• Kooyong exho holding a spot for Nadal

    12/28/12 3:49 AM | Johan Lindahl
    Kooyong exho holding a spot for Nadal The AAMI Classic at Kooyong Club is holding a spot in the eight-man exhibition field open for Rafael Nadal after the Spaniard was forced by ill health to give up on plans to play this week in Abu Dhabi.

    Nadal could conceivably be a late entry into the pre-Australian Open exho in Melbourne at the former home of the Open until the late 1980s.

    Nadal was offered a spot in the field a month ago, but now the invite might have more resonance if the fourth-ranked Spaniard is ready to make a comeback to tennis after six months out with a left knee injury followed by the stomach virus and fever which forced him to pull the plug on Abu Dhabi.

    His appearance at next week's ATP start in Doha would appear also to be under a cloud.

    Kooyong boss Colin Stubs said a place in the field is being saved for Nadal right up until the last moment. "I'm sorry to hear that Rafa's plans for a return in Abu Dhabi are not as he wanted," he told local media. "We've not heard anything official but his management knows we are ready to help if we can.

    "I was speaking with his management a couple of months ago because I was feeling ... he might want a few matches coming into the Australian Open," added Stubs. Nadal last played in the Wimbledon second round in late June, where he lost to Czech Lukas Rosol.

    Even when announcing his intended comeback to the sport, the 11-time Grand Slam winner said that his only goal was to be fit by the spring clay season, the part of the year where he traditionally dominates.

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Come on, Rafa, everyone WANTS to see you on court!

Get Well Soon!

nadline , 12/28/12 8:43 AM

OUT of Doha

RickyDimon , 12/28/12 2:26 PM

Jon Wertheim tweeted that Nadal is out of Australia as well.

tj600 , 12/28/12 4:17 PM

Nadal OUT of Australian Open.

Obvious decision.

willmw101 , 12/28/12 4:24 PM

nadal out of AO.

Good year everyone. :D

bleck , 12/28/12 4:29 PM

Oh! Shit nadal out of AO

chenna21 , 12/28/12 4:31 PM

what is happening with Nadal...Is it the knee injury or the virus? AO will not be the same without Rafa or any of the top 4 for that matter. I was eagerly waiting for Rafa's come back...feeling sad now...

netcord , 12/28/12 4:31 PM

Bleck it will be a good year if you stop trolling like the pathetic moron you are.

willmw101 , 12/28/12 4:53 PM

Son cheer up.

I merely wanted to wish a Happy New Year to everyone.

Now go and wash off that hate, rage, anger and bitterness and be happy. :D

bleck , 12/28/12 5:17 PM

Take your own advice, moronic bleak!

jean , 12/28/12 5:36 PM

Crawl back under your slimy rock if that is your sincere wish of a happy new year

If you "merely wanted to wish a Happy New Year to everyone" after not contributing o this site for so long, you would have found a better way. Now on the other hand, if you merely wanted to troll...


Conspirator , 12/28/12 5:42 PM

Commiserations to all rafans that this whole thing's dragging on so long.

But no point setting his knee back again on the hard courts before the clay season. If he times things right, he should be fresh for a clean sweep on clay (as long a nole doesn't raise his game again), and an incredible th FO title.

Unfortunately, with his ranking starting to drift, muzz et al can expect to find him lurking in the shallow waters of the early rounds come the clay season:-(

alex , 12/28/12 6:33 PM

My number 'eight' key isn't working ... but I'm sure rafa's will be ;-)

alex , 12/28/12 6:36 PM

Missing the AO may be a blessing in disguise. By Feb, he would've rested his knees for a good eight months, which bode we'll for him and his tendinitis problem. I've said in the past that other than surgery, a good long rest of six to eight months would help Rafa's tendinitis problem. I'm sure that as long as there's no other complications, Rafa should be fine when he comes back to the tour. I don't understand why there's so much negative reactions and speculations all over the tennis forums about Rafa and his illness/injury.

