RafaLint: December 28th


  • Frustration for Tsonga after defeat to Nadal in Abu Dhabi – by Osman Samiuddin (thenational.ae)

    His [Rafa’s] preparations after the end-of-season break are beginning to gather pace, slowly but surely. He only started playing again two weeks ago. On the first day of the tournament, when he was not playing, Nadal practised long and hard on the outside courts. That routine will remain until the season kicks in proper.

    “I had treatment on the knee to keep it improving,” he said. “When I started two weeks ago it was very slow and the first week I was playing without movement. Last week I started to move myself. I’m not 100 per cent but it’s great I came here, playing my first set in one month.

    “The period between seasons is not big. So during Abu Dhabi and Doha (at the Qatar Open), I will continue practices and doing my warm-ups for the match more than what I would usually do. The period of practice in Mallorca was not enough so I need to keep preparing myself in these two events. I feel like I need to work on that extra thing to be 100 per cent ready in a few weeks.”

  • A funny thing happened on the way through the draw… – by Andy Taylor



I couldn’t find a lot of photos from official sources today – and I think 2 of these are actually from yesterday – but here’s a few:

Photos by AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, Karl Jeffs

Rafa does social media:

Social media related to Rafa:

4 Responses

  1. Allyn Sims says:

    Rafa’s one serve idea is interesting. Of course, it’s an easy thing to say for someone who doesn’t have one of the strongest serves in tennis, But I’ll add some thing to Rafa’s defense of his idea. Everyone keeps bemoaning the fact that none of the younger players, despite the promise they may show, have really broken through. I think too many young players are learning to win by placing too much reliance on their serve and it’s hurting them as they try compete against more experienced players or when they try to maintain consistency from tournament to tournament. Aces are exciting, but less so when on the right surface a player might get 25 aces.

    • Ramara says:

      Part of it is that the really tall guys have a lot of trouble moving really well, and they don’t have the endurance of many of the smaller guys. So, yeah, put them on a really fast court for a 3 setter and they can do well for a tournament. But they do not do well over 5 sets.

      Del Potro’s a bit of an oddity in that he does move well, but he doesn’t have a really great serve. Not sure how much endurance he really has either.

      I dunno, maybe the tall guys who do move really well all play basketball!

      Re Toni saying his kids don’t have whatever it was Rafa had as a kid….well, what’s he going to say? “My kids will be tied for #1 in ten years!” I don’t think so.

  2. isusvolisjb says:

    There are not many Pistol Petes out there who can serve bombs just when they need to and serve great when that is “all they need”. He is the only really big server I ever remember having consistent and lasting success on the tour. I believe the better rounded player is much more apt to be successful and is a heck of a lot more fun to watch!

  3. Kathy says:

    Just want to say that Nida posted some great pics and Ines’s screencaps are beautiful enlarged. Thanks so much.