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.”

97 Comments on Rafael Nadal

  1. Congrats to Kyrgios, he deserves the win!

    Rafa doesn’t deserve the win here, he’s simply atrociously bad!! Not even given a lifeline by Kygrios could help him! He only won 30% of his second serve! That’s how bad he is! Perhaps an old man like him just couldn’t play two matches on the same day, even the younger but not very fit guy Kygrios seems fitter and more energetic than Rafa.

  2. As I expected Kyrgios pumped up playing his best tennis just because Rafa is on the other side of the net! Rafa OTOH in self-destructive mode easy to be beaten….

    By blowing the chance in Montreal Rafa did not really have much perspective in Cincy…I must say I did not expect him to win here!

    Have some physical and mental rest Rafa! You need it…

  3. Well at least Rafa is out of this rain delay mess here! Rafa’s NAHC season is looking more and more like his 2015!

    I think the Cincy organizers here are doing Rafa and themselves a disfavor, messing up Rafa’s match time; they don’t deserve any top four guys in the draw now. They’ll hope for Kygrios to produce some magic, or Isner/Dimi to produce some brilliant stuff, if not they are heading for some anticlimactic finishes to the tournament.

    • No, there’s one guy called David Ferrer still in the draw, he may end up winning this whole thing; he did reach the final here one year and lost to Fed.

      David won Paris Masters in 2012! I hope David can win here, that’ll be great for his comeback and may be his last chance at a Masters before his swan song (which I expect won’t be far away).

        • Jerzy Janowicz. I like that guy, 6’8″ but moving like a dream, rushed the net, hit tons of drop shots. Fiery temper though and plagued with injuries, worse than Rafa’s I feel. Poor soul, I thought he could have a great career, but injuries set him back. Thankfully Rafa isn’t like him.

      • I agree with ya, Lucky, it would be great to see Ferrer get another Masters title. In my opinion, he deserves it more than almost anyone on tour… And what a turnaround it would be for him to go from where he was at the start of the season to even just being in a Masters final again! If I remember correctly, didn’t he actually put up a good fight in that Cinci final in 2014 against Fed?

      • Why should Rafa refuse to play in Brisbane?

        The Courier-Mail, June 11, 2017: “Rafael Nadal the number one target for Brisbane International organisers.”

    • I said it before, it’s better for Rafa to just concentrate on clay; he can no longer win title on the HCs, reaching finals is the best he could do on the HCs. I’m afraid, he has already missed the boat, spending his most precious heydays being injured so often. His 2014 was his best chances on the HCs after his highly successful 2013, but injuries really did him in that year; he’s not the same ever since.

      His 2017 early HC season may just be a mirage, we know with the absences of peak form Djoko, things get a bit easier for the field including Fed and Rafa.

      I may sound harsh on Rafa, but Rafa playing a full schedule on clay means he may be compromised on other surfaces. It’s either this or that, he can’t have the best of both world. If he really wants to win something off clay, then he has to reduce his clay court events, but plays as aggressively as he did on clay this season, when playing on other surfaces. On other surfaces especially, he can’t afford to be tentative or defensive.

      • luckystar (AT 3:47 AM),

        ‘Concentrating on clay’ means that he would play only 2 months per year (from Monte Carlo through Roland Garros)…

        • … plus the clay season after Wimbledon, or the clay golden swing in South America. He’ll most likely play at the slams, so one warm up before a slam should be ok. He should skip some HC masters like IW/Miami and maybe either Canada or Cincy; alternate Paris with Shanghai; just my opinion.

  4. I laughed when I read what the ATP website often wrote : so and so set up a blockbuster QF or SF, whatever, but many times they turned out to be damp squibs! Meh!

  5. Nick not playing great, and Rafa lose in a lame match.
    Unable to built big point gaps with Roger given his absence.
    Got to hope Roger taking a break until year end to see Rafa keep this number 1 position.

    This loss cemented his status as King of Clay where he is really marvellous there.

    • I doubt both Fed and Rafa will go far at the USO. Rafa may or may not hang on to his no.1 ranking, maybe he can but barely. I really don’t think that Fedal will do much for the rest of the season, given that Rafa may have fatigue setting in and Fed his back injury worries. I doubt Fed will go all out to win anything unless he doesn’t mind breaking his back again.

