More Knee Troubles for Nadal, Murray Advances into Australian Open Semifinals
by Sean Randall | January 26th, 2010, 7:08 am
  • 149 Comments

Credit to Andy Murray, the guy was playing solid tennis for much of the 2-hour, 30-minute showdown against Rafael Nadal. But the story here is again the knee problems of Nadal who retired in the match down 6-3, 7-6, 3-0, Monday night at the Australian Open quarterfinals.

The match actually lived up to hype early on as both Top 5 players slugged it out in the cool conditions of Rod Laver Arena. The duo traded breaks early but Murray pulled out the go ahead break in the first set.

The second was more of the same. Long points, lots of slugging and again, the two traded breaks – one coming immediately for Rafa following a 10-minute break for a fireworks display at 3-2. But Murray broke back, got to 6-6 and then dominated the breaker.

In the third set, Nadal kept plugging but early on he seemed to aggravate his right knee. Mid-service game Rafa received treatment and continued. But just minutes later after Murray broke then held for 3-0, Rafa had had enough.

Hopefully for Nadal this isn’t serious, but we all know this isn’t a positive sign even if it’s a minor problem. The big picture is that his knees are just not healing. And that’s not good for Nadal and not good for tennis. We are at the start of the season, not in mid-season when we usually hear concerns over Nadal’s knees.

For Murray, he had a great game plan and stuck to it. He pounded his serve, pounded groundstrokes and really attacked Nadal right from the start. I though Nadal was playing pretty well, also. But Murray was too good. The result is he’s now in his first Australian Open semifinal. I now fully expect him to get his revenge on Cilic for that straight-set US Open defeat from last September and in the final he’s going to be a beast to take out.

Overall, an interesting day and somewhat disappointing day of tennis with Cilic beating an injured Roddick in five sets. Roddick was fighting a nerve problem in his neck/arm/shoulder but it seems to be minor, according to him. And unfortunately for the wrong reasons, the late match between Murray and Nadal will likely have ramifications on the rest of the tennis season: When will we see Rafa again, and how healthy will he be?

Let’s hope tomorrow’s we get some brighter outcomes, especially for those of us who stay up late! Nap time!


Also Check Out:
Rafael Nadal: If My Left Knee Doesn’t Improve It Will Be Impossible To Beat Murray
Rafael Nadal Withdraws From Paris, London ATP Finals
Li Na Withdraws From Summer Events Including US Open Due To Knee
Surprise! Rafael Nadal Says Knee Is “Doing Well”
Djokovic Advances In Dubai, Federer Returns Wednesday; Murray Wins, Isner Falls In Mexico

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149 Comments for More Knee Troubles for Nadal, Murray Advances into Australian Open Semifinals

ckr Says:

That was unfortunate way to end the match. First two sets were really of very high quality tennis. I think Nadal will loose his #2 ranking and might skid to #4 based on Murray’s final result.


Kimo Says:

I didn’t watch the match, but this issue with Rafa’s knees sounds bad. Real bad. Like Sean said, the season just started, and it’s not like Rafa had a particularly tough road to the quarters. Add to that that he RETIRED!!! Obviously the pain was so exrutiating that he couldn’t go on, and this is a guy who I once saw complete a match against Ferrero even though his feet were bleeding.

I said it last year and I’ll say it again: Once your knees get so bad that they start accumulating fluid, the problem has already become chronic. I also said that I don’t see Rafa winning another major outside of Paris, if that.

God knows I love the guy, but he’s already in the twilight of his career at age 23. It happened to Borg, sad to see it happen to him too.


rafa Says:

Well done Sean. You jinxed both Roddick and Rafa with your picks.


Skorocel Says:

Kimo: “Obviously the pain was so exrutiating that he couldn’t go on, and this is a guy who I once saw complete a match against Ferrero even though his feet were bleeding.”

Obviously, the pain wasn’t so excrutiating if he could last 2 and 1/2 sets without even a slightest sign of some problem…


Daniel Says:

Congrats to Murray for a brilliant display of tennis, both defense and offense!

For Nadal, too bad, his body is not holding up and now he dropped to n°3, possibly n°4 if Murray reaches the final.

Ranking points breakdown as of today:
- Fed: 10550 – 1200 + 360 = 9710 pts
- Djoko: 8310 – 360 + 360 = 8310 pts
- Nadal: 9310 – 2000 + 360 = 7670 pts
- Murray: 6780 – 180 + 720 = 7320 pts

Scenario 1 – Djoko win the tourney and Fed loses to Davy.
- Djoko n°1: 9950 pts
- Fed n°2: 9710 pts
(if Murray reaches final, he will be n°3 and Nadal n°4

Scenario 2 – Djoko loses to Tsonga and Murray wins the tilte:
- Fed n°1: 9710 pts (even losing to Davy, can gain more if reach semis or finals)
- Murray n°2: 8600 pts
- Djoko n°3: 8310 pts
- Nadal n°4: 7670 pts

Scenario n°3 – Djoko reaches semis, Fed loses to Murray in the final

- Fed n°1: 10550 pts
- Djoko n°2: 8670 pts
- Murray n°3: 8600 pts
- Nadal n°4: 7670 pts

This means that for Djoko to finally be n° 2 come next monday he only need one more win against Tsonga, this way he won’t depend on Murray’s result. He can still be n°2 if he loses and Murray loses to Cilic.

Fed also needs only one win to secure n°1 next Monday.

This is Djoko’s 4th attempt to reach n°2, I hope he deliver this time.


David Says:

Really classy comments from Murray.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/tennis/article7002967.ece

Now that Rafa’s out, I know who I’m pulling for to win the tournament.


Skorocel Says:

correction: “excrutiating” s/b “excruciating”


huh Says:

Well, I don’t want to look at anything except Murray’s win. The way Murray played today, he’s THE ONLY DESERVING WINNER. This incident looks similar to Henin’s 2006 match vs Mauresmo. I don’t wanna say anything here right now about Nadal. But Murray proved today that to win, he doesn’t need Rafa’s errors, he can win the match through his own talent and tactics. He proved to one and to all, he can dictate against Rafa, not that I or his fans needed him to prove anything to us. I always trust Murray as a great great player. Yes, yes and yes!!! ALLEZ MURRAY!

Thou I wanted Fed to win this tournament at the beginning and I still do, it won’t hurt me in the least bit if Murray wins it (even if that means he needs to beat Fed). Hope Muzza beats Cilc in the semi and reaches the final.One match at a time for Murray.


Cindy_Brady Says:

rafa Says:

Well done Sean. You jinxed both Roddick and Rafa with your picks.

Don’t blame Sean for being a smart cookie and calling it the way it is.

I’m not one to put doom and gloom on a player, but Kimo is right – Nadal’s career is hanging by a thread. There is only so much medically that can be done to knees once they go bad, similarly to a chronic bad back problem.

And Sean is correct. Tennis will be much weaker without Rafael Nadal in it and his unique style of tennis. I’m very saddened by this.


huh Says:

“”Skorocel Says:
Kimo: “Obviously the pain was so exrutiating that he couldn’t go on, and this is a guy who I once saw complete a match against Ferrero even though his feet were bleeding.”

Obviously, the pain wasn’t so excrutiating if he could last 2 and 1/2 sets without even a slightest sign of some problem…”"

Completely agree!


huh Says:

FINALLY CONGRATZ MURRAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


David Says:

Totally agree Cindy:

I’m very saddened as well. Is there any precedent for a player overcoming serious knee problems and winning a Slam? Unfortunately, if it happened it was probably someone with a big serve on grass.


huh Says:

Roddick too was in severe pain today, but he did not retire unlike Nadal, hecame only after his opponent defeated him. Credit must be given to RSay what you want to, but I couldn’t resist reminding it.


huh Says:

Roddick too was in severe pain today, but he did not retire unlike Nadal. Rod came only after his opponent defeated him. Credit must be given to Rod for taking his losses like a man, however crushing it might be, unlike other guys. Say what you want to, but I couldn’t resist reminding it.

Sean,

Not only Rafa was suffering, Roddick too was. But their opponenets still did the job and credit to them for that. I doubt Rafa woulda retired if he had won one or two sets instead of Murray here. Anyway, that’s my opinion.


Ben Pronin Says:

Curse of the Australian Open Champion:

Retiring while losing in the quarterfinals.

