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  • Nadal back in the chase for No. 1 ranking

    6/10/13 9:30 PM | Johan Lindahl
    Nadal back in the chase for No. 1 ranking Rafael Nadal stands amazed that his eighth French Open title now puts him in the chase for the year-end No. 1 ranking.

    The Spaniard who defeated David Ferrer 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 at Roland Garros, will ironically drop to fifth on the new ATP list, with Ferrer replacing him on fourth.

    But with just 55 points to defend from now until the end of the season - he missed seven months from July to February with a knee injury - the 27-year old is moving into position to challenge top-ranked Novak Djokovic, who he beat in a thrilling five-set semi-final at Roland Garros last week.

    But Nadal insists that chasing ranking points is not in his plans. To prove it, he has returned to his island home of Mallorca and will rest until travelling hopefully to Wimbledon for the Jun 24 start. "That's (No. 1) not my goal today. I'm in a good position in the point race: a lot of points, and only with nine tournaments (and seven titles). So that's something amazing.

    "Without playing Miami and without playing Australia, today I have 7,000 points on my computer. So that's much more than what I thought or what I dreamed."

    Nadal warns that his progression is far from assured. "To be No. 1 in this era, you need to play during the whole season because the rest of the players are very competitive. They're going to be there. I need to keep winning a lot of points if I want to have any chance to be number one at the end of the season."

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Comments

TT has to be the worst sport related site in getting picks .. or is it intentional?

Shireling , 6/11/13 10:49 AM


Rafa does not take anything for granted, he only celebrates when it's in the bag not boast about beforehand. I like his attitude, take it one match at a time because no one can assume anything. All the players want to win every tournament they enter so Rafa has to fight for his wins, no one is going to hand it to him on a plate.

On the BBC, after he won RG, he said that anyone who doesn't have doubts is arrogant.

nadline , 6/11/13 11:53 AM


don't know wherelse to put this

Guys, have a look at this article here and search for the word 'Bolt' (as in U. Bolt)...
Nadal camp has already said that this is a lie..... UK journalists are already doing their work prior to Wimby?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2013/jun/09/rafael-nadal-fer rer-french-open

Shireling , 6/11/13 5:37 PM





RAFA PLANS TO PLAY ON TILL 2018 :)

Eight-time French Open champion, Rafa Nadal revealed exclusively to MARCA that he places great value on what he has achieved after seven months in which he started to have doubts about his physical fitness.

"I had a limp three months ago. My knee hurt a lot when I started playing again, but that pain didn't worsen over the course of the tournament, in fact it subsided. That's great news," Nadal explained.

Wimbledon is just around the corner: "I'll have a check-up on my knee over the next few days, having not had one for many weeks. I've held up very well. I don't plan on having any injections for the pain in order to play in London."

With 12 Grand Slam titles to his name, he is now looking, to a greater or lesser degree towards the world's greatest ever player: "Roger Federer's 17 Grand Slam titles seem light years away to me. I'm not even thinking about that right now."

One of my main objectives is the 2015 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. I'll work as hard as I can to make it in tip-top condition. Hopefully I'll continue afterwards and continue playing until 2018," said Nadal.

vamosrafa , 6/11/13 9:31 PM


Operative words being "right now".

#VamosChamp
#HI8TORY
#GOAT

Conspirator , 6/11/13 9:49 PM


In hindsight the 7 month break may have been a blessing in disguise for him. It will give him confidence that going forth if his knee does not act well and he needs to take a break,it is very much within realm of possibility to make a comeback

And the fact that he has set 2016/2018 as target is great, it means he has a goal

And ofcourse he wont talk about Rogers slam tally in mind even if he has at back of his mind,he is not Djokovic to tell about his dreams and goals beforehand to the media.

sanju , 6/12/13 4:20 AM


I honestly don't think that Rafa focuses at all on Fed's slam tally. He has his own goals. After listening to his lengthy post victory press conference, I thought that we got a chance to see inside Rafa's mind. He did say that there needs to be goals. He also said that if you think that you don't have to improve, then that's a problem. He spoke about why he plays, his passion for the sport and how he approaches competition.

