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Rafa Roundup: Nadal very motivated to get back to his best

Photo via beinsports

Photo via beinsports

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Reflecting on his start to 2015, Nadal said; “It’s a great feeling to come back to the competition and have the feeling of winning a title. It’s positive for me, a good way to finish the week. I’m practising very hard and I’ll be practising tomorrow. I’m very motivated to be back at my best in singles too.

Undiscouraged, Nadal is looking forward to the Australian Open and thankful for the time he got to spend on court with a great friend tuning up for the long season. He’s realistic. It was his first event back after a dodgy final five months of 2014. The first-round exit is no reason to panic. A week-1 doubles championship is worth celebrating. The time on court: priceless.

If someone tells you they know how quickly they will recover they are lying,” he warned. “No-one knows that. No-one knows when they will be back at their level. I only know I have to keep working hard to be ready for Australia. But if that doesn’t happen, I just have to work hard to be back for real.” … “Australia is very important, but after a long time out my vision is more global. I will try to be back for Australia, but my season doesn’t end there.

Nadal’s career history says that, yes, there will be more injuries, and he might be happy just to get out of Melbourne without another serious one. But his history also says something else: He’ll remember how to win, and do a lot of it, before he heads for the sidelines again.

Rafael Nadal, 2005 — Cut-off sleeves, pirate pants…it must have been the Noughties! If there’s anyone that can pull this look off, it’s definitely Rafa. At 18 years old and with a physique like that, why wouldn’t you?

Photo: Juan Monaco

Photo: Juan Monaco

Nadal is on his way to Melbourne and fans can ensure they see the raging bull in action at the Summer Set on 14 January, at a fast-paced pre-Australian Open night event on Margaret Court Arena.

PHOTOS:

VIDEOS:

Rafael Nadal and Juan Monaco win Qatar Open doubles crown [PHOTOS]

Rafael Nadal and Juan Monaco captured their first ATP World Tour team title Friday as they defeated  Julian Knowle and Philipp Oswald 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open. Congratulations, Rafico!

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Nadal and Monaco reach doubles final in Doha [PHOTOS]

Rafael Nadal and Juan Monaco edged Novak Djokovic and Filip Krajinovic 7-6(3), 6-1 in the Qatar ExxonMobil Open semi-finals on Thursday in Doha.

Rafa has now won his only two doubles meetings against Novak (Montreal ’09).

He and Monaco will be playing in their second final together (Vina del Mar 2013) where they will meet the new pairing of Julian Knowle and Philipp Oswald.

UPDATED: Our champ is attempting to capture his ninth career ATP World Tour doubles crown, his fourth in Doha (2005, ’09, ’11). Rafa, who is 8-4 in doubles finals, last won a title at Indian Wells in March 2012.

Vamos Rafa and Pico!

Source: ATP World Tour

Rafa Roundup: Nadal/Monaco Reach Semi-finals At Qatar Open

Photo: Qatar Tennis

Photo: Qatar Tennis

After eliminating Simone Bolelli and Leonardo Mayer in the Qatar Open first round, Rafael Nadal and Juan Monaco advanced to the ATP 250 event semi-finals with a 2-6, 6-3, 10-6 win over Benjamin Becker and  Artem Sitak. They will next face Novak Djokovic and Filip Krajinovic. 

ARTICLES:

Sydney International officials are hoping to lure Rafael Nadal back to the Australian Open lead-up event for the first time in seven years. Nadal is on the comeback trail after undergoing surgery for appendicitis in October and a Sydney International spokesman told AAP they were considering offering the 14-time major winner a wildcard. “There’s still negotiations going on, but obviously there’s definite interest in having him,” the spokesman said. “It’s Rafa Nadal, so we’d love to have him.

“It would be amazing,” said Heineken Open tournament director Karl Budge. “Any tournament in the world would love to have a legend like Rafa and to bring him to Auckland would be something else.”

