If a picture says a thousand words… well, here’s a picture of Rafa moping on a changeover. Is there much more to say?
Instead of a potential blockbuster night time quarterfinal showdown between Rafa and Ferrer, Rafa was once again denied due to injury. The whole situation is made even worse by the fact that Rafa had been practicing well and, from what he felt, done away with the sickness that had been plaguing him in earlier rounds.
But if you’re going to lose, what better way to lose than to a friend? In his presser, Rafa absolutely insisted he not be asked about the injury and was both noble and completely respectful of David’s victory.
Q. What can you tell us about the injury? What did David say to you at the end of the match?
RAFAEL NADAL: I can say nothing about the injury. Seriously, I would prefer don’t talk a lot about the injury.
Tonight, first of all, I don’t know nothing. Second thing, for respect to the winner and to a friend, I prefer to talk about the match. I think he played at a very high level. I just congratulate him and wish him all the best for the semifinal. I think he’s doing a fantastic tournament. If he keep playing like this, he going to have a good chances.
What David told me at the net is for me and that’s it.
Q. It’s going to be difficult for us to write a piece without appreciating how well you could move. It seemed to us you couldn’t move as well as you would like to have been moving tonight. Is that a fair statement?
RAFAEL NADAL: You see the match?
RAFAEL NADAL: So you are ready to write everything. I don’t have to tell you about what I felt on the court because I tried my best all the time. But is obvious that I didn’t feel at my best. I had a problem during the match, in the very beginning. After that, the match was almost over. So that’s what I can say.
But you know what, for me is difficult come here and speak about. In Doha I wasn’t healthy. Today I have another problem. Seems like I always have problems when I lose, and I don’t want to have this image, no? I prefer don’t talk about that today. If you can respect that, will be a very nice thing for me. Thank you.
Q. What was the problem, though?
RAFAEL NADAL: You are listening me? I can’t tell you which problem I have. First thing, because I don’t know. That’s my answer.
Sorry, but… really, press? The dude is hobbling and tearing up on court, and you just absolutely have to know what it was that was bothering him? He’s not Jay Cutler, leave him be. That’s story enough.
As for Rafa, wow. While Rafa Nation silently weeps the loss of their man, at least you can go out of this tournament with a head held high. Not only does he not want to draw special attention to the injury, he doesn’t want to be seen as someone who only loses due to injury (keep in mind he finished the match) and gave full respect to David (who, yes, is having a fantastic tournament).
So there you have it. Fed/Nole tonight, Muzz/Ferru tomorrow. I would think that Muzz should be ok to get through, but that will very likely be a fantastic, high quality match. As for Fed/Nole? I’m not even going to try. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s blood on the court by the end of the night. Nole is playing at the top of his game, Fed has been slightly inconsistent at times but will want sweet, sweet vengeance. I’m not going to be getting very much sleep tonight, am I?