In case you didn’t know: Rafael Nadal is also a very talented ping pong player. :) Watch!
Rafael Nadal has been drawn against Borna Coric in the first round of the US Open, which begins on Monday. The 18-year-old Croatian beat our champ last year in the Basel quarter-finals.
Rafa’s potential route to the final:
GOOD LUCK & VAMOS RAFA!
“I have been losing matches that I should win. During the season there are some key moments that change the dynamic and I lost all the opportunities to change the dynamic in those key moments.”
“I am happy with the way I am practicing and I’m feeling well I can say,” said Nadal, stressing he has been injury free. “Now I need to win. And I need to be impassioned. I need to keep working with the same intensity and passion and I believe the results will come back.”
“I have accepted from the beginning I couldn’t be at the 2012 Olympics, Wimbledon 2009 defending my title… All these types of things, have been unbelievable moments but also low moments. Everything is part of my career. My mentality and point of view always stays the same.”
The 2015 US Open will require Nadal to find skills he has not fully displayed all year. Hard-court tennis forces Nadal to build points more aggressively than on clay. His two title runs have been highlighted by bold serving, increased net play and more flat forehands struck down-the-line than his bread-and-butter topspin crosscourt drive.
The Fab Five has beaten all other opponents 82.4 percent of the time over their careers. Against one another? Nadal has enjoyed the most success.
“For me it was very important, with all the traveling, to have the chance to do this in my hometown,” he says, adding that while his parents haven’t weighed in on the sexy shots, his sister was supportive: “My sister sent me a message that she saw it and she liked it!”
After the press conference with John McEnroe, Rafael Nadal faced Lleyton Hewitt in a charity exhibition at Sportime Stadium on Randalls Island at the John McEnroe Tennis Project Benefit. Our champ beat Lleyton 8-7(5). According to Vito Ellison, Nick Kyrgios didn’t play against Rafa because John wanted to keep the focus on his charity.
“It’s obvious that I will be arrogant today saying I will win the US Open after the year I have had, but I will say I feel better than most of the season,” Nadal said. “We’ll see if it’s enough. I enjoy the fact that I am here. Last year I couldn’t say that. In terms of tennis and mentality, I am close to be where I want to be.”
“My confidence is fine. I think I’ve been playing better than what the results say the past couple of tournaments. I’m doing things well. It’s always the same after losing some matches during the year to find the momentum again. I’m in this process and I know I am better than months ago.”
Nadal always has an eye on his oldest adversary, and he lifts his famous eyebrow when asked what he thinks of the shot that lit up the Cincinnati tournament: the Federer Charge.
“I saw just a few points of some of his matches. He was feeling the ball great, he was quick, playing the way he wants to play and he is one of the favourites for here. But I don’t know if that [charge] works. He is fantastic without doing that. That’s too much. I do not believe that he can return that way – a few times, maybe, but I don’t think he will keep doing it very often.”
“Tomorrow I’m going to be practicing, then doing a charity event with John McEnroe and his academy. I keep working hard for the rest of the days. We have to work as much as we can, as much as we need, to be ready for the U.S. Open. It’s non-stop work. It’s apart of my life. If you have things to do, it’s always good. The bad thing is when you have nothing to do.”
Mr. Nadal professed to be unconcerned about being a sex symbol on such public display. “I feel lucky to have the chance to be the ambassador of such a great brand as Tommy Hilfiger,” he said. “I don’t think much, I don’t pay much attention if I’m the backdrop of the newspaper.”
Roger Federer: “He didn’t win the French for the second time in 10 years. It’s like a drama to some. For me it’s somewhat normal that you don’t win 10 of 10. But he’s done so unbelievably well in the clay. Like you said, he set the bar so high for everybody. Clearly can’t always live up to it.”
Andy Murray: “When the confidence isn’t quite there, then you can lose those matches. But, yeah, I still think that he’ll come back and then start playing close to his best tennis again soon.”
“The only expectations I have is to give my best every time I step on court,” Ivanovic told the media after her quarterfinal loss to Serena Williams in Cincinnati. “It’s not always going to be the result maybe I hope for. Maybe it will be better. But I can’t see that. I can only do my best each day. Such a good example for that is Rafa, I feel. Every time he gives his best. It’s not always the result, but sometimes you have to go through that.”
Tommy Hilfiger celebrated the brand’s latest underwear model, Rafael Nadal, with a cheeky game of strip tennis at Manhattan’s Bryant Park. Watch: