WATCH: Rafael Nadal confirms he will play at Queen’s Club as warm-up for Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal confirms he will play at Queen’s Club in London as part of his preparation for Wimbledon this year – 10 years after winning the event as part of a summer treble.

In 2008, Rafa clinched titles at the French Open, Queen’s and The Championships, Wimbledon.

Rafa:

I am very excited to communicate that I am going to come to Queen’s in 2018. It is going to be the 10th anniversary of my victory in 2008, it’s a great memory, winning there and three weeks later winning Wimbledon. It was an unforgettable year. I am very excited to be coming back and playing Queen’s again.

Queen’s Club tournament director Stephen Farrow said:

We are delighted that Rafa is planning to return to the Queen’s Club. His run 10 years ago will never be forgotten and to see him back at the top of the world rankings a decade later is a testament to his greatness and desire to achieve even more.

Source: The Queen’s Club Championships

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Rafael Nadal wins Mundo Deportivo’s 2017 Best Athlete of the Year Award

Tennis stars Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza were the big winners in the 70th Grand Gala of El Mundo Deportivo. Rafa was named the best male athlete of 2017 and Garbi was named the best female athlete of 2017.

Rafa:

I am very happy and grateful to Mundo Deportivo for having thought of me for the prize. The truth is that this place is special and very beautiful and ideal to celebrate a night of sports. I’ve been winning and not winning, but someone has to win.

Rafa won the honour for the fourth time in his career (2007, 2008, 2013) to commemorate a remarkable 2017 for the Spaniard.

Rafa on his injury:

It’s a small injury that needs time and rest and recovery, and that’s what we’re doing.

For the moment my schedule is the same and I think I’ll be able to travel to Mexico to play at Acapulco.

Source: Mundo Deportivo

Welcome back home, Rafa!

(EFE) – Rafael Nadal said on Thursday, two days after retiring from his Australian Open quarter-final match with an inner right hip ailment, that he hoped a long-term solution can be found to reduce the number of injuries on the ATP Tour.

“When there are more injuries than usual, it’s because something’s happening,” the world No. 1 said after he and his team arrived at the airport serving Palma de Mallorca, capital of the Spanish autonomous community of the Balearic Islands.

Rafa, who retired on Tuesday night while trailing Croatian world No. 6 Marin Cilic 3-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 2-0, will be out for three weeks after an MRI he underwent in Melbourne revealed a Grade 1 strain of his iliopsoas muscle.

He recalled that he brought attention to a recent spate of injuries on Tour at the start of the Australian Open, a Grand Slam event he decided to play despite concerns about a right-knee injury.

He stressed, however, that he was not calling on the Tour to immediately make changes, such as moving more tournaments to surfaces easier on the body or shortening the tennis calendar.

“But if within a few years there’s a chance for some change that would benefit future generations of tennis players and improve their quality of life, that would be very positive, especially for the health of the athletes,” the 16-time Grand Slam champion said.

Our champ was clear, however, that he had no plans to retire in the short term.

“I don’t know how long I’ll play, whether it will be three, four or five more years. But when that time comes, I’ll know and I won’t be afraid. But now I’m not thinking about my retirement,” he said.

Rafa said that when referring to the detrimental effects of hard courts – the most commonly used surface on the ATP Tour – he was in no way doing so for his own personal gain.

“Few sports, as is the case with tennis, are played (mainly) on cement, hard, very aggressive surfaces, but I’m just another player giving his opinion,” Rafa, who will recover from his injury in his home town of Manacor, said.

Source: EFE

Twitter reacts to Rafael Nadal’s injury at Australian Open

The Twitter world was on fire after hearing the news on Rafael Nadal.

Continue reading “Twitter reacts to Rafael Nadal’s injury at Australian Open”

Rafael Nadal Retires From Australian Open With Leg Injury [PHOTOS]

(AP) – An injured and visibly struggling Rafael Nadal retired while trailing in the fifth set of his Australian Open quarterfinal match against Marin Cilic.

