Rafael Nadal losses to Richard Gasquet at Kooyong Classic

(AAP) – Rafael Nadal appears to have passed his Australian Open fitness test with flying colours despite losing his practice match at the Kooyong Classic.

The world No.1 fell to Richard Gasquet 6-4 7-5 in their exhibition match in Melbourne on Tuesday but, more importantly, Rafa looked to be moving freely on his troublesome knee.

It was a good test for me and good practice.

I’m good and I am here so that’s good news and my idea is just to keep practicing the next couple of days to be ready for the beginning of the Australian Open.

It was a long year last year so I started my preparation a little bit later than usual. It’s good to start having the feelings of playing a match even if it’s not official.

It was Rafa’s first match in almost three months and first since withdrawing from the ATP Tour Finals in mid-November after an opening three-set loss to David Goffin.

He downplayed any concerns about his knee, saying:

If I’m not feeling good, probably I will not be here. So that’s the good news.

Rafa looked rusty with some erratic forehands but it was a big step forward as he targets a second Australian Open title. He trailed Gasquet 3-0 in the second set after going down a double break but clawed his way back to lead 5-4 only to lose his serve again.

Source: AAP


  1. Tie Break Tens scores:

    Hewitt 10-6 Djokovic
    Nadal 10-1 Pouille
    Berdych 10-8 Kyrgios
    Raonic 10-7 Thiem

    Nadal 13-11 Hewitt
    Berdych 11-9 Raonic

    Berdych 10-5 Nadal

    The good news is that Rafa’s performances “will have done no harm in building up his confidence for the Australian Open and that Nadal has “sent out a message to his rivals that he’s fit and firing for the Australian Open.”

    Needless to say, “the deep position Rafa adopted during his match vs Berdych allowed the Czech to force him wide, unable to recover across the court in time due to the speed of the surface. Probably not a tactic to employ against the biggest servers when the first Grand Slam of the year rolls around.”
    [All quotes from Metro Sport]


  2. Yes, Rafa made it to the final but Berdych beat him. TieBreakTens sure looked like loads of fun.


  3. Rafa was all dimples, smiles and excitement after beating Lleyton [13-11] at TB Tens. He was so excited he could barely speak. He said he expected a tough time against Hewitt, one of the greatest competitors.


  4. At the TB Tens, Rafa had the crowd crazy wild with excitement when he ran from one end of the court to the other end to make an unbelievable passing shot against Lleyton.

  5. Rafa didn’t win the Tie Break Tens event. Berdych takes the prize. Am waiting to find out Rafa’s score.


  6. Stan has pulled out of the Tie Break Tens exhibition event. He did say in an earlier article that he would play the AO only if there was zero chance of injury. I was hoping for him to start his 2018 season at the AO. I just hope he is ok.


  7. Rafa all the best for your continued practicing and health.

    It was VERY windy here yesterday,

    Love and prayers,


  8. Love watching : Nadal – Del Potro | USOpen 2017 Semi Final HD 60fps……VAMOS SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) You are so Speedy. Feisty. Aggressive. Brilliant. Intelligent. . I can watch replays of your matches over & over & over and OVER AGAIN….so enjoyable….& makes me smile …..: ) : ) : ) : ) ; ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) XOXOXOXO

  9. PS: Just watching :Nadal vs Wawrinka ● Roland Garros 2017 Final (HD 50fps) Highlights
    and also 2017 US open highlights against Anderson…..so much fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : )

  10. OLA OLA OLA OLA & VAMOS SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) ; ) ; ) : ) : ) Very happy you dear Rafa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) have a great week & enjoy everything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) Very happy you are out there ….playing…..practicing ……and enjoying your beautiful tennis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) ; ) After vacation It takes a little bit of time to gradually get back into the groove……. and today is Just another match….. As always, best of all is you are having fun playing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) ; ) : ) : ) : ) Enjoy everything sweetheart & VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) Even though uncle Toni is not there, you spent long enough time to have his solid coaching advise in you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) ci……ci…….ci……His strength and wisdom are still very much apart of your day to day preparation. KEEP GOING SWEETHEART !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) Enjoy your tennis dear Rafa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) No pressure…..no big deal……. nothing to prove…..just playing….and knowing your own beautiful efforts are mesmerizing and unbelievably admired. We all enjoy watching you so much SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) Fans love seeing you having fun focusing on your own game !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) AO is another point by point and match by match fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) That is all. WE LOVE YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) Lots of love & happiness and VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) Have a beautiful evening & a beautiful week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) ; ) XOXOXOXOXOXO

