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Cheryl Murray

  • Nadal makes the cleverest comeback in tennis history

    2013-03-18 15:43:16

    First, let me say that I am suitably impressed by Mr. Nadal’s polarizing presence on the ATP tour. I cannot think of another player who inspires tennis fans to such dizzying heights of passionate devotion or disgust (depending on which side of the fence you fall on).

    In fact, now that I think on it, I can’t ever remember another player drawing the sort of reactions that Rafa does. John McEnroe was polarizing, but that was intentional on his part. McEnroe played with a baffling sort of brilliance that made you want to like him despite your best efforts to hold his horrifically childish on-court behavior against him.

    There was no love-hate with Jimmy Connors because people really just hated him. Ivan Lendl inspired little more than vague dislike and Pete Sampras rarely generated passion of any sort, great champion though he was.

    Andre Agassi had his share of detractors, but I think that had more to do with the fact that he was popular for reasons other than his prowess on a tennis court. Nothing inspires dislike as quickly as gaining support from a group of people who say things like “What’s a deuce?” and “Where’s Andre? This is boring.”

    Nadal shares none of those characteristics. He is affable off court, well-behaved on-court, he generates passion of his own and in others, and he has a remarkable amount of tennis skill and is generally a gifted athlete. I sometimes wonder if people are simply put off by a player who refuses to acknowledge his own talent…

    Anyway, I bring all of this up because, though I’ve always known that people either love or hate Nadal, I wasn’t completely aware of the depth of those feelings until he came back from his injury.

    At first, it wasn’t so bad. Nadal didn’t play well in Vina del Mar, and that final loss to Horacio Zeballos seemed to delight the haters.

    “Ha!” they said. “There will be no French Open for Nadal this year!” (On a side note, have you ever noticed how obsessed people are with Rafa losing the French? I find this peculiar, but that’s a different blog for a different day…)

    Rafa, unflappable as ever, viewed the loss as inevitable after such a long layoff and moved along to Sao Paolo. Where he won. Against David Nalbandian. Easily. And though he wasn’t yet playing well, the detractors scratched their heads.

    “Well”, they said. “This is a Mickey Mouse event” (which is what they call 250 level tournaments that lack serious competition). “Just wait until he gets to Acapulco and he has to play David Ferrer”.

    But a funny thing happened in Acapulco. He continued to improve. He got that gleam in his eye. You know what I’m talking about, right? It’s the one that looks suspiciously like determination and confidence. And as he worked his way through the draw, and as Ferrer worked his way through the draw, the haters rubbed their hands in glee. The delight lasted just about as long as it took for Nadal to dish out a bagel in the first set.

    And after that the excuse was, “Well, it was only clay. Just you wait until he gets to hard courts”. We waited. To hardcourts he came. And he dispatched Ernests Gulbis (which I still contend was his finest win of the week), Roger Federer, Tomas Berdych and Juan Martin Del Potro to capture his first hard court title since 2010.

    Color the tennis world shocked. And impressed. Well, most of us were impressed. I was still treated to a discourse about how the win wasn’t important because he didn’t beat Andy Murray or Novak Djokovic.

    Someone else told me that “obviously” he hadn’t been injured at all, and still another proposed an intricate conspiracy theory (I choose to think that he did so for my entertainment) that involved tournament owner Larry Ellison, the court surface and a budding bromance (that may or may not also include Roger Federer).

    So with all of the hoopla and emotion and the devotion and the hatred for the man from Mallorca, it would be easy to forget that his return was, as my title suggests, a genius move on the part of his team.

    Anyone who thinks that the start in Vina del Mar and the finish in Indian Wells wasn’t carefully orchestrated doesn’t know team Nadal very well.

    Consider the following: if the goal is to gradually work your way into form so that you are (hypothetically) ready for the European clay swing, what better place to begin a comeback than Vina del Mar, which is notoriously low on opposition?

    Move on to Sao Paolo, where the competition is slightly more difficult and then to Acapulco, which features two Spanish clay courters who will actually put you through your paces. I doubt Team Rafa expected the Ferrer final to be the demolition that it was…then again, I don't think any of them were complaining either.

    Don’t misunderstand me. I think Rafa would have attempted to play Australia if he could have gotten in a warm-up tournament, but all the better for him that he didn’t. He worked his way into form on his favorite surface before moving to the hardcourt that suits his game best.

    These were tactics at their finest, and anybody who doesn’t tip their hat to that level of foresight and wisdom is probably just disgusted that it worked so well.

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Comments

Thanks for this great article. I really enjoy it. I agree with you about the importance of the Gulbis match. The last time Rafa beat Gulbis, he went on to win 3 Grand Slams. But I'm not too optimistic this time. I hope Rafa will win Roland Garros and that should be enough for him.

zero060891 , 3/18/13 7:41 PM


Nice write up Cheryl. Makes up for your Delpo pick against Rafa!

FO and Wimby for Rafa this year!

#GOAT

Conspirator , 3/18/13 8:39 PM


Cheryl,

Just to be perfectly clear, I am not looking to score brownie points! But I must say that this has now become my new favorite blog from you. Great stuff!

I have said myself that I now believe that Rafa starting in Vina Del Mar on clay, was the best thing for him. It all worked out beautifully, even though I am glad that you agree that Rafa would have played at this year's AO if possible. This all really worked out so well. It does look like genius at work! Rafa comes back on clay at smaller tournaments will lesser competition. He builds up his confidence as he works on getting into better form.

I love how you noted all of the skepticism, with the comments that it was only low ranked clay court players, then it was only Ferrer and Almagro and not hard court players. Always excuses.

Oh and I have read some of the unbelievable conspiracy theories online, to the effect that Rafa has been secretly playing for a while now! Also that he hasn't been injured at all. I did read some of that on tennis-x, bless their little hearts!

This was a well thought out blog! Well done!

Nativenewyorker , 3/18/13 9:10 PM


A good synopsis of the situation Cheryl. There are two types of tennis fans, the Rafa fans and the anti-Rafa fans. His haters just refuse to accept his brilliance and personality, more to the point, they begrudge his icon status that rivals Federer's.

One thing about Rafa and his team, they seem to know what they are doing and they are not rushed. They are very patient. They know full well that pulling out of Miami means going back down to #5, but the ranking in the next few weeks is not their priority they have a long term view and they know that Rafa seeded 5 is more of a problem for his rivals than for him.

It did not take me long to see that Rafa has everything that passionate fandom is all about. His career is not the smoothest. He's has his ups and downs and his triumphs and disasters, but the way he battles on, overcomes his adversities and comes up victorious deserves a film script. Rafa's story is one that could inspire young aspiring athletes because it demonstrates that being great is more than winning it's more about having the character and strength to keep fighting.

nadline , 3/18/13 10:08 PM


I thought he played Vina del Mar because they offered him a 1 million dollar appearance fee.

ts38 , 3/18/13 11:47 PM


ts38 - You are naive if you think that Rafa can't contact ANY tournament at any time and get that much or more. He started at VdM because it suited his needs to do so.

NNY - The conspiracy theories get so outrageous, you can't help but laugh.

Nadline - I completely agree about his ranking. I wouldn't say that if, say, the US Open were coming up. But on clay? It really doesn't matter that much. And after the French he'll do nothing but pick up points.

cherylmurray , 3/19/13 1:16 AM


ts38 is not naive. He is a delusional Fed fan.
Actually delusional Fed fan is a tautology as Fed fans are by definition delusional.

holdserve , 3/19/13 4:35 AM


Then why did he wait to take a wild card? Or was his team just planning on creating some false drama to gain more publicity on if he was or was not to play the event?

ts38 , 3/19/13 5:39 AM


Cheryl - I didnt undersand exactly this statement, can you elaborate please? intricate conspiracy theory (I choose to think that he did so for my entertainment) that involved tournament owner Larry Ellison, the court surface and a budding bromance (that may or may not also include Roger Federer).

NNY - Please feed on the conspiracy theories, it is about the silent ban (blah blah) or something else? Didnt understand 'secretly playing for a while statement)

The Rafa haters are only rabid fans mostly of Fed, they simply cant stomach the lopsided H2H , the continuous beatings at big stage matches and that Rafa's popularity rivals Fed neck to neck. I dont think any Murray fan hates Rafa and even from Djokos side, there will be very few .

Cheryl - Wonderful encapsulation in this blog of his journey past 6 weeks. Very well written too.

Rafa is very passionate and hes the most passionate tennis player . The passion he gets on court is not matched by anyone, the intensity, the grit, the charisma and to top it, he is very humble and affable off the court, so its such a contrast and a very endearing one at that.

Let me say the truth here - The rabid fanatic Fed fans (please note usage of word rabid and fanatic, not talking of the sane ones) hate Rafa and Rafa alone to the core of their heart , the Rafa fans do not hate Fed but are forced to dislike Fed at times or rather let me say not support him because of the behaviour of his fans and the venom they spit towards Rafa. Disagree as much as you can, this is the truth

sanju , 3/19/13 6:14 AM


Another great analysis from Cheryl. Great blog, just love it.

Cheryl:Hope you are wearing your bullet proof vest against the flak this will generate :-)

ed251137 , 3/19/13 7:35 AM


sanju,

I guess you didn't hear about Pete Bodo's latest blog about Rafa. I refuse to post a link on this site. I heard about it on vb. Then I went to tennis.com and read it for myself. He certainly seems to be getting in on some of the conspiracy theories.

I have already read on another tennis site the theory that Rafa has been secretly practicing and playing for some time. This was said in all seriousness. There are the other usual nonsensical theories, to the effect that Rafa was never injured in the first place! It never stops.

I really wish that Bodo would just stop writing about Rafa. He is feeding these lunatics and haters and conspiracy theorists.

Nativenewyorker , 3/19/13 8:11 AM


What is wrong if Rafa was secretly practising? Is there any sin if you practise? I fail to understand whats the big deal. You dont ahve to be tied to wheel chair f you are injured.

He is very well okay to do some light practice like work on his serve, try variations etc. He may not have practised stuff which put weight on his knee.

He and his docs know his body better, god knows who these good for nothing critics are.

sanju , 3/19/13 8:38 AM


Bodo trying to create controversy and hopes to get more hits in his blog. Just ignore him, Tignor, OTOH, has written a nice article about Rafa ( and Sharapova). Tignor really gets Rafa, and I do agree with him that Rafa is not one who believes in winning easily. Rafa is realistic, and believes in hard work, to him the fruits of his hard labor taste even sweeter after all the efforts he puts in.

Appearance fees or not, Rafa needs to start somewhere. The team probably feels that playing two instead of three clay tournaments may not be enough for Rafa to get his match fitness back on track. It's proven now that they have made the right decision.

I don't think Rafa's limping is any cause for concern now; he's probably feeling some soreness after the match. He had taken his ice bath (I think it's ice bath) after the match, as shown in his face book page.

luckystar , 3/19/13 8:50 AM


^^^^

These people are not logical. They are really the lunatic fringe. The biggest conspiracy theory is that Rafa has been secretly playing for some time now. How on earth he would pull that off, I have no idea.

I really try not to read this garbage on other sites. These people take themselves very seriously, as though they really know what they are talking about. But they are the usual pure Rafa haters. It's what they do. This consumes them.

We know that Rafa was practicing to be ready for actual competition. So the real conspiracy theory is that he has been actually playing for some time now. Don't even ask me to explain or rationalize this nonsense. This is coming from people who don't want to believe that Rafa could come back and do this well.

All you had to do is watch Rafa in his first matches at Vina Del Mar to see how rusty and out of form he was at the time. Then there was the final, in which Horacio Zeballos managed to beat him, something that would never happen if Rafa had not been off for so long. People who live in the real world will see that Rafa did not play well initially. However, his game progressed faster than even I would have thought.

We just have to focus on Rafa. He will be seeing his doctor, the knee will be evaluated and then they will prepare him for the all-important clay and greas season.

Nativenewyorker , 3/19/13 8:55 AM


Sorry, my post above was in response to sanju's last post @8:38 AM. Lucky's post wasn't showing when I wrote mine.

It is true that Tignor gets Rafa so well. I did read his blog about Rafa and Sharapova. It was very well done. He just has an intuitive understanding of how Rafa approaches playing tennis. I loved that he pointed out how much thought goes into Rafa's matches. He appreciates Rafa's intelligence and tennis brain.

Nativenewyorker , 3/19/13 9:00 AM


Lol, why did I guess it would take a Rafa win to inspire another blog post from Cheryl?

samprallica , 3/19/13 10:22 AM


Lol, why did I guess it would take a Rafa win to inspire another blog post from Cheryl?
samprallica
, 3/19/13 10:22 AM


Maybe she gets inspired by the best :-)

sanju , 3/19/13 10:27 AM


sanju, the conspiracy theory regarding Larry Ellison is that Larry is a Rafa fan to the extent that he hosted Rafa and his team throughout the tournament as he did last year, so being the TD, Larry laid a 'clay h/c' to suit Rafa; this theory was openly discussed on SKY. I've even read that Larry also fixed the draw so that Rafa would avoid Djokovic and Murray. The only thing wrong with the fixing of the draw conspiracy is that whatever happened there was always a chance of Rafa meeting either of those 2 in the final. Furthermore, why would Larry bother about Rafa playing two players whom he virtually owns, barring the year 2011 when Djokovic went on a tear like an energised bunny.

Rafa beat Djokovic three times on clay in a row last year and Murray has never beaten Rafa on clay, so having gone to the extent of laying a 'clay hardcourt' why would Larry have to worry about The King of Clay playing those two.

Others, including Federer, have suggested that Rafa just wanted to get away from tennis for a while. I don't understand why Rafa would voluntarily pull out of the Olympics. If he just wanted a break he could have done it after defending his title at the Olympics.

nadline , 3/19/13 10:32 AM


Thanks nadline

All conjectures, what does clay h/c mean? You can either have slow H/C or fast H/C, low bouncing, high bouncing, indoor or outdoor, first time hearing of a clay H/C. Also isnt Miami even slower than IW?

If Larry really wanted to fix the draw, why would he make Rafa meet Gulbis who was red hot and meet Fed in the QF. Fed didnt twinge his back before coming here. Wouldn't Ferrer be safest bet to meet in QF?


Just goes to show it is all sour grapes and conjecture.

sanju , 3/19/13 10:51 AM



Lol, why did I guess it would take a Rafa win to inspire another blog post from Cheryl?
samprallica, 3/19/13 10:22 AM


Cheryl is not the only one, believe me. Just surf the internet and you'll see that Rafa's return has revived the tennis cyber space.

nadline , 3/19/13 11:17 AM


sanju - Nadline explained the conspiracy accurately enough. The gist of which is that Ellison is an admitted Nadal and Federer fan and orchestrated a court surface that would ensure that Rafa would win.

Two problems. First, Rafa didn't even agree to play IW until a few days before the draw was announced. Two, the surface has been slow and high-bouncing for years. And by years, I mean more than a decade.

clay HC (which used to be called blue clay until Tiriac actually MADE blue clay) is a reference to a HC that acts like a clay court, meaning that balls kick up hard.

cherylmurray , 3/19/13 12:36 PM


Why would any Rafan bother to read a Bodo article?

ts38, in case you hadn't noticed, you are the subject of cheryl's blog! Nice job!

On another note, I see that Fed has dropped to 7th in the Race to London.

#Humb23

Conspirator , 3/19/13 12:57 PM


Whenever Rafa wins, there's always a conspiracy theory coming out or up! It's as if Rafa is so incapable of winning anything (other than clay maybe), that the whole tennis world has to do something to help him wins.

They've to slow down the grass at Wimbledon and let it played like clay, in order for Rafa to win there. The thing is, Fed was also winning Wimbledon titles on the same grass surface (don't tell me they changed the surface there in 2009 for Fed to win when Rafa's not around, and changed it back in 2010 so that Rafa could win again). If they've slowed down the hard courts, then it's Nole who benefitted from it, not Rafa, judging from the fact that Rafa had not won a HC title for 2.5 years until this IW, and Nole almost swept every important HC titles these past two years. The thing is Rafa had won on quick HCs, at Beijing, Dubai and his last hard court title before this IW was at Tokyo, a quick HC.

I'm sure a fit and healthy Rafa can and will win some more HC titles, whether its quick or slow HCs.

luckystar , 3/19/13 1:00 PM


"There was no love-hate with Jimmy Connors because people really just hated him. Ivan Lendl inspired little more than vague dislike and Pete Sampras rarely generated passion of any sort, great champion though he was."

Disagree. Jimmy was my favourite player in the 70s-80s, then Sampras. Didn't care for Lendl though. Great player but his playing style was dull.

#VamosGOAT

Conspirator , 3/19/13 1:02 PM


This whole bullsht article is a conspiracy theory. In order for any of this to make sense, the Nadal camp would had to plan to confirm months in advance playing the exho in Abu Dabi and the Australian Open, knowing he wouldn't play them and then contrive some excuse (stomach virus) so he could pull out of both and wait until the last minute to accept wild cards into two nothing clay events "leading up" to Mexico, which all prepares him for a run at Indian Wells. At best it's a sequence of events a writer who hasn't blogged in months spun into some brilliant scheme to write about to appease the over abundance of ultra-aggressive Nadal fangirls that dwell here.

And I would expect that kind of name-calling from the usual gnats that surround my posts, but not you Cheryl.

ts38 , 3/19/13 1:40 PM


^^^Fedfans are suffering.

nadline , 3/19/13 1:47 PM


ts38 - you need to relax. I don't engage in name calling, I told it like it was. It really IS naive to think that Nadal or Federer can't get an appearance fee from anywhere they so choose. Your intent was to be inflammatory. Please do not project your pot-stirring onto me.

As for this blog, are you honestly saying that the Nadal camp couldn't have re-adjusted its plans after the AO fell through? What you're saying makes no sense. If the original intent was to skip the AO, he could have just said his knee wasn't ready yet. Why in the world would they invent an illness that didn't exist?

They could just as well have started in Acapulco, where the prize money is higher and the points to be gained greater. They did not. They wisely chose to start in VdM. No conspiracy, just smart planning.

cherylmurray , 3/19/13 1:56 PM


ts38: there are plenty of sites where your style of comment thrives but this is not one of them. It is one thing to have a vendetta against members on this forum to whom you take exception (for whatever reason) it is another to make objectionable and insulting remarks to the journalists who work hard to make this site what it is.

You owe Ms. Murray an apology.

ed251137 , 3/19/13 2:45 PM


Poor ts38.

Or should that 38 be divided by 2?

#Rhetorical

Conspirator , 3/19/13 3:17 PM


Indeed ts19

you owe Cheryl an apology

and not because what you said made no sense, none of it, not because you were inflammatory to others (as you have before, and that's bad enough), but because you were deeply insulting publicly, for no reason whatsoever (even with a reason it is behavior that you should never allow yourself to engage in) to a professional, intelligent, articulate and fair journalist.

You've made yourself look really bad in front of thousands (probably tens of thousands) of readers.... don't make yourself look worse yet by not apologising.

Do you have the heart (courage) for it?

chlorostoma , 3/19/13 6:16 PM


thank you all for your kind words. :)

Also, I just read Pete Bodo's blog entry about the IW final. I really have nothing to say but "wow". And possibly "jaded".

cherylmurray , 3/19/13 6:42 PM


chloro: I fear there is no chance of someone suffering from Flaming Personality Disorder having the grace to retract his remarks.

ed251137 , 3/19/13 7:17 PM


Cheryl, EXCELLENT article!! Love it!! I really warms my heart!

I have read a number of similar articles on cyber space, as someone put it, but yours is really spot on!!!!

Rafa is indeed polarizing!! I can't imagine how a number of people felt when once again having to take the taste of their own feet! The commies and detractors never learn...........it just makes me laugh!!! As if Rafa is going to give them the satisfaction of living up to THIER expectations.............they always lose, big time! I dont understand the mindset of anyone who would be lokking forawrd to the downfall or demise of an athlete.....or anyone for that matter!

While I watched the match on Sunday, I could almost feel the life sucking out of the commies when Rafa won the second se,t and then eventually wining it all. They tried so hard to hide it but you can tell that they were not happy!!! It must hurt so bad!!!

If there is one thing that I will never understand is why people hate Rafa so much? Forget the H2H against the top 3, but Federer used to beat his rivals just the same! So what is that the can evoke so much hatred towards one player who has never done anything to hurt a soul (at least not that I know of!), except on the tennis court!

Two of the most hated men in sports history......Rafa and Lebron James!!!........and I love them both!!!!

VAMOS!

Monalysa , 3/19/13 8:09 PM


What I'm saying is that Rafael Nadal has done so well in his comeback because he's Rafael Nadal. It's what happens when you're 1 of the 2 best players in the world by a mile...you win. I believe his withdrawal from December's exho and AO was legit. So let me ask you then, when did this whole scheme become clever foresight? Was it after he pulled out of AO? Just after he pulled out of Abu Dabi?
It's naive to say that because the greatest clay-courter of all time wins 2 out of three clay tournaments and then a hardcourt masters (playing only a group of people whom he's pwned throughout his career) it's the cleverest comeback in history. It's just Nadal being Nadal.

And it's tough to discuss anything with a group of people who are so narrow minded that anybody they don't like is aggressively labeled a witch. If you wanted to get under my skin, you could have at least called me ts3-21. Your collective lack of creativity is amusing.

ts38 , 3/19/13 8:15 PM


So ts38............what is your issue?

Is it that becos Cherly labels it a "clever" comeback, or you're just flatly opposed to that idea that it is deemed a comeback story to begin with?

Monalysa , 3/19/13 8:22 PM


I believe my original remark was that I thought he started his comeback in Chile because the offered him a huge appearance fee.

ts38 , 3/19/13 8:25 PM


...which was naive as the GOAT can get a huge appearance fee anywhere, ts38/2.

#YoullLearn

Conspirator , 3/19/13 8:31 PM


ts38 - I believe they arranged it as soon as they knew Rafa wasn't going to be able to do Abu Dhabi...because there was no way he was going cold into Australian Open.

And I really do believe they handpicked the events in that particular order because it would do the best to boost Rafa's confidence. He's such a confidence player, I don't believe he could have started in Acapulco or IW and had the same results.

I agree that he won in large part because he's Rafael Nadal and he really is just better than the rest. But I also believe that he didn't FEEL like he was better until he had a bunch of wins in his pocket.

cherylmurray , 3/19/13 8:32 PM


What is this `debate` about?!?
Its obvious that nadal played in the golden swing because it was a soft comeback on his favourite surface. AND yes he could make a load of cash to boot from the Nadal starved bush league tennis fans.
It wasnt pre planned before the AO, the article never said that.
Cheryl was spot on, and so what about making money.
There's nothing further to see here methinks.
No one said it was a conspiracy so i dont know what the f**k T38 is going on about.
But then its not the first time i find myself in that particular situation.

Twinge , 3/19/13 8:47 PM


It's unfortunate that ts38 keeps digging himself deeper and deeper. Sometimes it's best to admit that you were out of line and disrespectful to Cheryl. But if you keep on trying to justify yourself, then you just look like a person who cannot admit when they were wrong.

The fact that Cheryl has responded to your comments in a polite fashion while making her points, just shows what real class is and how you conduct yourself with integrity. You could learn something from her.

Everyone has managed to refute your arguments convincingly. The fact that you think he went to Chile only because of the appearance fee, just shows that you don't get it. As Conspirator said, Rafa can command huge appearance fees everywhere. In fact, as I remember there were many who said that he only went to Chile because he would face much lower ranked players who would not be able to challenge him. Then when he lost in the final to Zeballos, it was supposed to be more evidence that Rafa just didn't have it anymore.

You can't argue it both ways. Reasonable people who live in the real world know that Rafa pulled out of Abu Dhabi, Doha and the AO because he became ill with a stomach bug. He did not want to make the same mistake as in 2011 when he playing with a severe viral infection at Doha and then came into the AO not fully recovered.

ts38 - you owe Cheryl an apology, instead of trying to justify your rude comments.

Conspirator - I did read Bodo's blog. I wanted to see it for myself and make my own judgement. I am not going to hide from this kind of thing. In fact, I wrote a comment in response. Sometimes it's a good thing to have your say and point out the flaws in someone's argument. That's what I did.

Nativenewyorker , 3/19/13 9:58 PM


Excellent blog Cheryl. Enjoyed it very much.

CindiT , 3/20/13 2:09 AM


Lol, why did I guess it would take a Rafa win to inspire another blog post from Cheryl?

samprallica, 3/19/13 10:22 AM

ha ha, and it brought out the the Nadal fanatics who hate Fed and his fans, not to mention poor Bodo. By now, it's common knowledge that no Nadal thread is complete, without the usual sh*t being thrown at Fed and his fans. Instead of celebrating nadal's wins, they use it to heap crap on Fed and his fans; paroxysm comes to mind.

Anyone ever wondered why there are so many rabid, fanatical nadal fans on here? I guess they all got bitten by the same dogs that supposedly bite the so-called "rabid Fed fans", which is the reason they know it to be a fact that Fed fans are rabid. LOL. What does rabid dogs do? Salivate continuously and kill off their victims with a single bite. Hence, the reason so very few Fed fans post here. coz they've all been bitten by rabid dogs.

It's laughable that the same posters who insult Ricky, referring to him as 20% childlike, (not verbatim) and many other such insults, are the ones who've had arguments with ts38 and are ORDERING him to apologize to Cheryl. Looking for the usual kudos is not unusual for those who like to appear to be sanctimonious, and hold onto grudges. Hypocrisy much.

And, for those of you who are labeling me as other posters on tennis-x, thanks for your usual transparency. Your lack of creativity in the use of bogus monikers and assertions, is as pathetic as your need to perpetuate your hate for me. You have sunk deep into the dirty mire and/or to such unspeakable lengths/depths to discredit me while simultaneously blaming innocent people on that site, just so you can score some kudos with other posters. I thought some of you claim you don't post on tennis-x, coz it's such a bad site where only "rabid" Fed fans hang out, yet some have taken up residence there. Ah, I get it, you only post there under the use of use bogus monikers. Just coz you're all so wicked, perpetuate grudges, and live in the mire, you think others are the same as you? Geez you're a hateful bunch, who are without any shame, and nothing to do but all day to do it in. I'll return your generosity on Tennis.com, coz you all are so dirty you think others are the same, as in rabid dogs, see the analogy?) and such honesty is where some of you like to hang out, albeit it's not my MO to get on other websites and attack you for anything you do here, but it's now become necessary to play dirty like you. Words fail me. However, keep on playing dirty like brad gilbert, and using those atrocious volleys, and all parts of the court. Words fail me on to how to describe your adolescent behavior. You are to be PITIED due to your many late life crises and being dum azzes.

Now, here enters the preacher, the lecturer, the ar-chair psycho-analyst, the over-grown school-girl/computer whiz/ pseudo-hashtag expert, with the usual rhetorical garbage we've heard so many times before, e.g., prochronism, on cue .....bwahahahaha, ON CUE .....

scoretracker , 3/20/13 2:33 AM


Anybody who doubts the authenticity of Rafa's absence should read (or re-read) the following insight into the gravity of his injuries.

http://preview.tinyurl.com/cgt3xhs

We should marvel at the miracle of his return to his former winning form and treasure every moment he is on the court.

ed251137 , 3/20/13 8:24 AM


S/T's ability to switch from writing cogently about tennis to uncontrolled rants like the above @ 2.33 AM never ceases to amaze me.

ed251137 , 3/20/13 8:36 AM


Rafa,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

nadline , 3/20/13 10:32 AM


hey scoretracker... good that your 'Words fail' you , otherwise you'd have written a whole boock :P
I don't get these talks of hate at all. Why does anybody have to 'hate' this player or that one. We all have our favourites and hate it when they lose, especially if they lose all the time to the same guy but, this doesn't have to turn into an undermining battel of the other player's ability, does it? (jeeez I sound like a priest or sthg, lol).

I mean, I'm a Rafan to the bone but I admire Fed's raw talent and grace, Djoko's grit and athletic ability, Murray's in-the-zone easiness... so, yes, when they play against Nadal I want them to lose. Where's the hate in this?

Shireling , 3/20/13 11:22 AM


.. I do hate all my spelling mistakes though :P

Shireling , 3/20/13 11:23 AM


So scoretracker, what's your bogus moniker on tennis-x?

nadline , 3/20/13 11:31 AM


to start with, the word 'hate' in itself is used too easily and has nothing to do with the person being hated but more with unresolved issues from the hater.

When people say they 'hate' a particular player I guess (hope) they really mean they hate how the player plays like. In that sense I can understand someone disliking a player or favouring another.

Of course, we often say 'I hate it when .. -say Rafa - returns so short' or whatever.. but we don't really mean hate per se but rather express our frustration at that given moment.
What is sad is to make this favouritism or dislike transcend to the players themselves cause without them there wouldn't be any sport to begin with...

Shireling , 3/20/13 1:26 PM


Cleverest comeback by Rafa???
Anything other than starting on Latam clay (especially starting at Aus Open) would have been outrightly stupid.

atul1985 , 3/20/13 3:58 PM


Nadal right to complain about enforcement of time rules

"In short, Nadal is right. May his voice become the final word." -Bruce Jenkins, SI.com

Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/news/20130319/rafael-nadal-tim e-violations-juan-martin-del-potro/#ixzz2O60L3RVu

http://tiny.cc/d1 48tw


#RafasRight
#VamosGOAT

Conspirator , 3/20/13 4:54 PM


@Conspirator 3/18/13, 8:39pm
Yes, FO for sure. But Wimby, no!
Wimby is for Muzza to take. I dont see anyone beating him there, until and unless he suffers his famous brain fits and cramps! ( I maybe proved wrong at the end, but this is what I seriously feel).

abhirf , 3/20/13 4:57 PM


@Conspirator 3/18/13, 8:39pm
Yes, FO for sure. But Wimby, no!
Wimby is for Muzza to take. I dont see anyone beating him there, until and unless he suffers his famous brain fits and cramps! ( I maybe proved wrong at the end, but this is what I seriously feel).

abhirf , 3/20/13 4:58 PM


Btw, I thought ts38 was a Roddick fan, but people here are jabbing at him for being a Fed fan.

abhirf , 3/20/13 5:05 PM


As for Rafa's return, people of such extraordinary calibre require just some match practice of any level they can get just to have their touch and fitness back (be it Tennis or any other sports). I think Rafa got the match practice he needed at the Vina del Mar, worked on his fitness further at the Sao Paulo, and got it perfected till Acapulco. I dont know why people esp. Rafa fans doubted so much of their hero's calibre. On the other side, neutral fans (people like me) knew it all along the way that he would sweep away the tournaments which he entered (though his title at IW was a surprise, but not his final appearance there)
If his injury has done anything to his game, it has only improved him. I still remember the concerns of all the people here regading the state of his game before Acapulco which forced me to comment (as I hadn't seen him play till then) on a thread that this might be Ferrer's best chance to post a win over Rafa on clay. The 1st match I saw after Rafa's comeback was the Acapulco final and just after watching the 1st 2 games, I just said to myself, "what the heck are people talking about, this is vintage Nadal at his very best". From that moment it was quite evident that Rafa was back with his game ( even better I would say). I had already mentioned about his new HC game on another thread previously.

All in all, what I would say is, though he has posted many comeback wins, but still this whole comback story has now gone a bit over the board now. But then of course it is what the media is best at - overcooking the things. It is a great comeback but the one that many expected.

abhirf , 3/20/13 5:31 PM


@sanju, 3/19/13 6:14 AM
But then you have to look at people like holdserve and co. to know where our frustation comes at the 1st place. Case in point, just look at holdserve's post 3/19/13 4:35 am.

abhirf , 3/20/13 5:47 PM


^^^^ Ummm, and your post is any less of a spam post?

#Sigh
#YouDontGetItDoYou
#SomePeopleNeedEverythingSpelledOu t
#YoullLearn
#VamosGOAT

Conspirator , 3/20/13 5:54 PM


WARNING: the unimaginative, boring and repetitive spam post by:

scrottracker, 3/20/13 6:23 PM

is trolling for a reply. Please do not respond. Thank you for your cooperation. This is an automated post. Replies will not be responded to.

#KingOfTennis
#10-19
#WhosYourDaddy

Conspirator , 3/20/13 6:55 PM


^^^^ thats nice.

willmw101 , 3/20/13 10:22 PM


Federer rolled his last dice by instigating the enforcement of the time violation rule and he still got a drubbing from Rafa. The next time they step on court he'll be going for the big 2 O.

#GOTE

nadline , 3/20/13 10:46 PM


@Shireling 1.26pm
Had to show my support of your post, with which I totally agree. "Hate" is used over and over again as internet shorthand to cover any negative feeling and to hurtle at fans who don't like your favourite.
If you can "hate" someone you don't know surely it should be reserved for Hitler/Amin etc etc but tennis players ! Don't think there's any mass murderers amongst their ranks.
Will never change though, such labels are too easy. :(

deuce , 3/21/13 8:10 AM


^^^Tell that to Fedfans.

nadline , 3/21/13 9:21 AM


Neil Harman - The Times

"Imagine for a moment you are one of Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray or Roger Federer tuning in to the final of the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday. You watch Rafael Nadal, apparently on the ropes against the hardest forehand in tennis, recover to break the resilience of his opponent, Juan Martin Del Potro, and complete the day with his incisors embedded in another trophy.

Do you feel pleasure that Nadal is back - Federer kept insisting that he was, though he may have been joking - or might you silently curse? Or do you count your blessings and your Grand Slam titles?..................."


#Form is temporary, class is permanent
#GOTE
#The power to surprise

nadline , 3/21/13 10:00 AM


Now that I finally had the time to read the whole thing and the associated (and certainly funny!) comments, I must pay respect to Cheryl not only for the great blog which I love, but also for the wise and rather abstaining reply comments to insults served by certain posters...
I specifically like this one: cherylmurray, 3/19/13 8:32 PM
Your words are so true...and you further prove how much you really know Rafa and understand him...I think that is what makes Cheryl exceptional and different than other experts...she seems to know Rafa's soul...I know that it is partly due to the fact that she gets to read the comments of Rafans here who seem to live Rafa's life and know every little detail about him...:)

Thank you Cheryl for defending the case and just keep up a great work!

But, don't get carried away though because you know the first occasion and you may become the target of the delusional, rabid, ecstatic, etc. Rafa/Fed/Nole/Murray/Blake fans...:)

and Ricky it's not only Cheryl...we love you as well...:)

natashao , 3/21/13 11:13 AM


Conspirator, 3/19/13 3:17 PM

hilarious...:)))

natashao , 3/21/13 11:18 AM


Cheers Deuce deuce , 3/21/13 8:10 AM

Conspirator , 3/20/13 4:54 PM

Read the article and liked the point he made ... what if the ball-kid drops a ball, or a towel, should somebody be paid to press a button that adds so many seconds more because of the unexpected delay?
Ridiculous !

Shireling , 3/21/13 12:06 PM


Conspirator, 3/20/13 5:54 PM

abhirf, my referenced post was pointed at a post that has since been removed (among several from the same poster for which I am grateful) and was in no way directed at you (as it now appears).

BTW, yes of course, Andy has as great a shot as any to win Wimby this year. Oddsmakers have him as essentially a co-favourite with Nole with Rafa at slightly lower odds.

However, I'm picking Rafa because, when healthy, he usually exceeds expectations.

#VamosRAFA

Conspirator , 3/21/13 12:56 PM


http://www.thetennisspace.com/top-10-toni-nadal-quotes/

#VamosUncle T.

Conspirator , 3/21/13 4:39 PM


Someone said the players were going to discuss the enforcement of the time violation in Miami. I've not heard anything about that yet.

nadline , 3/21/13 6:43 PM


@^^^Tell that to Fedfans.nadline, 3/21/13 9:21 AM

LOl, nadline, you are the one who talks of hate all of the time, over and over, see who first talked of hate on this thread, so let me refresh your memory, it's good ol you, nadline. Then, some others used it, to which I responded.

Here's what you wrote nadline, stirring the pot as usual:

"A good synopsis of the situation Cheryl. There are two types of tennis fans, the Rafa fans and the anti-Rafa fans. His haters just refuse to accept his brilliance and personality, more to the point, they begrudge his icon status that rivals Federer's."
nadline, 3/18/13 10:08 PM

scoretracker , 3/22/13 12:30 AM


I'll reiterate what I mentioned previously. A lot of you are going after ts38, who simply asked some questions, nothing worse than I see some of you doing with Ricky. In fact ts38 was a a lot better than most of you, who for some reason target Ricky and insult him, but play it safe with Cheryl, the moderator. Need I say more?

@"Conspirator, 3/20/13 5:54 PM

abhirf, my referenced post was pointed at a post that has since been removed (among several from the same poster for which ......Conspirator, 3/21/13 12:56 PM

There were many posts removed, written by several posters, not ONE poster, among them, many of YOURS, your many stupid spam non-automated posts, and from many others, including, but not limited to ed, willmw,NNY and me, answering some of those posters, (notice I included myself ) Hence, STOP with the PRETENSE and your continued spamming from thread to thread, instigating and perpetuating the war, WHICH YOU NEVER FAIL TO DO.I'm sure Abhirf has seen all the posts and is aware of what took place, but kudos to you for trying to remove blame from yourself and chorts and place it on ONE poster. haha. God try, but no can do.

scoretracker , 3/22/13 12:51 AM


I'm sorry but I disagree with you Cheryl about Nadal being a confidence player. In fact, I think the opposite is true, and his sheer tenacity on court is one of his main assets. I don't think anywhere historically has he needed a bunch of wins to continue winning. Quite the contrary, his 7th loss in a row to Djokovic gave him more positives than anything before according to him. I think his losses to him in 2011 were more about Djoko being beyond superhuman (even the 2 straight clay losses). Nadal's confidence may have been a small factor, but he always put up a fight.

ts38 , 3/22/13 1:53 AM


I can live with having any of my posts removed, as long as the one who instigated and started it all with another despicable, inflammatory, personally offensive rant, has their posts removed!

I am grateful that Cheryl took action to clean it all up! The worst of it is gone and I think it's a small price to pay to have other posts also deleted!

Nativenewyorker , 3/22/13 2:03 AM


In addition to Nole's superhuman performances in 2011 and Rafa's confidence issues, Rafa's game was also breaking down, or rather his weapon were breaking down. First his serve, then his backhand, and then his tennis brain. His serves collapsed at IW that year, his backhand broke down when under attack, his brain was 'fried' after so many losses to the same man, and his confidence all time low (he was feeling as if he had already played for a 100 years in the tours and was getting tired of it) and so he was left with his CC forehands, with the DTL forehand not making any appearance after a few mishits. How's he going to beat the superhuman Nole v2 with only that CC forehand weapon left?

luckystar , 3/22/13 2:27 AM


Oh yeah, with an ego such as yours you are grateful and can live with it? LOL. I so get it that you're grateful, bwahahaha. Yeah, I believe you, NOT. Keep seeking some more kudos, it's insurance from not getting banned and/or warned. mwah, mwah, mwah.

scoretracker , 3/22/13 3:07 AM


I absolutely think Rafa is a confidence player. I also think he's a rhythm and timing player who benefits from a lot of match play. We saw this illustrated very well in his comeback.

Rafa started in low profile clay court events with lower ranked opposition. He was able to get into better form and build his confidence as he reached the final in Vina Del Mar and then proceeded to win Sao Paulo and Acapulco. In Acapulco he faced his first real test coming up against the likes of Almagro and Ferrer. He beat them both and won the tournament.

It was then decided that Rafa would participate in I/W. This would put him up against his toughest competition yet. He had to make the adjustment to hard court after playing three clay court events. He had to beat a resurgent Gulbis, then Fed and Berdy. In the final he came up against the guy who took out both Murray and Nole. Rafa came from behind to get the win.

Rafa was able to build up his confidence a little at a time. He was able to get the rhythm and timing on his groundstrokes, get his ROS working and serve well. All you had to do is look back to the final at Vina Del Mar to see how far he came.

Rafa's sheer tenacity and will to win have nothing to do with confidence. That is also something he had to find again. If he had it at Vina Del Mar, he would have come back and beaten Zeballos.

Only at the 2012 AO, did Rafa find the answers to beating Nole. He managed to put himself in a position where he could win the match. He came back in a memorable fourth set tb to even up the match and force a fifth set. Finally he was competitive with Nole. Feeling much stronger and fitter and with renewed passion and commitment in 2012, Rafa found some answers in that seventh loss. Then he was able to finally beat Nole in the final at MC, the Rome final and the RG final.

Nativenewyorker , 3/22/13 3:53 AM


I'm sorry I just don't see it. He was 2 points away from beating Zaballos. He still had an absolutely stellar year in 2011, reaching 4 GS finals in a row (something he's NEVER done before in his whole career). He even destroyed Murray at the USO that year. He may have had some mental demons against Nole, but he was still getting the W against everyone else in the world. And none of his losses were straight set losses (exept the clay finals somehow). Even the USO final was a back-and-forth slaughterfest until he simply ran out of gas that last set.

ts38 , 3/22/13 4:08 AM


He didnt reach 4 slam finals in a year in 2011, he only reached the QF of AO that year! He reached the AO final in 2012 but that was after the year end break in 2011 and Rafa and Uncle Toni had managed to come out with a strategy that almost succeed against Nole at AO2012. But hello, he went out in his fist match at Canada that year to Dodig, and was struggling against Verdasco at Cincy, the player whom he owned all along, and went out to Fish in the QF, hardly stellar performances. And how many times did Rafa lost in his first match at a Masters event?? He was also struggling at Rome and RG, especially in his first matches there, how was he playing very well?

Nole was super human, not taking any credit from him, but I doubt he could beat a Rafa in stellar form of his 2010 clay and even his USO. Do note that Rafa's USO2010 serve was no where to be found in 2011, resulting in him struggling to hold serves against Nole at the USO that year. Do also note that Nole was also struggling to put away players like Tipsy and Dolgo during the USO, so he was also coming down slightly from his high level and so made the USO final a little more competitive. The first two and the last sets weren't even competitive, what I saw was a Rafa struggling to hold serve, so different from the Rafa I saw in that USO 2010.

luckystar , 3/22/13 4:27 AM


^^^^

I have to agree with lucky's analysis. I think some people believe what they want to believe. No amount of reasoning or discussion will change their point of view.

If anyone thinks that 2011 was Rafa's best, then they just don't know Rafa at all. At the 2011 USO, Rafa was down two sets to none when he finally managed to mount a comeback, winning the third set in a tb. But neither Rafa or Nole had much left after that. Nole was struggling with back problems and Rafa simply had nothing left. Rafa couldn't hold his serve after going up a break in each of the first two sets.

The difference at the 2012 AO was that Rafa came out and won the first set. Then he double faulted away the second set and reverted to his usual form losing in the third set. But facing defeat in that fourth set, Rafa came storming back. He had not been able to do this against Nole in his previous six defeats. That was a turning point for him. He was up a break in that fifth set, but was broken back to end up losing the match.

Rafa seemed to be on the verge of a burnout in 2011. It wasn't just his game, it was his loss of mental focus. He had lost the passion. He referred at one point to his ten years on the tour as a pro, feeling like 100 years! That said it all. To see him struggling against the likes of Isner in the first match at RG and needing five sets to beat him, showed us just how difficult it had gotten for Rafa. Rafa had to fight for every win in the first week of RG. Only when he faced Sod in the quarterfinal, did his game finally improve.

It's a testament to Rafa that even with all his struggles, he did as well as he did in 2011. But there is no way that this was Rafa at his best.

Nativenewyorker , 3/22/13 5:15 AM


@ts38, consider this:

1. It is acknowledged wisdom that Rafa is most vulnerable in the early rounds of tournaments, why? Because he is building up confidence and once he reaches the latter rounds it becomes difficult to beat him.

2. During the Dubai tournament, Djokovic was asked about Rafa's run in South America and this is what he said, "He is building confidence". It is not a coincidence Novak chose those words, he knows the implication regarding Rafa's game.

rafaisthebest , 3/22/13 6:26 AM


http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/nirmal_shekar/welcome-back-raf a/article4526234.ece

Amen!

rafaisthebest , 3/22/13 7:06 AM


Rafa was definitely suffering a burn-out since 2011, which seems to have been solved with his enforced injury break. He did the best thing going home after IW, having shut up everyone over his prowess on h/c by winning his first M1000 on h/c after not playing on the surface for nearly a year, with all the gang there.

Rafa needs to concentrate his efforts on the clay season, that's the most important thing for him. Miami is not that important.

#King of Comebacks

nadline , 3/22/13 8:51 AM


Conspirator , 3/21/13 12:56 PM
I know you didn't directed it to me. Rather, I was just commenting on your post.

abhirf , 3/22/13 8:58 AM


.thehindu

"But the question now is not whether Nadal can live without tennis as much as whether the men?s game can live without one of its most charismatic and gladiatorial performers."


Thanks for the link, ritb



#Energy is eternal delight.

nadline , 3/22/13 9:02 AM


It was Rafa and Muzza who openly mooted the idea of a boycott if certain alignments were not made by the Slam tournaments but look who is getting the credit for the recent Slam capitulations on player earnings.....................Roger Federer!

" After trying and failing for years to generate the necessary solidarity and staying power to negotiate effectively with leaders of the world?s most important tennis events, the men and their off-court leader, Roger Federer, are now trying and succeeding.

U.S. Open officials initially announced a $4 million increase in total men?s and women?s prize money for 2013. In other times, that would have been cause for player celebration, but this time ? and the credibility of the players? threats to withhold their services ? is different. "

At least they are now acknowledging the credibility of the boycott threats.......

I distinctly remember Roger wanting nothing to do with the "B" word, now everyone agrees it was a sound negotiating tactic.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/22/sports/tennis/22iht-arena 22.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0

rafaisthebest , 3/22/13 9:08 AM


Ha! Paul McNamee says Miami should become a clay tournament!

http://www.backpagelead.com.au/tennis/8869-miami-should -aim-for-clay-target

Choice quote:

"I see Indian Wells being the grand finale to the first hard court season, and Miami being the grand opening of the major clay court season, which culminates of course at the French Open at Roland Garros. I'm not saying that Rafa in the end would have played Miami this week, as his body obviously deserves a break, but I suspect a clay-court Miami would see his juices flow a little more, and have made his decision on the weekend to pull out just that little bit harder."

Careful, Mr. McNamee, Larry Ellison has already been accused of laying the Indian Wells surface to suit Rafa, you are coming awfully close to suggesting that Miami do the same..........nod, nod; wink, wink!

rafaisthebest , 3/22/13 10:35 AM


ritb: It is hardly surprising if Uncle Toni is displaying a certain amount of chagrin on Rafa's behalf!

Rafa was accused of self-serving interest for fighting for changes in the system. Now Mr. Nice Guy comes out smelling of roses for driving through the demands for a rise in prize money after having initially avoided getting his hands dirty by distancing himself from the players' unrest and boycott threats.

#TheConsummatePolitician

ed251137 , 3/22/13 10:50 AM


^^

#TheConsumatePolitician

Apt description!

And maybe this is what is making Uncle Toni seem, a little...........querulous?

And didn't Rafa use a similar phrase, "smelling like a rose" in describing Fed's political skills?

rafaisthebest , 3/22/13 11:03 AM


Rafa was circumspect in this interview but one can sense the seething resentment.

http://preview.tinyurl.com/d9tblaa

ed251137 , 3/22/13 11:44 AM


luckystar, 3/22/13 4:27 AM

Again, sorry, I'm not buying it. Bringing up his losses to Dodig and others at masters is meaningless. Rafa also lost to FeLo at queens early on grass in 2010, and to Baghdatis in Cincy in 2010. But we all know how that year worked out for him. Even top players lose at non-GS events...it happens. He also had his hands more than full against journeyman Robin Haase and Phillip Petzchner at Wimbledon that year, almost losing to both. He still got the W's is my point, with or without confidence.

And his 2010 USO serve seems to be a freak occurrence. I've never seen or heard of any event, ever, before or since then, when he had it.

ts38 , 3/22/13 7:22 PM


Rafa needs confidence (for lack of a better word) typically when he is coming back from injury, not when he has had a few losses. The confidence player is in the context of needing repetitive match play, which is what Rafa has always said.

By comparison, Fed is different in this regard. He seems to take two months off, and shakes the rust off after the first match.

When Rafa is off for a couple of months, it typically takes 1-2 tournaments for him to return near peak.

#ApplesAndOranges

Conspirator , 3/22/13 7:35 PM


^^^^

That's what I have been trying to say. But this person just won't listen. As I said before, people tend to believe what they want to believe.

That's obvious from the latest post @ 7:22 PM. Sometimes people will pretend to want to have a real discussion, but the more you refute their arguments the more they double down.

Nativenewyorker , 3/22/13 8:21 PM


Simple, just looked at his HC points, 2011 was the worst year for Rafa, since 2008. Also, the tours don't just consists of slams events but also the ATP events. Also, looked at all the struggles he had even on clay- Rome first round against Lorenzi, RG first round against Isner. Rafa had never lost in his first match at a Masters since I don't know when, but he lost to Dodig at Canada. He lost to Baggy in 2010 at Cincy but it's in the QF, also Baggy was a more established player than Dodig. At the USO, he was struggling to put away Golubev in the first round and had problems against Nalby next. He was only good vs players who had big serves, like Muller and Roddick. Against Murray, it was Murray who was playing badly for the first two sets but once Murray decided to play, he won a set before Rafa quickly put him away.

All in all, his hard court results in 2011 was his worst during the period 2008-2011. He had only 3630 points the whole season, compared to 4540 pts in 2008 (adjusted to current pt system and excluding pts from Olympics and Dubai that in 2011 he didn't play); 5265 pts in 2009 and 5360 pts in 2010 (both excluding events that he didnt play in 2011 to compare pts from similar events). Rafa had not done that poorly at Canada/Cincy like he did in 2011 where he had only points from R2 and QF respectively totaling only 190 points. He certainly did poorly at Shanghai and at the WTF, not difficult to see that.

How could he be playing at almost the same level as his 2010 for example when his HC results had gotten worse, not only vs Nole, but vs the other players, especially vs the top eight guys at the WTF?

luckystar , 3/22/13 10:10 PM


^^^^

You make the case well, but you are talking to someone who will not hear you. You need an open mind and a willingness to listen to the other person in order to have a real discussion.

You will just get another post saying - sorry, I don't buy it or I don't agree, blah, blah, blah. Sometimes you have to be careful not to be drawn into a discussion with someone who has their own preconceived belief and will never change it.

Nativenewyorker , 3/22/13 10:16 PM


Doesn't matter NNY, I just lay out the facts for others to see for themselves. If some refuses to see the facts, that's their problem.

I have to add that in 2009, Rafa had 9205 ranking points, vs 9575 he had in 2011, and that's when Rafa missed Wimbledon in 2009 and was coming back from an injury! Comparing 2010 and 2011, Rafa was doing better only in two events in 2011, is IW and Miami. Even if we take into consideration those events he lost to Nole in 2011 which he had won in 2010, ie Rome/Madrid/ Wimbledon/USO, a loss of 2,400 ranking points; and a gain of 480 points at IW/Miami (1200 in 2011 less 720 in 2010), that only account for a loss of 1920 points from his 12450 pts total in 2010. Not forgetting he played one additional event, ie Barcelona in 2011 and gained 500 points; therefore he was losing some 1455 points to others during 2011, to arrive at 9575 ranking points that he had in 2011.

If anyone had watched Rafa played in 2011, it's not difficult to see that he was struggling at AO (injury); IW (just back from injury so his game suffered especially his serves, not only vs Nole but vs the rest); Rome (he was ill for a few days); RG (lack of motivation perhaps); Canada, Cincy, Tokyo, Shanghai and WTF. He also injured his foot during Wimbledon during his match vs Delpo in R4; and ran out of steam in the fourth set of the USO after battling to win the third set having lost the first two. Though he ended up still world no.2 in 2011, it's certainly not really a good year for him; can't compare with his results of 2008-2010; oh not as good as his 2007 too IMO, where he won three Masters and more titles even though he didnt do as well that year at the USO.

luckystar , 3/22/13 11:02 PM


lucky,

I am glad that you have laid out the facts to support your argument. You have made the case by noting his ranking points and comparing them. You and I know that 2011 wasn't his best by a long shot, but the fact that he did as well as he did is a credit to him.

I am just saying that there are those who come to this discussion with their own bias and that won't be changed by facts.

I commend you for coming up with these stats!

Nativenewyorker , 3/22/13 11:13 PM


OK NNY, what's going on with you? Are you trying to start yet another argument? What's the purpose of your obnoxious passive-aggression and constant cheap shots? Are you trying to be productive?
"Sometimes people will pretend to want to have a real discussion, but the more you refute their arguments the more they double down."
"I think some people believe what they want to believe. No amount of reasoning or discussion will change their point of view."
"I am just saying that there are those who come to this discussion with their own bias and that won't be changed by facts."
What's the point of these statements if not to troll for flame wars? How do the moderators not see this from you over and over and over and over and over and over...?

ts38 , 3/24/13 1:27 AM


ts38 is allergic to facts.
He has a not so hidden agenda. To discount Rafa. By claiming Rafa's 2011 was better than 2010, he wants to establish that Nole is better than Rafa .
Facts are therefore given the go by in the anxiety to prove a false hypothesis.
Is there any point in presenting facts to someone who relies on delusions?

holdserve , 3/24/13 1:53 AM


^Coming from someone who clearly knows far more about Federer's game than her so-called darling Rafa's. Looks like we found the real closet-Federer fan. See the Roger Federer thread for proof.

ts38 , 3/24/13 3:08 AM


ts38, 3/24/13 1:27 AM,

It's called having an opinion! Get it? If you want to be on a forum, then you better get used to it or find somewhere else where no one will ever disagree with you. Please look up the definition of passive-aggressive before you use big words you don't understand!

You are the one picking this fight. I have been here for a long time and the moderators and long-time posters know who I am. Your cheap shots aren't going to work. By the way, didn't you go and attack jean on another topic thread? Hypocrisy is not an admirable quality! So get off your high horse and quit attacking people who simply disagree with you.

You should stop being so thin-skinned. I consider your comments in the referenced post, to be outright inflammatory, erroneous and ignorant. There's one person here who is trolling for flame wars and you have become an acolyte. That's too bad for you, but don't think you can stop me from giving my opinions.

Lucky and myself kept providing factual evidence for our belief that Rafa is a confidence player. What was your response? Sorry, I don't buy it. You weren't interested in a discussion, so I called it as I saw it. In fact, I could accuse you of trying to inflame and incite by saying something so ridiculously inaccurate and ignorant about Rafa.

However, lucky and myself chose to respond in a reasonable manner. You should try to do the same and grow up!

Nativenewyorker , 3/24/13 3:34 AM



Good blog

http://www.sportskeeda.com/2013/03/23/why-do-we-still-call-nad al-just-a-clay-court-king/

sanju , 3/24/13 10:34 AM


Please look up the definition of passive-aggressive before you use big words you don't understand!

Your cheap shots aren't going to work.

blah blah blah blah blah

Tell me, when was the last time you were not involved in some stupid fight over nothing?

And as for hypocrisy not being an admirable quality, I suggest you quit telling people not to be thinned skinned when you said you cried the first time you found out scoretracker doesn't like you.

ts38 , 3/24/13 2:01 PM


Thanks for the link, sanju. As the writer points out, it's ridiculous to describe Rafa as a claycourt specialist. He has beaten all of the top 4 in slams on surfaces that are supposed to be their strongest, whilst they cannot boast of beating him on clay in a slam.

#GOTE

nadline , 3/24/13 6:34 PM


ts38, 3/24/13 2:01 PM,

Quit trolling for flame wars!

Get over it!

Nativenewyorker , 3/24/13 8:04 PM


One more comment - crying when someone posts hatespeak about you is NOT being thinskinned! It's being human.

This is a place for discussion, disagreement and sometimes even arguments. I don't consider that fighting. If you do, then in addition to using big words you don't understand, you also don't know what it means to be on a tennis forum.

Nativenewyorker , 3/24/13 8:07 PM


ts 19

I have not addressed you before and will not again. I'll write just this one comment to you. All that needs to be said, really, about your typical comments:

ts, you have shown your character here clearly, for all readers to see, the two dozen that post regularly, and the thousand dozen or so that read, and it is not flattering at all. Nothing you can do to undo that. Perhaps try a site where you have not posted before. Good luck.

Peace.

chlorostoma , 3/24/13 8:30 PM


"There's one person here who is trolling for flame wars and you have become an acolyte."

Now if I were a thin-skinned person and one seeking to start a war, I'd say I'm being derogatorily discussed, and I'd like to know what have I done? I suppose it's because I'm the only dissenter who stated I see nothing wrong with ts38's post to Cheryl, he was only asking questions. I say this because I've been told several times, by the writer of that quote and three of her followers, that I'm looking to start a flame war. But, seeing as how I'm not thin-skinned, I'll let it pass.It's ridiculous that I'm blamed for so many things by this person and her followers, e.g., acolytes?

As for having an opinion, well, I wish that analogy were applied fairly across the board, to the many times I, and other non-Nadal posters, especially Fed fans, have offered an opinion, only to be ridiculed, aided by the use of name calling, and told ugly personal stuff, as recent as yesterday, e.g., smelly fedfart, scrote, a waste of life, idiot, moron, etc., by only six (6) of them. And, if we return the favor, our opions are termed "hatespeak". Until I began blogging on this site, and I say this in all honesty, I've never seen the word *hate* used so much, especially hatespeak, as I see it done on this site.

It's amazing that every time I defend myself against my attackers, or offer an opinion, it's hatespeak, but when the others do it, getting into chat-rooms on the approach shots threads, written by Ricky, (they are very careful to avoid Cheryl's blogs for obvious reasons) gossiping about me and having a good 'larff' at my expense, it's only an opinion. It's double-standards without a doubt, but considering the source, one cannot ask for anything fairer.

