Thursday, 30 June 2011

Rafael Nadal - Semi Final Build Up - Video

I hope that everyone will be able to view this BBC video interview with Rafa.

"World number one Rafael Nadal reveals he was minutes away from pulling out of the tournament due to a foot injury picked-up in his fourth-round match with Juan Martin del Potro.

The two-time Wimbledon champion admits that he now has to have local anaesthetic injected into his foot before matches.

The Spanish player believes he will have to be at his best to beat Britain's Andy Murray in the semi-final on Friday."

Video link here

Rafael Nadal - Practice Photos @ Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal - Various News Articles

Here are some articles ahead of tomorrow's semi final match against Andy Murray.


The Scotsman

Sydney Morning Herald

Casey Weekly

Sky Sports

Fox Sports

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Rafael Nadal - QF match photos

Rafael Nadal - Into The SF @ Wimbledon

As with 2 other matches today Rafa was given a test by Mardy and pushed to 4 sets.

Match reports:

The Hindu

Defending champion Rafael Nadal advanced to the semifinals at Wimbledon by beating Mardy Fish 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 on Wednesday... Full story here 

Sky Sports

Defending champion and top seed Rafael Nadal saw off Mardy Fish in four sets to book a Wimbledon semi-final against Andy Murray.... Full story here

Big Pond Sport

Defending Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal booked his place in the semi-finals on Wednesday, overcoming American 10th seed Mardy Fish 6-3 6-3 5-7 6-4.... Full story here

Rafael Nadal Will Beat My Haul Of Majors - Sampras

Pete Sampras said Rafael Nadal will eclipse his total of 14 Grand Slam tennis titles and perhaps challenge Roger Federer’s mark, the only one higher in the men’s game.

Sampras said he expects Federer to win his seventh Wimbledon title at the All England Club in London this year, matching the record shared by the American and William Renshaw and extending the Swiss right-hander’s career mark of Grand Slam championships to 17. Nadal, the defending Wimbledon champion, needs five more major titles to pass Sampras’s old mark, which Federer broke in 2009.

“If you break down his game and what he’s been able to do on all surfaces, he’s only 24 and he’s got 10 majors, you do the math,” Sampras, 39, said in a conference call with reporters.

“Obviously, I think he’s going to pass me at some stage.”

Nadal, who turned 25 this month, has won major titles on clay, grass and hard courts since turning pro in 2001. The left- handed Spaniard has held the ATP World Tour’s No. 1 rank since last year.

Nadal’s opportunity to eclipse the 29-year-old Federer’s record will depend on how he manages his playing time and the physical toll of his playing style, Sampras said. Nadal plays with an intensity that has led to shoulder and knee injuries.

“The all-time record is a lot of work, and Roger obviously can continue to add to his list,” Sampras said. “But if Rafa is smart with his schedule and plans it out right, he can very well do it. We all know how hard he works.”

Injury History

Nadal pulled out of the Madrid Masters in 2008 citing knee tendinitis, and in 2009 was unable to defend his Wimbledon title because of the same injury. Nadal has announced that he won’t participate in Davis Cup matches next week, a move Sampras said he understood.

“Something has to give,” Sampras said. “If you want to stay No. 1 and you want to win majors, there’s not enough weeks in the year to play Davis Cup.”

Sampras retired in 2002 having spent 286 weeks as the world’s top-ranked men’s player. He spoke with reporters in coordination with this fall’s Champions Series, a 12-city tour scheduled to include former Grand Slam winners Andre Agassi, Jim Courier and John McEnroe.

The men’s Wimbledon quarterfinals are scheduled tomorrow. Federer will play Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France and top-seeded Nadal will face Mardy Fish, the lone American remaining in the tournament.

The men’s championship is scheduled for July 3.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eben Novy-Williams in New York at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

Rafael Nadal - New Times Blogs

blog post photo
Mardy Fish 

Q&A: Get your questions into Rafa by e-mailing and follow his progress in his own words. 

When you hurt your foot against Del Potro, did it enter your mind that you might have to retire? Colin
I didn't know what was going on since it was a new pain and in a new spot so I was really afraid that would be the case. Fortunately things got better after and I managed to finish the match, got an MRI and check I was OK.

How did your meeting with Rory McIlroy go? Jenny
GREAT! I love the guy. He came to the locker room and we talked. I have posted a picture on my facebook ( Wanted to thank the Championships for allowing me to post it.

Do you look at the serve speed clock after the point is over during your service games?  How about when your opponent is serving? Maya 
Sometimes I do but I normally know the speed, especially mine!
How much will your injury and the four sets against Del Potro impact on you in terms of fatigue against Mardy Fish (above)? Judith
We'll see tomorrow. Hard to know today. Hopefully I will be fine. Besides, Mardy is a great server and I am sure the points will not be that long.

You said you were struggling on your forehand against Del Potro because of your heel injury. Have you not just given Mardy Fish a strategy?
I don't think so since his game is very different.

You were serving very well in your match against Del Potro.  In what ways is your grip different and how does it help you to serve better, as in US Open last year? Sharon
I did as a matter of fact and I was very happy too with that part of my game. Not a grip thing this time though.

Why did you look so hurt last night? Are you really totally healthy? We're so worried about it. Yichin, Taiwan.
Thanks for this. It was really painful when I had to stop to get treatment. Got better with time.

Yesterday, a Dutch newspaper had an article on the lessons your uncle Toni taught you regarding being a professional tennis player. Which of Toni's lessons do you consider the most valuable for you? Myra
I think it is not only one lesson that makes you one way or the other. It is the whole thing and that has been a good thing.

Do you play or have you tried other racket sports like squash or badminton? Atch
Not much to be honest with you.

It was great finally to meet Rory McIlroy

Rafael Nadal7 hours ago

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Lot of things to say tonight but on a personal level the most important thing is what I posted on my facebook today announcing that the MRI went well, negative result on an injury. 

I resumed practiced at 4.30 but in the end it turned out to be one hour later than announced since I got changed courts a couple of times. 

Most importantly to me, on a personal level was the visit from Rory McIlroy today who came to the locker room and we had the chance to talk long about his win, golf, tennis and some other things. 

What a great guy he is and I am very happy for him to have won his first major tournament. Big thanks to him for coming!

Rafael Nadal - Toni Speaks About Injury

By Tom Pilcher

LONDON (Reuters) - Rafa Nadal came through a training session on a slippery Wimbledon practice court unscathed on Tuesday with his coach saying the world number one will have shaken off a foot injury in time for his quarter-final against Mardy Fish.

Nadal hurt his left foot toward the end of the first set of Monday's four-set victory over Juan Martin Del Potro and needed almost 10 minutes of courtside treatment from a physio and doctor.

A scan earlier on Tuesday revealed no major damage.

"If the world didn't sleep easy because Rafa has a problem it would be the most crazy thing ever," joked the Spaniard's coach and uncle Toni Nadal after the defending champion's hitting session with British junior Evan Hoyt.

"A guy said to me once 'We're worried about Rafa'. I said 'Don't worry about him, worry about yourself'.

"Yesterday he had a problem. Things don't disappear magically but tomorrow he'll be in a condition to play."

Asked if he thought his charge would be at his usual full fitness for Wednesday's match, a daunting proposition for American number one Fish, uncle Nadal was not giving anything away.

"100 percent. What do you want me to say? If he was at 50 percent I'd still say he was at 100," he told reporters with a smile.

"He couldn't move a lot because the court was slippery so it was dangerous, but all is well."


Nadal said after his grueling match with Del Potro that he thought he would "have to retire" and that he had broken his foot but the signs were all positive from his camp.

"There were no bone or ligament injuries. We think he will be alright tomorrow," Spanish Tennis Federation official Ignago Munoz told reporters. "It will be no risk."

Nadal reserved the occasional grimace for poor shots during his session under murky grey skies but had no problems moving around the court as 1987 champion Pat Cash and multiple doubles winners Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge looked on.

The hoards of fans crammed up against the green fence cheered as Nadal grinned in their direction but the happiest person in the complex was undoubtedly Hoyt.

"He's my idol," said the starstruck 16-year-old from Wales, who had Nadal's pre-printed autograph on his bag.

"My sister got his autograph on a ball this week," he added before revealing the words of encouragement from the 10-times grand slam champion.

"He said: 'In two years you have to be in the main draw of Wimbledon'."

(Editing by Sonia Oxley)

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Rafael Nadal's Parents Reunite

Report: Rafael Nadal's parents are back together after separationA report on the official website of Tennis Canada says Rafael Nadal's parents, Ana Maria and Sebastian, have reunited after separating two years ago. Ordinarily, this sort of thing wouldn't merit mention, except that Nadal has admitted that the family trouble played a big role in his struggles on the court in 2009.

Nadal's stunning loss to Robin Soderling at the French Open that year, still his only defeat at the tournament, came in the weeks after his parents announced their separation. At the time, a source told London's Daily Mail:

'Rafa is devastated. All through the past couple of months he has been trying to get his tennis back on track, but his heart has been elsewhere. In public he has put on a brave face, but in private he has been hoping for a reconciliation and fervently wishing this wasn't happening.'s Peter Bodo speculated about what it meant:

"The rumors that Nadal's parents are about to divorce keep popping up in the gutter press and in my inbox via emails from acquaintances and sources, and I bring it up for this reason only: there's a parallel to be drawn between how domestic turmoil might affect an obedient son who's never questioned the impermeability of the familial cocoon, and how losing dominion over a patch of earth where he has known only spectacular success might affect a young and still not fully formed tennis player."

And later in the year, Nadal reflected on how the divorce affected him:

"My parents' divorce made an important change in my life. It affected me. After that, when I can't play Wimbledon, it was tough. For one month I was outside the world."

"I am OK now but you need time to accept. And it's more difficult to accept when you are outside home and don't know what's happening. At least the injury gave me time to be with my friends and family."

"I played with less calm [at Roland Garros]. One of the reasons was the pain in the knees. And I was down because of the divorce. Soderling played really well and he beat me. But I wasn't ready, mentally or physically, this year."

After his first-round victory on Monday, Nadal spoke about his parents being in attendance (without confirming or denying the rumors and possibly making it seem like he was talking about their seats):

"Too many beautiful things to see my mom and my dad in the Royal Box. I think for them (it) was a great experience. So, everything in general was very, very nice today."

Courtesy: BustedRacquet

Rafael Nadal - Facebook update

And here is the news from the man himself:

Good morning everybody. Yesterday after the match I went to take an MRI at a London hospital. During the match I thought I had something serious but as the match went through the pain got better and thankfully the tests don't show an injury. Today I will practice at 4.30 pm and I'll play tomorrow. Thanks all for the support.

Courtesy: Facebook

Rafael Nadal - Foot Ok For Training

Defending champion Rafael Nadal looks set to play his Wimbledon quarter-final after an MRI scan revealed that his left foot injury was not as serious as first feared, Sky Sports News reported Tuesday.

The world number one suffered the injury in the first set of his last 16 victory over Juan Martin del Potro on Monday and said that he was unsure whether he'd make Wednesday's quarter-final clash against America's Mardy Fish.

However, a Nadal spokesman told Sky Sports News that the scan had revealed no damage although the top seed would test the foot in a practice session at Wimbledon later in the day.

Nadal needed to have his left foot taped at 6-6 in the first set tie-break of Monday's Centre Court clash and told reporters that he was not optimistic about playing on Wednesday.

"I cannot predict the future but I am worried for sure," he said.

