Undefeated In Brazil, Rafael Nadal Returns To Clay Tonight In Rio
by Tom Gainey | February 17th, 2015, 9:48 am

The King of Clay, Rafael Nadal, returns to his favorite surface tonight at the Rio Open. After a disappointing Australian Open where he lost to Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals, Nadal is excited but cautious to be back on the dirt.

“During my career, I try to have the mentality to not only be all day doing what is strictly for tennis,” Nadal said last week. “I think one of the things I always say during my career is that I have been since 16 years old travelling and doing what I have to do, but at the same time I never lost the opportunity to enjoy life.

“I’m feeling well physically,” he said. “I don’t know if I’m ready to win here. I’m going to try to be ready for Tuesday – to be competitive; to have good chances – and after that we’ll see what’s going on.”

Nadal, who is the defending champion, has never lost in the country of Brazil (14-0) winning titles in Costa do Sauipe in 2005 (d. A. Martin), Sao Paulo (d. Nalbandian) in 2013 and Rio last year (d. Dolgopolov).

Last season Nadal compiled a 25-3 record on clay, winning three (Rio, Madrid, Roland Garros) of his four 2015 titles on the surface. The Mallorcan native has the best clay court record (318-24, .930) in the Open Era and is an outstanding 291-14 (.954) since 2005. He has won 16 of his last 17 matches on the surface, losing to Novak Djokovic in the Rome final.g

Nadal will open his title defense against Brazil’s No. 1 Thomaz Bellucci. Nadal, though, has lost his last three matches against left-handed players.

Over the weekend, Nadal and countryman David Ferrer hit the famed Rio Carnival.

“It was the first time we had the chance to enjoy the Rio Carnaval and it has been an unforgettable experience,” said Nadal. “There was unbelievable positive energy [from] everyone. Everyone was singing and dancing; it was fantastic for me to have the chance to enjoy this unique experience.”

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19 Comments for Undefeated In Brazil, Rafael Nadal Returns To Clay Tonight In Rio

Giles Says:

Vamos Champ!

Hippy Chick Says:

Cannot wait,Vamos Rafa….

Okiegal Says:


Uh oh, Rafa is in pink again! He does wear it well, but can he play it well…..we will see.

Vamos Rafa…..make us proud in pink!! :)

Karthick Says:

Vamos Rafa! very happy for your win! wishing for more to come and keep us delighted with your play!

Okiegal Says:

First set was a little scratchy for Rafa…..He would break, get broken back, break again and couldn’t hold serve……finally he did! The second set went better for him. Rafa wore pink and won….Bellucci wore blue and lost. Bellucci better stay away from wearing blue…..just saying…lol

Patson Says:

Glad to see Rafa fans happy. There is no denying the fact that Nadal playing makes everything more interesting than when he’s not.

Sivaji Says:

Great..Rafa had goo time@Rio Carnival.. He defeated Bellucci 6-4 6-1

metan Says:

Into the next round. 👏👏
Vamos Rafa!

Okiegal Says:

@Patson……Thank you! I’m glad were on he same page……I too think it’s more interesting when “our” Rafa is playing!!! :)


Hippy Chick Says:

Yeah agree with Okiegal,nice one Patson….

Okiegal Says:

It’s nice to have a non-Rafa fan saying a kind word for us, right Chick?? The comment from Patson made me :)

Hippy Chick Says:

Too right Okie,and they are leaving Rafa alone for the moment,although im not holding my breath lol….

Patson Says:

@Okiegal and Hippy Chick

I appreciate it when I’m appreciated for appreciating someone worthy of appreciation :)

Okiegal Says:

@Patson…….I’m still smiling!!! I agree with Chick that it is nice to seeing Rafa being left alone for a change…..not holding my breath either.
Seems like the chatter now is why Federer is going to Turkey. I say because he can and he wants to.

Hippy Chick Says:

Okie exactly im staying away from that thread,i know it might sound like a cavalier attitude as i dont paticulally care why Roger wants to play Istanbul,let him play if it makes him happy its his choice….

Okiegal Says:

@Chick…..I never understand why posters are always trying to analyze why players do this or that…..just saying……

Hippy Chick Says:

Nice scenes at the Rio carnival,with the old KOC Guga,christ the redeemer statue hidden in the background of the second video….

Hippy Chick Says:

Okiegal yeah exactly,i mean does it really bloody matter?….

Okiegal Says:


Top story: Nadal Dominates In Monte Carlo Clay Debut, Dimitrov Next; Djokovic Returns Thurs.