PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal will play for bronze medal after losing to Juan Martin del Potro

Rafael Nadal’s bid for an unprecedented second Olympic singles gold medal ended with a thrill-a-minute semifinal loss to Juan Martin del Potro. The Argentinian won 5-7, 6-4, 7-6.

Rafa and Kei Nishikori will play each other in the bronze medal match on Sunday.

After the match, Rafa said:

It was good match, good level of tennis and all I can say is congratulations to Del Potro.

I try my best, I give my best ’til the last ball but that’s like this. I am very satisfied by what I did the whole week.

Tomorrow is another day and I’m going to try to be ready for it. (via ITF)

The players traded the first two sets. Coming back from a 3-0 deficit, Rafa eventually rallied to defeat del Potro in the first, 7-5. The second set saw del Potro eek past Nadal, 6-4.

Rafa and del Potro were tied halfway through the third. Del Potro eventually won a break point at 4-4 after Rafa belted a ball just beyond the baseline. The crowd roared: “Del-po! Del-po! Del-po!”

The Spaniard ripped through the next game, tying the score once again at 5-5. Again, the crowd went nuts: “Rafa! Rafa! Rafa!”

It went to a third set tiebreak. Del Potro established a lead, but Nadal hit some amazing shots as he tried to catch up. WhenRafa hit a shot long, Del Potro won the tiebreak and the match.

Sources: NBC, ITF

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74 thoughts on “PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal will play for bronze medal after losing to Juan Martin del Potro

  1. Margo

    Rafa will return to Spain with a doubles Olympic gold medal, adding to his singles gold of 2008.

    As stated by British sportswriter Simon Barnes, “…even a tennis player, an Olympic medal remains a unique and universal sign of achievement, something everyone understands, and a talisman that will be passed down to kids and grandkids.”

    RAFA TWO-TIME OLYMPIAN

    Like

  2. I am new to this site but I have been following it for some time and have read with interest the comments made.
    Among the comments I have read those made by jaybeer who seems to me, besides being a disgruntled old man,a “fair weather fan” of Rafa’s – gives an occasional Vamos when he wins or a diatribe of negativity when he loses.
    He seems to have no understanding of the effect on Rafa’s body over many years of competitive tennis since he became a professional tennis player at the age of 15 and appears to expect him to go on forever as he used to be. Not possible. No one goes on forever as they used to be.I am amazed that someone who has reached jaybeer’s age cannot grasp that simple fact.
    I am also amazed that he gets obvious enjoyment in trying to antagonise others on this site .Attention seeking? Sad,sad,sad . Of course I defend his right of freedom of speech. He is quite entitled to his opinions and they do not have to be the same as others.
    But if others are upset or offended by them why bring further derogatory remarks from him by replying to him?
    Just ignore him. Let him continue on writing to himself . He will probably increase his attacks in his efforts to get attention. Let him exercise his right to speak but give yourselves the right to not waste your time in answering.
    I definitely will not reply to anything he has to say – EVER – unless by some miracle he has something pleasant, or balanced, to say.
    At 82 years of age I am happy to say I have been a Rafa fan since he was a boy in his teens, celebrating his wins and saddened by his losses,but forever in admiration of this young man for all he has done for tennis with the excitement of his play, his passion for the game and the great sportsman and person that he is.

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    1. Margo

      Many thanks for your wise and all encompassing statement.

      Adding your voice gives even more power, and credence to a proven solution to rid us of a nagging problem that has descended upon Rafa’s fan site.

      RAFA ROCKED RIO

      Like

  3. Margo

    I just wish the bickering and name calling would stop. People will always disagree but how one disagrees is just as important.
    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

    I look forward to seeing how Rafa does vs Kei.

    I hope Rafa wins but if he doesn’t, I will be celebrating his deep run into the Olympics, and his doubles gold as opposed to “celebrating” his loses. No one here that I can see celebrated Rafa’s loses.

    RAFA IS STILL ROCKING RIO

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    1. Teresa

      Apologies Margo – but these are not disagreements, trolls have a purpose ‘a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people’. These people then take the self righteous moral high ground to justify and cover up what they do as we see below by expressing extreme accusations such as fascism. They should be removed.

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      1. Margo

        I am not seeking an apology, I just want peace. Rafa is due to play soon so I keep checking here to read what his other fans are posting before his match with Kei. I bet he wins, tired or not.

        Teresa, as far as I am concerned, you are an asset to this site with your insightful comments, and willingness to share Rafa news/videos with others here.

        Let jaybeer dig his own grave as he’s got plenty of ammunition of his own to accomplish that. To call Rafa a “loser” is just absurd considering his great accomplishments and “first evers.”

        If jaybeer held himself up to the high standards he has placed on Rafa, he would not be making such derogatory comments. His don’t deserve replies. PERIOD!

        RAFA ROCK’N ROLL

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    2. va4favre

      Margo, I totally agree. This is a Rafa fan site, but constructive criticism should also be welcomed. Our hero is always trying to improve. That is one if the many reasons we love him. If trolls do come to this site, we must remember that freedom of speech is precious. If there are some occasional trolls, it is better to ignore them. They want to get reactions and will go away if ignored.

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      1. That is correct …ignore him and don’t dignify any of his distasteful comments! This after all is a Rafa fan site and I think he just likes to stir up emotions!

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  4. bronze, gold or silver is not a big deal. Rafa hasn’t won any GS in more than 2 years. That’s the problem. I didn’t see any improvement in Rafa’s match. just a slower Rafa with the same old defensive style of play, insisting playing long rallies in the hope of the opponent to make errors.

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  5. Maria (England)

    J Beer you never change , it is your attitude that is worrisome and someone your age should know better ,it’s shameful. If Rafa had won gold you still would have found something derogatory to say. Rafa lost against Del Potro by the slimmest margin but in your eyes it makes him a loser ,well I guess it must make Novak an even bigger one

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  6. va4favre

    I am so proud of Rafa like most of you. I know he has the heart of a lion and proved it this week. In the end, he could not quite overcome the 19 hours on court. I really doubt he could have taken on a very fit Andy in five sets today. I hope that he will win today. Kei’s performance yesterday was very disappointing. It may sound harsh, but he does not deserve to win bronze. Rafa leaves with a doubles gold which is what he was aiming for. A singles medal would be frosting on the cake. We are privileged to be fans of such a champion.

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  7. Teresa

    RNF: YOU RECENTLY REMOVED A RACIST FROM THE SITE SO PLEASE REMOVE THE TROLL JAYBEER. Constructive criticism is fine but this is antagonist commentary emanating from a different place.

    Like

    1. jaybeer

      U r a fascist. Opinions that u dont like, must be removed? Do u even realize how low of a human u must be to take this approach. Dangerous and it reminds me of the darkest times. The fuel to the horrors of Europe in the 30’s and 40’s and the current post 9/11 state of affairs, has been provided by extremists just like you. “Let’s remove jaybeer cause he has an opinion we dont like”. Shame on you.

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      1. Teresa

        jaybeer: you are a lowly troll. I have not seen any opinion expressed in your comments. As I said, no constructive comments, purely antagonistic and derogatory. Where is your comment celebrating Rafa’s gold? Your comment above is over the top madness. You have nothing to offer on this site other than venom. You should be removed.

        Like

      2. J Beer: unfortunately the fascist regressive left have spread their poisonous influence to the sports too. Actually we’re in the dark age of witch hunt for the politically incorrectness. hang on there.

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      3. jaybeer

        Teresa, where is my comment on rafa’s gold?? U r so low, u present it here as if i did not comment on that – but did u actually check??? No mrs fascist was ready to judge as usual, yelling to expell me. Scary people like you arr bringing bad to the world.

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      4. Teresa

        Jaybeer, I made the mistake of feeding you, your last comment is very revealing in its accusatory nature, ‘judging as usual’ when we have had no communication until today? Making inflammatory remarks then taking the moral high ground. You are desperate for argument and attention. I feed you no more.

