• In-form Nadal reaches Barcelona final

    4/27/13 8:48 PM | Kelli DeMario
    In-form Nadal reaches Barcelona final World No. 5 Rafael Nadal is through to another final in Barcelona after recording a straight-sets victory over 5th seed Milos Raonic. The defending champion will contest Sunday's title match against compatriot Nicolas Almagro.

    Defending champion Rafael Nadal advanced to his 77th career final on Saturday, having ousted Canada's Milos Raonic in straight sets. The 26-year-old, who looks to win title number 8 in Barcelona, came through the match in 73 minutes, 6-4, 6-0.

    "I think it was my best match of the whole week," Nadal assessed. "He played a fantastic second game on the return. I won the third game, which was very important for the match, because if you are 3-0 down against a big server like Milos, you’re in big trouble.

    "(Almagro) is playing great and having a fantastic week. Tomorrow will be the most difficult match of the week. Hopefully I can play my best match and take my chances."

    Nadal completed the semifinal effort with four aces and five of 11 break points converted.

    He is slated to take on fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro for the championship title. Almagro defeated Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber in the semifinals, 6-2, 6-1.

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The ATP have a great sense of humour, they've got the results of both Rafa's matches against Ramos and Raonic on the Home Page.

nadline , 4/27/13 9:03 PM

Oh well, one thing we learned today: even Canadians fold against Rafa, eh chr18?

rafaisthebest , 4/27/13 9:30 PM

I wouldn't say he folded as much as he ran out of gas. That's what happens when you're not good enough to beat Robredo in straight sets. Five sets yesterday( 3 of them tie breaks) was too much. Like I've said before Nadal is in better shape than all opponents (with the current exception being the Djoker) so he just wears them out on clay. Out physicals them if you will. Now if you want to see somebody fold watch Almugro tomorrow. I'll be watching Rosol to see if he can win his first title.

chr18 , 4/27/13 9:51 PM

Enough with the excuses, chr18 and stop moving the goal-posts to suit your agenda. If Almagro does not get bageleld tomorrow I don't see how you can then turn around and say he folded and Raonic did not fold. If Raonic cannot stay with the Big Boys stamina-wise, he has no business playing with the Big boys.

You and I agree on one thing though, the burden of stopping Rafa rests with one man and one man only: Novak Djokovic. And Rafa is improving with each match......


rafaisthebest , 4/27/13 10:02 PM

So chr18 is now a Rosolan, Delpo will be jealous.

Vamos Rafa

nadline , 4/27/13 10:37 PM sad news. Ivo Karlovic is in hospital. Brain stroke. :(

zare , 4/27/13 11:05 PM

That's really sad especially at his age. I read that it was mild but for a pro tennis player this could be career over. Health comes first. You don't expect athletes to have these conditions at age 34. Maybe his diet was poor or he smokes. I can't see him having hypertension. Get well Dr. Ivo and try that Mediterranean diet.

chr18 , 4/28/13 12:04 AM

Get well soon Dr. Ivo, I will miss reading his tweets in the meantime, wicked sense of humour....

rafaisthebest , 4/28/13 7:15 AM

Get Well Soon, Ivo.

nadline , 4/28/13 10:29 AM


Scrotracker , 4/28/13 10:35 AM

Is the above for real?

ed251137 , 4/28/13 10:56 AM

^^^No, it's not you know who, spelling is all wrong. Looks like an identity thief is on the loose. I think the site Administrators should take a look.

rafaisthebest , 4/28/13 11:14 AM

I've already added more value with that one comment than the original scoretracker ever has, dont see a problem :D

Scrotracker , 4/28/13 11:16 AM

I posted this on another thread, it's so funny. Gulbis at his best

nadline , 4/28/13 12:50 PM

rafaisthebest , 4/28/13 11:14 AM

Lol, but its not spelt scoretracker. Can't be considered identity theft.

samprallica , 4/28/13 3:57 PM

I've already added more value with that one comment than the original scoretracker ever has, dont see a problem :D

Scrotracker , 4/28/13 11:16 AM

@samprallica, the words "....original scoretracker" clearly tells you the INTENT behind the choice of name........

rafaisthebest , 4/28/13 4:20 PM

Rafa is down 2 breaks!

