Rafa Roundup: Here’s Why Rafa Will Never Forget His First Professional Match

2003. Un visage encore enfantin. Mais déjà perce sous le regard juvénile un caractère en acier trempé au cours de cette année 2003, qui le voit intégrer pour la première fois le Top 100, au mois d'avril, à 16 ans et 10 mois. Il ne le quittera plus.
Rafael Nadal (2003)


Which do you take, the Rafa of 2015, who failed to reach the semis at any of the majors, or the Rafa of all the years before, who is reflected in his intimidating 61-15 record against his three opponents in this group? Nadal has never won on the low-bouncing court in London, even during his best years; at the same time, he has had his best and healthiest fall season in a decade in 2015. The crucial match could come against Murray; Rafa has dominated him in the past, but Murray turned the tables in the Madrid final this spring.

Day 1 will also host a battle of the big-servers as South African world No 12 Kevin Anderson faces Canada’s world No 14 Milos Raonic. Therefore, Wawrinka, the two-time grand slam champion, and former world No 1 Rafael Nadal both received byes into the second day of MWTC.

The winner of the Ferrer-Tsonga contest will take on Nadal for a place in the final, with Wawrinka awaiting the outcome of the Anderson-Raonic match.

When things don’t go right, you have to look outside and make up your own mind. Is it necessary to bring somebody in? I don’t know if he needs to bring somebody in but he probably needs to have a listen to some people’s opinions.

Would I be willing to help him? Yes, I know what’s wrong. But nobody has asked me. I’m a real stickler with technique and there’s not many players’ coaches out there who can break it down. I’ve broken it down and I know what he does.

Nadal appeared on the computer four years and two days after Federer, winning his first points in Seville, Spain, in September 2001. They came in a Challenger, where, like Nishikori, he had a wild card and was guaranteed a point, win or lose. He won, beating his fellow Spaniard Israel Matos Gil, 6-4, 6-4, before losing to Stefano Galvini of Italy.

Nadal remembers it well, but the more vivid memory is what happened a week earlier, when he played his first pro tournament and lost to another Spaniard, the 731st-ranked Guillermo Platel, in three sets in the first round of a Futures in Madrid.

“I lost, I think, with three match points, and that was very tough,” he said. “But what made it a particularly tragic day came after, when just in the moment I left the court after losing my first point, there was the news about the twin towers. It was a day that was impossible to forget for humanity in general.”

Rafael Nadal played for Spain in the Davis Cup final after the World Tour Finals in 2009 and 2011, and does not see the transition as a big deal.

He said: ‘We can create a story but at the end of the day we are competing in different tournaments in a period of time shorter than there is between here and the final of Davis Cup.

‘You have four days in between that you can adapt. You have time enough to prepare yourself for the final and it will be not a big problem for Andy. He’s an amazing, talented player.’

AUDIO: The Tennis Podcast: Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal. Who will win World Tour Finals? (via The Telegraph)



  1. Congrats RAFA, you played very well. Great job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Unto the next match, according to a WISE man – one point at a time, one match at a time. RAFA you WILL get back to your ultimate best sure and steady. Guess what?? your loyal fans are always with you.

    RAFA fan forever.

  2. VAMOS DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) Rafa just broke w leading 4:1 in 2nd SET !!!!!!!!! : ) Our champion is doing it ….gliding & sliding with his BEAUTIFUL STRONG SHOTS & MAGNIFICENT TENNIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!……. VAMOS SWEETHEART & NICE to see on the screen all your family and girlfriend & GREAT TEAM !!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : )

  3. TV replay of w serve showed it was out in this 1st serve game …RAFA had a sense it was OUT but did not challenge…..DEAR RAFA PLEASE USE CHALLENGES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. VAMOS DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) Rafa is playing AGGRESSIVELY & broke right back !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is looking great out there!!!!!!!!!!!!! GREAT PLAY SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. VAMOS DEAR RAFA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) have a beautiful day & lots & lots of fun playing ….it will be a fantastic fabulous match for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) Lots of love & happiness to you & to THE TEAM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : )

  6. Pat Cash please keep your big Aussie mouth shut! You wish you had achieved as many trophies

    as Nadal. Vamos Rafa Good Luck and stay healthy at least you bring passion to the game.

    The rest are so boring!!!

    • Nothing new here….it is always obvious & rather smelly self interest when old unpopular former players try to make their light weight way to Rafa’s genius team….. especially when no one is asking for their advice. They try to come across as “helpers” when in fact the only wish to help their none fame status and pocket & try to ride a parasite ride on Rafa’s hard earned success. Thankfully, intelligent Rafa , uncle Toni & THE TEAM do not buy such comments or nonsense advice for ” help ” .
      Watching Replays of every single RAFA’S older matches, you will fairly easily see how they were all subjectively covered and you will notice the many light air comments that were made . True Tennis fans are well aware of the uncalled poor coverage over the years, and it continues to be evident that there is & always was ridiculous shameless bias coverage. That is in part exactly what gives Rafa his world wide success, global popularity & high respect for his heroic efforts & outstanding accomplishments.
      Similarly here….if indeed Pat Cash tried to self prompt his service as quoted in the above article, it sounds empty words much like the notion of having other old unpopular former players give their empty advice.

      • Excellent comment, Fan Love. You are a true fan, and I appreciate you.

        Besides, wasn’t it Mr. Pat Cash who declared Rafa’s tennis boring a few years back? Seems rather duplicitous of him that he would want to offer helpful advice now, and rather egotistical that he would think Rafa would accept it.

      • genius team? really? .Rafa has been in slump for almost two years and he could win 6-7 GSs if he had a real coach and not to lose to Djokovic 7 times in a row at his prime.

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