      I’m hoping for Dimi to win the USO if Rafa can’t; it’s time he moves to take his chances before AZverev and the others beat him to it. With so many top guys gone this season, and Fedal may be too tired/injured to push further to dominate, why not take these chances being on offer? Right Dimi?

      • Agree with you about Rafa, but for Fed it all depends on how bad his injury really is. My guess is not so bad, and that he didn’t go all out in Montreal, particularly in the final once he failed to break in the second set. I think he will prioritize winning USO. If he does, he will be the favourite for year end #1, which I think is his second priority after USO.

        I see Zverev and Kyrgios as favourites at USO after Roger. Maybe even Ferrer, who is playing extremely well.

        • We’ll see Joe, I’m not as positive as you where Fed is concerned. BO5 matches won’t be easy on the body. He wasn’t playing well at Montreal, with a bad back, I doubt he can do better at the USO, priority or not.

          If priority does matter, then I can also say the same thing about Rafa!

          • I think it’s definitely up in the air whether Fed can go all the way. We really have absolutely no idea what the situation is with his back. It could be that he just had the back soreness that he periodically gets, and he will deal with it just fine like he almost always has. Or it could be a more serious injury to his back that he hasn’t come forward about yet. There’s just no way we can know right now, so it’s pointless to speculate about how bad his back actually is… I will say that, although I’m not so certain about him winning it, I do have very little doubt that Fed will at least make the semis, given that almost never loses pre-Semis at non-RG slams anymore. With the exception of that freakishly weird 3rd round loss to Seppi at 2015 AO, Fed hasn’t lost before the semis at a non-clay major that he has played at in 4 years. And he wasn’t even winning majors in that time! Now that he has some big titles under his belt, and since Novak isn’t destroying everyone anymore (won’t even be there at all), I don’t realistically see that streak ending now. I suppose he could very well lose to Kyrgios or Zverev in the QF, but this is BO5, and Federer just doesn’t seem to lose early these days at the non-clay majors. I think you are right, Lucky, that if his back is bad enough, then he probably won’t want to risk completely ruining his back. However, if it’s just a niggle, he has played through back issues plenty of times. I guess I just don’t see who could realistically beat Federer before the semis in BO5 on a hardcourt, even if his back is a little stiff. Zverev has shown he can do it at a BO3 tournament, but he has never even been past the 4th round at a major before. We should remember that when he won Rome on clay this year, he then went and lost in the First Round at RG! I would love to see him make a breakthrough at US Open, but we have no choice but to remain skeptical until he at least makes the QF of a major. Kyrgios has also shown he can run with the big boys, even at the majors, so he can upset Federer. I just have to assume that Federer will continue making the semis until we find out how serious his back issue is. Having doubt about him is understandable, though, just considering that we don’t know anything about his condition.

            I also believe that, just like with Fed, upsetting Rafa is a whole other story in BO5. Rafa is a much smarter player than most, and he has more time to figure things out in BO5. I know it could be wishful thinking at this point, given the uncertainty about Fedal, but I still am holding out hope that we can get a Fedal final. 🙂 I guess I could settle for a Fedal semifinal if theyre in the same half, but I feel doubtful about Murray even playing…

          • I was pretty impressed with Ferrer in his match against Federer. And I don’t think Nadal has shown anything in the summer HC season to suggest he will go far at USO. After Fed, Zverev and Kyrgios, who is there, really? Obviously, the latter two haven’t done much at the slams yet. But when I think of the rest of the top 10 who are playing, they’re all injured (Raonic, Nishikori, Cilic, maybe Murray), or unproven on HC (Thiem).

            Obviously, if Fed’s injury is bad enough, he falls into the first category as well. But he did make the final in Montreal, even playing far from his best. Maybe Rafa will show us something he hasn’t so far. But I think it’s unlikely. Lucky may be right that he’s out of gas after playing so much clay court tennis. I haven’t seen any suggestion that he’s injured, so I think his play has to be chalked up to lack of form.

  6. From what I see, it is young generation Nick & Zverev would be the two top contenders in the near future.

    Dimi has been there for many years, he is contender but never at the very top level judging from his h2h against any top 4.

    Nick has a very good h2h against top 3 5-3. Only Murray can handle him well so far.
    Zverev would make his way to positive h2h against top 4 in near future

  7. So, all the more Dimi should make full use of the opportunity now before AZverev and/or anyone of the young guns start making their moves.

  8. Nny!…R u alright?Still feel frustrated?Angry?Sad?…That’s okay!…We’ve already can guess the outcome since he lost to Denis last week right?I myself didn’t feel much about this loss…no sad,no frustration,no angry…unlike when he lost to Denis…that is very painful…Since he lost to Muller at Wimby and later to Denis…evrythings r very clear for us to see what was wrong…and i tried and learned to accept things that Rafa atm not the Rafa that won 10th FO in june…

    Do you remember that Rafa once said[i think maybe early this year before AO start]..that it’s impossible for him to emulate the Rafa of 2008,2010 or 2013…he’s different now..i think Rafa tried to gave us his fans a clue how things are under the surface that only he and his team know..and maybe we knew it too…we just too ‘drowned’ in our own dream and desire[no doubt based on sweet nostalgia and endless love for him]…so..with all being said,how about we just accept all this losses with open heart…Rafa himself don’t want to lose and very frustrated with his own game..but he can’t control what was happening….see this…
    http://www.tennisworldusa.org/news/videos/Rafael_Nadal/46514/nadal-throws-his-battle-on-the-ground/

    How many times we see Rafa did that?Never right?…So,Rafa also suffered like we do…But Nny..read this…
    http://www.tennisworldusa.org/news/news/Rafael_Nadal/46508/rafael-nadal-bad-match-but-i-will-be-at-the-highest-level-in-new-york-/

    Bad match or not..at least Rafa already gave us a 10th FO and multiple titles already this year…close your eyes and remember the feelings Nny!…u will feel much better…so,don’t be too downhearted k?Love u!

    • MA,

      I am kind of resigned to it. I felt he would lose to Kyrgios. But I hoped for a better match.

      I can see that Rafa is older now and can’t do what he did in the past.

      It’s just that he was playing so well this year. Now he has regressed. He has the #1 ranking but not his game. I am grateful that he won his 10th RG. If that’s it then so be it.

      I don’t have high expectations for the USO. I thought maybe he had a shot at winning it. But it’s the lost opportunities. Losing the final at the AO, losing in the fourth round at Wimbledon. Then losing at Montreal.

      Rafa is losing matches he used to win. They waited too long to get someone like Moya. That was precious time that was wasted.

      I have to accept the reality of what is going on with Rafa. So I am dealing with it.

      Fed got two slams this year. I wanted the same for Rafa. I remember when some Rafa fans were saying it was like 2008. That made me bervous. Because it’s not 2008. It’s nine years later. You can’t turn back the clock.

      • There’s no one like Carlos Moya. Moya and Rafa have known each other since Rafa was 12 -13 years old, Moya was Rafa’s boyhood mentor (when Moya was an active player), they live in the same island and speak the same language (a dilect of Catalan aka Mallorquí).

  9. Rafa again mentioned about the ball used here at Cincy. He said the court and the ball here plus the humidity made it difficult for him, and that except for 2013, he didn’t have good results here even though he loves this tournament.

    Rafa said he didn’t understand why he couldn’t find his rhythm here hence all the errors. I was thinking, he not having good results here means he’s not playing the right way here, or simply he doesn’t have the game to do well here, with 2013 being the exception.

    I feel if he’s not able to play the way he played in 2013 (which I feel was perfect as far as his game on HCs was concerned – controlled aggression, stepping inside the court, moving to the net, serving and returning well), then why not just hit the ball as hard as possible, swing for the fence and couldn’t care less whether they land inside or outside the court, i.e. go for broke. He was playing like that for a set during that AO2014 final after knowing he won’t win with a bad back, and he won the set.

    He is that good that even in auto pilot mode, he could still hit with power and precision. Why not try playing like there’s nothing to lose, instead of playing like he’s afraid to lose? Rafa simply thinks too much, quoting some of Toni’s words.

      • Hearing Rafa complain about the balls and the humidity sounds like excuses. He said the same thing about the balls at Montreal. I think the loss to Shap affected him more than he is letting on.

