The Curious Case of Nadal’s Ailing Knees
by Sean Randall | June 11th, 2009, 10:50 am
  • 367 Comments

The big news of the week in the tennis world beyond the Roger Federer GOAT discussion, which in my mind was settled Sunday, is talk of Rafael Nadal and his always-ailing knees. At just 23, Nadal’s knees have apparently already turned into muck, and given the alleged rate of their deterioration, in a year he’ll likely be playing in a wheelchair – and probably still winning matches!

Can you wait? I sure can.

I’m already sick of this knee saga. Just as I was sick of hearing about Federer’s mono last year, in fairness I’ll say that I’m already over Nadal’s and his knee tendinitis. Unfortunately, if you are in my boat on this, we are out of luck and taking on water fast because this issue just isn’t going away anytime soon. We are going to hear about it during Wimbledon and especially during the hardcourt summer season right through the US Open. Cripes, might as well get used to it.

Honestly, I almost think Uncle Toni and the rest of the Nadal’s circle of trust are running some sort of interference or smokescreen. When Nadal was stunned by Soderling, I said that day that it was the first time in his career that Rafa had been punched in the mouth – and he was. And I was very curious to see the reaction. Well, this is it: Bad knees.

“I have been playing with pain on my knees for some months now and I simply can’t go on like this,” wrote Nadal on his website. “The pain was limiting certain movements in my body, which affected me mentally as well.”

Clearly the guy does have knee problems, I’m not saying he doesn’t. But for me some things just don’t add up. If he had been suffering for “some months now” as he says, why play Rome, why play Madrid or a full clay schedule that included Monte Carlo and Barcelona when the real “end goals” are the French Open and Wimbledon?

And where was this “limited” movement he speaks of? The Rafa I watched during the clay season and even in Paris two weeks ago appeared to be moving just fine. I recall some concern during his epic tussle with Novak Djokovic in Madrid where he had some treatment on his knee from a trainer, but did he ever call for on-court medical attention during Paris? I don’t think so.

If Nadal wants to internally rationalize the loss by saying he wasn’t psychically and mentally 100% right, he’s free to do so.

But from what I saw Soderling beat Nadal straight up. Forget the knee and forget the bad pink shirt which I’m guessing will never be seen on the Spaniard ever again. The Swede attacked early and attacked often, keeping Rafa on his heals throughout the match. Soderling even knocked Nadal down on his arse on one occasion in the third set, a scene reminiscent of Mike Tyson deliriously trying to shove his mouthpiece back into his mouth after James Buster Douglas dropped him in Tokyo some 20 years ago. (Note: Tyson never recovered from that loss!)

As for the injury itself, it doesn’t seem terribly serious if Rafa’s doctor prescribed just “oral anti-inflammatories, physiotherapy as well as progressive muscular exercises for both quadriceps’s” along with a few weeks of rest. And if that’s really all it takes from him to get healthy again then why didn’t they just skip Barcelona/Rome and sit the kid down for a few weeks in late April, or just skip Madrid and take most of May off?

Bizarre.

And why did Rafa pull out of Queen’s citing knee issues when he could have withdrawn by simply saying he was tired or exhausted and no one would have batted an eye. Instead, it almost feels like the Nadal camp wanted to let people know that Rafa’s knees were not 100% for the French Open. Excuse for losing? Just read that Nadal quote again. Hmmm…

But I guess that’s what happens when you get hit for the first time.

Then again, I could be way, way, way off here and maybe Nadal skips Wimbledon because his knees really are that bad of shape. But I bet this knee thing is somewhat overblown and something tells me that he’ll show up a week from Monday at 1pm and he’ll be just fine.


Also Check Out:
Henin, Clijsters Show Benefits of Second Chances
Bad Knees Are Still Bad, Rafael Nadal Forced Out Of Cincinnati For First Time In Career; US Open In Jeopardy?
Nadal Says No Mas, Withdraws From Wimbledon
Nadal Says Knees Still Not Right
Nadal Turns Away Djokovic in Magical 3-Set Epic in Madrid

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get Tennis-X news FREE in your inbox every day

367 Comments for The Curious Case of Nadal’s Ailing Knees

vared Says:

Excuse for losing?

Sean, Fed did that all the time last year with back, mono, etc.


Ryan Says:

fed’s case was legit….nadal’s is a lie


Ryan Says:

just playin…both of them were tellin the truth


Lourdes Says:

Just wondring and curious if the knee is a cover-up on something(!). Although Feds had problems due to illness, he tried to play (with early exits) to please his fans.


jane Says:

Good title Sean, but are you sure you’ve never worked for a tabloid? You’re always fanning the flames. LOL.


Bonnie Says:

Sean,

Thanks Sean, for having the courage to say what many of us are thinking.

What I don’t want to see are multiple calling for the trainer over the course of two weeks at Wimbledon during tight matches. But here’s dollars to donuts that’s what we’re gonna get.


margot Says:

Sean: I’m right in that boat with you, bailing out mighty fast but that old water just keeps a-coming….


sports fan Says:

Nadal does have knee problems…..Was it the reason he lost at the French Open? Absolutely Not!…….He was outplayed by Soderling for 3 hours……..The Nadal camp is not trying to make excuses for the loss, at least I do not think they are, but I do not think it is going to matter if Rafa is 100% or not for Wimbeldon there is only going to be 1 winner and we all know who that is…..Also, if Roger Federer wins and Nadal goes out before the semifinals than Roger Federer will recalim the number 1 ranking July 6……..I hope for Rafa vs Roger final because I think that is waht Roger wants very badly because even though he would not retake the number 1 position afetr Wimbeldon I believe Roger wants to beat Nadal in the finals because he does not care at all about that ranking….He was number 1 for a record 237 weeks without dropping the ranking one time…….Prediction

semifinals Nadal def. Djokovic

Federer def. Murray

finals Federer def. Nadal


Rosalind Says:

….point well written…I’m a Rafa fan and I hope to god you are right…I hope his pride was hurt. I hope he was stunned….and just using his knees as an excuse.

Meaning I don’t think he is the kind of person to lie!


Shan Says:

Nadal’s an excuse machine


Rogie Says:

>>”I’m already sick of this knee saga. Just as I was sick of hearing about Federer’s mono last year”

Have some life dude. If you don’t have anything else meaningful to do other than bitching about the Greatest Players of the world go ahead and kill urself. If you are sick hearing stuffs from Nadal and Federer why dont you just start following other game … Gulf may be. That way you wont have to hear anything from them.
You spend all your day infront of TV eating potatoes and bitch about Nadal and Federer.
Last word: Have some Life Dude !!!


RZ Says:

Vared, I might be wrong here, but I think Federer mentioned the mono only once as an excuse for losing last year, at either Indian Wells or Miami. After that, it was the commentators, press, pundits, etc., who kept bringing it up.


RZ Says:

If Nadal’s knee issues are an excuse, might that not backfire? After all, it would take away the psychological edge Rafa has against his opponents, who would now come into the match believing they could defeat him because he’s so beaten up.


Clive Says:

So its ok for Federer to a)suffer from mono last year and continually use this excuse for his poor form until, hmmm…3 weeks ago? and b)drop out of Halle because he’s too tired from all the partying in Paris. BUT Nadal cannot have genuine health problems, or furthermore stress these as reasons for dropping out of a tournament or suggesting them as being responsible for his poor form of late?
You are a clearly a Fed fan and this article is totally biased.


Naydal Says:

Whenever Federer, Blake, Berdych and Soderling beat Nadal, they did so by taking the ball early and being aggressive. So often it seems players just assume they can’t do that for an entire match and they need to “work the point.” After the French, I think a lot of players have seen the light against Nadal, though. I hope Nadal rebounds fine and the Fed-Nadal rivalry continues, but I can also see how this may have seriously changed things….


MMT Says:

RZ: I have to say that Federer has brought up the issue of mono many times. Both Federer and Nadal are always at this game of telling the world when they’re injured, and I think it’s not on. Von would be happy to hear me say that by far, the most sporting top player in this regard is Roddick. I’ve never heard him bring up an injury ever. Kudos to him.


Amanda Says:

i love you rafa! don’t listen to these jerks! i know you are not making excuses and i hope you recover as well as you possibly can and take it easy. Your fans will understand if you do not play in Wimbledon because your health is what must come first. Everyone needs to STOP HATING and give him some respect and quit judging and criticizing him! I love you Rafa :) i hope you get well so you can come back soon and play like the champion you are! xoxo


Marie Says:

I am a doctor who works with knee injuries. I think you are better off sticking to journalism and not trying to diagnosis/comment on a players injuires. Nadal’s reference to limited movement was most likely refering to limited motion in the knee that you would not be able to detect.
Nadal has never been a cry-baby or a sore-loser. Why not give him the benefit of the doubt. He deserves more respect than this!


jane Says:

“Nadal has never been a cry-baby or a sore-loser. Why not give him the benefit of the doubt. He deserves more respect than this!”

Agreed.


SAR Says:

Although this was definitely the biggest loss of his career, Rafa has had his shock losses in the past (AO vs. Tsonga, USO vs. Blake) and I never remember excuses coming from him. He’s been nothing but honest his entire career and I see no reason to doubt him here.

I’m not sure if we were watching the same player, but Rafa has looked terrible (by his standards) ever since that marathon match vs. Djokovic in Madrid. Remember his opening match at the French? He struggled against someone so unknown I can’t even remember his name.

And didn’t he just beat Soderling 6-0, 6-1 a couple weeks ago? Sorry, but nothing is going to convince me that Nadal was even close to 100% during the French Open.

Maybe his knee problems are a bit overblown, but that’s what happens in the media when the best player in the world says he might not play Wimbledon. I think he’ll be there and hopefully will be healthy enough to defend his title.


dlc Says:

Where did you get your medical degree? You don’t understand tendonitis. It is always there, it is relieved by anti-inflammatories, but it mentally wears you down because you are reminding yourself constantly of how you can’t move or the pain will flare up. IT SUCKS. I’ve had it for 20 years. He needs a nutritionist, because something in his diet can also be aggravating the connective tissues. Also, remember he’s been abusing his body for more than 15 years without rest. And you apparently haven’t noticed – his game changed. He was asked repeatedly about the changes – those were done to stop the knee abuse. He tried to have a more powerful serve, hit more to the opponents center, etc – all to stop the side to side running he does in an attempt to chase down every ball. Also, can’t you do the math? His games are LONGER than almost everyone, and if he gets to the SF or Finals, that is 5times the abuse other plays experience. YOU ARE HORRIBLE AT ANALYSIS BUDDY. Nadal is obligated by contracts to be a star for years. HE is one of the most honest guys in sports. Appreciate him for what he is -RARE.


dlc Says:

TO MMT-

You must not have followed Andy Roddick’s career very well. His documented ailments are many. He has discussed them. They were responsible for his ranking slips. Rafa’s problem is real. His doctor issued a statement explaining it. The tour doctors are involved, and the sponsors want him to show up for ticket sales, so between lawyers, sponsers, his contractural obligations, etc. this is no bruised ego issue as some of you clowns have theorized. Why can’t you just accept people get run down bodies. These guys are humans. They have the same parts we do, they have just trained and abused them more so of course they are damaged periodically. Use your brains instead of publishing your stupid shallow remarks.


margot Says:

Andy Roddick has had tendonitis for years. How many times has he mentioned this, especially after losing? Never. That’s the point.


Ania Says:

If you are sick of his knee problems why do you write about them. You guys are making a living on those problems but critique others. And by the way bias and really weak article.


Kimo Says:

No, Nadal has never been a cry baby, but you have to admit that Nadal’s career was always improving ever since he burst on the scene. His loss at RG is the first hit he’s endured. EVER.

It’ll be interesting to see how he handles it. What happened to him at RG was his hardest loss, I would put it on par with Roger’s loss to Nadal in last year’s Wimbledon final. That match was a sign that the tide is turning, that there will be some serious changes in the world of tennis. Change will happen now. Nadal may recover, he probably will, but it’ll take some time, just like it took a while for Roger to bounce back.

Roger’s loss was probably harder. Losing 64 64 67 67 97 in a tournament that he owned broke his soul. He has since recovered and managed to win the tournament that elluded him when he was a better, younger player.

I sense that the tide is turning now too. The scenes for this year’s RG told a thousand words: Rafa walking out of Philippe Chatrier a broken man, beaten for the first time on his turf. Roger enduring scares against Acasuso, Haas and JMDP. Soderling, Nadal’s conquerer, someone who arguably played well only on indoor hard courts (the opposite of clay), beating not only Nadal, but Ferrer, Davydenko, Gonzalez, all of them skilled dirtballers, ony to meet Federer in the final and get handled just like Federer always did, despite his dream run.

And Federer, cementing his position in the history books and getting two achievements with one win: Sampras’s 14 and Agassi’s career slam.

There was a sense of change at RG, that’s why it was the most exciting slam in a long time.

My guess is Nadal will come back, but he won’t be the force he’s been for the last 12 months again, just like this Federer is not the Federer of 2006 (although now he’ll play with no pressure, and if that isn’t a scary thought to his opponents I don’t know what is).

But hey, if anyone can do it, it’s Nadal ;)


fem Says:

The bottom line here is that there r way too many federer fans out there and they can only blame one person for dethroning their hero.. I would feel bad too if I were a federer fan and had to watch him weep like a little girl having lost to nadal yet again and on d hardcourts of australia.. Federer is a great player but there’s a new kid on d block so guys, deal with it and stop running him down with your nasty comments..


wilzb Says:

Come on people. Why are we always so critical of those who are really good at something? It was obvious that Rafa was not moving as well as he normally does during the past few tournaments. And with his fierce competitive spirit I have a hard time believing that he wasn’t giving everything he had in the tournaments he played. I hope he will be able to fully recover and provide us with many more hours of enjoyment. He is the reason that I watch tennis.


Shan Says:

I think Nadal will wither away like Rios


sar Says:

Hello everyone:
The above poster SAR is not me. I use lower case.
Bravo for Novak win by the way, back from the brink.


fem Says:

Federer always gives excuses after a loss.. He hardly ever compliments d other player at d press conferences.. Nadal on d other hand is d exact opposite so if he has given his knees as d reason for his loss, then we should believe him..


Shan Says:

Maybe next year he’ll be on the Blackrock tour playing McEnroe!


tennisontherocks Says:

I think ALL pros have some sort of nagging pain, fatigue, jetlag, personal problems etc etc etc. But years of training still allows them to go out there and do their job. The injuries may prevent them from playing at their best ability, but still may be enough to beat the other player.

Also, I don’t know if there is ever a good time to discuss these injuries. If you talk about it after a win, you appear to be rubbing salt on the opponents wounds. If you do it after a loss, you appear to be sore loser. Now if the media stops reporting about them or report injuries of each and every player, it will be better.


sensationalsafin Says:

Fem, what did this new kid on the block do at the French? I’m pretty sure Federer is the most current GS champion. Either way, their rivalry has nothing to do with the knees. Nadal’s level of play wasn’t at its highest all the way back to Miami, if not further. But it wasn’t his movement. If you watched his matches, you’d see he was spraying balls he normally never misses, but he was still getting to every shot and running around like a gazelle. This knee issue is definitely more mental than physical. Nadal’s knees will recover enough for the issue to fade from the media. Nadal just needs to start managing his schedule better and stop being a stupid brat and playing every freaking tournament that comes his way. He’s got plenty of hardcourt points so he doesn’t have to play every single clay tournament to keep his ranking or even his used-to-be insurmountable lead. Sean isn’t criticizing Nadal as a player, God knows he’s incredible, but this knee thing is Nadal’s fault, real or not.


fem Says:

Actually this years roland garros was rather dull.. No nadal or djokovic, who r d best clay courters at d moment.. Once they were out, it took a lot of d shine out of d slam.. federer should b feelin d same way marvin frazier did when he became champ only because mohammed ali was banned from d sport and stripped of his title.. Remember what happened when ali came back


ferix Says:

“Nadal has never been a cry-baby or a sore-loser. Why not give him the benefit of the doubt. He deserves more respect than this!”

If you had followed Nadal’s career closely, you can only say this if you had intentionally turned a blind eye to all the times Nadal has cited injuries or fatigue as an excuse … just google “Nadal Knee Injury” and you will find records dating back to 2006 … I also remember an interview from Uncle Toni two years ago after losing Wimbledon 2007 where he says Nadal can’t even walk sometimes (this was a foot injury)!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/7117076.stm

Just because Federer has also done it with mono doesn’t mean Nadal has a free licence to do it too.

In my mind, he should never have said: “I have been playing with pain on my knees for some months now and I simply can’t go on like this” – to discredit all the guys who beat him and also insult guys like Djokovic by implying he couldn’t even beat a less than 100% Nadal.

In his statement, he also goes on to say, self-righteousnessly, that he will never enter into any match less than 100%. Isn’t that in direct contradiction to his earlier comment about the knee affecting him for several months? I just feel the whole thing about calling a press conference to say he “hopes” to play in wimbledon (thereby saying absolutely nothing) is a poor, poor PR exercise …


vared Says:

SAR
That Madrid match Djok and Nadal destroyed each other and Fed picked up the spoils. After that both Djok and Nadal were dead for FO.


fem Says:

Sensationalsafin, good comment.. He really should manage his schedule better but sometimes d sponsors demand so much.. Without nadal, d king of clay absent at d bigger clay masters series would not help d tournament.. Its all about d dough at d end of d day.. I think he’ll b wiser from now on and just say NO..


Voicemale1 Says:

Years ago, Venus Williams was diagnosed with tendinitis in both wrists, which kept her off the tour for 6 months. It’s not an injury – it’s a condition. And the treatment for it is pretty much Standard Operating Procedure: rest. Barring that, you’ll keep the inflammation burning every time you haven’t given the condition time to subside.

Nadal strains his body because he hits a large proportion of his shots off balance. The greatest example is his Open Stance Backhand – he often hits this shot lunging down to his right while simultaneously swinging with full rotation to his left. Do stuff like that enough times and eventually the body will start to revolt. He feels the need to, as he says it, “fight for every point”. He has a personal inner critic that roars in his ear every time he feels he “gives a point away”, and he hasn’t been able to stop himself from trying to run down every ball in every corner during every rally. And I’m thinking it’s because he knows he doesn’t have The Sampras Serve to get him out of trouble. Nadal hopes to grind every foe into the ground by outlasting them physically and it usually works. But each foe faces that grinding only when they play him. He however suffers the same effect on his own body from that very grind every time. His game is backfiring on him, as many predicted it would.

Soderling played Nadal in Paris just like Verdasco played Nadal in Australia: hitting huge bold shots landing inches from the base line and keeping Nadal pinned in the backcourt, which forced Nadal to “arm” the ball even more, trying to get it deeper from a bad position with the same spin he puts on it, and it didn’t work too well for him. Soderling hit his shots as though it was a hard court match, and they worked because they went in with regularity. High-risk, but you look like a genius when it works. The downside is it can go wrong pretty fast. It’s exactly what Tsonga did to Nadal in the 08 Australian Semi Final, where everything Tsonga hit went in as a winner (and we haven’t seen that kind of tennis from him since, either). Soderling didn’t let Nadal play his game at all, and that’s why he won. And it wasn’t a blowout by any means; two sets went to tiebreaks. Nadal was probably thinking during the match that the Soderling cannon-fire would subside at some point and then he could move in for the kill. It didn’t, and he lost. He was waiting for Soderling to choke, basically. Nadal looked more scared than injured or suffering. His wasn’t moving his feet and getting to shots with the same abandon. But given that it was a long tight 4 Set Match, it’s tough to say it had to do with tendinitis. If he really was suffering with it, as he was at the US Open in 07 losing to Ferrer where he actually went down on the court in genuine agony, we’d have seen something like that at the French. We didn’t. And in his press conference afterward he summed it up well: he played too short (because he was forced to), and Soderling had a field day knocking off winners left and right. He said “…congratulate him, he played better than me, and he beat me. And the season continue…”.


Clive Says:

“I think Nadal will wither away like Rios”

No Shan, you mean you HOPE he will, then your idol Federer will at least stand some chance of winning a few more slams.


I like tennis bullies Says:

the curious sad case of federer’s mono that always comes back as an excuse whenever he loses to a better player…….


Kimo Says:

BTW, even though I’m a huge Fed fan, I really hope Rafa fully recovers and plays wimbledon. I really want Federer to have his revenge. Last year, throught the match, Federer was very tight. his humiliating loss at RG must have been lingering through his mind. He played terrible for the first 2 and a half sets, and he paid for it.

I believe in my heart of hearts, that if Fed just plays like he did in 40 matches at Wimbledon prior to his Nadal match, he would win comfortably.


Clive Says:

“Nadal just needs to start managing his schedule better and stop being a stupid brat and playing every freaking tournament that comes his way.”

sensationalsafin – don’t you realise that Nadal plays the MINIMUM number of tournaments required of him by the ATP? Short of paying penalties and losing points or dropping out to injury there is really not a lot he can do about that! Nadal plays as much on clay as possible for several reasons; a) because it is his best surface b) because the clay season is early in the year where Nadal has historically been at his fittest, and c) so he does not have to gruel it out on the hard courts at the end of the season and can save his energy and knees for the Masters Cup (which he was not even able to do last year, as we know). It is not Nadal that is the spoilt brat, it is the ATP. They are the ones of plan the schedule, not him!
Idiot!


Kimo Says:

I like tennis bullies:

“the curious sad case of federer’s mono that always comes back as an excuse whenever he loses to a better player”

a better player?? Who’s that? He might lose matches when he’s having an off day or when the other player is having an awesome day. That’s about it.

Many of Fed’s losses to Nadal on clay came after Fed has leads like 5-1 or 4-0 in a set, so I think Fed is just more mentally fragile against Rafa, but that’s about it.

besides, bullies, don’t u have a WWE fight to watch?


