RafaLint: January 1st

Rafa wishes us Happy New Year – first in video form (via @DavidJNadal):

And then he goes back in time and has his 12 year old self wish us the same via a photo.


  • Rivals support Rafael Nadal comeback delay AFP via theaustralian.com.au
  • Report Card: Djokovic, Tomic, Li off to hot starts, others not so much – by Courtney Nguyen. Read past the grade. That short paragraph is in sensible contrast to the following article…
  • One Title, Many Pain – by Peter Bodo (For the masochists/completists out there. Not exactly suggested reading. Although, I do have to admit, I wonder/worry about Rafa’s head when he comes back. It’s going to be difficult for him to trust his body again. But, that’s always the case after injury and he’s done it before. Bodo’s end conclusion is sound: Rafa’s going to wait to come back when he can play on a surface that does his body less damage, but the path he goes down to get there is…frustrating to say the least.)


Social media related to Rafa:

On the 31st, Rafa returned to the practice courts…clay courts.


29 Responses

  1. patzin says:

    Not surprised by the Bodo piece, typical for him. Looks like he was just looking for something to write about and picked Rafa.

    Of course Rafa is challenged with the injury/recovery time; he must have some nervousness about his return and how things will go. But he is well known for his resilient nature and I have no doubt he will be fine, after an adjustment period.

  2. Izzie says:

    Many, many thanks for all the very fine and very hard work that goes into sustaining this site. Always such a great source of information.

    Regarding the Pete Bodo article, i know you are always trying to be fair by sometimes linking to his articles, but his work is not worth reading. Most of his work is poorly written with weak analysis, no matter what he is writing about – and contains incomplete or inaccurate information too often for a sports writer supposedly of his stature. Of course his writing about Rafa is always unreliable and negative – if not downright vicious and bizarre. Bodo has NO insight or understanding – zip, zero, NONE – of Rafa as a person or a tennis player. You should not feel obligated to link to him, because when it comes to Rafa, Bodo has nothing useful, insightful, or even truthful to say. He does not write to provide “objective” analysis – his work is not thorough or accurate enough for that. He obviously writes about Rafa only to throw red meat to readers who feel the same way he does. Bodo worrying about Rafa’s head or health or career is just concern trolling, and nothing more. Pay him and what he says no mind.

    • rafanatica says:


      • Sharon/London says:

        Bodo is a Federer fan, so he will not have anything good to say about Rafa. Rafa leads the H2H and the last time Roger beat Rafa at a slam is Wimbledon 2007.

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you, Izzie. I quit reading Bodo long ago. He is a huge Fed KAD and has always put Rafa in questionable light.Steve Tignor, on the other hand is much more fair and balanced and actually seems to like Rafa.
      I will never forget the picture Bodo posted of Rafa doing his Vamos pump full on with leg up. Said he was sick of it and criticized him a lot. That pretty much did it for me. And the people who comment on that site are vicious and there are many trolls and haters.
      So much for that.
      This is my comfort and comforting zone :-)

      • JayDee50 says:

        What put me off Bodo for life was when, in his book (which is a tribute to Federer) he referred to Rafa as “dirty boy Rafa”. (Btw, I didn’t read his book, came across a preview of it on Amazon’s site and was curious.)

    • Ch F says:

      Although I do agree with your take on Bodo, concerning the insight and understanding of Rafa, I have to agree with him when he says this is a tricky one. Now it is true that his way of putting things sort of kills the point he is trying to make. But Rafa has been away for a long time and has had readjustment problems after shorter periods away from courts. Although I know and trust him to do what is best, I do freak out sometimes and think he might come back, feel that the knee is still not well after such a long rest and give up. Please do not misunderstand me, I am not saying I do not believe in him, but when you’re not Rafa it’s easier to freak out, because only he knows what is going on and how to deal with it. I just hope he can pull this off mentally, I really do, because it’s a really tough one, especially if the knee doesn’t behave as well as expected.

      I still read Bodo from time to time, but with a lot of distance. Once I realised he just doesn’t get Rafa, his writings do not mess with my head anymore which is basically why I can still read him from time to time.

      • JayDee50 says:

        You’re right, it’s really tough to know EXACTLY what’s going on. But look at this way: sure, when Rafa first returns to the courts, he will have to face a period of readjustment. But he himself said he’s looking at his career long-term, not short-term. So, once he’s back and after a few matches (hopefully a few wins)it really shouldn’t take him too long to adjust himself back into the swing of the tour. After all, he’s been on it for over 10 years, played over 600 matches and won 583 of them.

        I just cannot see Rafa giving up. With the pain and discomfort he’s been in this year, he could have easily walked away, taken his millions and turned his back on tennis. But he hasn’t. On 20th November he publicly announced his comeback and invited the media to witness it. If it wasn’t for the gastroenteritis bug in December which upset his comeback plans, he would most likely be back by now. He’ll be back. And for what it’s worth, in my own personal honest opinion, I think most of the tennis world are underestimating him.

        • Ch F says:

          I hope you’re right! I mean I usually think the same way too, no, Rafa won’t give up, but sometimes I can’t help freaking out. I hope this knee recovers, I really do, otherwise it will really be frustrating for him. And with the readjustment issues and the rustiness, it won’t be pretty.

          • JayDee50 says:

            Best to think positive. All the negative media coverage just hacks me off.

            • Ch F says:

              To be honest I haven’t even read any coverage at all. I just wonder on my own sometimes. I usually think positive, as you said, but sometimes I worry. It’s probably the side effects of missing Rafa ;-)

  3. Margie says:

    I just wanted to give you a big THANK YOU for all the time, work and research that you do do for this site. These are trying times for those of us who love Rafa and his tennis and want only the best for him, his game and his tennis future. I come ONLY to this site for information on Rafa, knowing that you have read and evaluated all the info and articles out there. I am SO TIRED of the negative speculation and rumors about Rafa (and his future) that I just won’t read anything anymore unless I see what you say about it first.
    Thank you so much for this site!!!

  4. timov says:

    I want to thank you too,Miri and to wish you a Happy New Year! …and of cource to all Rafa fans my best wishes!

  5. Nikhil says:

    Rafa’s back on clay :) I love the sound of that . Those are lovely pictures and some of things Bodo says are true even though I’m not completely in agreement with him . Thank you for sharing it Miri :)

  6. Susanna728 says:

    I’m not particularly a fan of Bodo but also don’t see his article in as negative light as some other folks. All he seems to be saying is that he suspects Rafa doesn’t have complete confidence in his knees, was having second thoughts about coming back for the AO, and getting the stomach flu provided him with a reason to withdraw. Practically starting with any slam, not to mention a hard court one, never seemed like a good idea to me. Bodo specifically said he doesn’t think Rafa’s trying to deceive anyone and noted that Rafa isn’t obligated to disclose everything about his condition. While I would put a lot more love into the article if I had written it, his assessment of the situation doesn’t seem that off base to me.

  7. Izzie says:

    Uh, Bodo certainly did accuse him of deceit – but only in the most irritating passive aggressive way Bodo is when he writes about Rafa:

    “…Tennis fans are keenly disappointed, and not for the first time in this increasingly baffling saga. Month after month, it seems, Nadal has sent out mixed signals about the date of his return. And his comments about his left knee have raised as many questions as they’ve answered…”

    “…I don’t believe Nadal has raised and dashed hopes just for the sheer fun of watching his fans suffer through it all with him, or that he would willfully deceive. But I don’t think we’re getting either a full story or a particularly straight one—and haven’t been since Nadal withdrew from the game after he was upset by Lukas Rosol in the second round of Wimbledon…”

    “… the story of Rafa and his left knee has come to incorporate more plot twists than a Robert Ludlum novel, and it’s becoming just about as credible.)”

    If you want to understand what is happening with Rafa’s preparation for the season, read his actual words and that of his doctors. You know, doctors who are the actual EXPERTS when it comes to medical issues.

    Bodo is not a doctor. By not quoting Rafa’s doctors, he is not much of a journalist, either.

    A journalist who deliberately ignores primary sources and instead chooses to just “guess” about what is going on is not reporting and not analyzing facts.

    He is being lazy and/or deliberately causing confusion and stirring the pot. For his own selfish reasons. To continue to undermine the Nadal team and sensationalize to increase readership.

    When you read Bodo, you always need to understand that 1) everything comes through a filter of dislike and resentment of anything Nadal, 2) he does not get any information directly from the Nadal team before he writes, i.e. he has no primary sources. In the past he has gone so far as to blame “a language barrier” for not being able to get good information – even though everyone on Rafa’s team speaks English. So you are never reading anything new/anything 100’s of other sports journalists also already know, and 3) Bodo routinely ignores other primary source information that is available (Rafa’s doctors, etc) as he did in the most recent passive aggressive mess, in favor of “guessing” and getting to his ultimate goal of between-the-lines
    undermining, deliberately causing confusion, outright attacking, and sensationalizing.

