Why did Rafael Nadal’s Nike shoe come off again?

Rafael Nadal loses his shoe against Fabio Fognini during Day 12 of the Miami Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 31, 2017 in Key Biscayne, Florida. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations for being in the final again.
RAFAEL NADAL: Thank you.

Q. Five times. Hey, Rafa, did Fabio’s sloppy play in the first set maybe cause you to lose concentration or bring down your level do you feel at all today?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. I think I played a very good first set. He had mistakes obviously.

In the second is not about losing the concentration, it’s about not being lucky at the beginning of the second set. With the normal situation, the normal thing is have a break at the beginning of the second. I had so many chances, but then situation changes, no?

But when you don’t convert opportunities you’re in trouble, and that’s what happened. Especially with these conditions out there, a lot of wind. And with Fabio, who is a player that he is able to combine great points with mistakes then, you know, the match became strange, not a lot of rhythm, and then end of the second set was tough.

Q. (No microphone.)
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I served well. My serve worked well. I think I didn’t face a break point again during the whole match, so that is something that I am very happy with. That’s give you calm when you have opportunities on the return and you don’t convert.

Q. What happened on the point where you ran out of your shoe?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. Is strange because happened twice. In one month happened two times. I don’t know where the other time — practice. But practicing, not competing. I don’t know. Maybe I need to put tie stronger, but I don’t know. I don’t know how the shoe goes out. I have to check again.

Q. Was there a spot on the court? I know you were wiping it up afterwards. Was there moisture or wetness on the court?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, but I had to put my shoe on and I was losing — from my head is going out a lot of water on the floor, so I need to — no, no, no.ย 

Q. Hey Rafa, congratulations. You’re in the final. Maybe you’re going to play against Roger Federer. What do you notice is new with him now after his recovery? Is there something new? Different?
RAFAEL NADAL: He’s playing so good. That’s all, no? He’s playing great. When top player like him is playing that well, then it’s always a big challenge for every player. That’s all.

Q. What about Nick? He’s like the next generation. Is there something different with this next generation than yours and Roger’s generation?
RAFAEL NADAL: Different, but life and world changes, and Nick is big talented player with huge serve. That helps him a lot to play with more confidence on the return and play more relax.

Then he is solid now. He played I don’t know, semifinals in Marseilles, semifinals in Acapulco, and quarterfinals last week in Indian Wells. Again this week he’s in semifinals. He’s in a great moment playing solid and winning great matches against top players.

He’s not the next generation, he’s the generation now, no? He’s close to be in top 10, I think. He has a good chance this year to fight for the Masters.

Q. Fabio seems to have some injuries or pain on his elbow. In this tournament we missed Novak, Andy, Gasquet, Monfils, many top players. Do you think it’s coincidence or some explanation on these injuries?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know if Novak is injury. He’s playing Davis Cup this week. I’m not sure if he’s injured.

I don’t know if Fabio is injury. You can ask him later. I don’t know.

Gasquet is not injured. He had appendicitis. Happens to a lot of people. It’s not an injury. Happened to me, too.

Yeah, Andy, I don’t know what’s going on. Is obvious that he is not playing here, a tournament that he likes, so something is going on.

But at the same time, is obvious that it’s coincidence today, but overall is not a coincidence. When you are playing most of the time on hard surfaces I think it’s tougher for the body. It’s more aggressive.

Q. Rafa, in the next 48 hours, how much will you draw on what happened in previous finals here? The fact that you’ve been at final four times, do those experiences help you? Are they irrelevant? How would you describe it?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t think that’s going to affect in terms of helping me to win or helping me to lose. That’s a long time ago. Last final was in 2011 I think, and it’s not about if I never won a Masters 1000 and you play five finals and you lost all five, no?

I won 20 something, I don’t know. It’s not more pressure for me to play here the final than playing in Monte-Carlo or playing in Indian Wells. Is the same. Is something that for me winning here will be something great and something that’s an important title that I didn’t win.

But winning or losing, being honest, not going to change my career. Just helps to add something important for me and that’s it.

I am very happy about the first part of the season on hard courts before the clay arrives. I won a lot of matches. I have a lot of points. I am in a privileged position of the race. That’s a great news for me and give me calm to play the next couple of tournaments.

At the same time, I needed to play well at the beginning of the season because I didn’t have points the second half of the season on the computer, so I had a good chance to go back a lot on the ranking. That will not happen a lot probably. I can lose — I am still defending a lot of points on clay the next four tournaments, especially first three ones.

