Rafa Roundup: Here’s why Carlos Moya has so much faith in Rafa

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“He’s looking for his forehand again, and I like that he’s using his forehand down the line more,” said Conchita Martínez, the Spanish Davis Cup captain. “To hit that shot, you have to be well balanced and well set, and he’s doing that and he’s running good, getting to balls early, and being aggressive.”

Nadal was playing this way last spring before the injury, and he now has a big opportunity in the bottom half of the draw in Melbourne with Djokovic out of contention and nobody other than Nadal left in that half who has won a Grand Slam singles title.

Claiming his first Grand Slam title at age 19 and becoming known as the “Raging Bull” as he charged on to win 13 more, Rafael Nadal’s fighting spirit has never been in doubt. But translating that spirit into big wins has been a challenge of late.

… Nadal will be hoping that no such marathon is required in the fourth round against Gael Monfils, whom he leads 12-2 in their head-to-head record. The Frenchman’s two wins have both been in the season-opening event in Doha, Qatar – although it’s an anomaly that hasn’t occurred since 2012.

… Monfils’ No. 6 seeding does matter. He has been a more substantive and dangerous competitor over the last year than he ever has been before. In the 2016 final against Nadal in Monte Carlo, Monfils won the first and only set he’s ever taken from Rafa on clay. Monfils has also been sharp in his first three matches Down Under. He should make it interesting against Nadal, and might push it to five. But after his last win, over Alexander Zverev, Rafa should feel a little more confident in the clutch.

Rafael Nadal: Moyà ha venido con algunos ejercicios nuevos. Es cierto que yo soy mucho de pelotear y pelotear en los entrenamientos, pero desde que ha llegado Carlos lo estamos haciendo menos, probando cosas más específicas.

Toni Nadal: Sí, Moyà ha aportado ejercicios que son muy buenos para el juego de Rafael. En función de cómo ha ido el partido, hablamos y vemos qué hacer. Por ejemplo, en el segundo partido ante Baghdatis falló varias derechas invertidas y pensamos que deberíamos trabajar ese golpe al día siguiente.

AUDIO: Tennis Podcast: ‘Rafa Nadal will do anything to get back to the top, and he’s not that far away’ | The Telegraph

Carlos Moya: “I wanted to see how eager Rafa was to be back at the top. He proved to me that he was doing and will do anything in his power to be back at the top. He’s not that far away, and he has time. The young players are not ready to be Top 5 in the world yet so he has a couple of years to make it back. He needs to win a few matches now, just to get the extra 10 or 20% of confidence.  You can not change a 14-time Grand Slam champion when he is 30 years old, but he can evolve.”

PHOTOS: Rafa roars into round 4 | Australian Open

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14 thoughts on “Rafa Roundup: Here’s why Carlos Moya has so much faith in Rafa

  1. Rafa fan 1

    Very happy Rafa won but he is still not at his best. Absolutely agree with Maria (Siberia) that there are many other contenders. I’ll be happy if Rafa stays injury free and continues to make progress. As for winning the AO – as Rafa himself would say it’s far away – let’s just concentrate in the next match which I sincerely hope he wins. Hope lies eternal in the human breast!
    Istomin seems to be injured. Very sad!

    Anyway – VAMOS Rafa!!!!!!!

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  2. Elaine Crowder

    Rafa y0u are doing your best and going so well.

    Sasha put up a great game and would have had all the players on their hop.

    Go Rafa tonight and I pray you do very well against Gael.

    Love and prayers,

    AlaineXXSydneyXXAustraliaXX

    Liked by 1 person

  3. OLA OLA OLA & VAMOS DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!: ) : ) : ) : ) : ) I just watched the entire match again ……congratulations sweetheart for your feisty, spectacular victory!!!!!!! : ) AMAZING TENNIS!!!!!!! : ) Both of you were great in every point and the good news is that throughout the match, I saw the consistent SOLID strength in your eyes dear Rafa, and your beautiful confident commanding presence!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) ALL along it was CLEAR you would be the winner!!!!!!!!!!! : ) YOU WALKED OUT OF THE LOCKER ROOM A WINNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) I must tell you this is one of the most exciting matches ever!!!!!!! : ) LOVE IT!!!!!!! : ) Each point was exciting and bright !!!!! : ) I am sure many of us fans will watch REPLAYS many times over! : ) BY THE WAY, Congratulations to Misha and the Zverev family!!!!! : ) WOW…. he did it!!!!!!: ) A classy achievement and beautiful timing of holding his own. I was happy to see Misha play such fantastic tennis , winning this impressive match, and seeing him have such complete belief conviction in his chances to take Andy!!!!! He made an heroic come back! I loved hearing his post match interview and strategy of playing the net and volleys. Good for him….. he earned it all the way!!!!! : )
    VAMOS VAMOS VAMOS SWEETHEART for your FANTASTIC victories and for your outstanding fitness and speed and serve and net AND…… your always brilliant presence on the court!!!!!!! : ) WE LOVE YOU dear Rafa & LOVE watching your powerful court coverage. Your brilliant ENDURANCE is by far THE BEST amongst all top players!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) Your passionate hold, and your fighting and gliding and sliding and magic as the match goes on always makes me smile. It is amusing to see how during end of 3rd set, just as your opponents begin to exhibit tiredness and lose focus, etc…. YOU KEEP IGNITED……..GOING FORWARD DELIGHTFULLY , ENERGIZED & BRIGHT as the sun!!!!! : ) During 4th and 5th sets you look so incredibly FRESH, FEISTY, FULL OF COMPETITIVE ENERGY, and SO EXCITED ABOUT WINNING…….. VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) It is clear that your strong body and gorgeous muscles NATURALLY have THE RIGHT MEMORY of the accumulative, many hours of playing FIVE SETS….. so all your hard work and hard practices yield beautiful fruits for you dear Rafa!!!!!!!!! That is remarkable and mighty admirable sweetheart about your game , and what so wonderfully distinguishes you from the crowd. GO RAFA GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) Love the ATTRACTIVE WHITE NIKE /RAFA BULL top and total outfit ….. it showcases your fitness! : ) ci….ci….ci….
    Finally, we love all your humble AO interviews and respect your thoughtful, wise replies.
    Have a beautiful day and great time & enjoy everything dear Rafa!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) Have lots & lots of fun playing ci….ci…..ci…..ci….ci…& ci…….very happy for you!!!! : ) it will be another great match for you and we can’t wait to watch your exciting TENNIS LIVE early dawn tomorrow morning. VAMOS SWEETHEART & LOTS OF LOVE & HAPPINESS to you & THE TEAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : )

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  4. Maria (England)

    Maria (Siberia) great to hear from you again ( and your friends Hmnnnn…). It would be great to see a Rafa/Roger final . Rafa’s playing great and maybe it is a bit to soon to hope he could win another grand slam so soon , but time will tell ( or Dr who could enlighten us).I am so hoping Rafa can make the final but if that’s not to be , I’m with you and think we will have a New AO winner . Raonic or Grigor as the favourite. Hope I’m wrong but if it’s not Rafa I would love to see Istomin take it. He’s certainly a character and reminds me of a giant aphid, and any one who knocks out Novak deserves a reward ( hehe).

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  5. Maria (Siberia)

    A word of caution here to all Rafa fans here.

    I’d advise that we exercise some restraint and not be too excited about Rafa winning the AO just because Novak, Andy and Nishikori are all out! Everybody left in the race now has a 50-50 chance of winning.

    Personally, and because I speak nothing but the truth like Deep Thinker, Dr. Who, The Prophet Speaks and Nostradamus (may God bless these guys aplenty wherever they are now), I really dont see Rafa winning the AO. He’s still not in top form which explains why he had to go the distance to prevail against an average teenage sensation like Alexander Zverev. For Pete’s sake, Dominic Thiem would have ”buried” shasha in straights!!! Afterall, Mischa, a wild card entry to wits and Shasha’s elder sibling, sent Andy home in 4 sets!!! So, why should Rafa (of all people) have to literally ‘battle’ to overcome an inexperienced player like Shasha?

    Based on the foregoing, here is my much awaited prediction for the remainder of the tournament and eventual winner:

    So far, I must say i’ve been impressed by the following players in this descending order: Grigor Dimitrov, Stan ”the man” Wawrinka, Roger Federer, Milos Raonic, Gael Monfils, David Goffin, Mischa Zverev and the giant slayer, Dennis ”the menace” Istomin. One of these 8 musketeers will win the AO 2017, but who? Hmmmmn…..

    A careful analysis and with the benefit of history hindsight will reveal that a new star is about to emerge hence the early take-out of obstacles like Andy and Novak. Between these 3 men, one of them will EMERGE the AO 2017 Champion and in descending order too: Grigor Dimitrov, Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka.

    But as always, we’ll see…………………………hmmmn

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    1. Arthur

      Nice trolling. Some people were expecting Rafa to lose to Zverev – that’s how good he is. Saying he is “average” is factually wrong. Also, Thiem struggled in his last match, so I doubt he’d have “buried” anyone. The fact is, Rafa’s playing well. Whether it’s well enough to win remains to be seen, but there’s cause for optimism.

      Oh and stick to one account this time.

      Like

    2. Jason

      Thiem – who just lost to Goffin – would have rolled Sasha? I dont think so. Dimitrov, Coric, Thiem, all very promising but note that it still has not happened for them.

      Like

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