Rafa Roundup: ‘So, everybody is frustrated about losing to Djokovic?’ Not really.

INDIAN WELLS, CA - MARCH 19:  Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts in his match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the semi finals during day thirteen of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 19, 2016 in Indian Wells, California.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images


Though Nadal, a 14-time Grand Slam champion, has now lost six straight matches and 13 straight sets to Djokovic, this match still represented progress. He was badly beaten, 6-1, 6-2, in their earlier meeting this year in the final of the Qatar Open. Nadal went on to lose in the first round of the Australian Open and entered the Indian Wells tournament 0-4 against opponents ranked in the top 50 this year.

“If I am able to play weeks in a row at this level, then you start to think about the chances to compete for everything,” said Nadal, a 14-time Grand Slam champion. “My confidence was good. When somebody’s playing well like I was playing, you go on court and you think that you can play well again. So that’s important for me, be confident with myself on court. I did I think for a lot of moments.”

To the Spaniard, the mere fact that he’s consistently advancing deep enough into tournaments so that he can play Djokovic encourages him, Nadal said. “If I play against him it’s because I am in semi-finals and finals, so that’s very positive news,” Nadal said. “Even if I lose, [it’s] great news.”

This was the first time Rafa had pushed Djokovic to a tiebreaker in any set since he beat him in the French Open final in 2014. That may sound like a small victory, but those are the only kinds you get against Djokovic these days.

Later, Nadal was asked if he was frustrated about losing so many times to Djokovic. Rafa smiled and said, “So everybody’s frustrated?” He’s not the only one.




  1. @Sosa Laforge: Is there is a problem if someone types from a psychiatric ward? I do and I am telling you that Rafa is better player than Djokovic.

    • George: where did I say that Djokovic was better than Rafa? I’ve always said that Djokovic is beatable. I didn’t mean to offend you. my apology.

    • Definitely, Rafa needs to improve a little bit more his confidence and starts to win again, he is close, very close

  2. rafa definitely showed improvement in this tournament especially against novak. deep thinker may be right to a certain extent and rafa certainly missed opportunities and made errors at crucial times but one has to remember that he has been struggling for a very long time and its not that easy to change and get things done. i for one was very happy to see shot improvement and even that of the serve. of course there is a lot of room for improvement but rafa made a visible improvement and that what counts. of course from now on he must continually improve and not regress again. better shot selection and variation and good strategies should be worked out.

    by the way – did anyone notice novak’s coach at 3-2 second set – standing up, red in the face, waving his fist and ‘shouting’ at novak? after that it was over quite quickly.

    novak is playing very well but is certainly beatable. he seems to be extremely lucky in many ways. at the moment against raonic too – novak is not doing anything special – raonic seems to be handing the match to him on a platter.

    Anyway, hope rafa is really gaining on confidence and starts playing like the champ that he is!!


  3. It is tough when you have the Best Novak playing on the other side ,
    it is tough to maintain a championship and look at (Serena Williams) is struggling right now agains”t Vika Azarenka”
    and today she will loose her fight with the worst forhands we have ever seen . Miami is upon us once again . 4:00 is comming up for the Grand Finals in the Desert Indian Wells ,Miami Next 2016 …..sizzling tennis !

  4. Yet another loss for the umpteenth time to Novak, and yet Rafa says there are take-away ‘’positives.’’

    Using DTA ?(Deep Thinking Analysis), I humbly beg to disagree. My reasons are as follows:

    1. Rafa had the incredible gift of being 2-0 up against Djokovic and sadly, he still couldn’t take it. This shows that even if the match had started at 2-0 up in Rafa’s favour, he still would end up like a rain-soaked dog (wagging its tail between legs).

    2. Rafa’s game against Djokovic has sadly still not changed a bit. It’s still the same predictable ‘defensive’ pattern! Hence 70% of Rafa’s game ended up in deuces, 40% of which he still eventually lost!!

    To defeat a class act like Djokovic, you need a combination of the following assorted styles anchored primarily on an aggressive, continuously attacking style (after all ATTACK is the best form of DEFENCE):

    1. Play within the baseline (to aggressively push Djokovic back and counter his drop shots)
    2. Powerful serves/aces (the few powerful forehand serves from Rafa were returned out by Novak)
    3. A good court coverage (to counter winners from Novak)
    4. Powerful ground strokes and acute cross court shot (as Djokovic , like Serena, is not much of a mover in the real sense; he makes up for that with the ‘flexibility’ of his body)
    5. Keep the points short (the era of 24- or 30-shot rallies is over. Rafa should know this)
    6. Good and aggressive net play (to dictate play and push Djokovic back )

    But Rafa is neither doing nos 1-5 above nor doing them well enough. Everybody knows that Rafa likes to set up his ‘famous’ ‘banana’ forehand down-the-line by first playing a powerful 1st serve and then quickly moving into position; but (over time) guys like Djokovic, Dolgopolov, Fognini, Kyrgios, Verdasco, Dustin Brown etc have learnt to neutralise the positioning set-up of Rafa by returning with crosscourt shots!

