Stefanos Tsitsipas praises unbelievable Rafael Nadal after Rogers Cup final

Stefanos Tsitsipas was full of praise for Rafael Nadal after his defeat in the Rogers Cup final.

Jeff Chevrier/Icon Sportswire

Stefanos on playing Rafa:

The patience that Rafa has is amazing. He never cracks. He will always grab you like a bulldog and always will have you – he will always make you suffer on the court.

And it is amazing what he has built as a player. I mean, he was, like, you know, normal like all of us, and he managed to become this beast, this monster that he is today.

It is true. It is true. It’s not that I’m saying something that — that’s how you feel when you play against him. So I need to work much more, as I said, and hopefully I can reach his level one day.

Source: ASAP Sports

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Rafael Nadal announces withdrawal from Cincinnati

Just hours after winning his fourth Rogers Cup title, Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the Cincinnati event which began today.

The world No. 1 had been handed a bye for the first round of the Cincinnati tournament but announced on his social media accounts that he would not be competing in the event.

Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire

Rafa’s statement:

I am very sorry to announce that I won’t be playing in Cincinnati this year. No other reason than personally taking care of my body and trying to keep as healthy as I feel now.

I am very thankful to my friend Andre Silva, Tournament Director of the Cincinnati tournament, who after speaking to him on the phone understood what I said and understands the situation.

I am sure the tournament will be a success and I wish him and his team all the best.

I am also sad for those amazing fans in Cincy and around who always gave me great support. I am sure I’ll see them next year and I am sorry I won’t be with them this year.

Thanks for all the support as always.

We’re glad Rafa decided to skip it as he must ensure he’s in good health for both the US Open and the indoor swing afterwards. We’re sorry for the fans who have bought tickets but our champ has to put himself first here and focus on the remainder of the season.

What do you think? Comment below.

Rafael Nadal beats Stan Wawrinka to set up Marin Cilic clash in Rogers Cup [PHOTOS]

(AFP) – A 45-minute rain interruption did little to stop the progress of Rafael Nadal on Thursday at the Toronto Masters as he defeated Stan Wawrinka 7-5, 7-6 (7/4) to reach the quarter-finals.

The 32-time ATP World Tour Masters 1000 champion is a three-time champion in Canada and he improved to 17-3 lifetime against Wawrinka and 37-3 on the season with today’s victory.

It was a good match, a very positive victory for me over a tough opponent. I’m happy to see Stan playing well again. We had a good quality of tennis. I’m very pleased, I needed a match like this. It does much for the confidence.

Rafa returned from the rain delay by immediately breaking Wawrinka to win the opening set 7-5.

The second set was a battle as the Swiss,fought back from an early break down, took a 2-1 lead, with the pair again trading breaks in the fifth and tenth games. Rafa came from a mini-break down in the tiebreaker and secured victory on his second match point.

His opponent in the last eight is Marin Cilic following the Croat’s win over Diego Schwartzman.

The world No. 1  is going for his fifth title of the season. This week’s Masters 1000 tournament in Canada is only his second hard-court event of the season.

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal loses to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon

(AP) – Rafael Nadal’s quest for a third Wimbledon singles title ended in remarkable fashion in London on Saturday as the world No. 1 was beaten 4-6, 6-3, 6-7(9), 6-3, 10-8 by Novak Djokovic.

As intense as any athletes in any sport, these two didn’t exactly slowly ramp things up when they returned to Centre Court about 14 hours after they’d departed. Having the roof shut meant every sound was amplified as it ricocheted off the dome — the thwack of ball off racket, the players’ grunts, the spectators’ applause.

This was high-decibel, high-stakes, high-quality tennis between two of the greats right from the get-go, beginning with an 18-point, six-deuce game that last 15 minutes and felt truly pivotal. It included a 23-stroke exchange and three others of at least 11. Rafa saved two break points and when he finally held, the owner 17 major championships, two at Wimbledon, punched the air and yelled as if he’d won the match, not a solitary game.

When Rafa broke in Saturday’s second game, a dismayed Djokovic grabbed a spare ball and whacked it with his racket against the wall behind the baseline. Fortunately, he was at the end of the court farthest from the Royal Box, where the pair of visiting Duchesses, Kate and the newly married Meghan, sat in the front row.

There were other such displays of emotion from Djokovic, who is prone to yelling at himself or at his coach. He reacted by getting broken again to trail 5-3 in that set by raising his left shoe and violently pounding his racket against it — one, two, three, four times. Moments later, he got to love-40 before Rafa took five points in a row to serve out the set.

But it was Djokovic who tended to be better down the stretch in his 52nd career meeting against Rafa in a contest that seemed as if it should be worth a trophy.

