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Nadal Interview (translation from El Pais)
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Moxie629 Offline
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Nadal Interview (translation from El Pais)
This has some interesting stuff in it, I think:

http://www.tennisfrontier.com/blogs/moxi...m-el-pais/
13-Jun-2013 12:43 PM
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Broken_Shoelace Offline
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RE: Nadal Interview (translation from El Pais)
What tennis? The only good tennis he produces is a bunch of "opportunistic winners."
13-Jun-2013 01:04 PM
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huntingyou Offline
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RE: Nadal Interview (translation from El Pais)
excelente moxie!
13-Jun-2013 02:22 PM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: Nadal Interview (translation from El Pais)
Good interview - thanks Moxie! Smile
13-Jun-2013 02:47 PM
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calitennis127 Offline
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RE: Nadal Interview (translation from El Pais)
(13-Jun-2013 01:04 PM)Broken_Shoelace Wrote:  What tennis? The only good tennis he produces is a bunch of "opportunistic winners."



It's amazing how you make such a big deal out of something that ultimately isn't nearly as impressive as you would like to make it sound - namely, Nadal's tennis game. It is very good but it doesn't come close to meeting the requirements for how so many people describe it, simply because he wins. Nadal's game is more pragmatic than it is transcendent. Its transcendence actually lies in its pragmatism. This is very different from Federer, for instance.

Also - for full disclosure, my silence since the SFs of the French was imposed up through this past weekend because I was temporarily banned. The last few days I haven't posted because I didn't even think about doing so, but I didn't run from the board like huntingyou has in the past.



(13-Jun-2013 12:43 PM)Moxie629 Wrote:  This has some interesting stuff in it, I think:

http://www.tennisfrontier.com/blogs/moxi...m-el-pais/



Since this post was entirely directed at Cali, let me begin by making this clear. There are two separate issues at work:

1) Why Nadal is a Top 10/Top 5 player, and
2) Why he has over 20 MS titles and 12 Grand Slams while, for example, Murray has a mere 1, Del Potro has 1, and the likes of Tsonga and Berdych have none.

Another way to characterize #2 is "extent of achievement" vis-a-vis other top players.

#1 explains why Nadal makes it to the quarters and semis of the biggest events, in general. I do think more players should trouble him early on, but I grant that it isn't the easiest task.

However, when it comes to #2, the explanation becomes much less about tennis ability than other factors. To Kieran's credit, he often indicates this, not the way I do, but at least he gets it more than the rest. To talk about Nadal's "rally forehand", for example, as a reason why he regularly wins quarter and semifinal matches at the bigger events is generally just asinine because it tends to be completely petty and misses the more fundamental reasons for his success.

There is no question that Nadal is talented for all surfaces. Back in 2006, Agassi said after his 3rd round loss to Nadal that Nadal's movement "translates to all surfaces". I remember quite vividly Agassi saying that. What is noteworthy is that he said it at a time when it wasn't so popular to think that highly of Nadal off of clay. Agassi was right, and I agreed with him at the time.

However, you have to be borderline retarded to think that, in tennis terms, Nadal is 11 Slams better than Andy Murray or Juan Martin Del Potro. There is really no other way to put it. Should Nadal have 2 Wimbledons and a US Open while Tsonga has 0? LOL.

So, why the disparity? It obviously isn't shotmaking or ceiling potential for highest level of play. It is the very peculiar package of qualities that I have talked about, the ultimate PRAGMATIC combination for WINNING matches: persistence, mental constancy, unwavering concentration, consistency, and physical stamina. This package of qualities is what makes me refer to Nadal as a gnat. It is this package which explains #2.

Nadal's game is pragmatic. It is nuts-and-bolts. It is analogous to the person who never makes a late payment or never shows up to work late.

It is house construction. It is a sturdy structure. It is reliable. It is well put together.

