Rafa Roundup: Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal often play FIFA online against each other

Rafael Nadal Practices With Andy Murray At Wimbledon (2)
Photo: Andy Hooper


It will be an interesting clash of styles. On the one hand you have Dustin, who likes to serve big and then race to the net – even on second serves – against Rafa, who is more a builder of points but with big weapons off the ground. Perhaps, after what happened last year in Halle, Rafa will be mindful of that, and will change up his game accordingly. On the basis of the confidence he showed in the first round I think Rafa will advance, though Dustin will give it his best shot and the crowd will certainly be entertained.

The flashy German with a stylish grass court game has beaten Nadal on the surface before. That win came last year in Halle. Brown, a qualifier ranked No. 102, now gets a chance to show the world what he can do on Centre Court against the Spaniard (third match).

The pair, just 11 months apart in age, are close pals by the standards of the leading tennis players and Andy’s mum Judy has revealed they regularly compete at football simulation games like FIFA 15. ‘I remember on one occasion I was sitting on the sofa at Andy’s house and he started laughing and cheering out of nowhere,’ said Judy. ‘I was a bit taken aback so I asked him what it was, and he said he was playing FIFA with Rafa who was in Mallorca.‘ Both Murray and Nadal are big football fans with the Scotsman supporting Arsenal and the Spaniard following Real Madrid. 

It was logical many years ago because some players had coaches, and others didn’t, so this was protection for those who didn’t have coaches,” explained Nadal. “But now everybody has a coach so today I don’t see any player in this circuit who doesn’t have a coach so it’s rather absurd that everyone pays for a coach to help him and then when you need him the most you can’t talk to him. But rules are rules. But if you ask me my opinion, I’ve given you my opinion now.”

“You pay a coach to watch the game. It’s unbelievable that all the other people [in the stadium] can say what they want and the coach can say nothing. It’s unbelievable. You pay a coach to go all the way to Australia, then all the crowd can say what they want and the coach has to sit four hours silent. I say things like pay attention, come on, move your legs, but nothing else. It’s impossible [to say nothing]. In our federation in Mallorca they had rules where coaches could say nothing to the kids. I said it’s a problem because it’s difficult for them to learn when they are young.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 30:  Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts while winning his Gentlemens Singles first round match against Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil during day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 30, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Q. If you could take one shot from any player, past or present what would it be? Toni: Nadal’s mental strength, McEnroe’s volley, Federer’s forehand, and Djokovic’s backhand.


One comment

  1. Great to see that Rafa and Andy have good relationchip. Vamos Rafa, good luck for today <3 <3 <3

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