• Abu Dhabi exho plays it safe with possible Nadal replacement

    12/8/12 5:28 AM | Johan Lindahl
    Abu Dhabi exho plays it safe with possible Nadal replacement Organisers of the December 27-29 Abu Dhabi exhibition are hoping that Spain's Rafael Nadal will truly end his six-month injury absence at their December 27-29 event.

    But they are ready with possible unnamed replacements if the knee injury victim makes a sudden late pullout.

    "We don't have a cut off point as such. We're 100 percent focused on Nadal coming here," event director Vickie Gunnarson told the Sport360 website. "Of course, we are professional enough that should that happen (Nadal withdrawing), then we definitely know other options to call.

    "But that's not even an option we are considering at the moment and our focus and commitment lies with Rafa."

    Nadal sparked confusion when he was unable to exactly specify what events he might play when he does return to tennis after his medical problems, which have dropped him to fourth in the world and cast a shadow over his career, are over.

    Even if he does front up as expected in the Gulf and then plays the Australian Open, the 26-year-old has voiced little if any hope of performing up to his own high expectations. Nadal tried to clarify his program, saying he hoped to play as early at the Abu Dhabi event.

    That calmed things slightly for nervous organizers of the rich exho which also features Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, who will be playing the tournament for the first time since winning the inaugural edition in 2009. The field also includes Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer and Janko Tipsarevic.
    "I personally didn't find what he said alarming," Gunnarson said. "Putting his fitness first is natural when you think how long he's been away from the game. But there is no doubt he has all the intentions to play in Abu Dhabi.

    "I was back and forth with Rafa's camp (this week) and we continue to get regular updates from his camp. Rafa's goal is to play Abu Dhabi and that is what he is working towards. He is training really, really hard and he's getting stronger. So it's looking good."

    Some of the competitors are due to spend Christmas in the Gulf, with others arriving in the region on Boxing Day with one day to spare before the start.

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This is a case of 'have we got a story to go with this picture?'

Something was lost in translation after Rafa's radio interview and it's now taken on a life of it's own.

nadline , 12/8/12 8:26 AM

nadline, do hope u get your photo with Rafa

deuce , 12/8/12 8:39 AM

I absolutely agree with nadline. There really is nothing here that we don't already know. I don't know why a poor translation should be made out to be more than what it was. But trust Lindahl to try to wring a story out of it.

nadline, I know what it would mean to you to see Rafa. I hope it happens for you!

Nativenewyorker , 12/8/12 9:34 AM

_Nadal sparked confusion_
This confusion has been created by the tennis writers!!!

Rafa has explained on his Facebook page: "I have the certainty that some of my declarations, in relationship with my calendar for 2013, went out in the WRONG way on the newspaper. I'm preparing for the tournaments initially previewed: Abu Dhabi, Doha, Melbourne and Acapulco just to begin. By now this is what I have in mind".

Augustina08 , 12/8/12 10:58 AM

I dont think it is necessarily bad translation which is at fault. It is the interpretation of the bulletins which has given rise to the confusion.

ed251137 , 12/8/12 11:59 AM

There is always the qualifying statement even when correcting erroneous stories.
viz. 'For now this is what I have in mind'. He is hoping, planning and working towards fulfilling these committments but wisely he is not issuing a promise that he will undertake them all simply because at this stage he does not know if it will be feasible.


ed251137 , 12/8/12 12:49 PM

ed, I honestly don't see anything in what Rafa has said to mean that he thinks it might not be feasible for him to fulfil the calendar he has released. We all know Rafa has difficulty in conveying his true feelings in English. He thinks in Spanish or catalonia and translates it into English and from my school girl's French, I know that unless you think in the language, literally translating one language to another is a recipe for disaster, what with all the french idioms and phrases etc. which make no sense when translated word for word.

To me, all Rafa is saying is that he does not expect to be at his 100% best to begin with, so he doesn't think he will win the first few tournaments he enters. He says the progress of the recovery is going well, but not having played for 6 months doesn't put him in a title winning position which is understandable, and he is reconciled to that.

nadline , 12/8/12 1:18 PM

The only thing that matters is that he is returning. And from the 'sounds' of it you will witness his triumphant arrival. Hope you plan to send us minute by minute eye witness reports from your i-phone.

re: translating idomatic expressions. You're right this is a minefield in any language. Federer fell into this trap when using 'pas mal' which, as in English, converys anything from 'not too bad' to 'surprisingly good'. I dont think Fed's pas mal moment was a faux pas - more a case of damning with faint praise which is something he is good at doing.

ed251137 , 12/8/12 2:36 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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