Rafael Nadal suffers Rio Open defeat to Pablo Cuevas

(Reuters) – Rafael Nadal’s below-par season has continued with the former world number one dumped from the Rio Open semi-finals with a 6-7(6) 7-6(3) 6-4 defeat by unseeded Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas on Saturday.

The top seed pipped Cuevas in a first set tie-break and denied his opponent two set points in the second but succumbed to his first defeat against the world number 45.

“I lost an opportunity, that’s it,” Rafa said after being denied his 100th ATP final by Cuevas who fired 48 winners to clinch the contest.

“I fought until the end. I have to accept it and keep working to try to change the dynamic. That’s what’s happening today and I have to work hard to change it,” added Rafa.

“I didn’t win a title, so it wasn’t a positive two tournaments. I had my chances in both. I lost in the semi-finals of both tournaments and just have to look forward to Indian Wells.”

Source: Reuters

103 comments

  1. Nadal has been the cause of suffering for so many players on the tour, even Federer, Djoker, Murray, all the top guys. For very long he has been the rock that many waves crashed up against.

    Now, Rafa is the one suffering the losses, and he’s basically enjoying a dose of his own medicine. Everyone seems capable of forcing him to swallow these bitter pills.

    It’s actually beautiful if you think about it. Makes him seem more real. For us fans, it’s not pretty, and it’s hard to watch him go through this depressing state. Hopefully he can recover and become a rock again. But if that doesn’t happen, life goes on. And nothing can take away the memories this Rafa has created for us throughout the years. That’s life.

    But darn I hope he starts winning consistently again!!!

      • Probably on U tube, but do really want to watch Rafa being beaten again, I know I find it quite painful when he ‘nearly’ won again. I don’t know what to think now, I just hope he finds his mojo sometime soon.

  2. Dear Rafa, try to alter/modify your game. You were the standard for so many years. Your competitors have learned to play and win against you. Now you have to do the same and upgrade your game to beat your competitors again as you aren’t the standard anymore. Novak is the standard now. Analyze his game, take an extra coach (must be a Grand Slam winner!) besides your uncle Tony. There’s nothing wrong with your mentality or your physical capabilities. I still believe in your comeback to the no.1 position! Change your game and adjust it to your competitors as they have done with you for years! Always Rafa! Vamos Rafa!

  3. The amount of comments, the highest amount since his RG 14 win on this website, basically tells the story. 50% of the commentators now openly agree with MIOMO, Sosa and myself. The other 50% give strong statements too. We can conclude one thing, this last shock defeat has opened a lot of peoples eyes. Let it please also open the eyes of team Nadal.

  4. i dont want to think or say but i guess rafa focus is not completly on winning grandslam as now he has academy to run from last 2 years he is been promoting his academy
    Having avademy is good thing he will produce new futures

    But may be the not right time …….
    this 2 year rafa have one more thing to think and apply on and this was his academy …..so i feel the same attitude and the fous was drfting from rafa

  5. I havetaken time to read all the comments – everybody from the wise to the foolish, the Smart to the dumb, the tennis expert to the tennis neophyte are all uanimous (for the 1st time ever) – Rafa needs to either replace Toni outrightly or add to Toni & co.

    I beg to disagree. I think Rafa’s problems are basically motivationally-inspired. Afrer winning 14 GS, coupled with an injury-plagued career, he must have felt that he has done enough. And indeed Rafa has done enough. No other player (Novak, Andy, Roger, Stan or even past legends like Bjorn Borg, Mcenroe) has ever gone through the life odyssey that he has SUCCESSFULLY gone through. If Novak went through half of what Rafa went through, he would have long retired. Ditto Roger and the others. Rafa has not had it easy at all.

    Then again, we have to properly assess the impact of winning 9 French Open on an almost consecutive basis! Nobody has ever done that! And because nobody has ever achieved that feat before, we cannot compare the effect of such great achievement on the body, motivation and self will. If someone had achieved such before and the person went on to win other slams, then maybe we may be right in badly critising Rafa. But Rafa is alone in his world, alone in his sufferings. The FO is arguably the most difficult slam to win – even the ‘great’ Novak is yet to win one! And to good measure, but for Robin Solderling, Roger Federer might not have won A French Open title and no career slam to wit!!!

    So, to all those badly criticising and throwing insults at Rafa, please stop that! The wear and tear of winning 9 FO titles alone and then 14 slams is enough to drain out anybody. When someone does what nobody has ever done before, then he/she will also feel the positive/negative impact that no one has ever felt!

    Rafa, you’re a unique individual. One in a mega zillion. Djokovic, Roger etc CAN NEVER achieve a tenth of all that you achieved. But for Rafa, there would be no Djokovic, or an improved Federer and Andy. Rafa has popularised the Sports (just like Tiger Woods did to Golf or Mohammed Ali to Boxing) and has created so many super stars.hence the reason why everybody and anybody playing against Rafa ups their game.

    Rafa is truly the measure of Tennis just as Centigrade or Fahrenheit is the measure of temperature. Rafa, I doff my hat to you. You’re the greatest Tennis Player living or dead.

    And to all you unfair and myopic critics, now hear this: whether Rafa wins 3, 5, or 10 more slams doesn’t matter a dime. His name is already written in gold. Whether he does not win slam again or whether he retires tomorrow, it doesn’t matter a dime. His name is already written in gold all the same. Nothing ever will change that.

    • I have an opinion, you have an opinion, Rafa has an opinion. Rafa’s own opinion on how to tackle this endless downward slide differs from most people’s. But his own opinion on whether he should play on, if things stay as awful as they have been, is actually the same as my so very much disliked opinion: he indicated that he would quit and so he will.

    • you’ve read all the comments from the foolish, stupid and dumb, and yet it is obvious none as foolish, stupid and dumb as you, fruitcake! O_O

  6. with this kind of form, i do not see Rafa winning a title this season. A hard but true fact. Being a die hard fan, it breaks my heart to see him struggle this way. But i guess its time for me to accept that Rafa can no longer win titles and be at peace with myself.

  7. I have taken time to read all the 65 comments so far, but I’ve not seen anything from Mr. Truth himself, I mean the Deep Thinker. Virtually all that he has said/predicted about Rafa has come to pass. However, based on Rafa’s latest loss to Cuevas, here are my conclusions on Rafa and the solution to his current troubles:

    1. Rafa will not replace/add to Uncle Toni, which means we shall continue to see more of the same ”worn-out” defensive style. Whereas the best form of defence is ATTACK. Novak, unlike Rafa can at will turn defence into attack from any angle.

    2. Because Rafa will only continue to ”work hard to change the dynamics” without a complete overhaul of his entire outdated playing style, he is not likely to win matches again.

    3. Mark my words, 2016 will be far worse than 2015 or any other year. Not only will Rafa not win any tournament, he will dumped out early in the FO in May! Imagine what will happen to Rafa should he meet a Nick Kyrgios, for example, in the 1st round of the FO???
    Rafa’s winning days are indeed over as it were.

    4. The FO will be won by any of the following: Novak Djokovic, Milos Raonic or Nick Kyrgios.

    5. Novak will win Olympic Gold this year.

    But there is a solution for Rafa: Yes, Rafa CAN ONLY win again if he seeks Spiritual help. No human being made him or herself; we are all created by God. Hence it is the Spiritual that controls the physical. Rafa would not have won 9 FOs if God Himself did not allow it. And despite receiving so much unmerited favor from God Almighty, Rafa keeps denying His existence! Meanwhile, Serena attributes her successes to Jehova God and Novak confesses his christain faith even as he always wears a chain crucifix tucked underneath his t-shirt when playing on court.

    You cannot deny God continually and hope to continue to enjoy his mercies. Rafa needs to immediately go down on his knees and beg God for forgiveness. Thereafter, he should always say a short prayer before playing on court.

    If he can truly do these things now, then he win more GS title.

    But I’m sure he wont do it; so the way UP will continue ti be DOWN, DOWN and DOWN!!! This year’s FO may well be the archilles’s heel as a resounding humiliation awaits him. Infact, it is better he avoids playing the FO so as not to suffer the worst humiliation of his career on his famous hunting ground.

    A word is enough for the wise.

