Tennis Prose



Biofile Rafael Nadal Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

Status: Former ATP world no. 1. Winner of 22 Grand Slams including 14 French Opens.

Ht: 6-1 Wt: 188

DOB: June 3, 1986 In: Manacor, Mallorca, Spain.

Tennis Inspiration: “When I was 10-12-years old I start playing well and maybe at that moment I started thinking I can be a pro. You never know how tough it is to be a professional player. So just I try my best and I finally did it.

Current Motivation: “For me it’s very easy. I always have one person in front of me, better than me in everything. So when I look at Roger in front of me all the time – better forehand, better backhand, better serve. I believe that’s the truth.”

Childhood Heroes: “I don’t have any idols, any heroes, nothing, no. But having a player like Moya in Mallorca was very important for me. I have the opportunity to practice with him a lot of times. That’s helped me a lot. And having a model closer to you is easier. So that’s important for me.”

Hobbies/Interests: “I like fishing. Not actual fishing — I like the peace and quiet of being at sea. It’s different. I like (to) stay with my friends. Go to beach. Go to cinema. Futbol. Play golf.”

Nicknames: Rafa, The Raging Bull.

Favorite Movies: Gladiator, Titanic.

Musical Tastes: “Bryan Adams, Bon Jovi, Shakira, David Bisbal — Spanish singer I listen to a lot. Mana — Mexican.”

Early Tennis Memory: “Four hours — practice one or two times a week.”

Favorite Meal: “Olives, steak, pasta, fish.”

Favorite Breakfast Cereal: “Frosted Flakes in hot chocolate.”

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Vanilla.”

Pre-Match Feeling: “Play with incredible motivation. A little bit nervous, but good.”

First Job: “Tennis.”

First Car: “Kia Sportage.”

Current Car: “Kia. Aston Martin DBS.”

Greatest Sports Moment: “The three most important moments in my career probably was first Roland Garros – well maybe the first Davis Cup – first Roland Garros, and first Wimbledon. And later Olympics (2008).”

Most Painful Moment: “I don’t know. When I stay injured three months (stress fracture in left ankle joint in 2004). Missed Monte Carlo, Rome, Hamburg, Paris (Roland Garros), Wimbledon.”

Closest Tennis Friends: “I have all the Spanish players. And I have good relations with all players. Carlos Moya. I know him for so long. I know him very well. He’s very sharp. He’s a great person even outside the game of tennis. A great guy. One of the best players in the world. I get along very well with Carlos.”

Funniest Players Encountered: “I don’t know.”

Toughest Competitors: “All the players, they is playing good. And I think the best player now is Federer. But all players good.”

Favorite Tournament(s): “I like many of them. I cannot name one.”

Childhood Dream: “I like a lot the futbol, the soccer. But I like my first dream is any one day I can do the No. 1 in tennis.”

Favorite Athletes To Watch: “Ronaldo. Thierry Henry. Frank Lampard. Zidane. Ronaldino. FC Barcelona is a club I have supported for a long time. (Basketball?) Pau Gasol — he’s playing in Los Angeles. (Tennis?) Federer — he plays very nice. He can do all the shots. I like him. And Hewitt. Because I like the mentality. Fred Couples. I met him, he was very nice.”

Favorite Vacation Spot: “In Mallorca.”

Funny Tennis Memory: “Hmmm. I don’t know because I have a lot moments funny and a lot of moments good.”

What Would You Be If Not A Tennis Player: “For me, it’s futbol, here (it’s called) soccer. Before tennis I started three-years-old. I have to stop because my family gave me (rule) that I have to study. So I have to study. So tennis and soccer. It’s impossible at that age (to do both). So finally I decide tennis.”

People Qualities Most Admired: “For me is good. The good persons.”

(Note: This Biofile was done at US Open in 2004 with a couple of update questions in future years.)

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  • Cyndy · November 10, 2023 at 10:58 am

    Scoop Malinowski—this seems like a few good years ago for Nadal to be speaking the way he did but amazing that you could be able to get a bio file on him.,although I’m thinking it could have all changed by now with him as to what Djokovic has achieved since then. Am awaiting eagerly for the year end ATP Turin Finals and a bit tentative yet on who will win that although Djokovic remains the favourite. If Medvedev gets to be nbr 2 that would be surely sweet surely!

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 10, 2023 at 2:39 pm

    Cyndy, Yes this Biofile was done before Rafa even won his first French Open we did it at US Open. I saw him and team, uncle and Carlos Costa were leaving US Open player lounge waiting for ride back to hotel, spontaneous interview the team was very nice, Rafa said his english wasn’t so good but I said it’s okay and we did it anyway and it came out very good. Uncle and Toni just left us alone there to do it, no pressuring me to hurry up, they trusted me. ATP Finals will be very interesting, Djokovic is a marked man. Let’s see if he’s willing to go all out and win this title which he doesn’t really need. Davis Cup coming up next, maybe he should protect his body and make sure he’s 100 percent healthy for AO.



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