Rafa Roundup: Nadal-Djokovic showdown in Qatar

Photo via beIN SPORTS
Photo via beIN SPORTS


Rafael Nadal will attempt to capture his first ATP World Tour hard-court title for two years on Saturday when he plays familiar foe Novak Djokovic in the Qatar ExxonMobil Open final. “I know if I’m playing well, I am going to have opportunities,” said Nadal.

Nadal played this semifinal with the urgency of a man embracing a personal confirmation day. Consistently whipping the wide slider on the ad side, the 2014 champion won the first 23 points played on his first serve.

“It’s something that I don’t think about. It’s something that it’s obviously not worries me much. I know if I’m playing well, I gonna have opportunities.  The last, I don’t know, six tournaments that I played on hard court I have been playing semifinals in Beijing, semifinals in Shanghai, and then final in Basel, quarterfinals in Paris and semifinals at the ATP World Tour Finals. And last week, although it is not an official tournament,  but I played against tough opponents on hard court too in Abu Dhabi, taking the titel in the end,” the world number 5 told about his hard court performances and is looking forward to his 47th tour meeting with Djokovic, tied 23 a piece.

But one look at the men’s draw and, more impressive still, the prize money, and the Qatar Exxonmobil Open in Doha leaves no doubt: This is an ATP 250 that flexes its muscles.

No other tournament at this level on the tour offers even half the purse. It even out does some of the 500 events—and the standing of the men who line up to play a part is its reward.

Brad Gilbert calls it the “fearhand” and I have to agree: This is the stroke that has made Rafa not just a great player, but an all-time player. Without this whipping storm of RPMs and tornado-like speed, Rafa wouldn’t be the force on each surface that we know him to be.

Tennis champion Rafael Nadal can once again count on his lucky million-dollar wrist “charms” made by Richard Mille for the 2016 tennis season. .

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal through to 99th career final at Qatar Open



  1. Deep thinker
    I think you may be deluded if you actually think that Rafa even looks at this website let alone take notice of what any of us has to say . it’s his career and he will play it the way he decides to if you cannot accept that then find a player whose game pleases you, rather than constantly slate Rafa. I have not once said Rafa is playing brilliantly now, he is getting better but is not a patch on the old Rafa ,I am not blind Do I think Rafa will ever be right at the top again truth probably not but I am a fan of Rafa not just tennis player Rafa so I will support him no matter what. Would he benefit from a new coach working along side his uncle ,of course he would but that’s his decision to make not ours, and you should respect that even if you don’t agree . Remember he didn’t ask you to be a fan of his you made that choice. As for fan love they have a right to say what they want and be positive and unlike you me and others, have shown class throughout by not retaliating to our comments As you have said we are better ignoring each others comments and give some respect to other fans who come on this site who don’t need our playground mentality

    • Don’t put more attention what that hater says, he is the same person with different nicknames, he seems to be so depress person and even me I feel sorry for him, he is so ridiculous like all his comments

  2. The only comment I have is that I am crying that Rafa who used to beat Djokovic hands down has allowed him into his head , he knows he can do it but lets the double jointed Novak into his head, DJOKOVIC stands central and runs Rafa around the court and then applauds Rafa if he wins a point knowing he has him on the ropes such arrogance but I will love you forever Rafa ,if nothing else you are a much finer person

  3. VAMOS DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : : ) : ) You played BEAUTIFULLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HIGH TOP TENNIS with INTENSITY & UNBELIEVABLE LEVEL !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Your few mistakes came in but the game was close & solid. You nearly broke him on the opening 1st serve and the score does not reflect on the difficulties Novak had to face with your POWERFUL GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep going SWEETHEART & KNOW YOU CAN TAKE NOVAK & so does Berdych & even the new comer Marchenko stands a chance…..so please take lots of pride with your fantastic amazing fighting to the last ball…………..it is just around the corner when you can take Novak again all the way to the cleaners….. he is all arrogant now and lets face it, most of his recent wins over you came when you were returning from being out. . You are a fantastic competitor & we love you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) Enjoy your ride to the next tour , VAMOS SWEETHEART…….& have a great time playing next.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) Lots & lots of of love & happiness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) We are so proud of you DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : )

      • Sosa Laforge,

        Like i said before, that guy called Fan Love is clearly not from this planet.
        Even if Rafa is beaten 6-0, 6-0 he will still write the same terrible lies that he keeps saying all the time.

        But then, these are the type of lies that Maria, Elizabeth Howard and other crazy fanatics feed on. They all love it.

        What a shame.

  4. I am quoting from someone else : And there we go. May as well not show up. It’s like Maria Sharapova against Serena Williams; a full gone conclusion before a ball is struck.

  5. Deep thinker you sound like a mad cult trying to get fans to come round to your way of thinking and join you . not in this lifetime or any other

    • Maria, i shouldn’t be wasting my very precious time replying you but suffice to say that there are only a handful of true fans on this site and you’re certainly not one of them. But there are a whole lot of FANATICS here and you’re certainly one of the lot. Yeah, the whole lot that deceive Nadal and make him look good even when things are really, really bad.

      If someone is not doing well, why cant you just say the truth as it is, so that he can take a good look at the mirror and truly make corrections. Look at that fellow who calls himself Fan Love, how in the world can you come out here and say Nadal played a ”Powerful game”?? Why are you deceiving him? Why cant we all say the truth AS IT IS and not AS IT WAS so that our beloved Rafa can improve.

      So, Maria, stop being a DECEIVER; join the people who says the truth no matter whose ox is gored. That way, Nadal will rise to prominence again. But if you and your likes like Fan Love persist in deceiving Nadal, persist in making feel like a hero when he is clearly not one, then our champion’s day of glory may have well disappeared in this lifetime or any other.

      Be a truthful person, dear Maria.

  6. So sad for Rafa. You did play well Rafa but Novak was just too good today. Good luck for the rest of 2016. Vamos Rafa!

    • I am sad for the real fans, the fans that nobody seems to listen to in the most stubborn tennis team in the world: the Nadal ‘family’.

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