Does Rafael Nadal cheat?

Does Rafael Nadal cheat?
Quite a headline, but does Rafael Nadal cheat and break tennis rules? I watched his game yesterday in Monte Carlo and found him frequently exceeding the 25 second limit for time between points. His average quoted by Leif Shiras was ’30 seconds’ which means he can take a lot more time than 30 seconds between points.

The ATP rules state the following
i) 25 Seconds Between Points.
ii) aa) Start stopwatch when the player is ordered to play or when the ball goes out of play. bb) Assess time violation or code violation if the ball is not struck for the next point within the twenty-fi ve (25) seconds allowed. There is no time warning prior to the expiration of the twenty-fi ve (25) seconds.
iii) ii) Changeover (Ninety (90) Seconds) and Set Break (One Hundred and Twenty (120) Seconds).

Despite the repeated offences from Nadal in this game he was not given a warning from the umpire. The umpire did not deem that Nadal’s behaviour was excessive. So given that it is the responsibility of the umpire to call players on their fouls surely Nadal was not in breach on any rules? Take for example the All Blacks are frequently found to be pushing the rules to their benefit without actually breaking them. Some would debate this as they constantly seem to be on the thin line between legal and illegal. This professional fouling takes place in many sports like the sticky bottles in cycling.
With another player then perhaps the umpire may not have been as lenient.

Nadal has a presence on court. He is the clay court king and by his mere presence affect proceedings. Many a time Rafa will be in breach of this rule however when he is pulled up on it by an umpire he gives a slow dirty look. His profile in the game certain seem to influence authority in the game. Take a look below. Nadal was pulled up on his behaviour in his Australian Open match vs Grigor Dimitrov.


So there appears to be preferential treatment of Nadal and other big name players by umpires. Ofcourse the last thing players are thinking about is the time they take between points so it really should be a matter for the umpires to police the time between points more strictly. Other players have raised this issue before and it seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

Will the authorities ever get tough on this crime?
It seems to me that if the sport of tennis wants to capture a new breed of tennis fan then they must tackle this issue. Nobody wants to see long drawn out matches, at least matches longer than they need to be. TV, advertisers et al, all need to see players in action on court. These delays for whatever reason are not good. I perfectly understand the need for a little extra break after a particularly long rally and umpires should best use their discretion in this instance. Certain players like themselves have become conditioned to taking longer than they should between points. This includes Nadal. If they can become conditioned they can become unconditioned too.

9 thoughts on “Does Rafael Nadal cheat?

  1. The 25 secs rule was an unfair antiNadal rule since it was imposed to upset his game. At the time of that new rule, everybody knew that the consistent tennis game of Nadal was over that limit due to his unequal effort at each point. So that rule is the one to be changed as it was the most unsportive rule to affect Nadal´s game and forced by Nadal’s competitors and Federer’s defenders. That rule is known as the antiNadal rule. So unfair it is.

  2. So let me get this straight.
    The ATP introduced a special anti Nadal rule as he is one of the biggest players in the world?
    Why would that make sense?
    Surely Rafa isn’t the only one who would be affected by such a rule?
    If the rule is applied consistently then no player should benefit.
    You make it sound like a conspiracy

  3. Rafael Nadal is a huge cheat! Because of cult of personality he gets away with murder! He doesn’t deserve those clay court trophies. If he wins at the French Open again, some people will know it’s not legitimate. We’ll look back at his career and think he is probably only worthy of maybe 6 French Open titles and 5 Monte Carlo ones. He’s not a nice person and pretends to be nice to make himself look good.

  4. Maybe sometimes (and I emphasize that) that the umpires should go easy after long rallies, but overall they should always give time violation warnings. I don’t care how angry Nadal gets if he breaks his racquet, screams he can go and jump. A lot of his prize money is based on cheating.

  5. He doesn’t deserve those trophies? Oh come on.
    He may cheat but you can hardly say he doesn’t deserve those trophies.
    it is the umpires duty to control the players. It isn’t Rafael Nadals fault he has such a big personality

  6. @Juan — I didn’t say ALL the trophies.
    He doesn’t have a big personality. You see him lose his temper with umpires like Carlos Bernardes and how he wasn’t suppose to umpire his matches anymore. I never see Roger acting like this. He’s a spoiled brat and uses his starpower to do what he wants. He always seems angry when he plays and doesn’t change his facial expression that much. You see him tugging on his pants when he’s serving and grabs his crutch when he’s receiving. Do you think that’s a “big personality” to you?

    I think you should observe his behavior more and what he says in interviews regarding his opponents which is always minimal. He didn’t even admit to the rain delay helping him against Alex in Rome.

    Watch how long he takes between points next time you see him — that’s a good place to start.

    And because of all these things I’ve said, yes, you could probably take away a few trophies from him if he was forced to play fairplay. But he won’t and the world will be blind to it and commentators are biased. (Because it’s the mainstream media…)

  7. No doubt. Rafael is a cheater. Why? His tactic is to distract the opponent: First, he sticks his hand in his ass, then, he stretches his little finger, then, he smells his fingers, then, he clean his fingers with the hair above his ear, then he further cleans his fingers with his pans. And this ritual is applied not only when he serves, but also when he is receiving the serve. Also, he extends the serving well pass the 25 seconds: Now he is being controlled, so it is not so bad as before. I believe, that due to these actions, done on purpose, should make him responsible for this. Actually, I totally believe that his trophies should be stripped from him. What he has done is criminal because by winning so many tournaments fraudulently, he has stolen millions of dollars from many players; in the process, destroying the lives of great tennis players. It is really bad. The point is that the ATP has done nothing.

    But Rafael is not the only cheater. Another well known cheater is Naomi Osaka. This woman is really mean: She purposely hits her right thigh several times with her fist really hard before the opponent serves. It is unbelievable what is going on in tennis. This woman is really corrupt and should be penalize.

    it appears that the tennis association don’t care about honesty.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: