Rafa Roundup: Rafa hopes 2016 will be better for him

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: Rafael Nadal of Spain waves goodbye to the crowd after his straight sets defeat by Novak Djokovic of Serbia during the men's singles semi final match on day seven of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at O2 Arena on November 21, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images


“I was not able to think about Novak for the whole season,” Nadal told reporters. “I have been playing in another league. Seems like the last month-and-a-half, two months, I was in this league, I am in this top league. So my motivation and my goal is try to keep being in that top league, that is the top five, top four of the world. That’s my goal, and we’ll see if I am able to keep doing this.”

Nadal has been playing well, too, as his early-season struggles have disappeared over the last few months. He is 17-5 since losing in the third round of the U.S. Open, his most wins ever in that period.

That, he hopes, will bode well for next year.

“We’ll see,” Nadal said. “2016 going to be a new year. Hopefully better one for me.”

Nadal was very clear about why he lost: It was the perfection of the Djokovic game.

“Everything. Hitting amazing. Well, the return always amazing. This year he serving great, I think. And then he is able to play with no mistakes and changing directions so easy, playing so, so long. He’s doing everything good.

“He was better than me and he deserved to do what he did during the whole season. He played just fantastic. When somebody’s doing like this, the only thing I can do is congratulate him and [smiling] just wish not the best of luck for the next year.”

“Novak for the moment is almost unbeatable,” the Manacor native said. “The only thing you can do is congratulate him. But things are like this today. What Novak is doing is just amazing. It is obvious that it’s true if somebody can do it, it’s him, but it’s not easy to stay at that high level four years in a row or five years in a row.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: Rafael Nadal of Spain leaves the court after losing against Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the semi final during the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals on Day Seven at O2 Arena on November 21, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Lynn added: “It was a day that the whole family won‘t forget, that’s for sure. It’s not every day you get the chance to watch your idol up close, and then meet him afterwards. The smile on Joseph’s face shows just how happy it made him. We just don’t know how to thank Rays of Sunshine, Nadal, and his team, enough.”

Rafael Nadal said: “It was an absolute pleasure to meet Joseph.”

PHOTOS: Djokovic knocks Rafa out of ATP Finals


  1. Great to see Rafa back in the Brat Pack.
    A lot of positive to take onto 2016.
    Congratulations for a good end of the season.
    See you next year.

  2. I dont like ‘if’ but just want to ask what if rafa matches with fed number of gs with same team whether people asking to change his team will change their view

    One thing to be noted before
    Rafa is 3 gs short of what i said above with same team

    And it still doesnt mean rafa fan should not suggest rafa for some change…..but should be with more respect to his team

  3. Agree 100% with everything said by Jill Eldridge, Sharina Blevins, Carol, Su Fun Chow and Elizabeth Howard. Agree 200% with Marylynn. Improve your first serve, Rafa, and continue to be aggressive. Get up to the net more, you are a superb volleyer.

    Cannot admire too much Rafa’s dignity, honesty, modesty and sweet nature, after such a tough season. You cannot fake these qualities. His genuiness and integrity shine through.


  5. I’m very happy with the way Rafa has played during the latter part of this season because he usually does not do very well after the US Open, but he pleasantly surprised his fans by playing well at the season ending ATP tournament. He just needs to tweak his cross court forehand shots a little bit more and then he’ll be ready for a full fledged attack in his game. Have a great Xmas time and come back in 2016 with renewed passion to play great tennis Rafa!

  6. it easy for all to say here but actually nadal have to face on court
    novak got a clear plan against rafa from FO 15 , that dont engage in long rallies with rafa and hit ht drop shot and if rafa chases down hit a good lob ( this year his lob is so perfect i guess he is lucky that the ball landing on baselines many times) so rafa needs to work out a good drop shot with great angle against this plan himself so the lob can’t land on court

    i think novak this year got a range of ball speed and court and because he constant position near baseline he knows how much energy to put on the balls to get that depth ….it happens when u practice that constantly and it comes to the point when u r actually hansds know how much energy to put into the shot to hit that longer depth…obviously when u get that long depth constantly on ur shots u know the opponent will hit some ball short or take them to awkward position to hit ball in court and of course make hard to chase it so to counter attack either rafa needs himself to hit that long depth so he can hit short (just look previous match when rafa hit a good depth novak hitted short) or to have superb defense from back off the court and in that case still have the ability to hit shots beyond service box area…. or make novak nervous by taking a game or set away from him or lastly hope he is away from court for long time

    in regard to change of directions when rafa hits cross courts backhand at good angle and when the ball comes back he tries to hit backhand down the line instead of crosscourt forehand to get more dead angle and good directions

    against novak u need to hit good fiirst serve return to build on the point and as rafa said this year novak serve is coming off really good for him so even if player gets break point and opponent hit back to back 3 aces to take the game away from u then nothing can u do but try to do same thing again and hope next time opponent won’t hit aces

