Rafa Roundup: Nadal Feels He’s On The Right Track Despite Losses To Verdasco And Djokovic

Sweat drips from the nose of Spain's Rafael Nadal 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
Photo: REUTERS/Thomas Peter


I know I’ve been doing things the right way. The work that I’ve done is well done. Tuesday’s loss does not change the reality: I am well and I hope it continues this way from now on. Yes, I had lost in Qatar against Djokovic in the final, but I’m on the right track. I will try to follow a similar work line, and I will try to leave the match against Verdasco behind me.

In any case there are no excuses. I failed to take advantage of what I should have and when the match goes sideways it is impossible to fix. I could have won in the fourth set. I think I did the right things to finish it, but he had an adrenaline rush that lasted until the fifth set.

The loss to Verdasco cannot take my current perspective: I’ve been playing at fairly high level since Beijing. I’ve been playing at a high level regularly in the last few months, at a level that I hope to have. Yesterday’s defeat is a stone in the road of this recent positive streak and I just need to assume it.

Está claro que Rafa está en una etapa de cambio, de cambiar cosas y de evolución en general. Puede estar algo confuso por ello, lo que puede inducirle a más presión, errores, falta de confianza… pero le veo jugando un buen año, en general, aunque esta derrota sea dura de asimilar: un partido al límite, primera ronda, etc. Pero Rafa ha salido de peores situaciones. Estoy seguro de que en solo dos o tres semanas volverá a estar bien.

When huge upsets like these occur, our natural reaction is to search for explanations. Was the underdog simply playing out of their mind? Did the top seed not have enough tournament play after the off-season, or was this just an off day?

“Even if somehow he finds a way back to full confidence, I’m not sure he’d still beat [Novak] Djokovic. And getting back to this state of mind while you keep losing against Djokovic, it’s not easy,” Mouratoglou said. “If [Nadal] starts to think that he won’t ever be back then he’s going to stop playing tennis. If at some point he stops believing, he’ll stop. That’s not someone who’s going to hang in there between the fifth and 10th spot in the rankings. But he still believes he can. For how long, I don’t know. But the results will have to arrive quickly.”

“He’s going to be so good when the clay court season comes along. He’s got a couple of tournaments now, so he’s got an extra 10 days to practice before he goes to South America, he’s going to go down there, he’s going to win one of those (tournaments), he’s going to get a lot of matches. He’s going to be so dangerous when the clay court season comes along, and if he gets a good clay court season then the confidence comes back,” said Wilander.​


  1. Rafa makes me excited to watch tennis. I’ll always be his supporter. And besides he’s such a good man at a very early age. You just want the best for him.

  2. To All Rafa Fans: Never lose hope. Not just in tennis but in all aspects of life. Yes I am always hoping and very often praying for Rafa. I hope and pray that he will find a way to win tournaments and defeat Novak as well. Whether or not he does it with the help of another coach is yet to be seen. I, or none of us have control over that. Personally, I feel that bringing a different and new perspective to his team would only help him and not hurt him. But that is Rafa’s choice. I am a fan of Rafa, and always will be – whether or not he gets additional coaching or not. God bless you Rafa, and Good Luck & Good Health!! Love, Marylynn

    • Thank you both to Maria and you Marylynn for some sane and lovely comments as I, too am a huge Rafa fan since he was 18 years old and ever since, he just appealed to me with his obvious talent and his passion for his game, he has never changed in that regard but only he knows what he has to do to progress his game. I always lose interest when he goes out of a tournament and cannot wait until the next one. All I can say is all the very best in South America and the rest of 2016. We, your true fans, are always with you Rafa.

  3. Rafa dosent need to see a therapist but a few of you on this site should seek out a Psychiatrists for yourselves. And J Beer some of your comments might have been OK back when you were young but times have changed and this is 2016 and your comments and what they suggest are not

  4. Serena Williams dropped in the rankings after one of her sisters was murdered. Rafa has no such excuse for his decline. Serena regained her form and surpassed it by seeing a therapist and hiring a new coach. Rafa stubbornly and stupidly refuses to do either.

