Rafa Roundup: Why did Nadal cry when Federer won Roland Garros in 2009?

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RN: For instance, before Djokovic’s double fault at match point, I had already decided to hit a high cross shot and then a parallel forehand. I had already made that decision before he missed. I told myself: “The time is now; I am tired, I must play.” My inner logic was: “If I miss, it will be my miss. If I end up not winning this game, I must not think that I haven’t been brave. I would rather die being brave.”

Q. You said you cried when Roger Federer won Roland Garros in 2009, the year you went out to Robin Söderling, your only defeat at the tournament … RN: I was moved. Q. Will you cry if Djokovic wins? RN: I don’t know. As the years go by you see things a bit differently. It doesn’t take a lot to make me cry. I often cry at the movies, sometimes with videos, and with things that move me about sports. I have a good relationship with Federer.

With the exception of his very first title in 2005 where he defeated unranked Argentine, Mariano Puerta, Rafa’s other eight opponents have all been seeded in the Top 5. Of those eight, Nadal has defeated Roger Federer four times, Novak Djokovic twice and both Robin Soderling and David Ferrer once.

Rafael Nadal arrived at the Gerry Weber Open shortly after 6:45 p.m. local time on Monday. Within an hour, the World No. 1 had set off to the practice courts for his first hit on the grass courts.

‘What Rafael has done, I’m sure that another one can do the same. Rafael is not special. ‘Another guy can do the same, but it’s not easy. Because nine years winning a difficult tournament like this is very tough. It’s difficult to win one, to win nine in 10 years is unbelievable. ‘He’s not special, he’s a very good player I think, but not more than this.’

But Djokovic was built from the ground up to beat Nadal on clay, and he’s proven in Monte Carlo and Rome he can do it. But Nole is now 0-6 at the French Open against Rafa. There’s something to be said for the intangibles, for the sheer will of a great champion. Nadal has it in spades.

Over his career, Nadal has won 64 career titles, including 14 Grand Slam titles. The majority of that success has come on clay courts, winning 45 titles and going a ridiculous 318-24 on that surface. During his career at the French Open, Nadal has gone an incredible 66-1, losing just once back in the fourth round in 2009.

The statue will appear in a Nike store in Paris with a plaque reading “legends are made from different stuff.”

Nadal’s victory Tweet was the most retweeted Tweet of the tournament.

“Cada año es más difícil en todos los aspectos. Ha sido un partido complicado, como siempre, ha habido muchos nervios, a eso no te acostumbras”.

¿Recomendaría usted a Nadal que parase y no jugase esta semana? A Rafa la única recomendación que puedo hacerle es que disfrute y que nos siga haciendo disfrutar a todos dando ejemplo. Como ha demostrado siempre, su entorno técnico está muy cualificado y es el que mejor conoce lo que hay que hacer.

Rafael Nadal in Halle Alemania Germany grass season 2014
Photo via @BTT_Academy

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9 comments

  1. El esfuerzo, la voluntad, el trabajo, la paciencia y la perseverancia hacen que como resultado tengamos excelente tenistas como el Rafa en este caso sumado a su sencillez y humildad como persona. ….más no le podemos pedir!!! Si ver sus partidos es un deleite permanente. …gracias campeón! !!

  2. “If I miss, it will be my miss. If I end up not winning, I must not think that I haven’t been brave. I would rather die being brave.” ~ Rafa reflecting on his decision, right before Djokovic’s double-fault on match point, to hit a deep cross-court return of serve, followed by a down-the-line forehand winner

    That’s exactly what I’ve been preaching to Rafa in my comments here – be aggressive, be offensive, be brave. Play first strike tennis. Hit earlier, harder, flatter, deeper. Regardless of the score, regardless of the opponent, regardless of the conditions – go for your shots.

    VAMOS!!!

  3. My words exactly Rafa may you keep bringing the special Tennis play that you have to all of us Rafa fans! always a Rafa fan!

  4. Congratulations Rafa!As I mentioned before,you were destined to be a great player!!May the Lord in His goodness sustain you with a healthy mind and body,may you stay humble and generous!Enjoy and take care God bless you!

  5. Dear Rafa, Wish you all the best for Wimbledon….would be so good to see you win yet another Wimbledon Title….and hope the media does not hassle you too much about the past, and the ‘exiting early’ over the last 2 years, but let you still celebrate the ‘excitement and euphoria’ of your Paris win. Focus on that only….just hope you get a favourable draw
    and that there won’t be any unexpected surprises…..thanks for all the years of exceptional tennis you continue to share with the world…..it’s been exciting, its been exhilirating, its been a thrill to see you time and time again bring the brand of Rafa tennis to all those who enjoy the sport of tennis, long may it be….always a rafa fan…..

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