Rafael Nadal: I Have Lacked Confidence And Competitiveness In Some Matches This Year
by Tom Gainey | April 22nd, 2014, 9:25 am
  • 83 Comments

Rafael Nadal admitted yesterday that he needs to get his game back into gear. Nadal, who is seeking a ninth Barcelona title, told media Monday that after an “OK” start to the season, he’s intent on taking his game to a higher level.

“I started the season OK except for some lack of confidence and competitiveness in important moments of certain matches,” Nadal said who suffered a shock quarterfinal loss last week to David Ferrer.

“I’ve faced adversities throughout my career, and this is just another one,” he added. “When one loses you need to recover fast and this is based on training and more training. You have to find what it is you want to do and try to play well again.”

Nadal will play the winner of the Nikolay Davydeko-Albert Ramos match on Wednesday. Davydenko is the only player in the Top 100 with a winning record over the Spaniard.

“I hope to play a good week,” he said. “It is very important to perform well here. For us, it is the most important ATP 500 event on the tour.

“All my rivals are dangerous. I always play a match knowing that I can either win or lose.”


Also Check Out:
Djokovic Defends and Matures; Serve vs Grit
Rafael Nadal Says Nothing Has Changed After Djokovic Loss
Here Are The Highlights From World Tennis Day (Nadal, Djokovic Included) [Video]
And Then There Were Four: Rafael Nadal Seeks to Restore Order in 2010
Lansdorp Looking for Another Ace

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get Tennis-X news FREE in your inbox every day

83 Comments for Rafael Nadal: I Have Lacked Confidence And Competitiveness In Some Matches This Year

skeezer Says:

“When one loses you need to recover fast and this is based on training and more training”
So, you haven’t been training all this year?


gonzalowski Says:

Davy has lost to Albert Ramos…
Is he really looking for mantaining that historic h2h against Rafa?


gonzalowski Says:

Nadal is 2270 points above Nole.
It seems he’ll be able to stay nº1 until the end of RG at least, let’s see…
Skeezer, considering these sea clay tournaments Montecarlo, Rome and RG:
Sampras 1 title
Federer 1 title

;)


courbon Says:

I find it very refreshing such a honest statement coming from Nadal.My respect grows for this guy….


Humble Rafa Says:

I find it very refreshing such a honest statement coming from Nadal.My respect grows for this guy….

Unlike other arrogant players, I am open and honest, especially about injuries.


courbon Says:

@ HR: You are indeed…


Daniel Says:

gonzalowski,

Rafa maintain #1 if he wins RG. If Djoko wins beating Nadal in the final he will add 1280 pts while Nadal loses 800. That is 2080 pts alone. Plus Djoko can add points in both next masters while Nadal defends both plus Barcelona. but after MC #1 raning can only change after RG, depending on how both Nadal and Djokovic perform. But basically Nadal can’t lose before final in RG. This statement almost seems silly due to his record. But as Slam have this huge amount of points rankings can always shift.


Purcell Says:

HR @ 2:49; so let’s be open and honest and name the ‘other arrogant players’.


James Says:

Rafa hasn’t been the same since regaining the #1 ranking last year. He’s been chasing $$ in South America exhos, Nike promotions in Oregon, Golf, playing poker in Indian Wells and again in Monte Carlo. He used to skip Miami to prepare for the clay swing. This year he played Miami for ranking points. And he wonders why he’s lacked confidence and competitiveness this year.
Rafa, you may be the best ever on clay but I’m afraid, you ain’t beating the top players with your B game.

If he doesn’t win a clay Masters before RG, he may have to part with his FO title.


James Says:

The loss to Ferrer at Monte Carlo was a much needed wake up call for him. I mean no disrespect to Daveed who’s a very good clay court player, but if you can’t beat Ferrer on clay, you’re simply not playing well enough to win the French. Rafa needs to raise his level asap. Barcelona is a must win for him for his confidence.
I hope to see him at his best again.


Ben Pronin Says:

Since making his debut in Miami in 2004, Nadal has skipped Miami a whopping once. So…


James Says:

Didn’t he skip Miami in 2012 and 2013?


tennismonger Says:

Good grief, don’t we go through something like this every year?

Isn’t there something called, “peaking for a major?”

Could be a couple of players have done so already.

As for Rafa, if it isn’t obvious by now, he knows how to hit his stride come FO time…


Bad Knee Rules Says:

———-
Didn’t he skip Miami in 2012 and 2013?
———-

No he didn’t, not in 2012.


Ben Pronin Says:

He pulled out in the semis in 2012.

