RafaLint: July 7th

Photos by Beth Wilson

Photos by Beth Wilson

Well, Wimbledon is over and the drought of British male champions has ended as well. Congratulations to Andy Murray for dealing with unimaginable pressure and winning one for the host nation. In fact, I was happy with both of the singles winners (well, as happy as I could be since a certain Spaniard wasn’t nibbling hardware today). Watching Bartoli play used to drive me crazy, but I kind of fell in love with her after attending a few of her pressers. She’s charming and funny.



Rafa does social media:

Someone was playing poker and trash talking during the Wimbly semifinals…

Social media related to Rafa:

Do the math and see who has the best winning percentage (hint, a Spaniard by just a hair).

Other stuff:

Racket standings:
Congrats to ajm842!

Nadal News :
Pos.  Team   Mn. Pts.
Last Updated: 07/07/2013 22:08:23
1  ajm2842 219 189
2  kyukee 208 178
3  Vamosgirl 199 169
4  girlofsummer 197 167
5  cheers1 4 3 197 167
6  chelez17 196 166
7  frannie 195 165
8  lenzuke 195 165
9  nolanolaa 193 163
10  rafanatica 192 162
11  sarahbert 191 161
12  janee 190 160
13  miri 189 159
14  Jenny2013 189 159
15  shabbie 189 159
16  D2 188 158
17  kefuoe 185 155
18  Brs 182 152
19  Sibakekang 181 151
20  real_dan 180 150

40 Responses

  1. Annie says:

    I’m happy for both winners, too. Both well deserved! Still missed Rafa out there though – the tennis just wasn’t as exciting. there. I said it.

  2. Lilia Ortega says:

    Very Happy for Andy’s win. He played an AMAZING game and it was a joy to watch. What level.

  3. Sharon/London says:

    Well it’s been 77 yrs since Fred Perry won Wimby. Virginia Wade won in (19)77 . Andy Murray played his 7 th slam final on the 7 th of the 7 th. Andy just had to win it was meant to be. As I’m a Brit so pleased for him he played a great match. A bizarre Wimby this year but a fantastic final day. Wasn’t the same for me with Rafa going out early I miss him.

    Rafa hope to see you training and back playing soon.

  4. sia says:

    Muzza and Marion kind of made up for that sad first round :D

  5. Rafacat says:

    Why do they call Andy, Muzza?

    • JayDee50 says:

      Just a friendly nickname from his surname; others have nicknames too: Paul Gascoigne was called Gazza, anyone called Barry gets called Bazza, and so on. All in fun, no malice intended.

    • Ramara says:

      I don’t know but I thought it’s because Murray rhymes with “hooray” and the Brits say “Huzzah”?

  6. kefuoe says:

    I’ve always liked Carlos Bernardes. He seems to work well with the players, and I noticed that he’s almost always right on his overrules. That was a nice interview with him.

  7. Allyn Sims says:

    I have a question about the next event you have listed for Rafa – the China Open. Is that based upon a calendar published by Rafa’s team? I didn’t see any info about future events on his website.

    • miri says:

      It should probably be Rogers Cup next. He hasn’t stated for sure he’s going, but I think it’s probable. China Open was listed because it was the only post Wimbledon tournament announced and confirmed.

      • JayDee50 says:

        I believe the Rogers Cup players entry list was published last Wednesday, and Rafa’s name is on it, though of course he still has time to withdraw, but I very much hope he will play there.

  8. Sam says:

    Was just checking for any news on Rafa’s next tournament now that Wimbledon’s over. Are all Rafa fans Murray fans? I certainly don’t fit into that category…

    • Lilia Ortega says:

      I personally like Murray because regardless of his talent, it hasn’t been easy for him. We have seen his game and his mental attitude evolve on the court. It feels as if we have gone through this journey with him. He always bring drama to a match. I like that: emotion, blood and guts on the court. I like personalities on the court. But I also like humility and sportsmanship. It is uplifting to me to see them rise from their failures and mistakes and gain victory. It’s an example of life.

      • Heath says:

        Well said!

        • Tina says:

          Yes, well said and couldn´t agree more. He played a wonderful match, and he fully deserved finally to win that title.

        • Julie says:

          Yes, I agree. I was in tears, so happy for him! Usually, no one brings me to tears except Rafa:)I’ve grown to admire, enjoy and appreciate Andy. Really fun to watch yesterday’s match.

