Patzin sent in this Times Online article where Nole talks a bit about Rafa.
Rafael Nadal is in touch by text, asking how everyone is without him. He will probably spend today kicking at the sand on a Majorcan beach while the man who did more than anyone to send him there is picking at a bowl of strawberries on the Wimbledon players’ lawn talking about how fresh he feels. Somehow it does not seem right.
It goes on to basically say that it’s bittersweet for Nole that he lost to Rafa in that epic Madrid match, lost earlier than Rafa in the French Open and yet, he’s the one playing in Wimbledon.
Nadal spent three hours on a conference call on Saturday night to discuss the finer points of the scheduling dilemmas that afflict the game. Djokovic is also on the ATP Player Council and the pair are working in a vice-presidential tandem behind Roger Federer, the president.
“Rafa has been playing so much through the year and though he is a physically strong guy, he’s a human,” Djokovic said. “It doesn’t surprise me that he pulled out from two very important events and it will affect him mentally \ the rest of the season. We are not superhuman yet all the time we have to do things in order to recover our body as quickly as possible or to maintain physical endurance. You have to have a good maintenance of your body and players have to pay so much attention to it because the season is so long.
“It comes to the point when your body can’t take it any more and you either have to stop or you keep playing and you cannot perform at the level you want.
“Everybody has it in their interest to see the players performing their best and compromises are going to have to be made.”
And Jon Wertheim stands up for Rafa in his latest SI Mailbag installment. When asked if Rafa wasn’t being a coward for withdrawing, Wertheim replied:
Several of you wrote in making the same point and I think it bears addressing. Yes, claiming you are withdrawing because you are “not 100 percent” rang odd. What athlete is fully healthy, especially midway through a season? Yet I would encourage you to cut Nadal some slack here. For one, there’s the lost-in-translation factor. Second, as Roger notes, given what we know about Nadal, he’s the last guy who would be cavalier about his commitments. (Spark up the 2009 Australian Open video.) Particularly, as the defending champion, you know he had to be awfully banged up not to even attempt to play. And while Nadal is the last person you’d call mercenary, it’s safe to assume his decision came at a steep financial price. The forfeited endorsement bonuses alone surely exceeded seven figures.
Followed by the usual bitch about scheduling.