Rafa Roundup: ‘I don’t care if people write me off,’ says Nadal

AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd
AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd


Just two spots remain in the eight-man field at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals as Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych have secured their places at the Final Showdown.

Nadal qualified for the season finale for the 11th consecutive season after reaching the semi-finals of the Shanghai Rolex Masters, one week on from a runner-up showing at the China Open in Beijing (l. to Djokovic).

Q: What are the major changes in your preparation?

A: We’re training on more specific things we hadn’t done in recent years. Returning from closer to the net, trying to concede less court. I’m trying things, even though they don’t always work perfectly. But between now and next year I have time to further develop the changes.

Q: You have seen how many times people have prematurely written off Roger Federer. Do you feel you have been prematurely written off?

A: I don’t know if I have been prematurely written off, but I don’t worry much about it. I go my own way and don’t care if people write me off. In the end, they are all opinions and everyone is entitled to have their own. All opinions are valid, providing respect is shown. But sometimes that has been lacking.

P. España está obligada a tener un mixto en los Juegos. ¿Le gustaría jugarlo con Garbiñe Muguruza?

R. Me encantaría jugarlo con Garbiñe, pero queda mucho.

P. Lo que parece claro es que el dobles lo disputará con Fernando Verdasco.

R. No es oficial. Con Fer hablamos de empezar a jugar juntos algunos torneos desde Montreal y luego ya se verá.


Rafael Nadal had a lot to smile about this week. That’s not a statement that could be made often this season, as everyone knows. But he blasted Stan Wawrinka, 6-2, 6-1, to set up a semifinal showdown at the Shanghai Masters event against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. And during that encounter, he executed what immediately became the most graceful tumble ever taken on a tennis court.


  1. OLA & VAMOS DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) Very happy for you & happy to read all the wonderful articles & interviews regarding your TOP feisty Tennis & your OUTSTANDING success with the Asia Tours – amazing !!!!!!!! : ) : ) GREAT PHOTOS & VIDEO CLIPS too : ) !!!!!!! : ) As you gather, we, your fans are all 100% convinced you played superbly & deserved to win the Semi…… ci…ci…. you have that IT factor sweetheart with your special powerful presence & fantastic Tennis know how. God bless you & THE TEAM!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) Together you move forward with enormous stride & earn Noble accomplishment. Makes me feel great just thinking of your prosperity & blessed Drive!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) Your amazing, grounded Uncle Toni & the rest of your loyal effective TEAM have been such grace for the world of Tennis!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) They are magnificent with their devoted service & loyalty to you & your Tennis success.
    Thank Goodness you (as your fans) can spot the occasional poor older former players miles away & you pay no regard to their empty irrelevant opinions & comments. They are insignificant in the scheme of your success, plus often lack tact & integrity when speaking of your game or your beloved highly respected uncle Toni & the rest of your outstanding team.
    Life goes on beautifully well, lots to be grateful for…..and with gratitude & faith we wish you all the best and look froward to seeing your fun matches next week !!! : ) !!!!!! Congratulations dear Rafa…..God bless you & THE TEAM & enjoy EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : )

    • Call me crazy, but I think I’ve seen that comment somewhere before – almost word-for-word, and several times a day. Whatever floats your boat. I guess.

  2. Due to advances in racquet and string technology, especially the latter, the pro game has changed dramatically over the last few years. It has become much more offensive, much more hard hitting, much more geared towards first strike tennis. Heavy topspin ground-strokes have been abandoned in favor of flatter, deeper, laser-like drives that put the opponent on defense. Heavy topspin is now used for passing shots and sharply angled ground-strokes, but rarely for baseline-to-baseline rally shots.

    Except for Rafa, who’s clinging to his heavy topspin shots like a baby clings to its mother. He recently said that he “needs more topspin on his forehand.” But he doesn’t. That’s the last thing he needs. What he needs is LESS topspin and more drive, more elevation and more depth on his forehand, as many expert analysts – including top coaches and former players – have pointed out repeatedly.

    A REAL coach would have figured that out for Rafa a long time ago and corrected it immediately. But unfortunately, he doesn’t have a real coach. He has his uncle, whom Rafa himself recently admitted is there because he’s “family”, not because he’s a great coach or the best coach available. That’s certainly not very professional, and not very helpful to his chances of regaining top form, overtaking Roger’s 17 major titles, and staying ahead of the rapidly closing Novak.

    • Rafa unlike you I am disappointed, if Tsonga had played fair you would have won because you gagansi 6/0 in the second round because Tsonga made believe he was destroyed to make you work alone and épuiser` you. It’s hard for you to talk like me but I’m certiane you know. Tsonga was not honest.

      • You never know…..and your point here may be a good point to consider in future matches. What’s for sure is that jo knew very well that Rafa was strong & fighting & for sure was going to take a set…. so who knows….opponents come up with tactics….jo at some point was loosing many serve points and screamed & acted out like a spoiled misbehaved brat, which I think is also a deliberate tactic to interrupt the flow of the opponent across the court…. very un sportsman like….and must be called on by the umpire & loose a point as a consequence of poor court behavior. There are several players who use this tactic , thankfully Rafa has seen plenty of such poor temper & pays zero attention & keeps going focusing on his own next winning shot.
        Rafa had fantastic returns & answers throughout the match he was aggressive & moved exceptionally well covering the court, and in short he had everything to take jo.
        Rafa won many many many points on jo’s serve games …….so it was a bummer that jo had few timely aces that made the tiny difference. Rafa was very strong & played fantastic powerful competitive match…. beautiful!!!! & was millimeters close to the Finals…..
        At this point looking ahead, the good news is that Rafa is playing beautifully with force & aggression & fantastic effective serve….so God bless him moving forward!!!!! : ) There is always opportunities and other tours.

