“Tennis will definitely miss Rafa while he’s not playing. Tournaments definitely miss him because he brings something different to a lot of the players on tour in terms of his character and his personality and the way he is on the court. The energy he brings to the match court is incredible.”
- Andy Murray
After frankly the complete ignorant nonsense coming out of Federer's mouth since Rafa's Olympic withdrawal, where he admitted he hadn't called him, yet considered it was more his "lack of preparation" which culminated in his Olympics withdrawal ... which of course fanned the flames of "even Federer questions the nature of this "injury" ..."; to the beginning of Cincinnati where he stated that "I was going to write him and check on him because I can't believe he's been out that long", thinking that passing up on the Olympics was some kind of "personal choice". I mean, lack of preparation for the Olympics ... are you kidding me? An event that is so close to Rafa's heart as it means representing his beloved Spain and what was more of an amazing, significant honour to him - being his country's flag bearer - to then pull out cos of a "personal choice" due to a sissy "lack of preparation" ... give me strength.
But then after Federer's first interview in Cincy, three days later the news broke that Rafa had also pulled out of the US Open, and we then had something moving from, "I was going to write (?) him ..." to the sombre ...
"Well, its not a surprise, because I wrote him and he told me like it wasn't looking good at all. I kind of knew. Saw it coming. But obviously when it's official it's disappointing for tennis, there's no doubt about it. I would love to have him in the draw. In particular, sort of the 12 days before the Open you figure he might still have time to fix what he has to fix to get ready. If he pulls out that early before the Open, it must be something serious."
So now its serious ... "scary" even. And as the world's media at large printed their reactions from the players as they asked them what they thought about Rafa's withdrawal, Roger's response led the way. And he received the usual plaudits about the "classy" way he reacted, the things he said, what a guy, pat Roger on the back for the sincere way he's feeling about all of this. Forget the "lack of preparation" quotes, or that Rafa played the clay court season so well, or that he seemed fine at Wimbledon, and in fact, losing at Wimbledon meant that he had more time fix what it was to fix in order to get ready. No, Roger had "wrote him" so now he saw it all coming.
Course you did.
I can't be bothered now searching for the actual words that Milos Raonic said for himself after the US Open withdrawal was announced, but it was along the lines of, "Shit happens. Its a shame. But we move on and carry on with the draw anyway." Now in some quarters, he was slated for that, but personally, I didn't have a problem with it at all. It was honest, and the truth really ... and its my opinion that it's how most of the field do react to news such as that.
Because the thing is, whilst we were treated to the players' reactions with Rog leading the way, it kind of mussed up on the full extent of the press conference which - quelle surprise - didn't get reported in its full capacity. You see, one journalist pressed Roger on the Rafa withdrawal as follows ...
"Q. You just mentioned that Rafa had responded to you. Are you able to reveal what he actually said or what the issue is?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, look, I mean, it's a message. It doesn't reveal that much. He did mention that the US Open wasn't looking very good. It's a couple days ago."
Aah. So there was no letter then. So "writing him" was just an unfortunate phrase. You sent him a text message, didn't you Roger, and Rafa didn't say much other than to explain that it wasn't looking good for his participation in the US Open. So you didn't really see it coming, did you? Because after saying you were going to "write him" you sent a text message and you got a non message back. So after thinking it was a lack of preparation, a choice, and expressing surprise about Rafa's withdrawal from Toronto and Cincy, 2 days after finding out the US Open wasn't looking good, it became a stark reality. But you didn't really see it coming, you didn't really believe it, you knew nothing ... so why intimate you did.
But the point of this post is what Andy Murray said, and with Benito's radio interview and the quote I've opened the post with, you can tell that there is - actually - a genuine warmth between the two camps. I must admit that as a fellow Brit, I have actually found it very, very hard to warm to Andy. His tennis never did it for me, neither did his personality. However, I can whole-heartedly say that I shall be cheering this fellow on in the up-coming US Open - all.the.way.
source : @RafaelNadalFC