Tag: Nadal cramps
Rafael Nadal dismissed David Nalbandian on the fourth round of the US Open. The 2002 Wimbledon runner-up David Nalbandian 7-6 (5), 6-1, 7-5 fell to the defending champion on a muggy afternoon with the temperature in the 80s. But no play in the game would be as shocking as the moments of tension lived by fans and reporters alike during the press conference. With little warning, and not even sure fo what was going on, Rafael Nadal was holding on to his leg and began to slide down his chair. He was leaning awkwardly over the chair and sliding down to the floor. His expression revealed that whatever it was that afflicted him (for at that point, only Nadal knew what was going on) was extremely painful. He called for a trainer just as he slid under the table and out of everyone’s eyesight. Painful cramps th simultaneously hit his right hamstring and thigh two hours after he had ended his game with Nalbandian.
Rafael Nadal had the best season of his career in 2010. He won at the French Open, at Wimbledon and by the time the tour hit the US Open, Nadal was the No. 1 player in the world and the No. 1 seed for the US Open. His way into the final was smooth and easy. He defeated Teymuraz Gabashvili, Denis Istomin, Gilles Simon, number 23 seed Feliciano López, number 8 seed Fernando Verdasco, and number 12 seed Mikhail Youzhny all without dropping a set, to reach his first US Open final. All of a sudden, he was only 1 game away from clinching his first US Open and reaching a career grand slam. Novak Djokovic, was going to make it just a little bit easier as he would play a heart stopping 5-set battle against Roger Federer in the semifinal. A well prepared Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic 6–4, 5–7, 6–4, 6–2 in the final.
Once again, Nadal is back at Flushing Meadows, this time as the defending champion and No. 2 seed of the US Open, but the circumstances have changed a bit since his appearance here last year. This time it is the Serbian Novak Djokovic who is dominating the season, having lost only two of his 61 games played in 2011. After the phenomenal year that Nadal had in 2010 it was expected for the 24-year-old Spaniard to keep his dominance in 2011, but he has been struggling with health issues that have kept him from playing at his best.
But 2011 would be Djokovic’s year. He has won at the Australian Open, he made it the semifinals of the French Open, won at Wimbledon and is now in the right track to win the US Open. If things go as expected, Djokovic should face Roger Federer in the semifinals. This will certainly be his chance to get back at Federer for breaking his winning streak in the French Open semis. If he does make it to the final, chances are that Rafael Nadal will be waiting for him there. And then it is on. Last year, it was Nadal who took the win. This time, it should make up for one epic battle, and should Djokovic win, it will be the perfect ending for the almost perfect season.