        I don’t have the answers. I think this is reality. We just have to accept it.

        • I don’t think those were excuses; he did say he played badly. He said he didn’t do well at Cincy during his whole career, except 2013, so there must be reasons instead of just excuses!

          Like I said, if he’s affected by the ball and the humid conditions, then he should make adjustments to the way he plays at Cincy; why not look at how others who have successes at Cincy and picks up some tips from there, if he can’t replicate his 2013 performance?

          Those who are more aggressive and hits the ball hard could manage and control the ball, and benefit from the quick conditions at Cincy (and Montreal); or those who step inside the court and approach the net more often. Rafa did or does none of those (unlike his 2013), so he couldn’t beat the more aggressive hard hitting guys.

          I think we have to factor in fatigue from playing so many matches already when he arrived at the NAHCs. He was known to be physically exhausted by this time of the year even during his early twenties, his peak years. His 2008/2010 were exceptional years; in 2013 he was knocked out in R1 at Wimbledon so perhaps he had more rest prior to playing at Canada and hence his great results from Canada to New York.

          Perhaps not extending too much physically at this point (five matches in two weeks) may help him at New York?

          • Lucky,

            But he didn’t make changes! He’s had good results at Montreal in the past. Cincy is the one that’s been tough for him with the court conditions.

            Where is Rafa’s aggressive game? Even at Wimby he was playing well. Muller just played the match of his life to beat him.

            All of a sudden the balls at both Montreal and Cincy don’t allow him to get the feel on his shots? Then why not play aggressive! He’s done that even in the early hard court season this year. That is what made the difference. Yet now he has regressed and is standing so far back behind the baseline. That is not a recipe for success against big serving, big hitting players on hard courts.

            Yet now you say he is tired? Rafa hasn’t played since the fourth round of Wimby. He’s had an extra week off. He didn’t play st Queens because he was emotionally and physically exhausted after winning RG.

            He’s a professional tennis player. Yet he now needs rest before the USO? After having weeks off? I think Rafa needs match play like he did before RG. We saw how confident he got as he started winning. His game came together.

            Resting is not going to help Rafa win the USO. He will go in having played five matches. That’s not much considering he’s had time off after Wimby.

            The issue for me is that Rafa is not playing the kind of aggressive tennis that he was playing even before the clay season. He needs to find it if he is to do well at the USO.

            • NNY, we know when Rafa was not confident, he would retreat and played a more defensive game. You also have to factor in that Rafa is now 31, don’t expect him to be like in 2013 when he’s 27. He having to play two matches on one day with only five hours rest in between didn’t help him, he’s not young anymore.

              Rafa said it himself, he needs to feel confident before he could play his aggressive game; he’s clearly not feeling confident at the moment – fatigue, quick HCs, the no.1 ranking on the line, etc – all these may weigh heavily in his mind, just my guess of course. I mean, Rafa won’t just play poorly for nothing, as if he does it intentionally!

              I also noticed that Fed wasn’t playing well too after Wimbledon even when playing on fast HCs at Montreal, fatigue might be the cause so I would think the same about Rafa (Rafa had played 55 matches already before Montreal, compared to four years ago in 2013 when he played 46!). Rafa during his heydays 2007-2011) would also feel fatigue during this period of the season, more so now that he’s much older.

    • luckystar says AT 2:06 PM:”then why not just hit the ball as hard as possible, swing for the fence and couldn’t care less whether they land inside or outside the court”
      ===

      He did it yesterday when he had a break point. The ball landed outside the court…

      • Lucky,

        I do agree with you about Rafa having to play two matches in one day. I was very unhappy with how they scheduled the #1 seed. They knew the weather forecast. They should have let Rafa play earlier to get his match in. Once he had to play two matches in one day, I feel that he had little chance against Kyrgios. So I do think he should get some slack for the bad scheduling. It’s been a few years since he had to do that. At 31, it’s too much to ask. I don’t know that he would have beaten Kyrgios anyway, but that made it even more difficult.

        It’s true that Fed looked and played fatigued in Montreal. He had to skip RG so that he could be ready for Wimby. That decision paid off for him. But Fed is 36. Rafa is still five years younger.

