Rafa arrives in China

Photo via chinaopen.com.cn

Photo via chinaopen.com.cn

Articles on both Rafa’s site and the China Open site about him arriving for the tournament this morning.

After what seemed to be a never-ending flight from Mallorca to Beijing, Rafa Nadal has finally landed in China!

The Australian Open champ is back for the first time since wining a Gold Medal at the Olympic games last year and is delighted with the support and love he received from his fans this morning as he made his way through the Beijing international airport.

Right around 8:30am, a great number of press, fans and onlookers broke out in excitement as Rafa (who couldn’t hide his happiness to be back in competition) signed a few autographs before heading to a waiting China Open car.

More arrival photos and oodles of photos from what looks to be a first practice session.

32 Responses

  1. nic says:

    this smile and sheer happiness is priceless. i couldn’t help but grin when i saw it :D happy rafa puts such a big smile on my face. i miss him!

  2. Kate says:

    I agree can’t wait for the tournament to begin!

  3. Atch2 says:

    Rafa you manage to look supermodel-like, jetlagged, sweet and lost at the same time. And your hair is just too gorgeous. The more close-ups of Rafa playing with his hair takes my breath away.

    Is it Roig’s shift again? He got a haircut too. It must be catching in the Rafa camp. Did Maymo get a haircut too, although his hair is pretty short as is.

    From the Rafanatics that turned out, Rafa’s gonna have most of the crowd on his side for the tournament. U serve it Rafa.

    • nic says:

      I know! I was gonna say about the hair. So many pics of Rafa playing with his hair. I think he’s liking it short, and still getting used to it so light and just wispy, so he’s playing with it alot. You’re so right, he’s just off the plane from a super long flight but looks beautiful and fresh nevertheless. Gosh, I think I’m really getting used to his new short look, he’s looking so gorgeous.

  4. An says:

    “Rafa (who couldn’t hide his happiness to be back in competition) ”

    See. Thats what i mean, remember het loves the competition and he loves the tennis! Let him do what he loves most in peace and let us enjoy!

    The chinese obviously love having him back there and can’t stop taking pictures off him… Wise people!

    And i see that Roig is with him again. As much as i appreciate the good job uncle Tony does with Rafa i love it when i see him being more relaxed when Roig is there.

    • SapphireSwell says:

      Hehe, yes “China people” (as Rafa put it in one of his promo videos) love Rafa. Last summer he was all over the papers, getting most of the hype.

      At the beginning of the Olympics it was about Fedal, but I didn’t hear a peep of disappointment when Fed fell out of the running (or did I just block out those comments).

      Anyhow, I’m sure he’s the crowd favorite there this year. From what I’ve already seen the news commentators basically comment on the Chinese players, and Rafa. :)


  5. CC says:

    The 19th, 21st and 37th pic of the arrival ones are just…fantastic. So soothing to look at that man’s beautiful face and hands after a sh*t day at work…
    Mmm…I feel SO. MUCH. BETTER. NOW. :)

    • nic says:

      Ah CC, Rafa’s hands are sooo beautiful. I couldn’t stop admiring them throughout the photo set too. And yes, his beautiful face, especially when he’s looking afar…his gorgeous hazel eyes…i could stare at that man allll day… sigh…

      • nic says:

        But he’s looking a little thin in these pics don’t you think? He’s gone through so much this year the poor thing. Our boy’s all grown up. Maybe the shirt’s a little too oversized as well, maybe it accentuates his lighter frame.

        • CC says:

          I think he’s looking mighty fine, he’s been looking thinner for a while (although, we knooow Rafa, you haven’t lost any weight, unless all the “balances” in the world are wrong, of course!). Love the Hugo Boss top.

          • nic says:

            Hahahahah I love that comment from Rafa in his Q&A haha. Too funny. So cute and rafadorable. Mmmmmm…

      • CC says:

        *sighs with nic*

        Hey, when Rafa retires, do you think we can get him to just travel around the world and do photo shoots arriving jet-lagged at different airports?

        • nic says:

          Haha, yes. And would be good if I could get me a round the world ticket so I could follow him and help sweep his gorgeous hair from his face, and hold his beautiful hand while we push the trolley carrying his one million bags :D
          sigh, he is such a picture of serenity here…
          PS: am watching the olympic host country decision making on cnn, madrid is in the last two, up against rio!!! vamos madrid, i’m so excited! i’d love to go for it there.

