Rafael Nadal

A forum to discuss all things Rafael Nadal, not relating to specific matches.

Nadal 5
Current tournament: Montreal

Next tournament: Cincinnati

Random GIF: rafa-nadal-dance-o
Video: Nadal cramps during Hamburg trophy ceremony

Recent quote: “Now the hard-court season is starting. It’s a different story. But at the same time, I’ll keep going with the same mentality and this (Hamburg) title helps to be a little bit more calm and add some points to my ranking to try to finish the year in the top 8 again.”

46 Comments on Rafael Nadal

  1. Rafa’s match is scheduled on Friday:
    Not Before 1:00 pm
    ATP – K. Anderson (RSA) vs K. Nishikori (JPN)
    ATP – R. Nadal (ESP) vs D. Sela (ISR)

      • Toni took over from Miguel Angel 18 years ago. Rafa could have been a pro football/soccer player, he was a ‘promising striker”’ at the age of 12.
        USA Today, May 8, 2015: ¤¤ When he was a precocious 12-year-old on the Spanish island of Mallorca, Rafael Nadal had to make a decision that millions of kids around the world have made at some point: Which sport to focus on exclusively. In Nadal’s case, which was a little different than most kids’, as he was top-notch in both, it came down to soccer or tennis. And this was no flighty hypothetical of a tennis prodigy dabbling in another sport. Nadal was a “promising striker” as Christopher Clarey called him in a 2005 New York Times article and had soccer run deep in the family, with his uncle Miguel Angel Nadal starring in three World Cups and playing for Barcelona, among other clubs. His father said Rafa could have been a fine professional footballer.¤¤

        Rafa has one more uncle, his name is also Rafael Nadal (second from the left in the picture):

  2. Posted this on the Miami preview thread but I guess it got lost in the weak era convo lol. Putting it here as well

    Carlos Moya on Fed-Rafa IW match:

    He didn’t allow him to do anything,’ Moya told El Espanol. ‘It’s difficult when you play against an inspired Federer. He maybe had to play insider the court on the return, be more aggressive especially on the second serve even if it means making more errors. It was a comfortable match for Roger. The beginning could have been a little bit different because he had a game point to be up 1-0 and then another one to break him back, but Federer’s level was incredible. There isn’t anything to say.’

    ‘He realizes that top players have a big advantage if their opponents play far away from the court. Despite he doesn’t feel comfortable many times, he will have to adapt to it. The more he practice on it, the easier it will be in competition. Anyway, he doesn’t have to play like this all the time, but he will have to vary. Tennis evolves and the player needs to do the same thing, but in the past he already did it. You’re not asking to him anything he can’t do. We try to plan the practice session depending on what we see in the matches. We didn’t changed anything drastically, you simply need to continue on this way and improve little details in order to keep having a good season.’

    • What concerns me about Moya’s comments about Rafa’s match with Fed, is that Rafa has always known how to beat Fed. The idea that Fed was too good is kind of disconcerting. There is a reason Rafa has the lopsided H2H with Fed. I don’t think Fed has reinvented the wheel. Players do have to adjust as they get older and Fed has done that. Rafa has to do the same.

      • The idea that Fed was too good is indeed disconcerting -if you’re the other player. It also might just be true of that match. I’m really not sure what Nadal -this Nadal, not the Rafa of 10 years ago- could have done to win that match. Unlike Melbourne, Roger’s level did not really drop. And that’s why Moya says what he does.

        • Depends on the way you see it…I think it was Rafa’s level dropping in that last set of the AO probably due to the fact that Rafa was way too tired to fight at the very end…Rafa has always been able to counterattack Fed…this Fed is good but he is beatable…Rafa did not even try…his mindset was wrong from the start.,,I thought he lacked fighting spirit and seemed flat in this match, so much un-like Rafa…

          • You’re right that Rafa came out on fire in that AO 5th set; and what happened next no one could have predicted, certainly not me. But Nadal did well to get to a 5th set; Roger could have (in my view should have) won in 4, maybe straights if he had kept his level where it was in the 1st and 3rd sets. At IW, he really did sustain near his best for almost the whole match.