I hope this trend doesn’t continue.


huh Says:

It’s so sad! Murray plays so well only for various articles to come out stating that he benefitted from Nadal’s condition. I thought Murray’d be given some credit at least instead of everything going back to the Rafa injury thing. No sign if it during the first two sets, no sign during prior matches when he was making unbelievable gets against some of Ivo’s shots and also one against the spirited Kohlschreiber. Rafa himself told that the knee problem is gone (and it clearly appeared so to most as well), not once or twice, but so many times here! But suddenly the injury resurfaces today? Some questions will be raised indeed and justifiably so.


David Says:

huh

I’m not saying you’re wrong because only Rafa knows for sure how he was feeling out there. It’s just that Rafa has come from behind so many times and showed so much guts on the court over the years that I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt. It’s not like it’s the first time he’s been soundly beaten in a big Slam match, yet he didn’t retire against Tsonga at 08 AO or Delpo at last year’s USO, for example.


huh Says:

typo correction to my 8.45 am post, ‘if it’ should be read as ‘of it’ during the 1st 2 sets.


huh Says:

David:

Rafa has hardly, if ever bounced back after losing the first two sets to a quality top-5 player. Coming back against Youzhny/Kendrick’s one thing. But it’s nearly impossible to do that against any player who’s as nearly talented as you. And there’s a chance of coming back in a 5-setter if you’re, like Fed came back after going down 1-2 in the first three sets vs DP at FO 09(aided by drop in DP’s level and some choking too), but losing the first two sets in a stretch nearly finishes you, it’s almost impossible to back. I’m saying this in context of today’s match. Hope I’m clear to you here.


huh Says:

Hell, if Rod had won the 1st two sets in Wim 09 final, then I believe Pete’s GS record would have remained safe upto now!


huh Says:

“Murray showed pure class, i believe Nadal has a problem with his knee however i believe when he has a bad day he puts the blame on his knee!”


huh Says:

“Murray showed pure class, i believe Nadal has a problem with his knee however i believe when he has a bad day he puts the blame on his knee!”

Unfortunately there seems to be at least a grain of truth in this comment made by someone on a site. I agree.


huh Says:

David:

I partly agree with you re: Rafa’s match vs DP in US09 however.


huh Says:

I know Rafa’s by no means a bad guy, but still I don’t like when everyone and his/her family brings up the knee issue each time he loses.


Twocents Says:

Good points, huh.

Feel sorry for paying fans. Go Roddick!


huh Says:

Everyone and his/her family (as I’ve stated in my previous post) means the ‘publc & media that is, I’m not meaning it to be Rafa or his near and dear ones.


topspin Says:

huh, you’re an idiot.


huh Says:

“topspin Says:
huh, you’re an idiot.”

Np, you’re a moron who once called Federer a lucky bast@#$. May be you’re one instead.


huh Says:

“topspin Says:
huh, you’re an idiot.”

No, you’re a moron who once called Federer a lucky bast@#$. May be you’re one instead.


Twocents Says:

Fed likes to follow his little Rafa out :-)).

What a refreshing slam this is: Murray Djork or Murray Davy final!


Cindy_Brady Says:

I can’t believe what some are saying on here. Rafael Nadal using his knee problems as an excuse for losing.

These people, obviously have never experienced severe knee problems. Very ignorant posting.

Also, it’s OK for Roddick to cry injury but not Nadal because Roddick finished the match and didn’t retire. The dynamics of the injuries and situations are completely different.

Roddick was still able to move and play, even in a limited capacity. To be honest, I thought he was “rope a doping” Cilic a bit.

Nadal, on the other hand, couldn’t move. Without that, he had no hope of playing well, let alone winning. All he would have gained by continuing was further wrecking his knees and completely destroying any chances he had of playing further into the 2010 season.


MMT Says:

A lot of doom and gloom here over Nadal. From his press conference, it appears that Nadal retired as a precaution to avoid a long recovery period.

“I felt pain still there without no one minimum chance to do nothing, the same time is hard for me be five more games there without try nothing, no? So I don’t know if I still playing can go worst or something. So I said, well, no repeat the same mistake like I had last year. I go to the limit, but not cross the limit, no?”

It doesn’t seem to be that severe, although taken in the context of last year, doesn’t portend well.


Twocents Says:

Nothing against Cilic, though he beat my fellow Texan. Cilic does have the game to trouble Murray in SF. I give the edge to Murray only cuz he’s got more experiences.

Smoking young guns.


Rick Says:

I TOLD YA SO! MURRAY BEAT NADAL! SAD TO SAY THIS! ANYONE IN THE TOP 10 COULD BEAT HIM! IF FED BEATS HIM THIS YEAR! IT JUST MEANS THAT NADAL IS NOT WHO HE USED TO BE. AND CILIC DESTORYED RODDICK!


Twocents Says:

huh,

Thanks for giving Roddick credit when credits are due. Andy let Cilic play match point.

Only players themselves knew how they feel. We fans just saw the outcome: past and now.


Rick Says:

Nadal and Federer final would always be a boring final for tournaments. But Federer fans are dying for it. Because they just want Federer to avenge his humiliations by Nadal in those finals that Fed get defeated.


Ben Pronin Says:

So is Nadal saying a grand slam quarterfinal is the limit of his knees? For the love of tennis I pray not!


Cindy_Brady Says:

Ben Pronin Says:

So is Nadal saying a grand slam quarterfinal is the limit of his knees? For the love of tennis I pray not!

On hard courts, maybe. A different story on the more forgiving surfaces of clay and grass. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Nadal pull out of the two hard court master series events and save his knee for the upcoming clay court season and Wimbledon.


Twocents Says:

Rick,

Here’s one Fed fan that never fancies any Fed-Nad final. If Fed loses, which was more often than not :-)), it sucks. If Fed wins, Nadal is tired and/or injured.

And you’re right: it’s boring as hell — endless topspin FHs to puny arm BHs.


jane Says:

Oh that’s a shame! I’ve taped the match so will watch it later. But I am disappointed to hear Nadal’s knees have flared up.

However, HOORAY for Murray! (Yay margot wherever you are) I am happy for him to be the semis. Can he get revenge on Cilic for the USO? I think so too Sean.

David says “It’s just that Rafa has come from behind so many times and showed so much guts on the court over the years that I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt. ”

Most definitely I agree. Rafa is no softie. But he’s doing the right thing by being precautionary for once rather than toughing it out and risking further injury.

Cindy says “wouldn’t be surprised to see Nadal pull out of the two hard court master series events and save his knee for the upcoming clay court season and Wimbledon.”

I can see this happening too. And it wouldn’t be a bad thing. He’d slide down the rankings, but he’s got lots so gain in Europe on more forgiving surfaces.

Daniel says “This is Djoko’s 4th attempt to reach n°2, I hope he deliver this time.”

Me too. I have always forgiven him for the 2 attempts versus Nadal, since they were great matches, and Novak tried so hard, even on clay. But the loss to Nieminem (sp?) was disappointing. Mind you, beating Tsonga here won’t be an easy task at all, but I am keeping my fingers crossed anyhow. Go Nole!


Kimo Says:

I can’t believe what some of you are posting!!!!

Rafa using excuses to eascape defeats? Who the hell are you talking about? How many matches has Rafa retired from since he turned pro? I can only remember one, against Monaco in either Toronto or Cincinnati in 2007. That’s it. Against Ferrero in Rome 2008 he was bleeding, his claycourt streak was on the line, yet he finished the matches even though he knew he would lose. In Hamburg 2007, he was fed a bagel by Fed in the final set, and it was clear that he was exhausted and he was defending an 81 match winning streak on clay, but he didn’t retire. He finished the match. This guy was until May of last year the strongest guy mentally on court. He deserves from us the benefit of the doubt.

Knee problems are a bitch. Some of you compare Rafa’s injury to Roddick’s, and that’s just absurd. While I’m sure that Roddick’s injury has hurt his chances today, a shoulder injury forces you to change your swing and makes your options limited. A knee injury is not something you can mess with. Your entire weight rests on your knee, and in a game of sudden sprints and sudden breaks like tennis, knees take a pretty good beating. So if you can’t run, what can you do? Nothing. You can’t play through a knee injury.

So, Rafa did the smart thing today by retiring, but it’s obvious that this can be a career-ending injury, and that’s just sad. It’s clear his body can no longer stand playing on hard courts.

I made the comparison to Borg earlier and I think that is very accurate here. Borg was done by the time he was 25, was the best clay court player of his generation and arguably of all time, and hard courts were his Achilles heel. Another analogy that many of you might relate to even more is Hewitt. Here was a guy who became no.1 just based on his tenacity and his grinding abilities, then he got a hip injury, had surgery, and was never the same again.

Future is not looking too bright for Rafa, but I think at this moment he deserves our support and our respect. He’s earned that much.


Gannu Says:

Kimo… very good points abt nadal and borg..

Not to be an opportunist here but all these things just simply highlight the achievements of Fedex and his streaks/records… Thats why Agassi kept on telling that what fedex has done to separate himself from the game is unimaginable…

He is truly the GOAT (sorry to bring this topic here again) and its just unbelievable that 1 28year OLD man is still at the helm of affairs.. Just stunning


Skorocel Says:

Cindy_Brady: “Nadal, on the other hand, couldn’t move.”

Couldn’t move? Come on! Isn’t it strange that, in his previous 4 matches, he was moving just about fine, and then when he’s trailing Murray 2 sets to love and 0-3 in the 3rd, he “suddenly” packs in? Roddick, even though losing to Cilic, at least showed some respect for his opponent by FINISHING that match, whereas Nadal and his big ego simply refused to admit that Murray was the better man today…


Ben Pronin Says:

Skorocel aren’t you a Nadal fan?

When has Nadal ever retired just because he was losing? It’s not a matter of he couldn’t move, he said it himself that he’s played through this kind of pain a lot. The difference is that he didn’t want to hurt himself even more so he retired before completely taking out his knees. I like how he said he couldn’t play 5 more games without trying. So it’s either play, try hard, kill his knees, or retire without ending his career in the 2010 AO quarterfinal.


Kimo Says:

Skorocel, haven’t you ever in your life felt sudden pain? Not all pain is gradual. Hell, with Rafa’s great sportsmanship, I’d even assume that he was hurting but not showing for the first two sets.


Skorocel Says:

Kimo: “In Hamburg 2007, he was fed a bagel by Fed in the final set, and it was clear that he was exhausted and he was defending an 81 match winning streak on clay, but he didn’t retire. He finished the match.”

LOL :-) Have you ever seen a high profile tennis player to retire due to physical exhaustion accumulated from his/her previous matches?!


Kimo Says:

Ben Pronin said:

“Skorocel aren’t you a Nadal fan?”

I thought so too!!!


Kimo Says:

Skorocel said:

“Have you ever seen a high profile tennis player to retire due to physical exhaustion accumulated from his/her previous matches?!”

Yes, Djoko, numerous times, but maybe you don’t think no.3 in the world is “high profile”.


Ben Pronin Says:

Djokovic retired in the 07 Wimbledon semi after playing too much the previous matches. Sure there was a “blister” but how often do players retire because of blisters?


jane Says:

Skorocel is a Fed fan guys; he has long been one. However, he’s one who has been objective enough to give Rafa credit for the most part – either that or Rafa’s H2H over Fed really bugs him ; -) Just kidding Skorocel.


Ben Pronin Says:

I almost forgot to, is Murray EVER gonna get a legitimate win over Nadal without Nadal having some injury or fatigue or whatever else?

So far the only one was the Abu Dhabi exo.


Kimo Says:

Ben, Djoko retired in last year’s AO due to heat exhaustion too, which reminds me, has it ever happened that the defending champion retired in consecutive years in a slam (Djoko AO 2009, Rafa AO 2010)


Twocents Says:

Well put, Skorocel.

I have no doubt that Rafa had issues in the third set. But I do not believe that he could not hang on for three more games.

Is Rafa smart to call it a day? Yes.

Am I going to acclaim his decision? No. That would be so unfair to Roddick and others who’s more old fashioned.


jane Says:

Ben apparently Djoko’s foot was infected and it was clear he couldn’t even move in the match vs. Rafa – disappointing but.


Kimo Says:

jane, I’m a Fed fan. I’m the biggest Fed fan, but calling Rafa a wuss just because of one match and forgetting about everything he has done so far in tennis is just WRONG. Just because he has a winning H2H over my Fed doesn’t mean I should beat up on him when he’s down. He’s a future hall of famer an already one of the greatest players of all time.


Ben Pronin Says:

I’m just saying there are plenty of cases where players retire for questionable reasons. Considering Nadal’s past, to me this isn’t questionable at all. Highly disappointing for everyone and the future is looking bleak once again for Nadal. But to say Nadal was wrong or that he retired just because he was losing doesn’t even remotely register with me.

Kimo, I’m telling you it’s a curse.


Kimo Says:

Can anyone explain to me why Djoko retired in the 2008 semifinal of Monte Carlo against Fed at 3-2 in the 2nd set? Coz I have no clue. That was imho the most ridiculous retirement ever.

But Rafa? The guy has given the words “resolve”, “griding”,”digging deep” new heights.


Ben Pronin Says:

His asthma kicked in.


Duro Says:

As I was keep saying the whole last year: Alleeez allez allez alleeez, No2-leeee, No1-leee!

Novak Djokovic, the official number 2 in the world! Congratulations! One more step to go!!!

Greetings and love from Duro! Way to go, champ!


Kimo Says:

Ben Pronin:

“His asthma kicked in.”

RRRRIIIIIIGGGGHHHHHTTTTT :D


MMT Says:

Interesting thing about Borg – he didn’t retire due to injuries – he just got tired of the tunnel focus of tennis. I’m sure if he hadn’t lost his #1 ranking and had solved the McEnroe puzzle, he would have stuck around, but the payoff for all the work and sacrifices disappeared when he couldn’t.

So what would be the last straw for the likes of Federer, Nadal, Hewitt and Roddick?


Ben Pronin Says:

Technically he’s not number 2 yet. If he loses tonight and Murray wins the whole thing, then he’ll still be number 3. Any other scenario from now till the end, he’ll rank up a spot or 2.


Skorocel Says:

Ben Pronin: Sure, those next 3-4 games would’ve certainly killed Nadal’s knees, right? ;-) Come on Ben, you can’t be serious! You know, Sean once mentioned this thing about Nadal’s losses usually (or always) being attributed to some kind of injury, and that’s what indeed bugs me. You know, “he lost to Soderling at FO because his knees were so bad that he had to take 2 months off after this loss”, “he lost to JMDP in the USO semi because he played with a pulled ab muscle” (this, btw, after literally squeezing the sh.t out of Monfils in the 4th round & whacking Gonzo in the quarters), and so on… You know, usually, I don’t take Sean’s articles that seriously, but this time he was 100 % right!


Ben Pronin Says:

Can there really be a last straw for Federer? I mean this guy has lost in all 4 slam finals at least once, the non-clay ones in 5 tough sets, 3 straight times on clay. He’s blown big leads in big matches and small matches. He even screwed up in Davis Cup at least once. What else could go wrong? I think Federer will retire the day where he cannot even create a small opportunity to take at least one title.

Hewitt is in denial. He’s too stubborn to admit he’s way past his prime and telling him will only make him more stubborn. He’ll retire because his body will eventually give out and he won’t be willing to put in all the time.

Nadal is on Hewitt’s path. Not the denial thing or past his prime thing but his body will give out and one day the doctors are going to tell him it’s tennis or a normally-functioning body.

I hate to sound like a broken record but I think Roddick will also be forced to retire because his body won’t hold up to it. Kind of like an Agassi-retirment where he can still play some great tennis but the grind is just too much to deal with.


Cindy_Brady Says:

I’ve torched/criticized Nadal in some of my previous posts, but a quitter he is not. He must have been hurting very badly to let this title go. He didn’t quit against Soderling at the FO when clearly his knees were buckling then.

Who is to say his knees were not bothering him in previous rounds here, either? Nadal seems to be very good at hiding pain. He also did not look right to me this whole tournament. One of the main reasons I didn’t pick him.

I hope he does rest his knees and come back strong for the clay court season. It just wouldn’t be the same without him. Would love to see him capture another FO crown.


Kimo Says:

Ok Skorocel, if you’re so right, why didn’t he retire against Delpo in the US Open semi? That was a much more humiliating loss. At least he took it to a tie-breaker in the 2nd set against Murray.


MMT Says:

Djokovic said he retired in Monte Carlo (2008) because he felt dizziness in the match, after having a sore throat for 3 days.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKL2664586820080426

This year, he intimated that his retirement to Roddick last year had a big mental component:

“Q. Mentally do you feel better prepared than you did, say, during the Grand Slams last year?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: During the Australian Open last year, I had a lot of, well, mental barriers I can say, because I was ‑‑ I positioned myself. First time I had the role of defending champion on a Grand Slam. So it was really difficult to cope with the pressure and expectations that I had. It was a different feel. You know, a feel that I never experienced before.

And I changed the racquet and I was struggling to find an exact racquet that I’m comfortable with. There was a lot of stories, should I change it? Should I have changed it or not? Obviously it all had an impact on my results.

But this year I feel that I can do better on Grand Slams.”

I think somewhere along the lines someone has whispered in his ear that because he’s young and his future is bright, he shouldn’t risk tomorrow for today – I’m just concerned that players with this attitude will wake up one day and discover that, in fact, they have fewer tomorrows than yesterdays and will wonder if REALLY gave it everything.

I’m not convinced Nadal is in that category, but I think Djokovic is and so was del Potro. But I sincerely hope they’ll come around.


osazone4real Says:

I am a massive rafa fan, but however I dont like this trend he has developed with murray always pulling out, granted he agreed that he commended murrays game, he should have finished the match without complaining and then take time off tennis for his injury to heal(which was what he should have done years ago when he kept playing tournaments he has won thrice)

It breaks my heart to say this he could have avoided this but I think we are on the twilight of his career, my only wish will be for him is to win US open so he has a career grand slam and for dreaming sakes throw in 2 RG and 1 SW 19 so he has 10GS guess I can dream


Duro Says:

MMT, don’t talk bull! Fewer tomorrows than yesterdays… He’s 22 for God’s sake and number 2 in the world! Wake up! These problems are behind him. The real thing is just coming! Novak Djokovic, number 1 in the world in the end of 2010! Amen!


Ben Pronin Says:

Duro, Nadal is number 2 in the world.


Vincent Says:

The match today between Murray and Nadal filled me with a deep happiness. I’ve waited a long time to see this moment, and I can say it was worth the wait, it was worth seeing this filthy brute win the AO last year in the most suspect way ; because now his knees are shot, his confidence is broken, and his humiliation is total. I dearly hope Nadal will play even more and definitely ruin his body ; I hope he will feel the pain every single remaining day of his life, because he has brought all of this onto himself. It’s entirely his fault. He chose to play like this, and his body is now cashing the cheques. This moment today, as well as seeing him being unceremoniously dumped from the FO last year, has paid back all the humiliations of those matches where he defeated Federer despite playing his ugly, disgusting game. Now everything is a bonus. Here’s to more crushing losses for Nadal in 2010.


Twocents Says:

osazone4real,

Give your man some more time. Tomorrow is another day.

MMT,

Djork has come a long way from MC08. JMDP remains to be seen.


Duro Says:

Ben Pronin, Nadal is not number 2 in the world! Not a thing in the world can change it.


O-Kerr Says:

Time to celebrate Murray. YAY !
Congratulations to Murray and his faithfuls.
About time to erase the slamless stigma.
Djokovic may finally get his No. 2 tomorrow, officially on Monday. If he misses this one, he’s unfortunate, will have to wait for a little longer.
——————-
Series of corrections:
“Andy looked good and there are so many positives to take away from the match; if he can play as he did in sets 3 & 4 more often, he’ll NOT win another major.”
“Cilic and JMDP are NOT right behind Djokovic and Murray. Cilic is 7-8 places behind, and JMDP is right behind, only in ranking. JMDP is ahead with US Open title, at least UNTIL Saturday.”
“If it’s Fed or Davy across the net, this time I am NOT picking Murray to win it, but he’ll have a better shot if it is Djokovic in the final.”
“Cilic plays better than Murray on clay.”
“Roddick put a fight until the end, unlike Nadal, but the outcome is the same, LOST.”
Retired, withdrawn, tanked, quit, suspended, choked, melted, sabbatical, fought but did not win = objectively zero points = Lost (with details or without)


Daniel Says:

Ben is right, Nadal is n°2, for 5 more days. Monday February 1st he will be n°3 or most likelly (Murray reachinh final) n°4, and nothing can change that.


Ben Pronin Says:

For the first time since the 2005 AO, Nadal will be slamless.


scineram Says:

No. Since 2005 Roland Garros.


O-Kerr Says:

Congratulations to Cilic for breaking into the Top 10.
Verdasco exits the Top 10. Tsonga retains his rank, regardless of his result tonight.


Duro Says:

Ha ha ha, I can’t believe you, people! Are you serious, devastatingdjokovic and Daniel? Does that really matter, or the fact that… blah blah blah? Do I really have to explain it? Of course, not. I know you are clever enough to deffer essence from a form.


Ben Pronin Says:

Duro, if Djokovic loses tonight and Murray wins the whole thing, Djokovic will still be number 3. Therefore, he’s not the official number 2 until he wins tonight. Then we can celebrate.


Gordo Says:

There is a lot of nastiness being bandied about regarding the Murray-Nadal match and I am not sure how many of you saw it.

As has been pointed out countless times, since May, Nadal is 1 for 11 in winning matches against top 10 players. In the earlier rounds of this tournament he looked good, as he did in the first 2 sets last night, but he was no longer trying to run down absolutely everything.

In this sport if you only play when you are 100% then a lot would not be playing.

I believe Nadal’s knee problems may cause him to never play as well as he did 2 years ago. That being written, he can still be a formidable force on the men’s circuit.

Where people are getting confused is you have to realize that Nadal’s injured knee forcing him to retire from yesterday’s match is a fact. It should not be used, however, as an excuse to discredit Murray, who played a fantastic match.

I agree that for Rafa to have retired it meant he was concerned about long-term damage continued play might have caused. A natural fighter, he would not have pulled out just because he felt he could not win.

I have always marvelled at Nadal and thought he was – and is – a gift to the game of tennis. I hope he can return to 100% but I fear it may not be possible.

The man has all the tools, and some that other players on the circuit can only dream about. It’s sad that he no longer does not have the toolbox.


JCZ Says:

Ben,
Nadal will drop 1,640 points from his rankings, while Djokovic can only improve. So even if Djokovic loses tonight, come Monday these would be their points:

Rafa: 7,670
Djokovic: 8,310 (potentially more if he wins more matches).

So Rafa will not be No. 2 come Monday.

The rest of the rankings depend on How well Murray, Djok, and Federer fare in the next few days.


Duro Says:

My dear devastatingdjokovic, Nole won’t lose tonight, and even if he does, which he’s not, Murray will have to win the whole thing, which he won’t, which will not alter the fact that nothing on earth can save Nadal from dropping his number 2 spot and leaving it for Novak to take it! No trust, no glory! Alleeez allez allez alleeez, No2-leee, No1-leeee….


Gordo Says:

Let’s hope today’s 2 quarterfinal matches see 4 injury-free athletes at the conclusion of the day.


rsp Says:

many of the posters here are really being unfair to nadal. I may be wrong here, but I dont think that Nadal ever used his knees as an excuse for his french open defeat to soderling. He just said (before his withdrawal from the grass court events) that his knees had been troubling him since madrid, and his fans and supporters were the ones who pounced on the injury to, in a way, justify his defeat. Anyone who saw that match would agree that Nadal was just outplayed by soderling.
Similarly, for the first two sets today, nadal played well but was outplayed by murray, and credit to him for coming up with a gameplan against nadal. however something serious obviously came up in the third set or he wouldnt have called for the trainer in the middle of his service game! and if you have been as bothered by the knee as nadal has in the past, practicality demands that you do not take any further risks. so he did the thing advisable and retired. It does not mean that murray’s victory was any less deserved, cos he was clearly the better player in the first two sets!


Ben Pronin Says:

I never said Nadal will still be number 2. After this tournament, Federer, Djokovic, and Murray can all end up at number 2. Therefore, Djokovic is not the OFFICIAL number 2.

Duro, Tsonga is 4-2 against Djokovic. It’s not even close to being a given that Djokovic will win tonight. And as for Murray, he’s playing some of his best tennis and has yet to drop a set. Plus he’s gotta be hungry for his first slam. So to say he won’t win it just premature.


Gordo Says:

As for who is going to be #1, 2, 3 or 4, let’s put the calculators away until the semis are set.

Fed and the Djoker winning or not winning will eliminate a lot of scenarios.

What is known is that Rafa will not be #2 on Monday. We have to see if he will be #3 or #4.

Update in 24 hours.


Duro Says:

Nole will finally be ahead of Nadal no matter what! Are you satisfied now, devastatingdjokovic? No, officially not yet, but practically – yes. Only one scenario would prevent it, but all of the other ones wouldn’t. Of course you are right, but where is a little bit of faith here? I liked you more when you were devastatingdjokovic; you’re too official now. That’s a price of being Ben Pronin and not DD. I am a fan! For a fan, everything is allowed, but hatred! Even to celebrate an unofficial achievement.


jane Says:

O-Kerr – you seem to be “correcting” all of my posts from the other thread. Let me kindly say that they are not, technically, “corrections”; they are your own opinions, which are contrary to my own. I respectfully disagree and stand by what I wrote, though I will say that I am not sure at this point who is better on clay: Murray or Cilic. To me, it seems like Murray’s style of game would be more suitable to clay than Cilic’s, but we’ll know more after this season. Also, when I said “right behind” I meant it in the context in which I wrote it, not in rankings or slam wins. What I wrote was that Murray and Djoko are eager to break into the top two spots, and JMDP and Cilic are also eager. Yes, JMDP has proven himself more than Cilic, but in the last two slams I think Cilic is showing great desire. That’s all I meant.

Gordo – agree @1:00.


been there Says:

I’ve just come back to the news that Rafa retired! Haven’t read the threads or googled about..just went direct to ‘day’s results’ to the shocking news. Please someone tell, WHAT HAPPENED? (a bit lazy at the moment; I’ll read the threads & google for myself later)…just need a quick summary to satisfy my curiosity.


madmax Says:

Duro,

Rafa is 23 years old. Not 22. Rafa is a great champion and always will be. I feel very sad that this happened to rafa today. Will just have to see what happens for him in the future.

Jane and Margot, congratulations on your boy, Murray winning. He did play some awesome tennis. and he did deserve to win. No question.

But rafa. sigh. It is a huge shame that some people want to kick someone when they are down. Rafael Nadal is one of the greatest players ever to hit the tennis world. He still is an amazing player, lets not forget that.

Murray is NOT in rafa’s league. He doesnt have rafa’s charisma, boyish charm or genuine humility, but for today, it is murray’s day, and so congratulations are necessary and right for murray fans.

Now to Federer. Tomorrow is Federer’s day. Watching with excitement and anticipation. I wonder how he is feeling and davy is feeling right now. The whispers about rafa’s knees must be whizzing around the locker room. but I am certain, that professional tennis players they are, everyone will wish rafa the best in terms of recovery.


steve Says:

I think the truth is more frightening: Nadal and his team have no really reliable way to determine if Nadal is healthy enough to play.

It seems that Nadal finds it hard to listen to the warning signals from his body. He loves to play and play and play and by nature, he will fight through pain.

Can even the best doctors really predict what will happen to Nadal in the stress of competition against elite players? Professional athletes put all sorts of unusual stresses on their bodies, causing novel disorders new to medicine. And among pro athletes, Nadal has got to be at the top of the list when it comes to stressing his body.

So if neither Nadal nor his physicians have a good way of assessing his health, an injury might be aggravated at any time, even if Nadal has a clean bill of health and he thinks he’s fine.


Duro Says:

Maxi! Prepare for the clash! By the way, I was talking about Novak mentioning 22 years of age, not Nadal.

Nadal is great champion. Respect.

The winds of change are coming. The new kids on the block…


jane Says:

steve: ” and by nature, he will fight through pain.” – Well, he stopped last night, which might suggest some sort of shift in thinking, to which other clues point.

1st – As Ben pointed out on another thread, Rafa no longer chases down everything. He deliberately leaves balls that, Gael-force-Monfils-like, he would’ve gone for in the past.

2nd – He retired in a slam. Clearly, for Rafa to do that, he’s changed his thinking. As we all know, he’s played on bleeding, blistered feet; he’s played on one leg (!); he’s played when clearly hobbled (think 06? or 07? And his match versus Ferrer in R16 at the USO). SO: for him to retire in this match could suggest a renewed sense of listening to his body and respecting its limits. Thinking of the bigger picture.

3rd – he seems to have worked on his serve, yet again, in the off-season, which suggests he is looking to shorten points.

We don’t really know for certain where he’s at, of course, but this’s surely one way in which we can interpret recent changes.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Just checked,

Nadal has 4100 points to defend leading up to the FO.

That’s a Hell of a lot of points to defend on skimpy knees.

Best of luck, Rafa

You are gonnna need it.


MMT Says:

Duro – the question with Djokovic isn’t his age but rather how long after you break through to the top echelons of the game do you have to bundle up as many slams as you can before the game passes you by?

For me, the jury is out on Djokovic, but if his career ends or tanks within the next year or two, will he look back on his multiple retirements and wonder if he got good advice to not push himself beyond his comfort zone because he had a long future in front of him.

Having said that, he can always turn it around, but those opportunities have still come and gone and I just wonder if he will regret them one day.


been there Says:

I see that it was a right knee injury. I suppose it just popped during the match – just one of those things, ‘coz he looked incredible coming into the qtrs. Bad luck.


MMT Says:

been there: It’s best to let Rafa explain himself. From the press conference transcript:

“Q. Could you let us know what the condition is, what the latest story is with the knee. It’s very unusual for you to stop during a match.

RAFAEL NADAL: Yes, well, is not a lot of history because was during the match. Was in the end of the second set in one drop. And I feeled similar thing to what I had last year.

And, yes, after that I can’t go down after that, no? So was impossible to win the match. When I have the chance to play, I never retired. Anyway, like I know I going to lose like I did in Rotterdam like last year. I say sorry to Andy for that.

I felt pain still there without no one minimum chance to do nothing, the same time is hard for me be five more games there without try nothing, no? So I don’t know if I still playing can go worst or something. So I said, well, no repeat the same mistake like I had last year. I go to the limit, but not cross the limit, no?”


been there Says:

Thanks MMT@ 2:10pm.

Quite a pity. Either way, I suppose congratulations are in order for Murray.


Duro Says:

MMT, your story is so passee… In case you didn’t notice Novak is fitter than ever, works on it very hard, didn’t retire not once after last AO and heat exhaustion, played way most matches then anyone, he’s maybe the only one who’s completely healthy and not injured, fresh, keen, ready, improved and still rising! 22 years of age. I said last year: “Something tells me he’ll never retire in his life anymore”. Until now I was right. What opportunities did he miss? He’s number 2 player in the world practically, won a slam, there will be more for sure, 1 grand slam final, 5 MS titles, Musters Cup title, 16 titles overall, number 3 for 3 consecutive years etc etc. As far as I remember Fed won his first slam at the age 23. So what did Novak miss so to have fewer tomorrows than yesterdays? Look at Nadal case. He didn’t miss anything, but he’s practically cripple right now. He’s career is what? Over? I hope not. To be 23 and old in the same time that’s frightening!


huh Says:

As the cowards have taken up to making vague reference, which is one of their tried and tested methods of attacking/countering/attempt at quieting the voice of a fellow poster, instead of directly addressing, I needn’t really bother responding to them to defend myself, thou I’m more than capable of that. And it’s surprising to see Madmax joining the chorus! But the sooner the realisation sets in about the various aspects of different people here, the better for me. It’s gotta happen some day, I’m glad it happened today.

And my special thanks to those who’ve preferred not to go in the way of the afore-mentioned and put the blame solely on me impatiently and unreasonably, thereby vindicating my faith in your integrity. Thank you very much!

But I promise, as soon as my exams are over, I’d take the bull by its horns! I’m willing and ready to fight my own battle as some have done here before and some’d do after.

And Cindy Brady:

Now that you’ve backstabbed me once again despite the exercise of restraint from my side on your request, it’s payback time from now onwards.


huh Says:

And for tomorrow, I’d indeed root as usual for Fed and Tsonga, but it won’t bother me one bit if either/both of them fail to win. Here are some very fair posters who’d be happy on Davy and/or Nole’s victory too. So I wish Davy and Nole the best of luck alongwith my guys Fed and Tsonga. May the best men win!


scineram Says:

At 23 Federer had 3 slams and number one ranking for half a year, a Masters Cup, 4 Masters Series.


steve Says:

jane: Nadal has been working on his serve for the last three years at least. It didn’t save him against Soderling. It didn’t save him against Del Potro. And it didn’t save him against Murray.

This is the second time he’s been put out early at a tournament where he’s defending champ. At age 23, a time when he should be playing at his peak. And this time he retired from a major!

All this talk about shortening points, playing more offensive tennis, serving better is the same old song that’s been sung for years now. Even at the beginning of last year Uncle Toni was talking about these very modifications. Doubtless he and Nadal have been working very hard to make these alterations. It just isn’t enough.

He was clearly trying to be more aggressive against Murray. And it didn’t work. Just like at USO, Murray was very concentrated, served well, mixed it up, and played more aggressive than Nadal. Nadal gave his very best, and he came up short.

And if Nadal is to be believed (and I believe him, because he’s a good sportsman and a proud fighter) this injury struck out of nowhere and he felt fine for the first two sets. So in the future we must assume that he could be stricken at any time out on court without warning, especially when he plays a strenuous match against the very top-level players like Federer, Djokovic, Del Potro, Roddick, Murray etc.

At some point reality must set in. Nadal has a big problem with his fitness, and it’s not going away. For his sake I hope he can get his confidence back on clay. But I have to say it’s not looking good for him.


Veno Says:

At 23 Fed had 5 slams, 8 masers series, 2 masters Cup and the number 1 ranking for over 70 weeks my friend…


scineram Says:

No, he hadn-1t that much.


Colin Says:

Regarding Nadal, I can’t resist quoting what I wrote on the BBC forum as long ago as last April:
“I have a sneaking suspicion that this year is going to see the first signs of Nadal’s decline. There never was any chance he’d go on for many years, as some still seem to think he will.I think Nadal’s intense physical game is just beginning to catch up with him (he’s already played with an injury this year). The first little specks of Kryptonite are penetrating Superman’s armour!”
Now, I’m not a genius (he said modestly) but if I could see the truth last April, why were, and are, so many people in denial?


Cindy_Brady Says:

huh Says:

And Cindy Brady:

Now that you’ve backstabbed me once again despite the exercise of restraint from my side on your request, it’s payback time from now onwards.

good GOOOOOD! Your hate has made you powerful!

http://llamabutchers.mu.nu/archives/darth%20sidious.jpg


MMT Says:

You could be right Duro – Djokovic may not have been good enough to win the 5 slams he retired from anyway, in which case the retirements didn’t matter.

But we (and he) will never know.

I just don’t think it’s the natural instinct of an elite athlete to quit when the going gets tough, and as such I think he got some bad advice in doing so – advice that he may one day regret taking.

Fair enough, he’s done pretty well in the abstract even with his retirements, but we don’t know when the ride will come to an end for him, and as such, he may yet regret having cut and run as often as he did in the past.

Say he goes through and wins 13 slams for the rest of his career – won’t he wonder if he could have had gotten to as many as 18 had he toughed it out those 5 times he retired?

I would.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

First off, GREAT match. Watching the Roddick/Cilic snoozeathon and then this is like night and day. Murray and Nadal were both on today, and Murray came out on top. Why?

As I wrote on my blog (TennisVagabond) yesterday, Murray has all the skills in the world, but… he might win 1 Slam with everything falling his way unless he learned to play aggressive. Murray has long insisted that his style will not change, but look at what he pulled yesterday- he was pulling the trigger on the kill shots, big time. If this is the new Murray, he can win multiple Slams. I’m not a fan of his by any means, but you have to give credit to someone who commits so fully to a game plan very different from his regular style, and pulls it off so expertly.

Now, I don’t think this was Nadal at his best. We haven’t seen that for a year now, but this was not WTF or USO 09 Nadal either. Nadal played great tennis. He said afterwards he was VERY happy with the level he played at, the best since his injury in May.

No, the knee had nothing to do with this victory, Murry took it. On the other hand, one would be fooling themselves to think this represented peak Nadal. The bigger question is whether peak Nadal is long gone.
Some posters have noted that in the future, Nadal’s knees coud crap out at any time. Not only is this true, but Murray helped provide a recipe- the movement he forced on Nadal was incredible, especially vertically.

The next question in my mind, the one I’m sure is on FED’s mind, is whether this was a 1-off, or the new Murray. Fed has crowed about figuring Murray out and needing only to be aggressive against his passive, moonball style. That answer just got a LOT more complicated.

As for the retirement itself, the comparison to Henin/Mauresomo is ludicrous and insulting. Rafa NEVER retires. He did so only because his career was at risk. And he has NEVER used his injuries as an excuse- not against Murray today, or DelPo at the USO or Soderling at the French. Rafa admitted he got beat. There was no sense adding another year off to his loss.

So, congrats Murray and condolences to Rafa. Very much looking forward to tonight’s Fed/Kolya tilt! (and hopefully, an epic Fed/Murray final)


huh Says:

Actually IMO the switch from defensive mode to offensive mode has resulted in the increase of U.E. count in Nadal’s case and it is certainly not helping his cause. Even though people have believed that 2008 has been a magical year for Nadal, it indeed was, but I’d say Rafa used to play very well on HC & grass even in 2007. He was agonisingly close to dethrone Fed in WIM 07. I’ve seen that match so many times and I sincerely feel that he was playing almost as well overall in that match as he did in 08 Wim, despite losing to a much better Fed in 07. But the highlights of that match was Rafa was actually stunningly well net-game in that Wim 07 final, as well as he has ever played. Rafa was also serving great in 2007. Rafa’s return game too was close to 2008. He broke Fed fairly well in 07 Wim to clinch the 2nd and the 4th sets while Fed even then only barely took the 1st and 3rd sets in T.B.s. Thus if we look at the level of Rafa’s 07 Wim final to 2008 Wim final, the difference is not as glaring as it is being assumed re:his overall game. Fed was playing a notch better in the 07 than in 08 Wim final, and Rafa, despite that, almost dominating Fed in the first 4 sets in 07 is the testimony to the fact IMO that Rafa wasn’t playing as much better in the 08 W viz 07 final as it appears. And most importantly, he was succesful in keeping his U.E. count very very low in the career beginning but of late, in the name of improvement of all-round game, he’s lost his the margin for error to some extent. And that’s really hurt him in the recent times in most of his matches against the top-10.

So may be he can try to play his natural game, which despite being more defensive than offensive in the strictest of term, is still pretty darn offensive in comparison to most of the others except may be Fed, Nole types. Even today Rafa was playing seemingly more aggressively than Muzza in the second set! So all is not lost still.

Hence, probably Rafa should now focus IMO in again reviving his incredible natural defense. It might help Rafa again as it did him so well in the past(06,07)! He’s already proved versatility by winning numerous HC tiles including a GS, and also the Wim and Queens title. Hell, he leads Fed 3-1 in outdoor HC! :( So he’s nothing left to prove to others.

Thus why not concentrate in again righting his ship on clay and grass as he did previously instead of being too bothered about HC domination? He still can win at least two/three FOs and at least 1 more Wimby, which takes his tally to probably 10. Add to that his enviable GS h2h vs Fed in slams, Rafa can by that cement a pretty high place in the annals of tennis history for years to come. Not bad at all!


Duro Says:

MMT, you are pretty balanced, not biased and I appreciate your thoughts. I would like you to number me those 5 times at slams, please. If you manage that I will rest my case.


huh Says:

Cindy:

Hate makes one only more and more powerless, but a worshipper of hatred like you’s bound to fail to understand this simple thing. How dubious of you for searching files on net to attack me! Butchering is the only thing that cruel people like you can think of but I cannot beacuse I’ve given up eating non-veg even for the sake of the respite of the poor animals from being slaughtered. But hah, hatred has spoiled your mind and heart and destroyed even your common sense. Now the only thing that can save you is your conscience. Ask your own self about your nature and you’ll get the right answer from your conscience. And if you don’t listen even to your conscience, then you’re in real trouble! :(


Duro Says:

Veno and scineram, you should agree between yourselves about Fed’s titles in the age of 23 and I must correct my statement and specify it. He won his first Slam at the age of almost 22. Anyway, later than Novak did, which was my point in the first place, trying to convince MMT that he hadn’t miss anything and achieved more than enough for his age.


Duro Says:

MMT, don’t bother. It was 3 times, not 5.


huh Says:

“As for the retirement itself, the comparison to Henin/Mauresomo is ludicrous and insulting. Rafa NEVER retires. He did so only because his career was at risk. And he has NEVER used his injuries as an excuse- not against Murray today, or DelPo at the USO or Soderling at the French.”

Well, then I’d say not Henin has retired dubiously either. You don’t know exactly as to what happened to Henin. There just might be a grain of truth in her alleged inability to continue the match. Looking from far, none seems to retire without reason or suspiciously. Everybody cites some or the other reason to retire and sticks to it for the most part, even if the so-called reason behind such retirement may not be obvious to all. If you trust Rafa in this matter, then you must also trust Henin there. But I’ve reservations with both things. I can’t claim Rafa has done this or that. But asking myself or others in general on this topic is by no way mean or ludicrous. I’ve not claimed anything outrightly, but I was forced to doubt it especially after an evening timesonline article which blatantly stated : Murray benefits from Nadal’s sad demise. I thought this was insulting to Nadal, a little bit like taking some much-deserved credit away from him, and as an ardent Murray supporter, I highly differed from it, hence all this questionabilty, but in nom way any confirmation or name-calling to Rafa from my side.


huh Says:

Sorry for typo error:

I mean the timesonline art felt like a bit taking away from Murray’s credit.

And so far as Rafa’s form is concerned, it’s pointless to argue on that especially coz Murray has almost blown Rafa away in the first three sets, hence such one-sided stat favouring Murray!
What’d he have done even if he played better? Who can bet against Murray not raising his level furhter in such a case of Nadal upping his level? I certainly won’t. We can all speculate , but the scoreboard says it all what has and what’d/wouldn’t have happened any further.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Huh-As far as I know, Rafa doesn’t write the Times headlines, so to look at that as a reason to doubt Rafa is silly.To claim equivalency between Henin and Nadal “looking from afar” is also to pretend not to know what we actually do know: that Henin has always been a poor sport; that Nadal has NEVER been a poor sport. That Henin’s problem appeared from nowhere, that Nadal’s knees are a potentially career ending problem.

You can make any accusation you want “looking from afar” but only by willfully blinding yourself to what you actually know from watching up close- which you obviously do.

You have every right to be mad at the Times, or Rafa supporters who use the knee as an excuse for Murray’s win, but to blame Rafa is illogical and misguided.


MMT Says:

Duro: I stand corrected – it was 4 retirements in slams – not 5. He’s a 2-time retiree from Roland Garros, the first coming in the 2nd round in 2005 and the quarterfinal in 2006 of Roland Garros. At Wimbledon in 2007 he quit for a second time in a GS against Nadal, this time the semi-final. In 2009 he retired in the quarter final at the Aussie Open against Roddick.


huh Says:

“You have every right to be mad at the Times, or Rafa supporters who use the knee as an excuse for Murray’s win, but to blame Rafa is illogical and misguided.”

That’s right. But look, I’m not going out of my way to blame Rafa, not at all! But so far as being poor sport is concerned , Rafa and also Fed have been poor sport sometimes, not all times, but still at times, it’s hard to ignore some of their acts which are far from admirable, be it on court or in interviews, but leave it, I don’t wanna open up a can of worms, exams don’t permit.
Good Bye and Good Morn/Noon/Afternoon dependng on your time zone; and Always Remember:

To Each ,His Own. And No one is blemishless.


huh Says:

And puhleeeze, don’t anyone please try to impose your ideas on me, there’s no way we’d agree on everything.


jane Says:

huh says “So I wish Davy and Nole the best of luck alongwith my guys Fed and Tsonga. May the best men win!”

This is very sporting of you huh. : )

BTW, not sure if you mean me not referring to you directly.

But, while I can see your point that Rafa and injury are often linked in tennis conversations (it’s true), and I respect your opinion, I also think it can be taken into consideration that due to different genetics, different playing styles and even different personalities, players have different thresholds. I haven’t yet watched the match so can’t comment too much directly, but I don’t see Nadal as a “quitter” type; rather, he’s often been synonymous with “fighter” in my books. That said, and keeping in mind I haven’t watched the match, sometimes it would indeed be nice for a player to just try to finish/play out the match so the victory is decisive; I’ve felt that way about a few of Novak’s match retirements, much as I love him (the Monte Carlo one comes to mind). But sometimes, to prevent further injury which can have long term ramafications (or even short term ones, like passing out on court or something), it might be the better decision to retire. I can think of Roddick in Bejing – it would’ve been foolish for him to play on; as it is the knee is still in question months later. Given the long history of Rafa’s knees, maybe that’s the case here too. So it’s a complex situation imo. Then again, I tend to make everything complex – ha!

From all accounts, though, Murray was playing fantastic! I look forward to watching the first two sets! Murray can and should be given full credit for the W. I am sure even Rafa would feel that way.

Cheers huh; I hope we can agree to disagree in this instance.


Duro Says:

MMT, so we met in the middle ha ha ha! You are finally right. 4 times. First time he was 18. There is a saying in the Noleland (I don’t know, maybe somewhere else, too): The first kittens are thrown into water. Excuse him for at least two and we’ll make peace (lets say, Wimby and that first one, or maybe the last one). Deal?


Eric Says:

I don’t really like Rafa’s style. He is a great athlete but not an especially good tennis player, pure ability to somehow always win (well, until FO 2009) notwithstanding. However, all of this talk about the match vs. Murray makes me wonder if people were even seeing the same game as me. All was obviously not well with Mr. Nadal in the opening set.

Rafa is not just a great athlete but also seems like a great person – very charitable. So of course he would say that his knee was not bothering him in the first two sets, even if that’s not true. And I don’t think it was. At least in the first set – I went to sleep after it – Nadal was definitely suffering from something. Not only did he get quite unlucky several important times (I am thinking particularly of that fantastic forehand return he made, in Murray’s second or third service game, which was out by about a millimeter and would have led to a Nadal break had it been in), but he was practically stationary compared to the Rafa of old. Too many times he stood there like a deer in headlights instead of chasing down balls he once would have scrambled for and easily returned. Murray was able to get endless easy points with returnable volleys that Nadal just didn’t go after.

So in my opinion, his knee must have been bothering him from the very start of the match. At least the first set for sure. The way Murray was playing – EXTREMELY well – I think Nadal would have lost anyway, but the first set would have been his with better movement.

All credit is due to Murray, who by no means was handed a victory, but let’s not get overexcited about it!


Cindy_Brady Says:

huh Says:

Cindy:

Hate makes one only more and more powerless, but a worshipper of hatred like you’s bound to fail to understand this simple thing. How dubious of you for searching files on net to attack me! Butchering is the only thing that cruel people like you can think of but I cannot beacuse I’ve given up eating non-veg even for the sake of the respite of the poor animals from being slaughtered. But hah, hatred has spoiled your mind and heart and destroyed even your common sense. Now the only thing that can save you is your conscience. Ask your own self about your nature and you’ll get the right answer from your conscience. And if you don’t listen even to your conscience, then you’re in real trouble! :(

OMG, You have no sense of humor. It was supposed to be a joke. You take everything way too serious. Relax! It’s all in good fun.

http://www.icanhasforce.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/star-wars-darth-sidious-rotflmfao.jpg


Carso Says:

Hey, sup Sean, remember how you did the damage on DJokovic when he retired last (you know, as a defending champion in the quarters when he was losing the match, only a few games from defeat)?

Mind doing the same to Rafa now? Just asking..


Fred Says:

I was reading some Fed haters. People really think that Fed is not great? Fed is incredible and we still have Fed haters.

Nadal is great for the sport and as a huge Fed fan I feel really sad. I hope that this is not a bad injury but I do think that there is something wrong with him and he may never be the RAFA that I saw for 5 years.

Anyone that thought that Rafa and Fed finals were boring are strange. Ever see Wimby 2008? How about the 2007 version or Aussie 2009?


Kimmi Says:

Duro: “Murray will have to win the whole thing, which he won’t….”

My dear Duro, looks like you have some kind of power that you can see the future. Please let us know who will win this? Nole? Don’t you think it is a little premature to declare Murray will not win this? the same Murray who has a chance of getting to # 2 come this monday and make Djoko wait even longer to be # 2…You should pray that it does not happen because Murray is on his was UP UP UP!


Kimmi Says:

s/b Murray is on his way UP UP UP.


tennisfansince76 Says:

i can’t believe so many are jumping on Nadal when he is down. no question Murray was the better player last night. to my eyes Nadal was moving fine for the first 2 sets. actually both Murray and he had superb movement. that makes for great tennis of the kind you usually only see btw nadal and Fed. there were many pts last night where each layer hit what would be a winner against almost all the other players only to have the opp retort. I love that kind of tennis.

Eric Says:
I don’t really like Rafa’s style. He is a great athlete but not an especially good tennis player

are you kidding me!? you may not like his style but he has been a great player. and Im a fedfan!besides his great athleticism he has excellent footwork and superb timing. if he were not a great tennis player he would never have been in a set against Fed.

as for his knees the prognosis is not good. all during his comeback I have been studying his motion. as we all know his weakness is to the FH side. that is if you are tennis player and athlete enough to stay in pts w/ him and punish short high bouncing balls to the ad side of court hard enough so he has trouble taking his FH up the line(Murray is one who can do this). Rafa constantly has to protect that FH side and w/ his world class athletic skills he has done that. but every time he does he has to run hard to that side and plant his legs for a hard stop. it just seems like no one’s body could hold up to that stress especially on HC. he will have to manage it. this year he should def gear toward FO and W.


andrea Says:

someone said that tournaments don’t want a fed/nadal final? are you serious?

until the other top players start turning into world wide draws, the only thing that will keep tennis ratings high are when the top faces of the sport keep reaching the finals.


sar Says:

Cindy, I wonder if Nadal will drop out of IW? Good thing I saw him in Cincy.


tenisbebe Says:

Well. I must agree with Cindy_Brady here – that Rafa should/will take a good hard look at pulling out of IW & Miami to determine his LT success, and particularly his ST success on the more forgiving surfaces, clay & grass. Seems that he will and should give this serious consideration.

Dammit, tennis needs Rafa (and Fed, Murray, Nole, A-Rod) to be healthy and competitive. They give us joy, sorrow and everything in between.

Margot, Colin and others: Congrats to Muffa and his victory into the SF! You are head over heels I’m sure Margot!


puckbandit Says:

Hi everybody,

I am so THRILLED with Murray’s victory, basically because he finally played the game I knew he is capable of: smart, aggressive – when prudent, fluid and multifaceted. He displayed his ability to hit spin or flat, backcourt or net. And . . . it was exciting to watch.

Last night’s game is the only way he will win a slam against the top 6 in the world.

Now to Rafa. Very, very sad to see him injured. As others have noted, I believe Murray would have won the match even with a totally heathy Nadal. I hope he can recover.


puckbandit Says:

Also,

I find it quite humorous that so many posters here spew such hatred toward one another and/or to the players themselves.

Maybe we should all take a lesson from Murray and Rafa regarding humility in victory and graciousness in defeat. Their post match comments were great examples of both.

If anyone missed this or other matches, interviews etc. Go to http://www.espn360.com It has all the matches archived. They’ve done a great job with the AO coverage via the net this year.


Sean Randall Says:

Carso, Of course I remember Novak’s RET a year ago, but big difference between Nadal and Novak, agree? How many times has Rafa retired at a Slam compared to Novak?

And let’s see, this year…

Rafa’s going for the career Slam at the US Open.

Novak’s going for the career RETIREMENT slam at the US Open.

Who’ll get theirs first? Sorry.


jane Says:

Except, puckbandit, we cannot access that ESPN360 coverage in Canada, unfortunately.


jane Says:

Sean, as has been pointed out many times, MORE IMPORTANTLY, Djoko’s definitely improved. He’s not retired from a match since last year and that’s got to be due in part to the hard work he put in on his fitness. Also, all players are different. Further more, Novak is rarely injured. He’s got other health issue that caused the problems and yes, maybe, as MMT points out, he was given poor advice in the past. But he’s taken steps in the right direction.


huh Says:

“BTW, not sure if you mean me not referring to you directly. ”

Mrs. Jane

No , not at all!!! You don’t do those nasty things at all! You’ve been very nice to me. Thank u for that, but I’m crying. So many people went after me that it shocked me. But well, so long as people like you’re on this site, it’s saved from becoming an unwelcome place. Don’t worry, I’ll keep coming here and would give each of my opinion, regardless of others’ taste and distaste. Particularly, it hurt coz instead of telling anything directly, I was referred in the third person. It was a shame. If they did not like what I said, they coulda directly told me. I’ve not been so unnice to any of those fans here as to them letting avoid any direct interaction with me re: yesterday’s matter. But well, I don’t wanna interact with such people either. And yes, trust me, the next time any hater blasts Murray/any other one about their on-court behaviour, I’d also remind them, how classless their own guys are at times, even if it meant, you know stating the faults even of my own guy Federer. Tennis is bigger than any particular player, be it


huh Says:

“BTW, not sure if you mean me not referring to you directly. ”

Mrs. Jane

No , not at all!!! You don’t do those nasty things at all! You’ve been very nice to me. Thank u for that, but I’m crying. So many people went after me that it shocked me. But well, so long as people like you’re on this site, it’s saved from becoming an unwelcome place. Don’t worry, I’ll keep coming here and would give each of my opinion, regardless of others’ taste and distaste. Particularly, it hurt coz instead of telling anything directly, I was referred in the third person. It was a shame. If they did not like what I said, they coulda directly told me. I’ve not been so unnice to any of those fans here as to them letting avoid any direct interaction with me re: yesterday’s matter. But well, I don’t wanna interact with such people either. And yes, trust me, the next time any hater blasts Murray/any other one about their on-court behaviour, I’d also remind them, how classless their own guys are at times, even if it meant, you know stating the faults even of my own guy Federer. Tennis is bigger than any particular player, be it


huh Says:

By the way MRS.JANE, I agree with your 4.45 pm post. There must always be place for people for agreeing to disagree. Why don’t you please call back Zola and other Rafa fans, if possible? This site is too monotonous and repetitive otherwise with almost anyone popping out of nowhere to say how ‘some people’ are jumping on Nadal when he’s down, as if they never have jumped up on the players who’re not their faves, when they are down! Sheesh and sheesh!!!


huh Says:

I know there’ve been incredible times on this site with its fair share of outright bashing of Rod, Fed, Muzza, Rafa, Nole etc. But when I say something, not even in any harsh term, I’m being tried to be trampled the the self-appointed sainthoods! Wow! I think people have forgotten the times here when people were so much enjoying ridiculing Fed when he was down and shaken and broke a racquet, I also remember how people were rejoicing Rafa’s fall at the FO and Fed’s fall at the Wimbledon 08 and AO 09. Thou I started posting only mid-2009, I’ve been glued to this site since much before. I also remeber how people were crying foul over Murray and Rafa praising Fed as the greatest over, just recall how people have spewed venom about Murray/Rod/Nole’s game and persona and much more! But then, very few seemed to be bothered about the sentiments of the people on the opposite fence of their idelogical sphere. Typical of hypocrites, I must say!


Brooksie Says:

What exactly are you paid for, Sean? To analyze things or to be malicious and snide?

I was asking about last year (AO2009), because you got on Djokovic’s case big time at that time. Compare THAT retirement with Rafa’s retirement at AO2010. Don’t go around throwing snide remarks about “the retirement slam”. So, Djokovic in 2009 and Rafa in 2010. Which one, if any, is more justified?

And besides Djokovic’s 2 retirements in slams came in 2005 and 2006, when he was both immature and had awful fitness and breathing issues (which he still struggles with, by the way). Rafa is a much more mature and an “in spotlight” player now in 2010, so he should be held to much higher standards than baby Djokovic was in 2005, right?


Carso Says:

Oops, that was me. I typed my name from another site. Sorry.


Maso Says:

I was pretty impressed with Murray’s game in that match against Rafa. He was actually playing aggressive, going for winners, not waiting for Nadal to make a mistake. I really don’t like Murray, but his chances to win the AO this year look pretty good. But as usual, I’ll be rooting for Fed and Novak =) A shame they always meet in the semis, but hopefully, Djoko will secure the no. 2 spot and I won’t have to worry about that anymore!


greekevil Says:

Devil(church) doesn’t like pure people like Nadal, Davydenko, Roddick and so on. They are too dangerous. There was Kasparov in chess, here the devil chosen is Fed (Murray,Sod/Mats,Djoky-he likes them,too). So he (or it) will help you win but people won’t love you. Good luck!


greekevil Says:

Well, Nadal is out. Knee problems or whatever, no one knows. Davydenko’s out too. There are only two real men left- Cilic and Tsonga. Let the better one be the champion.


ohi Says:

Well, Nadal is out. Knee problems or whatever, no one knows. Davydenko’s out, too. There are only two real men left- Cilic and Tsonga. Let the better one be the champion

Top story: Coric Ends Nadal's Season In Basel, Federer Overwhelms Dimitrov; Ferrer v Murray In Valencia
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ATP - Oct 20 WTA - Oct 20
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
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6 Tomas Berdych6 Agnieszka Radwanska
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