Carlos Moya reveals what happened to Rafael Nadal after the US Open final

Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

Less than five hours after a gruelling 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 win against Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final, Rafael Nadal was so physically exhausted that he even was cramping up in the locker room. Speaking to Spanish radio station SER, his coach Carlos Moya said:

In the toughest moments you try to cheer him up, you make him see that the opponent is also tired even if you make it up (laughs).

You try to hold his head, it was an incredible mental battle, it reminded me of a boxing match.

After the game, they gave him cramps in the locker room, he couldn’t even wear jeans, I had to help him. He was dead.

Moya thinks that our champ still has his best years ahead of him:

I believe that Rafa Nadal has not reached the ceiling, there have been timely tournaments and matches in which he has played at his highest level.

But there is still room for improvement and to be more regular. We will continue working on it, so no one doubts.


  1. Rafa me alegro d q estés bien.. Tienes un físico increible gracias a ti q tienes genética d deportista eres fuerte y afemás tienes un gran equipo q te cuida y mima.. Pero d todas formas cuidate q las cosas con el tiempo pasa factura.. Solo decirte que siempre estarenos contigo mientras que estés en pista y después.. Nos dejarás histori para siempre recordarte.. Y que tengais un dia feliz en tu dia de boda y no solo ese dia si no siempre.. TE QUEREMOS!!!

  2. Rafa was so exhausted he couldn’t even get into his jeans..that cant be good for Rafa never mind other players..but then again no other player gives to their game likes our Champion.

    • I think you misread the article ….. he couldn’t wear his jeans because of the cramps, not because of exhaustion. Let’s not contribute to fake news because of lack of comprehension.

  3. During the match, it sure looked like Rafa was giving all he had. It looked so exhausting. I’m glad he’s resting. I hope he gets all the rest he needs in every way.

    So glad he won and is happy!

  4. Yesterday’s ATP-Nadal interview

    ATP: US Open champion discusses his latest Grand Slam triumph and what the future holds.

    Time catches up with everyone. Even the greatest of athletes are not immune to its effects. Rafael Nadal is fully aware of the principles of aging, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t doing everything in his power to stave off its effects and delay the coronation of the next generation of tennis stars. The 33-year-old has thrived at the highest level on the ATP Tour for 15 seasons, racking up 19 Grand Slam trophies and achieving numerous milestones along the way.
    Despite his wide-ranging success, the Spaniard is quick to point out that every new achievement is unique and special. No. 2 in the ATP Rankings, Nadal works hard to ensure he still performs at his best every time he competes, just as he did to capture his latest crown: a fourth US Open title on Sunday. He currently trails only Roger Federer (20) in major titles.
    Now back in Mallorca and resting after his epic five-set battle against Daniil Medvedev at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York just a few days earlier, Nadal spoke with at a small media gathering to discuss his victory at Flushing Meadows, the recovery process, his plans for the rest of the year and his state of mind.

    Q. You became emotional after watching highlights of your US Open victory.

    Rafa: You have to understand the circumstances. The last three hours were especially hard for me; I had the match practically won. Thinking back, I realise how things suddenly took a turn [in Medvedev’s favour] and how quickly matters spun out of my control.

    The situation reached a point so critical, I went from on the cusp of winning to on the verge of losing. Up until that third set, I was on course to win, but he took command from that point on. I realise not only how much we both fought, but what we put ourselves through, mentally and physically, before he showed a moment of weakness and I broke through.

    Q. Over the past several weeks, you’ve stated on several occasions that you’re “getting older”. Does that mean you “feel” older?

    Rafa. No, I don’t feel any older than my age! I feel what I am. I’m 33 years old. I’ve always thought that I don’t know when my last victory will come. But I feel as though I’m going through a solid phase in my career.

    I’m simply aware as the years go on and I get older, I can’t lose sight of the reality of the situation. You must take better care of yourself, make wiser decisions and while you were able to play a lot more matches when you were younger, it’s important to be more selective as you get older. You must be calculating and put a lot of thought into what’s going to be most beneficial to extend your career.

    ATP. On Sunday, you became the first player in the Open Era to win five Grand Slam titles after turning 30. Not too long ago, many experts of the sport were saying that wasn’t a realistic feat.

    Rafa. My motivation has never been to disprove what others say about me or to demonstrate that I can do things others can’t. I stay away from all of that, not just in tennis but in my daily life as well. Ambition and motivation must be driven from the inside, not by any outside forces. I surround myself with positive energy and operate at the best of my abilities.

    ATP. Apart from what others felt, did you have your own doubts?

