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Old 02-05-2013, 01:30 AM   #2221
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Default Re: >> Rafa news and articles <<

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yolita View Post
I don't know whether this is the right place to post this, but I found this very moving: an account of what these last seven months without Rafa meant to a Rafa fan. Beautifully written. I share many of those feelings because I like Rafa very much as well. Also, it includes a lovely very old video of Rafa doing a presser in his early days...Very sweet.

It's called

Fan-fare: Seven Months Without Rafael Nadal

http://www.changeovertennis.com/fan-...-rafael-nadal/
thanks for this post. and that press conference. .

Im so happy that he is playing again. so so so HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:13 AM   #2222
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Default Re: >> Rafa news and articles <<

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yolita View Post
I don't know whether this is the right place to post this, but I found this very moving: an account of what these last seven months without Rafa meant to a Rafa fan. Beautifully written. I share many of those feelings because I like Rafa very much as well. Also, it includes a lovely very old video of Rafa doing a presser in his early days...Very sweet.

It's called

Fan-fare: Seven Months Without Rafael Nadal

http://www.changeovertennis.com/fan-...-rafael-nadal/
Wow amazing! I have so many identical thoughts. I feel exatcly the same about Rafa anh his comeback! Can't believe it's gonna happen today...
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:27 PM   #2223
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Uncle Toni: Rafa's knee may bother him for next few weeks
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 04, 2013 /BY AP

VINA DEL MAR, Chile -- Rafael Nadal's ailing left knee may still bother him for a few more weeks, his coach said Monday.

Nadal practiced for 90 minutes with Nicolas Massu of Chile on Monday, his fourth straight day of training since arriving in the country for his first match in more than seven months.

Nadal opens up Tuesday in the VTR Open, playing doubles with Argentina's Juan Monaco. On Wednesday, he will play singles in the second round against the winner of a first-round match between Argentines Guido Pella and Federico Delbonis.

"The knee is much better, but they've told us he will feel some discomfort and lack of mobility until the end of the month," said Toni Nadal, the seven-time French Open champion's coach and uncle. "But it's definitely getting better."

Nadal has avoided surgery so far, getting therapy in hopes of speeding the healing. But the slow recovery from the inflamed knee means Nadal has been trying to lower expectations as he uses three Latin American clay-court tournaments to prepare for a run at an eighth French Open title.

Nadal has practiced in Chile wearing a white bandage around his knee.

"The bandage is normal and is part of the treatment," his coach said.

Nadal will be watched closely in doubles Tuesday, which is meant to give him extra playing time on top of his matches in singles.

His uncle has called the small Chilean tournament "our first French Open."

Nadal has the best clay-court record in the Open Era, winning 93 percent of his matches. Many will expect him to sweep through this event as he would in the first week of the French Open, perhaps without dropping a set. Anything less will add to speculation about his future and could add pressure.

"His game is much better than when we got here," Toni Nadal said. "It was better yesterday and even better today. We're looking to the doubles as an added test."

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/...w-weeks/46301/
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:40 PM   #2224
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Nadal will be watched closely in doubles Tuesday
Sadly not by me. Finally I'm going to hoist my white flag on finding a way to watch Vina online. Hopefully Brasil will be easier.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:47 PM   #2225
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Originally Posted by mseles1 View Post
Sadly not by me. Finally I'm going to hoist my white flag on finding a way to watch Vina online. Hopefully Brasil will be easier.


Tennis Channel is going to show Rafa's matches. Does that help you in finding a stream?
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:28 PM   #2226
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Tennis Channel is going to show Rafa's matches. Does that help you in finding a stream?
Thanks star! I'm going to have a look at the TC website. Having waited so long for Rafa's return I need to see him. Hate watching live scores as I get far too nervous.
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:49 AM   #2227
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Live streams from Vina are available on StreamHunter.eu
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:17 PM   #2228
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RAFAEL Nadal says athletes implicated in the "Operation Puerto" trial into blood doping must be named.

In an interview with the French sports daily L'Equipe, the Spanish tennis star said he felt his reputation, and that of Spanish sport as a whole, had been tarnished by the trial.

