Rafael Nadal

World No. 1s Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep Win Rogers Cup Titles

The world’s No. 1-ranked players each outlasted their challengers in Canada this week, as Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep took home the Rogers Cup singles titles.

Nadal won his record-extending 33rd ATP Masters 1000 title with a 6-2, 7-6(4), defeat of Stefanos Tsitsipas in Toronto. Nadal’s fourth Rogers Cup triumph ended an inspired breakout performance from the young Greek, who turned 20 on Sunday after a week in which he defeated four Top-10 seeds in Dominic Thiem, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Kevin Anderson to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 final.

Halep won a rematch of the French Open championship, defeating American Sloane Stephens, 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-4, in Montreal. It was Halep’s second Rogers Cup title in the last three years, while the No. 3-ranked Stephens reached the Rogers Cup final for the first time, after having made the semifinals last year in Toronto to jump-start her summer that culminated with winning the US Open championship.

The world’s best players now converge on Cincinnati, as the US Open Series continues with the Western & Southern Open. A deep women’s draw includes two-time Cincinnati champion Serena Williams, Stephens, Madison Keys, CoCo Vandeweghe, Danielle Collins, 16-year old Amanda Anisimova and Bethanie Mattek-Sands. The men’s field features 2013 Cincinnati finalist John Isner, Sam Querrey, Steve Johnson, Jack Sock, Frances Tiafoe and Mackenzie McDonald.

ESPN2 picks up its coverage from Cincinnati on Thursday, beginning at 1 p.m., and will carry matches through Sunday’s finals, beginning at 2 p.m. ET. Tennis Channel begins its weeklong coverage with Monday’s first round. See the full summer TV schedule here.

Novak Djokovic Return To Top Can Revitalise Men’s Tennis

Nobody would have begrudged seeing Roger Federer lift his eighth Wimbledon title last year, nor would anyone have felt the Swiss master didn’t deserve to hit Slam number 20 in Australia in January. In a similar fashion, we sat back and marvelled at Rafael Nadal taking his 11th title on the clay of Roland Garros in May.

However, while we are lucky to live in an era of greats in the men’s game, there was something processionary about the Grand Slams in recent times, as if we were simply waiting to crown Federer or Nadal, even before the tournament started.

Last month at Wimbledon, Novak Djokovic served us a timely reminder that he too should be mentioned among the all-time greats. His 13th Slam was wrapped up with the minimum of fuss against Kevin Anderson, but it was the semi-final, a five-set epic against Nadal, that really showed us how much we missed the unflappable Serb.

Bookmakers were quick to act on Djokovic seemingly putting those injury woes behind him and making his way back to the top, with 888sport putting him as favourite in the 2018 outright US Open odds. The Serb comes in at 11/4 at the moment, with Nadal and Federer both at 7/2. That’s pretty tight, suggesting the odds-setters feel anyone of the three could win. Indeed, any suspicion of a niggle or slight injury, and those odds could change.
Odds show competitiveness is back

However, seeing three players right at the top of the betting markets is good news for the men’s game. We must remember that that in the last two Slams, Nadal was odds-on for the French Open and Federer was a very short price (around 13/8) to win Wimbledon. Having Djokovic back adds another dimension to the elite level of the game.
Of course, nobody is ruling out a push from players outside this celebrated trio: Alexander Zverev, a player who keeps promising to fully bloom, is priced at 9/1, Del Potro is available at 10/1. Andy Murray, whose injury problems are hopefully behind him, is also available at 10/1, but match sharpness may elude the former world number one.

Put simply, the upcoming US Open (27th August – 9th September) feels like the first Grand Slam in a while where we do not have an overwhelming favourite from the outset. Having Djokovic, Federer and Nadal all fit will also open up some subplots: Can Federer extend his record of Slams to 21? Can Nadal rein Federer in by winning his 18th? Can Djokovic equal Pete Sampras’ tally of 14 titles and regain his place at the top of the game.

‘Big 4’ could return to dominance
For all the talk of dominance of individuals over the past 15 years, it is also the rivalry within the ‘Big 4’ that has made men’s tennis, at times, unmissable. You’ll have to go back to 2012 to see the last time when the ‘Big 4’ each won a Grand Slam in the same season, but it was also an era when it was also incredibly difficult to predict who would come out on top, Nadal at Roland Garros excepted.

With Djokovic seemingly back to full fitness and, hopefully, Murray also getting healthy, we could be in for a treat over the next couple of years. Wimbledon sewed the seeds of some great rivalries to be re-established, let’s hope we, as fans, reap the benefit, starting in New York in a few weeks.

The Top Five Men’s Players At 2018 Wimbledon

With the most enthralling sporting event of the year already underway in the United Kingdom, tennis fans from all over the world are tuned in to watch the greatest players of our time fight it out at the biggest stage in the world – Wimbledon.

Tennis continues to attract spectators from all corners of the world, who are drawn to the game due to its fast pace, as well as the wide range of betting opportunities it offers. Betting on Wimbledon has become more accessible in recent years through the creation of simplified manuals, such as the Wimbledon betting guide 2018, which breaks down the essentials of betting on the coveted event. To know how to place your bets efficiently, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 men tennis players with the highest chances of taking the trophy home this year.

Roger Federer
The most decorated player active in the game, Roger Federer is currently ranked No. 2 in the world and has won 8 Wimbledon titles till now. Federer is defending the title this year and if he wins the tournament, he would go on to create a new world record of most number of Wimbledon titles by a player.

Though his loss in the final match of Halle could be concern for some people, truth remains that he has managed to surprise everyone on the grass court. UNIQLO’S New Global Brand Ambassador, Federer supposed to play against players like Lajovic, Anderson and Cilic in the initial rounds and can easily reach the finals to claim the title.

Rafael Nadal
Best known for his performance on clay court in French Opens, Nadal is ranked world No.1. With 17 grand slam titles, he is among the top contenders for the trophy this year. He has previously won the Wimbledon trophy in the year 2008 and 2010. Though his line-up of matches is not easy, considering the tenacious person he is, reaching the finals would not be surprising on the Spaniard’s part.

Novak Djokovic
The Serbian player is currently ranked No.17 in the world. He has about 12 grand slam titles to his name out of which 3 are Wimbledon trophies for the years 2011, 2014, and 2015. Known for covering the entire length and breadth of the court well, it’s been some time that Djokovic has lifted the trophy.

His recent performances have been up to the mark as we saw him in the finals of the Queen’s Club Championship. His matches have been lined up against Brit Edmand, Thiem and Alex Zverev. No doubt he has a tough competition to face, his skills like accurate groundstrokes present him as a promising player.

Marin Cilic
One of the more experienced players, Cilic is a strong contender for the 2018 Wimbledon. After winning the Queen’s Club Championship last month, the player is in his best form for the tournament and is confident than ever. His serving skills have helped him whenever he has found himself in a tough spot. Moreover, with opponents like Dimitrov in the initial rounds, he would have to face Federer which would be a much anticipated match.

Alexander Zverev

At only 21 years of age, Alexander is one of the youngest player in this Wimbledon season. Despite the German has not experienced many grand slams, this season’s trophy could very well be is first grand slam title. He has a strong double handed backhand which would come to his aid.

Alexander, to the surprise of everyone, has previously defeated mighty giants like Djokovic and Roger Federer, which all the more increase his chances of clinching the trophy.

Will It Be The Same Old Story In Wimbledon Men’s Singles In 2018?

Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal have won the last six major championships. Both are the overwhelming Wimbledon betting favorites for the men’s singles title – and who can argue?

No one.

Federer has won eight times at the All England Club and has played in a total of 11 singles finals. Nadal has won Wimbledon twice – most notably his 2008 final 10 years ago against Federer – and has played in five finals. However, he has not advanced past the fourth round at the event since 2011. With razor-thin margins separating the two players, could this lack of reserve confidence be the different between a point or two if these two were to meet in a climatic final and 10-year-anniversary reprise of their epic 2008 Wimbledon final classic? Federer appears to be as fine-tuned as he has ever been on the comfort of the Wimbledon grass. The only difference between this year and others is his new Uniqlo tennis attire.

While Federer and Nadal are the strong favorites to win the title, Brad Gilbert of ESPN said he believes that there are five real contenders. Outside of the maestros from Switzerland and Spain, others are Juan Martin del Potro, John Isner and Novak Djokovic.

Del Potro is the surprise pick to win the tournament from ESPN commentator and former U.S. Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe. The Argentine is a former semifinalist at this event in 2013 where he lost a tight five-setter to Djokovic. He also captured Olympic bronze at the All England Club at the 2012 Olympics, extending Federer to a 19-17 third set in a four-hour-26-minute epic semifinal before beating Djokovic for bronze. Perhaps most importantly, del Potro is not intimidated against Nadal or Federer.

Perhaps the only other real contender for the title is hard-serving John Isner. The former Univerity of Georgia standout is into the second week of Wimbledon for the first time in his career and other than Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, is perhaps the most famous Wimbledon player by virtue of his incredulous 11-hour, 70-68 win over Nico Mahut in the 2010 first round.

Isner is playing the best tennis of his career this year having won the biggest tournament of his career at the Miami Open in April. Like del Potro, Isner is not intimidated by playing the top players. Many – except Isner and his inner circle – may have forgotten that he nearly beat Federer on the Centre Court grass at the 2012 Olympics before falling 6-4, 7-6(5) in an incredibly close contest that is was much closer than the score indicated, with a missed sitter forehand and a let cord basically being the difference between the two players.’s

Djokovic is the unknown entity of men’s tennis. While he is regarded as one of the all-time greats with 12 major titles – including all four majors including Wimbledon in 2011, 2014 and 2015 – he has not won a major title since the French Open in 2016 and has struggled physically with injuries and mentally with concentration, off-court distractions and motivation. You can’t count him out of the conversation, but one could argue that of all the other contenders for the title, Djokovic may have the least amount of deep hunger for the title. There are glimpses of his past form and fire but it is not consistently there and among punters, will not receive a lot of attention in Wimbledon betting

Rafael Nadal, Now Proven To Be Human On Clay, Seeks Redemption In Rome

So Rafael Nadal is human on clay!

One week after the “King of Clay” showed vulnerability in his quarterfinal loss to Dominic Thiem at the Madrid Open, Nadal will look to regain his winning ways in Rome at the Italian Championships. Nadal has won in Rome seven times, less than his 11 titles each in Monte Carlo and Barcelona and his 10 titles at Roland Garros, but, by any other normal professional standards, is amazing.

Against Thiem in Madrid, Nadal had his 21-match and 50-set clay-court winning streaks come to an end. To boot, he fell from the top ranking by not winning the title, surrendering the top spot to Roger Federer. However, Nadal is still 14-1 in matches and 30-2 in sets on clay this year. He will return the No. 1 ranking on 21 May if he captures his the title at the Foro Italico. While Nadal has won a record seven times in Rome, he has not won there since 2013. He lost in the quarterfinals in 2015, 2016 and 2017 after falling to Djokovic in the 2014 final. Rome is the only clay-court event where Nadal has made four consecutive appearances without a title.

Nadal faces the strongest ATP World Tour field of the season with 18 of the Top 20 players vying for the title. Four-time champion Novak Djokovic and defending champion Alexander Zverev are former champs in the field. Djokovic continues to struggle this year and is only 6-6 in 2018 and seeking his first quarterfinal of the season as he continues his comeback from a right elbow injury. The former world No. 1 is responsible for 19% of Nadal’s losses on clay, earning three of seven clay-court victories over his Spanish rival in Rome.

Zverev, the world No. 3, won ATP Masters 1000 titles last year in Rome and Montreal and is coming in on a high after defeating Thiem in the final of Madrid. Zverev’s serve, in particular, was impressive in Madrid, not losing serve and barely losing points on his deliveries. If he can keep up that success in Rome – and avoid mental and physical fatigue – he will be a tough out.

Thiem beat Nadal in the quarterfinals of Rome last year and combined with his win over Nadal last week in Madrid – and two semifinal showings at the French Open – make him and Zverev the next two betting favorites in Rome – and in Paris – other than Nadal. With three wins over Nadal on clay in his career, Thiem is one of three men with three wins over Nadal on clay, joining Djokovic (7) and Gaston Gaudio (3).

World No. 6 Juan Martin del Potro is 22-5 in 2018, highlighted by his first ATP Masters 1000 title at Indian Wells, where he saved three championship points to defeat Federer. Despite his high credentials and South American upbringing on the clay in Argentina, del Potro has not reached a semifinal on a clay court since Madrid in 2012. Kevin Anderson, the world No. 8, and John Isner, the world No. 9, are at career-high rankings following impressive starts to their seasons. The 6-foot-8 Anderson, the 2017 US Open runner-up, reached his first ATP Masters 1000 semifinal last week in Madrid after winning his fourth ATP title in New York. The 6-foot-10 Isner defeated del Potro and Zverev to capture his first ATP Masters 1000 title in Miami.