  5. Mats Wilander knows what he is talking about, great thoughts of someone that knows well the game and the players

  6. Another great point by Sosa Laforge. Rafa’s OCD is off the charts. And getting worse by the day. He needs professional help. Big time.

  7. Serena Williams plummeted in the rankings in 2004-2006 because she went into a DEEP DEPRESSION after one of her sisters was murdered in September 2003.

    Rafa has NO SUCH EXCUSE for his declining form the last 2 years. He was 100% healthy for the last 6 slams that he entered, and yet, only got as far as the quarterfinals twice, and suffered 4th, 3rd, 2nd & 1st round losses in the other 4.

    Serena got out of her deep depression by seeing a mental therapist on a regular basis, and she fixed her game by watching old videotapes of her best matches. She also hired a new coach in 2012 – Patrick Mouratoglou – who made BIG IMPROVEMENTS to her footwork, balance and shot selection.

    Rafa, on the other hand, remains in total DENIAL about the state of his game and his so-called “comeback”, deluding himself into believing that he’s “getting close” to his top form and “getting close” to competing for slam titles again. He continues to insist that “a point here, a point there, and I’m winning these matches and winning slams again.” LMAO. Nothing could be further from the truth Rafa. Absolutely nothing.

    I’ve quoted Mark Twain before and I’ll quote him again: “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.”

    • Ooooh, terrible! You criticize Nadal! You must hate him, cause you clearly don’t support the fact that he’s happy with no changes and a downward career spiral! You should shut up! Or be deported, or they should cut off your hands. Anything is allowed, for we should all have the same opinion. – Connie

  8. Can’t wait to see Rafa in the next tournament and hopefully he will come back stronger the AO is not the same without him . Best wishes and speedy recovery to Nigel Sears and good luck to Andy for the rest of the tournament

  9. Can I remind you J Beer, that this site is called Rafanadalfans, the clue is the name of the site, which is why I wonder that never have you written a word when Rafa wins but come down on him like a ton of bricks when he has a rough patch.

    Sosa, can you read what I wrote earlier which seemed to incur your wrath, all I said was that J Beer does not appear to support Rafa at all unlike his real fans.

  10. Ok this confirms what we feared, nobody is more in denial than the tandem rafa toni. Good luck with that…

    • No, J Beer your comment confirms what all Rafa fans know is that you should go off this site as you are of no support for Rafa at all. Try and be positive for a change and support Rafa for once, he is more disappointed in the exit from the AO than anyone of us will ever know, and we all wanted him to go further in this Grand Slam but he didn’t so that is that. So either put up or shut up please.

      • Connie: talk about yourself. You’re not all of the Rafa’s fans. some fans including me have different opinion. I do believe that Rafa is in denial. his style of play is so yesterday. Anyone on the tour has learned how to beat Rafa. He is older and slower and needs to adapt offensive game and improve his serves. He did serve well in US open 2011. why he can’t do it again? There is no excuse for him not being able to return the big serves. Berdych was returning Krygios’s serves very well. Why Rafa is always have problem with big servers?
        and please don’t start with that Berdych has not won any GS. I am aware that very well.
        The point is Rafa needs new coach and someone to help him with his OCD. He needs to embrace the change but he can’t do it by himself and his current coaching team has proved that they have no clue or being helpful.

      • Hey connie, opinions that you dont like cant be expressed? Where everyone is white, there is no room for black? Great to know that. I may be the endangeroud species, but you are the dangerous one. Sleep well, little gutmensch!

  11. I completely agree..we have not seen nadal playing on clay for long..he will be so dangerous according to his recent performance on the hardest court..

  12. You need a new coach to teacessh yoru how to play more actively and come to the net the way Becker taught Djokovic you have a great net game

    • Elaine, Djokovic hardly comes to the net, he dominates from the baseline which he prefers and either drop shots or lobs in order to fox his opponents.

