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post #2161 of 2271 (permalink) Old 08-20-2011, 05:09 AM
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Hey Rafa fans!

Rafaholics.com is giving away 4 copies of Rafa's autobiography. On August 27th I will be going to the NYC book signing to try & get all 4 copies signed. Click the link for details on how to sign up for our giveaway! & Good Luck!


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post #2162 of 2271 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 03:00 AM
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Rafa will play in Tokyo?
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post #2163 of 2271 (permalink) Old 10-12-2011, 08:00 AM
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About Rafa's state of mind on ATP.com


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post #2164 of 2271 (permalink) Old 10-12-2011, 08:41 AM
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thanks sweet Maria

Rafa! Rafa! Rafa!

Epic movies, like brokeback mountain, are seldom found in the industry or worthy for the mainstream viewer. As often as I have watched the clips of this movie, I always find something more to it. For one, the gay stuff doesn't enter the picture for me, only the dimension of the highest love I have ever witnessed in life or on film.
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post #2165 of 2271 (permalink) Old 10-14-2011, 12:35 AM
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I thought this was very interesting about the unusual taxes the players have to pay when they play in the U.K.


London could lose ATP finals over tax warns Nadal

(Reuters) - London risks losing the showcase end-of-season ATP World Tour Finals because of the high rate of British tax, world number one Rafael Nadal said at the Shanghai Masters on Thursday.

The Spaniard believes the 50 percent tax on players' appearance fees, winnings and a proportion of their worldwide endorsement earnings could see the glamour event featuring the top eight men being staged elsewhere unless the law is changed.

"It is really tough what is happening today in the UK with the tax. There are a lot of things that are really positive. This (tax) thing is probably really negative," he said after losing in the third round to German Florian Mayer.

"What I believe in my heart, is that London is a fantastic event. There's a full crowd at every match, a fantastic stadium. But London is not the only city in the world," he said.

The five-year contract for the ATP World Tour Finals, staged at the 02 Arena, comes up for renewal in 2013 but Nadal indicated that growing discontent could see players pushing for the event to be moved to a more favorable tax environment.

"The tax regime from UK is complicating a lot of things because to go and play at Queen's, the problem is not to win. The problem is I can lose money because I go there.

"I play for one week, and they take out money from my sponsors. That's a lot," he said of the Wimbledon warm-up event he has decided to skip next year in favor of playing at Halle.

"I'm going play at Wimbledon. I'm going to play in the World Tour Finals. So that is a lot of weeks, a lot of tax. It is becoming more and more complicated to play in the UK at the moment," he said.


However, a change to the tax regime could help London renew its contract for the ATP finals, added the Spaniard.

"So (if there is a tax) change, the chances of keeping the World Tour Finals in London are going to be very, very high," he said.

Nadal dismissed suggestions in the British media that he had decided to play the Halle event in Germany instead of Queen's because he had been offered a higher appearance fee.

"For the last four years, I have played at Queen's. So we thought it is the right moment to change. I am not changing because Halle is paying me more money than Queen's. That's not the reason," he said.

Wimbledon chief executive Ian Ritchie called on the government earlier this year to change the tax laws or risk Britain losing some of tennis's marquee events.

Government rules state that sportsmen and women competing or even just practicing in the UK are taxed a proportion of their income from endorsements and sponsorships even if those deals have nothing to do with Britain.

The rules are the reason triple Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt has stayed away from the London Diamond League meetings and there are also fears they could affect some of the country's smaller golf tournaments.
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post #2166 of 2271 (permalink) Old 11-17-2011, 06:11 PM
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Hello Rafa fans,

I've written a piece on the Nadal-Nalbandian match at Indian Wells 2009.


The article focuses more on the match as a reflection of Nalbandian's career than a pure match analysis. But I thought maybe some posters here would be interested in discussing the match in light of Rafa's attacking ability.

I think this is a classic example of a match Rafa won primarily with his body and mind. I do realise that many tennis fans (particularly of the Federer variety)attribute allof Nadal's success to his physical qualities and mental solidity - obviously this is a gross exaggeration. A player does not win 10 grand slams by the age of 25 without a huge amount of talent as well. It's clear to anyone who has watched Nadal (especially during a warmup) just how much pace and attacking potential he has in his groundstrokes, particularly the forehand. I'm of the belief that Nadal would be more or less as successful if he were to be placed magically in a different tennis era. He lacks a big serve, but otherwise has displayed a great attacking game on all surfaces, even incorporating a sneak into the net at the right occasion.

The match against Nalbandian obviously shows Nadal's attacking game at its worst. Naldandian has always proven a tough opponent for Rafa and in the first two sets of this match Nadal played primarily a defensive game. The third set demonstrates nicely what Rafa can do on hard courts when he plays with the shackles off


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post #2167 of 2271 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 06:58 PM
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Daveed and Goliath

12/05/2011 - 10:58 AM

Is this the Age of Power in men’s tennis? Of Big 3 dominance? Or is it the Age of Emotion? The tears, the screams, the hugs, the kisses, the leaps, the bounds, the first-pumps, the chest slams: The men’s game is a dramatic place these days. All of which made this past weekend’s tumultuous Davis Cup tie between Spain and Argentina a fitting way to end the latest and some would say greatest season of this tennis epoch. We got plenty of leaps, bounds, and fist-pumps during the matches, and plenty of tears, hugs, and screams of joy afterward. Who could mistake this for a sport of genteel reserve anymore?

What should we make of it all, of Spain’s fifth victory in a decade and Argentina’s continued frustration? Here are five ways to think about 2011’s closing act.


As more proof of Spain’s historic excellence
There may have been better single-season Davis Cup teams than the Spanish have fielded during their five-title, decade-long run. The Aussies of 1973, who used two men, Rod Laver and John Newcombe, to blank the U.S. in the final, will always be tough to top. More recently, Mats Wilander and Stefan Edberg made for a similarly potent one-two punch during their stretch of seven straight finals in the 1980s. Spain’s last three wins have featured just one future Hall of Famer, Rafael Nadal, but the team has made up for it with unprecedented depth. For example: While Feliciano Lopez didn’t offer much of anything in the final, other than a funny stunned look after a Nadal passing shot on Sunday, he won what might have been the most important match of the year for the Spanish by beating Mardy Fish in the quarterfinals, in five sets, on the road.

On clay and at home especially, you have to put the Spanish up there with any Davis Cup team in history.


As proof, if it were needed, of the value of David Ferrer
I said above that recent Spanish teams haven’t had a No. 2 to match an Edberg or a Newcombe, but they haven’t really needed one with Ferrer around. The man has made himself into an uncanny and absolute master of the gritty, five-set, swing-match win. Nadal is the guy you want to close the deal, but he wouldn’t have had as many opportunities if Ferrer wasn’t so good at setting him up.

The game’s resident bricklayer does nothing more, and nothing less, that get the job done. There was no better evidence of that than his win over Juan Martin del Potro on Friday. Ferrer was out-hit and out-played for the better part of four sets, and much of the time he had no answer other than to get the ball back and hope that the big Argentine would miss. Yet there he was in the fifth set, still on his feet, playing the most aggressive tennis he’d played all day, and running away with the match. My favorite moment of the weekend was his extra-long roar of relief when he’d finally sown up the match and, for all intents and purposes, the Cup. Nadal is the star, but Ferrer is the proverbial heart of the Spanish team.


As a mixed set of messages from Juan Martin del Potro
Davis Cup is great in most ways, but it can be as cruel as any competition. Del Potro played nine sets of high-wire attacking tennis and came away with nothing. While he squandered a one-set lead, and a break in the fourth, against Nadal, you can’t really fault him in that match—making any inroads at all against Nadal on clay at home in the clincher was a borderline-heroic effort, coming back from a break down in the fourth was above and beyond expectations, and doing it all without a decent first serve was even more surprising. But you can’t say the same thing about his loss to Ferrer. Del Potro should have won that match. He was the better, stronger, player on the day, but he wasn’t the tougher player. He missed makeable shots when he needed them, and Ferrer didn’t.

What does this say about del Potro going forward? Pretty much what we’ve seen from him in the past. He can play with anyone and hit through anyone, including Nadal on clay. But he has a soft side—and that’s why so many people love him.


As a mostly positive set of messages from Rafael Nadal
Rafa said he knew it was “my moment” during his match with del Potro, and that he had to do his job—i.e., close the deal—for the team. Nadal doesn’t typically talk in those “just do it”-style jock terms, but I thought it was a good sign coming from someone who had taken the opposite approach last week in London. You could see from his body language that he knew the WTF was definitely not his moment.

From the first points on Friday, though, Nadal’s head was in a completely different place. The energy was high, the feet were moving forward, the backhand was penetrating, the forehand down the line was there whenever he needed it—he had none of those things in London. John McEnroe used to say that Davis Cup had the weird effect of making you so nervous that you couldn’t get nervous, especially when the team was counting on you. Playing for other people forces the finest DC performers to do their best. There’s no time for anxiety or doubt or anger or any of the other emotions that typically distract us from that effort.

You could see that feeling develop in Nadal against del Potro, as he fought hard to fend off his nerves. He started anxiously, hitting short, but by the start of the fourth set he was on an aggressive roll. Then, after a long break to let the Argentine fans vent whatever they still needed to vent, he tightened up again. But in the fourth-set tiebreaker, when everything was level and he knew it was his moment, Nadal was perfect, winning it 7-0.

Novak Djokovic played in much the same way in last year’s Davis Cup final. He knew he had to win twice, and he went about his business with dispatch, without any of the edgy doubts that can creep into his head. The question for 2012, of course, is whether Nadal can use this win the same way Djokovic did last year. We’ll see; it obviously won’t hurt, but the Aussie Open will be a very different venue. What’s interesting is that even in the year of Djokovic, it was the old guard, Federer and Nadal, who ended on high notes. You can’t ask for anything better if you’re looking ahead to 2012.