    3-4 years ago Bodo actually did a very interesting interview with Tio Toni that provided a lot of very good insight into Team Nadal. But that journalist in Bodo, if he ever fully existed, is long gone.

    • JayDee50 says:

      Izzie, I completely agree with your penultimate paragraph. I NEVER read anything by Bodo nowadays.

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you for pointing out all the negative and dubious statements in Bodo’s article. I did not read it, but it is all very typical of him. I am so glad you wrote this.

    • Julie says:

      I agree. Bodo lacks integrity. I don’t trust anything that he writes.

  8. Casual Observer says:

    I find it odd Rafa is practicing again but on clay. A few years ago, Uncle Toni said Rafa could choose to skip the Australian Open in order to extend his career due to the knee and foot issues and I believe that is what we are seeing. I trust Rafa’s team in general but if it was a virus a few days ago and Rafa is back on the clay now practicing, I find it unlikely that he had any serious virus at all. Don’t know if the ITF and ATP require a medical reason to miss tournaments but that could be what’s going on here. I don’t expect Rafa to play any hardcourt tournaments this year including those in North America as well as the USO. Until he gets his knee surgically repaired, these problems are going to reappear and the best way to temporarily get around these issues is to just play on clay and grass instead of hardcourts. This is probably for the best for this year at least however I do think it will be tough for Rafa to win anything outside of clay because the speed of the game is so drastically different on grass and hardcourts compared to clay.

    • miri says:

      He’s practicing on clay because his next scheduled tournament is on clay. Also, did you read the interview with his Dr posted on the site?

      • Casual Observer says:

        Thanks Miri. I missed that. The virus makes sense. I do wish he would plan to play his usual schedule to put any doubts about the knee to rest. In his younger years Rafa would play Rotterdam or Dubai, which are both hardcourts before proceeding to Indian Wells and Miami. My take is we may not see him on anything but clay for awhile and the team takes the best approach to get him back on the tour. I wish he was playing something before Feb 25. There is Chile, Brazil and Buenos Aires, if they wanted him to come back slowly. Acapulco seems relatively close to Indian Wells on the calendar and geographically but Rafa has also planned to play an exhibition in New York with Del Potro the weekend after. I just want to see him play on a hardcourt in 2013 and not sure it will happen.

        • Ramara says:

          When Rafa withdrew from Doha and AO he left open the possibility that he might play in “another ATP event” before Acapulco. He did turn down offers from Chile and Argentina before he got sick but he may be rethinking it now.

          As far as I know he is planning to play IW and Miami before heading into the European clay court season. He’s traditionally done well at those events and while they are on hard court there’s a rest day between matches until the quarterfinals. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  9. Serin says:

    Happy New Year Miri and everyone..Miri, you are doing a great job
    with this forum. Thanks you so much.

    Thank you izzie for your posts.. I have stopped reading that person (bodo) long ago.. I dont understand why he always sounds like the trolls that comment on his blog and is so negative about Rafa..


  10. jodiecate says:

    Well, Thankyou Rafa, a very happy new year to you as well, soooooooooo lovely to see you looking so well and happy! And gorgeous!!

    Uh oh… i might have to sit here for hours replaying that one little vid over and over just to get a good dose of Rafa, it’s been quite a while!

    Happy New Year everyone!! Congratulations Miri (& all) on the site’s 4th b’day. In some ways it seems like it’s been much longer than that, in other ways, i think it can’t be that long already. This is such a wonderful site and thanks Miri for how much you do, you are a legend!

  11. Nikhil says:

    After reading the comments it’s quite clear that the Rafans here aren’t so fond of Pete Bodo. From his writings , it can be deduced that he doesn’t have a soft spot for Nadal but from a journalist that isn’t an expectation . I think Bodo writes well and I respect him for that matter even though he fails to grasp Rafa’s greatness for reasons I’m not sure of but hey , I don’t think we should despise him for that . There is an element of truth to the things he writes but some of his opinions could also be flawed but that never stopped me from reading him or any other author . Human psychology is a cobol complex thing and my knowledge of Pete Bodo’s articles is restricted . However , I do hope that after twenty years or so , Bodo would be missing Nadal and all other players who’re active today and would have wise words forRafa after all is said and done :)
    Thank you Rafans , for sharing your views

    • Ch F says:

      I agree. I read him quite often too because I’ve agreed to disagree with him and he doesn’t bother me.