Rafa Roundup: Sharapova full of praise for absolutely unbelievable Nadal

Photo via Roland Garros
Photo via Roland Garros


“When I come to Roland Garros, I always feel I am in the most important place of my career, without any doubt. Every year has been special. Even the year that I lost [2009, to Robin Soderling in the fourth round] was an experience – a bad experience, but it was an experience. I have tried to learn from all of them, live all the experiences with the highest passion possible. So always when you are back in a place which has been unbelievably successful, it’s special. But the past is the past. This is 2015. Today, the past doesn’t matter.”

Everyone expects so much of Rafa at this time of year. He loses a few matches but to put so many question marks, I think it’s almost disrespectful. He’s an incredible champion and he has no reason to be here doing it again. His will and motivation to keep doing it and to keep proving to himself that he can do it again is pretty remarkable. It’s actually been a little bit sad because if I was in his shoes I’d be a pretty accomplished and satisfied player. He is grinding away and proving everybody wrong.”

The idea that you could win here seems impossible. The idea that you could lose here seems impossible. Can you believe in either outcome yourself? You are a 28-year-old with a destroyed left knee and a battered back, and Novak, who wants this title more than anything, is playing unassailable tennis. Your confidence is staggered. But you are here, where you have always been invincible. And you are always at your strongest when you believe you are about to lose.

Nadal has a sparkling 89-1 career record in best-of-five set matches on clay. His only loss came to Robin Soderling in the fourth round in four sets in 2009. In fact, he’s been extended to five sets only four times in his career, defeating Guillermo Coria in the 2005 Rome final and Federer in the 2006 Rome final (both 7-6 in the fifth), along with John Isner at Roland Garros in the first round in 2011 and Djokovic in the semi-final in 2013.

The one thing he didn’t want to happen happened. Nine-time champion and No. 6 seed Nadal landed in top-seed Novak Djokovic’s quarter, meaning the two could face off in the quarterfinals. Should their 44th match happen, it would be the earliest the two have met since 2007.

Everybody had their eyes on this potential clash between Nadal and Djokovic,” tournament director Gilbert Ysern said. ”It will be tough for the loser, because they seem to be the best players on clay at the moment.”

Nadal described Paris as the ‘most important city’ in his career, and the one where he ‘came of age as a sportsman’. ‘Roland Garros is tennis and Roland Garros is Paris,’ he continued. ‘But for me, it’s something special. This is the tournament that made me reach maturity, a life-changing moment for an athlete. And mine changed here in Paris ten years ago.

“It’s a great satisfaction for us,” his uncle and coach Toni Nadal said. “Every time we come to Paris, it’s always special. When he was young, Rafael dreamed of winning here a few times. We were lucky enough to win nine times. We have spent a lot of time in Paris which is a very pleasant city for us.”


As Rafael Nadal prepares to defend his French Open crown in Paris next week, his time-wasting is making a mockery of the tennis rulebook. The Daily Telegraph can reveal that Carlos Bernardes, the last umpire to seriously challenge Nadal on this point, has been withdrawn from Nadal’s matches since and is unlikely to officiate him at Roland Garros.



REMINDER: Rafa’s Birthday Project! JOIN US NOW!! 🙂


  1. Mon cœur est avec toi, tu gagneras car tu es le meilleur et que tu es de plus en plus fort mentalement.

  2. NADAL is a crowd drawer and a gentleman in court…. He is a legend and will always be the King of Clay….Vamos Rafa for your 10th Roland Garros Title!!!

  3. I’m so happy that Carlos Bernardes will not be umpiring any of Rafa matches I remembered very well how he robbed Rafa the point and made him so emotional that he cried on court shame on Bernardes !Keep positive Rafa and I’m sure you will do well enjoy your game you are the best in my eyes and my # 1 forever ! Love from Toronto and i’ll be cheering you on hope you hear how much I quarrel when you miss that forehand and don’t sat so far behind the baseline !Please listen to me hugs and kisses! Good luck !

  4. Big deal if he taking his time. That is better than these new players who are breaking their rackets and cursing at the audience. Why don’t you write about that. You are the one making a mockery of the sport.

  5. I agree. Nadal deserves respect. He’s in a bit of a slump but one of the best things that ever happened to tennis, both as a player and a genuine human being.

Leave a Reply