Rafa Roundup: Nadal Adds Stuttgart To Grass Schedule

Julian Finney/Getty Images
Julian Finney/Getty Images

ARTICLES:

The June 6-14 tournament replaces the former red clay event that ran until 2014 and will be staged the week after the French Open. “Last time I played there it was a different event, on clay. This time it will be on grass court and I’m really looking forward to return to Stuttgart,” Nadal said in a statement.

“It’s very difficult to play against John. You play under a lot of pressure all of the time. I think at the beginning I played little bit too much behind the baseline. I think he had the chance to go for the winners too many times, something that didn’t happen in the third. The third, my position was a little bit closer to the baseline, having more control of the point with my forehand. That’s the most important thing for my game on any surface, but especially here on clay.”

“My mentality in the third [set was] very positive,” said Nadal. “The game, the level of tennis, [it] improved a little bit in the third than in the previous two sets. That’s very important for me. [I’m] very happy to be in quarter-finals. [It’s a] very important result for me. [It’s] a challenge for me to find again the positive feelings, the confidence, the feeling that I am strong again. Matches like today, [the] third set today, helps to improve, helps to arrive to that place that I want to be.

El desafío, ante un adversario de las características del norteamericano, apuntaba sobre todo a dos aspectos: la supervivencia en el resto y la capacidad para defender el servicio. Así lo hizo Nadal (siete aces, por los 12 de Isner, y una efectividad del 73% al saque, por el 60% de su contrincante), al que un cartel le recordó su estatus desde la grada: “King of Clay (Rey de la Tierra). ¡Vamos Rafa!”.

It’ll take you a second, but eventually you’ll find Rafael Nadal standing in the far reaches of Monte Carlo’s Court Central to return the booming serve of American John Isner. Because the court is a bit smaller dimension-wise than other clay courts (the lines are the same, of course), Nadal seemed to have trouble with Isner’s high-kicking serve on Thursday…

 Julian Finney/Getty Images
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Nadal was dominant on serve when he needed to be, taking 20 of 23 service points in the third set to book his spot in the quarterfinals for the eleventh consecutive time in the Principality. Nadal improves to 51-3 lifetime at Monte-Carlo, and 16-4 on the season.

But Nadal killed that latest version of the “What’s Wrong With Rafa?” narrative with a win over Djokovic when it mattered most, in the French Open final. It was a triumph made all the hand-wringing seem for naught, and all was well in Nadalville. But to get a good handle on Nadal’s situation, just imagine what the buzz might have been like last June had he lost that Roland Garros final to Djokovic.

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal reaches Monte Carlo quarter-finals

VIDEOS:

5 comments

  1. Vamos Rafa.💖. U R Back. No one better than U. You have to fight tomorrow . All your fans r with you. 💝 💞. Love the clean shaven looks. Also the look on winning against Ferrer. Can’t wait 4 tmr. God bless you. 🌹 🌹 💐

  2. Stay strong today Rafa you have beaten Ferrer many times before and you can do it now dig deep and over come those nerves x

  3. VAMOS RAFA !!!! : ) ….Congratulations & have a great time today !!! We watched your winning match w Isner twice….beautiful!!!! : ) Best wishes & God bless you!!!! : )

  4. After missing out on wimbledon ballott tickets ,I will be relying on sky sports to watch my tennis hero Rafa Nadal, so the more tournaments he eners the better for me ,,,,and I hope ,,,,and more importantly the better for Rafa ,

Leave a Reply to Rafa_1310 Cancel reply