Rafael Nadal beats Thomaz Bellucci to reach Olympic semis

Rafael Nadal is within touching distance of another Olympic singles medal after beating Thomaz Bellucci to make the semi-finals in Rio de Janeiro.

After losing the first set (by committing 10 unforced errors and generating only two winners), Rafa broke serve in game four of the second set and never looked back, winning 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 on Center Court. He became the eighth player in the Open Era to register at least 800 career singles match wins.

After the match, Rafa said:

I don’t even know how things are going so well because I didn’t do any preparation for the tournament. (via AP)

In Latin America the people are very passionate so that’s something very, very special to be in the middle of the court like this. (via Tennis Now)

Rafa will face Juan Martin del Potro (not Andy Murray as I thought the last four days) for a place in the gold medal match.

Rafa and Marc Lopez are scheduled to play in the men’s doubles final later today (not before 7PM local time, midnight CET, 11PM BST, 6PM EDT).

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45 comments

  1. Have been loving the tennis and seeing so much of Nadal but I will be happy when it finishes so normal sleeping pattern can return , hours sleep is not good. I am surprised that the tennis was only shown on the red button in the UK , especially when Murray is probably a dead cert to give us a medal . Couldn’t record of the red button else I could have enjoyed watching Mast a reasonable hour.Shouldnt complain as it’s great to see him back and playing some fantastic tennis. Come on Rafa and Marc you can do this

  2. @jaybeer Rafa said he doesn’t care which medal he wins. Of course he would hope for gold but to medal at all would be a great achievement. For him to have advanced this far is just incredible considering his injury, lack of tournament play since the FO, and virtually no practice.

    RAFA ROCKS

      • @jaybeer At first I thought you were so upset because Rafa was off tour. I thought your angry comments reflected the extent to which you missed him.

        Now that Rafa is playing on the biggest stage of the world you still seem angry, insisting that only a gold medal is worth anything and then you go on to insult a member who asked if you had a medal. Not nice. Also, it appears that Rafa can’t do enough for you. Once you accept Rafa for the champion he is maybe your anger will subside.

        You asked me to consider DelPotro….but I have. I’ve always liked him, and missed him being on tour. Once he beat DJ in the first round I have been keeping a close eye on him feeling that he could pose a threat to Rafa were they to meet. Today is that day.

        DelPotro has played in tournaments while Rafa was recuperating. His wrist is still not 100% but he is playing well. He is also a former number four. But I don’t take for granted that he will win.

        Rafa’s wrist is still not 100% but he and Marc have already won gold in doubles. Rafa is just a miracle worker. I have had to vanquish my fears (about his wrist) and just support him. Not easy.

        Both Rafa and DelPo will be tired coming into their match today. For you to allude to DelPo as the most likely winner is not giving Rafa enough credit. Just my opinion.

        RAFA TWO-TIME GOLD MEDALIST

  3. Margo – look at the name of the 1st post telling us all rafa is playing delpo. S/he is calling him or her self ‘notomuslims’. The cretin

    • If RNF does not block that person there is nothing I can do about it.

      What fans can do is just totally ignore him/her. No comments, no replies, nothing. You could also complain to Rafa on his Twitter account if you wish. If that doesn’t work maybe the press would be interested.

      • You’re very welcome but credit goes to Saira who first mentioned it in a comment questioning why such a “name” would be allowed. I agree that such an inflammatory “name” on a website dedicated to a worldwide-known athlete of Rafa’s reputation and calibre has no place here. Thank you for blocking said account.

  4. That comment was meant to show that tennis is so unpredictable, not that an error was made. We all make errors. I have been worried sick since Rafa announced he was definitely playing Rio AND in three competitions. I just hope he is well and does not suffer any physical consequences.

    RAFA ROCKS

  5. Just a thrilling match which was much closer than the final score. Rafa was really annoyed after the first set, which is something you rarely see. I was really worried after the first set, but I should have had more confidence in our hero. No, it was not Rafa at his best, but it was still magnificent.

  6. No to muslims? Should u be allowed to post anything with that name? I find it quite offensive despite u being a rafa fan. Is this site not monitored for this kind of stuff?

  7. Do you really think RNF has a crystal ball….those were only “possible” projections. Remember that Djokovic was eliminated in ROUND ONE. (Had to use caps…made me feel good.) LOL

  8. So I’m a coward and retreated to a quiet room to read when Rafa was struggling. Yet again, I missed the fight and to watch him win. If only I had an once of his warrior genes. Instead of enjoying his match point – I get a call from my sister to tell me he won – shame on me!

    • I’m Teresa too, and I can’t bear to watch when Rafa is having problems. Must be something to do with the name 😄

  9. YES 👍👏 A million congrats to you dear Rafa 😍😊
    Another amazing win 🎾💪😅
    All the best of luck at your next match 🍀 You can do it champ 😘
    VAMOS RAFA ❤️U

  10. Not sure if it is just the field so far, or if it is the doubles… but seems like Rafa is getting to the net much more than he usually does helping him finish off points. He also seems to be more aggressive than usual. Very very happy if he can continue that against the bigger guns starting with JMDP next.
    I am not Spanish, but what he is doing for his country makes me feel so damn proud. I can imagine how happy and proud his countrymen and women would be. He is truly a gem.
    Shout out to Andy as well (though i dont like his on-court behavior). He seems to really give it all for the UK especially with all the crap that was flung his way by the British press before the first Wimbledon title. Maybe that is why Rafa is close to Andy.
    Anyway, cant wait to see Rafa win gold in doubles. It seems to mean so much to him. I initially felt he should not risk his wrist in Olympics and should save himself for the Open and beyond. But seeing how happy he is and the effort he is putting in, just shows how much he loves his country. True role model and the real GOAT. Looking at him so happy after the tough couple of years, makes me so happy. Vamos!!

  11. Vamos Rafa! Just for all the commentators who keep mentioning Olympic metal is within reach. Please…it is about gold. Silver and bronze are nothing. Period. It’s gold what matters only.

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