Rafa Roundup: ‘One of Nadal’s strengths is that he’s so humble’

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The 27-year-old Nadal is looking to become the first player to win the Roland Garros title five straight times, and next confronts Austrian young gun Dominic Thiem. The 20 year old, playing in just his second major, made his Roland Garros debut with a 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-2 win over Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu. “I heard very, very good things about him,” said Nadal. “I didn’t see him play, but I know he’s a young player and he’s a very dangerous opponent.”

“It doesn’t matter a lot which court I play on,” acknowledged Nadal, who confessed he thought the rain would prevent him getting on court at all. “Playing Roland Garros is always a pleasure for me, really an honour and a special feeling. It doesn’t matter if it’s Chatrier or Lenglen or another court, it’s always going to be great around here – and Lenglen is a great court.”

Nadal would be well within his right to say something to the effect of: “I’ve won this event eight times in nine years. What more do you guys want from me?” But that’s not Nadal. To call him understated would be, well, an understatement. Before this could become the tournament’s first cause célèbre — triggering any number of conspiracy theories — Nadal repeatedly said it was no big deal. He didn’t think it was snub. Hey, let’s just play tennis.

One of Nadal’s strengths is that he’s so humble, that he’s surprised at what he has achieved, and that he has never bought into his greatness. He’s always felt as though he’s he has to earn everything, on a match to match, and point to point, basis. That’s one of the marks of his genius, that he’s convinced himself that he can’t rest on his laurels.

“It’s pretty weird,” commented the No.10 seed John Isner, when asked for his view on the alleged controversy. “How many times does he have to win the tournament to play on Chatrier?”

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8 comments

  1. Wawrinka – gone. Almagro – gone. Dimitrov – gone. Rafa’s half of the draw, and especially his quarter of the draw, just got a WHOLE LOT EASIER for him. Hopefully, Karlovic or Anderson will upset Ferrer in the fourth round, and make it even easier. VAMOS!!!

  2. Before anyone says “Rafa has no control over the scheduling”, let me remind you that top players and their coaches are notorious for lobbying tournament officials about their match scheduling, court assignments, chair umpires, etc. But apparently, Uncle Toni never got the memo.

  3. Yes, Rafa is very humble, and that’s a very admirable character trait. But sometimes he is just TOO humble. Or perhaps it’s just bad coaching. Why does Team Nadal accept being scheduled, far more often than not, AT THE BACK END of each round in the slams. This is a real disadvantage because it means Rafa will have AT LEAST ONE LESS DAY OFF at the business end of the tournament. It seems like Federer – and Djokovic to a slightly lesser extent – always begin play at least one day BEFORE Rafa does. This becomes even more problematic for Rafa if there are rain delays – like the ones predicted for this French Open – pushing his matches back even further. I know that Rafa has somehow been able to overcome this disadvantage in the past, but he should NOT have to. This is another example of VERY BAD COACHING by Uncle Toni, which will ultimately catch up with Rafa, unless he does something about it, and does something about it SOON!!!

    VAMOS!!!

  4. Yes my guy is to humble that is y so many people love him of course I’m one of his millions of fans that do love him he’s a great ambassordor for our great sport and I hope he wins his ninth French open he deserves it and no doubt would’ve earned it for sure

  5. The reason I watch tennis is you Rafa. You are ever so gracious and humble in victory and defeat. You set a very good role model for the young generations, you are already a legend and it does not matter what others think of you as you are simply the BEST!! Good luck and God bless.

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