Rafael Nadal passes Sam Querrey test in Madrid

World No. 5 Rafael Nadal came through his toughest test yet of this year’s Madrid Open as the four-time Madrid champion booked his place in the quarter-finals.

Rafa had also dropped six games in his opening match but was made to battle much harder on Thursday for a 6-4, 6-2 win in 69 minutes against American Sam Querrey.

It was his 12th straight win in 2016 (16-2 on clay).

After the match, Rafa said:

It was a tough start. He was hitting every ball hard and was being successful. I couldn’t get to the ball. It took me a while to get into a rhythm.

His last-eight opponent will be Joao Sousa, who beat Jack Sock, 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-2 in two hours and 14 minutes.

59 comments

  1. Sousa received a bagel in the first set.

    Rafa-1, Sousa-0 in second set. Some of my fellow fans here had me worried about an “aggressive Sousa.” I am pleased to say I am no longer worried.

    WAMOS RAFA!

  2. John McEnroe claims that Rafael is the most intelligent player, he finds a way to figure things out. Best aspect from last night was his confidence and calmness to recover from 4\1 down.

  3. Sorry, posted my comments under wrong heading.

    Ummm, I just watched the first set. If Sam was a better player he would have beat RAFA 6-1. Do not get me wrong – I want our guy to win ALL his matches, but Sam is just awful.

    I’m not sure what was going on with RAFA, maybe:
    The big serve
    Trying to figure Sam’s game
    The conditions

    Not sure, but it was NOT Sam. Sam is NOT a thinking player like RAFA, he could NOT perform under pressure at all and made some horrendous UNFORCED errors.

    It’s not all about the big serve, that’s the foundation. RAFA is an intelligent player which is why he was able to turn that set around quickly.

    Guys, as a tennis fan; it was hard to watch RAFA go down to such a player. If you are a fan of Sam, I apologize, just a spectator that have watched many, many, many matches.

    Thank God, RAFA didn’t get down on himself and just worked through whatever it was.

    Unto set#2. I just had to vent.

    RAFA fan forever.

  4. Very happy that Rafa got through. Everyone is talking about nole etc. please go match by match. I personally don’t think that Rafa could mess with nole’s mind that easily – especially when Toni and Rafa always expressing fear of having to face nole. Nole wools probably try to dictate terms from the start not allowing Rafa to play his game. I can only hope for Rafa to go that far and then …… . VAMOS

  5. Congrats Rafa ! I was about to shower for work and I didn’t want to leave the TV OMG when I saw 3 -0 I got up took a break and get ready for work turn the TV volume very loud and followed the score and then in about 60 minutes later it was match point ! These people who are making negative comments about Rafa “Are you kidding me ” Rafa wanted Sam to feel he’s going to beat him ! Then he started with his weapons and it was all over ! Joker will have to put up a good fight with Rafa this time to beat him ! I’m going to say Rafa all the way !

  6. the conditions in Madrid is crazy quick coz of the altitude.. it does not even look like a claycourt game.. look at all the serve bots playing well .. Roanic.. krygios etc… So how Rafa does here me thinks has no bearing on how he will do in RG. Also Joker to meet rafa has to get past Roanic tomorrow. Same for Rafa has to go past maybe murray… I think Rafa has got his clay game back. RG is going to be v interesting.. i fancy rafas chances in RG if Rafa can somehow get the 4th seed and play nole in SF

  7. I honestly thought the match would go to 3 sets. But Rafa problem-solved and figured out how to harness all of Sam’s power. Great result today!

    Call me crazy but I rather not see Rafa play Novak until the French Open where he can
    surprise blitz him with his over-abundance of confidence and self belief. If
    I could write that script but I can’t. Rafa plays to win every match. Just having fun with the “What If’s!”

    Keep Novak guessing at the French where he’ll be his most vulnerable and nervous because he’s never won there before. The rivalry between Rafa and Novak is more
    mental than anything else. Novak wouldn’t have any opportunity to adjust his game
    if he doesn’t face Rafa until then. That would be the ultimate show-down.

    Anyway, best wishes for the match against Sousa who also plays with intensity.

  8. What many novak and rafa people dont kno and the truth is djokovic has beaten an IN-FORM nadal in Masters clay. But NOT in rolland garros. If he loses Madrid to nadal it will be even worse for him. He has alot to lose in this tournament.. A rafa in form is the last thing Novak wanted heading to rolland garros. What a nightmare for a guy who is seeking his first slam ther. He may act cool or relaxed but he knows this truth. VAMOS RAFA. U r in his head.

    • Well Chris, now that Nadal lost to Andy let’s see if he can beat Nole. If Andy does, that will make just another person Nole has to worry about in Rome.

      RAFA ROCKZ!

  9. #midgie and #Linda arnold
    Thank you for speaking my mind in printable fashion. I would have been thrown off of here had I said what I was thinking about the negative comments and their writers.

    Midgie’s last paragraph is so on point. The media treated Rafa as if he were some amateur fly by night. They even had him dumping Uncle Toni as coach. They had nothing nice to write about. He had to remind a journalist that he was number five in the world, not number 100. And being polite at the same time.

    I’ve been a Rafa fan since the very first time I saw him play in 2005. I NEVER watched tennis prior to that. I was amazed by his speed and reflexes. I just felt that he was someone special, me knowing very little about tennis. He did not disappoint. And he keeps giving to his fans. I would watch and support him if his ranking fell further. That’s what a true fan does.

    RAFA ROCKS!!

  10. I’m happy that Rafa won the first set! The second set was very much easier for him. But still I think he has to be much alert, more aggressive! Tomorrow he will play Joao Sousa who is a different player now, very aggressive and he will play the match of his life tomorrow! So, Rafa has to play very smart tomorrow! He was a little bit off today! Vamos Rafa……

    • Sousa dropped a set today against Jack Sock, a 22-year old. I would think that Rafael’s experience would give him an excellent chance of winning on Friday against an aggressive Sousa. No?

  11. Well done Rafa. Nice way to solve the Querrey problem! Now on to the Sousa problem, and don’t let up!

    Djoker is still a long way away, and even Rafa said in that interview that he’d rather play anybody but Djokovic in the final. Anyway, if they do meet, good luck Rafa, and I know you will fight with everything that you have, baby!

  12. I am so happy for this young man. Our king of clay is slowly coming back to his great form. Best of luck.

  13. Well novak had to sit at home and watch rafa’s rise in taking monte carlo and then barcelona – both for the 9th time. Defo this will mess with his head esp with RG coming up. And oh wait – he has that 9 times too!!

  14. 2nd Set, 2nd Game, 2nd Point ….. Rafa delivers a devastating forehand into the right-hand corner Sam! Vintage Rafa, vintage Rafa Forehand! The Rafa comeback is in track, and should mess totally with Novak’s head!

    VAMOS RAFA!!!

    • Most of us on this site are big fans, but we need to be realistic too. Just like our hero! Novak looks very sharp and rested. What we saw today was a player being very aggressive, but Rafa figured it out and made adjustments. Let’s take it match by match like Rafa does.

  15. I am sure rafa is in novak’s head now – no matter how cool he tries to play it. Lets hope if they do meet in the final that rafa proves me right

      • Will he Margo? Sincerely?

        He wont survive playing like that against the Djoker! That’s the truth…..

    • When Rafa was on Djokovic’s turf at Indian Wells, he came close to taking that 1st set so I am confident he will do well against him here on his favorite surface. Whether or not Rafa is in his head, he has got a ton of demons to deal with when he arrives at Roland Garros fearing he may lose for the 12th consecutive year there. Very unbecoming of a #1 ranked player to be so unsuccessful at one singular grand slam event.

      Vamos Rafa go for broke and win Madrid for the 5th time!!!!!

      • Well… Pete Sampras is a 14 time Grand Slammer and he never won RG. Pete is also a sweetheart.
        What we can say is that Rafa won all four Grand Slams and we hope he makes a much anticipated RG decima.
        Let’s get through Madrid first.

        I love the positive attitude of his fans here. Let’s channel our confidence in him to him.

        RAFA ROCKS?

  16. Never tire of seeing Rafael win with confidence! Always thinking and solving the problem. Keep fighting-we see how you appreciate and savour the victory.🇪🇸👊💪👍👏👑🏆❤️

    • WRONG!
      I will take Rafa’s 20 clay court wins over Nole’s 7 in a heartbeat.
      Rafa will find his rhythm and send Nole packing IF Nole makes it to the final.
      No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

    • #Robertov: You are CORRECT, Rafa will have to step up his game against Nole. Most likely he played today to conserve as much energy as possible, and avoid risk of injury. Novak will be a tough one, but I think Rafa will win the mental game. I think Rafa’s gotten into Novak’s brain, and that will be the difference maker. Vamos Rafa!!!

      • WRONG!
        Nole is now so terrified of the King of Clay that he is trembling with low confidence.
        This clay season will be a triumphant one for Rafa.

        RAFA ROCKS!!!

    • Robertov,

      You’ve spoken the TRUTH which Rafa fans here hate to hear.

      But the truth is the truth.

      Bravo!!!

      • Why don’t you sod off to who whoever it is you supports page..certainly isn’t Nadal !!!

      • Rafa 86 –
        Cupcake? Look down your nose at people much?

        These people who come here for the sole purpose of being derisive and belittling to anyone who expresses their unbridled happiness of a Rafa victory need badges, I think, as it seems they have anointed themselves the opinion police. If you don’t temper your joy with skepticism or “realism” as they deem proper, then you fall out of favor with this despotic lot, and apparently it is their self-appointed duty to make sure you feel like an idiot, and they have the right to call you a “cupcake,” or even a “c**t.”

        I think if everyone on this site inexplicably and suddenly agreed with them, they’d come up with something else to scold everyone about because I think their most identifiable reason for posting is simply a need to feel superior, and nothing more.

        I admired Rafa today. He was able to come up with solutions and grab his opportunities when they came, staying mentally resolved, like the Rafa to whom we had become accustomed. How hard he must have worked in the last several months to regain that again, all under the scrutiny of a doubtful media, not to mention judgmental fans, and handling it all with his usual grace. I don’t think anyone can imagine how difficult that must have been for him. I know I can’t.

      • Oh Midget, you poor little FRUITCAKE! Its too late for a chill pill for you fruitcake, your emotional frustration is frothing all over your beak! Please go play in the traffic now …… O_O

      • RNFs
        Why haven’t you kicked off the person (Rafa_86) making personal attacks here against other fans?

    • Rafa 86 –

      I’m so chastised now – The best you can come up with is a rather obvious play on my user name, and and not a very clever one at that. Emotional frustration? I don’t bother getting emotional over folks like you. That was just my measured response to you. Maybe you should at least freshen it up by finding some new terms to throw at people. There’s only so many times you can tell people to take a chill pill before it becomes meaningless (not that it hasn’t become a cliched expression already.)

      • Hi midgie,
        For future tournaments please just ignore this loser. It probably delights him/her when fans respond to his nasty and mean comments. Just don’t give him what he wants. Can’t you tell there is something seriously wrong when he picks Nadal’s sobriquet as his own. Seriously. LOL

  17. Fantastic result, although i was worried at the beginning of the match with how well Sam was playing. I still can’t believe how Rafa came back in that 1st set. A magician! Hope he does the same tomorrow

  18. WOW That was one scarey first set. You pulled through Rafa, in only 69 minutes!

    RAFAEL NADAL ROCKS!!!

    • Not sure what was scary about the first set, he won it very comfortably. He did what was necessary to win without expending unnecessary energy, simple as that, I think …….

      • Rafa-86 i agree with you. There was no impression that Rafa was going to lose this match despite the start at 3-0 . This scenario is very different from that of last year where Rafa was struggling against big servers. He knew exactly what to do and even reserved his energy. I feel he is playing better than in 2014 when he won the french open. I think we are once again back in the era where you can simply sit and relax when Rafa is playing.

  19. Great fight in the first set and than Rafa played a solid second set. Good luck for your match tomorrow. Vamos Rafa!!!

  20. As usual just following scores, I have to wait for the replay of the match. Congrats RAFA, gosh………….. CONGRATS. Unto the Sousa next!

    RAFA fan forever

    • I await your comments on the match. You help me better to understand Rafa’s game 😀

      RAFA ROCKS!

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