Nadal News 2.0

Video of the partial transcript I posted above. Rafa looks pleased with the situation. :)


And his presser after those two matches. In this one he doesn't look as pleased and he got stuck with that Italian reporter that he doesn't get along with. Interesting. ;)

 
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R. NADAL/F. Verdasco

6-4, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What was different about the beginning of the match? How did you find your way into it and settle down?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, the beginning of the match have been good. But he was playing great, being honest. I was not playing bad at the beginning at all. But he was playing unbelievable. No mistakes, a lot of winners, taking the ball early. Was a very difficult first set. Was one of the first sets that I am more happy with.

I think I had a good feelings during the whole match. Then after winning that first set, in the second I was able to -- of course he slows down a little bit, but I was able to play a little bit more aggressive with the forehand. I did a lot of things well this afternoon. I am very happy to be in semifinals again. Is a good victory.

Q. As you know, Roger Federer withdrew from the tournament. Also Osaka left the tournament. Do you think too much play yesterday was too much for the players?

RAFAEL NADAL: That's how it works sometimes, no? That can happens in outdoor conditions. That's part of the game. I am very sorry for Osaka, especially sorry for Roger. Will be great to have the chance to play against him here in that semifinals. But I going to have another very tough opponent in front like Tsitsipas.

The two matches in the same day, you have a risk. When that happens, of course there is more risk than with one match.

Q. You played against Tsitsipas last week in that three-set match. When you have an opponent that you've played so recently, are you looking back at that match with your team trying to analyze what happened or are you looking at what Rafa can do to win it?

RAFAEL NADAL: What happened, I know. The solution, I know. The execution is not easy (smiling). The theory is always easy, but the execution is much more difficult.

Tennis is a simple sport. After a lot of years here, I know what happened last week, and I going to try to do it better tomorrow.

Of course you talk with the team about every match, every condition, every win or every lose. But being honest, I know what happened and I going to try to do it better tomorrow.

Q. Tennis is easy, but we still always ask about are you surprised how you find your condition match by match every time. Are you surprised, you are used to do it, but is very good to improve your form match by match? You do it for many years. Every time you play, you play better and better.

RAFAEL NADAL: All the good players plays better and better during the tournament. Is normal. If you want to win or you have to win, you need to play better every day. Every day the opponent is tougher.

So for me personally, is always confidence, every victory is confidence for the next one. That's it, no? Tennis is not easy. I mean, the sport is difficult. As I say yesterday, win is very difficult. But the game by itself is not very difficult to analyze if you know about tennis, no?

Is a chance for me tomorrow again to play a good match against a tough opponent. I am excited about it. That's all, no? Is a good news I have been able to be back again in semifinals. Another three straight victories. I have been in that round during the last five events. First one I didn't have the chance to play, Indian Wells. The next three, Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, I lost in this round of semifinals. But be there all the time is a good news. That means you have a good level of tennis.

I have to hold the level or increase a little bit more. If that happens, I going to have my chances.

Q. The beginning the clay season in Monte-Carlo, how much are you satisfied now of the quality of your game?

RAFAEL NADAL: I say yesterday, I will not compare every day the previous weeks. What happened in Monte-Carlo happened. What happened in Barcelona happened. What happened in Madrid happened. Here we are. We are in Rome. That's a different event.

The good thing, if you want to talk about the past, is during the last month, my feeling is every week was better than the previous one. That's always a good thing, not only because being better I have better chances to win, but especially because like a professional player and for my personal feeling, when you advance, when you feel better every week, is something that is a good personal satisfaction because the work after a tough period of time, you try to be there all the time doing the right things, and when you see yourself being better and better every day, that's important personal satisfaction for me.

Q. Are you surprised at all of how fast Tsitsipas has been rising to the top since a couple of years?

RAFAEL NADAL: No. Is normal that some young players are there. What is not normal is don't have young players there. Stefanos is a good player. Every year we make prediction with the team which player is going to be at the top 10 at the end of the season before the season start. I put Tsitsipas there.

I don't say that because I am a genius, no. I say that is because was a clear candidate to be where he is. He started even better than what I expect. Here we are. He deserve to be where he is now. That's it.

Q. Has it been nice having your Uncle Toni here next week? Will he be with you here in Paris?

RAFAEL NADAL: He's not here any more.

