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.”

119 Comments on Rafael Nadal

  1. Rafa is looking more and more handsome by the days. He has grown out of that man/child image now; looking charming, confident and very handsome, like a movie star!

  2. Sascha Seeks Redemption Against Rafa
    24 APR 2017

    Paul Macpherson

    German takes wild card into Barcelona, hoping to get a re-match with nine-time champion Rafa Nadal
    Alexander Zverev is not looking for revenge against Rafael Nadal in Barcelona this week. But he is seeking redemption.
    Still smarting from his 6-1, 6-1 loss to Nadal at last week’s Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, Zverev is aware that the performance did not reflect his billing as a future World No. 1. But instead of trying to avoid Nadal for the remainder of the clay season, the German took a wild card into Barcelona in the hope of getting a quick re-match with the winner of 50 clay-court titles.
    As luck would have it, eighth-seeded Zverev could meet third-seeded Nadal in the quarter-finals.
    “The main reason I came here is because the draw is so strong; it’s almost like another Masters 1000,” Zverev said. “There’s a certain Mr. Rafa Nadal in my section. Maybe some of you remember the match last week. That’s in the back of my mind and to be very fair, that’s a very big reason why I am here: to get another shot to be on court with him.
    “That match will be in the back of my mind for sure this week. I hope I can get there and I hope he can get there as well. He’s the greatest player of all time on clay… everybody knows it. He’s the only active player with a court named after him. And there’s a reason for all that. I want to play him, especially on the clay court. I’ve played him on hard court a few times and both of those were tight matches. Playing him on clay is always special.”

    http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/zve … elona-2017

  3. [url=https://postimg.org/image/euiehklbv/][img]https://s1.postimg.org/iqvqdk6bj/Screen_Shot_2017-04-26_at_11.56.23.png[/img][/url][url=https://postimage.io/]imgurl[/url][url=https://certificity.com]certificity.com[/url]
    Pista Rafa Nadal

  4. Rafa and his business partners, singer Enrique Iglesias & pro basketball player Pau Gasol among them, opened their new restaurant TATEL in Ibiza (one of the Balearic Islands).
    They opened their first TATEL restaurant in the centre of Madrid two years ago and the second – in Miami in March this year.
    Rafa tweeted: “Playing Barcelona & couldn’t attend the opening of Tatel Ibiza like in Miami. Glad it’s expanding:”

    https://twitter.com/RafaelNadal/status/858278550843121665/photo/1

    http://www.tatelrestaurants.com/

    ?

  5. Thiem on The Barcelona Final and Rafa:

    ‘What an awesome week! Although it didnโ€™t end the way I hoped it to, but Rafa is playing in a different league he is almost unstoppable on clay,’

    ‘He was hitting to my backhand and I couldn’t really come out of it. The next time I play him I have to change something. He didn’t hit many unforced errors and give me any free points. It’s difficult for any player in the world against him.’

    http://www.tennisworldusa.org/news/news/Rafael_Nadal/42968/dominic-thiem-rafael-nadal-is-playing-in-a-different-league-/

    • Thiem has a VERY strong backhand and he felt subdued! Don’t want to sound derogatory but it makes me laugh when people imply Nadal’s forehand wouldn’t be much of an additional problem on clay. It becomes an absolute python!!

      I think Rafa’s playing well enough to beat anyone on clay. Yes, he will have tougher draws now but the Barcelona final was his best performance on clay this year and the opposition was strong as well.

      There is NO way Rafa’s going to skip Rome! He’ll play both. I hope the matches he plays are not draining.The MC and Barcelona weeks were awesome. His matches were short and a lot of them were like intense practice sessions and nothing more.

      Last year he had tough matches in the same stint but this year things have been progressing perfectly well.

      I am very very satisfied with Rafa’s performance. His serve has started to cause real damage as well now. His second serve return is RIDICULOUSLY effective on clay. Don’t think any player on any other surface dominates second serve return points (or even second serve points) the way Rafa does on clay.

      Look for Rafa to start going for a bit extra on his forehands now. Madrid will make it tougher for him to control his forehands and the big serves from his opponents but he will be fine.

      • The problem with Rafa fans is that we are always worried about Rafa’s injuries. I wish some of these tournaments were after RG. MC and Barcelona before RG and Madrid and Rome after.

      • But, one can argue that having all those tournaments prior to RG has really helped Rafa. He has always (except for 2009) peaked right in time to demolish the field.

        • Agree with VR, that all these warmup events prior to RG help Rafa to win at RG. I read somewhere that Rafa needs to play at least fifteen matches on clay to get himself ready for the FO; I wonder how true was that.

      • Would you say that now if Fed’s much hyped improved backhand were to face Rafa’s current forehand on clay, the story of earlier years would repeat?

        • Well Fed’s backhand would definitely hold up better against Rafa’s forehand but won’t be good enough, esp in best of five. Also, People must realize that peppering fed’s backhand is NOT the only way for Rafa to win points against Fed. Rafa is more than capable of finishing points off with other patterns as well. The foundations will remain the same but the patterns will change a bit.

          Fed won’t have the luxury of winning cheap points on serve again and again. He bailed himself out of trouble numerous times during the AO final with his serve. Not going to happen on clay.

          Fed knows it and Rafa knows it too. Rafa’s statement on Fed’s withdrawal from teh clay season says a lot. I posted the words here. Rafa was like yeah Fed’s been keeping the points really short and it doesn’t work that way on clay…

          • However, I would add that while clay court tennis is still unique, it has changed a lot now. The first few shots have become so much more important. The way Borg used to made his opponents succumb to brilliance was different that how Rafa brutally punishes his opponents. Even during Rafa’s career it has changed. The big hitting styles has now altertered the dynamics a bit and it is no longer only about ‘grinding it out’. You have to be very offensive from the baseline on clay courts now as well or you” be doomed. The first two strikes are most important than ever!

            • vr,

              I think you make a great point about how Borg won his matches on clay, I still go back and watch his matches on YouTube. I never get tired of watching him again, even after all these years. He had some of the most extraordinary epic length rallies ever seen in matches. He just was unstoppable in outlasting his opponents. His physical strength and conditioning was legendary. Also his mental toughness, which would ultimately prove to be his undoing. But when he was on his game, he was like a machine. Rallies with record length shots were not unusual for him. He would always win them.

              I do agree that it’s different today with the big hitting young guys. Also, I think there are inherent dangers in the grinding style. We saw it with Borg. A player can burnout and it’s also not realistic to keep doing it as a player gets older. I think Rafa is now making adjustments which make his game less predictable and in changing up the patterns of his shot making.

              That was the key to solving the Novak puzzle in 2012 and it will be the key to getting the better of Fed should they meet at RG.

            • Another player who could be a dark horse is Del Potro. He is playing well now.
              What do vr and lucky think of Rafa-delpo match up.

          • Tean Rafa is not worried about Fed on clay. They are worried about Nole. Although Nole’s game troubles Rafa, Nole can be taken out by others. RG guys would be anxious to favor Fed . I think Fed may want Rafa in his quarter as hawkeye pointed out.

            • In the event that fed is not “randomly” drawn into Rafa’s quarter, I fully expect him to go deeper than Nole.

              Fed will likely beat Nole should they meet on clay this year regardless of where.

              Comes down to confidence.

      • Hello VR. Yes, I agree with what you’ve posted. I’m also very satisfied with how Rafa played these past two weeks and the results of course. I especially am glad that all his matches were relatively short, with barely any grinding tennis.

        Rafa really surprised me with the way he mixed things up in his game, making him unpredictable, not a good thing for his opponents. He was able to problem solve his way to his wins, many times against hard hitting, big serving, aggressive players. He just kept his cool, think or thought his way out of troubles – that Diego match esp when I thought he’s going to lose the second set, when Diego just could hit so hard both CC and DTL, moved so quickly around the court, and dropshot Rafa whenever he found the chances. The match vs Chung too, when he was able to break back and then played an almost flawless TB to win the first set.

        I agree too that Thiem was his toughest opponent (even tougher than Goffin last week); the first set could have gone either way but Rafa was just so clutch and knew when to apply pressure. The only qualm I have/had about Rafa was his poor BP conversion rate; he could manufacture a few BPs vs Thiem during the first set but unable to take them until the last few points in the first set. Against Anderson, he failed to break serve and allowed Anderson to hold serve after several deuces and ads in a long >10 mins game.

        Overall, Rafa has certainly been playing much better than when he’s on the HCs; he’s also playing better than on clay last year. He still has room for improvements of course, like hitting his FH with more consistency, converting BPs more readily and winning the longer rallies more than his opponents do when he really needs to go into rallying.

        • Hi Lucksystar, yes good points. I agree! BP conversion surely has room for improvement. It has indeed been so impressive to watch Rafa find his way out of trouble.
          TLooks like solution-finding Rafa is back and is head is working clearly. Just waiting for him to show even more positive in the face of tougher draws! No reason to think he can’t.

      • I don’t think that Rafa has gotten the credit he deserves for his performance in the final. Thiem came out blasting with clear intentions of getting this win. I will say that the commentators on the tennis channel pointed out that Thiem played better in the final than he did against Murray in the semis. Yet he lost the first set and then was pretty much blown away in the second set.

        Thiem is no slouch on clay. He’s been talked up as a potential dark horse at RG. With Murray and Novak not yet at their best, an opportunity could present itself for one of the young guys to go deep. I think zthiem is tougher than Goffin on the clay.

        The way Rafa stepped it up late in the first set, putting pressure on Thiem and causing him to make errors, was vintage Rafa. Seizing the moment in s tight first set and getting the break, shows confidence and mental strength.

        I thought that Rafa did very well in the final and played done of his best tennis against a quality opponent. He really took Thiem out of the match. Many of us, myself included, thought this would be a tougher match. But Rafa played stellar tennis and made sure it didn’t happen.

        I like the way Rafa is hitting his backhand. His serve has improved immensely. His willingness to go to net to close out points with precise volleys, has been gratifying to see. I thought the last piece of the puzzle would be getting a title. I think that made the difference.

        Rafa’s forehand is getting better and better. His ROS on clay really is something to see.

        Rafa fans will always worry about injuries. It’s only natural. But Rafa needs to play now. He’s gettIng that rhythm and confidence going. Rafa has a week off and hopefully will get some rest and be ready to rumble at Madrid!

  6. But see what happened last year. He injured his wrist.
    Why does he need 4 tournaments to peak? I understand he cannot skip Madrid or Rome as he wants to maintain the momentum but suppose RG was next week? I think I would have liked that.

    • Rafa’s wrist (left wrist) was already having some minor issues prior to the clay season last year. There were pictures of him with bandages on his left wrist early last year before the clay season; I think Rafa didn’t (or didn’t want to)disclose anything about any wrist injury back then.

      Rafa was used to playing a heavy clay season all these years without having any wrist issue arising from that; I don’t think we need to worry too much about his wrist issue or any other issues and his clay schedule; I think he and his team are wise enough now not to take any risk to jeopardize his FO title hope.

  7. Not for this fan. For me it’s important that Rafa enjoys his choices, that as he says, they “give him happiness”. Rafa’s a huge believer in the pursuit of happiness. Not sure he’d have traded his Olympics for any tennis achievement in 2016. If a genie had appeared and offered him that 2nd AO title, maybe he’d have made the trade. Maybe. Maybe not. The Olympics was more than achievement for Rafa. It was an experience he really wanted. Oh, and to prove my feeling, my desktop background is still the picture of Rafa and Marc smiling ear to ear, after winning the doubles semi. If Rafa wins RG this year maybe I’ll put in a trophy pic of that instead. Maybe.

    • I feel a lot depends on how Rafa plays his game; if he plays like at MC and Barcelona, he should have enough energy to go on to win at the FO. If he has to grind, then I feel it’s advisable that he skips one of the warmup events to conserve energy for the FO.

      • Not gonna happen. Rafa loves Madrid, not the tournament but the fans and city and country! Rome is the best preparation for RG – Madrid plays very differently from RG – so he’ll play there, too. If Rafa wanted to skip one of the clay court events it would have been Barcelona, much as he loves it. We’ll just have to hope for the best.

        • He won’t skip Barcelona, his sponsor Banque Sabadell is also the sponsor of that event. Skipping Rome won’t do him any harm, for by then he would have played quite a number of matches. Rome or no Rome it doesn’t matter.

