Rafael Nadal: “I lost an opportunity to have a very good event here. I am sad for that”

Rafael Nadal, of Spain, rubs his eyes during play against Lucas Pouille, of France, during the fourth round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. In this incredibly long, tough match, what do you think the difference was?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think he played a good match. He started so strong. I fight until the end with. There were things I could do better. Had the right attitude. I fighted right up to the last ball.

But I need something else, I need something more that was not there today. I going to keep working to try to find.

But, yes, was a very, very close match that anything could happen. Just congratulate the opponent that probably he played with better decision than me the last couple of points.

Q. You were a break up in the last set. You have so much experience…
RAFAEL NADAL: Experience, when you are 4-3 in the fifth, 30-Love, is not a question of experience, no? Is a question of play a little bit better than what I did. That’s it. A couple of mistakes there. Needed to play with a little bit more calm.

Is true that I don’t have lot of matches on my shoulders for the last three, four months, but even like this I lost an opportunity. That’s the real thing, no? That’s the true. I lost an opportunity to have a very good event here. I am sad for that.

But I fighted. I can play better. I can play worst. The only thing that cannot be bad is the attitude, no? Today the attitude was great. That’s it.Β 

When somebody does as much as you can, then you need to find another things. I need to keep improving the level of tennis to be back where I was before the injury.

But in terms of energy, in terms of motivation, I was great. In terms of tennis, I need more. I needed to serve better in some moments. I needed to create more pain on the opponent with my shots, no? That was something that I didn’t make it today.

He played well. That’s it. You know, I didn’t play bad, but I didn’t play enough well. He played well. That’s it.

Q. You say you need to keep improving to get to back to where your game was. Where do you see your situation now? How would you assess where you are relative to the Rafa that you want to be?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. Every day is a different story. I was happy the way that I was playing, practicing the last couple of days. Then a lose cannot change the overall situation, no?

I am not a person that when I am winning I’m like this, when I am losing I am like this. (Indicating up and down). My life is stable. Just accept that these kind of things happen and keep working, no? That’s the only thing.

I have the motivation to keep working. Took a long time, a lot of hours, a lot of spirit of sacrifice to be back where I was before the injury this year. Was tough. And now I need to come back there.

I don’t start from zero. That’s a positive thing. I am closer than last year to be where I want to be. I have a few months to finish the season, to try to be qualified for the World Tour Finals. That will be a good effort if I make that happen after two months and a half without competition. I going to fight for it. That’s all.

Q. Sometimes when you don’t have the results you would like to have it’s been physical problems; sometimes maybe more mental when you don’t have enough confidence on yourself because of some losses and so on. What do you think is right now more the moment? There were problems in the last few years.
RAFAEL NADAL: In the last few years? In the last few years — I played I think the quarterfinals last year in Australia; I played the quarterfinals in Roland Garros that I lost against Djokovic; I played a bad Wimbledon. I lost here a match with break up in the third and fourth and the fifth in the Grand Slam.

This year I played bad match in Australia, and I didn’t lose in Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Today I lost with a chance to be in the quarterfinals having a lot of chances.

You can see it or you can write the way that you want. I know what’s going on. I know what I have to do. When you are able to play semifinals of Masters 1000s, winning tournaments like Barcelona, playing good tournaments in the other events, is not a question of level to be in the final rounds of the Grand Slams, no?

Is just a couple of things that for some reasons didn’t happen, and you need to be ready to have the auto-critic. You need to be auto-critic. Is something that I believe really going to change.

Q. Mental or physical?
RAFAEL NADAL: Mental or physical doesn’t matter. I am out of the tournament. Physical, for sure no. I fight till the end. Of course was not a physical thing. Was not a mental thing. Was a terms of sport, and in sport you lose or you win. The opponent want to win the same like you.

When the opponent beat you, is not the time to find excuses is mental or physical. Doesn’t matter. The opponent was a little better than you. That’s it. You have to congratulate the opponent, go to the next tournament, the next practice, and try to be ready.

Q. You have had great results in the Olympics, Monte-Carlo, other tournaments. Do you feel it’s the pressure of Grand Slams, best-of-five, something that makes these tournaments tougher for you in the last couple years?
RAFAEL NADAL: After winning 14 and being in semifinals a lot of times, you feel that’s pressure?

