Rafa Roundup: Here’s why Rafa can’t understand people who don’t want to go to Olympics

Photo by Corinne Dubreuil / FFT
Photo by Corinne Dubreuil / FFT


“My first Grand Slam was at Wimbledon in 2003. It had always been a dream for me,” said Nadal. “But the most important thing is a victory in the second round and not the 200 victories. It’s only another number.

“I won two matches with comfortable results. I played the way that I had to play to be in the third round,” said Nadal. “After a difficult first three games today, I played a solid match with not many mistakes and having control of the situation most of the time. I need to keep playing better if I want to have chances in the next rounds.”

Only 13 tennis players have carried their nation’s flag at the Opening Ceremony of an Olympic Games, and Rafael Nadal will join them in Rio.

“It’s a true honour,” beams Nadal, who won singles gold in Beijing in 2008 and played doubles as a 17-year-old in 2004. “I’m very excited. For me it was an amazing feeling when I was told I would carry the flag in 2012. It was terrible news when I had to pull out.” Instead he had to watch at home as basketball’s Pau Gasol proudly bore the standard instead.

Nadal continued on his stance: “Everybody is free to do what’s better for [themselves], but I know how tough was for me when I had to lose the 2012 Olympics in London. For sure, I cannot understand people who don’t want to go to Olympics. No, is something that is not every year. Is an event that you can compete only once, twice, or three in your career maybe, if you are lucky.

The former No. 1 and French Open champion penned a short but heartfelt letter to Nadal — anyone can do so via a Nike store in Paris — in which he called the soon-to-be 30-year-old “inspiring.” Agassi then posted it on Twitter.

“It took me most (of) my career to accomplish the herculean task of winning the French Open one time,” Agassi wrote. “Watching you attempt to win it for the tenth time is not only remarkable … it is inspiring. You make me believe in life that anything is achievable and nothing is impossible!”




  1. Rafa, Mother Nature is still lamenting your absence in Paris. She is still shedding tears on Roland Garros where her torrent has forced cancellation of an entire day’s games. In 2016, this makes it 16 years since the FO had to cancel a day of play.
    How she and I miss you!


  2. Rafa most likely has heard all the suggestions regarding his training but he would probably crack up in hysteric at the thought of needing an “orthodontic trainer.”


    • Nadal was diagnosed with a rare congenital foot condition at the end of 2005. A bone in his foot, called the tarsal scaphoid, is deformed, causing intense pain. A doctor told him he might never play again. He is required to wear innersole(s) to prevent the foot from moving within the shoe. Note that the first thing he does when leaving the court is to loosen the shoe laces. His trainers are 1/2 size too small to stop his feet moving around. It was mentioned a long time ago, perhaps even before Nadal won his first slam. It’s the true culprit of his injuries and not his revolutionary game. Made public in his autobiography.

      • Hi Teresa, I read Rafa’s auto-bio a few years ago. I couldn’t figure out why you sent me that post so I ignored it.
        I just realized you meant to send it to me because I posted Rafa would crack up about needing an “orthodontic coach.” If Rafa were ever to read that he would probably smile or laugh figuring it was a typo just like I did. It apparently was not a typo so no disrespect meant. Orthodontics has to do with teeth, orthopedics has to do with bones so I am sure you can appreciate that the thought of needing an “orthodontic trainer” would be funny.

        RAFA ROCKS

  3. Maritza Llenas I became in love with Rafa when he was19 and saw him play! A very famous reporter sittig next to me said; “if he continues play like that only he will soon be plagued with injuries.! a prophecy today I watched the entire era of Sampras, Agassi, Becket (jojo headcoach) and never saw them with injuries. tennis is not just serve and hit, you need clever tips and trcks too Wk too. With due respect to Uncle Toni, he only knows backyard tennis. Talk to Sampras, Agassi, Mcelroe. etsc. skip W he ha toskip wimbledon and olimpycs !! heal your mind and body first so not t play with fear,,My heartr hurts so much much fo him..and don’t expect him backsoon,,take ur time to focus on where ur going..prayung that u willmake some drastic changes in the future heal soon! my heart goes to u Rafa!

  4. it was very sad news….i was shocked when i heard that nadal has pulled out due to injury…i was waiting for semifinal against novak… but now RG is over for me…

  5. Margo …you make me feel better ! I’m going to look on the bright side, at least I won’t be getting up at 2am to watch him play! ( I live in California so there is a 9 hour time differnce) Plus he will go home to vacation with his girlfriend and friends on his beautiful yacht… Seems he really enjoys his time off!

    • Geez… You had to bring up his new toy.
      He does love being on the water.

      I was reading an interview he did some years back. Rafa was asked what he planned to do upon retirement and his response was, “I will buy a boat so I can go fishing.”
      I was going to post that when he bought the boat recently but then decided not to. I didn’t want to rain on his parade (FO).
      Just go to sleep thinking of his words, “This is not the end.” He thinks come hell or high water he will get back to RG. I hope he does.


  6. Margo… You are right, this is different… This is huge, we know he has mush for knees and foot problems but for him to withdraw from his beloved RG with a wrist injury… this is major. Look at Del Potro… It ruined his career in his prime. I hate to be negative but it just doesn’t look good… Trying to be positive but just too upset today… Maybe tomorrow I’ll be more rational and stop thinking about myself instead of Rafa..he said he couldn’t even move his wrist this morning ..yikes!

    • Hey Hey Souix, the plagiarism police will get you for “Yikes.” LOL
      Yes, this is very different.

      That’s why I was furious. He couldn’t move his wrist this morning because he played Madrid, Rome and RG without listening to his body.
      I was reading about the unbelievable force the wrist is made to absorb from a racket because of those powerful hits to a tennis ball. Imagine that, day after day; year after year. Thinking about it hurts.

      Again, cheer up. I trust Rafa will be back. He said it’s not the end. In fact, maybe he should rest up until the Olympics. I am just so afraid he will not wait until he is completely healed. Then I will have to punish him by hiding his rackets.


  7. Margo… You made me laugh when I read your comment…I don’t give a bleep either who wins now…I’m just so devastated and saddened by this…actually teary eyed all day ( have to hide it because my family and friends think I’m nuts) I can come on to this site and find sanctuary as you all feel the same way I do about Rafa… A sad sad day…my heart is broken.

    • Glad you got a laugh.
      I was literally speechless when I heard the news. Frozen. Then just terribly saddened, yes for me but more importantly for Rafa. Then I find out he has been playing in pain since Madrid. I could strangle him. (JOKING)
      I just feel empty. Not like with previous injuries or “problems.” This is different, this is huge. I cannot explain it. It just feels so raw. And I cannot imagine what he is suffering. I wish him a lot of inner strength to get through this one.
      Cheer up because it’s not the end. I don’t see him playing Wimbledon but he may fool me.


    • Glad you got a laugh, Souix. My first response disappeared.
      I was at first speechless, then frozen, then just very saddened by the news.
      Then I found out he has been playing with that injury since Madrid. I could have strangled him. (JOKING)
      Unless someone is an ardent fan, he/she won’t understand your sadness. Don’t worry about it. I just hope he recovers and can play competitively until he retires. This is not the end so cheer up.

      Oh, yeah, when I first heard he had withdrawn I was thinking only of Rafa but here so many were ragging on other players still in the tournament I got pissed so that’s why I made that comment. I took my Rafa shot so I am fine now. LOL

  8. Va4fevre… I was watching it as well and I can tell you that I’am devastated…they switched over to a conference meeting and when I saw Rafa my heart starting beating so fast… Just the worse news possible for me as I was looking so forward to watching him this Memorial weekend. He was really doing so well …I’m just so sad. The good news that it is not a tear… it’s just inflammation of the tendon. I guess we can just hope and pray that he will be well enough for the Wimbledon and the Olympics… Jim Courier was so disappointed you could hear it in his voice… He said no one would be happy to hear this especially in the locker room. Now “may the best man win” … It would be nice for Richard Gasquet or Tsonga to win… They are both great players and have the ultimate respect for Rafa!

  9. Mats wilander probably got it right when he said that there are so many different types of wrist injuries – del potro and laura robson being out 4 ages with 2 diferent types. Rafa said he wanted 2b ok for wimbledon but i think thats doubtful. He’s had bandages on his wrist 4 ages so i dont know – it might not be as bad an injury as the other two. We can only hope

  10. I’m absolutely gutted. But still cant get over the fact he has known about this problem and did nothing for so long. I thought he looked a bit dubious in his post match press conference after Bagnis.

  11. Chantelle , I to am worriwd for Rafa, listening to the commentators when they were talking about Rafa’s injury and then bought up Del Porto and Linda Robson who have both suffered with wrist injuries and have been away from the game for a longtime and haven’t played that well when they have returned.Just when everything seemed to be going right and Rafa seemed to be on the road back to the top and now this .Does a wrist injury completely heal or is it something that you always have to be careful with, I don’t know.I can’t imagine the pain Rafa is feeling right now , just thankful he has a strong family around him to pick him up

  12. Maria – stan played a cracking match today. If he keeps that up – he may be able to take novak down if they should meet again but i think he’s on andy’s side of the draw. Im very depressed about all this and rafa looked so upset – im worried for him

  13. I am hoping that we will hear a little positive news on his recovery, but this is just devastating news. I was watching a match, and I just turned it off after Rafa’s press conference. I am sad for us his fans, but mostly I am sad for Rafa. He is such a wonderful person. At this point, I only hope that he will be able to play on the Olympics. It means so much to him.

  14. I am not saying that players over 30 aren’t playing well , but they can’t go on forever , and Nick kyrgios is a prime example of someone who is very talented but needs to start taking it more seriously and step up . The younger players just don’t seem to have the work ethic that’s needed and give 100% every game like Rafa has. If nobody steps up soon we might as well give Novak all the trophies now

    • Rafa’s work ethic is unsurpassed. Madison Keys who is now ranked 17, wanted to attend a concert last year, when her then coach Lindsay Davenport wanted her to practice. Tennis, as in any other sport, takes total commitment. Who knows what ranking she would be if she were totally committed.
      I don’t think the next gen realizes or appreciates the opportunity they have to be the best of the rest. Only time will tell.
      I would like to know how tickets prices will be affected by Rafa’s departure.


  15. That’s why some of us on this forum keep telling that Rafa should have hired a coach to renovate his playing style some years ago. Rafa just can’t get away from injuries with his brutal playing style. His body has had it enough. He can’t keep playing defensive and long rallies which requires many shots and stay injury-free. Richard Gasquet defeated nick Kyrgios in straight sets. Rafa had a hard time in Rome to defeat him and Gasquet is 30 years old.

    • I don’t think Nick played nearly as well as he did in Rome. I hope you didn’t mean that Richard is at a better level than Rafa, because it’s just not true!

    • Easier said than done. It would be a monumental task for Rafa to change his style of play (after fifteen years).


    • It’s not just his brutal playing style. He has been playing with orthodontic trainers since he was 19 to take his body weight off a defective bone. This unbalances his body. They said this would be the main cause of injury over time.

  16. Looking on the bright side ( which is very hard at the moment) Novak might take the FO this year but he will never beat Rafa’s record there , he would have to win it every year until he’s 37 and although he looks virtually unstoppable at the moment that might just be pushing it .

    • I don’t give a )&(53;)$&@ who wins the French open considering Rafa has pulled out due to injury. Too upset at the moment. Less heartbreaking had he lost his match. More heartbroken that he is injured.

      My family and friends are now rooting for Andy.


  17. Roland Garros is Rafa and the tournament has certainly lost its appeal , for me anyway. I can’t believe that just as Rafa was getting near his best again this happens . Couldn’t be a worse injury or timing. I hope we don’t see an early retirement from Rafa because of this, but Del Potro suffered a wrist injury in 2010 and only came back on tour this year. Andy and Stan both played well today so I only hope now one of them can halt Novak in his tracks. I cant believe how many of the players are now over 30 , we really need to start seeing the next generation stepping up to the plate or we will have Novak domination for the next 4 years plus . Please look after yourself Rafa and only play wimbledon if your ready ( seeing you on a UK talk show would be great if your in london) . Gutted just gutted😥

  18. I see your pain, I share your pain. Don’t come back before you are completely healed. Take as long as needed for you to be 100%.


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