Rafa Roundup: Sharapova chooses Nadal over Federer

Photo via Nike Tennis
Photo via Nike Tennis

ARTICLES:

Three titles, another two finals and a top-five ranking would be more than most players would dare to contemplate, let alone hope to celebrate, in a season.

But it’s a measure of Rafael Nadal’s place among the game’s greats that amid all of those achievements, 2015 represented his worst full year as a pro. Progressing through the year without a Grand Slam win for the first time in over a decade, the much-loved champion exited in the second round of Wimbledon and was a third-round casualty (at the hands of Fabio Fognini) at the US Open.

Will see a new Nadal in 2016? “We’re not doing anything new,” explains Uncle Toni. “Rather we are going back to the things we did in 2008, 2010 and 2013, but which, for one reason or another – usually physical problems that stopped him from having continuity in his game – we could not do.”

Once upon a time—2009, to be exact—Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco played one of the longest, and one of the best, Australian Open semifinals of all time. Now they’ll do it again in the first round.

The good news about confidence: it not only comes and goes, karma chameleon-style; it self-perpetuates. A few courageous wins, a few matches played with conviction and self-belief returns. If you’re a Nadal fan or team member, this should be a great hope, comfort even.

“When somebody is better than you, you accept it and you work to try to improve yourself. That’s it. I am not frustrated. I look at the things very clearly and I am always honest. Today he’s better than me without a doubt.”

It won’t happen in Melbourne – right? – but with Rio around the corner expect plenty of Rafaguruza speculation over the next six months.

PHOTOS: 

VIDEOS:

  • 20 Questions With Maria Sharapova | Woman With Drive
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15 thoughts on “Rafa Roundup: Sharapova chooses Nadal over Federer

  1. Move In Rafa Or Move On

    Hey everyone. Just wanted to make sure you all got Maria’s message yesterday that you can NOT root for Rafa or be a fan of his if you’re not from Spain. All non-Spaniards must exit this site immediately and not return – ever. Maria says so. Ignore her at your own peril.

    Like

    1. Elizabeth Howard

      Time to Move on. This is for supporters of Rafael Nadal, we come from all over the world. Maria is a supporter too. Stop the sarcasm and support our champion

      Like

  2. Adrian

    Vamos rafa. Can’t wait to see u biting another aussie open trophy..waiting to see that killer look and shots that we all love n in awe. U can do it nadal. We believe in u. U must too ❤️

    Like

  3. Cecilia Jaime

    VAMOOOOOOSSSSSS RAFA eres un gran campeon y te mereces todo lo mejor suerte en el comienzo del A de Australia a ganar😄👍💪👍💪💃💃

    Like

  4. Kathryn branch

    This is your year. It is nice the way you accept good and difficult. I think you are admired for your attitude but it is time to accept good. Best for 2016

    Like

  5. DEAR DEAR RAFA
    YOUR FANS WOULD LOVE NOTHING MORE THEN TO SEE YOU WIN ANOTHER AUSTRALIAN OPEN IF ANYONE IS TO DETHRONE NOVAK DJOKOVIC LET IT BE YOU TIME FOR A CHANGE AT THE TOP VAMOS RAFA……THE SUPERSTAR OR THE CENTURY ..

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      1. Move In Rafa Or Move On

        Just wanted to let you know that was NOT me impersonating Fan Love yesterday, although I must admit, it was a pretty damn good impersonation. And funny too. Lighten up honey. You have no sense of humor.

        Like

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