Rafa Roundup: “I have the motivation to improve every day and that is what I am doing my whole career,” says Nadal

Spain's Rafael Nadal jubilates after returning a ball to Croatia's Marin Cilic during their quarter final match at the Swiss Indoors tennis tournament at the St. Jakobshalle in Basel, Switzerland, Friday, Oct. 30, 2015. (Alexandra Wey/Keystone via AP)
Photo: Alexandra Wey/Keystone via AP


Cilic’s second serve and forehand fell apart at critical stages. His sixth double fault followed by a forehand into the net gave Nadal the break to start the third set. Using the deep no-pace slice to draw errors from the Croatian’s forehand, Nadal saved a pair of break points for 3-1.

Slashing a diagonal forehand winner, Nadal earned three match points. He closed the two hour, 13-minute match when Cilic pushed a forehand volley wide.

It marked the third consecutive three-setter for Nadal, who had previously gone the distance against Lukas Rosol (1-6, 7-5, 7-6(4)) and Grigor Dimitrov (6-4, 4-6, 6-3). But he looked anything but physically spent, breaking Cilic to both open and close the set.

He afterward talked of finding solutions, a common theme this year as he has fought to regain his form: “It’s trying to find solutions when the match was difficult. I think he was playing great. After 4-4, and the break, I tried to change a little bit the position on the return. It’s a great win for me.

“I have the motivation to improve every day and that is what I am doing my whole career. I’m working hard to find the feeling and mental strength. So after a lot of work, it is a very important victory for me.”

Rafael Nadal will join forces with veteran doubles champion Leander Paes in next week’s BNP Paribas Masters in Paris.

It will be Nadal’s first appearance in the Paris doubles field since 2009 when he teamed with Juan Monaco in a first-round loss.

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal rallies from set down to beat Marin Cilic in Basel



  1. Rafa didnt need our prayers Great Thinker as the results show .Your predictions were wrong and being a fan of Rafa you should know that Rafa never under estimates any of his opponents no matter what their ranking is

  2. VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Rafa just broke back to 5 ; 5 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! VAMOS!!!!!!!!!! I pray the pill the Swiss med aid gave Rafa did not hamper his speed….. VAMOS SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GO…..GO……GO……

  3. VAMOS DEAR RAFA !!!!!!!!!!!!!! GREAT CHALLENGE……….BALL WAS IN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) GOd bless you….YOU LOOK GREAT OUT THERE!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) VAMOS…..VAMOS…..VAMOS……

  4. You can do it again today Rafa, its going to be a hard match as Gasqet needs this win to get to the O2 but as a commentator said if there was one person you would want to fight for your life it would be Rafa and he got that spot on . you need to get to the final to play Roger as I feel this will bring the Rafa we all love and know back to the top

  5. Rafaluna is playing with a different attitude than he has had for more than a year (in which he lost and lost and lost). This brings him back a step closer to his best. He is by far not there yet though. Should he play Fed tomorrow, he will get punished very hard, I am afraid.

  6. What a great Champion you are! You have given so much entertainment with your amazing tennis to millions of people globally through the years and still you continue to give of your best! Looking forward to watching your match today against Richard… Vamos Rafa!

  7. What an interesting pairing of Rafael and Leander Paes in the doubles in Paris. Too amazing champions. I love the way he tries new things. Going to Paris on very early on Thursday so hoping to see Rafael in singles and doubles.

    • So far, So good.
      However, Great Thinker advises Rafa not to underestimate Richard at all!
      He has learnt a lot from the whippings received from Rafa over the years and will be all out (like Thomas Berdych at the AO) to exact a pound of revenge. Besides, Richard has seriously improved in recent years almost upsetting Novak at Wimby!

      Great Thinker predicts a very tough match for Nadal, a very close match.
      Great Thinker predicts a very tight 3-setter 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 for whoever the winner will be.

      All fans and fanatics of Rafa are hereby advised to pray in unison for Rafa as from 14:00hrs CAT.

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