          • Lilia Ortega says:

            So was I, crying. Some players never get over that immense pressure. Never.

            I think Murray, yesterday, consolidated himself and watch out, because he will be a force to be reckoned with. Beating Djokovic in straight sets in Wimbledon? No small feat, especially for him, in this particular final. Well done indeed.

    • Joel Cooley says:

      I really like and appreciate Andy Murray, and i think in my mind i parallel that to his ability and willingness to overcome so many obstacles, much like Rafa, and in a national spotlight that has been anything but forgiving or understanding. I have a great deal of appreciation and admiration for anyone who has had to go thru what he had to go thru to finally win Wimbledon, much less a Grand Slam, and that includes two (if not three) of the all time greatest tennis players ever, the pressure of an entire country who were dying for him to win, and a relentless press corps that made it so difficult for him. So much of that pressure drops once you win one, and i think we sometimes forget that Rafa first won when he was 19 at the FO. For Andy, he didn’t break thru until he was 25, at last years USO.

      It’s also very cool to see an entire country (not necessarily the press) stand in his corner, and to see them rewarded as such, exploding into a national celebration over seeing one of their own win something that has been wanted by so many for so long. I just think that that is one of the coolest things i’ve seen in sports. Its obvious the English are very astute with their knowledge and appreciation of tennis, and that the game itself has long been etched within the national consciousness of all of Great Britain for many, many years. To see Andy win it there, when it hasn’t been done since the 30s, was just so cool.

      I also really appreciate the humility and sportsmanship in which he wins, and in which he loses. I think that’s one of the things that i most appreciate about the mens game overall, is the level of sportsmanship and graciousness these guys have toward each other. And maybe its the little green man inside of me, who feels threatened by Novak and how he’s taken some of Rafa’s turf away, but i don’t care for the way he goes about his very thing (yet another reason to root for Andy). None of the other top three will rip their shirt off their chest after winning (Oz Final, 2012), mock the crowd for rooting seemingly against him (he does this fairly often), or let out a primal scream when he finishes with a winner, or a winner to end a match (Monte Carlo, 2013). I’ll give him credit, he’s gracious when he loses, for the most part. But i’d far prefer to see him act with the same class when he wins, or as we say in America, “act like you’ve been there before.”

      And the guy wonders why Federer and Nadal, and very likely now, Andy Murray, have more fans. I think you boil a lot of it down to that right there. Stop acting like a complete ass when you win.

      Congrats to Andy Murray and Marion Bartoli (though my heart broke for Sabine) on their first Wimbledon championships!

      • Sharon/London says:

        So well said its exactly how I feel.

        • Okiegal says:

          Spot on Joel. Novak is a gracious loser, but acts a little childish when he wins. If I was a fan of his, I would be embarrassed by the shirt rip off. Goes a little too far, I think.

          Wanted Sabine to win also, but wasn’t even a contest.

          New first time Champs at Wimbledon, pretty cool since Rafa and Serena were missing.

      • CB says:

        Agree, agree, agree! I really hate the shirt ripping.

        Happy for Marion but I have been a fan of Sabine for several years, after seeing her play live in a regional tournament. I hope next year will be her breakthrough year at Wimbledon.

      • Allyn Sims says:

        It’s possible to credit Andy without disparaging Nole. They are both great champions, as are Rafa and Fed. We really are lucky tennis fans.

        • Joel Cooley says:

          Your point is noted, but you are essentially pointing out in a more couched way exactly what i’m saying. And for the record, my original post praised Nole; i pointed out that he will become, if he is not already, one of the all-time greats. And i was also praising him for how gracious he is when he loses. There is a lot to be said for that alone.

          He is, however, and i will use your word, disparaging to his opponents when he wins. He still has some maturity issues in that regard, and some of it is really kind of inexcusable, especially when you consider how much easier it is to be gracious when you win, but even more so how important it is due to the fact that there is the other guy over there who now has to deal with the heartache of it for days/weeks on end. Letting out a primal scream when you win and/or ripping your shirt off to celebrate is rubbing is more than likely perceived as rubbing it in by his opponents.

          From living in the states and getting a feel for how we are perceived world-wide of being overly demonstrative and wearing our feelings on our sleeves, i can absolutely tell you that the way Nole acts when he wins would be deemed arrogant. I’ve coached basketball for 12 years of my professional career and there isn’t a snowballs chance in hell that any of my kids would act like he does when he wins. Not if they want to play another second for the next month, that is.

          Sorry if you disagree. I don’t like him. I respect him, but i don’t like him. There is an obvious standard that has been set by the top 4 players in the world, that seemingly everyone abides by except for him (and maybe Tomic and Gulbis, but they aren’t in the limelight like the others), and its time that he start to get in tune with that. Add to that how he mocks the crowd when they cheer against him, i don’t think there is a whole lot of question as to why. Do you think there is?

          • miri says:

            Why should he “abide by” non-existent rules just because others do? Why should he alter his expression of happiness after win just to please others? Sorry. I don’t agree. There’s also a matter of perception to consider – some people find Rafa’s fist-pumping arrogant; some find Rafa’s insistence the tennis proceed at his pace despite the rules arrogant; some found Murray’s post-win fist pumping with a bit of a “fuck you for all the pressure you lumped on me” at the press arrogant and mean-spirited; some people find a lack of celebration to be arrogant – almost like the victor is saying “walk in the park, beating you isn’t even worth a fist pump.”

            Bottom line – you can’t please everyone. Ever. And if winning a major title, tough match, etc, doesn’t earn you a moment to unselfconsciously enjoy, what does? (And saying you don’t like said celebration is different than saying it’s inexcusable. And it is possible to talk up what you perceive to be good sportsmanship in one player without talking down another. It’s the same as rooting for the player you like, but not booing the player you don’t.)

            I appreciate the level of conversation here and don’t think it’s descended into a slog fest – I’m not trying to totally mute either of you – but I did just want to say that I do think Allyn Sims was going about things in a slightly different way and one that, to me, felt a little less finger-pointy.

            • Joel Cooley says:

              …and i disagree from the standpoint that i don’t think that what i have said is necessarily finger-pointing toward anyone. I only made one comment about Nole, amidst comments that praise him, about something that i don’t like about him. In my opinion, its that one comment that is being made bigger than what it is. My apologies to you, that is not what is intended. I do want to agree to disagree, however, and point out again why i get pretty pissed off about the way he approaches things when he wins. Its not to re-hash it or to piss you off, it’s just to underscore my point based on some of the things you are pointing at. If you disagree, fine, so be it, we can agree to disagree, i respect your opinion.

              I’m not in any way arguing with you that winning a tournament or winning a major doesn’t afford the winner a chance to celebrate, and celebrate in their own way. However, there is such a thing as proper protocol, and i think in most sports, that kind of protocol is obvious. In basketball, for instance, you don’t keep pressing and running up the score when you have the game won; you don’t try and score or lob and dunk inside of the final seconds, whether at home or on the road, and in anyway try and play to the crowd. These are principles of sportsmanship, of maturity, mindful of the OTHER TEAM, and what they are having to endure with the pain of losing. In American football, the team that is winning that has the ball late in the game runs the ball, usually gives the ball up on downs, and doesn’t keep slinging it down the field trying to score. Why? Because losing hurts. A lot. And at the end of the day, its the players that have to bear that burden. Novak does his screaming, shirt ripping off, beating his chest like he’s Superman when the match is over. And that’s almost always at the end of tournaments he’s won. When the other guy is devastated. And i think it absolutely sucks.

              Other comparisons you point toward…In regard to how some things are perceived as arrogant with regard to how Murray treats the press, i don’t think that’s even in the same league as to what i’m pointing at with Novak, and consequently, i could absolutely care less. And if i have read it right, and i don’t know that i have, I hope he is giving some of the press a big middle finger because although i don’t peruse the British press, i’ve lived long enough to know that the press in any country is unmerciful. And i’d bet my bottom dollar that when Murray decided he was going to turn pro as a professional tennis player, he never bargained for having to have the weight and hopes of an entire nation on his shoulders, by far most of whom support him (he noted this after his loss last year to Federer), only to then have to have the press, so many of whom are complete jackasses, who have never played for anything in their life, never under the microscope as he’s been, with his every loss dissected and analyzed, reliving all of his failure. If its arrogant that he wanted to make a point of having the last word with a group of folks that at the end of the day are never really held accountable for what they do, then so be it. I don’t really think that’s a very fair comparison, and yet, in my opinion, is the only comparison that you are offering that is somewhat comparable to Novak’s “heat of the moment” reaction to having just won a big tournament. The other instances you point toward are much less impacting, more subtle, within the match itself.

              With that said…i love you Miri! I do! I just disagree on this on.

