Miami: Thigh slapping moment – translated?

According to the subtitles at 1:21 in this video (tweeted by Hollyjl), Rafa said:
No puc! El puta genoll! El puta genoll! Which Google translates as: I can not! The fucking knee! The fucking knee!

Posted by vamosrafelnadal.

115 Responses

  1. Annie says:

    uh-oh Miri, and I saw him flexing his left leg a few times when he was waiting to return serves. Shit, here we go again..
    Loved you tweets from miami btw (I’m rafannie on twitter..)

  2. SallyO says:


  3. A_Gallivant says:

    Oh wow! It looks really different with the translation, more frustration than defeatist or anxious. Seems like he can’t get his body to do what he knows he needs to do, not that he was refusing to changing things up as some folks were suggesting. Still not that great to see that he feels hampered by his body. Wonder if it is more mental than physical as someone (was it BG?) suggested. A case of not believing that his body won’t fail him.

  4. Cheryl says:

    I can comprehend what she’s saying a bit, but I don’t speak Spanish very well. Be well Rafa — please~

  5. CC says:

    Hate to say it again, but this is kind of what I felt during the match yesterday, after that dodgy game where he gestured and shouted at his camp and bent his knees a lot. Hm.

    • An says:

      Hhhhmmmm, hate it that i probably was wrong yesterday with my comments where i questioned you’re instinct feelings about this):
      I should have known better since i didn’t watch the whole match and you did….

      This scares me big time!!

      • CC says:

        Heh, you’re more than OK to quetion my instincts about this, because I was just going on a gut feeling that I had during the match and that means nothing. Who knows…
        I think Rafa’s fine, but frustrated about the fact that the state of his knees have made life on court difficult at times.
        Hope your knees are getting better, An!

        • An says:

          Well it deffinitly scares me to here him call out about the knees… so lets hope and believe that it was just out off frustration indeed!!

          My knee ( its only the left one ) is a little better but not good jet, thank you! I hope to get back to training on thuesday, competition start next sunday…

  6. Toosilnet says:

    well, he always says his body is fine, but we know how tough the hard courts are on his knees. I’m waiting to see him on the European clay.

  7. Emma R says:

    Yes it does look different when you know what he’s saying. But if his knees were playing up, in a three setter would he not have called the trainer on? I don’t get it, and let’s face it, we are never going to get straight answers until he does an “Open” in 10 years time.

    If that is definitely what he said, though, the knees must have been an issue as he was really lashing out. I’d thought he was getting fired up about his inability to keep it together mentally (as others seem to). Wonder what the next bit meant – something about “alarmos”. Heading for Word translation.

    • CC says:

      I’m guessing Rafa must have some knee pain all the time when he’s playing and maybe yesterday was a bad day. Or maybe he was just generally frustrated with the fact that the injuries he’s had have “slowed him down” and if it hadn’t been for the knee he would have… Who knows? Sorry, I’m speculating.

    • Rafafan says:

      Well we knew something is up because for a start Rafa would never in a million years “lose” it like that at the changeover whatever the state of play was. He slapped his knees, jestured to his camp and well… the translation says it all.

      This is what we feared, not his playing, not his mental but his bloody knees again. This is becoming unbearable torture. No wonder he dien’t want to bring the trainer on and have to answer to all the f…kng press questions all over again. I reckon he knew he was done – and with the A Rod serve he thought lets get it over with quick and no-one will notice about my knees. Will get away with it and don’t have to suffer the presser intrution when I want to concentrate on clay with 10 days to go and have all my wisdom teetch out. Please give me a break….. he probably was saying to himself. And again, did anyone dare in the presser ask him THAT question THE KNEES – no way were they going to.

      • Emma R says:

        If he didn’t want anyone to know his knee was a problem, perhaps he would have been better not to punch them and yell “The f-ing knee” twice whilst next to a microphone.

        I don’t think it was about conscious thought, I think it was just instinctive lashing out in sheer, bitter frustration.

        I am speculating too of course. Feeling very frustrated with the whole thing. You never know what is up and what is down with Rafa, and I am yearning for an interview or presser which is not the same politically correct stuff spilling out for the millionth time.

        • SallyO says:

          Call the trainer for what? We already know that the strapping no longer helps. And he probably knows a rub down wouldn’t help either. Why call the trainer and create drama and questions?

