Its come as no surprise to us that Rafa has formally withdrawn from the Canadian Masters ... its been talked about publicly since the news was reported of Rafa's injury, so no shocks. Here's what he had to say on his Facebook ...
Don't worry about the 2014 reference. Remember the Canadian Masters switches year on year between Montreal and Toronto ... so he will be back next year. Just not there."Hi all, wanted to let you know that I won't be playing Toronto this year. I am not ready to play and I hope to be back in 2014 at that great tournament that has always treat me very well. I am continuing with my recup and practice. Thanks!"
I'm still in post-glow euphoria of what a brilliant time I had at the Olympics tennis yesterday. And I've been sorting through my pictures and re-living my moments and loving it. And I've also been putting my memories in a little box, so that I can draw on them to eventually tell you all about it. And whilst its true to say - because of the wonderful and generous character and person that Rafa is - that I think Rafa would see it as utter madness for his fans to not go to events and enjoy and love the tennis they see there simply because he isn't part of it ... but the look on that boy's face in that picture tonight has brought me crashing right back down to earth.
I miss him. And I truly believe the game does too.
I found it interesting that Mr Harmans chose to send a tweet tonight calling to task all those who say that Rafa is making more of his knee troubles than should be made. He's not been my favourite journalist for a while, but sadly there are some wicked people out there that say even more revolting things. And some of them choose to come here - on a Rafa fan site - to post their bile in a cowardly way on articles that have long since past.
But let me leave you with one last thought. The ITF took Rafa off the front page of their Olympics site when he withdrew, even though he still is, The Champion. In their wisdom, when a display of Olympics champions was posted across the Houses of Parliament, someone decided that showing the previous Olympics doubles champions was the way to go when it came to representing tennis. And being in and around the grounds at Wimbledon yesterday left you with the feeling that Rafa didn't exist. Tennis fans are at times, a very fickle bunch. And there's accusers out there that like to level that same crap at us.
But whilst Rafa is still here, and still fighting and working hard on his recovery, we'll be waiting. And we always will. We're Rafa's fans because he shook the game of tennis up, because we saw something in him that inspired us, that motivated us, that re-ignited our passion for the game. WE are Rafa's fans ... and he may at the moment look down-trodden in that Facebook picture ... but we're still here, and I repeat ... we will be waiting.