Rafael Nadal Withdraws From Barcelona
by Tom Gainey | April 19th, 2010, 1:18 pm
  • 101 Comments

A day after his impressive title run, Monte Carlo champion Rafael Nadal officially withdrew from the Barcelona clay court tennis event which began today.

“I am really sorry not to be able to play in Barcelona, more than any other tournament, but this year after the win in Monte Carlo my body is asking me to rest,” Nadal said in a statement to the tournament from his PR rep. “I repeat that I’m especially sorry not to play there, because I would like it to be understood that it really is that way, because it is played in my club and it is my home tournament. I have said on many occasions that the tennis calendar, specifically the clay court season, is badly structured and my not being able to compete in Barcelona is a consequence of that. I want to extend my thanks in advance to the members of the club, the organizers of the tournament, and all of the fans for their understanding. Tomorrow I will be in Barcelona and will be available for the organizers.”

There was no specific reason given for now – a press conference will be held in Barcelona tomorrow – but Nadal was scheduled to play Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome and Madrid prior to the French Open.

With such a packed schedule logic would suggest Nadal would withdraw from one if not multiple events to be fully rested and fresh for a run at the French Open.

Nadal was the top seed and has won the event five straight times. Robin Soderling, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Fernando Verdasco, Tomas Berdych and David Ferrer are among the other big names playing the tournament.


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101 Comments for Rafael Nadal Withdraws From Barcelona

montecarlo Says:

Ferrer must be really happy.. looks like Ferrer vs Ferrero final now.


skeezerweezer Says:

Tom,

Thanks for being on the spot with the article, Tennis-x on the job! :). I imagine you get millions for doing this? :)


sar Says:

Madrid next?


Voicemale1 Says:

Very smart move for him. He’s technically required to play the Maters Events in Rome and Madrid, so skipping this means he’s only going to play every other week. There’s a week he’ll have rest between Monte Carlo and Rome; he’ll have a week after Rome and before Madrid; and a week between Madrid & The French. If anything the decision to skip Barcelona will probably make him even more difficult to deal with.


skeezerweezer Says:

I have to say it is not a good sign that he still needs to rest his knees, I mean, did he really play that much? Every match was quick, 2 out of 3, how long total was he out on the court for Monte Carlo?

Mark it, players are gonna try to lengthen out the matches on him now, especially at FO, where things can go 5 sets. Hope Rafa keeps winning in straights….


jane Says:

This is a good decision; I was thinking he would opt out of Madrid because Barcelona is the closest thing to his “home” event (as he states above, and as I pointed out on the other thread, and as everyone probably knows anyhow, lol). BUT, points-wise and obligation-wise this choice makes sense.


Polo Says:

I think Nadal has been reading the comments here and took everybody’s advice that it is not a good idea to stress his knees too much by entering all those clay tournamentsl as he did in his previous years!

Skeeerweezer, I agree with you about lengthening matches against Nadal. I often wondered why players who compete against him don’t play patiently and just keep him running incessantly. Nadal may win the first set then his knees could hurt and by the second and third sets, they could have a better chance. Or even if they lose the match, they could stress his knees enough for them to beat him next match they play. If they all did that, all of them will have improved chances against him in subsequent tournaments.


Ben Pronin Says:

This means Nadal could potentially win all 3 Masters and the FO. Wow. Now that would be insane.


Sean Randall Says:

I agree. Sound move from Rafa. I actually thought he would have pulled from Madrid but perhaps he realized more is at stake at that event than Barcelona, which is true.


madmax Says:

you forget one thing Ben.

Federer.


Ezorra Says:

I think Nadal skips Barcelona to get better preparation for Madrid. I also think that he wants to challenge himself to win Madrid no matter how hate he is towards the tournament. Beating Federer in Madrid will certainly boost his confidence level entering FO, which is more significant for his career at the moment.


skeezerweezer Says:

Madmax,

Yes, the FED :). And I wonder how he is takin’ this all in?


Ben Pronin Says:

I didn’t forget anything. Nadal has proved that Federer is nothing more than a stumbling block when it comes to clay glory.


rsp Says:

Sanity prevails.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

In the previous thread, Spanish articles were posted specifying that Nadal finished Monte Carlo in pain, and that specifically his knees were a problem.
Has anyone seen what the source for that could be? Is this corroborated?
Seems like this could be either really good or really bad news for Rafa.


Polo Says:

If that is true, it could only be bad news. Not just for the short term, but for the long term.


Fot Says:

What happened to all those articles and interviews that said Nadal was 100% healthy now? I think he’s healthy but just decided to manage his schedule a little better this year instead of playing every single clay event in the world before the French! lol!

I think it’s a good move for him. He loses a little points from this week but not that much.


jane Says:

Fot, I think he’s probably healthy too, based on those scorelines this week. But he is likely trying to ‘err on the side of caution’ and prevent anything from hindering his efforts at the next two slams. Unless I see him announce somewhere that he’s not healthy/fit, I don’t imagine we should assume otherwise.


Voicemale1 Says:

Forget the stuff about the knees. His “knees” supposedly went in Miami and voila – rips through Monte Carlo losing only 14 games in 10 sets. This is all a masterstroke from him; check out his jab at the ATP for the scheduling :). He’ll show up in Rome and he’ll be ready. Don’t be surprised if he doesn’t win there again.

More interesting is this: since Nadal will lose his 500 points from here is there any chance at all he’ll be able to be ranked #2 by The French? If not it leaves the real possibility Nadal could meet Federer in the French Open Semis!


Ben Pronin Says:

Until Nadal comes out and says he is in pain (not Toni Nadal but Rafa Nadal), I’m assuming he’s fine. His withdrawal from Barcelona is simply schedule management. Even if he is feeling pain, I don’t think it’s the biggest deal in the world. He has chronic tendinitis in the knees and the pain is supposed to be recurring. As long as he doesn’t feel pain during matches, he’s fine.


Ben Pronin Says:

I got it! Nadal is purposely missing Barcelona because he wants to drop even further down the rankings to at most number 5. That way, he could draw Federer as early as the quarters and he’ll be the one to break Federer’s streak of semifinals. It’s all a master plan most likely concocted by Uncle Toni to show the world that his nephew is greater than the alleged GOAT!


Skeezerweezer Says:

Yes! Excellant deduction Ben! LMAO!


Polo Says:

Interestingly funny analysis of the Nadal withdrawal, Ben. Besides, if Nadal meets Federer very early in the tournament, his knees are most likely not too sore yet which further increases his chances of beating Fed.


Mindy Says:

Ben,

Thank you for that comment about a stumbling block. At least you realize just how dominant Rafa is and will always be as a clay player.


bryan Says:

Back to back Masters Series is foolish scheduling by the ATP…but Nadal may also finally be learning how vital cautious scheduling is to a longer career…no one’s better at this than Federer (and Serena in a clunkier, less respectful way)….Rafa may have rolled in Monte Carlo and he does look like he’s regaining all that bicep action but his knee issues are chronic and will continue to bother him the rest of his career…


Mindy Says:

Rafa can’t say that he is withdrawing from his home tournament to rest his knees for RG. This was not an easy decision for him. But finally he has come to the realization that he simply cannot play a packed clay court schedule.

I said that I hoped he was keeping his eye on the prize! This shows that he is doing just that. Rafa haters will always find something bad to say about him, whether he plays too much or withdraws to protect his knees. I could care less about their opinion. I just want Rafa ready to go full throttle at RG!

I think this was a smart move. Rafa haters should worry, because this means that he is determined to be in the best shape possible for RG.

Ben, another great post! It’s an evil conspiracy!
LOL!!


skeezerweezer Says:

Tennis Vagabond,

Here is the news links from that I found and had to translate. Question; How good is your Spanish?:)

http://www.mallorcadiario.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=53586&Itemid=33

AND

http://www.emol.com/noticias/deportes/detalle/detallenoticias.asp?idnoticia=408860

Skeezer


Ezorra Says:

Ben, LOL. At last you manage to show the ‘teen’ side of you. Now I believe you’re really younger than Murray and Djoker… Good for you! LOL!


Polo Says:

The first article says that “his knees have had enough and his doctors have advised him to rest them to prevent greater injuries.” The last paragraphy says that Nadal will be in a press conference on Tuesday to explain how he is and the extent of the discomfort.


jane Says:

Voicemale1 asks, “since Nadal will lose his 500 points from here is there any chance at all he’ll be able to be ranked #2 by The French?”

Erm, how many points separate Nadal and Djoko? Not too many I don’t think, and with Djoko being erratic at the moment, and having to defend a title in Serbia, finals at Rome and semis at Madrid, then yeah, I think Nadal still has a chance to be seeded second at the FO. Besides which, if he wins Madrid, I think he close to makes up the points he loses for his Barcelona title right? So I wouldn’t think we’ll see a Fedal semi just yet.

And though I’d like to see Djoko do well at his next 3 scheduled events (Belgrade, Rome, Madrid), I’d rather see him do better at, particularly, the FO, and possibly Wimbledon, this year.


Polo Says:

The second article says that the Spanish player (Nadal)continues with knee problems, which had to be infiltrated (infiltradas) to play in Monte Carlo event on Sunday…

I am not sure if “infiltradas” means that he had injections on his knees.


skeezerweezer Says:

Thanks Polo…


Von Says:

This is what the two articles translates to per trnslator toolbar in English:

Rafael Nadal continues with knee problems and lower Godó
The Spanish tennis player and had to infiltrate to win last week’s ATP Monte Carlo.
Emol
Monday April 19, 2010 12:41

It has suffered this season with knee problems.
Photo: EFE

BARCELONA .- Rafael Nadal will not play the 58th edition of the Barcelona Open BancSabadell, tournament better known as Conde de Godo.

The Spanish tennis player continues with knee problems, those which had to be infiltrated to play in Monte Carlo event on Sunday won for the sixth consecutive time.

Nadal will not play this tournament he has won his last editions and which has on many occasions that feel “at home.”

The cause of this waiver are, once again, their knees, they need a break from face-to party does not overload on this stretch of the season, where he faces defending the majority of titles and points.

Least 500 units to its credit will be deducted when he got in Barcelona last year, when he won the final against David Ferrer. Thus, Nadal joins casualties late David Nalbandian and Juan Martin del Potro, both also out through injury.

______________________

Nadal, low in the Godo
mallorcadiario.com
Monday, April 19, 2010
Rafa PALMA .- Nadal not participate in the Trofeo Conde de Godo. Their lap have had enough and doctors have advised him to rest to avoid greater evils.

The Spaniard, winner Montecarlo, A tournament that ended in great pain, has undergone a series of medical tests to see what you have. His decision not to defend the title at the Barcelona Open, where he has won five times in succession, is a measure of caution. This is reserve for the major events of Rome and Madrid -Both Masters 1000 -.

In a statement sent by the press officer for Nadal, it read as follows: “I am sorry not to play in BarcelonaMore than any other tournament, but this year after winning in Monte Carlo asks me to rest my body. I feel especially not to play. I stress this because I like to really understand that this is because they played in my club because it’s my home tournament. I have mentioned on several occasions since that time Tennis calendarIn particular this part of the clay court season, badly structured and for me not playing in Barcelona is the result. I thank advance to club members, tournament organizers and all the fans for understanding. ”

On Tuesday is expected to Nadal in a news conference in Barcelona with Dr. Angel Cotorro to explain how he is and the extent of their discomfort.


jane Says:

Those are some funny translations! : ) I liked this line — “once again, their knees, they need a break from face-to party” — It’s good to think that Rafa’s knees simply need a break from party[ing].

I wish I knew what this line meant though: “knee problems, those which had to be infiltrated to play in Monte Carlo event”.

I.E., What might the translator mean by “infiltrated”? I wonder if it means cortisone shots or something, since the knees weren’t taped.

Anyhow…I guess the press conferernce tomorrow, which I’d imagine will be given in part in English, should reveal more/ clear things up.


stu Says:

Whether Rafa is ranked #2 or #3, I just hope he and Djoko don’t end up on the same side of the draw at the FO. Assuming they are both in good form, a final with them in it would be tennis heaven for me!


ThyGodisTennis Says:

We all would like to think we know what a player thinks and feels, especially tennis web site commentators. Why we even believe we can predict the future.

We do not and we can not.

Rome is where the answers await.


sar Says:

Ha ha funny translations.

Rafa has only spent 5 hours on court all week they say. How is he going to get out of Madrid, claim knee injury again?


sonic Says:

Finally some sanity. Please don’t call it a good move people, that move was about as normal as not jumping into a live vulcano. Had he played it would have been complete idiocity…idiocy? Whatever.

No point in withdrawing from Rome/Madrid. A week’s rest bewteen tournaments is plenty, unless some epic matches come up in a row…and with Rafa being light years ahead on this surface when reasonably fit, we can hardly expect anyone to bother him to much.


jimbojones Says:

Nadal drops 500 points so even if he wins Madrid and picks up 400 points from his runner-up 600 last year his points drop.


robinhud Says:

Or Ferrer vs Sod


Voicemale1 Says:

jimbo:

That’s what I thought. Unless Djokovic crashes out really early in Rome and/ Madrid Nadal will still be #3 going into the French.


Gordo Says:

Boy what a group of rogues these players are – everyone is scheming or finding a way to “get out of playing” or otherwise concocting some way of duping us rubes who call ourselves fans.

Um… why do you follow tennis if you believe these guys are more interested in being duplicious than in playing the game?

Last year Toni said it was not a wise choice for Rafa to have tried to compete in MC, Barcelona, Rome and Madrid before running right into Roland Garros and that he would not repeat that again.

So he convincingly wins Monte Carlo and he has pulled out of Barcelona. So what?

Federer won the French Open last year and then pulled out of the Gerry Weber tournament which he always likes to play as a warm up to Wimbledon but having won Roland Garros there was more media pressure on him to stay so he skipped the Halle tournament.

That was a wise move, as his victory at Wimbledon proved. Rafa is doing the wise thing too, as he does not want to be caught tired going into the French Open, because let’s face it – 10 years from now no one will remember who wins Rome or Monte Carlo or Indian Wells or Miami, but winning the Slams is what gets you the immortality.

That, and staying on top longer than anyone. That’s why it is unlikely now that anyone will stop Federer from passing Sampras on June 15.

An interetsing question is whether – once he regains the #1 ranking – will Rafa be able to stay on top in accumulated weeks long enough to pass Federer?

Being 5 years younger he has a shot, but I personally believe it is an outside shot.


Gordo Says:

And speaking of conspiracy theoreys, here is mine -

Even if Rafa is #3 or #4 at the time of the Roland Garros draw, there is no way on the planet he is going to wind up in the same half of the draw as Roger Federer.

I know, they draw out of a hat between #3 and #4 to see who is going to be possibly in the semifinal against the #1.

But mark my words – It will be Federer in the top half, and Nadal in the bottom half.


Kimmi Says:

Its good move by rafa.

With those conflicting articles, we still don’t know for sure if is it just precaution or does he have an injury?

Obviously there must be something concerning for him to withdraw in the last minute.


stu Says:

Agree, Gordo. They won’t let that happen!


stu Says:

Kimmi, it’s possible that he would have played Barca if he lost earlier in Monte Carlo, which might be why he registered in the first place. I don’t think there is anything wrong. He is just being cautious.


Kimmi Says:

why Djoko and federer fans worry about drawing nadal on their side of the draw while there is a posibility of losing early before the semi. lol! No one played Nadal in IW and Miami…

Or maybe Nadal will lose early?

Chillax!


Kimmi Says:

stu, maybe. lets hope you are right.


jane Says:

I think I may have figured out the points?

NADAL = current points 6980 / less Barcelona (500), Rome (1000) and Madrid (600). So with all points removed that puts him at 4880. If he wins both Rome and Madrid, that could put him up to 6580.

DJOKOVIC = current points 7390 / less Serbia (250), Rome (600) and Madrid (400 for semis?). So with all points removed that puts him at 6140.

Basically, then, there is a very slim possibility that Rafa could still be seeded #2 for the FO if Djoko loses in the first round of all the 3 remaining events he’s scheduled to play pre-FO, and if Nadal wins both Rome and Madrid.

So I guess you guys are right that Djoko will still be number 2 going into the FO in all likelihood.

I don’t know how much difference it makes anyhow. But I suppose the prospect of a Fed-Rafa semi is there.


Kimmi Says:

jane, I also did the calc..there is few corrections from yours

NADAL
6980 -500 -1000 -600 = 4880
If he wins both Madrid + Rome
4880 + 1000 + 1000 = 6880

DJOKO
7390 – 250 – 600 – 360 = 6180

Difference 700 points.

scenario 1 = semi both Madrid (360) + rome (360)(even without playing Belgrade) = 720 (will seal it.)
Scenario 2 = win Belgrade (250) qtr Rome (180) semi madrid (360) = 790 (seal it)
scenario 3 = final Belgrade (150) semi Rome (360) semi qtr (180) = 690 (just missed it)

To be safe djoko needs at least a semi in both Madrid and Rome. Or if he wins in Belgrade he needs at least a semi in one of masters and other at least a qtr in another.


Kimmi Says:

If nadal loses early in any of the masters then djoko will be laughing :)


stu Says:

Rafa and Djoko could both decide not to play Madrid too. One because of the altitude and the other because he is not ready to face his demons.


Voicemale1 Says:

Kimmi Says:

“Obviously there must be something concerning for him to withdraw in the last minute.”

———————————————-

I’m convinced Nadal had no intention of playing Barcelona this year. He also knew it was best to wait until the last minute before announcing it. He can’t use the knee excuse months out – it looks bad :)

Last year, Nadal and Djokovic had the heaviest clay schedule. Over 3 straight weeks they played the MC Final; Nadal won in Barcelona – Djokovic won in Serbia; they played the Rome Final. After all that came that brutal Madrid SF after just a one week break. So the fact Nadal and Djokovic were early casualties at The French Open isn’t surprising. Nadal knew what it was that cost him, and he also knew he was never gonna line up at Barcelona, no matter what his schedule said. He’ll be all set then for the rest of the career he has on clay: play a week then off a week up until The French Open.

The one who’s decided to pack his schedule with three straight weeks of play on clay this year is Federer. He’s playing Rome, then right off to Estoril the following week, and right back to Madrid the week after that. It’ll be interesting to see if he keeps that schedule.


Kimmi Says:

“I have said on many occasions that the tennis calendar, specifically the clay court season, is badly structured and my not being able to compete in Barcelona is a consequence of that”

rafa complains about the schedule and then plays doubles in both IW and Miami, what is up with that?

Voicemale1: Good point about federer schedule but I don’t think it should affect him. Federer has only playes 5 matches since AO..he should have plenty of gas in the tank.


jane Says:

Kimmi, I actually wrote 6880 on my sheet of paper, but because I couldn’t read my writing it looked like 6580. LOL. Thanks for posting those scenarios. Like I said, I really don’t think it makes that much difference anyhow, except that Djoko (or Rafa) couldn’t meet Fed before the finals at the FO, but we all know that who people REALLY don’t want to meet before the finals is Rafa! LOL. [obviously Fed's no slouch but Rafa's the king of clay after all]


andrea Says:

gordo,

An interetsing question is whether – once he regains the #1 ranking – will Rafa be able to stay on top in accumulated weeks long enough to pass Federer?

doubtful. if at 23 he’s already taking months off for injuries, it’s only going to get worse. and outside of clay, nadal isn’t totally dominant, which will always impact his points accumulation.

i’m sure he’ll give fed a run for his money though. sounds like he’ll pass fed in masters titles shortly for sure.

of all the records fed has made or broken, the one that i think will last the longest is the consecutive semi finals.


Skorocel Says:

Very good move from Nadal! Barcelona, even though much closer to his heart than Madrid, isn’t really worth of trying (after all, Madrid is a Masters 1000 event)… He may lose a fairly decent chunk of points for skipping Barca, but what’s more important for him, he’ll have one week of rest before both Rome and Madrid + 2 weeks before FO. Assuming he plays even remotely as good as he did in MC (and his knees hold up), there’s a very good chance for him to not only win Rome and Madrid, BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, the FO, AND also have a very good shot at Wimby, to say the least. I maybe can’t read into his mind, but I’d bet that it’s exactly the FO + Wimby double which is without doubt his biggest goal for 2010 – last but not least because he can gain literally TONS of points in both of these events. Would be interesting to see if Federer’s still the No. 1 player after Wimby…

Btw, can you imagine how many clay-court tourneys would Nadal have won had he annually played Barcelona + MC + Rome + Madrid + RG and then some „odd“ one like Stuttgart or Hamburg in the summer, WHILST having the luxury of having at least one week of rest between each of these events (?)… LOL :-)


Skorocel Says:

„why Djoko and federer fans worry about drawing nadal on their side of the draw while there is a posibility of losing early before the semi. lol! No one played Nadal in IW and Miami…“

Good one, Kimmi! ;-)


Skorocel Says:

Ben: „Until Nadal comes out and says he is in pain (not Toni Nadal but Rafa Nadal), I’m assuming he’s fine.“

LOL :-) Same here!


Skorocel Says:

Voicemale1: „More interesting is this: since Nadal will lose his 500 points from here is there any chance at all he’ll be able to be ranked #2 by The French? If not it leaves the real possibility Nadal could meet Federer in the French Open Semis!“

Could be very well a reality, but not that it does matter anyway… For Roger (or anyone else, for that matter) to win the FO, he’ll have to go through Nadal, be it semis or finals ;-)

————

„The one who’s decided to pack his schedule with three straight weeks of play on clay this year is Federer. He’s playing Rome, then right off to Estoril the following week, and right back to Madrid the week after that. It’ll be interesting to see if he keeps that schedule.“

I guess it’ll depend on how well he’ll do in these tourneys. That means, winning Rome (or reaching finals) will probably prompt him to skip Estoril, but in case he loses early in Italy, then he’ll most likely play them all.


Skorocel Says:

andrea: „An interetsing question is whether – once he regains the #1 ranking – will Rafa be able to stay on top in accumulated weeks long enough to pass Federer?

doubtful. if at 23 he’s already taking months off for injuries, it’s only going to get worse. and outside of clay, nadal isn’t totally dominant, which will always impact his points accumulation.

Maybe not totally dominant, but (had you taken Fed out of the picture) dominant enough to be the No. 1 player for some 200 weeks between July 2005 and now ;-)


Voicemale1 Says:

Skorocel:

Great post as usual.

It’s worth remembering Federer has set the bar ridiculously high for any future #1; his career has been an unprecedented phenomenon. In the pre-Federer era no such dominance for the whole year, year AFTER year, ever materialized, such as winning three Majors in a year three times!! Sampras basically understood how to pick his spots to excel, and normally it kicked into high gear between Wimbledon & The US Open. The Indoor Autumn was a “backup” should his early results look under par. But Sampras’s entire clay season was largely a wash, barring winning Rome in ’94 and getting to the French SF in ’96. Sampras won two Majors a year in ’93; ’94; ’95; and ’97. That used to be the standard of what it too to reach the year End #1 Ranking for six straight years.

Forget the argument of the dominance superiority between Federer on grass and Nadal on clay. What is clear is that Nadal dominates much more throughly on clay than Sampras did on grass – after all, Sampras lost 5 times at Queens Club, and only won there twice!

As you point out, Nadal had the kind of career that would have made him World #1 for the better part of 5 years but for the unprecedented career of Federer. He could keep doing what he does, and will be #1 as long as he can keep up the clay dominance combined with Federer racking up more results like IW & Miami just a shade more often.


Thaidiamond Says:

I don’t think the knees are already a problem, but they are a “concern.”

Young Rafa as world #2 was playing just about everywhere — always trying to get better, always trying to improve his game.

And while that strategy did bear results, but it took its toll on his body. Going forward, I see an slightly older Nadal, a wiser player. And that means a “modified” game plan.

My take is this decision by Camp Nadal to withdraw from Barcelona has two main reasons/ramifications:

1.) A more Fed-like approach to concentrate on tournaments the world watches and bypass the lesser gigs in terms of both points and prestige. The rationale is to save considerable wear & tear on his body.

2.) It sends a message to the ATP. To cram all these clay tournaments so close together means that some players a going to skip some events — like the Monte Carlo without the Fed. It’s not a required Masters, so guess what? He’s not there. He’s wisely managing his clay season to Rome and Madrid in preparation for Roland Garros.

I would think the Barcelona organizers are unhappily downgrading the ticket sale projections. Camp Nadal — and other players who’ve long complained about the closeness of the French and start of grass season as a more salient example — are probably tired of just complaining.

And it’s not just Rafa. Seeds Tomas Berdych and David Nalbandian have also both pulled out of the event.

Barcelona sounds exciting this year, no?

To say, as Rafa did, that the clay season is “poorly structured” is an understatement. But when did the ATP ever listen to a “player”. Hopefully, Rafa’s draw power may force them to begin hearing what players have been saying for years.

This send a MONEY MESSAGE to the organizers to get the you-know-what together.

Tennis is the world sport that’s had the most hodgepodge development.

