VIDEO: Rafael Nadal Defeats Alex De Minaur, Sends Spain To ATP Cup Final – match highlights

Watch highlights as Rafael Nadal comes from a set down to beat Alex de Minaur and book Spain’s place in the ATP Cup final. 

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138 comments

  1. Heard a commentator just before Felix AA was about to start his match in Adelaide something to the effect that these youngsters of today will probably replace roger and Rafa quite soon ……. Djokovic will definitely go on for some more years. Got quite a sinking feeling. This year thiem Medvedev don’t seem to be sooo much In form but let’s see.

    Hope it doesn’t go this way!

    • Rafa fan 1, don’t let any commentator rain on your parade.

      Rafa’s draw looks good. His first round opponent will be world No. 72 Hugo Dellien of Bolivia. He could meet Kyrgios in the QF.

      RAFA ROCKS

      • Margo, I think Rafa and Nick could meet in the fourth round, Rafa could meet Dominic in the quarterfinals.

  2. Rafa, looking forward to cheering you on in person soon.😁 I will be in Melbourne on Jan. 23. All my tickets are for the Rod Laver arena staring from the 3rd round to the finals. Hopefully by then, your match will be scheduled for Rod Laver arena only🤞🙏 All the best! Vamos Rafa💪❤️🍀

      • Enjoy the matches Mimi and have a wonderful time in Australia.
        Maria Francisca is there again this year along with Maribel on her first visit. Let us know if you see them.
        Cheers

    • Mimi, thanks for helping me out as no one is contributing to comments about Rafa’s draw and I have always had problems figuring his potential opponents. I tried 😬 LOL

      I am still having problems with this site’s new format. I can’t find anything. No reply buttons for each fan post. No way of seeing past individual RNF posts as a list like before. No notification of fans’ comments. THIS IS A NIGHTMARE ESPECIALLY WHEN THERE IS SO MUCH SPAMMMMMM

      Margo

  3. Great to see Rafa with a smile when taking part in the charity match, along with other top players, to raise money for the bush fire. A very worthy cause and a chance for Rafa to take his mind off the unfavourable tennis event of the weekend. As well as being a lot of fun, it’s a chance for the players to show solidarity and support for those affected.

    The conditions for the qualifying matches have been awful, with some players suffering breathing problems, but thank goodness for the rain which has helped to make the air a bit clearer.

    I’m anxiously awaiting the main draw tomorrow and I hope that Rafa has a good one.

  4. We’ve had no news for a couple of days now? Highlight of my day is when I receive an e-mail Thanks for all your hard work!!!

  5. Aussie open in danger. Players playing in thick smoke and can’t cope. They had to cancel qualifying matches. 😒. We have booked tickets for fourth round. Flying from New Zealand to Aussie. Gutted at the bews

  6. A BEAUTIFUL CBS 60 MINUTES INTERVIEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) SO INTERESTING AND CLASSY AND GORGEOUS AND WITH SO MUCH SUBSTANCE AND BEAUTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) WE WERE SO IMPRESSED SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP STRIDING AND ENJOYING EVERYTHING SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) YOUR BEAUTIFUL RAFA NADAL ACADEMY IS STUNNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) SO IS YOUR HOME AND ALL YOUR BRILLIANT TENNIS CAREER SUCCESS…..LOVED HOW WELL THEY COLLECTED YOUR GORGEOUS BACKGROUND AND HOW WONDERFULLY CBS 60 MINUTES PUT TOGETHER ALL YOUR FANTASTIC MAGIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) GOAT RAFA NADAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) YOU LOOKED SO ATTRACTIVE WITH THE BLACK SHIRT…….AND SPEAKING IN SPANISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : 0 IT WAS BEAUTIFUL THEY INCLUDED YOUR WIFE AND YOUR CLASSY WEDDING PHOTO. BEST WISHES SWEETHEART WITH EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS AND ENJOY A GREAT WEEK SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

  7. My 2 cents. 100% truth is that Novak has got into Rafa’s head. He should go through a psychiatrist or mental treatment to get rid of this. I really mean it. Because unless he clears it, he will lose even if he has improved his game a lot better. Because tennis is both physical and mental game. He has to work on both the sides only for novak. I am sure that is going to make him better. So Rafa please consider this. There is no shame. From what i had seen in the TVs seems Rafa is very stubborn at times and not listening to his coach roig at times. I had seen Roig advising him to take the ball early and hit deep but as usual he gave all the balls to novak’s backhand with enough time and hoping that he will make mistakes. And not even a single time he was aggressive. And to the worst of all, his body language was awful. I wish at least he acts as if he is confident (look for the body languages in clay matches). So all roads leads to rome. It is his mental illness against Novak which needs to be cured. Once he passes that, improving his game will come on the fly.

