Rafael Nadal loses to Milos Raonic in Brisbane quarters

Fifth seed Rafael Nadal has been defeated by defending champion Milos Raonic in three sets on Friday in Pat Rafter Arena.

Our champ made a very impressive start in the first set, but the Canadian managed to battle back and take each of the next two sets to secure his progress. The final result was 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Raonic’s semifinal opponent will be Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, who posted a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win over world No.8 Dominic Thiem.

After the match, Rafa said:

He was more aggressive than me… but I take the positive. It was a small difference.

I loved the atmosphere. I feel like home here. … I’m going to keep working hard. I feel like I’m on the right way. (via Brisbane International)

Always with you, Rafa!


  1. “He is still serving like freshmen, and hitting ground strokes to the opponent’s service line,which is very short by today’s standards. In Mubadala,he was at least changing the direction of the ball efficiently and hitting better depth. But that hasn’t yet become a permanent feature of his game.

    One can easily see why Nadal’s game isn’t effective anymore. The topspin he applies does well against players who can’t handle it.They hit miscued returns,cannot hit winners comfortably and so on.But Top 10 players donot break a sweat and take advantage of the height the topspin renders to the ball.”
    “Although Carlos Moya has been added to his coaching team,I suspect this is more of a PR move to stave off worried sponsors,and give false hope to his concerned fan base.”

    Not my opinion, just from someone who has been watching Rafa for a long time.
    I hope it’s wrong but he did has his point.

    “True fan” please, don’t take it personal, don’t call it “mocking”, “negativity”.

    Source: https://www.quora.com/Can-Rafael-Nadal-win-the-Australian-Open-2017

  2. “If you don’t lose, you cannot enjoy the victories. So I have to accept both things”.
    Quote: Rafael Nadal ❤

    VAMOS RAFA! 🎾💪🏼😃🍀😍

  3. Jbeer only surfaces when Rafa is defeated!! Not a Rafa supporter and such a negative way at looking at everything. I feel pity for him. Rafa beaten, could have won but let us keep positive.

  4. Very, very sad that Rafa lost. Really hoped that he would win after watching the 1st set. But then again – middle of 2nd body language, game etc. showed mental pressure. So as I’ve said several times before Rafa problems are to a very great mental and if he improves there he will play better. I don’t know who all his team is made up of but ….. Djoko seems to have at least one person for every aspect of himself – dietician, mental trainer and the works. Nole seems to be doing everything to be win. It is the most important thing for him. Of course Rafa wants to win too but ….. . In any case I will always support him regardless .. .

  5. I sometimes wonder did Rafa’s coach(es) discussed with him about what went wrong in his matches after he lost them. It’s clear for all to see that Rafa was standing so far back that he would have a hard time covering the back court esp against a Raonic who’s fond of S&V’ing.

    Rafa seemed to forget that he’s now 30, not 19 so he’s not as quick as before and would have a hard time running around to cover the back court. Whys he still so stubborn and doing the same thing at age 30?

    Perhaps he should watch more of Djoko’s matches and see how Djoko returns big serves with interest. At least Rafa can pick up some tips on ROS even though he can’t return like Djoko. It’s not a shame learning from others; I heard both Djoko and Murray studied how each of their opponents plays and then comes up with a suitable game plan each time they take to the court and look what they have achieved these past few years?

    Fedal are great during their heydays and I doubt they needed to study how their opponents played before meeting them in their matches. However, right now both are off their peak, so Rafa should at least watch how others play, pick up some tips as to their strength and weaknesses, and then think of ways to counter them. Also, learn from other’s strong points and improves his own game.

  6. The loss was disappointing but not unexpected. As soon as I saw Rafa standing so far behind the baseline, even for a second serve, I felt he was vulnerable. I am a Rafa fan through and through and I think this is the first time I. have ever offered any criticism but it is done with love and concern. He stood much closer in Abu Dhabi and was practically right on the line for some second serves. I do hope Moya helps him here. For those who think Moya is a friend so he won’t be tough on him they obviously did not read the interview where he stated that he would be very tough indeed – can’t recall the exact words but that was the general impression. Rafa was serving much better against Raonic than against Zverev and if his court positioning had been better I feel he could have won. He played some terrific shots during the game. To all those who think Rafa will have another bad year just because he lost a match, why is it that a loss by Rafa brings all this negativity. Other top players lose games too but nothing is said there.I will always see Rafa as an exciting charasmatic player who gives everything he has out on the court. Win or lose I will always admire him . A true fan will not immediately condemn a player for losing a match and immediately forget those which he has won.
    But Carlos will you please help him to take up a more effective on court position when receiving serve ?

    • Totally agree and hope u r right abt Moya. I really do. It’s just wierd. Watched rafa practice in Cincinnati in 2013. He absolutely crushes the ball in practice on the rise. I see his current practises in youtube. He is still doing the same. can’t understand why he retreats so far back in matches. If he plays like in Abu Dhabi, he can win majors in surfaces other than clay. With his current game, he can win in RG if conditions are favorable.

  7. The difference between Abudabi and Brisbane was Rafa was clinging the baseline in Abudabi. At times he looked like Agassi esp the game against Berdych. Here in the first set he was near or on the Brisbane sign. Second set he was maybe 2-3 feet behind the Brisbane sign. Latter part of 2nd and 3rd set, he was clearly 5 feet behind the Brisbane sign. In fact when he played the near side you could not even see Rafa’s body on the TV. You could only see his head and shoulder. He was that far back. All this when receiving first or second serves. With this positioning you are opening up all sorts of angles. You are not going to break anyone unless the server throws you the game. Against a server like Roanic whose game revolves around his serve, this is suicide. In fact after the abudabi beatdown of Roanic, Roanic mentioned in the press that he was surprised at how aggressive Rafa court positioning was and also quipped he would like to see if Rafa can do the same in true matches. From what we saw today, Rafa either cant or does not want to stay close to the baseline (i think it is the latter). He is not going to be able to run and retrieve … on anything other than dirt. His Serve is the same as last year. So clearly he has not worked on any changes there. With this game, anyone with a power game will try to hit Rafa out of the court. Once they start getting a few in Rafa will oblige retreating to 10 feet behind baseline. I fear 2017 is going to sadly be the same as 2015-2016. If he stays injury free, he can maybe get to the final weekend in RG. Better not to expect anything in the other majors. Sadly that is how it looks. I hope I am wrong, but sadly this is how i fear it is going to be 🙁

    • We all know that’s he highly won’t make it again. But we still gonna support him.
      But somebody here who named Margo called “negativity”, “mocking”, “haters”.
      Be careful my friend, you could be banned by Margo.

      • If we don’t love and care we won’t take the time to watch.. to comment. If that makes us haters.. I don’t have anything to say :). Obviously we support win or lose. Have not been watching tennis since RG 2016. Started with brisbane. Now waiting for AO. Vamos!!

    • Never mind rafa….keep practising …
      Raonic in2 nd set played too aggressive probably not thinking of winning but going out for it….good was all his effort came good..raonic net play become good….
      Rafa please have a detail look on ur returns
      Good luck for AO

  8. I may have to eat crow… However I do not believe Milos has it in him to win a slam… He has a massive serve and that’s it. Unfortunately I believe tennis is headed that way…Serve, WHAM, BAM with no game in between…I’m with Fan Love, Miols is boring to watch … No personality no charisma at all! I have not been able to watch this match so I cannot critique it fairly… The games I have watched I was impressed with Rafa, he seems to have his confidence back which is good and he was playing really well! Like I have said so many times before I’m in it for the long-haul and I just enjoy watching Rafa play…. Even if he never wins another major he brings so much to tennis…You can see this wherever he plays…Sold out matches and thunderous ovations for Rafa ,,,he is beloved though out the world!

    • Yeah but it’s frustrating watching him keep losing matches that he could have won. I mean fans do care that he wins his matches; if he doesn’t have the intention to win, then why play? It’s not like he enjoys losing!

      I doubt we enjoy watching him loses his matches so often these days. I’m not sure Rafa is happy when he keeps losing.

      • Yes it it frustrating to watch him lose when he should have won… But if he isn’t willing to come forward and stop standing so damn far back ..it’s his own fault. Funny thing is he’s really good at coming forward. I really thought Rafa played well and it you look at the statistic it all came down to Milos aces… his serve. Maybe he will rewatch the game and realize that standing so far back is of no value to his game, a game that lacks a serve with free points. I’m sure Rafa hates losing and he may not want to continue if he isn’t completing at his highest level. I’m very sad and disappointed that he lost but I’m also happy for what he accomplished in Abu Dhabi…he did win the trophy after all. He also played a few very high levels matches in Brisbane as well.

      • I’m not saying that his fans don’t care if loses, of course we want him to win…it’s heartbreaking for both Rafa and his fans when he loses any match. I’m just trying to take the positive of the whole situation and not just the emotional negativity. We all had such high expectations for him that we are forgetting that he played well enough to win one title and he did play some excellent tennis. There were several breathtaking shots …vintage Nadal tennis that is not being mentioned here.

      • Raonic served 24 aces vs Rafa compared to only 4 vs Dimitrov, and he lost to Dimitrov in straight sets!

        It’s the way Rafa returned serves i.e. standing so far back that gave Raonic the confidence in hitting all those aces. Dimi didn’t give Raonic much chances of serving aces as Dimi returned serves very well and sometimes with interest. If Rafa returned serves from a better court position, he could win the match, like he did at Abu Dhabi.

  9. Win or lose allways with you Rafa 😘

    All the very best of luck at the AO 🎾💪🏼😊🍀❤️
    Looking forward to see you play champ 🌟😍😃👍🏻

  10. Ouch! Rafa was solidly beaten by a Raonic full of self belief, at least after the first set!

    Raonic served superbly in the final set, and he was basically unbreakable. Rafa failed to do his own part in holding his own serve. This is not good news. Rafa must be super solid on his own serve, always! Well duh.

    Anyway it’s early days, but hopefully Rafa improves some more. Way to disappoint your girlfriend Rafa!

    • That was such a low blow. His girlfriend, more than anyone, would know what Rafa has been going through. I very much doubt that “disappointment” is on her agenda.


  11. OLA OLA OLA & VAMOS DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) It was very good to read your post match wise words and know you are happy with it being a close match…… I am sure that is very true and your magnificent playing on all cylinders are sharp and brilliant!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) This is just another match……win some lose some but the facts remains that you have a bright, strong amazing game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) I was unable to watch it live earlier today and will watch it in replay, but let me tell you that for sure I will admire and respect your efforts and your strengths on the court!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) These beautiful virtues you have do not change from one match to another. YOU HAVE A SOLID STRONG TENNIS PRESENCE AND ONE OF THE BEST EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE SPORT!!!!!!! VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) 🙂 : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) I must say I never ever enjoy watching Raonic play….his whole body language is cold and unsocial. He displays a rush of anger underneath his eyes at all time, and he is cold and expressionless and utterly seems to be displeased with everything happening on the court.
    Enjoy dear Rafa till your next match and keep feeling proud of your beautiful TENNIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ): ) : ) Lots of love and happiness and have a good weekend!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : )

  12. Jay Beer I have not seen the game and did not say he played well ,I said Rafa has been playing well not did play well against Raonic . Up to now you were being quite pleasant unlike your usual self . I guess you have broken your New Years resolution already.

  13. This might not be the comeback for Rafa we all desperately hope and wish for but we are only in the first week of January , lets at least give Carlos Moya a few months to see if he can work any magic on Rafas game before we give him up as a lost cause.

    • I like Moya,but he is too comfortable for Rafa. I think he needed a coach who can make him uncomfortable, to push him out of his comfort zone for a real change!!!

      • And then Toni will sack him all the way.
        That is what happened to Oscar Borras, the only professional who taught Rafa how to serve big before US Open 2010. He left cuz he couldn’t find agreement with Toni. As a result a poor serving Rafa lost to a good returner 7 times in 2011.

        Toni chose Carlos Moya just because he comes from Mallorca as well. He won’t push Rafa out of his comfortable zone.

  14. Rafa had two bad service games and that’s why he lost the match. He played solid, with good and bad moments. Take rest and work hard for the AO. Always with you. Vamos Rafa.