Q. He was practicing a bit with you.

RAFAEL NADAL: He was in Monte-Carlo, too. He was in Madrid two days. He's always very welcome when Toni wants to come. Is a pleasure. As always, I always say, Toni knows me probably better than nobody, know my game, too.

By the way, I talk with him very often. Is nothing new at all. If he wants to come to Paris, he's always welcome. Positive help for me when he is around. Always the same for me. It is always good to have him.​
http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=149792
 
R. NADAL/F. Verdasco​
6-4, 6-0​
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.​
Q. What was different about the beginning of the match? How did you find your way into it and settle down?​
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, the beginning of the match have been good. But he was playing great, being honest. I was not playing bad at the beginning at all. But he was playing unbelievable. No mistakes, a lot of winners, taking the ball early. Was a very difficult first set. Was one of the first sets that I am more happy with.​
I think I had a good feelings during the whole match. Then after winning that first set, in the second I was able to -- of course he slows down a little bit, but I was able to play a little bit more aggressive with the forehand. I did a lot of things well this afternoon. I am very happy to be in semifinals again. Is a good victory.​
Q. As you know, Roger Federer withdrew from the tournament. Also Osaka left the tournament. Do you think too much play yesterday was too much for the players?​
RAFAEL NADAL: That's how it works sometimes, no? That can happens in outdoor conditions. That's part of the game. I am very sorry for Osaka, especially sorry for Roger. Will be great to have the chance to play against him here in that semifinals. But I going to have another very tough opponent in front like Tsitsipas.​
The two matches in the same day, you have a risk. When that happens, of course there is more risk than with one match.​
Q. You played against Tsitsipas last week in that three-set match. When you have an opponent that you've played so recently, are you looking back at that match with your team trying to analyze what happened or are you looking at what Rafa can do to win it?​
RAFAEL NADAL: What happened, I know. The solution, I know. The execution is not easy (smiling). The theory is always easy, but the execution is much more difficult.​
Tennis is a simple sport. After a lot of years here, I know what happened last week, and I going to try to do it better tomorrow.​
Of course you talk with the team about every match, every condition, every win or every lose. But being honest, I know what happened and I going to try to do it better tomorrow.​
Q. Tennis is easy, but we still always ask about are you surprised how you find your condition match by match every time. Are you surprised, you are used to do it, but is very good to improve your form match by match? You do it for many years. Every time you play, you play better and better.​
RAFAEL NADAL: All the good players plays better and better during the tournament. Is normal. If you want to win or you have to win, you need to play better every day. Every day the opponent is tougher.​
So for me personally, is always confidence, every victory is confidence for the next one. That's it, no? Tennis is not easy. I mean, the sport is difficult. As I say yesterday, win is very difficult. But the game by itself is not very difficult to analyze if you know about tennis, no?​
Is a chance for me tomorrow again to play a good match against a tough opponent. I am excited about it. That's all, no? Is a good news I have been able to be back again in semifinals. Another three straight victories. I have been in that round during the last five events. First one I didn't have the chance to play, Indian Wells. The next three, Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, I lost in this round of semifinals. But be there all the time is a good news. That means you have a good level of tennis.​
I have to hold the level or increase a little bit more. If that happens, I going to have my chances.​
Q. The beginning the clay season in Monte-Carlo, how much are you satisfied now of the quality of your game?​
RAFAEL NADAL: I say yesterday, I will not compare every day the previous weeks. What happened in Monte-Carlo happened. What happened in Barcelona happened. What happened in Madrid happened. Here we are. We are in Rome. That's a different event.​
The good thing, if you want to talk about the past, is during the last month, my feeling is every week was better than the previous one. That's always a good thing, not only because being better I have better chances to win, but especially because like a professional player and for my personal feeling, when you advance, when you feel better every week, is something that is a good personal satisfaction because the work after a tough period of time, you try to be there all the time doing the right things, and when you see yourself being better and better every day, that's important personal satisfaction for me.​
Q. Are you surprised at all of how fast Tsitsipas has been rising to the top since a couple of years?​
RAFAEL NADAL: No. Is normal that some young players are there. What is not normal is don't have young players there. Stefanos is a good player. Every year we make prediction with the team which player is going to be at the top 10 at the end of the season before the season start. I put Tsitsipas there.​
I don't say that because I am a genius, no. I say that is because was a clear candidate to be where he is. He started even better than what I expect. Here we are. He deserve to be where he is now. That's it.​
Q. Has it been nice having your Uncle Toni here next week? Will he be with you here in Paris?​
RAFAEL NADAL: He's not here any more.​
Q. He was practicing a bit with you.​
RAFAEL NADAL: He was in Monte-Carlo, too. He was in Madrid two days. He's always very welcome when Toni wants to come. Is a pleasure. As always, I always say, Toni knows me probably better than nobody, know my game, too.​
By the way, I talk with him very often. Is nothing new at all. If he wants to come to Paris, he's always welcome. Positive help for me when he is around. Always the same for me. It is always good to have him.​
http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=149792
Un poco mas temperano la proxima vez, no?
 
Vamos! Long live the king of clay!(y)

That monstrous bullying FH was back in full glory and was a joy to watch. Full props to Novak for fighting till the end even with the fatigue. But Rafa's level was up there.

Can't wait for RG now. They will have Babolat balls which Rafa prefers more. They fluff up more and get bigger helping Rafa work the ball more. If he retains this form, I can see him working the ball past Novak making him work side to side at will. I also think Novak is the only real competition there. And I say this with respect to everyone else on Tour.
 
Rome Masters 1000

May 19, 2019
Final, Rafa vs N.Djokovic

Rafa has made history again! He became the first player to win the Rome Masters 9 times!!!!!!!!!



Nine times 'hooray' for Rafa!!!!!!!!!
Hi Octo. Good to see you!!!! :D

Rafa set a couple of other records too. One, he's now the first player to beat the #1 ranked player 20 times.

And second...this is my favourite...he set the record for winning at least one title for 16 consecutive years in the Open Era. He's passed all the big names like Fed and Agassi and Connors and Lendl. When you think about all the injuries and bad times he's come back from, and all the people that said his style of play would ruin him, and that he should quit or retire, well to think he's the longest lasting player is just incredible. (y)
 
After all these years Steve doesn't know how to transcribe Rafa's Rafaisms? Stuff happen-ed Steve, not happe-ned. 8-B

Nadal reminded us that he’s always the favorite to win the French Open

The Spaniard reclaimed his clay throne, and reminded us that he can reach levels on this surface that no one else has ever reached, or will ever reach.


By Steve Tignor | May 19, 2019

“What happened in Monte Carlo happened, and what happened in Barcelona happened, and what happened in Madrid happened. And here we are. We are in Rome.”

That was Rafael Nadal’s now-legendary summation—the “happened”s were pronounced, Rafa-style, “happa-ned”—of the first three events of his 2019 clay-court season. What awful, unnameable thing happa-ned to him in those cities? Rather than winning two, or all three, tournaments, the way he traditionally has for the last decade and a half, Nadal lost in the semifinals each time. In today’s tennis world, this qualified as an earth-shaking event. It left many of us wondering, perhaps for the first time ever: Could Rafa not actually be the favorite to win the French Open this year?

You can probably guess what happened next. Nadal won his ninth title at the Foro Italico, avenged himself on the man who beat him in Madrid, Stefanos Tsitsipas, in the semis, and held off his biggest rival, Novak Djokovic, in the final. In the process, Rafa set the tennis world back on is axis, and answered all of our questions about his status going into Roland Garros.

We didn’t know it at the time, but Rafa’s resurgence began with his first win in Rome, a 6-0, 6-1 drubbing of Jeremy Chardy. On its own, that might not have augured anything in particular, but Rafa followed it with 6-1, 6-0 win over Nikoloz Basilashvili, and a 6-4, 6-0 win over Fernando Verdasco. Three matches, three bagels, for the first time in his career. More important, when the competition ramped up in the semifinals, Nadal’s game ramped up with it. Against Tsitsipas he did all of the things he failed to do against him in Madrid, and to top it off, he handed Djokovic the first bagel in their 54 matches against each other. Nadal’s 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 win gave him his 34th Masters 1000 title, and his first title of any sort in 2019.

Nadal was happy to hold the trophy, but the deeper satisfaction and relief came from knowing that he had worked himself into Slam-winning form this week.

“For me, the most important thing is to feel myself competitive, feel myself healthy,” he said, “and then with the feeling I am improving.”

Physically, the cards were stacked in Rafa’s favor on Sunday. While he had been battering his way through the quarters and semis without much resistance, Djokovic had survived two late-night, three-set matches on Friday and Saturday. Not surprisingly, he was a step slow against Nadal to start. That was more than enough for Rafa to race through the first set.

