Rafa Roundup: Nadal gets back to work

Photo: Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency

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Is it possible that Nadal was thinking about the Open, and Djokovic’s likely absence from it, when he decided to withdraw from Wimbledon? He did say that he wanted to be able to rejoin the tour this summer, and not have to go through another extended recovery period, the way he did in 2021. He knows that he hasn’t lost a completed match at the Open since his fourth-round defeat to Lucas Pouille there in 2016. And he knows that he hasn’t made it to Flushing Meadows, the site of some of his great late-career moments, since he won the title there in 2019.

If Nadal has any desire to finish ahead of Djokovic in the Slam chase, he’ll understand that this year’s Open is an essential opportunity for him. He probably won’t do it on French Open titles alone. Rafa may not go into New York as the favorite; right now, that honor probably belongs to Medvedev, the defending champion. But as we’ve been learning for the last 19 years, you should never bet against one of the Big Three finding a way to win a major title.

“Rafa [was the toughest to play against], for the way he plays, with this speed of the ball, the spin of his forehand, for the difference due to him being left-handed and for the way that he runs after every ball as if it was the first,” Robredo stated.

“Everyone that saw Rafa during the first year could understand that he would go on to become a great player. But he went much higher and became one of the best sporting athletes in the world, if not the best… thats something that’s not easy to realize but that he achieved it in a great way,” Robredo said.

“That is total ignorance, because in the end they pass the same ADAMS controls as anyone, it is the same control,” Ferrer told Super Deporte.

“Playing [under anaesthesia] does not mean that you are doped or doing something illegal, it is simply an infiltration to be able to endure the pain at some point, which cyclists, tennis players, athletes, any type of sportsperson can do, because it is the same organization of all the sports.

“Sometimes it amazes me that athletes without real knowledge can speak so freely,” he added.

Jack Draper has made no secret in the past that Nadal is his favourite player, but he admitted the Spaniard had inspired his game the most once he realised it was impossible to emulate him. “When they’re younger, everyone tries to reenact or copy the players they love,” he explained.

“I like watching the way Rafa holds himself and the way he acts, especially in tough moments. But then you realise, well, I can’t grow my hair like him, I can’t do that like him, so I’m better off just being me. He’s shown me that no matter what’s going on in your life, on the court, off the court, you have just got to keep working hard, doing the right things and keep believing that you’re on the path to success.” 

“For me it is incredible. Since I was little I have always tried to do everything like [Rafael] Nadal; he is my idol and playing with him in Chile is a dream, it will be unforgettable. So to have this opportunity to exhibit here with him makes me very happy,” Tabilo said.

“When they first named it to me, I didn’t think much of it. It took me a while to react and already, a week ago, when they confirmed me, I couldn’t believe it. Guille (Gómez) called me on the phone and was happy. My eyes widened with happiness,” he added.

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16 comments

  1. Rafa is destined to win this year’s US Open .I say that because he is playing great and has 2 slams and needs this one to stay 2 ahead of Djokevic. 20 – 0 in Grand Slam competition in 2022 going into the Open Tge odds are with Rafa barring injury

  2. Rafa, I’m soo looking forward in seeing you play once again. No tournament is worth watching if you’re not in it. You are my NUMBER ONE, love you to bits ❤

  3. Just keep healing, Rafa. We never doubt you will come to the court ready to win and work for it like no other. You are THE GOAT – period. No matter the outcome of the US Open, you have earned your place in history as the best. But we are sooo thankful to have you back on court. I do not take one moment of your time on court for granted. Thank you! Vamos Rafa!

  4. Rafa is always thinking ahead, and that competitive spirit never abates. Enjoy, Rafa. Manacor and your Academy look beautiful. We know you were disappointed at Wimby, so we look forward to Flushing Meadows, and wish you nothing but the best in good health and luck💪👏🎾🍀❤️

  5. Rafa, just do what you do best, beat each, one by one. As long as you are healthy and remain in good health , play for your own enjoyment. Vamos my Champion. 🇪🇦🇪🇦☘☘

  6. Rafa has been hitting for a couple of weeks now. The question is when will he practice his serve? I read that the plan was to take a four weeks off from serving to allow the ab to fully heal. That will take him up to just before his first match in Montreal, depending on when you starting counting the four weeks.

    I’m sure Rafa’s team has it figured out. Go Rafa!

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