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hen kept us up to date from Rome.


Jun 13 - Aegon Championships, Queens Club, London

Jun 27 - Wimbledon

Rafa's last tournament was the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, in Rome. If you missed any of the action then take a look at the Info, Pics and Videos on our message board.


 
STOP PRESS

27th May

French Open, Roland-Garros
On Friday, Rafa withdrew from the tournament, citing an injury to his left wrist, after having won his second-round match the day before. It had been his 200th win at a Major tournament.

Based upon reports, he has an inflamed tendon sheath in his left wrist. He disclosed at his press conference that he had had a problem for a couple of weeks before he had arrived in Paris. An article at the Roland-Garros website quoted him as saying that he had "arrived here with a little bit of pain but I thought it was something I would be able to manage, but every day it got a bit worse.

"We spent a lot of hours here to try to play and yesterday [during the second-round match,] I played with a injection in the wrist and anaesthetic. I could play but there was more and more pain and this morning I could feel that I could not move my wrist much.

"I came here, had an MRI and the results are not positive. . . . If it wasn't Roland-Garros, I probably wouldn't have taken the risks. It's the most important event of the year for me.

"We took the risks yesterday. To have won the tournament I would have had to play five more matches and the doctor told me that was 100 per cent impossible.

"For the moment I need a couple of weeks with the immobilisation. Then we're going to do the treatment, and we hope the treatment works well. We expect to recover quick, to be ready for Wimbledon. But at this moment, you know, it's not a moment to talk about that."

We send Rafa our best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery.


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Roland Garros 2016
by MAC

I don't know how everybody else feels, but right now I'm just numb.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the rumours of wrist issues after Madrid but kind of dismissed them after his matches in Rome. Consequently I went to Paris full of hope.

I was there for his first two matches and still felt reasonably optimistic of my chances of going back with my ticket to the final next weekend. When I heard the news of his withdrawal, as I sat in a traffic jam on the M25 on my way home, I was dumbfounded. Admittedly, I didn't think he played as well in his second match as he had done in his first, but there was little indication of a serious problem.

It's very tempting to just pretend that this tournament never existed and just hide behind the sofa until Rafa returns to the court. However, there was, for me, much to enjoy in his brief appearance here.

The thing that will stay with me forever is the rapturous welcome he received as he stepped on court for his first match. It has often been felt that Rafa is, let's say, under appreciated in Paris. The prolonged cheering and applause indicated quite the reverse.

There was a lovely moment when the on-court announcer was going through his introduction. He was listing the years Rafa had won - "2005, 2006, 2007, 2008" - crowd starts clapping - "2010, 2011" - crowd begins to laugh and cheer - "2012, 2013, 2014" - crowd now completely roaring and clapping. It was great.

And who wants to forget that brilliant tweener and Rafa's embarrassed smile afterwards as the crowd leapt to its feet with their arms raised.


 

I thoroughly enjoyed that first match against Sam Groth. It was Rafa giving a lesson in how best to play on a clay court and I got the impression that Groth was just happy to be a part of it. At just one hour and twenty-two minutes, the 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 win was Rafa's quickest ever match at Roland Garros


As I said earlier, I didn't particularly enjoy his match against Facundo Bagnis. I hate it when he starts off dropping serve and hate it even more when he drops serve when serving for the match. With the benefit of hindsight, I guess it was the problem with his wrist that caused these issues.

Still, it was a solid win, 6-3, 6-0, 6-3, which gave little indication of the bombshell that was to follow.


It breaks my heart to hear how emotional he was during his press conference to announce his withdrawal. I trust that this disappointment will pass and that he will come back, once again, firing on all cylinders.

So now we just have to be patient and wait to see whether he will play any of the grass season. He's scheduled to play at Queens in two weeks' time but I hope that he will skip it (and Wimbledon, too, come to that) if doing so increases his chances of being able to compete at the Olympics since we know how important that is to him.

Get well soon, Rafa.
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