Rafael Nadal: My Knee Is Still Bothering Me [Match Highlights]
by Tom Gainey | February 11th, 2013, 12:44 am

Rafael Nadal’s first week back to the sport he loves didn’t end as he had hoped. The Spaniard was stunned earlier today by 73rd-ranked Horacio Zeballos 67, 76, 64 in the final of the VTR Open in Vina Del Mar Chile.

Nadal had been out seven months since Wimbledon because of a left knee injury and afterward the former No. 1 admitted he still wasn’t back to full strength.

“The knee is still bothering me,” Nadal said. “But you have to face adversity with the best possible face and look forward to keep working and enjoy what I like the most, to play tennis.”

In his first event and his maiden trip to Chile, Nadal still made the finals without losing a set and was just a few points from victory at the end of the week. He also was a runner-up in the doubles final.

“The tennis is important, ” he said. “But for me the best thing was to have the feelings I’ve had this week, with a full stadium and one of the best crowds I’ve ever had in my life. It’s a place I won’t forget because of the love people gave me.

“I was two points away from winning the title, but I said from first day that the result was not the most important thing, although I would’ve liked to win. My opponent won, he deserved it and I congratulate him. Still, to win four matches in a row is good news for me.”

After a busy week of tennis, Nadal will have a few days off to prepare for the Sao Paulo event later this week where he’s the top seed and is again playing doubles, this time with Argentine David Nalbandian.

Here are the highlights from the match:

A few words from the champion:

You Might Like:
2009 Australian Open TV Schedule
Rafael Nadal Pulls Out Of Paris Due To Right Knee Issue, Won’t Commit To ATP Finals
Roger Federer Undergoes Right Knee Surgery, Will Be Out Until Wimbledon
Rafael Nadal Admits His Back Is Still Bothering Him A Little Bit
Rafael Nadal Has Landed In Chile, Says Knee Is Feeling Better [Video]

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

21 Comments for Rafael Nadal: My Knee Is Still Bothering Me [Match Highlights]

jeff Says:

Typical sore loser as usual, when he was winning, the knee was fine, now Zeballos played a fantastic match, could have gone either way, but still this bytchy Nadal is whining, ugh. just retire already.

skeezer Says:

^exactly…no complaining about knee whilst he was winning.
But…you know his fans will have even a bigger excuse, because he is hot and sexy, bring it on, let the waterfall flow…..oh Rafa Rafa Rafa….but not for his knee he would have crushed top ranked worlds #74……..


Thomas Says:

jeff, I agree a 100%. There are some major contradictions between what nadal has said about his knees recently.

alison Says:

Congrats to Zeballos,as a fan of Rafa,no complaints,no ifs,buts,dodgy knees or excuses,the better player won on the day,simple as that,all in all he did pretty well to make the final on his 1st tourney back in singles and doubles is no disgrace,my expectations were not too high anyway,anyway onto Brazil,lets see how he gets on there,have to say as much of a fan of Rafa that i am,enough about the knees,just play for gods sake.
#No violin necassary ha ha.

alison Says:

When interviewing Zeballos they said he was only one of 3 players to ever beat Rafa on clay,which is wrong, Roger,Nole and Soda all did making it 4,5 if you count Verdasco on the blue clay last year,still pretty amazing stats for Rafa on clay never the less.

alena Says:

alison, they meant in a clay final.

alison Says:

My mistake only the 3rd player to beat Rafa in a final.

Giles Says:

At what point did Rafa say he was pain free? He has played with pain all week. Pain will last till about the end of the month. No big deal that he lost. The results exceeded his expectations. He could have been knocked out in his first match. Do you all remember that he has been out of competition for 222 days??? Vamos Rafa. You did well reaching the finals. #VamosChamp

Giles Says:

skeezer. Always with the snide comments. Oh well, a leopard never changes it’s spots. Typical nasty Fed fan. Is your ole man’s back OK?

roy Says:

it’s one of two things or maybe both.
either nadal injury critics have never played sport and suffered injuries or they don’t quite have the brain power necessary to process the data at hand.

the reality is, obviously, that serious injuries are quite different from, say, a knee graze.

see a knee graze is a problem … then it heals and you are all fixed. tada!

a serious injury might never fully recover or may take a long time to do so. why? because it’s not a knee graze!

and wait for it… the amazing revelation:

sometimes you have to begin playing even if the injury is still bothersome, because if you wait for it to go away it might never completely do so.
in sports they call it, ”managing an injury”.

see there’s something called a spectrum. a spectrum is what happens in real life. at a threshold level of intelligence, people can recognise a spectrum. they acknowledge where things aren’t always black and white. where injuries aren’t either non existent or impossible to handle.

and they understand that when an injury is being carried in professional sport, even if it is being managed, it affects the performance of the athlete, often decisively. again, anybody who has played sport or has that threshold intelligence i spoke of realises this.

in this context they understand that just because a person steps out on court, it doesn’t mean they are able to play their best tennis. see, it’s that thing about black and white again.

walks on court = physically fine!

homework: see if you can see past that binary situation, and actually discover the spectrum operating in real life!

nadalista Says:

The truth as to what hateful Fedfans really want and really, really hope for is in what @jeff said:

“………just retire already”

Unfortunately, Rafa won’t cooperate, not just yet anyway, hehehehehe!

