Rafa Roundup: “Luckily, I have a woman who is brave,” says Nadal

© Nicolas Gouhier/FFT


Alcaraz explained that he picked up the injury ‘through a chance, unnatural movement in training’ that resulted in him hurting the semimembranosus muscle in his right hamstring. 

Alcaraz’s withdrawal means his countryman, reigning champion Rafael Nadal, will be promoted to top seed for his title defence when the year’s first grand slam gets underway in Melbourne on January 16.

Again, it’s important to clarify that ‘struggle’ is a very relative term here. In the grand scheme of things, Nadal does not ‘struggle’ at the Australian Open at all, he just does in comparison to his record in the other majors.

It is still an interesting issue to explore, though, and are three very good reasons for it – Australian Open balls, Novak Djokovic, humidity.

The Spanish champion copped some brutal backlash from fans online after deciding to fly to America to play the US Open in September while Xisca was in hospital. He also left her side to play doubles with Roger Federer at the Laver Cup in the Swiss legend’s farewell event before retiring.

But in a recent interview, Nadal revealed that it was actually Xisca’s wishes that he played in New York and London, with his wife encouraging him to do so. “Luckily, I have a woman who is brave. And she has always helped me in everything I could and more, and she has always encouraged me to continue,” he said.

“So, in that sense, she made it easy for me. In fact, it was she who encouraged me to go to the United States.”

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  1. Alcaraz gone, Rune in.

    I was hoping these two young guns would serve as definite foil to someone’s game, judging from history.

    Now reduced to one….

    Let’s see what happens.

  2. Good luck, Rafa.

    Rafa won’t have to play his nemesis Djokovic until the semifinals at the earliest.

    Hoping Djokovic gets the toughest Australian open draw with Stan wawrinja and Dominic thiem in his path to hammer him 🔨 . Both are coming back from injury and have the goods to topple djokovic like a weak wall.🤣

    • I don’t like djokovic either. To have the nerve to return to a country that banned him for his immoral actions, trying to sneak in last year. 😅😂

      • We love Rafa! The fans and crowd will cheer Rafa on to victory!🥰

        We detest Djokovic. Curious what kind of boos he will get in Melbourne. Hopefully the crowd gives him a hard time and boos him off the court with that embarrassing fiasco last year. 😅

      • Well, the USA still won’t allow djokovic into our country. So proud to be a citizen of our country than bans such unethical individuals🥳!

      • My first wish this year is for Rafa to win the Australian open title.

        My second wish is for sebi Korda to crush djokovic in tomorrow’s Adelaide final.

        One more wish to go 🧞‍♂️ 🪔 🎾

      • Go get the AO title, Rafa! You’ve won it twice and made so many finals. We know you can win the title again!

        Djokovic is the most polarizing tennis player ever in tennis history. Djokovic is not liked by many but only by his “group” of evil henchmen. Completely immoral and unethical.

    • Can’t wait for the draw and Australian open to start. Vamos and good luck, Rafa!! 🎾 🍀 🏆 💪 ❤️

      • I am rooting for Rafa all the way!

        Djokovic the sneaky weasel tried to fake an injury against Medvedev in Adelaide. If it is a real injury, then he would pull out of Adelaide and Australian Open. 🙂

      • Rafa, we believe you can win the AO Title in back to back years.👏🏆

        Djokovic is indeed a weasel, so unethical and trying to go above the law. Why is he even allowed to be in Australia after what happened last year? Yuck!

    • That first match is so important for Rafa to play well and win to fully restore his confidence. Just hope he doesn’t draw Dominic Thiem.

  3. Such a strong bond, so beautiful, the perfect couple. Wishing you the best of luck Rafa in the Australian Open, Vamos 💕

    • Brave and strong-such a perfect match for you❤️Good luck at the AO👏👍💪🤛🍀🎾

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