Knees, knees and grading on a knee curve

Photo by FTF

Photo by FTF

Mish-mash of a few articles. First up, one sent in by Patzin:
Federer should thank Nadal’s knees for French Open win

What’s lost in the noise of the crowds of hopping back on the Federer bandwagon is this: his fortune comes as a result of Nadal’s misfortune.

Federer admitted himself that he hardly played his best in Paris, and he doesn’t deny that his days of dominating the sport are over.

While he puts a positive spin on that, saying it’s a motivating, new way to win, he won’t break his current all-time Grand Slam singles titles deadlock with Pete Sampras without Nadal’s help.

He won’t win Wimbledon this year without Nadal’s help — without Rafa’s absence, more than anything else. And he can’t get back to No. 1 without Nadal’s help.

If Nadal is 100 per cent fit at Roland Garros, he surely doesn’t lose to Soderling — and he almost surely doesn’t lose to Federer, either.

Tignor’s RG grade for Rafa

Seeing Nadal leave Roland Garros not a winner was like peering into an alternate universe. As I said at the time, I don’t think he played all that badly, even though he thought he did. Soderling forced him back, and then forced him to go for too much when he did try to dictate the points. What’s the trouble with Rafa? A bum knee, pressure and scrutiny, too much tennis, the difficulty of finding your highest motivational gear after winning an event four times, a strong player who didn’t fear you—all of those things. He seemed down the whole tournament, and surprisingly matter of fact in his press conference after his loss. I expected more sadness, but we got a shrug instead. As Federer said, the thought of Nadal not playing Wimbledon after last year’s final is “frightening.” I assume he’ll play; after that, we’ll see. I think even the staunchest anti-Nadalite realizes the game is better with him.

Six weeks ago he owned the sport. In Paris, his aura was pulled away and he was left looking smaller and more ordinary than he ever has at Roland Garros. Now we’re talking about a prolonged absence from the tour. I know things can change quickly in sports, but this is absurd.

Upped half a grade for the pink shirt. At least he went out in typical Rafa fashion: Bold and loud. B

Second Opinion: Examining Nadal’s Knee Issues – having doctors with no direct knowledge of Rafa’s condition yammer on about it seems to be all the craze

He obviously stays in very good condition, which is important. I think if he did some cross-training — perhaps did some training in the pool or in water — that could create less impact on his knees in training while helping him maintain his cardio fitness level without pounding his knees. But given the fact he has experienced this for some time and the nature of the sport with the training and running required it could be a case of him experiencing this tendonitis long term. This condition is very common in basketball players who are running and pounding their knees on a hard surface. It’s something he appears to have been dealing with for so long so it probably is painful and I would imagine he’s probably gone through everything, in terms of treatment, he can try. So it is possible he will continue to deal with this for some time.

And, here’s some dude from Mallorca talking about the knees…and some old footage of Rafa:

Posted by Mallorcaesports.

And another video – only this guy has a ball point pen to use for pointing at the knee joint drawings:


14 Responses

  1. loverafa4ever says:

    Well.. Nice articles. Rafa was down at Paris coz his knee was bothering him. I dont think its coz of lack of motivation after winning it four times in a row. And if that was the case, like Rafa said, loses are important to realize how much one has achieved.

    And roger not winning Wimbledon this year without Rafas help. That is probably true. I am waiting for someone like Murray and Nole to make things easier for Rafa. By taking out Fed, so that if Rafa wins he can really enjoy the victory instead of feeling, may be guilty, for defeating Fed again.

  2. dutchgirl says:

    Nice articles indeed. It puts everything in a slightly different perspective as far as Federer is concerned. I do think that Federer had all the luck in the world that Rafa got injured. But then again: that’s the tennis. I mean, you can’t blame Federer for Rafa’s misfortune, that’s just the way things happen. This time it’s Rafa, next time it’s another player.
    Too bad for us fans, though that it is Rafa this time of year – RG and Wimbledon affected by it.

  3. Vic says:

    Great videos with doctors, thank you so much.

  4. jimmy says:

    Thanks for the videos and articles. It all seems to be gloom and doom about Rafa’s knees at the moment.

    Just read on MTF that leading tennis physiotherapist Czech Novotni Mihal (who’s been treating Rafa for many years now) after the Rafa-djokovic Madrid SF said that Nadal’s career would last at most for 3 seasons. Something to do with Rafa having good thigh muscles but very small feet, leading to abnormal load on his tendons and joints.

    Anyway, I hope that Rafa’s team make the best decision for the long term and avoid permanent damage to knee ligaments. I think so far they’ve just looked at the short term, and things like cortisone shots are never good for the tissues.

    • natch says:

      “…leading tennis physiotherapist Czech Novotni Mihal (who’s been treating Rafa for many years now) after the Rafa-djokovic Madrid SF said that Nadal’s career would last at most for 3 seasons.”
      Yay, me! That’s what I predicted. Hold on, what AM I SAYING??!!!
      *sobs at the thought of only three more years with Rafa*

      “Something to do with Rafa having … very small feet,”
      *kicks, screams*

    • loverafa4ever says:

      Can nothing be done about this? I mean, even if he has to take like a couple of months break. Like the last part of the season after US open and the first part of the season till AO or something. Or may be even skip a few tournaments and make sure that his knee is getting the right amount of rest. I can’t imagine tennis without Rafa, and even if he can be around for another 3 years, that is not enof and thats not a lot of years. He will be only 25. He gotto play for another 5-6 years. Even if he is not the top ranked, that is fine. But he gotto be around.

  5. johanne says:

    Anyone else notice the weird opening sentence in the “Second Opinion” article? “Only one man — second-ranked Roger Federer — has beaten Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon the last three years…”

    Wait, what? Didn’t Rafa win last year?

    And all this career-threatening knees speculation is getting kinda old. Rafa’s career will end when it ends.

    • loverafa4ever says:

      did they actually say that? Wierd. Cant they atleast get the stats rit? And abt the speculations, everybody like to do that. I wonder if its ever gonna end. I wish it wud, these speculations and just let Rafa play and decide on when he wanna quit.

  6. faecoleman says:

    Oh I am soo soo sick of hearing all this for years now, about his career ending in so many years, although he hasn’t had knee trouble so early before has he? at least I don’t remember. I couldn’t bare the thought of no more Rafa! But on a positive note Doctors predictions are not always correct and it can always depend on the certain individual. I hope for Rafa’s sake they are wrong but if he doesn’t change his schedule or do something to protect his long term fitness surely it will all come to an end. Dear dear Rafa, small feet? how unfortunate, you would never think so at 6’1″. Damn it! This is so so sad, every new piece on the knees seems to be worst than the last!

  7. patzin says:

    Read an interesting article/blog about Rafa’s knees (one of many). One thing most articles state is that a change of scheduling is called for; a change of plan to better protect Rafa’s health. However, one blogger wrote, Rafa is needed in order for men’s tennis to thrive. I know, from my perspective, I feel his absence already and it has only been what – 2 weeks? Seems longer. Rafa brings a level of energy, excitement, and determination that seems missing otherwise. I love to watch him play. Perhaps I have only remembered the recent final’s vs Fed – Wimbledon and Oz – both very exciting and well contested. Sometimes matches lack energy and sorry to say, can be a bit boring to me. I pray for Rafa’s long-term health and well being.

  8. sia says:

    Rafa doesn’t have teeny feet . He has a size 10/11 foot, perfectly normal for a scrumptious 6′ 1″ male.
    Just so ya know natch.

  9. Atch2 says:

    We’re not the only people that think Rafa is special:

  10. Vic says:


    Nadal needs more rest

    The medical class believes that if the manacorí does not do longer shutdowns “his injury will become chronic”

  11. Michelle says:

    From a fan of your. Good luck in your year and your career. The sport needs you.