        • I guess some fans worry he might shorten his career with such a heavy clay schedule. . Even so I’d trade a year or so at this stage in his career for the the sight of seeing his joy when he bites on his tenth RG trophy.

  8. It all began for Rafa at RG in 2005 and it would be only fitting if he reaches the pinnacle of his amazing career by achieving his ambition of lifting his 10th crown.

    • We can debate and discuss this at length, but Rafa and his team will make decisions related to where and when he plays.

      I do believe that Rome has always been better preparation for RG. The surface and conditions are more similar to RG. If Rafa were not to play at Rome then he would have two weeks off before RG. Is it really in his best interests to sit out two weeks resting and practicing? We know that Rafa gets better the more he plays. He does have this week off to take a breather. If there are rest periods built in, then Rafa should be okay.

      Only Rafa and his team know the state of his body and can make this decision. Others can weigh in, like Woodbridge, but they can only speak in general terms about being 30 or almost 31 and what that means for the body.

      Rafa has always been injury prone. It’s not just about getting older. It’s about specific issues with a player, such as Rafa’s knee issues. I don’t presume to know the answers. Maybe Rafa and his team have to see how he is coming out of Madrid. It may depend on how tough the road is for him there.

      So far Rafa has had a relatively easy road st both MC and Barcelona.

      • I’m not as optimistic as you Nny that Rafa will necessarily heed his team’s advice. Sure he’ll listen but he’s so psyched up if he wants to play all the lead up tournaments I reckon he will. Besides he needs the rush of adrenalin to combat the fight he’ll have on his hands when he gets to RG. I for one will need to be tranquilized for the whole two weeks!!!

        • ed,

          You may well be right. I can’t discount what you say. Rafa will want to continue because he is getting confidence and winning and getting the rhythm on his shots.

          It’s really hard to know what is best. It’s not an exact science.

          I will probably join you in needing to be tranquilized for those two weeks! Slams are always hard for me, but especially RG which has so much meaning for Rafa and the historical significance of going for his 10th title.

  9. I think Rafa is displeased that Uncle T is not around. He had said sometime ago that though having Moya is great, he is looking to Uncle T on clay. I am sure Augusta will find out the reason for Rafa’s grumpy look.

    • Mary (AT 11:03 PM),

      Rafa is happy if Toni is happy with what the latter is doing. ๐Ÿ™‚

      ยคยค March 10, 2017
      Indian Wells, California
      An interview with RAFAEL NADAL

      Question. “Were you surprised by Toni’s decision after Melbourne that he will stop traveling with you after the end of that season?”
      RAFAEL NADAL: “Surprised? Well, I talked enough about that, too, no? Toni is free to do whatever he wants. I just can say thanks to him for everything that he did. And I have an academy that he’s working there, too. So for me is such an important person in the academy.
      So for me the important thing is he’s happy doing what he’s doing. I understand that he has three kids, too, two kids and playing tennis, too. Probably he has the motivation to practice with them.
      For me personally, more than my coach, he’s for sure my uncle before. So I always wanted the best for him, and I’m sure that he wanted the best for me. So we always had an amazing, good relationship, and that’s not gonna change.
      I feel happy if he’s happy doing what he’s doing. That’s the most important thing for me, no? The same than the rest of the people of my family that I love, no? So I want the best for them. And if Toni take that position, it’s because he feels that is the best for him at this moment, and maybe he thinks it’s the best for me. I don’t know (smiling).
      But he taked the position. And as I said before, for me, everything, he’s free to do whatever. No, I am fine with everything.” ยคยค

      http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=127880

      U.Toni is scheduled to travel to the Rome Masters and Roland Garros.
      He may travel to Madrid, too.

  10. Actually,there’s a good and bad with this draw for Rafa….
    Bad:
    -Rafa will be drag to 2,3 or 4 three setter here and that is a certainly a LOLLOLLOL! for us fans!!Urgh!!
    -He will spent his energy and time on court unnecessarily..another LOL!

    Good:
    -To faces a bunch of tough opponent and maybe win,will give Rafa a LOT of confidence heading to RG…it doesn’t matter if he lost in semi or final..
    -To face with a tough opponents and lost,that means he can save his energy for a better condition in Rome…who knows,he will have a kind draw..and win!Yay!!..What a time to win ahead of RG!!

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