• Nadal takes on Wawrinka for Madrid title

    5/12/13 1:37 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Nadal takes on Wawrinka for Madrid title The Madrid final is coming down to Rafael Nadal and Stanislas Wawrinka on Sunday. Wawrinka has won nine matches in the last 10 days and is looking for a second title in as many weeks.

    Rafael Nadal and Stanislas Wawrinka will be going head-to-head for the ninth time in their careers when they clash in the final of the Mutua Madrid Open on Sunday afternoon.

    Nadal has won every one of their previous eight encounters, including three on clay. In fact, Wawrinka has never even won a set against the Spaniard; 0-17 lifetime. They most recently faced each other in the quarters of the 2012 Monte-Carlo Masters, with Nadal prevailing 7-5, 6-4.

    Wawrinka, however, is arguably playing the best tennis of his career right now--even though he is six spots off his best-ever ranking at No. 15 in the world. The Swiss reached the last eight in Monte-Carlo and he won the title in Oeiras last week. Wawrinka has won nine matches in the last 10 days following Madrid defeats of Marius Copil, Santiago Giraldo, Grigor Dimitrov, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Tomas Berdych. The 15th seeded required three sets to beat Dimitrov, Tsonga, and Berdych.

    Nadal has not been entirely dominant since triumphing in Indian Wells, although is still playing relatively well. The fifth-ranked Spaniard lost to Novak Djokovic in the Monte-Carlo final before bouncing back with the Barcelona title one week later. So far in Madrid he has taken out Benoit Paire, Mikhail Youzhny, David Ferrer, and Pablo Andujar--losing one set (and coming within two points of defeat) to Ferrer in the process.

    "For sure it's going to be 100 percent, except my coach," Wawrinka said of Nadal's expected crowd support on Sunday. "After a great tournament, to play Rafa on clay, it's something amazing. I'm going to take that challenge and try to play my best game."

    The underdog will have to do just that, especially against an opponent who is playing at home on his favorite surface. Additionally, their past history is glaringly in Nadal's favor and the former world No. 1 is also more rested than Wawrinka. This will be entertaining, but it should not last more than two sets.

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#Vamos Rafa

nadline , 5/12/13 11:21 AM

magnus norman has good experience in coaching people who beat nadal on clay. Allez waw!

croc , 5/12/13 11:39 AM

Rafa, I know you can do it!! But since your return to the tour you have made me extremely proud, so if you win this tourney it will simply be icing on the cake!!! Wishing you the best in the final and for the rest of the season!!!


Monalysa , 5/12/13 1:54 PM

"magnus norman has good experience in coaching people who beat nadal on clay"............what a croc!!!

Monalysa , 5/12/13 1:56 PM

magnus norman has good experience in coaching people who beat nadal on clay. Allez waw!

croc , 5/12/13 11:39 AM

Sod it (pun not intended), when are you letting go of this old chestnut?

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 2:11 PM

Based on rafa's form this week waw's definitely got a chance if rafa isn't playing too well. If he's anywhere near 90-100% though, Rafa should cruise in straights.

willmw101 , 5/12/13 2:58 PM

RT @bgtennisnation: "got feeling there will be 1 tight set today but as all ways Rafa will be the king of clay "

Vamos Rafa!!

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 3:16 PM

Break, Rafa....and a Vamos!!

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 4:20 PM

Another break, Rafa............Bull is on the move!

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 4:27 PM

Swiss No. 1 down a double break!


Conspirator , 5/12/13 4:28 PM

RT @bgtennisnation: "Memo to the French open if u are watching this clinic Rafa is putting on, there is still time to do the right thing for Draw and seed him #2 "

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 4:31 PM

Rafa, please keep this up. Don't give Stan time to regroup and apply pressure.

ed251137 , 5/12/13 4:36 PM

He's looking pretty, no?

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 4:37 PM

Just keep 'colm', Rafa.


nadline , 5/12/13 4:41 PM

Koenig, "This is the best tennis I've seen Rafa put together since his come back"

Me likey...

6-2 1st set, Rafa

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 4:44 PM

1st to Rafa 6:2

nadline , 5/12/13 4:45 PM


Conspirator , 5/12/13 4:46 PM

RT @NeilHarmanTimes: "Rafael Nadal = a clay court master-class. First set 6-2. "

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 4:46 PM

Rafa looking awesome and Stan having a bit of a mare at the mo.

deuce , 5/12/13 4:46 PM

Maintain concentration, Rafa, no 2nd set lapse PLEASE!

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 4:49 PM

Break, Rafa. Now please play with colm and HOLD!

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 5:13 PM

What a surprise!! Wonder what was up with him during the Ferrer match. But to be fair, here Wawa seems a little gassed after playing 9 matches in 10 days.
Vamos!!! Nummer 23 on the way.

vmk1 , 5/12/13 5:16 PM

clinical love game... let's see more of today's level in Rome

chlorostoma , 5/12/13 5:18 PM

Rafa slightly sluggish in the 2nd set...but match well under control

atul1985 , 5/12/13 5:20 PM

Now serve it out, drama.

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 5:20 PM

Rafa, Champion.............

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 5:25 PM

Weary yes, but even as fresh as a daisy WaWa could not have contained this Rafa.

ed251137 , 5/12/13 5:26 PM

Vaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamoooooooossssssssssssssss. Lets just enjoy the spectacle that is Rafael Nadal. This is unbelievable. After 7 months out. 2 masters, none of the top guys can boast of that record this year :) Wow!!

vmk1 , 5/12/13 5:26 PM

Congrats to Rafa. Looked the biz. today. Shame Stan couldn't make it in the least bit competitive.

deuce , 5/12/13 5:27 PM

Are you watching, chr19-10?

RT @darren_cahill: "Has Rafa made the best return to tennis after a significant injury EVER? 7 months out, 7 events, 7 finals, 5 wins. Muster, maybe? #VamosRafa"


rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 5:28 PM

OMG!!! I am still shaking my head. Guess the only person who benefited after Rafa's extended time out was Horacio Zeballos. He got his name alongside Djoko and Roger :)

vmk1 , 5/12/13 5:30 PM

Awesome performance. Bring on Roma

willmw101 , 5/12/13 5:30 PM

So croc, what exactly did Magnus tell Wawa to do to Rafa?

#Comeback kid
#23 M1000s

nadline , 5/12/13 5:31 PM

His serving was absolutely top class today...maybe the best he has served on clay....on to Rome now

atul1985 , 5/12/13 5:32 PM

Nadline, one positive for croc is that Rafa had beaten the Sod black and blue at Rome in 2009 before that shocker at RG :)

vmk1 , 5/12/13 5:33 PM

'NID' as Ricky would put it.

nadline , 5/12/13 5:33 PM

Brilliant Rafa, pat yourself on the back - you did yourself proud today.

Wills: Glad you didn't need your voodoo doll today ;-)

ed251137 , 5/12/13 5:34 PM

Could someone please lay down the exact scenario to play out in Rome for Rafa to regain the number 4 ranking? Thanks in advance

atul1985 , 5/12/13 5:34 PM

Congrats Rafans!! Didnt watch the match, was too nervous, just saw the last game. Rafa decided to be very aggressive standing cloe to the baseline and hitting those pulverizing forehands.

Masters No 23, ATP title No 55 and a bunch of mor envious

Ok Rafans, please be kind to Rafa is he does not take Rome. Its unreal to expect him to win 4 tourneys back to back Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, RG in todays era. So since RG is the big prize, its okay if he does not win Rome :-)

sanju , 5/12/13 5:35 PM

He is peaking at the right time.............

Concentration: maximum
Energy: awesome
Movement: blistering
Shot making: out of this world

He was in the mood...........


rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 5:35 PM

Great win,no doubt. But wawa had played a hatrick of 3 setters coming into this match, not to forget the matches he played at Portugal. Anyway a win is a win, on his least favorite clay surface, no less!!

vmk1 , 5/12/13 5:36 PM

Rafa now just 120 points behind Djokovic in the race.

Rafa is now 10:28 against the Swiss.

nadline , 5/12/13 5:37 PM

atul..he has to win Rome to get seeded No 4

sanju , 5/12/13 5:37 PM

atul1985 , 5/12/13 5:34 PM

The following is for you:

RT @TennisReporters: "Nadal wins 3rd Madrid, d Stan 62 64. If Nadal d Ferrer in Rome quarters & wins title, he'll be No. 4 seed at RG. Seeding game (still) on!"

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 5:38 PM

Stan the Man is so classy , what a nice speech. Very likeable guy

sanju , 5/12/13 5:39 PM

I'm pleased that Stan has got another decent silverware to go with the Rome runner-up trophy.

nadline , 5/12/13 5:41 PM

RT @NeilHarmanTimes: "This Nadal chap. He is quite a star "

Understatement of the year.............

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 5:42 PM

If Rafa wins Rome he will:

1. Go to RG as #4;
2. Go to RG as #1 in the Race to London

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 5:45 PM

Where is Tiriac? He was last seen spreading blue clay on the courts at RG.

nadline , 5/12/13 5:45 PM

Best part is Rafa has finished the tourney very strong. Never lost serve in last two matches and started very aggressively in last two matches .

If Rafa starts winning his services games , it will be very difficult to win against him on clay as he will can break his opponent's serve at will.

Roland Garros should seed Rafa @2 if it wants any respite for top 4. If Rafa does not win Rome, top 4 will be more worried at the time of RG draw not Rafa .

Still, winning back to back Masters won't be easy for Rafa as obviously player who has won the first Masters feels tired at the fag end of second consecutive Masters.

fedexal , 5/12/13 5:46 PM

Hey kids, easy while posing for the photos there. The man has knee issues man!!

vmk1 , 5/12/13 5:46 PM

You don't need a Hollywood Film Star when Rafa is in the house!

nadline , 5/12/13 5:47 PM

All the ball boys and ball girls are all over Rafa. Rafa is o gentle towards them.

He is hughely loved and adored in Spain and ofcourse all over the world for his off court disposition and on court passion and intensity

sanju , 5/12/13 5:48 PM

@fedexal, another improvement: he won nearly all rallies 10 shots and above. He was falling short on this stat prior to this. This means his endurance is coming back....

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 5:49 PM

They are making a film about Messi I think they should do one about Rafa ~ his is quite a remarkable story.

nadline , 5/12/13 5:50 PM

@rafaisthebest : I think he is back to his best. This is a big big confidence booster. The forehand had zip today. He looked confident which was not the case all season(clay) till yesterday. I don't think he found his range in MC and I will go by what he says "I did not practise much after IW".

The good thing is he looks fresh and he knows he is playing well. I saw a lot of fist pumping today and he was up for it.

I can judge his form from one thing. How easily is he holding serve. In SF and today, he did that as he is expected to do on clay.

Nole better watch out. Rafa is one player who feeds on victories and match play. Madrid win could well spur him to greater heights rest of the season.

fedexal , 5/12/13 5:56 PM

I just woke up to see Rafa giving his victory speech to the crowd! This is such a wonderful thing! I am so proud of Rafa! I will watch my recording later, but the score tells me all I need to know!

This is just an extraordinary thing to see! What a moment!

Nativenewyorker , 5/12/13 5:57 PM

VAMOS Rafa!!!!!!


Conspirator , 5/12/13 5:59 PM

I cant remember ever seeing Rafa look so happy. He was radiant with delight. And the scenes when he posed with the ball kids brought tears to my eyes. Sure Stan was sad to have lost but he must have been prepared for the result. His speech was gracious and sincere. Pleased he is at last emerging from the shadow of Roger and hope he can continue to build on the success of the past two weeks.

ed251137 , 5/12/13 6:02 PM

Rafa won both IW and Madrid, seeded #5.

Just saying.

#Greatest of this era

nadline , 5/12/13 6:21 PM

fedexal , 5/12/13 5:56 PM

My barometer is the length on his shots, the DTL shots and on the run forehand. If he is placing these with geometric precision then I know he is feeling good and nothing and no-one can stop him, on any surface.

