Tennis Prose



Tragic Nadal Says He’s “Gonna Die” Trying To Win

By Scoop Malinowski

One of the most alarming and astounding quotes in the tennis world was said this week by Rafael Nadal regarding his ambition – or obsession – to once again compete at the highest level of performance that he possibly can.

“I don’t know if I’m going to reach that level again. But I don’t doubt that I’m going to die for it,” Nadal said this week at the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals, where he lost both of his matches in straight sets to Felix Auger-Aliassime and Taylor Fritz.

This is a shocking revelation by the 36-year-old Spaniard as it implies he’s so consumed with winning tennis matches again that he would even risk his own health or life itself to fulfill his quest to continue to win Grand Slam titles. And if he’s willing to die to win more tennis matches, just what else is he willing to do or take?

Nadal has won two Grand Slam titles this year (Australian Open and French Open) and also enjoyed the birth of his first baby a couple of months ago. But if you listen to Rafa, he sounds like 2022 was one of the worst years of his career.

“It has been six difficult months, on all points. When you face all that, being there is positive. Living what I’ve been through in recent weeks on the courts, it’s not a big surprise. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t sadden me.”

Nadal is currently ranked no. 2 in the world (with the help of all the political machinations and ranking points manipulations) but he sounds like he fell out of the top 50.

With his 22 Grand Slams and over $200m in earnings from tennis, you would think he’s won enough already, not focusing and talking about hungering so much for more glory and titles that he would even accept to die for it.

There is an old quotation from F. Scott Fitzgerald that comes to mind regarding Rafael Nadal’s state of mind this week in Italy: “Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy.”

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  • Zivota · November 16, 2022 at 11:16 am

    Scoop: When somebody tells the sportiest “Our plans is like this this year” and on end of the year he accomplish only 50% of the plans, then he feel 100 percent unsatisfied. That is human nature.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 16, 2022 at 12:08 pm

    Zivota, Nadal should be elated and thrilled by the year he had in 2022 at age 36, he incredibly won two Grand Slams this year – he didn’t win any in 2021 and he won one in 2020. The last year Rafa won two GSs in a year was 2019 (FO and US Open). It’s odd that he talks like this year was almost a failure. He has a fantastic year! Some have suggested he feels like 2022 was a failure because all the politics allegedly orchestrated to set him up to win all 4 Grand Slams this year, the ranking points stripping, the ban of Russian players, the ban of Djokovic from two majors, the alleged rigged draws in his favor – it all looked set up to help him and he’s disappointed that he didn’t win three or all four.

  • Sam · November 16, 2022 at 8:19 pm


    I don’t care about titles—I’m just here to have FUN!!! 🥳

    P.S. How many ranking points do I have again???


  • Scoop Malinowski · November 17, 2022 at 2:59 pm

    Nadal beat Ruud today and sounds a lot better and mentally healthier…
    “I can’t ask for more,” said Nadal, who currently sits at No. 2 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings. “2022 has had a tough six months, two Grand Slams, and finishing the year in a high spot in the rankings. So, I can’t complain at all. At my age, to be able to achieve and be competitive means a lot for me.

    “For 2023, just let’s try to have the right preparation, work the proper way and start the season with the right energy, the right attitude, to reach the level that I need to be competitive from the beginning. Let’s try it, I am excited about it.”

    “At the end, the personal satisfaction is more important than any title,” said Nadal, when asked about his desire to finish strongly against Ruud despite having no chance of reaching the semi-finals. “That’s how it is. If I don’t try my best, if I don’t put the best attitude in every single moment, then I will not be able to be back home and stay happy and be calm with myself.”

  • Sam · November 17, 2022 at 11:57 pm

    Well, it seems that Ruud, who was looking at the big picture, merely threw Nadal a bone for a couple of reasons: 🦴

    1) To conserve energy for the semis.

    2) To remain a part of his idol’s exhibition tour, which equals $$$$$$$. 😹 (Or at least I read that he’s a part of Nadal’s lucrative tour—didn’t try to research that or anything.)

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 18, 2022 at 8:37 am

    Ruud had several motives to tank or subconsciously tank that match to Nadal. Nadal really needed a win for his ego and image to go into offseason training. If he ended 2022 with 5 losses in a row and 3 in Turin, it would have been very bad for his aura of invincibility and intimidation for 2023. Big stars like Rafa have special privileges. Even when he says he took an anesthetic to numb his foot and he still won matches, it’s ridiculous. You can’t control a numb limb. But the tennis media never questioned this absurd claim and played along with the phony narrative.

  • Sam · November 19, 2022 at 2:29 am

    You can’t control a numb limb.

    Well, Nadal can. 😹

    But the tennis media never questioned this absurd claim and played along with the phony narrative.

    That’s because they’re team players. 🤡



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