Absent From Indian Wells and Miami, Rafael Nadal Targets Clay-Court Season

Much to his disappointment, Rafael Nadal will miss out on the Indian Wells and Miami Open tournaments due to injury. Nadal made the announcement on Friday, March 2nd, the day after he withdrew from his first match in the Mexican Open. After suffering an injury pre-match at Acapulco, Nadal said that he needed more time to recover. He will take a month off, missing at least two major tournaments. Apparently, the injury is in the same area as a previous injury that Nadal picked up at the Australian Open last year.

“The injury I suffered in Acapulco before starting the tournament is the same area as the one suffered in Melbourne,” said Nadal.

Nadal was leading by two sets to one against Cilic at the Australian Open in Melbourne. At the end of the third set, he fist-pumped the air and cried out in joy as he took the lead. Yet Nadal struggled to keep pace in the fourth set and went down 4-1 before calling a medical timeout and receiving treatment on the court. Defeated, Nadal retired in the final set, leaving the crowd wondering what had become of the then world number one.

The following day, Nadal’s team made an announcement that the tennis legend had a serious injury. An MRI scan showed a grade 1 strained iliopsoas, a muscle of the inner hip. Nadal missed the Davis Cup but was expected to make a triumphant return at the Mexican Open on February 24th. Though Nadal did make the trip to Mexico, he withdrew before his first match. Tennis may require the wits of poker, but it also requires a top physical form, and Rafael was not up to the job.

The Mexican Open was the 8th straight tournament that Rafael Nadal has pulled out. Last month, he lost out on his number one ranking to Roger Federer, who went ahead to win more matches and titles. Federer now sits ahead as the world number one, just 600 points ahead of Nadal. He will need to make the semifinals in the Indian Wells to maintain his lead.

Due to the hip injury at the Mexican Open, which seems related to his original injury at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal will also miss the Indian Wells, which is now in progress, as well as the Miami Open. Both are hard-court Masters 1000 events, the highest tier below Grand Slams.

“I won’t be able to play in Miami or Indian Wells as I need to recover,” said the world number two.

Last year, Nadal lost out to Roger Federer in the fourth round at Indian Wells, and again to Federer in the final of the Miami Open. As it stands, there will be no highly anticipated rematches at this year’s events. Federer has expressed disappointment that Nadal won’t make the tournaments.

“Rafael Nadal deserves this place, he had an amazing season. I am disappointed that he is injured and that he is not here for the tournament,” said Federer at the Indian Wells.

The pair has played each other 34 times since 2004. Nadal was the winner in 23 of those meetings, though Federer has more Grand Slam titles and now holds the number one spot, at least until Nadal comes back from injury.

The Indian Wells started on Monday, March 5th. Federer won his rain-delayed first round while Novak Djokovic took an unexpected early exit. The Miami Open, however, starts on March 19th.

Nadal’s injuries and problems are a growing concern for fans and tennis experts. He suffered the same injury at the Mexican Open as he did at the Australian Open. Last time, Nadal received anti-inflammatory treatment and physiotherapy for the injury, and so it is assumed he will be undergoing similar treatment this time alongside a game or two of poker from what we hear.

Although much of Nadal’s focus will be on recovery right now, he is likely upset that the injury has slowed down his season already. After such a solid performance last year, Nadal would have wanted to carry on his form early this year. Aside from rest and physiotherapy, Nadal is known to be an avid poker player and has previously enjoyed games of poker at the Indian Wells as well as the usual tennis tournaments. He is also a known Texas Hold ‘Em player who is said to have an aggressive style.

Although no confirmation has been made as to when Rafael Nadal will be back in action, he is now preparing for the clay-court season, which begins in April. The Monte-Carlo Masters on April 14th may be the first tournament that we see Rafael back in action. Usually, this is the first date on his calendar for clay matches.

Nadal has also confirmed that he will be playing at the Queens pre-Wimbledon tournament, which he won 10 years ago in 2008 — one of Nadal’s best years to date, as he also won Wimbledon as well as the French Open. Unfortunately, the chances of seeing Nadal at the Miami Open are about as slim as the world ending via a solar flare, which according to the 888 Poker infographic is pretty much impossible.