Rafa is thoughtful, knowledgeable and articulate about tennis, the state of his game, what he wants to do in the sport and how he wants to do it.

Rafa is playing for his own reasons and if he happens to tie Fed's slam tally, that would be fine with him but it's not his reason for continuing to play.

Nativenewyorker , 6/12/13 5:01 AM


Even if rafa does think about Fed's tally, he will never say it publically!

atul1985 , 6/12/13 8:30 AM


http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/tennis/wimbledon-2013-wimbledon-step-far -1946182

sabs , 6/12/13 8:44 AM


In both the years Rafa won Wimby he ended the year as #1. Just read an interview where Uncle Toni said whoever wins Wimby has a good shot at being YE#1. Team Nadal is sensing blood...

The Bull is back.

Vamos!

rafaisthebest , 6/12/13 10:41 AM


RAFA won 75% of his slams in Clay, it is hard to believe that he will win many from grass/hard courts. Even the 4 slams that he won two of them where very close (AO 09 & Wimb 08).

12 + 1 +2 (RG) is realistic: i.e. overall 15.

sabs , 6/12/13 10:58 AM


Even the 4 slams that he won two of them where very close (AO 09 & Wimb 08).

sabs
, 6/12/13 10:58 AM

What is the point you trying to make sabs? Ofcourse GS finals are expected to be close right

Wimby 2007 which Fed won over Rafa was very close, AO 2012 which Novak won over Rafa was very close. Wimby 2009 which Fed won over Roddick was very close.

sanju , 6/12/13 11:09 AM


^^^ RAFA never had easy runs in non clay slams.

sabs , 6/12/13 11:17 AM


Yeah so why is there an issue with having a difficult run ? It would be so boring if we have a GS final like RG2008 or RG 2010 or RG 2013 - straight set defeats.

And FYI, his run to Wimby 2010 (save the 5 setter in between) and US 2010 was failrly easy

sanju , 6/12/13 11:28 AM


@sabs, you are an intelligent poster, get off this clay-diminishing bandwagon and smell the real coffee. Rafa is in ominous form, his knees are holding up and none of the other top players have been outstanding so far. If there is a silver lining for other players out there it is that Rafa has not tested his feet on grass yet so he may be a tard more vulnerable in the early rounds. If Rafa comes out of week one unscathed he will be collecting Slam #13, mark my words.

rafaisthebest , 6/12/13 11:31 AM


^^^ clay-diminishing bandwagon - certainly not
Dont go by his clay form, if he could repeat his clay form else where then he would have won more than 16 slams by now.
I dont think he will win more than one wimby/AO.

sabs , 6/12/13 11:39 AM


sabs, 6/12/13 10:58 AM

Yes, but how many slam finals has he mad on grass and h/c? He is 2nd only to Roger of current players. Stop ignoring the facts and calling black white.

nadline , 6/12/13 11:43 AM


^^^ RAFA never had easy runs in non clay slams.
sabs, 6/12/13 11:17 AM

Rafa won the USO in 2010 dropping just ONE set in the final and did not drop his serve until the SF. I'm beginning to wonder if you actually watch tennis or you just post on blogs.

nadline , 6/12/13 11:46 AM


I hope Federer ends up with Rafa in his Qtr at Wimbledon; so far he has paid the price at IW for not supporting the 2 year ranking that Rafa proposed to protect players who take a long injury time out.

nadline , 6/12/13 11:51 AM


^^^ Ok, I am afraid of tennis terrorism now.
RAFA will win next 3 non clay slams, His clay form will carry him through rest of the slams and he will have 23 slams by the end of 2015.

sabs , 6/12/13 12:01 PM


^^there ya go, hahaha! Now, behave.......

rafaisthebest , 6/12/13 12:22 PM


Nadal fans had a tough year for three reasons:
1) After Nadal in 2012 had just narrowed the GS gap with Federer to 5 (making it 11-16), Nadal lost early at Wimbledon;
2) Federer made the gap bigger again by winning that same Wimbledon (11-17);
3) Nadal's longest period away from the court started right after.
Not a very comfortable position to start GOAT debating.