But Rafa has decided to play only in Melbourne…

“He played well,” said Nadal, crediting his opponent. “I was playing with more nerves than usual. I knew that winning [a] couple of matches here will help me, so that makes me play a little bit more under more tension.” … “At the end, that’s the sport. I’m going to work hard to try to make it less tough as possible, but my motivation and my hunger to keep doing the things well [are] still the same. I am sure that I’m going to come back to my best. I hope to be soon.

El número tres mundial cedió frente al número 127 porque solo aprovechó dos de las 12 opciones de break que tuvo. Mandó y no remató. Lo que pudo ser una victoria dulce acabó en una derrota dolorosa. … De aquí al Abierto de Australia, Nadal necesita reencontrarse con seguridades que hoy ha perdido: la movilidad por encima de todo; un alto ritmo de juego continuado; la paciencia para macerar el punto; el revés para abrir la pista; y el drive paralelo para rematar el peloteo. No es poca cosa. Esas, además, son virtudes que solo se consiguen en partidos, buscándolas en competición, por mucho que se tome uno en serio los entrenamientos.

While Berrer is happy with his accomplishment, he maintained that “we have to be realistic.” “Today many good things came together, and we should not overrate this now. It was one victory. Tomorrow everything can change. He was not at his best. But for me, a memorable victory.

Can the nearly 29-year-old Rafa still win torture-porn matches? The kind he and Djokovic are known for. The kind he’ll need to win to hoist another Australian Open trophy. He has to want it, and even though he’s won 14 majors and has been debilitated by injuries in recent years, he surely still does. Like Federer, Nadal continues to play because he loves the sport. But he’s also playing for history.

Rafael Nadal’s first hard-court Grand Slam triumph will forever be remembered for the sight of a tearful Roger Federer uttering “God, it’s killing me” during his trophy ceremony speech.

PHOTOS: Qatar Open: Rafael Nadal beaten in first round

VIDEOS:

INTERVIEW: Rafael Nadal After Loss To Michael Berrer In Doha

Qatar Tennis

Qatar Tennis

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You looked okay in the first set.  Did your physical or mental condition change after that?  What happened?
RAFAEL NADAL:  No.  As I said the other day, these things happen after long time without being on the road, being on rhythm, being on competition.  So I think I think I played a great first set, a lot of winners with my forehand, no mistakes.
But at the end I had a bad game in the third one, fourth one of the second set.  He break me.  After that everything changed.  He played well.  I was playing with more nerves than usual after‑‑ as I said before, after long time I wanted to win.  I know that winning couple of matches here will help me.  So that makes me play a little bit more under more tension.
But that’s it.  You know, at the end, that’s the sport.  That’s normal things.  When you are back from an injury and you are back again from an injury, that takes time.  There is risk.  And always, when you are a time outside that the things are complicated at the comebacks for everybody, no?  You can see all the comebacks from a lot of players when they were injured from long time, the comebacks are tough.
I’m not an exception.  I am another one that will be tough for me.  I’m going to work hard to try to make it less tough as possible, but my motivation and my hunger to keep doing the things well still the same, so I am sure that I gonna come back to my best.  I hope to be soon.

Q.  Losing a match in the first tournament of the season may not be a disaster, but do you feel confident that you can pick up quite quickly from this, or do you have a feeling how long it will take?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Mentally?
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WATCH: Rafael Nadal Banana Shot vs. Michael Berrer — Qatar Open (Doha) 2015

Hot Shot:

Highlights:

Qatar Open (Doha) 2015: Rafael Nadal beaten in first round [PHOTOS]

Defending champion Rafael Nadal is out of Doha after losing 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 to world number 127 Michael Berrer of Germany. Our champ  fought until the end and earned two chances to break back when Berrer served for the match, but the German held his nerve superbly to come through after just under two hours.

Rafael Nadal: “This is the sport, this is the life. I wanted to get two or three matches and then anything can happen. I didn’t. Now I will play doubles here and then practise hard for Australia. It is not perfect.”

Michael Berrer: “Let’s be honest, it was Rafa’s first match for a long time. Losing the first set 1-6, it was the same as the other times I’ve played him. Going for it was the only chance I had.” (via BBC)

Rafa Roundup: Nadal and Monaco enjoy double success in Doha

beinsports

beinsports

ARTICLES:

… three-time Doha doubles champion (2005, 2009, 2011) Rafael Nadal paired with Juan Monaco to defeat Simone Bolelli and Leonardo Mayer 6-3, 6-3. The long-time friends, who last played together when they reached the final in Vina del Mar in February 2013 (l. to Lorenzi-Starace), saved all five break points faced.

“I made the semi-finals of the French Open two times and both times I lost to Rafa. If he wasn’t around I would have a chance normally against some of the other players. But he’s by far the best clay court player of all time. I don’t know if his record on that surface will ever be matched. It’s one of the most incredible records in all of sport.

Christopher Carter then took us on a wild ride using Rafa and David Ferrer (the same two targets who spent a lot of time on stage last year) to light florescent bulbs with their bare-hands and telepathically deliver thoughts to each other. It was quite extraordinary, to tell the truth.

Con mucha solvencia y por un doble 6-3, Nadal y Mónaco (uno de los mejores amigos de Rafa en el circuito) batieron en una hora exacta al dúo formado por el italiano Simone Bolelli y el argentino Leo Mayer. … En el cuadro individual, Nadal, actual campeón del evento de Doha, jugará la primera ronda hacia las 17:00 horas del martes (horario español) ante el zurdo alemán Michael Berrer, número 127 de la ATP, de 34 años y emergido de la fase previa.

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal Attends 2015 Doha Player Party

VIDEOS:

Reminder: 

Qatar Open R1: What time does Rafael Nadal play against Michael Berrer in Doha?

Photo via Instagram/ QatarTennis

Photo via Instagram/ QatarTennis

Defending champion Rafael Nadal will make his singles debut Tuesday against world No. 127 Michael Berrer at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha. Rafa leads the head-to-head series 2-0. Their  last meeting was at Monte Carlo Masters in 2010.

Date: Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Time: Approximately 6 pm local time, 4 pm CET (Spain, France, Germany, Italy) 3 pm GMT (United Kingdom) 9 am EST (New York, Montreal). To convert to your local time, use this website.

Watch online: Fromsport and ATDHE

ATP WORLD TOUR, GRAND SLAM, AND DAVIS CUP MAIN DRAW RESULTS

Year Tournament & City Surface Round Winner & Score
2010 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo
Monaco
Clay R16 Nadal, Rafael
6-0, 6-1 Stats
2009 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells
CA, U.S.A.
Hard R64 Nadal, Rafael
6-2, 6-1 Stats

Rafael Nadal Pre-Tournament Press Conference – Qatar Open

Nadal chats to the press ahead of the 2015 Qatar Open (via Atp World Tour)

Nadal chats to the press ahead of the 2015 Qatar Open (via Atp World Tour)

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  I hope you’re feeling physically good.  Can you describe to us how you feel now?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, just happy to be in Doha again.  New season start, so for me it’s a new challenge and new motivation.  I started last week in Abu Dhabi.  It was positive for me there playing and practicing a few days.  It was a good help, and as usual, you know, the comebacks, at the beginning the feelings are not the best.  At the beginning you need to suffer a little bit on court.  You need to remember all the things that you make it well in the past to have success, and with hard work of every day, try to improve a little bit every day to find the rhythm, to find the way that you really want to play.
All these kind of things needs to go all the way but step by step, because at the end I don’t want to arrive here and gonna play my best tennis.  I know that and probably everybody knows that after ‑‑it doesn’t matter if I play in Beijing and play in Basel.  That’s not like playing for me.  It was nothing.  Since Wimbledon I count like since Wimbledon I didn’t play.  It was long time again, so I need this period of time of face the competition and to the high level of tennis.

Q.  You’re experienced in starting the new season slowly.  You have done that before.  Is that a help to you to have that experience so that you can keep your spirits high as well improve physically?

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