Rafa Roundup: “Nadal is the champion of the game and a legend of the sport”

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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World No. 3 Rafael Nadal cruised into the Australian Open quarter-finals for the eighth time on Sunday as he defeated Kevin Anderson 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 at Melbourne Park.

“But today is a day to be happy the way that I improved my level of everything, talking about tennis, all the things I have to do on court. I was closer today. Even if I played the first two sets the other day well, today I was much closer what I have to do to try to have success.” Oh, yes, Rafa is looking very happy indeed. And the happier he looks, the more miserable his rivals for the title become.

“It’s not mathematics. You cannot say a number,” he said. “Winning against the No. 15 of the world in straight sets, it would be very arrogant if I say I’m not a very high percentage. I’m happy with the way I played today. It is the first day that I felt that I was playing at the level that I want to play.”

“Tennis needs Nadal. He is a true professional on and off the court and a complete gentleman. You can’t help but root for the guy because his heart and passion on the court is so beautiful to watch. He would have to be one of the best competitors of all-time to have ever walked onto a tennis court. … That’s the key difference between the Spaniard and many of his rivals. He is a machine out on the court, the ultimate fighter who leaves everything out there. The problem for his opponents is that he is already in their heads even before a ball is hit. You know when you look over the net and see Rafa you’re going to have to be playing at your best, scrapping for everything because he plays every single point like it is his last point.”

Nadal had to laugh in his last game as he tried to ignore a distraction when his water bottles — famously always precisely placed near the side of the court either for routine or superstition — tumbled over and a ball boy repositioned them. “Seriously it’s not bothering me,” he said.

HIT: Rafael Nadal’s shorts – Nadal called them his “party pants.

Very few players can do that after four hours something of match, 5-all, love-30. So just will say thanks to him because he’s a great example what he did today.” — No. 3 seed Rafael Nadal praising Tim Smyczek’s intervention to play a let after an unruly fan, shouting out, disrupted the Spanish star’s service action and caused him to hit a fault.

 Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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9 comments

  1. Bravo Rafa,great win ,please carry on doing the same ,,,,,,winning ,,,,best wishes and lots of luck against Thomas,,,,,hope you win in style ,,,,vamos Rafa ,

  2. Congrats Rafa for the 4R win. Brilliant match and so great to see you healthy and happy. Best of luck against Berdych, you are the best Rafa. VAmos Rafa!!!

  3. Vamos rafa !!!!!!!j’adore ton jeu , ton respect pour tous tes adversaires ,ta combativité , que tu n’abandonnes jamais :tu es un très bel exemple pour tous les jeunes !!!!!Merci pour tout ce que tu apportes sur les courts .VAMOS RAFA :je suis de tout coeur avec toi !!Biz

  4. Haven’t seen Rafa look so happy for a long time. He seems at ease with himself, and the crowd. Opponents take note!

  5. Red alert!!! Everybody should watch out for the biggest UPSET tomorrow in one of the remaining men’s round 4 matches!!! My crystal ball has never deceived me – what I’m seeing is BIG, VERY BIG, SHOCKING UPSET!!!

  6. bravo rafa ,très belle victoire et super le ramasseur de balle 🙂 bon repos à toi , bon massage et reste cool . bravo rafa . over the top

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