        I was just pointing out that Rafa has had more time off with losing in the fourth round at Wimby. He also took a break between RG and Wimby by not playing any grass warm up tournaments. So he’s built in some rest periods. That should help.

        I don’t want to be too hard on Rafa. But he is losing matches he would have won in the past and it’s the way he’s losing them. I still wonder if he was able to get past that loss to Shap.

        I can sense that he’s not confident. I didn’t expect 2013 again. That was special. But I did hope that Rafa would show up playing better.

        At this point I do not have high expectations for Rafa at the USO. I hope that Moya can help Rafa find his form. It is possible for him to play his way into a slam.

        Rafa has accomplished his biggest goal – winning La Decima. He’s also #1 again. So I have to be grateful for what he’s done this year.

  10. I can never understand how Rafa can just go from being aggressive in first 6 months of year to so defensive n stand behind baseline. He just exasperates his fans. Though he made a statement he needs to show in newyork why he is no 1. However I doubt he will show anything.

  11. Congrats to our dear Rafa, for becoming no.1 again. May he be at the top of the rankings for a long long time! Vamos Rafa!

  12. The travel schedule of Rafa’s coaches have been updated – Carlos Moya will be with Rafa at the USO. 🙂

    Rafa’s coaches are scheduled to travel in 2017:
    ¤ Carlos Moya: Melbourne, Acapulco, Miami, Monte Carlo, Madrid, Roland Garros and USO Open. (The season-end schedule to be set.)
    ¤ Francis Roig: Acapulco, Indian Wells, Barcelona, ​​Queens, Wimbledon, Montreal, Cincinnati, Beijing and Shanghai.
    ¤ U.Toni: GS tournaments, Rotterdam, Rome. (In addition, Toni can join Moya & Roig in some tournaments.)
    Source: EL Espanol
    http://www.elespanol.com/deportes/tenis/20170112/185481712_0.html
    (The first version of the article was published in January, but it has been updated more than once. 🙂 The author of the article writes articles about Rafa & his team regularly.)

    According to Moya’s contract, he’ll travel 12 – 15 weeks per year. Moya has three little kids at home and he wants to spend time with them. His oldest kid turned 7 this month.

    • C.Moya doesn’t accompany Rafa to all of his tournaments, but CM is the Technical Director of Rafa’s academy and he’s always coaching Rafa in Mallorca.
      Moya lives in Palma, the capital of Mallorca, it’s 50 km/30 miles away from Manacor, Rafa’s hometown.

    • MA,

      That was so nice to read! Wonderful words from Grigor about Rafa! How great that he could appreciate his time at Rafa’s academy and also personal time with him!

      Love it!
      ?

  13. So true. Andy Murray spent some time at the Rafa Nadal Academy and went on to win OG and end the year as #1. Rafa is one hell of a guy.

    Vamos!

  14. Now with Augusta saying moya will be with him at uso, I am hopeful again. He has played well this year when moya was with him ( read AO and entire clay stretch )

  15. Hopefully he does not draw nick in round 16 dimi in qf and zverev in sf. ..I would prefer thiem to dimi in qf. I also hope Fed n Murray land together which means zverev has to be in sf with Rafa

  16. Hey fellow Grandstand peeps. I am planning on going to the US Open this year, and am looking into tickets. All I really want is to be able to see Fed and Rafa play (not necessarily each other). Obviously I can’t guarantee that I will be able to see their matches because we don’t know the order of play yet. However, I’m sure that there is a pattern of when those two guys’ matches are played. Does anyone know if Fedal tend to have their respective matches more at night sessions, or day sessions? If I want to go during the first weekend, when would I be most likely to see a Fed and/or Rafa match? I’d like to go on either Saturday or Sunday, preferably Saturday. So I guess I’m wondering if I should get an Ashe Night session ticket or Ashe Day Session ticket. I don’t care whether it’s Rafa or Fed, as long as I can have the best shot of seeing at least one of them play. I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks!

    • Wow. Total guess. You need to know which day which section of the draw plays to know the date they’ll play on. My guess is at least one of them will be scheduled for the night session but it’s purely a guess. If an American makes it to the middle weekend he might get the night match but how likely is that?