          His outburst was just that: an outburst. A moment of lost control and poise. All of what he’s been through catching up to him. Just when he’s feeling great about himself and his game….

          It’s all very frustrating.

  8. TheBia says:

    Oh, no!! poor Rafa, :-((

  9. SallyO says:

    The question whether it is more mental than physical is, in my opinion, not even a question. After seeing the vid and reading the translation, I think any suggestion that “it’s all in Rafa’s head” is absolutely ludicrous.

    If Rafa were 100%, no injury problems, zero pain, no worries about his knees giving out on him all of a sudden, do you guys REALLY believe that’s he’d have these lapses and outbursts? No. He’d do whatever he could to win and fight because nothing would be holding him back. Nothing would be tormenting him inside and weighing on his mind.

    But there’s pain, and he knows the extent of his knee problems, and is aware of their sensitivity and the very real possibility of them acting up again and forcing him to take yet another “injury timeout”…It’s very real. Rafa’s physical is effecting his mental, not the other way around. His mind want to run, his heart wants to fight, his body is telling him “you better watch it.”

  10. iren says:

    everybody is talking mental metldowns,but nodody questining the real reason behind this..his knee injuries are chronic, rafa camp and rafa himself made huge mistakes by playing rotterdam and madrid..little details brings you the matches and if he lost the trust to his body and if lost QAURTER OF A STEP not even half a step because of this injury problems,i am afraid that makes all the diffrence at this level.ok mine also speculation but these knee injuries got worse and worse since 07,but with a better shudeling,he could reach the point that he reached last year when he is 25 or 26 something..they did made huge mistake last year..ROTTERDAM WAS EVEN BIGGER MISTAKE than madrid,after an TIRING AO OPEN the biggest mistake a player can make.he even admits it is his words i pushed my body a bit too much..i still hope he can find some magic on clay and i beleive he will..but in my book rafa if he wants to have long career,shouldnt play anything after us open,maybe only wtf thats it..

    • SallyO says:

      Rafa definitely admitted to making mistakes with regards to his scheduling last year. He came out and admitted that he would have never played Madrid if it weren’t for the fact that is was Spain.

      I hope against hope that he doesn’t make the SAME scheduling mistakes again. Like playing a hard court tourney smack dab during the clay court season ( or before, or after before grass)for Davis Cup versus France. He really needs to sacrafice something.

      I know how much he loves Monte Carlo. That is one of the tourneys that I feel he plays just for himself, and no other reason other than the fact that he loves it there and loves to play there. I think that if he sacrifices Madrid (please, RAfa!) then he can “make up for it” by playing Barcelona. After all, it’s in Spain. And it’s real freaking clay. It’s also better preparation for the French. So Monte Carlo (which he could afford to skip since it’s not mandatory, but he won’t because he loves it.) Barca (same reasons), Rome (mandatory, defending champ as well), Madrid (F- it, he can afford to take a time out and claim “exhaustion” the way Fed did last year during one of the tourneys)

  11. Rafafan says:

    Oh gawd – this is absolutely more heart breaking than him just losing this match. It says it all when he was also questioned in the interview – and here is the quote and Miri’s response.

    RAFAEL NADAL: You know, the match change. He attacked he has put more pression with his forehand on my serve.

    I wasn’t ready to play better in that moment, and that’s makes the difference.

    Interesting. He wasn’t ready to play better in that moment? So, he was having some sort of problem with stepping it up….mental or physical or just…that’s the way today was.

    Wasn’t able to play better in that moment….. well now we know why. I think we need some sort of explanation of this from Rafa or his PR team to calm the anxiety we are all having.

  12. Maggie says:

    I don’t know, I feel like if it were a major knee problem he would have called the trainer or stopped playing. He’s not dumb–I’m sure he wants to avoid anything that is potentially career-ending.

    Like others have said, it’s a chronic injury, there will be good and bad days. I have Achilles tendonitis and I spend a lot of time managing pain–and I’m just a normal person; as a pro athlete, especially one with a chronic injury, pain management must be a huge part of Rafa’s life.

    We’ll see what happens on the clay…

  13. SallyO says:

    Hmm, I wonder if the person who’s offering up the translation was there live and heard it? Because if they’re going by the audio of this video…I’m not so sure. I can barely hear anything. So how can we be sure it’s legitimately what he said?

