Federer, Nadal and the Future
by Sean Randall | September 15th, 2008
  • 129 Comments

We are a week removed and the tennis world is still buzzing over Roger Federer’s US Open triumph. Federer, written off by most including yours truly at least for this US Open title, walks away the clear victor, while guys like Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic fell flat as they neared the finish line of what turned out to be a long and crazy summer.

Love him or hate, you have to credit Federer for coming through to win the Open. The guy salvaged a miserable summer and a sub-par year by Federer standards to capture his 13th career Grand Slam, putting him just one behind Pete Sampras’s mark of 14, which he will likely match if not break next year.

Of course some people (not me!) argue the guy had a joke of a draw up until the semifinals, where he played an exhausted Djokovic and then an overwhelmed Murray, but fact is fact, Fed won the title, he deserves his due.

And credit Federer’s fitness. While Djokovic, Nadal and others were sucking wind (granted, they played more this summer), Federer was flying high. His bout with mono aside, when have you ever seen the guy in any kind of physical distress on a tennis court? And let’s not forget the fact that he has zero career retirements. What ever the guy does fitness-wise he needs to keep doing.

So is Federer really back? For now he is at least. Raja can pretty much walk on water between now and the Australian Open, and deservedly so after all the heat he has taken this year. Hell, even if Federer loses every match between now and the end of the year he can quickly remind the critics of his US Open triumph. (Maybe this “Pete Sampras mode” – that is, just concentrating on the Slams and pretty much screwing everything else – really might work for the Swiss in the end.)

But I don’t think he’ll go and lose every match just like he won’t win them all. It’s still going to be a very rocky road for Raja, but at least he’s got his confidence and game back for the time being. That said, I would still like to see him takes some extra time off, but in all likelihood his US Open victory is only going to make him want to play more.

Playing more is something Rafael Nadal shouldn’t be doing either. After a crucial Davis Cup tie with the U.S. this weekend the Spaniard should really think about easing up on his playing demands, especially with a possible Davis Cup final looming in December. And I think/hope he will. Nadal, who’ll finish the year No. 1, needs to mindful of saving energy for the start of 2009 when he’ll begin his No. 1 defense in earnest.

Incredibly in one short year Novak Djokovic went from the toast of NY to just plain old getting toasted. Amazing. And if you are a Novak supporter you can blame it on the media, his parents, his coaches, his opponents, his agents, his entourage, his hair, his breathing problems, etc., but Novak and only Novak took that microphone that night and let it out for all the fans and TV audience to hear during that infamous postmatch interview following his win over Andy Roddick.

The interview drew some heavy criticism with the Serb taking heat from just about every corner, loyal fans included. But as I said before I actually liked what I saw that night from Novak who stood up for himself to Roddick at a time and on a stage where very, very few would dare. That was gutsy.

And while the incident did some serious damage to Novak’s persona and psyche in the short term, I really believe he’ll walk away from it as a better player and person in the long run. (After Roddick said we he said in the press how many medical timeouts or questionable tactics did Novak employ in either his Roddick or Federer match? None that I saw. See, it’s working already!) But I think it’s going to take a while, a long while, before we see Novak holding up a Slam trophy again. He’s going to have to face the reality of not being the fan favorite like he so desperately wants to be, but rather the villain, at least for now. How he deals with that adjusted role I don’t know.

Speaking of villains, Andy Roddick use to be, or maybe still is, one of those villain guys. People seem to either love him or hate him. Regardless, he’s absolutely great to have around, always spicing things up and adding interest to just about any event he enters. But I get the feeling this year was Roddick’s last shot at another Slam win. I’d like to see another run, and he could still get another look at a Wimbledon final if things really break right on the SW19 lawns, but I don’t see a Major in the future for him at the other two (forget French Open). There are just too many tough players out there right now that can handle what Roddick has to offer. Maybe his new coach – I presume Patrick McEnroe will not be his full-time guy come 2009 – might get a spark out of him, but at this stage in his career Andy’s not going to suddenly wake up with Andre Agassi’s backhand or Patrick Rafter’s netgame. Credit to him for working on those weaker areas, but the reality is he’s more than likely on the downslope of his career than the upslope.

As for guys on the rise, and there are a bunch, things look better than ever for them and for the sport of tennis in general ahead. Andy Murray came up big at the Open, showing his versatility and talent in achieving his best showing as a pro. Despite his long summer, Juan Martin Del Potro really impressed me, going deep at the Open and fighting till the bitter end against Murray in the quarterfinals.

Ernests Gulbis displayed the kind of firepower that makes him lethal on any surface. It was great to see JW Tsonga make a positive return, winning two matches in his first event since knee surgery in May. Sam Querrey played some inspired tennis before getting turned away late by Nadal in a fourth round battle, and teens Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori showed they aren’t fearful of the big stage.

And it’s worth repeating, if you enjoyed this US Open just imagine what it will be like in a couple years when young guys like Gulbis, Cilic, Gael Monfils, Stan Wawrinka, Gilles Simon, Del Potro, Richard Gasquet, Tsonga and the rest of their generation – which I think will go down as the greatest ever! – mature further, putting even more pressure on their leaders Nadal, Murray and Djokovic and the elder crew of Federer, Roddick, Blake, Ferrer and Davydenko.

Good times ahead, indeed.


Also Check Out:
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Rafael Nadal: Just Because Roger Lost Doesn’t Mean We Can’t Play At The US Open In The Future
John McEnroe: Ryan Harrison is a Top 15, Top 10 Player
Dominant Serena Williams on Verge of No. 1 Record

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129 Comments for Federer, Nadal and the Future

Vulcan Says:

“And while the incident did some serious damage to Novak’s persona and psyche in the short term, I really believe he’ll walk away from it as a better player and person in the long run.”

I agree with the second part.
No rational minded person would disagree that Roddick’s final comment about him being “quick to call the trainer” coupled with his exaggeration was an attempt to draw scrutiny of Djokovic’s character and integrity.
What happened after that was very simple, he came out, whipped Roddick without taking a single medical timeout, and made some comments which expressed his anger over Roddick’s comments and the crowd’s behavior. He was honest, forthright, and in the right.


Vulcan Says:

“Nadal, who’ll finish the year No. 1, ”

Likely, but is this a mathematical certainty already?


Mathematical Says:

“Likely, but is this a mathematical certainty already?”

No, but it’s close. Federer has a lot of points to defend, including 650 at the Masters cup.

If Nadal plays fewer tournaments (he is defending points from only 3 through the end of the year) then maybe there is a slight possibity.

If Nadal plays all three and does not play much much worse than last year (hard to imagine he will not play at least as well, overal) then making up over 1000 points will be extremely unlikely for Federer.


Von Says:

“After a crucial Davis Cup tie with the U.S. this weekend the Spaniard should really think about easing up on his playing demands, especially with a possible Davis Cup final looming in December.”

I suppose it’s a foregone conclusion that Spain will win The DC tie against the US. in that case, the US team should just give Spain a walkover and avoid the unnecessary travelling and unfriendly crowd they’ll have to endure if they were to play in this tie.


Giuseppe Mirelli Says:

Regarding Randall’s absurd(stupid) comment that Federer had “…a joke of a draw…” is again a demonstration of an opinion without any foundation.

Federer played Stepanek in the 2nd round and Andreev in the 3rd and Muller in the quarterfinals. Muller defeated Davydenko and then lost to Federer. None of these players are “jokes”. That is why we have the word “upset” because the above mentioned players and hundreds more can upset the ranked players; and there is always an upset in every tournament. Furthermore, Federer’s draw was no less demanding than Nadals or for that matter any of the ranked players.

My suggestion to Mr. Randall is that he think before he spews out his stupid remarks.

Giuseppe Mirelli


HighRoller Says:

Sean,

Don’t be so back handed in giving Federer credit:

1) you said – “granted, they all played more than him this year” – that’s true ONLY for nadal, not for djokovic or murray or any of the other players. Fed has already played 66 matches this year, MORE than djokovic or murray, or anyone else. Plus fed had recently played 5 doubles matches at the Olympics. Point is – only Nadal is probably fitter than Fed, NOBODY else. Even with Nadal, Fed is the only one who has hung tough with him over 5 hours.

2) Given that Fed had mono this year, and the heart breaker he lost at wimbledon, the way he came back at the US – full credit to him. So much for that stupid Wilander saying that Fed lacks balls!

3) Fed was 24-3 in slams this year. Nadal was 24-2. Everyone else was way behind. Again, coming to slams best of 5 performance over the whole year, Fed had a year just marginally below Nadal, separated by a couple of points late at night at wimbledon. Everyone needs to realize that Fed’s year was very close to Nadal’s year.

4) related to the point above – this is being touted as a “spectacular” year by Nadal. Well, it falls short of what Fed did THRICE, in 2004, 06, and 2007 (win 3 slams in one year, and going 27-1 in 2006, 26-1 in 2007 in slams). Yes, Nadal had a GREAT year, better than what Sampras EVER had (given that Nadal also won the Olympics) – but Fed has had 3 years better than all of these.

Will Fed win more? I guess so. I think he will definitely win another wimbledon and US Open, over the next few years. Though his best is past him, he will never win 3 slams in one year again. He will certainly overtake Sampras though.

What about Nadal? His peak year is not going to be when he is 25 or 26. I think he is pretty close to his peak year. It would be very interesting to see what happens in 2009. Nadal obviously will win a couple more French open at least. But I am not convinced he can win a slam on hard courts. With all the other players now coming up, its only going to be harder for him next year. Wimbledon? Maybe he might win another.

Lets see – 2009 will probably be one of the most exciting seasons ever, with SO MANY strong players on the circuit. Something like the mid to end eighties, when there were SO MANY top players playing each other.


fedfan Says:

federer is betterer!


Jack Bauer Says:

Tennis really turned a corner this year, and it’s really for the better. The top 10 in the last 4 years really were no where close to Federer, but now we have Murray, Novak and Nadal, all serious competitors. Seriously, people like Ferrer, Davedanko, Roddick and Blake aren’t in the same league. These guys aren’t serious competition for the new top 4.

Even still, Nadal’s win at Wimbledon was sort of a “fluke”. Maybe the court was playing slower, maybe Federer was still injured, but I don’t think he’ll have it in him to repeat. As with every year in recent history, 4 players dominated the Masters Series, and the Grand Slam Finals. And really in the next 2 years, I don’t see anyone but the current top 3 winning any Majors.

Nadal has never reached a hard court major final, and I don’t think he ever will. Tsonga destroyed him, Novak is better on hard courts, Murray is better as well. Nadal won’t be able to defend all those points next year, as players catch up on clay. I don’t think anyone would be surprised if Novak or Federer beat Nadal at the French, or Wimbledon. The only player I see repeating any major next year is Federer at the US open. If Federer is going to overtake Nadal on clay, it’s 2009.


tennisontherocks Says:

‘elated to the point above – this is being touted as a “spectacular” year by Nadal. Well, it falls short of what Fed did THRICE, in 2004, 06, and 2007 (win 3 slams in one year, and going 27-1 in 2006, 26-1 in 2007 in slams). Yes, Nadal had a GREAT year, better than what Sampras EVER had (given that Nadal also won the Olympics) – but Fed has had 3 years better than all of these’

‘Even still, Nadal’s win at Wimbledon was sort of a “fluke”. Maybe the court was playing slower, maybe Federer was still injured, but I don’t think he’ll have it in him to repeat.’

Rafa has reached wimby final for past 3 years. Each year he has played better and finally managed to beat Roger. Also, he did beat Novak at queens. I will not call this a ‘fluke’. (if you want a fluke, how about Roger’s Hamburg win??? his ONLY clay win over Rafa). I am huge Roger fan, but common guys…give Rafa the credit he fully deserves. Roger may be one of the GOATS, but Rafa is the #1 player for now.


Oleg Says:

Statistically speaking, the trio of winning the French Open, Wimbledon and Olympic gold is more rare than the trio of Aussie, Wimbledon, US Open.

So I disagree with “Well, it falls short of what Fed did THRICE, in 2004, 06, and 2007″.


sensationalsafin Says:

I think Federer’s 2006 year is above Nadal’s 2008. 2004 and 2007 are hard to argue. And it’s because of what Oleg said in it being more rare what Nadal accomplished.

Nadal’s win wasn’t a fluke, he deserves full credit for improving his game the way he did. But repeating at Wimbledon will be harder for him, imo. It’s still grass. He’s not the all-time dominator on grass the way he is on clay. Djokovic, Murray, and Federer are more than capable of overwhelming Nadal on grass if their games are on. Even Roddick has a shot. A good one, imo.

Nadal is not more fit than Federer. Not even close. Federer is the most fit player on tour and possibly one of the most fit players to ever play the game. He doesn’t look like a tank but how else would you describe someone who posted such consistent results over a 4 year span. 17 straight finals reached at 1 point, 18 slam semis straight, 23 or 24 wins in finals straight. He’s a beast. Nadal always gets tired at this point in the year. Does Federer? Not at all. Federer says a lot of things that are questionable but one thing I believe is that he’s as fresh as he’s ever been right now.

And in case someone wants to argue that Nadal plays more clay matches which wear him out more then don’t bother. In the last few years, the only tournament Nadal played during the MAIN clay season that Federer didn’t is Barcelona. But in all the masters and at the French, they were facing each other in every single final. Even if Nadal won them all Federer was still there putting out the effort. And this year Federer has played more matches on clay because he had Estoril which balances out Barcelona and he went a few matches further in Rome than Nadal did. So don’t even think about it! Federer’s the most fit by a longshot.


jane Says:

I agree with Oleg because Rafa won the French (on clay – not to mention almost every other title on clay) Wimbledon (on grass – as well as Queens) and Olympic Gold (on hard, as well as Toronto MS).

That means he won major titles on all surfaces; i should add that I for one consider the Olympics a major title, and much like a slam, given the competition, although granted, it was best of three.


jane Says:

There is something remarkable about Federer’s consistency considering he’s been virtually injury-free throughout all of it. He must have exceptional training. But some of this is just the luck of genetics. Also, he’s always done a pretty good job of arranging his schedule. Notice how it was after he added in the exo appearances that he fell ill with mono – maybe he tipped the balance? Anyhow. Just a thought.


JoshDragon Says:

I could still see Roddick winning another major but it would have to be at the US Open and he would have to be facing an opponent who isn’t in the top four.

As for Federer’s US Open draw I wouldn’t say that it was a joke. Stepanek, Djokovic, Murray, and apparently Andreev (since he took Fed to 5 sets) all had the ability to upset Federer yet Fed persevered and prevented that from happening.


Sean Randall Says:

Vulcan, in the spirit of the upcoming US election, I’m projecting Nadal to finish No. 1. Mathematically he may not have secured that ranking, but barring a catastrophic collapse he’ll do it.

Giuseppe Mirelli, I’m not making that argument, but other folks can and have. Spot the difference.

HighRoller, as for your first comment, where did I say that “granted, they all played more than him this year”? I said they – Nadal, Djokovic – played more than Fed THIS SUMMER. A fact.

Jack Bauer, Nadal’s Wimbledon title a fluke? Really?? How so???

I would say that if Roger ever beat Rafa at the French that that would be more of a Fluke than Rafa winning over Roger at Wimbledon. If you are talking flukes that is!

Regarding seasons, Fed’s are statistically better than Rafa’s thus far, but I would argue Rafa’s run this year from a tennis achievement perspective is more impressive.

Sensationalsafin, hard to argue that Fed’s not among one of the fittest players ever. The guy never physically tires!

That said, Jane, I think he will get hit by injuries in the years to come. That’s not a knock against Roger, but just probabilities. Everyone gets injured sooner or later.


Andrew Miller Says:

Ugh Mr. Randall I beg to differ. I think Rafa and Raja are clearly the Sampras and Agassi of their generation, and likely will outpace both of them. I cant see the other fellas doing what they’ve done, but I agree that tennis is in good hands.

(Personally I would like to see the Baghdatis win a big one in this era (and to see an American player win one already!), but sadly I dont think Baghdatis wants to, and I dont feel an American player can win a slam these days outside of the doubles and women’s draws. There was an article from SI Price about Stanley Roberts, who used to school Shaq O Neal at LSU, but who turned into nothing. I fear that Baghdatis, much like Rios but with more smiles, has no heart for tennis, so tennis rightfully belongs to other players that DO want it).


Daniel Says:

Fed’s 2006 year to me still is the best year in tennis, by far:

3 Slams and a final (RG), 1 Masters Cup, 12 titles, 5 losses (4 to Nadal in finals and 1 to Murray in Cincy), 92-5 for the season, 12 or 13 straight finals, more than 8000 points in rankings (Nadal was a little over 4000)….No comparisons!!!


kofi ofori Says:

thankfully, nadal nor federer will read all these ghost stories about them not ever winning slams on hardcourts, career never picking up again like it was, etc.
it amazes me how people pour their opinions – yes, mere opinions! – on to these pages and expect everyone to take it as gospel.
if it were gospel, why would these people not be out there whacking some fluffym little yellow balls?
like james blake told larry stefanki, “you’ve never contested a medal before so you have no idea what it feels like”. we all have no idea, only nadal and federer do. so lets enjoy the best rivalry – my opinion – that this game has provided while we still can.


J.Hens Says:

The one other thing I like to compare when you are looking at the Nadal and Federer rivalry is the matchups, and the surface matchups. This is the main reason I feel Federer is the better all around player.

Nadal’s head to head, inarguably has been increased by his ability to outplay Federer on clay. But at the same time, you have to realize that these two are only playing in Finals, nearly all of the time.

The fact that Federer is challenging Nadal in Finals of clay tournaments, while Federer has had very little head to head matches with Nadal on hardcourts or grass, but mainly hardcourts, is what makes me feel like the head to head has the potential to seem inflated.

Basically, if you’re going by favorite surface, and by pure head to head, Nadal has faced Federer on clay the majority of their matches, while there are very few hardcourt finals. The only reason there hasn’t been is because of Nadal’s inability to break through. This to me is a clear indication that Federer’s ability translates more from surface to surface, and to me makes me wonder what the head to head would possibly be if Nadal were able to get out of the semi’s at these hardcourt slams and face Federer.


J.Hens Says:

Also,

SF, F, F, W

vs.

SF, W, W, SF

Let’s not assume that Nadal ran away with this season, historically it is very amazing, and he deserves every amount of credit he deserves, but it’s not incomparable to Federer’s. I think the only thing that brings Federer’s year down is the fact that he lost to Novak early on, and lost so badly in the French final.

I am a Federer fan, but regardless, I have yet to see Nadal translate his game and become a dominate force, how can you be the #1 player and not be able to make it out of the Semi’s of 2/4 of the Slams.

Federer has 8 grand slam wins on hardcourts, while Nadal is at 0 hardcourt slam finals.


Ezorra Says:

kofi ofori Says:

“thankfully, nadal nor federer will read all these ghost stories about them not ever winning slams on hardcourts, career never picking up again like it was, etc.
it amazes me how people pour their opinions – yes, mere opinions! – on to these pages and expect everyone to take it as gospel.
if it were gospel, why would these people not be out there whacking some fluffym little yellow balls?
like james blake told larry stefanki, “you’ve never contested a medal before so you have no idea what it feels like”. we all have no idea, only nadal and federer do. so lets enjoy the best rivalry – my opinion – that this game has provided while we still can.”

100% agree!!!


J.Hens Says:

Also,

To me, Federer was able to play this tournament very well and had a pretty decent draw in all honesty. His first tournament at no.2 in several years, and he’s either facing Roddick who beat him for the first time this year, or Novak, who took him out of the Aussie semi. And on the way, he is facing a player who historically has not been an easy match for him in Stepanek, and was able to put him away rather quickly. Beyond that, he played Andreev, who was on a remarkable run in the Open, and showed his fitness and will to win on the important points. Plus, beating Novak easily, and the dismantling of Murray, who was ‘breaking through’, showed to me that he has the ability to fend off upcoming challengers still.


sasha Says:

Mr. Bauer, you don’t really like that Nadal guy, huh? Saying that his Wimbledon win was a “fluke” is more than ridiculous – others here have pointed out why.

Also, what’s up with the hard court stuff:

“Nadal has never reached a hard court major final, and I don’t think he ever will. Tsonga destroyed him, Novak is better on hard courts, Murray is better as well.”

Nadal beat Tsonga twice. both hard courts: 2008 Indian Wells and 2007 US Open (where the score was a semi-destroying 7-6(2), 6-2, 6-1). Nadal has a winning hard court record against Murray. Does all of that go away because Nadal didn’t reach the final of this year’s US Open? Is that why you conclude that Nadal will never reach a hard court major final?


TennisMasta Says:

Sean,

You write well, but can you please stop giving excuses:

“guys like Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic fell flat as they neared the finish line of what turned out to be a long and crazy summer.” clearly makes them undeserving of any tournament, let alone a great slam like the US Open.

“guy had a joke of a draw up until the semifinals,”

Do you suggest a different way of doing the draw?
Remember you have to beat the 7 players of your side to win the slam. And that hasn’t changed in a loong time. Yes, the joke in the draw is that Roger had a relatively easier time dispatching his R16 opponent than his semis opponent. And had a relatively easier time dispatching his finals opponent than his Qtr-finals opponent.What about the draw for Rafa? It looked like he reached his semis a little easier than Roger did.

“where he played an exhausted Djokovic and then an overwhelmed Murray, but fact is fact, Fed won the title, he deserves his due.”

This is a bit grudging and backhanded. We need to give credit to anyone whole heartedly. Again, as you said well, if you are exhausted or overwhelmed can you lay claim to a grand slam title?

It’s no different than Rafa wearing down his opponents in his matches. Should we start calling Rafa’s wins as “due to the exhausted opponent?”

I told myself not to respond to certain things, but we need to stop giving excuses for losses. We need to agree that talent, great form and fitness on that day, execution, perhaps some luck and breaks, and yes, some poor play by the opponent or fitness issues are all part of the usual mix where the better player on that day wins the match.


