Rafael Nadal has arrived at Wimbledon. Welcome, Rafa!
Rafa Nadal could face world number one Novak Djokovic, defending champion Roger Federer or home favorite Andy Murray as early as the Wimbledon quarter-finals after he was seeded fifth for the grasscourt major on Wednesday.
Friday's draw for the tournament, which begins at the All England Club on Monday, could now produce a nightmare scenario for top three seeds Djokovic, Murray and Federer if any of them end up being in the same quarter as 2008 and 2010 winner Nadal.
The Wimbledon seeding reflects Nadal's current ranking, with the Mallorcan behind fourth-ranked Spanish compatriot David Ferrer whom he beat to win an eighth French Open title this month.
Wimbledon is the only grand slam that does not automatically follow the men's rankings when seedings are decided. Instead, officials rely on a three-stage formula which also takes into account grass-court performances of the past two seasons.
As Nadal suffered a shock second-round exit in southwest London 12 months ago, after which his ranking slipped as he spent seven months on the sidelines with a knee injury, Wimbledon's seeding formula failed to bump him above Ferrer, who reached the quarter-finals last year.
John McEnroe, the retired three-times Wimbledon champion, said on Tuesday that it would be 'totally wrong' for 12-times grand slam champion Nadal to be seeded outside the top four.
"In my opinion there is no doubt he should be in the top four," American McEnroe said in a conference call.
"If he ran into Ferrer in the quarter-finals it would be the same old, same old because Ferrer is used to running into one of the big four in the last eight.
"But if Nadal played Djokovic in the quarters, or possibly Murray or Federer, that would be a big difference, and absolutely wrong for that to happen, in my opinion."
U.S. Open champion Murray had already resigned himself to a possible last-eight clash with Nadal.
"I know there will be a lot of interest in the draw this year as Rafael Nadal looks like being seeded fifth but as a player you can't get too obsessed about the draw," Murray had said in a column for the BBC website on Monday.
"I'd sign up to be in the quarter-finals against Rafa tomorrow if someone offered me that."
The Wimbledon seedings by and large reflected the current ATP rankings, with Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga bumped up a place to sixth and Queen's Club runner-up Marin Cilic profiting from two spots to 10th.
There were no surprises among the women after five-times champion Serena Williams was named top seed ahead of Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova in second and third in accordance with the rankings.
DEVASTATING DARCIS STUNS NADAL IN WIMBLEDON FIRST ROUND
Rafael Nadal was sensationally beaten at The Championships on Monday.Steve Darcis, currently No. 113 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, won 7-6(4), 7-6(8), 6-4 on No. 1 Court to condemn the fifth seed to his first loss in the first round of a Grand Slam championship.Darcis, who had never before beaten a Top 5 player, finished the match with his 13th ace. He converted three of his 11 break point opportunities for victory in two hours and 55 minutes.“Sometimes you play well and you have the chance to win,” said Nadal, who arrived in London six days ago. “Sometimes you play worse and your opponent plays well and you lose. I just want to congratulate Darcis. I think he played a fantastic match. At the end [of the day it] is not a tragedy. That is sport.” “Two weeks ago I was in a fantastic situation, winning a fantastic tournament [at Roland Garros]. Two weeks later, I lost here in the first round. That's the positive and the negative thing about this sport. It is tough losing in the first round.”
Unbelievable!!! Shocking!!! Rafael Nadal lost at first round of Wimbledon!
He said that “Two weeks ago I was in a fantastic situation, winning a fantastic tournament [at Roland Garros]. Two weeks later, I lost here in the first round. That's the positive and the negative thing about this sport. It is tough losing in the first round.”I can't believe! He trained for this big Grand Slam of year, then comes and loses at first round.Anyway, best wishes for Rafa and success in other tournaments!Rafa
Agree! But Rafa is still unbeatable on clay.
“Sometimes you play worse and your opponent plays well and you lose. I just want to congratulate Darcis. I think he played a fantastic match. At the end [of the day it] is not a tragedy. That is sport.”
Yeah , It's true . You have to be ready for unexpected results in every branch of sport.
Andy Murray shook off some early rust to beat Marcel Granollers 6-4 7-6(2) in his first match since winning Wimbledon and Rafael Nadal blazed past Canadian wildcard Jesse Levine in the second round of the Rogers Cup on Wednesday.
Murray struggled to find his usual rhythm in windy conditions and had to save two set points in a mixed display that reflected some nerves and a lack of match practice.
