Let’s just start with the facts: Rafa Nadal is, for the first time since 2005, not the champion of the Monte-Carlo Masters. He lost today to Novak Djokovic 6-2, 7-6(1). Now the emotions: I left the court very sad; I left Rafa’s presser reassured. As usual, his perspective helped restore mine. He’s happy to have made the finals after his time away. He was happy that he fought and played his best match of the tournament. As he said, he prefers
Rafa played Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first men’s Monte-Carlo semifinal today. It was a day that was supposed to be filled with rain. Instead, the constantly changing conditions – sunny and warm one minute; blustery cool and humid the next – just produced a threat of rain and a big challenge for the players. We know how much Rafa likes a challenge, right? The match looked like it was going to be a total blow out until, like the weather, Rafa cooled
In the Monte-Carlo quarterfinals, Rafa played error-filled tennis against an in form Dimitrov and still managed to win 6-2, 2-6, 6-4. I’m not sure how he managed to, but he did. (His back had some tape on it too – not sure what that’s about. Basically, I’m not sure of a lot of things right now…like how I managed to not get kicked out of the photographer area for yelling, “Over the net and inside the lines!”)
(To clear things up, I wasn’t
Rafa handily defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2, 6-4 in the third round of the 2013 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. And that’s about all I’m going to write because it’s 11:30pm, I’ve had free French wine, and I still need to work on my photos.
Ooops! I thought I posted lint yesterday, but I forgot to press publish. So, here’s that lint plus some more.
First up, the draw for the Davis Cup World Group play-offs was done today. Spain will play the Ukraine for the right to compete in the 2014 World Group. More information.
Behind the scenes with Rafa Nadal – by Rick Dacey (pokerstarsblog.com)
Toni Nadal on Being Tough on Rafa; Believes Jerzy Janowicz Can Be Future No. 1 – by Romana Cvitkovic
Reports on the first match in Barcelona, more Monte-Carlo reports, and Wimbledon is serious about its grass.
Rafa auditions for Where’s Waldo with Nishikori, more Monte-Carlo writes ups and wonderful photos from @adel1609.
Rafa’s pre-tournament presser (Barcelona):
Posted by BancSabadell.
An Unmatched Achievement – by Jesse Pentecost (thenextpoint.com)
Who’s hot and who’s not – via The Tennis Space
Nadal: “Mi reto no es ahora el número uno, sino jugar bien en Barcelona” – via rtve.es. Includes presser and practice footage. (mangle)
Best of Three: Nadal pounds Djokovic at Monte Carlo Masters – by Jon Wertheim (si.com)
Heroes and Zeros: Rafa’s Revenge, Holes in the Clay, and Serbia’s Triumph – by Chris Oddo (tennisnow.com)
Nadal: “Djokovic no puede estar siempre impecable” – EFE via marca.com (mangle).
Behind the scenes after the victory, match articles and a flickr photoset.
Rafa’s post-final presser transcript is up:
Q. Do you think you played the perfect game on serve and return today?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think never nothing is perfect. That’s the true. I played a very, very good first set, in my opinion, very solid after he start very good in the first game. He had 15 30. The second game, the serve was very important. The three serves saved my game in the second game.