Category Archives: Sebastian Nadal

RAFA Memoir Review

The long awaited English memoir for former world number one and ten-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal, titled RAFA, will be released on August 23 and certainly had me interested being a huge Nadal fan.

His memoir doesn’t disappoint. Does it drag on at times about the finer details of the Wimbledon 2008 final? Sure, but everyone still talks about that match and remembers it fondly and clearly so does Rafa. What is more interesting is the insights gained into his family and team dynamics as well as the little idiosyncrasies that make differentiate Rafael from Rafa. Read more »

Nadal Delighted To Open Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal has said he was overjoyed to finally have the chance to open Wimbledon on center court three years after he won the title for the first time. The beautiful grass court was in perfect condition as Nadal stepped on to center court to open his defense of the Hold Grail in tennis.

The Spanish world number one may have prepared by staying up late and watching the golf but that didn’t effect his emotions on court. “Was a big emotion be the first player to play in this fabulous court. So seriously was a very, very exciting feeling. Fantastic how see the court in the really, really perfect conditions. So, yes, very, very happy for everything.” Read more »

Nadal Powers Past Baghdatis

If Rafael Nadal wanted to get through his first match in Madrid quickly to conserve his energy for Juan Martin del Potro he certainly did his job, overpowering Marcos Baghdatis 6-1, 6-3.

In front of a heavily Spanish crowd Rafa opened with break and then took a 4-1 lead as the errors off Marcos’ racquet multiplied. By his 18th unforced error the Cypriot had handed over the first set. Read more »

Melzer Survives Dust Storm And Federer For Semi Spot

Jurgen Melzer has surprised crowd favourite Roger Federer with a straight sets defeat in their Monte Carlo quarterfinal match today winning 6-4, 6-4 as a final backhand from the Swiss maestro landed in the net. The win not only marks the first time Melzer has beaten Federer but also the first time Melzer has won a set off Federer. After an hour and 44 minutes Federer was set packing by the Austrian.

Melzer now faces Spaniard David Ferrer for a finals spot. Read more »

>Raging Bull Rafael Nadal Comes To Limping Halt

>David Ferrer put on a stellar performance against world number one Rafael Nadal tonight, defeating his countryman 6-4, 6-2, 6-3. Out of respect for David, and shear desperation to complete what he had called virtually impossible, the Rafa Slam, Nadal limped across the finish line, barely able to run. The raging Spanish bull was injured and the underdog Ferrer progressed through to the semifinals unscathed.

The grind between two of the world’s greatest grinders was on from the first game. After Ferrer held, Nadal battled for 17 minutes and 41 seconds to try and hold serve. Ferrer played some of the most aggressive tennis I’ve seen him play and broke Rafa eventually.

Nadal looked to be lolly popping the ball like he had against Tomic, struggling to find depth and power, with Ferrer all over him as the trainer was called. The cool conditions meant Rafa’s balls didn’t have their normal pop and clearly all was not well with the world number one.

Rafa was taken off the court and as he left he looked at his box and his head and shook his head in an ominous sign. Uncle Toni and Sebastian Nadal looked worried and the doctor and the tournament directors all went in to the treatment room as Nadal took a medical time out. Rafa looked pale and to be lacking power as his first serve peaked at 174kmph.

People speculated that his virus had reared its head as Nadal was broken again and he continued to look miserable as the prospect of a second consecutive Australian Open quarterfinal withdrawal became more likely. Nadal was sweating profusely as Ferrer took a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes. I had a sinking feeling as I realised that my prophesy of Nadal not winning the Australian Open because playing while ill increases the risk of injury was coming true.

The trainer came out again and Nadal said “no good” and looked utterly devastating after a discussion with the trainer. He stretched forward with his thigh was heavily strapped, his hamstring causing him problems, as he tried to stretch gently. Nadal seemed completely disinterested in running around the court, instead trying to hit through the court to prevent rallies. His first serve speed had dropped by 40kmph.

Nadal held as his physio, Rafael Maymo, bolted out of the stadium and towards the locker room. It became evident that the Rafa Slam wasn’t going to happen. If somehow he was to win he doesn’t get a two day break between semi’s and finals being in the top part of the draw and he struggled to play well in Queens 2010 with a hamstring problem.

Nadal looked distracted as he tried to stretch out, having used his one treatment time out besides stretch breaks. Before he sat down at 5-2 he looked to be waling to the net to shake hands but changed directions and sat down, seemingly unable to decide what to do.

Rafa had options. Using an open stance on the backhand would allow his right leg to take force but his forehand was forced to use his left leg as he waited for his pain killers to kick in. The colour in his face started coming back but his movement looked somewhat impeded as he tried to thump winners and he looked truly frustrated. He was able to run but he wasn’t sprinting and he was pulling up slowly, there was no sliding and barely any stretching and lunging as he tried to protect his ailing leg but push forward towards history.

Somehow Nadal got things back on level terms as David seemed distracted by the events. Maymo returned to team Nadal’s box and communicated the events to the eagerly listening team. Nadal pushed on, earning huge respect for his fighting abilities, but he continued to be unable to pull up quickly and still had a significantly slower service speed. As Jim Courier said, hitting the breaks was the problem for Rafa.

