Nadal Withdraws From Queens Due to Bad Knees
by Staff | June 5th, 2009, 8:24 am
  • 109 Comments

Defending champion Rafael Nadal has been forced to withdraw from the AEGON Championships in Queen’s Club London, which begins on Monday.

Nadal, the current World No.1 and reigning Wimbledon champion who was stunned by Robin Soderling last Sunday at the French Open, is struggling with ongoing knee problems and has been advised to rest by doctors.

“I am very disappointed to not be able to come this year to Queen’s, defend the title I won last year and enjoy playing there in front of the very knowledgeable British crowds,” said Nadal.

“To play in London has always been special for me, to play at The Queen’s Club is an honour and the fans in the UK are among the best I have ever seen, always supporting me since the first time I played there. I have been having some problems in the past months with my knees, that’s no secret, that did not allow me to compete always at 100%. I need to work with my team to recover well, work on my physical condition to be at my top form and get ready for the grass to play at Wimbledon. I hope I can be ready to compete by then. I am really sorry and I hope that the people at the tournament will still want me to come next year.”

The Spaniard has been a huge hit at The Queen’s Club over the past three years, on each occasion arriving at the tournament the day after winning the French Open. Last year, he went on to win the title, and then completed a historic treble with victory in a Wimbledon final regarded as the greatest of all time.


Also Check Out:
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Nadal, Murray Begin Grass Season at Queen’s Club; Del Potro, Nalbandian Return
Novak Djokovic Withdraws From Madrid Due To Right Wrist Injury
Nadal Says No Mas, Withdraws From Wimbledon
Rafael Nadal Underwent Multiple MRIs On His Knee During Wimbledon

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109 Comments for Nadal Withdraws From Queens Due to Bad Knees

Ra Says:

This is awful news. I mean, it’s great that he’s taking the time off if he needs it; but if he needs it for his knees, that’s just awful. Heal well, Rafa.


Voicemale1 Says:

I wonder if he’ll have to miss Wimbledon too?


zola Says:

OMG! Rafa!
Why did you play that stupid Madrid?
Heal quickly Rafa.


mem Says:

now, you’re using your head nadal! don’t push yourself for people who don’t appreciate what you bring to the game! you know full well who they want at the top, so give it to them. good decision, rest, take care of yourself and if you are ok by the time wimbledon rolls around, fine! if not, so be it! your devoted fans will be disappointed, but we’ll get over it. our support will never falter! wishing you the best always!


vared Says:

He should have skipped Madrid ….big error on his part.


zola Says:

vared,
can’t agree more. Rotterdam, Barcelona and worst of all Madrid.

He initially said Madrid was “maybe”, but first it is a master series and second, it was in his own country. I wrote this before Madrid that the Spanish tennis Federation single handedly might have geopradized Rafa’s RG chances. I am sorry to see I was right. That was a stupid tournament with no relation to RG condition. Just to make money for Ion Tiriac and his mafia!


PietjeP Says:

Why is everybody talking about Madrid? I always wonder what the hell he is doing in Barcelona!

That is the tournament that would give him a weeks rest inbetween MC and Rome.

Very bad for Rafa. Although I didn’t think it hampered him in RG.


zola Says:

mem,
I think British fans are completely different to the Parisians. They respect tennis and love Rafa.

on the other note, Conan O’brien said on his tonight show that according to a survey the Parisians are the rudest people in the world! Imagine the coincidence!


zola Says:

PietjeP

because he had to play in his home country. If it was Hamburg it wouyld have been easier for Rafa to withdraw. besides the hight altitude of Madrid was no way a good warm up for the slow conditions in RG.

I think from next year Rafa has to think twice about Barcelona and Rotterdam. Al lthis knee business started from Rotterdam. I am sure two 5-setters in AO had its damage on his knees. Then what the heck he was doing in Rotterdam? He went there because he had promised Krajicek he would go.


jane Says:

This is sad news. He’ll be missed. I hope he is recovered for Wimbledon, but if not, he could always shoot for the US Open and a career slam. Hope he gets well soon.


Scottish Says:

Yeah this is sad but at least he’s doing the right thing for his health and for sure Wimby is top priority right now. Hope he makes it there. I never understood either why he played all those tournaments.


Scottish Says:

Rafa says: “I am really sorry and I hope that the people at the tournament will still want me to come next year.”

What a joke. Like they are going to say no don’t come. LOL


Dan Martin Says:

His run at Queen’s was so strong last year. He beat Roddick and Djokovic (Karlovic too?).


zola Says:

Scottish,
I assume he understands that people ( who probably have bough tickets already to watch him) will be very disappointed. That’s why he says that.

Dan,
yes, I think he beat Nishikori and Karlovic too.


Dan Martin Says:

Federer has to find a way to dig in or this is going to get out of reach.


Colin Says:

Even if Rafa does make Wimbledon, it’s not going to help him to have missed the chance for the the tune-up on grass. Borg used to play himself in at Wimbledon without grass preparation, but it wasn’t easy.


Shan Says:

It’ll be tough without much grass court prep for Rafa to get far at Wimbledon. That style of his needs to be adjusted more if he wants to stay physically healthy in the game long term.

This could mean that Federer recaptures the world #1 ranking before the end of the year I think


zola Says:

Shan,
maybe it will make Rafa think twice next time before heading to Rotterdam, Barcelona or that stupid Madrid tournament. Did they worth a FO and wimbledon?


