- Special Sections
- Public Notices
PARIS (AP) — Decoding Rafael Nadal’s self-evaluations can be a tricky proposition.
Listen, for example, to the way the top-seeded Nadal spoke about his game and his mindset after handling 37th-ranked Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 Monday to reach the quarterfinals at the French Open, improve his record there to 42-1 and get closer to tying Bjorn Borg’s record of six championships in Paris.
Nadal chastised himself for being “too anxious.” He said he needs to “hit the ball with a little bit more conviction.” Looking at the big picture, Nadal insisted: “The thing is, you have to be (a) realist, and today, I’m not playing well enough to win this tournament.”
Maybe he’s playing possum. Maybe he’s being sincere. Or maybe — as explained by Toni Nadal, Rafael’s uncle and coach — this is just the way his nephew is.
“All his life, Rafael never had big, big confidence,” Toni said Monday.
“He’s not a guy who thinks, ‘Oh, I am so good.’ Never. He tries to improve, he tries to play better, every day.”
Click the question mark below to see where your account ID appears on your mailing label.