Rafa Roundup: Will we ever see Rafael Nadal back to his imperious best? We believe in our champ!

Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts during his first round match against Spain's Fernando Verdasco at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 19, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter       TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Photo: REUTERS/Thomas Peter 

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“It’s one of the biggest disappointments we’ve had,” Toni Nadal, his coach and uncle, said in an interview with Spanish radio. “All losses hurt, or nearly all, but to go out in the first round of a tournament that is so important like the Australian Open and to have come in here playing well for three or four months, that is what is very disappointing.”

“I understand that in sport results come first and if you have to make a change, you have to do it,” Toni Nadal told Spanish radio station Cadena Cope on Wednesday.

… And Toni admitted it is difficult for his nephew to change style after so much success throughout his career.

“The strategy he has played with his whole life matters less now. It isn’t easy to change style after 15 years.”

He may be on the right track, but Nadal needs time and to get a number of matches under his belt to regain the confidence he lost during his complicated 2015 season. He is determined and nothing if not a battler, and his focus will now turn to clay (most likely in Rio de Janeiro in mid-February) as he looks to reassert himself on his favourite surface. And who knows, maybe that will bring with it an historic tenth French Open title.

… Rafa had a sixth sense for survival, for finding the finish line before his opponent. Now that dynamic has been reversed: Fognini and Verdasco sprinted past him down the stretch, with hardly a second glance.

Whether it’s taking more risk himself, or moving up in the court, or varying his locations, or revamping his serve—or, perhaps, taking a page from Verdasco’s book and re-watching a few of those epic wins from the past—Nadal will need to find a way to deal with the free-swingers who have come home to roost. For now, as Rafa himself says, he’s standing in the middle of the road, watching the winners fly by.

Perhaps the true indication of whether Nadal is in a state of decline will come during the clay season – his favoured surface.

The left-hander, nicknamed the ‘King of Clay’, has won nine of his Grand Slam titles on the surface at the French Open, including five in a row between 2010 and 2014.

You look at Nadal now, and you wonder if maybe the wrong guy (Stan Wawrinka) got that tattoo quoting playwright Samuel Beckett: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

“He’s been there, he’s won so many and, yeah, he lost first round, but I really believe it’s not so easy to beat Rafa in the best of five … and it might be different when he is able to get two or three matches under his belt,” Corretja told the BBC.

“I think he’s been a little bit unlucky with the draws. Usually we shouldn’t say that with Rafa, but I think with the momentum he needs, he’s been suffering tough losses because of that.”

A good, solid stretch on clay should boost his confidence and set him up for the rest of the season, which also includes the Rio Olympics (on hard courts).

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32 thoughts on “Rafa Roundup: Will we ever see Rafael Nadal back to his imperious best? We believe in our champ!

  1. DEAR KIND RAFA’S FANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) Your messages reads kindly and it is great that Rafa has many caring fans! I would suggest it is not about a new coach. His coach is excellent & effective, plus is a solid team behind him! When Rafa approaches the court w aggressive mind set, his RETURNS & his SERVE are creative, varied & yield winners! Key here is the fact that Rafa indeed is well aware of WHAT HE IS DOING EFFECTIVELY…..WHAT HE MUST BE DOING MORE OF…… HOW TO POSITION HIMSELF IN ORDER TO ESTABLISH & KEEP COMMAND IN THE COURT . FURTHERMORE, RAFA CLEARLY HAS A FINE SENSE OF WHAT ASPECTS OF HIS GAME TO PRACTICE MORE OF…… Handling his Tennis affairs throughout his career & especially since he came back from injuries has been yielding steady growth & development in his serve & powerful RETURNS, his speed & ENDURANCE & fitness….. THERE are many aspects to the game , varied conditions & other crucial important moments behind the scene that us fans can only imagine. The load is huge & he is doing very well with his mighty all best efforts to keep up being current & competitive. I suggest a good helpful strategy for us fans is to keep our fan support in perspective, always encouraging & supporting him as he moves along. Such support may be the best any fan can offer. Thank you!
    VAMOS DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) 🙂 : )

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    1. Deep Thinker

      Fan Love, it seems you’re now beginning to talk a bit of sense. Ofcourse, that was after all the bashings and admonitions you received from me and J Beer. We hope you will from now on uphold only the truth, and nothing but the truth.

      Like I’ve repeatedly said, only the truth can bring our champion back to life.

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  2. Ashish

    Uncle tony u dont tneed to mess up with nadal game

    He dont to be out and out aggressive
    Rafa has great defensive game and he need to get back to this
    Only when he feels best about his defence he can be little agressive when it needed in the game

    Core problem is, rafa finding dificult for hitting the ball 1 to 2 feet beyond service box area consitently
    Rafa has higher net clearance than most of player in atp and has high bounce as well which so good thing to have but this become a lollipop ball when it land short inside service box area ….opponent feels tempting of that ball and hence no matter how great the spin is opponent able to hit winner
    U need to look into tension of ur strings for any adjustment to achieve that baĺl area target and get some pace ( choose some light weight racquet to feel ur hand)

    It is difficult to understand why rafa and team not able to sort out this problem from long time
    Rafa needs to hit this area even when playing 1or 2 feet away from baseline

    Other thing rafa needs to develop a ” go to shots” i.e. he have to develop a shot that will be clear winner like serve wide and then hit a cross court forehand
    It will be helpfull in getting out rafa from 0-30 difficult position on his service game

    Also rafa need to be a little quick on ball

    And last thing he need to include a technical analyst to his team so it will be helpfull in finding highs and lows of ur game as well as finding inside out of opponent game so it will be helpfull in making strategy for players

    I am 200% sure if rafa can do this then no one will able to stop rafa from winning grandslam on any surface

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    1. you are right…..Rafa has an excellent Defensive game and I would add that his AGGRESSIVE OFFENSIVE game is equally impressive. You have some very good observations ! : ) As fan support goes, we can be mighty helpful and encouraging!!!!! : ) We must have a wider allowance & trust for all the enormous preparations behind the scene . We must refrain from too many obvious notes about what has gone wrong & replace that with our kind appreciation for the great beautiful Tennis that he does display. I am 300% sure you are a kind fan & your comments make sense. Rafa is a classy Tennis genius, truly mighty fighter & a brilliant player & I love that you put 200% on your confidence of his ability & journey moving forward.

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    2. DMTNA

      Toni should cuz Rafa is not a beast anymore. He is already 30 with many problems with his knee. Rafa couldn’t run like he used to so he needs to work more on the flat shots and serve.
      But it’s better if he hires an assistant coach. Serena Williams spent most of the time with her father-coach but finally changed when needed. She found her rhythm back after a huge blow in the first round of French Open 2012. That’s a good example for Rafa.

      Like

  3. Why does uncle Toni think he needs to go ? Why can’t he stay and get a secondary top coach on board ? 2 minds are greater than 1. I believe that Rafa needs a coach that is able to see Rafa’s weaknesses. Preferably someone that can improve his serve & return. The forehand will follow. Rafa is as talented as any other player so why can’t he serve as well ? Because he has no one that can teach him that.

    I really wish Rafa had added a coach a long time ago to prepare him for today. His physical and defensive abilities used to cover up his flaws but not anymore.

    Like

  4. carole boylan

    HE IS THE BEST, JUST GOING THROUGH A DIFFICULT TIME, LIKE EVERYONE DOES. ALL YOUR FANS RAFA KNOW YOU WILL COME THROUGH IT. VAMOS MY HERO

    Like

  5. Move In Rafa Or Move On

    Verdasco just lost his 2nd round match to Dudi Sela a little while ago. I guess he ain’t such a “tough” 1st round opponent after all.

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  6. Rafa fan

    Still cant get over this loss even though i half expected it. i wrote long ago that a complete overhauling is required. every professional no matter in what field, has to keep up to the times – keep moving forward and making the changes that modern day tennis, medicine, IT etc. etc. are all going through – otherwise you are stagnant, decline and remain behind while everyone else moves forward. even on his favourite surface rafa has become vulnerable in the last years. this defeat will affect his confidence even more and coming back is going to be really difficult. some say rafa didnt play badly, but verdasco played better. sorry, for rafas standards it was bad and what frightens me a lot is that he has been losing games, sets and matches from being in a good position.
    i will always remain an ardent rafa fan but facts are facts – it doesnt help to shut ones eyes to the truth however painful.
    i pray and hope he returns!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

  7. Pushpa Srinivas

    Who ever beats Rafa at any Grand Slam first or second round, they go on to loose their next round😳 what is the point of beating Rafa & loosing next round?? Rafa needs more motivation, self-belief, get back his fighting spirit & may be a new coach along with his uncle Tony, where both could work on stepping up Rafa’s game at crucial moments. He has won 14 Grand Slams previously, he can do much much better!!!

