Rafa Roundup: Goodbye clay, hello grass! Nadal is planning a full grass-court schedule

Rafael Nadal of Spain prepares to serve to Novak Djokovic of Serbia during their men's quarter-final match during the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, June 3, 2015.    REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier
REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier


“I accept the defeats and there is only one sure thing: I want to work harder even than before to come back stronger,” Nadal said following the match. … Nadal’s blueprint for recovery? Acceptance, analysis and more hard work. “The first set was key. But then when you lose in the way I lost today, I’d say c’est la vie. It’s the way it is. If you look at the score I’d say I didn’t win enough games. He played better than I did. You have to accept it and congratulate the other player. Then you have to analyse the reasons and then work really hard. This is what I think I’ll have to do now.”

Nadal will now head into the grass-court season and Wimbledon, where he lost in the fourth round against Australian Nick Kyrgios in 2014. “Last year I didn’t play bad on grass,” said the two-time All England Club champion. “I played a good Wimbledon. I had a good chance to be in quarter-finals. I lost a match that I could win. That’s it. I am booked for Stuttgart and Queen’s and then in Wimbledon probably.

“I was doubtful about myself the 11 years that I have been playing here. I won nine and I lost twice. Doubts are good in life.” — Rafael Nadal, defending champion, No. 6 seed and Roland Garros icon after he was beaten in a quarterfinal on Wednesday by top-seeded Novak Djokovic.

“He was better than me,” Nadal said. “That’s it. It’s very simple.” The stats made it look as simple as Rafa said. Djokovic won 102 points to Nadal’s 71, hit 45 winners to Nadal’s 16 (23 to three from the forehand side), and earned 18 break points to Nadal’s five. This time it was Djokovic who wore down Nadal; the Spaniard said his one regret was that he didn’t fight as hard as he could have in the third set. This time it was Nadal who ended the match with a double fault. … Watching him in defeat there was, more than anything else, surreal. I can remember Rafa saying, after his third French Open title, that he doubted he would ever reach Bjorn Borg’s men’s record of six. He can’t feel too bad, for too long, about having nine.

A lot of people will erroneously use this loss as a way to diminish Nadal’s legacy. That is simply ridiculous. Nadal has won the French Open nine times in the last 10 years. He won the trophy four times in a row, lost in the fourth round in 2009 to Robin Soderling and came back to win it five more years in a row. His place in the history books is secure, even if he never wins again, which is a far-too-dramatic prediction to make after this tournament.

“He’s playing better than he was [before],” King said Wednesday. “I just don’t know if he knows it.” … “I would try to get (him) thinking differently. He keeps telling himself, ‘I don’t have,'” said King, who is also a co-founder of World TeamTennis, which will open its 40th season this summer. “I would keep trying to say what you do have.” … The process for rebuilding confidence, though, would admittedly take time to develop, according to King. “I would say you have to maintain this over a year, at least six months before it’s going to kick in,” King says. “So you have to be very patient.”

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - 3/6/15 Men's Singles - Spain's Rafael Nadal waves to the crowd after losing his quarter final match Action Images via Reuters / Jason Cairnduff Livepic
Reuters / Jason Cairnduff




  1. Been there, done that twice, as far as Wimbledon is concerned, so it’s “old hat” to you Rafa, n you may be able to make it a triple by the grace of God. Don’t worry, be happy Rafa n keep on smiling. Vamos Rafa. Love your Aussie Nana. 😊😊

  2. I Believe in you my RAFA you will always be a Champion, so rebuild & be patient, it will come !

  3. Rafa that’s a good news,vamossssssssssss you are a great player.you can do it.your fans for ever.get ready.vamosssssssss.

  4. I am not worried for you. Pick yourself up start over again. I have faith in you and I believe on you. I have been watching you since you first turn pro. I like you then still do now. Fan forever. Enjoy best of luck to you and your family and team. God be with you always.

  5. Vamos dear Rafa & have lots of fun preparing for Wimbledon!!!! : ) Your tennis is amazing & best wishes for a fantastic first Wimbledon match!!! : ) Your grass Tennis is still one of the best, and we love the fact that you are one of the best top players on ALL SURFACES….. Enjoy everything & God bless you!!!! : )

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