  15. Nadal’s serve is just not a reliable weapon. In the past he use to omit that problem with his speed but now he is not as fast as before . I don’t understand why his team doesn’t focus on getting it better because with his serve on, Nadal is almost unbeatable as we have seen in his two us open Victories

    • That question should be asked in 2014 when Rafa still had his strength both mental and physical left. The chance to become G.O.A.T was there but Toni threw it away by keeping his old traditional work. Rafa failed to master a big serve since Oscar Borras left in 2011.
      Now his footwork is much slower, his forehand isn’t consistent enough. No surprise that he loses to a youngster like Raonic.

      • The man wasted at least 2 year. The speed and the physical strength are something that you can never get it back in your life.
        Toni speaks about changing racquet for all those years. Is that the problem? Now when he finally realises and adds Moya to his camp. But what for?
        When Rafa is much slower and when he is 31. 31 my friend.
        Having the captain of Spain in his camp sooner would have been way different. Cuz i see some positive points from Rafa.
        He starts flattening his forehand.
        Changing direction by using down the line shot more often instead of old lame cross court forehand which players predict it easily. He focuses more on game plan for pushing opponent to difficult position instead of relying all on his topspin cross court.


      • Imo, Rafa should have played something like Fed did, i.e. moves forward more often and goes for his shots to shorten points. It’s obvious he’s slower now and so couldnt cover as much court especially when he’s playing from so far behind the baseline.

        I just don’t understand why Rafa doesn’t move forward to the fore court when he’s clearly very competent at the net and has good enough volleying skills. He’s sticking to his old game and ‘pretends’ that once he finds back his mojo, he will be fine playing the same old game.

        Playing something like his USO 2013 HC series, i.e. being more offensive and playing closer to the baseline would also be good if he’s so unwilling to move to the net. He was doing that at Abu Dhabi but sadly once Raonic raised his game here at Brisbane, Rafa retreated back to his old defensive self again.

      • Rafa never has a consistent net play. You see that because he doesn’t come to the net too often.
        That’s why i said before that he should add a really effective modern coach like Agassi, Nalbadian,etc to his camp but BEFORE he is 30. Toni can’t never teach him that style of play furthermore, he is way too stubborn to change anything.
        Changing his game now is too late. You know why he stood too far from the baseline?
        Cuz he just couldn’t reply the huge megaforehand of Raonic. That because his forehand landed shorter and shorter as the match went long. He failed to keep his level just like Rome 2016, US Open 2016, Rio 2016.
        It’s too late to act. As he ignored all other professionals opinion Mc Enroe, Pat Cash, Rod Laver,etc.

      • @luckydoggy Rafa cant play like fed.. and need not play like fed (Fed can never play like Rafa so i am not putting Rafa down here). If Rafa can just stick close to the baseline, he may lose a few, but will win more than he is currently winning. In clay he can do what he is doing now and he WILL be a force (conditions permitting). Yes improving his serve to the 2010 level would be awesome. But that ship may have sailed. He should have added someone like Agassi (not a great server, but played an aggressive game without a big serve) to his team atleast as a part time consultant. I dont know what Moya can do to help Rafa’s problems. Like it or not, courts have become faster and players stronger. So heavy hitting/short points is the new tennis. Sadly retrieving from 8 feet behind baseline in hard courts is not going to work even for someone who is as fit as Rafa. Vamos!!

      • @Serve out
        Serve out you ‘re absolutely correct.
        Rafa can’t never be a serve n volley like Federer. But flattening the shot, being more agressive, standing closer to the baseline are what suitable to Rafa. He could ask a coach to help him like what Oscar Borras did to help him win US Open 2010. For a long time ago, fans and professional like Mc Enroe, Pat Cash,etc suggested that he needed a coach change. But i guess Toni was too stubborn and blame Rafa “It’s up to Rafa”. How irresponsible? Nephew sack your own uncle? He knew that’s never gonna happen.

        Some so-called fans here keep praising players who defeat Rafa. Like what they did praising Dustin Brown, Fognini, Rosol,etc. They didn’t know that Raonic yesterday played like an amateur. He missed many easiest volley in his life. If not, Rafa could never have made till set 3. Now is the obvious news for them that Raonic is beaten by Dimitrov today. How good is that?

        I believe when Rafa lost to a youngster Nick Kyrgios back in Wimbledon 2014 it was a good prove that his tennis was outdated. He can no longer compete in fast surfaces without a big serve (or at least a consistent one), flatten his shot and have a consistent backhand down the line to change from defense to attack quickly. Toni keeps trying the old move and that causes Rafa more vulnerable to injuries.

        Now when Rafa is out of gas, it’s funny that Toni add someone to his camp at the end of his career.

        I like your comparison Serve out! The ship have already sailed!

  16. Have only just seen the results , I am so disappointed, I thought Rafa might have this one after defeating Milos in Abu Dhabi . On the positive side Rafa has been playing great and it is only January, so hopefully great things are ahead. Milos is determind to become number one , in which I’m in no doubt he will achieve , and this week without Andy or Novak to challenge him nobody was going to get in his way. Rafa keep the confidence and positivety up and I will look forward to watching you play in the AO

    • It is all in the eye of the beholder. If Djokovic needs three sets to beat Raonic, everybody knows he is not in the best shape. If Rafa needs three to beat Raonic (a guy who has never won a major!), it’s considered good news here. If Rafa loses to Raonic in 3, Maria thinks that at least he played well. If Nadal loses to Raonic, he did not play well. He did not play good enough for sure. Nadal in this form, is by no means a major contender.

      • @MitchDescham
        Exactly! Rafa can never have his speedy footwork and that amazing physical strength again. Only question is why Toni just let it fade from time to time just like that. He could have add another coach to help Rafa way earlier. Wimbledon is the tournament reflecting how you can perform well on fast surfaces. Since his early loss in 2012, we rarely see Rafa perform well on other tournaments beside clay. Toni just repeats the same thing and HOPE the result would be better.
        People keep blabbering about “mental issue”. I don’t think so. Even Rafa has a winning streak in Mubadala, that doesn’t mean he could defeat this Raonic again. Even Rafa had a winning streak in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, that didn’t mean that he could beat a weakest Djoker who had been bageled by Thomaz Bellucci. That’s not an excuse.

        Now it’s the time for the youngster to kick in. Thiem, Zverev, Dimitrov,etc. They have a bright future waiting. Players who play wisely like Jokovic, Murray could hang in there for 1-2 more years. For Rafa and Roger, it’s done. But i still gonna enjoy while Rafa on the court for 1-2 years not winning anything like Agassi before. I know we won’t find a brave warrior like Rafa in this lifetime again.

  17. Another typical loss! Rafa didn’t play that bad but he failed to maintain his power of shot.
    His lacking of big serve causes him too much difficult to hold game in the last set. Against some big serve like Raonic, Nick Kyrgios,etc you need to be patient and FIRST hold your game well and the chance will come. But…
    Again i have to say it’s kinda late to change anything. Let’s just enjoy his game for a couple of years.

    • It’s not like Raonic is that good a returner of serves; it’s more of Rafa’s own undoing for not holding serve and got broken. He’s not serving that poorly and was broken only twice in three sets.

      Other than Raonic serving really well and hitting really hard, Rafa wasn’t playing with enough intensity throughout the whole match. He’s still finding his way back but what’s disappointing imo was his court position behind the baseline. He was effectively playing a clay court game on the HCs.

      At Abu Dhabi, he’s more willing to step inside the court, mixing in DTL shots with his CC shots; here at Brisbane, he’s practically hitting CC all the time right back at Raonic who’s waiting there all the time anticipating the CC shots.

      Overall a disappointing match for Rafa, as if once it mattered in a real match, he would get tensed up and couldn’t think clearly out there. It’s only late during the third set that when he’s about to lose that he finally hit some DTL shots to catch Raonic off guard. One would question why only when he’s about to lose then he decided to change? Why not earlier when it’s clear he wasn’t beating Raonic playing the same way throughout the match?

      • It’s his bad habbit. Rafa sits way too far from the baseline even on the second serve.
        This match reminds me of SF of Rio 2016. The circumstance is much the same. Rafa did have a good have, good first set. Then his forehand became weaker and Delpo got the chance. Rafa had a terrible ROS during that match. Standing too far lead to a short reply.

  18. Disappointing loss fir Rafa, but Milos played very well. All congrats to him. Rafa served better today, but he could not close on his break chances against a great server.

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