Shan Says:

Yah, his 2007 & 2008 clay results were incredible and he had a lot of points, but I agree that it would make sense to prioritize. Still at the top level all these guys undoubtedly have a physical team that makes sure they’re not pushing their health on a tourney by tourney basis


jane Says:

It could also mean that Rafa comes back to form later in the year, which would be usual, and he goes one step further to win the USO and capture a career slam, as mentioned. You never know. He’s been to the semis and if he hadn’t've had such a stellar year up to that point last year he might have gone further. He had won the French, Wimbledon and Olympic gold, so by that point he was quite spent. However, if he is off for a while, and even if he misses Wimbledon, I am sure a career slam is, in the scheme of things, more important than holding onto number1. That’s just my opinion though. Impossible to say what could or will happen.


Edward Says:

Here we go again with the injury thing. Let’s not kid ourselves, he’s in better shape than he leads us to believe. He does this to try to secure his reputation as someone who is supposed to be unbeatable when healthy. Just in case the Wimbledon title is taken from him. I don’t buy it. He got beaten first in Madrid in straight sets partly due to blowing his wad in the semis, and then he got beaten in the fourth round in Paris, where he simply got outplayed by someone who could counter his offensive.
Even Wilander!!! said Rafa couldn’t control the match because Soderling would not let him. Rafa, you’re a fantastic player, but just take your losses like a champ and work on scheduling your season more wisely.


jane Says:

Oh yeah. I am sure Rafa is skipping Queens and forfeiting Championship points there, in addition to the points he’ll lose from Roland Garros, because he is faking and healthy. LOL.


Edward Says:

in case anyone suspects me of being biased, I get irritated when Federer starts complaining about the conditions of the match during his press conferences and the reasons why he couldn’t do his best. Why didn’t he just work on playing better?


jane Says:

Certainly Edward, if you’re going to be like that, then one could make the exact same arguments with regards to Federer and the mono, which seems to have been a very mild case when you look at Ancic’s situation, or the back injury. All of his losses since then seem to have been asterisked by some fans and pundits.

Let’s just be fair and give these top players the respect they’ve earned. Rafa’s had knee issues on and off for YEARS. This is not something that has just popped up suddenly; it comes and goes as he is prone to tendonitis in his knees. I remember the 07 USO at which he could barely move. Many people here said after watching Nadal’s first few matches at RG this year that he didn’t look his best.

I am not taking away from Soderling’s win either – clearly he earned it with some wicked power play, and he’s backed it up. But nor should one have to second guess Rafa’s decision to pull out of Queen’s.


Edward Says:

Why not, jane? Queens Club is small potatoes compared to what he could be winning.


Shan Says:

The conspiracy theories abound!


jane Says:

What could he be winning Edward? Look at the points situation.

And what do you say to my throwing the same thing right back at you w.r.t. Federer? See how ridiculous it sounds?

As Shan said, this is just a conspiracy theory. Let’s not go there.


Edward Says:

I like Rafa. I do. But I get tired of this stuff. He always does it after a loss, and it looks like he’s just trying to save face.
If he’s got persistent knee problems, why does he overload his schedule over and over? He needs to focus on the most important tournaments, at least while he can recover to some extent, if this is indeed the case. That’s all I’m trying to get at.


jane Says:

It’s up to his team what and where he plays and doesn’t play – live and learn and nobody’s perfect. Again, one could ask why Fed kept playing through the mono because arguably that’s what lead to the back injury. Here’s the thing. These players make choices, sometimes good, sometimes bad. But we don’t have to accuse them of being liars and/or fakers because of what might be poor decision making. There’s a much fairer way to get there.


Edward Says:

he could be winning the U.S. Open, the Masters Cup, maybe the French this year??? I just don’t know. It seems like PR psychology built up over a while. Of course, maybe I’ve got my own conspiracy paranoia or something, but I have sensed something odd about it all. Federer is no angel either.


jane Says:

Well clearly he can’t win the French. :) Again, similar could be said the other way – Federer could’ve maybe won Wimbledon and /or Olympic gold last year if he’d've taken time off to heal the mono but he sacrificed it because he wanted to hold onto number 1. We know how much it’s bothered him to lose that; based solely on what he’s said in pressers, only number1 matters.

Maybe Rafa’s team are looking ahead and thinking – “okay here’s the situation. Your knees are acting up. You could play Queen’s but you could rest them up and try to defend Wimbledon. Then you can take a little time off before you get to hardcourts and go for the USO title.”

Does this mean he’s faking because they’re weighing up the pros and cons? I think not.


Edward Says:

maybe the two of them have some type of special arrangement or something. ok, that’s a bit much, i know. just saying, that’s all. curious.


jane Says:

Edward, lol, maybe. Perhpas they got together and decided to divy things up. You see, as I’ve said a few times, it’s possible two players could end up with career slams in the same calendar year if Fed wins Sunday and Rafa wins the USO. I am kind of hoping it happens because let’s face it, what are the odds?


Edward Says:

as a conspiracy theorist, i could say: “that’s exactly what they want people to think. to get the one-up on the competition via public opinion”. whatever. I don’t know if I’m really as serious about this as I’m trying to make myself sound. oh jane, sorry to get you all worked up over this.


jane Says:

Not worked up at all Edward: it was a good discussion! Cheers.


Kathy Says:

zola Says:

mem,
“I think British fans are completely different to the Parisians. They respect tennis and love Rafa.”