The way he bounced back though, brushes away all of the above. You can go on any tennis website, and the debate on the GOAT is ON everywhere. That in itself is a huge victory for team Nadal.

Currently however, the gap in GS titles has been closed again down to a do-able 5 titles. And the closing of this gap seems more likely than ever, Federer having the worst season in a decade so far, and Nadal picking up the pace. At the rate he's going, I see it happen. Back to no. 1 will be the logical consequence. The no. of GS is the vital stat though (look at Rios, great no. 1, right, with 0 GS titles)?

Scrolling to GOAT discussions on the web, the trend is approximately 50% Fed, 50% Nadal. This is great, given the fact that we are at 12-17 at the moment and Nadal just turned only 27 and has had the best season start ever. He'll never admit it, but the goal is clear: undisputed GOAT.

JBeer , 6/12/13 12:33 PM


http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/06/toni-nadal-rafa-ready-run-no-1/ 47886/#.UbhhBJxRCDc

" Toni Nadal tells El Periodico that his fifth-ranked nephew Rafael is sitting in a good position to make a run at the No. 1 ranking. Nadal trails world No. 1 Novak Djokovic by about 5,000 points, but only has 90 points to defend the rest of the year.

?We are in a position to play for the top. Rafa has a considerable advantage, but everything can changes in one tournament,? he said. Whomever wins Wimbledon will take a big step.?

Toni Nadal also said that while his nephew is the best player ever on clay, if he didn?t win the French Open title this year, ?it?s not the same. When you get to Roland Garros you have a lot of pressure, you come to be the world?s best on clay. If you lose Roland Garros it?s a huge disappointment. That have him a lot of pressure. Everything you have gained is worth less. Rafael had beaten David [Ferrer] many times, but it was their biggest match. If you lose it, it would be a disaster.?

rafaisthebest , 6/12/13 1:54 PM


sabs, 6/12/13 12:01 PM

Finally, some objectivity.

#YoureWelcome

Conspirator , 6/12/13 2:15 PM


For a single tennis season :

rafa has reached 9 consecutive finals in 2013 ...djokovic reached 6 consecutive finals in 2011...federer reached 11 consecutive in 2007... so rafa is 2 finals away from the all time record by federer of reaching most consecutive finals in a single season... Rafa can do it :)

HOWEVER, federer reached 17, thats right, SEVETEEN consecutive finals from Halle 2005 to Toronto 2006 ! :O thats ONE HELL of a record..hats off to Roger federer...
I dont think this record will ever be broken..

One has to see that rafa's era is packed with so many more dangerous players and getting out in the semi or final requires one hot day from a delpotro or a berdych ! and he has roger, murray and DJOKOVIC to deal with too....


# I played a Greg sharko here myself ;) Calculated all these numbers myself :)

vamosrafa , 6/12/13 4:15 PM


Chapeau, @vamosrafa! Great effort. These are monster stats by Rafa, and in this Golden era too!

rafaisthebest , 6/12/13 4:23 PM


Nicely done vamosrafa!!!

"Halle 2005 to Toronto 2006" when I (and many others) lost interest in tennis.

#WeakEraPeak

Conspirator , 6/12/13 4:54 PM


haha..thanks guys, yes rafa's era is a golden one..MUCH touger than that 2005-06 era but still, 17 is HUGE.... one really has to be like a machine ! 17 tournaments should be arnd 90 matches so playign at such a high level for 17 tournaments is marvelous !

