Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Nadal Out of US Open

The twitterverse is kicking into overdrive with Patrick McEnroe and others saying Nadal has withdrawn from the US Open.

The US Open has now confirmed that Nadal has withdrawn. Here's the US Open's official news release.

104 comments:

  1. Let's try to keep this as civil as possible.

    I do have one question, which will probably never get answered directly. It was mentioned on the ESPN broadcasts in Toronto that Nadal was practicing again back home. It seems odd timing for me for someone who is practicing to be able to announce 12 days in advance that they can't play in a major. Maybe a good explanation will come out for this but it seems like a good question for somebody to ask.

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    1. Don't hold your breath for any good explanation. As we all know, every time something like this happens, Nadal's behaviour just defies explanation. Remember '09? He practised and played an exo before withdrawing from Wimbledon. Bizarre to say the least. This time around, it's eerily similar. The guy even said in March of this year that his knees are totally healed. It's hard to keep it civil when he does stuff like this :)

      Is it really possible that this tendenitis or whatever is the root cause? Or is the Robert person correct when he said something big will happen in tennis soon?

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    2. It's impossible for his knees to heal. Well, improbable. I don't hold much stock in the hope of his fancy treatments...at best they'll just help stave off the inevitable. Rafa HATES talking about his knees, because ever since the first time he had to start wearing support bands, journalists were upsetting him by asking if his career was over before it had barely begun. It is something that will shorten his career, the question is how much.

      People have (and rightly so) been saying since he was even 17/18 that his knees would give out on him. And tendinitis is not like a broken leg. He might feel he can play, only for it to give in on him part way through the practice.

      Re 09, how else do you know if your body is capable of participating in a slam without practising? Rafa's team wanted him to pull out of Wimbledon. Rafa desperately wanted to play. I recall reading that the exo was a test to see if his knees would hold up in a casual match against lower ranked players (like Stan) enough for him to beat them. And he lost badly, ergo they decided it was not worth playing Wimbledon: he'd damage his kneees more for the sake of a trophy he had little chance of winning.

      I imagine a similar calculus went on this summer. Especially as the USO is hard court, which 1. always hurts him more and 2. he struggles to do well on anyway, making it not worth the risk.

      It's a sensible (but sad) decision. And unless you can give evidence that the so-called "Silent Bans" really exist...well, the knee explanation seems best to me. Because we've known for years his body will break down. His foot, his knees, even sometimes his shoulder.

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    3. Tavi,

      See my post below about provisional suspensions. As for Rafa, I'm not saying any wrongdoing as been done, but I think it's a fair question to ask why he pulled out so soon? There are good answers to the question.

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    4. Sure, it's possible. But it isn't the first time in his career he's pulled out due to injury. And every time the recovery period/number of tourneys in a row missed gets longer.

      Either every time the provisional suspension is made longer and longer, or some of the times are actually genuine injuries. And if you allow some...well, how do you choose between them as to which is the suspension and which isn't? I don't think you can without evidence.

      My point is the "longer and longer" fits the pattern of a chronic injury rather than of a series of provisional suspensions. So I will prefer to believe the former due to simplicity...but if you have evidence re the provisional suspension, I will listen.

      Really, though, I think it's more likely that he's been hoping he could play the USO by resting instead of doing Toronto and Cinci, but the pain he's experienced in practices have made it clear he won't have a chance of winning the USO and will just hurt himself more on hard courts.

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    5. With regard to "silent bans". Does the constitution of the ITF allow for such things? Would they be documented anywhere?

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    6. "Silent bans" are not permitted by WADA. The Code states that within 20 days of a guilty finding at a hearing (tribunal), public notice must be given. As a Signatory of WADA, the ITF can't follow or draft rules that are in conflict with the Code.

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    7. That's true if you call it a "silent ban", but if you call it a "provisional suspension" and then come up with any kind of bogus rationale that the ITF is all too eager to accept and are "exonerated", then you will serve your suspension and it will never be made public. That is effectively a silent ban.

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    8. Looks like you already addressed that...

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    9. ITF and Wada are not strong enough to decide. Sponsors are most important nowadays.

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  2. As a big Nadal fan, I am pretty bummed.

    I was reading through one of the spanish articles, and it mentions his knee is not the problem. But something else. Quote, "He is not physically able." So is it something else besides the "failed doping test ?"

    Here is a link to the article.
    http://www.elconfidencialdigital.com/vivir/076922/rafa-nadal-no-esta-lesionado-su-jefe-de-prensa-desmiente-las-informaciones-de-que-sufre-problemas-en-la-rodilla-y-por-eso-no-fue-a-los-juegos-olimpicos

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    1. I think it is likely "the knee", or part of it. Rafa has always hated being asked how it is, because the question is usually framed in the light of "Are you going to retire from tennis early?".

      It's that or his foot - both have been career-threatening injuries. I'm sad as a Rafa fan because it seems inevitable. He's staved off the knee problems for a while but they were never going to go away. He's done too much damage to himself in his early career.

      At least now he's actually seeming sensible for once and staying away from hard courts. Really, for his sake, I'd prefer for him to keep fit but stay off hard courts until this winter.

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    2. I doubt it has anything to do with the knees... Nadal wasn't injured at Wimbledon and everyone who watched the match against Rosol including Federer knew that he wasn't injured. I mean, what kind of injury doesn't occur while you're playing and occurs while you're not playing. Out of all players in all sports I've watched till now Nadal is the only player who never showed signs of knee injuries just to claim later that he was injured; THE ONLY ONE EVER and we are talking about knee. For those who have had knee pains, they know how painful it feels and playing for hours without showing any feelings of pain just to claim when one loses that he was playing with knee injury is impossible. And how do they know so much in advance that the knees issues will be there till the US open which is 2 weeks away.

