Hotel rooms, like Japanese restaurants, are no longer a safe place for Rafael Nadal. The world No. 2 revealed Monday that he hurt his right knee in his hotel room before his opening victory at the Australian Open.
Nadal told the story to reporters after the match:
"I was sitting on a chair in the hotel, I felt like a crack on the knee. [It was] really strange. 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. I wasn't 100 percent sure I would have a chance to play.
"I started with a little bit of a scare at the beginning, and nervous because I was really disappointed yesterday. But after the first 10 games ... I started to play with normal conditions."
Nadal won his first-round match in straight sets.
If anyone other than Nadal uttered those lines after an easy first-round win at a Grand Slam, my "lowering expectations" sirens would be sounding. Why else would a player mention such an injury in a press conference? But this is Nadal, a man who could out honest Abe and out earnest Borgnine. He hurt his knee getting out of a chair, reporters asked how he hurt his knee, so he had to tell them about it.
It's not hard to see why Nadal is so frustrated with Roger Federer for not airing the sport's dirty laundry to the press. For Nadal, it's a foreign concept to not treat press conferences like a therapy session.
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