55 Responses

  1. Mithi
    Mithi February 4, 2013 at 11:50 am |

    Amy.. you took my heart and splattered it on a page. Thanks. Bienvenido de nuevo Rafa..

    1. AmyLu
      AmyLu February 4, 2013 at 11:29 pm |

      I like your welcome quite a bit. Can’t wait to see the “new” Rafa!

    2. Marian
      Marian February 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm |

      Well, although I like this (as a Rafa fan), I have to tell you: play more, talk less 🙂

      Basically play your own tennis, b/c I’m curious as to how many fans actually play regularly? (Not to mention out of those, how many are actually serious about it…)

      My guess is maybe 20%.

      Marian aka Game Lover

      1. AmyLu
        AmyLu February 5, 2013 at 5:29 pm |

        Thanks for reading…and I do wish I could play more (sadly, time is a major factor, along with access to public courts with lights around where I live).

        1. Marian
          Marian February 6, 2013 at 10:34 am |

          But Amy I do make time lady! I’ve always loved sports, plus that being a gourmand, I have to exercise. A sport like tennis, not only is social, but it gives me two targets, the second being improving the technique (besides the physical abilities)…

          Hey TV is bad (the quality of movies is getting worse every year, only the documentaries are improving), friends are scarce for a landed immigrant and one can’t just only read books and work.

          Besides after watching our idols, not only we learn from them, but it’s kinda contagious…

          And in Canada we got plenty of public courts with lights (2 2-5 minutes away driving from my place) and tennis club (cost money, but they are open in the winter as well and that’s a major plus- Not to mention the friends you make).

  2. Slanda
    Slanda February 4, 2013 at 12:20 pm |

    Thank you for this post,trough it you express all my feelings about Rafa’s absence and his return.

    1. AmyLu
      AmyLu February 4, 2013 at 11:30 pm |

      I’m so glad it resonated; it makes me feel more “normal” in my fandom!

  3. laborde
    laborde February 4, 2013 at 12:28 pm |

    And so exactly how I feel. I couldn’t have said it better. In every point you make my point.
    So thank you, and like you, there is only one thing I want to say : Welcome back, Rafa, finally!!! I’ve missed you and your tennis so much.
    And to the fans : only ENJOY him! Without any expectations. Only seeing him is a gift. For all he gives us through tennis.

    1. AmyLu
      AmyLu February 4, 2013 at 11:30 pm |

      Thank you so much for the kind words. And, I couldn’t put it any better on your words to fans. I hope that we all have lots of time to enjoy him and his tennis.

  4. Melissa
    Melissa February 4, 2013 at 1:16 pm |

    Goodness, Amy, it’s as if you’ve been inside me all these months…or I’ve been inside you… Thanks so much for articulating what many of us have suffered as we’ve trudged behind our hero in his slow, careful, but (oh, please!) sure ascent from the dark pit to the warm red tones of tennis clay. I hope that, very soon, we can exchange all the depression for the Sturm und Drang of normal Nadal tournament play, fussing over draws instead of doctors’ visits.

    Vamos, Rafa!

    1. AmyLu
      AmyLu February 4, 2013 at 11:32 pm |

      I love your comparison between the dark pit we’ve all been with the red clay. I’ve always felt like a clay court is a beautiful sight, but never more so than this year. 🙂

    2. Keri/Rafalution 2013
      Keri/Rafalution 2013 February 5, 2013 at 2:58 am |

      Absolutely, Mel. I cried. I don’t do that with sport often, but I do when it comes to Rafa!

  5. bea
    bea February 4, 2013 at 1:22 pm |

    Beautifully written. You touched my soul with your words. I feel the same. Can’t wait to see Rafa on court again. Miss him so much. Vamos, Rafa!

    1. AmyLu
      AmyLu February 4, 2013 at 11:33 pm |

      Thank you so much for the kind words, and I really can’t wait to have video of him playing a real, live match again! 🙂

  6. rafandready
    rafandready February 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm |

    Ditto everything you said. Now I’m going to watch that press conference!

