Playing In 800th Career Match, Rafael Nadal Wins In Rio Debut Upping Clay Win Streak To 24
by Staff | February 19th, 2014, 9:34 am

Rafael Nadal made the most of his 800th career match dispatching countryman Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-3, 7-5 in the first round of the inaugural Rio Open.

The match was also Nadal’s first since having to withdraw from Buenos Aires last week with a back/stomach issues.

“I’m happy to be back in competition,” said Nadal who was down a break 2-0 in the second. “I had to face a player that’s been playing for several weeks on clay courts. I have to improve some details, but I played better than I practiced and that’s positive.

“Latin America is very special for me, I feel like home. The people are great to me and it’s a pleasure to be back in Brazil. I hope I can come more often.”

According to the ATP, Nadal (670-130) is just the sixth active player to have played at least 800 singles matches along with Roger Federer, Tommy Haas, Lleyton Hewitt, David Ferrer and Nikolay Davydenko.

Nadal has won his 24 matches on clay since losing to Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo final. Next for Nadal is a another countryman, Albert Montanes.

Fellow Spaniard and second seed David Ferrer also advance but Nicolas Almagro was upset by Alexandr Dolgopolov. Nadal has the day off today while Ferrer is back on court against Federico Delbonis.

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35 Comments for Playing In 800th Career Match, Rafael Nadal Wins In Rio Debut Upping Clay Win Streak To 24

Brando Says:

One word sums up this particular player’s feats in the game (and he ain’t even done yet): legendary.

Giles Says:

Well done Champ!

Hippy Chic Says:

Rafas stats on clay are truely remarkable,the stuff dreams are made of,love him or loath him,theres still no denying what a fantastic player he really is.

Perfect fan Says:

800th career match….great milestone rafa….way-to-go :)

Giles Says:

The other players mentioned in the list are all over 30!!

Okiegal Says:

Watched the entire match last night and he looked a bit rusty, but got better as the match progressed.He took a pill before the match started. So I’m assuming he still has a niggle or maybe he had headache from reading TX, like I get on occasion. LOL He got the win, and that’s all that matters in the long run. I couldn’t sleep so I watched the AO match between him and Roger (before injury) and he has a long way to go be at the same level he was then and now. Wow, he played awesome that night. They both did in the first set. I had forgotten
how good he did play…..guess the loss in the final wiped it out of my mind.

I’m happy for his latest achievement!! Vamos Rafa and win Rio!!

Okiegal Says:

If I were a sculptor, I would sculpt a GOAT out of clay as a tribute to my guy……..King of Clay!!

Vamos Rafa……….WIN RIO!!!!!

rafaeli Says:

Giles Says:
The other players mentioned in the list are all over 30!!

And he has had several breaks with injury.

Hippy Chic Says:

BTW Great to actually see a positive thread topic about Rafa for a change,just talk about his tennis,and his achievements,i wonder if he will surpass his own record of winning one particular GS 8 times,and winning at least 1 GS a year for 9 consecutive years,time will tell i suppose????

Okiegal Says:


It is refreshing, I will have to agree!!

Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal i didnt see the match,as it was on in the middle of the night where i am unfortunatly,how did he play,was he moving alright??

Hippy Chic Says:

Sorry just noticed your post@ 1.45pm Okiegal :))..

Okiegal Says:


You have to scroll up for me a lot. They might not post my comments for several hours……so actually you have probably missed a few of mine in the past.

Regarding, Rafa, not hitting anywhere near to how he was playing against Roger. If anything, I wouldn’t be surprised if he tweaked his back in the semi final. Watch the first set over and see what you think……He was hitting hard, they both were…..just saying!!

Okiegal Says:


I don’t know how much you surf the net for Rafa sites. But there is one that is run by a gal named Miri,simply titled “Nadal News”. Where she gets all the articles and things she comes up with, I’ll never know. It’s real good and thought I would put you privy to it just in case you weren’t aware of it. Have a good night, as I’m on my way to church to teach a baby class from 1 month old to 2yrs old…and they can learn that young!! These little ones are as amazing as Rafa!! Lol

Brando Says:

Yes: agree Rafa’s level was phenomenal v Fed in the SF.

The best summary about his level was PETE SAMPRAS’s take on it: he was just gushing about him with praise.

At the end of the day:

The back issue is real.

He said he tweaked it in the warmup prior to the match. NO ONE has presented any reason to disprove this statement.

At the start of set 2 in the final he further- to the view of all- hurt himself on this front.

And we all saw his limited play after that point.

I’ll always feel sorry him on how such a random thing struck him on the eve of such a possible opportunity.

But that’s life and Rafa has moved on from it. So have we all.

He now needs to recover on this front and to be honest: the fact he’s in Rio, played the match well with no real sign of discomfort is a major plus.

I think/hope by IW this issue will have been dealt with and be a thing of the past:

A normal back spasm that lingered for a while but unfortunately struck at pretty much the worst possible moment.

A fated moment if you ask me. But what makes such a moment of misfortune for him easier to accept is this:

This was just ONE moment.

And Rafa’s a player who has the good fortune to have THIRTEEN good moments in a GS.

