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


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.


Rafael Nadal: “It’s very tough to come back and be number one”

(AFP) – Rafael Nadal was thrilled to learn he would return to world number one for the first time in three years but sorry it came because Roger Federer withdrew from this week’s ATP Cincinnati Masters tournament.

Photo via Cincinnati Masters

For me to be in that position is something very special. I have the passion and love for the game. That’s why I’m able to be back in that position again.

Rafa has struggled with knee injuries since first becoming world number one in August 2008 after a Cincinnati semi-final run. He admitted doubting he could ever regain the top spot after so many years.

If you don’t have doubts, it’s because you are very arrogant and I’m not very arrogant. There’s a young generation up and coming. It’s very tough to come back and be number one.

Rafa knows that while he will claim the upper hand no matter how he fares this week, the year’s final Grand Slam event starting in New York on August 28 will have a major role to play in the fight with Federer for number one.

Roger and I are having great seasons. One of us will have the chance to have that position for more weeks. I’m going to try and do my best this week and see what happens.

Rafa said he was sorry to see Federer join the list of players absent this week, which includes Murray, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, Japan’s Kei Nishikori and Swiss Stan Wawrinka.

It’s bad news for Roger he’s not playing. I’m sorry for all of them. I hope they have good recovery. We need to see them back for the sport.

Source: AFP news agency

Rafael Nadal hard on himself after loss to Denis Shapovalov in Montreal: “It is probably my worst loss of the year”

Rafael Nadal talks to the media after the 6-3, 4-6, 6-7(4) defeat against Denis Shapovalov in the third round of the Rogers Cup.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did you underestimate Denis?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. I am not this kind of person. I respect everybody.

Yeah, obviously is a tough lose for me. Is a bad lose. Probably is the worst lose of the year we have, without a doubt, for me.

That’s like this. He play well. I play really bad. When this kind of thing happen, only thing you can do is wish the opponent the best, all the best.

Q. Why do you exactly say this is one of your worst losses of the year?
RAFAEL NADAL: Probably my worst loss of the year because I lost against a player with a lower ranking. At the same time because of the opportunity I had here to come back to the No. 1. Always tough, but the draw was not that impossible after all the matches that were happening. So was an important mistake for me. That’s the real thing, no?

Is a bad lose. Just accept that and keep working.

Q. Usually when you come to Canada, you have the crowd behind you. I thought it was almost a Davis Cup crowd out there today. Talk about the crowd and the atmosphere, playing against the crowd.
RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, no, nothing about the crowd. I am used to it. No one excuse about that. Sometimes the crowd is for you. Sometimes the crowd is against you. That’s it.  Continue reading “Rafael Nadal hard on himself after loss to Denis Shapovalov in Montreal: “It is probably my worst loss of the year””

Rogers Cup R3: What time does Rafael Nadal play against Denis Shapovalov in Montreal?

Rafael Nadal will face 18-year-old Denis Shapovalov in the third round of Rogers Cup on Thursday. This is their first meeting.

Shapovalov, who just recently embarked on his professional career, is currently ranked No. 143. With his win over Juan Martin del Potro, Shapovalov became the youngest player to reach the round of 16 of a Master Series tournament since Rafa in 2004 at Miami.

Photo: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images Sport

Date: August 10, 2017 (Thursday)

Match time: Around 8:30 PM local time / 8:30 PM EDT –  New York / Friday, 1:30 AM BST – United Kingdom / Friday, 2:30 AM  CET – Spain, France, Germany, Italy / Friday, 10:30 AM AEDT – Melbourne. To convert to your local time, use this website.

Rafa on playing Shapovalov:

He’s a great opponent. He is an aggressive player. He is young, he has a lot of energy. I’m sure that he will be confident after winning the first match, saving a big match against Dutra Silva, and today winning against one of the best players of the world.

It’s going to be a good match. The crowd is great here, it will not be a problem to play against a Canadian.


PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal eases past Borna Coric in Montreal

Rafael Nadal has progressed through to the third round of the Rogers Cup after he eased past Borna Coric.

The world number two, who is a three-time winner of the Canadian tournament,  needed 71 minutes to secure a 6-1, 6-2 triumph in Montreal.

He made light work of Coric in the first set, with the Croatian pro losing two breaks of serve. The match continued in similar fashion in the second set, with Rafa completely dominating proceedings and Coric unable to stop him from strolling to a 6-2 victory.

Rafa will face Canadian wild card Denis Shapovalov in the next round after the 18-year-old recorded one of the biggest wins of his career with a 6-3, 7-6(4) win over Juan Martin del Potro.

Rafael Nadal: “I love Montreal” [VIDEO]

Rafael Nadal speaks about why Montreal and Rogers Cup are special to him.