    Rafa. Just as many have doubted that I could play on for so many years, I’ve had and will always have my own doubts. But here I am. It’s something I take day by day, and I’m satisfied with this approach. Above all, if my body allows me to train at a high level on a daily basis, I’ll continue to play as I’m still passionate about tennis. I enjoy setting goals and I relish the competition.

    ATP. Coach Carlos Moya said after the final that, in terms of emotion and significance, this was the most significant victory since he joined your team. Would you also rate it among your best matches?

    Rafa. I haven’t watched the match again! (Laughs) I’ve only played through it and, without seeing it, it’s hard to comment on that. When you’re out there in the heat of the moment, you’re nervous and it’s impossible to process anything but what you have to do to win. The final definitely had all the ingredients necessary for a compelling, remarkable match that won’t be forgotten anytime soon, but I’d have to watch it from start to finish in order to give you my verdict as to where it stands among my best matches.

    ATP. You haven’t discussed the possibility of reclaiming the No. 1 ATP Ranking, despite a brilliant season thus far. Instead, you maintain the goal is to be competitive for as long as possible.

    Rafa. Being competitive is one of my biggest motivators and I always aspire to be my best. My goal is to give myself the best possible options to compete at the highest level in the biggest tournaments for as long as possible. In order to achieve this goal, I’ve obviously been constraining myself to a less busy calendar. This year I’ve played only 11 events, and I don’t know how many I’ll have entered by the end of the year. But as you can tell, the calendar is shrinking, and that’s also partly due to the solid results I’ve obtained.

    ATP. You’ve reached at least 10 semi-finals in 11 tournaments this year, capturing four titles (Rome, Roland Garros, Montreal, US Open). What’s been the most satisfying moment of the season so far?

    Rafa. Without any doubt, it’s the way I rebounded after Barcelona [Nadal reached the semi-finals at Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell before losing to Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-4]. I struggled the week before at Monte-Carlo as well and wasn’t performing at my best going into Godo [Barcelona]. In the end, that’s what leaves me most satisfied. I’m happy with the way I bounced back mentally from those events.

    ATP. Even though regaining the No. 1 spot is not an objective, you’re currently the leader in the ATP Race To London.

    Rafa. It’s true that obtaining the No. 1 ATP Ranking is not the main goal, nor has it ever been my ultimate pursuit. Obviously, becoming No. 1 would be very gratifying, but I can’t afford to let that be my top priority at this point in my career. I can’t waste time or energy trying to be No. 1; I need those resources to train and prepare to compete at my best on the weeks I step on the court.

    If becoming the top player in the world is a result of that, then I’ll feel rewarded. If I don’t end the year as No. 1, it will still have been a very fulfilling year. I’ve played well on a consistent basis and to me, that’s satisfying.

    ATP. You’ve insisted on restraining yourself from competing too frequently throughout the season. You ended your title run at Flushing Meadows in a state of exhaustion. What lies ahead for the rest of the year?

    Rafa. I’m tired. The truth is that I still haven’t fully recovered. I came home and we have already done a little recovery. I’m regaining my strength little by little. It’s too early to hash out plans, because since that match, I haven’t had a chance to discuss matters with my team. This week we will have that conversation, but apart from this, I will also have to wait a few days to see how my body heals. One thing I do have is Laver Cup 2019 marked on my calendar.

    ATP. What are you doing specifically to recover both physically and mentally after such a grueling affair?

    Rafa. Mental recovery is done by resting! (Laughs) It’s not just about the last match; my body has been put through a lot of stress the past few weeks. You’re competing in one of the most important tournaments of the year and it requires a lot from your body on a daily basis.
    When you finish, after such a dramatic final, the physical and mental effects are consequential. You have to recover steadily by taking all the necessary steps to ensure proper recuperation. As for the mind, I just need to rest and adjust my schedule accordingly to one that I feel will wield the best results and won’t hinder my recovery.

    ATP. Are you doing anything differently this time around in terms of physical recovery?

    Rafa. No, nothing different. Preparations for my return have been similar to what I’ve been doing as of late following similar demanding tournaments like the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon. I’m getting proper rest. The only thing that’s changed in recent times is that I spend more time training at home [in Manacor, Mallorca, Spain] and then take it up a notch when I arrive [on location] ahead of a tournament.

    ATP. Medvedev is providing glimpses of the future, and indications that a new wave of talent is knocking on the door.