Spot on. I’m British and I can tell you, we love Rafa.

Edward Says:
“Rafa, you’re a fantastic player, but just take your losses like a champ”
He did exactly that following his defeats at Madrid and Roland Garros. Would you prefer him to weep and taken all the attention? He has always been gracious in victory or defeat. Why should you doubt his integrity?


Kathy Says:

It should have read take and not taken.


zola Says:

Jane
on another forum someone quoted the French Open radio that Rafa had injured his knee during the practice. It was even before his match with Hewitt. I worried a bit but he played so well, I forgot about it. Also on his blog he wrote that Dr. Angel Cotorro,(the spanish Dr who traets him) was with him and “is a great help in case things go wrong with any injury that might happen”.

he never traveleed with a doctor. So I assume he expected something.

too bad. I blame his crazy scheduling. I don’t know when he and his team will learn from all these. Hopefully not too late.


zola Says:

Colin,
I want Rafa to come to wimbledon 100% or better. I don’t want him to play Queens and withdraw from wimbledon with an injury.


zola Says:

Kathy

***********

Spot on. I’m British and I can tell you, we love Rafa.
************

and we love you. Thank you for the good manners and for the support you have always showed to Rafa. I relly hope Rafa will never go back to Paris. I want him to rest up during French Open and show up in Queens and wimbledon where he is appreciated. I am sure the French won’t miss the “Ogre”.


Gordo Says:

Anyone who doubts the integrity of Nadal and Federer has me wondering if maybe it is them who – if in the same position – would plot, manipulate and use excuses to make themselves appear in a better light.

Give it a rest. We all know Nadal’s body takes a heavy toll the way he plays. The man and his team recognize that he needs a break. End of story.

This may indeed hamper him in the defence of his Wimbledon title, and open the door for a 2 horse race for year end number one.

What I am hoping for is that at the Barclays tournament in London Fed and Rafa square off, with the winner getting #1, just like what happened in the mens doubles in Shanghai at the year ending tournament last year.


zola Says:

Gordo,
what are you talking about? who is making excuses? did anyone talk about a match here?


Gordo Says:

Zola – follow the thread up. There are insinuations that Rafa is not really hurt or needs the rest, but by announcing his withdrawl from Queens the day of the RG semis he is sending a message that were he not “injured” he would still be king!

What poppycock.


Gordo Says:

Sorry, Zola – I should have identified a post – here is one -

=========

Edward Says:
Here we go again with the injury thing. Let’s not kid ourselves, he’s in better shape than he leads us to believe. He does this to try to secure his reputation as someone who is supposed to be unbeatable when healthy. Just in case the Wimbledon title is taken from him. I don’t buy it. He got beaten first in Madrid in straight sets partly due to blowing his wad in the semis, and then he got beaten in the fourth round in Paris, where he simply got outplayed by someone who could counter his offensive.
Even Wilander!!! said Rafa couldn’t control the match because Soderling would not let him. Rafa, you’re a fantastic player, but just take your losses like a champ and work on scheduling your season more wisely.

Posted June 5th, 2009 at 3:58 pm


Von Says:

http://www.pr-inside.com/gasquet-maintains-he-never-took-cocaine-rm1301684.htm

I think there’s a very real possibility of Gasquet clearing his name, and I’m hoping he does. I’m hoping there was a broken chain of custody mess-up and a technicality somewhere for his lawyer to exploit and win.


zola Says:

Gordo,
I am really sorry and I apologize.

Let people think whatever they want to think. If one ants to argue that statement that you quoted is full of contradictions. It acknowledges that Rafa’s schedule has resulted in his withdrawl, but perhaps it happened magically after RG!

What I want is for Rafa to get well soon. People can think whatever they want!

voicemale 1 had a great post about wilander in another thread. Its a keeper.

Wilander has no respect for anyone. Wasn’t he the guy who said Federer has no balls? because he was beaten by Rafa? So he can go sell pansies as far as I’m concerned.


zola Says:

thanks for that link Von. what a shame to suspend him for two months without even being convicted of anything.

The only player who defended Gasquest was Rafa. I wish more players voiced their opinion. The ITF has to either accelerate the process or let him play until proven guilty.


Von Says:

Wilander wouldn’t earn much selling pansies; they wil very quickly. LOL. Sorry, I couuldn’t resist that one.

Seems as though Aegon will be a very lucrative sponsor for Queens.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-sport/article-23704113-details/New+Queen's+Club+sponsor+set+for+a+30m+revolution/article.do


Von Says:

correction: Wilander wouldn’t earn much selling pansies; they ‘wilt’ very quickly.


Von Says:

You’re welcome Zola. I think the ITF should allow him to play or have a speedy trial. It doesn’t take very long to have a hearing scheduled, so why do they have to stretch things out when the Statute of Limitations for a hearing runs to the stroke of midnight is beyond my thinking.

Gasquet could have been allowed to play conditional upon a daily drug testing, or before and after a match if they needed to be petty and I’m sure he would have consented to so doing, even though inconvenient. With this mess, he’ll lose a lot of points and drop very low in the rankings, which is so very cruel.


zola Says:

Von,
exactly.
Why wait two months? How hard is it to convene a jury or panel or whatever they need.

what if he is really innocent? Then he has been robbed of points, prize money and perhaps some good results? the way this FO went who is to say Gasquet could not have created an upset?

not to mention the damage to his reputation.


mem Says:

Edward, what’s the problem now? federer is in the final and rafa is at home with bad knees. so, don’t pretend like you’re concern about nadal and wimbledon, because you’re not, you just want to keep his name out there to have something negative to discuss. nadal is at home, where he wants to be. this just goes to show, “be careful what you wish for,you just might get it” so, why don’t we turn our attention to a player (robin soderling) who deserves to be discussed. rafa is not in the spotlight right now! you can’t have it both ways!


Voicemale1 Says:

It’s been demonstrated that the average life span as a pro tennis player when they get to their highest ranking is, on average, about 10 years. Nadal turned pro at 16, and turned 23 on Wednesday. So he’s already got 7 years into his career. And since he throws his entire body into every point he plays, it’s no surprise he’s showing the wear and tear of playing like that. There’s no economy to the Nadal game. It’s brute force from the start. When he plays his best, he sears the lungs of his opponents, outlasting them and pounding them into the ground.

The minute Nadal loses his ability to keep running around his backhand, or maneuvering his feet to get himself setup enough to hit his forehand and do his punishment thing, his ranking will start to plummet. The incredible “gets” we see from him are all due to the combination of outstanding foot speed and foot work. Since Nadal cannot generate much heat consistently on his serve because he’s not naturally left handed, he has to work from Stroke 1 in every rally. So he has to compensate by placement of his serve strategically. But placement alone is easier for opponents to at least get the thing back into play. And if Nadal’s feet aren’t working optimally, he’s up against it.

If, as some have suggested here, his knees aren’t really bothering him and he just needs time to get his head right, then it makes no sense to pass Queens and then go direct to Wimbledon. Nadal needs meticulous preparation for every single thing in his life. It’d be a huge disadvantage for someone like him to show up at Wimbledon with no grass matches under his belt. If he skips Wimbledon, you’d have to say he’s truly ailing. But playing Wimbledon without grass court preparation, for a guy like him, is living dangerously. I’d have a hard time thinking he really believes he could win Wimbledon without any matches on grass beforehand. And does he really want to go if he knew he couldn’t negotiate the two weeks because he’s below his best?

The most admirable quality about Nadal as a player is his desire and willingness to make himself better. His work ethic alone is worthy of respect from everyone. And it’s paid off for him handsomely, given what he’s achieved despite the injuries he’s had. Seems like he’s at a crossroads though. If he wants to last beyond another year or so, it might be wise to take a chunk of time off. If his knees are chronic, rest will only help. But whether he could return to his best after a sabbatical is a huge question. Maybe he’ll pull a Justine and just quit while he’s at the top.


Von Says:

In Madrid Nadal called for the trainer and he was wincing with pain as the trainer pressed at some trigger points above his knee, hence the bandages after. I don’t know if that problem carried through to the FO. I also wonder whether Nadal stopped wearing his bandages prior to Madrid to give the other players the impression that his knees were fine, and it’s one of the reasons his knee problem became irritated.

Another thought I’ve had for a couple of months, is that of Nadal’s countenance. He’s seems inwardly unhappy. Is he suffering from some personal unhappiness? I’m wondering is it Xisca? If so, this could account for the visible lack of joy on his face, and the usual effervescence he exudes.


zola Says:

Von,
I wrote above that someone quoted the RG radio that Rafa had injured his knee during a practice session. It was during the first week. But he kept playing and winning.

He also had a doctor in his team this time. he never travelled with a doctor. So that was worrying too.

He said in Miami that he had something “personal”. Also his uncle Toni had told Youzhny’s coach that Rafa is struggling with a personal issue. And of course the coach wrote it in his blog!

Voicemale1
indeed Rafa needs to be commended for his commitment to tennis and all he has achieved even with his chronic condition. One thinks that the first action he can take is to cut any unneccessary tournament like Rotterdam, Barcelona and Madrid.


Von Says:

Zola: If Nadal indeed has on-going personal issues, it could very well account for that sparkless countenance I see. Maybe he’s used the Rotterdam, Barcelona tourneys and tight schedule to drown his sorrows by throwing himself into his work. Most individuals do that as a means of escape from the emotional pain they suffer, so why would he be an exception to this rule? These are just my observations and could very well be a far cry from reality, and could also open me up to be called a ‘hypocrite’ for writing what I see — but that’s OK, I’m not here to abide by Dale Carnegie’s book on ‘How to win friends and influence people’. LOL.


zola Says:

Von,

He attended Rotterdam because he exited so early last year and he had promised Kraijcek he would come back and do better this year and he did! Krajicek was with him all the time!

Barcelona, he attends because it is the Catalan tournament. The closest to his Island people and Madrid, I think he didn’t want to but could not let Santana down. Santana was present in all of his matches.

He has done this every year and every year he was burnt!

His coach says he likes to compete and they could barely keep him out of tournaments. It can be that personal issue too. I don’t know.

He has to learn to say NO!


jane Says:

Thanks for the update on Gasquet Von; we’ve heard nothing on this site. It’s good to know he’s fighting it, but I do wish they’d hurry things a little. He’s always been a pleasure to watch on grass. That article’s interesting in that it states how very little of a trace they found in him, which indicates he may’ve ingested it unknowingly. Anyhow, I just hope it all works out for him.


