Before Nadal made his comeback after his Australian Open back injury, and before defeating Dolgopolov 6-3, 7-6 (3) in the Rio Open final, we had this little moment that could have been a lesser player’s downfall.
I don’t know how Rafa does it. She’s the towel girl. He’s the Champion. It’s her job to attend to him. It’s his job not to notice.
But I think for one brief second there at the four second mark in the video he stole a little peek, no?
For sure, Marat Safin would have insulted her slightly in a Russian machismo gesture. Feliciano Lopez would certainly have given her his best “smoldering” smile. Heck, even Maurismo probably would have gotten her number.
But not Rafa. This is why he’s number one. That, and he already has a childhood sweetheart that puts most swimsuit models to shame. (And she’s Spanish, who are really good at castrating bulls…)
Maybe Nadal already learned his lesson when he had to fend off two match points in the semi-final against Pablo Andujar. He did look much more comfortable in the final against Dolgopolov — and improved his record on clay to 298-21, the best in the Open Era.
After the victory, Rafa had this to say:
“I’m not very happy with the way I played yesterday, but I think today I was able to play with a little bit more calm, play a little bit longer and go a little bit more for the points. I played a more solid match today.”
Yeah, I’d say he definitely got a little talking to…
By the way, turn down your speakers before you watch the video. The audio is, how do you say, f-ing annoying.