Rafa Roundup: Fans surprised, excited by Rafa’s choice of doubles partner

Fiona Hamilton/Tennis Australia
Fiona Hamilton/Tennis Australia

The official acceptance list for the Indian Wells doubles draw was finalised on Monday, and an unusual pairing caught everyone’s eye.

Rafael Nadal and Bernard Tomic will team up for the first time and have used their singles rankings to gain entry into the field.

Both Nadal and Tomic have doubles rankings outside the top 100, but their ability to use their singles rankings – No.6 for Nadal and No.31 for Tomic – put them ninth-highest on the entry list with a combined ranking of 37.

“It did surprise me a bit,” Ferrer said. “I am pretty sure he will have his own thoughts and there is still a long way to go this year. Maybe what he thinks now will change at the end of the season. It would be sad not to have Toni on the circuit.”

… “It makes me so happy seeing Roger and Rafa back at their best level,” he said. “They give a lot to this sport and as a fan of tennis, I like to watch them. Besides, Rafa is a great mate and I have played almost all my career alongside him and Roger. So the longer they go, much better.”

On his path to becoming one of the greatest to ever play the game, Rafael Nadal has had his uncle and coach, Toni Nadal, there with him every step of the way.

… It’s impossible to predict what will happen next in Nadal’s career, but there’s still a long season with Uncle Toni left to go, and no one can count him out on the Parisian clay.

Peter Fleming: “Rafa is a creature of habit – he needs structure – and I do think that he was caught off guard when Toni said ‘I’m not doing this next year’. I think Rafa probably took a little time to get accustomed to it but it’s an opportunity for growth.

“Carlos Moya, who grew up in Mallorca, and was Rafa’s idol growing up as a kid is now in the team as his coach and Francisco Roig has been there for many years on a part-time basis.

“It’s not like Toni’s job is really crucial to the team – I think it will be fine.”

Rafael Nadal covers the latest issue of Gentleman Ecuador
Rafael Nadal covers the latest issue of Gentleman Ecuador

The Swiss tennis great made the confession at the unveiling of the new tournament scheduled for Prague in September which will pit a Bjorn Borg-captained European team against John McEnroe’s rest of the world.

Federer, who beat Nadal in an epic five-set Australian Open final last month, admitted on Monday: “I’ve always wanted to play with Rafa… just because our rivalry has been so special.

Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic are still the top two men’s players in the world, respectively, and Roger Federer won his 18th Grand Slam at the Australian Open last month. But none of those players, in Boris Becker’s mind, are the favorites to win the French Open. Rafael Nadal is the man to beat in Roland Garros.



  1. I don’t know when his first match is but YB has put Tuesday . BTSport2 10pm
    SkySpts2 and SkySptsmix start at midnight 27th

  2. Is it right he doesn’t play till Tuesday Maria? I thoughr they would be early evening matches UK time? Are they late night?

  3. Hi Susie, yes hopefully they will televise it and Rafa stays injury free so you will get to see him play. Have just been looking up the times for Rafas’s next tournament , looks like it’s going to be a late one again , I have found three channels that are showing it. Just have to make sure I record the right channel that’s showing his match

  4. Hi maria. I go to the Czech Republic quite often as I love it there and was there last Sept so I thought why not when I heard the laver cup was going to be played there. Getting the tickets was traumatic but it’s done now. I’d take you with me if I could! But I’m sure it’ll be televised as it’s the 1st time it’s being played so look out for it. 22nd to 24th September.

  5. Novak’s form isn’t what it was (for now at least)but a win over him in any situation will be good for rafa right now. You’re right vy he does need to be tested and I’d rather it came 1st in a smaller tournament than at the FO for example. Of course I’ll let you know how the laver cup goes but as you say there’s a lot happening between now and then. Let’s hope it’s a great season for rafa.

    • Like Rafa and Federer, I never write Djokovic off. Unless he has some serious injuries (I really hope not), he can spring back at anytime and will always be a dangerous opponent to anyone. Like him or not, you have to admit he had serious talents and so much heart. I didn’t mean I wanted Rafa to have an “easier” win over him now that he’s been in the slump for quite a while. Indeed I feel he’s still be as dangerous as ever to Rafa, but that’s why I really want Rafa to take on him. Rafa needs it to be able to move ahead.

  6. Hi Vy – I believe in rafa and also agree with you that it may be a ploy by novak to try and mess with rafa’s head. But worry not, rafa is in a good place at the moment so he will be fine. I’m exhausted as I’ve spent all morning trying to get tickets for the laver cup and succeeded about 20 mins ago getting tickets to watch every maych. Flight and accommodation to prague were booked months ago so will be ecstatic should rafa play but should he not, it’ll still be worth it and it’s such a beautiful place!

    • Hi Susie.

      Thanks for the nice sharing :-). I smiled all the way reading your msg. I’m jealous of you right now but I’m more happy that you succeeded – you deserve it! I think many other Rafa/Roger and tennis fans are also happy for you. 😊

      September seems far away – I’m getting thrilled just thinking about all the events that will happen between now and then – so many possibilities (tennis is just great that way!). But I guess comes September, it will prove all the wait and expectation worthy. Hope we will be hearing from you then, Susie. 🙂

      Abt the “ploy” thing – ploy or not, I’m not worried but indeed getting more excited! As much as I want Rafa’s chance to be as highest as possible, I also want him to be challenged, to get inspired and inspire back. So I’m glad it isn’t Federer or Murray or Wawrinka but Djokovic. I think Rafa now needs every chance he can get to face Djokovic, to be able to cross that big big hurdle once again. Rafa loves challenges and thrives in them so now that he’s “back”, let’s take on “the” Djokovic. Vamos Rafa! 💪

  7. Just heard the news that Djokovic had received a wild card to Acapulco at the last moment.

    He’s never played there before and it seems most of the players that have beaten him recently will play Dubai, so I think it’s a tactical move to gain his confidence and to disrupt Rafa’s. Even though Rafa has been having a great run in 2017, in the back of Djokovic mind I guess he’s still confident he can beat him there should they meet, especially now the surface is hardcourt. He said it himself that Rafa was his biggest rival even though one could easily make the case for Federer and even Murray.

    Really want to know how Rafa feels about this. But no matter what, more Vamos for Rafa! Better face your biggest hurdle sooner than later. Even if you lose, just don’t lose your heart and you’ll be even more prepared for the next tournaments.

    But as always, I have faith in you. ☘️🍀

  8. Hi Shirley, I found the information on Wikipedia. It has Nick’s mum as Malaysian and his father as Greek. Tomic’s parents were from Yugoslavia although Bernard was born in Germany.I don’t think you have anything to worry about , hopefully they will grow out of their silly ways , I think Nick could be all mouth and no trousers as they say , and will behave at the academy . I think a lot of his behaviour is purely for attention.

    • Shirley has said that Nick’s mother is from Malaysian royalty… So maybe Nick is a spoiled brat. I remember what he said when he was playing Stan Wasrinka.. Stan was going through a divorce and Nick made reference to his friend banging his girlfriend… I thought that Stan was going to punch him right there on the court. Stan looks like he could beat up pretty much anyone and he’s got a red hot temper to go with it. Is Tomic that bad? I really have not watched him enough to have an opinion but I will be keeping an eye on him Especially now that he’s going to be Rafa’s doubles partner for Indian wells!

  9. Great Tennis Stars have represented Australia n made us proud, but to watch the antics of Tomic n Kyrgios is disgusting, n their language leaves much to be desired. I have a grandson of 12, n I tell him not to watch any TV when these 2 are on Air. I have a few Malaysian friends who are very well bred n lovely people. I am very surprised to hear that Mrs Kyrgios is a Malaysian blue blood? I thought the family migrated from Yugoslavia? Anyway Beverley, being an Aussie, you would know the many stories behind these 2. I realize many deals are done for business purposes n so I hope this is the case, n it will help our young Stars to take advantage of using Rafas Tennis Academy n Uncle Tony’s supervision. I wish Rafa had partnered one of our young players. I still love you Rafa like my own grandson, n I will always pray for you. God bless you. Your Aussie Abuela Nan Shirley. ⏳👑😇😊😀

    • Yes, Shirley, being Australian I very well know of the antics of both Tomic and Kyrgios and I fully agree with you that it is disturbing that Rafa will play doubles with Tomic. It may be, as you say, that this is a business deal which makes me wonder if he will be expected to partner Kyrgios next. Heaven forbid
      . To make things worse some people make excuses for them. As far as I am concerned there are no excuses. The fact that they are young, so what? Rafa turned professional at fifteen and he was always well behaved. Of course he had Uncle Toni and sensible parents to guide him
      . I am hoping this doubles pairing will just be a ” one off.” and that Rafa has not committed himself to any long term arrangements of this manner.

  10. Time is really close for the acapulco open so did Rafa make his mind whether he is going there or not? Never heard a word about this but if he does not withdraw from this tournament he should be there practicing already… So I think he will skip this tournament as well? Maybe he will release the statement tomorrow.

    • I saw on other Rafa fan websites that Rafa is going to Acapulco tomorrow (Friday), and his first match will be on Tuesday.

      • Thanks! Yeah i saw this as well… but surprisingly other sources cited he has been there for almost a week already… Anyway now I know he will for sure play… Good luck to him! I just left a message to his latest tweet. And also just heard Novak is going there as well. Anticipate a great match between them! 🙂

  11. Times are certainly changing for Rafa and I think it’s going to get very exciting. It would be interesting to know if the partnership with Tennis Australia was a joint decision among Rafa’s team or Rafa’s alone for his academy.Once Uncle Toni steps down we could be surprised by many of Rafas’s decisions.

  12. Sioux ,I’m guessing Rafa knows what he’s doing and as long as the partnership is kept to the courts he should be fine. I am not a fan of Tomic or Kyrgios ,they both have a don’t care and can’t be bothered attitude and I feel they don’t love the game as Rafa does and it’s more about the money and celebrity status. I find Kyrgios amusing on court for all of five minutes and then he gets to much , interestingly his mother was a member of the Malaysian Royalty and gave her title of princess up when she moved to Australia, his brother is a lawyer ( might come in handy for Nick or Tomic’s offcourt antics). Tomic has been in quite a bit of trouble with the police and I did read that his dad headbutted and broke the nose of his hitting partner so I can see why Shirley and Beverly have some concerns.They both sound like they could have done with an Uncle Toni growing up I guess time will tell how this pans out.

    • Geez…That’s pretty serious when you break someone’s nose! Maybe Bernard was raised in a toxic environment and never leaned anything different. I just hope that he is serious about playing doubles with him … It can only be beneficial for Bernard to play with Rafa who has ( in my opinion ) the best Sportsmanship and manners in tennis! I always like to brag that Rafa has never smashed one racquet and has only cursed one time! They both could use Uncle Toni’s Coaching for a few weeks ( or years after what I’m reading ) He surely would whip them into shape!

  13. Very disappointed Rafa with your decision to partner Tomic. I am proud to be anAustralian, having migrated to Australia 47 years ago, n I have no time for uncultured migrants. Roger n you have an enormous amount of fans in Australia who respect n love you both for the gentlemen n good sports that you are – don’t spoil your reputation. People are judged by the company they keep! Isn’t Uncle Tony still around to advise you? God bless you my boy. Your Aussie Abuela.

  14. Rafa all the best with your doubles with Bernard Tomic and I do believe
    Tomic will learn a lot from you.

    I trust it goes REALLY Well.

