he has become a cowardly clown........i am not his fan for skipping tournaments out of fear of losing.........
Even Uncle Toni basically admits that Rafa has Obsessive-Comulsive Disorder (OCD), and the routines are a part of that behavior, Shankar. You have to accept Rafa and the whole package, warts and all. His OCD is also the thing that makes him a relentless warrior when he is in the groove. It is a give and take thing. Noone can beat him due to his perfectionism and determination, but it is the same thing that makes him skip Slams when he doesn't feel he will win them. He freaks out over the smallest things. Most of his fans are starting to get this part of his Disorder and he is not a coward. It doesn't mean we aren't frustrated, and the latest news is almost unbearable as a Fan, but I am WORKING on trying to understand him.... I love him too much to just let go for moths at a time.
clay is the best surface to return but grandslams need to be respected as well.........afterall grandslams is what players play for.........he is fit and ready and purely skipping it because he cannot take defeat.........that is not how he normally thinks........they love him greatly in melbourne and would greatly appreciate his effort even if it is for one round or two........
I agree and this is well summed up. This is why we have to start thinking of this behavior as OCD. It isn't cowardly to miss it, it is crazy for him to skip a Slam. How many of those will he get to play in a lifetime. Only 4 of them each year.
Back to cheering for Nole to Save Tennis again. I'm getting really sick of that. I might as well change my avatar to Nole since Rafa is never playing anymore.
that's what i am saying as well........we all know he probably has OCD but by not trying to break the shackles it will only get worse........at worse he will lose in the first round of the slam........that is better than just sitting at home and going deep into his shell........
shame on uncle toni.........instead of revving up his nephew's confidence, he goes onto talk in public about the so called lack of preparedness.........where is the lack of preparedness? only in their heads........
an even bigger thumbs down to uncle toni.........
Yea, it is time for Uncle Toni to STOP insinuating that Rafa has OCD, and for them to confront it. Why spend time criticizing Rafa and praising Frauderer when the thing to do is get help for Rafa? Uncle Toni needs to stop ridiculing Rafa and build up his confidence. Maybe he feels responsible because Rafa had such a tough, disciplined childhood that may have led to all this?
THE French Federation de Tennis has a museum behind Court 1 at Roland Garros that Andy Warhol would love. The surrealism of racquets painted like lollipops. Heads of graphite sticks placed on the shoulders of human beings.
A fluorescent 3D diagram of a tennis court with every last inch measured, detailed and labelled as if E=MC2. The markings of lingo de service and filet: the service line, the net. A black-and white portrait of Rafael Nadal in which he is a feline with hunter's eyes.
A purring, beautiful, fearful creature positioned near the centrepiece of the museum, a propeller used by the French aviator, Garros, with the following inscription: "La Victoire Appartient la Plus Tenace". Victory belongs to the most tenacious.
How appropriate. Nadal has clobbered his way to seven triumphs in Paris. Tenacity is the hallmark of his career but now the 26-year-old needs patience. Another speed hump has appeared, a stomach virus shelving his comeback in Abu Dhabi today.
Nadal was supposed to make his much-hyped return from a seven-month injury layoff because of career-threatening knee troubles but he failed to even take his seat on the plane from Majorca. Doctors ordered him to avoid air travel, further complicating his preparations for the Australian Open.
He wanted to be in diesel-train mode for the first slam of the year but his whole lead-up is a discombobulated mess. Nadal's return to the ATP Tour will now come on New Year's Eve in Doha.
And then to Melbourne Park. Awkward questions. How long will he take to return to his grizzled best? Will he ever be the same? Will his knee blow up in Doha?
Nadal plays hit-and-run tennis. Just keep hitting. Just keep running. Hardcourts splinter his knees and the Australian Open will be an unforgiving examination. The indisputable fact is that he will return immediately to the obsessive-compulsive rituals that soar beyond superstition. Nadal's world collapses unless he performs a checklist designed to provide "the order I seek in my head".
He must have a cold shower 45 minutes before a match.
He must carry one racquet on to the court.
He must have five other racquets in his bag.
He must have wrapped his own white grip on his racquets in the locker room.
His bag must be placed next to his chair, on a towel, never on the chair.
He must sprint to the baseline after the spin of the coin. A split-step and then a jog around the back court.
He must towel down between every point. It can be ace or double fault - he must towel down as if he is covered in sweat.
He must run his hair behind both ears.
He must touch his nose.
He must pick at his underpants.
He must drink from two water bottles at changeovers. One bottle has cold water, one is warm.
He must face the labels of his drink bottles to the end he is about to play from.
He must never rise from his seat before his opponent.
He must wait at the net post so his opponent can reach his seat first.
He must never walk on the sidelines as if he is avoiding cracks in the pavement.
On clay, he must run his foot along the plastic baseline on the side of the court he is about to play from.
At the Australian Open, when going from one side of the court to the other, he must walk across the MELBOURNE sign.
He must have his socks at the exact same height.
He must fold his towels after every changeover.
Her cannot step on any lines on the court.
It can be quirky. It can be annoying. Disrespectful? Opponents are kept waiting while he stuffs around. Point being, he cannot help it. He has walked through a hotel foyer in Sweden, hopping around the marble floor like he was playing hopscotch.
"What are you doing?" he was asked. "What is that movie with Jack Nicholson?" Nadal replied. "The one where he's walking down the sidewalk and ...
"You mean As Good As It Gets?"
"Yeah, yeah, that's it." Nadal laughed: "I love that movie."
"I don't know," he said.
"Maybe I hate cracks, too."
Nadal is as fair as they come. Among the big four in men's tennis of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Nadal, the Spaniard just might be the most genuine and likeable of them all. He has tried without success to stop every twitch. Is this not a diagnosable psychological condition? "Man," his coach and uncle Toni Nadal said, "He will tell you what you want, but I am zero obsessive. At first I didn't mind, but a player who puts bottles in line with the court and will not step on lines is obsessive.
"Once he told me about a movie As Good As It Gets. He was saying how superstitious the main character was and I said: 'He's like you'. And he replied: 'No, no'. When you do senseless things over and over, you're superstitious. He has told me before he can stop doing them and I have told him to do it. "I like things that are logical. It does not affect his game but if he needed those things to play well, it would be bad."
Nadal does need them. It is not just in tennis. Two hours after his seventh French Open title, we sat alone in the grandstand of Court Philipe Chatrier when Nadal walked out with an army of family members. Photographs were taken with the trophy.
When it was all done and cloud-dusted, when Nadal had finished contemplating the empty arena for memory's sake, and after the high-heeled shoes of his mother and girlfriend had stopped boring holes into the surface, he stood back so that everyone else could vacate the premises first. And then when he thought no one was looking, he still went out of his way to avoid stepping on the lines.
Djokovic and Murray began their seasons with exhibition matches in Abu Dhabi yesterday. Murray starts his Australian Open campaign at the Brisbane International from tomorrow. Nadal will jet into Melbourne within a fortnight. Disregard his claims about expecting nothing from the first major of the year. He has one more irreversible character trait: he would not be coming unless he thought he could win it.