Tennis-Nadal injury withdrawal prompts concern in Spain | sports | Hindustan Times
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Tennis-Nadal injury withdrawal prompts concern in Spain

sports Updated: Jun 20, 2009 18:50 IST

Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal's decision to pull out of this year's tournament because of knee problems has prompted fresh concerns in his native Spain about the potential threat to his career.

Javier Martinez, writing in the daily El Mundo, said Nadal's announcement on Friday that he was unable to defend his title had revived the debate about the Mallorcan's aggressive, athletic style of play and the damage to his body.

The huge amount of pressure he put on his muscles and joints was in sharp contrast to the elegance of Swiss world number two Roger Federer, Martinez wrote.

But he noted that after missing last year's Masters Cup and Spain's Davis Cup triumph over Argentina through injury, Nadal had come storming back to make the best start to the season of his career in 2009.

"Now the hardcourt season is approaching, which is the most damaging surface for his punishing movements," he wrote. "But watch out if he is able to properly recharge his batteries."

Neus Yerro, tennis correspondent for the Barcelona-based Sport newspaper, said it was a concern that Nadal had also admitted being at rock bottom mentally.

"Worrying words, because if there is one thing he has excelled at in his career it's his mental strength, superior to all his rivals," Yerro wrote.

Joan Solsona, writing in Marca, praised Nadal for making every effort to get himself fit and said he now needed to get himself mentally, as well as physically, in shape ahead of the US hardcourt season.

"Nadal reached the summit of tennis showing qualities such as a winning character and a mental strength capable of toppling any adversary," Solsona wrote.

"He has to rediscover this to face the second half of the year with a desire to achieve some great successes."