But aesthetically it is not a richly decorated palace. It is not powerfully impressive. It does not have the psychologically powerful aura about it that Federer's game has had in its best moments. Nadal's game is very effective - as a pragmatic program. It is not, however, powerfully emphatic or brilliantly awe-inspiring. That sort of element is clearly missing from it. This owes to his playing style and the imperfections and vulnerabilities of his game, such as they are. They are there, no matter how consistent he is with showing up to work ready to reliably do his duty.
(This post was last modified: 20-Jun-2013 01:33 AM by calitennis127.)
20-Jun-2013 01:10 AM
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johnsteinbeck Offline
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RE: Nadal Interview (translation from El Pais)
cali - not sure why you start your reply to moxie's quote with "since this post was entirely directed at Cali". if by /this post/ you mean broken's, then yes, probably; but the order in which you placed the quote it seems to imply that Moxie's translation of a long interview that came out a couple of days ago was because of You - in which case you might be over-estimating your importance in other people's lives Wink

(20-Jun-2013 01:10 AM)calitennis127 Wrote:  But aesthetically it is not a richly decorated palace. It is not powerfully impressive. It does not have the psychologically powerful aura about it that Federer's game has had in its best moments. Nadal's game is very effective - as a pragmatic program. It is not, however, powerfully emphatic or brilliantly awe-inspiring. That sort of element is clearly missing from it. This owes to his playing style and the imperfections and vulnerabilities of his game, such as they are. They are there, no matter how consistent he is with showing up to work ready to reliably do his duty.
i think you have a valid point. and Nadal has a point in building his game that way - because Sports are about effectiveness, not about Awe. that's what seperates them from show. if i want to see grace, i can go to the Cirque du Soleil. if it's athletic excellence i crave, i'll prefer the olympics.

also, i think you sometimes come close to mixing up the chain of causality. you (relentlessly) seem to imply that Nadal's shotmaking abilities are very limited because of some intrinsical hindrance and a perceived lack of "pure tennis" talent, and that he makes up for it by excelling elsewhere - but in that, you might overlook that in the building of a game, everyone emphasizes some parts more than others in order to compose a winning recipe. Nadal could've worked hours on "prettier" (by your definition) shots as a youngster to please your eye later on. instead, the team was focused on forming someone who would actually win matches, titles, trophies. and they seem to have done a pretty good job.
20-Jun-2013 02:37 AM
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coban Offline
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RE: Nadal Interview (translation from El Pais)
Wait, do people actually get banned on these forums? For what?
20-Jun-2013 10:51 AM
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drm025 Offline
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RE: Nadal Interview (translation from El Pais)
(20-Jun-2013 01:10 AM)calitennis127 Wrote:  However, you have to be borderline retarded to think that, in tennis terms, Nadal is 11 Slams better than Andy Murray or Juan Martin Del Potro. There is really no other way to put it. Should Nadal have 2 Wimbledons and a US Open while Tsonga has 0? LOL.

So, the fact that Nadal has 11 more grand slams than Murray or Del Potro has nothing to do with his tennis??? The fact that he has won 12 grand slams in TENNIS has nothing to do with his TENNIS?? Are you for real?

If good tennis isn't tennis that wins matches, then I have no idea what good tennis is. What is the point of playing "good" tennis if you don't win? This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever read. What is your definition of "good" tennis if it doesn't involve winning?

All I'm saying is that I thought being good at something meant winning a lot.
20-Jun-2013 12:45 PM
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huntingyou Offline
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RE: Nadal Interview (translation from El Pais)
(20-Jun-2013 12:45 PM)drm025 Wrote:  
(20-Jun-2013 01:10 AM)calitennis127 Wrote:  However, you have to be borderline retarded to think that, in tennis terms, Nadal is 11 Slams better than Andy Murray or Juan Martin Del Potro. There is really no other way to put it. Should Nadal have 2 Wimbledons and a US Open while Tsonga has 0? LOL.

So, the fact that Nadal has 11 more grand slams than Murray or Del Potro has nothing to do with his tennis??? The fact that he has won 12 grand slams in TENNIS has nothing to do with his TENNIS?? Are you for real?

If good tennis isn't tennis that wins matches, then I have no idea what good tennis is. What is the point of playing "good" tennis if you don't win? This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever read. What is your definition of "good" tennis if it doesn't involve winning?