            Yes, tennis is a two-way street, and improved play from Nadal would have created problems for Fed. But I think what Moya is speaking to is the lack of time Nadal had; and what you say below about Rafa’s footwork betraying him more often than not is of course a big part of that. Maybe a younger Rafa could have run around some of those shots or positioned himself better to hit FH winners. I don’t think this more mature version can.

          • I find it odd that so many Rafa fans attack his mind-set, fighting spirit, etc. To me that’s what Nadal has never lacked, even if his confidence waxes and wanes like everyone else’s. What he says in post-match interviews seems to me usually to be exactly right: he tried his hardest, sometimes it doesn’t work out, and at the end of the day he lost a tennis match; no big deal. He plays his heart out on the court and has perspective off it; many players could learn something from that. His attitude in recent years is, I think, the realistic reflection of a man who is past his best but still trying his hardest. I admire that.

        • Actually it was eight years ago and there wasn’t much that or any other version of #GOAT2.0 could have done other than, as the on court MoC so eloquently put it, “settle down” (1:40 mark)…

    • I”ll believe it when I see it! So far Moya did nothing to improve Rafa’s game…all he does is dragging on the old way of doing things, something Toni could have done himself, no need to hire Moya for it…saying that Rafa could do nothing against an inspired 35 year old is delusional…
      Rafa playing worse than last year at this time…his confidence is at very low level, and what worries me the most is Rafa accepting the losses as something “normal” with his common comment “the opponent played his best tennis”, lame and cheap excuse…
      I was so angry at Rafa losing the AO finals! It was solely his mistake and his lousy defense game that had him lose in the last set when he was ahead…then, as he has not learned his lesson he goes ahead to lose to “red hot close to miracle” Querry…yeah, right…says who? Sam was just better than lousy version of non confident Rafa, something anyone could benefit on..and then, for the resurgent Fed Rafa was just a piece of cake and it will stay that way as long as Rafa is accepting those loses with an explanation that the opponent played out of this world tennis..,there is no such thing! Tennis is the game of two! It takes one playing well and the other playing lousy for a comfortable win like that! Rafa is in denial! He has to do something about it! He has to step it up, has to start hurting his opponents with his forehands, has to start playing to win, not to avoid another loss! I am really upset about Rafa’s current level and I blame Moya for telling Rafa that Fed or any other player for that matter were too good to beat…that’s pathetic! Anyone could have beaten that Rafa…Fed did not even have to make an effort, the win was smooth and way to easy!

      Wake up, Rafa, please! You are so much better than this! Don’t waste yet another year, you have all the lesser chance for redemption!


      • Natashao MARCH 26, 2017 AT 5:57 PM says: ¤¤ what worries me the most is Rafa accepting the losses as something “normal” with his common comment “the opponent played his best tennis”, lame and cheap excuse…¤¤

        It’s not an excuse, it’s called politeness.

        Natashao MARCH 26, 2017 AT 5:57 PM says: ¤¤ I blame Moya for telling Rafa that Fed or any other player for that matter were too good to beat…¤¤

        Moya talked to an El Espanol journalist who interviewed him (not to Rafa).

          • AT 7:07 PM,
            Some posters have always been over the moon when Rafa has praised his opponents. My usual reply to them has been: politeness shouldn’t be taken very seriously.

      • Carlos says Rafa needs to be more aggressive- 100% agreed

        Carlos says Rafa should have returned serve from close to the baseline- Not too sure about this.

        Actually, Rafa made a mess with second serve returns. Fed changed his strategy a bit and served heavy kick serves to Rafa’ s FOREHAND. Rafa kept landing short returns (even if they had some penetration) and Fed crushed them with his forehand. I kept shouting during the match that Rafa should stand back to return serve and try to get good depth. Rafa started doing this late in the match and actually it worked better! By returning close to the baseline, you are also playing into Fed’s hands by increasing the pace of the rallies.
        In the last few years Fed was a bit more willing to serve and volley , even on second serves as he was not too confident about his baseline game against Rafa Djoko. BUT, I have noticed that now he is more than happy to stay back and he thinks he can defeat anyone from the baseline! Ljubicic also has a role in this.

        I noticed that wawrinka was returning serve from miles behind the baseline and fed BARELY came in. He waited for Stan’s returns at the baseline. So, given how good Rafa is at dipping returns, he should not be tense. Also, Fed was not coming in much behind serve so rafa can stand back and try to get good depth on his returns. It’s the idea thing for him as long as he gets GOOD length.

