Rafael Nadal: I don’t have doubts today that I will be ready for Monte Carlo

Rafael Nadal withdrew from the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday, done in once again by a knee injury. He had been set to play longtime rival Roger Federer in the semifinals.

Rafa announced his withdrawal a couple hours before he was scheduled to take the court at Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

“I warm up today in the morning, and I felt that my knee was not enough good to compete at the level that I need to compete,” he said.

The Spaniard’s right knee flared up in the second set of his 7-6 (2), 7-6 (2) victory over Karen Khachanov in Friday’s quarterfinals. He twice called for a trainer, who applied tape just below Rafa’s knee. It was obvious that Nadal’s movement was hampered.

Rafa said he won’t play again until the Monte-Carlo Masters on clay in mid-April.

“I don’t have doubts today that I will be ready for Monte Carlo,” he said.

Knee problems have dogged the 32-year-old Spaniard for years, and they cut short his 2018 season after the U.S. Open in September. He was forced to quit two sets into his semifinal against Juan Martin del Potro.

Nadal choked up discussing his withdrawal last fall, and he appeared near tears on Saturday.

He admitted that he sometimes is sad because he feels at a disadvantage against his opponents due to his continued knee issues that force him to limit his practice and playing time.

Then he gathered himself, saying, “It’s not the moment to complain much. With all this stuff, I still where I am today.”

The year began promisingly enough. Nadal didn’t drop a set in reaching his fifth Australian Open final, where he lost to Novak Djokovic. He’s ranked No. 2 in the world and has a match record of 11-2.

“Still tough because I felt more or less OK during this beginning of the season in terms of my knee,” he said. “Now it starts the process that I have to decide what direction we have to take to recover well and to recover as soon as possible.”

Even with all of his injuries, Nadal indicated he has no intention of giving up playing on hard courts, the surface for two of the four Grand Slam events.

“My goal is to play on all the surfaces,” he said.

It would have been the 39th career meeting between Nadal and Federer, who advances to Sunday’s final in pursuit of a record sixth title at Indian Wells.

Federer will play either Milos Raonic or Dominic Thiem, whose semifinal was under way when Rafa was talking to reporters.

Source: AP

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47 comments

  1. Rafa is in an extremely difficult and agonising position. He loves to compete but is at odds constantly with his body. He said that he’s seen many retired tennis players with mobility problems (Boris Becker splring to mind) and i think he is very worried that he may end up like them when he no.1 spot shouldn’t be a priority for Rafa any more as he’s been there and done that. His main goal should be to add to his grand slam tally. Of course, if he reduces his schedule considerably, like Mjus is suggesting, then he has to accept a drop in his ranking and the likelihood of playing top players in the early rounds of tournaments, but this is the price to be paid. One thing for sure and that is Rafa has to make the necessary adjustments and fast if he is to remain on the circuit for the next few years. He knows it, we know it, but will he do it? Rafa would be wise to hear the strong message from his body.

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  2. If there is no cure for his knee then rafa should make a drastic decision about the remaining years of his career and that is to limit the hardcourt tournaments and only plays on hard court the australian open, us open maybe indian wells or miami but not both and play montreal or cincinnati and then end his season in september after the us open

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  3. No nadal should not retire he simply just love to compete and loves the game.

    But Rafa should seriousley look for a solution for his knee. Maybe surgery Federer did it at the end of 2016 and look how he came back. Otherwise special shoes on hardcourt that will protect his knees

    By the way congratulations to thiem. His victory says one thing about rafa.

    Rafa has from the top players like federer and djokovic the best track record against the younger generation only shapovalov and krygios are even with him in head to head

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    • mjus, I agree that it’s too early to suggest Rafa retire. Let’s see how well he recuperates from this current knee flare up.

      Please keep in mind that Roger had a different knee injury; a torn meniscus which usually heals on its own or can be fixed with arthroscopic surgery which Roger had done. And he took his time to return to competition to make sure it was healed.

      Rafa, on the other hand, may have no cartilage left in his knee. That’s what I suspect. Totally different diagnosis and one cannot grow back cartilage.

      Rafa’s sneakers are custom built to accommodate the orthotic insert. After reading comments about cushioning, I wonder if some cushioning was sacrificed to accommodate the insert. Or if there is an ATP rule regulating type of sneaker construction. Or what kind and much of a shock absorber is allowed. A lot of questions I have because I don’t know anything about sneakers or ATP sneaker regulations..

      I don’t want Rafa’s track record diminished by anyone on clay.
      Yes, Shapovalov and Rafa are 1-1 H2H: Shapo won on hard in Canada 2017; Rafa won on clay in 2018 at Rome [6-1, 6-4].

      Rafa and Kyrgios have met six times and they are 3-3 H2H: Kyrgios has won 2 on hard, one on grass. Never on clay.; Rafa has won 2 on clay, 1 on hard.

      I am watching world No. 8 Dominic Thiem who just won his first Masters. He has won 12 ATP titles in total, 8 on clay.

      He and Rafa have met 11 times and H2H he is 3-8 Rafa and the 3 he won were all on clay. I would be surprised if he doesn’t play Monte-Carlo [player list to be available on 3/21]. Rafa demolished him at the FO 2018 [6-4, 6-3, 6-2[ but I expect Thiem to do a lot better should they meet again this clay season. His confidence should be very high after his IW title win.

      RAFA ROCKS

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    • Sorry, editing error. Should read “…..I think he is very worried that he might end up like them when he hangs up his racquet. The no.1 position shouldn’t be a priority for Rafa any more…”

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  4. VAMOS SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) TAKE GREAT CARE AND FOLLOW YOUR OWN INSTINCTS. WE ARE PRAYING YOUR BODY IS FEELING BETTER EACH DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) HAVE A BEAUTIFUL TIME AND ENJOY YOUR BREAK. GOD BLESS YOU SWEETHEART AND ALL BEST WISHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!: ) XOXOXOXOXOXO

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  5. No prrmanent cure for tendonitis just as i have nerve pain in my feet and legs i am 69 years old i suffer a lot of pain from my condition and there is no permanent cure for that, but some days i am able to walk clean my house wait on my family of 3 which are construction workers so i have a lot to do. I have very bad days with my condition and other days i can do a lot so people dont fault Rafa Nadal for his condition flareing up so he cant play not his fault just be glad its not you that has his condition.

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  6. Well done Dominic Thiem, the IW champion. So often the bridesmaid at the big ones, but this time the bride. Rafa unable to win it, so glad you did.

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    • Well now folks i guess the ones that made the remarks about Rafa saying even if Rafa was 100 % fit that Fed would beat him i say he would not have beat Rafa he lost to Dominic Thiem who is a good player but not even close to the player that a fit Rafa is just bad remaks from people that dont know what they are talking about.

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  7. These things happen. You can buy a ticket, pay for travel and accommodation, use up annual leave from work if it’s a weekday, and then someone can be injured, or the match can be cancelled due to bad weather. That’s life. I’d have been gutted if I’d thought I was going to see Rafa v Roger and then it was called off at the last minute, but people get injured: it’s no-one’s fault. Sometimes things feel better in the morning, and sometimes they feel worse: he’d have waited to see what happened. And there’s no sense risking making it worse, with the clay court season only a month away.

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  8. As far as the timeliness of the announcement that Rafa had to withdraw, the thought crossed my mind that they didn’t want to announce it before the Raonic/Thiem match and take away attention from that so they waited until it was absolutely necessary. And I don’t think there is an easy way to announce a withdrawal when it is the last thing you want to do. He did what he had to do in order to make a crucial decision. If he had needed to withdraw in the middle of a match he would have, as he did in the US Open semi final.

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    • Rafa texted Roger as soon as he knew for sure, as Roger reported. Rafa did not know whether he could play on the day after his match with Khachanov. If Khachanov could not beat an injured Rafa how do you think he would do vs a healthy Federer? That’s tennis. If you can play you play to win; if you can’t you retire. You do not throw a match, ever!

      The men’s semis was a single ticket for both. Thiem and Raonic put on a good match close match. You don’t always get even one good match from the semis, so while I’m sure the fans were very disappointed not to see Fedal they did get their money’s worth.

      Being a fan of any tennis player has both frustrations and rewards, as does playing the game. Good luck with your choices.

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    • Darice… I completely agree with you… There is no easy way to announce a withdrawal of this magnitude… We are talking about Rafa and Roger… a match that some people at IW spent hundreds of dollars, some thousands to attend a match of epic proportion, people who wanted to be there as they knew this might be the last time they meet and they wanted to be part of it! I get it… You have millions of Rafa fans and millions of Roger fans along with the entire tennis community excited with anticipation over these 2 gladiators coming into the arena… And who knows if this match will ever happen again. I know Rafa wanted this so much and so did Roger. They are athletes who love to compete in their sport (with the clock ticking) and now they had a chance to face off with their biggest rival….THIS would be watched around the world…. So Rafa waited till the morning to see if he could give it his all… And I for one knew it was a possibility and had the same sinking feeling everyone else had upon hearing it wasn’t going to happen…I wouldn’t expect or want him to go in at 50 or 75%. no way… And his apologies to his fans was proper and heartfelt… This has been a rough 24 hours for our boy… He needs to rest up, day by day, until he’s ready to come back…

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  9. Gees… he withdrew 2 hours before the match. His attitude shows a total lack of respect towards Roger Federer and all the fans who had bought their tickets . He should have withdrawn when he got hurt!!! while playing against K. Khachanov (that guy was playing really well) . Khachanov vs Federer would have been a good match. 12 hours later he announces that he will be ready for Monte Carlo… Very selfish, very self- centered, and again total lack of respect towards everyone. My love for him has dropped considerably … From now on I will cheer for Shapovalov and Félix Auger-Aliassime, 2 future Canadian super stars. Oh yes!!! 

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    • Nocole, I would be very surprised if Rafa had not told Roger earlier.

      Before you accuse Rafa of anything, please make sure it wasn’t the tournament director, or even the ATP, who asked Rafa to postpone making any announcement of a withdrawal. You don’t know what went on behind closed doors is what I am saying. A rush to judgment is not a good thing. GET THE FACTS FIRST

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      • Rafa was out on the practice court just after 8am. How much earlier was he supposed to do it? He wanted to try to see if he could play, he would have known that the fans and the tournament officials would want him to, but that isn’t a good enough reason to risk his health, or for the match to end up being one-sided or curtailed by retirement. Respect for others is a good thing but self-respect is important as well. I sometimes think Rafa considers others’ wishes too much, he gives a lot of time and effort to fans, tournaments, media and the sport of tennis.

        I highly doubt Roger is too bothered – you may have seen him wish Rafa well on social media yesterday. Rafa also said sorry to fans via his Instagram, although in my opinion most fans would consider that no apology was necessary.

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      • Hi jas_uk.Did you send this to me in error?

        I have to disagree about your apology comment. Of course Rafa, or any other athlete with fans, would apologize not for being injured but as a way to let fans know that he understands their sadness and/or frustration that he can’t play. Many fans travel great distances, and buy their tickets way in advance. I am sure without a doubt some fans may have had to save up just to buy a ticket. That’s how I see it and I think Rafa gets it.

        RAFA ROCKS FOR ME

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    • I believe this is a site where anyone can express their sentiments about Rafa and his play, decisions etc. and you certainly have. Knee tendonitis is not something that you can gauge immediately… If you were watching the Kach match one of the announcers said he lived with it for years and it was painful one day and no pain the next day….. Unpredictable …
      I remember being at the US Open in 2017 …Rafa was in the semi finals against Delpo… It was at that match that he tweaked his knee and the tendonitis hit fast and hard … He played a few games but knew there was no way he could get through the match without risking further injury and so he sadly retired mid match. That was not the case on Friday at IW…Rafa felt the tweak immediately towards the end of the 1st set and he powered through it… He did what he needed to do… Call out the trainer … get taped up… and try with everything in him and see if he could go on… And he did!! He battled Khachanov and beat his a– with the bum knee… So NO.. Khachanov didn’t deserve to go on in the semis … He didn’t and couldn’t beat Rafa Nadal… He lost the match! and NO …Rafa didn’t need to retire unless he absolutely had to… You calling him selfish, self centered , and having a lack of respect couldn’t further from the truth. Rafa Nadal doesn’t have a selfish, centered, and lack of respect bone in his body! And so he doesn’t need your kind of “love” … So you’re jumping ship is perfect… And you saying that you will now cheer for Shapovalov and Félix Auger-Aliassime in the future is a great idea… The only thing is I’m not sure they want you to be a fan of theirs…

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    • Nicole, While you are at it why stop at Canadians and not add a few more names like Djokovicz, Federer or even Khachanov? Cheer for whom you want because I think many Rafa fans would question the value of a you as a fan.

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      • PUMA, unless you’ve got something to contribute to the conversation, enough is enough. I am a fan so please don’t speak for me. Please speak to the issue at hand.

        I just came from Twitter and there is @troublefault’s explanatory comment about Rafa’s foot problem in a response to someone who probably blamed Rafa’s style of play as cause for his injury. “Once more for the style of play false narrative…”

        This is a nice site, let’s keep it civil.

        RAFA ROCKS TENNIS

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    • Nicole, if you know Rafa, you’ll know that he has total respect for his fans, the paying public and the tournament organisers. Don’t blame him for trying as hard as he could to compete. Like any sportsperson with integrity, he plays to win and is always keen to put on a good show for the audience. I guess that ultimately he was hoping against hope that he would be fit enough to play the semi. Come on, give the guy a break.

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  10. Rafa had been playing the highest standard of tennis in Indian Wells and would have won the title in my opinion. We know for sure that he felt real pain early on during his game against Khachanov and yet he still won against all the odds. He is a hero, a Fighter and has real determination but has kept his good heart and respect for the game and all his opponents – that is why we all miss him so much when he is injured. Please take time to get better , dear Rafa, and how ever long it takes to recover your fans will stay true to you! God bless you ! ❤️

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  11. RAFA! YOU Are the Greatest Tennis player ever fighting against great opponents and physical injuries Day in and Day out through out your carrier.Get well soon and go on clay courts in 2019 where you are undisputed CHAMPION

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  12. RAFA GRACIAS!! Por darnos estos ratos tan agradables d verte jugar.. Cuidate tú vales mas k todo esto.. Siempre te seguiré y esperaré verte jugar..si estás para Monte Carlo y sino para cuande estés… Tu salud y fisico es lo primeroyo no digo… SIEMPRE CONTIGO yo no digo muevete para jugar… Algo k trafucen mal.. Yo digo gracias por estos ratos tan agradables k nos das.. Es algo bien distinto… SALUDOS RAFA

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  13. Being at Indian Wells last week, and spending 2 hours at Rafa’s epic practice with Roger at the next court…where Rafa looked soooo great ..and strong…and powerful… And then, it was amazing to see him at 2 of his center court matches where he took command of both while his opponents were in awe of this beast in hot pink who stood across the net. And now I watch yesterdays match and see his face and the pain and the limp and the trainer and you know this is not good …and he fights and digs deep to win and he does, only to announce today that he can’t go on. My heart broke for him watching that press conference… his sadness …his demeanor in accepting what he cannot control… Yes…he needs to go home…rest…rehab. and meet with the team and change his schedule that is better for him … Hopefully we will see him in Monte Carlo….Until then, I wish him safe travels back to Mallorca…

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  14. Amazing play up to the semis. Good luck with your recovery-while we want to see you on court, you
    need to take as long as is needed to get healthy. This is stressful-cannot imagine what it is like for a
    player in Rafael’s position. A speedy and successful recovery💪👏👍🤛👊🏻💕

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  15. I would venture to say Rafa is lucky his hips have held out this long. This is after discussions with my orthopedist who is also a Rafa fan.

    Since the age of nineteen, Rafa has known he would encounter physical problems in the future because of the orthotic needed in his shoe to alleviate the pain caused by his foot malformation. If I remember correctly, I think he told his doctor “I’ll deal with that when it happens.”*

    Through the years Rafa has suffered pain and I don’t know how he does it. He is AMAZING in so many ways. And he’s still playing.

    A few months ago I suggested maybe he should concentrate on only playing clay. I can’t recall how many thumbs down that comment generated but it was a lot.

    There are new remedies other than surgical for those with knee problems and I am sure Rafa is looking at all options. I hope he finds one that works for him.

    May he start feeling better and come back even stronger.

    *Rafa (his autobiography)

    RAFAMAZING ROCKS

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  16. Rafa looked and sounded completely devastated in his press conference and It was painful to watch. He said that he loves the hard courts but his body doesn’t. How frustrating that must be for him. However, it’s encouraging to read that Rafa is confident to be fully fit for Monte Carlo, indicating that the knee probably just needs a few weeks rest. Look after yourself champ and i’ll see you on the clay.

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  17. Very sad for Rafa that doggone problem of knee injury has flared up again i am sad that you are having discomfort and you will have to wait for the next tournament at MC. Till then hope you get better soon enough to play there. Bless you Rafa.

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  18. So frustrating this but the right decision. I am also dissapointed that again he will not play miami. To be honest its hard for me to see nadal ever winning an important tournament on hard court. His body is not cooperating with him.

    Unless there will be a factory that produce special shoes for rafa so that his knees will not be hurd on hard courts I dont see him winning important hardcourt tournaments like indian wells, miami, australian open or tournaments like sjanghai, paris and atp finals

    Nadal should seriously think about limiting playing hard courts. He should primarly focuss on the claycourt season and playing grandslams and end his season after the us open in order to protect his knees.

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      • RAFA GRACIAS!! Por darnos estos ratos tan agradables d verte jugar.. Cuidate tú vales mas k todo esto.. Siempre te seguiré y esperaré verte jugar..si estás para Monte Carlo y sino para cuande estés… Tu salud y fisico es lo primero… SIEMPRE CONTIGO

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    • RAFA GRACIAS!! Por darnos estos ratos tan agradables d verte jugar.. Cuidate tú vales mas k todo esto.. Siempre te seguiré y esperaré verte jugar..si estás para Monte Carlo y sino para cuande estés… Tu salud y fisico es lo primero… SIEMPRE CONTIGO

      Like

  19. There is no Fedal without Rafa. Another dark day when Rafa is forced to withdraw from a tournament due to injury. Sad for Rafa. Sad for Rafa’s loved ones. Sad for Rafa’s fans.

    Rafa sounds optimistic about Monte Carlo but Rafa’s an optimistic guy. I want him back but not before he is rid of this current setback.

    RAFA STILL ROCKS

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    • Why do I have the feeling that for the final match, Federer would have preferred Nadal, Nick would have preferred Federer and Nadal would have preferred Federer.

      But, as always, we’d see……..cheers

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  20. So sorry for Rafa. Sometimes i think he should retire. So much pain over the years with his knees and other injuries. He has a life after tennis.

    Get well soon champ. Always with you. Vamos Rafa ❤

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    • I agree: Rafa should retire. He has withdrawn from too many hardcourt tournaments, just at the last minute. BTW: Is there a permanent cure for tendonitis of the knee? can he take eight months off and get surgery that will cure him permanently?

      Like

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