“When Rafa is healthy, grass is good for him. People say that Rafa can’t play well here, but maybe that’s because those people have a small memory,” Nadal’s uncle and coach, Toni, said. “He made the final in 2006, 2007 and 2008, then he didn’t play in 2009, and then he made the final in 2010 and 2011. He made five finals and then we had problems with the knees.”
- Brain Game: Rafa Shelves Favourite Pattern (via ATP World Tour)
It took the Spaniard about a set to figure out that his favorite lefty forehand pattern through the Ad court was going to have to be downgraded to a secondary pattern to get through this match. A clear example of Nadal’s adjustment was his serve direction in the Deuce court, where Klizan hit 13 forehand returns for the match but had to defend 49 backhand returns, often times stretched out wide in the alley. Nadal mixed much more in the Ad court with Klizan hitting 30 forehand returns and 27 backhand returns as Nadal was able to better match up his hard lefty slice against the dangerous forehand return.
- Nadal Survives, Jankovic Falls: The Best of Day 2 (via Wimbledon)
Match of the Day:  Rafael Nadal (ESP) d Martin Klizan (SVK) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 — It wasn’t the highest quality of matches, but it was perhaps the most significant win of the day as Nadal broke his run of bad luck at the All England Club following his second- and first-round exits in 2012 and 2013.
- La diana del segundo saque (via El Pais)
“El primer resto ya fue una bomba de drive. Fue sobre un segundo servicio a 90 [millas, unos 144 kilómetros por hora]… y pataplam. Pensé: ‘¡Pues vaya!”, describe gráficamente el inicio del partido Toni Nadal, tío y entrenador del español. “Hoy en día la gente está muy dispuesta a jugarse el resto muy rápido”, subraya. “Contra Klizan, el segundo saque no fue lo suficientemente bien. Rosol también está dispuesto a jugar al límite. Eso te deja en manos del azar. Nos ha tocado un cuadro de gente dispuesta a pegarle muy rápido”.
- Wimbledon 2014: Rafael Nadal shows competitive spirit to set up shot at Lukas Rosol revenge (via The Independent)
Rafael Nadal has 14 Grand Slam titles under his belt and more than $70.5m (£41.5m) in prize money in his bank account, but the passion that continues to drive him to the greatest heights burns as fiercely as ever. A single rally in his first-round victory here over Slovakia’s Martin Klizan showed why the 28-year-old Spaniard might just be the most ferocious competitor in tennis history.
- I can beat Nadal again, says Rosol (via Yahoo Sport)
“It’s Nadal who has to win, I have nothing to lose. I can create another surprise. I want to impose my style on him. The shorter the rallies, the better for me. Nadal is the king of clay. But he is more vulnerable on other surfaces, especially grass. If you want to beat one of the big stars at a Grand Slam, the early rounds are the best.” The match in 2012 was a bad-tempered affair with Rosol and Nadal involved in an ugly shoulder charge at the net. “When we see each other, we say hello. That’s all but I don’t have any problems with him,” said Rosol.
- INTERVIEW with Rafa Nadal – Wimbledon R1 – full transcript
- Wimbledon Day 2 recap: Nadal rides out a scare while other favorites coast (via SI.com)
- ¡Anima a Rafa Nadal en Wimbledon! (via Mapfre)
REMINDER: ESPY awards 2014: Vote for Rafael Nadal!