Rafael Nadal: I Hope My Back Injury Is No Longer A Problem
by Tom Gainey | February 16th, 2014, 9:26 am

Rafael Nadal met the press in Rio on Friday and among the topics discussed was the back he first injured during a loss to Stanislas Wawrinka in the Australian Open final last month.

“I spent some days resting at home and I hope my back injury is not going to be a problem to reach the final,” said Nadal who admitted before he left his back still was not at 100%. “I felt the back issue for the first time when I was warming up for the final. I can’t predict the future, but I hope it is not a critical problem.”

The new Rio event marks the third time Nadal has played in Brazil after winning titles in both Costa do Sauipe in 2005 and in Sao Paulo last year. “Every time I can compete here in Brazil I have good feelings. I have a good connection to the fans, it is always special to play here.”

But there’s a big tournament in Rio in 2016 called the Olympics.

“Two and a half years is a long time, it is difficult to predict, but my motivation, my idea, is to try to be competitive here in Brazil in the Olympic Games,” said Nadal. “The fact I didn’t play in London is an extra motivation for me.

“I competed in Beijing and won, that was a good feeling. In 2016 I hope I will be ready for that again.”

Nadal opens plays Tuesday night against countryman Daniel Gimeno-Traver. Rafa could face Tommy Robredo in the semis. David Ferrer, Nicolas Almagro and Fabio Fognini are on the other half of the draw.

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51 Comments for Rafael Nadal: I Hope My Back Injury Is No Longer A Problem

Giles Says:

Vamos Champ!

Hippy Chic Says:

Win or lose Rafa i just love to watch you play,love your tennis,i just hate all the drama.

Giles Says:

^^^ What drama?

Brando Says:

@Giles: don’t bother. He got asked a simple question in the presser, gave a straightforward answer that’s honest. No drama. Ignore the ones who moan about it as that’s all they do: moan.

Hippy Chic Says:

^No harm or foul,Im happy hes back playing delighted even,personally id like to forget everything else that gone on,and just enjoy seeing him do what he does best and thats play tennis^.

Okiegal Says:


Why do some Rafa fans jump all over other Rafa fans on this forum?? I can’t believe after reading these threads day in and day out that they can’t figure out what drama you were referring to. I knew exactly what you meant. As I said the other day, some people just like to get a big fuss started….sigh…more DRAMA!! I too want to watch Rafa play tennis and not have to constantly hear about if he loses he can blame it on an injury.

Vamos Rafa, good luck in Rio!

Hippy Chic Says:

Thanks Okiegal your posts always make me smile :))..

Okiegal Says:

U R welcome, Chic, if I can make someone smile, it makes my day!!!

steve-o Says:

He has a very simple way of getting the press not to talk about it: don’t talk about it.

Players who keep the press updated with the status of every little niggle, every little tiny twist and turn in their injury saga, want to have it talked about. Whatever pious disavowals they make.

I remember in 2012 after he played the “will he, won’t he game” with three or four tournaments before declaring he would sit out the rest of the season. We had announcement after announcement from his camp saying maybe there’s a small improvement, only to be followed by an announcement that there was a small deterioration. He pulled out of the Olympics but then kept everyone in suspense about Rogers Cup. Finally after weeks of hogging the spotlight, he announced he wasn’t playing.

It’s a way of manipulating his fans, of extracting sympathy, and remaining the center of attention when he’s in danger of losing the spotlight. The fans are there to be milked–and bilked.

Of course, if you pander to the lowest common denominator, you will very rarely be disappointed, people being what they are. That is the central lesson of Nadal’s entire career.

Hippy Chic Says:

At the risk of been heckled,im just wondering what exactly is he supposed to say when the press ask him questions,they are the ones asking for the information surely??

Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal i will put it on my bucket list to visit you in Oklahoma,before i slip off from this mortal curl,if you do the same and visit me in Norfolk,deal or no deal lol??

Polo Says:

Nadal is still in denial that he lost to Wawrinka at the AO. He feels too badly about the loss that he unwittingly let his inner whiner come out of the closet.

steve-o Says:

@Hippy Chic: They wouldn’t ask him if he didn’t wince so melodramatically on court, if he didn’t provide such detailed information about every minor fluctuation in his physical condition, if he didn’t shove his blisters and bandages in everyone’s face.

For the gazillionth time: Nadal is not a victim. There is no conspiracy. The press is not hounding him about his injuries out of random malice. They are asking him about his injuries because he feeds it, and he wants the attention. He’s getting exactly what he wants when they fawn over him.

Nadal’s fans believe he is not responsible for any of his actions (except of course, his wins). That’s not how it works. He’s an adult, and he’s responsible for how he conducts himself.

Hippy Chic Says:

Yeah alright Steve O,i never said he was a victim anyway,and as adults we are all responsible for our actions,Nadal aint perfect anymore than anyone else is,sorry ill leave it at that,shouldnt have said anything.

A Tango Lad Says:

Well I think we can give Nadal a break here.

As a fan of Roger, I couldn’t wait for his back to get better as the journalists hounded him about it and it came off sounding like he was making excuses for his losses last year.

Hope both men can stay healthy this year.

Hippy Chic Says:

A Tango Lad nice post sometimes a little perspective doesnt go a miss,im not saying Rafas perfect by any means,as ive said a million times,i just think peoples emotional bias for and against a player can cloud their own judgement sometimes,great when people can see things from all angles.

Hippy Chic Says:

^Meant to add people often think things are black and white,sometimes in life there are also grey areas^.

Brando Says:


Bit like RF when he got his backside handed to him the SF right?


Why does Rafa take so long between points? Why?

Reporter: OK Fed, now that you have thrown your toys out of the pram, what about the straight set’s whupping- again?

RF: yeah,erm, it’s definitely not cool,um,um……..


Rafa ain’t the only ‘whiner’ on the block if that’s how you see it.

To be honest:

The ONLY real whiners are posters like you who come up with unsubstantiated, extrapolated beliefs and post them as facts.

Rafa’s in denial that he lost? Sure love, whatever Einstein say’s is correct right?

RZ Says:

I’m a little concerned that his back isn’t 100%. I guess that Rafa wouldn’t play if he didn’t think he was fit enough to do so, but hopefully it isn’t too soon. Last year Fed made the mistake of playing through a bad back and it didn’t help him.

Polo Says:

Even Einstein can tell Rafa is in denial. To keep bringing that back so long after event is one part of the denial equation that Einstein can formulate for those unable to figure it out.

Brando Says:


His back- I imagine- should be fine enough to play. The following:

1. He’s a professional. He would not go to Rio without the green light from the medics to do so with such an issue.

2. It’s normal for him to be a touch tentative on his return post a back spasm.

3. Rafa is a known hypochondriac. His family, friends, team and even he admit that he usually gets overly anxious over the slightest concern and even has some OCD habits as a sort of ‘safeguard’ to some of his behavioral fears.

That’s a personality type and quite clearly his. So him to some sort of anxiety over his back is not a surprising thing at all when you consider this.

But of course, ignore my points of reason as the those who know Rafa, his inner most thoughts and his devious plan, i.e. the haters will say:

He’s doing this so that he undermines Wawrinka’s win or is giving an excuse pre tournament so that if he were to lose he has an excuse.

Don’t think for a moment that he’s giving an honest answer and is being himself as we long know: a obvious hypochondriac who is honestly answering a question in his own manner- that which media personnel and players alike think well of.


The haters are the ones who are aware to his deviousness here.

Don’t go with reason and understanding: go with the trolls and their ‘facts’.

Brando Says:


LMFAO- you are quite something aren’t you?

Here’s a newsflash of reality:

Go check the press conference from which this quote was used to create an article.

Check the original source, and see who brings up the back issue up. The media who want the latest on that topic or Rafa?

And good news for you: you don’t need an Einstein level IQ to figure out who does so as the bar is set pretty low on this one so you should be fine.


Einstein has long been dead. Is communicating with the dead another one of your gifts as well as being the only one here to spot that Rafa’s in denial?

I’m impressed if that’s the case.

Polo Says:

We will probably hear the mother of all excuses when Rafa losses the French. He has his main fallback excuse, his knees. And now, a new added back-up excuse, his back. I wonder what else he would add to those if he losses. Anything just to lessen the merits of whoever beats him.

Okiegal Says:


I would love to travel about, but my fear of flying keeps me grounded. My son married in Las Vegas and he wanted me to fly out with them and I just couldn’t make myself get on the plane so I drove to Vegas with a friend and her son. I have a heart problem, a-fib, and I’m afraid I would be so scared that my heart might act up. If you ever come to the states, let me know and maybe we could connect.

Well, I will stop “whining” about my heart and get up and clean my kitchen. I’m not gonna’ get caught up in the TX drama tonight…….sigh…..it’s starting up again…..the same old same old…..thing………sigh….

Have a good restful night, Chic!!

Brando Says:

^And what excuse do you have for being the only on this thread to think as such?

Just being bitter or a Rafa hater?


Rafa’s fine. He’s a 13 time GS winner, certified all time legend. He could walk away today and his achievement will still be lauded and mentioned long after he’s gone.

The media? Most journalists in the business love him. Players? They respect him. Youngsters? They seem influenced by his style.

You and the haters?

LMFAO- yeah, just keep on chirping with the genius remarks.

‘Anything just to lessen the merits of whoever beats him.’:

ROFL- so true right?

Like when he let’s his punchbag Fed win a match once every blue moon, I love the excuse he uses at such time:

‘No, for the sake of this rivalry I have to keep the illusion up no? So I thought i’ll be charitable and throw the dog a bone now no? Just to keep you guy’s busy in the media selling this joke of a rivalry no?’

The media after a chuckle: thanks Rafa, we appreciate this ‘excuse’.


The excuses is a notion that only swirls in the mind of the bitter haters of Rafa. But who cares for their narrow minds right Polo?


Okiegal Says:


Were you referring to my post at 7:23?? If so, I’m not a Rafa hater. You must not pay any attention to my posts, because I’m definitely a fan of Rafa. I just get tired of trying to defend the injury thing. The only negative comment I’ve ever said about Rafa is he needs to speed his serve up a bit, which he has, but obviously not enough in a match where he lost a point. His slowness does worry me. So, if you were talking to me, I’m sorry my comment came across as a hater of Rafa because I love to watch his style of tennis. I can’t wait for Rio!!

Vamos Rafa……good luck in Rio!!

Brando Says:

@Okiegal: Steady there Okiegal, there’s no need for such a post. Of course my post was not aimed at you. I know your a Rafa fan, but more to it: a sincere poster. So whatever you say is fine by me since if anything I enjoy the honesty of it. So there’s no need to apologise to me at all and at the same time: please don’t apologise or explain yourself to others around here either. Sincerity of opinion is recognised and appreciated: it does not require an explanation. I like others here know you are a sincere, nice poster so continue as you are and feel no need to apologise for your views at all. It anything: bring the harsh; potentially divisive views if it means a continuation of the honesty of views that you have and quite clearly post on here.

Okiegal Says:


Okey dokey! I will try to steady myself…..LOL
I saw this little thing^^^ in your post pointing to mine and was wondering if that’s what you meant. I take it that it meant nothing. Thanks for that! I will try not to be guilty of apologizing, my Mother raised me that way……I’ll try my best to get over it!! LOL

Anyway, thanks for the kind words and enjoyed our chat.

Steve 27 Says:

Polo is in denial, he hopes the serb can win RG with his Master, Becker, on clay, Lol. Hahahaha. sorry but the serb has only 1 final there and is not a certain thing that he can reach the last match again. Even if he will win another Master 1000, is a best of 3 sets and dont is enough to defeat the biggest challenge: defeat Rafa Nadal on clay in a best of 5 sets. And Rafa will be 28 years old on june, only 4 months more than Muster in 1995 and 2 months more than Federer in 2009, practical the same age of both. Can anyone defeat

Steve 27 Says:

Can anyone defeat Rafa in a match for the best of 5 sets on clay?. Yes, but not this year. His mission is to overcome his own record of 4 consecutive RG and win for the fifth in a row.

metan Says:

Roger Fans need to read Roger press before and after playing against Rafa then you will find he is denial or not. Don’t criticise Rafa press all the time.
IMO, most of his press out of court just PR things. What he said on the court is matter most. He is really said nice things about his opponent from his heart.
Often this famous people has been forced to put on a mask to benefit others although they don’t like or pleased what they said and done.

Skeezer Says:

The Haters excuse.
A typical vamoshead answer when they can’t give a reasonable answer to Rafa’s excuse mongering.

Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal i think there was some digging at me in Brandos posts to you,we used to have a pretty good raport,talking about anything from Rafa to Man UTD,he doesnt seem to want to give me the time of day anymore,i dont know what it was i did to upset him,shame :((..

Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal sorry about your heart,i have thyroid trouble which i had removed because i suffered with low blood pressure,now i suffer with high blood pressure,anyway if ever i get the chance i will make sure i take you up on your offer lol,to be honest though its getting to the point where the only thing posters want to do is bicker with each other where is the proper tennis discussions that used to go on here?still when your an airhead Rafa fan,Essex girl,whatever,we are apparantly the lowest common denomenator anyway.

Okiegal Says:

@Chic 5:40

I picked up on that too. We may be too mature for TX! I just don’t get into the back and forth banter. Is anything ever resolved by backbiting and name calling?? I don’t think so. I will take up for our guy on occasion, but there are people out there who really hate him, and likewise Roger. I can’t imagine people being so opinionated about two guys they don’t even really know. These two fan groups are serious about their feelings……Oh, well.

Sorry about your blood pressure problems. I take meds for that too. All that seems to come with getting older, but the alternative isn’t too bright either, if you get my drift!!! LOL

Have a great day and I’m looking forward to Rio as I know you are too!!

Vamos Rafa!!

Dipson Says:

I wont blame you for reacting to what your critic body tells you, all I will tell you is that he is still best and so shall he be.

Jose Felciano Says:

I miss the days of players playing with no towel breaks, no excuses, simple equipment, no coaching during matches and no injury timeouts

Polo Says:

Won’t happen anymore, Jose Feliciano. The sport is now dominated by sissies. Also run by sissies.

steve-o Says:

The sport is corporate now. It’s about what will rake in the most money for the people running the show. Long rallies means long matches and more advertising time.

The more mechanical and homogeneous the game becomes, the easier it is to market. Champions can be mass-produced now, you can set up rivalries between a few well-known players at the top who always make it to the final rounds (like pro wrestling). You can spin whole narratives about epic clashes and rivalries between heroes and villains (again like pro wrestling).

The uncertain and painstaking process of nurturing individual champions and mentoring them while they develop their own unique styles and characters can be replaced by a cookie-cutter process, where you teach everyone the same simple, mindless strokes. Then victory is decided by who can bash harder and run faster without dropping dead.

Federer spoiled the ATP. The beauty of his game and his remarkable exploits revived tennis (which in the post-Sampras/Agassi era, was in sore need of new blood), brought in a whole new generation of fans and made the ATP oodles of cash, but there’s no one to follow him.

The ATP got used to raking it in in Federer’s heyday, they have to work harder and spend more money to sell the other players so there will inevitably be diminishing returns.

Pretty soon people are going to get tired of the six-hour baseline bashfests where they play the same 60-shot rally over and over again until one guy blinks. The human bladder has a limit.

Then what? With the sport so homogenized, there will be fewer players with the creativity and skill to play a non-baseline game. Then the sport will face a crisis.

Okiegal Says:

Well, serve….volley….point……BORING!! That’s exactly why I quit watching…..and finally someone came along and challenged Roger. When Roger walked on the court……heck, the match was a done deal. Just got boring for me and Rafa came and BOOM BABY (or should I say Bambino) and evened things up a bit. Now that’s what I’m talking about……fell in love with tennis all over again. Now, not the player, but his style! Lol

skeezer Says:

^ now wait a sec…. Don’t like s&v? Ok..but to add and say Roger was boring. Uh? He brought the most innovative, creative tennis to the game in decades. His creative shots for outright winners were jaw dropping.
Now, you are forced to watch players grind out predictable groundstrokes from the baseline. Who wins is usually the player who can run the other around till they run out of gas. Woohoo.
Or maybe posters just watch for the body, eye candy, and not the substance of the game. For that I take offence. Any pro sport can produce that.

When Fed leaves, the game WILL be more boring.

skeezer Says:

“I spent some days resting at home and I hope my back injury is not going to be a problem to reach the final,”
Love the typical pre-empted strike by Rafa with the back excuse, or the usual any excuse…..just in case he doesn’t win Rio. Insecure much? LMAO! Vamoose!
Notch the Rio title Rafa with only 10% healthy. That is what you do, no?

Okiegal Says:


Yes, I’m spending some days resting at home too, and I’m also hoping his back injury doesn’t keep him from getting to the final!! Lol You might be glad to know he looked rusty in his 1st match, imo. He’s gonna have to kick it up a notch to win the whole thing, me thinks! Now I will get into trouble with other Rafa fans for being negative……I can’t win for losing on TX. I think I’ll just take my marbles and go home!! LOL

Roger does make jaw dropping shots, but so do the others. I watch lots of tennis and the things these awesome athletes can pull off on a tennis court blows me away!

I do care what a fellow poster might perceive me to be, Rafa is not eye candy for me, for sure……I’m old enough to be his mum or probably his grand mummy!! LOL Just wanted you to know that I’m not a poster who is in love with Rafa……just his tennis game. I just enjoy watching him play and appreciate all the players who challenge him and each other.

Margot Says:

Fell asleep when Sampras was winning everything. Woke up with a bang when Rog beat him at Wimbledon. Was falling asleep again, when along comes Rafa…Then suddenly Nole lifts his game and challenges the duopoly.
Tennis is so much more exciting when you actually don’t know whose gonna win.
Of course, like ALL other players’ fans, I want Andy to beat everyone else easily…but I do live in the real world…;)

Okiegal Says:


I just personally prefer the baseline game of today….I think it’s edge on the seat exciting! I’m probably the minority. I think Roger is a great baseliner, don’t you?? He never sweats…..he’s got the best athletic genes I’ve ever seen. Do you really not like to watch him play this type of tennis?? . He’s good at it. He’s getting a little older, but he looked great the first set against Rafa at AO…….but Skeez, you’re wrong about one thing, we’re not forced to watch a particular type of tennis, we choose to.

Okiegal Says:


That’s exactly the way I got about tennis. That’s what I meant by it getting boring for me. I knew before the match started that Fed was gonna win. I, like you want my guy to win every tournament he enters too, but it ain’t gonna happen. It’s just more unpredictable now, and imo makes things a little more interesting.