    Rafa. A changing of the guard has been predicted for years, but it’s developed a little slower than perhaps expected. The old guard has shown resistance but some mainstays like David Ferrer have recently passed the torch. The truth is, the three of us [including Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer] have gained so much success in these past 14 years, and we’re still atop the ATP Rankings.

    Now here comes [Daniil] Medvedev, [Alexander] Zverev, [Karen] Khachanov, [Andrey] Rublev, Felix [Auger-Aliassime], [Matteo] Berrettini and [Denis] Shapovalov. That’s a formidable group and the overwhelming logic is that the next generation is already here. They’re making a lot of noise and attracting lots of attention. Several members of that next wave are already in the Top 10 and my guess is that we’ll see more and more every year.

    ATP. What’s your take on the state of Spanish tennis?

    Rafa. Spaniards have achieved things in tennis over the past 30 years that almost certainly cannot be replicated. On the other hand, we are competing as a country with players from nations with economic capacities that outweigh us by infinity.
    The budgets of federations that govern the sport in nations that host majors are tremendously higher than ours. You can include the Italian Tennis Federation and [Tennis Canada], which oversee two very big ATP Masters 1000 events [the Internazionali BNL d’Italia and Coupe Rogers, respectively] with that group as well. They have a much higher budget and far more funds.
    During these boom years in Spain, we’ve made the mistake of not being able, as a federation, to establish our tournaments on that same level to potentially generate an annual income that could then be used to promote the sport, to help cultivate young talent and to provide them with resources to flourish. That said, we must see how our rising talent fares, Jaume Munar, Carlos Alcaraz, Pedro Martinez, we’ll see how they progress.

    ATP. You are an inspiration not only to those players and Spaniards in general, but for the tennis community as well. This can be seen in the reactions from the stands after victories like the one at the US Open.

    Rafa. It’s not something that’s always on my mind but it is something to keep in mind. I always try to be myself and do the things that seem right to me. I apply the lessons that my family has given me since I was young. One has the ability to see things their role models do and try to emulate those things.

    In the same way, one has the power to avoid destructive behavior. I always strive to imitate positive behavior and have the awareness to shun what could bring me down. It brings me a lot of satisfaction to know that what I do can help and inspire others. We all have to get up to go to work, fight through whatever life throws our way and simply keep a positive outlook, and if what I do somehow inspires someone to do that, that’s gratifying. There’s nothing more satisfying to me than making others feel more empowered or to raise the spirits of other people.

    I am so happy he’s resting. According to some reports Rafa has zoned out of tennis for the time being. Good for him. Back home to his beloved island.

    • Happy that he didn’t name Kyrgios among the possible successors.

      Today Rafa is back in his us open black outfit doing a photo shoot on clay. Looks like he’s either just posing or doing very light hitting. Certainly nothing taxing.

      The President of Real Madrid is proposing an exhibition match between Rafa and Roger at the 81,000 seat el Bernabeu stadium. Rafa might be interested as it is where his favourite team plays.

      • RR, you and me. In Rafa’s last response he made it clear what he considers how to be an inspiration to others, to be a good role model.

      • RR, lol, I was just about to say the same re: Kyrios not being mentioned. Nor did he mention Tsitsipas (sp?) who has some unpleasant aspects as well. I am somewhat relieved to read Rafa’s comments that show he is sensible and realistic about his self-care and future in the sport. At the same time I worry for his welfare going forward. Those moments after the final are etched in my mind and Moya’s comments afterward confirm those feelings. I almost don’t want to cheer him on right now.

    • Rafa did mention Shapovalov but he might not have seen Denis’s match in N.Y. where his language and behaviour toward the umpire were way below par. For a guy who idolized Nadal growing up having his posters on his bedroom wall he should not only copy his playing style but his gentlemanly conduct as well.

      • Nah, Shapo didn’t idolise Rafa, I’m afraid you’ve mistaken. It’s Fed that Shapo idolises. And, he didn’t have Rafa’s posters on his bedroom wall, it’s Felix AA who had them, but Felix’s idol is also Fed.

      • I stand corrected. Got the 2 Canadian next gens mixed up this time. Would still like to see Denis cool his fiery temper and clean up his language.

      • RR, I was just getting ready to respond when your second comment popped up, but I’m still confused.

        To your first, the only incident I know of attributed to Denis Shapovalov was the accidental ball-in-the-eye of the umpire. A year or two ago.

        To your second, who is the other Canadian player named Denis?

        Oh, and I believe it was Shapovalov’s friend Felix Auger-Aliassime who had Rafa’s posters. I think when Shapovalov won he wanted to put up posters of himself—these two are close friends and they joke and tease each other.