    • DEAR RAFA FANS: PLEASE BE SUPPORTIVE WITHOUT WAY TOO MUCH UNHELPFUL CHAT HERE……THERE ARE A FEW COMMENTATORS WHO ASSUME RAFA HAS TO BE PERFECT……BETTER TO ALLOW HIM DO WHAT HE DOES GREAT OR NOT SO GREAT…….MORE THAN ALL OF US PUT TOGETHER I AM CERTAIN HE KNOWS WHAT HE NEEDS TO DO…….SO IN TIMES LIKE TODAY, BEST TO BE TACTFUL AND BLAMELESS AND OFFER RAFA SINCERE SUPPORT. AS WE HAVE SEEN, SOMETIMES IT APPEARS SOME COMMENTATORS ARE FANS OF OTHER LESSOR PLAYERS THAN RAFA, SO THEY ARE CRUEL AND IN DISGUISE, PLAY BS TACTICS AND EXPRESS UNREALISTIC DOOM AND GLOOM BS ON RAFA’S FAN SITE….. THANKFULLY HE DOES NOT PAY ANY ATTENTION TO THAT SORT OF USELESS CHAT. AS RAFA FANS BEST TO RISE UP AND OFFER RAFA OUR WISHES AND COMFORT AND INSTRUCTIVE SUPPORT FOR HIS PRECIOUS LONGEVITY AND BRILLIANT TENNIS. IT IS OK FOR RAFA TO LOOSE MATCHES EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE…..AND SO EXTEND KINDNESS AND EMPATHY.

      VAMOS SWEETHEART AND GOD BLESS YOU! ENJOY A WONDERFUL NEXT PHASE AND HAVE FUN AND HOLD YOUR HEAD HIGH AND PROUD! WE LOVE YOU SWEETHEART AND TOTALLY ACCEPT WHATEVER HAPPENS. VAMOS AND ENJOY THE REST OF YOUR PRECIOUS MOMENT BY MOMENT IN AO. VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

  8. Trying to be as much pragmatistic as possible regarding Rafa’s performance:

    1) Rafa’s worst physical conditions are extreme humidity accompanied with intense heat aka Australian weather this period of year, which these days are phenomenally bad beyond imagination. As we all know Rafa was also forced to deal with analogous conditions in Wimbledon 2018 (closed roof even in broad daylight) and US Open 2018 (retirement). We, as long time fans of him, all know his body can’t cope with these extremities for long intervals.

    2) Do not forget that some days ago he also lost to David Goffin, in the same fashion as with Novak Djokovic today. He also lost a set to De Minaur and was also trailing in the start of the second set with him. He is definitely not himself as we know him.

    3) Keep in mind that after a blockbuster year like 2019 was Rafa’s performance tends to deteriorate, perhaps due to emotional and physical reasons. Let us also not forget that he ended last year around the end of November after a truly emotional year with unprecedented ups and downs.

    4) Regarding facing Djokovic in hard courts, grass and indoors, he surely has him in his mind, we don’t know what Team Rafa is going to do with this, but this is a surface and a place that has produced the most and the most emotionally traumatic injuries of Rafa. Deep in his mind he knows that on hard courts and especially in Australia this time of year he is on a constant threat of injuries.

    Ending let us wait and discover what the New Year holds for him. We can be sure he will do his best as always.

    Let’s wish him courage, strength and especially health for the approaching AusOpen 2020.

  9. Yes Marileena, somehow There’s not that much to dissect. If he plays with the slight changes that Moya made him make last year against Novak, like he did/ does against the other players and maybe something more, more intensity and aggression it could help. Most of all his mental block must be tackled. Because if this he is nervous, gets tight and … .