"I felt really bad at 6-5 in the first set. I thought I had broken my foot. I asked for the trainer when the game was done. I didn't know if I will have the chance to continue playing."

Courtesy: Yahoo

Rafael Nadal - The Times Blog

Rafael Nadal2 hours ago
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Hello everyone and please find here a few words before the answers. Those of you who have seen the match, I am sure you have enjoyed it. It was a great level of match and to be honest I wasn't sure I could finish it. 

At some point I felt a lot of pain, like if something had broken... I almost cried of pain and of thinking I could have really gotten injured. I went after the match to get an MRI of my ankle/foot. Will give the results to the press in the morning.

Tomorrow Rory McIlroy is coming to Wimbledon and I am really looking forward to meeting him again!. Had the chance to meet him in NY last year and now I will see him again after he's won a major! I am normally hitting in the afternoon, at around 4 but will come to the tournament site just to see him.

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Since you are such a good mover on the court, are you also a good dancer? Loreta
No, not at all! I am a bad dancer!

During the 2008 Olympics, I had an opportunity to see the Spanish national basketball team play and was impressed with Ricky Rubio.  Now I see he is going to play in the NBA.  Do you have any thoughts?  Do you follow basketball? Jane
I think he is a great player and will do very well, really looking forward to playing against the best. He is really, really good!

Have you ever watched Bollywood movies?Kaushik
Not for the moment.

Are there some places in the world (besides Manacor) where you can still walk around without attracting too much attention?Cynthia Tanner
Not that I am aware of but it is nice to see people like you.

Is it true, that the taller the player, the bigger and better his serve is? Tathagata
That is normally the case.

Was it too much to play in the Davis Cup on hard court just one week after Wimbledon?Goran
I have said it loud and clear to the media on Sunday and again today. Things must change in the Davis Cup. I love to play for my country and the way it is scheduled is simply impossible.

I love the traditions at Wimbledon but the one where both players walk off the court together seems to have been overlooked this year. What do you think? Natalie W
I haven't realized that since I always walked on court and out with my rival.

What did you think of Andy Murray's performance today. Are you worried about possibly meeting him in the semi-final?Julian
Andy is a great player and I have always said it. Right now my main concern is Mardy Fish, my next rival. Have to be frank with you.

You've said before that you like Wimbledon as a place but have you had an opportunity to visit anywhere else in the UK? If so where?Kirstie
Not much, apart from London I have not had the chance. One day I suppose. Benito, my PR guy, tells me there are many beautiful places down south too.

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Q&A: Get your questions into Rafa by e-mailing and follow his progress in his own words. 

Did you see Spain U21s win in the European Championship Final. Has it inspired you?Alexei
I did have the chance today to watch the whole match. Last night I went for dinner and could not watch it live. I did follow it after when I came back and saw the result.

During the US Open 2010, you were consistently serving at 125-130 mph. It played a big part in your winning the tournament. But currently you are serving at around 115-120 mph. Is it intentional, or is it because you haven't found the same rhythm? I remember uncle Toni saying after the French Open this year, that if you serve faster then the returns come back quicker which makes it difficult for you to control the rally. So can you explain the variation in the speed of your serve? Jonas
There is not much difference but it is true that I have to try to get my serve a bit better as I did at the US Open last year. Not that I don't want to, simply that I have to find it.

Will you be more circumspect in your scheduling in the future? We love you and want to see you have a long career with no more injuries! Also, is it true you will retire from tennis at 28-29? Sandy, Los Angeles
I have never said at what time I will retire so not really sure. There is not much chance on deciding what to play since with the Grand Slams and the Masters 1000 of the ATP plus the mandatory 500 there is not much room NOT to play.

A couple of years ago you were having problems with your wisdom teeth. Did you ever get them removed? Kate
Yes, it was in Miami when I had trouble. Had them finally removed.

Can you make Crema Catalana? Jorge
I can only eat it!!!! :-)

If you had to rank the tennis players in terms of their football ability, who would be your top 5 (excluding of course, you and your wicked lefty leg)? Eno
Wow, tough question that will get me in trouble for sure! I would say Murray, Francis Roig, Fernando Vicente, Djokovic.

Did playing against a big server on Friday/Saturday help your preparation for your game against Juan Martin Del Potro?Sharon 
No, not at all. Different matches, different player.

Has the possibility of a semi-final with Andy Murray crossed your mind yet? Jules
No, not at all. I am only thinking about del Potro since yesterday. Before that each player I played. It could be that on Friday I am already at home!

Rafael Nadal - ESPY Awards

  • Rafael Nadal receives two nominations for the ESPY Award 2011 – Tennis News

Rafael Nadal receives two nominations for the ESPY Award 2011 – Tennis News

World number one, Rafael Nadal of Spain, got nominated for the 19th annual ESPY (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) Award, to be held on 13th July at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, United States, on Wednesday.

Currently reckoned as the best tennis player in the world, Nadal got nominated for two different categories for the ESPY Award, the first one being the Best Male Athlete and the other the Best Male Tennis Player.

The Spaniard's unmatchable successes during the last year have earned him two nominations for the prestigious award. Nadal proved his mettle throughout the last ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) season, winning three of the four Grand Slam tournaments in a single year. He took the French Open title in the summer of 2010 and then took Wimbledon Championships in the same month to continue his way to glory. The world number one then went on to clinch the US Open title to become the first player since the legendary Rod Laver, who won all the four Grand Slam championship titles in one calendar year.

Nadal complete his Career Grand Slam last year when he won the US Open for the first time, becoming the seventh male player to win all the four Grand Slam titles. The Spanish has won 10 Grand Slams so far in his career, with three of them coming in 2010, making him one of the most successful sportsmen of the year.

The prestigious ESPY Award is presented to distinguish the individual and team athletic achievements and other performances in the field of sports in a calendar year. The star-studded ceremony will be held on the evening of 13th of next month hosted by American actor and comedian, Seth Meyers.

The ESPY ceremony brings together top performers in sports from all over the globe to relive the unforgettable moments and acknowledging the leading performances and performers in during the past one year. Sans all around the world determine the winners of the awards by voting for them online at or

No doubt Nadal's gleaming performances with the racquet last year makes him one hot favourite for winning the award for the Best Male Tennis Player of the year and he might get the honour of wining the Best Male Athlete award as well. It all is up to the Nadal fans that how much they vote only for their beloved tennis star and take him to the glorious title on the night of 13th July.

Other nominees for the Best Male Tennis Player include Swiss maestro Roger Federer and Serbian juggernaut Novak Djokovic.

Rafael Nadal & The Foot Concern

Courtesy: LondonEveningStandard

Defending champion Rafael Nadal fears his Wimbledon campaign may be over after he suffered a foot injury in today's four-set victory over Juan Martin Del Potro.

Nadal revealed he will have an MRI scan on the injury, which he sustained near the end of the first set of his 7-6 (8/6) 3-6 7-6 (7/4) 6-4 victory on Centre Court. The Spaniard, seeded number one, had close to 10 minutes of treatment before the start of the first-set tie-break and said afterwards that he will go for a scan on the problem on Tuesday.

"I don't know what the injury is yet. I will have an MRI (scan) as soon as possible," Nadal said. "I am worried for sure. I will have the scan and then let's see if I can recover for Wednesday. I cannot predict the future."

Nadal, who missed the defence of his 2008 title due to a knee injury, admitted he came close to retiring from Monday's match after picking up the foot problem.

"I felt the problem for the half of the first set. It was really bad," the world number one added.

"At 6-5 I felt terrible. I pushed hard with a forehand and I just felt something crush in the back of the foot. I didn't know what went on.

"The pain stayed with me for the next point and all the matches."

Should Nadal's injury not end his campaign, he will take on American Mardy Fish in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.

He could then play Andy Murray in the semi-finals if the Scot beats Feliciano Lopez.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Rafael Nadal - Into the QF @ Wimbledon

Scrappy hard fought match that had a few twists, turns & MTO's.


Defending champion and top seed Rafa Nadal showed all his fighting spirit and irrepressible will to win when he overcame a painful foot injury and a testing examination from Juan Martin Del Potro to advance to the Wimbledon quarter-finals on Monday.  Full story here


Defending champion Rafael Nadal battled through a foot injury to beat Juan Martin del Potro and reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon.  Full story here


Defending champion and top seed Rafa Nadal showed all his fighting spirit and irrepressible will to win when he overcame a painful foot injury and a testing examination from Juan Martin Del Potro to advance to the Wimbledon quarter-finals on Monday.  Full story here

Rafael Nadal's Shoes Go Under The Hammer

Courtesy: ThisIsLincolnshire

A CITY charity wants to ensure there's not "much a-deuce about nothing" during Wimbledon fortnight by auctioning off a historic piece of tennis memorabilia.

Cooke and Connell fundraisers have acquired the trainers worn by Rafael Nadal when he secured his second SW19 title by beating Thomas Berdych last year.

Adelaide Park manager Vik Szendrey, left, and Frank Connell with the signed trainers.

The Nike Air Max are signed by the Spanish great as well as two tennis balls which are being sold off to raise money for three local football teams.

A bid of £250 has already been lodged for the trainers, but they are expected to raise a huge amount of money.

The trainers were acquired by Frank Connell, whose company has been raising funds for local sports clubs for more than 20 years.

Connell has a friend who works at Wimbledon where he managed to snare the trainers and two balls from the breathtaking number one seed.

"It really is a fantastic piece of memorabilia for any sports fans to own," said Connell.

"The more and more I have spoken about them, the more I realise how valuable they are.

"I've auctioned off lots of memorabilia before, but this is very, very exciting especially with Wimbledon taking place at the moment."

Collectors wishing to bid for the trainers, which will come with a record detailing their authenticity, can do so by phone on 01522 527 696.

Bidding by email is also available and you can submit an offer to

Rafael Nadal - New Times Blog Entry

Hello everyone,

Kind of late today writing this blog after I had a quiet dinner at my house with my team and family. More or less like a typical Sunday although with Spanish times!

It was a really beautiful day today, very sunny and warm and I have to say that with days like this it is difficult to find a nicer place than the UK. So green and nice it is just amazing!

Thanks for all your support


Rafael Nadal Fears Del Potro

Courtesy: Telegraph

When Juan Martín del Potro was suffering with the wrist injury that made him fearful about his very future in the sport, Rafael Nadal was among those who sent messages of support to one of the game’s most outstanding young talents.

Now 16 months on, while as thrilled as everyone else in tennis that the Argentine came through his crisis and is now making considerable strides back to his howitzer best, Nadal was left wondering quite what he has done to deserve drawing the menacing and ever-improving comeback man in the fourth round at Wimbledon.

“I’m not lucky to play against Del Potro in the round of 16,” bemoaned the champion, who has so far been ruffled by nothing, not even big serving leftie Gilles Muller playing out of his skin in the third round, as he has so far marched through without the concession of a single set.

Unlucky, Nadal believes, because he is sure that Del Potro is really a top-five player masquerading as the 24th seed. Unlucky, too, because he knows only too well the danger posed by the only man to have broken the Nadal/Roger Federer/Novak Djokovic monopoly on grand-slam triumphs in the past 25 editions stretching back six years.

Of course, del Potro is not yet back to being quite the man who overpowered Nadal in the semi and then Federer in the final of the 2009 US Open, victories aged only 20, which seemed to signal his massive threat to the Rog-Raf axis until last season’s wrist injury so sadly interrupted his progress for, effectively, an entire year.

