Is Rafa a bit of a scaredy-cat?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by kragster, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. kragster

    kragster Hall of Fame

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    As a Rafa fan, I've been trying to figure out what the frequent "will play, won't play" flipflops mean. The silent ban theories don't hold any water IMO because they fail a logic test (why target a conspicuous player like Rafa, why now, why not a monetary fine if ATP is complicit anyway etc)

    So it seems to me that the reason for all these flip flops is that Rafa is a bit of a scaredy-cat. I see Rafa as someone who thrives on being the underdog, he loves going into a match thinking that the other player is better and hence he has this 'nothing to lose' attitude. I think this stems from years of Tio Toni telling him that everyone else was better than him and the only way to win was hard work.

    I think that's why any time Rafa doesn't feel 100% or doesn't feel like he has had enough practice, he is scared of losing and hence doesn't even want to compete. This stomach virus thing surely shouldn't prevent him from playing at the AO, but maybe its affected his confidence enough that he is scared of being knocked out early at AO.
     
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  2. DropShotArtist

    DropShotArtist Banned

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    No one knew about Agassi's drug use when it was happening.
     
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  3. fedfan46

    fedfan46 Rookie

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    Since this is my first post, I think I should let people know that I am as big of a Federer homer as there is. But I still feel I can talk about other players, like Nadal, without letting that bias get in the way. So to answer the question: Rafa has a certain attitude about him that doesn't lead me to believe he thrives on being the underdog. He never is the underdog. He has no reason to have a mindset entering a match of "this player is better than me so I have nothing to lose". There is no reason Rafa would withdraw from a major because of a stomach virus, especially weeks in advance. The fact of the matter is, his knee is not ready for major competition and he doesn't want another Rosol type match in the AO that makes people begin to question his ability to remain at the top of the game.
     
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  4. kragster

    kragster Hall of Fame

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    I think his knee is ok enough at this point to enter and compete but his ego prevents him from doing that. I do not think that 'all or nothing' is the right attitude. He should be OK with losing to a Rosol like player if hes getting some match practice in the process.

    On a side note interesting that you as a Fed fan are defending Rafa and I as a Rafa fan am attacking him a bit :).
     
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  5. fedfan46

    fedfan46 Rookie

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    I'm conflicted about Rafa- his game on clay is the best thing in tennis. Yes, as a Fed fan, I enjoy watching Rafa on clay more than Fed on grass :)

    But the guy is just such a ****** I can't root for him. The whole thing with chucking the ball at the chair and getting the French Open final suspended just put me over the top. That was one of the most bushleague things I have ever seen in the sport.

    Nadal is the best clay-court player ever, and there is no debate about that. But his attitude and ability on surfaces besides clay prevent him from being GOAT.
     
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  6. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    Who knows exactly? What is sure is that this "flipflop" as you call it is like throwing burning oil on the ebullient cauldron of " anything goes" speculations. It's gonna be a madhouse until - hopefully- Rafa hits his first ball in a competitive match. The good news for event managers is that they don't have to worry about ticket selling when that happens... The French have a saying: there is no such thing as bad publicity!
     
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  7. Amelie Mauresmo

    Amelie Mauresmo Banned

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    I disagree, I think Nadal is being smart, why should he travel thousands of miles to Australia and lose in the fourth round or the quarterfinals? Nadal is a champion and he probably feels he needs more time to prepare for the Australian Open. But since Nadal is sick with a stomach virus he feels he doesn't have the time. Nadal is being very smart here no need to rush back when he's not physically or mentally ready to return.
     
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  8. Mike Sams

    Mike Sams Legend

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    So when does he start to get fined for skipping tournaments?
     
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  9. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, no obligation at all to fans who bought tickets, travel thousands of miles, for one chance to see him play. Just " 'gimme, gimme, gimme' - I am Rafael Nadal and I am almighty - my uncle has been telling me that since I was 10. The companies who pay me millions in endorsement deals - too bad for them too."
     