    • I think Rafa does believe in God regardless of what he may have said in the past – just watch him take a quick look up at the sky after some of his victories in the last few tournaments.

  8. J Beer and others who think they know so much about tennis amaze me with their arrogance. Telling Rafael to quit. Wow! Does he play for you guys or for me? It appears that you only support success. Part of sport is losing. I want him to win. He isn’t so if you cannot accept that go and support someone else.

    • Well said, Elizabeth, as usual, the voice of common sense and normality, Rafa is having a rough time at present but this will not last forever, he loves tennis so much and also appreciates HIS FANS SUPPORT, no, I am not emulating FANLOVE with her/his love of CAPITALS, just please keep on with the support.

    • so now YOU get to decide whom the rest of us should and shouldn’t support? you’re losing your mind fruitcake, take a chill pill O_O

    • Elizabeth as always goes ad hominem, as always, when she does not like the message. History has shown that people who do this, are the worst among us. Luckily, we can assume that Elizabeth is not in a very influental position, so the harm she does, is limited. Nadal himself has said he would quit if things would be as in 2015. Well, they are worse, and they will be much worse. You can close your eyes for everything that has happened since Aussie Open 2014, since US Open 2013 in fact (cause that was the last time we saw the real Nadal), but it won’t change. Even yesterday there was an article that said that Nadal showed brilliant form in the fall of 2015. He did not win 1 single tournament in the fall. 2011, a year in which he won 1 major and was a 2 time runner up, was a year he wished to forget. And now the fall of 2015 was brilliant? And then we have the ‘fans’ here who think that Rafa played well in Doha. Wake the f&ck up, he played very, very mediocre, against subtop players. And he needed three sets twice. Novak showed us how well Rafa was in Doha. Stop fooling yourselves and don’t shoot the messenger, it’s the worst thing to do.

      • Who the hell do you think you are making comments about Elizabeth you condescending arse..she’s entitled to her say as much as everyone else…no one it seems can shut your mouth up..got a crystal ball have you can see into the future can you..Nadal will retire when HE decides to ..he also says he still loves and is passionate about the sport ..anyway why are you soooo bothered that you have announce YOUR predictions on every post…you need your bumps felt …you seem obsessed with him…

  9. I would like to remind everybody that on the eve of the Australian Rafa had made a respectable comeback and Rafa was confident ,happy and very much enjoying himself on court. You only have to recall how he looked going into Bejing. I was shocked by his preconference . He was so wretched. Both he and uncle Toni were most cheerful about his going deep into the slam two months later. But the first round loss to Verdasco threw him completely and all the progress he had made previously got forgotten. Now we can only hope that he does well in his first few matches at Indian Wells. Dvora

    • Dvora, well said and glad you reminded us too as he was very confident going into the AO and what happened with Verdasco threw him (and Nando too) who seemed like a man possessed in the final set and has never played like that since, I might add. Even Novak said he would not know what would happen if Verdasco had been in his side of the draw. So imagine, that you had done all that hard work in the latter end of 2015′ reaching finals, beating the No. 2 and No. 4 at the WTF, that is how far he had come only to have the toughest of draws of all top 5 seeds and your confidence climbing steadily to go out in the 1st round!!!!!! So, I repeat, please give him a break and get behind him, he is after all, human just like the rest of us.

    • See my comment above. In Doha, Rafa played very mediocre. You want to invite him to your local tennis club, compete in the local championship, see him win easily and conclude that he played fantastic and is making a comeback? Go ahead. I know what Nadal in form looks like and we haven’t seen that Nadal in ages. Not in the fall of 2015 and not even one game in 2016.

