WATCH: Rafael Nadal goes for ‘La Decima’ in Monte Carlo

Rafael Nadal will go for his 10th title at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, which begins Sunday.

Yesterday Rafa took part in the 2017 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters draw ceremony at the Jardin Exotique in Monaco.

Videos: ATP World Tour

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37 thoughts on “WATCH: Rafael Nadal goes for ‘La Decima’ in Monte Carlo

  1. Margo

    For those of you who are fearful, or anxious, or worried, or afraid that Rafa will meet up with Nole this MC Masters, some good news. He did drop a set vs G. Simon.

    RAFA ROCKS

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  2. Margo

    Rafa, you have said time and again, “one match and/or tournament at a time.” Do not deviate from your mantra. Play the ball, not your opponent, to win your tenth Monte Carlo Masters. Wishing you the best.

    RAFA ROCKS

    Like

  3. mjus

    This is to eveyone,

    I am reading on this forum about a djokovic problem and a federer problem. You know why the greatest player of all time is losing against these players ? because of his predictability. After his losses against djoko in 2011 en ao 2012. Rafa changes it around by beating him a couple of times and in my opinion he did it by changing his game. Take for example the us open final 2013 or semifinal montreal 2013 nadal defeated djoko by mixing his game hitting fdthl and bdthl and foremost his courtposition close to the baseline. That was the last time where he played good against djokovic. Federer same way. If you stay meters behind the baseline, not mixing it up with you return not putting depth in your groundstrokes you have no chance against federer pretty simple.

    I dont want to write rafa off but i certainly do not want to sugarcoate his performances although he had a great season so far compare with the last two years but i do not support him playing all these clay court tournaments he is not 25 years anymore he should take a page out off federer playbook. His main focus should be the french open.

    It would be devastating for him if he for example wins this tournaments and losing at the french open against a wellrested federer

    Like

    1. True, mjus. Rafa talked to Pat Cash in the locker room after winning USO13 and revealed that he was scared of Novak’s power and angles so he decided to step closer to the base line, cutting of off both time and angle from him and consequenlty was able to win the third set, then the fourth and the match.

      Now I don’t remember how many times Rafa has said the same answer – standing closer the baseline – when being asked how from some point he was able to turn around a match. But I certainly remember this:

      “I just try to fight every point because he was playing fine and I was going a little bit more behind the court, one meter behind,” said Nadal on coming back from an 0-4 deficit. “So he has the control of the court, of the point, always in that moment. I thought I have to go a little bit more inside and try to fight for every point.”

      That was after his win over Fed in MC08 (the year he won both singles and doubles :D).

      The thing is, he knows this more than anyone else. But knowing and doing aren’t always the same thing. That’s why winning or losing, what I always want the most is seeing him play confidently and not overthink. Tbh I’m not really happy when he doesn’t win on his term, because that tells me anything can happen in his very next match…

      Now even on clay, if he still insists on playing his good old clay game, problems will inevitably surface. He can’t rely on his speed and movement like he used to any more. Both his conscious and unconscious minds will be likely to pull him back a step or two as well as he makes it his main goals this year to not get injuried (good for him but some results might suffer).

      Without that edge alone anything can happen, not to mention he still hasn’t rediscovered his FH *yet*. Plus even though he’s having a better run than his two previous years so far, his mentality I think is a bit still in question.

      Now that Novak and Andy are back, hope that does inspire him, not worry him. I think he needs a tough draw and needs to be able to get through that to spark that fire again. Miami was way lacking; AO17 was great except the final. Now MC is tough again. But let’s do it again, Rafa!

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      1. Margo

        Maybe someone can drag an unconscious Rafa to read this thread. I would love to hear his response if your summation is correct. I really would. In all seriousness.

        The prize money he does not need. But he needs to play. Let’s hope he is saving his best for his two tens.

        RAFA ROCKS

        RAFA ROCKS

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  4. Margo

    “Monte Carlo is very special to me.” When Rafa hits the court this week, it will have been 14 years since his first MC tournament. He was only 16 at the time. Rafa would go on to beat his first “top ten,” and would enter into the Top 100 category; this allowed him to play on the ATP World Tour for the remainder of the season.

