Rafa Roundup: Roger pulls out of Roland Garros, Rafa will be seeded 4th

UAE Royals's Roger Federer, left and Indian Aces's Rafael Nadal greet each other during the International Premier Tennis League in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015. (AP Photo /Tsering Topgyal)
AP Photo /Tsering Topgyal

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Nadal, who turns 30 on June 3 during the French Open, has won a record nine titles in southwest Paris. If he achieves the “Decima” — or 10 trophies — just like his beloved Real Madrid did in football’s Champions League in 2014, that will be some way to celebrate a landmark birthday.

“I think Nadal showed that in the last few weeks he’s really confident and it reflects on the court,” 1997 French Open semifinalist Filip Dewulf told CNN. “I think his opponents are feeling it as well… If you know he is going to run and hit the ball hard on every point, and he’s not doubting himself, you know you’re going to have a tough time beating Rafa in Paris.”

“It’s a special tournament for me and is always a highlight on the calendar but without obsession,” the world number five told Cadena Ser radio.

“The important thing is that I enjoy the tournament. I’m happy when I play, I feel competitive against everybody and that’s what makes me happy.”

Federer is ranked No. 3 in the world, and his withdrawal means that Rafael Nadal, who’s currently fifth, will be seeded fourth in Paris. This means that Nadal won’t face No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic until the semi-finals at the earliest.

“Rafael want to play in all three Olympic events,” Toni Nadal said Tuesday, according to the report. “The mixed doubles team may not be as strong as Swiss Martina Hingis and Roger Federer, but it can still be competitive.”

He’d won the event eight times before but still most were doubting his status as a true title favourite after a disappointing 2015 and iffy opening to 2016. Yet Rafa Nadal announced his arrival back at the very top of the men’s game with a captivating run to a ninth crown at the Monte-Carlo Country Club.

PHOTOS: Christian Lacroix: “Williams, the perfect Amazon ; Nadal, elegance personified” | Roland Garros

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13 thoughts on “Rafa Roundup: Roger pulls out of Roland Garros, Rafa will be seeded 4th

  1. Margo

    Rafa, you may have the easiest first match of all vs Sam Groth, of Australia. Banish your anxiety, keep you eye on the ball, get youself in position and time that hit perfectly.

    RAFA ROCKS

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  2. Elizabeth Howard

    It is disappointing for any player to miss playing due to injury. Sad for Roger but our champion knows what it is to miss through injury. A little benefit is that Rafael is now seeded number 4. All good wishes to Rafael and his team., Will be in Paris the second week to support this great sportsman.

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  3. A steep hill ahead for Rafa even with Roger pulling out… There are a few new young guns lurking and hungry for a grand slam title. Thiem (plays a bit like Novak and has won Rafa and Roger ) Raonic wins tons of free points with his huge serve …Zverev a very power player who hates to lose .. Coric ( Already beat Rafa and Andy ) …Not to forget Kei Nishikori who is biting at the heels of Novak Rafa and Andy! These names are the future of tennis…however they lack endurance and the experience of Rafa Andy and Novak especially with the best out five… Novak needs RG for his résumé and is more than ready( hoping for him to be a bit too anxious ) Andy looking smashing on clay ( can’t wish Andy any ill wishes ) Anyway Rafa is ready and as fit as anyone of these guys ….so VAMOS RAFA …Go for your 10th historic ” La Coupe des Mousquetaires” love love love you win or lose!

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  4. Elaine Crowder

    Commiserations to Roger, I know having back issues myself.

    Go RAFA GO.
    We know you will be trying your VERRRRRRRRRRRRRRy hardest.

    Love and prayers,

    AlaineXX

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  5. canaDiana

    Just play your game; no one knows clay like you. Regardless of what is surmised, your passion is unsurpassed. Good luck-play fierce and in your
    Zone! 👑👑👑👑👑👑👑👑👑👑🏆❤️

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  6. Chantelle

    Must be difficult for roger as he has always been healthy but rafa knows all about missing grand slams due to injuries. I wonder what greatness rafa really could have achieved if he hadnt missed so many slams. Anyway it is good news for rafa for a change. The draw will be interesting

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  7. va4favre

    I was sorry for Roger since his was a truly remarkable streak. I was relieved that Roger did withdraw since he did not appear healthy. If he lost early, it could have an affect like Rome. I was relieved mostly so Rafa would not be asked constantly about meeting Novak in the QFs, if the draw turned out that way. Last year’s QFs may have been the worst match of note that I saw Rafa play. He gave up in the third set, and he is still embarrassed about that. I hope Rafa goes deep, but we need to be cautious. Yes, he is definitely playing better, but he still has a way to go against the top players as we saw in Rome and Madrid.

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  8. Margo

    Rafa you still have your work cut out for you. Your buddy Roger pulled out of the FO previously stating that his chances were not good in his present physical condition and that he wanted to concentrate on Wimbledon. However, you have a lot of VERY hungry guys to contend with. Hopefully your past wins; your love of the FO, your feel for this particular Slam and, last but not least, your formidable clay supremacy will glide you to another Coupe des Mousquetaires.
    Good luck with RG.

    RAFA ROCKS

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  9. Firstly, I commiserate with Roger. It is very difficult dealing with a frustrating and nagging back injury and I hope recovers from the injury very soon. Some are suggesting that he wants to concentrate on Wimby and the OGs – they may be correct- but his performance this year and lack of active participation on the tour suggests that he might be struggling physically.

    However, this provides a good opportunity for Rafael to advance in the tourney and also build momentum towards an almost certain Semi Final clash with either Murray or Novak. We still need to see what they draw is like, he may need to face tricky players such as Thiem, Nick, Fognini etc. in the early stages; I’m confident that he will negotiate around these players –over 5 sets- but it could mean long matches for him.

    Overall, this is a massive opportunity for Rafa to win his 10th RG. It won’t be an easy ride but the road is much smoother.

    Vamos Rafa!!!

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