Category: All, Gossip - Nadal, News - Federer, News - Nadal

Rafa Twitters, off to North America, Federer turns 30

As Djokovic and Murray set the twitterspace alight, Nadal and Federer held back…

Until this week, when Rafa made his first post on twitter and within two days already has 169,000 followers! Will Fed be next?

Back to tennis – Nadal and Federer are both heading to Montreal to kick off the hard court season. Defending a semifinal and final respectively, they will both be keen to get some play under their belt and not let Djokovic escape further in the ATP ranking battle.

Nadal admitted that his preparation was not perfect, having only a week and a half of practice behind him after allowing time for his tendon injury to recover.

And finally, Happy Birthday to Roger Federer, who turned 30 on Monday. As he put it in a press conference,

“Birthdays happen. They’re part of life. I’m happy I’m getting older. I’d rather be 30 than 20, to be honest. To me it’s a nice time.”

And it sounds like he still has the passion to be at the top another year:

“The fire has always been there clearly. I’ve always enjoyed my matches with both guys, particularly the rivalry with Rafa has been very special. I have massive fire and power to play against those guys.”

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Pre-Wimbledon rest for Rafa and Roger

Nadal’s Wimbledon warm-up was curtailed by Tsonga while Fed chose to sit out Halle.

To me, Rafa looked fatigued at Queens, and although I have to admire his determination to prepare for the grass of Wimbledon by playing both singles and doubles, I was actually relieved when he was knocked out by Tsonga in the quarters.

What he needs right now is some rest, his play was looking good – even against Tsongas who played one of those incredible matches he can pull off every few years (Australian Open comes to mind…). He looked comfortable on grass, was finding his length nicely and even getting in some good serve and volleys.

So now he is in Mallorca, where he plans to “Be with the friends, be with the family, play some golf, relax, go fishing maybe”, before heading to Wimbledon next Wednesday or Thursday.

Federer on the other hand took the decision to pull out of Halle, saying that before the French Open, that he was so tired that he would sleep through the alarm clock.

I am sure that his time at home with the family will do wonders, and I am really looking forward to seeing our two champs feeling relaxed and fit for what will be an absolute humdinger Wimbledon in 2011.

 

Category: All, Gossip - Nadal, News, News - Federer, News - Nadal, Results, Results - Federer, Results - Nadal, Rivalry

Nadal beats Federer in the “Nike Clash of the Champions”

Rafael Nadal defeated Roger Federer in the exhibition match played in a single set played to inaugurate the new Matthew Knight arena in Oregon.

Rafa had to come back from a match point to hold serve in the 10th game and then broke serve for the first time in the match, and held serve  again tin he following game to win 7-5.

“This is the nicest arena I have ever played,” said Nadal.

“This was an incredible night for tennis,” said Federer.

 

Category: All, Gossip - Nadal, News, News - Federer, News - Nadal

Nadal – Next to Indian Wells with “Stopover” in Oregon

Nadal is joining up with the rest of his team in Charleroi, Belgium to head to Indian Wells by private jet.

He’ll make a first stop along the way in Oregon to inaugurate the new Matthew Knight Arena.

Rafa will be joined by Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova for the “NIKE Clash of the Champions” event, set for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 8. Serena Williams was to have participated in the event, but pulled out due to injury.

The Mallorcan will share the jet with six others: Francis Roig, his second trainer; physiotherapist Rafael Maymó; his Nike agent Jordi Robert; Benito Pérez Barbadillo – PR; and two friends, Joan Suasi and Marc López. Rafa will play doubles with Marc López at Indian Wells, the first doubles competition of the year

The event will feature Sharapova and Azarenka playing a singles set, followed by a mixed doubles set and finishing with a much awaited men’s singles set between Roger and Rafa.

Rafa will start at Indian Wells next weekend as he is exempt from the first round as top seed.

He’ll take advantage of the days in between to play some golf with Fred Couples.

Category: All, Gossip - Nadal, Humour

Uncle Toni’s Magic Powers

I thought this following excerpt from an interview of Rafa’s uncle and coach, Toni Nadal was just hilarious:

T.M.: Is it true that when he was a kid, you made your nephew believe that you had magical powers?

