Rafa named ITF world champion

Rafael Nadal has been named the 2017 ITF Men’s World Champion!

Rafa, who claimed the honour for the third time, made a sensational comeback from an injury-plagued 2016, winning a 10th French Open title and the US Open to take his grand slam haul to 16.

C.Dubreuil / FFT

Rafa said:

I am very happy to receive this award from the ITF and be the 2017 ITF World Champion. It is four years since I last finished No. 1 on the ATP rankings and this has a special feeling. Congrats also to Garbine on her achievement which is great for our country. Many thanks to my team and my fans, and a special thank you to my uncle Toni for all these years.

Our champ claimed six titles in 2017 and sealed the year-end No. 1 ranking at the Paris Masters, becoming the oldest player to do so since the inception of the ATP rankings in 1973.

Garbine Muguruza took the women’s prize. This is the first time since Americans Pete Sampras and Lindsay Davenport in 1998 that the men’s and women’s ITF world champions are from the same country.

Congrats, Rafa!

Sources: Reuters, ITF


  1. Hi everyone! It’s been quite a while. Just a quick drop-in to say Happy new year to everyone before I’m off to the golden slumbers’ realm :).

    I rewatched a random assortment of all things Rafa during the off-season and some AO Rafa today (or yesterday :p). It helped a lot, especially in putting things into perspective and reminding me such a great and historic season, no matter what, Rafa had last year.

    Hopefully there will be a happy new year thread very soon here so I can thank Rafa + his team, RNF and many fans here “properly” and of course share with you many many thoughts about new season’s Rafa and the tour.

    Happy new year and goodnight everyone. 🍾🥂🌛✨

    • Thank you, Maria. Big hi and 😊 to you and 😘 to the gang. Happy new year to you and your family. 🕊🐶🐱

      • Happy New year to you and your family Rainer , looking forward to reading your positive posts again this year. 😘From Holly🐕and Golam😸

      • Hi Maria. So sorry for replying you this late. Many thanks for your wish and kind words :). 😘😘 @Holly & Golam 🐕😸. Been writing my “summary” of 2017 Rafa but got to busy so it’s still left unfinished. Such a shame as Rafa will kick off his season tomorrow…

        Anyway, hope you had a very lovely holiday. Now we’re going to the battle with Rafa once again. It’s great to see you and Susie and other fans often here. 🙂

      • Oh, and thanks so much for all the updates and comments during the offseason to keep the site “warmer”, Maria. 🙂

  2. A healthy Rafa is a dangerous Rafa. I will make a toast to Rafa tonight that his star continues to shine.


    • Margo, to answer your question below, the original Moya interview was in Spanish and appears on the Spanish version of the ATP site. The sentence in Spanish is “Es difícil decirlo, son muchos años, casi cinco más”.

      Rafa gave an encouraging answer to a similar question a few weeks back. I can’t find the source now, but he said something like, “I don’t imagine myself playing at 37, but when I was 26 I didn’t see myself playing at 31 and I am still here, so let’s see what happens”. 🙂

      • Hi Jas, Margo, the English version seems to have a slight misinterpretation. Moyà seemed to be saying it will be difficult for Rafa to play as long as Roger as it’s 5 years or more (not that Rafa will play for 5 more years).

        Happy New Year to you both and all fans that post on here🍾🤩

      • jas_uk and Tiggy thanks so much for the Spanish version. The English one is way off. I would think the ATP could afford a good translator. Whatever time Rafa has left on the circuit I hope he uses it wisely.

        RAFA ROCKS

  3. Great read on the ATP World Tour Site on Carlos Moya’s thoughts on Rafa here a snippet :
    Carlos Moya: It’s important to be fresh and rested if he’s going to start the season off on the right foot. Rafa wants to be an even better version of himself this year.
    Nothing too serious in terms of injuries occurred last year but at the same time, nothing good comes from rushing things. That’s why we want him to take his time returning to the court. There’s no need to hurry matters. We know Rafa; he doesn’t slow down often, whether in training or during a match. Nadal isn’t the type of competitor to hit the brakes. For the team, then, the goal has been to convince Nadal that rushing a return to competitive play could lead to more discomfort and injuries — both of which could derail our plans for a big year. He isn’t a 20-year-old now; we have to take things step by step and be smart about his health and recuperation.
    Worth a look.

