Nadal’s No. 1 Reign

Thanks to nic for pointing this video out to me.

“Players comment on how long they expect Rafael Nadal to hold onto the No. 1 position in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings.” – from the ATP.

16 Responses

  1. johanne says:

    VAMOS RAFA!!!

    So this is off-topic of the post, but your new poll about the clay season intrigues me. I knew lots of people would say for him to skip but Barcelona, but I don’t think it’s an easy decision of “well it’s a 500 tourney, not a 1000, so drop it.” He’s won it THE LAST 4 YEARS. And it’s in Spain, not terrible far from Mallorca. I completely understand his loyalty to the tournament and HELLO, winning a 5th title would be an incredible acheivement.

    Rome is a good chance to collect some serious points since he was bounced super early last year (and something tells me had he not had those terrible blisters, he’d have gone on to win a 4th straight title there too).

    Monte Carlo is obviously special. Going for a 5th straight title there. Friggin’ unbelievable.

    And Madrid, well…yeah it’s Spain, but it’s replacing Hamburg, and now it’s on clay, it’s a different tournament essentially. He got to what, the semis in Madrid? But even I’m confused as to when those points get dropped – in October or in May now? And what happens to his Hamburg points? When does he get to defend those? So confused with the switching around.

    Anyways, my point is since he’s already playing a non-required 1000 in MC, I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t play Madrid, since there’s not that extra incentive he has at the other tourneys (i.e. going for big records at Barcelona & MC and gathering up a good chunk of points if he does well at Rome). While it would royally suck if he didn’t play Madrid, my guess is he’s thinking this would be the tournament to drop IF (I said IF) he decides to dip out on one. Apologies for writing a novel here, but this is my take on why this decision is a complete bitch for Rafa. Wah Waaaaaaaaaah :P

    • miri says:

      I agree, it’s a total bitch for him. Two that aren’t required are the ones he has close ties to and one of those is one of the few clay 500s. I wish there was at least one week off between each of them so he could play them all AND have some time to rest up a bit (physically and mentally) before Roland Garros.

      • johanne says:

        Yeah 3 tourneys in a row is absolutely brutal. It’s gotta be a game-time decision for him. See how you do, Rafa, and then make your decision. Impossible to decide now, no?? ;)

    • Reem says:

      I say he could skip Rome cuz he has very few points to defend there. He lost early last year. So missing it will do the least damage to his ranking points.

    • kefuoe says:

      FYI according to the ATP website, the Hamburg points are dropped on May 18, 2009.

    • Kalliopeia says:

      I wish he could play them all, but that seems unlikely to me. It’s not that it’s an easy decision, but playing Barcelona out of loyalty would be incredibly unwise, IMO. He needs to think about maintaining his energy and health while at the same time doing what he can to maintain the points situation. It’s a long way to go to London, after all. I get his fondness for Barcelona but the smartest way to do that would be to drop Barcelona. Four tournaments in five weeks, all ending just one week before Roland Garros. That is too much. Something’s gotta give, and Barcelona would be the one best positioned to give him rest and the points from it can be made up (and then some) at Rome. There’s also the difference between this year and last to think of. Think how much more intense and grueling this year has been already for him as compared to last year! He’s won or been in the final of three of his five tournaments, and got to the quarters in the other two. Not to mention winning his Davis Cup matches.

      If I’m not mistaken, I’m pretty sure Rafa has even made a couple of comments that indicate he might skip Barcelona. I have no idea where those were, but he did say something that made me think he’s considering it.

      No telling what he’ll do, but I think trying to play all of those tournaments would be a big mistake.

      • tiemyshoe says:

        He basically confirmed during during his presser after IW that he was going to play Barcelona, because it’s the only 500 he can play on clay. Given his points situation, I don’t know why that’s a big deal in the long run – if he does well at the big tournaments, he can just skip a 500 or two, take the penalty, whatever. Honestly I think it’s a justification for sticking with Barcelona out of emotional reasons. For some reason he doesn’t want to let that trophy go.

        I agree with you – I’d love to see him play the three Masters and try to win at least two of them, or at least have a good run at all of them. Playing four and trying to win four is just asking for a mis-timed blister or knee niggle situation right before RG.

        Ah well, nothing we can do about it. I’m sure Team Rafa are aware that RG is the big goal, I’m just mystified as to why they’re planning the lead-up like this.

        • johanne says:

          i agree with everything you guys said, but at the same time i can see him trying to squeeze it all in, see how he feels, and then make a decision based on his results. bottom line: this decision sucks! :)

        • Kalliopeia says:

          I didn’t see the IW presser, what I saw was from a few months ago. He doesn’t even need Barcelona for his 500 requirement, he could easily make it up somewhere else.

          If he tries to play all four tournaments and hurts himself for Roland Garros (or wears himself out) I will….I will…I don’t know. Shake my fist in impotent rage. That’ll show him. :)

  2. strobi says:

    Great comment from Roger!

  3. rez says:

    I remember him complaining about such packed schedule for clay season and spending a month in the US for Indian Wells and Miami right now.

  4. Reem says:

    Notice how nobody really answered the question?!?! they’re all chasing him for crying out loud, no one’s gonna flat out say that he’s gonna stick around for a long time.

    I reallyyyyy hope he stays healthy and ends the year at number 1. That would be one hell of an achievement.

  5. nic says:

    Yay glad you put it up Miri :) I love to hear other players give Rafa the credit and respect he deserves. It’s really nice for him to be held in high esteem by his peers. Yeah and Novak is always really nice when asked to talk about Rafa (btw I think Novak is one of the most misunderstood guys in tennis and doesn’t deserve a lot of the flack he gets sometimes). The thing that really got me initially is how Rog suddenly is waxing all lyrical about Rafa. I mean, I know he’s said nice things about Rafa before, but very often at press conferences after he loses to him, he’ll say something like, oh I almost gifted it to him, or like, sometimes not always the better player wins! Feels like he finally has decided to change his tune. I kind of feel like Rog these days wants to talk Rafa up to be a really great player so that he can justify himself being number 2 for a reason. Anyway….sorry, not hating on Rog, I do like the guy, but sometimes the things he’s said about Rafa I found a bit disrespectful. Well, maybe I should be glad he’s finally saying something downright nice now.

  6. Ru-an says:

    I think Rafa should skip Rome for sure if he wants to be ready for Roland Garros. Would you like to exchange links with me?

  7. faecoleman says:

    These must be very difficult decisions for him to make, and yeah Ru-an I agree, skipping Rome where his loyalties don’t lye so much would be a smarter decision, he loves playing in Barcelona for his own personal reasons there is no way he would give that one up. Anyway lets hope his camp guide him in the right direction for his sake, winning RG @ No.1 is a must surely?