Q. I’m asking you.
RAFAEL NADAL: I answered you. In 30 years old, after having the career that I have, is not a question of pressure.

Q. The ball at 6-All, that forehand in the tiebreak.
RAFAEL NADAL: Was a big mistake, yeah. But you are 6-All in the tiebreak. I played the right point. I put me in a position to have the winner and I had the mistake. That’s it.

You cannot go crazy thinking about these kind of things, no? You have a mistake. The opponent played a good point in the match point, and that’s it.

The problem is arrive to 6-All on the tiebreak of the fifth. I should be winning before. When you have 4-3, 30-Love, when you are there, is 50%. This time again is not on my side.

Q. What are your thoughts on Pouille’s game and his future?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I said the other day, no, he’s young. He’s a player that has all the shots. He’s a potential top 10 and good fight for the big things the next couple of years. If he’s able to keep playing well, keep improving.

Always is the same. In the careers of everybody is the same: you need to keep improving all the time. If you are able to make that happen, then you’re going to have success.

Q. You played against so many great players. What level do you think he is at right now for his age?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I cannot predict the future today. He is 19 on the race of the year. That’s a great number. He’s in quarterfinals here. So probably he will be higher after here.

How old is he? 22?

Q. Yes.
RAFAEL NADAL: He’s in a good position. As I say, he’s in a good position to give him chances to be in the top 10 position fighting for bigger things. But everybody wants to do it. Not only Lucas going to have the motivation to do it. There is a lot of young players that want to do it, too.

I want to do it too, again. I believe that Roger will want to do it again. And Novak and Andy is still there. Nishikori. A lot of great players are still there, no?

Is a question of improving. For me the same. For everybody is the same, no? If you are able to keep improving, playing well the whole season with no injuries, you know, then you have a better chances.

Q. Are you at all surprised that he didn’t get tight in those last few points in the tiebreaker?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, no. He is a great player. Why you have to get tight? He’s 22. He has enough experience. He played for the last couple of years on the tour.

Q. This was a big moment.
RAFAEL NADAL: Is not to win Grand Slam. Is fourth round. If he wants to become a champion he cannot be tight in that moment. Especially when you are 22, when you are playing against a player that in theory you have nothing to lose, you have everything to win.

Is not a moment to be tight. Is a moment to play aggressive. I think he did, and he did very well.

Q. You just lost the match, but still is there a part of you that has pride and satisfaction that you were part of such a great event?
RAFAEL NADAL: Now I am not very satisfied, the real thing. (Smiling.) Losing in the fourth round after having a big chance to play a great event here, feeling myself ready for it, for sure I am not very satisfied, no? I am sad.

But that’s it. I give my best. I try my best. I fight until the last ball. I played with the right energy, and that’s it, no?

As I said before, when you give your best you can’t ask yourself more in terms of attitude, no? I need to improve in other things, but I going to do it.

Q. You played the Olympics with a bad wrist; had a troubled summer. You’ve come here and had some good games, but now unfortunately the tournament is over. Are you going to use this time to recover 100% the wrist, or are you going to be focusing more on your tennis because you believe that your wrist is okay?
RAFAEL NADAL: My wrist is improving a lot. I say that looks like the injury is at the end of the process. I am ready to keep playing. That’s what my body is asking me now.

Q. All losses are painful. This one, is it a bit less painful because of what you had to go through in the summer? It’s not excuses.
RAFAEL NADAL: Doesn’t matter if you go through injuries; doesn’t matter if you arrived with less preparation. At the end of the day, nobody remember that. You know, you lost in the fourth round and that’s it.

Q. But you do remember.
RAFAEL NADAL: For me, I don’t care. I lost an opportunity to play a great event. Doesn’t matter if I had the injuries or not, no? I didn’t play in Roland Garros; I didn’t play in Wimbledon. That’s an opportunities lost. Here again, another opportunity lost.

At the end of the day is not a moment, as I said before, to find excuses or to be less painful. Is a painful defeat because I believe myself, I feel myself ready for that match, ready for the tournament. That’s it.

We can find stories, but I lost. That’s the only thing that really matter now. I going to fight to change that. But is not less painful or more painful. Is a defeat. Is not the first one in my career; is not going to be for sure the last.

When you play sport, you accept that when you go on court you can lose, you can win. That’s part of the life. I’m happy to be playing again. That’s the most important thing. I’m happy that I feel myself again close to be hundred percent healthy.

If I am hundred percent healthy, I have the energy to keep going. I believe that I can have a couple of more good years.

Q. You said you feel better this year compared to last year. What is the biggest difference between last year and this year?
RAFAEL NADAL: This year I didn’t have no one mental problem. I was able to enjoy every practice. I was able to enjoy every match. Last year not. Last year for seven, eight months happened something strange in my mind. I was playing with stress. I was anxious. I didn’t enjoy.

When you are not enjoying doing what you do, then you have a problem. The problems in my mental part didn’t allow me to enjoy, and this year I’m enjoying. I’m enjoying every moment. The only thing that was a negative thing is I couldn’t compete in a moment that I was playing great.


  1. stan played 70 – 80 % in both french and US open as compared when he played AO final against rafa

    and still convincingly won against the player who is very much in his form of the life

    next grandslam for stan to win is wimbeldon and i think he will win it but repeating the winning of same slam next time it will be hard for stan

    i think players after novak loss to sam querry started to believe they can beat novak as they started thinking and doing against rafa

    next year will be interesting as delpo, stan is in the form and rafa will be there too for challenging them

    stan is the player who nobody want to play in final

    vamos rafa



    YOU ARE MY HERO. LOVE YOU RAFA ALWAYS. β€πŸ’™πŸ’šπŸ’œπŸ’“πŸ’”πŸ’•πŸ’–πŸ’˜πŸ’πŸ’žπŸ’Ÿ

  3. What a great tournament we have been privileged to see , with some outstanding tennis from both the men and womenπŸ˜‚. What can I say thank God for Stan the man , the one player I think Novak dreads having to play in any final . Some players peak early like Rafa at 18 and others like Stan are late bloomers, and at 31 the oldest man to win the US Open ( so the commentator’s say) . Another cup to have embroidered on to your bag Stan .Congrats to Stan you are certainly becoming the thorn in Novak’s side . ( Novak maybe you should find yourself another coach , ha ha). Thank you New York for a brilliant 2 weeks and for some beautiful sunsetsπŸ—½πŸ—½πŸ—½πŸ—½

  4. Stan steps up to the plate as he has done before when it really counts. I didn’t watch the match could bear it. Dreamt Stan had won. Woke up disappointed that it was a dream. Turned on my tablet before work and saw the above comments. I always did like you Stan now I love you!πŸ˜€.

  5. Well after the 1st walk over and then the 1st retirement, novak said it was what he wished for. With little tennis at wimbledon and rio and then skipping everything upto us open – not enough match practice. And i would say be careful what you wish for novak. Great result!

  6. Thank god for stan – thrashed novak and stopped him getting his 13th major. That would have been too close to rafa’s 14 for comfort. Congrats stanimal!

    • What a relief! πŸ˜… … & best of all is: Nole has no chance now to overtop Rafa’s 14 GS at the French Open now, at least. It was a good final, partly outstanding play by Stan.πŸ‘πŸΌ

    • I was worried about that too! Stan the man has got Novak’s number! I just assumed Novak would win…he hardly played any tennis with all the walkovers!

  7. Rafa … Spectacular, exciting, entertaining match …, sorry that you lost ( actually heartbroken) but it was only by 2 points! The whole Arthur Ashe Stadium was a buzz with excitement. Just look what happened with Novak…3 walkovers And thousands and thousands of disappointed fans who felt cheated. Also the SF with Gael…what is going on here? Tennis needs you Rafa, you have this aura about you that I can’t explain and people will buy tickets just to see you ! Your fans will never give up on you…Plus you have an extraordinary place in tennis history! All that you have accomplished and not one smashed racket! Like Johnny Mac has said every young tennis player should follow your example!

  8. Thanks for the hint! I will try to look for the full press conference video. Only saw the first part which was on the official USO- webpage. Unfortunately I have not seen the documentary yet and also absolutely need to look for the full version!

    I did not specifically meant this press conference with answering “stupid questions” since some of the journalists at least showed interest and some deeper knowledge about Rafas mental issues, even if they were pushing like hell and made me feel bad for him being asked all this questions at this specific moment of defeat. (And… is it really good for Rafa if the general public knows too much about this? I’m not so sure).

    But I also do remember people on twitter writing that the press conference had even made the impression of being “therapeutic” for him as he turned from being dumpish to “enraged” (?). It is true that some of them asked questions I also am interested to know about, but I would be far to shy to ask.

    Btw.: I really hope you can see him play in London, Teresa! He must make it there! I do have the same issue of hopes and worry since I’m working for the Basel tournament. I’m so excited if he will be there or not that my heartbeat goes up when I think about.😩

    • Should be the answer to Teresas post (Sept 10, 12:24 AM). Can’t correctly deal with this😬. Would be wonderful to have a regular “forum” on the RNF site, onceβœŠπŸΌπŸ€—.

      • Oh wow! that was really enriching to see the full press conference and also the spanish part of which I only understood some parts. I think, finally this can be looked as very good sign. He did not look that kind of depressed and sad which sometimes after defeats make me feel so worried. His expressions and words turned to be neither defensively nor enraged, but even more humble and candid, speking from the bottom of his heart. Expression and words kind of more “buit an unit” as they sometimes do when he’s asked questions after defeats or in bad moments, and there was a lot of confidence and acceptance speaking out of him. This really lifts me up. I also have to change my mind about the questions they asked. Most of them were not too bad!

    • Working for the Basal tournament! I am so jealous!!! If you want to tell me more, please do! I will try to post links to the conference but will have to get to my laptop.

    • Whoops – I hope I don’t get in trouble with RNF for posting links like this. Only meant to get the address up!

      • I would love to. But can you contact me on Twitter with a message? My name there is same like here… Thanks so much for the video links!!!!

      • Thank you very much for linking Teresa πŸ˜ƒπŸ‘ Love it 😍 Do you know if the “Informe Robinson” comes with english subtiles?
        Thx again 😊 From a forever Rafan in DK β˜€οΈβ€οΈπŸŽΎπŸ’ͺ

      • Hi Rafantastic, many people have asked for sub titles to the documentary but there isn’t anything comprehensive. I believe there is a facility on youtube (maybe android devices only) that gives very rough subtitles but that is it. There is a transcript attached to one of the comments which is very good and done by someone on another fan website. You will need to access the documentary via youtube to get to the comments though but this should be easy enough. I highly recommend the reading!

      • Thank you very much for your answer Teresa πŸ˜ƒπŸ‘

        VAMOS RAFA β€οΈπŸ€

  9. I see Novak is back to his old self , wish you were there Rafa but sadly your not so COME ON Monfils

  10. Should we really care about couples getting married or not in 2016? Come on! In my opinion, lucky Rafa has the most beautiful, friendly looking and intelligent girlfriend of all tennis players and they always seem so much in love that it almost makes me cry those kind of “romantic movie- tears”… Cuteness overload, but I think we should at least let this part of his life be his privacy.

    I followed the rest of the discussion all eyes and could not agree more (once again) with you, Teresa. But this time, I definitely refuse to worry too much about that “out – of the blue” -loss and also I don’t believe that it might have been a backstep to his problems he had in 2015. Pouille played a terriffic match. Rafa came back from an injury, maybe still was exhausted from Rio and seemed not 100% healthy at the beginning of the US Open with that cold.

    This does not mean that I think all what happened in 2015 is over, all of a sudden, but it was not the reason why he lost against Pouille, in my eyes. One very important key was his service (perish the thought that serving still makes him problems because of his wrist).

    Also I defenitely agree with Beverley about oncle Toni and the “other coach” issue (even if I have mixed feelings for Toni and his authoritarian ways) as well as about not letting wins or losses be the only criteria to enjoy this man’s tremendous efforts!
    I cannot immagine a bigger thrill as to watch Rafa play tennis or even listen to him answering stupid questions and do everything in my power to watch every single match at any time of day. The inspiration this man gives us by playing tennis goes far beyond entertainment and I really wish nothing more as that there will be four or more years with him on the ATP-tour.

    • I hope you’re right and if Rafa says these mental issues are gone I’m happy (although, as you say, anxiety attacks don’t just disappear). His yo yo playing was referred to at the Olympics by one of the commentators (who said it was the same as in 2015). They are observant experts so that has got me worrying again. I’ve always said Uncle Toni is like a proud father when Rafa wins and is one of the best coaches in the world. It wouldn’t surprise me if he didn’t want some release from Rafa and not the other way around. But I think a fresh perspective wouldn’t hurt in addition to his current team (his team actually say the same thing!) I think it was Carlos Costa who said that after hearing the same voice after many years – maybe it ceases to have any impact.

      The full interview above is now on youtube and I have a completely different perspective on it now. One of the reporters (on twitter) said that the presser was purgative for Rafa – he changed from the beginning to the end of the interview. They ask him simple questions and he ‘talks the hind legs of a donkey’ (talking any time, any place, anywhere, is a strong cultural Spanish trait – they can also appear argumentative). It’s lovely to see that he is familiar enough with them to do this. One of his wonderful characteristics is his respect for the reporters and that he appreciates they are only doing their jobs and he voices this all the time. I recognise one of the reporters (the mixed race, plump lady with glasses) as appearing on his documentary with him last year (talking about his anxiety issues). She writes for one of the big French newspapers and I get the impression she is firmly in his court. So they are not all bad!

  11. Yes Theresa I’m in no doubt they will get married , they make a lovely couple. I don’t think we will be seeing any OK magazine deal of their wedding ,like Andy they are very private people and don’t like the whole celebrity lifestyle. Rafa’s girlfriend seems very shy and she doesn’t like the celebrity parties and events that the player attend , maybe if they were married right now she would feel pressured into having to be by Rafa’s side and he wouldn’t want that . I remember when he went to one of these parties ,when he got home he said to his girlfriend she would have hated it. Anyway they are both still young and have plenty of time .

    • The other theory of course, is Rafa’s status as a sex symbol (and gay icon). In the bad old days actors etc would have it written in their contracts that they could not marry. This maintains an illusion of availability and so the fan base (and money) are not affected. Rafa was an unintentional sex symbol but, none the less, was/is far more so than say Roger, Novak. or Murray. He had a massive fan base of young adoring woman that were not really interested in tennis. There could be a harsh business side to this and the Nadals are business people.

  12. Beverly , totally agree with everything you have said , Rafa’s not stupid and is quite capable of making his own decision about his career. As for him getting another coach I don’t think that will ever happen and yet again that’s Rafa’s choice . It’s easy to start blaming Uncle Tony when Rafa isn’t winning but I think we underestimate just how much he has done and given up for Rafa. Rafa has achieved 14 grandslams with his uncle coaching him , if all of these other coaches are doing such a great job why are the top players constantly changing them.I am just happy to see Rafa plays for as long as possible. Beverly the only thing I don’t want to see YET is Rafa getting married as I feel the day this gets announced so will his retirement. I am probably completely wrong (and hope so) but it seems strange to be seeing someone for so long and not even be engaged. Players of Rafa’s age are all getting married and having children so why isn’t Rafa.I think maybe he will get married when he can give his wife and children 100% of his time and not be traveling to a different country every other week. He has lived his own life growing up being away from his Mum,Dad and Sister ( probably why he’s so close to them now) and has seen the other side with his uncle Tony’s missing out on seeing his own children ( and wife) as much as he ( and them ) would like ,and he doesn’t want that for himself. I guess we will never know.

    • I was going to post a very similar comment as to why Rafa is not yet married but you’ve said it all really. Rafa, I believe, is as good as already married. He is not a religious man so tying the knot formally probably means little to him. Rafa, we know, likes to keep his private life very private, and is very protective of his ladies (mum, sister and girlfriend). Mary has never spoken to the press in all the time she has been with him. When he marries it will be out of the public eye so they can maintain this privacy (the last bit of normality he has left). As protective (and paranoid) as he is over his family, I cant seeing him leaving children while being on tour. Mary, seems 100% secure with Rafa and no doubt they have decided between them already how things will happen. Mary now has a prestigious position working in his charity (along with his mum) so she’s pretty much set up as Mrs Nadal.

