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Rafa Nadal

This tag is associated with 9 posts

Waiting for Wimby 2011

It’s that time of the year when tennis fans, writers and armchair pundits get into the groove and talk about the most romanticized tennis championships. It’s time for Wimbledon! This year is no different; the usual scribes are talking about the chances of one Andy Murray of winning the crown. They say that Murray had the best clay court season of his career by taking a set off Rafa Nadal at the Monte Carlo Masters. So he is primed to win the crown, so they say. And then there’s the perennial favorite Roger Federer. He is considered by many as the player most likely to win the crown. This could be true, given the fact that the bulk of his grand slams were earned on the grass courts of London. Some writers are saying that Federer is on it again considering he had a confidence boost thanks to his performance during the clay season.

Former number ones Pete Sampras and Bjorn Borg thought that this is Federer’s time once again. Let’s see how this event unfolds, and methinks that this one is an exciting Wimbledon. This is the reason why I need to contact my cable operator, pronto. I need to watch the drama and see how far the top seeds can go. On a personal note, I see the winner as among the Top 4. Outside the Top 4, the other players have zero to negative chances of winning the championships. Oh yes, I’m rooting for Rafa Nadal. Following the logic of some scribes that Murray and Federer will win the crown owing to their explosive performance during the clay season, Rafa Nadal will win it BECAUSE HE WON ROLAND GARROS, no? But let’s wait and see. What we can be sure of is the fact that this is one heated Wimbledon ever!

Rafa Nadal Ties Borg; Solidifies ‘King of Clay’ Status

Rafael Nadal showed why he is named the ‘King of Clay’ Sunday in Paris. The crown was taken in four sets against Roger Federer, widely considered as the greatest tennis player of all time. The score 7-5, 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-1 on Sunday showed how tight the match was. Though this was not an instant classic compared to their other finals match-up still the match was full of action, and suspense.

For the first few games, Federer carried over the same form that allowed him to defeat Djokovic. Up 2-5, Federer sensed weakness in Rafa Nadal and held a set-point on Rafa Nadal’s serve. But this was the turning point of the match. Rafa managed to score 5 straight points to take the opening set, and the second set. By the third set, Federer managed to return back to form but this was not enough as he was just limited to just 1 game on the fourth set, giving Rafa Nadal the crown. With the win, Nadal equaled the achievement made by Bjorn Borg of record six French Open titles, and this sealed the 10th slam of the Spaniard. He is the second youngest player ever to earn a 10th slam. With the win, Rafa extended his own record at the Roland Garros which now stands at 45-1 and he keeps the number 1 ranking. To Federer’s credit, he still showed that he is still part of the conversation. But this win by Rafa will ultimately bear down on the record of Federer. The Spaniard now leads the head to head in grand slam finals, 6-2. Federer may be the greatest tennis player of all time, but he has a losing record against Rafa Nadal, his main rival.

Rafa Nadal in Semis; Other Rome Masters Updates

It was a tiring week at the Office, and boy I’m glad that it’s the weekend. And happier that my favorite tennis stars are doing good at the Rome Masters. Here’s one- Rafa Nadal is expected to retain his number 1 ranking, well at least up until the French Open. By getting into the semis of Rome Masters, Nadal has enough points to become the number 1 at the Roland Garros. Did you know that Andy Murray and Richard Gasquet are in the semis? Gasquet eliminated Roger Federer in three tight sets. Just before that, the former number 1 mentioned that he can still capture the number 1 spot. Now this is what you call news! I wonder what runs in the mind of Federer, and what made him say that thing. Yes, he still competes for semifinals slots in major tournaments, but he has failed this year in defeating the top 2 players. If he starts winning against these two again, then yes he can still  become number 1.   I think what drives him to become number 1 again is to break that ultimate record made by Pete Sampras, the longest number 1 stay in ATP. Federer has 285 weeks at number 1, 1 week shy of the record of Sampras.

Also, it’s good to note that Maria Sharapova is making progress in may tournaments. Once again, Sharapova is in the semis after winning over Azarenka. Though it should be noted that Azarenka retired from the match. A win is a win, yes?

