Nadal Better than Federer, Captures Australian Open
by Sean Randall | February 1st, 2009, 10:28 am
  • 253 Comments

What can you say? It’s Rafael Nadal’s world. If you don’t like it, get used to it. After tonight, the baton has officially been passed. Roger Federer was the king, Rafael Nadal is the new king. It’s that simple, that clear. Nadal gave a superhuman mental and physical effort in beating Roger Federer earlier today 7-5, 3-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-2 to capture his first career hardcourt major at the Australian Open.

The 4-hour, 23-minute match wasn’t quite at the level of their memorable Wimbledon epic last July, but this result was just as stunning in the way Nadal overcame fatigue and a worthy Federer to prove that he is the best player in the world and that he owns Roger.

Federer actually handled much of Rafa’s best for most of the night, but the Swiss could hardly get out of the way of his own serve, and then he completely collapsed in the fifth set when Rafa was able to score two error-filled breaks and salt away the match.

As the commentators pointed out, despite his early set lead Nadal did look rather weary and listless, and things appeared bleak for the Spaniard once Federer level for one-set all and had Nadal on the ropes at 0-40 late in the third. But Nadal absolutely never wavered. He never went away when he could have done so easily without a second blink or a raised eyebrow. Instead, he soldiered on never losing sight of the end goal: Winning the title. And for that he deserves all the credit in the world and he deserves this win.

Without going too deep into the future, I wrote some time ago that while everyone was looking at Federer as the greatest, maybe it will be Rafa who ultimately wears that crown. Starting to look more plausible doesn’t it?

Already at 22 he’s accumulated six Slams titles on three different surfaces, an Olympic gold and a Davis Cup win. Besides the US Open there’s nothing else out there, is there? Amazing.

For Federer, this match really does change things. First, Nadal is absolutely 100% in his head and it’s going to be tough for Roger in future meetings. This one hurts. Further, how can he recover from this second crushing five-set defeat in a Slam final? And I’d have to characterize this one as worse than Wimbledon where Rafa really owned Roger in the first two sets before Fed made a spirited comeback.

Today Roger looked to be in control but at critical moments on break points he simply couldn’t come up with the goods he needed. And at the end we saw that emotion following the match. It has to be nothing short of devastating for Federer.

I still think Roger will pass Pete, but even when he does it may still be hard to look at Roger in terms of the greatest when he really is second to Rafa right now.

What a change of events. Even though I picked the other guy, I’m glad I woke up early to see it happen. Can this rivalry get any better? Vamos…


Also Check Out:
Murray Trips Over Finish Line as Djokovic Captures Sony Ericsson Miami
Nadal Captures First Hamburg Crown; Halts Federer German Dominance
Flawless Federer Makes History, Captures Career Slam with French Open Title
Nadal Leads Spain In Search Of Fifth Davis Cup Title This Weekend
Djokovic Captures Masters Cup, Then Suffers Injury While Celebrating

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253 Comments for Nadal Better than Federer, Captures Australian Open

margot Says:

The king is dead, long live the King. Although I personally am wearing black, I think Rafa deserved this win, he was stronger in the end. What now, us Federer fans have got to ask, can Roger get Rafa out of his head. who knows?


ilovetennisverymuch Says:

Vamos Rafa. So happy that you won (after gruelling 5 hrs 14 mins marathon seminfinal). You well deserved it. I woke up at 4 am to watch this match.
Totally worth it.


Giner Says:

“The 4-hour, 23-minute match wasn’t quite at the level of their memorable Wimbledon epic last July, but this result was just as stunning in the way Nadal overcame fatigue and a worthy Federer to provide without question he is the best player in the world.

Federer actually handled much of Rafa’s best for much of the night, but the Swiss’s game collapsed in the fifth when Rafa was able to score to error-filled breaks to salt away the match. And going into the match I though the was going to be the Fed serve, and his first serve was woefully low around 50% and that’s not going to get the job done.”

Man, you must be really tired Sean. You’ve made several spelling errors already.

“As the commentators pointed out, despite his early set lead Nadal looked weary and listless, and things appeared bleak for the Spaniard once Federer level for one-set all. But Nadal absolutely never wavered. He never went away when he could have done so without a second blink. He soldiered on never losing sight of the end goal: Winning the title. And for that he deservers all the credit in the world and he deserves this win.”

Nadal’s feat was in managing the resources left in his tank intelligently. He didn’t run down a lot of retrievable shots (for him), and he conserved his energy well for when he needed it. He also served aces when he was down break points and at deuce. Roger helped out by serving poorly at bad times. But really, how Federer cracked in the fifth set is inexplicable. A guy with this much GS finals experience should not have done that.

He has to continue hoping that Murray lands in Nadal’s half and takes him out for him.

“Without going to deep into the future, I wrote some time ago that while everyone is looking at Federer as the greatest, maybe it will be Rafa who ultimately wears that crown.”

I don’t think that will end up happening because his game is brutal on his body and he will reach his use by date sooner than is required to reach 14. He relies on his speed and muscles. Guys who are fast normally flame out by mid 20s (like Hewitt). They become a step slower as they get older. That left arm has held up against the abuse so far, but who knows how long that lasts.

I can totally see him winning 10 slams however. 8 is the least I expect. He’s going to be 23 this year, and 24 next year. 24 is not too old to add another French Open. Costa won it at 27 and Agassi at 29.

“Already at 22 he’s accumulated six Slams titles on three different surfaces, an Olympic gold and a Davis Cup win. Besides the US Open there’s nothing else out there, is there? Amazing.”

I suppose he can win Miami, Cincinatti and Paris to complete all 9 Masters Series titles (10 if you count both Canada events as separate). He’s been finalist twice at Miami, once in Paris, and semi finalist in Cincy, so I think he can do it.

The other obvious thing he is missing is the year end championships. I would have liked his chances last year had he not been injured. He would have made a semi I think.

“Today Roger looked to be in control but at critical times couldn’t come up with the goods he needed, and we saw that emotion on the stand following the match. It has to be nothing short of devastating.”

I chalk this defeat down more to Roger’s doing than Rafa’s. Rafa did great, he did what he needed to do, which was pace himself to last the distance. In the 4th set when he got down a break, he just started swinging freely, not fighting to take it back, so he could save everything for the final set which I didn’t think he would win.

It was just a bad day in the office for Fed. Sometimes you have an off day where you don’t play your best (I don’t think Wimbledon was such a day though). If he played as good as he did against Del Potro, he should have won it.

“I still think Roger will pass Pete, but even when he does it will may still be hard to look at Roger in terms of the greatest when he is second to Rafa.”

Did Pete not have a negative record against anyone during his time? In any case, it seems the number of slams won is widely regarded as the sole measuring stick for greatness anyway.


Almond49 Says:

Nadal is now the undisputed No 1 now. How on earth can Fed come back from this. He will have a great book and this chapter is now closed. Nobody cares about Fed anymore. Everybody cares about Rafa.


Draža Says:

I can’t believe that even after this, Federer is still being arrogant in the post-match interview, relativising Rafa’s superiority, saying something like “he’s like many other guys”, like he’s nothing special and that he owes the victory to Fed and his poor performance. I really think it’s time for Federer to get off his high horse and recognize that he is no longer the best out there. He started to believe his own press.


Hypnos Says:

David Foster Wallace squirms in his grave …


Giner Says:

One observation I forgot to mention in my dissection of the match earlier was that Nadal played very courageously when he was down break points. He wasn’t afraid to go for risky shots when he was in trouble, and he made them. He didn’t get timid or tentative. That’s a sign of mental toughness. He didn’t choke at the point Berdych would have, and I feel he is only going to get even stronger mentally.


Polo Says:

It will be hard to argue for Federer as being the greatest of all time because Nadal is better than he is. Federer cried because this loss has unequivocably dented his claim for that title. The only way now that he can be called the GOAT is if he can win 2 more majors and he has to beat Nadal during that process.


Polo Says:

For many years now, I would watch tennis matches being contested by Federer and Nadal and I was sure I was watching someone who would one day be the greatest male tennis player of all time. I now realize that I was looking at the wrong guy.


Abbie from Cape Town Says:

Giner good job you put your writing in inverted commas, because it was straight our of someone else’s mouth. Why not give him cedit?


John Says:

One of the things that has amazed me over the last week is all the talk about Fed possibly EQUALING history by winning a 14th major when everyone has ignored the fact that Nadal could MAKE (and now has made) history by becoming the FIRST and ONLY man in the ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE SPORT to simultaneously hold majors on all three surfaces (clay, grass, hard). As far as who’s better between Fed and Samp? No contest. Who cares that Samp has one more major. Big deal. Samp not only never won the French, he never even made it to the final of the French. Fed is way better even if he never gets that 14th. But, it’s a moot point anyway since Nadal is destined to be the GOAT IMHO.


Thangs Says:

Was really happy that nadal won…he really deserves and had a very tough draw…Roger is great.. i dont think he could have been in final if he had nadals draw..but i felt sad watching roger cry….Anyone is there to stop arrogant serena?


simba Says:

Well said John. I thought Agassi achieved the same feat but he never held all the titles at one time. It is fitting that Mr. Laver, who won Calendar Slams twice, presented the trophy to Nadal.


calvol Says:

Congrats Rafa, well deserved win! He has cemented his #1 ranking, but it is way too early to start proclaiming him the GOAT or that Fed is done. What Fed will have to do to reclaim #1 is twofold- change his tactics and get a bit stronger in the upper body. Fed simply cannot beat Rafa from the baseline, he needs to attack more, either from the ground or serve-volley, which would mean he needs to improve his serve to a Sampras level. Secondly, Fed needs more strength to enable him to hit high balls, especially to his backhand. Everytime he slices crosscourt, Rafa eats it up. Fed needs more power off the backhand wing, and needs to step up in the court like Agassi did. Anyway, unless Fed makes these changes, Rafa will remain #1, and he’s getting better! It will be interesting to see how Fed responds, he’s got about 3 years to do it.


Cindy_Brady Says:

There is no way Nadal is not Roiding…How can he be fresh as a daisy after a 5+ hour brutal physical match in the semi-finals with less than 48 rest?

Then he plays Roger for another 4+ hours and never seems to lose anything. This is tole tale sign of someone juicing to “speed up recovery time”. Djokovic and Murray are also supremely fit but they both gave into fatigue. Nadal is not so superior to either of those players fitness wise. Something smells fishy here. Could it be the ATP doesn’t want a roid scandal involving their biggest ticket seller. Let’s make an example out of some of the lesser ranked South American players so as to look like we care about illegal performance enhancing drugs. In the mean time Nadal and Uncle Tony can carefully plan Rafael’s injections judiciously under the public’s nose and claim he’s all natural. What a crock!!!!


Mary Says:

Nadal has never dealt with being expected to win a Slam. He exploits the hell out of that(smart guy) I think that has been the deciding factor. What makes these matches “epic”(don’t get that) is the fact Federer is across the net from him.

Has that changed? Is Nadal now expected to win the slams?

If Fed was smart, he would exploit the hell out of “I’m not number one or winning these slams, that’s Nadal. I will never beat his greatness.”

As a tennis fan, I’m disgusted with Fed; but I feel for the guy on a personal level. Since the age of 24 it has been drilled into his head that unless he breaks Sampras’s record he is a loser. Not only must he break it, he must do it at a much earlier age than Sampras. Fed should shake those chains and put it on Nadal.


Naren Koka Says:

It is sad to see Roger lose the match on hard court. It is common in beginners tennis that one focuses on another’s weak backhand to win the game. It is really awkward to see this at international level. It looks like it is a different game when a single handed backhand guy has to play with a lefty. Federer always faced the issue with Nadal. Rodick and Federer game was very good. Each showed their abilities to the fullest and one of them was better than the other. Between Federer and Nadal, it is not the same. Nadal has almost never served to Federer’s forehand. The high balls to the single handed backhand decided the result. That is one of the very few areas that Nadal is better than Federer.

Credit goes to Nadal for fighting hard after the long match. Nadal’s performance with the close match with Verdasco is a good measure. Verdasco was the stronger in the game. Nadal is number one. We have to accept it. Roger is still the overall best player.


White Elephant Says:

Has tennis started testing for EPO or Blood Doping yet?


NachoF Says:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIaSsoucULs

This makes me sick… I cant believe he said “maybe I’ll try later again, I don’t know”…. if he retires it will be the worst that could happen to tennis


jane Says:

Nadal has been expected to win a slam – the French. He’s defended that title 3 times now, since he first won in 2005. You could argue he wasn’t expected to win it in 2006 maybe, but by 2007 most people knew he was close-to-unbeatable on clay.

Also, I don’t think we can accuse a player of drug use just because he played a 5 hour match then a 4 hour match with 1 day’s rest in between. I am positive this has been done before. Look at Wimbledon 2007 as an example: I am certain Djoko played marathons back to back with Hewitt and then with Baghdatis.


Giner Says:

Mary and Ryan, you can sleep well knowing that Nadal just got drug tested. The results will come through soon enough.

“Later, nearly two hours after the match was finished and Nadal had endured drug testing, gotten treatment on a sore right hamstring and overcome a dizzy spell in the locker room, he said he understood Federer’s tears.”


Mary Says:

Giner: I don’t need the snarky comments. Especially since I had to explain the WADA rules that others did not understand, yet had no problem commenting about.
Especially since I never said they were not drug tested after their slam finals.


Skorocel Says:

Polo said:

“The only way now that he can be called the GOAT is if he can win 2 more majors and he has to beat Nadal during that process.”

——-

Pretty much agree, but I guess one of those wins would have to occur at the FO… It may seem impossible at first (especially when we consider that last year’s drubbing), but the truth is, only then can he once and for all erase all those painful (and tearful :) ) memories which the Spaniard inflicted upon him… For now, however, it’s Rafael Nadal’s world!


andrea Says:

the armchair psychologists will be out for federer….after a 4th set of great tennis to get him back in the match, he went out with a flurry of UE’s, double faults and lack of champion resolve. it was a bewildering and disappointing sight to behold.

his tears at the end finally spoke the truth: no matter how he spins it in press conferences, Nadal has been THE force that is now constantly denying him history; he’s denied fed two complete slams with his prowess on clay; denied him the chance to beat borg by winning 6 wimbledons and now denying him his 14th major.

as Roger fights to remain relevant how can nadal not be pissing him off?

hats of the beast known as nadal though – he is so fast and so powerful. and i thought he displayed some nice sensitivity during the ceremony wen roger was losing it. but the ceremony to me was very bittersweet. there is no denying nadal but i think that alot of people there, including rod laver, were hoping that fed would get 14.

anyway, congrats to nadal and it was kind of funny to see him stuff that silly stuffed animal into his trophy when he got tired of holding it in his arms!

another epic. back to bed.


TD (Tam) Says:

What a masterful epic battle. Congrats to both Roger and Rafael although the Federer fans must be devastated right about now. That was a sight to behold. I truly believe that Rafael is the real GOAT, he has now won slams on three different surfaces and he stopped Federer’s hardcourt record AND he’s the Spaniard to win the Aussie title. Incredible! Thank you to both players for such a memorable match and especially to Nadal for such an extraordinary win.

Should the Tennis-X Staff be put on suicide watch? After all the snarky dismissive comments they’ve been making about various players (except for their golden boy Roger) this is karma biting them back in the butt. ;)

Von, I saw your response to me in the other thread, what can I say? You are my hero. ~hugs~


Giner Says:

“Nadal is now the undisputed No 1 now. How on earth can Fed come back from this. He will have a great book and this chapter is now closed. Nobody cares about Fed anymore. Everybody cares about Rafa.”

I was not a fan of Nadal at first. He didn’t impress me and wasn’t the most artful player. It wasn’t until 05-06 that I started to admire him. He won me over when he showed he could do something others could not: Beat the unbeatable, my favourite player Roger Federer. I still wanted Federer to win all their matches until Nadal made a Wimbledon final. It was a fluke at the time, but a good glimpse into what he was capable of.

Fed will come back however. The US Open has been his court for the past 5 years, and Wimbledon 5 of the past 6 years.

And I don’t think it’s true that no one cares about Fed anymore. Fed had by his standards a lackluster year in 2008, but most people still proclaimed him favourite to win AO 09 and finish year end #1 in 09. I don’t know anyone in the media that picked Nadal as favourite for AO 09 despite what he did last year. Things don’t change that quickly.

Abbie from Cape Town Says:

“Giner good job you put your writing in inverted commas, because it was straight our of someone else’s mouth. Why not give him cedit?”

It takes too much effort to scroll back and forth. Unless you are quoting the first paragraph, or the entire message, you have to do two separate copy&paste actions, which means I have to scroll back a second time. I don’t find it necessary. People know that quotes means it’s someone else’s comment. It wasn’t as though I was plagiarising them. This is how I do it. My messages can get long sometimes, and it will look a mess doing this for 10 different people.

“Fed is way better even if he never gets that 14th. But, it’s a moot point anyway since Nadal is destined to be the GOAT IMHO.”

I think it’s too early to crown Nadal as destined to be GOAT. The reason I say this is because with the exception of the French Opens, he wins his matches through grit and determination, slugging it out and outlasting his opponent. Sampras and Federer won their Slams a lot more easily. Nadal didn’t dominate his opponents, he did it hard, whereas Fed’s 04-07, he looked peerless. He dominated, Nadal did not. I think you have to dominate and win effortlessly the way Federer did for a period of years in order to get 14 slams.

simba Says:

“Well said John. I thought Agassi achieved the same feat but he never held all the titles at one time. It is fitting that Mr. Laver, who won Calendar Slams twice, presented the trophy to Nadal.”

I think they carefully selected Laver and other legends for the presentation because they were expecting to crown Federer as GOAT this night, and capitalising on the significance. Just as Borg presented the trophy to Fed at Wimbledon for equaling his feat of 5 in a row, and I think he presented it to Nadal at RG for equaling his feat of 4 in a row. If Roger wins the US open this year for his 14th or 15th, I hope Pete Sampras is the one to hand it to him. That would be most fitting.

Cindy_Brady Says:

“There is no way Nadal is not Roiding…How can he be fresh as a daisy after a 5+ hour brutal physical match in the semi-finals with less than 48 rest?”

He wasn’t fresh as a daisy.. And he was drug tested after the match.

He is very fit, didn’t come into the match with a full tank, but he conserved his fuel and used it wisely.

“Djokovic and Murray are also supremely fit but they both gave into fatigue. Nadal is not so superior to either of those players fitness wise”

You’ve got to be joking. Novak Djokovic it was just pointed out has a 47-3 record in GS matches when he wins the first set. He’s only lost 3 matches after winning the first set, but guess what? Those 3 matches all ended in retirements! Has this guy any heart? This ‘supremely fit’ defending champion looked tired after only one set against Roddick and started going for broke then ultimately retiring. As for Murray, he’s had plenty of fitness issues in the past, especially when he was younger. He vomited on court on several occasions, and couldn’t even put away Nalbandian after leading 2 sets to 0 (got tired and lost in 5). Strangely enough, his previous two rounds were straight setters, so he couldn’t even endure 3 sets of tennis in his 3rd round.

And Nadal WAS fatigued in the final. You’ve got to be blind if you didn’t see that. He was a step slower and didn’t chase down as many balls as he normally would, also didn’t make it to retrievable balls. The reason he still won is because Fed played badly on key points and handed it to him.

“Could it be the ATP doesn’t want a roid scandal involving their biggest ticket seller.”

So now you’re accusing him of cheating AND accusing the ATP of a conspiracy to cover it up. The burden of proof is on you to deliver the evidence, otherwise your claims will be dismissed. He gets tested regularly, drugs are not found in his system. So sour grapers say he’s using advanced, undetectable drugs, or the administration testing him are conspiring with him and covering it up. Only with conspiracy theories is the LACK OF evidence presented as supporting the case.

Let me guess, if Nadal were to have lost today, you would not have brought up the roid accusation?

