Bad Knees Are Still Bad, Rafael Nadal Forced Out Of Cincinnati For First Time In Career; US Open In Jeopardy?
by Staff | August 9th, 2012, 2:50 pm
  • 104 Comments

Rafael Nadal’s ailing knees have forced him out of the third consecutive summer event. After missing the Olympic games in London and Toronto this week, Nadal has announced that despite a return to the practice courts to train that he will be unable to play at Cincinnati which begins on Monday.

“Hi all, another message to announce something that definitely doesn’t make me happy, but unfortunately I won’t be competing at the tournament in Cincinnati next week,” Nadal posted on Facebook. “I am still not ready to play. I have many fans in Cincy and unforgettable moments such as 2008. I am continuing with my recup and practice. Thanks!”

Nadal hasn’t played since his shock loss to Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon. The 26-year-old has been hampered by knee troubles for most of his career. He hasn’t won a title off clay since the fall of 2010 at Tokyo.

Unless Nadal makes an unlikely request for a wildcard into Winston-Salem, the Spaniard will not play a warmup in preparation for the US Open.

Nadal had never missed either the Canadian Open or Cincinnati in his career. His next tournament is scheduled for the US Open then Davis Cup in Spain against the U.S.

Rafa has never missed the US Open.


Also Check Out:
Rafael Nadal Underwent Multiple MRIs On His Knee During Wimbledon
Nadal Withdraws From Queens Due to Bad Knees
Happy 32nd Birthday To Roger Federer Who’s Already Practicing In Cincinnati
Nadal Says Knees Still Not Right
History Made: Roddick Drops Leaving No American Men in ATP Top 10 for First Time

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104 Comments for Bad Knees Are Still Bad, Rafael Nadal Forced Out Of Cincinnati For First Time In Career; US Open In Jeopardy?

jane Says:

Speaking of bad knees – Andy M just called a press conference and he’s withdrawn from Toronto citing his knee, which he did have trainers look at during yesterday’s match.


skeezer Says:

Say goodbye to USO….


laslo Says:

He is faking. He came to pick up his appearance fee. He will be running like a rabbit at Cincinnati.


alison Says:

Skeezer for who Andy or Rafa or both? although win or loose i hope neither.


the mind reels Says:

@laslo: this article is saying that Nadal has just withdrawn from Cincinnati…so he won’t be playing. Or running like a rabbit.


the DA Says:

@ laslo

Masters events don’t pay out appearance fees – only ATP 250 & 500 events do. Doofus.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

This is getting troubling for Rafa. I imagine Murray’s attitude to Canada was to come and play as long as he felt alright, and bail if it didn’t work out (appearance fee in pocket). Unless he withdraws from Cincy, I wouldn’t worry for Andy.

But for Rafa, this will make for quite a long recovery time. Rafa has a history of returning strong from his absences, but it is far from ideal to come back to a surface you haven’t competed on in half a year.
The least worry is whether Rafa can compete at USO of course. The big worry is if his career will be further jeopardized.

I for one am very curious to see how Rafa faces the new Nole and Murray and resurgent Roger for a bit longer!


skeezer Says:

@alison

Rafa :(

He needs a lot of match play to be in top form, and he is not going to get it before USO imo……..IF he plays it all. He withdrew Oly, then Toronto, now Cincy, who knows when he will be ready? He is running out of time to be in good form for USO.


Polo Says:

Roger will continue to have streaks of greatness. But at his age and the quality of his opponents, I don’t expect him to be consistently brilliant. I have doubts about Djokovic’s confidence. I worry about Nadal’s knees. I am not sure how Murray’s Olympic win will improve his outlook and confidence. But of those guys, I would put my money on Murray as the safest bet. del Potro remains a double question mark for me. I don’t see anybody else touching those guys in the next 2 years.


alison Says:

Skeezer yeah does not bode well,ATM i just hope he plays,other than that my expectations are not very high anyway.


dari Says:

BUMMER. never wanna see any of the top guys out of a slam, so definitely hope he is fit by end of the month. Best in recovery to rafa


jatt Says:

hmm.. lets wait till US open. I think rafa will not miss it.He knows the importance of US open.
He’ll be back with a bang


alison Says:

Jatt i really hope your right,im keeping everything crossed for him.


Brando Says:

I may be the only rafa fan to feel like this, but I am PLEASED to hear he is skipping cincy- a wise move IMO, both short and long term. He’ll be back for sure!


tennisfansince76 Says:

i’m hoping Rafa can come back healthy but realistically even if he plays the USO it will be a long shot. Rafa has always needed a lot of match play to keep his game grooved. when he doesn’t get it 2 things happen. he becomes more susceptible to injury because his body isn’t used to the stresses his game puts on it (see abdominal injury he incurred getting ready for the USO in 2009 after skipping W. and also he simply doesn’t play as well. he tends to put a lot of short balls in play that quality opponents can feast on. it takes a lot of neural calibration to get his heavy topspin to fall close to the baseline consistently.
also he is pretty much out of the running for year end #1. but anyway good luck to him and i hope he gets back to good health and good form soon. the game is missing him.


alison Says:

Brando i dont care about him missing Cincy either,i just hope hes ok to play the USO.


Sienna Says:

He is under trained under prepaired and in no mood for more humiliating defeats. He is in no way wanting to face the current #1 to affraid of letting his h2h lead fade away . He is losing 2 out 3 at the moment.

Nadals heart is not in it anymore .


Sienna Says:

Which is sad I think.
But it is what it is.


Humble Roger Says:

always make excuse. fake time-out always. too annoying always. ugly gamesmanship. ugly protest. bump to player. push of ego two-year-ranking. also, looks down on Sampras era. etc.

Nadal is arrogant gamesmanship player ever as always.

go to ” Nadal unsportsmanlike” “bump Nadal Rosol.” “Nadal is cheating.” etc.

Nadal’s fan are fanatic arrogant blind as always.


Humble Roger Says:

And, US Open, And in clay. He going jump again.


mem Says:

Humble Roger,

if you are going to make an attempt at comedy, please be original! thank you!


mem Says:

you go rafa!

you’ve got your critics tails in a spin now! they don’t know what to think. i like it like that!

we will be waiting for your return. miss you much!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Its amazing how often Rafa and Roger have been dead and buried on these boards. You’d think people would learn: until Rafa and Roger stop making comebacks, don’t expect them to stop making comebacks.
I also think people are jumping on Novak a bit quickly.
We are going to have 4 very viable contenders for the next couple slams (until clay of course). There’s also every chance Del Potro, Tsonga, Raonic or Berdych could step up, or at least knock one of these hot shots out.
In summary: Rafa will be back. Novak will make more Slam finals. US Open, wide open.


roy Says:

when will you people learn? it’s all just another dirty trick from the nadal camp.

after years of withdrawing from major events with knee injuries, people still weren’t convinced of a problem [and rightly so].

therefore nadal decided to skip three of the biggest tournaments in a row just to try and prove he was injured at wimbledon.

but we expert tennis fans know better. for instance, once i saw him take a medical timeout and still win. faker. case closed.


mem Says:

roy,

are you upset? i bet you miss “the faker” too! LOL. don’t worry, be happy, rafa will be back soon.

i know it’s hard, but in the meantime, try to enjoy tennis!


skeezer Says:

Tennis has never been so good right now.


laslo Says:

DA
I was writing about Murray faking not Nadal. By the way, Tennis Vagabond says he pocketed the appearance fee too, doofus.


Tennisthis Says:

It could go either way for Rafa. He could be fresh enough (physically) to have a deep run at the USO. The only problem being the lack of competition he’s had the last month.
It really does open the door wide for some new blood like Murray.


Dave Says:

Nadal is either going for a hail mary win at the US Open or, less likely, is shutting down for the year.

In the big picture, withdrawing from both Cincinnati and Toronto does not cost much if Nadal wins the US Open. After all, Cincinnati is his worst Masters tournamnet in terms of match winning percentage (only 62%) — so it was unlikely he would gain a lot of points anyway (he’s never gone beyond the semifinals).

Nadal is likely protecting his legs and also his serving arm (i.e., expect him to serve big again) for one big push at the US Open. It’s actually a smart startegy. If his body cannot last on hardcourts (voluntarily) playing his physical style, then why not try something new: design a practice plan to try to peak for one big tournament. He’s done this before for the 2010 World Tour Finals, when he reached the final and took a set off Federer even though he did not play any warm up indoor tournaments. And he did reach the 2011 US Open finals with just four matches at Toronto and Cincinnati. It’s still a risk going in without actual match practice, but there is no guarantee he would have gotten the right type of match practice anyway at Toronto and Cincinnati.

If Nadal wins the US Open, it would be a genius strategy. He ends the year with two grand slam titles and therefore will be considered for player of the year even if he is not No. 1 in the rankings.

For Nadal to get a shot at year end No. 1, he would need some luck in the form of Federer and Djokovic stumbling over the next few weeks. It’s going to be very, very difficult — but not impossible: Nadal has to win US Open, Shanghai Masters and World Tour Finals (stranger things have happened in tennis history). Those 4,500 points should be enough to secure the year-end No.1 for Rafa.

If Team Nadal chose this strategy, then Nadal voluntarily chose to withdraw instead of being forced to withdraw. Nadal’s public relations team knows that people will gullibly presume his knees are still bad (even if they were never that bad in the first place).

Nadal’s knee drama remains dubious to me. I don’t for one moment believe it is as serious as those people jumping to conclusions that it is serious even though no specifics have ever been provided.

- First, it’s been exactly six weeks (42 days) since Rosol beat him — that’s a long time to recover from even a bad case of tendinitis, based on sports medicine doctors.

- Second, Nadal’s own actions and comments indicate that his knees were not that bad before the Rosol match. He played Halle and even put in the effort to beat Lucas Lacko (who had bagelled him at 2011 Doha) — if he had problems with his knees why play Halle? After beating Bellucci in the first round of Wimbledon, he suggested that the upcoming Olympic tennis should not be played using best-of-three sets before the final — in other words he was willing to play best-of-five sets for all six rounds because he was worried asbout losing early. (Nadal: “it’s not great that you play in a very important competition on grass the best of three. That’s makes the tournament a little bit more crazy. You know, everybody can win everybody even more than in hard or clay, because playing best of three the match can be decided in just a few points… playing best of three on grass in a very important competition makes the tournament, no, more difficult for everybody because there is no favorites then.” see link). This sounds like someone willing to play best-of-five sets in the Olympics on grass — not someone suffering from bad knees and ready to pull the plug on the Olympics, Canada and Cincinnati.
http://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/news/interviews/2012-06-26/201206261340736163138.html

- Third, two days later Nadal lost to Rosol. During the post-match presser, none of the news media bothered to ask him about his knees (or whether he was even injured), not even pro-Nadal journalists who tend to ask him about his injuries at the slightest sign. They had no reason to ask such questions because Nadal appeared to be moving well in his first two matches at Wimbledon. He did not even ask for medical timeouts in his first two matches, if I recall.

- Fourth, Nadal may be the first tendinitis patient in medical history whose knees gets worse after he stops playing. Not that his knees appeared that bad in the first place. (I admit. I too am still not ready to play as I am continuing with my own recuperation and training. I’m not happy but it is what is is.)

On another issue, Nadal said last year he was skipping Davis Cup because of the Olympics. But since it is on clay in Spain we’ll see if he plays.


Michael Says:

Nadal has still not come out as to what is his exact ailment and therefore it is difficult to guess his fitness level at this moment. I do not agree with Dave that he is doing this boycott as a strategy for the US Open. Nothing is better like a match practice and Nadal is yet to play on a hard court tournament and so this will surely hurt if he competes at the US Open.


the DA Says:

laslo

Masters events are MANDATORY so they don’t need to pay appearance fees. Tennis Vagabond is also incorrect. Only the lesser ATP 500 & 250 events pay out appearance fees to ensure stars show up.


Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:

Dave, Nadal was making a general statement. He was not suggesting that they should have changed these olympics to best of 5 sets. All he was saying was there were no obvious favourites in best of 3.


Colin Says:

laslo, those of us who actually know a bit about Andy Murray are aware that he has a knee problem he was BORN with! He has a bipartate patella, or split kneecap which, when it is stressed, causes pain and inflammation of the tendons. He has had to manage this condition since boyhood, and as his game entails lots of running, obviously the problem isn’t career threatening.
So just for once, let’s not assume a player is lying.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

smh, what’s going on with Rafa. It’s a pity that we don’t know for sure what exactly is his problem. Just wish he is back for USO.


Margot Says:

Iaslo @3.28pm: There’s always one…*rolls eyes*


Margot Says:

Bad news for Rafa fans :( Hope he’s OK :)


alison Says:

Margot hope they are both ok,Andy will be fine of that im sure,i just have a horrible feeling Rafa wont even play the USO,just hope im wrong.


Maso Says:

Damn, that’s terrible for Rafa. I somehow have a hard time imagining him skipping 3 important events like the Olympics, Toronto and Cinci unless his knee problems are really serious. Hope he’s okay come USO.

It’ll be tough coming in right away with no hard court practice, though I imagine with Rafa’s talent it should be enough to make it through the first week and then who knows what can happen? Wishing him a good recovery.

In the meantime, seems like the Olympics hijacked the Toronto Masters pretty seriously =O No Fed, no Rafa, no Murray now. You don’t see that happening often at a Masters 1000. Good for Novak, in any case, who may have a slightly easier road now to defend his points from last year.


Sienna Says:

Both nadal and djoker are bewildered and clueless because they are struck down by the rise of Fed to the top of the rankings.
Nadal really is at a loss what to do. Im sure he will be at UsOpen but should be carefull not to enter totally unprepaired he will lose elite status if he falls prior second week .


metan Says:

Be well Rafa, we can wait for you!


Brando Says:

@Dave:

Excellent post, and as a rafa fan, I AGREE with your theory.

Like you said, rafa’s record at cincy is poor compared to elsewhere- so exactly what was he going to gain by playing there?

Very little IMO.

Until/ if (i certainly hope he does) play at the USO, we cannot say for certain what his scenario is.

But, taking into account all the variables, IMO i think he is going for a ‘all or nothing’ kind of approach regarding the USO- and like you, i think it could be a smart strategy, given his situation.

IF rafa plays at the USO, should he get a favourable draw and survives week 1- then potentially in week 2 he could reap the benefit of the long lay off.

The ONLY other top 4 member who will be somewhat fresh would fed (smart move by him skipping rogers cup).

the rest, will most likely be tanked- potentially having played 3 weeks of tennis in 4 weeks prior to the USO- very bad planning.

IMO, that’s why andy murray has also withdrawn from rogers cup now- as he knows a break is needed!


Mark Says:

@ Brando. All the federinas accuse Rafa of feigning injuries. Do you think perchance Murray is doing the same to conserve some energy for the USO? Why not? But I don’t see any accusations thrown in his direction!


Margot Says:

@ Mark, ahem I suggest u read Laslo @3.28 9/08. That very accusation was made, and rebuffed by Colin later. Andy has a genetic defect regarding his knee.


Mark Says:

@ Margot. I am fully aware of Andy’s genetic defect re: his knee. He has had trainers on a few times in the past but I don’t ever remember him withdrawing from a tourney because of it! I suppose now is as good a time as any!


Brando Says:

@Mark:

LOL, ignore the ‘federinas’ (whoever they are/maybe)- their not worth responding to!

Fed fans like dave, skeezer and numerous others though may doubt, diagree with rafa etc- but do not hate him IMO.

They are old enough and mature enough to know better (and have given rafa credit when it is due)- so take it easy with regards to them.

With regards to murray feigning injury- why not? And why shouldn’t he?

IMHO- NONE OF THESE PLAYERS ARE SAINTS- nor should they expected to behave as such!

They all do what helps them and their cause- and why shouldn’t they?

Now andy came to the rogers cup tired and fatigued. He could not skip rogers cup as he already missed madrid this year- so he had to turn up or other wise be penalised.

Now, he’s won rogers cup twice before, has next to nothing to defend in terms up points, so skipping this tourny makes ABSOLUTE SENSE for him to do so.

So playing one match (meets the turning up requirement), calling for a trainer during it (when he really did not not need one) and then withdrawing citing injury- is just a SMART MOVE on his behalf!

A necessary one!

And i am glad he did it!

Ideally he wouldn’t have even turned up, BUT given his scenario- this was the next best possible move he could have played in this situation!

And he played it perfectly!


andrea Says:

that’s a drag for the tour. so much emphasis is on the marquee players that losing one of them is a big hit. bummer that andy m withdrew from toronto. i was looking forward to his match with milos.


The Great Davy Says:

ARRRRGGHH Now I have to learn to beat A DIFFERENT top player if I want career comeback!!! >:(


Mark Says:

^ Grow some hair then maybe you can!


madmax Says:

Mark Says:
@ Brando. All the federinas accuse Rafa of feigning injuries. Do you think perchance Murray is doing the same to conserve some energy for the USO? Why not? But I don’t see any accusations thrown in his direction!

August 10th, 2012 at 10:42 am

Mark, you also need to quote your source about the feigning injuries? No one doubts rafa’s knees are a problem. They have been for years. The complaints that have been made are the MTOs which are widely documented, not by mere bloggers like us, but sports journalists who actually know their onions. Plenty of information out there, if you would spend some time. But then you just want to whine all the time. The tour isn’t the same without rafa right now and I wish him well, as I am sure, 99% of people here would. Just because he isn’t our favourite, doesn’t mean we don’t wish him well..that is reserved for people like you.

Mark, please read Laso’ post at 4.50? For those of us who know a little bit about Murray (and you clearly don’t), you would know about his condition. Some careful reading and research would make you come across as a bit more informed. Wishful thinking I know.

Good luck to Murray. Hope he gets better, but I think this is the right decision of him. He must be exhausted. Sofa, massage and relax is what is needed.

Think Rafa needs to really rest, seems that things have caught up with him a little bit this year, but he has achieved so much already. I think he will be fine for the USO alison.

I really do. Wish he could be more explicit though with what is exactly wrong. May be a press statement will be out soon?


Polo Says:

For me, it does not really matter if a player has an injury, feigning injury or whatever you call it. All I care about is what I see on court. The winner wins, the loser loses. Whatever it is that makes one lose does not matter to me. I am not going to wrack my head whether a claimed injury is real or not. It is none of my business. I just want them all to play. Let the best man win. No explanations are needed.


The Great Davy Says:

Mark,

I have plenty hair. Just ask Mrs. Davydenko ;)


Sienna Says:

Madmax
there is nothing wrong with his knees.
He is just not there for the fast surface.
He has put everything on clay and it payed of.
Associazione sono associazione the courts became master he lost madrid, wimbly.
So he hasjust racket training practice for the fastcourt because he couldnt prepaire due to garros.

Atm he is taking it easy maybe prepair for UsOpen and last months of the Year
He skipped these events because he hates losing. remember rosol and how he acted?
Dumping in during changeover and arguing with referee about his return action. Dispicable behaviour by former #1.


Sienna Says:

Associazione??? What happened there?

I meant to say as soon as courts became faster ……


Gaga Says:

Nadal should not overplay during the hc season, that would be a huge mistake. Play the really big ones like AO and USO and WTF, that’s it, maybe the odd hc masters like Indian Wells and for next year prepare for the 2013 clay season where he will be looking to win an 8th RG like DeCugis and Rosewall did in the past. Perhaps Davis Cup final if Spain reaches it this year.


madmax Says:

Gaga, is that all you rely on, Clay?

Mark,

Considering you blab on about arrogance, I found this and wondered if you thought this was arrogant? And whether you have ever heard Roger say such a thing? If you have, please let me know.

Usain Bolt declared himself “the greatest athlete” to have lived after sealing an Olympic sprint double.

“I’m a living legend,” he said, after becoming the first man to successfully defend both 100m and 200m titles.


Mark Says:

Well done usain Bolt!!!


Sienna Says:

Gaga Says:
Nadal should not overplay during the hc season, that would be a huge mistake. Play the really big ones like AO and USO and WTF, that’s it, maybe the odd hc masters like Indian Wells and for next year prepare for the 2013 clay season where he will be looking to win an 8th RG like DeCugis and Rosewall did in the past. Perhaps Davis Cup final if Spain reaches it this year.

August 10th, 2012 at 2:40 pm

So True lady.

He has no chance of making anything happen on these courts so why even bother.
His elite stature on HC (fast) and gras are well and truly behind him. He just barely scrapes top 10 on those surfaces. Maybe even lower on gras and indoor.


skeezer Says:

The Great Davy
LOL 1:07 post


Mark Says:

^ Little things please little minds!!!


Sienna Says:

its little thing that keeps you going ..
Like olympic Gold for the dutch field hockey girls

And like a 9-2 humiliation destruction of the men hockeyteam

And of course 291 weeks ATP#1


skeezer Says:

“^ Little things please little minds!!!”

Very analogy of yourself, spot on ;)


alison Says:

Thanks Madmax hopefully Dave and Brando are right,and Rafas putting all his eggs into the USO basket,a risky strategy i know and hopefully it will pay off,only time will tell i suppose,i agree it would be nice for his team to let us know exactly whats going on though.


Kimberly Says:

well the us is basically showing the rest of the world minus jamaica who’s the boss on sports that really count.


Mark Says:

Sienna. But the gold medal is missing for your man!! Hahaha


Sienna Says:

Who cares about basketball?

You guys should do something about the weight problem.

Or get healthcare for ever person in US.
O no that is the law Obama made and is being dressed out by the republicans!


Sienna Says:

but you guys got 1 thing right.

The african americans are good enough to give their lives in battle in wars like vietnam and Irakand they are food enough to get 75% of the gold medals for good old US of A

But ordinairy african American are just good enough to live for the city!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeMfwUN5z_4

have a good one with all your medals.

Ali knew what to do with it!


Sienna Says:

Mark Says:
Sienna. But the gold medal is missing for your man!! Hahaha

August 10th, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Mark you know very little in life? Youre young and you hopefully get it someday!

http://www.fanpop.com/spots/roger-federer/images/25152296/title/rf-twins-rich-famous-children-photo


Sienna Says:

I do like (some) americans. Especially this one… Halas he has been dead for som etime, but there are others

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDW_Hj2K0wo


Rafaella Says:

I don’t think Rafa should make any statement on the condition of his knees. All the haters will not give him any benefit of the doubt and never will. Who cares? If he loses or withdraws in the middle of a tournament, either he is a faker or abusing MTOs.

Rafa was never afraid of Fed or Djok. Even if he lost to Novak for 7 straight times, he accepted his defeat.

Tendinitis is a recurring problem. It will never go away. Uncle Toni stated before that as Rafa gets older, they will limit his schedule in more preference to clay courts, as they are not as stressful to the knees as hardcourts.

To us Rafa fans, it is sad that we won’t be seeing Rafa plays as much, but it is better to see him play at his best, for sure.


laslo Says:

calling for a trainer during it (when he really did not not need one)———-

Brando
He was lying/faking.

Colin
you can call it whatever you like.


skeezer Says:

Rafaella,

” If he loses or withdraws in the middle of a tournament, either he is a faker or abusing MTOs.”

Ok, so who really has created these controversies? Haters, or Rafa himself? Think about it.


Dave Says:

alison, brando: Nadal’s Cincinnati Masters match winning percentage (62%) is worse than even Paris Masters (75%) and Shanghai Masters (70%). I doubt Team Nadal wants to risk mucking up Rafa’s rhythm and legs — and risk injury — on the faster and lower bouncing Cincinnati courts when he could be exclusively practicing on a court surface closer to the US Open.

I really thought Rafa would go after Toronto — had he trained adequately, he would have had a good chance to beat Djokovic based on what I’ve seen of his form. After all the withdrawals and losses, Toronto was begging to be taken.

The common belief is that Nadal needs a lot of repetitipous practice and warm up matches to perform well at the non-clay majors. I’ve always felt Nadal is more far talented than people tend to give him credit for. For example, Nadal has a 47% match winning record at the World Tour Finals, the indoor tournament. Yet in 2010, after he lost his second match at Shanghai Masters, he skipped the next five weeks of indoor tennis and came in cold into the World Tour Finals — without any warm up indoor tournament. He beat Roddick, Djokovic, Berdych and Murray — who all have a better indoor match winning percentages — but lost to Federer in a three setter. He was one set away from winning the title. This tells me that team Nadal took a smart, planned approach to preparing Nadal for his first and only indoor tournament of the season. And they almost pulled it off.

Nadal’s US Open match wining percentage is 80.95%, eight best in ATP history and just ahead of Agassi (80.61%) and Hewitt (80.39%). He is no slouch and has won one title from two USO finals. If Team Nadal could almost do it at the 2010 World Tour Finals, then it’s even more likely they can do it at the US Open. It’s risky, but a calculated gamble. If it fails, Nadal can plan for the Australian Open with more confidence as he can rest his body as needed for the remainder of the season (even if he temporaily drops to fourth, it’s no big deal — it’s happened to in February/March 2010 and it happened to Federer last year, both times they rebounded to No. 1 a few months later)

Unfortunately for his fans, the last thing Team Nadal should reveal is what they are up to, since it alerts his rivals to take countermeasures. In any case, it’s easier to skip tournaments using the injury excuse than to have no good excuse (imagine if a top player said: I’m skipping Toronto and Cincinnati because my priority is the US Open).

On Djokovic: Toronto has actually ended up becoming a smart place for Djokovic to win points on the year-to-date ranking, given all the losses and withdrawals. I expect Novak to at least reach the final (I would be shocked if his buddy Tipsarevic won this match unless Novak wakes up really sore and with no chance to win the final). If Djokovic wins Toronto, he should withdraw from Cincy, recover and prepare for the big prize: US Open.

On Murray: In his entire pro career, Murray has given only two previous walkovers within a tournament (2008 London Queens Club and 2009 Dubai), so it’s not as if he abuses it.


Margot Says:

Apparently at an interview Andy said he may withdraw from Cincy. Bummer, has buckets of points to defend :(


madmax Says:

Gotcha Mark!

Mark Says:
Well done usain Bolt!!!

August 10th, 2012 at 3:27 pm

In other words, WELL DONE ROGER FEDERER!


madmax Says:

Margot,

I really don’t think you need to worry about Andy. He has the USOpen in his sights and I think he has a god chance. Better to rest and be ready than jeopardise a potential slam.

He knows his body best. How many points would he lose? Think about the gains though, if he does win. Will outweigh the loss of his points, surely?


Maso Says:

Murray needs his first slam more than he needs to defend points in Cinci. His #4 ranking isn’t really in jeopardy and he doesn’t gain much by becoming #3. If he needs to pull out of Cinci to win the US Open, it’d certainly be worth the sacrifice! With that first slam win, his confidence would certainly skyrocket. Winning the Olympics might have taken a little pressure off his back as well.


Gaga Says:

Nadal relies on clay basically and there is nothing wrong with that. Clay is one of the oldest surfaces with lots of history and tradition. If he were to win something not on clay it would be great for his resume but he would need many things going his way like we saw at his AO and USO wins. Kind of like Agassi just won one FO and one Wimbledon and people don’t berate him for not winning multiple times at his 2 worst slams.


Brando Says:

@Margot:

He’ll be fine for USO, i am sure of that.

He’s won cincy twice already, so there is nothing left to prove at that masters event.

He will lose alot of points, BUT it is a price worth paying for the big one: USO!

I think andy is playing it smartly- and rightfully so!

Good move by him, IMHO!


Brando Says:

@Dave:

excellent post, and i agree with you completely re rafa.

It is a risky strategy, BUT one that is worth pursuing given his situation. Like you, quite honestly speaking, i never saw any real benefit in him playing at cincy- so i was pleased when he withdrew from there!

Re novak: IF novak does like you mention, then i think it will work out for him well. But personally, i think he shall play cincy as he has 600 points to defend there. Should he do so, then he could potentially have played 3 weeks of tennis in 4 weeks prior to the USO- which is really bad strategy. Especially when the player himself, nole, has voiced how tired he is!

I think he could end up being a victim of his own success from last year, and under perform at USO due to burn out.

Re andy: Very valid point. Of all the top players, andy is the last one who could be accused of using the system to his advantage.

IF he is doing so, then he is doing the best thing for himself- being fresh for the USO. No one can really fault him for doing so, IMHO.


JimboJones Says:

I wonder if Rafa is just going to wake up one day and say I don’t feel like platelet rich plasma injections and tons of times with the physio just to play. Maybe fishing and leisure time will win out. I am worried.


Mark Says:

^ Dont worry. Rafa loves tennis too much!!


Margot Says:

Brando/Madmax: other scenario…Andy misses Cincy, loses mega points and bombs at USOpen.
Love Eeyore


Brando Says:

@Margot:

True, rafa could also bomb big at USO, but it’s a risk worth taking for BOTH guys IMHO!