Thanks for your input!! I was about to get a complex……..there is someone out there in the realm of tennis who has a different fav than I do and could still agree with me!! Yes, thanks!! Things on TX are looking up for Okiegal! . LOL
You and Chic, are a OK!! Always enjoy your comments!

steve-o Says:

Even if you didn’t like S&V, it had the virtue of being short. Points are over in at most four or five shots. The baseline borefests go on forever and ever because they play thirty or forty shots per rally. And because they have to violate the time limits to get extra time to recover physically after a long and grueling rally. Get on with it already!

You watch five minutes of a Nadal-Djokovic match and you’ve seen everything there is to see, because every other five minutes will be just like that five minutes. Nadal-Djokovic, Djokovic-Murray, Nadal-Murray–those match-ups can barely be distinguished from each other.

In the serve and volley game, strategy and tactics are key. Because only a handful of points were actually played, the players had to be alert and aware for those key moments on which the match turned, and execute properly.

There is no strategy in the modern baseline game. It’s about attrition. You merely play the same tedious baseline rally over and over and whoever tires first loses. Who knew, if you run the opponent from side to side for long enough, that they would eventually keel over from exhaustion or make a mistake? Woohoo. Is that something you have to pay a couple hundred dollars to find out?

There are no points that are more important than any other points, no thinking required. You just grind every single point out relentlessly with maximum intensity and eventually one guy breaks down from mere fatigue or mental frustration from trying to hit through such impenetrable defense, and the other guy rolls. That is the most boring way to win possible.

Sure, the serve-and-volley battles between two big servers could be tedious on occasion. But there were serve-and-volley players like Edberg and Rafter with merely solid serves and they had to win with creativity and skills. Thoughtful combinations of shots, precise placement, tactical nous. It’s a lost art. Only Federer has the skills needed to play that kind of tennis, and you can’t play it all the time in the modern game, it’s just not high-percentage enough.

Margot Says:

Some of the best matches are often between players who like to s and v and a baseliner.
One of my favourites was Andy v. Llodra.

steve-o Says:

@Margot: I agree that the contrast in styles makes for enjoyable viewing, but for it to be interesting, the S&V player has to win from time to time. As you say, it’s not interesting if you know who’s going to win in advance. Murray is 4-0 against Llodra and Llodra has won a grand total of one set in their encounters.

It’s no fun to watch the net-rusher be picked apart with passing shots from 12 feet behind the baseline. These days passing takes no skill because you just have to put as much topspin as possible and then the ball automatically clears the net and it’s impossible to volley even if the opponent is as good as Edberg or Rafter, let alone Llodra. You don’t even have to look at the ball, just grip and rip, and it goes in.

It just goes to prove my point that S&V is dead and baseline bashing rules all.

There was a glimmer of hope at AO since the court appeared to be playing faster (and perhaps not coincidentally, we had a surprise champ in Wawrinka), but I am sure that there will be a big hue and cry about it from the usual suspects (i.e. NadaDjokoMurray) and they will slow it down until it plays like treacle again.

Last year they made the court at the O2 Arena soooooo slow that Nadal could beat people playing clay-court tennis. What is the point of even having different surfaces if you can win playing the same way on all of them?

A Tango Lad Says:

Sure Roger is possibly the best player to ever pick up a tennis racquet but while I was amazed, it was more akin to watching Liverpool win time and time again in the late 1970s.

While Roger’s game is incredible, I like to see a real contest.

Prior to Nadal and Djokovic, exciting matches with The Maestro were too few and far between.

Tennis is at its best when the outcome is not essentially predetermined. Watching Roger win his first few majors in his early years and again after 2006 was much more satisfying for me specifically the 2007 Wimbledon five set final against Nadal, the 2009 French Open. the great 2009 Wimbledon five-set final against Roddick (16-14 in the fifth set) and the 2012 Wimbledon coming back a set down against Murray once the roof was closed. Dramatic stuff indeed!

And to say that Nadal just hits the ball hard with spin without great skill and strategy is just simplistic in my opinion sorry.

Okiegal Says:


100% spot on………agree with everything you said………….especially the last paragraph, he too, is a master of the sport!!

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