Rafa Roundup: Defending champion Nadal is not playing his opening match on the main court of Roland Garros



Nadal, however, told Le Figaro in an interview, “I do not see myself, and have never considered myself, a big favorite. There are many players who can compete.”

Creo que ahora, después de Madrid y Roma, hay más tranquilidad. Para tener esa tranquilidad, hay que jugar bien: sin jugar bien no vas a ganar a Djokovic ni a ninguno de los buenos. Pero hay que jugar bien para tener confianza… y tener confianza para jugar bien. No queda otro remedio.

This might seem like a strange French Open to you, what with a confidence-battered Rafael Nadal carrying three clay-court losses into the tournament for the first time ever. But Mats Wilander is here to set you straight. “It’s more normal this year than the last 10 years have been, because the last years have been strange and we’ve gotten used to having these great finals between the No. 1 and No. 2 players in the world. … [W]e started to think that’s normal. Really, that’s the exception.”

“¿Quién está capacitado física y psicológicamente para aguantar el ritmo de Nadal en tierra y durante cinco sets?”. Dicho de otra forma: frente a los tres parciales de las citas que no pertenecen a los grandes, ¿quién tiene piernas, cabeza y pulmones para no quemarse en un baile agarrado con el mejor tenista de la historia en la arcilla parisina?

The 2014 French Open is only a day old and there is already controversy. This time, the talk surrounds No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal’s first matchup taking place on Court Suzanne Lenglen instead of Court Philippe Chatrier. Instead of the No. 1 seed playing his opening match on the main court of Roland Garros, it will be No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic who has been bestowed that honor.

Nadal’s public relations manager, Benito Perez-Barbadillo, said by email he had not spoken to his client about the court assignment. “Very strange, but they must expect blowout city vs. Robbie, so maybe they want to get it out of the way on that court, is my only guess,” ESPN commentator Brad Gilbert wrote in an email.




  1. The French Open was on my bucket list, but not now. If I can’t buy a ticket in advance believing I could see Nadal on Center Court, why bother?

  2. It’s a real pity that nothing can be done about this unfortunate situation. I wonder if we will ever find out why. Anyway, to all of us Rafa fans – let’s send out very positive thoughts and prayers before and during aaall of Rafa’s matches. MAY HE WIN! VAMOS!!!

  3. Really unbelievable! I believe it should only be a common courtesy to a defending champ, 8 times title holder, and no. 1 seed to play his opening match on Chartrier. Heck! He deserves it. If it’s a privelege, then it’s a privelege he has obviously earned. OMG! That move by RG is most offending & insulting. I HOPE it’s not deliberate. I really can’t believe they just did that!

  4. At first I looked at the schedule for Philip Chartier for Monday and didn’t find Rafa. I thought ok it means he’s gonna play his first match on Tuesday. Then, I read in another website he’s planned to play in the second court. If I was in Paris and wanted to watch Rafa, I would have bought my tickets for the main court. Perhaps there are many Rafa fans in Paris who have done so. They clearly show they don’t want Rafa to win it again. I hope he bounces back stronger as he usually does in these circumstances!!!

  5. Boris Becker at work here I feel to get Novak on Phillippe Chartrier Court, but Rafa will show them, yet Boris despite his many achievements never won Roland Garros, it is yours to win Rafa, Show them all who is King of Clay.

  6. when Rafa will start his match, nobody will watch the game on the Central court. Vamos Rafa be young and crazy and show the french that you are the best !!! un beso grande !!!

  7. I agree, he is a pleasure to watch on whatever court he plays on but as the holder of 8 titles at that tournament, I think it shows a lack of respect for him to put him on a secondary court but have Novak and Stan on the main court. Show them Rafa, you are the best wherever you are

  8. I guess “Eight Isn’t Enough!” You know what, “greatness” can be played on any court!
    I’d watch Rafa play in the middle of nowhere and I’d be happy. Best of luck tomorrow
    on Court Suzanne Lenglen! Vamos, Rafa!!!

  9. Well said Suzanne but I think it could only happen in Roland Garros. To break with tradition and show a lack of respect for the holder of the title reveals how little they know about protocol. Vamos Rafaaaaa

  10. The French have never shown Rafa the love and respect he deserves, probably due to their infatuation with Federer, who was practically born and raised in France(Basil is on the France-Switzerland border). Tennis officials, fans and media in France have all been quite hostile to Rafa over the years. Rafa returned the favor by insisting, quite pointedly, that Monte Carlo(in Monaco, not France) is his favorite tournament of all, and by occasionally skipping the Paris Masters 1000 indoor event in the fall. I would certainly have done the same if I were in his shoes. What goes around comes around. VAMOS!!!

      • Because we’re complaining for him since of course he never would. It is logical to question the seeming disrespect, that is what we are doing, asking a logical question. There is nothing disrespectful about questioning things in life.

Leave a Reply