People can speculate all they want but no one knows better than Rafa himself, so why not just wait patiently for his return? I've already expected him skipping the AO so I'm not that disappointed. Got to be realistic, how would he be ready for the AO with only a month or so practices after a long injury break? He might as well save himself for clay which is his surface, when he's like a fish back to the waters when he's on clay.

luckystar , 12/28/12 7:53 PM

I just came on here to get the news about Rafa. Unfortunately, there has to be a troll crawling out from hiding to spew out hatespeak. That is someone who wouldn't know how to wish anyone a happy New Year. It's just a chance to take a dig at Rafa and his fans! Pathetic! Bleck, get a life!

However, I am not as optimistic as lucky over this news. The longer Rafa postpones getting back on the court, the harder it will be for him to get back into form. I don't think staying out longer is a good thing. His ranking will drop and that will make it harder for him in the early rounds of tournaments.

Rafa needs to play tennis. Playing the waiting game isn't going to get it done. I cannot pretend that this is good news. Of course, I don't want Rafa to make the same mistake that he did when he continued to play at Doha in 2011. That was a disaster. So I am resigned to the fact that he can't play for a while longer.

I just can't be happy about it. I am concerned about how tough it's going to be when he finally does get back to playing.

Nativenewyorker , 12/29/12 2:37 AM

Don't worry about the rankings. When he's back, he'll play on clay. He said he may play some clay events before Acapulco, that may help him get his feet back on track and ready for the clay season. He may drop to no.6 in the rankings but he'll pick up points on clay at the SA swing, and why would he worry about who's he's facing on clay, as long as he's ready to play!

As long as there's no further complications, he should be fine when the clay season comes around; I'm positive about that. To me, it's better for him to start playing on clay rather than on hard courts, after such a long injury break, more so when he's having knee injury to start with.l

luckystar , 12/29/12 3:35 AM


I have enormous respect for your opinions and point of view. So it makes me feel a lot better to read your last post. I sincerely hope that you are right and this will all play out to Rafa's advantage.

I guess my disappointment at not seeing Rafa play, has gotten the better of me. He will lose 1200 points alone by not playing at the AO. I don't want to see him drop too much lower.

I am a pessimist by nature, but you have helped to provide some perspective. I know that you always say what you think and that you back up your opinions with fact and substance.

Thanks for having a clearer mind than me right now! :)

Nativenewyorker , 12/29/12 4:39 AM

Rafa will have a protected ranking after the Australian open wont he?

willmw101 , 12/29/12 7:36 PM

The protected ranking is only to qualify for entry into tournaments, not for seeding.

nadline , 12/29/12 8:01 PM

Seriously why worry about the ranking? After AO, he would have 5400 ranking points left. Unless Berdych or Delpo or Tsonga wins the AO, which means he'll become no.6; anyone else winning it, Rafa would be no.5. He could pick up points at the SA clay court swing and even if he loses points at IW/Miami, he could make up those points at Madrid red clay. I don't foresee him losing points during the clay court season, unless he's still not well physically. Thereafter, he can start picking up points at Halle, Wimbledon onwards while others are busy defending their points. It doesn't matter how he is seeded at Wimbledon, for if he can last till the second week, he's already gaining points. Rafa during the second week of Wimbledon, well I think others are more fearful of him than he being fearful of them! After Wimbledon, he's basically gaining points once he wins matches!

Unless Rafa can't get back to his competitive level, I don't see him having any problem getting back into top four. We just have to wait patiently for his return and see for ourselves how he'll do; we don't need to worry too much. Also just ignore those rumors flying around about Rafa and the reasons for his absence. When the time is right, Rafa will prove them wrong and set things straight.

luckystar , 12/30/12 12:45 AM


Thanks for this post! It made me feel much better. I thought for sure Rafa would drop out of the top five because of skipping the AO and those 1200 points he has to defend there. I didn't realize that he could still be #5, unless Berdy, Delpo or Tsonga wins the AO.

I am trying not to worry about the ranking but there are these gloom and doom scenarios on other tennis forums. Someone pointed out that Rafa cannot gain any points in the clay court season except at Madrid. But I didn't think about the SA clay court swing where Rafa can pick up points.

The only real concern is that Rafa is okay physically. If the knee is okay, then he can work himself back into good form. Of course, in the second half of the year he can only gain points and that's a good thing!

I think that I am going to stop reading other tennis forums. So much of it is just rumors and speculation. Rafa will have time to fully recover from this stomach bug and high fever and then get back to practicing again for competition.

Nativenewyorker , 12/30/12 9:54 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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