL fan but what are you saying about the fans?
In Brisbane it paid off offering Rafa the “appearance fee” right?

Help me here!!!


J.S. Says:

OPS! “Help me here” as in help me understand what you’re saying :)


kjb Says:

@ J.S.

Don’t worry about anything Truth says, he rarely makes any sense and has a unhealthy obsession with Andy Roddick


Truth Says:

Obviously, Nadalvak have much more instagram followers than Fed.
I realize followers aren’t the most important for these guys, but you can’t deny that fans like sense of humor.

Fed is getting less fan worship because he won’t dominate tennis and has a losing record against nadalvak. Despite all those sportsmanship awards, Fed gloryhunters didn’t follow him on Twitter.
Nadal still has many loyal younger fans, despite injury time offs.

kjb, yes… Look at Fed’s lapdog from 2003. What a “pity”.
The Texan had 1 million Twitter fans in 2008 but didn’t add 500,000 followers. *crickets, silence
Not even sympathy followers..
Are you desperate to get people to love your posts, kjb?


kjb Says:

@Truth

I have no idea what you are talking about in any of your posts. The only thing that I can ever decipher from them is that you love talking about a player that retired years ago. I woud also like to hear who you think(other than the Big 4) in todays game is more deserving to be in the Tennis hall of fame than your man, Roddick?


kjb Says:

@Truth

And I am talking about Tennis talent and career achievements, not twitter followers.


Lodhi Says:

Even if Rafa has more online followers, the main follower – in fact the only follower that really matters – is skeezer, and skeezer follows Roger. So by definition , Roger is greater than Rafa because skeezer is the greatest follower the tennis fiefdom has ever witnessed, and whosoever is followed by skeezer is the one who deserves to be followed by all.


Willow Says:

J.S i live in GB, so much of the tennis is on in the middle of the night where i am, so unless i dont have work in the morning i cant watch alot of it, in 2010 i was recouperating after an operation, so was able to watch it all, first and only time though ….


J.S. Says:

I am watching Wawrinka tank at the moment, KLizan pushed it to 5 sets, Bad day for Stan! Although unless Wawrinka lays down he should win the match…hmmmm!!!!

Willow this is my first match to watch – Same issues with time for me. BUT will get up at 5am to watch Rafa tomorrow.


J.S. Says:

Not sure how Wawrinka won that match…what a thriller!
Klizan won’t sleep well tonight!! What an impressive kid who was fun to watch.


Willow Says:

J.S or Nishikori or Cilic WTF ….


J.S. Says:

NOW Federer just lost 2nd set, Crazy 1st round – Hope Rafa and Andy win in straight sets….GEEZ!!!


J.S. Says:

AND>……..Federer is red faced and sweating, is this a first?
Just in case no one noticed, LOLOL


Willow Says:

J.S Andy already did ;-) ….


J.S. Says:

Yep….I see that now! I will go watch it – I am so screwed on keeping up, thanks for knocking me in the head, much needed!! :)


J-Kath Says:

J.S.

If you are still in Rome your time is one hour in advance of the UK (13.22 here and 14.22 Rome. Stan had a tough match (getting him ready for a strong swing to the final?). I didn’t see Andy’s match but he was evidently no-where near being even good – still he won to play another day. As for the Fed. He was not too inspiring either – but did enuf to get the win.

Tomorrow Rafa and Nole….Don’t bite off too many of your nails.


J.S. Says:

I am back in Gozo we are the same time zone as Rome though. Looks like Rafa plays at 5am, :)

What a crazy day of tennis…..I watched the Wawrinka match and a few games of Federer, watching Murray now – They all looked terrible, what the heck is going on?? Although they are all thru to 2nd round. Still shaking head how Wawrinka won today, yikes!!!

Hopefully, Nadal doesn’t play like today’s players…Or I will be biting more than my nails, HAHA


Humble Rafa Says:

Thanks guys. Without your support, Humble will not rumble.


J.S. Says:

wooohooo RAFA RAFA RAFA – So happy for him!!!
VAMOS VAMOS VAMOS, such a champion!!!


Navdeep Says:

Yessss, 1 down 6 to go. Take one match at a time .
Good luck Rafa


Willow Says:

Navdeep it was the middle of the night where i am, just happy to wake up and see he went through in straight sets, how did he look, good or bad ? ….


Willow Says:

Giles what i mean is talk on Rafas tennis, rather than the haircuts and impressions etc, nice to finally be discussing his tennis ….


Navdeep Says:

Willow , Rafa looked solid served really well hit lots of winners. Missed some shorts here and there otherwise the 2nd set would have been a lot easier.Overall, it was a nice first outing.


J.S. Says:

WILLOW
It was obvious Rafa is trying some new things (yes?) but, I didn’t think he looked awesome! And, I am his BEST fan, lol. He won and hope it was just shakiness like the others.
LOVE LOVE watching him on the court so hope he makes it far.


Navdeep Says:

hey I missed punctuations lol


Navdeep Says:

J.S. I never said he looked awesome. But he was good enough to complete the job


J.S. Says:

NAVDEEP…
I am always thrilled when Rafa gets a “W”. Did you think he was trying some new things? Or, am I just guessing…..since so many 1st rounds looked questionable it could just be that??
Hoping Rafa goes deep!!! LOVE HIM


Navdeep Says:

J.S. I think Rafa saw this match as a way to improve his fdtl. There were so many times he tried it, made some,missed some but he still stands way behind the baseline to my liking. I just hope he stays a bit closer


Navdeep Says:

I think none of the top players dominated in the first round.


J.S. Says:

I agree….They are saving it for the 2nd Round!!! :)


Okiegal Says:

@J.S. Rafa will face a well rested Baggy…..Youzney retired……Baggy can be a tough opponent…..when any player faces Rafa seems like they always play lights out against him…..he brings out their best……imho…..It is just good to see him on court again……I too hope he goes deep…….VAMOS! πŸ‚πŸ‚πŸ‚πŸŽΎπŸŽΎπŸŽΎ πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ†—ie….

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