RafaLint: August 9th

Arturo Velazquez/Tennis Canada

Arturo Velazquez/Tennis Canada

Montreal doubles starts

Rafa and Verdasco will play the 3rd match on court 9 tomorrow. Play starts at 12:30pm. I’m guessing chances of this getting broadcast are 0.0000000000000000001%. And that’s being generous.

Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar

The website for Rafa’s Academy is up and running – take a look! I’m thinking this display will serve as great motivation.

  • Quietly confident Nadal returns to his Canadian hardcourt heaven – via dpa-international.com

    “For sure there is more behind than in front (of my career). I’m sure of that,” said Nadal. “But I don’t think about that. Day by day is my way to work. In 2005 I was aged 19, and I’m sure that I won’t be playing tennis until 39.

    “That is part of the career and life. I have motivation to keep going so it’s difficult to think about not playing. But when it comes, I will know. When I wake up without motivation to improve that will be the end. But until that day arrives I’m here and enjoying it.”

  • Rafael Nadal: ten years later – via batennisworld.com

    “Mentally, [in Hamburg], I’ve been very stable during the whole week, something I haven’t been able to do this season. It’s something that I’m happy [about]. That should be the way I have to play. It was one of my strongest points during my career. This year, I felt like my mental part was more up and down, on and off than usual. I’m working well, and I hope that that week in Hamburg will help me here.”

  • Second-Half Kickoff – by Steve Tignor (tennis.com)

    But the bigger question will come from the other half of his quarter. Rafael Nadal, who has won twice in Montreal, is the top seed on that side. After his title in Hamburg, is it time to start counting Rafa back in, rather than out? He also has the draw to go deep. Nadal will start against Sergiy Stakhovsky or Filip Peliwo, and the highest seed on his side is Gilles Simon.

  • A decade after his first career hard-court title in Montreal, Rafael Nadal has gone through some trials, but keeps smiling – by Stephanie Myles (ca.sports.yahoo.com) Includes some presser video
  • Coupe Rogers: duel de puissants serveurs en vue – via ledevoir.com Love the smile in the pic. (mangle)
  • Tebbutt: Rafa rocks Rogers Cup – by Tom Tebbutt (tenniscanda.com)

    He worked out on the stadium court for almost two hours with Tommy Robredo and then spent the better part of a half hour signing autographs – first for fans inside the stadium and then (see above) when he finally made his way outside and headed to the players entrance.

  • Nadal & Djokovic Headline Doubles Draw As Bryans Seek First Montreal Crown – via atpworldtour.com
  • Nadal Sets Sights on Final Showdown – via atpworldtour.com

    “Montreal is a tournament I like, I [have] had positive results there, but every year is different,” said Nadal, having won the Rogers Cup in 2005, 2008 and 2013. The lefthander said his main goal is to keep improving his level of tennis to ensure he has “less ups and downs” than in the first six months of the season.



Social media related to Rafa:

(Sorry this is more of a tumbled mess than usual. I got so far behind and then when I tried to re-order all of these in Storify, it was a nightmare, so I gave up.)

Other stuff:
  • Playing Ball: Controlling the Uncontrollable – by Steve Tignor (tennis.com)

    But a tennis court is a logical place for the weeds of superstition to thrive, blossom, and eventually grow out of control. There aren’t many other places where you’re alone with your thoughts for two to three to four hours. With so much time to think, and thus become more anxious, what else are you going to do with those thoughts except twist them into strangely comforting rituals?

  • Tour Wife Tales with Kelsey Anderson: Dealing with Defeat – another good/interesting post by Kelsey.

    I was discussing this exact phenomenon a few years ago with tennis legend Wayne Ferreira at the Australian Open, when he told me something poignant that really resonated with me.

    He said, “Look, I’ve had what most would consider a very long and successful tennis career. And guess what, the total number of weeks in my career where I didn’t lose a single match? Only 15.”

    This is more of the norm on the tour than the bizarrely fantastic record Rafa’s had. It’s why I tend to get impatient with people who get upset when he loses. Yes, we all want Rafa to perform better than the norm, but he’s human and the norm catches up with even the most talented and devoted people from time to time. (And yes, even now, he’s performing far better than the typical pro player. Top 10 is not the norm.)

  • Guest Mailbag: Andrea Petkovic on her top reading list, coaches, life on tour – via si.com

    And on the guys side, I always cheer for Rafa, especially now after his comeback. Because I feel like he’s a great fighter. I always cheer for Murray. It always changes—when Roger was winning everything, I was rooting for the other guy to have a go at the Grand Slam. And now that he’s playing so great, I cheer for him every time. And Novak, obviously, because we are friends. So I kind of cheer for everybody. It’s always difficult to put yourself in the position, because you know them and you know they are nice people, and you sort of don’t want anybody to lose.