Friday, June 19, 2009

Rafael Nadal Withdraws from Wimbledon

"To not play Wimbledon is one of the toughest decisions of my career." - Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from Wimbledon only a few days before it was to begin. The defending champion and current number one player in the world has been diagnosed with tendinitis in his knees. After his surprised loss at the French Open a few weeks ago, he withdrew from a Wimbledon tune-up to try and rehabilitate his knees. To test out his knees, he played two exhibition matches with Lleyton Hewitt and Stan Wawrinka losing to both.

Nadal was drawn on the same side of the draw as British number one Andy Murray and American number one Andy Roddick. This will be a great opportunity for both of them to try and nab that elusive Wimbledon title. Five-time champion Roger Federer, however, is now the odds-on favorite to win and will break Pete Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slam wins if he does.

Tomorrow, I'll review the men and women's draws, but for now let's get back to Nadal. My heart goes out to him. Even if he wasn't the defending champion and #1 player in the world, it still wouldn't be the same without him. But I'm glad he bit the bullet and withdrew. He and his team need to think long and hard what they need to do differently to make sure this career does not end here. He's too great a champion to have this fate. Some time away to recuperate and reflect is all he needs.

Looking forward to having him back when he returns.

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