“As a tennis fan, I’m disgusted with Fed; but I feel for the guy on a personal level. Since the age of 24 it has been drilled into his head that unless he breaks Sampras’s record he is a loser. Not only must he break it, he must do it at a much earlier age than Sampras. Fed should shake those chains and put it on Nadal.”

Nadal won’t accept them. As long as Fed’s slam tally is higher than his, he can dodge it by saying that guy is a greater player than he is, with more than twice as many slams as he has.

“Also, I don’t think we can accuse a player of drug use just because he played a 5 hour match then a 4 hour match with 1 day’s rest in between. I am positive this has been done before. Look at Wimbledon 2007 as an example: I am certain Djoko played marathons back to back with Hewitt and then with Baghdatis.”

It’s been done several times before. Safin in 04 played 3 of them. Wilander played a 5 set semi against Edberg in 88 then went 8-6 in the final against Pat Cash.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Why Doesn’t Federer get a coach? He won 6 slams while with Tony Roache and 3 since being on his own. He’s so damn arrogant and stubborn that’s why? He thinks he so good that he doesn’t need one.

If he’s to beat Nadal in the future, he’s gonna need to establish a solid game plan and make the appropriate adjustments during the match. He doesn’t do that. He’s very bull headed. He could have ran around Rafa’s serve a few times and cracked some winners on break points instead of floating back lame duck back hands that Nadal easily could handle and begin control of the point. He tried to “out defense” Rafa for most of the match which is suicide since Rafa’s exaggerated top spin game is designed for defense. He should have attacked much more and took the ball early and used the hard court to his advantage. His game plan made no sense and he deserved to lose.

Maybe this loss coupled with the Wimbledon loss, and the French open beating will finally open his eyes up. ROGER GET A COACH!


Giner Says:

Mary:

“Giner: I don’t need the snarky comments. Especially since I had to explain the WADA rules that others did not understand, yet had no problem commenting about.
Especially since I never said they were not drug tested after their slam finals.”

You explicitly called him a cheat (I can quote you). So what’s your deal now? That the drug testing after finals can’t detect steroids? If not, what’s the problem then?


Gordo Says:

Giner says -

“Did Pete (Sampras) not have a negative record against anyone during his time? In any case, it seems the number of slams won is widely regarded as the sole measuring stick for greatness anyway.”

FYI – Here are the dudes (with 3 wins or more) who had a winning margin against Pete -

Lleyton Hewitt 5-4
Richard Krajicek 6-4
Marat Safin 4-3
Michael Stitch 5-4
Sergi Bruguera 3-2
Paul Haarhuis 3-1

I saw Federer’s first serve in a bar in Melbourne. It certainly wasn’t anywhere near Rod Laver arena. Rafa is inside Fed’s head, and he needs to address it. No – he needs a coach who can help him address it, if he is ever going to beat Nadal again.

Fed may indeed win a few more Slams, and if he doesn’t embarass himself at the French Open this year he may even tie Pete at Wimbledon, but he really has to address his mental block with the guy who is quite rightly number one in the world.


Gordo Says:

And hey everyone – I am as big a Federer fan as anyone. But c’mon!!! Let’s get off the drug and roid talk when it comes to Nadal. Fair is fair and that is how he beat Federer. I believe Mr. Nadal is clean, honest and just right now too damn good.


Giner Says:

Cindy Brady,

A coach isn’t going to magically solve his Nadal problem. It would take some incredible coach to improve on the game of TMF. How do you coach a guy that’s better than you and whom won more slams than anyone but Sampras? Whenever he’s been asked about it, his answer was that he’s taking it easy, taking his time to make sure that the person he’s with is the best for the job, and not rushing into it. Perhaps there just isn’t anyone qualified or good enough for this admittedly tough job.

A coach can help you approach the game, but it’s still up to the player to pull it off in practice. No amount of coaches has seemed to help Roddick reverse his head to head record with the Fed. I’m sure they’ve told him what to do, and he knows what he has to do, but the execution is just easier said than done.

Fed knows how to beat Rafa. He’s done it before. He knows what to do, it’s just not easy to do it.

This time he should have won the fifth. Nadal looked weary. But he gifted the set (and the match) away with two sloppy service games. Nadal gets credit for hanging tough in the end, but it was on Fed’s racquet. This is one that got away. He had the momentum and the stamina to outlast Nadal but made too many unforced errors in the fifth.

I read the interview and it wasn’t as devastating for Fed as it would have been if this was another Wimbledon loss.


jane Says:

Giner – Nadal was picked as the winner by one expert at the ESPN website:

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/aus09/news/story?id=3834564

I find some of the match commentary so surprising, PMac was saying how rare it is to see Federer make forehand errors (like the one he made in the opening game) but that is no longer an unusual occurrence; it’s been part of Fed’s game for a while now.


Mary Says:

Giner: I didn’t define how he is a cheat. You can find plenty of other posts where I call him out on many things. I don’t give any pro in any sport the benefit of the doubt. Today’s match was subpar nonsense.

I have put the WADA rules and the fact that when testing is done and not during tournaments on this site. I don’t need you to remind me what I had to post here in the first place.
For the millionth time, it has nothing to do with testing after a final. It is the lack of testing done during the season in and out of competition.


Mary Says:

Giner: On another note. Is it better to know you “gifted” a set or that you were beat outright?
Fed really needs to put the burden of no. 1 on Nadal. I think this is where it helps to have pro-sports family members. It is good to have someone who knows the pressure and to be raised in that environment.

I do wish the press would stop calling these matches epic.


Gordo Says:

And Giner – Brad Gilbert picked Rafa, even after Federer’s dismantling of Berdych he cockily said “That is the best I have ever seen Federer play – ever.” When asked “So who are you picking to win the title?” he answered Nadal of course.

Giner – you do go on and on and on at incredible length (I have no problems with word limits on this site – tennis-x guys – are you reading this?) and when you say things like you do not know if Sampras had a losing record against anyone it is clear that you are a recent fan of the sport. Maybe cut down on the rhetoric? And please cut down on the blog lengths.

And everyone – let’s all get along without being bitter.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Giner,

“This is one that got away. He had the momentum and the stamina to outlast Nadal but made too many unforced errors in the fifth.”
_____________________________________________________

Nadal didn’t look to tired to me in the fifth. Don’t be so naive. He made some incredible gets. His legs were there and he moved with the quickness of a cheetah. He played “rope a dope” with Federer and Federer fell for it. Rafa’s mental toughness and roided up body wore down Federer both physically and mentally to force those “unforced errors” so to speak.

Federer will never beat a healthy Rafael Nadal again with his current game plan. It doesn’t work against him. In fact, it plays into Rafa’s hands. Fed’s just to arrogant to admit his beautiful flowing finesse game can be defeated by such a physically ugly game that Nadal has.

Federer’s mind set should offense when playing Nadal…. Not Defense!


Gordo Says:

Say Mary – what’s with the “As a tennis fan, I’m disgusted with Fed; but I feel for the guy on a personal level.”

Why are you “disgusted” with him? Because he cried?

Are you looking for a tough wifebeater?


momotoom Says:

What a match today. Congratulations to Rafa. You have proven that you are more than just a clay court specialist once and for all. Chin up Roger, it’s not the end of the road for you yet.

“Cindy_Brady Says:

There is no way Nadal is not Roiding…How can he be fresh as a daisy after a 5+ hour brutal physical match in the semi-finals with less than 48 rest?

Then he plays Roger for another 4+ hours and never seems to lose anything. This is tole tale sign of someone juicing to “speed up recovery time”. Djokovic and Murray are also supremely fit but they both gave into fatigue. Nadal is not so superior to either of those players fitness wise. Something smells fishy here. Could it be the ATP doesn’t want a roid scandal involving their biggest ticket seller. Let’s make an example out of some of the lesser ranked South American players so as to look like we care about illegal performance enhancing drugs. In the mean time Nadal and Uncle Tony can carefully plan Rafael’s injections judiciously under the public’s nose and claim he’s all natural. What a crock!!!”

Cindy, your comments above are really inane and silly. Rafa is a naturally healthy and fit young athlete. Not everyone who is fit is on ‘roids’.

I’ve been reading this site for some time and I really appreciate a lot of people’s intelligent comments especially giner, zola, jane. Keep it up folks, I learn a lot from you all.


Mary Says:

Gordo: What?! I’m disgusted b/c he choked. Did I like the theatrics afterwards? NO.

Please don’t respond with some flowery “heart of a sportsman” or other sentimental dreck. Is it okay if I just feel bad for him on a human level?


Mary Says:

Gordo: Don’t ever accuse someone of condoning wife beating. You don’t know who is on the other end of a post or what they, their family members, or freinds have been through.
It’s a tennis match– get some perspective.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Cindy, your comments above are really inane and silly. Rafa is a naturally healthy and fit young athlete. Not everyone who is fit is on ‘roids’.

I’m a body builder and see “gear” all the time. At the gym we laugh because we know athletes like Rafael Nadal are using. We know the signs. In the future, it will come out just like some of the beloved American base ball heros.

Rafael Nadal plays a physical style tennis game unlike any player before him. Every strike of the ball is all out warfare. The work he puts on the ball over and over again is taxing. People like Murray, Djokovic, Wilander,..etc have/had much more efficient styles of hitting. They don’t have to expend near the energy and they still get tired.

Nadal needs “the gear” to keep up with the physical demands of his game. So many naive people on here. Unbelievable!


Mary Says:

Cindy_BRady: Picturing the “youngest one in curls” benchpressed gave me a great laugh. You took out Tiger, Fluffy, and Kitty Caryall with your roid rage! Kidding
Peace Out


Gordo Says:

Mary -

I wasn’t accusing you of condoning wife beating. I was asking because of your anger. An accusation would not end with a question mark.

And you are right – it is a tennis match – get some perspective – how can you be “disgusted” with Federer because he “choked”?

Yikes!


Gordo Says:

Mary -

And after all the nice things Fed said about you on his website.

You really are quite contrary.

Sorry – had to use that!


Ojo Says:

I feel very gratified today by Rafa’s win but the behavior of Federer is troubling. Fed’s blubbering ruined Nadal’s moment. Fed needs to man up.
Fed had more face time on the podium. My God. How many times did Fed stand and kiss the trophy and not give a damn if his opponent was upset or try to console them. Shows you who has the class. Seeing Roger balling like that revealed a lot about his character and I’m not impressed.
I do not feel sorry for Roger and Karma caught up with him, finally. “I can take Murray in 5 sets anytime, grinders, one dimentional players, Djokovic is no good,” yadda yadda. I imagine Murray and Djok are enjoying the show right now.

AO did everything they could to give fed the advantage:
a cupcake draw, his pigeon getting the open roof,
his extra day rest.
Bravo to the Fed blocker.


Marjorie Says:

Mary – you are hypocritacally keeping the metaphor alive – drop it – change the subject – stick to tennis indeed. Your posts are sooooo angry. I wonder why ? The match was exciting enough and Nadal and Fed are fantastic players. Do you enjoy tennis ? And the blog ?


Mary Says:

Gordo: I wasn’t seething with rage. It’s not like it was an Eagles game.
Gordo you must be bored-o. Sorry.

“Bravo to the Fed blocker.” The sporting world now has an equivalent to c**k blocker.


Gordo Says:

Oh Cindy -

Yes we are naive, and I guess so is EVERYONE ELSE, because no one outside of you seems to think Rafa is using… what was the jargon which is to make us think you know all about it?… “the gear.” Some people cannot understand that all men are not equal and some are superb atheletes. Rafa just happens to be one.

But since you are in on these consiracies Cindy – was Tony Nadal old enough to have been the second shooter behind the grassy knoll in Dallas?

—–

And Ojo saying ” AO did everything they could to give fed the advantage:
a cupcake draw, his pigeon getting the open roof,
his extra day rest.”

Are you suggesting the draw was fixed?????????

Why are you even a tennis fan then? Was there no WWE wrestling on where you live?


Gordo Says:

Yeah – Marjorie is dead on…

Let’s celebrate the fact that 2 great players had a dynamite match and the best player on the day one.

And here’s hoping we see many more.


Gordo Says:

Uh – that would be ‘won,’ not one. Ha!


Ojo Says:

I am telling you what advantages he had. Period.

The sobbing mess is not crying over a lost superbowl that comes once in a lifetime but trophy number 14. Selfish, stuck-up thing.


John T. Says:

Wow -

A friend told me about this site and said that there was intelligent discussion in the blogs.

This is certainly my last visit. Everyone is either too wordy, too angry or just stupid (Rafa is on roids? lol).


Marjorie Says:

Cindy – same to you – why are you so angry ? Does your expertise in the gym carry over to the tennis court? Are you so qualified to judge us all? What else do you do besides gym and blogs? What DO you admire ?


jane Says:

I agree -it’s a great rivalry; it was a great match between two of tennis’s best. We should be celebrating the match or discussing the ins and outs of the play on the court. Not casting aspersions.


jane Says:

John T – come back. It’s not usually like this! Only sometimes. :-)


Cindy_Brady Says:

Yes we are naive, and I guess so is EVERYONE ELSE, because no one outside of you seems to think Rafa is using

LOL….Everyone I know, knows he is. We know what he’s using too….

EPO: Erythropoietin, or EPO, is an artificial hormone that allows the blood to carry more oxygen, thus boosting endurance. It is favored by endurance athletes and has saturated such sports as professional cycling and cross-country skiing.

They don’t test for this particular drug.

You are incredibly naive!! Can I sell you the Golden Gate bridge too.


jane Says:

Momotoom – thanks. You should post more often, not only read. The more the merrier.


Gordo Says:

Right on Jane.

Aspersions – do they bloom once a year or are they biennial? I forget!

(Just thought I’d try to lighten things up a bit.)


Marjorie Says:

John T – Usually the blog is quite interesting and amusing and I enjoy reading and almost never comment – but I must say today that there are some particularly angry and bitter newcomers and that most of the regulars are not online? I don’t know why everyone is so upset today but I recommend that you come back another time !


jane Says:

Gordo – good one. I think they’re perennials. The bloom when someone is mad a certain player won a tennis match. Usually at night and down under. LOL!

Marjorie – I agree. It’s usually pretty fun around here. I think a lot of regular posters not down under are sleeping!


Gordo Says:

“Can I sell you the Golden Gate bridge too?”

I added the question mark because I think that is what Cindy intended.

My answer – sure – if you own it and if the price is right.

In the meantime, I have always questioned those who spend forever in the gym to look just right, and then after years they sometimes realize that vanity is not all it is cracked up to be. So they have to bring everyone else down as well.

I am so sick and tired of the “top athletes in every sport use drugs illegally” line that it makes me so drwsy that I can’…t….keeep…my..eyes..ope…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Gordo Says:

Seriously Cindy – all kidding aside:

Your view that Nadal is on drugs has no foundation, if you listen to what many of the players have stated, Nadal being one of them have said in interviews concerning drugs after the bans to Canas and Puerta, most of them said the drug tests are taken totally randomly and some are tested 6/7 times a year, so considering Nadal’s physique has stayed the same throughout the last 18 months, knowing that he would have been tested on a few occasions your statement has no merit.

And the ATP site states that they do test for EPO, or are they lying to protect Nadal?

Puhleeeze!!!


Marjorie Says:

EPO has been on the scene since the 1980s and is supposedly Lance Armstrong’s favorite – “they” do test for it – and I’m now going to follow my own instructions and drop it before I get angry myself for not working out more at the gym instead of watching too much tennis. Boring as says Gordo.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Seriously Cindy – all kidding aside:

Your view that Nadal is on drugs has no foundation, if you listen to what many of the players have stated, Nadal being one of them have said in interviews concerning drugs after the bans to Canas and Puerta, most of them said the drug tests are taken totally randomly and some are tested 6/7 times a year, so considering Nadal’s physique has stayed the same throughout the last 18 months, knowing that he would have been tested on a few occasions your statement has no merit.

And the ATP site states that they do test for EPO, or are they lying to protect Nadal?

Puhleeeze!!!

Again loler at the naivety you have….They don’t test for all forms of EPO. They couldn’t! There are so many. New forms are being developed as we speak. Testing can’t keep up with the cheaters. They are always one step ahead. Sure it’s random. It makes no difference since the type of EPO Nadal is being stuck with will not show up anyways. And some of them dissipate in the system rather quickly and avoid detection. It doesn’t take much to get over on the testing police. Actually I’m shocked that any of the South American players like Canas got caught in the first place. He must have been completely lame about doing it.

And not all roids are designed to gain muscle mass. Some are designed for endurance and/or strength. That’s what Nadal’s taking.


Colin Says:

It has always seemed to me that it is every bit as naive to say all top athletes use drugs, as it would be to say none of them do. I guess that means I think ol’Cindy is the naive one around here.
Nadal is in Federer’d head, everyone agrees. Isn’t it just possible someone could get in Nadal’s head? It would need someone to have a good ability to work out other people’s games. Could there be anyone? I am British, of course!


Kennygg Says:

Wow what a match, i watched in Melbourne, this guy definitely is not on drugs or steroids, he is just one amazing athlete.
To go 5 sets on Friday night and then come back out on court and play like he did, he deserves to be NO 1 in the world. He really is going to take some beating this year. You are the best RAFA.


that_matt Says:

How spoiled are we? What drama filled matches these two produce. What amazing points they have, at times beyond belief. Hooray Australian Open Mens Final!!!


Milo Says:

How about Uncle Tony for GOAT coach? Not bad when a 2.0 player can consistently out-coach former Grand Slam champ Tony Roche back in the day. How much did that have to hurt Roch-E. Feds paying him buku bucks and all Roche could tell Rog before taking on the bull, “I’ve got nothing for you.” While 2.0 Tony would tell the Rafa, “just snotbust it high and hard to the pretty boys sissy backhand.”

That’s the problem with Feds attacking all-court Sampras style game — he no longer can progress forward with any confidence against Nadal’s impenetrable defense. Like Cahill said about the girls who can’t volley, “they get up near the service line and see alligators.” Well, put Fed in the girlie camp now. He may not see alligators when he moves forward against Rafa, but I know he’s pondering the ghosts of all his previous net charges. For all of Feds vaunted attacking skills, I’ve seen guys in WW1 have better results sprinting out of the trench at the newly invented machine gun.

Rafter and Edberg — who could both mount a monster attack on a players backhand — always had some success with Sampras. Nadal’s lefty slice 2nd serve has just enough curve to make Fed gun-shy about running around and smacking his money-maker forehand. Fed not using his forehand, is like a prostitute who “just wants to talk.”

Like all lefty’s, Raf is entirely comfortable attacking a righties backhand relentlessly. For all the “greatest rivalry” talk, Fed’s inability to get out of these bad patterns (win or lose), means he has not held up his side of the challenge strategically. At times — and if Roger was watching closely — Nalbandian, Youzhny, Murray, Ferrer and Blake have all shown the potential patterns to success against Nadal. Can Mirka buy Rog a TIVO??

This match might also be a good time for all the old-school commentators to give it a rest, concerning their boner love affair with the “classic” one-hand backhand. Who cares how lovely it looks…were not trying to “go Monet” and paint it up. In the whole history of the sport, there has never been an eastern backhand that can consistently return offensively, handle the shoulder high ball, or block-roll the return when left without good body leverage. The modern two-hand backhand is at a clear advantage when it comes to handling the bulk of tour action. Who cares if you lack a great stretching backhand (which is arguable — see Nadal), since how many great running backhands can you remember Fed or Sampras hitting anyway? Heck, I’d say Nalbandian and Davydenko’s left-hand dominant backhands are far more dangerous on the run than any Tommy Haas one-hand sweetie. Other than the Guga, Henin semi-wes one-hander for clay, the shot has basically earned its obituary.

I’m also not a big fan of Feds normal 70-30 forehand leaning court position. He simply gives up too much court position, while putting tremendous pressure on his shot options when he’s intentionally given up his position. Give me the Murray, Davydenko, Seles 50-50 court position player any day.

All-in-all, Fed is great…but his game has had weaknesses. Until now, no one could consistently expose them. In Rafa, we have someone who can exploit them all.

Credit to Ferrer — free dinner for life in Spain — the only man to ever outfight Rafa in an ATP match and gain the victory. If I ever see Fed outfight Nadal at Roland Garros, even in defeat, I’ll never have an unkind word to say about him ever again. Rafa plays up his Superman endurance, but his body carries too much mass to ever win a marathon. Plus he exerts tremendous effort in hitting his own shots. I say someone (Coria-like with more stick) will eventually have the game and nerve to wear him down on clay. It is possible.


Mary Says:

Marjorie – I’m not angry at all. Some of us do know what we are talking about– like me.
Again, we don’t know who is doing what. While I do not agree with Cindy Brady’s final decision on Nadal– again b/c we don’t know– what the poster is writing is based in fact. What you are saying about EPO is wrong. The problem is people who don’t do any research before posting.
Sorry I’m not a fan girl. I like to know a sport is clean. You have different standards. good night.


Ojo Says:

The best thing is that we now have Murray who routinely beats the slobbering Fed in 3 setters AND we have Nadal who routinely beats him in 5 setters.


Voicemale1 Says:

Cindy:

You’re an idiot – first and foremost. And second, why is it you don’t contend Federer was on any performance enhancing drugs during his stellar career? Didn’t he accomplished the most in the shortest time – 13 Majors in 6 years???? You mean to say THAT doesn’t sound suspicious??? And NEVER an injury in that time???? EVER?????

See how idiotic that sounds? Yet using your same stupidity of your simple ASSERTIONS (which is all they are) anyone can lay bogus claims against anyone – including Federer. Take your sour grapes elsewhere sweetheart. Please. You’re a moron – that much is clear.

_____________________________________________________________

Federer had plenty of chances at the end of the 3rd Set to take a 2 Sets to 1 lead, but failed to flip 6 break points in two games at the end of that set. And then Double Faulted the set away in the tiebreak. Something tells me Nadal phoned in the 4th Set once he got broken to save for the 5th. He figured Federer in the 5th would really start feeling the weight of the history calling, knowing Federer is mediocre in the fifth set (13-11) compared to him (11-3), and with no tie break, they’d have to play it out – all of which worked in Nadal’s favor. He figured right, and Federer buckled. Badly. The double fault to go down 0-30 at 2-5 was followed by a host of tentative 2nd Serves, since Federer First Serves were never finding their targets. The moment was clearly overwhelming him. And as in their last two Major Finals, again it was Federer’s weapon – The Forehand – that betrayed him with an error to end the match.

Not sure any coach is an answer for Federer. He’s too old of a dog to learn very many new tricks now. Even if he could, they might come at the expense of what he already does well. He himself says you have to practice most on your Money Shots so that they STAY your money shots. He sure doesn’t need a coach for any “strategy” sessions against Nadal or Murray – he’s got plenty of knowledgeable people around him for that already. I suspect there were few dry eyes watching him break down up there today, but these weren’t tears that came from a determined resolve to improve. They looked a lot more like tears of resignation. The Iron Grip he’s had on Men’s Tennis for so long is now officially gone forever. We saw today his awareness of that realization. What we don’t yet know is how deeply it will affect him.

This one will be a very tough one for Federer to recover from. Matches like this have been known to end or derail careers: McEnroe’s ascent sent Borg into oblivion; Agassi losing the 95 US Open to Sampras sent him into a 3.5 year wilderness; among many others. If, when or whether Federer rebounds is still the open question. But nothing will be as easy as it has been for him for so long. This one will sting him for a while yet.


Milo Says:

Mary — I have seen the European sites.

Keep up your high standards. Few seem to realize that professional sport is on the verge of being laughed out of relevance (like the Tour De France), if they don’t reign it in. Which would be sad, since sport can be so beneficial in promoting a healthy lifestyle for all.


Ojo Says:

FEDS NEWEST HUMBLE QUOTE:

“You know, in a fifth set, anything can happen. That’s the problem. Not usually the better player always wins. Just a matter of momentum sometimes.

“You know, maybe I should have never been there, you know, in the first place. But, I mean, I think he played well. You know, I definitely played a terrible fifth set, you know. I kind of handed it over to him.

I mean, no doubt he’s one of the tougher guys out there for a fifth set ‑ no doubt.” –Roger Federer


Mary Says:

Milo- yeah, seriously I’m not a crazed zealot on the matter. Blame Nadal and his press release concerning new regulations (joke)that is why he is the focus.
It’s the ambiguity that is killing sports. I am a major sports fan. Anyway enough about me.

I have no issue with the way Nadal or anyone else– not named Hewitt- plays.


Milo Says:

It will be interesting to see how Fed deals psychologically with not getting # 14. But it reminds me of a joke told by a black comedian.

Went something like: “I’m in the ghetto talking to an old homeless guy who’s sitting in the gutter, not knowing where his next meal is coming from, and all he’s worried about is whether or not Michael Jordan is going to get his SIXTH NBA championship ring.”

In the greater scheme of things, don’t worry about Fed and # 14 — he’s going to be all right.


Polo Says:

Some bloggers who don’t seem to make any sense at all (and there are quite a few I noticed today), should not be given any attention. It only feeds on their twisted style of thinking. There are many people here who make good sense and talk sensible tennis. They too have their own favorites but give credit where credit is due and do not denigrate the player who beats their favorite player by concocting unfounded accusations. The just concluded AO (men’s events)turned out to be a very entertaining event. True lovers of the game should be able to appreciate that and be happy that there are players like Nadal, Federer, Verdasco, Roddick, etc who provided us with thrilling matches.

If we stop paying attention to bloggers who are not just stupid (stupid one can forgive) but also mean, they just might go away.


sheila Says:

so disappointed that roger lost ao. however, so many people write mean spirited remarks about federer. i’m sorry but this is about tennis and for me both nadal and federer are two of the greatest players of their time. to say any one player is goat is, in my opinion, ludicrious. laver won 2 “grand” slams. federer has yet to achieve that and nadal has yet to achieve that. sampras didn’t even achieve that. federer broke down because it was a big loss. what is wrong w/him being emotional about this. it is obvious nadal is the definite #1 player presently, but he still hasn’t gotten to 14 slams, nor has federer. we, as fans, are lucky to be able to watch 2 great tennis players give it their best. 2 great tennis players w/different styles of play. obviously, it is nadals time, but to write off federer as if he didn’t achieve anything (13 slams and counting) is crazy. if federer had won ao, nadal fans would have said its because nadal was tired from previous match. either way he would have been criticized. we as fans have our fvt players and that is it. getting cruel & vicious about them is disgusting. federer, hopefully will regroup, and have a good year. at least he got to the finals.


jane Says:

Turning point? IMO, while is was *crucial* that Nadal won the 1st set, the pivotal moment was last few games & the tiebreak of the 3rd set – Fed didn’t convert on a number of break point chances and couldn’t hold a lead in the tiebreak either. Mind you, Nadal played a killer tiebreak; that one slice volley to go up 6-3 was mouth-watering. And even though Rafa slumped in the 4th set, I agree with Voicemale1, once it goes to a 5th set against Rafa you have to like his chances. So maybe he was biding his time, conserving his energy.

The match was quite dramatic: lots of tension, and plenty of highs and lows from both guys. I wouldn’t have even tried picking a winner until after the 3rd set was finished but by then I thought it possible that Rafa would pull it off. (It still came as a surprise when Roger crumbled in the 5th though; he seemed fresh enough – but the nerves I guess got to him).

Rafa’s two-handed backhand was sublime throughout, and Fed also hit some great, flatter-than-usual backhand drives. In all, I actually thought his backhand held up better than his forehand. But his serve was nowhere near its best.

Oh well, a good start to the year I’d say!


that_matt Says:

Polo, hallelujah.


Ojo Says:

Weird news For Giner. What does this mean in plain language?

TENNIS Australia will throw Bernard Tomic to the wolves even if the star junior is given a life ban from the Pro Tour circuit for walking off court in Perth in December.

Tennis Australia’s director of player development Craig Tiley last night declared Tomic would not receive any support from officials if the ITF bars the 16-year-old prodigy from the Pro Tour.

Such a ban would not prevent Tomic contesting ATP or grand slam events, but eviction from the Pro Tour’s Challenger and Futures events would block the Queenslander’s bid to improve his ranking.

TA’s hardline stance comes amid revelations an official at the Sorrento futures event filed a police complaint against a player’s parent.


Tejuz Says:

Well.. Fed will have plenty of chances as long as he reaches the finals of the major everytime.. Comon.. he has reached 14 of the last 15 GS finals (last 4 in a row again). Nadal needs to be as consistent for next few years to have a shot of eclipsing Fed and being called the GOAT.

At the moment, Nadal is the best for sure… and Fed is a close second… Rest of them(Djoker and Murray) are still pretty far behind atleast the GS.

Well.. apart from this loss seems like Fed’s game is back and he might have a say at Indian wells and Miami and improve his ranking points.


Ryan Says:

Nadal is a roid junkie…..hahaha


Ryan Says:

Besides at 27 why do people expect so much from fed anyways.He is getting old.Nadal , djok and murray are young. They have the advantage.I mean people should only be surprised if fed beats these guys coz tennis is a young mans sport. Old guys just dont have the edge.


Ryan Says:

All the guys in fed’s generation right now who are around his age are gettin kicked out of tournaments even before the quarterfinals. Atleast fed keeps making the finals even now. So I think age is the most important factor.


Cindy_Brady Says:

I’m not a Federer or a Nadal fan. I’m a tennis fan period. No real routing interest in either of them.

I’m not claiming all high profile athletes use performance enhancing drugs. But some do and more than you think. Nadal just happens to be one. It’s very unlikely that Federer is a user. The very nature of his game would not be improved by them. Physical grinders like Hewitt, Canas, Nadal, and Daveydenko would profit from drugs that would help enhance endurance.

Don’t be naive folks. These drugs have short half lives in the body. Virtually undetectable the next day. Perfect for using in best of 5 set matches where endurance becomes a huge factor. Players don’t use the stuff year round. They use it at selective times when it will benefit them the most. Nadal and Uncle Tony have become masters at it. I bet they already have extra strength order in for the French!


Von Says:

Congrats to Nadal fans for his first hardcourt GS victory — a much deserved win!!.

Sorry Fed fans, but there are 3 more slams in ’09, and I’m sure one of them has his name engraved on it. So cheer up — I can really empathize with you all; been there, done that many times. Remember, per the words of the famous Yogi Berra, “It ain’t over, till it’s over”, and also another great one : “It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings”. The fat lady hasn’t sung yet, so there’s still hope, and remember “hope springs eternal”, it never stops flowing, it’s for us to keep it alive in our hearts.

Here’s a youtube clip of the presentation I stole from another site. The internet police is looking for me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBC7LhfIY0Q


Von Says:

Whatever happened to my post. Am i banned from posting or what. Do please let me know, so that I won’t bother to make the effort of posting.


Mary Says:

Von: sometimes a connection times out before a post goes through.


Von Says:

I hate to say I agree with Cindy about performance enhancing cocktails leaving the body very quickly, but it’s very true. The more rigorous the play, the faster it leaves the player’s system in perspiration and other bodily fluids — even a bathroom break will do the trick. By the end of the match, very little or nothing is detectable, and if the testing comm ittee is not testing for that sbstance, then it’s veryh un likely it will be detected. These substances are like pick-me-up potions. Whether we want to believe it or not, they exist. Some athletes use them to help them over a bad patch and the rate of exit is very accelerated. It’s a reality in sports whether we want to accept it or not.

Please note: I’m not saying any of the tennis players use these substances, I’m only stating that it’s a fact of the sports world that this is happening As the old addage goes, ‘the smarter the government, the wiser the population”.


Von Says:

Correction: “sbstance, then it’s veryh un likely it will be detected..”

Should read: “substance, then it’s very unlikely it will Be detected.”


Von Says:

Mary: Thanks for that bit of info — I’m beginning to get paranoid.


Mone Says:

Nadal is definitely a drugs cheat.


Sidmore Says:

“For the millionth time, it has nothing to do with testing after a final. It is the lack of testing done during the season in and out of competition.”
_________________________________________________

Mary, you are an idiot. Tennis players are tested more than any other athlete. And there is no off season in tennis so any theories of doping up during that time is out the window. And finally have you took a good look at Nadal? He is no bigger than Murray or Federer- so where the hell are the steroids going? In person, he looks like any other 22 year old male who takes care of his body- NORMAL. Federer is OLD and fighting father time- get the hell over it. NADAL IS A BEAST because he is talented and in his prime. Why do you have to be so petty?


Sidmore Says:

I hate to say I agree with Cindy about performance enhancing cocktails leaving the body very quickly, but it’s very true. The more rigorous the play, the faster it leaves the player’s system in perspiration and other bodily fluids — even a bathroom break will do the trick. By the end of the match, very little or nothing is detectable, and if the testing comm ittee is not testing for that sbstance, then it’s veryh un likely it will be detected. These substances are like pick-me-up potions. Whether we want to believe it or not, they exist. Some athletes use them to help them over a bad patch and the rate of exit is very accelerated. It’s a reality in sports whether we want to accept it or not.
_________________________________________________

And what makes you think Federer doesn’t use these supposed drugs? Is it because like Jesus Christ- he walks on water?


Ryan Says:

OMG here comes another noob with some stupid questions again.


Mary Says:

Ryan- no, no more answers for them. Two days later and we still have people insisting the ATP tests. Although it has been the ITF/WADA. Also, EPO is still in the same form it was 20-odd years ago.
People want to throw out red herrings, let ‘em.
lather, rinse, repeat


Mary Says:

I’ve been following this all day today, b/c the net is lit up like a xmas tree over this match. Nobody is suggesting that Fed should have won- he lost that match. It is just wow!
One anti-steroid blogger posted that she has been getting so many hits on the finalists and doping.


Ryan Says:

Mary-Rafa is on drugs. You wont be able to detect them now but the truth will be out in a few years like Mariam Jones.


nada Says:

It’s not roids that bothers me. Nadal simply does not have that type of musculature. It’s EPO and the Spanish scandal that taints his wins in my mind. The list regarding tennis players administered EPO was not released and Nadal’s answer to inquiries as to his use of blood doping was almost an admission. The gist of his answer was that of greater concern would be politicians using dope and perhaps they should be tested, implying if he was doping it was small potatoes. He didn’t out and out deny the allegations, as I recall.

Any way he’s rapidly become a strong player with phenomenal endurance. The purpose of taking EPO is to increase ones stamina. The results are that the user can train for greater lengths of time – hence the rapid climb for Nadal and the Fiddler Crab appearance. The added benefit is rapid recovery which he needs for his style of play. EPO is one drug that is very difficult to detect.

I wish once and for all the list beyond a few cyclists was released. If there’s nothing to hide lets see it. If there is it’ll never be known. Of course it’s possible other players including Federer are on EPO.


Mary Says:

Ryan: something snapped with this match. Usually it is people defending the players, but it ain’t happening. It’s not disgruntled Fed fans this time. The credibility of the sport is being questioned in general due to the match.
Something is going to happen with a major player before a few years.


Mary Says:

Nada: Puerto is reopened. That lists has players. The cyclists are pissed b/c they are being hung out to dry while the footballers(fake ie european) and tennis are getting away.


Ryan Says:

The last post from Ryan is by someone else using my name.


mem Says:

Milo, Ryan, Cindy, since you guys can’t accept that nadal is born with a gift that he continues to cultivates, without making demoralizing comments, then i suppose you can supply the answer to this simple question. federer was dominant for roughly four years, was he on steriods? i’m curious to know from your perspective how he annihilated players continuously. on the other hand, i do understand where your bitterness is coming from! i’m sure you’re get over it in time!


mem Says:

Yes nadal is born with a gift of luck. The luck of access to a type of drug for which an effective test has yet to be devised.


mem Says:

Perhaps only ones who has not experienced age 22 will believe that that kind of effort put in by nadal is possible without performance enhancing drug.


Ryan Says:

But yeah………who knows wats goin on. It kinda reminds me of the michael jackson case.Everyone knows he is a child molestor but no one could prove it in the courts. When I had mentioned long ago about the spanish epo list or watever that wasnt released by the spanish government, the nadal ass kissers were all over me. But in the end ur only guilty if ur proven guilty…..so screw it.


Von Says:

Hey, just wait a minute. First, why the name calling because you disagree with another’s opinion, or more to the point, because you are less informed, have on blinders or are unacquianted/uneducated with respect to a certain topic, including performance enhancement drugs, drinks and potions?

The people who are posting are informed, and just because you choose to be uninformed does not make us a liar.

Now please show me where in my post I pointed fingers at any player? Hence, why is Federer even being mentioned. YIt’s obvious yholu are a nadal fan hence the Federer comment.

For your information, I am neither a Nadal nor Federer fan and I really don’t care who wins or loses. I happen to be trained in my profession on drugs, and it’s deleterious effects on the human body. I am also very much aware of how sneaky the athletes and lay people who use them are adept at disguising their use.

Some drug testing is a joke if they only concentrate on a few substances and if they don’t test for the less obvious ones, hence any athlete can fool the drug testing committee. Did you know that some of the water quenchers, et al. that are brought on court are rife with the not so innnocent substances? These drinks can be consumed and out of the body by sweat even before the match is finished.

Please let’s have an olpen mind on certain topics because it’s best to be informed than un-informed.


Ryan Says:

To Milo, Cindy , Von

I dont think we even need to bother to answer these dumb ass questions from people like mem or Kroll or any nadal ass kisser who keeps asking….why does fed not use EPO….why? ….yeah keep wondering.


nada Says:

Thanks Mary. That is suspicious and disheartening. Money and power…


Voicemale1 Says:

Cindy-Bradydy says:

“Don’t be naive folks. These drugs have short half lives in the body. Virtually undetectable the next day. Perfect for using in best of 5 set matches where endurance becomes a huge factor. Players don’t use the stuff year round.”

This statement you made proves you’re the idiot I assumed you to be. If something is truly “undectectable”, then it also has lost any performance enhancing value, you moron, because: if it’s “undetectable”, then it’s not present (which is the logical reason for this “undetectability”. It can’t help if it ain there, genius. If it has a “short half-life”, that’s, by definition, irrelevant to anyone who takes it then. Trying to say something’s present that has a “short half-life” but can produce magical results for endless hours and disappear before anyone ever catches on is you talking out of both sides of your mouth – or ass – whichever applies.

Incidentally: how would Nadal’s “substance”, once internalized, exactly know that he’d be playing for 4.5 hours and understand it needs to stay in the body EXACTLY that long before making itself scarce at precisely the moment when he’d have to do a routine dope test after the match? Unless you’re also claiming these “undetectable” substances not only enhance performance, but they’re also intelligent enough to know precisely how long they need to be “on the clock” before the testing crew comes after a match??

“Undectecetable” means: it aint there. Only to a kook does “undectectable” mean: “it’s there, we just can’t find it, but we damn well know it’s there!!” Uh, well, HOW do you “know”, then? “WE JUST DO”!!! Memo to Cindy the Idiot: If it aint there, Uhhhhhh, then… it doesn’t help. If it’s there, it – by definition – CANNOT be “undetectable”. You’re once again talkin’ out of both sides of your mouth, or ass, whichever applies. When you try to claim something is present which no one can detect that helps performance for the exact specified time needed (which the substance would intrinsically know, according to your “theory”), then, escape the body at precisiely the most opportune moment because said substance ALSO knows exactly when the tests to detect it are coming!!!!!!!!!! You..are..a…complete..horse’s ass. LOL

And your BS about Grinders vs someone like Federer is pure BS, even if this obviously drug induced fantasy you concoted were true. Federer would be the IDEAL suspect for perfomance enhancing stuff precisely BECAUSE he’s made it all look so easy. After all, NO human being could ever waltz through 13 Major Champiuonships, 50-plus ATP Titles in less than 7 years, and also travel all around the world and do photo shoots, attend premieres, participate in Fashion Shows, Media Events, etc., and do so as injury free as he’s done without any “undetecatble” assistance, could they?

If anything sweetie: THAT’S what defies your convoluted logic, twisted as your logic is anyway.

Thanks for the entertainment Cindy – you might well be the biggest glittering jewel of colossal ignorance that ever lived – and for the amusement value of that reason alone it was worth reading your drivel :)


Ryan Says:

I bet this mem is a fukkin indian….


bob22 Says:

Congratulation to Rafa and his fans, he deserved a title!
Federed again spoiled the end show his adolescence…
This tournament is raising a lot of questions that should be answered. If private investigators could spend a more than a year chasing poor Davidenko, why they could not investigate AUS Open organizers to identify what was happening behind a closed door?


Ryan Says:

To Voicemale : Fed made it look easy. Yeah true…could you please explain how can you make tennis look easier and artistic or outplay ur opponent using ur brain using EPO or steroids….ur a fukin idiot. It helps people who play dumb ass tennis chasing every ball down. If tennis is as clean as u say it is then how come people like canas got caught….ur ignorant.


Mary Says:

Voicemale1 is so Jan Brady! Seriously, what Cindy says is right. Whether or not you want to think this player or that player is on something is up to you. Just do some research before posting. That is all we are asking.

What pros are doing is messed up: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24967088-2722,00.html

Keep in mind: cycling has been doing the whereabout program, the one program the other sports will be doing. If cycling is this screwed up with the microscope they are under, just imagine what is going on in tennis.
Did the ATP ever figure out who let the Russian mafia have access to the players? Remember the betting scandals, did they ever bother to figure out who gave the mob passes? No. that is the type of system tennis runs under.
How many of the young players are the sole support of their otherwise poor families?

If we can move this topic to the forum, I, or whoever, can set it up. I should have time tomorrow.


Ryan Says:

As for everyone who says how great nadal is…..he never faced any real competition…. and by real competition i mean he didnt face murray or djokovic who coulda kicked him out.Fed is not a competition now coz he plays like a pussy especially against nadal.Verdasco won sets in tie breaks.That is not competition….nadal is better than him.


Polifka Says:

As a big baseball fan I now try to be aware of doping situations. I can’t stand what this behavior does to a sport.

I was suspicious of Nadal a couple of years ago but talked myself out of it. I can’t ignore it anymore though, he is most certainly doing something.

Am I suspicious of Federer? No, no way. If you don’t understand why then you need to educate yourself.


andrea Says:

fed will be back and regroup. he’s not as flighty or as fragile as some here are claiming.

he’ll get #14. he’s just going to have to wait.


mem Says:

hey guys, don’t get an ulcer worrying about whether nadal will be found cheating. we all know if rafa wasn’t a threat to federer, this discussion wouldn’t even be taking place. allow the appropriate agency to do their job and i’m sure when the findings are available they will inform those of you who are suspicious. ok, we’ve read all of the accusations and some of you have given us a lesson in drug education. we got it! now, you can give it rest!


Milo Says:

Life’s Happiest Moments:

Dating the Prom Queen +

A Wedding Day

The birth of a healthy child

Waking up to read a NY TIMES headline: RAFA FAILS DOPING TEST

Nadal is heard to say, “uhhhh Roger is the best…uhhhh can you let me still be # 1…no???”


Cindy_Brady Says:

Voicemale1

This statement you made proves you’re the idiot I assumed you to be. If something is truly “undectectable”, then it also has lost any performance enhancing value, you moron, because: if it’s “undetectable”, then it’s not present (which is the logical reason for this “undetectability”.

It’s certainly effective at the time it’s being used. The half life of some of these designer drugs can any where from 4 to 10 hours. More than ample time to be completely effective during a match and then dissipate quickly so as not to be detected soon after….

Calling others, over the Internet, derogatory names only makes yourself look unintelligent and foolish. Nice job! Thumbs up!!


Ezorra Says:

vamos RAFA… and to all Nadal Fan, let us enjoy OUR moment!!! Huhu!!!


Von Says:

Voicemale1:

You stated: “If something is truly “undectectable”, then it also has lost any performance enhancing value, you moron, because: if it’s “undetectable”, then it’s not present (which is the logical reason for this “undetectability”. It can’t help if it ain there, genius. If it has a “short half-life”, that’s, by definition, irrelevant to anyone who takes it then. Trying to say something’s present that has a “short half-life” but can produce magical results for endless hours and disappear before anyone ever catches on is you talking out of both sides of your mouth – or ass – whichever applies.”

You are absolutely correct in saying that if something is “undectable” means it’s not there. However, undectable in the context it’s being used here, means that the tests are not detecting certain substances, because they are simply not testing for them, hence if they’re not looking for something, it will obviously be “undectectable”.

There is a list of substances, unfortunately I left it at work, that are the main focus of testing, and if those substances do not show up in the testing, then the user is supposedly “clean”. Unfortunately there’s a broad spectrum of untargeted substances that go undectable in the screeneings, again why, because they are not deemed important enough to waste time and money testing them. And, as a result, they will remain “undetectable”. It’s similar to if you’re looking for gold, then even if silver comes up, which is certainly similar as they’re both precious metals, the silver results will be discarded.

Detection of performance enhancement drugs is a simple test. specific drug names are placed into a cumputer and the urine sample is scanned for those substances. If the computer does not detect those “specified” drugs, then the targeted athlete is in the free and clear. However, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t 5 other drugs in the sample, but because the computer didn’t request their detection, then the substances are not going to volunteer their presence. It’s similar to a blood test, if one has a regular blood test for cholesterol and lipids, that’s all the test will reveal, but at the same time the patient could have severe thyroid condition, which is begging to be noticed, but the computer ignores it, because it’s saying “that’s not my job, man.”

In drug testing “specificity’ matters and it’s all that counts. The athletes are very cognizant of which substances are zeroed in to be tested and which are not, and they are using others which will give them similar results but which are undectectable because the testing is not looking for them.

“Incidentally: how would Nadal’s “substance”, once internalized, exactly know that he’d be playing for 4.5 hours…”

The substance wouldn’t know that bit of information, and the athlete is not going to use an enhancing substance for the duration of the match, because he knows it could be detected. He could simply use it for a set or two in which he’s being pushed to give him a slight advantage, and once over the bad patch, the substance served it’s desired purpose. By the end of the match the substance is out of his system through perspiration or urine. The present drug teting is not a very thorough one due to the time and money involved and it’s also about how much the testing committee and the sports world really wants to know or admit.

This topic of drugs/performance enhancing substances is a very fascinating one, and if tempers could be controlled and objectivity were used, much can be learned. Keep an open mind.


simba Says:

Roger needs to take it like a man and stops crying. There is nothing tragic or travesty about him losing to Nadal. He lost it on his own.


Milo Says:

You know, there is only one way to settle this. Everyone kick in $ 10 for my vacation to Mallorca, and I’ll go through his trash can like a New York city subway rat.

Wait, I see Phelps has been exposed smoking marijuana and another Michigan swimmer was just caught dirty with masking agents. Say it ain’t so! Hmmmm, once you take one drug ala Jen Jen Crackriati, it’s not too hard to take others.

Oh I yearn for the good old days, when I shy Hingie only did “blow” to fit in with new friends.


paula Says:

I love tennis. Rafa’s family, with whom he still lives, doesn’t allow him to put on his sneakers without untying the laces. Someday, I hope Rog regains his confidence, so that Raf can really celebrate, instead of being so modest and so – so great. Wait, he is great. But you know what I mean. The manners of both these men were impecable. I’m super in love with tennis.


nada Says:

The best thing for tennis this year is that we no longer have to see Nadals’ sweaty armpits. Now if someone could buy him some Jockeys that don’t ride up he’d be the complete player.

In the end I don’t see the player who surpasses Sampras’s majors total any closer to curing MS…


Mary Says:

“Rafa’s family, with whom he still lives, doesn’t allow him to put on his sneakers without untying the laces.”

Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in. I cannot stop laughing.

I like you Paula! Stay happy!


Voicemale1 Says:

Ryan Says:
To Voicemale : Fed made it look easy. Yeah true…could you please explain how can you make tennis look easier and artistic or outplay ur opponent using ur brain using EPO or steroids….ur a fukin idiot. It helps people who play dumb ass tennis chasing every ball down. If tennis is as clean as u say it is then how come people like canas got caught….ur ignorant.

Ryan:

I didn’t mean what I sadi about Federer – in an earlier post – I used Federer as an example of “Illustrating absurdity to be absurd” to this nitwit Cindy, and now apparently her cohort Mary.

And interesteing Mary:

You note an article about cyclists telling me I need to do research?? Cyclists? The day you show me anything from the ATP or ITF regarding what they have found among their players – OK. Which proves to me: you havbe no clue whattheir testing standards are or what their policy is. When you extrapolate your examples extemporaneously – universalizing ubiquitously – well, I couldn’t think of anything being MORE Jan Brady than that :)


Milo Says:

I’m surprised no one has brought up the most obvious sign that Rafa is roidiating. Many take his trademark ass grab merely as a dirty 3rd world twitch — forever barring any chance of tea with the Queen. But in fact, when on the move, his steroided glutes pull in his underwear in some odd, yet to be understood, black hole tornado’ing vortex. The best minds at Nike and Fruit of the Loom have yet to solve the problem.


nada Says:

Paula, you are a sweetheart. We need more people like you.


mem Says:

Milo, do you feel better now that you’ve got all of the garbage out of your system. get some sleep!


Von Says:

Milo:

“Many take his trademark ass grab merely as a dirty 3rd world twitch — forever barring any chance of tea with the Queen.”

Throughout my posts I have refrained from injecting humour (which I love) into anything written, but you’ve made me laugh so much by the above.

“The best minds at Nike and Fruit of the Loom have yet to solve the problem.”

I think Nike needs to hire a Saville Row tailor, who’D ask in that velly, velly, propah British voice, “Does His Nibs dress to the right or the left? Jolly good, old chap, that’ s spot on, now let’s attend to that shall we.


Milo Says:

Von:

Heheheehhe thnx…I try


Ezorra Says:

I’m so shocked to see how jealousy is able to turn people to become so repulsive! It’s not that surprising though, since those who constantly keep digging for the new issues to harm the reputation of Nadal were coming from the same persons, again and again. Anyway guys, keep up the good work! Your trash accusation has really worked a lot on him. 4 times French Open champion, Wimbledon, Olympic, Australian Open, you name it! As the saying goes “what goes around comes around!” hehe… Hopefully, for the next French Open, you will come out with another new issue which at least better than “Nadal uses drugs.” Maybe “Nadal is cyborg” or “Nadal has never tired because he has a twin brother to replace him every time he plays.” I don’t know! you guys are much better than me! :)


Ryan Says:

There are 2 tennis players who really need some sports psychology counseling…..one is federer and the other is berdych. Both of them really really need it.


Ryan Says:

Nadal is cyborg” or “Nadal has never tired because he has a twin brother to replace him every time he plays.”

Thats awesome……..you should really join our group.


Ryan Says:

I’m sure this is a blog filled with indians….in fact I’m not even sure if anyone is not indian except me and Von.The way these nadal ass kissers keep coming at us we can be sure…..They are THE best ass kissers in the world.


Ezorra Says:

You mean your “elite” group? Sorry, i’m not there yet. :)


Milo Says:

Ezorra, why wait for us?

Henri Leconte was part of the French contingent watching Rafa maul Simon in the quarters. Mary Carillo quoted him after the match saying something to the effect: “Nadal is from Mars…an alien.” You can take that as a compliment. I take it as code from an ex-player who knows, but has no proof.


Ryan Says:

Jim Courier was surprised how nadal and verdasco were able to play high level grinding tennis they played when the match was nearly 5 hours long. When people who have lived their lives around a sport start asking questions to which they dont have the answers then something is definitely up.


Kroll Says:

Milo/Ryan

Enjoying talking to to yourself, luv? There are shrinks for this sort of thing y’know?


Kroll Says:

Milo/Ryan
“why wait for us?”

Huh, its not Multiple Personality Disorder since there the identities are generally disassociated. So its an entirely new condition! Kinda reminds me of Gollum.


Ezorra Says:

Milo;
Take everything in the most negative way. It sounds so very you!

BTW, something that confuses me so much right now is the fact that you talk about Nadal more than us, Nadal fan talk about him. Are you obsessed with him or something? Hmmm… Something smells fishy here :)


Ryan Says:

Ok…. Kroll/Ezorra/mem…….we post watever we want in this blog……..if u dont like it then dont read it.


Ryan Says:

To Kroll

There are also shrinks to stop people like u from kissing a picture of nadal’s ass in your bedroom wall every 5 minutes.


Thangs Says:

Rafa is no.1 in ‘MANNERS’ department too..If the 5th set was given by roger, I would say rafa handed over the wimby 07 fifth set. Roger had to say ‘nadal deserved to win’…because nadal TAUGHT him how to be humble whether you loose or win…Even then federer couldn’t avoid telling ‘not the best player wins the 5th set’….In 3 set matches against murray, his answer would be ’3 set matches are nothing. i could beat him in 5 sets’….hey come on federer..u need to learn lot apart from tennis…coach would help..


Milo Says:

Ezorra says:

“BTW, something that confuses me so much right now is the fact that you talk about Nadal more than us, Nadal fan talk about him. Are you obsessed with him or something? Hmmm… Something smells fishy here :)”

OK, you got me. My name is Roger and I am Swiss. Greetings from OZ!


Milo Says:

I’m not buying Rafa’s humble act. I’d rather have Serena’s honesty. She’s arrogant, spiteful and dismissive of her competition. No matter how hard she tries, she never strays far from the “beat whitey” roots Richard fueled her with.


Ryan Says:

“Even then federer couldn’t avoid telling ‘not the best player wins the 5th set’…”

It is true to a certain extent……fed won more points than nadal in the match.


alex Says:

Hey guys, the one keep blurting about the roid(aka ‘the gear’) obviously is a flamebaiter, or, too much ‘roid’ messing with his head had blurred his sense of reality.

Either way, let’s just ignore him ok?


Ryan Says:

“I’m not buying Rafa’s humble act”….i think its alrite…in fact i like the variety that these players show. Djok likes to bring that arrogance which i find pretty cool. Fed is a mix………sometimes arrogant, sometimes humble and rafa always tries to say the right things. Its a very smart move coz then there is no pressure. If he keeps acting like the underdog then there is no self imposed pressure like djok or fed faces. In fact when he step out even on clay he plays like the underdog.


History Buff Says:

To NachoF: After the guy in the crowd yells out “I love you Federer,” Fed begins to lose it. When he says “Maybe I’ll try again later” he doesn’t mean tennis, but his speech.


History Buff Says:

p.s. to NachoF: I don’t think it is on the clip you watched, but Fed ends his speech with “I’ll see you all next year!” to great applause.


ejlopea Says:

To cindy brady:

You’re a classic example of a cry baby just like your idol federer… you’re a one track mind who won’t go appreciate except you’re blind fanatic belief that you’r idol is invincible. I think we should be mature enough to accept that there are better guys out there…


Milo Says:

I suppose all the top guys saw the goodwill and media embrace attained when Agassi adopted the “Ambassador of Planet Earth” persona late in his career. As any palm reader can explain, telling them what they want to hear is more important than telling them the truth. Andre learned the hard way to not let your sponsors or the press brand you.

Hard to believe anyone is humble in a dog-eat-dog individual king-of-the-mountain sport like tennis. I’ll cut Rafa some slack since his personality is probably easier to discern if he was speaking Spanish. At least he’s not a “Jesus freak” after his victories. Who was that Jehovah guy Serena was trumping up?


Ryan Says:

Im a fag and I like playing with myself in the shower!


Ryan Says:

If you got 2 fukkin balls why dont you come out and post with ur name u fukkin fag…..


Milo Says:

Ryan, I believe you’re having an “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” moment. No way the real Ryan would “chain yank” in the shower without first getting a dig in on El-Raf.


Reaksjoner etter Nadal-Federer « www.tennisbloggen.net Says:

[...] (ESPN.com): Nadal looming larger than ever Bonnie D. Ford (ESPN.com): This one stings for Federer Sean Randall (Tennis-X.com): Nadal better than Federer Abigail Lorge (Tennis.com): The Agony of defeat About.com: [...]


DRe Says:

Credit to Rafa he was playing better than Roger yesterday. Roger can only blame himself for the loss, especially his quality of serving was very bad and not expected from Roger…
But at the end he did not loose his first match to someone new starter, It was Nr. 1 for God sake… So he just lost one final and he played overall well, just not as good as Rafa…
Rafa could be a better player at the end, he needs to demonstrate the consistance for the next years to come… Records are for breaking.
Rafa can do that and there is no need to be emotional about them… What remarkable was yesterday that both players demonstrated that they have great respect for each other and tennis is classy game!


Marjorie Says:

As of Monday, 2-Feb-09
http://www.atpworldtour.com/3/en/rankings/entrysystem/default.asp THE FACTS PLEASE

1 Nadal, Rafael (ESP) 14260
2 Federer, Roger (SUI) 11000
3 Djokovic, Novak (SRB) 9010
4 Murray, Andy (GBR) 7360
5 Davydenko, Nikolay (RUS) 5030
6 Roddick, Andy (USA) 4510
7 Del Potro, Juan Martin (ARG) 4350
8 Simon, Gilles (FRA) 4170
9 Verdasco, Fernando (ESP) 3480
10 Nalbandian, David (ARG) 3395
11 Blake, James (USA) 3230
12 Monfils, Gael (FRA) 3190
13 Ferrer, David (ESP) 2980
14 Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried (FRA) 2955


Ryan Says:

To Milo:

Some coward posted that with my name….it think must be one of those sissies..kroll/mem/ezorra. Who cares anyway


Milo Says:

The Rafa Militia is loyal if nothing else. Strange how many people need to go “brokeback” on whoever is a winner to somehow gain some of the shine.


Lenny Says:

Wow. It’s sad that instead of appreciating the great tennis and drama the final threw up we get all this venomous spewing. I thought this place was s’posed to be full of tennis fans. But nope, all we get is “Federer’s a sissy crybaby” and “Nadal’s doped up”. Nice. I’m a fan of both these guys, yes, and of a lot of other players too, because I am foremost a fan of the sport.

As far as Fed’s tears are concerned, there is this human thing called being overwhelmed by emotion that some of you high and mighty robots may not have heard of. He wasn’t crying because he lost – he has often cried after winning as well, just to refresh some of the goldfish memories here. The crowd’s adoration, the presence of all those legends of a game he has given his life to, and yes, in part, the loss – it just all piled up and spilled over. Gee, he’s human, who knew.

As for Nadal, the fact that he endured beyond a level none of us are able to conceive, let alone achieve, is hardly proof that such a feat is beyond an unenhanced human body. And no, I’m not a naive fangirl who believes all top athletes are clean – there has been ample proof to the contrary. But neither am I pathetically cynical enough to make dope the first and natural assumption. Cindy, Mary et al, in all your scientific spouting, did you ever think to turn to any of the science that has proven the human body capable of surviving and enduring because of the strength of the MIND. The ‘distressed-mom-lifting-a-car-off-her-child’ syndrome? You don’t even ALLOW for the very real possibility of adrenalin and sheer mental determination getting Nadal through? No, of course not. That wouldn’t allow you to show off all your extensive knowledge about less savoury topics.

Guess I’ll follow John outta here, and return whenever the true tennis fans do.


Lenny Says:

PS – Gordo, LOL @ “Tony Nadal old enough to have been the second shooter behind the grassy knoll in Dallas?”


Ryan Says:

When someone wins many people will go kissing their asses…..thats the way it works. When those heroes lose then those people will be like “He deserves to lose….I never liked him anyway” Reminds me of the Marilyn Manson lyrics “They love you when you’re on the covers.When ur not then they love another”


Milo Says:

The Nadal’s all live in the same apartment. Uncle Tony is both old enough to have killed JFK and also been a second shooter at home. Is Tony, Rafa’s real dad?


Luther Says:

It’s wrong to say Rafa is better than Fed: he is blessed with a game that is cryptonite to Federer.

Not only that, but the courts and balls have changed in such a way that class player are having a much harder time. Take this Rafa 10 years ago and he wouldn’t win 3 rounds at Wimbledon. That’s a fact.

So he’ll be remeber as a thougher player than Federer, and one that benefited from changes. But better? No.


Edward Says:

Its amazing to see Nadal at his peak again. I still don’t understand why analyst rank this final second to the Wimbledon finals. Is it because, the last set was 6-2 for Nadal? The match really lived up to expectation in my view. The only difference was that Nadal was sharper and more mentally tougher. I guess he is the only one who can make a federer cry after his greatness. However, I don’t sincerely foresee Nadal winning more than 10 slams in his career, neither do i see federer surpassing the record set by samprass. He may equal it but that will come at the expense of Nadal, Murry, Berdych and of cousre Verdasco. My advice to federer is that he should not classify Nadal as just one of the men tennis players but should consider him as one of the best at this moment when he has beaten him 13-6. rafa is really the new undisputed King. Roger’s reign is over. However they both have to be congratulated. Cheers. Mendel.


Peka Says:

Tennis is dead.

Yes, Nadal is clearly on the top now and he damn well deserves it, but I could never fancy a player who stands 5 feet behind the line waiting for his opponent’s second serve. Just can’t.
For me, he will always be another Spanish counterpuncher, although the God of counterpunching, capable to score a winner out of any impossible situation, to run down EVERY ball, to play EVERY point of the match fully concentrated… but just a counterpuncher.


Milo Says:

Warning: Don’t read if you love the Rafa

Ha! Nadal’s strength is not the “mom lifting the car off her child” moment you describe…more like “Rafa lifting a truck off every spectator in Rod Laver Arena.

Here’s the deal in a Rafa match. This is an oddity almost particular to him alone — three or four times a match he will make a shot that NO ONE HAS EVER SEEN BEFORE. And I’m talking about guys sitting courtside like Rod Laver, who have seen decades of top tennis.

In baseball, the greatest fastball pitchers can break 100 mph. That’s the limit of natural human anatomy. No player has shown up throwing 120 mph. If you use your eyes, in Rafa you see a player who has an extra gear for power and an extra lung for running. Now obviously racket technology and string (along with stronger grips, which allows one to take huge cuts at the ball), play into this, but all the players have access to the latest. Beside, Sampras’ 1983 Pro Staff and Agassi’s Prince Graphite stand up well to the modern sticks. In yesterday’s final, Rafa had a couple of circus-crazy passes from deep in the cheap seats. The shots are so freakish, that Roger…a guy who has played him more than anyone…is stuck standing with the “deer in the headlights” flat-footed funk.

There was another great rally where Rafa ran over a 100 yards (total for the rally) and took a Federer monster inside-out forehand with huge weight on it, and used only the mass of his arm with a short backswing to torque a sizzling winner down-the-line. Combine these freakish shots with the “work” and racket speed he puts on all his groundies for five hours and one can only shake their head and wonder why only ONE player on Earth can have such a headspeed advantage, when we know by Olympic sprinting results that Spaniards are not the greatest fast-twitch genetics on Earth. Monfils having a large headspeed gap I could believe. Tiger Woods headspeed advantage I can explain. Also factor in that Rafa has none of the sweet rhythm and anatomically perfect technique Roger has on his forehand. Rafa essentially muscles the ball…bullies the ball. Roger’s forehand is realistic because he has always had a super loose arm and exquisite timing and rhythm.

I have only seen two players match Rafa in headspeed and effort — Mariana Puerta in the French final…(and we know how he did it) and Verdasco in the AO semi…(and I can guess how and why he did it). Heck, the Verdasco vs. Nadal semi had such sick headspeed, it was the first match I ever witnessed where the ball was consistently curving in the air exactly like a light ping-pong ball. And a tennis ball will not suck three feet around net posts with top and sidespin unless its being gangbanged.

So Nadal creates an extraordinary sporting visual. Similar to Barry Bonds massive lunar shots. Similar to Ben Johnson’s or Marion Jones’ sprints, where they are pulling away from other world class runners. The gap of these feats seems not quite right. Muhammad Ali was a great fighter, but when Joe Frazier or Ken Norton hit him, you could tell he was just a man.

Another fact that any performance enhancing drug doctor would explain, is that if you had no concern, or worry about a test, he could easily put you on a program that would improve a players ability around 10-20%. The baseball stats in the steroid era prove that it is not a miniscule 2 or 3 % that some would argue. It’s HUGE! So would everyone at least admit that the science is there if anyone would dare use it?

I’d say the advantage is so large that it would allow a player whose style is essentially that of a clay counter-puncher, to go to faster surfaces with success. Nadal should have all the problems Guga, Brugera, Vilas had on fast surfaces, trying to win with grip changes that are too large and a court positioning style too far back to take down a great fast court attacking player. Borg would be the only other example of a player who was able to take his clay counter-punching game successfully to grass. And Borg did it by being a technically revolutionary figure, giving the serve & volleyers fits with his ability to wrist snap heavy topspin returns to their feet. And remember, even Borg couldn’t win the US Open on a slick hardcourt. To me it looks like Rafa is almost apologetic about how well his turbo-charged clay game has transferred to faster surfaces.

So Nadal visually has a large firepower and endurance advantage over his closest rivals. Players like Laver, Kramer and Tilden all had big shots, but I challenge anyone to show me a freakish gap like this in a tennis era before PED? Is it possible that Nadal is simply the special “chosen one?” Perhaps, but there is a far more plausible explanation.

Are you going to believe me or your lying eyes??? I’m going to sleep.


Dan Martin Says:

This is noit a comment on dopping but just on the idea that recovering from a long semifinal with 36 hoiurs of rest does not shock me. First, Nadal plays extremely slowly. The Roddick match down under with a 21-19 fifth set was shorter than the Verdasco-Nadal match. Part of that was the bombs Roddick and El Y were serving but part is Nadal plays so darn slowly. If an elite athlete stays on court an extra 45-60 minutes per match because he stands around a lot then I can’t see standing being a cause of fatigue unless he is built like Homer Simpson. Also Nadal is 22, supremely fit, has access to IV fluid and had over 1 full day to rest. I am sure he practices and trains for multiple hours per day. Why would playing 5 hours at night be a shocking thing to recover from? Jimmy Connors went 5 sets twice at the 1991 US Open and won the next round in each case despite being 38/39 years of age. IV fluid, night matches and a day off will allow pretty much anyone to recover. Throw in that Connors and Nadal both played extremely slowly and milked time between points for whatever reason (not to mention that Jimbo and Rafa also had dicsoncerting habits of grabbing different portions of their anatomy between points) and I just don’t see it as a miraculous recovery. This is not sour grapes if you asked me to name 5 negative things about Nadal, I could only name 1 – playing slowly. Still, if a guy plays slowly and tends to have long matches if the match is close then we can’t simultaneously praise him for recovering from an unecessarily long match in which a good deal of the time spent was not time running or striking the ball but time standing, sitting or walking. Can we?


Dan Martin Says:

Milo, once again I am not sure what to say about dopping but I do think tennis and table tennis are looking more and more alike in terms of spins. This more than anything has killed net rushing. Conventional wisdom says take the short ball and hit to the backhand and come forward. Nadal routinly could be well beyond the baseline and sideline and hits a previously impossible table tennis/1 in 1000 shot to win the point. It is not luck since he does it all the time. For now, I would say new strings, new composites etc. are the major factor here. I do think dopping is something that should always be monitored. I hope that this is not true of any top player especially as a dopping scandal would devestate the sport.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Milo,

Your post is perfect. Very accurate and well thought out…..”Applause please”

Nadal is the modern version of Borg on steroids “literally”. He’s learned how to play the humble pie role. In fact, it helps shield him from people digging and getting too close to the truth. How could a guy this nice ever be involved in the dirty world of steroid use?

If it walks, talks, and quacks like super duck…. It’s a roided up duck.

Your point is well taken. Billions of people on this planet but yet only one can have this kind of endurance naturally. A genetic anomaly? Not likely by any stretch! Far far more likely…A Young talented athlete willing to do what ever it takes to get to the top. And that includes sticking needles in his big ass to get there.


margot Says:

If people are interested there’s an article by Paul Alexander writing for A P posted on Sunday, about new routine drug testing coming into tennis. am afraid Rafa is against it…….?


Dan Martin Says:

The only real public accusations of dopping from players on tour came when COurier questioned the European clay courters when a big dopping scandal was in cycling in the 1990′s, when Gilbert questioned Muster once, and when CLijsters questioned how Henin added so much power to her game in one off season. If the topic is worth investigating, who should do it? Being a non-paid contributor to tennis-x I am afraid my crime lab and spare time are both missing to look into something like this with any seriousness. If this is as serious as some posters claim it to be (and I would agree if it is true it is serious) who should do the digging? The tour, a 3rd party body, the intl. press corps?


MMT Says:

I think it’s pathetic and disgraceful to bring up the doping question. This man has been tested on more than one occassion and come up clean, and the discussion should begin and end there. If you love Federer or somebody else so much that you’re prepared to denigrate a great champion like Nadal over imaginary allegations of cheating, you really have no business watching sports.

The discussion really ought to be how great is Rafa, and how great he may wind up being. Sean, I admit I thought you were going out of your way to talk up Rafa last year, but clearly you were clued into something that some of us then, and even now (based on the disgusting suggestions from some posters here) were too focused on Federer to appreciate.

This man is the best and most complete tennis player in the world, and he’ll probably win the calendar year slam in 2009.


I like tennis bullies Says:

13-6 what rivalry?

roger forgot: fedex doesnt deliver on sundays.

tennisx can eat sh*t now that their chosen one lost and then embarrassed himself by crying like a big sore loser baby, lol

what a great heart of a champion this federer

nadal is a spartan bully!


PietjeP Says:

Well people… let’s just get everything in a good realistic perspective here. Let me at first say that I’m a Fed fan, but I will try to be as unbiased as possible. All those Rafa fans here screaming that he dominated Federer or whatever more of that. Come on… I can understand the joy, but did you watch the match and do you understand tennis?

So the big question: did Nadal win this match or did Federer lose it?

I think the latter and it is not the first time that happened. Normally Federer is a good front runner but against Nadal time and time again, he cannot deal the decisive blow. He squanders single break leads, double break leads, set leads and is crap at converting break points / chances. If he gets the lead he sometimes plays totally freaked out games to hand the break back (example: did anybody look at his service game at I think 4-2 in the first set… the tactics / shot selection and UES?!)

I think only one problem: mental. And might I add… IT’S A BIG ONE. Right now I’m almost as far as to think he will never overcome this anymore.

In terms of tennis quality and ability he is still the better player imho. But what do you get for that? Appearantly not the trophies you so badly desire.

Sean / Dan / TP ? Maybe it would be interesting to analyze the breakdowns of the Federer-Nadal rivalry a little deeper? Who won where, wat happened, who faltered. Out of the top of my head I can name a couple of matches where Federer was in control, getting ahead, creating chances and squandering them all…. the Rome final, the Dubai final, the Monte Carlo final last year, Hamburg last year and now to be added this final at the AO. (Hell, arguably even a final at RG in 06/07 he should have been able to convert at least one).

As for Rafa. Sure he has had some things falling in his way in his career. Being a leftie, being able to play the first 2-3 years a little bit in the shadow of Federer in terms of pressure. Being able to get a big H2H to start with, because they mostly met on clay (thus creating that little voice in Fed’s head). Did all those things help him? you bet ya. Does it take anything away? No; you still have to go out there and do it. Nadal never falters and keeps trying. And that is why he achieved it.

For people getting carried away… For Rafa to be regarded as GOAT he needs to win a couple more other majors then he has thusfar. Dominate more and longer.

For Fed to be GOAT; I think it will be a longshot. Taking it to 15, 16 GS is not even enough. Not being the nr. 1 , Losing 5 slam finals to your biggest rival and failing to get the RG… certainly is not helping him.

Well well, that’s it :)

PS. I didn’t like Roger crying at the ceremony, it took a little away from the spotlight on Rafa. Be a man, accept you screwed up and deal with it later.


mg Says:

I’m really surprised by all of you saying that nadal dopes……but if you question yourselves about nadal…..I think we should question about other guys too!

all you americans never complain about your poor little roddick serving at 245 KM/H!!!!!
Like no one has ever done!or the william sisters serving like men do!!!


Joe Says:

I’m new to this blog and am impressed with the knowledge of some bloggers tennis history and general game knowledge. It’s also apparent that there is some real journalistic talent present. It makes me wonder if these bloggers are professional journalists using a pen name for an outlet other than the inane, 8th grade level that most of the retarded US newspaper and periodical editorial staff dictate. Milo, you are a wonderful writer. Are you a “closet” journalist? Must be an English major at the very least (please no debates about trained journalists vs bloggers). I admit my journalist theory isn’t quite up there with the “grassy knoll” and the “roid factoids” being dished out but I’ll put it out there just some the same. So in terms of GOATS, this has been the age old argument in sports for 100 years now. People who lived during the Joe Louis era were steadfast in their belief that he would’ve knocked Rocky Marciano out. During the 80s when Mike Tyson devotees (not so many nowadays) believed he would’ve killed Ali. Would the ’79 Steelers have beaten the 2003 Patriots, Laver vs Sampras, 85 Celtics vs 2008 Celtics? Was Pele a greater player than Becks? You get the point. That fact is we will never know but it makes for great conversation. I think the Borg/Nadal comparison is a fair one – two phenomenal athletes with incredible grit and drive. Borg appeared in a program called Superstars and beat an Olympic 110m hurdler over 100m on a running track from a standing start with trainers not running spikes, the hurdler used spikes and a proper sprint start but still lost. It’s fair to say Borg was extremely fast in the sprint and with a resting heart-rate stated to be 30 bpm in his prime. I’d say he was capable of running way above average times in longer distance races as well, and he had the aerobic capacity to do so. If he wasn’t a fabulous tennis player, Nadal would make a great footballer but I’m not sure could be an endurance runner for *very long* without injuring himself. So I believe there is merit to the prediction that Nadal, with his ground pounding style, has a shorter sports lifecycle than Sampras, Agassi, or Fed. At 22 years old he has pretty advanced tendonitis in both knees. I think if Fed does in fact reinvent some parts of his game to compete with Nadal and other up and comers, he could be competitive into his mid-thirties and beyond. Sampras, Agassi, and Connors won GS in their early thirties with Connors winning his last ATP tournament at the age of 37 and reaching a GS semi-final at the age of 39. Sampras and Agassi were physically compromised when they won their last GS. Fed’s game and the way he moves around the court should lend itself to less wear and tear on his joints. Only time will tell.

There were also many posts questioning Federer’s motives and show of emotion after the AO loss. He is still a fierce competitor and did not want to let that match go, just as at the 2008 Wimbledon. He wanted nothing more than for Rod Laver to hand him the trophy and was sincere in his award ceremony comments that he appreciated the old legends being there. Nadal, or Serena for that matter, don’t seem to pay any attention to the history of the sport and I don’t think are good ambassadors for the game, no? The “get whitey” mentality is why they are not nearly widely loved internationally as Chris, Steffi, or Martina are today. In all fairness there weren’t any tennis role models for two girls from the Ghetto to aspire to. Althea Gibson is a distant memory in the US except when Bud Collins or other tennis old timer brings them up. In terms of Federer sobbing, if you watched the NFL Super Bowl last night, you would have saw many a grown man sobbing on the Cardinals sideline after the Steelers defeated them in the last two minutes. To come that close to your goal and lose is heartbreaking. I also played college football and lost in a championship game where many of my teammates were openly sobbing. I would dare any one of this blog to call them “prissy” for sobbing. You wouldn’t in face-to-face.

Federer’s goals are consistent with the other top players in his generation. GS wins are the measurements of success. Success provides multi-million dollar endorsements and reserved seats for your publicist, therapists, 3rd cousins, etc.. (Could you imagine Borg/McEnroe/Connors/Graf with an entourage?). In the Borg/Connors/McEnroe era, it was no uncommon for players to skip GS. Federer’s motivation can be found in his love of the game. He still truly enjoys the practicing, the training, the locker room, and yes the attention. No professional athlete that has reached the summit of his or her respective sport wants to be anything less than #1. Borg left at the top of his game at age 26. Winning one more GS or another million dollars were not motivating for him. He just about hated the game when he left. And yes young, hungry players (like J McEnroe or Nadal) have a way of hastening an athletes’ departure. Fed is the best ambassador tennis has had to date and he will influence a great many young, budding tennis stars on all continents for many years to come. This was never more apparent than when I switched on the TV and there was Federer/Borg playing J McEnroe/Blake in a doubles match. It was great fun to watch. The player having the most fun was Roger Federer. He was thrilled to be in the company of two legends and it showed – I’ve never seen him smile so much on the court. As long as he loves the game he will stick around. Maybe he doesn’t realize it yet but if he sticks around it won’t be to win another GS title.


Polo Says:

Joe, what a refreshing and sobbering article you have written. A very welcome respite from the sulfuric writings which have peppered this blog after the Australian Open. Thank you.


Ojo Says:

When he beat Juan Martin Del Potro, the sixth-best player in the world, for the loss of three games in the quarter-finals, Federer said that as the contest drew to a close, he was simply happy to put the Argentinian “out of his misery”. Five days later, and he knew how that felt. Not at all nice.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/tennis/article5634909.ece


grendel Says:

In one of those weird little non-interviews they do just before the match, del Potro said he’d do his best – even though it was against the greatest player of all time. Frew Macmillan commented caustically that he was in no position to offer this opinion – what did del Potro know of former greats? He then added, almost as an afterthought, that many of the old pros regarded Jack Kramer as the best. There’s a not so subtle distinction here. An old pro – a fellow who knows his tennis – is not claiming anything grandiose like so and so is the greatest of all time. That sounds a bit bombastic, really, doesn’t it? No, just: reckon he’s the best I’ve seen, mate -’course, you may think different. Now you can get a handle on that, can’t you; the old pro is really stating his preference, but I don’t suppose he’d get into the trenches to defend it. Interestingly, Kramer only won 3 grandslams – now that would certainly put him out of any reckoning for GOAT; but we happily accept the old pros nodding into their beer, shaking their heads wisely,”Ahrrr, weren’t none like him, not then – not now!” Perhaps, after all, there is something wrong with the very concept of GOAT. What is undeniably the case is that for 2 or 3 years, Federer was by far the most dominant player tennis has ever spawned. But that in no way implies he is the greatest ever. There are plenty of other yardsticks, and it is not possible for one player to possess them all.

There is a puzzle about Federer, in my mind anyway, which is hard to resolve. I hope I can probe a little without being guilty of Andrea’s jibe about armchair psychology. I may have got it wrong, and I don’t care – happy to hear somebody elses’ opinion.

My understanding is that Federer is a “regular guy” – that is, the players like him, he has no airs about him, and he is essentially, in fact, a nice guy and (outside his tennis) pretty ordinary. He has been observed in public (restaurants, for example) and apparently been unassuming, in no sense courting publicity in the manner of certain types of stars. This is a naturally modest person, in fact.

Perhaps the word “naturally” is the key. For of course Federer has also been accused of being arrogant, bigheaded, delusional, and so on – and there is some justice to these charges. So far as I can see, this very ordinary person, who just happens to possess a divine talent for tennis, has been thrown by the ludicrous publicity he has had thrust upon him. All this Goat nonsense, he may, embarrassedly, downplay it, but I am convinced it has got to him. At some level, he either believes it or feels he has to justify it. The kind of attention he has had – and which evokes so much pitiable envy, if only the Fed haters knew what a poisonous gift this all consuming attention has been – has disastrously warped his judgement (imo). And there is not the slightest surprise in this. No normal person – and I submit again Federer is essentially a normal, even slightly boring person – is equipped to handle this sort of thing.

