Rafa Roundup: ‘Tennis is healthier when Rafa is healthier’

2016 Rio Olympics - Tennis - Victory Ceremony - Men's Doubles Victory Ceremony - Olympic Tennis Centre - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 12/08/2016. Rafael Nadal (ESP) of Spain poses with his gold medal that he won with Marc Lopez (ESP) of Spain.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
Photo by REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque 

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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.

The return of Nadal, though, was among the biggest stories of the tournament. Two weeks ago, he didn’t know if he’d play. It wasn’t simply that he played 11 matches in nine days. It was his level of play and engagement. Again, tennis is healthier when he is healthier. Inasmuch as a 14-time Grand Slam champ can be a revelation….

… That he was able to win gold for Spain and share a career highlight with his longtime pal Marc Lopez, made this all the more special. This was highly reminiscent of Federer winning with Stan Wawrinka in Beijing. And when his singles career is over, Nadal could very easily transition into a doubles specialist, should he wish.

How much longer can Nadal last? He’s coming off 20 hours of tennis and a whiplash-inducing series of emotions in Rio—he went from the high of doubles gold to the disappointment of fourth place in the singles in the span of 48 hours. We’ll see if 48 hours off is enough time for Rafa to reset.

An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis reveals Nadal has won a higher percentage of his second-serve points than anyone else in the game. Nadal’s second serve is not as powerful as many of his opponents’, but his heavy, lefty slice makes his second serve extremely difficult to attack.

The left-hander has won 56.9 per cent of his second-serve points throughout his career, slightly edging arch-rival Roger Federer, who has won 56.6 per cent.

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9 thoughts on “Rafa Roundup: ‘Tennis is healthier when Rafa is healthier’

  1. Jeane

    Beautiful result of my favorite players, great hero, I wish to continue the very best and look forward to beautiful games and hope that come the tournament champions

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  2. hearn fiona

    Enhorabuena para la medalla de oro. Va a ponerla en el nuevo museo en Manacor? Espero venir pronto para visitar. Lastima para los otros, habriamos preferido que gane una otra en oro o en argento. Esta vez su descanso en Mallorca ha sido mas largo, tanto mejor, le ha hecho bien! Buena suerta para Cincinnati, lastima que David ha ya acabado. Fiona en Paris

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  3. canaDiana

    Who else besides Roger and Rafael brings such respect, passion, and talent to the court? That does not diminish the wins of other players, but these two bring such class to the court. The entire fabric of a tournament changes when one of these players is absent. They have thrilled us with their grace and genuine love of the game. May we enjoy their talent for as long as they wish to compete!🎾♥️👏🔥🌟

    Like

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