For the moment, what seems important to note is that Nadal, who says he won’t play Davis Cup next year, has made the competition a major part of his legacy. He’s 19-1 in it, and has been part of four winning campaigns. Now, after Sunday, he has something just as crucial: His first delirious Cup-clinching moment, one that can be replayed in highlight reels for decades. Nadal was right, it was his moment, and he made the most of it with a forehand winner on match point. We'll be seeing that shot for a long time to come.


As an example of the tenor of the times
While Nadal fell to the clay, del Potro trudged to the net, leaned over, and started to cry. Nadal, while his teammates jumped and hugged, made his way to the net and consoled him. Then he made his way to the other side of the court to share an embrace with each member of the Argentine team. That’s the men's game in the Age of Emotion. We’ll see Nadal’s forehand winner forever, but if future fans want to find out what tennis at its best was like in 2011, they should keep watching for the show of sportsmanship and deep feeling that followed from both sides.
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post #2168 of 2271 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 07:58 PM
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Albert Costa
David Ferrer
Rafael Nada


R. NADAL – J. Del Potro
1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 7-6(0)

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. Rafa, that was one of the great matches. How did it compare with your great triumphs at other times?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, thank you very much. Yeah, it was an emotional day for us. Well, for me especially, no? For us, win the Davis Cup for the fourth time is something‑‑ well, for the fifth for our country‑‑ is something unbelievable, really special. The atmosphere makes the event even more special. So it was everything fantastic, no?
At the end was a really emotional match, so to win a final like this makes a victory fantastic. So very happy for everything, very happy to have this team around me.
So thank you very much to them, and thank you very much not only them, all the rest of the team who worked really hard for us to make that happen.
It's a special day, and for us is the best way to finish the season.

Q. Rafa, what were you thinking after you lost the first set and you were broken at the start of the second to find a way to win the match?
RAFAEL NADAL: That's the only thing that I can think during the match. I had really tough moments during the match, but I was all the time believing in myself to try to win this match.
I know it was my day, it was my moment, and I had to believe more than ever with the victory. That's what I tried. For moments I played so‑so; for moments I played well. But, you know, he was playing really aggressive from the baseline, fantastic shots, was very difficult to come back from this, his flat shots, and it was a really difficult match.
But finally I find something was very important. The second game of the second set, 1‑Love, 40‑Love with break, so had to break back in that game give me a lot. So after that the match was more equal, more close. So after that game I felt that the match started for me, no?

Q. Congratulations to Spain. Rafa, can I ask you, were you surprised at the way he came back at you in the fourth set?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, sure. It was a little bit surprise. But at that moment, you know, the crowd stop the match for five, six minutes, so that's makes‑‑ that didn't help it. So after that, I started to feel a little bit the nerves and the pressure then, no?
So I think I played a little bit worse later, especially in the 2‑1, in the 3‑2, in that two games with my serve I think I played really bad.
After that he starts to play very well another time with a lot of winners. But that games, that was the games that I had to make the difference and to have to confirm the break and put the score 4‑2 or, you know, 3‑1. I didn't.
So that was a mistake. And after the match‑‑ the match was really tough, no? 5‑3 for him, 30‑15 for him. It was really difficult at the end of the match.

Q. Albert, you've done it as a player, now as a captain. What are the differences of the stresses and strains? Which do you enjoy more, playing or as a captain?
CAPTAIN COSTA: Well, it's completely different sensation and feelings, but I think it's better when you are a player, because when you are a captain, you can, you know, you can choose the players to play, you can choose all the team and everything. But at the end, these guys are the ones who win the matches.
You feel more special when you are a player, but this is also an honor to win as a captain because it's not easy.
I would like to say thanks to these people here. They did a great effort during the whole year and during the whole season. For us, for them it's very, very tough, and I just thank these guys for the effort.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish.

Q. Many titles, but you had never a Davis Cup like this. Then a question for David. In the court you said ‑‑ maybe I'm wrong ‑‑ but you said that this is the end of a cycle. Is that true? Have you said that?
DAVID FERRER: No, I said it's the end of the party, not the end of the cycle. End of the party. The party is finished.
RAFAEL NADAL: At the end of the day, I never finished a Davis Cup like this, but the happiness is very similar if a colleague wins the last match or if you win the last match, because it's teamwork and sometimes you win and sometimes your colleagues win.
And this year we have all worked really hard in Austin. Feli won his singles. They played really well doubles against the Bryans, and then David again, Fish. I finished in Cordoba. So this is all a race in which all of us take part.
Today it was my turn to decide a final. I think we have deserved it. The feeling is very special, because we play at home. And because it's the last event of the year, and obviously to have the Davis Cup in your country with the atmosphere that we could feel in the crowd is a reason for emotion and happiness.
We're all very happy. We all know that it will be practically impossible to repeat this feat, especially all of us together. It will be impossible to repeat it.
For the Davis Cup, it's a competition that is very important for what the crowd transmits around you, and I'm going to give it now to David to say what he wants to say.
DAVID FERRER: No, Rafa has just said everything. He is partly right. It's going to be very difficult for the four of us to play together again. Some people will play. Some people will want‑‑ there are enough comers who are very good, and that's it.
Take your mask off. No, end of the party. This is the end of the party. No. At the end of the day, I have been here for many years, and we all look for ‑‑ personally we all look for our own calendar.
I'm older. I probably don't have a good physical condition, so it will be really difficult that the four of us coincide. That would be very difficult. It's not that it's the end of a cycle a lot, but there are lots of good people coming, lots of people who can replace us, people who are better than us, and they can get better. For us to be in a Davis Cup is going to be very difficult.

Q. Rafa, it has been a very intense year with many matches. How is this going to help you to prepare for the next season after such a beautiful game? It was so intense, so many people.
RAFAEL NADAL: For next year, I don't know if it helps. It helps for the preseason. I have two‑and‑a‑half weeks of training now. That is intense. So I feel confident.
And also, I am excited about going on. I'm very happy for the year I have had. A couple of hours earlier my year became even better, which was already good.
So I'm good, I'm happy with my year, it has been intense. It has been a positive year. I'm finishing this season at home. Winning the Davis Cup makes it even more special. So I am very happy. It's a day in which we are all happy, because apart from winning, the atmosphere was very special.

Q. Congratulations, Rafa, and the whole team. I wanted to ask you if you were surprised by the match that Del Potro showed after being so tired from Friday, and Del Potro started really hard, winning 6‑1. Then when he looked like he was tired, then he came back. So were you surprised by his attitude? And what were the words of consolation you said to him at the end of the match?
RAFAEL NADAL: It wasn't that I was surprised, because I know the very high level he has. Del Potro has a very high level as a player, so it was not a big surprise. It's all relative.
For a long time he was giving incredible shots that nobody else can do. I want to congratulate him for his attitude. He had a brilliant attitude, both him and the Argentinian team. They had a brilliant attitude, fighting really hard. They made it really difficult for us.
We had to take the best out of us to win the tie, and I congratulate them all, because thanks to them, we have gone through a very exciting final, unforgettable for us and for them, too, I guess, even though they've lost this type of experience.
Del Potro is a fantastic player, as you can see on his record with two Davis Cup finals. But he will be a very good player.
It's clear that he's a candidate for No. 1. He will be amongst the first four players in the world next year. We are all here. We agree on that.
So he's a very complete player. He doesn't have any cracks in his game. He's very solid. He will be unstoppable next year if the injury allows him.

Q. You went to congratulate the Argentinian team first. Why?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, we had just finished a very exciting tie, a beautiful tie. Most of them are my best friends in the circuit apart from those at this table and other Spanish colleagues. The Argentinians are really good friends. We get on really well with them. We have a close relationship with them. Apart from opponents, we are colleagues and friends.
Many of them are there in the bench, and they are very good friends of mine. I wanted to congratulate them, give them the consolation for not winning, but they were playing a very high level.

Q. Rafa, for us, can you please explain what you mean by "the end of the party," this party closure? Can you elaborate what you mean by this concept of the end of the party?
RAFAEL NADAL: Next year I will not play. Next year is a very complex year. It's an Olympic year. I have been, for many years, the player that competes the most. No, that's a lie. I'm one of the players that plays the highest number of games in the year, and I don't want to overplay. I don't want to have an incoherent calendar. I want a coherent calendar. I have not played an event that I shouldn't play.
So next year, since it's an Olympic year, my participation in the Davis Cup is impossible. Then we will think about the future. For the time being, let's enjoy today. It's not the most appropriate time to talk about the future, but of course next year I will not play the Davis Cup.
Thank God Spain has a good level of players, and there are many good players that will replace us that play really high‑level tennis.

Q. Albert, you were following the whole team all year. Are you going to stay? There are many meetings, but the fact that you are not going to play the Davis Cup doesn't mean you're not going to go to the Olympic teams, so are you going to have two teams? Because you need to go to the Olympic Games, don't you?
CAPTAIN COSTA: Let's enjoy this victory. I'm going to take a week off. I'm going to think about things. I'm going to think about whether I should stay or not. The first thing is that I need to talk to the president of the Spanish Tennis Federation, and then I will make a decision.
I think that it has been a great effort for three years, and I have enjoyed it with all of them, especially with Francis. Francis and I have won two Davis Cups. We lost against France in quarterfinals, but it has been really intense spirit with him.
I'm really grateful to the players. I'm going to take a week of holidays now, and I will think about it. You will hear from me afterwards.

