Rafael Nadal cheers on Real Madrid in Champions League

Rafael Nadal was spotted this evening in Madrid where he watched his beloved football team, Real Madrid, in the UEFA Champions League against Napoli. Our champ, accompanied by his father Sebastian and sister Maria Isabel, enjoyed a quite phenomenal atmosphere at the home of the club he supports. He had plenty of reasons to smile as Real Madrid won 3-1.

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Rafael Nadal beats Mischa Zverev to set up Milos Raonic quarter-final in Brisbane [PHOTOS]

Rafael Nadal has earned a spot in the quarter-finals of the Brisbane International tennis tournament. After just 55 minutes, he scored a 6-1, 6-1 victory against German Mischa Zverev on Thursday.

According to ATP, Rafa lost 12 points in each set – including eight points on serve overall.

Rafa, ranked 9th in the world, will next face world No. 3 Milos Raonic in this tune-up up for the Australian Open which begins on Jan. 16.

After the match, Rafa said:

It’s so special to be back… It means everything to me. … I hope to play my best (against Raonic).

Our champ beat Raonic in an exhibition match last week in Abu Dhabi and has a 6-1 lead in career head-to-head meetings.

 

Federer: “I really enjoy watching Rafa and it’s been tough against him” [VIDEO]

Photo: Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images
Photo: Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images

Roger Federer was asked at a Q&A in Perth for the Hopman Cup who he regarded as the toughest opponent he’s ever had to face and here’s what he said:

Yes, I would have to pick Rafa Nadal. I think the way he played – and plays – against me has always been extremely difficult for me.

Plus, I think I’ve played way too many clay-court matches against him. That’s kind of scarred me I think!

He’s beaten me a lot of times in those finals – time and time again – and he just showed me what he could do.

That’s why I hope for him that he can come back extremely strong again because I think the world of Rafa and his game. I think it’s quite extraordinary, actually.

His fighting spirit and his professionalism that he brings to the game… I really enjoy watching him and it’s been tough against him.

Every match I won against him almost counted double for me.

Source: Eurosport, Video: Hopman Cup

Rafael Nadal ends 2016 with win

World No. 9 Rafael Nadal warmed up for the new season with victory at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition event in Abu Dhabi.

Our champ beat David Goffin 6-4, 7-6(5) to pick up his fourth title at the Zayed Sports City’s International Tennis Centre.

A scorching forehand winner secured the first set for Rafa after both men had picked up breaks in the opening exchanges but Goffin ensured it would not be all plain sailing.

The Belgian broke twice at the start of the second set to lead 3-1, only for Rafa to up his level and round out the win in just under two hours.

After the match, Rafa said:

When you have success many times here is so special. I’m very excited to start a new season playing at this level last three days.

Rafa will now go to Brisbane for the first ATP event of the season where he faces world No. 62 Alexandr Dolgopolov in the first round.

These Are Rafael Nadal’s 9 Most Popular Instagrams of 2016

rafael-nadal-most-popular-instagram-of-2016

There are just two days left of 2016, which means we’re busy looking back at our favorite moments from the past year.

For Rafa, 2016 wasn’t all fun and smiles – damn injuries 😦 but our champ still managed to win two ATP titles (Monte-Carlo, Barcelona) and gold medal in doubles with Marc Lopez at Rio Olympics.

We were curious to see which of Rafa’s Insta posts were his most popular. Using the website 2016bestnine, it was easy to see which of his posts made us double-tap.

rafael-nadal-top-posts-on-instagram-in-2016

Our top posts on Instagram:

rafael-nadal-fans-best-photos-on-instagram-in-2016

 

Rafael Nadal: “I am excited to be back competing”

Rafael Nadal was victorious on his return from injury after he defeated Tomas Berdych 6-0, 6-4 at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.

He will now play Milos Raonic in the semi-final of the Abu Dhabi exhibition event.

After the match he told the press:

I created a lot of damage with my forehands. That has been one of my main goals in these past couple of seasons – to rediscover my forehand. When I am hitting my forehands, I feel in control of the points.

When you have not competed for a while and come back, you don’t expect to play at that very, very high level in your first match. But I practised so good in Mallorca for one month and a half. I think a lot and I am excited to be back competing.

I don’t have any expectations. I just want to enjoy. For me, there is no pressure now. It’s a moment where I just have to give my best because I am starting from zero. That’s my mentality – I am starting from zero again and I am trying to focus on things that will help me to win.

That’s what I am going to try and do for the first couple of months of the season. I am excited and I will try to make something beautiful.

Source: The National

Carlos Moya Joins Rafael Nadal’s Coaching Team

MAJORCA, SPAIN - JULY 21: Former tennis player Carlos Moya (L) and Rafael Nadal attend the Bacardi Limited 'Champions Drink Responsibly' event on July 21, 2012 in Mallorca, Spain. (Photo by Getty Images for Bacardi)
Photo by Getty Images for Bacardi

Rafael Nadal has added former French Open champion and fellow Spaniard Carlos Moya to his coaching team. Moya will join Toni Nadal and Francis Roig in working with our champ.

Rafa:

I am very excited to announce that Carlos will join my team immediately and will be working together with Toni and Francis Roig. To have someone like Carlos who is not only a friend but also a very important person in my career, is something special. He will be next to me on my practice and competition. At the same time he will also join the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar working with Toni and the rest of the technical team.

 Carlos Moya:

Toni called me while I was at the IPTL competition. It was great to receive that call. To be able to help Rafa is something special for me and I am sure that, together with Toni, Francis and the rest of the team we have a great common project.

Rafa is a special player and, above all, a great person. I have a lot of trust and confidence that he will be able to continue winning important titles. At the same time, the academy is an important challenge in an already very professional structure with great professionals that do an excellent work.

Toni Nadal:

When I knew Carlos had stopped with Raonic I called him. Carlos has always been a special person for us. He was always there to help us. We think it is the right moment to have him join our team.