      If they’re in the same section of the draw the day session is the better shot, I think, to see at least one of them. You get just two matches at night, right? One women’s, one men’s. And, of course, you can get really unlucky and they’ll be scheduled for the second court on that day.

      Good luck!

    • this is always a gamble. I tried to predict their matches for the World Tour Finals and realised it is kind of random. That year I thought Nadal-Wawrinka would be the night match instead of Ferrer-Berdych but the opposite happened.

      For the USO, I would say that the chances of Fed playing in the night session would be higher. He is given a lot of night matches there.

    • Rafa often plays at night and Fed used to but he tends to play at daytime now that he is an old man and he needs to go to bed early with his cocoa. He probably doesn’t see too well at night either. 😉 😉 😉

  17. My take on Rafa’s chances at the USO:

    I am not all that pessimistic at all. While I agree nothing really has happened post wimbledon to suggest Rafa will do really well the USO, I also think there is no damning evidence to say he will not do well! What are basing our claims on? Nadal underperforming at Cincinnati? seriously? Ignoring 2013 (an exception), when has his Cincy performance been an indicator of his USO performance?

    After his loss to NK, Rafa said:

    Hopefully yes, no? Is true that this tournament is a tournament that didn’t work very well for me during the history of my career. I never had a very good feelings here. I don’t know. The humidity, still don’t like this ball. Still I think needs to improve a lot this ball.

    But in general terms is a tournament that, yeah, I played one time great that I won, 2013, but the rest of the times have been very tough for me to play well here and find more than win or lose. No, for example, Miami I never won but I had positive feelings.

    No, here in this tournament, I love so much the tournament. Tournament is improving every year. But I don’t know why I don’t find my rhythm here, no?

    Saying that, New York is a completely different event. Different ball, of course, and in the history of my career in New York I played much better. That’s true, no? No, I think I am practicing well. I gonna give my best during this week of practice. Probably gonna rest two days and then starting on Monday again, and I gonna give my best during that week of preparation in New York and I hope to be ready for New York. “

    • Continuing my post… part 2

      So, Cincinnati is the worst indicator in my opinion! He came up against a player who was hot and is a bad matchup as well. I still think Rafa is serving pretty well. He is serving better than 2013 (just needs to be more clutch). His second serve is a WEAPON now and that is unprecedented. Now, you’d wonder why is he losing his serve like he did in Canada and Cincy ? Well, the answer is that even with a better serve, it is going to be a struggle when his forehand is that tentative. I thought it was just off in Cincy esp against Kyrgios. It had better weight against Gasquet but Nick is obviously a different matchup. he hits his backhand at 1450 RPMs on average and that is sick! so flat!

      Rafa improved his level in set 2 and I think he had chances to steal that set but he never had any rhythm. He just never feels confident in Cincy I guess.

      Montreal loss was more shocking but I guess the no.1 ranking was playing on his mind and he couldn’t play freely. I don’t see anything preventing him from giving his best in Newyork!

      • continuing my post…part 3:

        So, how well did Rafa do at Toronto and CIncy in 2010??? He was so tentative against Baghtatis in 2010 QF and lost cheaply in straights. He lost wo Murray easily in Toronto but was a different beast at the USO!

        2011, he against Lost to Dodig (forget the minor elbow issue) and then got a beat down from Mardy Fish in Cincy but played a brilliany USO!

        Even 2008, when he was on fire, he was struggling in Cincy (needed a tie break to beat Lapentti in the QF and got thrashed by Novak in SF). He dominated Novak in a couple of week’s time at the Olympics!! Cincy is ZERO indicator of what he is going to do.

        Please, clay courts don’t give him extra legs! Yes it is a different surface altogether but his ground game won’t just fade away. He can still play really well on hard courts but it is true he is more vulnerable, finds it tougher to building momentum and doesn’t inspire the same fear in his opponents.

        He is practising really well and I don’t think the Cincy loss will really affect him. You can always play yourself into form in slams. I understand the fear that he might crash out if he runs into a red hot opponent early on but he has held the fort pretty well at the USO in the last 10 years or so. I would expect a much better showing from him.

        • continuing my post…part 4:

          Finally, here is what Rafa had to say about his serve when asked how he compared his current serve to 2013’s:

          ” Is not true. I was serving much better in 2010. Not in 2013, by the way, I tell you (smiling). In 2013 I was playing great tennis. Not serving great, no?

