Monday, 28 February 2011

What Happened When Rafael Nadal was Woken In His Hotel Room By A Radio Station

Not sure why i am giving this air time as i think the 2 presenters need a ****ing good slap for this prank.

The presenter from Radio Contact pretended to be the tennis player's mother to be put through to his room
Belgium radio station, Radio Contact, wanted to mark the first time that World Number One, Rafael Nadal, has played in the country by ringing him up.

One of the station’s presenters pretended to be his mother and was passed to the extension in his room. A sleepy Rafa took the call in good heart.

‘We are really happy to have you on our programme’, said the presenter, María del Rio.

‘I am really happy to be sleeping’ replied Nadal.

When asked if he could go to the radio station, Nadal continued ‘I’m sorry, but I am here to train, and to play, and the timetable is such I have no time to go anywhere’.

Original article here

Rafael Nadal - Davis Cup practice

Video footage here

Rafael Nadal leaves for the Davis Cup

After the Tweet comes the video. Here is Rafa leaving for Belgium and the Davis Cup tie.

Rafael Nadal - At the football

After only finding 1 photo we now have video footage :-)

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Rafael Nadal - Facebook updates

Hola a todos! Hace mucho que no os escribía. Ya sabéis que yo no suelo usar internet cuando estoy en casa. Hoy he viajado a Bélgica para disputar la primera eliminatoria de la Copa Davis con mis compañeros.

Estuve todo este tiempo en casa después de los premios Laureus. He estado entrenando y trabajando con mis patrocinadores pero sobre todo disfrutando de mi familia y amigos en Mallorca.

Hello everyone. It's been a long time since I don't write you. You know I don't use internet when I am at home. I travelled today to Belgium to play the first tie of the Davis Cup.

I have been at home all this time after the Laureus Awards. I have been practicing and working with my sponsors but also enjoying my time with my family and friends in Mallorca.

Rafael Nadal @ the football

As expected Rafa was at the football last night to watch Real Mallorca get beat against Barcelona.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Nadal & Federer dominance is over

Courtesy: ATP

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal has declared that the dominance he and Roger Federer once shared at the Grand Slams is now a thing of the past. Furthermore, despite contributing nine trophies to their joint haul of 21 major titles since 2005 Roland Garros, the Spaniard insisted that it was Federer who was truly on top.

Speaking to Spanish media, the Mallorcan commented, “In 2005, 2006 and 2007, perhaps you could say there was a bit of a monopoly, but it was down to Federer. I was also there, but a little less. For sure I think this monopoly ended some time ago. There are many players ready to challenge now.”

Before Federer’s Dubai runner-up points are calculated, Nadal has a healthy 4425 point lead at the top of the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings after compiling astonishing results in 2010, including winning Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open. However, the left-hander scoffed at the suggestion that the rankings race was run between himself and his Swiss rival, not to mention the other challengers hot on their heels.

“Two years ago they said Federer was finished, and by the end of the year he had finished No. 1, having won two Grand Slam titles and played all four major finals,” said Nadal. “You have to have a little bit of patience and see how things are going to work out. By that, I don’t mean that there won’t be a change because the other two – Djokovic and Murray – are very good. And there’s not just those two, there’s others besides.

“I’ve never seen so many new talents,” he added. “Of course there is [Milos] Raonic, the Canadian, who has started the year very well, and there is [Grigor] Dimitrov. They are the two youngsters who have improved the most.

“I can’t say that Murray and Djokovic are youngsters who have broken through on the tour because they’ve been No. 3 and 4 for three years now. And, at the end of the day, I’m only a year older than them!”

After an enforced spell on the sidelines due to a left adductor tear suffered in his quarter-final exit at the Australian Open, Nadal is due back in action on Davis Cup duty for Spain against Belgium next weekend. Following that, the 24 year old will contest the first two ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments of the season in Indian Wells and Miami.

Although Nadal is a two-time former champion at the BNP Paribas Open, the Sony Ericsson Open continues to elude the Spaniard after runner-up finishes in 2005 (l. to Federer) and 2008 (l. to Davydenko).

“It’s not something I’m particularly focusing on,” insisted Nadal. “What matters to me is each day, each tournament. I haven’t won there [in Miami], but I’ve been in the final twice and have also done well in Indian Wells. They are both as important as each other.

“They are the first Masters 1000s of the season and doing well there gives you a lift because they are the first tournaments that really count a lot after the Australian Open. It’s a very important part of the season.”

A piece of Rafa court for sale

I have a spare piece of the court sold by Rafa's official website from the charity match he played against Roger back in December.

The only thing wrong is that the case is broken, this is the reason i have 2 piece, the proshop sent me a replacement.  I have put the item up for sale on Ebay.

