Even Uncle Toni Agrees, Rafa Didn’t Deserve To Win Madrid
by Tom Gainey | May 12th, 2014, 2:49 pm

Uncle Toni agreed with the sentiment that Rafael Nadal didn’t deserve to beat Kei Nishikori and win the Madrid Masters 1000 title. Nadal had lost the first set and was a break down in the second at 43 when Nishikori’s back flared up.

Nadal didn’t lose another game thereafter and took the match when Nishikori retired at 30 in the third.

“We did not deserve to win. The other (Nishikori) yes, because he played better all the time. An unfair victory and we’ve been very lucky,” said Toni Nadal after the match via Google translation.

“Rafa was very nervous,” he said. “It has been tensioned and Nishikori has been a very good level.”

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18 Comments for Even Uncle Toni Agrees, Rafa Didn’t Deserve To Win Madrid

tennismonger Says:

Well, yes & no.
Unfortunately, Nish didn’t deserve it either. His body apparently could not withstand the pummeling of a Masters 1000 on clay. Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled by his arrival & a big fan, but he needs a strength coach or something pronto!

I think he will find his way though, just as Nole did under similar circumstances. He’s too talented not to.

skeezer Says:

“We did not deserve to win. The other (Nishikori) yes, because he played better all the time. An unfair victory and we’ve been very lucky,”

Hippy Chic Says:

Rafa was lucky,Kei was unlucky,glad this tourney is over and done with….

metan Says:

Yes Tony. You are one of the greatest coach on this planet..

contador Says:

There it is again, the D-word. A Deserved win is exactly what Rafa earned hanging in there. Deserved is what Kei now gets – REST – and a top ten spot. I just hope his back has enough time to get strong between now and RG. If it is not sufficiently recovered (Kei’s back), I sure hope he forfeits the top ten spot and takes the time he needs.

Okiegal Says:


Let it go down in the annals of tennis history……Skeezer agreed with Uncle Tony! LOL

Humble Rafa Says:

Uncle Toni plays with other people’s minds.

Screwing with other people’s brain is Uncle Toni’s favorite hobby.

Daniel Says:

Kei will be seeded 8thin RG as DelPo willnot play. Potential QF nightmare for one of the top 4 if he is ready to play the others will be Ferrer, Berdych and Murray.

Voicemale1 Says:

Nadal was out-flummoxed by Nishikori, who was tactical and executed with almost no mistakes. It was like watching Davydenko play Nadal in essentially the same way. No real weapon, but always making sure to do two things: take everything early, and keep the angles very short to exploit Nadal’s position from so far back.

That said, if Nishikori doesn’t get himself into ATP Top 10 Level fitness ASAP, he won’t be hanging in the ATP Top 10 for long. If one match against Ferrer causes you physical discomfort the next day – and then you have to pull out of a whole tournament the following week? Dude, seriously. Get yourself fit pronto. Otherwise you’ll end up going from Could Be to Has Been without ever being an Is.

Jose Felciano Says:

it is time for the new blood to make their stand, and set-up the next so-called golden era. the top 4 have been exposed…the media has overshadowed the depth of tennis, searching for heroes. to be in the top 50 or even top 100 players in the world is incredible, and one makes a great living doing so.

wilfried Says:

I share Contador’s opinion (may 12th at 6:57 pm).
Uncle Tony may not have been pleased at all with his nephew’s performance in the Madrid final, but saying his nephew didn’t deserve the victory is only being polite, nothing else.
Ouplaying Nadal for a set and a half, and then fall apart in the first big rally that name worth is not the way you win from Nadal.
Nadal ‘s amount of unforced errors in the first two sets was alarming high though. He can’t afford to play like that against federer or Djokovic, or he’ll lose from them.

Michael Says:

Irrespective of what Tony says, all that matters in the end in any Sport is ultimately the Win. There is nothing like achieving success. Ofcourse, we can have numerous debates on the manner of win, but apart from being just an academic exercise they count for little with the winner taking it all and cornering glory. Tony has been quite candid in his submission that Rafa doesn’t deserve the victory and that is an honest assessment and shows the respect towards the suffering opponent.

amadeus Says:

And the Madrid “chusma espanola” crowd, should only go to cockfights.

roy Says:

Let’s take a moment to celebrate the fair and unbiased narrative on this site.

According to Tennis-x framing:

Wawrinka ‘deserved’ to win the AO, NO QUESTION.
Even though Rafa had a back injury and could not serve, handing the match to Stan (who almost choked it).

But Nadal didn’t ‘deserve’ to win Madrid.
Nishikori had basically the same problem as Rafa in the AO final, handing the match to Rafa, who wasn’t close to choking it.
In the AO, Rafa would clearly have retired as well if it wasn’t a GS final and said as much. The injury was no less than Kei’s.

The fact rafa wasn’t ‘winning’ in the oz open is irrelevant because the injury was sustained in the first set. And he still took a set and almost took it to five.

Nishikori being up a break on clay in the second set is also no guarantee of victory even if he remained healthy.

What we can say, in all fairness, is that Rafa, serving first serves, would have almost surely beaten wawrinka in the AO final. if Stan lost a set to a guy serving 140km/h, good luck facing a healthy nadal that day.
Stan was LUCKY.

And Rafa was lucky that Nishikori had an injury. There is a good chance Nadal would have lost. However less of a chance he would have lost than there was of Stan losing in the Oz final.
Nevertheless, Nadal was LUCKY.

calmdownplease Says:

Forgetting about `luck` and who deserved to win what.
The real question is what any particular victory or loss means going on.
The double standards from tard like fans are irritating ie if Nadal was lucky to win in Madrid he was unlucky at the AO & vice versa.
Although Wawrinka was playing considerably better in the first set of the AO than Nadal was at any point in Madrid.
Swings and roundabouts.

Ben Pronin Says:

To be fair, Wawrinka was spanking Nadal before Nadal got injured. Nishikori was spanking Nadal before Nishikori got injured. It doesn’t really matter, though.

VM1, Nishikori has been injury prone since the beginning of his career. Wasn’t his back bothering him in the final? It’s not like he has a particular stamina issue. He’s played, and won, long and grueling matches before, including the Ferrer match. But he tends to get injured. I don’t know what he can do to prevent it at this point.

Voicemale1 Says:

@Ben Pronin:

Injury in athletic competition has one predominant source: fatigue. It’s when you get physically fatigued that your body starts to over-compensate. It’s true that you can make one super-move to hyper-extend something – but that’s usually a joint. But overall fatigue is usually at the bottom of the types of injury like the back. After all, what he had the trainer do was essentially massage it on the court. You could even say it was a bit of nerves tightening the muscles there. Bottom line is that you have to have a level of fitness in the Top 10 that you won’t find out of the Top 10.

Tired Rafael Nadal Says He’s “Encouraged” By His Performance In Rome, Should He Be? Says:

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