Lets have a look at fed's semi-finalist opponents in this streak that could have prevented him from reaching the final:

*starting from halle 2005 to toronto 2006

- Tommy Haaas (halle SF)
-Hewitt (wimbledon SF)
-Robby Ginepri (cincinnati SF)
-Hewitt (USO SF)
-Nieminen ( Bangkok)
-gaston gaudio (roger won 6-0 6-0) Tennis masters Cup

Now on to 2006

-Haas (Doha)
-Nicolas Kiefer ( Oz open)
-Youzhny (dubai)
-paradorn scrichapan (IW)
-David ferrer (Miami)
-Fernando Gonzalez (MC)
-David Nalbandian (Rome)
- David Nalbandian( Roland garros semi final 2006, nalby retired at 3-6, 6-4, 5-2)
- Tommy Haas, AGAIN ! (Halle 2006 )
-Jonas Bjorkman ( LOL ..wimb 06 SF )
-Fernando Gonzalez ( canada masters SF 06)

and finally , a young Scotsman ended Roger's streak by beating in 7-5 6-4 in cincinnati masters R32 ( Dedicated to Duece and alex ) lol


vamosrafa , 6/12/13 5:28 PM


Now lets have a look at rafa's streak ..his SF opponents that could have prevented him from reaching the finals :

-Jeremy Chardy (Chile open)
-Martin Alund (Brasil Open)
-Nicolas Almagro (Acapulco)
-Tomas Berdych (IW) ..rafa also beat ROGER FEDERER in the quarter finals !!
-Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Monte carlo )..
-Milos raonic (Barcelona)
- Pablo Anjuhar (Madrid)...rafa beat ferrer in the quarter finals !
-Tomas Berdych ( Rome masters)...rafa beat ferrer again in the quarters
- Novak Djokovic (Roland garros SF)

Rafa's run came after a 8 month layoff!! that's the most important stat of all!

vamosrafa , 6/12/13 5:36 PM


"One of my main objectives is the 2015 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. I'll work as hard as I can to make it in tip-top condition. Hopefully I'll continue afterwards and continue playing until 2018," said Nadal.

LOL! That must be the 2015 for the OCD lunatics in Brazil. I am thinking it is a winner takes all match between bartoli and nadal to showcase all their creepiness!

My money is on kneedal to out-creep bartoli.

Fedkovic23 , 6/12/13 5:36 PM


@vamosrafa, everybody accepts that this era is strong, and not just counting the "usual suspects", Fed, Rafa, Nole and Andy. The second tier is pretty formidable too. Getting to a final in this era is a mighty feat on its own, this is why we must salute Ferru for reaching the RG final.

rafaisthebest , 6/12/13 5:47 PM


RITb, yes... players like Tsonga, Berdych, delpo, Soderling before his injury...and many other dangerous players...

vamosrafa , 6/12/13 5:49 PM


Just read that La Monf has pulled out of Wimby due to pressing personal matters. Unfortunate. Hope Haas, T-Rob and Reeshad bring the heat! Haas and Reeshad are pretty snappy on grass too...

rafaisthebest , 6/12/13 5:55 PM


That's a real shame. He's been playing great. Looked great against Milos yesterday (even though Milos donated a ton of UEs).

Conspirator , 6/12/13 7:37 PM


vamosrafa,

Great post @ 4:15 PM! Thanks for that! I also thought it was fascinating to see the semifinal opponents for Fed in your post @ 5:28 PM. It does bolster the weak era argument. However, I still tip my hat to Fed for 17 consecutive finals back in the day.

There can be no question that Rafa's titles were earned in one of the most competitive eras in men's tennis. I also believe that Rafa having to go up against a Fed in his prime, makes that achievement even more remarkable.

I am sorry to hear that Monfils has to pull out of Wimbledon. He seemed to be playing well and getting some great wins.

Nativenewyorker , 6/12/13 8:03 PM


Wow, very impressive that 17 finals streak. I would suggest one should no longer speak of the Weak Era, but of The Weakest Era. It's really incredible to see these all these names of average players summed up. The Weakest Era shown in its clearest form.

JBeer , 6/12/13 8:52 PM


NNY, a fair assessment ! I am also full of praise for the great roger federer but its undeniable that the era he dominated was much weaker ... The list that I have posted above , only nalby is the name I can see there as a potential threat to beating a player of federer's calibre... Roddick and hewitt, we all know were really good but they had limitations and have never been near the class of djokovic,murray...

vamosrafa , 6/12/13 9:28 PM


+1

I hope both Roger and Rafa are in Montreal in another six weeks!!!

Conspirator , 6/12/13 9:51 PM


vamosrafa,

I agree with you about Nalby. That is the only name that stood out to me. If not for injuries that hampered his career, I think he could have really done something in this sport. He always had the natural talent, the shots and the game to challenge almost anyone.

Roddick just did not have the belief that he could win when he played Fed. That is why I stopped watching tennis in 2005. No competition. For whatever reason, Roddick was either unable or unwilling to make adjustments or tweak his game and make changes that might have given him more of a shot against Fed.

Safin certainly had the talent and the game, but he was a head case. His temperament is what destroyed him.

Nativenewyorker , 6/12/13 10:11 PM


Nadal will be no 1 its only a matter of time (when?) before australian or after that

isfand , 6/13/13 2:08 AM


http://www.oregonlive.com/the-spin-of-the-ball/index.ssf/2013/06/rafae l_nadal_revives_greatest-.html

sanju , 6/13/13 6:31 AM


On another thread, @Conspirator mentioned that last year's loss to Rafa at RG affected him. Well, if that is so then I am afraid this year's loss may very well be tipping him into meltdown city. Have a look at his latest Facebook cover photo and the caption going with it, REC8RD:

https://www.facebook.com/djokovic.official

This photo update is new, it was not there before the RG final, it was not there on Monday. Also, this is the same as Rafa's RG2012 cover photo, HI7TORY.

Now, compare Novak's new cover photo with Rafa's, which was updated on Sunday, the day he won RG, with the word UN8ELIEVABLE:

https://www.facebook.com/Nadal

Please don't tell me I am picking on Novak. But doesn't Novak's new cover photo eerily resemble Rafa's? Yes, Novak's is about his unique Masters haul but did he have to choose a caption which mirrored Rafa's, especially so soon after Rafa's historic 8 Slams at RG? I don't know about you, but this seems like Novak is saying, "you are not the only one making history with 8, you have 8 at RG, I have 8 at Masters!".

Why didn't Novak put this cover up after Monte Carlo, that is when the 8 Masters record was completed? Why wait until after Rafa clinches the 8 Slam haul? Why even make the graphic similar to Rafa's History and Unbelievable graphics? Are these style graphics mandatory for tennis players?

I know they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but sorry, I find this disturbing, downright creepy tbh. Playground "mine is bigger than yours"?

This is what the Twitterverse had to say about it:

RT @AmyFetherolf: "LOL RT @FitLen: Oh geez, here we go... RT @RafaNadalUnoffi: Novak's new cover photo on Facebook ? pic.twitter.com/34GJPVUbIh"

*headshake*

rafaisthebest , 6/13/13 7:22 AM


.....Another thing, this kinda contradicts what chr18 (in his new role of Novak fan) said that Novak does not care about Masters 1000s anymore, that he is only concerned about Slams, like Fed was/is..............

rafaisthebest , 6/13/13 8:12 AM


ritb: Am I missing something? What record achievement is he referring to?

ed251137 , 6/13/13 8:39 AM


sanju, thanks for the link.

All I can say is, Djoker is desperate and green with envy over Rafa's achievements. What a jerk. It's pathetic to try and steal Rafa's thunder by winning 8 RG titles.

