RafaLint: June 1st

Julian Finney/Getty Images

Julian Finney/Getty Images

4th Round presser excerpt – which starts with a snort laugh:

For now, Roland Garros seems to think it’s okay for me to embed this video…we’ll see how long that lasts.

  • Coming Down the Backstretch – by Steve Tignor (tennis.com)

    Djokovic is the best right now; we haven’t forgotten that. Rafa loves these courts better than any others; we’ve been reminded of that. This will be fun. We knew that.

  • Nadal Sets Birthday Date With Djokovic – via atpworldtour.com

    Nadal ran through the second set, losing just five of his service points. It could have been a 6-0 set, but Sock saved two set points in the sixth game.

  • Rafa wears out Sock to set up Novak quarter – by Kate Battersby (rolandgarros.com)

    “He’s by far the best player in the world. He’s brimming with confidence; he has exceptional form. He’s won almost all the matches since the start of the year. He has only two defeats. I love Roland Garros. I love the tournament. I love the courts. I will pull out all the stops to win the match. I feel competitive. I will fight to the bitter end. I don’t know if it will be enough. I don’t read a crystal ball. So if I play well and if my opponent plays better than me, I will shake hands and congratulate and then I will move on.”

  • Rafael Nadal beats Jack Sock to set up Djokovic quarter-final – as it happened – via theguardian.com
  • Novak Djokovic Keeps Date With Rafael Nadal in French Open Quarterfinals – by Christopher Clarey (nytimes.com)

    “Now we can talk,” Nadal said, finally addressing the Djokovic match after refusing to look ahead earlier in the tournament. “It’s probably the toughest quarterfinal in my career here at Roland Garros, without a doubt.”

  • Ailing Sharapova, Monfils eliminated; Is Nadal ready for Djokovic? – by Jon Wertheim (si.com)

    He is moving better than he’s moved this entire year. He is clearly at home on the clay. The best-of-five format gives him margin for error and a greater chance to play himself out of rough patches. That’s the good news.

  • Five Questions to Ponder about a Djokovic-Nadal Quarterfinal – by Chris Oddo (tennisnow.com)

    For Djokovic, the struggle is to KEEP IT GOING. For Nadal, the struggle is to KEEP GOING. Djokovic has to fight to stave off the inevitable—that he will lose again—which is an altogether more difficult task than Nadal’s, which is to finally play the way he is capable of at the tournament that he has done it most often.

  • It’s on: Djokovic vs. Nadal in French Open quarterfinals – AP via tennis.com
  • Courier on Rafa’s Time Violations: They Have to Stop Doing This – via tennisnow.com

    “They have to stop doing this,” said Courier. “They have to stop hitting him with warnings on big points, because he’s consistently over 20 seconds virtually every point he serves. Either he needs to speed up or they need to get him earlier in the match on meaningless points, but to do it on break points is maddening to me.”

    “Every single point that he’s served he’s been over the time, but the umpire has chosen the most challenging points for Nadal on serve to hit him with the warnings—that’s the part that has to come to an end. It has to stop.”

  • Toni Nadal on His Love of Paris – by Myrtille Rambion (rolandgarros.com)
  • French Open week 1 highlights – by Reem Abulleil (sport360.com)

    “Are you from Serbia? I don’t talk to Serbians.” – Toni Nadal jokes as he is approached by a Serbian journalist after a Rafael Nadal practice. He of course gave an interview.

  • ‘I haven’t seen tennis like that ever’ – via tennishead.net
  • Rewind: Rafael Nadal’s first French Open title in 2005 – by Nick McCarvel (usatoday.com) Warning: auto playing video on the page.

    “We wanted to win,” said Toni Nadal, Rafael’s uncle and coach, in an interview with USA TODAY Sports. “If you ask me before the beginning of the tournament (that year), ‘Do you want (Rafael) to make the final?’ No. I wanted him to win. I believed that. Rafael was the best player on clay in that moment.”



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