    But, you are absolutely right. What can we do???

  10. If Carlos doesn’t dissect Novak’s game and change Rafa’s hardcourt experience against Novak, there will be no change in the outcome… Novak has Rafa’s game down pat and plays perfectly against it. Rafa is a creature of habit and still stands 100 feet behind the line allowing his opponent to make shots that Rafa can’t even get to…
    You would think after all this time Rafa would give Novak more of a run… He has moments of brilliance but Novak is “consistent” and that’s the key to success….
    It’s very disappointing…

    • Oh… and by the way…. For all of you abroad… Tonight on “60 minutes” a well known American TV show where 3 high profile people are interviewed… our boy Rafa is one of the 3…. The commercials leading up to this interview say… “Watch an interview with tennis great Rafa Nadal…and find out things you have never heard before” ….
      I’m not sure that applies to us 🙂 but you never know….
      It’s on tonight… CBS …7:00 PM EST

  11. SOMETHING WAS WAY UN NATURAL ABOUT THIS DOUBLES WHERE OPPONENTS GOT WAY TOO MUCH HELP AS PABLO PLAYED SO HARD ALL SOLO .
    DOES NOT MATTER SWEETHEART YOU DID A FANTASTIC TEAM WORK FOR TEAM SPAIN AND IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH YOUR DRIVE AND INSPIRATION.
    ENJOY A NICE BREAK AND FACE AO WITH AN OPEN LOVING STRONG FEISTY ARMS!!!!!!!!:) VAMOS SWEETHEART AND KEEP SMILING!!!!!!!:) XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

  12. It seems most of the Spaniards in the team have some kind of block facing Novak and Serbia except for RBA. From what I saw this was Carreno Busta’s worst performance in the doubles in this tournament.

    Anyway enough of grumbling! Very sorry all. Just awfully disappointed and annoyed.

    Hope Rafa learns something from his performance or is it too late??? Hopefully not!

    • mjus,

      I have to reply here because there’s no reply button on your comment about Rafa needing to be good on all surfaces to be considered GOAT.

      I’ve never subscribed to the GOAT debate so I have no comment on that part of your comment.

      As you know Rafa has won 19 slams, 12 on clay and 7 on other surfaces. Most players don’t even win 3 or 4 slams.

      My priority is to have a healthy Rafa. It’s the beginning of the 2020 season and already he’s falling apart. As an observer, at present he is not at his best. I don’t know what is on his mind but I’m hoping he is ok.

      • He’s not at his best because of having to travel from Perth to Sydney which has a different time zone, and having to adjust to that plus getting used to the weather conditions in Sydney and the court surface, all done within one day.

        He was physically tired, plus having to play doubles after losing to Goffin in the QF, played till past midnight and ended up sleeping at 5am. He played the evening session of the SF whilst Djoko the morning session so Djoko had more time to rest before the final.

        I do feel that had Rafa not being tired, and started playing the match the way he played in set 2, he might even have a chance to win the match. He had to impose his offensive game on Djoko instead of playing defence against Djoko.

        There are players who can beat Djoko on the HCs – Medvedev, Tsitsipas, Thiem, and of course Stan; even old man Fed could play his best tennis to get a win over Djoko at the WTF!

        Rafa has the game to beat Djoko, he just needs to believe he can do it, the way he did at Rome last year – came out all guns blazing with the determination of beating Djoko no matter what! That is the mindset that Rafa should have playing against Djoko regardless of the surfaces, if he came so close on grass in five sets when grass was his worst surface, then why not believe in himself that he could do better on the HCs?

  13. PABLO IS A SOLO PLAYER HERE…….WHAT’S GOING ON….F DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE PLAYING TO WIN THIS DOUBLES MATCH……..

  14. Rafa has confirmed that he is tired and his energy level has dropped after playing so much tennis in a short space of time.

    Team Spain look sharp at the moment, leading 3-1 and it’s good to see that Rafa has come back on court to support his team.

  15. VAMOS SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) YOU HAD BRIGHT MOMENTS, SHARP BEAUTIFUL TIMELY ACES, GREAT NET POINTS, AND BREAKING OPPORTUNITY…….IT IS OK TO NOT WIN ALL THE TIME. JUST ANOTHER MATCH. PLEASE IGNORE ANY AND ALL POST MATCH COMMENTS AND STRONGLY STAND FIRM. DO NOT LET ANY OF THE BS FEE BACK POST MATCH ANALYSIS GET TO YOU…..N IS NOT A BETTER PLAYER. WHEN YOU ARE SETTLED AND FREELY RELAXED, YOUR GENIUS TENNIS CLICKS AND ALL GOES WELL. KEEP GOING SWEETHEART, THERE WILL BE OTHER OPEN DOORS…..KEEP GOING AND KNOW 100% THAT N DID NOT TAKE VICTORY….HE WON BECAUSE AT SOME MOMENTS OF THE MATCH YOU WERE NOT AT YOUR BEST., AND THAT IS NO BIG DEAL. NO WORRIES…..JUST THE WAY IT GOES….ONE OF THESE UNSETTLED MOMENTS BUT HEY….KEEP YOUR HEAD HIGH SWEETHEART AND KEEP GOING FORWARD EMBRACING YOUR MAGNIFICENT SUCCESS THUS FAR AND YOUR BRILLIANT ACHIEVEMENTS. THAT IS THE MAIN TRUTH ABOUT YOUR TENNIS! : ) KEEP THAT UPFRONT BECAUSE YOU HAVE SO MUCH TO BE PROUD OF. NO BIG DEAL HERE JUST KEEP IT IN PERSPECTIVE AND ENJOY EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) OBSTACLES AND SET BACKS ARE APART OF SUCCESS MOVING FORWARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) WE LVOE YOU SWEETHEART AND TRUST IN YOUR STRENGTH AND POWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS SWEETHEART AND HAVE A GOOD EVENING AND JOYFUL RELAXED SLEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : )
    BY TH WAY, I HAD THE ENTIRE MATCH MUTE BECAUSE I CAN NOT STAND THIS UMPIRE UNPLEASANT VOICE, AND THE SUBJECTIVE MANNER IN WHICH HE CALLS OUT THE SCORES. AT SOME POINT SUPPOSEDLY PRETENDED TO HAVE MADE A MISTAKE AS YOU WERE APPROACHING HIM . IT LOOKED RATHER BAD AND UNPROFESSIONAL ON HIS BEHALF. WITHOUT HEARING, THE EXCHANGE BETWEEN YOU AND THE UMPIRE, HARD TO TELL BUT IT SURE APPEARED HE DID THAT TO STOP YOUR MOMENTUM. …… AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MATCH THE WAY HE SHOOK AND HIGH – FIVED N HANDS WHILE YOU WERE STILL AT YOUR SIT, IN MY HUMBLE OPINION, WAS NOT PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT AS IT WAS PRETTY TELLING HE WAS WAY TOO FRIENDLY WITH ONLY ONE OF THE PLAYERS, AND GAVE THE IMPRESSION OF NOT BEING AN OBJECTIVE PRO UMPIRE. FURTHERMORE, DURING ALL MATCHES, HIS CYNICAL AND DISRESPECTED ATTITUDE, NOT FUNNY HUMOR, AND OFTEN POOR ONE SIDED UMPIRING, IS MAKING UNNECESSARY TENSION ON THE COURT AND IT MUST BE STOPPED A IT IS NOT ONLY UNPLEASANT TO WATCH, BUT IT TAKES AWAY FROM THE FUN WATCHING HIS NON PROFESSIONAL CHILDISH CONDUCT AND BEHAVIOR OVER AND OVER AGAIN. VAMOS SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) KEEP GOING DEAR RAFA ….WE LOVE YOU AND ADMIRE YOUR BRILLIANT TENNIS SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : )
    BEFORE THE AO OPEN YOU HAVE TO TAKE ALL THE BS TO CONSIDERATION SWEETHEART, AND THE BEST WAY TO FACE ALL THIS IS BY BOTH KNOWING IT GOES ON, AND ACCEPTING IT AHEAD OF TIME, AND NEUTRALIZE YOUR REACTION AND DISAPPOINTMENT AHEAD OF TIME, SO THAT YOU KEEP YOUR FLOW OF PLAYING. ACCEPTING ALL OF IT, AHEAD OF TIME REMOVES THE IMPACT ON YOU AND TAKES AWAY THE FORCE TO CHANGE YOUR PLAYING. PSYCHOLOGY IS EVERYTHING AND BY NOW YOU HAVE HAD AMPLE TIMES TO SEE IT ALL PLAYED OUT. REACTING IS YOUR NATURAL RESPOND, AND IT IS YOUR POWER SWEETHEART TO ACCEPT THE UNSETTLED FEELING – YOU ARE JUST LIKE THE REST OF US HUMAN, AND ACCEPT THE TENSION, AND KEEP GOING TELLING YOURSELF IT IS JUST THE MIND PLAYING IN REACTION TO ALL THE BACKGROUND BS. SO TAKE PRIDE IN KNOWING AND ACCEPT, REACT, AND APPRECIATE ALL FEELINGS AND ENTIRE SITUATION AND KNOW YOU HAVE FEELING ABOUT IT BUT TRUST THAT NO BACKGROUND BS CAN BE STRONGER THAN YOU AND KEEP GOING SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) TODAY MATCH DOES NOT INDICATE NOTHING……THE ONLY OBVIOUS INDICATION WAS THAT AT SOME MOMENTS YOU WERE NOT AT YOUR BEST AND THAT IS OK. WE LOVE YOU SWEETHEART AN HAPPY TEAM SPIN IS LEADING IN DOUBLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) ENJOY EVERYTHING AND HOLD YOUR HEAD UP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) WE LOVE HOW THE FIVE….5 ACES CAME INTO YOUR PLAY AND HOW BEAUTIFULLY YOU ADJUSTED TO ALL THE EVOLVING SHORT POINT SERVE GAMES. GO RAFA GO AND VAMOS SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) SPAIN TEAM IS WINNING IN LARGE DUE TO YOUR PRECIOUS CONTRIBUTION AND INSPIRATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS SWEETHEART AND ENJOY EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

  16. If not for the ATP rules, I’m sure Rafa would have preferred RBA to play Djokovic, and truth be told RBA could have won.
    I have said it here before, Rafa tries his best to avoid playing Djokovic. Djokovic has gotten into his head and he prefers to avoid him so as not to further weaken his H:H against his nemesis.
    As it is, Djokovic is the one person that stands in the way of Rafa’s path to the GOAT title.

    But, as I earlier said, Team Spain will still win this inaugural event, at least to save face for Rafa.

    • Maria, i felt exactly the same about RBA due to his game style,, hitting a flatter ball and being more consistent.

  17. I hate watching Rafa v Nole matches! You get patches where it seems OK, but then it goes wrong – he just doesn’t seem to be able to get past him. I thought Rafa’d play the doubles – I had to nip out and have just got back to find that it’s Feli and Pablo.

  18. Stay healthy and get some rest before you get ready for the Aussie Open, Rafa❤️
    It is okay that you support your teammates instead of playing. Good luck to Pablo and Feliciano🍀

  19. Rafa, good luck to you and Pablo playing doubles, you can still win the trophy for Spain🍀 You tried your best but it didn’t work out in singles. You are always my #1 win or lose❤️ Vamos💪

  20. Congratulations to novak. He was simple the better player. Here are some painful conclusions about the match

    Djokovic is the better player on hardcourt, grass and indoor
    Nadal keeps playing same old same old against djokovic and hasnt found the key on beating djokovic on hard court, grass and indoor
    Nadal wont be able to win in melbourne unless someone prevents djokovic from reaching the final like for example: wawrinka, tspiras, thiem, shapovalov, kachanov, andreev, cilic or federer
    Although nadal has more grandslam titles then djokovic it doesnt appear that he is also the better player then novak. When you have not beat your opponent on hardcourt in 7 years not even took a set away from him that is devastating and tennis pundits will take notice of that
    When you have not beat your opponent on grass in 12 years, when you have not beat your opponent on indoor in 10 years tennis pundits will take notice of that

    Nadal is no match for djokovic on hardcourt, grass and indoor its something that we dont want to hear but its simply the truth

    Therefore there are some pundits who will question the status of nadal as the goat. and think that the debate of who is the greatest of all time should be between federer and djokovic

    • Spot on analysis. Sad as it sounds, you may be right about the GOAT debate being between Djokovic and Federer as well. Rafa must be livid with himself yet he renders himself powerless.

      But who’s the most loved player by Rafa fans though? Rafa! Hahaha…

      Looking for some silver lining.

    • I think Rafa should pull out of the AO for obvious reasons; the heat; hard court; he seems tired; needs to be in top form for the clay season.

      Rafa has also committed to the AO Relief exhibition and Match for Africa exhibition.

      There is no shame in not being able to overcome Mother Nature.

      • margo,

        i disagree with you complety

        If he does that that means that he is scared of novak. If you want to be the best player of all time you need to be strong on all surfaces not on clay only

      • Like mjus, i disagree. The heat is no excuse for Rafa to pull out of the AO before the tournament has even started. Many will see it as a cop out.

        The humidity is a problem for his game style and the spin he puts on the ball, because the balls get heavy and therefore don’t travel off the court as quickly, giving his opponent more time. These type of conditions are more suited to a flatter hitter of the ball like RBA. If the heat affects his health during the tournament, then that’s a different story.

        Rafa still has a good chance of wiining the AO, but the stars need to be aligned – after all, we are talking the best of five sets not three. He has to ensure that he’s always fully hydrated at all times and be prepared to take more risk instead of giving players the same
        look. Also, his “improved” serve was missing today, so he needs to rediscover it.

      • I don’t think Rafa would pull out of any grand slam unless he is injured.

        It is only the start of the season, Rafa has plenty of time to make 2020 another successful season as long as he stays healthy.🤞🙏

        I support you in good times and bad 100%, Rafa! Vamos💪❤️

  21. To be honest – Rafa did better than I expected. It was better than last year’s Australian Open final, at least he made it competitive for a set. I was setting little goals for Rafa – break serve, get to a tiebreak, win a set. He managed one of them.

    Just heard that Rafa is not playing the doubles. I’m surprised. I hope he’s OK.

  22. I couldn’t bear to watch the tue break, so followed the score on my phone. I won’t sugar coat this. Rafa’s strategic play goes awol when he comes up against Novak. All those break points and not being able to convert any is shocking. Only one set taken off Novak in the last nine matches on hard courts us even more alarming! Rafa still hasn’t found a way through the wall which is Novak and i’m not sure he’s ever going to. We just have to say of Novak “too good”.

    For Rafa, winning the tournament is some consolation, but this defeat will linger for a long while. I’m sure he will feel that he’s let his team down, but et’s hope that he can redeem himself and his team in the doubles.

    • I’m not surprised that Rafa won’t be playing the doubles as he must be both mentally and physically exhausted. I just hope that a niggling injury hadn’t crept in. How desperately disappointed Rafa must feel not to have won the singles. I know that it’s a team event, but he must be carrying the heavy weight of responsibility for the loss right now.

    • Lorna, Novak’s game is a foil to Rafa’s game. Just as Rafa’s game is a foil to Roger’s game.

      Plus in this case, there are mitigating circumstances: notice how the elite teams who ‘were drawn to play in Perth’, did horribly when coming to the quarters to play in Sydney.

      I for one, my body clock that is, is negatively affected and impacted by time differences, even as miniscule as 3 hours. Some people are more sensitive than others plus varying sleep requirements.

      This is definitely food for thought for the ATP officials to consider when choosing cities, schedules etc for future ATP Cup tournaments i.e. if they genuinely desire to provide a level playing field for all participants.

      Melbourne would have been an ideal venue for those who played in Perth. Just an hour difference from Brisbane, and equal time zone as Sydney, the venue for the business end of the ATP Cup.

      But I also see the value of allowing Perth tennis afficionados the opportunity to bring the tournament to their city.

      Come on folks, in life as in tennis, you win some, you lose some!

      Let’s be upset and cry for 15 minutes, then roar a unanimous NEXT! for Rafa.

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