Nadal Gets Scheduling Wrong Once More

http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/news;_ylt=AuSoqGuRui22Cvd80XoN24E4v7YF?slug=ap-nadal-return&prov=ap&type=lgns

I’m starting to feel sorry for Rafa these days. It just doesn’t seem to sink in for him that he will need to play less to avoid permanent injury. He has now not only committed to Beijing, Shanghai, Paris and London until the end of the year, but also to Rotterdam in 2010. There is no hint whatsoever that Rafa plans on curbing his schedule since missing Wimbledon this year due to knee tendinitis. He just came off a crushing defeat at the hands of Delpo because of a torn stomach muscle, yet he is somehow ready to play four straight punishing tournaments. Is he doing this because Roger withdrew from Tokyo and Shanghai, and he thinks he can somehow get the number one ranking back? I guess he has no intentions of making anything easy on Roger, even at the cost of his own health.

Roger may have to start thinking about taking a wild card at Shanghai now, the way he did earlier this year at Monte Carlo after Murray was starting to threaten him in the rankings. Rafa is the only player with a real chance of threatening Roger’s year end number one ranking. I think it looked like he was at least going to sit out Beijing, but the fact that he has been cleared to play now gives him an outside chance to catch Roger before the end of the year. I guess I will never understand Rafa’s decisions. It seems now that the only thing that matters to him is damaging Roger’s legacy, and not so much improving his own legacy. Lets say he somehow manages to pass Roger in the rankings come year end. Is it really worth it if it damages his body once again and shortens his career even more than it has already been shortened?

Does this guy have any long term vision whatsoever? Or is he simply jealous of Roger’s achievements and would do anything to ruin it? I guess we will never know. The one thing what we do know though is that Rafa has not learned any lessons from his serious injuries this year. I find it hard to believe that he has committed to play Rotterdam and Dubai again next year. So actually he is making no adjustments whatsoever to his schedule from this year, which will inevitably lead to more injuries and early burnout. I guess this is one of the things that makes the Federer/Nadal rivalry so interesting. You can’t have two individuals more different than these two. Roger is all about long term thinking and listening to his body’s wisdom.

Rafa on the other hand doesn’t even seem to have any concept of the future whatsoever. It’s all about instant gratification with no thought of the consequences. There is no wisdom in what he does, while Roger’s actions is like a manual for any tennis player who wants to have a long, successful career. This recklessness from Rafa now puts Roger in a slightly uncomfortable situation. Should he go against his body’s wisdom as well and take a wild card in Shanghai, or should he stick by his decision and hope Rafa does not have amazing results. Both Beijing and Shanghai is on outdoor hard, which will also help Rafa’s chances. Paris and London are indoor hard, although for some reason it does not say that Paris is indoors on the ATP website. Roger can’t gain any points from Basel, he can only lose points, although you do expect him to win the tournament.


That leaves him with only Paris, where he has never gone past the quarter finals, and London. It’s quite surprising that Roger has never passed the quarter finals of Paris, and if there was ever an opportune time to do so, then it is this year. The problem is that Rafa played only Madrid and Paris last year, so he has clean slate in both Beijing and London. Hmmm. I’m starting to wonder if Roger should not take a wild card in Shanghai. If he does not he will lose 450 points. This could yet become interesting…

Should Roger take a wild card in Shanghai?

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16 Comments

  1. I voted NO…
    Roger’s health is more important than the No. 1 ranking…

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I tend to agree with you guys. I just think this year end number one ranking is pretty important. Maybe Rafa will get injured again.

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  2. No. I think Nadal is not fully recovered and while Roger likes that he has his number one back, I bet he would like to win Aussie and play for Davis Cup!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    That would be awesome Trish.

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  3. Yikes, I bear it if Roger loses his ranking. I hope he ends as No1. This Nadal is an idiot, not only he is pushing his body further. He is making it hard for Roger to maintain his no1 spot. Damn

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  4. I think is no good for Roger to play Shanghai, for two reasons basically:1)fatigue 2)family. Imagine tavelling to Asia for a couple of weeks with two little ones across many times zones would have been pretty daunting too.So far as some people is concerned whatever Roger does is never enough, he needs more G.S., He has to beat Nadal in a final…etc.etc.
    But we want him to go on playing as long as possible, don´t we?So he needs a break.In my opinion n°1 is less important that the slams, so let him have a good rest.

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  5. Am of the same opinion as Ines, No. 1 is not as important, good health is by far more important. Without it you cannot perform. We would like for Roger to be victorious in GS. In the end, it is Roger’s decision, so let us hope for the best in his favor. Thanks for all your good writings, Ru-an. Going back a bit, meant to tell you that the picture of those two darling baby goats is so sweet. Roger is GOAT.

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  6. I voted NO. Others posting here have mentioned the why’s. I’d just like to add that it’s better to have just 1-2 good tournaments than having 4-5 mediocre ones. The increase in points is exponential when you get to late stages. Never underestimate this factor.

    In addition to that, now you see why I despised so much Roger’s decision to play Davis Cup. Even if he wins the DC for Switzerland, I think 10 years from now, very few will be talking about it. What they will talk about most are how graceful he plays & how numerous his GS titles.

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  7. Nadal is just a jealous son of a gun. I mean this guy is SO OVERRATED, it is just getting crazy. In sports, and in life you want to do the LONG JOURNEY and not the SHORT SPRINT. And watch, the media will say that Rafa is SOOO COMMITTED TO THE TOUR, when he is just an egotist. He just wants to have what Roger already has. Professional Jealousy.

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  8. I want Roger to end the year at number 1 but he’s had a successful career by knowing when to stop and after playing so many tournaments that have been both mentally and physically draining it is best for him to rest for a few weeks even at the expense of the number 1 ranking (sad to say  ), I would hate to see him travel to Shanghai and injure himself leading him to be unfit to play in Basel, Paris, London and in early 2010 which would lose him far more points than what he stands to lose by missing Tokyo and Shanghai. Rafa if he continues with his crazy scheduling will find himself burnt out by the time it comes to his defence of the Aussie open title and beyond, the knee tendonitis will resurface if he plays consecutive tournaments and continues to run around like a crazy rabbit. If Nadal ends the year at number 1 it will be sad because Roger had the better year and deserves to end the year at number 1 but he has to play to gain points but as I said before I would hate to see Roger get injured and I don’t see Rafa’s longevity. I still don’t think that Nadal will end the year as number 1, another injury will surface, this is Soderling’s best part of the year, Del Potro is on fire, Djokovic has relit his fire and Tsonga is always dangerous, the courts are slower than in the US which give Nadal an advantage but he still isn’t a 100% and is beatable if players believe that they can do it. It will be close for the number 1 ranking but I think Roger will show his magic when he needs it.

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  9. For an outlook how long Nadal career’s will be, we just need to look at Hewitt. By all means, Hewitt’s style is less punishing than Nadal’s… but look at how quickly he burnt out.

    21-22 yrs of age was his career peak (winning Wimbledon, being number one, etc.) Then he went on a steady decline. He managed to revive it to some extent in 2004-5, reaching USO & AO finals, thereafter he just lost way too much to climb back to the top 10.

    Hewitt didn’t have as many injuries as Nadal. Given, Nadal is much more gifted than Hewitt. But he has fulfilled that margin already, by winning 6 GS.

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  10. Great comments by all of you i tought. A few important points you made:
    1)Grand slams are more important than the nr 1 ranking.
    2)In the latter parts of the tournaments points increase exponentially.
    3)Rafa will get injured again if he keeps playing this schedule, making it even easier for Roger to win majors.

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  11. Don’t worry, Ru-an, Nadal WILL get injured again if he keeps to his crazy schedule. He would not be able to take the no. 1 from Roger. Delpo, Soderling, Roddick, etc are on fire and fit as fiddle. They will give him a fight and tire him out. By the time he gets to AO, he would be limping! Roger should rest but I hope he is doing some serious training in his body and especially IN HIS HEAD(!) so that he can come back ready to take the AO. By the way, say, if Nadal is back to no. 1 and Roger is no. 2, does it mean Roger might get a tougher draw in the AO? I understand generally the number 1 player usually gets an easier draw?

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Not necessarily. The nr 1 and 2 are always on different sides of the draw. That the only thing that is certain. So it doesnt mean if Roger is number two he would get a tougher draw.

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  12. hey all,this is crazy to say,rafa is jeolous of roger,he is determined,yes offcourse young n the young blood is hungry for more…i dont think roger bothers sooo much n speaks sooo useless abt rafa,even if everybody is struggling to give roger a scare,rafa is the only one who is able to really get those results,n this is wat is itchting u ppl,he might do anything abt his schedule,ppl r with him for consulting,he will listen to his heart n do his best.

    roger is best,but rafa is also gud n will remain gud.

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