Please feel free to ask any questions

Rafael Nadal - Tennis Centre in Manacor

Instead of having to cope with Google mangle here is an English article regarding the Tennis centre Rafa is to set up in Manacor.

It has been announced that tennis star Raphael Nadal, with the collaboration of the City of Manacor & the Consell de Mallorca, is to create an international tennis centre in his home town of Manacor. The construction is expected to begin at the end of the summer 2011 and will be entirely funded by Nadal.

The facilities will include 15-25 tennis courts, a football ground, swimming pool, medical centre and accommodation for 70-100 athletes. The site earmarked for the project is at the sports centre of Torre dels Enagistes to the south of the city. The government is delighted that the world's number one tennis star has committed to such a project, saying that the centre will put Majorca on the map, not only for tennis, but for sport at all levels.

Rafa Nadal hopes his school will attract players from all over the world and become a place where young talent can be nurtured and transformed into professional tennis players. He told a press conference that this tennis academy is something that he has thought about for many years and that the opportunity to create such a centre in his home town gives him great personal satisfaction.

The centre will also become the headquarters of the Foundation Rafael Nadal. Nadal firmly believes in encouraging young people, especially those in socially disadvantaged situations, to become involved with sport so that they can develop personal skills such as self-esteem and confidence.

Courtesy: SeeMallorca

Rafael Nadal - Banesto photos

Here are some photos from the commercial shoot Rafa filmed last week for Banesto.

Original video post here

Monday, 21 February 2011

Rafael Nadal - More Armani photos

A few more pictures from the Armani campaign.

For more photos click here

Rafael Nadal - New Armani photo

Whilst it is always nice to see Rafa in his undies i can't help but still think that all these poses look so un-natural to him.  The behind-the-scenes photos here are so much better than the actual publicity shots herehere and here  Ok that last one is yummy but the underwear photos, nah!

Rafael Nadal in Bauxa

Does Rafa secretly live in Bauxa, the man is never out of there :-)  Good to see a young man enjoying his time off.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Rafael Nadal - Tennis centre in Manacor

It is not football it is about a Tennis Centre that is to be built in Manacor with Rafa's involvement.

Here is a longer video

Another related post here:

Rafael Nadal talking football?

Not entirely sure what is going on here but i think Rafa is talking about Real Mallorca match against Sevilla match today

Not football (i think) but the tennis centre that will be built in Manacor.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Rafael Nadal - Davis Cup video

Short video from iB3.  We get to see young Rafa but we also get to see AO Rafa so viewing from 0.23-0.32 is a little tough.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Rafael Nadal - More Armani behind-the-scenes photos

Oh mama mia!!!

This lady had the best job in the world that day!

All photos courtesy of Vanity Fair Italia

Rafael Nadal confirmed for Davis Cup

World No 1 Rafael Nadal will spearhead Spain's bid to recapture the Davis Cup title starting in their World Group first round tie in Belgium next month, the Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET) announced on Thursday.

Nadal will be joined by David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez in the team unveiled by captain Albert Costa in the south-eastern town of Alicante.

Costa's four-time champions will be hoping to recapture the title they won in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2009.

The tie in Charleroi from March 4-6 will be the fourth time that the two countries have met with Spain leading their head-to-head series 2-1.

Belgium's best performance was back in 1904, when they finished runners-up. They were semifinalists in 1999.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Top 10 Tennis Stars Expected in Monte Carlo

Courtesy: Rivieratimes

A magical venue poised between the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains prepares to welcome the world’s top ten players for the 105th Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters from 9th to 17th of April 2011. Last year, world number one Rafael Nadal delighted organisers by winning the tournament for the sixth time, the only player in the history of the event to do so and in such convincing style.

Whether Nadal can make it a seventh will depend if his injury god is smiling down on him or not. A few weeks ago in Melbourne he ceded defeat in the quarter finals of the Australian Open to David Ferrer, seventh seed, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3, plagued by a hamstring injury and lost his chance of holding four grand slam titles at once.

Yet only a year before he retired hurt with knee problems against Britain’s Andy Murray, again in Melbourne, and then went on to win three Grand Slams, three Masters 1000 tournaments and regained his World No 1 ranking.

One of those ATP World Tour Masters 1000s was the Monte-Carlo which joined this nine-tournament circuit in 2009. At stake are 1000 points for the winner and prize money totaling 2,227,500 euros.

At a press conference in the Monte Carlo Country Club which hosts the event, tournament director Zeljko Franulovic said they were counting on the world's top ten signing up and that Nadal, Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer and French favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga were already on the list. The closing date for registrations is 14th of March 2011 when the names of the 45 players accepted will be published; to this list will be added seven players who make it through a series of qualifying matches between 28 players on the first weekend, plus four wild cards (last year a very lack lustre Andy Murray came in at the last minute and was out in straight sets).

