• Nadal struggles through tough opener against Lorenzi

    5/11/11 5:04 PM | Cheryl Murray
    Nadal struggles through tough opener against Lorenzi Rafael Nadal, apparently still reeling from his loss in the Madrid final, came out flat and uninspired against Italian qualifier Paolo Lorenzi.

    This was as bad as Rafael Nadal has played on a clay court in probably 5 or so years. For the first set and a half, the Spaniard’s backhand was weak, his forehand produced errors, and an awed crowd watched as an Italian qualifier ranked outside the top 100 took a set from Rafael Nadal.

    Lorenzi played well, no doubt about that. The Italian did not donate mounds of unforced errors to Nadal’s cause and he had good success at the net. He kept his head while Nadal slowly imploded on the other side of the court in the first set.

    Nadal’s movement wasn’t the best, but his ground strokes were mediocre at best. He allowed Lorenzi to force a tiebreaker after being up a break, and proceeded to hit an unforced error on set point to give Lorenzi the lead.

    The Spaniard finally found his form at the tail end of the second set and for the entire third set and once he did, Lorenzi simply didn’t have a chance at the upset. It was a win for Nadal, but with stiff competition in his section of the draw in the form of David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez, the Spaniard will have to get centered mentally if he wants to do well for the rest of the week.

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All I can say is that if he loses, its because he is simply NOT playing well. And for whatever reason, lets hope he gets on top of it soon!!

VAMOS Rafa, we will always love you, even if we dont always feel the same about your play!

Monalysa , 5/11/11 5:52 PM

Maybe Rafa will be more settled if he got married and make Xisca part of his team, then she'll be there all the time.


nadline , 5/11/11 6:14 PM

Dont think so, Nadline!!! Not at all!!

Monalysa , 5/11/11 7:06 PM

Ferrer has pulled with illness.

nadline , 5/11/11 7:32 PM

This is hilarious! So now it's his girlfriend's fault he played like crap. You folks don't even know what's going on with her or him. Just accept the fact that he's got Nole on the brain. End of story.

numero , 5/11/11 7:34 PM

I'm not saying it's her fault, but he's probably missing her.

By the way, I was just having a laugh when I suggested that Rafa should get married.

I agree that Rafa definitely has Nole in his head, he just has to lance the boil by beating him next time they meet and he'll be OK.

nadline , 5/11/11 8:05 PM

I watched this match in disbelief Perhaps the death of the spanish golfer has really affected him
Come on Rafa get it together real quick

sals3 , 5/11/11 8:27 PM

Belluccii out, Ferrer out with fever............where are the numpties who were salivating at Rafa's "tough draw"?

I thought as much.....out somewhere sticking needles into Rafa voodoo dolls......

rafaisthebest , 5/11/11 8:29 PM

death of Seve obviously has nothing to do with it

Djokovic...yeah, THAT guy has a lot to do with it

RickyDimon , 5/11/11 8:36 PM

C'mon now.......Rafa is sad to have lost the match, but to say Djoko is in his head is a bit much!! Rafa's performance has been iffy for a while now and it just looks a lot worse when he meets the top players! Rafa's head?.....................nah!!!!!!!!!!! You guys just stop that now! Rafa is playing badly against everybody!!!

Monalysa , 5/11/11 8:50 PM

I agree that Novak has something to do with it. Novak showed to Rafa what level of play he needs to have in order to beat everyone else. That was reality check for Rafa on clay, and he needs to adjust/find/tune his game. Nothing is better than first introductory matches... but honestly, even if result shows that he closed match in big style, it looked to me more like potential Chernobyl than controlled test of reactors :)

So I do think that level of Novak play is in Rafa head. He had smooth transition to various surfaces last year, but I think it takes its toll this year. It is inevitable for Nadal to bear some consequences, as he wasn't till last year recognized as all court player. But I am sure that he would master those transition periods over time like RF did.

atg , 5/11/11 9:40 PM

"Rafael Nadal, apparently still reeling from his loss in the Madrid final"

I would say he's also still reeling from the loss of a friend.

Seve was a friend, even if he was also another Spanish sports luminary.
I understand his funeral was the day of Rafa's match.

Anyone who thinks this wouldn't have an effect on Rafa's performance is forgetting it wasn't just his knees he was struggling with when he went out in RG 09 -- it was turmoil in his close circle of friends and family.