  3. DITTO: I love Rafa too and want him to win AT LEAST three more grand slams. God bless you. Love you Rafa, Marylynn.

  4. There are countless armchair coaches; an athlete can only trust himself and those
    in their camps who have remained true from the very beginning. Criticize with respect- exactly what Rafael and Sharapova have stated. It seems that the elite players make winning look so easy; however, try doing it-never mind the heat, spectators, aggressive opponents, jet lag, etc. A winning athlete’s career is never long-only he/she can decide when their “edge” is no longer there. Fans must enjoy their stellar moments however much longer Rafael and Roger decide to play. It has been a delight to witness “live” their spectacular abilities.

  5. Rafa needs change of tactics, adds more weapons and reduces some weakness.
    Here is my suggestion:
    1) flat serve % increase, kick/slice serve % decrease,
    2) wider angle serve of the deuce court

    Returning Serve:
    1) closer to the baseline to receive the serve

    Forehand & Backhand:
    1) deeper
    2) flatter
    3) don’t slice on backhand, it only left chances for opponents to attack
    4) closer to baseline and attack, don’t try to defense and counter attack, because Rafa is not 18-25 years old

    attack mode! play more aggressive!

    I love Rafa! I want him to win 3 more grand slam at least!

    • Rafa’s recent enormous success against giants top servers & maintaining close point by point amazing feisty aggression is a solid powerful base moving forward!!!! : ) Having lots of fun playing & no outcome pressure…. I trust Rafa will indeed continue to prevail on a fantastic path !!!!! : ) : ) : )

  6. VAMOS DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) & OLA !!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) very happy for you…..enjoy your fantastic CLIMB to great ranking at the 2015 Barclay’s World Tour Finals!!!!! : ) : ) : ) Very nice…. it will be great for you!!!!!!! Thank Goodness for your personal strength & wisdom…. and for your excellent, outstanding Effective Team . Your loving family & loved ones……they are all there for you every inch of the way!!!!!! You are prevailing BIG TIME & moving ahead in Tennis….. & Charity…..& Business ….& Life….. God bless you & KUDOS DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!! : ) : )

  7. Sorry, correction on my last post.

    I BELIEVE IT MAY BE the younger fans that bash him because they need instant gratification of a win.
    I have strong support for RAFA but I will not bash trolls.
    RAFA fan forever.

    • contrairement à toi Rafa je suis décu, Si Tsonga avait joué franc jeu tu aurais gagné car tu gagansi 6/0 à la deuxième manche parce que tsonga fait croire qu’il était anéanti pour te faire travailler seul et t’épuiser`. C’est difficile pour toi de parler comme moi mais je suis certiane que tu le sais. Tsonga n’a pas été honnête.

  8. I totally agree with RAFAs’ true fans, that we don’t care about what other people think. We will support him and love him always.
    I also agree with a comment made that it’s the younger fans that bash him when he loses because they need instant gratification of a win and don’t look at milestones. RAFA is young and his level of thinking is so mature and almost philosophical that he astounds me. To accomplish all that he has so far with many injuries just defines his strength and passion.
    This year TROLLS has been supporting FOGNINI and others who beat RAFA, and writing him off of these losses.
    FACT: FOGNINI has 3 career titles in total.
    : RAFA has 67 career titles, winning 3 in 2015.
    They are 1 year apart in age.
    This is one example of a player compared to RAFA that represents maybe 90% of the field.
    I admire the big 4, because what they have achieved on a consistent basis over the last 10 years speaks volumes. I respect Novak and Roger, no hate, because I have enough LOVE for RAFA.
    RAFA fan forever.

  9. This is a great website if you are a fan of rafa’s you can find out most things and I enjoy reading most people’s comments.Everyone is entitled to their opinion Though I find some really negative which is a shame .Move in Rafa or Move on being one of them . people are not stupid maybe Rafa won’t win another grand slam but that’s not all that matters as Rafa himself has said. if winning grand slams is the be and end all most of the other players who have been around for years and never won one might as well hang up their rackets now.I admire Rafa for playing on and not one who goes out while at the top because their ego is to big to see someone else overtake them.I would also love to know how you know the minds of other players and their opion on Toni Nadal.Now Rafa is not winning you can say this but you could look at it as a couple of years ago every player wanted him as their coach when Rafa was winning. He is the coach who has helpef Rafa achieve all that he has .I also think you should read up on Toni Nadal and you would find that since 2013 he has had sole possession of the top position on the history of tennis with 12 grand slam titles as a coach (now 14)

    • Wake up and smell the coffee Maria. Toni is Rafa’s “coach” because of his family connection, not because of his coaching ability, as Rafa himself recently admitted. He’s a “coach” in name only. He has zero experience coaching other touring pros, and zero experience playing on the tour himself, which means he has little or nothing to offer Rafa in terms of knowledge and expertise. He taught Rafa how to play the game when he was a kid, but he’s been self-taught and self-coached ever since. If he had employed a REAL coach all these years, Rafa would’ve won 20 slams by now, IMHO. You say other players wanted to hire Toni as their coach. Name one. And provide the quote. I’m all ears.

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