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    3. It's a chronic injury, Eric. It's likely incurable. I don't like to think the pains he will have when he's older. Sport is always bad on all athletes' body, but Rafa has it worse due to all the running he has done. He could have an operation but players who have operations are usually never the same again.

      And knee injuries aren't like broken legs or ankles. It's impossible to play on those, because until they heal, there is constant pain. But tendinitis may often give him "good days". Unless he quit tennis, his knees will never be fine. All he can hope is to push back the time where he will finally have to call quits, and to hope they hold out when it matters. Didn't happen this year.

      You know, people who have bad backs often say that they have good days and bad days. It really is not like a broken limb.

      The pain can vary. I'm not sure what "feelings of pain" you want him to show. Someone else was complaining that his previous time outs and angrily hitting his knee was for show. What would convince you? I think it's perfectly plausible for the knees to have bothered him enough in Wimbledon to affect the range of his movement (his game depends a lot on running, and if he doesn't have the confidence, he'll play safe). The pain didn't have to be that much then. It could get worse when he practices. You nicely separate "playing" and "not playing". Rafa's "not playing" consists of lengthy arduous practices. I might even say it's more likely the pain would suddenly spike in one of them...

      You must have some kind of xray glasses to say for sure he wasn't injured. Tennis takes a huge toll on all and any player's body. Most are often in pain and take painkillers. Roger Federer often has a bad back, but you wouldn't know it unless you noticed he was doing squats in changeovers.

      I think Rafa is kind of damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. If he calls for a time out, he's going to be accused of faking it. If he doesn't have one, he's faking it in general.

      And...please correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't you argue it was possible for Serena to play on a foot that had only just had stitches the day before? I find that less believable than Rafa being able to play one day because his knee feels better that day and then have to rest because it hurts...

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    4. Far out speculation, what if he has a heart condition? god forbid, cancer? or something else he does not wish to disclose. Let's remember Mardy Fish did not reveal the true nature of his condition until recently.

      Even though I've disclosed that I am a big Nadal fan, I won't deny the circumstances have been suspicious.

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    5. Tavi: I don't recall to have made that statement about Serena. Moreover, back and knee injuries are different. Knee is very sensitive. Nadal didn't show any signs of injury against Rosol. Knee pain is not like back pain. When you run, you use your knees through each motion and your whole body weighs on them. It is not the same for the back which pain may occur through one specific motion. In the past, Nadal has always "played through injuries" even when the pain seemed obvious. But now, when he doesn't seem injured at all, he keeps postponing his return until he suddernly realizes 2 weeks ahead of time that he can't play the US Open. Aren't these the same doctor who predicted when he will be injured at the end of last year and the length of time he requires to come back.
      Moreover according to Steve Bodo's Spaniard confidences, Nadal had 3 MRI at Wimbledon (something noone can verify and I wonder why they told him about it at the first place), so he wasn't injured because of hard practices as you state. What it means is that he was injured during Rosol's match. Something noone including Federer noticed.
      I never said that Serena doesn't lie.

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    6. 1. Again, I don't see what your problem is that he's waiting two weeks ahead of time. It makes sense to me. It's not as if he can keep waiting until the 11th hour on the eve of the tournament, and say to himself, right, I think I can play. Because...if it still hurts him now, he knows he can't practice enough in time to be ready. If he isn't ready, he has no chance of winning. If he has no chance of winning, why risk damaging his knees on hard courts, his worst surface?

      If you take a risk, you want a big payoff. If he knows he can't get back into form enough to stand a chance of winning, it makes sense not to take the risk of hurting the knees.

      2. You say Rafa had three MRI at Wimbledon, and that makes you think he wasn't injured?

      3. Oh yes, he certainly used to play through the pain, the same way he used to have excessively long practices, stupidly long schedules, and an inefficient game. I don't know why you fault him for realizing it's bad to play through the pain. Rather, I'd say the injury frightens him so much that the slighest twinge has him scared. Because he's learned through bad experience that if he keeps playing when it is sore, it will get so bad he is forced to withdraw.

      It's a start on the road to being sensible, but it's not all the way. As I said, he should not have played half of the clay season this year. Had he taken time off then, he might not need to do so now.

      4. Tennis is a physical game. Back pain can be pretty bad as well, you know, it won't only hurt when you serve. Yes, knees take more beating, and that is why Rafa has to be more careful now.

      5. Thought the Serena post was mostly about her allegedly lying re her foot injury, and that you were contesting it?

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    7. Nadal's case is always strange. I tought he used to say that he was using pain killers. All of a sudden, he can't use them. He doesn't need to practice months ahead of time to be ready. He can practice a few days and work his way through the first week relatively easy. It is not like he faced real competition in the early rounds of the previous US Open anyway. I mean how many times, have we heard of Nadal playing injured the whole year. Nadal is the only player I have ever seen who is injured without showing it. And we're talking about knees, one of the most sensitive parts of the human body. And why hasn't he received the plasma treatment or any other treatment he receives every year??? He didn't even try to get any treatment or rest the knees that give him so much pain. Instead people saw him practicing and fishing with his friends.

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  3. I'm not one to say "I told you so" but...I told you so!

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    1. I hoped he wouldn't play USO either...

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  4. Replies
    1. If it were doping related, it wouldn't have to be a "silent" suspension. Provisional suspensions are permitted under the Code without public notification until the completion of a tribunal. It would be possible for a player to be past the point of a positive "B" sample, but prior to the point of a tribunal, and that player would be provisionally suspended (fully WADA-compliant) without the public knowing about it.

      I'm not saying that's what's going on here, but there could be a doping violation in similar circumstances that we would never know about that didn't involve any corruption.

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    2. OK, that's more credible than the "silent bans" that I've heard so much about on this site, that seem to me a classic case of "lack of evidence becomes evidence itself."

      Of it were just a provisional one, how long before the public would hear? i.e. how long until the tribunal completes? Would it be fair to say by the end of this year? A month? In the Olympics, wasn't it only a few days that the athlete had to appeal before the guilty verdict was announced?

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    3. I believe provisional suspensions, if they are resolved in favor of a player, would not need be announced.

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    4. Here's a link to the Kendrick press release. He provided a sample on May 22, and the press release came on July 29. Each case could be different, but in his case it was just over two months. Just to be clear, if Kendrick had been exonerated the public would have never even known that he tested positive in the first place.

      UKAD was testing the week before Wimbledon this year (the week before June 25). If you assumed the timeline for a Nadal test would be exactly the same as the Kendrick case (which it almost certainly would not be), that would put a decision around the end of August. Again, I don't mean to imply that the Kendrick case would have to match the Nadal timing precisely, but the Kendrick case shows an example in recent years where we wouldn't yet be made aware.

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    5. Kendrick press release:

      http://www.itftennis.com/antidoping/news/pressrelease.asp?articleid=22933

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    6. As for the Olympics, WADA allows for the results to be made public (it does not require it). The IOC chose to make public positive tests, which the athletes will still have the right to fight at tribunal.

      The ITF chooses not to announce anything until after a tribunal, which also meets WADA requirements.

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    7. @mrn10sdave

      Thanks. When you say exoneration, would that mean the test was found to be faulty/the player provided a credible and innocent reason for the positive test? Or can they be exonerated on a tenuous "drinking out of someone's cup" technicality?

      I remember hearing all sorts of silly excuses like that, but I don't know if they were only published after a non-acquittal from the tribunal, or if the player was exonerated but the affair leaked out.

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    8. Tavi,

      Exoneration could mean anything from an excuse like "drinking from someone's cup" to "faulty test." Generally, I wouldn't expect a player to be exonerated for the drinking example because of the principle of strict liability. You can sort of think of it like a court of law. When the proceeding is over, there are two options.

      1) They find the player guilty. In that case the public is notified.

      2) They find the player not guilty (for whatever reason). In that case the public would likely not be notified of the proceedings. That means that the public would not know that a positive sample was ever given (even if the reason for the exoneration didn't bring into question the legitimacy of the positive test reliability). The caveat to this is that it is up to the player whether or not to announce the tribunal. If for instance, Kendrick had been exonerated, he would still have the right (but not the requirement) to say that he had been found not guilty at tribunal. This situation really is relevant in situations where the organization had previously announced a positive, and the player wants to try to clear his name after the fact.

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    9. If you want to try to get a better feel for how these rules fit together, you may want to read through Article 14.2 of the WADA Code:

      http://www.wada-ama.org/Documents/World_Anti-Doping_Program/WADP-The-Code/WADA_Anti-Doping_CODE_2009_EN.pdf

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    10. Also,

      Here is a previous post on the Kendrick case (and provisional suspensions).

      http://tennishasasteroidproblem.blogspot.ca/2011/08/clarifying-release-of-positive-tests.html

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    11. Thanks. I wonder if Kendrick will dare come back.

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    12. I think Kendrick might be a part time player at best now. The last I heard he's working as Sweeting's coach now.

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  5. What is most suspicious is that he isn't telling the public what the injury is. When a top ranked player misses a grand slam, the public expectsan explanation.

    Maybe he doesn't want to get into a fiasco like Serena did with her conflicting explanations for her foot "injury" ?

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    1. Unlikely. We all know that Rafa's earlier playing style (and to some extent his current one) would lead to chronic injuries. We know he has had them. So he wouldn't need to concoct some crazy story about his foot being cut. He could simply say "the knee" or "the foot"* and, in light of the above, that's pretty credible.

      So no need to fear a "Serena fiasco". Why isn't he more forthcoming? I think he hates talking about it. People have been asking him if he'll have to retire early since he was 19. In 2009, he got visibly upset in a press conference about it. I think it terrifies him, quite understandably. He doesn't want to imagine he'll have to quit early. But every time it strikes, his lay-off period is getting longer...



      * earlier in his career he was told a problem in his foot might mean he couldn't play anymore

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    2. For someone that hates talking about, he sure talks about it a lot!
      Not only does he talk about it a lot, he publicly uses the knees as a means of explaining his losses e.g banging his knees with the racquet, getting mto(s) only when he's losing etc etc.

      I know you're a fan and all and would like to believe everything he or Uncle Toni says, but one should never be blind to facts.

      How come he never has issues during the clay season (except the bizarre '09 FO)? Certainly not because clay is 'softer', clay matches are long and sometimes arduous - Rafa does a lot of running and sliding, should this not affect his 'fragile' knees?

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    3. Those aren't facts. He doesn't often talk about them to explain losses. I just don't think he likes to dwell on them. A psychological thing.

      And it would make sense to have an mto only when he is losing. If you have mtos because you are feeling pain, you're more likely to be losing than winning, right? Common sense...

      Actually, it is more unlikely for it to occur in the clay season, because although he runs, there is less impact. But even so, as it gets worse every year, it *has* started troubling him in the clay season. There were reports he was having terrible knee aches during the season, one in which out of nowhere while relaxing, the knee suddenly seized up and he literally couldn't move it.

      And I don't know why you want to make the 09 FO, which as you admit is "bizarre", an exception? He couldn't run in the FO and got hit off the court by Soderling. A few weeks later, he pulled out of Wimbledon. And the FO is the tournament he dominates. Even this year, he was sub par (by his standards on clay) against Djokovic. As much as I hate to admit it, that rain postponent couldn't have come at a better time!

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    4. Tavi:
      You like Nadal too much. If you think he doesn't talk about his knees, it is either because you don't follow him as closely or you buy the nonsense he sells his fans while he gives knee injuries as an excuse just to state later that he doesn't want to use it as an excuse even though he already did.
      Nadal likes to play too many mind games on court and off the court for me to trust anything he or his uncle say.

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    5. 1. I think given...certain...of the comments you made about Serena on the other page, you'd do well to look at yourself before accusing me of "liking Nadal too much."

      2. Well, I'm getting confused - some here say he doesn't talk about his knees at all (so they're not a problem), and you seem to think he talks about it too often (so they're not a problem). I wish there was a consistent line of argument I could reply to. Really, I think he mentions them just as much as he feels he has to, nothing more.

      3. And...you know, it hasn't been just Rafa's fans who have worried about his knees, Eric. His critics have said he would be lucky to still be playing at the age he is now. Roger Federer said it. Given 1. the obsessive long practicing and 2. the excessive chasing down every ball he used to do rather than pace himself over a match, how could he end up with knee problems?

      People like Roger Federer who seem injury prone aren't that way from magic but from making good choices about style of play, when to run and when not to, and from limiting practices, especially during tournaments. I don't know if Rafa still does, but he used to practice hard and long enough to try to replicate 5 set matches. I can only hope he's stopped that.

      Perhaps you like to see a conspiracy, that those bands he's worn over the years were fakes, the withdrawals were fakes, etc, and that really he's as healthy as when he was 15. If so there's nothing I can do to convince you.

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    6. Tavi:
      I said it looks like you like Nadal a little too much when you don't acknowledge most of his statements. I never refused to acknowledge anything about Serena other than stating that there are more obvious reasons for them as opposing to twisting the facts to convict her of any wrong doing.
      I also thought Nadal wouldn't be able to sustain his level of play but as people can see, nothing has changed about Nadal until his pre-Olympic pull-out. Even for those who said so, they tought it was going to be gradual. They tought the wear and tear on his body would force him to slow down and change his game but he never showed any sign of wear and tear. So I am still surprised that he didn't rest longer and try at all. If the pain was so unbearable, why did he need to keep praticing so hard right after Wimbledon???

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    7. It has been gradual. I'm not sure what you are looking for. Almost every year he has had to withdraw with an injury. And every year, the recovery period is getting longer. One year, he missed WTFinals. That was considered a big thing. After that, it got worse - he missed a slam. This year, he's missed a slam and the Olympics, as well as two masters... That fits the pattern of an injury slowly getting worse and worse, as can be expected. It's not so good at fitting the pattern of regular "silent" bans.

      He is on a pattern of play --> pain--> rest --> play, but every year the play period is getting shorter, and the pain is happening at the most inconvenient times. Again, that sounds like a gradual wear and tear.

      Rafa changed a lot of his playing practices in 2007 and then again in 2008, but that is just staving off the inevitable. Damage is already done. When I heard of his knee troubles resurfacing again this year, I instantly expected it wouldn't just be a one off. I guessed that this would be another year where the recovery period was even longer, and this pattern is likely to continue until he quits. Miracle treatments notwithstanding. I think all they can do is buy him a bit more time.

      As to practicing hard, I don't think he did after Wimbledon. He's been practising to try to be able to play without pain, but it's clearly not worked, so he's had to pull out of the USO.


      Re Serena, you said in the other thread it was a conspiracy against her.

      I agree it's important to look for more obvious (simple) reasons, and I wish you could extend that good practice past Serena...

      I get that you don't like Rafa personally, as you said. Something about his oncourt behaviour.

      But I don't like Serena personally for her oncourt attitude to linespersons and umpires! And I'm not claiming she must be doping because my dislike won't give her the benefit of the doubt.

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    8. I don't like Rafa but not because of his behavior. The parts of his behavior I don't like are related to his gamesmanship that are well tought and well designed to take his opponents out the game and act innocent afterwards. I am here to judge anybody's on court or off court behavior because I didn't create them. They help us enjoy life in a way and their display and prowess on court are enough for me. I am not looking for a saint. I judge players' skills. Rafa looks talentless to me. Other than the top spin and running forever, I haven't come to appreciate or enjoy his brand of tennis. Fed is the most skillful out there and that is why I give him a pass even though I think he is not clean.

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    9. Wait...you think Rafa is talentless, but you're a fan of Serena?! o_O

      If you'd said Roger was your favourite, ok. But Serena? Yikes. I was assuming you liked her for reasons other than her tennis.

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    10. You said Rafa's knee issues have been gradual? How many tournaments has he missed last year. I tought he removed his knee bandage because he was feeling so much better that he didn't even need them? Do you see players with knee issues running on AO hard courts for 6 hours??? and then playing and winning all clay court tournaments.

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    11. There is a break between AO and clay season. Still, it sometimes isn't enough. The year he won the AO, his knee problems started in the clay season.

      He removed the knee bandages because they weren't helping anymore and were now hindrances. That's another example of the gradualness. Back in 2005/6 ish, he started off with very thin knee bands. Soon they were a lot thicker, because the thin ones were no longer good. Then they stopped working.

