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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Rafael Nadal talks about his knees

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal said today that he will double his efforts to be fully fit to defend his Wimbledon title. “I will give 200% to be at 100% for the most important date in world tennis,” said Nadal in a statement.

Nadal has spent two days undergoing tests on his knees having already pulled out of the Queen’s tournament. With Rafa’s knees on the minds of tennis fans lately, here is a collection of comments from Nadal about his knees.

In November 2005, Nadal won the Madrid Masters but it forced him to miss the Masters Cup and he spoke about how his physical condition would affect his game. “Every match is tough, no?” Nadal said. “We need to play 100 per cent every match. For good luck, I won a lot of matches and for that reason I can’t play every week. Every person wants to change (the system). I hope we improve, little by little.”

In August 2007, Nadal was critical of the ATP for scheduling such a large part of the season on hard courts, which he believes are detrimental to a players’ knees. “In my opinion, is a little bit mistake,” Nadal said.

After losing to David Ferrer at the 2007 US Open, Nadal refused to blame injury for his defeat. “I speak a lot about my physically all the week,” Nadal said. ”I prefer I don’t speak about my body right now because always if I speak something about my body, later someone thinks about is an excuse. So I don’t want to put any excuse. ‘He play very good and he beat me. Maybe another day we can speak about the injuries.”

In November 2007, when Nadal appeared at the Masters Cup in Shanghai with both knees heavily strapped he denied there was a problem. “Everything perfect,” Nadal said. “My knees are fine. I start a little slow today, but I finish strong, no?”

After he lost to Roger Federer 6-4, 6-1 at the tournament he said: “People are always saying, ‘Rafa is injured’. Well no, I’m not injured,” Nadal said. “Sometimes I have some problems, but normal problems like every player.”

After that tournament he was more forthcoming to Spanish newspaper El Pais. “I am preparing physically every day but I cannot run,” Nadal said. “Now, during the pre-season, I am going to try. I didn’t say so before because it seemed like an excuse. I don’t like to talk about injuries.”

In May, Nadal at Madrid Masters 1000 said not to be concerned whether he taped his knees or not. “It’s no more different without – than with – the bands, I don’t feel any difference. We’re going to try continuing to play like this (without taping) but you know, someday if I play with the bands, that doesn’t mean I have a problem.”

In June 2008, Nadal again called for a shorter hard court season. “If I want to be No1, I need these [clay court Masters] tournaments. The rest of the year on the hard courts is really tough, on the knees, feet and back. The others have better chance on hard courts and I’m not saying that it is not fair, only that the clay-court season is so short. Why not a longer clay and a longer grass-court season?”

In November 2008, Nadal revealed he would miss Spain’s Davis Cup final and the first six weeks of the following season with severe tendinitis in his knee. “The knee said no,” Nadal said. “I have done all I could to be ready for the final. It was a huge objective, and I’m used to playing with pain, but this is a distinct, new pain I couldn’t control.”

In June 2009 Nadal announced he would not defend his Queen’s title. “I have been having problems with my knees that did not allow me to compete at 100 per cent. I need to work on my physical condition to be at my top form and get ready to play at Wimbledon. I hope I can be ready to compete by then.”

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