        • natch says:

          I thought he was obligated to work his way through the Rafanatics after he retires, no? I know *I* could make him look jet-lagged in about three minutes. But I would prefer three hours. ;)

        • Atch2 says:

          I’d be heaven if I was lucky enough to be on the same flight as Rafa. Wonder if he bounces around in the plane, or sits calmly with the headphones stuck to his ears.

          And glad to see no tummy tape :)

    • An says:

      Yep, i’m completly “over the moon” about pic 37!
      Sorry to hear you had a s**t day at work CC, but looking a “bit” off Rafa helps always! ;)

  6. vamsi says:

    how does he manage to look soooooooooooooooooooooooooo nice
    after a “never ending” flight also he looks like he is just out of shower
    does he have something like fatigue in his dictionary
    rafa is just getting ready to conquer china as well


  7. zombina says:

    Hope he gets to play and win in China again! He is the highes seeded player, after all. He does have good memories from Beijing from last years olympics.

    Speaking of Olympics: now waiting for the Olympic host city decision 2016. It’s between Madrid and Rio de Janeiro right now. Rafa vants Madrid, (He’s always so patriotic, isn’t he?) so I’m with him. But I think it the decision will be Rio de Janeiro, because London has 2012. Madrid is too close geographicly to London.

    Pictures from Rafas arrival to Beijin are great, because the motive is so gorgeous… :-) Ah, his olive skin is irresistable…*sigh*

  8. Eliana says:

    Loving the practice session pics… the Rafafaces are priceless and you can really see how happy he is! Fills me with joy seeing him in that state and in competition again. But remember Rafito, take it easy, we want you healthy for a long time!!!

    The Olympics host city selection have me really excited! Being hispanoamericana, Río and Madrid were my top choices. So the selection will be bittersweet because in any case, one of my fave cities will lose while the other rejoices. Well, good luck to both!!!

  9. dutchgirl says:

    Heh, imagine you’re arriving at an airport after and endless flight, and all those people are looking on your fingers to see if you get your luggage to fit in the trunk of the car…
    And imagine you’re still able to look this good!

  10. miri says:

    Does he have a pin on his shirt collar or is that just part of the shirt?

  11. allyS says:

    rafa u dun need anna wintour to give u fashion tips. u look good in everything!!!

  12. Lee says:

    These pics of Rafa melt my heart!

  13. faeaki 7 says:

    Me too, loving the practice pics best he looks so happy, lets hope Beiijing remains lucky for him, love the fact that the fans are showing material pics of him biting his gold medal.. great support for a great champion.. I think he looks well, but I-am-biased! to me he is always gooorgeous..

  14. Atch2 says:

    This is a google translation of the photos from 2 Oct:

    “the net’s number one men’s singles player in the network arena Nadal had arrived in Beijing after the first training course, the arrival of Rafael Nadal to open the original venue for an instant full, the charm of the former world No. 1 in the Beijing no one enemy. Nicolas Almagro of the right training with them, just completed the long journey of Spaniards do not have any weakness, even though there are still a little performance of the original tentative, but the top seed was not long before the free hand, the venues and injury Nadal is clearly the impact of such right has evaporated, so fans can expect top level performances”.

    This is a change from the google Spanish translations, but I still can’t make sense of it.

    I wonder what “free hand” is suppose to mean.

  15. Carol says:

    How does he manage a long-hauler like that and not look like s**t? He’s not a supermodel, he’s not a primpy, fussy guy… I don’t know – hell, perfect just got more perfect. *sighs*

    Just what we need to take away the lingering nightmares of that vile waxwork… ;-)

    Go smack some botty, Rafa!

    • CC says:

      Oh, smack MY botty, Rafa!

    • Atch2 says:

      I looked it up and depending on how many stops there r, the flight fm Palma Mallorca to Beijing can take btw 13hrs to 21hrs. Even with the quickest flight, 13hrs would make me look and feel haggard.

      Rafa, what’s ur secret to not looking like the walking dead after a long flight?

  16. Mim says:

    Absolutely flove these pictures. I swear, he is so expressive. I bet you could go about photographing the entire ATP and you wouldn’t come back with as many expressions this photographer has in ONE practice session.

    I love each and everyone of them. How about these two:



    I laughed so hard when I saw them. Is that Rafa giving his Uncle Toni impression? I think so! So freaking Rafadorable! >_<