Q. You have won many finals. Each final is different. What memory or what word can you use to define this final?
RAFAEL NADAL: I personally have lived it as one of the most special ones. 2009 Barcelona was special, but winning a final is always special. But the physical condition plays a role, and the atmosphere, as well. 2004 was unforgettable for me, because it was the first big tournament I did here, and this is very similar to the 2004, even better.
With the time‑‑ even though you think I am a little calmer, I have more experience, but with time you acknowledge more how difficult things are. Each victory has a more special taste, because, you know, how difficult it is to do things. When you're young, everything is new, and you don't have the capacity to truly enjoy and comprehend thedifficulty of the situation.
But after you've been here for many years, you understand there are ups and downs and that you need to fight to be there all the time. And that is why you acknowledge a victory much more with the experience. We're not old, but we have an advanced age now.
We have many years in the circuit behind our backs. We have many emotions and feelings that we have experienced in our careers. We know how difficult it is for this to happen, especially with the atmosphere that we have enjoyed today.
So we really appreciate the victory, and for all of us, it's one of the most special victories we will have in our career.

Q. Regarding the match, how do you assess the behavior of the Argentinian crowd when they stopped the match? Were you afraid that everything could change?
RAFAEL NADAL: I was confident if I had lost the fourth. I was fine physically. David did a good job on Friday with Juan Martin, so I thought‑‑ I trusted that he will eventually get tired if it wasn't in the five or six minutes‑‑ I can't remember how many minutes we had. We were stopped when we were 2‑0. That didn't help me at all, because it made me feel more nervous.
I started being more hesitant with my right. I remember doing very ugly drives in the net, and the match changed. Then everything became difficult to run with my serve. I didn't play very well. I did a break. Then I went 3‑2, then I played badly, and then he recovered. He came back.
He started shooting really strongly up to 5‑3 for him. I think the 4‑3 for him, I didn't play that badly and he did a break then, because I was playing well, and then in the 6‑5 he was brilliant. I wasn't perfect, but he was brilliant.
Luckily in the tiebreak he missed some balls. I didn't miss one single ball. And the tiebreak, as it ended, I'm very happy, but there was a long way to go even if I had lost the fourth. But when you get to the fifth, then anything could have happened.

Q. Congratulations. I wanted to ask you, the five of you, if you are thinking about going to the Olympic Games because only four can go. Are the Olympic Games a priority for you next year? Because I don't know if you're going to play the Davis Cup or not, or have you ruled it out?
DAVID FERRER: We all want to play at the Olympic Games. The Olympic Games is a very important rendezvous. It happens once every four years.
I'm not talking about on behalf of the whole team. I'm talking on my own behalf, but knowing everybody, I think we all want to be there. We want to play in London, and we want to be in good physical conditions to represent yet again Spain, because we represent Spain in every single tournament we play.
RAFAEL NADAL: We all want to play. We all want to play. But only four of us will qualify. I hope I'm one of them. (Laughter.) If not, I will watch it on television.
DAVID FERRER: Yes, he has a wild card, maybe he gets a wild card. (Laughter.) If he doesn't qualify for the Olympic Games, we can give him a wild card.

Q. Rafa, congratulations. Today one of your colleagues was in the boxes, Carlos Moya. I suppose you've seen him. What has he told you? Because he was so excited that you went to talk to him.
RAFAEL NADAL: Carlos has always been somebody very special for me. He's always been one of my best friends when he was in the circuit. He's a very special person for all of us because of his personality.
He is a brilliant person, and we, all of us in the team, we have a special‑‑ we are especially fond of him. I personally‑‑ I feel really close to him.
We lived the 2004 final together here, and it was very special for him and me. We were together in 2004 and we also had difficult times in 2004 together, so getting here has been very special for me, as well.
So it's good to remember people who helped me in the past, and he helped me in 2004. Carlos was one of the persons who helped me the most during the week in 2004 during the final. Jordi Arrese, Juan Avendano, Josep Perlas, they all trusted me and they took me to the final.
So they are all part of the history of tennis, and they deserve the acknowledgement and our gratitude for all they have done for this competition and for our country. They have represented us so many times.

THE MODERATOR: Catalonian questions now.

Q. What does this Davis Cup trophy mean for you?
RAFAEL NADAL: This is a special competition. What makes it really special is the way we play it, the feelings that you go through during the weekend and what it means for me personally because it is victory. It's important.
This is a very good way of finishing the year after a long year. It's helped me. I have been working really hard, so it's been very good to finish the season this way, so I'm very happy.
I'm very grateful to my colleagues that have helped me in this final, and I'm happy to be able to enjoy the triumph now, and that's it. It's going to take a very important position in my memories.
I don't know where I will put the trophy, but emotionally, sentimentally, this is something which is good for me. It's very special. It's unforgettable.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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post #2169 of 2271 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 08:38 PM
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“A week is a long time in politics,” said Harold Wilson once. So it is in tennis. A week ago Rafael Nadal was suffering from what seemed incurable end-of-season blues as he departed prematurely from the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena. Put a clay court under his feet, though, and he is a changed man.

