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Match report

Andy Murray © Tennistalk.com
Miami
Semi final
3/30/12 Tot
gb  Andy Murray 0
es  Rafael Nadal 0
Rafael Nadal © Tennistalk.com
  • Nadal pulls out of Sony Ericsson Open

    3/30/12 7:37 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Rafael Nadal withdraws from Miami on Friday due to his ongoing knee problems. Andy Murray gets a walkover into the title match.


    Rafael Nadal withdrew from the Sony Ericsson Open on Friday afternoon, unable to contest his semifinal showdown with Andy Murray due to a knee injury.

    Murray gets a free pass to the title match, in which he will face either Novak Djokovic or Juan Monaco. The fourth-ranked Scot also got a walkover from Milos Raonic (ankle) in the third round.

    Nadal will hold a press conference at 2:00 PM Eastern.

    Find the latest tennis odds at Unibet.com

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Comments

@RafaelNadal: "So sorry for my fans, those here at Miami and those around the world. My knee won't let me play today."

RickyDimon , 3/30/12 7:47 PM


So sad. Go get those knees ready for clay Rafa.

smr , 3/30/12 7:51 PM


Sorry about this, Rafa fans. Was really looking forward to this match- no really!
Andy's draw looked so tough on paper and now look, bizarre! To be honest would've preferred him to have had more match play tbh.

deuce , 3/30/12 8:35 PM


"It is nothing other than what I had before, but the tendons are much better than three years ago. Treatment works" translation fr Rafa

agfmilos , 3/30/12 8:47 PM


Shame :(
Sorry Rafans, I was hoping for one more great battle...
Lucky Andy... Lot of resting before finale... but it's fate...
Let's think about Monaco first.
I raly hope that Tafa will be OK. He wouldn't retired if problem isn't serious. He surely knows what is best for him.

zare , 3/30/12 9:09 PM


Wise move by Rafa! OK Rafa, go rest and treat your knee before MC starts. I know you'll do well in the coming clay season. I remember how well you play during 2010 after getting knee treatment. I know you'll look to repeat that 2010 again now in 2012. Vamos!

luckystar , 3/30/12 9:23 PM


oh shame,,, again whom did Murray play to be in the final now? simon and ... damn it I can't remember :S

OnTheRise , 3/30/12 9:42 PM


wise descion by nadal and murray gets 2nd walkover it would be nice if he wins the tournament

isfand , 3/30/12 9:47 PM


isfand,

That would be saddest thing of all if Murray still loses the final! Vamos Andy! This is your chance to dethrone the Djoker!

jayhu , 3/30/12 10:02 PM


One more walkover and Andy "deserves" and earns a title. Lucky guy, Andy, again... There should be some kind of rule to prevent such "couch potato" type of winning

vjakov , 3/30/12 10:41 PM


Tennis TV com... tonight:
"Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from his semi-final against Andy Murray with an ankle injury. Murray advances to the final with a walkover"
...ankle injury????

zare , 3/31/12 12:58 AM


knee

RickyDimon , 3/31/12 3:22 AM


chr18, anything wrong with PRP treatment, when it's approved by the ITF, ATP? Soon this PRP treatment may be used on tendinitis on other areas of the body-wrist, ankle, shoulder- who knows? Good for those doing sports, with this advancement in medical science. Blake and Haas also benefited from such treatment, if not we won't be still seeing them around.

luckystar , 3/31/12 4:35 AM


This PRP treatment is not a permanent cure for tendinitis. The best solution is still surgery. Other than that, long period of rest may help let the tendon tissues to regenerate. This PRP treatment is to help speed up the regenerative process, not a permanent cure for tendinitis. Rafa need not go for surgery as his is not that serious. He can't afford long period of rest without affecting his ranking. This PRP treatment is the best solution to his problem. He'll have all the time in the world to rest after he retires from tennis.

luckystar , 3/31/12 4:49 AM


lucky,

You can't talk reason to a troll like chr18. He just jumps on anything that gives him a chance to trash Rafa. Someone needs to get a life!

Nativenewyorker , 3/31/12 5:17 AM


Exactly NNY. Not sure why Luckystar bothers to try to reason with a fed tard.

jean , 3/31/12 6:08 AM


NNY..Keep us posted please from vamos on Rafa

When is the Miami final? Today or tomm?

sanju , 3/31/12 6:18 AM


Sanju, Final is on Sunday

gr8nadal , 3/31/12 7:26 AM


This is what the tournament director had to say:

?We are disappointed that Rafa has been forced to withdraw from the tournament but the health of the players always needs to be the number one priority,? said Adam Barrett, Sony Ericsson Open Tournament Director. ?He has played some great tennis and is a tremendous ambassador for the game. We wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him back on the court soon.?

nadline , 3/31/12 12:02 PM


chr18 - maybe you woud like Rafa's knee tendinitis for a month or so - bet you would be screaming for the PRP treatment rather quickly. You are beneath contempt.

schatz , 3/31/12 5:13 PM


the strange thing is if Rafa having knee problems then why risk it and play both singles and doubles in IW and Miami?

OnTheRise , 3/31/12 5:46 PM


on the rise it is the same point that has surprised me as well

isfand , 3/31/12 5:58 PM


I doubt doubles is anywhere near as stressful on the joints as singles it as you are only covering half of the court but is ideal for practicing serves/shots without excessive running, starting and stopping.

agfmilos , 3/31/12 6:02 PM


It's strange that Rafa has already explained why he's playing doubles, ie to get some match practice, and at the same time improves his volleying skills; and yet time and again we get people asking the same old question 'why is he playing doubles if his knee is having problems?' . You might as well as the question 'why is he still playing tennis matches when his knee is having problem, might as well pull out from tournaments'.

If everyone has to be in perfect physical condition before competing, then I'm afraid there won't be anyone out there playing! They all have to bear with some degree of pain here and there, they have to decide whether they're fit enough to compete, without doing any serious damage to their body. It's their bodies, not ours, so they got to decide, not us.

luckystar , 3/31/12 8:43 PM


chr18 - stop with the cheap shots. Tendinitis is not a joke and if Mr. Nadal is using an approved treatment, it's not up to you to put him on trial for it.

cherylmurray , 4/1/12 1:02 AM


luckystar* yeah I guess so, u know if Radek Stepanek can still win the doubles and play singles then for Rafa it's not a problem.

OnTheRise , 4/1/12 5:57 AM


Pain on joints and tendons can flare up over night. Or it can increase after a particularly strenuous move during a match. We cannot schedule when our bodies are going to function well enough to play and when it's better to withdraw and allow the joint to recover before the damage is so large it takes out half the season. It's not easy to make those decisions, I'm sure. You have to trust that the player is getting good medical advice and the risk is not worth the chance to win a title.
Let's hope Rafa is recovered soon, and on the clay where the knee suffers less wear.

grafight , 4/1/12 9:15 AM


grafight,

I would just like to applaud you for one of the most reasonable and thoughtful comments regarding this whole issue of "should have, could have, would have" when it comes to deciding whether to play or not.

I tried to make the same point on another topic thread, but you did it in a much more straightforward way!

Nothing more to add, except a big thank you! :)

Nativenewyorker , 4/1/12 10:14 AM


Thank you Cheryl & grafight for your posts. Tendinitis is nasty and I would not wish it on anyone.

schatz , 4/1/12 12:26 PM


I agree Rafa was playing doubles to get more practice and to compensate for not playing for a month or so...and it was proved useful as he gets to practice S&V stuff...however, sometimes doubles take place fairly soon after the singles match and it is not at all an easy thing to go on court again...I was just being concerned about Rafa and offering my own opinion...I can be wrong or right, still it's just an opinion...and I am allowed to think that he should have skipped playing doubles in Miami...he knew about his knee problem and he must have been aware playing doubles would not make it go away but will just put some extra pressure on his knees...playing on the net, bending his knees to make those volleys is demanding on the knees...again, this is just my opinion and I respect people disagreeing on this...

natashao , 4/1/12 12:43 PM


Just something light hearted that I found on another site:

http://www.tennistv.com/video/clip/1959888

I love to see Rafa enjoying himself.

schatz , 4/1/12 7:03 PM


that video has nothing to do with nadal

willmw101 , 4/1/12 7:11 PM


about that video,, 100 miles per hour serve limit my a*s!!!........... xD

OnTheRise , 4/1/12 8:02 PM


Nativenewyorker , 4/2/12 5:13 AM


Just one more note. That interview with Uncle Toni and english translation was posted courtesy of forum member Laurel.

I apologize for the length of my previous post, but I didn't think a link would work.

Nativenewyorker , 4/2/12 5:15 AM


Thanks a lot NNY, for the update. I wish Rafa a speedy recovery. I hope he will be ready for MC with full force. Please keep us posted on this.

gr8nadal , 4/2/12 5:35 AM


Thanks NNY, I've read that interview too. Going forward, I think this PRP treatment will be a regular feature for Rafa. It's good to hear from Rafa, that his knee condition has improved compared to 2009.

I really hope he skip the Madrid tournament, and do the PRP treatment for his the other knee during the two weeks interval before Rome tournament starts, that way there won't be any knee worries all the way from MC to the USO. Not that there's no long break this time between Wimbledon and the Canada Masters because of the Olympics, so Rafa needs to take good care of his knees.

If I were him, I'll do the PRP for the other knee and use that as the reason for skipping Madrid; and then I'll completely skip the Asian swing and then come back for Paris Masters and WTF. In that way, Rafa won't get punished for skipping too many Masters. It'll do his knees a whole lot of good if he skips some hard court tournaments. Without the Asian swing, he'll be doing 9 hard court tournaments instead of 11 this year; and he'll have 4 clay and 3 grass tournaments, quite a good combination.

luckystar , 4/2/12 6:33 AM


Thanks NNY for the post. Please keep us Rafans posted. Well be grateful to you

Lucky..I agree with you that Rafa should get PRP done on both knees so that he stays healthy till USO , but I thnk he should skip Barcelona, why skip Madrid? Barcelona is a ATP 500 event and he skipped the same event in 2010 too if you remember to get PRP treatment done

sanju , 4/2/12 6:59 AM


First Madrid is not a good preparation for RG as it's played on high altitude. Second, it's now played on blue clay! Something Rafa dislike, in fact he hates to play on blue clay! He loves Barcelona, and watching the Barcelona tournament, I feel it really feels like real clay, unlike that Madrid tournament. In fact I like both MC and Barcelona, and plan to go there one day and watch Rafa plays and wins there. It will be good to have that two weeks rest to do the knee treatment and comes back to play in Rome, rest for a week before he starts his FO.

There's no need to worry about falling in the rankings, if he wins MC, Barcelona and Rome and drops Madrid, he'll only lost 200 points before FO starts. Nole may lose some points too, if he can't defend Madrid and Rome. He'll drop Serbia Open and goes to MC. I think if Rafa skips Madrid, it'll be between Nole and Fed for the Madrid title.

I'm also interested to see how Delpo and Isner fare on clay, a Delpo/Nole or Delpo/Fed match on clay may be interesting. After watching how Nole played this hard court season, I realized that both Fed and Rafa would have good chances of beating this Nole. Nole seems to have lapses during his matches these days. I suspect in order for him to play the way he played in the first sets against Ferrer, Monaco and Murray, he needed his mental focus and that may be too much to ask for, to keep it going for the whole match, something like what happened during last year's Wimbledon final, where he couldn't sustain his high level in the third set. Fedal are a different class from Ferrer or even Murray, they'll capitalize on Nole's lapses.

luckystar , 4/2/12 7:41 AM


lucky,

Your comments on how Rafa should schedule the clay court season were interesting. There was another article by some sports physio about how Rafa needed to try to pull back on some tournaments where possible to protect his knees and keep his body healthy to extend his career.

I was hesitant to post it because we don't know who this person is, how much he knows about Rafa, etc. However, he did have similar thoughts to yours about Rafa's schedule and skipping some tournaments. He also said that Rafa should skip Madrid because it is really more like a hard court with some clay on top and the high altitude all do not help his knees. I think he also said something about skipping the Asian swing completely and then coming back for Paris and the WTF. He seems to think this is essential if Rafa is to protect his knees and be able to compete at his best level.

I think he also said something about skipping Doha in the beginning of the year.

I don't know if people want to read it or not. I preferred to just give information from Rafa and Uncle Toni. We know now from Uncle Toni that they were planning on the prp treatment for his left knee after Miami. In fact, Uncle Toni said that if he lost early in Miami and they did the knee treatment at that time, he would have been ready for DC. I think Rafa is going to have to be very careful about DC going forward. I know he loves playing for his country but this is about survival and giving him some longevity in his career.

If people here want to read the article from this person, then I can post it. Just let me know.

Nativenewyorker , 4/2/12 10:07 AM


Yes NNY please do..any insights are welcome. It is good to hear all viewpoints .

sanju , 4/2/12 10:32 AM


Also when asked Rafa just talked about MC & Barcelona as his first 2 tourneys. He stopped there. He didnt say anything about Madrid. Maybe hes also thinking about whether to play Madrid or not.

What is this blue clay all about? How diff is it from normal clay?

sanju , 4/2/12 10:35 AM


sanju,

Okay, I will this person's thoughts per your request.

It was interesting that Rafa didn't say anything about Madrid. Maybe he is keeping his options open regarding whether or not to play it. I am not an expert on the blue clay. Maybe someone else can explain it, Cheryl or Ricky if they are reading.

Here is the link for that article by that sports physio person. This time I was able to use the link that was posted, instead of cluttering up my post with another long article.

Please let me know if you can pull up the link.


http://www.tennisperspective.com/2012/03/looking-at-nadals- knees.html

Nativenewyorker , 4/2/12 10:48 AM


Okay, I am just going to post the actual article, because I don't think that link worked. Here it is -


Looking At Nadal?s Knees

Posted on March 31, 2012 by admin


"There is something about the Indian Wells-Miami hard court swing that seems to consistently destroy Rafa Nadal?s troubled knees. Today Rafa announced that he would not continue with the tournament by withdrawing from his semifinal match against Andy Murray.

There are two ways you can look at this latest set back:

1) It?s about self preservation.

Nadal?s been having trouble with his knees since the Australian Open (and years before that). His right knee locked up and he could barely move it when he stood up from a chair.

He stood up from a chair.

He wasn?t sprinting, twisting or changing directions he was just standing up after sitting down. To say this is unusual is an understatement. Since then, despite six weeks of training and rehab, Rafa hasn?t been right.

The fact that he?s pulled out rather than flogging his knees any further could be an excellent sign. Maybe, finally, Rafa and his team have learnt that when the knees say ?no? you listen or you are forced to skip Wimbledon (think 2009).

Maybe Rafa has realised that his chances in Miami were limited and that his chances on the clay and grass courts were substantially higher and he has decided to preserve himself.

It?s possible that he?s finally learnt his lesson, but given his past track record of pushing until his knees all but snap off this is not a guaranteed likelihood.

2) The knees are worse than we realise.

Nadal walking away from a semifinal match is never a good indicator. Repeated visits from the trainer while on court has never been a good indicator. Sports commentators saying they saw Rafa lying on his back for some time receiving treatment is not a good sign. His physio, Rafael Maymo, leaping from his chair midmatch to retrieve something for the sports star at the first sign of trouble is not a good sign.



The way I see it there are a few different ways to proceed from here

1) Pull out of Madrid.

Obviously unless his leg is falling off he will play Monte Carlo (like we saw in 2009) to maintain his winning record. He?s made no secret of his plans to play Barcelona but he?s also made no secret of his disinterest in the blue clay they now have in Madrid.

He should pull out of Madrid.

I said this in 2009 and I?m going to say it again. No good can come from playing on clay in Madrid.

He is most vulnerable on the clay there. The altitude doesn?t suit him. Everything about Madrid is bad preparation for Roland Garros, even if they have switched Rome to being the final lead up tournament.

Rest him as much as you can. Play him only when you need to. Team Nadal must step in and control their charge.

2) Get a fresh pair of eyes.

It takes a small village of people to raise a man, however genetically gifted, to the heights that Nadal has reached and it may be time to throw something new into the mix.

I?m not saying Rafael Maymo is doing a bad job, I?m just saying when you see one patient only for years on end you get? a bit blind. You can stop seeing the subtle changes, you have a management plan that you rarely deviate from and you can get complacent.

Clearly something has been missed. Rafa?s falling apart at the seams.

He?s had so much treatment on his knees but how much have they done to ensure the biomechanics of his chronically horrendous foot are as good as they can possibly be so they stop driving his knees to the brink of disaster? Have they worked on unwinding his thorax to provide him with improved shoulder mechanics?

A fresh pair of eyes can help. Even if all it serves to do is light a fire under Maymo to try something new. Study some other techniques. What is being used isn?t working.

It?s also Maymo?s job to reign Rafa in when he?s doing too much and that has clearly, even to an observer, been a big issue within the Nadal camp. Maymo is paid to step in and stop him before he grinds his knees down to the point where he can barely move in Paris and has to withdraw from Wimbledon.

Learn from your mistakes. Try new things? that?s all I?m saying.

3) Drastically change his schedule.

He doesn?t need the money. If he?s not set for life now there?s a big problem.

Rafa could easily become the greatest player tennis has ever seen but if he keeps playing too many matches his body will wear out and he wont reach his full potential. Just look at the number of unusual viruses, shoulder problem etc etc that he?s had? the body will only warn you so many times.

Nadal needs to call in sick a few days, not be afraid to rock the boat, take more time out ? otherwise what we?re going to see is a Lleyton Hewitt-esque cripple who?s career was a constant battle and who?s later years were painful and debilitating. It will also deal with the mental fatigue we?re starting to see and re-ignite the fire in his belly.

Clearly he?s failing to transfer load optimally throughout his body and so you have no choice but to take time out and re-educate you?re body as well as possible. Two to four weeks in December isn?t going to cut it. You wont find the time in the ATP calender unless you make time by making yourself unavailable.

Don?t bother with Doha, go straight to Melbourne.

Don?t bother with the early stages of Davis Cup and other smaller tournaments. Play Indian Wells and Miami then rest before Monte Carlo.

If you have any problems brewing Madrid should be the first one to go.

After Wimbledon you rest ? no Davis Cup.

After a break you play Canada, Cincinatti and the US Open before resting again. Every time you fly thousands of miles for exhibitions and Davis Cup you are spending prolonged periods sitting, you?re going to start seeing sacral restriction and dehydration of the intervetebral discs and therefore altered rotations through your body. You?re also losing rest time which between the tennis, golf and media commitments you?re simply not getting enough of.

Don?t play Tokyo or Beijing, just Shanghai before Paris and the World Tour Finals.

To actually give his body a chance to survive he has to do a serious cut back for at least two years to reduce the volume of activity and the beating his body is taking if he wants to keep playing.

If he doesn?t want to keep playing? well, go hard or go home. Just don?t come crying to us when you?re an arthritic 70 year old who can barely move."

I don't know who wrote this. It was from a site called tennis perspective, I think. It was posted by forum member jen.

I am not sure that I agree with everything this person says, but it is interesting to read this perspective on Rafa's knee problems.

There is a big debate going on at vamosbrigade about which tournaments Rafa could possibly skip. They are talking about Madrid as we are. I guess all Rafa fans want to find some solution for Rafa, so that he doesn't have to put all that wear and tear on his knees.




Nativenewyorker , 4/2/12 10:56 AM


Thanks NNY. I think interesting perspectives.

