PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal loses in straight sets to Novak Djokovic in Qatar Open final

Unfortunately, Rafael Nadal was not able to win the final of the Qatar Open in Doha. He lost 1-6, 3-6 to Novak Djokovic in 73 minutes.

After the match, Rafa said:

I am going go keep working so hard to be ready for Australia and the rest of the season.

It was Djokovic’s ninth victory over Rafa in 10 meetings – the last five in straight sets.

The Serb broke twice in both sets as our champ had no answer to the pace and power of his groundstrokes.



  1. I always say the same: Rafa is my big sport idol, but i think that he must absolutly change something in his coaching. If he will stay with uncle Toni until the end of his carrier, he can be a good tennis player in the next years, but he can no more be the best one! This is and remains my opinion!

    Helga Sparber / Meran Italy

  2. I’m also was really very offset from my idol Rafa my point of view are over spin will no longer work to Novak. Rafa return ball to novak just like he was feeding to the crocodile. I’m following Rafa while he’s on training his ball was so amazing his ball landed on baseline the hand swing up to his neck only. But when his on the game swinging over his head and balls bounce only in the service box.

  3. Seriously I don’t think this loss has affected Nadal too much. Watching him and Novak playing the previous matches it’s very obvious that Rafa has played a bad match and of course Novak has not wasted the time and he has played much better but it doesn’t mean anything, the AO is very close and I’m sure we will see something VERY different

  4. Can’t be more disappointed – not because he lost but the way in which he lost. Thank God I couldn’t watch the match. Too painful. From some comments, seems that Rafa returned to his old ways standing far behind the baseline etc. just defending instead of attacking. Seems Rafa gets paralysed at the thought of playing Nole and Nole feels just the opposite – prepares very well and executes perfectly. After this loss to Nole I wonder what it would take for Rafa to get back his confidence against Nole – if ever. Chances look bleak and slim unless Rafa wants it soo badly that he changes his game and mental strength drastically. A complete overhaul. Feel so frustrated and very sad.

    • Correct, Rafa was positioned horribly. In his serve games, it started immediately because of his weak serves. In his return games, he pushed back the backhand half court, to be subsequently destroyed. If I look at that US Open 2013 final, it is really incredible how such a player can turn into a shade of himself in the way Nadal has. It seems those big wins over the Djoker (US Open 13 and RG 14) have made him more insecure. How on earth does that work in his brain? Especially in the US Open final he was beating the Djoker in a way that was out of this world, super high level. But to stay so far away from that level afterwords (think about all the losses to Djoko that followed after that one), I can’t understand it.

  5. nadal doesn’t create enough angle and still plays high over the net .especially forehand cross court.
    djokovic is faster than everyone so even if hit rafa hits hard he quickly gets behind the ball and directs it to either corner towards rafa.
    rafa is not able to change direction fast enough to stay in the point.

    other issues are returns and serve where djokovic is better ,

    rafa needs to stop using top spin high over the net .
    first get over your own weakness then see weekness in novaks play

  6. Give some credit to Djokovic. He played “flawless tennis” today. It’s unfortunate that Djokovic seems to play the best when he plays against Rafa theses days (much like Rafa plays the best when he plays against Roger). If they both played like how they played the previous four matches, I doubted it if Djokovic could have won today. The way Rafa has been playing, he will be very competitive against any one except Djokovic. So yes, he needs to find a solution to solve this puzzle. I really hope that he can play with more aggression next time they meet (that seems to be the only way to beat Djokovic these days). As a die-hard Rafa fan, it’s hard to see him lose. But as long as he keeps fighting and finding solutions (as he always does), and most importantly, is healthy and happy, he will have more opportunities to compete to his full abilities. Rafa, best of luck in Australia! You have my love, respect, and admiration (as well as millions of others) forever!

    • RAFA is just doing fine. Djokovich could not beat him when Rafa was fit and well but over the last couple of years he has had one thing after another, knee problems, viruses, appendicitis etc. I defy anyone to come back all singing and dancing after such ordeals. Djokovich is very lucky in life no injuries and all around him is wonderful – and thank God for that but he still has to pass Federer and Rafa re Grand Slam Wins. Vamos Rafa – you are doing great and you will be back as No 1.

      • Jenny, the last of those problems is 15 months ago. It’s about time that we stop mentioning them. Cause it really sounds ridiculous. “Yeah, Rafa is not up to his best, got his appendix removed couple of years back you know, plus two years ago, he had diarrhea”.

  7. Many of these comments are embarrassing.
    Nadal is one of the all time greats and current top 10. Novak Djokovic is the the best player on the planet and seems to be getting better each match. The outcome of this match is exactly what a tennis fan would expect. Djokovic is on his way to being the best ever.

    • Djokovic is at similar level as in 2011. Nadal did not know what to do then, and did not know what to do when Djokovic went back to that form in the last year year and a half. The plan – to work hard – is really a big laugh. You can come up with ’embarrassing’ and blame the messengers, but that’s not helping. Many, many tennis experts and former pros share the view that Nadal and his team have done NADA to improve.

  8. Now Rafael knows what needs to be done, just as every top player seeks to solve the puzzle of how to beat Djoko. Additional coach or new strategy-Aussie Open
    will test the mettle of all!

  9. RAFA, I have to add a comment which my husband stated. He said to study what Novak’s tendencies are – every person has tendencies – Novak, Federer, Murray, etc. find out what Novak’s are and exploit them — use his tendencies against him (the way he does to you). Every sport (athlete) in the world uses this knowledge against their opponent and Djokovic is using your tendencies against you. I hope you Read this Rafa .. Love Marylynn.

  10. As a die hard Rafa fan, I m beginning to accept that Rafa can’t beat Novak anymore. Atleast, this will be help me to be at peace with myself. My heart breaks every time he suffers heavy defeat against Novak. Very very disappointed.

  11. Dear Rafa, so sorry you didn’t win against Novak. Even sadder is the fact that I know you are able to beat him. You know it too. It’s just that he is in your head and the mental block which you have needs to disappear very quickly. I love and respect you so much and I hurt for you. Please find a way to analyse how he plays his game – how he plays his game against you Rafa. Your team needs to DISECT what he does when he plays you. Watch this match over and over until you see what he does to you that weakens your game and your strategy and tactics when you play against him. I did not see the match, but I heard that you were not taking the ball early as you were all week and that you played further behind the baseline again. Oh Rafa, you are better than him when are you going to start believing it again. I love you and will keep hoping and praying. God bless you. Love you, Marylynn.

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