• Back on track Nadal handles Lopez

    5/12/11 2:53 PM | Cheryl Murray
    Back on track Nadal handles Lopez Rafael Nadal was back to his usual clay court form on Thursday against countryman Feliciano Lopez.

    A completely different Rafael Nadal took the court on Thursday against Feliciano Lopez. The Wednesday edition of the Spanish champion played positively dismal tennis against Paolo Lorenzi, actually losing the first set and barely digging out the second.

    Thursday’s Nadal was nearly brutal in his effeciency. The Spaniard served at a staggering 88% first serves in. Except for one poor service game, in which he briefly surrendered his lead in the opening set, Nadal was near flawless in this match. In the first set, Nadal lost just 4 points on serve.

    Nadal continued his seige on Lopez in the second set. The lower-ranked Spaniard did not play a poor match, but Nadal was so much better that Lopez never had a chance to win.

    The world No. 1 will play either Marin Cilic or American Mardy Fish in the quarterfinals.

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kingnadal , 5/12/11 3:18 PM

what a relief!

atul1985 , 5/12/11 4:09 PM

Nadal on fever: "I don't know how long this virus will stay. If it's 1 day, then I
play tomorrow ... 5 days, then see you at

vrael , 5/12/11 4:31 PM

So we are not even sure Rafa will play tomorrow because he's got a fever. I hope he gets well soon, if he can't play he can't, nothing can be done about it and it won't be the end of the world.

I knew something wasn't quite right with him, he just didn't look on top of the world.

Get Well soon.


nadline , 5/12/11 4:40 PM

Fevered Nadal manages win but hoping for fast recovery
By Bill Scott May 12, 2011, 13:45 GMT

Rome - A fevered Rafael Nadal struggled to a win over fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, reaching the quarter-finals of the Rome Masters 6-4, 6-2 on Thursday but voicing fitness concerns for his next match.

'I had fever last night and I woke up feeling bad,' said the world number one, who only decided to take to the court at the last minute after a warm-up test session delayed for two hours by a doctor's visit and a rest.

'I didn't know if I could go onto the court, but I decided to play, this is my second virus this year after Doha (January). Now I know more as to why I had no energy yesterday (in a laboured win over Italian qualifier Paolo Lorenzi).

'I'm feeling not very good now. but I was OK during the match. I don't know how long this virus will stay, If it's one day, then I play tomorrow.

'If it's five days, then 'see you at Roland Garros.''

Nadal, using an ice towel around his neck on changeover, still managed to find his usual devastating touch against Lopez in 76 minutes for a fourth defeat on clay against his good friend,
Nadal owns the series with victories in eight of the 10 meetings dating to 2003.

nadline , 5/12/11 4:44 PM

nadline , 5/12/11 4:54 PM

Rafa might just pull out ofRome because he won't want to risk having another abductor injury like he did in Australia just before RG.


nadline , 5/12/11 5:04 PM

He should pull out,
When you have a virus you have to work twice as hard to get the same result for every shot - he could well get injured and then it could mean bye bye to RG.
It all depends on how he feels tomorrow - Nr. 1 stands on the edge of a knife :)

Shireling , 5/12/11 5:18 PM

oh, it happens again...I am so, so sad...

natashao , 5/12/11 5:19 PM

would be unreal if Cilic gets WDs from both Ferrer and Nadal in the same quarter of the draw

RickyDimon , 5/12/11 5:48 PM

Virus again!!!!!!!!!! Oh no!!! Not good start for RG!!!....GeeZE...........all he needs right now!!

Monalysa , 5/12/11 5:51 PM

Rafa shoud try to slug it out cos he needs to win tomorrow to keep the number one spot at least for a while, if not he will just be handing it to Novak!!!

VAMOS RAFA!!!!!!!!!!! We love you!!!

Monalysa , 5/12/11 5:55 PM

Rafa needs to pull out now if he wants to be strong for RG. He's insane to play with a virus and a fever. I think he wants to hold onto that #1 more than he let on. I just hope it doesn't damage his health in the process.

tuckatangent , 5/12/11 5:56 PM

What I don't understand if why Rafa was scheduled to play early today if he wasn't feeling well.

nadline , 5/12/11 6:00 PM

don't tell us if Rafa needs to pull out or not. Nobody knows how sicks he is. If he has to pull out, he will. If he doesn't pull out, that means he didn't have to.

RickyDimon , 5/12/11 6:36 PM

Speaking to the ATP after the match with Lopez Nadal said: "I had a fever this morning but I feel better now.

"Certainly I didn't really understand why yesterday I felt slow and without energy and I understand now better today.

"That is that and I am here to fight and to try my best like I have always done. I am ready for everything."

nadline , 5/12/11 7:00 PM

My poor Rafa.........

I am conflicted......on one hand I do not want him to compromise his health ahead of RG and therefore want him to pull out, on the other I do not want him to pull out because I do not want him to hand the #1 to Nole on a platter.......

Okay...after much soul searching I have arrived at a decision...Rafa should pull out now.....sigh.......I have a feeling he will not listen to me......

rafaisthebest , 5/12/11 7:03 PM

I'm going to stop worrying about Rafa every minute of the day because whether I worry or not makes no difference to the outcome of anything. I'll take it as it comes.

Famous last words. I wonder how long this will last. Lol


nadline , 5/12/11 7:48 PM

Half an hour?

zare , 5/12/11 7:53 PM

So let's take another CLOSE look at the so-called "brutal Rafa" draw:

Bellucci - out
Ferrer - out
Federer - out

No wonder yaya watshisname is gone quiet all of a sudden....things not going exactly according to plan, are they? Rafa was supposed to be taken out by the afroementioned "heavies" leaving good ol' Nole to win Rome AND take the #1 ranking to boot!

Now all they have is a virus to hang their prayers on.............! How the worm has turned..........

This is why, boys and girls, a little humility goes a long way.........

rafaisthebest , 5/12/11 8:11 PM

I agree with many that had the No1 ranking not been so much at sake, Rafa would've pulled out for sure.

However I think he's right to play on at the very least till tomorrow. Both Ferrer and Federer are out now so the semi will be a lot easier to cope with now. Then he gives himself a fighting chance to protect no1 spot at Roland Garros.

Although it may make more sense to pull out, now we have to consider the hard work in first displacing Federer from the top and then getting it back again after losing it to injury. So form that perspective you can understand the choice to play on.

Although it seems unlikely at the moment, Djokovic could lose today or suffer an early exit at the French. 3 out of 5 sets is a whole different level and Rafa has vast more experience at Roland Garros than Nole does.

Overall if he can just fend off Djokovic until Wimbledon, the ranking pressure will ease a bit as Nole has semi-final points to defend there.

lebsta2 , 5/12/11 8:14 PM

No we have Nole... and he will win:) ... with or without our prayers.
...and you are generalizing all Nole's fans... and provoking...
So you should google a little about politeness and humility...

zare , 5/12/11 8:17 PM

Ricky, were you talking to me? I thought it was obvious I was expressing an opinion, not a fact.

tuckatangent , 5/12/11 8:25 PM

No Zare, I know a lot about politeness and humility..........why are you so defensive, are you one of the Nole fans who were gloating about Rafa's "brutal draw"? I don't think so....I do not recall seeing a post from you to that effect.

My post was directed at yoya1108, or are you his/her keeper now? Tell HIM/HER about politeness and humulity before you dare lecture me about such.

Bloody cheek!!

rafaisthebest , 5/12/11 8:26 PM

Half an hour?

zare , 5/12/11 7:53 PM

I'll give it till tomorrow.

nadline , 5/12/11 8:29 PM

If Rafa can play as he did against Lopez when he wasn't feeling well and only decided to play at the last minute, it's good news. As I said the other day, he's not been looking great for weeks now.

nadline , 5/12/11 8:36 PM

Thank you, Ricky! Rafa will listen to the doctors and if he can't play because of the fever, then the decision will be made.

At least now we know what was wrong in the match with Lorenzi. Sometimes it's best to wait and not jump to conclusions. The big surprise to me was to wake up and see that Fed lost to Gasquet. Rafa's draw has opened up, so if he can play then he will want to take the opportunity.

This is really bad luck! Of course, I am worried about Rafa. Again it happens so close to another slam. What a year this has been!

It is concerning that Rafa is sick again after that illness in January. He has always been so healthy.

Nativenewyorker , 5/12/11 8:41 PM

tuckatangent - I was talking to you and others. You said "Rafa NEEDS to pull out" -- that sounded to me like a statement of fact. If you had said, "I think Rafa SHOULD pull out" then I would have still disagreed, but it at least would have been arguable.

But not hat you clarified that you are just expressing an opinion, then we can agree to disagree. Although I still don't know how anyone who doesn't know all the facts can argue that Rafa should pull out....

