Scroll to 5:00 on this highlight where Nadal dumps his volley into the net and loses his serve, after trying to consolidate his break of Cilic in the second set. He’s pissed.
So pissed that he takes two swipes at his right knee with his racket. Is that good for the knee? Probably not.
In the final vs. Federer he had a wrap on that right knee. He wasn’t wearing any sort of wrap prior to that, prior the beating he gave his knee after that failed volley.
The way this goes at this point:
Nadal says he’s taking medical advice to protect “over stressing of the (right) knee.”
He says the injury affected him last week in Shanghai, where he lost the final to Federer in two sets.
Federer’s win over Nadal was a fifth straight against his longtime rival. That streak started in Basel in 2015 when Federer won the final of his hometown tournament.
In Nadal’s absence, the No. 2-ranked Federer will be top-seeded as he seeks an eighth Basel title.
We understand the gamesmanship all of these blokes employ. But I’m not sure this sudden right knee condition wasn’t a bit of a self-inflicted wound and/or part of his personal PR machine.
I think he probably does need a break. Nice little run from the Spaniard. Did his knee compromise his play in the Shanghai final? Maybe. Was that injury from all of the ass-kicking he did in NYC and China? Not sure. He might have run-up against a buzz-saw.
The next question will be answered when we see Federer’s schedule, which has to include Basel. Does he follow that with a run at Paris with only a week-off before London?
#1 seems pretty much out-of-reach for Federer unless he were to go for broke, and win 2/3 or all of these remaining events and Nadal were to fade, continue to struggle with that knee . . .