After eliminating Simone Bolelli and Leonardo Mayer in the Qatar Open first round, Rafael Nadal and Juan Monaco advanced to the ATP 250 event semi-finals with a 2-6, 6-3, 10-6 win over Benjamin Becker and Artem Sitak. They will next face Novak Djokovic and Filip Krajinovic.
- Nadal could come to Sydney International (via smh.com.au)
Sydney International officials are hoping to lure Rafael Nadal back to the Australian Open lead-up event for the first time in seven years. Nadal is on the comeback trail after undergoing surgery for appendicitis in October and a Sydney International spokesman told AAP they were considering offering the 14-time major winner a wildcard. “There’s still negotiations going on, but obviously there’s definite interest in having him,” the spokesman said. “It’s Rafa Nadal, so we’d love to have him.“
- Nadal offered Heineken Open wild card (via nzherald.co.nz)
“It would be amazing,” said Heineken Open tournament director Karl Budge. “Any tournament in the world would love to have a legend like Rafa and to bring him to Auckland would be something else.”
But Rafa has decided to play only in Melbourne…
- Stopped Short: Nadal Reflects On Comeback Challenge (via ATP World Tour)
“He played well,” said Nadal, crediting his opponent. “I was playing with more nerves than usual. I knew that winning [a] couple of matches here will help me, so that makes me play a little bit more under more tension.” … “At the end, that’s the sport. I’m going to work hard to try to make it less tough as possible, but my motivation and my hunger to keep doing the things well [are] still the same. I am sure that I’m going to come back to my best. I hope to be soon.”
- Nadal frena en seco (via El Pais)
El número tres mundial cedió frente al número 127 porque solo aprovechó dos de las 12 opciones de break que tuvo. Mandó y no remató. Lo que pudo ser una victoria dulce acabó en una derrota dolorosa. … De aquí al Abierto de Australia, Nadal necesita reencontrarse con seguridades que hoy ha perdido: la movilidad por encima de todo; un alto ritmo de juego continuado; la paciencia para macerar el punto; el revés para abrir la pista; y el drive paralelo para rematar el peloteo. No es poca cosa. Esas, además, son virtudes que solo se consiguen en partidos, buscándolas en competición, por mucho que se tome uno en serio los entrenamientos.
- Berrer Reflects On “Memorable Victory” Over Nadal (via ATP World Tour)
While Berrer is happy with his accomplishment, he maintained that “we have to be realistic.” “Today many good things came together, and we should not overrate this now. It was one victory. Tomorrow everything can change. He was not at his best. But for me, a memorable victory.”
- Why the struggling Rafael Nadal must win the 2015 Australian Open – and why he will (via oregonlive.com)
Can the nearly 29-year-old Rafa still win torture-porn matches? The kind he and Djokovic are known for. The kind he’ll need to win to hoist another Australian Open trophy. He has to want it, and even though he’s won 14 majors and has been debilitated by injuries in recent years, he surely still does. Like Federer, Nadal continues to play because he loves the sport. But he’s also playing for history.
- Rewind: Best AO Men’s Finals (via Australian Open)
Rafael Nadal’s first hard-court Grand Slam triumph will forever be remembered for the sight of a tearful Roger Federer uttering “God, it’s killing me” during his trophy ceremony speech.