Rafa Roundup: Hewitt still thinks Nadal is the favorite to win at Roland Garros

Billie Weiss/BNP Paribas Open
Billie Weiss/BNP Paribas Open


Questions have been raised over the fitness and form of Rafael Nadal and his ability to defend his French Open crown in June but former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt has absolutely no doubt in his mind. With nine titles and just a solitary loss in 10 years at Roland Garros since 2005, the 28-year-old Spaniard remains practically unbeatable on the red clay in Paris. Speaking to The Straits Times yesterday, Hewitt declared: “Nadal is the favourite. “I don’t care how much he’s struggling going into it; with the record he has, he’s been nearly impossible to beat at that place. “Every Grand Slam is tough to win but he’s won the French with ease a lot of times as well.”

“I had more opportunities than him in the first, in the second, and in the third, too,” said Nadal. “That’s the real thing about what happened during the match. The real thing is I am happy the way I played. I am happy the way that I competed today. I am happy the way that I stayed in a level during the whole match.”

“I think I did well,” said Nadal. “I enjoyed the fact that I felt well with myself on court again. I felt competitive. I felt strong, with the right energy. I lost that match thinking much more positive things than negative ones.”

Desde que venciera a Djokovic hace 10 meses, el pasado 8 de junio, Nadal tan sólo se había topado con un rival del top-10, Berdych, en Melbourne. Cayó. Raonic, repeinado e imperturbable, es una buena piedra de toque para calibrar su nivel actual, para a mirar con optimismo a lo venidero o bien vovler al escepticismo. … Nadal, lastrado por ese 1/7 a la hora de concretar las rupturas, se marcha de Indian Wells. Se va con más kilometraje y un puñado de buenas sensaciones, pero precisa una vuelta de tuerca más. Miami, próxima parada, también sobre cemento, brindará otra oportunidad.

Here’s Rafa after losing to Ljubicic at Indian Wells in 2010 (that year, like this year—and like every year in between, it seems—he was in the midst of a comeback): “This is a process,” he said then, “and I have to keep going slowly better and better. I am ready, because I did well…I was a very good competitor, and I gonna be a very good competitor again and winner another time, no?” Nadal was right: He was a winner at each of the three remaining Grand Slams in 2010. What does 2015 have in store for him? As he would surely say: Let’s see.

Though he showed some nerves on match-point moments, Nadal defended his second serve more effectively, earned more break points (seven to four for Raonic) and looked more fluid hitting on the run. Nadal said he viewed the loss as a positive step in the process of refining his form.

Julian Finney/Getty Images
Julian Finney/Getty Images




  1. Now there is a man, Leyton Hewitt ,who talks sense. And so say all Rafael Nadal loyal supporers

  2. Yesterday’s loss to Milo will be just another upward step for Rafa to regain his former invincibility! His progress has been good so far, and I’ll never stop rooting for our favorite Rafael Nadal. Why? It’s an old, in-grained trait of an era long gone: The Brooklyn Dodgers!!! Those were the days of my youth when the applause and general hoopla probably influenced a bit too much. Now, at 87 years of age, Rafa’s sterling qualities in everything he does impresses me greatly. SOOOO, here’s to Rafa and all his fans!!!!! VAMOS, RAFA, para Miami!!!!

  3. Dear Rafa, I am so happy you are happy w the way you played…you were fantastic!!!!! : ) You played so beautifully…focused, strong, tactfully wise, each point was superbly carried out by you!!! You put your heart, mind and expertize on the line and it was magnificent!!!! : ) VAMOS RAFA!!!! I don’t have to tell you, as you know well, but still just wish to mention…. that when you look back at the video….you will be SO PROUD & excited and pleased w the way you moved, played, defended, attack his serve etc….etc…. and you will notice this was just another player across the court……barely saved by a very very thin thread… you must feel lots of good feed back and pride by the fact that you were dominate the entire match…… including portions of the tie break….!!!! Your serve was so good…. And to my delight, and I am sure also all your loving fans agree….you managed well w everything, including totally dissembling opponent serve. : ) : ) 🙂 That was AMAZING!!!!!! Point by point….your serve games were fantastic…!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) congratulations on the 6 ACES…. and congratulations on often holding 0 40 …. So So So happy for you Nadal!!! YOUR whole match was so enlightening and amazing to watch…. My first reaction after the conclusion of the match was that you played BETTER!!! CI CI….. He seemed rather scared of you the entire match…. take a close look…. he played w little enthusiasm trying to just hold on…. My second reaction was that you are moving forward w each blessed match….and will continue your forward strength & attitude playing your game….and competing w your classy passion and blessed wholesome play. Excellent ……VAMOS dear RAFA….it was an amazing fulfilling match to watch!!!! : ) Thank you and God bless you!!! Best wishes!!!!!!! : )

  4. Siiii, todo lo que dijo Rafa de como se sintió en el partido, se notaba perfectamente. Era ver al Rafa de siempre. Raonic mejoro mucho y le falto solo mas tranquilidad en los matchpoints que es normal ya que si lo comparamos con Rio e incluso con Buenos Aires esta infinitamente jugando muchísimo mejor. Vamoooooos Rafaa!!!

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