Big question is we can debate till cows come home, however who will send the message to Rafa? I am sure Rafa may not be reading any forum but is anyone from his team reading any forum, suggestions etc? Also majority of these forums are English based, that is also a hurdle for hs camp.

sanju , 4/2/12 11:07 AM


Ive been thinking of many options for Rafa and I'm glad somebody out there seems to be thinking along the same line as what I'm thinking. I trust that Rafa and his team do keep all these options open and will decide what to do when the time comes.

I remember during last year's Tokyo Open, after the final, during his speech, Rafa didn't promise them that he'll come back, but said something like he hope to come back in future, or something to that effect. To me, that sounds like he may skip the Tokyo Open, especially in this Olympics year. He was also against having the clay court turned to blue clay, maybe that's why he didn't mention anything about Madrid but keeps talking about MC and Barcelona.

He is only allowed to skip one Masters, without getting any penalty. So if he skips Shanghai, he cant skip Madrid without a reason. Having knee treatment during that Madrid time slot may make up a good reason for him to skip Madrid. Another alternative will be to skip Canada, but goes for the Asian swing, but its all up to Rafa and his team to decide what's best for him.

luckystar , 4/2/12 11:51 AM


Willmw101 & On the Rise - I obviously posted the wrong link - sorry to the Rafa fans.

schatz , 4/2/12 2:21 PM


Hi Rafa fans! Good news from Rafa on facebook. From vamosbrigade, here is the quote from Rafa -

"Hi all. Already in Mallorca wanted to send a message to all my fans. Went to one of my doctors today and the knee is doing well. I expect to be soon practicing and ready to the next competition. Thanks all for your support!!"

Good news! Yay, Rafa!!

Nativenewyorker , 4/3/12 5:01 AM


NNY..knee doing well suddenly? You mean no PRP treatment or did he mean to say he is confident the PRP treatment will solve the issue after examination. Please enlighten.

Without PRP, no clue when the knee will flare up again.

sanju , 4/3/12 7:02 AM


sanju,

I checked back on vamosbrigade and they were discussing this sudden good news. They said that Rafa posted this comment at 11:00 pm his time, so it had to have been after he saw his doctor and had the treatment.

The sense is that Rafa had the prp treatment as planned and it went well and and he will be feeling better and okay to play at MC.

There is no question that he got the treatment. That was planned all along. He may have gotten some good news from the doctor that the knee was not as bad as he thought and if the treatment went well as it has in the past, then that would explain why he seems to be in such good spirits.

This is all I know for now, but it's Rafa who posted that message for his fans on facebook. I don't usually check out his facebook page, but the people on vb are always looking for information and they saw it.

Let's just relax and have positive thoughts and feelings since Rafa seems to be doing well. I do believe that Rafa did mean to say that he is confident that the treatment will solve the problem. I am sure he spoke with his doctor and it's possible that he was the one who told him about the state of the knee and maybe that the treatment went well. I think Rafa is so nice to think of his fans. He knew that we were worried and he is trying to reassure us.

He did the right thing in withdrawing and getting home to have the treatment as soon as possible. So let's think happy thoughts! :)

Nativenewyorker , 4/3/12 7:30 AM


Thanks NNY. I just wanted to be reassured that he did have his PRP and didnt skip it :-)..because the knee issue could flare up again (:-

Does PRP take like few hours to do? Not sure

sanju , 4/3/12 7:52 AM


sanju,

I don't know how long the procedure takes, but in reading some information on vb, they said that it was so painful that Rafa had to bite down on a towel and for future treatments he was sedated. Someone posted a link to videos of the procedure, but I could not bring myself to watch. I am too squeamish!

Once he starts practicing again, there should be some word. For now I am just happy that it's over and he can move on and look forward to the clay season.

Is it time for MC yet?

Nativenewyorker , 4/3/12 8:30 AM


Hopefully this time, it can last all the way till after the USO. In 2010, he had to do repeated treatment for the knees. I think he did on one knee during Barcelona time slot in 2010, and did for both knees after Wimbledon, before traveling to South Africa to watch the World Cup.

I wonder will he do it for the other knee as well, maybe after Barcelona this time?

luckystar , 4/3/12 8:40 AM


lucky,

Do you know how long it takes to do the procedure? I probably could go check it out somewhere online or on vb, but never thought about it. They use it for elbows also. It's good for other tendon injuries.

It will be interesting to see if Rafa needs any more injections. I have to believe that this is it for a while, because this is the business part of the tennis year for him. I don't see any room in his schedule until after the Olympics.

I thought they do one knee at a time, because the knee is sore for a few days.

I am curious to see whether he plays Madrid. He would drop 600 points by not playing. Tough decisions. We have discussed this at length in the past and playing MC, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome plus RG, seems to be too much for him now.

Nativenewyorker , 4/3/12 9:52 AM


I was under the impression it needs two weeks recuperation time after the treatment but I seem to recall on one occasion he played too soon after the injections and had some problems. Hopefully he and his team are being more cautious this time round.

ed251137 , 4/3/12 10:02 AM


I thought it takes a few hours. If I'm not wrong, they take some blood from Rafa, spin it to get the plasma part of it, and inject this plasma back to the affected area.

Rafa had done that during 2010 Barcelona, and he had to get back on court to play at Rome the following week. He experienced pain during Rome, which he complained to Toni. Toni wasn't happy about the complaint, told him either to endure and keep quiet, or go home. Rafa chose to play through the pain and won the Rome tournament in the end.

He had done the next injection, on both knees, after Wimbledon that year, before leaving for the World Cup in S.Africa. I'm not sure whether he had done any such injection during 2011. It seems that his tendinitis has since improved, though his doctor advised him that he still needs good rest so as not to let the problem becomes serious again.

luckystar , 4/3/12 10:42 AM


I think it depends on how he fare at MC and Barcelona. If he wins both, then he may drop out of Madrid and plays at Rome. Chances of him to at least retain his runner up points at Rome is rather high, and he may even win it by beating Nole in the final!

I'm eagerly awaiting the draw of MC, I want to see where will Ferrer end up, in Nole's or Rafa's half. I feel that Ferrer has better chance against Nole than Rafa on clay. He pushed Nole to a tiebreak on the hard court, I'm sure he can do better on clay against Nole.

If Rafa skips Madrid, then the competition there will get interesting, as Fed, Nole both can win that tournament. Maybe Isner and Delpo too can say something, since the clay there plays like a hard court but slower, allowing both more time to get to the shots.

If the draw is kind to Ferrer and he avoids Fed's half of the draw, he may even reach the final by taking down Nole. He then needs someone to take down Fed, and we may finally see Ferrer winning a Masters, easier said than done of course! We need Ferrer, Murray, Delpo and Isner to stop Nole/Fed from gaining points against Rafa, during Rafa's absence!

luckystar , 4/3/12 10:59 AM


lucky, do players lose cash or are points deducted if they miss mandatories?
Cos I can't imagine being fined would bother Rafa one bit.
The Williams sisters seem to play minimum tournaments for example.

deuce , 4/3/12 11:54 AM


Thanks NNY..lucky..so I am guessing reading your comments that PRP was done yesterday .

Rafa - Rest for a week, let it heal and relax and he can start practising post Easter..I think 4-5 days of practice on clay is enough for him. Post USO he like adjusted to clay in 2-3 days and did super in DC semi against France..same for final of DC against Argentina post WTF

sanju , 4/3/12 12:27 PM


deuce, the penalty is quite heavy. He'll have points from his best performing Masters deducted and he's banned from the same Masters for one year. He'll also be fined and his year end bonus will be affected too. The worst scenario would be him dropping out of top four and hence risk having to meet Fed, or Nole, or Murray at the QF stage instead of at the SF of tournaments. Remember AO 2010, where he met Murray in the QF and lost? If that happens again, that'll be rather unfortunate, for the top four are really the top four now, unless players like Delpo or Tsonga make a push to get there.

luckystar , 4/3/12 2:06 PM


Thanks lucky. Oh my gosh that penalty is very harsh. Honestly, they make players play at the hottest time of the day, they enforce crazy scheduling ( as at USOpen) and enforce these mandatory tournaments with such heavy penalties, you've got to wonder how on earth this imbalance of power got like this.

deuce , 4/3/12 5:42 PM


No players union.

Conspirator , 4/3/12 6:18 PM


The reason I posted what I did, is so that Rafa fans would have some substantive information fr.om Rafa and Uncle Toni and there wouldn't be any speculation or rumors.

Rafa himself wanted to reassure his fans after he had the knee treatment. I have to believe that he got good news from the doctor, maybe about the condition of the knee and how the treatment went. He must be in good spirits to post these comments.

As far as how long it takes to recover, I am sure that Rafa's doctor has advised him and he will train accordingly. He initially indicated a week of rest and then resuming practice. I will continue to follow vb for any information about how he is progressing.

Rafa would not have done this if he felt that there wasn't enough time to recover before MC. Let's have some confidence and faith in his doctor who actually did the treatment and is the one person who actually knows the state of Rafa's knee.

I am not going to get ahead of myself with speculation about Rafa skipping Madrid. It would be costly in many ways. We will have to see how he looks at MC. It is true that Rafa doesn't need a lot of practice on clay. Also, he did get some valuable match play at both I/W and Miami and we saw some things to be very happy about with his game.

Nativenewyorker , 4/4/12 5:03 AM


Suggesting that Rafa might skip Madrid is nothing but pure speculation.

Very unlikely and only if forced to due to injury. Has he otherwise skipped it before? I don't see it happening (nor should he).

Vamos Rafa!!!!

(BTW, I'll no longer be responding to troll hate bait and I suggest that all Rafans do the same! Don't validate it with a response)

Conspirator , 4/4/12 5:00 PM


he should skip Madrid

when is he going back to practice?

RickyDimon , 4/4/12 5:14 PM


Conspirator - I am with you re: troll hate bait.

schatz , 4/4/12 6:14 PM


Rafa should play Madrid. Vamos!

agfmilos , 4/4/12 11:14 PM


Ricky,

From what I read, he is supposed to rest for a week after this prp treatment and then start practicing for MC.

Why would you say that he should skip Madrid? It's a masters tournament and mandatory. He would drop 600 points by not playing. What excuse does he use? The knee again?

Also, I am with Conspirator. It's hard to ignore the hate baiting, but I think it's for the best.

Nativenewyorker , 4/5/12 2:22 AM


I agree re the baiting. As a rule I don't ever reply to it. Make an exception once every few months - never sure I should, mind.

chlorostoma , 4/5/12 4:27 PM


It's a very good site with great posters overall. As tempted as I am, I won't lower myself to the trolls nor validate their comments with a direct response. One way I plan to avoid it is to first look at who the post is from and not reading it if it is from a known troll.

I might "indirectly respond" by trying to remind others not to dignify them with a response as well.

It will work. They will get bored and move on if there is no one to participate with. There is nothing worse than not getting responses to posts.

Conspirator , 4/5/12 4:46 PM


I think you are right conspirator - if these people are ignored they will hopefully get bored as I believe their objective in the first place is to be noticed. It is hard not to defend Rafa and I have to say that sometimes I do have a go.

Looking forward to seeing a fit and happy Rafa at MC.

Vamos ...........

schatz , 4/5/12 6:17 PM


Glad to see agreement amongst many people to ignore baiting. Conspitator is right: 'flamers' do eventually take themselves off elsewhere. Difficult as it is, it is the only way to rid TT of these troublemakers.

The more you try to defend the player under attack (usually Rafa) the worse the attacks become. If the attacks are directed at you personally, mocking and ridiculing their efforts has been known to be effective as it's possible to drive them to such lengths they finally get themselves banned. Whilst providing us with a certain amount of amusement, this strategy is not popular with the site administrators and causes a lot of work for Ms. Murray.

Deuce: will be discharged from hospital this weekend and am off to stay with my sister in Spain for four weeks pre-Olympic training ;-)))))))

ed251137 , 4/6/12 9:07 AM


Rafael Nadal to Begin Training Next Week
Thursday, April 5th, 2012 at 11:04 am , filed under Tennis News by Davis Robinson







10-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal hopes to return back to training session next week in Monte Carlo, as he is healing from left knee injury.

World No. 2 Nadal has been working hard to return back to court with 100 percent fitness, where he is going to participate in the Monte Carlo Masters ATP tournament this month. Spaniard was undergoing the treatment of enriched plasma injections in their knees and he might not come back for the training till next week. Nadal said his knee has been doing well right now and hopes to get ready for the fourth coming ATP events.

25-year-old Nadal said he is looking very positive to win the Monte Carlo Masters, as he won the clay court championship for seven consecutive times from 2005 to 2011. Spaniard will step into the clay court season in the upcoming weeks, where he will defend the title in Monte Carlo Masters, Barcelona and French Open at Roland Garros.

Former World No. 1 Nadal is also having the most of the possibilities? to take part in the Davis Cup quarter finals between Spain and Austria, schedule to play from 6th to 8th April in Oropesa del Mar. Dr. Mikel Sanchez said Nadal having better treatment of enriched plasma injections for the first time, since 2010 midseason. He added tennis star will have to take rest this week and could come back to court from next week.

sanju , 4/6/12 10:58 AM


ed, SO pleased for you and our improving chances at Wimbledon!
Spain?....hmmm....that wouldn't be Mallorca would it....;) I believe the air there has wonderful recuperative powers.....*whistle*

deuce , 4/6/12 12:00 PM


Fuuny one from Rog to Rafa ..hilarious

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaGRqWwmdMI&feature=g-up l&context=G26acd32AUAAAAAAAAAA

sanju , 4/6/12 12:04 PM


Happy that you are finally out of hospital Ed.

Take care.

schatz , 4/6/12 6:53 PM


Candid interview with Stakhovsky...

http://letsecondserve.blogspot.ca/2012/04/translated- interview-with-sergiy.html?m=1

Conspirator , 4/7/12 6:57 PM


thanks for the link conspirator, it has some useful info which I would like to paste here. a couple of answers b stakhovsky when asked questions.... some Fedtards like chr18, torres9 and some others SHOULD READ

Do you often communicate with Federer?
I do it constantly.

And what?s he like?
He?s a good person, but too neutral for my taste. He?s too Swiss. He wants to keep out of any bad stories too much. When players want to change something, he looks at it too passively, because it can harm his image.

I respect Nadal more in that context, because he openly supports the players? interests.


So why won?t the players oust Federer from his role as president of the players? council?
Federer says the same, just not in the presence of all the other players. He doesn?t want to speak publicly about certain things. Because if suddenly there?s a scandal with the boycott of Grand Slams by players, it can be connected to his name.

In fact, Nadal didn?t leave because of Federer, and the players? council, for the most part, doesn?t decide anything. It?s a consulting body. But there are three people who represent the players in the ATP. And Rafa thought that they didn?t defend the players? interests in the extent that they should. And about certain things, I?m prepared to agree with him.


He also said that if the prize money's are not raised in slams for top 100, he would support the 2 year system proposed by nadal !!!

Now thats a lower ranked player talking and nonsense fedtards said rafa only talked about his interests, he didnt care about others. ITS THE TOTAL OPPOSITE !

vamosrafa , 4/8/12 12:53 PM


Thanks vamosrafa for posting this interview. So some of these players are in favor of the two year rankings provided certain conditions are fulfilled/unfulfilled. Now that Rafa has resigned from the vice president post, I wonder who's taking over from him.

I hope Rafa concentrates on his tennis from now on and leaves all these matters to others, after all he had already said or done enough and ended up attracting all the unnecessary negative attention to himself. Enough is enough, let others continue with the fight.

luckystar , 4/8/12 2:25 PM


vamosrafa,

I am really pleased that you posted this interview. I still remember reading the rabid Fed fans on tennis-x actually blaming Rafa for Fed's loss to Roddick in Miami because he resigned from the player's council! As though anything Rafa did could affect Fed when he is playing a match.

I agree with lucky in hoping that Rafa focuses on tennis and let's all this other stuff go. He did what he could and now it's time for him to move on and let someone else fight the good fight.

Nativenewyorker , 4/8/12 11:21 PM


Former player Taylor Dent: "Isner is going to hoist the French Open trophy this year! You heard it here first."


Wow..people are already pencilling him for the RG title :-)

sanju , 4/9/12 6:04 AM


sanju, why do you bother what these people have to say? The matches have to be played, and most of the time, these people's predictions are always proven wrong. They wish to disrespect Rafa, that's their choice, you ought to have more faith in Rafa, the king of clay. He knows what to do, he's no longer that whining and complaining player of last year's FO. He's keen to win his 7th FO, Wimbledon and the Olympics, and he's getting ready with his knee properly treated now. He's out to prove his destractors wrong, so just be patient and let him does his job.

luckystar , 4/9/12 8:05 AM


If that's what Taylor Dent said, that's being way too optimistic. It's true that Isner is playing very well now. I saw his DC match with Tsonga and he played very well to get the win.

However, Isner's not in the same league as Rafa when it comes to clay. Rafa has the six RG titles to show for it. Also, the other three top four players have to be considered as the real threats for Rafa.

As I have said before, the issue for Isner will be playing at a high level consistently. That is the challenge facing him now.

Nativenewyorker , 4/9/12 8:07 AM


Isner is showing good on clay and I must say I appreciate his effort...he is finally proving why he made it so difficult for Rafa at last year's RG....I remember people saying here how it was Rafa playing bad rather than Isner playing good...this way Isner proves that he has that something needed to challenge the top players at their favorite surface...he ousted Nole in IW, the same Nole who won Miami...he threatened Rafa at his beloved RG and one must agree that Isner is playing even better now, which he must be judging by the way he thrashed Tsonga...This RG is going to be very interesting...I like Isner being out there...it's no longer only Rafa, Fed, Nole and Andy in the picture...it's Isner, Ferrer, Milos who can spoil some of the plans of the top four...I bet Nole will not want to see Isner on the other side of the net in RG...

natashao , 4/9/12 8:49 AM


There's still a difference in class between Rafa and Isner on clay. Isner did not trash Tsonga, and it took quite an effort for Isner to beat Tsonga on clay. Look at how Rafa dispatched Tsonga on clay last year at DC, and you'll see the difference. That Rafa played better than his FO last year, it's not only Isner but even Andujar gave Rafa problems too at RG last year. Rafa only played better once he saw Sod across the net.

luckystar , 4/9/12 10:47 AM


And, Roger Federer always wins the sportsmanship prize which ATP players choose.

Record of 7 times award

gamesmanshipNadal , 4/9/12 2:42 PM


maybe Stakhovsky is stupid asshole guy.

But, also he said. "The courts were too fast, and they decided to slow the game down but they overdid it. Nobody liked the six hours AO final.."


right. Stakhovsky thinking that Roger Federer should say. "the present surface too fucking slow! "


ha!

And, Stakhovsky is NEVER supporting Nadal's ego and selfish two-year ranking.

really sucks

gamesmanshipNadal , 4/9/12 2:45 PM


fanatic, arrogant and blind. A typical fan of nadal.

fan of nadal is always disgusting.

as fact. Investigation of the newest of favorite player ranking of tennis fans.

1st place. Roger.
2nd place. Novak.
3rd place. Nadal..


But, always anywhere, Nadal's fan is the noisiest and loud and annoying. as always. What disgrace.


I wish Djokovic wins again this noisy and arrogant gamesmanship player by also RG.

Nadal is arrogant cheater

gamesmanshipNadal , 4/9/12 2:48 PM


Nole got away with it for a long time not meeting the likes of Isner, Raonic or Karlovic. Rafa always had to play at least two of them in every tournament.

nadline , 4/9/12 3:12 PM


gamesmanshipNadal.

I'll gloss over the incredibly sad fact that you have created an account name to bash a professional tennis player and go straight in to saying that until you can write at a competent level of English please refrain from spewing that non-sensical rubbish on this site. There are moments when rafa and fed fans go to far against each other but on the whole this site creates good spirited and mostly rational discussion. Your input is completely useless.

willmw101 , 4/9/12 3:44 PM


Ignore @gamesmanshipnadal, it's @tennisnba under a new name...............

rafaisthebest , 4/9/12 4:04 PM


ritb - I was thinking along similar lines but I thought it might be either sienna or fleur snuck back in under a new identity :)

Anyway, it is troll hate bait and as such I am going to kick it to the kerb and ignore it.

schatz , 4/9/12 4:19 PM


ritb, yep, my immediate thought also.

deuce , 4/9/12 5:51 PM


no, Isner DID trash Tsonga considering it was Monte Carlo with French favorite audience and considering the fact that Isner is regarded to be a big hitter who is not supposed to be good on clay...I find Isner's victory amazing...I am not comparing it with Rafa's victories, why do you always think that playing on clay must be seen through Rafa' s game...Rafa is unique and real specialist on clay, he was brought on clay and he sure is always a favorite against Tsonga on clay...but nothing of this is true for Isner...this is mainly why I consider Isner's beating Tsonga in 4 fairly easy sets to be quite an achievement...

nadline
, 4/9/12 3:12 PM

exactly...

natashao , 4/9/12 6:11 PM


natashao, you're the one who mentioned Rafa at RG, and how Isner pushed him to five sets there. The way you sounded, it's as if Isner is going to beat the likes of Rafa and Nole at RG, hence my comment about different class.

Of course Isner did play well at RG last year, if not how could he push Rafa to five sets. Still, Rafa wasn't his usual self last year, how often did you see Rafa leading in a set on clay and yet ended up losing it in tie break? Rafa simply raised his level when he needed to in the fourth and fifth sets. Isner bore testament to that, mentioning after that match, that Rafa was simply superb in the last two sets, something to that effect.

Isner may be playing at a higher level this year but I doubt he can beat the top three at RG, simply because they'll always play their best tennis in slams. Isner may have a chance though, in beating one of them, at the clay Masters, at Madrid or Rome.

luckystar , 4/9/12 6:48 PM


And why can't I compare Rafa and Isner on clay, since everyone is talking these days as if Isner is going to win the FO? Why must you question what I post, as if you're the one who set the rules on what to post, what not to post?

luckystar , 4/9/12 7:14 PM


Awesome job Everyonel!!! Nobody bit! Don't rise to the bait! The account name pretty much says it all! Too funny!

LOL!!! ;)

King of clay to win MC next week. Vamos Rafa!!!

Conspirator , 4/9/12 8:19 PM


It brought a smile to my face too conspirator :)

Rafa winning next week at MC would be just perfect.

Vamous our Rafa.

schatz , 4/9/12 9:22 PM


That said, Cheryl, those posts should be removed as they are personal attacks and also there is some pretty objectional language. #NotAnEasyJob

It is tennis' loss that Rafa felt he had to resign his position as there are problems in the game that need to be addressed, specifically the percentage of revenue allocated to prize money and, just as important, the distribution to the earlier rounds. As pointed out in the article, if you compare tennis player revenue for the players ranked 50-100 to the 50-100 best players in any other professional sport with a true players union, there is absolutely NO comparison.

A players union would address this as well as other issues such as ball type changes between tournaments, playing surfaces, scheduling, mandatory tournaments, etc.

I'd like to see Andy Murray replace Rafa and I think that it's time for Fed to bow out as well. Maybe Roddick would be a good voice. But that said, with the ATP board structure, the players have very little power without being better organized.

Conspirator , 4/9/12 9:57 PM


At his press conference after losing to Rafa at RG last year, Isner said Rafa was far too good for him in the end even though he took him to 5 sets, that in the end he was completely at a loss to know what else to do.

It was the most cruel of draws to have to play someone like Isner int eh first round in any tournament and Rafa was obviously very nervous. Uptil the middle of the 2nd set, things were going swimmingly for Rafa and all my fears were allayed then all of a sudden Isner broke him and Rafa seemed to lose his nerve, but I love watching the final two sets when Rafa showed him how it's done.

nadline , 4/10/12 12:02 PM


Just to illustrate Rafa's point about the % of prize money paid, at IW Roger got less prize money than the winner of the WTA title, because the ATP allocated less prize money from the revenue than the WTA.

Someone, who shall be nameless, is looking after himself as he makes buckets through his endorsements, and the more he maintains his sleek, 'I'm a gentleman' image and keep massaging the egos of the executive, the more his path is clear so he doesn't seem have to care about anyone else.

Rafa is right, that just being vice president and not achieving anything is a pointless exercise, and rather than continuously arguing your case when it's evident that nothing is going to change, you might as well save your energy for other things. Let's see what the new person, probably Nole, will achieve. I actually think Roger should now step down as he has not achieved anything and is not likely to achieve anything. Only when he goes will anything change.

A-Rod would be a great choice but I'm not sure how much longer he'll be around. Players in yesteryear had to take strike action for the some of the things that the current players enjoy, so today's players should leave a good legacy for their successors.

As for trolls on this site, they seem to get away with it because by the time their posts are deleted they've, had the desired effect because many people have been able to see it, and they are able to come back time and time again to insult Rafa's integrity. No fan of Rafa's dishes out such bile against any other player. We might say things that are not too complimentary but nothing that defames anyone's character.

nadline , 4/10/12 12:28 PM


I am glad that Rafa is out of that mess and I believe that some of the players really appreciate what he has tried to do while he was on the council.

Changing the balls at RG was a bit of a shock for Rafa last year especially as these new balls did not seem to suit his game - I think it was mentioned that these new balls would suit the big servers and hitters more. I was so happy when he overcame that little hurdle and won RG last year in spite of the balls - call me cynical but I think it was done to make things harder for Rafa.

Re Troll posts Nadline @ 12.28pm - I am surprised to see that they are still here and agree with your comments in the last paragraph of your post.

schatz , 4/10/12 1:43 PM


luckystar
, 4/9/12 7:14 PM

once again, you seem to have problems understanding what I said...I did not say you can't compare Rafa and Isner on clay...I just don't see why bring Rafa into the picture? I did not talk about Rafa...I just wanted to give credit to Isner beating Tsonga on clay and there you are to make a point how it is nothing compared to what Rafa did to Tsonga at DC?! Why? Why diminish Isner's accomplishment by saying Rafa does it way better...that is just unnecessary...I know how Rafa beat Tsonga at DC and was it a surprise? Certainly not! I don?t know what you expected but I sure expected Rafa to beat Tsonga on the slow clay...my point was that Isner will make the top guys lives difficult, I never said he would beat them at RG...but as you say, many think he is the candidate for the RG title...I don't think he is there yet but he sure makes a difficult opponent for anyone right now...that?s all what I wanted to say...

natashao , 4/10/12 6:32 PM


Federer declined, but Djokovic accepted : the Serbian will play vs Nadal at Santiago Bernabeu (July 14th) : 80 000 seats

sanju , 4/10/12 7:18 PM


BEAT IS EXPECTED WITH RECORD ATTENDANCE 80,000 SPECTATORS
Nadal and Djokovic played an exhibition at the Bernabeu on July 14
EP. MADRID 10/04/12 - 11:35.
printssends
233
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, numbers 1 and 2 in the world, hoping to beat the record of attendance at a tennis match on 14 July, date to be measured on the lawn at the Santiago Bernabeu and expect to reach 80,000.

The aim of this exhibition game is set a new attendance record for a tennis match, surpassing the 80,000 spectators and maximum revenue possible to allocate to projects supportive of the Foundation and the Foundation Realmadrid Rafa Nadal.

Both foundations are working to help those most in need, wherever they are and the firm intention of providing an opportunity for the future of children and disadvantaged youth through educational programs and using sport as a tool for social integration.

The record attendance at a tennis match is in the 35,681 spectators who gathered on July 8, 2010, also in a football stadium in Brussels to attend the meeting between Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams.

Conspirator , 4/10/12 7:37 PM


natashao, please refer to your post of 4/9/12 8.49 AM.
'...I remember people saying here how it was Rafa playing bad rather than Isner playing good...'

You mentioned Rafa vs Isner so I posted my thoughts about them. Anything wrong??

luckystar , 4/10/12 7:46 PM


THIS SHOULD BE EPIC, even rafa and nole would love this experience. totally unprecedented

vamosrafa , 4/10/12 9:38 PM


Wow this should be good .Nole should let Rafa win this one at least

vmk1 , 4/10/12 9:53 PM


Here is some more of what Stakhovsky says in his interview. Rafa was fighting to help the lower ranked players by asking for more prize money for players who end up being out of pocket at these tournaments. Staks says that players throw matches so that they are not ranked in the top 100 so that they don't qualify for slams, because they lose money as their prize mney doesn't usually cover their expenses.


Stakhovsky: But when you look at the numbers: you win one match ? you earn enough for a car. By the numbers, I?m a millionaire. But I already told you about my expenses.

Q. And if you don?t fly business-class, but lowcost?

Lowcost to Dubai?! This year I?ve been flying economy. From London to Dubai and back I flew for 1200 Euros. And we can?t order tickets in advance. In addition, you can?t give up the cheap tickets. Often, we buy the tickets on the day of departure. And those are completely different numbers.

In a year, I spend 170 thousand Euros on the ?game expenses? category. Last year, only the tickets cost me 85 thousand. I earned $428 thousand. Take out 30%, on average, for taxes.

Q. But you won?t be spoilt by the money.

Yes, but I?m giving my life to this sport. I miss studies, friends, I have a family. Let?s say, I retire at 32 years. Say even that I earn a net of 500 thousand Euros by that time. But I need to live off this money for the rest of my life. And the name ?Stakhovsky? won?t work for me in this country, that?s for sure.

Going back to Nadal: the Grand Slam tournaments, as we know, pay the players an abnormally low percent of their earnings. For instance, the US Open spends 4-6% of their profit on prize money. The ATP tournaments ? around 30%. Since 2004, the prizes in the big tournaments rose less than the inflation.

You lose the reason to enter the top-100. If you travel with a coach ? you?ll be in a small ?plus?, $20-30 thousand per year. And those are the 100 best people in this sport all over the world. If you take the 100th soccer player, the 100th golfer, any sport that?s on TV ? their salaries will be immeasurably greater. Even the 100th soccer player in Ukraine earns more.

The Slams are holding everything, and if they start sharing their profits, it?ll make sense to make it to the top-100. Yes, it will look vulgar if a player who lost in the first round, makes $50-100 thousand, but how much he invested in himself to even play there. To fly to Australia ? that?s already a feat. It?s 24 hours. I?m not risking flying economy there, it?s just unrealistic.

If the Slams make concessions, I?m against a 2-year ranking. Because many players will need two years to make it in the top-100. And now people are really working on it. Now, the 70- or the 200-ranked player ? are the same.

nadline , 4/10/12 11:02 PM


"As for trolls on this site, they seem to get away with it because by the time their posts are deleted they've, had the desired effect because many people have been able to see it, and they are able to come back time and time again to insult Rafa's integrity. No fan of Rafa's dishes out such bile against any other player. We might say things that are not too complimentary but nothing that defames anyone's character."

nadline, 4/10/12 12:28 PM

I decided to quote the last paragraph of this comment, because it resonated with me. It's a no-win situation for the majority of the posters here who participate in good faith with respectful and reasonable comments.

I think the trolls do an enormous amount of damage by just being able to post these damaging comments. We have seen them drive away good people from this site, who simply don't want to have to read this kind of hatespeak. Many of us can skip over it, but it's still there for everyone to read.

We can ignore it, we can try to answer in kind or as a last resort, we can leave. There are no good choices. I would like to see those offensive comments deleted, once and for all.

Regarding the issue of Rafa and Isner on clay, I am one who did say that it was Rafa's poor play in that first round at RG last year, that allowed the match to go to five sets. If anyone thinks that was Rafa playing the way he would even in a first round match at RG, then they haven't watched him enough on clay. I agree that Isner was a terrible first round opponent. Rafa likes to work his way into form in the slams and this big server was the last thing he needed to face as his first opponent. However, even for the early rounds when Rafa isn't at his best, this was not Rafa even playing his normal game on clay. All Isner had to do was take advantage of his opportunities. To Rafa's credit, he was able to summon up enough good play to finally win it in five sets.

Since that time Isner has improved his game. He is now playing some of his best tennis. He can be a tough opponent in this coming clay court season. it will be up to him to strive for the consistency that the best players in this sport have demonstrated. That is the way you keep your ranking high.

As far as Rafa's resignation from the player's council, I think he did what he could and when he felt that there was nothing more he could accomplish, he left. That sounds like a smart move to me! :)

Nativenewyorker , 4/11/12 4:24 AM


Isner pushed Djokovic and Nadal to 5 sets on clay. He beat Federer and Tsonga best of 5 sets on clay. Will he win RG? Probably not, but he certainly has the game to trouble anyone.

I keep hearing how Nadal wasn't his usual self last year at RG. So what? He played an even worse match against a red-hot Pablo Andujar and won in straight sets. Isner has more confidence and experience this year. I wouldn't be completely surprised if he does hand him defeat number 2.

ts38 , 4/11/12 4:45 AM


I'll be surprised, ts. It's already a big effort from Isner to beat Tsonga in four sets. As I've mentioned, the big three had underestimated Isner on clay. The next time they meet him, look for them to stopped him before he can do any damage. I may even go on to say that both Ferrer and Delpo will best this Isner on clay. What Isner fear of on clay is someone who can move better than him and can anticipate his moves. The top three plus Ferrer are all very good on clay and moves very well on clay too. Delpo on the other hand, has his big serves and powerful forehand to counter Isner's but he has more power and better movement on clay compared to Isner, so i give him a slight edge over Isner on clay.

luckystar , 4/11/12 5:02 AM


And I see how little respect Rafa, the king of clay, gets, even from some of his own fans. Would anyone doubt Fed on grass? I've even heard people here saying that Fed would win at Wimbledon even at age 30 but people doubt whether Rafa can win the FO? And some people are even penciling in Nole at the FO and winning the calendar slam this year, when he's struggling to win at the AO. Nole won one Wimbledon and he's now the favorite for Wimbledon, even Fed is a favorite at Wimbledon even though he only made the QF there for the past two years, and people doubt Rafa when he had won twice and made five finals at the Wimbledon, and almost consecutively if not for his 2009 absence. So little respect for Rafa, who's actually not doing badly when he's at no.2 in the rankings. Even Isner now can get a surprise win over Rafa at RG, and to me that's the last straw!!

luckystar , 4/11/12 5:18 AM


ts38,

Sorry, but Andujar doesn't have Isner's ability to bomb aces all over the place. If you lose your serve against Isner, then it means losing the set. Andujar even facing a Rafa not playing well at all, couldn't make it that hard for him. Rafa had to come back in one set from being down something like 5-1, I don't remember the exact score. The fact that one set was so close was shocking, given that Andujar hadn't done anything at that point in time to make anyone think he could trouble Rafa.

Isner will not beat Rafa at RG. You can bank on that. There is a reason he has only lost ONE match in all the years he has played there. That stat alone is staggering. Isner won't be the one to beat him for the second time.

I really don't understand suddenly trumpeting Isner's chances at RG. It's like people have just forgotten about Nole, Fed and Murray, not to mention Ferrer, Tsonga and Delpo.

Nativenewyorker , 4/11/12 8:24 AM


luckystar @5.18am - I agree with you re this subject and it is something that bugs me too. I don't think Rafa gets the respect he deserves, especially from the so called expert commentators, media etc.

I was watching the SF of Monte Carlo 2011 between Andy Murray & Rafa and the whole time they kept praising Andy which is fine for Eurosport but at the same time credit should be given to Rafa too. Rafa won that match fair and square in 3 sets the score being 6-4, 2-6, 6-1.

schatz , 4/11/12 1:57 PM


I don't think anyone is seriously picking Isner as the outright favourite to win. Sure Taylor Dent tweeted him as a pic but that's just hype for effect.

Professional oddsmakers are giving Isner a 60:1 chance. They are putting Rafa in as the number 1 seed followed by Nole. Fed is 3rd at 10:1 against so that's about right.

For the USO, Nole is the oddsmakers favourite, Rafa 2nd, Fed 3rd, Muzz 4th so that's also not unexpected.

Conspirator , 4/11/12 5:06 PM


What about Wimbledon? I thought they had Nole, Fed and then Rafa in that order. A bit strange, I have to say, to have Rafa behind Fed.

luckystar , 4/11/12 6:17 PM


Rafa is currently favoured by oddsmakers over Fed at both Wimby and USO. Nole top pick at both.

Conspirator , 4/11/12 7:03 PM


Oh puh-leeze luckystar. How little respect Rafa gets? He almost lost to Isner at RG already! Why is it then so unreasonable a new, improved, infinitely more confident Isner could possibly get the job done this time? It is possible that Isner may ALSO be hungry to win every match he plays. As for Isner's movement, it is improving as he already beat world #1 Djokovic on a slow hard court. As he himself constantly says, the slow clay court gives him more time to set up his shots. Del Potro and Ferrer will surely have the game to trouble him and even beat him, but I don't remember saying "John Isner is the best thing to happen to clay in the history of tennis." But I like his chances against anyone.
I'm also confused by this emerging argument "people underestimate their opponents so they lose to them." Part of being professional means understanding that when you're 2 sets and break points down you either dig deep or lose. I'm pretty sure the best tennis players on the planet understand this.

ts38 , 4/11/12 7:18 PM


luckystar and ts38, I think you'd both agree that it is "possible" but not "probable", no?

#semantics

Conspirator , 4/11/12 7:40 PM


Did Rafa almost lost to Isner at RG last year? I don't think so! Two sets to one down doesnt mean that he almost lost. If I'm not wrong in a best of five sets match, one has to win three sets in order to win. And Rafa was leading in the fourth set, there's no sign that he almost lost. He didn't come from behind in the fourth set to win the set, but broke Isner early to lead in the fourth set, same for the fifth set.

And ts, when did I accuse you of saying Isner is a world beater?? I'm confused! However much Isner improved, it still took him a good three to four hours to finish off Tsonga on clay and Tsonga is the poorest performing guy among the top eight on clay. Isner is certainly no where near that guy who bagelled Tsonga on clay last year.

Of course Fed didn't underestimate Isner the second time around, and managed to beat Isner in straight sets in the IW final! Look for Nole to get his revenge at Isner, in the coming clay season maybe.

luckystar , 4/11/12 8:11 PM


Good news Rafans

King of Clay, Rafael #Nadal, started to practice on the clay!! http://pic.twitter.com/Bg0Bipp6

sanju , 4/11/12 8:18 PM


Hey, lucky, having problems with comprehension? Everything ok with your head? Where have I ever said that Isner would beat Rafa on clay? I never question Rafa and I ALWAYS believe in him...don't you ever think of accusing me of not having enough faith in Rafa...you of all?! It's always you who start with your analysis of what he should have done and how he should have done it...it was you who said you did not expect anything from him at this year's AO and some of us were all over your depressing predictions...please, give me a break and if you can't understand what I am saying just ignore my posts and leave it! Don't you ever think that you could possible believe in Rafa more than I do, because you don't...

I recall having argument with you about your depressing and judgmental comments about Rafa's game at IW...and it happened to be when he was winning playing really well but you still managed to ruin the enjoyment by finding flaws in his game and elaborating on it on and on...please...I asked you to let us enjoy the moment and stop talking about what Rafa did wrong and should improve, remember?

If Rafa does not start his first round match at MC in a convincing way you will be the first to criticize...I already see your for me so predictable posts about how Rafa should be standing closer to the baseline, serving better, not taking too much time between the serves as the opponent read his "body language", work on his poor backhand, then about Toni not doing a good job, and so on...I could go forever listing your lines of criticism...

and then, if I make a choice to give credit to Isner for his game on clay against Tsonga thinking that it was not by chance that he made Rafa work hard for his win in RG (and Rafa says it himslef!) you interpret it as me saying he will beat Rafa on clay...Gosh...do I need to draw a picture for you? I just can't believe you...

natashao , 4/11/12 9:26 PM


Why else would you bring Ferrer and Del Potro into it if not to point out Isner's not a world beater? But that's beside the point. I even said Isner probably won't win the French Open. And 2 sets to 1 down means no more room for error, your back's against the wall. Personally, I think if anyone's gonna hand Nadal his second loss it's most likely Djokovic. But I still think there's a chance it could be Isner.

ts38 , 4/11/12 10:57 PM


I think Isner can't beat Rafa on clay...but he will be a tough opponent and none of the top four will wish to have him on the other side of the net...that's the truth...I bet top four would rather have to deal with Ferrer or Almagro on clay than Isner...and Delpo hasn't proved yet that he is any kind of force on clay...except that he made Rafa work hard in that DC match last year which still doesn't make him an eligible candidate to challenge top four more than Isner himself...

natashao , 4/11/12 11:16 PM


natashao, may I know who is the king of clay? Rafa right? So why would I doubt him on clay, or even on grass? Please note that I criticise his play ON THE HARD COURTS! AO, IW, Miami are all on hard courts, right?

I've never doubt him on clay. Yes, he was pushed by some players on clay last year but he being the king of clay came through and won the most important clay title. Yes he lost two clay Masters to Nole, but to me Rafa is still the better clay court player than Nole. And that's why I'm unhappy that people are penciling in Nole to win all the slams this year, as if Rafa would sure lose his FO crown. I'm more critical of Rafa on the hard courts, because I think there's still room for improvement for him. To me Rafa's clay and grass court games are the best (on grass he's the same as Fed, IMO) and I've seen his best games on these two surfaces. He may come out short at times on these two surfaces, but that's more about his confidence or his off days than anything else.

Now if he still lose to Nole at Rome and Wimbledon this year, I'll be disappointed no doubt, but deep down I know that's because Rafa can't produce his best tennis (that of FO 2008/Wim 07/08 for example) anymore.

Do I expect the same from Rafa at the USO? Definitely not, because to me Nole is the better player of the two on hard courts. Rafa still can improve on hardcourts, as I feel we haven't seen the best of him on the hard courts yet, and so I criticise him more because he as the player should know better than us what he should do. More so when he himself is talking all the time about playing more aggressive, more inside the court, etc.

luckystar , 4/12/12 2:50 AM


ts, yes there's no room for error when one is two sets to one down, but does that mean he almost lost the match? If he's chasing from behind in the fourth set and trailing all the time, then yes, he almost lost. However, Rafa broke serve early in the fourth set and won it 6-2, hardly almost lost (even the set) and he broke serve early in the fifth set as well, hardly almost lost.

Now nobody is talking about Isner as the world beater. The fact that I brought out Ferrer and Delpo was exactly to prove that Isner is not the world beater( and I don't assume you think he's the world beater, either). To me Ferrer and Delpo are the next level after the top three on clay, so Isner has to beat the two regularly on clay to prove he's right there with them on clay, before he can really threaten the top three on clay. One win over Fed on clay doesn't mean he'll suddenly become a top clay court player. Fed was also beaten on clay by Volandri, Stepanek, Gulbis, Montanes, Gasquet; and beaten by Sod at the FO.

So, my point is Isner has to show consistently good results on clay before he becomes a real threat on clay to the top players.

luckystar , 4/12/12 3:12 AM


natashao, please see NNY's post of 4/11/12 4.24am, fifth paragraph, and my post of 4/10/12 7.46pm.

It's precisely because of that comment of yours, about Rafa not playing bad and Isner playing good.... that got both NNY and myself to respond.

luckystar , 4/12/12 3:37 AM


I really don't know what people are arguing about here. Rafa's prowess and record on clay speaks for itself. There's really no need to defend it. He has been compared to the great Borg and could surpass him if he wins his 7th title at RG. That says it all.

I honestly don't see why some are taking offense over Isner's game on clay. There is no way that Isner is even close to being in the same league as Rafa on clay and everyone knows it. That is a fact. I have no problem giving credit to Isner for improving his game and playing some of his best tennis now. Good for him! However, this idea that he can be competitive with Rafa on clay, based on last year's first round five set match, is absurd. Anyone who thinks that Rafa was playing anything remotely like his real clay tennis needs to go back and watch it again. The reason that Isner can be tough is his big serving. There is so much pressure to hold your serve against him, because one break can mean losing the set.

Rafa was just not himself at all that first week at RG. The commentators remarked about it over and over again. His mental focus wasn't there, his competitive spirit wasn't there and his game overall was just not anywere near the dominant standard that we have come to expect from Rafa.

Let's give maybe the greatest clay player of all time some respect. Saying that Isner will be competitive with him, give him his second loss at RG, really are comments that are not borne out by the facts and the respective records of these two players.

I think lucky is a reasonable, knowledgeable poster who backs up her arguments with statistics and facts. I don't have any problem with what she has said.

In particular, I completely agree with her last comment in her post @ 4/12/12 3:12 am. I think that she made an excellent point.

Nativenewyorker , 4/12/12 4:26 AM


luckystar
, 4/12/12 2:50 AM

You doubt him on clay last year, you just don's seem to remember...but I was feeling the same back then so I did not oppose you. I recall not agreeing with you when you said the reason why Rafa seems slower than before was due to him growing older and having reached his peak already. Just because I am a Rafa fan does not mean that I have to agree with everything you say...I sometimes think that you are too critical of Rafa and you expect him to be something he is not, especially on hard courts...but that is your opinion and I respect that...

Anyway, all of us Rafa fans have something in common: we love him and we want the best for him...but be sure, whenever I feel right I will speak out to present my own opinion which may as well be very different from yours...I sometimes agree with Fed fans and agree with Nole's fans because I tend to see things objectively...if you happen to disagree with my posts you are free to argue but please do not take words out of context and do not ever accuse me of not being a real Rafa fan because for me that is the worst insult and expect that I will always fight back...thank you...

natashao , 4/12/12 9:18 AM


natashao, please don't take things so personally. In the first place, when did I say you're not a true Rafa fan?? I said some of his fans even doubt him on clay, and I think that's a fair statement.

Now I mentioned that Rafa may be past his peak, in some of my posts last year, and I stand by that opinion; to me he has past his physical peak, in terms of speed and power. However that does not mean that he can't improve and plays better tennis, in terms of tennis skills, shot making, shot selection or tactics. Just look at Fed now, past his physical peak but he's still playing very good tennis, in fact he has improved his volleying and net skills, compared to his peak year of 2006. Fed may not be as physically fit as his 2006, or may not have the stamina of 2006, but he compensated for that by his improved skills and court positioning. I'm expecting Rafa to do the same.

To me the ideal scenario for Rafa was: he being at his physical peak from 2008-2010 playing his best tennis then, with the serve of his USO2010, his backhand of AO2009, volleying skills and net play of his IW/Miami 2011, court position of his Wimbledon 2007/2008, his backhand slices of his Wimbledon and USO2010, and of course his speed and power of his FO and Wimbledon 2008. I believe had he not being injured in 2009, we might have seen him playing with all the above mentioned qualities in his game at the height of his physical power, and I've no doubt that he'll win the FO and Wimbledon in 2009, and the AO of 2010. Now after that injury, being realistic, I no longer expect all that to happen hence my comment that he's past his physical peak. Still he went on to give me a pleasant surprise by winning three slams in a row on three surfaces, too bad he didn't win the fourth one.

I'm still optimistic now that he'll win some more slams, on clay and grass especailly, though not at the same rate as during his peak years.

luckystar , 4/12/12 10:03 AM


Oh one more thing, I'm not expecting too much from Rafa on the hard courts, what I'm expecting from him is what he's expecting from himself, ie playing more aggressively and more inside the court. I don't expect him to serve like he did at the USO 2010, but serving consistently well with good placement like he did in the past, hitting his backhand like he did in the past, maybe not at his 2009AO level but at his USO2010 level. I don't expect him to win many AOs or USOs or many hard court titles. He has been winning two hard court titles almost every year and that's a realistic target going forward. (3 hard court titles in 2005, 1 in 2006, 1 in 2007, 2 in 2008, 2 in 2009 and 2 in 2010).

luckystar , 4/12/12 11:25 AM


Rafa is one lucky guy to have his fans fighting over his legacy and his image. That's not a bad thing at all, I'm sure he'll be chuffed to read some of our posts. His fans are so sensitive that they jump to his defence at the slightest hint of critcism of his game, and even though we all have good intentions, and sometimes critcisms are justified, we just don't like the truth because it hurts.

I know I have been guilty of disagreeing with fans saying what they genuinely think, that's because I only want to read nice things all the time, and especially after a loss, it's a bit hard to read some of the stark truths, although sometimes I think there can be too much negativity.

