I would play for free: Carlos Moya


Paris : A glass of red wine every night, and the feeling of being privileged in every game of tennis he plays – is the formula for the "re-birth" of former world number one Carlos Moya.

Support TwoCircles

"I do not play for money, I almost think I would play for free," Moya said in an interview with DPA.

On Thursday, he is set to play his friend and fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal in the search for the dream of a Roland Garros semi-final.

Moya, 30, is the oldest player in the quarterfinals of the French Open. The match against Nadal, nine years younger and current world No.2, is a sporting and emotional challenge for the man who lifted the Roland Garros trophy in 1998.

"I have fun playing, especially on centre courts and with younger players, and keeping pace. Nothing else will give you the adrenaline that is in that."

That enjoyment is just based on plain "love for the sport," he stressed.

"I play for the thrill, for the competition," Moya noted. "Part of the secret is a passion for this game. The physical aspect has helped me too. I think I have used my energy well throughout my career. I have been quite sparing of effort, and that allows me to have got this far without (getting as rundown) as other players."

Moya is aware of the fact that his next rival in Paris, Nadal, is special.

"Nothing about Rafa surprises me, I have seen it all," he says of the youngster's talent. "Rafa has to hold on, be ready, stay number two for a couple of years and see what happens to (world number one Roger) Federer, who will have to lower his level some day – I don't know if at 27 or at 30, but some day he will stop being number one."

As to his own performance throughout a long career, Moya has few regrets. He says he has enjoyed life, he still loves to play tennis and he feels he has plenty to look forward to in the game.

"The fact that I have a new coach makes it clear that I am looking for something other than a golden retirement – new motivations and goals, different from those of age 20," he said.

However, Moya knows that at 30 he has to take care of things beyond his game.

"In Hamburg, I started to take a glass of wine every night, and it brings me luck. I drink red wine, always from the country where I happen to be."