RafaLint: May 19th

AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

AP Photo/Andrew Medichini




Rafa does social media:

Social media related to Rafa:

Since there was so much social media for today, I’m doing this via Storify instead of embedding each tweet. Don’t forget to vote in the poll for which method you prefer. I can’t embed Facebook stories in Storify, so they are above.

29 Responses

  1. beegee says:

    “Nadal’s Masterclass”. Love it.

    Also love Rafa speaking Italian.

    Thanks for all of the lovely updates and info you provide, miri. I really enjoy and appreciate the variety.

  2. dk says:

    Not sure where to mention this but I am disconcerted to see that 73% of (currently) 7797 voters picked Djokovic to win the FO:
    Is this because tennis fans in general feel that Djokovic who beat Nadal at Monte Carlo can also beat Nadal at the FO?

    • Ramara says:

      Most tennis “experts” favored Djokovic to win RG this year – until Madrid and Rome happened. Now Rafa is again the favorite. But slams aren’t won by popular opionion or vote.

      In a way it baffles me that Djokovic is considered to have Rafa’s number on clay. He’s won THREE whole matches against him on clay and one set at RG during a monsoon. Three? Yes, if Djokovic is at his best Rafa has to be at HIS best to win but that’s all.

      • Sharon/London says:

        They all said Novak in 2011 when he won Madrid and Rome beating Rafa , in RG he didn’t reach the final.

        In 2012 Novak didn’t win any clay court titles lost to Rafa in Rome and RG after reaching the final for 1st time but was pushed by Seppi and nearly lost to Tsonga. Novak has only played 3 matches on clay since MC and the Rafa then is not the same Rafa as now. So the predictions are for Novak as the favourite cos he won in MC. Do me a favour! He has got to win all his matches and he hasn’t had much success at that lately. He is capable and he will have all the pressure as he wants it badly . Lets wait and see.

        • dk says:

          So, if Novak plays Rafa (be it in the semis or finals) at RG, putting our Rafa biases aside, given that Rafa lost to Novak at MC but is playing better tennis more recently, what do you think are his chances of beating Novak (assuming that both Novak and Rafa are playing well)? This is the lingering question…

          • timov says:

            If Rafa is confident no one can beat him! So,let’s hope for high confidence!

          • leslie says:

            Nobody is going to beat a healthy,confident Rafa on a clay court when he is playing his best tennis….
            Novak won 3 matches on clay in 2011 when Rafa was far from his best, then Rafa won all 3 of their meetings on clay last year. This year Novak won in Monte Carlo over Rafa, yes, but then lost to Dimitrov and Berdychin 2nd Round and Quarters while Rafa’s stamina and performances are getting stronger. His performances against Berdych and Federer were at a terrific level.
            I don’t think there is any lingering question at all of Rafa’s chances of beating Novak. Novak is not beating a healthy, confident Rafa. No chance.

  3. Joel Cooley says:

    Question for anyone who knows:

    When the draw is done for each tournament, and i’m especially interested in how its done for Roland Garros, exactly how does that take place? I know in some tournaments (perhaps all, even?) the defending champion is present at the draw, and participates in the draw as well.

    How exactly is this done? Do they just draw the top seeds, or all of the seeds, or the entire tournament, all the way down to the qualifiers?

    Again, i’m most interested in hearing how Roland Garros does it, as i’ve done a little research on something that i think will be of particular interest to Nadal fans, but i would rather wait to hear about how the draw is done before i comment on it.

    Let me know if you know!

    • heath says:

      My understanding is that the top two seeds are first placed on opposite sides of the draw, then the third and fourth seeds are then placed so they will either play #1 or the #2 in the semis. Seeds #5-#8 are then randomly placed in the quarter sections of the top 4, then the same is done with seeds #9-#16, #17-#32 etc.

      Seeds 5, 6, 7, and 8 are all randomly placed in the Quarters Sections of Seeds 1-4. Same goes with Seeds 9-16. Then the rest of the players are allocated to fill up the draw.

      • heath says:

        Oh, and that’s the same for all slams; its only the basis of the seeding decisions that vary somewhat.

      • Joel Cooley says:


        Do you know who is witness to the drawings?

        Here’s my train of thought from yesterday: I’m probably like a lot of Rafa fans in that i get a bit frustrated by his seemingly lack of fan support and the generally tepid response he gets in the clay venues outside of Barcelona and Madrid. Most especially, the response he gets in Roland Garros.

        It dawned on me that i could never recall a match at Roland Garros in recent years between Rafa and any of the top French players.

        So i did a little research, and here’s what i found: first, i think most would agree that the top 3 French players over the last 5 or so years would be Jo Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet, and Gael Monfils.

        Isn’t it interesting, then, to note that since 2008 (that’s as far back as i went), that NOT ONE TIME has any of those three players landed in Rafa’s quarter. NOT ONCE.

        How can that possibly be? That mathematical odds would say that, on average, one of those three players would land in Nadal’s quarter each year.

        Not one of them has landed in his quarter for at least five years running.

        I found that to be pretty interesting, hence the question asking as to exactly how the draw takes place.

        Perhaps i’m stirring the pot a little bit here, but since the French press is so intent on hammering Nadal on his alleged blood doping, and since the French obviously never win anything at all in tennis, i wonder what might be everyone elses thoughts as to why France’s Finest never have to play Rafa at Roland Garros?

        Please, all, let me know your thoughts!

        • Ramara says:

          Weirdness happens. Why dose Andy Murray land in Rafa’s half of the slam draws so often? That can’t be in anyone’s conceivable interest.

          The human brain was designed to look for patterns. It’s quite likely to detect patterns where there aren’t any which is why conspiracy theories abound.

          Clay is not the favorite surface of any of the current crop of French players for one thing. For another, no French player has won any slam for donkey’s years. Tsonga is their best candidate. He’s capable of magnificent play on his day but he has trouble maintaining that high level over a series of matches or even a series of sets. France has a lot of very good players, no great players.

          Speaking of randomness, isn’t there a disproportionate number of very good to great players around whose names end in -ic?

        • JayDee50 says:

          The research you’ve done makes for interesting reading. I’m curious to know the draw placings for other French players like Simon, Paire, Benneteau and Chardy. It can only be coincidence, surely, because to rig a draw would involve so much by so many; to do it each and every year would be a monumental task. Whilst the Parisian crowds may greet Rafa with a lukewarm reception, would the FFT would risk global condemnation to favour their own players?

        • Sharon/London says:

          Rafa did play Paul Henri Matheiu in RG one year I think . I remember it was thrilling match 4 or 5 sets. Rafa won of course.

        • heath says:

          A couple of players are usually there, the host organisers, probably some ITF/WTA/ATP officials and the press, so it is public. But I understand that this is for the seeded players only. The non-seeded players are placed by computer. This Bleacher Report article – http://alturl.com/h4hpx – from 2010 also asks if draws can be rigged; I have no particular view on whether or not they have in the past or will be in the future.

    • Rafraf says:

      For years now, Roland Garros always have a live draw. The defending men’s champion does the women’s draw and the defending women’s champ does the men’s draw. There is actually a live podcast on the RG website itself. So I can’t understand why there have been speculations that draws are rigged. Maybe on other tourneys, but I’m pretty sure in RG, it isn’t.

  4. dk says:

    Here is Bodo’s latest piece: not as anti-Rafa as he sometimes writes but I am getting tired of the innuendos…

  5. miri says:

    Draw conspiracies, online polls about who’s going to win, what Bodo thinks and Bleacher Report – wow! You guys have managed to touch on a hella lot of my pet peeve topics! So forewarning: this will come across as bitchy.

    Draw conspiracies come out every draw…unless people like Rafa’s draw and then, no conspiracy! Imagine that. Rafa’s picked the names out of the hat before and people still said it was rigged. Go figure.

    The draws are done with tournament and tour (ATP, WTA or ITF depending on event) officials present. heath describes the process well. The only difference is that sometimes, at large tournaments like slams, the non-seeded players are plopped into the draw by computer in order to speed up the process. The computer program that does this has been approved and signed off on by all parties.

    Online polls – area almost always crap. (Yes, I know there’s a poll on this site, it’s almost always too – heh.) Besides, it doesn’t matter what polls or pundits say about a player’s chance to win against another play or win a tournament. The only thing that matters is how the player feels about their match and what they manage to bring to it on match day. Predicting that? A fool’s mission.

    Bleacher Report…I’m not even going to go there.

    • Joel Cooley says:

      Forgive me, i just like to stir the pot a little bit going in to Roland Garros.

      I don’t really know what the French have to complain about with Rafa, they have had first row seats to the greatest player in the history of the game in regard to domination of one surface.

      I just thought it might add a little spice in advance of the tournament to note that the French never have to play him.

      The fact that their three best players have never had to face him in his quarter is a statistical anomaly at best…or else its just my way of defending the boy and flicking our nose back at the ones who want to accuse of him of blood doping, and/or simply making it a point of rooting against him.

      Personally, i’d find their accusations and jeering a little more compelling if the French would simply win something, anything, in any sport.

      Maybe i should take my rants to a French newspaper?

      • miri says:

        In the years I looked through, he has met French players twice (I got bored and didn’t go all the way back, but I think that’s all). So, not like it never happens. ;) If you want to try and prove a statistical anomaly, you’d need to compare how much times he’s faced the same group of French players at other slams. For example, thanks to this wonderful site – which has database searching capabilities I’ve always wanted to add to this site, but have been too lazy/had no time to do – you can see he’s only faced Tsonga twice in slams. Not that big of a stretch to imagine that he’s never faced him at RG. For Gasquet, just once, etc.

  6. Ch F says:

    It seems that some of Rafa’s wisdom when he said he doesn’t have to be the favourite to win RG (a couple of months ago when of course he wasn’t) has rubbed off on me and I don’t care who says what anymore. I do read it, but sometimes I feel I know more just by looking at him the moment he’s on court ;-)

    • miri says:

      Plus, we’ve all seen it: player plays devastatingly well one day; like crap the next. So trying to predict one tournament to the next seems silly to me. Also, there are no warm-ups! ;)

  7. CC says:

    To all Rafa fans:



    Rafa’s just been in like eight finals in a road, plus he’s just WON two Masters tournaments. This, may I add, whilst looking HOT. Enjoy his tennis and his legs. Basta.