Top-ranked Rafa fended off five break points in the last game before Cilic broke his serve, then the 16-time major winner went to shake hands with the umpire and his opponent, and angrily hurled his headband into his equipment bag.

No. 6-seeded Cilic advanced to his first semifinal in Australia since 2010 with a score of 3-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 2-0, retired.

Rafa limped into a news conference about a half-hour later, still wincing when he stepped up onto a platform. He said he felt muscle pain in his upper right leg in the third set but played through it. In the fourth set, chasing a drop shot, he felt the pain get worse “but didn’t realize how bad.”

Rafa said he’d have medical scans Wednesday to determine the exact location and extent of the injury, which he could only describe as being high on his right leg but not in the hip.

It was only the second time Rafa had retired during a Grand Slam match  — the last time was also an Australian Open quarterfinal, in 2010 against Andy Murray.

On Tuesday night, he needed a medical timeout after going down 4-1 in the fourth set for treatment on his leg.

Rafa returned but was clearly bothered by the injury, limping and taking as much time as possible as he tried to stretch between points.
He called the trainer again after losing the fourth set, and lasted only two further games.

Source: AP

Rafael Nadal beats Leonardo Mayer in the Australian Open second round [PHOTOS]

(AP) – Top-ranked Rafael Nadal is into the third round at Melbourne Park after beating Leonardo Mayer 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (4).

Rafa served for the match but was broken in the 10th game, with Mayer hitting a cross-court winner that clipped the line. In the tiebreaker, Rafa won on his first match point with a service winner.

After the match, Rafa said:

An important victory against a tough opponent. He has big potential, hits the ball so strong, I had to hit some great shots in the tie-break. Hes a very dangerous opponent, and we’ve been friends for a long time.  Happy to be in the third round after not having competition for a long time.

It’s always a very special to play in this court. It gives me great energy. Thank you to all the crowd, and many thanks for the support.

Hopefully Toni was watching the match at home. I have the team here working the right way, and Toni is always there if we need him. To my team, and my family this is the favourite tournament of the year so I want to be here as long as possible.

Rafa said he believes the roofs at Rod Laver Arena, Margaret Court Arena and Hisense Arena should be closed to protect the players’ health in extreme conditions.

Even I like sometimes play with hot (temperatures). When is too much, it becomes dangerous for the health. I would not like to see here retirements.

The Australian Open has an extreme heat policy that goes into effect when temperatures reach 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit). The roofs can be closed in such situations prior to the start of play.

Rafa isn’t scheduled to play again until Friday. He said he’s still avoiding the heat on Thursday and practicing indoors.

Our champ will next play 28th-seeded Damir Dzumhur, who beat John Millman in four sets.

Source: AP

[PHOTOS] Australian Open 2018: Rafael Nadal beats Victor Estrella Burgos in first round

(AP) – Top-seeded Rafael Nadal didn’t show any side effects from a right knee injury that sidelined him at the end of last season, beating Victor Estrella Burgos 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 in a first-round match.

Our champ has only lost in the first round at two Grand Slam singles tournaments — to Steve Darcis at Wimbledon in 2013, and to Fernando Verdasco in Melbourne in 2016.

After the match, Rafa said:

I was disappointed I couldn’t make it in Brisbane but I’m very happy to be here again.

I took a little time off and straight after London I had to stop for a while and then started working step by step. That’s why I didn’t make Brisbane because I wanted to be ready for this.

This year I am here. I know one day that I won’t have the chance to play on this court so I want to enjoy every moment when I have the chance.

Rafa will play Leonardo Mayer in the second round on Wednesday. Mayer beat Nicolas Jarry 6-2, 7-6 (1), 6-3 earlier Monday.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Nadal [1] bt Estrella Burgos 6-1 6-1 6-1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Nadal – 28/17
Estrella Burgos – 10/26

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Nadal – 2/1
Estrella Burgos – 1/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Nadal – 8/12
Estrella Burgos – 1/6

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Nadal – 73
Estrella Burgos – 66

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Nadal – 77/67
Estrella Burgos – 48/24

TOTAL POINTS
Nadal – 86
Estrella Burgos – 41