Nadal feels like he's being picked on

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by tangerine, Jul 1, 2006.

  1. tangerine

    tangerine Professional

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    Apologies if someone has already posted this article before.

    In fact, if it has been posted before I ask that the mods please delete this thread.

    [size=+1]More sportsmanship questions for Nadal[/size]
    Matthew Cronin / tennisreporters.net
    June 30, 2006

    WIMBLEDON, England - About an hour after his heroic 6-7 (4), 3-6, 7-6 (2), 7-5, 6-4 win Thursday in the second round at Wimbledon over the inspired American journeyman Robert Kendrick, Rafael Nadal's wide smile had disappeared.

    The Spaniard is angry because he feels that he has a target on his back, placed there by a few fellow players, officials and administrators.

    He's not sure who is entirely responsible for why chair umpires are all over him for taking too much time between points, but he's stressed out about it and feel it's completely unfair.

    "In February and March, when I wasn't doing that well, no one was saying anything about it," said the Spaniard, who is 39-4 this year. But since I started playing well, everything's changed and I haven't changed anything. It's like it's become a problem with my personality and all of a sudden I'm causing all these problems."

    Nadal fought very hard to subdue Kendrick, who served and volleyed like he never had before and was just two points from the match in the third set. On a surface that he is unfamiliar with (one that doesn't allow him to extend points), the 20-year-old Spaniard was often left struggling.

    But he never put his head down, stayed mentally solid, began to serve better and found his passing game. Kendrick looked like the better player on the day, but the flashier man doesn't always come through, especially against a two-time Grand Slam champion.

    But Nadal's super-charged celebration after the tremendous comeback was short-lived.

    Sportsmanship questions persist

    He was very upset that he received a warning in the third set for taking too much time and was irked that the umpire overruled two of his balls that landed close to the line in the final game.

    Later, he threw out a mini-conspiracy theory and named a few names, saying the campaign against him could have started two weeks before the French Open after the Rome final, when Roger Federer accused Nadal's uncle, Tony, of coaching him from the stands.

    He said the conspiracy grew worse in the Roland Garros semifinals, when the chair umpire told Nadal's agent, Carlos Costa, that if he didn't stop yelling toward Nadal (the Spaniard said Costa was only yelling "Vamos, Rafa!") he would give Nadal a coaching warning.

    "I heard Ljubicic's coach yelling to him the whole match, and the chair umpire didn't say anything to him," Nadal said.

    Then, a week later in Queens, he was stunned when an official approached him the day after his match against Fernando Verdasco, and asked him to hurry up play in his next match.

    "I know I have my faults, Nadal said. "But other players do things they could be talked to about. The chair umpires need to have more of their own personalities and make their own decisions, rather than listening to what someone is telling them about me. They need to watch me and see what is really happening."

    Against Kendrick, Nadal felt the umpire was pushing him too hard, even though he has specific routines before he starts points.

    "Today, I was told I needed to change how I returned serve, that I needed to bend down faster," he said. "It puts me under a lot of pressure. Kendrick is serving when I am not prepared, but that's supposed to be OK. I asked, 'Wait one second? The referee said to me, 'You can't do that.' That's a new rule, maybe.'"

    Last year, after he won his first French Open, Nadal was still a happy go-lucky teen who wasn't expecting to win every time on court.

    But now that the world No. 2 has beaten top ranked Roger Federer six out of seven times and looks like a surefire No.1 in the future, he's become a slightly more serious man with a lot of weight of his shoulders.

    No athlete wants to be called unsportsmanlike, and that's what Nadal believes is happening to him.

    Unquestionably, he does take a lot of time in between points and admits that, but he thinks he is playing fair and doesn't want to be painted as a guy who is looking to bend the rules.

    "It's not very nice for me," he said. "It's like I'm someone with a problem."
     
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  2. BigboyDan

    BigboyDan Semi-Pro

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    He has to adapt, especially to "time wasting" - part of being a pro; if he doesn't, he will OPENLY be accused of gamesmanship.
     
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  3. malakas

    malakas Banned

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    Great article!Haven't read it before.So..the warnings actually bother Nadal..But he seem not to consider irritating his own habits and the time he takes between points..Interesting..
     
