Rafa Roundup: Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal in Delhi?

Photo: Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images
Photo: Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images

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It was close to impossible to imagine one of the greatest tennis rivalries unfolding on Indian soil, but thanks to the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), the tennis lovers in Delhi will be able to see Roger Federer taking on Rafael Nadal later this year on December 12.

The IPTL, which begins its second season later this year on December 2, will bring the two iconic stars to the Indian capital when the Indian Aces take on the UAE Royals.

All season we’ve been trying to figure out what exactly is ailing Rafael Nadal on a tennis court, but it has not proven to be an easy task. On some days the forehand lands short and opponents take advantage. But why is the forehand short? And against which type of attack? Is Nadal struggling while stretched out to the forehand side? Has he lost a step?

This week we’ve been studying his every move in Hamburg. And, truth be told, it’s difficult to tell if there really is anything technical or physical that is hampering Nadal. On some points he dazzles, ripping ferocious forehands that bend and buzz. Yet, on others, he appears lost, as if he’s not even comfortable holding the racquet in his hands. It’s hard to tell from one point to the next which Nadal is going to step up and hit the ball.

Top seed Rafael Nadal cruised into the semi-finals of the bet-at-home Open on Friday in Hamburg as he defeated fifth seed Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 6-2.

The Spaniard broke serve five times from 11 opportunities and won 70 per cent of his service points to claim victory in 72 minutes.

Nadal is looking to extend his streak of having won at least one European clay-court title every year since 2004. The former top-ranked player has dropped to No. 10 in the world.

Though Nadal did benefit from 27 unforced errors and six double faults from Cuevas, he was the better player throughout, and he was a more relaxed striker of the ball from the baseline than he was on Thursday in his victory over Jiri Vesely.

Después del borrroso triunfo frente a Vesely —33 errores no forzados y siete dobles faltas—, un buen ejercicio de fiabilidad para alimentar la autoestima. Nadal ofreció solidez en el servicio (retuvo el 76% de los puntos con primeros y el 55% con segundos; Cuevas solo un 61% y un 30%, respectivamente) y afinó los golpes (10 errores, por los 27 del uruguayo). Gozó, por fin, de una jornada de baño y masaje. Ya era hora.

“Conozco a Rafa bastante, he entrenado mucho con él y la relación es buenísima. Estar compartiendo pista con el que probablemente ha sido el mejor de la historia para mí es de las mejores cosas que me pueden pasar. Aprendes y ves desde dentro cómo es la situación, qué es realmente lo que pasa”, explica Munar en una entrevista realizada en Radiogaceta de los deportes de RNE.

Photo: Tennis Championships am Rothenbaum
Photo: Tennis Championships am Rothenbaum

PHOTOS: Nadal eases into Hamburg SFs

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2 comments

  1. VAMOS DEAR RAFA!!!!!!! : ) : ) Congratulations sweetheart on playing so solid with such superb court coverage, superb movement and extending such strong serving , and putting forth powerful returns!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!! : ) : ) Have fun today & play your own game w your fantastic endurance & beautiful determination!!!!!: ) It will be a great match ….enjoy all your amazing tennis w each point!!!!!: ) : ) : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!! : ) & God bless you!!!! : )

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