What happens on this site, is nothing short of harasment from a group of women, who are Nadal fans, to whom the rules do not seem to apply.As we are often told, "you don't get to tell us what to do or say", but on the other hand, our democratic rights are taken away from us, because we are told what we can or cannot say.

scoretracker , 3/24/13 9:37 PM


@chlorostoma , 3/24/13 8:30 PM

"ts 19, I have not addressed you before and will not again. I'll write just this one comment to you. All that needs to be said, really, about your typical comments:"

Oh, but you have addressed him before, see the following:

"Indeed ts19
you owe Cheryl an apology

and not because what you said made no sense, none of it, not because you were inflammatory to others (as you have before, and that's bad enough), but because you were deeply insulting publicly, for no reason whatsoever (even with a reason it is behavior that you should never allow yourself to engage in) to a professional, intelligent, articulate and fair journalist.

You've made yourself look really bad in front of thousands (probably tens of thousands) of readers.... don't make yourself look worse yet by not apologising.

Do you have the heart (courage) for it?chlorostoma, 3/19/13 6:16 PM "
---------------------
Not only did you address him before but you decided to change his screen name from "ts38" to "ts19", agreeing with the poster (this poster thinks she's being funny always changing other posters' names to something derogatory, I'm not scoretracker, but *scrote(tracker), note the connotation)) who suggested his screen name should be ts38 divided by 2, to wit:

"Poor ts38.
Or should that 38 be divided by 2?
#Rhetorical
Conspirator , 3/19/13 3:17 PM

As you and another has stated, if we don't like anything we should find another site.

I've had to endure your amateur arm-chair psycho-analyzing previously on a few occasions. in one of them you decided to write a weather report, which your fellow Nadal fans thought was hilarious. And, each one added to it.

Anyway, I hope you don't turn into those erratic storms and gale winds you likenend me, nor become washed away by the raging tide.

I don't care what any of you think of me, but I've been in a similar place like ts3 finds himself, and it was for nothing I did wrong, only because I had a differing opinion from the majority. Or maybe I could see things through clear lenses rather than those rose-tined nadal-fan lenses.

PS: I didn't write these 2 posts because I want to ingratiate myself with ts38 (I'm sure I'll hear of it on another thread for at least 6 months) but it's because I feel the discussion was between ts38 and cheryl. all he did was ask her some questions, which many of you do to ricky, using insults and even going so far as to psycho-analyze him by breaking down his personality into percentages, e.g., 20% childlike. I find that to be not only presumpttuous by extremely derogatory.

scoretracker , 3/24/13 10:07 PM


It is time you understood the difference between light-hearted banter and the outright 'war of words' which you wage against other posters.

Chlorostoma's weather forecast was extremely funny but it's hardly surprising you were not amused: you were so out of control - babbling and ranting hysterically in a quite alarming manner - you would have been incapable of seeing the funny side.

Calling that particular post 'armchair psycho-analysis' is utter nonsense and rich coming from you who peppers every other post with banal pseudo psychological insights into people's character and personality which you have gleaned from the internet.

ed251137 , 3/24/13 11:12 PM


chlorostoma, 3/24/13 8:30 PM

I was about to read your post but then saw you called me ts19. If you're just as stupid as the others for ASSuming I'm a Fed Fan (and trying to take a jab at me LOL, Rhyne Williams lost chloro, get over it) then I couldn't be bothered to waste my time reading any more of what you wrote. Have a nice day :)

ts38 , 3/24/13 11:55 PM


@MsCherylMurray, oh Ms. Murray, @cheryl, moderators or anyone who will listen to the constant pathetic whining from s/t, please tell scorecrapper that complaining about me calling him scrottracker is derogatory and then calling me constipator is actually hilariously hypocritical.

On second thought don't, I'd miss the comic relief!

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

#10-19
# ts38/2

Conspirator , 3/25/13 1:16 AM


oh ed, I'd expect you to come to the rescue and twist stuff around, you certainly have knack for doing so. I know that you know it was done towards me in the most derogatory sense. You also talked about putting the pigeons, with etc., so please don't insult my intelligence by trying to tell me it was funny, maybe to you because it was done to me, which is what you like and enjoy. I wonder if he/she had done it to you or anoither of your group, and whether they would have liked it? I don't babble and pepper anything more than you or anyone else. The truth of the matter is, that you all gang up against others, and when they fight back they become the object of your wrath. I know this won't stop here, it will be perpetuated in your many chat room talks, like you did yesterday, gossiping about me for just the fun of it.

@conspirator, stop taking stuff out of context. You began twisting my screen name around, and I told you maybe I should refer to you as constipated. to which you replied, It's what I call myself. It was that one day. I've noticed with the six (6) of you that you love to embellish things to suit yourselves, even stretching things on the untruthful side. Your little group is OK with what you do, so long as you don't do it to them, and will back you up. But, and there's a but, when you step out of line, just watch out.

As for your stupid, p;athetic, non-automated posts, it's called impersonation of a moderator, and it's been said many times, by them, if you want us to see something, write to us. I don't email them, but I mention it on the thread. When the mods act on it, you stop and then you start all over again. I DARE YOU TO WRITE THEM HERE.

scoretracker , 3/25/13 3:51 AM


#HoustonWeHaveLiftOff
#0-5Last5MajorsOnAllSurfaces

Conspirator , 3/25/13 4:08 AM


you wrote,"#ts38/2",

This is an example of your sneaky behavior, which never stops. You're sneakily referring to him as ts19 by using that stupid hashtag ts38/2 but because this thread is moderated, you sneak in the ts38/2 = ts19. When will you behave like an adult? I supose never. You now have two opportunities to write your fake moderator warning.

scoretracker , 3/25/13 4:08 AM


Connie's not hard to figure out. It feeds of any attention it gets. Whenever I make a point of disagreement, it ignores what I say and tries to shift the conversation to my character. I admit I fell for it the first time it happened. Oh well, I honestly can't remember the last time I read anything it wrote. I did see a hahahaha though so it's still amusing itself I see.

ts38 , 3/25/13 4:11 AM


Oh scorecrapper you are too clever for me.

C'mon now scorecrapper be honest. You used a calculator, didn't you.

#Sherlock

Conspirator , 3/25/13 4:12 AM


Oh and there's Watson38/2 at Sherlock's side.

#DumbAndDumber

Conspirator , 3/25/13 4:16 AM


I see now I'm "score(*crapper*). This woman not only lies, but is absolutely stupid. She has the audacity to again change my screen name on this thread where the moderator can see what she does, and in her stupidty has once again, proved me right. haha. I'm now *scorecrapper* ts38 is *ts38/2* and chr18 is *crap18*. At least the members of the group are smart to disguise their behavior, but this one is just plain stupid.

scoretracker , 3/25/13 4:24 AM


WARNING: the post by:

scrabbleloser, 3/25/13 4:24 AM

is trolling for a reply. Please do not respond. Thank you for your cooperation. This is an automated post. Replies will not be responded to.

#Humble

Conspirator , 3/25/13 5:01 AM


If sumone feels so harassed, why would he/she even continue here or bother to be around? Or maybe he loves the attention he is getting from these so called 'group of women' he is referring to that he keeps coming back again and again.

sanju , 3/25/13 5:17 AM


How infantile. I'd like for the moderator to pay close attetion to the total disrespect shown for her blog and other posters.Why aren't others calling her out but are jumping all over ts38 for sticking to tennis. Of what pertinence is the above post to tennis? i'd like to know.

scoretracker , 3/25/13 5:19 AM


Go to bed scrabbleloser. You're getting dumber by the post.

#SweetDreams

Conspirator , 3/25/13 5:24 AM


Folks, I don't know how authentic this is, but here is Rafa's Spring schedule:

http://rafaelnadalfans.com/2013/03/24/rafael-nadal-2013-s pring-schedule/

rafaisthebest , 3/25/13 7:53 AM


RITB: I would add: Subject to any last minute adjustments deemed necessary.

ed251137 , 3/25/13 8:32 AM


He's been playing the same schedule since 2007, with only 2010 as an exception (as he needed to do his PRP treatment during that Barcelona time slot in 2010). He should be fine IMO, as he has now four weeks of rest before MC starts, contrast that to only one week break in the past between Miami and MC. I think it was since they changed the time slot for Davis Cup QF playoff, from after Wimbledon to after Miami, that they now have two weeks between Miami and MC.

Rafa had played eight matches (singles plus doubles) at Chile, followed with four matches at Brazil, rest for a week and then played five matches at Acapulco. After another five days rest, he started his IW event and played another five matches. All in all he played 22-23 matches during that six weeks, I'm sure he's used to schedules like that. Furthermore, he'll be playing all on clay for his next five events, so I don't think there should be any cause for concern. Two months, five events, maximum 27 matches and after four weeks break, I think he should be fine, as long as he shorten points and plays more aggressively. I'm hoping that he leaves himself with enough energy for the grass season that follows.

luckystar , 3/25/13 9:24 AM


@ed251137, totally agree with you, fingers crossed!

@luckystar, let's hope Rafa's knees cooperate and we get back to being the smiling-est fans in the whole universe!

rafaisthebest , 3/25/13 9:31 AM


IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!!

Rafaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa........................is back on the practice courts, on clay, without the knee strap.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151426604191026&l= ebb1cb79e5

Vamos!!

rafaisthebest , 3/25/13 11:49 AM


I can't wait for Monte Carlo.

I wonder if Ricky will put Rafa down as hot..................?Does it matter........?Errrrrrrrrrr.................no!


#Vamos Rafa

nadline , 3/25/13 12:10 PM


Ms. Murray, did you authorized these warnings? There are several of them on the approach shots "Djokovic murray Depleted Miami thread"

This is just a sample of what's pasted on several threads . Please take a look at the disgusting names I'm being called" Scumtracker, scrote-tracker, Just a sample of the many names some of us Fed posters are called in the unauthorized moderator thread. Copied from the djokovic Approach shots thread. Her friends respect her for her sense of humor.
----------------------------

WARNING: the post(s):


scumsucker, 3/25/13 4:38 AM
scrabblesucker, 3/25/13 5:29 AM
scrabblesucker, 3/25/13 5:38 AM
scrabblesucker, 3/25/13 5:59 AM
scrabblesucker, 3/25/13 5:59 AM

is (are) trolling for a reply. Please do not respond. Thank you for your cooperation. This is an automated post. Replies will not be responded to.

#VamosSANJU


#10-19
Conspirator , 3/25/13 1:08 PM


scoretracker , 3/25/13 1:41 PM

there are some more on the other threads and at Conspirator , 3/25/13 5:01 AM




scoretracker , 3/25/13 1:57 PM


If the clay season will go as expected, and there are many reasons to believe so, there will be a 9th consecutive MC and 4 consecutive RGs followed by another 4 consecutive RGs. (And I still wish they got rid of the hardly-clay Madrid tournament, or changed its courts to real clay.)

chlorostoma , 3/25/13 2:03 PM


scorchedbrainer, 3/25/13 1:57 PM

You're one to talk, scorchedbrainer. At least I didn't refer to you in a racist manner.

#10-19

Conspirator , 3/25/13 3:19 PM


show me the racist comment I wrote about you.I see you and your otherself has made racism and sexism today's theme.

Your immaturity has taken a dive. I see you're scraping the barrel. I can help you out with a list of more creative names.

scoretracker , 3/25/13 3:22 PM


You made the same claim about my comments of Blake so why don't you show me the racist comments I made and how they are racist.

You know that tour comments were removed already but I have a copy so if you can rationally explain your claims, I will do the same.

Have you figured out how Hawkeye works yet, scrabbleloser?

#10-19

Conspirator , 3/25/13 3:27 PM


holdserve, I hope you'll believe me. there was a remark, a very ugly one, but it was removed along with some other comments. It was short-lived.
scoretracker, 3/23/13 1:39 PM

I guess you are as mature as me then, hey schoolfailer?

