VIDEO: Here Are The Best Points Rafael Nadal Played At 2018 US Open

Watch Rafael Nadal perform amazing drop shots, touch lobs and blistering backhands!


  1. I really feel that Rafa should just skip Beijing and Shanghai, gets six weeks off to recover and then works on his serve.

    I feel his relatively weak serve had led to his ‘downfall’ at both Wimbledon and USO. Imagine he having a better serve, he couldve won some cheaper points and shortened the match against Delpo. With a better serve, who knows he could serve perhaps an ace DTT on set point in the TB (in both the Delpo and the Djoko matches) and won the set instead of losing both of them and then had to play another set in both matches.

    In the past, Rafa could always do that to win the set but nowadays, without a good serve, he tends to falter, like DF or makes the wrong decision with his shot selection, when an ace down the T could finish the job. I strongly believe that had Rafa won the third set TB in the SF against Djoko, he would come back to win the match in four the following day, roof or no roof.

    With a better serve, he might not have to go five sets vs Thiem, might not play four sets in his two earlier rounds that he spent so much time on court that his already sore knee suffered even more.

    He made the mistake of playing with knee issues at Paris Masters and WTF last year; I hope he doesnt make the mistake of wanting to keep his no.1 ranking that he rushes back too soon to play at Beijing and Shanghai.

    After six weeks rest and with an improved serve, maybe he could play at Vienna (I read that the Vienna tournament director is fighting hard to have Rafa there at Vienna). If Rafa plays at Beijing, I dont think he will want to play at Vienna, but if he skips Beijing to recover, then its a possibility as he can slowly ease back into competition, be more prepared for Paris Masters and WTF.

    I think Rafa’s game is fine except his serve, I feel his hip and knee issue affected his serve, noticed that he couldnt push hard on his knee hence his first serve ended at the net often. He rarely hit his BH CC at the USO I noticed, which might be because of his sore knee.

    Since coming back from hip issue, his serve really suffered, hence he wasnt able to be as aggressive as in 2017, but on clay hes still fine. He had already done very well on grass at Wimbledon, to reach the SF without a great serve, if he had a better serve, he would be holding the trophy there!

    All is not lost regarding his no.1 ranking; Djoko may not sweep up the rest of the tournaments, physically hes not able to do so imo, after the physically taxing USO. Djoko still has Laver Cup to play and with only one week break after that the Beijing Open begins followed by Shanghai. Djoko is no spring chicken, he wont be able to win week after week. Imo, Djoko was very fortunate that the draw at USO opened out nicely for him – no Fed in the QF, no Cilic in the SF and no Rafa in the final. A healthy Rafa would definitely be a much tougher opponent than a Delpo in the final.

    • Hi Luckystar,

      Interesting to read your comments about the usefulness and overall significance of a clean first serve. They chime with my own. I note that Roger’s first serve (excepting his recent wobbles) is not very fast, yet extremely effective because it is so accurately placed.

      It sounds like you are locating the hip injury as the source of trouble with Rafa’s serve this year (which was then exacerbated by the more recent knee flare-up). Is that your own observation, or has it been discussed elsewhere?

      Best wishes,

      • I KNOW!! Imagine the damage Rafa would do with a killer first serve that helps him get out of trouble!

        Actually it would be interesting to see the stats of players performance from 15-40 down and 30-40 down. I have a feeling Rafa usually ends up in that situation in tough matches and ends up getting his serve broken. On the positive side, it makes his achievements that much more amazing that he could win so much without a huge serve. Anyway that’s what I think. But it’s raining, so who knows?

        I’m not sure Rafa can suddenly develop a more potent serve at this stage in his career. He finds a way to win at the cost of longer matches and more stress on his body. Oh well, that is life.

      • Hiya Mac,

        That’s the crux of the matter for me: *can* he develop a more potent first serve at this stage in his career? If yes, why doesn’t he? If not, why not? It seems all commenters on here agree that an improved first serve would give direct and indirect benefits. But there are different views for the reason it hasn’t happened this year.

        I’m sure there is much that we fans don’t know or understand. But we remain interested.

        Your other point: I think of Rafa as having a high percentage recovery when he’s down on his serve…cos he’s so used to it! It doesn’t seem to freak him out the way it does some other players. But that’s my biased memory; not statistics 🙂

      • Hi Alex,

        I’d discussed this with others on different website; I think most of us felt that his hip injury was the main cause of his serve issues.

        Rafa need not have a big serve, when he’s serving well, he wins with good placements and varieties more than by sheer pace. In 2017, he didn’t have a big first serve, but good enough to have a good first serve %; but it’s second serve back then that’s the revelation. He had won a high % of second serves, highest among all players, amazing! And, because he could rely on his second serves to win points, he wasn’t that nervous when serving his first serves (I think that helped him mentally).

        The 25 seconds rule didn’t help him, esp when he was in a slump during 2015/2016. His second serve back then was vulnerable and often being attacked. I think Moya did a good job when he joined Rafa’s team, encouraging Rafa to be more attacking, helped improved his second serve so that Rafa need not feel pressurized by the 25 sec rule when he could rely on his second serve to win points.

        I think if Rafa could say take a few weeks for rehab and then practices to improve his serve, he will do well during the indoor HC season, as he will be physically fresh. It’s important he has good knees, good body to start with, as when he’s fit and healthy then he could play his best tennis.

  2. Who has a update about nadal injury. I read today that he probably will play beijing is that true personally i like him skip that tournament and come back in sjanghai.

    If Rafa retires i think both him and roger will be active in the tennis sport. I think roger as a analyst for bbc i do not see him being a coach. rafa on the other hand will put his time and effort in the academy and try to develop new talent. and nole will be the next president of serbia

  3. I listened to a Telegraph tennis podcast over the weekend, in which David Law and Catherine Whitaker discussed Rafa’s injury and what the big four might do once they retired. They thought that Roger might become the ceo of some company, Novak would go into politics, Andy may be a coach or an analyst, but they were worried about what Rafa might do. Considering his hunger and passion for the sport, they wondered what would fill the huge void after he hangs up his raquet. Ok, Rafa has his academy and foundation, but they wondered whether this would be enough. His excitement and exuberance is clear to see, not only in individual tournaments, but also at the Davis Cup and Laver Cup, so they figured that he would best channel his energy into coaching of some sort.

    I don’t want to think too much about the retirement of these great players (especially Rafa), because I want to enjoy watching them for as long as possible. Win or lose, Rafa’s matches are exciting in terms of the competion, drama and intrigue, so long may he play, as nothing compares.

    • Hi Lorna. Rafa will probably start a fishing company and be at sea all day:)

      I don’t want to think about Rafa retiring, it’ll make me sad and I’ll start feeling some sort of emptiness. Even if Rafa takes the rest of the year off, at least I have the AO to look forward to next year:) Now imagine having nothing to look forward to!!!!!

      But how about Ms. Osaka?? Well done to her! I hope she’s the future of tennis. NextGen? It’s all happening on the women’s side!

      • Hi Mac. Yes, Rafa loves fishing but i think he’d go stir crazy! 🙄. Anyway, congratulations to Naomi for a match played with power, grace and calm. Serena’s frustration and anger was a borne out of her losing the first set and not being able to wrestle back control. I understand that there was a lot on the line for her, but she saw red mist and went too far. The finger of blame should be pointed at her smug coach, Mouratoglou, who has tried to deflect the heat from himself on to other coaches and players. I reckon she does have a point about the inconsistency in enforcing the rules and sexism, but the time to seriously address this is off the court in consultation with the relevant authorites, other players and people like Billie Jean King, who has some influence.

        Lots of players (including Serena’s sister) have been penalised for coaching but they did not let it get to them to that extent throughout the whole match. However, this entire affair does raise several issues, including whether the coaching rules should remain and be enforced strictly or whether they should be scrapped to allow coaching across the board. It’s clear that the umpires (who receive a pittance in pay, apparently) have reached the end of their tether with the abuse and lack of support and are looking to form a union.

        I respect Serena for all that she has achieved, but i hope that in the cold light of day when all the dust has settled, she reflects and wishes she’d handled things differently.

    • Wow very well said Lorna! Indeed Serena should have stopped the tirade after 2 violations. Also she needs to talk to her coach:)

      Racquet smashing? Serena lost me at that. But the beautiful and determined play of Naomi is what got into Serena’s head. She’s got no sympathy from me for Sunday’s events. But I still want to see her win 2 more slams.

      Sad that the umpire didn’t get any support for a while until the ITF today made a statement that he was right in giving out the violations (of course the way he went about it is debatable). And sadder that umpires get low pay. They’re under such scrutiny and pressure.

    • Rafa may play professional golf, as he also loves golf. Golf may not be too physically strenuous and yet it’s competitive enough perhaps to satisfy Rafa’s competitive nature. He said he loves football, tennis and golf; since he will be too old for football after he retires from tennis, golf is the remaining option.

