Rafalint: April 11th

Photo by Beth Wilson

Been a while since I’ve done a lint post…I’ve let the internet get covered in RafaLint. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. :) Here’s a few pieces of fluff for you:



55 Responses

  1. dk says:

    One of the links above confirms it – he has a knee problem again yet wants to play the full clay schedule. I am sure that he withdrew from Wimbledon last year because he said that he had a knee problem and he maybe should have played not the the full clay schedule. So, here we go again: denial and then missing major tournaments because he was wrong to deny. I am getting peeved at what looks like lousy decision-making and planning for his health and career…

  2. JC says:

    Not exactly Rafalint, but I just checked his official site and interestingly enough, they have posted two photos from the 2008 clay season to accompany stories about the upcoming clay season and the Monte Carlo draw. I guess they are looking to invoke the good vibes of those glorious days, hoping that some of that mojo will possess Rafa again, leaving his opponents in the (clay)dust ;-). It’s certainly no coincidence!

  3. Madi says:

    Ok, first of all, who can tell the time on that thing?
    Rafa and his knee, difficult to understand what’s going on with him. He clearly said that he wont be taking chances on his knee again and wont continue to ignore his knee pains like before. So what is going on here? Maybe since clay is not that hard on his knees he decided to go on ‘cos he badly needs a title?
    Or maybe the knee was something minor and he doesn’t want people blowing it out of proportion. I’m sure its already bothering him psychologically.(ha! I spelled that in one go! yey!)
    But I’m sure they are doing what’s best for him, physically and mentally. (At least I hope)

    • dk says:

      Thanks for voicing your concerns. If clay wasn’t hard on his knees, why did he (at least partly) attribute his loss to Soderling in RG (on clay!) last year to his knees? I really don’t understand and I would like to know what is really going on… or are we not hearing the truth about Rafa’s knees…

      • Ch F says:

        Because he had already been ignoring the pain throughout the hard court season. Roland Garros was the result of that, not the cause, at least that’s how I understood things. By the time he got to Paris doubts had kicked in since he felt he couldn’t ignore it anymore and that’s what lost him the match against Soderling (plus the fact that Soderling played very well).
        But now he won’t ignore it anymore so he’s in constant fear of he next injury even if the doesn’t feel any pain, in my opinion. That explains the mental walkabouts from time to time and especially when he has to make the extra effort against a top opponent. His eagerness is the same, but he fears his body won’t necessarily follow. Psychologically this is a vicious circle that Rafa needs to break by winning a title without hurting his knees.

    • Ch F says:

      Oh my if Rafa relies on that watch to keep the time between his serves shorter, my guess is he’ll take even longer to serve ;-)

  4. Atch2 says:

    However serious or unserious the knees are, we’re not going to know the full story bec Rafa needs to keep the opponent guessing. I’m sure Team Nadal worry enough for all of us, so maybe let’s enjoy his that he’s back on court.

    Also Monte Carlo is Rafa’s first clay tournament of the season for Rafa and the rest of the clay tournaments are in the schedule for Now. He has an option to pull out or retire in the future. And like Rafa said before, Madrid is on his schedule unless something like injury comes up.

    Also can someone explain the ‘mouthguard’ pls.
    “The guard placed the mandible and aligned with the skull, brain and chest, which is achieved by an increase in muscle power”

    As for the watch, I hope it’s sweat resistant. Anyone else noticed that Rafa can wear his watch on his right or left wrists?

    And after watching Rafa hitting some great forehands, I should learn to hit Fed’s textbook forehand? There’s logic in there somewhere.

    Miri the last link didn’t lead me to the Kaye interview, but you helped me find the Taiwanese guy singing the Whitney Houston song that my dad wanted to see, so thanks ;)

    • Phyzzie says:

      When you get to YouTube, type in Elizabeth Kaye and Rafa Nadal in the search box and it brings up many videos.

    • miri says:

      Oops! I fixed the link.

    • An says:

      “However serious or unserious the knees are, we’re not going to know the full story bec Rafa needs to keep the opponent guessing. I’m sure Team Nadal worry enough for all of us, so maybe let’s enjoy his that he’s back on court. ”

      Exactly Atch 2! Let him and his team decide for themself please!!
      Since today i can tell you out off my own experience how anoying it is when people are constantly nagging on about how youre knee is holding up and wheter you should play on or not, and off course its all verry well ment and only out off concern, but still…
      The best way off shutting them up is win. So Rafa…..

