Category Archives: Rafael Maymo

Looking At Nadal’s Knees

There is something about the Indian Wells-Miami hard court swing that seems to consistently destroy Rafa Nadal’s troubled knees. Today Rafa announced that he would not continue with the tournament by withdrawing from his semifinal match against Andy Murray.

There are two ways you can look at this latest set back:

1) It’s about self preservation.

Nadal’s been having trouble with his knees since the Australian Open (and years before that). His right knee locked up and he could barely move it when he stood up from a chair.

He stood up from a chair.

He wasn’t sprinting, twisting or changing directions he was just standing up after sitting down. To say this is unusual is an understatement. Since then, despite six weeks of training and rehab, Rafa hasn’t been right. Read more »

Nadal Confirms Injury, Plans To Take February Off

It’s almost like a warning that we shouldn’t expect too much from former Australian Open champion and current world number two Rafael Nadal when, and if, he arrives in Melbourne for the first Grand Slam of the 2012 season.

Nadal has stated today that he will take all of February off, skipping Dubai, in favour of rest and rehabilitation to a left shoulder injury that has bothered him recently. He sought treatment for the shoulder (apparently a tendinitis) in Barcelona before Christmas. Read more »

Rafael Nadal Injury Update

The rumour mill is working overtime again today and it is focusing on world number one Rafael Nadal, saying that after the Spaniard underwent medical tests in Melbourne that he has been diagnosed with a 2cm tear in his left hamstring and that he intends to take only two weeks off. While none of these statements have been confirmed by Nadal’s team, and his participation in Spain’s Davis Cup tie with Belgium has not been locked in either, I am amazed that he’s even thinking about returning after two weeks off. Read more »

>Should Nadal's Team Have Stopped Him?

>The big question is should Nadal’s team have done more to ensure their man was fit and healthy for the Australian Open to really push for the history breaking fourth consecutive title? The answer is yes.

Last night a devastated Rafael Nadal forced himself to limp across the line out of respect to David Ferrer after injuring his hamstring in the opening moments of the game. Nadal acknowledged that he would just have to cope with the fact that injuries are more likely to happen when you’ve been unwell.

When Nadal first became unwell in Doha his team should have stopped him from playing doubles and should have firmly encouraged him to sit the singles out knowing that injuries are a significantly higher risk when you’re unwell. They should have been advised that it would take him some time to recover to full energy even if the fever had disappeared. Quite simply they should have guided him better.

We all know Nadal doesn’t know when to stop. Just ask his knees. I believe this is the same situation. His physio, Rafael Maymo, should have told him when to stop when she started having problems with his knees. Just because he can win doesn’t mean he should keep playing sometimes.

This is just another case of Team Nadal not quite directing their man down the right path that will maintain his health – both mental and physical – and promote the longevity of his career.

>Raging Bull Rafael Nadal Comes To Limping Halt

>David Ferrer put on a stellar performance against world number one Rafael Nadal tonight, defeating his countryman 6-4, 6-2, 6-3. Out of respect for David, and shear desperation to complete what he had called virtually impossible, the Rafa Slam, Nadal limped across the finish line, barely able to run. The raging Spanish bull was injured and the underdog Ferrer progressed through to the semifinals unscathed.

The grind between two of the world’s greatest grinders was on from the first game. After Ferrer held, Nadal battled for 17 minutes and 41 seconds to try and hold serve. Ferrer played some of the most aggressive tennis I’ve seen him play and broke Rafa eventually.

Nadal looked to be lolly popping the ball like he had against Tomic, struggling to find depth and power, with Ferrer all over him as the trainer was called. The cool conditions meant Rafa’s balls didn’t have their normal pop and clearly all was not well with the world number one.

Rafa was taken off the court and as he left he looked at his box and his head and shook his head in an ominous sign. Uncle Toni and Sebastian Nadal looked worried and the doctor and the tournament directors all went in to the treatment room as Nadal took a medical time out. Rafa looked pale and to be lacking power as his first serve peaked at 174kmph.

People speculated that his virus had reared its head as Nadal was broken again and he continued to look miserable as the prospect of a second consecutive Australian Open quarterfinal withdrawal became more likely. Nadal was sweating profusely as Ferrer took a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes. I had a sinking feeling as I realised that my prophesy of Nadal not winning the Australian Open because playing while ill increases the risk of injury was coming true.

The trainer came out again and Nadal said “no good” and looked utterly devastating after a discussion with the trainer. He stretched forward with his thigh was heavily strapped, his hamstring causing him problems, as he tried to stretch gently. Nadal seemed completely disinterested in running around the court, instead trying to hit through the court to prevent rallies. His first serve speed had dropped by 40kmph.

Nadal held as his physio, Rafael Maymo, bolted out of the stadium and towards the locker room. It became evident that the Rafa Slam wasn’t going to happen. If somehow he was to win he doesn’t get a two day break between semi’s and finals being in the top part of the draw and he struggled to play well in Queens 2010 with a hamstring problem.

Nadal looked distracted as he tried to stretch out, having used his one treatment time out besides stretch breaks. Before he sat down at 5-2 he looked to be waling to the net to shake hands but changed directions and sat down, seemingly unable to decide what to do.

Rafa had options. Using an open stance on the backhand would allow his right leg to take force but his forehand was forced to use his left leg as he waited for his pain killers to kick in. The colour in his face started coming back but his movement looked somewhat impeded as he tried to thump winners and he looked truly frustrated. He was able to run but he wasn’t sprinting and he was pulling up slowly, there was no sliding and barely any stretching and lunging as he tried to protect his ailing leg but push forward towards history.

Somehow Nadal got things back on level terms as David seemed distracted by the events. Maymo returned to team Nadal’s box and communicated the events to the eagerly listening team. Nadal pushed on, earning huge respect for his fighting abilities, but he continued to be unable to pull up quickly and still had a significantly slower service speed. As Jim Courier said, hitting the breaks was the problem for Rafa.

Ferrer suddenly realised that Nadal’s forehand was vulnerable and gained himself some set points which were saved by some improved served and some volleys. After 70 minutes a saturated Rafa was broken and Ferrer took the set 6-4, only the 30th time Nadal had lost the first set in a Grand Slam.

Somehow Nadal kept playing, waiting for the 8 minute Australia Day fireworks break which would allow him 90 seconds of treatment. He still struggled to get back in the middle of the court after running to his forehand side, his left leg not wanting to apply the breaks. The courageous Spaniard held serve with some great volleys to level the second set at 1-1. Nadal then broke a distracted Ferrer to love. Ferrer then got three break points on Nadal’s serve as the frustrated world number one punched his racquet. He saved one with a break before Ferrer broke by getting Nadal out wide.

Ferrer played a brilliant passing shot as his hot patch continued. Word from the Australian Open trainers were that Nadal had changed his mind and decided to not immediately withdrawn. Ferrer seemed to realise this was his big chance to get to a Grand Slam semi final as it continued to be obvious that Nadal was in pain.

Nadal was broken again and fell behind 2-4 and continued to have no power in the heavy conditions. He chose a racquet with looser strings to get more power and requested re-stringing which would take at least 20 minutes so he clearly intended to play on despite having absolutely no luck on his side.

As Rafa stopped running Ferrer broke him and took the second set 6-2, watching Nadal as he walked to the chair, waiting to see if the world number one would call it a day.

Nadal stepped up to serve having been broken 6 times in 9 service games as rumours swirled that it was an inner thigh, rather than hamstring injury. Nadal, forced to defend two break points, saved one with his second ace and was given a reprieve by an unforced error from Ferrer. Ferrer did an exceptional job for the most part of keeping his errors low and pushing Nadal as he fought for a semi final spot.

As Nadal’s serve deteriorated, Ferrer continued to return exceptionally as he broke Rafa for a 2-0 lead. Rafa stood as Ferrer comfortably held with great serving, biting his towel again as he headed to his chair. Nadal was simply going though the motions. Nadal sat in his chair looking defeated and on the verge of tears.

Rafa had a chance to break in the fifth game but Ferrer was too good and Nadal was too broken. Ferrer continued to watch his countryman as he walked to the chair at the change of ends, waiting to see if the wounded warrior would retire. Nadal was clearly resigned to his fate but insisted on finishing the match against his Davis Cup partner out of respect.

A frustrated champion used his racquet to thump his leg but it was only a matter of time until the match was over. Nadal went to the net to shorten play but one of the world’s best grinders was all over it.

David Ferrer should be given credit for a tremendous performance and for, for the most part, keeping his mind clear of distractions and not being scared of going for the kill despite the fact his friend was injured. It was, however, a very sad way for a history making effort to end. It is not entirely unexpected with Rafa continuing to play in Doha despite being sick. It’s a well known fact that playing while you’re sick significantly increases your risk of injury.

Nadal is no doubt going to fly home to Mallorca to recover fully before returning to the ATP circuit ahead of a grueling clay court season.

David now faces Andy Murray in the semifinals.

After the match Ferrer said: “Well it’s not easy you no because Rafael is a gentleman and he was playing injury because we are friendly and I had luck…. I think my game I play aggressive. I would try to go to the net… and you know but if Rafael was injury no was not normally won in three sets no? Is one victory for me but is not like a victory really.”

>What’s Happening With Rafael Nadal?


Rafael Nadal is currently at home in Mallorca, resting his legs, namely his hamstring, ahead of Wimbledon which begins on the 21st.

Rafa required treatment court-side by a trainer during his second round match over Denis Istomin. He had said he was still feeling the effects of the strain after the four hour match, but continued anyway, before running into good friend Feliciano Lopez who eventually sent him home in straight sets.

Nadal broke Feliciano in the opening game of their Queens encounter before Lopez broke right back. Nadal never really looked comfortable on serve or like he intended to fight for the win, as Feli asserted himself at the net. The lack of enthusiasm displayed by Rafa is somewhat understandable when you consider that he has won the last four tournaments he has played, including Roland Garros.

The wins at both Monte Carlo and Roland Garros were very emotional for the Spaniard after a injury ravaged 2009 season which was also marred by person issues that saw him go without a trophy for almost a year. The extent of the emotional release felt after the victories could clearly be seen with Rafa sobbing court-side after clinching each title, particularly heavily after winning in Paris.

The injury, which is just a strain, shouldn’t hamper Nadal’s ability to play Wimbledon and could possibly be a blessing in disguise, letting the star return home for a rest and recharge ahead of what will no doubt be an emotional return Wimbledon after being unable to defend his title last year. “I feel ready to go back at home and to enjoy a little bit of my home and family and friends. Since before Indian Wells, I didn’t spend one week at home, so it is going to be a positive thing for me to be there and to enjoy a little bit of the Mallorca weather and the island too. Sure, it is disappointing to lose but at the same time, to be at home for a few days, is going to be a very positive thing.”

While it is common for niggles to occur as players transfer between court surfaces, a hamstring strain, if properly managed, should allow Nadal to be at his powerful best, even if it means we all watch his movement a little more closely.

Nadal’s skills at recovery are second to none and he should be fine for Wimbledon. Encouragingly we know after the Australian Open that if it was serious Rafa would not have continued against Denis Istomin if he believed it would harm his chances at Wimbledon. We all know how difficult it was for the Spaniard to walk away from Wimbledon last year, and we saw the side effects of that, and his other issues, over the last year, and it’s fair to say there are few who’s desire to win the crown if greater than Rafa’s.

If it’s reassuring to Nadal fans, I recently treated a man with a significant hamstring tear intensively for a week, allowing him to complete in a 50km mountain bike race and he was fine. 

As for his plans in Mallorca besides treatment with his personal physiotherapist, Rafael Maymo, Nadal plans to enjoy some well deserved rest. “I will have some dinner with friends and maybe play some golf. That’s it… It seems like it’s nothing very important, so that’s the very positive thing. It is still there, but it is not a big problem, I think.”

>Rafa Nadal Does Disney


Rafael Nadal posed for photos with his Roland Garros trophy at EuroDisney in Paris before heading off to England later that day to train in the rain ahead of his Queens debut. It will be the first time Nadal has been at Queens in 2 years. Sebastian Nadal, who has traveled extensively with his son this season, was with Rafa again and posed for some photos with his son. Rafa’s mother Ana Maria, who supported Rafa from a few rows behind her former husband at Roland Garros, was not present at the photo shoot. Nadal’s physio, Rafael Maymo, was also present.

Rafa Nadal And His Girlfriend Head To Monte Carlo

As has become the norm for Rafa Nadal and his girlfriend of nearly 5 years, Xisca Perello, they were greeted by Spanish media as they arrived at the airport in Palma de Mallorca to fly to Monte Carlo ahead of the clay court tournament where Rafa is the 5 time defending champion. It is the first time Rafa and Xisca have been seen together for some time, and the first time since Rafa starred in Shakira’s steamy Gypsy video. They were also in the company of Rafa’s entourage including his physio Rafael Maymo. Read more »