Rafa Roundup: “Revenge” for Rafael Nadal in Paris?

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“This place is the most important place in my career,” said Nadal, a winner of 13 Grand Slam championships. “It’s just always very emotional when I have the chance to be back here and it’s always going to be great news when I am in Paris to play Roland Garros. I’m very excited.”

Rafael Nadal: “During the clay court season I get a little bit better week by week. Last week in Rome, it was tough physically. I played a lot of time, but in the end sometimes you need these things. I was not that happy about what I did in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, but that’s sport. The dynamic is positive, so that’s always important for confidence. I felt that in Rome I was able to play without the nerves, the anxiety that I had in the first two tournaments and at some moments in Madrid, too. So that’s always a positive thing.”

A rematch of last year’s French Open final could come in the quarterfinals, with No. 5 David Ferrer landing in Nadal’s quarter. In fact, two of the men who beat Nadal on clay over the last month — Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro — are in his quarter of the draw. His projected semifinal opponent is Wawrinka. Federer would have been the easier path there.

Let’s do the math: Nadal turns 28 on June 3, about the time he’s usually closing in on the French Open title. Federer has reached four major finals since turning 28 and won two. Rafa’s knees are the wild card here, but most experts queried were willing to grant him two, maybe three, more French Open crowns and pointed to his performance in the other Grand Slams as the key to the final tally. Most of them believe Federer might have one more in him, particularly the next two years at Wimbledon.

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3 comments

  1. All this drama about Wawrinka. Hes small time. He came on strong in Australia, and Rafa was off his game big time with the blister all week stressing his arm and then his back. I want to see Rafa chew him up in Roland Garros!

  2. I don’t think Federer will win any more slams, for a multitude of reasons – his age(33 in August), his recurring back problems, his apparent lack of desire(he said he hired Stefan Edberg “for motivational purposes”), lower seeding/tougher draws, and perhaps most importantly, he no longer seems able to maintain his A-game long enough to win 3 out of 5 set matches against his top rivals.

    As for Rafa, I think he can win AT LEAST 2 more French Opens, 1 more US open, and 1 more Australian Open. That’s on the low end. On the high end, he can win 3 more French Opens, 2 more US Opens, 2 more Australian Opens, and 1 more Wimbledon. Bottom line, Rafa should finish his career with 17 to 21 major titles, compared to 17 for Federer.

    Rafa has won 35%(13/37) of the slams he’s entered(2nd best “slam ratio” of all-time(men), behind Bjorn Borg’s 41%(11/27)). If he can maintain that slam ratio for the next 5 years, he should blow away Federer’s slam count with ease, and convince even the most diehard Federer fans that Rafa, is indeed, the GOAT.

    Obviously, Rafa’s health is the wild card, and my prediction presumes that Rafa stays reasonably healthy during the final stage of his career.

    VAMOS!!!

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