Random flashback: Stuttgart 2005

While waiting for the China Open to start (Monday!), here’s something to help keep you occupied: Rafa vs. Gaudio in the 2005 Stuttgart final.

Posted by fred29600.

33 Responses

  1. Sofia says:

    What on earth is he wearing?!

    • johanne says:

      LMAO I was just thinking that! And Gaudio’s blue socks are pretty funny too.

    • mary says:

      A tent!! ;D

    • Carol says:

      Looks like some odds & ends Nike found in their offcuts bag and got a half-blind drunk to run up at 5pm one Friday afternoon!

      Can’t hide the essential Rafa and his awesome talent even then, though! ;-)

      Ab-so-lut-ely nailbiting stuff as Rafa dances across the clay and makes it all look so damned easy.

      It’s (partly ;-) )why we love you, Rafa: come back and mesmerise us again this week.

  2. Mim says:

    Rafa’s outfit looks sizes to big for him. This is what you wear before you become a tennis super star. The baggy shirt is just too cute! Also, did anyone else notice that other players are starting to wear Rafa’s sneakers these days? But, unlike with Rafa, they tend to look funny on their feet. When Rafa wears sneakers, you can see it even when he was younger in this clip, his feet look all cute and triangle-like. ^_^ Rather than over-sized and clumsy boats.

    I flove Rafa. It’s always a pleasure to watch a flash-back of him when he was a squishy, chubby, little thing. So great to see the Champion he already was. The passion and skill is just mind-shattering.

    …*presses play* Aaaah, a break-point on Gaudio’s first service game of the match. Already making him sweat and work for every single point eh Rafa?

    Atta boy! :D

    • CC says:

      “When Rafa wears sneakers, you can see it even when he was younger in this clip, his feet look all cute and triangle-like. ^_^ Rather than over-sized and clumsy boats.”

      I guess that’s because Rafa doesn’t have size 52 feet, unlike most other men on the tour seem to have. :)

  3. faeaki 7 says:

    Yep Rafa’s bod is just too good to cover up with baggy t-shirts!
    but seriously I just love to watch clips of early Rafa, even with the bad gear on he is still so dynamic to watch, that energy and his court movement like no other. Thank you for this, I hadn’t seen this match before and this was a treat. Hee hee wasn’t this the Merc that Uncle Toni took away?
    Really miss watching him play now!

  4. Mim says:

    As I watch the highlights from this video, you can see, just how tactically AWARE Rafa is even at that age.

    It was once said that clay court tennis is like chess. Well, Rafa is a clay court genius. And when people say that he is the greatest clay court player ever, they are in effect saying that he is the greatest tennis chess player ever.

    Absolutely FANTASTIC point at 3:33 in the vid. I hear time and time again from Jason Goodall (gag) about how “intelligent” and “smart” and “thoughtful” Andy Murray is when he throws up that loopy forehand in the middle of a rally…Well, Rafa’s been doing that since he was in diapers.

    GREAT touch at 2:40! I love how he doesn’t take anything for granted. After hitting that awesome drop shot, he backs into the perfect position to hit a possible return from Gaudio into the open court.

    *goes back to watching and marveling* Great stuff! Thanks for sharing Miri!

  5. Mim says:

    Ha-HA! Serve and volley at 3:07 on set point.

    Rafa…you are one cheeky, cheeky boy!

    The change-up was key. LOVE the element of surprise!

    Rafa = fantastic match player.

    I wish he’d get credit for his intelligence more often than he does. But I can’t be too harsh on most of these commentators.

    Most of them don’t know what the heck they’re looking at to notice. The subtleties in his tactics, and the utter uniqueness of his art is too much for most ignoramuses to notice and appreciate.

    If it’s not obvious, routine, and what they already know, then they wouldn’t recognize the genius if it slapped them thrice and handed them to their Mama.

  6. Mim says:

    Notice the reaction from Gaudio at 4:55. His smile, and the smile of the umpire, is their way of acknowledging that they KNOW that they are playing/witnessing a soon-to-be sports super star and Champion.

    Love it!

    Or maybe I’m being too poetic. Maybe it’s an expression of Gaudio’s pain and incredulity at Rafa’s bone-breaking ground strokes, and the umpire’s smile signals sympathy of Gaudio’s suffering.

    *shrugs* Either way…Rafa’s the cause of it. His ground strokes are simply brutal. The variety, placement, pace, spin and relentlessness makes it a potent mixture. Plus, he’s always there! And always making you do what you don’t want to do, which is: play that extra ball!

    Muuhahahaha! Loving it! >:D

  7. anna says:

    gaudio and nadal played very high tension match as well in my book it was nearly brink they begun to fight each other at that match i wonder this matchh played before or after…..

  8. Mim says:

    The way he adjusts his socks at 8:03 makes me feel nostalgic *sniff*. The sock thing was awesome. I mourn its departure.

    Beautiful tennis by Rafa. Simply fantastic. Deft touch at 7:24 (the beginning of the point starts at 7:11). The people are dumb-founded, and one man just shakes his head in amazement.