From Sunday the 12th when the tournament proper begins, 56 players will be battling it out in the singles to win the Coupe-Challenge offered by the Sovereign Prince of Monaco, while 24 doubles teams will be vying for the City of Monaco’s Trophy.

New for 2011 is an exhibition match on the Sunday between the current number one woman, the Dane Caroline Wozniacki and the Italian Francesca Schiavone, winner of the Paris Roland Garros Grand Slam in 2010.

Programme highlights

Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th: qualifying rounds plus start of the men’s singles and doubles matches on Sunday starting at 11am – on week days play starts at 10.30am.

Saturday 9th: launch party at Zelo’s attended by the players and organised by Mélanie-Antoinette de Massy.

Sunday 10th: children’s day, an opportunity to get autographs and play tennis with the stars.

Monday 11th: Ladies Day on the Monday starting at 2pm – exhibition match between current number one, the Dane Caroline Wozniacki and the Italian Francesca Schiavone, winner of Roland Garros in 2010.

Thursday 14th: Flamenco Fusions party

Saturday 16th: semi-finals singles and doubles matches starting at 11am

Sunday 17th: finals singles and doubles matches starting around 2.30pm. CL 

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Rafael Nadal - Wimbledon shirt &shoes

Here is a pic of the shirt & shoes Rafa will wear this Summer at Wimbledon.

Olympic schedule - Wimbledon 2012

Here is the full schedule and prices for the Olympics to be held at Wimbledon during the Summer of 2012.

Dates & Prices

Monday, 14 February 2011

Rafael Nadal - Still World #1

ATP top 10 as of February 14 (previous ranking in parenthesis):

1. (1) Rafael Nadal, Spain, 12,390
2. (2) Roger Federer, Switzerland, 7,965
3. (3) Novak Djokovic, Serbia, 7,880
4. (4) Robin Soderling, Sweden, 5,955
5. (5) Andy Murray, Britain, 5,760
6. (6) David Ferrer, Spain, 4,570
7. (7) Tomas Berdych, Czech Republic, 4,320
8. (8) Andy Roddick, United States, 3,325
9. (9) Fernando Verdasco, Spain, 3,140
10. (11) Juergen Melzer, Austria, 2,865.

Spain’s Rafael Nadal maintained his clear lead at the top of the ATP men’s tennis rankings issued on Monday.

There was no change in points for the leading players, with Nadal ahead of Roger Federer of Switzerland and Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia.

Juergen Melzer of Austria re-entered the top 10 in tenth position.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Where is Rafa!

Sorry for lack of news but there is not much going on at the moment.  I shall presume that training is going as planned as we have not heard anything different.

Here is a promo video for the match against Novak in Bogota.

Rafa on a golf course :-)

And Rafa promoting his charity foundation

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Rafael Nadal - Will He Win More HC Slams?

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - FEBRUARY 07:  Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Rafael Nadal talks during a media press conference as part of the 2011 Laureus World Sports Awards at the Emirates Palace on February 7, 2011 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images for Laureus)

Rafael Nadal missed a chance at history when he fell short at the Australian Open, one short of having won four Grand Slams in a row. He’s in good company, though; in the 42 years since Rod Laver’s 1969 season, a long list of greats from Jimmy Connors in 1974 to Roger Federer in 2006-07 had fallen short of that same designation.

It’s hard to imagine Nadal playing any better than he has in last 12 months, just as it’s difficult to see the 29-and-a-half-year-old Federer regaining his form from four to five years ago. It is, therefore, unlikely for us to see anyone knocking on that door again anytime soon.

Does missing out on that bit of history, however, make a significant difference in how the Spaniard will be viewed in the record books? Not in my view, unless the injury he sustained is much more serious than indicated.

Nadal has already done so much of historical import that missing out on the Rafa Slam is just a loss of increments. The record books already show that, from 2005-07, the most (if not only) dramatic time of the tennis season was the May-July period, when a young Nadal and some soft surfaces were the only things making Federer look somewhat less than invincible.

They will note Nadal’s ungodly, unprecedented record on the clay, how in 2008 he became the first man to win the Channel Slam since Bjorn Borg, then that he did it again two years later. They’ll recall that he took a nation with an already proud tennis history and multiplied its successes many times over, playing an instrumental role in three Davis Cup titles.

And they’ll show that Nadal won three Slams on three surfaces in 2010, making him the first man to win the last three majors in one season since Laver, and the first to win on three different surfaces in one year since Mats Wilander. It’s not the Rafa Slam, but history will regard it nearly as highly.

