Rafa Roundup: ‘It was not my obsession to catch Roger Federer,’ says Nadal

Julian Finney/Getty Images
Julian Finney/Getty Images


“I’m going to fight. I’m going to do [it] my way,” said the 29-year-old. “When I was No. 2 and Roger was No. 1, it was not my obsession to catch Roger [Federer]. My obsession was to improve my game and do it my way. For me, it’s the same thing today. My motivation is to keep going, and I have been doing that already. I know if I am playing well again, then I can fight. If I can fight, I can compete well [many] times in a row against the best players. So I think I’m going to be good competitor again if I recover my level.”

Speaking at the official launch event in Shanghai, 2009 Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal – in fine form after reaching the final of the China Open in Beijing – is excited about the first Grand Slam of 2016.

“Every year I look forward to play in Melbourne, I have great memories of not only winning the title but each year is a great experience for me as a player,” Nadal said.

“It’s fantastic to play at the ‘Happy Slam’ and for us, it’s true – we love to play the Australian Open and we’re always happy to be there. It’s exciting to launch the event here in Shanghai. Tennis has become so popular in Asia and it’s great to share our sport of tennis with all our fans.”

As confirmed by a PokerStars representative, now that Nadal is no longer part of the SportStars Team, the poker room plans to shift its marketing initiatives from tennis to football and make the most of the two biggest stars in the team: Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr..

“Our strategy and work with Rafa has led our strategy to evolve, and consequently, our current focus in on working with Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr.”

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal and Rod Laver launch Australian Open 2016 in Shanghai



  1. Love your attitude Rafa!!! You play tennis on YOUR TERMS! You are your own man, as we say in the “States”!!! Keep on doing what you like doing! It always worked for you during your marvelous tennis career; it will still work for you NOW!!! VAMOS, RAFA!!!

  2. VAMOS DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!: ) : ) Rafa Just broke opponent serve to make 5:5 !!!!!!!!!!!! Rafa is looking SO GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God bless him!!!!! Rafa is leading 6:5 ….gliding smoothly and the crowd is adoring him!!!!!!!!!!! VAMOS & God bless you dear Rafa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Rafa had an ACE on his very first serve in the game……..HAWKEYE showed that clearly, and the crowd clapped……bummer the umpire miscalled….. hope Rafa will use his challenges…..

  4. Interesting interview. Terrific to see the life return to Rafa. He is way to young to have been over. His attitude seems to have recovered.

    Go Rafa

  5. I have stood where Rafa is on the waterfront in Shanghai, with the radio tower in the background! Good luck Rafa” VAMOS

  6. That is why you draw people to you…is that mindset you have to fight to compete in your way that make us to go to tennis match to see you play! We simply love you!

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