Rafa Roundup: All eyes are now on Rome 


  • Rafael Nadal will always have Paris—but for now, his roads lead to Rome | tennis.com

It’s not my manner to predict outcomes and therefore count anyone out or in. But my analysis of the current process is that Rome represents the key crossroads for Nadal. Be ready to play it, throw oneself into battle and hope the body emerges healthy regardless of outcome: That will be a sign Nadal is ready to compete at Roland Garros.

But show up in Paris without a single match since January? That could well be a betrayal of Nadal’s value system. Lacking match play, what signs will reveal to Nadal that he’s indeed done his homework? I daresay Nadal feels that if he isn’t prepared to give his all at Roland Garros that he would therefore be disrespecting everyone—his fellow players, officials, sponsors, and, most of all, the spectators who pay good money to witness first-rate competition.

So it may well be, Rome or nothing. And if it’s nothing, is it Paris?

  • Todd Woodbridge believes Rafael Nadal unlikely to defend Roland Garros title | nine.com.au

“I am starting to feel we’re not going to see him at Roland-Garros, not going to defend his title which would be enormous if that happened,” he said on Sports Sunday.

“There is one tournament left for him to play, that is Rome, to get some matches. If he doesn’t get to Rome and get tennis under his belt, I cannot imagine that he would put that record on the line of how fantastic he’s been at winning Roland-Garros by going there and losing early.”

… “I think he’s starting to think, ‘I don’t know if my body can take this any more’. Let’s not forget he’s had a baby now, he’s been at home, he’s got a yacht down there in Mallorca or wherever it may be – life’s pretty good. It’s going to be hard to keep pushing to get back.” 

  • April 24, 2005: The day Rafael Nadal won Barcelona to break into the top 10 for the first time | tennismajors.com

On this day, April 24, 2005, Rafael Nadal defeated Juan Carlos Ferrero in the final of the Barcelona Open (6-1, 7-6, 6-3). This win, on top of giving him his second clay-court title in two weeks, propelled the 18-year-old Spaniard in the top 10 for the first time, and he would secure his spot in the elite for the next 16 years without an interruption, never dropping further than world No 10, in 2015.

  • Carlos Alcaraz not planning to ‘take over’ from Rafael Nadal, wants to make ‘own history’ | eurosport.com

“Speaking of this week, it’s been two years that Rafa hasn’t been there, I’ve been lucky, or let’s say I won’t win the title. But as I’ve always said, I’ve always wanted to play against the best.

“It is a pity that we have not been able to enjoy Rafa these last two years. Let’s hope he continues playing for a long time and we can enjoy his tennis, but obviously we’re not here to take over from anyone, but to build our own history.”

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  1. I think whoever is winning that’s who they tend to say is going to win. You’d think they’d learn after the 2022 Aussie open. Never count Rafa out!

  2. A respectful and wise approach from Alcaraz. He is telling his own story. There is only one voice to believe, and that is from Rafael Nadal🎾❤️

    • Would Rafa play Paris if he misses Rome? I wish we had a statement from Rafa or Toni Nadal as to where things stand.

    • I have watched my Rafa for almost 20 years- My heart will break when he leaves tennis, but I too, believe he should retire before he damages his body beyond repair. He needs to be able to be there for Rafa Jr. now. And Maria of course ❤️❤️❤️💕💕💕

  3. What a defeatist statement by Todd Woodbridge..that alone would be enough to totally undermine Rafa right now. Rafa is doing his utmost to get back to being 100% healthy. We have to support & be positive for him no matter. Our Rafa has shown how much of a fighter he is…so be with him rather than against him. Toddbridge go get lost in the Outback 🥶🥶

  4. All fingers crossed, hoping to see my hero Rafa back in the tournament’s. I haven’t watched any of the matches , Rafa, ever since Australian open. Praying for your good health. N keeping all negative news aside. I know how much you would love to be back on tour. Nonetheless you will remain my hero forever.

  5. Rafa will do what is best for Rafa. He loves to play tennis more than anything (has said so himself) – he loves the challenge of every point. If his body is better, he WILL continue to play. Woodbridge has no clue nor does his opinion mean anything. I pray Rafa heals 100% and comes back and shows the stupid media how idiotic they are.

  6. I live in Melbourne, but please don’t trust ANYTHING Woodbridge says about Rafa. His statements about my hero, which I have proven time and again – are laced with ‘arsenic’ – represented by/due to his envy on behalf of his preferred player, Djokovic.

    He, Woodbridge plus the McEnroe brothers – they’re all three and their posts are anathema to me.

    Support your hero, but there’s no need to take down your preferred player’s opponents with unsavoury comments while in the commentators’ box.

    So don’t take to heart Woodbridge’s not-so-nice wish or prediction.

    Personally, I don’t feel good about this revelation, but roaring the truth takes precedence in my book.

    • I agree. I absolutely detest him and Patrick McEnroe. John is more balanced despite occasional bias towards Novak.
      But they are free to say what they like. Only we don’t have to listen to them

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