Rafa Roundup: Federer chooses Nadal over Djokovic

Photo via Barcelona Open
Photo via Barcelona Open


If ever there was a place for the Spaniard to reignite his career, Monte Carlo was it. Despite never taking up residency in Monaco, Nadal’s eight titles in the principality had seen it become something of a second home for the Spaniard.

With his feet back on familiar ground, fans were subsequently treated to a once-familiar sight; Rafael Nadal finding a way to win on the clay.

Even with a first round loss in Australia, he’s playing Top Five tennis in 2016. He appears to be healthy. And the next Grand Slam is one he’s claimed NINE times. (Which constitutes eight more times than anyone else who will be in the field.)

In a way, this Monte-Carlo run was more like the gracefully declining Rafael Nadal that I had been looking for over the past two years. Still good enough to win a Masters 1000 on clay. Still good enough to beat a couple of top-10 players on the way there.

Having struggled on the Rock since 2012, he finally returned to the winner’s circle just last weekend, bagging his biggest title since… Roland-Garros 2014. The king of clay can now hunt down an eighth double, and with it “la decima” – an historic 10th French Open title…

Federer was asked if he ever doubted a Rafa comeback, and the Swiss former world number one had a clear-cut response.

“Zero; absolutely not,” Federer said. “Maybe you journalists were upset, but we players of course were not. A guy who won nine times in Paris, nine times in Monte Carlo, who was world number one for much time does not lose his qualities. Maybe we have come to expect to him to recover faster from injuries, but I cannot imagine Nadal at such a low level. To me, he is always there at the top. And on clay, he is still one of the first two or three players in the world,” Federer said.

“[The] King of clay is Rafa,” Federer said. “He is the tennis player to beat. Novak’s never won in Paris. Maybe now he’s the favorite, but Nadal is Nadal. I am happy of what he showed to those, who did not believe that he could win in Monte Carlo.”


  • Watch Globo’s Rio 2016 Olympic promo video: Rafael Nadal


  1. Love the Olympic promo video! Rafa makes a great caricature because he is full of personality and character, so much so it is actually difficult to exaggerate!

  2. Rafa and Roger are friends off the court as you can see from their commercial they did together several years ago. Laughing and giggling like lifelong buddies. Roger has Rafa’s back and vice versa. Nice to see a friendly rivalry and friendship among the 2 best tennis players and most LIKED of all time! Vamos to both Rafa and Roger!

  3. Rafa will always be my #1 tennis player of all time. I even named my beautiful Shih Tzu Rafa, after him. I have been watching Rafa since he was 18 years old. Love him dearly.

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