    1. AmyLu
      AmyLu February 4, 2013 at 11:34 pm |

      Hope you enjoyed it! 🙂

  7. harini
    harini February 4, 2013 at 3:26 pm |

    I’m so glad you wrote this Amy. It exemplifies everything I’ve been feeling since Rafa’s been off-tour. I miss him so much and none of the tournaments, especially the Slams, feel right without him there. I cannot wait to have him play again. I don’t even care if he doesn’t win tournaments right off the bat – I don’t want that, but I just want him to be back on tour and to have a favourite to root for again 🙂

    1. AmyLu
      AmyLu February 4, 2013 at 11:35 pm |

      That’s my feeling exactly. Results are pretty immaterial to me at this point; I just want to see him play! So glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Aube
    Aube February 4, 2013 at 5:18 pm |

    hou la la my Nadou baby,can’t wait to see him on a tennis court Wednesday,Va mos Rafael,yeah babyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

    1. AmyLu
      AmyLu February 4, 2013 at 11:36 pm |

      Me either, Aube! 🙂

  9. jesna
    jesna February 4, 2013 at 6:36 pm |

    The perfect last sentence to sum up the perfect piece of writing. Thank you, I so want the extraordinary to feel normal again, uncertainty and doubts to find their purpose, paradoxes become crystal clear. Just another day at the office for a Rafa fan.

    1. AmyLu
      AmyLu February 4, 2013 at 11:38 pm |

      I couldn’t agree more — I can’t wait for all of those things to happen. Thanks so much for reading and commenting! 🙂

  10. BS
    BS February 4, 2013 at 8:19 pm |

    I just loved this piece. So well-written. I’m not a Nadal fan, but I have to say that I cannot wait for him to get back on court. I can only imagine what his fans have felt like the last few months because there’s nothing worse than when your favourite player is out injured, especially when the absence is so lengthy like this one. It will be great to see him come back.

    You mentioned the expectations of fans and media alike and the scrutiny that will surround him. It’s going to be incredibly interesting to see how it all pans out. Personally, I think he’s going to have a great comeback. Sure it’s going to take him a while to get back into the habit of playing and winning matches, but he knows what to do. The fact that he’s coming back on clay only strengthens my belief that he’ll do well (although that could be the Federer fan within me talking!)I don’t like that people have been so quick to write him off because I believe it is extremely disrespectful to the brilliant player that Nadal is. Form is temporary, class is permanent and Rafa certainly has that in abundance. He’ll be back winning the big titles before we know it.

    1. AmyLu
      AmyLu February 4, 2013 at 11:42 pm |

      I very much hope you are right! 🙂 I think it’s really interesting to consider the comeback from various perspectives because all of us approach it from different angles. Juan José has been driving me crazy because he is convinced that Rafa will sweep all three clay events, and I am convinced that he has now jinxed him to lose early. I find it harder than he does to be so optimistic.

  11. Ginny
    Ginny February 4, 2013 at 9:39 pm |

    Oh my! What a beautifully written piece. You have gotten every Rafa fan’s heart and soul into it. And thank you for the video. All of his honest charm comes through so strongly in that clip. I think that it shows perfectly why we all love him. Welcome back Rafa indeed!!

    1. AmyLu
      AmyLu February 4, 2013 at 11:44 pm |

      Thanks so much, Ginny! So glad you enjoyed it. And honest charm is the perfect manner in which to describe that clip. He has that in spades, no?

  12. Nadal News » Blog Archive » RafaLint: February 4th

    […] Fan Fare: Seven Months Without Rafael Nadal – via changeovertennis.com (I adore the presser included in this post.) […]

  13. Natalie
    Natalie February 4, 2013 at 10:57 pm |

    A beautiful, heartfelt piece. Thank you for putting your thoughts down in writing. They really resonate with me. I did feel I was in purgatory these past months but never said it out aloud. Now I know I’m just normal 😉

    Less than 20 hours when the vamossing resumes! Hugs to all Rafans!

    1. AmyLu
      AmyLu February 4, 2013 at 11:45 pm |

      So glad it resonated with you — and can’t wait for all of the vamoses to come!

  14. AmyLu
    AmyLu February 4, 2013 at 11:28 pm |

    Thank you all for the feedback. I actually started writing my thoughts on Rafa’s absence in December because I found it quite therapeutic. I didn’t really envision sharing it with anyone outside of Juan José. I may have been “pushed” a little to share this piece with a wider audience, but I’m very glad I did so. 🙂

  15. Keri
    Keri February 5, 2013 at 2:56 am |

    Amy- for weeks, months I tried to convince myself that all the matches I’d seen Rafa play, win and lose would last a lifetime, that I was fortunate to have been blessed to see him play in the flesh several times, that I was sated. It was pure folly. I missed him so much and your words, your feelings- well I’ll just say, we’ve all adopted them in some fashion. We have all had them. I share your apprehension and bask in the moment that will be his return, return to his rightful place on planet earth — Center Court- whichever center court that may be. The spotlight. Thanks for helping me smile today! Vamos!

    1. Melissa
      Melissa February 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm |

      His rightful place, as you say, in Center Court of the tennis world. Vamos Rafa siempre!

    2. AmyLu
      AmyLu February 5, 2013 at 5:30 pm |

      So glad I helped you smile; I hope Rafa’s doubles’ win made you smile even more!

  16. OzRonda
    OzRonda February 5, 2013 at 7:40 am |

    You have articulated just how I have felt these last few months without Rafa on court. Thank you for such wonderful writing. It has also led me to this page so I can now enjoy yours and Jose’s tennis musings. Loved it.

    1. AmyLu
      AmyLu February 5, 2013 at 5:31 pm |

      So glad you enjoyed the piece. I, though, can’t take credit for any of the other brilliant work at The Changeover. This is my one post as a guest contributor. 🙂

  17. Aube
    Aube February 5, 2013 at 7:47 am |

    You should be glad and proud Amy because you did great,was so excited yesterday after the read that I forgot about my KUDDOS to you,yeah forgot my manners, but you already knew I appreciated it because I could hardly contain myself…
    Great job and on to Wednesday when all eyes would be on Nadou…awwwwwwwwwwwwwww:)

  18. Master Ace
    Master Ace February 5, 2013 at 8:45 am |

    Do not forget that Nadal will play doubles with Juan Monaco today at 6 PM local time.

    If I read Tignor’s article on TW correctly, Nadal will play at 4 PM EST(6 PM local time) tomorrow and the match will be shown on Tennis Channel.

  19. Master Ace
    Master Ace February 5, 2013 at 8:47 am |

    That was written very well. As a fan of the game, Nadal’s return is coming at the perfect time, in my opinion, for the following (1)February is normally a quiet month in tennis and (2)he is playing his first tournaments on his beloved red clay. By the way, I agree with Juan Jose that he will win Vina Del Mar, Sao Paulo and Acapulco.

    1. AmyLu
      AmyLu February 5, 2013 at 5:33 pm |

      Thanks so much, Master Ace! That’s very high praise coming from you. And, I hope you’re accurate as usual on the prediction front!

  20. Sinnet
    Sinnet February 5, 2013 at 9:00 am |

    Just simply lovly Amy. A true fan’s perspective on things. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. AmyLu
      AmyLu February 5, 2013 at 5:33 pm |

      Thanks so much, Sinnet! 🙂

  21. Highpockets
    Highpockets February 5, 2013 at 9:20 am |

    Beautifully expressed, AmyLu!

    It feels to me like that movie, “Close Encounters,” where people are all having exactly the same thoughts and feelings, including me…incredible!

    1. AmyLu
      AmyLu February 5, 2013 at 5:34 pm |

      Highpockets!!! So nice to “see” you. Hope you are doing well! 🙂

  22. marron
    marron February 5, 2013 at 10:40 am |

    Lovely writing, AmyLu! Exactly how I feel. Can’t articulate it myself, but reading your thoughts, I found myself nodding and going ‘yah, that’s it!’ more than once. Tennis has had no fire for me since June of 2012. Nada.

    I don’t really care if he wins or loses, the media is going to be all over him, regardless, and people will always be writing him off. They’ve been doing it since he beat Federer in Miami long ago.

    It’s just great that our boy is back, no? Now we gonna see what he can do.

    Vamos, baby!

    1. AmyLu
      AmyLu February 5, 2013 at 5:35 pm |

      Hi marron! Based on today’s doubles, I’d say he’s off to a flying start. Hope it can continue! 🙂

  23. moam
    moam February 5, 2013 at 11:56 am |

    Very nicely expressed sentiments in your article Juan Jose. I too have missed Rafa’s presence. What he brings to the game is simply not replaceable. I’m very hopeful that he will again be able to reach the highest level so that he alters the dynamic of every major in which he plays.


  24. Karthick
    Karthick February 5, 2013 at 11:59 am |

    Hi Amy,
    Thanks a lot for this article. It just brought the inner feelings of all Rafa fans. I suspect whether you are a doctor who knows the pulse of all of our Rafa fans. Each and every tidbits of information shared about Rafa being missed in Tennis world makes me to feel proud and also have a pride in being called as a Rafa fan. Vamos again to you!!! Last, but not the least, lets welcome the king!!! Vamos Rafa!

    1. AmyLu
      AmyLu February 5, 2013 at 5:36 pm |

      Thanks so much, Karthick. 🙂

  25. CLsCat2
    CLsCat2 February 5, 2013 at 12:10 pm |

    Just because its you, AmyLu. ;-))

    First, this is really well written. Congrats!

    And, as a Fed fan, (;-)), all I had to do was substitute Roger’s name for every Rafa reference and change, “….the snarl, the sneer, the intensity, the fist pumps, the “vamoses” and “sís.” I’ve missed seeing him duck his head down and sprint for drop shots. I’ve missed hearing him say things like “we gonna see, no?” during press conferences. “…. to, ‘the hair flick, the grace, the racket twirl while awaiting serve, the once per set fist pump, the ALLEZ on really big points, and the ‘its a pity, but..’ and I know JUST how you feel. 🙂 I think any fan whose favorite player has been absent from the sport, even a fan of the sport in general, and not just of that favorite, finds the tennis pickings a bit thin at times. Even if the matches are high quality. Because those matches are being played by ‘others’ not by the eye’s apple.

    1. AmyLu
      AmyLu February 5, 2013 at 5:38 pm |

      Hi CL! So nice to “see” you! 🙂

      I think you hit the nail on the head re: fandom. (And as an aside, I will greatly miss the “it’s a pity, but” if/when Fed retires).

  26. Sherlock
    Sherlock February 5, 2013 at 3:22 pm |

    Beautifully written, AmyLu. 🙂

    Let’s hope he can have a couple healthy years. Vamos!

    1. AmyLu
      AmyLu February 5, 2013 at 5:39 pm |

      Thanks so much, Sherlock! So glad you commented! 🙂

      And, amen to the healthy years!

  27. Thomas
    Thomas February 5, 2013 at 6:47 pm |

    Thanks for this piece.
    It really explains how i’ve felt these past months and how much i worry about rafa.


  28. Aube
    Aube February 5, 2013 at 7:00 pm |

    Have you guys caught a glimpse of the doubles today? “Your Awesomeness”! if you liked today,you’re going to love tomorrow,no?

    Bring it on Tennis Channel…

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