Von Says:

jane: You’re welcome. As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, I think he could clear his name. That trace they found was an extremely diluted one, like 20 parts of alcohol to one part cocaine, and could very well have been placed in his drink that night by some vicious so and so. Cocaine remains in the system for 5 days, hence, if the dose was a potent one, or if he is a hardened user, the test would have proved differently, by showing larger amounts in his system, and it’s very obvious that was a dose of a one-off than the real McCoy. I don’t know what’s the big deal with ITF because cocaine is not a drug that aids the athlete, it slows them down, so its a hindrance and could be a very arguable point at his hearing. sheesh.


Daniel Says:

Nadal has to rethink his schedule for sure! Thank god he skipped Dubai otherwise things could be much worst.


vared Says:

Nadal needs to skip Dubai, Rotterdam, Barcelona, Monte Carlo and Madrid for starters. Let Verdasco and other Spaniards win those home tourneys. He should concentrate on Wimby again – US Open and the YEC, two he does not have.


zola Says:

vared,
Monte Carlo is a very prestigeous tournament . this year almost all of top 20 were there. and it is at sea level. great prep for RG. Also Rome. But that’s it. I agree he has to skip dubai, ( he did this year), Rotterdam, Barcelona and Madrid AND RG.

The Paris crowd showed him in the best way they could that he is not wanted in RG. They have no regard for his acheivements. For him writing history there for four years. It will be years until anybody else can match what Rafa has done. And yet all he received in Paris was “gore”, boos , mistranslation of his speech and celebration of his loss…..

I think he should rest during FO and concentrate on Wimbledon and US Open.

I know it is wishful thinking though!


zola Says:

oops. “gore” means “Ogre”!


Cindy_Brady Says:

Edward,

I completely agree with you. Rafa loses his precious French open title and he suddenly has bad knees. They didn’t look bad as he won in Monte Carlo, Rome, Barcelona, and the first 3 rounds of the French open.

It’s far more likely, Nadal and uncle Tony are worried about the Soderling’s of the world penetrating Nadal’s game so effectively. I bet they are working on quick fixes as we post for Wimbledon.

This is Nadal’s way of saying Soderling beat me injured. Oh by the way!


Von Says:

Zola:

Here’s some more on Nadal’s pull-out from Queens. Read the posts, you might find some of them encouraging — there are quite a few Nadal fans who want him to be well again and feel he should rest.

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/05062009/58/nadal-queen-s-wimbledon-doubt.html


Von Says:

I don’t think Nadal should skip RG. The best way to quiet one’s foes is to win.


zola Says:

Cindy
***Rafa loses his precious French open title and he suddenly has bad knees***

think what you want.
he had knee problems in Rotterdam and then in Madrid. and the FO radio is not a Rafa fan site! that is what they reported.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Von,

Rafael Nadal…

“I have been having some problems in the past months with my knees, that’s no secret, that did not allow me to compete always at 100 percent,”

What a load of crap!

This is Nadal’s way of belittling Federer’s and Soderling’s win over him. It’s meant to tarnish who ever raises the FO trophy tomm and give Nadal an excuse for when he loses his Wimbledon crown.


zola Says:

von,
thanks for the link.

Von,
I don’t think he would skip RG. He said he will be back, but I think he should.

The French crowd made it clear they did not want him. They celebrated the loss of a 4-time champion and cheered for someone like Soderling againt him. They wanted Rafa OUt and they have it.

for Rafa it will be a great break in the middle of the season. He can prepre for Wimbledon and US Open and the French do not need to see him. everyone will be happy!


zola Says:

Cindy,
I don’t know if you read or watch tennis or you cjust come here and open your mouth!


Von Says:

Cindy:

I’m not a Nadal fan. I didn’t see your post when I posted that link for Zola, hence it wasn’t a rebuttal to your post. But, to be fair, Nadal did have a knee problem in Madrid in his match v. Djokovic in which the trainer was called. I think he pushed himself too much in that match and may have aggravated his knee problem. Also, it was obvious that there was something amiss at RG. I mentioned, (I think it was after his first match), that he seemed to be conserving energy because he was not running down every ball, but that may have been due to his knee, and only he knows what’s happening, which means we have to give him the benefit of the doubt. People gave Federer the benefit of the doubt with his back problems when he pulled out of Davis Cup and Dubai, didn’t they. Yes? No?


Cindy_Brady Says:

Zola,

I’ve watched tennis since the early 70s. I can see exactly what’s going on, unlike you. You are the one who has an inability to read between the lines.

Rafa will be back at the French Open. Book it! If he doesn’t, So what. It’s only hurting his legacy. Time marches on and new champions are born.

Rafa sounds like a spoiled brat because the French were cheering for him to lose. People like upsets. They like to route them on. It’s part of sports. It happens everywhere. This is no different. He will get over it.

You are so far up Rafa’s big butt, I’m surprised you can breath. You believe everything that is written without question. Zombie!!!


Cindy_Brady Says:

Von,

As Jimmy Connors used to say….

“If you play, you are fit”

Don’t cry injury later after playing and losing.

It sounds like a basket full of sour grapes and excuses!


Von Says:

Cindy:

I’ve always stated that if an athlete is not well, he shouldn’t play, but the athletes feel they have to for several reasons, e.g., sponsors, money, commitment, pride, fans, and the whole nine yards. It’s one of the reasons why we see so many injuries occurring and re-occurring because they don’t give themselves enough time to heal. From all that I’ve read on Nadal, (which is not a lot, because I don’t visit his website or the Internet in general, and my only news is from email subscriptions, which I post here) he seems to be a very stubborn young man with respect to playing, and goes against his team’s wishes at times, refusing to cut back on his schedule, hence the knee injuries. I think his schedule for the past 3 to 4 years has been horrendous and he seriously needs to cut back, or else it will become increasingly difficult for him to maintain longevity in the sport.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Why aren’t the referees enforcing the 30 second rule. Many of these players are going over it time and again. The umpire acts like the rule doesn’t exist. If they don’t want to use it then get rid of it. Nadal and Djokovic are constantly going over 30 seconds.

Nadal was ridiculous in Madrid. Not a peep out of the umpire. Does Nadal get special treatment. Sure seems that way!


huh Says:

Cindy, I think we can give Rafa benefit of doubt as I’d say that Rafa’s movement in the Soderling match while remained good through most part, there were times where it was obvious he could have done better had there been no problem in his knees, yes.


huh Says:

But even his healthy knees and the best possible body condition wouldn’t have saved him from a defeat by Soderling,
that’s for sure ! Hoping for his knees to get better soon ! I’d like Rafa to skip Rotter, Madrid, Barcelona and cash tourneys like Qatar.


huh Says:

I’m with Von when she says that Rafa hasn’t looked very enthusiastic or happy this year. And if you disbelieve us both, go and see his Queens and Wimbledon celebration clips, he was ecstasic then but now he’s laid back even in some great wins. Strange!


margot Says:

Very interesting posts from everyone and totally opposite points of view. Good!


Cindy_Brady Says:

huh,

That’s because Rafa succeeded on grass finally. Of course he was going to be ecstatic about those tournaments.

His wins on clay this year have been hum drum to him. He’s won them multiple times. Why would he get overly excited about winning tournaments he’s won before? He couldn’t jump for joy at the Australian because of the Roger thing. Too much Federer favoritism at that tournament with everyone expecting Roger to win. It was a joy to see him lose.

I just think Nadal’s coming of age. He’s been there and done that. Doesn’t need to act like he hasn’t been there before. Not too many bells and whistles. Just humble acceptance.


zola Says:

More on Rafa’s knees. Now Wimbledon is in the air too!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2009/jun/06/rafael-nadal-queens-wimbledon

I totally blame his team for this. I don’t care about the Calendar, the fines, or if Madrid and Barcelona are Spanish tournaments.

I think it is just foolish to keep playing until your body crumbles. The brain is there to be used!

Cindy,
I won’t argue with you. Think as you wish.


huh Says:

Cindy, very interesting points from you!


Voicemale1 Says:

Zola:

Nadal hasn’t played any more tournaments this year than last year. It’s basically the same number of tournaments. His problem is not his schedule – it’s his game. He exerts maxiumum effort into every single shot. For all his improvements, which have been incredible, he’s still mostly a defensive-minded player.

He says his approach to a match is believing he must “fight for every point”. Well, if he’s gonna do that, eventually that continuous effort will take it’s toll physically on him. And it has. The sad truth is unless he takes a long sabbatical now, his body will force him to hang up his racquet long before he wants to. The downside is: even if he returns to the game after a long Agassi-like break, there’s a legitimate question as to whether or not he could return to where he is now.

He needs to become more strategic as to which points are worth fighting for, and which ones are better left to the other guy. He’s not winning free points on the serve, and that’s why he knows he has to fight for every point. All points matter equally to him, and the truth is they don’t. he hasn’t leanred to pick the points that matter most from the ones that don’t because he personally hates giving away any point at all. But he feels that way because he knows he can’t get as many free ones as somebody like Federer. Nadal actually plays two matches worth of effort in every match he plays because of the exertion. No one can keep doing that without paying the price physically.

The dilemma he faces is this: can he economize the effort of his game before his body’s deterioration reaches the point where he can’t go on, no matter what he does to improve?


jane Says:

Great post Voicemale1. It’s true that all a player needs to do is hold serve and break once to win a set, or win the tiebreak. Maybe Nadal could economize, as you put it, to such a strategy. He does fight to win each point and given his style of play one can see how this would take its toll. I notice the same with Djoko sometimes. Occasionally I think he expends too much energy working on breaking his opponent when he should concentrate on holding his own serve and waiting for the right moment to go for the break. You can almost predict sometimes with a player like Federer, for example, that he’ll go for the break at 4 all. And Von has pointed out the same about Sampras in the past.


steve Says:

Sad news. Tennis is much less interesting without Nadal around. I hope will return, rested and healthy, for the latter part of the season.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Voicemale1,

Bingo!!

It’s Nadal’s game that is going to make his career short. Very similar to Borg’s. Many parallels.

His game is not efficient for longevity the way Connors, Sampras, and Federer’s is. He expends too much energy per point. Sure he wins but at what cost? A shortened career.

Borg burned and Nadal is heading that way too, if not mentally – physically.


zola Says:

voicemale1
I think Rafa has been changing his game, trying to be more aggressive this year and playing shorter points.

That’s still not the point. Rafa cannot play like Federer or Murray. That is his stryle of game. What he can do is to program his calendar wisely and to even rest more when he can.

He played two 5-hour matches in AO and then played Rotterdam. Playing Barcelona or Madrid was not necessary, especially after Rafa had problems in Rotterdam final.


zola Says:

Cindy
don’t celebrate too soon.
Rafa is just 23. He can heal and come back and play and win more slams.

I don’t know many players who had 6 GS titles at his age.


grendel Says:

Cindy – surely you can’t compare Borg to Nadal. Borg’s burnout was mental, physically he was fine. Actually, we don’t know about Nadal. He has pulled out of one smallish tourney.

And Connors? I would have thought his game was much closer to Nadal’s than to Sampras or Federer. He was all effort and hustle and had a much less effective serve than Nadal, too. Surprising he lasted so long. Hewitt, on the other hand, is an example of fairly rapid burnout in a slightly unusual way. After his 70 odd weeks at the top, he carried on playing high class tennis. But the intensity had gone. And without it, he was sadly diminished.

Henin is an interesting case. Her burnout appears to be mental and yet may well be physical in origin. Of course, the physical/mental dichotomy is a little artificial. But Henin understood that her unique gifts would avail her little in the face of the modern giants – the Williams, Davenport, Sharapova and others. The lesson of the equally gifted Hingis was clear. So she beefed her little frame up, and ended up hitting the ball as hard as most, with her second serve (I believe) being consistently the fastest on the tour. She must have done a sort of violence to herself, though. Her surprising retirement is, in retrospect, not surprising.


Voicemale1 Says:

Grendel:

Henin just recently gave an interview to Tennis.com when they asked if she had any thoughts on returning to the tour since Clijsters was coming back. Justine’s response was an emphatic no, sating she was “broken”. If it wasn’t her shoulder, it was her knee, she said. She quit because she got the most out of her little body, and it had nothing left to give her anymore. The good thing for her was she knew she’d reached her physical limit, and was smart enough not to persevere.


steve Says:

I think the chances of mental burnout for Nadal are as high, if not higher, than the chances of physical breakdown.

It costs a lot of mental strength to maintain absolute concentration for every minute of every match, year in year out. And Nadal has to do that in order to win. Eventually you become exhausted, and the motivation wanes.

Sure, his personality is different from Borg’s. But I doubt anyone would have predicted, when Borg was 23, that he would retire in three years.

Nadal will stand out in the history of tennis as the prime example of how far you can go on sheer willpower alone. His drive to excel and improve and never-say-die mentality are remarkable. And he did what even the great Borg never could do–win a hard-court major.

It’s way too early to write him off. I would never count him out until he officially retires.


margot Says:

How interesting! We’re all speculating here but I’m with Voicemale1 on this. I’ve long thought, and posted many times, on the immense effort that I think it takes to be Rafa. A left hander turned right for goodness sakes, all those twitches and ticks, a game not based on talent but intensity, commitment, hard, hard work day in, day out. Hey guys, somethings gotta give.


margot Says:

von: have just heard that Rafa has “bone odema” what the hecks that and what causes it, do you know?


Cindy_Brady Says:

Grendel,

I mentioned Connor’s game as being opposite to Nadal’s in the sense of the way they hit the ball. Connors strokes were far more efficient and body friendly (straight lines) where as Nadal’s is so much more “energy taxing” and injury prone.

This is the reason Connors lasted so long with his game. Connors hit the ball better than the text books could teach it. Immaculately efficient!

Nadal’s game is much closer to Borg’s. If physicality doesn’t wear him down, mental burn out will. Just a matter of time.


grendel Says:

Voicemale1 – touching about Henin.

Cindy – I stand corrected. I always remember the effort Connors seemed to put into his shots. Straight lines I didn’t notice…..


Von Says:

Margot:

Re: No, I haven’t about Nadal’s Bone Oedema. I suspect you read about this in a British newspapaer?

I’m hazarding a guess here. Oedema which is English, (spelling) is similar to edema, American, and signifies swelling of a joint. It’s an inflammatory condition which is consistent with tendinitis. In other words, Nadal has a progressed form of tendinitis which has probably progressed to arthritis of his knee and patella areas, and causes the swelling associated with inflammation = arthritis. The synovial fluid in the knee, which is its cushion, begins to dry out, and then the knee makes the grating and creaking sounds. This is common with older people, but athletes are very prone to this, hence Nadal’s case of bone oedema or bone edema = knee tendinitis.

I don’t know what type of doctors he has on his team, but orthopedists administer ‘Synvisc’ to the knees by injection to replace the dried up synovial fluid, and a series of 3 injections, given one week apart,, for three weeks, is effective for six (6) months. I’ve recently read that there are now anti-inflammatory patches which can be applied to the affected arthritic areas to reduce the pain/swelling and the patches provide relief similar to the NSAID taken by mouth, but without affecting the stomach, which NSAIDs are known to do.

And, that’s about all I know on bone oedema or bone edema.


Von Says:

As jane mentioned, thank you jane, I’ve many times addressed Nadal’s mentality, which is winning every point. I don’t understand the reasoning behing his game. Sampras, was a master at conserving his energy, but he had no choice if he wanted to remain in the sport for a long time, due to his blood condition of Thalassemia. Sampras would hold his serve, break, and then let his opponents fight for points. He would end the opponent’s games very quickly, almost by tanking, because he knew he had a break, he could hold serve = Sampras wins.

Nadal, is of a diferent mentality, where he wants it all. It’s almost as though he wants to humiliate his opponent by rendering a sound beating to them. Well, the end result is an extremely tired and worn out Nadal. In the end, was it worth it? Easy does it!


scineram Says:

“Nadal will stand out in the history of tennis as the prime example of how far you can go on sheer willpower alone.”

Sheer nonsense. More like willpower and once in a decade talent.

