Fighting injuries in 2003 and 2004, Rafael Nadal turned things around in 2005 and became one of the players to watch. The young Spaniard claimed no less than 11 ATP titles that year, even as a teenager, and became number two in the world, behind Roger Federer.
Rafa had to slow down a bit after the US Open, struggling with knee tendonitis but still deciding to compete in front of local fans in Madrid. Despite mild pain, Nadal advanced to the final after beating Victor Hanescu, Tommy Robredo, Radek Stepanek and Robby Ginepri, earning a spot in their fifth Masters 1000 title clash of the season!
In the semi-finals, the Spaniard beat Robby Ginepri 7-5, 7-6 in one hour and 41 minutes, playing best when it mattered most in both sets to seal the deal and conserve energy and knee for the final. Nadal took three breaks and scored nine more points than Ginepri to emerge at the top, gathering energy from public support and securing his 12th ATP final of the season.
Robby survived the first break points before Rafa stole his serve at 3-3 to forge the lead. The home favorite missed a backhand in the next game to squander the lead, starting again at 5-5 and closing the set with a late break in Game 11.
Cash reflects on Rafael Nadal
During a recent interview, Pat Cash offered his take on the ever-raging GOAT debate. The 1987 Wimbledon champion believes head-to-head records play an important role in determining the greatest player of all time.
Novak Djokovic currently has a positive head-to-head record against Roger Federer (27-23) and Rafael Nadal (30-28), which further strengthens his claim to the GOAT title. “Head-to-heads are significant. If you want to throw in who the greatest player of all time is, you have to have a winning head to head record against your other peers,” Cash said.
“Overall, (as) a player who can do everything, Federer has to be up there. Nadal, of course, was a very good volleyer and was able to use that,” Cash said. “Not in the later years because his tactics were never going to trouble Federer.
But Novak’s returning, serving and ground strokes on slower grass courts that we have these days, to me, it feels like a bit of a pity that the courts have slowed down so much. Or the balls have slowed down, I should say.”
The Serb is also bidding to complete the Calendar Golden Slam, which refers to winning all four Majors and the Olympics in the same year.
Kate Middleton’s anger at Prince William over his lifestyle: ‘Making me look bad’
KATE MIDDLETON was left furious with Prince William after he was pictured dancing on a podium alongside another woman just days after another encounter in a nightclub.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have announced Kate will host a charity Christmas carol service at Westminster Abbey next week. Taking place on December 8, the event will be televised in the lead up to Christmas. Kate and William’s increasingly integral role within the Royal Family has also shown the strength of their relationship. Earlier this year, the Cambridges celebrated 10 years of marriage. They didn’t reach the milestone without challenging moments, however, as highlighted by a 2007 report.
It claimed that William had been seen dancing on a podium in Bournemouth, attracting the attention of another woman.
This came just days after newspaper reports claimed William was seen sharing an embrace with a woman while on a “boys’ night out” in Boujis, London.
The newspaper quoted a friend of Kate’s who said the Duchess sent a warning to William.
The friend said: “Kate told William that he was making her look bad.
“She has coped for years with girls flinging themselves at her boyfriend and, for a while, she found it humorous and even flattering.
“But after his recent behaviour she gave him an ultimatum and told him that every time he behaved like that in public he was cheapening her image as well as his own.
Kate Middleton news: William and Kate have taken on a big role in the Firm
“She told him she wasn’t prepared to be treated like a doormat and that his carefree behaviour was affecting her image.
“She gave him quite a pasting. In the past, she had always let go of things like that, but this really bothered her.”
A family friend of Kate’s added: “Kate rose above all the rumours and just laughed them off, but something recently snapped in her.
“She was irritated when she read about his flirting in Bournemouth and she wasn’t best pleased to hear about the blonde he ended up with on the dance floor at Boujis.”
Kate and William endured a tough year in 2007 when they briefly split.
Reports from April 2007 also claim that William broke up with Kate via a phone call that she received while at work.
Naughty Boy’s unfortunate Meghan Markle error: ‘This is the future’
NAUGHTY BOY made a bold prediction about Meghan Markle’s place in the Royal Family, which sadly turned out to be far from the truth.
Naughty Boy, the music producer who is best known for hits such as Runnin’ and La La La, is already getting stuck into bushtucker trials as he stars in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! He has also clashed with fellow campmate Kadeena Cox over cooking duties as the show begins in dramatic fashion. Naughty boy, whose real name is Shahid Khan, is used to keeping company with big stars, including members of the Royal Family. In February 2018, Naughty Boy performed for royalty as Prince Charles and Camilla hosted a gala dinner for the British Asian Trust.
He admitted he was “petrified” ahead of a performance for the royal couple at Buckingham Palace.
Naughty Boy said: “I was really petrified initially because there’s so much powerful energy here, but it felt right that I should be doing this.”
The DJ said: “I think this is part of the future. The whole culture is shifting to accepting just everything. For the Royal Family to spearhead that ‒ I think that’s amazing.”
Meghan’s life in the Royal Family was far from idyllic, however, as two years of regular criticism and tensions within the family culminated in the Sussexes leaving royal duties behind in 2020.
Meghan and Prince Harry later spoke about their life in the Royal Family with Oprah Winfrey.
Will Andy Murray retire from tennis?
After producing a 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 comeback against Oscar Otte on Wednesday, a match played under the centre court lights with a sense of nostalgia, Andy Murray then bowed out of Wimbledon with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 defeat to Denis Shapovalov on Friday.
That loss once again raised the matter of his retirement. Murray almost retired once, but fought back from undergoing surgeries in 2018 and in 2019, operations that mean he now plays with a metal hip
t had seemed that the Scot was set to retire in 2019, so much so that a farewell video was prepared with messages from tennis legends and the other members of what had been ‘The Big Four’. That came as a shock to the three-time Grand Slam champion as he had never officially stated he’d hang up his racket. But, it did appear that the end was near.
His return at Wimbledon 2021
Murray was able to fight back from his injury nightmare, playing well in doubles and even winning another ATP men’s singles title at the 2019 European Open, his first since March of 2017.
Through a wildcard, he was able to enter Wimbledon in 2021 and spoke ahead of the tournament about how excited he was.
“A few years ago, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to play there ever again,” he told GQ.
“So, even though the last 18 months have been difficult from a tennis perspective, I’ve still been able to play a little bit.
“Unfortunately, I haven’t been at the level that I want as consistently as I wanted to, because of the injuries, but then again before the hip operation I also had come to terms with the fact that I might never play tennis again. So it’s been hard.
“But I’m still excited to be out there and getting the chance to compete in events such as Wimbledon.”
Murray hints at retirement
After bowing out of Wimbledon in the third round, though, Murray was more pessimistic when asked about his future.
“There is a part of me that feels a bit like I have put in so much work the last three months and, you know, ultimately I didn’t play how I would want and expect,” he said after his loss to Shapovalov.
“So, it’s like, is it worth it?”
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