Testy Nadal Withdraws From Sao Paulo Doubles To Rest Knees, Nalbandian Returns With A Win; Federer Cruises In Rotterdam
by Sean Randall | February 13th, 2013, 6:59 pm
  • 85 Comments

It hasn’t been a good 3-4 days for Rafael Nadal. After a promising start a week ago in Chile, Nadal lost in the singles and doubles finals on Sunday, then proceeded to torch several ATP policies and last night the former No. 1 took shots at the Sao Paulo court conditions.

Teaming with David Nalbandian, Nadal won his first round doubles Tuesday saving two matchpoints, but earlier today the duo withdrew from their quarterfinal match scheduled for later tonight. The reason: “overuse” of Nadal’s knees. Oh boy.

Also playing a role could be the poor playing conditions at the event, a problem pointed out by Rafa and echoed by several other players including Nalbandian.

Nadal remains in the singles for now, he’ll face Joao Souza tomorrow. If the courts don’t improve he could might not be around much longer.

Speaking of Nalbandian, the oft-injured Argentine was back in singles competition today for the first time since August and he came through with a 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 first round win over qualifier Jorge Aguilar.

Meanwhile in Europe, things began comfortably for two-time tournament winner Roger Federer at Rotterdam. The defending champ pounded Grega Zmelja 6-3, 6-1.

“I thought the ball flew a little bit more today than in practice. Overall, I felt I’m moving and striking the ball ok,” said Federer. “It took some time getting used to seeing the ball well again. I was happy with the way I reacted.”

The top seeded Federer plays local Thiemo De Bakker tomorrow. If he wins Federer will meet Juliean Benneteau in the Friday quarterfinals, then perhaps Gilles Simon in the semis. Lurking in the bottom half of the draw are Juan Martin Del Potro and the red hot Richard Gasquet.

JW Tsonga stumbled out earlier in the week after a very poor loss to Dutchman Igor Sisling.

It’s a big week for the WTA in Dubai. With all the oil money available, 14 of the Top 15 turned up for the lucrative event. Tomorrow in third round play World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka meets Christina McHale, Serena faces the other Radwanska while her sister, Agenieszka, takes on Ana Ivanovic. Maria Sharapova, Sam Stosur, Petra Kvitova and Caroline Wozniacki are also in action.


Also Check Out:
Federer Tries To Join Del Potro, Berdych In Rotterdam SFs; Roddick Tests Ankle In San Jose
Djokovic Withdraws From Rotterdam
To Rest His Knees, Rafael Nadal Might Not Play Indian Wells
Old Balls Please: 30-Somethings Serena, Castano, Nalbandian, Haas And Benneteau Bid For Sunday Glory
Poll: Should Rafael Nadal Skip Indian Wells And/Or Miami?

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85 Comments for Testy Nadal Withdraws From Sao Paulo Doubles To Rest Knees, Nalbandian Returns With A Win; Federer Cruises In Rotterdam

Wog boy Says:

Rafa is little bit edgy?


racquet Says:

Nadal has a valid point about the courts, here’s a photo of a line that buckled and moved:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BC740_UCUAAaWR0.jpg

Unacceptable. Trip over that on the run and you risk a serious injury. As Sean says, several other players complained.


Wog boy Says:

Ok, we shall give him pass for that one.


steve-o Says:

Good to see Federer back in action. Hope he can win the title.


JC Says:

Yep, give him a pass on the court, but then he says he doesn’t want to “overuse his knees”. Give me strength.. smh


El Flaco Says:

Federer has a difficult time with both of those Frenchman.


skeezer Says:

Fed back in action! Finally some tennis is really going on. NO drama. Go Fed!


skeezer Says:

Re; Rafa

Well it is not surprising he pulled out of doubles. A lot of posters ( including Rafa fans ) were questioning “why doubles?”. Apparently the manifesto didn’t get to the Rafa camp. Now, he says “overuse of knees” is the reason. I think your average intelligent tennis fan could have see that coming, doh!!

Sorry he is going through all this, but the question remains about the care of his knees and tennis schedule


Tennis X guy Says:

Faces Thiemo De Bakker next.Should be an easy match.Interestingly he has a negative H2H indoors against the next two guys he’ll face after that,Benneteau and Simon.Simon is one of the few current players that Federer dosent have a winning H2H so this tournament is a good opportunity to correct that.