NachoF Says:

TennisMasta Says:

Sean,

You write well, but can you please stop giving excuses:

“guys like Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic fell flat as they neared the finish line of what turned out to be a long and crazy summer.” clearly makes them undeserving of any tournament

Tennis Masta,
So you honestly think that Nadal and Djokovic are “undeserving of ANY tournament”?…


bobby Says:

To people who say that Nadal`s wimbledon win was a fluke,i want to say that are you people dumb?.Nadal was in wimbledon final 3yrs in a row.Last year he stretched federer for 5 sets.This year he won queens final[grass] against djokovic. Again Nadal beat djoko in semis of olympics on hard court.Nadal beat murray in quarters of Rogers cup on hard court.Nadal this year won titles on clay,grass and hard courts.If you say that all these wins are fluke then we can say federer`s record is due to lack of competition.Give respect take respect.


Richard Waddington Says:

Sean Randall for all his fine words cannot hide his dislike for Roger Federer, who is without doubt the greatest tennis player in history. I have been watching studying and predicting tennis matches for 40 years with far more success than Sean


steve Says:

The level to which Nadal would have to rise to win consistently at a hard-court Slam would be exponentially harder to achieve than where he’s at right now. There are so many players who can hurt him on a hard court: Murray, Djokovic, Tsonga, Gulbis, as well as Federer, of course.

And the up-and-coming young Turks like Cilic and Querrey have even more firepower. Querrey was outhitting Nadal in their match–his forehand was so massive that he could simply knock Nadal off one side of the court, then smash the return straight down the line on the opposite side. And Cilic, whose groundstrokes were so powerful they even pushed Djokovic back, and who has the nerve and the skill to engage in long baseline rallies, will no doubt be able to do the same.

Give them a year or two to mature, and they’ll be standing in Nadal’s way on hard courts as well as grass.

Federer has weapons to handle players with more raw power than he, as his victories over Andreev, Djokovic, and Murray showed. Nadal plays a baseline power game and will have to develop a lot more to be competitive with those power players on a hard court.

I agree with the poster who said that Nadal is actually near the midpoint of his career, since he started playing at a high level so early in his life. His playing style is very inefficient and hard on his body; he compensates with his incredible concentration and sheer force of will. But it takes a permanent toll. The harder he plays, the more it shortens his career.

I see him winning at least six French Opens (though I suspect Federer will wrest the crown from him in the next couple years), a couple more Wimbledons, and maybe a hard-court Slam or two.

I suspect he’ll have to retire once he’s Federer’s current age, when his body will no longer sustain the incredible demands of his brand of tennis. But he’s the kind of athlete who’s happy to burn out young in exchange for glory.


NachoF Says:

steve,
You really think Nadal can win “a couple more Wimbledons”?…. wow, you make that one sound a little bit too simple.


Ezorra Says:

Steve, it’s funny to hear all your theories towards Nadal. However, its not that surprise though, since everyone who is not in favor with him has regularly discussed about the same thing since forever.

But, I really don’t care anything you’ve said because Nadal is the type of player that have a preference to prove rather than talking nonsense like what you’re doing now.

“There are so many players who can hurt him on a hard court: Murray, Djokovic, Tsonga, Gulbis, as well as Federer, of course.”

Are you kidding? He trashed Tsonga, Blake, Djokovic, Berdych, Gulbis and Querrey (which some of them have repeatedly beaten him on hard court) in his last meeting against them. So, which fact has used to support your motion? Seriously, I’m very confused right now!

“Give them a year or two to mature, and they’ll be standing in Nadal’s way on hard courts as well as grass.”

How about Nadal? Why can’t he develop like other players? Come on, most of the people like you have mentioned that Nadal might not be able to continue playing tennis since he was 18 and will end his career when he is 21! Tell me, where is he now?

But I accept your comment due to the fact that you’ve put the word “I suspect…” in it means that you just only make an assumption through your personal observation, which will bring you nowhere actually! Anyway, just continue your good effort! Hopefully, you’ll prove something someday!


steve Says:

NachoF: I didn’t say it would be easy. But Nadal has been a finalist at Wimbledon three straight years in a row, losing only to Federer twice and winning once. He is, at the moment, the best grass-court player, no doubt. And I say this as a rabid Federer partisan who was sad for days over his Wimbledon loss (though now, I agree that the important thing about that match was not who won or lost, but that showcased some spectacular play and it raised tennis itself to a higher level).

Next year will probably be Nadal’s peak year and see his momentum on clay and grass continue. After that will be the decline, when he will no longer dominate at Roland Garros and it will be harder for him to win on grass, let alone hard courts.

I would say that he will almost certainly win one more Wimbledon. Two more Wimbledons might be a taller order, but he is hungry enough to do it. Like I said, he’ll burn out quicker the higher he reaches. But he has the will to do it. I don’t think longevity is his top priority–winning more Grand Slams is.


Ezorra Says:

Steve says:

“He (Nadal) is, at the moment, the best grass-court player, no doubt.”

Again, are you kidding!!! Nadal might’ve won Wimbledon this year but it doesnt mean that he is the best grass court player at the moment. Federer is!


steve Says:

Ezorra: we are all talking through our you-know-whats, are we not? So I would appreciate it if you would let me say my piece.

Nadal on hard courts is vulnerable. It cost him exponentially more to play successive rounds in the US Open. Recall–Fish had never even broken Nadal’s serve in any of the times they met before, let alone taken a set off him. True, Fish was playing better than he’d ever been, but still.

And Murray’s victory over Nadal. Would you have predicted that from his straight-sets loss to Nadal at Wimbledon? I guess going by your logic of who was the latest to win in their head-to-head, Nadal should have whomped Murray in straight sets. But that logic didn’t hold.

I’m not saying Nadal will necessarily lose on a hard court. I’m saying it’s a toss-up. Surely you can’t say he’s the favorite vs. Djokovic, who ended his 32-match win streak, or vs. Murray, who totally outplayed him. Or Federer, who beat him last year in the Masters’ Cup. Or Tsonga, who destroyed him in Australia and who had knee problems when he faced Nadal at Indian Wells.

“How about Nadal? Why can’t he develop like other players?”

He could. But he’d have to get a lot more efficient. His serve has improved greatly, but he hasn’t necessarily had to be so adept at volleying, since his heavy groundstrokes force his opponents to play so far behind the baseline. Players like Cilic and Querrey won’t have that problem, since they can outhit him without breaking a sweat.

And you are assuming he’ll stay healthy for the next few years. Which is no certain thing, given that he’s already suffered injuries that have hampered him.

I don’t know why you’re so hostile. I said he’d have at least five or six more productive years, and that he might (at the very best) win up to eleven Grand Slams, which is two more than Agassi. So why are you so pissed?


Roy Says:

Reading all the above posts, in toto, on this thread makes one wonder, why does the current # 1 player in the world, does attract so much bad press regarding his style of play and his supposed longevity. Reading some of posts makes one feel that he is at the fag end of his learning curve and additionally, is tottering on his last legs at the ripe old of age of 22 and will bid adios to tennis any moment.


grendel Says:

Steve says: “we are all talking through our you-know-whats, are we not? So I would appreciate it if you would let me say my piece.” Absolutely. And that’s the answer to Kofi Ofori, who seems to think you must be on the tour before you can discuss it. Well, that’s the end of most journalism, then. And – in this vein – don’t bother reading film/ theatre/book etc reviews unless the reviewer is an actor/novelist etc.

Blogs are good, because people who had no previous opportunity to get things off their chest here can do so to their hearts’ content.

“it amazes me how people pour their opinions – yes, mere opinions! – on to these pages and expect everyone to take it as gospel”. Well, of course we can all get a bit carried away from time to time. And we’re all experts, aren’t we, when we rave at the television screen because our player has done – in our exalted opinion – a duff shot. Even if we can barely hold a tennis racket. But deep down, we all know the score. And – sometimes – worthwhile things are said. Experts are not necessarily candid or honest, and can certainly be exposed occasionally. And it’s nice to know what other people think, too, and sometimes that can make you think and even revise an opinion. Finally, you’ve been to a show. At the end, people drift out without saying much. You go to another show. Everyone’s discussing animatedly, reluctant to leave. Who d’you think got most out of the show they saw? Well, tennis is a show.


oops Says:

i cant agree more! these guys are real talented and we shouldnt dare dilute their talent by the negative writings of people like Sean, though a great writer!

The fact is Fed demolished his oponents for his 5th, period! Everyone gets tired and exhausted, others like the Djoker will quit, whislt others like Murray will go on till the end.


TennisMasta Says:

NachoF,

Ofcourse, not! They are both great champions and will win a ton of tournaments, no doubt about it.

As I was writing this late night, what I meant was players that “fell flat as they neared the finish line of what turned out to be a long and crazy summer” in a tournament cannot expect to win that tournament as there are so many good players out there. If you are not well you will be beaten as Roger’s year thus far showed us. You cannot use it as an excuse because you have to compete on the scheduled day no matter how you are.

Agree with Richard Waddington who Says:
“Sean Randall for all his fine words cannot hide his dislike for Roger Federer”

So I will try not to take any of Sean’s comments on Roger too seriously going forward. As Von suggested it is a waste of time defending when there is nothing to defend.


Sean Randall Says:

Andrew Miller, the Agassi/Sampras/Courier generation I would call top heavy. This new one is very deep, very talented and I think will overall be better.

Tennismasta/oops/NachoF/Richard Waddington/others, to repeat, I am not taking a shot at Fed when I say “you could argue the guy had a joke of a draw up until the semifinals”. That’s just an argument I have heard and read but I don’t buy it.

Regarding Nadal and his hardcourt skills, did we already forget the guy won the Olympics, Canada and reached the SF at the US Open and the Australian Open?? I see no reason why he cannot win a hardcourt major or another Wimbledon.


Tejuz Says:

Oleg Says:
“Statistically speaking, the trio of winning the French Open, Wimbledon and Olympic gold is more rare than the trio of Aussie, Wimbledon, US Open.
So I disagree with “Well, it falls short of what Fed did THRICE, in 2004, 06, and 2007″.

I dont think so.. why is it rare??? except for Federer who else has one the trio of Aus, Wimby and US Open?? .. its not rare because we have see Fed doing it thrice. Plus being finalist at French. Going 27-1 at Grandslams twice in a row.
And also .. why are you guys forgeting Master’s Cup??? He has won this.. everytime he has won 3 GS in a year… Lets see if Nadal can win the masters cup this year.

Fed’s 04, 06 and 07 years are much better than Nadal’s year as of now… Fed’s 05 year is more comparable.. even though Fed was 81-4 that whole year :-)


MMT Says:

It will be very interesting to see how Nadal and Fed do in the indoor season. Nadal seems to fizzle at the end of the summer and winter seasons every year – will this one be different?

Nadal’s year has been extraordinary for sure, but the Olympics don’t count as a slam, and at the end of the day Rafa has 2 while Fed had 3 in 3 different years – no contest.

Djokovic was absolutely in his right to attack Roddick for attempting to put scrutiny on his timeouts, and Roddick was in his right for the same. Djokovic’s problem is his focus – who cares what other say – go and do your job!
Ironically in blowing Roddick away and playing like a man posessed for 3 of 4 sets, he has given the best argument against his own exaggerations of injuries and incessant time-outs.

And not to pour water on the flavor(s) of the month, but what’s all this about Ernst Gulbis? As far as I can tell, this kid Gulbis does not have the mind of a champion. He had Djokovic in his sights in Paris and he blew it. He should have destroyed Roddick and gave it way. I just don’t see what everyone is so excited about…anyone can hit like a ton of bricks for a set and a half, but you’ve got to close the deal, and this kid was no where near doing that. He’s got to concentrate.

For that matter Del Potro didn’t win any tight matches against established players – all his wins were either mindless bashfests or wars of attrition against players as inexperienced as he is. When he wins something against quality players, then we can annoint him the next best whatever.

Of course, for 3 years I’ve felt the same about Murray and look how handled Nadal…


jane Says:

JMDP beat Gasquet to win Stuggart. Hmmm. Gasquet has beat Fed on clay and pushed Rafa. JMDP beat Roddick on hardcourts at LA I believe, and pushed Murray at the USO, who was a finalist. I’d say he’s proved his chops.

Gulbis still needs to focus and show the determination and grit to win or he’ll be another underachiever, with a helluva game but no consistency. He might be a guy who loves a big show.

Cilic and JMDP, however, have both desire and focus; they are real threats to everyone next year – just wait.


Richard Waddington Says:

Sean
Sorry for the misunderstanding. Federer has nothing to prove to anybody. Just simply the best


Sean Randall Says:

MMT, to add to what Jane said, JDMP had a great, tight win over Gilles Simon who I think is a very quality player. And I liked that he really hung tough with Murray. He also whipped Roddick in L.A. So apart from Rafa, Roger and Novak who would you like to see him beat?

Regarding Gulbis, however, I would agree. When all is said and done he might get to a Slam final or two, but I don’t think he ever wins a Major. He’ll be Top 10, maybe Top 5 but he’s not a No. 1 guy. I don’t see that mental strength, at least not yet (granted he is young!). That said, he’ll be great to have around in the coming years.


jane Says:

MMT

I agree with you here: “Djokovic’s problem is his focus – who cares what other say – go and do your job!”

He does need to let things roll off his back more; he can alway air grievances in post-match pressers – OFF the court – or even better deal with anything bugging him in private.

But on the court he should let his excellent tennis do the talking. I really hope he comes back next year with this resolve as I don’t want to see him become an imploder like Safin (much as it’s sometimes fascinating to watch Marat unravel, I’d rather see him play his best, like at AO 05).

Murray’s a case in point; re-watch his match against Tsonga at the AO where he unraveled, made bad choices, played too defensively, and lord knows, used too many drop shots. Then compare that to his win over Rafa at the USO. It’s like a 180 degree turnaround. He was focused, smart, offensive and defensive, and no meltdowns. I think Djoko can do this kind of turn-around too, and he’s ambitious enough that I expect he’ll know it and learn it.

Guess we’ll know a little more this fall, throughout the indoor season.


HighRoller Says:

Sean Randall,

You are factually incorrect. You said “While Djokovic, Nadal and others were sucking wind (granted, they played more this summer”

Well, depending on where you start the summer – if you count from the french open onwards, Fed played 33 singles matches upto the US finals – djokovic also played 33, while murray played only 28. Nadal played 40. But then fed also played 5 doubles matches very recently at the Olympics.

So you could make some kind of argument that Nadal was tired since he played more – but certainly not djoke or murray. They are just not fit enough to be No 1 right now. If fed is fitter, that doesn’t take away ANYTHING from his wins against them, just like you can’t take it away from Nadal if he wins because he is fitter.

So don’t make factually incorrect statements please.


HighRoller Says:

Also, in 2006, Fed was 92-5 – he played 97 matches (at 24+ years of age)!! That’s the kind of fitness you need. He was in pretty much every final! Nadal is upto 84 matches for this year, so lets see how he fares after a couple more tournaments. nobody else even comes close in fitness to these two.

And these guys are much younger. come on!


Sean Randall Says:

Highroller, I guess I should have been more clear. For me, here in the U.S. the “summer” is post Wimbledon through the US Open. It’s basically the North American “summer” hardcourt season (plus the Olympics this year).


jane Says:

MMT – Regarding injury timeouts – I read an interesting stat that in 2008 Rafa has used more than Novak. I found it surprising. I am not sure if it’s true.


HighRoller Says:

OK Sean, lets look at the summer the way you define it.

Nadal played more (21 matches), I agree.

Fed played 14 (7 best of 3, 7 best of 5), plus 5 doubles matches, for whatever they are worth.

Djoke played 20 (6 best of 5, and 14 best of 3) – but he tapped out in the second round at wimbledon, so had a full 10 days of extra rest to start the summer, compared to Fed who had that draining final at wimbledon. So can you really argue that djoke was OK to be so tired?

Murray played 17 matches (10 of which were best of 3). plus he tapped out in the quarters at wimbledon, so had more rest going into the summer season.

really, if you look at the facts in their totality and objectively, only Nadal can claim being tired due to playing a lot. not djoke or murray (may be Del potro can too!).

Its really important to present facts objectively, not to just make a casual distorted statement……


NachoF Says:

Jane,
but hasnt Nadal played way more matches than Djokovic??…. maybe we should look at timeouts per match


rognadfan Says:

Sean,

I don’t know why, and many guys( I must include you) always have a tilted opinions
when they write something about Federer and Nadal (I personally don’t think they
watch the games indifferently, because indeference makes the game truely enjoyable).
Sean, I guess I will never get a chance to read your post where you don’t have a little
condescending remarks on Federer(Even on his success). I am not sure if that is just for the sake of the blog or you really have such opinion.
The fact is Nadal is very good, he’s finally achieved what he’d longed for a long time. But see, Federer is already in is almost-late 20s and
Nadal’s physical development(in strength or any thing else for that matter) have just culminated.
So, at this point of time, or at least for next one or two years he should be able to be as dominating as federer was from 04-07 IF, and IF he really is what you guys think of (no body knows, everyone is squandering time in guesses).
Unfortunately, several people like me don’t see that coming because if it was to happen
it would have started right from this year (Rafa’s best year so far). He won two slams and
did not even reach the final of the other two. How long is he playing on hardcourts?,
Its not that he has not tried to improve on hardcourts ever since he turned pro.
He tried and has come this far but now the time is very difficult on hardcourts with so many players who are better than him and yet
growing while many new are emerging.
If you saw the match with Novak in Cincy ( I guess it was semi F)
it felt like novak was playing with a a just some another guy at the first round.
That’s just an example(not to generalize) but there is one quite-certainity, it will be very very very hard for
Nadal to grab two hardcourt slams in the same year; almost impossible. And you can’t say he will dominate
Wimby too (Likely he will win next 2-3 RG titles though)
So, a champion, Nadal will certainly be ( he is close), but a great champion, every one is skeptic, a huge pit-of-doubt all around.

So, agree or not Federer has a way of playing that is going to be a whole new school of playing tennis that every new kid wants to attend.
Playing so many games and not being exhausted is a quality of a great champion.

Just wanted to point out the word EXHAUSTED( used almost in every post in this site). A professional player can never get an excuse over
exhaustion for not winning a match because that’s all that player does- playing all year long. Injury is different but exhaustion
thing is ridiculous to say that “he was very exhausted so he lost the match”.If he gets exhausted
he should improve the STAMINA side of his game, right?

The point I really wanted to make is that why don’t you guys, sometime,
just talk about Nadal who is at the peak right now, instead of comparing with a
guy (federer) whose career is already on the second half.
If you wanna compare these two guys wait for next 5 years and
put then put them on each side and make comparisons over their achievements and decide who shined brightly in the pro-tennis arena.

Finally I want to ask all of you guys: Do you really thing, at this point of time (as a true and loyal tennis critic,no inclination)that Nadal will surpass what Federer has achieved when he turns 27? My answer, he won’t because,
he won’ be able to win as many hardcourt slams as federer won and its highly unlikely that he will win like 8 or 9 FO and 4-5 Wimby.


King Roger Says:

Roger Federer will never become world no. 1 again. Rafael Nadal is going to win all 4 Grand Slams next year.


jane Says:

NachoF,

Sure, that’s relevant. I remembered after I posted that I read that stat here actually (someone by the name of, i think, T-Man posted it). I just brought it up because I thought the word “incessant” was a bit harsh. It’s easy to vilify and glorify – as these blogs continually reveal – but it’s much more difficult to try not to! Not that I am objective, of course, no one is. But there are all sorts of facts to weigh, that’s all, including the physical strengths and weaknesses of individual human beings – not tennis robots. The players are all, alas, fallible. But thankfully so, so enjoyable to follow and watch.


Vulcan Says:

The “stat” that your’e talking about was someone posting a few examples (3 or 4 I think) of where Nadal took injury time outs. This seems to have little or nothing to do with a true statistic which counts every occurrence of a particular event over some period of time. I could compile a list of 10 occassions where someone else took injury timeouts and that would person would be the new injury timeout leader as far as this “stat” is concerned.


andrea Says:

after being on this blog for quite some time, there is nothing that brings out all the personalities more than a discussion on men’s tennis, particularly with the top players.

my boyfriend laughs at me for being on a tennis blog, but he certainly loves the sport as much as i do.

lots of good debate on this article. this years US Open was one of the most exciting only because on the men’s and women’s side, it really was unpredictable. roger was sloppy coming in, nadal was riding a wave of wins, the #1 women’s seed was a merry go round.

what impresses me about tennis players is that they are out there, week after week and the pressure to win is huge, and what it must feel like to realize that you are never going to be top 10 or even top 30, but still come out and try all the time.

without all that passion, we’ve never have 128 people at the start of a slam.

so, thanks to all the tennis players who make the sport what it is.


sangredechristo Says:

others like the Djoker will quit, whislt others like Murray will go on till the end.

TO OOPS…. oh puh-leeze.
Tennis mama Judy Murray said no one who went deep in Olympics could get to USO finals. Guess what? Her son stratigically tanked in the first round of Olympics. So I would rethink that statement about Murray going on until the end. LOL


sensationalsafin Says:

I’m gonna bring back some of the discussion from the other article because this is the latest article and I don’t like posting on older ones because everyone now posts here.

Anyhoo,

We were talking about how it’s impossible to call just one match the greatest of all time. But many people seem to favor the Safin-Federer match, as do I. But I was just looking at some H2H and I saw the score and stats for the final in the Paris Masters in 2000 where Safin EDGED Philippoussis in a 5 set thriller. Safin managed to break the Scud only once and the Scud returned that favor a measily 2 times. So we had 3 breaks of serve in 5 sets. Safin won the match 10-8 in the fifth set tiebreaker. Each one had 22 aces. I didn’t see the match but I’m guessing that this must have been a f*cking incredible match. Based on the stats it wasn’t an up and down match, just a few points here and there that shifted the tide. So the two must have been playing high quality throughout the entire thing matching each other stroke for stroke, and ace for ace in this case. If anyone has seen the match please tell me how it was. And if anyone knows where to see it, again, please share.


PietjeP Says:

Great post as usual Sean. Everybody can agree or disagree; at least it always provides good stuff for hot discussions :)

For me a couple of things are interesting regarding this Fed-Nadal discussion going on.

How long will Nadal last; I mean he will be close to age 23 next season and at the very top for over 3 years already. Although still a “young gun” he always finds it difficult to keep it up for an entire season. It will probably get worse then better with each year!

Why is Fed so fit, even with all his matches and current age? Biggest difference is Fed is more of a natural player, with a fluent classic technique. While Nadal puts loads of effort in just striking the ball (the heavy spin). Let alone his -catch every ball – drive the opponent – mad defense game. Just look at the average time difference between a straight set win GS match of Nadal vs one of Fed. Probably around half an hour!

Anyway; Nadal will finish as the season nr 1 and he deserved so too. He won more GS, more tournaments and penetrated deeper in most other tournaments. I disagree with your view of his year matching one of the Fed years in 04, 06 or 07. Plain statistics :)

Cheers,
Pietje


sensationalsafin Says:

Nadal is the best player in the world, idk why this is so hard to accept. I don’t want him to be. As you all know I’m a huge Federer fan but facts are facts.

Federer’s style of play doesn’t automatically make him more fit. His style of play takes less of a toll on his body than Nadal’s but that doesn’t mean he’s more fit. Federer said he used to feel aches and pains after playing long matches. He doesn’t anymore. That’s fitness. It’s not like Fed’s game wasn’t classical back then either.


grendel Says:

“thanks to all the tennis players who make the sport what it is.” (Andrea). But their motivation is not charitable, it is entirely self-seeking. Not to mention the fact that for them, it is a privilege to be out there. Better than playing in some steppe land in the back of beyond, watched by a couple of horses.

And it is because the players are totally absorbed in their own ambitions that the whole thing works. On the whole, the more self-centred the players are, the better the show for us, the spectators. I love Monfils, and yet his amateur dramatics – which are deliberate and often spectacular – have nowhere near the drama of two grim talented bastards hacking mercilessly away at each other.

Curious, isn’t it? The more self-centred the players are, the better the show for us, the spectators. Of course, it’s not black and white. There’s plenty of room for gallantry, humour


grendel Says:

sodding computer. Know what I mean?


jane Says:

grendel,

“Curious, isn’t it? The more self-centred the players are, the better the show for us, the spectators.”

This is much like with acting; the more the actor is absorbed into the part, the more were drawn into the illusion, spending disbelief and whatnot.

I agree – watching two of the most absorbed players is the most absorbing.


Von Says:

For starters, I liken blogging on these threads to travelling on public transportation, especially, the New York City Subway System. The subway system is comprised of people from a myriad and/or a conglomeration of different classes of life who come together with the sole purpose in mind of achieving a goal, and that is to get to a certain destination. Similarly, we are people from different classes of life who congregate on these threads with the objective of blogging. Blogging helps us to achieve our goals of airing our opinions and/or venting on issues which we perceive to be just and/or unjust from our diverse cosigns of vantage. This was aptly expressed by Andrea who stated: there is nothing that brings out all the personalities more than a discussion on men’s tennis, particularly with the top players.” If I might add, the TRUE personalities, somewhat similar to a random telephone survey as opposed to a face-to-face interview. My spouse and children are still in a state of disbelief that I engage in blogging — I’m someone who is afraid of conducting any type business on the internet and pay my bills the old-fashioned way, writing a check and mailing the contents.

“grendel Says:
Steve says: “we are all talking through our you-know-whats, are we not? So I would appreciate it if you would let me say my piece.” Absolutely. And that’s the answer to Kofi Ofori, who seems to think you must be on the tour before you can discuss it.”

I have to agree with both Steve and grendel. I mentioned previously on a few threads ago, that our blogging provides us with a psychological conduit whereby we are privileged to speak up on our perceived injustices relating to our favourite players — a rather cost-free psychiatric session. Grendel has expressed a similar thought by saying it’s a means to get things off our chest. However, we are all guilty of becoming carried away, and at times, this can prove to be disastrous. We, at times, tend to speak with such authority, (and I’m guilty of this, which makes me laugh at myself) that could be viewed as hilarious or impertinent/presumptuous. I recall reading a post from someone which initially sparked some of my anger, but then the ludicrousness of the statement made me roar with laughter. The poster stated that no one deserves to give an opinion if they hate a player or are not a tennis fan of the player (this is not verbatim). My anger centered around the word ‘deserves”. Since when do we have to be ‘deserving’ in order to writing a comment, and why shouldn’t we have the right to comment if we don’t like a player. This is ludicrous, ridiculous and hilarious.

There’s been so much written of the “young guns”, Cilic, DelPotro and Gulbis, which to me are overrated opinions of these players. They’ve got long way to go to earn the reputation of ‘great’ players. I agree with MMT on Gulbis: “As far as I can tell, this kid Gulbis does not have the mind of a champion.” whenever I see JDMP, i think of Juan Monaco, who was sooo hot, and we don’t hear of him now. Cilic, to me likes to give his all to get a big scalp, similar to Tipsy, then fizzle out in the next round.

Sean Randall, inasmuch as I dislike disputing any of your comments, due to our past interaction (I don’t know if you have a personal bias against me or Roddick — I think it’s me) anyway, I have to disagree with your statement that Del Potro ‘whipped Roddick’, in the LA final — it was just one break of serve in each set, and that loss was due to Roddick’s back/shoulder problems. To me you refuse to admit that Roddick’s injury is the primary reason for his poor performance from since May of this year to the present. PMac mentioned recently at the USO, that Roddick had some serious ongoing issues, but you felt that Andy was just ‘stinking things up”. just because Roddick is not going into detail does not mean nothing’s happening. And, jane, you also mentioned JDMP beat Roddick in LA, but forgot to mention the same back problem. However, I know if it was Djoko, who was beaten by JDMP, you would have remembered that little bit of information to cite as an excuse for his loss, or something else. :P .

Sean, I also disagree that Djoko whipped Roddick at the USO. Djoko didn’t win in straight sets. The first 2 sets Roddick’s serve was not clicking. Andy won the 3rd set and should have won the 4th, had he not double-faulted when serving out that set. So, considering 2 sets were competitive, and 2 weren’t, I don’t call that being whipped.

Regarding Nadal and Federer, since I’m not a fan of either, my unbiased opinion is that there really isn’t any comparison between the two. Federer’s game is stylishly, effortlessly orchestrated, (tiptoeing through the tulips as I used to say) and Nadal’s game is one of just wearing down his opponent using brute force, a war of attrition so to speak, with a mish-mash of shots thrown into the equation. I don’t see longevity in his style of play, and as I’ve previously mentioned, I believe he’s reached his peak at 22. He’s been on the tour for 8 years — a long time for his style of game. To me, if he doesn’t begin to conserve his energy, he’ll be worn out by age 24.

There’s been much written about Nadal’s tiredness and Fed’s lack thereof. I saw Fed recently on TV, and he was asked about fatigue/exhaustion. His answer, he does have days where he’s extremely fatigued and/or exhausted, and everything aches making movement difficult, but he just wills himself to go on. He mentioned the week before Wimby he felt that way, but according to him, it’s not something he likes to discuss. In my opinion, Fed has learnt how to disguise his feelings and not convey anything to his opponent as to what he’s feeling. I remember Doug Adler stating that Fed never tells what’s really happening with his health — you never hear the true story.

“The “stat” that your’e talking about was someone posting a few examples (3 or 4 I think) of where Nadal took injury time outs.”

The list was compiled by a poster “T-Man” who listed about 10 injury time-outs by Nadal for this year alone – Jan. ’08 – present. T-Man also stated there were a couple more that he didn’t bother to mention.

jane, I disagree that the olympic gold is equivalent to a slam because it’s rare. of course it’s rare, it only comes around every 4 years.


Betty Says:

Mr. Randall,

“Of course you could argue the guy had a joke of a draw up until the semifinals, where he played an exhausted Djokovic and then an overwhelmed Murray, but fact is fact, Fed won the title, he deserves his due.”

A joke of a draw for Federer? Did you even bother checking and comparing draws? Federer faced the 28th and 23rd seed in the 3rd and 4th round, respectively. Nadal faced a seeded player (Andy Murray) only in the Semi-Final. In the first and second round, Federer’s opponents were ranked 118 and 137 in the world, respectively – compared to 136 and 261 for Nadal. What’s the joke, please?

If you must apply higher standards to Federer (understandable considering the “monster” he’s created), why not just say so?


jane Says:

Von,

I only pointed out that JMDP beat Roddick because someone said he’s beaten no top-players; clearly Andy is on hardcourts. I didn’t mention the injury but perhaps I should have.

As to the Olympic comment; I said it was “much like” a slam, not equal to one (and I pointed out it’s only best of three. But I said it’s like a slam because of the level of competition. I said nothing about the Olympics being “rare” – that was a different poster.


Von Says:

jane:

I was just playing around on the JDMP win; hence the smiley. But, I also thought if it was Djoko you would definitely find something to defend your boy. No offense meant. :D

I don’t agree at all that the Olympics tennis was on the same level of competition as a slam. It was a draw of players from all participating countries with a majority of low ranked players, and then 2 of 3 sets made it more like a MS tourney. Also, only 3 rounds are played to get to the QFs; in the slams its 4 rounds then the QFs. So all things considered, the degree of difficulty is considerably less.

Sorry about the “rare” mistake. Now I have to find the post.


jane Says:

No worries Von. I was answering Oleg’s post, which was one based on rareness, and I did say I agreed with him, so it’s understandable. But what I meant to agree with was the fact that Rafa won a “major” title (including the Olympics) on all three surfaces.

The Roland Garros-Wimbledon double is, truly, very rare, and then to add to that an Olympic gold medal in singles on hardcourt nary a month later seems like quite the accomplishment to me.

But of course, the utter domination on two surfaces (talking Ws here) that Roger has had for a few years is amazing as well.


Tejuz Says:

well.. i agree.. JMDP, Cilic and Gulbis are a bit over-rated. They are talented no-doubt, but we have seen so many good talents get wasted like Gasquet, Berdych, Baghdatis etc. But these players, especially the first 2 certainly look more consistent than the others… even though they still dont have a big name in their scalp-list. They have great potential.. but they still have that big-leap to take to enter the elite company of the top-4.


Andrew Miller Says:

Mr. Randall: perhaps we can discount Gulbis’ future by looking at the “curse of anyone over 6 feet 4 inches whose name isnt Boris Becker”

To my recollection, we’ve only seen 4 grand slam winners from that category as of late:

Goran Ivanisevic
Michael Stich
Marat Safin
Richard Krajicek

The rest, as they say, went to the all court pros. So perhaps Del P and Gulbis may yet succumb to the curse of the “really tall people”.


Andrew Miller Says:

Roddick definitely CHOKED away that fourth set vs. Djokovic! I was quite upset.


Tejuz Says:

well… Andrew,

I think Gulbis, JMDP and Cilic have an all court game and they move well for their height.


Giner Says:

Andrew Miller Says:

“Mr. Randall: perhaps we can discount Gulbis’ future by looking at the “curse of anyone over 6 feet 4 inches whose name isnt Boris Becker”

To my recollection, we’ve only seen 4 grand slam winners from that category as of late:

Goran Ivanisevic
Michael Stich
Marat Safin
Richard Krajicek

The rest, as they say, went to the all court pros. So perhaps Del P and Gulbis may yet succumb to the curse of the “really tall people”.”

Correlation does not necessarily imply causation, Mr. Miller. He’s a different guy and isn’t necessarily going to meet the same fate as other guys his height. Maybe he’s more talented than them? Unless you can cite some scientific reasons for why tall guys can’t do well, I’d call this just a coincidence.