As much of a shocker as the loss to Ferrer was, I think people or blowing it out of proportion. Nadal was bound to start declining at some point. I said it last year when he was pushed in several matches against random players that, for him, it was the beginning of a decline. Decline doesn’t mean catastrophic drop. I don’t think Barcelona is a must win for Nadal. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t win it, but it’s just a small event. At most, I’d say Nadal needs to win Madrid or Rome to be prime for the French. More so Rome since it’s right before the French. But even then, needs is kind of a stretch.


metan Says:

Such an honest man. That is called true champion not like other players. 👍😄😜😄
Vamos, Rafa! You are the one and only.


Humble Rafa Says:

Great champions don’t go away with one loss. I ain’t no Bjorn Borg. I am a better underwear model.


skeezer Says:

^yes, “pidgeons pet”. ROFL.
keep tryin the bad comedy.
#unemployedstill?
#failingforlaughs.com


Hippy Chic Says:

Let him just play and see what unfolds,the same question comes up every year for Rafa on clay,as Ben says its inevitable that the run will come to an end eventually,and no disgrace to see that happen if or when it does?


SG1 Says:

Humble Rafa Says:
Great champions don’t go away with one loss. I ain’t no Bjorn Borg. I am a better underwear model.

———————

Not to mention a better Hairclub for Men spokesperson than Borg as well.


skeezer Says:

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/04/ranking-rafas-dirty-dozen/51252/#.U1fs8l7ifiC

Act of Sod. Loved it.

Will there be another one to add this year to this list?
Or will he Dominate the Clay this year again?


Okiegal Says:

Barcelona alert: Dog, Fog and Ferrer all out…..


Hippy Chic Says:

Skeezer lol are us Rafa fans to actually see this as some sort of strange but side ways compliment from you?anyway fantastic statistics whichever way you cut it thanks eerr i think lol??


Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal bit dissapointed that Fog didnt finish the match a set and four love down,same with Benoit Paire yesterday,with 1 or 2 games left to play and they retire pftt pathetic….


Okiegal Says:

@Chic

Yeah, some fickle tennis going on……don’t get it!! Our guy didn’t give a beat down today….but he won! On Novak’s wrist situation, how do you really get over that in a short time? Looks like to me when you started hitting hard again, a flare up could easily happen. Two weeks off doesn’t sound like enough to me. He would be wise to take a lesson from DelPo……don’t go back to playing too soon…..get well first…..imo.


Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal well my 1st thought about Novaks injury was thankfully the injury wasnt too serious to begin with,however is it wise to play so soon rather than rest for fear of it flaring up again?but then again im not an expert on wrist njuries,i just hope for the best for Novak either way….


Okiegal Says:

@Chic

I’m no authority on wrist injuries either, but I truly believe DelPo never did get fully healed….and now look at the shape he’s in. Hopefully he’ll get much better and Novak too! Wish them both the best for quick recoveries!!


Bad Knee Rules Says:

What was that? Nadal needed two hours to beat Ramos, #104… was broken twice… couldn’t serve out first set…played really badly…he is shadow of himself…lucky it was Ramos!!


skeezer Says:

^and 2 time violations to boot!


metan Says:

Rafa was struggling.
@skeezer. LOL!


Okiegal Says:

I think Rafa got the time warning after a long rally….so apparently they’re not going to take that into consideration. Well, the official today didn’t, anyway. Rafa better speed it up…….I repeat!!


skeezer Says:

Ok.
So I did watch some of the Rafa/Ramos fiasco. What does one see?
-constant crotch grabbing (not the MJ kind), and butt digging, with consistent nose and ear wipes/touching. Sorry, not a worthy sports watching scenario.
-a 13 ball bouncing before actual trying to serve aka the old Nole way(thought that was behind us).
-time violations extradonaire
-fist pumping. Ok, for what? Ramos? Really?
-now , errr….somehow ……it is necessary to have not just one towel, but TWO! Why? And why now?
(Ball Kids take note, ugh)

Conclusion; So done watching this. What a waste of TV tennis time.


roy Says:

skeezer is having a tough week.
roger lost his best and last chance of winning monte carlo and will never complete his masters series.

djoker, the great nadal-killer and roger-record protector, is having injury problems (because of his boring grinding), meaning RG is looking more and more predictable.

there was that ferrer win over nadal, of course. but given every nadal/ferrer match on clay is close and ferrer has had chances before, it was bound to happen in a three set match.
and in fact the early loss might even help nadal’s freshness in the coming weeks.

skeezer is still holding out for an injured murray, nadal and djoker come wimbledon, though.
roger might get another charity slam! maybe with baghdatis in the final!


Giles Says:

Coach Mouratoglu :
Humility and ability to restart from zero when needed, coming back to the main values, is the quality of Champions #Rafa is on that way


Hippy Chic Says:

I dont know if its worth the bother really anymore,i used to enjoy posting on this forum i cant really say i do anymore,how much negativity does one player have to stomach,when the only thing hes doing is trying to win a tennis match,sure he struggled,and probably isnt the player he once was,and maybe this will be the year he fails on clay,which everyone is expecting sooner or later anyway,but can he not just go out and play the game and let us his fans enjoy seeing what unfolds,those whom dont care for him and his game,ticks or whatever have a choice not to watch him??


Hippy Chic Says:

^I assume Rafa has a shower after his matches anyway,and i assume MJ used to after his concerts although nobody could know any of this for sure??i dont care for Rafas crotch grabbing,and MJ doing it in front of all those impressionable young kids wasnt any better IMO,i actually have a nephew whom idolised him when he was little and used to copy his dancing and all his moves,and my sister used to tell him off for it,anyway i do really want Rafa to speed up for fear of losing an important point at a crucial time,been saying it for months….^


Giles Says:

I think Rafa picked up the crotch grabbing habit from Muzz.
#JustSaying


Okiegal Says:

Crotch grabber extraordinaire was another Andy….as in Roddick! His grabbing was as consistent as Rafa’s butt picking……but nothing was ever said about it. He did Rafa impersonations, butt picks and all…..was waiting for retaliation from Rafa, but he is much too nice for such tomfoolery. Anti Rafa comments……sour grapey sounding……tell us something we don’t know.


Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal well exactly,and does it really bloody matter anyway,alot of players have ticks,A.Rod used to take his cap on and off after every point,to be honest im too busy watching the tennis to even care,much ado about nothing IMO,quite sad the way this forums going….


Daniel Says:

Nothing wrong with the tics if he stay within the limits of time. The thing is, the more he lost time with his antics the more time he takes between point (hence time violations) and delay the match. If he can do all his antics with the time limits, the only downside will be for those who doesn’t appreciate viewing his antics.


Okiegal Says:

@Chic

Well, I’ve decided I can tolerate about anything when it comes to sports of any kind. However, the day Rafa gets racquet abuse, I will cry!! LOL I think we should keep a tally on that!

Rafa’s little low key fist pump I don’t pay much attention too……..I like the one where he raises his knee up high and brings his arm up high with a fist pump and says VAMOS……that’s the one that gets my attention…….JUST LOVE IT!! I know from that reaction he’s playing his best tennis! I don’t care what anyone on TX thinks about him as a person or a player………VAMOS……VAMOS……VAMOS!!!!!

#feel better
#highkick/fistpump


Hippy Chic Says:

Daniel that is fair enough,but it just gets quite petty sometimes,if its not his tics,its his weight,or his hair syle,or his endorsements,or the way he wears a suit,or his interviews,the list goes on and on,if people are sooo offended by everything he does then why the hell watch him?and yes before you say anything sometimes he is also playing another posters favorite player and i do get that,but otherwise why even bother lifes too short surely?


Giles Says:

Okiegal. Am with you all the way.
Vamos Champ!


Okiegal Says:

@Daniel

As a fan of Rafa, I too want him to stay within the time limit. I preach to him all the time, but he’s not listening! Lol I want him to go to sleeveless shirts…..He didn’t do the shoulder thing then. The 2 towels keeps the time down some, I suppose. But he can’t get rid of his nose and ears…..I guess we’ll have to contend with that. Hey, he needs to do something about it, I agree. I want to know when the time starts for sure. Some say after the official announces the score. Anyone know??

I would love to watch all of the tennis players on TX play a match…..I just bet they would have a few tics in their game too! I have a feeling tics evolve from being in a state of nervousness…..just saying…..just be like Skeezer, and don’t watch….quick fix!!

VAMOS RAFA…….win today!! One match at a time!


Okiegal Says:

@Chic

A BIG FAT DITTO!!! Why complain, don’t watch him, of course it’s hard for the haters not to……because they don’t want to miss the possibility of him losing a match…..they want to see that for sure!


Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal the only thing ive ever wanted is for my favorite(s)to succeed, ive never wanted my favorites rivals to fail,my favorite football team in my favorite other sport is Liverpool FC and they are top of the League their nearest challengers are Manchester City and Chelsea,i dont look for them to fail i want them to succeed to make the competition interesting,if you beat your biggest rivals in tennis or other sports to win a title,then IMO it makes winning that title all the more satisfying because you had to work hard to achieve it,sorry for rambling….


Okiegal Says:

@Chic

We always seem to be on the same page. I couldn’t believe what Queen said about Novak’s wrist….so mean spirited. Wishing an injury on another player….Hope she or he doesn’t fall and break a leg….wow, the extent people go to on TX to put another player down……shame on them!


Okiegal Says:

@Giles

I said something today that got your attention!

I just got through watching his match with Dodig. Rafa won handily but his game is still not as sharp as I would like to see, imo. Just used to seeing better play on clay. Seems like confidence level down a wee bit. Maybe the pressure of being #1 and the expectations everyone has of him when it comes to the clay court season gets the better of him.

Vamos, Rafa!


Michael Says:

It is literally impossible to repeat the incredible consistency level that Nadal has shown in Clay courts over the years. Just imagine that he is seeking his 9th Barcelano title. In the same measure, his winning streak in Rolland Garros and Monte Carlo are folklore and in the realm of fairy tale. Nadal has virtually taken the game to another level by his performance in clay court tourneys. What is special about Rafa is that he is not just a clay court wonder but a specialist on all courts with Clay remaining his forte. Nadal’s loss of confidence and competitive spirit is imaginable considering that his domination in clay courts have some what loosened much to the relief of his competitors. But if he wins Barcelano, it is possible that he will rebound with confidence and that might stand him in good stead in clay court tourneys ahead.


Margot Says:

@Daniel 10.37
I don’t think they’re “antics” at all. Nor are they “deliberately time wasting” etc., as some would have it.
Rafa clearly has OCD.


Okiegal Says:

@Michael

Good post. What he has done on clay is incredible. As a fan, I know there will be a day of reckoning…..just not ready yet!!


Okiegal Says:

@Margot

You are so right about Rafa…….definitely OCD and I really don’t think he can help it. Thanx for taking up for him……He doesn’t get that very often on TX.


Margot Says:

@OK
Get fed up with endless, boring crits and cheap jibes about Rafa regarding behaviour he really can’t help. I’ve read an interview where he said he’s tried to stop, but can’t.


metan Says:

Michael, You are the real tennis commentator, don’t let others tell you otherwise. Awesome!. 😜


Okiegal Says:

@Margot

I’ve never read anything he’s had to say about his problem, but would like to. He clearly has one. This little tic is causing him to have issues with time violations now. I hope he can get faster on serve…but not so easy for him, I suppose. He has had 3 or 4 warnings this week. Ho hum…..he makes me nervous!!


Michael Says:

Metan/Okiegal,

Many thanks !!!


Hippy Chic Says:

Michael fantastic post as usual,and like Tennis Vagabond,MMT and Grendel its difficult to tell whom your a fan of sometimes,always fair,unbiased and very balanced,and like Tennis Vagabond and MMT i think you should open your own website to blog on,how about it,you would make a brilliant writer?


Okiegal Says:

@Chic 7:42

That is a great suggestion. I too enjoy Michael’s comments.


Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal im deadly serious too,no lols or smilie faces….


Giles Says:

And how about skeezer? Isn’t he a brilliant writer as well? He should certainly open his own website and maybe, just maybe he will stop annoying Rafans!
#WishfulThinking


Daniel Says:

Okiegal,

I am almost sure the time starts counting the minute the last point ends. Hence, time between points.


Okiegal Says:

Thanks, Daniel…..seems like the officials aren’t all in sync with this.

My guy is in trouble…He better break Almagro here, or he might be headed yo his island!

VSMIS RAFA!


Daniel Says:

Is any one watching Nadal x Almagro? I am following by scores and they are breaking serve of each other at will. Almagro will serve for the match now just broken Nadal for love. Also NAdal made BP on a previous Break Point. Bizarre!!


Okiegal Says:

Almagro serving for the set. Rafa, hang tough and break him……please!!


Daniel Says:

Nadal just saved a match point!


xmike Says:

YYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Daniel Says:

Wow, Almagro did it!

Damm, mini slump for Nadal. Who is next of the Spanish Armada to get a win over him on clay, Lopez?!


Mr. Larvey Says:

Horrible last game from Rafa. He shuld have broken Nico.


Okiegal Says:

Rafa lost to Almagro…..you heard it first from his number one fan in Oklahoma……Kudos to Nicholas he played so well, not that Rafa didn’t…just not good enough today!

Vamos Rafa!