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 6:25 PM

Thanks Sanjay and RITB...
The biggest takeaway today and yesterday is not the shotmaking but the serving. He didn't even face a breakpoint today I think...serving was brilliant.

atul1985 , 5/12/13 6:30 PM

atul1985, he did face a couple of break points in the 2nd set but he save them with aplomb. If there is a criticism I can lay on his game today, it was his break-point conversion rate, he lead 40-0 on one of Stans service games and 40-15 on another in the 2nd set. He could have bread-sticked Stan. But hey, it's a process........he is getting his concentration back. If you recall, he was having 2nd set jitters i.e. lowering his intensity in the 2nd set since he came back. Uncle Toni mentioned this as well. His concentration held up very well today in both sets. By the time RG comes I am sure he will be dealing with those break point chances more effectively.

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 6:46 PM

RITB, no BP's faced today. Only ever got to Deuce once I believe. But that could be more owing to Stan feeling it after being on the road for so long

vmk1 , 5/12/13 6:50 PM

Oops got ahead of myself. I recall him at the net with Stan hammering BH's at him and coming up with some reflex shots on BP

vmk1 , 5/12/13 6:53 PM

vmk1, yes, that was the game.......when Rafa stood up to Stan at the net, cut off all the angles, came up with some amazing reflex shots and forced Stan to put too much in a BH which sailed long............BP saved.

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 7:01 PM

Ok, I think I might have missed it....but serving stats say a story....90% 1st serve points won..70+% 2 nd serve points won....that's unreal by any standards, especially in a final.

atul1985 , 5/12/13 7:16 PM

atul1985, vmk1, my apologies. I have just checked the final match stats and they are:

BP's won:
Rafa: 3/11
Stan: 0/0

So Rafa did not face a single BP after all, you were right. 37985697052.55295.229133313874186&type=1&theater

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 7:25 PM

So Novak's MC victory is truly history now:

RT @5livetennis: "Big week ahead in Rome for Djokovic, Federer and Murray to find form and fitness and prove they can challenge Rafa in Paris. "

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 7:28 PM

No worries RITB.

atul1985 , 5/12/13 7:30 PM

Rome semis vs Djokovic will be exciting.

atul1985 , 5/12/13 7:33 PM

Bodo: a/47423/#.UY_Rz8pRCDc

"We had one such point in today?s final in Madrid, in which a spectacularly determined and focused Rafael Nadal collected his fifth win in seven finals this year?this one his 23rd Masters title?with a convincing 6-3, 6-4, one-hour and 11-minute demolition of a game Stanislas Wawrinka.

And when he went out and held the next game and love and broke again, it looked like we were in for a replay of the WTA final of a few hours earlier. In some ways, we were?even though that match was a few minutes longer than this one.

Stat of the Match: Wawrinka never had a break point."

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 7:37 PM

Credit to Stan the way he gritted his teeth and hung on grimly to make the second set less of a walkover.

ed251137 , 5/12/13 7:45 PM

Yeah, VAMOS!!!

So happy Rafa won!!!! Of course, I am so proud!!!! I was in church (tried hard not to remember the match....hehe!!!) so I did not get to see the match but when I found out I was smiling from ear to ear!!! Good on you Rafa, remarkable!!! Welcome back, truly, to your winning ways!!!!!!

I wish you all the best in Rome ad fior the rest of the season. As you always remind us, one match at a time!!!!!

Commies to Stan and his fans..............wishing him all the best for the rest of the season!!

Monalysa , 5/12/13 8:05 PM

Congrats my dear Rafans! And bravo Rafa! He is true champion. I would also like to recognize Stan?s achievement. He had a great tournament. So happy for him too!
I missed the second set as I had to leave on another business trip but I got to see the first set and from what I?ve seen Rafa was clearly on a mission there...never in doubt that he would end up wining!
I don't think anyone will ever be able to break Rafa's Masters title record!
Good job, Rafa! Next up for Rafa to concur: the beautiful Italian city Rome...
let us all enjoy!

Vamos Rafa!

natashao , 5/12/13 11:20 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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