Nadal Crushes Murray for Masters Indian Wells Title
by Staff | March 22nd, 2009, 10:30 pm
  • 121 Comments

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal mastered the gusty conditions to steamroll Brit Andy Murray 6-1, 6-2 on Sunday for the title at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.


Murray, who humbled Roger Federer 6-1 in the third set in the semifinals, struggled in the wind, losing the last five games of each set.

“I think I have good strategy and I played a really good match with those conditions,” Nadal said. “Probably Andy didn’t play his best because of the conditions, but I think I played a really complete match, moving very well. I never stop the legs during all the match, and I think that was the key today.”

It was the lucky 13th Masters Series title for Nadal to four losses in Masters Series finals.

Murray said he was happy with his effort in Indian Wells.

“I don’t feel like I’m that disappointed just now with how the week went, because I wasn’t expecting to do that well,” said Murray, who was coming off an illness. “I obviously had some very good wins. I got a lot of the matches that I wasn’t necessarily expecting, so going into Miami I’m going to be better prepared than I thought…I’m guessing I’m not going to play in those conditions each week.”


Also Check Out:
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Roger Federer Wins 8th Different Masters 1000 Title, Ties Djokovic, Moves Ahead Of Nadal
Poll: Djokovic, Federer, Murray Or Nadal, Who’ll Win Indian Wells?
Poll: Who Will Win Indian Wells: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer?
Andy Murray: The Courts At Indian Wells Are Very Slow, They’re Also Very Slow Here In Miami

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121 Comments for Nadal Crushes Murray for Masters Indian Wells Title

TX-brat Says:

VAMOS RAFA!!!!!!!


Mark Nicholas Says:

Wow, what a fantastic victory for Rafa. It just proves why he will win the calendar slam this year.


Nadal is the GOAT Says:

How are all the Fedtards enjoying the moment- the guy who easily beat Federer got murdered against Rafa the very next day. I’m scared to even imagine how bad it must be feeling for all the Fedtards. But I’m so happy. This is what’s going to happen from now on for years. So, fedtards, you better get used to this.


zola Says:

Nadal is the GOAT,
Can you please not spoil this moment with your hostile comments and let us enjoy Rafa’s win? Did any of Fed fans say something against Rafa? I don’t think you are a Rafa fan, so please just beat it!


Ezorra Says:

zola, I’m totally with you! i really don’t think ‘they’ are Nadal fans. BTW, Vamos Rafa!!!


bobby Says:

NADAL IS A GOAT, I think that you are not a Nadal fan.Nadal fan can never be this arrogant.Nadal will never like your hostility.It destroys the joy of Nadal`s win.If you are a Nadal fan,then praise Nadal without hurling abuses at other players.I am anyway thrilled by Nadal`s win.I wish he will become one of the greatest ever.


NachoF Says:

Nadal is the GOAT,
by your logic Nadal should have beaten Federer at the AO final 6-0 6-0 6-0… and the match was pretty much a tossup so stfu.


tenisbebe Says:

Rafa played very smart tennis with the extreme winds. This should bode well for him in Miami too as it is notoriously windy.


zola Says:

tennisbebe
I hope Rafa withdraws from Miami. He looks extremely tired. They are all after playing the DC and flying to IW.
I really don’t mind if he is out early in Miami so that he can rest a bit for the clay season. Those circles under his eyes are to worrisome.


milas Says:

Anyone can enlighten me why Nadal is less affected by the windy condition? His more top-spin counter a bit the wind effect? or he played higher percentage/safer shots?


tenisbebe Says:

i didn’t notice the circles, will have to look at his photo. Well, he will lose his pts from last yr but he can afford them! He so far ahead of Roger. I can’t believe he’s never won Miami – just looked it up – seems like he’s always played well there. This bumping Miami up further into April is terrible for the clay court season. The powers that be need to readdress that & since Rafa is on the player council, hopefully he can get it on the table soon.


zola Says:

milas,
I am no tennis expert, but I think Rafa’s top spin shot is less affected by the wind because it passes the net with a better margin. Also Rafa said himself that he had a strategy for the wind. He moved a lot and tried not to brush the lines but play safer. I read that Murray attempted a drop shot and was hammered by the wind. Perhaps its just “experience”.

Rafa also said that he “accepted” the conditions. I didn’t see the match but read that Murray was frustrated by it. So that can be a factor too.

tennisbebe
You have to watch his interviews on tennistv.com. Tomorrow if it is on, I will post the link.
I too think that he can afford not going to Miami. He needs to rest and defend a hell number of points during clay/grass season.


Ezorra Says:

hi zola & tenisbebe; I slightly disagree with you guys regarding whether Nadal should withdraw from Miami or not. However, I understand the fact that you, zola likes him so much and don’t want him to hurt himself.

IMO, Nadal should defend his points in Miami. I’m just hoping that he will not play double there. I think he will have ample time to rest his body after Miami to get ready to defend all his titles for the clay season. My issue now is whether should he plays in Barcelona to prepare himself physically for French Open due to the tournament’s prestige.


Ezorra Says:

I know he likes to play Barcelona because it is his country’s event. The question is, should he?


zola Says:

Ezorra,
Playing doubles is not a big deal. It is actually a wise tactic. First of all it is only two sets.( not even best of 3). So at most it takes about an hour. Rafa spends hours on the practice courts and practices really hard.

Playing doubles helps him get used to the court and use his brain in a match and concentrate. Also doubles has helped him improve his net game. I think it is good.

But why should he play Miami? He has enough points. I don’t want him to play Barcelona either, but he has been the champion the past 4 years so it will be a record if he wins it again. Besides I have heard that Barcelona and Rafa’s Islands are from the same region, so it is somehow the “home tournament”. That’s why he plays it.


Nadal is the GOAT Says:

Zola, Ezorra and Bobby:
I appreciate the fact that you are real Nadal fans and understand why you feel embarrassed with my comments. I also love Nadal so much because he is so humble and modest. I would also have liked to be modest, but I’m not as good a human being as Rafa Nadal. You can’t expect every Nadal fan to be like him.

But why I make those comments about Federer? I do this because of what the Fedtards say about Rafa all the time. They always try to demean Rafa even when he wins comfortably. Imagine what would have happened if Federer won at IW? This place would have been full of Fedtards making nasty comments about Nadal.

I only try to hit back at those Fedtards. The general tennis fans can ignore my comments.


Ezorra Says:

Nadal is the GOAT,

I understand your anger but I hope you will consider the consequences of making those statements as well. You just open a wider space for others to hate Nadal even more. I’m not trying to be noble or what not but I really hope that Nadal fans could have a harmonious voice in conveying our opinions but at the same time show some respects for others.


gm Says:

Barcelona and the islands are not from the same region! Nadal likes to play in barcelona because the tournament is held at his home club….the club where he grew up playing tennis. In fact, most of the spanish tennis players belong or have belonged to that club.


fedster Says:

All the Fed-fans as well as the Fedtards are enjoying the moment because it was very important for someone to put a break on Murray’s momentum as one more win at this stage against Rafa would have increased not just the ranking points but also the already high confidence of Murray even further which would not have been too good for Federer. So even though Rafa’s my seventh most favourite player after guys like Federer, Murray, Roddick, Novak, Nalbandian and Tsonga (Safin and Hewitt of course would have been my 3rd & 4th most favourite ones had they been in form; they are, particularly Safin is so much talented after all!), still he did all the Fed fans a favour by putting a dent on Murray from gaining more points; Murray’s already a threat to Fed’s 2nd spot. So that’s good after all for Feddy! Fed might be happy ater what happened yesterday. Let the Fed-Rafa duopoly continue for some more time as I’m still not tired of their matches! Hi he heee!!!


Fairypin Says:

Hi everyone,

I don’t think Rafa looked too tired after IW since every of his match except the Nalby’s was just 2-moderate-set win. And he just played incredible in the final and semi. Also time difference’s not significant (like Toronto-Beijing-New York). So, no need to skip Miami.

And,yes, to my surprise too that Rafa’s never won Miami despite 2 times runner-up, the first one even when Rafa’s so young and against the great Fed (with 2 sets lead before falling in 5). So, ay be this time…third time lucky.

About the GOAT, don’t say that until Rafa wins this year Calendar Grand Slam, I think. And I beleive he will.

Vamos Rafa!!!


fedster Says:

Hi Giner! Where are you? Improvement is not what is required of Fed as he still has the best game now, believe it or not, accept it or not! What Fed needs is sticking to his instinct and playing his natural game. He can beat everyone else on more occasions than not including even Nadal in the clay court tournaments/Roland Garros. But the question is whether he’s hungry enough to eat up all the titles being served on the ATP bancquet as he once was??????? To me……. the answer is…….. NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So he’ll win lesser number of titles than he and we are used to.


fedster Says:

Congrats Zola and Congrats Ezorra… enjoy your moment!!! Your guy was playing really well in the final. Ezora dear, you surely missed some CRRRUUUNNNCHHHYYYaaaaahhhhhh…… Rafa backhands; I was salivating for sure… Had Ezorra seen it, he’d have shouted- “OHHHHHHH MYYYYYY GGGGGGOD, I’M LOVIN IT !”


fedster Says:

I was secretly hoping for Fed to be playing on the other side of the net yesterday. It’d have been yummy. I got to have some potato chips and cookies as I’m hungry! ;-)


Lenny Says:

Fedster,
I COMPLETELY second that. I’m extremely greedy for more Fed-Rafa matches as well. Can’t get enough of them. Yummy, they certainly are.

BUT, “He can beat everyone else on more occasions than not including even Nadal in the clay court tournaments/Roland Garros.”

????????!!!!??? C’MON. Do you REALLY believe that?? The “even Nadal” part? Rafa has NEVER been a good match-up for Fed. EVER. He may have beaten him on a few occasions, but everybody knows who has the upper hand. Are you forgetting that Rafa beat Fed in straights the VERY FIRST TIME they played?? This was in 2004, when Fed was at the top of the game, filled with all the brilliance and hunger you talk about, and Rafa was just an 18-yr-old upstart. Oh, and it was on the HARD court of Miami.


AbdUlla Says:

Congratulations Rafa !!
I think he is not only fantastic on sands but also on all grounds and i think if someone thought about set up a championship on the water he would win it .. lol
go ahead man !


koalakoala Says:

Federer can’t play his natural game and win over Nadal, or even Murray.

It is a pain to admit but Federer can’t afford to continue to live in denial.

Get a coach!


fedster Says:

Lenny: You said,”????????!!!!??? C’MON. Do you REALLY believe that?? The “even Nadal” part? Rafa has NEVER been a good match-up for Fed. EVER. He may have beaten him on a few occasions, but everybody knows who has the upper hand. Are you forgetting that Rafa beat Fed in straights the VERY FIRST TIME they played?? This was in 2004, when Fed was at the top of the game, filled with all the brilliance and hunger you talk about, and Rafa was just an 18-yr-old upstart. Oh, and it was on the HARD court of Miami.” Dear Lenny, FIRST OF ALL MY ANSWER IS A BIG BIG YESSS!!!!!…….. I never have been a great fan of the match-up theory. I must say that I have taken everything into consideration before commenting. I mean it may surprise you but the whole world may lose trust in Roger Federer, but I NEVER WOULD. I still believe that he can beat Rafa in Roland Garros. Nothing’s impossible! And it’s for you to see that Roger matches shot for shot against Rafa even now though his level has significantly dropped and Rafa’s level has gone up remarkably. In this year’s Aus Open too Fed was as much keeping Rafa on his toes as much as the other way round, though Rafa romped home in the end due to his tenacity and mental strength, otherwise it was anybody’s trophy.


fedster Says:

Lenny: You said,”????????!!!!??? C’MON. Do you REALLY believe that?? The “even Nadal” part? Rafa has NEVER been a good match-up for Fed. EVER. He may have beaten him on a few occasions, but everybody knows who has the upper hand. Are you forgetting that Rafa beat Fed in straights the VERY FIRST TIME they played?? This was in 2004, when Fed was at the top of the game, filled with all the brilliance and hunger you talk about, and Rafa was just an 18-yr-old upstart. Oh, and it was on the HARD court of Miami.” Dear Lenny, FIRST OF ALL MY ANSWER IS A BIG BIG YESSS!!!!!…….. I never have been a great fan of the match-up theory. I must say that I have taken everything into consideration before commenting. I mean it may surprise you but the whole world may lose trust in Roger Federer, but I NEVER WOULD. I still believe that he can beat Rafa in Roland Garros. Nothing’s impossible! And it’s for you to see that Roger matches shot for shot against Rafa even now though his level has significantly dropped and Rafa’s level has gone up remarkably. In this year’s Aus Open too Fed was just as much keeping Rafa on his toes as the other way round, though Rafa romped home in the end due to his tenacity and mental strength, otherwise it was anybody’s trophy.


fedster Says:

koalakoala: “Federer can’t play his natural game and win over Nadal, or even Murray.” Disagree completely.


fedster Says:

Coach not needed if Fedstops playing his natural game coz a coach won’t be of any help then. Fed’s natural game’s always played without hesitation but right now he’s not playing freely against anyone though the scores may generally suggest otherwise. Loss of peak form and continuing with average form is what has happened to Federer right now and it’s not anything new to bother me.


Shan Says:

Congrats to Rafa! Please Rafa, for the love of God, get a pair of undies that don’t get stuck between your butt cheeks! Your relentless picking is growing into quite the addiction!


Giner Says:

What I find funny is how fans of Fed or Rafa only a year ago would have a peak at the draw and hope Novak Djokovic doesn’t land in their man’s half but instead in the other guy’s. Now I think they will want Novak in their man’s half so that the other guy gets Murray who appears to be a lot more dangerous now.

Hell, Novak is not even guaranteed to make semis anymore. He twice lost to Roddick this year. That’s twice he’s lost his title defence to Roddick, and twice Nadal has snatched the hardware in the end.

Looking at where Nadal is heading, I’m going to go out on a limb and make many hypotheses based on hypotheses. If he goes on to win Miami (and it is very possible), my ‘on a limb’ prediction is that he won’t win Roland Garros this year. Crazy, I know. But here’s my reasoning:

The guy is very stubborn when it comes to scheduling and preserving his body. He has entered into Monte Carlo, even though it’s optional now. In past years he would win MC, then Rome, then skip Hamburg and incur a slap on the wrist. Last year he won Hamburg but only because he lost in the first round of Rome due to blisters. This year is different. Hamburg has been replaced with Madrid, which happens to be in his home country. He will certainly play it, and even if he didn’t want to, his fans would expect him to and be very disappointed if he didn’t. Plus there’s the fact that the ATP will now suspend players for the next Masters 1000 event if they skip a Masters event. The smart way to deal with this would be to skip Monte Carlo, but he has already committed to it.

What am I getting at? He will win MC, Rome, and likely Madrid. Then he will have a week’s break to recover for RG. Can he do it? There’s also the fact that he will throw in Barcelona and possibly Valencia too, both smaller titles in Spain. He will be favourite to win the title in all of these clay events he enters.

Will that leave him with much going into RG? My answer is no. Unless he tanks and strategically loses some of these events, he will jeopardise his RG defense. Clay is the most physically demanding surface, and he plays a lot of matches on it. This is a big year for him, with titles to defend at RG and Wimbledon, and a shot at winning the Grand Slam. You would think he’d get his priorities straight. This isn’t any ordinary year. But no, he hasn’t learnt anything.

If I were playing in his shoes, I’d tank Miami early, skip Barca, skip Monte Carlo, win Rome (giving Djokovic a final rub-in), then play Madrid. Or play Monte and tank Rome (he has no pts to defend there). Personally, I wouldn’t care at all about playing at home, but he isn’t me.

Could this be the year Federer wins the French Open? Doing so would all but assure him of GOAT status because he will at the same time complete a career Grand Slam, which eluded Sampras.

Going off topic a bit, I think Federer bowed to pressure in Melbourne. That night, Rod Laver was in attendance along with the four legends he beat on his way to winning the Grand Slam in ’69 (Gimeno, Roche, Newcombe, and Rosewall). They were in the presentation ceremony. Why did AO officials go to all those lengths to get them there that night? They were expecting Federer to make history and win his 14th major! Fed knew about it and succumbed to the pressure. Whenever the 14th is on the line, it’s always going to weigh in on his mind.

He played pretty sloppy that day, serving poorly and shanking a lot of balls.

Here’s what my crystal ball tells me: Fed will win his 14th this year, probably at either Wimbledon or the US Open. The guy handing the trophy to him will be none other than Sampras who will be paid a 6 digit sum to do so. Fed will cry more tears than he’s ever shed in his entire life. It will rejuvenate him, but he won’t go back to owning the tour like he did in 04-07.

He’ll finish his career with 16 or 17, possibly 18 tops.


Giner Says:

zola Says:

“I hope Rafa withdraws from Miami. He looks extremely tired. They are all after playing the DC and flying to IW.”

You can no longer simply just ‘withdraw’ from a mandatory event. Tiredness is not an excuse. Injury is the only way you can get out. Under new rules, even with an injury, if you skip a Masters event that you made direct entry into, you receive a 0 point and you are suspended from the next Masters event. If you travel to the premises (yes, even if you are hobbled on one leg) for promotional activities, you avoid the suspension but still get the 0 pointer.

It’s still possible to tank a match, but you have to be very careful doing that. You’ll be fined and possibly suspended if suspected of it, and you’ll possibly be suspected of match fixing too which carries even worse implications.

He is still going to have to travel to Miami no matter what, if he doesn’t want a suspension. I don’t think Rafa will win Miami, and that might be a good thing for him. He’ll probably make the semi finals.


Giner Says:

fedster Says:

“Hi Giner! Where are you? Improvement is not what is required of Fed as he still has the best game now, believe it or not, accept it or not! What Fed needs is sticking to his instinct and playing his natural game. He can beat everyone else on more occasions than not including even Nadal in the clay court tournaments/Roland Garros. But the question is whether he’s hungry enough to eat up all the titles being served on the ATP bancquet as he once was??????? To me……. the answer is…….. NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So he’ll win lesser number of titles than he and we are used to.”

I don’t think he’s as hungry either. He’s already proven himself, except for getting the 14th major, and that is what he’ll be focused on now.

He has alluded to accepting that he’s aging, and entering the tail end of his career. At this stage it’s natural that he’ll have to make adjustments to his priorities, and with a baby due in Summer, his hunger to win every match like in years past will subside. He’ll just want to win Slams and not care that Murray knocks him out in best of three set matches. Should he meet Murray at a Slam, then it’s on, and he’ll be waiting. Murray doesn’t have near the experience in Slams as he has, and even if he loses 2 sets to Murray he’s still in with a chance to win it in 5.

Fed said he was pleased with his week at IW. A few years ago, he would not have merely been content with a semi final. He would have wanted the title. He was like Nadal is now. He’s certainly mellowed since then, so the losses no longer hurt him as much.


zola Says:

Giner,
I have to check the ATP rules. You are probably right that they cannot just simply withdraw. Then I wouldn’t be too sad if he lost in the early rounds. He needs to go home and rest.

I think Djoko is still a very dangerous player. My theory is that he cannot put the NY behind him that’s why he lost to Roddick on both occasions. All these big guys go through phases like that. He is so young and I think he will be back.

Fairypin,
He doesn’t look tired on court or in the pictures, but if you see his interviews you might agree with me. When it is out today I will try to provide a link here.

Fedster,
thanks for the congrats. It is a special time for Rafa fans. I hope it lasts a while.

Nadal is a Goat,
I agree with Ezorra. You are creating a negative environment when it is not necessary. You cannot just attack people because the “might ” have said something if their guy had won. So they can come and say the same thing because those who claim to be Nadal fans “might” say things like you say.

Seems you have lots of energy and creativity. Maybe you can use it in a positive way and let yourself enjoy Rafa’s success.

You do this because those comments can hurt you but you already hurt many Nadal fans with your unnccessary attacks to other people.


grendel Says:

“He’ll [Federer] just want to win Slams and not care that Murray knocks him out in best of three set matches. Should he meet Murray at a Slam, then it’s on, and he’ll be waiting. Murray doesn’t have near the experience in Slams as he has, and even if he loses 2 sets to Murray he’s still in with a chance to win it in 5.” (Giner).

I don’t agree on several counts. First of all, Federer looked pretty pissed when giving Murray the most perfunctory of handshakes. It must be of concern to him that Murray keeps beating him, and in particular the way he collapsed in the third set not just recently, but also in Doha. Furthermore, there is a case to be made that Federer’s tendency to disintegrate against Murray towards the end of the match signals extreme mental (not physical) fatigue. The effort of trying, unsuccessfully, to puzzle out Murray’s game just wears him out.

If Federer is close to throwing in the towel against Murray in a 3 set match, it seems bizarre to suppose that he will find a 5 setter more congenial. It is true, there is the extra motivation which a grand slam generates, so certainly Federer will be more mentally prepared. But he will still face the same, apparently intractable problems. Federer wears the mask quite well, although he is nowhere near in the Borg class in this respect. But you look closely, and on that seemingly impassive countenance, you see a perplexed expression trying to slip its moorings, one mixed with anger, too. He looks pretty cross to me a lot of the time against Murray. The script is not unfolding as it should for our 13 grandslammer. Never underestimate feelings of entitlement.

