VIDEO: Rafael Nadal reacts to facing Novak Djokovic in Madrid Open semi-final

Rafael Nadal discusses his battle with David Goffin at the Mutua Madrid Open and looks ahead to playing Novak Djokovic in the semi.


  1. Yeh, crystal ball business “crystal ball savant.” I like it. LOL

    I was confused with the L’s and W’s. Was not questioning the name:number setup. Why the L’s and W’s?


  2. Have a great time beating Nole. Gr8 tennis to you Rafa.

    Yes Rafa, “your time to shine,” [stated by Beverley].

    You are playing to book a spot in the finals. I said the best was yet to come and you are still delivering. I join you in being very pleased with this year’s performance.

    Don’t fall for any of Nole’s on-court theatrics. Don’t permit him to distract you from attaining YOUR goal.

    To all those who said you were finished, kaput, that you should retire, give them all the bird in the privacy of your bedroom and have a great laugh at that.


  3. Cannot wait for this to begin in 3 hours.

    It is only with this match that we’ll see the current reality of how good Rafa is–and how good Djok is too–on clay.

    I beleive if Rafa doesn’t shrink mentally (because it’s Djok and the H2H in the past years has been miserable) he should win.

    • Hasn’t Rafa shown his mettle yet? And he will beat Nole. IF, IF he doesn’t, which is unlikely, he will have a lot of explaining to do.


      • For me, Djok is the best test of Rafa’s level, right now.
        But it was also a test of Djok’s level, which was in doubt.

        Notice with Thiem and Goffin they both played a better 1rst set against Rafa, but Djok played a better 2nd set against Rafa. Regardless of how off his game Djok is now, he was still the harder opponent, if onlyl for historical reasons.

      • Hi again,

        Further down Margo we were discussing Big 3, Big 4, H2hs. Here’s the list I made, just updated today, of Big Four H2hs, and Wawrinka’s which I added later. I put a w or L after the H2H to make it clear who was the winner or loser of each H2H.

        Federer/Murray: 14-11 W
        Federer/Nadal: 14-23 L
        Fed/Djok: 22-23 L

        Nadal/Federer: 32-14 W
        Nadal/ Djokovic 24-26 L
        Nadal/Murray 17-7 W

        Djokovic/Federer 23-22 W
        Djokovic/Nadal 26-24 W
        Djokovic/Murray 25-11 W

        Murray/Federer 11-14 L
        Murray/Nadal 7-17 L
        Murray/Djokovic 11-25 L

        Wawrinka/Nadal 3-15 L
        Wawrinka/Federer 3-20 L
        Wawrinka/Djokovic 5-21 L
        Wawrinka/Murray 7-10 L

      • Great post.

        LOL The 14-23 I know by heart 😂 and it was only yesterday that I looked up the ND RN 26:23 😬 today’s 26:24😊, and the AM RN 7:17 after Rafa omitted Andy in his remark.

        In the first names [Nadal:Federer] of the second set of pairings, you awarded Rafa too much 32:14. Would be nice though LOL.

        No disrespect meant but I would think automatically that the first number would go with the first name, no?

        RAFA ROCKS

      • Hehe you’re right, I did give Rafa 32, will have to change.
        Maybe that’s a crystal ball reading?

        As for first number/first name, it is listed like that. Not sure what you’re seeing.

        I made this list for myself because I was sick of always trying to remember or look it up every time, but also because I wanted to know how Stan stacked up. Not well!

        Another stat I’d llike to find, but it takes time: I heard commies saying if Fabio beat Rafa then he’d be only the 4th man to have beaten Rafa 3 times on clay. Then of course they don’t say who the other 3 are! I knew Djok was one; I found out Gaudio was another, but I have yet to find the 3rd. Don’t think it’s anyone still active.

  4. Use your tactics from the start! You only played like that in the second set yesterday. More drop volleys needed as well! Bien suerte por hoy 🎾🎾🎾🎾

    • Oh, how I wish the Siberian – Maria (Siberia)- were here to give us her usually accurate predictions. I do hope she has not been banned, she was always so, so daring and refused to call a spade by any other name. We really need her type on this site for sure.

      Anyway, the Nadal-Djokovic match in less than 20 hrs from now will surely be a thriller (”Thriller in Caja Magica;;). Sorry Rafa fans here, we were all hoping that Kei Nishikori would do the dirty job for Nadal, but it was not to be! So, Nadal has to do iy himself one way or the other, isn’t it?

      Although the Djoker’s got Nadal’s number, I still believe Rafa can turn it around if he does all of the following:
      1. Play aggressive all through as if there is no tomorrow
      2. Eafa must get an early break in both sets and consolidate on this, he must NEVER relax at any time
      3. One of the weaknesses of Djokovic is that he easily gets frustrated when he;s losing. So, Rafa must use No. 2 above to get him frustrated
      4. Nadal must battle toe to toe with Djokovic. That is, he must not stay too far away from the baseline otherwise he’d give Djokovic some easy free points – drop shots and winners etc

      If Nadal can do this and more, he’d win.

      My prediction: 6-4, 5-4 in favour of ND.

      But as always, we’d see………..hmmmn

      • Love the new name , a perfect description as well as the legend Lol . How about next The Chameleon Hmmnn..,..

    • Rafa on Nole:

      “On his slump, 99 percent of players would love to be in his position,” said Nadal.

      “We have to analyse the numbers. In his dip after Wimbledon, he won in Montreal… made the final at the US Open, the semi-finals in Shanghai, the final in the World Tour Finals.”