Wimbledon: Nadal will resume his match against Djokovic

(AP) – It was the kind of tennis that Wimbledon’s Centre Court crowd would gladly have watched all night long.

The show being put on by Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal was so good it could have been an instant classic had they been able to finish their semifinal before the tournament’s 11 p.m. curfew.

Instead, the two players — and a disappointed audience — were sent home after the third set on Friday with Djokovic leading 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9) following a tense tiebreaker that had more entertaining rallies than some entire matches.

Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport

The two players didn’t even get onto the court until after 8 p.m. because of an earlier marathon semifinal won by Kevin Anderson and when Djokovic converted his second set point in the tiebreaker — having saved three of Nadal’s — the clock had ticked a couple of minutes past 11. That left organizers no choice but to call it a night, although the announcement from the chair umpire led to a scattering of boos from some fans who clearly wanted more.

Most of them will have to watch the rest on TV.

The match will resume at 1 p.m. local time on Saturday, before the women’s final between Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber. At stake is a place in Sunday’s men’s final against the man who was partly at fault for keeping Nadal and Djokovic out there so late. Anderson’s win over John Isner lasted 6 ½ hours and went to 26-24 in the fifth set.

Djokovic-Nadal had clearly been the headline act of the day — they have five Wimbledon titles between them and met in the 2011 final while Anderson and Isner had never made the semifinals before — and their tennis was at another level from the earlier match. Even Anderson said he could feel during his match that the crowd would rather be watching the next one.

“They’ve paid to see two matches, and they came pretty close to only seeing one match,” Anderson said. “I can feel the crowd (get) pretty antsy for us to get off the court. They’ve been watching us for over six hours.”

While Anderson-Isner was mostly a serving duel with a few longer rallies thrown in, Djokovic and Nadal repeatedly slugged it out from the baseline, chasing each other around the court and coming up with spectacular winners from every corner.

Many of the best points came in the tiebreaker, including a 23-shot rally that Nadal finished off with a forehand half-volley drop shot to set up his first set point.

It was one of three successful drop shots from the Spaniard in the tiebreaker alone, but Djokovic answered with one of his own to save the second set point at 7-6.

He eventually went up 10-9 with the help of a backhand passing shot and an errant shot into the net by Nadal brought the entertainment to an end — for now.

It led to the unusual situation of both players leaving the court to a huge ovation — and applauding the fans in return — but without there being a clear winner or loser.

Source: AP

Rafael Nadal seeded second at Wimbledon

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal has been seeded second at Wimbledon which puts him in the opposite half of the draw to Roger Federer.

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Switzerland’s Roger Federer, world No.2 and eight-time Wimbledon champion, was named first seed for the grass court tournament, which starts July 2, as Wimbledon gives extra weight to a player’s successes on grass in the previous two years.

Marin Cilic is to be third seed, followed by Alexander Zverev and Juan Martin del Potro.

The top 10 seeds at Wimbledon are as follows:

1. Roger Federer (Switzerland, world No. 2)
2. Rafael Nadal (Spain, world No. 1)
3. Marin Cilic (Croatia, world No. 5)
4. Alexander Zverev (Germany, world No. 3)
5 Juan Martin del Potro (Argentina, world No. 4)
6. Grigor Dimitrov (Bulgaria, world No. 6)
7. Dominic Thiem (Austria, world No. 7)
8. Kevin Anderson (South Africa, world No. 8)
9. John Isner (US, world No. 10)
10. David Goffin (Belgium, world No. 9)

Source: Wimbledon

What time does Rafael Nadal play at Hurlingham?

Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

Rafael Nadal is to warm up for Wimbledon with two exhibition matches at the Aspall Tennis Classic at Hurlingham this week.

The world No. 1 will play this year’s Australian Open semi-finalist  Hyeon Chung on Wednesday before facing Lucas Pouille, a previous Wimbledon quarter-finalist, on Friday – just three days before the SW19 showpiece gets underway.

Here’s the schedule of play at Hurlingham:

Wednesday 27th June (play starts at 2 PM local time)

Maria Sharapova v TBC

Hyeon Chung v Rafael Nadal

Friday 29th June (play starts at 2 PM local time)

Rafael Nadal v Lucas Pouille

Followed by Pablo Carreno Busta v Karen Khachanov

Not before 5:30pm - Bahrami/Rusedski v Philippoussis /Pernfors

Rafa said:

It’s always great to play in front of UK fans so I can’t wait to return.

I’m working hard and this is the perfect way to warm up for Wimbledon.

2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the Aspall Tennis Classic at Hurlingham, which over the years has become one of the world’s most star-studded tennis exhibitions. This year’s edition takes place from Tuesday, June 26 until Friday, June 29.

Vamos Rafa!