  11. I do not mind about the result yesterday but do care much about Rafa’s fitness. He is moving much slower than US Open 2017 which causes questions whether his right knee has been fully recovered or not?
    I really hope that Rafa could catch Federer’s slam record but in order to do that he has to win more none clay slam and AO is the key to raise momentum this season.

    I know that Rafa said he was fine but we all know what he said back last year when playing at Paris and London. I don’t mean to not trust Rafa but i do want to emphasize that the perfomance of players doesn’t lie.

    • So nice to read an objective post.

      I feel that Rafa can beat the slam record only if he stops playing as soon as he is injured. Admitting that you played while injured after having lost [Shanghai Masters] doesn’t look good. The shocker for me was when he pulled out of the FO 2016 and later found out he had been injured one or two tournaments prior to the FO. Now I find out that he was actually injured in China but carried on until London, as if all was fine. Rafa had a great 2017 so I wasn’t distressed that he didn’t finish the season. Had he stopped after China, at least there is a chance that fans wouldn’t be worried about the AO 2018.

      I also hope that his knee is completely healed but will take each match as it comes and will just hope for the best.


    • VAMOS SWEETHEART………………….. you are moving beautifully dear Rafa !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) ; ) ; ) : ) ; ) Keep it up : ) : ) : ) : ) ; )

  12. For those of you in the US, WatchESPN is streaming the TB Ten at 3:30 am EST. Thst is early early for me, but they should also replay it too. Rafa will play Lucas Pouille while Novak drew Llayton Hewitt. I don’t remember who Stan will be playing. It is one night only.

  13. The new intern needs to work on her spelling guys. Get off your holiday chair and take your website seriously again, you got a huge following, anno 2018 you cannot just ignore your website for weeks in a row. This website must be always on. Treat it more like a business instead of like a hobby, I’d say. A loss to Richie does not bode well unfortunately. Let’s see if Nadal can turn this around in time.

    • Did you read the RNF disclaimer? Here it is:
      If you would like to see Rafa’s official site, visit rafaelnadal.com. RafaelNadalFans.com is not affiliated with Rafael Nadal or anyone related to him. We do not have any personal or contact information, and we can not accept any gifts, fan mail, or inquiries for Rafa.

      The individuals who maintain this blog may all be volunteers. I personally am glad this blog exists. To demand that these volunteers be here 24/7 is asking a bit much.

      • Trust me, this website is a business. That is not an official Nadal medium does not change that. The owners could do much more with this site. It has more to offer than the official Nadal site.
        E.g. go to the slams and do interviews with Nadal and his team. They are aware of the biggest fan website for sure and will surely cooperate.

      • C’mon Jean…. Rafa and team don’t like giving interviews and of late I have seen ONLY Spanish language interviews translated into English. Of course it would be nice for Rafa and/or team to give interviews to RNF but it “ain’t gonna happen.” I think having a blog dedicated to Rafa to share thoughts with other fans is the most we can expect. This is a more civilized site as I’ve visited others and they are AWFUL.

  14. Do what you always do Rafa, pick yourself up and jump back in the race. Wishing you another stellar year.


  15. I wish you all the best Rafa good luck champ vamosssssssssssssssssss..🎾🎾🎾🎾👍👍👍👍❤️🎾🎾🎾🎾❤️👍🇺🇸🏆

    • Lily, Rafa last lost a match to Gasquet when he was 15 years old. He is 15-0 H2H. I saw most of the second set. Rafa looked more bothered by the wind than Richard. He did look rusty, but he seemed satisfied after the match. Exhibitions don’t count, and Gasquet had played already this year. I still am worried about the AO. I am just hoping he can retain his number one ranking.

      • Hi va4favre,

        I watched the whole match closely and he didn’t look comfortable or satisfied at all. If you’re talking about the exchange at the net, of course they’re very friendly with each other. They practically grow up with each other on tour and respect each other a lot.

        Rafa looked uncomfortable and tense right from the beginning. You can see he’s very expressive with his disappointment after missing a shot. His nervous serving “rituals” were also there. You would have thought it’s a serious tour level match if you didn’t know anything about it.

        I have seen most of Rafa’s exos and he had never looked tense and uncomfortable like that. At the Laver Cup he was also a bit too psyched up and you can see he didn’t play his best there. In fact he was much better in doubles than singles.

        Anyway, I think it’s a combination of various factors: tense, rusty, knee not 100%, windy, pressure, and yes, opponent. I actually thought Gasquet was not the most “convenient” opponent for him for his first match off the short injury rehab. It would be better had he played someone who has a decent H2H against him IMO.

        Gasquet despite his lopsided H2H to Rafa can always seriously trouble him in stretches when he’s on. He reads Rafa’s serve and shots and covers the court well. His biggest problem is his FH. But his BH can do damage, especially when Rafa’s FH is off, which was exactly what happened.

      • I was about to comment on his body language and ask you if you thought he was nervous. His body language was very telling, I have to agree. The incessant nose, face, shorts gestures. It didn’t help that his sleeves were sticking to his body from perspiration so he was also constantly pulling at his sleeves. I also felt he was not anticipating where the ball would land so he could strike it. He did make some nice shots, true, but he also hit the net and made some bad [out] shots. I hope Rafa finds his rhythm fast.

        RAFA ROCKS

      • Still, he didn’t have to do anything special to beat Rafa today. Rafa was simply off his game. Gasquet played no where near his best, but he’s more consistent and wasn’t under too much constant pressure on his serve like Rafa was.

        He didn’t crack. He was focused and only picked up his game here and there in the 2nd set but just like that, he beat Rafa for the 1st time since 2008. I actually “congratulated” him. I expected Rafa to lose this match from my “experience”.

        But if anything, this should only pump Rafa up. He will adjust and play better from now on for sure. Not just because he can only go up from today.

      • One more thing, Rafa’s habit.

        No one can say he didn’t play seriously and tried to win today. He was careful with his movement in the 1st set. But in the 2nd set when things got heated, he got carried away and there came those screeching slides on HC which are only punishing to his knees (e.g. the 6th game in the 2nd set when he’s trying to break Gasquet for the 2nd time to level the set).

        It was really uncomfortable watching him being reckless like that, especially in slow motion replay. I don’t like to say it but he’s no Novak. He’s far less flexible, heavier and has had troublesome knees for years, while Novak does not. I definitely he should be extremely careful with sliding on HC and more importantly, try not to put himself in that position as often as he still does. Remember, he’s pushing 32 already.

        Sorry for the long comment. I didn’t intend to say anything about this match, only wanted to see his other matches before giving any remarks.

        Again, I’m sure he will adjust and play better tomorrow and the next Kooying match. Personally I just hope his knees are alright and he will be more relaxed and play freely.


      • I would have been surprised had you not commented on his Gasquet match. You have to know your analyses are appreciated. Like pointing out his sliding on HC. I cringed when I saw that. I also think he missed some shots because he was too far back.

        Hopefully he is in no pain and his knee has healed. If he has met these two criteria, he should be fine.

        RAFA ROCKS

      • Margo, how did you reply directly to the my 1/3 comment? I don’t see any reply buttons under those so this reply will be at the bottom as usual, since I can only click reply to the “nearest” comment that has the reply option.

        Anyway, as for Rafa’s body language and facial expressions, yes, all those are too familiar and telling, especially with his fans who have watched him closely over the years.

        He was tense and frustrated a lot. And the conditions didn’t help at all in his first “comeback” match. (I know, it’s an exo, “it means nothing”, but that doesn’t deny the fact that he played it like a “real match”.)

        His timing was super off, no doubt about that. Serve and FH was erratic. Movement was okay, but that doesn’t tell much for various reasons.

        He’s for sure the best wind player on tour but Gasquet ended up being the calmer player and better adjuster today. It’s either Rafa’s nerves, or his body, or both.

