VIDEO: Rafael Nadal prepared for clay

Here’s a video of Rafael Nadal playing well in practice on his beloved clay in Manacor.

Video: IB3

Argentina Open draw 2016: Will Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer meet in the final?

The Argentina Open 2016 draw is out, and Rafael Nadal has a bye in the first round. Our champ had not intended to compete at the event, but his first-round exit at the recent Australian Open forced him to reconsider his plans.

In the second round, Rafa will play the winner of the match between a qualifier and Juan Monaco.

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA - MARCH 01:  Rafael Nadal of Spain receives the trophy from former tennis player Gaston Gaudio after wining the singles final match between Rafael Nadal of Spain and Juan Monaco of Argentina as part of ATP Argentina Open at Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club on March 01, 2015 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photo by Gabriel Rossi/LatinContent/Getty Images)
Photo by Gabriel Rossi/LatinContent/Getty Images

Alexandr Dolgopolov and Pablo Andujar are in his quarter. John Isner and Dominic Thiem are in his half. David Ferrer, Fabio Fognini, Pablo Cuevas and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga all feature in the opposite side of the draw in Buenos Aires.

Projected quarterfinals:

  • Rafael Nadal vs Alexandr Dolgopolov
  • John Isner vs Dominic Thiem
  • Fabio Fognini vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
  • Pablo Cuevas vs David Ferrer

Rafa’s potential route to the final:

  • 1st round: Bye
  • 2nd round: Juan Monaco
  • Quarter-final: Alexandr Dolgopolov
  • Semi-final: John Isner
  • Final: David Ferrer

Good luck, Rafa! Vamos!

Rafa Roundup: “Everybody knows Rafa is the king of clay,” says Djokovic

Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts after defeating Argentina's Carlos Berlocq in their semi-final tennis match at the ATP Argentina Open in Buenos Aires February 28, 2015.   REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci (ARGENTINA - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)
REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

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“I want to thank the organisers of the Argentina Open for giving me this wild card to play in Buenos Aires. The times that I’ve played in Argentina have been special and full of good memories because the people are some of the best in the world.

“I asked for this wild card after the bad result in Melbourne and I hope that Buenos Aires will once again be the start of a good run for me. I will try my best to make sure it is.”

Nadal will open his campaign on either Wednesday or Thursday in the Argentine capital.

Djokovic, though, insists the Spaniard remains his greatest threat on dirt.

“Absolutely,” he told AAP as he basked in the glory of a record sixth success at Melbourne Park.

“You would be disrespectful to everything he has achieved in his career on clay courts if we didn’t see him this year — and each year — as the ultimate challenge on clay courts. Everybody knows he is the king of clay. He’s achieved so much on that surface. He’s made history. He’s won the French Open nine times.”

I was in the gym at my hotel and local TV showed a replay of the Rafael Nadal-Fernando Verdasco match. If I’m Nadal, I’m displeased and dispirited that I’ve been bounced early from still another major. But the truth is, no one was beating Verdasco, the way he played that last set. Just an extraordinary high level of tennis.

A few of you asked, quite reasonably, how Verdasco could play so well against the great Nadal and then look so mortal in a loss to Dudi Sela just 48 hours later? The question answers itself. To beat a player of Nadal’s caliber, an opponent has to play the match of his life and take sizable risks. Which is why so often we see a drop in level after an upset.

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If Rafael Nadal Quotes Were Inspirational Posters

If your one wish is to keep Rafael Nadal’s amazing quotes as motivational posters, you’ve come to the right place.

If Rafael Nadal Quotes Were Motivational Posters (1)

If Rafael Nadal Quotes Were Motivational Posters (2)

If Rafael Nadal Quotes Were Motivational Posters (3)

If Rafael Nadal Quotes Were Motivational Posters (4)

If Rafael Nadal Quotes Were Motivational Posters (5)

If Rafael Nadal Quotes Were Motivational Posters (6)

If Rafael Nadal Quotes Were Motivational Posters (7)

If Rafael Nadal Quotes Were Motivational Posters

Source: Tumblr

Rafa Roundup: “Don’t bury Nadal,” says Ferrer

Photo: Tourism Victoria Flickr
Photo: Tourism Victoria Flickr

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“I was sad, tired and disappointed, but this is not the end. Now I am okay and working hard and feeling good on court. I am aware of the fact that those good feelings have to show up in competition and I keep on working so that it can happen in the next tournament.”

Nadal is tipping world number Novak Djokovic to claim an 11th Grand Slam on Sunday.

“I am aware of the results, watched some matches, some were beautiful some not so much, but I am not following it that closely. Who’s favourite to win? Anything can happen and matches have to be played, but Novak should be favourite.”

Ferrer, who lost to Andy Murray in the quarterfinal of the 2016 Australian Open, is convinced Nadal will still rise to the occasion when the 14-time Grand Slam champ plays on his favourite clay court at Roland Garros in May. The world No. 8 said he has “no doubt” Nadal will get back to the top of the tennis world, which could start in the second Grand Slam event of the year.

‘He is not done yet,” Ferrer said in an interview with El Partido de Las 12, reports Tennis World USA. “There isn’t any need to bury him in advance, especially when he’s No. 5 in the world.”

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WATCH: Rafael Nadal to play exhibition match in Puerto Rico

This March, Rafael Nadal will play an exhibition match against his fellow countryman Pablo Andújar in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The match will be played on March 21 at the Jose Miguel Agrelot Coliseum of Puerto Rico.

VIDEO: Rafael Nadal already practising on clay after Australian Open exit

After a shock first-round exit in Melbourne, Rafael Nadal came back to Mallorca where he started his clay court practice sessions.

Next month, Rafa will go to Latin America where he is going to play at the Rio Open in Brazil.

Our champ has yet to decide whether he will play at the Argentina Open, which runs February 8-14 in Buenos Aires.

Video: IB3