Call me a little cynical but why is Rafael Nadal, who just weeks ago withdrew from a key Miami Masters semifinal against Andy Murray because of a bad knee, risking further injury by adding an exhibition match during what will be a very busy, cramped summer?
I understand the July 14th match in Madrid is for charity and a record could be set with 80,000+ expected in attendance. And across the net in this tennis spectacle will be his main rival these days, Novak Djokovic.
But again, the match falls between an incredibly busy period in the calender. Nadal will have just gone through Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, French Open, Halle and Wimbledon before the match.
And just after the exo, he’s looking at the Olympics, Toronto, Cincinnati and then the US Open, with a possible Davis Cup semifinal tie against the US in mid-September before any kind of significant breather.
That’s virtually five straight months for a guy who couldn’t give it a go against Murray two weeks? Remember Nadal took a month off after the Australian Open to get right, but then started feeling knee pain after just one event in Indian Wells. So how the hell is his body (knee, shoulder, etc) going to hold up though that ambitious schedule?
Further, I know exo tennis is about as meaningful as a practice set, but if this match does get the hype as it may, Rafa’s going to probably give it a little more time and effort in this one. And we know how grueling these Nadal-Djokovic encounters have been (yeah I know It’s an exo, but couldn’t he have picked his buddy F-Lo who would have kept the points shorter?).
So while I applaud the guys getting together on this and raising (a ton of) money for good causes, I just wonder if he (and Novak) would have been better off holding the exo later in the calendar. At least it sounds like Rafa’s knee are back to health, which is good news. But for how long?
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