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


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



  1. 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!!!!

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