Rafael Nadal Is Practicing On The Hardcourts In Hopes For A Big Second Half To 2013 [Video]
by Tom Gainey | July 17th, 2013, 9:59 am
  • 55 Comments

Rafael Nadal is back on the hardcourts in preparation of the upcoming summer hardcourt season at his home in Manacor. The Spaniard who was stunned on the opening day of Wimbledon by Steve Darcis, says he’s still working daily to get better and to get his troubled knee in better condition for the second half of the year.

In his loss to Darcis, Nadal appeared to hurt the knee again but Uncle Toni says his star nephew is in good health.

Nadal, who has reached the finals of nine of 10 events he’s played this year winning seven including the French Open, will return on August 5 in Montreal, a tournament he won in 2005. He’ll then play in Cincinnati the week after followed by US Open.

He also said he hopes to be available for Spain’s Davis Cup playoff against the Ukraine in mid September.

Nadal is ranked No. 4 this week but is No. 1 in the ATP 2013 points only standings, about 800 points ahead of No. 2 Novak Djokovic.

Rafa won his last hardcourt tournament at Indian Wells, breaking a lengthy drought since his last win on cement (2010 Tokyo). He missed the last half of 2012 to rehab his left knee.

Video report of Rafa hitting with doubles player Nenad Zimonjic:


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55 Comments for Rafael Nadal Is Practicing On The Hardcourts In Hopes For A Big Second Half To 2013 [Video]

James Says:

He may not be vocal about it but I think he’s seriously gonna fight for the no.1 ranking. Has already confirmed to participate for Rogers Cup in Montreal, Cincy, USO, and China Open.

Also said his knee isn’t that bad. He hopes to be as good as he was at Indian Wells and in the clay season.

http://www.sportinglife.com/tennis/news/article/2/8827458/nadal-knee-is-no-worse


James Says:

*confirmed participation for


James Says:

Makes for a fun read. Ivo Karlovic would choose Rafa (among ATP players) for company if stranded on a deserted island.

http://www.tennisworldusa.org/Ivo-Karlovic-chooses-Rafael-Nadal-to-be-stranded-with-on-a-deserted-island-articolo11470.html


Giles Says:

Good luck Rafa for the HC season. Stay healthy.
#VamosChamp


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Hes had plenty of R and R,so he should be fresh and ready for the American HC season,i just hope he doesnt overplay before the USO,as the likelihood is that he will always have to be on his guard when it comes to his knees,he wont be regarded as the favorite so it will suit him fine IMO he can play with a little less pressure,as long as he tries his best and gives it his best shot Vamos Rafa.


cordonell Says:

He’s the inspiration for the future


Steve 27 Says:

James, I think he will play Montreal, Cincinatti, UO, Beijing, Shangai, Basel and London. To be number 1 he will need at least 4000 points. with the level of Murray, Djokovic lost about 1500 points, still a possibility that Rafa is the best end of the year. But, can he keep up his knees on hard court competition until the end of the year?


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Steve27 thats a hell of a lot of tennis,personally i care squat about the no 1 ranking for Rafa,i only care about the longevity of his career,for the sake of his knees i hope he does not overdo things and end up back at square one,he should maybe miss one or two of these tournies IMO,thats if hes allowed,i sure hope he and his team know what they are doing hmmm.


James Says:

I was surprised when they confirmed his participation for Cincinnati. Thought he was gonna skip that. Maybe the knee isn’t bad as some of us had feared. I hope that’s the case. I think he’s serious about regaining the no.1 ranking. If not by this year end, he can get there in Melbourne next year Jan.
Novak, Andy and Roger all have several points to defend in the rest of the season while Rafa has no point to defend. So maybe he sees this as an opportunity to regain the top spot.
I hope they go one tournament at a time.


James Says:

*maybe the knee isn’t as bad as some of us had feared.


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Maybe your right James,as i only hope for the best for Rafa,whatever happens.


Jimmy Says:

Why did he hit a right-handed serve?


Humble Rafa Says:

Why did he hit a right-handed serve?

I already have a bigger racket. I want to prove to the rest of the planet that I can live with big change. Humble Nation knows this already.


Thomas Says:

If rafa goes deep in montreal(and possibly wins it) I think he will withdraw from Cincinnati.


Okiegal Says:

There is no way Rafa can play all those hard court tourneys…….I don’t think his knees will allow it. He will be back where he started.

Agree with Tennis Chic on this one.


metan Says:

@ Thomas.
I think so, if he win Roger he needs to skip Cincinnati for resting his knee. Btw, Rafa never win in Cincinnati.

Good luckVamos Rafa.!


SG1 Says:

If I were Rafa, I’d stay off the hard courts until Australia. But then again, I don’t know the extent of the injury to his knee.

I suspect that his knee is not as bad as last year if he is considering Montreal and then the USO.

I hope he has good summer. When Rafa is in the mix, the majors are a lot more interesting.


James Says:

@ SG1, Rafa has said that his knee is as good as when he played at Indian Wells. He seemed very disappointed to miss out on 7 months last year. He has so far confirmed for Montreal, Cincinnati, USO and China Open. I trust he knows what he is doing.


Hawkeye Says:

Must be doing something right to lead the Race to London, no?

#GOAT
#Humb1e


MMT Says:

Interesting tidbit here http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/07/uncle-toni-i-talk-rafa-during-matches/48355/#.Uek_hW39x5p – not the stuff about coaching during matches (I think this has been plainly known for years) but this other little thing he says about “mental” strength.

“In the tennis world, those who are mentally stronger, are also technically stronger.”

Any takers? I’ve been a big proponent of the idea that mental strength is overrated, particularly compared to technical strength, and I think the coach of the player who most would agree is mentally the strongest on tour, is hinting at this as well.

Thoughts?


hawkeye Says:

Mental strength separates the top players from the wannabees.

This is the case in all sport.

If this wasn’t the case, you wouldn’t see many players choking when there is an upset in the making especially when they are trying to close out those matches.

A big part of Nole’s turn around was his confidence (mental).

I believe Rafa practising several hours a day has as much or more to do with mental confidence than physical sharpness.

It also depends on what Toni means by mental strength. Does he mean confidence or intelligence.

Successful tennis players have to be of above average intelligence because of the degree of strategy and quick thinking required.


MMT Says:

A little more context from the page/report:

“Toni Nadal added that he sees little value in using sports psychologists, and added, ‘In the tennis world, those who are mentally stronger, are also technically stronger.’”

There is no doubt that mental strength is important, but I can point to 2 to 3 technical and innate qualities that all champions have, that average players do not, that have nothing to do with mental strength, and in my opinion are more important.

It is a bit of a chicken and egg argument, because how much mental strength do you need if you are undoubtedly technically superior to your opponent? This canon stems from the assumption of technical omnipotence on the part of most professionals – I believe that is an false assumption, thus leaving plenty of room to explain the difference between the top players and all the others, without delving into psychology.

Hewitt, for example, is also very strong mentally too – you don’t often see him choking against anyone, and he NEVER gives up…he’s uber-competitive – but his efforts have been as futile against the top players over the last 8 years as anyone, so what’s the difference?

I think it is the technical capacity which 12 years ago, combined with his physical capabilities, was enough to be the best in the world, but today is FAR from it – all of his competitiveness and mental strength notwithstanding.


Kimberly Says:

In Rafa’s book he says that if you watch #250 in the world and #2 in the world on the practice court you will not be able to tell the difference. It’s how you play a match, point construction and mental, that seperates the two.


Thomas Says:

@MMT
I agree.


Giles Says:

http://alturl.com/zpncd
Work to start imminently on Rafa’s new tennis centre in Manacor.
You will have to google translate.
Good luck Rafa.


hawkeye Says:

Kimberly, I agree with Rafa on this.


SG1 Says:

In Rafa’s book he says that if you watch #250 in the world and #2 in the world on the practice court you will not be able to tell the difference. It’s how you play a match, point construction and mental, that seperates the two.

———————————-

From the stand point of the recreational player, perhaps. I think there’s a little bit of hyperbole in Rafa’s statement. I believe a top 5 guy could look at a guy ranked 250 and know it. Unless of course this guy at 250 is on his way to the top 20.


SG1 Says:

James Says:
@ SG1, Rafa has said that his knee is as good as when he played at Indian Wells. He seemed very disappointed to miss out on 7 months last year. He has so far confirmed for Montreal, Cincinnati, USO and China Open. I trust he knows what he is doing.

—————————-

Athletes don’t always know what’s best for them. What they want and what they need are often two very different things (much like the rest of us).


SG1 Says:

I think it is the technical capacity which 12 years ago, combined with his physical capabilities, was enough to be the best in the world, but today is FAR from it – all of his competitiveness and mental strength notwithstanding.

—————————–

I actually think it’s a change in playing styles that has hurt Hewitt. Back in Hewitt’s heyday, players were more apt to miss during a long rally and the racket technology was such that the power off the ground wasn’t quite as prevalent as it is now. Today, the players have become so adept at hitting big shots from defensive positions. This has played directly against Hewitt’s strengths. Not being a particularly big hitter and having a style where he hangs back is not a recipe for success today.


hawkeye Says:

I think that, more often than not, athletes (and their respective teams) are in a much better position to know what’s best for them than serious tennis fans.

I think it’s a bit much to second guess Rafa this year, for instance, given his No. 1 ranking in the Race to London, his French Open win and making it to the finals of 9 out of 10 tournaments entered.

Sit out until AO ’14?

#YouCannotBeSerious


SG1 Says:

I think that, more often than not, athletes (and their respective teams) are in a much better position to know what’s best for them than serious tennis fans.

———————————-

Unfortunately, financial factors tend to make smart people (and even smart teams) do stupid things.


Hawkeye Says:

Well Rafa sitting out until AO 14 would be exactly that based on his YTD. I don’t believe Rafa’s financial situation are influencing him to play excessively this year.

#YCBS


James Says:

Highly doubt, the multi millionaire Rafa Nadal cares as much about earning a few million $$ more as he does about prolonging his career. If he does appear in both Montreal and Cincinnati, I expect him to be good enough to compete at the highest level.


TennisZod Says:

Nadal is learning to DJ. It’s clear even he knows he’s gonna lose early in montreal and blame his weak knee for it and again sit out the rest of the season. Guess he’ll be DJ-ing Ibiza :D

http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/laura-whitmore-to-teach-rafa-nadal-how-to-dj-in-spain-29433598.html


Hawkeye Says:

If he DJ’s, maybe Fed can lend Rafa his dope sweater vest. :D


SG1 Says:

Highly doubt, the multi millionaire Rafa Nadal cares as much about earning a few million $$ more as he does about prolonging his career. If he does appear in both Montreal and Cincinnati, I expect him to be good enough to compete at the highest level.

————————–

Hope you’re right.


Okiegal Says:

Regarding mental strength and technical strength….I think you could be great in both of these areas, but when moments happen in any sport and your next play means the difference between winning and losing…….it’s an excited response that is called PRESSURE……all of that good mental stuff goes right out the window. That is why a lot of matches end with double faults, and in basketball, for instance, a missed free shot. I have been in situations when a free toss could win or lose a game. I can remember nerves taking over and I would blow it. It is PRESSURE and the best athlete on the planet will experience that feeling more times than not. All the practice in the world won’t cure that problem. I think as fans we sometime forget they are human.


Hawkeye Says:

Only a peak form Nole or Muzz will have a chance to stop him.

#VamosRafa


Okiegal Says:

Regarding mental strength and technical strength….I think you could be great in both of these areas, but when moments happen in any sport and your next play means the difference between winning and losing…….it’s an excited response that is called PRESSURE……all of that good mental stuff goes right out the window. That is whhy a lot of matches end with double faults, and in basketball, for instance, a missed free shot. I have been in situations when a free toss could win or lose a game. I can remember nerves taking over and I would blow it. It is PRESSURE and the best athlete on the planet will experience that feeling more times than not. All the practice in the world won’t cure that problem. I think as fans we sometime forget they are human.


Okiegal Says:

Oops, sorry I posted my comment twice. My comment box didn’t clear off after I forwarded it. Do not know what I did wrong.


