Rafa Roundup: Close friends Nadal and Monaco delighted to be facing each other in Argentina Open final

AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd
AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

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Numbers: Nadal can tie Argentina’s Guillermo Vilas on the all-time clay-court title list with 46 with a victory in Sunday’s final. Rafa is into his 93rd career final, and 53rd on clay. He owns a 45-7 record in clay finals. 

Rafael Nadal will look to secure a slice of clay-court history on Sunday in Buenos Aires, when the World No. 4 vies for a record-tying 46 titles on the surface against close friend Juan Monaco. … “It’s a joy to play this decisive match against a friend and for me it is also very important to play my first final of the year here in Buenos Aires, a place where I feel the affection of the people.”

Nadal, who has a longtime girlfriend, Maria Francesca Perello, also wants a family. He said, “I am quite a family person, my education has been towards family. You never know what will happen in the future, but I understand that I will form a family, have kids, I do not know how much. I love children, but one does not decide unilaterally, it takes two. I would like to have more children, but I cannot say whether two, three or four.” … “Being famous for being famous doesn’t give anything,” he said. “It is nice and satisfying if you earned it for doing well, and not just on court. The real success is having friends, having a family, caring for them and feel loved by the people—the public is very important, but what is more feel loved by those who are around you.”

La única manera de recortarle puntos a Roger Federer y Djokovic es ganando. Mi meta para este año en ningún caso es ser número uno. Vamos a ver si mañana puedo dar un paso importante en este regreso a las pistas”, afirmó el mallorquín. “Espero una final muy complicada porque Pico (Mónaco) está jugando muy sólido. Cuando él está en un nivel muy alto es peligroso y en arcilla aún más”, analizó sobre el encuentro que disputará mañana ante “su amigo” argentino.

Sergio Llamera/Argentina Open
Sergio Llamera/Argentina Open

Intentar ganar a Rafael Nadal con revés a una mano es como querer subir el Himalaya sin botella de oxígeno: se puede hacer, pero es muy difícil. Carlos Charly Berlocq, el número 74 del mundo, no pudo hacerlo en semifinales del torneo de Buenos Aires (7-6 y 6-2), por mucho que afrontara la montaña con piernas fuertes y pulmones como fuelles.

PHOTOS: Nadal through to Buenos Aires final

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