Rafa Roundup: Have we seen the best of Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon?

Photo: Alfonso Jimenez Valero
Photo: Alfonso Jimenez Valero

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“If Rafael had beaten Kyrgios, maybe he could have won the tournament because it’s just a couple of balls that made the difference. It wasn’t the same as last year when Rafael couldn’t run and he played really badly. This year he could have beaten everyone and he had chances to beat the best players in the world. I think Rafael normally plays better here in the second week than the first week, but we played against a very good, difficult player who made 37 aces.” … Asked if Nadal remains psychologically confident on grass, his coach said: “Yes. We have had many problems in 2013 and 2012 but this year he played well. We know when we come here that it’s very difficult. Not just for Rafael, but for everyone it’s difficult to play on grass.”

Winning the French Open and Wimbledon back to back is an incredibly difficult thing to do. Nadal’s done it twice but before him, you have to go back to Bjorn Borg in 1980 to find the last man to double up. Borg also did it in 1978 and 1979 but before that only Rod Laver, in the Open era, has managed it. … With the likes of Grigor Dimitrov, Milos Raonic and now Kyrgios beginning to come through, Nadal may find it tougher and tougher at Wimbledon in the future and the days of back-to-back finals are probably over. But there has probably never been a better competitor in the sport and it would be no surprise at all if we see Nadal in the final one more time.

This year, Nadal is already 41-7 in ATP World Tour events, winning four titles. He was able to keep proving he’s the greatest tennis player ever on clay by winning his ninth French Open title, and he made it all the way to the finals at the Australian Open, where he lost to Stanislas Wawrinka. Recently, Wimbledon hasn’t been kind to Nadal, but that hasn’t kept him from having great seasons in the past. Nadal hasn’t made it to the quarterfinals since 2011 at Wimbledon, but he’s won four more Grand Slam titles and made it to the finals in three other Grand Slams since. Nadal was simply beaten by a young and athletic opponent that he wasn’t prepared for. As tennis analyst Brad Gilbert noted, Kyrgios was just dialed in from the start, and his serves were a big reason for his success throughout the match.

La presidenta de la institución, Maria Salom, ha destacado que Nadal es uno de los deportistas más relevantes de la historia y un ejemplo de “tenacidad, esfuerzo y espíritu de superación”. Además, Salom ha ensalzado “su honradez y nobleza”, que le convierten en un modelo de “deportividad, tanto dentro como fuera de la isla”.

Photo: Facebook/Cambio de Tercio
Photo: Facebook/Cambio de Tercio

Owner Abel Lusa said Nadal has been going to the restaurant since he was a teenager and had already been “a few times” since arriving in London for this year’s championships. The player’s favourite dishes were octopus and wild turbot, he said. “Hopefully we’re expecting him many more times in the tournament. It’s crazy for us, every year with the fans coming every day at the door,” he added.

“[The Nadal match] had a pretty big impact,” said Kyrgios. “I was struggling physically about halfway through the second set. I was feeling sore in a couple of places. “I have nothing left to give. Beating Rafa took a lot out of me but I will work on my fitness and conditioning.”

PHOTOS: Las mejores imágenes de Wimbledon (via mundodeportivo.com)

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6 comments

  1. The main thing is that Rafa has to remain healthy. If he does he could go a long way still. Also, I hope he is aware of the point where he should have challenged and didn’t and that if he did, (it was called in) who knows he might have won the match. Wish you every bit of luck in the future. VAMOS

  2. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen this young man play before, but I don’t enjoy watching someone hitting lots of aces, but boring to watch the rest of the time. I feel that way when I watch John Isner play. After about 10 minutes I change the station. Theirs a 9 hour difference from where I live in California, I’ve set the alarm clock for 2:00 am to get up and watch Rafa play live, he is a true champion.

  3. I guess the draw is fixed and the Wimbledon has their favourites to be in the final so Rafa got the worst of the draw they were showing the entire replay of Murray and so confident Murray will win now roger will win I’m so believing Grigor may win this one or even Novak can pull this one off.

  4. Agree. This year was different than last two in that Rafa was healthy, knees ok. Think he would have been able to win if not for awful draw which other top 3 did not have, he was playing great – a few points the other way in tiebreaks and he’d have won the match against the bombing youngster.

    So for those questioning if he can bring it to another Wimbledon, reminder: this is RAFA. He was able to adjust to grass (after no warmup) and overcome first 3 obstacles, after coming right off FO win with no rest. Kyri couldn’t manage a win the next day after playing Rafa and he’s a teenager. Rafa has pulled it off time and time again.

    Will be interesting to see how the two remaining “top 4” do against the 2 youngsters.

    Here’s to a great hard court season defending.

  5. Yes you are right about one thing WIMBLEDON has not been kind to RAFA NADAL….If Rafa had beaten Nick I believe he would have gone on to win the tournament, yes playing at his ‘scintillating best’, he is a ‘nemesis’ to Federer and Murray and in this form I think he could have beaten Novak as well……I hope WIMBLEDON offers a better draw next year, Rafa seems to be the only one out of the top four who gets the odd player that can put him out, he even got Lucas Rosol for the second time…..Had Nick ended up in one of their draws the same thing would have happened to them. They say it is the luck of the draw. I wonder about that, three years in a row Rafa has been dealt really tough draws, this time even worse, getting Nick….May be next year we will see someone else get the ‘upsetters’.

  6. Es curiosos lo que pasa con los jugadores que le ganan a Rafa. Quedan mas satisfechos que haber ganado el torneo y después pierden siempre en la siguiente ronda!!!!

    Rafa es lo mas GRANDE que hay!!!!!!!!

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