RickyDimon , 5/12/11 8:52 PM

rafaisthebest.... take look!!!
I really hate when ppl don't know what are they talking about!!!!!
.......................................................... ..........................................
"Yoya 1108... Sorry mate... I think you are going to far...
You are new here... so you have to remember...Rafa and Nole are friends!
Lot of Rafans here respect Nole... and they are not like some Fedfans...( you should be here 2,3 years ago)
Since the departure of Mr Arrogant... atmosphere here is completely different and much more tolerable ...
So we can speak about tennis and pleasure and beauty of game ( except Mr Johan)
So cheer for Nole... respectfully... because such lovely person deserve god fans :)
zare, 5/10/11 8:10 PM"
So first you can read then comment...
And you are still provoking!

zare , 5/12/11 8:56 PM

... BTW... according to you now I CAN lecture you... isn't it?

zare , 5/12/11 9:01 PM

if rafa needs to pull out, he will. he won't risk compromising the french open

and if he loses the #1 rank... so what? his health comes first and nole deserves the rank more than rafa does at the moment. it makes absolutely no difference to the seedings for the french open, other than he'll have a different number next to his name

but we'll see tomorrow. there's no point speculating because the decision rests in rafa's hands

Sib69 , 5/12/11 11:47 PM

why is rafa coming up with all these excuses recently?

?I think there is a difference between Madrid and Rome, different conditions and the altitude and the speed of the ball and everything is completely different,? said Nadal who now plays his countryman and good friend Feliciano Lopez .

?After losing the final there makes everything more difficult and you know, 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.?

just get on with it!

maxi , 5/13/11 12:16 AM

Well done to Rafa i'm glad to see he stuck in there even though he wasn't feeling good. Hope he continues to get better.

TopDog , 5/13/11 12:43 AM

For reasonble tennis fans this is part of what rafa had to say regarding his illness and his play yesterday:

Nadal overcomes illness and Lopez to make quarters
No.1 seed defeats Lopez 6-4, 6-2

After almost succumbing to a qualifier in the second round, Rafael Nadal had two hurdles to overcome on Thursday ? opponent Feliciano Lopez and a bad case of fever.

?I had fever last night, this morning. I didn't know if I should go on court and I decided at the last moment,? said the five-time Rome champion. ?I practised at 11:30 just for 15 minutes and then I decided to go on court. This is the second time this year (that Nadal has been ill at a tournament). Normally I have no problems with the changes and going very fast between the different places, but in the past few months that is not possible for the body and probably that is what is happening. And certainly I didn't really understand why yesterday I felt slow and without energy and I understand now better today. (Yesterday against Paolo Lorenzi), I played bad because I played bad. That is first. Secondly I wasn't playing with the normal energy for me. In tennis, movement and the power and the legs are one of the most important things and I felt terrible, and today I didn't feel perfect but a little bit better.?

Nadal?s performance on Centre Court certainly was a notch or two above his lacklustre effort against Lorenzi on Wednesday, and despite a brief lapse where he was broken back in the middle of the first set, he seemed on much sharper form. ?I don't feel perfect right now and a little bit worse than during the match but that is normal. Hopefully everything will go well tomorrow and I will be okay ? you never know because sometimes it last one day and other times for three or five days. If this lasts for five days then I'll see you in Roland Garros! If it is for one day or two days, I'm going to try for sure.?

?We have the Roland Garros in a week and half,? said Nadal of the French Open, another clay-court tournament which he has won five times. ?In 2009 I didn't arrive in perfect condition because I had problems with my knee but this year I don't have physical problems. I have a virus now and I don't see why I won?t be in perfect condition in one and a half weeks.? urnament/Thursday-Nadal.aspx

TopDog , 5/13/11 1:04 AM

If Nadal continues playing then he is an idiot. he will commit the same mistake that he did in Doha. He is not learning from his mistakes

Look what the virus did to him in Australia. It weakened is immunity and he suffered a muscle tear even after the virus that would not have normally happened. Its not only about getting rid of the virus but also giving body sufficient rest so that some other problem doesnt happen.

atul1985 , 5/13/11 7:39 AM

We need to try to keep calm about this fever issue with Rafa. We know that he is getting advice from a doctor. He said himself that if the fever is of a short duration, then he will continue. If it does not get better, then - see you at RG. That's what he said.

Does anybody seriously think that Rafa wants to jeopardize his chances at RG? I will give him the benefit of the doubt. If he cannot play, he won't play.

As Ricky said, we don't know all the facts. Let's have some faith in Rafa.

Nativenewyorker , 5/13/11 8:09 AM

what you write and what Ricky wrote is true.
At the same time we care about Rafa's welfare, healthwise and tenniswise, and we can't help but worry and speculate based on what we know.
For example, I am not entirely sure I trust all of Nadal's decisions, bless his heart. In part because he has plenty of conflicting purposes pulling on him. E.g. last fall when he played all those hardcourt tournaments in Asia. Too many I wrote then - not that my opinion matters - and too many I still think now. He had lots of reasons to want or have to play them. Did it serve him and his rest and physical well-being? Probably not. His schedule - every very successful tennis player's schedule is too full, for several good reasons. It's a bit insane really, that schedule, even when some players decide to cut several tournaments in a year.

chlorostoma , 5/13/11 3:24 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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