Rafa Roundup: ‘There will never be another Rafa’

Rafael Nadal of Spain attends the .Launch Party at Zelo's Monaco during preview day of the ATP Monte Carlo Masters, at the Monte-Carlo Country Club on April 9, 2016 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (April 8, 2016 - Source: Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images Europe)
Rafa attends the ATP player party in Monte Carlo | Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

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Nadal faces Lukas Rosol or Aljaz Bedene in his opening second-round match before the prospect of a third-round clash with 12th seed Dominic Thiem, who beat the Spaniard in February when the pair met on clay in the Buenos Aires semi-finals.

The eight-time Monte-Carlo champion is slated to meet fourth-seeded and 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinals if the seeds hold.

Nadal won 46 consecutive matches at Monte-Carlo before losing the 2013 final to Djokovic. Since then he has failed to reach the title match in the last two years.

Can his old haunts boost Nadal’s confidence?

Nadal has dominated clay like few players have dominated any surface. The records speak for themselves: seven Rome Masters, eight in Barcelona, and a remarkable nine French Opens. And in this first clay Masters of the year, the story has been the same—or was until 2012 when he won the last of his eight consecutive Monte-Carlo crowns.

As for Nadal, he’ll always be a player to beat on clay; he’s “the best in the history” on dirt, as he would say (not referring to himself, of course), and that isn’t going to change. Now, though, as he approaches both his 30th birthday, and the two-year-anniversary of his last Slam title, the expectations surrounding him have changed.

Rafael Nadal is the Ultimate Warrior: That raw, intense, one-of-a-kind energy. Both won championships, and both packed stadiums. But mostly, it’s that energy. There will never be another Warrior, and there will never be another Rafa.

“Rafa is untouchable. I cannot understand. I do not know if the nine Roland Garros (titles) won him influence, but in Paris they love him so much. It’s not fair that Rafa gets attacked by France. Only one person attacked him. (He can win another Grand Slam), but not only in Roland Garros. He can win any Grand Slam. He keeps being here. The most important thing is that he has enthusiasm and he is willing to improve. And he has it.”

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal practicing in Monte Carlo | Marianne Bevis

 

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24 thoughts on “Rafa Roundup: ‘There will never be another Rafa’

  1. Milagros Buyco

    VAMOS RAFA!!!! Congratulations on winning Barcelona for the 9th time and tying Vilas with number of titles on clay!!!! I cheer you on everytime you play and I get so nervous but it’s all so worth it because you are a great tennis player and a great person!!! You are the “King of Clay” and as King you are always so majestic on and off the court. You set a good example to the kids who would like to be champions someday because you never throw or break your racket. You will always be my Champion!!!! GO GET THAT 10th French Open Trophy. God Bless you always with Good Health and protect you from any injury!!!!

    Like

  2. Souix

    For all those that doubted Rafa I say to you …..HaHaHa ! 9RG titles…9 Monte Carlo titles and now 9 Barcelona tiles! For me tennis without Rafa is no tennis … Win or lose he always brings such Excitement and aura to his games …. He is such a Humble champion and the king of clay for life….Vamos Rafa …Good Luck for the rest of the year…i will be watching you and rooting for you every step of the way !! XOXO

    Like

  3. Maria DeMarchena

    Rafa: You never speak anything nasty about anyone; but most importantly, you never make a nasty face at anyone. God bless you, have faith and keep on fighting ; don’t let your nerves bet a better hold of you. I am your number one fan in Santo Domingo,Dominican Republic. Maria Isabel

    Like

  4. reynaldo j. castaneda

    Vamos Rafael! I believe in you! Your humbleness makes you not only a great champion but a great person. Just Do It!

    Like

  5. Lesley Jackson

    They said Rafa couldn’t stop Novak a few years ago and he did and then again the following year. Rafa has lost some of his spark but I believe he’s on the way back. Vamos Rafa. This fan will be cheering for you all the way and always will – the greatest ever. Love you to bits.

    Like

  6. joan dean

    Dear Darling Rafa, you will always be our Champion win or lose Believe in yourself and don,t take any notice of the Doubting Thomas,s, what the hell do they know anyway . Self Belief is the key Go Strong and go well, Vamos Rafa

    Like

  7. He is the most loved tennis player ever and the kind of enthusiasm he brings to a tennis match cannot be matched by any other players,whether from the past or any future players,his contributions n legacy will never be touched by anybody.I am the most effected person whe he loss a match n the most happiest person when he win a match,I enjoy more in his success than my own success.If I have a son in future than his name will be Nadal n the second one will be Messi.

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  8. Dawn

    All the best Rafa, you can win this!! You have always had & always will have my utmost respect, there is no one quite like you! Believe in yourself! 😊

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  9. This is the tournament that will show where your mind/game is ,let’s hope your mind is focused on winning ,and the aggressive play will get you through,wishing you all the very best for the clay Rafa ,,,,,go get that trophy ,VAMOS

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  10. Elizabeth Howard

    No player has captured the hearts of million as Rafael Nadal has. He rescued tennis and his rivalry with Roger Federer produced many great matches, none better than Wimbledon 2008. The best match ever, played with mutual respect and grace. His lovely personality and genuine down to earth approach is appreciated. Now we want him to regain the confidence and win again. Sport is a lot about confidence. Believe in yourself .

    Like

  11. Connie

    No, there will never be another Rafa and we love the one we’ve got. Vamos in Monte Carlo and all of the other clay courts tournaments. 👍👍🏿👍👍🏿💪

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Yes inevitably we will get all this ‘hum drum’ about Rafa now that the clay season is about to begin and especially Monte Carlo where he has won 8 titles, but has literally lost his best form since then, will he or won’t? The talk now is all about Novak, and who can stop him…….it’s tough for Rafa as he has gone through the worst time of his career for almost two years, not being able to find his best form would be so demoralizing but he has maintained his dignity and pride and continued to practice relentlessly hopefully his demons of self doubt and losing confidence are behind him now, and he is feeling more competitive and ready to play his rivals let’s see how well he goes here in Monte Carlo that will tell us where he is at now and for the clay season ahead Come on Rafa light up the tennis world the way you used too, your fans by the multitudes love and support you always no 1 to us Vamos Rafa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well spoken Catherine n Elizabeth. Rafa looks his usual dapper n handsome self attending the Players Party! Rafael is my No.l self-adoptedGrandson. He is a gentleman even when in defeat. I have never heard him swear – some people say he may be doing so in Spanish, but I don’t think so. Rafa’s Mother, Father n Uncle Tony must be commended on grooming this wonderful young man. Rafa is a Legend n will always be regarded as The King of Clay for many, many, many years to come. Second on my list of favourites is Roger Federer n David Ferrer.
      Vamos Rafa. May God bless n help you. Your Aussie Abuela. 😀😊

      Like

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