#Hypocrite

Conspirator , 3/25/13 3:31 PM


Of what pertinence is the above post to tennis? i'd like to know.
scoretracker , 3/25/13 5:19 AM

LMAO!

jean , 3/25/13 6:14 PM


rafaisthebest, 3/25/13 7:53 AM,

Thanks for posting this link. I believe that pulling out of Miami was key for Rafa. Now he will have enough time off so that he can handle this schedule. He hadn't done that in the past.

I agree with lucky's post @ 9:24 AM. Rafa only played four tournaments so far this year. I think he's in good shape for clay and grass. Also, he's practicing again!

Nativenewyorker , 3/25/13 7:11 PM


Rafa is playing Madrid, so there are points to e gained there.

#GOTE

nadline , 3/25/13 7:38 PM


^^^^

That's correct. Madrid is the one tournament where Rafa can gain points because he lost early last year to Verdasco on that horrific blue clay!

Notice that we are trying to get this topic thread back on track!

Nativenewyorker , 3/25/13 8:50 PM


This is the reason for my optimism re Rafa during this clay season:

" Last year, Nadal started by winning his record eighth straight title at the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters. Then he made another record by winning his seventh Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell title in the last eight years. After that, the Spaniard was stunned by his compatriot Fernando Verdasco in the third round on the blue clay courts of Mutua Madrid Open.

The Spaniard bounced back to capture Internazionali BNL d?Italia in Rome and then his record seventh French Open crown, beating world number one Novak Djokovic in the final of both events.

Nadal produced all that success with an injured knee but his joint did not hold for too long after that as he was stunned in his second matches at both Gerry Weber Open in Germany and Wimbledon. The Spanish star was forced to take seven months off to heal his knee, missing London Olympics, US Open, ATP World Tour Finals and this year?s Australian Open."

http://www.tennisworldusa.org/Rafael-Nadal-begins-to-train-f or-clay-court-season-articolo9065.html

If he could accomplish so much last year whilst injured, imagine what he can accomplish fully fit? And I believe Rafa is working his way back to full fitness.........

rafaisthebest , 3/26/13 11:47 AM


I know Rafa doesn't favour blue clay but I kind of like it, I think it's a cool idea.. and it does help for those of us who can't watch it on a huge screen...
(note that I only like the fact that the colour can be changed.. not any other type of altering to clay)

Shireling , 3/26/13 3:16 PM


H2H against the top 10

Rafa : 109 W - 42 L = 72%
Roger 98 W - 58 L = 63%
Nole 91 W - 59 L = 61%
Murray 54 W - 51 L = 51%


#The Greatest of This Era is - Rafael Nadal
#GOTE

nadline , 3/26/13 8:51 PM


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/newcastle-united/99549 42/Newcastle-Uniteds-Yohan-Cabaye-says-books-by-Jonny-Wilkinson-and-Ra fael-Nadal-helped-him-beat-depression.html

"Cabaye also disclosed that he had been helped in his recovery by reading books by Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal in which they described suffering from similar conditions"

rafaisthebest , 3/26/13 9:46 PM


The best thing Rafa did was to play IW, otherwise, MC would have been his first M1000 tournament and he would have been apprehensive about meeting everyone. The bestest thing is that he won it.


#Come back kid
#GOTE

nadline , 3/27/13 9:06 PM


@nny, any word on this story on the Vamos Brigade website? I hope this is not cause for concern, it is highly unusual to make surprise visits to Specialist doctors, no?

'Nadal visited Dr. Mikel Sanchez in Vitoria by surprise


Rafael Nadal made a flying visit yesterday to Dr. Mikel Sanchez USP La Esperanza Clinic of Vitoria. The Spaniard wanted to pass a final review of the state of his knees before the start of the European clay court season.

Nadal was last week in Vitoria with his father and Luis Cotorro to review its chronic tendinopathy after his trip to the Americas, where they underwent their knees to heavy wear and where he won the first successes of the season, noting especially his 1000 Masters victory at Indian Wells Martin del Potro.

Now, with just seven days apart, Rafa has decided to return on a visit that was not originally scheduled and surprised by the short time that has elapsed since the last time.

Words Mallorcan player to exit the clinic last week were encouraging to recognize that his "knees were fine, much better."

The visit, in principle, should not alter the programming schedule Rafa land, where the player defends Nadal 4590 ATP points, starting with MonteCarlo."

Please advise, if you can.

rafaisthebest , 3/28/13 2:04 PM


Worrying, to be sure.

holdserve , 3/28/13 2:23 PM


How do they know it was unscheduled?

Far too much speculation.

nadline , 3/28/13 3:21 PM


^^yeah, thought about that. Strange..........

rafaisthebest , 3/28/13 4:08 PM


Oh no, now the story is trending............who is this david j nadal? He seems to have a life dedicated to stalking Rafa............

@alex_willis: "Rafael Nadal made a "surprise visit" to his doctor Mikel Sànchez yesterday, according to @davidjnadal (via @svenja_mastro). To be expected? "

rafaisthebest , 3/28/13 4:13 PM


So Rafa goes to see his doctor without calling a press conference first to inform them that he had an appointment with his knee doctor. So because the press didn't know there was no way his doctor would know that he had an appointment with Rafa. Is the press door-stopping the doctor's clinic or are they stalking Rafa?

Soon Rafa will be accused of talking about his knees.

nadline , 3/28/13 4:35 PM


^^I have noticed that this david j nadal is behind nearly EVERY story on Rafa...

#stalkerrazzi

rafaisthebest , 3/28/13 4:51 PM


ritb,

David J. Nadal is supposed to be close to the Rafa camp. He is the who tweeted about Rafa's second visit to his doctor. They are discussing it on vb. Some think that Rafa could be getting prp treatments for his knee. This is not confirmed, though! They are just discussing the possible reasons for this second visit. They are also bemoaning the fact that whatever Rafa does becomes big news.

Nativenewyorker , 3/28/13 8:32 PM


Thanks @nny. Here's hoping it is part of the scheduled treatments and nothing to worry about.

rafaisthebest , 3/28/13 8:37 PM


It's so funny that the top players are now more worried about being drawn against the world #5 than against any of the top 3.

#GOTE
#109-42
#72%

nadline , 3/28/13 9:23 PM


NNY keep us posted, yes too much speculation and reporting on Rafa

Yes this David J Nadal is non stop tweeting about Rafa , wonder who gave him authority to do so? Hes not his spokesperson, looks more like someone clamouring for attention

sanju , 3/29/13 8:50 AM


And probably using a false name to lend verisimilitude to his pronouncements

ed251137 , 3/29/13 9:16 AM


I wonder who this David J Nadal works for, Is he freelance or works for one of the Spanish papers? It is kind of creepy the way he behaves as if Rafa is his only "client".....

rafaisthebest , 3/29/13 9:37 AM


According to vb, marca.com has also confirmed that Rafa went to see his doctor. So that is two sources. I have heard of this David. J. Nadal in the past. On vb, they will try to check out more than one source for information about Rafa.

I will try to check back daily to see if there are any updates or reliable information. At this time, there is no specific information as to the nature of this visit.

Nativenewyorker , 3/29/13 12:02 PM


I dont understand why this is being blown up into something big and possibly sinister.

I dont think Rafa's team expected him to make three finals so soon. Having taken the decision not to risk playing another gruelling h/c tournament, with only a week's rest in between, it is logical they would consult with his doctors to assess the healing/strengthening process was on track.

ed251137 , 3/29/13 12:46 PM


^^totally agree with you, @ed251137. As @nadline said, how do the journos know it was a surprise visit?

rafaisthebest , 3/29/13 12:52 PM


I don't think anyone is making this out to be something big or possibly sinister. It's just information that has been relayed about Rafa having another visit to his doctor.

Nobody knows that it was a surprise visit. It may well have been planned as a follow-up visit.

I am not at all worried about it.

Nativenewyorker , 3/29/13 8:46 PM


ritb and sanju,

It's up to you. I know that you both asked for updates and any info from vb. I am doing it as a courtesy. If you don't want anymore updates, just let me know.

Thanks!

Nativenewyorker , 3/29/13 9:16 PM


Got my tickets for Montreal for R16 onwards!

Hope the Top 4 go deeper on a whole compared to what they've done the last two years!

#VamosRAFA

Conspirator , 3/29/13 9:54 PM


^^^Well Done! Hope you get to see some good matches.

nadline , 3/29/13 10:05 PM


Rafa tweeted that he practiced today so all is well.

nadline , 3/29/13 10:25 PM


On Rafa's FB

http://www.facebook.com/Nadal

nadline , 3/29/13 10:27 PM


Father-In-Law is a big Fed fan even though he is Scottish. Did a big dance when Dodig beat Rafa in 2011 the night before we went to Montreal. Wasn't impressed.

Thinking things will be different this time around.

#VAMOS!!!!!

Conspirator , 3/29/13 10:28 PM


Nada's doctor's visit could most probably be for a checkup and maybe repeat MRIs forr comparison with those before resuming play on HC, since he's a lot more vulnerable on that surface. Doctors always place importance on revisits, as it's the only way they can judge a patient's recovery. I doubt it's anything to be alarmed over, or else the comms would have mentioned something by now.

scoretracker , 3/30/13 2:51 AM


Nativenewyorker , 3/29/13 9:16 PM

@sanju and I specifically asked you for updates and you duly obliged, thank you. Our subsequent posts discuss the role of David J Nadal, and who he is, I do not see anything in them suggesting that we are unhappy with your updates.

I am sure I speak for @sanju as well when I say, again, thank you for your updates, which we welcome.

rafaisthebest , 3/30/13 6:27 AM


Yeah I was commenting on David J Nadal, who is he and how is he privy to so much info that he keeps tweeting. He tweets a bunch about Rafa all the time and I dont think he is Rafas inner coterie or PR group or spokesperson

NNY: Your updates are always welcome

sanju , 3/30/13 7:40 AM


Knowing you, am not convinced that that's just a mere typo...you and your wily ways.

phoenix , 3/30/13 8:16 AM


ritb and sanju,

I just wanted to make sure. I would never want these updates from vb to cause any unnecessary concern or worry. I know that vb doesn't take only one source. They also have members who live in Spain and I believe one or two who actually live in Mallorca. They seem to know the Spanish websites and are amazing at translating the information. They are usually very careful in trying to confirm any info about Rafa.

I think they have talked about this David J. Nadal in the past. He's not related, I know that. He is also not an official spokesperson for Rafa. As sanju said, he is not in his inner coterie or PR group. Benito is Rafa's PR person and sometimes he has foiund it necessary to speak up to correct wrong information.

I haven't checked out vb today, but will do so later. Since Rafa was practicing yesterday, I am wondering if the visit was merely to get the okay from his doctor.

Thanks for your kind words!

Nativenewyorker , 3/30/13 6:49 PM


ritb is on VB, I'm sure of that.

nadline , 3/30/13 9:08 PM


Really? I didn't know that. I use the same screen name that I use here. Now I am very curious.

Nativenewyorker , 3/31/13 1:08 AM


http://theboar.org/sport/2013/mar/30/nadal-return-gives-tennis-new-lea se-life/

Good article on Rafa

sanju , 3/31/13 9:29 AM


^^Thanks @sanju! I saw/read it yesterday. Gives a Rafan a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Vamos!!

rafaisthebest , 3/31/13 9:35 AM


I'm on VB with a different pen-name. I'm pretty ritb is too.

ritb is such a tease, he won't let on.

nadline , 3/31/13 2:41 PM


Do you know, I actually joined VB before I started posting on TT way, way back. Then I stopped and haven't posted since. Can't even remember what name I posted under there. I must resuscitate my membership coz it is a really good site.....

rafaisthebest , 3/31/13 5:56 PM


I joined VB a few years ago but for a while I had problems loading it, for some reason so I could only get on occasionally. The problem seems to have been resolved now.

