Rafael Nadal Feels “Very Good”, But Still Cautious And Doesn’t Expect Much At Indian Wells
by Tom Gainey | March 8th, 2013, 12:04 am

It’s been almost a year since Rafael Nadal last played a hardcourt match. His last win came March 28, 2012 over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the Sony Ericsson Open Miami, and that’s when he first hinted he was having serious knee problems.

Nadal returns on Saturday with renewed vigor after a torrid Acapulco finish, but the knee remains a question mark.

“I feel very good. I’ve practiced two times here,” said Nadal who arrived Tuesday. “But seriously, I understand my situation after seven months. I think it’s not the right moment to talk about the knee. I am here to try my best and that’s what I’m going to try. We’ll see how the knee responds on hard. The results on clay were positive, especially because the knee was feeling better and better every week, especially last week. Now I’m going to try here.”

He addied via AP, “I’m not confident about what I will be able to do here after one year of not playing on hard. I will try my best. I don’t expect anything in results here.”

As has been written on this site ad nauseum, Nadal hasn’t won a hardcourt title since Tokyo in October of 2010. However, the former No. 1 has won Indian Wells twice and reached at least the semifinal stage the last seven years. But because of his lack of play his ranking is down to No. 5 which means he’ll run into rival Roger Federer in the quarterfinals.

In order to claim his first hardcourt title in two and a half years, Rafa might have to beat Federer, Tomas Berdych and then top seed Novak Djokovic to do it.

Before we look too far ahead, in his first match on Saturday Nadal will play the winner of Go Soeda-Ryan Harrison which is scheduled for later tonight.

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42 Comments for Rafael Nadal Feels “Very Good”, But Still Cautious And Doesn’t Expect Much At Indian Wells

gannu Says:

Excuses galore…tried with his constant cribbing…knee knee knee… he uses that as a ready excuse for anything…just torched ferrer on a clay court and then says i dont know i am OK…not 100%..unsure…blah blah…Annoying…if you are playing then you are OK and if you are injured sit at HOME…

Humble Rafa Says:

I don’t have huge expectation. Winning the tournament, losing 2 or 3 sets will be considered acceptable, given that I haven’t played much lately.

Have to keep expectation low like that.

nadalista Says:

The blog title is very clear, it is about Rafa. Cannot understand why one would go ahead and read the “offending” article if one finds him so annoying!

Masochism, much?

roy Says:

gulbis just won a hard court title, though. delray beach. what a hard court player. winning a hard court title. something nadal hasn’t done for years.

what we also hear ad nauseum is the ridiculous notion that a ‘title’ is the be all. that it’s title or nothing. typically used to fit the absurd narrative that nadal is a poor hard court player. ‘hasn’t won a hard court title’, ‘hasn’t defended a hard court title’ and so on.

what you all fail to mention is the fact that in the last few years he made at least two masters hard court finals and two grand slam hard court finals along with other good results.

here’s an idea. go ask gulbis what he’d rather have, the delray beach title, or any of those finals.
go ask any atp player what he’d rather have, 500/masters title or a grandslam final, and every single one will take the slam final.
why do you think that is?
maybe it’s because ‘titles’ aren’t the highest measure of achievement in this sport. learn about tournament hierarchy.

what you also fail to mention are the opponents nadal faced in those hard court masters/slam finals.
djokovic four times.
nadal was essentially the no.2 hardcourt player during that period and would have probably won those two slams if anybody else had been in his way. he was better than murray, he was better than federer, he was better than delpotro and all the other great hard court players.
djokovic will potentially go down as the best hard court player ever and during that period he was playing his magic season.

yes, gannu, i bet you would like to see nadal sit tennis out. because as you know, the only times fed has regained no.1 since nadal first took it from him was when nadal left the game and missed slams.
nadal reached no.1 when everybody was there. in other words, the hardest way.

but maybe you’ve already crossed into the djoker camp, like so many other federer fans. after all, we have to protect that slam count. surely djoker couldn’t get 17, could he? hm… could be some nervous times again in 5 years, buddy.

skeezer Says:

^i am crossing over to the Djoker camp when Fed is gone simply because he is that good, and has the complete game. Not only is he a class individual, but he is funny, leaves it all on the court, and never quits nor complains since he has matured. Has nothing to do with your precious Rafa and, yes, titles are everything. No one will ever take a runnerup up over a title. Your jokin right? Lol.who remembers second place? Winning is everything. Oh wait…i do now rememer that 7 in a row thingy……;).


In regard o the article, Rafa is right. In this case he deserves a break on his expectations on HC. He said its been a year. That is a long time in Tennis. He may do very well, get to Fed, and crush him. He may not. But I am not in this case going to jump all over him if he does not play well here. I for one am very happy he just showed up. Look at all the fan talk hype!. Hope he just talks less and lets his play do the talkin, ugh.

Paul Says:

yeah right,winning the title in Delray Beach is more important than reaching the final in a Grand Slam event


7 in a row? last time i checked,Nadal has 3 straight W’s over Djoko in the last 3 times they faced each other
3 and counting

rafaeli Says:

roy Says:
gulbis just won a hard court title, though. delray beach. what a hard court player. winning a hard court title. something nadal hasn’t done for years.

what we also hear ad nauseum is the ridiculous notion that a ‘title’ is the be all. that it’s title or nothing. typically used to fit the absurd narrative that nadal is a poor hard court player. ‘hasn’t won a hard court title’, ‘hasn’t defended a hard court title’ and so on……………………….

March 8th, 2013 at 8:50 am

Thanks, Roy. A lot of people don’t want the facts to get in the way of a good Rafa bashing..

rafaeli Says:

Rafa’s First Press Conference, Indian Wells BNP Paribas

Written by: Shubert on 7th March 2013

Indian Wells, CA ? After a few days of practice since arriving form New York, Spain’s Rafael Nadal took time out of his day to speak to members of the media and answer all of their questions regarding his knee injury and the recovery process he went through.

Nadal usually expounds heavily on his answers and tells us what he really believes but today after the fourth question about his knee, he asked reporters nicely, “Please, forget about the knee.” Safe to say he’s tired of the rambling questions about the health and “feeling of his knee on the hardcourt”.

Rafa did feel it necessary to mention how good the knee felt during the final week of his recent South American tour in Acapulco compared to the first week in Chile. While clay is softer on the body’s joints, it was a true test for Rafa with all the sliding and continuous use during those weeks. We are glad he is back and happy to be playing again.

When asked about what he actually did during his 7-month recovery period, Rafa was bright in explaining how he got to enjoy more of his time with his family, friends, and fishing hobby. Also acknowledging his frustrations during that time and missing the Olympics, “I made a decision, (I had to) stick to it, I couldn?t move.”

Everyone is expecting great things from Rafa but he reminded us he doesn’t go into every tournament believing he can win it. He is here at Indian Wells to try his best, as always, and believes, “From my heart, Indian Wells is one of the best tournaments all year.” Welcome back Rafa!

rafaeli Says:

Rafa says he feels good but cautious about his first h/c tournament after a year. Sounds reasonable to me, and doesn’t warrant all the lip he’s getting.

Do people really expect him to say, I’m very confident even though I haven’t played on h/c for a year and I don’t know how my knee will take to it?

Brando Says:

Fed fans crossing over to nole’s side once the great man retires: LMFAO- who are you guys kidding? Yourselves? LOL, was NEVER going to be rafa was it- not after him using your fav as his favorite punch bag! LOL, so you move onto the next most successful one: typical glory supporters! REAL nole fans can see through the BS, so I doubt they’ll be taken in by this sudden generosity of spirit! Free advice: stick with your fav! He’ll be around for another 4 years, so it would be pitiful to switch just because he isn’t winning like he used to! What are you in that case: fan of his tennis or his success? I think we know the answer to that one!

Giles Says:

skeezer. “Hope he just talks less and lets his play do the talkin ugh”.
Maybe Rafa shouldn’t do any press conferences in future.
Maybe Rafa shouldn’t respond to any questions from any source whatsoever in future.
Is this what you are suggesting?
People question him, Rafa responds.
And you think he talks too much?
U G H! U G H! U G H!!!

jane Says:

I read yesterday that Nole and Rafa have won 60 of the last 72 Masters. Can that be right?!! 0_O

Giles Says:

Brando. The fed fans can switch over to any side they like, and here’s hoping they don’t switch over to Rafa. Rafa doesn’t need them, two-faced to the nth degree!

Ben Pronin Says:

Oh no, exclusive fan clubs!

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Fanboys, chill. You don’t own your idols.

While titles are obviously what players play for, and what history remembers, that isn’t the same as defining the quality of a player. I think you’d have to be nuts to say Gulbis has been a better hardcourt player the last two years than Rafa.
Rafa is a great hardcourt player. As great as Novak, or Fed, or Connors? Maybe not. But in this era he’s one of the 3 or 4 best hardcourt players, and he has the 2 hard slams and multiple finals.

Its easy to bash on Rafa for his constant excuse making, but we all know this about Rafa, its nothing new. It may be annoying but its hardly a mortal sin. He speaks his mind even if its kind of poor sportsmanship to do so. Is it worth getting outraged over every week?

skeezer Says:

^oh Ben…you didn’t know that about the Rafa Fan Club? LOL… bais assity.


So when Rafa retires your going to quit watching Tennis?

Giles Says:

Ben Pronin. Lol.
That’s one way of keeping the rif raf out!!

Ben Pronin Says:

I didn’t realize there was some sort of cross-over ceremony that needed to be had? I’ve been supporting Federer since I started watching him play about a decade ago. And I started supporting Djokovic when he burst on the scene in 2007. I used to like Murray back then, too, but I got fed up with his counter punching nonsense. And I even liked Nadal when he first burst onto the scene. But as his rivalry heated up with Federer, I took a side. There’s no “cross over nonsense.” Different styles, personalities, etc, appeal to people. Sometimes several kinds. You guys need to stop pretending like everything is black and white. Federer or Nadal. It can be Federer and Nadal, although it’s fairly difficult. Still doable without any crossing over.

skeezer Says:

^well said!

Re; Murray has gotten more agressive, hence the results. We’ll see if it continues….

Giles Says:

skeezer. If at any point you want to “cross over” to the Rafa Fan Club you will need to pass several acid tests to be accepted into this “inner and exclusive” circle!! Lol

juljo724 Says:

skeezer wrote: “No one will ever take a runnerup up over a title. Your jokin right? Lol.who remembers second place? Winning is everything. Oh wait…i do now rememer that 7 in a row thingy……;).”

If winning is everything, then how come you downplay ad nauseaum the H2H between Rafa and fed?

Ben, I’m first a Rafa fan but I do like Nole and Andy and Daveed among others. I’ve said before that when Rafa plays Nole or Andy, it is hard for me and at that point I just wish for a great match!

Fleischer Says:

Skeezer ???
Naah….can never become a Rafa fan.
For that he needs to look into Rafa’s tennis rather his A$$ and his chest.
Giles…u r expecting too much much from skeezer who cannot look beyond his a$$.

Giles Says:

^^ Lol! Lol!

SG1 Says:

I think Rafa should go “Thomas Muster” this year and stay off the hard stuff. Play a full claycourt and grasscourt schedule. Stay off the hard stuff until next year and give himself a full chance to recover.

Fleischer Says:

Its funny that u r expecting sanity from fedt@rds like skeezer.
Skeezer would prefer playing and beating kids in his backyard compared to competetive tennis at the top level.

alison Says:

Brando@11.01am not necassarily so,Swiss Maestro when hes here is a massive fan of his namesake(obviously),but always tells me he roots for Rafa in the finals that Rogers not in,and especially the ones where Rafa faces Nole,as he much prefers Rafa to Nole,sorry just saying.

skeezer Says:


When did I mention H2H in this? I said he lost 7 in a row, did not bring up it was to one person…..did it matter? He lost 7 in a row in the FINALS, that was the point I was makin. YOU brought Fed and H2H into it…..geez

Look, my point is overall winning titles is way more important for the record books than “placing”. Go wiki any all time great. If you think otherwise, so be it.

@Fleischer, and uh…Paul…and uh…Fred…Joe…whatever.

Talk to giles already about Rafa’s bod, she posted the pic( the chest was a joke, so sorry it offended you ). She is more informed than I. That said, I agree his game should be talked about more, not his looks or bod. But to each there own.



Thanks but no thanks ;)

Giles Says:

^^^ Great! So relieved!!

juljo724 Says:

skeezer, calm down now!!! LOL I NEVER said you mentioned the H2H in this blog.(though you have done it too many times to count in previous blogs along with the ever present stats that everyone knows). My point was that your statement about the importance of titles and winning cannot help but bring up comparisons between players and their H2H’s.

Fleischer Says:

U r wasting ur time discussing with a tard who says winning a 250 is bigger than making a GS final….ROTFL.

nadalista Says:

Roger Federer Happy to See Rafael Nadal Back:


“I only just saw him yesterday after my practice. I was really excited to see him again,” said Federer today.

You are not the only one, Rog, your fans are too……we all are.

Fleischer Says:

Literally a cupcake draw for Rafa till the semis…hope it helps him to regain some confidence after the loooong layoff.

nadalista Says:

I for one hope Rafa continues giving us blow by blow accounts of his progress, including his knees. I want to know EVERY detail. Those who find this annoying should just switch off Rafa radio, tuning in is not mandatory.

Henceforth, I am making it my personal mission to not tune into the frequency of the whiners who whine about Rafa ad nauseum.

Vamos Rafa!!!

nadalista Says:

Now that Gulbis has re-found his inner tennis player, I fear for Rafa should they meet at IW………..

Vamos Rafa!!

Fleischer Says:

I hope he starts to talk about his a$$, chest, etc. too…some fedt@rds would enjoy that…LOL

nadalista Says:


skeezer Says:

Fleischer Paul whatever u are this time,

You don’t get it and twist the subject to sound like i said getting to a Slam final is less important than winning one 250 title. Thats not what I said, and name calling makes your posts sound desperate for attention. Go do so more research and come back.

alison Says:

Nadalista thanks and HAPPY WOMENS DAY TO YOU TOO,and all the female tennis x posters too.

nadalista Says:

Not only is he hot blasting a fore-hand cross-court, he is truly dashing off-court, even the fashion cognoscenti agree:


Best Look (female): Ana Ivanovic—that rouge lipstick set off her shiny black outfit quite well, so striking and with accent-colored red clutch.

Best Look (male): Rafael Nadal—the on-the-up star just flat-out looks debonair, in a better-tailored jacket than basically everyone else (save Roger Federer’s common cuts).

Steve 27 Says:

Literally a cupcake draw for Rafa till the semis
Very funny!

Johnny YJS Says:

No comment until we see how Nadal performs this week

Michael Says:

Nadal is playing it safe. He is too clever not to raise too much expectations. But I saw his match against Harrison and the way he is playing gives me an impression that he is rediscovering his old form.

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