Rafa Roundup: Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic Praise ‘Amazing’ Rafa

Kei Nishikori plays Rafael Nadal in Men's Singles Quarterfinals in Stadium 1 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California Friday, March 18, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open)
Photo by Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open

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“I felt strong mentally,” Nadal added. “I had the right energy. I was able to fight for every ball. I was able to keep going during the whole match and believe in myself again, and that made me play with more energy and less nerves.

“That’s so important for me. It’s the way I’ve played my whole career. This week has been very, very positive.”

“I had a tough draw from the beginning,” said Nadal, who saved match point in his fourth-round win over Alexander Zverev. “To be able to be where I am today, in the semifinals, and especially with the victory of today against a top, top player, that’s something very important for my confidence. It’s very important to believe in myself too, and winning the way that I did.

“A moment like that doesn’t really happen, especially with two people that are so big in the sport,” he said. “I think Djokovic and Nadal are probably two people with the biggest personalities on the tour and they’ve played each other countless times. They have a really incredible rivalry but through it all it’s always been very friendly and mutual respect for one another, so that moment was an illustration of that.”

I have a lot of talent but not like Tiger Woods, Rafael Nadal and Martina Hingis,” said the 34-year-old.

Federer apparently realised immediately upon first playing Nadal that he was up against a very special opponent.

Kei Nishikori plays Rafael Nadal in Men's Singles Quarterfinals in Stadium 1 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California Friday, March 18, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open)
Photo by Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open

It was clear that the Spaniard would become the number one already in very competitive times,” he added, before expanding on his thoughts about how he doesn’t feel like one of sport’s greats.

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19 thoughts on “Rafa Roundup: Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic Praise ‘Amazing’ Rafa

  1. Deborah Vantol

    I so thoroughly enjoyed your match against Nole in the semi-finals at Indian Wells. It showed great improvement!! So proud you have been my favorite player since I first watched you on tv at 18 years old. Don’t listen to the negative comments. You really are amazing to watch. What all these different surfaces do to your Bodies is unreal. You are moving faster. Playing like you did at your best. Your skill is so under appreciated sometimes. What you give to me as a fan that is older and Ill is hope, pleasure and a will to fight through things like you have, and continue to do with elegance and grace. My wish is to see you play in person just once!!!
    I am so proud of you and all you are doing with your new school.
    Your confidence is back and you are feeling it! Thank-you for all you sacrifice for your sport. I am so glad you are enjoying playing!

    Deborah Vantol
    Your biggest fan

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  2. Congrats Rafa ! I’m so happy to be your fan and I wish you can continue play tennis so I can get my happiness and excitement which only you can bring on court. I really enjoyed looking at you enjoying and celebrating your hot shots, passing shots, down the line and forehands. Wow I almost called in sick today to be at home to look at your match but thank god I was able to watch you play at work. You are a champion and my # 1 player always . Love from Toronto I don’t care for Raonic he’s very boring to look at .

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  3. Maria

    Well said Abu , it seems no matter how Rafa plays there will always be someone ready to stick the knife in, if he is such a disappointment no 27 go support someone else

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  4. As expected. He lost. Even Jo made it very close. Nole was not his usual self and Rafa couldn’t even make it close more than a set which he lost. Indian Wells is his best place aside of clay and he hasn’t been good on clay for years now he’s best at HC and IW is his strongest place and he couldn’t even make it real close there. Dunno guess Kei match was a fluke. I always get my hopes up and then you realize Rafa is still not and probably never will be playing like his old self.

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    1. Abu Parker

      you and I obviously watched 2 different games – Rafa was awesome and showed clear signs that he’s back. no he didn’t win, and you were a fool to expect him to beat nole so soon into his comeback. he will be very proud of his game today, as he should be. god alone knows what you expect from the man, one wonders what you, other than your mouth, is capable of. I believe he is finding his form and will have a much better season than last year, BUT I WOULD BE A FOOL IF I EXPECT HIM TO BECOME NUMBER ONE THIS YEAR, AS YOU CLEARLY DO!

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  5. VAMOS DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) You played GREAT…….& there will be other opening to take a decisive win : ) VAMOS for all the fighting & great matches!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) Enjoy a great break & take pride in your great game!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!! : )

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  6. GO RAFA GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Rafa is playing aggressively and hopefully can mix returns and surprise n ……. Good close match….GO…. GO…. GO…. DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) YOU ARE SERVING & MOVING GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : )

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  7. Maria

    Can’t bear to watch the match but have just checked the score and my god Rafa you are on your way back up to the top where you belong win or lose this match no one can say you were thrashed today. Come on believe and you can take this

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  8. GO RAFA GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) You are playing beautifully sweetheart!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) Great GAME DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) VAMOS SWEETHEART IN HEADING TO TAKE 1st SET !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) 🙂 VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : )

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  9. Good luck Rafa against Novak just keep on playing as best you can you know you can do this and get through to the final keep your confidence up and just keep fighting if things get a bit tough have very faith in you that you can do this and as long as you believe you can then you WILL !!!!

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