A judge has refused to demand that doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, the suspected mastermind of one of the sporting world's biggest blood doping rackets, provide the names of athletes implicated in the scandal.

The ruling could avert a huge fall-out from the high-profile trial in Madrid but Nadal said that naming names would have been the correct thing to do.

"What is happening in Spain, I don't understand it," he told the magazine.

"I don't understand why Dr Fuentes is not giving names. And I don't understand why the judge has not asked him to do so.


"I don't understand why we never get to the bottom of these things. We need to clean everything up. I believe this doctor has worked with foreign athletes but because he is Spanish it is Spanish sport that is being prejudiced.

"As an athlete that hurts me. Because of people like (US cyclist Lance) Armstrong, we all have a dubious image."

Nadal, who made his comeback to competitive tennis this week at the Vina del Mar clay-court tournament in Chile, also admitted his relief at being back on the court after a lengthy injury absence.

But he said he did not expect to be back to his best until later in the season.

The former world number one returned after more than seven months out with a knee injury to beat qualifier Federico Delbonis 6-3, 6-2 in the second round.

He said before his return that his troublesome knee was still a source of nagging pain but he added that there was never any fear of a relapse.

"Fear? No. Stress, yes, that's to be expected. Relief and joy, certainly," he told L'Equipe of his feelings after his first singles match since a shock defeat to little-known Czech Lukas Rosol in the second round of Wimbledon last June.

"At the moment it's all about patience. I need to take things one step at a time and accept that I won't be at my maximum level straight away. I'm not scared because I know my knee is in good shape."

The Mallorcan will now face either compatriot Albert Montanes or another Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver in the next round in Vina del Mar.

The tournament is all part of his preparations for the European clay-court season, and his bid for an eighth French Open crown.

"I want to be at 100 per cent for Monte Carlo and the European clay season," he said.

"Here in Chile, all that matters is how I feel and how my knee reacts. To lose here is not a problem. After so long out losing would be the logical thing."
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/te...-1226573101166
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:15 AM   #2229
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Nadal tired but vows his best at Brazil Open
(AFP) – 9 hours ago
SAO PAULO — Rafael Nadal said Tuesday that he felt a bit tired after a hard but positive tournament in Chile but vowed to do his best at this week's Brazil Open.
"I am happy to be here in Brazil for the second time," the 26-year-old Spanish tennis star told a press conference. "My knee is OK...There are days when it hurts, this limits me but I have confidence it will improve."
The 11-time Grand Slam champion, who lost the singles and doubles finals Sunday at his comeback event in Vina del Mar, Chile following a seven-month knee injury absence, is the top seed at the Brazil Open, an event he won in 2005.
"I am a bit tired after a hard week in Chile. But it was positive. The process of recovery follows its course. As always I come here to do the best possible and hope that things turn out all right," Nadal told a press conference.
He said it was impossible for him to change his style of play because of his left knee injury.
"I hope to continue with my style of play and I am confident that my body will respond," he noted.
Asked when he expected to be 100 percent fit, he responded: "I cannot know the future. If my knee allows, I will do everything possible to be at my best."
"I am a player who plays with a lot passion, a lot of energy. I suppose that does not help the knee."
He said his worst moment during his seven-month absence was when he realised he could not compete for Spain and defend his title at the London Olympics.
"My long-term objective is to be in Brazil in 2016 (for the Rio Summer Olympics). I am going to work to arrive in good conditions at what are likely to be my last Olympics," he said.
Considered my many to be the best ever clay-court player, Nadal was back in Chile last week for the first time since a surprise second-round exit at Wimbledon in June.
Since then he has been sidelined by a torn tendon and inflammation in his left knee, with his return this year further delayed by a stomach virus.
Nadal, ranked number five in the world, is helping boost the prestige of the $455,775 Brazil Open, part of the Latin American clay court circuit that also includes Vina del Mar and the Mexico Open in Acapulco in which he will compete later this month.
He will see action here late Tuesday when he teams up in doubles with Argentine David Nalbandian to face the Spanish pair of Pablo Andujar and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
Nadal, who has claimed seven of his 11 Grand Slam titles on the clay courts of Roland Garros, won the Brazil Open in 2005 when it was held in Costa do Sauipe in eastern Bahia state.
The tournament was moved to Sao Paulo last year when Spaniard Nicolas Almagro won.
Copyright © 2013 AFP.
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:58 AM   #2230
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Default Re: >> Rafa news and articles <<

This is quite a nice article IMO.

