Rafa Roundup: Nadal and Gasol raise more than €14m for Red Cross

Rafa and Pau Gasol in IW, 2014. (Photo via Rafa Nadal Facebook)

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Rafael Nadal and the NBA’s Pau Gasol have announced that their Red Cross campaign has been successful in raising €14 million, more than their goal of €11 million.

The campaign also asked other Spanish sports figures to help with coronavirus fundraising in Spain, one of the most affected counties in Europe.  

“I think that between all of us we have achieved something important,” said Nadal. “Not only the funds, which is more than 14 million, so the goal has been fully achieved, but the togetherness that we have shown.”

From 2005 to 2019, Rafael Nadal has lifted 12 titles and won 93 of his 95 matches at Roland Garros. If the city of Paris dedicated a street to their adopted Spanish son, it would be apropos to make sure it went only one way.

“Rafa is fine playing 10-12 events a year, making sure he is up for the French, getting his matches in, playing the Masters Series events on clay. Going into the US Open with very few hardcourt matches, Rafa feels comfortable about it. I think that he used to feel the desperation to take reps on surfaces that weren’t clay and now he is comfortable enough at the ripe old age of 34 to kind of go and trust the process.”

“He is going to have to grind through the first couple of rounds to gain form. But then once he does that, he is a legitimate contender at any Slam. As long as Rafa is healthy, you got to think he’ll win one Slam a year at least.”

Remember Rafael Nadal’s capris? Or the year his French Open final victory was played across two days?

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33 comments

  1. I’ve been watching the quickfire UTS tournament devised by Patrick Mouratoglou. It’s fun and good to see, in the absence of the normal tennis tour. However, I had to smile as I thought of Rafa trying to cope with the 15 second stop clock….🤔😀 Then again, rules are rules and knowing Rafa, he’d adapt somehow.

  2. I hope Rafa stays in Mallorca. Can’t see him risking contracting this novel coronavirus to play in an empty stadium. If he does decide to play, which I feel is highly unlikely, I wish him well.

    Multiple reports are that Canada has canceled until 2021. Smart move as far as I am concerned.

    @rogerscup
    #RC20, which was scheduled to take place from August 8 to 16, 2020, will now take place from August 7 to 15, 2021. This postponement means that Toronto will host the men’s event in 2021. (2/2)

    • If these events actually take place the temptation for Rafa to play will be strong. He has thousands of points to defend although he has stated that those are not his primary concern at the moment.
      Plus he has the opportunity to overtake Roger in number of G.S. titles this year.

      Novak in an interview to be released today with European media is leaning toward going to N.Y. The USTA is allowing players to rent a house while there for $40,000. That would most likely suit him as well as Rafa.

      While there could be great reward the risk for Rafa at 34 years old is that playing 5 big events in less than a 2 month period, including switching from hard surface to clay, after a 5 month layoff could result in a career altering injury. He and his team must be having serious discussions.

      The coronavirus of course will have the ultimate decision.

      • Good news from Pauline that there is a way for players to get out of staying at airport hotels for weeks at a time at the US Open.

        Pauline is correct that the point situation could be a concern for Rafa’s team. Rafa doesn’t “chase points” but its hard to ignore the overall situation. Nole did not lose points for Wimbledon because it was not played. Same with Rafa for the Rogers Cup. But Djokovic and Thiem have nothing to lose and everything to gain from playing the US Open since they have no points to defend. Rafa, on the other hand, would lose 2000 points if he does not play. I would hate to see Rafa fall to third in the world if he does not play and Thiem wins in New York.

        Two weeks between New York on hard court to Paris on clay would be hard to handle but Rafa has managed to go from clay to grass in about three weeks after Roland Garros. Also if he won his 20th major in New York perhaps Roland Garros would only be icing on the cake.On the other hand maybe he is invested in having Roland Garros be the one that ties him with Roger.

        I don’t think the virus will be a deciding factor because it is in better control in New York than any other place in the US and the safety precautions mandated by the USTA are indeed extreme. Also the risk in Paris (or Madrid or Rome) will be just about the same as in New York.

        Good luck to Rafa and his team in balancing all of the factors.

  3. Well Margo, with the Adria tour being a free-for-all with no precautions, i wouldn’t be surprised if Novak and many others contracted the virus out there.

    • I saw plenty of pictures so neither am I surprised. Totally ridiculous.

      On Canada, I am perplexed that they even considered to have the Rogers Cup played in the US. I wonder how Canadian fans felt about that decision.

