- Nadal to play new Stuttgart grass event (via Reuters)
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.
- Nadal Hangs Tough Against Isner (via Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters)
“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.”
- Nadal Beats Isner For QF vs Ferrer In Monte-Carlo (via ATP World Tour)
“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.”
- Nadal aplaca al gigante Isner (via El Pais)
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!”.
- See how far Rafael Nadal stood back to return John Isner’s serve (via USA Today)
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…
- Nadal Passes Isner Test in Monte-Carlo (via Tennis Now)
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.
- Looking Down Both Barrels (via tennis.com)
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.
- Rafa’s racket is wired! (via CNN)
- Monte-Carlo, R3: An interview with Rafael Nadal (via ubitennis)
- Rafael Nadal’s Hot Shot Against John Isner (via ATP World Tour)
- Rafael Nadal v Novak Djokovic: Monte Carlo 2009 Flashback (via TennisTV)
- Instant Replay: Monfils takes down Federer, more Monte Carlo highlights (via SI.com)