Unlikely Pairing? Rafael Nadal To Play Doubles With Bernard Tomic At Indian Wells
by Tom Gainey | February 21st, 2017, 9:54 am

The top players don’t play much doubles anymore, but when they do it’s usually at Indian Wells. Byes in the draw, the day off between singles and the reliable weather all make doubles a good fit in the desert for the big names, and this year follows that trend.

Milos Raonic (with Nenad Zimonjic), Dominic Thiem (w/ Philipp Kohlschreiber), Richard Gasquet (Julien Benneteau), Isner/Sock and the Zverev Brothers are some of the teams signed up to play.

But the big surprise is Rafael Nadal entering the doubles with… Bernard Tomic!! Could there possibly be two more different players on the tour? And it begs the question, how did these two get together?

Without any real answer (yet), maybe it’s just a PR stunt and the two will never really play.

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17 Comments for Unlikely Pairing? Rafael Nadal To Play Doubles With Bernard Tomic At Indian Wells

RZ Says:

Maybe Rafa can give Bernie a few pointers about professionalism.

lylenubbins Says:

I’d like to see Tomic-Kygrios!!!!!

skeezer Says:

Lol good one! :)

skeezer Says:

Seriously, wtf is Rafa playing doubles for? What is the purpose?

sinha71 Says:

Many players choose to play doubles when they haven’t been playing frequently to shake off any rust and to adjust to conditions – particularly important to Nadal who historically needs matches to find his game unlike Fed.

Common knowledge.

skeezer Says:

oh, ok. Considering his excessive matches and court time in the past may have caused injuries, and now age is in play- is particularly important….. and that doubles gets you in no way match ready for singles.
Common knowledge.

sinha71 Says:

No it actually isn’t. Au contraire, doubles puts nowhere NEAR as much stress on the body.

As I said common knowledge.

“I have to be honest, I play for practice,” Nadal said on Wednesday. “I normally don’t play doubles in a Masters 1000. Indian Wells and Miami are easier because there is lot of days off between matches. But these kind of tournaments you play every day.

“But seven weeks without playing a tennis tournament, as I said before, one match of doubles before the first singles can help me little bit. So that’s the reason I was playing doubles.

“At the end I take it like a practice, but is a little bit more than a practice. At the end you are in a position that you are competing. You start to feel little more the pressure, the tension that you are playing a tennis match. That helps little bit.

“And, seriously, I enjoy a lot playing doubles. If it’s not because my physical, I’m not allowed to play as much as I would like. I want to play more doubles because is a good way to practice things that can improve your tennis in general. You can find things in doubles that you can adjust then on the singles that can help you to be better player.”

sinha71 Says:

“I miss [doubles] in a way because I think it brings a lot of positives to my game and also to my confidence because it’s the opportunity to have this kind of a team spirit on the court in a way, because you’re always alone, so when you play doubles, you get to share the court with your partner, and also work on things like serve and return,” Djokovic told reporters. “I look forward to it.”

sinha71 Says:

Murray says: “It can be pretty beneficial to our game to play doubles.”


RZ Says:

@Skeezer – keep in mind that at Indian Wells, players usually get a day off between singles matches. Also, all matches are best of 3, and doubles matches don’t play out a full 3rd set (super tiebreak instead). So playing dubs in IW won’t be detrimental to Rafa, unless he is injured.

skeezer Says:

Thank you for those bits from the players. It is nice to see the top singles guys have an appreciation for the doubles game. And I did forget about the days off.
You’ll also notice the very best doubles players in the world are not very competitive in the Singles game. The game is special, and requires different techniques, skills and reflexes. If they(Singles) think it helps their game, so be it. I was coming from the perspective that the extra toll on his body that he may unnecessary take. And this argument for Rafa is not and old one. If he needs more matches on the court, play more singles, doubles not required.
RZ- Yeah I forgot IW is where a lot of the singles players come together and pony up for the doubs. Maybe its the day off thingy…

sinha71 Says:

Any time skeezer but not quite as easy as just play more singles. Depends on context. There is scheduling, time off. For example after a long and unexpected run in Austraila, he was advised to pull out of Rotterdam.

So, as explained, play a bit of doubles to shake off the rust. Probably picked Tomic so he wouldn’t go too deep in doubles and won’t have to withdraw LOL.

And of course, doubles career is for those that can’t make it in singles. Again, common knowledge.

skeezer Says:

“And of course, doubles career is for those that can’t make it in singles. Again, common knowledge.”
Guess that is why RF has the best singles career, ever. Rarely needs doubles to tune up his singles game.

skeezer Says:

^common knowledge.

Chrisford1 Says:

Besides doubles, part of the fun for players (and teams) at IW is golf.
Novak and Rafa try to get together and play golf a couple times a year. IW is one of the best places in the world for golf, notably for Rafa.
Andy is no duffer. Coach Lendl is a scratch golfer that tried to go pro. Then coached 3 daughters in the game and their team mates when the girls were in middle and high school.

Humble Rafa Says:

I asked the Tank Engine and the Big Tank Engine to sign a statement saying no matter what the outcome, both won’t slap me. At least in the tennis court.

Tank Engine is misunderstood. I found the soul inside the young man, which less Humble people fail to see.

lylenubbins Says:

Rafa has great volleys. He always plays so well at the net, makes you wish he came in more.

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