On Look, Rafael Nadal Is Now Announcing When He’s Being Drug Tested
by Tom Gainey | February 13th, 2012, 10:30 am
  • 78 Comments

In catching up from a few weekend stories, Rafael Nadal tweeted Saturday morning that he was just drug tested.

“8.30 de mañana!!!acabo de pasar un control antidoping sorpresa…era de esperar después de todo…pero me alegro de que sea así!” Nadal wrote.

A loose Google translation reveals, “8.30 in morning! Just pass a drug test … expected surprise after all … but I’m glad it well!”

Coincidently, Nadal’s tweet or “response” comes during the same week in which a French TV spot suggested Nadal and his fellow Spanish athletes are dopers.

The men’s tennis tour drug tests its players randomly throughout the season. I wonder if Nadal will now continue to announce when he’s been tested to fend off the rumors. Or maybe he wasn’t tested at all and the announcement was just a PR plant. What proof do we have he really was tested?


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78 Comments for On Look, Rafael Nadal Is Now Announcing When He’s Being Drug Tested

Humble Rafa Says:

What proof do we have he really was tested?

You need the video tape. Creepy. How can you not trust Humble Rafa?


Mark Says:

Tom Gainey. Your subject titles are becoming more and more inferior and nonsensical!!!!! There is no news so u r just trying to conjure up interest. Tut tut!!!


pau.m. Says:

Your translation is the pits! and gives Nadal’s tweet quite the wrong slant. He’s saying he’s pleased they turned up so soon after the French skits appeared on TV.

“8.30 de mañana!!!acabo de pasar un control antidoping sorpresa…era de esperar después de todo…pero me alegro de que sea así!” Nadal wrote.

“8.30am !!! just taken a surprise drug test.. only to be expected after everything (that’s been happening)… but I’m pleased it’s that way!”

In Spanish we call these drug testing officials the “vampiros”, for obvious reasons…


Mark Says:

Tom Gainey. Here’s an interesting title for your next article: OH LOOK, WHAT IS DJOKOVIC SECRETLY TAKING UNDER THE TOWEL (during changeovers in his match against Andy Murray in AO?????


Polo Says:

“…What proof do we have he really was tested?”

Tom Gainey, why don’t you do some research first before posting your story? That’s the essence of good reporting.


taf Says:

What a horrible thing to end your piece with..I don’t know better so will have to assume you are French Mr. Gainey. Blah


Tom Gainey Says:

@Polo, there is no proof he did take the test. Before I posted I did visit the ITF website, they do publish tests but only from previous years.


nadalista Says:

^^^^^^^when did you last see your shrink?


Mark Says:

Tom Gainey. Rafa does not have to prove anything to you. If he says he was tested THEN HE WAS TESTED.


Ben Pronin Says:

“If he says he was tested THEN HE WAS TESTED.”

Uhm… that’s not quite how it works.


rogerafa Says:

Rather trivial and easily avoidable. As in the news about Roger’s allegedly “disgraceful”
comments, the 24*7 media will cling on to anything and try to give it some sensational spin. Factual, dispassionate and objective reportage is becoming increasingly rare. The problem is that most of us are gullible enough to fall for it and, depending on our likes and dislikes, get provoked into writing posts based on half-baked or even imaginary information. Character assassination becomes a fair game. Someone will not invite Roger to tea because he is not sugary sweet. Some other will not invite Murray because he will be spoiling their children with his F-bombs. Rafa will drive someone else nuts with his OCDs while Novak will tear off his shirts at the drop of his pants. The fact is, all of them are likely to be very well-behaved in the unlikely event of their coming to our tea party. They are probably nicer than most of us off the court. Their strict critical scrutiny should be, as far as possible, restricted primarily to their on-court behavior. The true test of sportsmanship (playing by the rules and the spirit of the game) is on the court and in the heat of battle where it really matters. It is very easy to be be graceful off the court after being disgraceful on it.


Mark Says:

Tom Gainey. I look forward to your next article with the title I have provided in my post Feb 13 at 11.34 am. Pls don’t disappoint us.


oui Says:

Mark a.k.a. Von
I see you are with us once again with a “new” moniker.
Von, do you really think Djokovic would swallow illegal pills on television, under a loosely draped towel in front of millions of viewers?


Mark Says:

@oui. Why not? He fakes fatigue on court to fool his opponents.


Mark Says:

@oui. And another thing. if whatever he was taking was legal why did he take it hiding under the towel??????


red'red Says:

Mark, youur comment really borders on unintelligent. Have you ever heard of sport stars and the likes hiding what they eat or drink on telly, because of potential advertising issues? Failing that, why not assume that he just did not want us to know his secret source of calories or whatever it was? Why show it to your competitors?

Could there possibly be some other, slightly more reasonable explanation, rather than him taking illegal substances in front of hundreds of millions of people watching on telly?


Mark Says:

@red’red. At what point did I say he was taking illegal substances? You said it!! It seems to me the man has too many secrets!!!!


Anna Says:

Gainey – Don’t you think Rafa’s tweet was in response to all the hullabaloo around the French cable video. You can maintain a vigilant lookout for his next tweet if it matters that much to you, but it’s pretty obvious something else has pis_ed you off and your creating a little smoke screen in response. I can’t believe I’d read your articles as if you were credible. Eventually those true colors come shining through.


Steve 27 Says:

Tom Gainey = Lame journalism.
Poor guy, you need to restudy journalism again.


skeezerweezer Says:

Right. The press, the press.


cecilia Says:

This news on Nadal is getting a bit long in the tooth now and should just be ignored. The anti doping group have the results of Nadal and the others being tested, so why not ask them? and Rafa should not get involved with all these smear campaign thats been going on. The French canal+ media etc are just jealous and have sour grapes because of Spain’s success and if Nadal announced to the world that he’s just been tested,well, what do you expect him to do? Pity though, that Richard Gasquet, a French tennis player couldn’t come out and defend Rafa, like he did once when he (Gasquet) was also accused of using drugs which he subsequently denied and yet no French media made a song and dance of it?? So Rafa, my advise, ignore them, only you and the anti doping tester knows the truth!!!


WTF Says:

You know when you get tested, the tester has to watch you piss into a glass? You can’t even turn around, he has to see it coming straight out of your manhood.

And you want this process video taped for “proof”?


Maso Says:

Canal+ have sour grapes and that’s why they made fun of Spanish athletes, Cecilia? Please. The Guignols don’t give a crap about sports results other than the skit they can spin out of it. They’ve been making much bigger fun of french sports for years and years. Domenech (our ex-soccer coach in the world cup) was demolished by the Guignols for 4 straight years. Zidane was regularly made fun of, so was Barthez. And that was at the time when we had a great team and we were in the spotlight. I can assure you, they only did the skit (and the song) about Nadal and spanish athletes because they thought it was funny.

And to be honest, it was funny (Nadal pissing in his car to start it up? muwahahah) and it has been completely blown out of proportion by the press. The Guignols are a satirical show. That’s what they do and have been doing it extremely well for over 20 years.) By the way, I don’t think Nadal is using and I wouldn’t use a French satirical show as a reference for it. Nadal fans are taking this way too seriously.


Mark Says:

Canal+ should continue to make fun of their own athletes and leave the successful Spaniards alone. Sour grapes.


Maso Says:

Right, Mark, totally logical… Yet they made fun of French athletes when they were extremely successful, too, as well as making fun of politicians, musicians, movie stars, etc. That’s kind of the purpose of the show. If you wish it to call it sour grapes so make yourself feel better, suit yourself but you are lying to yourself. They did it for ratings. And… ta-da… it WORKED! It’s even being talked about on a tennis blog, heh. I don’t think the Guignols thought it would make such an issue, but now that it has, I wouldn’t be surprised if they keep on making skits just to rub it in (they did yesterday anyway). GO GUIGNOLS!


Mark Says:

@Maso. If you see any sort of humour you r one sick individual. Maybe they should do some skits on athletes from your country wherever that might be. Then you can LYAO!!


Steffianna Says:

This post is the most ridiculous one I have read in a long time. The tennis players are tested regularly so I sincerely doubt that Rafa isn’t being forthcoming. Maybe you are just a fanatical Nole fan. If anyone made a remarkable transition in athletic form it was Nole. Maybe you should petition to have him tested as well.


WTF Says:

Steve 27 Says:

“Tom Gainey = Lame journalism.
Poor guy, you need to restudy journalism again.”

He’s not a journalist. He’s a blogger. I doubt he has any real journalism credentials. He has a conspiracist agenda and he’s playing the “I think you’re dirty, and you can’t prove me wrong so I win” card.

It’s a bit childish really.

If you’re going to claim, insinuate, suggest or imply that someone is doping in spite of being tested regularly (if this test was fake, then he would have been tested at other points — it’s impossible to avoid), the burden of proof is on accuser.

Nadal says he was tested. He’s not going to show you a video of himself pissing into a jar. It’s degrading enough to do it in front of a tester. To expect it to be shared to the world as “proof” is sick and wrong.

If he showed you the video from behind, you could claim it wasn’t really him, or he cheated by pouring someone else’s sample in. Even if he went the full monty for you, you could claim the tester was fake, and just a friend of Nadal’s in league with him. You could say the whole thing was staged. There would be no way to prove this isn’t the case. Do you understand now why in the court of law, the burden of proof is never on the defendant but the prosecutor? You can’t prove a negative, and that’s what you’re asking people to do when you accuse them of using magical PEDs that can’t be detected.

If you’re going to call someone a liar, then the burden of proof is on you. Where’s your evidence?
Put up, or shut up.


WTF Says:

Tom Gainey Says:

“@Polo, there is no proof he did take the test.”

Tom, where’s the proof you’re not a rapist?

What were you seriously expecting him to do? Post pictures of this undoubtedly pleasant encounter?

He got tested immediately after the AO final, as all finalists do. If he’s dirty, it will come out in time. If he is, then he knows this, and he knows he won’t be able to hide it.

Anyone who takes PEDs knows they will get tested, and they know they will get busted when it happens. Why would a top 10 player risk it?

If you’re saying his drugs are of the magical sort that leaves no traces and can’t be detected, well I’ll say that I regularly get abducted by aliens for reproductive experiments. I can’t tell you much about them because I suspect they are giving me a pill that gives me amnesia of the encounter, but I do know that I’ve “lost time” on many occasions. Sometimes I can still remember traces of what happened, and see some blurry images of the experience. They are also always very careful to ensure there is no evidence of them left on me, and they always come during the quietest hour of night when everyone is asleep, and their craft is dead silent and completely dark, so my neighbors never see or hear a thing when they come.

True story.


Maso Says:

@Mark

I am French, actually, and have actually NO problem with seeing French athletes being made fun of on a comedy show. Why? Because… it’s… COMEDY! The Guignols do it on a regular basis with French athletes, much more than Spanish ones. And if in your mind, I am a sick individual for enjoying it, then I feel sorry for you. You must not be a very fun person to be around. =)


Anna Says:

Maso – Rafa is not being made fun of. He’s being accused of doping. Have the GUIGNOLS insinuated Monfils or Tsonga dope with their satire? I doubt it. It’s not a joke, it’s not satire, it’s slander. I don’t think your sick for not being able to see it for what it is, just biased, narrow-minded and a little twisted. You also might try reading comments from the top to learn a little something.


jamie Says:

Slam winners for 2012 and 2013

The next 7 slam winners will be:

Nole 3
Murray 2
Nadal 1
Del Potro 1
Federer 0

So for the rest of 2012 and 2013, Nole will win 3 slams, Murray will win 2 slams, Nadal will win 1 slam and Del Potro will win 1 slam. Federer will win 0 slams.


Ben Pronin Says:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/soccer/wires/02/14/2080.ap.soc.doping.spain.1st.ld.writethru.0547/index.html

Look everyone! Spain’s sports minister is also jealous of… Spain’s success… That makes all the sense in the world. He’s jealous of the athletes so he’s claiming they’re doping, right? Oh wait, that’s not how common sense works. Sorry.


mat4 Says:

@Ben:

You could be interested:

http://www.tennis-prose.com/bios/has-nadal-run-afoul-of-the-doping-laws/

If you want to know the name of the retired player, check Madrid 2005.


Anna Says:

Ben – You seem to know alot about what goes on in the world of doping and sports. What other Spanish sports are implicated besides cycling. Of the 50 cyclists identified as having doping issues, how many of them were Spanish. Have any Spanish athletes besides cyclists been banned for doping? The Spanish Ministers statement is rather broad. Maybe he was just misunderstood.


skeezerweezer Says:

operation puerto?


Lulu Iberica Says:

Whatever. There is no more evidence that Rafa is doping than there is that Djoker or any other of the top guys are doping. After all, Nole has the most stamina nowadays, doesn’t he? Monfils is more cut than Rafa. Tsonga is bigger. (And yes, I know that tennis players wouldn’t take PEDS for muscles, but that doesn’t seem to stop some people from questioning why Rafa is so “ripped.”) Seriously, people have been saying this garbage about Nadal forever just because they don’t like his game, or butt-picking or what have you. Well, they can just suck on 10 freakin’ majors!!!


margot Says:

WTF @1.50 :) Glad you’re back safely with us!
Indeedy, am feeling very deja vu about any “Rafa and drugs” story. I also know Andy has complained when he’s had a test at 7am, because he feels especially annoyed about it. Expect Rafa does too.


Ben Pronin Says:

Mat4, interesting read but nothing really new.

Anna, really? That’s your defense? So he’s not saying the same thing that yannick Noah said last year? Spain has a doing problem. Why is this so hard to accept? It’s clear as day. noah’s not the first person to say this, and the minister won’t be the last.

Lulu, eh. I don’t care to single out Nadal in tennis or iin Spain. I don’t think speculation should make him the poster boy. Contador was legitimately caught and banned and in tennis I guess we just gotta go with odesnik for note.


Mark Says:

Why is Rafa being targeted by all and sundry. Why is there not more focus on Djokovic – e.g. His new found stamina and super-human efforts on court? He plays a 5 hour match on Friday and another 6 hour match on the Sunday with no sign of fatigue except of course the faking now and then? Come on guys, he is the one that should be investigated. He seems SUPER- HUMAN.!!!! What is he up to? What was he taking at the changeovers under the towel in the Murray match?? Open your eyes!!!!


Mark Says:

@Ben Pronin. Yannick Noah is just a punk who fluked a French Open title. Why should his derrogatory comments hold any weight? Maybe because the French are the biggest losers especially in tennis and Spain reign supreme. Just a bit of envy don’t u think?? If he made those comments about Serena Williams and other successful American athletes the Americans would have blasted him to he’ll and back. Comments by Spanish sports minister – I would say underlying reason to win the bids for the Olympics in 2020 by Madrird and 2022 by Barcelona.


mat4 Says:

@Ben:

It is difficult to have something new. But Ginepri’s (?) remarks were interesting, and Dan Markowitz wrote openly what most of us are doubting.

There is a lot of good material on THASP site, and the new guy (Sen no Rikyu) is doing a great job. For a while, there were interesting articles on the French site Welovetennis dot fr, with testimonies of French speaking players (Malisse, Escudé…), but I can’t find it now.

But… Mats Wilander showed in a clip on Eurosport Rafa’s hiperbarric chamber (there is a bicyle inside), Djokovic is using one (he is in the mountains now), Hewitt, Stosur are using such devices, and probably every other top player.

Their training is a science now. Look just the way Djokovic is hiding what he eats. He believes it is an important advantage. And suddenly, everybody seems fitter, everybody looses weight (from Tsonga to Sharapova, Murray openly stated he will try the same diet). So, we should be cautious with accusations.


Maso Says:

@Anna

You couldn’t be more wrong… The number of French athletes who have been slandered by the Guignols is nearly endless. (Mauresmo, Virenque [though he actually tested positive but so did Contador], Zidane, Ribery, Alain Bernard, our entire rugby squad, etc.) Not to mention President Sarkozy, all of his ministers, every politician in the country, everyone gets it. That’s what the Guignols do! And they do it much more with French celebrities as obviously, it is a French show. This time, it was aimed at Spain. Yes, it was probably in bad taste (catchy tune, though). Is it worth making such a huge scandal out of a few skits, though? I guess that’s a matter of opinion but I find it pretty ridiculous. Guignols usually win their lawsuits (they’re rather used to ‘em), let’s see how this one plays out.


Mark Says:

@Maso ‘Guignols usually win their lawsuits’. Looks like there have been many. So, not everyone is as sick as u to appreciate the humour or lack thereof. Did they do a skit on Gasquet doping??? @mat4 I am really enjoying your posts. You tell ‘em!!


Mark Says:

mat4. I am really enjoying your posts. You tell ‘em!!


Ben Pronin Says:

Mat4, that’s just the thing. It is a science, and science has found ways to make what used to be dangerous drugs much more safe and much more undetectable. Who knows what Djokovic was eating? I doubt it was illegal otherwise he’s a complete dumbass, but that doesn’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things.

Mark, man, really? Noah and the French are just jealous? Like, that’s it? That’s why they’re saying this? There’s no kernel of truth in it? Gasquet wasn’t caught doping, he was caught using recreational drugs so why would they do a skit about him doping?

Mat4, I think Sen is the reason why we’re hearing so much more about this. He’s doing legitimate research and he’s found some unbelievable things out there. The ITF’s antidoping program is an absolute joke and anyone who thinks otherwise has simply not looked at any facts and is going by the player’s complaints. Just because Murray and Nadal complain about early tests doesn’t mean the tests are being conducted well or even frequently.

And let’s remember that Noah didn’t criticize Nadal, he said Spanish athletes in general. But if Serena was targeted, I wouldn’t blame anyone. Has anyone found out if Serena ever took the test when she claimed she thought the tester was an intruder? Thanks to the awesome transparency of the ITF, we’ll probably never know.


Mark Says:

Ben Pronin. ‘Gasquet wasn’t caught doping’ …… ‘so why would they do a skit about doping’ . Very droll. He did test positive though. Nadal wasn’t caught doping so why did the do a skit on him?? This whole thread by your colleague Tom Gainey is in very poor taste and should never have been written in the first place. When r u going to write about Djokovic eating under the towel? When r u going to write about Djokovic THE NEW SUPERMAN??????


Ben Pronin Says:

I am surprised Gainey didn’t put up the video of Djokovic eating under the towel but that has nothing to do with me. I’m not claiming Nadal is doping, I’m claiming doping is rampant among Spanish athletes. It’s also rampant in professional tennis. Nadal could very well be clean, but that doesn’t make these claims any less true. Serbia is too small to be taken seriously as of now, but I have my suspicions about them, too. Not just in tennis, but they’ve recently excelled in other sports. But they’ve also just recently gained the necessary funding to actually produce athletes, so maybe it’s just that, and not doping. Time will tell.

I think Gainey being suspicious of Nadal’s test really isn’t that unfair. I don’t think this was just a PR stunt and I do believe Nadal was actually tested, but seriously how are we to know? And this really isn’t because of Nadal, it’s because of how despicable the ITF has become. Why don’t they publish who’s been tested for what and when? It’s not Nadal’s fault people are suspicious, it’s the ITF’s fault. There is virtually no transparency. We just have to take their word that they’re doing a good job. Maybe that’s enough for you, but it’s not enough for me. Nadal said he’s tested 3-4 times a year. Is that what you call a stringent program? And really how are we to know if the ITF never posts anything to prove this claim?


jamie Says:

By the end of 2013 the slam tally will be:

Federer 16
Nadal 11
Nole 8
Murray 2
Del Potro 2


jane Says:

” I doubt it was illegal” Ben, Murray and Nole did drug-tests after their semifinal match. At least Murray said he did, and thus I would assume Nole did too. Here’s what Murray said after their match:

Q. How would you describe your feeling right now?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, disappointed obviously. You know, but sometimes you come off the court and you’ve played really badly, you haven’t quite been there mentally, and then you’re really disappointed with yourself ’cause you’ve let yourself down.

I don’t feel like I’ve let myself down today. Just a bit annoyed that I’ve already ‑‑ I know the players go on about it a lot, but they’ve changed these rules with the drug test. I’ve just done the drug test, the urine test.

They just told me I need to sit down for 30 minutes before I can give blood. I want to get out of here, so I’m annoyed with that, which on top of losing a match like that, it’s really a frustrating thing to have to go through at 1:00 in the morning.


Ben Pronin Says:

Jane, nope, Djokovic did not get tested after the semifinal. Unfortunately, a player gets tested after he loses at the AO. Except for Djokovic who gets tested after the tournament since he never lost. That’s the system, test the loser. Once again, makes sense, no?


jane Says:

That’s weird. I just assumed they’d test both. Is that just the AO’s rule or all events? Still I can’t see him taking an illegal substance on inter-national TV. You could see him eating something under the towel.


Mark Says:

I would just like to know what has prompted these doubters to claim that Nadal is a doper. Is it his physique, is it his muscles, is it his stamina (which isn’t always there) or what else? The man trains very hard every day (I believe it is something like 4 – 5 hours daily). He has built up his physique with hard work not doping.


carlo Says:

Mark, as you likely know, it started with Operacion Puerto – 2006. It’s impossible to find the articles now on the internet – they have been removed or links replaced with some kind of statement article. But the rumors won’t die. Nadal was said to be a client of Dr. Fuentes along with other Spanish and non-Spanish athletes in football/soccer, track and field, tennis…but it was the cyclist clients of Dr. Fuentes that got busted. German Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich and Italian, Ivan Basso, were among the notables.

Then, it was, yes, his physique, stamina. But more recently it’s his frequent injury excuses, the treatments, the ease of obtaining therapeutic exemptions – TUE’s. But Nadal is by far not the only tennis player in question. Especially, as Ben brings up, it is dubious practices of the ITF and speculation about ‘protected’ athletes and suspicions around their “training” regimens and injury treatments. Also in tennis it’s about an Omerta of course – the code of silence. Really, to single Nadal out isn’t fair, imo. Even to single out Spanish athletes is biased. And many times the English speaking media focus on Spanish doping could be seen as intentional side-tracking…but I don’t want to get started on Armstrong – Contador!

And this isn’t maybe the right forum for such a conversation, I think. But if you are interested in a more open conversation, I suggest this:

http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?t=16362&page=19

At least one tennis thread opens up in a cyclingnews sub-forum at least every GS. Nadal-bashing is not the point. No big name is sacred.

There is a lot of information there. Recently from Fabrice Santoro. Maybe I’ll go get one more link, and then disappear on this subject.


carlo Says:

A quote from Santoro, translation by “Abstainer” on cyclingforum.com:

Of course some are. Like in every sport where there’s much money at stake. It’s obvious and very unpleasant to see a doper facing you and you think I trained 3 or 4 hours a day, I made the maximum to prepare my match and he seems to have 4 lungs, he doesn’t even breathe and eventually defeats me but you can’t say anything because you don’t have proof.

the Santoro video clip

http://www.welovetennis.fr/video-tennis/16391-santoro-chez-ruquier-federer-est-n1-en-etant-totalement-propre


carlo Says:

Very sorry. Doping is not something I want to think about in sport, especially a sport I love. But I’m just curious enough to look at it – even if it makes me sick :/ :(


mat4 Says:

@Ben:

How do you know Djokovic wasn’t tested after the semi-final? Do you assume it from the statistics from 2009?


Ben Pronin Says:

Yeah, wouldn’t you expect him to complain about it otherwise?


mat4 Says:

@Ben:

You should have been more precise. However, he was tested after the final, if there are no changes in the ITF testing policy since 2009.

If I remember well, Murray complained about the blood test, and he complained about it a few times, Nadal did it too. Djokovic, on the other side, tweeted once about it, but he didn’t really complain.


mat4 Says:

I watched the Santoro interview. It is very interesting. Concerning doping, he stated (it was in 2009) that there are “obvious” dopers. He is quite certain about that, but, of course, he won’t give names without proofs.


mat4 Says:

Sorry, Carlo already gave a good translation of the most important part of his remarks.


Fritz Says:

Ben,

Djokovic was tested after both quarters (Ferrer) and semis (Murray) matches. Andy was also tested after Nishikori match.

Considering your propensity to talk about doping, you should do more rigorous fact checking before making insinuating assumptions, i.e. Djokovic was not tested after Murray match.

Your “source” being the absence of Djokovic’s complaints. That way you erode your credibility for any future statement on the subject matter…


Ben Pronin Says:

Fritz, I’m not going by his lack of complaints but by history. how do you know when he was tested?


mat4 Says:

@jane:

Read Tignor’s take. Thanks. But I was never concerned: I like Djoko’s game because I have another conception of aesthetics, where I don’t mind about strength, speed, power, but where the point is to out-think the opponent, to neutralize his strengths, and finally to overcome his own demons.

So, I don’t give a cent for Roger’s serve, or forehand, nor do I care for his backhand or athletic skills: I keep waiting for the graceful moment when he will out-think Rafa (and finally, at this AO, it was clear that there is a way for Roger to do it), when he won’t fold down confronted to adversity, to doubts, when he will accept that nothing is given, but you have to get it by yourself.

And I can’t compare the Wimby 2008 and the AO 2012 final: in 2008, it was all about Rafa’s metamorphosis from an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan, but in 2012 both players acquired a new dimension and elevated themselves to till then unreached heights, fighting, above all, the desperation to know that you have, once more, to repeal your own limits.

Beauty, finally, although it can be visual, is, and ultimately has always been, a thing of emotions.

Roger’s slice backhand and volley are just grammar; Djoko’s primal screams are poetry.


mat4 Says:

… to overcome our own demons…

Sorry for my English. :-)


jane Says:

mat4, nice post. Yes, it’s in the eyes of the beholder. Tignor has many “eyes”; that’s what makes him an interesting writer to follow because he appreciates many kinds of poetry/beauty. Some will find it only in close forms, others only in free verse, but why not both and others too? ;)


jane Says:

“closed” not close


Polo Says:

mat4, I think your initial choice, “to overcome his own demons” is more appropriate when you take the whole sentence in consideration. Your English is very good, by the way.


Polo Says:

Back to tennis, Roger has now reached the quarterfinals without breaking a sweat. I think he will do well in this tournament.


jane Says:

^ I think he will win it. Apparently he made his ATP debut in Rotterdamn, is that correct? I am sure I read that somewhere.


Polo Says:

In spite of Federer’s recent slide, I still will pick him to win against other players except for Nadal. Novak is playing the best tennis right now but when Federer plays against him, I still think that Federer has an even chance of winning. Same goes against Murray. Other players can beat Federer but that is more an exception rather than the rule.


mat4 Says:

@Polo:

I don’t even think that there is a real slide in Fed’s game. He maybe is a bit slower, but he has matured, diversified and improved a lot of strokes, so it should be even.

I even think that with a different mental approach he can win against Rafa. He has shown a lot of times that he has the tennis for that.


mat4 Says:

And, concerning Tignor: the man is a poet in the first place, and his blogs are like short stories.

Finally, most of the times, when Tignor discovers an unnoticed, deep truth, he does it like Cervantes: unaware of what he wrote. But he does it often.


jane Says:

mat4, fully agree with you about Tignor; he’s my favourite tennis writer to follow because of his excellent writing and his intelligent insights, not to mention his willingness to see the best in pretty much any player. With a lot of writers, they wear their biases on their sleeves. I don’t think that’s so for Tignor, at least not as much as some.

“I even think that with a different mental approach he can win against Rafa. He has shown a lot of times that he has the tennis for that.” – Agree. Even at the FO – up 5-2 set one. Had he not choked or whatever, then he might’ve won that set, taken momentum and won the match. There is a glitch for Fed in his matches with Nadal, part mental and part match up (when the tennis falls back into old patterns).


mat4 Says:

@jane:

Deep down, I sometimes thinks that Roger never chokes against Rafa. No, I believe that he is not willing to fight, he just wants to play.

When I rewatched that semi he lost against Novak in New York, I had the impression that Roger’s level dropped whenever the level of adrenaline in Novak grew.

And in fact, Roger said it, after the match: “I believe in hard work…” For him, it is craft against craft, speed against speed, tennis against tennis, and in his best interpretation, art against art. But it not a tussle, not a combat, neither against the opponent, neither against himself. He wants to express himself, not to push his own limits.

When I thought about that, an image got to my mind: in the second part of LOTR, the orcs were attacking Helm’s Deep. The old king of Rohan, on the rampart, seeing their ominous resolution, said: “What man can do against such hate?”

That’s the origin of my term of “hate”. What man can do against such hate?


jane Says:

mat4, that’s a very nteresting interpretation, but let me, if you will, test it a little bit. How would you explain, for example, Fed’s win over Roddick at Wimbledon in the 5th set 16-14 or something, or perhaps his wins in five sets over the likes of Simon or Andreev. Do you think it has something to do with the opponents in these cases? Or even his last slam win over Rafa in 2007?


mat4 Says:

@jane:

I didn’t watch those matches. But his losses against Nalby in the final of the Masters, or against Safin in the semi of the AO fit well in my theory. Even two matches against Tsonga last year, in Wimbledon and in Canada (the second one was exceptional, maybe the best in the best of three format last year).

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