Vamos Rafa

nadline , 4/28/13 4:23 PM

Rafa's not handling these conditions very well.

ed251137 , 4/28/13 4:34 PM

Luckily nor is Almagro now.

ed251137 , 4/28/13 4:36 PM

Rafa recovered both breaks.

Vamos Rafa

nadline , 4/28/13 4:37 PM

Good practice for Rafa to play in wet conditions . Conditions similar to the 3rd set of RG12.

atul1985 , 4/28/13 4:43 PM

Rafa's being very pop in his shots.

rafaisthebest , 4/28/13 4:46 PM

I think he is playing alright given the conditions

atul1985 , 4/28/13 4:49 PM

He is letting Almagro take charge of the rallies, not good...........

rafaisthebest , 4/28/13 4:54 PM

Did you see that tweenie?????????


nadline , 4/28/13 5:04 PM

Rafa steals the 1st set 6-4.....I'll take it..


rafaisthebest , 4/28/13 5:05 PM

1st set, Rafa 64.

nadline , 4/28/13 5:05 PM

Stopped raining for now, hope Rafa plays with more urgency now......

rafaisthebest , 4/28/13 5:09 PM

Rafa up a break in the 2nd, please hold Rafa....

rafaisthebest , 4/28/13 5:26 PM

2 more holds and......

rafaisthebest , 4/28/13 5:30 PM

Rafa has upped his level enormously for the 2nd set.

ed251137 , 4/28/13 5:33 PM

1 more hold and........

rafaisthebest , 4/28/13 5:37 PM

Rafa leads 5-2, 2nd set

Vamos Rafa

nadline , 4/28/13 5:37 PM

Good to see our Rafa playing better in 2nd set than in the first set throughout this tournament, which was missing in MC. I think Rafa still need to get better to be ready for RG.
What a champion Rafa is. He is able to produce these results after being out for more than 7 months, Unbelievable. Vamosssss

gr8nadal , 4/28/13 5:43 PM


nadline , 4/28/13 5:46 PM

The quest for the trilogy is on track......

8 Barcelona;
8 MC;
8 RG?

Vamos Rafa!!

rafaisthebest , 4/28/13 5:46 PM

If Rafa does well in Madrid and defends Rome and RG, the world will be his oyster for the rest of the season. He's made one slip so far by not defending his title in MC.

Vamos Rafa

nadline , 4/28/13 5:56 PM

As usual Rafa started tentatively but got into groove and playing well as the match progressed. I'm really happy that Rafa plays this Barcelona tournament, as he clearly needs the match play to regain his match sharpness and intensity, after stopping for one month without playing anything.

Almagro is a good opponent in the final as he has all the fire power to trouble Rafa, at least in the first set. Rafa had to use his guile and all the shots in his book to get past this Almagro in the first set. I love his net approaches and his volleying at the net, not to mention his changing of pace with his slices, and his backhand CC passing shots from well behind the baseline. He's serving well enough to win but I few he still needs more work on his serve, at least not to be broken in his first service games when his opponents could simply hit hard for a good return and win the point. For three matches now, he was being broken in his first service games and had to chase from behind in the scores.

Well done to Rafa, for winning four titles out of six events played since coming back from injury. Simply amazing.

luckystar , 4/28/13 6:46 PM

I liked his sharpness at the net, scooping dying balls to make winning volleys, this shows his back is not troubling him as much as it was at MC........

rafaisthebest , 4/28/13 7:14 PM

luckystar, I wondered where you were. Nice to see you post again.

nadline , 4/28/13 7:20 PM

Def. a better overall tournament played by Rafa compared to MC. Signs are promising..onto Madrid..I hope he meets Djokovic in the semis this time

atul1985 , 4/28/13 7:20 PM

Hi nadline, I'd problems posting comments using my Ipad. The systems guy here tried to help but still couldn't solve the problem. I'm posting now using my laptop, still have difficulties posting sometimes, but at least I can post some comments today!

luckystar , 4/28/13 7:42 PM


We were wondering where you were. Nice to see you back! I do think that Rafa has to work on his serve in order to avoid being broken right out of the gate as happened with Raonic and Almagro. He makes it too easy for them. I also noticed that he's not wearing the tape on his back when he took off his shirt after the match. So it seems that the back is okay. Maybe that's why he seemed to move better throughout this match. He was able to get some low balls and his volleying at net was excellent. It was nice to see Rafa playing more aggressive in the final. I also loved seeing Rafa's cc backhand working so well. It seemed as though Rafa's game was really coming together in this final. His movement was very good and his groundstrokes were sharp and accurate. He wasn't making as many UE's.

Rafa used his tennis brain to counter Almagro's aggressive game in that first set. It's good that Rafa had to play him because he has the game to challenge Rafa. It was also nice to see Rafa take control in that second set. There were some vintage Rafa shots. Good stuff!

This win will give Rafa confidence for Madrid and Rome. He is getting better the more he plays. Things are looking good for Rafa!

Nativenewyorker , 4/29/13 4:08 AM

Good to see you all ! Congrats :) a better week for rafa than MC ...he did not look rusty as he did against dimitrov or tsonga.... I agree rafa needs to improve his serve so as to avoid getting broken early on...his excellent return game saves him but he shud be holding serve more !

My main focus this week was on rafa's backhand because this is the shot which MUST hold up against djokovic.Rafa hit some good CC backhanda as NNY also mentioned... However,i do not think this is vintage rafa ..he is still reluctant to flatten out his backhand up the line ...instead he is relying more on hitting high deep backhand down the lines..a vintage rafa mixes up the backhand more...even the CC backhand is not quite there,altjough he is improving fast !

Rafa knows nole really exposed his backhand wing so i am sure he'll spend some extra time on the practise court ...besides,there are some dimensions of the rafa game which he only acquires with confidence,an e.g is consistently deep ROS ..he is getting there and I am confident he'll peak in time before RG

Now rest ,recover and sharpen your shots rafa ! The physical conditioning is surely getting better too :) rafa getting match tough

vamosrafa , 4/29/13 6:47 AM


Good to see you here! It's been a quiet week. You do make some good points. I don't think that Rafa's cc backhand is not there yet. I just was happy to see him hitting that shot. That's always a good sign. I think you are also right about Rafa's dtl backhand. He isn't flattening it out. But I am happy to see him going for his backhand shots, because the more he does then at some point the rhythm and timing and accuracy will return.

It does seem to take time for Rafa's ROS to come back. I think he was definitely returning better here than in MC. It does seem to be coming together. With two more tournaments, that should be enough to get Rafa ready for RG.

Rafa now gets a week off before Madrid and Rome. A well earned rest!

Nativenewyorker , 4/29/13 9:06 AM

Sorry, in my post above I meant to say that I agree that Rafa's cc backhand isn't there yet. I worded it in such a way as to make it seem that I don't think it's not there yet. I absolutely think that it can and will get better.

Nativenewyorker , 4/29/13 9:09 AM

True! Rafa did everything better this week as compared to MC...his volleying was outstanding ! One thing would like to point out is that rafa's backhand always peaks when he has some winning momentum and significant match play...remember his.comeback at the south american clay swing?after being shaky with his backhand for the first two tournaments,rafa really started to find his backhand !his backhand wad a MONSTER against ferrer in acapulco !!ot was one of the best i have ever seen him hit his backhand ...hence,i expect rafa to be near his best once rome nears its end...

vamosrafa , 4/29/13 11:55 AM

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