June 25, 2014 § Leave a comment
Rafa recorded his 700th win yesterday by overcoming a stiff battle vs Martin Klizan 4-6 6-3 6-3 6-3. Rafa looked slightly out of sorts in the first set, which is perfectly normal if one hasn’t played a proper match on clay for three years, but slowly but surely he found answers to Klizan’s servebot tennis. And even in the first set, it was Rafa who shanked and broke himself it wasn’t Klizan’s doing. But what was a warm flood of relief was that he was standing closer to the baseline,which normally means confidence on other surfaces, but on grass it meant that he was going to go for his shots and find the solutions quick and aggressive even if some shanks do happen. His footwork was excellent and the running and the small steps he takes on clay, everything was just perfect in that department. Forehands that were misfiring started finding its range and he made two shots of the tournament hitting winners as he slipped twice. He slowly but surely got into Klizan’s head and game- identifying that his forehand wing was not so strong and that his net game was depleting post set 2. Its incredible how he bounced back and with such command. Tomorrow he plays, Lukas Rosol, and the hype around the Czech baffles me. We will see whats going on for now enjoy the hot shots of the tournament and Rafas perfect day at Wimbledon presser.
Perfect Day At Wimbledon:
June 22, 2014 § Leave a comment
Once again, the warm up exho held at Hurlingham Club in Fulham was a success. Unlike last year, where he won in two tight sets vs Kei Nishikori, he won in easy straights vs Robredo and things are getting slightly brighter in terms of his wimbledon longevity this year. I would give my right kidney to see him win one more wimbledon and he is primed to do so. He said so himself in his press conference that hes feeling healthier and that his knee is not giving him any trouble and he hopes to play well. Unfortunately, since it was an exho there are no highlights from Hurligham but my dear twitter friend Jennifer, shot the post match speech and customary shirt change 😉
Pre Tournament Presser: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/video/tennis/video-1101102/Rafael-Nadal-I-better-Wimbledon-year.html
Pre Tournament Interview:
Rafa also took the time to shoot an ESPN commercial:
Rafa signing some autographs for @Babolat
Insta from hurling ham
June 10, 2014 § 1 Comment
I just fail- to comprehend this win, to find words to describe Rafa, to do justice to describe his will and passion, i just fail. I stayed away from the internet,through the two weeks of competition because the level of anxiety it caused me with all its predictions was not funny. My only respite was twitter- where I would celebrate Rafa’s daily wins with my virtual friends and unleash on my Rafa spam – a barrage of pictures gorgeously shot by a team of dedicated photographers trying to capture the passion and will in motion. The achievement in itself is astounding, as no man in history has won 9 consecutive times let alone 9 grand slams. They say that once you’re broken you are never fixed. That scars are visible and that you are never the same again. What they don’t say, because its very rare, that those who have the will and the heart, wear their scars on their sleeve. Everyone wrote him off after Australian Open, they rebuked his early clay losses, made Novak an automatic champion at Roland Garros, and through it all, Rafa kept a low profile and worked out his psychological issues on his own. He was inching closer and now he’s re-written the pages of history. So happy and proud of him.
A perfect tribute: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1z05cx_rafael-nadal-2014-hd_sport
May 17, 2014 § Leave a comment
Ive been so engrossed in the nail biting, heart attack inducing matches of Rafa’s off late that I haven’t had time to update my blog, Rafans. The struggle is real but the Fight is even more real. With every match that he does not succumb to, despite being sets down,breaks down, despite struggling to close it out comfortably, he’s fought like a lion, he’s fought in the most jaw dropping way possible. He does not know how to give up and I love Rafa for that. For his will. For his heart. And for his never die attitude.
After two marathon matches, with Gilles Simon and Mikhail Youzhny, both hard fought victories from the brink of losing, has boosted his self confidence and the desire is back with the fight. His match with Gilles, was the longest in ATP 2014 history, and it was epic. The struggle and the fight back. With Youzhny he wasn’t supposed to have a hard day, but mistakes from his racquet cost him the first set in a tie break, when he was unable to close out the match with a 5-3 lead and despite being a break down in the second, he pushed and punched through the hurricane weather of Roma, to win anyway. The third set was all Rafa.
Yesterday was when he arrived like the old Rafa. 100% dedicated to defending his crown. Same can be said for Andy Murray who was just too good. They were so evenly matched up that even though Rafa lost the first set, 1-6, it was closer than the numbers indicate. In the second, you should have seen the storm on centrale, the storm called Rafa Nadal- the unplayable king of clay who was playing unbelievable. Rafa opened the set with a break of his own and squandered it back in his service game to only break Murray back, but then Murray lead 4-2 and Rafa equalled it to 4-4. then Andy held for 5-4, Rafa to serve to stay in the match, and Rafa equalled it to 5-5. Then he broke Andy and held to win the match 1-6 6-3 7-5. What a match I’m still reeling. If you still haven’t seen it, its a must. I just wish Andy found his form again, and will go deep at Roland Garros. AS for Rafa, he was on fire.
Rafa Post Match Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlNBLrIH1pk
May 12, 2014 § Leave a comment
An amazing week came to the best end with Rafa biting the trophy. Sometimes its not how you begin things, its how you end them. The mental struggle that has haunted Rafa since Australian Open,threatened to break Rafa in the first set. After a brilliant service game, won to love, Rafa had break points to go up 2-0 in the very second game, after a brilliant winner, off Nishikori’s serve, but he squandered it with a forehand shank. That shank, also saw the doubts creep in. His head hung low, the usually calm under pressure Rafa, fell apart and gifted Kei the break in the third game with some really bad shot placements, short play and one double fault. Kei held easily in the 4th game, and Rafa would again gift him his service game giving him an eery lead of 4-1. He avoided being breadsticked by Kei and held and forced Kei to serve it out 6-2.
The second set, promised to be as derailing as the second but Rafa stepped it up almost immediately after getting broken in his opening service game. He had triple break points to equal it out for 1-1 but he failed to convert 5 Bps. He held his service games and then again, had chances on the Nishikori serve, but again, squandered his chances. He got another well crafter BP in the 7th game, and he took it to make the scoreline 4-4 from 2-4 down. Rafa held comfortably and then Nishikori’s back problem that has haunted him throughout the week came back and the third set was Rafa all the way till at 0-3 down Kei decided to retire.
Some would say that Rafa didnt deserve this victory. But the way I see it, is that Kei had his opportunities to wrap it up in two sets, and the fact that he couldn’t is proof enough that Rafa,despite playing terrible in the first set, had a lock on crucial points. He was playing the bigger points well, and if that isn’t sign of progress then I don’t know what is. He also had a love hold to start, which almost never happens if he starts the set by serving first. And yes things were tight between Kei and Rafa’s last match in Australia, that does not mean that he would have beat Rafa in the third, had he been healthy also. We have to take into consideration that the struggle from Australia was the reason for the undoing in both Monte Carlo and Barcelona. Because when it comes to head to head being overturned its mostly Novak. And sometimes David Ferrer. No other player actually beats Rafa, on their terms, they just capitalise on his lack of play. As Rafa said in his presser, that he made things difficult for him.
The good thing is that he knows that he deserved the victory.This win will restore some of the lost faith and calm. On to Rome, where awaits another week of exciting tennis and some really competitive opponents. I will post the Draw in the next post. Vamos to all those that support Rafa day in and day out, irrespective of outcome. I know I don’t abandon the people I love no matter what. If need be Id abandon tennis but not Rafa. Hope Kei recovers in time for the French Open. On to another week of progress Rafa….Vamos ❤ ❤ ❤ 😀