Rafa Roundup: “Nadal is in my eyes the Greatest Player of All Time”

Michael Dodge/Getty Images AsiaPac
Michael Dodge/Getty Images AsiaPac

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Nadal is the ultimate fighter in tennis, and never gives up a point lightly. It was sad to see him having an off day against Thomas Berdych in the quarterfinals. He likely was affected by his back injury from last year and his subsequent lack of quality match practice. He is at a time now where he will try to come back from injury. He has done it many times before, and many fans will assume that he should just be able to do it again. Whether he does or doesn’t, as a fan, I still and always will regard him as a personal hero of mine. He is in my eyes, the Greatest Player of All Time.

These are telling lessons from the past. Can Federer or Sharapova turn around their un-rivalries with Nadal and Williams, respectively? History says no. Once the juggernaut gets rolling in a match-up, that’s it.

It’s well known that Nadal has been forced to take time off due to injury at times during his career. But it’s equally well-known that each and every time it happens, Rafa seems to rebound in fantastic fashion. … Doubting Nadal’s determination and resiliency has never worked in the past. In fact, a review of Nadal’s past clearly illustrates that the opposite stance should be embraced—that the best is yet to come.

Two handsome men and a bounty of Spanish food? Count us in. Enrique Iglesias and tennis pro (and Tommy Hilfiger hunk) Rafael Nadal have teamed up with basketball star Pau Gasol and businessman Abel Matutes Prats to open a string of Spanish restaurants called Tatel, Eater reports. … The flagship Tatal opens in Madrid this March, and will be 800 square meters, decked out in 1920’s inspired decor and divided into three zones — the restaurateurs hope to “surprise customers with performances.”

He has nearly three million Twitter followers more than the next closest tennis player on the planet and a handy 14 Grand Slam singles titles to his name certainly helps his popularity, so it is little wonder Rafael Nadal has topped the Australian Open’s Social Leaderboard for 2015. The leaderboard tracks Twitter to determine the most popular players at the Open during the fortnight, and with a day of the tournament left to play, the Spaniard led the count for the tournament with 1,126,524 tweets, 76 per cent of them positive.

PHOTOS: Top 100 Photos From The 2015 Australian Open (via SI.com)

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14 thoughts on “Rafa Roundup: “Nadal is in my eyes the Greatest Player of All Time”

  1. Rafa Nadal When I think of him words like this come to mind, sensational, scintillating, superior, dynamic, charismatic, incredible, unbelievable, classy, immaculate, exciting, charming, kind, considerate, respectful, a fighter, never gives up, chases every point, thoughtful, dedicated, committed, popular, likeable, passionate, a superstar, practice makes perfect, humble, polite, courteous, acknowledges his opponents in winning and defeat, loves his family, his coach and team, a humanitarian. has foundations set up to help others, owns a tennis academy in Mallorca for the benefit of others, have loved following Rafa’s career for the past fifteen years, what a wonderful journey it has been, so many years of joy and happiness watching him out there on the courts has been the utmost pleasure, it’s truly been an amazing experience, so many times I have seen him come back from the brinks of losing on his own serve, at 0/40 down, he always made it back, extraordinary achievement, something we would see time and time again, his best matches were against Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic in later years, but the best of all time possibly the 2008 or 2009 final against Roger Federer at Wimbledon, when he was young with flowing hair and the tradmark headband and capri pants, he was in sensational form and just beginning a very successful and brilliant career, Rafa Nadal my favourite since Pete Sampras retired, he just has a ‘style and class all of his own’ and can do things out there on that court that only he can do, he has millions of fans all over the World who follow him with so much dedicated passion, even through this period of time, that he has not been at his scintillating best, his fans have so much faith and hope that he will be back to light up this tennis world once again, as it’s just not the same with out him, Rafa you are the best we love you and can’t wait to see you grace the courts again during this clay season all the best Rafa. Vamos. For years I had hundreds of words that I kept that described you, much much more then I have shared here, but this is all that came to mind early hours this morning.

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  2. sunset

    Great article on Rafa; it’s about time some one wrote something positive about him. I hate it when the news repeat all his failures over and over
    I watch every match Rafa play’s even if it is 3:00 AM. He’s such a gentlemen and a great sportsmanship. I would pick him over any other tennis players.

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  3. that’s great…. so thankful RIO is just around the corner….can’t wait to watch him play again!!! SO exciting to see Nadal build up his competitive strength one match at a time, and we are very happy for him. It was great watching Rafa playing DOUBLES as well, and will be nice to see many more Single and Double matches. What we all love to watch is Nada;s passion and complete wholesome involvement on the court – that is so beautiful to watch. God bless you Rafa & Best wishes for a the rest of the year!!! I was thinking some more about the GOAT title….and in my opinion, regardless of future results, YOU HAVE ALREADY EARNED the crown of being thought of as THE GREATEST TENNIS PLAYER OF ALL TIME!!!!

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  4. Roselene Azevedo

    Rafa has been invited to take part of Rio’s mardi grass parade, along with David Ferrer and Guga. Press around here is saying he has accepted the invitation!!!

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  5. I totally agree with all these heartfelt comments expressing such love and support for
    Rafa! I agree that for me, he is the most exciting, charismatic and passionate player whom
    I have ever had the pleasure to watch past and present! Nobody comes close to his
    presence on court!

    Rafa is the only player that I will wake up 3:00 am in the morning to watch his live matches on the tennis channel. Win or lose, he will always remain for me, the most fascinating
    player on and off the court . Vamos Rafa!