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  4. safinlives

    safinlives New User

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    HAHAHAHAHAHA "picked on." i love the irony!!!
     
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  5. Tennis_Goodness

    Tennis_Goodness Semi-Pro

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    Nadal's going to have to learn to deal with it, especially being number 2 in the world.
     
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  6. Grimjack

    Grimjack Banned

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    A "heroic" win over a journeyman?
     
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  7. LowProfile

    LowProfile Professional

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    Oh the irony eh?
     
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  8. zampano

    zampano New User

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    ok, he has to consider the time and adapt, but still the routines, it's not fair, i know it's irritating, but that's how he plays since he was 3, and he needs to concentrate.
     
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  9. arosen

    arosen Hall of Fame

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    Empires should simply say "time" at the end of that mandatory 20 second period between points. Simple as that, and they should enforce it universally. You can cook a lunch in the time it takes Mary Pierce to start playing. Megan Shaughnessy practically does a little juggling act that lasts up to a minute before she serves. He is not the only one doing it, and he should just come out and say that a lot of people on tour do it and they either should enforce it for all or none.
     
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  10. Ken B.

    Ken B. Rookie

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    I would like to see universal enforcement (Shaughnessy took forever when she was playing match point against Dementieva), but it will never happen.

    My personal opinion is he can do whatever he wants to on clay until he starts losing. He is the best right now on that surface, and can get away with it.

    grass and the hardcourts are another thing entirely. That's Fed's surfaces, and he has to be understand he is going into another man's house and as such should obey those rules.

    But honestly, dont act like you arent doing anything wrong when you are taking up a lot of time.

    Someone just needs to pelt him with a ball while playing as a warning to knock it off.
     
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  11. atac

    atac Rookie

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    Maybe I should pelt you with a ball!
     
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  12. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    OP wrote: "Nadal feels like he's being picked on."

    So, his butt isn't the only thing being picked on.
     
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  13. TXKiteboarder

    TXKiteboarder Rookie

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    maybe him being spanish, the language misinterprets his quotes or when someone says something to him. even when fed talks, his english is not that great and things get lost in the interpretation.

    nadal seems like a nice guy with a very ugly girlfriend (he can do alot better).
     
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  14. HollerOne5

    HollerOne5 Semi-Pro

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    Honest question, would you rather play against someone like Nadal or someone like Sharapova who is screaming on each shot? Either way, you do have to admit that top players receive criticisim for these types of things rather than lower ranked players. If a player is doing these things but you are still beating them handily, why bother complaining? People like to complain and blame their losses on other things, so I think Rafael has handled this well. Remember when Seles was number one, the tour waited to complain about her grunting, even though she always grunted since she came on the tour. People have serious issues....
     
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  15. HollerOne5

    HollerOne5 Semi-Pro

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    Thats the dumbest post I've read all day
     
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  16. carrwash13

    carrwash13 Rookie

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    Umpires following the rules of tennis does not equal being picked on. Plus that whole putting his hand up everytime his opponent is going to serve is ridiculous and would seriously bother me. I thought the returner was supposed to play at the pace of the server?
     
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  17. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

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    Nadal can take how ever long within the rules when serving.
    But when he's receiving he must play at the reasonable pace of the server.

    It's the umpires call on reasonable pace, steffi graffs pace would be considered unreasonably fast and nadals to slow.
     
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  18. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Thank you. Done. Ideally.

    But there is pressure to stay out of things and let the players be the players. I am all for less officialdom, but the 20 second thing seems like an easy thing to enforce.

    I can totally see universal enforcement backfiring if a player is taking a few seconds during a fourth set breaker, though.
     
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  19. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

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    Make it mandatory. If the server hasn't started the point within 20 seconds he automatically loses the point. They could automate it with beeps.

    If the receiver isn't ready when the server serves, that's just to bad.

    Heh, toweling off again nadal? boom ace! game federer.
     
    #19
  20. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Cool idea, but ... on every single court in all of pro/college/tournament tennis? Hmmm.
    Again, I am all for it, but they've got their work cut out for them.
     
    #20
  21. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    "In February and March, when I wasn't doing that well, no one was saying anything about it," said the Spaniard, who is 39-4 this year. But since I started playing well, everything's changed and I haven't changed anything. It's like it's become a problem with my personality and all of a sudden I'm causing all these problems."

    Here's the problem IMO, and it's more than taking too long at the service box.

    The tennis, "world" made up of old boys wearing suits and in the case of Wimbledon, officials wearing cream cololured pants and pin-striped shirts, has suddenly taken a good look at Nadal, and said "three is a distinct possibility this guy may actually displace Federer as #1 in a year or 2, and he may actually win Wimbledon. and the rest of the slams. And we don't want that.

    Nadal, with his happy family and simple life would be a terrible replacement for Mr. Sophistication in his cream coloured jacket...and he doesn't fit in with the historical vision of what tennis is, who plays it, and who's the best at it. Just like the William sisters problem.


    Read this Rafa, and say to heck with you all.

    VAMOS
     
    #21
  22. Captain America

    Captain America Rookie

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    Interesting that Nadal seems offended that the officials would rush his between-points routine.

    Perhaps the officials are paying increased attention Nadal's rituals because they cross the line into gamesmanship on a regular basis. 'Icing' the server at critical junctures is just not right. And yes, the rules should be applied universally and not just enforced against Nadal because he's one of the most blantant (and visible) abusers of them.
     
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  23. Ken B.

    Ken B. Rookie

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    BS. The guy just needs to speed up. Murray went for a towel after every point yesterday but still got back to baseline and ready in under 20 seconds. Nadal can't do that too?
     
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  24. Saito

    Saito Professional

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    Though I understand both sides (Nadal's and official's), rules are rules. If he's wondering why it's become a problem as of late, he's already answered that question. It IS because he has gone up in the rankings that he is getting "picked on". Think about it.... of course they're not going to be paying much attention to someone who isn't winning. That's how it's always been. Start winning and of course the eyes turn your way. If he can't handle that, well... that's really his issue and not theirs IMO. That's just the way things have been and will always be.

    Your comment about it being favoritism (see above bolded...) has nothing to do with it. That's a fanboy comment. Realize that he's a rookie that happens to be breaking a rule, something Federer and many other rising talents DID NOT do when they first started coming up.

    Look at Mariano Puerta, last year's RG runner-up: came back from a drug suspension, and went through qualies all the way to the finals. Then gets popped again for steroid abuse. Why?? Because he was winning. He played in Houston right before that, but wasn't caught until RG. He didn't go far in the Houston draw, therefore eyes weren't on him at that time.
     
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  25. malakas

    malakas Banned

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    I second that.
     
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  26. edberg505

    edberg505 Legend

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    That's quite true. I remember Federer saying in an interview one time that they test him for illegal substances like every single chance they get. I can assure you that if Federer was taking too much time in between points, they would call him on it as well.
     
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  27. Eviscerator

    Eviscerator Banned

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    The umpires need to enforce the rules and the players need to abide by them. It is as simple as that.
     
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  28. HollerOne5

    HollerOne5 Semi-Pro

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    This is different. Substance abuse and WINNING can be directly related, because abusing substances is supposed to unnaturally improve your ability and give you an edge. Of course, if you are winning you will get tested to make sure it is all natural.

    But, just because a player takes the full 20 seconds, or sometimes 25 or so, or whatever Nadal takes, does not have an effect on how well he plays the game or how well his opponent does not play the game. People are just looking for something to complain about, and rattle Nadal when he is playing. Although I think he should speed up sometimes in between his serve points, holding up your hand a split second before your server is about to serve is ok if you aren't even in ready return position. I've had this many times before too, feeling like I'm being rushed. If you go right to the baseline to return and right then your opponent tosses up the ball to serve, that IS annoying.
     
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  29. HollerOne5

    HollerOne5 Semi-Pro

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    And refresh my memory, but I'm sure there is a list of past "champions" and not underachievers that have gone under similar scrutiny from players, probably mainly from the fact that they can't beat them correct?

    Sharapova and Seles for grunting?

    McEnroe for his loud mouth and antics?

    Any others?
     
    #29
  30. malakas

    malakas Banned

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    What?
    As Nadal protests about rushing him,it MEANS,that it has an effect on how well he plays the game.
    And as many opponents of him,get frustrated,it MEANS that it bothers them = they don't play as well.SO ..it DOES have an effect on how well they play.
     
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  31. HollerOne5

    HollerOne5 Semi-Pro

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    What I mean is, its obviously going to have a bigger effect if you are being "quick-served" and the server is serving when you aren't even ready. If you are ready and the guy is taking his time, you need to adjust. At least at this point, you will always be prepared. Thats what I'm saying.

    I've played many tournaments, and I was never mentally stable in my matches lol at first. So, if I played a player that took incredibly long in between points, I would get ancy and irritated, and let it throw me off MENTALLY yes. But eventually, you have to just concentrate on your game and be thinking about what YOU should do on the court, rather than worry about how much time your opponent is taking. If you are worried about that on the court, then your head isn't in the right place.

    Thats all I'm saying.
     
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  32. Saito

    Saito Professional

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    It's not different... RULES ARE RULES... simple as that.
     
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  33. Saito

    Saito Professional

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    By this you are basically saying that it's ok for someone to not follow rules. I don't believe you, especially if what is at stake is your livelihood. Sorry, but at their level, they are more than entitled to want to nitpick at rules. They get paid for it, where we don't.

    I'm not a Nadal-hater or Fed-fanboy so don't come at me like I am one. I love great tennis, esp. this recent Fed-Nadal rivalry. I'm simply stating that if tennis was my career, and someone was not doing what they were supposed to, I would be glad to point that out.

    I will agree that you are right that if it affects the opposing player that much, then their head isn't in the right place. But like it says earlier:

     
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  34. malakas

    malakas Banned

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    If you are quick served you SHOULD adjust to the rhythm of your opponent.
    If you want your opponent to serve faster,and he DOES serve within the time that is allowed by the rules, then again you SHOULD adjust.

    Otherwise,you just lose your concetration and your perfomance drops and you can lose.
    But,the rules MUST be followed.And that's the right thing to do.

    If you critisize the officials for not following the rules and not being so much critical when Nadal wasn't as famous and didn't win so much,you ARE right.
    But that has absolutely NOTHING to do,with the fact that they ARE right to critisize and warn him NOW.
    Just because they did a fault before,you can't claim that they must keep on doing this fault!!
     
    #34
  35. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

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    After watching and timing a few sets of nadal matches.
    I'm now convinced Nadal deliberately stalls so he can recover and save his energy.
    Some opponents could argue that what Nadal does borders on cheating and should be banned.
     
    #35
  36. kooyah

    kooyah Rookie

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    Stop bringing common sense into the equation! Nadal is being persecuted - it's like he's Jesus Christ, for crying out loud!!!
     
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  37. Saito

    Saito Professional

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    ok..... fanboy
     
    #37
  38. kooyah

    kooyah Rookie

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    Do you understand sarcasm when you see it?
     
    #38
  39. HollerOne5

    HollerOne5 Semi-Pro

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    Well, whether or not Nadal is doing it purposely, I agree that its in the rules when it comes to taking too much time on his own serve. Do I think he does it on purpose? Absolutely not....he just has weird ticks like a lot of players, and one of his is that he must towel off between each and every point and adjust his clothes etc. Its annoying, but if he is taking around the 20 seconds, or just a couple over, its never going to be called.

    When it comes to being quick served, there is an acceptable pace to play at......Jennifer Capriati and Steffi Graf used to play so fast that the returner should never have had to adjust. Being ready to serve right after the point ended is ridiculous.

    What I don't understand is, when its a really hot day, like 90 degrees, the commentators are always saying something like "Oh Federer (example, or any player) definitely won't complain about the time delay Nadal takes today because it is just so hot out there." Well, so he is only allowed to complain when it doesn't help him too huh? Guarantee if someone was beating Nadal in straight sets, they wouldn't complain ONCE about his time stalling.
     
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  40. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    Rafa isn't being picked on. He's NOT being picked on. That's the problem. He's been getting away with taking a siesta between service points for about 18 months or so. Sheezh....

    And this isn't the biggest rules problem on the tour. The biggest rules problem is all the foot faulting going on and so little enforcement. Some of those guys are serving from the service line! If Kendrick can serve from the baseline so can the rest of the pros. I'm really suprised we hear so little about this problem. It's the one rule that is rarely enforced, but it's cheating.