    And I must also say this and I stand to be corrected otherwise. I suspect, i repeat, i suspect that Djokovic was simply ‘toying’ with Rafa in the 1st round to even see whether Rafa can take a set off him! Hence, the occasional laughter from Djokovic anytime he lost a point to Rafa! The typical Novak would have reacted violently, but he was just smiling to himself (like a man with an ace up his sleeve).

    Rafa himself (after the AO loss to Verdasco) admitted that the game has changed. Meanwhile, he and his team have refused to embrace change.
    But, what else can we say or do, since Rafa has decided to press the self-destruct button.

    • That’s the reason why we said uncle Toni ran out of game plan, especially vs Djokovic.
      Rafa again, had to pay the match for not able to hold game. I am not sure is that Novak is toying him in the 1st set but Rafa did have the early break. It could still be his set if the serve and his forehand is not that shaky. Everyone so-called fans like Elizaberth Howard just praises Rafa after every losses and denies to face the truth.

  5. Are we here to support Rafael Nadal or to trade insults and tell him how to play ? He is playing much better and definitely more confident . He is a true champion and much respected and loved. Vamps Rafa

    • God there are some real fruit loops on here..who like shooting their mouths off..don’t waste time arguing with them..just comment about what’s important the fact that Rafa has got his passion and fire back bring on the clay..Well played Rafa and Vamos

    • Elizabeth: Are you saying every fan should praise Rafa on her losses specially to Novak? Are you saying there ‘s no flaws in Rafa’s game? Are you expecting no one addresses the almost 3 years of Rafa’s slump? Deep down you know that the critics of Rafa are right but you’ve chosen to close your eyes.

  6. rafa needs only one win against novak and thereafter when he plays novak u will see the difference…………
    so keep clam and vamos rafa

  7. Rafa and his irrational fans (not all the fans are irrational) are in complete denial. since US open 2013, Rafa has lost 10 times to Djokovic including 6 times in row since 2015. Tsonga played much much better than Rafa vs Novak. Bjorn Fratangelo , a 147 ranked player took one set from Novak (6-2 ) in the second round of this tournament. Novak is not good, in face Tsonga could defeat him if he would maintain his calm. Rafa plays the same game over and over again vs Novak. it’s ultimate insanity to keep doing the same thing and expect to have different result.

      • “I meant Novak is not that good and can be defeated.”

        I rest my case you delusional fool! O_O

    • Sosa, since you’ve figured me out I’ll lay it out straight – you’re incredibly STUPID!!!

      You watch the scoreline, I watch the actual match. You are interested only in the result because you’re probably a stupid gambling addict hoping to make money off the game, I am interested in the exhilarating play, the incredible style and shots that Rafa brings to the game, the sheer athleticism that he brings to the game. Win or lose, I will watch him! You can label the rest of us who will always watch him as irrational because we enjoy watching this gentle giant! You on the other hand, are a delusional fool who have no idea what WATCHING a game of tennis is all about.

      Go join the Loony Prophet and take your meds, fruitcake! O_O

      • Thanks, Sosa Laforge for your true comments on Abu Parker. I have been advised by the clergy to simply ignore him. I wish you do the same.

        As you well know Sosa, silence remains the best answer for a fool.
        Also, you don’t argue with a psychotic otherwise people will not be able to tell the difference.

        I completely agree with you that Tsonga would have defeated Novak. Possibly, that was what Rafa was expecting!

        Really, it’s not easy to be defeated by the same person 10 times (6 in a row)! But, i can see Rafa beating Novak at the FO (6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4) IF (yes, the BIG IF and only IF) he can quickly make some critical changes to his game.

        To some extent, Rafa’s game seems to have improved somewhat, say by 40%.

        Nothing, absolutely nothing is impossible with God.

        Rafa needs our prayers.

    • Abu, try to be respectful of people’s opinions especially because they don’t suit you. You sound like a crazy fangirl with little maturity.

      Sosa isn’t really too off his/her opinion. It’s been 2 years now.

      • Thanks vamosrafanadal27.
        I used to think we had freedom of speech, but apparently Abu Parker is apparently a product of same sex marriage, hence his ‘parents’ did not teach him manners.

        Poor soul. He needs our prayers more than curses, really.

        May the good Lord Almighty forgive him.

  8. Even when Rafa loses, he’s the show-stopper or scene stealer. I have a new name
    for Novak. I am calling him, Novak the mechanic. Just like “Lunch-box” Pete (Sampras). No disrespect, whatsoever intended for him just my observation.

