RafaLint: December 30th
Nadal loses to Ferrer in the semi-finals of the Mubadala World Tennis Championships by Reem Abulleil (sport360.com) has some great quotes from the presser:
“The positive thing is that I spent over an hour on court against a player who is playing with fantastic rhythm,” said Nadal. “I said before that I arrived without my best preparation, so the most important thing is that this match helped me improve. That’s the perfect practice to keep improving a bit.”
And that’s why he’s there – practice against top players.
“His (Ferrer’s) level of legs, his movement was much better than mine today.”
I’ve always been fond of Daveeed’s level of legs.
“My shoulder is better but the problem is when you have an injury with the shoulder all the muscles around lose all the power.
“I felt OK, not perfect but OK, but I need a little bit more power for everything. A little bit more confidence with the shoulder to hit the balls with enough power, to hurt the opponent. I need time for that. You always play a little bit scared of the injury and I need time to play without thinking about that.”
Time and practice. Again, that’s why he’s there and why Doha is still in the picture.
Daveeed won the presser too – best quote!
“In PlayStation he is my rival. I think in PlayStation I am better. In tennis he’s better than me but in PlayStation, I am the Rafael Nadal!”
- Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal beaten by the AP (via espn.com)
“I knew before coming here that I was not ready to win a match against David Ferrer, not to win a match against Djokovic or Federer,” Nadal said. “But I am ready to spend hours on court without risk of injury. That is the most important thing. I need this transition, hours of practice. If I am here, I will probably have a better feeling for Doha.”
- Ferrer in Abu Dhabi semi-final nadal falters by M. Satya Narayan (gulfnews.com)
The second semi-final petered out into a one-sided affair as Nadal, still not fully fit and trying out a heavier racket, could not match the speed of Ferrer.
- Djokovic beats Federer in Abu Dhabi; Nadal loses to Ferrer by AP via tsn.ca – also mentions the heavier racket.
- Qatar gets ready to welcome tennis icons Nadal and Federer from thepeninsulaqatar.com
- Big year ahead for Nadal by Patrick Mouratoglu of Eurosport (Thanks, VardGrigoryan.) This is a thoughtful article and I agree with some of his ideas on why Djokovic has been a mental problem for Rafa.
- Nida posted some great pictures on twitpic toady – check them out.
- Two pictures of Rafa and Roger learning some Arabic script from the tournament site: one; two.
- Kei Nishikori thinks Rafa has the the greatest muscular endurance and is the quickest by on the tour from atpworldtour.com (Thanks, olerafa)
- Top tennis tweets of 2011 by Kamakshi Tandon (espn.com)
- Say What? The Best Quotes of 2011 by Courtney Nguyen (si.com)
- Top 20 Tennis Gifs of 2011 by Lindsay Gibbs of tennisgrandstand.com