Giles Says:

roy. Great post!

jane Says:

I don’t know but I suppose it’s possible the journalists asked Nadal if his knee is still painful and he said yes it’s still bothering me; it does seem these issues sometimes have to do with the questions asked of a player.

Giles Says:

Rafa doesn’t volunteer info on his knees. It is always the journos who probe. In fact in a recent interview he said he doesn’t want to talk about the knees anymore and inspite of this they still persist!

Brazil Federer Fan Says:

Only rafa and his rafatard fans like roy know about injuries.

Most tennis fans can see rafa as the drama queen of ATP. No one cares whether you are injured. The fact is you have lost. to a guy ranked 74 in the world. end of story. go tell your stories to your mommy.

We need bullies like roddick and djokovic to put whingers like nadal in their place.

Here is some information for rafatards : Every one in the pro-circuit plays with injuries. man up and play! what a sissy!

MMT Says:

I have to admit, I didn’t see this one coming. Zeballos played really well, probably the best of his career, and was very competitive throughout the match. He could easily have thrown in the towel after losing the first set, and frankly, the way he celebrated the semi-final victory, I thought he would just be happy to be in the final. So hats off to him.

To Rafa’s comments about his injuries, in his defence, most of the time he is asked about it, and therefore he’s giving an honest answer, which I guess I can’t really complain about. But it is also true that he OFFERS a lot of information about his injuries (fair enough, he’s not the only one), so it should come as no surprise that he gets a lot of questions about it too.

5 years ago Federer went out of his way to explain that he had mono – I never understood why he bothered to do that. It’s one thing if he’s not able to fulfill a committment to play in a certain competition and he’s giving an explanation. But otherwise, he is under no obligation to explain his personal medical condition to the world, particularly if he is playing through it. He then went on to explain that he didn’t want to take attention away from Djokovic’s win – which is precisely what he wound up doing (albeit 6 weeks hence). Having his cake and eat it too – I think Nadal is also giving way too much information – and it doesn’t do anybody any good.

At least with Djokovic, when he was a big time hypochondriac, he would RETIRE with his “injuries”. Now that also sticks in the craw, but at least he’s committed to his proclamations by quitting the match. The one time I recall him going into any detail about his injuries, but still playing through it, was the US Open 2008, and he was (rightfully) lambasted for it. Suddenly after taking some heat, he was able to muster up the strength to obliterrate Roddick.

I think part of the problem is because of the money in the game sponsors, legions of fans, tournament directors, etc. all demand explanations. And professional courtesy takes a back seat to the interest of perpetuating the incredible invasiveness of all these prying eyes into the a players fitness/health/results, etc. And then these absurd legions of publicists, coaches, masseues, cooks, secretaries and motivational gurus, etc. feel the need to make themselves useful and come up with one excuse after another for why a player isn’t getting the job done.

I think it’s ridiculous. If you’re fit enough to play, then you’re fit enough to accept the results without qualification. You can’t have your cake and eat it too saying, “I’m injured, but my opponent deserved to win.”

To me that’s worse than saying you lost because of an injury.

Rogerisclass Says:

Nadal is drama queen of excuse. All player has sick or injury slump. right?

Ben Pronin Says:

I’m 100% sure Nadal has been saying all week, before matches and after matches, that his knee was still bugging him.

I think it was clear that Nadal isn’t there yet. But this was a weirdly surprising loss, anyway. I’ll try to have a write up on it later.

JF Says:

Exactly Giles, some people only like to see things as they see fit to them. I’m all for objective constructive criticism, but some of these comments are just absurd. At what point did Rafa and/or his “camp” state that he was pain free? Rafa even said he didn’t want to talk about the knee, which understandably is the main focus as he returns. I also thought he was going to win; as he made it to the final, but oh well. Hopefully he will continue to improve in the upcoming tournaments and be ale to defend RG.

What Do We Read Into Rafa’s Return After One Week? It Is Time To Panic Or Time To Chill? Says:

[…] bad news, well according to Rafa, is his knee is still bugging him. Uh […]

Top story: Former Champions Murray, Clijsters Awarded US Open Wildcards