Third seed Rafael Nadal will begin his Mutua Madrid Open title defense on Wednesday against the 54th ranked American Steve Johnson, who defeated qualifier Alejandro Gonzalez in three sets.
This marks the first time that our champ and Steve will cross paths on the professional tour.
Date: May 6, 2015
GOOD LUCK & VAMOS RAFA!
Rafael Nadal made sure to sign as many autographs as he could in Madrid, but some fans got pretty freaked out and he needed to calm them down. Watch:
Rafael Nadal, a four-time champion at the Mutua Madrid Open, looks ahead to a week in the Spanish capital.
Video: ATP World Tour
THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish, please.
Q. I would like to know how you feel, especially mentally? Are you confident?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sorry.
Q. Are you confident? How do you feel?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, confidence comes back when you win matches. If you don’t win the matches, you don’t have confidence. I train happily and try to do things right in order to win matches.
Once I win matches I will have my confidence back. I am training as much as I can with joy. I really want to do well. I want to play well. I want to train well. I want to give my best to try to have good rhythm in my game.
After that, I will try to do my best in the competition. I will try to give my best.
Q. You’re going to play here with your old racquet?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes.
Q. Can you explain why you’re not going to play with the prototype? Why are you changing that?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I’m changing that because I believe that I’ve been playing a lot of years with this racquet. I’ve had very little time to play with the new one. I know that the other racquet is the right one, and I’ll play well with it in the future.
But I had just few days to prepare with that racquet just before Monte‑Carlo. Even though in Monte‑Carlo I played pretty well, I know that here we play in altitude and I have a little less control with the new one.
So I’m going to play with the old one, with this one, until the end of the season when I have enough time to train with the new prototype and time to adapt to it.
Q. From Wednesday to here, how do you feel? Are you on the right path in training well? Anything you want to mention?
- Nadal Feels The Pressure In Bid To Retain Madrid Crown (via ATP World Tour)
“I always like to feel loved,” added Nadal, referring to the great crowd support in Madrid. “People really like me here. People support me. That’s why I look forward to coming here. That’s what I feel whenever I play nearly in every single place, but especially here of course. Once I win matches I will have my confidence back. I am training as much as I can with joy. I really want to do well. I want to play well. I want to train well. I want to give my best to try to have good rhythm in my game. I’m feeling well and hitting strong and I just want to enjoy this work. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”
- Nadal: “Me tengo que ayudar yo a mí mismo” (via El Pais)
El primero, que la incertidumbre sigue ahí, que aún no se ha marchado. “La confianza solo vuelve cuando uno gana partidos, pero si no lo haces es difícil que pueda recuperarla”, adelantó; el segundo, que la llama sigue viva y que trabaja a destajo para despejar los nubarrones. “Estoy entrenando todo lo que puedo, con ilusión, con ganas de jugar bien y de dar el máximo”, continuó; y el tercero, que más allá de los factores externos y el respaldo ajeno que reciba no hay mejor salida del laberinto que la que pueda encontrar él: “La gente siempre me ha dado su cariño y me ha apoyado, pero me tengo que ayudar yo a mí mismo”.
- Federer, Nadal Headline Madrid Field (via ATP World Tour)
In the next two weeks, Nadal has 1,600 Emirates ATP Ranking points dropping off with his Madrid title (1,000) and Rome runner-up (600) showing from last year. In the past six years Nadal has performed well at the two ATP Masters 1000 clay court tournaments leading into Roland Garros, reaching the final in 11 of his last 12 appearances at each of these events (Madrid five, Rome six).
- Conchita Martínez: “Somos demasiado exigentes con Rafa” (via puntodebreak.com)
Rafa está pasando por un momento delicado, está sintiendo algo que no había sentido nunca, la falta de confianza. En lesiones anteriores la había recuperado muy rápido, jugaba un par de torneos y estaba ya arriba. … Yo creo que somos demasiado exigentes, lo que nos ha dado Rafa es de otro planeta. Ojalá siga sumando títulos pero él mismo lo ha dicho que se hace mayor y poco a poco irán pasando cosas así. Tenemos que alegrarnos por los triunfos que nos dé y no desanimarnos porque no gane un Roland Garros.
AUDIO: Rafael Nadal Pre-Tournament Press Conference / Rueda de prensa de Rafa – in Spanish (via Madrid Open)
- Rafael Nadal: Novak Djokovic absence from Madrid Open gives opportunity to other players (via The Guardian)
- Vídeo Promocional Del Libro ‘De Rafael A Nadal: El Camino Hacia La Leyenda‘
- Rafa Nadal: “El halago no debilita si lo sabes enfocar” (via antena3.com)
(dpa) Rafael Nadal revealed on Sunday that he will return to his old racquet after weeks of testing a new one as he attempts to start reversing his clay-court slide by winning a fifth title at the Madrid Masters.
“I’m changing back because I believe that I’ve been playing a lot of years with this racquet. I’ve had very little time to play with the new one.
I know that the other (new) racquet is the right one, and I’ll play well with it in the future. But I had just few days to prepare with that racquet just before Monte Carlo.
I know that here we play in altitude and I have a little less control with the new one. I’m going to play with the old one, with this one, until the end of the season when I have enough time to train with the new prototype and time to adapt to it.”