Rafa Roundup: Nadal Needs To Regain His Confidence

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“Today, my game in general improved since a month and a half ago. But at the same time, I’m still playing with too many nerves in a lot of moments, in important moments. I was anxious on court… I wanted to be there. I tried in every point, but I was not able to relax myself, calm myself.”

“It’s something that I need to fix for myself and with my team. I need the help of my team, but especially I need the help of myself. That’s what I am trying to do. Nobody’s going to change the situation for you.”

In theory, Nadal will return to the clay and find his game as he generally does every year. But it may not be as easy to turn theory into practice this year. Nadal missed a good portion of the back end of 2014 with a wrist injury and an appendicitis. He’s had plenty of time to get his game sorted out over the past few months, but it hasn’t happened yet. It isn’t about forehands and backhands now; it’s about his confidence and the pressure he feels if it isn’t at an adequate level. … At his age and with his résumé, Nadal has no pressing need to worry about ranking points, ATP Masters Series titles or his head-to-head with fellow top-10 players. He may not have all the time in the world — a sub-par clay-court season would certainly complicate his situation. But as his clay-court proficiency shows, Nadal is patient, hard-working and determined.

What’s the problem with Rafael Nadal’s tennis game of late? The Spaniard admitted in a weekend press conference that he’s lost confidence and feels anxiety during certain points in the match, which has, in turn, led to this dismal tennis slump he’s in. … Since winning his ninth title at Roland Garros last year, Nadal has made it to just one final (his win in Buenos Aires). He’s only been in two semifinals since then too. (Of course, Nadal missed some time at the end of last year with various injuries, so he hadn’t played as many tournaments as others, but the stat is remarkable nonetheless.) … Rafael Nadal is down, but he’s far from being out.

The loss means Nadal could drop out of the top five following Miami depending on the results of Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic and David Ferrer.

Suffering his earliest exit on Key Biscayne since losing to Mallorcan mentor Carlos Moya in the 2006 second round, Nadal sounded like a man ready to embrace the dirt. “At this point of my career I won enough things to say I don’t need to win more, but I want to do it. I want to keep competing well. I want to keep having the feeling that I can be competing for every tournament I gonna play, and I have the motivationto do it. Obviously clay is surface that I had some success, and I hope to be ready for it again.

“He sido capaz de controlar mis emociones durante el 90 o 95 por ciento de los partidos de mi carrera… Pero voy a arreglarlo, no sé si será en una semana, en seis meses o en un año, pero voy a hacerlo”, dice Nadal, entre la élite desde los 15 años; “esto se trata de un juego, no es tan importante. Lo que es seguro es que no voy a ganar 30 Montercalos, 20 Barcelonas y 16 Roland Garros”. … “Es algo que debo arreglar con mi equipo”, indica. “Necesito la ayuda de mi equipo, pero sobre todo lo que necesito es la ayuda de mí mismo. Eso es lo que estoy tratando de hacer. Nadie distinto a mí puede cambiar esta situación.”

Por la cesión de los derechos de imagen, Rafa Nadal percibirá 700.000 euros al año. … García Tejerina confesó que habían pensado también en otros deportistas como Pau Gasol y la selección española, pero que finalmente optaron por la figura del tenista tras visitas a Estados Unidos y a China donde varios grandes operadores de esos países coincidieron en Rafa Nadal como la mejor elección para la promoción de los productos españoles.

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal loses to Fernando Verdasco in Miami Open third round

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15 comments

  1. Rafa has not been the same since that awful Australian Open final in 2014..the treatment he got from the crowd affected his game and destroyed his confidence …I hope he can get it together …he is still the most watchable player on tour …cmon RAFA believe ….

  2. He has to think about all he had done under all circumstances. He has nothing to prove, as he has done it all. He has records, I believe, that will NEVER be broken. Rafa, please relax and enjoy all the wonderful talents God has given you. God bless and we will always be rooting for you.

  3. I can’t watch Rafa play at the moment as it breaks my heart to see him playing like this I don’t know what’s wrong but win or lose Rafa always claps the other player when the game is over and he always stops to sign things for the fans even when he lost unlike most ot f the other players but again I would say bring someone else into the team someone who is not so close to get your confidence up somebody new who can help besides family

  4. Rafa, please relax enough to remember that YOU are the No. 1 player in the world, bar none. When on that tennis court, you have nothing to fear because you’ve ALREADY experienced all there is to know about tennis. As usual, practice hard, and then give it all you have on the tennis court–deep concentration, excellence of strokes and speed of foot, WITHOUT thinking of losing. You’ve done it before, and YOU WILL DO IT AGAIN! We root for you ALWAYS!!! VAMOS RAFA!!!

  5. I felt when Rafa had massive doses of anti biotics last year for appendicitis ,it was a serious mistake,he should have had the operation immediately,that was bad advice from someone,God know what affect it has had on his mind and body, we can see he is not the same confident person.
    Everyone should keep away from antibiotics as much as possible and any chemicals, processed food, all drugs even alcohol,they are poisonous to the body.I understand he likes to party which may include alcohol? not good for anyone especially a top sports person
    Rafa looks older of late,hes doing something wrong.
    Meditation is a valuable tool that would help him and everyone,he could do that to calm himself down.
    Arthur Ash used meditation ,including when playing,he won Wimbeldon. I remember watching him do it on center court.
    I do it and it works for me.
    I hope you read this Rafa and sort yourself out,you are the best tennis player I have ever seen, a real treat to watch,and a nice person too.
    Theres a few more miles in you yet!

    • If he had to take antibiotics it was a long time ego and the side effects are gone a long time ego too. Does he like to party? really? where have you read that? . After to lose the AO 2014 due to his back Rafa has not had too much good luck and that affects the confidence to anyone. But nothing is forever and to get back his strong mind depends only of himself. He has to remember who is he and then he is wil to be Rafa Nadal again

  6. It is clear that Nadal has been a mental case since the Aussie Open 2014. RG 2014 was an exception, everything else he played since Aussie Open 2014 was mediocre for Nadal standards and the look of fear on his face should be brushed away, otherwise no major titles will come anymore. Be a man now, you got 14 slams for cyring out loud.

  7. Rafa You are a King Of Tennis -Clay !! We Love you the World Loves RAFA ,You Got It ALL IT Takes ,So Just Play Your Tennis & Let us Enjoy watching YOU ,You Give us The Best Tennis .God Bless you Champ .<3 <3 Good luck next round <3 🙂

  8. Take rest Rafa and believe in yourself! The clay is coming and this is your surface!! We are all behind you and will come back to your best again. Vamos Rafa<3

  9. What the hell has he got to proof he’s won everything in my mind he’s the best ever when you think he’s not played a good 3rd of his career through injury and still won what he has and he’s the most popular player on the circuit a lot more so than those two miserable gits Murray and Djokovic and they are not a lot younger than him PS HE AINT DONE YET FOLKS

  10. It’s clear that he needs to regain his confidence more than anything else. He has lost against players with a very inferior level than him. Everything is in his head, nerves, anxiety, mistrust until one day he wake up thinking that he can beat to anyone with his superb game and his positive mind like always has been

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