    Like

  8. Move In Rafa Or Move On

    Immediately after Rafa’s 1st round loss to Verdasco in Melbourne:

    ESPN’s Chris McHenry: “Mary – what’s wrong with Rafa?”

    ESPN’s Mary Joe Fernandez: “There’s too much spin on his shots. That’s why they land short and bounce high with no pace on them. It was like batting practice for Fernando out there.”

    BINGO!!!

    That’s exactly what several other expert analysts – and yours truly – have been saying for the last 2 years. That Rafa needs to hit the ball flatter, harder, deeper. A lot less spin. A lot more drive.

    But instead, what does he do? In December, he changes his strings from synthetic gut to natural gut – “in order to get more spin on my shots” – the exact OPPOSITE of what he needs.

    Rafa doesn’t need new strings. He needs a new coach. Desperately. It’s long overdue that he got one. Or better yet, got an entirely new team.

    Like

    1. Virginia Martin

      Rafa should have gotten an easy draw like Federer. It seems to me that Tennis association itself is less than fair to Rafa. There is talk of illegal activities in Tennis lately, but maybe we should take a look at the Association itself. Federer always gets easy first draws, but only once in a while for Rafa. That is not accidential in my opinion

      Like

      1. Move In Rafa Or Move On

        Federer has Dolgopolov in the 2nd round and Dimitrov in the 3rd round – not exactly “easy” early round matches. Rafa had the better draw. By far.

        Like

      2. Su Fun Chow

        True about the draw. l too noticed that Rafa always have tough draws and won 14 GS despite those unfair tough draws. But for the past year Rafa can’t handle these tough draws. Yes, the Tennis Association seemed very unfair.

        Like

    2. DMTNA

      You’re absolutely right. Changing racquet isn’t what Rafa needs since it’s not the root of the problem. He couldn’t control the power of his forehand and he made many unforced errors with his signature forehand down the line which leads to less confidence. Rafa isn’t the same young, fast player in the past. He is 30 now and his knee has many problems that we all know. That’s the reason why he always gets trouble of timing of hitting.

      A new coach is what Rafa needs. Serena Williams is a good example. She worked with a new coach after huge blow in first round of French Open 2012. She found her rhythm back and had won many majors.

      Like

  9. ps : VAMOS DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) 🙂 : ) YOU HAVE THE BEST MOST LOYAL TEAM & TOGETHER YOU ARE MAGNIFICENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : )
    Uncle TONI is a determined, passionate coach and a genius in observing other players’ game……& he is continuing to bring your level up to current TOP FORM!!!!!! YOUR SERVE HAS TRIPLED in strength & effectiveness!!!! YOU SERVE beautifully !!!!!!!!!!!!!! : )
    Roig is a strong great compassionate coach who is also clearly knowledgeable in Tennis & helps you make the right moves. : )
    Rafael is THE BEST BEST PHYSIO anyone can have because he is such a gentle, kind soul with a cute face that has all the patience in the world to always be there for you . His work is helping your beautiful muscles breath!!!!!!!!!!!!! : )
    VAMOS & KUDOS TO ALL OF YOU WORKING TOGETHER with AFFECTION, LOYALTY, CARE & RESPECT and UNPARALLELED EFFORTS & IMPROVEMENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) 🙂
    Enjoy your break & time at home with your loved ones & take good account of all your unbelievable fantastic accomplishments & improvements thus far!!!!!!!! : )
    Many of us fans are right there with you, enjoying your talent enormously & and wishing you all the very best in everything!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) have a nice evening & enjoy EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!! : )

