• Nadal getting keen for Abu Dhabi tennis test

    12/19/12 1:45 PM | Johan Lindahl
    Nadal getting keen for Abu Dhabi tennis test Rafael Nadal sounds like he would not mind Christmas coming a few days late if it means that he can return successfully to tennis at the Abu Dhabi exho set for December 27-29.

    The outing is due to be the first for the Spaniard in six months since being sidelined last summer with a knee injury.

    "After this long period away from competition, with all these months of rehabilitation and now hard practice, I am excited to see the moment to play again is close," the 11-time Grand Slam winner said in the run-up to the well-funded, just-for-fun payday.

    "Every time I play, I give 100 per cent and try to win; it will be no different in Abu Dhabi. Obviously coming back from injury will be tough, but the Mubadala World Tennis Championship is exactly the test I need for my game and my fitness. I can't wait to get back on center court."

    Nadal won't be stretched too hard, with only a possible two matches on his easy-going itinerary, with the Spaniard receiving a "bye" in the hit-and-giggle also featuring world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

    Nadal's first match in half a year match will pit him against the winner from Olympic champion Murray and Serb Janko Tipsarevic.

    "Abu Dhabi has been the perfect place to begin the year, so I can’t wait to get back there," said Nadal, who lost the 2009 final to Murray. "Being in a tournament setting while getting match fitness against some tough competition in good weather can only help me move forward as I look at the rest of the season.

    "I’ve missed playing and I’ve missed the fans, but I know I’ll get a really warm welcome in Abu Dhabi."

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Yes he lost to Murray in 2009 but beat Federer for the title in 2010!

I'm glad Rafa is psyched up for it, I can't wait. This will be a good test for him, starting against top players.

Vamos Rafa

nadline , 12/19/12 3:22 PM

please pass along good wishes to Rafa when you get his autograph from us here fangirls and boys

chlorostoma , 12/19/12 4:06 PM

Looking forward to see Rafa on court in Melbourne -----He has been missed !!!
Tennis without Rafa is like life without chocolates ----

sals3 , 12/19/12 4:39 PM

is nadline actually going to the match

RickyDimon , 12/19/12 6:45 PM

^^^Yes Ricky, I shall be there. I am actually in Dubai already, my daughter and family live in Dubai. I was also at the Abu Dhabi exho in 2010.

nadline , 12/19/12 7:44 PM

epic, have fun. looking forward to a live report!

taking any photos?

RickyDimon , 12/19/12 8:14 PM

^^^Yes will definitely take photos.

nadline , 12/20/12 6:56 AM

"Yes he lost to Murray in 2009 but beat Federer for the title in 2010!"

That was something special that match, from both players.
Doubt it shall be replicated this time as Rafa shall be rusty but you never know.
Merry Xmas everyone.

Twinge , 12/20/12 10:41 AM

Have a gr8 time, nadline. Hope u get your pic taken with Rafa :)
Seasons greetings to all you lovely fans on here and a Happy New Year.
A special shout to all Andy fans everywhere, especially alex and Twingey and mojo, wherever u r. More special shouts also to my inestimable doubles partner ed., and Conspirator- troll slayer extraordinaire. Thanx for the laughs guys 'n gals.
#Keep'EmComing :)

deuce , 12/20/12 3:59 PM

Happy holidays to all of the wonderful people who come here to post their thoughts and have great discussions about all things tennis!

To nadline, I hope that you get your picture with Rafa! Have fun and enjoy seeing him finally back on the court!

Best wishes to all my fellow Rafa fans who share my love and admiration for him so much!

Thanks to those who have shown us how to use humor to deal with those who come here for the wrong reasons!

I look forward to the New Year and wish everyone good health, happiness and lots of happy hours watching great tennis! :)

Nativenewyorker , 12/20/12 8:30 PM

Happy Holidays to everyone from Me and all of my other user names: Hawkeye, willmw101, RickyDimon, CherylMurray and last but least scoretracker

I am officially off this thread, GOT IT???


Conspirator , 12/20/12 8:59 PM

Happy holidays to ALL Rafans and to all other posters on here!! I wish everyone a wonderful Xmas and a bright and prosperous New Year!

Wishing the same to Rafa including good health. Extremely happy to see him back on court and rearing to go!! Just what tennis needs, that energy which he is so reknowned for!!

To Nadline, I wish you and ure family a great time in Abudabi. Can't say i'm not jealous!!!......hehehe!!! Give Rafa a huge hug and kiss from ALL of his fans here!!!