  10. OLA & VAMOS DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) That’s right…..you fought all the way to the end & it is beautiful to read that you are proud of that & have a sensible perspective moving forward. Your eagered effort with each point was precious sweetheart & you fought all the way to the last point…. KUDOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) It was VERY CLOSE the entire match & so was the final score. God bless you sweetheart for being such a feisty player & for all your in tact qualities. I liked your ACES & your strength given this was a very late match. VAMOS DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) VAMOS…………………… ! : ) VAMOS…………………… ! : ) VAMOS………………. ! : ) The good news too is the umpire Muchamed was objective & helpful with the line calls…. : )
    We love you very much DEAR RAFA & sending a big hug !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) We appreciate all your beautiful matches & determined passion !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) Very happy for you that you made both clay Semi Finals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) Enjoy your nice time between tours & have a great time relaxing with the family & enjoying your loved ones!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) Nurture your amazing body with fun & relaxation & yummy Spanish Pasta & Sea food !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) ci…..ci…..ci….Senior!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) Indian Wells will be a GREAT hard court OPENING & your next opportunity to keep playing your magic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) 🙂 : ) : ) : ) Your hard court game during recent years has evolved beautifully & you are playing TOP & highly COMPETITIVE hard court TENNIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) TAKE LOTS OF PRIDE WITH YOUR ON GOING IMPROVEMENTS & ENJOY EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : )
    Lots of love & happiness to you & Uncle Toni & Rafael & Roig!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) Keep doing exactly what you are doing & enjoy your ride……. your technical game & presence on the court is BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) God bless you sweetheart & have a good time!!!!!!! Have a great week & keep smiling !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : )

  11. RAFA we are Loyal Loyal Fans…..you are our Shining Star….a Superstar….. No One…..and because of this…You cannot be No 2….3/4/5….the Expression in your face when you lose and shake hands says it all….your mouth clinches and your head is down walking to your Room…
    you cannot be 2nd best…..so please stick to Doubles and Retire from Singles…..like Borg and Aggassi….anything, anything, repeat anything not to lose to Novak again and again…..he is loving it……he’s enjoying every minute of your humiliation……I think you have played a v big part in his inspiration and drive…..he will be lost without you….that is worth Retiring for.

  12. Dear Rafa Fans, Everyone has their own opinion which is great! I have written my opionion many times. There have been many times after one of Rafa’s losses that I have been very disappointed and sad. And because of those feelings I would feel angry at Rafa and his team for not fixing the problem in a way in which I felt they needed to. But after several hours I would calm down and realize that getting angry, or feeling disappointed are normal feelings but that in the end do not change the reality of the situation. For many years Rafa has given me much joy and entertainment. He has always been my favorite tennis player and the reason I came to love tennis as I do. Through the years Rafa has had many physical problems and has gone through numerous surgical procedrues brought on by the brutality of the sport which he loves; and remember he is only 29 years old!! He is the only TOP player that I know of that has suffered so many physical problems. So, after 14 grand slam titles, and many, many ATP titles at the ripe old age of 29, I say let’s cut him some slack and give him a break!!! My God, so what if he is in decline and maybe he is. But let’s be a little optimistic and believe that he is not in decline and that he will come back and win a couple of more Slams! Doesn’t he deserve that?? Okay, say what you like if it makes you feel better, but I still believe that he will find a way to come back and win another grand slam. Yes, you heard it right here and now on this day – February 21, 2016—-Rafael Nadal will win another Grand Slam and it will be the 2016 French Open – you wait and see – I know that we will all see him bite the trophy at the French Open in June 2016. I will stop believing in Rafael Nadal only when he actually Retires from the great sport of tennis. Stay healthy Rafa, and believe in yourself and realize your God given talent. God bless you. Love Marylynn.

    • The problem is not his losses, it is the lack of taking any action to prevent theses losses. no any fan tries to humiliate Rafa or wants him to quit. but there are many flaws in Rafa’s game that is fixable that haven’t be addressed by his team. If it’s physical problem why he keeps playing?
      Every sportsman plays to win. A professional player doesn’t play for the sake of playing. If it’s mental problem, get a damn sport psychologist to fix it, if it is technical and fitness problems find a good coach and trainer to fix it. We as his fans don’t see any measures have been taken by Rafa and his team to fix the problem. We love Rafa, we want him to win not for us but for himself. He’s miserable on the court.

      • Exactly! Well said. It seems like it won’t bother him much.
        This is not the first time. Since 2012, Rafa has never been able to go further in Wimbledon. He often got early exit. But Rafa doesn’t care much about it. He still doesn’t improve his serve and net play like what he did in 2010. The only thing in his mind is clay. And when he can’t compete at high level on clay, he eventually starts to panic.

