PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal loses to Fabio Fognini in Third Round at Barcelona Open

Eight-time champion Rafael Nadal has been knocked out of the Barcelona Open in the third round by Fabio Fognini.

Fabio’s 6-4, 7-6 (6) victory was his second consecutive win on clay over our champ, following his three sets victory in the semi-finals in Rio de Janeiro in February.

Win or lose, ALWAYS with RAFA!


  1. Everyone has said it all. I love you Rafa and I know you are struggling very much. But I know that you will find a way, and by the grace of God… that you will win at least one more grand slam if not two more. And I DO know from my heart and soul that you will lift the trophy this year after the French Open Final at Roland Garros. I know all of you Novak and Roger fans may not like hearing that, but I know that he will be the champion again this year. He will defend his title. I promise all of you fans. God Bless you Rafa and be well. Marylynn

    • Let’s put emotions aside, Marylynn, the truth is that Rafa has not done what he’s suppose to do. Immediately after losing the 2013 FO to Nadal, Novak Djokovic realised he had a problem to deal with, especially after losing when he had a 5 – 3 lead in the 5th set. He realised he had ”confidence issues at critical match moments” to deal with and he then later brought in Boris Becker to help solve the challenge. The rest, ofcourse, is history now!
      Just like Rafa’s routines – butt picking, touching nose and ears b4 playing every new game, not stepping on the baseline, etc,etc – which almost all players on tour can mimic, most of the top level players (probably excepting Federer and Richard Gasquet)have since mastered his game and therefore can readily anticipate his moves on the court.
      So, let me summarise by telling you the main things that Rafa need to urgently do:
      1. Get a new coach to work with good, old Uncle Toni, as soon as possible.
      2. He should learn to keep his secrets secret. Rafa talks too much and in the process, he reveals vital info about his strengths and weaknesses to the press. This is not good at all; opponents are listening and feeding on his words to perfect their strategies.
      3. He should immediately stop playing poker! Since he started playing poker, things have been going bad for him tennis-wise.

      Lastly, o the upcoming 2015 FO, I honestly do not see him winning it again this year. He is not likely to achieve ‘LA DECIMA’ this year as he is in the worst form of his tennis career right now. Last year, and in previous years, he had a good run b4 the start of the FO.But no good run has happened at all this year up till now – 4 weeks to the FO!!!

      Again, he is bound to lose some points following his poor showing at Barcelona. Except he really performs well at Rome and Madrid, he may fall well out of top 5! If that happens, he will definetely not have a favourable draw at 2015 FO! When you don’t have a favourable draw, when you start battling in early rounds with the likes of Tsonga, Nishikori, Nick Kyrgios, David Ferrer or Isner or Fernando Verdasco or Fognini, then it’s ‘Game Up” at the finish line.


      I’m not a Novak fan, but I’ve got to admit the truth that Novak is simply the best right now. He has really improved all aspects of his game and he’s far better than last year. Meanwhile, our own Nadal, like Emperor Nero, continues to fiddle away while Rome burns to ashes. Nadal continues to fiddle away, thinking everything will go his way once the FO starts……..for how long will it continue to be like this without a strategic plan.

  2. I heard the commentator mention Rafa has a new Racket……..well it doesn’t seem to be working for him… a lot of his famous corner shots went out…and he looked very unrelaxed and looking worried at the Racket, Roger took a long time to get used to his new larger racket……it looks like the same with Rafa…… he better decide which Racket is best for the FO…I think go back to the old Racket…..he may relax more

  3. Dear Rafa…. All good wishes sweetheart & blessings coming your way !!! : ) Have a nice evening & enjoy your time off!!! Eat those yummy shrimps & Pasta & Continue to wisely follow your intuitive wisdom as you are doing …. You KNOW your game better than anybody & keep doing what you are doing so beautifully because you are moving forward…. ci…ci… !!!! : ) Not winning every match is natural & as long as you are out there… competing…. breaking your opponent serve, coming up w solutions etc…. playing and giving it your best effort…that is all that is required…. As you can tell from all the loving fan mail you are getting, many people are happy & thrilled to see you playing, evolving and developing…. you are open & full of integrity!!! : ) We see other top players simply disappear temporarily…. hiding their ups & down… canceling their tour participation suddenly because they are not honest w their game level…. fear to show weakness, hiding where they truly are w their tennis… Then, after a rest/a break they return & show up as if nothing happened & pretend they are as strong as ever…. but tennis fans know better…. Thankfully, you are a blessed open book….so honest & precious….that is why you are most respected, admired player!!!!: ) You are an amazing gift to Tennis and to all of us fans who love you & love watching your passion on the court. VAMOS Rafa & God bless you!!! : ) One match at a time is your forever philosophy and that is beautiful!! : )

  4. May be it’s time for Rafa to retire to start playing poker full time.
    Afterall he defeated Ronaldo de lima and the rest of the world in a well publicised poker match.