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  10. OLA & VAMOS DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) Sending you lots of love & nice time at home!!!! : ) Hoping you will always continue to be inspired from your own motivation and keep trusting our genius TENNIS!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) YOU HAVE IT ALL SWEETHEART & PLEASE KEEP YOUR HEART & THOUGHTS CLEAR & GRATEFUL…. YOU HAVE A MOMENTUM OF PLAYING STRONGLY, & clearly results of only one match are not IMPORTANT!!!!!! Please TAKE TIME TO RECHARGE & DO AS YOU PLEASED MOVING AHEAD. YOUR JOY & HAPPINESS DEAR RAFA, & GOOD HEALTH IS ALL IN TACT !!!!!! !!!!!!! : ) : ) : )
    It is a fact that all TOP players have a very high regard and respect for your game, & from what I have read & seen in pre AO interviews, there was a buzz about YOUR STRONG TENNIS and YOUR UNBELIEVABLE CURRENT LEVEL … so please know NOTHING CHANGED WITH THAT !!!!! A SET BACK IS ONLY A SET BACK……no more no less…..it happens….no big deal….that is an integral part of your genius success over the year!!!!! : ) : ) : ) VAMOS SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) YOU ARE AS STRONG AND DETERMINED AS EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! JUST KEEP DOING EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE DOING & YOU WILL HAVE THE CONTINUATION OF YOUR MOMENTUM!!!!!! YOU HAVE A STRONG BRIGHT MIND & KEEP FOCUSING ON YOUR OWN PURPOSE & YOUR OWN GIFTED POSITIVE INNER STRENGTH!!!!!
    BY the way, seeing the ATP BIAS DRAW proves once again that YOU ARE A HUGE THREAT TO BE RECON WITH!!!!! It proves that point perfectly! The ATP have a history of unbalanced, unfair draws…..& here once again, ATP tried to maneuver & manipulate & yield to the less strong players…..placing you w Verdasco they tried to get rid of either one of you so that some other weaker “top” players , and they know who they are, did not have to be challenged by your FEISTY GAME & BRILLIANT ENDURANCE. MUCH like the rest of the sport world, ATP was well AWARE OF YOUR STRONG MOMENTUM DEAR RAFA !!!!!! SHAME ON THEM for playing unfair field & clearly attempting to stop your groove forward early on the tour. Even if you won the match, you would have been tired for the next one etc…..hard to fathom the rational behind their poor hard draws! TENNIS FANS GLOBALLY ARE CRAZY ABOUT YOU & YOU ARE THE ONE DRAWING CROWDS & PASSION FOR LIVE MATCHES. YOU ARE THE TOP TOP PLAYER SELLING TICKETS!!!!!!!!! AS a matter of fact, MANY OF US ARE NO LONGER TUNING IN TO THE AO….. it is rather doll with out you in the tour DEAR RAFA !!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) Please be sure to keep us posted with your Manacore photos in the meantime ! : ) The good news is we are trusting you are prevailing no matter what circumstances are brought infront of you DEAR RAFA. Over the years, we have seen such obvious ATP obstacles & poor agenda actually ended up meaning nothing other than aggravating true TENNIS FANS & TENNIS PROS, and actually fueled you with FURTHER DRIVE only made you that much stronger & more popular amongst Tennis fans. !!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : )
    As all course of nature , EVENTUALLY, ALL behind the scene relative truths will all come to light……MUCH LIKE OIL ON WATER…………obvious to all to see. For now, all educated tennis fans all know that since you came aboard you over took the player at the time, and the younger players emerging…. You had two full lengthy rivalry back to back….. you left r fed way behind & & won over novak till your injuries. Somehow, the atp is all too invested in keeping far far past reputation alive despite player’s decline. YOU ARE THE BEST TENNIS PLAYER EVER DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) SO for now, reluctantly, ALL TENNIS FANS may have to continue to put up with bias politics, and let the artificial crowning of the weaker player continue, the imbalanced draws, AND all these ways of protecting certain players whilst making it most difficult for others well deserving champions……etc….etc….. NOTHING CHANGED…. Much like history tells us…..ATP did the same w Martina N & C Everett…. Martina was CLEARLY the stronger , superior player for a very very long time , for YEARS……..and yet, the ATP kept protecting Everett ‘s image, and artificially crowning her over Martina till FINALLY, it was so obvious that Everette was out of breath and they could no longer keep up the undeserving adoration . Martina is by far the best player EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Much like you dear Rafa, she had to over come so many bias obstacles….. and yet, truth be known all TENNIS FANS at the time were well aware of the discrimination and unnecessary pile of rocks placed on her way…..It was a bias then, and it continues to be an obvious bias nowadays with such poor, unworthy politics…..AFTER ALL, SPORT IS EASY ENOUGH TO DETECT……..simple & straightforward….where one earns a solid reputation by genuine competition…. not by favoritism & private privileged connections , or butt licking…. Similarly, all the efforts to pull one undeserving player over a well deserving player is as clear as a bell !!!!! It is as clear, that at some point all of it will come to light. In the meantime, I am certain those who are benefiting from easy draws over & over again, KNOW their victories are meaningless & irrelevant. True champions earn their trophies with sweat & passion & skill & drive…..THE HONORABLE FACT IS that YOU DEAR RAFA & Martina N. HAVE DONE EXACTLY THAT ….. subsequently, YOU ARE THE MOST BELOVED POPULAR PLAYER EVER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) YOU ARE THE GOAT in TENNIS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU HAVE GENUINELY EARNED YOUR 14 GRAND SLAMS one difficult match after another. !!!!!! So when you are at home now dear Rafa, please fill your mind with the enormous success you have earned thus far, with respect and admiration you have built for yourself, and the extraordinary love and affection you have from your millions of fans world wide.
    PLEASE KEEP IN MIND you only lost one match that lasted nearly 5 hours!!!!!!!!!! Who else on the tour currently besides you & verdasco can withstand that sheer fitness, hard work & effort & enormous endurance ????? NOT NOVAK not ANDY , not fed, NOT NOBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) More than anybody, you have the top TENNIS MUSCLES & ENDURANCE SWEETHEART !!!!!!!!!! You might benefit from acknowledging that, and give yourself the well earned credit you deserve!!!!!! YOU ARE A STRONG BEAUTIFUL PLAYER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) 🙂 ci….ci…..ci….ci….& ci……and a long nearly 5 hours match is a win in itself!!!!!!!!!!! A true current Tennis SUCCESS.
    Be sure to pay zero attention to meaningless articles, bs empty suggestions, old outdated former players who have not accomplished 1/10 of what you have , keep all of that away from your blessed front focus!!!! Like all your fans & tennis admirers, our family is so very proud of you DEAR RAFA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) This afternoon, I was watching your interview with Charlie Ross right after you won the 2013 US OPEN, and I was impressed with your analysis of your abilities, plans & your solid realistic knowledge of your game & TENNIS in general. PLEASE if you have a moment, take a look at YOU TUBE interview of you w with Charlie Ross in 2013. You have been very fortunate with your blessed drive to compete, with your brilliant Tennis ability and beautiful deep passion….. There is so much richness in your game and I must say I am 100% confident you have what it take to continue to take all top players. Please take time to enjoy all of your beautiful accomplishments & keep the heroic mind set that is so naturally in built in you!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) VAMOS DEAR RAFA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) Enjoy EVERYTHING & God bless you sweetheart ! Lots of love & happiness & HUGE CONGRATULATIONS ON EVERYTHING YOU HAVE DONE THUS FAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) VAMOS…………………..VAMOS……………………VAMOS………………….