All I'm saying is that I thought being good at something meant winning a lot.

obviously you are new here, my advice is to ignore posts like the on you quoted above unless you are ready to torture yourself. No No
20-Jun-2013 01:01 PM
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calitennis127 Offline
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RE: Nadal Interview (translation from El Pais)
(20-Jun-2013 12:45 PM)drm025 Wrote:  So, the fact that Nadal has 11 more grand slams than Murray or Del Potro has nothing to do with his tennis???

Ma'm, please read and re-read the post of mine that you quoted. I was referring to pure "tennis terms", i.e. shots and tennis-playing ability.

Now, to answer your question. To say that Nadal's tennis has "nothing" to do with his 11-Slam superiority over Murray and Del Potro is too strong. But I did not say that. On clay in particular, Nadal's game is obviously very suited to the surface. (That said, his record against Federer should not be so lopsided).

However, his actual tennis-playing ability, physically and tactically, is not 11 Slams superior to either Murray or Del Potro. Not even close. As far as I am concerned, on grass and hardcourts it is actually inferior.

(20-Jun-2013 12:45 PM)drm025 Wrote:  The fact that he has won 12 grand slams in TENNIS has nothing to do with his TENNIS?? Are you for real?

Yes, I am for real. Unlike huntingyou and BrokenShoelace, I do not trumpet running down an opponent's flat shot down the line with a forehand that "lands in" as being utterly amazing off the forehand wing. I look at that as a matter of physicality and stamina more than tennis-playing ability. Sorry for the blasphemy.

(20-Jun-2013 12:45 PM)drm025 Wrote:  If good tennis isn't tennis that wins matches, then I have no idea what good tennis is. What is the point of playing "good" tennis if you don't win? This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever read.

No, it is one of the most sensible things you have ever read. You are just trying to wrap your mind around it to understand better. That's fine. It takes some thinking.

(20-Jun-2013 12:45 PM)drm025 Wrote:  What is your definition of "good" tennis if it doesn't involve winning?

Were it only that simple.

In every sport, there are players who have reputations for being "resilient" or "having ice in their veins" while there are others who are considered "headcases" or "chokers". This mental/psychological aspect of sports if often discussed. Why? Well it is pretty obvious that in many situations one's actual playing ability doesn't matter as much as one's mental state.

Now, my definition of "good" tennis is effective tennis. In many situations, this will involve winning, but not always either. Federer played some pretty "good tennis" in the 2008 Wimbledon final but lost.

(20-Jun-2013 12:45 PM)drm025 Wrote:  All I'm saying is that I thought being good at something meant winning a lot.

It generally does. But "a lot" is a subjective notion and here we are talking distinctions. The topic I brought up was why Nadal has such an overwhelmingly good record in the quarters and semis of the biggest events, when he is facing the game's top players. In those scenarios, he does not win primarily because of his tennis ability being superior to the opposition; he wins for the other reasons I have talked about.

One thing that the likes of huntingyou never talk about is how significant Nadal's incredibly high first-serve percentage and avoidance of double faults are in why he wins. Instead, they trumpet his forehand as being much greater than it is, when in fact it is the more practical nuts-and-bolts parts of the game that really give Nadal an edge against the best players (strictly in terms of winning and losing).
20-Jun-2013 01:58 PM
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Broken_Shoelace Offline
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RE: Nadal Interview (translation from El Pais)
(20-Jun-2013 01:10 AM)calitennis127 Wrote:  
(13-Jun-2013 01:04 PM)Broken_Shoelace Wrote:  What tennis? The only good tennis he produces is a bunch of "opportunistic winners."



It is very good but it doesn't come close to meeting the requirements for how so many people describe it, simply because he wins. Nadal's game is more pragmatic than it is transcendent. Its transcendence actually lies in its pragmatism. This is very different from Federer, for instance.

