Nadal feared choking on banana; PHM not pleased [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Nadal feared choking on banana; PHM not pleased

Tennis Fool
06-04-2006, 05:35 AM
June 4, 2006
A Frenchman And a Banana Give Nadal Quite a Scare

By CHRISTOPHER CLAREY
PARIS, June 3 — It has been more than a year since any man beat Rafael Nadal on a clay court, but for a few strange yet true moments on Saturday at the French Open, it seemed as if a banana just might succeed where so many flesh-and-blood candidates had failed.

Serving at 5-4, 15-15 in the third set of his extraordinary slugathon with the Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu, Nadal walked to his chair on center court, sat down and called for medical help. He held up a banana peel and pointed with concern at his neck.

As the French crowd buzzed and offered up a few whistles of disapproval at the defending champion's keeping their man on tenterhooks, the trainer Per Bastholt came to his side, soon followed by the tournament's medical director, Bernard Montalvan.

Nadal, it turned out, had eaten the banana with a few swigs of water on the previous changeover, and he was sensing that one piece of it was still lodged somewhere in his throat.

"I didn't want to stop, because I was worried that it might look bad and that people might think I was doing it on purpose," he said. "It was an important part of the match. But after a little while it started to bother me. I was starting to feel nervous and scared. I had a strange sensation. I preferred to stop before I had a big problem."

After a cursory examination and reassurances from Bastholt and Montalvan, Nadal returned to the baseline, closed out the set and resumed doing what he does better than anyone on clay: chasing down big shot after big shot and hitting big, wrenching ones of his own.

He would have ample opportunity for all that in this third-round encounter, which he eventually won, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, to earn a date in the Round of 16 with Lleyton Hewitt, who has beaten him in all three of their previous matches but who has never played him on clay.

If Nadal's scoreline on Saturday looked straightforward, the match was not. It was a bruising, exhausting affair, full of long rallies, lunging defense, heavy groundstrokes and clutch serving. The first set alone required 93 minutes, almost as long as Nadal's entire match against the American Kevin Kim on Friday. The next three sets each lasted an hour or more, as well. But Nadal found a way to win his 56th consecutive match on clay.

At 4 hours 53 minutes, it was the longest singles match of the tournament so far, and it did not even go the five-set distance. "Four sets, five hours of match — anybody would have the sensation they could lose," said Nadal, who turned 20 on Saturday. "But I also had the feeling that I never was right on the edge."

The match was so long that the one after it, between James Blake of the United States and Gael Monfils of France, eventually had to be moved to Court 1, where it was later stopped because of darkness. Monfils had won the first set, 6-2, and Blake had rallied to win the second in a tie breaker, 7-6 (2).

Whoever wins on Sunday will face one of the most promising players in the game, 19-year-old Novak Djokovic of Serbia, in the fourth round. Djokovic has upset No. 9-seeded Fernando Gonzalez and No. 23-seeded Tommy Haas here.

The only shock wave in the women's draw was No. 3-seeded Nadia Petrova's first-round loss; there are no unseeded players in the Round of 16. On Saturday, Shenay Perry of the United States was beaten, 6-1, 6-1, by Gisela Dulko of Argentina, leaving Venus Williams as the only American woman in the draw.

The defending champion, Justine Henin-Hardenne, the former champion Anastasia Myskina and the would-be champions Kim Clijsters and Martina Hingis also advanced in straight sets on Saturday. But there was one surprise as Shahar Peer, a 19-year-old from Israel, recovered from 1-4 deficits in both sets to defeat No. 6-seeded Elena Dementieva, 6-4, 7-5.

Peer has won minor clay-court events in Prague and Istanbul this spring. She is an intense competitor who covers court well, changes speeds cleverly and frequently closes her eyes between points and turns her back to the court to visualize the rallies to come.

In November, Peer went through two and a half weeks of mandatory basic military training in Israel, taking target practice and going through drills. She does administrative military work on a part-time basis when she returns from her tennis travels.

She and her coach of six years, Oded Jacob, have agreed to split after this tournament, but perhaps they will revise that plan if Peer upsets Hingis in the fourth round.

Mathieu would have liked nothing better than an upset of Nadal, but he was again left in tears. An injury-prone 24-year-old, once a sparring partner for the Williams sisters when he trained at the Bollettieri Academy in Florida, he has experienced plenty of on-court heartbreak.

The toughest time came in 2002, when he blew a two-set lead in Paris against Mikhail Youzhny in the fifth and decisive match of the Davis Cup final against Russia. But no one in France will blame him for losing for the fifth time in five attempts against Nadal. Mathieu competed brilliantly, saving 21 of the 29 break points he faced, including eight in just one game.

Mathieu was not delighted with Nadal's banana break. "I think you have to wait until at least the end of the games to receive your treatment," he said.

