Rafalint – June 24th

(Photo by KARIM SAHIB/ AFP/ Getty Images)

(Photo by KARIM SAHIB/ AFP/ Getty Images)

Julie (djul) sent in this TennisWeek interview with Jennifer Capriati:

Tennis Week:No, I don’t want to put you on the spot, I’m just wondering if anyone you see reminds you of your style or has that Capriati intensity?

Jennifer Capriati: I love watching Nadal and Federer of course too. Nadal, I just love his tenacity and his work ethic and the way he just goes all out for every ball and the way he goes out there and treats every single match like this is the final. In a way, I kind of see myself in that way because I used to train just as hard as that and always tried to play with the intensity so you know I really respect Nadal for all of that.

Tennis Week: What are your thoughts about Nadal trying to comeback from the knee tendonitis? You had to deal with some injuries with your wrist and your shoulder — how difficult is it to comeback?

Jennifer Capriati: I think he hasn’t had any surgeries yet so I think when you have surgery that’s a really difficult thing to come back from. You just have to have the right people around him to advise him, the right doctors, the right medical staff and you must listen to your body and just don’t over do it. It’s easier said than done, but you’ve got to say it’s OK to step back and shut it down a little bit at times too, which can be tough. I hope he can do that because I love watching him and he’s great.

Given her career trajectory, I’m not sure I’m comfortable with this. ;)

RC sent in Cheryl Murray’s column about missing Rafa:

And yet despite overwhelming evidence and a statement from Nadal himself that he has been playing with ever-increasing pain over the past NINE months, there are still some esteemed colleagues of mine that are intent on questioning the validity of his withdrawal. In one particular publication, which I will not do the honor of naming, a writer suggested that the reason for the Spaniard’s decision not to play was simply that he didn’t feel he could win.

I have no words for how disgusted that makes me. Actually, I DO have a word for it – it’s just complete rubbish. Both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have proven over the past 4 years that they are as tough as athletes come, that they are supremely dedicated to the sport – that they are willing to take their lumps like men. Yet the thinly veiled accusation is that the loss at the French Open has left Nadal so mentally unstable and unsure of himself that he would rather pull out of Wimbledon than risk losing. Nice, huh?

Myself? I’m saddened that there will be no Nadal-Federer final this year. There is nothing in the world of sports that quite captures the magic and atmosphere as those two men stepping on court against each other. It feels like the end of an era – a glorious, golden era. And I’m nostalgic enough to shed a few proverbial tears over the loss.

You tell ’em, sister.

RC also sends in an article filled with reminiscences of last year’s Wimbly.

Tim Henman: “Without a doubt, that was the greatest match in history. That’s the best match I ever saw. I was in the BBC commentary box the whole time. I did it with Andrew Castle, and on several occasions I pressed the button to turn my microphone off, and said to him: ‘This is a joke. This is the best match I’ve ever seen, and I really don’t want to screw this up with some stupid comment.’ ”

Bjorn Borg: “I think that was definitely the greatest match of all time at Wimbledon. I’m not sure about elsewhere. I was there on the court, and I was happy to be there, to see such a great match. It was an unbelievable match. The match had everything. It’s going to take so many more years to see a final like that again.”

I just have one question – why did they bother to include Marat’s “I didn’t watch it” statement?

15 Responses

  1. Atch2 says:

    Isn’t it something when other tennis players and non-tennis players (e.g., Michael Phelps) admire Rafa, and many miss seeing him like we do.

    And I agree, people who think Rafa’s withdrawal fm Wimby is bec of some mental weakness are just talking Rubbish!
    Think AO against Verdasco in the semis and then come back to beat Fed in the Finals (almost 10hrs total on court). It’s not normal for any fit athlete to be able do something like that. Have they forgotten already?

  2. somarem says:

    Rafa is missed. I almost got teary watching cilic vs querrey match when during a changeover a handful of ladies had this sign get well soon Rafa.

    • Atch2 says:

      That’s adorable. I wish I saw that.

      • tmi says:

        me too. I really missed to see it. But i saw that picture with some ppl holding the chart saying ” WE MISS YOU RAFA” in rafa’s forum.

        • Wooffie says:

          Seriously … the support for Rafa at this tournament is wonderful. Fans are still vocally shouting his name, holding up banners, wearing their shirts. I really hope someone does a piece on this to hammer home Rafa’s enduring quality and how much he is loved (and missed) out there.

          The BBC commentators are making continued reference to it.

          Vamos lovely Rafa!! The People’s Champion …

    • faecoleman says:

      Hey I saw that too!!! awsome wasn’t it and definately defines the lack of Rafa’s presence @ Wimby, great stuff, although I felt sad I would have felt sadder if he had played and lost early, he did the right thing and gave his legs the well due rest. I have tickets for atp tour finals so I hope to catch rafa there. If not I shall bring my Rafa sign too, everyone should know how important he is to the game and his fans.

  3. killian says:

    Great picture, Miri- Rafa is sooo cute! And the Tim Henman quote is absolutely precious!!! Makes me wish I’d rooted for him more when he was playing!

    VAMOS!!

    • aRafaelite says:

      At last! Someone saying something nice about Henman! Thank you Killian! I was talking to someone about Murray today and he didn’t believe me when I told that Murray has only recently surpassed Henman’s top ranking of Number 4 in the world. Henman was a great tennis player and a very nice person. He just didn’t win quite as much as some of us would have liked!

      It’s good to know we’re not the only ones missing Rafa. Thanks Miri for all your marvellous Rafa lint.

      • natch says:

        aR,
        I watched Henman play Agassi at the Wimby roof debut. It was pure joy to see him put away those volleys. It reminded me how much the game has changed, along with how much I miss those days.

        • aRafaelite says:

          Lucky girl! I was a big Henman fan and was always behind him to win, but Agassi was my favourite player to watch until Rafa. That Wimbledon exhibition / Madrid final day was a bit painful though… Rafa and Tim both losing on the same day… OUCH!!!

          Get well soon Rafa, it’s dull without you. I had to go out and buy a bright pink shirt today to cheer myself up. Hopefully it will dazzle my friend into letting me win a game on Monday.

  4. nic says:

    how lovely does rafa look in this pic?! great choice miri. happy times.

  5. natch says:

    Wait, wait, wait…Capriati is comparing herself to RAFA??? Did I read and understand that correctly?
    *blinks*
    *shakes head*

  6. loverafa4ever says:

    Gr8… thanks for putting all this together Miri. Its always nice to hear wat people have to say abt Rafa.

  7. Mim says:

    I agree with everyone’s sentiments here. I too have noticed just how much Rafa is missed at Wimbledon! During the Murray-Gulbis match, a fan shouted “C’mon Rafa!” I began to clap and cheer in my living room, then I shouted a “Vamos Rafa, we all miss you!” of my own. The commentators weren’t to happy about it (the live fans screaming I’m mean), in fact, they seemed a little exasperated, like they’d been experiencing this type of Rafanatic behavior all day. May be they have. As for me, I’m loving it! Just tennis fans out to remind the world how much we all love and miss Rafa. That he is a huge asset to our sport. A true rock star. Someone who brings so much to the game and cannot be replaced. And that we absolutely refuse to allow any sort of “all-is-well-in-the-tennis-world-even-without-Rafa” charade, because all is not well.

    Get well soon Rafa! We all love you! Vamos!

    Btw, good job Miri with your site, keep it up!:)

    • dutchgirl says:

      Same here, Mim! I always think it’s great that Rafa is there, even if he’s not present. I think it was John Mac who was a bit annoyed by this shouting for Rafa, which I don’t understand, because he himself had mentioned before how much Rafa is missed at Wimbledon.