  5. Thus far, four players have been confirmed for the Nitto ATP Finals:

    1. Rafael Nadal at 9225 has a strong lead in battle for the year-end No. 1,

    2. Novak Djokovic at 7265 qualified for season finale for the 12th time,

    3. Roger Federer at 5510 is aiming for 7th Nitto ATP Finals crown,

    4. Daniil Medvedev at 4805. Stellar season brings first London qualification.
    [SOURCE: Nitto ATP Finals]

    • Margo. There is only one Denis that I was referring to-Shapovalov. The other next gen was Felix. In that event u mention his actions caused Canada to default vs. GB at Davis Cup. It wasn’t deliberate but the consequence of hitting the ball hard in that direction resulted in the umpire needing
      corrective eye surgery.

      The incident at the us open was at the end of the 1st round match vs. FAA. It was on live tv here and Shapo lost it over a call by the ump. They couldn’t bleep it fast enough. Very bad example to kids watching. He should seriously consider emulating the calmness of his buddy Felix. If he thinks he needs to be petulant in order to play well a la Kyrgios then I will ignore him too.

      So proud to be a Rafa fan.

      • Oh boy! I am surprised. No, I didn’t watch his match.

        OK, I thought an additional Denis the Menace had arrived.

        I just read that FAA has a heart condition which makes his BP drop dangerously. I am sad to learn that because he seems headed for great things in tennis.

  6. I have never seen Toni’s TEDx event, “The Value of Effort”, mentioned here. I discovered it today and found it quite relevatory about how Rafa became the person and player he is.

    Rafa plays the way he does because it’s his own style. As Rafa said the other day “I play my way, sometimes it’s good, sometimes not.” [paraphrase]

    He was never taught the technical side of tennis. And when you’ve been playing since a young age, in your own way and winning, that has made it more difficult for Carlos and Roig to steer Rafa toward a different way/method of playing. I think the talk Toni gave only confirms my personal feeling that had Toni stepped down sooner, Rafa would most likely have more than 19 Slam titles by now. This is not a “beat up on Toni” comment by any means. Toni’s words only confirm my feelings about the incredible talent Rafa has always been.

    The comments here about where Rafa should stand, how he should hit, shorter points, etc., these and more are being addressed by his team. As you will note in current interviews with Roig, and Carlos on the ATP Tour News site which some of you may have missed.


    • Rafael Nadal has been my favorite player since the first match I saw him play maybe 10 or 11 years ago. I am so happy for him and his family and his continuing success.

    • Yes, I tend to agree with you.

      To me Toni is there for the mental aspect of things. We should appreciate Toni for moulding Rafa into what a mentally tough and focused tennis player that he is.

      As for the technical aspect of the game, I do feel that there’s one shortcoming about Toni as Rafa’s coach imo, and that is Toni failed to see the importance of Rafa having a great serve, and thus didn’t help him (with external help maybe) in that aspect from day one. They waited till 2010 when Rafa was already 24, and experienced injuries in a few seasons already, before they engaged external help to improve Rafa’s serve, apparently for Rafa to win the USO to complete a career slam.

      I always marvel at Rafa, he’s such an unorthodox player, I mean who could hit that whiplash topspin FH for so many years now, without having shoulder injury or without the arm falling off?

      While others could copy how Fed or Djoko play (as they go the normal route of training at tennis academies, learning the traditional ways of striking the ball, the groundstrokes etc), nobody could copy the way Rafa plays.

      Rafa’s is so untraditional, unconventional and it’s only Rafa who could play his style of tennis. To me Rafa is a tennis genius, not only because of his unorthodox but very successful way, but because of his remarkable acumen on the tennis court.

      He’s already inside top 100 in the rankings when he was only 16 year old; and at 17 he was already beating up the no.1 tennis player in the world. His first match vs Fed in 2004, the then no.1 player, at Miami was truly very impressive. At that tender age, Rafa already knew how to make full use of the tennis court, serving well enough to push Fed around before coming forward to the net to finish the point.

      At 17, Rafa already possessed such court craft, playing the right shot at the right time, choosing the right moments to come forward, that to me wasn’t something that could be taught and learnt so quickly by a youngster. The youngster himself must be in the first place possess such talent to understand and then having the talent to apply them successfully. The coach could only teach you so much, the player must go out there to figure things out himself.

      Imagine Rafa having a great serve from day one, how much more he could have achieved; maybe his injury issues would be much reduced too.