    Rafa is trying for his tenth trophy here. “I am happy playing tennis now. When I don’t have injuries and am competitive, I am happy and enjoy it more than winning titles. I am working to try to keep having these feelings in the coming months.”
    [ATP Staff, April 17, 2017]

    RAFA ROCKS

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  5. mjus

    And people on this forum dreaming about la decima. They are still living in the past. All the players that he will face can beat him on clay. They are stronger and fitter and develop unlike rafa their game. He needs to play match by match and dont even think about la decima. I am very realistic about his and do not live in the past

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    1. Margo

      I feel sorry for you. Sorry that you can’t enjoy the current Rafa, Rafa in the present.

      I am well aware of who Rafa was, and who Rafa is. His “was” does not dictate to me what his “is” should be. I accept Rafa as he is and will not sit here and pontificate what he should or should not do. I lack the expertise to do so.

      Rafa is an athlete who will leave a tremendous legacy in the tennis world, and sport world in general. He has excelled in one of the most grueling sports of all. What will your legacy be?

      I, along with other fans, can hope he wins more trophies, and yes, his tenth Coupe des Mousquetaires. It’s called hope, not “living in the past.”

      RAFA ROCKS

      Like

    2. mjus, what you call “dreaming” is simply hoping and on clay – why not? It’s not like we *hope* Rafa will grasp RG and Wimby back to back again or rack his Slam tally up to 19 or sth :D.

      Many of us don’t think or aren’t sure he will win big this clay season. But we still hope. And that doesn’t mean not being realistic. Believe me, I still hope, I always do, but I never sugarcoat anything.

      But the first person to really have “the right” to hope is Rafa himself. What are you even saying? Of course he CAN, and SHOULD, think about La Decima. And not just one.

      About your being pessimistic like you said in another comment, I get that too. But why not give yourself and also Rafa a chance and at least wait to see his form in MC before going on with the “realistic” thing again?

      Cheer up.

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    3. Julia

      We are not living in the past but at the present,.he plays well but he needs to remember who is he and how much he can do and then he will, he will get the !0 in Monaco, also probably in Roma and for sure in RG

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    4. Teresa

      Hey mjus, I understand what you are saying, it is going to be very tough for Rafa and it’s hard to be optimistic. But what happened to all these fitter, stronger and better developed clay court players last year? Either way, win or lose 9 is a magic number.

      Like

  6. mjus

    I dont understand why rafa wants to play all clay events. Monte Carlo will be difficult enough all the playes that rafa will face have the ability to beat rafa on clay. Remember this rafa is not the rafa of 2013. I expect that rafa will continue unfortunatly stand 50 meters behind the baseline running the risk over getting overpowered by his opponents. But anyway last year rafa wanted to play all claycourt events. His doctors advised him not to play the tournament of madrid. Rafa refuses to listen and as a result of that he got a wrist injury and had to withdraw at the french open.

    If i were rafa skip barcelona and play only monte carlo and choose between madrid and rome and skip barcelona. He cant play all of them like he did previous years. His body needs rest

    Like

    1. Rafalite

      If you were just “realistic” instead of hyperbolic and a bit vindicative I would leave this comment alone, but the fact is not all of the players he’s facing have the “ability to beat him on clay.” I don’t think either Zverev or dimi do, on clay, unless Rafa plays poorly.
      I don’t think Murray does either–except Madrid which plays more like HC.

      I heard Darren Cahill–who is certainly one of the most clear-headed and astute commies–pick Rafa as his fav to win RG–and Cahill has never been a big Rafa fan.

      PLayers who have the ability, unless Rafa plays poorly–Djok, Waw. I think that’s it. If his game is as good as Ao was on HC–but not IW or Miami–where his game devolved again.
      It will be up to Rafa.
      And his fitness is unquestionable, I don’t know why you mention that. That’s whj I called your comment vindictive.

