Rafael Nadal shows girt to win with one knee down
Melbourne: Rafael Nadal has a new injury issue —a tendon problem in his right knee that nearly prompted him to forfeit a first-round match at the Australian Open that he managed to win easily. Roger Federer and Kim Clijsters, both bothered by injuries coming into the tournament, also advanced to the second round in more routine fashion on Monday and said they felt they were over their ailments.
That wasn’t the case with Nadal. Bothered by a left shoulder injury late last year, Nadal had his right knee heavily taped during his 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 win over Alex Kuznetsov. The injury occurred in the most innocent of ways — sitting in a chair in his hotel room when he felt “a crack” in his knee and some “unbelievable pain.”
He had an MRI scan late on Sunday that showed no major damage to his knee, but before that, the incident left him thinking. “I wasn’t 100 percent sure I would have a chance to play. That’s in the past,” Nadal said when asked about his shoulder injury in a post-match television interview. But it was a different story later when he talked about his knee. “I was sitting on a chair in the hotel, I felt like a crack on the knee ... really strange, he said. “I stand up. I felt the knee a little bit strange. I moved the leg like this two times to try to find the feeling. After the second time, the knee stays with an unbelievable pain completely straight. I have no movement on the knee.”