WAITING FOR RAFA
Oct 25, 2012, 3:45:20 AM | by
It is well documented that Rafael Nadal has not played a tennis match since losing in the second round of Wimbledon to Lukas Rosol. It was probably the upset of the year. Via his Twitter account we get the impression...
It is well documented that Rafael Nadal has not played a tennis match since losing in the second round of Wimbledon to Lukas Rosol. It was probably the upset of the year. Via his Twitter account we get the impression that Nadal has been enjoying his time away from the circuit with dinners, including one with the King of Spain, being on the beach etc. Absolutely he has also been having intense treatment on his knee in an effort to get back on the tour as soon as possible but not ahead of time. His Uncle and coach, Toni, had Tweeted a few weeks ago there was a chance that Rafa could be at the major events being held at the two O2 arenas in November – the ATP World Tour Finals in London and the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas final in Prague. Not too many believed those were realistic chances especially when the guy has not played for so long. There were sceptics suggesting that the Tweets were to take the edge off sponsors. One wouldn’t think that would be necessary, after all it is Rafa Nadal and not some Joe Schmo. It is certainly realistic that he will play the exhibition in Abu Dhabi before heading to Melbourne for the Australian Open. Where ever possible he will shy away from playing on hard courts. After a sustained period of time the unforgiving surface takes its effect and is what ruins his knee joints and causes all the problems. By contrast the fact that grass and clay are natural surfaces help to make things more comfortable. Well that has been the indication up to now but what happened in the middle of the year sort of flies in the face of that theory. Nadal retired after playing on grass and said his knee was very sore. He indicated that the problem had been around since before the French Open. Rafa had not been playing on a surface other than clay or grass since the end of Miami which had ended something like eight weeks before. He is suffering with a condition known as Hoffa’s Syndrome, otherwise known as fat pad impingement. The fatty soft tissue gets pinched between the patella tendon and the end of the shin bone, which is a cause of considerable anterior knee pain. In the early part of next year he has elected to play the tournament in Mexico on clay before getting onto the hard courts at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and then goes across to Miami. Certainly he knows best but it does seem like a strange schedule; coming off the Australian Open, straight after that maybe playing Davis Cup by BNP Paribas first round in Canada on what is likely to be a lightning fast hard surface, then going to Mexico late in February to play on clay before travelling the short distance up to Southern California for his least favourite surface. Rafa is sitting at No.4 in the rankings and he will probably finish the season there unless David Ferrer, currently five,wins everything there is in sight and if that was to happen then there might be a chance Nadal will slip to five but it is highly unlikely. However where things could change might be at the Australian Open where he is defending finalist points. One can sort of understand why Rafa is so much in favour of changing the ranking system so that it stretches over two years rather than the 12 month period it currently is. By extending it over 24 months it will help to maintain his position at the very top of men’s tennis. It seems most players are not in favour of such a change and leading the anti-sentiment is one Roger Federer who is President of the Player Council. Irrespective, tennis misses Rafa and looks forward to the day he plays his first match back at an official event.