We Need Laughter Says:

Holy Federer lost AO ’08 because he had mono. Earthly Rafa did not lose FO ’09 because he had knee problems. He lost fair and square. Did you not watch them matches? Are you blind?
Holy Federer is honest; Rafa is prevaricator, a born liar. Federer is not only the GOAT but also the God of tennis, and we all know God only speaks the truth, and there was evidence of his profuse sweating and he was using towels after towels more frequently to dry his Holy forehead; Rafa is only causing problems to the Goat-God, otherwise Fed would have won 14+6 Slams. That should make Rafa Satan incarnate? Why cannot Rafa just disappear? Maybe, he will after the GOAT-God crushes him with his magic racket in the next battle of the grass. Is it the smell of grass (somebody lit a joint?) or is it the smell of Satan’s disappearance?


sensationalsafin Says:

The idea that Nadal has been playing with pain for a while really isn’t hard to believe. I said it before, no player plays 100% injury/pain free. There’s always something. The knee thing is something that came about as a result of too much tennis in the last few months. You can go all the way back to Australia with his 2 back-to-back 5 setters, then playing Rotterdam like an idiot, then the 2 Masters events where he won 1 and made the quarters of the other, then playing and winning Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, and reaching the final of Madrid. Nadal has made 2 QF’s this year, won 5 title with 2 other finals. Does anyone else think it’s kinda funny his worst result (4th round) came at the FO? Kinda ironic, if you ask me. Anyways, going so deep in so many tournaments in such a concentrated amount of time has really hurt him. Nadal has himself responded to people saying that he plays too much by saying that it’s because he does so well. If he played this many tournaments and did poorly, no one would be saying anything. But that’s not an excuse. When Federer was winning everything, he would play less and less tournaments because he realized that he would probably go deep and he’d end up playing too much. Nadal recognizes his actions but doesn’t see the flaw.

Fem, the biggest clay court prize every year is the FO. Federer won it this year, therefore he’s the best clay courter of the year. 1 GS and 1 Masters vs 2 Masters (Nadal) is a better year, imo. And Djokovic needs to actually beat Nadal, not just come close.

Vared, Nadal and Djokovic destroyed each other? In 2006, Federer and Nadal played a lengthy 4 set final in Monte Carlo, then an epic 5 setter in Rome. Both withdrew from Hamburg, of course, but went on to reach the finals of the FO, another 4 setter. So why didn’t they destroy each other then? I feel like this clay season seemed to drain some of Nadal’s drive. His match point against Soderling said it all, for me. He just reached for it in a half-assed attempt to make the volley in but merely HOPING it’d go in. It didn’t. How often does Nadal give up, especially on clay? You say Federer picked up the spoils because Federer beat a “tired” Nadal in Madrid. Nadal wasn’t playing his best. But was Federer? Nadal had twice as many break points in that match. Federer made 20-something UEs in 2 sets. Also, tired, sleepy, hungry, whatever, Federer was 0-5 against Nadal coming into that match. Nadal took away Wimbledon and the AO from Federer. Federer was in awful mental shape against Nadal. Sean said it himself before the match, tired or not, Federer’s got too huge a mental block against Nadal. Credit to him for overcoming that. And Nadal being tired is not a good enough excuse because when Nadal wins and outlasts his opponents, suddenly he’s the most fit player on tour. He’s not, he’s high high up there, but he’s not the MOST fit. Nadal fans need to get off their high horse. Nadal deserves a lot of credit, he does, he’s incredible, number 1, 6 slams on 3 different surfaces by 23. But he’s got plenty of flaws. Schedule management is one of them.


Kimo Says:

Federer is the fittest man on tour. why? Because I have never seen him tired, and I’ve seen most of his matches since he became THE MIGHTY FED.

He may not have the strongest body, but he doesn’t have to. His game isn’t physically draining. Nadal’s is.

I’ve never seen Federer gasp for breathe after a long rally or stall between point and go for the towel just to catch his breathe.

He just doesn’t get tired.


jane Says:

“Holy Federer ” “Federer is not only the GOAT but also the God of tennis, and we all know God only speaks the truth,” “e will after the GOAT-God crushes him with his magic racket”

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. “The Federer Temple” members are full of good humor I see. Thanks for the laughter, “we need laughter”. Now, you’d better get back to your worshipping. But I am curious, what does the pope of this church wear – the “RF” clothing line? Cream colored cardigans? And are the aisles set with holy grass? And do you kneel in front of the GOAT-God crucified on his magic racquet? Or maybe in front of mock-trophies of the 14 slams? And what is your holy book? Peter Bodo’s blogs? Or maybe Sean’s? LOL. I cannot resist such imaginings, but you laid the groundwork.

Thanks again for the wit.


Kimo Says:

If Fed had a temple like the one jane described I would definitely go worship there :)

Holy grass, that’s priceless :DDD


sensationalsafin Says:

I’m an idiot? Minimum tournaments? Nadal didn’t have to play Rotterdam, Monte Carlo, or Barcelona. He made the finals of all 3. That’s 15 extra matches he played that he didn’t have to. Nadal has plenty of money. He can afford a few penalties here and there.

On Federer’s best day, there is no such thing as a better player, except Safin.

I think Federer lost in straight sets at the AO 08 because of mono, I think he should’ve lost in 4 or 5 had he not had mono. Djokovic won because he was playing amazing. Simply amazing. Djokovic was in every way, shape, and form, the deserving AO champ in 08, mono shmono. I want Djokovic to recapture that form already because it is simply wonderful to watch.

Nadal played somewhat half-assedly against Soderling, and that may have been his knees, but I think it was his conviction. It was a tight 4-setter because of the way Soderling played. The flat deep shots for 4 sets is hard to do in general, but Nadal is the clay king, he knows how to hold serve and all that stuff. So obviously he’s not just going to hand it over.

Why do people assume Federer fans want Nadal to go away? I hate Nadal for beating Federer so much but thanks to Nadal, Federer has become even better. Sure he’s gotten slower due to age, but it’s all because of Nadal Federer now has the most ridiculous drop shot. Seriously, has anyone seen him miss one, yet? Besides, the Nadal-Federer rivalry is truly awesome, especially thanks to the Madrid match. 3 years ago, who would’ve said or even thought that in 2009, Federer and Nadal would be 1-1, Nadal leading on HC and Federer leading on clay. Now that I think of it, how fitting would it be for them to play at Wimbledon, on grass, the third surface, as a tiebreaker. I would be extremely nervous because I know Nadal is very likely to win, but so is Federer. The match would surely be of the highest quality, even if it doesn’t match last year’s final. I love watching Federer struggle then come through. The Del Potro match was sooooo fun to watch. Obviously it woulda sucked if Fed had lost, but seeing him win was so satisfying. Watching sports is about the thrill. Federer dominating everyone is boring, atleast at this point, I think it is. I wanna see Federer struggle and go the distance and come through because it’s exciting and I’m a Federer fan. Nadal presents Federer with that challenge. They both compliment each other. You think your boy Nadal would be this great if not for Federer? He’s become SUCH a complete player because he saw how complete Federer was and knew the only way to become the best was to improve every single aspect of his game. When he first started, Uncle Toni declared Nadal had the worst serve on tour. Federer broke Nadal once, in 5 sets, on grass, in the finals of Wimbledon last year. I think it’s safe to say Nadal doesn’t have the worst serve. His placement is incredible and he’s gotten a lot more pop on it now. But what’s obvious is that he’s just so good at backing his serve up because he’s got that complete game that allows him to hold easily, with a big serve, a big forehand, a big backhand, or nice put away volleys. Thank you Federer and thank you Nadal for pushing the sport of tennis to such great new heights.


jane Says:

“Holy grass, that’s priceless :DDD” Glad you got the humour Kimo. I was a little worried I’d be, er, crucified after posting that scenario. har har.


We Need Laughter Says:

Kimo,
I agree Fed does not get tired and does not sweat out of tiredness. If he were to sweat out of tiredness, He’d not be the GOAT-God. The sweat was not earthly. It was not only “MIGHTY” sweat; it was Almighty sweat, the objective evidence of the God’s mono. Don’t you ever doubt the GOAT-God, unless you are seeking excommunication from the Federer Temple.

Jane,
Thanks for the sequel. Ha…hahahahaha…haaaaaaaa


Viet Says:

Sean,
I’m sorry to say that this article is pathetic — absolute trash talk. You have zero basis for questioning Nadal’s knee problems. As someone who plays tennis regularly, I understand that tennis players can get injured through overplaying, which was what happened to Nadal.

Your article is filled with innuendos and conspiracy theories. If this your normal approach to writing/analyzing sports, you should seriously rethink your career path because as I read your trashy article, I’m filled with anger.

Very sorry to have read your worthless article.


Kimo Says:

sensatinoalsafin, I want Roger to get as many matches with Nadal right now, because I know he’d win them all, whatever the surface.

Rafa is just broken at the moment and since he’ll most definitely losr at Wimbledon this year (even if he’s 100% fit, let’s face it, it’s all on Roger’s racquet), he will be devastated. Nadal will bounce back if and only if he wins RG next year. Until that happens, he’ll have to watch his no.1 ranking go away, to have his knees taped up, to withdraw from tournaments due to injury and saw on.

Agassi said it back in 2005: “Nadal keeps writing checks that you can only hope his body can cash.”

He’s out of credit.


Clive Says:

sensationalsafin; I am sure you are aware then that top ranked player need to play all 4 slams, 8 masters, at least 4x500series and 2×250 series.
Stop attacking Nadal’s schedule and start attacking the ATP. And as for Federer playing less, I think you need to think again about that – he is not allowed to do so unless injured.


Steffi Says:

Your Nadal bashing is insulting, rude and totally out of line. If you want to criticize anyone I would criticize Nadal’s handlers as he had no business playing in Madrid and not getting rest. Making fun of someone’s knee injuries to me is equal to mocking someone with cancer or a learning disabled person. If you don’t like Nadal fine but don’t try to convince me or the world that Federer would have won the FO if he was playing Nadal and that Soderlin caved to the aura and didn’t play a good game in the final.


Taylor Says:

If the top players inthe world don’t play those lead up tourns they will get fines and high criticism. If they don’t play them they get criticism. This is why Federer and Nadal were such strong advocates for a schedule change. He didn’t want to play Madrid for more than just the altitude. The pressures for the top players to attend the tournaments is enormous because of the Tiger Woods affect. When he is playing, ratings are off the charts. When he doesn’t they are terrible. Money is a major factor here. john Mcenroe agrees that the schedule nowadays is far too demanding and over the course of a players career, shorten it.


Kimo Says:

Clive said:

“I am sure you are aware then that top ranked player need to play all 4 slams, 8 masters, at least 4×500series and 2×250 series.”

Yet Fed doesn’t do that. Have you asked yourself why?

Fed was going to skip a master series event this year at Monte carlo. Not all masters 1000 events are mandatory, and no 500 or 250 events are mandatory.


sensationalsafin Says:

Interesting, Federer has 2 250s on his schedule, but he skipped the second one (Halle). He has 3 500s on his schedule, but he skipped one already (Dubai). He has 9 1000s only because he added Monte Carlo at the last minute. Federer also has a few exhibitions, but so does Nadal, and despite the criticism there, I’m going to overlook it for both since they both do it stupidly.

Nadal has noncountable tournaments which means he’s playing extra. Skipping 500s and 250s is only gonna leave him with missing points, not a big deal when he’s got so many from Slams and Masters. The ATP should change their scheduling, I agree, but Nadal can still be smart about it. If his knee problem is always bothering him, he can just use that as an excuse at the small tournaments. The sponsors are too demanding, tell the sponsors to shove it. They’re not gonna drop him for skipping a few tournys due to injury. If Nadal really is all about the money, then that’s just an awful character flaw. But I doubt it because Nadal comes from an extremely wealthy family and fights so hard, harder than almost everyone, for his place in the elite circle of tennis. And he’s done pretty damn well so far.


Victoria Says:

This article makes me sick to my stomach.
I have suffered with tendonitis for years and I marvel at Rafa each time he goes on the court. Yes the man is in pain and has been man enough to cover it up and play excellent tennis.
How he does that beats me. It is a very very painful condition let alone play the kind of tennis he does.
Seems like many people will only be happy if he drops out of Wimbledon.
And I suppose if he does turn up for W he will be crucified instead of praised that he is a fighter. Rafa has a lot of pressure on him, his fans , defending his title and losing his #1 position for which he worked so hard to get.

And if he does then look out for Nadal next year he will have zero points to defend and few to defend at the FO.
Personally I hope Rafa takes the time to get better
If you looked at his face when he entered the court day of the Soderling match he was truly bothered. I commented on that immediately.
Sean Randall you need to stick with your blogs instead of acting like a Medical Dr where you have NO experience.
Talk about something that you have the FACTS on!!!


Gwen Says:

You’re confused…Federer’s the only one that’s doing a lot of crying (Wimbledon, Australia…ring a bell?) If you watch either of their post-match interview on a regular basis, Nadal is not one to make excuses…the media tried to give him an ‘out’ when they interviewed him after Soderling and he adamantly repeated that there were no ‘reasons’ for his loss, he just didn’t play well enough to beat him. The press tried to give him an ‘out’ and he didn’t take it — without shedding tears i might add. Nadal and his team have been more than forthright throughout his career, and I think he’s just stating that he’s had pain, he’s not moving like he wants to be able to move, and he needs some ‘rest’ to recover…Talk about inflating an issue…and since he’s #1, Nadal’s KNEES, and for that matter the rest of him, are of interest. Vamos Nadal!


Swati Trivedi Says:

I just think you are very biased
if you do not like Nadal fine, so be it…but atleast don’t say he is faking a knee injury
also just so you know….nadal right after his match gave soderling full credit for the way he played

i just think you suck as a sports writer
obviously you are a Federer fan and can’t stand nadal doing well as do most of his fans…whish for some reason sucks big time

get a life
and if you are gonna be biased like this all the time
then just go kill yourself


David Says:

Sean, I don’t agree at all with your article.

Why is it that commentators like yourself refuse just to take statements at face value, and recognise achievements and actions over negative and cynical hypothesising?

I do not doubt Rafa that he was in intermittent pain for months. He loves tennis, wanted those wins. He loves Godo (Barcelona). He played through it even though it hurts because it is fun for him, and of course he is surely also motivated by winning again and again.

Does he play too much tennis given his condition? Yes, probably. Is that anyones problem but his? Hell no!

Yes, he could have gone into each tournament saying to us all “I will play even though my knees hurt” but imagine the field day the cynics would have on that! No, better to suck it up, do your best. Which he did, with no comments of injuries after the match. NO mention in his aftermatch comments from Roland Garros because he is a gentleman and would not like to devalue the victory. Instead, he informed us all of the situation completely much later, with doctors reports to explain as best he could. It did not smack of excuse to me, but maybe I am lacking a cynic gene or two…

Same applies to Roger and the mono. Whoever took that as excuses should get a life. He did his best, he got sick, he still did his best, he explained some of the context of how he felt. That is not excuse making, it is a good man working his ass off to get back on the top.

Roger and Rafa deserve better than this pile of slagging.


Karen Says:

Roger never said “I’m pulling out of this tournament because I have mono.” And note that having mono did not stop his streak of 20-straight Grand Slam Semifinals. Even playing with mono, he made the SF of the AO 08. Rafa lost in the 4th round of the French. Not the SF.

Frankly, I don’t really care if the knee story is true or not. Nadal had not been playing all that well all spring, whether it’s due to mental causes or physical ones. That’s all we need to know, as tennis fans.


Ann Cerbone Says:

This article is from someone who is not a professional athlete and does not understand what it takes to be a professional. First of all, Nadal does not complain about his knees unless they are hurting and never pulls out of a tournament because of his professional standards. Secondly, He admitted he was not 100% and will not play at Wimbledon if he is not 100%. Stop trying to read into peoples lives. You should only wish you had his integrity and grit. The article makes no sense.


Mmmissy Says:

Question: When did Nadal say he lost to Soderling because of his knees? Thanks. x


shahzad maken Says:

just shut up .hav u ever notice how much u lie in daily routine.dont criticize anybody.and nadal is a player of chracter and u just show urs.


Shan Says:

Clive don’t join the circus anytime soon son because you’re a terrible mind reader. I THINK Nadal will wither like Rios, not HOPE. I don’t care if Federer retires tomorrow although it would be sad for the sport.

I’m not saying Nadal will wither tomorrow, or next year, but I think he will become a very fragile man in his late 20′s. Kinda like Joaquin Phoenix.


Shan Says:

And P.S. REAL MEN cry. Federer will cry for Nadal when Nadal’s knees buckle on him in the 2009 U.S. Open. Federer has the guile of a lion, and the heart of a little teddy bear


sensationalsafin Says:

You guys make a good point. Again, all players play with some sort of injury/pain all the time. It’s just a matter of how extreme it gets that it really starts to interfere. Nadal beating Djokovic with bad knees doesn’t mean Djokovic sucks, it means Nadal’s knees did not stop him from playing incredible tennis. Injuries don’t just go away. I’ve had my own problems with my back and knees actually. I can’t lift heavy things while standing because it hurts my back too much. And sometimes, when I serve, my back hurts a bit. But I don’t stop and I don’t use that as an excuse because the pain isn’t extreme enough that I can’t ignore it. Same goes for EVERY SINGLE PLAYER IN ANY SPORT. Not just Nadal and Federer. My complaint is that Nadal pushes himself too far when he needs to manage his schedule better so that he gets ample rest and is well to play when it really matters. Wimbledon matters a lot more than Barcelona, no matter how you spin it.

And also, I still don’t believe it’s Nadal making the excuse, I think it’s Uncle Toni. Nadal said he’s had pain for a while that’s affected him mentally. Maybe that’s why, in every match, won or lost, Nadal has looked unsure of something. Maybe it wasn’t the knees, though, maybe it was “personal”. Either way, I don’t think Nadal honestly believes he lost to Soderling because of his knees. He lost because Soderling played great and gave Nadal no rhythm. Like what Federer did in Madrid, he never allowed Nadal to find his groove. In the third round, Nadal destroyed Hewitt because Hewitt is also a groove player and played right into Nadal’s hands. I don’t want Nadal to miss Wimbledon at all and if he does, it’s because he screwed himself over.


Kimo Says:

I’m sickened by all those saying that because Roger cries that he’s not as good as Rafa.

I’m disgusted, to put it lightly.


Amanda Says:

What is the deal with this like worshipping stuff? That’s just ridiculous and beyond strange. And this whole article is so distasteful. It makes me sick the way the writer is so hateful. Also, I really don’t understand why people feel the need to put down the players for this and that. They all play at such an incredible level which demands so much physically that they are bound to be injured at some point. I really hope that Rafa’s conditions will get better soon! Rafa said that “these next weeks will be hard for him because he is not getting to do what he loves most”- which is to play tennis- I think this shows that he is not trying to get out of playing because obviously he is passionate about the sport. It is his life, and he never wants to give anything less than his all for a match, especially one he loves so much, as Wimbledon. No one has the right to tear him down and say that he is making excuses. Having an injury is nothing to joke about or make fun of. It is serious. No one has the right to tear him down and belittle him by making such rude and derogatory statements as made in this article and even some of the comments on here. Also, Rafa is probably the most exemplary sportsman out of anyone. He is always respectful of other players, and this respect is not just an act of politeness… you can truly see that he is not one who brags or boasts about his wins, and when Federer lost Wimbledon and was crushed, you could clearly see that Rafa honestly felt bad for him. Of course he was happy for his win, but he was very kind and considerate to Roger. Anyways, the point is that Rafa is a beautiful person inside and out and I feel sorry for anyone who can’t see that and admire him for it. At the very least you should respect him.


steve Says:

This article is malicious and baseless. You have no evidence that Nadal’s doing anything more than rehabbing his knees so he can be ready to defend his title at Wimbledon.

And I say this as someone who is very much not a fan of Nadal’s style of tennis.


sensationalsafin Says:

The crying thing: Roger has always been very emotional. When he was little, he’d cry after losing. During matches and practice, he’d throw and break his rackets. He’s just one of those people who express their emotions. Credit to him for keeping it in check all these years except for at the end. It’s not like he’s the first player to ever cry. And even though shouldn’t have cried at the AO, at least he showed how much he still cares about the sport.

Nadal doesn’t cry, though. Not often. Maybe he cries more subtly than Federer, but overall he’s not as emotional. Nadal never threw his racket around or anything of the angry and crazy sort. That’s just the way Nadal is. I would probably cry if I won a grand slam. Other people wouldn’t. They both express themselves in different ways. Nadal bites his trophies, Federer kisses them. Who’s to say what’s wrong and right? It’s just different. Who cares as long as we see great tennis?


Shan Says:

I play recreational hard court tennis and I tend to run a lot during points. Even with my 3 – 4 day per week hobby, 8 hours or so per week I get sore knees. In fact I’ve been off my knees the past few days just to let them rest up a bit.

Obviously it’s not an illegitimate excuse that Nadal has. All the psychology babble we read online is what the fans and media make things out to be and nothing more. The truth is probably very simple – he needs to rest his knees because they’re sore – DUH


We Need Laughter Says:

Shut up, Satan lovers !
Nadal is an out liar. I believe in what Federer the GOAT-God saw: “He wasn’t taping his knees in Paris, he seemed fine to me and I can tell when he’s in pain and when he’s not.”


steve Says:

Federer cries when he wins, too–he was tearing up even as he was serving for the match against Soderling. He cries because he loves the game and it’s important to him.

Perhaps some people can’t handle that kind of emotional openness and require their champions to put on a show of being a macho man who never lets anything get to them win or lose. But I like an athlete who doesn’t fear showing his true face.


Rick Says:

Sean Go get a life
Blog about Paris instead -you are out of your league here.

The article is disrespectful and who are you anyway to play Doctor!!!!!!!!


Clive Says:

“Not all masters 1000 events are mandatory, and no 500 or 250 events are mandatory.”

Other than Monte Carlo, yes they are (for the top players at least). And the ranking system requires all players to play 4 500seris and 2 250series. I did not say they were all mandatory, but it is expected that all players will complete this minimum; which is what Nadal is doing.
If Federer is dropping out of Halle then I suspect he will pick up another 250 tournament later in the season.


Kimo Says:

Clive said:

“If Federer is dropping out of Halle then I suspect he will pick up another 250 tournament later in the season.”

No he won’t. He won’t risk injury for some stupid 250 point tournament. Roger’s schedule has been faily the same for the last three years. He plays one tourney before the AO, Dubai because they pamper players over there, Halle before Wimbledon and Basel because it’s his hometown. Other than that, it’s all Master Series 1000 or Grand slams.

That’s about as sane a schedule as you’ll ever see by a top player.


sensationalsafin Says:

Really? We’ll see what Federer picks up. If Nadal’s knees are that bad, he should skip the 500s and 250s whenever possible. Like Rotterdam. That was pointless. He blew his knee out in the final. He shouldn’t have played there.

As for the psychology babble. Really? You don’t think Nadal is devastated? I have no doubt he’ll move on. But taking a week off to recover after a heartbreaking loss like that is perfectly understandable and I believe that is a part of what Nadal is doing. I’m not saying his knees aren’t an issue. I’m glad he’s skipping Queens to rest and recover. I just wish he had been smarter earlier in the year so that his Wimbledon title defense wasn’t such a question. Suggesting he might skip Wimbledon is completely because of his knees. Skipping Queens is both mental and physical. He’s had a week till now to rest his knees. He needs more time, fine. But playing a competitive tennis match where, ironically, he’s the defending champ as well, would be tough because he just suffered the biggest upset of his career, imo the biggest upset in tennis history. So when I say he’s also taking time off to mentally recover, it’s not because I don’t think his knees are a real problem, it’s because I think that he really should be taking time mentally as well because it’s a tough loss. Nadal’s a tough guy, and there’s no doubt he’ll recover mentally, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t need time.


Sean Randall Says:

Not surprising, lots of outrage, lots of angst and anger. A few things.

First, yes, I’ve had knee tendonitis. It’s a b$tch to say the least. There’s no way Rafa or anyone can play with a full flare up. Impossible. Back I had it I went to doctor fearing the worst – like I had torn something – and it turned out to be “only” patella tendonitis. I took a month off from tennis, did some major icing, got some new sneakers and even though it flares up at random times these days luckily it’s pretty much a thing of the past. So there is hope for Rafa.

I would also like to point out that I have not accused Rafa of lying or being a poor sportsman? He handled his post match presser with class and said all the right things and for the most part that’s how he carried out his career. But shortly after his loss he (or his camp) came out with this story that he’s knees have been a problem.

That said, for those that are bashing me for writing this, why did Rafa play all those tournaments before the French Open? Why??

Another simple question, why did he have to say that his knees were bothering him for “some months” when he could have just said “they just flared up in practice the other day”? But he and his crew chose to specifically say “some months” which to me implies at the very least the entire clay season.

So taking his words – not mine – it’s fair to assume that he entered the clay season with this injury (or condition) and despite that knowledge, he played four tournaments and about as many clay matches as anyone leading up to the French.

All the while, did anyone suspect he had movement issues? Did any question his speed? Outside of the 24-hour period around his match with Novak in Madrid, I doubt it.


jane Says:

“Not surprising, lots of outrage, lots of angst and anger.”

Of course it’s not surprising Sean; you deliberately write stuff to fan the flames. I’ve been here long enough to recognize the pattern. It’s entertaining at any rate.


Clive Says:

“But he and his crew chose to specifically say “some months” which to me implies at the very least the entire clay season.”

Well, having watched most of his matches this season, I would say that he has not looked good since Miami, if not earlier. I am not sure in fact that he ever properly recovered from Rotterdam. Nadal won plenty in the clay season, but he never looked happy out there.
I think he is totally sincere in saying it has bothered him for some months.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Hmmmm?

Nadal was 22-2 on clay this year with 3 titles. Not too bad a record for someone with bad knees.

He loses to arguable the best tennis player ever (Federer) in Madrid where he didn’t like the conditions in the 1st place, and to Soderling at the French. A hot player who not only smoked Nadal off the court but Destroyed Davydenko and at times over powered Gonzalez too. All quality clay court players.

Bam! Nadal suddenly has knee problems cropping up again. Where were those knee problems when he was biting the trophys at Monte Carlo and Rome?

More than suspicious. A smoke screen by crafty uncle Toni. Don’t worry Nadal fantards. His knees will magically be working on all cylinders chasing down shots at Wimbledon. You can be sure of that.

Why can’t players just take their defeats like men, move on, accept them without inventing microscopic excuses why they lose. They only look petty in the eyes of the world and their fans by doing so.

Good Grief!


sensationalsafin Says:

Cindy, who are you a fan of? I’ve seen you bash the crap out of Federer and now Nadal. Are you even a tennis fan?


Voicemale1 Says:

In defense of Nadal via this article I have to agree with a few other posts here. Sean’s a huge Federer follower, and has unequivocally stated he believes with certainty in Federer’s mononeucleosis claims depsite the fact Federer, after disclosing he had it, never missed one single tournament as a result of it. Not one withdrawal, not one sit out. In fact he ended up playing in MORE tournaments in 2008 than he did in 2007, when he was supposedly stricken with it. I’m gonna guess Federer is the first in history to play more tennis than less with a mono diagnosis.

So for Sean to say Nadal’s camp is running a smokescreen, while unconditionally accpeting the validity of derer’s dubious illness seems disingenuous, to say the least. Even if it is true. John Isner pulled out of this years French because he came down with mono; Justine and Ancic missed a year because of it. Federer never missed or withdrew from anything – not one tournament. Whatever Federer had, it clearly wasn’t mono. To say it was mono stretches every bit of credibility.


Sean Randall Says:

RZ, indeed, it could backfire. But I’m sure the players would have a better gauge of his knee issues having been in the locker and treatment room.

Clive, Nadal has basically come out and said that his knee was an issue the entire clay season. If it really was so bad, why did he keep playing?

Amanda, don’t worry. Rafa really does love you. xoxo

Marie, a doctor in the house. So if Nadal’s limited knee movement issue is undetectable, then is it an issue? Obviously he detected something because he’s had it for “some months”.

SAR, I thought Rafa looked pretty good Hewitt losing only five games. But according to you I guess he was not even close to 100%. Wow.

dlc, I don’t have a medical degree, but like you I have had my share of flare ups, and they do suck. Although I don’t agree with the statement that “it’s always there.” I agree Rafa is a rare athletes and w/o question of the greats in all of sports. But has he really been pounding on his knees for 15 years? Gosh. And if so, why is he playing so many tournaments when doesn’t need to??


jane Says:

Just a thought about the “some months” comment, without knowing if it has any truth of course, because we are, after all, in the realm of speculation.

Nadal did not play at the end of last year; he skipped the Davis Cup and the Masters Cup, which would imply his knee problems were rather serious. Then, if you’ll notice, he lost weight, perhaps to take pressure off his knees. Then, he played his butt off in the AO to win that title and probably tweaked his knees already by then, having playED a couple of warm up events as well. But his first mistake was playing Rotterdam, imo, in which he tested his knees further and could barely play properly in the final against Murray. At least he pulled out of Dubai, and by IW, Nadal “seemed” to be back on track; he made it through a tough draw there, although he was taken to the edge by Nalby. And yet, at Miami again you could see chinks in the armour no? Wawrinka had him on the ropes before JMDP knocked him out. Perhaps a little rest prepped him for the clay season, but again, other than in Rome and Barcelona, he didn’t look unbeatable. In Monte Carlo and at Madrid there were moments where you thought “he could lose on clay.” Right? Maybe he overplayed, again during the clay season (imo, he should’ve dropped either Barcelona or Madrid, probably the latter) pushing those knees, which I think have been pushed, rested a little, pushed, rested a little, and pushed some more, really since the end of 2008. They will continue to be an issue throughout his career. I believe him (or his camp) that his knees have been on-and-off for “some months”; I can see how that would be the case.

BUT, I do agree with those who note that most of these athletes are playing with something tweaked at one point or another. Rafa’s seems to be chronic, though.


jane Says:

Voicemale1, “So for Sean to say Nadal’s camp is running a smokescreen, while unconditionally accpeting the validity of Federer’s dubious illness seems disingenuous, to say the least.”

Double standards no doubt. Sean carried on mentioning the mono as a potential reason for losses all throughout 2008.


Cindy_Brady Says:

sensationalsafin,

I’m a fan of tennis, period. I call it the way I see it with all the players…Good and Bad.

I’ve been equally complementary of them too if they deserve it.

I’m not like some of these fans who believe every word their favorites utter without question Just because they are their favorites and in their eyes, they can do no wrong. That’s crapola!


Clive Says:

“If it really was so bad, why did he keep playing?”

Well, Nadal being the competitor that he is, I can only assume he thought he would be able to ‘hang on in there’ until Wimbledon was over and rest up a for a month or so before the US hard court season started.
I think had the old Hamburg tournament still existed he would have pulled out at that point, but given that it was replaced not only be a brand new tournament, but one that was in his homeland, he felt an obligation to play. He did actually say several months ago that he was unsure about playing it, but I suspect he was bullied into somewhat by his team and overall sense of patriotism.


Sean Randall Says:

wilzb, you say it was “obvious” that Rafa was not moving well at the French Open. Okay, well, show me a news article which supports that?

tennisontherocks, good points. Roger has a back, Rafa knee, Novak brain, Roddick shoulder, Davydenko foot, Murray wrist, etc. Seems everyone is injured in someway. But given how great Rafa’s been I just find the whole thing a bit fishy.

Clive, what’s the penalty for not playing Queen’s, Barcelona or Monte Carlo or even Rotterdam? Can you tell me?

Viet, thanks for dropping by. So Rafa does overplay? If so, who’s fault is it if he gets injured? You should direct your anger toward Rafa and his camp for making him overplay!

Gwen, very true. But why did he have to drop the qualifier that he’s had this pain for “some months”?

David, here’s what I recognize. Rafa got popped in the face. He took it like man. Then a few days later Camp Nadal told the world and anyone who would listed that he was pulling out of queen’s with a knee problem that he’s had for “some months”. Again, why the qualifier “some months” and discredit Roger and Robin.

steve, kinda my point. If he’s just rehabbing or resting his bums knees, why is HE making such a big deal about it? Why is HE giving these specific details of having this ailment for “some months” or now being questionable for Wimbledon?


SAR Says:

Excellent post Clive. I was about to respond to that question the same way. This was actually alluded to in a few of Rafa’s interviews.


Kimo Says:

I’m puzzled by those who say that he should have skipped the 1000 point tournament in Madrid, but not the 500 tournament in Barcelona. If this was abuot patriotism, I think playing one tournament in your country is enough. why did he go to Barcelona for a five time? What the hell does he have to prove by going there? Nada. Madrid was a new tournament, a new challenge, but Barcelona is the backyard where he has been going for the last five years to beat up on smaller kids. It has became a real bore in recent years.

He should have skipped Barcelona.


SAR Says:

“Again, why the qualifier “some months” and discredit Roger and Robin.”

I’m not sure there’s any other way to answer this other than it’s true. Rafael Nadal has ROUTINELY crushed Roger Federer and Robin Soderling on clay. His knees had been bothering him at bit but really started to break down in that marathon match vs. Djokovic in Madrid. I watched nearly every match he played since then and he wasn’t even a shadow of the player he was coming into this clay court season.

Roger and Robin played well in their wins and Nadal gave them credit for that. But neither take a set off him on clay when he’s 100%. Just look at the recent results.


Kimo Says:

Sean, Novak doesn’t need a brain, he needs “heart”.


SAR Says:

“I’m puzzled by those who say that he should have skipped the 1000 point tournament in Madrid, but not the 500 tournament in Barcelona.”

I think people are saying this because Madrid was so close to the French Open and it was a high altitude tournament with a fast, low-quality clay court (which did not help Rafa prepare at all for the French).

From a rankings standpoint, I do agree with you though.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Sean,

You are 100 % correct. The whole point of the “some months” comment was to discredit Federer’s and Soderling’s wins over Nadal. They couldn’t have possibly beat me with healthy knees.

The Cindy_Brady interpretation:

To my dear fans, I played injured for you. Could not play 100 %. That is why Federer and Soderling beat me. In fact, any one who beats me only does so because I have bad knees. I will do my best to get healthy for you by the start of Wimbledon. I can’t promise I will win 7 matches because my knees may give me problems again. I will let you know about that if I lose. Rafael Nadal.


Mina Says:

Sean Randall Says:
“First, yes, I’ve had knee tendonitis. It’s a b$tch to say the least. There’s no way Rafa or anyone can play with a full flare up. Impossible.”

I beg to differ – if you inject the area around the knee with high-dose cortisone, the player’s not going to be feeling much pain during a match (after the match when the cortisone has worn off is a completely different story). This is an approach that is commonly used to treat athletes, people with low back pain, arthritis, etc. This comes at a cost, though, because Nadal could actually be doing much more damage to his joint by suppressing the pain and inflammation and playing anyway. Inflammation is a protective mechanism – it signals that we need to rest something – suppressing it and pushing through it, is always going to increase risk for further damage.

In any case, I’m a medical doctor, but not HIS medical doctor, so I have no clue how his team would have approached his injury, but I’m guessing, they would have opted for the cortisone injections to try to complete his drive for 5 consecutive FOs.


Kimo Says:

I know that SAR, but all the top players went there, and Nadal wanted to try and capture the treble (all 3 MS 1000 tournaments).

And I can bet my life that had Nadal not played there, ppl would have said that whoever won that tournament didn’t deserve it.


Rick Says:

From one who knows. There is no comparison.
I have mono and I feel like hell all the time. I can barely get out of bed every day. Feel like I have the worse case of flu all the time. Doctors say it can go on for 2 months to 2 years.
I cannot work there AND is no way I could even play tennis for 10 minutes.
It is called the “kissing” virus that is how it is spread through bodily fluids.
So why did Federer compete. This being a contagious disease, he has to sweat then using the towl and passing to someone else on court, this is not good.
So I cannot relate to Federer having Mono. It could not have been bad.
Mono goes away after awhile tendonitis does not with persistant aggrevation.


Amanda Says:

I sure hope that wasn’t sarcasm. But um let’s be serious, it probably was seeing as he doesn’t know who I am :( Oh well, fate will bring us together one day.


SAR Says:

“all the top players went there, and Nadal wanted to try and capture the treble (all 3 MS 1000 tournaments).

And I can bet my life that had Nadal not played there, ppl would have said that whoever won that tournament didn’t deserve it.”

That’s all definitely true, but I think there’s a case to be made both ways. Nadal didn’t really need the extra 500 points with the lead he had in the rankings. And it really shouldn’t affect him whether people are going to say that the Madrid winner in his absence was undeserving.

In hindsight, I think skipping Madrid would’ve been much better on Rafa’s body and RG preparation. But beforehand, you would think he would go for the tournament with more points, so your argument would make more sense.

Either way, he undoubtedly should’ve skipped one or the other. I, personally, was hoping he was going to skip both and make a serious run at the calendar slam. Oh well.


jane Says:

Kimo, ” Novak doesn’t need a brain, he needs “heart”.”

I actually agree with Sean here; Novak needs to think better in matches, play the big points more strongly, and not take lower ranked opponents any less seriously that those above him. I think he has plenty of heart, as he showed in his come back today. He was down a set and 2-5 in the second set against Serra but he fought back and won the match; that was down to heart and desire as well as playing better. But I agree with Sean insofar as Djoko could definitely be more focused. It’s not that he can’t think on the court, but he needs to be able to switch gears quicker when things aren’t working.

Anyhow, since most of the threads are about Rafa and/or Fed, it’s nice to be able to spew about Djoko or Roddick or someone else once in a while!

If I was writing for Tennis X, and in Sean’s position, I would have written a post on the two tournaments currently being played!!!! Even though Rafa and Fed are out.


Kimo Says:

I’m still not convinced Rafa can make the US Open final.

It’s not that he doesn’t have the will or the talent, he just doesn’t have the knees for it.


Amanda Says:

Oh, and Cindy Brady… I just don’t agree with you at all.


Clive Says:

“Clive, what’s the penalty for not playing Queen’s, Barcelona or Monte Carlo or even Rotterdam? Can you tell me?”

In all fairness, Monte Carlo came with no penalty as it was not mandatory, and I believe Nadal will be able to choose from his best 8 masters results.
For simplicity I have copied and pasted directly from the ATP site;
“In 2009, any player who finished in the 2008 year-end Top 30 will be required to compete in four Grand Slam tournaments and eight ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments. In addition, the Best 4 ATP World Tour 500 and Best 2 other events (ATP World Tour 250 and Challengers) will be counted towards a player’s ranking. All direct acceptance players at the time of the entry deadline who do not play will receive a 0-pointer in their ranking. “


jane Says:

Kimo, I totally see your point about Barcelona; it’s a smaller event and worth less points than Madrid. But my reasoning was (1) that he wanted to play Barcelona more than Madrid and it’s more like “home” to him than Madrid, and (2) it was closer to the FO and the conditions were different. So skip it and rest up and practice and go to Paris a bit early to prepare. That’s what I was thinking. But your reasoning also makes sense.


Clive Says:

Furthermore;

“If eligible to play in one of the Grand Slam or ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments, a player must count the points from these tournaments, even if it is ‘a zero pointer’ because he missed the event. Just as in Formula One and numerous other sports, if a competitor misses a race or an event, he loses his chances to earn points. Players with direct acceptance who do not play an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament will be suspended from a subsequent ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event which will be the next highest point earned ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event within the next 12 months. If an injured player is on-site within the first three days of a tournament to conduct promotional activities over a two day period, a suspension will not be enforced but a 0-pointer will be counted on a player’s ranking. “


jane Says:

Cindy, you’re nothing if not contentious, but I enjoy reading your posts because your sense of humour is rather wicked. Even when I disagree with you I can have a laugh. Keep on trucking.


Kimo Says:

Clive,

Let me tell you something about the ATP…and the WTA for that matter:

They are nothing without their star players. They really don’t wanna make anyone angry. It’s true they have rules, but they are always being bent or broken.


Clive Says:

Kimo – I am aware of that, but all the same, they can and will enforce them the majority of the time.


Tennis Freak Says:

It is not my take, but one way to look at it.
If Rafa simply did anything, it is, “Copy that Roger !”

When Roger lost in the AO 08 Semi, he said he had had mono for a few months, since who knows when (it strikes similarity with Rafa’s statement).
Since Masters Cup 08, Roger had had back problem, so he could not play his 100% at any of the tournaments (skipped Dubai, lost in Doha, AO, IW, Miami, Monte Carlo, and Rome). He got over the back problem by the time Madrid started. He got still better when French Open progressed. So, if Rafa wins Wimbledon this year, the treatment worked. Once again, “Copy that, Roger.”
Maybe, Roger rogered it from Novak, who is prone to illnesses and injuries.
But I believe all of them, but the “screen” helps the player score only in basketball, not in tennis.


Sean Randall Says:

Jane, glad someone enjoys it! As for Rafa, he overplayed. That simple. And next year he’ll do it again.

Clive, so I guess his knee was an issue back in Miami then. Again, Clive, what’s the penalty??

Voicemale1, now I’m back on Fed’s side. Amazing. One week I’m pro-Rafa, anti-Rafa, then the next week it flip flops. As for Fed’s mono. True, I believed him. There was much talk of him being ill and not visibly “looking” right during the Australian Open. Unfortunately, he schedules so thin the first two months of the year there’s nothing for him to pull out of sans Kooyang which he did.

True though, if Nadal’s knee is a smokescreen then why can’t Federer’s mono?

Kimo, fair point on Novak!

Mina, from my understanding (albeit limited) cortisone injections are very serious. I highly doubt Rafa had one done.


Amy Says:

Listen sean, Who the hell are you to go around insulting these two men who have dedicated their lives to a sport. First of all, your questions like “why didn’t nadal pull out of the previous tournaments to save it for the french” and “why didn’t he request medical attention during paris?” Proves that you are far to incompetent to even have the right to an opinion about this, and the fact that you have the balls to publish such a disrespectful article is beyond me. You clearly have no idea what it takes, you have no idea what these world class athletes go through, and clearly don’t have an md either because you don’t even have a basic understanding of tendonitis! Please please please just go crawl back into your little hole. If you cant take the repetitive commentary BY THE PRESS (not even by the players) about the injuries of the players, then don’t watch! But at least know that these two men have accomplished far far more by the age of 23 than you ever will. And stop writing about things you don’t understand because you really sound like an arrogant idiot. Thanks


Clive Says:

“Clive, so I guess his knee was an issue back in Miami then. Again, Clive, what’s the penalty??”

I am not sure what you are asking exactly? Are you asking me what was the penalty for Nadal losing to Del Potro??? Surely not?
If you are asking me what is the penalty for dropping out of a masters injured before it starts/not showing up at all due to injury, then please refer to my previous comments, copied and pasted directly from the ATP.


huh Says:

Fed haters these days’ve gotta do nothing except crying buckets and calling Fed crybaby, thereby giving vent to their frustration. And guess what? Fed fans love to see you this desperate !
Some Fed-haters’ve even started telling lies like Fed’d no mono !


jane Says:

“When Roger lost in the AO 08 Semi, he said he had had mono for a few months, since who knows when (it strikes similarity with Rafa’s statement).”

Actually that’s true; I remember something in those Federer PR statements about tests revealing he could’ve had mono as far back as 2006 or 2007? So it is similar to Nadal saying his knees had been bothering him for “some months”.


Sean Randall Says:

Clive, I can read the rules. I’m just asking you in layman’s terms what’s the penalty if Rafa forgoes Barcelona or even Rome for that matter. What is it? After all, you called sensationalsafin an idiot for not knowing that the ATP “are the ones of plan the schedule, not [Rafa]“.

Amy, what makes me so incompetent? Is it that I took a shot at Rafa and his camp?


Sean Randall Says:

Jane, could this be Rafa’s answer to Fed’s mono? A bit of posturing? Gamesmanship??


jane Says:

“There was much talk of him being ill and not visibly “looking” right during the Australian Open. ” — Sean on Fed AO 08.

Sean I thought you said something similar about Nadal at the start of the clay season? I may be mistaken, but there was sure much talk about Nadal not “looking right” during Miami and Monte Carlo and I believe you wrote about Nadal having a bumpier year on clay this year. In fact I remember people trying to figure out why in Miami and Monte Carlo Nadal was making more unforced errors and generally not looking right. Again, very similar to the Fed situation last year — we’re talking about a lot of parallels here.


Clive Says:

My take on it is that if a player does not attend a masters then the masters event that they get the second best result in over the next 12 months won’t count.
As for the 500s and 250s, the penalty is that there are no points scored. As there is the opportunity to play more 250s and 500s this does not seem such a big deal, but one must bear in mind the top 4 and 2 results (respectively) will be counted, including those with zero points.


Amy Says:

this isnt about the nadal fans vs the federer fans vs the roddick fans. gah. im not even a big nadal fan, but I have enough experience in the sport and enough common sense to know that these men deserve so much respect. all of them. and your incompetence is clear in part because of the fact that you dont see that. its also clear in most of your statements and questions in the article.


Sean Randall Says:

Jane, based on what I saw on hardcourts I did say that Nadal would be in for his toughest clay season, and it turned out to be that way.

However, there wasn’t an injury concern that I saw. Whereas for Federer people were talking during the Aussie Open of just how pale he looked, his sweating, that he had just overcome some stomach issue, etc. So when I said “visibly” that’s what I was referring to.


Mina Says:

Sean Randall says: “Mina, from my understanding (albeit limited) cortisone injections are very serious. I highly doubt Rafa had one done.”

I personally dislike the use of them because I think you pay a long-term price for short-term gain, but they are considered to be a routine procedure, especially amongst high-performance athletes.


jane Says:

Sean, “could this be Rafa’s answer to Fed’s mono? A bit of posturing? Gamesmanship??”

I wouldn’t call it gamesmanship only because both guys came out with their announcements after losing; for it technically to be called “gamesmanship” I believe they’d have to do it during a match. When they were winning, I think both guys said they were okay. (But I am not going back to look up pressers and confirm that. I just don’t care that much.)

Basically, I think there is some truth to both of their stories, but perhaps they were blown out of proportion by the media or PR spiners?

Honestly, however, I do see Fed as having a tougher time with handling losses, perhaps especailly since he didn’t lose for such a long period of time. He has been less than gracious in defeat sometimes, even his fans would admit that I’d think, whereas generally Rafa just says he was outplayed and he needs to improve or what-have-you and he gets on with it. But this loss, on clay, at RG, had to big a huge blow. Still, it wasn’t Rafa who brought up his knees, it was his camp, after the presser, so maybe *they* are trying to save face. I have no idea.

I just think if you’re going to give one the benefit of the doubt then you should give the other one more or less the same treatment. These situations are actually quite similar.


Sean Randall Says:

Clive, So zero points, that’s the penalty? Is that what’s makes Rafa play all these events? C’mon.


Clive Says:

“So zero points, that’s the penalty? Is that what’s makes Rafa play all these events? C’mon.”

You don’t know much about the spirit and mentality of Nadal do you?


PietjeP Says:

Sean;

I suspect a mention in next week’s trunk coming up… only this time even a little higher :)

But good post and what people forget, very good question marks. Maybe the suspicions are true, maybe not. But hell, the timing and current history make them questionable to say the least…. Playing 5 almost back2back clay events, without a single mention of “ohh, my knees” and right after the biggest loss of his career this comes. Timing is a little odd.

Now what I don’t understand is the absolute hate for each other. And with that I mean the pro Fed and pro Nadal fans. Make a story about Fed should he have a similar situation.; Copy all the posts and make them opposite :)

I’m a Federer fan and although I’m not a fan of Nadal and his style of play, I do appreciate his results, his wins and his rivalry with Fed that gave us so many classics already!
I would even like to see him complete his career slam at the USO, because he gave the sport and fans so much too. And it’s GREAT for tennis as a whole! Look at the coverage and attention worldwide last weekend! Big buzz!

Anyway, good luck to everybody here trying to kill each other :) Make it lean, mean and clean :)


Sean Randall Says:

Clive, you called sensationalsafin an idiot (and you marat an idiot also, indirectly), but you are the real idiot for thinking Nadal plays all these tournaments like Rotterdam, Barcelona, etc., for the points and because the ATP makes him. Complete garbage.


Kimo Says:

Clive Said:

“You don’t know much about the spirit and mentality of Nadal do you?”

Actually, all of us do, including Sean. Nadal is too competitive. He may have nerves of steel, but he’s flesh and bone like the rest of us and he needs his rest.


Kimo Says:

Nadal had almost 5000 points lead ahead of RG. 250 points is nothing. He is simply stupid to be playing tounaments just because they are on clay, even when they are not converniently scheduled.

He needs to get smarter.


Clive Says:

“Clive, you called sensationalsafin an idiot (and you marat an idiot also, indirectly), but you are the real idiot for thinking Nadal plays all these tournaments like Rotterdam, Barcelona, etc., for the points and because the ATP makes him. Complete garbage.”

So why do you think he plays them then….for the money!?!

Listen mate, I can see you are feeling a bit down-trodden, what with all the negative comments you have received from writing some lame attempt at sports journalism, but no need to take it out on me.
You asked me to explain the penalty system to you, which I did. You asked me to explain why Nadal plays all the tournaments required of him, which I did.
As a Federer fan I don’t expect you to understand what drives Nadal, but I can assure you it is not the same thing that drives your hero.


Carl Says:

Many people claim that Rafa has been playing like hs old self throughout the season. I claim he never reached the heights we are use to seeing from him ever since Miami. There were great matches, like the one against Soderling 6-1 6-0, but in many matches he played short and with less spin. My conclusion is that he has been having a problem for ‘some months’. Granted, the knees may have been a cause for mental frailness. But just compare how he played in last year’s clay season with his style in Madrid and Paris. Too much of a difference too say ‘business as usual’ if you ask me.


Sean Randall Says:

Clive, the ATP doesn’t put a gun to Rafa’s head and make him play Rotterdam, Monte Carlo, Barcelona and even to some degree the Masters events. Rafa’s schedule is up to him. He does not play tournaments for fear of getting the dreaded “zero pointer”.

The majority of the events that he does play in he plays for obviously the competition and to pick up a hefty pay check. Same goes for Federer, Roddick and just about everyone else who are in the tennis elite.


Dan Martin Says:

Wow. Sean knows how to get some responses. I kind of like knowing where a player’s health is at. Sure you have to sift through a few things. Still, all elite athletes are going to have nagging health issues and repeated use injuries/conditions. Still, most athletes keep a lid on things in order to prevent an opponent from getting an idea on what to work (i.e. stiff neck hit a few more lobs, bad ball of his foot drop shot him so he has to push off and move forward …).

I have no idea what Nadal’s health situation is, but he has had a couple of stress fractures, tapes his knees, and commentators have been saying like Hewitt and Courier if his legs go or he gets a dead arm his career will never be the same. Therefore, I think it is entirely plausible that Nadal is injured and telling the truth. Ockam’s Razor, if not Gillette and my lack of medical training, has me believing Nadal and his camp are telling the truth. He may be paying the price for Beijing, Canada, New York, Cincy (semis or further at all three) in addition to winning in Melbourne and playing an overcrowded schedule on hard and clay courts. Clay is less taxing on the knees in general, but rest always helps. If I were managing Nadal’s career the only hard court events I would have Rafa play between the Australian and French Open’s would be Indian Wells and Miami. If he wants matches before Indian Wells play Mexico and South America on the forgiving dirt vs. Dubai and any indoor events. I would also likely have Nadal skip Cincinnati every year. Sure me living in Ohio selfishly wants him there, but Cincy in August is more hot and humid (its pretty muggy believe me) than Toronto or Montreal and 5 matches in 7 days right after a Masters event is just not good. It would give Nadal 2 weeks off after Canada as well. I hope he gets healthy and we have all 4 seeds on the men’s side at least reach the quarters at Wimbledon along with Roddick and JMDP in order to have some classic matches.


Steffi Says:

We will put the entire matter to rest even if Rafa misses Wimbledon when he is rested enough to win the US Open, oh my gosh you Federer groupies, Nadal will have done a career grand slam at age 23 with years to go. Stop mocking his knees. He didn’t wimp, he didn’t cry and Federer didn’t offer anything but arrogance in attitude and no tears when he heard about Nadal’s knees.


huh Says:

David Says:
“I do not doubt Rafa that he was in intermittent pain for months. He loves tennis, wanted those wins. He loves Godo (Barcelona). He played through it even though it hurts because it is fun for him, and of course he is surely also motivated by winning again and again.

Does he play too much tennis given his condition? Yes, probably. Is that anyones problem but his? Hell no!

Yes, he could have gone into each tournament saying to us all “I will play even though my knees hurt” but imagine the field day the cynics would have on that! No, better to suck it up, do your best. Which he did, with no comments of injuries after the match. NO mention in his aftermatch comments from Roland Garros because he is a gentleman and would not like to devalue the victory. Instead, he informed us all of the situation completely much later, with doctors reports to explain as best he could. It did not smack of excuse to me, but maybe I am lacking a cynic gene or two…

Same applies to Roger and the mono. Whoever took that as excuses should get a life. He did his best, he got sick, he still did his best, he explained some of the context of how he felt. That is not excuse making, it is a good man working his ass off to get back on the top.

Roger and Rafa deserve better than this pile of slagging.”

Well said David, we need more fair-minded people like you here so that we can have a good time and not engage in mud-slinging! I’m a Fed fan, but to be honest, keep giving your unbiased and thought-provoking and fine opinions here, and I hope that I can learn from you about dissenting with the views of someone in a decent manner as you have done. We don’t need Fed/Rafa haters to take over this site leaving limited options for the fans of other players to express themselves with certain degree of freedom, otherwise the @$$kissers would make the hell break loose here and it’d be quite miserable for us, to put it mildly!


Cindy_Brady Says:

Amy,

U mad?

LOL


Yasmina Says:

Those of us who are not elite athletes have no idea of what that level of play does to a person’s body. We wouldn’t survive one GAME,let alone set,match, season – against the top players. Who knows how difficult it is for the body to return serves at over 100 mph, several times a minute? Look at marathon runners – they race for two hours and have to rest for weeks before the next marathon. Some of Nadal’s matches take over five hours. And he’s back out the next day, sometimes; within 48 hours, almost always. Nadal’s pretty modest – he compliments his opponents, and doesn’t gloat over his beat-downs of Federer and others. Also, he usually gets to the finals, which means that many more games than those who fall sooner. That’s a superhuman amount of physical stress that none of us could ever dream of accomplishing, so why don’t we take the guy’s word for it? (And it’s NOT the first time he’s been “punched in the mouth.” He lost Wimbledon 07, 06, not to mention Rome last year in an early round.)


skeezerweezer Says:

Kudos to Sean to fan the flames for Fed and Rafa supporters! Look at all the posts already. Sean, you must be loving the hits to this page. Job well done.

My take is I agree with mostly what Sean had to say. He was making his opinion based on facts and that goes along way in my book other than saying, “Oh Fed, is the best in the world because he is my fav player.

Getting to Rafa’s knees, this is not the first time he has had this problem. Somebody help me here, but didn’t he have knee issues starting a couple years back?

I have said this about Rafa on other posts. His style of play and violent swings and very hard running is not condusive to a long career. Look it’s not like he caught a cold, or mono, or whatever. He is having CHRONIC knee issues at 23, which probably started at 21? That is way to young to have knee issues unless you had a skiing accident or a accidental injury from a sport, do you get my jest?

Now, I love Fed, he is my man. But I am a tennis fan also, and I am fair minded enough to appreciate the greatness of Rafa, his heart, his forehand, and I enjoy watching him play. Up till now, no one could touch him on clay, he was and in my view still is the King of Clay.
He brings a new wrinkle to the game that know one else has. So I am not trying to be anti-Rafa as far as a fan. I am just as concerned as anyone, and hope he gets better. But having these knee issues over a long period of time is ominous. IT would be a shame not for him to have a long career cause as a fan I would love to see some more Rafa/Fed match ups. I’m out


Tim Says:

TOTALLY agree here, 100 percent…

if you know how the PR machine of a top athlete works, its no coincidence that this kind of news is released, to lighten Rafa’s load, to take some of the sting away from a historic defeat, and sure, take the pressure off him at Wimby…now everyone is freaking that he wont play, so they feel sorry for him when he steps on court, and when he loses, its’ all The Knees…

cynical maybe? reality more like it…

i expect him to run like a deer at Wimby, and then everyone will marvel at his prowess!

Rafa’s knees should have their own PR rep, with all the press of late…

by the way if you want to read about Fed’s back and how it totally scrwed up his service motion (can we deny he’s served like crap all year until about madrid?) and defensive confidence, chcek out the press section of rf.com …


Tim Says:

by the way, Fed skipping Dubai and Davis Cup is looking pretty good about now, right??

the guy knows when to back off, take care of his body, and peak for the big events, Rafa is just gobbling up points everywhere he can until his body does fall apart, but again, The Knees complaint is a common one for a lot of layers- ask Andy Roddick, he has them too, he just doesnt talk about it every day


Kimo Says:

I agree with skeezerweezer and Tim: Fed knows how to pace himself, Rafa doesn’t. He’s paying for it, just like agassi said FOUR YEARS AGO!!!!

“Somebody help me here, but didn’t he have knee issues starting a couple years back?”

Yup, the first time I saw him tape his knees was at the 2007 Wimbledon Final.


Shan Says:

Nadal is living the prediction made years ago by many people including yours truly that his game won’t physically hold up in the long term. I smell a washed up has-been like Rios in the workings, all before the age of 30.

I do enjoy watching his game though, he’s like a cute little Energizer bunny that just keeps going and going and going


tennis_fan Says:

There was a nice article written about this in the Los Angeles Times, which could be summed up by this line: “What was Rafa thinking?”

I think Nadal feels loyalty and obligation to play tournaments held in Spain, and he’s an ambassador for the sport. Of course there are things like points and holding onto the #1 ranking.

But sometimes, you just have to say “no”, and nobody would think any less of him. People would understand, like they did when Federer pulled out of Halle.


Fedfan Says:

Fed peaked in 2006. Nadal peaked in 2008. They both will retire after the 2012 season.

Nadal will be almost 24 when he tries to win his fifth FO. Time is not on his side either.

Fed’s game is very compact and efficient. He will defitely win a couple more slams at least, most likely at the wimbledon and the US. Even the Australian. Another French may be difficult though, at age 29…. he’s almost 28 now.

But he doesn’t need to. With 4 french finals, one title, 39-10 match record – and numerous clay masters title – he has already established himself as at least in the top 10 claycourters in the open era. Nobody can take that away from him. He has done what Lendl couldn’t do at Wimbledon, or Borg at the US. (lets not compare him to sampras, becker, edberg, mcenroe, since they really never created as many opportunities to win the FO).

Fed is the GOAT. in tennis at least. A few more slams, and he can legitimately claim GOAT across different sports…


Fedfan Says:

I really hope we have another Fed-Nadal wimbledon final. Fed will win it, 15th slam, set the record straight against Nadal. That will be SWEET.

And NAdal will definitely play wimbledon. He just creating excuses just in case he loses early, which he has been on the verge of many times. Imagine if he has to face soderling on Grass! and this time the grass is faster on center court, since it won’t be that wet or humid.


jane Says:

” I hope he gets healthy and we have all 4 seeds on the men’s side at least reach the quarters at Wimbledon along with Roddick and JMDP in order to have some classic matches.”

I agree Dan.


Shaky Says:

Quick thread summary:

1) Roger complained about mono last year all the way up until the USO, when he was finally healthy enough to win, apparently. Fedfans disagree: he only lost because of the mono. Mono may in fact be a lifelong condition, depending on future results.

2) Nadal’s camp decided to play the same card now, but most people believe this is just expost damage control. Rafaphiles disagree: Rafa was fighting through a chronic knee condition while destroying the field at 4 of 6 clay tournaments, and the fact is that he can only lose on clay when he has an injury that would sideline any lesser man.

3) Rafaphiles are also optimistic that Nadal will either complete his career grand slam this year at Flushing, or at the worst that his knee problems will continue until he wins again, all the time.

4) Novak fans can’t really decide for sure where they stand, since acknowledging Nadal’s injury means Nole couldn’t close the door on a hobbled Nadal playing at 75% in Madrid. For now, the Novak fans are going to wait and see since this injury excuse could be useful for them if he has another early wimbledon exit to go with his early RG loss — Novak has already set the table brilliantly by calling for the trainer as often as tournament rules allow.

5) Serena Williams is confident she would beat both Roger and Rafa, possibly at the same time, if only she cared to.


skeezerweezer Says:

Shaky,

Now THAT was funny. lol. Nice to bring some humor into this thread. My God, you read the whole thread? You can’t be serious!


Shaky Says:

I kept trying to post but my internet connection got interrupted. So I lost my original comment, and then I finally got back on about 20 minutes later and there were about 300 new responses from people who live and die by Nadal or Federer’s grand slam results. Foaming mouths.

And for the record, there is no question in my mind this was spin control. And there is also no question in my mind that makes all of you think I’m a bad person. I can’t bring myself to care though.


Fedfan Says:

Pete Sampras’s best years?

1993 – 85-16 match record
1994 – 77-12

Nadal’s best year?

2008 – 82-11

Fed’s best years?
2004 – 74-6
2005 – 81-4
2006 – 92-5

Then even later:
2007 – 68-9
2008 – 66-15 (his so called HORRIBLE year)

Do you see something here? To be GOAT, you should be REALLY tough to beat, almost impossible, at least when you are at your peak.

Of those 15 losses in 3 years (2004-06), I think 7 were on clay against Nadal… Only one player on one surface could really beat him, other than an odd loss every 4-5 months or so.

The same trend holds in grand slams too (if you want to make the argument that Pete focussed more on slams).


huh Says:

dlc Says:
“TO MMT-

You must not have followed Andy Roddick’s career very well. His documented ailments are many. He has discussed them. They were responsible for his ranking slips. Rafa’s problem is real. His doctor issued a statement explaining it. The tour doctors are involved, and the sponsors want him to show up for ticket sales, so between lawyers, sponsers, his contractural obligations, etc. this is no bruised ego issue as some of you clowns have theorized. Why can’t you just accept people get run down bodies. These guys are humans. They have the same parts we do, they have just trained and abused them more so of course they are damaged periodically. Use your brains instead of publishing your stupid shallow remarks.”

dlc, it’s pathetic to see the Nadal worshippers like you attacking and doubting the credibility of every other player on tour except your beloved Rafa. And stranger even is the fact that you, who are nothing if not a Nadtard, allege Roddick of being an excuse-maker, but to disappoint you, I’ve got something different for you and not flowers which you can offer to your beloved deity Rafa Nadal. I think you must be one of those Nadal fanatics who think that Nadal’s words are as truthful and with as much sanctity as the Gospel! To you, it seems Rafa’s not a mere mortal, but some divine person whose words and/or deeds must be accepted without a question. Ok ok, it’s not a problem if you try to convince yourself about Rafa’s perceived angelic attributes. But you must realise that others are not as much interested as you to believe/see Rafa as an angel/prophet, ok? By the way, you said that Roddick has documented ailments. But do you have any evidence to justify that or you are just a bluffing around? You know what? Roddick, whenever has an issue, he makes it clear to everybody from the very beginning. And I don’t remember a single time of Roddick bringing up an issue a couple of days/weeks after his loss, unlike your team Rafa/Nadtards and that’s what makes the issue suspicious to many who look beyond the horizon of planet Rafa. And Roddick doesn’t have someone like uncle Tony either who can keep shielding him away from media attention and/or yell at him midway during the match, not to mention the occasional dramas that Tony enacts, the most latest and genuine example of which is his claims towards the 2007 Wimbledon end about Rafa having a career-threatening knee injury, and as I said even before, never ever Roddick’s injury/ailment declaration follows his loss in an important stage. You need to get used to the fact that Roddick very seldom, if ever, uses someone else as his spokesperson as far as injury issues are concerned. Roddick like Federer has fought his battles all by himself coz he probably likes the freedom to take at each piont the decisions of his life. And nobody, unless he is a hater like you, can level the allgation of making excuse against Roddick. And for your kind information, Andy Roddick’s always graceful in his defeat and doesn’t keep saying things like he was not at his best on the day of loss or stuff like, no no.. I actually allowed him to play the way he wanted to. Roddick, be it a win/loss,goes out straight away and say that the guy on the other side was playing at a higher level and thus deserved to be vicorious. He never says things like he’s made it easy for his opponent, at least not as much emphatically as your idol Rafa. And by the way, how the hell did you know that Rafa’s problem’s as much serious as his uncle claims? Are you their family friend/neighbour/relative? Tell me and don’t run away! Don’t you try to contemplate even for a moment how ridiculous you appear in your claim which seems to have no base whatsoever to back up your claims? You don’t realise that too much biasedness, even if it be for your dear ones, can lead you to all sorts of wrongs and misdeeds in life, for which you may have to pay a heavy price at some point. Are you an omniscient being who knows everything and thus you became sure that Rafa’s injury issues are the only real ones and Roddick’s are totally false? If no, then Im ust say you are a damn hater of Andy Roddick and a foolish Rafa worshipper! What else do you need to lose your credibilty? By the way, I’m a Fed fan and I allow you to criticise Fed also whatever way you like. But the only thing is I would care a damn as to whatever nonsense you’d spout about Federer.


Fedfan Says:

Sampras’s three best years in slams?

1993 – 23-2
1994 – 21-2
1995 – 20-2

Fed’s 3 best in slams?
2006 – 27-1
2007 – 26-1
2004 – 22-1
(and 2005 24-2)

Four years EACH better than the best single year of Pete.

Even Fed’s slump year of 2008 was 24-3. Nadal was 24-2 in 2008, by comparison.

There is no comparison. Its like putting “exceptional excellence” against “just excellence”. There are both excellent, but there is a big difference!


Shaky Says:

Huh–

… dude, paragraphs. That’s funny but it’s too much work to read. =)

Nadtards. Good stuff.


huh Says:

Clive Says:
“So zero points, that’s the penalty? Is that what’s makes Rafa play all these events? C’mon.”

You don’t know much about the spirit and mentality of Nadal do you?”

How the hell do you claim as if you know everything about Nadal?


vared Says:

Just curious Sean, do you still believe Djok’s win at AO should have an asterisk? You never answered.


huh Says:

Shaky Says:
Huh–

… dude, paragraphs. That’s funny but it’s too much work to read. =)

Nadtards. Good stuff.”

Hi Shaky, I’m not a Rafa hater at all to be honest, but that doesn’t mean I’ll go into a shell if any Nadtard spouts garbage about some other player, take for example the baseless claims being made and injustices that are being levelled towards Roddick in this case. I think these fanatics going on blasting almost about everybody else except their fav Rafa, should be shown their true place.


skeezerweezer Says:

Fed Fan,

Crunched your numbers to give it a different perspective:

Pete Sampras’s best years?

1993 – 1994 Played 179 matches won 83 % of them

Nadal’s best year?

2008 – Played only 93 matches. Won 87% of them

Fed’s best years?

2004 – 2008(his so called HORRIBLE year)
Played 420 MATCHES, Won 90% of them!

Although I think didn’t Nadal have some more “best years”? I know obviously he has played more years. He did not have any “best years”?

Anyways, the numbers for FED come out astonishing, as everyone knows, it’s easy to have a 90% winning record if you only played 10 matches, lost 1. But 420 matches? That is Friggin ridiculous.


huh Says:

Sean Randall, please post whatever things you like and let it be perceived anti-Fed/anti-Rafa or whatever, but please don’t care about these stupid people who go on a mad rampage whenever something a little to their dislike is being posted on here by you or others. I’m completely with you and I completely condemn the absolute rage directed towards you. You know, you might get literally killed for voicing your opinion, but please don’t care and move on, I’d support you and whoever has any interest/belief/respect in exercise of their right to freedom of speech would also support you, no doubt. GO SEAN!!!


vared Says:

Kiefer ab injury out. Melzer h2h with Djok-they met once in 2006 on HC in Metz. Djok won. After his play with Serra today I would say it’s 50/50.


huh Says:

sensationalsafin, you are very sensible and don’t mind if anyone calls you an idiot, coz it is very hard to interact in a decent manner in the case of some fool@$$es like have dropped here today. Let them do whatever they like, you needn’t take so much pain to prove a point to some coz those morons simply don’t have it in them to engage in some meaningful discussion with others with due regards to the sentiments of those others with whom they’re interacting. Anyway, carry on with your good work!


Benito P-B Says:

Clearly there would be a lot of comments, agreements and disagreements here from my side on the comments made here:

The truth is that Rafa has pain on his knees since a long time now. He is never looking for excuses (simply listen to his presser after Soderling). He is working 5/6 hours daily just on his physical training and knee recovery.
He will rest after Wimbledon for 4 weeks (if he plays Wimbledon at all)
But the most important thing: Why do you guys, fans, say all those (negative) things about Roger and Rafa, all those bad wording close to insults, in a few words, why a bad relationship and comments between you guys when those two get along so well, like each other, respect each other and admire each other?
You guys should take it easy, It is only a sport.


skeezerweezer Says:

huh,

Totally agree with you about Sean. He is smart. Look how many posts are up on this discussion. He is stirring the pot and as a result people are visiting here and having there say, obviously making tennis-x.com very happy.


Julie Says:

When you get a medical degree and have looked at Rafa, then you can make these judgments. If you read his quotes after the loss, there is no one that handles a loss better than Rafa.


Dan Martin Says:

I agree about Rafa feeling the need to play in Spain and that perhaps hurting his game. Federer played the Swiss Open the week after Wimbledon in 2003 and 2004. He was runner-up losing what I believe to be a 5 set final in 03 (what ever happened to 5 set finals?) and won Gstaad in 2004. After 2004 Federer was smart enough to say going clay events-grass events-clay event-hard court practice was an insane thing to ask his body to do over 7 or 8 weeks. I admire both gusy for playing at home. Basel gives Fed an out for skipping Gstaad. Madrid replacing Hamburg kind of hurts Rafa as Madrid used to be in the fall. Monte Carlo + Rome + Barcelona + Madrid + Paris is a crowded clay court season. I know he played Hamburg in 07 and 08 so in one sense it is not any different, but the option to skip hamburg as he did in 2005 is harder since Madrid is the capital of his beloved Spain.


huh Says:

“Shaky says :- 5) Serena Williams is confident she would beat both Roger and Rafa, possibly at the same time, if only she cared to.”

Lol! ;-)


Dan Martin Says:

Queen’s Club quarters look pretty interesting!


Meena Says:

Finally! Thank you for publishing this article. We are all familiar with the “bad knee” excuse when someone crashes out of a tournament in the fourth round (and this was supposedly his best surface!). Whatever happened to the good old – Yes, I played bad, the other guy played better and I lost.


NachoF Says:

Nadal should skik Barcelona instead of Madrid.


Von Says:

huh:

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! Where have you been all of this time. Oh my God, if you were around in the past, I would have been able to kick back and not get embroiled in any Roddick defense. I must be doing smething right, hence your presence, and again I thank you. Please, pretty please, stick around, and defend Roddick for me, since I’m winded because I’ve had to do so for 18 months. Thanks again. mwaw, mwaw, on both cheeks. (those are kisses, BTW, LOL).


NachoF Says:

skip*


Von Says:

Sean Randall: Please tell me why is Roddick even in this discussion?


NachoF Says:

Von,
sorry I havent read this whole thing… what did Sean say about Roddick?


skeezerweezer Says:

Meena,

Apparently you haven’t been listening to Serena’s quotes when she loses throughout her career? Maybe that is where some of our tour players are getting it from? Ouch! oops…sorry, stepped on a nail.


skeezerweezer Says:

Von,

Hey what about sharing a little love over here please? I like Roddick! I have just always wanted him to serve and volley…..oops the volley thing….uh….. never mind.

:)


Von Says:

Sean Randall: ”

tennisontherocks, good points. Roger has a back, Rafa knee, Novak brain, Roddick shoulder, Davydenko foot, Murray wrist, etc. Seems everyone is injured in someway. But given how great Rafa’s been I just find the whole thing a bit fishy.”

Sean didn’t you say Roddick didn’t have a shoulder problem and it’s the reason he ‘stunk up Wimbledon’ when he lost and he got his @$# handed to him at the USO, despite the FACT that PMcEnroe said Roddick was still struggling big-time at the USO and it’s one of the reasons he decided to help the ‘hurting’ Roddick.
____________________
NachoF: The above should be your answer. Why are you looking out for Sean? He can answer for himself, and don’t think it will earn you any kudos from Sean — it ain’t gonna happen, so save the defense.


xmike Says:

on a lighter note tp the argument here is funny video that should hepl calculate federer’s odds at Wimbledon

http://tennisconnected.com/home/2009/06/10/the-federer-equation/


Ra Says:

Not being Nadal, I don’t know what it feels like to be in his body. I will say, though, that he hasn’t looked his best to me for several months now. For awhile I thought that errors were creeping into his game as an effect of trying to make adjustments for more hard court prowess as well as for longevity. I don’t know whether that plays into it or to what extent now that he’s said his knees have been a significant issue again for the past couple months. Also, I agree with whoever said there’s never really a perfect time to mention an injury or ailment.

I think his knees may very well be the primary issue. But even if they aren’t, he may still feel that they are. And if he’s giving his knee condition too much weight at this point, I wouldn’t see that as making excuses so much as him reaching for a plausible explanation (both for himself and his fans) in the face of being on the losing end of what the majority of the populous and media are calling the greatest upset ever. In any case, his knees have undoubtedly been problematic, and that’s certainly something that I’m sure the vast majority of us are glad he’s now taking the time to address. I wish him a full recovery and all the lessons he can possibly take with him into the future.

I don’t think he’s stupid for not taking some earlier tournaments off, but I do think it would’ve been smart for him to have done so. I’ve gotta say, though, that the more I know about him and his camp, the more I see him as somewhat of a victim of a child star/pageant parent type situation. I fully admire his competitive work ethic, seemingly inexhaustible fight, and uncanny style of play, but I do think that much of that was drilled into him in a manner such that physical pain was entirely secondary to a warrior mentality. In that light, I can’t remotely begin to fault him for not having a clearer sense of appropriate boundaries between more than enough and too much. It actually seems to me like this may very well be his first truly compelling opportunity to gain that wisdom. I hope it’s not too late, and words cannot express what a sad, sad loss that would be.


huh Says:

vared, you have myriad times asked as to whether an asterisk should be put on Djoko’s win vs Fed at the AO 2008 or not. And my reply to this question from my side is NO. And if you ask me why, then I’d say I’ve already given 3 resons on another thread on which I don’t remember, you have to find it by yourself if at all you care about it or you can. But I’ve always placed Djoko’s win vs Fed at the A0 2008 as the best ever victory achieved by anyone over Fed, even better IMO than Rafa’s clubbing of him in 2008 FO FINAL. And to me Fed’s best ever win has come vs Pete in 2001 Wim, that’s some added information which you may or may not care about.


xmike Says:

ooops, sorry for posting twice, still a newbie here, how does one remove a mistaken post from ourselves?


Von Says:

MMT:

“RZ: I have to say that Federer has brought up the issue of mono many times. Both Federer and Nadal are always at this game of telling the world when they’re injured, and I think it’s not on. Von would be happy to hear me say that by far, the most sporting top player in this regard is Roddick. I’ve never heard him bring up an injury ever. Kudos to him.”

Thanks bro! you have redeemed yourself, for a while there it seemed we were like oil and vinegar. LOL. Serously, all’s fine.
___________________
skeezerweezer Says:
Von,

“Hey what about sharing a little love over here please? I like Roddick! I have just always wanted him to serve and volley…..oops the volley thing….uh….. never mind.”

Be my guest and jump in please, whenever you can, with a Roddick defense. I’m in heaven knowing some pro-Roddick supporters are around (notice I said ‘supporters’ not ‘fans’ because I know you’re a Fed fan.) Thanks for the luv. here’s some luv from me to you with some luscious red lip gloss, “mwaw, mwaw, on both cheeks, and “mwaw’ for the forehead. Three’s the limit!! LOL. Got it?


huh Says:

Von Says:
“huh:

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! Where have you been all of this time. Oh my God, if you were around in the past, I would have been able to kick back and not get embroiled in any Roddick defense. I must be doing smething right, hence your presence, and again I thank you. Please, pretty please, stick around, and defend Roddick for me, since I’m winded because I’ve had to do so for 18 months. Thanks again. mwaw, mwaw, on both cheeks. (those are kisses, BTW, LOL).”

Cool!!! ;-) Mwahh!!!!


Von Says:

Mina:

Sorry for the delay in answering your post, but I did so on the relative thread.


Von Says:

Xmike:
“ooops, sorry for posting twice, still a newbie here, how does one remove a mistaken post from ourselves?”

You can’t do it yourself, staff has to do it for you by posting a request. don’t worry about it, because it happens a lot of times, and it’s due to how long this site’s computer takes to process the comment.


Rick Says:

So do some of you really assume Rafa may have damaging cortizone injections for nothing? No way he would he even have these kind of treatments if it was not for real.
Where do you guys come from making these judgements.

I can’t wait to hear how dammed Rafa will be by some if he gets himself fit enough to play Wimbledon.

Thanks to the people on here who know what they are talking about.


jane Says:

vared “After his play with Serra today I would say it’s 50/50.” I agree with you; I am not holding my breath that’s for sure. I do think, though, that if he can get through the next round (a big if), he’s got a pretty good shot at getting to the finals, where he could face Kohls again, or Haas, or Zverev.

Roddick has Karlovic next, against whom he’s 3-1 H2H, so Rod should win again and get to the semis, where he will face Blake or Youz. If Murray gets by Fish, he should have no problems with Ferrero or Darcis. So an all Andy final is looking fairly likely at this point.


Kimmi Says:

Xmike, I enjoyed the video clip, its hilarious


Andrew Miller Says:

Hello Mr. Randall and Mr. Martin:

I dont know if this is true, but Mr. Peter Bodo reported that there may still be some sort of significant “personal issue” affecting Rafael Nadal. The thought/possibility that something else is in Nadal’s life became public after he lost to JM Del Potro in Miami (see the last line – ‘Always is a reason, but it’s personal’):

“Q. Are you mystified or puzzled by how you played during this tournament, or do you understand why you didn’t play well and know what to do next?

RAFAEL NADAL: Always is a reason because you are not playing at your level during the tournament. No, I am calm. I am happy about myself, about everything this year, yeah. I don’t know. Always is a reason, but it’s personal.”

That said, it’s hard to knock a guy who’s had more than his share of unbelievable victories for four years running. He’s the best #2 I’ve ever seen, and certainly an excellent top player (he is the number one).

Sure he did not win the French, and sure the guy has knee problems. He already has four French titles. I think Rafael Nadal tries to win every big tournament he enters. And, I dont think that the rest of the pack has beat him with any consistency.

This is still Rafael Nadal’s world until it’s not. I guarantee he is anticipating what may happen at Wimbledon and preparing for it. That’s the Uncle Toni way.


jane Says:

huh “And to me Fed’s best ever win has come vs Pete in 2001 Wim” Wow – that’s really interesting, since he didn’t win the slam that year; it did mark him to fans and players alike as the next big thing. But could you say why you consider it Fed’s best ever win? If you care to, that is.


skeezerweezer Says:

Von,

I felt that. I felt that! :) ty :)


huh Says:

“jane Says:
huh “And to me Fed’s best ever win has come vs Pete in 2001 Wim” Wow – that’s really interesting, since he didn’t win the slam that year; it did mark him to fans and players alike as the next big thing. But could you say why you consider it Fed’s best ever win? If you care to, that is.”

Jane, it’s coz it came against Pete first of all who’s almost without doubt the GOAT of grass, and secondly coz Fed displayed exceptional volley as well very much error-free shot hitting in that match, thus the best blend of S&V and baseline tennis, which automatically blew me away! And the third most important thing’s that it was on Wimbledon, by far my most favourite surface. To be honest, to earn my respect, you’ve gotta be a Wimbledon titlist. The more Wimbledons one wins, the more I’d like that fellow.


Von Says:

skeeweezer: Nice eh, yummy!!


trip Says:

“Nadal has never been a cry-baby or a sore-loser. Why not give him the benefit of the doubt. He deserves more respect than this!”

agree. agree. agree.


Von Says:

jane and vared;

I see from your posts, Roddick won today? Atta boy Andy R., good going! I read in one of my tennis emails last eveneing, where Roddick said that the Hewitt/Roddick match is one that would normally be a QF encounter, and he was surprised that it was so early in the tournament. He also mentioned it would be a tough one. That siad, I’m happy he got through that one, and hope he gets past Karlovic.

How djya like that Monfils, he gave Darcis a walkover? Why didn’t he do that at the FO for Roddick. Bad, bad, Monfils. LOL.


Fedfan Says:

Let Fed finish his career, then we can decide if pete was even the GOAT of grass. by this stage in his career, pete had 5 wimbledon finals and 5 titles. Fed has 6 finals and 5 titles, including the best ever match in the history of tennis that he lost so narrowly. Fed has also lost HALF the number of sets that either Borg or sampras lost in winning their 5 titles.


Von Says:

Staff: What happened to my post on Nadal’s tendinitis? Has it been removed because I mentioned the patches?


Fedfan Says:

BTW, people talk so much about sampras and Fed winning the year end championship 4 or 5 times each – what about Nadal? zero year end championships so far. Do you think he will ever win that many? Isn’t that a flaw in his resume?


jane Says:

huh, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen that match between Sampras and Federer (I know I was watching tennis then but I can’t recall it or anything), but your explanation of it makes me want to see it. Thanks for answering. I just found it surprising that you wouldn’t pick one of his slam finals as his best ever win, like 2007 Wimb or something.

Von, yes, Andy R looked sharp today and Hewitt was playing well too. But Andy was never in doubt in the tiebreaks, and I expect that’s exactly how it will be when he faces Karlovic next, should Karlovic take him to tbs. I think he’s got a really good shot at winning this tournament, actually, or at least going one step further than last year and getting to the finals. If he meets Murray there, I’d say it could go either way: Roddick has more experience on the grass than Murray, but Murray has the winning H2H. I just hope they both get there and it’s a good final.


Joe Says:

Dear Santa:

I know its a little early but could you please plant an IED on this topic
and, after a stop- over on the island of misift toys leave a blackberry under my peach tree that will light it off. Come to think of it, the last topic seems pretty much the same
so can you bring two IEDs? The children need some new story books. Ones that don’t contain GOATs, cry babies,evil uncles named toni and scary diseases. We need happier stories, like the grassy green stadium and its magical roof, heather has two tommies ( I think their names are mr andy pants and master timothy tooth) and green balls and slams. Hurry Santa.


Von Says:

Hi joe:

I said hello to you and sent a smile your way to brighten your day, but my post got chewed up.

Hey, that was a funny post, but what’s an IED?


Von Says:

jane:

All Andy R. needs is a break in each set v. Karlovic. I don’t like tie-breaks for Andy nowadays. I suppose I’m the only one who has noticed, but ever since Andy’s shoulder injury, he’s not serving up aces as he used to and I think it’s ONE of the reasons he’s changed his game, so that he can win without serving huge. However, I could be way off, but that’s how I see it. That said, I give the edge to Andy M. should the two Andys meet. Andy M. has speed, which neutralizes anything Roddick can do.


Joe Says:

Hi Von – I need a smile right about now. Came here looking for one but they’re hard to find. This is about as much fun as CSPAN. Lots of fillerbusting. IED = Improvised Explosive Device. Better known as roadside bombs in iraq. Cheers love


jane Says:

huh, I just watch 8:00 mins of highlights of that match (link below). Looks to me like Pete was still the better volleyer, but Fed had a good read on his serve, especially by the end, and also hit several great passers. Of course it’s tough to know from only a highlight reel. But what a close match. Pete looked crushed at the end. Fed, meanwhile, looked about to cry from joy. Did he win the next round or lose? And to whom did he lose in that tournament, do you remember?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88VJbv3X6-4


Tom Foober Says:

Thanks Jane, your right on about Pete’s volleys.

I rethunk it and I think Laver is the best ever.

Am I really nuts or what?

BTW, Federer did lose the next round to Ivanisivic I think. I don’t think it was Rafter but maybe.


Von Says:

Joe: Here’s a laugh for you, per Tennis.X’s approval, of course.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgmQM9cDPHk&feature=channel_page


Joe Says:

Jane: I believe fed went out in the fourth round that year.


Daniel Says:

I think Nadal’s knee problem go way back 2004, when he didn’t even compete in RG. He has it and it’s a fact, the question to be asked is if the problem will get worst for now on? Hope not, he is way too young!


Von Says:

I saw that match, which broke my heart, a i’ve always been a Sampras fan, and it was obvious that Federer beat Sampras by playing Sampras’ S&V style. S&V can be extremely hard on the body for a whole match, much more a whole tournament. Sampras had it down pat. We would serve and then immediately start moving forward to set up for the volley = point, game, set, match, Sampras.

Fed used S&V in his 2005 Rome match for one and one-half sets v. Nadal and it was very effective. however, he stopped and the rest is history.


vared Says:

HuH: Thanks for your opinion. I agree with it. I was asking Sean, since he has put an asterisk on it, why he never answers.
———————————————-
Just curious Sean, do you still believe Djok’s win at AO should have an asterisk? You never answered.

Posted June 11th, 2009 at 6:12 pm


vared Says:

Jane, no matter how bad he’s played, SAVING 5 MATCH POINTS, FALLING ALL OVER THE PLACE AND WINNING A MATCH is still a win. LOL


Joe Says:

Von: my blackberry can’t hang. I’ll have to check this out on the PC. We rigged up a kb/mouse that allows me stand for short intervals. Thanks, Joe


Mina Says:

Von – thanks for your detailed reply. I’ve responded, as well, back in the appropriate thread.


jane Says:

vared, LOL YOU’RE RIGHT! Thanks for the reassurance.


Tom Foober Says:

Also I would say anyone who doubts Nadal is a fool. Why would he lie?


san Says:

The person who wrote the article seems to have no clue about Tennis and the culture of Tennis. His language is too full of boorish slangs and illogical conjectures.
This article is complete nonsense and defies commonsense and observations of millions who could easily compare intensity and Depth of Nadal in French Open ’2008 to his moderate pace and shorter length on shots in ’2009.
The poor and uncouth language and sarcastic and disrespectful tone of the article is totally out of place when discussing a sensitive matter like this and that too of the greatest clay court player of today by far and perhaps of all time as well..
Only thing in the article I can agree with is some last few words of the writer “I could be way way off here”. Indeed, the guy is way way off….


TejuZ Says:

Clive Says:”sensationalsafin; I am sure you are aware then that top ranked player need to play all 4 slams, 8 masters, at least 4×500series and 2×250 series.Stop attacking Nadal’s schedule and start attacking the ATP. And as for Federer playing less, I think you need to think again about that – he is not allowed to do so unless injured.”

Nobody is forcing Nadal to play all these minor tournaments. Fed has skipped tournaments repeatedly during his peak years, because he was always reaching the finals of all the tournaments and ended up playing 80+ matches for that year. He has skipped Paris, Madrid, Hamburg etc before.

The only incentive for playing all the Grand Slam and Masters Series (apart from prize money and points) is that, during the year end championships, the No 1, 2 and 3 will get an extra 1M, 0.5M and 0.25M bonus prize money…not to mention some bonus points of they win the championships. But the smaller tournaments are not looked at while considering a player for the bonus prize money.


Von Says:

vared:

I give you an A+ for persistence. I see you didn’t heed my advice to give it up. LOL!!
_____________
Joe: Hope you like it. Any time you need a laugh, just say. I’ve got tons of stuff which I like to look at and share to brighten mine and anyone else’s day. I’ve been able to acquire an email joke friends list. LOL.


Von Says:

Tejuz:

“The only incentive for playing all the Grand Slam and Masters Series (apart from prize money and points) is that, during the year end championships, the No 1, 2 and 3 will get an extra 1M, 0.5M and 0.25M bonus prize money…not to mention some bonus points of they win the championships.”

I thought the money was distributed to the Top 4, was it always on the Top 3, or did it change at some point.


Von Says:

“I rethunk it and I think Laver is the best ever.”

I’d like to ask a question out of curiosity: Is ‘thunk’ a commonly used word in some countries? I know the word exists but in modern day language isn’t ‘thought’ the preferred usage. However, I’ve seen quite a few posters using the word and I’m now kinda confused.


wendy Says:

I just have to say….I started watching tennis mostly because of Nadal, and his competitive rivalry with the great Federer. Regardless of who you cheer for, any true tennis fan should be able to admit that Nadal has made the game more exciting to watch again. As great as Roger is, it was nice to see him finally have someone who could compete with him

So here is hoping that Nadal’s injury is not serious.


Mina Says:

Annoying – my comment didn’t post. Here it goes again, as best as I can remember…

Von – I replied back to your most recent comment (in the other thread). I hope we’ll continue the back-and-forth but hopefully, about happier topics – like tennis – in the future!
____________________________________________________

Some of the smaller tournaments have a lot of $$$ and pay a premium to lure elite players there. I assume these contracts are signed well in advance and that there would be significant penalty for skipping these events (unless due to injury). Could this be why Nadal couldn’t pull out of those tournaments even if he wanted to? Maybe he didn’t have a choice unless he was willing to face the financial and legal repercussions.

Even if that was the case, though, it still reflects poorly on his team, for arranging his schedule in such a IMO foolish way. They loaded up his clay schedule even though they knew he was virtually guaranteed to make it to the finals of every one.


Tom Foober Says:

Nadal is a champion and champion’s have injuries. He would love to be 100% but life is too short for that to happen a guy like him and his style.


Kimmi Says:

“As great as Roger is, it was nice to see him finally have someone who could compete with him”

Wendy, I agree. Nadal is the best thing that has happened to Federer. Without Nadal , federer would easily have 14 + 5 Grand slams. 19 Slams would be an incredible feat but I think it would have been too easy for him and maybe we would not have seen the appreciation he showed in the French Open.

For the better of the game, it would be nice to have all players competing injury free so that we enjoy long matches were everybody is 100%, but that is just wishful thinking from my part because as we all know how much physically demanding this sport is.

I also hope Nadal and his team come up with a plan that can give him a chance to have a longer and successful career. That will be a challenge they have to meet and I am sure this FO loss must have opened their eyes.


vared Says:

I give you an A+ for persistence. I see you didn’t heed my advice to give it up.
Von
It’s like an unbitten apple…I can’t help it.


Mina Says:

It’s been great seeing Nadal push Federer. I Federer has a tendency to become complacent when things are going his way all the time – after all, if someone thinks his game is already perfect, where’s the incentive to improve? Well, Nadal was what brought him down to earth and pushed Federer to improve his game. And vice versa, as well – Nadal’s game has also grown by leaps and bounds.

The drop-shot would be the most obvious addition, but Federer has also started coming to the net more. He did this a lot earlier in his career (for an example, find some footage of the Federer-Sampras match in Wimby 2001), but during his peak years it seemed like he was allergic to volleying.


Kimmi Says:

Mina, I agree with the drop shots on federer’s game. He has been playing them beautifully. Nadal was so wrong footed in Madrid. The backhand drop shot is the more deceiving IMO. He played one with soderling, it was unbelievable the way he pull it off from way back in the baseline. It’s definitely a good addition on clay.


Von Says:

vared: So you like the lure and temptation, eh? LOL.


TejuZ Says:

Von says:”I thought the money was distributed to the Top 4, was it always on the Top 3, or did it change at some point.”

yeah Von, you are right. In fact its distributed between top 12 players. I have copy-pasted some details from this link

http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:_Y5PL9_HY6IJ:www.atpworldtour.com/en/players/rulebook/I_Circuit%2520Regulations_26feb09.pdf+ATP+bonus+prize+money+pool&cd=5&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au&client=firefox-a

Players in good standing shall be eligible for the bonus pool based upon their South
African Airways ATP Rankings (singles) as of the Monday following the Barclays ATP
World Tour Finals in the current year. Rules for bonus pool eligibility are as follows:
1) Players not qualifying for an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 commitment reduction:
a) Must play in all eight (8) mandatory ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events to
receive 100% of bonus.
i) Not playing in one (1) event results in a 50% reduction of bonus.
ii) Not playing in two (2) events renders the player ineligible for the bonus.
b) And, must play, if qualified, in the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
i) Not playing, if qualified, the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals renders the play-
er ineligible for the bonus.
ii) A player who is otherwise qualified but does not play in the Barclays ATP
World Tour Finals may receive 80% of earned bonus by appearing at the
finals event to do promotional activities, as determined by the ATP.
2) Players meeting criteria for a one (1) event reduction in their ATP World Tour
Masters 1000 commitment.
a) Must play in seven (7) of the eight (8) mandatory ATP World Tour Masters 1000
events.
i) Not playing in one (1) event results in a 50% reduction of bonus.
ii) Not playing in two (2) events renders the player ineligible for the bonus.
b) And must play, if qualified, in the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
i) Not playing, if qualified, the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals renders the play-
er ineligible for the bonus.
ii) A player who is otherwise qualified but does not play in the Barclays ATP
World Tour Finals may receive 80% of earned bonus by appearing at the
finals event to do promotional activities, as determined by the ATP.
3) Players meeting criteria for a two (2) event reduction in their ATP World Tour
Masters 1000 commitment:
a) Must play in six (6) of the eight (8) mandatory ATP World Tour Masters 1000
events.
i) Not playing in one (1) event results in a 50% reduction of bonus.
ii) Not playing in two (2) events renders the player ineligible for the bonus.
b) And must play, if qualified, in the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
i) Not playing, if qualified, the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals renders the play-
er ineligible for the bonus.
ii) A player who is otherwise qualified but does not play in the Barclays ATP
World Tour Finals may receive 80% of earned bonus by appearing at the
finals event to do promotional activities, as determined by the ATP.
4) Players meeting all three (3) criteria of the reduction in commitment standards and
thus have no ATP World Tour Masters 1000 commitment.
a) Must play in at least five (5) of the eight (8) mandatory ATP World Tour Masters
1000 events, if accepted as a direct acceptance.
b) And must play, if qualified, in the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
i) Not playing, if qualified, the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals renders the play-
er ineligible for the bonus.
ii) A player who is otherwise qualified but does not play in the Barclays ATP
World Tour Finals may receive 80% of earned bonus by appearing at the
finals event to do promotional activities, as determined by the ATP.

Other conditions affecting bonus pool eligibility:

1) Suspended player.
a) A player who is suspended from an event shall have the suspension count as a
missed event for the bonus year in which the event is held.
2) Not direct acceptance.
a) Any player who is not a direct acceptance to a mandatory ATP World Tour
Masters 1000 event shall not have that event count as a missed event.
3) Promotional work.
a) On-site promotional activities for withdrawn players are applicable for relief of
fines and/or suspensions but shall not provide relief for the ranking penalty and
shall count as a missed event.
b) On-site promotional activities are not applicable to players missing the event
due to being suspended.

ATP Singles Ranking as of
30 November 2009 Bonus Distribution
1 $2,000,000
2 $1,000,000
3 $625,000
4 $500,000
5 $400,000
6 $325,000
7 $275,000
8 $225,000
9 $200,000
10 $175,000
11 $150,000
12 $125,000


Tom Foober Says:

Nadal has pushed it to the limit in his workouts that none of us could ever survive.

I barely make a 2 hour lesson hitting all out now
hitting all out with power.


TejuZ Says:

so If Nadal is No 1 or 2 and if he needs to collect the bonus $2M or $1M, he has to appear in all the eight ATP World Tour Masters 1000 (Monte Catlo is not mandatory).. but no body has said he has to appear for 500 and 250 tournaments.


Dan Martin Says:

If Rafa does have a personal issue, I have no idea what it might be. Peter Bodo is infinitely more in the loop and has infinitely more contacts than I do. Nadal is a good guy, a great role model and tennis player so I hope personal issue, knee injury, combination of things, whatever that he is at full strength personally and professionally ASAP.

To answer Jane’s question about Fed’s best or biggest win – it is a hard call. 2006 was his best year IMHO so any of the 3 slam finals were significant in building that year. The 2007 5 set Wimbledon victory over Nadal was big. He tied Borg with that win. The 2004 U.S. Open final was not his biggest win, but he was so fluid and dominant in that match that it was set the tome that Federer was not just #1 he was in command of the tour. I think any of the straight set wins are hard to rank #1 as they may appear to be too easy, but then again dominance is part of greatness. I have no idea where to place his biggest wins.


Fans Says:

The article is exactly what many neutral fans are thinking.
Nadal will be at wimbledon. 100% sure of it.
This is the reason why Federer will always be the world’s fav No. 1.


joros Says:

Nadal’s style of aggressive play is surely going to take its toll on his body. If he continues playing like there’s no tomorrow then his tennis career may be over within the next two or three years. I just hope that medical timeouts will not be used to break the rhythm of the other player during matches. This happened last year when Nadal called a timeout 1-4 down in the 1st set in Rome or Germany. After that medical timeout, he “miraculously” recovered from a supposed knee problem. He went on to win the next 8 games, and eventually the match. That was a sorry loss for Federer.


huh Says:

jane Says:
“huh, I just watch 8:00 mins of highlights of that match (link below). Looks to me like Pete was still the better volleyer, but Fed had a good read on his serve, especially by the end, and also hit several great passers. Of course it’s tough to know from only a highlight reel. But what a close match. Pete looked crushed at the end. Fed, meanwhile, looked about to cry from joy. Did he win the next round or lose? And to whom did he lose in that tournament, do you remember?”

Of course Jane, I remember. Fed beat Pete in the pre-quarters and lost his very next match to Tim Henman.


huh Says:

wendy Says:
“I just have to say….I started watching tennis mostly because of Nadal, and his competitive rivalry with the great Federer. Regardless of who you cheer for, any true tennis fan should be able to admit that Nadal has made the game more exciting to watch again. As great as Roger is, it was nice to see him finally have someone who could compete with him

So here is hoping that Nadal’s injury is not serious.”

You are most welcome and I agree with you completely despite being a HUGE Fed fan.


TejuZ Says:

yeah.. Fed lost to Tim Henman in the next round in 4 tight sets. That was what Fed was saying in his pre-final interview at the French Open this year. After beating Pete Sampras at Wimbledon he was feeling at the top of the world.. but when he lost the very next round he realized that Pete was just one match and there are others there who also play great tennis. Cant underestimate the opponents.


Robert Pilimon Says:

Federer is NOT the Greatest OF All Time.

Nadal has beaten federer 13-7 (head to head) and 6-2 in grand slams and all of them finals. Federer has never lost a grand slam final to anyone other than Nadal.

Nadal has beaten federer easily on all occassions at the French Open. Nadal has won all the epic finals when conditions suited federer i.e after the epic encounter at the Aus Open against verdasco and also ealier at Wimbledon the year before.

Sampras is no less a great than federer his 14 grand slams was obtained from 17 finals. Federer had to secure his in 18 appereances one more than Sampras.

Sampras has not a losing record with any of his long term rivals and played at a time when there was more competition. The likes of Agassi, Couirer, Edberg and Becker…all born between 1967-71.

Sampases wins at Wimbledon were against the highest class of grass player all legitamate which also included in company against Goran Invanisevic and Pat Rafter

Faced with the same type of competition now! Federer has losing records to Nadal, Murray, Dojkovic, and Simon

Do i need to say more!


Cindy_Brady Says:

I remember that Sampras/Federer match clearly. I kept thinking Sampras was going to pull it together and somehow eek that match out. It never happened. Federer wouldn’t let it. He kept returning Pete’s serve and passing on the back hand side consistently. Federer’s play that day was a glimpse into the future of things to come. Little did we all know, how much.

It reminded me of the Sampras/Wilander match at the U.S. Open in 1990 in the round of 16. Not many people had heard about Sampras. Of course, Wilander was well established and favored. Sampras was just another promising American player at that time. He emerged from the pack that day. It helped catapult him passed Lendl and Agassi for the shocking win that year.


margot Says:

von: hate 2 make u jealous but I’ve been watching Andy R’s matches and his serve has looked mighty fine, not just power but placement.
Is there anyone out there now who thinks Rafa will be winning slams when he’s 27? I think he’s a tremendous sportsman who would’ve excelled in anything he chose to do. Perhaps he shoud’ve chosen swimming. Aint hindsight a wonderful thing?
PS Isn’t journalism about challenging ideas?


Robert Pilimon Says:

To be GOAT you need an Achilles heal. That is to say a physical problem and fatal flaw that denies you victory or sees you to your demise. It should not merely be item of thought or belief.

If the later was the case Achilles would be pitted against Zeus or Merlin! All that is not human with devine or magical properties.

Federers fatal flaw falls in this second category, that of his mental state. Even with physical health he losses the great majority of the time to Nadal, 13-7 overall and 6-2 in grand slams.

Nadal falls in the first category as a true a warrior worthy of Achilles. In the epics such as the Iliad Nadal has conquered Federer…. Wimbledon 2008 and the Australian open 2009. Only his knees denied him a 5th straight title at Roland Garros.

Like the arrow through the heel of Achilles, Nadals knees gave way and so he was defeated by a happy to collect Robin “the hood” Soderling. That “silly sod” with a dismal record and showing against Federer in this years Garros final and overall, only mocked himself and Roger by declaring the greatest.

Nadal has the final say if he himself is the greatest. In this years Australian Open he has allowed Roger the glory of Hector in his death, the rolling tears and forth coming consolation of a battle over and done with.

Federers fatal flaw was always his desire in search of history. All credit to him that it was even a consideration. Those of us older and wiser have knowledge of such masked ego driven desires.

We know such titles as GOAT are only stuff off legend that lay far beyond era’s, eonic in time. There is no way you can cheat the gods because with out some form of ego you fall victim to lack of drive for continued success.

So Nadal my brother go and win Wimbledon again and humble yourself like you always do. You have learned the lesson. Like a true warrior being pitted against the giants it’s the taste of glory that’s so fleeting.


besttitw Says:

Wow, love to see people are so passionate about the game and their favorite players. Kudos to all the heated discussion here. It’s fun to speculate, but it stops there, just speculation. I am new to the Tennis world, and so glad to be able to hang out here, mostly silently, learn about the players, games, past and current. Tennis is such a wonderful thing! Nonetheless, my profession allows me the chance to have some intimate knowledge of many industries (not sport industry though), and I know that the public perception can be far far away from the truth in many occasions. Money-the almighty invisible hand, and fate/luck-the ultimate answer (wonder anyone watch the Woody Allen movie-Match Point? It’s like that, truly) are two factors should never be overlooked.

A bit off the topic, what I mean to say is that it’s fun to analyze/argue/speculate, but it’s just that. Sometimes I even wonder whether the player knows the whole truth about a win or lose. They are just so deep in the game. Thus, I’d value any player for each game’s own sake.A win is a win, either it’s because superior play, opponent’s injury, or just pure luck. I wish all the players had the 100% physical and mental fitness to play wonderful games, because that would be everyone’s dream. While the world is not perfect, and such dream rarely occurs, I applause all players try their best on the courts because I know it takes enormous talent, persistence, courage to be able to play like them, something I couldn’t dream myself doing even in my wildest dream. There is no place for me, a spectator, knowing nothing about what happens behind the scene, to judge them.


besttitw Says:

I do want to share some of my own observation though. Everyone’s game is a reflection of their own personality. I am a Fed fan, and I actually feel annoyed by all the criticism upon his crying. Fed, obviously, has his share of sensitivity, which enable him to play such sensible game, with beautiful subtlety at times. Like his game, he probably has one of most sensitive hearts among his peers. That’s part of his specialty and I would never take him as less manly, just because he cried. He is just being himself, which is a good thing. On the other hand, sometime I frown at his comments after a game, won or lost. It seems like being objective of himself is a bit difficult for Fed (Nadal is much better in this sense, which, again, mirrors his humble, honest, straightforward nature). But then I realize I asked too much of Fed, who is a human being, prone to flaw as any of us, not a perfectly programed robot.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Leyton Hewitt must love to play tennis. His days of being a top 10 player or being a threat to win a slam are over. This is the only reason I can see him still hanging around. The love of the game!

Not taking a shot at him. Just making an observation. Most former #1 players with his kind of success can’t stand to be “middle pack” players. I give him credit for this.


besttitw Says:

Just some fun observation of Nadal’s performance:
2006: first champ-Feb. Dubai, last champ-June,FO. 4 months
2007: first champ-March, Indi.; last champ-July, Stuttgart. 4 months
2008: first champ-April Monte Carlo, last champ-Aug. Beijing. 4 months
2009: first champ-Jan. AO; last champ-May, Roma, 4 months.
What you guys think?


besttitw Says:

Cindy, couldn’t agree more! Always admire people who do what they do for the love of it, regardless of outcome. It takes a lot of courage to be mediocre, especially for a competitive profession, especially when you had been on top of it.


Sean Randall Says:

Steffi, yup. If Rafa does miss Wimbledon than I will eat my words. Of course I am rooting that he is 100% and he does play.

Tim, that is funny: Rafa’s knees need their own PR rep!

Shaky, nice comedy break! Very well done!

vared, Novak beat mono-Fed, not Roger at the Aussie Open. So yeah, i don’t look at that win as highly as I would say his win in Miami. But Novak did win the Australian Open and there’s no asterisk for that.

Dan Martin, good point, Federer use to support his two Swiss events, but now only plays the one in Basel. Rafa will need to make some decisions as which of the Spain events he’ll play.

Andrew Miller, personal issue? Could be??

san, thanks for that response. You say “millions of people” say that Nadal’s shots didn’t have the depth that they had in 2008. Can you show me one legitimate article after Rafa beat Hewitt supporting that claim, after all if millions of people saw it that way I’m sure one journalist felt the same.

If I didn’t respond to someone post your question/complaint and I will get back to you!


Dan Martin Says:

Nice to see Juan Carlos Ferrero winning some matches. He was really solid in 2003. I know he finished #3, but he had the best slam record of any player in 2003 with an AO Quarter, FO title, W R16, USO Runner-up. Slams aren’t the only thing, but he was really solid in 2003 and then after the 04 Australian Open semifinal … he’s had a few decent showings but not anywhere near what we saw 2000-Jan 2004.


jane Says:

Ferrero also played a couple of great sets on grass against Fed at Wimbledon in 2007, winning one at 6-3 and taking another to a tiebreak. He can play some lovely tennis and is a pleasure to watch imo.


vared Says:

vared, Novak beat mono-Fed, not Roger at the Aussie Open. So yeah, i don’t look at that win as highly as I would say his win in Miami. But Novak did win the Australian Open and there’s no asterisk for that.

Sean thanks for you answer.
Guess I would agree with you then. Fed didn’t play Nadal on clay but instead played Soderling #23, who took out an ailing Nadal. It’s not the same as Fed’s win against Nadal in Wimbledon but it’s still a win.


vared Says:

Any live streams for Halle?


jane Says:

vared, they are showing Halle (Gerry Weber Open) and Queen’s in different links at atdhe.net.

I know you won’t love to hear this, but Murray looked dangerous in his win over Fish. I would say that if Fed and Nadal are not watching him play this week, they should tune in soon.


jane Says:

Tennis X Staff – the text wrap on this thread is wonky; can you fix it please so I don’t have to scroll right until I feel like I am going to drop off my chair? Merci!


vared Says:

Thanks I found a good link at fromsport for Halle but I have an appointment when the Novak match starts. Watching 3rd set Shara/Wic and Ivo and Roddick.
Many players are dangerous over Fish, I hate to say. Remember Jane what Fed said: I will take on Murray anytime in a 5 setter.


Kimo Says:

I’m watching Haas vs. Zverev right now.

I really missed lawn tennis. They should make the grass court season longer.


Ravi Says:

I must first start off by saying I am a die hard fed fan. One of the older ones out there. And I have been following tennis all my life, never did get into the mode of an obseesed fan till now, my middle age years.

I would like to point out that Nadal and his camp talked about his knee probles last year. They saw a specialist then, MRI done and all that and came back to win big. Agin, his knee are bothering him after he lost ot Soderling. His posting on his website about how his knees have been bothering him last few months interfering with his movement. And there is a lot of info on his website about it. With tendinitis, and I am no expert though I am a family practice NP, you can do phisiotherapy, antiinflammatories to bring down pain, inflammation and help movement. It can be a chronic condition, I grant you that but there are treatment modalities to help. I doubt very much the knee tendonitis will affect his play.

And now to Fed’s mono. Yes, I know, it has been discussed ad nauseum. But, never did Fed post on his website about his mono. He made a statement about it. His fans and the press have been doing the talking. Many questions were asked after he lost his matches about mono, Fed denied it was because of mono, even after the mauling at last year’s French Open. He could have proclaimed on his website that he lost because of Mono. He did not. And for the fatigue of Mono, what therapy is there to alleviate it. None. Provigil can help, but it is banned and is tested for.

I am so happy for Fed, winning his French Open. I hope he wins many more. Nadal will also win many more. Both are great athletes and gentlemen. Both have great work ethics and respect for the sport. Both never give up and keep fighting. Is that not what we want to instill in our youth. Both are great role models.


Ravi Says:

Sorry for the spelling errors. Trying to write fast before I have to go to work.


jane Says:

Kimo, the SHOULD make the grass season longer; I agree. They need to rejig the calendar. Don’t know why they don’t recognize this. The French and Wimbledon are too scrunched. There has to be a way to move one up by a week or one back by a week.


Fedfan Says:

This one is for Robert Pillimon:

Sampras had a losing record against Krajicek, and many other players. Does that make him inferior to them?

If Sampras had not been so miserable on clay, he would have reached many clay finals/semis, and lost many of them to the same top clay courters. That would have given him a losing record against any top clay courter. He was just so bad on clay that he never played a top clay courter repeatedly.

Nadal’s 13-7 on Fed is PURELY a clay thing – he is 9-2 on clay, 4-5 elsewhere (losing record against Fed other than on clay).

Same thing with grand slam finals. Nadal is 3-0 on clay (FO), and 2-2 elsewhere.

So Nadal’s winning record against Fed is PURELY a clay thing. Otherwise, he has a losing record against Fed.

If Fed had been miserable on clay, he probably would have never faced nadal on clay (since he could only meet nadal in the finals). Something like sampras.

Also, to set the record straight, Fed has a winning record against Djokovic.

Also, Murray, Nadal, and Djokovic have only been able to beat Fed on other surfaces in the last one year or so, when Fed was 27 and these guys were half a generation younger (21/22 – 10 years is a generation in tennis).

I predict Fed is going to win more than 50% of his matches in the future against Nadal. The pressure is off Fed, it is more on Nadal now. Some consistent attacking tennis, and nadal will fold the way he did against Soderling. Of course, his knees may make it worse.

Lets see if Nadal wins any title for the rest of the year. Its no surprise that, even now, about 3/4 of his total titles are on clay. Like it or not, he is still primarily a clay court wizard.

And nadal has tons of points to defend till the US Open. A good chance he could lose his No 1 ranking, and Fed gets back….

So you have to look at the details, things are never simple or straightforward – we just make them that way if we don’t want to spend the time and energy on researching it.


jane Says:

Von – Roddick had hit 21 aces so far in this match, so his serve looks stellar. And he won the first set tiebreak at I thought he would! At the moment it’s looking like the second set will also go to a tiebreak. Both guys are serving so well, it’s difficult to see anyone breaking.


Kimo Says:

LOL…Several spectators in Halle are wearing T-shirts with Roger’s pictures, Swiss flags, and “Alles Roger” on their chests.


jane Says:

Yay Roddick wins – in two tiebreaks! Now he’s in the semis. Hope Djoko can win now. Although Haas looked very, very good today and is a definite title contender; Haas’ll face Kohls in the semis.


ferix Says:

For all those fans mocking Federer as a crybaby, have you all forgotten what happened in 2007? This article is entitled “The day Roger Federer made Rafael Nadal cry”.

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,22973468-11088,00.html

Admittedly, it was embarrassing for Roger to cry during the presentation in AO 09 (that is, in public), but the two men are much much more similar than people believe.


margot Says:

Hi Dan Martin, one 4 u: Magic Murray Minces Mardy!
and one for von: Re-charged Roddick Klobbers Karlovic!
jane: did u c Simon lost, he had HIS knee bandaged and was not moving well, Monfils out with a wrist injury and something up with Tsonga! Oh the French, the French!


Susan Says:

Hey Sean,

If you had bad knees, loved to play and knew you’d be playing on clay then on to grass/hardcourt. Wouldn’t you play in as many events on clay as you could?? Afterall, it’s best for knees.

I believe Nadal to be a class act. I believe him and knew something was up that day he lost to Soderling.

If the players didn’t tell us what was wrong, we’d be speculating anyway. Hard to please us fans I guess.

Winbledon will be intersting.


jane Says:

Hi margot, Murray looked formidable today; you must be tickled! Yeah, I watch Simon struggle; he did not look good. There is no doubt these players have a tough time with injury. They need excellent trainers and textbook shots and movement to avoid it almost. It’s a punishing but rewarding career. Is Tsonga injured or just mercurial? i.e., his usual up and down? (not sure if you saw my response to you on the other thread yday?)


Karly Says:

Sorry Rafa Fans, but it’s true, Uncle Toni and company keep using Rafa’s knee issues to lay out excuses after losses and BEFORE tournaments. I don’t doubt that Nadal has knee issues, but I bet every other pro does too. You have to ask yourself, if Nadal’s knees are as terribly bad as his uncle is always saying, then why does he so RARELY rest? A week or two extra is not enough rest time to take care of a problem if it’s so HORRIBLE as Uncle toni makes it out to be. If Nadal is going to keep playing, then there is no reason for the public to buy into him having a really serious injury. As for Roger and the mono, he barely spoke about it! Nobody spoke about it, even though it had to affect him for much of the first half of last season. Only after it was all over did Roger acknowledge it much so please, don’t say Roger uses excuses with his mono for anything to justify Nadal and this injury excuse machine his uncle keeps running.


margot Says:

Hi jane: yes I did, we were commiserating (? spelling) with each other, which is one of the nice things about these posts. Thought I heard a squeak about injury but with Tsonga, who knows. Glad your Jko pulled the rabbit from the hat…but..he was playing a Frenchman….only half joking too.
And yes, some of Murray’s shots were sublime. He has joined the very top players in that he just steps his game right up at crucial moments. He’s like a cat, you think he’s half asleep and then he pounces. That’s only come since USOpen I think. Here’s wishing and hoping..


jane Says:

Yep margot – Murray has that instinctual (or calculated?) trait of knowing precisely when to pounce. Djok just played a great first set. Hope he can hold on here in the second as Melzer seems to be waking up, just broke back. Murray has had a good tussle or two with Melzer, who is an up and down player, sometimes dangerous. Not sure if you’re watching other matches, but Blake vs. Youz is entertaining as well. Lots of good tennis today.


jane Says:

Argh – this is what I mean about Djoko’s serve; the first set against Melzer it was insane, he was serving at over 80% first serves in, at one point over 90% (!), and dominating. In this second set, he can hardly get in a first serve and while still at a good percentage overall, he’s dropped off considerably. This is a shot he must make more consistent to be a top-rate consistent challenger. I hope his team are working with him on this…


jane Says:

Good job Djoko… he held on. Next up Oliver Rochus, who is 2-0 on Djoko H2H but they’ve not played since 2005, so I think Djoko has a good chance.


jane Says:

Guess I am the only one watching tennis today. Blake wins so he’ll face Roddick in the semis, with Murray and Ferrero playing for the first time on the other side. Good semis to look forward to.


margot Says:

jane: I can only get Queens. What a talented player Youz. is and what a gr8 smile, transforms him from a nightclub bouncer to a real charmer, but what the hecks up with his head?? He needs a sports shrink quick!
vared: if Fed really did say that then I’m gonna believe what posters say about his arrogance. I really, really wanted him to get RG and tie Pete’s record but now it’s time for a new kid on the block! Bring it on say I, and move over Fed.!


jane Says:

margot – I know. I feel for Youz. He was up on a couple of occasions, in the tiebreak, and then having b.p.s on Blake’s serve on the second set, but it all unraveled for him.

vared’s right. I think it was before the AO when Fed said something to the effect of Murray not yet proving himself in 5 set matches.. here’s a link that discusses that very comment:

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/tennis-news/2009/01/26/i-can-beat-andy-murray-over-five-sets-anytime-says-roger-federer-86908-21071815/

I had mentioned before that Djok should have a good shot against Rochus but it might be very tough actually; I guess he took Fed to a third set t.b. at Halle in 2006 when Fed was at his best. Oh well, here’s hoping… come on Novak.


vared Says:

Margot
Well everyone was hyping Murray to win the AO over the top 3 and fed must have felt insulted. So I guess he had to slip in his usual mind game.I suppose the same hype will happen now and at USO sort of like Safina.

Jane
I remember at the YEC Murray commented that Davydenko would beat Djok in the final. I haven’t forgotten that one. That was kind of mean. As far as i know, Djok has usually been nice to Murray.

Jane I missed Djok’s win but I have been reading about it here. Did he fall all over the grass this time? I hope not, he needs to remember he is not on clay anymore and sliding doesn’t work. Good win for Roddick.


jane Says:

Wow Blake and Roddick have not met since 2006, at Indianapolis. Been a while for these two.

vared – Djoko was just dominant in the first set, beautiful serving and winning forehands, deep into the court, great returns and some solid net play. In the second set, as you can tell from my comments, his serve dropped off somewhat, but he held on to take the set, again with some clutch serving at the right moments. No major skids or dives – seemed to be moving much better on the grass today.

Yep good win for Roddick; he had some looks on Karlovic’s serve even, and some good points at the net too. He looks good to go through imo, though Blake also played well. Still, momentum and current form go to Rod.

I don’t remember Murray saying that about Davy at the YEC but maybe it’s because Davy did play exceptionally well during that event. But Djoko came out on fire in that first set against him in the finals. It’s true – Djok has always supported Murray and said he should be in the top five at least way back when he was having slumps and injuries. They’ve been friends since the juniors as far as I know – still seem to like and respect one another far as I can tell.


val brighouse Says:

Anyone with any sense would know that Rafa has not been playing at his best for a long time,he won tournament’s but his play wasn’t as magical as normal, all his true fan’s realised there was something wrong with him.
But Rafa being Rafa would not let anyone down and played as best as he could.
Vamos Rafa
I hope your fit again soon.


vared Says:

“I think Davydenko will win,” said Murray. “Djokovic had a long match today. Davydenko’s probably going to be fresher. I think that should make a big difference.”

I can’t imagine Djok making predicitions like that about Murray.


margot Says:

That’s the trouble with Rafa and Fed nobody can have a conversation without them….


margot Says:

Ps vared: that sounds quite tactful 2 me!! He was probably put on the spot cos yesterday he would not be drawn on Roddick v Hewitt, said he couldn’t comment as they’d both be listening! I think you’re very harsh on Murray, is it cos Murrays gonna topple Fed??


andrea Says:

i’m a fed fan and i love watching him play nadal. the outcome is somewhat irrelevant since both are such great troopers of the game that you can’t really look down on either of them.

when they are both on and fighting, those matches transcend.

as far as nadal’s knees go. i get sean’s point. it’s been nothing but knees for years. how come none of these players ever get tennis elbow?

:)


jane Says:

margot I think I can answer on behalf of vared – “is it cos Murrays gonna topple Fed??” – with a resounding “no”. But I am not sure why vared dislikes Murray but I know it’s not because he’s a Fed fan.


Colin Says:

Good ol’Vared, still seeking any opportunity to misrepresent Murray! If Murray is asked a question, he gives an honest answer. It’s not a question of supporting a friend, he’s stating his opinion of what’s likely.
Before it gets raised again, I downloaded the two articles to which Vared provided links (Times online and Daily Record) and read them carefully. Sure enough, Murray did NOT say he would be ATP No 1 this year. The whole matter was discussed on the Tennis4you forum, and people there had no problem of interpretation. As for complaining to the two newspapers, that’s obviously not realistic. A paper is not going to publish of respond to comments so long after the event. Sorry to dredge this up again, but if I hadn’t the big Vee would have.


Colin Says:

That should be “publish OR respond”. Jeez, I wish I could touch-type.


vared Says:

Colin, he was asked a question and answered it jealously don’t you think? I believe there was a more diplomatic way instead of sour grapes. He doesn’t have a good relationship with his brother Jamie either I read. And didn’t Henman once call him a “miserable git?” It’s not just me, people.

Jane you are correct, I don’t give a rat’s butt about Fed or Murray. In fact, I hope they play each other at Wimbledon so I can have the day off and not watch.

Margot, do you think Murray lies awake at night wondering if I will like him or not?


MMT Says:

dlc:

Nobody has denied his injuries, just that they seem to make a lot of news and often after losses. I’m sure he suffers from injuries, but he is not a special case – all players suffer from injuries, but it seems that his and Federer’s take on particular importance to the extent that they make as much news as the results of their contemporaries.

Here are some examples of what I’m referring to.

http://sport.scotsman.com/sport/Mixed-feelings-for-Murray-as.4982697.jp

http://www.redorbit.com/news/sports/540856/hewitt_benefits_from_nadal_injury_at_queens/index.html

http://tennisworldchamps.blogspot.com/2007/11/world-no2-rafael-nadal-suffers-foot.html

http://www.france24.com/france24Public/en/archives/news/sports/20070830-tennis-US-open-flushing-nadal-federer-alan-jones-paul-capdeville.php

http://www.cnn.com/2007/SPORT/07/19/tennis.nadal/index.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/7481635.stm


MMT Says:

dlc: Ultimately you have not addressed the very good points that Sean has raised about Nadal’s scheduling. He has a list of injuries throughout his young career that indicate he either plays too much, or he plays in a way that requires more discretion.

For example, why play Rotterdamn? Or Barcelona for that matter, in the midst of 3 required claycourt 1000 series tournaments in Monte Carlo, Rome and Madrid? Why not take the time off and rest as needed. If there was a tournament to skip it was Barcelona, not Madrid.

Well, anyway – I wish him a speedy recovery so he can defend his title at Wimbledon.


jane Says:

vared, what do you think about Djoko’s chances the rest of the tournament? Here’s what he said after his match today: “”Maybe on paper I am the favourite to win this tournament, but the other guys are also playing great tennis…”.

I have to agree with him. If he gets by Rochus, either Haas or Kohls could be tough to beat. It might be a chance for Djoko to gain some confidence, if he could beat Kohls in the final but the reverse could also be true. Anyhow, will have to hope for the best.


Von Says:

Tejuz:

(I posted the following on the other thread by mistake.)

Thanks for the info on the year-end bonuses. Wow, that’s a lot of details to sift through. I’m glad the bonus is given to the Top 12 instead of just the Top 4.


Shaky Says:

“Anyone with any sense would know that Rafa has not been playing at his best for a long time,he won tournament’s but his play wasn’t as magical as normal, all his true fan’s realised there was something wrong with him.
But Rafa being Rafa would not let anyone down and played as best as he could.
Vamos Rafa
I hope your fit again soon.”

I’ll be totally honest here: I don’t remember anyone, at any time, after the AO, saying Nadal looked to be laboring and wasn’t near his old form. I think I read an article at one point I think from Madrid that said that Nadal was looking to shorten points to help him last longer (especially on that faux clay they had)… but I don’t remember:

1) a single news article that suggested that Nadal was winning on sheer guts, muscling through obvious knee woes or whatever else was “wrong” with him.

2) a single Rafaphile post here or at any other tennis blog I go to saying Nadal looked significantly weaker or vulnerable. All I remember is reading how confident everyone was that the road goes through Nadal at RG — in that respect it looked like every previous spring in the tennis blogosphere.

Someone dig these warning signs up so I can be lazy please. I’m willing to try to find the Madrid article if you guys can meet me halfway.

It seems Sean is right: no one was observing a significant dip in Nadal’s game, and given how typically successful he was this year (he lost what, 1 time on clay leading up to RG? And even then had a built-in fatigue excuse because heaven forbid these guys have to play a near-4 hour match) that either means it was the most under-reported sports story of 2009 or it didn’t happen and you guys should just admit this is as much spin as most other injury stories, including Federer’s.


Shaky Says:

Sorry for the long post, I meant to really just say: someone find these examples of Nadal’s warning signs so I can read them because I am bored.

Cheers. Go Lakers.


jane Says:

Here are articles about Nadal’s knees *before he lost to Fed at Madrid; he’d had them looked at at least once in the semi:

http://blog.taragana.com/n/nadal-hopes-dodgy-knees-hold-up-in-final-against-federer-63824/

http://www.smh.com.au/news/sport/tennis/rafa-weak-at-the-knees/2009/05/17/1242498639293.html

Nadal also talked about “testing” his knee in the exo match with Murray pre AO, which could suggest that it was a concern even at the start of this season (since he ended 2008 with the injury and did not play major events back then):

http://www.theage.com.au/news/sport/tennis/murray-defeats-nadal-to-grab-australian-open-boost/2009/01/04/1231003823370.html

Then after the AO, in the Rotterdamn final it flared up again:

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/sport/tennis/article_1459622.php/Murray_victory_dampened_by_Nadal_knee_problem__Roundup__

So he pulled out of Dubai:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/tennis/02/19/nadalout.ap/index.html

Here’s oneof his pressers from Monte Carlo, it sounds like they took the straps off the knees just to “try” it out.

http://greattennisphotos.blogspot.com/2009/04/rafael-nadal-monte-carlo-15-april.html

———————————————
Basically, as far as I can tell, this knee issue with Nadal is simply an on-going one. It flares up when he plays lots of events in which he goes deep but maybe it’s been an issue since end last year. (just like Fed’s back issue was an issue at the end of last year it was still a problem at the beginning of this year right?) There are times the knee problem comes up in the media and or pressers before matches, and other times it seems to come up after matches. There is no pattern as far as I can recall from memory or tell from a quick google search. And journalists always ask about the knees in pressers too. It’s not like this so-called “curious case” of Nadal’s knees is that curious. It’s been around for a long while. It flares up. It dissipates. Isn’t that the nature of this sort of injury? Tendonitis is fairly chronic; it needs rest to really go away and so the best thing for Nadal, as many posters have already said, would be to cut back on his schedule, but I suppose then the question of rankings and/or priorities has to be considered in depth by him and his team.

Anyhow, that was my search for Shaky – and hopefully he won’t be bored anymore.


zola Says:

Sean,
If anything you know well. it is how to steer in the right direction. Praise the winner and kick the one who is down. the problem is that it is becoming too obvious!

just WOW!


zola Says:

Jane,
you are too sweet.

Thanks for that chronology. Rafa has had knee problems since 2005.

It is too bad when the fans know more than the armchair critics!


zola Says:

btw,
hope to see and Andy vs Andy final in Queens and whoever wins, will make my day!


markoskar Says:

Love the rage that comes out here!
Great post!


jane Says:

No need to thank me zola. It was Shaky who spurred me into doing the google search. I don’t really get this whole line of (what seems to be spurious) reasoning with regards to Nadal’s knees. They’ve been an issue for years, and they flare up now and again. I certainly would not doubt the injury itself given the history. Now, if one wants to take issue with when the announcement was timed that’s another matter. But again, as far as I can tell, the knee problems have come up at varying times, before wins, after losses, after wins, etc. It’s just a chronic condition.


Lizzy Says:

Once again Holy Moly (a British website) is implying that Rafa is a doper. Yes it’s a blind item but read the clues: The only current male tennis players that casual fans know are Federer, Roddick and Rafa. They are probably the only three tennis players that those who read gossip sites know about. Nadal is also the one tennis player that always seems to be injured.

Either the rumor that Rafa is a doper is true or else Holy Moly has it out for Nadal.

“Which world-class tennis player should perhaps lay off the HGH (Human Growth Hormones) if he wants to stop his spate of injuries?

The steroid is still undetectable in tests and supposedly widely in use for endurance so he can play his epic five set matches and still look fresh on court the next day.”

http://www.holymoly.com/news/blind-items/which-world-class-tennis-player14006.html


Shaky Says:

Thank you, Jane. You provided what I needed, I think, when I was unmotivated. (couple of the links are not loading for me) I am pleased :)


jane Says:

Welcome Shaky.

Go Penguins!


Shaky Says:

Ok I read the links from investigator Jane, but I don’t think it goes to the brunt of my issue. I was responding to Steffi’s comment that Nadal was not playing anywhere near his normal form — I found this ludicrous since he’d had a standard year’s success on clay until RG (read: it looked opportunistic to now talk about the knees), and I don’t buy that someone at 80% is going to beat top flight competition so consistently — but also disturbing for two reasons:

1) I dislike injury talk expost because it is impossible to not have it come off at least partially as rationalizing a loss. (This is the same reason I hate it when players throw in the towel near the end of a match, yes this means I don’t like Novak sorry.)

2) more importantly, and this is the brunt of Sean’s post and subsequent responses: if it was significantly affecting his play, why the heck was he aggravating it with these extra tournaments?

This also has an obvious connection to (1) above since if you’re cynical like me you put 2 and 2 together and always come up with a spin story.

I know he’s had knee “issues/pains” going back a ways, heck that’s even conceded in Sean’s post that we’re responding to. (“Clearly the guy does have knee problems, I’m not saying he doesn’t.”) I wanted to see how this meant that he wasn’t in good enough form to compete, but more importantly “why NOW.”

I like Nadal, I do. I can’t say that enough.


Shaky Says:

Well since you mentioned it: grats Kid Crosby on your ‘ship. Pens definitely earned it the long and hard way.


huh Says:

It’s occured to many including me that this year Rafa’s not been in top form. So now the question is who’ve played at their best this year? Certainly not Fed or Murray or Djoko !


jane Says:

“I dislike injury talk expost because it is impossible to not have it come off at least partially as rationalizing a loss.”

This is a fair enough criticism, but my issue is that then the same exact criticism should apply to all injury and/or illness announcements that come after a loss, in which case, it would apply to Fed’s mono announcement and many others. Then it starts to get sticky and nit-picky.

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2008-03-07/393.php

I also agree that the schedule issue is an important one for the Nadal team to address; if Nadal’s knees are chronic, which would appear to be the case, then don’t have him play Rotterdam (regardless of appearance fees, commitments or whatever), and cut out one clay event – probably Barcelona but maybe Madrid. And maybe even rethink Davis Cup altogether. There are enough good Spaniards to win it without Nadal, as was proven last year.


jane Says:

huh raises another good point. How do we know when a player *is at his/her best. Even Fed winning the FO looked spotty, and Nadal was pushed hard on hard courts, even though he won the AO and IW. So looking for “signs” of a players illness/injury doesn’t always coincide with losses. Sometimes players, especially champions as determined as Fed and Nadal, can win even when not at their best. It’s interesting that both Nadal and Fed are not playing this week or before Wimbledon. Rafa cites his knees, Fed cites exhaustion. Both are just taking care as they are preparing for an epic struggle at Wimbledon, so both want to be at their best. Nothing wrong with that. Fed played a lot of long matches during the FO, Nadal had a grueling clay season leading up to the FO. So let’s just cut these guys some slack and hope they can both be at their best for Wimbledon, as well as Murray, Roddick, JMDP ,Djoko etc. We wanna see some sublime grass tennis.


MMT Says:

Jane I agree with you 100% – if a guy doesn’t want to or can’t play he doesn’t have to or shouldn’t – I have no problem with that.

I just wish they would leave their injuries out of it and either play or not play, and if they’re fit enough to play, then they’re fit enough to win or lose like a man, end of story.

You don’t hear this nonsense from everyone – only a chosen pair that frankly, I wish would just knock it off.


vared Says:

Jane
I don’t know. On paper Rochus beat Djok twice in 2005 but this is 2009. If the guy that played Serra shows up, Rochus has it. But I didn’t see him today and you say he was doing well, so I trust that he can pull it out. IF he does that, and gets Kohli, he will be out for revenge. As for Haas, on paper Djok beat him in 2006 at FO and 2009 IW. OK I say if he can get by Rochus, with revenge in mind for Kohli and a good H2H against Haas he can win it. BUT Kohli and Haas are homeboys……


vared Says:

Jane
I know Fed used to get appearance fees for Halle. Do you know how much? Also, did Tsonga, Verdasco and Djok get appearance money?


jane Says:

Good question vared; I don’t know much about appearance fees, but it had come up in the past regarding Dubai and Rotterdam, I think with regards to Rafa, and possibly it was Giner who mentioned it. How does one even find out about appearance fees without seeing the player’s tax return? So yeah, I dunno. I wondered why Djok chose Halle this year and thought maybe it was that he wanted to see if he could get a match against Fed on grass, since he’s had a couple of goes at Nadal.

Good take on Djoko’s chances re: tomorrow and possibly further – pretty much agree with everything you wrote.


Mohona Says:

Sean,
I didn’t know you were a part-time doctor…

Whatever it is, just BUZZ OFF.Go take a break.Stop writing about people like Rafa the way you do.I mean, Rafa’s one of the greatest player of all time already, and he’s just 23…And as for you, I doubt if you could even write alphabet when you were the same age!
Go take a break and give us a break, please!
Normal, sane people are BLOODY TIRED of your articles!


Mohona Says:

*One of the greatest players of all time, I meant.


skeezerweezer Says:

Robert Pilimon.

Apparently you are not reading this thread are any others for that matter. Not only do have most of your facts wrong but your justifications as well. As mentioned time and time and time again history in tennis, and golf, Grand Slams are everything. How many does Nadal have tight now?. Fed does have a losing record again Nadal but all the past greats had losing records against some players ( even Sampras, who had two players he had losing records H2H in career but got 14 SLAMS. ) Look, history is not going to care in the end if Nadal has a H2H victory of Fed. Plus, I beleive the last time they played, it was on Nadals surface, and he lost? They are not done playing other yet, that is if Nadals knees will hold up over time. If Fed gets 18 slams and then he is done, that is the record that will stand making him GOAT. Babe Ruth, All time greatest home run hitter in baseball until Aarron and was well know has the greatest home run hitter, but he had plenty of strikeouts, pitchers that he never hit home runs against, etc, etc. You can try to come up with excuse for you man Nadal that he is better than Fed but until he wins on ALL grand slam surfaces and gets more than 14 GS titles don’t try to pu him in the same historical figure that FED is in. Nadal is young, maybe one day he will get it, but your argument does not hold weight right now, check out the comments here and other topics. And please bring more facts than H2H with Fed and Nadal, that is a lost argument beaten down some time ago. Read the posts


margot Says:

MMT: completely agree with your post of 11.49. either you’re fit to play or you ain’t end of. Most players seem to have injuries they just get on and manage, eg. Andy M plays with an ankle brace, which is worrying for a fan, remembering how injury prone he has been.
vared: hello, hello, do not remember posting “Andy M is deeply upset becos u don’t like him.” I wondered why you are so harsh. You told me, end of.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Mohona Says:

“Normal, sane people are BLOODY TIRED of your articles!”

Geez, I was thinking the same thing about your posting style. What a coincidence.


Colin Says:

Being a lazy so-and-so, I’ll just repeat what I said in an earlier thread…
“Regarding the predictable queries over the truth of Rafa’s fitness, I don’t think it matters. Of course it matters to him, but I mean it is not really the point when we try to assess his prospects at Wimbledon or wherever. Whether it’s worn-out knees, mental staleness or a curse from a bad fairy, Nadal has unquestionably not been at his best lately.”


Scottish Says:

Ok well this discussion is pointless because in every sport injury is a HUGE factor in performance. Some guys hide it and some guys tell it. I don’t think there is anything wrong with either. But when it comes right down it if a guy is injured or not 100% and he gets beat then he loses because he can’t be good enough to beat the guy on the other side of the net. It doesn’t really matter why.

I mean seriously when Fed or Rafa are at their very best no one can touch them. So obviously if they get beat then they are not playing their best. they even win lots of time by not playing their best.

As a Rafa (and Fed) fan I was disappointed in 2 things. 1. that he has been so careless with his schedule. Fed has said pretty much since AO that he had 1 goal and that was the FO. He played and didn’t play tournaments based on his build up to it. And look he won. Rafa didn’t use his head when he decided to play some of those clay tourneys. So Rafa needs to get a handle on the majors like Fed has. and 2. the knee excuses were a bit lame. I mean sure he has a ligit right to tell us he has knee problems but to say he’s been suffering for months is a joke. If he was suffering then why was he playing? I love both of these guys and want to see them in the finals at their best. The quality of tennis they have given us has been so fun to watch.


jane Says:

What happened to Roddick??? I woke up to check scores and it says that Blake won by retirement. What happened? I hope he’s not seriously injured!

Congrats to Murray, meanwhile.


jane Says:

Oh no – Roddick sprained his ankle. So many injuries! Monfils, Simon and now Roddick. They really need to separate the clay and grass season a little more, give the guys a week or something. Anyway, here’s the link on Roddick:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/feedarticle/8556963


vared Says:

OMG Roddick….how could you do that to us? ARGGGGGGGGGGGG


vared Says:

They said in the future they will have to even out that grass indentation that Roddick got injured on. Nice job to Brit officials to give advantage to Murray. LOL


vared Says:

Djok slippin’ and a slidin’ but so far ahead of Rochas.


jane Says:

Since he slid under the net, he’s playing like crap and Rochus is coming back strong. Dumb. And I have to go to my son’s soccer game so can’t continue watching much longer. grrrrr.


vared Says:

Have fun Jane.


jane Says:

Thanks vared. Tiebreak. Ugh, and I have to leave. Ugh, and Djoko still playing like crap. Oh well, you have fun vared; here’s hoping Djoko gets it together… and pulls it off. Later…


Scottish Says:

Too bad for Roddick. Hope it’s not serious enough to miss Wimby.


Gordo Says:

I do hope Rafa does not become the tennis equivalent of Bobby Orr, a defenceman for the Boston Bruins of the NHL in the 70s.

He won 2 Stanley Cups with the team and is still today widely regarded as the greatest defenceman to ever lace up a pair of skates and possibly would have been the GOAT over Wayne Gretzky had he lasted longer. But his knees couldn’t take all the punishment and after 8 years he was pretty well done. He played 4 additional years but was a sad shadow of his former self.

If Nadal is forced to retire prematurely those of us who saw him play will lament his loss to the sport and the “What ifs” will come out in full force.

I would rather (and I hope)it is just that rascal Unca Toni jacking up the PR. Maybe he would rather people be talking about his comments on his nephew’s knees instead of us reflecting on his rather boorish remarks on the Roland Garros crowd.

We’ll have a better idea when we see Rafa at SW12.


Gordo Says:

Cindy_Brady Says:
Mohona Says:

“Normal, sane people are BLOODY TIRED of your articles!”

Geez, I was thinking the same thing about your posting style. What a coincidence.

Posted June 13th, 2009 at 4:23 am

———-

Mohona -

I want to take it a step further and less polite than Cindy…

Get lost!

I may not always agree with everything Sean Randall writes, but I sure do respect his opinion and I like reading all his articles. He is knowlegable and insightful, understands the sport and is one of the reasons ppl come here to read and comment.

Insulting him with absolutely no foundation is – and I have to be very un-pc here – just retarded!


vared Says:

Ugly play by Djok. Like the Serra match and a million errors. Luckily for Djok, Haas had a hard time with Kohli. 50/50 tomorrow.


Tay Says:

We all could go on and on about if Nadal is really injured or whatever. In the end it dosen’t matter what any of us think. These pro tennis players live thier own lives, they are not perfect people, they don’t have to do anything to please us. Nadal abuses his body more than any other player in history, his focus is definitely mind over matter. Roger Federer is his own man, playing without a coach for years. His stubborn nature is what holds him back. He would own 16 or 17 perhaps 18 Grand Slams by now! It just shows me what strange creatures pro tennis players are. They all have thier own personal world that we never really see. It’s hard to explain but maybe someone knows what I mean.


huh Says:

Mohona Says:
“Sean,
I didn’t know you were a part-time doctor…

Whatever it is, just BUZZ OFF.Go take a break.Stop writing about people like Rafa the way you do.I mean, Rafa’s one of the greatest player of all time already, and he’s just 23…And as for you, I doubt if you could even write alphabet when you were the same age!
Go take a break and give us a break, please!
Normal, sane people are BLOODY TIRED of your articles!

Posted June 13th, 2009 at 1:23 am”

Mohona: Well, it’s not been uncommon for people to criticise or question the decisions/acts of some players. I don’t think there ever has been a player who has not been questioned by people on injury issues. Here it’s no different either. Sean has not denied Rafa’s injury at all, he’s merely given his take on its severity. What to speak of Rafa, even Fed has been doubted by many re his mono and his back, and many of the fans of Fed like me have had to endure it and also had to accept it as nothing unusual or unforgivable. So what I wanna tell u finally’s that u have to accept gracefully and inevitably whatever comes your way otherwise you’d really become tired and sick. And now that you yourself have revealed about your tiredness, TAKE A BREAK YOURSELF….GOOD LUCK!


jane Says:

Gordo, silly question, but I thought it was SW19?


Diane Says:

Roger is lucky he can play now. Look at what mononucleosis has done to Mario Ancic. I had a “mild” case once, and it was terrible. I was surprised that Roger actually kept on playing when he did.

Rafa’s knee issue has been predicted for some time now. He is indeed hard on his knees. I just hope he gets better.


Andrew Miller Says:

James Blake badly needs the win vs. Andy Murray.

Is there anything to comparing Monica Seles and Rafael Nadal?


sensationalsafin Says:

Some crazed Swiss fan is gonna stab Nadal?


skeezerweezer Says:

sensationalsafin Says:
Some crazed Swiss fan is gonna stab Nadal?

Why would you say that?


skeezerweezer Says:

huh says

“Rafa’s one of the greatest player of all time already”

I say uh……huh? Where did you ever get your facts on that one. You say right now according to his documented wins and GS he is better than…let’s see, pick one? Pistol Pete? Rocket Rod? Bjorn Borg? On and on. You are delusional! Now, he is on the road MAYBE to what your quote says but we live in the here and now and you should back up your opinion with facts. However, if you are sating RAFA is your favorite player of all time, or you think when his career is over he be one of the greatest, but please! Ugh!


sensationalsafin Says:

Andrew Miller asked if there’s anything to compare Seles and Nadal. Some crazed German fan stabbed Seles for being in Graf’s way on her path to greatness. Nadal has been in Fed’s way on his path to greatness, so some crazed Swiss fan would stab Nadal to parallel that. It’d be absolutely terrible if that happened, God forbid, knock on wood.


skeezerweezer Says:

True, or some crazed Spaniard could do the same so Fed’s career ends abruptly so the fan would think Nadal would have better chance of chasing Feds record? WTF? I don’t know what you are trying to to say here, to many hypos, they just need to beef up security, the tennis players are way to unprotected from fans just jumping out into the court, in my opinion.


Mina Says:

Gordo says: “I do hope Rafa does not become the tennis equivalent of Bobby Orr, a defenceman for the Boston Bruins of the NHL in the 70s.”

One of my favourite hockey players of all time! There is no player who’s ever existed who skated as beautifully as he did.

Thankfully, the treatment and prevention of knee injuries has come a long way since the 1970s. I think Rafa’s career will be shorter than average, but he’ll be okay for a few more years to come.


Mindy Says:

Well, I must say that this is the most disrespectful bit of nonsense that I have read yet. Does Randall honestly think that someone of Rafa’s stature needs to make up an excuse all of a sudden? Or was he missing or dear when Rafa himself said that this loss reminds him how precious his victories are and that you have to accept when you lose the same as when you win.

What about Federer? Why didn’t I hear an outcry about his very public emotional meltdown after he lost to Rafa at the Australian Open? And who was the one who embraced him – none other than Rafa! This fine young man generously shared the spotlight and the moment that rightfully belonged to him. He didn’t want to see Roger break down so publicly. He was the one who put the loss in proper perspective. He was right, as we have seen how Roger was able to have one of his greatest wins at the French Open.

Why this outrageous attack on someone like Rafa, who has shown nothing but respect for his fellow tennis players, managed to be gracious in both defeat and victory and even had the class to say that he hoped Roger would win the French Open after he suffered his huge loss? Does anyone here honestly think Roger would ever have been as generous? Not likely. I do not understand this cheap attack on a true sportsman like Rafa. He doesn’t need to make up injuries. Everyone knows he has had bouts with tendinitis that have kept him from playing before. As far as why he played so many matches, maybe Rafa thought it was something that he could manage to play through. Maybe he didn’t realize how serious it was, maybe the severe pain finally became unbearable. Why not give him the benefit of the doubt and accept what he says? He certainly deserves it. Give him a break for heaven’s sake! The minute Rafa shows vulnerability, guys like this have to start trashing him. It’s a disgrace! Rafa is big enough to accept what happened at the French Open. The man is tough enough to deal with it. But to make the case that he is faking this injury is really just completely unacceptable. For a young man who has given us all so much excitment, who has brought the magic back to tennis, just cut him some slack. But then, this guy has a bias in favor of Federer. He said it right at the beginning, when he said that the GOAT debate was settled after Paris. If he thinks that Rafa is through, he is in for a big surprise.


skeezerweezer Says:

Mindy,

I for one don’t think he is “faking his injuries”. It has well been documented the past few years and about tendinitis in his knees. The only thing we don’t know is how much he is overusing them. If you have ever been to a Dr. they are going to recommend rest and Anti inflammatories. Maybe they do more now, I don’t know. I am with you on the belief that he is or was injured. When he claims he was injured and for how long I don’t care. A lot of players play with injuries. It is a part of the game. I take his word that it is severe enough that he needs rest. Most importantly, as a fan, I would be more concerned about this turning chronic, which at the young age of 23 is not good and he has had this for a couple of years. Let’s all hope for the betterment of th game, it is not. I’m out


Mindy Says:

skeezerweezer –

Ah,another voice of reason here. It is true that the solution for tendinitis short-term is complete rest. Unfortunately, that is a problem for Rafa. But Rafa’s word should never, ever be doubted. This is a guy who played back-to-back five set matches to win the Australian Open. That five set marathon with Verdasco was particularly physical and brutal. Rafa had one day’s rest to Roger’s two days and yet somehow he won. I know how he won – he did it on sheer guts, heart and courage. He was hurting in the final match with Roger. He called the trainer to help him with the tightness in his leg, but didn’t even ask for so much as a timeout. This guy has played hurt. He never complains, never makes excuses, so why should he start now?

I am with you in your concern that this may become chronic. That is the very nature of tendinitis. That’s why Rafa and his team are going to have to figure out how to cut back on his schedule going forward. I know that if Rafa can do it, he will play at Wimbledon. How good he will be without much practice, I don’t know. Some think he should skip Wimbledon and rest his knees for the U.S. Open. I have to believe that he will do what is best for his body.

I am still furious over the ignorant, despicable comments here. Rafa is a decent, kind, humble young man. He plays his heart out all the time. If you want to look at someone who makes excuses or tanks his matches, look at Djokovic. That guy has a history of bailing in matches when he is losing, when it’s hot and conditions are tough, or when he loses his mental toughness. Go question him, not Rafa! Rafa has given heart and soul back to tennis.

Also, as for Randall’s snide remark about Uncle Toni wanting to divert attention from his remarks about the French, well, I think not! Whatever Uncle Toni said wasn’t strong enough for the disgraceful behavior of the French fans towards Rafa. Tennis is supposed to be a gentleman’s sport. Maybe the French didn’t get the memo. When you show blatant and callous disrespect to someone like Rafa, then you deserve to be called out for it. The French are intolerant, chauvinistic fools and worse. I think Uncle Toni was too restrained in his remarks.

If anyone here thinks that Rafa will not be around to win many more grand slams, they are kidding themselves. One last word for Randall – I do NOT think the GOAT debate is over at all. Rafa just turned 23 and there is no telling how much he can accomplish. He has done more than Roger did at the same age. So do not dare write off this young man! He will prove you wrong every single time.


Momstootie Says:

I believe Nadal. and he’s not the sort to make quick excuses to negate some one else’s win.

Since I am a big Djokovic fan, I am hoping he wins Wimbledon this year. I think, relatively speaking, he a person of character; that is important to me.


Deirdre Says:

I agree wholeheartedly with Mindy. Fortunately, Rafa’s future is not dependent on the speculative ramblings of his detractors. I’m sure most of the living world has never heard of Sean Randall, while the same cannot be said of the truly talented.
If one were to compare the mean-spirited opinions featured in this thread, with the ever-present graciousness of Rafa, it isn’t hard to see why (talent aside) some people are meant to shine and others not.


Mindy Says:

Deirdre –

Thanks for your kind words. I debated coming on here and even bothering to respond at all. It seems as though the vultures circle when someone is injured and they smell blood. So it is with the likes of Sean Randall. It’s easy to throw cheap shots at someone when he’s down. Look at all the responses Randall has received from this one article. So he has gotten some publicity for himself at the expense of a great athlete. Too bad, but that’s just the way it is sometimes.

You only wrote a few sentences, but you said all that needs to be said in defense of Rafa. He is a class act all the way. No matter how he gets trashed by guys like Randall, he will always be the gracious, well-mannered, decent young man his family brought him up to be. Some here could learn a few things about manners from Rafa.


tamen Says:

be that all as it may, nadal is going to prove all his detractors wrong and win Wimbledon this year!!


Fruitcake Says:

Sean … you’re not the only one who is heartily sick of The Nadal Knees Saga. If they were so sore, why wasn’t he wearing the taping underneath the knees during Madrid + FO? Its the same old, same old … if he loses at Wimbledon, it’ll be because his knees were bad, if he wins, he’ll be a hero. If he’s wrecked his knees its because he doesn’t plan his schedule properly – hasn’t taken proper rest periods in years gone by instead of playing unnecessary tournaments. I have little sympathy for him like those who had no sympathy for Federer who had mono and then back problems towards the end of 2008.


lill Says:

Ugghhhhhhhhhhhh would you quit bashing Nadal? I cannot believe that I am even wasting my precious time reading this junk. If you have nothing nice to say about Nadal, then dont say anything at all.
Nadal’s game is very physical as we all know and as a result tendonitis is inevitable. We would all suffer from it if we played 5 hour matches and won every single one of them.Rafa has played fair too many matches but such is his dedication and passion for the sport. He accepted RG defeat with pure grace. He is the nicest, honest, most humble person on tour who deserves nothing but the best. Rafa was born great. he will continue his greatness until the time comes for him to hang up his “vamos” trainers which is not anytime soon. So please quit the bashing. he might not win GSs this year but TRUST me, Rafa will be back, and with a vengeance. Now that is scary. Get well soon Rafa.x


bern Says:

Roger’s fans just dislike Nadal guts because he takes the game to their man and they know their man cracks when the Spanish bull turns on the heat!

How else to explain their man’s amazing collapse in the AO this year?

Granted their man won the FO but he got it on the cheap. Plain and simple.

Soderling played as if he wanted their man to win too.


tamen Says:

amen to that!!! i just wish people would quit thrashing nadal so much, even questioning his integrity. as far as i’m concerned, he’s the most decent human being on the tour..VAMOS, Nadal!!!


Will Nadal Play Wimbledon? - Straight Sets Blog - NYTimes.com Says:

[...] have openly questioned the extent of Nadal’s knee injury after his fourth round loss to Robin Soderling at the French Open, calling it gamesmanship or a [...]


John Smith Says:

I agree the Nadal has been suffering because of his knees but that’s not the reason he lost in the FO. People should stop using that as an excuse. He lost because Soldering outplayed him on that certain day. Granted that Nadal didn’t use his knees as an excuse for losing, but Uncle Toni certainly did. Uncle Toni belongs to the Nadal camp and hence, what comes out of his mouth reflects on the thoughts of Nadal’s camp.

When Nadal demolished Hewitt 2 days before the Soldering match, no one talked about his knees. How did his knees just give in in just bout 2 days?? Nadal claims to be playing in pain for a few months now. He won the Australian open and a bunch of Masters tournaments in the last few months. In doing so, he beat Federer, Murray and Djokovic multiple times. No one talked about his knees then. When Nadal lost to Federer in Madrid, Nadal and uncle Toni talked about how the Madrid surface behaved like a hard court. In 30 years of watching tennis, I’ve never see a player who complained about a clay court being too fast.

Agreed that Nadal doesn’t make too many excuses, but Uncle Toni sure does. Since uncle Toni is his coach and a part of his camp, it does reflect poorly on Nadal. Inury or not, we (fans and writers) cannot uses this as an excuse for him losing 1 ocassional match out of the 20 he plays. If he lost more often, we could use it as an excuse but winning as many matches and tournaments as he does, we can’t use injury as an excuse for the very few he loses.


Mx Says:

Sean Randall has obviously never sufferd from bad knees. I’ve had ailing knees eversince a was a little girl. I am not crippled, I play tennis, but, in my case, if I overdo, I pay for it.


Jonathan Says:

Guess you got it a bit wrong with your skepticism then eh?


Mmmissy Says:

I’m absolutely gutted Nadal is out of Wimbledon. Gutted for myself, his fans, the tournament but mainly for the man himself – not being able to defend his first Wimbledon title. All those who questioned Nadal’s integrity – what do you have to say now?


Nadal Says No Mas, Withdraws From Wimbledon Says:

[...] course a week or so ago I speculated that his knees were in fact not as bad as we were told, but I’ll again eat egg for this one, they [...]


Peter Says:

Don’t know who you are (followed a New Yorks Time link) but I am so annoyed that this asinine blog post got a reference in the New York Times.

Before, it was widely acknowledged that opinions were like a-holes: everybody has one.

Now all the a-holes also have a soapbox to stand on in this hideous age of Twitter/MySpace/Facebook news reporting.

What do you have to support your “Magic Bullet”-esque theory that Nadal’s knee problems are bunk? – other than “I’ll say that I’m already over Nadal’s and his knee tendinitis” Of course YOU’RE over it – you just some punk hater that didn’t have to live with the tendinitis.

You cite Nadal’s entry into a slew of other non-major tournaments as evidence when any other rational being would construe it as evidence that Nadal’s A SOLDIER.

How the heck did this random dude’s unjustified hate missles get cited in the New York Times????


SpanishArmada-fan Says:

Federer stole Nadal’s most triumphant moment at the Australian Open this year in the most cowardly way – by crying like a baby when he lost. Completely unacceptable in my book – No-one predicted that Rafa would ever win a hard court major – and yet he did it- but was too much of a gentleman to celebrate with unrestrained joy because of Federer’s selfish reaction.

The loss to Federer at Wimbledon 2007 was just as hard for Nadal to endure but at least he kept his tears under wraps until he was alone.

Shame on Federer – for that low trick.


Jalmus Says:

the best explanation i’ve heard is that nadal probably received a cortisone in australia, thus explaining his fast recovery between semi & final. though not illegal and a bad idea, the cortisone masks the pain, but does not prevent damage. it wears off in 4-6 months. the choices are to keep getting the shots or wait for the pain to subside and retrain the muscles. clearly the long-term risks of cortisone make them not worthwhile. soderling played a great match in paris, but let’s be real about what actually happened.


KissMyGrits Says:

You are a jerk to write this article. I hope you get extremely painful tendonitis in both your knees and elbows too. And just when you can’t take it anymore I hope you get inflamation of the d@#$ as well. THEN maybe you will have compassion for the chronic conditions of others.


Jack Says:

I think you are just a hater, Rafa is a warrior, if not he wouldn’t got all this at his young age. I still like Fed though, but it’s not interesting to watch him playing without Rafa.


max619 Says:

Add to Nadal´s knee problems the report that his parents got a divorce: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/tennis/article6558058.ece
No doubt that the world of tennis only loses without him on the courts.


WADEL Says:

Nadal was the best tennis player during the last four years, he dominated clearly almost all the tournaments he played…..Hey Nadal’s haters, he will be back very soon, so enjoy those moments.


Veno Says:

Hi all,

Everyone can speculate all they want, it’s irrelevant. Let’s just hope Rafa is all better soon! Tennis is worse without him and tennis fans miss him. I have never thought of Nadal or his camp as being manipulative in press releases or that they lie on purpose or with a presumed goal. I can’t know for 100% but something tells me that Nadal’s personality and warrior’s mentality wouldn’t be in line with manipulative tactics because he suffered a painful defeat at the FO. For him NOT to be able to defend the Wimbledon title must have been a very, very disappointing decision to make, as it was for tennis-enthusiasts like me, but he has to look at the long-term gains of resting now vs the short-term gains from not giving his knees the necessary rest. I think he made the correct decision.
As for Federer and last years mono(or glandular fever), although he mentioned it regularly because the media asked him over and over again, because they found out and he was losing matches he didn’t lose before, I followed all the tournaments he played as well as his press conferences and interviews….he NEVER blamed any of his losses to the mono. He only stated, and this is medicaly a fact, that the mono had made him feel weaker, less energetic and he had to really balance between training and resting to get back to his physical form, which was between the Olympic Gmaes and the US Open. Because he loves the sport he kept playing cause he was the number 1. Although not life-endangering to practice pro-level sports coming off mono, any doctor would have advised him to rest for at least 6 weeks and wait to resume intensive training for at least another 8 weeks. It can take up to 18 months to fully recover from momo, probably less for him, being a well trained-athlete, but still.


Srki Says:

Why? Maybe Federer was about to get nervous break down, cause he cant beat Nadal, and decided to pay him some serious cash so he can finally get French and maybe Wimbledon and break the record. :-)


Rafael Nadal Says He’s OK to Go Says:

[...] announcement puts to rest what really has turned into circus which began after the French with his revelation that his knees had been troubling him all spring. Then we endured the doctor’s report followed by [...]

Top story: Andy Murray Reportedly Engaged To Girlfriend Kim Sears, Makes Coaching Changes
  • Recent Comments
Rankings
ATP - Nov 24 WTA - Nov 24
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Kei Nishikori5 Ana Ivanovic
6 Andy Murray6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Tomas Berdych7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Milos Raonic8 Caroline Wozniacki
9 Marin Cilic9 Angelique Kerber
10 David Ferrer10 Dominika Cibulkova
More: Tennis T-Shirts | Tennis Shop | Live Tennis Scores | Headlines

Copyright © 2003-2014 Tennis-X.com. All rights reserved.
This website is an independently operated source of news and information and is not affiliated with any professional organizations.