Indian Wells Stunner: Nadal Seeks First Hardcourt Title In 2.5 Years Against Surprising Del Potro, Who’s The Pick?
by Sean Randall | March 17th, 2013
  • 280 Comments

It is March Madness after all. Thirteen days ago who would have honestly predicated that the two players, Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin Del Potro, sharing a giggle at a Monday night exo in NYC would end up as the last two men standing at the Indian Wells Tennis Masters. Not me, that’s for sure. Heck, I didn’t see that happening even earlier today!

But full credit to both Nadal and Del Potro. That’s why they play the game. That’s why we love this game.

Of course yours truly made the colossal mistake of picking Tomas Berdych to beat Rafa. And the match actually went as expected. Berdych hung around, got the break and then served for the second. Then, on cue, proceeded to implode dropping his last two service games to lose 6-4, 7-5. Just like always. Nadal, who played pretty well against an in-form opponent, hit his usual array of ferocious forehand winners and continued to give Berdych a lot of problems with his lefty serve. He’s now beaten the Czech 12 straight times to lead 13-3 in their head-to-head. I won’t be taking Tomas to beat Rafa ever again. Despite his seemingly improved play this year, Tomas is still Tomas.

“Is not easy coming back after an important injury after seven months without playing a tournament,” said Nadal who has won his last 12 against Top 10 players. “It is difficult to come back and to understand how to win the points another time, how to manage the important situations.”

And Rafa’s right, in the men’s game it isn’t easy. But Nadal’s making it look that way, obliterating all those in his path with even more fury and tenacity of late than before the injury.

Now Nadal has the longest clay court win streak (9).

Now Nadal has the longest current hardcourt win streak (8).

Now imagine what happens when the the knees return to full health?

Del Potro’s been dynamite as well, literally. No one has the explosive firepower that he does. And now perhaps there’s some divine intervention from the Argentinean Pope. How else can you explain Del Potro somehow overcoming a 3-0 third set deficit to beat the World No. 1 Novak Djokovic 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in a thriller.

“All the credit to my opponent today,” said Djokovic. “He deserved to win because he was more composed in the important moments and he played the right shots. He stepped into the court, where, on the other side, I made a lot of unforced errors and was at the back of the court [and was] too passive.”

Even with an ailing left wrist (not the wrist he missed a year with), Del Potro continues to bewilder his opposition with his newfound defensive skills. Known for his firepower, Del Potro is now biding his time, like a spider, just waiting for his opponent to make a mistake and drop one short to his forehand. And then Del Potro pounces.

Djokovic hasn’t looked like his best all tournament and today was no different. The Serb came out well but then fell apart in the second dropping serve an unconscionable three times. Troubled by some leg discomfort, he went up a break in the third but couldn’t hold off the Argentine who won the six of the last seven games to hand Novak his first loss in 23 matches.

“I was doing a very good match until the third set, but Novak had the chance to beat me when I was down 3-Love,” said Del Potro. “But I came back soon and that gave me a little confidence to come back in that set. Then also the crowd wanted to watch more tennis and [it] helped me to play my best tennis in the end. I think it was my best match in this tournament, for sure.”

Del Potro reaches his biggest final since that 2009 US Open, the same event in which he beat Nadal and then Roger Federer consecutively. Now, it’s just Andy Murray, Djokovic and tomorrow Nadal.

“I am playing well. The results show my level,” Del Potro said. “Of course I feel [there are] some things to improve in my game like using slices. Also ,I would like to come to the net more often. But I’m working on that. Every tournament [there] is a chance to do it. I think I’m doing well here in Indian Wells.”

But Nadal will be a serious mountain to climb.

Through four matches at Indian Wells Nadal’s only lost one set. And his wins have been impressive, beating a very hot Ernests Gulbis and Berdych sandwhiched around a hobbled Roger Federer. So Rafa’s playing with a lot of confidence right now and playing freely knowing the expectations really haven’t been there for this event. Remember just a few weeks ago there were serious doubts – in fact published doubts – that he would even be playing in California.

“I don’t have nothing to lose after seven months,” Nadal said. “I did much more than what I dreamed. I’m gonna go on court and enjoy the match and try my best in every moment, as I do usually trying to win, but with good calm.

“I feel very comfortable in this tournament, I feel very happy when I am here. [It] is more relaxing tournament than other ones, and probably that gives me a positive feeling.”

And the conditions do suit him. He’s reached the semifinals eight straight years and he’s made the finals now four times, winning in 2007 and 2009.

I’m sure Nadal, his camp and his fans are glad he did show up. And tennis is glad, too. Win or lose, it’s good to have Nadal back in the mix. But there is still work to do.

Nadal has beaten Del Potro seven of ten times including three straight. On hardcourts, it’s deadlocked at 3-3. Del Potro has won three of their last four on cement, a streak that doesn’t include a Nadal semifinal win at Indian Wells in 2009, the same year Delpo whipped him later at the US Open.

Delpo has a similar game to Berdych. Big power off all wings. Maybe not as strong off the backhand, but Delpo has a little more variety with the added slice. And I think Delpo moves better won’t back down off the serve like Berdych did today. The big difference, though, is upstairs. Where we saw today Berdych crumble when the going to got tough, Delpo didn’t. And he didn’t Friday against Murray.

When Delpo’s full throttle I don’t think anyone can hang with the Big Man. Not Federer, not Nadal and not even Novak.

So will he be on tomorrow? I don’t know. I know with 100% certainty Rafa will fired up as he always is for a big final. He’ll leave it out all out there and he’ll gonna fight like there’s no tomorrow – who knows really when Nadal will be back on hardcourts after this? Del Potro, tough, is maybe living a charmed life this week, beating Murray, Djokovic and now possibly Nadal. If he does it might it be the greatest three day stretch of wins since?

Picking this one is really tough. Oddsmakers surely have Nadal the slight favorite and for good reason. He’s got the wins, got the experience and he is, afterall, Rafa. Delpo, though, has the tools to beat Nadal and he’s done it before in very convincing fashion. He’s not afraid. And Nadal isn’t at his best, not yet, right?

I’ve been picking against Nadal in his last two matches, not believing someone can come back and win a title like this so soon. And guess what? I’m going to do it again. Old habits really do die hard.

My rational is this: Nadal beat an injured Federer and a mentally challenged soft Berdych. Del Potro isn’t injured and isn’t mentally challenged, though he very well could be (maybe even should be) fatigued after those two big wins. And Rafa hasn’t won a hardcourt title in 2.5 years for a reason. If Gulbis can get a set off Nadal, Del Potro should be able to get two.
The pick: Del Potro in two

Match time for the men’s final is at 5pm ET on ESPN2. The match follows the 3pm ET (noon local) women’s final between Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki, also on ESPN2.


Also Check Out:
Poll: Roger Federer Or Novak Djokovic, Who’ll Win The Indian Wells Sunday Final?
Del Potro Dominates Nadal, Will Duel Djokovic In Shanghai Final; Who’s The Pick?
Rafael Nadal Feels “Very Good”, But Still Cautious And Doesn’t Expect Much At Indian Wells
Poll: Djokovic, Federer, Murray Or Nadal, Who’ll Win Indian Wells?
Poll: Should Rafael Nadal Skip Indian Wells And/Or Miami?

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280 Comments for Indian Wells Stunner: Nadal Seeks First Hardcourt Title In 2.5 Years Against Surprising Del Potro, Who’s The Pick?

kanpurite Says:

“Nadal beat an injured Federer and a mentally challenged Berdych”

MENTALLY CHALLENGED …haha, berdych just went full retard.


Humble Rafa Says:

Be ready to be surprised.


Humble Rafa Says:

mentally challenged Berdych

Choose your words carefully. Berdshit is a perfect normal man. I prefer the word Mental Midget to describe his choking talents.


Colin Says:

It’s scant comfort to a Murray fan, but this latest result does put Andy’s loss to Delpo in a better light. Also, I don’t think there’s much doubt the post-Australia “holiday” was a mistake on the part of the Murray camp.

But this is about Del Potro, and he deserves huge congratulations. I’ve said before that a player can be remembered and admired for years, who has not actually won very many titles. Del Potro, barring injury, will surely win some more slams, but even if he doesn’t, I’m sure that he’ll be talked about in 20 years time, as a man who, on his day, could blast anyone off the court.

The big man is still young, and he’s shown technical development in his game that I didn’t think he could achieve. In addition, he’s a nice guy – unless you’re in the path of that forehand!


Alok Says:

@Colin, very nice comments for JMDP. You’re ACES, even though he beat your guy, you’ve got nothing but kind comments for his tennis. He’s my second fave and I hope he’ll win more slams, but his wrist is very suspect, and most probably will be his thorn.


Michael Says:

Alas,the traditional Sean Jinx is imploding on his favourites and I only hope Del Potro is not another casualty. It was a surprise to me that Del Potro managed to beat Novak. Not that Del Potro is an ordinary player. He has shown his potential right from when he started. But all these years either due to his physical problems or his mental attitude he just failed to take off except for the 2009 US Open where he accomplished a Tennis Player’s dream of beating Nadal and Federer & then winning the title. Now Del Potro has a fantastic chance of doing the unthinkable. Beating Andy, Novak and then Nadal to win the title. That is for me equivalent to winning a Major. The way he played against Novak does inspire me with confidence that he will not give up without a fight. But I am not sure about his physical fitness especially when at the start of second set, he had a Trainer to the Court to bandage his foot. I am not sure how that will damage his chances against Nadal ? He has another major thing to worry and that is the Sean jinx which has hardly left any player without a bruise. So, can he perform that exordinary feat and fell four birds with one stone ? I hope he does with his bludgeoning forehand that rips apart his opponent. I would say the match is 50:50 wide open.


Michael Says:

Hard luck to Novak. He was my favourite to win the title. I thought he would firm up his form in the later stages of the tournament. But that didn’t happen against Del Potro. Novak made a lot of UEs, was timid and not aggressive and he paid the price. If he gone to the finals then that would have damaged Rafa psychologically. But now without him, Nadal should breathe easily and fancy his chances against Del Potro.


nadalista Says:

Am going with Sean’s pick.

Fight, Rafa, fight.

Vamos!!


vrael Says:

sean…the two year period where rafa did not win a hc tournament also had him reach multiple hc finals and especially 2 hc gs finals…..reaching a hc gs final is way more difficult a feat than just winning a tournament like dubai….the two year hc trophy draught is misleading…only an amazing at the peak nole defeated rafa during that period…rafa is a hc great too….he isn’t given enough credit.


nadalista Says:

^^Some morons think it’s a massive put-down to describe Rafa as a one dimensional clay court specialist, blithely unaware that the joke is on them.

#RafaKoolAidDrnker


rafaeli Says:

The King of Clay runs the h/c chiefs out of town.


Paradox Says:

In the last 2.5 years, only superman Djokovic managed to beat Nadal. Nadal reached US open and Australian open finals,Miami and Indian wells masters finals,Tokyo finals .Only an out of the world Novak managed to beat Rafa during this period.So, the heading of this article is misleading.


zola Says:

***And now perhaps there’s some divine intervention from the Argentinean Pope. ***

That was a good one!

btw, I think the match is at 2 pm ET not 5 pm.


mridul1 Says:

Again a forecast for the win of Del Potro by Mr. Randall. That does not bode well for Del Potro, my favorite, after the exit of Federer.


Giles Says:

Michael. “If he gone to the finals then that would have damaged Rafa psychologically”. What does that even mean? If I remember correctly Rafa beat Nole the last 3 times they met. You do not give enough credit to Rafa’s mental toughness and your comment is senseless since they Havnt played each other since FO 2012. What “damage” are you talking about?


scineram Says:

There goes the usual luck again. Joke draw for Nadal then an exhausted Del Potro.


Michael Says:

Giles,

It was not sense(less) as you put it. I was only referring to the hard court encounters where Novak got the better of Rafa. The H2H in hard courts against Nadal stands 11-5 in favour of Novak.That will tell you that Novak is dominating Rafa in Hard courts atleast. Also, with Novak having beaten Rafa about seven times consecutively including Clay, Nadal will obviously fear him than the likes of Del Potro with whom he has a better H2H. Regarding Clay, there is nothing much to be said there. Nadal is the GREATEST on Clay.


Giles Says:

Michael. Rafa does not “fear” ANY player, wary yes but not “fear”. He always relishes a challenge


jamie Says:

Nadal is a sitting duck on cement. Del Potro wins.


jamie Says:

“Rafa hasn’t won a hardcourt title in 2.5 years for a reason”

This is all that needs to be said.


Rogerisclass Says:

mridul1 Says:
Again a forecast for the win of Del Potro by Mr. Randall. That does not bode well for Del Potro, my favorite, after the exit of Federer.

I love Roger and Del potro. I hope Delpo will win. but, yeah…

sigh


Brando Says:

Saw highlights of JMDP v Nole finally.

Delpo will be very, very tough for Rafa to beat in this form.

Just SHEER FACT that he beat an unbeaten nole in a tough, competitive match is enough of a reason to say he is at least 50/50 v rafa.

He is a fighter, a GS champion and DEFINITELY a big match player.

Win or lose though i am VERY,VERY HAPPY to see Delpo making good on his immense talent and game.

That said, i shall be rooting for my guy all the way- VAMOS RAFA! :-)


Brando Says:

PS: Special KUDOS to NOLE.

I think he is a far better loser than Fed, Rafa or anyone from the top players.

The manner in which he hugged delpo at the net and gave a warm smile shows that he is a very, very gracious champion- ESPECIALLY when it is toughest to be one: after a tough loss!