And I don’t buy the Murray inexperience tale for a moment, either. Murray is an extremely quick learner. He was overawed in New York – but even so, he nearly came back in the second set, and if he could have taken it, we might have had a different result. Next time Murray meets Federer in a grand slam final – assuming a bus has run over Nadal or something – I believe Murray will be ready, and will be firm favourite, too. I regret this – I want Federer to win. Just doesn’t seem likely.


Naydal Says:

Rafa is at his peak and I doubt that he will sustain this level that much longer…but it’s fun to watch however long it does last…


Naydal Says:

Murray on the other hand is the most overrated player at the moment…watch for him to slip more and more in the coming months and years. I said the same thing about Djokovich after he won the australian and that prediction is proving ever more true with each passing tournament…


I like tennis bullies Says:

lolz
fedfanz abandoning roger like rats on a sinking ship


Nadal is the GOAT Says:

Giner, the theory you have come up with is just wishful thinking. Nadal will never lose at Roland Garros to Federer, ever. Nadal will win the French Open even if he plays on a wheeel chair. I think Nadal can easily end up with 10 RG titles in a row.


pistol pete fan Says:

sampras is the goat right now not nadal


David Says:

Nadal is the GOAT:

Your comment about Nadal winning RG under any circumstances reminds me of when I was listening to an interview before the 2008 AO. Fed had some minor injury and Jon Wertheim was asked whether that would affect his chances. He responded with a silly comment to the effect that Fed would have to have a broken leg to not win the tournament because he was playing a different game than everyone else. Of course, as we know, Fed has only won one title of any significance since. So my point is that great players like Fed and Nadal can seem invincible when things are going great, they’re in perfect health, etc, but a slight injury or a slight drop in form and they can come back to the field very quickly.


David Says:

Giner:

I know it’s a bit crazy, but I wouldn’t be so sure Nadal’s going to win Madrid. Unless, they’re using some really dead balls that negate the altitude, the conditions there are not going to be to his liking at all. Remember when Rafa was forced to play Davis Cup against the U.S. in Madrid? He was furious, and after his match with Querrey he said something like no one had ever won that many easy points on serve against him on clay.

Of course, he came back rather nicely against Roddick in the second match, so still picking against Rafa on clay is never a good bet. :-)


Von Says:

“I don’t agree on several counts. First of all, Federer looked pretty pissed when giving Murray the most perfunctory of handshakes. It must be of concern to him that Murray keeps beating him, and in particular the way he collapsed in the third set not just recently, but also in Doha.” grendel.

Yeah, I mean, can we call that a handshake? I thought it was more like touching a dirty finger. Not to mention the look of contempt on his mask like face with nary a hint of even a forced smile creasing his cheeks, but a look of ‘how dare you’.

Whether Federer doesn’t care about winning tournaments other than slams, as some of his fans have been indicating, I’m positive he doesn’t like being beaten by Murray most of all, because he considers Murray “of normal talent”. There’s always an alluusion of some sort from Federer on Murray’s talent as not being quite up there but somewhat mediocre whenever he’s beaten by Murray. It seems to me that whenever Federer competes in any tournament, small, large, GS, et al., he’s there for one thing and that is to win, and when he doesn’t win, he’s a sore loser. And then, it doesn’t stop there that he lost, it becomes even worse — compounded, because it then becomes a matter of not just losing but to whom he loses. There’s a multi-level losing hierarchy transpiring with respect to Federer’s losses. In some ways he reminds me of Pete Sampras who didn’t mind losing to non-Americans, but if it was an American, especially a much younger American, Pete was most angry and ungracious. He liked to keep the Americans aat the back of the line and show them who’s the boss.

There’s an inherent trait in some people, we see it in busnes but especially in athletes, and that is, they have the mentality that the younger players are upstarts and should be kept on a leash. Their egos are so huge wherein they can’t bear to lose, especially to an up and comer, and if they had a choice of whom they should lose to, they’d pick a contemporary.
_________________
“Murray doesn’t have near the experience in Slams as he has, and even if he loses 2 sets to Murray he’s still in with a chance to win it in 5.” (Giner).

Well, considering Federer has only met Murray in ONE slam final we can’t expect Murray to have that kind of experience, and when they did meet in that one final it was not on even footing. I think we should all wait to see what transpires in their next meedting, if there is one, before jumping to conclusions. For example, look at the scenario. Federer beat Djokovic in a rather easy match to get to the final, and had a couple of days off before meeting Murray. On the other hand, Murray’s match v. Nadal was spread over two days, and he then had to play against Federer without any rest. It was an extremely dog-tired Murray who met a well-rested Federer. Hence, if we were to take all things in to consideration, and had it not been such a topsy-turvy situation, I’d say, Federer’s slam experience might not have protected him from a Murray win. However, to coin a phrase, only time will tell ….


koalakoala Says:

Giner,
When Roger said,”I am old…”. It was a sarcastic response to the media speculation. Roger is fully aware of what is said out there. He was in the “if this is what you want to hear, then hear it” mood.

Fedster,
Even though Roger is not old, he is not young either. Mental and physical fatigue does kick in. His natural game does not come in natural and consistently anymore. I reckon he needs to fix up his serve, get a coach to help his strategic play, and most importantly, change his mindset.

He needs to be prepared to engage in a dog fight when his game does not come through, to win ugly.

I am not sure whether this stiff-necked elegance can do it…but I hope so.


koalakoala Says:

Fedster

I also want to add that both Nadal and Murray are bad match-up for Federer.


alpha Says:

Fed should seriously start thinking about converting to two hand back-hand if he wants to be able to win any tournament, let alone GS. The problem is that at his age, converting to two back-hands won’t be an easy task at all…


sar Says:

Address to complain about Gimelslob.

Here’s a link to FSN’s feedback page:

http://msn.foxsports.com/feedback


Giner Says:

zola Says:

“Giner,
I have to check the ATP rules. You are probably right that they cannot just simply withdraw. Then I wouldn’t be too sad if he lost in the early rounds. He needs to go home and rest.”

The rules for participation are on this page: http://www.atpworldtour.com/tennis/en/players/information/rankfaq.asp

Q. What if a player is injured and can’t play in a Grand Slam or ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament?
A. If eligible to play in one of the Grand Slam or ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments, a player must count the points from these tournaments, even if it is ‘a zero pointer’ because he missed the event. Just as in Formula One and numerous other sports, if a competitor misses a race or an event, he loses his chances to earn points. Players with direct acceptance who do not play an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament will be suspended from a subsequent ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event which will be the next highest point earned ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event within the next 12 months. If an injured player is on-site within the first three days of a tournament to conduct promotional activities over a two day period, a suspension will not be enforced but a 0-pointer will be counted on a player’s ranking.
———

I’m not quite sure what they meant when they said “suspended from a subsequent ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event which will be the next highest point earned ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event within the next 12 months.” Since all Masters 1000 events award equal points (1000 maximum, duh), why do they need this distinction? Or did they mean that the tournament you had the best results in will be the one you’re suspended from playing in? It’s a bit confusing.

grendel:

“And I don’t buy the Murray inexperience tale for a moment, either. Murray is an extremely quick learner. He was overawed in New York – but even so, he nearly came back in the second set, and if he could have taken it, we might have had a different result. Next time Murray meets Federer in a grand slam final – assuming a bus has run over Nadal or something – I believe Murray will be ready, and will be firm favourite, too. I regret this – I want Federer to win. Just doesn’t seem likely.”

Point taken grendel. We’ll just have to see. Murray was favourite to win the Australian Open and he lost in the 4th round to Verdasco. I think pressure did have something to do with it, though not to take anything from Verdasco. I’m more interested in seeing Murray play Djokovic than I am Federer, to see who’s really more deserving of the #3 rank.

The reason I believe Fed would win in a Slam is more than just experience, but will also. Nadal is clearly no slouch, and had Fed out of sorts in the Wimbledon 07 final, and he found a way out. Almost did so again in 08, saving 4 CPs. In 08, even though Nadal was so tough mentally, he still didn’t have the belief needed in those tie breaks which he could have won. At 5-2, he threw in a double and gave away some more points. In the second breaker, Fed saved 2 CPs. It was that tough for a guy like Nadal to beat him, and I just don’t think Murray will have enough to do it.

Fed’s record in GS finals against players not named Nadal are 11-0. He lost one set to Agassi, one to Baghdatis and one to Roddick. That’s all. I expect him to have the edge against Murray based on that record. You just look at their records in GS finals, 13-5 vs 0-1. Experience will be a factor.

David:

“I know it’s a bit crazy, but I wouldn’t be so sure Nadal’s going to win Madrid.”

Fair enough David. Admittedly, Querrey did do very well against him, perhaps better than anyone expected. But it’s hard to base a guess on just one match. I think he knows enough about the clay to overcome the altitude. He has handled it before. He won Madrid on a fast indoor hardcourt in 05 when he was still considered a clay specialist, so playing on clay shouldn’t be a problem.

alpha Says:

“Fed should seriously start thinking about converting to two hand back-hand if he wants to be able to win any tournament, let alone GS. The problem is that at his age, converting to two back-hands won’t be an easy task at all…”

Fed said he could never hit two handers, and still can’t. I don’t think he’ll even try. His single hander is not the best but good enough. It’s also a style thing. Single handers look more classy and elegant than two handers, and I remember very clearly a quote from him saying that he always favoured and respected players with a single handed backhand more than double handers. I believe it’s an elitism thing. Whenever I fantasised about being a player, I always saw myself as a single hander also.

It’s not worth changing it up at this stage in his career. He would lose a lot of matches getting used to it, and drawing even more criticism. It would be like changing to a new racquet…….

Von:

“Well, considering Federer has only met Murray in ONE slam final we can’t expect Murray to have that kind of experience, and when they did meet in that one final it was not on even footing. I think we should all wait to see what transpires in their next meedting, if there is one, before jumping to conclusions. For example, look at the scenario. Federer beat Djokovic in a rather easy match to get to the final, and had a couple of days off before meeting Murray. On the other hand, Murray’s match v. Nadal was spread over two days, and he then had to play against Federer without any rest. It was an extremely dog-tired Murray who met a well-rested Federer. Hence, if we were to take all things in to consideration, and had it not been such a topsy-turvy situation, I’d say, Federer’s slam experience might not have protected him from a Murray win. However, to coin a phrase, only time will tell ….”

I remember that. The final was postponed till Monday. Fed was clearly at an advantage due to being first out and completing his match, just as he was at a huge advantage over Nadal at the AO final, and against Nadal during the rain delayed Wimbledon 07 (the tennis gods really love Fed). But I don’t think that the delay affected Murray enough to cost him the title. He’s a fit guy, and he beat the #1 who held a 5-0 record against him.

It’s just hard to bet against a guy who won 5 straight Wimbledons and 5 straight US Opens (he still has a stranglehold there) until the guy is too old to be competitive.

koalakoala Says:

“Giner,
When Roger said,”I am old…”. It was a sarcastic response to the media speculation. Roger is fully aware of what is said out there. He was in the “if this is what you want to hear, then hear it” mood.”

I suspected as much. Still, joking or not, it’s true. A player is in their prime from early 20′s to mid 20′s. Agassi is a rare beast. Fed will gradually decline and need to make adjustments — the kind that a coach would be very helpful in orchestrating.


Von Says:

Sar: Thanks for that link. I have a lot to complain about FSN and Gimelstob. FSN’s coverage was pathetic made even worse by Gimelstob. ATP had sent me a survey and asked for my input on several topics, I wrote so much for the comments that only one-half of it was recorded. Ha,ha. Could you imagine how much I’ll be writing on Gimelstob? probabably a book.


Von Says:

Giner:

“Agassi was a rare beast”. Yes, he was somewhat rare, but his results during those years weren’t anything spectacular. He had a few wins here and there but nothing to rave about. His most impressive run was at the USO where he got to the final and lost to Federer. His latter years can be compared to a dying ember – the flame died but the embers kept going — chug, chug.


alpha Says:

Murray game is so passive and boring, he rely on others getting outplayed from baseline and on getting impatient to finish the points and making faults. Somebody already said he had a pathetic mono-dimentional game, I won’t agree much. Nadal on the other hand just servedhim a true punishement and humiliation by being patient, solid and more creative sometimes. I don’t buy the wind thing for a second.
The 2 wins that he have over Nadal were in the US Open where Nadal was obviously very tired and the 2nd win was in Amsterdam where Nadal was injured, so stop hyping out there…


Giner Says:

“The 2 wins that he have over Nadal were in the US Open where Nadal was obviously very tired and the 2nd win was in Amsterdam where Nadal was injured, so stop hyping out there…”

I used to regard fatigue as a valid reason for losing to Murray in NY, but I no longer do. He was tired, but still able to win. He had to have been even more tired after his semi final against Verdasco in Melbourne but still managed to not only beat Federer, but do it in 5 sets. He was tired there too, but still able to win. Therefore he should have beat Murray regardless. Murray played better than day.

Based on this year’s results, I very much believe that if he had gotten past Murray in NY, in spite of his fatigue I think he would have beaten Federer in the final of the US Open. Of course this can only ever be speculation, but he had enough in the tank to do the job in Melbourne, so he would have had enough in NY. Combine that with a mental edge, and it could have been 4 Slams in a row, a Rafa Slam.

The Rotterdam match very well could have been a ‘what if’, but he hurt himself during the match. That stuff happens. It’s not Murray’s fault.


zola Says:

Giner
in Australia Rafa was coming in after two momnths of rest and had a day off between the two five set matches.
IN AO, he was coming after a very long season and after flying back from Beijing. He was visibly tired.
It is not to say that Murray could not win him if he is not tired, but it might take more effort on his part, becuse Rafa, even on one leg will not give any points away.


zola Says:

alpha,
Murray is patient. or becoming more ptient. but no-way his game is one-dimensional. He can play from the baseline and also come to the net, change the pace. He also thinks on the court ( someimes too loud), but I don’t think his game is one-dimensional


Giner Says:

Fatigue was a factor, but not a huge one. He had a relatively comfortable match against Fish in 4 sets, then had a day’s rest. Against Murray, the match was split accross 2 days so he had night to sleep on it before resuming it.

He wasn’t as sharp or quick, but I don’t use fatigue as an excuse. He still could have won it. He was up a break in the 4th set.

The US Open needs to review their super Saturday policy. If one finalist (particularly the second one) has to get through a marathon match like the Nadal-Verdasco one, they’ll be screwed in the final the next day. Since a Saturday ticket doesn’t get you access to all 3 matches (there’s day session and a night session), there’s no point having a Super Saturday. Give the men a day of rest, in case one of them plays a 5 setter.


grendel Says:


I like tennis bullies Says:
lolz
fedfanz abandoning roger like rats on a sinking ship”.

Scrolling back thru this thread indicates that yours truly is the lad under consideration here. Nobody else seems to fit the bill.

Someone, I think G.K.Chesterton, once said that criticising P.G.Wodehouse was like taking a spade to souffle. Wodehouse was a great man, whose humour miraculously doesn’t date, and he will be read with pleasure long after plenty of celebrated “serious” authors have been entirely forgotten. I like tennis bullies doesn’t fall quite into the Wodehouse category, but he is sometimes quite witty, if perhaps a touch repetitive. Still, even though anything is grist to his mill, and it is silly to complain of being misrepresented by him – misrepresentation, after all, is part and parcel of I Like Tennis Bullies rationale, this is generally understood I think – still he has, sort of unwittingly, raised an interesting point. I am grateful to him for this, and I should like to address it.

Some people think that to be a fan of a player, one must automatically endorse everything about them. Apparently, this is what constitutes fandom. I think most of us have occasionally felt the temptation, usually when our man is under attack from those who obviously don’t like him much. Thus I used to defend Federer a lot from people like Jane, SG, Zola, often rather ill-advisedly, not because I especially believed in the case for the defence, as it were – there was all that tiresome nonsense about his Wimbledon clothing, the self advertising shoes, all that silly stuff which was of absolutely no interest to me. But because I perceived an intent to do Federer down, in what (rightly or wrongly) I judged to be a somewhat insidious manner I leapt to his defence, like any Pavlovian dog – and, frankly, with about as much conviction. You know the old saying that an argument is never about what an argument is about.

Also, I remember a long battle, with roughly the same people and perhaps Sean too, about whether Federer was arrogant or not. I still think that the case made by people like me and Tony (I wonder where he is – I think it is a shame he stopped posting, driven away really; he made solid contributions, even if he did go on a bit) held up in the particular context of that argument. However, overall, I have certainly revised my opinion. The whole question of character is a complicated one, and I have no interest in sermonising – you don’t learn much that way. I do find it intriguing that there are those who, with complete sincerity, regard Federer as unusually modest, whilst there are others, equally sincere, who think he is appallingly arrogant. I now tend to think that there is truth in both camps. That’s not to be wishy-washy, conciliatory and so on – not at all. I think there is a damn great contradiction right at the heart of Federer, not because he is an unusual person, on the contrary, but because he is a somewhat ordinary person thrown into extraordinary circumstances.

It is often assumed that if one is very critical of a player, one is somehow turning against him. This may be so, of course. But there is another possibility. Let us leave aside the question of truth – nobody ever believes you if you say that in some sense you are striving after that. Perhaps they are right not to. There can be a certain pleasure in being perversely contrary, and dressing that up as the search for truth, so I have found, anyway. But think of a parent who is deeply critical of her child – it may be because she hates it. It’s more likely to be because she loves it, and the criticism is a sort of desperate attempt to root out all the shit, expose it for all to see in the hope of thereby destroying it. Or maybe it’s just frustration – why won’t the little sod behave the way I want him to behave sort of thing.

And so as Federer inevitably enters his period of decline, I for one want all his faults laid out clearly for all to see, in the hope that maybe, just maybe, the silly man will at last get the message. When I was watching Federer disintegrating in the third set against Murray, I was personally livid. “You miserable coward!” I yelled at the screen. And more. Thus the course of true love…

One last point. Although I have been guilty in the past of conflating the character with the player, I see no reason that one has to do that. I mean Von clearly adores Roddick, for example, Zola worships Nadal and so on, and that’s ok. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Basically, I love the way Federer plays tennis – why should I care what he is like as a person? Say you happen to enjoy reading a particular author, and then one day you discover he is a disgusting and depraved creep. Will you stop reading him? I won’t. I want my fix, and sod anything else. Thus with Federer the tennis player.

Von: “There’s a multi-level losing hierarchy transpiring with respect to Federer’s losses.” That’s an intriguing, and accurate I am sure, way of putting it. However, I am not sure you are altogether right about Murray. Federer, I believe, recognizes Murray’s exceptional talent, but he certainly wants to get a dig in where he can. But I wonder whether his anger at being beaten the other day is not just an ego thing – and as you say, he is generally a poor loser – but reflects a kind of fear. At some level, he cannot conceal from himself that Murray represents a real spanner in the works, a genuine threat to his remaining ambition. Also, lets face it, he made a bit of a tit of himself, publicly. That’s not agreeable for anyone, is it – especially not for someone who recently publicly stated he was not a quitter. But he did quit in that third set, didn’t he, and he hadn’t yet had time to concoct a story to account for it. Sorry to be harsh, Fedfans. This is Mummy speaking, you do all realise that, don’t you…


zola Says:

Grendel,
**Zola worships Nadal!**

Lol!
Zola worships no one. I like Nadal a lot. That’s no secret. but being a fan is different to worshipping someone.


Giner Says:

Fed is naturally arrogant to an extent, but he conceals it well. He is usually a gracious person, but every now and then it slips out a little bit. I don’t mind it, because he calls it as it is. He has earnt his right to say what he wants. His racquet does most of the talking.

He has said some very nice and supportive things about people and tournaments which tend to be forgotten. Whether it’s a facade or genuine I cannot say. I think he carried the mantle well as the best player.

I do think he holds back on his internal thoughts out of respect. His praise is probably sincere, but deep down he’s a lot more critical of others than he lets on. I don’t think he likes Nadal (or playing him) as much as he says he does, but the respect is real.

Grendel, I like your posts for your objectivity. I think you are the one that dislikes Nadal but (begrudgingly perhaps) give him the credit he’s due.

For me, Fed’s character is more interesting than his tennis at the moment unlike for you. He’s got two guys that threaten to derail his ambitions now, not one. I’ll be watching closely how he reacts to this. His loss to Djokovic at AO 08 was like his loss to Safin at AO 05. It’s a rare one off that won’t happen very often again.


grendel Says:

Zola – I use the word “worship” of course in a metaphorical sense. It implies ardour. I think it stands. To say you “like Nadal a lot” – a rather cool way of putting it – strikes me as misleading. But I wasn’t being critical. There is more than one way of being a fan. That’s the whole point.


pistol pete fan Says:

federer fans make me sick with all their damn excuses for his failures. Nadal kicked him down and stomped his throat as rafa fans like me laughed with joy, keep it up rafa u r king rafa of the clay court forever!!!!!!!


zola Says:

grendel,
that’s OK grendel, lol!


Giner Says:

Something quickly forgotten.. Nadal may have been the ATP champion of 2008, but this time last year, Nadal had no titles to his name. He was facing a fall to #3 in the world with Djokovic’s rise, which he conceded was inevitable.

He didn’t win his first title until Monte Carlo on clay. No hard court titles at all until Toronto.

Now he owns the two biggest titles of the year, both taken from Djokovic who is now facing a slide to #4 instead of moving to #2.

That’s what confidence does. He’s built up a buffer over Federer to handle a slump that he can afford to face later in the year.