As NNY says, it very good for up to date, reliable Rafa news.

nadline , 3/31/13 6:03 PM


Yum, yum.............doesn't he look pretty?

http://www.championsparty.com/lda/

rafaisthebest , 3/31/13 9:11 PM


Aha! Someone writes to Jon Wertheim and slam bang calls him (and his Fedfan friends) out on their hounding of Rafa when he called for attention to be paid to players' health and safety, and check out JW's lame response:'

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/news/20130410/da vis-cup-rafael-nadal-french-open/index.html

" Thanks for raising a much-needed discussion about hard courts and injuries. I can see both sides of the issue. But when you ask for players to "go after health and safety issues" and that they "need to act here," I'm reminded that a certain lefty Spaniard has been (for years) trying to do so. In fact, he has tried to come up with solutions, some practical and not. What has been consistent from the media and a vocal group of fans (mostly of his famed rival), however, has been a steady drum beat of criticism that Rafael Nadal's input has been whining, griping and self-serving. To the point where the guy, usually a cussed competitor, cried Uncle and just gave up. Isn't it a bit strange to suddenly ask for the players to start using their clout when they clearly get huge blowback for doing so?
-- Badri, Vancouver

? Fair point. I think most people commend Nadal -- any player, for that matter -- for taking on the establishment. As I wrote last year, I think he may have undercut himself a bit with some positions -- the two-year ranking system, the advocacy of Richard Krajicek for ATP CEO -- that were less than practical and rooted more in self-interest than social justice. "

Some people just cannot say: sorry, we were wrong and Rafa was right.......

rafaisthebest , 4/10/13 10:43 PM


http://www.oregonlive.com/the-spin-of-the-ball/index.ssf/2013/04/rafae l_nadal_faces_tennis_midd.html

good article

sanju , 4/11/13 7:46 PM


Federer's latest interview with Rene Stauffer? In it he mentions his back problem and basically admits that it hindered him in his match against Rafa at IW.

Anyone ha link to this interview? couldnt google it

sanju , 4/11/13 7:47 PM


http://www.rogerfedererfans.com/forum/topic/1237-roger-federer-confirm s-about-playing-at-swiss-indoors-basel-2013-in-an-exclusive-interview- to-rene-stauffer/

found the interview

sanju , 4/11/13 8:02 PM


So what happened the other 18 times that Roger lost to Rafa?

nadline , 4/11/13 8:08 PM


Sorry sanju, I read that Douglas Perry article you called good and I find it to be the same predictable Fedfan nonsense. He says Rafa will not dominate the clay season like he has done in the past because he is now at the tennis equivalent of middle age! So, if Rafa is middle aged, what does that make Muzza and Nole, spring chickens? What's the age difference between Rafa, Nole and Muzza? Pathetic.......

He also repeats the tired mantra about Rafa's dodgy knees, as if this is the first time Rafa is dealing with this affliction, please.

Douglas Perry is a Fedfan who is desperately looking for chinks in Rafa's armour, for obvious reasons........

rafaisthebest , 4/11/13 8:13 PM


Good as in I meant in a sarcy way..lol..Giving all reasons to predict why he wont do well as usual..lol

sanju , 4/11/13 8:16 PM


I saw that crap article earlier this morning. Stopped reading half-way thru. I've seen his Bodo-worthy garbage before.

Typical Fedbot wishful thinking.

Conspirator , 4/11/13 8:46 PM


So what happened the other 18 times that Roger lost to Rafa?
nadline, 4/11/13 8:08 PM

Fed excuses for losing to Rafa 2004-2006:

'04 Miami was because he was sick coming into the tournament,

'05 FO Fed blamed his own poor play:
"I started bad and finished bad. I thought I had the keys to beat him but I wasn't at my best."
...and then blamed the dark:
"I could hardly see the ball in the end, I am disappointed we continued. ... I wished we could have continued tomorrow."

At '06 Dubai, he wasn't happy with his play against Rafa: " I started off really well, but sprayed a little toward the end."

At '06 Rome, Fed said: "I should have won. For me just to hit and move backwards again, that's not the way I learned the game."

At '06 FO, others made excuses for Fed:
"Roger's backhand I just thought let him down badly," said Federer's coach Tony Roche,"I would have thought he would have taken it to him a lot more."
Mats Wilander: "It seems like he needs a little more guts to play with Nadal."
Rafa: Maybe he was nervous, too. Roger was playing today for being on the top of history. This pressure is a lot, no?
Uncle Toni (My favourite quote!!!!): "I suppose this was not Federer's best game, because if it were, he would have won, no doubt,"

Conspirator , 4/11/13 9:21 PM


Fed excuses for losing to Rafa 2008-200:

'08 Hamburg: "I could have maybe served a little bit better. It wasn't my best performance."
'08 FO: Mono
'08 Wimby: Darkness

'09 AO: ?Perhaps I should not have been out there in the fifth set at all,? Federer, still red-eyed, said an hour after the match. ?I should have won the first set and the third. " On the fireworks interruption, ""It's tough, it's not helpful, that's for sure,'' Federer said of the break. "They told us before, so it was no surprise. But I knew it was a lot of points in a row that I lost.'"

'09 Miami:

'11 Miami: "I was just not good on the offensive tonight."

'11 Madrid: Bad line call (even though replay showed it was correct)... "If it goes my way it's obviously huge, if it goes his way it's huge," the 29-year-old said. "Look, at the end of the day I don't know how it was. I don't care anymore, it's in the past."

Conspirator , 4/11/13 9:46 PM


'11 FO: Fed blamed the "small margins"...?It?s always me who?s going to dictate play and decide how the outcome is going to be,? said Federer. ?If I play well, I will most likely win; if I?m not playing so well, that?s when he wins.?

Conspirator , 4/11/13 9:51 PM


Conspirator,

Wow! That's quite a list of Fed's greatest excuses for his losses to Rafa! Very enlightening, to say the least!

Nice work in compiling that info!

Nativenewyorker , 4/11/13 10:50 PM


Correction: the fireworks excuse was actually from 2012 AO so we now have excuses from 14 of 19 losses to the King of Tennis.

#Shhhhhh....ExcusesAtWork
#RITB

Conspirator , 4/12/13 12:05 AM


I thought that the fireworks were from the 2012 AO! But then I thought that maybe Fed used the excuse in a prior year, too.

So many excuses, so little time! :)

Nativenewyorker , 4/12/13 12:32 AM


Conspirator: You left out another classic Federism after the '09 AO:

'When it goes to five sets it's not always the best player who wins.................'

ed251137 , 4/12/13 4:15 AM


I don't understand how sanju can call that a good article. How can anyone doubt Rafa, when he came back from injury and still was able to beat the hell out of Ferrer on clay with a loss of only two games? He also won IW, on his least favorite surface, when the whole field including the top four players, plus Delpo and red hot Gulbis were there. He had beaten three top ten players plus a red hot player there at IW hard courts. What make that Perry guy think Rafa won't be as good as ever on clay this year? He's still only 26 ( not even 27 yet!) during this clay season right up to the midst of the FO. Old knees or not, after that seven months rest, they're as good as new now, or at least semi new; if Tommy Haas at age 35, who had played 800+ matches and within so much injuries during his career, could still push on and even beat the no.1 player on his favorite surface, I don't see why the king of clay should have any problems winning and dominating on clay.

Zeballos or Soderling? Wishful thinking by that Perry guy again!

luckystar , 4/12/13 5:35 AM


We have heard this before. However, Rafa has a way of making his detractors and naysayers eat their words! Rafa took the time necessary to deal with his knee problem and worked his butt off to come back and play. He didn't do that to be an also-ran or lose on his favorite surface.

This guy is like all the others who wrote Rafa's epitaph in the past. He will be proved wrong just like those who did it in the past.

Nativenewyorker , 4/12/13 6:13 AM


Btw, the twitterverse has been agog with vitriol directed at that other Rafa-hater, Bodo. Apparently his latest offering is a dumb and weird article casting aspersions on Wozniaki. I have a theory: Fedbots are losing their marbles at the same rate their hero is losing his balletic skills.

rafaisthebest , 4/12/13 7:43 AM


Let's split hairs and accept that Rafa is less than a year older than Nole and Muzz. Some people talk about Nole and Muzz as the new generation but they are firmly in Rafa's generation.

We all saw with our own eyes, the multiple injured 34 year old beat Djokovic only the other week, in straight sets, 62 64.

nadline , 4/12/13 10:48 AM


RG 2012 Final - Full Match

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=GgP6m_8 3AAw

nadline , 4/13/13 11:57 AM


Nadline: Thanks so much for putting this link up. I missed most of the first half of last season (was in hospital as a result of the car accident) and am still trying to catch up retrospectively. Have only watched the opening sequences but will savour the rest later today! Fantastic quality video.

ed251137 , 4/13/13 1:16 PM


Rafa topped the poll for Best Individual Quality on Sky Sports' poll

Rafael Nadal - Forehand
Roger Federer - Elegance [????]
John McEnroe - You Cannot Be Serious
Bjorn Borg - Zen-Like Quality
Andy Murray - Endurance and persistence
Boris Becker - The Becker Dive
Santoro - Unique playing style
Connors - Never say die attitude
Sampras - The slam Dunk
Rusedski - Big First serve

nadline , 4/15/13 3:54 PM


If there is anyone out there still doubting Rafa's aura and charisma better read the following tweets sent today, 16/04/13:

RT @Ringham7: "Stewards struggling to contain crowds of desperate autograph hunters as Rafa Nadal tries get to locker room entrance."

RT @Ringham7: "Rafa Mania reminds me of Borg at Wimbledon in the seventies. Not sure I've seen anything to match it until now. Rafa's popularity immense "

rafaisthebest , 4/16/13 2:03 PM


There were pictures posted on vb about a scary incident the other day when Rafa was coming and going from his practice sessions. There was a huge crush of fans and security had a terrible time trying to get Rafa out of it. At one point Rafa was just pushed down as they tried to get the people away from him.

It sure is tough being the rock star of tennis!

Nativenewyorker , 4/16/13 8:31 PM


Thank you, Juan Jose, thank you for reminding us to remember how great Rafa is on clay:

http://www.changeovertennis.com/the-backboard-how-do-the-hous ton-semifinalists-use-video-and-stats-also-a-new-rankings-system/

" Tweet That Got Favorited For Very Obvious Reasons

RT @tennistweetscom: "this would be the list of all active players who have won monte carlo: rafael nadal #freakinhilarious"

Just pause for a moment and think about how insane that little fact is. In case you were wondering, the last person other than Nadal to win the Monte Carlo tournament was Guillermo Coria in 2004. Prior to that, Juan Carlos Ferrero won it twice in a row.

But since 2005, the winner has been one and the same: the greatest clay court player of all time.

Rafael Nadal became the first man in the open era to win a tournament eight years in a row with his 2012 Monte Carlo win, and even though that?s an obviously incredible statistic, one must remember that Monte Carlo isn?t just any tournament: it?s a Masters 1000 event, and one of the most traditional, venerated and prestigious clay court events in the world. If you look at the past winners, you get an idea of what I?m talking about.

Every year that goes by and Nadal comes out of the principality with a winner?s trophy, I keep thinking that not enough is made out of this unique accomplishment. Simply put, it?s one of the great achievements of the modern era, and one of the most incredible streaks we?ll ever get a chance to witness."

rafaisthebest , 4/18/13 7:35 AM


#HUM8LE
#GOAT

Conspirator , 4/18/13 2:15 PM


Cheryl said it first. How prescient is that?

ed251137 , 5/13/13 9:07 AM


@nadline
Really like that poll and dear Andy certainlydoes deserve his award for persistence, bless :)
But Rusedski....blimey! Interestingly Greg is now coaching Kyle Edmond. I'm hoping Kyle has a brilliant serve as a result.

deuce , 5/13/13 12:03 PM



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