    I always find watching Rafa so epic and thrilling to watch like going on a long and winding roller-coaster ride. I honestly can’t wait to watch him compete in Miami.
    I also look forward to Roger’s return. Thank you, Rafa for your wonderful fighting
    spirit and gutsy play that you displayed at Indian Wells. It was a pleasure to watch a great champion striving to return to top form once again, which I feel he has achieved.

  9. My prophetic prediction that Rafa would win 7-6, 2-6, 6-4 sadly came to pass, but in favor of The Serbian Terminator!
    It only shows that we did not pray hard enpugh for our dear Rafa to give vent to my prophecy.
    There is always a barrier of fear around Rafa anytime he faces Djokovic. It simply means that Rafa must do away with fear to overcome Djokovic. That’s the secret.

    • You’re a phony, Loony Prophet! You and your Goddesses will be doomed to the eternal fire! You really think your prediction ‘came to pass’???? your 3-set prediction? What loony bin world do you live in? Take your meds and chill out, fruitcake! O_O

  10. NO fue una derrota amarga como otras veces. Rafa jugo muy bien el primer set y se le fue por nada!! Esta mucho mejor y se nota que esta con mas confianza. En este momento puede ganarle a cualquiera menos a Djokovic. Ademas siempre genera esa pasión por verlo jugar como ningún otro jugador, incluso Djokovic.

    Gracias Rafa por seguir dándonos estas emociones! Vamoooos!

  11. the pattern i see from nole against rafa is attcak his 1 st game break him create pressure winning 1 set and with momentum try to sail the next sets…..of course the the shot selection pattern from novak is evident with a added drop shot now and then lob….

    whats happening with novak is not shocking when u go on to win so much and have good memories of previous matches against a specific opponent with known pattern for winning it always help in creating the momentum to win the big matches

    so next time u play rafa remember just think of 1 set match ur playing and try to win the first set with proper strategy on shot selection ……..let win the 1 st set and the creat momentum to ur side and see what happens …………

    remember rafa u need to hurt novak on big occasion

    and please create more sharp angles on cross court backhands

    vamos rafa vamos

    always a treat to watch u ……………..u r so amazing player

  12. While I am also a fan of Rafa, let us be honest about yesterday’s match against Nole: Rafa kept making the same mistakes, hitting the ball to Nole’s back hand EVERY TIME when he had so many opportunities to go down the line. His shots were so predictable that Nole just stood his ground in the same place and pounded the ball back. After a while, the game became boring! Until Rafa changes his shots with the help of a new coach, he will never beat Nole (and never win another slam) and his fans will forever be watching a guy getting beat all the time by Nole and others as his game has been figured out by all the players, whatever their ranking.

    • Neruda, I wonder about that too, Rafa hitting consistently to the Djoker’s BH when you think he has space down the line. But apparently there’s some logic to it. I’m pretty sure if Rafa sends it down the FH side, Djoker will magically appear there and hit a between the legs winner. Or something else disastrous for our Rafa.

      Rafa figured out the Djoker before in 2011/2012/2013. He can do it again. We can only believe in him. Yesterday was a step in the right direction. For one set anyway:)

  13. I just love Rafa Champion attitude despiste losing! He played amazing . If he right now can play on this level on the hard surface I´m looking forward to watching him on clay ! VAMOS CHAMP keep confident just focus on the 10th RG YOU CAN MAKE IT

  14. I am a huge Rafa fan and have been for over 12 years, yesterday was a joy to watch even though he lost, he gained so much in confidence that the score wasn’t that important. What is important is he played very well with great intensity and passion against the world number 1 no less!!!!! In my opinion, the signs are extremely good for his ongoing career as he is injury free for the first time In a long time, so that match has given him a huge confidence boost and even Nole said that 1st set was down to one or two points and even the 2nd was close, so all signs are great for Rafa

  15. Be proud of yourself Rafa ,you played a positive game and if you could have just won the tie break ,,,,,,well no use dwelling on what could have been ,,,,you played more like the old Rafa ,it was a great match ,,,,keep going with this attitude and positive play and titles will be yours again .vamos Rafa,here’s to another great tournament,

  16. The only ones frustrated are the gamblers who wager bets on Rafa’s games, hoping to score a big pay out, given the odds against Rafa. These people don’t actually watch the game, just the scoreline.

    Those who love the game and enjoy the athleticism and skills displayed in a match like this one, don’t care who lost or won, we thoroughly enjoyed watching a great game of skill and talent. The final will be a boring game won on one or two shots. Rafa makes his opponent fight for the point with multiple shot rallies. Rattling of 4 aces each game is not the type of game I want to watch. Win or lose, I will watch every Rafa game, and casually watch others when I have nothing better to do!

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