I was right. But still, I didn't expect him to take a medical time-out in the fourth set. And it wasn't just one; there were two, and his MTOs had caused some controversy.
Worrying signs for Nadal fans, especially the female spectator holding up a placard proclaiming that she would "have his babies". It got worse. Perhaps wary that traditional methods were not going to cut the mustard, Nadal called the trainer, complaining about his left elbow. Then it was his right thigh. Things got worse when Cedric Maurier rebuked him for receiving on-court coaching from Uncle Toni.
Nadal called for the trainer early in the fourth set. An injury timeout ensued, with Nadal receiving a rubdown near his right knee and upper thigh. And then he ran like mad.
"Right now I'm just [ticked] off and sad that I lost the match," Petzschner said. "Maybe he had something. Maybe it was just a clever part to take a timeout there. I don't know."
Not that this is news to me, or to any slightly-more-than-casual tennis fan. Nadal's known for his gamesmanship almost as much as he's known for his competitive spirit (perhaps the two go hand in hand? But only in a warped alternate universe). But it still pisses me off when players like him, in their dominant positions, abuse the rules of the game to swing the momentum their way.
I felt sorry for him last year when his game was on the decline and he was out of many tournaments with an injury. But if he's still claiming to be injured after winning everything on clay, then there's no way in hell I'd ever feel sorry for him again. I can't respect this guy not only because I downright hate the style of his tennis, but because he doesn't always win fairly. What's the point of playing sports if the players resort to foul play and disrespect the rules? No wonder Roger's the one who's been voted the player with the best sportsmanship by his fellow players for, what, six consecutive years now.
If Nadal had been in Roger's shoes in the Falla match, he would've taken a medical time-out when he was behind in the 4th set.
I admit that I primarily support Roger Federer, and that my fangirlism for him sometimes blinds me to objectivity. But my support for tennis comes a close second to my support for Roger, and there's no subjectivity in the obvious trend of Nadal's timely medical time-outs. And the sad part is, even if he is legitimately injured, he's done it so many times when he's losing, just to come back and win the match, that it's hard to believe the legitimacy of his health issues anymore.
This guy is the current world #1? Shit, Roger, please come back from your slump, regain your ranking, and save tennis.
Now I'm totally rooting for Andy Murray. If Soderling doesn't take out Nadal, the task will fall on Murray's shoulders. So here's hoping he stays on course to meet Nadal; if not, I'm gonna have to endure yet another fucked up Federer/Nadal "dream final" that I'd much rather remove a wisdom tooth with no anaesthesia than to watch.
I'm glad Roger finally had a straight-forward 3-sets win, even if it was hell boring and nowhere near as fun and exciting as his first-round match.
Also, I LOVE LLEYTON HEWITT. His win against Monfils was MAGNIFICENT. Why oh WHY is he in Roger's half?
And it's pure fantasy to even think this, but wouldn't it be awesome if Lu Yen-Hsun beats Andy Roddick in the fourth round and becomes the first guy from Taiwan to ever reach the QF of a Grand Slam? As it is he's the first Taiwanese player (including females) to ever reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam. Wouldn't it be great if he moves on? I think it'd be great, even if it's at Andy's expense.
In other news, Wei Chuen and I watched Knight and Day last night. It really sucked. Cameron Diaz was the only - and I mean, ONLY - thing watchable about it. Everything else was a waste of time, Tom Cruise included. I think his character was written to be mysterious and quirky but Tom Cruise played him weird and flat. He just showed up and did things and wasn't even very entertaining while doing so.
Cameron Diaz, though, was funny and awesome. I don't even care for her very much but I was so glad she was in the movie. Without her, I would've bloody fallen asleep.
Her chemistry with Tom Cruise was hell weird though. Like it was kind of non-existent. And...just...weird.