Rafa Roundup: Nadal-Djokovic showdown in Qatar

Photo via beIN SPORTS
Photo via beIN SPORTS

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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

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42 thoughts on “Rafa Roundup: Nadal-Djokovic showdown in Qatar

  1. Maria

    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

    Like

    1. Carol

      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

      Like

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