“No way I would be a journalist. You guys have tried to kill Roger often. But he’s always come back and proved you wrong. So one thing I would not do is make the mistake of saying Roger is dead.“ - Rafael Nadal
"I’ve done and lived the most with him. From five-set matches on court, to promoting a tournament in Qatar, to doing foundation work together. And I’ve gone to dinners with him. I know his family the best, as well. I know his mum, dad and sister. Yeah, our bond goes further back than the one I have with Novak or Andy. And for that reason I feel closest and most connected to Rafa.” - Roger Federer
It’s cool playing the Semis of the World Tour Finals. I would prefer to face Nadal in the Final, even if I have no preference. The rivalries, they are unique in many ways. The more I play Novak, the more special it becomes. But with Rafa I go back further. We were the new guys and the face of the tour for so long. The fact is obviously the epic Wimbledon finals. Then we had all these matches for me which were hard, the French Open finals. But they were very important for my career as well to win the French Open in 2009. This Rivalry is extra special
“Zinedine is the history of football, and is part of Real Madrid’s great history. I know him, he’s a great person, very humble, and deserves to be where he is. It’s obvious that he’s good for the players. It’s good that, as one of the most important clubs of the world, Real Madrid have somebody like him on the bench managing the club, and I am happy for him.
[Benitez] Its tough to start a new project then have to leave so soon; but I think if a change was needed then Zidane was the ideal person to take it on.”
‘Sales con esa incertidumbre, no? Es que ya no era un tema tenístico, era un tema cuando te influyen temas mentales todo es mucho mas complicado. Son situaciones desagradables, sobre todo porque para mí han sido nuevas.’
‘You go (to the court) with this uncertainty, no? It was no longer a tennis issue, it was a mental issue when issues affect you, everything is much more complicated. They are unpleasant situations, especially because they were new for me.’
“It’s thanks to my uncle Toni that I’m able to stay strong and to hold on to my mentality all along my career. Today, it has become second nature to me to protect what I love more than anything in the world: playing tennis.”
..and then of course, next is Rafa, and as we all know, Rafa’s definitely against the blue clay, and he says, “This is horrible, there’s no chance we can play on it, and I vote no.” And then Novak goes, “Absolutely not, I tried it last year, it’s the worst surface ever, like, I would consider boycotting the tournament.” And then Roger is next, and he goes, “Yeah, I think the blue clay is a good idea. And then we’ll bring out the elephants and the giraffes, and then we’ll have a circus on the court.
Eric Butorac, current ATP Player Council President, remembering the votes in 2012 amongst the Council to decide whether they’ll play on the ‘blue clay’ in Madrid. (source.)
(Butorac was the first one asked, and he said yes to the blue clay. And then those three answered.)
‘I am a big fan of him (Rafa) simply because he has been the biggest and complicated opponent I ever had. So I have maximum respect for him. I am the last person to think that he could not win anything anymore. I know how good he is.’ - Roger Federer
Q:If Nadal were a comics character, who would he be?
Monfils: He would be neither Hulk nor Thor. Rafa is a hero,of course Rafa has much strength and power, but for me he stays someone elegant. Like Captain America. He’s strong but elegant.