Rafa Roundup: Bring on the clay season!

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - MARCH 21:  Rafael Nadal participates in Exhibition Match against Victor Estrella at Coliseo Jose M. Agrelot on March 21, 2016 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  (Photo by GV Cruz/WireImage)
Photo by GV Cruz/WireImage

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The facts: Nadal hasn’t won a title in nearly eight months. While he has struggled against a more compete ATP field, Nadal has conceded his confidence, particularly on his famed forehand, has lacked. He has made headway — notably reaching the final four at Indian Wells — but hasn’t exuded the fearlessness that led him to 14 Grand Slam titles. If there is a sliver of good news, the long clay season is just more than a week away.

Gilbert’s take: I’d be more concerned if he were injured. But Rafa was clearly sick, and these things happen. In the locker room, it circulates. Certainly, it was disappointing coming off a decent showing at Indian Wells. A couple more W’s in Miami would have given him more momentum heading into the clay season. He has been struggling for more than a year, but if he can stay healthy, I see Nadal finding answers quickly on the dirt.

“[I]t’s good to have combination of styles, it’s good to have different players that fights for the important things, and one or another can win.”

While Nadal said that had largely been the case since he reached the top of the game, he also suggested that Djokovic has taken too much in charge—to his credit, of course. “[For a] year and a half, two years one is dominating maybe too much,” said Nadal. “But he deserves.”

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11 thoughts on “Rafa Roundup: Bring on the clay season!

  1. I thought Rafa played extremely well during the hard-court season.
    It is always a pleasure and a joy to watch him play no matter what the surface.

    I look forward to the next phase of the season, “On Clay”!

    I hope he is enjoying some down time with family and friends before the clay calls!
    Glad to hear he is feeling much better!

    Vamos, Rafa!

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  2. SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE SO MUCH TO SAY DO THIS. DO THAT !!!
    RAFA I JUST WANT TO SAY THANKYOU FOR ALL THE JOY YOU HAVE PUT IN TENNIS. I WILL LOVE YOU TILL MY DYING DAY AS I DO B,BORG, ALMOST THE SAMEKIND OF GUY,LOVELY AND A GREAT PLAYER , I PRAY YOU FIND PEACE XXXXXXXXXX

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  3. Elaine Crowder

    Rafa, is doing his best according to the tiredness that his body, is sure showing the effects, and is experiencing after working it so hard over all these years.
    HE said if he is on the tennis court he is happy. That is what we need to do be happy that he is still playing. HE doesn’t need to prove ANYTHING, as he has done that just the same as Roger.
    Roger and Andy are having their battles with Dokjovic so Rafa is doing his best.Enjoy seeing him play while it is happening.yes someone like Stephan Edberg added to his team could bring out possiblitites, but just enjoy him and be happy.

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  4. Alan clark

    Rafa still remains one of the most exciting players of all time.sport is more than
    Money points or ranking.I have been lucky enough to see the games greats
    From rod laver till now.rafa still raises the pulse!
    Alan clark

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  5. Mac

    Very hopeful for the clay season. But really has Rafa provided any source of hope? He failed to win the lowly events in south America. Now Monte Carlo? One just hopes this year is a bit better on the European clay than 2015 was.

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  6. ashish

    “Don’t get upset with little jerks in life because life is a road and problem are like speed breakers, they save us from big accidents”…………….so enjoy the life

    rafa with his most exciting style in the history of tennis with roger and with the same team will come up with goods …………i have to quote this quote since some people feels life is straight, perfect ride

    though i still feel rafa should add new strategic member to team …………but who am i to say rafa knows the best ……………

    vamos rafa vamos

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  7. DMTNA

    Why do you guys expect that much in clay court season? Remember last year?
    Rafa needs to win. I don’t feel like he gonna win Monte Carlo while Djokovic is still there.
    The 10th French Open? Dude, be realistic!
    Rafa is getting tired. He can’t catch up with the game now with his old defensive style. I feel sorry for him cuz he actually played very well in Indian Wells with Francisco Roig but then his uncle turned up.

    I am not sure but base on what Rafa did on clay this year and his health. Clay-court may be his worst surface and hard-court could be his life-saver.

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    1. J beer the Gutmensch basher

      Dmtna is right. The optimists on this website always take the opportunity to express good hopes as soon as the tour moves to another surface. “Yes! Clay! Now he will surely show us!”. CHANGE of surface already brings hope to the extremists here. Imagine what CHANGE of coaching staff could bring.

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