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  • Darcis sends Nadal crashing out of Wimbledon

    6/24/13 11:53 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Darcis sends Nadal crashing out of Wimbledon Rafael Nadal is out of Wimbledon in the first round after losing to Steve Darcis on Monday. Darcis is through in stunning fashion to a second-round meeting with Lukasz Kubot.

    There will be no Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal quarterfinal showdown at Wimbledon. In fact, there won't even be a Nadal sighting in the second round.

    The two-time champion went down to Steve Darcis 7-6(4), 7-6(8), 6-4 in a first-round stunner on Monday afternoon at the All-England Club. Nadal, who was shocked by Lukas Rosol in the last 64 in 2012, bowed out of the tournament in two hours and 55 minutes.

    "Good things today for me was not a lot of things good," Nadal explained. "I had my chances. I didn't make it. (It) is difficult to adapt yourself, to adapt your game (on grass). When you don't have the chance to play before...I didn't have that chance this year. I didn't find my rhythm."

    Darcis, on the other hand, found a rhythm that he had never before enjoyed throughout his 10-year professional career--not even when he reached a career-high ranking of No. 44 in the world in 2008. The Belgian came out firing and appeared to take control when he seized the match's first break at 5-5 in the opening set. Darcis failed to serve it out, but he won four of the ensuing tiebreaker's last five points and clinched set point at 6-4 with a forehand volley winner.

    Roles were partly reversed in the second frame of play, when Nadal broke at 5-5 then could not seal the deal in the 12th game. The world No. 5 was pushed to another tiebreaker in which he saved four set points (including three in a row starting at 3-6) and had a set point of his own at 8-7. Darcis fought it off on serve, held his next service point, then finally finished the job when Nadal sent a forehand just past the baseline.

    It was all but over when the fifth seed dropped serve to begin the third, winning only one point in the process. Whereas Darcis had simply outplayed his opponent in the first two sets, Nadal was a shadow of himself in set three. The French Open champion clearly struggled with a knee issue, but Darcis kept his foot firmly on the pedal. Darcis saved one break point at 4-3 before serving out the match at 5-4 in impressive fashion.

    "It's one of the greatest win that I have," assured the world No. 135, who upset Tomas Berdych at last summer's Olympics for his only other Top 10 scalp. "It was a great match from the start to the end. Of course, you don't beat Nadal if he's playing his best tennis."

    Next up for Darcis is Lukasz Kubot, a straight-set winner over Igor Andreev.



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Comments

OUCH!!!

grafight , 6/25/13 1:37 AM


Darcis was very clever with the low slices and he can transition to the net better than nadal.The fresh grass helps the more skilled players.

stratocast51 , 6/25/13 1:37 AM


And that, is what makes this sport, and many others, so compelling... predictions can go out the window as fast as they are made...

A major shocker, unfortunate turn of events for rafa fans.

aegis , 6/25/13 1:47 AM


I don't see why this result is so shocking to everybody else? In 2005 Nadal lost to Muller. In 2006 he was 2 sets down to Robbie Kendrick before winning in 5. In 2007 he was 2 sets down against Youzhny before winning in 5, went 5 with Sod and Gulbis. In 2010 he was 2-1 down in sets to Haase and Petzschner before winning. Then last year he lost to Rosol in 5. He's struggled more often than not in the early rounds. I don't even think Darcis played that great. Certainly Rosol's game was more explosive last year. Nadal is burnt out from over-playing this year. His never-say-die effort has caught up with him, playing the maximum amount of matches in a very short period of time on the most physical surface. I was hoping Fed would be the one to take him out but he was more mentally fried than I anticipated. Some of the Nadal fans here were so arrogant, the opposite of Nadal himself, saying he would win this, beat Fed,etc. I hope this teaches them some humility. The h2h with the top ten doesn't matter when you can't advance far enough to play them on surfaces other than clay. Nadal and his team will never learn with regards to the scheduling and over-playing. This was the tournament where he was supposed to prove that he is the GOAT. Abysmal failure. Nobody in their right mind thought he was the GOAT besides on clay. Thankfully tennis is more than clay. Now we get to watch the shot makers and thirty somethings like Rusty, Fed and Haas show the younger guys how to play on grass.

chr18 , 6/25/13 3:17 AM


chr18,

Have you ever heard of paragraphs? Good grief! From someone of your education, I am really surprised at the above post. Also, when it comes to being full of yourself and arrogant about your guy's chances, just keep in mind what you said about Rafa fans. It applies to you and other Fed fans.

Take your own advice. That would be a first.

Nativenewyorker , 6/25/13 4:08 AM


I have to admit I never would have guessed this was coming, yet I suppose that's the nature of sport. Condolences to Rafa fans. I truly wish we could have witnessed another Rafa-Roger grass court battle. Likely it would not have blazed quite as brightly into the history books but I miss their spirited and competitive matches, back when they were so titanic. Hopefully the stars will eventually align and another is in our future. I can only hope!
All the very best to Rafa, and I hope he overcomes this disappointment in suitably ferocious manner after this tournament has finished. I'm not sure of the status regarding his knees but hopefully everything's okay and this was just a freak occurrence.
Oh, and I almost forgot to express admiration for Darcis. That was marvelously played.

Champion7 , 6/25/13 4:42 AM


nadal was the most vulnerable in early rounds when grass is lush. second week of wimbledon ~ roland garros surface.

rfzr , 6/25/13 6:16 AM


The h2h with the top ten doesn't matter when you can't advance far enough to play them on surfaces other than clay.
chr18
, 6/25/13 3:17 AM

You clearly dont know what you talking aout right. Have you forgotten 2008-2011 where he made it to semis n finals of all HC n grass tourneys . Dont talk rubbish.

Just coz he took a break of 7 months last year or got out in 1st round this year at Wimby, does not men he does not make it far on non clay surfaces.

Infact it is Fed who did not make it far to face Rafa all around 2008-2011

eg 2010 Wimby
2010 USO
2011 USO
2011 Wimby

Rafa was well there waiting for Fed, he lost his matches and did not keep the date with Rafa. Next time check ur facts properly.

sanju , 6/25/13 6:18 AM


NNY - Please keep feeding us reports from VB on Rafas knee/health.

sanju , 6/25/13 6:21 AM


"The h2h with the top ten doesn't matter when you can't advance far enough to play them on surfaces other than clay.
chr18
, 6/25/13 3:17 AM "


Well said Chr18. A great example is Davydenko. He is 6-5 against nadal and i think he played nadal only thrice on clay. Guess how many times nole has played? 16 out of 35. Murray, who sucks on clay played rafa 3 times. Federer, Nole and Ferrer who are the top 3 clay courters of last decade have played rafa 15, 16 and 15 times respectively.

Unfortunately rafatards' brains are not equipped to process math and numbers. On a surface that hosts only 25% of common tournaments, Nole has played rafa almost close to 50%!

Since 2011 - Nole has made all semis. Rafa, well hasn't made many semis and whenever he met nole outside clay - got whupped 5-0.

H2Hs against rafa are very misleading because rafa is a one surface pony, something that was made crystal clear to everyone except blind rafatards, today.

Darceed in 2013!

JamesDjokovicFan , 6/25/13 6:27 AM


Well he has made all he played from 2011 except the 2 Wimby shocks. God knows what pleasure people get by concoting facts, its laughable.

Rafa has won 12 slams, been finalist 5 times and been in semis 3 times, so thats his showing for 20 slams and only 8 are clay, 12 are non clay. What are people even talking here..geez..

If 12 out of his 20 slams having semi+ showing are non clay, how can anyone even say he does not make it far , no logic whatsoever.

sanju , 6/25/13 7:12 AM


sanju,

I have been on vb trying to get some information. There are a few things that have come out, but are not confirmed. I hesitate to post anything without vetting the information. There are tweets that were posted to indicate that all was not well with Rafa in his practices.

It's interesting that the commentators on the tennis channel replay of the match were discussing Rafa's poor movement. Martina Navratilova said that Rafa wasn't moving well, no rhythm with his shots and that he just didn't seem confident as to his shot selection. Jim Courier brought up when Rafa announced that he wouldn't be playing in Halle right after he beat Nole in the semis at RG. He seems to think that this was an indication that maybe the knee wasn't okay.

I am wondering if back-to-back slams was just too much for Rafa after having been off for seven months. RG was his first slam in a year and it might have taken a lot out of him.

If I get some credible information, then I will let you know. There are people on that site who are pretty well connected and those who live in Spain and know the websites.

Finally, I just want to thank you for posting stats and facts to back up Rafa's record. It's important to counter the lies and distortions that are being posted.

Nativenewyorker , 6/25/13 7:20 AM


NNY..its okay I think you should post. Its better to take negative news upfront rather than have high expectations and later get a shock. Can you please post what has been written in VB?

Rafa has had 3 career threatening injuries - foot in 2005, knee in 2009 n knee again in 2012. It is to his credit n amazing willpower that he managed to get back and win . I just hope it finally doesnt exasperate him because you can fight your body n injury only to a extent, if it hampers you from being competitive which Rafa always aspires to be, not sure what Rafa's mind is going through now, esp with Toni saying its back to scratch again with the injury.

sanju , 6/25/13 7:34 AM


Nativenewyorker , 6/25/13 7:34 AM


NNY - Any news , tweets, comments on remainder of the season?

sanju , 6/25/13 7:36 AM


I am going to take it 1 match at a time now on for Rafa. I hope for the best for him. The Wimbledon shocker and now that it is clear he was injured whereas it was never made known before that he actually had bum knees after the 5 month non stop playing is very sad. This has happened now 2 years in a row.

sanju , 6/25/13 7:51 AM


sanju,

No, there is nothing about the remainder of the season. I don't know why we were told that Rafa had a good report from his doctor after RG. I don't know what to think. If the knee was still a problem, then I wish that Rafa had withdrawn from Wimbledon. He shouldn't put himself through these kinds of matches where it's clear that he isn't able to play his best.

I am taking a break for a while, but if I hear any news then I will come back and post it.

Nativenewyorker , 6/25/13 8:11 AM


Excellent take on Rafa by 3 players

Boris Becker, three-time Wimbledon champion
"This is a big, big shock. Nadal has come back from injury so strongly this year but he was playing mainly on clay. Grass is very different compared to the other surfaces. Your movement is different and you have to have healthy legs because you're changing direction, you're slipping and sliding.


One of Nadal?s biggest strengths is his return of serve. In the French Open final against David Ferrer, Nadal made 92% of all returns and only missed six in the whole match. However, this particular aspect of his game let him down against Darcis. He only made 71% of his returns, which allowed Darcis to receive a large amount of free points on his serve.
"Even though he won all those tournaments, Nadal had been struggling somewhat with the knee and I always thought he might struggle at Wimbledon this year. I almost thought that he should contemplate not playing because he was out for a long time and you shouldn't underestimate it.

"Early on in the match I thought, 'This isn't the Nadal I've seen in Paris, this isn't the Nadal that won Rome'. Credit to Darcis; he took his chance, played aggressively, wasn't afraid, went for the groundstrokes and went for the serve. He kept his composure, wasn't getting too nervous, wasn't getting too crazy out there and and ended up achieving something you don't do every day.

"In a way, maybe it's a good thing for Nadal because if he had been knocked out in, say, the fourth round or quarter-finals it would have put a lot of strain on the legs. Now he has a few more days and weeks off and he can think about his schedule for the rest of the year.

"Nadal wasn't confident in his movement - normally that's his best part. He wasn't confident, he was hitting a lot of unforced errors and I was wondering, 'Why is he making these errors? The ball was there!'. Then I observed a bit better and noticed his foot placement wasn't the way it normally is, especially when he had to move. When he was set, he was good. But when he had to move, he wasn't the same and he didn't have that solid base he had on the clay.

"If you have a knee problem, grass is the worst surface. Hard courts are not as bad because you have a firm position, you can put your foot down and stand up to hit the ball - the bounce is higher so you don't have to bend as low. I wouldn't worry about Nadal playing on hard courts or indoors, but I always thought grass was an issue.

"In terms of his whole career, he has answered the questions. He won the French Open and, in my opinion, is the player of the year so far. He is surrounded by great people and I'm not going to suggest anything to him but, from an outside point of view, he definitely has to reconsider his future on grass."

Tim Henman, former world number four

This graphic illustrates where Darcis hit all his shots throughout the match. Unlike the majority of Nadal?s opponents who get lulled into hitting 65-70% of their shots to the Spaniard?s backhand side, Darcis placed his shots intelligently with an even spread going to both his opponent?s forehand and backhand.
"It's a huge surprise but, for me, as big a surprise was to see him struggling with his knee because he's played nine tournaments this year - winning seven - and he's just come off winning his eighth Roland Garros. You can't do that if you're not fit.

"To see him struggle makes me wonder whether grass actually puts a bit more stress on his patella tendon, with maybe a bit more bending. Only Rafa knows if grass is a problem, but most of us would have thought that grass, being softer, was perhaps a little bit more helpful. Maybe that isn't the case.

"I tend not to want to speculate on these things. Rafa's pretty up front and honest, and I'm sure in the weeks and months ahead we'll find out a bit more.

"It shows the strength in depth of men's tennis at the moment and we should focus on Darcis's performance, it was phenomenal. There were definitely a few question marks about Rafa being seeded five, but not many people would have said this was a particularly tricky draw and he lost."

Mark Petchey, former British number one
Darcis versus Nadal in numbers
?
?"It's obviously a shock, but it does show that grass is a pretty unique surface to move on and you need a bit of time to adjust. Coming back after the break he had - and the emotion of winning his eighth title at Roland Garros - perhaps meant he didn't have time to recuperate or get himself as match fit as he would have liked to have been in.

"The ball doesn't bounce off the court in the first week at Wimbledon in the same way it does in the second, when things harden up a little bit. So there is always a chance for a lower-ranked guy to make an impression and, as good as he is on the surface, I'd still make the argument that this is his 'weakest'.

"It's one of those unfortunate periods of the year where, if you're as good on clay as he is, the turnaround for you is always going to be that much shorter. He is going to be in better shape from 2015, when there will be an extra week's gap to prepare for Wimbledon.

"I still feel he will win a Grand Slam outside of Roland Garros. It's very easy to jump to conclusions, as people did it about Roger Federer before he broke Pete Sampras's record - and look where he is now. The great players find a way to overcome obstacles and adversity, and it shows to us mere mortals just how good they are."

sanju , 6/25/13 8:25 AM


ESPN's Brad Gilbert agreed.

"It's a lot healthier on his body playing on clay than hardcourt," he said.

What's become clear is that it is becoming more difficult for Nadal to transition quickly from clay to grass, even though he won the French Open and Wimbledon back-to-back in 2008 and 2010.

The lower bounce on grass puts more stress on the knee since it forces players to bend down and up repeatedly.

"I don't think it's actually length of his schedule at that time of the year," Tennis Channel's Rennae Stubbs said of his busy spring. "Grass puts much more pressure on your quads. It is a really hard transition for somebody with knee problems."

sanju , 6/25/13 8:36 AM


I heard that Rafa could rise to no .4 if the Fed fails to reach the finals. Talk about the rankings. You win RG,you go to no .5 and you could go to no.4 despite losing in the first round

vmk1 , 6/25/13 9:27 AM


vmk1 - He has to lose in semis, if he goes to final, he still retains Top 4 by slender lead. He is currently 845 points ahead of Rafa, if he makes final, he loses 800, so he will be ahead of Rafa by 45 + 35 = 80 points. However OLympics points will anyway drop (400) and he will then go down.

sanju , 6/25/13 9:49 AM


Commiserations to all Rafa fans and to all general fans of tennis. Wimbledon will lose a bit of excitement now that rafa is gone.
However, the tournament goes on and hope the remaining top 3 reach the semis and give us some exciting matches.

The next few days will give us a clearer picture as to the state of Rafa's health.
Stay strong Rafa fans!

atul1985 , 6/25/13 10:06 AM


Rafa had an inspired opponent compared to the gimme that Fed had in Hanescu. I'm sure Rafa will bounce back, only he knows why he didn't play well. So far he's achieved so much this year, and I look forward to the rest of the year.

It would be very sad if he had to take more injury time out.



#Vamos Rafa

nadline , 6/25/13 10:20 AM


The question to ask is how much did his knee really bother him.
I didn't see the whole match, was his movement cleary impeded from the start or was it something that started to develop as the match went along?
We were told that he was physically fine prior to Wimby so, were we lied to?
I'm very confused about all this.
I hope he recovers from this and doesn't retire from tennis, it would be very sad to lose Rafa.

#Vamos Rafa

Shireling , 6/25/13 10:55 AM


Well, if Nadal's knee isn't 100% on grass, then there's no way it will be on hard-courts. Luckily he has 6 weeks off until Canada.

tj600 , 6/25/13 11:15 AM


Nadal has said that he's definitely playing USO, so that's good. At least they aren't thinking of an operation (yet).

Shireling , 6/25/13 11:32 AM


tj600
, 6/25/13 11:15 AM


tj600, read comments of Boris, Tim, Patrick (Serenas coach) either above or on another thread - all players or knowledgeable people . All are of opinion that grass is tougher on people with bum knees than HC as you have to bend a lot to reach the ball as there is no much high bounce n ball stays low, hence lot of added pressure on quads.

Rafa himself mentioned it in his presser that as of today due to his knees, grass is toughest surface for him in 1st week and mainly as he has to transition very quick from clay to grass

It is an education for all of us, go and read the comments above. It questions the very theory that HC is tougher on knees than grass

sanju , 6/25/13 11:35 AM


This was a shocking result, indeed. It may sound strange, but I am not happy because Rafa leaves the stage so early.

Commiserations to Rafa fans. Hopefully, his knee is in good shape and if it's bugging him, he'll have ample time to address it until the HC season starts. I guess we'll see how the season progresses. The first part (of Rafa's season) was nothing short of amazing.

danica , 6/25/13 11:35 AM


We were told that he was physically fine prior to Wimby so, were we lied to?
Shireling , 6/25/13 10:55 AM

Rafa did not categorically said so but i think he has hinted about it, if we can only read between the lines in his interviews...

phoenix , 6/25/13 11:41 AM


thx for the kind words danica. The best of luck for Novak, he has a very good chance of winning Wimby but, one match at a time.
So... now it turns out,according to the experts, that grass is harder on the knees, Well, couldn't they have said so before yesterday's match? I mean, we've been told all along that hard courts are awful for the joints whereas grass, being softer, is mor lenient and all of sudden, after this match, it turns out that it's not.

I'm quite annoyed at all this, really. I think Rafa has to serioulsy re-think his plan from now on. Is he to just skip Wimbledon alltogether now?

Shireling , 6/25/13 11:46 AM


danica
, 6/25/13 11:35 AM

What are your prediction for Wimby? Usually you share, hence asking.

sanju , 6/25/13 12:02 PM


Sanju,
I don't know. Honestly. Federer has a clear path to the semis. Andy has Tsonga to deal with, and Nole has three players in his half who already beat him on the Wimbledon grass (Haas, Berdych, DelPo during the OG). I don't see Ferrer reaching the semis - his best result was QF last year and he usually don't perform well on grass. I wish I could say that Nole would win, but I am somehow feeling that the winner is coming from the Andy/Roger corner. Just a hunch, nothing more.
What do you think?

danica , 6/25/13 12:13 PM


...he usually doESn't perform...
(sorry, 3.15am here and my brain works on minimum capacity :) )

danica , 6/25/13 12:16 PM


Nadline, the gimme that Fed had in Hanescu? Give Roger some credit, just for once! You trying to say he didn't play well? Hanescu made 85% of first serves! At 6"6 he's hardly rolling it in and he won 5 games! I watched the whole match as it was only an hour. Fed conceded 1 point on serve in the final set, had 6 unforced errors the whole match and hit 37 winners. Hanescu rolled over!? No, he was just demolished, plain and simple.

brothdog , 6/25/13 12:19 PM


This is not clay why are people surprised.LOL

Lobo , 6/25/13 12:22 PM


OMG sooo sorry for Rafa and his fans :(

deuce , 6/25/13 12:23 PM


Lobo has AIDS

Zaare , 6/25/13 12:24 PM


well, at least us Rafans are not saying that he tanked Wimby thinking of something else or that grass is a lesser surface.
Awful result for Rafa, made worse by last year's precedence. I have no idea what must be going through Rafa's head today: disbelief, dissapointmet, disheartened, relief...?

Shireling , 6/25/13 12:29 PM


danica - I feel if the Roger Andy match is a 5 setter and intense , Novak wins

If the Andy/Roger match gets over within 4 sets and under 3 hours, Andy/Fed win it.

Andy and Fed HAVE to reach semis. If either of them trip n fall, well be robbed of a very exciting semi

sanju , 6/25/13 12:46 PM


Shireling
, 6/25/13 12:29 PM

Def disappointment not coz he lost, its coz his knees gave in gain and he will have to start all over aain. Also maybe relief that he can just take 4 weeks off now n get a well deserved rest.

sanju , 6/25/13 12:49 PM


I never expected Nadal to win Wimbledon but expected him to reach the Quarter Finals

tennis2011 , 6/25/13 1:04 PM


I'd like to hear it from someone how Rafa played against Nisikhori and how he trained at Wimby with Pico. Any limping there?

Shireling , 6/25/13 1:53 PM


Rafa has said (allegedly) that if he played against Darcis it was because he thought he could win. From this I gather that he was not limping prior to the match.

Shireling , 6/25/13 1:58 PM


Nishikori, seeded 12 here and who was beaten by Nadal days ago in an exhibition match on grass is trashing Ebden in straight sets. What the hell happened between this match and Darcis'?

Shireling , 6/25/13 3:10 PM


Boris becker's assessment of the match :

This is a big, big shock. Nadal has come back from injury so strongly this year but he was playing mainly on clay. Grass is very different compared to the other surfaces. Your movement is different and you have to have healthy legs because you're changing direction, you're slipping and sliding.

Early on in the match I thought, 'This isn't the Nadal I've seen in Paris, this isn't the Nadal that won Rome'. Credit to Darcis; he took his chance, played aggressively, wasn't afraid, went for the groundstrokes and went for the serve. He kept his composure, wasn't getting too nervous, wasn't getting too crazy out there and and ended up achieving something you don't do every day.

"In a way, maybe it's a good thing for Nadal because if he had been knocked out in, say, the fourth round or quarter-finals it would have put a lot of strain on the legs. Now he has a few more days and weeks off and he can think about his schedule for the rest of the year.

"Nadal wasn't confident in his movement - normally that's his best part. He wasn't confident, he was hitting a lot of unforced errors and I was wondering, 'Why is he making these errors? The ball was there!'. Then I observed a bit better and noticed his foot placement wasn't the way it normally is, especially when he had to move. When he was set, he was good. But when he had to move, he wasn't the same and he didn't have that solid base he had on the clay.
"If you have a knee problem, grass is the worst surface. Hard courts are not as bad because you have a firm position, you can put your foot down and stand up to hit the ball - the bounce is higher so you don't have to bend as low. I wouldn't worry about Nadal playing on hard courts or indoors, but I always thought grass was an issue.
"In terms of his whole career, he has answered the questions. He won the French Open and, in my opinion, is the player of the year so far. He is surrounded by great people and I'm not going to suggest anything to him but, from an outside point of view, he definitely has to reconsider his future on grass."

vamosrafa , 6/25/13 3:53 PM


Tim henman's assessment :

"It's a huge surprise but, for me, as big a surprise was to see him struggling with his knee because he's played nine tournaments this year - winning seven - and he's just come off winning his eighth Roland Garros. You can't do that if you're not fit.
"To see him struggle makes me wonder whether grass actually puts a bit more stress on his patella tendon, with maybe a bit more bending. Only Rafa knows if grass is a problem, but most of us would have thought that grass, being softer, was perhaps a little bit more helpful. Maybe that isn't the case.
"I tend not to want to speculate on these things. Rafa's pretty up front and honest, and I'm sure in the weeks and months ahead we'll find out a bit more.

vamosrafa , 6/25/13 3:58 PM


thx vamorafa but sanju already posted this (sanju , 6/25/13 8:25 AM).
I just want to know whether this was bad decision making from Nadal camp, bad luck or just a bad day at the office for Rafa.

Shireling , 6/25/13 5:21 PM


GASH

Zaare , 6/25/13 5:45 PM


He has lost in the first round for the first time. He does not look the player he once was. He does not look capable of doing what he did in his hey days. People say - ?they don?t come back?. They are replaced with new heroes who have fresher mind, unsaturated capabilities to strive towards their personal perfection. His tennis shots are not worse than what they were, but his athletic prowess has sharply declined. His tennis strength went on with his superior athleticism. Declining athleticism has exposed his tennis limitations. It is my personal view that playing with the wrong hand has failed his serve. Unnatural lefthandedness did help him in collecting more and more G.S majors at the expense of Federer. His top spin forehand proved so effective in his prime that he did not develop his backhand,his slice, his volley with the result that he had to run around his backhand to hit a forehand. All this has come to haunt him now that Federer?s single handed weakness against his top spin is not shared by others. And he cannot run around his backhand without leaving the forehand corner exposed. The coaches and backboard teams have studied his weakness starting from his losses to Djokovic in 2011.

eskay , 6/25/13 7:42 PM


I watched the last two sets of this match. He was not fit enough for a competitive match and definitely not on fast, slippery grass. The result only reflects that had it not been Nadal, the score would have looked horrible. It is one of the most unfortunate thing for the player and the tour ahead. Injuries had robbed so many before and will continue to do so in future. Hope he recovers well and returns stronger to the tour. I don't think anybody is rejoicing this , not Roger, not Andy, not Djokovich or for that matter anybody. A tour and every tourney without Nadal will always be less interesting.

newfangkc , 6/25/13 8:10 PM


Rafa has a history of injuries

His congenital problem lies in his ankle and was diagnosed in 2005. Nadal family had to make a choice between living a healthy life or having him pursue what he was excellent at.
Special shoes were designed, special trainings were conducted and they said that they could extract a couple of more years by shifting the pressure from ankle to heel and back.
Rafa continued without much issues till 2009 and then the Knee started giving way?. Shoe design was improved, his rigorous training was made lean and they hoped to extract a few more years.
Rafa continued till 2012?..knee complicated further and he had to take a break of arnd 7 months?..training duration was further cut down and relaxed.
Rafa came back in 2013 and lost just 2 match out of 45 to conquer the FO yet again and win 7 tourneys ?. made some records on the way.

Yesterday again the knee didn?t look good???.. its part of parcel of his tennis career..has happened thrice seriously before..better to accept it.

Also folks just 2 weeks back we were singing hosanas about hm and what a comeback, just coz he lost (which ofcourse he was not fit) means its suddenly all downhill 4 him.

sanju , 6/25/13 8:12 PM


John McEnroe: Rafael Nadal is the best ever, even with a first-round Wimbledon loss


?This guy is to me, I think you can make an argument right here and now, the greatest player that ever lived. If you look at his record against [Andy] Murray, [Roger] Federer, and [Novak] Djokovic, it?s way better than that. He won the Olympics. He?s got Davis Cups, which Roger doesn?t have. I have always said Roger Federer to me was the greatest player that ever lived, certainly the most beautiful player. But I?m going to tell you right here and now there?s a definite argument, I?m starting to lean toward Rafa.?

sanju , 6/25/13 8:39 PM


Andy Murray : Dont write off Rafa

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/tennis/23035934

Rafans : Have faith

sanju , 6/25/13 8:40 PM


Uncle tony fucks the rafa mam in the ass . They just mustnot let Rafa know about it otherwise he loses passion.

seventeen, 6/23/13 6:55 PM

phoenix , 6/25/13 9:07 PM


sanju, reapply appreciate your efforts to share all this :) loved the mcenroe part

vamosrafa , 6/25/13 10:04 PM


really*

vamosrafa , 6/25/13 10:10 PM


Just sad Zaare LOL

Lobo , 6/25/13 10:44 PM


sanju
, 6/25/13 8:12 PM

this post of yours says all the relevant information and very clearly

We heard from Rafa back in February / March that he was playing with some pain in the knees and that hopefully it was going to come down further. Since then he has not alluded to it anymore (that I know of), but it's always been on my mind that he probably is always playing with some pain in the knee or knees.

As you wrote he and his family made a deliberate choice in 2005 to pay the price of injuries and possible chronic pain post-career so he could enjoy flying so high at what he does best. The song Touched by the Sun by Carly Simon is one of the best to explain why someone would make this kind of choice.

I have been surprised, really surprised, several times of the last few years at how much Rafa and everyone around him have managed to work out solutions to both improve his tennis skills and prolong his tennis career, and how much he was willing to endure for this, and fight on court. Any less and you would not have seen the successes of the last 5 months, or even the first Wimbie crown in 08, the Aussie crown in 09, the USO crown in 10.

Each year that goes by we know the end is nearer... but it is not here yet. Perhaps grass is no longer in Rafa's future, or perhaps he will find a way to make it work next summer.

What someone wrote here.... the day Rafa can no longer be really competitive he will probably resign. But from everything we've seen from him and his team... that day is not soon. Many more things will be tried if needed to prolong his career. How his knees will hold up on hardcourt will be good to see. If the knee is not particularly hurt the two upcoming hardcourt seasons should be more or less OK. Then there will the 2014 claycourt season again to look forward to.

chlorostoma , 6/25/13 11:13 PM


NNY - Please keep feeding us reports from VB on Rafas knee/health.
sanju, 6/25/13 6:21 AM

Why don't you just go to that website and see for yourself?

ts38 , 6/25/13 11:26 PM


ts38
, 6/25/13 11:26 PM


Why dont u rather skip the posts that NNY will post if you dont wanna read them?

sanju , 6/26/13 5:07 AM


chlorostoma
, 6/25/13 11:13 PM

Yes they will try it all to adjust and play. It is giving me hope to read from experts that HC will be less stressful on the knee (atleast outdoor HC where ball does not stay low). I feel Rafa will play the HC season but may restrict to 4-5 tourneys only this year. My guess is Montreal/USO/China/Shanghai and 1 of Basel/WTF

sanju , 6/26/13 5:11 AM


vamosrafa, here are the links you asked for:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0PAbl3H fLhc#at=137
McEnroe ? Rafa is the GOAT

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ePd-8sq Abg0#at=47
McEnroe: Rafa is still the greatest even after the loss to Darcis


nadline , 6/26/13 8:37 AM


@sanju,

Ignore that idiot! Don't worry! I will make sure to keep you updated. I already heard that Rafa took anti-inflammatories before the match. They did not say infiltrations. It sounds like pills.

Rafa is scheduled to play at the Rogers Cup in Montreal. As far as we know, he is planning to play at the USO. But we will have to wait and see. Some of the people on vb know the Spanish websites and can get information from there.

I will only come back to provide any info that I can get from vb. You don't need to go there or register. I have no problem whatsoever keeping you updated.

I see you are hanging in there. Good for you! Take care and I will post when there is any, and I mean any, info about Rafa. :)

Nativenewyorker , 6/26/13 9:01 AM


I've been reading articles about his game against Nishikori at the Hurligham cup days before his match with Darcis, where Nadal won in two tight tie-breaking sets, and I can't find any reference to limping or knee problem.
Nobody here, except the haters, want to admit that, knee problems aside (which obviously exist) Rafa's worries in Wimbledon are also mental.
Now, I don't know why he would have such problems just as I don't understand either how he can start so dubitative in the first week of RG. If the knees are causing all these problems, well then I say 'ok' but it just doesn't add up. Why would he be doubting at RG's first week when he came from winning so many previous tournaments and why, having shaken the first minute nerves would he be so doubtful against Darcis, he's a five-time finalist for pete's sake!
I'm just saying that there is a pattern which is building up now in Rafa, a pessimistic one at that and it is a pitty that this congenital chronic problem of his is conditioning him in that way.
I for one would like to see him coming out all guns firing from day one. If you're competitive enough to play more matches than anyone else on the tour then I just don't get this tentative, self-destructing modus operandi of his. He can't afford to be like this anymore and I wish U. Tony would imprint a more aggressive, spiteful if you will, attitude in the way he approaches early matches.
I'm not talking about his second-week matches because there he clearly shows all his capacity.

Shireling , 6/26/13 10:41 AM


Rafa the clay GOAT, nothing more.

brothdog , 6/26/13 11:30 AM


^^In being the `Clay GOAT` he is the only GOAT we have in my view.

however;

`Some of the Nadal fans here were so arrogant, the opposite of Nadal himself, saying he would win this, beat Fed,etc. I hope this teaches them some humility..`

Got to admit that this is spot on, the presumptuousness of many of the even non tard nadal fans here is breathtaking, it would be in their best interests to temper their expectations going on from here somewhat,
Or maybe even `morewhat`.

Twinge , 6/26/13 11:42 AM


Agreed Twinge, it's gone awfully quiet. Losing 2nd round last year then 1st round this year affects Rafa's legacy massively i'm afraid. With all respect to Darcis, 135 in the world!? You just can't beat Fed if you bum out 1st round i'm afraid. They were all sooooo arrogant. Just goes to show making 36 qf in a row is not to be sniffed at. Consistency, longevity count a lot, that's where Fed is the master. All surfaces for 9 years to the last 8.

RITB and Nadline have nothing to say, strange, they usually won't shut up. Like you say, maybe this will teach them a lesson. Rafa will never win a slam outside RG again. In fact he might not even make the 2nd week.

brothdog , 6/26/13 11:55 AM


^^Apparently there has been an exodus due to the filth etc.
Somehow I think if Rafa was still playing they would all be here, filth or not.
Pity, a couple of them (although not all of them) I will definitely miss...
Although I'm sure it won't be long before they are all back...

Twinge , 6/26/13 12:10 PM


Rafa will never win a slam outside RG again. In fact he might not even make the 2nd week.
brothdog
, 6/26/13 11:55 AM

Thanks for your precious crystal ball gazing talent that you are enriching us with. Make sure you are around if you are proven wrong and dont disappear ;-)

And yeah your idol has won just 2 slams out of the past 14 , tats far more absymal, give it a thought too before u talk about how awful Rafa is. If Rafa is awful, Roger has bee even worse in the past 5.5 years. Going by results of past 5.5 years (2008 onwards) , Roger is clearly 3rd best behind Rafa and Novak going by slam titles, Masters + WTF finals and ATP titles too

Count the slams won by Rafa(9 slams - 4 off clay ), Novak(6), Fed(5) in that period
The big Masters 1000 + WTF titles (15 Rafa, 14 Novak , 9 Roger )
Total number of titles (34 Rafa with 10 outside clay , 30 Novak, 24 Roger)

in the ATP site .

Wake up and smell the stats before we make blatant statements

sanju , 6/26/13 12:34 PM


I'm always around sanju don't worry. Thanks for that information, my idol is nearly 32 years of age with over 1100 matches behind him. It's a testament to his fitness, quality, longevity, skill, stamina that he can even hang with these 26/27 year old monsters in Andy and Novak and Rafa. They should be blowing him away every time. But he still holds his own. Rafa won't be able to walk at 32 the way hes going, let alone be top 3 in the world.

These boy's are not even Fed's era, 6 years is a lifetime in tennis. He dominated his era and is still showing the youngsters how to ply with style and grace. Not just bludgeoning the ball as hard as they can. It's boring to watch. When Fed retires there will be a void that is impossible to fill. No one will miss Rafa's boring, grinding tedious style of just out lasting your opponent. It's just the way it is.

brothdog , 6/26/13 1:04 PM


It's a testament to his fitness, quality, longevity, skill, stamina - brothdog
, 6/26/13 1:04 PM




Agree he has managed it beautifully. I always think had Rafa enjoyed Rogers good health n injury free body, he would have achieved unparalleled laurels. But then Roger is natural and Rafa is the fierce, intense one and hence 1 is injury free and other is injury prone.

No one will miss Rafa's boring, grinding tedious style of just out lasting your opponent. It's just the way it is. -brothdog
, 6/26/13 1:04 PM




You will not mis it, dont speak for others, speak for yourself. Dont let your Rafa hate engulf you so much. Rafa has millions of fans around the world and they will miss every moment of him. I am sure the Fed fans will want to c him quit right here right now.

They should be blowing him away every time. But he still holds his own.
brothdog
, 6/26/13 1:04 PM




You will make every statement to make Fed look good and twist every statement at that :-). Its okay if he loses but hes not being blown off court, hes giving them a fight and hence his 3rd best performance in last 6 years is acceptable . You all call him the GOAT right, why would he get blown off?

Rafa won't be able to walk at 32 the way hes going - brothdog
, 6/26/13 1:04 PM


Dont worry about Rafa, he will be fine ;-)

Net net if Roger is awful in a match - its coz he is 32, Roger goes 10 months without a title-its coz he is 32 , Roger has 3rd best stats 2008 onwards - its coz hes older than the others . Net net what you think of Roger, I bet even Roger does not think of himself :-)

Just ease the Rafa hate and maybe you wll be able to appreciate his stellar achievements.

Oh and last but not the least maybe You are more knowledgeable and your words have more weightage than Mcenroe, Borg, Martina, Becker and countless others who have sung hosanas in honour of Rafa.

sanju , 6/26/13 1:22 PM


I see that brothDOG is on a rampage getting loose with his stats thinking that Rafans have left. Don't you worry, I will always be around to dance on Feds carcass anytime soon.

phoenix , 6/26/13 1:40 PM


I like you sanju, you talk a lot of sense. I am fully aware of rafas accomplishments. I don't hate rafa, it's impossible to do that. He is a true champion no doubt. A likeable character. I have tries many times to watch and enjoy his tennis, but its something I just cannot do. His never give up attitude is why he's had to take these injury time outs it is a shame for his fans.

It's just the rafans on here wind me up and there only argument is the 20 - 10. It gets a little old to be honest. It just does not diminish what federer has achieved, unparalleled success. Rafa is rogers cryptonyte no doubt. But just like superman, fed will always come out on top in the end because of what he has records. Nadal has the record for ATP ranking at no2. Federer, no1. That will never change.

brothdog , 6/26/13 1:43 PM


Indeed, the 20-10 will never change in Feds favor so live with that!

phoenix , 6/26/13 1:51 PM


Maybe would have been different if Nadal did not exit in slams so quickly.

Lobo , 6/26/13 1:54 PM


Thanks for proving my point Pheonix lol. I appreciate it.

brothdog , 6/26/13 2:05 PM


A lot of withdrawal due to injury so early in the slam...makes you appreciate what Rafa has to endure just to finish his match.

phoenix , 6/26/13 2:10 PM


Thought Uncle Toni said it was through lack of preparation that he lost his match and he going to be ok? This makes the defeat even worse if that's the case. He didn't have to endure it, it was his choice nobody forced him to continue. He obviously felt the knee wasn't that bad if he wanted to carry on and turn the match around. Shame he couldn't and was out classed by no 135 in the world. There is always the clay season next year to look forward to though.

brothdog , 6/26/13 2:19 PM


Injured or not, Rafa lost...I do hope his knee is not worse than before...we all know he HAS knee issues and Rafa and his fans learn to live with it...these early round loses can happen and will happen in the future, so what? As long as Rafa feels he can play he will be on tour...I still expect him to do amazing things and win many more tourneys including USO, AO and RG...the fact is that the grass has never been kind to his knees and now it is even more true...One thing I am happy about is that Rafa gets to enjoy his time off, swimming, fishing, having fun...he never even got the chance to properly celebrate his birthday...

I firmly believe Rafa lost because he simply was not ready to play on grass...this is his toughest surface and without proper preparation and match play on grass he was there to lose...

we Rafans are anything but arrogant...celebrating 8th RG title, the historic achievement, can not be characterized as arrogance...the rather pushy comments by some of the Rafans have come only as a defense to certain posts of delusional and primarily rude and primitive Fed aka Nole's fans...I can understand that Rafans somewhat went too far but yet it were still decent posts relative to those made by these FedNole-kovic idiots..

I admire our Rafa...and I love him with whole my heart...I am so proud of him for what he has achieved and nobody can take it away from him...Rafa is already a legend...
And it was so weird to watch post match interview with Nole yesterday...most of the questions were about Rafa...:)
I agree that the flavor of Wimby is lost with Rafa gone, and I myself do not see the excitement and feel less pleasure to watch tennis now...maybe because it still hurts to know that Rafa lost to a guy who withdrew from the tourney right afterwards...But I still wish the best to Nole, Fed and Andy...whoever wins it will be well deserved...I wonder if Fed believes in his 8th, now that Rafa has achieved his 8th...the history is being written and we are here to be part of it...isn't that something...

Vamos Rafa!

natashao , 6/26/13 3:00 PM


Now we get to watch the shot makers and thirty somethings like Rusty, Fed and Haas show the younger guys how to play on grass.
crap20, 6/25/13 3:17 AM

Your rusty has just been sent packing. When will we get the Dustin Brown and Steve Darcis 'poems'?

jean , 6/26/13 3:13 PM


To quote a great tennis fan

"If murray was as good as Federer/Nole/ferrer on clay" he would have a 25-5 h2h Vs claydal.

If Federer/nole/ferrer sucked on clay like murray they would have a 8-10, 12-10 and 3-5 h2h VS claydal.

As everyone knows claydal is like kryptonite to Roger - who is the superman. At the end of the day, people adore superman and loathe kryptonite.

JamesDjokovicFan , 6/26/13 5:23 PM


Djokovic IS a hard court specialist and nothing else, so yes he does excel on one surface and suck on all others, especially compared to Nadal. Lets do some comparisons shall we:

Djokovic: 5 slams on hard courts, 1 on Grass, 0 on Clay

Nadal: 2 Slams on Hard Courts, 2 Slams on Grass, 8 on Clay

Considering the above evidence, which is irrefutable, Nadal is the FAR superior all around player. Its not even close!

willmw101 , 6/26/13 6:18 PM


Whats up with wimbledon this year. There are more wins thru retirements than I have ever seen. Tsonga,Cilic,Isner,Azarenka all out. Not to mention Sharapova lost. The stage seems ripe for a new GS winner :)

vmk1 , 6/26/13 6:47 PM


Yeaahh And Federer is about to loose....

Fedzz22 , 6/26/13 8:34 PM


KERRRRCHIINNGG!
Bye bye Fedal
Nice knowing ya but its really now time to go
(At least Rafa won a slam however).
Brilliant outcome so pleased for the 'Rosoler' Sergei
Feel for his nice fans but have to admit that YES!
I laughed for ELEVEN MINUTES!

Twinge , 6/26/13 9:22 PM


@ Twinge...........why laugh?!!!! Thats not nice!!!!......lol!!!!!

Monalysa , 6/26/13 9:26 PM


Federer should thank his disgusting fans who bashed Nadal so hard during the last year. Bad karma folks, you got yourself a Rosol now and be sure that your Darcis will shortly follow. I say Stakhovsky is the GOAT? Good luck chewing all this up. Well at least you got good memories of your 36th QF at RG. Cause that's what counts in the end, right?

PS Three years ago we were at 6-16. Today we are at 12-17. Do you see the trend?

JBeer , 6/26/13 9:26 PM


Well KARMA just bit their asses big time JBeer
Lol!

Twinge , 6/26/13 9:29 PM


commiserations to all good (the rest, please crawl under something damp and dark and rid us of your stupidity)Fed fans, must be aching now but you're man is not done yet, he still has more tennis in him.
On another (close to this thread) note, I've just read in a Spanish diary U. Tony saying that Rafa's knee at Wimby was the same as in RG. He says that what let Rafa down was his attitude.
There you go, my suspicions are corroborated now. It just didn't add up, you can't play ok (Nishikori) three days before and then just lose the knee like that, sorry. As much as I like Nadal I don't deny the obvious. He just had a bad day and Darcis played better than him.

Shireling , 6/26/13 9:34 PM


@ Twinge. Hold your thoughts at least till the second week. The way the things are going, we may be bidding the big 4 bye bye ;)

vmk1 , 6/26/13 9:35 PM


NOT A CHANCE vmk1 matey
That was definitely the beginning of the big 2
Or 3
The 'Big 4' , in its present guise at least, is at an end.
No more surprises for the time being I think...

Twinge , 6/26/13 9:46 PM


Shireling
, 6/26/13 9:34 PM

No Shireling I saw thevideo, he did not mention or say knee was not bad. Why was he limping then? He said I am not worried as much about the knee and that we will plan next week on his schedule. He also said Rafa did not play well and said grass with current knee state is tough because of the bending to get to low balls. He also said Rafa will not skip Wimby as he has won twice here n loves it

sanju , 6/26/13 10:08 PM


Here is the link

http://rafaelnadalfans.com/2013/06/26/rafael-nadals-coach-toni -nadal-says-his-nephew-will-return-to-play-at-wimbledon-in-the-future/

sanju , 6/26/13 10:18 PM


Oh My GOAT! I just heard that Roger Federer has lost already for the 7th time in his career before the 3rd round in a major. I think that's not very GOAT-like! Let's look for a better GOAT candidate with better stats....will get back to you guys soon....found it! A Spaniard called Rafael Nadal is the GOAT!

JBeer , 6/26/13 10:37 PM


Thx for the link sanju, it seems that those words (alleged) that I mention here from U. Toni were also given to journalists at the All England Club. But I don't have a video.
It would be useful to see at what point Rafa starts limping during the match.
I hope he's not going 'Djokovesque' on us at this stage of his career

Shireling , 6/26/13 10:46 PM


'Let's look for a better GOAT candidate with better stats....will get back to you guys soon....found it! A Spaniard called Rafael Nadal is the GOAT!....'

Wow, your timing really is not too good is it?
Not by a long shot...
Lol!

Twinge , 6/27/13 1:00 AM


sanju, 6/26/13 5:07 AM

I actually do, it's just annoying to continually have to scroll through copy and pasted articles, and frustrating to me when people ask for more of them. Notice how you didn't answer my question.

ts38 , 6/27/13 2:41 AM


Update on Rafa - he went to Barcelona to see Dr. Cotorro. Further updates will be provided as information becomes available.

There is an old saying - You reap what you sow. That's for the haters who trashed Rafa endlessly for his first round loss. Now where are all of you?

I am talking to Fedkovic, JamesDjokovicFan,novakisthebest! The same person who posts under at least three screen names and trashed Rafa up one side and down the other. So what should be said about Fed who has won seven titles at Wimbledon?

Rafa fans came here and stood up for him despite the obscene and profane comments from seventeen/sienna who has now apparently crawled back into the sewer. Where are the big mouths who were mocking Rafa and his fans? What do you have to say about Fed's loss today?

Rafa fans left this site because of the obscene, vulgar, filthy posts. However, we were all here to stand strong for Rafa. Let there be no mistake about that! We didn't run and hide. But the sickening comments were an insult to decent people who want to talk tennis here. We don't need to expose ourselves to that low life gutter talk.

The trolls ran their mouths all over the place. I posted a comment a day or two ago warning them not to take anything for granted with Fed. I told them not to assume that he would get through. But they were too stupid to keep their big mouths shut. I had a feeling that this might happen, but was smart enough to keep my thoughts to myself. I did not think Fed would get to the quarterfinals, but again I kept it to myself. I thought this might be the time where he would be knocked out early. I didn't think it would happen in the second round.

Nativenewyorker , 6/27/13 2:46 AM


thanks NNY- do update us with the info Dr.Cotorro gives :) to be honest I thought murray would convincingly beat federer and I was thinking fed would keep on winning some tight matches till semi, proven wrong ! so NNY you had a feeling hmm..

Lets hope rafa gets back on track for montreal/toronto !

vamosrafa , 6/27/13 3:09 AM


vamosrafa - No Rafas camp has not said anything on Montreal or Cnci. All Tony said is they wll work out his schedule next week and he starts training next week too. Toni said they will see if he can return on clay in July for match practice r he dircetly starts at Montreal

sanju , 6/27/13 7:41 AM


@sanju,

Do you still want me to provide updates? Because it seems as though you have your own source of information. That is the one thing I promised while I am supposed to be on hiatus from this site.

@vamosrafa,

Thanks! I see that you and sanju are holding down the fort. Good work! I absolutely thought that Murray would beat Fed. No question about it. But now I revealed my gut feeling that Fed would not make it to the quarterfinals. I think this was going to happen sooner or later. He hasn't played well all year.

Whether Rafa was there or not, I just had one of those feelings, almost like a premonition. It doesn't happen very often, just once in a while. I saw a good part of the match and Stakhovsky played some fearless, outstanding serve and volley tennis to get the win. He kept his cool and poise and stayed tough to the end.

Rafa's camp has not committed to anything just yet. Maybe after Rafa's visit to Dr. Cotorro and the results of the examination, then they will be able to formulate a schedule. I sure hope to see Rafa at Montreal/Toronto and the USO!

Nativenewyorker , 6/27/13 9:16 AM


NNY, please continue to provide any updates that you have on Rafa

atul1985 , 6/27/13 9:51 AM


Yes NNY please provide. I just came across that link I posted above on twitter as I follow few ids there , so I posted here.

sanju , 6/27/13 9:53 AM



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