Rafa Roundup: Are you excited for another practice session between Nadal and Sharapova?

(Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)


By recording his 83rd clay-court victory in an astonishing 85 matches at the Grand Slam championship, over Germany’s Maximilian Marterer in the fourth round, Nadal has followed in the footsteps of Jimmy Connors (1,056), Roger Federer (1,149), Ivan Lendl (1,068) and Guillermo Vilas (949).

“I love the spirit that he carries on with, the focus,” said Sharapova. “He only knows how to go at 100 per cent. In Rome, he was practising for three hours a day. He knows that that’s what works for him and he’s going to deliver that no matter his age, no matter the injuries. That’s incredibly admirable, because the older you get in this sport, the more physical it is, the tougher on the body.”

Nadal also has positive memories of his brief hit with Sharapova in Rome. “It was a good practice for me [because] I won the tournament there,” he said with a grin. “Was good fun, yeah. Am ready to do it again any time.”

Diego is super-quick around the court and he’s extremely talented. Even though he lost, he showed his toughness against Rafa at the Australian Open and at the Mutua Madrid Open earlier this year. Rafa will have to be on top of his game because there’s no room for error at this stage. But I know Rafa, and I’m sure he’ll be bringing his best against Diego.

“Everybody thought I practised on clay all my life, and it’s not true. I practiced a lot on hard court when I was a kid. I practised on clay, too, but a lot on hard,” Nadal said. “During all my career, my game adapted very well to this surface and I’ve had amazing success. Honestly, I had success on all the surfaces and I worked hard to be the best player possible on all the surfaces.”

“I played with him at the academy, but I’m never going to invite him again, because every time he comes, he comes out much better,” joked Nadal on Monday.

“I want to play always with him, because now with my ranking, I know if I play against him it’s going to be in the good rounds,” said Schwartzman. “Obviously it’s nice to play against him, he’s my friend, we have a good relationship outside the court and I think many matches against him I have a few chances – not to beat him but to do better matches than I’ve done in the past.” He joked during his press conference when he was asked about his latest visit to the Rafa Nadal Academy: “I took his secrets. He has all the recipes.”

“One time I have a big discussion with Pato Clavet,” Toni begins. “Pato believes it is his job to make sure his player has everything in order to play his best; racquets perfect, water, balls, and like this. And I say, ‘this is not my opinion.’ If Rafa forgets his water, I say, ‘Well, it is your problem, today you don’t drink water.’ My work is not to bring water. Do you want to be a professional coach or a waiter?”


  • Tribute: Rafa Joins 900-Match Win Club | ATP World Tour


  1. Just woke up! Nearly had a heart attack looking at the score. I knew schartzman would be difficult but definitely was not expecting this. Good luck for tomorrow Rafa. Vamos

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