Rafa Roundup: Maria Sharapova wants more respect for Rafael Nadal

Photo via Nike Tennis
Photo via Nike Tennis


The current loss of Nadal vs. Federer is, to tennis fans, like the removal of the Red Sox from the Yankees’ schedule. Rafa and Roger isn’t just a rivalry. It is a brand, a monument to tennis, a reason for huge purses and TV audiences. They are a reason to watch and care.

Will Nadal become Nadal again before Federer starts taking the court in a walker? Will their next head-to-head be on the senior tour? Are we ready to let it go and prepare ourselves for the Federer-Fognini rivalry? Are you kidding?

These are just a few points in a long match, but essential points because Nadal became Nadal by paying attention to detail. Look back on his matches of old and you’ll see all the times he was close to defeat before turning a match in his favor with a few shots. This is not easy to do, and Nadal may never do it as well as he used to do it. But he’s still not too old or broken down to do it for a while longer. He says he’s getting closer, and he sounds like he knows what he’s talking about.

Nadal can come back, but he is finding it increasingly difficult. The reason, almost certainly, lies deep in his heart. He has loved tennis all his life, except for a couple of dips when things have not gone well, notably in 2009 after his parents split up. That deep love may have gone for good, replaced by golf and assertions that all is well.

But as Nadal says, whether winning or losing: “Is only sport, no?”

Nadal has won these kinds of close matches recently. There’s no reason he can’t recapture that luck — or skill in the clutch, or whatever it was — and turn around his losing streak in lottery matches.

When you woke up on Saturday morning you may have asked yourself, as you scrolled through the tweets on your phone and shook your head in growing disbelief: How in the world did Fabio Fognini, of all people, come back to beat Rafael Nadal, of all people, from two sets and a break down at the U.S. Open?

Sscreenshot: Twitter.com/MariaSharapova

Maria Sharapova took to Twitter today to give Rafael Nadal and his fans a boost. Sharapova showed compassion for Nadal and, like many of his fans, is apparently growing weary of reading negative things about the Spaniard as he struggles to find his game in 2015.

… Nadal took the court in a black and gray camo top emblematic of his indomitable spirit. He looked fierce, and the pink Nike swoosh on his headband seemed like a subtle way of reminding his great rival Federer that he too can dabble in the flamboyant.




    • I too just wish to send my condolences to the Nadal family and will be thinking of them all during this very difficult time and as Fan love says I hope your grandpa will rest in peace <3 🙂 love you Rafa and hope to see you back playing soon 🙂

  1. I really like to know why RAFA plays so many short balls. I am watching women 4th round match S. Halep vs Lisicki right now and both of them play long shots almost touching the base line. considering women have less power , It puzzles me why Rafa return shots are so short. Any expert here to comment?

    • Indeed, well said heather pitter-clark!!!!! Rafa is A GIFT TO TENNIS……he is moving forward, improving, & continues to be the classy GOAT he is!!!!!!!!!!

    • Umh……that was then, the dynamics have since changed!
      Don’t live on past glory.
      Analyse Rafa well now and you’d see a new Rafa who decidedly is tired and ready to sleep and wake up on his 14 GS laurels…………..Hence his famous sad comments: ”Tennis is just a game” ”Life is more than Tennis”
      Those are comments that can only come from a completely unmotivated, complacent and perhaps dejected person. Sad.
      While fans are busying worrying themselves that Rafa can match/surpass Federer’s 17 GS titles, Rafa clearly has lost the desire for such gargantuan achievements. For Rafa, it is”If it comes, good; if it doesn’t come, good”.The world will not end.

      • You are entitled to your views, obviously, but your argument would have more authority if you knew that Rafa has made those same comments about tennis being only a game throughout his career, not just now. You’ve just rendered a whole portion of your argument invalid by not possessing that knowledge.

      • Rafa is now world number 1, he has won 16 GS (17 GS within a few days), he won 900 matches and he is going to win many more titles. With that being said, I’m really sorry to tell you this but Rafa was the best tennis player and he still is the best! Sorry not sorry, honey! 😘
        I wish you all the best and go fuck yourself, sweetheart! 😙
        Rafa is the best! So, Vamos Rafa! 👑

  2. Novak, Roger and Andy all had slumps in their careers and took on the help of fresh eyes (ie ex Grand Slam winners as coaches) and the results have been great. Rafa Nadal to me is Mr Tennis himself I admire him to much. Uncle Tony has done a wonderful job but getting a little help at this time can do no harm. Tennis will not be the same for me without Nadal. It’s because of him I became hooked on the game. The media give him a pretty hard time and he handles it all like the gentleman he is. Regardless, he must do what he feels is right for him which I’m sure he’ll do. Many more Slams to come Rafa….Vamos !!!!!

  3. Be love you always no matters whatever happens you will be always my hero of tennis court.

  4. Everybody respects Nadal, the only ones who make so much noise are some of the Federer’s fans, the losers. Hope Rafa plays better and better and will be able to reach the 17 to shut their mouths

  5. Kudos to Maria Sharapova, a champion in her own right, for showing respect to
    Rafael Nadal. We have heard players who have never won one slam, but have the audacity to label champions as “boring”, speak out. Someone who spouts
    absolute garbage gets the excuse that he is young and colourful. Win a slam;
    maybe we will listen when you talk tennis, not trash.

    Listen to someone who has been there, and done “the hard yards” as Fed has said. Anyone with a remote can be an armchair coach or psychologist. Enjoy
    Roger and Rafa as they compete for as long as they want. Appreciate!

  6. I have been out of my country for a couple of days leaving my daughter back to University so I am just catching up on this fantastic website and comments. Rafa will be back to “Rafa” make no mistake. He and his team will re evaluate and know what they need to do for 2016! I know it has been an awful year for us longtime Rafa fans and we are sad right now but Rafa will give his all and I will go as far as to say Rafa will win Rolland Garros next year! Vamos Rafa!

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