Rafael Nadal opens up on his hometown football club
by SIMONE BRUGNOLI | VIEW 4924
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic met four times on clay in just over two months in 2009. The Serbian gave it his all to defeat the Spaniard on his favorite surface. However, he left empty-handed in Davis Cup, Monte Carlo, Rome and Madrid despite a valiant effort, giving his best but failing to topple the clay king.
Nadal claimed three titles in consecutive weeks, beating Djokovic in two finals and setting up the semi-final clash against the Serbian in Madrid. Eager to dominate the world's leading player for the first time on the slowest surface, Novak gives up his 120% in a 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 loss after an epic four hours and three minutes, wasting three scoring points.
match and propelling Rafa exhausted in the title clash. Very disappointed, Djokovic admitted that he gave it his all in this one, being so close to the finish line and still finishing on the losing side. The Serbian wasn't sure what to do to beat Rafa on clay, considering playing with two rackets the next time he creates match points against the Spaniard!
Novak claimed five more points than Rafa, hit more winners and fewer unforced errors, had the upper hand in the longest rallies and broke just once, but still didn't do enough to beat the clay king in front of the partisan crowd of the.
Nadal was powerless on the return in the first set and fended off a break opportunity at 1-1 in the second set to stay alive. At another crucial moment, Djokovic blew two break opportunities at 4-4 that could have sent him closer to the finish line and another at 5-5.
In the end, Nadal prevailed with a single mini-break in the tie break to force a decisive and expand his chances. Novak built a 3-1 lead in the final set before losing serve in the fifth game to keep the opponent in contention.
Nadal on his hometown football club
Rafael Nadal recently revealed that he cannot provide a timeframe on his return to action, but asserted that he is working hard to regain full fitness. "I won't say what the goals are," Nadal added, "because there are things that I can't control one hundred percent, but inside my head I am clear about what my goals are and I trust that things will follow a positive course to be able to try to compete.
I work a lot every day to try first, recover, and second, when I am recovered to be prepared to play again in full condition." During his appearance at the plenary session on Wednesday, Rafael also spoke about his hometown football club RCD Mallorca, who he has supported his whole life.
"It's a good start to the season; they started well, then they had three defeats against Athletic de Bilbao, Madrid and Osasuna, we come from winning (the Levante)," Rafael Nadal said. "Let's trust that this average of points (11) and positive feelings will be there."