Spanish media translated Rafael Nadal’s mini outburst during his three set semifinal loss to Andy Roddick on Friday. According to the video he said: “I can’t! The knee! The knee!” in Catalan (at least I think it’s Catalan) while he was yelling at his camp and pounding on his left quad, just above the knee. When Nadal retired at the Australian Open earlier this year, it was the right knee that was bothering him.
Check it out at about the 1:20 mark on this video – if you look carefully you can see the Catalan beneath the Spanish subtitles.
Though I don’t want to doubt the translation or the news source, it’s almost impossible to hear what Rafa’s saying. Unless the Spanish media uses some spy-grade instruments to listen in, I’d say sure, it sounds a little like he’s saying “genoll” – which is Catalan for knee. But it could also be JuJuBee, my nickname for Ivan Ljubicic, the guy who beat him in the semis at Indian Wells. Or “Ooo! Ooo!” as in “Ouch, maybe I shouldn’t hit myself so hard.” Though he looked outmatched for most of the third set, he wasn’t exactly hobbling around the court.
Rafa was not asked about the outburst in his press conference, nor did volunteer any injury updates. In fact, he said “I am feeling great.” So we’ll just have to wait and see if this develops into anything more. Rafa’s scheduled to defend his title in Monte Carlo next week, the tournament starting on April 10th. He’s won the title in the Principality for a record five straight years.
Thanks to Nadal News for posting the video and GTT reader “Madge” for providing the link.