In one of the best teen seasons in the Open Era, Rafael Nadal won 11 incredible ATP titles in 12 finals in 2005, becoming Major and not champion. 2 behind Roger Federer. A fantastic young man showed his full potential on the beloved clay and hard court, nearly beating Federer in the Miami final and conquering Canada, Beijing and Madrid.
Nadal embraced a near-perfect score of 28-2 at the Masters 1000 events, lifting trophies in Monte Carlo, Rome, Montreal and Madrid to secure a spot among the most notable players in this series. At the Masters 1000 tournament at home in Madrid, Rafa defeated Victor Hanescu, Tommy Robredo and Radek Stepanek to advance to the semi-finals, where he had to work hard against Robby Ginepri.
The crowd favorite prevailed 7-5, 7-6 in one hour and 41 minutes for the fifth Masters 1000 final of the season! Well capable of playing at a high level in Masters 1000 events on hard court, Ginepri advanced to the semi-final for the second time in a row after Cincinnati, where he took a set from Roger Federer.
The American defeated Sebastien Grosjean, Nikolay Davydenko and David Ferrer to set up Nadal's clash, fighting for the best finish of his career. Despite Ginepri's tremendous effort, the Spaniard sealed the deal in two tight sets, earning nine more points than his rival and claiming three breaks of eight chances to emerge on top.
Robby threw an ace to take the first game home, and Nadal made a similar response in the second game to put his name on the scoreboard.
Nadal has been recovering from his foot injury
The road to recovery is always plagued with self-doubt, Rafael Nadal said.
However, familiarity with the process helps. The 35-year-old said that he knows what he has to do to make a comeback. Even with all the doubt, Nadal said that he's confident of his chances if he's able to play without any pain.
"Of course, I'm going to have some doubts, but I know the process - I have been there plenty of times. It's true that every time when you get older, it gets more difficult, but I'm very excited with the process, with the things that I have to do to try to be back.
So even with the doubts, I am confident that if I am able to play without much pain, I will have my chances." Nadal argued that a complete lack of self-doubt can make someone arrogant. The former world no. 1 said that he has never considered himself "too good to not have doubts"
"I think doubts are good. Well..if it's not too much. If you don't have doubts in this life, it's because you are too arrogant I think. Because, in this life, most of the things are not 100% clear, so you need to have doubts.
You need to ask yourself what's the right thing to do. I have been humble enough during all my career to not consider myself too good to not have doubts."