His 19th consecutive Davis Cup singles victory and the 15th without conceding a set, against Argentina’s Juan Monaco, had the world’s media asking him if he was human rather than about his alleged lack of passion. He was entitled to smile wryly at the questioner. “Last week I was almost dead, and now people think that I'm not human,” he said disbelievingly. “I don't think we can dramatise or exaggerate things either way. I wasn't there last week, and I am human this week.”
Trust the grounded Nadal to keep things in perspective. What was even more surprising was that after winning the first two sets 61 61, thereby mentally crushing his good friend Monaco, he said he became nervous!

It’s doubtful whether his opponent noticed any anxiety in Nadal’s game. According to Monaco the Argentines had speculated beforehand that Nadal’s game might be lacking rhythm and that his exertions at the O2 Arena might have left him tired, but his friend knew better.

“I know him so well,” said Monaco. “Deep down, I knew that in the big moments he grows, he's a big player, and he gives his best.”
Consequently, he didn’t reproach himself too much for his straight sets thrashing – Nadal had been sporting enough to visit him in the changing rooms afterwards in an effort to cheer him up. “Obviously I'm very sad, because nobody likes to lose this way,” he said, “but I am also aware that in front of me I had one of the best tennis players in history.”
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post #2170 of 2271 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 08:47 PM
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SEVILLE, SPAIN: Never underestimate David Ferrer. The most underrated yet the most dogged player, Ferrer’s epic 62 67(2) 36 64 63 victory over Argentina’s No. 1 Juan Martin del Potro in the second rubber has ultimately changed the course of the tie as Spain lead the visitors 2-0 at the end of day one.
Ferrer’s efforts leave Argentina in a perilous position. Tomorrow foresees excruciating pressure for their doubles team David Nalbandian and Eduardo Schwank as they attempt to keep Argentinean hopes alive for the Davis Cup title, the nation’s most coveted prize in tennis.
Following a routine 61 61 62 win for Rafael Nadal over Juan Monaco in the opening rubber, Del Potro had the world on his shoulders going into the second rubber. The two had shared spoils in four previous meetings but hadn’t met since 2009, and speculation was on whether the world No. 11 would have enough weapons up his sleeve to beat the Spaniard. And that was even with an underpar Ferrer – he had come straight from the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals in London admitting physical fatigue.
It could have been to Del Potro’s advantage and it certainly looked like that was the tactic he was going for, ambling around the baseline and using his huge reach to ensure Ferrer would be scrambling all over the place. Tiring out the 29-year old seemed the best way to go, but it would be Del Potro who suffered in the end as he tried and failed to come back and win from a 1-5 deficit in the final set. Sobbing into his towel as the thousands and thousands of Spanish fans gave a standing ovation to Ferrer - on his knees in victory – Del Potro had to leave the court head bowed and red-eyed.
Only at the end of the match did there appear to be a clear winner. The course of the battle twisted and turned from game to game with nuances of play that had the crowd nerve-wracked with bated breath. The second set erased the glum look on the faces of the Argentine fans and the first sign of them coming alive came when Ferrer produced his first double fault for 2-5 in the tiebreak. It meant that just after two hours on court, Del Potro equalised. He lost his service game in the opener of the third but broke back to three-all with an unforgivable netcord that seemed to drip over the net in slow motion. Five straight games and on and the third set was Argentina’s.
There was no let up for Del Potro though and Ferrer simply outlasted the exhausted Argentine. Repeatedly he was having to catch his breath while Ferrer prowled around the baseline and repeatedly he needed massage on his left leg at the change of ends. The longer the match went on the stronger the Spaniard got and he eventually proved too solid for his opponent after a titanic 4 hours 46 minutes on court.
“He took all the opportunities to close the match and he made it really really difficult for me,” said a beaten Del Potro. “All the points were very long and that’s the way he likes it.
"I felt that there was a guy against me that was doing a spectacular game. In the fifth set he immediately got ahead of me, and that made him play a more calm game. He has had a spectacular season, and nobody has given the victory as a gift to him. He's earned it."
Captain Tito Vazquez is aware of the enormity of the next two days for his team. “That was the match that we wanted from our side. We were very close but not close enough. It’s very difficult. For us we have to start thinking about tomorrow, about winning the doubles, and then who knows. Maybe Del Potro recovers, he is capable of beating Nadal. You never know, we could be back in the game but it’s a difficult task.”
Argentine fans have an insatiable appetite for Davis Cup which meant umpires Pascal Maria and Carlos Ramos had to handle continuous disturbances throughout both of Friday’s matches. The stadium was split 70-30 in Spain’s favour but the noise wouldn’t give that away, and during Nadal’s match, Monaco and Vazquez even had to stop to help calm the fans down for fear of being docked a point.
Whether the overwhelming noise got to Monaco in his first Davis Cup Final no one would know, as it really was a matter of Rafa displaying his classic repertoire of brilliance on the clay. The world No. 2 had made noises about not having had enough time to practice on the clay straight from the hard courts of London, but he was the first to admit afterwards that the surface always does him favours.
“This court gives me a chance to play a little bit more relaxed, with a little bit more confidence. Sometimes you can hit a bad shot or two bad shots in a row, still in the point, and you can come back later. That's one of my best things on clay. Hard indoor, if I hit one or two bad shots in a row, the point is done.”
Monaco couldn’t get a single break point during the 2 hour 27 minute match, which was still surprisingly gruelling despite the scoreline. After an eight minute opening game, Rafa went on a seven-game winning campaign and towards the end of the match, the punishing routine from the Spaniard became evident. Twice in the fifth game of the third set did Nadal have Monaco pummelled to the floor as he tried to run down his blistering forehands, requiring the Argentine to request a medical timeout, bent double in pain, grabbing his left wrist, and with a bleeding knee.
“I was suffering because I was thinking, well, how can I get one point out of this guy?” said a disappointed Monaco after the match. “After that happened, it's difficult to focus again, it's difficult to feel a winner again after all that. For me not winning that point, mentally it's like you get a little bit down. It's not that you give up.
“Obviously I'm very sad, because nobody likes to lose this way. But I am also aware that in front of me I had one of the best tennis players in history. Deep down, I knew that in the big moments he grows, he's a big player, and he gives his best. So I knew he was going to play that way because I know him.”
Naturally delighted with the win, Nadal also made time to console his close friend. “I just came over [in the locker room] to cheer him up, because I think the defeat was going to be sad for him. So I wanted to talk to him.”
Nadal’s 19th straight singles victory in Davis Cup meant that it was the first time in 22 years that a player has won so few games in a Final, since Boris Becker defeated Wilander 62 60 62 in 1989. More records could be broken this weekend should Argentina rally from two rubbers down. The last time that happened in a Final was 1939.
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post #2171 of 2271 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 01:42 AM
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Re: >> Rafa news and articles <<

