Oooodles of catch-up lint before Rafa plays his first match Monday evening at the US Open.
- Rafa: “I Can Still Be A Dangerous Player” – via atpworldtour.com (includes a video)
“It was a tough week for me and I had the surgery the week after,” said Nadal. “I don’t remember it very well, but I think I played very bad. If he played well then he deserved to win, but hopefully Monday will be a different story.
“[Coric] is a tough player,” added Nadal. “He’s a young player with a lot of energy, a complete player with a great serve and a very good backhand. He’s a big competitor. He’s one of the players that is the future of our sport, so it’s a tough one, but I’m playing well. I feel like I’m ready.”
- They Said It!: US Open Media Day – by Ashley Marshall (usopen.org)
“To have the confidence back you need to win. If you’re not winning, then you won’t have high confidence. To win you need to play well. To win a lot you need to play very well and have a lot of confidence, and I’m playing well today.”
- U.S. Open Day 1 matches to watch: Serena, Djokovic, Nadal kick off play – by Benjamin Snyder (si.com)
Can Rafael Nadal pull through at night? We all know Rafael Nadal has been struggling with his form this season. It’s been tough overcoming injury and his hardcourt season so far has been less than stellar. He says he’s feeling better though and he did win some rounds in Montreal and Cincinnati. But his opponent Borna Coric has a lot of upside. In fact, the 19-year-old won their only meeting in the Basel quarterfinals in 2014, 6–2, 7–6(4). Playing at Ashe under the lights, however, is a whole different experience and one that should favor the Spaniard.
- Rafael Nadal says his struggles are on him, not team – AP via si.com
“I have (had) an amazing career with the team that I have today, the same team from the beginning,” the younger Nadal said Tuesday. “So my feeling is if something’s not working well it’s not because of your team – it’s because of myself. The one thing I have to change is myself.”
- ESPN’s Brad Gilbert: Serena Williams has a ‘brutal draw’ but will still win U.S. Open – via usatoday.com
Obviously I root for the guy, I love the guy, but he’s struggled against the top 10 this year. I think he’s 2-7? [Borna] Coric isn’t an easy match to start with! Hopefully he gets through and gets to the second week but beating Coric isn’t going to be an easy task, he’s lost to him once before. At the French when Rafa and Djoker played in the quarter, you could see the showdown coming. Now, you just hope Rafa gets there.
- Rafael Nadal’s Struggles Can Be Traced to His Serve – by Camden Hu (wsj.com)
- Opening Line – by Steve Tignor (tennis.com)
- 2015 U.S. Open men’s seed report
– Jon Wertheim (si.com)
Start with the good news: 1) He’s playing all four majors this year, something he has not done since 2011. 2) He was lucky to get this seeding, ensuring that he will not meet a higher ranked opponent until the quarters. 3) He could salvage a dismal season in New York, an event which he has won twice.
Bad news: 1) Still it’s jarring to see him seeded this low. 2) He starts of against Borna Coric, a future top player. 3) Even assuming he survives the early rounds, there’s little indication that he’s ready to reverse this slide, especially when Djokovic looms in the quarters. Win or lose, this we predict with certainty: you will see plenty of Nadal in his underwear.
- The Brothers McEnroe on what you should expect at this year’s Open – via espn.com
You have to also take into consideration the amount of time he’s missed. The first time he came back from injury, he played incredibly well and we were expecting him to do the same again, but that obviously wasn’t the case. It’s taken a lot longer than we had anticipated this time around, but I can’t imagine he doesn’t have another run or two left in him.
- INTERVIEW: Rafael Nadal – The spotlight burns brightly as Spaniard heats up New York – by by Matt Monaghan (sport360.com)
- Rafael Nadal at the crossroads – by Joel Drucker (usopen.org)
Does it matter that Nadal has spoken frequently about his lack of confidence? According to former pro and tennis psychologist Allen Fox, “It doesn’t make any difference. Nadal talking about his anxiety is very honest and true. His opponents know they’re playing Nadal and that he’s still a very dangerous player.”
- ‘I need to be impassioned’: Rafa Nadal searching for inner fire ahead of US Open – Reuters (via thenational.ae)
- 2015 U.S. Open preview: How Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will surprise us – by Douglas Perry (oregonlive.com)
- How the Fab Five has ruled the tennis world – via espn.com
- Rafael Nadal believes his game is better than results suggest as US Open looms – by Kevin Mitchell (theguardian.com)
“I am in this process and I believe – no, I know – that I am better than months ago. I feel well. I am hitting well. Then the competition arrives, and anything can happen. I would be if I say today that I feel myself 100% great to win the US Open after the season that I have had. I don’t want to say that.
“I say I feel better than I did in most of the season. I don’t know if it’s enough, but I’m going to keep working the whole week before the tournament and enjoy the fact that I am here again. Last year I didn’t have that luck [sidelined with an elbow injury, followed by an appendectomy]. In terms of tennis and mentality, I think I am closer than the rest of the season.”
- Nadal, McEnroe, Hewitt Keep Focus On Tennis at JMTP Benefit – by Vito Ellison (tennispanorama.com)
- Rafael Nadal on His Super-Sexy Underwear Ads: ‘We Had Some Fun!’ – via peoplestylewatch.com
- Rafael Nadal’s new Tommy Hilfiger ads will give you serious ab envy – via q-magazine.co.uk
- Dressed For Success, Nadal Looks To US Open – via atpworldtour.com
- 10 Minutes with Rafael Nadal – by Kevin Pires (details.com)
Nadal isn’t unaware of his status as an icon. The brash style he showcases on the court—his capri-length shorts and sleeveless tops, with long hair held back by his signature Nike headband—has inspired almost as much talk as his swing. Reflecting on his decision to ditch the capris, Nadal says, “I had been using those long shorts from 2005 until 2008. It was, you know, something different and I enjoyed it, but at that point I felt like it was the moment for a change. I felt that I was not a kid anymore.”
- NYC Hotels serve treats and more for the U.S. Open – via usatoday.com (includes video from the event)
- STUDIOJQ breakdown their design of an infographic for TOMMY X NADAL.
- For Rafael Nadal, a Little ‘Strip Tennis’ Before the U.S. Open – for Matthew Schneier (nytimes.com)
- Guess Which Broadway Musical Rafael Nadal Has Seen 7 Times – by Elise Taylor (vanityfair.com)
- Tennis Note #20 – Flushing the NYC Competition by Aimee Darke and Nikita Taparia
- Rafael Nadal takes advantage on, off court – by Donna Freydkin (usatoday.com)
- NikeCourt Athletes Showcase Looks for New York – via nike.com
- The Time an 11-Year-Old Took Down Nadal – by James Barron (nytimes.com)
- US Open 2015: world’s top tennis players discuss their chances – via theguardian.com
- Djoker, Mickey Mouse pester Nadal
- Rafael Nadal Pre-tournament Interview at US Open 2015 – includes his reaction to the Mickey Mouse thing.
- How to rewrap OverGrip on Tennis Racquet like Rafael Nadal
- Rafael Nadal Practice Training | US Open 2015 | Court Level View
- Check out this YouTube channel for a lot of Rafa practice videos.
- Rafa Nadal practice court level view us open 29/08/2015
- Rafael Nadal US Open 2015 Practice
- Videos from the presser before the exhibition for JMac’s academy: Intro, Nadal on his play results, fielding questions, on health, Rafa talks about his academy, Nadal on us open (the photographer who doesn’t have their focus lock beeps turned off should be drawn and quartered)
- Rafael Nadal plays strip tennis in Manhattan park
- Savannah and Rafael Nadal face off on tennis court – interview done in conjunction with the Hilfiger strip tennis event.
- Rafael Nadal looking forward to US Open: ‘It’s great to be back’
- Nike’s ‘NYC Street Tennis’ Event. 24 Aug 2015
- Rafa Nadal jugará sin presión el US Open 2015
- Tennis legend, Rafael Nadal, backs Costa Brava-Barcelona’s Bid for The 2022 Ryder Cup Bid (ENG)
- Practice photos – via usopen.org (there’s more than one Rafa in there – keep scrolling)
- Kids’ Day photos – via usopen.org. (It’s required you scroll to at least photo #26. There will be a quizz later.)
- Around the grounds on the 28th – via usopen.org
- Practice photos from the 27th – via usopen.org
- Practice photos from the 26th – via usopen.org
- Practice photos from the 25th – via usopen.org
- There’s some Rafa practice pics in this flickr set from Ben Lowe
- Kids’ Day photos via Zimbio
- Ping Pong photos
- Photos from Cincy on flickr by Tony C
- Photos from the #stealtheshow NIKE Tennis Event in NYC
- Nadal gets dressed (and undressed) for Hilfiger
- Mondo sized version of the TH Bold advert.
Social media related to Rafa:
- Players’ Names Spawn a Mouthful of Errors – by Ravi Ubha (nytimes.com)
- Tour Wife Tales with Kelsey Anderson: Long Distance Love
- Unspoken Thoughts From Nike’s #StealtheShow Event in NYC – by Anusha Rasalingam