How big is the list of short guys that won slams? What is ‘short’ anyway? And why did you pick 6’4 as the distinguishing height? You could have picked 6’3, 6’5. It’s an arbitrary height. What significance does that particular height have?

Perhaps the list of short guys that won slams is longer. But perhaps that’s because there have been far more shorter guys (shorter than 6’4) than there have been taller guys (taller than 6’4)? It’s a fairly tall height to use as a cutoff.


Roy Says:

kofi ofori Says:

“thankfully…. only nadal and federer do. so lets enjoy the best rivalry – my opinion – that this game has provided while we still can.”

One of the most intelligent post…Well said…Let us fully savour the thrill of Fed-Rafa rivalry, instead of predicting gloom & doom…because one gets the feeling from some of the other posts as if the current top-ranked player is tottering on his last legs at the ripe old of age of 22 and is likely to bid a cheery adios to tennis any moment !!


jane Says:

Good logic Giner: “Correlation does not necessarily imply causation” I often want to shout “non-sequitur!” or “post hoc propter hoc” or “ad hominem!” or “bandwagonism”

But I don’t bother because I am certain I am guilty of all of them at one time of another.

However, I do agree with you about the alleged “tall guy syndrome”; I would add that there seem to be changes in average height in the general populace, so maybe it’s just that there are more tall players now in general. I don’t see it as a hinderance if the have good movement and are fit. In fact, as we’ve seen with most of the “tall guy’s” serves, it’s a bonus. They just need all-round games and movement, and their height should not stop them.

But I also agree with what another poster said, which was that these guys may turn out to be much like Monfils or Gasquet or Berdych, players who don’t quite seem to realize their potential. It depends on so many things, but a big one is what’s going on between the ears.


Gary Says:

Sean Randall wrote:

“The guy salvaged a miserable summer and a sub-par year by Federer standards to capture his 13th career Grand Slam, putting him just one behind Pete Sampras’s mark of 14, which he will likely match if not break next year.

Of course you could argue the guy had a joke of a draw up until the semifinals, where he played an exhausted Djokovic and then an overwhelmed Murray, but fact is fact, Fed won the title, he deserves his due.”

——————————

Interesting that you suggest that Federer had a “joke of a draw” immediately on the heels of comparing his 13 Slams to Sampras’ 14.

In no fewer than THREE of Pete’s 7 Wimbledon wins,
he never faced an opponent that was ranked in the TOP FIFTEEN in the world.


gulu Says:

Sean, you are biased against Roger as always.I can tell from whatever little knowledge and understanding I have of the game of tennis that Giuseppe and Betty etc. are much more aware of tennis than you.They have much better thinking and analysing capacity than you to arrive on a conclusion on any matter relating to tennis.Sean, you are again disappointing.


sensationalsafin Says:

Sean, you should go through all the comments and delete the ones that completely bash you. It’s really annoying to read people say “Sean you suck and you don’t know what you’re talking about”. I disagree with plenty of the shit you say but that’s why I love your articles, because just about everyone disagrees with you and it creates for awesome debates and discussions. You obviously know tennis you just have your own opinions on certain situations just like every single other person who comments and argues with you. I don’t think Federer had a joke of a draw but I can see why you’d argue that. I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

So for all you Sean-haters, seriously stfu and stop commenting here. I don’t care what you think about what Sean knows or understands, he wouldn’t be a blogger if he didn’t know anything. If you disagree with him then say why he’s wrong, not that he’s stupid or something. It makes you sound childish. It’s ridiculous.


Sean Randall Says:

Gary/gulu, I already explained what I meant by that “joke of a draw” comment earlier. Since some of you still take it the wrong way i edited the OP to clarify it further.

sensationalsafin, thanks for the support! I actually do delete a few of the “harsher” blasts, but overall I don’t mind them as long as they (try to) make some kind of argument.


Von Says:

“They just need all-round games and movement, and their height should not stop them.”

Their height does hinder their movement, and this is why most feel that the very tall players won’t make it to the top.


Von Says:

SS:

You’re realy steamed up — my computer screen is all fogged up. :P

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Sean has his own defense, ‘freedom of the press”, and the delete button.


Sean Randall Says:

Von, in your opinion when was the last time Andy was 100%? As for his match v. JDMP, how many sets in Andy’s career has he lost 6-1? Injured or not, he got whipped that day. Regarding his match with Novak, those first two sets were a butt-ugly beat-down. Roddick came back in third and he had the fourth in his pocket, but couldn’t seal it. Add in the circumstances – Andy’s home court, Andy has the night crowd support, Novak playing with a chip on his shoulder – and I stand by my words.

Andrew Miller, not sure if there’s anything to the “tall guy curse.” The deck may be stacked against the big guys, who because of their size may not be as quick as the smaller fellas, but they can make up for it with their power and presence.

That said, speed, quickness, footwork, anticipation are paramount to becoming a top player.


jane Says:

Yeah – good job sensationalsafin. I sometimes take issue with what Sean writes, but I love his style of writing, and I love that he forces me to re-think my position on something, and that he gets the debates going. Most of the bashers are blindly attacking and didn’t even READ Sean’s very clear explanation of what he meant by “one could argue X”. He’s not saying “I am arguing X.” There’s a clear difference obviously too difficult for fanatics to discern. Also TONE – Sean’s notoriously sarcastic, mocking, even cruel. But that’s just the way it is. People don’t have to read it if they don’t like it.


Von Says:

Sean Randall:

“Von, in your opinion when was the last time Andy was 100%?”

Up to the minute he got hurt in the Rome Sf v. Wawrinka. He hasn’t been the same since then. He’s making some headway, but it shows up at times.

“Regarding his match with Novak, those first two sets were a butt-ugly beat-down. Roddick came back in third and he had the fourth in his pocket, but couldn’t seal it.”

Blame the 2 “butt-ugly” sets on Jimmy Connors showing up smack in Andy’s range of vision with his ugly mug. You’ll probably laugh at me, but I think Connors’ presence made Andy nervous. Would you want to see your ex-coach looking at you? Also, i believe Andy came out really believing/focusing on Djoko’s injuries and got a shock attack. Anyway, be that as it may, I still hold true to my statement that Andy didn’t get ‘whipped’; he won one set and the other he double-faulted/choked. How can anyone call that being whipped. To me whipped means, 6-1, 6-0, 6-0. did Djoko do that to Andy? I don’t think so. I rest my case.


jane Says:

Von,

“Their height does hinder their movement, and this is why most feel that the very tall players won’t make it to the top.”

I am not sure I agree though; that’s kind of like arguing “correlation equals causation” again.

I guess that, yes, if we averaged it out and did a study, maybe movement for the very tall would be hindered. But because one is tall doesn’t mean one will not have good movement.

Take Cilic, for instance: Wilander kept commenting how well the guy moves when he was calling his match against Djoko, and afterwards in his press conference Djoko had the same comment. Cilic may be very tall but he gets down to the ball well, he covers the court well, and he has the bonus of those gangly long limbs, and thus a great wing span.

Querrey, since he’s been training with Agassi’s old trainer – Gils Reyas – is also moving well, which I thought was evident throughout the USO, but against Rafa for sure.

JMDP moves well too, but maybe not quite as well; plus, he’s had back issues in the past, so it may be an on-going issue for him. Still, given that he’s currently (already!) in the top ten, I think he should be able to get higher.

So while most people, as you say, may in fact think tall players can’t get to the very top, I can’t say that I am one of them. I can see it happening, maybe even sooner than later.

But as with everything, only time will tell with the tall newbies.


Von Says:

“Also TONE – Sean’s notoriously sarcastic, mocking, even cruel. But that’s just the way it is. People don’t have to read it if they don’t like it.”

Oh jane, first, to thine own self be true. Knowing all of the above, I see so many, many times, you get so upset and can’t handle the heat from Sean by saying: I’m outta here!. there are those who feel the same way when they air their opinions. Remember, to thine own self be true.


Gary Says:

Sean Randall wrote ( of Roddick ):

“he could still get another look at a Wimbledon final if things really break right on the SW19 lawns, but I don’t see a Major in the future for him at the other two (forget French Open). There are just too many tough players out there right now that can handle what Roddick has to offer. Maybe his new coach – I presume Patrick McEnroe will not be his full-time guy come 2009 – might get a spark out of him, but at this stage in his career Andy’s not going to suddenly wake up with Andre Agassi’s backhand or Patrick Rafter’s netgame.”

——————–

Patrick Rafter’s netgame didn’t even get
PATRICK RAFTER a win at SW19….
just losses in two finals there— which
Roddick already has, thank you very much!

And was it really Andre’s BACKHAND that landed him his win in 1992 when he edged Ivanisevic in the final 6-4 in the fifth? Or was it more that this was Goran’s first appearance in a Slam final while it was Andre’s fourth? And Agassi being more rested by having a virtual walkover in his semi against a last-year-on-tour McEnroe,
while Ivanisevic had to get past an
on-the-cusp-of-his-prime Sampras in HIS semi?


Betty Says:

Mr. Randall,

Your comment: “Regarding seasons, Fed’s are statistically better than Rafa’s thus far, but I would argue Rafa’s run this year from a tennis achievement perspective is more impressive.”

Pardon my ignorance, but you lost me there.

Let me hazard a guess. You’re saying that, when comparing achievements by season: (a) statistically, Federer has had more impressive seasons than Nadal has so far managed to produce, but (b) from a tennis perspective, Nadal’s achievements this year are even more impressive than Federer has ever managed in one season.

If (I say if) my guess is correct, then one has to wonder: What game – if not tennis – has Federer been playing?

Or, maybe you’d care to explain what you meant by “a tennis achievement perspective”?


jane Says:

Von,

“Oh jane, first, to thine own self be true. Knowing all of the above, I see so many, many times, you get so upset and can’t handle the heat from Sean by saying: I’m outta here!. there are those who feel the same way when they air their opinions. Remember, to thine own self be true.”

When I wrote “I am outta here” it was about the over-whelming bashing going on, not just what Sean had written.

And many a time I have defended Sean’s sarcasm. I like his style of writing, as I’ve told him.

Finally, I am true to thine-self, see what I wrote: “I sometimes take issue with what Sean writes, but I love his style of writing, and I love that he forces me to re-think my position on something”

I fully admit that I’ve taken issue with what Sean writes, but I also like that he makes me re-think things.

I think, too, that one is not being untrue to oneself if he or she changes his/her opinion on something or someone. That’s often a good thing.


Von Says:

jane: “I am not sure I agree though; that’s kind of like arguing “correlation equals causation” again.”

Cause and affect. This is more or less true most of the time, however, Cilic, JDMP, and Monfils, could very well be be deviation from the rule or the law of averages. I don’t have a crystal ball, so I’ll just have to wait and see, and for me, seeing is believing.


jane Says:

I’ll just add that of course you’re correct Von that people do have the right and should air their opinions. Especially if there is blantant bias or something to take issue with – nothing wrong with that!

But my main issue with a bunch of the posts on this thread is as I said above:

“Most of the bashers are blindly attacking and didn’t even READ Sean’s very clear explanation of what he meant by “one could argue X”. He’s not saying “I am arguing X.” There’s a clear difference ”

Sean didn’t in fact say “I think Fed’s draw was a joke”; he said something to the effect of “one could argue” or “some have argued”.

That’s all.


Sean Randall Says:

Jane, “Sean’s notoriously sarcastic, mocking, even cruel.” Oh boy!

Von, I don’t know how much tennis you play, if you do at all, but often scorelines don’t always tell the story. A 7-6 or 7-5 set could still be a lopsided one (think John Isner), just like a 6-3 set could be a tight one.

And I can’t imagine Connors’ presence that night having any impact on Andy’s performance. Not a chance. Zero! Feel free to think that if you want, though I guess we’ll never really know anyway.

Gary, I’m not saying that Pat’s netgame or Andre’s backhand directly led them to their successes, I’m saying that if Roddick had those components in his game from this moment going forward he could win a few more majors. But he doesn’t and he never will.

Betty, Nadal won the French AND Wimbledon, a feat that hadn’t been done since Borg in the early 80s. A pretty incredible achievement, and even more remarkable when you add in Queen’s, the Olympics and even Cincy.

Put another way – and I’m really opening things up for a debate! – what I’m saying is that winning the French-Wimbledon (and Queen’s!) back-to-back is more impressive than say winning the Australian, Wimbledon and the US Opens in a single year. Just my thought on it but like I said, up for debate.


Betty Says:

jane:

Just in case anyone should think I was a blindly attacking basher, here’s what Mr. Randall wrote before he amended the paragraph:

“Of course you could argue the guy had a joke of a draw up until the semifinals, where he played an exhausted Djokovic and then an overwhelmed Murray, but fact is fact, Fed won the title, he deserves his due.”

If one doesn’t agree with something, or if that something is simply not true, would one write: “OF COURSE YOU COULD ARGUE”?

The paragraph has since been amended to: “Of course some people (not me!) argue…”, which makes his position clearer although I’m still not sure what he meant by “of course”. Could it be that no matter how tough or fair a draw is, there’ll always be those that will blindly attack it as a joke?

Anyway, whether anyone of us who care to spend time here is blindly attacking or not, I’d like to quote from one of the above comments: ‘Sean has his own defense, ‘freedom of the press”, and the delete button.’


Sean Randall Says:

Betty, to clarify further, I wrote “Of course” because you can make that argument and be reasonable about it, and people have. As i said before, I don’t buy it, but I can understand if people do say it. It’s a fair argument to make in my opinion.


Betty Says:

Mr Randall

Thanks for responding to my question about “a tennis achievement perspective”. Now I see where you’re coming from.

I should just state where I’m coming from… Federer has achieved so much in the last several seasons and broken so many records that I personally find it difficult to agree with your interpretation of Nadal’s achievement year-to-date. However, I’m not going to enter into any debate with you as I doubt very much that it would lead anywhere.

I should just finish this by saying that as a sports (not just tennis) lover I’ve been most impressed with Federer’s achievements. On top of that, his tennis just looks so effortless and is so beautiful to watch that I’m simply grateful for the pleasure of watching him play.


Gary Says:

Sean Randall wrote:

“Gary, I’m not saying that Pat’s netgame or Andre’s backhand directly led them to their successes, I’m saying that if Roddick had those components in his game from this moment going forward he could win a few more majors. But he doesn’t and he never will”

———————–

I’m not trying to be difficult here, really…

But if something is an outright IMPOSSIBILITY…
…and EVERYONE KNOWS that it is…
isn’t it a WASTE OF EVERYONE’S TIME to inject it into this type of discussion just for rhetorical flourish or whatever?


sensationalsafin Says:

I think being tall means youre more injury prone. Look at how many times del potro has retired from a match. Safin is so talented but I think all his injuries had more to do with him not living up to his potential than his mental fragileness, which could be because of all his injuries.

Winning the French and Wimbledon in one year is more impressive than winning the ao USO and wimbly in one year but not in 3 years.


Sean Randall Says:

Betty, nice words. You have plenty of company in your admiration of Rog.

Gary, I’m with on that ya brah, and in the interest of not wasting everyone’s time any further I’ll leave it at that.


Von Says:

Sean Randall:

“Von, I don’t know how much tennis you play, if you do at all, but often scorelines don’t always tell the story. A 7-6 or 7-5 set could still be a lopsided one (think John Isner), just like a 6-3 set could be a tight one.”

None at all presently, due to shoulder surgery a few years ago, however, I do know quite a bit about tennis. You’re correct on the score line argument. I’m not one for adhering to or placing too much emphasis on the stats at all. Anyway, to put this matter to rest, I’ll just say Andy held his serve in those two sets that weren’t ‘butt ugly” but close, and I think had he won the 4th set, he would have won the match. Novak was already winded by the middle of the 4th set. It just wan’t meant to be for Andy to win on that beautiful, balmy NYC night, with the crowd’s tintinntabulation in Andy’s favor. Too bad for (my/our) Andy — his fans, that is, if any are left. My hope is that he’ll remain in the Top 8 (TMC) and move upward, shock all the nay-sayers and walk off the court, smiling all the way to the bank. He mentioned in LA that he wants to reinvent his tennis, and even cited Agassi’s comeback at 29; he made note that he’s 3 years away from that Agassi re-incarnation age, and I’m holding him to that. I want to see American tennis rise from the ashes again, with Roddick at the top — don’t write him off yet. That’s the short and the long of it (Shakespeare’s words).


Sean Randall Says:

sensationalsafin, Whoa! Speaking of deleting comments, that last one from you is going in the can.


jane Says:

Hi Betty,

No, I don’t think saying “of course *you* could argue” something means that you agree with that argument. It just means the writer is putting out the various perspectives, or perhaps a counter-argument to his/her own point of view.

In fact, I think it’s good to express various ways at looking something (a victory or a loss, say) in a journalistic piece, and in my opinion it’s good to offer counter-arguments. That’s what I think Sean was doing, offering what one “could” argue, and then saying what he thought – which is that “fact is fact, Fed won the title, he deserves his due.”

Doesn’t sound like it’s anti-Fed to me. But that’s just the view from here.


Giner Says:

“But I also agree with what another poster said, which was that these guys may turn out to be much like Monfils or Gasquet or Berdych, players who don’t quite seem to realize their potential. It depends on so many things, but a big one is what’s going on between the ears.”

These guys are still young, so it’s perhaps unfair to single them out. They’ve got plenty of time to win a slam. For Berdych and Gasquet I agree it is between the ears, but that is not to say that some day they won’t break out of it and deliver the goods. After all, Federer himself was one of these. He admits it himself. It was mental for him, until almost 22. Whatever he did after that, it had a dramatic effect, because the Federer of 2003 was a few leagues below the Federer of 2004.


Von Says:

sensationalsafin:

“I think being tall means youre more injury prone. Look at how many times del potro has retired from a match.”

That’s exactly where I’m coming from concerning the very tall players — cause and affect. They have too much strain on their back which automatically trickles down to their legs, hence, the injuries and their short longevity span. Cilic will do well now – he’s very tall and willowy, which enables him to move swiftly, but when he begins to put on weight, it will cause a huge strain on his back and legs/torso, as is evidenced in JMDP and Monfils.

“Safin is so talented but I think all his injuries had more to do with him not living up to his potential than his mental fragileness, which could be because of all his injuries.”

Absolutely so very true for Marat and such a shame, which breaks my heart. His injuries have caused him to become slower which frustrates him very much, and as a result of his frustration, he implodes. I’ll always remember how brilliant he was when he crushed Sampras at the USO, even though I was rooting for Sampras, my all-time fave, but Marat’s form on that day was a thing of beauty and a joy to behold, not to mention the vision of his handsome/boyish/roguish face. Whew, I new a tall glass of ice with some water. :P

Calm down, sweetie, you’re firing from all barrels/cylinders! Get a drink of something on the rocks. :D


jane Says:

Giner,

It’s true; that’s why I didn’t use a straightforward past tense (i.e., they did not realize their potential) but said instead “don’t quite seem to”, meaning there is still hope! Monfils, Gasquet and Berdych could still break out and “deliver the goods” as you say. And I’d love to see it from any of them.

Just as Von pointed out about Agassi above, age does not entirely determine the end of a career. Agassi got a second life in his (maybe more than a second one, winning the French even at 29 yrs.).


Von Says:

Hey Giner:

I see you’ve gotten carte blanche with the computer. What happened to your buddy, JCF, he’s being generous all of a sudden? :P Tell him I said hi, and I miss his very blunt comments.


sensationalsafin Says:

Just testing you Sean ;)

Peter Carter, Federer’s long time coach and mentor, died in a car accident in 2002. That was the turning point in Federer’s life. It’s a most unfortunate thing, but I believe that had a lot to do with why Federer finally started living up to his potential.

I’m not saying something that dramatic needs to happen for someone to get their tennis together and start performing the way they should, but I think, especially when Gasquet, Berdych, etc, have been on tour for so long now and are 22ish years old, that something needs to happen to them that’ll make them reflect a bit and realize what’s important.


Joseph Myers Says:

Roger will win the French Open in 2009.


gulu Says:

Sean, it’s ok now that you have edited your article a bit. I mean to say I don’t have issues with you,nor do I wanna hurt ur feelings.I m not an enemy of yours.So sorry 4 being a little rude.Next time I’ll just argue with u n not criticise u.


Tejuz Says:

Sean:

I agree with Betty.. and i have already responded to Oleg about the same thing..

Why do u think winning French-Wimby double is rarer than winning Aus-Wimby-US trio?? who has done it before in the last 30 years .. it doesnt seem rare to you because Federer has done it thrice in 4 years… and not to mention he was runner-up at the French twice on those occasion and also ended up winning Master’s cup each time.

So i think tennis-achievement wise Fed’s 04, 06 and 07 are way better than Nadal’s 08 year.

Fed’s 05 Grandslam result is comparable to Nadal’s year where he won 2 GS and 2 Semis.. but he still was 81-4 for that year…which is overall still way better than Nadal’s 08 year …

Nadal’s year is no way comparable to Fed’s last 4 years… unless he wins the masters cup and next 2 master’s tourney and the davis cup.

And also.. lets see if he wins the Laureus sportsman of the year award atleast once.. (Phelps or Bolt are favs for that one)
Fed has won it 4 times in a row… for the same 4 years that we were discussing above.


gulu Says:

Sean, Again I wanna say sorry !


Von Says:

Sean Randall:

“Betty, Nadal won the French AND Wimbledon, a feat that hadn’t been done since Borg in the early 80s. A pretty incredible achievement, and even more remarkable when you add in Queen’s, the Olympics and even Cincy.”

I’ve been meaning to point out to you that Nadal did NOT win Cincy, but Toronto. He won the FO, Queens, Wimby and Toronto; he was ousted at Cincy in the Semis by Djokovic. Murray won Cincy.


rognadfan Says:

Yeah Von,
In cincy, he looked like a handicapped against Djoker. Just supports the fact that he will never win hardcourt slams. Some esp Sean can point out Toronto, but GS is something heavier than those, you know. If he could do it he would have done it by this time.


grendel Says:

“what I’m saying is that winning the French-Wimbledon (and Queen’s!) back-to-back is more impressive than say winning the Australian, Wimbledon and the US Opens in a single year.” (Sean).

It would be more impressive for Federer, especially if he beat Nadal at the French. So I don’t think you can make a blanket statement. Horses for courses. The French is, sort of, easy for Nadal. And now that the grass and balls have changed so much, the grass is Nadal’s preferred surface after clay, by quite some distance. And the fact that Wimbie is straight after the French also favours Nadal (it might not favour others with different training schedules). For Nadal, tiredness traditionally kicks in later. So, given Nadal’s huge talent, it is not so surprising he wins French, Queens, Wimbledon. It is immense, but it is his time of year, and many people are forecasting he’ll do the same next year. But to win 3 slams, stretching over a period of 9 months – in other words, tremendous form has to be maintained over a very long period of time – that strikes me as more special.


Tejuz Says:

Agree with Grendel..

what Nadal has achieved this year is in that period of 4-5 months (May to Aug).. and he is always strong in this period as has been seen in last 3 years. Nadal always goes on a roll at the start of clay season.. he rides this wave of confidence on to grass season… and this time he went on for one more month into Olympics.

But what Roger has achieved previously (and even this year included considering only Slams) is winning throughout a whole year.. right from Jan (Aus Open) to November(Masters Cup) along with atleast 3 finals appearence on clay each year, sometimes winning one.. usually Hamburg.

Nadal has had a great year for sure.. but not yet comparable to fed’s ones.


Giner Says:

Hey Giner:

“I see you’ve gotten carte blanche with the computer. What happened to your buddy, JCF, he’s being generous all of a sudden? :P Tell him I said hi, and I miss his very blunt comments.”

These days he just spends 5 secs on the official ATP site for a quick summary, checks Wertheim’s blog then Bodo’s, then moves on. He’s cut a couple of hours off the PC each day for other stuff (he reads, believe it or not!).

This blog is his hobby for 2/3 of a year (the other lull is between AO and Monte Carlo), and now that he’s laid off it, the computer is more free than it used to be. ;)

But I was never as active as he was and won’t be.

The rest of the season doesn’t hold much to concern him regarding the pecking order at the top of the game, at least for the men (and he knows he’d spent too much time here as it was), so some of the excitement is out. It’s like watching a taped match where you already know the scoreline. And maybe your last few messages have befuddled him. He hasn’t spoken about you since, which is new.

Oh and don’t you worry, I’m at least as blunt as he is. :D

He says he will say hello every now and then, and that if I catch something interesting to let him know and he’ll throw in his 2c. Nothing yet. An upset by the US would certainly get his attention however.

Anyone know if those free net channel streams will cover the Davis Cup? It’s pretty much the only way we can watch DC between other countries.

P.S. He reckons Murray will surpass Djokovic as #3 by mid next year.


Giner Says:

“Nadal has had a great year for sure.. but not yet comparable to fed’s ones.”

It’s comparable to 2005. Fed had 83 wins which is about 7 more than Nadal has now, with three tournaments to go. He’s traditionally done well at Madrid despite conditions not being in his favour. Don’t forget that Olympic gold was one of Federer’s dreams, which he did achieve in a way though not in the manner he was expecting.

“It would be more impressive for Federer, especially if he beat Nadal at the French. So I don’t think you can make a blanket statement. Horses for courses. The French is, sort of, easy for Nadal. And now that the grass and balls have changed so much, the grass is Nadal’s preferred surface after clay, by quite some distance. And the fact that Wimbie is straight after the French also favours Nadal (it might not favour others with different training schedules). For Nadal, tiredness traditionally kicks in later. So, given Nadal’s huge talent, it is not so surprising he wins French, Queens, Wimbledon.”

I’ve never understood the tiredness thing. He plays a lot of tennis during the clay season, and the matches are longer and more physical than on fast surfaces.

He then immediately flies to Queens after the Roland Garros final, and when that’s done he gets one week of rest, then onto 2 weeks at Wimby and he still pulls through. One week of rest in all this time and he still manages?

Yet he was seen exhausted at the USO in a few of his matches reportedly, and his schedule there wasn’t near as packed as the clay-grass season.

I do not think that the RG-Wimby double is more impressive for Federer than it is for Nadal. In the past 3 years, Federer DID play the finals at both events, and won Halle and Hamburg in between. With respect to form and tiredness, he is on par with Nadal. Sure, it would take a herculean effort to beat Nadal at RG, but beating Federer at Wimbledon is not much easier! As a tennis fan, my dreams will come true if we get a Fed-Nadal final again at both RG and Wimbledon in 2009.


Von Says:

“And maybe your last few messages have befuddled him. He hasn’t spoken about you since, which is new.”

Oh, noooo. This is terrible, I’m losing my touch!! Or have I already lost it all? Is it my new perfume that he doesn’t like? I switched recently to a new fragrance, which has even the little puppies running after me, so maybe that’s the problem. Tell him I promise I’ll start using the other fragrance again if he’ll talk to me just once, only once, that’s all I ask. LOL :P I left him a post on the Serena Williams thread about 10 days ago when she won the USO, it’s close to the very end of the thread, but I suppose since he hasn’t been reading, it has escaped him. Now i’m realllllly, heartbroken. What’s a girl to do to rectify a wrong. :P

Try JustinTVLive streaming, channelsurfing for the Davis Cup or the Tennis Channel.com, since they are carrying the DC matches in addition to VERSUS.


Von Says:

Giner:

I don’t believe VERSUS would work in your area — it’s for US zip codes. The following is one link that’s streamed world-wide, and I hope it will be streamed in the land of Oz too.

http://sportsworld4u.info/schedules-and-results/davis-cup-world-group-2008-semifinal-2

Here’s another:

http://www.noddit.com/


grendel Says:

Well, I don’t understand the tiredness thing either, but I gather it is a “cumulative” thing, spread over the season. And – whatever the mechanics of the matter are – events seem to bear this out.

Also, quite why everything seems to come to a halt in December, the slate of exhaustion being wiped clean as it were, and a fresh start being made with the coming of the fresh new year – that’s mysterious to the point of being spooky. After all, it’s not as if the off-season is any time at all, barely more than a month. But that’s what they say.

“I do not think that the RG-Wimby double is more impressive for Federer than it is for Nadal.” I think it is; Federer has been hugely impressive at Wimbledon, but he does not occupy, historically speaking, a position of lonely eminence at the top of the grass court tree. But Nadal IS widely regarded as the greatest ever claycourter, with only Borg as a possible rival. And he wins his clay court matches with frightening ease. Nobody really thinks Federer can beat him in Paris. Imagine if Federer does. He’ll seem like a god. But don’t worry: he won’t.


Betty Says:

grendel:

Nadal is a serial winner in RG, where he has been unbeatable in the last 4 years, who has one grass GS trophy but has yet to reach beyond the SF of either hardcourt GS. Federer is a serial winner on grass and hardcourts in the last 5 years who is also 2nd best on clay.

Federer conceded the Wimbledon crown to Nadal after 5 consecutive wins and he’s just secured his 5th consecutive USO title. (Federer’s run of 5 consecutive wins on two different surfaces are a historical first.) Nadal is undisputedly dominant on clay but, even assuming he defends his RG title next year, no-one knows yet whether he’ll get a 6th there. Meanwhile, he still has to make it to his first Final on the hardcourt of Melbourne Park and Flushing Meadows.

And Nadal is more impressive? Are clay courts so special that they overshadow all the rest?


Betty Says:

grendel:

By the way, I share your bewilderment about the tiredness issue. Perhaps Mr Randall can shed some light on it?


jane Says:

I don’t think JCF’s prediction is unrealistic; Murray could very well surpass Djoko by mid-next year. Murray would have to continue to do well at the big events (Slams and MS) and Djoko would have to falter. Plus I am not sure how well Murray will do on clay; so far it hasn’t been his best surface, where Djoko does pretty well on it. So it may be that they trade places a bit throughout the year?


grendel Says:

Betty: no, I don’t think Nadal is more impressive, though some do. This was just a reference to Sean Randall’s suggestion that Nadl’s French-cum-Wimbledon triumph was more impressive than than Fed’s 3 slams a year. Along with Tejuz and others, I disagreed – but I thought that if FEDERER had won French/Wimbledon, including beating Nadal in Paris, then perhaps this would have been even more imressive than his 3 slams in 1 year (but I was being a bit playful; actually I doubt if it makes much sense to draw up a comparison like that). That’s because it is much more difficult for Federer to beat Nadal in RG than for Nadal to beat Federer at Wimbledon – and that was obvious even before Nadal actually did the dirty deed this summer. I think we have to concede that Nadal’s dominance on clay is freakish, and will probably never be matched. But that certainly doesn’t mean he is a better player than Federer overall.


Betty Says:

grendel:

Thanks for responding to my question. Will be interesting to see how 2009 will pan out. Cheers!


Roy Says:

“Betty Says: …Will be interesting to see how 2009 will pan out. Cheers!”

Fully reciprocate your views….as a nuetral tennis fan, it’s definitely interesting to look forward to 2009 as the year of the unpredictable….welcome respite from the predictability of the year-end top-ranking remaining unchanged over last four years…Three Cheers for Excitement!!!


J.Hens. Says:

Also,

SF, F, F, W

vs.

SF, W, W, SF

Let’s not assume that Nadal ran away with this season, historically it is very amazing, and he deserves every amount of credit he deserves, but it’s not incomparable to Federer’s. I think the only thing that brings Federer’s year down is the fact that he lost to Novak early on, and lost so badly in the French final.

I am a Federer fan, but regardless, I have yet to see Nadal translate his game and become a dominate force, how can you be the #1 player and not be able to make it out of the Semi’s of 2/4 of the Slams.

Federer has 8 grand slam wins on hardcourts, while Nadal is at 0 hardcourt slam finals.


J.Hens. Says:

Grand Slam Best Results

Wimbledon

Fed
5 Wins, 1 Final

Nadal
1 Win, 2 Finals

French Open

Fed
3 Finals, 1 Semi Final

Nadal
4 Wins

Australian Open

Fed
3 Wins, 2 Semi Finals

Nadal
Semi Final, Quarter Final

US Open

Fed
5 Wins

Nadal
Semi Final, Quarter Final

At nearly every tournament that Federer has lost in in this span, he has lost to the eventual champion.


Roy Says:

“J.Hens. Says: ….Federer has 8 grand slam wins on hardcourts, while Nadal is at 0 hardcourt slam finals.”

Hens, while it’s good to praise the accomplishments of our own idols (and there is no player who is more deserving of the staus of idol than the genius of Fed), at the same time it should not be done by diminishing other players unnecessarily.

This is especially so because these players : Rafa, Djoko, Murray et al are much younger than Fed and one can never foretell what can potentially be accomplished by them, by the time they reach the age where Fed is in now.


J.Hens. Says:

I agree, my only point in the comparison is just the simple fact that ” Hey, Rafa has a long way to go before he’s considered in comparison to what Roger has already accomplished, especially in hard courts ”


South Parkholme tennis club Says:

Rafa does have a long way to go, but i recon he will slowly get there, he seems to be getting better with age. I even believe he has the potential to win a grand slam if he puts his mind to it. He really is a great athlete and puts in the hours. Federer on the other hand is just pure natural talent. I think he may be on the way down soon.

thank

South Parkholme Tennis Club

Top story: Djokovic Dominates; Nadal, Federer In Action Wednesday At Monte Carlo
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ATP - Apr 14 WTA - Apr 14
1 Rafael Nadal1 Serena Williams
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