Rafa Roundup: Nadal has five weeks to improve until French Open

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Nadal is playing the long game again. It worked for him in 2010 and 2013, when he finished No. 1. Getting back to the top in 2015 is a long shot, but Rafa has obviously proven that the French Open is always within his grasp, no matter what his form is like early in the clay season. Already he can say that he’s ahead of his pace from last year: In 2014, he started the spring swing by losing to Ferrer in Monte Carlo and Nicolas Almagro in Barcelona. … Will form finally overcome history in Paris? Will Djokovic make good on his decade-old claim that Nadal is beatable at Roland Garros? We won’t have our answer until June. Until then, we have the race, which is the best part of all.

That’s Nadal. He’s perfected the art of falling off the horse and then, painfully and painstakingly, climbing back up until he is once again galloping and gobbling up titles—usually about this time of year. It’s never without drama or doubt, but always it ends with peak Nadal, a clay beast that is so physical, so fiery and so determined, that opponents basically cower at the sight of him. With three events left to go until the French, expect Nadal to be in Tasmanian Devil form by late May.

But as far as Nadal is concerned, 2015 is no different to 2013, 2012 or even 2011. “Djokovic was good in 2011, in 2012, 2013 as well as in 2015. Sometimes you win more and some you win less,” Nadal, who has triumphed at the French Open in nine of the last 10 years, told reporters at the Barcelona Open. “It is difficult to win everything all the time. Djokovic was as good then in 2011 as he is now. He had an impeccable year in 2011 as well as he is having in 2015.”

El cambio de raqueta era algo que quería hacer ya a principio de temporada, pero no pudo ser y hasta Miami no estuvo a punto. Al acabar Miamí ya las tenía en casa, las probé y ví que me iban bien u las use y le da más efecto a la bola aunque tiene menos control. Aún asi, no creo que los problemas vengan por las raquetas porque las anteriores gané todo lo que gané. Pienso que es un tema mental y tenístico.

Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell Flickr
Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell Flickr

Yes, he took a 6–3, 6–3 loss to Djokovic in the semifinals. But Nadal had his teeth in that match and forced Djokovic to play some of his best tennis of the week. That has to give the Spaniard some confidence. His form isn’t so far off Djokovic’s on clay right now and he has five weeks to improve until the French Open.

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3 comments

  1. It breaks my heart to see Rafa year after year struggling to get on top after an injury. It also inspire me to see such a fighter like Rafa year after year against all odds never given up spirit climbing on top again. Love Rafa and will always believe and have faith in him. Vamos Rafa!!!

  2. Rafa is right ! He had Joker on the run at MC I believe in Rafa and hope he win Barcelona and if not just win the FO and that will be the best win for him.Just happy he’s laying tennis !Good Luck my # 1 Rafa

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