Von Says:

“…clearly Von adores Roddick.”

Oh grendel, you’ve made me laugh so much. Correction, I don’t adore Roddick, and this I need to explain, but in so doing, I’ll be accused of being ‘holier than thou’. My personal belief as a Christian, reserves adoration for the Almighty. It’s wrong to adore anyone or thing. Please don’t mistake my passion in defending Roddick, as ‘adoration’. I honestly wish there were more Roddick fans who would step forward in his defense, when he’s under attack, but sadly, there’s just a couple I can think of in addition to myself, and they don’t post often. As a result of that scenario, I defend him when I feel he is unjustly criticized, and I must add, I’m passionate in my defense – a character flaw perhaps, but every undertaking for me is dealt with passion, job, personal life, friendships, etc. I would gladly relinquish being in the limelight with my Roddick defense, because that places me in situations on these threads, I absolutely abhor, however, it’s difficult to read the slurs and turn a blind eye.

The Roddick I see is not just a tennis player, but a character with huge appeal. He’s got chutzpah, is generous and very glib with his pressers. I like that type of personality in a young man, and it’s the reason why I have supported him throughout his career — in essence he has depth of character.


Von Says:

Giner:

“Now he owns the two biggest titles of the year, both taken from Djokovic who is now facing a slide to #4 instead of moving to #2.”

With the aid of Andy Roddick. Djoko probably has a doll pushing pins in it every time he thinks of Roddick.


Von Says:

STAFF: Please fix the word-wrap on this thread. Thanks.


zola Says:

Giner,

Surely confidence is a very important factor. But where does it come from? from working hard and having good results. Going to AO Rafa was coiming out of an injury and had lost to Murray in an exo and to Monfils in Doha. Djoko was coming from being the winner of the master cup and the defending champion. If confidence is all it takes, then he should have done much better.Racquet change is not an excuse. Who will ruin his own career for some more dollars?

Roddick came from a not very good season. He wasn’t even in the talk and he admitted that he did not desrve to be in the big 4 conversation. But then on court his hard woek off season paid off.

It is not just confidence. Hard work and discipline goes a long way.

I remember Fed said once that he knew “by watching him people are watching greatness”. His fans take it as “being honest”. others might find it arrogant. But above all, I think this mentality created unnecessary pressure and perhaps panic Of the sort that costs him losses in AO and IW. He just faded away in the 5th set of AO and the third set against Murray.

Instead, if he thinks he is not perfect and can use a coach, or can improve a shot (say backhand!), that might take him much further, because talent and game, he has plenty.


sar Says:

Last year when Djok won AO I remember hearing that Laver was in the audience to hand the trophy #13 to Fed. The plan was #14 WIM and then #15 USO trophy to be handed him by Sampras in September. There is truth to the saying “don’t count your chickens…”

I think Rafa should play Miami and skip Barcelona, Valencia, and Monte Carlo–all non-essentials.
He is going to win Rome and other MS and make a complete MS set. Whichever ones he doesn’t have yet he will try to get this year and next. I think he will take FO, WIM and USO. Sorry but I don’t see anything standing in his way.


zola Says:

Sar
***I think he will take FO, WIM and USO. Sorry but I don’t see anything standing in his way.***

I would not speculate anything. As much as I love Rafa to win everything, I think it is best to just go one tournament at a time. You said yourself. let’s not count our chickens too early!


Giner Says:

zola: Last year he was getting a lot of talk about falling off the radar, and not being able to win on hard courts. And possibly being surpassed by Djokovic who looked like he might even become #1.

This year he wasn’t coming in with the best form but he was still the #1 player of 2008, so he’d met the expectation already. He’s handled the pressure of being #1 well, and I would argue that its given him more confidence, especially on hard court now with the AO win. It won’t last forever of course, but he’s not going to be written off like early last year.

sar:

New ATP rules say you have to play 4 ATP 500s in a year, with at least one coming after the US Open. He hasn’t played any yet, and in his post match interview said he was likely to play in Barcelona because it was 500 and he “had to”.

Now that Fed’s not playing MC, he ought to skip it himself. It’s the only 1000 event that isn’t mandatory. The clay season is too long for a guy like him, so he needs to take things into his own hands by pulling out of non mandatory events, except he won’t. Spain is hosting too many clay tournaments that he can’t pass up on.

It took a lot of effort beating Federer at Wimbledon, so it’s not a sure thing that he can keep it up again. US Open might depend on how much tennis he’s played by then. Clay and grass tournaments are packed very closely together. He’d play Queens straight after RG, then one week’s rest before Wimbledon. He usually trails off after Wimbledon because of all the tennis he plays before it and he won’t reduce his workload.

But who knows. Maybe Toni and Rafa have a plan for it all. He’s flattening his forehand and trying to serve better and volley better. Are they trying to shorten his matches and reduce the physicality of his game? Roddick said reducing the spin off his shots would make him easier to deal with.

Well, I trust that they know what they’re doing. It’s a big risk but whatever they do seems to work.


tenisbebe Says:

“Some people think that to be a fan of a player, one must automatically endorse everything about them. Apparently, this is what constitutes fandom.” grendel
Precisely – this is exactly how some “fans” view the state of supporting a player, as a all-or-none, fight-to-the-death proposition. I am not fanatical about any one player (not now at least) but admire & support a number of players, some more than others. This attitude sometimes gets me into trouble when posting as it’s not clear to others whether I am clearly for or against a player. And then sometimes it’s in my nature to root for the underdog :-)


tenisbebe Says:

Nadal quarter is a a piece of cake; Roddick has Safin, Monfils, Tursenov & Haas; Nalbandian is in Murray’s quarter!! Wouldn’t that be delicious! How is it Nalby is #15? I have to look this up.


zola Says:

tenisbebe
I think I commented on one of your comments about Rafa and the reason was that you accused him of gamemanship and I was trying to explain that it is not.

You can perfectly say that you don’t like what a player is doing but accusing someone is a few steps further and that is what sometimes initiates more heated discussions and maybe misunderstandings.

I like Rafa a lot but enjoy watching other players too. Murray, Gulbis, Nalby, just to name a few. But if they play against Rafa, he is the one I will cheer for.


zola Says:

Karlovic, Seppi, Andreev, Wawrinka are all very good players. Especially Karlovic on that surface can be a big challenge for Rafa.

The only one of concern in Roddick’s quarter is Monfils and that depends on how Monfils has woken up on that day. Safin and Haas are not dangerous anymore.


Lenny Says:

Zola: Thanks for posting that link. Wonderful article. Especially the part about him knowing and accepting he isn’t perfect, and he isn’t always going to win. Puts a great new perspective on his mental strength. I remember thinking, after the 4th set in the Wimby final: This is it. He’s blown it. Not even he can recover mentally from that. This is Fed’s yet again. And after it was over, I remember wondering for days on end. How?? How??? HOW did he put that behind him? Does he have some sort of magical selective memory or something?? :) Guess not. Guess unlike most of us, he just knows how to accept things not going his way.


fedster Says:

Calling Pete the best is meaningless. So come up with something better.


fedster Says:

Rafa’s draw is a cakewalk indeed! None’s gonna take a set away from him until he faces Murray.


margot Says:

Murray’s got to face Nalbandian first? Nalbandian on song could beat anyone. Look out my man!


zola Says:

Lenny
you are welcome. It was an interesting insight and it is so true that Rafa’s secret for success is maybe in that he accepts the challenge and adapts to it rather than being frustrated or angered by it.
That wimbledon come come back was amazing. But he had done it before in MonteCarlo and Hamburg and in Rome 2006. He was behind in the 5th set tie-break against Federer and next thing he was on the ground celebrating his victory. Things like that stays in people’s mind.


jane Says:

tenisbebe,

I think Nalbandian lost points so he’d drop a spot because of that. Last year I am pretty sure he made the semis at IW.

I tend to support lots of players too, even when I do have a current fave. Am really just addicted to tennis.

grendel raises an interesting point about liking a tennis player’s game as opposed to their character, although it seems really difficult to separate the two. Players do tend to display some of their character on the court and in pressers which affects how we see them overall. But if I think of an example which applies for me personally it’d have to be Nalbandain; he’s breath-taking to watch when he’s in the zone but I feel neither here nor there about him as a character. He keeps the personality pretty strongly under wraps it seems, even when he’s playing. Others, like for instance Tsonga, seem to sweat personality on the court. So I guess it just depends.

Von thanks for the link to the draw.

Looks like Andy R may have another shot at Federer in Miami this year; he’s got Monfils and Safin but I think he has good records against them. Djoko is probably freaking out as to get past the quarters he’ll have to beat Tsonga. But even before that he could meet Gulbis, Baggy, Berdych or Blake, which he *should be able to beat (though both Berdych and Baggy can be very dangerous on their day – Gulbis and Blake can be too but are error prone). Andy M could meet Nalby, which I’d love to see; I hope that comes to fruition. Then he’d have to get through Verdasco. Nadal’s draw does seem fairly easy; Karlovic can be tough but Rafa can beat him; I honesly see no real threats for him so he should get to the semis. Federer’s quarter also looks fairly negotiable; he’s got 4 qualifiers in his section alone!! No one other section has more than 2.


jane Says:

Maybe I misrepresented grendel there by saying that he raised the point about liking a player’s tennis “as opposed to” his character. I think he meant more that one doesn’t necessarily have to like both, and while it does seem difficult to separate game from character, especially when one is particularly passionate about a player, it’s definitely possible. I admired Lendl’s tennis a lot, his undying effort when he played, but he was a rather cold-seeming fella. Across the net was often mercurial Mac, whom I preferred, both for his game and his meltdowns. Anyhow, nuff said.


zola Says:

Is anyone doing the ATP bracket challenge? It is fun:
http://challenge.atpworldtour.com/


jane Says:

There is nothing earth-shattering about this draw-analysis, which picks Nadal over Federer in the final, but it does present each of quarters and the paths through; here’s the link for anyone who’s interested:

http://www.tennistalk.com/en/blog/Ricky_Dimon/20090324/Approach_Shots:_Nadal_goes_for_back-to-back_Masters_in_Miami


Giner Says:

“I remember thinking, after the 4th set in the Wimby final: This is it. He’s blown it. Not even he can recover mentally from that. This is Fed’s yet again. And after it was over, I remember wondering for days on end. How?? How??? HOW did he put that behind him? Does he have some sort of magical selective memory or something?? :) Guess not. Guess unlike most of us, he just knows how to accept things not going his way.”

I was surprised too Lenny. I was expecting it to go like the 07 5th set with Fed being too strong on the big points (BPs).