“A left hander turned right for goodness sakes, all those twitches and ticks, a game not based on talent but intensity, commitment, hard, hard work day in, day out.”

I must have hallucinated those forehands and passing shots.


zola Says:

Von
***
Nadal, is of a diferent mentality, where he wants it all. It’s almost as though he wants to humiliate his opponent by rendering a sound beating to them. Well, the end result is an extremely tired and worn out Nadal. In the end, was it worth it? Easy does it!

***

it is completely opposite. I read in an interview with Toni that Rafa really believes that he can lose every match he enters in and has to do his best to win.

You have seen that many opponents can come back from one or even two breaks of serve. Sometimes one break is not a guarantee.

It happened with Safina, when she bagled her opponent twice. She said she had no intention, but she won because she concentrated on each point. She thought things could change if she would let go.

You see now many players use Rafa’s mentality. Playing point by point ( like Murray ) and it helps them.
It is the respect they have in the ability of their opponent to beat them. Not to humiliate them.


Von Says:

Zola: Nadal’s mind-set is to win every point, but as I mentioned at the beginning of the FO it seems he’s learning to not go for every point. He has to learn to be selective and it’s his selectiveness that will preserve his body. His is the mind-set of every young-man his age, they want it all in a hurry. I know this for a fact, because I have a young son around Nadal’s age and he’s so very ambitious that I sometimes want to strangle him because of his so very lofty goals. Don’t worry Nadal will learn and you’ll see a better and less injured player.

Look at what’s happeneing to Safina now. The girl is a bundle of nerves. How long do you think she’ll last with her mentality? I don’t think very long — she’s self-destructive.


zola Says:

there was an article by steve Tignor poitning the same thing. The difference in Rafa’s game compared to Federer’s and Sampras’s.

***********
After losing the fourth set of the Wimbledon final last year, Nadal said that he sat down on the changeover and accepted that he had played horribly when he was ahead in the tiebreaker, but that otherwise he was “doing very well.” If Nadal is a control freak or a perfectionist, he doesn’t allow it to get the best of him. John McEnroe couldn’t emotionally deal with his errors, Djokovic lets his frustration affect his play, and even Federer gets down in the mouth if things aren’t going as he expects. Nadal accepts, when he walks onto a court, that he will not always be at his best. As a guy who is constantly trying to improve, he begins with the premise that he can never be perfect, and that he should not always win. Federer and Pete Sampras, by contrast, begin every match believing that no one can beat them if they go out and do what they’re supposed to do.

***********
http://tennisworld.typepad.com/thewrap/2009/03/iw-rafa-sightings.html


zola Says:

Von,
I am going to play tennis with my friend now. I will come back and write more.

I don’t think it is because Rafa is in a hurry. It is perhaps because he wants to secure the match. When you have time, read that article from Tignor. It has some good insight into Rafa’spersonality and game.


margot Says:

von: thanx 4 a very detailed explanation. Just 2 more questions please. If Rafa rested for 6 months would condition go away or is damage irreparable and if he continues playing non stop is he making problem much worse?
you’ve kinda explained on another thread, but could you just clarify. It sounded as if damage is “manageable.” Is that a correct interpretation? Cheers.


Edward Says:

quite the uproar!

to whom it may concern: Rafa is going to be fine. he will continue winning. he will outlast Borg most likely, I hope. I’m not trying to upset people here, really. I want him to succeed, but I just don’t buy into his I’m Invincible When Healthy implications. I feel this way about Federer too – I didn’t win cuz of this, I didn’t win cuz of that. You got beaten. work on your game. maybe I’m wrong and he has real issues – one would think judging by the way he plays. but I don’t get that from him at all. like I said, maybe I’m wrong. here’s to a better second half for him.


Von Says:

margot:

You’re welcome. Please bear in mind that I’m not a health care diagnostician and/or practitioner, so whatever information I’m giving to you is merely from reading and/or personal experience.

Any time Nadal rests his knees, would be beneficial to him, as the knees would not be as stressed out, inflamed, irritated and/or painful from activity such as running. However, the inflammation does not just go away, and if he does indeed have bone oedema, then the bone is most probably deteriorating and/or is eaten away in some areas from the inflammation. His doctors had to have seen the deterioration of the bone to make such a diagnosis. This whole problem could most probably be blown out of proportion by the media and I’d only believe the extent of the injury if Uncle Toni or Nadal issues a statement. Until then, all we can do is speculate, which I think is what the media is doing.


margot Says:

Thanx von! Asked you cos u seemed v. knowledgeable. I think there has been a statement of sorts but not certain.


Al Says:

Connor just hits a flat ball and Nadal hits it with more topspin. I think both Connors and Nadal have the same mentality and approach to the game, that is to play every single point as if it is a match point.


Von Says:

Margot: You’re welcome. I needed to add that disclaimer because of the nature of the information, as i don’t want a lawsuit on my hands for dispensing medical information. See my post to Zola below.

_____________________
Zola: If you’re watching the match on NBC, I hope you’ve heard the conversation between the commentators with respect to Nadal, in which they stated it was not the tendinitis that’s the problem, but Nadal has been having acute pain in the right knee and he will have to undergo an MRI on Monday (tomorrow) to determine the cause of that pain. For all we know it could be a small tear in the ligament which could be taken care of by arthroscopic surgery in his doctor’s office. So don’t worry, it might not be as bad as you fear. Take care and I’ll maybe see you around at Wimby.

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