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      5. That is just too crazy to ignore..you are Obviously out of your mind. This is a fan site for Rafa and all his Achievements that he has accomplished…. I don’t know how you can contort any comment here into the Atrocities of Hitler…You are one sick pup and need to get on some psych meds.

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    2. Terersa : you are a typical regressive left that have no regard for the freedom of speech. Many millions of the Rafa fans never express their admiration on the social sites that doesn’t make them any less of loyal fans. J Beer has no obligation to post comment on the gold medal for the double tennis. He is entitled to his opinion as you are. shame on you for promoting the censorship.

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      1. Teresa

        Where do you see an opinion in his comments? Read his comments properly before you form an opinion, if you yourself are indeed a fan, a troll is a troll.

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  8. Teresa

    I’m no good an analysing how well someone is playing but listening to the commentary of Delpo/Rafa I’m heartened by the positive reaction to how well Rafa is playing. Hopefully this means that the form he picked up earlier this year (winning Monte Carlo and Barcelona) has continued and was not set back by the wrist injury.

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  9. Elizabeth Howard

    What a match, little between them at the end, I do think that tiredness crept in due to a dreadful scheduling of matches for Rafael. Win or lose he always gives his best, the ultimate warrior and competitor. No wonder he is admired all over the world. A great champion and a great person. Proud to support Rafael Nadal. Go for Bronze to add to your collection,

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  10. Elaine Crowder

    Rafa what a blessing it was for me here in Sydney to see the replay of your match against Juan and what a great job you did.
    I think you can be sooooooooo proud of all your play this week, in the singles aND WITH mARC IN THE DOUBLES.

    All the best for your match against Kei,

    Love and prayers,

    AlaineXXSydneyXXAustraliaXX

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  11. jaybeer

    Absolutely a very painful defeat. Winners only play for gold. The 2.5 month layoff can’t be brought up as excuse, given the fact that del po was away ten times as long. The Rafa warrior of old, the one last seen at us open 13, would have won this one. Gone almost 3 years now.

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    1. Linda Arnold

      You never lay off do you old man …he looked pretty darn good to me..and another GOLD medal not to be sniffed at…that’s 2 more than Roger

      Like

    2. Elizabeth Howard

      jaybeer, more negativity and what a pathetic comment. You haven’t a clue and it is time you took a long break. Rafael was amazing after two tough matches the previous day and a demanding schedule. It was a contest up to the end. Give us all a break.

      Like

      1. jaybeer

        U guys aren’t supporters. U celebrate and applaud losses, that is pathetuc. Success in sports, and in tennis particularly is about having an unstoppable hunger for victory and for victory only. U guys clearly don’t have that. Rafa used to have it, but lost it years ago. Dont expect federer, djoko or murray to ever take pride in losing such an important match. Losing to a player who has not played in 2.5 years, it should make any real fan cry.

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    3. ashish

      u didnt noticed but i

      rafa reminded of rafa 2012 in 10 th game of 3 rd set when he broke delpo in Olympics 2016

      the never die attitude till the last point

      with all credits to delpo

      it was upto rafa in the end to win or loose

      rafa lost the match with his aggressive best shot delpo not won the match

      having the best form of life coming from atp masters win nole defeated in straight sets

      and rafa coming from 2 and half month injury rest still fighting till very end for each point

      Like

    4. Teresa

      Clearly you are not a fan – despite Rafa’s incredible achievement at this Olympics (and this year generally) you seek to disparage him at every opportunity using very emotively laden words. You seem to have an unhealthy emotional investment in putting a man down that you will never have the priviledge of knowing. Do you ever question why you do this?

      Like

    5. Teresa

      jaybeer read the headlines and weep:

      Nadal was valiant, and brilliant, and gutsy, and after 19 hours on court this week, he had to be tired.

      Eres es nuestro heroe (he is our hero)

      … this was a heavyweight fight, a gladiatorial battle, a long, slow duel in the sun

      … Rafa’s Rio run. This week was a return to glory for him, one in which he added to his legacy and reminded fans of the energy he can generate on the biggest stages. Taking himself and his friend Marc Lopez to a gold medal in doubles will go down as one of his greatest and least-likely career accomplishments, and a marker of his competitive will. Asked how he had made it through 20 hours on court this week, Rafa said, “The passion for the game, and the Olympics.” No ranking points, and no money, is necessary.

