Rafa Roundup: Nadal says he needs more consistency

Photo: EPA/Daniel Bockwoldt
Photo: EPA/Daniel Bockwoldt

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Rafael Nadal’s summer excursion in Hamburg continued with another victory on Thursday, but the king of clay had his share of struggles. In the end Nadal triumphed over the 6’6” Jiri Vesely, 6-4, 7-6(2), despite the fact that he struggled to find rhythm on the forehand and the serve.

His potential opponents in the last two rounds, should he get by Cuevas and the seeds hold, would be 4th-seeded Andreas Seppi in the semis and 8th-seeded Fabio Fognini in the final.

The 2008 champion now holds a 23-6 match record on clay this season as he looks to add to his 46 clay-court titles.

“I think I played a good match,” said Nadal. “Something that I am proud of today, very happy with, [is] my attitude and [I’m] very happy with the way that I played. I just need a little bit more consistency.”

Nadal, who’s ranked No. 10 and is top-seeded in Hamburg despite being a late wild-card entry, also needs ranking points. He needs them badly if he hopes to be among the top eight seeds at the major hard-court events. If he can slip into the top eight, he will avoid a meeting with a Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic before the quarterfinals.

That also helps explain why Nadal asked for the wild card into Hamburg after he was unexpectedly knocked out of Wimbledon in the second round by Dustin Brown.

Nothing wrong with that. In fact, Nadal would have been crazy to pass up the chance to play Hamburg, what with 500 ATP ranking points on offer and No. 21Tommy Robredo the next highest-ranked player on the entry list. Should Nadal win, he will leapfrog over No. 9 Marin Cilic and No. 8 Milos Raonic and find safe haven.

Gane o pierda, brille o no lo haga, los partidos de Rafael Nadal (6-4 y 7-6 a Jiri Vesely) en los últimos tiempos se traducen en una especie de penitencia. Cada bola, cada movimiento o cada golpeo se convierten en un ejercicio autocrítico del español, sometido a su propio juicio (y al ajeno) una y otra vez, afligido la mayor parte del tiempo que permanece sobre la pista. Nadal, ahora en el décimo peldaño del ránking, juega como si tuviera que demostrarse una vez sí y otra también que lo vale, que aún es un tenista competitivo; que lo conseguido conseguido está, pero que aún le queda cuerda para bailar entre los gigantes del circuito.

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7 comments

  1. saber que està luchando con lo que sòlo èl sabe ya es motivo de satisfacciòn.de lucha permanente y afàn de superaciòn. que no es poca cosa para cada ser humano y ha dado muestras màs que suficientes por las que debemos seguir confiando en su recuperaciòn y respetar sus tiempos .no importa cùanto tiempo le lleve yo estarè siendo testigo vivo en esta tarea y disfrutando de su ejemplo a seguir .persevera y triunfaràs RAFAEL vamosssssssss

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  2. Dear Rafa: Good luck and many blessings during your quarter final match today. I hope you play well and win. So, do what you know you need to do to be victorious – I want to see you in the semifinal tomorrow. May God bless you and keep you healthy. Love, Marylynn

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  3. VAMOS DEAR RAFA!!!!! : ) It is always a pleasure to watch your interviews & be reminded of your sincerity & champion star quality that is apart of your good character!!!! : ) You are precious & so important to tennis!!!!!: ) It is so nice to watch you play and how you find your own creative ways to win matches …… ci….ci…. Congratulations on all your amazing wins thus far!!!! : ) Each match unique & beautiful in its own way and SUCH FUN TO WATCH!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!! I admire your fitness & speed & improved serve & your unique strong shots, & your ongoing ability to keep relevant & highly competitive ……..KODUS TO YOU & YOUR MAGNIFICENT LOYAL TEAM!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!! : ) : )
    It will be a great match today & your fantastic game, movement & quickness will come handy!!!!! : ) Have lots & lots of of fun sweetheart & enjoy your beautiful attitude & strong determination & passion!!!!!: ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) & God bless you !!!! : )

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  4. It is rather strange that Rafael cannot see that the way he is playingis a shadow of how he used to play. There is no point in finding excuses. I would rather see him stop playing than to watch his matches these days.

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