The Truth About the Australian Open Final

Hi guys! What a crazy few weeks it has been for me and how I have missed tennis and you guys. I quickly made a post last Sunday just to sum up what happened at the Australian Open but things were still so hectic for me that I didn’t even watch the highlights I posted. It was only during this week where things settled down for me somewhat that I was able to watch those highlights. Then today I was missing tennis again and this time I watched the highlights of Roger’s match against Tsonga and I also watched the final highlights a second time. There have been quite a bit of controversy and debate on my blog about what happened in that final, and it finally hit me what was going on while I watched it for a second time. It was so obvious that I’m surprised the truth have evaded me for so long. I have just been so distracted that I didn’t have the time to pay attention.

It has become clear to me that Nadal’s injury was a ‘mental/physical’ injury. Let me explain what I mean by that. Stan was literally abusing Nadal in the first set and the first bit of the second set. It is no coincidence that Nadal’s physical problems started after going a set and a break down. I mean Stan was humiliating him out there. It was emotional abuse, which then turned into its physical counterpart. Don’t understand me wrong. I am not saying Nadal was faking anything. It was obvious that he was in great discomfort. But mental things turn into their physical counterparts. It is a universal law. Emotions more so than thoughts even. You may have heard of the law of attraction. It states that thoughts become things because thought is a form of energy. But thoughts turn into their physical counterpart even faster when they are fueled by emotion.

This is because emotion is a stronger energy than thought. I believe that Nadal was feeling so humiliated out there that his feelings manifested as a back spasm. That is the scoop here folks. Many of my readers have claimed that Nadal faked his injury because he always seems to get injured when he gets beaten on. They can sense something is going on but they can’t make that connection between mind and body, until someone like me comes along and makes them aware. The bodymind connection is a fact. There is nothing mysterious about it. The idea has made its way into western society only recently, but has existed in the east for ages. Even now it is not accepted by many in the west, but it is a fact nonetheless. I don’t want to go too deeply into the power of thought and emotion here but I needed to touch on it to explain what happened in the final.

Nadal is much more sensitive and fragile than people think. Outwardly he appears to be this Spartan warrior who never crumbles under pressure. It is true that he is a clutch player, but he becomes very vulnerable when he gets abused out there. I think this comes from the way his uncle used to abuse him when he was growing up. I saw an excerpt from Nadal’s book just recently where Nadal reveals how brutal uncle Toni was. He once forgot his water bottle on a hot day for a match and asked Toni to get him some water, but as punishment Toni refused and let him play the whole match without water. I mean that is not only harsh but dangerous. So Nadal is very vulnerable for abuse. This is also why he disappears off the tour for long periods after humiliating losses.

Two prime examples are the losses to Soderling at the ’09 French Open and to Rosol at Wimbledon ’12. He cites physical injuries for these lengthy absences but they are more like mental/physical injuries. The emotional pain of those losses turn into their physical counterpart. So they are both mental and physical. I hope people have a better understanding about Nadal’s injuries after this post. There are many Fedfans who claim Nadal fakes injury. This is false, and now you know why. Let me also say this is not something that I just dreamed up. I have both vast knowledge and experience about the subject of metaphysics. I have read about it extensively and have had many experiences of these things in my own life. To me it is all very straight forward, but some of you may still have difficulty understanding and accepting it.

Let me also just say a final word about Stan. I think he did incredibly well to steady the ship after the third set and remain calm amidst all the drama surrounding him. Nadal may have been mentally/physically injured but a wounded predator is at its most dangerous. Stan had to be extremely focused not to let the match slip away from him after the third set. The momentum of the match was changing and at the beginning of the fourth set he missed a couple of break points. He was also broken back after he broke Nadal. It was a volatile situation which could have slipped away from him in no time. If Nadal won the fourth set he would have been the favorite to win the match. So huge props to Stan for putting Nadal away when he had him in trouble. I can think of someone who failed to do that in another Australian Open final…

Posted in Uncategorized.

93 Comments

  1. Brilliant post Ruan, I do agree with your opinion, even though I said myself that I could see him being injured after he was over powered, outplayed and almost humiliated. English is not my first language but I get now what you mean. He was hurt so much mentally that he got injured physically, even if it was not serious injury,mental part played big part.History will remember the winner of the match.. Not the injury

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Pete. Glad you ‘got’ it. I don’t expect everyone will.

    [Reply]

  2. Great post Ru-an and i agree. Know from personal experience that my thoughts and emotions cause my body pain, especially my back. Glad you are getting settled and hope you will love where you are.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Susan, you said it. A healthy mind = a healthy body.

    [Reply]

  3. Hello Ru-an, Greetings to you in your new surroundings. Hope all is working well for you, so far it looks promising for you. May it continue for the best for you.
    Your blog is tops, Ru-an, am in total agreement with you about body/mind being very much of one. Thank you for a well thought out analysis.
    Am looking forward to the upcoming tennis tournaments, especially seeing Roger in action. Good luck, Roger!
    In the meantime, the winter Olympics in Sochi are exciting to watch. The Swiss have their first Gold, Bravo!
    Kindly,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hello Dolores haven’t heard from you in while. Glad that everything seems to be ok with you. Enjoy the winter Olympics.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    There you are Dolores! Glad you are well. Got me worrying a bit….. Did you enjoy AO this year? Roger played so well didn’t he, except for a little blurb?! Really enjoyed watching roger floating around the court hitting so sweetly off both sides with his new racket with hardly any shanks at all!. It was a sight to behold. I so miss roger playing well. 2013 was a bad nightmare and best forgotten! Haha!

    [Reply]

  4. Look at nadal’s expression towards the end of the 1st set. He was stunned and you are right humiliated. He couldnt figure out wawrinka’s power and brilliant placement and was at a loss.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right. Stan was treating Nadal’s shots with contempt, the way he was just slapping winners all over the place. This is simply to much for Nadal’s psychology to bare.

    [Reply]

  5. Couldn’t have analysed it better, Ruan! And you are 100 percent right!! Gosh, Ruan, do you charge? Can I get on your couch?!! I’ve got these shoulder aches…..Haha! When we say Nadal hates losing, it’s not so much as feeling rotten about losses; like how roger must have felt, crying at AO2009; but the humiliation that can come with losing. In nadal case, every potential loss (when he is outplayed in the midst of a match) trigger the humiliation button and he would do anything to avoid it and his whole body reacts and thus injury ALWAYS happens when he is in this kind of situation. Coming from that kind of brutal training, It makes perfect sense how nadals mind and body function. You nailed it, GOAT blogger, yes! you did! Since I mentioned AO2009, I must get this out of my system. I’ve got totally different opinions about Rogers tears in AO2009 but everywhere Ive read, nobody share my views including fed fans. If anyone of you share similar views, please let me know! Anyway, Rogers AO2009 tears – a) he cared about the game b) he was utterly disappointed with himself c) he is a self confessed “cry baby” – from his biographies, he often mention he expresses a lot of his emotions through tears and find it hard to hold them back. Heck, he even cried at his own wedding which I thought was a bit too much; after all he was with mirka everyday and they were gonna get married anyway; not that he lost her or found her again or something like that! But he said he cried because he’s so happy someone loved him so much!! Now isn’t that so sweet?! AO2009 was just roger being his uncontrollable and human self. It was an honest vulnerable moment; you rarely get to see these moments in great champions and I’m so glad it happened. It has NOTHING to do with taking away the moment from Nadal. Roger was trying really hard not to take it away from Nadal and even said so in his speech. Now, compare rogers AO 2009 tears to the recent AO where Nadal was demonstrating all kinds of self pity gestures DURING the match to gain sympathy and also to ” prove” to the crowd that he was not lying after they booed him and THEN, talking about it in the trophy ceremony and THEN again, after match press conference and THEN yet again in later press conferences!! If roger crying in AO 2009 took away nadal’s moment, then what do you call nadal’s act in this year’s AO?!!! AO2009 is child’s play compared to AO2014! But the thing that REALLY got to me in AO2009 was everyone was saying how gracious Nadal was comforting roger when he cried! Give me a break! For me, I see the act as condescending. I cringed when he hugged roger. The hug only served to highlight nadal superiority, it is FAR from comforting!! If I were roger, I would feel worse after that “I own you” hug!! I was surprised roger sort of accepted the hug in good faith being the straightforward person that he is. Roddick would have pushed or even kicked Nadal if he had tried to hug him!!! Ha! Roger is not a wimp. A wimp cries over every small slight, self pitys himself and often blame others. Roger takes full responsibility and his tears are a big part of his creative and sensitive nature. He does seem to be narcissistic sometimes; yet you wonder if it is more because he is so comfortable, confident and at peace with himself and his capabilities. Narcissistic ppl are often hard and loud, and unlikeable and live a miserable life. Far from how roger lives his life.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks for all the praise Veronica but I’m gonna have to be honest with you here and say that you are sounding quite biased. Roger and Nadal both had their reasons for crying, and one’s reason was not more or less valid than the other’s. Personally I hardly noticed Nadal’s tears, while Roger’s tears played center stage. It was embarrassing to be honest. I know that is just who he is but it did intrude on Nadal’s moment. Lets be honest. I think it was actually a very nice gesture from Nadal to hug and console him. He did not have to do that given that it was supposed to be his moment. That final was the lowest moment in Roger’s career in every way possible.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Fair enough Ruan. However, I don’t think I am biased. Maybe you are biased because AO2009 was one of roger’s lowest moments, it was a difficult match for you and roger crying about it later really sealed it for you that roger did everything wrong. And i wasn’t comparing the way both of them cried! Like you, I hardly noticed Nadal crying. I’m saying Nadal was gesturing pitiful sights of despair like hanging his head low, pinching his eyes, etc to make sure everyone knew he was injured! ( a bit like how Murray would grab his back every time he is being outplayed!) If roger’s tears took centre stage in AO2009, then Nadal’s drama queen actions and blatant gamesmanship GRABBED centre stage!! Yeah, roger’s tears maybe disgraceful, embarrassing, weak, whatever; but it was honest. Nadal’s behaviour? Disgraceful too but maybe not that honest. Moral. That’s all I’m saying. It’s hard for a man to watch another man cry. I know that too well. I have 9 macho brothers and a superman dad! Men aren’t supposed to cry, especially when they lose. It’s totally embarrassing and awkward. I suppose that’s why roger was so harshly criticised whereas Nadal got off scot free for all the drama he put on. It so reminds me of boys in schools who get crucified for crying whereas the bullies get away with murder and everyone cheers for the tough bully! In time all men learn not to cry and if one breaks down sometimes, it is an unforgivable crime! All comments made on roger AO2009 was negative. But in this AO final, there was hardly any negative press on Nadal’s behaviour! In fact Nadal was exalted for being professional and warrior-like, never giving up, blah,blah, blah! Rogers tears were uncalled for but they didn’t lessen Nadal’s glory. Nadal’s handling of his own injury however, did lessen Stan’s glory. Roger stealing Nadal’s moment with his tears was only momentary. Nadal stealing the credit that was due to Stan maybe forever! You really thought Nadal was nice to hug roger?! Really, Ru-an?! You notice how Nadal can be an exterminator devoid of mercy in matches and when match over, he can suddenly look so humble and gentle and almost sorry that he beat the crap out of his opponent? And all his humble statements afterwards? You really think he was nice to hug roger?! Ok, I’m not gonna say anymore! Ha! Btw, I’m so happy you didn’t take too long to settle down, Ruan and that you miss tennis and you miss us! Sorry you have to read this long comment, Ru-an, but I am the defender of roger’s AO 2009 tears, haha! and I say to him the hell with all the negativity and he can cry and wail any tournament anytime he wants! He has earned it! Hehe!!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I understand what you are saying Veronica. But I have to look at things from Nadal’s perspective at times to cancel out some of the bias that inevitably comes with having a Federer blog. I understand that Roger’s tears were genuine etc, but it just doesn’t look very masculine. Personally I was brought up to be strong and not show emotion. To do so would have been fatal, so for me men who cry are difficult to come to terms with. I feel like it shows weakness. And yes I do think Nadal was nice to hug Roger. He didn’t have to do that and it made Roger feel better. It was Nadal’s moment. He won the match fair and square and then Roger sobbed like a baby all throughout his moment of glory. Sorry I know this may sound harsh but it is just the way I see it.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Fair enough,Ru-an, no problems, I respect your views. I just find Nadal’s actions a little shady, that’s all. AND the fact that he gets away with it. AND the fact that his patterns are repeated and still ppl cut him some slack! Whereas roger is judged more harshly. I’m no fed fanatic and I do not hesitate to call roger out when I see it (eg his numerous chokes and USO where he said djoko’s shot was lucky and he was not brought up that way!) but Nadal’s behaviour is on another level and Nadal totally deserves it when ppl are suspicious about him. I hope there will be some concrete explanations about the Nadal phenomenon in the near future and that we live to witness it. His unbelievable defence and extreme athleticism and his mental state under pressure, are just too incredible to be true.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    ‘His unbelievable defence and extreme athleticism and his mental state under pressure, are just too incredible to be true.’

    We don’t know this with absolute certainty. And even if he was a doper he still has qualities worth appreciating.

    [Reply]

    Susan Brown Reply:

    I have thought about this moment a lot and was upset about it and then realized Roger had also just found out Mirka was pregnant. Being as he is so emotional and tender, this may be what put him over the edge with tears.

    [Reply]

  6. As everybody has opined, you simply nailed it Ru-an. The proof- reportedly, Nadal already has developed a stomach virus leading to his withdrawal from his next tournament in South America. Who knows, his absence from the tour may turn out to be an extended one like on earlier occasions? If he loses early in his next tournament, I have absolutely no doubt that we shall have an enhanced list of injuries coming from team Nadal. On the AO2014, the Soderling and Rosol defeats, I completely agree with you that the humiliation eventually mapped onto mental/physical injuries; the injuries were indeed not fake. But what about the gamesmanship adopted by him by faking injuries on other occasions like the matches against Petzschner and Delpotro at Wimbledon? Of course, he can still be given the benefit of doubt; the Nadal psychology is such a mystery, somebody can get a PhD or even a Nobel prize by studying the Nadal Phenomenology!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Jiten. I agree that we may see another long absence from Nadal now. I have predicted that he will slump this year a while ago and I still believe it. These are the exact conditions in which Nadal usually takes a leave of absence. He got humiliated and he needs time to recover now. The withdrawal from BA is just the beginning. And I agree with you that it is not all excusable. He needs to start taking responsibility for some of this stuff.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Yeah, bro! Brace yourself for another sabbatical from Nadal……yawn!!! He is so predictable, isn’t he?! Like clock work…..tick…tok…tick …tok……it’s the tok’s turn now, the tick is not happening….

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    Yup Sis. In fact sometimes I find him more robotic than the ones found in the tennis video games. The real Dull will do better than the ones running in play-station. It seems now that his schedule will soon develop into a robotic one as well.

    [Reply]

  7. Sorry, I don`t agree with this theory of ‘mental/physical’ injury at all. I do agree that state of mind can affect health, for example health decline over a period of time in people suffering from depression. But negative thoughts that immediately become a physical injury during a tennis match? Sounds like something bordering on the supernatural..

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Exactly.

    [Reply]

  8. Nice theory! Just like the doping suspicions and the faking injuries suspicion, I read this as a possible explanation and give it certain credit. To call it the truth, however, sounds a bit presumptious to me. We can’t know for sure what is happening behind the scenes, can we? I guess the ITF grants Nadal a permanent TUE for mental injuries?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    When it happens once it is a theory. When the same thing happens over and over it becomes a fact. Connect that with the abuse Nadal suffered at the hands of Toni as a youngster and it is not hard to connect the dots. But like I said I don’t expect everyone to get it. Most people did get it though.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Like the doping evidence, some get it, others don’t? When it comes to matters of belief, I choose rather not to take a position in which I declare that I know the truth, and that those which disagree just don’t get it. I was not there when Nadal suffered abuse at the hand of Toni, were you? But I have no problem believing it, just like I believe that Nadal is a notorious cheater and doper, faking injuries and using other forms of gamesmanship. You can use metaphysics to explain what you see, claiming that the same thing happened over and over and therefore became a fact. Same with me, I’ve seen Ben Johnson, Lance Armstrong, Sammy Sosa, and so on. The same thing happens over and over, therefore I consider it a fact.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    You are right. No one can convince anyone of anything. You believe whatever makes the most sense to you. Even if I knew what I was saying is the truth, there would be no way to convince you if you are not open to that truth.

    [Reply]

  9. Hi Ruan.
    I’m inclined to agree with Chris here, Ruan.
    Whether it was the emotional feeling of being humiliated that caused Nadal’s back pain or something else, we can only speculate about it, as we don’t know for sure what the source of his backpain is.
    In my view Nadal’s back spasm could for instance just as much have been caused by his having started way too nervous at the match, which physically translates in overly crisping your muscles or tendons, gives you a feeling of physical pain, and can end in injury if you don’t manage to relax these muscles where and when needed.
    I had this kind of problem as a “professional musician in spe”: the inability to relax certain muscles when having to execute difficult pieces of music. Yoga exercises helped to mitigate the issue, but couldn’t solve my problem completely. It ended in injury…
    Anyways, Nadal may take some time off to rest and recover, but I personally don’t expect him to be out of competition for several months.

    [Reply]

    Wilfried Reply:

    The verb “crisp” should be “tense” your muscles (translation of “crisper” in french).
    Sorry about it.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right. You believe what you believe and I believe what I believe. There is no need for me to convince anyone of anything. I offer an explanation and it is up to you whether you want to accept it or not.

    [Reply]

    Wilfried Reply:

    Suggesting a player has some kind of psychosomatic problem when you don’t have any proof to this, is not a nice thing to say, Ruan.
    And no offence meant,but I’m afraid the mind and the brain is still largely a mystery for all of us, Ruan, whether in the east or in the west. People struck by a serious mental problem (and I’m not talking here about just depression) don’t have great chances to be healed, because there simply ain’t yet any deep understanding of how the mind works, and how to heal the mind.
    I prefer to belief in the existence a more simple explanation (Ockham’s razor principle).

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    How is it not a nice thing to say? Lol. It’s my opinion after all. Like I said in my last comment, I have no need for you to agree with me. I know I am right, therefor I don’t need agreement.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Also, there is deep understanding of the mind. I myself have been healed from severe mental problems. Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean others don’t. I think you need to do some research and reading before you come to any more rash conclusions.

    [Reply]

  10. Stan won 11 points in a row in going 2-0 up
    That was just before Nadal got injured

    Does this mean Nadal still retains a mental hold over the opponent, the ‘what if’ scenario ?

    [Reply]

  11. Back spasms, stomach troubles, muscle cramps or lesions, all of these fit perfectly to your explanation. Psychosomatic problems, real physical problems without organic causes, produced from mental issues. I fully believe it! But a truly physical problem like tendinitis in the knees (if it is true), kicking water bottles, bumping into the opponent, on court coaching, time abuse, etc., don’t seem psychosomatic issues to me, ‘only’ psychopathological, antisocial, dishonest. Of course we can find metaphysical explanations, and blame it all on the bad Uncle Tony who abused the poor Rafaelito when he was only an innocent child. It might even be true to a certain extent. But as Steve said years ago on this blog, we have to hold Nadal responsible for his acts, adult as he is. If he suffers psychosomatic injuries due to emotional stress, he might not be faking the pain as such, but it still comes down to a subconscious manipulation of a situation forcing people to see him as a victim, feel sorry for him and believe that everything would be fine for Nadal (meaning he would certainly be winning) if only he wasn’t injured. I refuse to buy into his manipulative self-victimisation.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Of course. I already said in my reply to Jiten that Nadal has to start taking responsibility for these things. Definitely not all has to do with the mind/body connection or with injury. He consciously uses gamesmanship to unnerve opponents. I was merely offering something different than the conventional view from biased Fedfans that every injury of Nadal is fake and that he is pure evil. You know how much I despise fanaticism and blind worship…

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Agreed. Federer at some point said that he had created a monster which haunted him. Everytime he lost it was treated like a catastrophe by the press, and he had to explain himself. I think something similar has happened to Nadal, and he is equally trapped in the monstruous expectation that he can’t lose when fit. He probably came to believe it himself. In a way, I feel sorry for him. And I certainly don’t envy him for his childhood. He is certainly a victim of many things. And probably a tormented soul. It’s not ok to see him as pure evil, actually it’s ridiculous.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I think there have been many people with much more brutal childhoods than Nadal. I am just offering a different angle. Fedfans tend to attack him so I think it is only fair that I come up for him.

    [Reply]

  12. You always emphazise how important mental aspects are in tennis, and you have expressed your opinion that Nadal is extremely strong in the mental department in comparison to Federer. However, if mental stress causes the injuries that interrupt Nadal’s series and cause him to take extended breaks, then his overall career results have been deeply affected by negative mental issues, while Federer’s consistency is proof of extreme mental strenght. Personally, I find it interesting to see how champions like Nadal and Federer deal with heartbreaking losses. When pride gets hurt, you learn a lot about the true nature of people. In some way, it’s fitting that both cried after losing an AO final. Nice to see that they are both giving their everything emotionally

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    In a way what you say is true. Nadal and Federer have different types of mental strength. Nadal seems to be more clutch, while Federer seems to be more consistent. There is also the match up issue to consider.

    [Reply]

  13. Hi Ru-an hope all is well in your world. Reading this post on your theory about Nadal may well be totally correct, but on the other hand just shows how you have changed these past months in your thinking about him. I personally think Nadal will do anything to win. Much as it pains me to say that his tennis is great…his attitude towards officials, opponents and the like leaves a lot to be desired! Doesn’t matter how much he wins he’ll never be a Federer he just doesn’t have warmth!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    That’s true Elizabeth. I just get sick of fan bias. I find it pathetic.

    [Reply]

  14. You deleted my replies apparently because you didn’t like them.
    Fair enough, Ruan. As the owner of this blog, you have the right to do it.
    Your comment that “I don’t understand …” was a bit unfortunate and very painful for me, which explains the way I reacted.
    People with a serious mental problem often don’t recover like they would like to recover, as you should know. That is not only very painful for them but also for those who love them.
    I happen to be one of the latter category. Seeing some of my dear ones struggling with more severe problems than you ever had, is difficult, and I need to pray on a daily basis to find the strength to cope with it.
    Of course I did the research to understand it and have contacts with professionals in the field.
    So please don’t tell me that I don’t know what I’m talking about, and let’s move on to other items, please.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    How do you know about the problems I had? And how do you know I don’t have the same problem as you? Don’t assume things about people you don’t know in real life, and I won’t have to delete your comments.

    [Reply]

    Wilfried Reply:

    I read your writings about your personal life long time ago before even knowing your tennis blog, Ruan, but never reacted to them. You wrote and talked about yourself, your mam and dad on the internet, enough to understand what you were talking about.
    I never said that I have problems myself, only that people that I happen to love have some kinda problem that is different and more serious than the one you had. That’s all.
    As for spiritual and metaphysical matters, I happened to be a monk remember and didn’t spend my precious time watching or playing tennis matches.
    I also had frequent contacts with someone I knew with powers you perhaps don’t even know the existence of.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I think it is wrong to assume that the person you know had worse problems than I had, even if you read my personal writings. Of course I am not going to reveal everything I went through on something as impersonal as the internet.
    You say you were a monk, which is why I don’t understand that you don’t know more about these things. I was never a monk, and yet I have vast knowledge and experience of these things. I know for instance that any power we can imagine and more can be used by doing the right training, but that having special powers have nothing to do with spiritual enlightenment. The man who knows reality is not anxious to demonstrate any unusual powers. The man who is anxious to do so is in the grip of the ego and knows nothing of reality.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    It’s very common to suffer from mental problems, and/or to haved loved ones that do. They are often a taboo (tabu?), because many societies reject the notion of mental issues as real issues, and marginalize those that suffer from it. I agree with Ru-an that most physical ailments root in mental causes. What I don’t understand, Wilfred, why is it ‘not nice’ to say that somebody has a psychosomatic issue? Are you part of those that consider this an insult and stigmatize those who suffer from psychosomatic pain? I find it insulting to claim that Nadal fakes things, which reflects badly on his character. To have psychosomatic ailments don’t, all humans do.

    [Reply]

    Wilfried Reply:

    I shall respond later today, Chris. Don’t have the time right now.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Before you do, let me clarify that I know you don’t stigmatize people with psychological problems. It was a rhetorical question, probably leading to a misunderstanding. But your comment about Ru-an not ‘being nice’ to suggest such a thing confused me a bit

    [Reply]

    Wilfried Reply:

    OK, Chris, where could or should I start ?
    [I find it insulting to claim that Nadal fakes things, which reflects badly on his character. To have psychosomatic ailments don’t, all humans do.]’
    Well, in the first place I never expressed or even shared the view that Nadal was faking injuries in this AO 2014 final; check my comments and you’ll see that I thought he was injured from the second set onwards (as both Stan and Rafael looked fine to me in the first set). Of course I could be wrong, but to me only so if Rafael Nadal not only would be a ‘fantastic’ player but as well a ‘fantastic’ actor (which I doubt he is).
    Secondly presenting Nadal’s injury as a mental/physical injury may be a tempting argument to make, but it remains in my view an unconfirmed assumption, and nothing more. A professional in the field of mental problems will never make his diagnose based on appearances like you’re doing here on this blog, but will take his or her time to carefully observe and analyze and talk in depth with the person – not once but regularly – before making up his or her mind. Hence my comment that I was inclined to agree with you here, Chris. We don’t know Nadal enough to call this theory the truth.
    Third it’s the first time I hear Ruan express his view that Nadal may be more sensitive and fragile than people think. It’s worthwhile to mention it, because sensitive people tend to be more vulnerable / susceptible to mental problems than insensitive people. At the same time all the more reason to be careful with the things we write or say. Hence to me not a matter of taboo but a matter of respect for all those who suffer and avoid society because of their diminished ability to relate with people that they don’t trust.
    Finally I do second the body/mind connection theory but I think it is an overstatement to say that all people have a psychosomatic ailment of some kind.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    That still doesn’t explain to me why it was ‘not nice’ of me to say that Nadal’s problem originates in the mind. I was clearly coming up for him. Now, I would like a satisfactory explanation for this. Remember you are held accountable for everything you say on this blog. You can’t just make bold statements and be unable to back them up…

    [Reply]

    Wilfried Reply:

    Why would I reply to you ‘ad rem’ when you delete my replies when they don’t please you?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I deleted your replies because they were extremely condescending and ignorant. Why do you think I have never before or since deleted a comment from you? Now, I will give you one last chance to explain yourself. Make sure you make it count.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Thanks Wilfried. I am the one who accuses Nadal to be faking, I know you don’t. You say it is a matter of respect not to call out on those that suffer from psychosomatic ailments. But I don’t feel that this is offensive, nothing to be ashamed of, if you ask me. It would be wrong to ridiculize it, and say denigrating things about people suffering from such problems, but that is not what I saw on this blog. I would not say that everybody has a clinical psychosomatic problem, though the number of patients e.g. in Switzerland visiting a doctor (or a veterinarian with their pet) without detectable physical problems is huge. And in poorer countries alcohol is the typical antidepressant. But I would say that simple mental things like stressful emotions affect the immune system negatively, making people more susceptible to catching a flu or, in my case, go down with Malaria. Flu and Malaria are certainly not psychosomatic, but the reduced immunity allowing the infection to happen in the first place was a psychosomatic problem. At least that is how I see it. Finally, I don’t think that Nadal is a fantastic actor. I did not believe in his injury for even a second, and still don’t. There was an instant when I felt he was coming to the net to shake hands, and I was just about to change my mind and be in shock that he was really injured. But he did not. Nor did I. I do feel sorry for him nevertheless, because his whole career and existence might be built on a lie, and could come down crashing. Karma will tell.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    “His whole career and existence might be built on a lie, and could come crashing down”. Spot on Chris! I feel sorry for him too and hope that one day he will find himself. But if he is a cheater, then I don’t know whether I should feel more sorry for Roger or for him.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I used to look at it like that too Veronica. The first problem with this is that we just can’t be 100% sure that Nadal’s career might be built on a lie. I look at it this way now: If Nadal had not come along Roger would have been on something like 25 slams and the undisputed GOAT. We would have been bored out of our minds with his dominance. So I am grateful that Nadal came along and made things interesting. I find this is a much more realistic and pleasing way to look at things. But the way you want to look at it is of course entirely up to you. Just thought I’d mention it.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    ‘I find it insulting to claim that Nadal fakes things, which reflects badly on his character. To have psychosomatic ailments don’t, all humans do.’

    Exactly Chris. I’m defending Nadal yet Wilfried claims I am attacking him. It is not always fun to host a blog.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    It’s like having children! Certainly not always fund to gather to our needs, but you miss us when we don’t comment here for a week or so :-) . Maybe make a blog that is not about Nadal again, nor about Federer. Where are all the newcomers that were said to be the new generation? Where is Delpo? What happened to Soederling? Why is Switzerland, a tiny country, so successful in tennis? Where are your compatriots of South Africa? Tell us about tennis in Thailand… Maybe we need to collect ideas from readers what we would like you to analyze, for a change.

    [Reply]

  15. Absolutely agree, fantastic insight Ru-an. Murray has this very often, or at least he used to, we’ll see. I know I have felt it as well on occasion. When you feel like nothing is working and your opponent is overwhelming you, constantly pushing you, you get exhausted, and everything starts to hurt. I feel it right in the same place Nadal did, my lower back. It’s an excuse to end the abuse, a reason your minds sends you that you can accept more easily than simply that you are being outplayed. So glad you are getting settled in that magnificent country. Please don’t forget Doi Suthrep, you will love it!! And a tea at the Mandarin Oriental Chiang Mai hotel is an experience you’ll not forget.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Eric. I had the exact same problem with the lower back. As far as I know all physical problems start first in the mind. In fact the whole universe proceeded from thought. A healthy body proceeds from a healthy mind and a diseased one from a diseased mind. Thanks for the tips about Thailand.

    [Reply]

  16. You’re welcome. Here’s the last one because I don’t want to bore everyone else. The one investment you’ll want to make is in a quality scooter or motorbike. It’s the very best way to get around. Have a blast. :-)

    [Reply]

  17. You sure stirred up a hornet’s nest with this blog, Ruan :-) All I know for certain is that I will always be a fan of Roger. No matter what. Period. End of discussion.

    [Reply]

  18. Oooooh Ruan a bit of extra spice! I like it!
    I’m with you on the blind worshipper thing. Federer’s not a god, he’s a man, with faults of his own. That’s why I don’t criticise him that much for his tears in Melbourne ’09. It was a pretty crazy situation, emotions would get the better of many of us. He’s carried himself so well for many years prior to that and since as well with his (ridiculously cute) family. Not like he’s Andy Murray or anything ;-) I’m sure he felt bad and really awkward afterwards. Y’know before he won two more majors that season haha.
    I also agree with your view of the final. I didn’t see it right away either, I was raging at Nadal during the match, but it was what a good week after, watching the trophy presentation again when I could see it in Rafa’s eyes. He was injured alright and it came from the reasons you stated. And he’s pulled out of a tournament and not been seen much since! Come on guys that just screams hurt pride. The guy’s even scared of thunder. He may be a douche on the court but inside I’m sure he’s a softie. Maybe this is why he’s so ruthless because he feels insecure about himself? These top athletes can’t be seen to have weakness! If that’s the case then it’s a shame he can’t be true to himself. This might be the naive words of a teenage gentleman but hey I’ll always believe the best in people. It’s what being a primary student teacher does to ya, wouldn’t have it any other way.
    I’m a Federer fan because of what he stands for on the court: chivalry, respect, giving it your all but in a gentlemanly way, basically an all-round nice guy and in many ways a relic of a bygone era. Unfortunately for Federer, (and for most traditional nice guys on the planet like myself) that died out quite a while back. The ladies certainly prefer a more assertive man no matter what they say about nice guys. But you can’t change your character, believe me I’ve tried. Federer has as well against Nadal and at times he has been ruthless enough, WTF ’11 and IW ’12 are two great examples. I have faith in Federer that he has another performance like that in him.
    The way some Federer fans talk about Nadal it’s like he’s a murderer and pure evil. It gets a bit much! Nadal’s like that guy in high school you used to hate because he was a jerk and all the girls loved him. But he’s not evil.
    Really the Fedal thing for me is a metaphor for nice guys finishing last. I love (as a fan, I don’t worship) Federer because he defies that notion. Only one nice guy will ever have 17 majors that’s for sure. He shows that the nice guy warmth can come through! On a personal level he gives me faith to stick to my own warm nice guy character.
    Lastly, good for you for this Ruan, because lesser men would’ve shied away from this kind of a post in fear of a backlash. You’ve gained respect from me that’s for sure.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Tom and good post. I am a fearless writer all right. I write from the heart and couldn’t care less if others don’t like it. This is my space after all and I won’t tolerate disrespect and abuse anyway. You are right about the way some Fedfans react towards Nadal. He is not pure evil or the devil. But given that he owns Roger and is fast approaching his most important record, I guess it is no surprise the fanatic type of Fedfan is not handling the situation very well. I do believe Nadal is quite a sensitive guy. He is just better at controlling his emotions than Roger.

    [Reply]

  19. Ruan – Good post. I only respectfully disagree with your absolute certainty around your explanation. Your thesis is convincing, and definitely plausible. But is it totally implausible to say that maybe Rafa is in fact diabolical enough to fake injuries and do anything possible to disturb his opponents rythm. That it’s nothing metaphysical, but maybe just a win-by-trying-anything approach.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right, Nadal is not diabolical enough to fake the spasm. It was obvious to anyone with eyes that he was in pain. And it is even more crazy to think he slowed down his serve to distract his opponent. You have to have some serious imagination to believe that.

    [Reply]

    Sridhar Reply:

    It does sound far fetched, but consider this: If it wasn’t for Nadal’s injury, and associated delays that that caused, Wawrinka might have very well finished off the match in straight sets. One could make the case that Nadal’s rythm-breaking tactics worked and Wawrinka lost the 3rd set. Now, I can’t prove this to you, the larger point I’m making is that only Rafa (and Toni) know exactly what happened. We all can speculate, but nothing more else, seems like to me.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    In my opinion it’s a little silly to accuse Nadal of faking this injury but you are welcome to believe whatever you want. No one will force their opinion on you here. Not as long as I am in control anyway.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Because faking injuries is totally unheard of in sports. How dare we to think so badly of Nadal? Well, maybe my problem is not imagination but having watched enough soccer to see what honest sportsmen are able to fake. Some people thought is was totally implausible to say that maybe Armstrong was in fact diabolical enough to be doping all along. Well, they were in for some surprise! I do not put Nadal on a diabolical level, just a level of Armstrong, Johnson and the like. It’s only sports, after all, and cheating in sports is not as bad as other things.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Like I told Sridhar Chris, no one will force their opinion on you. You are welcome to believe whatever you want.

    [Reply]

  20. The problem with this article is it is making an excuse for Nadal. Even if people accept this spasm came from him losing, it doesn’t explain why other players have the decency to play on through the pain. In my view, it is far far more likely that Nadal is just a cheat.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    He did play on through the pain. This article has nothing to do with making excuses for Nadal. It is stating what I believe to be a fact. You are sounding very biased to say the least.

    [Reply]

  21. It might be worth remembering that we are all simply giving our opinions here. Not much of it is necessarily fact and quite a lot more is speculation. Nothing wrong with that – if we understand that. Some opinions may seem more credible that others, but that will also depend on your point of view. But in the end it’s still only tennis.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Don’t worry Rich I am remembering that the doping allegations is speculation. And like you say in the end it’s only tennis.

    [Reply]

  22. Ruan, the mind/body connection is very real. However, I can only speculate about anyone’s issues, physical illnesses, etc. It is not my truth. I have no right as a human to say someone’s illness/injury is because of certain thoughts/feelings. I would be living in my own ego to think I knew someone else’s truth.
    We all need to focus on becoming our best and know everyone else is on their own journey.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Not sure what it has to do with living in my own ego if I make an educated diagnoses about what I am seeing Sue. Lets not accuse and judge each other unnecessarily.

    [Reply]

  23. Wow Ru-an, you sure have made a lot of “frenemies” !!! How are you? How is the Thai-ish Thailand treating you?? How is the food, how are the people?? The weather, the job or jobhunting?? Any player there remind you of Roger yet? Is tennis also big there? Would be nice if you could like once every two weeks write shortly about the things you do and see and all that. I know this is a tennisblog and you want to keep your personal life personal (which it should be !!!), but some of us are very interested in you also Ru-an, not only about the tennis. Would be nice to know some things you go through.
    Anyway, I hope to write a comment soon about my take on all of this… Hopefully the weekend or so.
    In the meantime ATP R’dam has begun. Without my Roger but with Andy. Now who will watch Andy?? I know I won’t. Luckily Dimi and Jolly Jerzy are also here, so….
    Hope you are fine and that Thailand is treating you just fine.
    And Ru-an… laat je niet gek maken he !!!
    Katyani

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hello Katyani. I’m good thanks, how are you? Thailand is interesting. Many new things to experience. The food is great and the people are friendly. The weather is also right up my alley. As far as tennis goes I don’t take an interest in Thai tennis. Maybe in the future who knows. I am currently still looking for a job. It is not the best time now to find a job as a teacher because the semester is winding down, but I am positive I will find something which suits me just fine. Thanks for the interest anyway. I won’t blog about my experiences in Thailand but you are welcome to ask me about it whenever you like.
    As for the blog it is not always easy or fun to deal with Fedfans. But people need to understand very clearly that I will not tolerate fanaticism, blind worship, ignorance, and disrespect to myself and others. I am doing people a favor here. I am sharing my knowledge with them and providing a place for them to discuss tennis – for free. I will start erasing comments and banning people if they can’t be open-minded and respectful. I don’t care for how long they have been commenting on this blog. If they can’t grow as people and fans they should not expect to last long here. I will always have readers. I am not dependent on anyone to keep this blog going, so I will not hesitate to ban people.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Something I forgot to mention about Thailand is that the ego seems to be less prevalent here in the east, which is a welcome relief from the ego dominated west.

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    It’s hard to be self-important when you are only one amongst millions. But I would still keep a close eye on my wallet.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    A very western thing to say. The kind of attitude I am glad to be rid of.

    [Reply]

  24. Hi Ru-an, on a lighter note have just seen a clip of Tursenov (at R’dam). He got a time warning and started agruing with Cedric M asking if he had ever given Nadal a time penalty when the Umpire said he had Turs., then said Nadal spends 30 secs picking his RRRRSSSSS! Sorry don’t mean to lower the tone of your blog but it was just a funny moment.

    [Reply]

    rahan Reply:

    Hi Elizabeth,

    I also enjoyed the funny Tsurnov moment.

    Here is the article and link:

    Video: Dmitry Tursunov calls out Rafael Nadal for time violations

    http://tennis.si.com/2014/02/12/dmitry-tursunov-rafael-nadal-time-violation-video/

    [Reply]

  25. This is a very interesting (and most spirited) discussion, and I’m glad I found this blog.

    I most definitely believe that mind and body are linked, that a healthy mind can heal the body, and that an unhealthy mind can have negative effects on the body.

    I wonder if it works both ways though, i.e. whether Roger’s mental failings against Nadal are not – at least in part, and maybe in large part – the result of the physical pounding he takes when he plays Nadal. I don’t see how it could be otherwise, but I’d be glad to know others’ thoughts. It seems to be a necessary corollary of the mind-body linkage IMHO.

    It’s interesting – and to me, inspiring – to think that Roger is mentally strong enough to stand up and take a beating from the Mallorcan again and again, virtually never withdrawing, taking MTOs, or resorting to frankly very amateurish gamesmanship, and knowing fully well that the press will ask endlessly whether he is finished (again) after each defeat. Sometimes I wonder if what many refer to as Roger’s mental failings in these matches are due mostly to the physical exhaustion he has to endure every time he plays Nadal in a best-of-five, for example from having his backhand pounded for hours. I think Ruan’s perception shows Roger’s character and mental strength shining brilliantly through extreme difficulties – shining brightly through a situation I consider fundamentally unjust.

    How many tennis players are using PEDs? I don’t know! But I know that if Roger is, he has a lot of explaining to do about getting overpowered by lesser players when he has an off day. He must surely be one of the least successful PED users in the history of sports if he is as guilty as I suspect some others are.

    My own thought about the final, along a somewhat different line – and it’s not exclusive of anything discussed here (as far as I know) – is that Nadal juiced up too much for his match with Roger – after all, he saw how well Roger had been playing – and his body simply ran into a wall against Stan as a result. That is to say, after pushing his body beyond prudent limits, he was more vulnerable to injury afterwards. Many times in the past, he played Roger only in finals, no?

    In any event, I hope I won’t be thought of as too familiar when I refer to Roger and Stan by their first names, and I hope I won’t be considered too formal when I don’t do the same when referring to the Mallorcan.

    Thanks for reading, and best wishes to all.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I doubt juicing had anything to do with Nadal beating Roger and losing to Stan. He was too good for Roger and Stan was to good for him. It’s not necessary to make everything about doping.

    [Reply]

  26. Of course what I’ve said about Nadal wrt PED use is only a theory, and I wouldn’t presume to try to convince others of something that is no more than a suspicion from my perspective, based in part on observations that he seems to get stronger during the course of most major tournaments.

    And I regret giving any impression that I might think everything is about doping when I was trying to convey my agreement about what you said regarding the closeness (the oneness) of mind and body, with other points you made in your post, and my appreciation for your observations.

    I would want to be clear above all that by no means was I trying to suggest that Nadal’s mental anguish did not contribute to his physical problems. I certainly believe they did.

    Anyone can see that I didn’t state any basis for a supposition about Nadal’s PED use, although I have read about many things I think are facts and that are troubling to me.

    But I didn’t want to dilute my appreciation for your observations by changing the subject. And although I could cite some evidence I’m sure I know far less about any tennis-related topic – including PED use in tennis, testing, etc. – than you do.

    And of course I would be interested to know why you think PED use had nothing to do with Nadal’s success. I was certainly not trying to offend anyone by stating (as a neophyte) what I had thought was the consensus opinion of most tennis observers.

    Best Regards,
    Joe

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I was just saying if you blame Nadal’s loss to Stan on doping then you take credit away from him which I don’t think is necessary. I think Stan fully deserved to win that match because he was the better player. That is all.

    [Reply]

  27. Ah, thanks for explaining. I’m glad to say Stan was very deserving of his victory, and I hope he’ll win another major tourament again soon. It’s not often that you see another player physically dominating Nadal.

    Stan has been a strong player for some time, hasn’t he? He certainly showed in his last three matches with Djokovic – and those are just the ones I know about. I couldn’t be happier for Stan, who has humbly stood in Roger’s shadow for years, and now seems to be coming into his own.

    I’m not sure, though, if Stan would have won if Nadal hadn’t been injured. And I say that too, without meaning to take any credit from Stan.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    That is a more acceptable comment to me but like I explained in my post Stan caused the ‘injury’ by the way he was abusing Nadal out there. If you accept this explanation then what you say becomes irrelevant, because then Stan caused the injury by being the better player.

    [Reply]

  28. Well first I want to say very respectfully that I hadn’t realized I’d said anything unacceptable until now.

    And it’s true that most of what I say in life is totally irrelevant, Ruan, but let me try a few more thoughts and see if you agree.

    I think the mind can heal the body, as you do. And I seem to have some kind of very modest talent along those lines in terms of helping others. But I would never say I healed anyone, only that I helped them to heal themselves. Does that perspective find any resonance with you? I think that’s the way it works, but of course I could be mistaken!

    I tend to think that Stan’s dominating play was one factor that resulted in Nadal’s injury, but it also seems to me that Nadal is responsible for allowing his mental state to change so as to bring on the injury he sustained in that match.

    So I’m not sure we can isolate Stan’s excellent play as the only factor that caused Nadal’s injury. By stepping on the court, Nadal showed he was ready to play. But it seems to me that Nadal is the only one responsible for the state of his mind, do you agree?

    It also seems to me that there could be a number of factors that contributed to his mental and physical collapse.

    Do you find any of these thoughts plausible?

    Respectfully,
    Joe

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Relax. I didn’t say what you said is unacceptable. I just meant what you said in your last comment was more acceptable to me personally. Lets just leave this debate at that.

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *