Rafael Nadal Caps Remarkable Return By Winning Indian Wells [Video]
by Tom Gainey | March 17th, 2013, 9:07 pm
  • 18 Comments

Congratulations to Rafael Nadal and his fans. Earlier today Nadal capped the first phase of his comeback to tennis by capturing the Indian Wells BNP Paribas Open, defeating a very strong Juan Martin Del Potro in the final 46, 63, 64.

“I started the match playing fantastic, then Del Potro started playing a little more aggressive,” Nadal said to the AP.

“In my opinion, I tried to change too early against his forehand. I was playing much too aggressive for my game. When I was able to calm myself, I began to play better. I started to play a little bit slower. My movement was unbelievable,” he said. “Then I play a fantastic match.”

After missing seven months of recover from a left knee injury, Nadal returned to reach the final at all four events he played, losing just the title match in Vina Del Mar. And today he won his first hardcourt tournament title since October 2010 in Tokyo, a record 22nd Masters 1000 crown and overall his 600th career match win.

The title was also his third of the season which is best on the ATP Tour!

Nadal has officially withdrawn from the Sony Ericsson Open. His next event will be in Monte Carlo starting in a month on April 14.

A Picture from Facebook after the win:
facebook

ESPN’s post match interview:

Extended Highlights:

Ceremony:

Biting:


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18 Comments for Rafael Nadal Caps Remarkable Return By Winning Indian Wells [Video]

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.”

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


Giles Says:

Lou tennisfan. Thanks for the link. Great article.


timboyd Says:

How incredibly fast critics wrote Nadal off, while saying Nole’s the best, Federer is resurgent, Murray is joining the elite, Ferrer is so hard to beat, etc. So many people were so unwilling to even consider Nadal coming back to form. 95% of tennis fans on all the sites I read proved they know nothing about the heart and desire of champions, having never excelled in anything in their lives. Their opinions about Rafa were all short-sighted…and wrong. Even the most stubborn-headed Nadal haters should have nothing to say today. Point proven.


Humble Rafa Says:

You are welcome. You are indeed gifted to be able to watch my play at this high level, after a prolonged break. #humblenesshaslimits#


Humble Rafa Says:

Before the ladies show up, I want to say, I am indeed wearing shorts in that picture.


M Says:

Thank you sooo much for the video, Tom and Tennis-X.

HR, believe me, we ladies are here — and Rafa is beautiful clothes or no clothes! Armani knows! LOL!


Steve 27 Says:

Yes timboyd Wilander, Bodo and all the media pro fed are pathetics.

These journalists are a few wretched, envious and deplorable subjects, a real shame for the people who needs an objective vision for the lovers of these sport. Since always, the work ethics give many happy moments and rewards.


nadalista Says:

“In my opinion, I tried to change too early against his forehand. I was playing much too aggressive for my game. When I was able to calm myself, I began to play better. I started to play a little bit slower. My movement was unbelievable,” he said. “Then I play a fantastic match.”

This to me, is what makes Rafa great. Not he 11 Slams, the countless Masters Shields etc, etc. It’s his on-court intelligence. The way he stays in the moment during a game and is always analysing his and his opponent’s play, his and his opponent’s strengths and weakknesses, and tweaking his tactics accordingly, during the match.

While we Rafans were busy frazzling about his dip in form in the later stages of the 1st set, he was busy adjusting his tactics.

A lot of players cannot do this, preferring to wait and rely on post match post-mortems to see where they went wrong. Rafa makes adjustments on his feet. Hell, even with the benefit of such post-mortems, many players find it impossible to adjust!

Look after your health, Rafa, we are indeed privileged to witness your genius.


nadalista Says:

Tiggy’s take:

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/03/return-persistents/46826/#.UUbCbFdRCDd

Choice quote:

” “I lost a little bit of my calm,” Nadal said. “I didn’t choose the right shots…I think I was wrong in strategy, something that for me is unusual. I can have mistakes with the shots, but how I have to manage the points, normally I am right.”

We know Nadal wins with emotion. But his words here point to the intelligence of his game, the amount of thought that goes into it, something that isn’t always appreciated. This week I was struck, seeing Nadal in practice a few times, by how much technical talk there was between Rafa and his coach, Francisco Roig (Toni Nadal doesn’t travel to Indian Wells). They would argue, in animated, rapid-fire fashion, over the angle that Rafa should use to hit a certain shot, and try over and over again to find the right stance and balance for his strokes. Even this morning, a couple of hours before the final, they were chattering about his forehand while Nadal warmed up inside the stadium. As Rafa tried to walk off the court, Roig pulled him back for one last demonstration of the motion he wanted. The tinkering never seems to end with Nadal, and there’s more than just strength and willpower in those shots.”

i.e. Rafa doesn’t just over-power his opponents physically, he out-thinks them too.


alison Says:

I was going to let this go but what the hell,a certain lady poster some months ago was claiming,Rafa cant cope with the elite players anymore,well since his return from injury hes beaten 4 top ten players Ferrer,Federer,Berdych and Delpo,a question whats it like to have egg all over your face?enough said.


alison Says:

Have to say i did not see this one coming,but im so happy about it,4 tourneys back and 3 trophys,who would have thought Rafa would win IW on a HC on his 1st HC tourney back after all these months?TBH i never thought he would get past Gulbis,then Federer,then Berdych,and i certainly didnt see him beating Delpo in the final,who knew?im still in a state of shock,but happy never the less.


nadalista Says:

^^sentiments shared by every Rafan in the universe! We should just enjoy the moment with Rafa, in the full knowledge that there will be highs as well as lows in his journey, like in life.


Giles Says:

^^^And let’s hope the highs outweigh the lows! #VamosChamp


nadalista Says:

^^hear, hear!


alison Says:

WOW HOT,Love that top picture,cor Blimey Rafa,you are one hot sexy guy,and Xisca you are one lucky lady.


Brando Says:

@Giles:

Well said.

I hope Rafa places a high level of importance on maintaining his health and fitness- judging by his withdrawal from MIAMI, i think our champ is doing so.

May he continue in that way.


Jon Says:

Great recap!! Can’t wait to see him play next :)

Top story: Fedal Wars: Who'll Finish Higher Ranked In 2014, Roger Federer Or Rafael Nadal? [Poll]
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Rankings
ATP - Jul 21 WTA - Jul 21
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Na Li
3 Roger Federer3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Tomas Berdych5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 David Ferrer6 Maria Sharapova
7 Milos Raonic7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Juan Martin Del Potro8 Angelique Kerber
9 Grigor Dimitrov9 Jelena Jankovic
10 Andy Murray10 Victoria Azarenka
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