Rafa Roundup: ‘I have no doubt that I missed you more than you missed me’

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates victory after his men's singles match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during day two of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at O2 Arena on November 16, 2015 in London, England. (Nov. 15, 2015 - Source: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe

ARTICLES:

The Swiss tossed in 35 unforced errors and was broken four times in 15 opportunities.

But take no credit from Nadal, who was engaged from start to finish and who displayed quite a bit of punch from the baseline when it was demanded of him. The Spaniard finished with a tidy statline: 18 winners against only 12 unforced and swept aside two of the three break points he faced.

“I think I played a solid match,” said Nadal, who registered 18 winners to 12 unforced errors. “I had one bad game, the first one of the match. But then immediately I was playing well. I played the way that I wanted to play. I played aggressive. I played with not many mistakes.”

Doubts obviously remain as to whether Nadal can get back anywhere close to the form that previously took him to the No.1 spot in the world. Wednesday’s clash against Andy Murray should provide further evidence.

“Is an opportunity for me to compete against the No.2 of the world, a player who had a great season, a fantastic player in every surface, but especially in this one he likes to play,” said Nadal. “I’m excited to play that match. I only take that match like an opportunity to play against him, to try to play a good match. I going to try.”

It’s true that Wawrinka blasted himself off the court, but Rafa was hitting the ball well, too. He timed Stan’s first serve, he powered his forehand to both corners with confidence, he made just 12 errors, and he came up with a stroke of improvised brilliance that I had never seen from him before: Down break point, Nadal caught up to an angled Wawrinka volley and lifted an underspin crosscourt forehand lob over Stan’s head for a winner.

When it was over, Rafa, who was recovering from an appendectomy at this time last year, said this to the crowd:

“I have no doubt that I missed you more than you missed me.”

I do have my doubts about that, Rafa.

The Spaniard was able to clearly frustrate Wawrinka, who rushed between points, and could not put together a clear game plan to counter Nadal’s key patterns. Wawrinka was often out of sorts, and Nadal must get most of the credit for that.

The rebuilding stage for Nadal is now in full flight. Key patterns are being correctly executed, and confidence is building.

“I go day by day, that’s all,” Nadal said in his post-match interview, clearly happy with his performance. That’s how a champion is made in our great game.

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates victory in his men's singles match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during day two of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at O2 Arena on November 16, 2015 in London, England. (Nov. 15, 2015 - Source: Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe)
Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe

PHOTOS: Rafa wins opening ATP World Tour Finals match against Stan

VIDEOS:

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Rafa Roundup: ‘I have no doubt that I missed you more than you missed me’

  1. MOVE ON.!!!SOMEOFF YOUR COMMENTS ARE STUPID.RAFA IS ON HIS WAY BACK,AND LETS FACE IT HE KNOWS ALL THE ANSWERS, HE BEEN THERE!!!! HE KNOW WHAT IS NEEDED , 1 MATCH HELPS HIM LIFT HIS SPIRIT HE WILL GO ON UP, NEGATIVE COMMENTS WILL NOT HELP. BUT LETS FACE IT HE WILL NEVER HAVE TO WORK AGAIN , IF HE WISHES NOT TO , THATS A WINNERS CHOICE MAYBE NOT YOURS
    VAMOSS RAFA XXX

    Like

  2. Gen

    I agree, Stan was playing well and because RAFA was playing well also at the same time he started to become impatient. I have noticed this with Stan, he wants to be in control and when this doesn’t happen he doesn’t have a plan B to fall back on. He throws mini tantrums like Kyrgios. Hence the reason, for his up and down performances and career I guess.

    Then the media runs with, ‘Stan didn’t play well and gave the match’. The commies were so upset by his ‘lack of’ and NO credit to RAFA.

    Professional athletes like RAFA fight until the end regardless of the score. I guess this is innate to RAFA whom I admire greatly.

    I have lost some respect for Stan by NOT giving RAFA the credit he deserved yesterday and NOT correcting the media with the assessment of the match. He just said he behaved badly. This is okay because he’s #4 in the ranking. (sarcasm)

    Anyway, RAFA we follow and support you because of your PROFESSIONALISM and simply a good human being.

    RAFA fan forever.

    Like

    1. Carol

      Wawrinka always has been a bad loser and yesterday he acted that way one more time. He was fairly beaten and he woke up of his ‘good dreams’

      Like

  3. Ashish

    It is easy to say stan was not playing well….actually stan was playing very well in 1 set its rafa level cause his level to drop in 2 nd
    But it was so important for rafa to play stan many times after ao 14 ….to regain his confidence over stan again

    Rafa best luck for ur next match
    As i always say rafa please put ur shots beyond service box area and dont forget the body serve

    Like

  4. Marylynn

    The best of luck tomorrow Rafa. I’ll be hoping, praying and cheering for you. Stay calm, and play in the moment. Lose any self doubt you may have. I hope you do not have any self doubt. You played great against Stan. Please do not lose the baseline and try to take the ball on the rise as much as possible; and come to net when you need to as that is a winning strategy. I guess I am nervous because I am rambling advice. I want so much for you to be victorious. I really do. But most importantly, I hope you remain healthy and pain free (always). God bless you Rafa. Love ya, Marylynn.

    Like

  5. canaDiana

    Stay tough and keep fighting. Put your passion in your self-belief. There is a completely different complexion to a major tournament when Nadal is not there.
    No one provides the same excitement when Rafael is on his game👊👊👊👊👊

    Like

  6. Maria

    Good luck to Rafa tomorrow you can do it.what a brilliant match that Roger Hastings just played defeating Novak and by quite a big margin in the second set well done Roger

    Like

  7. Move In Rafa Or Move On

    Rafa raised his level yesterday against Stan. Not his A game, but not far from it. I would give him an A- or B+. 18 winners versus 12 unforced errors is an excellent ratio. He also served and returned serve much better than usual. Still hitting far too many short balls that he won’t get away with against Novak, Roger, Andy or any other in-form top player. Stan was not in-form yesterday, but Rafa deserves some of the credit for that. Let’s not forget that it was just ONE match. That’s the easy part. Maintaining that level – and improving upon it – is the hard part.

    Like

  8. elaine

    I heard Rafa say that beautiful comment last night at his courtside interview after the match and thought it was such à lovely thing to say. He is so happy to be back at the O2. Vamos Rafa!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s