"Simply because he wins" might be your silliest claim to date. Yes, his game is blown out of proportion for this little insignificant issue called winning. And we all know how winning is overrated and in no way reflects tennis ability.
20-Jun-2013 01:59 PM
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calitennis127 Offline
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RE: Nadal Interview (translation from El Pais)
(20-Jun-2013 01:01 PM)huntingyou Wrote:  obviously you are new here, my advice is to ignore posts like the on you quoted above unless you are ready to torture yourself. No No

Funny how you never call out your fellow Nadal fan Kieran when he says ad nauseam that matches on the biggest stages are won between the ears or are a matter of character. What he is implying there is that it is Nadal's frame of mind more than his tennis that wins in those scenarios. It is pretty clear. But you never call him out for diminishing Nadal's tennis talent.

Kieran and I don't characterize the matter in the exact same way, but it is similar enough that it doesn't make sense to target me while never responding to his comments of this nature.

(20-Jun-2013 01:59 PM)Broken_Shoelace Wrote:  Yes, his game is blown out of proportion for this little insignificant issue called winning.

There is absolutely no silliness in having an accurate assessment for why he wins that contrasts with the bogus reasons often provided by conventional commentary.
(This post was last modified: 20-Jun-2013 02:04 PM by calitennis127.)
20-Jun-2013 02:01 PM
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tented Offline
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RE: Nadal Interview (translation from El Pais)
(20-Jun-2013 01:10 AM)calitennis127 Wrote:  
(13-Jun-2013 12:43 PM)Moxie629 Wrote:  This has some interesting stuff in it, I think:

http://www.tennisfrontier.com/blogs/moxi...m-el-pais/


Since this post was entirely directed at Cali, let me begin by making this clear.

Breathtakingly egocentric. You're even referring to yourself in the third person? Huh

As someone who was involved in minor aspects of this blog post, I can assure you that your name was never once mentioned.
(This post was last modified: 20-Jun-2013 04:56 PM by tented.)
20-Jun-2013 02:45 PM
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shawnbm Offline
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RE: Nadal Interview (translation from El Pais)
I thought all of us were past characterizing Rafael Nadal as anything other than one of the best to ever play the game--period. There are no ifs, ands or buts--and his tennis intelligence in constructing points, maneuvering opponents and yes, talent, in anticipating what others are intending to do is right up there with anyone I have seen, regardless of surface. Good LORD.

Virgil Cane is the name ...
(This post was last modified: 20-Jun-2013 03:05 PM by shawnbm.)
20-Jun-2013 03:04 PM
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drm025 Offline
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RE: Nadal Interview (translation from El Pais)
(20-Jun-2013 01:58 PM)calitennis127 Wrote:  
(20-Jun-2013 12:45 PM)drm025 Wrote:  So, the fact that Nadal has 11 more grand slams than Murray or Del Potro has nothing to do with his tennis???

Ma'm, please read and re-read the post of mine that you quoted. I was referring to pure "tennis terms", i.e. shots and tennis-playing ability.

Now, to answer your question. To say that Nadal's tennis has "nothing" to do with his 11-Slam superiority over Murray and Del Potro is too strong. But I did not say that. On clay in particular, Nadal's game is obviously very suited to the surface. (That said, his record against Federer should not be so lopsided).

However, his actual tennis-playing ability, physically and tactically, is not 11 Slams superior to either Murray or Del Potro. Not even close. As far as I am concerned, on grass and hardcourts it is actually inferior.

(20-Jun-2013 12:45 PM)drm025 Wrote:  The fact that he has won 12 grand slams in TENNIS has nothing to do with his TENNIS?? Are you for real?

Yes, I am for real. Unlike huntingyou and BrokenShoelace, I do not trumpet running down an opponent's flat shot down the line with a forehand that "lands in" as being utterly amazing off the forehand wing. I look at that as a matter of physicality and stamina more than tennis-playing ability. Sorry for the blasphemy.

(20-Jun-2013 12:45 PM)drm025 Wrote:  If good tennis isn't tennis that wins matches, then I have no idea what good tennis is. What is the point of playing "good" tennis if you don't win? This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever read.