  5. faeaki7 says:

    oh thanx for the tip I couldn’t find the interview either! So Rafa has discomfort? yep he always will so who knows what to expect, best bet is not to expect too much.. we can only hope which is prehaps what he is doing and his team for that matter!

  6. cindy says:

    Tired of speculating about the knees while rafa himself refuses to talk about them and insists on playing the whole clay season , he’s consuming his health and he’s gonna pay for it . So be it ! i don’t care anymore because this subject sucks !

    • Toosilnet says:

      haha yeah I kinda feel the same way. Wish he’d pass on Madrid, almost as much as I wish he’d win the whole thing. Excited for clay season to start but worried about knees and some expected defeat. I keep telling myself to let it go and just hope for some really great matches.

      • cindy says:

        feel the same here ; but i’m tired of speculating and waiting, hoping and getting eventually disappointed and frustrated and so on and so forth…it’s like a roller coaster ; hope Rafa cares for us as much as we care for him !
        this feeling sucks , sucks, sucks …

  7. dk says:

    Here is what some other people think of Rafa’s knee problems:

    • Emma R says:

      It’s sort of weirdly fascinating to read other people making unpleasant comments about Rafa that aren’t based on much, as I only tend to come here. I see the argument about taking time off, as Delps has done, however I don’t get this running theme with “he should have surgery” when it doesn’t seem to be an option even for tendonitis. Also the “excuse” side of things – if it was being used as an excuse, wouldn’t he raise it in the pressers?

      That watch is bloody awful, and I had to look twice at the price tag. Still, at least Rafa is varied. I can’t think of too many sportsmen who have a half million dollar watch contract in addition to packets of local based bickies.

      • cindy says:

        actually Emma u’r right it’s weird to see anti-rafa fans posting unpleasant or unfair “whatever” comments but on the other hand sometimes i do agree with some of those point of views because right now Rafa is pissing me off “at what looks like lousy decision-making and planning for his health and career “(quoting here)
        if he’s injured so he should skip tournament take some rest physically and mentally as well and come back trong enough to annoy and scare every tennis men with his killing forhand as he use to be to win rather than lose and “trot out” another excuse to justify his loss or repeat his usual favourite comment “i played my best tennis and i’m happy at what i did so far”.
        Rafa i just can’t bear all this ! it’s so not youuuu
        so please i want you to win this time and bite the trophee because if u dont do it i will bite your “ass” :-)

        • tiemyshoe says:

          Yeah … Rafa is such an asshole for having bad knees and trying to continue on with his career in the manner he sees fit. He should really be trying to guess what everyone wants to hear and crafting his pressers, schedule, and life around it.


          • cindy says:

            yeahhh! last time i was speculating with my brother (federer’s fan) about rafa’s match against roddick trying hard to justify nadal’s loss sorting every existing excuse like : ” his injury bothered him” or ” the tooth wisdom” or “he’s mentally hampered lately ” but he shut me up with one phrase ” if he’s that sick or injured he should pull out not participate in the tournament then lose and blame it on the knees or the tooth or whatever ”
            Rafa sucksssssssss

            • Missy says:

              Rafa didn’t blame it on anything or make excuses…
              His FANS are the ones! >_<

              • cindy says:

                uu’r wroooong missy ! did u forget what uncle toni said to the press ??? he cant talk about anything without rafa’s approval !

            • tiemyshoe says:

              Sorry, I forgot to add /sarcasm to my post.

              Here’s me being earnest: I think people should give Rafa the benefit of the doubt. He’s a professional, he’s not the only one playing with injuries, and he’s trying to make the best decisions he can. Just let him play and stop taking it personally when he loses, has injuries, and tries to keep some distance from the cannibalistic press, as if he’s doing it precisely to piss you off. I mean, really.

  8. CC says:

    Firstly, the thought of being covered in Rafalint feels very, very attractive, don’t ask me why.

    Secondly, that photo of Rafa is lovely. The eyes are…mmm…and for some reason I’m completely taken with the white spots on his arm.

    Thirdly, the knees and that watch…whatever, Trevor. I’m like so over it already. ;)

    • miri says:

      The eyes are…mmm…and for some reason I’m completely taken with the white spots on his arm.

      Those are out of focus bits of ball fluff that were surrendered by the ball when Rafa whacked the heck out of it.

  9. whirling says:

    this vid of an obsessed (straight male) rafafan is hilarious: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yx2geLOplJI

  10. Rafafan says:

    Ok Rafa fans. We are all sick about Rafa and his tentonitis knees (and so is he). How i look at it. Rafa now doesn’t know from one day to the next how his knees will be in a match – it is not an injury – it’s tentonitis so it flares up just when it wants to, no reasoning, no hint – it just happens there and then. We heard the left LEG had swollen up and he couldn’t take any inflammatories (which I guess he does for every match – just in case). As a result during the course of the match the pain becomes unbearable. His “learning his lesson – not going beyond the limit”, I would think came again at the Roddick match as he didn’t chase some of the balls down and in the end sort of reluctantly inside his head said enough is enough. He knows the HC season is over, so he is gonna try as much as he can on clay to see (not only where his game is) but where his knees is. No way can he just have rest again – he thnks the clay will be kinder. However I do not quite buy that coz the rallies then go on for 3 – 4 hours! More suffering. I think just like all of us – he doesn’t actually know what is going on. And will play until he can’t play anymore. Yes I am pissed off with Rafa – trying to pretend everying this OK (which is not). He only says perfect when its OK. Anyone else notice? Also Rafa is extremely stubborn as a mule and will not so much listen to U Toni. I also think there may be a rift now with U Toni saying what he says to the media. Rafa has persistently said he doesn’t want to talk about his knees, had disagreements in the past with U Toni when facing the media and the same issues have arisen again.

    We can only hope our boy is a little pain free when he plays his matches and hope for the best. The outlook does not look optimistic – I think Rafa knows that too so he wants to cram in as much as he can before enough is enough with the playing days. Hope I am soooooooo wrong but instincts tell me another thing. I really can’t help watching now but seeing when the twinges arise rather than his wonderful shot making. Please please win a few titles and the FO/Wimby and wow would n’t that be nice US to take the pain away a little for you Rafa as much as your adoring fans.

  11. Rafafan says:

    PS – (off topic) been watching the golf only coz Rafa likes golf and saw Fred Couples doing great – I know he was the one in Rafa’s camp supporting him. (Did you know he is 50!) Makes me feel that Rafa will become a professional golfer when his tennis career is finished which I fear is at an early tender age. I am so upset by the thought of this but what else can we think? A few more titles, masters 1000 maybe FO/Wimby doesn’t really help if he is finished in a couple of years does it fans?

  12. iren says:

    to be proffesinal golfer not as easy as some of you think.. i dont see rafa as proffesinal golfer,for me rafa already try to be marketing machine before it is all over,SAD BUT TRUE..all those shakira vidoe and somekind strange marketing deals come after the slump..i am not the best one of understanding this issues,but thats how i feel.i still beleive this monte carlo is a try event.so my expectations are down.but this is also clay he can win even not playing at his best,but RG best of 5 you have to be pyhisical animal..is he going to be..i am not sure.

  13. Maya says:

    When being a Rafafan is overwhelming you can think about what I’ve learned this year.
    1. Don’t try to reason with a Fed fan. It can’t be done.
    2. Don’t hype yourself into a stroke over what you DON’T know.
    3. Trust Rafa and his team. They really do know more about
    what’s going on than you do.
    4. Enjoy the heck out of his tennis when he’s on a tear,
    because there’s nothing else like it.
    5. Love that he is put together (physically speaking) like no
    other man on earth. I could go on and on here, but you know
    what I’m saying.
    6. Enjoy the good banter of friendly fans who want nothing
    more than to support a great tennis player.
    7. Ignore the gossip and ill will of those who like to stir
    the pot. This isn’t always easy, but Rafa’s worth it.

    • miri says:

      Excellent lessons, Maya.

      People, if you are tired of knees talk, imagine how the people who’ve been a long-time fan of Rafa feel. They’ve been dealing with this stuff much longer than us newer fans. But mainly, if you are tired knees talk, stop reading articles about them and stop making comments about them. Nothing shuts down a conversation quicker than silence.

      • Necitas says:

        Well said Miri! Getting tired of the knees, meaning getting tired of Rafa? We are talking here of Rafa’s knees so it’s not tiring at all, kind of sad though that Rafa has to bear with it…

    • tiemyshoe says:

      Yes, great points! Couldn’t agree more.

    • nic says:

      Agreed Maya. Great clarity on all those points, and the reason why we should love and enjoy Rafa.

    • aRafaelite says:

      Well said. The biggest problem is not with Rafa, but with our sometimes unrealistic expectations of him!

  14. aliki says:

    Good Post Maya.I don’t understand some Rafa Fans sometimes.why can’t some just try and enjoy Rafa when he plays and stop putting so much pressure on him and stressing over,if his knees will hold up or stressing over his teeth.

    He’s doing the best he can and that’s all he can do.Some act as if Rafa is playing for them and if he doesn’t win a title soon they are going to starve or be put out of their house or something.

  15. nic says:

    Boy is that Elizabeth Kaye a huge Rafa fangirl :D And I gotta love her for it :D I absolutely love the way she described the way fans are initially attracted to Rafa through his spirit on court, and quite aesthetically too. And then they are taken in and begin to love his game. From alot of exchanges on Miri’s site here with other Rafa fans, I tend to see that as the way it was for most of us.

    I really appreciate how she talks about what it is that people love about Rafa, that he really MOVES people by being himself. This contrast between the bold style, play, colours, strut on court, never say die attitude, and the huge will to win vs. that humble, gentle, almost poetic old soul. For me, that’s absolutely the reasons why I love Rafa so much more than any other personality that I’ve followed closely. He moves me. It’s great to hear a writer say that out loud, and with so much passion.

    I’d only say that I didn’t agree with her thoughts on wanting Nole to lose. Yes, I’d prefer to see Rafa win, but not hope for Nole’s loss. I like Nole alot for his individuality, and his game. I tend to agree with her though about being either a Fed fan, or a Rafa fan, and that those who like both equally are a bit suspect :) Just because I’m a really passionate person and prefer people to lean strongly one way than equally both ways. But not to the extent that you have to hate the Fed. I respect his achievements and do like him to an extent, but of course I am totally passionate and in love with Rafi! The other reason is I’m a huge Fedal fan too. I think that over the years, they’ve only made each other better.

    • miri says:

      I’m with you – I’ve never understood why liking player A meant that one had to hate player B and/or root for them to lose. I never root for anyone to lose. I also don’t understand fans who hate a player for beating Rafa. They were just doing their job – and on that particular day, they were doing theirs better than Rafa was doing his. It’s the nature of sport.

      • tiemyshoe says:

        I admit there are certain players I root against, just like there are certain sports teams I root against (*cough*RealMadrid*cough*) no matter what. Sometimes it’s because I may like their opponents better, and sometimes it’s just for schadenfreude value – which, let’s be honest, is part for parcel of the sports experience (at least for me, heh). I freely admit I enjoy seeing Federer lose – not even because I hate him, but because he loses so little that it’s like seeing a rare bird in flight. ;)

        But I’ve never hated players for beating Rafa, or gotten all indignant because they play their best against him. It seems awfully hypocritical when we Rafa fans are always proud of him for stepping up against the best. Why can’t other players be afforded the same respect?

        And I disagree with Kaye’s generalization that Rafa fans have to be antagonistic toward Fed and Djokovic. I kinda get that she sees being a fan of Rafa as having an aesthetic sense that’s not commensurable with others, but her example sucks: No one can like both red and green? Since when? Has she never seen Christmas decorations?

        • tiemyshoe says:

          P.S. I’ve noticed tennis fans are actually a lot better in this respect than other sports fans. Maybe it’s because tennis is an individual sport or because it has kind of upper-crust-y/bourgeois connotations, but tennis has a lot more polite clapping than booing. Whereas soccer or football fans have no problem whatsoever rooting very loudly “against.”

          I take the fact that Federer and Nadal fans regularly root against each other to be a sign of 1) how great and powerful that rivalry is, and 2) how great each player is individually. If this weren’t the case, nobody would give a crap.

        • miri says:

          I freely admit I enjoy seeing Federer lose – not even because I hate him, but because he loses so little that it’s like seeing a rare bird in flight. ;)

          I’m the same, but I don’t actually root against him. I root for his opponent. :D

          • tiemyshoe says:

            Semantics, pah! In a two-person contest, can you root for one to win without wishing defeat on the other? A logico-philosophical question. ;)

            That said, I find rooting against someone to be 1) no fun at all, and 2) almost always disappointing. It’s like standing at a music concert with your arms folded, wishing the band would suck.

            • miri says:

              Why yes indeedy I can. In fact, I often do. Rafa vs. Daveeed? Rooting for Rafa, not rooting against Daveed. I might be happier with either outcome than if Rafa was playing against a different opponent, but still.

              I know you were joking, but I feel a need to take you literally, be completely devoid of humor, and talk about this. I do not understand people who boo opponents, cheer for errors by players and/or refuse to applaud entertaining points when the winner isn’t “their guy”. That’s rooting against to me. It’s what people did to Rafa at the French Open that pissed off so many Rafa fans. It shows a lack of respect to the players and the sport.

              And totally agree that rooting against just leaves one feeling disappointed. I want good and entertaining tennis. If that sometimes that means Rafa’s opponents play well, so be it.

              • tiemyshoe says:

                Ahh, when you put “rooting against” that way, then I am FIRMLY against that – in fact, that’s the sort of attitude that gives me bad, icky feelings about fandom.

                My conception of “rooting against” was simply a stating of the obvious: that when I watch a match, I often prefer one player to win and thus the other to lose – and my preference isn’t necessarily based on who’s playing the better quality tennis, but on my personal affinity for certain players. Even if Rafa were playing kind of crappy, I’d still want him to grind out a victory – I’d still want his opponent to lose.

                But the fun absolutely lies in watching my preferred player win, and not his opponent lose. If my tennis fandom were based on, for instance, the thrill of watching Roger Federer lose matches to Rafa, my interest in both tennis and Rafa would’ve petered out long ago. Or I would be a bitter, bitter person with a heart of calcite.

                So, in summary: for me, there are elements of “rooting against” in any moment of sports spectatorship – like, when I hold my breath for the crucial winner to go out, or wish for the opponent to miss his first serve on break point, or shout at Real Madrid to concede a goal against Barca. But “rooting against” as the sole impetus for watching? Horrid.

                • miri says:

                  Ah, yeah. It’s always important to define our terms, no? Sounds like we’ve been saying the same thing but interpreting the phrase differently. Gods language is confusing.

                  • tiemyshoe says:

                    You’re tellin’ me! I’m in academia – it’s like a talking-in-circles and not-defining-your-terms carnival. :D

              • teejustice says:

                “I do not understand people who boo opponents, cheer for errors by players and/or refuse to applaud entertaining points when the winner isn’t “their guy”.”

                Totally agree. I don’t see anyone as being above tennis. I can’t see if you’re a fan of the sport and not appreciate the performances within it from those competing. I may not like the fact that Player A made a great play against “my guy”, but I can applaud and appreciate it just the same. Even players give nods to each other on court and just say “well played.”

                Don’t even get me started on cheering for errors. Ugh! When I was a little kid, I never wanted match point to be won on an error. I would always groan and my mom would ask me why especially if “our player” won. I told her they should earn it. She understood, but let me know good play of one can induce an error out of the other.

    • CC says:

      I love what you’ve written, nic and agree with it all (although I haven’t watched the clip). Thank you! :)

      • An says:

        Me too Nic!

        Altough there are a few tennisplayers i will never root for and i can be relieved that one has lost when its done and is no longer a tread for Rafa…. i will never root against one in an actual match!

  16. Atch2 says:

    I liked those TimeForce ads he did. Was hoping there would be more.

  17. aRafaelite says:

    Given the price tag, you’d think they could have designed a nicer looking watch. Horrible. I can only assume Rafa wanted a Bond gadget on his wrist to go with his James Bond car. It’s a good thing Xisca is prettier than most Bond girls – at least he won’t have to trade her in for another model ;-)Never mind the knees. If he starts asking for MartiniS during changeovers, I’ll really be shaken. Not stirred.

    • Karen says:

      Can anyone think of a reason why Rafa is wearing this new watch on his right wrist when he normally wears a watch on his left being naturally right handed? Maybe it’s so he can watch the second hand between serves, or it’s simply to keep it off his racket hand. At least it’s one less thing to do at the end of a match!!