“I won here seven times and for me it’s very special always to play here in these tournaments. I can win Roland Garros losing here, and I can win Roland Garros winning here. I don’t think what’s going to happen here is going to have a big impact on what can happen in two weeks, but there’s one thing that is 100 per cent sure: I’m not thinking about Roland Garros when I’m here, I’m thinking only about Rome.”
Last year, Rafa lost to Thiem in Rome, before beating him in straight sets in the semis at the French Open. Can we expect a similar pattern in 2018, or does Thiem now pose a real threat to what had appeared to be another romp at Roland Garros for Rafa? Will a win in Madrid help make Thiem a winner in Paris?
Nadal’s 75-2 record at Roland Garros should be enough to offer an early answer to that question: Probably not.
- Carlos Moya not worried about Roland Garros plans after Rafael Nadal’s loss to Dominic Thiem | sport360.com
“I don’t think so, not for us at least,” Moya said when asked if this was a setback ahead of Nadal’s title defence in Paris.
“Maybe for the opponents they are going to realise that they can have a chance to beat him, we are aware of that. But we knew it was going to be very difficult to win all the tournaments on clay.
“We knew this could happen, it happened last year in Rome and then he played amazing tennis in the French Open. So I don’t think this is going to be a step back on his preparation for Paris.”
- Somehow Rafael Nadal Got Better On Clay | fivethirtyeight.com
Even at his best in those two years, he looked well behind Djokovic, who beat Nadal seven times in a row without losing a set, including three on clay.
But instead of crumbling, Nadal has climbed back and become more dominant on clay than ever before. He’s done it with more powerful strokes, a stronger serve and more volleys — and, most important, the confidence that seemed to escape him several years ago.
PHOTOS: Pre-tournament presser in Rome
Rafael Nadal’s first practice session on grass ahead
Win or lose in the long run Rafa is happy exchanging some balls with kids and kids are happy to welcome this shining star in Rome. So this is what counts for Rafa, not dwelling on a loss.
Wamos Rafa you are the best
As Rafa said, if Thiem beats him three times in a row, then we can talk about a Thiem threat, i.e., if Thiem has learned Rafa’s game.
I am not worry for RAFA. Ok he lost the match against dominic. I loocked dominic during THE S.F and the final. His game had nothing to do with the match he played with RAFA. And he lost again Alexander. I believe in RAFA as it is a great champion. I wish him a very good tournement at roma. He still is the king of clay.
When we see what he has done since the beginning I am not sure to have in the future this model of tennisman who will procure all the pleasure we have in regarding RAFA playing tennis . Long life to you RAFA
A professional about the wins and the losses. It seems the key is to keep it all in balance. Good luck in Roma. We wish you nothing but the best, just as you always give an all out effort. As we witness the rising younger players, we realize
exactly what it requires to win even one Slam, and how amazing Rafael and Roger have been.🤗👍💪👊👏❣️
Good luck in Rome! You can do it…
It’s hard to worry when you just came off winning 2 back to back titles for the 11th time each. Besides what I admire about Rafa is he never takes any of his opponents for granted. In addition, I also admire his laser-like focus on the match at hand at the tournament he is currently playing in. He doesn’t get pre-occupied with the next match or tournament down the road until he is actually there. Paul Annacone always raves about Rafa’s point by point mentality. It’s truly amazing how Rafa operates and manages his game. Watching him play is such a rush and joy!
Rafa i am quite sure that you and your team know what you are planning,
and working on those areas that need touching up a little.
All the best for Rome,
Love and prayers,
Good luck in Rome you are going to play very well vamossssssssssssss your fans stay wining or loose with you 🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾👍❤️
Want to see you soon
All the best for Rome. Always with you. Vamos Rafa <3
Best of luck in Rome Rafa. Just concentrate on your mission… to win another Rome masters.
No importa lo que pase en Roma lo importante es el Fren Open tu debes estar bien para ese torneo, no te preocupes que la proxima tu le ganaras a Thiem estoy segura.
Whatever happens in Rome or at Roland Garros we know Rafa will give 100% in both tournaments and his fans will just enjoy seeing a healthy Rafa on the courts, and hopefully we will be celebrating the outcome
Great to hear that Stan the man is back on tour even though he has been knocked out in the first round and hopefully Andy will take Rafas’s advice and be back soon.
Rafa might not have managed to win in Madrid again this year but at least he made history by breaking Johnny Mac’s record , Denis Shapovalov also made history he broke Rafas’s record of being the youngest player to get to a semi final in Madrid- Rafa was 19 years and 138 days , Denis 19 years and 27 days.
Take rest for a few days Rafa and come back fresh and raring to go in Rome😁
Rafa adelante…despues d 50 set consecutivos una derrota es normal…damos importancia a l derrota pero lo ganado cuanto vale? Adelante para Roma y RG…siempre contigo!!!!!!! Siempre positivo…y lo conseguirás…tu eres el primero k tienes k star convenzido..xk yo si confio k lo ganaras.
I love Rafa!!!