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."