Indeed, the way Del Potro sells it, he is still in need of much restoration work, as he reminded us of how he was soundly beaten by Nadal in Indian Wells only in March. “He won really easily and I don’t know if I’m still far away from that level. Going to be tough for me,” he said.

Nadal will not be sidetracked by these protestations. Del Potro has returned confidently enough to have won a couple of tournaments this year already and to have given Djokovic, when the Serb was still unbeaten for the season, a run for his money at the French Open. Now, Del Potro has reached the fourth round of Wimbledon for the first time too.

And Nadal will not forget how much trouble he has had in the past trying to tame the 6ft 6in beanpole’s big serve and murderous flat forehand, having lost three of their eight encounters, most notably the 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 hiding two years ago at Flushing Meadows.

When asked what was so difficult about del Potro’s game, he shrugged: “Everything. I think he has a good serve, very good shots from the baseline, he’s a complete player. It’s always a big challenge to play against him; he’s one of the best players in the world and I have to be playing my best tennis to win.”

Well, Nadal has been playing some of his best tennis, making smooth progress in search of a third title and with the only concern being a slight leg muscle niggle, which he suffered after a slip and that necessitated a visit from the trainer during the Muller match. “But this is not limiting my game. I can play without problems,” he insisted.

Yet perhaps the biggest threat to him is Del Potro’s nothing-to-lose mentality. For when the Argentine thinks back to early last year, he felt “scared” then that nobody could identify exactly the tendon problem in his right wrist.

“It was a very bad year,” he recalled. “When nobody knew the problem, it was a bad thing for my mind. Then, after I had surgery, it was difficult to come back too because I felt the world wanted to see me playing, and it was a lot of pressure.

“After the surgery, the doctor said it would take between four and six months before you are playing again. So I was very, very quiet, thinking if I follow him step by step, very quietly, I will be playing again.”

Now the quiet period is over, maybe Del Potro is ready to make a big noise again. You can almost feel that sense of release and freedom that he can swing through the ball again with the old violent intent.

So, how to beat Nadal? “Well, you should play unbelievable tennis. You should play everything perfect, and then maybe you have a little chance,” said Del Potro. All Nadal will recognise, though, is that he has been on the wrong end of this fellow’s “unbelievable tennis” before.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Rafael Nadal - Middle Sunday Practice

Here are a few photos of Rafa on the practice court today ahead of tomorrows match against Juan Martin del Potro.

Rafael Nadal - No Davis Cup For Rafa


Rafael Nadal will not play in Spain's Davis Cup against the United States in Austin, TX on July 8-10, the Spanish newspaper Marca reports.

The Spanish team will consist of David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco, Feliciano Lopez and doubles specialist Marcel Granollers, the newspaper added. Granollers was picked ahead of singles player Nicolas Almagro. It is unknown whether Spanish captain Albert Costa will select Granollers to play doubles, or go with his tried and true team of Lopez and Verdasco. Both Lopez and Ferrer have reached the fourth round of Wimbledon in singles.

U.S. captain Jim Courier is expected to name Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish and the Bryan brothers for the tie, which will be played on a fast indoor court.

Rafael Nadal - I'll Never Turn Nasty For Mac

RAFA NADAL resisted the thunderbolt serving of Gilles Muller to cruise through another round of Wimbledon – and then resisted the suggestion from John McEnroe that modern tennis stars should stop being nice to each other.

Rafa Nadal overcame the hard-hitting Muller 7-6, 7-6, 6-0, proving stronger mentally in the tight tie-breaks and then romping home in style.

It was a comfortable victory, delayed overnight by rain, and has set up a formidable fourth-round showdown against former US Open winner Juan Martin Del Potro.

A tough match, yes. But it will also be a friendly rivalry as Nadal resolutely rebuffed the view of McEnroe and another veteran, Jimmy Connors, that tennis would be better with more aggravation between players.

“I think it is better these days,” said the current world No1. “I think it is good to show an example for the kids. If they see us fight each other every week, they will probably be the same in future. In my opinion, that is not a good way for the world to work.

“Tennis is just a game. What happens outside the court (personal friendships) doesn’t affect what happens on court. We can talk together in the locker room and it won’t affect us 10 minutes later when we are playing.

“Maybe the opinion of past champions, who had more troubles between each other, is different but this is my opinion.”

Nadal also believes this may be one of the hardest men’s titles to win in the long history of Wimbledon.

Asked to compare past times to the present, he said: “Before now, I don’t think we have had the top four players being as solid as they are today. If you don’t play at your very best it’s difficult to be in the top positions. At Wimbledon you can’t be sure what will happen. I don’t know if I will win against Del Potro, and every day anything can happen.

“Djokovic, Federer and Murray are playing well, but matches are not easy to win. I had to save two set points in the first set against Muller.”

Nadal is trying to win his third Wimbledon title in four years, and there was one small cloud on his horizon yesterday with confirmation that he has a slight leg injury.

“I felt the leg muscle a little bit,” said Nadal. “But it’s not limiting my game. I can play without problems.”

Courtesy: Daily Express

Rafael Nadal - The Times Blog

A few more enteries from Rafa

Ask Rafa: I may get involved in football when I retire from tennis

Rafael Nadal  Yesterday, 11:55PM
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Q&A: Get your questions into Rafa by e-mailing and follow his progress in his own words.

Hola Rafa! In a few years time, do you think that you will enter the doubles in Grand Slam tournaments as well? I would love to see you and Marc winning Wimbledon together! Kim Mackenzie
Hi, I don't think that I will do this. It is already a lot with singles and to also play doubles at Grand Slams would be very difficult. Not easy either to win! But thanks!

When you play doubles, what part of your game does it help improve? What do you learn from Marc when you play doubles with him? AtchIt's all about doubles today, huhh? It helps a lot movements, serve and volley. I like to play doubles! Marc is actually a very talented player and his "globo" (overhead?) is very, very good!

