• Nadal won't tip himself as Monte Carlo favorite

    4/16/13 6:16 PM | Johan Lindahl
    Nadal won't tip himself as Monte Carlo favorite Rafael Nadal says he can't label himself the favourite for a ninth straight title at the Monte Carlo Masters, with the competition consistently fierce on court as the pre-Roland Garros season begins for real.

    With a winning streak at the Mediterranean venue stretching back 42 matches - his last loss here came in 2003 to Argentine Guillermo Coria - there is overwhelming evidence that the Spaniard has the game to extend his run of form. But his chronic knee problems remain a joker in the pack for his chances of setting another clay record.

    "I cannot say I'm the biggest favourite to win here again," said the 11-time Grand Slam winner. "This is not an easy event to win. I don't want to lose perspective, but I don't want to lose either. I want to focus on the tennis day by day. I don't want to talk knees, if I'm here I'm here to compete.

    I will try my best and hope to play better each day. I had a fantastic comeback (two February clay titles in Latin America before Indian Wells)."

    Nadal also takes no notice of his ranking, standing fifth behind Novak Djokvic, Andy Murray, Roger Federer and David Ferrer. "You can't be in the top four if you did not play for seven months. I've always gone day by day and just want to try and keep improving. I'm always excited to be back here and have the chance to work hard and try to win. Now my job is to try and play well."

    Whether he bags a ninth title or loses trying, Nadal is not stressing over the outcome of his opening week on clay in the French Open run-up. "Everything in life finishes sometime. Someday the winning will stop. Not everything is forever. But I'm excited to be here, it is always a high motivation for me to play Monte Carlo."

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Way to go, Rafa!!


Monalysa , 4/16/13 8:01 PM uropean-Clay-Court-Swing.aspx

This makes very interesting read!

Monalysa , 4/16/13 8:16 PM

#Vamos Rafa
#Keep calm

nadline , 4/16/13 8:22 PM

Rafa will never tip himself as the favorite. It's his way of taking the pressure off himself. I think he has a wonderful way of dealing with the high expectations placed upon him, given his superiority on clay and his results over the years.

My only concern is how rusty Rafa will be after being off for four weeks. He got a good draw, now it's up to him.

Good luck, Rafa!

Nativenewyorker , 4/16/13 8:28 PM

Thank you for the link.

Remember when Vilas was upset what seems like an eternity ago when Rafa beat his 53 (I think) consecutive clay titles record? He made a bit of noise back then, a bit of sour grapes, and no one expected Rafa to go to 81 consecutives. (Damn that cold wet weather in Hamburg :-).

Vilas holds the record for the most claycourt titles - 45. Rafa is currently at 38. Probably will be at 42 or 43 come June, and health permitting, will get past 45 by June 2014 when he'll be turning 28.

(And Vilas might not be amused then :-), especially as he himself was not an all surfaces champion.)

chlorostoma , 4/16/13 9:27 PM

Same old stuff from Nadal. I think for every pre-tournament interview he should just get a cardboard pin up of himself with a recording on repeat saying:"I will do my best. I will try to get better. Being #1 does not matter to me. I am not the favorite to win the event. There are many contenders,no?" I wonder if he will write an autobiography when he retires. Maybe then he can reveal how Toni locked him in a closet (like Ferrer's coach did once I believe) every day until he was 21 in the dark with said recording playing over and over to achieve the desired result. It's like the man doesn't have an independent thought in his head. Everything he says seems to have been planted there by Toni. He acts like a cyborg. Never anything different.

chr18 , 4/16/13 10:25 PM

So chr18, what do you want Rafa to do, go around with a cape embroidered King of Clay carrying a gold man bag?


nadline , 4/16/13 11:12 PM

chr18 - If you don't hear anything different from Rafa it's because your either deaf or so bent on your own mindset, you don't care to hear anything different. Your jealousy and dislike of everything Nadal has been on display for years without even a hint of appreciation for the incredible person/tennis player that Nadal is. If anyone's been in a closet with an audiostream it's you. If you so dislike Rafa why do you bother commenting on his threads anyway? Just have to feed the neurosis I guess.

Maya , 4/17/13 1:13 AM

When did I say he was not an incredible player? That's the point. He's the obvious favorite and denies it. It's like denying that the nose on his face exists. It's right in front of him and he acts like it's not there.

chr18 , 4/17/13 1:34 AM

Oh he's in the closet alright.


Conspirator , 4/17/13 2:00 AM

What is obvious to you is not obvious to Nadal. If he feels that being out of tennis for 7 months overrides his winning streak, or whatever variables he chooses to look at, he's the man in the know, not you. There have been many tournaments over the years where Rafa HAS acknowledged himself as the favorite, but you apparently weren't paying attention, or maybe in your selective listening mode.

Maya , 4/17/13 2:39 AM

It's apparent that chr18 has nothing better to do that obsess about all things Rafa. We know that Rafa tries to take the pressure off himself and his comments are a reflection of that. He has to deal with it in the way that works for him. If someone like chr18 wants to trash him for it, then that's his problem!

It's not a question of being someone else's definition of who he should be. Rafa is the one who knows who he is and what he needs to know to be able to compete without the unbearable weight of great expectations. I also agree with Maya that Rafa is acknowledging the fact that he's been out of the sport for seven months. That's certainly true!

I just can't get over someone like chr18 commenting more about Rafa than Fed! That should tell us something! :)

Nativenewyorker , 4/17/13 2:52 AM


Conspirator , 4/17/13 2:55 AM

^^Oh Wow Maya really!?!
Can you perhaps name them for us?
A few at least where Rafa has dropped his facade of fake (possibly trauma induced) humilty, or maybe you should run along to the mall again like the nice little bullshit sycophant you are.
I hear they're doing a two for one on slurpees as we speak...
Not dissing Rafas false modesty, I still think he's pretty respectful regardless , it's just a coping mechanism
But gods, some of his creepy crawly fans!
That's something else entirely!

Twinge , 4/17/13 2:55 AM

Ah yes, Twinge, chr18 nastier alter ego. When you rear your ugly head I know I've hit a nerve. And no, I won't do your research. Every Nadal fan worth their salt knows that he has acknowledged himself as the favorite in certain tournaments in the past, If you don't know about them then do your own research. As for creepy crawley fans, you take the cake!

Maya , 4/17/13 3:24 AM

Oh, you are a devastating one aren't you!?!
I'm apparently the alter ego of chris18
And why should you tell me about Nadal's claims to be the favourite when It's obvious you know, like all nadal fans, but simply can't be bothered to give me one example!
Careful Maya, searing wit like this could be construed as dangerous and threatening intelligence to the average tennis fan.
I remain, however, strangely unmoved by your abilities....
Because all I see is...oh wait I know it to the worth of my salt but I can't be bothered to tell you!
Perhaps you might do your own research on this matter...

Twinge , 4/17/13 4:11 AM

Just because Rafa doesn't behave like the man in a white suit embroidered 15 carrying a man bag on court his detractors are complaining. If Rafa wants to take pressure off himself by not resting on his laurels thinking he can sleep walk his way to the title, then that's up to him.

He will, no doubt, be flattered at the undisputed adulation heaped on him by his closet fans, who despite saying they hate him, do acknowledge that he is not one to me messed with on a clay court.

#Vamos Rafa
#One match at a time

nadline , 4/17/13 9:07 AM

Looking back ledon-2009-dandy-start-for-Roger-Federers-campaign.html

nadline , 4/17/13 10:26 AM

Ooohh love the golden finish on Roger's man bag, it complements his lustrous bangs perfectly ;)

Twinge , 4/17/13 11:17 AM

Come, come Neil, he is the King not just Prince of Clay: /photo/1

rafaisthebest , 4/17/13 11:39 AM

Happy Anniversary, Rafa! adal-Monte-Carlo-Anniversary.aspx

rafaisthebest , 4/17/13 11:42 AM

No spare seat in sight for Rafa's match.

Must say, I don't like Rafa's shirt, too bland.......colour suits him best.

rafaisthebest , 4/17/13 12:37 PM

Really? I think he looks particularly cute.

ed251137 , 4/17/13 12:48 PM

1st break, Rafa...........

rafaisthebest , 4/17/13 12:49 PM

This could be humiliating for Masovic..........................but I liked his wry grin when he won his first point

ed251137 , 4/17/13 12:54 PM

Double break Rafa, 1st set........3-0

rafaisthebest , 4/17/13 12:56 PM

4-0 Rafa, Matosevic has won just 3 points, all errors off Rafa's racket.....

rafaisthebest , 4/17/13 1:00 PM

Mtosevic gets a game and goes crazy........

rafaisthebest , 4/17/13 1:04 PM

When I found that Rafa was going to be in a white shirt I wasn't too keen, but he looks so cute with the blue and red contrasts.

nadline , 4/17/13 1:17 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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