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  10. dyldore

    dyldore Rookie

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    The ATP must be convinced that he needs this time off.

    Good mind reading skills!
     
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  11. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    [​IMG]

    ... by this humiliating comparison.
     
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  12. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    It has nothing to do with fear or stomach bugs, it has to do with his knees and the cover-up that his camp is doing to make sure that we don't know how bad they are at this moment in time to keep Rafa marketable.

    If your theory would be correct(about Nadal not entering if he doesn't feel 100% sure about his chances of winning, whatever that means), then Nadal wouldn't enter any non-clay tournies because he is rarely favourite in those and I doubt he feels that he can SURELY win them.

    Do you actually think Nadal skipped Olympics,Canada,Cincy,USO,other fall tournaments,DC final, AO, because he got cold feet at the last moment in every last one of them? Nope, the guy was in no shape to COMPETE. Compete in their world is not to go out there and try to get past the first round but to make sure that you are good enough physically(first of all) to go and hang at least with the top 4 and of course, try to win.

    If Nadal's knees are still battered, and I think they are, what is the point of going to Australia and playing 3 out of 5 on HC, knowing that you can make a big problem even worse? Remember that genius move that Delpo pulled, playing AO with a bum wrist? Remember how his year went afterwards?

    Nadal already messed up his 2012. Starting 2013 on the wrong foot(and I'm not just talking comeback surface here, but how well he is when he steps on court) could be career ending for him. In this day and age, you don't come back so easily. Delpo, who was 22 at the time, not 26 like Nadal, had 9 months off with surgery and it took him nearly another year after he came back to get into decent shape and take his rightful place among the top players. And Delpo is a big hitter, not a grinder like Rafa.

    Nadal is a veteran of the tour with a chronic knee condition who sat out half a year. If I were him I would only step on a tennis court when I have pain free practices(or at least with pain at a manageable level). If that doesn't happen in the foreseeable future, then I would retire.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
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  13. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    Total chicken
     
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  14. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    I agree, with this, my guess as well.

    Don't buy the silent ban theory, the stomach virus nor Nadal being "scared" of competition (for Pete's sake, he's a tour veteran despite his young age).
     
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  15. Ico

    Ico Hall of Fame

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    Scaredy cat? Rafael "humble channel slam god" Nadal came back after a similar set back at the start of 2010 to become the first man (x and y chromosomes) in world HISTORY to win three slams on three surfaces (clay, grass, and hard) in a single calendar year (12 months for the sad, miserable, obsessed ****s who don't know). All of these posts about Nadal show that He is truly the greatest tennis personality of all time and Mallorca and clay and RG and Shakira waka waka and 18-10 and 11>17 and Gold medal and Uncle Toni. :p

    [​IMG]

    /nsk
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
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  16. Mike Sams

    Mike Sams Legend

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    Why is Nadal grabbing Monaco's bottom?
     
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  17. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    Glad to know we agree on something. :)

    I get the vibe that his camp isn't telling us about his knees because they aren't acting like a camp with a healthy athlete in their midst ready to give his all in the next competitions. They are acting like they are trying to mask Rafa's physical condition and apparently they always need a little more time to get Rafa into shape. It's been six months already.

    If Rafa was reasonably healthy, they would be advertising that he is ready, we would see training clips, interviews about Rafa and his odds here, etc, something to get the people excited for his big return.

    Instead,we got some half-assed comments about him MAYBE playing in Abu Dhabi. That's when I thought that AO was possibly a no-go because in theory Nadal should be terribly glad to be back yet(especially for a competitor such as himself) in every clip I saw from him there was worry/doubt on his face.

    As for the being "scared" of competition, it's the Soderling comments from 2009 all over again and Nadal proved how scared he was by meeting Soderling again in 2009 and beating him in 2010 and 2011. Jesus, every top athlete likes to run on some confidence but I can't seriously fathom that people believe Nadal is mentally affected by his WB loss SIX MONTHS after the fact and that this event made him miss Olympics, several MS tourneys, USO, DC final, AO.

    Some people need to come to terms with the fact that Nadal's knees are f**ked. Nothing more, nothing less, though I'm sure that the speculation will run wild, as usual.
     
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  18. PrinceMoron

    PrinceMoron Hall of Fame

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    Where is the net winder?
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. sbengte

    sbengte Legend

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    Good post, and part of me is convinced this is the real reason, but still a bit skeptical because of the way the "injury" story surfaced. No one knows when exactly he got injured. He was definitely not injured until he lost to Rosol. So when did his knee flare up ? On a fishing trip ? Golf ?
     
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  20. sbengte

    sbengte Legend

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    :lol:

    10NSKs
     
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  21. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    too true. Remember how last summer every few weeks he was due to return to the tour, and then it took a month before they even knew what the injury was?
     
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  22. Atherton2003

    Atherton2003 Hall of Fame

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    My feeling is that there is more going on than what they wish to reveal. I think perhaps he may have had a knee injury, but I'm not sure of this stomach virus. I think he may have some personal issues which he needs to take time off for - he's done that before as well. He wants to maintain his privacy and it's understandable.
     
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  23. intrepidish

    intrepidish Rookie

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    Yes, perhaps a guy with chronic knee issues and famous painful experimental treatment of such etc might have a knee issue of some kind. Just maybe...
     
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  24. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    He may be a scaredy cat for other stuff (he's actually admitted to it) but not when it comes to tennis, that's for sure. He endured 7 consecutive heart breaking losses on all surfaces and in major finals against Djoko. Many people predicted he would never beat Djoko again. Did you see Nadal shrivel in his subsequent encounters with him? Did you see him shake? Trying to hide? He got the next 3 comprehensive victories in style.
    Nadal describes himself as a not so brave person when it comes to life in general but when it comes to tennis, he is nothing less than stoic. Still, if you're off the tour for 6 months, your first event back cannot be a slam. That'd just be a given for any player especially if the knee issues are not completely resolved, as I suspect is the case here (on top of the stomach flu). There is a difference between heroism and foolishness. One is admirable, the other one is laughable. I'm glad Rafa is not that stupid.
     
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  25. cmb

    cmb Semi-Pro

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    u know that if he just says he doesnt want to play, he gets fined from the atp.

    IMO Rafa has played a lot of tennis, done so much grinding to get to where he has been. Perhaps his knee needed a break, he took 3 months off....when it was time to practice and prepare again for the new year. He probably didnt want to put the work in. The works incredibly hard, Ive had the pleasure of watching him train during the offseason. Its insanity....., there are no words to describe how hard the guy works.

    After doing that kind of workload for the last 15 years, with the added stress of traveling, competing, media BS. Do you know how hard it is for the guy to win tennis matches? he's not like sampras who could walk through matches, the guy gives 120% every minute that he steps on the court, practice or match, he needs too to win. When he drops off 10%, guys like Lorenzi take sets off him, if he drops of 20%, Rosol beats him.

    He has money in the bank to do whatever he wants for the rest of his life and his kids life......I know I wouldnt be able to do what Rafa does on a daily basis with that much money in the bank.

    I wouldnt be suprised if we never see him playing again
     
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  26. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Stranger things have happened mate.

    Good post below, should be a mandatory read in all the threads with similar topic.

    Sometimes the simplest answer is the right one instead of all the wild theories people come up with.

     
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  27. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    lol, hilarious, one of the funniest posts I've seen on TT :lol:
     
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  28. Amelie Mauresmo

    Amelie Mauresmo Banned

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    I also think Nadal is going through something personal in life beyond tennis and compounded with the injury is the reason he took six months off. I believe Nadal definitely had a knee injury but it seems something is going on in his personal life that he's trying to deal with privately.
     