thanks Star for the lovely articles

Rafa! Rafa! Rafa!

Epic movies, like brokeback mountain, are seldom found in the industry or worthy for the mainstream viewer. As often as I have watched the clips of this movie, I always find something more to it. For one, the gay stuff doesn't enter the picture for me, only the dimension of the highest love I have ever witnessed in life or on film.
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post #2172 of 2271 (permalink) Old 12-16-2011, 05:50 PM
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Rafa is going to present two awards to Julio Iglesias tonight.


On Friday, December 16 at the Instituto Cervantes (c/ Alcalá, 49) in Madrid, Julio Iglesias will receive the homage and recognition that he deserves in Spain, from the hands of Rafael Nadal.

On that day, he will receive two awards that do justice to a career marked by songs and success in every country, with global nº1 hits in many languages. They are the Prize for the artist who has sold the most records in Spain (23 million) and the Prize for the Latin artist who has sold the most records ever: more than 300 million globally.
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post #2173 of 2271 (permalink) Old 12-16-2011, 06:58 PM
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Re: >> Rafa news and articles <<

thanks star and everyone else who contributed the article of our dear rafa
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post #2174 of 2271 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 05:37 PM
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Is nadal unsure for abu dhabi??

Nadal puede perderse el principio de temporada

Recibió tratamiento el viernes en Barcelona o El lunes regresó a los entrenamientos con un proceso vírico o El próximo día 28 tiene el vuelo hacia los Emiratos Árabes


Mientras la mayoría de tenistas están inmersos en una dura pretemporada, Rafael Nadal​ reinició el pasado lunes los entrenamientos en Manacor después de verse obligado a parar una semana por las molestias que sentía en el hombro izquierdo y que le obligaron a ser tratado el pasado viernes en la clínica Cima de Barcelona. Nadal, aprovechando su presencia en la Ciudad Condal por actos solidarios relacionados con su fundación, visitó la consulta de Ángel Ruiz Cotorro, su médico de confianza. No era la primera vez que el tenista veía interrumpida su preparación por una sobrecarga en el hombro. A pocos días de empezar la última Copa Masters de Londres, donde no pasó del round robin por culpa de su derrota en el tercer y decisivo partido ante Jo-Wilfried Tsonga​, Rafa tuvo que parar después de resentirse de la zona por ejecutar demasiados servicios en los entrenamientos. El número 2 mundial, tal y como tenía previsto, ha regresado paulatinamente al trabajo en pista con la mala suerte de sufrir un proceso vírico que le ha debilitado. Con tanto contratiempo, en la cabeza de Nadal y su entorno ese plantea la idea de renunciar a la exhibición de Abu Dabi -tiene el vuelo el 28 de diciembre- y dedicarse a preparar en las mejores condiciones el Open 250 de Doha, que empieza el 2 de enero. Su tío Toni tiene la opinión de que es importante jugar algún partido antes de la reaparición oficial y, por ello, “la idea es que esté en Abu Dabi”. El evento amistoso, que reúne en el cuadro, además de a Rafa, a Novak Djokovic​, Roger Federer David Ferrer, Tsonga y Gael Monfils​, se disputará del 29 al 31 de este mes en la capital de los Emiratos Árabes. Nadal y Federer, exentos de la ronda de cuartos, entran directamente en las semifinales, fechadas el 30 de diciembre. Djokovic y el manacorí sólo podrían cruzarse en una hipotética final.


El serbio, en un año en el que todo el mundo pone en duda que pueda sumar tres coronas de Grand Slam y mantener la racha de imbatibilidad de 2011, que se alargó hasta los 43 partidos, ya se encuentra en Abu Dhabi. Los jeques le pagan su estancia a él y a todo su equipo para que pase junto a ellos las Navidades después de un periodo vacacional en las Islas Maldivas al lado de su pareja Jelena Ristic. Nole sabe que tiene muchos puntos que defender, empezando por los 2.000 del título en el Abierto de Australia. Precisamente en las antípodas es donde Nadal espera recortar distancias con respecto al tenista que ostenta el cetro ATP. Sólo defiende 360 puntos de los cuartos ante Ferrer. La diferencia actual entre ambos es de 4.035 puntos. La próxima temporada, además de los cuatro majors obligatorios y ocho Masters 1.000, serbio y español coincidirán en otra gran cita: los Juegos Olímpicos de Londres, que se celebrarán en el All England Club de Wimbledon. En la memoria de Djokovic aún está la derrota en las semifinales de Pekín con Rafa, que le privó de optar a la medalla de oro. El duelo de los colosos de la raqueta está a punto de empezar, con el permiso de testigos como Federer y Andy Murray.

Nadal ha estado una semana sin tocar la raqueta por culpa de una sobrecarga en el hombro izquierdo. El lunes inició los entrenamientos después de un tratamiento que espera le ayude a olvidar los dolores que sufre en la zona.


Nadal may miss the start of the season

He was treated in Barcelona on Friday or Monday returned to training with a viral or has the next 28 flight to the UAE


While most players are immersed in a tough season, Rafael Nadal on Monday resumed training in Manacor after having to stop a week he felt discomfort in his left shoulder and forced him to be treated last Friday in Top of Barcelona clinic. Nadal, taking advantage of their presence in Barcelona solidarity acts related to its foundation, visited the Angel Ruiz Cotorro consultation, your doctor you trust. It was not the first time the player was interrupted their preparation by an overload on the shoulder. Within days of starting the Masters Cup final in London, where the round robin was not because of his defeat in the third and decisive match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Rafa had to stop after the area suffer from too many services running on workouts. The world number 2, as planned, has gradually returned to work on track with the misfortune of having a viral that has weakened. With so much disappointment, Nadal’s head and its environment that raises the idea of ​​giving up the exhibition in Abu Dhabi, has the flight on 28 December to prepare for and engage in the best conditions, 250 of Doha Open, which begins January 2nd. His uncle Toni has the opinion that it is important to play a game before the official return, therefore, “the idea that I’m in Abu Dhabi.” The friendly event, which brings in the table, in addition to Rafa, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer David Ferrer, Tsonga and Gael Monfils, will be held from 29 to 31 this month in the capital of the UAE. Nadal and Federer, exempt from the quarterfinal round, go directly into the semifinals, dated December 30. Djokovic and Nadal could only be crossed in a hypothetical final.


The Serb, in a year when everyone puts in doubt you can add three Grand Slam crowns and maintain unbeaten run in 2011, which was extended to 43 games already in Abu Dhabi. The sheikhs stay paid him and his team to spend Christmas with them after a holiday in the Maldives next to his partner Jelena Ristic. Nole known to have many points to defend, beginning with the 2000 Open title in Australia. Precisely the antipodes is where Nadal expects to close the gap with respect to the player who holds the scepter ATP. Only defends 360 points of the quarter against Ferrer. The actual difference between them is of 4035 points. The next season, plus the four majors and eight mandatory Masters 1000, Serbian and Spanish match in another great quote: London Olympics to be held at the All England Club at Wimbledon. In memory of the defeat is still Djokovic in the semifinals in Beijing with Rafa, which deprived him of opting for the gold medal. The duel of the giants of the racket is about to begin, with the permission of witnesses as Federer and Andy Murray.

An annoying OVERLOAD
Nadal has been a week without touching the racquet because of an overload in the left shoulder. Began training on Monday after a treatment it hopes will help you forget the pain suffered in the area.
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post #2175 of 2271 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 05:07 AM
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Re: >> Rafa news and articles <<

Ya podeis votar por Rafa Nadal como mejor deportista de 2012 en los premios del blog "Pasaporte a Londres 2012" (en la columna de la izquierda): http://alondres2012.blogspot.com/search/label/Tenis

Tennis Tipping records:

Doubles titles (7): 2010 Costa do Sauipe (w/sdtoot), 2010 Gstaad (w/Sdtoot), 2011 Auckland (w/Sdtoot), 2011 Marseille (w/Sdtoot), 2012 Chennai (w/Belludal), 2013 Viña del Mar (w/Sdtoot), 2013 Wimbledon (w/Sdtoot)
2012 Hopman Cup Champion for Spain (w/YEBRA)
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