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Rafael Nadal throws shade at Dominic Thiem after Madrid Open exit
George Bellshaw Friday 11 May 2018
Nadal was beaten by Thiem.
Rafael Nadal warned Dominic Thiem that he still has work to do if he’s to be considered a seriously ‘tough’ opponent for him on clay and to not get too carried away after his surprise win at the Madrid Open. The Spaniard was defeated 5-7 3-6 by the Austrian in nearly two hours on Manolo Santana, with Thiem ending a run of 21 consecutive wins for the top seed.
In doing so, Nadal lost his No. 1 ranking to Roger Federer – despite the Swiss not playing a single minute on clay. Thiem was the last player to beat Nadal on the surface, securing a straight sets victory in Rome last season, and he now has three wins over the King of Clay on the dirt.
After the match, Nadal was quizzed over whether Thiem was one of his more dangerous opponents to face on clay. But the Spaniard pointed out that he destroyed him in Monte-Carlo just weeks ago and insists Thiem ne
eds to find more consistency if he’s to be considered a truly ‘tough’ opponent. ‘Three weeks ago I beat him 6-0, 6-2. I don’t know if that’s a tough player or not,’ he said.
‘I don’t think it’s that way. I think it’s just been a match that he was better than me, same as a few weeks ago I was better than him. ‘This week, of course, he has been the toughest opponent. There is no discussion about that. This is the reality.
‘If he beats me three times in a row, maybe we can say he reads my game and can beat me. Today he was better than me, and that’s all.’
Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2018/05/11/rafael-na ... to=cbshare
Last edited by Grossefavourite on Jun Fri 08, 2018 11:19 am, edited 5 times in total.
Nadal and his loopy balls shouldn't beat decent players. A guy who runs around backhand 95% of the time shouldn't be a top player. Look at the WTA. Since Steffi left, there are no top players that run around backhand. Today's ladies will finish you off if you play like that.#ed_op#br#ed_cl#Congrat Thiem. Don't lose to this dude again. When he's standing way off the court looking for forehand, do something to take over the point.
Last edited by Ace2Ace on May Sun 13, 2018 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Nadal does not get the proper respect for his insights. His responses are often so Plato-esque and philosophical. The reason for this is squarely due to the tennis world's over-inflated view of the so-called God, Rojay Federer, and to the physical, gladiatorial playing style of Nadal. They give no respect to what and hoe he thinks as a result. Plato, "Neither a feeble fighter (Rojay, according to most) nor an uncouth Philistine (Nadal, according to most) be." Recall that Lebron was told to 'just shut up and play."
“I never consider no one of these events like preparation for another one,” Nadal said of Rome. “Never approach it — no one event, Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, like an approach for Roland Garros. Every tournament is very important for itself. And for me, even more. Because I have a great story on all these events.
“I won here seven times. And, for me, it’s very special always to play here in this tournament. So, I can win Roland Garros losing here, and I can win Roland Garros winning here. I don’t think what gonna happen here gonna make a big impact on what can happen in two weeks.
“But there is one thing that is 100% sure, I am not thinking in Roland Garros when I am here. I am thinking all about Rome.”
Last edited by Grossefavourite on May Tue 15, 2018 10:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
Rafa Enters Beast Mode
Spanish star ruthless in Rome opener
Seven-time champion Rafael Nadal sent a warning to his rivals (Dominic Thiem in particular) on an overcast Wednesday at the Foro Italico in Rome.
The top seed improved to 15-1 on red dirt this season by defeating Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina 6-1, 6-0 in just 61 minutes on Court Centrale at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. He will next challenge Canada's Denis Shapovalov, last week's Mutua Madrid Open semi-finalist (l. to Zverev), or Robin Haase of the Netherlands.
Having lost No. 1 in the ATP Rankings to Roger Federer on Monday, Nadal can reclaim the top spot with his eighth trophy at the historic ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament. The Spanish superstar has an outstanding 404-36 (.918) record on clay courts (55 titles), according to the FedEx ATP Performance Zone.
The 31-year-old moved into a 5-0 lead, which included a 23-stroke rally on Dzumhur’s serve at 0-3, Ad-Out, that ended with Nadal playing a crosscourt backhand half volley, close to the baseline, only for his opponent to hit a forehand volley into the net. Nadal completed the 34-minute first set with his fourth forehand winner.
It continued to be one-way traffic in the second set, although World No. 31 Dzumhur never gave up in spite of Nadal’s greater power and consistent groundstroke depth. Nadal wrapped up his 19th match win in 21 matches this year with a forehand winner down the line - just like at the end of the first set.
Nadal has already won 11th titles at both the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters (d. Nishikori) and the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell (d. Tsitsipas).
Last edited by Grossefavourite on May Wed 16, 2018 9:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
“First of all, he [Nadal] has to win today. It's still very early in the match. But he's a big favourite against everybody,” Thiem said.
“Still, I know how to play against him. I have a plan.
“If it's going to be him on Sunday, I will try everything that my plan also going to work out a little bit here and not only in Madrid or in Rome.”
Thiem already has two clay-court wins over Nadal: once at the Rome Masters in 2017 and at the Madrid Masters last month.
“If I want to beat him, I have to play that way like I did in Rome and in Madrid,” Thiem continued.
“But I'm also aware that here it's tougher. He likes the conditions more here than in Madrid, for sure. Best of five is also different story.
“I think also a good thing is that I faced him already twice here.”
Yannick Noah, the last Frenchman to win a Grand Slam title, at Roland Garros in 1983 told CNN, perhaps a little trickery would teach these deep returners a lesson.
"I would serve underarm every time and hit only drop shots," Noah said. "And if he's at the net, I'd hit it at him. You have to try something."
"If Rafa plays at this level and is healthy, it will be very difficult to stop him winning this tournament," said Del Potro.
"He's too strong and he's improving his backhand a lot. He looks fresh and he's healthy.
"And the strength that he has and the mentally, everything is perfect, works perfect for him playing in clay."
"I had a lot of break points but I couldn't make it," said Del Potro. "Rafa served well and he made me run a lot.
"The intensity was too high the whole match, and I couldn't stay there. He deserved to win."
Last edited by Grossefavourite on Jun Fri 08, 2018 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.