Article Round-Up


Here are a few Rafa articles from the last few days.

But Nadal's decision to play on, in the knowledge that he was hamstrung, was based on almost a moral view of what constituted decency on the court. At one point, during the interruptions for Australia Day fireworks, he went over to his entourage to discuss his situation. There were five in the corner: his uncle and coach Toni Nadal, agent Carlos Costa, public relations man Benito Barbadillo, physio Rafael Maymo and his father Sebastian.

''Why don't you forfeit?,'' Nadal was asked in Majorcan, a language quite distinct from Spanish.

''No way I'm going to quit in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open,'' Nadal replied to his camp.

Nadal was cognisant that he had forfeited on this court a year earlier, also in a quarter-final, to Andy Murray when trailing two sets to love and 3-0. Then, the injury was more serious - a knee that initially prompted fears that we had seen the best of Nadal, who would douse the speculation by claiming the next three grand slam titles. A point worth noting: over five slams, Nadal has been stopped only by injury.

''I hate the retirements, so this wasn't the day,'' Nadal later said of his decision to keep playing. ''I did last year. I hate that moment. I didn't want to repeat that.''

Nadal flew home late yesterday. The expectation is that he will be fit to play in Spain's Davis Cup tie in Belgium in late February.

''This is one of the bad ones, one of the negative moments,'' said Nadal afterwards, not wanting to diminish Ferrer's moment. ''That's part of the sport. I think I am very, very lucky sportsman about what happened in my career. And I have to accept the fantastic moments … with the same calm that when I have problems.''

There's a lesson for all in Nadal's agony

To Rafa's eternal credit, he took his medicine and did not short-change his opponent, or indeed the paying public. He would finish the match whatever his physical state. He knew to stand a chance he had to shorten the points, a tactic born of desperation that he'd encountered first hand on so many occasions from opponents spent of energy and will against his superior skills and physique.

He went for low percentage winners with abandon, tried frequent drop shots, even charged the net, but here was the coup de grace - he was not able to plant and rotate on his lethal crosscourt backhand pass, and was forced to play limp slices to the baying Ferrer.

This was fast becoming a cruel mismatch and Nadal a forlorn figure. Try as he did to hold his head high, the devastation of the lost quadrumvirate was too much.

A glimpse of the water welling in his eyes was all we saw, and in a way this was more than we wanted to see. There's no joy in seeing such a proud warrior in such circumstances, and as much as we still hoped for a longer match, we really wanted the agony to end quickly.

Rafa Nadal is world No. 1 due to his three grand slams in 2010 and numerous other victories, and this will not change come Sunday.

But we saw just as much in the personal agony the character traits of a true No. 1. Nadal honours our sport, as we put on hold until next year our privilege of honouring him in person.

The guest list for next month’s Laureus World Sports Awards features sporting heroes of past and present, including the cricketer Alistair Cook, the golfer Colin Montgomerie and the tennis star Rafael Nadal.

The ceremony at Emirates Palace on February 7 will be hosted by the Oscar winning actor Kevin Spacey.

Other sports stars include the footballers Sir Bobby Charlton, Franz Beckenbauer and Marcel Desailly.

Also there will be the surfer Kelly Slater and the skateboarder Tony Hawk, along with the former boxing champion Barry McGuigan.

Nominees for the awards include the Formula One drivers’ champion, Sebastian Vettel, and the footballer Lionel Messi. The winners will be picked by a panel of 46 sportsmen and women.

According to these two articles from a local Oregon news station Rafa, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams are going to participate in and exhibition in Eugene, Oregon on March 8th which is a few days before the start of Indian Wells. It is interesting but considering this is the only place I found anything about it and Serena is still in that cast and boot.

By Jeff Skrzypek

EUGENE, Ore. -- It's not exactly official yet, but word is spreading quickly about the exhibition match happening in Eugene involving some of tennis' biggest stars.

Some of those stars include Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova.

There's a ton of excitement from many people in town about the possibility of the blockbuster exhibition match that could take place at Matthew Knight Arena, bringing the likes of tennis stars Roger Federer and Serena Williams together under one roof.

The University of Oregon couldn't comment on the match just yet.

But many people, including tennis players at the Eugene Swim and Tennis Club, are already looking forward to the event.

"Well I was surprised at first, because Eugene, pretty small town you know, not necessarily the tennis hot spot, but it's definitely exciting," said Gene Guretsky.

"I'm excited to actually watch them in person so I can actually see what they're doing and help me hopefully become better," said Madison Penn.

Tennis fans say it's not often they get to see their sport's stars in person.

This would be possibly a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see some of the best ever.

Both UO and Matthew Knight Arena haven't confirmed the match up, but many people are crossing their fingers that it will happen.

Blockbuster Tennis Exhibition Scheduled

By Siovhan Bolton

EUGENE, Ore.--The biggest names in professional tennis might soon make an appearance at Matthew Knight arena.

Word is that Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova will play exhibition matches at the new arena on March 8th.

However, the University of Oregon isn't confirming the news yet.

Nadal and Federer are the top two ranked men in the world. Serena Williams is ranked fourth, while Sharapova is 16th. The four are easily the most famous tennis players in the world.

School administrators couldn't comment on the story just yet.

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