But I won a lot of points during the first part of the season, so that helps.

Q. How much better do you feel you have been playing at this tournament than you have been in Indian Wells, for example? You were not too happy after your match against Roger. Do you feel you’ve raised considerably your level here?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. I was playing well in Indian Wells. It’s true that I didn’t play my best match against Roger, but the feeling was good.

Being honest, I will not lie nobody, and I felt myself playing well in Indian Wells. Being honest, my draw was not the perfect one. Here I had — is true that in my place couple of players lost, some seededs lost overall in the whole draw.

That helped some players. In my case, I was able to play every day a little bit better, I think. That’s why I am in the final, no?

Indian Wells I faced player playing so well in the third round for me, and you are out. That’s it.

Q. Your rivalry with Roger started here I think 12 years ago. First time you ever played him; played him next year in the final here. You every think 11, 12 years ago that here you are again, back in the finals possibly with Roger? What does that mean to you nostalgia-wise?
RAFAEL NADAL: It’s great to be in the final for me. For me doesn’t matter the opponent. I am happy to be in that final again, and I am excited to play another final of on important event.

So if it’s Roger, going to be another one for both of us, and that’s it. Just another one.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

108 comments

  1. Oh Rafa I am so depressed. You have given up Why? If you had battled harder for that 1st set you had him but you gave up.You do not need to listen to your coaches you know how to play tennis without them ,they are obviously giving you the wrong advice. Just do your own thing and fight like you used to. Federer is getting ready for the French open by resting just to beat you .He wants to beat you fair and squarely before he retires so nobody says you are better than him and you are and were . Kick him to the ground Rafa, his smug comments and smug smile is beginning to annoy me and please Rafa make it annoy you too.

  2. I’m stunned. Such a letdown. Couldn’t bear to watch any more second after that last point.

    I was hoping at least Rafa could make it competitive but he was just not there for the larger part of the match, especially in the second set when he’s gradually fading away. Just sad to watch.

    Without the sterling speed and movement and the signature lethal FH, Fed just owns him now. No excuses.

    Congrats on the win, Federer. You were born to play the game.

    Can’t avoid it forever. I want to say it now. Aside from the decline in his game, Rafa still has mental problems. Not as terrible as in 2015 but probaly worse than in 2016. He’s so afraid of getting injured now. He’d rather play safe and consistent than remain the fighter he once was.

    Just doesn’t have that magic touch any more…

    Also Moya’s magic turns out to be NOT magic after all. A least for now.

    So now Rafa has TWO “Djokovics”. This is even worse than before 2017. Plus the young talents from the new generation are on the inevitable rise. Things can only be tougher from now on.

    The prospect of a domination in the clay season is seriously in doubt now. No, I’m not saying this because I’m so disappointed. Since Acapulco or even ealier I’ve been doubting it, all things considered.

    I know this comment will get a lot of dislikes. But I couldn’t care less. I’ve always been trying to be as positive as possible, but it’s becoming harder and harder.

    Good night and goodbye, RNF friends. Thanks for all the comments and sharing throughout the tournament. See you “at” Monte Carlo.

    Vamos Rafa. Will be missing you.

    ๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ€๐ŸŽพ๐ŸŽพ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ

    • vy,

      i agree with you 100% i am a nadal supporter since 2007 and i dont mind him losing matches you cant win everything but what i am so frustrated about and angry is a tennisplayer that loses matches and dont seem to care at all . And also someone who is just too stubborn to acknowledge that the game has changed and is unwilling to improve his game. Why has his serve not changed. Why is he playing predictable why is he standing almost against the wall when he is returning why is he not hitting the forehand and backhand down the line. He did not make any angles with his groundstrokes against federer. How are these nadal supporters not seeing that and thinking that everything will be fine on clay. I dont get that. This is not the old years where nadal was invincible. His opponents have become better stronger. Trust me he is not the favorite on clay anymore. He will face competition from zverev, krygios, wawrinka, djokovic and murray. Anybody that think that nadal will dominate on clay is not living in reality. In my opinion a true nadal supporter is someone who tells it like it is

      • mjus, thanks for your reply.

        I totally understand how you feel and I’m with you but pls don’t call many loyal fans here not “a true supporter”. They really are. But being a fan that tends to happen to them, to me, even to you, that hopefulness, that wishful thinking.

        And it’s also common that people don’t always say what they really think. They might be afraid if they say it out loud, the “not possitive thing”, and it proves to be true, it feels like they *jinxed” it.

        Or not. There’re still some posters who doesn’t care “offending” those fans. Good for them. For the site.

        It’s hard to say. I’m both types when posting here, so I’m not in any position to say anything other than thanks again for your honesty and loyalty. I like your observations. I’ve also put a lot of thoughts into Rafa and his opponents’ games as well as the dynamic and mentality aspects from all.

        Keep them coming, your inputs. Hope to see you again at MC.

      • Mjux, I can’t agree with you that Rafa does not care about losing. I’m sure he cares deeply. But he is very proud person and probably does not show it.
        I do however share your feelings about the clay season.
        I sincerly hope I am wrong but I just have a feeling that he will not be the force that he once was, but not because he doesn’t care but because his best days may be behind him. It comes to all champions sooner or later.
        I am not making excuses for him, just being realistic. But,if Rafa lifts the trophy at the French Open this year I will be the first one to scold myself for my lack of faith.
        All I know is I will follow his career until he retires regardless of the outcomes of his matches.

  3. I never thought that i will tell this but cant wait for djokovic to come back and put federer in his place. Djokovic has the game to beat federer better serve, unbelievable return and also his double backhand down the line is great. Plus he is a unbelievable defender. Besides that he is not staying 50 meters behind the baseline as rafa is doing

    • mjus, another thing I agree with you about – the standing way behind the baseline. That is something he should try to correct even if he is a creature of habit. It may even benefit his aging body as it would help keep the points shorter and perhaps reduce the number of short balls he plays.

  4. o rafa fans

    you have to wake up in reality. rafa does not have what it takes to win a big final anymore. Federer is now rafa biggest nightmare together with djokovic. If you take a step back and watched the matches of rafa you see that he played his worst matches in the finals. He served terrible today, return terrible as always and his forehand and backhand were both a nightmare. Again the predictable game against roger as the last two times. I am telling all of you right now dont make execuses for rafa you are not doing him a favour by doing that. The truth is rafa has not adapt his game maybe because he simply is unable to do that and the other truth is if you people think he will get it easier on clay you wrong. He will face fierce competition on clay from murray, djokovic, wawrinka and also krygios and perhaps zverev. The stubbordness of this man to adapt his game is staggering. Federer is now in rafa nadal head. And he can put it in perspective all he wants but he knows that this was his best chance ever to win miami. Next year djokovic and murray will be back with a stronger zverev and krygios

    • Thanks so much , Mjus, you’re in 2017 saying exactly what the greats – Deep Thinker, MIROMO, Nostradamus, Jaybeer & The Prophet Speaks and of course Dr. Who were all saying 2, 3 years ago!
      But what did they get in return? Banishment, they were all banned from this site while the likes of FANLOVE were left to continuously praise Nadal to high heavens whether he plays bad or good.

      Buy as always, we’d see…………………..hmmmmn

      • Exactly, the webmasters of this site are like the press during the US election. Let’s scream as loud as possible and ignore (surpress) the opinions that are not considered too likeable.

      • Maria, (Siberia ) I don’t think that jaybeer and others were banned for what they said but how they said it.
        To say a player is not performing well, he needs new strategies, he needs a new coach, is giving an opinion but to add a lot of spiteful, hateful, insulting remarks with it is another thing all together.
        Since their departure we have not had this kind of nastiness from anyone. .

      • @Maria-S
        I can’t speak about the others but I am VERY familiar with the vitriol, the nasty and mocking insults slung at Rafa, and sometimes even at fans, by Jaybeer. He really sounded unhinged, and no, I am not exaggerating.

        If fans know the technical jargon to describe what they think Rafa needs to do to win, let them bring it on. Those who disagree can offer a counter argument. I think robust and INFORMED discussion should be encouraged.

        You friend Jaybeer was always nasty for nasty sake. He acted as if he could read Rafa’s mind. I think he actually took pleasure in insulting Rafa to see what fans’ responses would be.

        Rafa is still here, but his not so “fan-ish” fans have become extinct.

        RAFA ROCKS

      • @Maria-S
        Why single out Fan love? That is her way of showing her devotion to Rafa. Rarely does she comment. She praises her tennis hero.