          My serve is working well. Just, you can take a look at the statistics of the season. Tonight obviously not. But I am, after Karlovic, Isner, Federer, Raonic, I am the player with high percentages of service games won during the whole season, so that’s the great news.”

          Rafa’s, as a close observer of your game, I totally agree! You are serving better than you were in 2013 (esp the second serve is FAR better) and you just need to have your forehand backing it up just like it was at the French Open this year.

          If anyone doesn’t agree or doesn’t understand why I am hopeful, feel free to disagree and throw your questions and I will try to explain my perspective more!

          Cheer up Rafa fans!

          • Oh and MOya will be with him. Awesome news! Both Moya and Toni will just prepare him well enough. I don’t buy into arguments that he is only good on clay now bla bla. What would you guys be saying had he wo Australian Open?? he was up 3-1 in the fifth set! Was he really far?? NO! He took some time to build momentum but once he got going, he played awesome. With his improved second serve, he can unleash a very lethal package once he gets going on the hard courts!

            • Agree about the serve, which saved him against ARV btw. Rafa made so many forehand errors in that match, and was on the *losing* end of most of the longer rallies. Let’s hope that does not continue!

            • Hey Ramara,

              Yep, exactly! The serve has been working pretty well. HE is winning some cheap points off his first and the second serve is surely better than it ever was. The problem has been his groundstrokes, esp the forehand. I don’t see why he would continue to struggle. He is much more confident in NY and prefers the conditions (court surface, weather, balls) there.

              Of course I am also hoping for a good draw but I am also counting on Rafa playing some inspired tennis.

            • I think your analysis of Rafa’s chances in NY are sound. I think that just the fact that it is a best of five major significantly boosts his chances. Unless he came up against a very inspired Kyrgios or Zverev before the final, I honestly can’t realistically see anyone taking Rafa out at US Open. I am still really holding out hope that we get the first Fedal US Open match, whether it turns out to be a final or a semi. I don’t see Murray not playing the tournament at this stage in the game, so a Fedal semi is certainly in the cards. As far as a potential Fedal matchup, 2017 hardcourt form and h2h would suggest a Federer edge IF he is healthy. However, as we saw in AO, they are still a very close matchup at the majors, so I wouldn’t say that Federer is the strong favorite. Maybe just slight, if he’s healthy. So yeah, I really just don’t see why Rafa can’t make at least the semis. Although if I’m honest, I felt the same way last year before he went out to Pouille. But let’s face it- Rafa played horribly against Pouille and still BARELY lost. This season he at least has the confidence of knowing he won a major and made the final of the other, so I’d be surprised to see him go out to anyone outside of Kyrgios, Zverev, or Federer. And even those three are obviously winnable for him. So who knows really?

          • VR, the main problems are his ground strokes (mis-hitting so often) and his ROS. I think I can explain his ground stroke problem as he didn’t like the ball. I think the ball worked better for the hard hitters, who simply whacked at the ball and so could control the ball better than Rafa did.

            However, his ROS left much to be desired, ever since Wimbledon R4…..

            • LS,

              Yeah, ROS is an issue. It was however not bad as I thought it would be against Kyrgios. In the second set esp, he was getting a decent number of first serves back. The second serve return was pretty average but it was good enough to win that set if his ground strokes were even 10-15% better. I can’t imagine him playing with that forehand at the Open. He is a big match player and I don’t think 2015 and 2016 will be relevant. He has different feelings on the court this year and I expect him to bring out his A game at the USO. Let’s just hope he gets a soft draw which let him play himself into form.

    • Yeah agree that Rafa not doing well at Cincy (and Canada) doesn’t mean he won’t do well at USO. In 2011, he was knocked out in R2 at Canada, QF in Cincy, but he reached the final of USO.

      He has obviously played better this season in general than his 2015/2016, so I think he will do better at the USO too.

      • Yeah he could and probably will do a lot better at the Open. I honestly have no clue right now with the absences and questionable health/form of so many top players. Rafa could for sure win it and so could Roger or another contender. Or many of them could lose early!! This is honestly one of those tournaments where I have to see the draw before I can really make a solid prediction of how the top guys and challengers will do. Just one word comes to mind when I think of this event: opportunity. I honestly think at least one unseeded player will make the quarters. It’s been happening a bunch at the masters and I think that trend will continue for the rest of the season.