However, the fact that this time it's Lucky thinking Nats is being too critical or negative, says it all because that is normally the other way round so it just goes to show that we all just want Rafa to suceed, period. I haven't read all the posts because I have been on holiday and have only been able to post here and there so I don't really know what the argument is about. I'm just making an observation.

nadline , 4/12/12 5:16 PM


welcome back, nadline...right in time for the MC...why do I get impression that you plan your holidays around Rafa and his tourneys...:)

and I belive you are right about what you said in your previous post...and thanks...:)

natashao , 4/12/12 6:03 PM


If nobody's talking about Isner being a worldbeater then quit bringing it up. I'm not saying Isner is a consistent threat to the top claycourters of the game. I never said it, never implied it, and said he probably won't win the french. Quit putting words in my bubble. But there is no script in sports. The fact that you brought up Federer losing to Gasquet, Melzer, etc on clay proves my point exactly. Nadal has lost a clay court match to Igor Andreev! You don't have to be a consistent threat to someone to beat them. Look at Fed and Roddick's last match. Who would have guessed Roddick of all people would snap Fed's run?
And I'm not talking about Isner beating the top 4 in succession. But anything can happen on any given day, and I think it's possible if Isner were to play Nadal at the French Open, he has the game to possibly beat him.

ts38 , 4/12/12 7:15 PM


Sorry don't agree. Isner has never ever beaten Rafa, not even on a hard court! Not going to happen in a slam, especially a clay slam. Since FO 2009, Rafa has never lost before a QF in a slam. And that year, Rafa has his knee problem. Unless Rafa experiences the same knee problem again, it's unlikely that he'll lost before the QF of a slam, that's my take.

luckystar , 4/12/12 7:38 PM


On July 14th, Rafa and Nole will play an exhibition match on Santiago Bernabeu. It'd be amazing if the stadium was full. It'd be the most watched tennis match of all time. :) It's Rafa's charity I think, he invited Nole and he accepted. For those in Spain, you must go.

Just thought I'd mention that, didn't see an article about it. However, I don't know why are they doing it then, it's going to be a hellish schedule with FO, Wimbledon and Olympics.

nemanja230690 , 4/12/12 8:32 PM


Luckystars biased forecast has essentially jinxed Rafa, now Rafa is set to loose against Isner. Never say ever, no one predicted Rafa would lose consecutively against someone many times in a row.

nirv02 , 4/12/12 10:23 PM


I don't even know what we are arguing about. I think that both lucky and natashao have made some good points. I think they are both steadfast, loyal Rafa fans who only want the best for him. So what's the problem?

As for ts38, no need to get so defensive. Nobody is putting words in your mouth. You are the one who said that Isner could well give Rafa his second loss at RG in his career! This based on the fact that Isner pushed him to five sets last year? I don't get that reasoning.

My point is that Isner has not proved himself on clay, yet all of a sudden everyone is saying that he is this big threat. You don't anoint someone before they have earned it. Let him prove himself on the surface and then say that he will do this or that. He has not been a factor at all during the clay season in the past. If he can step up and get some good results, then all credit to him.

If someone beats Rafa at RG, it won't be Isner. Rafa lost when he had terrible tendinitis in his knees. That tells you something. A healthy Rafa isn't going to lose early at RG.

Oh, and I don't believe in jinxes! :)

Nativenewyorker , 4/12/12 11:04 PM


mirv02
there are few things I am pretty sure about in life but here is one: what we think and what we write here can in no way jinx or anti-jinx the players :-)

chlorostoma , 4/12/12 11:28 PM


Don't believe in jinx but believe in logic. Also, Rafa is not the only one who lost to the same player a few times in a row; he's not the first and won't be the last. He happens to beat others a few times in a row too!

Looking forward to the clay and grass season, enough of the hard courts. Fortunately we have April to July to enjoy the clay/grass/clay season before we have to start all over again on the hard courts.

luckystar , 4/13/12 2:53 AM


Anyway, I don't think my predicions are biased, based on Rafa's records on clay. I think the one who's biased is nirv02. For no reason he butt in and talk about jinxes?? In this modern age and we're still talking about jinxes?? Are you serious nirv??

luckystar , 4/13/12 5:26 AM


Anyone wherever they are who believes in jinxes, goodluck charm etc needs to wake up, smell the coffee and rather focus that energy maybe in self belief, will do them a world of good :-).

I know lot of people world over believe in jnxes, blind faith, rituals, good luck charms etc, frankly dont understand the logic. At times you are tempted to follow it, but its all in your mind and what you will tune your mind to accept, it will anyway accept it :-)

In India , people usually believe if a black cat crosses your path , its a bad luck, bad day etc, well in my 10th boards on an exam day, a black cat crossed my path , it made me a bit nervous but I scored highest in my school in that exam, so much for the blind beliefs :-)

sanju , 4/13/12 5:41 AM


If anyone believes that what we write on here, can in any way influence how a player does on court....well they must come and meet the fairies at the bottom of my garden...

deuce , 4/13/12 8:07 AM


Well, why do you think Rafa lines up his water bottles exactly the same way throughout a match and keeps the liquid level the same in each bottle? ;)

Conspirator , 4/13/12 3:27 PM


nirv02 , 4/12/12 10:23 PM

I have to say, that on this occasion I do agree with nirv02, even though it hurts me to say it. luckystar does seem to jinx Rafa with her pessimistic predictions, like when she effectively wrote Rafa off for the rest of the year after Wimbledon last year, when at the time, there was nothing to base it on and it came to pass. However, we cannot blame lucky's pessimism because there are millions of people predicting outcomes of matches, so who knows. It's just not nice to read.

nadline , 4/13/12 3:34 PM


To prove the point, in the UK, if a black cat crosses your path, it's supposed to be good luck. I have some silly things that I do when Rafa is in a tournament, one of them is to start cleaning the shower from the same end otherwise I think he'll lose, but when I think that many of his fans also have their own superstitions, I realize that it doesn't make a blind bit of difference what I do. I even had a lucky top which worked until he lost to Nole at IW last year whilst I was wearing it.

nadline , 4/13/12 3:41 PM


nadline, trust me, I don't base my predictions on optimism or pessimism. I base my predictions after watching how Rafa performs on the tennis court and his body language. His body language last year told me that I had nothing to expect out of him, meaning I didn't expect any good results from him.

This year, Rafa is more positive, he's more enthusiastic, and we can see his efforts in fighting off opponents' challenges and in fighting hard to beat Nole. The only negative body language I saw from Rafa was during that IW SF against Fed. His game has improved, especially his backhand, and his tactics against Nole has also changed for the better. He did have his chances of beating Nole at the AO this year but let it slipped away. All these bode well for Rafa.

I must say after watching how he trashed the French team and Monaco at the DC matches last year, I am so happy and positive, that Rafa's A-game is still intact. Even when he performed poorly for a set and a half against Delpo in the DC final last year, I knew that Rafa would win in the end. As long as Rafa plays with his heart and mind in the game, he'll have positive results. We've seen how scarily good Rafa was when he played his aggressive game, he could simply turn the match around when he decided to play aggressively. What was missing last year was his confidence; when the mind and the heart were not there, its difficult to win a match. This year he seems to have found his confidence back, bit by bit.

luckystar , 4/13/12 4:04 PM


Rafa and Roger are amongst olympic heroes whose names have been substituted for stations on a special olympic tube map.

The station 'Angel' is Rafael Nadal, and 'Old Street' is Roger Federer. Even as I'm typing this, I am doubled up laughing that Angel is Rafa and Old Street is Roger, how apt!!!!!!! They got it absolutely spot on.

You can see the map on:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2012/04/Features/Nadal- Federer-On-Olympic-Tube-Map.aspx

nadline , 4/13/12 4:20 PM


Oh I have to say, after seeing Rafa having foot problem at Wimbledon, and him mentioning that the foot took longer than expected to heal, I knew that his NA hard court season leading up to the USO would be affected, so I didn't expect much from Rafa. In fact Rafa had done well by reaching the final of the USO.

This year he started well at Doha, playing reasonably well but was unfortunate to meet an on fire Monfils, something like his Doha 2009. He played well at the AO and reached the final (whilst in 2009 he went one step further by winning the AO). During his Feb rest and training, I've learned that he was experiencing pain in his knee. It might not be that severe then to warrant a PRP treatment and so he went ahead to play IW and Miami without getting treatment for the knee. I guess that explained why sometimes during his matches, Rafa looked nervous, took so long to serve, and was having even more tics before each serve - pulling at his shirt on each shoulder, rubbing his nose, etc and etc. I guess they try to delay the PRP treatment until just before the clay season, so that the effect of the treatment is good enough to last through the spring and summer season, until after the USO. Thereafter, Rafa can have a good long rest and prepares for the year end championship. I'm not sure his right knee is OK to last that long without giving him any problem, so maybe he may have another PRP treatment for his right knee too.

luckystar , 4/13/12 4:29 PM


Rafa should get back to #1, that's where he belongs.

nadline , 4/13/12 11:35 PM


Why is the MC draw not out yet? Doesnt it begin on Monday?

sanju , 4/14/12 11:03 AM


Rafa should get back to #1, that's where he belongs.
nadline , 4/13/12 11:35 PM

nadal has won 1 of the last 5 slams Djokovic has won 4. Plus the difference in ranking points between the #1 and #2 leave no doubt as to who is the deserving #1 and that's Djokovic.

bleck , 4/14/12 12:35 PM


Guys, MC draw is out. Rafa may meet Almagro in quarters and Tsonga/Tipsi in Semi. Nole may have to face Ferrer in quarters and Murray in Semi.

gr8nadal , 4/14/12 3:18 PM


Nadline, based on what does Nadal deserve the #1 spot? Since beginning of 2011, he's been the second best player on the tour.

nemanja230690 , 4/14/12 5:02 PM


You guys are putting words into my mouth. I did not say that Rafa 'deserves' to be #1, I said he belongs there. That's because I think he is the best and most watchable player.

Last year started badly for him with the flu and the tear of his adductor muscle on his left thigh in Australia which seemed to hamper him for the rest of the year because having lost to Nole a few times, he lost some confidence. Had he defended his AO title last year, he may well still be #1 now.

nadline , 4/14/12 6:05 PM


anyone knows when is the exho? cant find any info :S it would be great if some one could find a live streaming link

vamosrafa , 4/14/12 9:35 PM



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