Hi Rafa! I will be visiting Mallorca this summer. Is there any place in particular that you can recommend to visit? (apart from the beautiful Porto Cristo and Manacor of course!) Kim Mackenzie
I think there are a lot of places that are nice! Not only in Mallorca but also in the Balearic islands. Formentera and obviously Ibiza are very nice. It also depends how you go, with family? Young age? etc. Give me more info and I give you a better tip! :-)

Hi Rafa, I found out that you trained with Rendy Lu again today. I'm wondering the main reasons you consider for choosing the partner to warm up with before your match, his game, his records in this tournament or just a random choice? Rachel, Taiwan
Yes I did. Rafa knows his coach and we have practiced a few times. As simple as that!

When was the last time you played a match at Wimbledon other than Centre Court or Court one?  Do you think there is a point in Serena Williams’ moan recently about “some players” always get to play at the show courts and others (like her) get moved around?   Sharon LamI think it was against Youhzny 4/5 years ago? I would haver to check that but I am pretty sure. I see Serena's point and also the Championships so I prefer not to go into this!

I'm trying to run a business, and I'm in between you and Rory McIlroy in terms of age, and seem to have the world on my shoulders. I would love to know how a man in his mid twenties can handle this kind of pressure. But if you were to give one tip about temperament, and how you manage to pick yourself up after a fall, what would it be? Tom Nicholson
Wow, this is a really difficult one! I am actually playing tennis, in the end it is only a game. True that we have a lot of pressure but I suppose your thing is more complicated. I can imagine you also get trained to what you do and I am sure you know what to do.

It was interesting to see you on the bike in your interview with Dutch T.V.  Do you view biking as a training too only or do you enjoy it? ChristieYes I do some biking when I am at home in Manacor. But I don't remember that interview well. Dutch TV?

After Feliciano Lopez's brilliant win against Roddick, how good a chance do you think he has of winning the tournament? Good luck in the next round! Katharine.
He is playing well and that was a great win. He is again on the second week of the tournament and that's great for him. Still lot's of matches so we'll see how it goes for him and for all of us!

Since a lot of professional and popular tennis players chose to buy a house and stay there for good in countries like US, Australia, and London, what made you choose to still stay and never leave Mallorca? Alison.
Because for me it is the best place to live. It has got everything I need, weather, food, sea, and most important it is my home where my family and friends are.

I know retiring from the tennis scene is not in your mind right now, but do you have a specific target age for your retirement? What would be your plans or how do you see yourself after leaving the tennis scene professionally? ChayNo not really. Lately I have been thinking about football and how much I enjoy that world. Maybe I'll get more involved on it since I am already involved with RCD Mallorca, the football team!

Gearing up for second week with my new discovery: Japanese food


Rafael Nadal 9 hours ago
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Hello everyone,

I am writing this blog before going for dinner. Normally I always write it after I go for dinner either here at the house in Wimbledon or at a restaurant, but today since I am going out for dinner to London, to the city I thought I could write it now.

I will go to one of my favorite places in London and it is not this time El Cambio de Tercio which you all know. I am going to a Japanese restaurant that I really enjoy much here. I love also Japanese food. I had never been to Japan before till this year and I have to say that I also enjoyed very much my time there and the food. Since my girlfriend came today I will go out with her and enjoy a quite dinner (as quite as possible) and come back soon to rest.

Tomorrow there is no play as every mid Sunday here at Wimbledon son an easy practice, and back home to get ready to play on Monday, We are again on the second week of a tournament and that's alway important! We'll see how it goes. Not easy!

Thanks all for your support.


Saturday, 25 June 2011

Rafael Nadal - The Times Blog

I had completely forgot all about this, oops.  After a brief switch to The Telegraph Rafa is back with The Times.

Here is the Blog so far (you need a subscription to view online)

Well done Rory, the big news of the weekend

Rafael Nadal June 21 2011 1:08AM

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Good morning everybody and thanks again for letting me this opportunity to do this blog. 

I arrived to London last Wednesday and one thing different this year is that .... it has been raining all the time! We had such a lovely summer last year! :-) Anyway it is great to be back here in the UK playing this fantastic event. 

Lots of things to tell you but really not many different things except for this weather. Hopefully it will change and will allow the tournament to go on without many headaches! Because imagine all those players from the section of the draw I am playing that spent the whole day at the tournament waiting to play and that in the end they could not play!

And just wanted to say something about the big news of this past week end! Rory amazing!!!! Big congratulations to him! IT is so nice to see him play! He deserved to win and I am very happy for him and for all his family, team, friends and fans! Well done!


Winning in Paris has made me calm

Rafael Nadal June 21 2011 9:58AM
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Get your questions into Rafa by e-mailing and follow his progress in his own words.

When you were my age (11), for how many hours a week did you play tennis and how did you manage to find the time? Sinead Ryan
Rafa: Hello, I use to spend 2 or 3 hours playing tennis and even football. But at that age more or less I had to stop football since it was too much and stayed with tennis. You know classes and studies together with sport was what I was doing.
You like to cook here – do you ever use a recipe? What is your favourite dish to prepare besides gambas and pasta? Teresa, USA
Yes I like to cook here in Wimbledon at the house. I also prepare fish and vegetables, grilled. I buy very good tuna fish and salmon here which I love. The salmon I do it with teriyaki sauce.

How do you remain so humble whilst you look totally arrogant on court? Elaine Marock

Wow! So you say I am arrogant? I am only focused and concentrated on the point. I don't think I behave arrogant, sorry to not agree with you.

I queued over 24 hours in order to see you play! Is there anything that you would queue that long for? Kim Mackenzie
Not sure I would do it, specially here with all this rain! So i really admire all you and thank you for doing that. I would queue for the golf event!

What are the main adjustments you have to make to play on grass at Wimbledon? Do you have to stay closer to the baseline, take the ball earlier and be more aggressive? Will you be adjusting your service motion and position as well? And do you feel comfortable with the courts and balls this year? I hope you have a great tournament, again. Best of luck. Alexis Grohmann
Yes, there are many adjustments to the grass compared with clay for example. Almost everything is different. Like all fast surfaces you have to try to stay closer to the base line. The serve os also more important and also the body position here is lower since you hit the ball down more than up. Many things to change actually.

Hi Rafa,how does it make you feel when other players say you are their toughest opponent to play? Val Brighouse
Well, I am not sure they always really mean it. But it is something that helps I suppose.

If you could have had a long conversation and ask questions to someone famous from the past who would you like to have talked to and why, what would you like to have asked them or learnt from them? Juliette Westbrook-Finch, England UK
This is a very interesting question but I really don't know the answer would have to think about it. BUt for sure someone historic, some one who was important in the history of my country. or maybe some sportsman that had really important moments to ask how he handled the situation. OR some world businessman... I don't know but thanks for this since will think about it.

As Wimbledon gets underway, do you feel a lot of pressure is off of you now that you won Roland Garros? Jennifer Wilkens
We always have pressure but the fact of winning Roland Garros really releases some of that pressure and makes me play with more calm.

Ask Rafa: the crowds at Wimbledon are very correct

Rafael Nadal June 22 2011 1:15AM

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You've often mentioned that you enjoy the musical The Phantom of The Opera (great choice by the way ) but did you know that Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber has a house in Mallorca and spends a good deal of time there? Perhaps you should make contact and he can give you a personal rendition? Julie Tingle

Rafa: I didn't know. As you say perhaps after Wimbledon we could meet. That would be very nice. Thanks for the tip!

Hi Rafa, as you are on British turf, do you find it difficult to motivate yourself if you are falling behind when you are playing against a British player, i.e Murray as the crowd will be supporting their countryman more? Kylie Pang

Rafa: No, I think the crowd here is extremely polite and correct. I have played Andy here at Wimbledon before and they were amazing, very correct. It is obvious they support the local player but no complaints whatsoever, actually the other way around.

How have you improved since Wimbledon last year and in what areas?  Sharon Lam

Rafa: I am not sure I have improved. I do have more experience though....

What is the best thing about Wimbledon off the court, as opposed to the other slams? Gindy, Richmond

Rafa: That I am at the house and have the choice of doing a "normal" life like today staying for dinner, watch TV on a sofa surrounded by friends (team) and family.

Do you like horror movies? Dina, Egypt

Rafa: I AM SCARED OF THEM!!!! Not too much to be honest!

Can I hit with you if you ever come to Chicago?  I'm a left-hander, too. Andrew Cuison

:-) Not planning to come to Chicago for the moment. I used to go there in transit on my way from Madrid to Palm Springs. Iberia fly there.

Did the grass feel different from the last time you played on Centre? It looks so lush and soft and good enough to sleep on. Natalie

Rafa: Very much!!! it is amazing to play the first match on center. The grass is so perfect and green, something really amazing!!!

I enjoyed the sunshine, let's hope it stays that way

Rafael Nadal June 22 2011 1:20AM

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Hello everyone.

What a lovely afternoon it was today, so sunny, so nice! Let's hope it stays like this!!!! 

Had a quiet day today, played some playstation (you probably saw that on my facebook, and simply stayed at home for dinner with Maymo, Toni and Carlos. 

Very quiet, very nice. 

Tomorrow people might think it is an easy match but that is not correct. 

We'll see how it goes!

Ask Rafa: thanks to Yen-Hsun Lu for helping out

Rafael Nadal June 23 2011 1:36AM

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I've seen a photo that you warmed up with Yen-Hsun Lu today on your Facebook. What do you think about Lu and his game and how do you feel hitting with him?  Rachel, Taiwan
Yes, I had the chance to warm up with him today I think it was on Court 10. He was good to hit with and I am very thankful to him for accepting. I wish him all the best of luck!

My sister and I are South Africans and are BIG fans; we wear your tennis gear with PRIDE. Do you think we will ever realize our dream of getting to watch you mesmerize us live in our shores? Bongiwe

I have been in South Africa 3 times, once playing at sun city, another to the Nike Junior Tour prize-giving ceremony and last year for the World Cup football. Hopefully one day will be back again there to play. Thanks!

I was wondering if maybe one day we'll get a Rafa cook book, full of your recipes? It would be very popular. Cedrine, London
Not that I have too many recipes to be honest. But the one with pasta and seafood is pretty good!

You play a lot on PlayStation and seem to like watching TV. Do you have to test your eyes often? Céline S.

No, not really. Things working fine for the moment with my eyes. And not that i play too much playstation.

I saw a photo of you holding Maymo's notebook in a Madrid practice session. Were you trying to delete notes on how much chocolate you had eaten? Atch

Hahaha ah. No, no. Only having fun with him. He keeps everything under control and well written.

I know you are a fan of Rory McIlroy, but do you have any thoughts on Jason Day, the young Aussie golfer who's also doing really well at the moment? Lisa, Brisbane
Yeah, I love golf and I love to see all the players. Had a great time watching Rory at this US Open. And sure I have seen Jason Day play. He is also a very good player and as you say doing really well.

I was very happy to see Rory McIlroy win the US Open and I know you texted him with encouraging messages. What is the most encouraging message you have received from a fellow sportsman? Nita B
I have had the luck to receive many text messages during my career and I have to say that some has been very inspiring to me. But I prefer to keep this between the sender and myself. Hope you don't mind.

I'm discovering new things at this Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal June 23 2011 1:45AM

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Hello everyone,

Good day today for me at the championships since I had the chance to play today for the first time with the roof. It is a Wimbledon that I am discovering new things, that I am doing new things I had never done before.

I played the opening match on center with that amazing grass and today I played with the roof. To be honest i prefer to play outdoors, since this is an outdoor event but have to admit it was nice to play with the roof.

Tomorrow hopefully we will have better weather and I can get some good practice. It is important for me and obviously for all players to be able to play and practice in order to have a good rhythm when we play. But I suppose for the tournament the most important thing is to get the matches finished so that the next rounds can be played.

Ask Rafa: I never wear the same shirt twice

Rafael Nadal Yesterday, 11:08AM

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You always say that you like summer and sun, with tennis you chase summer 11 months of the year, don't you get ever tired of it? Stella
No, not really. I love the sun and enjoy playing with nice weather. But let me remind you that we also play in the fall in Europe and that's pretty dark! Not that I complain but just for the record.
Now that you've played under the roof, how do you think it changes the conditions apart from getting humid? Is the court any faster indoors? Jamie
Indoors is normally a bit faster since the humidity has some influence but also since there is no wind. Conditions change.
Are you fully satisfied with your volley skills now, or will you improve it more and more, and switch from a baseline game to serve-and-volley? Maria Rafael
There is always room for improvement on anything, and specially my volley! It would be nice to do just serve and volley but I think a lot of people would be doing passing shots like crazy.
Rather than answer a question, please, tell us a joke? Jeanna
Is that a joke? :-)
For all the years that Nike has been sponsoring you, do you still have all the items they gave to you? How many sets of attire do they give to you per tournament? JacklynYes, I have one of each I have played with. I keep them as memory. And to answer the second part of your question, I normally get two to three shirts for each match calculating I could make it to the final.
Is there any chance that we will get to see you playing doubles at the Olympics with Marc Lopez? Sharon
That would be great but we both need to qualify!

Hola Rafa! Who is your pick for the women's title at Wimbledon this year? Kim MackenzieTough one this is. I actually thought Na Li would have won.

Do you enjoy coaching and would you ever consider coaching professionally when you retire? Gigi
I don't think so but never say never!

If you were going to a desert island and could only take three things with you, what would they be? Karen
I prefer to go to an island but not a desert! This way I can avoid answering this question.

Do you ever lose track of what the game score is? Anthea 
No, never, or almost never. If I do I ask the umpire but it is not the normal thing!

Hoping the rain stays away

Rafael Nadal Yesterday, 11:28AM

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Hi everyone,

This is just a quick one since I am writing this after the dinner and I realised it is quite late. I had a quiet dinner at home with Carlos, Maymo and Albert Molina. The rest of the team and some others preferred to go out to the village and to London. So I stayed and cooked - the same pasta as the other day (Benito did the shopping) - and enjoyed some quiet time at home getting ready for the match. It will not be an easy one and on court No 1, too. That is always a bit different from Centre and with the risk of rain. Hopefully it won't be the case.

Trust my luck rain comes while I am off Centre

Rafael Nadal 15 hours ago

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Q&A: Get your questions into Rafa by e-mailing and follow his progress in his own words.
Well it had to happen I suppose. First time I don't play on center court this year and rain! 

Couldn't finish my match and tomorrow I will resume play during the morning. Not a big deal. if you compare it with other players that had to play two or even three days in a row other years. 

We are lucky to play on center court where you have the roof and in my case this time I played on court #1. 

Some people are asking if there was a problem with me since I asked for the trainer before the end of the set. It was at the same time as the beginning of the rain and therefore the delay. 

I had some issues before even I felt but nothing serious. I should be Ok for tomorrow.


Q&A: Get your questions into Rafa by e-mailing and follow his progress in his own words.
Do you think there is a point in Serena Williams’s moan recently about some players always get to play at the show courts and others (like her) get moved around?  Sharon Lam
I don't think I should go into this discussion. I don't know really the problem and didn't ask her or the scheduling people. Should hear both before any comments

If you were to give one tip about temperament, and how you manage to pick yourself up after a fall, what would it be? Tom
Don't really know what you mean. I think I have a good temperament though....

Every time you lift the Conde De Godo trophy after winning the Barcelona Open I’m scared you’ll injure yourself. Is that the heaviest and largest trophy that you have ever won? Atch
ME TOO! It is really heavy but the feeling to win it is too good to realize!

Routines and rituals are commonplace in many sports but you seem to use them a lot.  In what way do you think they help you perform better (if at all)? Do you think you pay more attention to them in high pressure situations such as the changeover before a key game?  Robin
I think they help my concentration and to know what I have to do but it doesn't change anything if for example the bottles I carefully put on the floor fall. In a few words, it is more a habit but not really a change if I don't do it.

What would you do if a player knocked over your water bottles at a change of end in an effort to psyche you out?
Nothing would change, really. 

What do you write on the tape on your fingers? Renata
Nothing, it is only the way they are. 
I noticed that lately you've been hanging out and practising with Feliciano Lopez a lot. Who schedules your practice and your partner? Celeste
Normally it is Toni who arranges it. But sometimes I speak to Feli on this particular case.
Have you ever doubted your ability to reach the top? When you were starting your career as a pro did you ever think ‘wow, this is tougher than I expected?’ Janice
Actually you never think about that. You only tend to think about being a professional player and you start setting up goals little by little. You really never think at a young age about being at the top. You just want to play and compete.

If you lose your world No 1 ranking, how will you react? Will it hurt? Will it make you more determined? Or will you just shrug your shoulders and say ‘hey, my time will come again’? Jon C
I don't really care that much. I don't think it is as important as winning the big tournaments. If I lose that #1 position that would mean that someone else has been better and I will have to continue improving!

Why do women get criticised for grunting, yet the men seem just as bad? Scott F
Good question. Do they get criticized? Do we do the same?