        Act now or it will be too late Rafa! Get another coach! Many professionals are willling to help you.

        For those fan-labeled: We wants Rafa to win. Is that wrong? We are better than someone who just blames “weather condition” after every losses of Rafa. LMAO.

      • Sosa is right. Why do you think Boris Becker quit? The man loves tennis. He was getting too slow, too heavy and did not feel like he could turn things around. He wanted to be competing for the majors and quit when he saw it would not happen. Nadal is cut out of the same wood. We can speculate, maybe he knows things that we don’t know as a fact (surely they time him when doing sprints, maybe he sees there that he is indeed much slower than before, and he does not call it an injury, cause it is aging/wear and tear). Maybe things are only psychological. If he does not do anythiing about it (could be that he’s talking to a shrink already for 2 years, who know), so be it. I can only say that anyone who now still thinks that a turn of events will come anytime soon, is acting like a blind. It is really based on nothing.

    • Rafa needs to get additional coaching assistance NOW! It’s up to Uncle Tony to OK this AND INSIST UPON IT!

      A devoted fan

    • Marylynn, Your words are spot on. Exactly how I feel. He is the reason I started watching tennis and will keep watching tennis. I can see him now with the French Open Trophy. Go Rafa.

    • take a prozac and chill out girlfriend, tennis is a game, Rafa is a human being, albeit and exceptional one. Winners come and winners go, when people start to over-analyse everything and suffer depressions, and have elusions of grandeur about Rafa winning FO 2016 after his last 2 quarter final performances, need to seek help. Rafa seems to be sensible and realistic about his current form, too bad his fans are losing their minds ……..

    • Marylynn, I have read all the comments thus far and digest what people are saying and must say your comments echo mine in many ways. I too get angry with Rafa at another loss when, in my mind was there for the taking, and see him dejected once again and happening more and more recently, when he just needs to raise his game a little and another win will be his and his confidence will also go up another notch. I, too have followed his career for many years, like J Beer and those that know me know that I am an avid fan and cannot see any other tennis player who interests me so much as he does, he makes tennis come alive as no other. So I am anxious about the next tournament he is to play in thinking that he will go out early or not and hate it when he gets defeated but also elated when he wins a match and you see that smile and the obvious relief when he gets a win, it is all worth it. Goodness knows what he is going through but I am sure he will find a way through whatever is bothering him as tennis is his life and because of that and the pleasure he has given us, his fans, over the years then he needs and deserves our support still. So I will continue to follow his progress in Indian Wells and thereafter. So once again Vamos Rafa

  13. Poor Nadal. His body is not obeying the commands coming from his brain, it’s as simple as that. A new coach won’t change that. He has the correct ideas, but the execution is terrible, because his body simply refuses to cooperate like it did before. You see him look wistfully as balls that he could once upon a time pounce on and deliver a deadly winner off of, whiz past him now. He tells his body, move, but the body gives 70% response. It’s a conditioning problem, or he needs time to sync his body to his mind, or something. But a new coach won’t make him reach that ball any quicker, won’t make that wayward forehand drop inside the court or go over the net, or reduce the number of shanked balls and double faults. Maybe he just needs some rest, or a hug, or marry that nice girl.

    Not a coach problem. That’s why he doesn’t change his team. They all know this.

    • yes a new coach can’t make him move faster but he can teach him to serve much better so he doesn’t have to run to no avail. A new coach can teach him to receive the serves much closer to the baseline so his returns doesn’t land at the middle of court. A new coach can teach him to take balls in rise that doesn’t give his opponent enough time to react. A new coach is must.

    • I’m not sure you understand the game of tennis – it is absolutely a coaching problem. Rafa always has a natural ability to play and tough, his coaches were simply requires to fine-tune his skills. Now that his body has taken a beating, it does not mean that he is done, it simply means that he needs to adapt his style to his new reality, and here his coaches fail him miserable, for they don’t have a clue how to help him. His body is tired, so he needs to be taught how to adapt his style so that he does not move around too much. And how does he do that? By playing shots that are difficult to return, and makes it difficult for his opponents to make his run around the court. Essentially he needs to play more attacking tennis rather than depend on the great defensive tennis he has played all his life, control the game, and control the ability of the opponent to chase you all over the court. But his coaches fail to understand this, they push him to keep playing the same style over and over, expecting different results O_O

      Rafa still has huge potential, definitely the potential to win another FO, but only if he drastically changes his style. This is the job of his coaches, but after 10 years of having a natural born tennis player, they are at a loss as to what to do to make him win.

      This is the reality, not some mumbo jumbo psychology ………..

      • I am still of the opinion that the problem is 20% physical, 80% mental. Cause the balls that Rafa misses are now very often the ones for which he has all the time in the world. If he would only finish the easy shots. he would indeed be a top 5 player. And not a fake top 5 player. Cause I kindly remind all of you that his fall 2015 results were not top 5 material. He just went up to the top 5, cause he had no points to defend. Rafa at the moment is top 20 at best.

  14. dear all rafa fans …yes most of us unhappy with rafa loss …..but it doesnt mean v should courage to humiliate in bad words and ask to quit a player who has 14 gs only 2 nd person to have that many gs ( and maybe he will finish 3 rd in world) and great human being when v are so belittle in terms of tennis and infront of him

    V have no right to humiliate this man

    I pray, rafa will prove all of us wrong
    but i am pretty sure he has that courage and mentality to give a run for another grandslam

    So please be selective using words

  15. J Beer, I am an avid RAFA fan and I do believe that you admire RAFA as well.
    He has brought so much joy, fight, humility and a different dimension to tennis as we know it. My dad played tennis locally and he did not understand RAFAs’ ‘helicopter’ swing and pirate pants. He is a tennis purist.

    I as well didn’t understand the ‘helicopter’ in the beginning; but as I went along, RAFA just makes you believe in him. He is contagious and his NEVER GIVE UP ATTITUDE MADE FEDERER LOOK LIKE A SORE LOSER.

    J Beer, I guess what I am trying to say is, I think you are disappointed in RAFAs’ results of late, because that is NOT what you/we fell in love with. Your words at times are harsh, and it would rub some of us the wrong way. There are fans like you that can separate your feelings of the past and call it the ”way u see it”. Others, like me are NOT ready to give up on RAFA or even NOT believe that he cannot get back to where HE IS SUPPOSED TO BE. Its not delusional, its just NOT kicking a man when he is down when he needs us most.

    I believe he still has fight in him, he is just finding it difficult to make the severe adjustment whatever it supposed to be. He is a creature of habit, a TRAIT THAT MADE HIM THE CHAMPION HE IS. We have to take the good with the bad, but you have NO obligation to do so.

    J Beer, let’s just all remember that, WE LOVE RAFA AND WANT TO SEE HIM GET BACK TO HIS AWESOME WINNING WAYS.Hopefully, even though you are disappointed like us you would NEVER give up on him.

    J Beer, RAFA may never win another slam (HOPE NOT) but what he has given to the sport you and I cannot deny. Proud to be YOUR fellow RAFA fan.

    RAFA fan forever.

    • Gen, a true supporter gives support. Advice is support. Why do you think J-Mac, Pete Sampras, Pat Cash etc all give advice. They don’t want to kick a player who’s on the ground. They want him to stand up and do something about it If it was clear that Nadal was incapable of playing better, that would be the conclusion that we would need to accept. Analysts and former pro’s however are basically screaming out loud because they all see that things can be so much better. But it really seems to be stubbornness that rules camp Nadal. And it is a waste. Football players sometimes choose the wrong club, Muhammad Ali should not have fought at 39, Sampras should have done something about his clay failures (his own words), Borg should have played Australia and won the US Open too, Agassi should have focussed when he was in his prime, Johan Cruyff should have played the World Cup in ’78 and Rafael Nadal should have manned up after he turned 28. The longer he plays on like this, without trying anything, the bigger the regretful asterisk that this last phase of his career has become, will be. For his own sake, let is be stopped. Quit or do something. But don’t go on.

  16. I agree with J beer. However, let me add that Rafa’s undoing is not Uncle Toni but himself as it is HE who can decide to change coaches or add to his coaching staff. Look at what changing/adding coaches has done to Novak’s, Murray’s and even Federer’s games!! To repeat what everyone has said: Rafa’s stubbornness was clearly apparent in his humiliating defeat last night: he stays too far back of the baseline when returning serve; he keeps the ball too short when he does return them, making the ball and easy target for the likes of Cuevas; he misses very easy forehands; he lacks consistency-he could not string together two forehand wins last night!
    Rafa fans (of which I am/was one), let us be realistic: he is done for; his body language tells us that he does not want to be in the court. He has a mental issue of some kind (not physical issue) and he is too stubborn to get any help. Quit now Rafa, before you and your remaining loyal fans are humiliated by your apathy in court and by the likes of Djokovic, Wawrinka, Murray, Federer, and by the host of unseeded players who have thus far humiliated you and your dwindling fans. ADIOS RAFA.

  17. I felt the same way Neruda but find it hard to give up on Lovely Rafa but I cannot do anymore late nights waiting for him to win ,also how is it they schedule him always to play late at night when Rafa is much better in the daylight sun.It is hard to leave him, but we must never forget the years of joy he brought to us, He has not been the same since he hurt his back in the Australian finals 2014.

  18. I watched Rafa last night and it was very painful! Rafa looked confused, dejected and totally lost. To think that he had 13 break chances and only got 2 is ridiculous, especially against a player who is not even seeded! Remember that the same thing happened a week ago in Buenos Aires. Although I am/was a fan of Rafa, this is it. As somebody else said, he is too stubborn to change coaches or at least add a coach to his team. He is done for, finished as far as competitive tennis is concerned. Quit Rafa and allow us to remember you as you were, not as you are. I for one will stop watching any of his matches-it is too painful.

    • Exactly and you refer to my words of a few weeks back. The stubbornness of Nadal and his disillusional ‘fan loves’ alike, is what in the end destroys him. And yes, it is indeed almost over now. I am not a prophet but i simply take note of Nadal’s own remark, stating another year like last, would make him seriously consider quitting. You know, tennis is his job. Take any employee in any job and watch the body language. You can so easily tell who’s happy at the job and who’s not. The ones that are in the wrong place, can’t hide it and will leave sooner than later. The body language of Nadal tells it loud and clear: he does not want to be on court, he does not believe in himself, he does not believe in outside advice, he is the opposite character of who he once was. It is, my dear fans, unfortunately really over. It hurts to realize that the Nadal legacy will now not only be remembered by 14 slams, but also very much by the last 3 humiliating years of his relatively short tennis career (compared to the ones of the other big four). Nadal, not even a shade of himself at age 30, will leave the atp tour after this rg, or, if he wants to suffer even more, he will wait until Paris masters. In London, there will only be a place in the stands for him. The family recipee turned out to be lethal. Thanks Toni. And apologies accepted, dear fans who refused for so long to respond decently to my messages and analysis that turned out to contain 100% the truth and 100% correct (unfortunately).

  19. even though i say there is a urgent need of new ideas to rafa team, i still feel if rafa is not going to change his team …..its fine and one knows how he feel with other how he gel along with other memeber

    If rafa can sort out the confidence problem on his forehand himself with his team which he can definitely do…then there is no doubt i have that rafa can win granslams …..he have the granslam winning mentality

    But still present is from last 1 and half year rafa is unable to solve the confidence issue though he partly solved when he now play important points on his serves like 0-30 or 30-40 and the depth also seems to be good now remain just problem on his mOst lethal shot in tennis

    He have to commit more on his forehand whether it is down the line ….inside out or playing forehand on down the line backhand side and please set urself to the right position before hitting …….use less backhands

  20. I still wholeheartedly support and adore Rafa as a fan. He still has the weapons to compete in matches. But he did mis-fire on several crucial shots. However, I am certain he’ll be back to his best form in time. I still love watching him compete. That will never change.

    Just maybe the Rio Open was meant to be won by a native born Argentinian, either Cuevas or
    Pella. So the best of luck to them in the finals. It’s actually nice to see a native son win in their own country for a change.

    Again, there will be plenty more tournaments and opportunities for Rafa to compete in. And win or lose, I look forward to all of them.

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