The June 1, 2009 issue of ESPN The Magazine will feature a an article about Rafa that includes an interview done during the Indian Wells tournament. A few excerpts from the full article written by Tim Keown:
Could it be the language barrier? Is that the reason Americans have a limited understanding of his genius? Maybe we’re the lucky ones, then, since the silences might contain the best insight into Rafael Nadal. There is something undeniably magnetic about
The fabulous luneworld has posted video of the super tiebreak set of the Doha doubles final – including the infamous cat incident.
Milton Bot asks, what does Doha mean for:
Rafael Nadal? After pasting his early round opponents and speaking confidently of his play, Rafa fell in straight sets against Gael Monfils. This has, interestingly enough, been a pattern for the Spaniard in Australia the past two years.
He had not lost even a set going into his semi match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga last year and was then blown off the court, much as he had been by Fernando Gonzalez the year before.
Monfils, Jo-Willy and Gonzo are among the streakiest, heaviest hitters in our sport, and this makes Rafa’s predicament apparent: Someone catches
The Gazette has a fun article about the Doha doubles final. Check it out here.
And to Lopez’s credit, while he looked overmatched early on – and Nestor and Zimonjic directed every ball they could away from Nadal – he came through with some big-league shots in the end.
I’d like to second that. He’s ranked 243 in singles and 151 in doubles and was playing in his first ATP final with three #1 ranked players (Rafa
Thanks to luneworld for posting this video of the championship awards ceremony.
The cuteness is almost unbearable.
Some pictures from the championship match.
Photos by AFP PHOTO/MARTIN BUREAU and Julian Finney/Getty Images.
Rafa had his swagger back today and Lopez wasn’t acting like he was in his second doubles final ever. Not even a cat running onto the court could stop them from winning the doubles championship 4-6 6-4 10-8.
Team Nestor/Zimonjic used their frighteningly good net and returning skills to break Lopez/Nadal right off the bat, but Lopez/Nadal eventually got their groove going and broke
Here’s a few articles about today’s match:
So much for Rafael Nadal’s seemingly perfect start to his first season as the No. 1 player in the world.
“I didn’t play my best. I had a chance in the first set but he played well,” said Nadal. “He was very aggressive and he served very well.
“It is not easy in the beginning of the year. I will be in Doha for a few more days and will be training hard,” he added.
Once again, merikob comes to the rescue of all of us who couldn’t live-stream the match today. First video is below – links to the rest follow.
And why the heck didn’t anyone tell one of the commentators that he was breathing into the mic or move the mic or adjust the sound or something?
Bouncing back from his singles loss, Rafa and his doubles partner defeated Santoro/Youzhny in the semi-finals 1-6 7-6(2) 11-9
Some quick match stats for team Lopez/Nadal:
Double faults: 4
1st serve percentage: 59%
1st serve points won: 31/44 (70%)
2nd serve points won: 13/30 (43%)
Break points saved: 5/9 (56%)
1st return points won: 13/40 (33%)
2nd return points won: 13/26 (50%)
Break points won: 1/4 (25%)