Rafa Roundup: Is Nadal’s exit from the US Open good for Federer?

Rafael Nadal Nike Court Collection x Fragment
Photo: Nike

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The previous time a defending champ failed to play the US Open? It was del Potro, sadly, who withdrew because of his aforementioned wrist injury in 2010. And seven years earlier, Pete Sampras failed to show up in New York. But Sampras had a pretty good reason: He had retired. … No one knows exactly when Nadal will return, but assuming he is healthy in the fall, perhaps we’ll see the Spaniard play some indoor ball where he has (in)famously never fared very well.

Some things just aren’t meant to be. Peace on earth comes to mind. Plus rain in California. And, of course, a faceoff between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the U.S. Open.

“Estábamos hablando de tres semanas. Estábamos en la etapa final, pero no se ha podido recuperar para lo que implica la exigencia de un US Open, que es a cinco sets”, explicó a la agencia dpa el doctor Ángel Ruiz-Cotorro, médico personal de Nadal. … “Que se perdiera el US Open estaba dentro de lo posible. Rafa ha hecho todo lo que tenía que hacer, entrenando todos los días, pero cuando no está al cien por ciento…”, explicó Cotorro. “Él tenía mucha ilusión, pero a la vez sabía que era difícil”.

En el horizonte, la incógnita de cuándo se reincorporará a la competición, si en la eliminatoria por la permanencia en el Grupo Mundial de la Copa Davis (en Brasil del 12 al 14 de septiembre), o ya en la gira asiática sobre cemento. Abandonado el sueño de Nueva York, ya no hay prisa. Como dijo el doctor Cotorro: “El tiempo ahora corre a su favor”.

The U.S. Open didn’t used to be a promising venue for Nadal, but he has made the final the past three times he played, winning twice. Federer, meanwhile, hasn’t reached a final in Flushing in five years. Federer and Nadal have never played each other at the U.S. Open. For years, Nadal lost too early in the tournament; then, Federer did. They came oh so close last summer. Federer needed only to beat Tommy Robredo for the 11th time in 11 meetings. He failed.

Photo: Nike
Photo: Nike

Nike says “designer Hiroshi Fujiwara mixes the spirit of sport with the essence of design to create a beautiful clash between age-old tradition and present-day attitude.” The collection features familiar faces, like Rafael Nadal, and the new wave of stars, like Grigor Dimitrov.

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14 comments

  1. So very sorry that Rafa will not be playing, will not be the same without him but I will certainly be rooting for Roger now. xx

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  2. I fail to understand how anyone can be a fan of BOTH Rafa & Federer. It’s like being a fan of BOTH Andre Agassi & Pete Sampras, Arnold Palmer & Jack Nicklaus, Magic Johnson & Larry Bird, Muhammad Ali & Joe Frazier, Bjorn Borg & John McEnroe. Impossible!!!
    Rafa and Federer are ARCH RIVALS competing for the “GOAT” title. Take your pick. You can’t root for a tie.
    Federer fans – especially in the media and on the internet – are, by and large, the most dogmatic, arrogant, dishonest, rude, ungracious group of folk you’ll ever meet. Rafa fans, on the other hand, tend to be the exact opposite of that.
    While HUMBLE Rafa has often referred to Federer as “the GOAT”, Federer has NEVER returned the favor, despite the fact that Rafa has OWNED him in their head-to-head matches(23-10 overall, 8-2 in the slams, 6-2 in slam finals). Federer hasn’t defeated Rafa in a slam since the 2007 Wimbledon final, when Rafa was barely 21 years old, a mere puppy
    in tennis years. Since then, Rafa has won all 5 of their slam matches, including some major beat-downs of “the Swiss Maestro”.
    That alone should convince tennis fans which of these two players is more deserving of their support – as a player, and/or, as a person.
    VAMOS!!!

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  3. Many other tough players Fed has to face, Novak, Monfils, Tsonga, Andy, Feliciano Lopez can surprise Fed at the U.S. Open I won’t be surprised to see a new U.S.Open winner need a new champion time for a change

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  4. I think Rafa’s absence opens up the drawer for a lot of players not just Roger especially since this is a grand slam. I’m hoping Andy Murray will step it up. It would be nice to see him
    in the winner’s circle for a change. Since Rafa is out, I am going to root for Andy!

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  5. Disappointed that Rafa won’t be able to play the US Open. Hope he gets enough rest and is healthy enough to compete soon, the tour needs him back.
    Anyway as a fan I will root for Fed now – my two favourite players of all!

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  6. What p*sses me off most is the sequence of statements. 1) Injury! But don’t worry, it’s a light one 2) We are confident Rafa will be there at the US Open! 3) Nike: look guys, here is Rafa’s US Open Outfit 4) Saturday I will announce whether I compete 5) Ah, sorry, I will wait till early next week 6) Suprise, surprise, I am not there, despite giving the impression all would be fine!

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  7. It is lamentable that Rafa will not be able to compete in the US Open this year. His millions of fans and I are very much saddened by these circumstances. And, we all know how badly Rafa must feel about this. However, we can all rest easy in the knowledge that Rafa and his doctors made the correct decision so that he will be able to compete fully when he does return to the tennis circuit. And, of course, Roger Federer’s chances at the US Open are much improved since he knows he will not have to compete with Rafa this time. Any tennis pro or fan will tell you that–without hesitation.

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