      • Should we really care about couples getting married or not in 2016? Come on! In my opinion, lucky Rafa has the most beautiful, friendly looking and intelligent girlfriend of all tennis players and they always seem so much in love that it almost makes me cry those “romantic movie- tears”… Cuteness overload! but I think it’s really fair to (at least) let this part of his life be his privacy.

        I follow the rest of the discussion all eyes and could not agree more (once again) with you, Teresa. But this time, I definitely refuse to worry too much about that “out – of the blue” -loss and also I refuse to believe that it might have been a backstep to the problems he had in 2015. Pouille played a terriffic match. Rafa came back from an injury, maybe still was exhausted from Rio and seemed not 100% healthy at the beginning of the US Open with that cold.
        This does not mean that I believe that all what happened in 2015 is over and out all of a sudden, but it was not the reason why he lost against Pouille, in my eyes. One very important key was his service (perish the thought that serving still makes him problems because of his wrist).

        Also I do very much agree with Beverley about oncle Toni and the “other coach” issue (even if I have mixed feelings for Toni) as well as I agree about not letting wins or losses be the only criteria to enjoy this man’s tremendous efforts. Since years I and so many other fans all over the world do everything in their power to watch every single match Rafa plays, at any time of day, and there is nothing I wish more that there will be four or more years like this to come. Impossible to imagine a bigger thrill as watching this man play tennis. But the inspiration he is goes far beyond entertainment.

  13. it’s rafa play that actually drawn my attention towards tennis and most likable sport for me

    His relentless style of play, chasing every ball after ball feeling every point as the last point, his forehand….his never say die attiTude
    for me he is one of inspiration of life to have 1% attitude like his

    Every time when rafa enter the court he give me the goosebumps and make me so excited that i feel i am so lucky to see him playing

    when i started watching he was not winning everything, the thing is his style of play make me get crazy ever time i watch him

    Recently his form dropped because of mental physcial, emotional, aging, and numerous facts that we dont know
    as a rafa fans it always hurt when he gives all and losses. The feeling of sadness is not because he looses a match and that affect his ranking points or number of trophies he could have but its the pain of not watching rafa play one more time the pain of rafa immense hardwork not paying off

    I am one person that always said its always will be the rafa decision to have a another coach because he is so experienced to know what to do
    and what uncle toni did to rafa is so amazing and v should repect and thankfull to him

    Obviously rafa plays tennis because he loves the game and is so passoniate but he is still in this ciruit not just for this reasons or making his fans to feel happy to see him play but he means buisness there i.e. winning every match ….every tournament ….every grandslam he plays …
    to innovate his game to learn new things in the game

    Recently rafa said on interview that he is missing something in his game and he knows well

    There is no need to be supercoach or genius or even stupid to write things on how rafa should play……i wonder if rafa even knows about this site or not exist

    But as a fan who watched him play from so early ….who admired his every shot who watched his cross court and down the line forehand unlimited times requires no super mind or experntess to just suggest what he might be missing in his game to feel self satisfied that he may come good with that

    Lastly i enjoy so much watching rafa play and will continue but love to watch him biting trophies to give the same goosebumps to me

    Rafa has many grandslam left in him so never Write him off ….i will not

    Love u rafa and vamos

  14. I have read all the comments on this topic and although there are many loyal fans expressing their support for Rafa I feel disturbed about several things.
    First of all the number of armchair experts who are all telling Rafa how to play and what he is doing wrong. If he is continuing to play in, what they feel is the same old way, that is his choice and we do not know the reasons. We cannot get inside his head. We can only make assumptions but Rafa has to make the decisions , for HIS OWN REASONS.
    One reason could be that he has pushed his body relentlessly over many years and to change his style now may be more than he can manage, both emotionally and physically. He has made some adjustments to his game.If he is capable of making more, I am sure he will try if he feels it will help.
    Secondly there is the tendency to blame Uncle Toni for Rafa’s failings accompanied by constant references to Federer, Djokovic and Murray who all changed coaches. Rafa is not any of those people. RAFA is RAFA. He is not a carbon copy of any of the above. It is HIS CHOICE to have the coach he wishes and once again we can only make assumptions as to his reasons.
    Family reasons may be the main ones and if so he could feel very uncomfortable with another coach on board and that in itself could affect his response to other coaching and not help matters at all. However once again we cannot be sure of any of this. We have to trust Rafa, who is the most hard working and conscientious player on the circuit, in my opinion, to make his own decisions as to what he feels is best for him.
    The third thing that really worries, and surprises me, is that some fans seem to feel anger and bitterness towards Rafa because he does not win as often as he used to. It’s almost as though they expect him to go on forever and they feel affronted when he does not .Nothing or no one lasts forever, including Rafa. Once again there are constant references to Federer, Murray and Djokovic. I can only say again Rafa is Rafa. He is unique. That is one of the reasons we all followed him in the first place. Now there are all the criticisms that he is not the same as the above three.
    Nerves do seem to be preventing Rafa from closing out matches when he has the opportunity but Rafa says he has overcome those problems. He is usually very honest so why not now?
    Finally I cannot agree with those who said Rafa did not play well against Pouille. If they are making that judgement because he did not win, then they are in their right to think so but looking at his overall play through the four hours of the match he played some outstanding tennis.
    Okay, he didn’t win and that was disappointing. I hope I am wrong but there is a possibility that he may never win another Grand Slam or he may never beat Djokovic.
    Is that the sole criteria by which we are going to judge this wonderful sportsman from now on?
    For my part I will follow Rafa as long as he continues to play and will accept that he is giving us the best of which he is capable at this stage of his career.
    Sorry Rafa fans for this lengthy diatribe and now Iv’e got it off my chest I won’t torture you with such long winded offerings in the future.
    There may be many who disagree with my views but that’s fine. We can agree to disagree.
    I know we all want the best for Rafa but see it in different ways.

  15. what rafa missing is the speed on his forehand shots
    nowdays he hit cross court forehand shot to be in rallies instead of hitting it for closing out the rally with a winner like he used to does earlier
    rafa please find that speed on ur forehands

    remember it’s ur one lethal weapon the tennis players scare off………get that back

    • Once Rafa has the will to improve, I think he will eventually. He always says the right things after a loss, ie he will come back stronger, he knows what he has to do, etc etc, and yet the same results.

      I start to think it is his body betraying him, but then I think of myself:):) I’m 34, and I don’t think my body is any less powerful than it was at 26. In fact I take more care of it now than I did then, and I work out more now. But then I have not put my body through what Rafa has put his body through all these years.

      Missing that forehand at 6-6 in the tiebreak against Pouille had nothing to do with Rafa’s body. It is all in his mind. The way these guys play and condition themselves, I believe Rafa has 3 good years left in him.

      So Rafa just needs to sort his head out and he should be fine. And play smarter- can’t be running around all the time like that.

      Or like you say Ashish, he should get married. That will stop the girl from nagging him nonstop 24/7. One less thing for him to worry about:):)

    • i don’t know why rafa restrains the real power swing with his hands while hitting the cross court forehand….without this he cannot generate the pace on the forehand and keeping a right position to hit i.e not trying to get too close

      is rafa hands got tight or become heavier for not trying that

      it’s the important shot for rafa for opening so many option in the game

  16. I am a blind supporter of Rafa and I am very very sad and sorry to see Rafa going down from bad to worse.Same old style of play and
    Mentality (Brain Block).Specially,same bunch of people around him,same style and way of playing.Nadal needs to change or add new
    members to his coaching team.Must be more
    Aggressive,solid with his serves(Rafa has the
    Worst serve of all the Spaniards)and Rafa must never joke with his slices which have become feeders for his opponents.Lastly Rafa must take a Yoga course for his own Good!

  17. it’s a tricky situation for rafa ..a catch 22 situation

    problem is rafa is not consistent in his play tournament after tournament which he was so used in his carrier he play exceptionally well in some matches and then we see a sudden down match from rafa …….he was getting there after montecarlo and barcelona and even in madrid

    and to his nightmare then came the injury in roland garros ….the tournament he can win even if he is 90 percent in form

    so now he need a grandslam to get there where he want and then we will all see a early days rafa and then th possibilty is he can add more grandslams to his tally….

    since nowdays in tennis u need momentum to build up for winning major trophies

    but the problem how he will and what he need to do to win a grand slam
    i wish if roland garros would have been played as 1 st grandslam of year for 2017

    he really need to find something to win this trophies ..
    now days i guess rafa underestimates himself so much in every match that a for routine winner for him he feels to much for

    rafa ur a 14 GS winner in era of roger novak murray ……….come back please

    • He won’t win another GS and 1000 master if keeps playing the same old defensive game and having the paralyzing anxiety and fear of playing against the big servers and Djoker. Rafa’s game is very predictable and understandably he’s slower to reach all the balls.
      Andy Murray lost to Nishikori last night. He was playing a defensive game, standing far behind the baseline while Nishikori kept attacking him.
      Rafa hasn’t reach the quarterfinal of a GS since 2014 and he’s not getting any younger. It’s really hard to witness a great talent goes to waste with the a wrong coaching and fear of change.

      • same words were said at start of
        But he did win a master 1000 and 500 so close in madrid With his best style
        i.e. defence

        rafa will eventually get to attacking mode if he feel 100% with his defence

        only thing he need is to win a grandslam ……i dont know how he will do it but he will do it

      • Ashish: He won 1000 master on clay after the early exit of Djoker and in 500 master there wasn’t any serious contender to challenge Rafa.

    • It’s the ‘sudden down match’ that doesn’t add up. The same pattern we saw in the previous seasons – playing like his old self then… what the hell happened? He was getting himself back together, now the pattern’s emerged again: Olympics, Cinci and the US Open. The way he allows himself to be be constantly broken only to break back is like some form of self punishment. So is this the same mental problem as before or is it physical as Rafa is saying? Obviously there will always be issues with injury, downtime and recovery but as much as I want to believe this is all it is, this erratic play adds up to his head space playing with him. I don’t think it’s fear of playing or losing in tennis – he accepts this like he always has. He said last year that what happened to him ‘was nothing to do with tennis.’ My worry is that is hasn’t dealt with this issue properly.

      • If novak was out then it was not rafa fault but somebody played a better match against him ……

        And in barcelona he beaten niahikori
        who now defeated no 2 in world in us open who was in great form and is a semifinalist

        About clay rafa loves this surface and it s the surface where ur overall tennis skill comes up and not flashy tennis stand
        so u were saying he will not win any1000maters or grandslam ….then u should have made an exception for clay

        rafa will surely win masters and even grandslam
        chances r big he can win world tour season this time if he qualifys

      • Hi Ashish, your last comment should be in response to Sosa. Im with you 100%. During Monte Carlo and Barcelona Rafa also came up against and beat Thiem, Murray and Warwinka. So whoever thinks he had an easy time is barking. I also don’t understand why people think clay is somehow less important than other surfaces and the only valid win is against Novak on a surface other than clay? Weird! This is the usual rhetoric of fanatical RF fans. All players have a favorite surface. It’s fair that Rafa should end his career as he started it on his most successful surface just as people believe RF should still have a fair crack on grass. Rafa is out there diligently practising in Majorca but why he doesn’t get extra some help I don’t know. Problem is his personality – he ‘owns’ everything as he was taught to do by Uncle Toni but this isn’t always healthy. He also seems to have a dislike or the patience we need for change. But Rafa believes in himself so we should also believe in him.

  18. I was hoping that Andy would have been t heir in the final to stop Novak claiming yet another victory, but now whoever’s in the final whether it’s Nishikori or Stan needs to play the game of their life if they want to win. I prefer Nishikori to Stan , but maybe Stan has more chance to beat Novak especially if he plays like he did when he won the FO. Either way I’m glad to see Nishikori playing well and stepping up to the plate at last

  19. Scores have been adjusted after the Warwinka win – looks like Rafa is still in the Race to London at No 8. I hope with all my heart he stays in! I was hoping Delpo would knock Djokovic out – it’s in the bag for him now – he’s barely had to play:(

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