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

EFE/Juan Carlos Hidalgo


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.

Rafael Nadal holds minute of silence for Mallorca flood victims

Rafael Nadal held a minute’s silence at his academy on Thursday to pay respect to the 10 people who lost their lives and the three who remained missing following severe flash-flooding on his native Spanish Balearic island of Mallorca.

The 32-year-old sporting icon led the solemn act at his academy in his hometown of Manacor, which is just kilometers from the epicenter of the deadly flash flooding that engulfed the town of Sant Llorenç des Cardassar and nearby villages late Tuesday.

During the tragedy, Rafa opened the doors of his training center to host families displaced by the adverse weather conditions and personally helped with the clean-up efforts the following day.

The 17-time Grand Slam winner was joined for the minute of silence by his uncle, former trainer and director of the academy, Toni Nadal, as well as the tennis player’s current coach Carlos Moyá, fellow Mallorcan tennis player Jaume Munar, academy employees and students.

Source: EFE

VIDEO: Rafael Nadal busy cleaning out the mud after flash floods hit Mallorca

Flash floods caused by torrential rains killed at least 10 people on the Spanish island of Mallorca and burst the banks of a river, washing away vehicles and engulfing a town in muddy water.

Not only Rafael Nadal opened up his tennis academy to help people displaced by the floods, but he also swapped his racquet for a broom to help with clearing away the water.

Rafael Nadal offered rooms to Majorca flood victims in a classy gesture

Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal has opened the doors of his tennis academy to aid those affected by the recent flash floods in Majorca.

Torrential storms hit the area on Tuesday, with eight inches of rain falling in just four hours, and at least nine people are believed to have been killed in the disaster.

On Wednesday, the world number one – who hails from the island – posted on Twitter to say his academy was open to anyone in need of a place to stay.

Today is a sad day in Majorca. Our heartfelt condolences to the relatives of those who died from the floods of San Llorenc. Today we offer the rooms of the Rafa Nadal Sports Centre and Academy for all the affected ones that need accommodation.

Source: Yahoo

Rafael Nadal to play Novak Djokovic in Saudi Arabia exhibition

Kevin Lee/Getty Images

World number one Rafael Nadal on Sunday said he has agreed to play an exhibition match against fellow Grand Slam title winner Novak Djokovic in Saudi Arabia in December.

“Thanks for the invitation and looking forward to playing and visiting for the first time,” Rafa said on Twitter.

The match between the two stars will take place at Jeddah’s King Abdullah Sports City on December 22.

Rafa and Nole have played 52 times in their careers with the Serb leading their head-to-head 27-25.

Source: AFP

When Is Rafa Next Playing?

Photo by Marek Janikowski/Icon Sport via Getty Images

(AFP) – Rafael Nadal’s coach Carlos Moya has indicated the world number one is targeting a return from injury next month at the Paris Masters.

Rafa has not played a match since retiring from the US Open semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro three weeks ago, due to a problem in his right knee.

After missing Spain’s Davis Cup semi-final defeat by France, Rafa then announced his withdrawal from tournaments in Beijing and Shanghai.

But Moya, who has coached Rafa since 2016, believes his player may be ready in time for the Paris Masters, which runs from October 29 to November 4. After that, the ATP Finals in London begins on November 11.

“We do not have deadlines, if everything goes well and everything is in order, we understand that he may be fine for Paris-Bercy,” Moya told Television Espanola on Friday.

“If it’s not Paris, it will be London and if not, then next year.”

Rafa’s absence leaves his position at the top of the world rankings vulnerable to a late push from Novak Djokovic.

Moya, however, insisted holding onto the top spot is not on Nadal´s mind.

“Right now, no,” Moya added.

“A month or month and a half ago, probably yes, but when you have an injury the top priority is to recover from that injury.”

Source: AFP