Search OnTheGoTennis
Video Spotlight

Recent Tweets
Adidas Agnieszka Radwanska Agnieszka Rdwanska Alexandr Dolgopolov Ana Ivanovic Andre Agassi Andrea Petkovic Andreas Seppi Andy Murray Andy Roddick Armani ATP Australian Open BB&T Atlanta Open Bernard Tomic BNP Paribas Open Bob Bryan Boris Becker Brooklyn Decker Caroline Wozniacki China Open Colin Fleming Daniela Hantuchova David Ferrer David Nalbandian Davis Cup Denis Kudla Dinara Safina Dmitry Tursunov Dominika Cibulkova Donald Young Elena Dementieva Ellen Ernests Gulbis ESPN ESPYS Eugenie Bouchard Fabio Fognini Family Circle Cup Fan Club Fed Cup WTA Feliciano lopez Fernando Gonzalez Fernando Verdasco Fernando Versasco Flavia Pennetta Francesca Schiavone French Open Gael Monfils Gilles Simon Gisela Dulko Grigor Dimitrov Head Ivan Lendl Ivan Ljubicic Ivo Karlovic Jack Sock James Blake Jamie Murray Janko Tipsarevic Jelena Jankovic Jelena Ristic Jo Williged Tsonga John Isner John McEnroe Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Juan Carlos Ferrero Juan Ignacio Chela Juan Martin Del Potro Juan Monaco Judy Murray Julia Goerges Jurgen Melzer Justine Henin Kaley Cuoco Kei Nishikori Kevin Anderson Kim Clijsters Kim Sears La Armada Lacoste Laura Robson Legg Mason Li Na Lleyton Hewitt makeover madness Marcos Baghdatis Mardy Fish Maria Kirilenko Maria Sharapova Marin Cilic Marinko Matosevic Marion Bartoli Matt Ebden Melanie Oudin Michael Llodra Michael Russell Mikhail Youzhny Milos Raonic MMaria Sharapova Newport Nick Kyrgios Nicolas Almagro Nicolas Mahut Nike Nikolay Davydenko Novak Djokovic Olympics Pat Rafter Pete Sampras Petra Kvitova Pippa Middleton Quick Q & A Radek Stepanek Rafael Nadal RedFoo Rennae Stubbs Richard Gasquet Robin Soderling Roger Federer Rogers Cup Rory McIlroy RRoger Federer Ryan Harrison Ryan Sweeting Sabine Lisicki Sam Querrey Samantha Stosur Sasha Vujacic Serena Williams Sergiy Stakhovsky Simona Halep Sloane Stephens Somdev Devvarman Sony Ericsson Open Sorana Cirstea sSerena Williams Stan Wawrinka Stanislas Wawrinka Steffi Graf

Tennis News, WTA ATP Tennis, Live Tennis Scores

Photo Galleries
Follow Onthegotennis





« She's Just Being Serena | Main | Roger Federer is Raring To Go »

Nadal Working to Win Mind Game


CINCINNATI – Each point. Each match. Each season.

Rafael Nadal is taking tennis one step at a time, focusing on the future rather than the past.

A strong showing at this week’s Western & Southern Open would boost his chance to enter the upcoming U.S. Open as a top-8 seed.

Nadal won the Cincinnati championship in 2013. But a right wrist injury prevented him from trying to defend his title.

So far this year, he is 41-13 and has bitten three trophies – on clay in Buenos Aires and Hamburg and on grass in Stuttgart. None from a Masters 1000 tournament or a Grand Slam event.

Nadal noted he has been practicing a lot since arriving in Cincinnati and stressed that he is training hard to reclaim his throne at the top of the ATP World Tour rankings.

“Last week was not a negative week in Montreal. I played OK,” the 29-year-old said matter-of-factly. “I played the quarterfinals.”

“I have been playing better than at the beginning of the season the last couple of months, I think, even if I lost a few matches that I am not happy with. I have been playing a little bit better. But every week is a different test and every week is a different story,” he said.

“I know that the work when you are coming from a bad moment, the work is tripled, much more mental and tennis work than when you are in a normal situation or in a good dynamic situation. So that’s what I am accepting and doing, is working more than ever to try to change the dynamic and to try to feel myself more confident and more comfortable on court. 

“I am doing the right things. When somebody is doing everything possible, then the only thing that you can do is keep doing the same and wait for opportunities and wait for better moments. That’s what I am doing. And I hope to have a second part of the season be a little bit better than the first one. 

“Obviously, the second part of the season is a little bit more difficult for me. We don’t have clay out there. But, for me, more than results is finishing with the feeling that I did things better, that I feel that I was improving in my game. The last part of the season is going to be important for me to finish the season with a better feeling than I started and to try to start strong next year.”

Nadal has won 14 Grand Slam singles titles, a record 27 Masters 1000 trophies, 16 ATP 500-level tournaments and nine ATP 250 events, as well as the 2008 Olympic gold medal in singles. He also was a member of Spain’s title-winning Davis Cup team in 2004, 2008, 2009, and 2011.

Asked to share his opinion of the insults 20-year-old Nick Kyrgios lobbed across the net from Stan Wawrinka last week in Canada, Nadal said he did not want to say much. 

“Being young or not, I think, is not an excuse at all,” he said, pointing out that he was only 16 years old when he joined the global professional tennis tour.

“When we are on court and saying things outside of court, we are in front of the cameras, we are in front of the audience and, the most important thing, we are in front of kids,” he said.

“Our sport, you know, is a gentleman’s sport, generally. It’s a sport about respect, about shaking hands after the match, about doing your stuff, support yourself, do anything, but don’t bother the opponent and be respectful with the umpires and with your opponents and with the crowd, too.”

Nadal, notorious for the time he can take between serves, then made a joke.

“If we want to keep the game like this, want it to be as strong on all this stuff, that is, in my opinion, it’s much more important – because it’s an example for kids – than about a time violation,” he said with a big smile and laugh. “That’s another point.”

Returning to the seriousness of bad behavior, he surmised: “The only way to stop is to stop.”

Nadal conceded he historically has not performed that well in Cincinnati, but he has done better in recent years.

“2013 was an amazing year,” the champion recalled. “It is an event that I am happy to be back. It’s great to be back at an event that you have won in the past.”

“I enjoy the crowd. They’re very emotional here, and I enjoy that fact,” he added. “Every tournament that I go, I’m going to try to play my best, try to create a good show for the crowd, too, and at the same time try to be at the highest level possible.”

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments (1)

NIce write up Jim! I love how Rafa focuses on moving forward, looking to the future.
August 20, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGinny

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.