Nadal started by breaking serve, holding at love, and breaking again. By the end of the third game, Djokovic had been reduced to tossing up borderline-hopeless moonballs with his backhand. Nadal wasted no time pounding one of them past Djokovic to go up 3-0. That was just one of many winners that came from Rafa’s forehand side today—the bending ball crosscourt, the running down-the-line slap, the inside-out rally-finisher: Nadal had them all working in the first set.

“I played a great first set in all aspects,” Nadal said. “No mistakes. Playing so aggressive, changing directions. these kinds of days happens. It’s not usual, and probably will not happen again.”

Even a step slow, though, this was still Djokovic. This was still the player who had dismantled Nadal in their last meeting, at the Australian Open. This was still the player who had beaten Rafa at the Italian Open in 2011, 2014, and 2016. This was still the player who, more than any other, gets into Nadal’s head. And he briefly made it in there again on Sunday. Despite out-playing Djokovic nearly the entire day; despite going up 0-40 on his serve at 3-3, and having another break point at 4-4; despite Djokovic never really finding his range or looking all that confident, Nadal still played the most nervous game of his week while serving at 4-5, and handed Djokovic the second set.

But after letting his nerves get the better of him, Nadal immediately banished them again. In Djokovic’s opening service game of the third set, Rafa came out with renewed aggression and energy, and broke serve. When Djokovic reacted by slamming his racquet down and bending it in half, it was clear that the momentum had turned again. Djokovic would never get it back; he could never create the baseline patterns with his backhand that have worked for him against Rafa in the past. Nadal’s 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 win was his first over the Serb since they played on this court a year ago, but his third straight on clay.

“I was just running out of fuel a little today,” Djokovic said. “Just kind of missed that half a step, especially on the backhand side. He used it very well....He was just too strong today.”

So now we know, if we ever didn’t: Nadal is the favorite to win the French Open. In this case, though, I wouldn’t say he’s an overwhelming favorite. He won’t want to see Fabio Fognini, who beat him in Monte Carlo, in his quarter; matches against Roger Federer or Nick Kyrgios would be must-see TV; Dominic Thiem is due for a better showing against him at Roland Garros; and Djokovic always makes him nervous, even on clay.

Still, what happened in Rome was this: Nadal reclaimed his clay throne, and reminded us that he can reach levels on this surface that no one else has ever reached, or will ever reach. What’s going to happen in Paris? Rafa may already have answered that question for us.

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2019/05/ ... pen/81655/
 
Rome Masters 1000

May 19, 2019
Final, Rafa vs N.Djokovic

Rafa was obviously very happy he lifted the Rome trophy for the 9th time - he kissed, hugged and bit it :):

Guga Kuerten handed the trophy to Rafa.

Photos Matteo Ciambelli


Photos Matteo Ciambelli and Gregorio Borgia


Photos Clive Brunskill


Via RNKOTFB


Via RNKOTFB

Champion's photoshoot:

Photos Clive Brunskill

Nine times 'Vamos Rafa' !!!!!!!!!
 
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I would faint walking into Nadal's trophy museum.

Imagine waking up and going past your 11 RGs in the morning while brushing your teeth lol "just another day in the office"
Rafa is such an inspiration to everyone especially to his students at the Academy, as he breathes perseverance and hardwork. They can see with their own eyes that success has to be earned.
 
Rafa is such an inspiration to everyone especially to his students at the Academy, as he breathes perseverance and hardwork. They can see with their own eyes that success has to be earned.
Rafa is the best role model I've seen for kids.

Even if he wasn't a tennis player and was doing something else he'd still be one, some people are just born with that x-factor.
 
The French Open

According to Marca, a Spanish national daily sports newspaper, Rafa will travel to Paris on Wednesday. He'll attend the draw ceremony on Thursday. He'll play his first match in Paris on Monday or Tuesday. He won't practice in Mallorca before heading to Paris, he is going to relax on his yacht.
https://www.marca.com/tenis/2019/05/20/5ce282f1ca4741b36c8b45c0.html

Rafa & Xisca on his yacht 3 years ago:


Wikipedia: ¤¤ ¡Hola! is a weekly Spanish-language magazine specializing in celebrity news, published in Madrid, Spain, and in 15 other countries. It is the second most popular magazine in Spain after Pronto. The title means "Hello!" in English and it is the parent magazine of the English-language "Hello!" ¤¤

:)
 
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