        When I first came here I thought she was spamming the site. Not one fan said to me, “Oh, she’s an avid Rafa fan. That’s her way of showing her devotion.” I was singled out for my “RAFA ROCKS.” LOL Seems I wasn’t offering analysis. Well, this is a fan site and I never claimed I could offer analysis.

        I think problems arise because some fans become hyper. First it was Nole getting the brunt of insults, etc. Next it wash Kyrgios, then Roger, then Mirka. I had to laugh the other day wondering who the next player (or player’s other half) will be to receive an onslaught of insults.

        RAFA ROCKS

    • I in fact wished Nadal quit already. These last three years and the more to come are harming his legacy badly.

    • “If you take a step back and watched the matches of rafa you see that he played his worst matches in the finals.”

      THIS. I agree. Also what I’ve been observing and it’s not sth that only happens this year. I just didn’t want to say it here because I didn’t want to sound pessimistic while everyone, including me, was trying to be positive and hopeful…

  5. I couldn’t bear to watch the match so had it on record. Looking at the final score and the comments about Rafa’s disappointing performance I’ve deleted the match. Roger has improved so much, so aggressive. I don’t know if Rafa can change his game style much more to win another hard court title. Yet another loss in the final against Roger. I’m feeling sooooo disappointed and soooo sad for Rafa๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜•๐Ÿ˜•๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ˜ฉThis is going to be a very difficult pill for him to swallow. Come what may I’m a loyal Rafa supporter but I desperately wanted Rafa to wipe that smug grin off Roger’s face!!! All I can do is wish him the very best for the clay court season and hope for some silverware.

    • So sad, Lorna. So sad. I feel your pain, honestly.

      Buy the problem is Nadal himself – instead of hiring a damn good coach, he went for another ”family friend” in Carlos Moya.
      He should better retire and face his academy.

      But as always, we’d see………………hmmmnn

  6. So once again fed has the upper hand. No amount of coaches will be able to help him unless they also train him mentally. His attitude and thinking has to change. His body language itself ….. his shots showed that he couldn’t play freely – his nerves were dictating. Federer was not all that good. A normal Rafa could’ve beaten him easily.

  7. Absolutely gutted, i never thought i could dislike someone more than Novak , but at this precise moment i do . The Miami open title is just not to be. Susie give Raffy ๐Ÿ˜ฟa big hug . A couple of weeks off now and Rafa fans certainly need it to recharge their batteries. Chin up everybody Rafa’s favourite surface is still to come .

    • Dearest namesake, please take my strong advice, just brace up for more of the same results in the clay season.

      But as alwars, we’d see………………….hmmmnn

      • maria,

        that is also what i think. Some people here are making execuses for rafa performance. They think everyting will be okay on clay. Nadal will face fierce competition from murray who has improved on clay, djokovic, krygios, wawrinka and zverev. Playing tennis is about enjoying game but also being the best. And where you see federer making improvements and also still want to compete for titles. you see a relaxation with rafa he is not upset at all about losing finals. he also is just too stubborn to adapt his game. Federer is now in his head the same way as djokovic was the last years. and now with krygios and zverev getting better i dont see how rafa can win big titles in the future. But the strange thing also is that rafa doesnt seem to care at all

  8. This is my first comment on RNF. I have been a silent regular on this website for last 3 years and yes, I am a Rafa fan. The only way he can win tournaments now is if other 3 retires. I mean he has been so bloody meek in his surrenders of late. I don’t know why the hell his team can’t force him to stand close to the baseline rather than almost near the wall. It’s just sooo frustrating to watch him make the same mistakes over and over.

  9. Bugger it. Onto the clay season rafa. Chin up – you are much better now than in 2015/16. 3 finals – just wish you could have won one.

  10. OLA & VAMOS DEAR RAFA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) There will be other opportunities!!!!!! : ) Enjoy your vacation and have a fantastic time with everything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : )

  11. It is really hard to remain a positive supporter, seeing how the last three years have made Rafa a more incomplete player. Federer is growing at almost 36. Rafa chooses the anxious little rabbit attitude again. FH – GONE. SERVE – ABSENT.

  12. Rafa is really helpless today. As he was in IW and in fact at Aussie Open too. It is painful to see. He reaches these finals, but does not have that magic touch anymore to beat the great players.

  13. Rafa needs to try to take the ball earlier. He needs to believe he can do it and do it well. Put the pressure back to Fed. He’s good at that but if Rafa does that to him as well he won’t be able to play as comfortably as he is now.

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