Rafael is through to the last eight (quarterfinals) after beating Kei Nishikori yesterday in two straight sets at the SEO in Miami. It took awhile before Rafa started to get going.
But prior to his win, I saw him clutch his knee and as soon as I saw Rafa call for a trainer and took an injury timeout, my heart started racing fast. In my mind, another heartbreaking loss was looming. Rafa just had six weeks rest and it looked like he was going to get sidelined again. Judging from last night, he needs a longer break.
So tomorrow, Rafa will play in the quarterfinals for the 6th straight year and will square off against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who defeated Florian Mayer yesterday. With Rafa struggling with his knee troubles, I am a bit worried about his upcoming match(es). And not to forget, the almighty clay season where he is hailed King is just around the corner.
Nadal leads Tsonga 6-3 in the head-to-head stats but he has lost two of their past three meetings, most recently in last year’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. I’m certain Rafa’s is not at all confianza about it, no?
Head-to-Heat Stats grabbed from ATP World Tour site.