Rafael Nadal has hinted that Kei Nishikori might deliberately have taken more time than he needed in the washroom to obstruct the rhythm he had attained in the match at that juncture.

Nadal said when he was in the Brazilian capital to play a tournament the previous year and in one of the matches, he wanted to go in and put on another pair of shorts, he was not given the permission of that. Then, how could Nishikori have such a long break in the middle of a match? ...continue reading NADAL HINTS AT GAMESMANSHIP

The game of tennis is not the only thing important in Rafael Nadal’s life. There are other things too which he likes doing and one of them is spending a lot of time with his family and his buddies. Whenever he gets a bit of time in the middle of the season, he plans a short holiday either with his girlfriend or with his uncles and friends. He is such a family man.

The sportspersons are generally not like that. Most of them are very intense. Even when they are not playing or having a break, they keep thinking about their game. They don’t have enough time for their loved ones unless their playing days are over permanently. But, Nadal is different.

The Spaniard was interviewed by Style magazine a couple of weeks ago. In that interview, he talked about his life and his career.

When asked how important tennis is in his life, he said, “It’s important, but, it isn’t the only thing that I live for. There are other aspects in my life as well. I enjoy life in the company of my close ones. They keep me happy.”

According to Nadal, he has got better and better temperament wise playing professional tennis over the years.

When asked how difficult it is for him to move on from the losses, the Spaniard said, “It was very difficult at the start of my career when I was younger. But, the more I have played, I’ve realized that defeats are part and parcel of a sportsmen life and you can’t let them demoralize you, otherwise, you wouldn’t succeed for long.”

Nadal, who is one of the best male tennis players of the modern generation (If not the best), is still young enough (only 27) and he has already won 14 slam titles.

The cricket fans in India were terribly angry at Maria Sharapova for her saying that she didn’t know Sachin Tendulkar.

But, those fans would certainly cool down a little bit now because Tendulkar himself has said that he didn’t consider that remark of Sharapova disrespectful at all.

According to Sachin, Sharapova might not follow the game of cricket that much and thus, she can’t be expected to know somebody who belongs to the game.

Sachin is one of the most highly regarded sports personalities in the world. Many tennis players themselves are his fans and one of them is Roger Federer. The Swiss maestro has praised the former Indian batsman many a time publicly.

Sachin’s fans actually took Sharapova’s statement as an insult which was clearly wrong on their part simply because Sharapova comes from a country where a large chunk of the population doesn’t have any idea about cricket.

The kids grow up in Russia dreaming of making their careers in football and tennis and not in cricket. The game of 22 yards in not popular in that part of the world and it’s fully understandable for the people of that country to not know the cricket players.

Sharapova might not know anything about cricket, but, she is a big fan of football and during the recently finished FIFA World Cup 2014, she was consistently backing Brazil as one of her friends David Luiz was playing for that team.

But, her support and well wishes could not take Brazil to the final as they ended up being thumped by Germany properly in the Round of 4.

Sharapova regularly tweets about football and apart from Luiz, she is believed to be the fan of many other soccer players including Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal.

Rafael Nadal has made it to round no. 3 of the ongoing BNP Paribas Open. He did that yesterday by beating Radek Stepanek of Czech Republic in a tough match by 2-6, 6-4, 7-5.

Nadal had an unbeaten record against Stepanek coming into this match and he somehow managed to maintain that record, but, he would know that his game wasn’t up to the level where it should have been.

The Spaniard was extremely poor on his serve at the start of the match and that resulted in him getting broken a couple of times in the first set. He improved in the following set though and with the help of one breakthrough which he got in 5th game, he won that set to level the proceedings.

The momentum was with Nadal at that stage and he begun the decider in style. He played some super shots in the first game and made his opponent lose his serve.

It seemed the early breakthrough would get Nadal going and it would not be possible to stop him, but, no, things turned around again and that too pretty soon. In the second game, the world no. 1 dropped his serve as well and the scores became 1-all.

The next 8 games went with the serve before Nadal had second breakthrough which took him ahead by 6-5. Now, just a serve hold was required for the Spanish champion to get through and he did it.

Stepanek should be hailed though for making the match entertaining. He was not given much of a chance by the experts and pundits, but, the way he fought was exemplary.

The match lasted for about one and half hours. Now, in the next round, Nadal will be up against Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine.

Rafael Nadal has struggled a lot with his knee injury in the recent past. Because of that, he has missed quite a lot of games in the last couple of seasons, but, now, he has undergone a new kind of treatment and he is hoping that it will help him stay 100% fit throughout the upcoming 2014 season.

Nadal hasn’t made it clear yet that how that new treatment is different and how it is going to benefit him immensely. The only thing he has said is that he is hopeful of the fact that he would go through the next season without any fitness concerns.

The last season was a memorable one for Nadal. He came back into the circuit after getting rid of a horrible injury and surprised everyone with his top form straightaway. He would like to keep his form going in 2014 as well.

Nadal would be taking part in the Australian Open in a few days’ time. That would be his first appearance in that tournament in 2 years. He hadn’t participated in the last season as he was recovering from his knee injury.

Talking to the reporters yesterday about his new treatment, Nadal said, “I haven’t had that much pain after undergoing this new treatment and that’s really a positive thing for me.”

“I went through the last season pretty well too, but, I had to go into most of the matches after taking anti inflammatory. I am hoping that I will not have to do that in the next season.”

Nadal is currently at the top of the world rankings and he is being considered as the top favourite to win the singles competition of Australian Open which is going to take place in January next year.

The Spanish team has got ahead by 3-0 in their Davis Cup tie against Ukraine and has cruised into the World Group.

In the doubles match on the second day, Marc Lopez and Rafael Nadal secured a hard fought victory over the Ukrainian pair of Sergiy Stakhovsky and Denys Molchanov and gave Spain an unbeatable lead. Lopez-Nadal won the match by 6-2, 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-4.

It took the Spanish pair a little more than 3 hours to win the match.

Talking to the reporters at the end of the doubles match, Nadal said, “We were off to a good start, but, they fought back quite well in the second set. But, thankfully, we managed to get things under control again.”

“We played with positive approach in the 3rd and the 4th set and achieved the target that we had set for ourselves. We are in the World Group again and that’s really a proud feeling.”

Nadal had not been featuring in the Davis Cup doubles matches since the last 7 years and he was not supposed to feature this time around either. It was Tommy Robredo who was expected to be Marc Lopez’s partner. But, considering the importance of this doubles encounter, the Spanish skipper Alex Corretja asked Nadal to pair Lopez and his decision proved to be a right one.

Nadal has just come out of an exhausting US Open campaign, but, he has shown no signs of tiredness in this tie so far despite so much of travelling and Corretja hailed his commitment to the side.

The Spanish captain said, “Rafa has shown great commitment and that’s the sign of a true champion.”

Nadal will not make an appearance in the reverse singles matches which will be played tomorrow.