Rafael Nadal Wins IW Doubles Title, Then Makes His Speech
by Tom Gainey | March 21st, 2010, 3:06 pm

Despite suffering a shock loss yesterday in singles to Ivan Ljubicic, Rafael Nadal still walked away from Indian Wells with a title in hand, or in mouth.

Nadal and his countryman Marc Lopez teamed to win the Indian Wells doubles title last night defeating top seeds Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic 7-6(8), 6-3.

Nadal said, “For me it’s a pleasure to play with Marc. He’s a very close friend of mine, and we do really well. After losing important singles, the victory in doubles makes me happy. Always is nice to win a tournament.

“We never thought about winning the tournament here, so we’re very happy for that. We enjoying a lot playing together.”

And here’s the trophy presentation where Marc spoke in Spanish (I have no idea what he said) but Rafa made another entertaining attempt at English (5:45 mark). (I’m not knocking him. Nadal tries, he’s getting better but it’s just funny to listen to, that’s all!)

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18 Comments for Rafael Nadal Wins IW Doubles Title, Then Makes His Speech

Pinkberry Says:

I think you calling out Nadal on his attempt to communicate in English was uncalled for. You should have left it at the winners made speeches. Tennis is a diverse sport and if you’re still expecting all players to speak your standard of English you’re still living in the 20th century. If sports reporting is a hobby I strongly recommend you keep your day job. Rating .5/5

Huh Says:

Congrats Rafa.

Andrew Miller Says:

Rafa’s english is definitely the mark of the Rafa. In all seriousness, I think Rafa understands everything and uses a faux-confusion to re-direct questions towards more benign ends.

(Rafa is way more clever than anyone ever gives him credit).

Mart Says:

Hey, Tom, I’d like to see you try to communicate in Spanish, when you admit that you have NO IDEA what Marc said.

So, criticizing Rafa’s English, which is rather charming, was a cheap shot, no?


Tom Gainey Says:

@Pinkberry, @Mart: Do you guys even bother to fully read my post? I explained that I wasn’t knocking him. I just find his English entertaining and amusing.

Am I really being critical of his English? If so, sorry. That’s not my intent.

Fot Says:

Tom, I’m with you. I didn’t see anything wrong with what you said about Rafa’s English.

I remember about 3-4 years ago, Rafa needed an interpreter to sit with him for every interview so he definitely has improved. I, too, think he probably understands more than we think he does (or that he lets off that he does). But I give all the players credit – those from other countries. I mean, how many American players can go to France, Spain, Switzerland, etc., and hold a press conference in that country’s native language? Hardly any of them. Yet, these foreign players learn to communicate pretty well in English. I give my hat off to them.

The press said Roger spends so much more time in Press Conferences because he has to give interviews in English, French, Swiss German, High German… while our American players answer their few little questions in English and they are done!


Translation->For me it’s been an incredible week. I played very good. It’s the 2nd year I’ve come here and I’m very happy. Many thanks to my compatriot. He’s a very good friend…

well, you get the idea

Clare Says:

I am a sports writer and journalist and this was painful to read.

I can say to you now putting in a note about how funny it is to listen to Nadal speak is amateur and a real sign of unprofessionalism.

We all know he doesn’t have great English there is no need to comment on it unless it is to clarify a pivotal direct quote.

Honestly the internet and cow boy writers have destroyed good writing.

Siddy Says:

Tom Gainey how much FUN would you get out of having someone critique your Spanish? I had a classmate laugh at my French (we were in a French literature class taught in French) and it was not FUN or FUNNY. But I got the last laugh, because this French hack with two years of high school French got an A in the class and Mr. Fluent French couldn’t even complete the class.

jane Says:

Clare, just a note re: “good writing” — “cowboy” is one word.

I didn’t get the impression that Tom intended to “critique” Rafa’s speech.

In any case, in my books, anyone who speaks more than one language deserves major MAJOR kudos, and Nadal’s efforts are admirable. It’s not easy to learn another language, especially as an adult. Nadal does wonderfully in his speeches and in his pressers.

madmax Says:

excellent post Jane and Tom, whilst I can see how Clare could be “offended”. She doesnt know you well enough to know that you wouldnt have meant anything by it.

respect to all players.

Dee Says:

he’s getting better but it’s just funny to listen to, that’s all!)

Patronising !!!!

I live in Spain … I am willing to bet that your Spanish sounds even funnier…

MMT Says:

What a player – even good at doubles! I sure wish more of the top singles players would play doubles.

Sharon Combes-Farr Says:

I don’t get what’s “amusing” about Rafa’s English. He has a charming accent, but is quite fluent. His remarks were easily understood. I think “charming” and “humble” are much better adjectives to describe it.

Vanessa Jackson Says:

I find Rafa to be quite charming and even diplomatic when speaking English. With English not being his native language, it is nice of him to try and communicate to us as Americans who are fans of his. Speaking as a huge fan, I look forward to hearing what he has to say, in English or Spanish.

Jim Says:

Sorry Tom,, but that comment of yours about Rafa, “Rafa made another entertaining attempt at English” was as funny as the comment from Agassi about Pete been a bad tipper @ the “Hit for Haiti”. The man tries to communicate and I just wanted to remind you he speaks 4 languages (Spanish, Majorquin, English and basic Italian). Just out of curiosity, how many do you speak??

Sylvia Renard Says:

Wow! As a Spanish person, I not only find your comment about Rafa’s Spanish offensive, I think it speaks volumes of your maturity level (or lack thereof). Are you attempting to be a sportswriter or an expert in linguistics?

Grace :) Says:

I agree with Jim. Why do you have to make fun of Rafa’s English? I’m sure you would have alot of trouble talking Spanish or any other language. He also speaks 4 languages. And, being a Pro tennis player, probably doesnt have much time to learn and practice his English. Everyone knows he has improved in the past couple of years. Tom, your lack of maturity is very obvious in this article. We know you didnt intend to make fun of him, but us Rafa fans didn’t think that was necessary :) Vamos Rafa!! Peace :P

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