VIDEO: Adorable Rafa as a little boy!

In the latest edition of “Baby It’s You!”, Mary Carillo from Tennis Channel looks at some old photos of Rafael Nadal. What an adorable little boy! 🙋😍

Baby It's You! 🙋 @rafaelnadal 🎥: Tennis Channel #RafaelNadal #atp #tennis #usopen #nadal #rafanadal #kingofclay #vamosrafa

A video posted by Rafael Nadal Fans (@rafaelnadalfans) on

Rafael Nadal: If you are not nervous a little bit it’s time to say goodbye

Rafael Nadal of Spain signs autographs after his first round Men's Singles match victory over Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan on Day One of the 2016 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 29, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Aug. 28, 2016 - Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America)
Elsa/Getty Images

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. If you can, assess the match. How you feel you played today?
RAFAEL NADAL: Normal. That’s the real thing. Not very good; not very bad.

I think I played — was a good start for me obviously winning here in straight sets. I have been dominating the match comfortable after 6-1, 4-1, and I think in that game I could have the second break in the second set, no, and go 5-1.

Didn’t happen. And then the second set was tougher, no? Was tough at the end. He had some chances in the 4-All. Happy that I finally saved that game. I had the break in the last one. In the third I think I finished playing well. Last couple of games I played a little more aggressive with my forehand.

I feel that I was changing a little bit, you know, playing a little bit longer the cross shot, and then changing down the line, like last point. It was positive one.

That’s it. My serve worked well almost all the time. I am hitting very well the backhand, but it’s true that the forehand I need time. I need confidence and I need to keep practicing the forehand, no?

Is not easy to go two months-and-a-half out of competition in the middle of the season without hitting a forehand. I need to have the confidence again with my wrist. That is coming, because I feel the wrist much better, and every day feel that the wrist a little bit better. That’s very important thing for me. By the way, the most important thing.

I need to recover the normal movement with the forehand. Even if I played very well in Rio, you know, when you have pain you try to change the movement to avoid a little bit that pain no? So I need to find again the normal movement. But I am in the way.

Q. How different with the roof on is the wind or the shadows?
RAFAEL NADAL: Oh, the wind, there is no wind. It’s just a little bit of wind, no? Since the first day that I practiced here I checked that was not wind at all, no? Because I remembered one of these days that I was practicing in the center court outside was very, very windy, and in the center court was not wind at all, no?

The shadows are, you know, always a little bit of inconvenience during, but it’s true after 2:30, 3:00 in the afternoon it’s over. That’s a good thing. In general terms, is great. Is beautiful court. Is an amazing job that USTA did, and I think is a great improvement for everybody, for the players, for the fans who are visiting here Flushing Meadows, and for sure for the people who are following the tournament on the television.

Q. In Rio you said that you played there just because it was the Olympics. You wouldn’t have played in any other tournament. It ended up you had to play a lot. In hindsight, looking back, do you think that much court time did good for your recovery or you think that you just got too tired? 
RAFAEL NADAL: No, was too tiring. After the Olympics I feel myself destroyed. But it’s normal, no? Is not because I was not ready. It’s because I didn’t competed and I didn’t have the chance to practice strong practices on court, no? I was doing a lot of physical performance, training in the gym. Continue reading “Rafael Nadal: If you are not nervous a little bit it’s time to say goodbye”

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal eases into second round at US Open

No. 4 seed Rafael Nadal, who took the title in 2010 and 2013, opened his US Open campaign with a solid 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan on Monday.

Rafa, who hit 21 winners and made 27 unforced errors, now plays Andreas Seppi of Italy in round two.

After the match, Rafa said:

I played a solid match for a lot of time. There was a tough moment in the second set but I think I resisted well and I am very happy for the victory. He is always a dangerous player. (via Eurosport)

The most important thing is that I am here in New York. My wrist is improving, and that’s good news. (via ESPN)

US Open R1: What time does Rafael Nadal play against Denis Istomin?

On Monday, two-time champion Rafael Nadal will open his 12th US Open against Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin, who reached the fourth round in New York in 2012 but is 7-20 this season.

Photo by Luca Marfé | @marfeluca
Photo by Luca Marfé | @marfeluca

Date: August 29, 2016

Match time: Rafa is third on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Approximately 2 PM EDT –  New York, Montreal / 7 PM BST – United Kingdom / 8 PM CEST – Spain, France, Germany, Italy / August 30 – 4 AM AEST – Melbourne. To convert to your local time, use this website.

Rafa and Denis have met four times and Rafa has won all four meetings. The most recent match was in the 2014 Miami Masters, a match Rafa won in 13 games. This will be the third match on hard court.

Rafa is 34-11 on the season (13-7 on hard) with titles at ATP Masters 1000 MonteCarlo and Barcelona.

Good luck and Vamos Rafa!

Source: ATP World Tour

Interview: Rafael Nadal’s travel favorites [VIDEO]

Rafael Nadal  has traveled the world, playing tennis in some of the planet’s most beautiful cities. Check out the video below to find out about Rafa’s favorite place to travel, food and more.

Source: Condé Nast Traveler

Rafa Roundup: What awaits Rafa at the US Open? Will he be healthy enough?

Rafael Nadal, of Spain, speaks during a media availability for the U.S. Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Bryan R. Smith)
Rafael Nadal speaks during a media availability for the U.S. Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Bryan R. Smith)


Rafael Nadal on the latest about his wrist injury:

Well, I am better. I am a little bit better. It’s obvious that when you have been outside two months and a half you need a little bit of time.

I try to go quick, especially in the Olympics and then competing last week in Cincinnati, but the wrist still bothers me a little bit. It’s true that the wrist bothers me a little bit less every day. I need to understand again to hit my normal forehand.

During the wrist injury always you try to find movements to avoid the pain. So I think today I can start the forehand, I think my normal forehand, but still needs time to feel that I am more confident on my wrist. But I am practicing well and I am competing well, I think.

Scanning the men’s bracket at this year’s U.S. Open, it’s easy to see a titanic battle of generations developing at Flushing Meadows in the near future. Or, more precisely, a titanic battle between the haves and the should-haves. Novak Djokovic vs. Marin Cilic, Rafael Nadal vs. Milos Raonic, Stan Wawrinka vs. Nick Kyrgios and Andy Murray vs. Kei Nishikori are all possible second-week matchups.

“The injury I had is very complicated and delicate,” he said. “There are two possibilities: either it gets better with rest or you have to operate. At the moment, it seems everything has gone well, but at the same time it could have turned out differently and I might have had to stop for surgery. I hope things keep going well. So far, after many hours of loading the wrist, it hasn’t gotten worse. This is important and very positive. I hope that day by day and week by week the wrist will keep feeling more comfortable and I will feel freer when hitting the ball.”

The numbers say that as far as Nadal and the U.S. Open go, anything can happen. Small wonder he chose to go from Rio to Cincinnati to get a few more matches before the Grand Slam finale.

Nadal knows what it takes to win the U.S. Open, and he knows what the U.S. Open can do to the poorly prepared. He’s fit, pointing out that his Olympic schedule of singles and doubles was like playing a daily best-of-five singles match. The wrist is a question mark—a scary one.

… Nadal remains a formidable hard-court player. He knows how to adjust his court positioning, hugging the baseline more, flicking half volleys stupendously at times off deep returns of serve, stepping inside the court whenever possible to rifle flattened out forehands into empty spaces. Nadal’s adaptability is one of his least appreciated traits, and that will be revealed as always when he launches a quest for a third crown this year in New York, at a tournament he has come to love.

VIDEO: Rafael Nadal talks tennis, fishing ahead of the US Open | CNBC

What do you think of Rafael Nadal’s US Open draw?

The US Open draw is a done deal. Rafael Nadal’s first opponent will be Denis Istomin (ranked 107th in the world) of Uzbekistan.

Seeded fourth in New York, our champ is placed in the same half as world number one Novak Djokovic and could meet the Serb in the semi-finals.

Photo: Nike
Photo: Nike

Projected quarterfinals:

  • Novak Djokovic vs Marin Cilic
  • Rafael Nadal vs Milos Raonic
  • Stan Wawrinka vs Dominic Thiem
  • Andy Murray vs Kei Nishikori

Rafa’s potential route to the final:

  • 1st round: Denis Istomin
  • 2nd round: Stephane Robert or Andreas Seppi
  • 3rd round: Lucas Pouille
  • 4th round: Roberto Bautista Agut
  • Quarter-final: Milos Raonic
  • Semi-final: Novak Djokovic
  • Final: Andy Murray

Click here to check out the full draw.

The main draw play starts on Monday.