As I suggested in my last post, it seems that Nadal is finally starting to learn something about scheduling. The fact that he took so long to do so is amazing in itself. Above you will find an article where he says that his body is asking him to rest. I never thought I would hear Rafa say those words. I mean seriously, how much injury could he not have avoided had he adopted this mentality earlier? Not that I’m complaining of course. If he scheduled like this last year he would have won the French Open again almost for sure. But he decided to play three weeks in a row at Monte Carlo, Barcelona, and Rome, and again in Madrid. By the final of Madrid he was already starting to look tired, and when the French Open came around he looked spent. It would be interesting to see if he now plays Madrid. Since he took Barcelona off, Madrid wouldn’t be a bad idea.
This decision from Nadal is even more impressive given that he won Barcelona five times in a row, and had a chance to make it six in a row there as he did in Monte Carlo. It seems he really is finally learning. Barcelona is also what he considers as is home tournament, and is the one tournament he does not like to miss. All this is not the best news for Federer, but it is good for the Federer/Nadal rivalry and tennis in general. If Rafa starts scheduling smartly he will have a much better chance of staying healthy and having good results. I realize that a fit, rested Nadal will be very hard to beat at the French Open, which makes me a little worried for Roger. But lets just be happy he has his one French Open title in the bag now, which means he can now play without too much pressure on the clay.
As for Barcelona, the withdrawal from Rafa opens up the draw. It is difficult to pick a winner now. Berdych has also withdrawn. Soderling is back, as well as Gonzalez. Then there is Ferero, Ferrer, and Verdasco. All these guys must have a shot at the title. I’m hoping for Ferero. Then there are also other dangerous players like Tsonga, Monaco, and Almagro. It should be a decent tournament, but honestly I can’t wait any more for Roger to get back on court. I’ll be counting down the days until next week. If you haven’t seen yet, Federer updated his Facebook profile: