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In Charleston in Pain 04/18/2010 - 9:25 AM


by Bobby Chintapalli, TW Contributing Editor

Remember when you didn’t need a medical degree to talk about tennis? When bandages weren’t a girl’s best friend? When tennis player Dinara Safina actually played tennis? Those were the good, old days, weren’t they? Long ago my journalism professors discouraged starting an article with a question, so I suspect they would have advised against starting with four. Yet I can’t think of starting an article on a topic chock full of questions any other way. And while we’re at it here’s another one: What on earth is going on?

Pulling Out

Certainly not tennis for players who retired from the Family Circle Cup in Charleston this week. What can I say about poor Caroline Wozniacki and that fall in her semifinal match against Vera Zvonareva yesterday that you didn’t see played and replayed on TV a million times? Ouch!

Olga Govortsova retired with a left knee injury and Ayumi Morita and Elena Vesnina with a left adductor strain. Marion Bartoli pulled out with a condition that won’t make us pull out a medical dictionary though it might make us raise an eyebrow – dizziness. Victoria Azarenka, before she flew to Chicago then Rome and tweeted desperately to everyone for a flight to anywhere, pulled out of Charleston with a left hamstring injury she got in Marbella.

Other players also not playing much tennis include those who withdrew before the tournament even began:

- Sybille Bammer (Achilles injury)
- Kateryna Bondarenko (Left knee injury)
- Dominika Cibulkova (Right hip strain)
- Casey Dellacqua (Right foot injury)
- Alisa Kleybanova (Plantar fasciitis)
- Viktoriya Kutuzova (Back injury)
- Sabine Lisicki (Left ankle injury)
- Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Foot injury)
- Maria Sharapova (Right elbow injury)
- Serena Williams (Left knee injury)

And the tennis players who are “lucky” enough to play tennis, aren’t lucky enough to do so without bandages. Watching matches at the event for four days I saw only two or three players who weren’t wearing bandages at some point. They could be to aid recovery, prevent injury or just provide “support” – the point is, these days they’re always there. Singles finalist Vera Zvonareva still wears an ankle brace a year after injuring her right ankle in a horrible fall at this tournament last year (though she said yesterday she feels like she’s finally fully recovered); she eventually ended up getting surgery and tumbling out of the Top 20. And the other finalist, Sam Stosur, casually mentioned that she sprained her ankle last week.

Figuring It Out

So what is going on? Well, a few veteran players have some ideas.

Patty Schnyder, who turned pro 16 years ago, pointed to the greater depth of the game: “[The] competition is really tough. The top level maybe it’s the same, but it’s like the density between 10 and 40, 50 that’s really improved a lot in the women’s game. So you don’t get many free rounds and easy rounds to warm up. You really have to be sharp… in the very first match… that takes a lot of energy.”

Nadia Petrova, who turned pro 11 years ago, cited the increase in power and the number of tournaments played: “First of all, the level of game is getting higher. It’s getting more powerful, and you really have to push yourself further in the matches, and that creates some kind of injuries. But then a lot of girls are playing way too many tournaments and they just don’t have enough time to get the body some rest and work on some fitness so they stay stronger.”

Vera Zvonareva, who turned pro 10 years ago, thought scheduling was part of the problem: “The schedule is very tough for players. Right now it’s pretty much the same schedule for everybody, but everyone is different. Everybody has different level of fitness, different bodies, different results, different amount of matches that they played in the previous weeks. So it is very difficult to manage and schedule it. And sometimes you’re forced to play a lot of events when you’re tired, and that’s most of the times when injuries are coming, when your body is not fresh.”

Another possibility may be the length of the off season. Tennis’s off season seems rather short compared to other sports. Surely there are other factors too.

But if something doesn’t change, that can’t be good for these young, young players, fans or the game both love.

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Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 01:53 AM

AA Gee that is not good news.

RG Nadal There were rumours he had knee pain in MC.Though his movement to me looked ok.He also have 2 sets of tennis and wasnt exactly pushed.

Anyway he is holding a press conference tomorrow.Though he wont be giving away much.

Posted by rg.nadal 04/20/2010 at 01:55 AM

Rafa- ""The player has to know when to listen to his body."

Wow. cannot believe he said it. Feels like he borrowed it from Roger's page.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 01:57 AM

Yeah RG it took him sometime to grasp that point lol!

Posted by rg.nadal 04/20/2010 at 02:00 AM

AM: He can rest now and if need be skip Madrid too. The only problem is that he might be seeded outside the top 4 at RG. Not that it makes a big difference for him on clay if he is fit.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 02:04 AM

RG Well Madrid is mandatroy tournament unless he has a reasonable excuse he cant just decide not to play.At this point I dont care about his seeding,points whatever.he needs to have a better match scheduling period as far as I am concerned.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/20/2010 at 02:11 AM

I'd think Rafa would want another crack at a Madrid title this year, although obviously if the knees are playing up then I'd rather he didn't play.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 02:15 AM

Just reading his thoughts from his website he blamed the tight clay scheduling also for the reason and cause he would of played there it is his club.Though he said he had to listen to his body.He is in Barcelona at the moment.

Posted by rg.nadal 04/20/2010 at 02:26 AM

Since Rafa withdrew I would love to see Almagro, Hewitt or JCF win the title.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/20/2010 at 02:34 AM

Nalbandian being injured again is horribly depressing. I hate it when this happens after a long lay-off, you know - re-injuries of various types.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 02:36 AM

Aslo next year Madrid and Rome will swap.So Madrid will play before Rome great idea.Then it will go back the following year.

Rafa next year under atp rule can skip a Master mandatory series as well.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (The Youz for the top 10) 04/20/2010 at 02:40 AM

Ok I don't understand why Rome and Madrid are swapping next year only to swap back in 2012.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 02:43 AM

AA Its similar to what they do in Toranto in a way.When the play the h/court swing after Wimby.

Posted by mina (meanie and proud of it) loves Phenomenadal 04/20/2010 at 02:50 AM

to me it works better if Rome stays as the last MS pre-RG... cos we all know Evil Blue Lord has pseudo clay inside that Caja, and Rome would make for better warm up to RG :P

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 02:52 AM

Rome is a much better preparation than Madrid.Hard court Madrid with high altitude is not good for any player or the lead up to RG

Posted by rg.nadal 04/20/2010 at 02:56 AM

AM: If Rafa can skip a mandatory MS event, why does he not do so already?????

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 03:02 AM

RG Rafa can skip next year.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 03:03 AM

If I was Rafa next year I would skip Cinncy.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 03:31 AM

AA just watching Fox sports news.They are showing the AIS tennis where our top juniors are getting intense training for the higher ranks? gee Stephen Healy was just elected to the new job.Good news though Ray Ruffles who got this program started about 5 years ago is coming back.Healy must be a fast mover and heal mender lol!

Posted by Angel of the Surf (The Youz for the top 10) 04/20/2010 at 03:45 AM

AM thanks for the news, I hope they have put the right person in charge and we can see our juniors making some progress.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/20/2010 at 03:48 AM

Work time, bye all!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 03:49 AM

Bye Jewell

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 04:10 AM

AA Doug Walters has just came out and said if your a friend of Ricky Pontings your sure to get a job.He feels he is the only selector lol! he is not too sure of Michael Clarke being the next cricket captain.

Well maybe Lara can come back from LA now.

Posted by rg.nadal 04/20/2010 at 04:10 AM

Jewell, ciao.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 04:16 AM

RG I am hearing about that bomb that went off? a bit scary

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 04:20 AM

Hell I just realised Tommy is playing Barcelona

Stuff David and Gasqet then.What was I thinking.Sorry guys maybe another tournament down the track.

Tommy Robredo Barcelona Champion 2010.

Posted by rg.nadal 04/20/2010 at 04:37 AM

AM: Where? In the Bangalore cricket stadium a few days back?

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 04:44 AM

RG Yes.

Posted by rg.nadal 04/20/2010 at 04:50 AM

AM: Yeah. The world has become an unsafe place!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 05:03 AM

RG LOL!! That wasnt the answer I was looking for

Posted by rg.nadal 04/20/2010 at 05:16 AM

AM: haha. See that you aint showing love for Hewitt!!!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 05:21 AM

RG Well lets see how he pulls up.He was feeling hip pain and pulled out of MC.He won his dubs match with Simon Knowles.I think he is playing his singles match today

Posted by rg.nadal 04/20/2010 at 05:24 AM

Juan Monaco is trailing in the first set! I expected him to do well at these European events.

Posted by rg.nadal 04/20/2010 at 05:27 AM

AM: I feel very sorry for Hewitt! Such a nice cookie having to endure so much!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 05:29 AM

Just heard on our news no flights will leave here until Friday if that.Qantas arent taking bookings till mid May.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 05:30 AM

RG Monaco has a bad wrist.He has to have surgery after RG.

Posted by mina (meanie and proud of it) loves Phenomenadal 04/20/2010 at 05:32 AM

rg, Juan is experiencing pain in his wrist ang will have surgery on it... he shouldn't even be playing right now.

Posted by rg.nadal 04/20/2010 at 05:37 AM

Oh! Poor fella. Hope he gets fit by RG.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 05:41 AM

RG Are you watching on SB.I cant get the SB to work for the current matches

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 05:44 AM

Dont worry I went to the ATP site and got it to work.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 05:46 AM

Actually the young Spainish guy who is playing Pico is good looking.

Posted by rg.nadal 04/20/2010 at 06:31 AM

AM: Was away for a while. Was checking the scores on SB> May be you can try the scoreboard at

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 06:39 AM

RG I went to the atp SB site and got them.Thanks.

Posted by rg.nadal 04/20/2010 at 06:48 AM

AM: Welcome. I think by the time RG comes it would be much simple if we made a list of players who are actually fit rather than injured-player list!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 06:52 AM

Well Pico has lost in 3 sets

I wonder if he will continue still with the clay season

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 06:53 AM

RG I dont think we will get much of a list by the way things are going lol

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 06:59 AM

Lleyton is up next.I have never heard of this guy from Turkey might be a qualifer.

Posted by rg.nadal 04/20/2010 at 06:59 AM

AM: haha. Any news about Murray? I thought he went to Barcelona for practicing. Is he not playing the event?

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 07:02 AM

Well thats enough for me

Interested to hear Rafa's press conference from Barcelona.Though I doubt will hear any earth shattering news.He will say the same that has been posted on his website.His agent Costa said it was a tough decision to be made.

Stay cool RG.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa Just Do It 04/20/2010 at 07:04 AM

RG Just saw your post

No Murray has decided not to take the w/card but went there to practice instead.

Posted by joji 04/20/2010 at 07:52 AM

going a few pages back; antidepressants are not suppose to be addictive; benzodiazepines can be addictive; just saying

Posted by Ruth 04/20/2010 at 09:02 AM

AM: When you have "cricket" and "Lara" in the same comment (see your 4:10 am), I immediately think that you're talking about the one and only Brian Lara, not some woman! Please stop doing that! LOL

"I think by the time RG comes it would be much simple if we made a list of players who are actually fit rather than injured-player list!"

Actually, rg-nadal, I think that the players are all trying to make sure, by bowing out now, that they are ready for the FO. (At least, I hope that's the case.) And while I feel terrible for the fans and TDs of these lead-up events, the players' decisions are quite understandable in this Slams-are-everything-world. I am, of course, a tennis heretic who refuses, much as I enjoy all of the Slams, to reside even in the Slams-are-the-most-important-thing world. :)

Posted by GB 04/20/2010 at 09:19 AM

Well, it's prolly not the best timing now Ruth:), but Rafa's basicallly saying what you said - that he couldn't play all the tourneys, but was waiting to see how he went in MC before pulling out of Barca.

From his site's summary of the presser at Barca today:
“I always planned to play in Barcelona,” said the former world #1. “But tennis is not like football, when you know exactly how many matches you will have to plan and when. I didn’t know if I would win Monte Carlo, or lose in the first round. It might not have been the correct decision – I hope that I do not regret it – but I have to do everything that I can to ensure that every time I go on court I am at 100%, in the best condition possible. I don’t think that three weeks of tennis without stopping is the most adequate way to prepare myself.”

Asked how difficult it had been to take the decision not to defend his title, Nadal said, “For me, not being able to play here is a tough blow. I am playing at home, it’s my club and apart from that I have won five consecutive times and would have liked to have the chance to continue. Next year, the conditions will be more favourable, with a week off after Barcelona. I will definitely be back next year, and the calendar will be organised in a manner that will also encourage other players to come.”

...But with everything that has happened to me, to play for three consecutive weeks, taking into account that we are on clay and the matches tend to last a little longer, would be almost impossible.”

When asked about the actual condition of his knee, Nadal confirmed that he preferred to be cautious rather than to take risks. “Yes, [the withdrawal] was a preventative measure. Luckily last week I played very well. I feel fine right now, but I have had many problems in this last year and can’t afford to take any risks if I want to be in my best possible condition on court. That’s my main objective.”

*Hopes that Team Rafa's finally woken up and this isn't just necessary presser spin*

Posted by rafadoc 04/20/2010 at 09:50 AM

“Yes, [the withdrawal] was a preventative measure"

Thank. Goodness.

Thanks for posting that GB. I hope there is no spin too. If this is "the true", it is good news. :)

Posted by Tfactor 04/20/2010 at 09:51 AM

Hard to tell these days where is the right place to post and I don't like to be off topic.

Interesting discussion regarding approved drugs and injury treatments.

Also saw the article indicating Rafa may skip Madrid (I hope he does) but I agree that it's too early to tell since he wouldn't withdraw so far in advance, esp if he's planning on playing Rome.

And for anyone interested who hasn't seen it, Steve has a really nice post about Sam Stosur and Rafael Nadal ("New Again"). Really interesting comments there including some by Steve himself.

Posted by Tfactor 04/20/2010 at 09:53 AM

I do hope the withdrawal is preventive but I wouldn't expect what any player says in a presser to be 'the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you, you know who' hehe

Posted by Andrew 04/20/2010 at 09:56 AM

Ruth: I think it would be a lot less interesting world if the slams were the be-all-and-end-all. I applaud Nadal's decision to schedule carefully, but I hope to see him playing well in Rome, Madrid and Paris.

Posted by Tfactor 04/20/2010 at 09:57 AM

Ok I was trying to be funny but in case it came across wrong, I didn't mean to imply they'd lie in the pressers, just that we may not get to hear the entire story :)

Posted by Tfactor 04/20/2010 at 09:59 AM

Oh and btw the discussion about Slams vs Masters has been going on that same thread by Steve.

Ok back to work now.

Posted by Master Ace 04/20/2010 at 10:03 AM

Saw that on Steve's thread and it is an interesting debate especially if Roger has about 20 Slams and Rafael about 25 to 30 Masters

Posted by Beckham (Gulbis, 2010 USO Champ!!!) 04/20/2010 at 10:06 AM

CL: it's a vast improvement from last year, no? At least he's shanking with authority...nobody can shank quite like the Fed...Allez you shankerer!!!

Posted by Game Lover 04/20/2010 at 11:46 AM

Mr. X (If you read this): You are right, there was double meaning about the Madrid ball girls lol But you'll have to agree that Tiriac uses them as bait! Imagine how much harder's got to be on the young players that are on the court...

I loved that quote about Roger being such a talented shankster all by himself, even if his eyes are glued to the ball :) Well, who does he think he is to play with a 90 sq in raquet?

Let's hope for Nalby, Rafa & Co to get better soon and for a better schedule in the future. On a side note, you guys might remember that after one of his initial knees injuries, Rafa played hurt for a good number a months, keeping mum about it? Only later he admited that he "couldn't even incorporate any form of running into his training" during that period. Don't remember exactly the time frame: around 2005-2006?

And yay for outdoor tennis :)


Posted by CL 04/20/2010 at 11:47 AM

Beckham! Yes indeedy - the GOAT of shankers is the Fed.

Ernsie's Hair FTW!

Looks like we will never be done with the 'state of the knees' - but only fair, I guess, as it seems Rafa will never NOT have to worry and wonder about his knees.

One of the interesting things that Fed said, at some point last year..this year?...really, brain holes EVERYWHERE... was that at one training session he focused on really 'pushing' his back. Hard. So that he would have the confidence that his back would hold up through entire tournaments and even the entire season. And that, in turn, greatly helped not only his serve, but his movement. Given the nature of his condition, Rafa does not have that luxury.

Still, I predict that it will get a here if every Rafa match becomes a medical clinic where the most important thing is assessing his knees, as opposed to, say, his ground strokes. And before everyone jumps out ahead, yup, that also happened when Fed struggled post mono and back. Which is what gives me a basis to predict the 'mood' around this place if we go forward with "As The Knees Turn." Not even really complaining as much as 'just sayin.'

Posted by Ruth 04/20/2010 at 12:43 PM

Just catching up with GB's 9:19 and Andrew's at 9:56.

Yes,GB, it's nice to right sometimes. :) I'd read on another site Nadal's statement about what was clearly his and his team's plan (as I'd just guessed yesterday) to have him skip Barca if he went far in MC. It's not too surprising, and I think the TDs are aware that that kind of thinking or decsion-making goes on.

Andrew: The Slams-are-everything -- or, almost-everything -- attitude which is quite prevalent among many fans (including several TWibers) bothers me, but I manage to deal with it by adopting the "different strokes for different folks" thinking myself.

And, as long as Slams give double the ranking points at each level as Masters/Mandatory events (which I often find more challenging and interesting overall than Slams), the players, too, will, understandably, continue to assign greater importance to their performances in Slams than I think they (the Slam performances) deserve.

Posted by Ruth 04/20/2010 at 12:57 PM

CL: With tendinitis being a chronic condition, Rafa will, indeed, have to deal with it --forever. I can only hope that he chooses to adopt the Venus method of not discussing it all the time -- even when reporters ask questions and even if it annoys writers like our own Pete Bodo who is perpetually annoyed by what he (Pete) calls Venus's "coy" responses to questions about her health and her various bandages. Then, maybe, Rafa fans will follow suit and not bring up his knees unnecessarily, one hopes.

(Venus has suffered from tendinitis of various joints since back in the days when people thought she'd choose track as her sport of choice. She knows it won't just go away, and I agree with her decision several years ago not to discuss it in detail every time there's the inevitable flare up of the condition.)

Posted by Peg 04/20/2010 at 01:08 PM

Just saw that Tommy retired from his match with Simone. Commiserations, AM.

Posted by Peg 04/20/2010 at 01:10 PM

...and Deliciano makes it past the first round thanks to HIS opponent retiring. Mercy.

Posted by CL 04/20/2010 at 01:18 PM

""Then, maybe, Rafa fans will follow suit and not bring up his knees unnecessarily, one hopes."

Ruth - Ah, I love an optimist. ;-) Really, I think there is about as much chance of that as Fed fans never mentioning mono or his chronic back 'issues,' again.

And that indeed should SEEM to argue for the 'fit to play' mantra, and yet, the reality is, well, reality. Ignoring Rafa's knees, Fed' mono, Venus' knees, and other player's obvious and not so obvious injuries seems to me, at times, to choose to be willfully ignorant. I mean in the NBA or NFL, and MLB, teams actually publish lists of player injuries, including players who are playing WITH injury. So I don't know why tennis should try and hew to such a totally different standard? I admit it is a conundrum for me. I HATE the idea that any player's victory should be devalued because of injury talk about the opponent and yet sometimes to not acknowledge what might well be before ones' eyes seems an equally bad choice.

But one thing we can count on, round and round the Twibe will go. :-)

Posted by Tfactor 04/20/2010 at 01:29 PM

"bring up his knees unnecessarily"

And who decides when is necessary or unnecessary?

As a fan of both Roger and Rafa, I can't understand the issue with bringing up 'knees', 'back', 'mono', 'parents', 'twins', as long as it's not to excuse a loss. *shrugs*

Posted by Elena_YYZ 04/20/2010 at 01:34 PM

Hi everybody!

I just bought tickets for this year's WTF in London. We are going Sunday through Friday (all group play days), all sessions. Wanted to buy tickets for the semis instead of for the last group play day but only the nosebleed seats were available.

Last year we went for two days and it was fantastic.

If anybody wants to buy tickets (they are on presale now), I can email you my access code if you are in blue.

Hopefully the turnout this year will be equally as good as last year and no volcano ash to disrupt out transatlantic flights.

Posted by Game Lover 04/20/2010 at 01:38 PM

Well, speaking for myself, I brought up the knees mainly pointing out that he needed to plan his schedule better.

Posted by Game Lover 04/20/2010 at 01:40 PM

Re Elena's: "I can email you if you are in blue"

Really? This doesn't work for me: if someone's in blue, it only means that I can get to the web page they've linked, not to the email...

Posted by Tfactor 04/20/2010 at 01:42 PM

Game Lover,
My point exactly. I don't think we should just ignore it just because some people don't like to talk about the subject.
But maybe I misinterpreted Ruth's post?

Posted by CL 04/20/2010 at 01:45 PM

Tfactor- can I. But I can about guarantee that SOME Rafa fans AND SOME Fed fans see those issues as an 'excuse' full stop. SOME Rafa fans can't talk about Madrid 09 and RG 09 w/out mention of knees. And USO 09 w/out abs. And SOME Fed fans can't talk about AO 08 and much of early 08 w/out mention of mono. And spring 09 w/out mention of back. And just by referencing those conditions, it sets them up as an 'excuse,' no matter how you slice it. '(Contributing reason' might be better, but that is a subtle difference at best.) And, hence all the frustration of other people. If you don't believe me, just read through a few threads post any of those matches.

I think it is a lose/lose situation that we are just stuck with. Some will always see reasons other than just what happened on the court during a particular match as why their fav lost. And some will deny anything short of a broken arm, with bone showing through skin, as a legitimate factor in a match. And in between there will be a lot of fussin' on TW. :-)

Posted by Ruth 04/20/2010 at 01:45 PM

Tfactor: I would say that it would be unnecessary if there's no new information to be added about the discussion of the health problem.

I sometimes think that some reporters ask players questions about their illnesses/injuries (when they already know the answers) precisiely so that they (the reporters) and the fans can have an excuse to then blast the players for being "classless" or "ungracious" for blaming their losses on the injuries/illnesses.

And I think that players who have been on either Tour for more than a minute should be smart enough -- like Venus :) -- not to fall for that nonsense.

Posted by Tfactor 04/20/2010 at 01:51 PM

I understand what you're saying and I was definitely not talking about bringing up the 'knees' (or equivalent for other players) to make excuses.
I've seen people here get really defensive about the mention of the 'knees' after Rafa's victory when it was not being used as an excuse.

Like you say some people will bring up these issues as excuses but it doesn't mean that the rest of us shouldn't bring up the same issues in a different context.
(Does it makes sense?)

Posted by Ruth 04/20/2010 at 01:56 PM

Tfactor: I think that you may have, indeed, misinterpreted my comment.
Let's see if this helps:

Necessary: (player) My tendinitis has worsened, and I will be taking a leave from the Tour for 3 months to try a new treatment/cure that has been developed by Dr. John Doe in the USA.

(fan) Did you hear that (name of player) is going to the USA to try a new treatment for his tendinitis? I hope it works for him/her.

Unnecessary: (player) Well, you know, I suffer from tendinitis, and it really bothered me in that match I just won/loss.

(fan) I'm sure that (name of player) was bothered by his/her tendinitis during that match even though he/she won OR and that is why he/she lost.


Posted by Tfactor 04/20/2010 at 01:58 PM

Thanks for the explanation but I still think your definition of 'unnecessary' in this case is subjective.
If in trying to figure out what's going with their favorite players posters on this blog find it necessary to discuss the back, knees, wrists, hips and/or emotional issues of said players, I don't see anything wrong with it. Of course that's just my humble opinion. Anyway, I just need to stop talking about the 'EPG' as Rafa would say ;-)

Posted by Tfactor 04/20/2010 at 02:01 PM

I was only talking about discussions on this blog because you said:
"Rafa fans will follow suit and not bring up his knees unnecessarily, one hopes."
I was definitely not talking about what players decide to disclose to the press regarding their injuries/illness or problems.

Posted by crazyone 04/20/2010 at 02:10 PM

is anyone watching today's tennis? I see Soderling recovered from his bad start and took the first set 7-5.

Posted by Game Lover 04/20/2010 at 02:34 PM


Not watching, am at work, besides I don't have TC anymore (and prefer TV, ideally in HD to streams) + I'd rather go outside and play/train myself. Don't you? :)

About injuries, it's better to be proactive (i.e. in terms of better scheduling yourself or pressuring ATP to change thing) rather then reactive...

Posted by Game Lover 04/20/2010 at 02:36 PM

Speaking of results: Hanescu and Gulbis won, but Monaco lost to some Gimeno-Traver guy? Who's he?

Posted by Sherlock 04/20/2010 at 02:39 PM

Soderling is getting all he can handle from Mr. Chela.

Game Lover, I haven't seen Gimeno-Traver play, but I've seen his name quite a bit the last couple years. Perennial first rounder kind of guy. That's a nice win for him.

Too bad for Juan, though, with the injury and all. But no, that's NOT an excuse!! :)

Posted by crazyone 04/20/2010 at 02:41 PM

Game Lover: yes, but I have to be at a computer anyway during the day so I might as well watch some tennis on a stream ;)

Posted by CL 04/20/2010 at 02:44 PM

Crazyone -WATCH tennis! Anyone here??!! What, are you like 'crazy' or something??!!

Tfactor - I think discussing injuries/illness after a victory is a bit different than after a loss. But I think you have hit another nail on a different head. WE are not journalists; we are just a bunch of tennis fans. Most of us have certain favorites, who we really, really want to win. And when they don't, I think it is more human nature than anything else to look for 'outside the lines' factors than may have contributed to their defeat. And I think that is ok..problem is, it often bumps up hard against the fans of the player who WON and seems to diminish a victory. And lets' face it - this is mostly a Roger/Rafa, and to somewhat lesser extent, Venus/Serena thing; (Except of course for Scandavia's #1 Pole.) And often firestorms ensue. I mean, if someone says, 'hey I think sod/Cilic/DavyD/Demmy/etc. was playing with an injury' after a loss, things stay pretty quiet around here. Unlike, 'well it was clear Rafa's knees/ Roger's back' were/was acting up' after one of their losses.

Anyway, I have blathered well past long enough about it is just an ongoing situation I find sort of vexing w/out having any particular solution to...and will now desist.

Anyway, I have blathered

Posted by Sherlock 04/20/2010 at 02:53 PM

Chela seemed to have his chances. Served for the second, didn't he? But Sod pulls it out 5 and 5.

Posted by sod'sfriend 04/20/2010 at 02:56 PM


thanks for the good news.

le sod all the way!

Posted by Andrew 04/20/2010 at 03:03 PM

For my part, I think it's legitimate and acceptable to say something along the lines of "Nadal had difficulties with his serve during the USO SF 2009 (and likely earlier in the tournament) because of a tear in an ab muscle," or "Federer hit many more DFs in the USO 2009 F than we'd normally expect, which might be an indication that his back issues were affecting him."

And it's entirely kosher to frazzle about ongoing issues (knees, etc) in terms of anticipated play in Rome, Madrid, RG etc.

What it *isn't* OK to say is "Del Potro wouldn't have won the F if Federer hadn't obviously been feeling his back," or "there's an asterisk against Federer's name in Madrid/RG 2009 because Nadal was tuckered out after a long SF or was feeling twinges and got eliminated early at RG." My 2c.

Posted by Sherlock 04/20/2010 at 03:06 PM

Congrats, sod's friend. :)

And condolences, Mr. X. :)

Posted by Nic 04/20/2010 at 03:07 PM

Andrew, since you've popped in, wanted to say I watched your youtube vids yesterday. Was really interesting. (If I had a youtube account, I would have said so there.)

Posted by just a note 04/20/2010 at 03:13 PM

Hi everyone.

CL - I like and appreciate your blathering; must say I don’t consider it as such. :)

GB - lovely to see the Rafa video in English after his MC win and the other quotes you provided. Thanks for that.

Nalbandian hurting again and having to w/d after working so hard to get back to playing just makes me sad. I can only believe he’ll come back again. No tennis for me today; I'm protesting no TV viewing available and I will not use the scoreboard. I sometimes feel I have withdrawal symptoms but won't give them the satisfaction of using their silly SB. :)

Tonight's Tennis Channel showing of the 2006 Rome final between RandR will be my prize even though Rog loses. It's great tennis from both guys and even though Rog lost 7/5 in the 5th set TB, I've had time to heal :), so I'm looking forward to it.

Posted by GB 04/20/2010 at 03:27 PM

LOL: classic Rafa expression in this pic from today's presser

Posted by Ruth 04/20/2010 at 04:09 PM

Andrew @ 3:03 -- more good examples of necessary (or acceptable) vs unnecessary (or inappropriate) mentions of an illness/injury. :)

Subjective? Yes, of course.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/20/2010 at 04:17 PM

Well Rafa's pressor was what I expected no Earth Shattering News

I agree with Ruth,Rafa will always have some sort of pain.Its up to him to actually be aware and not push himself like he has done in the past.

Good Morning Everyone.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/20/2010 at 04:23 PM

Ahhhhh My Tommy retired? Blah!

He was to be Champion here.

My life sucks.

Posted by zenggi 04/20/2010 at 04:35 PM

Good evening,

Just in time for me to cheer you up, AM. Don't be sad, aussielady. Tommy will bounce back and win something very soon. Of course if my boy Thiemo isn't his opponent because then the Aussie-Dutchy Treaty of Peace Friendship is off the table :)

Good win for Robin, by the way. Congrats.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/20/2010 at 04:39 PM

zenggi Thanks.It still hurts though.

Posted by zenggi 04/20/2010 at 04:46 PM

I'm reading that Tommy retired due to a "lumbar problem". It means anything from back pain to "pain the back". We'll have to wait to hear more details about it.

Is this the right thread?

Posted by Master Ace 04/20/2010 at 04:47 PM

Your two favs won a few days ago. Someone's else favs need to be in the spotlight.

Posted by zenggi 04/20/2010 at 04:50 PM

Thank you, Master Ace. The voice of reason.

I'm off for the night. Enjoy!

Posted by sod'sfriend 04/20/2010 at 04:51 PM


mr.x can't stand my man since rg2009. ;)

andrew and ruth,

u guys are saints!

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