Here’s how Rafa inspired Simona Halep

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Simona Halep’s coach Darren Cahill said Rafael Nadal has been a big motivator in the work ethic for the Romanian player:

Rafa has inspired her with what he’s been able to do, with the way he trains, with his work ethic, the way he fights for every single match no matter what the score is. He can be down 6-Love, 5-Love, 40-Love. You wouldn’t even be able to tell with him.

That, to me, is what she’s modeled the last year and a half on. No one’s going to be like Rafa. But you see a little bit of the old Simona compared to the new Simona, and she’s more like that, because she’s always had a great work ethic.

I have never had to push her on the practice court. She always gives 100%. She’s like a little Rafa on the practice court. We need to make her a little Rafa on the match court, as well.

It’s nice that her two victories, the one she had in Paris and the one she had last week [in Montreal], both coincided — we spoke about this after the match — coincided with Nadal doing exactly the same. It’s been pretty cool, actually.

Source: WTA



    Rafa could be the second player to defend his title in the 21st century.

    No male winner has won the title without having dropped a set, in the open era.

    The 2018 US OPEN will be the last Grand Slam to have 32 seeds, starting in 2019 a 16 seeding will be in place.

    Stan will play as a wildcard.

    The only major where a tiebreak at 6-6 [for singles] will be played in the deciding set.


  2. When it comes to any tennis tournament–from Grand Slams down to the Futures level–in general the better your seed, the better your draw.

    But there may be no safe haven anywhere in the 2018 U.S. Open men’s singles bracket, perhaps not even for the top eight seeds. That’s because the unseeded contingent at this year’s event features some big names, plus the 25-32 seed group is especially daunting.

    Leading the unseeded charge are three-time Grand Slam champions Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka. Also arriving in New York City without a seed are Steve Johnson, Sam Querrey, Andrey Rublev, Gael Monfils, Frances Tiafoe, Alex de Minaur, and Mischa Zverev. Those guys, of course, could face anyone–anyone–in the first round of the U.S. Open.

    As for the 25-32 seeds, they will be on course to run into the 1-8 seeds during third-round action. That could spell more first-week trouble for the top players in the world.

    Let’s take a look at the lowest–but not necessarily worst–seeding group, in order from most dangerous to least dangerous:

    30) Nick Kyrgios – Kyrgios probably can’t stay healthy enough in his current fragile state to make a serious run at Flushing Meadows. But if he can get through two matches with little trouble, he may have enough left in the tank to challenge a top-ranked foe in the third round.

    25) Milos Raonic – Like Kyrgios, Raonic can quite simply take the racket out an opponent’s hands. When the Canadian is serving well, especially on a relatively fast hard court, he can beat anyone in the world. Raonic advanced to quarterfinals at Wimbledon and the Cincinnati Masters.

    27) Karen Khachanov – Khachanov’s forehand is somewhat quirky, but it is perhaps the biggest among the sport’s up-and-coming stars. It recently carried the 22-year-old Russian to the Toronto semifinals (lost to eventual champion Rafael Nadal 7-6(3), 6-4) and to the Cincinnati third round.

    28) Denis Shapovalov – This is Shapovalov’s favorite time of year. He made a run to the Rogers Cup semis last summer and reached the U.S. Open fourth round as a qualifier. The 19-year-old Canadian has advanced to consecutive third rounds in Washington, D.C., Toronto, and Cincinnati.

    31) Fernando Verdasco – Although there is a steep drop-off following the first four players in this group, Verdasco cannot be completely discounted at 34 years old. The Spaniard played a great match against Grigor Dimitrov in Toronto (lost 7-6 in the third) and has reached the fourth round of a major in each of the past two seasons.

    26) Richard Gasquet – Gasquet’s talent is undeniable and his backhand can be one of the best in the game when it’s on, but he is past his prime at 32 years old. The Frenchman went back to clay following Wimbledon and has played only one match on hard courts this summer.

    29) Adrian Mannarino – Mannarino wields an unorthodox, change-of-pace style that almost always troubles players ranked below him, but he rarely picks up big wins over top-tier opponents. The Frenchman owns four career top-10 victories (Wawrinka, Raonic, Marin Cilic, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga).

    32) Filip Krajinovic – Krajinovic has no business being seeded, in part due to injuries and also because…well, just because. The 26-year-old Serb, whose ranking is inflated by a Paris runner-up last fall, has not won a single match since the Miami Masters in March.
    [SOURCE: TheGrandstand-Ricky]

  3. I just got an email from the Laver Cup announcing that Kyle Edmund was the final member of Team Europe. I wish Rafa the best in the Davis Cup, but am so sad that I won’t get to watch him in person in Chicago. My consolation will be watching him on TV as he goes far in the US Open. Vamos Rafa!

    • Dallas im so sorry you wont get to see Rafa in the Laver Cup. I went to Prague last year and saw him at the Laver cup there and would have been gutted if he had not been playing as that was the only reason i went. If you have tickets though – please go despite Rafa not being there as its a great tournament with a great team feeling about it. You will enjoy it I promise.

      • Hi Susie. Like you, my only reason for going was to see Rafa. My family has tickets for all 5 sessions so we are definitely still going. You will recognize me on TV because I’ll be wearing my Rafa t-shirts!

      • Excellent Dallas. I did all 5 sessions and it was tough going. Make sure you get your breaks. You will have a good time and i will defo look out for you.

  4. Hi Rafans,

    I just managed to watch the Cincinnati Final on catch-up, and have read the various comments on the significance of Djoker’s win. I understand why this apparent return to form seems threatening. But truthfully, I do not feel worried, and I do not think there will be another Djoker tear through the titles.

    Most importantly: things feel different for Rafa. We are seeing him in a new light. It feels like he has turned a corner mentally. His appreciation that he really does not need to play every tournament to do well – that his talent and experience are more powerful than he realised – seems significant to me. Witness his excellent performance at Australian Open, Davis Cup, Wimbledon, Toronto… All tournaments where he lacked the prior match practice he would usually have insisted on. I think we are seeing a new belief in himself, a sense that things can happen in any tournament now. It seems he is challenging his most restrictive mental habits.

    Relatedly, Rafa knows he is in the autumn of his career. I think he is playing for the love of it now. Of course he still wants to win – that is his nature – but I think there is an enjoyment and experimentation which is as much for the appreciation of tennis and his improvement, as it is for results. He wants to become a better player, to try new things and grow while he can – and if winning comes from that, so much the better.

    On Djokovic: he is erratic. He can be tested, and beaten, by lesser players than Rafa. True, Rafa finds the Djokovic match-up hard, but that has always been the case. Since Djoker was last dominant, Rafa has been working on his game, getting important results, and building confidence. Djoker has not come back to the same Rafa. His performance against Djoker in Wimbledon was really empowering. I sincerely believe he would have won if not for the indoor conditions. I think they both know that too. Djokovic is not a new problem, and he’s not a solved problem; I just don’t think he is any more of a problem now than he was before. Expect Rafa to lose to Djoker. Expect Djoker to lose to Rafa. The seesaw will continue.

    On Roger: he played really badly in the Cinci Final. I was surprised. Something is up with him. On his Australian Open form, he could have taken Djoker in that Final. I think Roger will go away and try to fix things. If successful, I think he will be the bigger threat to Rafa at the US Open.

    On other players: the new gen are rising and soon the kings will find it hard to maintain their dominance. I don’t think a Djoker tear is possible within the wider landscape.

    With all that said, I will be happy and excited to watch Rafa for as long as he is having fun on court. He is too good not to win some more. But I won’t be watching in expectation of that. Tennis is unpredictable, so I try not to get my hopes up or down.

    Please take my subjective opinions with a pinch of salt 🙂 I just thought I’d share the positive vibes. I feel Rafa is in a good place.

    • My thoughts exactly Alex!

      Rafa is just fine wherever he is right now, and I have great feelings about this US Open:) Can’t wait for it to start.

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