Again, I wish every one all the best for the New Year and looking forward to enjoying the new tennis season with you guys once more!!!


From St. Lucia

Monalysa , 12/20/12 9:20 PM

I will do my best to give Rafa hugs for all his lovely devoted fans on TT. I hope he'll put a smile on our faces by playing fit and injury free in AD giving his 100% as usual.

I hope all TT posters enjoy the Christmas break.

#Rafa Kool-Aid drinker and die-heard armada bandwagon driver
#Vamos Rafa

nadline , 12/21/12 7:48 AM


And a special thank you to Cheryl and Ricky for their unstinting efforts in making Tennis Talk such a great tennis forum - not to mention their endless patience in dealing with the unruly bunch of members who gather here.

Nominations for 2012 Poster of the Year

Nadline - Rafa Cheerleader extrordinaire
Duece - Andy Cheerleader through thick and thin
Conspirator - for services to TT
Scoretracker - for providing epic hissies
Tennisba - Troll of the Year

ed251137 , 12/21/12 9:29 AM

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone here at TT. May the new year brings in many joyous moments to our lives and many more exciting tennis viewings for all of us!!

May we have a healthy and fit Rafa back with us soon and gives us his exciting and passionate tennis! Vamos Rafa!

luckystar , 12/21/12 3:12 PM

LOL, even in wishing Merry Christmas, a time of good cheer and goodwill, ed and some of the other dream team members (who claim they don't hold grudges) are throwing flames. why bother. It's obvious that decency eludes the dream team as in class-LESS. How about adding best drama queen, and everything else you call others to your and their list of vices pertaining to you all which you attach to others. geez how messed can you get!

scoretracker , 12/22/12 5:24 AM

Here is a pep video for Rafans by KIA. Very moving!

#Rafa Kool-Aid drinker and die-heard armada bandwagon driver
#Vamos Rafa

nadline , 12/23/12 7:03 AM


That was wonderful to watch! Well done!

Yes, Rafa is back!

Thanks for posting this! :)

Nativenewyorker , 12/23/12 8:02 AM

Fabulous gesture from KIA

ed251137 , 12/23/12 8:51 AM

The Spanish tennis player and world number four, Rafael Nadal, said within a week of his return to the tour, after five months out after overcoming his knee injury that his goal "is not Australia and Doha," but recover "form" and take care of their knees.

"Abu Dhabi is a test for me. My goal is not that week, nor Australia or Doha. My goal is to get fit, recover from all my feelings and feel quite ready, responsive knee. The only thing I care is the knee, "he said in an interview with ABC.

"I know I'm going to play in Abu Dhabi without the knee is great, but I feel better. Doctors say it is fine and that is great news for me, but I still feel something. Calma, I notice that is better but 'm not perfect, "he added.

Nadal believes he can be in a position from Indian Wells. "The idea is to go from there. Do not give much value to what will play next month and a half or two months. My season, my real goal is to start in perfect conditions in Indian Wells and Miami and reached Montecarlo with good feelings , face in good condition the clay season, "he said.

The Spaniard believes that too much has been dramatized with his injury. "I think I do not forget to play. Wear over 600 ATP matches and I have spent two years without playing. My feeling is good. The last tournament I played was under and I won Roland Garros and those emotions are still me, "he said.

vamosrafa , 12/24/12 12:37 PM

A very Merry Christmas to deuce, ed, twinge, mojo and all muzz friends and sometime sympathisers from harder times like NNY, vamosrafa, RITB, croc, lucky, nadline, zare and absolutely everyone except painster (joke).

Wishing a more joyful year to rafa, on condition he's not in muzz's half at the slams;)

alex , 12/25/12 2:10 PM

Sincere apologies - how could I possibly have left out johann, ricky and cheryl - you've done another terrific job in 2012 - and I'm even growing to like ricky ;)

And apologies to all others I've left out - have a great day everyone.

alex , 12/25/12 2:15 PM

Augustina08 , 12/25/12 2:21 PM

So sorry to hear this news, especially for nadline - what a disappointment. But at least it's only a virus.

alex , 12/25/12 4:02 PM




RickyDimon , 12/25/12 6:35 PM

Obviously his knees aren't ready. Expect his comeback to be at after Australian Open.

willmw101 , 12/25/12 7:44 PM


RickyDimon , 12/25/12 9:19 PM

Oh, you cynics. You better not be right ...

alex , 12/25/12 9:20 PM

I was on vb and there was information from those who were with Rafa to the effect that he is quite ill with this stomach virus.

