Rafa Roundup: Healthier back, better results for tennis-football star Rafael Nadal


… In his first appearance in Key Biscayne since the 2012 semi-finals (l. to Murray), the 27-year-old Nadal took charge in the first set, breaking the World No. 44 Hewitt in the opening game and converting on two of three other break opportunities.

… “I’ve been feeling better with my back for two weeks now, so I was able to do normal movement and I’m able to practice a normal amount,” Rafa explained. His mind remained on Indian Wells, but moved to a different track. “I didn’t play the right way at Indian Wells, I was much better here. I was going to the backhand to open up the forehand, and playing high and deep and changing the direction of the ball at the good time. I was very satisfied with this.”

… “I played the right way,” said Nadal. “Lleyton played much better in the second set, played more aggressive, some good rallies. I was very happy with the way with way I played at the end of the first set. When I had the long rallies I did. I think I did what I had to do today.”

… El número uno devora 6-1 y 6-3 en 1h 9m a Hewitt en su debut en Miami… Hoy el torneo es un examen: a Nadal, que aún busca mejorar sus porcentajes de primer servicio, le sirve para saber dónde está, cómo está y qué debe exigirse en la gira europea de arcilla, su terreno de caza preferido, que arranca justo después del torneo americano.

… “I’m absolutely thrilled to be given this today. I was quite surprised when my name was called out and it feels amazing,” she said. “Nadal is a super player and I love watching him play. He plays a lot different to other players and I like the way he keeps going – he is an inspiration.”

… What an absolute pleasure it is to watch them in action. Pick your favorite method of marveling: Ambling through the Hermitage or the Louvre; savoring a gourmet meal; climbing to a breathtaking viewpoint. Way up there on the sports list is observing the handiwork of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray.

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal defeats Lleyton Hewitt in R2 at Sony Open in Miami


  • Nadal v Hewitt Highlights (ATP Miami 2R): Top seed Rafael Nadal and former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt met for the 11th time for a place in the third round in Miami.
  • ATP Miami – Saturday Round-up: World No. 1 Rafael Nadal began his quest for a first Miami title against Lleyton Hewitt, while Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka faced Daniel Gimeno-Traver.

ICYMI: Interview with Rafael Nadal (Miami, March 21)


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