Skeezer Says:

Unc ton is an unqualifed tennis coach who never really played at a competitive level. He doesn’t even understand the basic understanding importance of mental and physcal componets of the game. A the highest level, the mental game is uber important. The guy has no credentials except for Rafa’s coat tails…


Okiegal Says:

Not to dispute your post at 10:04, but I read in an article that Uncle T was a professional tennis player at one time. Don’t know if that’s true, however. He surely knows something about the sport, no???………well, whether he does or doesn’t…..his nephew is a great athlete. I know you are not a fan of his…….but you will have to admit your guy and my guy have played some amazing matches. Love to watch those two hook up. ENTERTAIMENT at its finest!!!


sarfv3 Says:

I think its a ‘catch 22′ for Rafa, he does see an opportunity to finish as yr end #1. IMO if he starts to play well and accumulate enough points, he would participate in the aforementioned tournaments to get the lead over Djoko and finish the year atop of world rankings. If he doesn’t progress far and doesn’t accumulate points by USO, I think he would withdraw from a couple or more tournaments to take rest and be in good health for Australia.


TennisZod Says:

Keep practising, Kneedal. Another 7-0 awaits!

#NoleIsthetrueGoat


Hawkeye Says:

#15-20
#20LossesClub
#No2inTheRace
#OneYearWonder
#Ajde


Hawkeye Says:

Greatest of 2011 sure but all time?

#DoingTheLaughingsFor10Minutes


TennisZod Says:

HawkEye, another 7 in a row and it’s 22-20.

#Laughterisgoodforhealth

7-0 was fun.


courbon Says:

@ Hawkeye: You should ignore Tennis Zod-he likes to provoke. Every reasonable Novak fan knows that Novak is way beyond Rafas achivments-we could only hope that he comes near Rafa ( almost impossible ).Rafa could finish year No1 easily-it all depends on Novaks form and Murrays ( who can spoil the party-he is the best right now).In the same token, calling Novak ‘one year wonder’ is a bit silly from you…


courbon Says:

@ James: Well said.Rafa is flying under radar at the moment and its all about Novak and Murray.But, Rafa may do some damage out there… too early to say, lets see Toronto and Cincy.


TennisZod Says:

No Toronto this year for the men, amigo. You go to Toronto, you see my girl Sharapova and other ladies. Everyone knows Nole is much better than Rafa. Nole is like the better greater version of Roger and Rafa. A Calendar Year Grand Slam and Nole’s the best of the best.
I predict Nole to win Montreal, Cincinnati, USO, China Open, Sanghai, Basel and WTF! Maybe Murray and others can win Paris Masters, Tokyo, Thailand Open, Malaysia Open, you know those tournaments Nole don’t care taking part in.

#No1eForaReason


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

To write Rafa off would be IMO silly,the guy has been in every final of every tourey,all bar one since his return from injury,one loss and boom hes in decline,people seem to forget hes still no 1 in the points race,i dont know what will happen from now till the end of the season,but i do know that all players are human,and all suffer ups and downs,and surely cannot be expected to able to play at the top level all the time.


Hawkeye Says:

Nole is only the GOAT assuming “time” began Jan. 2011 and ended Sept. 2011.

Nole should play in Toronto this year, no?

#Ajde


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

I dont really care for GOAT talk,however the only player in that conversation would be Federer pure and simple,Nole having a stellar year in 2011,or Rafa having a stellar year in 2010,were both superb,but were both one off years,Roger did that repeatedly so its a no brainer.


Nativenewyorker Says:

I am not surprised that Rafa is playing at Cincy. It’s a Masters tournament and mandatory. Also, Rafa will want to get as much match play as possible before the USO. He’s been off for a while now and will need to work off the rust and the kinks.

The good news for Rafa is that he can only gain points from now on. There’s not a lot of pressure, expect the pressure Rafa puts on himself.

Anyone who writes Rafa off is quite foolish.


Giles Says:

http://alturl.com/76fd4
Rafa fans. Rafa enjoying himself!

Top story: Djokovic, Murray Advance At US Open, Azarenka Survives; Federer, Monfils v Dimitrov Tuesday
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