TAKING A LESSON FROM RAFA NADAL IN HANDLING DISAPPOINTMENT
Thanks everybody for stopping by. I have watched my numbers soar for viewings/viewers, although no one leaves me a comment. I know you come here because you admire Rafa. Admire on.
AFP PHOTO / Torsten Blackwood.
Rafa Quarter Final pictures at sports.yahoo. and daylife and uk.eurosport and zimbio
David Ferrer defeated Rafa Nadal
6-4, 6-2, 6-3
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
There is a very brief video australianopen
at 00:46 I am curious what Rafa means about what David told him at the net
Spain's Rafael Nadal sits in his chair and wipes his eyes during a break in his quarterfinal against compatriot David Ferrer at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. Photo credit: Getty
Rafael Nadal of Spain waves to the crowd after defeat in his men's singles quarter-final match against David Ferrer of Spain on the tenth day of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 26, 2011. Ferrer won 6-4. 6-2. 6-3. Photo credit: Getty Images
Spain's Rafael Nadal receives treatment from a trainer during his quarterfinal loss to compatriot David Ferrer at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. Photo credit: AP
Rafael Nadal of Spain sits during a break during his men's singles quarter-final match against David Ferrer of Spain on the tenth day of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 26, 2011. Ferrer won 6-4. 6-2. 6-3. Photo by Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images
Rafael Nadal of Spain walks on court during his men's singles quarter-final match against David Ferrer of Spain on the tenth day of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 26, 2011. Photo by Paul Crock/pool/AFP/Getty Images
Rafael Nadal of Spain talks during a press conference after his loss to David Ferrer of Spain in their quarter-final men's singles match on the tenth day of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 26, 2011. Injury-hit world number one Nadal was sensationally dumped from the quarter-finals 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 by compatriot Ferrer. Photo credit: Greg Wood, Getty/AFP
More Quarter Final pictures at sports.yahoo. and daylife and uk.eurosport and zimbio
Roger Federer versus Novak Djokovic
January 27, 2011 3:30 a.m. USA EST
David Ferrer versus Andy Murray
Probably January 28, 2011 same time as Federer and Djokovic's Semi Final
Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts in the final set against David Ferrer of Spain in their quarter-final men's singles match on the tenth day of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 26, 2011. Ferrer won 6-4, 6-2, 6-3. Photo credit: TORSTEN BLACKWOOD, AFP Getty
Tennis-Nadal walks precipice in search of perfection
Read at sportsillustrated
Part of the article
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Rafael Nadal wiped the tears from his eyes with his taped-up fingers.
His Rafa Slam was evaporating. The 25-match winning streak in Grand Slams and his bid to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four major titles at once was three games from ending.
He was hurt. He was down two sets and a break. It was the same court, and the same round where he retired in the Australian Open last year. Yet the idea of packing it in didn't even enter his mind.
"I hate the retirements,'' he said, "This wasn't the day. I did last year. I hate that moment. ... Didn't want to repeat that.''
Six games later, Nadal was out of the tournament, losing 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 to fellow Spaniard David Ferrer on Wednesday night in Rod Laver Arena, the center court at Melbourne Park named after the Australian great whose four consecutive majors he was trying to match.
"It's a victory for me. But it's not a victory really,'' Ferrer said.
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Laver, the Australian great who lives in Carlsbad, Calif., was surprised to hear of Nadal's loss.
"I'll be darned,'' Laver said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. "I thought he'd come all the way through but he didn't. They were all counting that he was going to be the defending champion in all four tournaments.
"That's disappointing for him, really,'' Laver said. "In a way, that was an effort to put all those tournaments together through last year. It really was a good performance. I had him as being favored, even to beat Federer, the way he was playing. He just has got a game that's difficult for Roger.''
Laver is the last man to win a true Grand Slam, made up of the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in a calendar year. He did it twice, as an amateur in 1962 and again in 1969.
Again, it was Australia Day. Again, Nadal's match was interrupted by fireworks for the national day celebrations. Again, the match was a dud.
Nadal received treatment to his upper left thigh after the third game. He had the thigh heavily strapped. He needed treatment again after the first set.
"I can say nothing about the injury,'' he said after the match. "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.''
He was later quoted in Spanish as saying he had a small tear in a muscle in his upper left leg.
Read at Montrealgazette
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - The headlines Down Under were predictably cruel.
"Rafa Slammed." "Rafa Slam-Dunked."
Rafael Nadal's quest for the Australian Open title was snuffed out by injury for the second straight year on Australia Day Wednesday night, after a 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 loss to countryman David Ferrer in the quarterfinals.
The world No. 1 was trying to become the first man since Australia's Rod Laver won the Grand Slam in 1969 - all four majors in the same season - to hold all four titles at once after Nadal won the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open last season.
Exactly a year ago, Nadal retired in his quarterfinal match against Scotland's Andy Murray after two-plus sets of the most brilliant tennis you will ever see. Until Wednesday night, it was the last time he had lost at a Grand Slam tournament.
But it was the knee a year ago - an ongoing, career-threatening concern for Nadal and one about which he wanted to take no chances.
This time, it reportedly was a muscle tear in his left thigh suffered in his first service game of the match. Nadal could endure it, but he was a shadow of the player who under normal circumstances usually withstands the charge from the bulldog Ferrer.
Had it been the knee again, he may very well have quit. But he said there wasn't the same concern this time, the pain wasn't at a level where he couldn't bear it. He chose to carry on. "I hate the retirements, so this wasn't the day. I did last year. I hate that moment. I didn't want to repeat that," he said.
A No. 1 player has never retired in a Grand Slam match. A year ago against Murray, Nadal was ranked No. 2.
He came into his post-match news conference looking nearly as devastated as he had for most of his two and a half hours on court against Ferrer. There were times during changeovers late in the third set when it appeared he had tears welling up in his eyes.
There were constant conversations with the members of his entourage, much grimacing, constant shaking of his head as if to say, "Oh, this doesn't look good."
He fought with his trademark full-out effort, because the competitive animal in Nadal won't allow him to do otherwise. But Ferrer had to know that if he just held on, a semifinal birth would be his.
At first, once it was over, Nadal just wanted to congratulate his opponent and asked that reporters not ask him about the injury. At first, he said he didn't even know what it was, although he later told the Spanish media he knew exactly where it was located.
Eventually his pride kicked in, and he stated the obvious. "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," he said. "In Doha I wasn't healthy (a virus put him on antibiotics and weakened him considerably in a semifinal loss to Nikolay Davydenko). 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 not to talk about that today."
Part of it was the large crowd in Rod Laver Arena to see him. Part of it was out of respect for his good friend and countryman Ferrer, who deserved "Ferrer wins" headlines but, given his opponent on the day, won't get them.
But as Nadal said in Spanish, it was mostly about walking out with his head held high, knowing he did the right thing.
He did. Ferrer was almost as stunned for his friend as he was pleased about the win.
There's a reason why there hasn't been a Grand Slam winner since Laver. Beyond the competition at the highest level, you have to be healthy. You have to be lucky. You can't afford to have a single bad day at the office for 28 consecutive best-of-five-set matches.
Nadal's quest seemed doomed from the start, even if his early rounds were a breeze.
He took 11 straight games from Marcos Daniel in the first round before the Brazilian retired with injury. He ceded only four to American qualifier Ryan Sweeting in the second round.
But against Aussie teenager Bernard Tomic, all wasn't right. Despite the straight-sets win, Nadal was sweating as profusely as he had in Qatar.
He swapped his Nike top for one several sizes larger. And against Marin Cilic of Croatia in the fourth round, he seemed to be old self. He was finally playing well, and feeling well.
On the plus side, it's not the knee. Nadal will be back.
"I think he can win the next four Grand Slams, no? Rafael is (one of) the best three players of the history of tennis. He is a young player. He will, can do it," Ferrer said.