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  6. Rafa the best ever ! Roger is a great player as well but I love tennis because of Rafa i remembered having tennis channel on and was so boring never look at tennis but when I heard this young man with his eh and ahhh and his cute noises battling on court I had to sit and look at him in his capri pants and bandana and my love for tennis continued all because of Rafa. Should he retire I don’t think I’ll be interested in tennis . I wish Rafa stay healthy so he can play tennis as long as he could but I know it’s wishful thinking. I bought Platinum tickets for the entire Roger’s Cup tournament only to see my special tennis Icon in 2014 two days before the tournament started Rafa pulled out with injuries, i was so lost and disappointed I had to go to that entire tournament to look at players who i don’t care for just because I spent $3,200 (CD)it was for Rafa but I’m sure i’ll be able to see him live one day to cheer him and scream come on Rafa ! I love you so much! I love him as if he’s my own son ! Can’t express how much I admire this young man what an inspiration to me ! battling with all his aches and injuries to put his best foot forward on court and the way he hold his racquet is just amazing!He’s simply the best although he was out of AO 2015 he was constantly talked about the most and his games were replayed over and over to show his passion and love for the game of tennis.Love you Rafa! Thanks so much to make me happy !

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  7. Stephanie Gabrielle

    What a fantastic articles written and wonderful comments! I love everything about Rafa and he is simply the best and the greatest without further elaborated by me. Yes, I would be very sad the day Rafa hangs up his racket. I ardently pray and hope that he is healthy and happy. Vamos Rafa!!

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  8. Nenuca

    Make my champion rest please as a mother with 4 sons and one of whom they operated just in time for appendectomy. Make him rest there are stitches inside that need to heal my heart breaks everytime he is in pain.

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  9. Nadal is an amazing, gifted, outstanding tennis player! Millions of his tennis fans throughout the world have been following his matches throughout the years and trust he is THE PLAYER well deserving of the GOAT crown. Many folks travel to see him play, take the time to follow closely his tennis career, and have high regard and respect for his integrity on the court. Furthermore, Rafael Nadal has EARNED all his titles by sheer tough competition on the court, year in and year out. On the other hand, it appears rather odd Wimbledon, Aus Open and US Open Pamper some players keeping them in such a protective grand slam bubble, always offering them the EASIEST so called LUCKIEST”” ,draws – so that they never actually have to compete hard to get to the recent quarter and semi finals… paving their way w real easy, none threatening players ….no wonder some manage to accumulate titles. Being a tennis fan I enjoy watching all players and watching passionate, hard working players – no exception. I do have respect for all tennis players’ game, and longevity on the field. Before Nadal, R. Fed was a wining player, and when Nadal develop his excellent competitive game R. Fed lost his statute and never genuinely regained it . We sometimes hear sure enough from folks covering the matches saying ” Roger was lucky with his draw ” This must be extended to all players who are all developing beautifully, fighting for titles. Be clear that educated Tennis fans watch matches closely, they know who is in top shape and who is ready for top competition and during the last few years one can not say that those who are still ranked at the top are indeed ready to compete and face anybody. Yet somehow remarkably, they manage to add on titles…I must admit this is my opinion based on my love for the game, and for all the great upcoming younger players who are so incredibly talented, and are deserving of getting the titles based on their game and talent. Recently it appears the ATP had to succumbed to the fact that Nadal sales TENNIS! People love him and show up to watch Nadal play! His popularity and creative game attracts the crowds. Subsequently, during the recent Aus Open he was granted better Empires, decent draw, and better tournament coverage all way round. That is a wise move, hopefully to be followed in future tournaments for all players. It is refreshing for tennis fans to see so much upcoming young talent. It is equally refreshing to hear Nadal’s Press and media interviews where he generously points out to all the top great players fine game and offers his kind opinion of their game. I full heatedly agree Nadal is THE BEST !! yes, it is Nadal’s beautiful tennis game, genius court know how, solution creativity, his seasoned tennis wisdom, his humble respect for others, and above all his hard labor that ultimately gains him over time the crown name GOAT!!! As a side note, It is wonderful to see Alex Dolgopolov, Daveed Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco, Tommy Robredo, Omar, and other exciting players play often in big tournaments.

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  10. Gail Vickery

    What a truly great article by Thaddeus McCarthy!! Which I’m sure echoes all of Rafa’s TRUE fans!

    Many of the commentators at the Aussie Open stated how wonderful it was to just have Rafa back on the Tour, as he did himself many times!! And also what a sad place Tennis will be when Rafa finally hangs up his racquets!! Of course we are all hoping that won’t happen for at least another couple of years!

    For myself, I have been able to enjoy to the full the wonderful era of tennis we have all experienced for the last 14 years. It was in 2001 that I was at Wimbledon to witness Roger Federer beating my hero at that time, Pete Sampras. And then in 2003, I was again present at Wimbledon to witness Rafa win his first couple of matches on grass. In 2004, I was lucky enough to be present at Miami to witness the first meeting of Rafa and Roger, which incidentally Rafa won in Straight sets. And thus started the amazing era of Rafa and Roger which we have all enjoyed for the last 10 years!

    With the advent of Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray in later years, the Big Four were born, but somehow, Novak and Andy have never been able to reach the global hearts of the tennis world in the same way.

    I am searching in vain to recognise the next Big 4 or even the next Big 2 – there are a number of contestants, but none seem able to make that last big step to greatness!! I fear that we are going to find it extremely difficult to replace the great 2 R’s, and will have to accept a period of mediocre tennis for the next few years whilst some new young hopefuls make the big steps to greatness!! Perhaps we shall never replace Rafa and Roger – I fear so but hope not!!!

    A great fan of both Rafa and Roger

    Gail Vickery Sent from my iPad

    >

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