- Rafael Nadal forced to step up his game to reach Qatar final – Reuters (scmp.com)
“The positive thing is I am in the finals the first week of the season without arriving here with big preparation,” Nadal said. “Without playing my best, I was able to find a solution. It’s true that I finished the match playing better than what I started. That’s always a positive thing.”
- Rafael Nadal avoids a shock against autograph- hunting German Peter Gojowczyk (via independent.co.uk)
When Peter Gojowczyk, the world No 162, won 12 of the first 13 points of his Qatar ExxonMobile Open semi-final against Rafael Nadal here last night nervous statisticians were probably starting to thumb through their record books, wondering when the Spaniard had last lost to an opponent more lowly-ranked than the 24-year-old German.The answer was…
- Rafael Nadal targets first ever opening-week title in Doha – Marianne Bevis (via The Sports Review)
The problem with arriving at the first tournament of 2014 on the back of one of the best ever comeback seasons in tennis is to manage expectation.
- Rafael Nadal cautious about predicted Australian Open courts speed – Leo Schlink (via Herald Sun)
…there has been growing disquiet over the length of matches since, famously the 2012 men’s final between Novak Djokovic and Nadal stretched 5hrs, 53mins. As a winner of eight French Open titles, Nadal has triumphed at every major at least once. The left-hander will become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win every grand slam title twice if he lifts a second Australian Open from January 13-26.
…our condition of Big 4, as you say, it is not forever. But only thing that I can do is work as much as I can and be ready for when [the inevitable] happens. Then I know even if I work as much as I can and I try to be ready, one day I will not be ready, but I try to make that happen as late as possible.
- Rafael Nadal vs. Ernests Gulbis on-court interview, highlights, & hotshot
- Rafa almost bares all in the locker room!
- Post-victory on-court interview: Rafa defeats Gojowczyk (with a question asked by Andy Taylor based on a suggestion by one of our own readers!)
- Rafael Nadal vs. Peter Gojowczyk highlights