  14. patzin says:

    Title of video – now it is the left knee. Hope Rafa can take care of teeth and knee at the same time.

    Thought it weird he was hitting his left knee, not the right. Worrisome at least to me.

  15. cindy says:

    i knew it !! i knew it’s the bloody knee !
    bear in mind that the kind of knee injury he has can never be healed it’s sensible and delicate he just have to be careful and watch himself because it may come back at any agressive moment . so i bet at the second set he felt a little pain that’s why he downplayed his agressive game and lost focus and calm which justifies hitting the knee twice !
    will wait and see !

  16. Viva says:

    Not quite a lot of you had seen that, I think. It was at the beginning of March :

  17. sunset says:

    Reading these tranlations just got me depressed beyong belief.

  18. tiemyshoe says:

    *sigh* Knee issues take a long time to rehab fully, or even partly. Can’t expect everything to go away all at once.

    I don’t think there’s a point parsing whether it’s in his head or in his knees. I’m fairly convinced now that Rafa’s brain lives in his knee joints at this point, they’re so connected.

    I wish the press had asked him about his physical state, instead of asking questions that were all versions of basically: “Will you ever win again? And why not?” Even if he had said, “I’m perfect/okay/not sure,” that would’ve been easier to parse than a few swear words in Mallorquin.

    • miri says:

      Agreed – we can parse and try to figure out the RafaPuzzle, but we won’t really get any farther than he and his team are willing to let us get.

      • tiemyshoe says:

        And they’re certainly not going to let us get far. >:( Wouldn’t it be better if there were a status bar for his knees on his FB page? Just like a smiley or a frown. Red light/green light. Would save a lot of stress! Benito, are you reading this?

  19. emir says:

    if a great champion talks like this,i mean andy played better i wasnt READY TO RAISE MY LEVEL,that says it all.what rafa is saying in that daily motion video can anybody translate..

  20. k says:

    I’m not sure if he would punch his knee that hard if he felt it was injured. I mean, the guy not even throws his racquet when he is angry. And the way he waves his arm after the punch makes me think he was angry at something about “that” moment. It’s like the way he waves his arm when he is not happy with an umpire’s decision.

    I still beleive it is something about what Izzy commented about in another post. More humidity means getting less oxygen which means more cramping on muscles. I think he is still not fit enough after all those breaks.

    • k says:

      ..and playing in day time maybe made things worse in terms of humidity. So yes, it was his legs or knees, but not in a scary way i hope.

      • SallyO says:

        K, that was my original thought before this vid with subtitles/translation emerged. This is what I had to say on the ‘Semi final vids’ thread. And the more I think about it, the more I’m decing to stick with my initaial thoughts. I’m not sure how much I trust/believe those subtitles. I can barely heart a thing!

        This was and still is my thought on the situation:

        “Rafa actually put up one finger before he started hitting himself, as if to say “I let my freaking guard down for ONE game and got broken. ONE game is all it takes against Roddick. ONE shitty game has just cost me a Masters 1000 shield.”

        • k says:

          Exactly. If it were his knees i would expect to see a combination of sadness+panic+furstration. Well, not panic maybe but i’m sure if i were him, i would burst into tears when i realized i have the knee issues again. I can’t see any sadness in this video, so i think he is just angry at something; it can be cramps or a sloppy game, but something minor.

      • JC says:

        I completely agree with you – and Izzy – about the conditioning issue. Rafa doesn’t f… around anymore if he feels he is injured. Against Murray in AO, he called the trainer in mid game, having payed the price of ignoring his pain and playing on. Here he knew that the general state of his body in that particular moment just wasn’t 100%. But I think he still worries a lot about the knees.

        • k says:

          He sure does. I think he gets angry because every litte pain (like a cramp) makes him think “Are my knees ok? Am i forcing them too much?” and this should be furstrating. It will take some time to get over it i guess. What makes me happy is he will start playing on clay, which is a much much better surface for his health. And Monta-Carlo is just one week away, so if we see a practise video in a few days it will be a relief.

  21. GB says:

    I’m a panicky pessimist and my first reaction is well – to panic/sob! Trying to be rational – I can’t actually hear Rafa (I wouldn’t be able to understand him anyway, but that’s a different story). So, it’s hard to know how accurate the report is, or whether it’s been influenced by the visual/history. I think this being reported, though, means he’ll be forced to address it. Of course he has to downplay it, so we won’t get a straight answer, but he’ll have to say something. I’m kinda dumbfounded that he wasn’t asked anything about it in the presser. From pressers/articles etc I kinda get the sense some journos feel something approaching affection for Rafa – and maybe that’s why they left it alone (if they thought it was just a hissy fit).

