Rafa Roundup: Rafael Nadal praises ‘greatest rival’ Roger Federer

Photo: ROLEX PARIS MASTERS

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“That’s part of the game. In some places you have more success and others a little bit less,” Nadal said. “It’s true that of course at the end of the year in the past I arrived sometimes very tired physically and sometimes mentally, too. And at the same time on indoor courts I need to be fresh, I need to be in full condition. It’s probably the surface that I need to be playing better to try to have success.”

He is now back in action on practice courts, and Nadal said, “I see that Roger is already training, and I think he will come back quite well. How far can it go?

“Well, we can’t know that. I don’t know how I’m going to perform next year, let alone Federer. These days we often hear from each other; obviously, we discuss the tennis players’ advice and critical situations.

“Today’s situation is challenging, we have to find a solution given the current times, and I have to say that lately, we have been talking regularly.”

“Roger Federer is one of the greatest men in the history of sport,” Nadal told Corriere Della Sera

“He was my great rival; and this has benefited both of us, and tennis a little too. In some things we are alike: we care for tranquillity, for family. In others we are different.”

When Nadal was quizzed on exactly how they are different, he said they are different characters almost down to the core.

“Well, he’s Swiss, I am Latin. We have different characters, cultures, ways of life,” he said.

“My dad and all my family have always been Real Madrid fans,” Nadal told Corriere della Sera.

“When my uncle played for Barcelona, they obviously encouraged him. Later he returned to Mallorca and since then we have been divided: some are still Barcelona fans, others Real Madrid.”

“I would say that Rafael Nadal,” said Khachanov when asked who his thinks will win the most Grand Slams.

“It’s my personal opinion. Although Novak Djokovic is younger, many are betting on him, but I think that Rafael Nadal.”

The Top 10 averaged holding serve 79.1 per cent from the point score of deuce, and slightly lower at 78.8 per cent when the game involves 2+ deuces. Seven of the Top 10 players from the 2019 year-end FedEx ATP Rankings held serve less when the game went to multiple deuces, clearly showing which way this point score dynamic gravitates in our sport.

But Nadal totally bucks the trend, being more than seven percentage points higher holding serve when faced with multiple deuces. Nadal held 84.7 per cent (105/124) of the time from deuce and was the only Top 10 player to push through the 90 per cent threshold holding from 2+ deuces, at 91.8 per cent (122/142). Nadal is well known for his concentration, grit, focus and not rushing when serving, which all play a part in him elevating his game in this specific area.

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal practices in Paris

VIDEO: A perfect match: Sunreef Yachts online conference with Rafael Nadal

32 comments

  1. Congrats Rafa!!! It’s not easy in a silent room… Have a good dinner with the team and a good nights sleep..tomorrow is another day… .

    1000 wins for our boy!!!

    VAMOS!!!

  2. Due to the Paris Masters being held behind closed doors, the winner will receive 301,975 Euros in prize money, a reduction of nearly 700,000 Euros, compared to Novak’s winnings last year of 995,720 Euros. Hard times all round.

  3. Rafa’s mojo is still a little off…
    3rd set. .. he’s getting some rhythm back… His serve looks good … he breaks Feli and holds serve. 2-0

    Now let’s go Rafa!!! Go toe to toe with Feli and he will miss!!!

    VAMOS!!!!!

    • Rafa has indeed won the tie-break n the 2ndset and is now a break up.

      By the way, just for the records, that’s the first tie- break ever that Rafa will win against Feli. Their previous tie- breaks all went the way of Feli and Feli eventually won all those 4 matches in 13 tries against Nadal.

      So much for history.

      But as always……cheers

  4. Rafa’s just doesn’t seem to be able to penetrate Feli’s serve.

    Wish he does it!!!!!

    🍀🍀🍀🙏🙏🙏

  5. Rafa is looking a little despondent as he isn’t making any inroads into Lopez’s big lefty serve. Waiting for the tide to change.

  6. Rafa vs Feliciano Lopez: not before 6:30pm local time, not before 9:30am pacific time tomorrow.
    Vamos Rafa💪❤️

  7. I think it is wonderful to see the mutual respect and affection Rafa and Roger have for each other. I do wonder that going forward, it has become more a Djoković vs Rafa rivalry. They have played each other more often and will likely continue to do so.

    • It’s is hard to like Djokovic, but you have to respect him. He leads Nadal in career head to head, and last five years (6-4) and last ten years (22-11). For Nadal, that 22-11 since 2011 has to be something he wants to fix. With Federer less likely to come between them, he should have the chance.

  8. I can’t believe, nor will I admit to family or friends, that I woke up this morning with the word “tomorrow” on my mind. The ONLY thing happening tomorrow, in my sphere, is RAFA. Yes, one more day.

    The sun’ll come out
    Tomorrow
    So ya gotta hang on
    ‘Til tomorrow
    Come what may
    Tomorrow, tomorrow!
    I love ya tomorrow!
    You’re always
    A day
    Away!
    [Source: Lyrics, from the Broadway play Annie, composed by Songwriters: Charles Strouse / Martin Charnin]

    As a serious fan, I have noticed a marked growth in Rafa’s self confidence as he gets older. This can only help him in confronting life’s challenges, happy for him. Believing in himself, I think, has always been a challenge.

  9. Not sure if Rafa and Roger know what they mean to sport, to just everything in life – everyone knows and talks about their friendship and what they believe in – not sure if we will ever find this in any other sport – a small reminder of their integrity and respect for the sport and indeed the world – as Lorna mentioned “Long may it last” A pity some of the younger stars of today cannot control their tempers etc. when things don’t go their way – they have two masters to learn from!!!

  10. Another outrage perpetrated in Europe. There has been an attack in six different locations in Vienna, one victim confirmed dead and one gunman killed by police. It appears there were many attackers with rifles. Police are still looking for the other gunmen.

    No matter where you are, all stay safe.

    • Just days after the completion of the Vienna Open, this terrible act of violence has, to date, left four dead and fifteen injured. My thoughts and prayers go out to the innocent victims and their families. Even with a pandemic, there is no let up!

  11. Thanks for the video🙏 I loved the ending the most when Rafa connected with Iga. Congratulations to the 2020 RG champions again👏👏

  12. I love Rafa and Roger they are a good friend they respect good luck Rafa vamosssssssssssss champ we love you all your fans ❤️🎾😘👍❤️🎾😘👍🇺🇸

  13. I was interested in Rafa’s comments on his taxes. It is well known that many of the top tennis players live in tax havens like Monaco. I think that is their right, but they should then not be allowed to represent their native countries. Novak moved to MC in 2005 and saved $40M in taxes. Andy is another player who refused to move despite very high UK taxes.

    • I agree that people should be able to live where they wish to live but their nationality doesn’t change merely by relocating to reside in a different country so how, I am wondering and as you suggest, can the ATP decide in a fair way which country a player may or may not represent.

      From what I’ve read players who live in a foreign country are still obligated to pay taxes to their native country. ND may live in MC but he calls Serbia “home.” He also has a residence in the US and in Serbia.

      Some years back Rafa did move his company to an area of Spain where the tax rate was considerably lower than in Manacor, however, there was such bad publicity about it he closed shop and moved it back to Manacor. I was a member here at the time I read that article but wasn’t about to post it because fans here were praising Rafa was for not moving to a country with lower taxes. Personally I feel people have the right to move their money wherever they see fit. I was surprised that they chose Rafa to complain about taxes. By his fame alone he has probably contributed millions, if not more, to the Spanish economy.

      • Using Novak as an example, he only pays taxes on his secondary residences based on things like property taxes. He does not pay taxes as a resident of Serbia since he is an official resident of Monaco. I was only being somewhat serious about events like the Olympics. The UK has not recognized those athletes not paying taxes for year end honors. Of course, I believe that you should be able to live where you want, but there are consequences when one of the primary reasons is to avoid taxes. The US watches this closely. Monaco has very strict requirements before you can become a legal resident. It is not a decision that a player makes casually.

      • Ok, I had no idea you were referring to the Olympics.

        For tax purposes many countries do have residency requirements but I don’t know much more than that.

  14. I’m glad that Rafa is talking so positively about his tennis and his eagerness to play much more in 2021.

    In an interview with the newspaper Corriere della Sera, Rafa explained why he continues to stay in Mallorca, despite the heavy tax rate. “I am Spanish and I am happy to be Spanish. When the tax bill comes in, I am of course a little less happy. But I was lucky to be born in a country with many virtues, one that has given me a good life. I feel deeply that I am from Manacor, that I am Mallorcan, Spanish and European . I am four times lucky.”

    He goes on to talk about the importance of good manners and discipline, his physical stuggles with injuries over the year, the crisis he suffered when his parents separated in 2009, the work of his foundation and life after tennis.
    All in all, a lovely and moving interview.

    • There are a whole host of WTA players who are retiring this year, joining those who hung up their racquets earlier in the year. I wish all of them the very best for the future.

      As I look down the atp rankings, I see many players, previously in the top 20, who haven fallen down the rankings considerably : Kei Nishikori 40, Marin Cilic 43, Sam Querry 50, Richard Gasquet 56, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga 58, Gilles Simons 59, Fernando Verdasco 62, Feliciano Lopez 64, Kevin Anderson 86.

      Whilst injury has kept some of these members of this “old” guard out of the game for a while, l suspect that there are those who will announce their retirement soon and it will be sad to see them go when they decide to call time on their careers, having entertained us so much.

      It just makes me marvel at and appreciate just how long Rafa has managed to stay at the top of the game, even with all those injuries. Having entered the top10 in April 2005, he’s never dropped out of it. That’s testament to his talent, consistency and determination. Long may it last.

  15. I think that Rafa and Roger have forged a genuine friendship. They appear to share a sense of fun and mischief. It’s lovely to see.
    Naturally, being on the Players Council they work together as both want better conditions for lower ranked players . I have seen their parents greeting each other with great warmth .
    Wishing Rafa every success in Bercy.☘️

    • Yes, Elizabeth this is so true. The friendship that Rafa and Roger and goes back many years and is built on the mutaul respect and appreciation they have for one another. Great to see!

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