      What about Rafa going the academy route, learning things the traditional way, would he then achieve as much or even more than what he has now already achieved? Imo, he may then be lacking the mental toughness that Toni helped instilled in him; also, he may then not hit his trademark whiplash topspin FH, and my guess is, Rafa may still win that many titles but he would lose the uniqueness that we know he now has, and his style may then be replicated by those who come after him.

      • Luckystar, I didn’t know that in 2010 someone was brought in to help with Rafa’s serve. Who was that? Did he last long?

        I had to chuckle about Roger not being able to find someone who plays like Rafa to practice with, I believe for his preparation of clay season. Roger said no one plays like Rafa.

      • I think the guy’s name was Oscar Boris. There’s a YouTube video that showed how he and Rafa worked on the serve, getting Rafa into a better trophy position before he served. I think that helped Rafa got into that big serve of USO2010.

        However, according to Rafa, his shoulder suffered because of that serve, and so after USO and Tokyo Open that year (Rafa won both of them), he stopped serving that way.

      • Luckystar, thank you. I watched the video and thought the instructions were sound but I could be wrong. As a savvy Rafa fan, what’s your assessment?

      • I don’t know Margo, but I feel that getting Rafa into a better trophy position and helping him to the proper motion before he served did help him, as he had that big serve (when he could serve 130 to 135 mph serves) which let him won his first USO without losing serve or losing a set right up to the final that year. But, since it might hurt his shoulder, he had to stop it.

        I feel now that Moya is his coach, he has helped a great deal with Rafa’s serve. The serve at the AO this year was a revelation, and it did not affect Rafa’s shoulder, so I think going forward, Rafa will adopt this serve.

        He need not serve at 130+ mph, but in the 120+ range, but what’s important is his placement and variety. Mats Wilander had analysed Rafa’s serve and mentioned that Rafa had practised hard his flat serve and that would help him on grass.

  7. Loving Rafa like I do, I personally hope he retires on the high he deserves!! Not t.o see him play would be heartbreaking but to watch him walk off a defeated and broken bodied man would be worsen!!

    Thank you Rafa for your spirit and courage.

  8. It comes as no surprise to me that Rafa was cramping after the final, as he lost a considerable amount of body fluid through sweating during play. If you add to this the nerves, anxiety, overall emotional and physical stress, then I understand completely that he must have been a physical and mental wreck (as seen when he slumped in the chair on court after the match) the only place he wanted to be was home to relax with his loved ones. I have no problem with the reporting of Rafa’s cramping. Moya just wanted to emphasise the extent of his efforts.

    Rafa didn’t appear on any post match tv shows – so what? Big deal. His health is paramount.

    I think we should cut our champ some slack after, what for him was, a gruelling ordeal – even longer than the 2012 AO final against Novak. As always, he put his mind, body and soul out on the court, stretching every sinew, and we couldn’t ask for more. At this point, let’s not ask him to donate blood and then ask him for his lungs at the same time. Yes, we all know that there are areas of his game that he needs to work on but, as Carlos Moya said, he can still improve and he hasn’t reached the ceiling of his capabilities. That prospect excites me. One thing’s for sure, and that is Rafa will be motivated to rise to the challenge and move to even greater heights.

  9. Aww… Rafa must have been so tired!

    I can’t get out of my mind how, when Rafa lost his first serve, he showed no emotion and simply gave that ball away. And then the second serve ended up being a double fault which gave the game to Medvedev. Again, no emotion, he took his punishment like a gentleman. Or maybe he was just too tired to argue:)

    Anyhow, I’m not happy Serena lost, but I am happy that Bianca won. The ladies seem to be doing well in the succession planning department:):) I think the universe will deny Serena any worthwhile victories until she apologizes to the umpire. She apologized to Naomi already. But it’s the umpire the insulted.

    Just my thoughts.

    Enjoy your life until the next tournament Rafa!

    • You can argue but you’re not going to win and you lose focus, something Rafa simply could not afford at that point. He wanted to win his match, not score points with the umpire and the crowd.

      If Kyrgios had even 1/10 of Rafa’s mental ability he might not ever lose another match.

  10. What a Champion! I have no doubt he can still go on at this level as long as his health allows him. GAOT without a doubt !!

    • I fully agree with Mr. Moya. Rafa’s energy should be chanalized properly especially at the time of breaK points. He has to use brain and tactically attack the opponent. To reserve energy till the end Rafa should float for some time by increasing the defensive technique. 1. Service to be improved.2. instead of placing the ball in front of the net a baseline
      corner placement will help Rafa.3. Baseline , Corner placement will make the opponent tired.4.At present Rafa is placing returns mostly at the centre of the court which helps the opponent to strike the ball at his convenience
      without tough movement . Placement to be done after seeing the opponent’s position. I would recommend Rafa to practice Yoga for more concentration , focus and agility. All the Best Rafa.

