• Nadal back on court for Spain Davis Cup tie

    3/4/11 5:39 AM | Cheryl Murray
    Nadal back on court for Spain Davis Cup tie Spain’s Rafael Nadal will play for the first time since a thigh injury saw him out of the Australian Open to teammate David Ferrer.

    Spain traveled to Belgium for their first round Davis Cup tie with world No. 1 Rafael Nadal leading their charge. The world No. 1 has had a 6 week layoff since his quarterfinal exit in Melbourne, but is reportedly 100% healthy for this weekend’s matches.

    Nadal’s opponent is Ruben Bemelmans, ranked 144 in the world. The Belgian has met Nadal just once, but it was just a year ago on the hard courts of Bangkok. Nadal won that encounter easily.

    The court chosen by the Belgian team is indoor deco-turf, a speedy, low-bouncing surface that is not a favorite of Nadal’s. The Spaniard prefers a surface that will make the ball kick up off the court, but regardless of Nadal’s preference, he is the world No. 1 and defeating him will be a big ask of Bemelmans.

    The crowd could be a factor in this match, but Nadal should pull through in straight sets.

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can't wait. good luck rafa. vamos spain!! IW after that.'s been a long wait for the world no. 1's return (well, for his fans anyway:)

homos , 3/4/11 9:55 AM

Ferrer pulls out of Spain-Belgium Davis Cup tie

Associated Press

Posted on March 4, 2011 at 6:03 AM

Updated today at 6:05 AM

CHARLEROI, Belgium (AP) ? David Ferrer has pulled out of the opening match of Spain's Davis Cup World Group match against Belgium on Friday.

Ninth-ranked Fernando Verdasco will take Ferrer's place and will play Xavier Malisse in the opener.

The sixth-ranked Ferrer pulled out with an inflamed nerve in his shoulder.

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal will play Ruben Bemelmans in the second match of Friday's opening day on the hard court of the 6,500-capacity Spiroudome in southern Charleroi.

Doubles are set for Saturday and reverse singles for Sunday. In 2003, Spain beat Belgium 5-0.

nadline , 3/4/11 2:28 PM

Verdasco takes the first set - 6.4

nadline , 3/4/11 3:25 PM

Verdasco takes the 2nd set 6.3

nadline , 3/4/11 4:04 PM

Rafa's won every point on his second serve so far. Every one. How utterly bizarre.

cherylmurray , 3/4/11 6:24 PM

^^^^^ Cheryl, I will call that amazing, I hope he keeps it up. Bemelmans played very well, but Rafa cranked it up a bit in the 3rd set to put him in his place.

nadline , 3/4/11 8:06 PM

Well done, Rafa and La Armada!

Augustina08 , 3/4/11 9:57 PM Nuff said

Maglor , 3/5/11 12:48 AM

yeah... Pim Pim beat Rafa a long time ago... so?

grafight , 3/5/11 5:11 AM

I won't be surprised that Rafa will beat J Johannson the next time they meet. Some people still lives in the past, just like what they do with the goat.

luckystar , 3/5/11 6:59 AM


?Since my first shoulder surgery I haven?t really served that well on the second serve,? said Johansson. ?But in the last month I?ve been trying to step it up and hit every second serve around the 200kmh mark. I'm really happy with that and I only hit one double fault today. It?s always tough when you haven?t played many matches, but this is the level I feel like I?ve been producing in practice. Everything I practised with my coach, Magnus Norman, over the past month paid off.?

So Magnus Norman is now coaching Johansson, I thought he quit coaching Sod because he wanted to develop tennis in Sweden.

nadline , 3/5/11 8:09 AM

I don't know much about J.Johannson, but I know he has a great serve. Does that result in him getting his shoulder injury? What about Sharapova having her shoulder injury, was it due to her serving too? What about Sampras, did he experience any shoulder injury too due to his serve? Was it technique or simply serving too hard to get to those speed that cause the shoulder injuries?

I understand that both Rafa and Nole recently had some shoulder minor problems after they had served so incredibly well at the USO and the AO respectively, was that due to technique or simply overstressing the shoulders? Will Raonic suffer the same problem if he keeps serving the way he serves?

What about Fed? He serves reasonably well almost all the time, he doesn't have shoulder problem but has back problem. Is his back problem also related to his serve? Poor Cilic arches his body so much during serving, wonder in the long run will that affect his back?

luckystar , 3/5/11 8:48 AM

I hope Feli and Verdi win today and wrap this up.

About the shoulders, the little tennis I've played.. I messed up my shoulder pretty good by trying to serve too hard without really knowing how to.
In tennis, all joints take a lot of beating. It's a lot more grueling than it looks.

Shireling , 3/5/11 9:35 AM

Spain takes the 1st set 7.6 (0)

nadline , 3/5/11 3:54 PM

2nd set - Spain - 6.4

nadline , 3/5/11 4:42 PM

Spain beat Belgium in the doubles: 76 (0) 64 63.

There is going to be the reverse singles tomorrow.

nadline , 3/5/11 5:21 PM

Congratulations to Rafa and his teammates on winning the first round !

Rafa and Feliciano Lopez will play tomorrow.

Rafa said today: "The Davis Cup is a very special competition for all. We represent our country. I like the spirit, because I don't play only for myself. Today I'm happy for the victory." [, 5.03.2011]

Augustina08 , 3/5/11 8:30 PM

Congratulations to Spain for reaching the next round of the davis cup. Next it'll be either with Chile or USA.
Rafa said today that he always wants to play the davis (nex match will be in June I think) but he can't say how he's body will be at that time since in tennis you knoiw how many tournaments you play but not how many matches.

Shireling , 3/5/11 9:50 PM

Isn't Rafa supposed to be leaving immediately for IW if Spain leads 3-0?

holdserve , 3/5/11 10:05 PM

holdserve, yes I believe that was the plan. The Sunday rubbers are dead, so no reason for him to stick around when he could be preparing for IW.

cherylmurray , 3/6/11 2:53 AM

Change of plans apparently............Rafa said in the presser yesterday he would be playing on Sunday, and Uncle Toni apparently said the same to Spanish radio. Guess they reckon he needs more match play pre IW.....

rafaisthebest , 3/6/11 5:48 AM

Or he wants to leave with his team after celebrating their win?

vij , 3/6/11 7:52 AM

How would it have been possible to cancel today when tickets would have been sold and the TV Channels booked. I couldn't see how Rafa would agree to being flown out by private jet leaving his team mates behind to make their own way. Even as the World No 1, Rafa hates being precious and given special treatment.

Great that we have one more chance to see Rafa play before another 2 weeks wait.

nadline , 3/6/11 8:53 AM

two weeks?! IW men's main draw starts on March 10...that is in FOUR days...I wish Rafa could have gone to the States as it was indicated on his web site...he needs to adjust to the conditions in the States...Nole is already there getting ready...well, at least Rafa gets to play another competitive match as a preparation for IW...Vamos Rafa!

natashao , 3/6/11 9:01 AM

I surely hope that Nadal is playing today because I got tickets!

Adri , 3/6/11 9:44 AM

Sorry, I was thinking of Miami when I said 2 weeks.

nadline , 3/6/11 10:24 AM

Does anyone know for sure who is playing who in Belgium today?

U-Stream is advertising Malisse v Lopez followed Bemelmens v Verdasco, and the official website has Rochus v Nadal followed by Darcis v Lopez.

nadline , 3/6/11 2:03 PM

It's Nadal v Rochus.

This is not exacty a reverse single is it?

nadline , 3/6/11 2:34 PM

It never ceases to amaze me the chances that Rafa and his camp take. Not that I care but he shouldn't be playing a dead rubber. We saw what happened from being nice for the crowd and playing through Doha.

This is like Tom Brady playing the 4th quarter with the Pats up by 50. If there's an injury the second guessing will begin.

numero , 3/6/11 3:04 PM

Rafa beats Rochus - 64 62

nadline , 3/6/11 4:03 PM

I think the match will do him good after the long break from competition, and Olivier Rochus has given him a very good workout. Injries can happen at any time, and the Spanish can't just protect Rafa, the others are also playing I/W, and they are also prone to injuries.

If Rafa is part of the team, he shouldn't get special treatment.

nadline , 3/6/11 4:08 PM

Rafa vs Rochus match was entertaining. I think that playing this match - after his injury and before the I/W Masters - was more useful for Rafa than practicing with his sparring partners.

Augustina08 , 3/6/11 4:45 PM

Lopez lost to Darcis in 3 tiebreaks.

nadline , 3/6/11 7:10 PM

Rafa is heading to USA today.
He wrote in his Facebook around an hour ago: "I flight today with my team to Portland. We will visit tomorrow Nike offices and we will play an exhibition match on Tuesday."

Augustina08 , 3/6/11 9:20 PM

I am happy that Rafa won both DC matches. I only got a chance to see highlights, but he seems to be playing well. I guess the feeling is that he needs match play.

I am wondering if the exho in Oregon will be broadcast on tv. I can't wait for Rafa to come to California! At least he will be closer to where I live! I look forward to IW and cannot wait to see him for myself!

Vamos, Rafa!

Nativenewyorker , 3/6/11 9:28 PM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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