Viña del Mar: He’s back!

Photo by MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images

Photo by MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images

…and he brought a cute friend too. Yep, Rafa kicked off his return to the tour by playing a doubles match with Juan “Pico” Monaco. They soundly beat the tournament’s number 2 seeds Frantisek Cermak and Lukas Dlouhy 6-3, 6-2.

Sadly, I didn’t get to see it, nor could I find any match photos (yet, I hope), but hey, it’s Rafa! Winning! At tennis! Woot! If you got to see it, let us know how they played.


J Monaco/R Nadal F Cermak/L Dlouhy
Statistics on Serve
Aces 1 1
Double Faults 2 7
1st Serve % 71% 65%
1st Serve Points Won 24/35 (69%) 20/34 (59%)
2nd Serve Points Won 8/14 (57%) 6/18 (33%)
Break Points Saved 6/6 (100%) 3/7 (43%)
Service Games Played 8 9
Statistics on Return
1st Return Points Won 14/34 (41%) 11/35 (31%)
Second Return Points Won 12/18 (67%) 6/14 (43%)
Break Points Won 4/7 (57%) 0/6 (%)
Return Games Played 9 8
Statistics on Points
Total Service Points Won 32/49 (65%) 26/52 (50%)
Total Return Points Won 26/52 (50%) 17/49 (35%)
Total Points Won 58/101 (57%) 43/101 (43%)

24 Responses

  1. umut says:

    nadal her zamn bir numarasın sem bunu unutma ayrıca sen sen sen…

  2. Ginny says:

    Got to see it and it was great! They both made a few mistakes. The other team did not play so well and double faulted a lot. But it was great to see Rafa on court. I think it was the perfect first match back. He had a friend on the court and a very supportive crowd. He looked nervous at first but more smiley and comfortable as the match went on. I couldn’t wait to get home from work to see it and luckily found a good stream ( that worked almost the whole time!!

  3. Julie says:

    So happy to see a new “Most Recent Result” – at last!!!! What a thrill to see Rafa on court again!!

  4. sia says:

    It was on a scary, pop-up ad filled stream but it was RAFA with the added bonus of PICO. Big smiles.
    Rafa looked almost a little laissez-faire in the first set but after winning it he and Pico rose competitively to the occasion and put on a great show against the #2 seeds. There were even one or two fiercely top spun forehands ;) Vamos! tomorrow Rafa!

  5. Isabelle says:

    So very heppyforthewin! I got to it just after they finished on so I’m hoping I can catch some of tomorrows match there.

  6. Phyzzie says:

    I saw the whole thing and I would not say Rafa looked laissez-faire at all. Possibly a bit rusty, but he was greeted like a king, Pico was supportive and Rafa found his corners and lines in no time. He has a great serve, which failed him a few times, but his serve is definitely good. I think he was also a bit embarrassed as he was the main event and Pico was sort of off to the side. Pico wasn’t even interviewed at the end, the commentator just wanted Rafa. He was presented with some sort of large medal and he was very gracious. But not laissez-faire…. Rafa is never that.

  7. Susanna728 says:

    I had the biggest smile on my face the whole time. Rafa! On a court playing an actual match! Hitting the ball! Big forehands! Not enough exclamation points in the world to express my happiness. Ginny’s description is a good one. Rafa and Pico got more and more confident as the match went on. Cernak and Dlouhy started out strong but looked less confident as Rafa and Pico picked up their games. Pico has great hands at the net. To see Rafa smile to himself after he hit a fabulous winner was priceless. And then to see him smile into the camera as he signed his name afterwards. He’s back!!!!

  8. Kathy says:

    WELCOME BACK RAFA!!!!!!!! Tennis channel will air his match tomorrow at 4pm. Semis on Saturday at 5pm and 7pm. Final on Sunday at 5pm. EST

  9. Emma says:

    love the shirt !

  10. Nils says:


  11. Arwen says:

    Seeing him again on the court can’t be defined in words. There is no player in the world who seems this handsome on the court than Rafa. Real charisma.. Welcome back champ…

  12. Fifi says:

    He’s back and oh I’ve missed those forehands and that gorgeous smile. Can’t wait til his singles match tonight.

  13. gottakeeprunning says:

    Viña del Mar feels honoured to have been chosen as Rafa’s comeback tournament and the Chileans have made him so very welcome. I am so pleased that his return to the courts is in South America with such an appreciative audience where the support is so warm and genuine.

  14. Ch F says:

    OK my link sucked and I was too distracted by the peach/orange (?) shoes, but I think he played better than I expected. Waiting for his singles match tonight to have a clearer view. So great to see him back and on his beloved clay!!!

    • Patricia/England says:

      Ch F not sure where in the world you are but Livescorehunter wasn’t too bad on coverage a bit hazy but at least we got to watch. 9.00 pm in England tonight x

  15. Serin says:

    Wonderful to see Rafa on the court after seven months.
    Hope he enjoys the whole tournament .. He said the knee hurts but
    he doesnt want to talk about it, all he wants is to play tennis, the knee hurting or not.

    You are the KING, RAFA.. VAMOS !

    Hey Umut, yes, Rafa is Number 1 as always..And he is back..
    VAMOS !


  16. JayDee50 says:

    Ginny’s summary is a good one, I think Rafa was nervous at first, or possibly embarrassed or both, but his and Pico’s confidence grew noticeably as the match went on. The medal presented to Rafa at the end was the Vina del Mar Special Guest Medal. They really are treating him like some sort of tennis royalty, it’s lovely to see and you can tell he is squirming inside from all the attention (I think so anyway). Because that’s Rafa, humble as ever, and why we love him so.

  17. Rafafan says:

    Love the presser and smiley Rafa. How gorgeous is that!

    Not sure about his shirt. Thought he hated colours – it gets in the way of his serve I read a quote from him somewhere. Maybe in singles it will be different. Love the shorty shorts. So good to have such a charasmatic person on the court and off it in the pressers. He has been missed so much not only by his fans but all the journalists, media, sponsors etc. Am in England and saw or A bit jerky but at least saw him. It’s 9pm GMT tonight. Anyone know for the rest of the week?

    • Patricia/England says:

      Not sure Rafafan just have to keep checking LSH but the time comes up as an hour later than GMT x

  18. Rafafan says:

    Sorry meant to say thought he hated collars on his shirt. I know he loves colours!!

  19. jodiecate says:

    I did, Rafa. I missed you buddy. Hope i can catch the singles though. Early tomorrow for me, i mean early today (uh-oh). *Sets alarm now*

    Congrats for the win!
    Don’t feel pressured or anything that you have to win the whole tourney just because they’re making such a big fuss over you being there… but you can if you like. I won’t mind. :D

  20. Silhouette says:

    Didn’t catch the match but I was following on Twitter. Boy, aren’t we all excited with Rafa’s return!!!

    I think it’s a great match for Rafa to return to tennis. With his good friend Pico, which probably helped a lot with the anxiety and nerves. The support from Pico must have made a lot of difference. Hope Rafa has a good match today!! Vamos!

  21. Phyzzie says:

    Just saw Rafa and Pico on Facebook. Is it blasphemous to suggest this might be the new Team Cuteness??? What a pair of smiling, hunky guys :-)

  22. Maria says:

    Lovely to have you back, Rafa and well done for winning your first match after 8 months off the court. Hopefully no more mention of Lukas Rosol just positive news of your comeback. Well done and good luck tonight with your singles match. Personally I thought you looked your usual immaculate self on court. I loved the outfit, collar and all.