Rafa Roundup: Where next for Rafael Nadal?

AP Photo/Ben Curtis
AP Photo/Ben Curtis

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Nadal has always cast himself as the underdog – sometimes to the point of absurdity, and it has served him well. But as he faces the next wave of brash fighters looking to push him to the sidelines, he will have to fight them off just as Federer held him off for so many years. While he may be able continue his dominance at Roland Garros for a while, and even on the hard courts, Wimbledon is where he will feel the pressure the most. It will be interesting to see how Nadal handles the challenge – but, if history is any example, he’ll figure out a way.

¿Quién es su tenista favorito de la actualidad? Nick Kyrgios: “Diría que Federer, es el modelo perfecto. Tiene un tenis impecable y es el mejor de todos los tiempos. …  Es una pregunta difícil. ¿Entre Novak y Nadal? Probablemente Rafa. Me gusta su forma de pelear cada punto. Nunca puedes darle por muerto. Es el mejor competidor del mundo.”

Although being knocked out of the tournament may have been a bitter pill to swallow, the tennis star is due to be recognised for his professional and personal achievements by the Consell of Mallorca, with its highest honour. The Consell wants to praise Nadal for being one of the best ambassadors for Mallorca around the world, promoting the Island as a sports and tourist destination wherever he goes. The decision to put him forward him for the award was unanimous, and although it needs to be approved, its believed that it will go ahead. The award is expected to be presented at some point in November this year.

The Upbeat Barometer also showed Rafa Nadal was a big talking point after his crushing defeat at the wildcard teenager Nick Kyrgios, ranked 144 in the world. 75% of Brits took to Twitter to discuss the game with ‘the best tennis shot ever’ occupying almost a quarter (23%) of all tweets.

There is something strangely alluring about the way tennis player Rafael Nadal ties his bandana. “He wears it as if he is going into battle,” one of my colleagues noted, and she has a point: Consider the loud Nike logo prominently displayed across his forehead and a warrior-style knot in the back. And true to form, Nadal does seem as if he is preparing for war when he steps onto the court—his style is aggressive and ferocious, just like his bright and bold choices of hachimaki-esque headgear.

REMINDER: Rafael Nadal nominated for USSA Athlete of the Month – VOTE FOR RAFA!

7 comments

  1. It’s really unfortunate when you have a young rookie (like Nick Krygios) playing the game of his life just to achieve a famous upset! In comparison, rookies like Milos and Eugenie Bouchard appear to be the real deal as they play with their heart to win the whole tournament and not just achieve a ‘flash-in-the-pan’ upset.
    It is so apparent that Nick will not last for long if he continues along this ‘cheap’ road – he should go and ask the likes of Sloane Stephens & co. At his age Rafa not only achieved an upset, but went the whole hog to win the trophy.
    Rafa stood a good chance to win the 2014 Wimbledon, but for a tennis game destroyer like Nick. I’m so sure that when he meets Rafa next time – grass, clay or hardcourt – it will be 6-0. 6-0 & 6-0 in Rafa’s favour.

  2. Rafa is paying the toll of his tennis style. He has come to the age of being old for a tennis player. Add his physical tennis style and it is going to be a downhill race from this point. The magic Nadal has only been able to win Wimbledon in wet years (slower service). Also lots of hard courts (slow services) He is definitely the GOAT of gravel. No more, no less.

  3. Yes – the reality is that there are some up & coming young guns on the horizon but that is something everyone in the sporting arena knows & has to deal with. Just as Rafa entered the ring at a young age so will others. This being the case the older players may have to make some difficult choices at some stage but whatever each decides it is NOT the end of the road. Federer will never be No.1 again but he continues to play the game competitively because he ENJOYS it – as does Leyton Hewitt & others & we as spectators will always enjoy watching them. These sportsman will remain adored & respected for what each of them has given to their sport for generations to come. Therein lies their legacy.

  4. Miss Rafa’s on centre court in Wimbledon, though both Roger and Novak games were quite spectacular but still nothing near Rafal. I always believe Rafa would defeat Roger if he were still playing in Wimbledon this year. Wishing Rafa all the best for this year. Vamos Rafa.

  5. What’s next for Rafa? I strongly suspect that he’ll be rooting for Djokovic to defeat Federer in tomorow’s Wimbledon final, even though it would cost Rafa his #1 ranking. Stopping Federer from winning his 18th major title is far more important than the ranking. I know that I’ll be rooting for Djokovic tomorrow – big time. VAMOS!!!

  6. “Crushing defeat ” ?? Really, not accurate summary. Two tie breakers so how can anyone say ” crushed”. Rafael will figure it out as he is the most intelligent player( not just my view but John McEnroe ‘s )rememberRafa first defeated RogerFederer In Roland Garros at the age of 19. These new guys have to prove themselves as most appear to only capable of one good performance! Hope Grigio and Milos prove me wrong. The magic that is Nadal is missing from Centre court.

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