How he did it was answered in his presser. He told himself that he played two bad tiebreakers, but also told himself that he’s been playing very well. Just picked himself back up and went out there to do what he’d been doing the last 4 sets – playing good. He’d only been broken once in those 4 sets and was safe in knowing that Fed couldn’t steal it in another tie breaker.

jane Says:

“There is nothing earth-shattering about this draw-analysis, which picks Nadal over Federer in the final, but it does present each of quarters and the paths through; here’s the link for anyone who’s interested:”

Fed would be glad Nadal and Murray are on the same half. That way he only needs to face one of them. But I wonder, which would he prefer to meet? There is a lot more on the line if he faces Nadal than Murray. With Nadal, Fed was always the favourite on a hard court. If he loses to Nadal again on another hardcourt, Nadal would plant himself even deeper into Fed’s head. He’d no longer even have that hardcourt advantage anymore. Murray has been known to beat him on hardcourts already, so another loss there doesn’t change much.

I read this letter to Fed on his personal website (the one with legions of fans, some of which are now disillusioned):

Raed2007
22.03.2009

Dear Roger,

Roger just go coz now murray and nadal have shown everyone else just how poor your backhand and most importantly how mentally weak you are, it is only gonna get harder.

people will soon get tired of seeing you cry after you lose, no one is gonna come on the court to admire your shots anymore, it is time to fight so if you can’t, quit and spare us the embarassment

———-
All I can say to that is.. ouch. I hope Fed doesn’t read his letters.


jeanie o Says:

Nadal will always prevail He is a consumate Player with the will to win under any conditions


grendel Says:

“…while it does seem difficult to separate game from character..” (jane). Yes, of course, since character, after all, is simply the sum a person’s activities (including mental ones). My comment was crude, and not to be taken too literally. Even so, one doesn’t have to get drawn altogether into a person’s character, even if one can never be entirely oblivious to it. I rather value the fact that I know almost nothing about Nalbandian – although, I did hear a somewhat discreditable story (you all want to know what it was, don’t you? whereas if I had said “creditable” story, yawns all round; funny lot, aren’t we?)

As for what comprises “good” character or “bad” character, I pass on that one. It’s worth noting, though, that literature, film etc would be insipid affairs without the bad, the disgusting, the tiresome, the appalling and so on. No thrillers without the wicked (should we give them a pension?), not to mention policemen out of work. When my dentist tells me she is interested in the welfare of my dental equipment, or what’s left of it, I am thinking, yes, but you don’t want to be too successful, do you? Paradox is everywhere, including the tennis court. We need heroes? Possibly so, but we enjoy waxing self-righteous over the villains, do we not? Of course, some double up as both hero and villain – rather depends whose are the eyes doing the reckoning.

In any case, you don’t pick the people you like on moral grounds. One can – I can, perhaps I should say – find someone, and that includes tennis players, endearing or loathsome for really pretty silly or at any rate eccentric reasons. Of course, if you’re a certain type of person, you might be inclined to give these little tics of yours moral weight. Sometimes, hard not to, and then you can feel a little silly when you suddenly find yourself developing a certain sneaking affection for a player you’d always thought you couldn’t stand. Hasty revision of the moral chart….

Giner

That’s an intriguing letter on the Federer website, I mean, how does it work, do people just post, as on this site? There is no monitoring? Somehow, one expects a player’s website to be a fullyfledged brown nosed affair. I am ignorant of these matters. On the face of it, Federer is to be commended for allowing such hostile comment. But perhaps it doesn’t work like that. D’you happen to know?


sar Says:

Jane maybe someone else can beat Tsonga before Djok.


jane Says:

That’s true sar, but on the other hand, I’d like to see Djoko beat him to get their rivalry back on track, not so one-sided. And Tsonga is usually fun to watch also. We’ll see, draws don’t always go the way we expect, that’s for sure.


tenisbebe Says:

margot Says:

“Murray’s got to face Nalbandian first? Nalbandian on song could beat anyone. Look out my man!”

No, not first, but Nalby is in his quarter.


tenisbebe Says:

zola Says: “tenisbebe I think I commented on one of your comments about Rafa and the reason was that you accused him of gamemanship and I was trying to explain that it is not.” I understand. We agree to disagree.

“You can perfectly say that you don’t like what a player is doing but accusing someone is a few steps further and that is what sometimes initiates more heated discussions and maybe misunderstandings.” Yes, sometimes I step over the line & this provokes “heated discussions”.

“I like Rafa a lot but enjoy watching other players too. Murray, Gulbis, Nalby, just to name a few. But if they play against Rafa, he is the one I will cheer for.” Right, I recognize, for example, that you will defend Rafa, Jane will defend Djoko & Von will defend Roddick but this does not mean that if others “criticize” these players they don’t “like” them; maybe they (I) just don’t like the circumstances.

I respect your opinions Zola & hope that we “agree to disagree” more favorably in the future.


zola Says:

tennisbebe
I respect your opinion too and appreciate the fact that you are trying not to be confrontational. All the best to you.


fedster Says:

Fed’s arrogant, but sincere, honest and truthful too. Only Roddick and Nole are the other two honest guys. I like the cockiness of Fed. I too am stubborn, egoistic and arrogant! VON, BE CAREFUL! ;-) :-)


fedster Says:

After all, being arrogant is a part of succesful guy! But I still must remind everyone that Fed’s one of the most gracious men to have ever graced tennis. He after shows due respect to all the senior players like Sampras, he’s full of respect for him. Fed’s really humble when in front of Sir Rod Laver, don’t you see that? Why should anyone hope him bowing to the youger guys? After all it’s quite natural for a succesful senior to behave a bit authoritatively with his juniors; and this is the case with Roger Federer too. You’d never find Sampras considering/speaking of Fed as better than him, even though he clearly appreciates Federer’s effort! But Sampras without hesitation may speak of more highly/praisefully about Sir Rod Laver’s greatness. Similarly Fed’ll always talk nicer things about Pistol Pete than he’d ever about Rafa/any other young man, even if he surpasses him in achievements, it’s natural and it’s obvious and it’s also human nature. So better stop thinking of Fed as arrogant if he doesn’t bow down to a much younger guy,Fed never would! Fed has profusely praised Rafa, Novak and Murray with so many good words for them, don’t you try to ignore that! He needn’t do anything more to show his appreciation towards Rafa or others. Think about it! And how can Rafa fans forget what Fed said about Rafa reaching the top spot! Fed clearly acknowledged then, gracefully and like a true champion, that Rafa became no.1 not due to he himself badly, but rather because of Rafa performing better than him in every aspect of tennis! WHAT MORE DO THE OTHER PLAYERS’ FANS EXPECT FED TO HAVE DONE? I salute Federe’s spirit!


fedster Says:

I mean don’t think of Fed as too arrogant!


zola Says:

fedster,
you are too funny. You had to post a few times to convince yourself that Fed is not arrogant and is gracious! well, he says things that might not go well with that. But I am sure no one can convince you otherwise!


grendel Says:

Zola
You have misunderstood Fedster. He has not tried to convince himself that Fed is not arrogant and is gracious. He has opined that Federer is both arrogant AND gracious. You clearly think that is impossible, which is presumably why you have simply missed what he has said. Shades of grey have never been to your taste, Zola. I on the contrary (though I can’t speak for Fedster) see almost everything as conducted in shades of one sort or another – and am extremely suspicious of behaviour purporting to be of the black and white variety.

This is deja vu time, isn’t it Zola – we’ve had this one out before, so there is no chance of us agreeing. Every now and then, though, positions have to be restated – otherwise, it might be assumed they have been abandoned.

First of all, calling yourself “great” is not necessarily arrogant. Can a person be objective about his own gifts, particularly if he is unusually gifted? In principle, certainly. In practice, it varies, and people have to make their own judgements, which are certainly subjective. When Pete Sampras said of himself – as he did a year or so ago – that when he was serving at 130 and regularly hitting the lines, he regarded himself as pretty well unbeatable, he was making a huge claim, was he not. Clearly his statement was not delusional, either. It may or may not have been delivered in an arrogant spirit. You certainly can’t tell from the cold print – which is one reason why, Zola, the judgements you make on Federer are often suspect, since they are dependent on Google scrutiny; there is no context, no body language, no facial expressions which temper hugely what is said – in short, they constitute, at best, incomplete evidence. To get back to Sampras, I watched him make that statement, and he was obviously giving his honest opinion. We’re still in slightly tricky waters, since people like Sampras, Federer, Nadal etc are predisposed to think highly of their own abilities – they are hardly searchers after pure truth (whatever that is: still, we can aspire) – and this entails a degree of arrogance, cockiness, call it what you will. But I didn’t see Sampras as boasting.

Federer is undoubtedly, sometimes, a sore loser. You could ascribe this to arrogance – he is simply not prepared to accept that the better man won. There again, it might be suggestive of a relatively frail psyche; that is not about arrogance, although it is certainly about weakness. You might want to say, enough of all this armchair psychologising. However, the trouble is, once you start on the road to labelling people as arrogant, you have entered the psychological domain. You have made a claim, and some of us are going to question that claim, and I don’t see how else you can do it but by considering the evidence – all of it, not just cold print.

Consider Nadal. He is notoriously “modest” in his interviews. But equally, this has been questioned. Are we really to believe that public relations, strategy (vis-a-vis pressure, for instance) play no role in this alleged modesty? And if some of the modesty is in fact false, might this not be interpreted as a rather subtle and even disgusting form of arrogance? Harsh words, Zola, but you should be aware that this is what some people genuinely think. Doesn’t mean they are right, but the case is at least as plausible as the one you make for Federer being outstandingly arrogant (for your claim is not just that Federer is arrogant, which most of us can accept, but that he is overweeningly so).

Again, arrogance can be expressed in a multitude of ways. I have always found Nadal’s demeanour on court to be hugely arrogant. That is a deeply personal and subjective feeling, I accept. But I hold it. I cannot not hold it. I have not arrived at this feeling as a result of pure contemplation or careful sifting of the evidence. On the contrary, I am overwhelmed by powerful negatuve emotion which I deeply dislike actually, bit not much I can do about it. The reaction is absolutely instinctive. And yet at the same time, I can clearly see that there is a modest, boy-next-doorish element to Nadal. Contradiction? Absolutely! We are, most of us I suggest, compounded of contradictions.

So of course Federer can be gracious as well as arrogant – in principle. As a matter of fact, I’m not entirely sure what is meant by this graciousness business, so I’ll bow out of that one. But I see no objection in theory. And meanwhile, I have always heard that away from tennis, Federer is (like Nadal) surprisingly modest and unassuming. I don’t know whether this is true or not. But I have no problems in squaring it with other, less agreeable behaviours.

For goodness sake, we’re all a bloody mixture! There are no saints, just people, who sometimes be nice and sometimes be nasty.


jane Says:

“we’re all a bloody mixture! There are no saints, just people, who sometimes be nice and sometimes be nasty.”

Indeed.