Ferrer suddenly realised that Nadal’s forehand was vulnerable and gained himself some set points which were saved by some improved served and some volleys. After 70 minutes a saturated Rafa was broken and Ferrer took the set 6-4, only the 30th time Nadal had lost the first set in a Grand Slam.

Somehow Nadal kept playing, waiting for the 8 minute Australia Day fireworks break which would allow him 90 seconds of treatment. He still struggled to get back in the middle of the court after running to his forehand side, his left leg not wanting to apply the breaks. The courageous Spaniard held serve with some great volleys to level the second set at 1-1. Nadal then broke a distracted Ferrer to love. Ferrer then got three break points on Nadal’s serve as the frustrated world number one punched his racquet. He saved one with a break before Ferrer broke by getting Nadal out wide.

Ferrer played a brilliant passing shot as his hot patch continued. Word from the Australian Open trainers were that Nadal had changed his mind and decided to not immediately withdrawn. Ferrer seemed to realise this was his big chance to get to a Grand Slam semi final as it continued to be obvious that Nadal was in pain.

Nadal was broken again and fell behind 2-4 and continued to have no power in the heavy conditions. He chose a racquet with looser strings to get more power and requested re-stringing which would take at least 20 minutes so he clearly intended to play on despite having absolutely no luck on his side.

As Rafa stopped running Ferrer broke him and took the second set 6-2, watching Nadal as he walked to the chair, waiting to see if the world number one would call it a day.

Nadal stepped up to serve having been broken 6 times in 9 service games as rumours swirled that it was an inner thigh, rather than hamstring injury. Nadal, forced to defend two break points, saved one with his second ace and was given a reprieve by an unforced error from Ferrer. Ferrer did an exceptional job for the most part of keeping his errors low and pushing Nadal as he fought for a semi final spot.

As Nadal’s serve deteriorated, Ferrer continued to return exceptionally as he broke Rafa for a 2-0 lead. Rafa stood as Ferrer comfortably held with great serving, biting his towel again as he headed to his chair. Nadal was simply going though the motions. Nadal sat in his chair looking defeated and on the verge of tears.

Rafa had a chance to break in the fifth game but Ferrer was too good and Nadal was too broken. Ferrer continued to watch his countryman as he walked to the chair at the change of ends, waiting to see if the wounded warrior would retire. Nadal was clearly resigned to his fate but insisted on finishing the match against his Davis Cup partner out of respect.

A frustrated champion used his racquet to thump his leg but it was only a matter of time until the match was over. Nadal went to the net to shorten play but one of the world’s best grinders was all over it.

David Ferrer should be given credit for a tremendous performance and for, for the most part, keeping his mind clear of distractions and not being scared of going for the kill despite the fact his friend was injured. It was, however, a very sad way for a history making effort to end. It is not entirely unexpected with Rafa continuing to play in Doha despite being sick. It’s a well known fact that playing while you’re sick significantly increases your risk of injury.

Nadal is no doubt going to fly home to Mallorca to recover fully before returning to the ATP circuit ahead of a grueling clay court season.

David now faces Andy Murray in the semifinals.

After the match Ferrer said: “Well it’s not easy you no because Rafael is a gentleman and he was playing injury because we are friendly and I had luck…. I think my game I play aggressive. I would try to go to the net… and you know but if Rafael was injury no was not normally won in three sets no? Is one victory for me but is not like a victory really.”

Tennis Perspective Gallery: Federer, Robredo, Nadal, Wawrinka, Clijsters, Murray, Ferrer, Verdasco

 

>Nadal And Federer Play Tennis On Doha Bay

>

A court laid in Doha Bay has been the setting for the latest Nadal-Federer media frenzy in Dubai. Whenever players descend on Dubai there is always some fantastic place for them to perform their media duties – and today was no exception.

Nadal posted photos on Facebook and said he was going to upload photos from every tournament he attended this year.

The submerged court allowed the players to practice some gentle volleys while the waiting media got their photo-op.

Xisca Perello and Nadal’s family looked on from a nearby boat. As they wait Perello took numerous photographs of her man. No word yet of if it was Xisca who took the photos Nadal has since posted.

“It was a fantastic experience. For the past three years we have done a few different things, and this one was a very nice experience. It’s going to be a very exciting season for me, I think. I would love to play against Roger a few more times this year, because when we play each other it’s in the final.” – Rafael Nadal

“It was good fun. It was so different. You’re always excited and nervous to see how it will turn out. It is always nice promoting an event and an entire tour with Rafa. I am of course very excited about playing another season on tour. I’m playing some of my best tennis again. I am really enjoying it and have high goals for this year.” – Roger Federer

Nadal Eyes Semi Finals As Djokovic Comes Undone

In a repeat of this years US Open final, fans cheered wildly hoping that the 23rd meeting between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic would be as closely contested as some of their meetings in the last two years. In the end Nadal won the encounter in straight sets 7-5, 6-2 Read more »

>Rafa Nadal Does Disney

>

Rafael Nadal posed for photos with his Roland Garros trophy at EuroDisney in Paris before heading off to England later that day to train in the rain ahead of his Queens debut. It will be the first time Nadal has been at Queens in 2 years. Sebastian Nadal, who has traveled extensively with his son this season, was with Rafa again and posed for some photos with his son. Rafa’s mother Ana Maria, who supported Rafa from a few rows behind her former husband at Roland Garros, was not present at the photo shoot. Nadal’s physio, Rafael Maymo, was also present.