Rafael Nadal beats Adrian Mannarino to reach China Open quarter-finals

(Reuters) Second seed Rafael Nadal survived a late fightback from Adrian Mannarino as he beat the French qualifier 6-1, 7-6(6) on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals of the China Open during a rain-hit day in Beijing.

The 30-year-old got off to a quick start, winning nine of the first 11 games. However, Mannarino rallied back to force the second set into a tiebreak before Rafa ended the contest on his second match point.

After the match, Rafa said:

I think I played a fantastic first set. Great level of tennis, serving very good, hitting so good. During the second set, I slowed the rhythm a little bit and he played very well.

I think I played with the right amount of determination in the tiebreak. It’s very important for my confidence to pass through these tough moments.

Rafa will face Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals on Friday.

Source: Reuters, Video: ATP World Tour


  1. The nerves have certainly got a firm hold of Rafa! After a good match against Mannarino, he suddenly went to pieces and couldn’t find his serve or forehand! I’ve loved seeing Rafa play scintillating tennis over the years but now I watch in nervous anticipation, willing him to come through matches. It can’t be easy for him as players he once demolished are beating him handily. Dimitrov didn’t play a fantastic match himself but he was made to look good because Rafa, by his own admission, played so badly. All Dimitrov had to do was bunt the ball back and wait for an error from the other side of the net.

    I truly hope Rafa gets some confidence from his doubles win against the Bryan brothers. A player so great as Rafa deserves to climb the ladder of glory again. Form is temporary, class is permanent. The problem is definitely in his head and a sports psychologist may be the answer. Deep breaths Rafa. Good lluck to you and Carreno Busta in your doubles final and I hope you have a great run in Shanghai.❤️❤️❤️

  2. I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but that was painful to watch. Rafa looked and played like an amateur! In all the years that I have watched Rafa, I have never have seen him play so poorly. Dimitrov played an excellent match but Rafa just couldn’t do anything right… I think he wanted to get off the court as soon as possible and… I wanted him to hurry up as well. Today was different from his loss to Pouile (which I thought was a great match ) Dimitrov just dismantled Rafa and he will definitely will need time to heal. I just hope he can put this behind him and not let it get to him. Love you Rafa win or lose !

  3. after long time i am not sad after rafa loss in this match because i have seen his previous match and this one too

    the great thing was he found out what was missing from his game

    the energetic power swing in his hands is back while hitting cross court or down the line forehands
    his shots having a zip again and he is not hesitating to use his forehands

    this match he cannot hold serve that’s it and after loosing 1 set the opponent always have upper hand and grigor played great in 2 nd set
    the best thing rafa didn’t change his plans and played with same attitude

    nothing to worry rafa

    if rafa continue to play like this soon we will dsee him lifting 2 to 3 grand slams and masters for sure

    best luck rafa and have a great health….take care

    vamos rafa great attitude
    u looked so refreshed and was so pleasing to see u play

    • after long time he started playing like this which is great,
      taking the ball early and hitting with great intensity
      the unforced errors will surely come but great things to come

      vamos rafa i am with u
      played all out there

    • my only worry is after today loss rafa should not even think of changing his style what he adopted in last three matches

      we will see great results from rafa soon

  4. There are acceptable losses, and then there’s this thing that happened today. Totally unacceptable! Rafa, go stand in the corner for 2 hours! For shame! We know our Rafa for determination and grit, and his ability to turn things around. The player Dimitrov gave lessons to today was nowhere near the Rafa we’ve all come to know and love.

    Anyhow, I guess he did win 2 matches this week. It’s a sorry time when our man makes the Quarterfinals of a tournament and that’s a job well done. Maybe this will wake up the beast? Maybe not. Oh well… still with you Rafa baby! Hang your head up high Rafa, you gave it your best. Yea right, you sooo did not!! (HEHE)

    • I understand that some fans get angry about losses like this, but you know that Rafa is already punishing himself enough for this loss. He already did desperately in the presser, so in my opinion it is not our job as fans to shout at him. It’s not fair. What did we reach, compared to him.

    • Mac…what a wonderful post: spoken as a true Rafa Fan! I’m afraid my post was too harsh, but I was literally in shock. I only took the negative out of this match and failed to mention the highly intense previous matches he gave us. I love this guy, but I can’t understand his inconsistencies lately. I guess Rafa doesn’t even know.

  5. Oh no !!!! Want to know about the ranking point calculations too … I couldn’t watch the match … What happened ?? So so so so sad !!!

  6. Oh Rafa, what is going on😭😣. Something bad is happening and tennis tv stream just stopped… unbearable.

    • Over :(. This comes quite unexpected, even to my pessimist soul…
      The few games I watched felt a bit like the match in against Coric in Cincinnati, but there at least we knew the reason. It was exhaustment right after the marathon he played in Rio. But this time? Was Dimitrov too good? I don’t think that’s all. Maybe the resaons we discussed yesterday at this place? (Overtraining etc?). But hopefully we will hear or read more, soon.

      I am sad for you Rafa that this losses happen to you more often, but the show must go on and hopefully faith brings you a much better season next year.
      As long as he is healthy, it is ok.

      Anyone up with the Masters ranking point calculations? I have no clue how his chances are now.

      • I’ve already read some parts of his presser. It does not sound good…. “psychologically bad feelings” “did not deserve to win” ” a disaster” and so on. He is breaking my heart with those dissapointed words.
        Come on Rafa! heads up, quickly! This one loss is not woth to be burned in your head. It was not at all your day.

      • Rafa is still in seventh place for the Race to London. I doubt that Dmitrov, ranked 20, can displace Rafa at this point. There are Basel, and the Shanghai and Paris Masters left to be played but I am not going to attempt to calculate who will be where until Shanghai. Too upset about this quarter final loss.


      • Fedallica, sorry I couldn’t offer you more.
        I don’t know what is going on with Rafa and refuse to speculate.
        Rafa’s words just won’t leave me alone, “In order to be the best, you have to play against the best.” I don’t think Dmitrov is the best. I was worried about another quarterfinal loss (actually a third match loss in Slam terms). I am not a happy camper but as a Rafa fan I have learned to accept his losses with grace (I think), and just have hope for better results in future matches.


      • @Fedallica On Monday, Rafa will still be number seven with 3,290 for The Race. Thiem will be eighth with 3,205 points, 85 points separating them. This year it is a real race.

      • It doesn’t add up to me Fedallica. Erratic play – genius to nothing. Something’s holding him back. Like you, I am waiting to see him desperately. If he doesn’t make the finals, I’ll be gutted but his position is still reasonable. As it is there’s no guarantee of seeing him on the day I’ve booked tickets for anyway. Oh well at least I have somewhere to commiserate😢.

      • This is tight indeed… I am not familiar with this calculation system at all, so your help is very much appreciated! It seems to me, that in the next three tournaments, Rafa would need to reach the quarters or even more. (?)
        Last year he had not a good year but he played a good end of the season and I hope this does not give him unneeded extra-pressure. (Bejing (Final), Shanghai (Semis) Basel (Final) and Paris (Quarters)…) We’ll see. Most important now to go step by step/ match by match.

      • @Teresa… yes, something is still haunting him. Even if he plays his best tennis in one match, we can’t be sure nowadays what follows in the next. But naturally, hope always wins when he plays so great like he did in the first round…
        This time it most of all hurted me to read what he said in the presser. The way he was beating himself up. But who knows, maybe it is some kind of anger what he needs now. It was just a natural reaction of huge disappointment and not one of the “this is sports” – “he was the better player” – reactions. I hope that his reaction on court will be anger instead of more fear and doubts.

        I will try to take it more easy from now when it comes to my wish to see him in Basel. If he’s there, I’m the happiest person on earth and then I’ll be even more nervous about his play and if not, I will just focus on my job and tennis in general. (But some days ago, I also bought tickets for Paris…)

        Anyway, commiserating here always helps a lot!

      • @ Fedallica – you’ve planted a seed in my head – I may go to Paris.

    • 😮😆 This would be amazing, Teresa.
      I will go all by myself. tue. evening, wednesday and thursday.

  7. VAMOS SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) “RAFA VAMOS RAFA”…… Back and forth breaking service games and it is one of these slow beginnings ….it is ok dear Rafa it is a part of the sport as you always wisely say…….but I am confident Rafa, that the 2nd and 3rd sets will be played with renewed energy and inspiration!!!!!! : ) You had some beautiful cross court BH and great net winners in the 1st set and whatever happens it is ok!!!! : ) : ) : ) You can turn the match around and you can prevail dear Rafa ……some days it is harder to find the motivation or determination but knowing you, you often dig deeper and come up with the re energized game. You have the endurance and the classy shots go forward sweetheart with all your fans love behind you !!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : )

  8. Congratulations Rafa. Think positive as you did earlier in your career n go in fighting strong n hard. You are a naturally born champion, n you will not only always be the King of Clay but a Tennis Legend. Tennis loses its glitz n glamour without you n Roger F. so please keep on competing … especially for us old people. God bless you my boy. Your Aussie Abuela. 🏆👑😇😊😀




  10. Rafa played inspired tennis in the first set and his serve had a lot of zip. A few errors here and there meant that he let Mannarino back into the match in the second set. I’ve seen this pattern a few times in some of his matches over the last couple of years. He needs to maintain his intensity and stay in command of the baseline if he is to avoid losing to lower ranked players. You go for it Rafa!!!!!😚

  11. Vamossssssssssssss Rafa you can do it all the way to the finals,love your fans for ever🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🐀🎾🐀❤️❤️❤️🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾

  12. Mannarino is not a great player but usually gives hard times to his opponents. Rafa has played a superb first set but he took the second with more calm which Mannarino has not wasted the opportunity to give him more fight but…….

  13. Fantastic first set… But when he came back form a bathroom break, He took his serve with him and left it there…. That was a sloppy second set and he was damned lucky to get through that one ! No wonder why his father has pure white hair now… Can you imagine being his parents! Well let’s pray that he gets his serve back to play Gregor…they have played each other before so Rafa will know what he has to do! Vamos Rafa .Win or lose …love love love you!

    • LOL (funny sad) his family and team look as though they’ve been under the cosh. His poor father (Spanish TV) had a word with Rafa ‘you cannot continue this way – you have no need to suffer – if you suffer playing, you do not have to play. What for?’

      • Oh dear… Did his father say that in TV? (In my lively imagination his family and girlfriend have told him that sentence for a million times… 🙂

  14. I wondered whether Rafa’s wrist was bothering him in the second set.
    I still think he practices too much between games and wears himself out.
    Playing doubles should be practice enough without the need for further time on the court.

    • After the hours I literally spent searching for an answer to his recent wrist problem I came up with the conclusion that Rafa either did not wait long enough for his injury to heal, or no matter what, the injury will recur and necessitate surgery. End of story, on my part.

      Rafa wants to play, that is his objective. He will play as long as his body permits. I just hope his body doesn’t fail him.

      • 😔…🙏🏼👍🏼 😉 Since that “hoping to see him in Basel” is in my head I completely failed to enjoy. It is an egoist attitude. I must acept that fact you just mentioned and you are absolutely right. He wants to play and he lives and plays in the moment. Guess that this is all what really matters for him and I adore this attitude same like it makes me suffer.
        Good night👋🏼

    • I always find his fanatical practice strange particularly in the circumstances. Rafa (and Uncle Toni) said the higher the intensity his practice the better his results have been. There’s a new biography on Roger and Rafa (Sebastian Fest), he claims Rafa needs hours of hard practice a day to feel normal or words to that effect. I can actually believe this.

  15. Congratulations and and the best of luck tomorrow Rafa sweetie ❤️🍀

    VAMOS CHAMP! 🎾💪😘🌟👑😃

  16. 😩😔
    I only watched the second half of the second set against Manarino & the first match against Lorenzi full in replay and this have been exactly my thoughts since all of a sudden it seemed like 50% of his strenght has left him today in the second set 😔.
    (I really should avoid commenting at the moment as I tend to be too negative/pessimistic 🤐).

    • I’m a pessimist by nature. Let’s just wish him luck🍀, good karma🙍, love💟 and positive vibes – they will get to him. VAMOS RAFA!!!💪

      • Me too. You are right…. Let’s try to do this. Luckily there are Positive Thinkers posts bringing in some good vibes, as a counterweight 💕❣️
        (Beverley, this are my fears, too…. Why he does he push it again so hardly … as always… ) But let it be our aim to push those thoughts and fears aside for the rest of this season. 👊🏼

    • We Rafa fans can always make constructive criticism. That does not mean we are not fans. It did not occur to me, but maybe his wrists were hurting. It would explain the big drop from the first set. Rafa desperately wants to make the WTF in London. The first three sets he played were glorious.

      • Va4farve…That’s right! I believe that his true fans who have been with him from the beginning have every right to give their constructive criticism without being pegged as negative energy! We all have our own take on what is going on with Rafa, but that doesn’t mean we are not ardent,diehard fans!

  17. Ola SWEETHEART & BIG VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) Congratulations again and VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) I forgot to mention how great it is to see you thrive in your strong DOUBLES game!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) Very impressive dear Rafa!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) You & P just took two very strong top DOUBLES players who have been playing DOUBLES for years!!!!! : ) : ) : ) It is beautiful & amazing how quickly you rise to the top in Doubles!!!!!! : ) No matter who your partner is, you are right up there with great shots and speedy court coverage and feisty net returns and stunning on the line cross court magnificent quick shots!!!!!! : ) It is impressive to see your command on the Singles and Doubles matches!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) 🙂 : ) : ) When you hit winners they are STUNNING in style & delivery!!!!! : ) 🙂 : From all angels and all corners your returns clearly separate you from other players!!!!! : ) : ) : ) VAMOS RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) 🙂 ) Your play is intuitive and with your blessed instincts and quick mind you move so well !!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) It is beautiful to watch your groove!!!!!!! : ) 🙂 VAMOS SWEETHEART & enjoy your day tomorrow !!!!!!!: ) 🙂 : ) : ) 🙂 It will be great for you….you are the better and stronger player!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) Have fun & keep on smiling!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : )

  18. Rafa, whatever your issues may be, remember who you are, CHAMPION first and foremost. Just play your best against Dmitrov and vanquish him. Get through the quarters. Chris, Laurence, Patricia, Estella, Victoria, and Karl…friends of Margo AND Rafa fans. We all wish you your place in the World Tour. You are 85 points ahead of Thiem, and 220 points ahead of Berdych heading into Shanghai. Go get’em tiger! MWAAHH!


  19. Dear fellow Rafa fans, Can someone tell me what happened to Rafa in the second set? His first serve disappeared. It looked like we were going three. He woke up just in time in the TB. His first set was flawless! I do not need this extra stress.

    • I have the same question and doubts😕. Rafa said Adrian played more aggressively. Commentators saw a dip in Rafa’s form. Rafa went ‘walkabouts’ again. My very clued-in tennis coach friend said we have to appreciate how much of Rafa’s game depends on pain management. The look on his team’s faces – hard to read but a bit resigned.

    • That’s why I went to sleep. I was afraid he would lose again, like so many matches this year when he won the first set comfortably and still lose the match after a dip in energy. Could be age catching up to hím? But David Ferrer at this age was just getting better. Then there’s Wawrinka. Maybe he needs more time to rehab the wrist?

      • I do believe it is the miles he has put on his body.. We’ve all heard it over and over that his style of tennis is very damaging to his body. We just have to grin and bear it and be thankful that he still is even able to play. It has never been a secret that his career would not be one of Longevity….So I’m just thrilled to just see him walk on court an at times be treated to vintage Nadal that we love an admire him for! He will be forever my champion and I know there will never quite be a tennis player as special as Rafael Nadal!

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