Man, I sure do miss Rafael Nadal.
After losing to Lukas Rosol in the second round of Wimbledon last June, we haven't seen Nadal yet on the tennis court. Regarding the partially torn patella tendon in his left knee, Nadal says that it is on a day-to-day basis and that he can't predict what will happen.
It seems as if Nadal will miss the ATP World Tour Finals in London and the Davis Cup as part of Spain's team. While many are hoping that he comes back for the 2013 Australian Open, that may also be uncertain as Nadal wants to be 100 percent when he returns.
People expect Rafa to be dominant again once he's back but there have also been rumors, worries actually, that he might have to retire early, with some even suggesting that he could be a good fit for golf.
I personally wouldn't want to see Rafa forced into retirement from tennis and I really do hope we is able to return to the tour even if I he has the head-to-head advantage over my idol Roger Federer, who by the way has said that he wants to see his rival back as well. Roger and Rafa have both been great for the game of tennis and it would be awesome to see them compete against one another several more times.
It is a dream for me to interview both of them and I actually attempted to do so with Rafa by getting in touch via email with his media and public relations team while in Shanghai where I had tickets to the Shanghai Masters 1000.
I actually received a reply and unfortunately, "Rafa's agenda is extremely busy". Two days after that email exchange, Rafa lost to Florian Mayer in what was to be the biggest upset of the tournament. It was bad enough that Federer and Novak Djokovic pulled out of the tournament weeks before, but the expensive semis ticket I had would only have David Ferrer vs Feliciano Lopez and Andy Murray vs Kei Nishikori. No Rafa.
Aside from his rehabilitation, Rafa has been keeping himself busy with his endorsements and one of those is Pokerstars. While I'm still not getting the connection between Rafa and poker (though he and Novak have been pictured playing cards before), I do play poker and I do play tennis so what the heck.
Pokerstars just posted a video on YouTube featuring Rafa and it is really quite funny. I was impressed with how Rafa actually kept a straight face while pretending not to be himself.
But come on, you give him a fake name and the best you can think of is his uncle's name, who just happens to be his coach?
I do hope that Rafa is working hard to get back on the tennis court more than getting better at bluffing because while Federer, Djokovic, and Murray are still there slugging it out with the rest of the vastly improving ATP players, tennis does seem to be more exciting with Nadal in the fold.