Provided his recent injury doesn’t derail him for the rest of the season, these records are going to be added onto, also, as the Spaniard remains the favorite to win a sixth Roland Garros crown. Should he win it, his momentum will likely carry over to a third Wimbledon, tying Boris Becker and John McEnroe.

If history does pass any judgment on his 2011 AO campaign, it may be that this was the moment he stopped winning the majors on the hard courts. It may also be when we realized how special the asphalt-bound majors that he won really were.

Rafael Nadal can no longer be called a “clay court specialist,” as that term as come to mean not so much a surfeit of wins on the dirt as a paucity of success off it.

What can be said is that the Spaniard has taken the traditional clay courter’s game—with it’s great defense, boundless patience and stamina, plus the enormously heavy groundstrokes—and placed it in the employ of a one-of-kind athlete, a minority even among professional sportsmen.

These tools have put him on pace to finish his career as the most dominant clay court player ever, and one whose heavy looping forehand and baseline play were still able to concur the grass of England multiple times, and the concrete of New York and Melbourne once each.

108337593_crop_340x234 Scott Barbour/Getty Images

With clay removed from the equation, he’d still have put up Hall of Fame-type numbers on the same plane as Jim Courier and Guillermo Vilas (so far). With clay, though, he becomes an all-time great, and should still finish on the same stratosphere as Borg and Roy Emerson.

And it’s clay, and to a lesser extent grass, that can and should help him get there. Just as in 2010, he will enter the clay season off an injury, but one that should have left him sufficiently rested to dominate the dirt again.

In a vacuum he’s just as good on hard courts as on grass (he won the Master’s Shield in Canada in 2005 long before he’d adapted to the lawns, after all), but Wimbledon’s position in the calendar allows him to enter at his headiest.

The same can’t be said for Australia and New York. His only winning campaign in Melbourne in 2009 saw him playing at his highest level, and yet that final weekend required him to put forth the most valiant effort of his career, in back-to-back five-setters that may have ruined the rest of his year.

Last year’s US Open win was aided by careful scheduling and a sudden increase in his serving power.
Plus, unlike in prior years, he wasn’t felled by injury or fatigue. As competition from Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro and others stiffens, he may not be so lucky next time.

If this is borne out, though, it’s no reason to mourn. Rafael Nadal’s legacy is secure one way or another; if he retires with just two hard court majors to his credit, he’s still a clay court player who successfully adapted his game to hard courts on two occasions.

Successful adaptation is what champions do, and what he’s already done

Courtesy: Bleacher Report

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Rafael Nadal - So far, so good :-)

Courtesy: Official Website

After undergoing physiotherapy and anti-inflammatory treatments for a period of 10 days, Rafa Nadal has begun training again at his hometown in Mallorca.

The world No.1 suffered an 'Adductor longus rupture of the left leg' during the quarterfinals of the Australian Open a couple of weeks ago and thankfully -for him and his fans, the injury was treatable and fixed in a short period of time. In fact, Rafa said at a press conference yesterday that he feels great.

"I feel quite good, I am going home today (Tuesday) to Manacor to begin training," then he continued. "I am going to start training slowly, following a plan, so that there are no setbacks."

Just like he said, later that afternoon and in front on the Spanish media, Rafa begun his preparation for the Davis Cup first-round tie against Belgium, which will take place from the 4th to the 6th of March.

“So far, everything feels good. This is the first time back I can really assess how I feel as the previous days have been all about physical training. I need to follow a specific progressive training plan so that I can adapt slowly and get back to the same rhythm I had before this happened to me,” said Rafa to IB3TV.

He has 15 days before the entire team travels to Belgium for the first Davis Cup match of the year and that means he can take it easy for a few more days.
“The important thing is not putting myself at risk. I want to take it slowly and then next week I can take it more seriously,” he said.

Sports Illustrated Mailbag

Rafa question in this weeks Mailbag that poses an interesting question.

Do you think the Agassi-Williams-Clijsters career plan would work for Rafael Nadal? Take a year or so off from the tour and save yourself some wear and tear on the body. What would the pros and cons be?
Steve, Kirksville, Mo.

• Sadly, Steve raises a valid question. If we've learned anything about Nadal, it's this:

A) He is an exceptional tennis player.

B) His style of play -- and medical history -- is not exactly consonant with physical health and thus, a long career. The pros of following the Agassi-Williams-Clijsters blueprint and slashing his schedule are, in theory, immense. It's really all about the Majors at this point.

If he can arrive healthy and rested four times a year, giving himself an optimal chance to win the big prizes, that's a small price to pay for missing Doha, Rome, et al.