Salleh Ahmed Says:

Rafa is so done with his career

gulbis, kei or nico will the tourney


Okiegal Says:

Well, you would have heard it first from me…..very slow typist! Lol


Okiegal Says:

Don’t know what’s wrong with Rafa’s game at this point, seems like he isn’t able to put shots away like he used to. Maybe everyone else is finally getting better?? It’s very puzzling. I actually think he played better on the hard courts than on clay, imo…

#nohappydance


Daniel Says:

This is the first time since 2004 that he hasn’t won one title (if not both) in MC and Barcelona.

He needs 1 of the next 2 masters to stop the bleeding and get his confidence back.
Madrid is the most vulnerable tourney for him on clay and after this 2 consecutive quarters defeat competition will be eager to get a piece of him. Very unpredictable season this one is.


Daniel Says:

Okiegal,

I also think he is playing better on hard than clay. I even mentioned that his changes for HC may hurt his clay game and it seems there is. Or is just age, mini slump, bad phase. It happens to all player. I still remember when Fed lost back to back to Cannas in IW-Miami as defending champion in 2007. Some bizarre tennis outcomes we are never able to explain.


Daniel Says:

In case Slice Tenbnis stop by.

Second of the “triplet 9″ gone. Only left is RG:-)


Salleh Ahmed Says:

giraldo and kohlschreiber playing in an empty stadium lololol


Mr. Larvey Says:

@Okiegal

I honestely don’t believe that “others are just getting better”. Others may have improved a bit but the problem is that Rafa is not playing as well as he used to. Exactly same thing happened to Federer a few years ago when he started loosing the matches he used to win.

However, the clay court season seems to be more interesting than ever. There are actually half a dosen guys who could win the next masters. I personally would love to see Stan capturing also his second masters in a near future.


Okiegal Says:

@Daniel

Just didn’t see the shot making on clay as we did on HC so far.

@Salleh

When the these top guys we love to watch so much retire, I predict lots of empty seats! These lower ranked guys don’t do it for me, not consistent enough or exciting to watch. I watch tennis to be entertained…..not sure I’ll get that with the group coming forth…..just saying!


Okiegal Says:

Hi, Mr. Larvey…..luv your name, by the way.
I am not sure I really think that, just pondering my thoughts. Rafa has lost a step, that’s for sure. At this stage in his career, he might not get it back. Of course, runs like his eventually slow down…..hate to admit to that. I have to remind myself what he accomplished in 2013. It was an amazing feat! I actually think Rafa plays better when isn’t ranked #1. I guess we’ll see what unfolds. Thanks for the feedback, appreciate it!


Daniel Says:

Interesting from Number 1 ranking as well. Remove the points Nadal will lose from Barcelona, Madrid and Rome and also for Djoko they will be as follows:

*Nadal
13310-500(Barcelona win last year)+90(QF this year)-1000(Madrid 13′)-1000(Rome 13′) he will have: 10900 pts

*Djokovic
11040-10(Madrid 13′)-180(Rome 13′) he will have: 10850 pts.

This is just a 50 pts difference between them 2, which means if in the next two tourneys (Madrid and Rome) Djoko wins 60 pts more than Nadal he will be #1 come French Open. He just have to perform 1 round better than Nadal.

If we remove RG.
*Nadal: 8900
**Djoko: 10130.
This means that if in the remaining clay season Djoko gains 1120 clay pts less than Nadal, he will regain #1 after RG. HE can perform worst than Nadal by 1120 pts


Daniel Says:

Correction, actually it is 1220 pts:-)


Mr. Larvey Says:

@Okiegal,

Thanks :)

I think that Rafa is still in position where he can get that “missing step” back. There is still time before RG and to be honest, that’s the only clay tournament that really matters. He is still young enough, he just needs to find his confidence.


Okiegal Says:

Mr. Larvey……I hope you are right about Rafa. I think tennis still needs him, Roger, Novak…..I will tell you a player I feel for is DelPo. I want him to get it back together too. I have missed him.

Top story: Serena Williams Blasted by Halep in Embarrassment
  • Recent Comments
Rankings
ATP - Oct 20 WTA - Oct 20
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 David Ferrer5 Na Li
6 Tomas Berdych6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Kei Nishikori7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Marin Cilic8 Ana Ivanovic
9 Milos Raonic9 Caroline Wozniacki
10 Andy Murray10 Angelique Kerber
More: Tennis T-Shirts | Tennis Shop | Live Tennis Scores | Headlines

Copyright © 2003-2014 Tennis-X.com. All rights reserved.
This website is an independently operated source of news and information and is not affiliated with any professional organizations.