      “When you win every single match in every tournament, that is abnormal. In history, we have never seen what he achieved during those years.”

      “Let’s respect his level right now because it’s true that perhaps it’s not as high as he used to be, but I can also tell you it’s (been) a lot of years.

      “I know because I’ve been in his skin, too. Being up there during every single week, being number one every single week, it’s nearly impossible.”

      Djokovic has won the last seven meetings between but Nadal paid tribute to a great rivalry despite the damage the 12-time Grand Slam champion has done to him in the past.

      “It has made me better. When you play people that are so good it always makes you give 100 percent.

      “I think we have done damage to each other during our careers. We have taken plenty of titles from each other,” Nadal added.

      “The reality is that it’s been a really good era because the matches between Djokovic, (Roger) Federer and me… we’ve made it many times to the final rounds, competing in the most important tournaments.

      “I think it has made a lot of people to come watch tennis, so that’s a very positive thing.”

      The above is just one of a plethora of reasons why Rafa is a great ambassador for the sport of tennis. Thank you, Uncle Toni and parents for passing on to Rafa their high standards.

      [Above Rafa quotes from AFP]


      • Those comments are so true and well spoken.
        Djok’s era of dominance was extraordinary ( like Rafa’s, in Fed’s case 2o04 and 2007, there was no serious competition) and while he is not playing at that incredible level now, he is still very very good–certainly better than Murray.
        Notice Rafa doesn’t mention Murray when speaking of what made this era so great: him, Djok and Fed. Many people are confused about this because of Murray’s presence in Big 4.

      • Yes, I immediately noted the omission of Andy. But I think Rafa may have been considering “the most important things,” and the slams are just that, I feel.

        Nole=12, Rafa=14, Roger=18. He would have had to include Stan who is tied with Andy at 3, no? Just a thought on my part as tennis is not just about the grand slams but they are considered the ultimate titles.

        RAFA ROCKS

      • Also, from what I have read, Murray is part of the “Big Four” because AMONG the Big Four they have scooped up most of the big trophies within a certain time frame. Why the confusion?

        RAFA ROCKS

      • Well Stan was not really Big 4 all those years–i.e. the 4 who were in the semi and finals of masters 1000s and slams for so many years.
        I really beleive too much emphasis is put on slams when considering who are the greatest–yes, they matter hugely but they are not the only thing–there’s also Masters 1000s (Djok leads but that could change in Madrid) winning percentage, how long they stayed #1 etc.
        But I still think even factoring in all that there is no true measure (unless one is overwhelmingly dominant in several categories) because their careers don’t exactly coincide, the luck of the draws, injuries etc.
        So Stan has the same amount of slams as Andy, but nothing like the Masters, nothing like the appearances in final and semis, did not reach #1, etc. But I also think Stan’s best is way better than Andy’s best. We just don’t get to see it very often. We may not see it again, actually.

        I made a list of the current H2Hs–which is my fav stat!, along with winning percentage–and i would paste it in here but it’s long. Among the top 5:
        But basically Djok is 1rst, Rafa 2nd, Fed 3rd, Andy a distant 4th, and Stan an even more distant 5th.
        It’s very interesting.
        I think Rafa was referring, correctly, to the most meaningful measure of greatness in tennis in this era, the Big 3. Big 4 means something else.

      • Excellent point, well taken. I thought whenever Rafa says he fights for the “important things” he refers to the slams. Who wudda thunk..LOL

        This is the kind of differences of opinions I have longed for here, for so long. Respectful.

        RAFA ROCKS

      • Thanks Margo.
        Also enjoying your observations and support for Rafa.
        So good to have other Rafa fans who are interested in the whys and wherefores of his matches, and how things stack up in men’s tennis.
        This year men’s tennis has been shaken up like never before. And it’s all good!

      • YOU’RE very welcome Rafalite.

        I was a Rafa fan from the moment I first saw him sliding on the clay. I was spellbound, still am. Was channel surfing. LOL

        He is just a fascinating guy and while I love his tennis I am very interested in Rafa the person. That’s why I peruse everything I can about him, not needing to know every time he sneezes but to be able to defend him against the misleading media and anyone else. I do leave the technical aspect of tennis to the professionals though, but even they get it wrong at times.

        Moya said that he believed a healthy Rafa could return to the top ranking, as number one. I believed him. And lately I’ve been reading that Rafa may do that sooner than expected. I know that he would be thrilled and filled with joy to be able to accomplish that after all he’s been through. I can only be happy for him.

        RAFA ROCKS

  5. Congrats to Rafa on his win against David, who is such a talented and confident player.

    When facing Novak tomorrow, I just feel Rafa should just approach it as another match. It’s a new day. It doesn’t matter to me that Rafa lost to Novak several times before. I know that was during the time his confidence was low and he was most vulnerable to Novak as well as lower ranked players. Rafa has been playing stellar tennis since beginning of 2017 from the hard courts to now, the clay courts. His level of play and confidence is at an all time high. Whatever happens tomorrow, is just part of the journey for Rafa. I know Rafa will bring his A game and problem-solving abilities to the match tomorrow. I wish him all the best. The only difference is Novak is coming off a day of rest whereas Rafa has been playing tons of sublime tennis all season so far. Vamos, Rafa!

  6. Rafa, you sound as if you are in a great place. I’m so very happy for you. It pleases me tremendously that you are happy with yesterday and today’s matches. You sound like you are ready to beat Nole and I feel you surely will be in the final. You are acting like the champion that you are. The best to you Rafa.


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