Nadal Bails on Davis Cup Tie Against U.S.
by Sean Randall | March 27th, 2007, 12:33 pm
  • 28 Comments

So much for Rafael Nadal taking on the US next month in Davis Cup. Today, Nadal bagged the tie in favor of resting a foot injury, according to the Spanish Davis Cup officials.

Not really much of a surprise for the surging Nadal, who’s putting himself first, his country second. That’s fair. Roger Federer does it. Andre Agassi use to do it. I’m okay with that.

But since he’s withdrawing due to a foot injury, does that mean he’s also pulling out of his match tonight against Juan Martin del Potro? Or is he figuring the foot will become injured by the time Davis Cup rolls around? My guess is no and no.

Obviously, Nadal has realized an extra week on hard courts here in the U.S. will cut into his clay prep for the Roland Garros. He’s right. And it’s something the Spaniard really can’t afford to do right now with all the points he has to defend in April/May/June.

Davis Cup for Nadal will be there next year, or maybe even later on this year. I guess we’ll find out more tonight when he speaks to the press after his match against Del Potro.

The withdrawal still doesn’t get the U.S. off the hook. Tommy Robredo, David Ferrer – who plays Andy Roddick later today in Miami – and the doubles lefty combo of Verdasco and Lopez will still be tough, but a fair bit of the intrigue is unfortunately gone from the tie with Rafa out.


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28 Comments for Nadal Bails on Davis Cup Tie Against U.S.

JCF Says:

Good point. It’s possible he’s having niggles with the foot already but is going to play through it, but doesn’t want to risk playing through it for Davis Cup.

He’s putting himself before his country, as you said. But he does more than Federer I think. All Feds does is play relegation playoffs.


Agassi fan Says:

The problem is not what Nadal does, the problem is often what he says – he is never completely honest. You either have a foot injury or you don’t – doesn’t look like he has it, I saw himi play last week at IndianWells. At least Fed is man enough to admit that he is not playing because he wants to focus on his own tennis right now. No excuses. So many of Nadal’s injuries have been fake excuses (remember the shoulder one at Queens against Hewitt – grass courts)?


zola Says:

sean
you are obviously not a Nadal fan, but the least you can do is to report correctly:

“Playing on hard courts in the United States might aggravate it, so the team’s captain and doctors decided to leave Nadal off the squad, Hernandez said.”

I’m sure you too read that this was the Captain’s decision, but you couldn’t resist the opportunity to bash on Nadal. what a shame


zola Says:

this is the complete AP report:

MADRID, Spain (AP) -Rafael Nadal will skip Spain’s Davis Cup quarterfinal match against the United States next month because of a lingering foot injury.

The second-ranked Nadal was left off the team for the April 6-8 match against the Americans in Winston-Salem, N.C., Spanish Tennis Federation spokesman Pedro Hernandez said Tuesday.

Nadal missed four months last year because of an injury to his right foot, and the problem resurfaced this month in Dubai.

Playing on hard courts in the United States might aggravate it, so the team’s captain and doctors decided to leave Nadal off the squad, Hernandez said.

David Ferrer, Tommy Robredo, Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco will make up the team.


funches Says:

Agassi played Davis Cup religiously until he reached his 30s.


atp Says:

Nadal is not lying. He doesn’t have a foot injury, he is simply in pain. To continue would be very dangerous.


Sean Randall Says:

zola, where am I bashing Rafa? I agree with his decision 100%.

funches, true. But he called it quits after 2000 to dedicate his time to winning Slams, much like Roger does now.

and atp, if it would be “very dangerous” for Rafa to continue with this injury then I guess we can presume he’ll be withdrawing from his match tonight, correct?


zola Says:

Sean
you are a journalist and if I know about his ongoing abkle problems you should know too. Playing on hard courts aggrevates it. it is no secret.

He has been in Miami, playing only one match and is in 4th round. why should he quit?


JCF Says:

“So many of Nadal’s injuries have been fake excuses (remember the shoulder one at Queens against Hewitt – grass courts)?”

This couldn’t be any more off the mark. He isn’t afraid of playing on grass. He has made his ambition known that he wants to win Wimbledon some day more than anything. Enough to lay out a grass court in his backyard.

He won the first set against Hewitt. It was one set apiece when he pulled out. He recovered and made the final at Wimbledon a few weeks later (he beat Hewitt’s conquerer – Baghdatis). Worth it I think. Did he quit the match because it was played on grass? Hardly. If he was that averse to it, he wouldn’t have entered the tournament in the first place. Or he would have pulled out sooner. He didn’t need any excuse not to go. He was in the RG final a week before Queen’s.


sf Says:

rafa is incredibly lame. what a joke.


sf Says:

ambition and courage are two very different things. i think everyone now knows which of these nadal has in abundance.


James LaBrie Says:

i support rafa all the way and will soon write a song about courage and ambition inspired by this very awesome personality.


sam Says:

I never cease to be surprised at the venom that is spat at people’s least favourite players here. If you keep up to date with what’s with players on the ATP tour at all (which by their comments on this matter neither Roddick or Pat McEnroe do)you will know that Rafa Nadal’s foot problem is potentially career ending. He has been warned that playing for more than two weeks at a stretch on hardcourts could cause grave harm – not just the pain and inflamation he constantly has to live with and the muscular problems created by the special insoles that he has to wear to enable him to step on court at all.

This year his medical team would have preferred him to play the South American claycourt swing (which he will do in 2008) but he was already committed to Marseilles and Dubai. If he plays in Winston Salem after 3 weeks of pounding hardcourts in Indian Wells and Miami, he is more than likely to do damage to his foot and/or leg muscles/ligaments that will prevent him from defending his claycourt titles and points. His decision, taken on the advice of a doctor and therapists who are worried about his ability to continue with his career, is sensible and logical.

Like many Spaniards, I was worried about him playing the Davis Cup with his usual heart and selfless abandon, after going far into these first two Masters Series of the year on the hardcourts that do him so much damage. We want Rafa around for a few more years before his feet finally give out on him; which, alas, they will.


sam Says:

Oh, and BTW, when it was reported here in Spain that his father and uncle Miguel Angel were going to Miami, my immediate thought was that the “heavies” were needed to prevent him from giving in to the Spanish Federation/Emilio Sanchez’s insistence that he play Davis Cup.


HJL Says:

No, he’s not going to pull out of tonight’s match.

Nadal has to make a choice, playing and winning Indian Wells, reaching at least the QF in Miami. That’s a lot of tennis with the clay court season around the corner and his foot giving him a bit of trouble apparently.

What he seems to be saying is that he needs to make choice to avoid playing too much. Giving up the DC tie is his solution, by the looks of it.


JCF Says:

Hopefully the kid schedules his events smarter. Skip the smaller tournaments and just do Monte Carlo, rest, Rome, rest, skip Hamburg, rest, French Open.

It’s still going to be hard to pick against him at the FO if he’s not injured.


Andrew Miller Says:

Sweet. Nadal is out. The U.S. should definitely win. For Nadal though…what a way to pay back the event that actually created his career. I could not imagine Nadal being Nadal without his victory over Andy Roddick in 2004 in Spain. No excuses, U.S.!


Sean Randall Says:

If his foot is giving him trouble (or “career ending” as sam points out), why play Miami? Does that make any sense?? Why take a chance, pull out of Miami.

But he’s playing because it’s not giving him problems, he’s simply afraid it might if he keeps playing on the hard courts, and he can’t afford to risk it with the dirt season around the corner and the fact it will eat into his clay preparation. Fair enough. I’m cool with that. And at this point in his career, I think he’s making the right decision.

Of course I wish he would play in the tie, but like Federer and many others who pass on Davis Cup, he is putting himself and his body first.


Agassi fan Says:

JCF,

What about Nadal’s “choking on a banana” a the French when he was tied in that 5 hour match against Mathieu? The shadows were bothering him, so he “choked on a banana”, the slipperiest of substances you can ever eat! Then as soon as the shadows went away, he was fine. See that match again, if you didn’t notice this the first time.

Nadal is a master at unsportsmanlike gamesmanship. See his matches carefully.


HJL Says:

But he’s playing because it’s not giving him problems, he’s simply afraid it might if he keeps playing on the hard courts, and he can’t afford to risk it with the dirt season around the corner and the fact it will eat into his clay preparation. Fair enough. I’m cool with that. And at this point in his career, I think he’s making the right decision.