I still remember how he congratulated Rafa even a day afterwards the FO final on twitter- he didn’t have to, but he did as he is a class act!

Great champion for sure!


John Says:

Delpotro-fresh 55-60%/Nadal 40-45%

Delpotro-tired 35-40%/Nadal 60-65%

Nadal the Favorite.


Giles Says:

Does anyone know why Delpo took an mto? I didn’t watch the match so just curious.


Fleischer Says:

“Joke draw for Nadal then an exhausted Del Potro.”

Very true.
Its obvious…he got to play his favorite punching bag to practice his CC FH in the QF.

Then the birdsh!t who sh!ts on Federer frequently.

Now in the final its someone who has not beaten Rafa in the last 3 yrs.

The only draw which cannot be a joke for Rafa is

Pre QF – Novak
QF – Djokovic
SF – Joker
F – Nole


nadalista Says:

This is a MUST READ for all true Rafans. But please note, Darren Cahill recounted this in 2009. Really puts into perspective what Rafa has achieved in spite of all his physical challenges:

http://gototennis.com/2009/06/22/darren-cahill-feels-rafael-nadals-knee-pain/

“It’s different for every kind of player. Who knows how chronic Nadal’s knee injuries are. But patella tendinitis finished my career. I had it for three years and I tried everything to shake it. I took a bunch of time off. I spent three years icing it twice a day, even on days off, and living on anti-inflammatories. And that’s a whole different story, what anti-inflammatories do to you. It wears you down mentally. I’d wake up every morning and not know what kind of shape my knees would be in. And you can’t train and you can’t prepare to improve the way you want to.

And there were just so many things in Rafa’s press conference that sent those memories back to me. He looked tired and beat up mentally. Exactly the same way I was. And we have nothing to compare in our careers. Nothing. Except that I know what he’s going through with this injury.”

Read more: DARREN CAHILL FEELS RAFAEL NADAL’S KNEE PAIN | GOTOTENNIS http://gototennis.com/2009/06/22/darren-cahill-feels-rafael-nadals-knee-pain/#ixzz2NnvnHRRL
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial

Vamos Rafa!!


Alex Says:

Write Rafa off at your own risk. He is not as bad on hardcourts as you make him out. Beating Delpo won’t be easy, but he is not without a chance. Great seeing a final without Djokovic for once.


Fleischer Says:

Thanks Sean for picking JMDP


Johnny YJS Says:

Nadal in two !,


Giles Says:

Does anyone know why Delpo took an MTO?


queen Says:

Jaime, u and your useless predictions. As far as I remember Djoko was supposed to win? Please do me a favor and do not post your psychic crap any more. Vamos Champ!


Leo Says:

Delpo took mto for taping of foot; it looked blistered.


Giles Says:

^^ Thanks


CurefortheItch Says:

Anybody but Rafa eh Sean? Sigh.


jane Says:

Brando, thanks for that nice note about Nole at 8:53. I do think Nole is gracious & conscientious. I always remember how warmly he congratulated Rafa when he won the US Open for the career slam (it couldn’t've been easy – for 3 years Nole had lost to Fed in the finals and semis, and he finally broke through to get to the final only to lose there). He also gave Dimitrov a point this week, which he didn’t have to do. He’s a good guy. I hope he gets some rest and comes back recharged.


rafaeli Says:

Nole tanked because he does not want to have the dubious honour of being the first player to lose to Rafa 20 times.

I doubt any of the top 4 would volunteer to be drawn against Rafa in the Qtrs.


courbon Says:

Yes, Rafaeli another inteligent comment from you…


Humble Rafa Says:

The King of Clay runs the h/c chiefs out of town.

GOAT Owner himself is a GOAT.


tennisnews24.it Says:

Nadal will win in 3 sets 6:3-4:6-6:4


juljo724 Says:

The idea of Nole tanking is ridiculous. He even said himself that he didn’t deserve to win, that he played badly. Is about as ridiculous as the comments made that Rafa would skip the HC because he was afraid of playing fed.

Sorry to Nole fans. It was a hard match to figure out who to root for since I also think Delpo has great capabilities. They are both great tennis players.

Found this quote from Rafa and it made me smile and many should heed it:
“The 26 year-old said that since the future is unpredictable, many things seem impossible until they are achieved.”


Humble Rafa Says:

I am playing a game called “Scare the Elf”.


Humble Rafa Says:

“The 26 year-old said that since the future is unpredictable, many things seem impossible until they are achieved.”

When I retire, I plan to become a philosopher.

Who would know that I would choke on a banana on the tennis court or have cramps in the press room. Anything is possible.


skeezer Says:

Tiggy’s picking Rafa in 2;

Of course he is.


jane Says:

Thanks for the fair post juljo724 – enjoy the match today! :)


M Says:

Well said, Colin.

Best final! Everyone enjoy the match today!


rafaeli Says:

People go on about Nadal not winning any h/c title for 2.5 years failing to mention how many h/c finals he made in slams and M1000 in that time as opposed to none in Delpo’s case.


nadalista Says:

Well, so far Tiggy’s picks have been half right, his tournament opening pick was a Nole-Rafa final, with Nole taking the whole thang. I am hoping he is 100% correct now.

Must say, I have never seen Delpo move as well as he did against Novak. Incredible for a big man. Clearly any “move him around the court” strategy is suicidal now and I don’t buy into this “he will be tired” story. This is an opportunity to grab his first Masters shield, he will leave everything out there…


sheila Says:

once again, berdych achieved the expectations i had for him playing nadal. losing. hoping delpotro wins this & more players start crashing the dynamic duos (djokovic & nadals) party. they are gr8 players but really not a fan of either so seeing fresh faces in the mix would be nice.


jane Says:

Wog boy, Nole posted on FB, just now:

“Not so happy with my game yesterday. I had my chances and I wasn’t able to use them wisely. Sometimes things don’t turn out the way we want, but that’s life. Delpo deservedly won and I wish him all the best! All I can say is that I will learn from this experience and that I look forward to my next challenge in Miami. “


nadalista Says:

RT @TennisReporters: “Its going to be hot again today. Sun strong, I’d day about 85F now & climbing. By time Rafa & DelPo get on, court temp could be 100″


Daniel Says:

I think if Nadal wins today he will be #4 on Monday. He is 560 points behind Ferrer whonwill lose 40 points here and Nadal will add 640 if he wins. So, already entreing clay swing as #4.


jane Says:

Daniel, perhaps that’s good so that if he meets the other top four it won’t be before the the semis, like here. I don’t think he can gain points in the clay swing except in Madrid, which will be red clay again. He can gain at Miami but I don’t know if he’s decided to play. The real upsurge for Rafa will obviously be Wimbledon and thereafter as he has nothing to defend.

Did he have a protected ranking when he was on his injury break for 7 months?


Lulu Iberica Says:

Del Potro has what it takes to win. I wouldn’t discount him by any means; however, the one and only “reason” Rafa hasn’t won a HC tournament in 2.5 years is a guy named Novak Djokovic.

