- Rafa Returns To Hamburg, Summer Hard-Court Swing Begins (via ATP World Tour)
World No. 10 and 2008 champion Nadal accepted a wild card into Hamburg and is making his fourth tournament appearance, the first since capturing the title seven years ago (d. Federer). He also reached the final in 2007 (l. to Federer). Nadal has an 11-2 career record in Hamburg.
Nadal is looking to extend his streak of having won at least one European clay court title every year since 2004 when he captured his maiden ATP World Tour crown in Sopot.
- Rafa Faces Tough Hamburg Opener (via ATP World Tour)
“I am very happy to be back in Hamburg, I haven’t been here since 2008 so it’s great to be back in such a nice city. I have great memories about this tournament,” said Nadal. “I think probably defeating Carlos Moya in 2003 was a very important match for me at the time but also I remember very well the match against Novak in 2008 which was very emotional.”
- Tennis week ahead: Rafa Nadal starts with Verdasco at Hamburg; Russia’s Rublev, 17, in action in Gstaad (via The National)
The Spaniard has already been defeated 12 times this year, including just a second career loss at Roland Garros and a second round exit to German journeyman Dustin Brown at Wimbledon.
In 2014, Nadal was beaten just 11 times. He was defeated only seven times in 2013 and lost a mere six matches in the whole of 2012.
“I need to accept that it is a new situation and face it with a good attitude and keep working hard to return to a good level,” said Nadal.
“I feel good. I don’t have any injuries and that is the important thing.”
- Spain’s Davis Cup roller-coaster ride continues (via espn.com)
It’s been a roller-coaster year for Spanish tennis, but the slide of Rafael Nadal and rise of Garbine Muguruza isn’t even the half of it. This past weekend, Spain dropped a 2-0 lead en route to a 3-2 loss against Russia in its Davis Cup Group I tie, leaving it facing a Group II relegation tie in the next round. Despite having more players in the top 100 than any other nation, it fielded a team with just one top-50 player, No. 21 Tommy Robredo.
- El aura de los grandes (via revistagrip.com.ar)
Todo se puede trabajar, todo se puede entrenar. Hay una cosa que es lógica, ¿no? Un Cristiano Ronaldo, un Leo Messi puede trabajar, pero hay cosas que salen naturales. Un Maradona, por mucho que entrenes, no lo puedes ser si no tienes ese don natural. Por lo cual, un Federer, yo mismo, o un Djokovic, toda esta gente, no creo que sea todo fruto tan solo del entrenamiento. Evidentemente, el entrenamiento es una parte muy importante de todo el éxito, pero creo que tiene que haber algo innato. Un don para hacer lo que sea que haga cada uno en su disciplina para ser un poquito distinto a otros.
- Rafael Nadal Pre-Hamburg Press Conference
- Rafael Nadal practicing in Hamburg (via Tennis Championships am Rothenbaum)
- Hamburg 2015: Rafael Nadal Preview Interview + Practice (via ndr.de)
- Rafael Nadal practicing in Hamburg + interview (via hamburg1.de)
- Juan Monaco on playing doubles with Rafael Nadal (via ATP World Tour)