As Rafael Nadal’s career progresses, the 31-year old, who has an impressive 16 Grand Slam titles to his name, may have to pick his tournaments more carefully and play fewer games to stay strong and win the competitions that he does play in. It’s an approach taken by rival Roger Federer, who now enjoys a lighter season. Nadal suffered a minor wrist injury in 2016, but this hip injury appears to be a recurring concern.

Many tennis stars of Nadal’s generation are starting to show signs of strain. Thirty-year-old Andy Murray had hip surgery earlier in the year, Djokovic has been affected by recent injuries and Stan Wawrinka will also miss the Indian Wells and Miami Open. Still, Nadal is one of the top tennis players in the world. Only last year, he won the French Open without losing a set! He should be able to take the top spot again when he gets back into his stride. Either that or he’ll have to find an alternative career as a poker player! I wonder if he’s any good at Omaha Hi-Lo.

Expect The Unexpected At The 2018 Australian Open

The Australian Open has a history of producing unpredictable results with healthy helping of long-shot champions, finalists and semifinalists. A primary reason for this is because the event is played in the third week of the tennis season and a players off-season training – or lack thereof – showcases itself.

Injuries and comebacks are the major theme heading into the 2018 Australian Open. On the men’s side, five-time finalist Andy Murray is out of the event after undergoing hip surgery. Former top 10 star Kei Nishikori of Japan is also not competing due to injury. Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka are expected to post in their returns to tournament tennis. Djokovic has not played since last summer with a right elbow injury. Wawrinka has also not played since the summer after undergoing  knee surgery.

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal had a much shorter injury layoff, not playing an official tournament since having to withdraw from the ATP World Tour Finals at the end of the 2017 season with a hampered knee.

The Australian Open has a long history of long-shots advancing deep into the tournament and also claiming the men’s and women’s singles titles. On the men’s side,  some most recent surprise performances have been champions Petr Korda (1999), Thomas Johannsson (2002) and also Marcos Baghdatis, Fernando Gonzalez and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who made their only major singles final appearances in 2006, 2007 and 2008 respectively. Since then, winners and runners-up have been among the elite of the elite – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray – with the lone exception being Stan Wawrinka, who was ranked No. 9 when he won his first major title in Melbourne in 2014.

In 2017, Grigor Dimitrov had another breakthrough major tournament by reaching the semifinals, where he lost in an epic five-set thriller to Nadal. After his victory at the year-end ATP World Tour Finals in London to end 2017, Dimitrov is the top choice to win the title in Melbourne this year other than No. 1 Nadal and No. 2 seed and defending champion Roger Federer. Austria’s Dominic Thiem, ranked No. 5, and Germany’s Alexander Zverev, ranked No. 4, are also poised for greatness and could begin this next generation of champions with an Australian Open win. Australia’s immensely talented Nick Kyrgios, ranked No. 17, could put his temperament aside and rise the tide of local support to fulfill his massive potential. His title in Brisbane leading into the event have buoyed his tennis betting odds.

On the women’s side, the Australian Open has also crowned unheralded champions such as Kerry Reid in 1977, Chris O’Neil in 1978 and Barbara Jordan in 1979. Angelique Kerber was the Australian Open surprise in 2016, winning her first major title with a final-round upset of world No. 1 Serena Williams.  Kerber and 2008 champion Maria Sharapova are the only two former Australian Open winners in the 2018 women’s singles field. Defending champion Serena Williams has pulled out of the event, not feeling her post-pregnancy comeback has progressed fast enough for her liking. Vika Azarenka, the 2012 and 2013 Australian Open champion, also pulled out of the event since she is not able to travel overseas in a custody battle of her son.

The top two women’s seeds, Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki respectively, have never won a major singles title, which may place No. 3 seed Garbine Muguruza, the 2016 French Open and 2017 Wimbledon champion, as the favorite. Elina Svitolina, the No. 4 seed, has also never won a major singles title but appears as though she is a future candidate for that role and Australia would be an appropriate stage for this kind of breakthrough.

Johanna Konta of Britain, born in Australia and ranked No. 9, may be a surprise pick to win the title. She was a surprise semifinalist Down Under in 2016 and also at Wimbledon in 2017 so she could make a move to a later round.