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  11. Miriama Harris

    Dear dear Rafa,

    Some of your fans think they have all the answers as to why you are losing these days, the simple truth is ‘You are being outplayed’ not something we will admit to, because we want to see you ‘Playing at your brilliant Best’ as you have always done throughout your fifteen year career. We all know you have not been in your ‘Real RAFA form’ for well over a year, and we all watch hope and Pray that you will bounce back again, with the ‘Scintillating and Exciting’ tennis we have been so used to seeing you play, Rafa you have given us so much ‘Exciting and Spectacular’ tennis over the years, and we want it to go on forever, you are a SUPERSTAR and have given of yourself with so much ‘commitment and dedication’ to this wonderful game of tennis,to me you are what Tennis is all about, you have maintained a ‘wonderful physique’ and kept yourself in ‘splendid shape’ always practicing and completely dedicated and committed to giving of your best for tennis. Your Uncle Toni has been a wonderful coach, and has served you well, so I am not sure if bringing someone else on board is the only answer, but if anyone at all I hope its Pete Sampras someone I loved and admired before you came along, definitely not JOHN MCENROE. But all is not lost yet, you are still number 5 in the Rankings, which is pretty good considering that you have not played your best consistently for such a long time, There are many players out there, like BERDYCH, ISNER. RAONIC. NISHIKORI.CILIC DOLGOPOLOV, DIMITROV and so many others who would love to be ranked no 5 and would love to win just ONE GRAND SLAM and some of the amazing Titles you have, so we still have lots to ‘Love and admire’ about you, you have so many fans around the world who love and support you, through your WINS and your LOSSES we still salute you, because you always say, THE GLORY IS IN THE RISING AGAIN AFTER THE FALL, AND YOU DO THAT ADMIRABLY RAFA….VAMOS.