  13. good to hear that this loss will not demoralize you rafa

    v r with u always, u r one amazing player ever produced

    just v dont want to see u losing and see u disheartened

    just focus to remain healthy and clear ur thought process

    vamos rafa vamos

    i m upset because i am unable to see u playing this two week just miss ur play so much

    good luck and have a healthy off period

    just enjoy

  14. Rafael has earned the right to choose his path. He will accomplish what is needed. It will not be easy, but he will achieve his destiny. Roger has talked of doing the “hard yards”, and Rafael of “suffering” to win; we are only riders on this
    storm-sometimes painful and astonishingly glorious. Thank you for it all!

  15. Serena William was once ranked 88 few years back, NOW she is No.1.
    So please Rafa Nadal, never give up & keep trying! You will be at the BEST again soon soon soon.

    • Yeah rafa once used to win majors and masters, two years ago we saw that heoved away from that. That’s two years. How long did Serena (injured) stay in her dip? Exactly.

    • You know why? Cuz she was wise to change coach. In 2012, when Serena suffered huge blow in the first round of French Open , she decided to work with Mouratoglou. After that, she had won many majors and found her rhythm back again.

      Rafa has potential cuz he is not on the right track. He shouldn’t blame himself. He can’t play like the old time anymore when 30. His knee is getting weak, he couldn’t run like he used to. That’s when Rafa should try something new. A professinal like Mc Enroe, Borg or Carlos Moya would be perfect for him.

      Why Rafa? You ‘re 30 and there isn’t much time. So act now before it’s too late.

  16. Matts Vilander is 100% correct in that Rafa will be dangerous when Clay courts start. I feel positive enough to say that Rafa will win RG this year! Vamos Rafa!

    • We’ll see. He has allowed Novak put a foot in the door!
      And, ofcourse you know what happens when Novak puts his foot in the door…

      But, we’ll see…….we’ll see.

      • Deep Thinker, “a foot in the door”? Novak wipes the floor with Rafa on all surfaces. I guarantee you that without any new strategy, next time these two meet on clay, it’s boom, 3-0 again for Djoko after 10 minutes. And we will again see the scared stare towards the box. Groundhog day it is.

  17. OLA & VAMOS SWEETHEART RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ): ) : ) We love your solid attitude & appreciate everything about your TENNIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) 🙂 Have a great time enjoying everything and your time at home with your loved ones!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) Your momentum is beautiful & forceful!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) With all your recent improvements, your talent on hard court is AS good as your talent on clay!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) Your game & Tennis know how is FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) We are very happy for you!!!!!!! Uncle Toni can also be proud of everything he has offered , and one of his gifts is that he is consistent with his fundamentals & has a solid foundation. He KNOWS TENNIS & together with you the two of you have been more successful than any other player from all TENNIS ASPECTS…..not just on the court!!!!! God bless you & all the best sweetheart!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) Take your time with everything!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) We enjoy following your tours & live matches so much!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) NO ONE HAS YOUR WHOLESOME & COMPLETE ENGAGEMENT ON THE COURT!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) VAMOS DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) 🙂 : ) : ) Enjoy the nice break & have lots of fun practicing & be sure to tell Rafael to keep posting your photos & videos !!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) VAMOS & lots of love & happiness to you & uncle Toni & the rest of THE TEAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : )

  18. Thank goodness the comments are of a positive nature after all the ‘over the top’ comments since he went out of the AO, Rafa knows when he should have taken control of the match – in the 4th set!! He learns from his losses and keeps on going, so my message is for all to keep on supporting and cut out the criticism.

  19. hi rafa good luck in brazi your on the right track up all the way by for now glennis from the lsle of man.

  20. Why when a top player loses a couple of matches do they analyse everything and think they should retire it happens they do lose and can’t win all matches but this doesn’t mean they have to retire I am fed up hearing that Rafa will retire !! He himself and only him will know when he needs to retire until then let’s wish him all the best for his future matches and if he wins some and loses some which he will he is still one of the greatest champions tennis has ever had and I respect him for this and for his attitude and personal manner I personally hope he is around for a long time yet as tennis will be boring without him

    • Agree. He comes in from more scrutiny than any other player. Federer has not won a major for a long time and less comment. Rafael is still a role model in his behaviour and attitude. He will regain best form

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