- Nadal: ‘I’m Not The Favourite For Anything’ (via ATP World tour)
“I don’t have pressure this year,” said eight-time Monte-Carlo champion Nadal. “I’m not the favourite for anything. I have been playing worse than the rest of the rivals of mine. The pressure is not for me… “I am arriving here with the motivation to do something better than what I am doing.” … “When I lose, I lose; that’s it,” he said. “It’s not a thing that destroys me for a week. I am not happy, I am sad for a while… but you have to be ready to accept all the things that I can happen.”
- Will Monte Carlo turn Nadal’s season around? (via ESPN)
But look on the bright side, Nadalites: Monte Carlo also offers your paragon the opportunity to turn things around a lot more quickly than they fell apart. Sure, he’s tumbled to No. 5 (a ranking not reflected in the seedings), but the potential redemption narrative here is compelling and Nadal knows it. He has a terrific history in Monaco — eight consecutive titles starting in 2005. It would seem especially significant if Nadal clears the Ferrer hurdle in the quarters, as well as the obstacle of top-seeded Djokovic in the semifinals.
- Novak Djokovic is the world’s best clay-court player right now. Can Rafael Nadal change that? (via Oregon Live)
Nadal’s uncle and coach, Toni Nadal, isn’t buying what the naysayers are selling. “What had always been Rafael’s strength hasn’t been in recent tournaments. That mental strength that he had to overcome difficulties, it’s harder to come by right now,” Toni admitted last week. “But we’re working to get it back. It’s a temporary issue … (Rafael) has never settled for less during all these years, and there would be no reason for him to do so now. Rafael is an athlete who likes to win and doesn’t like to lose.”
- Nadal, un campeón fuera de la burbuja (via ABC.es)
Nadal no oculta que le encantan los niños y ahí están en su plan de vida, pero no ahora. El sábado se casó Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic ya se ha estrenado en la paternidad y Roger Federer tiene cuatro. ¿Para cuándo, Rafael? «No tengo planeado eso ahora mismo. Claro que pienso en tener hijos, me gustaría tener una familia. Estoy educado así, me gusta mucho y siempre he tenido un vínculo muy especial con los niños y me gustaría tener varios. Cada uno encuentra sus tiempos y yo estoy jugando a tenis y, a mi modo de entenderlo, no es bueno en estos momentos tener hijos. Digo eso ahora sin saber qué pasará en dos años.
- Seeing Red Again (via tennis.com)
For Nadal, Monte Carlo is the place where he has traditionally either turned his season around or kicked it into high gear. Can he do it again, and win it for a ninth time? Rafa has, by all accounts, been working hard in practice to fix whatever problems he has, and he must feel like he has new life when he steps onto the clay at his favorite event.