      Like

      1. mjus

        rafalite,

        be realistic please. I remember how rafa use to play on clay very dominant but i realise that was the old rafa. Rafa is now 30 years old and he a step slower his oponents have developed their game and have more strenght. They will play agressive close to the baseline and try immediatly to go for the winner. They will not let rafa build up the point. You might think that players in that case adapt their game change courtposition, take the ball early, and keep the rallies short. Unfortunatly nadal is not that type of guy. That is why i think that every player he faces during this tournament has the ability to beat rafa. I hope i am wrong but am very pessismistic

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  7. I don’t think many (if any) of the other top players will be playing at all five clay court tournaments. As we know, the rallies on clay can be very long and Rafa has traditionally relied on wearing down his opponents. This no longer happens like it used to because players are much fitter these days and there is more depth in the field. Rafa has to be careful not to wear HIMSELF out!!! His priority should be MC, Barcelona and RG. Having said this, obviously Rafa wants to give himself as much chance as possible of walking away with trophies and only he knows what condition his body is in at any particular time. I think Rafa will win MC and go into double figures. This will give him confidence moving forward. πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†

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    1. Vy

      “Rafa has traditionally relied on wearing down his opponents.”

      NOT agree with this, Lorna. Such an understatement from his fan :(, even stated as “fact”?

      Like

      1. Rafalite, it’s true is a part of his game. But it’s *just” a part.

        Stating “Rafa has traditionally relied on wearing down his opponents” sounds like he’s a pusher as even a grinder wins with much more than that.

        No true grinders (never mind pushers) can win 14 or 12 Slams like Rafa and Novak.

        Now to analyse his game to compare styles is what I don’t think you or anyone would want to do here. So I just leave it as that.

        One more thing, in the beginning Rafa actually has a very aggressive mind. Moya has repeatedly said that. Many factors have made him adopt the defensive (but still aggressive) game but no, I don’t think if you ask Rafa “Do you rely, “traditionally rely”, on wearing down your opponents to win?”, he will answer yes. And we all know how honest he is.

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  8. A double, or even tripple, La Decima sounds great. Unarguably history book stuff.

    However, I think it’s really not a good idea for Rafa to play ALL the clay events before RG.

    We all know his injury history and the fact that the clay court season is just so dense, so bloody unfair compared to the hard court “season”, which actually isn’t a season for a specific surface as it spans almost all year round.

    He should only focus the most on MC and RG, skipping Barcelona and/or Rome. A double La Decima at this two particular tournaments is what REALLY matters and do him good the most.

    Even if somehow he can win two Masters and Barcelorna (as it’s almost impossible for any player, Rafa or Djokovic or anyone, to win all MC, Madrid and Rome back to back in such a short period of time these days), which would be an exceptional archievement already, he’ll be very likely to be exhausted or get some injuries before or at RG.

    Especially with a fully rested and prepared Fed gunning for the title by which he must want to prove himself the most now, given all that has happened this year, waiting for him; plus Novak is still always “there” (Wawrinka too!), there’s no place for the sentimental stuff now. The clock is tick-tocking. He’s soon approaching 31 already.

    Also, even with his “horrendous” results on grass since 2012 after a fantastic run at Wimby, making appearance in all the finals from 2006-2011 (bar 2009) and winning two (I know, boring history class again), I still have the belief that if he doesn’t get too worn out by the extremely dense and taxing full clay season, he can still make some damage and have a deep run there, providing that his mentality and physicality are both all right.

    I know, he knows, he needs that as well. Deep down, clay alone is never enough for his soul.

    So, here we go again. Rafa’s full schedule for the clay season:

    APRIL:
    Monte-Carlo (April 16 – 23)
    Barcelona, Spain (April 24 – 30)

    MAY & JUNE:
    Madrid, Spain (May 7 – 14)
    Rome, Italy (May 14 – 21)
    Roland Garros (May 28 – June 11)

    Look at it again and ask yourself how an injury-prone, almost 31 years old can play all these heavy stuff and still be fresh for THE main – the final event, plus the “biggest” even right after that.

    The Fed camp has been doing extremely well in managing their schedule all those years, which contributes greatly to his longevity and virtually no serious injuries bar last year (though it probably has more to do with aging and tax of the game than the specific injuries). Anyone can see that and they themselves have said that. Please Rafa camp, doing the same things and expecting different results isn’t gonna cut it.

    I’d love nothing more than Rafa’s winning a La Decima (make it two :p) this year but I can only keep my hopes up if he doesn’t play all the events before RG and shows me the fire he once had. Consistently. The rest will follow.

    Good luck, Rafa.

    πŸ€πŸ€πŸŽΎπŸŽΎπŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺπŸ†πŸ†πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ

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  9. Rafantastic

    Go get it sweet Rafa πŸ€—πŸ˜˜πŸ€žπŸ»πŸ€
    VAMOS KING OF CLAY!! 🎾πŸ’ͺπŸΌπŸ‘‘β€οΈ

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  10. Rafalite

    Well, high hopes for Rafa of course but a real drag he ended up in Djok’s half, because to my mind, Djok is the biggest threat in this field. Though his level is a bit of an unknown.

    Rafa still has to get through A Zverev and Dimitrov–which he should–but not easy!
    I think Rafa can beat either Andy or Stan on clay (unless Stan is in god mode, but he hasn’t been lately) if he beats Djok.

    It’s interesting because since they last met Rafa has improved a lot and Djok has gone down somewhat–but the whipping Rafa took at Fed’s hands at IW and Miami makes me wonder about how well Rafa is really playing, i.e. his confidence level at this point.

    And all that is assuming none of them are upset by others.

    I’m revved.

    Like

    1. Rafalite (hi! πŸ™‚ ), I think it doesn’t really matter whether Djokovic draws in Rafa’s half or not. Be it the semi or final or “only” quarters, Rafa still has to play him anyway, provided that none of them gets upset priorly.

      Also I think Rafa has a better chance winning the title playing him in the semi than in the final. God knows how long since Rafa last beat him (I know, we all know how long 😦 ). So can you imagine the confidence boost he will get if he can beat him here and make the first La Decima ever?

      Of course the chance Djokovic can get upset is bigger if he ended up in the other half. But unless it’s actually hapenning, I never count on it.

      So all in all Rafa still sooner or later has to solve the Djokovic riddle himself. He did it once. Hope he can do it again, especially this year. We all have been waiting for so long. He came quite close last year at Rome. If only he could hold his nerve…

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      1. Rafalite

        Hi Vy!
        I remember that Rome match 7/6, 7/6 for Djok it was incredibly close, I even remember the point differential 51/49 for Djok.
        No-=one knows what the Rafa/Djok matchup will look like now, I thought seeing Rafa AO he had “corrected” some of the problems that contributed to so many losses to DJok–first and foremost a more aggressive game, less predictable serves, and above all able to go FHDTL and sometimes even BHDTL. But then those last two very weak matches against Fed! So now there’s a Djok problem and a Fed problem. Not sure the same solution applies to both. But maybe! Maybe it’s just a matter of Rafa playing his very very best, his weapons all firing.

        But really to my mind Rafa never really solved the Djok “riddle” (as you name it, but when did Rafa solve it?) I thought it was more that others began beating Djok (and Wawrinka, god bless him!) and Djok then lost his mojo after winning the FO at last.

        Probably makes little difference whether Rafa meets him semi or final, as far as his chances go. They both will get better as the tournament goes on. But it will make a difference as to how many points Rafa loses if he loses. I care about this because i would love for him to into RG in his own quarter.

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      2. “But really to my mind Rafa never really solved the Djok β€œriddle” (as you name it, but when did Rafa solve it?)”

        Rafalite, if you don’t call Rafa’s beating Novak 6 out of 7 times they played from MC12 to RG14 on both clay and hard court, in both Masters and Slams is Rafa’s once solving the Djokovic’s riddle, then maybe your standard is much higher than mine (and probably Rafa’s as well).

        I know, Novak has been on a 7 win streak over Rafa again since then, that’s why I said “once”. I

        Indeed Novak has always been able to trouble Rafa right from the start when he was losing left and right to Rafa. And we can’t expect one player to beat another player all the time after one particular point to be able to call he has “really” solved him, don’t you think?

        I also don’t think things like “Djokovic wasn’t motivated” is what counts. The same for Rafa when Djokovic was, and is, winning.

        They all have up and down, and the dynamic is always created by both sides. So if Rafa could once make that comeback, I sure as hell can give him all the credit I think he deserves.

        And hope for another comeback. Especially “here” at MC. πŸ™‚

        Like

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