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    12. Federer and Serena are my favorite players. Serena has a lot of skills... way more skills than any other woman player on the tour. If she could run like the other players the best of them wouldn't win more than 4 games a match. The fact that the biased commentators are focused on her strength doesn't mean that is all she has. Her offensive play is above par, her angles, when she comes to the net, the slices, the drop shots, the bazooka for the players who won't fold easily. Her accurate serve and how none of the players on the WTA can never seem to guess the trajectory of her serves. Look at all the other girls other than Azarenka and pssibly Stosur and you will see that they hit their shot straingt back, they never look for spin or angle, no offensive scheme, nothing else. Everything is done at random and hope with a blend of screams and expressions of disappointment.
      Watch the last all williams wimbledon finals and you will admire the woman match of all time and you'll realize why the Bianca castafiore screams of Sharapova won't carry her far against Serena. There is nothing like Serena when she is on and it is not the forever spin and run of nadal that will offer anything better. In fact most of the time, one could guess Nadal's remaining game for the first point of the game because he is likely going to be doing the same thing for the remaing of the game.

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  6. Overall, the only thing that surprises me is that Rafa is showing sense in avoiding the hard courts. Often he just hasn't. Hence having the tendinitis and other chronic injuries in the first place. I'm sad too, that it's got so bad even he realizes it makes sense to pull out of the slam.

    And really, those who say silent ban need to establish such things occur. Other than that, I'm going to go for the simplest explanation: everyone knew his playing style and atrocious practice habits (training for a 5 setter in every practice) was going to ruin his body. We've seen it get steadily worse every year. His "good times" get shorter, and the bad times longer. It's not really a surprise that he's missing the entire summer now.

    My opinion really is that he should be smart and rest up and stay away from hard courts for the rest of the year if he wants to have a few more years of playing left.

    I always had trouble imagining him still playing at Roger Federer's age, and even though he's managed to push back the inevitable, I don't think he can keep on doing it. He needs to forget the ranking and chasing slam records.

    And next year, he needs to take out Barcelona and Monte Carlo from his schedule. It was just stupid playing them when he was already feeling pain after the Australian.

    Roger's longetivity comes from his style, sure, but a large part is due to being smart. Some call him lazy for his short practices, but they save his body. And he will regularly miss tournaments to keep himself pain-free BEFORE a serious problem arises. Unlike Rafa, who waits until the problem is here and ends up in so much pain he is forced to withdraw.

    I do like Rafa, but I have never credited him for having much sense. He seems to have a "no pain no gain" mentality. I blame Uncle Toni for that... :(

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    1. Tavi if Nadal is going to avoid hard courts like you suggest then he might as well retire since the majority of the tournaments on the ATP tour are hard courts. He can't just play clay.

      And no, he never limps. He certainly didn't at wimby when he was beaten by Rosol.

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    2. I think while the knees are flaring up, he should most certainly avoid hard courts. But normally, no. Actually, this year, I think it was stupid to play half of the clay season. He didn't need to go to Monte Carlo and Barca. He could have rested during that time, and if he had, he could have been in better condition and playing now...

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    1. Maybe you are depressed, but we know there is nothing really wrong with you, Rafa's Knees.

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  8. Seeing that we are on the topic of Nadal,not sure of this was added to the blog cause I haven't seen it,but I recently saw this on another forum

    "“”According to a French forum, Nadal tested
    positive for a banned substance last year [2010] at the US Open. The article
    was apparently written by a CNN journalist and stored on a CNN computer where
    it was downloaded by one of the forum members.

    Nadal contrôlé positif à USO!!!

    By Scott Williams

    MIAMI | Fri Dec 3, 2010 6:28pm EDT

    MIAMI (Reuters) - The ATP on Friday announced that current world number one
    player Rafael Nadal has tested positive for an undisclosed banned substance
    during the USO. The ATP declined to make further comments because it is up to
    the anti-doping authorities, within the International Tennis Federation (ITF),
    to assess such a case.

    Based on previous doping cases, most recently the one involving french tennis
    player Richard Gasquet who failed a test for a recreatonal drug during the
    Miami tournament in 2009, as well as standard ITF procedure, B sample testing
    through an independant lab will be performed within 7 days.

    Neither Rafael Nadal nor Toni Nadal, his uncle and long-time mentor, were
    available for immediate comment. Andre Agassi, a former number one tennis
    player, and only open-era career-slam holder alongside Nadal and Roger Federer,
    told NBC that should Nadals' failed test be confirmed by the B sample of the
    spaniard, it "would be a huge dissapointment for tennis fans around the
    world, although not totally unexpected for those closely following the
    game".

    http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?p=554833#post554833

    Nadals withdrawal from the U.S open doesn't surprise me as I have been suspecting that he is serving a silent suspension for failing a drugs test

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love it!! A friend of a friend of a friend...

      Hmm. Which to believe?

      1. The ATP "announces" Rafa is on drugs, but apparently no one else hears the announcement but CNN who immediately start writing a story with spelling mistakes and clunky sentence sructure. Then the ATP change their minds and ask nicely for CNN and any others who heard "the announcement" to not publish. CNN agree but keep the article on a computer, whereupon it is somehow hacked or downloaded by a forum user who posts it.

      2. Some forum user wrote up an "article" in an attempted but clunky journalese style and posted it to either get attention or piss off Rafa fans.

      Gosh, which one to believe...


      :) Thanks for the laugh. Actually if you really believe it, it stops getting funny. :(

      Delete
    2. @grasshopper
      That was a fake document :)

      Delete
    3. I think the real question is...even given the WADA specifications....would the ITF really comply and out a player of Nadal's standing to be a doper?

      What is the penalty for lack of compliance. Or worse yet, could they hide the result from WADA?

      Delete
    4. First of all, if you assume that it was a positive test, the timeline would suggest it was probably UKAD who conducted the test. In this particular case, even if you assume ITF is capable of corruption (and I'm not making that argument), it would be way more complex than the normal ITF testing.

      Delete
  9. Jon "we shouldn't speculate" Wertheim has a new mailbag up where he speculates that Nadal probably won't return until the 2013 Australian Open.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/news/20120815/rafael-nadal-mailbag/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder how many times Jon and other journalists have been clued in about doping bans and still played oblivious. It is a small world and they must be told things all the time.

      Delete
    2. This might just be one of those times. Why else would JW speculate that Nadal won't be back this year?

      Delete
    3. Why else? Because it would be better for him to rest? There's an else for you.

      Leaving aside the question of whether there is a "silent ban" or not, I don't see anything in the article that indicates the writer believes there's something dodgy going on. The opposite - he writes a whole paragraph on how Rafa always struggles at this tiem of the year, and about his knees.

      Where are you seeing signs of a "nudge nudge wink wink motivation? He seems to genuinely believe it's an injury issue.

      Delete
    4. Because he has an injury significant enough to cause him to pull out of the US Open? Nadal has never had a lot of success in the fall so why push it if he is struggling to overcome an injury (assuming that is what is really happening)? I don't think it's all that mysterious.

      That said, I've read that he's talking about possibly being ready for Davis Cup, which is frankly, ridiculous. If he really has these knee problems he should never play Davis Cup again in his career, it's suicidal.

      Delete
    5. Just to be clear, my original intent was just for this to be informative. The cheap shot at Wertheim was mostly because he always rants about how it's unfair to single out players until we know guilt for sure, and then he offered a bunch of sympathetic explanations for Kendrick's misdeed (obviously without reading the decision of the tribunal).

      Delete
    6. Here's a link to the mail bag with the reference to Kendrick:

      http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/jon_wertheim/08/03/tennis-mailbag/index.html

      Here's a link to a somewhat detailed analysis of the tribunal findings, and a link to the actual decision. Unlike Wertheim suggests, the tribunal didn't seem pained to be hamstrung by draconian rules that required them to dole out punishment. They seemed to think the punishment was well-deserved.

      http://shanktennis.com/2011/07/30/robert-kendrick-suspended-for-12-months-the-long-version/

      http://www.itftennis.com/shared/medialibrary/pdf/original/IO_59512_original.PDF

      Delete
  10. Not exactly relevant to Nadal, but an MLB player has been suspended for 50 games.

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8271981/melky-cabrera-san-francisco-giants-suspended-50-games

    I like how they conveniently leave out the 4:1 allowable testosterone ratio.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Interesting post at Oregonlive:

    "very few weeks I receive an email with a subject line that reads, “Nadal is a doper.” The message that follows is always about a hundred words, with no punctuation or capital letters. It’s essentially unreadable, though the thrust of it is unmistakable: the author really, really hates Rafael Nadal."


    http://blog.oregonlive.com/tennis/2012/08/rafael_nadal_and_his_haters.html

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think Nadal cut his foot at a restaurant ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahaha... you never let it go right... You got me on this one

      Delete
  13. You'd think that our blindly loyal Rafa supporter and our blindly loyal Serena supporter would combine their denial.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the personal attack.

      But I'm not blindly loyal. I've said that if there is a positive test, I will stop "denying" it. Even if he had a panic room incident, my "loyalty" would waver. I'm also not going around saying Rafa is being conspired against by drug testers and umpires.

      Now, if you'd like to actually make an argument of your own...

      Delete
    2. I made an argument. It is available here and is called "Rafa: The Case For Doping." It could use some updating due to the continued dubious nature of Rafa's so-called injuries, but it is still a decent read to get you started. Until Rafa explains why he deliberately missed a drug test in '09, boasting about it beforehand (and I attempted to contact him regarding that test and his "people" did not give me an answer), then I will continue to assume that every suspicious or dubious thing he says and does is related to doping.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, it gives new meaning to the word "staged". Looks like the Boreteam has found a new way to clutter up the site. Not fooled for one minute.

      Delete
    4. Serena doesn't dope. I gave my justifications throughout the different threads and I am pretty sure you read them. Attach them and let me know. I have been the most logical so far and I stand my ground.

      Delete
    5. She might not dope but through 2010 and 2011 she wasn't tested once out-of-competition i.e. she knew exactly when she was going to be tested. She also managed to evade a test by hiding in her panic room. That is a rare luxury for sports stars today.

      Delete
    6. @Tennis Has a Steroid Problem

      Well, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is the first time you've replied to me, despite all the objections I have raised. So it's kind of odd to see a snide comment referencing me here, reducing everything I say to "denial". Perhaps it's more convenient for you?

      Delete
    7. BDS - I honestly cannot tell. Do you seriously belive that, or are you just pretending to as a tactic? I haven't failed to notice that of all the people who have argued with me here, you are the unique, single, only one who limits your responses to "You are someone else."

      It's kind of telling.

      I do veer between fearing you genuinely believe only one person could ever disagree with the "thesis" of this site. And thinking that's just ridiculous, and you must be putting it on for either your own amusement or because you are frightened by dissent/debate. Do you even know which one yourself?

      Delete
    8. Tavi,
      This blog was made great by comments from Nadal fans who don't want to believe the obvious. Your arguments, like those of all your predecessors, amount to "it could be something else other than doping." There is really nothing to respond to. No argument is going to convince you that Nadal is doping. That is the nature of denial.

      Delete
    9. No. I've said if there is a positive test, I will accept that. That's not denial. Please note I am also NOT going around saying "Rafa does not dope."

      Perhaps if your religion is "Rafa certainly dopes", you naturally think anyone who opposes you must have the religion of "Rafa certainly does not dope."

      You are projecting your own "denial"/belief system onto me. It's you who will never be convinced. What argument would convince you to stop saying "Rafa is certainly doping"?

      Probably nothing, because you can always whip out of your magic hat "silent bans", and the like.

      Delete
    10. Tavi: You love for Nadal can't allow you to see even the least obvious. You criticized Serena for berating umpires while I can tell that the number of times Nadal has berated umpires is at least twice as much and when he was wrong about the situations. But you don't seem concerned about it. It is only the ones serena does that bother you. At least those who are impartial know that Serena was right. In fact the replay technology was brought in because of the blatant bias of the umpire. If they haven't brought it in, we would probably have seen more cases of that when they gift wins to players incapable of beating her on the court.
      But Nadal, they bent every rule and surface to suit his game. I think that sometimes he feels he is the only one entitled to dope or something essentially when Djokovic was beating him in 2011.

      Delete
    11. Wrong again, Tavi. I'm not suggesting you're someone else; I'm throwing it out there that you're part of a team set out to discredit this site. And unlike you, I make my point and let the readers draw their own conclusions. You, and the "others" like you, are the ones who, like a defense attorney for a guilty defendant, feel the need to incessantly bombard the site with endless arguments in an attempt to confuse the jury.

      Secondly, as to your hastily drawn conclusion that I believe that only one person disagrees with the premise of this site, WRONG AGAIN. There have been several long-time posters who have defended the likes of Nadal or Serena, or made a case for Federer doping (I can name several, do you want me to list them?) The issue here is CREDIBILITY. These posters, who have a history of commenting on other issues, have it. You, and the "others" like you, who show up oh-so-conveniently in the nick of time when the heat turns up on one of the usual suspects to provide a defense or deflection away from that player, but contribute nothing else to this site, DO NOT.

      I know you want to get the last word in, but I've made my point.

      Delete
    12. Eric: Your love for Serena is stopping you from actually reading a word I've said properly.

      If you had read my reply, you would know that I pointed out Rafa's slowness between points. I didn't defend it. I can see bad things about "my idol", but it seems there is nothing Serena can do wrong, everything is a conspiracy against her. Right down to even being tested itself...

      Oh yes, and...I think there is a substantial difference between "berating" an umpire...and screaming and threatening one, don't you? Plenty of players argue with umpire and linespersons. Including Roger Federer.

      But few act like Serena did. It was ugly, and I'm stunned you think she was harshly treated.

      Delete
    13. BDS: Sure, sure. I think it was about a year ago I visited this site, and you were again accusing me of being someone else all the time. A poster I've never seen say anything here, nor that time last year, nor the occasional times I read posts here in between.

      Could it be that you are obsessively fixating over some poster who hasn't been here in over a year? I hope not.

      Also - I like your very distorted view of what you are doing here. You seem to think trying to justify an argument is a flaw. And "having the last word" - actually, I don't want to, I'm happy for people to keep replying and debating, as long as they don't degenerate to personal attacks like you.

      As you are incapable of doing more than that...I suppose I should confess. Sure, BDS, I am Eric/whoever you say I am. We are all part of the same super awesome secret team hired by Uncle Toni to make your life miserable. One of us is also hiding in your closet now.

      As you may know, Uncle Toni is a notorious cheapskate. He doesn't pay me enough to do this. I am pretty overworked, and as we are on the same team, could you address any further unpleasantries you have planned for me instead to my colleague/co-sock puppet Eric?

      I knew you'd understand. Thanks ever so much.

      Delete
    14. An expected response. Fail to address any of my points and instead attack the messenger. Please point to me to your posts a year ago you claim I attacked "all the time" and I'll stand corrected. Notwithstanding, do you think people here are blind to your hypocrisy? Your first post "back" after a year was a personal attack on ME. And as for your claim that I never make posts of importance, maybe you need to keep looking. I don't profess to have the inside knowledge of governing agencies, doping pharmacology or tennis mechanics, so I don't post on those subjects, and sure, many of my posts are to "out" the trolls like yourself. But if my posts help rid this great site of the the cluttering bickering and "fandom wank" that you refuse to participate in but ironically incite (again, hopefully you caught the irony), then I've contributed immensely to this site. Which is more than you can say.

      GOODBYE

      Delete
    15. Prove I didn't address "any points" and attacked the messenger. Where was the personal attack? You admit being a conspiracy theorist, both about drugs, both about users on this site.

      And didn't you read? I asked you to address all your comments to "me" to my colleague Eric. We're on the same team, remember? What he sees, I see, what I see, he sees, what is mine is his, what is his is mine. But we like to be organized and efficient, and you have been assigned to the respond to the "Eric" worker.

      I hope the "goodbye" acknowledges that. Thanks. :)

      Delete
    16. BDS: If we are defense lawyers trying to divert the jury from the truth, was the jury corrupted at the first place to have a specific truth in advance?

      Delete
  14. But seriously, isn't this what happens with Nadal every year, that he plays lights out from the beginnning of the clay season through to Wimbledon and then fades for the rest of the year, complaining of his knees or various other anatomical disorders? Of course this time we are seeing more than a gradual decline after Wimbledon.

    But we also know that he has repeatedly claimed that his knees and various other injuries have been cured by his PRP and other treatments. So that means his injuries generally tend to be new ones, rather than recurring. So if it is his (cured) knees again, when did this happen? There was no sign of it during the clay season or Wimbledon.

    This is a player who first began wearing knee bandages in 2005. If his knees have been a genuine problem for 7 years then it is difficult to see how, every year, for the first half of the season through to Wimbledon, he has no issues with them (unless he loses.) That's where most of his tournament victories come. Then, on hard court and indoors his knees are a problem again - but we are also told this happened during his period of triumphs on clay and grass, which are softer on the knees, you would think. Mmm.

    Fibnally, if this guy has chronic knee tendonitis I can say from experience that you can't continue to play through it without risk of permanent damage - and that takes only a few months, not 7 years - and it must at the very least produce a limp. You can't even walk without pain.

    Nah, he cut his foot in a restaurant ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Other than the last line during I think you turned to your old illogical self, you were truly enlightened during the previous paragraphs.

      Delete
    2. The fact that it is bothering him on clay shows it is getting worse.

      And I don't believe in the PRP treatments. I can understand why Rafa wants to believe in them. Perhaps they can stave off the inevitable. Perhaps they can even give him false hope by making him feel better in the short term. But again - staving off.

      The only thing that could possibly "cure" him and save him from a lot of pain when he's older is to stop playing sports now, and he's not likely to do that.

      It's 3 am. I'd love to reply more...but I have to go to bed.

      Delete
  15. We know the USO press statement was written by Nadal's team, because it incudes the line that he lost at Wimbledon this year "due to knee injury". Really? Not simply beaten by his opponent? Anyone see the "injury" during the Rosol match? Did Nadal mention it in his presser after the game? Shades of his loss to Soderling at the FO in 2009. His "knees" again. Shabby sportsmanship at the very least. Quite possibly also the work of a chronic liar.

    ReplyDelete
  16. ESPN just posted an article about PEDs in baseball based on an interview with Victor Conte. Apparently, it's okay to speculate about what percentage of baseball players are using, but that would be sacrilege to discuss in tennis.

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8274284/victor-conte-melky-cabrera-one-many-mlb-peds

    ReplyDelete
  17. Here is Nadal's press conference after his loss to Rosol. He never once even hints at an injury. In fact he blames the umpire at one point for questionable decisions I imagine (at 1:00).

    http://youtu.be/X3w-bM2mCMA

    I agree that sometimes players are reluctant to mention injuries after matches for fear of sounding like a poor sport but Nadal isn't one of those players. He talks about his injured body regularly.

    There is no way on god's green earth (literally) that Nadal would lose a match at Wimbledon with an injury and not call for an MTO! I don't know, did any of you see the 2011 AO match against Ferrer? And that was against a friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, and recall the diagnosis and recovery shenanigans after that beauty.

      Delete
  18. Rafa has mononucleosis of the knees.

    ReplyDelete
  19. It's unfortunate that this topic has degenerated into basically 2 people replying to each other - both defending the most suspicious dopers in tennis.
    I don't know if it's a genuine attempt to derail the thread or not, but it really hasn't contributed anything beside one fan's denial that their hero may be juicing.

    Back to topic - apparently Rafa will make an announcement today?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kenny. That is unfair. If you bothered to read, I have never denied that he is "juicing." Instead I am criticizing the conspiracy mentality of some people here, that he is "certainly" duping.

      I guess you idea of "contributing" is agreeing completely with every allegation on this site?

      Delete
  20. For those who hier love the injury´s chronicles, such as Serena's (source in Spanish with video: http://www.mundodeportivo.com/20120816/tenis/toni-nadal-mejor-esperar-no-mas-parches_54337938458.html) :

    When Rafa was back in Spain after Wimbledon´s defeat (and the subsequent injury) he had his wisdom´s teeth removed as well. Know he is unlucky again and besides his apparently knee injury, he suffers a severe TORTICOLIS.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of the side effects of HGH use is mandible growth often requiring users to have teeth removed/dental braces.

      Delete
    2. Or it could be his wisdom teeth needing removing naturally?

      Delete
  21. Here is an interesting article from Ben Rothenberg about Nadal's withdrawl:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/16/sports/tennis/rafael-nadal-withdraws-from-us-open.html?_r=2

    Some interesting excerpts:

    Nadal has not played a match since June 28, when he lost in the second round at Wimbledon to 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol. It was his earliest exit from a Grand Slam tournament since 2005.

    Nadal did not show many if any visible signs of knee problems in the match, seeming simply to be overpowered by Rosol’s attacking play, which Nadal called “more than unbelievable.”

    But Nadal later repeatedly deemed himself “not ready” or “not in condition” to return, acknowledging the knee as a problem. His camp, meanwhile, provided mixed messages about the severity of his injury.

    Updates were posted to Nadal’s Facebook page in the past week saying he had been practicing on the court and had done “some specific work to recover my knee at the gym,” but on Wednesday morning an update said he was “still not ready.”

    “I have to continue with my recuperation and preparation to be ready to play in the right conditions,” the update said.

    In an interview on Catalan radio, Nadal’s coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, said that his nephew’s season was not over and that he could possibly return for Davis Cup play. Spain will host the United States in the semifinals the weekend after the United States Open. If the Spanish win, they will play in the final in mid-November."

    It seems like he is hinting that something isn't right with Nadal's injury claims.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Im just wondering,if those PRP were working for Nadal before,why isnt it working this time round...hhmmm

    ReplyDelete
  23. Can someone explain these apparent needle marks on his left knee? It was taken during Wimbledon:

    http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/05ZLdm3a3E3b9/800x.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  24. Humm, here's a comment from his publicist (french site) saying that the knee injury/tendinitis rumors are false, and that the only reason Nadal isn't playing is that he is not in optimal shape right now. This is weird.


    http://www.welovetennis.fr/rafael-nadal/54207-rafa-nadal-n-est-pas-blesse

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Sebastien. That's exactly what I was pointing out earlier in another (spanish) article.

      Delete
    2. apparently the agent went on twitter to claim that article is fake.


      so much weirdness from team nadal.

      Delete