Quote:
Steve Flink: Nadal stunned by inspired Zeballos in Vina del Mar final

2/11/2013

He had been away from tournament tennis for no fewer than 222 days, across more than seven months, through the most trying period of his illustrious career. He returned in Vina del Mar as both a dreamer and a hard realist, hoping he could capture the ATP World Tour 250 event on his beloved clay, knowing how difficult it is to recover your old form when competing becomes tantamount to a brand new experience. He probably realized that fans from all parts of the world were pulling for him unabashedly, expecting this eleven time Grand Slam tournament champion to reemerge triumphantly in Chile, wanting him to celebrate his comeback on the best possible terms.

In the end, it did not quite work out that way for the estimable Rafael Nadal, the most charismatic player in the game. Nadal swept through three matches without the loss of a set to reach the final, and was only two elusive points away from capturing his 51st career singles championship. But in a suspenseful battle of left-handers, Nadal could not find a way to finish off 27-year-old Horacio Zeballos, a surprisingly obstinate adversary who seemed spent physically yet refused to surrender down the stretch. Zeballos secured his first ever title on the ATP World Tour. Ranked No. 73 in the world coming into this event, he played like a far more accomplished competitor, losing his excellent serve only once in three sets, toppling an off key Nadal 6-7 (2), 7-6 (6), 6-4 in a two hour, 46 minute clash.

In many ways, Zeballos played madly inspired tennis while Nadal grew increasingly apprehensive over the latter stages of both the second and third sets. From the outset, Zeballos was finding the corners with supreme placement and good variation on his southpaw serve. In the opening set, Nadal was not even creating opportunities to get a service break. To be sure, he stood too far back behind the baseline on second serve returns, and missed some relatively easy returns when he might have made his presence known more tellingly.

In six service games en route to a first set tie-break, the remarkable Zeballos made 70% of his first serves, released five aces, and won a staggering 24 of 28 points on his unshakable delivery. To be sure, Nadal was not as assertive as he needed to be on the return, unable to get the depth he needed to take control of rallies. Meanwhile, Nadal had a few anxious moments on his own serve, which he handled resolutely. Serving at 0-1, he commenced that game with a timid double fault into the net, fell behind 15-40, but raised his game decidedly, took command off his forehand, and held on with four points in a row for 1-1. At 2-3, Nadal was pushed to deuce, but once more he met the challenge sternly and held on. From that juncture, the Spaniard served three love games in a row on his way to a tie-break.

Unsurprisingly, Zeballos played that tie-break untidily. He went behind a mini-break immediately by carelessly driving a backhand crosscourt wide. Nadal marched to 3-0, and never looked back. Zeballos managed to unleash two winners in the tie-break but Nadal did not make a single unforced error. The Spaniard prevailed seven points to two, as a besieged Zeballos unraveled, losing four out of five points on serve.

It seemed only a matter of time before Nadal would exploit his experience, stamp his authority, and close out the account with his customary front-runner’s fervor. The heavy favorite clearly had his chances to do just that. Leading 2-1 in the second set, he moved ahead 15-40 on Zeballos’s serve, but did not display his customary big point prowess. On the first break point, Nadal left his first serve return much too short, and Zeballos thumped a forehand approach crosscourt that was too much for the Spaniard to handle. Then Zeballos served an ace down the T. He soon held for 2-2. Not long after, Zeballos was back in serious jeopardy, serving at 3-4, 0-30. Nadal seemed poised to break and thus give himself a chance to serve for the match.

