Rafa Roundup: Are Federer, Djokovic and Sharapova more popular than Nadal in China?

Thank you Jan Procházka for emailing us this great pic!
Thank you Jan Procházka for emailing us this great pic!


For the first time since Wimbledon, the top trio in the Emirates ATP Rankings will be reunited next week as Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer lead the Shanghai Rolex Masters field. … Second seed Nadal continues his comeback, having reached the Beijing quarter-finals after a 13-week lay-off due to a right wrist injury. The Spaniard is bidding to win his 28th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown and his first in Shanghai, where he was runner-up in 2009 (l. to Davydenko). The Mallorcan will face fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez or a qualifier in the second round, with a projected third-round clash against No. 13 seed John Isner.

Nadal is seeking his 28th ATP Masters 1000 title and a first in Shanghai this week. The Spaniard, who holds the record for titles won at this level, reached the final at the inaugural event here in 2009 (l. to Nikolay Davydenko).

El manacorí, que parte hoy hacia Shangái, último torneo de la gira asiática, tiene por su lado del cuadro a Wawrinka y Berdych como grandes escollos hacia la final. Federer, que reaparece después de clasificar a Suiza para la final de la Copa Davis, circula por la parte de Djokovic y Murray.

Actualmente, Nadal aventaja a Federer en 495 puntos en el ranking tradicional, pero la diferencia se reducirá a 285 el próximo lunes. Esto significa que Federer podría adelantar a Nadal en el Masters 1000 de Shanghái, ya que el español defenderá 360 puntos del año pasado, mientras el suizo apenas defiende 90. Básicamente, Nadal necesitará igualar el resultado de Federer para seguir como número dos.

Liu (tennis writer for Sina.com): “Federer is the second player who contributes most traffic for our website. Then it’s Novak Djokovic and then Maria Sharapova. Rafael Nadal is interesting because he’s a good player and a legendary player. But Chinese fans are half and half about Nadal — half the people love him, and half the people hate him. That half who hates him are Roger fans.” … “He [Novak] is way more popular than Rafa. He was never beaten here in Beijing and he won the Shanghai Masters. He tries so hard when he’s here to speak Chinese or write Chinese characters. People love that and appreciate it. If you make the effort, we love you for it.”

VIDEO: Center Court: Men’s Shanghai Masters PreviewBrad Gilbert examines what Rafael Nadal’s quarterfinal loss in the China Open means for the Spaniard’s chances in the Shanghai Masters (via ESPN)


  1. Vamos Rafa, go kick som #ss. It’s time to silence all the losers and reach top form to get to 18 majors as soon as possible. Rafa GOAT!

  2. i am a chinese. rafa is the tennis player i love most . i don’t like djokovic ( who is too arrogant) ,federer ( who always tries to find excuses after losing ) or sharapova.

  3. Re review about Rafa is ridiculous , who writes this crap . Totally uncalled for to say Rafa hated in china. VAMOS Rafa you show them what you can do in Shanghai .!!!!!!!!!!

  4. I agree with whoever called it a shoddy piece. Let,s rise above it. Chinese tennis fans had tons of Spanish flags and great smiles for him. They appreciate his perseverance, his joy in trying so hard…it shows the great respect he always gives his opponents.

  5. Liu’s article unfortunately reflects inferior professionalism when she attacks Rafael Nadal, a world-wide gentleman-athlete who enjoys this reputation because his fans have bestowed it upon him. Rafael Nadal’s achievements are well documented and his future accomplishments only depend on his physical well-being because everyone expects his usual focus and fighting spirit to prevail. That said, let’s allow Rafa’s future to play out. Let’s not repeat what Roger had to endure when everyone was predicting his demise in a sport he loved; he soon proved that the naysayers were a little too premature. As for Rafa, VAMOS!!!

  6. What a shoddy piece of journalism by LIu, using the word “hate” in relation to Rafael Nadal or indeed any player is so unprofessional. Rafael Nadal is the most popular player worldwide and while Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are ahead in China, Rafael also has huge support there, Anyone watching Beijing heard the reaction to him. This Liu person should check facts , Rafael did beat Novak in Beijing in the Olympics!! We who support Rafael Nadal know that he is a class act both as a player and as a person.

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