Toni: Yes (smiles). Rafa was the little boy in the family and everybody always had so much fun with him. As a joke, I made him believe all sorts of things: that I was a star at AC Milan, that I had won the Tour de France five times with a moped (laughs)

Indeed, I also told him that I had magical powers. One day, he must have been about 7 or 8, we lacked a player in the 12-year group to compete in a team event. I took him along with us and to reassure him, I told him that he didn’t need to worry if the match went badly because I have the ability to make it rain. It was winter. So, when the match got tight at the start, it started to rain and then, Rafa turned to me and said: “It’s alright, you can make it stop now, I’m going to win!”

Another time, we were watching a match of Ivan Lendl on tv. It was a replay of an older match during which Lendl retired. Rafa didn’t know that. So, at the exact moment when Lendl retired, I told him: “Alright, I’m going to make Lendl lose.” He couldn’t believe his eyes. I have a lot of examples like that.

From Tennis Magazine (France), No. 413, October 2010

Category: All, Gossip - Nadal, News - Nadal

Interview with Rafael Nadal – Marca

Front page of Marca - photo links to article

There’s a great interview with Rafa in the Spanish sports newspaper, Marca.

The article is in Spanish so I will translate some key points below. You can see here the original interview in Spanish and here an automatic google translation.

Rafa says:

- he is returning because he has got his confidence back

- not sure if he is at 100% – he won’t know that for sure until he starts forcing himself in competition

- decided today to play in Montreal, had several good days training with less pain

- schedule for this year is: Montreal, Cincinnati, US Open, Copa Davis if selected and there are no reverses, Bangkok, Peking, Shanghai, Paris and London

- winning Wimbledon, Australia, Olympics, David Cup (though not in final himself) were very happy moments, being number one was a consequence -was happy for two months after winning Wimbledon as it was one of his life long dreams.

- will play again in Madrid, yes it does make a difference that it is in Spain. This year was a mistake to play there, but you do not know your limits until you go past them.

- Federer deserves to be back where he is, and is the best in history from the times that Rafa has lived. Rod Laver was probably best ever, but you can’t really ever say that, and also you have to wait until Federer finishes his career.

- does not believe he can match Fed’s 15 grand slam titles – is thinking now of tomorrow, of training for Montreal, and trying, win or lose.

- sent Roger congratulations by SMS on victories at Wimbledon, French Open and birth of daughters, and received a reply each time.

- pain never disappears completely – it is always there, after a month and a half off it hurts even more when you start.

- has not enjoyed the time off, is an active person and it is hard not playing tennis, playing football. Did enjoy the successes of Spanish athletes – Pau Gasol, Contador and the swimming championships. Was not saturated from tennis.

- when he lost to del Potro in Miami he had commented that “he knew why he lost, but would not say”. Admits in this article that although will never discuss personal issues, there were family problems, and when you are away, that does affect you.

- separation of his parents was not the reason for his losses.

- never reads or listens to press about him.

Category: All, Gossip - Nadal, News - Nadal

Rafa to play pre-Wimbledon Exhibition?

Rafael Nadal has received an invitation from the organisers of the Hurlingham Club warm-up event, and responded positively to possibly taking this up.

After having withdrawn from Queens, Rafa is short on grass match time, and has said that he is hoping to play as it would be a  ”good test for my knee.”

Let’s hope that this is a positive indication that Nadal’s knee tendonitis is responding favourably to treatment.

Category: All, Gossip, Gossip - Nadal, News - Nadal

Steffi Graf on Rafael Nadal

Steffi Graf

Steffi Graf

Seems like Rafa has a big fan in Steffi Graf, the seven (yes seven!) time Wimbledon champion and wife of André Agassi.

Here’s a beautiful quote from ‘Abendzeitung.de’:

“If you watch Rafael Nadal play tennis, you can only respond with amazement and great admiration. He is an incredible athlete with so much discipline, so much concentration and someone who likes to put a lot of passion into every point”.

“Words fail to come out of me to describe his game appropriately. I’ve rarely seen anyone who approaches a ball with so much attention. With such passion and joy that it makes it great fun to watch him. With him, you can associate everything that makes tennis so beautiful.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself!

Category: All, Gossip - Nadal

Nadal heading to Benidorm

The local newspaper, the Benidorm Spotlight reports that Rafa Nadal is on his way to Benidorm, and will arrive next Friday to prepare for Spain’s Davis Cup match against Serbia which will be played from March 4th to the 6th.

The tennis will be played in a stadium erected especially for the occasion at Terra Mitica and, according to the newspaper, 14,000 tickets have been already sold.