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  12. Rafa has all the ability and talent to win more slams he’s wasting time and will be 30 soon the wearing and tearing of his body will let him down so he needs new strategies and Tony has nothing new to add to Rafa game ! Rafa has to add a new coach to his team Agassi Sampras or John McEnroe! I’m still in shock to see my # 1 player gone not even interested in AO I’m so hurt I feel as if I lost I’m sure Rafa feeling hurt too but changes are needed sometimes and I’m sure it will be for better Rafa ! I don’t like changes too but adapt to it and it will bring you more success.You are so exciting and amazing on the court and will be missed a lot not only be me but by millions all over the world at the AO ! Gosh it’s killing me !

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    1. I’m inclined to agree with you regarding the 3 Coaches, but Uncle Toni should always be in the picture as he knows Rafa’s strengths n weaknesses. I can’t help but feel that had Rafa had a better draw in the first round like the other Top Seeds, we would still be seeing him competing.

      Like

  13. elaine

    I am sure Rafa and his team will build on this devasating blow and make the right decisions for the rest of the year now to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Although we are still very sad for Rafa but as fans we are all still behind our Champ and the King of Clay will reign again! Vamos Rafa!

    Like

  14. marie noelle

    I too am still very sad about the defeat. Rafa in my opinion totally lost confidence in his strong hit, forehand and hes hardly used. it’s so sad. Rafa puts no force and power in this one, he’s better now with his backhand. and the other players know this and play on his forehand all the time. he can not win without having any confidence in his forehand. I do not know what will be done to resume confidence in him, “(I pray that this happens very quickly

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  15. My mind is in a turmoil Rafa n I am so depressed. Your early defeat n a sudden serious eye disease have left me shattered. I hope you find a solution to your problems. You have such bad luck my boy – the other top seeds draw low ranking players in the first rounds, but you have to draw a tough opponent. I was hoping to see you play in the AO, but now I am also returning to my home in Perth for urgent eye treatment. God Bless You. Vamos Rafael. Your Aussie Abuela. 😀😊😇

    Like

  16. michele

    Connie, you are so exactly right in what you say, I totally agree with you.
    Also, it’s nice to see a reasoned statement well expressed, rather than the ranting and/or hysterics we often see on this site.

    Like

  17. LE

    Agree with Carmel,

    Rafa acknowledged that in the press conference and mentionned it last season too.
    More guys taking more risks than Rafa does to try to beat him hitting Winners from difficult positions.
    Verdasco said it after the match, he closed his eyes hoping for the Winners and it worked.
    That also means, more unforced errors but he played the numbers.
    Rafa had 3 times less unforced and winners than Verdasco. He needs to change his approach or 2016 will be the same as 2015.

    Vamos Rafa!!

    Like

  18. I felt so despondent about Rafa when he was playing Verdasco. he kept running out of steam. all these guys are just taking risks to beat him pounding returns and not giving Rafa time to get to a return, I cannot remember the unforced errors but Verdasco had something like 36 to Rafa..s eleven. These Guys are playing with Rafa’s head and he is letting them,the spark has seemed to have left him, but I still love him..He seriously needs a change in his camp and new ideas. Verdasco will probably lose in the next round. .Rafa’s curse ‘

    Like

  19. Connie

    My answer to question is yes, we will see back to his best but only if he changes his tactics (not coach), according to his opponent, because Rafa plays the tried and tested way of when he was winning everything but the game has changed considerably now and adjustments must be made by mixing up his shots and most importantly his serve which is the only real shot that anyone has control over. Rafa, as we all know is a creature of habit so he needs to develop more ‘habits’ to outwit his opponent, he can do It as he is a very talented tennis player with a proven track record and also very intelligent. That is my considered answer. 🤓🤔

    Like

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