Wednesday, January 26, 2011

RAFA SLAM: Aussie Open Quarterfinals - Slammed by Injury

(We must accept a tough loss due to injury. Rafa remains Our Hero.)

Ay no. I woke up to sad Rafa news. What looked like it would be a routine match with the result of Rafa coasting into the semi-finals turned into extremely bad luck for Our Hero. He sustained a leg injury early in the first set and couldn't compete up to his usual level of play. Ferrer wound up winning in straight sets 6-4, 6-2, 6-3. So disappointing for Rafa! I mean, RAFA SLAM aside, there's no shame in losing a match to Ferrer who is playing extremely well. But to not be able to compete at his best, to have to deal with injury AGAIN, I just really feel for the guy.

At least he was able to play out the three sets. Last year, Rafa had to retire in the quarterfinals with injury. But then he went on to sweep the clay court Masters Series and win the next three Grand Slam tournaments, so there's no reason for extended lamentation on our part. Rafa can bounce back as he has many times before. Still, the conclusion of this year's Aussie Open will be missing a special something with Rafa not involved. The last bit of intrigue will be if Federer can make it past Djokovic, or if we'll see a Grand Slam final without either Fed or Rafa in like FOREVER. Rafa gave tons of credit to Ferrer's game for the match results and did not want to focus on his injury as the reason he didn't win. Rafa is very respectful in defeat just as he is in victory.

Steve Tignor over at wrote a nice piece about Rafa this morning that I'm linking to here. Also Rafa gave a lovely quote from his post-match press conference that I'll be holding on to:

"In tennis, you have high moments and low moments. Almost all of my career I've had very, very happy moments. That's part of the sport. Last year I was very lucky. I was healthy most of the year. I was playing unbelievable. This year I did - I think - all the right things to start the season playing really well. But that's part of the sport. You have to accept it; keep working hard; I'll try my best in the next tournament. So this is one of the bad ones, one of the negative moments. I think I am a very, very lucky sportsman after all that's happened in my career. And I have to accept the fantastic moments that I've had during my career with the same [attitude] as when I have problems. And if I am ready to accept both things the same, I'm going to be able to come back and play my best tennis another time."

Oh, Rafa. You're my guy forever. Here's to a speedy recovery. Vamos!

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