  18. Also, I guess maybe Dimitrov could be considered at least capable of beating Rafa at US Open, seeing as he came pretty close at AO. I still wouldn’t pick him over Rafa at a major, though, except for maybe at Wimbledon.

    • Yeah I would say Dimitrov, Kyrgios, and Zverev are probably the three biggest threats for Fedal. Also Murray and Cilic but that’s only if they’re healthy which seems a bit unlikely at the moment.

    • vr,

      I read all of your posts with interest! You did touch on some things that I thought of, i.e. Rafa not doing well at Cincy throughout his.career, except for 2013 when he finally won it. I do agree that Rafa is serving very well. He’s really worked on that second serve and it’s paid off. I agree with Rafa that his serve was the best in 2010. That big serve was why he won the USO that year.

      I also agree that having Moya and Uncle Toni in NY will help Rafa as he practices. I guess my concern is that Rafa was standing so far behind the baseline in both Montreal and Cincy. He was playing much less aggressive than during the hard court season earlier this year. I am also concerned about his forehand. He was making way too many errors with his signature shot.

      I hope that you are right about the conditions in NY being much better, the balls, the courts. I also agree that he can play himself into form at the USO. That is what I hope happens.

      But most of all, I hope to see Rafa come out playing aggressive tennis. The loss in Montreal shocked me a lot more than the loss to Kyrgios in Cincy.

      I feel encouraged by your take on Rafa’s chances at the USO. I will be cautiously optimistic!

      • NNY,

        Thanks for your inputs.

        Yep, it was the Montreal loss that affected not only us but also Rafa. I think he will find it very easy to brush off the Cincinnati loss from his mind and move on.

        I am not overly confident but I also don’t see any reason not to be hopeful! I would be very disappointed as well as shocked if I see him going out cheaply in the early rounds. I am NOT expecting that and there are no excuses either.

        Go Rafa!

        • Vr I think it’s your birthday today or very close and also hawkeye’s as you have the same birthday..
          Happy birthday vr and hawks!! Hope you both have a great day and year to come!!
          Am not on site a lot so could people please pass on my birthday wishes to vr and hawkeye if they don’t see this??
          Ta very much..

          • Ps very glad Moya will be at the Uso! Also glad there will be a different ball..Fed said the ball was very difficult to control…so not just Rafa complaining about it…

          • Amy,

            I just saw this! Thanks very much 🙂 Yes, it is August 23 !

            Your memory is amazing btw!!! Happy birthday to Hawkeye as well. I wonder where he is though!

            • I was wrong then vr!!I thought it was today!!
              Hope you have a lovely day tomorrow!!
              Have no idea where hawks is!!
              Ps. Do you think moya being there and a different ball will make a difference?? think it probably will myself..

            • You just missed it by one day so almost perfect! Thanks again 😀

              Yes, I definitely think having Moya will be a positive factor. The balls being different will just be a part of a package which gives Rafa better ‘feelings’ on the court in NY. In Cincinnati he is just not comfortable! It is a different story when you have peace of mind.

            • Thanks VR and Amy. VR and I are a day apart. Yesterday for me.

              Happy birthday, VR and best wishes to you both. I don’t post here much for a while Amy. Just lurk once in a blue moon.

            • I don’t post here regularly so I don’t know why you left hawks but I was here a bit during Wimbledon and noticed your absence and a number of people asked where you were so you were missed!!
              In any case you take good care of yourself!
              Vamos Rafa for the USO and I hope to catch up with you at some point
              soon…!

    • All is good Amy. Very busy these days with this and that what with summer weather and all. Just wasn’t having a good experience with tennis dialogue and it took some time for me to realize it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


in the same Rolex Cellini Replica style as the team replica watches. I find the engraving far more satisfying, but would have liked to see a bit more depth to it. There is a little more branding on the PRC200. Firstly, Burberry handbags the 6 oclock sub-dial sports a basketball image in grey. Additionally, the pushers are edged with red (top) and blue (bottom), Breitling Replica Watches UK which is, to me, the coolest thing.