I don't see any reason why Rafa would make up something as a reason to withdraw from Abu Dhabi. I think we should give Rafa credit.

I feel bad for nadline, because we all know how excited she was to see him.

Nativenewyorker , 12/25/12 10:49 PM

Ricky might be a cynic, but doesn't mean he's not correct.

CindiT , 12/25/12 11:56 PM

If his knees are still not OK, he would have said so and excuse himself from Abu Dhabi. There's no need for him to make up any other excuse, like he's sick, for example. If his knees are not ready, then he may even have to skip Doha, so why would he use sickness I/O of knees as an excuse then?

He'll be terribly short of match play when he plays at AO, poor guy. I wonder should be just skip the AO and concentrate on his clay season.

luckystar , 12/26/12 3:28 AM

How much more can his fans take???

I am so disappointed. Hotel booked and everything. I don't know what to think anymore. Was he ever going to be there? It makes you wonder if it was just a marketing ploy to have his name in the draw.

However, get well soon Rafa.

nadline , 12/26/12 6:43 AM

Rafa himself must be fedup with all these setbacks, it's just one thing after another.

nadline , 12/26/12 7:26 AM


I can understand your disappointment and Rafa must be very disappointed. But from the info on vb posted by people who saw him, they said that he was definitely very sick.

I agree with lucky in that Rafa would have no reason to make up some kind of sickness to skip a tournament. If his knees weren't okay, then he would just have withdrawn like he did for the other tournaments in the last few months.

It's going to make it difficult for him to be ready for the AO, that's for sure. He really needs match play.

When I came on here today and read this latest news, I almost could not believe it. But there's no way he should risk playing when he is sick after coming back from this long layoff.

I guess Rafa fans will have to be a bit more patient.

Nativenewyorker , 12/26/12 7:41 AM

If there's one guy who wouldn't pull out unless he absolutely had to, it's rafa.

How disappointing for nadline.

Lack of matchplay is not such a deal for oz as everyone's been off since November, so they're all in same boat, and this was only an exho after all.

alex , 12/26/12 11:47 AM

As long as he gets another tourny under his belt, then he can use first week of oz to iron out the glitches.

Amazing how easy it is to quickly lose confidence in a champ.

alex , 12/26/12 11:52 AM

^^^ Not so simple. He hasn't been training for a good five months, and just started training for less than a month. His fitness/stamina will be the first to be affected, followed by the execution of his shots. We can't compare that to those who have been competing and stop for a few weeks to rest and relax and then get back to training. They won't have any stamina problem to start with and execution of their games won't be a problem for them.

It may take him a few months to get back on track if his knees aren't giving him any problem. I just hope he'll be back on time for the clay season and defends all his titles there at least. If there's one thing I wish that Rafa can improve on, it's his serve. I hope he'll beef up his serves and earn many cheap points and ease the pressure on his body, that'll help him in the long run.

luckystar , 12/26/12 4:28 PM


I agree with this. Rafa hasn't played since June. The other players were competing right up until the WTF in London. So they will have some time off and then start practicing in preparation for the warmup tournaments leading up to the 2013 AO.

Rafa only just started practicing and training again. He will need time to get back his rhythm and timing. He is the kind of player who will suffer from lack of match play. Rafa will need to get back into top condition, while the other players will already be in good shape.

I also really agree about Rafa's serve. That has been my wish for a while now. I think having the ability to earn cheap points on his serve would ease the burden on his body.

Nativenewyorker , 12/26/12 9:06 PM

yes, I understand these things, just saying missing the dubai exho isn't what's going to make or break him for oz open. also trying to lift rafans' spirits, but there we go ...

alex , 12/27/12 12:32 AM


I really appreciate your sentiments! Thank you! I know that you were just trying to lift our spirits over this latest news. You have been so kind and supportive, like all of Andy's fans. It's wonderful that Rafa fans and Murray fans can support each other through the ups and downs of their favorite players.

On vb the heading is that Rafa has a stomach infection and fever. Sometimes traveling can cause you to pick up a bug. Maybe that's what happened with Rafa. I think Rafa fans have been tested with having to wait so long for him to come back. Now it just seems so unfair that something else has to prevent Rafa from playing.

Nativenewyorker , 12/27/12 2:42 AM

Yes, appreciate Alex's concern over Rafa and his fans.

NNY, I don't think we should worry much. Rafa will be back, and I want to see a 100% fit Rafa competing because he's awesome when playing at his best. As long as Rafa has the desire to come back and play tennis, I'll wait for him.

luckystar , 12/27/12 9:28 AM

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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