Much of the French crowd agreed with him: They greeted Nadal's postmatch waves in their direction with a mixture of applause and whistles. But considering that Nadal was the one with the lead and the serve, it was difficult see what motive he might have had for stopping his own momentum in the middle of a critical game without a genuine concern.

"I knew walking out there it was going to be a difficult match; it's normal, he's playing at home," Nadal said. "I had to play with more pressure."


Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company
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Deboogle!.
06-04-2006, 05:36 AM
is one thread not enough?
http://menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=78136

Tennis Fool
06-04-2006, 05:37 AM
is one thread not enough?
http://menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=78136
This is a thread about the NYT article.

I♥PsY@Mus!c
06-04-2006, 05:40 AM
Mathieu was not delighted with Nadal's banana break. "I think you have to wait until at least the end of the games to receive your treatment," he said.
Indeed! :(

Jairus
06-04-2006, 05:58 AM
Indeed! :(

I don't think I understand this rule...what if the person was actually choking? Do they have to concede the match?

megadeth
06-04-2006, 06:04 AM
it's another one of rafa's ploys... i don't buy it!

if you were choking you'd act like you were INDEED choking... :rolleyes:

Freeze17171
06-04-2006, 06:22 AM
I don't think I understand this rule...what if the person was actually choking? Do they have to concede the match?

The only time a player could actually choke on something would be during the changeover eating something. You don't go out there and play two points and suddenly start choking on something. I don't want to accuse Nadal of anything, but it really didn't look genuine from what I saw.

bandabou
06-04-2006, 07:22 AM
Hmmm...seems like Rafa likes to play mind-games at crucial junctures of matches.

joyk
06-04-2006, 07:30 AM
I believe Nadal,he seamed really embarrassed about the incident.

Castafiore
06-04-2006, 07:35 AM
Come on, guys. Think about this for just a second before you accuse him once again of all sorts of things.

Why would he "play mind games" at that part of the match? He was serving for the third set at 5-4 with the possibility of going up two sets to one. From a psychological point of view, doesn't it make more sense to win that game as quickly as possible?

If a player does a thing like that when he's just been broken, I can understand why some people have their doubts about the timing but not in this case.

Besides, did that never happen to you guys? Something that got stuck in your throat? It really can be scary. Usually you can clear your throat by drinking a bit of water or so but it does tend to put you into a slight 'panic' mode for a few moments.

silverwhite
06-04-2006, 08:23 AM
The only time a player could actually choke on something would be during the changeover eating something. You don't go out there and play two points and suddenly start choking on something. I don't want to accuse Nadal of anything, but it really didn't look genuine from what I saw.

Exactly. If it bothered him, why did he even play the first two points? :confused:

Deivid23
06-04-2006, 08:30 AM
Agree, Nadal shouldn´t have stopped the match, he should have died on court for joy of the French crowd :retard:

Allez
06-04-2006, 08:35 AM
Nadal would NOT have died. He didn't die when he won the first point of that game. Why was he suddenly on death's door after PHM won the next point ? Also it took him two points to realise he had a banana stuck up his throat ? :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

jenanun
06-04-2006, 08:39 AM
Agree, Nadal shouldn´t have stopped the match, he should have died on court for joy of the French crowd :retard:

i do believe some people here do want this to happen.....


i agree with Castafiore.... its not the time to play mind game...

unless its PMH serving for the set..... then its different...

not when nadal is serving for the set at 15-15...

Allez
06-04-2006, 08:45 AM
He needed time to gather his thoughts. That was an important game in the context of the match and he knew it. He's done this sort of thing before so it isn't a surprise really. He got what he deserved from the crowd. I felt sad for him waving like that whilst being booed by the same people he was showing respect to. But it was totally deserved. You don't go on Chatrier and insult a French player like he did and get away with it.

Deivid23
06-04-2006, 08:49 AM
Nadal would NOT have died. He didn't die when he won the first point of that game. Why was he suddenly on death's door after PHM won the next point ? Also it took him two points to realise he had a banana stuck up his throat ? :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Well, I won´t lose more time at explaining an evident fact, I will just enjoy the moaning of those who think like you. Keep wetting the tissues ;)

jmp
06-04-2006, 09:25 AM
The swallowing thing happened to me recently when I was eating dinner with my family. I was chewing along, felt something in my throat, and thought I could just swallow it. After a little while it wouldn't pass in either direction. I paniced, stood up quickly, and pointed to my throat. My family just stared at me a minute and the food eventually passed without anyone's help. I was REALLY scared. I thought about it during a few meals after that as well.

The Pro
06-04-2006, 09:28 AM
Nadal is a proud young guy and doesn't want t be associated with game playing for dumb reasons, like bananas-in-throat. I'd say he was kind of embarrased about the situation.

His actions halted his own momentum, there is no reason to do it other than having an actual banana stuck in your throat, any food lodged, even not in the windpipe, can be quite distracting.

It's only a fuss because the ignorant crowd had a problem. And Henri is a frenchie so of couse he's gonna make a comment, much like Grosjean against Rafa last year.

It's an open and shut case. Nadal is an honest player (albeit, who takes a minute between points) :p

Freeze17171
06-04-2006, 09:29 AM
Agree, Nadal shouldn´t have stopped the match, he should have died on court for joy of the French crowd :retard:

Oh please, anybody choking on something can barely move let alone casually walk to his side of the court and play 2 long rallies of the highest quality clay court tennis. He had just lost a long rally to go to 15-15 and he decided to pull his stunt.

dmit424
06-04-2006, 09:35 AM
I think this is just ridiculous, questioning Nadal over this. I don't know him, but I don't think he's an idiot. He's won tougher matches, and he knows this crowd are like fireants, so I really doubt he suddenly (on his own serve) decided to make up some story about a banana being stuck in his mouth just to "regroup" or catch a breath. There would be zero purpose in doing this unless it was to really get a banana unstuck.

I mean, it looks stupid now in headlines: "On his 20th birthday, Rafael Nadal got a stiff challenge from Paul-Henri Mathieu and a taste of a bad banana." And also, the crowd certainly shifted even more towards Mathieu's corner. I doubt, if Nadal was making this up, that he would have not been able to foreshadow all the negatives of faking such an incident.

A banana was stuck near his windpipe. Get over it.

nobama
06-04-2006, 09:40 AM
I wonder if another player, say Roddick, had done something like this if people would be so quick to defend.

mallorn
06-04-2006, 09:40 AM
From the official site, which nobody seems to bother checking. :rolleyes:
"I don't know what happened, but it suddenly stayed stuck halfway through," Nadal said.

"I didn't really notice it at the beginning. At 15 love, I started being a little bit frightened. But I didn't want to stop in the middle of the game. I didn't think it would look very good. I lost the next point. I was paying more attention to my throat than to tennis. It was an important game, so I started being nervous. It's not that I couldn't breathe, but I did feel a very strange sensation. I thought, I've got to stop because I don't want anything serious to happen. Never mind if I don't look good."
From MSNBC:
Mathieu said he found the timing of the break strange, but his coach, Thierry Tulasne, absolved Nadal of any gamesmanship.
“He certainly did have something stuck in his throat and needed a minute to get it out,” Tulasne said. “I don’t know how he got it out. But Paul-Henri played very well even after the pause, so I don’t think it mattered.”
He needed time to gather his thoughts. That was an important game in the context of the match and he knew it. He's done this sort of thing before so it isn't a surprise really. He got what he deserved from the crowd. I felt sad for him waving like that whilst being booed by the same people he was showing respect to. But it was totally deserved. You don't go on Chatrier and insult a French player like he did and get away with it.
People say Rafa is the biggest fighter on the tour, has the toughest mentality, never gives up, never panics when he's down etc. etc. and that's why he wins all these matches (because he barely has any tennis talent).

Then people say that serving for the set at 15 all he felt so scared he wanted his mummy.

On a mission against the windmills of stupidity http://www.cosgan.de/images/smilie/verschiedene/d055.gif

Castafiore
06-04-2006, 11:44 AM
He needed time to gather his thoughts. That was an important game in the context of the match and he knew it. He's done this sort of thing before so it isn't a surprise really. He got what he deserved from the crowd. I felt sad for him waving like that whilst being booed by the same people he was showing respect to. But it was totally deserved. You don't go on Chatrier and insult a French player like he did and get away with it.
He explained himself in interviews afterwards (read Mallorn's post) but you don't need to hear his explanations because you know better, right? Whenever it doesn't fit into your little theory, it's just obvious that he's lying, right?
Because the almighty Allez can look inside his mind to read the real reasons of his actions, right? :rolleyes:

Nadal did not deserve to get booed. I can understand a passionate crowd throwing their full support behind the home player but yesterday was different. In Wimbledon, Henmania used to get just too much and I suspect that Murraymania will be also be something else but usually they focus their efforts on supporting Henman (somebody, correct me if I'm wrong but I haven't seen any hostility towards one player playing opposite Henman...they just get carried away in their support for Tim, right?)
The crowd booed when he questioned a call, and quite often Nadal was right to do so but that didn't stop the crowd from whistling and booing.


Thierry Tulasne, absolved Nadal of any gamesmanship.
:)


I wonder if another player, say Roddick, had done something like this if people would be so quick to defend.
1. Does it bother you that people are quick to defend?
2. Can anybody explain to me what Roddick has done to be the target of so much ridicule and hatred on these boards?

LoveFifteen
06-04-2006, 01:37 PM
My favorite says he's got some banana stuck in his throat ... he's telling the truth.

A player that beats my favorite says he's got some banana stuck in his throat ... he's obviously a lying, cheating bastard who'll use gamesmanship at any cost.

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Oh, how I hate MTFers, let me count the ways ...

Scotso
06-04-2006, 02:56 PM
I really don't see what the big deal is.