Monday, 3 September 2012

No Rafa For A Few More Months

Official Press Release:
Rafa Nadal would not be at the Semifinals of the Davis Cup and will stop for the next 2 months 
"I have to recover and I'll be back once the pain is gone" 

Manacor, Spain, September 3rd, 2012.- Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal will not play in the next 2 months and will stop to rest and recover his knee. Among other things he won ́t be able to be at the disposal of the Spanish Davis Cup captain for the semifinals tie against the USA. 

Rafa has partial tear of the patella tendon at the distal pole of the patella plus an inflammation of the Hoffa's fat pad of his left knee. 

Since the diagnosis of that tear, Rafa has been receiving medical treatment consisting on specific medication, physical therapy and a progressive program of rehabilitation and muscular potentiation. 

For Rafa Nadal "I have missed the Olympics and the US Open in the last few weeks, tow of the most important tournaments of the year and that I really wanted to play. I really want to be back competing and enjoying the tennis tour, but I have many years in front of me and my knee needs some rest. I will be back when I have no pain and able to compete with guarantee. 

I feel better after the meeting with my doctors and happy knowing that the evolution of the past weeks has been positive and surgery has been avoided. I will continue to work with the plan my doctors have established to be able to compete as soon as possible in the right conditions. 

I would also like to thanks all for the support I ma receiving these days."

Doctor Angel Ruiz-Cotorro will hold a Press Conference at the Real Club de Tennis de Barcelona on Tuesday September 4th explaining all details. 

Rafa Nadal won't be doing press interviews in the next days.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Nadal Is OUT of The US Open - CONFIRMED

Rafa has just Tweeted that he will not be in New York to contest the US Open.

"I am very sad to announce that I am not ready to play the US Open in NY. Thanks to my fans for their support and specially, the new yorkers."

This comes as no surprise really given the length of time he has been out  (nearly 4 weeks) and no sign of any kind of actual court practice.

Where does this leave Rafa now?  Will he play again this season?  Rumours are circulating that he will write-off 2012 in order to give himself maximum time to be ready.

Whenever he does return I just hope it is when he is ready and can give it 100%.

Vamos Rafa, we are all with you!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Finally, I can watch some tennis

I have been a very busy bee these last few weeks and I can only apologise for lack of posting.

I have returned from London after working as an Olympic Games Maker in the Athletes Village.  Alas I did not see Novak walking around as he was staying near to Wimbledon.  When I did see him there is was when he lost the Bronze medal match to Del Potro :-(

But still no Rafa :-( Will he miss the US Open ?  If he cannot compete to a high level would it not be best for him to continue his rehab and skip the tournament?  Whatever happens I just want to see Rafa back on the court when he is fit and healthy.

Back to Novak.  Let's hope that the form from Toronto carries over into this week though I am sure the competition will be stronger now that all the top guys are a little more rested from London.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Nadal Is OUT Of The Olympics

News has just broke on the BBC Sport page that Rafa has withdrawn from the Olympic Games at Wimbledon.

A sad decision but the correct one.  The knees are obviously not ready and it is correct to think long term.

News Reports:


Daily Mail

Eurosport Asia

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Rafa's Knee Is Troubling Him again

The latest episode of tendinitis has meant the exhibition match against Novak due to take place at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid.

It is unsure if he has once again undergone PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) treatment but the word is that he will still play at Wimbledon again this year, for Spain during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

This is very obviously an ongoing problem for Rafa that will never cease, certainly whilst playing tennis.  It seems that his knees are now in such a condition that regular treatment is the only way for him to continue.  Hopefully a good rest will do him some good and he is ready to compete once again.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Did That Really Happen?

I have left it until today to write so as not to make any rash comments.

I was travelling to Wimbledon yesterday and could not get into the grounds at 19.30 to watch the match.  Instead we went off for some food and I kept an eye on the match via my phone.  We made it home in time to see Rafa broken in the 5th set.

I don't know how Rafa was playing during the first 4 sets but in the 5th he seemed lost.  All the kudos in the world to Lukas for playing some beautiful tennis and serving like a demon.  He really had nothing to lose and just went straight for the jugular.

So what now for Rafa?  I thought back to a few years ago, when he won the Aussie Open, as much as some seem to like him I don't really care for Toni.  I think Rafa could be a much better variety player if he had someone else on board. 

Like I said, I did not see the whole match but I can bet for a good part of it Rafa did not change his gameplan when it became evident that he was in for a rough ride.  I saw him try to S&V a bit in the 5th, you don't start to play aggressive and finish off points when you are knee deep in the shit, you stay before you get that far.

Anyway Toni talk is for another day.  Rafa needs to go and think, think hard about his career and what he wants from the remainder of it.  No doubt he is king on clay but that part of the season is short.  Still idea maybe but how about asking if he can play Hamburg on the clay, if anything just to get him back into a winning mindset?

So no Rafa for me at Wimbledon this year but I do have Novak and today I am on Centre Court so I will be shouting lots of "Ajde Nole".

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Rafa Not Happy At Olympic Set-up

It always makes me laugh when I see the words "Wimbledon fast grass".  It's not fast, certainly not in the way it should be.  Surface homogenisation gets worse with each passing tournament.  But Rafa ain't happy that, apart from the Gold Medal Match, all matches will be the best of 3 sets.

Is this fair? 

"That's makes the tournament a little bit more crazy. Everybody can win even more than on hard or clay, because playing best of three sets, the match can be decided in just a few points.

"So that's probably the negative thing. In every match, you are at the limit.

"I don't say it's a 'crazy idea'. But it is a little bit more difficult to predict what's going to happen."

Is that not want we want, unpredictable tennis?  Or should everything bow down to the top players?  I say no, the playing field should be level.  If players are as good as they are made out to be they should be able to find a way.

Full story is here

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Rafa's Round 1 Wrap-Up

Rafa's Presser:

Q.  What happened in the first few games of that match?

RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, happened that I had the breakpoint in the first game, so I think I played a good first game.  But he had a few chances at the first, and then two great serves in the advantage in the middle to the tee.

Then I played bad game with my serve.  Even I think I have game point for me, or few chances, but I had a few mistakes with my forehand.

And then he hit a fantastic returns in the 3‑0, so he played a great game.  I was lucky to be back, that’s the thing.  I feel lucky after 4‑0 to be able to win the set.

Q.  Thomaz said you don’t have any weakness in your game.  Is that what you think?

RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, I think I have, but thank you for the words of Thomaz, no?

I think today I didn’t play my best match.  I think especially at the first set I played little bit too nervous, little bit not knowing exactly what to do.  My movements were a little bit in defensive way, not in aggressive way.
But I was able to keep winning the first set.  That’s the important thing and the good news.  Then I started to play better.  The second and third set I played better, even if I had a big mistake in the third with 2‑0, 30‑Love to probably close the set with 3‑0.

I felt in that moment I started to hit better the forehand.  That’s the most important thing for me.  And in the beginning I didn’t really had the best feeling with my forehand.

But then I started to feel a little bit better and I was able to hit a few forehands in a row with positive feeling, knowing that I don’t want to miss the ball.  That’s a very important thing, no?

I think the serve worked great almost all the match.  Just the beginning I start with not the best percentage, but I finished well, so I’m happy...... Read it all here

Match Report:


Photos (Daylife & Yahoo):

Monday, 25 June 2012

Novak Round 1 Reports & Photos

Daily Express Match Report here

ESPNStar Match Report here

Pictures from Daylife & Yahoo:

Novak's Round 1 Presser

Once again we tip our hat to FreedomTennis.

Today started a little iffy but then it was a solid match from Novak.  This year Pierre is here so Novak will be a happy chappie with his doggie.

Q.  One of the websites was saying you took a golf club out on court.  Can you clear that up?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It was a little joke we wanted to do with my sponsor, Head.  They provided me with a junior golf club.  They have, I don’t know if you noticed, but all the Head players, they have the bags which look like golf bags because you can place them the way the golf bag is standing, you know.

So it was a little funny thing.  Being creative, that’s all.  But fans corrected me right away.  They said, This is not a golf course.  I said, Okay.

Q.  Could you hear them?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I was talking to them, yes.  Just a couple of people.  It was really nice.

Q.  Were you tempted to go out in the warmup and see how you got on?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It’s too short for me.  We do play golf.  There are a lot of golf courses here.  Royal Wimbledon Golf Course is really nice.  We do get to play on off days.  Not really good at it, but enjoying the walk in the park.

Q.  Was it your idea?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It was kind of mutual.  Obviously they came up with the design of the bag.  So if I remember, I proposed to have a golf club just to fit into that creative idea of theirs.

Q.  Yesterday you spoke about what the Federer/Nadal rivalry has meant to you.  What are your thoughts on what playing against Rafa has brought out of you and what you make of your rivalry with him at this point?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it’s certain that we played a lot of matches and a lot of finals in last 15 months.  You know, since we are two top players, we meet mostly in the finals of the events, in Grand Slams.

For a change, it was great to win against him in some of those finals because, you know, I wasn’t managing to do that in last couple of years.  He always got a win against me whenever we played in Grand Slams.

I think the first Grand Slam win I had over Rafa was actually here in Wimbledon, if I’m not mistaken.

You know, when you’re playing your top rivals, you need to be focused on every ball.  It looks like you need to be on a top of your level in order to get the win.  So whatever surface it is, I mean, Rafa over the years, people were maybe talking maybe four or five years ago that he can only play on clay courts because of his style of game, producing a very hard topspin that does not really go with a grass court style.

He’s proved them wrong and he’s coming back and always improving, always wanting to be better on the court.  He won two Wimbledon titles; played a couple of finals.  There is not anymore I think advantages in favors, my favor, Rafa’s, Roger’s, whenever we are playing each other on any surface.  We’re all kind of equal in a way.  I think we have equal 50/50 chances to win.  I think that’s the case right now.

Q.  Just to follow up, what do you think Rafa has brought out of you?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Like I said before, both Roger and Rafa made me a better player.  They made me understand what to do tactically, mentally, against them when I’m playing in the later stages of a Grand Slam.

Q.  What was it like to walk out on Centre Court, first match on Monday as the defending champion?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It’s a very unique feeling.  I think that’s the first time I experienced that in my career.  I think this is the only tournament that actually allows you to have information 12 months in advance when you’re playing.

It is great for a change, because in tennis we don’t really have that many cases that we know exactly when we’re playing.  Usually second or third after 11:00 or things like that.

So it was great.  You know, the grass was untouched.  It was so soft, so smooth.  It was great to play in.

Q.  Could you speak a little bit about the atmosphere of the Centre Court.  A lot of players used to say it’s very quiet.  Do you agree?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes.  It is quieter than maybe comparing to the other center courts of the other Grand Slams.

But you feel that tradition and the history of tennis, of sport, in this tournament, especially Centre Court.  So many legends have won the trophies here, the trophies that made them big tennis stars.

This is, in my opinion ‑ and many players’ opinion ‑ the most respected, the most well‑known tennis tournament in the world.

It is quieter.  It feels like a theater in a way.  But the crowd gets into it when they have reason for it.  I was participating in a couple of long matches on Centre Court with I think Olivier Rochus.  We played under the roof and went to the late hours.  That was really exciting.  The crowd loved it last year against Baghdatis.

The crowd here understands.  I think they have a great knowledge about tennis.

Q.  Do you remember your first game against Ferrero seven years ago on clay, and how much do you think your game has changed?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  To be honest, I had to look up the head‑to‑head score because I didn’t know how many times we played if we played.  I mean, first match we played 2005 I think in Umag where you lost in straight sets, and then I won against him two years after that in Madrid.  We haven’t played for five years.  That’s a long period.

You know, as I was saying before the match, he’s a former No. 1 of the world.  That says enough about his qualities.  Obviously he prefers more slower hard courts and clay courts, but he’s been playing here quarterfinals, if I’m not mistaken, a couple of years ago.

So he understands what he needs to do.  The grass is not like it used to be, you know, more suitable to maybe serve and volley players.  Now it’s more about baseline players, which made him more dangerous for me in this match.  The first two sets were exciting and close.  I was very satisfied with my performance.

Q.  Earlier in your career you went through a tough time where you had some injuries and people were critical.  Andy Murray is going through his back injuries.  Some are questioning what’s happening.  What are your thoughts about Andy and when an athlete has injuries and there’s skepticism about it?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It’s hard to really make a judgment or say what is going on, you know, if you really don’t know an exact nature of the injury and to what degrees he’s hurt or not.  I mean, I know him for a long time.  I know he’s a great competitor.  He’s a great fighter.  I mean, he has a lot of pressure.  There’s no doubt.  A lot of expectation, especially here in Great Britain.  A lot of people want him to be a first British winner in many years here in Wimbledon.

I think he’s got three or four semifinals.  He’s always here.  He’s just missing that extra step.  Maybe that little bit of confidence and self‑belief on the important moments against the top players in the semifinals of Grand Slams.

But he has all the qualities to be there, you know, to be a Grand Slam winner.  There is no doubt.
And regarding the injuries, yes, I went through that period in my life where people were questioning my injuries.  But I never, ever been in doubt if I want to use my injury timeout to, you know, provoke my opponent or do something similar.

If I’m hurt, I’m hurt.  If something is wrong, then something is wrong.  I never asked for any medical timeouts or things like that if I have no reason.  So I believe that’s the situation with him.

Q.  How do you relax when you’re in Wimbledon, and is your girlfriend here at the moment?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, she is.  We have a little dog with us.  So we are staying at the house.  It’s a little fluffy toy poodle.  It’s four years old and cute as candy.

Q.  What is the dog’s name?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It’s Pierre, a French name, bought in Germany, and we consider him Serbian.  He has a little bit of everything.  Has three passports.

Q.  Is he gluten free?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  He definitely is.  He has to go along with his daddy.

Rafole Round-Up

Rafa is promoting online gambling with PokerStars.  Not too sure about this, gambling can be a very slippery slope if you don't know what you are doing.  Hopefully if people decide to have a look they use the "play money" tables instead of the real ones.

Both Rafa & Novak will be the flag bearers for their countries at the opening ceremony of London 2012. 

Both players spoke of their pride -


"For me the chance to carry the flag representing all the Spanish athletes in London is a true honor," Nadal said in a statement. "I think carrying the flag will be one of the most moving moments of my entire career.
"I can only say thanks and wish my fellow athletes the best of luck."


"We are all very excited about the Olympic games in London, such a magnificent sporting event, and it goes without saying what a great honour it is for me to carry the flag for Serbia," 

If you missed the Google+ "hangout" with Rafa there is a link to the video at TheTennisTimes

Uncle Toni speaks about Paris:

"I was very happy at the end because for us it was a very important tournament," said the man universally known as Uncle Toni. "We had lost three times against Djokovic in Grand Slam finals. Another defeat would have been terrible for us....The rest of the article is here

Sorry that is is mostly Rafa news.  I am sure we will be seeing more of Novak during Wimbledon :-)