  11. Rafa, Congratulations on a very tough win. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I would like to give you some advice when playing the guy from the US Open. You need to improve on your serve to the point where you are acing him at least 50 % of the time. You are Amazing a true Legend out there. I look forward to you winning it again next year. Please work on your serve and ace the heck out of everyone that will safe you from more injuries by not running around so much.
    your Fan Forever

    • Quite true. If Rafa can ace like you’ve said, there’s no stopping him. He’s the master on the rally part either which ways. Cheers.

  12. I’m like Moya, I believe Rafa has yet to reach his full potential, so yes, Rafa still has room for improvement!

    First, his serve. He’s serving a lower % of first serve but with increased pace; and he was still able to win the USO! Imagine he serves with the same pace, winning the same high % of his first serve, but having a higher first serve in %, how much better Rafa will be – shortening points for one, winning matches quicker, and saving his body from further wear and tear.

    Second, I do feel his BH DTL has room for improvement. He rarely uses that shot, and when he does, it’s definitely not as powerful as his FHDTL shot. Djoko’s DTL shots from both wings are almost equally lethal, and Djoko could change direction (ie DTL or CC and at both wings) at will and that’s why he has given Rafa lots of problems.

    Imagine Rafa having a very solid BHDTL shot, he would then be able to have more options when it comes to changing direction of his shots, thus making it less predictable for Djoko to return his shots.

    Third, Rafa is still playing from too far back behind the baseline. Rafa has his unique way of returning serves from well behind the baseline. There’s nothing wrong with that because Rafa is so quick with his footwork that he’s able to react quickly to his opponent’s serve. Furthermore, Rafa is just so powerful, that even returning from so far back, his returns are still penetrating enough that he even gets straight return winners at times!

    While Djoko may be using his hand eye coordination to return with accuracy from the baseline, Rafa makes use of his foot speed to get to his opponent’s serve when returning. Rafa is TOP three best returner of serves if I remember correctly.

    However, Rafa is playing from way behind the baseline when he’s engaging in baseline rallies, and so he has to cover more ground and wider angles while doing that. If he can play at closer to the baseline, he’ll not only cut off some of the wide angles from his opponent, but he may also be able to prevent his opponent from moving forward to the net with his more penetrating shots (his shots tend to be short at times, landing in his opponent’s service box when he plays from way behind the baseline).

    Rafa is really an amazing and incredible player in that even without reaching his full potential, he’s still able to achieve so much in his tennis career, and despite all the injuries he suffered along the way.

    I really think that both Fed and Djoko have already reached their full potential, I mean what else Fed could improve, after he finally improved his SHBL? And Djoko is already a complete player now, balanced from both wings, great serve and returns, has an improved and already competent game at the net. Perhaps his overheads needs more work but that’s not a major part of his game. His slices, his volleys and his net approach game are already great.

  13. There is no doubt that the cramping occurs, and Rafael is not the only one who suffers like this. The conditions and effort are gruelling. It is physically and mentally punishing. Tennis careers are not long in years, and the injuries pile up. Hopefully, Rafael has the best of physicians, therapists, etc.
    on his team. Fans enjoy those immediate postgame interviews, but you could see that he needed to leave the stadium to unwind and recover. If he needs to withdraw from a tournament, so be it. When it is boiling hot in Melbourne, I really do not know how players manage. Regardless, the best to Rafa
    as he recovers and rejuvenates.🍀😍

    • Rafa is loved and respected mightily throughout the world. I do NOT believe these millions of fans would take kindly to work habits, (indiscriminately injurious scheduling) bringing down A TENNIS GIANT!!! CAUTION IS THE BETTER PART OF VALOR!!!!!!!

  14. A true champion and fighter. That was the best match I’ve watched this year by far, and I was grimacing and groaning with every shot and move in that 5th and final set, it was truly grueling. Canada is going crazy about Andreescu, and she deserves accolades for sure, but Rafa deserves so much more recognition and acknowledgement for what he achieved on Sunday. Medvedev was so close, but Rafa dug deeper than ever and pulled out a monumental and historic win. Absolutely amazing to watch, so glad I was witness to another magical piece of Rafa tennis history.

    • PerchSpective, yes, accolades to Andreescu [I’m glad she beat Serena] but she was all over the place yesterday. I was hoping, against all odds, to see Rafa on one of the morning talk shows as it’s tradition to have the US Open winners on the Monday shows. Rafa was a no show, quite understandably.