The drawbacks, though, are manifold. It's hard for most players (not named Serena Williams) to helicopter into big events and arrive in match shape. Note than on the occasions Nadal has come in cold, he hasn't always done so well. Related to that (and, again, invoking Serena) a player's fitness level drops with sparse match play. Especially since he's always competed so consistently, Nadal's legacy will take a bit of a hit if he takes a long hiatus and gives his playing schedule a dramatic haircut. There are commercial consequences as well. While he's not particularly motivated by money, I can't imagine his management team would lustily embrace a decision to cut those exhibitions, those appearance fee events and risk losing bonuses tied to endorsements. The ATP, of course, would be devastated if Nadal adopted the Serena Williams schedule.

If it were another player, I would be more enthusiastic. But Nadal is, at his core, a jock. He'll play if he can. I don't think it's in his nature to tinker and manipulate his schedule. I think we just need to gird ourselves accordingly. Nadal will treat us to spectacular tennis. And once or twice a year, he will scare us when he contracts an injury.

Rafael Nadal - Back in Training

Rafa - it's called a comb!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Nadal Shows Why He Is Sportsman of The Year


When we last saw Rafael Nadal, he was teary, sweaty and bitterly disappointed, limping off the court with a torn muscle suffered early in the quarterfinal of the Australian Open. His bid for a "Rafa Slam" spoiled.

But on Monday night, here at the opulent Emirates Palace Hotel, Nadal was smooth and composed, gliding across the marble floors in a black Armani tuxedo.

And though 2011 didn't start the way he wanted, he was still collecting honors for how 2010 finished. On Monday he was named the Sportsman of the Year for 2010, at the Laureus World Sports Awards.

Nadal said, despite the injury, he didn't consider skipping the event.

"This is the most important award in the world of sport," Nadal said. "The best athletes in the world are voting for the award. For me, it is a priority to be here."

Nadal flew in from Spain and said he planned to practice here for the first time since the Australian Open on Tuesday. He had started his year in Abu Dhabi with an exhibition tournament win and said he felt then as prepared and healthy as possible. He hopes to restart his season this week.

"I do treatment, I had to recover," he said. "The injury was not that serious. I hope tomorrow I will have my last test and be 100 percent recovered."

Nadal's next tournament will be in Indian Wells in March. First though, he hopes to play for Spain in a Davis Cup match against Belgium if "they want me to play."

Typical Nadal. Even after all he accomplished last year, he still qualifies his remarks about the Davis Cup as though Spain might suddenly decide he's not one of its best options. That's one of the reasons that the term "sportsman of the year" applies to Nadal -- not just for what he accomplished on the court but his demeanor off of it.

The Laureus Awards are a kind of Academy Awards for sports, recognizing global achievement. The awards don't get much attention in the United States because they tend to ignore American-centric sports such as the NFL and Major League Baseball. But they're a big deal globally, which is why Nadal left his rehabilitation in Mallorca to show up at the world's most expensive hotel (the cost to build the Emirates Palace is an estimated $3 billion) to play ping-pong on stage with show host Kevin Spacey.

The awards tend to bring out the best in athletes, who all recognize the bigger context of the mission. The glitzy show raises attention and funds for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which runs more than 80 projects around the world, using sports as a tool for social betterment. The weekend in Abu Dhabi was full of examples of the work the foundation does, bringing soccer to the slums of Nairobi, or boxing to favelas in Brazil.

The awards are voted on by the Laureus Academy, a group of more than 40 sports stars that includes champions from almost every sport.

"It's an honor to be part of this small group of sportsmen and sportswomen," Nadal said.

Nadal was honored by Laureus in 2006 as the Newcomer of the Year, an award that golfer Martin Kaymer won on Monday night. Nadal's rise over the past four years to the top spot in the world has been dramatic. That is to everyone except Nadal.

He lives in the same house in Manacor on Mallorca with his family, has the same friends, the same hobbies. As Sports Illustrated noted last month, he still flies coach. Though he has a new underwear advertising campaign with Armani, he insists that he's not a sex symbol.

"I don't feel like this for sure, no," he said.

And holding three Grand Slam titles hasn't changed him much.

"I'm a little bit more famous than the world," he said. "But seriously if you come to Manacor and you" -- he interrupted himself to ask a colleague for help with a translation -- "you spy me, you would know 100 percent I have a really, really normal life."

The term "sportsman" can often best be defined in defeat. Nadal proved that in Melbourne, when he kept playing despite the injury.

"I try my best, even though I knew I wasn't able to win," he said. "That's part of sport. That's what I had to do for the fans, for the tournament, for myself, for my opponent. But I was crying in the locker from when I finish Australia. I'm still hungry. My motivation is to be a better player every year."