Zeballos had other notions, throwing in a gutsy drop shot winner to make it 15-30, taking the next point for 30-30, then holding for 4-4 with consecutive down the line winners off his elegantly produced one-handed topspin backhand. Two games later, serving at 4-5, Zeballos was two points from defeat at 15-30. Nadal had a golden opportunity there as the Argentine missed a first serve. Nadal lined up a forehand crosscourt return off the second serve, but smothered that shot with excessive topspin into the net. That was the single most important point of the match, and a glaring missed opportunity for Nadal. Zeballos aced Nadal for 40-30, and then caught his luminous rival off guard with a biting sliced backhand down the line, drawing a running forehand error from the Spaniard. Both men held to set up another tie-break, and the smart money was clearly on Nadal.

And yet, Zeballos was not the same disheveled player he had been in the first set. He was nearly impenetrable. Serving at 2-3 in that critical sequence, he aced Nadal down the T in the Ad Court, and then ripped a scorching forehand approach off another short return from Nadal. The Spaniard missed the passing shot. Nadal was plainly nervous, missing a manageable two-handed backhand long down the line to give Zeballos a 5-3 lead. Nadal took the next point, but Zeballos was serving at 5-4, two points away from forcing a third and final set. He produced an un-returnable serve to make it 6-4, but Nadal majestically saved that set point with a superb backhand drop shot sliced delicately down the line, provoking an errant forehand passing shot wide from his adversary.

When Zeballos missed a routine backhand wide on the next point to allow Nadal back to 6-6, the Spaniard was once again only two points away from extending his career record in clay court finals to 37-4. In his renowned career, Nadal had lost to only two players in finals on the clay, falling against Roger Federer at Hamburg in 2007 and Madrid in 2009, bowing against Novak Djokovic in the 2011 Rome and Madrid title round matches. As the two players changed ends of the court, the crowd surely sensed that Nadal was primed to put this match into his victory column.

At 6-6, he elected to take something off his first serve, sending it to the backhand. That was probably the right tactic; Zeballos, after all, was error prone off the return on that side for most of the match. But now, at this crucial moment, he laced his return confidently down the line with plenty of margin for error for an outright winner, stunning Nadal, silencing the crowd. Serving at 7-6, an emboldened Zeballos audaciously drove an inside-out forehand behind Nadal, drawing a short reply from his opponent. Zeballos promptly stepped in for another inside-out forehand driven with utter conviction for a clean winner.

It was one set all. But Nadal broke Zeballos at love to commence the final set as the Argentine missed three out of four first serves. That was the first service break of the entire match, and Nadal had a chance to put the loss of the second set permanently behind him, to move on inexorably to victory. But his anxiety surfaced again. With Zeballos dictating from the back of the court and Nadal entirely too passive, the Spaniard drifted to 15-40 before making it back to deuce. Nadal made a glaring unforced error off the forehand to go down break point again. He swung his first serve wide and followed it in, with the court wide open for him to deposit a backhand drop volley for a winner. But he anxiously sent that shot into the net. Zeballos had climbed back to 1-1.

On they went to 3-3, but Zeballos was visibly tiring as Nadal moved him from side to side and corner to corner, looking to send his opponent into submission once and for all. In that pivotal seventh game, Zeballos was down 15-30, and he received a warning for going over the 25 second limit between points. The Argentine needed to recover his resources and catch his breath. But he collected himself admirably, serving an ace out wide for 30-30, followed by an unstoppably deep second serve, and then a forehand winner up the line.

Zeballos had held on tenaciously for 4-3, surviving a potential crisis in the process. Nadal was physically stronger than Zeballos, probably by a considerable margin. But Zeballos was going for broke, taking all of his chances, driving through the ball immaculately. Nadal managed to hold on from 3-4, 30-40 with a clutch play, moving up to the net, making a crafty backhand drop volley down the line, provoking an errant forehand passing shot from a harried Zeballos. Nadal held on for 4-4, but that brave stand did not sway Zeballos, not in the least. Zeballos held at love for 5-4 with back to back aces from 30-0, his 12th and 13th of the contest.

Serving to stay in the match, Nadal could not find the freedom to go for his shots with gusto, and Zeballos was playing almost unconsciously, as if he had absolutely nothing to lose. He was astounding, cracking an inside-out forehand winner, making an exquisite forehand drop shot winner for 0-30, then pulling off a dazzling forehand crosscourt winner on the run off a backhand down the line from Nadal. Now at triple match point, Zeballos released one last devastating crosscourt forehand that was unmanageable for Nadal. Zeballos had boldly broken at love to complete a thoroughly improbable 6-7 (2), 7-6 (6), 6-4 victory. In the end, he clearly deserved his victory, outplaying Nadal down the stretch, refusing to give any ground when defeat seemed inevitable.

To be sure, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity for a journeyman. Zeballos might have a career year in 2013, and perhaps finish the season inside the top 50 in the world. But he almost certainly won’t play another match like this one with Nadal ever again. He was magnificent, but he was not confronting the essential Nadal. He was competing against an all-time great who was getting reacquainted with match play after a long time away from his trade. Nadal simply did not have the inner conviction to win his first tournament back, even on his favorite surface, even when he moved within striking distance of seizing the title.

The loss was clearly a blow to Nadal, but it need not be devastating. His plan is to move on to the Brasil Open in Sao Paulo this week, take a week off, and then compete again the following week on clay. He will reassemble his game comprehensively over these next significant weeks, and become more and more like the Nadal of old. I have no doubt that his confidence will be restored. The larger question is whether or not Nadal’s left knee will allow him to perform at peak efficiency over time. I thought that—all things considered—his court coverage was impressive in Vina del Mar. Under the circumstances, after such a long time away from rigorous competition, considering how many doubts surely lingered uncomfortably in his mind, Nadal moved remarkably well. And yet, understandably, he was somewhat fragile under pressure, not as steely a competitor as he has always been, uncertain about what to do when the chips were on the line.

It won’t be long before the redoubtable Nadal resurfaces. I expect him to be closer to the height of his powers by April, when he will seek a ninth crown in a row on the red clay of Monte Carlo. Barring an unfortunate recurrence of his knee injury, Nadal will undoubtedly be in full flight when he heads back out onto the French clay to pursue an eighth title at Roland Garros. Meanwhile, he will keep taking it match by match, tournament by tournament, moment by moment, making progress steadily, rebuilding his psyche, adding layers to his conviction. The loss to Zeballos will not haunt Nadal. It will only add to his motivation and make him work even more ferociously to attain his goals.

Even in defeat, it was a joy to see Rafael Nadal back out among us, giving it his all, reminding everyone that there has never been a competitor quite like him in the sport’s storied history. Let’s give this exceedingly humble individual the time he needs to rediscover his winning ways, to start automatically playing the right shots at the right times, to become again the match player that he has always been. Rafael Nadal has come back earnestly and unequivocally to his profession, and the game is better for it.

www.tennischannel.com
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:19 AM   #2231
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Default Re: >> Rafa news and articles <<

Rafa will play two demo matches with Nalbandian in the end of the year on 21st November in Cordoba and two day later in Buenos Aires
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:48 AM   #2232
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Rafa will play two demo matches with Nalbandian in the end of the year on 21st November in Cordoba and two day later in Buenos Aires
another exho ?
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Old 04-20-2013, 11:35 PM   #2233
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Default Re: >> Rafa news and articles <<

2003 Monte Carlo recollections from Saturday's Times.

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Old 06-24-2013, 02:26 PM   #2234
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Default Re: >> Rafa news and articles <<

Loved this article.

Quote:
Nadal, the man who refuses to bow to anyone


Rafael Nadal serves during a practice session at Wimbledon ahead fo the championships Source: Getty Images

HOW can you look vulnerable when you're a break up in the fifth set? Answer: by playing Rafael Nadal.

I was pondering that question in the Court Philippe Chatrier in Paris just a few weeks ago. Novak Djokovic was leading 4-2 in the final set in the semi-finals of the French Open, but it was clear to me and to everyone else that one break was never going to be enough.

If you want to beat Nadal, you have to beat him at least half a dozen times, and all at the same time. That's what lies at the heart of Nadal's game, Nadal's nature. It's a truth that you can find at every level of analysis, a trait you find when you examine a point, a match, a career.

So here's my conclusion: don't get into a fight with him. You'd have to kill him.

And here's the great mystery of it all: how can a man who stands so far away be so intimidating? If you want to win a tennis match, the first step is to take control of the court. To seize space and time. To own the place. That's a psychological truism of the sport, and also basic tennis strategy. You make your opponent feel like an interloper on his own side of the net. With weight and depth of shot, with reach and power and angle and spin, you crowd him out of his own space.

But that's not Nadal's way. You want the court? Help yourself. Nadal gives it all to you. You've got your own side of the net, and he gives you all of the other side to put the ball in. Where's he gone? He's miles away, somewhere near the stop-netting, tripping over the ballboys and the towels and the umpires' chairs. It seems that you can do what you like. You're up against an absentee landlord.

But that's not how it works out. You've helped yourself to the court but there's no triumph in it. The ball keeps coming back to you. Then comes the dizzying, dismaying understanding: your winners aren't winners any more. Your best shot comes back to you. It's like trying to knock over the wobblyman in the nursery.

Let's look at a characteristic point from that fifth set. Towards the end of a long and convoluted rally, Djokovic hit three successive winners. Or they should have been winners, three shots that came singing out of the sweet spot to find the edge of the line right in the place where Nadal wasn't. Certainly they'd have been winners against anyone else. But each one came back.

No, it's not like playing the wall. Nadal isn't passive-defensive. He's aggressive-defensive. It's something to do with that forehand, something to do with top spin. He rolls his racket into the ball with ferocity, the ball is struck with full power, it's steaming well beyond the baseline but no, it dips, lands in, then kicks like Eric Cantona. I've read that most players put 3,000 revolutions per minute into a forehand top spin; Nadal is closer to 5,000. That's one hell of an edge.

There are three ways of failing when Nadal puts you under that sort of pressure. In this case, Djokovic was pushed into a tiny error, and he caught the net. A couple of inches higher, though, and the ball would have landed in - but well short. In this second case, Nadal comes in, take the ball high on the bounce and buries it. And in the third case, you are so frustrated by Nadal's tenacity that you try to beat him with something even better than your best shot. And inevitably miss.

And that in a microcosm, in a point, is Nadal. It's not just that he has the best defence. He is also the best ever at making defence an act of aggression, either by turning defence into attack or by forcing - rather than merely waiting for - the error. More than any other player I've seen, Nadal forces the unforced error.

So let's look at Nadal in the context of a match, rather than a point. And he shows the same thing time and again. Against Djokovic in that semi-final in Paris, he was two sets to one up, but lost the fourth to a brilliantly resurgent Djokovic. The momentum was all against him. The break of serve in the fifth made that quite clear. But it still wasn't enough. Nadal had been defeated but he hadn't been defeated enough. So Nadal took the match and went on to a straight-sets victory over David Ferrer in the final.

Ferrer is at present ranked fourth to Nadal's fifth. Yeah, right.

But that's because we now need to look at Nadal at the level of career. It's a fact that he's wrecking himself every time he steps on to a tennis court. He's had tendinitis in both knees. What do you expect if you spend your life running like a madman from side to side? Last season he was out for seven months trying to get his knees fixed.

So the rankings system gave up on him because he wasn't playing.

Meanwhile, we Brits also gave up on him a little, not least because it was nice to think that Andy Murray had one fewer god to beat every time he set out on the grand-slam trail.

But Nadal did not give up on Nadal. Not, as I think we've established, his way. He made a comeback that first stuttered and spluttered, then burst into flame, with victories on the clay in Barcelona, Madrid and Rome before he cleaned up in Paris.

So now he's back at Wimbledon, where he won in 2008 and 2010. Grass is easier on the knees than some surfaces. No one is writing him off. He is seeded to meet Roger Federer in the quarter-finals and, if he wins, the possibility of Murray in the semis. How much longer can he carry on? He played each match in Paris as if it were his last, but that's nothing new. He'll play Wimbledon the same way. Savour every day of it.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/spor...-1226668632542
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:40 AM   #2235
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Default Re: >> Rafa news and articles <<

Any news about a warmup ATP250/500 event he might be playing before Toronto ?
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