#sour grapes

nadline , 6/13/13 9:16 AM


@ed

he is referring to the record 8 different 1000 tournaments he's won throughout his career. He's won 8/9.

childishgambino , 6/13/13 9:16 AM


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu_46av8cHg haha 16 year old Rafa

childishgambino , 6/13/13 10:27 AM


I am quiet honestly very surprised with Novaks behaviour.

For all the historic rivalry Fed and Rafa had, they never tried to undercut each other and tried to outdo each other.

Novak is behaving as if he deperately wants to be 1 up on Rafa . He is making a mistak- he may get sucked into the oneupmanship game because to be honest Rafa will not even care or be bothered by it.

sanju , 6/13/13 11:07 AM


What wouldn't Djoker do to be in Rafa's shoes:

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2013-06-10/12707.php

nadline , 6/13/13 11:34 AM


@sanju,

I honestly hope this is not some sort of "one upmanship" game Novak is embarking on because this sort of thing never ends well. It is better to focus on your own self, your game, your achievements and try to ignore those around you. I am enjoying the Rafa-Nole rivalry and I wouldn't want it stopped because one party has "lost it". If Novak let's his rivalry with Rafa consume him, it will not be good for his game.

People think we Rafans praise Rafa too much but there is a lot to be said for his grounded approach, his humility. Look how he refuses to compare himself to Roger, how he refuses to even say he is targeting Roger's records. Seriously, people need to say a big "thank you" to Uncle Toni.

You never heard Rafa say, "I know how to beat him, he is not unbeatable, I am going into the match to win, not to play" when he was going to play Roger. It is a very thin line between confidence and hubris.

I hope Novak, the great tennis player, keeps it together.

rafaisthebest , 6/13/13 11:35 AM


They've just shown funny clip the FO including netgate with Rafa pointing at Djoker with the background music.............You're the one that I want, from Grease.

Hilarious!

nadline , 6/13/13 11:39 AM


Thx nadline,
so funny when Gasol hugs Ferrer :)

Shireling , 6/13/13 11:42 AM


Djoker has been envious of Rafa for a long time. When Rafa did the Armani shots, Djoker put a huge picture of himself in his undies on his FB. He also did a skit of Gypsy with Vicktor.

nadline , 6/13/13 11:44 AM


I, for one, I'm happy Djokovic started playing some legendary, monumental, epic tennis this past few years. When it's all said and done it will only make Nadal's legacy even greater.

childishgambino , 6/13/13 12:18 PM


*am happy

childishgambino , 6/13/13 12:21 PM


RITB : Yes if Novak indulges or resorts to one upmanship, it will consume him negatively. Simple reason being Rafa simply wont be bothered by it and will only focus on his racquet to do the talking.

Thnak God Benito split from Novak, imagine both Rafa and Novak sharing same PR guy and Benito having to deal with all of this :-)

sanju , 6/13/13 1:19 PM


Rafa is going to play in Beijing in September (ATP 500). At least, he'll fulfil his commitment to play four ATP 500 tournaments during a season and won't get a '0-points' penalty. (Right now, he has 2 penalties. The last of them expires on October 28, 2013 ).

---China Open organizers confirmed the newly crowned 2013 Roland Garros winner and 2005 China Open Champion Rafael Nadal at this year's tournament, making his first appearance in Beijing in four years.---
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/sports/2013-06/12/content_1660 9478.htm

Augustina08 , 6/13/13 2:18 PM


thnx for the info augustina...could you or anyone else clarify the zero pointer rule to me? I have an idea but not 100%

vamosrafa , 6/14/13 9:06 PM


Novak's camp really put a banner on his page that read REC8RD? Really? Wow.

TuesdayChild , 6/14/13 10:06 PM


I guess they had to do something after the disappointment of him not winning RG!

Nativenewyorker , 6/14/13 10:17 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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