He's motivated but also wants to enjoy what he's accomplished. He seemed to be doing that on Monday.

"I have to enjoy the moment because it's not always going to be like this," he said.

Nadal's countrymen -- the Spanish soccer team -- were named the team of the year Monday night. Nadal is a passionate soccer fan and has even become a shareholder in Real Mallorca, which has been struggling financially.

He was asked if he could to choose only one, would he want his own success or for Spain to win the World Cup? He looked at his questioner in disbelief.

"This kind of question," he said. "What would you choose?"

The questioner -- a Spanish reporter -- said he'd rather see Spain win the World Cup.

"Of course, me too," Nadal said.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Rafael Nadal - post Laureus award interview

Here is Rafa with CNN's Pedro Pinto.  Sorry I cannot embed the video so please click here

Rafael Nadal - Back training tomorrow

Spanish world number one Rafael Nadal said Tuesday he is ready to resume training following a leg injury that forced him out of the game for 10 days.

"I feel quite good, I am going home today (Tuesday) to Manacor (on the island of Majorca) to begin training on the courts," he said at the presentation of a tournament in April in Barcelona.

"I am going to start training slowly, following a plan, so that there are no setbacks."

The player would thus be able to take part in Spain's Davis Cup match against Belgium on March 4-6.
Nadal crashed out of the Australian Open on January 26 after struggling with a thigh muscle tear in a quarter-final match against compatriot David Ferrer.

His loss to Ferrer deprived him of a' Rafa Slam' - a fourth straight non-calendar year Grand Slam after winning the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open crowns last year.

On Monday, the Spaniard was voted sportsman of the year at the prestigious Laureus awards in Abu Dhabi.

Rafael Nadal @ Barcelona Open Launch

The edition number 59 of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, traditionally known as the Conde de Godo, showed up this morning in the city of Barcelona, with the notable presence of Rafael Nadal. The player spent Tuesday night traveling from Abu Dhabi, where he went to receive the Laureus award for best athlete of 2010.

Early in the morning, before exposure to the media spotlight, Nadal CIMA himself at the clinic and underwent several examinations by your doctor, Angel Ruiz Cotorro, who confirmed "that this week I can go back training in Manacor. I have and desire to return to compete, "he says. The return of the Spaniard will be 4 to 6 March in the first round World Group Davis Cup.

The Godo, 2011 presented a poster with four top ten. Besides Nadal will also be in contention Robin Soderling (4) David Ferrer (6) and Tomas Berdych (7). Most members of the 'Navy', including Tommy Robredo, new champion last week in Santiago de Chile, are also appointed to the classic clay, to be held in the facilities of the RCT Barcelona from 18 to 24 April, coinciding with Easter and the final of the Copa del Rey soccer match between Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Albert Costa, director of the Open 500, stressed the commitment of the players with a historic event, "Soderling, for example, was not in Monte Carlo last year, and then came here and made final." February 28 is put on sale tickets to see the best players on earth. The champion will carry a purse of 290,000 euros.

Rafael Nadal - Aiming for repeat of Olympic Gold

Courtesy: Sportal

Spanish tennis ace Rafael Nadal said he has every intention of defending his Olympic men's singles title at the 2012 London Games.

The 24-year-old defeated Chile's Fernando Gonzalez to claim gold at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and has taken his game to another level in the years since.

Nadal assumed Roger Federer's world number one ranking and claimed three Grand Slam titles in a career-best 2010 season.

Speaking after he was named sportsman of the year at the Laureus Sports Awards in Abu Dhabi on Monday, Nadal modestly said he hoped to still be in good enough form to qualify for the next Olympics.

"Everyone wants to play (in the) Olympics. I am not an exception," Nadal said.

"For sure, I hope to be ready to be in London. To play in London you have to qualify, because you have to be in the top three or top four in your country."

"You know the Spanish tennis players' level is very high. If I am not playing my best tennis or I am not healthy and not 100 percent prepared, I don't know if I will qualify for London, but my goal, for sure, is to be there."

"I love the Olympics. I enjoyed the Olympics very much in 2008 in Beijing. Not because I won - for sure, that's something extra - but I loved the spirit of the Olympic Games and being in the (Olympic) village with the rest of the sportsmen and sportswomen of the world."

"That's an unbelievable experience. I enjoyed it a lot and I would love to relive the experience."

Rafael Nadal - I cried when Rafa Slam died

Courtesy: The Australian

RAFAEL Nadal admits he cried in the locker room after his dream of a "Rafa Slam" collapsed in the third game of his quarter-final against compatriot David Ferrer at the Australian Open.

After capturing the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open in 2010, the world No 1 was three matches away from becoming the first player since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four grand slam titles at once, when a hamstring injury in the first set of the Ferrer match struck him down. He was bundled out in straight sets by his good friend.

"I was crying in the locker room. I hate to go out of the tournament," Nadal said yesterday. "Last year, I had to do it and it was something I didn't want to repeat. But from the third game I knew I didn't have a chance to win. David was playing fantastic and I wasn't able to run enough to rise to the level to beat him."

But yesterday there were no tears - broad smiles in fact - as Nadal was named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year at a glitzy ceremony in the United Arab Emirates capital Abu Dhabi, an award he described as the "most important in world sport".

It was perhaps more than a consolation for Nadal, who has cemented his position as world No 1 and proved himself one of the greatest players of all time.

But the pain of the loss in Melbourne obviously lingers. Nadal insisted the Rafa Slam was "never a real thing, it was an illusion". Clearly an illusion he still dreams of attaining.

Nadal said yesterday he remained hungry for success and felt he had years of his best tennis ahead of him.

"I am hungry every day for success and although I am not young on the tour - and have been on the tour for nine years - I am young in man years," he said. "I hope to have many opportunities to win again."

Nadal won the Laureus award from NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, soccer stars Andres Iniesta of Spain and Lionel Messi of Argentina, Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao and German Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel.

It was a big night for Spain, with the country's World Cup-winning soccer team taking out the Team of the Year.

Australia's two nominees at yesterday's awards missed out. Four-time world surfing champion Stephanie Gilmore was pipped by her male counterpart Kelly Slater, who won his 10th title last year.

"Ten beats four by about six," said Gilmore, who won the award last year. And the World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability, where swimmer Matt Cowdrey was a nominee, was won by German visually impaired skier Verena Bentele.

Another skier, American Lindsay Vonn, won the World Sportswoman of the Year after a stellar 12 months in which she secured her third straight World Cup and the Olympic downhill gold medal.

Brilliant young golfer Martin Kaymer of Germany, who came from almost nowhere to win the US PGA Championship and push Tiger Woods out of the world No 2 ranking, was presented with the World Breakthrough of the Year Award.

The Comeback of the Year Award went to colourful Italian MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi, the seven-time world champion who returned to the track just 41 days after breaking a leg.

Perhaps the most popular award in this Muslim nation was to French football legend Zinedine Zidane, who received the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Spirit of Sport Award went to the European Ryder Cup team.

It was announced at the ceremony that Australian five-time 500cc motorcycle world champion Mick Doohan and five-time Olympic rowing gold medallist Steve Redgrave, of Britain, have been elected to the Laureus World Sports Academy.

Facebook update

Hello everyone. Since mi return from Australia I had not written. At home I am not much on the internet. Just got back from Abu Dhabi where I received the Laureus World Sports Award. It is a great honor for me to receive this. Thanks all for this! I am in Barcelona now going to the launch of the 2011 Barcelona tournament. I love this tournament, played at a club I am a member and with big history and tradition.

Rafael Nadal & Kevin Spacey play ball - Laureus Awards speech

Full acceptance speech & video footage of the table tennis match against Kevin Spacey!

Monday, 7 February 2011

Rafa plays table tennis with Kevin Spacey

I would love to see a video of this! Looks like they had a fun time.

Rafael Nadal - Laureus Sportsman of The Year - Video

Here is Rafa collecting his latest award. Forward to 06.45 for his name being announced.

Rafael Nadal - Laureus Sportsman of The Year

Photos of Rafa with his latest trophy.

Rafael Nadal - Laureus Sportsman of The Year 2011

And he only went on to WIN IT!!!!!

Courtesy: SMH

Spain, the United States and Germany have dominated the proceedings at the 2011 Laureus Sports Awards in Abu Dhabi.

Spanish tennis ace Rafael Nadal took out the world sportsman of the year prize at the glitzy award ceremony while American skiier Lindsey Vonn overcame a trio of women's tennis players to win the world sportswoman of the year prize.

Nadal was a no-brainer for the awards committee, his three grand slam tournament wins in 2010 easily enough to claim his second Laureus award ahead of footballers Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta, basketballer Kobe Bryant and Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Vonn, who won her third straight skiing World Cup and the Olympic downhill gold medal in 2010, overcame tennis stars Kim Clijsters, Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki as well as athletics stars Jessica Ennis and Blanka Vlasic for the sportswoman prize.

Spain's World Cup winning football team made it a double for the Iberians by beating Mark Webber's Red Bull Racing Formula One outfit for the world team of the year honour.

And it was a double for the United States too, with iconic surfer Kelly Slater's 10th world championship enough for him to defeat Australian women's world champion Stephanie Gilmore for the world action sportsperson gong.

