Rafa Roundup: Are you waiting (impatiently) for another Nadal-Djokovic claycourt showdown?

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“For months now, I’ve been saying I feel good, that I’m enjoying the competition, the training, that the feeling is different from last year but, if that’s not accompanied by results, they’re just words,” Nadal said on Friday in Madrid.

The Mallorca native said it was “more fun to learn while winning instead of losing”.

“The learning process is the day-to-day, the experiences that you go through throughout your career and in your life in general and, from all that, you take the things that are useful to you and discard the rest,” the 14-time grand slam champion added.

Should Nadal, who’s going for his third consecutive clay-court title, meet Federer, the No. 3 seed, in the quarter-finals, it’d mark the 35th meeting in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry. Nadal holds a 23-11 edge, including a straight-set win the last time they played on clay (Rome 2013).

Winning back-to-back titles at Monte Carlo and Barcelona may not constitute the rebuilding of Rafael Nadal, but they do beg the question: what can he achieve this year?

The upcoming Masters tournaments in Madrid and Rome will likely prove decisive. Should Nadal, who is a known Real Madrid fan, win his third clay title of the year at either of these venues, then talk of his very own La Decima at Roland Garros will be near-unavoidable.

Does Novak Djokovic, after being so dominant for so long, suddenly have reason for concern? Not only did he lose the only match he’s played so far during this clay season, in Monte Carlo, but since that defeat to Jiri Vesely, Djokovic has had to sit idly by and watch his old rival, Rafael Nadal, do nothing but win.

Will Rafa’s return shake Djokovic’s seemingly unshakable confidence?

Rafa-Novak showdown? The length, power and consistency on Nadal’s forehand has gone up several notches in Monte Carlo and Barcelona though. He’s feeling confident with his game and so a match between the two over the next weeks may now get back close to the ultra-competitive and gripping encounters of 2012 and 2013.

Spanish woman tennis payer Garbine Muguruza has said that the choice of Rafael Nadal as the bearer of the Spanish flag at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio is “fabulous” and expected that the veteran “must be thrilled” to have this opportunity.

Get a tennis fan’s eye view of visiting Barcelona and going to the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell tournament.

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  • Happy Mother’s Day from Rafael Nadal | Telefonica

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21 thoughts on “Rafa Roundup: Are you waiting (impatiently) for another Nadal-Djokovic claycourt showdown?

  1. Muller Géraldine

    Magnifique ! ! En espérant que son poignet se consolide parfaitement je souhaite le meilleur pour rafa durant ces jeux olympiques ! Vamos rafa❤❤❤❤👍👍👍👍👍👍

    Like

  2. Rafa fan 1

    I just love Rafa and would love and hope to see him continuing to win. But still I can’t understand why all the sports experts and journalists and even fans are already talking of him winning the French open and meeting djokovic in the Madrid finals??????
    Rafa has improved no doubt but still has a lot of room for further improvement. Why not be patient and go match by match hoping and praying for the best – as Rafa himself would do. To expect so much of him so soon is unfair. I’m not saying it will not happen – hoping it will but …… . Also djoko is still way up there and knows rafas game very well. I’m sure he has regrouped after his loss and is more determined than ever to do well – hope not but …. .
    I can only hope and pray that Rafa plays super well and Lady Luck favors him too. Every player needs that too. All the best my wonderful Rafa and VAMOS!!!!

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  3. Deep Thinker

    Well, it appears that majority of Rafa fans are not realists afterall.
    They are afraid of Rafa meeting his ultimate nemesis, the Djoker……thanks to our relentless hale of constructive criticisms,(I mean positive criticisms from J.Beer, MIROMO, Neruda and ofcourse the Deep Thinker), Rafa has at last shown some improvements.

    We deserve to be recognised and truly honored!

    However, while we await our medals of honour, we make bold to say Rafa (even though improved) may yet be unable to beat Djokovic because he’s yet to do what he needs to do. Hence, he’s not as COMPLETE A PACKAGE as Djokovic.

    The Djoker is definitely back stronger and better than ever hence it will take something like a miracle for Nadal to beat him. But we’ll see…………………Mark my words though.

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    1. I believe Rafa is ready to face Joker and will beat him in 5 sets at the French Open if they face each other ! Rafa is playing tennis at another level which he was not at all of 2015. He’s confident moving al over the court and hitting tennis ball from every possible angle, behind the baseline, down the line well placed forehands. Rafa is back and ready for the French Open ! I can see it coming !

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  4. positive thinker( India )

    VAMOS RAFA.💖. WE YOUR FANS JUST NEED YOU TO KEEP THE SELF CONFIDENCE GOING. WE ARE NOT WAITING FOR A NOLE /RAFA SHOW DOWN. EVEN THOUGH WE KNOW YOU WILL BEAT HIM.

    JUST BELIEVE IN YOURSELF SWEETHEART. REMEMBER YOU ARE THE BEST.🌷.
    YOU HAVE PUT IN A LOT OF HARD WORK AND EFFORT, TO BE , WHERE YOU ARE TODAY.

    THE LOVE , SUPPORT N AFFECTION OF ALL YOUR FANS WILL KEEP POURING IN , NO MATTER WHAT. !!!!

    YOU ARE WORTH MILLIONS OF BAGS OF LOVE.

    STAY HEALTHY N BASK IN THE MOMENTS OF
    VICTORY.

    LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE YOU ALWAYS RAFA.💖.

    Like

  5. No I am not waiting impatiently for another Rafa / Novak clay showdown. There have been so many in the past. He has already faced some very stiff top 10 competition in 2016 and came out on top twice. Rafa has already been tested this season after struggling in 2015 and proved that he is back. I wish him continued success.

    I am just thrilled that Rafa has regained his mojo, self-confidence and self belief.
    His back-to-back titles in Monte Carlo and then Barcelona were tremendous accomplishments. It was also a pleasure to watch other tennis players competing and winning titles such as Nico, Diego, Phillip today and Juan (Pico) recently. Tennis, honestly has become more thrilling and exciting for me since Novak was knocked out in his opening round after the bye vs Jeri Vesily who out-played Novak that day. No player is invincible, even Novak.

    Best wishes to Rafa in Madrid.

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    1. No, I am not waiting for This Djokovic. I was happy qu’il soit incapable de jouer les derniers tournois (Ce que suis pas convaincue de sa blessure) je n’ai pas confiance à ce qu’il dit, Vive Rafa,,,,,,,,,,,,,,pour toujours

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    2. va4favre

      I could not agree with you more. I would prefer that Rafa not meet Novak in Madrid. The word “impatiently” is one I would never use. I do realize that they will need to play eventually, but I want Rafa to have more time to build his self confidence.

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  6. Margo

    May you have a great Madrid Open, Rafa. You are the one to beat so stay sharp because everyone wants your trophy.

    RAFA ROCKS

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  7. Good luck Rafa remember one match at a time keep your confidence high and play with aggression don’t let anyone get you down !!
    Just play your best tennis all your fans are there for you and always will be
    So go Rafa go

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  8. Gen

    Not at all, as said already I just want see our guy play some great tennis, win matches and unto the next one. There is no need for revenge or to prove anything to anyone. If he meets Nole and wins, well it would certainly give him that full confidence in himself. If not, he’ll continue to play.

    RAFA fan forever.

    RAFA plays for the passion of the sport, Nole is NOT that to RAFA.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. No!!! I am just wanting Rafael to play one match at a time to get there, no anticipation to make him nervous, live for THE day and then win the final. Go Rafa, Vamos. Wishing you all the success to get back to No. 1. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

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