Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Rafael Nadal - Davis Cup Update

RAFAEL Nadal has played down the pressure Spain will be under in its Davis Cup final against Argentina this weekend.

"We're under the same pressure as they are, we have to win the Davis Cup," insisted the world number two, who has lost just one singles rubber in the competition since making his debut in 2004.

Spain has won the title four times in the past 10 years, while Argentina has never lifted the trophy, finishing runner-up three times.

But team leader Nadal insisted that playing at home in Seville did not increase the pressure.

Nadal will spearhead the team which includes 24th-ranked Fernando Verdasco, Feliciano Lopez (20) and David Ferrer (5), the same line-up that clinched Spain’s last Davis Cup triumph in 2009 against the Czech Republic.

Argentina lost the 2008 final 3-1 to the Spanish at home in Mar del Plata, also falling in their previous two clashes in 2003 and 1926.

"The 2008 final was painful for Argentina, so it's normal that this time they'll have a special motivation," said Verdasco.

Spanish captain Albert Costa said his side were determined "the Cup stays here", adding: "It's hard to say who has the greater percentage chance of winning between the teams. I don't like giving figures. If we do things well than we'll have a chance.

"One thing that's sure is that all the matches will be long and tough."

Argentina's bid to create history will be lead by 11th-ranked Juan Martin Del Potro, who will be joined by Juan Monaco (26), Juan Ignacio Chela (29) and David Nalbandian (64).

"Spain are playing at home and are favourites, so they are under a lot of pressure too," Nalbandian said. "The 2008 final was completely different."

Del Potro admitted it would be hard to beat the Spanish on clay, at the La Cartuja Stadium where the hosts beat the USA 3-2 to win their 2004 final.

"Spain on brick dust are perhaps the best team in history."

But Argentina captain Tito Vazquez warned: "They are favourites with (Rafa) Nadal and (David) Ferrer, but anything can happen, we could lose 1-4 or win 4-1."

Courtesy: HeraldSun

Photos from today:

Monday, 28 November 2011

Rafael Nadal - Davis Cup Update

Photos from Rafa's practice session today where be bumped into Juan Martin Del Potro.

Rafael Nadal says he is tired but motivated to lead his home country against Argentina in Spain's attempt to win a fifth Davis Cup title.

The world's second-ranked player had provoked alarm in Spain last week when he said he felt "less passionate for the game" after being eliminated from the ATP World Tour Finals.

Nadal clarified on Monday that "more than a lack of passion, it is a weariness from many years of playing at this level, week after week."

Nadal says the "important thing now is to work each day at 100 percent with the excitement needed to win the Davis Cup."

The Davis Cup final is set for Dec. 2-4 on the hosts' favored clay surface at Olympic Stadium in Seville.

Courtesy: Vamosrafelnadal

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Rafael Nadal - Getting Ready for The Davis Cup Final

By groping Pico Monaco

But it is good to see him smiling again

Short video of a practice session

Courtesy: lopezjd

Friday, 25 November 2011

Rafael Nadal - Press Conference After Defeat

Q. Can you give us your thoughts on that match and how well Jo played, how difficult it was against him tonight.

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, first thing I have to talk about myself. I think I didn't play well tonight. The first two sets I didn't play bad, but I didn't play well, and to win these kind of matches you have to play well. I played without nothing special tonight, no?

Jo knows where I hit every ball during the point. I didn't had surprise shots during all the match. So that's very difficult at this level, no?

I was solid, but to slow with the legs. The forehand didn't had enough pain to him. And backhand normal, okay?

After the second set, the end of the second set, I was in a little bit better position than him. At the beginning of the third, the same. But I didn't play enough well. When I felt the match was little bit more to me than to him, beginning of the third, I played little bit too anxious to win that match.

So that's what happened. If the two first sets wasn't bad, but wasn't good, the third was disaster. That's the true, no?

He's a dangerous player. For sure is not easy to play against him, big serve, aggressive player. To play against these kind of players, you have to do something else more, no, and I didn't.

Best of luck for him. Congratulations to Jo. He deserved tonight more than me.

Q. Do you feel that you haven't been at your very best form since the US Open? If so, why would that be?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, in the Davis Cup of Spain after US Open, I played great. In Tokyo I played one of my best sets of the year against Murray, the first set. Yeah, after that wasn't my best, that's true.

Q. Why is that?

RAFAEL NADAL: Seriously I can talk one hour for that. Is because of lot of things. Because probably I was little bit less passion for the game probably because I was a little bit more tired than usual.

I happy how I practiced last three weeks. That's the true. Very happy with the right attitude to play tennis. That's important because I was in the right way. But to compete I wasn't in the right way.