So many people say "well you compartmentalize" and blah and blah.
I don't care who you are, or how much of a champion -- if you lose a good friend, your professional performance is going to suffer.
Maybe, if you're a true champion, with a good heart for everyone, it suffers even more.

mara002 , 5/11/11 11:13 PM

Nadal/Lopez is the first match on tomorrow. I like it when Rafa plays early, so it's ot of the way for the rest of the day, and I enjoy the other matches more, knowing Rafa's results.

nadline , 5/11/11 11:20 PM

Wow! I came here to find out what happened in Rafa's match and reading all of these comments, well I don't know what to think. I didn't see the match. It will be replayed on the tennis channel this afternoon, so I will get a chance to see what went for myself. Until then, I will not post any thoughts.

Why anyone would bring up Rafa's girlfriend, I have no idea. Sometimes it's not a good idea to overthink a tough three set match.

Nativenewyorker , 5/11/11 11:23 PM

Djokovic in his head, are you kidding me.
Djokovic is no Federer and Rafa handled fed just fine!

I think the issue is a combination between Rafa tweaking his game and the death of a close friend, as Rafa is a sensitive human being.

isabeau77 , 5/12/11 1:31 AM

You're right, Nole is no Roger. They play differently. Plus a better backhand. Right now Nole is a Rafa, a better version, fitter and mentally tougher than the original version. That's why Rafa is freaking out because that's what he had over everybody :


Not anymore. Byebye former #1.

numero , 5/12/11 1:40 AM

Part of Rafas interview

"?I played very badly. At the beginning it was not bad but I had a break and then I started to be more anxious. The normal thing is to be relaxed and I started to play a little bit better after first set. I had a break at 3-2 and then I played another bad game and then had another chance with another break so they were tough moments in the match. I felt slow and I felt I was hitting the ball short all the time but still, I finished the match better. The last game I played well,? he grinned ironically.

?All that is a good starting point. Seriously, I think there is a difference between Madrid and Rome,? the world no.1 analysed. ?Different conditions and the altitude and the speed of the ball ? everything is completely different. Losing the final there makes everything more difficult and you do not have time for practice and you are a little bit more tired and you arrive a little bit more sad because you lost the final and all these facts make it difficult. I knew that before I started the match and I knew that I had to fight, but I am in the third round and that is very important for me and so I have another day to try and play better. I have played five finals in a row, two victories and three losses and so the season is fantastic for me and so let us forget the match today and try to have a better level tomorrow,? said Nadal, who will face fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez. ?I want to have positive tournaments this year. I have to be confident with myself and tomorrow I have to play more aggressive. I have to move faster, I have to play more inside the court and to play to my advantage. If I am able to do this then it will change a lot.?

isabeau77 , 5/12/11 1:40 AM

Of course, here's numero to gloat now that Rafa was beaten by Nole. Well I guess if Fed can't even beat Rafa, then he is really in trouble. What else is left for disgruntled Fed fans but to try to get their kicks trashing Rafa. PatheticT

Nativenewyorker , 5/12/11 3:24 AM

isabeau77 , 5/12/11 3:29 AM


Exactly! You're reinforcing my point. Rafa beat a tired Nole in NY. That was the gluten-filled version. This gluten-free fitter version would never have lost to Rafa. If Rafa can't rely on tiring out his opponent or intimidating them with his mental toughness what does he have left to beat them with?

His talent? NOT!

numero , 5/12/11 3:52 AM

Hahaha...seriously its pointless. Im reinforcing your point. I suggest you learn the meaning of reinforce. It took Djokovic 10 attempts to beat Rafa on clay. 10! Was he tired every time? please!

Good luck nursing your ego when Djokovics winning streak comes to an end, as it will as he is human.

isabeau77 , 5/12/11 4:10 AM

Its quite sad to see what some Fed fans have turned too.

Their man cant beat Rafa so they have to rely on another fans no1 player to do so. Pity pity pity.

Who next Murray? Delpo? or Bernard Tomic? Who is going to be the next big thing for them to support. Lets all play a guessing game .... I say Fedex (whoops been there done that failed on the big occasions). Who next?

TopDog , 5/12/11 4:56 AM

numero take it easy...

I am a Djokovic fan but still have a lot of respect for Rafa. I hope Nole can one day achieve what Rafa has....Stop antagonising Rafa fans against Nole.

For years, on this discussion board we all held mutual respect for each other and our fav players....

On a different topic...watched the match last nite and Rafa was just many errors, played horrible....No credit taken away from Lorenzi, where he was just gunning it and going for every shot (we all knew (hoped) it wasnt gonna last)...
But Rafa was not himself last nite....

lets hope he improves....

bianca , 5/12/11 4:58 AM

luckystar , 5/12/11 5:15 AM

Dimitrov? Harrison ? Djokovic is closing in on world no 1, they are not in Djokovics league, not even close not even in a few years time . Remember my words Federer is the last really great player who plays with 1 handed backhand, in todays power tennis there is no future for this, so you can simply count out Dimitrov. Harrison there is unnecessary hype surrounding Harrison just like Donald Young, he is going to let every one down badly. Raonic has a big serve but rest of his game is no way near Novak. of these 3 Raonic might break into top 10 Harrison may break in to top 15 but these guys definitely dont have the potential to be future no 1.

tennis2011 , 5/12/11 3:26 PM

tennis2011, how can you be so sure that these young players won't be future no.1? You use the word 'definite', be careful, you may have to eat humble pie. Nole is not that young, he'll be 24 soon. You think he'll hold on to the no.1 ranking for long, should he get it? His current style of play emphasizes a lot on defending, look at the grounds he has to cover, running from corner to corner, you think his style is sustainable for long? Not forgetting he still have his peers, Delpo and Murray to deal with, other than Rafa. Two years later, Raonic & Co will be 21-23, and who can say for sure they won't be ready to challenge Nole and Co? Anything is possible, hence my comment about Nole, make hay while the sun shines.

luckystar , 5/12/11 3:48 PM

Could someone please explain me how all of a sudden we are talking about Nole like he is the best thing since slice bread?! Nole right now is in tip top form, thats true, but for me Nole has not yet done anything to convince me that he is such! When Rafa beat Fed for the first time at Wimby most were still so hesitant, even up until now, to say the Rafa is better that Fed. Even now, so many are still sooooooooooo hesitant to give Rafa the edge over Roger even while he keeps whooping his but!!! So now Nole has beaten Rafa on three straight occasions......yes....and for the first time in ten times on all of a sudden Nole is the best ever!!

I mean SHUT UP!!!!..........................REALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monalysa , 5/12/11 4:18 PM

Rafa was sick, apparently. html

stu , 5/12/11 5:02 PM

Lucky...I don't understand what are you trying to prove?
That two years later Nole wont be No1???
He is not N01 NOW... take it easy....
Monalysa... what's wrong? SHUT UP? Who said that Novak is the best ever... OK, nadline... but in sarcastic way....
But HE IS best player on tour momentarily... you can't deny that. Three times Fed and three times row... I think sincerely that he has done more than enough to attract attention...
I would say that he is best ever if he win all GS this year and manage to keep N01 in next year. Not before.

zare , 5/12/11 8:12 PM

zare, it could happen, we can hope :D

stu , 5/12/11 8:27 PM

Ofc... but someone is trying to prove that somebody's hopes are impossible ... :)

zare , 5/12/11 8:47 PM


Luckystar is trying to prove no such thing. As with Luckstars usual postings he was just responding to another fan that they cannot possibly predict that these young players will DEFINATELY not be a contest to Novak which I see no problem with. Luckstar was just staying the obvious...anything is possible if you have the talent. No one can predict how great a player can/will not become. I think you should read what the other fan was trying to prove and read Luckystars response in the context of this.

TopDog , 5/12/11 9:22 PM

zare, as topdog mentioned, I was responding to tennis2011's posting. Why pick on one of my postings and jump into conclusion without first finding out why I posted what I posted. It all started with numero's postng about Rafa.

I'm not predicting that Nole will have only two years at the top, after all who can know for sure. All I'm saying is two years later another batch of contenders may emerge from the 21-23 age group and may be good enough to challenge Nole/Murray/Delpo, who by then will be 25-
26. I'll rather leave that option open than to say that the likes of Raonic, Harrison, Dmitrov 'Definitely' won't be no1 player. They may not be no.1 at age 23, but can be no.1 when they are older. Who says they'll sure to replace Nole? Nole has first to deal with his peers, Murray and Delpo, and Im not even talking about Rafa here. So, my conclusion is Nole has to make hay while the sun shines, ie makes the best out of the opportunities opened to him, before his competitors catch up with him.

luckystar , 5/12/11 9:43 PM

OK... never mind...
Maybe... just maybe we are all little bit too sensitive and nervous...
Lucky is good fan... respectable...
Just forget it.

zare , 5/12/11 9:46 PM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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