Rafa Roundup: “Let’s not be like Rafa Nadal, let’s be Rafa Nadal”


No. 1 is No. 1: Nadal needs to win only one more match to clinch his fourth year-end finish atop the Emirates ATP Rankings (also 2008, 2010, 2013 ). No. 2 is No. 31: The number of ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles Nadal will have – which would be a record – if he wins the Rolex Paris Masters this week. He is currently tied with Serbian Novak Djokovic for the all-time lead at 30.

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal and No. 2 Roger Federer are both up for two player-voted categories: the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award and Comeback Player of the Year. Federer has won the Sportsmanship award every year since 2004, with the exception of 2010, when the honours went to Nadal. Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro round out the nominees in this category.

I want to join Andre Agassi and so many others in having Rafa as our role model and let me insist: let’s not be like Rafa Nadal, let’s be Rafa Nadal. Let’s be this person that gives his or her best in every little thing that we do. Doing this, who knows if one day we will outpace our role models, like Rafa did with his childhood hero Carlos Moya. Isn’t that what evolution is about?

Before addressing this question directly, let’s pause, put partisan politics on hold, and acknowledge your first paragraph. Here we are in 2017 and Federer and Nadal—their combined age approaching 70, their career head-to-head encounters approaching 40—are still ruling the roost. All hail the greatest rivalry in sports.

As for your GOAT/GOTY point, after Federer beat Nadal in Shanghai a lot of you brought up this up. I have a number of thoughts—some of which I have shared—but here’s the beauty: we don’t have to decide. Sometimes tennis presents counterfactuals that will never be answered with any certainty. (“How many Grand Slams would Monica Seles have won, were it not for Hamburg 1993?”) In this case, why not wait until after the World Tour Finals event in London—when we have a full complement of data points—and we can reassess.



Paris Masters Draw 2017: Every point matters for Rafael Nadal

The BNP Paribas Masters Paris draw is out, and Rafael Nadal has a bye in the first round. The World No. 1  is seeded first at the tournament. He will play the winner of the match between Mischa Zverev and Hyeon Chung in the second round.

Our champ is joined by fourth seed Alexander Zverev in the top half of the draw, with second seed Roger Federer projected to face off against third seed Marin Cilic in the other semifinal.

Photo: Corinne Dubreuil

Rafa’s potential route to the final:

  • 1st round: Bye
  • 2nd round: Mischa Zverev or Hyeon Chung
  • 3rd round: Albert Ramos-Vinolas
  • Quarter-final: Pablo Carreno Busta
  • Semi-final: Alexander Zverev or Grigor Dimitrov
  • Final: Roger Federer

Projected quarterfinals:

  • Rafael Nadal vs Pablo Carreno Busta
  • Alexander Zverev vs Grigor Dimitrov
  • David Goffin vs Marin Cilic
  • Dominic Thiem vs Roger Federer

View Singles Draw

UPDATE: Roger Federer has withdrawn from the Paris Masters to focus on the ATP World Tour finals in London. Rafa needs just one more win – either in Paris or at the season-ending ATP World Tour finals in London – to seal the No 1 spot.


PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal awarded at the Premio Los Leones 2017

Rafael Nadal has been awarded at the Premio Los Leones 2017, presented by the publication El Español, for his sporting career.

Rafa picked up the prize at an event which took place at the Teatro Real in Madrid, which was also attended by Real Madrid’s superstars Zinedine Zidane, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo.

Florentino Pérez was recognized for his management of Real Madrid and Ignacio Echeverría received a posthumous award for solidarity.

VIDEO: Roger Federer congratulates Rafael Nadal on the one year anniversary of the Rafa Nadal Academy

Roger Federer took time to congratulate Rafael Nadal on the one-year anniversary of the Rafa Nadal Academy.

Rafa posted this video to thank him.

The invitation is always open for you. The only thing that cannot happen again is that after coming here you play that well again. If that’s going to happen, I don’t invite you. Just a joke. See you soon.

Thank you @RogerFederer for congratulating us!!! @RafaelNadal invites you to the #Academy again… or not? 😂 😂 #RNA1year

A post shared by Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar (@rafanadalacademy) on

Rafa withdraws from Basel to rest his sore knee

Yifan Ding/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from next week’s Basel indoor tournament because of fatigue.

Our champ announced his decision on his Facebook page.

I sadly announce that I have to pull out of the Swiss Indoors Basel, after seeing my doctor in Spain just after landing from Shanghai.
I am suffering from an over stressing of the knee and the problems where already present at the tournament in Shanghai which now forces me to take a time off on advice of my doctor.
After two great weeks in China, with the title in Beijing and the final in Shanghai it is time for some rest.
I want to send a special message to the many tennis fans in Switzerland which have always showed great support and respect also on my matches with Roger.
Hope to see you next year.

Shanghai Masters 2017: Post final presser

Transcript of the presser Rafael Nadal gave after his loss to Roger Federer in Shanghai.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You said at the start of the week that Roger in these conditions would be a significant challenge. How do you assess tonight’s final?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, of course, have been a very difficult match for me. He played very fast and he played well. I don’t know how many unforced errors he make, but I don’t remember. He played so well, I think.

Yeah, I could do maybe some things better, but that’s it. No, no, just he played too good. That’s my point of view. So congrats to him.

Q. Regardless of tonight’s result, you have been playing in this part of the season better than you have played in most of your career. Is there something that you have done to adjust the preparation? Is it just that you managed to keep yourself healthy? Is there something that you have learned to basically perform better in this part of the season this year?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I played well. That’s all, no? Beijing have been a tournament that takes time for me to play well. I never liked a lot the balls there. Was difficult to find a good rhythm. I played great in Beijing this year.

And here too. I played a fantastic tournament, having very good wins. Very pleased the way I played the whole Asian tour for me, whole China tour. Beijing, Shanghai have been a very positive two weeks for me. A lot of points, a lot of victories against great opponents. I come back with very good personal satisfaction the way that I played.  Continue reading “Shanghai Masters 2017: Post final presser”

ATP Rankings: Rafael Nadal still leads Roger Federer by 1,960 points

(EFE) – Rafael Nadal remained in the number one spot in the ATP world singles rankings released on Monday. He maintained the top spot although he lost the Shanghai Rolex Masters final on Sunday against Roger Federer, who came in second.

Rafa still leads Federer by 1,960 points in the rankings with 3,000 points available for both men at Basel, Paris and ATP Finals.

Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Andy Murray occupied the third position, while Marin Cilic jumped to the fourth. Alexander Zverev dropped to fifth. Dominic Thiem went up one position to replace Novak Djokovic, who held the seventh spot. Grigor Dimitrov jumped to the eighth spot, while Stan Wawrinka dropped to the ninth.

The current ATP rankings and point scores are as follows:

1. Rafael Nadal – 10,465 points

2. Roger Federer – 8,505

3. Andy Murray – 5,290

4. Marin Cilic – 4,505

5. Alexander Zverev – 4,400

6. Dominic Thiem – 3,935

7. Novak Djokovic – 3,765

8. Grigor Dimitrov – 3,590

9. Stan Wawrinka – 3,450

10. David Goffin – 2,885

Source: EFE