Rafael Nadal rediscovers his passion for tennis as he bids to end the year on a high - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Hot Topics

Rafael Nadal rediscovers his passion for tennis as he bids to end the year on a high

Avatar

Published

on

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates winning his men’s singles tennis match against Milos Raonic of Canada at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament in Shanghai, China, October 15, 2015. REUTERS/Aly Song

After a turbulent year on the tour, Rafael Nadal ends 2015 with an upsurge in his form as he eyes a solid run at the ATP Finals.

 

The 9-time French Open champion has claimed three titles on the ATP Tour this year in Buenos Aires, Stuttgart and Hamburg. Despite his trio of titles, the Spaniard has also endured disappointment in the higher level events by failing to reach the last four at a Grand Slam tournament this season for the first time since 2005. Nadal also ends his 2015 season with no Masters titles for the first time since 2004.

Despite the below-par season for somebody of Nadal’s calibre, the Spaniard is making a strong finish to his year after reaching two finals within a month before losing to Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. Last month at the Shanghai Rolex Masters Nadal defeated two top ten players at the same tournament for the first time this year. During an interview with the Daily Mail, the 29-year-old has put the improvement in his performance down to him having better control of his emotions.

“I was able to improve during the whole season, especially the last couple of months. I’ve felt that I am playing better and better, I feel that I am enjoying it again, the fact that I am playing my style and I am able to play a little bit more aggressive game because I am in control of my emotions.’ Nadal told Sportsmail.

Nadal will end his season at the prestigious ATP Finals for the 7th time in his career. Despite never winning the event, which has a prize money estimate of $7M this year, the world No.5 has reached the finals twice in 2010 and 2013. Looking ahead to his final event of 2015 at the O2 Arena, Nadal has called for the surface of the event to change but not necessarily the venue.

‘I am not sure if it is 100 per cent fair that we qualify for the World Tour Finals playing on grass, hard, clay and indoors, and since 2005, when I qualified [for the first time], it is already 11 years that every single time [it has been] on indoor hard,’ says Nadal.
‘If it’s indoor at the 02, then great, but you can build a different type of surface there. It is a fantastic place to organise a World Tour Finals. The atmosphere is just amazing and I am very happy it is there. I enjoy it every time I have had the chance to be there, but we can play on clay there too.‘ He added.

The event has never been hosted on a clay court. In recent years Nadal, who is nicknamed ‘the king of clay’ due to his massive success on the surface, has repeatedly called for a change in surface.

Surfaces used for ATP Final events between 1970-2015.

Surface Times played
Carpet  27
Grass  1
Indoor Hard  16
Outdoor Hard  2

The rejuvenation in Nadal’s passion for the sport can be shown with his intense ‘warm-up’ practices which could last over an hour. According to the Daily Mail, one of Nadal’s ‘warm-up’ sessions in Shanghai lasted 17 minutes more than his match that day.  Speaking about the sessions, the world No.5 says that this approach is vital for him and his 2016 season.

‘I am working so hard every day to arrive in the best shape possible, but it is not a sacrifice for me because that is what my head is asking me now. I have the motivation to arrive in good condition at the beginning of the [next] season. Working like this I believe I can have a good season.’

The ATP Finals will get underway at the O2 Arena on Sunday November 15th. The draw for the tournament, which will consist of two groups playing in a round-robin format, will take place on Thursday evening.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Focus

Roger Federer Withdraws From Toronto And Cincinnati Due To Ongoing Knee Injury

Roger Federer’s knee problems continue as he withdraws from Toronto and Cincinnati.

Avatar

Published

on

Roger Federer (@CincyTennis - Twitter)

Roger Federer’s knee problems continue as he withdraws from Toronto and Cincinnati.

 

The 20-time grand slam champion’s preparations for the US Open have taken a hit after withdrawing from the two Masters 1000 events in Canada and Cincinnati.

Federer’s last match was a comfortable straight sets defeat to Hubert Hurkacz in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

Since then the Swiss has been recovering his knee injury as he looks to play the US Open and win the race to 21 grand slams as him, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are tied on 20.

However Federer will have to do this without any competitive preparation as he withdraws from both Canada and Cincinnati.

Federer though isn’t the only one to have withdrawn from Canada as Alexander Zverev, Matteo Berrettini, Milos Raonic and Pablo Carreno Busta have also announced their withdrawal from the tournament.

Tournament director Karl Hale commented on the withdrawals and admitted he was disappointed, “We are of course disappointed that Milos [Raonic], Alexander [Zverev], Roger [Federer], Matteo [Berrettini] and Pablo [Carreno Busta] will not be competing in Toronto this year,” he told the National Bank Open website.

“For Milos in particular, we know he was looking forward to playing in front of a Canadian crowd in his home tournament. However, we fully understand their decisions and wish them all the best for the rest of the season. We hope they will all return to Toronto in two years’ time.”

As of now Toronto still has Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Denis Shapovalov are still expected to play.

The draw takes place at 12pm local time on Saturday with main draw action beginning on Monday.

Continue Reading

Hot Topics

Simona Halep Opens Up About Injury Battle Ahead Of Return

The Romanian says she went through the ‘hardest part of her career’ due to the severity of her injury.

Avatar

Published

on

Former world No.1 Simona Halep has described her latest experience with injury as the worst of her career and remains unsure about how she will feel in her upcoming matches at the Canadian Open.

 

The two-time Grand Slam champion hasn’t played on the Tour since suffering a calf injury during her second round match at the Italian Open in May. An MRI later revealed that she had suffered a tear in the upper region of her left calf. The Romanian attempted to return to action at Wimbledon but was unsuccessful and was also forced to miss the Olympics in Tokyo.

Reflecting on her latest injury setback, Halep said it was the ‘hardest time’ in her career due to the severity of the injury. She will be hoping to make up for lost time at the Canadian Open in Montreal which she has won on two previous occasions in 2016 and 2018. Although the Romanian admits she is unsure about how she will fair.

“Anything is possible after such an injury. I had never been through something like this, a torn muscle. The doctors told me that I have recovered; I feel recovered, but in an official match it is different,” Halep told reporters ahead of her flight to Canada.
“So I will see when I get there. It was the hardest time of my career because it was a pretty serious injury, I had never met anything like that, but I took the positive side and I was glad to stay home.”

The 29-year-old confirmed that she is now playing pain-free once again as she aims to get back in full shape in time for the US Open which will begin at the end of this month. It is the only Grand Slam where she is yet to reach the final in her career.

“I’m much better now, I’ve rested mentally. But I’m also physically well; I didn’t have any pain while I trained. Now I hope to be able to play the tournaments. I intend to be healthy and play as many matches as possible,” she continued.
“I am missing the field, I am missing competition, and I know it will be very difficult at the beginning, but I’m not afraid. I will go there with confidence and I will see what I can do. The time I spent at home was very nice. It’s always pleasant to be at home and hard to leave. But I’m motivated for what’s next, my mind is there.”

Halep is currently ranked 10th in the world. If she falls down the rankings any further it will be the first time she has exited the world’s top 10 since January 2014. So far in her career she has won 22 WTA titles and has earned more than $37.5M in prize money.

The Canadian Open main draw will get underway on Monday.

Continue Reading

Hot Topics

Rusty Rafael Nadal Reacts To Marathon Win At Citi Open

It was a tough day at the office for Nadal who admits that he ‘suffered a bit too much’ during his match in Washington.

Avatar

Published

on

WASHINGTON, USA - August 4: Rafael Nadal of Spain at the Citi Open Tennis Tournament at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center on August 4, 2021 in Washington, USA (Photo by Peter Staples)

Top seed Rafael Nadal says he is still experiencing pain in his foot but has vowed to continue playing at the Citi Open after coming through a marathon second-round match.

 

The 20-time Grand Slam champion required more than three hours to oust America’s Jack Sock 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(1) in what was a roller coaster encounter. Nadal was forced to recover from a break down in the decider before going on to prevail in the decisive tiebreaker. Winning 70% of his first service points and firing eight aces past his opponent.

“The match wasn’t easy,” Nadal said afterwards. “I started to suffer a little bit too much.”

Sock was the first player the 20-time Grand Slam winner has played since losing to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals of the French Open back in June. The 35-year-old took a break from the sport in order to rest and recover from a foot injury that sidelined him for 20 days during that period. However, the foot continues to be troublesome for Nadal with him admitting that he felt some pain during his latest match.

“You need matches like this to be fitter after a month without competing. But that’s part of the process, and I know the process,” he said. “I went through all this stuff many times in my career. So it’s something I am not worried about.
“So is about winning these kind of matches. That helps you to be better. Then, if I’m able to improve with my foot, I think the rest of the things [are] going to come step by step.”

Despite the physical problem, the Spaniard was able to draw upon his trademark fighting spirit to see him over the finish line. This week is the first time he has played in the Washington tournament which is categorised as an ATP 500 event.

There will be little time for Nadal to recover from his latest match. On Thursday he is set to play South Africa’s Lloyd Harris in what will be their first tour meeting. Harris, who is seeded 14th in the draw, reached the last 16 after Tennys Sandgren retired from their match during the second set.

“I have been resting enough. Maybe [it] is not about resting, but is the moment to just keep going,” Nadal said. “[It] is the moment to not practise much because I played a three-hour match, so I need to be ready for tomorrow.
“[I will] have a short warm-up tomorrow, try to be ready for the match. I’m going to have a tough opponent in front. Let’s see. Tomorrow’s another day, another opportunity to play in front of this amazing crowd. I want to enjoy the experience again.”

Elsewhere at the tournament two top-five seeds have crashed out. Third seed Alex de Minaur was leading Steve Johnson by a set before losing 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-2. Meanwhile, fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov fell 6-2, 7-6(4), to Ilya Ivashka.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending