Tag Archives: rafael nadal

Rafael Nadal & Robin Soderling – 2010 French Open

Nadal claimed his 5th victory with a 6-4 6-2 6-4 win over his arch nemesis Solderling at the French Open final. The French Open final was all of seven points old, and the message was unmistakable: Nadal’s knees are fine now, which means he is an entirely different player from the one Soderling stunned at Roland Garros in 2009. That was the first loss of Nadal’s career at this tournament, and it remains the only one.  I think the song that goes well with this win is the song, “I Made It” by Kevin Rudolf. Some quick lyrics –

“I look up to the sky
And now the World is mine
Ive known it all my life
I made it, I made it!
I used to dream about, the life I’m living now
I know that theres no doubt.
I made it, I made it!”

Rafael Nadal biting French Open trophy 2010 after defeating Robin Soderling

Rafael Nadal biting 2010 French Open trophy

His body sound, his mind at ease, Nadal played his unique brand of relentless, perpetual-motion tennis to handily beat the No. 5-seeded Soderling of Sweden 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 Sunday. Nadal won his fifth French Open championship, his seventh Grand Slam title overall, and earned a return to No. 1. By winning all 3 clay Master’s 1000 tournaments plus Roland Garros, Rafa is now the only male in history to hold a ‘Clay Grand Slam”. Pretty impressive for only being 24 years old.

“I lost last year because I was not well-prepared, and I had very low morale last year, as well,” said Nadal, who will supplant Roger Federer atop the rankings Monday.

“But this time, I’m back,” said Nadal, who covered his face with a red towel and sobbed at match’s end. “I’m back—and I win.”

Yes, Nadal most definitely is back, and he is as good as—or perhaps even better than—ever.

Nadal, who suffered his only defeat at Roland Garros against the Swede in last year’s fourth round, clinched the win in two hours and 18 minutes and won the year’s second grand slam without losing a set in the tournament.

Enjoy watching some of the highlights Continue reading

Hang out with Andre Agassi for free plus a $10,000 processing fee

Andre Agassi’s Foundation for Education will host a benefit March 16 during the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. These honored guests will have an opportunity to spend part of the day in a private suite with Agassi.  Here are some of the perks for the $6,000 individual tickets (or $10,000 per couple).

Andre Agassi Foundation for Education

Andre Agassi Foundation for Education

You’ll watch the women’s round of 16 and men’s third round singles matches at the 2010 BNP Paribas Open.
• You will enjoy both the day and night sessions on Tuesday, March 16 at the BNP Paribas Open.
• Watch the matches in the comfort and privacy of a stadium suite – the air-conditioned suite is professionally hosted and catered, and features TVs and intimate seating both inside and out for only 15 couples.
• Enjoy match commentary from eight-time Grand Slam singles champion Andre Agassi during one of the day matches.
• Experience a VIP tour of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden by former Davis Cup member and Tournament Chairman, Charlie Pasarell.
• A visit in the suite from a surprise special guest.
• Complimentary valet parking.
• Take away a commemorative photo and gift to remember this remarkable experience.
• Transform public education for underserved youth; proceeds from this event will benefit the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education in Las Vegas

To purchase tickets, go to darian@agassi.net. Continue reading

Roger Federer’s greatness is now becoming standarad fare – 2009 US Open

When someone achieves greatness for such a long time it doesn’t even make headlines anymore.  Fans of the tennis world expect the final of the 2009 US Open to be Federer VS ??????.   They just have to wait for the question marks to be figured out.  In fact this press conference from yesterday proves the point.

“It’s just not easy to win Slams. It’s just that simple,” Federer said before the room roared ith wlaughter. “OK, you might think I have a lot, but I played many matches before where I didn’t win, as well. And semis or finals just doesn’t give you the win yet. It’s a tough road, and you have to finish the deal and it’s a hard thing to do.”

Federer’s eventual undoing of Sweden’s Robin Soderling – heavy winds aside – from last night’s quarterfinal, 6-0, 6-3, 6-7 (6), 7-6 (6), turned dramatically competitive late but was a good enough exhibit for a small place in the Federer hall of masterpieces. It was Federer’s 12th-straight victory over the 12th-seeded Soderling.

Roger Soderling shakes hands with Roger Federer

Roger Soderling shakes hands with Roger Federer

Another title in Flushing Meadows would make Federer the first man since Bill Tilden in 1925 to win 6 straight U.S. titles, a comparison Federer called “fantastic” even as he reminded that he never saw Tilden – Tilden died 3 decades before Federer was born.
 

Federer’s march has gone largely unnoticed, as well, but his brilliant tennis will keep all eyes on his game this weekend. One aspect of his genius is his return of serve, notes Doug Robson in a USA Today analysis of men’s tennis trends. The return of serve has become the most important shot in modern men’s tennis, according to the study.

I was also reading yet another comparison between Roger Federer and Tiger Woods that said Tiger Woods was the greater athlete of his sport?  Why? Let’s compare the gap between Woods and Federer and the second-best player in their respective sports.  Woods has won 14 Grand Slam tournaments, and is within reach of Jack Nicklaus’ all-time record of 18. Federer has 15 Grand Slam singles titles, the best in tennis history. Continue reading

Rafael Nadal gets a surprise kiss at the US Open

A little bit after Nadal defeated Gael Monfils on Tuesday night in the fourth round of the 2009 US Open, a spectator came out of the stands and hugged and kissed him his naked chest before being escorted quickly by security guards.

Nadal gets kissed at the 2009 US Open

Nadal gets kissed at the 2009 US Open

Although caught off guard, Nadal did not seem to be shaken, in fact he smiled and chuckled after it happened.

Nadal stomach patch US open injury

Nadal stomach patch US open injury

“For me it wasn’t a problem,” said Nadal, noting that the man spoke in English. “The guy was really nice.”

“He was a great fan,” he said. “He said, ‘I love you,’ and he kissed me.”

Nadal had just removed his shirt (showing his stomach patch) and was preparing for an on-court interview when the man suddenly emerged with a camera to approach him. I’ve included a quick YouTube video showing the highlights of the quick hug, kiss, & run guy.  He actually attacks him about the 57 second mark.

Thirty minutes after the match, the police had a man in custody, and they handcuffed him to the bleachers alongside Court 5 (were they better setas for the match then he had before, who knows?). A USTA spokesman said the incident was being reviewed, as were on-court security procedures.

Tournament spokesman Tim Curry said police arrested the man for interference with a sporting event.

“We’re reviewing what happened and then will determine if we have to make any changes to our on-court security procedures,” Curry said.

The scene reminded me of the French Open final in May, when a fan came out of the stands and tried to greet Roger Federer during play, although that incident was scary. Federer was in the middle of a match and it broke his concentration, requiring a few minutes during play to compose himself.

Rafael Nadal loses to Robin Soderling at the 2008 French Open

Rafael Nadal had seemed undefeatable at the French Open ever since he set foot on Parisian clay four years ago, but the world No 1’s unbeaten 31-match run on these courts was ended by an unheralded Swede who had never previously gone beyond the third round of a Grand Slam tournament. By the way Robin Soderling, looks alot like Lucas Scott on “One Tree Hill” in this picture.

Rafael Nadal screams after loss to  Lucas Scott/Robin Soderling

Rafael Nadal screams after loss to Lucas Scott/Robin Soderling

The 24-year-old world No 25 beat the Spaniard 6-2, 6-7, 6-4, 7-6 in arguably the greatest upset in the history of tennis.

For the last year it has been Nadal who has been breaking all the records. His 31 consecutive wins is an all-time record at the French Open, while this defeat ended his run of 48 unbeaten five-set matches on terre battue. The pink shirt he wore will no doubt be similarly consigned to history.

In his 31 previous matches at Roland Garros, Nadal had never been pushed to five sets in victory. He had not lost so much as a set in any match here since the 2007 final against Roger Federer, but Soderling changed all that with a varied but consistently aggressive approach: clubbing forehands with or without clear openings, serving big under pressure. Continue reading

Rafael Nadal & Fernando Verdasco, the greatest tennis match of all time

How many of you saw this amazing semifinal between two great Spaniards? This one is going in the history books as the longest match in Australian Open history (five hours and 14 minutes) and the most memorable yet. With a final score of 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 7-6 (7-2), 6-7 (1-7), 6-4 I know they must have been exhausted at 1am in the morning. I’m only functioning at that time of day even with a shot from a Frappuccino. You can see a hint of what this game was like over at Youtube here.

Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

JANUARY 30: Rafael Nadal of Spain falls to the ground after winning match point in his semifinal match against Fernando Verdasco of Spain at the 2009 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 30, 2009 in Melbourne, Australia. This is the kind of tennis I dream to watch. Every time I’ve gone to a venue in person I’m always watching the “other” match that is not having all of these amazing moments. Thanks God for the internet where we can relive the greatest moments quickly as people post them. I can’t wait to watch the final between Roger Federer and Nadal. I know it will be good but I doubt it will even touch the magnificence of the match that happened last night between Nadal & Verdasco.

What was your favorite point? Do you think Fernando Verdasco is going to break into the top 15 this year?