No, it is one of the most sensible things you have ever read. You are just trying to wrap your mind around it to understand better. That's fine. It takes some thinking.

(20-Jun-2013 12:45 PM)drm025 Wrote:  What is your definition of "good" tennis if it doesn't involve winning?

Were it only that simple.

In every sport, there are players who have reputations for being "resilient" or "having ice in their veins" while there are others who are considered "headcases" or "chokers". This mental/psychological aspect of sports if often discussed. Why? Well it is pretty obvious that in many situations one's actual playing ability doesn't matter as much as one's mental state.

Now, my definition of "good" tennis is effective tennis. In many situations, this will involve winning, but not always either. Federer played some pretty "good tennis" in the 2008 Wimbledon final but lost.

(20-Jun-2013 12:45 PM)drm025 Wrote:  All I'm saying is that I thought being good at something meant winning a lot.

It generally does. But "a lot" is a subjective notion and here we are talking distinctions. The topic I brought up was why Nadal has such an overwhelmingly good record in the quarters and semis of the biggest events, when he is facing the game's top players. In those scenarios, he does not win primarily because of his tennis ability being superior to the opposition; he wins for the other reasons I have talked about.

One thing that the likes of huntingyou never talk about is how significant Nadal's incredibly high first-serve percentage and avoidance of double faults are in why he wins. Instead, they trumpet his forehand as being much greater than it is, when in fact it is the more practical nuts-and-bolts parts of the game that really give Nadal an edge against the best players (strictly in terms of winning and losing).

Listen, I understand what you are saying, but how is physical stamina and the mental aspect not part of your tennis ability? If Nadal is winning most of the important points in his matches, that means that on that point his tennis ability was better. I think you're confusing tennis ability with technique. And that is only one aspect of your "tennis ability".

If Nadal hits a forehand winner, it would have to be either a good shot, or lucky. You can't tell me that he's gotten lucky that many times over all these years. Therefore, he has hit his fair share of good forehands.

Now, if a shot that wins a point is not considered a "good" shot, then we obviously are never going to see eye to eye.
(This post was last modified: 20-Jun-2013 03:43 PM by drm025.)
20-Jun-2013 03:39 PM
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Broken_Shoelace Offline
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RE: Nadal Interview (translation from El Pais)
The good news I no longer believe Cali is "a smart guy who's just biased." I genuinely believe he's an idiot when it comes to tennis.
20-Jun-2013 04:32 PM
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calitennis127 Offline
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RE: Nadal Interview (translation from El Pais)
(20-Jun-2013 04:32 PM)Broken_Shoelace Wrote:  The good news I no longer believe Cali is "a smart guy who's just biased." I genuinely believe he's an idiot when it comes to tennis.

Thanks for the rational argument. Much appreciated.

(20-Jun-2013 02:45 PM)tented Wrote:  Breathtakingly egocentric. You're even referring to yourself in the third person? Huh

As someone who was involved in minor aspects of this blog post, I can assure you that your name was never once mentioned.

Tented, maybe you stopped reading the debates between Moxie and I or Broken and I a while ago, but the line from the interview that Moxie extracted to make the title of the blog post was entirely directed at me. There is no question about it. She could have chosen from 30 other lines in the interview as a title, or just made it simply something like "Nadal interview with El Pais", but instead she chose the polemically driven line "I win with my tennis, not with my mind".

Second, Broken's sarcastic reply was definitely intended to mock certain things I have said.

This isn't to say that the only reason for drawing attention to this interview was to throw in a dig at me; Nadal fans will, of course, be interested in what he has to say. But the title of Moxie's post and Broken's initial reply were undoubtedly inspired by their conversations with me, as was Kieran's "Rafael Gnatal" post.

Oh, I'm sorry. Even though I was the only one to make the gnat remark, I guess it would be egocentric for me to say that Kieran's post was drawn from remarks I had made. I am sorry. Too egocentric. It's getting Ayn Randian up in here now.
(This post was last modified: 20-Jun-2013 05:16 PM by calitennis127.)
20-Jun-2013 05:10 PM
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tented Offline
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RE: Nadal Interview (translation from El Pais)
(20-Jun-2013 02:45 PM)tented Wrote:  As someone who was involved in minor aspects of this blog post, I can assure you that your name was never once mentioned.

A minor aside upon reading this again:

In no way did I have anything to do with the translation of that article to create this blog post. That was all done by Moxie. My involvement was the same as with all blog posts, which is a background, technical aspect.
(This post was last modified: 20-Jun-2013 06:19 PM by tented.)
20-Jun-2013 06:12 PM
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RE: Nadal Interview (translation from El Pais)
(20-Jun-2013 05:10 PM)calitennis127 Wrote:  
(20-Jun-2013 02:45 PM)tented Wrote:  Breathtakingly egocentric. You're even referring to yourself in the third person? Huh

As someone who was involved in minor aspects of this blog post, I can assure you that your name was never once mentioned.

Tented, maybe you stopped reading the debates between Moxie and I or Broken and I a while ago, but the line from the interview that Moxie extracted to make the title of the blog post was entirely directed at me. There is no question about it. She could have chosen from 30 other lines in the interview as a title, or just made it simply something like "Nadal interview with El Pais", but instead she chose the polemically driven line "I win with my tennis, not with my mind".

This is the source of the piece, as indicated by the link at the bottom of the post:

http://deportes.elpais.com/deportes/2013...11112.html

The title, therefore, of the post is a direct translation of the original title written by the Spanish reporter. There is no question about it. It had nothing to do with you.
20-Jun-2013 06:23 PM
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Moxie629 Offline
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RE: Nadal Interview (translation from El Pais)
(20-Jun-2013 05:10 PM)calitennis127 Wrote:  Tented, maybe you stopped reading the debates between Moxie and I or Broken and I a while ago, but the line from the interview that Moxie extracted to make the title of the blog post was entirely directed at me. There is no question about it. She could have chosen from 30 other lines in the interview as a title, or just made it simply something like "Nadal interview with El Pais", but instead she chose the polemically driven line "I win with my tennis, not with my mind".

Second, Broken's sarcastic reply was definitely intended to mock certain things I have said.

This isn't to say that the only reason for drawing attention to this interview was to throw in a dig at me; Nadal fans will, of course, be interested in what he has to say. But the title of Moxie's post and Broken's initial reply were undoubtedly inspired by their conversations with me, as was Kieran's "Rafael Gnatal" post.

Oh, I'm sorry. Even though I was the only one to make the gnat remark, I guess it would be egocentric for me to say that Kieran's post was drawn from remarks I had made. I am sorry. Too egocentric. It's getting Ayn Randian up in here now.

Cali, when I translate articles, I also directly translate their headlines. (The title in Spanish is: “Gano con mi tenis, no con la mente.” I don't think it takes native-speaker status to see that it's a direct translation.) The reason I chose the article is that it was an in-depth interview with the man who had just won RG. Additionally, it was with the paper-of-record in his home country, and in his native language, so I felt it gave more insight into how he thinks and expresses himself when not hampered by his more limited English, or having quotes extracted for an English-language piece.

It wasn't an easy interview to translate, because I took time to carefully work through a couple of sections that I thought might inspire controversy. I slightly resent that you probably didn't even bother to read it, and only use the excuse of my doing it to, once again, hammer at your theories of why Nadal's play is less inspired or inspiring than you think it ought to be, rather than discussing the interview and what Nadal has to say in it.

I DID think it was interesting that Nadal feels that the perception of him is out there, which you have, that he wins so much on mental toughness. He addresses that notion in the interview, and, since you're bothering to post here, I would have thought that you would directly address his comments, too. But no. Just the same old attempt at running down Nadal's accomplishments, even as he keeps racking them up.

As to other threads and comments that were, actually, directed at you, well...don't you suppose you deserved them, a bit? You are not shy about bold statements and predictions, (Nole calendar Slam?) and you're going to get hit with some Schadenfreude when you're wrong. Goes with the territory, n'est pas?
20-Jun-2013 06:30 PM
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