The Scot romped through the tiebreak with some impressive shot-making to set up a third round meeting with Latvia's Ernests Gulbis, who beat Italian Fabio Fognini 6-3 1-6 6-1.
"It was tricky, it is extremely windy here," the second seed said in a courtside interview.
"I didn't feel that I had my timing and got pushed behind the baseline."
Nadal was more impressive in his first singles match since a shock first round defeat by Steve Darcis at Wimbledon opened the door for Murray to win the title.
The 12-times grand slam champion found Levine willing in the opening exchanges as the pair engaged in some exciting and lengthy rallies.
But Nadal, as he has demonstrated throughout his illustrious career, had all the answers and showed in his 6-2 6-0 victory that he has returned to the tour in top shape after a long absence.
"After seven weeks without playing a match, I'm very pleased," Nadal, seeded fourth, told reporters.
"This is very tough tournament, a Masters 1000 in Montreal, on a fast court, so to be through in the third round ... I have to be proud and happy about the way that I played."
By contrast, his compatriot David Ferrer became the highest ranked player to fall when he was bundled out of the tournament by Alex Bogomolov Junior under the lights.
The upset came after their match was one of a number interrupted by heavy evening rain that sent the players and fans scampering for cover as daylight fell.
When the players returned just under two hours later, it was one way traffic as the Russian qualifier completed a comfortable 6-2 6-4 win over the third seed.
Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro then narrowly avoided a similar fate when he won a late night thriller against Croatia's Ivan Dodig.
The rain delayed the start of their match until just before 10pm local time but it proved worth the wait as Del Potro came from 4-1 down in the decider to clinch it 6-4 4-6 7-5 as the clocked ticked past midnight.
Canada's top ranked player, world number 13 Milos Raonic, overcame Russian Mikhail Youzhny 6-4 6-4 just before the weather turned foul to ensure two locals in the last 16.
Earlier, local wildcard Vasek Pospisil had proved his upset of world number 20 John Isner on Tuesday was no fluke as he stormed to a 6-2 6-4 victory over Czech Radek Stepanek.
Pospisil, ranked 71st in the world but playing well above that lowly standing, will now face fifth seed Tomas Berdych, who wobbled at times in his match against Alexandr Dolgopolov but emerged a 6-3 6-4 winner.
Canadian teenager Filip Peliwo missed out on a dream match against Novak Djokovic, however, losing in three sets to Denis Istomin, who will instead face the Serbian world number one.
German Tommy Haas had played just 19 minutes and was trailing Australian qualifier Marinko Matosevic 5-0 when he retired. Frenchman Benoit Paire, who upset Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka, awaits Matosevic in the last 16.
Classic Rafa , as usal ...
Rafa style AGAIN !!! Congratulations
Rafa has a great back after his injury, awesome
Rafael Nadal’s resurgent 2013 campaign continued on Sunday with a 7-6(8), 7-6(3) victory over John Isner to clinch his maiden Western & Southern Open title. Nadal claimed a 26th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title and 59th overall.
Nadal extended his career-best hard court winning streak to 15-0 in 2013, while joining Novak Djokovic as the only players to win five Masters 1000 crowns in a single year. After hoisting the trophy in Montreal last week, this marks the first time Nadal has won back-to-back hard court titles in consecutive weeks. The Mallorcan is 53-3 overall this season, including nine titles.By becoming the second Spaniard to win in Cincinnati (Moya in 2002), Nadal receives $583,800 in prize money and 1000 Emirates ATP Ranking points. The result means that he will return to World No. 2 on Monday. Isner, who is now 2-2 in finals this year, picked up $286,240 and 600 points.With Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray losing in the quarter-finals, Nadal further strengthened his claim to year-end World No. 1."It means a lot, being able to win two straight titles, two Masters 1000 on hard back to back is just amazing for me," Nadal said, reflecting on his accomplishment. "I never did something like this in all my career. So it was an emotional moment for so many different facts. First of all, I won a very important tournament, Masters 1000. Second thing, after all the problems that I had, I mean, it was just two weeks in a row on hard playing at the highest level. Then the ranking is there. I was playing for a lot of points this week. And I'm in a good position."Both players cruised on serve in the first set until 6-5 when Isner forced two set points at 15/40. Nadal would escape behind clutch serving, firing two consecutive aces to set up game point. The Spaniard would hold and go on to crack Isner’s impressive 32-12 tie-break record in 2013, winning an eventual tie-break on his second set point. The second set progressed much like the first, with both players mired in a serving stalemate until a deciding tie-break. Nadal staved off a break point at 3-3 30/40 with a beautiful drop volley off a dipping defensive slice from Isner (see Hot Shot below). Nadal would earn an immediate mini-break for a 2-0 lead and never looked back, converting on his first match point with a looping forehand passing shot.Despite the loss, Isner often found success in mixing up his serve direction, using his kicker out wide to pull Nadal off the court. Nadal gained traction in the return game as the match wore on, but nonetheless failed to garner a break point. The 6’10” American was unable to dent Nadal’s serve, however, winning just 20% of his return points.Isner took solace in defeat. “I played extremely well all week. Thought I played well again today. Unfortunately, it just wasn't good enough. As I said on the court, [I'm] going to hold my head up high after today's match and after this whole week. But Rafa was better than me today.”Isner, who returns to the Top 20 with his run to the final, entered today having registered three consecutive Top 10 victories, defeating Milos Raonic and Djokovic before scoring a valiant comeback against Juan Martin del Potro. It was the 6’10” American’s second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final, with a runner-up finish in Indian Wells last year. Isner continues his Emirates Airline US Open Series this week at the Winston-Salem Open, where he will look to three-peat.This was the first meeting between the Spaniard and the American since the first round at Roland Garros in 2011, when Isner pushed Nadal to the brink, the first time Nadal had been taken to five sets there.