Besides, personally speaking i think andy is maturing in great measures in his game recently and i for one can see him comfortably making it to week 2.

Once there (hopefully of course) he could then reap the rewards of withdrawing from canada masters by having enough in the tank to go all out for the win in NY!

Time will tell, but for the moment, in my opinion, he’s done absolutely the correct thing!

Hope it works out for him!


alison Says:

Brando and Margot sorry off topic,Mo Farrah double olympic champion the guy who inspired our Andy FAN BLOODY TASTIC YIPEE GO MO.


tennisnotanolympicsport Says:

Nadal is done as far as winning anything off clay. This is a smart move from Nadal and his camp. Clay is his best chance to win titles and they know it. He has a better chance in Australia than the hard courts of New York. Andy Murray may have trouble dealing the gold medal win which in my opinion makes the US Open a two man race between current world #1 Roger Federer and current world #2 Novak Djokovic. I pick Federer to win his 6th US Open and 18th slam title.


Addicted Says:

Has Rafa, or anyone in the Rafa camp ever stated that it is indeed his knees which are causing him to withdraw from these tourneys? As far as I remember, Uncle Toni’s statement about Rafa withdrawing from the Olympics was conspicuous in how he did not mention the knees as the injury. And neither does Rafa mention the knees here.

Maybe Rafa has a different injury that is preventing him from playing.


metan Says:

@Addicted,

What other injury??


skeezer Says:

^Rumors are he got injured playing Poker…


metan Says:

Skeezer, I will squiz you, you keep make fun of my rafa


skeezer Says:

metan,

All in good sport, Rafa is awesome and he will be back! :)


metan Says:

Skeezer, just kidding, actually I am having fun, hehehe


Addicted Says:

@metan – I don’t know what other injury. That’s my point. It might be something they haven’t disclosed. That being said, has anyone on the Rafa team pointed to the knees being the issue or is that an assumption on everyone’s part?


Mark Says:

Rafael Nadal works in gym to get rid of knee injury. ^Article in Tennis World.


Sienna Says:

The Nadafans are keeping the dream alive. But their man is losing ground very fast. it is getting more and more romantic to believe nadal will make a dent in current hc season.
Nadals bowing out on the fast courts are very clever indeed. He ducks 1 or 2 humiliating defeats against roger. Keeping the illusion of the h2h alive.


Mark Says:

^ You seem to be in your own little dream world always dreaming of Nadal! He is already taken by a very beautiful woman. So stop fantasising !!


Sienna Says:

Who says Iam attrackted to Nada?
I happen to prefere Xis.


metan Says:

Mark, Sienna is shy to admit it, but if you see on her posts, she is the one who like to talk about h2h . You know speaking about it means rafa still leads roger even on Clay, hehehe. Other roger’s fan hardly mention this stuff only sieanna.


Sienna Says:

I dont have a problem with the h2h

even more convinced that Roger will turn the h2h if Rafa dares to show up on the important event on the fast courts.

I never thought he would be so scared of a few losses, but the Rising of the Mighty and the defeat against #100 while at peak fysical condition has blown his claycourt form right out of the window.


metan Says:

Alright, lets see next Clay season who beat who? I hope by the time rafa knees are 100% fit and plus he loves to play on Clay court, let time tell us, whether Roger can beat rafa on the Roland Garros or not. Imo, Rafa loss to risoto rosol because he had knee problem, if rafa fit he never loss.

And you just jump up to your very own conclusion by saying loss to risoto rosol means rafa is done, actually not, he will be back stronger.


Sienna Says:

Delussional.

Rafa was very upset that there werent any questions raised after the Rosol match.

So the team needed to come out with a few knee issue statements after the tournement.

It was so funny to see. I talmost looked like the way Soviets where trying to brainwash there people back in the days.

We saw it coming from miles though. Not much wrong with Nadaknees.


Mark Says:

^ Have you tested Nadal’s knees recently? When did you last sit on them? You should be so lucky!!!


metan Says:

Mark, the baby is super cute! Vamos Rafa ,lol

Top story: Federer, Nadal Breeze In Basel; Murray, Ferrer Advance In Valencia
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ATP - Oct 20 WTA - Oct 20
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
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