Rafa Roundup: Nadal back in Spain after US Open loss to Frances Tiafoe

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“It looked like Rafa was either a little bit slow, or it could be that it is very difficult to read Frances Tiafoe’s game,” Wilander said. … “It is a miracle that he has won two Grand Slams this year and reaching the semis at Wimbledon. If you look at his year, with the regular season he had he actually won two Grand Slams – that’s unbelievable. It wasn’t expected, but I think the players know when Rafa isn’t quite at 100 per cent level.”

“Honestly, I don’t think physically Rafa was at his best,” said Corretja. “Somehow, he didn’t have enough energy he needed to get behind the ball and to dictate. He was struggling, he was getting a little late to the ball and when you are playing someone like Tiafoe that is pushing so much, it’s so bad.

On the other hand…. Nadal turns 37 (!) during the 2023 French Open. He is an expecting father. The ride has to end sometime. This past year alone he’s had a fractured rib, Covid, and an abdominal injury. Beyond that, as the reader notes, he has alluded to the fact that he is aging. The money quote from Monday: “Tennis is a sport of position. You need to be very very quick. And very young. I am not in that moment any more.” Oof.

Our best guess? He fulfills his commitment and plays Laver Cup. Then he shuts it down for 2022. He stays home, becomes a father and comes back for one more season. But who knows? Nadal himself admits that he doesn’t.

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36 comments

  1. As always, the truth prevails over puerile and insane sentiments. Did i not correctly predict the victories of Casper Ruud and Carlos Alcaraz? And as usual, it came to pass!! Take it or leave it, I am just too good!

    • You are so wrong, reptile 😆. Iga Swiatek, a notable and ardent fan of Rafa, won the women’s title. Tomorrow either Casper Ruud or Carlos Alcaraz will win the men’s title – both are huge fans of Rafa and idolize the GOAT. So, in spirit, Rafa wins all the the titles through his inspiration of them all. Ruud and Swiatek both claim Rafa as the GOAT in recent interviews and tweets this year. 🐐 Vamos Rafa! You are the true #1 in all our hearts and these new champions’ hearts 😃!

      • Note that Alexandra eala won the girls junior title at 2022 us open and claimed to have channeled her inner Rafa to win. Another future champion of the sport and proud Rafa fan! Vamos!

      • That’s right, Rafa Fans! Long after Rafa’s tennis career, there will be plenty of stars and future champions who will continue to mention the GOAT Rafa as their idol and inspiration for success. Vamos Rafa for your continued success and long lasting legacy!

      • One thing is for sure. Rafa is super proud of Iga, Casper, and Carlos. Mutual respect.

    • Rafa is not only the greatest to ever play tennis, he is also a wonderful caring person. He is dedicated to his sport and passionate about keeping going. He is also a great example for others. Let’s continue to enjoy him for as long as he continues to play. Long may you be healthy and play tennis, Rafa!

      • Nice comments, Kenny! Can’t wait to see Rafa back at full health in competition, hopefully at the ATP Finals.

      • So proud of Rafa’s achievements this year, including 2 major titles that brought him to his 21st and 22nd grand slam (an all-time record for men’s tennis), semis at Wimbledon, and consistently #1 in the ATP Race since the start of the year, despite all the injuries. Can only imagine how much higher Rafa will soar and the number of major titles he will get in the future when he is healthy and ready! Rafa is the GOAT for sure and a remarkable example for the youngsters. Same here, can’t wait to see Rafa back playing and winning again. Already looking ahead, and fingers crossed for him winning his 15th French Open title in 2023. Vamos!

      • Love this Rafa fans site, and the prolific positive comments for our dear Rafa! Keep it up! Hopefully, the positive comments and support make their way to Rafa, so he can see them!

    • Blah blah blah, Maria snake. You can’t handle the fact that Rafa has the most men’s major titles in the open era.

  2. wrote that “If rafas serve is not improving if hé still misses lots of first services or hitting a lot of double faults if his return doesnt improve if hé lacks the motivation then quit.”

    Rafa has a chance to rise to number 1 in ATP ranking on Monday (if both Casper Ruud and Alcaraz lose in the SF of the US Open); Rafa has won 2 grand slams this year; Rafa holds an enviable 22-1 record in grand slams this year in spite of his injuries; Rafa holds the best W/L ratio this year; Rafa holds the best career W/L ratio among the Big Three; Rafa currently holds the all time best career W/L ratio in the Open era (better than Djokovic, better than Federer, better than Borg, better than Sampras, better than Lendl, better than Connors, better than Agassi, better than McEnroe, better than Rod Laver etc. etc.); and Rafa currently holds the highest number of grand slams titles.

    In spite of all his injuries this year and throughout his career, above stats are just incredible – and yet, you (marijnt) are asking for Rafa’s head and demanding an immediate retirement. Incredible. Please get your facts checked before making a statement.

    If his body holds for another year or so, he has at least 2 more grand slams left in him.

    Rafa has added some extra pace to his serve this year in a bid not to give away some free points on his own serve. It’s a high-risk-high-gain strategy; but the downside is more number of double faults. Moreover, the position from where Rafa returns the serve (especially on Hard Courts) makes him concede a large number of aces to his opponents. Owing to his deep return position on hard courts, Rafa is extremely vulnerable against big servers who can regularly hit spot serves. Nobody succeeds for too long on hard courts with a return position as deep and Nadal’s against the big servers.

    High-risk-high-gain serve strategy and deep return position didn’t pay off in the match against Tiafoe and cost Rafa the match. Nevertheless, in a nutshell, Rafa had been playing below par in the US Open, while Tiafoe has currently hit a purple patch during this year’s US Open.

    • Najam,
      i’ve got news for ya – both Casper Ruud & Carlito will win their matches!!!
      Stop your day dreaming – Rafa cannot be No 1 again, at least not this year.

      • Here’s a conjecture: Maria snake island and marijnt are from the same breed and hiss at each other in their spare time.

    • Good comments! And Rafa would have gotten back the #1 ranking if his 720 points for reaching the semifinal at Wimbledon was given to him.

      Marijnt is simply delusional. He/she needs to chill.

      • Maria the Snake has poor taste and is sinister. Hopefully she slithers away into a hole never to return to society after Rafa gets the #1 ranking. After all, Rafa is #1 in the ATP Race and has qualified for the ATP Finals 17 years in a row!

      • Maria snake island and Marijnt are a pair of cuckoos. So negative in their thoughts and pessimism. Sadly we can’t evict them from this forum.

      • Would be nice to evict those 2 lunies. They crave attention and say the most idiotic things about Rafa.

    • To this Rafa fans site: well done! I do like this site’s link to the 2019 Australian open match between Rafa and Tiafoe and those earlier comments back then. Rafa was serving so well after re-engineering his serve and getting lots of free points with Carlos moya’s tutelage. But he had no ab issues in 2019. Confident in time’s ability to heal Rafa’s ab injury and he will be back stronger than before!

    • I am so pleased and relieved that no-one on this site agrees with Marijnt and Maria (Snake Island). They are both indeed cuckoos in the nest and definitely NOT Rafafans. (I suspect they are actually Djokovic Fans.) If I had control over this site I would block them. People who waste their time denigrating those who have achieved far more than they could ever dream of achieving themselves are generally small-minded under-achievers whose only pleasure in life comes from offending others. Luckily we greatly outnumber them on this site. The rest of us fully appreciate Rafa’s fantastic achievements and know that we are fortunate indeed to have been able to witness them, even if only on TV. He is a truly exceptional competitor who happens to be a very nice person too. An amazing combination.

      • Wellicht you dont you are nor in charge like i said the last time i will critize rafa anytime i want and i stand by my comments nadal loss agsinst tiafoe was painful and embarassing hé couldnt handle tiafoe speed and was simple overpowered bad serving bad returning choking in the foutth set

  3. Heavy RAFA FAN. If Rafa retires I pretty much will loose intrest in tennis. I think that Rafa will stop at the French open one of these years, so will Federer also quit at a Wimbeldon Grand Slam!!!

  4. If rafas serve is not improving if hé still misses lots of first services or hitting a lot of double faults if his return doesnt improve if hé lacks the motivation then quit

    • Puh-lease! Rafa is too talented and motivated to quit. He loves playing tennis and continuing this dream career. His family and beautiful wife fully support his continued tennis career. Can’t wait to see him back to full health to play again! You are the one who should quit with your ridiculous banter…Boo!

      • Good reply! Rafa will keep going as long as he wants to and is able. Rafa is a champion in all of our hearts! Looking forward to seeing Rafa get more major wins and titles. 🥰

    • marijnt you dumb dumb, why make these vile degenerate comments? you seem to be lacking brain cells compared to the rest of us.

  5. Glad to see he is at home. Now he has plenty of time to be with his loved ones and recover for upcoming tournaments or next season.

  6. As the rest of the field smashes racquets, curses, and cries in pursuing a Slam, we appreciate even more the 20 or more Slams won by each of the Big Three. The prowess and consistency of Roger, Rafa, and Novak are unparalleled. They are in another stratosphere, and have nothing to prove. Agassi wrote of winning one French Open as
    Herculean in a handwritten note to Rafa who was at #10 at that time. Let’s not dwell on retirement stories-just enjoy their play-how lucky are we👏👍🎾❤️🙏🥰

  7. Rafa is absolutely free to do whatever he feels is best and as a fan I will have no complaints. But IMHO, as others say, I do not believe that either Rafa or Maria will want Rafa to shut in down for the remainder of 2022 unless there are unresolved medical issues.

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