- Nadal Vows To Leave No Stone Unturned (via ATP World Tour)
“When you’re playing with really small margins, you can lose,” said Nadal. “That’s what happened. A few balls decided the match. I needed to make a difference earlier, not waiting till the end of the match to hit my forehand. “I didn’t have enough power or speed on my forehand. I didn’t have control of the points with my forehand. When I was in good positions, I couldn’t push Fognini back. When that happens, my game can’t hurt my opponent. That was the case today.”
- Self-doubt plagues Nadal again (via ESPN)
This time, the score was 6-4, 7-6 (6). Nadal served for the second set with a break in hand on three occasions and failed to hold each time. Fognini struck 34 winners to just 17 by Nadal. The good news for Nadal was that he had 14 break points; the bad news is that he converted just three (Fognini was 4-for-8). … There’s still plenty of clay-court tennis left before Nadal faces his true moment of reckoning at Roland Garros. But the kinds of comments that a few weeks ago were distinctive for their honesty and realism now smack of rationalization and mild delusion.
For Nadal it’s back to the practice courts as he races against the clock to get his game up to snuff for his title defense at the French Open, which is now four weeks away. Through two European clay tournaments so far, Nadal has yet to make a final, losing to Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo semifinals last week. At this point last year, Nadal found himself in the same place. He did not make the final in Monte Carlo or Barcelona, taking losses to David Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro, but went on to win the French Open. It’s too early to panic but there is reason to be concerned about Nadal’s game.
- Rafael Nadal is off to his worst clay-court start ever (via USA Today)
Then again, all wasn’t well in Nadal world in 2014, when he lost in the quarters of Monte Carlo and Barcelona, which had been his worst opening to a clay-court season up to that point. This was the year he was finally losing in Paris. You could feel it. Then he went out and won his ninth French Open in the past 10 years. There are still two more tournaments before the French. Nadal’s results at those, not at Monte Carlo and Barcelona, will be the better barometer for his French Open chances. Rafa might have a problem, but it’s not time to panic … yet.
- Nadal: “No he superado los altibajos” (via El Pais)
En Barcelona, tuvo un debut difícil frente a un Nico Almagro que se estaba recuperando de una larga lesión, a quien ganó sin necesidad de ofrecer su mejor versión. Pero frente a Fognini, 28º mundial, precisaba de un paso más y no acertó a darlo. “He jugado mal”, reconoció Nadal sin tapujos. “No he sido agresivo, tal como me había planteado, y he fallado más de lo habitual. Y ni siquiera he sabido mantener la ventaja cuando he logrado el break tres veces en la segunda manga. Así no merecía ganar”.
- Nadal, Ferrer, Granollers Mix With Spanish Football Stars (via ATP World Tour)
- ICYMI: Full transcript of Rafael Nadal’s press conference
- Fognini’s Hot Shot Against Nadal (via ATP World Tour)
- Highlights: Nadal vs. Fognini (via Barcelona Open)
- Nadal, eliminado en octavos de final, tras caer ante Fognini (via rtve.es)