  5. Really really sad to see Rafa play – devastated to see him struggling. More so after reading his interview – confirmed what I was thinking during his match. Of course he can improve and in time be his old self – but he needs time. Wonder if he should really take a break. Can’t help thinking of the forecast I read last year written by Octozone Lobo – that his form will plummet and he may retire end of year. Forecasts and predictions needn’t be accurate and can be overcome. Rafa needs to be immensely strong, determined and positive mentally. Affirmations, visualisations, etc.. Fans could do the same. Rafa probably needs earnest mental coaching. Rafa, wish you every success, patience, and will power to get back to your old self again. Your most ardent fan. Vamos!

  6. I think everyone should just cut Rafa some slack and be patient with him. He is
    working on raising his level of confidence and holding his nerves during those crucial
    moments of the match which has never posed a problem for him before in his career.

    I still feel if Rafa was able to relax more, he would have won the match. Again,
    overcoming this hurdle takes time and eventually he will achieve his goal like before!

    It’s a process and it takes time. Even for a great champion!
    Remember the old saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day!”

    Since he has amazed and entertained us for the past 10 years winning almost everything
    in sight the fans always expect him to win. Remember he is only human. No one
    can win every single match!

    The great thing about losses is you learn something valuable from them, make the
    necessary adjustments and move on from them. Win or lose Rafa is still Rafa!

    Rafa will always be a driving force in tennis! Vamos!

  7. Disappointed but I am sure everyone is unhappy. You have spoiled us and it is easy to be a fan for a winner. We will not give up and I am sure you will not either. On to the next tournament it willget better!

  8. I think his whole team were seated too close to him in this match.The usual Rafa came back in the tie break but he could not finish it out.Fognini is a very unpredictable player. ard to know which Fognini will turn up.

  9. As I look at the photo of Rafa’s dad, Uncle Toni, his physio, etc., I am wondering what they are thinking. Knowing Rafa’s fragile psyche, I wonder if they are dreading his reaction after that loss to Fabio and if they can be successful in bucking him up before the French Open. In regard to something you wondered a few weeks back about getting a new coach for him, it is hard for me to imagine someone outside his cocoon gaining his trust as they try to help him. I feel sorry for Rafa right now, as it must be tough to see two defeats in a row on his surface. Let’s hope the team can find the right solution for him as less experienced, younger, and tougher opponents show their skills and endurance against him.

    Phyl S From iPad


  10. What ever is going on at the moment it isn’t working changes need to be made or I think Rafa tennis career will come to an end please bring in another member to your team one who can build up your confidence a fresh pair of eyes who can get your game back on track and improve the areas you are failing in please there are so many good new players coming up I think Rafa needs to decide if he wants a future in tennis if so please find a solution and fast tennis won’t be the same without you you are only 28 many more years ahead if that’s what you want x

  11. Don’t know what to say, devastated! I was certain Rafa would win this match and go on to win the tournament but it wasn’t to be. Been a Rafa fan for at least 10 years and always will be. Vamos Rafa!

  12. Oh, my goodness! I guess Fognini was playing the villain today. I am afraid that will be a real tough thing for Rafa to deal with. He says he is in tiptop condition, so I am wondering if he is mentally ready for everyone. I am so disappointed!

    Phyl S From iPad


  13. Awww it’s almost unbearable. I love him so and it is so difficult to watch him struggle so. What has happened Rafa.

  14. I feel devastated after learning of Rafa’s loss to Fognini. This is his second consecutive loss to the same player on the same surface. I guess Rafa’s team should start to regroup and assess seriously his performance in recent tournaments in preparation for Roland Garros. At any rate, I wiill always be a RAFAnatic, forever!

  15. No problem Rafa 💗. Love you always. You played the best you cud. But you know, we hv lil time before the french open, v need to shut all mouths. You r the best. Der will never ever be another Rafa 💗 💖 💛. V need to c you play till you r not able to lift the racquet.
    Till 09 years old. Will always be your loyal fan till I die. Loveeeeeeeeeeeeeee you always. 🌷🌽🌼🌺🌻🌹🍂🍀🌸⛄🌾🍃🍁💟💖💝💗💕💙💚💚

  16. So disappointed. Glimpses of the old Rafa against Almagro yesterday, but not enough to beat Fognini today. This is sad. Admit that I don’t hold out great hopes for the FO.

  17. I’m gutted after the great match he played against Ferrer in Monte Carlo I thought the Rafa we know was on his way back to the top but after today’s match it doesn’t look that way I will always support Rafa win or lose but he is losing matches against players who in the past he has beaten easily and at the moment I don’t think Rafa will even be in the final of the French Open its heart wrenching to see

  18. I don’t know what i should say. It’s just disappointing. All the best Rafa. Always with you. Vamos!

  19. Rafael will always have full support but devastated for him. His face saddened me . Thought he would win tie breaker but he has not one bit of luck . Rafa for ever

    • Fell the same way… just wish we knew what is wrong, as he is not the Rafa we know and love, so confused, don’t know which Rafa is going to play that day. I get to nervous watching…

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