        When standing on the baseline, he can hit aggressive returns from his backhand but his forehand return is not reliable enough (esp in the deuce court). Watch the highlights and you will notice! It’s good to have options so no harm in stepping in to return but the primary option should be to stand back until his forehand return is much better.

        • “Also, Fed was not coming in much behind serve so rafa can stand back and try to get good depth on his returns.”

          That’s precisely WHY #GOAT2.0 was not coming in.


          • No but he hasn’t been coming in much anyway. Rafa returned from deep behind a lot of the times in their AO match and Fed didn’t move forward much. It was the same in the Fed-Stan match. Fed is right now of the impression that he can beat anyone from the baseline as his backhand is more powerful and aggressive now.

            Rafa’s return positioning was an effort to be more aggressive from the first strike but it didn’t work at all and it’s tough for him to make it work against Fed who has one of the best second serves in the game. He can still be aggressive even if he maintains a deep court positioning but gets good length.

            • Yeah, but I see Rafa isn’t getting enough power or speed in his ground strokes thus making it easy for Fed to stick to the baseline and hits back! Even Sela was able to stay in the rallies with Rafa and I was at times more convinced Rafa would end up making an UE than hitting a winner…and it was Sela on the other side of the net for God’s sake! it seems that Rafa’s footwork betrays him more than often these days…

        • Agree that Fed is coming in less, and that standing back on the return is a good strategy (though I’m not sure how you’d get to some of those crazy angled 2nd serves at all). I think you’re right that Roger has more confidence to think he can win a baseline rally, though I think it nearly got him into trouble against Stan in the IW final. He’s still better off going for a winner fairly early than trying to slug it out with the big hitters -even against Rafa I think it is risky because Nadal often gains confidence as the point drags on.

      • Yep Nny!can u imagine how many matches he will creates or how many legends’s head he will ‘jump’ if he’s not injured all this time?How amazing he is!And yet here i am,worried and whining about him because of his slumping form and still not collect any big titles yet!How selfish i am Nny!

        What touched me the most when he said,”It can’t be everything perfect in 15 years career”…how right he is Nny!And i’m the one who’s being greedy,who keep demanding more and more from him..when i see him play and he’s not his usual self,made uncharacteristically errors that he’s supposed not to..or his FH didn’t work like it used to be..i’ll be quick to judge him and criticized him…while he is just a normal human being who has up and down of his own..13 years of glory that he gave it to me still not enough it seems…How greedy i am!And i feel so ashamed to have those thoughts in the first place…

        • MA,

          You should not be so hard on yourself. I have been guilty of the very same things. Then I watch this video and realize all of the great shots and memorable moments Rafa has given us all and I think that maybe I am just asking for too much. Maybe I have been greedy in wanting more of those magnificent shots and brilliant victories. I have been critical of Rafa’s game at times. I have been frustrated. But I think that in some way Rafa would understand because we see what he demands of himself. Rafa is a great champion and expects to perform at a certain level. We have seen him angry and disgusted in matches, giving those looks and holding his head in his hand. So I think Rafa holds himself to a high standard.

          It’s not easy to be at the top of this sport. Rafa has handled the intense pressure amazingly well. I would hope that Rafa knows that his fans get upset or frustrated because we want only the best for him. When he has a great victory, there is nothing better in this world than to see that Rafa smile!

          We are fans and are human, too!

  3. RT a Rafan: “Rafa’s mom, dad, sister & her boyfriend, uncle Miguel Ángel & his son are all in Miami supporting Rafa today!”

    Vamos Nadals! 🙂

    • Fascinating. Thanks for the link!

      Rafa’s currently at 11th on the all time list, and has the highest winning percentage at 82.2 across all surfaces. Not bad for a guy who was supposed to have a “short career”.

      • 12 years ago, this guy was told that he might never be able to play tennis again. He was born with an anatomical peculiarity of his left foot and it started to cause him pain at the age of 19.
        Then he started to wear a special sole (designed by doctors and Nike) in his customized tennis shoes to take the weight off the troublesome bone, but this caused problems with the knee as the weight in his leg was subtly shifted…

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