Germany also had two winners on the night, with golfer Martin Kaymer awarded the world breakthrough of the year prize while visually impaired skiier and biathlete Verena Bentele won a Laureus disability award in which Australian swimmer Matt Cowdrey was a nominee.

There was some reason to celebrate for Australia with former 500cc motorcycle world champion Mick Doohan joining five-time Olympic gold medallist Steve Redgrave as the newest members of the Laureus world sports academy.

Other award winners on the night were Italian motorcycling legend Valentino Rossi and French football icon Zinedine Zidane.

Rossi won the world comeback of the year award after his return to competition just 41 days after breaking his leg during practice for last year's Italian MotoGP event.

Zidane, a World Cup winner with France in 1998, received a Laureus lifetime achievement award during the ceremony, hosted by Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey.

Europe's Ryder Cup team won the Laureus spirit of sport prize while Beirut marathon founder May El-Khalil won the Laureus sport for good award.

Rafael Nadal @ Laureus Awards

Another red carpet interview

Laureus video

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Rafael Nadal - The Autobiography

We still have to wait a few months but according to book retailer Barnes & Noble and Amazon a book entitled "My Story" will be available in August of this year.

Barnes & Noble order page

Amazon order page

Not sure what to make of this.  Will the book be any good, will we learn anything?  I guess I will have to hire the book from the local library in August to find out.

Rafa to attend Laureus Awards in Abu Dhabi

Here is the official attendance list with Rafa's name on it:

Nominees for Laureus World Sportsman of the Year:

"Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal will be hoping to win the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year accolade, after becoming the first man since 1969 to win the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open in the same year. It would be Nadal's second Laureus Award, after winning the Newcomer Award in 2006. He will be up against Germany's Sebastian Vettel, youngest winner of the Formula One World Championship, Philippines' boxer Manny Pacquiao and, for the first time ever, three stars from team sports - LA Lakers basketball star Kobe Bryant and Barcelona footballers Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi."

Good luck Rafa!

Ask Rafa - Official Website

While Rafa continues undergoing physiotherapy and anti-inflammatory treatments for his injury at home in Mallorca, we thought a lot of you fans would like to take this opportunity to hear from the 9-time Grand Slam champion and ask him some questions.

So, what are you waiting for?
Send your question to following the format of the example below:


Note: You have till Tuesday 8th of February to send your questions before we go through them and pick the best 10 for Rafa to answer. Also, please keep in mind that Rafael has already talked about his injury so here is your chance to be creative and ask him other kinds of questions.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Rafa parties, again @ Bauxa

My Rafa does like this place.  Looks like he had another good night in Bauxa though you would think the others in the photo would smile (you in the blue top), lol.

Rafa confirmed for Barcelona

Translated article from MARCA confirms that Rafa will this year play in Barcelona having missed the tournament last year.  As you may recall Rafa tweeked his schedule so that he could give his all at the French Open, wise choice Rafa!

Google translation of the article:

Rafael Nadal , world number one will be the main protagonist of the presentation of the Trofeo Conde de Godo, which will be held on Feb. 8 at the Salo de Cent of Barcelona City Council, which will be attended by the Spanish tennis player.

The Real Club de Tenis Barcelona 1899, the scene where the competition will be held between 16 and 24 April, announced Nadal's participation in this event, which confirms that the Mallorcan tennis player will be the top seed in the tournament.

Rafa Nadal is worth recalling that not involved in the latest edition of the Barcelona Open suffering from a right knee tendinitis, but his resignation was mainly due to the need to reduce its schedule to meet in optimal conditions, the reconquest of Roland Garros.

The best player in the ATP rankings may, therefore, republish the successes of the Barcelona Open, a tournament that was awarded without interruption from 2005 to 2009.

Original article

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

10 days until training

Courtesy Sky Sports

World number one Rafael Nadal is hopeful of being fully recovered from the injury that undermined his efforts to win the Australian Open in 10 days.

The Spaniard headed to Melbourne looking to capture his fourth grand slam title in a row.

However, he crashed out in the quarter-finals with a straight sets defeat to compatriot David Ferrer.

Subsequent tests revealed Nadal had ruptured the adductor longus muscle in his right* thigh during the course of the clash with Ferrer.

Nadal, who was looking to add to last year's victories at the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open, was clearly severely hampered by the problem during the emphatic loss.

However, a statement on Nadal's official website revealed the 24-year-old's absence should only be a short one and he is expected to be fully fit for his next scheduled event, Spain's Davis Cup clash with Belgium at the start of March.

* Please note that the injury is to his left leg, not right as quoted

New Armani photo

Can I just say, this photo is awful, what the hell have they done to his face.  Just look from the neck downwards :-)

More photos are here