    It’s beyond amazing watching Rafa on clay. He moves like no other player. It’s almost as if he’s swimming across the court. The hustle, determination, focus, intensity, and that undying sense that he is working towards a goal…everything has a PURPOSE and he won’t quit until he reaches the ends of the Earth…beautiful and inspiring.

    And how sweet was that gleeful skip at the end when he won the Championship and that childish grin as he sat in that luxury car that looked almost too big for him… *shakes head* He’s just too much. What are going to do? :)

    *******

    *clears throat* And with that ladies and gentlemen, I conclude my commentary session for the day. Log off your computer safely, try not to creep people out with your deliriously large Rafa-induced smiles, and have happy dreams in Rafaland (it can be strictly tennis, work-out, and fishing related for the male readers).

    Vamos and good luck.

    • aRafaelite says:

      I’m missing the tics too! I think they helped him focus. I can’t understand why all the commentators get worked up about them as a sign of OCD or being superstitious – I’ve always thought it’s a good way of fine tuning his nervous energy (mental and physical) into the intense focus and precision he needs to be on top of his game. Long live the tics – socks, pants, bottles – whatever it takes!!!

  9. xta says:

    thanks so much !!!
    i needed that !!!

  10. Dale C. A. says:

    hahaha, so amusing how immensely court fashion has changed in just 4 years,the clothes may be different and juvenile, but the grunt, the fire on court is unmistakenly RAFA!!!! VAMOS for the China Open!!!

  11. CC says:

    Oh, how I’ve missed those Rafagrunts. Awesome.

  12. Zoe says:

    I so can’t get over how lol the sleeve length is!! Love the video, cannot WAIT for the China Open!! (Good thing it starts tomorrow, right? ;) )

  13. An says:

    Hell yes! I never want it to be monday quick but in this case, can monday come quick?
    I long for Rafa, playing tennis… I miss it when its not there, Evrything about it!

  14. Rafafan says:

    If we had any more tics of Rafa we will be watching the matches all day – they will never end (which would be Rafadorably great!). Have watched some of his earlier matches too. Adjusting the socks (yes noticed this has now gone), picking of the pants, lining up the bottles, carefully putting the towel down on the seat and balancing his tennis racket in a particular way, hair swiping behind the ears, adjusting his bandanda, rubbing on his nose, wiping his dripping sweat from his face with his sweat band, fidgty itch on his shoulder,(and again on his beauty bott), picking his shirt off which its sticking to his hot sweaty bod, steading his feet with a slight sway, slight push of his right hand in his right ball!(trouser pocket), 8 bounces of the ball on his tennis racket, then 8 bounces of the ball before the serve, clearing the clay lines up and down, then turning round in a large circle, wiping down with his towel taken from the ball boy/girl ….. and we are ready to serve with a huge orgasmic grunt. Perhaps with the new serve we are gonna see there will be even more rafadorable tics – blowing on his racket comes to mind with cc as the racket! Have I missed anything. This is Rafa in all his define sexy glory. Maybe a few time violations in between but for us he can take all the time he wants…..

  15. An says:

    You described it verry well! Oh yes, he can take all the time, never get bored of just watching Rafa…

    • CC says:

      I never get bored of watching Rafa either, but I must admit that in a tense match I sometimes shout “Oh, get on with it for f-cks sake, Rafa” at the telly, when he’s fidgeting too much! :D

      • mary says:

        CC that word “fidgeting” & all his little idiocyncracies just made me………………!! I’ll be back in a minute, just cooling off! ;) ;D

        • CC says:

          Heh, sorry! ;)

          • An says:

            Damn CC, i didnt know that word.. fidgeting.. i actually had to look it up in google translator for the dutch translation… But my mind is filled for this sunday now, Rafa and fidgeting.
            Mmmmmm

  16. Rafafan says:

    Oh knew I had forgotten something with the rituals – the intense look at three balls in one hand! then throwing one away and the other behind. And of course the beginning ritual – kangaroo jump, jumping up and down before the coin toss like a boxer, always receiving serve and sprinting back to the baseline not treading on the lines…. and of course at the end when he wins – taking off the bandanda and shaking his beautiful sweaty hair and of course biting of the tropheys with that glorious smile and fantastic gleaming teeth all in purrfect place.

    Duno if this is off topic but everyone will remember his pressy “my body is perfect – physically speaking” and “my famous arse”. Does he mean the famous arse coz of the picking of his bott or the paparazzi photos on the boat with those lovely bum cheeks (sorry I did see them – and yes double standard – don’t agree with pap but there was absolutely no will power when it comes to Rafa). Also he knows he is a sex symbol and he says nothing wrong with this but with the NY magazine cover last year it all went too far. What does he mean? Surely he knew the mags would go on sale. Miri can you explain as the walking encyclopedia of our Rafi x

    • Carol says:

      I suspect he was being sarcastic, Rafafan! *Whispers: yes I also saw the infamous but beautiful botty cheeks pics – felt hot ‘n bothered and embarrased all in one*

      He looks like she should have been painted by one of the Old Masters with that perfect body – showing every muscle in its glory… Er, OK, I’ll stop there!

      In my humble, Rafa can have all the fidgets, tics, habits etc etc he wants, so long as they help him win. :-))