Rafa Roundup: “I want to believe that for sure it was a mistake for Maria”

Rafael Nadal of Spain smiles as he talks to the media during day three of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 9, 2016 in Indian Wells, California. (March 8, 2016 - Source: Julian Finney/Getty Images North America)
Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images North

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The Spaniard, 29, said he was “a little bit tired” of the rumours, adding: “I am a completely clean guy. I have never had the temptation of doing something wrong.”

Nadal added: “I believe in the sport and the values of the sport. The sport is an example for society. It is an example for the kids and if I am doing something that goes against that, I will be lying to myself, not lying to my opponents.”

Nadal has never failed a drugs test but has been the subject of speculation that he dopes.

“I have been open all my career,” he said. “I never tried to hide nothing that I did. I did PRP and then I did stem cells. The first time with PRP it worked fantastic and the second time it was bad. I had to stop playing tennis for seven months. With stem cells, I used it two times on my knees and it worked very well. I am not doing, never did, and never going to do something wrong.”

Rafael Nadal: “I am 100 percent confident with my team, and at the same time, I know all the things I am taking. It is difficult to imagine that something like this can happen, but everyone can make mistakes. I want to believe that for sure it was a mistake for Maria, that she didn’t want to do it, but it is a result of negligence. But the rules are like this, and it’s fair, and now she must pay for it.

“I am practising hard and happy to be here with time and doing the right things [to prepare],” Nadal said. “I lost two matches at the beginning of the season that I could win and should probably win.

“I feel ready to keep going mentally and physically. I’m excited to be in Indian Wells, a tournament I love so much.”

Let the Rafa rumination begin again: Has a player ever inspired as much head-scratching and handwringing as Rafael Nadal has over the last year? It’s true, though, that he could use a win, or three. He has traditionally done well on the slow courts at Indian Wells, and he counts the event as one of his favorites. But an early loss this year wouldn’t be a shock, and that’s precisely the problem.

The impression is that Rafa Nadal is finding everything just that little bit harder every day…

It’s been 10 years since 2005, when he won his first Grand Slam, but Rafa is in good shape physically. In Rio, against Cuevas, he coped well in the third set of a long, tough match. He still has the desire. Rafa has always been a strategic player, not one who wins points directly with his serve or return. That has changed [in the game]. In Australia, 70 percent of the points were won in four or fewer shots. We have had to adjust. And Rafa was doing it well, we were at a high level in London, Abu Dhabi and Doha… just when this current run started.

What do you think about the talk of Rafa hiring a new coach, or a new coaching team?

Please, I don’t know how often I have to keep saying it… It’s like the book by Vargas Llosa says: The Civilization of Entertainment. Does anyone remember today who John McEnroe’s coach was? No. Here we have a team, a collective responsibility. From the most responsibility to the least, we are Francis Roig, Toni Nadal and Rafa Nadal. Between 2005 and 2014, between us we did a lot of things that worked out well… and that now are not working for whatever reason. We feel that we are close. And we will carry on trying.

It is senseless to suggest, at the age of 29, Rafael Nadal’s career is even close to over. His losses are sensationalised because finally, the mighty king of the clay courts has apparently fallen.

However, if you consider he finished the year as world No.5 with three titles under his belt and clean sweep in the World Tour Finals round robin, 2015 looks like little more than a wobble. Add to that the fact he has had, across a 13-year career, almost two years absent due to injury, and still managed to amass the titles and records he has, you’d realise what a miracle he is.

The start of 2016 hasn’t been ideal, but it hasn’t been wholly disastrous either. Tearing him apart after every less than perfect performance is pointless and crude.

While the thrill of winning is on the table, Rafa will keep on chasing that high. And soon enough, he’ll reach it.

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AUDIO: Nadal on Sharapova: ‘Now she must pay for it’

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21 thoughts on “Rafa Roundup: “I want to believe that for sure it was a mistake for Maria”

  1. I totally agree with everything Rafa said. Leave him be with ll the negativity. He will always be #1 in my book. He is so loved by so many people. A champion on & off the courts. Vamos Rafa. Much love.

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  2. ashish

    Yes rafa is not doing wrll but
    Don’t know is it a right call or not
    rafa playing doubles, i feel he should play only singles this times

    Though it is good to get adapt and hve good reflex practice before 1st match

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  3. Positive thinker (India)

    LOVE YOU RAFA. IM HOPEFUL OF YOU DOING WELL AT THE IW.
    NO MATTER WHAT, PLEASE DON’T LOSE YOUR SELF CONFIDENCE.

    YOU ARE DOING GREAT. TIMES COME N GO. YOU ARE R A BEAUTIFUL PERSON, WITH A GOOD HEART. YOU HAVE SO MUCH PASSION FOR THE GAME.

    YOU R LOVED BY ONE N ALL. ENJOY YOUR SELF, GIVE THE GAME ALL YOU HAVE.
    WILL KEEP PRAYING FOR YOU.
    VAMOS ALL THE WAY ))))). LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE YOU RAFA.💖 ALWAYS.

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  4. elaine

    A true gentleman regarding Rafa’s comments as to what is happening with Sharapova at present. It is a controversial topic but the rules are there to be adhered to so no one has an unfair advantage over the players. Vamos Rafa!

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  5. Ruth Telford

    In medicine, you often seek a second opinion when your patient has a serious illness or injury. No one thinks a negative thought about second opinions. Perhaps getting one of the retired players on board in the way Boris Becker has been in for Novak would help. It wouldn’t cause Toni to retire or hopefully have his feelings hurt. It’s all for the team, you know. Love you, Rafa!

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  6. Ola & VAMOS DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) Great to see you in CA…..it is a fantastic hard court tour for you & you are riding a great hard court game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) VAMOS sweetheart & enjoy your time having lots & lots & lots of fun !!!!!!!!!!! Lots of love & happiness to you dear Rafa & your fabulous team !!!!!!!!!!! : ) Very happy for you!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) You look great & mighty beautiful with all your different T shirts, suits, & casual practice wear!!!!!!!!!!! Hate backwards is THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) I love all your recent photos, on & off the court & enjoy reading everything you offer in interviews. You are amazing sweetheart and very special & I am thrilled to see you move along nicely !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : : ) : ) : ) God bless you & enjoy a FANTASTIC MATCH & your powerful beautiful tennis !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) Have a great day & enjoy everything!!!!!!!!!!!!! : )

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  7. J Beer

    Toni Nadal: “Between 2005 and 2014, between us we did a lot of things that worked out well… and that now are not working for whatever reason. We feel that we are close. And we will carry on trying.”. This sums it up, and who can blame him, this is the classic approach of never change a winning team, taken a stretch too far. Anyone can see that fresh blood, new ideas, new input, is necessary. Toni keep looking back, as if the answer to the riddle is there. No. It is ahead, and will not be found by someone who looks backward mostly. But who knows, maybe the team is working behind the scenes on fresh views. The images of Toni and Rafa on court, discussing for the 5000th time how to hit the FH with spin and deep, are depressing me nowadays.

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    1. DMTNA

      The problem is Toni. He just won’t let go. Rafa won’t get another slam with Toni.

      I just hope that Rafa will wake up and have some changes of coach but it’s over.

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    1. Deep Thinker

      Dear Connie,

      Dont be too optimistic.
      Acertain man who detests glutten-rich diet is on Nadal’s path to glory …and we all know what that means or don’t we all?
      Our champion will need a miracle to lift the cup, let’s start praying that N.D will suddenly develop another eye infection LOL! But who knows, he has so overwhelmed our champion that he may even prevail (yes, even with an eye infection).

      But, we’ll see……………..

      Like

  8. gjognson7@hotmail.co.uk

    I do hope Rafa dies well at Indian Wells and also for the rest of the season ,he deserves to get a few good wins behind him ,he’s such a great player and a favourite with the fans of tennis where ever he goes ,he’s such a nice genuine man ,,,I wish you best wishes Rafa ,

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  9. Rafa always the gentleman such a lovely person and a great tennis player this is why he has so many fans who love him and who continue to support him every step of the way

    Like

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