“The Greatest Tennis Matches of All Time” Makes For Great Holiday Gift

Having trouble thinking of the proper holiday gift for the tennis player in your life? Consider the book “The Greatest Tennis Matches of All Time” by 2017 International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee Steve Flink

“The Greatest Tennis Matches of All Time” features profiles and rankings of the greatest matches of all time dating from the1920s featuring Bill Tilden and Suzanne Lenglen up through the modern era of tennis featuring contemporary stars Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. Flink breaks down, analyzes and puts into historical context the sport’s most memorable matches, providing readers with a courtside seat at these most celebrated and significant duels. Flink also includes a fascinating “greatest strokes of all-time” section where he ranks and describes the players who best executed all the important shots in the game through the years. Other champions featured in the book include Don Budge, Maureen Connolly, Rod Laver, Margaret Court, Billie Jean King, John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf among many others.

The book is published by New Chapter Press, the premier global publisher of tennis books.

The hard-cover book, that makes for a centerpiece of a coffee table or at your local tennis club, retails for $28.95, and can be purchased here on Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/dp/0942257936/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_Qj-rybVBRK7ZW or at www.NewChapterMedia.com and where ever books are sold.

Flink, one of the most respected writers and observers in the game, is currently a columnist for TennisChannel.com. A resident of Katonah, N.Y., he is the former editor of World Tennis magazine and a former senior columnist at Tennis Week.

The book has received high praise from some of the most respected names in the sport, including Chris Evert, a winner of 18 major singles titles in her career, who wrote the foreword to the book.

Said seven-time Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras, “Steve Flink was there reporting on almost every big match I played in my career. He has seen all of the great players for the last 45 years. I encourage you to read this book because Steve is one of the most insightful writers on the game that I have known and he really knows his tennis.”

Said former U.S. Davis Cup captain and player Patrick McEnroe, “As a writer and a fan, Steve Flink’s knowledge of tennis history and his love of the sport are second to none, which is why you should read his book.”

Said ESPN’s Cliff Drysdale, “To see tennis through the eyes of Steve Flink is to wander through a wonderland. These are not fantasies because Steve captures the essence of tennis matches in graphic detail. There is no one more passionate or caring about his subject. In this absorbing book, I can relive matches that I have called on television.”

Founded in 1987, New Chapter Press (www.NewChapterMedia.com) is also the publisher of “The Greatest Jewish Tennis Players of All Time” by Sandra Harwitt, “The Secrets of Spanish Tennis” by Chris Lewit, “Sport of a Lifetime” by Judy Aydelott, “Absolute Tennis: The Best and Next Way To Play The Game” by Marty Smith, “Roger Federer: Quest for Perfection” by Rene Stauffer, “The Bud Collins History of Tennis” by Bud Collins (a new third edition published in late 2016), “The Education of a Tennis Player” by Rod Laver with Bud Collins, “The Wimbledon Final That Never Was” by Sidney Wood, “Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match” by Cliff Richey and Hilaire Richey Kallendorf, “Your Playbook for Beating Depression” by Cliff Richey and Mary Garrison, “Titanic: The Tennis Story” by Lindsay Gibbs, “Jan Kodes: A Journey To Glory From Behind The Iron Curtain” by Jan Kodes with Peter Kolar, “Tennis Made Easy” by Kelly Gunterman, “On This Day In Tennis History” by Randy Walker, “A Player’s Guide To USTA League Tennis” by Tony Serksnis, “Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games” by Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli (www.Boycott1980.com), “The Lennon Prophecy” by Joe Niezgoda (www.TheLennonProphecy.com), “Bone Appetit, Gourmet Cooking For Your Dog” by Susan Anson, “How To Sell Your Screenplay” by Carl Sautter, “The Rules of Neighborhood Poker According To Hoyle” by Stewart Wolpin, “People’s Choice Guide Cancun” by Eric Rabinowitz, “Lessons from the Wild” by Shayamal Vallabhjee among others.

Suffering Too Much For Rafael Nadal In ATP World Tour Finals

Perhaps the signature theme of the book “The Secrets of Spanish Tennis” is how the Spanish – in sports and in life – almost relish in “suffering.” As famed Spanish tennis coach said Pato Alvarez, “In order for a player to play well he or she needs to suffer.”

Rafael Nadal of Spain was doing much “suffering” in his opening round-robin match at the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals in London. However, after suffering through a 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 loss to David Goffin, Nadal decided the suffering was too much and withdrew from the competition to rest his ailing knee.

“My season is finished,” Nadal said following the loss. “I tried hard. I did the thing that I had to do to try to be ready to play, but I am really not ready to play. I really fought a lot during the match, but knew there was a big chance that it would be the last match of the season.”

Nadal’s withdrawal makes Roger Federer the overwhelming favorite to win the title, according to NetBetSport

“The good thing is that this is nothing new,” said Nadal. “Everybody on my team, we have the right experience with this thing. We hope to manage it well, to have the right rest, the right work, and try to be ready for the beginning of next season.”

The year-end ATP World Tour Finals is the one glaring omission on Nadal’s career resume. Nadal has qualified for the season-ending finals 13 years in a row, but has only actually played seven previous times, only reaching the final twice, losing to Roger Federer in 2010 and Novak Djokovic in 2013. He also lost in the semifinals three times, losing to Federer in 2006 and 2007 and Djokovic in 2015, the last time Nadal played the year-end championships. In 2009 and 2011, Nadal failed to emerge from round-robin play. Incredibly, Nadal has been injured and not able to participate in the event five times, including last year.

“This is an event I missed too many times in my career,” he said. “But at the same that’s how it works, my career. I can’t complain. I feel very lucky about all the things that are happening to me, but on the other hand it is true that I am probably the top player who has had more injuries and more troubles in the careers of anyone.

“I really believed that I didn’t deserve after this great season to spend two more days on court with these terrible feelings. Of course I am disappointed, but I am not going to cry. I had a great season. I really appreciate all the things that happened to me during the whole season.”

Rafael Nadal Seeks Missing Link On Career Resume at Nitto ATP World Tour Finals

Rafael Nadal is extra motivated to win the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals in London. Why? Because it is the one big tennis tournament that is missing from his incredible career. Resume

This week in London provides a great opportunity for Nadal, the world No. 1, to nab the missing link in his career with two of his chief rivals, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, not in the field due to injuries. However, Nadal is also nursing a tender knee that has some question whether he will be able to finally break-through and win the prestigious year-end championships. Roger Federer has won the ATP World Tour Finals six times and, as the best indoor court player in the world, is the tennis betting odds favorite to win the title once again.

In seven previous appearances at the ATP World Tour Finals, Nadal has only reached the final twice, losing to Roger Federer in 2010 and Novak Djokovic in 2013. He also lost in the semifinals three times, losing to Federer in 2006 and 2007 and Djokovic in 2015, the last time Nadal played the year-end championships. In 2009 and 2011, Nadal failed to emerge from round-robin play. Incredibly, Nadal has been injured and not able to participate in the event five times, including last year.

Also missing from the Nadal career resume is the Miami Open. Nadal has been a runner-up there on five occasions – in 2005, 2008, 2011, 2014 and 2017 – being points away from the title twice.

Nadal has won ten French Championships, as has been so well documented, as well as two Wimbledon titles, three U.S. Open titles and one Australian Open title. He won Olympic gold in singles in 2008 (and gold in doubles in 2016!) and led Spain to the Davis Cup title four times.

And then there are the ATP 1000 level events, in the past referred to as the “Super 9” of which some have long and storied histories and others that are starting traditions and are only prestigious now due to ATP points and prize money offered. At these events, Nadal has won in Indian Wells three times (2007, 2009 and 2013), Monte Carlo ten times, Rome seven times and also in Madrid in its two incarnations as an indoor hard event in the Fall in 2005 and as a clay event in the Spring in 2010, 2014 and 2017.

During the summer hard court season, Nadal has won in Canada three times (2005, 2008 and 2013) and also in Cincinnati in 2013.

Nadal has not won in Shanghai and at the Paris Indoors, two of the more recent additions to this elite level of events, without as much of the history and tradition as the others. Nadal, however, did also win at the German Championships in Hamburg when it was a “Super 9” event in 2008.

By comparison, the only missing titles on Federer’s resume are Monte Carlo and Rome, but has also has won all four major titles, the Davis Cup for Switzerland, Olympic gold in doubles (silver in singles) and the ATP World Tour Finals six times. For Novak Djokovic, Cincinnati remains the missing link on his career resume, in addition to an Olympic gold medal, although the Serbian did win a bronze medal in singles in 2008.