I just thought fedster was clarifying his thoughts; sometimes it takes me 2, 3, even 4 posts to get to what I really want to say.

As for Rafa, he has opening admitted to playing “unbelievable match no?” in the past, so there is not necessarily anything wrong with that.

People have always called Djokovic cocky, arrogant, etc, but I’ve always thought that he was mainly on the insecure and sensitive side; we can’t always take things at face-value.


jane Says:

opening s/b openly.


jane Says:

I should add, that Djokovic might in fact be arrogant about some things (not at the moment perhaps) and insecure about others. That’s the nature of the beast.

Who was it that said something to the effect of paradoxes are where wisdom is to be found?

Anyhow, see – I’ve just posted 3 times to try to make one point. LOL.


fedster Says:

Zola, I needn’t convince myself or anyone else about Fed’s graciousness & humilty, because none can question his honesty and integrity, it’s there for everyone to see. Of course if one doesn’t want to accept the truth, then it’s another thing, I can’t help much in this regard. However I again submit at the same time that Fed’s arrogant and proud too, that goes very well with me and he matches my character in this respect. Fed’s has maximum respect for past players like Sampras, Borg and Laver. But he will never consider your Rafa as better than him, no body in his place would have done that either ! And by the way as much as you and many others here think that Fed’s arrogant, be sure of Nadal’s arrogance too. The way Nadal celebrates each point is just the way I celebrate each goal of mine and one thing’s common between both me and Nadal- we both are contemptous about our opposition while our celebrations and have utter disregard for their presence while doing our job while playing. I fist-pump after my goal and Rafa fist-pumps while winning a point and we both have a pretty similar attitude at that time. By the way praisng an already well- established senior player’s the minimum one’d expect from a young champ. That’s why Nadal’s always graceful towards Fed after defeating him in a slam final. He almost hesitates to celebrate too much and that’s why Rafa celebrates gracefully and in a restrained manner after each defeat he inflicts on Federer. This is what’s called manners. Fed also very gracefully conducted himself during the award ceremony of 2004 US OPEN after beating Agassi. He paid tribute to Agassi in the manner Rafa pays him his respects after beating Fed to lift GS trophies. So nothing special or astonishing about it. So finally you need to accept that Fed’s a good guy with great demeanours too. And most importantly you must not think that everybody is buying into Rafa’s modesty. Just as Fed’s humility is questioned by his critics, Rafa’s modesty’s also bound to undergo scrutiny. And don’t please try to convince anyone about Rafa’s modesty, we know that he’s a good guy. Similarly everyone excluding the anti Feds know that Fed’s as good and graceful as the cool and gentle ICE-BORG or anybody else has ever been! And I’m not the one who believes in the sainthood of Fed, but IT SEEMS it’s you who are sure that Rafa’s character has no blemish! Don’t mind as I’m telling you only as a friend. I know that you are among the friendliest ones on tennis-x and that’s why I’d like to interact with you.


fedster Says:

Zola, I’m shocked to see you telling that Fed’s to be considered completely arrogant and ungracious! However it’s ok with me as to what you think . You have every right as a friend to share your true feelings with me.


Von Says:

tenisbebe: I posted the following on the other thread: “backhands hammered”, but maybe it might get lost and you won’t see it.

tenisbebe: It wasn’t you either, mentioning/comparing the draws but let’s forget that, it’s not even worth talking about. I just wondered when I saw the post where Roddick fitted into the picture.

You wanted to talk about Andy R’s IW SF performance, let’s do that whenever you get on line.

You mentioned: “Monet talks”, but you meant ‘money’ talks, you were so close to the truth there unbeknownst to you, because if you want to buy a ‘Monet’ you definitely need the money to do so. Hence, whichever way you look at it, ‘Monet’ and money talks. Ha, ha.


Von Says:

Has anyone found live streaming for today’s Miami matches. Some very good matches are being played, too bad nothing’s being shown on the usual streaming sites.


Giner Says:

grendel,

Fed’s site is structured like a blog. There’d be news posts detailing his wins, and losses, though the losses are usually reported in a very curt manner. The site members there number in the thousands (there are hundreds of times more people posting on his site than here). Victories get floods of replies from fans congratulating him and calling him the best forever, and with losses, the fans would write letters (Dear Roger,) of commiseration, reminding him that he is still the best and will get Nadal/Murray back next time (incl. winning the French Open this year).

Sometimes a fan would get disgruntled and write something like that. I doubt Fed has time to read it all. He does write messages addressed to his fans though, and answer mailbags from time to time.

He has a forum also and it too is full of traffic. Each topic can be over a hundred pages long. The readership at Fed’s site outnumbers this one by thousands, and that would explain why Fed wins every poll here by a huge margin. His legions of fans vote in our polls, and that legion outnumbers any other player’s groupies.

Hostile comments on his site are allowed most likely because no one moderates it or reads them. Fed never replies personally to anyone’s messages. Whenever he speaks its in his own entry. He even sends out newsletters from time to time, describing his adventures. He is always gracious in his newsletters explaining his defeats (as you would expect him to be).

I used to read stuff there to see if people have changed and if his fans have matured. Now it’s too much to read. But things have changed a bit. There are message threads there were fans would discuss what Fed needs to do to beat Rafa and Murray. It’s always easier said than done though, and most are aware that Fed knows more about tennis than they do and doesn’t like being given ‘advice’ on how to beat people. If Fed doesn’t know how to beat Nadal, then neither would his fans, which some concede.

I always find his site amusing for a quick read on fan reaction when he loses. They are predominantly in denial about his situation. “You will beat him next time,” and “he was lucky, today was just not your day, you are a much better player than him and you were just unlucky on big points, etc..” sums it up.

Few on the blog section actually acknowledge that there is a problem. This guy was one of them, if a bit blunt. Back in the day, Nadal would be criticised as being a one surface wonder, incapable of playing on surfaces outside of clay.. and when he won on a hardcourt, they’d call it a slow hardcourt. Players who beat him (like Safin, Gasquet, and other upsets) would get dedicated message threads detailing their losses and how pathetic they are when they do.

I do find the site worth visiting, but there are just too many messages to actually bother reading. He is the most popular player in the world if the internet is a good sample of fandom.


Giner Says:

An SI reader wrote in to Jon Wertheim asking about Nadal’s modesty, and here’s his answer.

Does Nadal have the best PR person, or does this all come naturally to him? The guy seems to handle himself in a way that I don’t think we’ve seen from some of these younger players. The respect he continues to show to Federer seems genuine. How does he do it?
– Erin, Sudbury, Mass.

• A good first question on the day Jelena Jankovic bashes Roger Federer but claims to admire Nadal for his modesty. For the record, Nadal does have a PR rep on the payroll, who does right by him. But clearly this “comes naturally” to him as well. As we discussed last week: anyone can spew a few slick talking points into a microphone. Yet when your rival unexpectedly breaks down in tears and you have the wherewithal to step up and console him, you’re revealing much more about your nature.

What’s the source of this authentic good-guy-ness? Nadal was clearly “raised right” by a mom and dad who don’t exactly cut the figure of stage parents. While Nadal’s island of Majorca has a reputation as a trendy Euro-destination, Nadal’s hometown of Manacors is an unassuming, close-knit place where class distinctions are fuzzy and folks go to great lengths to conceal their wealth. Nadal’s uncle, Miguel Angel, the former pro soccer player, was the proverbial “role model,” who offered an example of how a pro athlete ought to conduct himself. Give some credit to Federer, too, for demonstrating the top player can win everything in sight and still show grace and humility.

But I think the biggest influence is Uncle Nadal, or “Uncle Hard Ass,” as Pete Bodo and I have taken to calling him. I think the Republic of Tennis has grown skeptical of the relative-cum-coach. But in this case, the player’s uncle not only possesses a first rate tennis cortex, but also is one of the coaches who shapes lives. At an early age, he impressed upon Nadal that “just because you can hit a tennis ball well doesn’t mean you’re better than anyone else.”

As Nadal ascended the org chart, there was uncle to make sure the kid stayed humble. A promoter offers to fly Nadal and his camp to a tournament. No thanks, says Toni, we already bought train tickets. Nadal goes to the practice courts at the 2008 U.S. Open and realizes he’s forgotten his water bottles in the locker room. Never mind the eager volunteer happy to assist the tournament’s top seed; Uncle T. (Raffa = Christopher Moltisanti?) makes his nephew run back and get it. A doctor offers to see Nadal immediately; no, says uncle, he’ll take a seat in the waiting room like every one else.

You could write an entire chapter about Nadal’s pleasant off-court personality and how jarringly at odds it is with on-court ferocity. But give the kid his due. He not only challenges Federer’s skill but also gives him a run in the mensch department.


Giner Says:

Here’s a very informative article about Nadal from Bodo: http://tennisworld.typepad.com/tennisworld/2009/02/rafa.html

It covers his dynamics of Toni’s mentoring, and the effect Federer has on his game. I highly recommend the read, but here’s an excerpt.


Nadal has always seemed sufficiently earthy not only to enjoy this condition, but to accept what discomfort comes along with it. The overt physicality of his game is not just a matter of style, it’s also a dimension of personality. Don’t you get the sense that if you could attach a happiness meter to his nervous system, it would register the highest score when he’s chasing like mad after a seemingly irretrievable ball? In this, Nadal has been uncorrupted by prudence or fancy notions of “energy management”, which can lead down the road to self-created limitations.

Nadal seems to have steered clear of such pitfalls thanks in part to his coach and uncle, Toni. One of the more interesting things Toni told me at the last US Open was that while developing Rafa, he would sometimes make him practice with old balls, or take him to a broken-down old court, just to impress on him that playing only under ideal conditions is inadequate training for adversity. The lesson took: nobody in today’s game handles adversity better than Nadal.

This ability to absorb lessons is one of Rafa’s trademark characteristics, and while it’s counter-intuitive to think of a great champion as a great student, this seems to be the case. Nadal is a model student; he respects his teachers, and no matter what he achieves, it never seems to occur to him that he’s outgrown them, or has come to know more. He may have greater talent, and he may achieve more success, but it doesn’t change the established order.

This has less impact in his role as a pupil of Toni’s than it does in his relationship to his other great mentor. . . Roger Federer. Think about it: Who set the bar for Rafa? Who painted the baseline of greatness for him? Who handled himself with the kind of statesmanlike dignity that a good, obedient, eager and intelligent young learner might want to emulate? Isn’t it odd, at some level, that this rivalry has been utterly free of acrimony, given the way that Jimmy Connors trash-talked Bjorn Borg, and John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl took every opportunity to express their mutual antipathy?

Rafa may have eclipsed his mentor, but I believe that while he’s well aware of the situation and proud of what he’s accomplished, he’s not inclined to think of it in those terms. There’s a lot more than good manners, tact and a kindly disposition at work in this; there’s also a certain purity of spirit. Nobody appreciates TMF more than Rafa does, because nobody has done more for him than Federer. I can imagine Rafa experiencing many emotions on the heels of this win, but gloating isn’t one of them. I thought that the consolation he offered Federer after the podium breakdown was telling; Nadal didn’t need to think for a moment of what to do, or how to handle the situation. He threw his arm around Federer and produced one of the most genuine smiles I’ve ever seen cross his elastic, expressive features. The gesture seemed to come from the heart, and testify to how large it is.

—————————–
And here’s a short interview with Toni dating back to 07: http://www.tennis.com/features/general/features.aspx?id=108044

The guy is quite smart and well spoken. He saw the rise of Del Potro before most of us even heard of him. He says people who think Nadal’s game is too physical are wrong also, and he comments on some other players. Lastly he speaks about the prospects of Nadal reaching No.1 (remember, it’s dated 2007).

I enjoy listening to this guy. We rarely get to hear anything from him. He is very insightful.


tenisbebe Says:

There was also an article in the Jan/Feb 2009 edition of Tennis magazine titled “The Making of a Champion” by Bodo, very interesting article.


jane Says:

I have no idea what Bodo means by this: “while it’s counter-intuitive to think of a great champion as a great student”. Why or how is that counter-intuitive? In fact it seems to make perfect sense that a great champion is also a great learner, able to adapt and learn as needed in order to win. I guess it goes back to this idea of “natural” talent versus learned and then we get into that whole nature versus nurture debate. But I still see no reason why a great champion wouldn’t or couldn’t also be an excellent student. What often underlies a great student, in my experience, is curiosity but also a strong desire to succeed, to excel, to go further, to be the best.


zola Says:

fedster
***
Zola, I’m shocked to see you telling that Fed’s to be considered completely arrogant and ungracious! However it’s ok with me as to what you think . You have every right as a friend to share your true feelings with me.***

where did I say that fedster?

I did not mean to offend you or other Fed fans. I understand that something that I don’t like about Fed might be very attractive to you or grendel or other fans. That’s why I said that no one can convince you otherwise and that’s completely OK with me too.

when someone says ” I wanted to put him out of his misery” ( after winning JMDP very decisively) or after losing to Rafa in Wimbledon 08 says ” losing over a bit of light” or after losing to him in AO says ” not always the best player wins in the best of five ” , I don’t consider that modesty, but you might and both are completely fine.

Similarly, you or Grendel might find Rafa’s manners a matter of pretence or a tactic and to me they are quite genuine. No one says everyone should think the same. So that’s OK with me too.

and thanks for your kind words about me. very nice of you.


Ezorra Says:

Something out of the topic guys…

Andy Murray said: “If I win 86 per cent of my service games throughout the year, I think I finish No 1 in the world.”

Actually at first, I’m kind of worry to read this statement. However, I was flattered by the words “I think” that he used during the interview which mean that his statement is all about his prediction only.

Having said that, we all know that there is a very tiny line between confidence and arrogant. Honestly, I believe that he said that because he feels confident with himself. Unfortunately, there’ll be a lot of other people who think otherwise too.

As Claire state on the other site,

“Does anyone remember if Federer said he would be #1 by such and such a date? I don’t think Nadal said he’d be #1 within a certain period of time. Nadal just kinda all of the sudden was there!”

To me, Murray’s statement is a normal statement but very risky one because people will have a lot of things to say (which may not very nice) to him if he fails to achieve that as what happen to Djokovic.


Ezorra Says:

“…However, I was flattered…”

The word flattered should be changed to “released.” Sorry for my poor English!


Ezorra Says:

I mean ‘relieved!’ Shame on you Ezorra!!!


fedster Says:

“Q. What’s your main concern: reaching No. 1 or holding off the up-and-coming players?

Toni Nadal: I’m not worried about Federer at all. I think the opposite: Roger motivates us, it’s a big hope we have, to become No. 1 one day, but it’s not our main goal right now. The new ones coming, they are our main concern. Not only Djokovic, of course he’s a great player, but also Nalbandian. If he’s willing to, he could become no. 1 in the world. Murray, Gasquet, Berdych, Ferrer… the new generation is coming strong and if you blink, you lose.

Q. About the No. 1 spot, your mindset could be that Federer is older, so Rafa could have the chance one day in the future…

Toni Nadal: No, I don’t think that way, because tennis changes every minute. Now we are No. 2 and then you can have Del Potro… I didn’t mention him before, but he will be in the top group soon and he could be the next no. 2. Everything is relative here. You have to give credit to where you are: being the No. 2 player in the world with Federer as the only one up there, it’s a privilege.”

I like it!


fedster Says:

“Q. What’s your main concern: reaching No. 1 or holding off the up-and-coming players?

Toni Nadal: I’m not worried about Federer at all. I think the opposite: Roger motivates us, it’s a big hope we have, to become No. 1 one day, but it’s not our main goal right now. The new ones coming, they are our main concern. Not only Djokovic, of course he’s a great player, but also Nalbandian. If he’s willing to, he could become no. 1 in the world. Murray, Gasquet, Berdych, Ferrer… the new generation is coming strong and if you blink, you lose.

Q. About the No. 1 spot, your mindset could be that Federer is older, so Rafa could have the chance one day in the future…

Toni Nadal: No, I don’t think that way, because tennis changes every minute. Now we are No. 2 and then you can have Del Potro… I didn’t mention him before, but he will be in the top group soon and he could be the next no. 2. Everything is relative here. You have to give credit to where you are: being the No. 2 player in the world with Federer as the only one up there, it’s a privilege.”………..

I like it!


fedster Says:

Zola, you thnk that Fed’s always arrogant but the same is not truth. Arrogance crept into his personality only around 2007 and before that he was definitely ‘THE GRACEFUL’ guy. As I have said it before, I repeat it again that don’t expect Fed to bow down to Rafa or say (or even think of!) Rafa/any other younger guy for that matter as a superior player. Fed’s earned every right to speak boldly and even with some amount of disdain about the other players. I don’t think that Rafa’d speak too highly of any future player who comes and defeats him continuously and is 4/5/6 years younger to him if Rafa by that time had won 12 or more slams. So DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY ! :-)


grendel Says:

“I understand that something that I don’t like about Fed might be very attractive to you or grendel or other fans. That’s why I said that no one can convince you otherwise and that’s completely OK with me too.”

But that isn’t true – Fed’s arrogance was not denied, it was a matter of whether he could be arrogant AND gracious. You have not addressed that, Zola. And b.t.w., I don’t find things Federer says very attractive. Sometimes he talks alright,sometimes he talks manifest drivel, sometimes he is fair, sometimes he is sour. Sounds about standard, to me, as a normal representative of homo sapiens. That’s how I regard Federer, as a very normal person indeed striving to cope with quite exceptional circumstances. In this respect, I don’t think he does too bad. Sometimes, he talks such nonsense one feels impelled to point it out(I never talk nonsense, especially under pressure; that goes without saying; you, too, are free of this debility; let us congratulate each other….)

What does get my goat is this endless carping. Take Zola’s quotes: “I wanted to put him out of his misery” (re del Potro). Not tactfully put, in a second or third language of course, but neither modest nor arrogant – just a statement of fact. Zola perhaps thinks Federer was gloating? That’s clearly wrong. “losing over a bit of light” : pretty human, that sounds to me; definitely not very gracious, rather bitter. Oh, dear! Lock him up, we must never, even for an instant, even immediately after suffering a traumatic defeat, we must never be bitter. That will never do. But: what, in any case, has modesty or arrogance got to do with it? “not always the best player wins in the best of five”. Again, somewhat sour – but arrogant? Get a dictionary, lass! Notice, too, that in the latter 2 statements, there is truth, but it is selective. Not an attractive trait – but
it’s normal. Who doesn’t tend to be selective with the truth? That’s what people do, for God’s sake, haven’t you noticed. All of us do it all the time on this very site. Why go on and on and on about it with Federer? He is undoubtedly arrogant, and he is also sometimes surprisingly modest given the attention he gets – not easy to deal with, I shouldn’t have thought.

“you or Grendel might find Rafa’s manners a matter of pretence or a tactic and to me they are qiute genuine.” Again, there is this all or nothing business. That’s why I said you worshipped Nadal, Zola. Everyone pretends sometimes, without exception. Nadal is no fool, he understands the importance of taking the pressure off himself, and he has his way of doing it. It is not a sin. It is normal. Nadal is normal. On court he is, in my view, hugely arrogant. That is how he comes across. More arrogant than Federer? No. Just shows it in a different way. Nadal on court exhibits the supreme arrogance of a successful warrior. Note that for many people, far from being a criticism this is the greatest compliment you can pay to Nadal.Depends where you are coming from, I suppose. But to say that Nadal is not arrogant strikes me as peculiar. And here we come to the rub. For Federer is arrogant in the same way as Nadal – he’s just, frankly, not as imposing. Not for want of trying however.

That is where the true story of arrogance lies. All this picking up of meaningless bits and pieces from pressers and so on – that’s just tiny, tiny stuff. Kind of interesting, I don’t deny. But the real story of the person, what he’s like and so on (and how he will be remembered, too) is to be gathered out there, in the field of battle. That’s where it counts.


zola Says:

fedster,
I think you are stretching my conclusions. This is all I wrote:

*******
fedster,
you are too funny. You had to post a few times to convince yourself that Fed is not arrogant and is gracious! well, he says things that might not go well with that. But I am sure no one can convince you otherwise!
**********

and that’s because it took you three posts. You started with saying Fed is arrogant and you like it and then the last one was that he is not. That’s what I was referring to. I don’t have to agree or disagree with what Fed says or does. I actually like a few things about him. His locks are great, he has a childish laugh, very sincere and his favorite band is metallica. Besides, when his tennis is on, it is great to watch. Not being a Fed fan, I completely enjoyed Rafa-Fed match in the master cup semis of 2006. I like his one-handed backhand and often watch his slow motion backhand. It is a real beauty.
I also like the fact that he tries year after year to be in the FO and other clay court finals, even though he might lose and get grilled by the media. It takes a lot of courage to do that.

I don’t like some of his statements and I think at times he has been less than kind to other players. But you don’t need to convince me and I don’t need to convince you of anything. That’s the beauty of a mix and discussion board like this. As long as everyone respects each other.

Grendel my dear,
A bit too familair of a road. Innit?


zola Says:

Jane,
I think arrogance is often a mask for insecurity so I quite agree with your assesment of Djoko.

I have not been his biggest fan, but he has managed to stay in the top for more than two years, showing that he belongs there. I hope he passes throgh this phase and regains his confidence very soon.


jane Says:

Me too zola; this “phase” is not good. It’s rather painful to watch the matches when you’re clamping your hands onto the seat wondering “will it go in or go into the stands?” Sigh.

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