      Fishing and yachting may be his leisurely pleasures, more for relaxation than for competition. I heard he’s also involved in the management of Real Madrid, perhaps one day he’ll be the president of RM but that I heard will be when he’s in his 40s (to qualify for the post of president of the club).

      Fed had said earlier he wished to play exho matches with Rafa after they both retired, so they may spend some time traveling the world together playing exhos.

      I think Fed’s very involved with the running of the atp tour; I feel one day he’ll be the president of ATP; he’ll be very involved with tennis his whole life time. He has his own management company managing some tennis players who signed with his company. He’s business minded.

      As for Djoko, I feel he will be great as a diplomat, and I also think that one day he’ll be the president of Serbia. But before that, he’ll set up some academies to help in promoting tennis or sports in general. He also said that after tennis he wants to play professional golf.

      Andy Murray had once said he would want to build a sporting school in his home town, so he’ll be very involved in sports after he retires.

      • I’d love to see Rafa play professional golf and, you’re spot on that this could fulfil his competitive nature. Although, Rafa has said in the past that he didn’t think this would happen because he would be starting too late:(

        The current President of Real Madrid Florentino Perez has stated ‘Rafa is probably the greatest Real Madrid ambassador in the world‘. ‘Sooner or later, Rafa may become the Madrid president’. ‘Rafael Nadal would be an ideal selection for Real Madrid presidency.’ Rafa would be eligible in 2031 at 45yo as you have to be a honorary member for 20 years. In the interim, Rafa has the ‘Rafa Nadal Open’ tennis tournament which Bernard Tomic just won, as well as the Academy so, no doubt, he’ll have plenty to keep himself busy once that horrible day arrives when he retires.

        Nole in politics? I’d be a little concerned because this is a man that sacked his entire team as soon as he had a downtown and, because he does appear to have a big ego, I’d question his re-known spirituality as a ‘messiah complex.’ All this can translate to someone who is very self-serving. But then this would be a typical politician LOL. Don’t be offended by this comment, it’s just the frustrated psychologist in me. I’ve seen a very caring and honest side of Nole and this, I think, will prevail.

        Enough of me rattling on, just thought I’d put my tuppence worth into an interesting conversation!

      • Hi Luckystar. I like your thoughts on what carrier path these top guys will take after playing on the circuit. One thing is for sure, there are plenty of things they could choose to do. The future looks bright! 😀

    • Hi Lorna,

      I listened to that episode too. I think it’s highly likely that Rafa will want to stay close to the action after retirement; I think they mentioned Davis Cup captaincy as an example. With his passion for team sport, I can see that clearly. I’m sure he’d also play loads of exhibition matches.

      I generally find The Tennis Podcast very informative and insightful.

      Best wishes,

      • Yes, Alex. I like the tennis podcast for the same reasons. it’s also done in a relaxed way – rather like having an informal discussion in the living room.

  4. RNF it’s time you removed this person Jason Snake Island. I know they can incarnate as someone else but, at least cause him this inconvenience. Everyone has the freedom of speech and right to opinion but it’s off putting and offensive to true Rafa fans to see nasty trolls on here that have nothing but a sick agenda to promote.

      • Hello Susie, Jason was a notorious troll on here that masqueraded as a fan for a while. I think he was finally removed. I suspect it’s the same person. The style is very similar.

      • I saw somewhere Jason Beer with similar comments so believe Jaybeer and Jason are one and the same. Could be wrong of course! Either way, trolls shouldn’t be able to get a foothold on this site.

  5. Our congratulations goes out to Rafa for sticking to our advice that he should just play to lose against Delpo, so that he does not end up embarrassing himself and his fans in the final against Djokovic. Congrats, Rafa, you really took a wise decision to opt out of the match after set 2 with Delpo.

    Your Head to Head (H:H) with the Djoker (the GOAT) is already embarrassing as it is, and any further loss to Djokovic will only worsen the H:H. We know you’re well aware of this hence you decided to run to fight another day, another time.

    But, will there be another day, another time against Djokovic? As it is, Djokovic is set to achieve another run of 4 Grand Slams (yes, including the French Open) at once next year and nobody can stop him.


    But, as always, we’d see…………………………hmmn

    • Maria (Jason troll) Snake Island. Lets face facts here, almost half of all Novak’s wins over Rafa have been during 14/15/16 when Rafa was in the worse physical condition of his career; appendicitis, wrist injury and ongoing tendinitis. 12 wins out of 26 wins over Nadal are from the end of 2013 onwards, coincidentally when Rafa took a massive physical downturn and was being ‘retired’ by the media. Only then was Novak able to overtake the HtoH at the end of 2016. That’s 11/12 years with Rafa front running. Let’s face another fact, the best thing to ever happen to Novak was Rafa’s injuries. It took the best to beat Rafa even with his injuries. Give Novak his due, he’s a brilliant player and has always been a fierce competitor for anyone and a great match-up to Rafa but Djokovic will always be 3rd in line. One year between them, Rafa still has 3 more slams on the hardest surface and leads in masters. Novak remains fit, good on him, but what he’s achieved has been aided by Federer aging and Rafa slowing.

      Now go find the attention you so desperately need elsewhere. No one’s buying your crap.

  6. I think if delpo plays his best he might have a chance against Novak or anyone. Only, he doesn’t have Novak’s killer instinct – nobody does. That’s his strongest weapon. I hope and pray that what somebody said about Novak winning ……. grand slams doesn’t ever happen.
    Mjus I hope you are right in what you say about Rafa. Wish soooo much for him to win and win relatively easily. Most of all to beat Novak and roger once again.
    Rafa love you!!! ❤️😘😍🍀🍀🍀

  7. Alas, it wasn’t to be for DelPo. I can’t warm to Novak, but I respect the fact he was the better player and just too strong for DelPo. Moving forward, I’m eager to know the extent of Rafa’s knee injury and how long he’s expected to be paway from the game.

  8. It is unbelievable how dominant the top four is in grandslam only wawrinka broke the streak of winning grandslams

  9. well there it is congratulations novak but you have to win four to surpass nadal. And nadal in form is the only one who can threaten you and stopping you. But rafa and you are going to decide the fate of roger record and i really hope that he will be the first one surpassing roger

    And by the way i am looking very forward to the rest of the season i hope that rafa can compete with you novak for the sjanghai, paris and atp finals.

    But the real test will be australian open 2019 will you again denied rafa a second australian open title like you did in 2012 i certainly hope not.

    I feel sorry for del potro he will win a second grandslam but only if he does not face nadal, murray or nole he just can not beat them in a final

    He was simply not good enough to compete in the final against nole. That makes the loss of rafa more difficult.

    Del Potro beat a injured rafa otherwise rafa would have won and be in the final against nole and i think he would have given nole more competition.

  10. The rest of the season is going to be interesting as well als next season with the top 3 at the highest level.

  11. well the us open final is on his way to be a one sided final as i predicted del potro has no chance against djokovic.

    Del Potro is playing horrible against nole

  12. I just want to say to Rafa Thank you for wearing sleeveless shirts while at the U.S. Open. You made me and probably allot of other Ladies very happy. We love seeing your muscles and it puts a rather nice smile on my face so Thank you so much.
    love ya Rafa
    Kathie a Huge Fan in the U.S.A.

  13. Hi Alex! I know what you mean about not wanting to see these highlights just yet:)

    But how about Naomi Osaka last night!! Sorry I didn’t add to your comments on the below thread regarding that match.

    The girl played excellently and even without the Drama, Serena was getting outplayed. The game they took away from her was harsh, but again I believe Naomi would have held her serve anyway.

    I saw what Serena’s coach said about Rafa receiving coaching from Toni, and my blood boiled! Leave my champ out of your drama please! The buck stops with you sir, try not to point fingers and share the blame. Shame on Mouratoglu. He’s the reason for all that drama in the first place.

    Too bad that Naomi’s first slam win was overshadowed by such drama. But she held up her composure pretty well! Sort of like that poem says, she kept her head while everybody was losing theirs. Doesn’t Serena read that poem as well every Wimbledon final?? Or is it just the men?

    Serena should have stayed focused I think. No matter what the umpire did, her reaction was not that of a 24 times champion and top lady of the sport with all of her experience. And she lost her case when she broke her racket. But then Rafa has spoiled me with his composure and ability to put things behind him (even though he also told Carlos Bernardes at one tournament a while ago that he would never umpire his matches again:):)

    Another long post. susie would not be pleased:) But Susie wouldn’t mind:) That comment confused me until the real Susie showed up:)

    Good day everyone!!

    (Whisper “Go Delpo!!”)

    • Lol. No need to whisper. GO DEL POTRO. I agree. Really want him to stop Novak getting his second grand slam of the year. Keeping this short for the other Susie’s sake!!

  14. Very sad and disappointed to see Rafa go after his great performance at the US Open. Get well Rafa!

  15. Sorry, I am too disappointed and not ready to watch this yet 😢

    Will look forward to it in a few days or so.

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