And when you see that in the history of the game ONLY 2 players can speak of having experienced greater fortune than him out of the thousands who have picked up a racquet and played Professionally :

I’m sure makes a Champion like Rafa able to get over this quickly since he knows overall how fortunate he has been to do what he has done!

Vamos Rafa!

Okiegal Says:


I know NO ONE said that. I’m aware he said he tweaked it in the warm up. I wasn’t sleepy last might so I decided to watch the semi final again. I’m just saying he was hitting so hard that match I thought it might could have been a precursor to his next match….over exertion or something….don’t

know. Just a thought. Someone on another site thought the way he had to hold the racquet because of the blister might have caused something weird in the back. Having never played tennis, don’t know about that.

jk31 Says:

Giles at 11.38 Nadal averages around 80 matches a year when healthy. The active player with most career matches is currently at 1149. If Nadal maintains his current rate, he should reach that number in about three and a half years, by which time he’ll be nearly 32. I wonder how likely it is, even if Nadal continues playing to 32, that he will maintain the rate of 80+ matches a year? He played only 48 in 2012. It seems unlikely that he will at any time be the active player with most matches played. For all players, it seems unlikely anyone will ever match Connors’ 1531 matches played, and possibly not Lendl either, who played 1310 matches before retiring at 34. Who leads in these numbers seems to me unimportant. I think that Nadal’s milestone demonstrates, if any more proof were needed, that he has staying power, and is consistent.

Brando Says:


Chill. I know you are aware of it, but for some on this site even the most elementary elements have to be mentioned regarding Rafa since – as you know- he’s evil incarnate right?

Guilty until proven innocent right?


The usual benefit of basic consideration does not really apply to him around here.

– Blister affecting the back?

I highly doubt it. The blister- atleast in the SF- did not affect his grip, his strokeplay, how he held the racquet etc so I very much doubt such a theory.

It is what it is:

A very freak incident (he’s never experienced such a thing before)that happened to him at pretty much the worst possible moment.

Skeezer Says:

Connors 1531. Man among injury excuse whiner sissies.
Sissies need not compare. Just admit there lesser qualities.

Okiegal Says:


OK I will chill…..just for you!

The blister theory was laid out by a tennis playing doctor. He made a believable arguments. But we will never know what caused it, but I think all the hard hitting caused some over exertion in the semi final and it came to light at the final……now I know you don’t think that…..but I think it could be possible.

Giles Says:

^^^ Thanks for the link. I agree, great article.

Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal thanks for the info im not one thats interested in the private lives of the rich and famous,but anything thats related to tennis especially Rafa tennis then thats great,i hope you had a lovely time at chuch too,and those little ones sound so cute,unfortunatly i got into trouble with a poster only the other day when the subject of religion came up,if you look on the Rafa statue thread you will see what im getting at.

Okiegal Says:


I missed the religion thread. I will look for it. You can get into trouble on here sometimes for just breathing!! LOL. I know exavtly what you mean. You will enjoy that site. As I said before, I don’t know where she gets all her info, but it’s interesting. She is in Rio right now. She posts pics daily. She might be one of the rich and Rafa is making her famous……famous with all the Rafa fans, that is!!
She posted a link the other night titled rafanadalrafanadalpedia…I think, but not sure. Anyway it shows his matches after the fact and it may show them while they’re being played. I’ve been watching them on ESPN3.COM but gonna check this out too. It was a great video of the match and they may archive all of them, not sure however.

Yes, the babies are precious and you would not believe what they can learn at 6 months old!!

Have a good day, Hippy Chic!! I will try to stay out of trouble on TX!!!! Lol

metan Says:

Yooohoooo, Rafa has achieved another miles stone on his career. Just 27 yo. Much more will be coming as long as his body hold him up. Congratulations RAFA. I am so proud to be your fans. But most of all get the title from every tour you are enter. And one of them is Rio. Bite the trophy as small consolation for AO lost . I hope this tour will also help Rafa to make preparation for Master 1000 . Once again, congratulations FOR IN THE QF. VAMOS RAFA. 😍😍😍

Jose Felciano Says:

amen skeezer

skeezer Says:

Bleacher report? Oh my…the TMZ of Sports reporting! What a joke! Vamosheads google searchng for Rafa love….hahahaha! For real reporting? Stick to Tennis X!!


Steve27 Says:

He will be tenth player to reach 1000 matches, surpassing Sampras in that regard

Giles Says:

Post 1.10 am Feb 21st
Did you actually see who posted the Bleacher Report link?
Losing your eyesight? That’s what you get from too much ROFL!!

metan Says:

@Giles. 5.20am.Lol.
You and skeezer in chinese is like Yin Yang, but can stick together like a pair or couple. In tennis playing double I guess. 😜

Giles Says:

@metan. I’m not sure I want to play anything with him! Have you noticed how he keeps stalking me?

skeezer Says:

Zip it with the stalking routine. The only poster that is stalking you his yourself.

Giles Says:

^^^ So, you are just a mirage in the form of a Faderer fan???

Okiegal Says:

Live at Rio…..Pony Tail Boy 6…….Italian Stallion 1…….wonder if the Italian will pull his shorts down again in frustration of losing the first set?? LOL

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