Tennis X guy Says:

0-1 against both Benneteau and Simon indoors


Humble Rafa Says:

Lot of people asked me to define “overused” knees. So let me explain.

Over used knees: Condition created by playing more than 4 matches in a week. Gets worse with any loss in those matches, and gets better with wins. Typically occurs to those returning from long lay offs. Word has a Spanish origin.


Ben Pronin Says:

What’d he play? 8-10 matches last week? And already overuse? Either that’s a really bad sign, or he really just doesn’t like the surface. I’m hoping it’s the latter. But if it’s the former, I’m 90% sure we won’t see Nadal at the hard court masters. And I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll see him on hard courts at all this year.

However, he has confirmed to show up at the BNP Champions Showdown right before the Masters events. Indoor, hard court. So, we’ll see.


Alok Says:

I believe that it’s the opinion of most analysts that singles players use doubles in lieu of practise, especially when they are returning after a long lay-off from the tour. If it’s true, then not only is doubles eliminating Nadal’s practise time, but also giving him the opportunity to hone his skills. Some players have stated over the years that practising is not as effective as playing an actual match. That said, doubles should be considered productive for Nadal and not a hindrance, but that is only my opinion.

I watched the tail-end of a discussion between Wertheim and some other experts on TC. Jon stated that nowadays there is more focus on money, etc., and that in 2013 we’ll see more more focus on money than ever before. This was apparently about WTA players getting equal pay.


Alok Says:

I’m wondering if this is another attempt by Rafa to down-play his progress. IMO, I think Rafa likes to not raise fan and media expectations, and maybe he’s doing just that by by shelving his doubs participation? Perhaps he feels more comfortable with respect to his singles performance and now that he’s feeling more comfortable, then there’s no point over-stresing his knees? Perhaps, yes? No?


Michael Says:

Nadal’s recovery has been tepid. What is starkingly evident is that he has not fully recovered and his knees are troubling him. This is a very bad sign and Nadal’s prospects at Rolland Garros this year is a big question mark. I think this year, Novak has a very good chance of making a grand slam especially with Nadal in the sidelines and will not most likely pose a serious challenge to him at Rolland Garros. As history repeats itself, the momentous 2011 might repeat for Novak yet again.


Wog boy Says:

Michael,

I hope you are right but even with Nadal not at his best (if that is going to be the case) Nole has first to make it to the final of FO. Last year almost didn’t make it (Seppi, Tsonga), year before Federer’s ET perfomance knock him out in SF and there is another few players that can do the same on a good day. We will se how he is going to do next few tournaments (Dubai, IW, Miami and DC) that will give us pretty good idea where he stands before European clay season, mentally and physically. I still hope he is going to skip MC though unlikely since he said just last week that MC and Cincinatti are high on his priority list, just after FO. They are two missing masters.


alison Says:

Michael with all due respect that was Rafas ist tourney back after 7 months of not playing,this is only his 2nd tourney back after not playing,he made the final which was actually some achievement in itself,and you yourself were saying some months ago to the Rafa fans that they should not expect instantanious sucess,and if you read the Rafa fans posts thats exactly what they are not doing,so i think you should cut him and us a bit of slack,i know Novaks your second favorite and your desperate for him to lift the RG trophy,but between now and then a lot could happen,and it aint necassarily like Wogboy says a shoo that all of a sudden he will make the final even if Rafa were not at his best,as he came close to losing to JWT last year,to add to that Rogers also an excellent CC player,and Andy also seems hungry,so i would not be so quick to give the trophy to your 2nd favorite just yet.


Giles Says:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/tennis/21447998
Rafa not attempting to downplay anything as some poster suggests! Geez! The skepticism never ceases!!!!


Giles Says:

alison. Well said!


JC Says:

Has anyone heard anything about rafa’s Hoffa’s syndrome or the slight tear in his patella tendon since last year? It just seems to be about his tendonitis, or am I totally way off base? Or does it all come under the heading of his sore knees?


Indian Ninja Says:

I am a big fan of Nadal, but he and his team just keep making one immature decision after another. Anyone with a double digit IQ would have told them that playing both doubles and singles while coming after a 7-month lay-off is quite stupid. [forget the blind rafa fans, they cannot see or say the truth]

this just vindicates all the nadal detractors and their criticism of his team’s decision. Please rafa get some wise guys into your team. your scheduling and planning is worse than a kid in elementary schools!


st4rs Says:

Rafa will never be the same player again, two factors, first it is his age and second his troubled knee. French Open title is now morelikely to fall into the hands of either Novak or TMF.


Michael Says:

Alison,

Even I have repeated many times that Rafa cannot expect instantaneous results as he too is mere mortal. It is pretty tough for a player to start with a bang after a long lay off. So, although it was a shock to me that he was beaten by a little known Zeballos on his favourite surface, I knew Rafa would take it in his stride to motive himself for his future battles. This was said under the premise that Nadal had fully recovered. But the problem here is deeper for Nadal. From what he is reiterating in his interviews of late, it appears that his legs are still troubling him and he has not recovered completely and so the problem remains. He might require a surgery but that will keep out of play for more than a year. So, it is a choice between a rock and hard place for Rafa. Only we can pity his plight. As regards Novak, it is true that even last year he was close to elimination at the semis and he had tough matches early on. So, it is not certain that he would win even in the absence of Rafa. But, then who are you going to pick from the three – Murray & Roger ?? I do not think Andy is such a good player on Clay and Roger’s best years are behind him and clay will be his least preferred surface now. So, the obvious choice is Novak considering that he has the momentum going ahead for he has already won the first slam of the year.


Michael Says:

Wog Boy,

Yeah. Nothing is certain. I agree. But who will you pick from the top three other than Novak ? I think he is the best bet on Clay today in the absence of Rafa. Even Monte Carlo, he is in with a chance and Rafa might not go on to pick his 9th which would be just phenomenal, not that 8 is already.


alison Says:

Michael you missed my point,in that a lot can happen between now and RG,im not saying even a fully fit Rafa is definetly a cert for the title either,im just saying much can happen between now and then,the FO is still months away,Rafa may be fine by then hopefully,i just think its rather unfair to judge him on one tourney back,even though he made two finals last week,although im in agreement that the doubles is a bad idea,i mean maybe your all right and he will never be the same player again,but its a shame after just one tourney back that hes getting completely written off,as for Andy never has doesnt always mean never will,and Rogers won the title once,so whos to say he cant win it again,and Delpo has done well on clay,and is capable of troubling any of the top players on a good day,im sorry like i say i know hes your second favorite,but i hope for a well contested year with plenty of competition,and not with any one player dominating,not a repeat of 2011,no disrespect Novak fans.


alison Says:

Giles thanks for that link,what a cute little boy aww.


Giles Says:

^^ Thought you’d enjoy it! Lol


alison Says:

Just to say Happy Valentines Day to all Tennis-X posters,hope you all have a lovely day,and make sure you are all nice to your significant others xx ;-)


Ben Pronin Says:

Really? No one cares Nadal is playing a hard court exho in a few weeks?


Thomas Says:

Did anyone hear that story about Oscar Pistorius (aka “The Blade Runner”)shooting his model wife dead on valentines day! Apparently he thought there was an intruder entering his house(which was actually his wife) so he shot the person dead in self defence. LOL


Ben Pronin Says:

^How is that even a little funny?


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Rafa made a singles and doubles final in his first tournament after 7 months off.
That’s an excellent week.

Pulling out of doubles for his knees, well, lets HOPE that’s just common sense. But it certainly isn’t GOOD news.


Brando Says:

Right move by rafa IMO.

The organisers have said he has withdrawn as a PRECAUTION to make sure his knees are fins for the singles.

Makes sense to do so.

He had a long, tough doubles match yesterday.

Rafa and his team probably figured that best not put the knees through such a workload so early- and ultimately singles is what matters to him: both here and elsewhere.

Hence he has withdrawn, IMO.

On his return:

5 doubles matches under his belt, one RU finish: not bad at all i would say.

Now he can concentrate on singles from here forth after getting what he wanted from doubles:

MATCH PRACTISE!


sienna Says:

Not bad at all if it happened to be a master, slam or even a loaded 500 like rdam. Heck even a 250 event like doha would label runner up for nadal as not bad at all.

But losing on play against low ranked players is just on acceptabel by tenniselite stature.

Face it! The guy is in decline big time.


RZ Says:

Thanks goodness Rafa realized that playing doubles + playing singles = playing too much!


alison Says:

I have to agree with Ben and say im rather disgusted with that comment from Thomas,just what were the moderators thinking of letting a comment like that through?its a tragedy hardly something to laugh about.


Giles Says:

alison. That is what you call a sick sense of humour!! :-(((


skeezer Says:

@giles

Did u send out your Vaentines day card to Rafa yet? Pretty sure nadalista has, np?


alison Says:

Brando nice constructive post,could not agree more.


Giles Says:

skeezer. Not one but TWO. Champions deserve two no?


juljo724 Says:

skeezer, have you sent your valentine’s day card to fed yet?


skeezer Says:

juljo724,

Here’s your copy, :-)

Dear Fed,

Happy Valentines day. My wife sends her love from our honeyymoon suite and hopes you crush Rafa this year, but only when his knees are 100% perfect, so he won’t have any excuses.

Skeezer


Ben Pronin Says:

I’d just like to make a point. A few days ago (last week?) Pete Bodo wrote an article that, according to Rafa fans, spewed hatred towards Nadal. And apparently, Bodo has always been a Nadal hater and loves to take shots at him.

Today, Steve Tignor wrote an article comparing Kuerten and Nadal and how they’d match up against each other (very interesting, imo). The first comment I saw was from a Fed fan who claimed that Tignor takes every chance he gets to show off how much he loves Nadal, or something like that.

When did it become a crime to have favorites/dislike other players? Why can’t Tignor be a Nadal fan while Bodo is not so much? What is this ridiculous war that keeps waging?


Sirius Says:

Lol skeezer


alison Says:

Ben fantastic post,completely agree.


juljo724 Says:

Ben, SPOT ON!!!!


Giles Says:

skeezer. Did Fed respond? If so , I have a pretty good idea of his response. something along the lines :
My dear faithful fan skeezer,
Thank you so much for your good wishes.
I am not really celebrating Valentines Day, not in the mood.
Everybody keeps reminding me that Rafa is back and I just wish he would retire already. I can’t face the thought of him kicking my butt, pumping his fists and lifting the Trophies.
Thank you for thinking of me.
Your Idol.
RF


alison Says:

Hoping for a Federer/Delpo final in Rotterdam this week,both are playing really well,Baggy had a good wins over Gasquet and Paire this week,nice to see him playing great again and making some noise.


alison Says:

Back to tennis,Looks like that Federer/Delpo final could well be on the cards,Roger came through in straight sets,good going Roger.


Wog boy Says:

At least we, Nole fans, didn’t have to worry about St Valentines day like skeezer and Giles, we don’t celebrate that one, on the 14th of February we celebrate St Trifun day, much better than St Valentines, check it up;)


Giles Says:

Poor, poor fed. I really pity him. What has he done or not done to deserve fans of the lowest calibre in the form of BFF. #PureScum


Jim Says:

Tennis needs a new guy with a better personality, all these guys seem so stiff and exactly the same. When Isner is the best America contender, no one is going to pay attention, this article talks about what needs to happen to tennis its great! http://fanonomics.com/2013/02/14/the-next-macenroe/


Giles Says:

skeezer started the ball rolling! #GoodOldSkeezer


alison Says:

Wogboy whats St Trifun day?not that i have celebrated St Valentines Day either,as i have the flu #the most miserable valentines day ever,hubby was supposed to be taking me out tonight too(sigh).


Wog boy Says:

alison,

Instead of me traying to explain it is better if you google it, you my English.


Wog boy Says:

alison,

Instead of me traying to explain it is better if you google it, you my English.


alison Says:

Jim great article,hmm interesting tennis needs a bad boy,ok have to say Tomic is talented,and has yet to make a significant breakthrough in tennis,but certainly likes to court controversy,i hope he matures into a really good tennis player,although a little bit of attitude is also quite refreshing sometimes too.


Lou_tennisfan Says:

Yeah, Roger Won.

The greatness of the living legend called Roger Federer http://tinyurl.com/avuq68c


alison Says:

Wogboy thanks just looked it up,interesting read,id never heard of it,much more spiritual and symbolic than your typical St Valentines Day.


Wog boy Says:

That was bad post, even for my standards. I am stuck in traffic.


alison Says:

Lou-Tennisfan nice link,as a Rafa fan i love the photo and handshake between the two men,nice these two great players have such respect for one another,shame the same cant be said of their fans,Bens post at 1.32pm really fell on deaf ears (sigh).


