Tennis Prose



Was Rafa Used To Sell Indian Wells Tickets?

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from BNP Paribas Open.

“It is with great sadness that I have to withdraw from this amazing tournament at Indian Wells. Everyone knows how much I love this place and how much I love to play here. That’s also one of the reasons why I came very early to the desert to practice and try to get ready.” (No injury specified.)

Nadal had previously stated that competing at Indian Wells 2024 was very important to him and he confirmed he would definitely be playing and will be ready. So why would he even risk playing in a rugged exhibition vs. the world no. 2 Carlos Alcaraz in Las Vegas just days before the event, when he’s supposedly been sidelines for months with an injury (micro tears suffered in loss to Jordan Thompson in January)?

Nadal and the tournament scheduled his first round match a week in advance for the Thursday March 7 evening session – an unprecedented example of micro management – but now it looks like it was a publicity stunt ploy to lure Nadal fans to buy tickets.

Indian Wells is a mandatory event on the ATP World Tour. Nadal entered event using his protected ranking, which would have taken another player’s direct entry. Nadal confirmed he’s not injured just that he wasn’t ready for an elite event against the hobbled Milos Raonic. But just a few days ago Rafa was ready to play and win a set off the world no. 2. Will the ATP fine Rafa for this?

Sumit Nagal, lucky loser of India who lost to Seongchan Hong in the second round of qualies, will replace Nadal in the main draw first round match up vs Milos Raonic.

Rafa art by Andres Bella.

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  • Cory · March 7, 2024 at 12:29 pm

    Very, very interesting! Also worthy of mention is how this shows that Nadal can put fannies in the seats at an exhibition without the ATP, points, etc. It’s definitely a slap in the face to the ATP AND IW.

  • Sam · March 7, 2024 at 4:14 pm

    Scoop, do you think he got a handsome cut from the sales? 😏

  • Sam · March 7, 2024 at 4:21 pm

    Scoop, how far do you think Djokovic will go here?

  • Scoop Malinowski · March 7, 2024 at 6:53 pm

    Cory Yes indeed Rafa is still a franchise revenue generator and he’s going to continue to be milked for as long as possible. Perhaps until one of his legs falls off.

  • Scoop Malinowski · March 7, 2024 at 6:53 pm

    Sam, big appearance fee.

  • Scoop Malinowski · March 7, 2024 at 6:58 pm

    Sam, Djokovic wants to win this title and beat Sinner and regain the mental edge, like he did with Carlos in Cincy final after losing Wimbledon last year. So pressure is on Novak, he can’t afford to have Sinner beat him again. My pick is Djokovic to win the title.

  • Scoop Malinowski · March 8, 2024 at 8:49 am

    A friend called me yesterday, he likes Nadal and lives near IW. He was angry about the rip off, said the Netflix Scam was an obvious faked match with Carlos carrying Rafa and then winning the tiebreaker. He said IW is all filled up, the hotels full, everyone was excited for Rafa who faked out of the tournament. We are good friends for decades and this is the first time he called me to talk pro tennis. Not sure if Rafa or the tournament will be easily forgiven for this foul play. A lot of goodwill was lost. Rafa should have just played Raonic. Now he’s ducked Raonic at IW and Kyrgios at Wimby SF and also Djokovic on hard and grass for years.

  • Cory · March 8, 2024 at 2:16 pm

    How funny is it tho, that fans who paid to see Nadal got Nagal instead? Can’t make it up.

  • catherine · March 9, 2024 at 5:43 am


    Notice Joshua is being talked up again after this pretty meaningless fight….

  • Scoop Malinowski · March 9, 2024 at 8:41 am

    Cory, at this point I might be one of the very few who would prefer to see Nagal over Nadal play. Nadal just ducked Raonic and two days later he’s training on clay. Might be the worst tennis duck ever.

  • Scoop Malinowski · March 9, 2024 at 8:44 am

    Catherine, Joshua is the biggest attraction in heavyweight boxing now for a reason, he had some mediocre performances and lost two close decisions to Usyk, an all time great. There is a reason Fury and Wilder ducked Joshua for many years. I honestly believe Joshua held back in some of his mediocre performances to try to lure Wilder and Fury to dare to fight him, which of course they both ducked. I see Joshua beating Fury by knockout (if Fury can be forced into it) and avenging Usyk in a third fight.

  • catherine · March 9, 2024 at 10:59 am

    Interesting follow-up to the original report.

    BTW McCrae did the best interview with Chris Evert a couple of years ago that I’ve ever read.

  • Scoop Malinowski · March 9, 2024 at 5:13 pm

    Catherine here is my report on the sensational KO win by AJ…

  • catherine · March 11, 2024 at 5:43 am

    I could be wrong but I’d place a large bet on Fury doing the Dance of the Seven Veils rather than face Joshua.

  • Scoop Malinowski · March 11, 2024 at 9:31 am

    Catherine, you’re not alone in doubting on Fury, he’s already ducked out of facing Usyk three times and he’s successfully dodged Joshua for a decade. But the guy Turki Alalshikh is the one putting up the big money now and he wants Fury vs Usyk and then the winner vs Joshua. Fury already cut himself to duck out of the March date vs Usyk and he may pull off another deception. Fury is nuts and he’s afraid of losing to Usyk and AJ which will end his value and leverage.

  • Scoop Malinowski · March 11, 2024 at 9:34 am

    Felix looks closer to a journeyman player now than a Grand Slam king which is what many pundits expected of him. Why he does not bring in a new coach is one of the mysteries of the tennis world. Now Griekspoor smashes his racquet after blowing two set points vs Zverev – another dull personality suddenly showing emotions – could it be a secret agenda initiative to make more players show emotions for better theater? Shelton wins another thriller in three sets. Courier’s two boys get to hit with Novak at IW.

  • Sam · March 11, 2024 at 9:41 pm

    Scoop, wait a minute—you mean you can actually get a big “appearance” fee even when you fail to make an appearance?? 😲

  • Sam · March 11, 2024 at 9:42 pm

    So pressure is on Novak, he can’t afford to have Sinner beat him again. My pick is Djokovic to win the title.

    Thanks for your prediction, Scoop. I just hope he plays well.

  • Scoop Malinowski · March 12, 2024 at 9:01 am

    Sam I believe certain impact players do earn an appearance fee for saying they are going to play a tournament and then pull out before it starts, never intending to play it. Yes I believe this business tactic happens but can’t prove it.

  • Scoop Malinowski · March 12, 2024 at 9:04 am

    Novak has lost to a guy I never saw play Luca Nardi in three sets. I don’t think Djokovic is near the same player he was last year, he said last week that 2023 and 2022 took a lot out of him. He clearly does not have the same fanatical focus, fury, and obsessive will to win anymore like he previously did. And this fractional loss of drive and hunger will be the difference in him dominating and not dominating. I think Djokovic’s priorities have changed, deep down he wants to enjoy the end of his career, more so than to keep winning big titles which requires all of his focus time energy. He could be on his farewell tour.

  • Sam · March 21, 2024 at 7:42 am

    Scoop, well, that’s pathetic if you can earn an “appearance” fee that way.

    Yes, Djokovic may well be sailing off into the sunset. 🌇 And there’s really no shame in that.

  • Scoop Malinowski · March 21, 2024 at 8:49 am

    Sam I have no proof of that but patterns where it suggest it happens. Just an educated guess.

  • Sam · March 25, 2024 at 9:44 pm

    Scoop, there are lots of things we don’t have actual proof of, but believe strongly anyway. Intuition rules, man. 😺



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