Rafa Roundup: “You can win some battles against Rafa, but in the end he always wins the war”

AFP PHOTO / Lionel BONAVENTURE

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We first met Rafa Nadal in Paris as a swashbuckling teenager – a champion from the very first swing of that prodigious left arm. He is now 30, but still the man to beat. A titanic, immovable presence whose imprint on his sport needs no enhancing… but who may yet extend one of sport’s most remarkable periods of dominance.

“Being the favourite depends on your results and your fitness,” says Corretja. “And if he stays fit, it is very difficult to compete with Rafa in his current form. Look at the Madrid final – Thiem played at a very high level, but in the second set he started to drop physically. This is normal because he played the first set at a very high tempo. Nadal is used to this rhythm but his opponents are not. He drags you into a battle on every point. You can win some battles against him, but in the end he always wins the war. I believe he is ready to win it again.”

Were Nadal to end the next fortnight triumphant, it would be an unprecedented feat — no player in the open era has reached double digits in a single grand slam event.

Roger Federer and Pete Sampras have seven Wimbledon titles, Martina Navratilova nine. Nadal already stands alone with nine titles on the Parisian red dirt, a tournament in which he has lost only two matches since his debut as a 19-year-old in 2005.

Why did we ever doubt him? Nadal has produced his best run on the red stuff since 2010, winning the joint-highest number of Masters (30) and reaching the most finals (45).

A player who is revered inside the dressing room as much as he is from the stands, winning a 10th French Open would be a feat unlikely to be equalled or surpassed for generations to come, if not ever.

Photo: Richard Mille

Tennis great Rafael Nadal is already a favorite to win the upcoming French Open – and now he has another reason to be excited about the tournament: He’ll be wearing his new, $725,000 watch. Luxury watchmaker Richard Mille, which has sponsored and worked with Nadal since 2010, has unveiled its latest collaboration. Like all Richard Mille watches, the design has an unassuming name, the RM 27-03, yet it’s a technical marvel.

Many people wrote off Nadal, who hasn’t won a Grand Slam in three years, but Wawrinka never doubted the 14-time major champion.

“I’ve known Rafa since he was young, I saw him winning time after time. He had so many injuries but he always came back, since he was really young. I think he missed the first Roland Garros he was supposed to play because of a foot injury. And the next year he played his first French Open and won it,” said Wawrinka.

“So I never thought he would be out or less competitive because we all know that when he comes back, fit and ready, he’s tough to beat.”

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5 thoughts on “Rafa Roundup: “You can win some battles against Rafa, but in the end he always wins the war”

  1. Jason

    The link at the bottom of this article is actually the one that has really vital info: http://video.eurosport.com/tennis/the-coach-why-nadal-s-rebuilt-forehand-could-deliver-10th-title_vid979143/video.shtml

    It is Rafa’s spin rate that sets him apart. When that was gone (2015, 2016), he becomes vulnerable. The video speaks of over 3000 rpm, actually it used to be quite common for Rafa to spin at 4500 rpm. If he keeps hitting the FH like this, the road to La Decima should be paved. Of course he is not unbeatable, but we should for sure not again see a performance like the one against Novak in RG 15. I watches that one again the other day and it was really a completely different player that showed up there. The 2015 version of Nadal better be completely forgotten about!

    Like

  2. Margo

    The Internet is loaded with great articles about Rafa and his quest for a Decima. May I suggest this one by Eurosport, partially posted here by RNF. It’s wonderful reading.

    RAFA THE TENNIS PHENOM’

    Like

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