Rafa Roundup: ‘I don’t deserve vacation this year’

Tennis - Barclays ATP World Tour Finals - O2 Arena, London - 20/11/15 Men's Singles - Spain's Rafael Nadal makes his entrance before his match against Spain's David Ferrer Action Images via Reuters / Tony O'Brien Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
Action Images via Reuters / Tony O’Brien


Following a rocky start to 2015, the World No. 5 is gaining significant momentum at the season finale in London. A 17-4 post-US Open mark has included five Top 10 wins and now three straight this week at The O2. He enters an Open Era record 46th clash against Novak Djokovic in Saturday’s semi-finals after surviving a gritty two-hour and 37-minute battle against Ferrer. Tested often, he refused to back down, even with a semi-final berth already assured.

Nadal did not take a set off Djokovic in three matches this year, including a quarterfinal loss at the French Open. Last month, Djokovic thumped Nadal, 6-2, 6-2, in the final at Beijing on outdoor hardcourts.

“The best tactic possible is play very, very well,” Nadal said. “Let’s see tomorrow if I am able to win more games.”

If he cannot solve Djokovic, Nadal will return to the practice court for answers. He is not allowing himself much downtime during the off-season.

“I don’t deserve vacation this year,” he said with a grin.

“That’s another step. A really difficult match against a player who is playing just better, impossible I believe,” Nadal said in his press conference. “I need to play my best to have any chance. That’s what I going to try.

“But the right work is done. Lot of positive things during the last weeks. Very good confirmation this week. So tomorrow is another opportunity to compete against the best, to see if I am able to compete at a very high level again.”

“Let’s see what’s going to happen,” Nadal said. “But I am very happy about what I did in the last five weeks of the season. I finish the season the way that I really want to start the next one.”

Nadal’s recent upturn hasn’t gone unnoticed by Djokovic.

“First couple of matches he played here against Wawrinka and Murray showed that he feels more confident, shows that he’s starting to miss less, serve efficiently, use his forehand much better,” Djokovic told reporters Thursday.

Nadal hasn’t played many emotionally or mentally grueling matches lately. His camp will have to worry about how much this bitterly fought win over Ferrer took out of him.

But fatigue is unlikely to be a factor, not with just two matches left in the tournament year, and so big a prize awaiting the winner. Nadal knows that he has put himself into a position to win all that, and write a truly spectacular surprise ending to the story of his 2015.

Is this the moment when, after 10 years of chasing Nadal, Djokovic finally catches up? Rafa currently leads their head to head 23-22, but he’s hanging on by a thread.

Tennis - Barclays ATP World Tour Finals - O2 Arena, London - 20/11/15 Men's Singles - Spain's Rafael Nadal changes his t-shirt during his match against Spain's David Ferrer Reuters / Suzanne Plunkett Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
Reuters / Suzanne Plunkett

PHOTOS: Rafa beats Ferrer in 3 sets



  1. Ola dear Rafa, please find comfort & know all of us fans love you & adore watching you & we are there for you 100% !!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) This is no big deal….enjoy your other fantastic matches & know you are a precious, fantastic Tennis champion !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) it is very clear n did not win a great match…… Have a great time at home & enjoy all the wealth of love you have with your family & loved ones !!!!!!!!!!! VAMOS & God bless you….and lots of love & happiness to you & your entire fabulous group and THE TEAM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) 2016 is just around the corner……: ) : ) : )

  2. Sorry RAFA lost today, respect to Novak.

    At the end of the day, RAFA is OUR guy and all we can do is continue to support him and give him love.

    RAFA fan forever.

    Mini vacation for him now. 😊

  3. God bless you …..it is ok sweetheart….. may your energy be bright …… you are a very special fabulous player!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Seeing how complety chanceless Djoko leaves Rafa again, I have now lost all hope that Rafa will ever compete for majors again. It is over.

    • J Beer, you’re indeed right, it’s all over for Nadal against Djokovic. He may never ever be able to beat or match Djokovic’s level again. Now, Djokovic has levelled with Nadal 23:23 on Head to Head! Nadal’s claim to G.O.A.T is indeed over – what a shame!!!

      Watching the match, there are quite a number of noticeable differences between the two:
      1. Djokovic is forever the aggressor: As Djokovic moves forward……Nadal retreats (moves backwards)
      2. Djokovic covers the length of the baseline; Nadal runs from pillar to post sweating like a Christmas goat
      3. Djokovic’s serve is strong and lethal; Nadal’s serve is weak and harmless

      It’s all over for Nadal. All over.

  5. You do deserve a rest/vacation. It will be a long season starting in January. Give yourself the best possible opportunities. Again I must say proud to be one of your fans. You have played so well in the year ends.

  6. Ola & VAMOS DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) & : ) It is a beautiful day …..enjoy a great time and lots & lots & lots of fun playing your BEAUTIFUL SOLID MAGICAL TENNIS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) 🙂 It is simply another beautiful open door for you & YOU HAVE ALL YOU NEED with your unbelievable brilliant feisty game!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) HAVE A BLAST & A JOLLY GREAT TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Enjoy all your goods sweetheart !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Enjoy sending him off the court with your strong SIDE TO SIDE powerful returns FROM CLOSER IN to the base line!!!!!!!! When he serves , make sure you stand a little bit more towards the middle and keep moving and jumping to prevent opportunities for his aces. YOUR NET CREATIVITY is by far much more beautiful & YOUR FANTASTIC VOLLEYS can send him coughing and shrugging his nose!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) Have a great fun aiming for YOUR OWN GAME…….I love your wise Tennis instincts ….. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) God bless you DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU HAVE THE BETTER GAME & YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED to enjoy a magnificent match!!!!!! Your commending presence on the court along with your fitness & speed & reach & cuteness & blessed great steady serve are all there for you & will come handy with your Tennis muscles & brilliant Tennis ………. you have it all!!!!!!!!!!!!! ci….ci….ci…..ci…..ci…..ci….& millions more ci….. ! : ) VAMOS SWEETHEART & ENJOY EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) YOUR ENDURANCE & LOVE FOR TENNIS IS SO SPECIAL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Enjoy your passionate beautiful game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! VAMOS……………VAMOS…………….VAMOS……………….

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