Wog boy Says:

alison,

My pleasure, but don’t get me wrong, my wife did get roses … I prefer peace and quiet in my house.


alison Says:

Wogboy shes lucky then i got zilch this year,hubby will take me out this weekend if im feeling upto it,he already said he would so he better do lol.


alison Says:

Wogboy sorry to break it to ya,LVC lost 2/0 to Zenit in the CL grr.


Wog boy Says:

No good alison:(


alison Says:

wogboy yeah tell me about it:-((((.


courbon. Says:

Hey Wog Boy, flirting with Alison on Valentines Days?
( while the wife sits in other room?) This blog is becoming like a “Match.com”….


courbon. Says:

@Wog Boy-You are right. LVC-no good.


alison Says:

Courbon lol nah,happy St Valentines day to you,hope youve had a nice day,and that you have been good to your significant other.


courbon. Says:

Thank you-same to you.
I have not been on site for a week-busy in life, also its dead season in tennis and some conversations on this blog can go over and over…(like a match fixing, weak era argument, Rafas knees, how many grand slams will Novak win…)-Anyway, I’m sure you are happy that Rafas is back.Regarding LVC-they did not have a good manager for a long time (nothing wrong with current one-but with smaller club-to big shoes for him,Daglish-so-so, Banitez-did not like him, all that rotating stuff…They better start changing things around cause Totenham and Man City are passing LVC in stature.


alison Says:

Nah sore throat,headache,cough,runny nose,this has been the worst st valentines day ever,im gald Rafas back playing,but at the moment the jurys still out on his form,and the way hes playing,agree about LVC too they are at best a top 10 side,and sadly they are not left in any of the cup competitions either,sadly a shadow of the team they used to be.


alison Says:

^Duh glad not gald^.


courbon. Says:

Too early too judge Rafas form-simple as that.Or as our friend Jamie would said-you hard it here first!


courbon. Says:

too-to, hard-heard…f***ing spelling, never get it right


Wog boy Says:

courbon,

Behave yourself, stop swearing there are minors on this blog.


courbon. Says:

Yes Sir…


Humble Rafa Says:

All of you have to admit how much drama I bring to tennis.

If I just run like a maniac and win, it will be boring. I have to have cramps in the press room after that.

I love drama.


Brazil Federer Fan Says:

LOL Humbull rafa!

Why did you shriek like a girl though?


Michael Says:

Alison, Please do not get me wrong. I am not writing off Rafa. If not this year, he may bounce back next year. Ofcourse there is a lot to play for till the Rolland Garros and anything may happen. But, can we not just speculate about the likely favourites ?


alison Says:

Michael yeah of course we can,and im not saying otherwise,and thats exactly what i myself was doing,theres nothing wrong with speculating,but what does get annoying is when a poster thinks they have a monopoly on knowing more than the rest of us,or rather thinking that they do,when in fact nobody knows anymore than anybody else,same applies to you, me,Jamie or anybody else for that matter,ive heard it all week Fedal are done winning GS,you heard it here ist,followed by a barrage of abuse and name calling,untill both retire there is still always a chance they both will win more GS.


moam Says:

Just great to see Nadal playing again. Hoping the knee continues to strengthen. His loss in the finals in Chile to Zeballos was a very promising effort. Zeballos played a very good match and Rafa just isn’t match tight yet. A fine effort nevertheless.
http://martinstake128.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/the-king-of-clay-is-dethroned-for-a-day/


Michael Says:

Alison, Favouritism manifest itself into bias. I do not know about others. But I always try to be as fair as possible while analysing Tennis. But I agree I am not perfect. How can I be when even God is not perfect ? Regarding the future, we can only hazard a guess. It might be right or wrong more or less like astrological or Nostramadus predictions. We try to make a judgement depending upon the form of a particular player. But Tennis is such a competitive sport that all our calculations can go wrong. Even Novak was quite lucky to reach the Australian Open finals and he should have definitely lost the match against Wawrinka. But somehow he managed to wriggle himself out of that deep hole and finally won the Australian Open. That is the quality of a Champion. A champion is different from other players in the sense that they will win a match even when they are not playing at their best which Novak is doing now-a-days. He is a player who plays well and has also got loads of luck on his side. Probably the law of averages is evening out when he was dislodged by the Fedal era in his early career. As regards 2013, it is still wide open. But Novak has definitely started well. It remains to be seen if he can take this momentum forward.

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