We can find excuses, we can find problems for more time, but is not the moment to say that. Is the moment to, you know, still fighting. Is the moment to say the season is over. I had good season. Happy for that. Not happy about a few things during the season.

And now is the moment to analyze little bit more what I did good, what I did bad, and for sure know in what about I have to practice for the next month. That's all.

Watch through the Australian Open and have the right practice, continue with the right practice like I had the last three weeks. And that's the only way to try to arrive to the 2012 season with the right conditions. That's about I dream, try to arrive in 2012 with very good conditions, and I going to practice and I going to do it all in my hands to be perfect for the beginning of 2012.

This end of the year wasn't easy for me. That's hard to accept. But at the same time that's give me little bit more of illusion and little bit more goal for the beginning of 2012. That's what I going to try.

Q. How confident are you that you can recover your form in time for the Davis Cup?

RAFAEL NADAL: We'll see. I don't know. I don't know.

That's completely different conditions. I going to be for one week practicing on clay. Even if I am not playing perfect, the surface help me. Because sometimes little bit more about confidence, sometimes little bit more about the movement. I was a little bit slower than usual, but I think I was a little bit slower than usual because my mind wasn't perfect, so the reaction was late.

So on clay I have more time to think. The movements are a little bit easier for me. I going to have the right team there supporting me and practicing hard. I will be try my best every day to try to win the Davis Cup for my country. I'm lucky, the team, not only myself, if I'm not in the right conditions, the captain can choose another player.

Q. How eager are you still to be out there competing? It's not been a particularly easy year for you. Is your level of confidence and eagerness to get out there and play still as strong as it's ever been?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, this year was a tough year for me, no? I think was positive one for moments, but at the same time was hard for moments. Accept what happen during all the season, needs time for the think.

The only thing, the only important thing, today I say I didn't have big expectations for this tournament. I know how I arrive. Always you dream that the situation can change. If I win today, you never know.

But the thing, the normal thing, is what happened. Accept, the only way to accept. And I know only one way to change situation is to work more, think more about tennis, do everything in the right shape, do everything good inside the court, everything good outside the court. And that's what I going to try to do for the next month and for the rest 12 months of 2012. That's what I can say. That's what I can do.

If one player do better than me or another player is better than me, accept, congratulate the opponent. But what I have to do is try to arrive to my best, to be with calm with myself. That's all.

That's what I feel today I didn't, and I need to do for next year.

Q. Are there similarities with 2009?

RAFAEL NADAL: Oh, no, no.

Q. How is it different?

RAFAEL NADAL: Completely different situation, I think. First of all, I never like to compare the situations. But second thing, you know, 2009, I had different kind of problems. This year is a completely different year.

Is not the same situation, especially because I am two years older (smiling).

Q. You were saying a little while ago about the passion had dropped a little bit. Has that happened before to this extent like you've experienced this time? While you were going through that, how frustrating was it?

RAFAEL NADAL: Oh, 'frustration' is not the right word for me. I am happy. I am here. I qualified like No. 2 of the world for the World Tour Finals. I am here playing in a fantastic stadium. I never dreamed about that if you tell me 15 years before.
So frustration is another things.

In your career you have moments here, you have moments here, you come back, you go down. And today is not my best moment because I need not a lot of things. Because the experience says me to change are just small things, but these small thing change at the end of the day a lot of things.

That's what I have to do: work hard, working hard every day, morning, afternoon. I going to have my chance for next year to be competitive to win the big tournaments.

My illusion is there. My motivation I hope the same. I will do it. If not enough, is not going to be enough. But I will be satisfied with myself.
See you next year.

Courtesy: UBITennis

Rafael Nadal - It's DC Time Now

A much better performance from Rafa last night but it was just not good enough against big Jo. For me it came down to just a few errors from Rafa, shots he would normally have made, that made the difference. That being said I think he was right to try those shots as he was playing more aggresive and going for it. For me it is better to try win and lose than wait for your opponent to beat himself.

So onto Seville and the Davis Cup where he will be joined by Ferrer, Lopez and Verdasco. To be honest I am not concerned with this tournament, I just want Rafa's season over and him to be able to get himself and forget about tennis for a while. 2012 can wait awhile.

Match Reports:


Sky Sports


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Rafael Nadal - Not The Best Night At The Office

Not sure where to start with that performance. Words like "humiliated" "outplayed" "no ideas" come to mind.

All credit to Roger who just played a blinder tonight but where was the fight, where was the play that could have, maybe not turned the match around, but at least have made it a little bit of a contest? I'll not go into my thoughts on Uncle Toni as tonight he is irrelevant right now.

Anyway here are the pro's take on the match:

Sky Sports



Monday, 21 November 2011

Rafael Nadal - Round Up

As expected, Rafa has slammed Yannick Noah for his comments about doping:

"LONDON (AP) — Rafael Nadal thinks Yannick Noah should be banned from commenting in the media after the French tennis great wrote a newspaper column accusing Spanish athletes of widespread doping. Nadal reacted angrily Sunday when asked about Noah's claim in Saturday's edition of Le Monde newspaper that French athletes no longer had a chance against their Spanish opponents because they "don't have the magic potion."

Rest of the article is here

Was Rafa a little ill last night? Dodgy paella maybe?




Sunday, 20 November 2011

Rafa Wrap Up

A few items have been in the news recently.

First - Yannick Noah has been talking about Spanish athletes in a not so nice way. ESPN artciel here

Now I have heard these rumours for a few years now, Dr Fuentes and his "magic potion"

a) I do not believe Rafa has ever taken drugs
b) I do not believe Rafa will ever take drugs
c) Is Noah trying to say Rafa has/is taken/taking drugs, no

Spain has had a lot of recent sporting success and I think Noah is expressing his own opinion, albeit in a rather unfortunate way.

Rafa is going to kick off his World Tour Final campaign this evening against Mardy Fish. This should be straight forward but Rafa will be a little rusty, Fish may still be injured and their last meeting went the way of Rafa after Mardy gained his only victory in the 8 matches in Cincinnati. If you wish to watch online check here for websites streaming matches

ATP Awards - Rafa will be given the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award for his charity work with the Rafa Nadal Foundation. Well done Rafa but thank God you are not playing any stupid exhibitions, even if they are for charity.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Charity Auction For items In The Players Lockers

LONDON –  Players competing at this year's Barclays ATP World Tour Finals are coming together to support charity in a unique worldwide player locker auction. 

As the season-ending tournament, featuring the world's top eight singles players and doubles teams, gets underway at The O2 in London this Sunday, an online charity auction is being launched which will see fans bidding for the contents of their favourite player's locker. The lockers will be personally stocked by each of the top eight singles players, including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Roger Federer, who are competing in this year's tournament.  

All money raised is being split between each respective player's charity of choice, with 50% of all the proceeds going to the tournament's charity partner Save the Children.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for tennis fans to get their hands on some amazing tennis memorabilia and help the world's poorest children. You could win Andy Murray's racquet, Roger Federer's shoes or personal photographs and know your money will be helping children the world over. Please get bidding!" said Save the Children CEO Justin Forsyth.

To take a look at the lockers and the personal possessions of the players up for auction, bidders are invited to visit the exhibition taking place in the Fan Zone during the tournament at The O2. 

From signed racquets, clothing and shoes, to personal items such as signed autobiographies, calendars, photographs and more, the auction provides a memorabilia goldmine for tennis enthusiasts worldwide. Bidding on the eight lockers will open throughwww.BarclaysATPWorldTourFinals.com/charity on Saturday 19 November at 5PM GMT,running throughout the course of the tournament before closing on Monday 28 November.

Rafael Nadal - World Tour Finals & Other News

I am back from Paris and ready to start up again.

By now you all know the draw for the O2. Rafa is in Group B


And will open against Mardy on Sunday.

Other news:

Blue clay

Mutua Madrid Open will begin using blue clay as surface in 2012
The Mutua Madrid Open, an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, will feature blue clay courts starting in 2012. Madrid marks the first professional tournament to feature blue clay. Two of the most successful ATP players didn’t seem thrilled with the change in Madrid. Rafael Nadal vented on Twitter, saying, “It’s a lack of respect for tradition and the history of this area, I hope one day not having to play on blue grass.” Roger Federer said it was difficult to talk about it at the current moment.

Courtesy: WorldTennisMagazine

What a utter joke. Tiriac is a muppet!

Monday, 7 November 2011

My Paris Reports

I am here in Paris and I have published my first report. You can read it here:


A link to my photos is at the bottom. I hope you all enjoy.


Thursday, 3 November 2011

Rafael Nadal - Non Paris :(

Well thanks Rafa :( I decide to go back to Bercy after 3 years, I get myself Press Accreditation and what do you go and do, pull out!

I have no idea why, I saw the first line of the FB announcement and stopped reading, I was too mad to continue. For me this just shows you how fragile Rafa is right now. Fast indoor courts are not this thing and he is not wanted to take a beating like Shanghai right before London. Some may say that is totally fine but for me, and not just because I am now in Paris, it proves to me why I can't say Rafael Nadal along side the very best this sport has produced. Yes he is a great tennis player but his lack of fast court tennis victories shows that.

Sorry if all these sounds harsh but right now I am mad, mad that he has ducked the challenge, mad that I would be able to attend one of his press conferences, mad that I won't see him play. I'll pick myself up now and go eat a croissant :-)