    By the way, Kendrick showed enormous class and skill in his loss to Rafa. That was one of the best displays of serve and volley tennis I've seen since a few of Roscoe Tanner's matches.

    -Robert
     
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  41. HollerOne5

    HollerOne5 Semi-Pro

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    Is it coincidence then that foot faults seem to be enforced a lot during Lleyton Hewitt matches, because he is so disliked?
     
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  42. dh003i

    dh003i Legend

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    Why is it that Nadal should get special treatment, and be allowed to cheat?

    That's what it is: cheating. Sure, for players who aren't too spectacular, maybe they get away with that a little. On the other hand, maybe they get chastized. Of course, it should be enforced universally, ideally: but the reality is, it's most important for the best players on tour.

    So I ask again, why is Nadal allowed to cheat? Federer doesn't cheat. He receive's serve at the server's pace, and serves within the time-limits. Nadal is breaking the rules, it's as simple as that. Federer and Sampras didn't do that when they were just beginning their time as great players. Federer also didn't do that when he was 19.

    So much for Nadal being a "great guy". A "great guy" wouldn't be offended by being asked to play within the rules. He would admit that the request was reasonable, that he was at fault, and adjust his game to play within the rules. As other's have noted, you can towel off and get back to the line on time.

    Maybe the folks at Wimbledon should be concerned about Nadal possibly being #1, after Federer retires. After all, you don't want someone is a cheater representing the sport
     
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  43. rlbjr

    rlbjr Rookie

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    The rules are simple. The reciever shall play to the servers reasonable pace. Players are allowed a maximum length of time between points. If a player consistently violates either rule, that player should be warned. If the violation continues the player should be penalized. To continue to violate the rule, even when it is part of your "routine", IS unsportsmanlike. Golfers get put 'on the clock' for slow play. Poker players can call the clock for slow decision makers.
    Football teams must snap the ball within a certain time or lose yardage. Time limits are not unique to tennis. Frankly, Rafa should quit the griping and follow the rules.
     
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  44. malakas

    malakas Banned

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    And football players get yellow cards if they keep stalling.
     
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  45. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

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    Maybe rafa takes so long between points because he's trying to have an intellectual chat with his uncle tony or or his bf in the players box..
     
    #45
  46. edberg505

    edberg505 Legend

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    Of course they would. Why stop because your winning? I'd do it.
     
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  47. Rataplan

    Rataplan Semi-Pro

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    In Agassi's last Wimbledon match, Rafael Nadal didn't take much time to get ready on Agassi's serve. So, he respected the server's pace there.

    However, when it was his own time to serve, he did take a bit more time (and I was not watching it with a stopwatch but I don't think he went over the given limit either). Now, that was too slow for Agassi as well by the looks of it because Agassi went to sit on the chair of the line judge with a smile on his face to make a deliberate statement to Nadal (at least, it's my impression).

    Now, if Nadal has tried to cut back time on the opponent's serve and he tries to respect Agassi's time to get ready to serve...then Agassi should respect Nadal's pace to serve. Clear and simple.

    The fact is that Agassi likes a fast pace...his serve or the opponent's serve, doesn't matter...he likes it fast and he tries to impose his tempo on his opponent.
    That's fair IMO because a tennis match is a battle of wills but this story has two sides and you guys (or most of you) are only looking at it from one side.

    It's like Jimmy Connors said on the BBC: some players like to rush Nadal but Rafael Nadal is experienced enough and mentally tough enough to not let them do that.
     
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  48. Saito

    Saito Professional

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    My apologies... Been attacked one too many times here on these boards. :p *turns super kung-fu defense off*

    I like Hewitt too, but I do believe he really does FF when they call it on him. He overreacted couple of times due to that. Just look at his service form. It's easy to see how he could either easily FF or someone could call one on him mistakenly.
     
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  49. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    I don't think he's being called out for his slowness when serving, it's his slowness when returning. According to the rules, he has so many seconds to serve, and as a returner, he must play at the server's pace. When the server is ready to serve, he cannot constantly take more time, just to keep the server out of rhythem.
     
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  50. vive le beau jeu !

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

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    poor little... so he's paranoiac now ?

    he only gets what he deserves...
     
    #50

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