Sunday, June 21, 2009

Trying to cope with a Rafa-less Wimbledon...

Photo credit: Reuters

Am not sure what sucks more, the fact that I’ll be in London watching a Wimbledon sans Rafa, or the fact that I am hearing constant crap from people - who barely know anything about tennis – about how this is officially the downfall of Rafa and that his best years are definitely behind him.

Okay am sure being in Wimbledon for the first time and not being able to watch Rafa defend his title sucks the most, I could barely find anything that actually sucks more, but still… it’s been barely 2 days since Rafa announced his withdrawal and am already sick of the snarky comments.

Call me deluded, optimistic or whatever floats your boat, but I think that even if Rafa loses the number 1 spot to Roger Federer by the end of Wimbledon (which let’s face it is highly likely since Federer is possibly the strongest contender for the title), and even though he said he doesn’t know when he’ll be back, something tells me he will come back stronger than ever and could compete for the US Open title. Who knows, maybe this is the year Rafa fails to defend Roland Garros and Wimbledon, but captures the 2 remaining Slams to complete a career Slam.

The thing is, this isn’t the first time Rafa has had to miss a Slam cuz of his knees. It’s true that when he missed the Australian Open in 2006 he wasn’t the defending champion and the circumstances were different, but the injury then, seemed way more serious than it is this time. In 2006, he stormed back and beat Federer in Dubai, before he had a perfect clay sweep winning Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome and Roland Garros. Nadal has proven that he is capable of bouncing back and missing Wimbledon is disappointing yet not the end of the world. With a good recovery plan and enough time to rest, the Spaniard can be up and running by Montreal or Cincy.

Angel Ruiz Cotorro, one of Rafa’s doctors, told Marca radio on Saturday that Rafa can be back at 100% within 3 to 4 weeks. The Rogers Cup starts August 8th, which means there’s plenty of time to recover.

Here's a video from Nadal's press conference announcing his withdrawal:

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