      However, I was treated to a very charming Canadian teen. Canadians are rightly proud of their champion.

      • I am sure that it was Rafa’s choice not to go on the TV shows. He is just not comfortable in English when it is away from tennis. He was also exhausted as we heard. I was surprised to see him back in Mallorca so quickly. Last year, Novak did several TV shows, but not as many as Bianca has done. Certainly the Today Show wanted him on. The cohost attended both finals and she is a huge tennis fan.

      • Hi va4favre, that’s what I meant by “hoping against all odds.” Sorry if I wasn’t clear. My brain was telling me Rafa probably went home but my heart was saying “just maybe.” LOL I did see him on, I think, David Letterman. I was sooo excited. Hopefully he will rest and permit his body to recuperate completely before heading for another tournament. ATP Finals? I feel he has had an amazing season🏆🏆👍🤗👏🏸


      • Rafa was home a mere 12 hours after winning the us open. He must have been homesick from being away for over 5 weeks. I was expecting that his recovery would take several days upon seeing the difficulty he had climbing the stairs up to the Eurovision booth post match. Alas he went out and played 18 holes of golf today at Pula. He is a remarkable physical specimen but as always there aren’t enough superlatives to describe his courage and tenacity.

        Of course we are rejoicing in Bianca’s win which is only natural. Any country would do the same but Rafa is extremely popular here. He is loved and admired by fans and revered by young tennis players.

      • RR, doesn’t playing golf entail a lot of knee pivots🤔 Now I’m worried. At least there’s no running LOL

        I did hear on a Spanish language radio show that Carlos said he’s got a lot of sponsor commitments but that’s nothing new.

      • Margo…. For Bianca, this is such an exciting time for her to be on American television with her first US Open win and having all these interviews is so much fun!! Novak, he also has more of the personality to do these interviews. as he always takes the opportunity to show many sides of himself to the world.
        I have noticed that Rafa sticks to his press conferences and ESPN interviews…and of course does his interviews in his native country…
        I think it’s unfair to call him a “no show” … A “no show” is someone who had an interview scheduled and decided not to show up…In other words a “no show” is someone who blows off his commitment … And that is not who Rafa is… (maybe Nick Kyrigios but not Rafael Nadal)

        Rafa signs more autographs, is kinder to so many people while he is in New York, has done so much for the sport of tennis in all his years playing. if he doesn’t want to do the a.m interview scene he doesn’t have to…. .. He already gave us everything he had on the court in this match, along with his after match interviews, press conference, twitter messages, facebook hello’s …. and that’s good enough for me!

      • I really hope Bianca continues to excel too, she’s got all the talent to do so, and the will. I forgot all about the day-after-interview for US Open champs, but indeed, I’m sure Rafa was still recovering. Can’t wait to see how both Rafa and Biance do in the 2020 season.

      • And you just had to mention Serena’s name…lol…you could have just said you’re excited Andreescu won and continued with your comment.

  15. Any one who follows Rafa could see how exhausted he was in the final set. In one of the last few games he looked at his box and gritted his teeth. An awesome match and awesome achievement.

    • Perhaps we need to consider Moya’s comments as not only a tribute to Rafa and his tremendous energy and commitment but also as a veiled warning to Rafa’s fans. A person’s body can only stand so much wear and tear. Fans need to back off and stop pushing him because Rafa himself pushes himself to the extreme. Fortunately I feel that a lot of the comments here are aware of possible pitfalls to Rafa’s commitment to the max, and the suggestions for him to alter his back court strategy and increase his serving power are not only appropriate but vital to his continued good health. Unless Rafa takes seriously these things and Moya’s plans for what he needs to work on, I would be very worried about him. If I was his wife I would be urging him to see the light at the end of the tunnel and determine an end point, a retirement sooner rather than later. As a fan I only wish him that which is the best for the rest of his life.

  16. This really is something that does not need to be shared. Very personal! We are very proud of our GOAT but don’t need to have this information. For his coach to share this, is very poor judgement. Not funny. That’s Rafa’s personal business.

    • Couldn’t agree more…. REALLY surprised that Carlos Moyer should divulge such information (to Rafas fans, media and especially his future opponents).

      • I see nothing wrong with Moya talking about Rafa’s exhaustion which everyone witnessed. To me what is most shocking is Rafa’s mental weakness at that match. 21 break points of which only 6 could be converted. Even Medvedev was preparing for his finalist speech when Rafa promptly lost the 3rd set. It is not Medvedev who won but Rafa who lost sets 3 and 4.
        After a heartbreaking match which thankfully ended with Rafa GS N.19, Rafa’s excetional emotions at the trophy celebration was even more heartbreaking as if it were an end of career ceremony. I am delighted to hear Moya’s realistic assessment and encoureaging talk for the future. Already feeling the emotional weight of his years, Rafa needs same pep up talking. Bravo Moya and his sincere caring for Rafa.
        Wamos Rafa, you are the best

      • Puma, I have to disagree with your disparaging remark about Rafa being “mentally weak.” If that was the case, I believe he would not have been fighting for every point. After receiving a slow-play penalty, he could have been rattled, which he wasn’t. Rafa was the favorite to win and he overcame that added pressure. At two sets down, after having been two sets up, he could have given up, he didn’t. Rafa showed us why he is such a gift to us all.

        Yes, Rafa lost sets 3 and 4, mere battles, but Rafa ALSO WON THE WAR. And that’s what counts.

        Heartbreaking match? Not at all. It was the triumph of a TITAN.

        All of Rafa’s emotions after his win demonstrated how happy he was to have won. Nothing to do with “end of career ceremony.”

        I have seen numerous interviews, read so many post-match articles, read the accolades Rafa received and ALL were happy for Rafa.

        Cheer up Puma, Rafa will win again, on his terms, and hopefully you will join everyone else being happy for Rafa.

      • Martha and Denise…. Are you serious?? Carlos Moya is not only Rafa’s coach, he is one of Rafa’s closest friends for years…. He didn’t give away anything personal about Rafa … He didn’t “divulge” a secret from the Rafa camp… didn’t divulge a strategy … didn’t divulge a thing! Carlos, when asked how Rafa was doing after the match, revealed that Rafa cramped up quite a bit in the locker room, describing Rafa couldn’t put his jeans on…. Does this seem like a shock to anyone? We all watched the same match… We all saw in the 2nd set Rafa was walking back to the baseline looking over at his camp, specifically his physio as he said something real quick to which is Physio replied something…. We all saw 5 grueling sets that he dug down so deep to find this fierce energy till he won it all!!! And you say that Carlos Moya said something inappropriate?? Never in a milliion years would that ever happen…. He said Rafa cramped up….yes….so what???

        Other than Rafa himself, the media loves to speak to Carlos… He brings another perspective as Rafa’s coach in describing either the play or about Rafa himself… As we remember back in April after Rafa’s loss in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, it was Carlos who revealed that Rafa was not mentally in a good place… He was feeling very low and it was Carlos who talked him through it for hours on end,..building him up and offering him choices of either taking time off or getting back out there and changing things up on the court… As we know Rafa continued to play and made alot of impovement in Madrid and then went on to win the Rome Masters and then Roland Garros…. And Rafa himself spoke about this time in his life …

        I am so happy Carlos Moya is Rafa’s coach… Look at the year Rafa has had… A Masters and a Slam on clay and a Masters and a Slam of HARDCOURT!!! Who would have ever thought….

        Thank you Carlos for all you have done for our boy!

  17. Rafa at 33, with this US Open title, marks his fifth major since reaching 30-years-old, SURPASSING Roger, Djokovic, Laver, and Rosewell, all of whom won four apiece.
    [SOURCE: Forbes]

    • I have never seen him this spent and exhausted since that final of aus open 2012 but I do believe that Moya should be very careful in choosing his words and sharing his physical condition but after 5 hours every sportsman would feel like that… So Moya was being funny
      Vamos Rafa
      So relieved that he is now 5 – 5 in hardcourt slams and having wonderful record in usopen

      • OMG, that 2012 final still hurts……

        As Rafa gets older, I appreciate him even more! His passion and love for the sports are second to none👍 Wish him all the best on and off the court❤️

  18. Rafa had played long points against Schwarzman, Clic, and so then to go again against 6/6″ Medvedev was a real challenge of mind and body. He did it!! He is an amazing athlete and focused player. He is a champion and deserves his success. I adore Rafa and look forward to the Laver Cup. It will be a more relaxed event.
    Team contest of support from his competitors.

  19. As Rafa might say, no, no, no.

    I am saying no to Carlos, neither Rafa’s team, nor his millions of fans, nor his family, nor his friends, nor his opponents, nor his colleagues, nor the media doubt Rafa.

    The ONLY one who may doubt Rafa is Rafa himself and that may be due to his desire for constant self improvement. But as this win shows, Rafa is believing in himself again.

    Rafa will get even better.

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