    Another knee problem would be very, very bad new indeed. Having two knee issues so early in the season (each after only his second tourney back, and this one after rehab) would suggest that it’s gotten to the stage why rehab of intervals of 6ish weeks is insufficient. I don’t even want to think about what that would mean.

    I just really, really wish he’d skipped at least one of these hardcourt tourneys. If it’s the knee, it’s definitely gotten to the stage where he can’t play every tourney – even every big tourney – simply because it’s mandatory.

    I’m soooo gutted/worried

    • tennisfun says:

      gb rafa reached two sf in three weeks that is a great news for some one who just came from injury break , not a cause of heart break. cheerup . so he was a bit off . its not the first time. and it wont be the last. and for rafa to have a long career in tennis he dosent have to win day in day out even on clay . he will do great on clay but if he doesnt thats not the end of rafa or for that matter any other player. players dont think like that. and rafa knows how hard it is to win always and that it dosent always remains so. he said last year in clay season when every one said how boring rafa wins every thing , its not boring for him because he knows times are not the same always so when you are winning you should be happy but not very sad when it is not so easy. long one . rafa is going to play for a long time .

  22. Rafangel says:

    Another body part: bollocks. I’ll believe it when I hear it from Rafa.

    There’s no point freaking out and fearing his knees are gone again because there are several ways of interpreting this vid: 1) the subtitles are wrong, and he didn’t say that 2) he did say that but we don’t understand what he means. In the second case, there are several options: maybe his knees hurt because there’s a serious problem arising; maybe they hurt because they will from time to time; maybe they don’t hurt but his confidence has been shaken by the injury; maybe he’s protesting at the unbelievable injustice that the injury destroyed his fantastic run of 08/09, towards which he had worked for 20 of his 23 years, and now he’s struggling to get back; or any other infinite possibilities. Personally, given that he seems to have been following the same pattern in his losses recently, I think it is more likely to be his head than his knees (tho even if they were bothering him this match, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything’s changed; it is a chronic injury). Basically, we don’t know.

    I refer you to his pre-tourney presser: “I don’t know, I need to keep improving. I need to play consecutive matches and play knowing that nothing will happen to me if I push myself to the limit. Subconsciously I have more fear now and I don’t know if the limit I am setting is the real one, the one from before. If you think about it, you are not only fighting against your opponent but also against yourself,” he said. “And that kills you and affects your mind.”

    It’s a hard time for him. It’s horrible to watch. There is no doubt in my mind that he’ll come back, but it may take a while yet, and we can’t know the path he’ll take. I love him first and foremost for who he is and how he approaches life, and that won’t change come win, come lose, come dodgy knees or dodgy teeth. Bollocks to the lot of it. He’s still my Rafa.

    *Rafangel in the happy tent, supping on Rafambrosia. Yum. Come and join me*

    • Rafangel says:

      Oh, and let’s bear in mind our source: it is a local TV station, so 1) it is their job to create a story; 2) this station seems to exist on stories about Rafa; 3) it’d be a great scoop, wouldn’t it?

      Too many variables for a clear conclusion.


  23. dk says:

    Well, let’s hive Rafa the benefit of the doubt. Things will soon become evident with Monte Carlo, Barcelona & Rome tournaments coming up. If he is unable to win these, or at least 2 out of 3 of these, Rafa’s career may very well be over.

    • iren says:

      well he should only retire because of unreturnable injury problem with out any hope..if there is hope HE SHOULDNT retire,he wont be the only player in the history to have diffuculty,to win titles,and have a bad i said before,THIS CLAY COURT SEASON SHOULDNT BE DO OR DIE,this is terrible mentality..

  24. tiemyshoe says:

    Sadly, in another context, the words “thigh-slapping” and “video” would’ve really piqued my interest!

    What we know from the vid:
    – Rafa was down a break in the third set and had a frustrated outburst that included the words “fucking” and “knee”

    What we don’t know:
    – any conclusive medical results saying that his knees are shot again
    – that he’s pulling out from any tournies
    – that he’ll never recover from this
    – that his career is over