Congratulations Rafa, great win, great moments
Rafa is really ready for US Open
Cincy 2013 final match photos ;)
Rafa back to No.2! Rafa has a great back after his injury! He won the tournaments one by one. Well done Nadal
ATP top 3
1- Novak Djokovic 10980
2- Rafael Nadal 8860
3- Andy Murray 8700
Nadal tops Djokovic for second US Open crown
Rafael Nadal won his second US Open crown, beating Novak Djokovic, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, in the men's final, closing out the 2013 tournament inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. It was Nadal's 13th Grand Slam singles title, moving him into third place all-time amond men, just one shy of Pete Sampras' 14 and four behind Roger Federer's 17.Last year, he watched from home. This year, New York felt like home."I [had] those people around me," said Nadal, whose father, uncle and Queen Sofia of Spain were all in attendance. "And all the fans, too, that really supported me a lot during this period of time was very important to me."Just was a celebration."The contest was the 37th professional bout between the rivals – most for any head-to-head matchup in the Open era, with Nadal entering the match holding a career win-loss advantage, 21-15. It's now 22-15.The Spaniard surged to an early lead, utilizing aggressive shot-making to earn an early break. Spin and speed were factors that favored the Spaniard, as he adjusted to the stadium winds and outslugged the Serb. Nadal broke his opponent a second time to get to 5-2, the served out the set. In the first stanza, Nadal would commit just four unforced errors to Djokovic’s 14.After an hour of sluggish play, Djokovic awoke in the second set. While Nadal had been broken just once in 82 service games in his first six wins in the tournament, Djokovic broke the No. 2 seed twice in the second. The Serb's shots started to find their range, and he started to hold his own in rallying with one of the best ground-strokers in the game. What's more, his serve started to beome a more effective weapon. With more pop and renewed pep, Djokovic made it 5-3 with a forceful two-handed backhand at the net after Nadal tried to get too fine with a drop shot. The top seed then held serve to even the match at a set apiece.The match turned in the third set. At 4-all, Djokovic was up triple break point at, but Nadal dug in and fought his way back to deuce, eventually saving three break points on his serve. Djokovic got it to 30-0 on his serve in the next game, but Nadal stole the match’s momentum with four straight points, the last coming with a down-the-line winner."It was disappointing that I dropped the third set, even though I felt like especially in first four, five games I was the one who was dictating the play," said Djokovic, who dropped to 1-4 in his career in the US Open men's final. "But it's all my fault. I made some unforced errors in the crucial moments with forehands and dropped the serve twice when I should not have. Next thing you know, all of a sudden it's two-sets-to-one for him."Nadal controlled the fourth and final set, breaking Djokovic twice to take the set, 6-1, the dominating performance putting an exclamation point on his remarkable run to the title.“Playing against Novak is a very special feeling – probably nobody brings my game to that limit like Novak did,” said Nadal, holding the trophy during his on-court victory address. Turning to his opponent, the victor said, “You are an amazing player, and you’re having an amazing career. I’m sure that [you] will finish [your] career being one of the best in the history of tennis.”“He definitely deserved to win this match today and this trophy,” said Djokovic of Nadal. "Thirteen Grand Slams for a guy who is 27 years old is incredible. I mean, whatever he achieved so far in his career is something that everybody should respect, no question about it."