Exactly. That’s how I understood it as well. He was playing in Miami because he can still run on it but he’s afraid that it could turn into a full blown injury if he plays on it too long.

* * *
Agassi fan,
That incident was one of the most funny and weird incidents of the French Open. You’re blowing it out of proportion and the incident happened AFTER he had broken Mathieu and he was trying to win his own serve game. They were not tied at that point as you were suggesting. You see the match again before you comment on it. If you’re trying to bash a player, at least get your facts straight.

To be exact: it was 5-4 in the 4th set and Nadal was serving for the match and the banana got stuck at 15-15.

Sheesh people. Use the wonderful internet to do some research before you get on a player’s back.


Sean Randall Says:

It was interesting to see Roddick sacrifice the Miami event in effort to save Davis Cup, whereas Rafa sacrificed Davis Cup so he could be more prepared for the clay season. Two different philosophies shared by two Top 5 players.


HJL Says:

Okay, you lost me.

Roddick got injured in Miami. How did he “sacrifice” that event in effort to save Davis Cup?


Agassi fan Says:

HJL,

you seem to have missed the shadows that were there on the court. Quite a coincidence – the shadows were bothering him, so he chokes on a banana (!!), then as soon as the shadows go away, he is absolutely fine. Wow! what a coincidence if it was not unsportsmanlike gamesmanship, in a match that was probably his toughest match of the French open, where he could have easily lost.


HJL Says:

Agassi fan,

You’re talking about shadows now? LMAO.

Funny.

Listen, you’re hijacking this corner of the blog to bash Nadal based on some strange theory. Fine. I’m not going to argue with you about this. Believe what you want to believe.
You’re previous account of the match was wrong so who knows what else you have fantasized about.

If you want to find something negative in a person, you will always find it…that’s human nature. The human mind is very creative like that. However, it says more about you as a person than anything else when you can’t even stick with some basic facts while bashing a person.
I pity people like you. I honestly do.

End of discussion with you.


Agassi Fan Says:

HJL,

hey, don’t get personal buddy, don’t get your panties in a bunch, relax… I am only talking about nadal, not you!!

remember the time nadal takes between points (more than 30-40 seconds sometimes). If umpires stuck to tennis rules, nadal would be penalized several points in every game! I can show you many many such examples – if you are open to something other than what you have decided to believe.


Deuce Says:

OK, let us not get too heavy on Rafa. However the decision to not play Davis Cup, so be it. We could list a whole bunch of US stars that skipped Davis Cup like Agassi and Sampras to name a few and I am sure we did not get on them. We tend to villefy Rafa because of his record against Roger (I was one of them too last year) but I have to say that Rafa showed a lot of class at Wimbledon when he did not want to steal the stage from Agassi on his last appearance at Center Court, even after he won.
He is still just a kid. Give him a break.
All I can say is that the US better win this TIE or we will have egg on our face. The way Blake has been playing lately and hopefully Roddick’s injury is not too serious, our odds are about even.


FloridaMan Says:

I think Nadal is very worthy of his ranking. He deserved every bit to get up there. However, there is no doubt that more players know how to play Nadal than Federer. It’s not that Nadal’s play has gotten better or worse over the last several years. It’s the fact that players realize that they can hit his heavy topspin shot on-the-rise, and really go for it. Especially when Nadal doesn’t hit the ball so deep, and he doesn’t always do that. I think it takes a lot of timing to hit the ball with so much topspin, power and depth combined. And it takes more out of a player; that’s why Nadal’s game has more chances of injury than most players out there.


yellowballspanker Says:

FloridaMan nailed it. Nadal’s game, like Hewitt’s game, take a lot out of his body. I can’t believe Nadal hasn’t had more injuries before this. And he’s only 20 years old! He’s the ultimate grinder, and all who make their living grinding burn out sooner than later… especially when they push themselves into the top ten. They can grind in the top 100 for their whole lives. But when they push into the top 20 or top 10, (Hewitt, Shutler, Chang, Courier, Nadal), often, the toll on their bodies and mind is too great. Nadal’s got some time left. And he has one monster forehand weapon bigger than most grinders. But the major injuries are just around the corner for him.

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