Also, Fleisher, thanks for pointing out what a tough draw would look like for Rafa!

I’m so happy and proud that Rafa has made it this far so early in his comeback! Vamos!


Giles Says:

Rafa has withdrawn from Miami. OFFICIAL!


Giles Says:

PS. That’s great news!


nadalista Says:

Great news indeed, @Giles, thanks!


Steve 27 Says:

Yes sheila, when your idol (the swiss) was conquering to almost all except one, you were not saying anything. What hypocrite is the people!. Now your envy goes out to shine. Better it returns up to Madrid when it returns your crestfallen idol. Please, return after Madrid.


alison Says:

4 Tourneys back and 4 finals,also 3 top 10 players beaten,whatever happens in the final against JMDP,thats a comeback to be proud of,i would never for a minute have expected him to reach the final on his 1st HC tourney back after all these months,hes exceeded all my expectations,im just happy to see him playing again and with such confidence too(especially on HCs too),as regards to Miami i couldnt care less,im glad hes pulled out,as i wouldnt want him to do too much too soon,and undo all his hard work,do your best in the final im happy with your achievements this week either way,vamos Rafa.


alison Says:

Great to see Lulu Iberica and Contador posting again BTW.


Daniel Says:

It was this match in MSG where Nadal already showed his HC improvements. Even though it was a expo he was playimg almost the same as now regaridng tactics. DelPoalso was more compose in defense and not puling e trigger to soon.

Damm, Nadal not playing Miami (althoug smart move) will take some pop right when things where getting interesting. Next toruney where we will have evrybody is Madrid.

Miami witout Fed and Nadal will be weird.


alison Says:

Michael@1.38am17th March, so actually Rafa facing Delpotro in the final rather than Novak means that Delpo is less legit as an opposition than Novak?and do i suppose also that if Rafa were to beat Delpotro rather than Novak,that the title would be less legit too?even though Rafa made the final and Novak didnt,just curious?


Wog boy Says:

jane,

Thanks for that, I still think Nole wouldn’t be able to defeat rested (seven months) and hungry and battle ready Nadal after three hours batlling Delpo on another hot hot day. Let us see if new Pope can help Delpo.

Daniel,

It will not be weird as long as Nole can defend it.;)


bada bing Says:

Nole will successfully defend his Miami title!


Wog boy Says:

Lulu Iberica is back, good to see you back.


alison Says:

Wogboy sorry about Nole,and LFC :-(,good luck to him next week in Miami ;-)


Fleischer Says:

Ever since the comeback, Rafa’s BP conversion rate is POOR.


van orten Says:

hard to watch nadal play like that..he is def. not in top form…those ailing knees make him suffer so much…cannot see how he will finish the year playing so poorly and having trouble with his knees makes it even worse for everyone to watch…what a great great sport nadal is what a fighter what a comeback…he is the best ever wow wow i am impressed


Fleischer Says:

Again missing so many BPs


nadalista Says:

Definitely something for Rafa to work on, @Fleischer, and his forehand, been leaking some uncharacteristic errors


nadalista Says:

Delpo is turning the screws…..


Fleischer Says:

Very true Nadalista.

This match is done. No coming back. Onto Montecarlo…..


Fleischer Says:

Had 3 BPs to go 4-0 up and now losing the set comfortably.


Alok Says:

Happy to see DelPo hanging in there and was able to break back. it’s not good for a player to start the match getting broken.

I noticed avery subtle difference with DelPo playing Nadal. Usually, when he is going to hit a huge FH he telegraphs it before by doing a very audible grunt, today he’s not doing that. I always thought that the FH grunt was not a very good idea, but he’s the player and I’m not, so he knows what’s best and how he should play.


nadalista Says:

Delpo’s forehand LOOKS painful, can’t imagine what it must be like seeing it screaming towards you….


nadalista Says:

1st set Delpo, deserved.


Alok Says:

Also Delpo’s BH is not as strong as when he played Nadal in 2009 at the USO. I wonder if that’s due to him using his BH more to compensate for the wrist problem?

IW is indeed a very classy tournament and money is everywhere. The umpires have all received watches for officiating the final matches. I’ve never seen that done other than at the GS. A very nice and clasy touch, IMO.


nadalista Says:

Delpo took his chances, Rafa did not.


the DA Says:

Delpo takes the 1st set in style. Some outstanding tennis in that last game. Regardless of the powerful FH, Nadal will still make him fight for every point.


jane Says:

Delpo one set away from his first Masters title; I wonder if he can seal the deal? He may tire sooner since he had two back-to-back three setters as well as the later semifinal.


nadalista Says:

These forehand misses by Rafa are alarming……


the DA Says:

The errors are flowing now from Rafa. Broken in the 1st game.


van orten Says:

now serious talking …it is about time delpo wins a big masters tourney it was about time beating murray and djoker this week and now it is about time he beats a comebacking nadal. plain and simple..

the pope crossing fingers;-)


nadalista Says:

@jane, the way Rafa is gifting him points with those forehand misses, Delpo only has to get the ball in court to win!


Fleischer Says:

Its all over for Rafa now.


Fleischer Says:

Delpo is not doing anything. Rafa is beating himself with his own forehand.


Brando Says:

Rafa is just beating himself here- so many, many uncharacteristic errors!


skeezer Says:

“Fleischer Says:
Its all over for Rafa now.”


nadalista Says:

Even Koenig is saying Rafa is off his game today, it happens, and a Champion like Delpo is going to punish that.


the DA Says:

‘it’s all over now’ is not an expression I’d never use with Nole or Rafa.

I remember during their DC cup match thinking that Delpo would be a problem match-up for Rafa in the future as he pushed him to the limit on clay that day.


jane Says:

Both Murray and Nole hit a lot of errors versus Delpo too; perhaps he is forcing some of them?


van orten Says:

all nadal fans sounding like fed fans now!!!


nadalista Says:

Even if Rafa somehow manages to rescue this and wins, the return to #4 would be brief since he will drop points by missing Miami. With no points to gain in the clay swing (I do not see him playing Madrid), he may enter RG ranked as low as 6….


Kimmi Says:

fingers crossed for delpo! 3 more holds! ugh, sounds a lot.


Brando Says:

Man all these shots that are landing short from Rafa- just making it so, so easy for Juan Martin right now.

Delpo is just waiting for the errors here- and they are coming in bucket loads!


the DA Says:

I’m surprised that Rafa hasn’t sneaked into the net more to finish points. He had Delpo out of position several times.


nadalista Says:

Hahaha! @van orten 6:31pm, best comment of the evening!


Ben Pronin Says:

Why would he skip Madrid? It’s red again.


nadalista Says:

Sublime from Delpo, even I am bewitched…..


nadalista Says:

@Ben Pronin, colur of clay is not the point, it’s the tournament timing, comesa too close after Barcelona


the DA Says:

See! It ain’t ever over until the last ball.


Kimmi Says:

oh noooo!


nadalista Says:

At last, Rafa converts a break point…..phew.


Ben Pronin Says:

Madrid is more important than Barcelona.


jane Says:

Kimmi, yep, sounds like a lot.


jane Says:

BTW, HI!!! Kimmi – such a long time no see – nice to “see” you here, and contador, and Kimberly. :)


nadalista Says:

@Ben Pronin, you clearly do not follow Rafa, Barcelona is more important to him than Madrid


van orten Says:

well well delpo gifting it back right back to nadal!!! hahhaha nadal is the worst tooth ache for every adversary …what a player!!!


Fleischer Says:

What is the excuse for Rafa’s loss today ??

NONE.

Better man is winning.


Alok Says:

DelPo’s movement has definitely improved. He made a gret get to earn the point in the 4th game. Is it so much that the other top 4 players made too many errors, or was it Delpo’s better movement and some little tweaks to his game that’s made those players have so many UE’s and could not play their best tennis? I think it’s Delpo’s game that has changed and he’s surprised the others playing differently. They probably thought it’s the same Delpo and know his game, but he surprised them, IMO.

Miami will be without Fed and Nadal, which has already made the QFs and SFs easier for the other two top 4 players.


van orten Says:

one remark to nadals tactics on hc…this looks like he is playing on clay..sorry but where on earth is he standing returning serve????


Alok Says:

@Ben, isn’t it the altitude that the problem for Madrid? I remember that DC against the US there was a big ruckus and it caused a lot of problems for the captain and the guy who heads the spanish DC Federation. I think that guy lost his job and Sanchez was replaced after that tie.


Kimmi Says:

Hi jane. have been lazy posting but reading sometimes. Well, big time tennis is back and I am liking what I see from delpo.

hope he wins today.


Fleischer Says:

Rafa is missing TONS of BPs.


van orten Says:

wow delpo totally no reason to let nadal back in this game…this is bitter for him and for his fans….he was clearly the better player !!!


the DA Says:

Oh ye of little faith. tsk tsk Rafa fans ;)


jane Says:

Delpo’s in trouble now. Suddenly Rafa is dominating. The longer the match goes the more it favours him as he is more rested.


Fleischer Says:

Finally his game is clicking.

5 straight games for Rafa !!!


van orten Says:

delpo off now..nadal not even playing great…delpo delpo…my teeth hurt man


nadalista Says:

2nd set Rafa, phew! Even if he ends up losing, at least the scoreline will look respectable!


Alok Says:

oh geez, Delpo has gifted the set to Nadal by his DFs. A big momentum shift now in nadal’s favor.


queen Says:

Nobody fights like this kid…nobody!


andrea Says:

c’mon delpo. show us your fighting spirit and win this thing!


van orten Says:

favour him.?.i thought his knees are bad. so delpo should prevail


jane Says:

Kimmi, I am cheering for Delpo too, as I’d like to see him win his first Masters, and he beat both Murray and Nole to get to the final.


marrisv Says:

Rafa needs to play patient and not pull the trigger early in the rally. Missed a ton of forehands. It seems he had righted the ship now. On to the final set


Alok Says:

I so wanted for Delpo to win this match and have his first MS title.

To me, it appears he is getting tired. He walks slowly, but now a lot more than usual. I’m disappointed.


the DA Says:

A bit of the old Delpo creeping back in. Remember that he had Federer on the ropes at RG and the Olympics but lost his way. I thought he turned a corner by closing it out against Nole but we’ll see. I’d still like him to win.


Ben Pronin Says:

If Nadal has bad knees then I have bad fingers. You can tell by the way I hold back on typing a lot…


van orten Says:

this is getting painful to watch,.error after error now


JF Says:

Come on baby ! Another hardcourt
title for the one dimensional nadal will be awesome!


van orten Says:

this rafa injury was the biggest fake in the history of the sport…!!!! no question about that after what he is showing everybody!!! what a character he is


skeezer Says:

“Fleischer Says:
Its all over for Rafa now.”


Fleischer Says:

Rafa’s game is Federeresque is terms of missing BPs


Alok Says:

Bad shot selection going to the dropper. Even for an amateur such as me, I would not do a drop shot when there as so much more court to available. what’s he thinking?


nadalista Says:

How many BPs has Rafa had so far? I’ve lost count


Fleischer Says:

BPs converted:
3 of 3 for Delpo
3 of 14 for Rafa.


van orten Says:

hahaha skeezer


skeezer Says:

Rafa, the best damn broken knees in the history of sport.


Fleischer Says:

2 more opportunities for Rafa to show case his BP missing skills today.


nadalista Says:

Another bunch of BPs for Rafa, which he will fail to convert


marrisv Says:

Finally he takes the break!!! Go rafa


van orten Says:

i admire nadal..he is an alien..with such bad knees playing that good…he is the best…


Fleischer Says:

Whats up next ?
Will he hold ?


van orten Says:

medical time out maybe ?


skeezer Says:

“Fleischer Says:
Its all over for Rafa now.”

Yes and winnin a ATP tour title on your resume is more important the a GS final.


Alok Says:

JMDP will kick himself for DF the second set. why couldn’t he just try to hold and play a bit more caustiously? I’m frustrated watching this match.


nadalista Says:

Rafa fans are frustrated, Delpo fans are frustrated, what a final!!


van orten Says:

i have been frustrated since french open 2005 semi finals…


nadalista Says:

Sorry, I have serious trust issues with Rafa’s game right now, he needs another break……


Ben Pronin Says:

I have serious trust issues with Nadal knees right now, not sure what he needs though…


skeezer Says:

Ben,
Ditto


nadalista Says:

Stop making fun of me @Ben Pronin, this is serious…..


Alok Says:

Brad gilbert is chomping at the bit for Nadal to get another break as insurance for the title. the comms are supposed to be impartial, but gilbert breaks all the rules. ha ha


Fleischer Says:

Cool down Nadalista.
As Rafa gets closer to the title these fedt@@rds will get more and more mad. Much more to come.
Relax and have fun.


Ben Pronin Says:

Yes it is, it’s seriously bewildering how Nadal is playing the greatest defense anyone has ever played despite all of his physical “struggles.”


Fleischer Says:

Geezer the butt lover is here. One can expect a lot more filth from these t@@rds if Rafa somehow wins the title.


nadalista Says:

Just 1 game needed….


Ben Pronin Says:

“Somehow wins the title.” What? Somehow? He’s a game away. What are you watching?


queen Says:

Stop crying Ben Pronin!


Fleischer Says:

Delpo has to win ATLEAST 3 games in a row now to save the match.


skeezer Says:

“Fleischer Says
Its all over for Rafa now.”


Fleischer Says:

Now Delpo has to win atleast 3 points in a row to save this match.


Humble Rafa Says:

As more people eat crow, the world is about to run out of crow supply.


the DA Says:

Clutch of Delpo to save those MPs.


nadalista Says:

*claps* for Delpo’s never say die attitude….


Fleischer Says:

Rafa played the BPs like Federer today.
Hope he doesnt lose the match after holding MPs just like fed.


Wog boy Says:

Ben Pronin @6:58pm
skeezer @7:07pm

Are you sure;)?

Do you remember this: I coming back for USO … no I am not, I am playing DC … no I am not, I will play WTF in London … no I will not, I will be ready for Abu Dhabi … no I will not, but probably Doha … no not really, yes AO … no I got some virus.

While we were listening all these things from Nadal camp he was somewhere in Toni Nadal’s Boot Camp hitting BH from breakfest to lunch time and serving from lunch time to dinner time.

Good on them, everything was within the rules but still …

Congrats to Rafa and his fans on the title, this is going to be interesting year to watch.


Alok Says:

Why couldn’t Delpo have played like he did this last game in the second set, instead of pissing away his break and then DF to give Nadal the set? You suck Juan.


van orten Says:

but nadal fans you gotta open up your eyes…we are not even try to make fun but nadal is just a faker …thats what he is …


Fleischer Says:

2 more MPs.


Fleischer Says:

Game…Set…and Match.

Congrats to all Rafa fans.

Great victory…its time for us enjoy now.

Let the fedt@@rds take over and shower filth on Rafa.

Over to the fedt@@rds now. Its your time to vent out your anger.


nadalista Says:

Well done Rafa


nadalista Says:

First person he goes to shake hands with…..his good friend Larry Ellison.


Humble Rafa Says:

Mission accomplished.


the DA Says:

Rafa serves it out like a champ. Great win. Poor Delpo – but he has lots of positives to take away from this tournament. Congrats to Rafa fans and commiserations to Delpo fans.


tennismonger Says:

Is it just me or does Larry Ellison look like Mickey Rourke’s kid brother?


Humble Rafa Says:

Elf Supporters are Arrotards too. The Elf was their back up. Your Humble Highness broke their hearts twice. Sorry the pain. But someone’s gotta win.


Brando Says:

F!CK YES RAFA! Playing average, getting whooped and you fight hard, never give up and win the title! VAMOS!


Margot Says:

The come back kid came back!
Thought he looked terrific, especially that mighty forehand.
Congrats to him and his excellent fans- alison, brando, nadalista, giles and all :)


nadalista Says:

The one dimensional, clay court specialist slays a bunch of hard court specialists, including the GOAT, on his way to a hard court Masters shield on his return from a 7-months lay off, on his first hard court tournament, with a gimpy leg……


Brando Says:

@the DA: thanks for that. And thanks also for not joining in the conspiracy theories that have ZERO evidence- except of course in the confines of worried, terrified minds! Thanks for that!


van orten Says:

congrats delpo for a great week but as always you were not on the lucky side of the net today…congrats to rafa for being rafa…but pls pls pls stop talking about your bloody knees!!!!! faker


oromis Says:

stupid bitter federer fans…Shut the f*** up .


marrisv Says:

Great win rafa… So proud Of your effort. Commisserations to Delpo and fans for a great run.


Giles Says:

V A M O S! V A M O S! V A M O S!
RAFAAA! RAFAAA!!
MY KING!
MY CHAMP!
:-))))))))))))))))))))))))
Congrats to Rafa and all Rafans!!


Brando Says:

@Margot: thanks- and I’ll be joining your kind, excellent self and rooting hard for Muzza in the Miami tourny! Go muzza!:-)


oromis Says:

^^ no class


nadalista Says:

Has there EVER been a come-back of this magnitude in the history of sport?

RAFA, you beauty!!!!


van orten Says:

actually we are kinda anti rafa for obvious reasons!!!


JF Says:

Van Orten- Your statements are just allegations.


queen Says:

So happy! So proud of u Rafa!


nadalista Says:

Delpo is back, ladies and gentlemen, Delpo is back.


Fleischer Says:

Commiserations to the real Delpo fans if there are any (not the fedt@@rds in disguise)


Ben Pronin Says:

Adrian Peterson, torn acl, comes back nearly breaks running back total yards for a season record. Short by 9 yards.

Lance Armstrong, 3 different kinds of cancer, comes back and wins 7 Tour de Frances.

Kobe Bryant is nearing the end of his career and is constantly injured whether it’s his fingers, legs, knees, nose, etc. Every year he gets better.

Yeah, this magnitude has been seen many times before.


tennismonger Says:

Maybe more top 10 players should take 7 months off. They could rotate. For the good of the game. Or something…


Humble Rafa Says:

Some people have speculated why I pulled out of Miami “without giving any reason”.

The knee needs rest…needless to say this.


van orten Says:

congrats rafa for being such a champ…i really hope you win everything from now on till at least november..so your comeback will go down as the greatest one in history of sport…nobody will stop him…nobody..except for his kneessss


oromis Says:

600 wins…Vamos!


rafaeli Says:

Rafa is the King of tennis. No ifs, no buts.


nadalista Says:

Oh, with this win, Rafa regains his spot as Spain’s #1.

#Normalserviceresumes


Fleischer Says:

Ben,
“Yeah, this magnitude has been seen many times before.”

Yesterday you were claiming that such a come back would look bizzare…..ROTFL.

These fedt@@rds are really funny.


nadalista Says:

I will assume you are taking the mickey by including that disgusting man, Lance Armstrong, in that list……


van orten Says:

call it just fighting for the truth…great stuff ben!!


Fleischer Says:

HUUUUUGE smiles on Rafs’s face.

Good to see.


Giles Says:

Rafa followed his rehab regime to the letter and today he reaps the rewards. And for the doubters, you are all green- eyed monsters spewing your conspiracy theories just because your favs were trampled over! #VamosChamp


Kimberly Says:

Sean Randall jinx at an unparalleled high this tournament. From all rafa fans we say thank u!


the DA Says:

@brando – you’re welcome. Despite the lopsided H2H, all the Andy fans I’ve come across like and respect Rafa. Just ignore the conspiracy nuts. It always makes me chuckle that someone could seriously believe a player in his prime would deliberately take 7 months off “pretending” to have an injury.


Brando Says:

@ Fellow rafa fans: let’s just enjoy this major win- we have been waiting long enough for it! Just IGNORE the baseless, petty, without evidence usual crap that the haters are spouting! Let them drown in their petty bile- rafa winning has already given them the hump, your SILENCE will just add to it! Let’s enjoy this moment!:-)


Giles Says:

Enjoy your glorious moment Rafa!!


van orten Says:

breaking news : nadal for more hard court tournaments , wants to skip all clay tourneys because his knees are just fine!!!

just joking guys do not take it that serious…enjoy rafas victory!!!


Fleischer Says:

Great day today…I am off for now.

Let the fedt@@rds take over and shower filth on Rafa.

Over to the fedt@@rds now. Its your time to vent out your anger.

Geezer the butt lover…where are you ??


nadalista Says:

RT @scambers73: “With Rafa in this kind of form so soon, it’ll be interesting to see if Novak Djokovic decides to play in Monte Carlo or not next month “


Paradox Says:

Congrats Nadal.Tennis needs Nadal to play at the highest level for at least next 4-5 years.He transcends tennis.


Alok Says:

Fleischer Says:
Commiserations to the real Delpo fans if there are any (not the fedt@@rds in disguise)

March 17th, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Why bother giving out commiserations. FYI, I’ve always been a JMDP fan, and don’t have anything against Rafa.


Ben Pronin Says:

What was the rehab regime?

Doesn’t matter who’s included in the list, point is it’s happened before. It’ll happen again. Just gotta take off the blind folds.


Kimberly Says:

Someone said this before I remember but for real anyone who has given up on life should look to nadal for inspiration


rafaeli Says:

nadalista, stop listening to Sean.


jane Says:

nadalista, Nole has played Monte Carlo many other times when Rafa is in good form, including the other years Rafa won IW. There was only one year he skipped Monte Carlo, which was 2011, probably because he was exhausted by the streak.

Having said that he has the Davis Cup QF’s right before Monte Carlo so it’s possible he might skip this year. I kind of hope he does so he gets a little rest.

————

Anyhow, Rafa fans, enjoy Rafa’s title today. He’s now 4 for 4 in reaching finals in all events he’s played since he’s come back, and 2 for 4 in titles, correct? That’s some return to form!


Alok Says:

You guys should be enjoying Nadal’s win and put a rein on the name calling.


Brando Says:

@the DA: Muzza fans, including your good self, have always been classy, genuine and lacking in any petty malice towards any other rival player. You guys are the best fans IMO- even better than us rafa fans. Myself and many others were very, very lucky that when rafa was absent Andy stepped up and played some joyous tennis- love muzza for that! Re the theories: why don’t you know? After beating a certain rival 3 times in a row Rafa suddenly thought he needs to take 7 whole months out when he was playing his best tennis as he realized it still wasn’t good enough. It just makes COMPLETE sense doesn’t it that at his peak and in good form he would tank at wimby, skip the USO, AO and a once in a lifetime oppurtunity, Olympics, JUST to improve his BH and serve for ONE PLAYER! Yep- I’m sold on that theory. Completely sold!


nadalista Says:

I will listen to you, @rafaeli.

GROUP HUG TO ALL RAFANS!!!

Next: Monte Carlo.

I love the smell of napalm in the morning!!!!


Wog boy Says:

Novak may or may not play Monte Carlo but why Rafa skiped Miami … o yes, I forgot … bad knees needs rest ..


Brando Says:

@kimberly: Rafa does posses inspirational qualities: the will power to return after setbacks, willingness to accept a damaging defeat as he knows it still possesses seeds on how to improve next time, ability to be calm under nervous, stressful times, and above all else: fIghting until the end whilst NEVER backing down from a challenge! That’s a true champion there for sure!


Fleischer Says:

Rafa is skipping miami because he wont get a sitting duck again in the QF. His favorite punching bag is not playing.


Giles Says:

Ben Pronin. I think you should take off the blindfolds.
Rafa is back!!!


nadalista Says:

That was a Richard Scambers tweet I quoted @jane, not my opinion. I am looking forward to him resuming his rivalry with Rafa during the clay season!


Ben Pronin Says:

I’ve been saying Rafa is back since before Indian Wells.

I’d like to add Peyton Manning to the list of epic comebacks in sports. And take Kobe off the list.


nadalista Says:

@Wog Boy, we get that you not like Rafa. Good luck with that.


skeezer Says:

“Fleischer Said
Its all over for Rafa now.”


Brando Says:

@Nadalista: let’s be fair even if some are not being so: nole is a great champion, a real fighter. Like Jane said: he ONLY skipped MC once and that was only for a much needed rest. IF he skips MC saying he needs a break- I’ll fully believe him and give him the benefit of doubt. Let’s remember that old adage: innocent until proven guilty- or do NOT accuse someone of something IF you have ZERO evidence backing up your allegation! Rafa, nole, fed are true champs- let’s accept it and leave it at that!


Giles Says:

Wog boy. What is your problem? Oh yes I know, your man was knocked out by the man Rafa knocked out! Nole can’t win everything, sport doesn’t work that way!! #VamosRafaaaa


Brando Says:

PS: Andy and JMDP too are great champions- thankfully they do not get caught in the mud slinging matches!


Kimberly Says:

He should inspire people, he makes the most of what he’s got, never gives up, remains humble yet confident. He’s been sent to the pastures time and time again, but there he is competing with heart.


nadalista Says:

@Brando, please read my post of 8:19pm before taking the high road.

Thanks.


Vvx Says:

“breaking news : nadal for more hard court tournaments , wants to skip all clay tourneys because his knees are just fine!!!”

Do you have a problem understanding tenses? Nadal was injured and needed months of rehabilitation to get to the point where he could compete again.

He is now able to compete again.

What were you expecting? Rafa to return to the tour playing his matches on crutches? LOL! Playing with signs of injury still visible? How retarded.

He was injured, now he is back and the world of tennis is a much better place. Get over it.

Oh and ……. VammmmoooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOSSSSSSS Rafa! What a legend.

Welcome Back!!!

just joking guys do not take it that serious…enjoy rafas victory!!!


Brando Says:

@ kimberly: absolutely. Long may he stay on the scene as there is no other like him!


Wog boy Says:

nadalista,

I don’t really care what you get and what you don’t, I just speak my mind. We are not here to share one person opinion but to post ours and I have mine, got it?


Brando Says:

@Nadalista: Ah, just seen it. No worries. Let’s just enjoy the win and ignore the BS!:-)


Wog boy Says:

One more thing, it is not whether I like or don’t like somebody, it is w


nadalista Says:

@Wog Boy,

I don’t care what you get and what you don’t as well. We are not here(sp) to share one person opinion but to post ours and I have mine, got it?

Compliment returned!!


Wog boy Says:

… it is what I believe in.


nadalista Says:

@Brando, no worries, mate! Let’s enjoy our man’s victory indeed and IGNORE THE BS!!


juljo724 Says:

I’m glad I wasn’t on here while trying to watch the match. Seeing some of the Rafa faithful giving up on him so early in the first set was very disheartening. Neither guy played fantastic tennis on any consistent level this match but some of the shots by both were just sublime and showed the promise of what could be.

Both showed what fighters they are and that they both have that championship mentality. Rafa said in his oncourt interview that he was playing very aggressive and then it stopped working, but he kept playing it, hence the unforced errors. Then he said he slowed himself down and calmed himself and played the right game. He also said the doctors said he should rest after playing so much tennis lately, and he apologized to the fans for skipping Miami.

Commisserations to Delpo fans and congrats to all Rafa fans! Either way would’ve been history. Delpo would’ve won his first Masters and Rafa now owns by himself, the most Masters titles in the Open era.


nadalista Says:

^^Bellissimo!!


the DA Says:

@brando – kind words. I think the vast majority of fans also enjoy the friendship & respect between Andy and Rafa as well as Nole. It’s a good example to follow.

“skip the USO, AO and a once in a lifetime oppurtunity, Olympics”

Yep, I know from a recent article that he was very crushed about missing the Olympics especially.


nadalista Says:

Del Potro: “My body was OK,” but he played too well. “I’m so happy for him.”

True gentleman and pro, wish you the best of seasons, gentle giant!!


Alok Says:

@8:33pm, Thanks. The most decent comment on this thread from a Nadal fan, and Kimberly’s also. And, congrats to your guy also for winning the most MS titles. I normally don’t get very upset with my fave if he loses, but today would have been special for him and his fans had he won his first MS title.


Giles Says:

C’mon Muzz now take the Miami crown. Good luck!!


Alok Says:

My comment is for juljo724 @8:33pm.


marrisv Says:

jane@8:10pm – thanks. Rafa is 3 out of 4 in the finals. Only loss in chile


Queen Says:

Great pic Giles!


Kimberly Says:

Thanks alok. I admire so much rafas fighting spirit, more than his forehand, speed or gluteal muscles even :)


jamie Says:

Sean is not good at predicting it seems…


juljo724 Says:

Thanks Alok. I have always liked Delpo and I always wish the best for him and hope he stays healthy. I think many underestimate him.

Rafa is on a roll for sure, but is still smart enough to know not to risk all the work he put in to rehab his knee. So I was not surprised when he decided not to play Miami, even though it is only a short drive from me–lol. He has his favored clay season coming up and needs to be rested for that. I believe that is called smart scheduling.


M Says:

Sean, honey, you go right on picking against Rafa. I think it’s bringing him luck.

(That and wearing green on St. Pat’s Day. :-) )

JMDP was fierce. Top 4, watch your backs.


M Says:

LOL, Kimberly – it’s a hard choice some days.
But yes, we love his fighting spirit the most. :-)


Kimberly Says:

Jamie, if your Internet psychic friends website is hiring I do not recommend they call Sean, at least not this tournament


Lou_tennisfan Says:

Congratulations to Nadal fans..indeed his comeback has been very very inspiring . He has won 3 out of 4 tournaments that he has played since his return. One can’t help admiring the grit and determination of Nadal.

“Hats off to Rafael Nadal who showed that it doesn’t matter if you have been on or off the field for 7 months, what matters is whether you have the heart, attitude and work ethic to comeback stronger, healthier and better than your past.” – Quote

Rafael Nadal-The Maestro of Patience and Work Ethic http://tinyurl.com/cf8hwro


The fighter Says:

yes van orten, rafa is a faker..he is dat stupid to miss the olympics because he wanted to pretend an injury


jamie Says:

@Kimberly

One of those Argie guys predicted Nadal would win IW or Miami. Wow, considering Nadal had not won a title off clay in 3 years that was a very ballsy prediction before IW started. They can be really good most of the time…


jamie Says:

^They think Nadal will win RG… and Nole won’t win RG this year.


Karthick Says:

Congrats Rafa!!! You are what you are!!! A true inspiration. Thanks for being for us in this world :) A sheer pleasure for us to enjoy your tennis. All the best for the clay swing. And lastly, Vamos rafa!!!


tennismonger Says:

That was a surprising result for me – thought for sure the hard-court gig was up for Nadal, Delpo had the tools to blow him away, etc.

Now I’m thinking: Delpo can barely get through a 3-setter? His conditioning needs mucho work if he’s ever to win another slam…


Daniel Says:

Damm, had to take a flight back to Rio (plus weather delay) and missed the whole match.

Congrats Nadal and fans, what a comeback!! This is just going to spice things up. Nadal will be a conteneder for every tourney he plays, as always. Hope he doesn’t have any more problems with the knees and doesn’t over play (smart move already skipping Miami).


M Says:

*snickers*

Ben, why don’t you put down the haterade?
And from February 1st – that must be a mighty sour batch. It’s making you turn that funny green color again …


M Says:

Tennismonger, it’s just his conditioning that needs work. If I had to move 6 feet 6 inches of muscle around the court and beat Muzz and Nole on the way to playing Rafa, I’d be tired too.

Nothing wrong with his groundstrokes, and he’s clearly been working on improving his game. I had to laugh when I read that Gulbis, on being asked what it was like to play Rafa, and after having been all cocky, was like “It’s really hard to beat him.” Well — yeah! You have to have more in the tank just to take Rafa to three, let alone to beat him, than just about anyone else (other than Roger, which is a whole other kettle of difficult).

Give del Guapo a break. He made the final; he’s already threatening for the #5 spot. It’s only a matter of time.


the DA Says:

@ben pronin – tsk tsk! Setting the cat amongst the pigeons.
BTW, that “you’re on the list” section basically implicates most players in the top 10 as well as several others further down the rankings. I don’t agree with some of the criteria he thinks should arouse suspicion. According to his list, you would have linked to this article (if it had existed then) after 2 of last year’s slam finals.

But overall it’s an well done extensive piece. Shame about the timing in posting it.


Steve 27 Says:

• Enjoy your best season in years in your late 30s, four or five years after your last “best season,” and you’re on the list.

So, Federer is on the list. lol.


Ben Pronin Says:

I posted it before when I first read it. Everyone’s on the list.

Tsk tsk nothing. Why? Because God forbid I throw up a red flag when something suspicious happens? This has nothing to do with jealousy (what?). Same way people threw flags when certain players exhibited remarkable recovery. Or out-of-nowhere brilliance. Super human longevity. Etc. Sorry I don’t want to turn a blind eye to everything. This goes for all sports.

Speaking of which, has anyone read about what experts think about tennis including the blood passport now? Bunch of smoke and mirrors again. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2013/mar/12/tennis-anti-doping-expert-drug-testing


Ben Pronin Says:

I’d also just like to say, if now’s not a good time, when is? Is there ever a right moment? Not like it takes anything away from yesterday’s match. Level playing field and all, you know.


nadalista Says:

Yes, @Ben Pronin at 8:26am, some of us have read about what experts think about tennis including the blood passport because you have posted that exact article on tennis-x blog before.

Safe to say, we heard you, and the article, twice the first time.


tennismonger Says:

@ M

I realize that Delpo did some heavy lifting last week – but it reminded me of his plodding about against Nole last Sept. @ the US Open. Maybe sending Roddick into retirement had taken a toll :-)

Anyways, it was a far cry from his 2009 performance @ Flushing Meadows – he’s got work to do to get in that top 4 conversation.


nadalista Says:

@Ben Pronin, another article to file under “tennis & doping” in your library:

http://tennishasasteroidproblem.blogspot.ca/2013/03/robin-haase-on-testing-protocol.html

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