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  29. fps

    fps Legend

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    There is very little respect being shown to Rafa relating to his injuries. This may be because he has always come across as the streetfighter, the teenager, the upstart, and people aren't considering a few things properly
    1) He is an ELEVEN TIME GRAND SLAM CHAMPION, who therefore isn't going to be coming back not fit to lose in the fourth round of a slam. He's in tennis to win things at this point, not damage his legacy, there's no joy for him now, and a hit in sponsorship in the future, if he's a shadow of his former self. What would the point be? He must be sick of losing matches to people he feels he should beat, Federer's extraordinary streak in slams may well hurt when people keep bringing up Soderling and Rosol, matches he feels he wasn't fit to compete in.
    2) He has been on tour at the top level for 7 or 8 years now, which is a very long time to be making deep runs in lots of tournaments, and playing in a way that really stresses his body. namelessone hit this, the guy is not *young young* any more, this comeback if mismanaged could result in his body breaking down again and his career being over. It only makes sense to come back only when confident in your fitness and in your ability then to play continuously for a long time, because again referencing namelessone it is realistically going to take a long time for him to get back to his best level. This includes mentally feeling confident that he is over his troubles.
    3) He's missed his training block, the thing Murray Federer etc do each winter that gives them the core fitness and strength to get through a season. That is the damage this stomach bug, if that's what it is (clearly it's SOMETHING) has caused. So playing the AO doesn't just mean playing some matches and maybe getting knocked out, it means NOT BEING ABLE TO DO HIS TRAINING BLOCK PROPERLY, and that is one of the most important parts of their whole season, it's what gives the top players their edge. Rafa will miss the AO to do the training that will give him the best chance to get back to the level he requires.

    Have missed Rafa a lot more than I thought. Hope he has a great comeback, and that I finally get to see him play at Wimbledon this year.
     
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  30. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    NSK himself (themselves ?) couldn't have written it better ! :)
     
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  31. sbengte

    sbengte Legend

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    His history of strange and inconsistent injury stories, attributing every single unexpected loss to injury discrediting his opponent also has something to do with it, perhaps ?

    What has Fed's streak got to do with Nadal's losses to Soderling and Rosol :confused: Anyway, did Nadal feel he wasn't fit to compete in these matches before they were played ? I doubt it. It is only after the loss that he feels he wasn't fit to compete.
    The truth is pros play several times when less than 100%. Fed was not 100% perhaps in several of his unexpected slam losses. But we don't hear about it day in and day out, months after the loss , about how Fed was "not fit to compete in that particular match". Same is perhaps true for other top players.

    To each his own, I guess. Fed, for example, played on in 2008 and 2010 when he suffered from mono and lung infection which clearly affected his fitness and training for almost half the season. He was clearly in a slump, losing to players like Gulbis and Montanes, but decided to compete and take these humiliating losses than sit out for half a year and rebuild his confidence , fitness etc. I thought Nadal being a warrior, had a bigger fighting spirit than Fed, so didn't really expect him to be so low on confidence.

    Fed missed his training blocks too during his 2008 and 2010 illnesses. No one accepts it as a valid excuse for his poor 2008 and 2010 seasons apparently.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
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  32. Vrad

    Vrad Semi-Pro

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    Ummm...no.

    There is very little respect being shown to his injuries because his camp keeps feeding people BS. Even many rational Rafa fans are fed up with the injury excuses.

    It is absolutely natural to have an injury which might keep you out of the game for 8 months. OTOH, It is absolute BS to say you will be ready to play within the next 2-3 weeks for 8 months. Which is what the Rafa camp has been doing for the past half year.

    And combine that with a stomach flu, which suddenly appears right after his camp convinced everybody he was healed of the knee injury, and eliminates him 3 weeks before the AO, and even massive, but rational, fans of Rafa question the nonsense coming from his camp.

    What is it about some Rafa fans that they love being jerked around like this by his camp? If only his camp has been open about his injuries, and the expected recovery times from the get-go, the irrational Rafa fans would not have become such a laughing stock of the tennis community.
     
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