        ATM we can’t really tell anything yet. Just have to wait to see him play more, especially in a better conditions.

        But one thing is sure, he needs a to work a lot on his serve. Everything starts from there.

      • Heya Rainier, I may have answered to you through your reply to va4favre. Not positive because I was getting ready to ask you about Rafa’s body language when I noted that you answered va4favre so I had to revise my question. Make sense?

        OK, I thought maybe I was just super distracted watching him. Haven’t seen him like that in a while.

        Yes, his serve. I can’t recall the article but it stated he was practicing/working “only on his serve.”

        Hoping he calms his nerves.

        RAFA ROCKS

      • @Margo again:

        “I would have been surprised had you not commented on his Gasquet match. You have to know your analyses are appreciated.”

        Thanks, Margo. I actually don’t comment that much.You wouldn’t see me in the majority of the threads actually. I only write super long comments at times and don’t expect most to read those. You’re very dedicated to this site and might read everything, including my ramblings. So thanks.

        “Like pointing out his sliding on HC. I cringed when I saw that. I also think he missed some shots because he was too far back.”

        I don’t like to say this but I cringed when watching those in slow motion as well. His return position will remain his Achille’s heel if he still insists on being conservative. Toni has been persuading him for years to take the ball earlier and of course Moya shares the view as well.

        But imo, losing this match is not that bad. It’s to be expected, at least to me (yes I know about Gasquet and the H2H and all). Unless his body/nerves fail him or he blamed the loss on the wind, which I’m sure he doesn’t, we will see better results in the next couple of days, and of course an all-business Rafa at the AO.

      • Rainier, no you don’t comment much so I used the incorrect terminology. Thanks for the correction. BUT, I along with other fans await and DO read your analyses. So there!!! LOL

        I wasn’t worried about this match either because he hasn’t been in competition for two months. Like Stan recently said, “practice is different from playing a match.” You’ve got to play matches to be competitive is my read.

        RAFA ROCKS

      • Margo
        Heya Rainier, I may have answered to you through your reply to va4favre. Not positive because I was getting ready to ask you about Rafa’s body language when I noted that you answered va4favre so I had to revise my question. Make sense?

        Not so sure but I think it I have an idea. I want to make this comment short as I’ve been taking too much space on here already so I just leave it at that. Not too convenient here, the reply option, I have to say.

        As for Rafa’s serve, yes. He needed it the most, shot-wise. Naturally he must be feeling not too confident about it after almost 3 months of practising very very little on it. I actually have this idea that maybe doing the ball juggling drill like Fed does will help him with his toss. For some reason he has never had the best toss. Don’t know if it’s his nerves or something to do with this handedness.

    • Thank you for the link Rainer , will watch when I have picked Miss Holly up from the vets🐕, would you be able to post the link for his next match if you have time 😀

      • You’re welcome, Maria. It was live streaming so there’re ads between every game, which can be very annoying. Now it’s a replay but they still haven’t removed the ads, hence the “pardon”.

        I’ve just searched and there’s this newer link with no ads:

        I’ll post the live stream link for his next match on Thursday, not just the replay. I think he will adjust and play better. Will you be watching the Tiebreak Ten tomorrow?

        Is Holly feeling unwell or it’s just a normal checkup? Double 😘😘 to wish her well / well-groomed :p.

      • Hi Rainer , worth watching the ads if I get to see Rafa play thank you for the link , and thank you in advance for the Thursday one , it’s much appreciated . What time is the Tiebreak Ten on ?
        Holly is on medication for her liver and pain killers for her spine , but she has to see the vet regularly as in September she was diagnosed with diabetes , so they need to keep checking her insulin levels, but she’s taking it in her stride

      • Oh I’m so sorry to hear that, Maria. Poor Molly. But if you are relaxed and encourage her, which I’m sure you are and do, chances are she’s relaxed and not too worried too. The stride thing put a smile on my face. 🙂 Best wishes for her health. 🍀🍀🍀🐕

        The TB10 will be on Sky at 8:30am UK time tomorrow. As for the Kooyoong links, I only steal links from youtube since this even is not broadcasted outside the AUS, so I don’t deserve all the thanks really. But you’re welcome. 🙂

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