    and of course the down the line forehand and body serve and slice is good shots against novak for rafa

    at this time novak is in zone and to keep continuing year after year is hard thing to do

    but make no mistake rafa knows the best what he needs to do for winning grandsalms since the ultimate challenge is to find a way against roger and novak in winning him a granslam

    rafa do have close look on ur tension of strings and i’m definitely sure next time u faces novak u will have a upper hand

    have healthy holiday and great rest
    vamos rafa vamos

    • Absolutely right! So sad that uncle Toni is too stubborn to know that. Novak had caught up Rafa’s game since after FO 2014. He really dominates when meeting Rafa.
      Sure, uncle Toni wants the best for Rafa but he should know that he is not the best coach in the world. There are many others who are willing to help and he should seek for the answer now.
      Rafa is 29 now and uncle Toni should know that before it’s too late.
      The topspin forehand crosscourt has no damage to Novak’s backhand. Rafa should listen to Pat Cash and try to work more on the flat shot. It will also save his knee from injuries.
      I also noticed that Novak ‘s forehand is not that devastating. Whenever Rafa hits with full depth and power, Novak often has error on his forehand. So to defeat him (and get back to world num1 as he is the only one who could defeat Rafa that easily) Rafa has to improve his forehand down the line. Stop attacking his backhand like the first set of FO2014 and try to attack more on his forehand when the time is right like 3 set of FO2014. Also, Rafa’s serve is terrible.

      But again, the season is finished and i am always a Rafan. Vamos!

    • I always felt that Novak & his team has something up his sleeve – He’s kind of inhuman so lithe and flexible/expandable. Think something fishy/voodoo is going on. He seems to be able to dictate where he wants the ball to go to be so precise. Really don’t trust him at all at all.

  7. Unfrtunately Our champ did not have any answers to the style of play that Novak displayed
    last night last night , He was just too good, Rafa will come back next year and be up there again (we Hope) all the very Best Rafa to you and your family and friends for the Xmas season

    p, s we will always be there for you Vamos RAFA

    • You sound like a fair weather fan so perhaps you should go bandwagon Djokovic since he is winning. Rafa has plenty genuine true blue fans and Djokovic needs more fans because he has so little compared to Rafa and there’s plenty fake fans that just support a player when he’s winning and give up on him when he’s not on the top tier. I would never do that to Rafa and his true fans will stick by him through thick or thin. Stick with Rafa no matter what happens!!!!!!

      • first of all it’s not up to you to tell anyone to what tennis player they should be fan.none of your business. Rafa’s game is full of fault and shortcomings that can be fixed to the great extend by a proper coach. IF he had a caring smart team, they would stop Rafa to play Novak in semi final. If they thought Rafa with this current state of game and mentality can beat Novak , then they are idiots and delusional. Rafa should have lost to Ferrer by purpose to avoid another embarrassing defeat in the hands of Novak. Rafa will not win another GS or master title as long as he plays with same style and with same coach.

    • Embarrassing are your comments and unfortunately you are always around.
      I don’t care who is your fav but you should have more dignity no making so many stupid and troll comments

  8. I have to say that I’m very proud of Rafa. After to make an awful year due to his mentally injury he has made very good results in his worst surface. Today he has played very passive and his serve didn’t work at all which is the main shot in that surface but it’s clear that he is ready for the 2016 starting in the AO, I’m sure he will play much better and with very good results. Confidence is the key, now he is at 70%, soon it will be at 100%, that’s all he needs to be again the great Champion he is

  9. Since their 2013 US Open encounter, Rafa has been completely DOMINATED by Novak in their head-to-head matches. 9 matches. Novak won 8 of them. 22 sets. Novak won 18 of them – including more than TWICE as many games as Rafa won. I hate to say it, but that’s Blow Out City folks. And judging by Rafa’s post-match comments about his future goals – “I just want to be in the Top 5” – it looks like there’s no turning back for the Serb. He’s left every player on Tour, with the possible exception of Roger, in his absolute dust. I’m a die-hard Rafa fan, but I gotta give credit where credit is due.

    • He’s been on the top tier for 4 of the past 5 years and he still cannot get tennis lovers to like him like Rafa does. He may be a good player, but he will never be the good kind hearted genuinely nice humble guy that Rafa is and that’s why Rafa has over 24 million fans from Facebook Twitter and Instagram and Djokovic doesn’t even have half that many fans. Rafa will find a way to be back on top and his true fans that have supported him from bad times to good times will celebrate his return. Go Rafa for a much better winning 2016!

      • who cares about the number of fans a player has? Djoker is winning GS after GS and master titles and beating everyone. At the end he is going to have more titles including GS than Rafa and probably than Roger. never been a fan of Djokovic mostly because he defeated Rafa so many times but kudos to him for being smart and open-minded to try many things to put together an excellent game plan to beat everyone on the tennis court. unlikable personality yes but he is winner.

      • Sosa, and you are talking about fanatism? jajaja, your Novak won’t to reach the Rafa’s and Federer’s fans because more sooner than later that ‘stamina and confidence’ that he has right now is going to finish soon, remember my words. He will have to ‘try’ something else

  10. Love you and your game, Rafa. You are the only player whose games I hate to miss watching. Good luck for the coming year

  11. Rafa is almost there and 2016 will bring the best of him. I’d just like his serve improves more, then the good work will be very well done and more on HC and Indoor. Today it was his worst shot help him to his opponent to play more aggressive

  12. You will continue to improve Rafa – the way I saw it you lost your serve but you kept up with him even he is playing unbelievable. You will find a way – can’t wait to see you in the Australian Open.

  13. @Su Fun Chów -‘Pride goes before a fall’ I think it applies more than to overconfident Djoković and his team than the humble Rafa’s :/

    • It’s kinda hard for Novak to be “overconfident” when he’s nearly UNBEATABLE this year. Overconfident is believing that you don’t need a real coach to reach your full potential as a professional player. That all you need is your clueless uncle to yell “VAMOS” from the stands.

      • When Djokovic starts sinking in his game play you will see a meltdown of epic proportions. When he experiences a year like what Rafa just went through you will see him cursing to the heavens, scream obscenities at the crowd and break more rackets than ever before. It’s easy to be good when you’re winning, but it is heck of a lot more difficult to maintain your composure when you’re losing. Just wait and see for an epic implosion from him.

        Rafa maintained his good nature and sweet demeanor even though he had the worst year in his career. How many top players will survive this kind of year? Rafa made it through and came out swinging and fighting very well for this year end tournament. Onto better results next year! Go Rafa!

    • l don’t mean Rafa being a proud person. l meant his uncle Toni is too proud to accept advice or suggestions of improvement.l know Rafa is a very very humble& gracious person unlike Djokovic who is very arrogant & cocky. That’s why Djokovic in not well liked by many hence Djokovic does not garner as many fans as Rafa. Anyway just pray & hope Rafa & team will bring on a 2nd coach to provide advice & improvements to his game play.

  14. Totally agree with you Marilynn-100%· They should have analysed by watching the past matches between Djokovic & Rafa eversince Rafa lost every match to djoker right at the very beginning. In fact this was suggested by many of us but Nadal Fan Site doesn’tseem to take heed. As l said so many times before his team especially Uncle Toni is too proud to listen or change. PRIDE GOES BEFORE A FALL. This is what happens. Uncle Toni’s training & coaching is still of the old school. Rafa should train to be precise serving more aces so that he can serve it at crucial point when he needs it to close or save a game/set or match.

    • This is exactly what Rafa team has to do if he wishes to compete with players of DJ class. As time goes the upcomimg hard hitters and ACE serving players will be dominating. These are constructive sugesstions for we all his fans want him to be on the top again .It is heart breaking to see Rafa loose after such a hard work and efforts that he puts in.God bless him with good. Health.

  15. What a world this would be if everyone in it had the honesty and integrity of Rafael Nadal. It would be impossible. That is why Rafa is so refreshing. That’s what makes him the young man he is. He is not perfect – he is human. But if folks were near as honest as Rafa, I know the world would be a more peacful place. Rafa, I wish you the very best in 2016, and I hope you play as well as you think Novak Djokovic is playing. Yes, I pray you get your game to a level where you don’t have to strugle when you play him – and that you will get the W over and over again playing against him. Rafa, this is very do-able. You and your team need to sit down watch all the matches you and Novak played against each other. You need to analyse those matches with him. Observe and study how he plays you and what you do, are not doing, and what you need to be doing. That is what you need to do beginning tomorrow. Uncle Toni, you, and others need to all sit down and do this!! It does not take a rocket scientist to figure this out. If you have not done this, than I don’t understand it. THERE IS SAYING, IT GOES LIKE THIS: HE WHO DARES NOT OFFEND CANNOT BE HONEST. Well I am not trying to offend you or your team, but if you guys aren’t studying film of your Djokovic matches, than something is wrong. The best of everything in 2016. God bless you Rafa. Love, Marylynn

  16. I only can said is this .Rafa needs to beat the Drama Boy soon. VAMOS RAFA i still believe you are a Champion too.

  17. Rafa you were terrific in Barclys. You will start your new season as a winner.
    I believe you were the only playe r to come through with 3wins. I will be so please to follow you in 2016. You should be proud, I am!

  18. Rafael is the most honest player , always accepts when another player is better on the day . He is moving on the right direction and 2016 will be good for him . Relax and stay healthy . All support forever

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