The ATP should really sit down and structure three distinct and separate seasons to reflect the game’s three major surfaces: clay, grass and hard courts.

Few tennis fans realize how obsolete the grass game has become. Historically it was the only game; today it’s only some 7% of the ATP calendar. Can you name a grass tournament not played in the UK? (Yes, I too will have to google one up.)

The fact that the game’s played on three distinct surfaces — each requiring a unique strategy for a player to be successful — is one of game’s great strengths. Yet the fact the the schedule is so messed up dilutes this very unique characteristic.

But apparently Brand Management is a foreign concept to the ATP.

Take a look at the ATP World Master Series 1000.

Launched in 1990, the events were originally known as “Championship Series, Single Week” events. From 1996 through 1999, the series was known as the “Mercedes-Benz Super 9.” In 2000, the name was changed to the “Tennis Masters Series” and then changed to “ATP Masters Series” in 2004. The present name took effect in 2009.

I wonder what success would Apple have had with its iPhone if its “identity” had gone through 5 repackaging attempts?

Yeah, this decision by Camp Nadal is much bigger than his knees.


Ben Pronin Says:

The event right after Wimbledon played on grass is in Newport, Rhode Island. But yeah, you make a great point.


Tom Gainey Says:

Update: Nalbandian and Berdych have also withdrawn from Barcelona. David is out for a month with a hamstring. We won’t see him until the French.

Berdych has an ankle issue.


NELTA Says:

It looks like LL Nicolas Lapenti took Nalbandian’s spot and LL Ivan Navarro took Berdych’s spot and got the 1st round bye to boot.

Nadal is still penciled into the 2nd round facing G-Lo. I guess they are going to give G-Lo a spot into the 3rd round via a Nadal withdrawal?


jane Says:

I guess both of those injuries were evident at MC – Nalby couldn’t move great during the Djoko match, but I remember once in the second set, he kind of pulled up and he then bent over (between points). I thought he was getting air as he was getting pulled around, but maybe he was grimacing. Also T-Berd had the ankle injury in his match with Verdasco; I think he called the trainer out during that match to look at it. Hope they’re better soon – too many injuries already this year and it’s not even May.


Bjorn Borg Says:

Rafa had given enough hints a couple of months ago about the rescheduling in which he had suggested he would consider trimming off Barcelona and or Madrid. However when asked later about Madrid he insisted on playing and that it is in his schedule. Maybe that was just for PR.

He may withdraw from Madrid as well which is contingent upon his body and other related factors. Withdrawal from Barcelona shows his foresightedness.

After all the goal is to stay healthy and peak at the right time to win FO and every decision regarding schedule will be taken to that end.


skeezerweezer Says:

Thaidiamond Says:

“The fact that the game’s played on three distinct surfaces — each requiring a unique strategy for a player to be successful — is one of game’s great strengths.”

Distinct? Not anymore…..Hogwash…C’mon!!

As far as Nadal’s knees go, there are already a problem, and they are a concern.

Look, if his camp knew he still was not “ok” with the knees and good to go…what is more important to Rafa, HC or the Clay season. HC is the hardest on the body, HE CHOSE to play IW and Miami. IF they knew his knees then, why waste it playing HC?

In hindsight his camp should have blown off the HC and played THROUGH the Clay season which he dominates. Now, IMO he has only opened the door to other players that he is still vunerable…..


Daniel Says:

Well, once again Fed gets the better of this news, at leats until Wimby.

If Nadal wins Rome, Madrid and RG he can only get to 8700 points.

Fed has 10690 pts now. Removing his points of last year clay season: Rome (360), Madrid (1000) and RG (2000), leaves him with 7330 pts, which means he has to gain 1380 points between Rome, Estoril, Madrid and RG to be n. 1 on June 7th, when he will tie Sampras 286 weeks.

By this time he will need one more week to surpass Sampras record and depending on how far Nadal is, they both will have 250 points from Halle (Fed) and Queens (Nadal) to define the n.1 pre Wimby.

I think now Fed looks almost certain to beat the record pos French, all of this assuming Nadal is the only who can challenge Fed n.1 during clay. Djoko can also, he is the n. 2, but him winning Rome, Madrid and RG is very unlikelly.

The problem for Fed will be after RG, even if he defend Wimbledon his n.1 status will not depend entirelly on him, but on Nadal’s and Djoko’s performance.


skeezerweezer Says:

Re: Fed,

Interesting article written in 2007, holds some prophetic statements today, pre-knee issue with Rafa.

“Injury and age are the best defense for Federer at this point. People will say Rafael Nadal can beat Federer. Nadal can, but you have to add little stipulations like “on clay” or “when Nadal is on the top of his game physically and mentally.” Federer wins without his best stuff on any surface. ”

Interesting stuff when comparing the overall careers to date and the stuff they both have to deal with and have dealt with….

Link to article…
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/370923/roger_federer_the_greatest_tennis_player.html?cat=49


Anna Says:

When Barcelona had that BIG trophy celebration for Rafa last year I had a sneaking suspicion there was more to it than met the eye. I think they had already decided that Rafa wouldn’t play Barcelona if he won at MC. Winning MC gave him his history making 6th win in a row, and by giving up his home tournament he’ll actually have some R&R before Rome, and won’t feel so pressured to play Madrid if it’s not in his best interest.
I think I’ll wait to hear from Rafa tomorrow before guessing about what might be ailing him.
I’m sure MC took more of a toll emotionally than it did physically. I think he’s probably just fatigued.


Gordo Says:

What I am finding most surprising is how easy it has been for Fed to stay as number one. Yes, he has mucho hugeo upcoming challenges, having to defend 5,000 points in Madrid, Roland Garros and Wimby, but I thought some of the other young turks would be more than closing in on him. But…

The fact is that Federer is the only player in the top 5 who has more points than he did on January 1 – 140 points more to be exact. That ain’t a lot, but it sure beats the combined 5750 points that Murray, Nadal, Djokovic and Del Potro have dropped since the beginning of the year.


Dory Says:

Completely understandable. I was mentally exhausted to even watch Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome all in a row; he’s human after all. Next week will be exciting with most definitely an RF vs Nadal match as he’ll be in the same draw as RF (mostly a semi or QF?)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There will be someone to defeat him in Rome (RF, Soderling) and hopefully Davy and JMDP will return soon (by Madrid or Roland Garros). My 2nd favorite, Djoker after RF has disappointed me way too much now.


Dory Says:

Check out the ATP Race Points: http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=155559 which the ATP no longer maintains.


margot Says:

von: Hi! Cheers for that. Yes, skies are strangely silent over UK. I don’t know, Iceland pinched our fish, lost our money and now has shut down our airports! What power for a tiny nation. Ironically, flights are possible from Icelandic airports, the ash is blowing away from them and towards us! I expect u r aware we are also mid-election. Reminds me of old Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.”
Gordo: back to tennis and I completely agree with you re ease with which Fed stays at No 1. He hardly seems to have played lately as well.


jane Says:

It’s the slams! Fed does so well at them, and that’s what makes the difference; he gained considerably at the AO this year and wasn’t defending a ton at Miami and IW though he did lose points there. The thing is that all the other guys in the top five have flopped. Well, not really Rafa, but he lost considerable lost points at IW and the AO. So it’s been a combined effort keeping Fed up there. ; )

margot – maybe it’s the ire of the Icelandic gods; what have you done for them lately? : )


Polo Says:

Federer is the chosen one. He has been gifted with talent, both physical and mental, and good luck.


margot Says:

jane: at this rate we’ll all be making scarifices to the old norse gods. Perhaps D. Cameron(leader of tories) might be persuaded to volunteer…..


margot Says:

oops of course sacrifices, but “scarifices” is a good malapropism……


Anna Says:

Yes, yes, Federer really should be deemed the eighth wonder of the world shouldn’t he. Maybe we should rename the sun Federer and then he could shine down upon all of us.

In Rafa’s presser (this story is about Rafa, no?) this morning he said, “Yes, was a preventative measure (dropping Barcelona). Luckily I played very well last week. I feel fine now, but I have had problems in the past and can’t afford to take risks if I want to be in my best possible condition on court. That’s my main objective”.

So it sounds like a protective measure to put him in top condition for Rome. All the blah blah about the knees for naught. Many talk about Rafa needing to trust his knees to play his best game. I think at this point his fans (or people in general) could trust a bit more as well.

Kimmi – Matches are not played back to back at IW and Miami, so Rafa plays doubles on his off day as a practice. He’s usually out of the doubles before the semi’s or final. Rafa isn’t the only one complaining about the ATP schedule. Roddick and Roger have been very vocal as well. I doubt there’s a single player who’s happy with the schedule as it is.


dc Says:

@Anna :Yes, yes, Federer really should be deemed the eighth wonder of the world shouldn’t he. Maybe we should rename the sun Federer and then he could shine down upon all of us.
————————————————
I do not agree with you. It is absolutely ridiculous to suggest such a thing. We should first wait for Federer to retire before we go ahead and rename the sun.


Anna Says:

dc – Oh no. I’m sure Fed would agree, no need to wait. We could probably celebrate his birthday as a national holiday and then decree that all first borns (male or female) be named Roger. But then he is SO great that their must be something more………


jane Says:

margot: ““scarifices” is a good malapropism……” Indeed, those Vikings like their blood and guts. I think you should right your local PM about whom to offer up. ;)


jane Says:

OMG, right s/b write. Learning bad writing mistakes from marking too many papers – eventually it begins to seep in by osmosis or similar. LOL.


madmax Says:

Anna, Anna, think you are being sarcastic? – yes. Let’s rename the whole of Great Britain ROGER FEDERER ISLAND! (forget shutter Island!), what a wonderful place to live, to enjoy watching Roger federer play tennis all day. I love him. I have missed watching him play so much, so for all the federer fans out there, please check out these new photos of him training – he looks absolutely 100% fit, “new muscles” in those quads – just amazing, he looks healthy, fit, the best I have ever seen him look and he is smiling! Go Roger!

http://www.gototennisblog.com/2010/04/19/photos-roger-federer-trains-for-the-clay-season/

Daniel,

your post of 11.22pm.

I just wanted to correct you, (if you dont mind), on the issue of seedings at Wimbledon. This happens a lot of the time. It’s a misconception. WIMBLEDON is THE ONLY tournament slam where, (irrespective of what happens in the rankings with points), whoever won the tournament the previous year, will ALWAYS go into wimbledon as being No. 1. So whatever happens, Federer will go into wimbledon as World No. 1. It’s based on tradition, and is applicable only to Wimbledon.

I believe that Federer is going to defend his FO title this year, I think he is ready, I think he will do it, and I am supporting Roger federer all the way.

Great to talk to you all.

Hi to Margot, Jane, Ben, Huh, Duro, Ollyk, Sar, the Skeezer, catch you later.


Lion Says:

and anna, we should name the moon nadal, so he scratch his itchy butt and moon the whole world so that rafa poster girls like you can keep smelling that butt….


stu Says:

Hey Contador, where are ya? Did you notice that Jeremy Chardy just beat Montanes in Barca?


Skeezerweezer Says:

Lion,

“Classic” :)

Anna,

It’s not what you say about your fav that is bad, but do you have to degrade Fed as a result? He is no God, but by tennis standards he is the best. Ranked #1 and 16 GS titles. So, yeah, he is good.

I am sure Rafa will have his day with the Clay court season coming up, so you can take your turn glorifying your fav, I don’t care, doesn’t bother me, good for you. nuff said.


Polo Says:

Anna Says:
“Yes, yes, Federer really should be deemed the eighth wonder of the world shouldn’t he. Maybe we should rename the sun Federer and then he could shine down upon all of us.”

What an interesting coincidence that each morning, I face east and greet the sun by saying, “Good morning, Roger.” So Anna, you are too late with your suggestion although I use Fed’s first name.


madmax Says:

skeeze, this is an early morning for me! Marmite on toast anyone?


Lion Says:

Thanks Skeezerweezer.

madmax : i am up early morning for some toast too :)


skeezerweezer Says:

Madmax,

Ok, you have my curiosity, I am going to look for the dang Marmite and try it! Ha! I hope I can find in it rainy California! :)

Lion, “one for all and all for one?” :)

Out…


madmax Says:

skeeze, seriously. let me know. if you cannot find any, I will send some to you through the post, FEDEX (and it will be my pleasure), if you cant find any, you seriously have to try some, so post me your email and I’ll get you some at the weekend and post on monday.

Cannot wait for Rome.


skeezerweezer Says:

Madmax,

Thank you for the sincere lovely offer, I would for sure take you up on it, but I am not going to post my e-mail address up here for the few Madmen/Women to see. Most of the discussioneers up here like you I would trust but there are a few I don’t. If there was another way I would…….:)


Anna Says:

Lion – Your such a sensitive guy, and right on with your response, if your twelve that is. Itchy butt talk is pretty much Jr. High stuff, right along with smelly pits.

Skeezer – Your right, I did use sarcasm to try to make a point. Roger is an awesome tennis player, the GOAT for sure, but sometimes the hysteria of the glory of Roger is just over the top and in my opinion DETRACTS from what a great player he is.
When all someone is saying is Federer is the chosen one, gifted, blah..blah..blah.., then you just stop listening. Typically I ignore it because basically nothing is being said. But it’s really tiresome and annoying when it’s every third post. And remember, sarcasm is the most sincere form of flattery. I am a Nadal fan, but I have a soft spot for Roger too.

Polo – Well you are cutting edge and way ahead of the game Polo. Vamos to your bad self.


skeezerweezer Says:

Madmax,

I have to say I am getting tired of toast and butter, so I tried…Almond butter, not bad! Kind of like peanut butter, nut healthier and taste better :). Still, it must be nothing like the famous “Marmite” :)

Sorry everyone I will get back to tennis.

Ahhh there is nothing like Tennis with the guys on a hot day, sun shining, trash talkin, and beers afterward. Now THAT is better than fishin anyday………

Out :)


skeezerweezer Says:

Anna,

I totally understand, the description of fans’ Fav’s can get a little to “Godlike” and over zealous. Don’t know though from what you say that other posters are just talkin via sarcasm too sometimes?

Regardless, thanks for calling us out on that, and I appreciate you can take it to! Shammmmon :)

When you say “I am a Nadal fan, but I have a soft spot for Roger too.”, I have all the respect for you, for that. You give kudos to your fav, but you appreciate other players for there talent, ability, and greatness.

I feel the same way about Rafa, and other players as well, although Fed is my fav.

Keep it comin Anna!


madmax Says:

skeezer!

Marmite it is then!

This is my email maximillion1973@hotmail.co.uk

(another i made up, so as soon as you email me, will close it down and go back to my original email address – it was easy to set up. It should have been 1937 (when my grandad was with the RAF), but i got my figures wrong way round – never mind, too late to change.).

anyhow, send me your address, and I can go get you a big jar of it this weekend! You will think you have died and gone to heaven!

Have you seen the photos of Roger on gototennis? practising? they are awesome.

I hope that all players like nalby, delpo, davy, haas who are injured, are recovered for FO, this is just not good right now.

Out! (skeeze, you make me laugh!!!!).

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