      Like

    6. Teresa

      You have the attention you so desperately crave. Troll – only god knows what your motivation is. Shame on us for responding to you. RNF why don’t you remove this idiot?

      Like

      1. Margo

        Teresa, please don’t get youself worked up over this “fan’s” comments. I commented earlier, either here or on a different post, that it seems Rafa could not do enough for this person. Ahh, it was regarding the “lesser” value of medals that were not gold. At first, I believed that this person was not able to express himself/herself as well as others here, regarding Rafa. By this last comment it is evident that we all wasted our time trying to “soothe” a “fan” in distress. Obviously he/she cannot appreciate the Herculean feat that Rafa has achieved. Let him/her stew in his/her own misery.

        RAFA ROCKS RIO

        Like

    7. Teresa

      jaybeer: Have you had the same inclination to make the same disparaging remarks relating to Djok’s first round loss (your man I believe judging by what I’ve seen on other websites) not to mention his early exit from the doubles? So your man Djok is a loser (according to you philosophy) NOTHING in the Olympics whatsoever, losing in the first round to a man who hasn’t played in 2.5 years even before he had match practice.

      Like

      1. Linda arnold

        Teresa as much as I applaud you’d response to this guy don’t waste your energy ..not worth it he wants to prevoke sad man …nothing he says can take away the sheer joy of watching our guy this week he has been amazing..Vamos Vamos Rafa

        Like

    8. If you did not think that was a great match or you were not entertained…you were not watching the match I watched. Rafa may very well be slowing down a tad…but He played unbelievable tennis, even the Commentators were impressed with him…plus he won a Gold medal…What else to you want from him??

      Like

  12. positive thinker( India )

    RAFA YOU ARE THE BEST 🍓🍒🍑🍂🍁🍀🌹🌸🌷🌼🌻🌺🍓. NO ONE IS BETTER THAN YOU. I WAS IN TEARS TO SEE YOU LOSE. I DO NOT LIKE TO SEE YOU LOSE.BUT, AS THE SAYING GOES, ONE WILL LOSE ONE WILL WIN.

    YOU BRING IMMENSE HAPPINESS 😊😊😊😊😊ON THE COURT, TO ALL WHO WATCH YOU PLAY. YOUR PASSION FOR THE GAME, HAS WON YOU MANY HEARTS💙💙💙💙💙. HOPING TO MEET YOU IN PERSON SOME DAY , GOD WILLING.

    YOUR ARE MY HERO. LOVE YOU RAFA❤💙💚💛💜💓💔💕💖💗💘💝💞💟. I WILL GIVE UP WATCHING TENNIS🎾🎾🎾, THE DAY YOU RETIRE.

    ALL THE BEST FOR YOUR NEXT MATCH🍹🍹🍹🍹🍹. I’M POSITIVE YOU WILL WIN.
    LOVE N ALL OUR PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU. 💒💒💒💒💒💒💒💒💐🌷🌸🌹🌼🌻🌺

    STAY HEALTHY N FIT. 🍇🍈🍉🍐🍑🍒🍓🍍🌰🍅

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  13. So very proud to be an ardent Rafa fan…that was an amazing match…as usual he gave it 100% even though you know he must have been completely exhausted. He should not be disappointed with what he accomplished in Rio…starting with carrying the flag; to adding another gold metal and possibly a bronze to his already Extraordinary résumé! I was disappointed that the Brazilian fans behaved like they did, booing him when he won a point and cheering when he missed …. I do not like anyone to hurt him or say anything negative about him…guess I’m overly protective!! VAMOS RAFA ! I will be watching every minute and Rooting for you till the end!

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  14. RAFA is still Rafa! UNIQUE!!!! No one brings this passion to the court! The result is irrelevant because it was so close with the disadvantage of all the hours he has been in the court in 24 hours. Ridiculous!

    GRANDE RAFA, SIEMPRE SERAS UN GRANDE!!!

    Like

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