- Djokovic understands Nadal’s confidence issues (via tennis.com)
“Of course I understand what he’s talking about because I’m playing for many years on this high level and I know how much pressure and expectations you have,” Djokovic said. “So I respect what [Nadal] has achieved in his career so far very much because I understand what it takes to be there, and what it takes achieve as much as he did. He has so much experience and so much success for only [being] 28 years.” Djokovic said he sees Nadal getting through this period. “I’m sure he wants to play for many more years,” he said. “It’s normal to have some periods of crisis, if you want to call it that, where you sometimes feel more doubt than confidence in important moments and you lose a couple of matches.”
- Rafael Nadal’s mental battle natural as he transitions to new phase in his career (via sport360.com)
He may be just 28, but with the masses continuously predicting an early retirement, is it getting tougher for Nadal to shut out his sceptics? A reporter asked him if he would consider hiring a sports psychologist and Nadal quickly discarded the suggestion. “Tennis is not a big deal in life. It’s sport, a game. That’s not that much important,” he said.
- Why Rafael Nadal faces an uphill battle to break Roger Federer’s Grand Slam record (via oregonlive.com)
Why is 28 so often the turning point for great champions? That’s when players start to lose a bit of foot speed and recovery ability. But Federer is proving week after week that it’s physically possible to remain a top player into your 30s. For many champions, it’s the mental focus, once so reliable, that starts to pop in and out. It’s a form of burnout. After more than a decade and hundreds of matches on the ATP tour, the mind begins to rebel. It wants to do other things, to relax more, listen to the birds sing and children laugh.
- Racket Response: Midway at Miami (via ESPN)
Aging in tennis, like in other sports, tends to drag players back down to their level when they were much younger, back before they peaked. If that’s where Rafa is now, then he’s still really, really good on clay. Between January 2005 and February 2008, Nadal won just five titles off clay, and lost 18 times on hard courts or grass to players outside the top 20. He also won the French Open in each of those years.
- Toni Nadal: “Si a Cristiano le pita su público, ¿cómo me iba a sorprender que con Nadal se hiciese lo mismo?” (via cope.es)
Toni cree que la clave será “alguna victoria que desencadene la confianza. Espero que en Montecarlo las cosas cambien” y considera que la causa de este bache “es más una cuestión de relax que algo psicológico. Estamos en un mal momento, pero confío en que Rafa seguirá arriba con 29 años, con 30 y con 31 años”. Por último, comparó el momento de Cristiano Ronaldo con el de Rafa Nadal y se atrevió con una hipótesis: “Me sorprende que se haya pasado en un mes de aplaudir a Cristiano, a pitarle. La gente tiene poca memoria”. Y se preguntó: “Si le pasa a Cristiano ante su público, ¿cómo me iba a sorprender que pitaran a Nadal por lo mismo?”
- Toni Nadal On Rafael Nadal: ‘I Think He Needs A Win To Regain Confidence’ (via au.ibtimes.com)
“He is training well, but on the court, he hasn’t the strength of mind that he had before, but I hope it comes back,” Toni said. “I think he needs a win to regain confidence.” Toni said that he is hoping that things will get better when Rafa plays his next tournament in Monte Carlo. Rafa is an eight-time champion at the Monte Carlo Masters, having successfully defended the title for eight consecutive times from 2005 to 2012.
For yet another year, fans will benefit from having their favourite players in Madrid. Current champion Rafa Nadal, will strive to conquer his third consecutive title in the Caja Mágica while Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray will attempt to knock him off his throne, to reign again in the Spanish capital.
- Francis Roig: “Rafa volverá a ser Rafa” (via Marca)
Su equipo no se ha planteado recurrir a un psicólogo, ni tiene dudas de que volverá a su mejor nivel: “No sé si Rafa volverá a ser Rafa en Montecarlo o en París, pero volverá [señala Roig]. Ahora no piensa en Roland Garros sino en recuperar las sensaciones que tenía. Es más importante eso que bajar en el ranking”.
- Rafa is back on clay (via Rafael Nadal)
- 14 songs about tennis players every tennis fan should know (via SI.com)
- Informe Robinson – David Ferrer, Los Pies en la Tierra (via Canal+)