              Peace to you.

              • CB says:

                My two cents: Who we pull for and identify with is influenced by so many factors, we probably don’t always know why ourselves. My father was the most humble man you would ever meet and I never heard him raise his voice — he was also a golfer and etiquette was extremely important to him on the course (and off.) But during John McEnroe’s playing days, you wouldn’t find a bigger fan than my dad. Go figure. I became very interested in tennis during Agassi’s “second” phase, after he had matured; my dad was a fan of Sampras. After Andre retired, I didn’t think I could ever find another player who I respected as much — along came Rafa. Dad rooted for Federer. We had a lot of fun talking about their matches! :)

                There are so many reasons to admire and respect Federer and intellectually I know I should be his fan; but I just don’t feel a connection. And I can’t put my finger on why. The same with Djokovic who is an amazing player and athlete. But I can put my finger on one thing that truly bothers me about him — and it is the way he acts when he wins. I imagine it is a gut reaction on his part. And I’m sure it is not directed at the other player but I find it disrespectful. If Novak one day matures and tones down his celebration, I still doubt that I will be a fan. Like all of us here, I have an intangible connection to Rafa and even though my head would tell me that Novak has matured, my heart will still be with the humble champion, Rafa.

              • miri says:

                And we are doing so politely and civilly…on the Internet. How weird.

                Maybe I’m a crass asshole, because I don’t see why you wouldn’t keep trying to score points. After all, you never know when the other team might stage a comeback. To me, nothing is won until it’s over. And, in fact, to me, slacking off is a huge insult. It’s like being so cocky and sure you are going to win, you take a victory lap before the game is done. About to bagel a guy in the final set and let up so the guy won’t have to suffer the embarrassment? That let up might be enough to let him back into the match. Instead, you keep pushing until you are done – even if it’s a bagel. (I thought American football teams often turned the ball over on downs to be safe – why risk and interception being run in for a touch down?)

                Pain in losing is there for a reason – to motivate you to be better next time.

                I was having a conversation with someone about their reaction to Team Djokovic’s celebration of winning against Rafa in the Madrid final – it included loud, apparently drunken celebrations in the street. They thought it was so very rude and horrid to do that especially in Rafa’s home country. (I mainly thought it was just sloppy and silly.) I pointed out that said same person LOVED watching the Spanish team dance and celebrate in Austin, TX (Roddick’s home country and adopted home town) after defeating team USA so badly Roddick didn’t bother to play the last match. And they didn’t even wait to do it in the streets – they did it on the court while the US team was still in the building and all the US fans and USTA officials were still around. That’s pretty in your face.

                If you tend toward liking someone (like I do Rafa, Andy and most of the Spanish team), their celebrations are exuberant. If you don’t and they just beat someone you do like, you’ll be far more inclined to see the celebration as “in your face”. It’s human nature to ascribe positive meanings to the actions of someone we like and vice-versa. When in truth, we don’t know what’s going on in their minds. You don’t think the things I mentioned are big; Nole fans don’t think his shirt ripping is that big. It’s all perspective.

                (And I agree with you about the press, I’m just saying I’ve seen Andy haters say he was being a crass, in your face asshole for doing that.)

                • CB says:

                  Oh, we could on forever about this, couldn’t we?! :)

                  American teams — particularly football and basketball — will not run up the score if it is obvious the other team cannot win. It is considered very poor sportsmanship to do such a thing. It is different in a tennis match. There is no clock ticking down the seconds and it is true the other player could come back as we’ve seen happen time and time again.

                  I also feel that a Davis Cup team celebrating is quite different from a “traditional” match. The atmosphere is just so completely different at those events.

                  I do very much agree on your point about perspective — we all forgive a lot in someone we love, even when most anybody else might not!

                  I thank you, Miri, for the civility you inspire on your site!

      • Nora says:

        Vamos J, u read my mind too!! Perfecto & hope Rafa is back soon :D

      • beegee says:

        Well said – I appreciate your comments. I am pleased the way Andy Murray has matured and evolved into the player and young man he is today. He has proven that hard work, dedication and a good attitude will bring good things.

        On a side note – I was in Scotland while Andy was winning his way to the championships. To be in a Scottish pub when he beat Jerzy was priceless and a memory I will never forget. We saw the first two sets at Heathrow while waiting for our flight to the US. While in the air, the pilot announced to the cabin that Murray had one and I swear the plane was rocking to the cheers. Slainte, Andy!

  9. JayDee50 says:

    As much as I would have loved to see Rafa biting the trophy, it wasn’t to be; however, Andy played so well and deserved the win and I’m happy for him and his fans, and for Marion too.

    As Rafa would say, “that’s the sport”.

  10. Okiegal says:

    I was glad Andy won since Rafa couldn’t. I wonder who Rafa was for in this battle? I was for who Rafa was for and me thinks……Andy!!

    Vamos Rafa and get healthy…….as I am going through withdrawals!!!

    First time poster here……love your site because it’s all about RAFA!!!

  11. Ch F says:

    They are both deserving champions. I don’t know much about Bartoli, apart form what I can see with my own eyes, ie that she plays two matches each time, one against the opponent and one with herself ;-) The point ends and she keeps going! When I heard her speak, I found her quite endearing. And she was very nice to Sabine at the trophy ceremony.

    As for Andy, I’d never seen him more focused and determined. He kept his calm throughout the match and even when Nole was up 4-2 in the third set, he showed a lot of belief. He’s now definitely in the mix for the Grand Slams, and that makes it even more interesting. I hope Rafa can compete with him and the rest of the top 4 soon. Needless to say I am already suffering from Rafa withdrawal syndrome.

    • Ruthie says:

      Big congrats to Marion and to Andy. So very pleased for both of them.

      Hoping to see our Rafa back fit and raring to go very soon as I miss him.

  12. CC says:

    LOVE Marion Bartoli, maybe because she is kinda the opposite to so many of the other women playing tennis. Love her game and love watching her play. Johnny Mac said something along the lines of “she isn’t perhaps the best athlete, but she is a tennis player” and that sums it up for me. Sabine Lisicki’s meltdown was…a little embarrassing.
    Rafa and Mickey…and is there a cuddly dog at the back too? I hope they’re not Rafa’s. He is, after all, 27 years old. His cowsins are cute, though.

  13. kyukee says:

    call it sour graping any final without rafa in it is just not my cup of tea, it’s so depressing to see a final without him it it

  14. Heath says:

    Rafa’s my number 1 and Novak’s my number 2. That said, I wanted Andy to win Wimbledon because I’m a Scot too. And he deserved his win; bravo, Andy of the Murrays!

    It seems to me from reading chatbox entries is that a number of Rafa’s fans vociferously voice their dislike (sadly many say hate – and that I will never understand) of Novak whenever they can and delight in referring to him by demeaning and sometimes offensive names. Okay, the name-calling is harmless in a junior school way – but those who accuse Novak of doping and cheating and even go so far as wishing injury on him represents something altogether more distasteful and a dimension of ‘Rafafandom’ of which I want no part. One person here even suggested that Novak was the sole cause of Rafa’s knee problems and that he had ruined Rafa’s career – WTF?

    There’s a degree of arrogance in all people at the top of their ‘game’ whatever that game is – be it in sport or business – and borne of knowing that they are part of an elite. It will manifest itself in different ways – and in tennis, all players react differently to victory and loss for example. Personally I couldn’t care less what Novak or Rafa or any other player says or does before or after a match but the fact that Novak chooses to vent his emotions by ripping off his shirt at the end of a hard fought match is, in my opinion, a pretty poor reason to hate him. If Rafa was still #1, I doubt people would be complaining about Novak’s conduct. But he isn’t and there’s the rub. Most Rafa fans dislike Novak on principle because he had the temerity to stop Rafa in his tracks in 2011, because he took away his #1 ranking and because he continues to be a threat to Rafa in his pursuit of more titles. To me, those are even poorer reasons to hate Novak because in doing all that he has added a further dimension to this gloriously golden era of tennis.

    • miri says:

      Bingo! It’s the exact same reason so many Federer fans hate Rafa and a lot Rafa fans have been mocking them for that for a long time. That’s why I find it doubly sad that many are behaving that exact same way now.

      • Sam says:

        Well “hate” is a whole different thing and in my opinion anyone who hates a tennis player who they have never even met is a little deranged. But like and dislike is a different thing. It to may be a little crazy because why should any of us care who wins a tennis match unless we have some direct connection with a particular player. But accepting that many tennis fans do have favorites (or are “fans” if you want to use that term) then at the very least they must also have players that they like less. Why people like certain players and dislike others could be for a variety of reasons. Some completely tennis related and others related to the way people form opinions on others in “real” life.