Tricky Match: Rafa Nadal and Djokovic Battles it Out for Madrid

This should serve as the first true test if indeed Novak Djokovic will be the next number 1. If he defeats Rafa Nadal on clay, on his favorite surface in the finals ofMadrid then count me in in expecting that the Serbian star will be the next number 1 player. There are a number of sub-plots at work here, after Rafa Nadal defeated Roger Federer in the semi-finals, and Djokovic defeated an upstart in the other semifinal match. One such story line is the debate on how ready is Djokovic to wrest the number 1 spot from Nadal. Another story line is the winning streak of the two players; Djokovic’s commanding 33-match winning streak and Rafa Nadal’s 37 match winning streak on clay. Now who will be the strongest person, and wins the title this weekend? I am excited for this match; two of the current best players in the circuit will slug it out once again, and many things are on the line. And yes, Rafa Nadal has more to lose on this match. Djokovic is riding high on his history-setting momentum. But will Rafa simply roll and give the match? I expect Rafa to play grinding tennis on clay once again, and I believe that Rafa Nadal will win in three sets. If not, it will be a sad and un-inspiring week for me. Vamos, Rafa!

Just an update: Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal to remain undefeated this year. This is an important victory for Djokovic considering the fact that this was played on clay and in Madrid! This was certainly a big letdown and disappointment to Rafa Nadal and his camp, but in a statement Rafa said that he was just overpowered by the more stronger player this year. With the win, Djokovic gains momentum for this year’s French Open. And I must say, he is the favorite, and he could end up as ATP’s number 1 player soon.

What I learned this week: It’s now a race between Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic; Roger Federer is showing his age; Andy Murray will continue to be a under-performer and Andy Roddick is done.

Rafael Nadal Defeats Slumping Federer

Forgive me, I can’t resist writing this. It gets me excited knowing that Rafael Nadal has defeated rival Roger Federer in the semifinals of Key Biscayne. With the win, Rafa Nadal earned the right to face the hot and streaking Novak Djokovic, currently number 2 in the world. The score is 6-3 6-2, a score you would not expect coming from these two players. Rafa Nadal, I read started hot and served well but Federer was the one who failed to bring in the goods. Just before this match started, the press raved and was excited knowing that this was supposed to be a ‘clash of the titans’. But the the dream match fizzled as Federer easily wilted. I expected Rafa Nadal to win because he is my favorite, and because I have this personal belief that Federer is on a slump and will never reach number 1 again. But still, Federer can still make a good showing in many Tier 1 events and slams since he is still the 3rd best player right now. And all other pretenders in the men’s side are all erratic, and having their own mini-slump as well like Andy Murray, Robin Soderling and Del Potro.

Pic courtesy of this site.

Of ‘Tsunami’ Alerts and Indian Wells

This week, tennis fans are glued to the Indian Wells. Almost all of  the top men and women in the tour have showed up for Indian Wells and all are fighting it out for the Championships. Safina (remember her) is playing under the radar, and currently in the pursuit to enter the semi-finals. And I like the chances of Rafa Nadal in Indian Wells. But what was that I read that Rafa Nadal is not interested in defending his clay points? For a Nadal fan, this could be alarming. If he fails to defend his clay points then this will cost him the number 1 ranking. His claim to the number 1 ranking is anchored greatly on the clay tournaments he won last year. Rafa Nadal has offered a hazy explanation as to why he is not that pumped up to defend his clay points.

Where were you during last Friday’s ‘tsunami’ emergency in Legazpi City? Everyone panicked, traffic wherever you go and some people are crying and has evacuated. I even saw families walking with their packed bags and babies on their arms. People rushing to terminals in order to catch the van going out of the city. And by 6pm, I noticed that the city center was almost empty! Malls and stores have closed earlier at 4pm. The concern was legitimate since Legazpi is a coastal city, but that did’nt pushed me to over react knowing that the waves, if indeed it will reach this part will be just minimal. But you can never fault people in trying to secure themselves the way they did last Friday. It was both funny and alarming to see people react that way. I think what made the situation alarming was the announcement of the governor that classes and work are suspended, and footages of the destruction in Japan was seen on television. While everyone was rushing out, alarmed and panicking, I was simply walking home enjoying the early time out from work. It was good.

