Rafa Roundup: What does Rafael Nadal do before a match?

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Q. After so many years and so many victories, what routines do you follow and which have you changed?

I always shower in the same shower stall in the locker room, the one furthest to the right; I also always have the locker 159. I haven’t changed much honestly. I have introduced some new things and what I do now may not be the same as what I did eight years ago. I used to get to training 20 minutes early, wrap my hands with bandages and move around a little and that’s all… now I arrive an hour early, I go to the gym, I warm up a lot more seriously. Routines change depending on what is required.

Criticism of Nadal on these grounds is obviously not valid. While he always peaks for clay, it’s not as if he’s given up on other surfaces. Over the last year and a half. Nadal has played 14 hard-court events, and 10 on clay. Since 2005, he’s missed Wimbledon just twice, and he plans to be there again in two weeks. Like Federer, Nadal has the exemptions he needs to skip every mandatory event if he chooses, but since the start of 2015 he has played 25 of 28 Masters 1000s and 13 of 14 majors. His 67 wins last year, including seven at the US Open, were the most he had in a season since 2013.

No GOAT candidate has ever been as dominant on any surface as Nadal is on clay. However, Nadal also has been successful enough on the other surfaces that he has a strong case as the best tennis player of all time. His success at majors outside of the French Open compares very favorably with anyone in the Open era — including Federer. Nadal is the unquestioned King of Clay, but taken as a whole, he is very likely the King of tennis as a whole. Long live the King.

“You can always improve something, and I think that everyone can improve. There is no limit. You never know where is the limit,” Nadal said. “If you don’t have the will to improve, you don’t understand the sport, because the sport is always about improving. That’s the meaning of sport. It’s playing with the dream of doing something better than what you’re doing before… When you’re not working with passion of doing something better, I think that sports will lose its sense.”

“I remember when he won the first time at Roland Garros, someone said to me ‘Rafa’s going to win a lot more of these trophies.’ It seemed outrageous to think he’d win 10 more after that but I can see how he’s managed to do that. He works as hard as possible; he’s always trying to lift his game to new heights.”

VIDEO: Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem | Roland Garros


Rafael Nadal’s first training on grass in Mallorca

As you can see, Rafael Nadal started training on grass in Mallorca ahead of the third major of the season. Vamos Rafa!


Rafael Nadal to prepare for Wimbledon at Mallorca Open

(AAP) – Rafael Nadal will start preparing for Wimbledon next week with practice sessions on the grass courts used for the Mallorca Open, a WTA event in Spain, tournament organisers have confirmed.

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After extending his record haul of French Open titles to 11 by winning Roland Garros last Sunday, Rafa withdrew from the Queen’s Club Championships, a key Wimbledon tune-up to be played in London from June 18-24. In announcing that decision on Wednesday, he said his doctors had advised him to rest.

The Mallorca Open courts will be played that same week in the small town of Santa Ponsa, located about an hour by car from Rafa’s hometown of Manacor.

Rafa is then expected to travel to London to continue his preparations for tennis’ grass grand slam event, which begins on July 2.

Source: AAP

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal starts 24 Hours of Le Mans

Rafael Nadal played the role of official starter on Saturday to get the 86th edition of the 24 Hours Le Mans classic endurance race underway amid light rain.

Former Formula One champions Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button were among 180 drivers in the crews of three. Here are some photos!

Tired Rafael Nadal withdraws from Queen’s Club

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from next week’s traditional Wimbledon warm-up tournament at London’s Queen’s Club.

“Queen’s is a great event, I have happy memories of winning the title in 2008 and I wanted to come back this year. But it has been a very long clay court season for me with great results. I would like to say sorry to the tournament organisers and most of all to the fans that were hoping to see me play, but I have spoken to my doctors and I need to listen to what my body is telling me,” said Rafa.

Philippe Montigny – Pool/Getty Images

“We are obviously disappointed that Rafa has decided that he is unable to play this year, but we wish him well and hope to see him on our courts in the future,” said Tournament Director, Stephen Farrow.

All the way with you, Rafa!

Roland Garros 2018: Post final presser

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THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Congratulations. So many victories here, 11 titles, and yet you were so emotional, tears in your eyes. How do you manage after so much time to keep this hunger for victories and to keep this passion towards the game and to the victory?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, for me it’s difficult to explain because it becomes a little bit natural, no? And thank you very much.

Yes, is true that in my career, I achieved much more than what I ever dreamed. But at the same time, in the other hand, it’s true that I went through tough moments, a lot of times in terms of injuries.

So, for example, this beginning of the season in Australia when I have been in a good position to fight for important title for me, I had to go. And then in Acapulco, again, injured. And I couldn’t play in Indian Wells and Miami. And to arrived so-so, with some doubts with this clay court season.

Yeah, of course, you know how difficult is everything, especially after went through these tough moments. Personally for me is amazing. I’m very emotional, no?

Came back from this almost five months without playing a full tournament since Shanghai last year. First official event was in — well, the Davis Cup, but only two matches, and then Monte-Carlo. So a lot of months with problems.

So coming back and have the chance to win in Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, and now especially here, yeah, it’s very emotional for me.

Yeah, was a very special moment and received, you know, that minute or two minutes of the crowd supporting, that feeling in that moment was difficult to describe it. Very emotional for me.

Q. Congratulations. Even if you said about all these difficult moments, you don’t seem to be 32 years old. How do you feel your age? I mean, are you worried for the future? You think you’re coming back next year and doing it again and again and again?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am 32. That’s how I feel it (smiling).

No, no, you can’t fight against the age and you can’t fight against the watch. The watch keep going always.

So that’s it. For me, you know, if you tell me seven, eight years ago that I will be here with 32 years old having this trophy with me again, I will tell you that is something almost impossible, but here we are.

I am not much worried about the future. I always say the same: Tennis is a very important part of my life, without a doubt, but is not everything.

So I have a lot of other things that makes me happy, and so I am not much worried about the future, no? I am enjoying the moment. For me, today is very special day, and every day that I spend on tour enjoying all the experiences that the tennis gave me the possibility to live.

I am just trying to keep enjoying, and I gonna keep playing until my body resist, and my happiness still high playing tennis. When that change, will be a time to do another thing, and I am not worried about this.

Q. Congratulations for your win. With the win of today, you keep a No. 1 in the rankings. What give you more satisfaction: To be No. 1 or to win a Grand Slam?
RAFAEL NADAL: Today is all about Roland Garros. I don’t think about the rankings at all today, no? Then, okay, I will be No. 1 for a while, but that’s all.

No, no, no, what really matters for me is have this trophy again with me. That means a lot. As everybody knows, for me is the most important tournament of the year.  Continue reading “Roland Garros 2018: Post final presser”

VIDEO: Rafael Nadal gets home after Roland Garros win

The clay season is officially over for Rafael Nadal with the perfect ending in Paris.

Our champ arrived in Mallorca on Monday afternoon. No surprise that he is very exhausted and needs some rest.

In the coming days, Rafa should decide whether to play in next week’s Fever-Tree Championships at Queen’s Club in London.