    Love and PRAYERS,


  15. Hi Sioux, I don’t know if you have read the comment below by the RNF site but they have gave an explanation of maybe why Rafa has partnered up with Tomic

    • Thank you Maria.. Maybe this will be good for Tomic to follow Rafa’s example. I’m a bit nervous because Beverley & Shirley are both Australian and they are so against this pair up!

  16. Beverly I understand your feelings perfectly, I don’t know if Rafa can change their ways or personality but let’s hope that Tomic will give Rafa the respect he deserves on the court and I actually believe he will . One thing for sure , Uncle Toni won’t put up with any nonsense if they visit the academy to practice. Great news for Australia though , so jealous it’s not GB in partnership, on the plus side he has said Andy is welcome to practice there anytime he wants so that will have to do.

  17. A very surprising pairing. Although I am an Australian I am no fan of Tomic’s ( or of Kyrgios for that matter ) . I only hope Rafa can teach Tomic a few things , especially in relation to attitude as Tomic tends to ” throw in the towel ” if he is losing. Rafa would never stand for that. Bernard could also learn a lot from Rafa in relation to off court behaviour where he has been involved in brawls, unsafe driving, skirmishes with the police, etc.
    I must admit I am not happy about this doubles union, but it may turn out okay. Miracles can happen.!!

    • Wow … I did not know that about Bernard! I hope Rafa doesn’t go out with him! Kyrgios I can see is a loose cannon on the court …Too bad because he is a huge talent. A shame for Australia because they had Layton Hewitt who was one of my favorites! Hopefully there will be a shining star for Australia soon! Maybe a few weeks of Boot Camp at Rafa’s new Academy can whip Nick and Barnard into shape! Uncle Tony doesn’t go for any of that baloney!

  18. That’s great news for Rafa’s academy RNF, maybe in the future we could see Rafa and Kyrios partner up , now that would be one to watch , not sure I can see that happening though ,Rafa would need the patience of a saint. I would love to see him play mixed doubles with Daria Gavrilova she’s a little fire cracker.

    • Kyrgios can learn a lot from Rafa… I think Tomic has grown up a lot on his own! I don’t know much about Tomic but I remember something about his father slapping someone and he thrown out for awhile. It is a strange pair up but let’s see what they can do! I haven’t yet seen who is playing Indian Wells yet… I’m wondering why Rafa isn’t pairing up with one of his Spanish compadres…perhaps they are not traveling all the way to California… I’m not sure!

  19. I will ALWAYS support you, Rafa, in anything you decide to do!!! You’re a GREAT CHAMPION! Anyone reading the statistics of your career, and seeing your spirited play on the tennis courts of the world is convinced that you have given your very best to the world of tennis!!!!!

  20. Nice to hear Rafa has a new double partner. I think something fresh will inspire him more. Hope he will win Acapulco next week. 🎾🏆

    “Carlos Moya, who grew up in Mallorca, and was Rafa’s idol growing up as a kid.”
    Not true 😛. More than once Rafa said it himself that though he admired and respected a lot of people, he never had an idol. That might have been of the reasons why even though he was kind of awetruck by Federer, he still beat him soundly the first time they met in both singles and doubles.

  21. Wow! that is a shock pairing, you couldn’t get two more different characters.It will certainly be exciting to watch . Tomic could learn a lot from Rafa , he is very laid back and doesn’t always seem to put much effort in. Rafa will be want 100% effort and nothing less. I

    • Last month Tennis Australia announced a partnership with the Rafa Nadal Academy. The new agreement allows Australian players to train at the Academy’s facilities so maybe Rafa’s decision to play with Bernie has to do something with that agreement.

  22. Good luck to Rafael and Roger-change is a fact. Your fans want to enjoy your
    love of competition as long as you wish to play. We will never tire of the fire and
    talent you display. What a team if you decide on doubles! A fantastic year ahead
    for you both!👏🏆❤️

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