- Nadal Into Seventh Madrid Final With Berdych Win (via ATP World Tour)
“For the past couple of days I have been playing better and better every day,” said Nadal. “That’s always very good news. I am in the final. I am happy for that. I am enjoying a lot the fact that I am playing in front of an unbelievable crowd. For me, that’s the best crowd in the world without any doubt. So that gives me a lot of really positive energy.
- Murray Sets Nadal Final Duel (via ATP World Tour)
He will look to overturn a 5-15 mark in his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry against Nadal. It will be their first meeting since the Spaniard triumphed in the Roland Garros semi-finals last year. “Against Rafa it is going to be extremely difficult, especially playing here in Spain. I think he’s played very well this week, too. Hopefully I can put in a good performance and make it tough for him and see what happens.”
- Rafael Nadal Reaches Madrid Open Final, Gaining Momentum on Clay (via New York Times)
Manuel Santana, a former Spanish champion who is the director of the Madrid tournament, said Nadal had arrived here “very motivated” and clearly determined to “get back his confidence” after some of his recent setbacks, particularly his loss in Barcelona against Fognini. “The way he played today, it’s going to be very hard to beat him,” Santana said Saturday. “If he doesn’t have any physical problems, he’s on course to win his 10th French Open, and who knows if then not the 11th and 12th?”
- Playing at Altitude (via tennis.com)
It used to be Monte Carlo that kick-started Nadal’s season; these days it’s the home crowds in Madrid that give him a boost. The last two years, he has lost in Monte Carlo, won in Madrid, and gone on to win the French Open. So far the pattern is holding in 2015. Rafa hasn’t dropped a set in Madrid, and he looked as confident in his semifinal win over Tomas Berdych as he has all season. For the first time that I can remember, Nadal was lights-out with his forehand, and comfortable enough to hit both of his ground strokes to either corner whenever he pleased.
- Una inyección de adrenalina (via El Pais)
“Esta vez, mi drive no fue vulgar. Fue un gran drive, de alto nivel. Digo las cosas como las siento y cuando es lo contrario también las digo. Pero hoy no solo fue bueno el drive. Las piernas, la energía, todo fue muy positivo. Lo hice muy bien durante todo el partido”, destacó Nadal, el mejor Nadal del año, cada vez más cerca de ese Nadal guerrillero y dominador, a apenas dos semanas vista de París.
- Rafael Nadal tells Madrid fans: Stop blaming Casillas! (via goal.com)
Nadal offered his congratulations to Madrid’s arch-rivals, who need to beat either Atletico Madrid or Deportivo La Coruna to wrap up the Primera Division title, though he is convinced Ancelotti’s men were not distracted by their Champions League semi-final decider at home to Juventus. “That draw has essentially given Barca the Liga trophy, pretty much,” he admitted. “One simply has to congratulate Barca. I don’t think Real Madrid had one eye on Wednesday’s clash with Juve. They shouldn’t have been doing that, anyway.”