Rafa Nadal as Kia’s Global Brand Ambassador

Rafael Nadal Melbourne 2009

Image by Brett Marlow Melbourne Australia via Flickr

Remember the time when Rafa Nadal was the face of Kia a few years back? I know I blogged about that during my stint at my former company. Now for 2011, Rafa Nadal was once again named as Kia’s Brand Ambassador. Nadal was chosen together with Australian Open 2011 Champion Kim Clijsters.

In a statement that was made by the company which I sourced on this site, it seems that the moves of the company of getting stars like Rafa and Kim worked, at least financially. The yearly support of the company for the Australian Open and other events and its choice of ambassadors like Rafa Nadal helped in pushing for the bottomline of the company. According to the Korean automaker, its PR moves generated an estimated income worth $700 million. Now this is something to brag about, no? For its campaign last Australian Open, logos of Kia were flashed on screen and were seen by a billion people from more than 160 countries. It further said that this was an increase of 16 percent from last year. Logos of the company are often seen in nets, fences and bilboards. The nice thing about Kia is that it shows support for tennis. Unlike other companies, Kia has chosen tennis as its main focus sports. As part of its efforts to promote the brand, it handed out a fleet of 101 tournament vehicles, and it said that it has already provided 909 vehicles so far. Some of the vehicles issued include Carnival, Sorento, Sportage and Forte.


Rafa Nadal Shows Off Body in Armani Advert

Pic courtesy of this site.

Remember the last post that I made about the new project of Rafael Nadal outside of the tennis courts? Well, it seems that some snippets of Rafa showing off some skin for an Armani add campaign had leaked in the internet. The new ad for Armani features sexy Megan Fox with Rafa Nadal, and the adverts are intended for the Spring/Summer 2011 campaign by the fashion label. The hot and sexy pics of the two were shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. Fox has already modeled for Armani, but this is the first time that Rafa Nadal took off his shirt for Armani.


Of Tennis, Roland Garros and Peugeot

Nadal

Roland Garros 2008 has ended. But I won’t let the clay season go silently without having my say on the said event. I’m a tennis fan as well and I would like to add some few things and some of my insights with regards to the recently-concluded grand slam event. Roland Garros or otherwise known as the French Open is considered as one of the four grand slams in tennis. This event is traditionally held over two weeks between mid-May and early June in Paris, France at the Stade Roland Garros. The event is the second grand slam in the tennis calendar following Australian Open, and also considered as the premier clay court event. This event is considered as the most physically-taxing tennis event in the world because of the slow playing surface and the five-set single matches. And for the fourth year running now, Rafael Nadal of Spain has emerged victorious. He was the champion here starting 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. This year he met Roger Federer once again in the finals. This is the third time that they’ve met in the Roland Garros finals. Rafael Nadal was considered as the favorite coming into the event and he won handily. He humiliated Federer in the finals 6-1 6-3 and 6-0. That one was considered as one of the most lopsided defeats in Roland Garros finals history, and one of Federer’s worst losses in finals history. Coming into the finals, both Federer and Rafa Nadal are seeking their own piece of history. For Federer, he wants to win the only grand slam that has eluded him all these years. If he can win the the event, then the win will ultimately solidify his hold of the title as the Greatest Player of All Time. And Rafa would match Bjorn Borg for four Roland Garros crowns. Alas, only one man’s dreams will be fullfilled. And that’s Rafa’s and Federer is left holding the empty bag, yet again on the center court of Roland Garros.

The event that runs from May 25 to May 9 has sponsors ranging from BNP Paribas to Peugeot- a French automaker.

Logo Peugeot

Peugeot is an active supporter and sponsor of the French Open. In fact, the auto manufacturer used the event to introduce some of its finest rides in the market. Last year, the car company used the stage of Roland Garros to unveil their 207 CC Roland Garros. This model from Peugeot is a yellow coupe and a convertible and uses the edition-specific badging, interior trim, color features such as the A/C and the navigation. The power for the convertible comes from the NA 1.6i 120-horsepower four cylinder engine that is co-developed with BMW and was used on the Mini Cooper as well.