    • Thanks Maria. This is music to my ears and is the consensus of a lot of fans. Can’t help seeing the funny side of having to persuade Rafa not to train and play so much as a major goal🤣

      • You’re welcome Tiggy, I’m keeping my fingers crossed all will be well in the Rafa camp come the AO . I’m hoping all the top players will be back fighting fit in 2018 at some point , its just not the same without them , and dare I say I have even missed Novak ( hope I don’t live to regret that)
        Here’s how it’s looking in the run up to the AO:
        Rafael Nadal (knee), Andy Murray (hip), Novak Djokovic (elbow), Milos Raonic (wrist), Kei Nishikori (wrist), and Stan Wawrinka (knee) are all under injury clouds approaching the first major of the year.
        Let’s hope these injuries are short lived or 2018 could be dominated by Roger Feder unless the young guns start to step up to the plate.

      • Tiggy – yes, ever since that time Moya said the hardest thing about working with Rafa is keeping him off the court, I imagine funny ways in which the team would try and do it. I wrote a short story about it, kind of a fanfic thing. I wish I could post it here, but it’s too long and I doubt RNF would appreciate their site being used for that! 🙂

    • This ain’t music to a real fan’s ears. Because a real fan, like every real tennis fan, understands that the preparation of the season does not start in January. The bloody Aussie Open is in January so you have to make sure to be fully fit and in training well before January. Approaching the new season the way described here, is ignoring the Aussie Open while it should be approached with the same proper care as RG and US Open (Wimbledon unfortunately is a different beast, especially for Nadal who has to give all in the 4 months prior). Federer plans things so much smarter. He is at the different end of the spectrum. Rafa is the worst of all in this regard. What a joke. Throwing away the Aussie Open like this.

      • Long interview but well worth reading. It cleared up some questions that I had.

        Carlos did say they will land in Melbourne on January 4. I think Carlos wants us to understand that Rafa needs more time to be ready for 2018 and that Rafa may not be ready for the AO. We just have to be patient.

        Rafa had a great 2017. Carlos feels Rafa has five more competitive years in him if he is careful with scheduling and avoiding injury. That is what Carlos is working on.

        RAFA ROCKS

      • From the Moyá/ATP article of December 31, 2017:

        Can Nadal compete and endure as long as Federer?
        That’s hard to say but Rafa still has some years left, at least five. What Federer has achieved so far is something totally extraordinary. Nadal is going to follow Roger’s lead, on and off the court. We’ll see how far this adventure takes us.

        I hope Carlos is right about five more years.

        RAFA ROCKS

      • Success indeed, that’s what it is about. Now tell me. US open 17 win followed by a long break to achieve SUCCESS at the Aussie 18, or: US Open 17 win followed by Beijing win followed by many other tournaments but no win and many injury worries and NO improved strategy to beat no. 1 competitor and ending the season injured, ruining chances for Aussie Open 18 (=no success)….which one do we choose. Is it that difficult. Dislike it what you want policor crowd. You may think you are so great, honest, supportive etc but you ain’t. You were wrong and still are wrong. Again.

      • Jean Sober,First of all may I wish you and yours a Very Happy New Year 2018.Second,Rafa is his own person,to make his his own decisions,come what may.They may be right or they may be wrong.But we his fans,are with him,through good times and bad.Maybe he doesn’t need us at all.It is very easy to be a fan when everything is going your way.But when times get tough that’s when our favorite sportsmen and women need us to cheer them on.On the Eve of 2018 I would love for all this negativity to do in any shape or form with Rafa to stop.We love ❤️ our sportsmen and women.They make our world a better place to live in.

      • Thank you, thank you, thank you. Am tired of mean spirited comments be they against our World #1 Rafa, his competitors, or we fans. The anger is just so palpable.

        The best to RNF and Rafa’s fans.

        RAFA ROCKS

      • Dear friend,

        What are you talking about? Rafa was nursing a knee injury, so, he needed rest and recovery time before getting back on court for his practices and training. Taking that into consideration, giving Rafa up to eight weeks (starting from the next day after he lost at WTF up to 31 Dec, that’s already seven weeks) up till 7th Jan 2018, Rafa will then start with his tie break ten exho on 11 Jan. If that’s not enough, who knows he may play at Kooyong exho too.

        I believe during the eight weeks that Rafa was recovering, he would be doing some kind of light training with progressively increased intensity as his recovery progressed.

        You can’t compare that to Fed, who wasn’t injured and could start his 2018 preparation almost immediately after his loss at the WTF, though I doubt he would immediately.

        Those years when Rafa wasn’t injured at year end, he reached the AO final (2012/2014) but was unfortunate both times (ran into a wall in the form of Djoko; was injured while playing Stan in 2014 final).

        Fed with all his ‘smart’ preparation, reached only the SFs from 2011-2014 and 2016, lost in R3 in 2015. Fed needed a six months break to get to AO final again in 2017!

      • You’re telling Rafa to stop playing after winning the USO, and then starts preparing for the AO?? Come on, the tour doesn’t consist of slams only!

        Rafa has his other ambitions, like finishing the season as YE no.1; if anything, Rafa is more ambitious than what you or we may think; he wants the no.1 ranking, YE no.1, weeks as no.1, slams, Masters, Olympics gold medals and lastly the WTF title! (My guess but I feel I’m not wrong).

        He had his plans, but playing the Laver Cup might have ruined his initial plan/schedule. When he planned his 2017 schedule, he couldn’t foresee how successful his 2017 would become, he practically went deep in all the important events except a few (IW, Canada, Cincy, Wimbledon). Perhaps he needed to skip the Asian swing, (like what Moya said, build in some longer breaks between events) after playing the Laver Cup, rested for three four weeks and then played Basel and/or Paris (depending on his physical conditions) and then WTF. Perhaps he might avoid the knee injury that way ( again my guess).

    • It’s a very good interview.

      Margo, sorry there isn’t a reply button on your posts, but it’s been mentioned elsewhere that the five years quote is a mistranslation, and should be something like “that’s a difficult question, as that would be at least five years”. Which is not to say that Rafa won’t be play for that long 🙂

      • Hi jas_uk… I saw the article only in the ATP Tour’s English language version. In which language was it done originally and the publication/outlet? Thanks

        Last year Moyà said 2-3 more years so I was buoyed by the 5-year expectation that he now has.

        RAFA ROCKS

      • For anyone interested in reading or translating Spanish, a Spanish friend suggested an article on the Spanish sports journal Marca. Type Tenis-Marca Nadal and you will find a great article on Nadal king of finals. Enjoy.

      • Thanks Puma, will take a look . Also anyone interested in purchasing a Rafa Nadal calendar can now get it on Amazon, £20.

  4. Many of the top players appear to be an army of walking wounded. With withdrawals from Abu Dhabi and Brisbane by Rafa, Novak, Stan, Kei and Andy’s hip still a problem, Roger must be rubbing his hands with glee. If Rafa’s knee is sufficiently rested in time for the AO, i’m still hopeful that he has a successful campaign. Fingers crossed for a favourable draw.

  5. The following is from marca.com, 12/29/17:

    “Nadal ha reconocido que no está “preparado” para jugar en Brisbane, que da comienzo el 31 de diciembre, aunque su intención era estar presente. Y que la razón es haber empezado tarde la pretemporada por el gran esfuerzo realizado en 2017. Lo exitoso de la temporada le exigió también mucho físicamente, aconsejó prolongar el periodo de recuperación. Ha pasado también una revisión del estado de sus rodillas con el doctor Ángel Ruiz Cotorro antes de tomar las decisiones de no jugar ni en el Golfo Pérsico ni en Brisbane.”


      • Hi Lorna, translation for the above post:

        Nadal has acknowledged that he is not “ready” to play in Brisbane, which starts on December 31, although his intention was to be present. And that the reason is to have started the preseason late because of the great effort made in 2017. The success of the season also demanded a lot physically, he advised to prolong the recovery period. He has also passed a review of the state of his knees with Dr. Angel Ruiz Cotorro before making decisions not to play in the Persian Gulf or Brisbane. “

  6. Sorry to bring all of you this news but the chances of Rafa winning AO are close to zero. Never did he return to a major without match practice and then end up winning the tournament. I think there is a very, very high chance that he pulls out of Aussie Open (he still is injured, so why would he be match fit in the next two weeks?!! – in all his injury stretches so far, he kept his fans waiting till the last moment before bringing the bad news) but if he plays, he won’t do much. A rusty Nadal, historically, is a losing Nadal.

    • More than one way to look at this. A rested Nadal can be a very dangerous Nadal. All he needs is a couple of early wins to get into the swing of things. Rafa got off to a shaky start at the US but once he started ‘feeling the ball’ – the rest is history. The flip side is, as you say, if he is indeed still injured there’s no reason to believe he can be fit for the AO. But if he has wisely chosen to take more recovery time then I wouldn’t rule him out.

      • This never ever happened in Nadal’s career. The best Aussie Open to expect is one similar to 2015.

    • VAMOS DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) You will play great & go far!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!: ) : ): ) : ) : ) VAMOS SWEETHEART & HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : )_ : ) XOXOXO

  7. A shot clock will be used for the first round of the AO. It will be used to help enforce the 25-second rule but will not override the umpire’s call, from what I have read.


  8. Rafa tweeted that he is happy to be on the cover of the new AO video game.

    He also tweeted that he is to land in Melbourne on January 4, to start his preparation for the AO.


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