Italiano English Français
HOMEPAGE > > Did Nadal admit to cheating?

29/09/2010 22:43 CEST - Us Open

Did Nadal admit to cheating?

Nadal tells Spanish newspaper that his support team told him where to serve during the last game of his US Open final against Djokovic.  Joella Klinghoffer

| | condividi

Rafael Nadal's amazing accomplishment in winning his first U.S. Open and a career grand slam at age 24 is the talk of tennis fans everywhere. The final itself featured some thrilling exchanges between Nadal and a battling Novak Djokovic, as well as a heartwarming presentation ceremony where the respect between the two finalists was apparant to all. An especially nice moment came when Nadal praised Djokovic, who smiled despite the tough loss, for his positive attitude, and lauded him as a "great example for the kids." This was well-said by Nadal, and reflected credit on both men.

Nadal's head must be spinning these past few days, as he makes the media rounds. In addition to various appearences on American television, he granted an interview to journalist Juan Jose Mateo of the Spanish newspaper El Pais. During the course of the interview came the following puzzling exchange:

"Interviewer: You look to your bench, and you are so nervous that you ask: 'Where?' 'Where do I serve?' Was it so difficult?

 

Nadal: It was in the last game, when I was serving for the match . . . I didn't know where to serve. Down the center, to the middle or to try the classic play of the wide serve and then try to hit the forehand. They told me to serve wide and that's where I served."

 

To read the full Spanish interview, click here

Unless there was an error in transcription, it appears that Nadal is freely admitting that he both asked for and received advice on where to place his serve during the last game of the match. Such an exchange is quite obviously coaching, and is against the rules. It's extremely surprising that Nadal would admit such a thing, especially since there have been several controversies, including a recent one, regarding coaching in his career.

 

In 2006, Roger Federer complained that Nadal's uncle and coach Toni Nadal was advising him from the stands, but subsequently made clear that he had no idea whether Rafa was paying attention to the advice. "My frustration was directed more at Toni", he later explained, "I wasn't accusing Nadal of cheating." At this year's Wimbledon, Nadal was fined $2,000 for receiving coaching during his third round match. At the post match press conference, Nadal allowed that “sometimes in the past Toni talk maybe too much . .. but not today, in my opinion.”

 

However what Nadal appears to admit to in El Pais goes far beyond having an enthusiastic coach who struggles to hold his tongue. He's stating that during a stressful time in the match, he both requested and received tactical instruction from his support group. That's cheating.

 

Given that Nadal was already ahead by a double break, the exchange surely did not affect the ultimate outcome of the match. He was on the cusp of a historic achievement, his mind paralyzed with nerves. Still, as he eloquently pointed out during the presentation ceremonies, top athletes are often role models for kids. Positive attitude is important, but so is following the rules. Unless he has been unfairly misquoted, Nadal owes the tennis world a public apology.

UPDATE: The above article has been brought to the attention of Nadal's media contact, Benito Perez-Barbadillo. He declined to respond (and I'm phrasing that more gently than he did). That's dissapointing, as even if the El Pais interview was innaccurate, you would think Nadal's camp would want to set the record straight, especially since El Pais is a major Spanish newpaper with a large circulation. I'll continue to report on this story if there are any new developments.

Joella klinghoffer

comments powered by Disqus
TV Tennis
Today Quotes

"I have no idea of whether I'll win a Grand Slam or not. You know, I want to. But, you know, I mean, if I never win one, then what? If I give 100 percent, try my best, physically work as hard as I can, practice as much as I can, then that's all I can do, you know."

Andy Murray,after his upset loss to Stanislas Wawrinka in the fourth round.

Today...

September the 21st, 1988

Mats Wilander wins his only tournament as the world's number 1 player beating fellow Swede Kent Carlsson 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 to win the Sicily Open in Palermo.

From "On this day in Tennis History" by Randy Walker

Rassegna stampa nazionale

29/03/2014 16:26

Djokovic: finale senza giocare Hingis: finale da incorniciare (Martucci, Valesio); Andy Murray - Vide 'o Murray quant'è bello (V.M.); Profumo di Davis per Lorenzi (Nizegorodcew); Zugarelli, l'uomo in più dell'ultima Davis azzurra (Azzolini)

27/03/2014 12:40

Djokovic sprinta, Fognini si spegne con super Nadal (Martucci). Fognini, batosta con fischi (Zanni)

26/03/2014 12:43

Nishikori eroico stende Ferrer. Dolgopolov, che colpo (Martucci). Errani e Vinci sempre più in caduta libera (Zanni)

25/03/2014 09:02

Povero Delpo: seconda operazione al polso. Dopo il destro tocca al sinistro (Martucci), Soffre Maria, ma sbarca ai quarti del Sony Open (Zanni), II sogno americano di Lorenzo Montegiorgi (Nizegorodcew)

24/03/2014 14:11

Federer e Tsonga sorridono a Miami Nadal il più felice «La schiena è ok» (Martucci), Fabio Fognini a Miami avanti tutta Tennis (Nizegorodcew)

22/03/2014 08:43

Nieminen razzo finlandese (Mariantoni); Seppi, che maratona con Stepanek (Crivelli); Flavia: «Fabio il tennis e i cavalli» (Zanni); Djokovic "La mia dieta da numero uno" (Rossi); Talento da attore prestato al tennis (Clerici)

20/03/2014 00:36

Sport e amore, quando il doppio misto funziona (Semeraro)

19/03/2014 11:41

Fognini come Pennetta: "Siamo solo molto amici" (Zanni)

18/03/2014 07:59

Flavia e Fabio Come fa bene l'elisir d'amore (Azzolini), Intervista a Flavia: “Non voglio fermarmi più” (Mancuso)

17/03/2014 08:25

Pennetta super. Million dollar baby Flavia, sei una che vittoria ad Indian Wells (Martucci, Clerici, Piccardi, Semeraro, Valesio, Mancuso, Giorni)

16/03/2014 08:46

Una Pennetta da urlo, la finale più bella (Crivelli, Clerici, Semeraro, Ferrero, Valesio, Valenti, Mancuso, Piccardi); Federer contro Djokovic, tocca ancora a loro due (R.C., P.V.)

Archivio rassegna stampa nazionale

Ultimi commenti
Blog: Servizi vincenti
Our Video

Federer and the Metal Detector: Lindt spot