Rafael Nadal wins case over doping claim

(AFP) – Rafael Nadal won a defamation case against former French health and sports minister Roselyne Bachelot on Thursday after she accused him of doping on television.

Bachelot was handed a €500 fine by a court in Paris and ordered to pay 12,000 euros in damages and legal fees to Rafa over the allegation she made to the D8 channel in March 2016.

Julian Finney/Getty Images

Rafa:

I would like to reiterate my respect to the legal procedure and Tribunals of France. We have been made aware of their decision by which Mrs. Bachelot has been found guilty of defamation.

When I filed the law suit against Mrs. Bachelot, I intended not only to defend my integrity and my image as an athlete but also the values I have defended all my career.

I also wish to avoid any public figure from making insulting or false allegations against an athlete using the media, without any evidence or foundation and to go unpunished.

The motivation as I have always remarked was not economical. As the tribunal considered there has been a wrong-doing and the sentence recognises the right to damages, the compensation will be paid back in full to an NGO or foundation in France.

The ex-minister from 2007-2010 alleged that Rafa had faked an injury in 2012, when he missed the final six months of the season due to knee problems, in order to hide a positive drug test.

Rafa has never failed a drugs test and denies ever using banned substances.

He had sought € 100,000 in damages and explained last year that he had decided to take legal action to set an example, having previously ignored allegations against him.

His lawyer, Patrick Maisonneuve, told the court in October that the doping accusation could have had “major consequences” for Rafa concerning his “existing or future sponsors”.

Source: AFP

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Did someone pull fire alarm to disrupt Rafael Nadal’s sleep in London?

(Reuters) – Rafael Nadal and the world’s best men’s tennis players found themselves having to endure a 4 a.m. meeting in the freezing cold after fire alarms forced them to evacuate their central London hotel on Tuesday.

Photo via Tennis Magazine

American player Jack Sock explained how the players were all disturbed in the early hours when the alarms went off at their hotel on the banks of the River Thames.

I guess whatever happened in the hotel was on the second floor.

I guess from what the workers at the hotel said, the location of your room is how loud the alarm is. We are right there, kind of right in the centre of it. It literally sounded like the intercom I thought was in our room. Super loud, super annoying. It went on for a while.

At first I didn’t know if it was a test or whatever. Then I realised it was 4am, so I hoped it wasn’t just a test from the hotel. 

I went outside, saw Rafa, saw Dominic. Everyone was all bundled up, freezing cold, just wanting to get back inside. Yeah, it was pretty miserable, to be honest.

Source: Reuters

Congrats to Rafa on hitting 15 million Twitter followers!

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal has achieved a Twitter milestone: 15 million followers.

Like many famous stars, our champ has used Twitter to forge a closer relationship with his fans as well as make announcements about his career.

Roger Federer has 10.5 million Twitter followers — roughly 4.5 million less than Rafa.

Currently in third place is Serena Williams with 9.5 million followers. Novak Djokovic (8 million) and Maria Sharapova (7.6 million) are not far behind.

Rafa also enjoys a massive following on Facebook (where he’s been “liked” by nearly 15 million people) and Instagram (4 million).

Rafael Nadal: “My season is finished”

Rafael Nadal has announced he has withdrawn from the ATP Finals due to a knee injury.

I am off, my season is finished.

I had the commitment with the event, with the city, with myself. I tried hard. I did the thing that I had to do to try to be ready to play.

But I am really not ready to play, no? I really fighted a lot during the match, but knowing that probably was a big chance to be the last match of the season. That what’s going to be.

Well, is not a decision at all. Is about the pain. I cannot hold with enough power to keep playing. I tried, but seriously was miracle to be very close in the score during the match. It really doesn’t make sense.

I knew during the match. It was a decision I took during the match. Even winning, even losing, I was going to pull out.

After the year I’ve had, I don’t deserve to feel like that on court for two more days.

I had a great season, I’m not going to cry.

I’m going to work hard… to keep being at the top and fighting for the most important things.

Thank you and Merry Christmas, everyone.

Our champ finishes the season with a 67-11 win-loss record and 6 titles.

Sources: PA, Metro, ATP World Tour

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal loses to David Goffin at ATP World Tour Finals

An injured Rafael Nadal has made a losing start at the World Tour Finals in London. He went down 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 6-4 to David Goffin in his opening match at the O2 Arena on Monday.

At one moment Rafa looked at his team and said “I can’t anymore”, but he didn’t want to stop. With his fighting spirit, he even managed to save four match points to take Belgian player into a decider of the second set.

The defeat leaves Rafa almost certainly needing to win his remaining two second-round matches to make the semi-finals, but will he make it? We’ll have to wait and see.

ATP Finals: What time does Rafael Nadal play against David Goffin in London?

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal will begin his ATP World Tour Finals against David Goffin on Monday evening. The Belgian makes his main draw debut at the O2.

According to ATP, the pair has squared off twice, both times on the slower clay, both this year – in Madrid and Monte-Carlo – where Rafa prevailed each time in straight sets.

Date: 13 November 2017

Match time: Not before 8 PM local time / 3 PM EDT – New York, Montreal / 8 PM GMT – United Kingdom /9 PM CET – Spain, France, Germany, Italy / Tuesday, 7 AM AEDT – Melbourne.  To convert to your local time, use this website.

Julian Finney/Getty Images

Rafa on playing David Goffin:

After what happened to him at Roland Garros (an ankle injury), it would be really unfair if he was not here. I’m very happy to see him recovered and playing well. Hopefully he won’t play that well on Monday but he’s 100 per cent here and he deserves to be.

David on playing Rafa:

We’ve played some good matches – on clay in Madrid for example was a good match that Rafa won and we’ll try and play another good match here. I’m sure I can play some good tennis against him. I’ll try and play some good rallies, be aggressive and make him run a lot. We’ll see, I have nothing to lose. It will be a good match.

GOOD LUCK & VAMOS RAFA!

Rafael Nadal Receives Year-End No. 1 Trophy

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Today afternoon in London, Rafael Nadal was honoured as year-end ATP World Tour No. 1 for the fourth time in his career.

Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman and President, presented Rafa with the trophy in an on-court ceremony.

Rafa:

It’s been a fantastic season, a very emotional one after what I’ve been going through with injuries. I never thought I’d be getting this trophy this time last year.

None of this would have been possible without my team and family. Many thanks for the support. There have been tough moments but we kept believing.

I want to say thanks all of the tournaments over the year and all of the fans.

You have been a huge support during the whole year in every event. Without all of you nothing would be the same.

Thanks very much and see you tomorrow on court!

At 31, Rafa is the oldest player to finish year-end No. 1 in Emirates ATP Rankings history (since 1973). Having previously finished at the top in 2008, 2010 and 2013, our champ became the first player to hold, lose and regain the year-end No. 1 on three occasions.

He is also the first player to finish No. 1 four times in non-consecutive years, the first aged over-30 and the first to finish in the top spot four years since he last achieved the feat (2013). The nine-year gap between his first year-end No. 1 season (2008) and his last (2017) is also a record.

He is the seventh player to finish the year at the pinnacle of men’s professional tennis on four or more occasions, following in the footsteps of Pete Sampras (6), Jimmy Connors and Roger Federer (5), Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe and Novak Djokovic (4).

Source: ATP World Tour