VIDEO: Pre-tournament interview with Rafael Nadal – 2018 Paris Masters

Rafael Nadal discusses how happy he is to be back in action at the Rolex Paris Masters and gives his take on Novak Djokovic’s impressive second half of the season after coming back from injury.

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Emotional Rafa recounts devastation caused by deadly floods

(AP) – His eyes saddened and his voice marked with pain, Rafael Nadal spoke about the devastation caused by the deadly flooding on the Spanish island of Mallorca.

A torrential rainstorm on Oct. 9 caused flash flooding that left a trail of piled vehicles and damaged infrastructure from surges of water and mud, and killed 13 people. A vehicle carrying a 5-year-old boy and his mother was dragged away by a river of water and mud, claiming both of their lives.

Rafa, who is from Mallorca, knew some of the victims.

“The mother and the son, I know them. They are cousins of one of my best friends. So I lived the situation from very inside and I really saw the drama of all these people looking for the kid,” Rafa said Sunday in Paris, his words measured and his voice tinged with grief. “That’s part of this life and is a very unlucky situation that is almost impossible to recover from.”

Some parts of the island received up to 23 centimeters (nine inches) of rainfall in around four hours, more than one third of the area’s average annual amount.

“The disaster has been just like 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) away from where I live. I was at home and the rain never stopped,” Rafa said. “It was terrible all the things that happened in the village next to my house, and not only one, a few villages — but especially Sant Llorenc.”

A strong current of water and mud buried cars and pulled up trees on its way through the streets of the town of 8,000. Swamped streets and piles of overturned cars, some of them along the guardrails of a major road, were a common sight in Sant Llorenc. There were also victims in Arta, a nearby town, and in the coastal village of S’illot.

Rafa described the huge sense of loss felt within the close-knit community.

“If you were not there, you can’t imagine how the things were inside that village. I have a lot of family there in the village,” Rafa said. “The family from my mother, my grandmother, sisters and all the family from that side are from there. So I have a big connection with all of them.”

Rafa helped residents to clear mud from their houses in Sant Llorenc and his tennis academy on the island offered shelter to people affected by the floods. He wants to continue offering his support. Rafa, who is making his comeback from a knee injury to play at the Paris Masters, said an exhibition event will be held in Mallorca in December to help the people of Sant Llorenc.

“In some way, the only thing that we can do is just try to support them in terms of try to help them to recover all the things that they lost. (For) human losses, there’s nothing to do,” Rafa said. “We are trying to create something to (raise) some money for the people that lost everything in terms of material values, because people who lost life (there) is nothing to do. Things are so sad.”

Rafael Nadal and Grigor Dimitrov practice together in Paris

Rafael Nadal hit the practice court with Grigor Dimitrov on Sunday in Paris. Here are a few photos.

(I had no idea Grigor is working with Andre Agassi, but also after not watching tennis since September, today I saw Grigor’s new haircut. After reading some tweets last week I thought it was much worse, but he’s still the same to me.)

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal hits the practice court in Paris

Rafael Nadal was hard at work on the practice courts earlier today in Paris. The world No. 1 will start his campaign on Tuesday or Wednesday against either Fernando Verdasco or Jeremy Chardy.

Paris Masters 2018: Here’s how Rafa’s draw is looking

AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT 

Rafael Nadal will make his comeback from a knee injury at the Paris Masters next week.  The world No. 1, who needs to match Novak Djokovic’s result this week to stay top of the rankings, will play the winner of the match between Fernando Verdasco and Jeremy Chardy in the second round.

Rafa is playing for the first time since suffering a knee injury at the US Open and he could meet Jack Sock in the third round before a clash with Dominic Thiem in the last eight.

Rafa’s potential route to the final:

  • 1st round: Bye
  • 2nd round: Fernando Verdasco or Jeremy Chardy
  • 3rd round: Jack Sock
  • Quarter-final: Dominic Thiem or Borna Coric
  • Semi-final: Alexander Zverev
  • Final: Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer

Projected quarterfinals:

  • Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem
  • Alexander Zverev vs John Isner
  • Kevin Anderson vs Roger Federer
  • Novak Djokovic vs Marin Cilic

View Singles Draw

Our champ has never won the tournament in the French capital, but will be hoping to build some momentum ahead of next month’s ATP Finals in London.

Rafa Roundup: Will Nadal and Djokovic cancel their exhibition match in Saudi Arabia?

EFE/Juan Carlos Hidalgo

ARTICLES:

The Barcelona defender, who spearheads the company behind the new format of the Davis Cup, said Wednesday that Nadal has told him he will play as long as he is not injured.

”If the No. 1 in the world is playing, that’s more than enough,” Pique said in the official presentation of Madrid as host of the Davis Cup finals for the next two years. ”Rafa is very positive about this event, especially because it is taking place in Madrid.”

While Rafael Nadal has been recuperating – and helping with the flood-relief effort – in Mallorca, Djokovic has settled back into that familiar metronomic rhythm of clinically dismantling opponents and hoovering up titles.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, men of conscience and integrity, continue to risk their good name by accepting an invitation to play in a meaningless exhibition in Saudi Arabia, a regime under critical scrutiny for the disappearance of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The kidnap-and-murder story has led news bulletins around the world – alongside Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the conflict that has contributed to the famine engulfing Yemen – yet efforts this week by the Guardian to elicit a response from either player over playing in Jeddah on 22 December have proved fruitless.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, two incredibly popular athletes who don’t need to consult with teammates or colleagues in order to make a decision about their participation, are in the ideal position to pull out of the match and make a statement about how the world should view Saudi Arabia’s pattern of state-sanctioned killing. The question is if they mind being shiny baubles, dangled in front of the country to distract from a murderous regime, or not.

The world No 1 was the first player to mathematically secure his space in London with victory over Marin Cilic in the Rogers Cup quarter-finals on August 11.

“I know how important Majorca is to Rafa and I have been in touch with him to see if I can help with anything,” Federer said in a video message recorded in Shanghai where he is currently competing.

“I have seen him helping in the village where he comes from and to see that is super-inspiring. Rafa, you have our support. We are thinking of all the people in Majorca. We wish you strength in these difficult times and I hope to be back on Majorca soon.”

ATP World Tour Awards: Vote for Rafa

During the ATP World Tour Finals, which will be held at The O2 in London from 11-18 November, the ATP will announce the winners of the 2018 ATP World Tour Awards.

It has been an impressive year for our champ as he claimed his 11th French Open title as well as Masters trophies in Monte-Carlo, Italy and Canada. He also won the Barcelona Open in May.

Vote for Player of the Year voted by fans here. Voting ends on Friday, November 2.

Despite being injured, Rafa is still is on top of the ATP Rankings and ATP Race List and holds a 45-4 match record in 2018.