I have been among those who have attacked Nadal and his entourage for what I have perceived to be their man’s “false modesty”. But I wonder, now, whether there may not have been some wisdom in Uncle Tony’s approach. Nadal, who anyway is a more grounded, and “stronger” person than Federer, has been heavily protected. You can’t really believe much he says – there is the occasional unguarded moment, as when he opined that he was at a disadvantage to Federer following the long Verdasco match (true, but truth is not what we have come to expect from Nadal; not lies, either; evasion, rather) – but by and large, Nadal has been kept in a kind of bubble. This has meant he can concentrate absolutely on his tennis. Speculation is kept at bay. Make no mistake, Nadal wants to make his impact on tennis history every bit as much as does Federer, and indeed, by constantly praising Federer, he is in effect bolstering his own legend, given that he has the beating of him most of the time. But it’s all kept at a low key. One day, we’ll suddenly find Nadal has won 15 grand slams. Good grief! (we’ll all say), thought the fellow only had 9 or 10. Nadal will slide into Goat contention with a quiet smile and a demurring shake of the head.

Lots of posters have been offering suggestions as to what Federer should do to beat Nadal. I find that surprising. Although Federer has come back to quite good form, in particular he has rediscovered his forehand (lost it again in the final, but still), he is not as good as he was, and nor can he expect to be. On the other hand, Nadal is still improving. There is a methodical, almost frightening inevitability about how he sets about his business. One goal at a time. Clay is mine – right, say the advisers, go for grass, put hard court on hold. Grass mastered – o.k., hard court is going to be tougher, given our style of play, take it easy, step by step. Remember how Blake, Gonzales would thrash Nadal; no chance of that now. Only a year ago, Tsonga wiped the floor with Nadal – I suspect the reverse would happen today. And now hard court is almost his. Come the US Open – pray Federer is in the final, and it’s ours. A grand slam – for surely Nadal will win Wimbledon, and we don’t have to mention the French.

Look, I used to be one of those who would anxiously ponder how on earth Federer could solve the problem of Nadal. No longer. We know he can’t. True, the problem is largely mental – but at this high level, tennis IS mental. Federer cannot admit this. He says he served badly. Why? Nobody asks him. It would be too cruel, perhaps. I remember Pat Rafter being interviewed on the eve of his Wimbledon final with Sampras. The journalist reminded Rafter of how he had choked against Ivanesevic the previous year. Rafter amiably agreed. “Reckon you’ll choke against Sampras tomorrow?” Rafter grinned: “Dunno, mate”. (For the record, he did, in the second set tiebreak if I recall correctly).

Can you imagine Federer engaging in this kind of candour about himself? And yet, I don’t believe he is intrinsically so conceited that he can’t admit to normal weakness. He has been undone by the goat fantasy.

You know, this isn’t all just agreeable speculation or intolerable waffle – depending on your point of view. If Federer could just relax, could admit that his best days are behind him, could concede that that he has panicked time and again against Nadal, if he could just be again the normal person he really is deep down – why, there might be a realistic chance of his one day beating Nadal on an important occasion. He could play good tennis, instead of being paralysed by whom he sees across the net.

But there is no chance of this. Federer is trapped in the strange world of mass publicity. He will never beat Nadal again, where it counts. He can only win another grand slam if Nadal has already lost, highly unlikely, imo, this year – and Fed’s not getting any younger. And besides, there’s Murray and so on. Never mind. It was great while it lasted. Good things do come to an end – pity it all has to be quite so agonized and protracted.


Gordo Says:

Interestingly enough, the Melbourne times reports that during the second set of the men’s final, Roger Federer’s first serve was actually seen at a downtown bar, trying to pick up an attractive woman in a dress that was a size too small and was very revealing.

We don’t know if Federer’s first serve managed to get lucky, but at least we know now where it was, cause it sure as Hell wasn’t anywhere near the court in Rod Laver Stadium.


Gordo Says:

And Grendel (is that from Beowulf?) -

I think if Fed has a respectable showing at the French he could possibly win Wimbledon again against Nadal.

And should Nadal reach the US Open final (and don’t bet on it, cause the court is much faster than the rubberized AO surface) Federer I think has a better than even chance.

Let’s all remember folks, Federer played well in the AO, but his serve failed him throughout the match. If he had played the best he could and had lost then yes, I think that might be it for the Swiss.

But what he needs is a little mental work, getting Rafa out of his head. Do not count him out. He is down, yes, but great champions have a way of getting back on their feet again.


Joe Says:

Thanks Polo. BTW, I hope my last post doesn’t come off as favoring the Borg/McEnroe/Connors era. That is not my intention. Rather, I’m highlighting the differences from the last couple of tennis generations, not mention pro sports in general. My fav players are: Mens – Connors, Becker, Edberg, Sampras, Agassi, Safin, Federer. I was a reluctant fan of J McEnroe but really love him as a analyst and tennis ambassador at large. I think Rafa is a really polite, considerate young man. His parents and Uncle Tony have done a wonderful job bringing up a great young person as well as the #1 tennis player in the world. But I just can’t connect with him when he’s the court. Fav Women players – Chris, Steffi, Monica, Justine. Can’t really conenct with Martina (both of them), Maria, Williams sisters…BTW, if I could have dinner with anyone in teh world right now it would be Richard Williams. I would like to know how he raised two champions, in a horrible city, on a shoestring budget outside of the traditional junior circuit and w/o a scholarship to a major tennis factory (ex. Bolleterri’s IMG). I have a 3 yeard old girl who already has a racket in hand.


Joe Says:

Well put Grendel – btw, a Canadian psychologist is selling a video that teaches you how to test your dog’s IQ. Here’s how it works: if you spend $12.99 for the video, your dog is smarter than you.

Federer may have said it best when after last year’s AO loss, he was quoted as saying “I’ve created a monster”


Oleg Says:

Lots of bullsh*t being posted here.

I’ll address a few of the major issues.

Myth #1: Federer is doomed he will never win another grand slam, he is no longer the GOAT yadda yadda yadda.

we’ve heard this one before (when he lost Wimbledon) and what happen? Fed won the U.S Open.

Myth #2: Rafa has to be on steroids!

He submits to drug testing, testing finds nothing. End of story. Have you guys ever seen the guy practice? he trains HARD. His game is built on speed/movement and he is supremely conditioned. Also in case you didn’t notice there were clearly times in the final where Rafa looked tired.
Also some of your statements on “virtually undetectable” ,”leaves the body almost immediately” are laughable and ignorant. There are no magic pills that will suddenly make you stronger over the duration of one match and that will disappear and be undetectable. But if you want to believe in fairy tales, please keep doing so.

Myth #3: (armchair psychology, Dr.Phil, Grendel, etc)
Federer is “weak” and a cry-baby. Rafa’s “false modesty”. Federer is “arrogant”.

These are mostly statements made that stem from a personal dislike of those guys. These are two class guys. Both of them are modest and extremely competitive (you can call that arrogance if you want). Federer showed he was human and he showed that he cares deeply about his craft. There is no shame in that, in fact it is quite honorable. Rafa’s muted victory was also respectful and appropriate.

Myth #4: Federer is weak mentally and that is why he has been losing against Nadal.

Federer is strong mentally. You can’t get that ridiculous grand slam semi-final streak without an iron will. He came back from 2 sets down against Berdych.
Now why can’t he beat Nadal? mostly because it’s a bad style match-up. Styles make fights. Nadal’s forehand bounces high to Federer’s one handed-backhand. That’s a tough proposition for anyone with a one handed backhand using an eastern grip (i’m speaking from personal experience here too as a 5.5 player with a one-hander). Nadal is smart and his tactics of repeatedly pounding the backhand wing gives him the edge. On high bouncing balls to his backhand, Federer can not consistently return that ball deep. It’s a simple as that.

If you look at the pattern of their points, if Federer has to hit a few backhands he usually loses the point. If Federer hits mostly forehands, he usually wins the point.

So what can Federer do (tactically)? He could try going to volley and he could try to keep points shorter (go for broke/winners more often). But there is no easy solution. Pete Sampras had a similar problem (prone to making errors on high one-handed backhand) and he solved it by keeping points short (serve/volley, running around the backhand as much as possible).


jane Says:

Hi grendel – are your son/s happy about Verdasco?

I like the way you put this: ” He has been undone by the goat fantasy.” Pity but it seems true. I wonder if he’d've had a coach all along, to keep him grounded, if it would’ve helped?

I also agree that Federer seems, at heart, to be quite laid back. But at the same time, extremely driven in his career. It seems like a contradiction, but I know plenty of people like this. Tortured in one arena; completely at ease in another. Seems enitrely human, as does Federer. And you know me: I’d've not said that 2 years or so ago.


jane Says:

Oleg,

I think you make a good point here: “Now why can’t he beat Nadal? mostly because it’s a bad style match-up. Styles make fights.”

To assume it’s only a mental thing is to overlook the technical aspects of their games, their constructions of points, shots, movement, and so forth. Rafa has the formula / game to beat Fed. Fed has even struggled with J-Lo’s lefty serve. But the thing is that Rafa is an all-round far better player. It’s sort of like Roddick being a bad match up for Federer.

However, the “choke” factor Fed seems to have against Rafa suggests that their is a mental element as well.


Gordo Says:

OMG – the new monster of this blog – Cindy – has taken Dan Martin to task for his most recent piece on this site.

This person’s ego is frightening. All she can do is brag and hurl insults at any of us who think that Rafa is clean or that Rog might win another major. And then she goes off by insulting all the young guns on the tour.

I wish she would pick a sport where she actually LIKES some of the competitors and praise them. (Cindy – if you read this look up praise: it is in the dictionary under P).

Oh well, all – it does say at the very top right of this page “Dysfunctional Tennis blogging at its finest.” Who would have thought that would have attracted so many loons.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Gordo…

Blah blah blah….You have about as much insight as paint drying. You’re nothing more than a stuffed parrot as your user name implies.

I love how you state the obvious and repeat what others have already said. Again Parrot….”Gordo want a Kwacker”


Tom T. Says:

Hey, can’t you kids behave and have fun in here?

Let’s talk about the joy of tennis.

But really – let’s stop hurling insults at each other. Name calling is very immature, kiddies.


Colin Says:

A basic rule of debate which some people seem to have forgotten is – if an accusation is made, the onus of proof is on the accuser to prove that accusation, not on the accused to disprove it. In any case, proving a negative is often almost impossible.
Some dork said a while back that “we all know” Michael Jackson is a child molester. This is childish stupidity. One “knows” something only if one has solid evidence for it. How many of us know anything whatever about Michael Jackson (or O.J. Simpson, or Nadal)) beyond what we hear or read in the media? I suppose “media” now includes online forums! A guy called Colin Stagg was almost convicted some years ago of a very nasty murder, and everybody (particularly the tabloids) “knew” he was guilty. Only in the last few months has his complete innocence been proved on solid evidence. But back then, everybody (including friends of mine) “knew” he was guilty.


Colin Says:

I forgot to mention that the Colin Stagg case was in the UK. Americans may never have heard of him. The notable thing in the case was the determined effort of the police to frame Stagg.


Daniel Says:

Milo

Fed not using his forehand, is like a prostitute who “just wants to talk.”

This is the top quote I read here. LOL!!! Hahahaha


grendel Says:

Jane: yeah, my elder son was over the moon about Verdasco – as he said to me, he’s always known Verdasco had it in him, but he came to doubt that the rest of the world would find out. He was, however, disturbed by those two doublefaults – but then, Rome wasn’t etc.

oleg says:” Myth #4: Federer is weak mentally and that is why he has been losing against Nadal.

Federer is strong mentally. You can’t get that ridiculous grand slam semi-final streak without an iron will. He came back from 2 sets down against Berdych.”

Isn’t life simple, Oleg? You are this, or you are that. I disagree – absolutely.
Yes, Federer has often shown great strength and resolve, and I have frequently commented on this. He has also shown, and not just against Nadal, weakness and lack of resolve. I remarked a few weeks ago on the difference between Roddick’s never say die attitude, when getting a bit of a beating by Murray (at Doha), and Federer’s rather feeble fading away.

Berdych, I thought, played magnificently for two and a half sets (has he ever played better? And how glorious he is to watch in this form) But he gave it away – and you just knew he would. There was very little tension. Federer knew he would win, Berdych knew, just about anyone who knows what’s what knew. I would say Federer, in this match, displayed patience – strength was not strictly necessary.

Your comments, Oleg, on Nadal’s pounding of Federer’s onehanded backhand with the highbouncing ball are certainly correct – and understood by just about everyone. The point has been made ad nauseam. But that is not, not remotely, the end of the story. There isn’t the slightest shadow of a doubt but that Federer is afraid of Nadal. Giner put it more diplomatically – Nadal enjoys his encounters with Federer, Federer does not (although he likes the idea of the rivalry – a different matter). I have watched most of the Fed /Nadal matches, and again and again, Federer chokes or panics. You have to be blind, or more likely stubborn, not to see this. However, I don’t want to take anything away from Nadal. I don’t like Nadal’s style of play personally, never have done, but he is a magnificent performer, and it may be that even if Federer showed more steel in his battles with the Spaniard, he would still lose. I find that idea perfectly plausible.

I have always been a Fed fan, and am personally grieved that we are unlikely to see him winning another slam unless he has a great deal of luck in the draw. That’s my opinion, which may be wrong, of course. But I deeply dislike idolatry. People are complicated – we all are, and I see nothing wrong in trying to understand behaviour, providing you are not dogmatic about it, and are prepared to concede you may have got it wrong. In particular, I was trying to sympathise with Federer because of the intolerable pressure he has come under, due to the peculiar imperatives of a mass culture. But that entails, among other things, highlighting certain contradictions and weaknesses of his. And incidentally, I do not think Federer showed up well in the post match ceremony, not because he cried, but because he claimed space which was not his – it was space and attention earned by Nadal. Nadal, on the other hand, behaved impeccably. I believe you do Federer no favours by sweeping his aberrations under the carpet, or even, absurdly, claiming that they are signs of grace or something. I have been at pains to suggest, however, that such aberrations are explicable, and therefore, in a sense, understandable. To mock, the other side of the coin of credulous idolatry, is easy and, usually, rather stupid.


Daniel Says:

Jane says:

“But the thing is that Rafa is an all-round far better player.”

I don’t agree with this. Yestreday they were equal on court, even Fed’s defense game was giving him a lot of poins. The problem is that Nadal always play the same level, he has no bad days or good days agaisnt Roger (except RG 2008).

The key is with Fed. When his attacking game and serve are there, he wins sets 6-2, 6-1, 6-0 against Nadal, on hard, grass or clay. His performance determine the win. Latelly the complete Fed didn’t appear to play Nadal, always something is missing. In Wimbledon he was serving great, but the forehand was vacilating. AO 2009, his all around game was great, even backhand winners, but the serve wasn’t there. The fifth set was when the errors came one after another, but there was mental breakdown already.

I still beieve Fed can beat Nadal on hard easier then grass, and they will probably meet in one of the next three hard events (Dubai, IW or Miami), wil see then…


Polo Says:

Cindy_Brady,

We have read your arguments. Very interesting although at this time completely unfounded because Nadal has not tested positive for any illegal substance as of this date. And that is a fact which we should accept whether we like it or not. So far, Nadal has remained innocent of the accusations you have been hurling at him. Therefore, in all fairness, lay off him for now. If he does use performance enhancing drugs and is found out, then you can come back and gloat all you can because right now, you are simply barking at the moon.


Joe Says:

If Pro Tennis, Cycling, Baseball, et al don’t want doping scandals they shouldn’t test. The level of abuse in pro sports is getting absurd. But Pro Sports can’t just give up. While there is a sentiment that everyone dopes, just accept that doping *is* the level playing field” I can’t see that happening any time soon. The fragile credibility of Pro sports would nosedive if the authorities gave up prosecuting dopers, but it’s hard to see anything substantial being done (just look at cycling). It’s common sense that the chemists are always going to be ahead of the testers as long as there’s the money and prestige involved in pro sports. It’s just sad that such cherished international past times get written about for the wrong reasons, such as soccer and its hooligans. Compared to other Pro Sports, Tennis has done a pretty good job of maintaining its image. Minus davydenko “gambling gate” and some low ranking players getting busted for doping, tennis has ‘scaped the snare. As an avid ATP fan, I dread the day Nadal or another top player is busted for doping. One just has to look at major league baseball where there is endless debate about records, hall of fame inclusion and Congressional hearings.


Oleg Says:

“And incidentally, I do not think Federer showed up well in the post match ceremony, not because he cried, but because he claimed space which was not his – it was space and attention earned by Nadal.”

Are you implying that Federer meant to steal the spotlight from Nadal by crying? Come on. He simply couldn’t control his emotions, he was overwhelmed. He didn’t try to cover it up and he couldn’t: it was an emotional reaction.

I think most people came away with a very positive image from the trophy ceremony. I think it’s sad that some people on this board criticize a candid showing of emotion.

After this final, I think men’s tennis is better in every way. Federer has a credible rival and finally a worthy challenge in his career. Rafa has the potential to make tennis history. And those two guys gave us a solid match with a great ending (I prefer a dramatic ending (Fed’s breakdown) than a boring ceremonial routine).


Cindy_Brady Says:

True Joe….you bring up a good point!

What if Nadal was busted. Then what? He’s banned? It would go much deeper than that.

What of his titles? Are they then tainted? I think so but you can’t take them away? The ATP would lose massive amounts of money through endorsements, ticket sales, TV,..etc. No one would trust the integrity of the mens game. This is why I believe the ATP will never do it. He’s too valuable to them now. If it ever came out officially that Nadal is roiding then it would tear apart the very fabric of the professional tennis world. Better to leave it be and pretend it’s not happening. Keep it swept under the rug with the rest of the dirt. Bust a few low ranked players to make it look good. Make it appear they are cracking down and keeping the sport clean.

Honor dies where interest lies.


grendel Says:

“Are you implying that Federer meant to steal the spotlight from Nadal by crying?”

Not at all. Federer has got so used to being the centre of attention, he kind of steps into it as of right. I believe it is quite unconscious, and in no sense was he trying to steal the limelight. I think it is impossible for people like us to fully grasp what impels the behaviour of people living in an almighty glare of public attention. Nevertheless, a degree of selfcontrol was called for here, and not because crying is in itself wrong.

Daniel, for some reason, I didn’t take in Jane’s remark “Rafa is allround a far better player”. What a provocative comment, Jane! I’m rather with Daniel on this one. Time and again I have seen Federer simply sweep Nadal aside for a few games and sometimes a set. Nadal just takes it all stoically knowing, apparently, what will come. If this isn’t mental collapse on Federer’s part, I dunno what is. It’s as if Federer is saying: “look, see what I can do; alright, I’m not going to keep it up – you try, against this fellow”. No, I don’t mean that literally – you know, it’s bloody hard to understand what exactly IS going on. It’s not just a matter of tennis skills. I have always been amused by the the following quote of the American Kevin Kim:”Playing Nadal is like crossing the Sahara desert – it just goes on and on”.


Rsutherland Says:

Fed: Yes, a scene-stealing cry-baby who should save his tears for his personal jet, while most of the world is frightened about the economy.

Nadal: gracious and reputed to be a sweet young man off the court; not just on the winner’s podium.

Those who rag on Nadal about his looks, butt picking (who wouldn’t want an opprotunity to pick at that magnificent gift from God) or now the drug nonsense: Keep it up so I can continue to laugh at your sour grapes each time he wins. You make my enjoyment in his victories even sweeter.

Many thanks for your contribution to my pleasure.


Ojo Says:

Djok has asthma and he is fortunate to have won what he has won. Asthmatics have good and bad days and different triggers. That would explain a lot. He can’t announce it or he’s finished.


jane Says:

Daniel,

I wrote this comment in haste: ““But the thing is that Rafa is an all-round far better player.”

And in hindsight realized that it may’ve been interpreted to be referencing Fed in the comparison. The comparison was meant to be between Rafa and J-lo! Rafa is a far better player than J-Lo imo. But because they’re both lefties, they can both serve to the backhand on the one side, etc. It was purely with his serve that J-Lo was able to take a set off Rog at the USO in 07 (I think it was that year). Other players who exhibit similar qualities to Nadal – counter-punchers, grinders, or whatever tag you want to label them with – have also been able to trouble Fed, like Murray (although he now has added much more offense) or maybe Monfils and Simon.

But Fed seems to be able to handle the power hitters like Roddick, Berdych, Blake, Gonza, etc, more easily.

That’s why I agree to an extent with Oleg’s point that different “styles make fights”. But this difference in styles, which works to Rafa’s advantage, need not be considered mutually exclusive from the mental hold Rafa also has over Roger. Nor should we ignore the difference in their ages, or the pressures of history/media, or their different family/coaching situations.

The point is, there are a plethora of factors that make the Fed/Nadal match up fascinating, and simultaneously more troubling for Fed than any other one he has faced.


jane Says:

That said Daniel, I do think you over-simplify things in this comment of yours: “His [Federer's] performance determines the win.”

I don’t think so. Rafa has gagged against Roger too (think 5th set Wimbledon 07; Rafa cried after that, and for good reason – he let break chances slip in the decider, and made too many errors).

I think that Roger fails to learn from their encounters to the same degree that Rafa clearly does. Roger’s a bit stubborn maybe; maybe even resting on his laurels too much, considering how much the game – its history and his place in it – mean to him. Rafa? He is nothing if not persistent in his pursuits.


Paul Says:

Is there any doubt who is better?????

Career Singles Matches:
Nadal (344–78) = 81.5% Wins
Federer (626–151) = 80.5% Wins

Career Double Matches
Nadal (73–45) = 61.9% Wins
Federer (112–71) = 61.2% Wins

Head to Head…
Nadal 13
Federer 6

GrandSlams by age 23
Nadal 6 (Still 22 right now… and will probably get the French).
Federer 3


Noel Says:

“Daniel, for some reason, I didn’t take in Jane’s remark “Rafa is allround a far better player”. What a provocative comment, Jane! I’m rather with Daniel on this one.”

I think she was saying that w.r.t. Lopez if I read it correctly although Rafa can’t be too far off after having taken three of the last four slams.

“Fed: Yes, a scene-stealing cry-baby……”

I don’t think he meant to steal Rafa’s thunder. He was alright before some of the comments from the crowd prompted it. When he came back,he took very little time and said he didn’t want to have the last word. Rafa would obviously have preferred a more normal ceremony.

It is not the first time he has done it at the oz open in Lever’s presence. Remember the scene when he received the trophy from Laver after beating Baggy in 2006? It meant the world to him just being on the same podium with Laver and started crying like a baby. He can cry after victories too.

http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZQ7WvxJ-ZU

There were four other legends apart from Laver this time and he REALLY respects the greats of the past esp Laver. I think their presence added as much to the pressure as the expectations about the 14th major. He probably regretted not giving a better account of himself in front of them. Sure,it was a hard loss to take after the FO humiliation and the wimby “disaster’,as he termed it himself at the time. However,he didn’t cry at that time. This was the one that should have never slipped away because Rafa wasn’t 100% and, therefore,didn’t play as well as he could. Otherwise,he’d have beaten Fed relatively easily. This was probably Fed’s worst performance in a non-clay slam final. He has now lost thrice to Rafa within a short period in slam finals. It is not easy giving yourself a shot at a slam and he probably feels somewhere that his time is running out. Losing three straight to Rafa is tough for him to digest because he probably thinks he should have lost only one of them. He is on his way down and one never knows how many more opportunities one will get. It just shows how tough it is to win a slam.

All credit to Rafa on his first hard slam. He is now the undisputed number one player by a clear margin. He is now a more likely favourite for the calender slam than Fed ever was. I don’t see how the USO will be THAT difficult now that he has won in Australia. With a bit of luck,the calender slam doesn’t look THAT difficult for Rafa now. He is in the absolute prime of his career.


tennisontherocks Says:

Jane, do you mean to say F-Lo?? cuz J-Lo is the actress/singer famous for her butt :) (and before the davis cup, F-Lo was famous only for the hair).


jane Says:

DOH! Yes tennisontherocks, I meant to type F-lo, as in Feliciano Lopez, not J-lo, aka “Jenny from the Block” (now worth gazillions of dollars, hence who wouldn’t frequent that ‘block’ if you paid her). I can’t seem to get this point right.


Twocents Says:

“He has been undone by the goat fantasy.”

grendel, spot on with this one.

People and Fed himself schedlued too little time for the magic 14. It took lots of time to fight against history. Fed began to play with sandbags on his feet (and heart) at Wimbledon 2007, when he wanted to draw Borg’s 5. He could barely play the first 2 sets at WO 2008 at the sight of consecutive 6 history and his no.13. He got big breaks at USO, when Murray took out Nadal, Hanna chipped in, and almost nobody predicted him to win.

Fed still has lots of good tennis left. But the self-imposed sandbags are getting heavier and heavier. Can he overcome it to get his magic 14? 15? 16? before the wolf pack gobbled him up? can he get out of this GOAT fantasy and just play tennis? He’s up there alone. Only Sampras has a say.

On the other hand, Nadal the world no.1 had not won any title (or entered any final) ever since he took the crown 6 months ago. He is not that bad, is he?

Fed’s no.14 is not yet due, while Nadal’s no.6 is. So Nadal the winner. Hindsight is soooooo easy and fun :-)).


moimoi Says:

it was great to see rafa beating that moron federer so bad it made the little baby cry! rafa owns federer, its called mental disintegration! federer and his fans can cry together!


Tom T. Says:

I was in here yesterday and saw nothing but people throwing insults at each other and also at the people at the top of this fine game.

I expressed my disgust and some of the more rational types in here assured me the blogs were not usually as mean spirited as they were yesterday.

So I gave it 24 hours and although there are some bright and intelligent statements being put forth, there are still racist, vulgar and to be frank – downright stupid and inane comments.

The last fellow above me has called Roger Federer a moron. There is a know-it-all who insults everyone she can think of and says she knows for a fact that Nadal takes performance enhancing drugs. Well, if she herself is injecting him that might be true, but when you look at the character of the Nadal family, I can’t see how they would have such a b**ch in their company.

There are anti-Indian comments, mean hurtful comments bandied out pell mell, and it seems like more of a high-school blog fest… one from the east end of a city.

To those who asked me to stay – I’m sorry.

To those so childish to hide behind the anomynity these sites provide and lash out with a beligerant and immature venom – good luck to you – may you find your way in a less hurtful manner.

Back to the other sites for me.


Lenny Says:

I have to disagree with those saying Rafa didn’t win this one, Fed lost it. Here’s the thing – what makes tennis such an amazing sport is precisely because tennis technique alone does not make a great tennis player. Fed may be – ok, strike that, IS, – a better tennis talent than Rafa. I don’t think there are too many people who are going to dispute that. BUT. (And it’s a but of J-Lo proportions, since somebody brought that up ;) ). If talent and technique were all that mattered, why has Safin not bagged 15-20 Slams? He certainly has the “talent” for it. What makes a great player is the COMBINATION of technique, natural talent, physical fitness and mental toughness. And if you beat your opponent in any, some or all of those categories, you have won the game, fair and square.


Lenny Says:

Colin, thank you for being amongst the voices of reason here. Although, I’m afraid those voices fall on deaf ears all too often. After all, there are still people who “know” the Ramseys did it, in spite of hard evidence to the contrary.


nadalian Says:

I just wanted to add my two-bits here. After all that’s been said and done, there is still that feeling that ROGER can never be called the greatest until he has met certain prerequisites, such as having a better overall record against his main rival at the end of the cumulative series,winning the French Open atleast once, etc.

Let’s really think about some of these issues.It is true that one of the prominent features of absolute greatness would be the standout fact that none of one’s rivals were able to dominate him/her. In Federer’s case, critics would very eagerly point out that another of the main contenders for the ‘greatest of all time” title, Pete Sampras, certainly didn’t allow his main Rival at that time,Andre Agassi,to dominate him ever in the manner in which Rafael Nadal has dominated Roger Federer.

However,are we to rely solely on such an isolated comparison benchmark,or are we to take other numerical as well as non-numerical factors into consideration? At the risk of stating the obvious, I’d have to say that I would have to look at how one player performed against a whole group of his contemporary rivals as opposed to simply one. In Pete Sampras’s case, he regularly lost against so many players and under various circumstances, and that too during his peak years and that too to several players who weren’t even consistently in the top 10.

If we look at Roger Federer, he has absolutely decimated most of his supposed rivals over the course of his career and the records he has against most of his rivals such as Hewitt, Roddick, Nalbandian, etc who are all fairly competitive players by their own rights suggest that on most occasions, they have thrown everything at him without much to show.

Which brings us to another point;Roger Federer’s game. Irrespective of how we look at it, Roger Federer’s game style is there for all to see and it isn’t a surprise why he has completely dominated the men’s circuit on all surfaces against all specialist, barring 1 player we have all come to know as the constant thorn in Federer’s otherwise rock-solid resume.

Even on clay,Federer has proved that he is the second best player of his generation and possibly amongst the best of all time as well as the only person who has defeated him consistently once again in this case has Rafael Nadal. There are so many tennis players who are exclusively clay-courters who structure their entire tennis calenders around the clay-court season, and even these clay court specialist have to fight for their lives in taking a set from Federer, let alone even dream of winning a match against him. How often has he been defeated on clay in the past 4 years or so by anyone except Nadal, and in answering that question one will understand another facet to this man’s game which builds its own testimony towards his claim for all-time greatness.

Coming back to Nadal, I truly believe the main reason why Nadal poses a constant threat to Federer’s game hings around a style matchup conflict. It is just the way Nadal has structured his gameplay that just doesn’t matchup well for Federer. Add to that Roger’s inability to comprehend him fighting out to devise strategies to win against Nadal, for Roger is the artist who simply cannot learn into crafting new tools for a new world. In a certain way, he’s always been able to FIGURE out what small change he needed to make anytime a challenge came along the way, but against Rafa, the change required is a much bigger and wholesome strategic change for which an artist must force him to create ideas out of his own comfort zone. This is where I feel Federer has completely let himself, his complete mastery of everything so easily has become his curse for he does not know how to compromise on his natural instincts and that in essence has led to that all-too familiar feeling now that is “KILLING HIM”.

However, there is no intention from my side to potray Nadal as someone who wins against Federer because Federer can’t adapt. He wins because he is good enough to beat the best and constantly finds ways to reinvent himself in the face of adversity and difficult playing conditions,factors which have ultimately contributed immensely to his prolonged success against Federer as well as the men’s circuit overall.

Gotta leave now but will complete the rest of my thoughts later if anyone is interested.


Richard Waddington Says:

Sean
Nadal’s spot at No 1 will be short lived. Yes he played wonderful in the Australian, but his win in the fifth set was as much down to Federer’s loss of belief in himself. That is why his serve deserted him. Federer needs to get a grip on his mental attitude towards Nadal. Nadal is already lobbying for less hard court play only one day after the final. He risks losing the French if he continues on hard courts. Like last year he will burn out prior to US open. Hope you note this.
Richard Waddington
PS Can the people on this site please refrain from being disrespectful to these two fantastic players. Real tennis Greatness comes with longevity on all surfaces.


margot Says:

Hey Tom T skip the abuse and read Grendel and Nadalian, so much that’s interesting and worthwhile reading. I am a Federer fan, I prefer that style of play, but without doubt Nadal deserved to win.
I was hoping at the AO more young players would come forward and challenge these two and I was really disappointed. Tennis needs new players, new blood and more surprises.
And sorry, I know Rafa is so young but he seems to have been around for ever!


Richard Waddington Says:

Nadal’s reign on the hard courts will be short lived.He knows his success cannot be repeated on that surface that is why he is lobbying for change only one day after. I think he is dreading US open, but it must be said he is a truly great player.


Richard Waddington Says:

When you look at the contrast between Federer and Nadal and the ammount of energy each uses. It is quite possible that Federer could be back to
No1 before US open


Richard Waddington Says:

moi moi. Appears to be quite an offensive type.If you cant discuss tennis and provide articulate discussion. Stay off this site. I am sure Nadal would find you just as offensive as the rest of us do


Paul Says:

Congratulations to Rafa, well deserved victory and tough on Fed. But let’s not get carried away. Now some of you Nadal fans are talking of him as the potential GOAT. He is playing great, is already established as a great, but will not go down in history as greater then Fed. Will Nadal remain at no.1 for 237 weeks in a row? Will Nadal win 5 consecutive Wimbledons and 5 consecutive US Opens? Will Nadal win 3 majors in one year 3 times? Will Nadal win 13 slams? Will Nadal make the semis or better in every slam for an unbroken 5 year period? And will he win the Tennis Masters Cup 4 times?
It is possible that Nadal will win all 4 slams, as did Agassi. But nobody says Agassi was greater than Sampras, despite Sampras’ failure to win the French. A lot of Nadal fans are gloating right now, and assessing him purely on his head-to-head record against Fed, but this doesn’t suddenly make him a better player than Federer in historical terms. Please keep a sense of perspective and judge both of them at the end of their careers. Nadal is impressive, but Fed is better.


Milo Says:

Lenny, I want to add the lost art of “shot deception” and “shot selection,” to the list of what comprises a great player.

Safin — Million dollar shots…ten cent control tower.

They say heart and hustle can hide one major game flaw, but not two. But in tennis, if an opponent cannot or will not exploit the flaw…for that match at least, it is as if it doesn’t exist.

Fed comes out against Del Potro and exposes every weakness the big man has, but against Nadal, he appears to have mentally given up looking for a crack in the armor. Rafa obviously doesn’t mind slowly picking the scab off Roger’s backhand.

Where is Fed’s short low backhand slice to bring in a non-natural net player? He’ll have to put it down-the-line a foot from the line to make it work. Rafa will be up quick to try and come over it with his 2-hander, but he’s far less flexible on that wing. If he can get Nadal to slice it, he’ll be a duck up there like Roddick. Why can’t Roger mix in some serve & volley with first serve bombs down the middle to reduce Rafa’s angle of return. If he gets toed, drop volley like Tsonga did last year. If it’s above knee high, stick it to a corner for a winner or a miss.

As an attacking player, I don’t see how Fed has allowed himself to be “scared” away from some of his best plays? He has to know he’s on a suicide mission trying to beat Nadal from the baseline with his backhand. Maybe if Feds backhand was as bad as Pete’s, he’d know more clearly that on a fast court vs. Rafa he needs to “go Sampras” — HUGE serves; forehands galore; short points; limit backhands; get to the net; volley with heart like Rafter.


grendel Says:

“Volley with heart like Rafter” – well, certainly, if you can do it. But can Federer? You can’t be everything. Several people have noted what a great claycourter Federer is. He is instinctive on the surface. He learnt to volley well – as indeed has Nadal, a competent volleyer who understands precisely his limitations in that area. I’m not sure Federer does; he is so good, he probably thinks he can volley with the best of them, and no doubt he could have had he (like Sampras) made a deliberate intention early on in his career to focus on that area. Too late now, though. Can’t teach an old dog, etc. Federer is generally reluctant to go to the net, and it’s not just fear of his opponent’s passing shots – I suspect he doesn’t quite trust himself. Which partly contradicts what I said above. So Federer is not as clear in his head as, say, Nadal. This is often the case with very gifted people – clarity of mind is often not their strong suit. And meanwhile, look at Fed’s smashing. It’s not that he does howlers – everyone does that; it’s that he rarely puts the ball away first time, and thereby sometimes ends up losing a point he should have won.


Momstootie Says:

You are so right, Draza.


MMT Says:

Milo and Grendel, I think you’re onto something that I agree is a mental problem that Federer has to get past, vis a vis Nadal, and that is that his standard game is not sufficient to beat him. At the end of 2007, he absolutely obliterated the field in Shanghai with a perfect combination of play from the back and net approaches. Fed’s problem is that if he has to go past 1 volley he’s in trouble. And even his approaches are often too short leaving him guessing as to the direction of the pass.

I think he needs to force himself to stand closer to the baseline and pressure his opponent with deeper approaches. One approach that is rarely used in the pros is the looper, and I’m not sure why, but this would give him time to close the angle on the first volley. He’s never going to win every point at net, but the sum total of pressure applied by approaching on tatically sound shots generally wins out.

A coach might get him to work on that, and I think it would help him. And he also doesn’t do enough with the return of serve. That’s another area that he’s got to learn to attack. He misses too many break opportunities against everyone for it to be a question of luck or choking – he has to put the server under more pressure when facing a break point.


margot Says:

Talking of Fed’s return of serve, he’s gotta do something about his backhand, Rafa just served and served to it the whole time, and on the few occasions he put the ball down the service line,
Federer was completely out foxed. If he had a coach strategies could surely be worked out to have a go at neutralising this. Did Fed believe that nobody could teach him anything anymore? It must be awfully lonely up there.


Cindy_Brady Says:

I like these blogs. Some of the comments are very insightful and others not so. Mine of course, rank at the top.

I stated yesterday, Roger Federer is finished winning grand slam singles titles. I stand pat on that.

What will be shocking is his early exits at the French and Wimbledon this year. No one sees that coming. I’m predicting it now. Wait til’ you see how he cries then.


jane Says:

Cindy_Brady,

Well, I could maybe see an earlier exit at the French; Monfils pushed him last year, so depending who he runs up against I suppose it’s possible. But at Wimbledon? That would be truly a surprise. He’s won, what?, the previous 5, and lost in the final by a nose last year; how could he suddenly crash out, I wonder? In other words, care to really put your money where your mouth is and guesstimate who you see as his slayer, other than Nadal? I am curious!

Margot,

You stated “I was hoping at the AO more young players would come forward and challenge these two and I was really disappointed. Tennis needs new players, new blood and more surprises. And sorry, I know Rafa is so young but he seems to have been around for ever!”

I agree; I expected the youngins to do better, and while I did NOT expect JMDP to beat Federer (I figured it’d be over in 3) I thought he’d at least challenge him. But if you watched JMDP against Muller, you knew there was no way he’d beat Fed. Cilic is not quite ready to break through but he will be great on grass I think, eventually. Who else were you thinking of in terms of “new blood” – some of the older-new guys? Like Tsonga, Murray, maybe Djokovic?

It’s weird but Rafa does seem separate from that group even though he’s the same age; he started winning slams so young that it’s difficult to think of him as only 22.


Tejuz Says:

well.. why is everybody saying Fed is doomed. Comon, hez the only guy to have reached the finals of all the last 4 GS, defeating all the other top 10ers bar one, the No 1. And except for the berdych match here or Andreev match at US Open or Monfils match at FO, he didnt beat a sweat, except while playing Nadal in the finals. So its basically one person he is coming up short against, and that too by a whisker. Infact he won more points than Nadal at the AO Final(including his numerous give-away points in the 5th set). Till then, Fed was outplaying Nadal and his return of serve was not as bad as you make it out to be. He was consistently putting the ball deep to Nadal’s backhand and infact had a few return winners of that back hand wing.

Yes, i agree he could be more agressive go for volleys more. But its Nadal we are talking about. If you volley it to his forehand he can make the ball curve out of your reach and into the court. Top-spin approach shots to Nadal’s backhand would result in a 180kmph drive past you. A good approach shot would probabaly be a slice, deep to his backhand which stays low and dont give Nadal the chances to just blast the ball past you.
But sadly.. Fed used his slice so rarely… also the drop shots. When he knew Nadal is getting tired, why not make him run back and forth, make him think instead of just running left and right. Also, wrong footing Nadal… we saw fed do it a few times. Nadal anticipates Fed’s shots and starts running saideways and thats why we see him chasing down so many balls, why not do something different than than the most obvious shot at that moment.

But, my opinion is Fed lost that match cuz it was surely in his hands.


Tejuz Says:

Call for Fed’s demise is premature… its been going on for last 2 years, ever since he lost to Djoker at Montreal and Nalbandian at the Madrid and Paris.. But we still keep seeing him playing the Title match of the grand-slam everytime and it always takes a super-human effort from Nadal to derail him.

Comon.. Lendl lost more than half of the Grand slam finals that he played in (10 lost against 9 won).


Tejuz Says:

Also apart from Clay … how many finals has Nadal won-lost against players (non-Federer). He certainly has lost a handful to players like Youzhny, Davydenko, Nalbandian etc. So i dont really bet on him dominating the men’s game the same way Federer did and he will lose a few finals if he faces players like Murray or Djoker.


Giner Says:

Mary Says:

“Giner: I didn’t define how he is a cheat.”

As if no one could guess.

“You can find plenty of other posts where I call him out on many things.”

If there isn’t a rule against it, then it’s not cheating. If it is, then it wouldn’t be within the rules.

“I don’t give any pro in any sport the benefit of the doubt. Today’s match was subpar nonsense.”

It’s a good thing you’re not a juror in any murder cases. In our world, the burden of proof is on the accuser, not the defendant.

“Giner – you do go on and on and on at incredible length (I have no problems with word limits on this site – tennis-x guys – are you reading this?) and when you say things like you do not know if Sampras had a losing record against anyone it is clear that you are a recent fan of the sport. Maybe cut down on the rhetoric? And please cut down on the blog lengths.”

Simply don’t read if it bothers you.

I don’t know Sampras’ records because I didn’t go through his entire history of opponents to check his records. Just because I don’t know all his numbers off the top of my head doesn’t mean I’m a recent fan. I started watching tennis when John Mac was playing and Becker was a teenager.

Do you know all the players who held a winning record against Michael Chang? No? Well you must be a new follower of the sport yourself then.

“And please cut down on the blog lengths.”

You have complete control on whether or not to read a post, so if it’s too long for your attention span, why not skip it and move to the next? I’m not going to change my posting habits because you don’t like them.

Cindy:

“I’m a body builder and see “gear” all the time. At the gym we laugh because we know athletes like Rafael Nadal are using. We know the signs. In the future, it will come out just like some of the beloved American base ball heros.”

Just wanted to know your opinion on Michael Phelps.

Ojo:

“Weird news For Giner. What does this mean in plain language?

TENNIS Australia will throw Bernard Tomic to the wolves even if the star junior is given a life ban from the Pro Tour circuit for walking off court in Perth in December.”

I don’t care about the guy. He seemed pretty cocky and feisty in the only match I’ve seen him play. The way he casually puts away points (which were not guaranteed winners) as though he is above everyone and that his opponent is the junior, not him is rude. His attitude in walking off the court in the middle of a match does him no favours either. He needs to be disciplined.

Von Says:

“Correction: “sbstance, then it’s veryh un likely it will be detected..”

Should read: “substance, then it’s very unlikely it will Be detected.””

Wow.. You’ve no idea how ironic that just sounded..

Ryan Says:

“As for everyone who says how great nadal is…..he never faced any real competition…. and by real competition i mean he didnt face murray or djokovic who coulda kicked him out.Fed is not a competition now coz he plays like a pussy especially against nadal.Verdasco won sets in tie breaks.That is not competition….nadal is better than him.”

You can hardly blame him if his opponents weren’t good enough to make it to a round where they’d meet him. He didn’t face Murray but at least he beat the guy that beat Murray. It’s not his fault Murray lost.

Von:

“The substance wouldn’t know that bit of information, and the athlete is not going to use an enhancing substance for the duration of the match, because he knows it could be detected. He could simply use it for a set or two in which he’s being pushed to give him a slight advantage, and once over the bad patch, the substance served it’s desired purpose. By the end of the match the substance is out of his system through perspiration or urine. The present drug teting is not a very thorough one due to the time and money involved and it’s also about how much the testing committee and the sports world really wants to know or admit.”

How do they slip it into their mouth during the bad patch when all eyes (and cameras) are on them?

nada:

“Now if someone could buy him some Jockeys that don’t ride up he’d be the complete player. ”

He actually picks his shorts not his jocks. You can tell it’s not his jocks because he picks them a lot lower than where the jocks would be.

I’m going to end this post here and start a new one to keep it shorter for the ones who hate long posts.


Giner Says:

Luther:

“Not only that, but the courts and balls have changed in such a way that class player are having a much harder time. Take this Rafa 10 years ago and he wouldn’t win 3 rounds at Wimbledon. That’s a fact.”

10 years ago players were a lot slower and didn’t hit the ball as hard. The courts NEEDED to be faster back then. Just go watch matches during Lendl and McEnroe’s time. It’s slower than it is now, even if the courts were faster. They had to slow the courts because the game was getting faster due to technology.

Edward Says:

“Its amazing to see Nadal at his peak again. I still don’t understand why analyst rank this final second to the Wimbledon finals. Is it because, the last set was 6-2 for Nadal? The match really lived up to expectation in my view. The only difference was that Nadal was sharper and more mentally tougher.”

This match is the reverse of Wimbledon 07 which Federer won. It’s about the same story as that much but different winner. You can call it Nadal’s revenge for Wimbledon 07. The Wimbledon 08 match has not been topped yet.

Peka Says:

“Tennis is dead.

Yes, Nadal is clearly on the top now and he damn well deserves it, but I could never fancy a player who stands 5 feet behind the line waiting for his opponent’s second serve. Just can’t.
For me, he will always be another Spanish counterpuncher, although the God of counterpunching, capable to score a winner out of any impossible situation, to run down EVERY ball, to play EVERY point of the match fully concentrated… but just a counterpuncher.”

What do you prefer? A Karlovic type player? Ace, ace, service winner, volley winner, ace, service winner, volley winner. Boring.

Dan Martin:

“Why would playing 5 hours at night be a shocking thing to recover from? Jimmy Connors went 5 sets twice at the 1991 US Open and won the next round in each case despite being 38/39 years of age.”

Albert Costa in 2003 played FOUR five set matches at the much more gruelling French Open getting to the semi final. He had to come back from two sets to love THREE times. That was much more impressive than what Nadal had to do.

Cindy:

“Your point is well taken. Billions of people on this planet but yet only one can have this kind of endurance naturally. A genetic anomaly? Not likely by any stretch! Far far more likely…A Young talented athlete willing to do what ever it takes to get to the top. And that includes sticking needles in his big ass to get there.”

Are you serious? You’ve met billions of people and he is the only one you know of? Michael Phelps burns through more energy in a 4 minute race than he does in a five set match, and Phelps can do it enough times to win 8 medals, 7 of which came with a new world record and the other a new olympic record. No I don’t think Phelps is a cheat, but physically he is a lot more impressive than Nadal.

Cindy_Brady Says:

“What if Nadal was busted. Then what? He’s banned? It would go much deeper than that.

What of his titles? Are they then tainted? I think so but you can’t take them away? The ATP would lose massive amounts of money through endorsements, ticket sales, TV,..etc. No one would trust the integrity of the mens game. This is why I believe the ATP will never do it. He’s too valuable to them now. If it ever came out officially that Nadal is roiding then it would tear apart the very fabric of the professional tennis world. Better to leave it be and pretend it’s not happening. Keep it swept under the rug with the rest of the dirt. Bust a few low ranked players to make it look good. Make it appear they are cracking down and keeping the sport clean.”

As I said before, only with conspiracy theories is the LACK of evidence considered a good reason to believe in a theory. He’s a cheat! Where’s the evidence? The ATP is hiding it to protect him!

Prove that the people testing him are in on the conspiracy and I’ll take you seriously.

jane:

“And in hindsight realized that it may’ve been interpreted to be referencing Fed in the comparison. The comparison was meant to be between Rafa and J-lo! Rafa is a far better player than J-Lo imo.”

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard the name J-Lo. May I ask just who J-Lo is? Not Jennifer Lopez I hope?

nadalian Says:

“I just wanted to add my two-bits here. After all that’s been said and done, there is still that feeling that ROGER can never be called the greatest until he has met certain prerequisites, such as having a better overall record against his main rival at the end of the cumulative series,winning the French Open atleast once, etc.”

I don’t agree that this is a requirement. His achievements matter most. If there’s a guy who holds a winning record against him it could just be that that guy’s game matches well against his.

Tejuz Says:

“Also apart from Clay … how many finals has Nadal won-lost against players (non-Federer). He certainly has lost a handful to players like Youzhny, Davydenko, Nalbandian etc. So i dont really bet on him dominating the men’s game the same way Federer did and he will lose a few finals if he faces players like Murray or Djoker.”

In order for him to meet a non-Federer player, that player has to beat Federer. Nadal is doing what they aren’t doing — beating Federer.


Tejuz Says:

Giner says:
“This match is the reverse of Wimbledon 07 which Federer won. It’s about the same story as that much but different winner. You can call it Nadal’s revenge for Wimbledon 07. The Wimbledon 08 match has not been topped yet.”

Well.. i agree to a certain extent. Nadal played much better than Fed in that 07 final, but Fed elevated his game in the final set. Here it was quite opposite, Fed played better than Nadal throughout, but he stuffed the final set and Nadal was solid. And i agree, i wasnt disappointed for the 1st 4 sets of this final.. it was great tennis from both of them, amazing defence,offense, angles.. u name it.


Tejuz Says:

Giner says:
“In order for him to meet a non-Federer player, that player has to beat Federer. Nadal is doing what they aren’t doing — beating Federer.”

well… we all know Nadal against Fed is a bad match-up for Fed. What i am trying to say is that if Nadal has to dominate mens tennis for next 3-4 years he need to beat not only Fed, but other quality players in the finals. We havent seen him play Murray or a Djokovic or a Tsonga in the finals. For now, he is surely the king.. but i dont bet he will be that dominant in future. Others are improving as well..


Von Says:

To my thinking, it’s not that Fed loses mental fortitude, it’s mainly he becomes very physically tired from running around so much and as a result he loses concentration.


Ezorra Says:

Tejuz says:

“well… we all know Nadal against Fed is a bad
match-up for Fed. What i am trying to say is that if Nadal has to dominate mens tennis for next 3-4 years he need to beat not only Fed, but other quality players in the finals. We havent seen him play Murray or a Djokovic or a Tsonga in the finals. For now, he is surely the king.. but i dont bet he will be that dominant in future. Others are improving as well..”

- So very true!


jane Says:

Giner,

“This isn’t the first time I’ve heard the name J-Lo. May I ask just who J-Lo is? Not Jennifer Lopez I hope?”

Well, yes: sorry to disappoint you. But I meant to say F-Lo, as in Feliciano Lopez, which I corrected further along in the thread, thanks to the discerning eyes of Noel and tennisontherocks. Some kind of “slip” I guess. Maybe J-Lo and Rafa do share one thing in common – their famous derrieres. But other than that, the comparison was purely an accident.


Amber Says:

I comgratulate both. I congatulate fed for playing a hard match against Rafal. I you know Nadal her was very kind to Fed after her broke down in tears. I think they both are winners and Fed well I think he is just fine. He is not trying to get his crown back he only wants to beat the 14 grand slam tile.


JohnyW Says:

Hello everyone!

1st of all I want to say thanks to Mr. Federer and Mr. Nadal for another chapter of amazing tennis. It’s so exciting to watch them play. Tennis is the best sport with these two guys competing…

The only thing I have to add is that it feels very bad to read comments from people like the girl-bodybuilder or others who spread bullshit about people without any proof. It is sad to read that about a person like Rafa, whose biggest efforts in life are to remain an example for younger children and spread the best of his human values… the rest is just a game!

It’s like uncle Toni always teaching Rafa to remain humble and never grow an ego for being good at tennis because as he says “it is like feeling superior for being good at playing “Hide and Seek!”.

These people, with all their outstandig human values and class deserve some more respect. Like the respect they show for the rest of people. I remember uncle Toni crying after Federer’s tears and saying “what can I say? I’m a fan of his…”

And the last, how many people know that Rafa had prepared a speech for the celebration to honor his big friend Carlos Moya (after being the last Spaniard to get close to the AO title against Sampras) and he completely changed everything he wanted to do or say, just for Roger..?

Best for Roger and Rafa. I really admire you two guys.
JW


Paul Says:

I agree with all those who say that Federer needs to find the right coach, tactics and mindset to beat Nadal.

But I also think that a major psychological problem for Federer is not just Nadal, but being within touching distance of history. Apart from Nadal’s admirable resilience, the reason why Fed crumbled in that fifth set is that at the back of his mind he was no doubt thinking of that historic number 14. In other words he wants the record SO BADLY that he is inhibited when it is within touching distance. When you are so focused on reaching a major historical goal the pressure on you becomes too much.

I think the same inhibitedness affected him in the French last year: Fed probably realised it was his last realistic chance of winning the French, the major he wants most of all, so that preyed on his mind and made him play a terrible match against a rampant Nadal.

Fed needs to rediscover an unhibited mindset because that is when he plays his best tennis. He needs to try to put the Sampras record to the back of his mind and concentrate on the match itself, NOT its historical significance. This is not to take anything away from Nadal’s amazing achievement – he is clearly a thorn in Fed’s side -, but when Fed said ‘God, it’s killing me!’ he was referring not only to Nadal’s victory, but the huge pressure of trying to reach that elusive no.14. He’ll get there eventually, but he needs to enter a grand slam final with a clear head.


margot Says:

Hi Jane, you made me laugh with your “oldnew” reference to people like Murray. I suppose I did mean that elderly (!)group but I’d also add Gulbis. I know he had an awful AO but he has a gr8 talent, wish he’d get another coach who knows what to do with it.
I agree with your comment about Federer Paul. I think he felt the old “hand of history” on his shoulders and it weighed him down both metaphorically and concretely.
I don’t know if Rafa takes drugs or not but he is very against new testing and used the word “harrassment” about it – quoted in British press.


Von Says:

Paul:

“Fed needs to rediscover an unhibited mindset because that is when he plays his best tennis. He needs to try to put the Sampras record to the back of his mind and concentrate on the match itself, NOT its historical significance.”

How about a new girlfriend — that’ll take his mind off anything and he’d be playing very loose and intoxicated. That’ll do the trick. I hope you have a sense of humor, that was meant as a joke, but hey it might work.

________________
Margot:

“I don’t know if Rafa takes drugs or not but he is very against new testing and used the word “harrassment” about it – quoted in British press.”

He should really shut up, because I’m sure he doesn’t know the implications his words will cause for him. There’s absolutely nothing in the way of harassment for athletes submitting to drug testing, especially one who’s in the limelight as he is. He’ll be sorry he’s being so adamant.


Nadal, Federer Australian Open Postscript Says:

[...] Nadal Better than Federer, Captures Australian Open [...]


Paul Says:

Von: A new girlfriend might help, as long as it’s not a Brooke Shields/Agassi scenario. When that happened Agassi was so uninhibited he was playing challengers. Even Verdasco has discovered you can’t be a playboy all your life (dumping Ivanevic has obviously done more good to HIS career than hers!)

Ok that’s most of my flippant comments out of the way. But seriously, sex or no sex, new girlfriend or no new girlfriend, Fed is suffering from paralysis by analysis (or paralysis by the WRONG analysis). Whether it’s provided by Mirka, intoxicating substances, Zen Buddhism, or hypnosis he needs to take a chill pill and forget about the Sampras record when he is playing a GS final.


ferix Says:

Let’s not forget Nadal is five years younger than Federer. Does the fact that Federer has a winning record over Sampras and Agassi conclusive proof that Federer is the better player? In sports, it would make sense that a 25yo will beat a 20yo, but a 27yo will start losing to the 22yo. Makes perfect sense to me.

The fact Nadal has surpassed Federer today, does not rule Federer out from being G.O.A.T. Have we forgotten all those sublime shots played by Federer in his prime? For instance, when he played that impossible round the net post shot at the Aussie Open in 2006. However, the defining moment of Federer’s greatness was in the fifth set of Wimbledon in 2007 against Nadal. Faced with break points in two consecutive service games, his serve clicked, his game clicked, and he just went up a level. That unplayable, unbelievable, impossible and immortal level. A level that Nadal has only ever reached at Roland Garros last year. Yes, after he saved the last of those break points, he broke Nadal to love the next game. Then he served 3 aces on route to serving out the match. Brilliance.

As an aside, Nadal wept uncontrollably in the dressing rooms after that fifth set suddenly slipped from his grasp in a matter of minutes. To his credit, he came back the next year to win Wimbledon 2008 in the greatest match of all time.

Now that we are beginning to see Nadal’s greatness, it should put into perspective Federer’s own greatness in keeping him at bay during 2005, 2006, 2007 and half of 2008.

I personally believe Federer’s done. As we’ve seen with the decline of first Ferrero, then Hewitt and Safin, this year will be Roddick and Federer’s decline. Age gets to you. Tennis is a tough, physical game. However, if Federer can just pocket one more GS before he retires (with luck, the French), then for me, he is the G.O.A.T. in the open era.


Von Says:

Paul:

Yes, the brain paralysis is definitely emanating from Fed, but it only happens whenever he faces Nadal and at a GS. I doubt, whether he has admitted to himself that he has a problem. Until he does that, which is the toughest part and the longest hurdle to cross, he’ll never arrive at a solution. With acceptance of a problem, one finds a solution; half of the problem is over once we realize that we have one.

I believe a good coach, one to whom he’ll listen, and a different mindset, which can be gotten with the help of a psychologist, should open his eyes and put him on a path to success against Nadal. Fed’s still in denial in some ways, that Nadal and not he, Fed, is the No. 1 player and the better player at the present time. I remember the commentators saying at the AO that Fed wanted to be announced as a 13 time GS champion and NOT World No. 2; that alone speaks volumes as to how deep his denial runs. I’ve said this before, his problem is self-imposed, and he needs to unshackle himself from that.


edicson Says:

nadal is better than roger federer, we could see the latest tournament at the australian open, nadal is younger, stronger and smarter, and I think that nadal in the future will can improve the 14 of sampras and later will improve the 15 or 16 of federer, bucause I am sure that fed is going to improve sampras´ record, but rafa is going to be the best of all time.


Gordo Says:

Edicson – Yeah, Nadal was better than Fed on the day, but because of one match you really are a silly boy trying to predict the career arc or number of grand slams of anyone.

Two years ago everyone was spouting off how Federer would win at least 20 GSs. Of course this was after he had won 3 of the 4 GSs for 3 years. Nadal has yet to do anything along those lines.

So hold your horses – You want to see how silly it sounds/looks? Watch – I will do it in the next paragraph, based on the results of today’s Rotterdam final -

Murray looked unstoppable in the third set today – he so owns Nadal now having crushed him at the US Open (where everyone said Nadal was not fresh) and today Nadal has NO excuses and Murray bagelled him 6-0. Wow! Nadal better hope Murray is on Federer’s side of future draws or Nadal may not win any more hard court tournaments this year.

There you go – you see how silly it sounds/looks? Why don’t we just let these great athletes show us what they can do and leave the predictions to professional fortune tellers – who by the way are also usually wrong!!!


peter Says:

Just like Ali succumbed to Frazier and always struggled against every time they fought each other, Federer is going against Nadal and to be honest it couldn’t be better for Federer…if he had never faced a Nadal type of player, people in 20 years would have said he never faced anyone…as now Federer has a Nadal monster in front of him, it is up to him to turn things around, just like Ali did to Frazier and above all Foreman…Nadal is a great player but he is a bruiser nothing else…Federer at his best never lost to anyone but Nadal on clay…Nadal at this best can lose to anyone and but Federer, because Federer just cannot see that it is all in his mind!!!

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