      The question I am asking is will Canada’s cancellation have an impact on whether or not the USOpen follows suit.

    • David Holztzman,

      You are assuming that the Covid situation will be the same in 2 to 3 months time as it is now. None of the top medical experts can even guess how it may go. It could very well come raging back in Autumn like the Spanish flu did in 1918-1919. So indeed the coronavirus will decide whether these tournaments take place.

  4. According to Essentially Sports, Nole, while in Belgrade, came into close contact with an asymptomatic basketball player. It was during an exhibition match in honor of a basketball coach. The article didn’t say if Nole is in quarantine.

    • Atptour.com has the revised tour schedule through Roland Garris, which is now officially moved to September 27.

      Madrid and Rome will take place during the two weeks between the US Open and the FO. The schedule begins with the Citi event (500 points) in Washington D.C., then the western and southern, US Open, Madrid, Rome then FO. The western and southern, Madrid and Rome are each Masters 1000 events.

      I have not seen whether the Washington D.C. event will impose all the same restrictions as the New York events.

  5. It’s official. The US Open is set to play in New York starting August 31st through Sept 13th. In addition the Western and Southern Open (which is usually played in Cincinnati) will be played also in New York, at the Billie Jean King center as well, the week before the Open. This way the players are only travelling to one destination. This is going to a very interesting and strange US Open with no spectators on hand to pump up the players. Just the sound of the ball and the umpires call is all they will hear.

    Tomorrow an official announcement will come from the USTA who will rehash that they are taking every precaution for the health, welfare, and safety of its players, guests and staff.
    There has been a lot of pushback regarding the “One” person each player is permitted to bring. Novak stated he needed his coach, trainer and physio with him and it would be impossible without them. Rafa has not made an official announcement yet but we know he doesn’t travel with just a coach… Some of the women have already made some public statements with concern over the timing of the US Open…. People like Simona Halep and Ash Barty are unsure as to whether they will play…

    Yesterday the President of the USTA did say he would “revisit” the one person policy and there’s a chance that policy will be revised.

    Even though Rafa, Roger, and Novak and the rest on the players council voted “yes” to having the event in NY go on, , it is with the understanding that every player will make their decision individually. Novak had publicly said that he thought the tennis season should start with the French Open in Europe (with the clay season in Madrid or Rome a week before) but I guess the USTA had other ideas.

    I’d be very surprised if Rafa plays the Open… Considering all the factors… they can’t stay in NYC ..the USTA wants them all to reside together in one or two hotels….no interaction with fans… If a player has a fever or doesn’t feel well he will be taken out of the tournament immediately…. and so on and so forth….
    Does Rafa really need this?

    I know he loves tennis, but he has always said his health and the health of those around him are his main priority…

    Now that the US OPEN is official, I look forward to hearing what he has to say about the tournament.

  6. Margo- ESPN reports that the ATP Player Council did sign off on the USTA plan for the US Open. The Council includes Nola,, Rafa, Roger and others.

    Roger will not be playing of course and other big stars are expected to skip it since there are only two weeks between the end of the US event and Roland Garris. Aside from the health issue the other big problems include all the restrictions that will be imposed in order to keep everyone safe. For instance, one restriction is that each player can only be accompanied by one other person.

    I don’t see how that could work for Rafa or many others including Djokovic.In addition all the players will be required to stay at hotels near the airports. There will be transportation problems for practice sessions and possibly a lack of practice partners. As Djokovic said in one interview the whole thing is “impossible.”

    It’s very tough on Rafa since he is the defending champion for the US Open as well as the FO.

    • If the USOpen is held, it will give someone other than the Big 3 an opportunity to win a Slam. Andreas Seppi is living in Colorado with his wife and baby on their 60 acres. I wonder if he will play.

  7. According to The NYTimes “The United States Tennis Association is set to announce this week that it will hold the 2020 United States Open as originally scheduled starting Aug. 31, but without spectators.“

    I think it’s too soon but I can guess most likely the ATP spoke with players or got feedback from Nole about who would be willing to participate in the USOpen. I hope those who are participating in the charity event don’t come down with Covid-19. That would be just awful.

  8. Forbes reports Sunday night that the US Open is on with announcent of agreements with the ATP and WTA expected soon. Here’s hoping the restrictions are not as bad as advertised so perhaps Rafa can come to New York.

  9. Well done Rafa abd Pau Gosol for raising such a huge amount for a great cause. Rafa your country can always rely on you to deliver.

    Meanwhile, the Adria Tour is going on in Serbia, despite coronavirus. I was shocked to see the court packed with spectators without any social distancing, players hugging each other and ball kids being passed sweaty towels. You would think there’s no longer a pandemic. I think it’s very irresponsible of Novak to allow this exhibition tournament to go ahead in this manner, claiming there’s nothing he can do about it, considering the situation with coronavirus. Terrible! It’s also a real fingers up to the tour which has stood still for several months, recognising real health dangers.

  10. Congrats on your combined efforts👍👍👍
    👏👏👏

    Just watched one of the classics Rafa vs Agassi in the Rogers Cup final 2005. Absolutely marvellous. That’s how I knew Rafa. Service good, length of shots good, not standing soo far back to receive serve and and and all superb even though he lost the second set. Such praise from commentators for him, also saying that he’s proved that he can play on all surfaces.

    What happened along the way – he’s still fabulous but ……. . Maybe mental conditioning and programming came in the way??

    Just waaaaiting to see him court again. 😍😍😍😍😍🍀🍀🍀

  11. Buenos días Rafa & María, me resulta “GRANDIOSA” La importante aportación hecha a Cruz Roja por tu parte, Pau Gasol y otros deportistas, en difíciles momentos esto es muy digno de admiración y de mucho agradecimiento. A todos un colectivo y ENORME Abrazo de: C. Javier desde Canarias

  12. JUST WATCHED YOUR 8 MINUTES NIKE INTERVIEW HERE……BEAUTIFUL SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) YOU HAVE A GREAT BRILLIANT HEAD ON YOUR GORGEOUS HUNKY SHOULDERS……..SO MUCH WISDOM AND CARING ABOUT OTHERS……..WE ALSO FEEL VERY SAD FOR ALL THE BELOVED LIVES LOST AND FOR THE SUFFERING THEIR FAMILIES EXPERIENCE……….MAY GOD COMFORT THEM . WE LOVE YOU AND LOVE THAT YOU HAVE SUCH AN UNDERSTANDING AND ACCEPTANCE OF WHAT IS. VAMOS SWEETHEART AND LOTS OF LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOOX

  13. VAMOS SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) I LOVE YOUR VIDEO OF YOUR BEST SHOTS EACH YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) YOU ARE THE BIGGEST TENNIS BLESSING EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) WE LOVE YOU SWEETHEART SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!: ) : ) : ) : ) ; ) : ) : ) : ) GO RAFA GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL WITH ALL YOUR PRECIOUS BRILLIANT MAGIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) THANK YOU TO WHOEVER PUT TOGETHER THIS BEAUTIFUL VIDEO ………MUCHAS MUCHAS GRACIAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) ENJOY EVERYTHING AND HAVE A GREAT TIME WHATEVER YOU ARE DOING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) CONGRATULATIONS ON RAISING SO MUCH MONEY FOR CHARITY…………YOU AND PAUL ARE WONDERFUL HUMAN BEINGS…………CLASSY AND WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) GOD BLESS YOU SWEETHEART AND HAVE A BEAUTIFUL REST OF THE WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ): ) WE LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

  14. A great gesture and generosity well don vamossssssssss champ we miss you on the court 🎾🎾🎾😘😘😘👍👍👍🎾🎾🎾🙏🙏🙏

  15. ENHORABUENA!!! Campeones por esa recaudación, gracias a todos, os queremos!!!!!

  16. Felicidades Rafa & Pau. Such a wonderful achievement in raising this incredible amount for the Red Cross. God Bless your thoughtfulness for others Vamos

  17. 🙏for your selfless effort with Pau. You have stepped up to help your country and the Spanish people. It will supply their recovery needs, and, perhaps, even more importantly, provide a psychological uplift. Great leadership-hope others follow.👏💪🤛👍🎖🥰

  18. Yes! I had a boring training course on the Monday morning, and I sneaked out early so that I could go home and watch the final set of the Rafa-Nole final!

    • Marileena’s news that the USTA may “revisit” the US Open 2020 rule of each player bringing only one person to the tennis “bubble” is the best news I’ve heard yet in terms of Rafa’s decision on whether to play. It might make a difference if he could bring two others from his team.

      But the living conditions in New York will be uninviting to say the least. A player who elects to play the Cincinnati event, now moved to New York, as well as the Open will be stuck in the same airport hotel for about five weeks (i.e., players who make it to the last week of the open).

      I’ll be happy with whatever Rafa decides while realizing that if he plays he has an excellent chance of repeating and winning his 20th Slam.

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