Rafael Nadal Was Not Happy With His Tennis 5 Days Ago, Now He Is; Novak Next
by Tom Gainey | June 5th, 2013, 3:12 pm

After a frustrating start to his French Open title defense, 7-time champion Rafael Nadal is finally satisfied with the state of his game. Nadal, who had lost opening sets in his first two matches and nearly a third, was in gear today in a 62, 61, 63 demolition of Stanislas Wawrinka.

“I’m happy the way that I played today especially. Was my best match on the tournament without any doubt,” Nadal said. “I said I need to make a change. I was confident that I can do it and I did.

“If I was not happy five days ago about my level, today I say I am happy that I am in semifinals.”

The win was Nadal’s 26th straight at the French Open and it puts him into a super semifinal showdown against rival Novak Djokovic on Friday. Nadal just lost to Novak on the clay in Monte Carlo and now gets he gets a crack at revenge. But he stresses that the stakes are different in this one.

“You are not playing a match for a title, you are just playing a match to be in the final,” Nadal pointed out. “So is a big difference.

“Doesn’t matter if it’s Novak or Federer or Ferrer or Tsonga. I try to come here and win a title. The opponent, when you are playing an important tournament, doesn’t make any difference.

“But is Novak and I have to accept that’s gonna be a very tough match and I’m going to try to play my best. That’s the only thing.”

Nadal leads Novak 19-15 and is ahead 12-3 on clay courts. Their encounter Friday will be their first semifinal meeting since 2009 Monte Carlo, won by Djokovic.

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25 Comments for Rafael Nadal Was Not Happy With His Tennis 5 Days Ago, Now He Is; Novak Next

Nina Says:

2 things in favor of Novak:
1) He beat Nadal very convincingly in their last meeting in Montecarlo, the tournament that most resembles RG and Rafa’s turf. He’s also a very good match up for Rafa. He absolutely knows how to beat him.
2) He will be extra motivated, a man on a mission, to pay tribute to the death of his former coach and second mother, Jelena Gencic. Novak is a very emotional man and he feeds from emotions. Actually when he is in the right state of mind, positive and motivated, he’s unstoppable.

Does anyone else the final will be anti-climatic? Whoever wins this only gets to the final and that’s dangerous because they’re gonna meet a guy with absolutely nothing to lose.

Bada Bing Says:

But what was the weather in MC when they played?

jane Says:

Nina, yes, the final could be dangerous.

Badabing, it was initially overcast, but was clear and sunny in Monte Carlo when they started to play.

Steve 27 Says:

hot friday: Rafa, as the sun, Djokovic will disintegrate into nothingness.

jane Says:

Whoa, quite the hair in that picture!

coke man G Says:

Djokovic needs to play better than he did today to beat nadal. A lapse in concentration and nadal will take the set. Both players are equally hungry- nadal is trying to reassert himself at the top of men’s game.

Really though how cool would it be if tsonga blew whoever wins off the court in the final. Ferrer will be too easy for either of them.

nadalista Says:

Too funny…….


Giles Says:

The weather in MC on finals day was 62 degrees!! Cold!!

Ben Pronin Says:

The last semi they played must’ve been Madrid 2009, won my Nadal. Not Monte Carlo won by Djokovic…

James Says:

Based on form they showed today, Nole will struggle to take a set off Nadal. I wasn’t impressed with Nadal’s movement on court last few matches. Today he was very impressive. I thought he served well too.
Nole, although not as impressive as Rafa today, always seems to play his best against the Mallorcan. Match of the tournament on Friday it is.

Steve 27 Says:

Yes, James, as he himself said recently, the person who likes to win more, is Rafa. But in the Philipe Chatrier even Superman is not going to save him from defeat.

George o Says:

Nadal to win in four.vamos Rafa!!!

RZ Says:

Jane, LOL that was my reaction to the pic. Looks like he just stuck his finger in a socket!

Anna Says:

POW!! Rafa brought it today. Hope it continues through the tournament. Por favor Rafa.

Humble Rafa Says:

The Egg Lover is in my head. Sure. I know deep within me, this is my house. And I am the King of Clay. I will win.

Steve 27 Says:

Anna, señorita, don’t worry, on Friday, is Rafa’s time.

Humble Rafa Says:

Whoa, quite the hair in that picture!

I sent some guys to Basel to collect that hair, so I can have it too.

gonzalowski Says:

As a rafan, I find next match very though, and a bit unpredictable; It could be as MC 2013, or as RG 2012 (Superior Nadal without wet clay)

They have said in newpapers that in the first RG week, Nadal suffered from some elbow issue produced with Rome’s sand, and it prevented it from getting good serves.

Alex Corretja and Toni Nadal have considered Ferrer the favourite to beat Tsonga and get the final. It’s only Spanish support?

Okiegal Says:

I think Rafa has heard people say he’s balding…..suppose he used a hair product that adds volume to his hair!! His hair is big in that pic. None the less, so glad he won…big hair and all. Vamos!!!!!!!!!!!

Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Im loosing my hair too,from years of taking thyroxine.

Teeg Says:

People forget, Ferrer rarely ever loses to guys other than the ones ranked ahead of him. Tsonga will be favoured because if his big game and home support, but you gatta think David is loving his chances, no Roger, Rafa, Novak, or Murray stopping him from getting to his 1st GS final? Way to take advantage of a lucky draw David. I dont usually make predictions, but I pick David to win!!

Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Teeg i hope your right.

Michael Says:

Rafa is playing superb Tennis. He is well known for his remarkable consistency. The way he decimated Wawrinka should surely give him enough confidence going forward especially the match against Novak. But Novak is a different customer and has many game plans to defeat Nadal. All said and done, I am holding my breath to watch this blockbuster match.

Polo Says:

What I know about hugely anticipated match-ups is that they often turn out to be duds. This will be one of them. Anti-Nadal fans will be bitterly disappointed.

Michael Says:


May be Nadal dominates Novak as he did Roger in 2008 or may be not. But the added excitment these Gladiators generates is unparalleled may be equal to Roger Vs Rafa in Roger’s prime days. I am still keeping my fingers crossed as to what will be the likey outcome of this match. But I can tell you, it all rests on Novak’s shoulders. He will decide the winner. If he executes his game plan well then Nadal will find it pretty difficult to handle him.

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