Rafa Roundup: “After 13 years and 10 titles at Roland Garros, Nadal hasn’t discovered his limit”

Photo by Nicolas Gouhier / FFT


A Better Showing Than Tuesday: This is the norm with Rafa: He starts off slowly at Grand Slams and builds momentum. The first two rounds have been a feeling-out process. He’s not at his best yet, but as the level of competition improves, so will his level of play.

Room For Improvement: Again, the score sheet doesn’t tell the whole story. Nadal was aggressive and played well, but he didn’t dominate throughout, as the final score suggests. He’s settling down, set by set, but he still has a way to go.

“Being 100 per cent honest with you, I think is a good rule, because there is a lot of money on the Slams. For a lot of players, that they are inside the tournament of a Grand Slam and they have a physical problem in that week, just playing tournament helps a lot to save the year,” said Nadal.

“So I believe is fair that if they are inside and they have the chance to retire than keep winning the money is win to win, no? The tournament wins because there is no bad players or sick players playing, and for them, he deserve, because he made the right things to be there and he deserve that prize money so they still get it.”

Noah, the only French man since 1946 to win at Roland Garros when he beat Wilander in the 1983 final, says you have to think outside of the box to beat Nadal.

“I’d serve under arm and I’d hit only drop shots,” he jokes in an interview with Cash for CNN’s Open Court at Roland Garros.

“And if he’s at the net I’d hit it at him. You have to try something.”

Afterward, Rafa was asked in Spanish how an athlete knows what his “limit”—his top level—is.

“I think this famous limit doesn’t exist because we don’t know where it is,” he said.

“But there certainly is a limit, but I can’t think there is one because I don’t know where it is. I don’t know. We can’t decide where it is.”

After 13 years and 10 titles at Roland Garros, Nadal hasn’t discovered his limit. But along the way he’s helped a lot of his opponents including, Pella, find theirs.

While his forehand is explosive and his backhand is relentless, it’s possible Nadal’s greatest advantage is that he turns an element of the game that’s a weakness for so many others into a weapon: the second serve. He has had more success on his second serve than any player in tennis history, and on clay, his prowess here is even more pronounced.

In his career, Nadal has won 56.7 percent of his second-serve points on clay. In the past year, he’s upped that percentage to 66.4 percent. For most pro players, anything better than break-even on second serve is considered good. Nadal has taken the safety net of the sport and turned it into a battle ax.



  1. How nice to see Rafa play a few shots with the ball boy , could he get anymore adorable 😍

  2. No & Nadal never will 🔥😎👍🎾👀. 👑that’s what makes him the best Gold Coast Australia 🇦🇺

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Great second set , Ninja Rafa is certainly giving Gasquet the runaround🏃

    • Rafa took his foot off the pedal and gifted his good friend a couple of games. No big thing as normal service is resumed.

  4. Good luck today Rafa, go out and believe in yourself and a week tomorrow you will be holding your beloved trophy 🏆 for the eleventh time . I am still praying for some hot sunshine 🌞 in Paris🗼but if the weather forecast is to be believed it is showers☔ and thunderstorms⚡ all week, though it might make it more challenging I know nothing will stand in your way .

  5. Of course I love Rafs and have never missed a match in 15 years. This may not be the place but I must comment on the opposite of Rafa–players like Djokovic. It was pretty disgusting to see him today throw a tantrum during his match with a very competent player. He beat his racquet to pieces and should have received a fine and a penalt How childish and what an example of bad temper and bad sportsmanship and what a bad example for young fans and his own wife and Children of how not to behave and be a gentleman. He should have had uncle Toni as a mentor and he’d never have gotten away with that behavior. Waphat a spoiled, immature baby who is supposed to be a hero athlete and a husband and father and such a lack of self control.
    Thank God and the Nadal family for our Rafa! What a fantastic example of sportsmanship, character and a role model for young men and women of sport.

    • It is a further scandal that like Zverev he did not get punished for racquet abuse.

      Wamos Rafa, you are the best.

  6. Rafa in all aspects of life both on and off the tennis court you seek to reach for the highest goal possible.

    As said above this is enormously motivating for all of us who get to see you play,
    and for those who know you personally.

    Your family, team and friends I am sure must be buoyed by this at all times.

    love and prayers,


  7. The message is being lost……..the key word with my view of Rafa Nadal is the word “striving”. He has impressed me over the last ten years as a beacon of hope that shines and inspires so many others to improve ,not only themselves but all humanity. Rafa seems to never give up. This has always been key to my own experience. Losses are part of life….sad Yes absolutely , but he helps us to cope with a loss by his sound regrouping . We all understand this ,but it’s such a reinforcing positivewhensomeone as young, handsome and talented asRafa Nadal demonstrates this by example. True, losing a match of tennis does not compare with losing a loved one but in so many small ways it re assures us in our path to recovery. All power to the Rafas of this world. I for one just ,plain love you. Jean Palmer. Winnipeg MB Canada.

Leave a Reply