Nadal, Federer Near Final Meeting in Madrid
by Sean Randall | May 16th, 2009, 10:30 am
  • 144 Comments

Arguably the best rivalry in tennis right now is just moments away from resuming as Rafael Nadal bids for his 33rd consecutive clay court win against Novak Djokovic in the first semifinal at the Tennis Masters Madrid. In the latter semi, Roger Federer meets Juan Martin Del Potro.

Handicapping both matches is pretty straight forward. Until someone beats Nadal on the dirt I’ll continue to back the Spaniard especially in his home country. Djokovic has been playing his best tennis of the season the last month, but based he’s never beaten Nadal on clay in eight prior tries and I don’t think that trend changes today.

But Novak should be comforted in knowing that all the pressure in the world is rests on Nadal, so the Serb should be feeling loose. I expect a tough match and if Nadal’s underperforms Djokovic has the ability to pull the upset.

After getting waxed at the Australian Open by the Swiss, Juan Martin Del Potro gets another shot at Roger Federer. Del Potro is coming off one of his biggest career wins yesterday, an impressive straight set victory over birthday boy Andy Murray which assured Federer the No. 2 seed at Roland Garros.

Federer’s playing a little better than what I saw from him at Monte Carlo but the fact that he lost a set to Andy Roddick on clay is somewhat troubling. Del Potro has the game to hurt Roger (who doesn’t these days?) but like we saw from Fernando Verdasco, I think the moment and the occasion will also catch up to DelPo.

DelPo has never won a single set against the Swiss in four prior meeting, and even though he’s playing much better now I think the Swiss will get through in a tight affair.


Also Check Out:
Andy Murray Withdraws From Madrid Due To A Back Injury
Safina Wins 2nd Straight Title at WTA Madrid
Roger Federer: Madrid Court is Probably Quicker Than Miami [Video]
Novak Djokovic Withdraws From Madrid Due To Right Wrist Injury
Nadal Handed Madrid Title by Nishikori

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144 Comments for Nadal, Federer Near Final Meeting in Madrid

Sean Randall Says:

Early going it’s all Djokovic who leads 4-2. Nadal is making a lot of errors but seems to be settling down. Can Novak maintain as Rafa raises his level?


Yan Says:

Sean, know where I can watch this online? Thanks!


jane Says:

All I can say is for ONCE Djoko got the first set.


Kimmi Says:

This is great for NOVAk, First set in the bag..hope he can keep it up.


Sean Randall Says:

Trainer out to see Rafa who’s ahead 2-1 on serve in the second.


Giner Says:

Anyone have a feed where I can watch this very interesting match? I can’t find it on channelsurfing.


Giner Says:

Sean, are you watching this on cable or through a web stream? If the latter, where are you seeing it?


jane Says:

http://atdhe.net/

It’s one of the links, the one where when you click on it you get an arrow in a blue circle.

Rafa’s picking up his level now.


Sean Randall Says:

I’m watching on the tennis channel (US). You may try the tennis masters site (shell out the bucks) or I’ve heard of justin.tv.

Nadal starting to raise his level. 4-3 on serve.


Giner Says:

Thanks jane and Bubit. This could be Nadal’s first loss on clay. Don’t want to miss it.


Giner Says:

Ahahaha!

Just when things got good (Nadal saved 2 virtual match points to bring it to Deuce), I was called a ‘stream thief’ and kicked out.


jane Says:

Djoko blew his chances there…


jane Says:

Is this the second trainer call for Rafa? What’s wrong with him?


jane Says:

Ah I see – a re-wrap.


Kimmi Says:

Yes he did, that was a big chance. but nadal played two big serves. Very aggressive on Break points.


jane Says:

Giner did you find another source?

http://zulu.mk/kanal5-plus


Giner Says:

It took a lot of loops but I found one at http://football366.com/.

It was mostly links to links to more links. This one appears to be stable.. for now.

I missed most of the drama.

OOPS, just as I typed this, the feed I was watching died. I may have to shell out for ATP Masters access after all.


Giner Says:

From what little I’ve seen, Nadal is playing very aggressively, going for winners and missing. He hasn’t been playing with the patience he’s known for. Is that how it’s been all match?


Kimmi Says:

Its amazing how nadal can get a good serve on breakpoints.


Giner Says:

This has been a high quality match, even if it ends in 2 sets. Djokovic must fancy himself second favourite to win the French.

I can see that these two enjoy playing each other. Neither player is going to complain about the other taking too long between points.


jane Says:

I am actually amazed that Djoko is doing as well as he is considering he’s only put in 58% of first serves. I think if he was serving better, this match might (?) be over? Or at least, he’d have more energy to put into trying to break Rafa. The crowd is totally rallying around Rafa now.


Daniel Says:

Djoko didn~t face a single break point, let´s see if he can hold to force a tiebreak.


jane Says:

That’s what amazes me Daniel – how come he hasn’t faced a break point when putting in so many second serves? Has he changed up something in his serve?


Kimmi Says:

This is great. Tie break. C’mon Djoko


jane Says:

Tiebreak…good hold Nole. Even if Djoko loses now, I’ll still be happy. He’s really playing well and holding it together. But a third set OBVIOUSLY favors Rafa! :)


Sean Randall Says:

Good drama. Novak has never won a tiebreak against Rafa (0-3). Amazing.


jane Says:

Giner says “Djokovic must fancy himself second favourite to win the French.”

The way you word this I assume you don’t fancy him the second favorite? I guess, if we just based things on this season’s clay results, Djoko would have to be the second favorite. Even last year at the French, ONLY Djoko took Rafa to a tiebreak and their semi wss way more entertaining, imo, than the final between Federer and Nadal.

Sean – gack – didn’t realize that he’d never won a breaker against Rafa. Doesn’t bode well for Novak then does it?


Sean Randall Says:

Wow! That 4-3 point was like a knock-out punch for Rafa. Incredible. Let’s see if Novak can recover.


Kimmi Says:

WOW ! Nadal is sooo tough ! incredible


jane Says:

Well…hmmm…anyone think Novak has a chance in a third set? :)


Sean Randall Says:

6-1 set coming up?


Giner Says:

jane Says:

Giner says “Djokovic must fancy himself second favourite to win the French.”

The way you word this I assume you don’t fancy him the second favorite?

That wasn’t how I meant it. I meant, the way he’s been playing, he has to fancy his chances now. I do too. I can’t call him top favourite, because even if he wins this one, he’s still lost twice to Nadal in Rome and MC, so it’s 2-1 not counting Davis Cup. This year Djokovic has proven himself as the second best player on clay. A few months ago I would have fancied Federer as second favourite for the French.


jane Says:

His body language isn’t great. The only way he has a chance in this third set is if he serves incredible and he hasn’t all match. So I don’t know.

Sean – don’t write off Djoko just yet.

Giner – thanks for your reply; I just couldn’t tell from your wording because you said “he must fancy himself” so it was unclear what your view was, that’s all. BTW. I assume you have a working feed? If not I did post another link above.


PietjeP Says:

I can’t see the match from here… Unfortunately all links don’t work :(

Can anyone tell me what was the Rafa trainer calling thing about? Is he injured, or just same match tactics?


Danica Says:

after those two sets, i turned the tv set off. i can’t watch it anymore. i am taking kids out, it’s such a nice, warm evening.


jane Says:

Just WAY too many second serves from Djoko today. He’s giving Rafa all these looks. He needs some aces! Then he could conserve energy.

Sean – it won’t be a 6-1 set at least :)


Kimmi Says:

Danica, Djokovic is still hanging on, you should hang on with him.


Kimmi Says:

Djoko breaks. he stii got the fight in him. c’mon.


jane Says:

Yeah – but he just double faulted! Now he’s going to get broken right back if he’s not careful.


Giner Says:

The stream I was watching went out of sync with the sound, and then died. Not unexpected. You get what you paid for after all.

Apparently during the time it was offline, Djokovic got an early break. Hopefully it comes back up before the end of the match.


Giner Says:

Sean Randall Says:

“Oh no. Cramps?”

Who’s cramping?


jane Says:

See broken back – crap. Well, maybe he can break again? Don’t give up Djoko.


Kimmi Says:

Who is cramping, my stream has gone out too.


jane Says:

Novak’s getting his legs rubbed down, or actually one leg. Not sure if it’s cramping as my feed isn’t in English.


Sean Randall Says:

Novak cramping. Getting both legs worked on now.


Giner Says:

Oh the drama. This is the best match I’ve seen since the AO.

If it’s some consolation to Djokovic, players have been dangerous after cramping, and sometimes even winning the match.

It’s forgivable this time since he has played a lot of tennis without a break.

It will take time before the lotion and medicines restore his legs back to condition. Nadal is going to look to strike fast, while Djoko will try to take his time so he can recover and save the match.


Danica Says:

I am back :)) and hanging in with him. I wouldn’t be still in the park :)). Gotta see it ’til the end now.


andrea Says:

3 hours and counting….very interesting.

c’mon nadal.


Kimmi Says:

good hold by novak


jane Says:

Well this is good news for whoever else reaches the final! I don’t think the JMDP vs. Fed match will be near as exciting – just can’t see it.


Giner Says:

Will Fed and JMDP have to play late into the night? This isn’t ideal for either finalist, since this match has dragged long, and there is no day of rest. The later finalist would get even less rest.


Sean Randall Says:

Giner, the Fed-DelPo match was not scheduled to begin before 8pm. Might be a 30min delay now. Shouldn’t be a factor.

The final must be a late one tomorrow.


rose Says:

wowwww..what a match !!!..these two are playing their hearts out..


Sean Randall Says:

Nadal bangs an ace. 5-5. Thrilla.


jane Says:

Nadal’s holding easily here. I just wish Novak could serve a little better but what a great effort from both of these guys nonetheless!


jane Says:

Good job Novak – force a third set tiebreak at the LEAST given how well you’ve played.

These two players rock. Wow. Fun match.


Kimmi Says:

Good hold Novak. Who would have thought after the cramping and all.


Giner Says:

Oh right. For some reason I thought the time was later than it actually was.

It’s still tough to recover from a 3.5 hour match without a day off though. I hope the later match goes at least 2 hours, though I won’t watch it.


rose Says:

i honestly dont know who is taking this match..craziness yesterday i would give it to nadal hands down but novak is playing incredible tennis right now…let the best win !!!


Sean Randall Says:

Standing ovation (from me).

Novak 0-4 v. Nadal in tiebreaks!


jane Says:

Well perhaps this should end no other way than a third set tiebreak, which obviously bodes well for Nadal given the stat Sean gave us above.


Kimmi Says:

C’mon Novak, you are soooo close


jane Says:

good god this is tense


Kimmi Says:

match point, c’moooooon


jane Says:

Do you think this is the match of the clay season anyone? So far it’s got to be.


andrea Says:

nadal is a beast!!!!!!!


Kimmi Says:

NADAL ! WOW !


jane Says:

Good Lord! 8-8 in the 3rd set breaker!


ertorque Says:

Djoko must be playing the match of his life!


Kimmi Says:

This is sooo tense. How was drop shot at match point..risky. But he was rewarded


ertorque Says:

there is a real contender for Nadal now on clay!


Sean Connery Says:

RAFFA WINNNNSSSSSSSSS


andrea Says:

yeeeeeeeha!


Kimmi Says:

WOW ! Nadal in the end, just by one point.


jane Says:

Congrats Rafa – wow what a match. Sad for Djoko but also happy for him – WOW what a fighter today. Good lord he was SO CLOSE. He better take a lot of positives from that.


Sean Randall Says:

Wow. Another standing O. Incredible effort from both players. Tennis wins!


Dan Martin Says:

Wow crazy match – Novak might be the one to end it at RG if he can go 4 or 5 sets. He has to believe at some level. Rafa has nerves of steel though.


jane Says:

You’re right Sean – Tennis wins! Djoko has stepped up to the plate. That’s THE best I have seen him fight against Rafa – and his new fitness trainer must be doing something right!


ertorque Says:

a match worthy of the finals………….Fed’s matches with Nadal on clay were nowhere near this in terms of toe to toe……………And it wouldn’t be even if Fed gets to the finals tomorrow


Sean Connery Says:

Djoko’s back to the form we’ve gotten used to him playing at and this, congratulations Novak. I shalute him. Thish ish a pity becaush wish nadal you only get sho many chanshesh


steve Says:

Congrats to Djokovic, he played exceptionally well to stretch Nadal to two tiebreaks. But unfortunately for him, he was up against the Terminator.

That little kid was hilarious, mimicking Nadal’s victory pose. Perhaps someday he will become a great tennis player like his hero.

I want a Federer-Nadal final, and I want Federer to win.


andrea Says:

kind of a shame on one hand….if roger makes it thru and gets a beat up rafa…i remember rafa playing youhzny after the 4 hour moya semi final match and the final was a day in the park for youhzny.

this was a fantastic match though…be tough to see novak hang in over 5 sets though if they were this physical.


Steve Says:

I’m really impressed with how djokovic held up physically, 4 hours and he looked fine, a great sign for him.


Dan Martin Says:

To the tennis-x readers – sorry I have been AWOL – I do have a column I am working on & parenting has sapped a lot of spare time, but I should be writing more often. Great match today.


PietjeP Says:

Great play from Nadal in the end. Especially on those match points… Wow!! The guy plays great on the big points… credit where credit is due…

Having said that, the guy balances a rope sometimes… Sooner or later he will end up losing one of those matches. For Djoko… I hope he takes the positive out of the match; he can beat Nadal. He just improve on the small things, that would have made the difference. Let’s not hope he travels the Fed path, after the Rome 06 final with Nadal.


Sean Randall Says:

Magic Box lives up to the name! My heart is still racing.


max Says:

“Fed’s matches with Nadal on clay were nowhere near this in terms of toe to toe”

thats bull…go see rome final 2006.now djokovic knows how fed feels losing to nadal……has the game to beat nadal on clay but just cant get it done.End of story.Nadal will beat djokovic in the french too.


Kimmi Says:

RAFA is so tough at the big points. he served the 2 match points by the magnificent winners. I agree nerves of steel.


Giner Says:

Wow! 4 hours! This was the highest quality match. 11-9 in a third set tiebreak is amazing drama.

Well done to Novak Djokovic who held 3 match points and was only broken once. I think he won more points than Nadal did even though he lost. He played an overall better match, just not in the tie breaks.

Even though Novak didn’t win the match, he succeeded in doing one thing: Planting some seeds of doubt into Nadal’s mind for the next time they meet.

Will Nadal shrug off this brush with defeat or will it linger in his head should they meet in Paris that he is beatable? My guess is he won’t be concerned (he lost to Federer in 07 Hamburg but went on to win RG), but his fans ought to be!

This was a 4 hour match. If it were best of 5, would Djokovic be able to continue for another 2 hours? I’ll have to let someone else do the research on the longest match he’s ever played, but my feeling is being up two sets to one at the four hour mark, he probably won’t have enough in the tank to finish the race. No disrespect intended, but it was a big ask given the 4 finals he’s played in a row.

I hope Novak gets a spot in the Funk next week for his run.

With that out of the way, it’s honestly going to be a tough final for Rafa who has less than 24 hours to recover from a 4 hour match, especially if the second semi is a quick one, or if his opponent is JMDP whom he lost to in Miami. I still call him favourite but his odds have lengthened a bit. I’ll check the result of the second semi later and have a guess then. I’m not interested in watching it — after this match, I can’t possibly expect anything more than an anticlimax.


Voicemale1 Says:

Even more impressive from Djokovic when you consider he was cramping in the 2nd Set Tie Break. And there are just no words to accurately describe the courage of Nadal. The match points he saved, especially with that ultra high Forehand he just ripped down the line for a winner – just, crazy, crazy good. When his career is finished, it’ll be interesting to see how many of these types of “Classic” matches he’s been involved in. As it stands now, he keeps finding a way to win them. Incredible.


jane Says:

Yeah steve I agree -Djoko’s fitness is looking just fine. That was such a thriller. Honestly, I haven’t felt quite that juiced up watching a match in a while. The AO final was exciting at times, but not ALL the way through. The 5th set was anit-climactic.


PietjeP Says:

I feel sorry for Novak… just 1 point away from arguably the biggest win of his career (forget the AO; beating Nadal on clay is much, much sweeter). Let’s hope he stays positive, which is very, very hard after coming so close…

Great stuff for statistic people; is Nadal the guy who won most matches after facing BP? Because I can already name 3 or 4…..


jane Says:

One point re: shots – if Djoko fixes his serve and can get more “cheap” points, or aces, then I think it could make a difference.

I don’t know if he can beat Rafa at RG. Rafa is such a “beast” and I mean that in the kindest of ways, but Djoko has to be considered the second best on clay this season.


Kimmi Says:

Yeah, the FO will be tougher for Djoker if they meet. No altitude issues and also five sets, all those factors will be against djoker.


jane Says:

Giner “I’ll have to let someone else do the research on the longest match he’s ever played,”

In 2007 Djoko played some 5 hours ones – I believe his and Step’s USO match is still the longest in its history.


PietjeP Says:

Oeps…. BP = MP


max Says:

Many balls which djokovic had hit on the line was called out by the biased lines people. Thats the main reason why he lost today coz otherwise he woulda won in straight sets.


Kimmi Says:

“Djoko has to be considered the second best on clay this season.’

I agree, he is currently second on points behind Nadal. Unless he loses on early rounds in the FO then somebody else going deeper will overtake him..


zola Says:

wow!
what a match. Congratulations to all Rafa fans and hugs to Djoko and his fans. Very little separated them and my respect for Djoko got to another level.

Sean
Exactly! Rafa brought magic to the magic box with this incredible win.

I too, hope Djoko takes positives from this match. Right now no one is closer to Rafa on clay than Djoko. He has belief that he can win.

I hope Rafa can recover a bot for tomorrow after 4 hours of battle today. Hopefully Delpo-Fed match will be a very long one too ( wishful thinking!)….

I want Fed to win this one. If Rafa loses on clay tomorrow, let it be to the second best player in the world.


Nadal is the GOAT Says:

These are the moments that make us love Rafa so much. He really is the ultimate gladiator.

I do feel for the Nole fans. But I’m really enjoying the disappointment of the Fedtards.


zola Says:

RG is very different to all the master series. The court and altitude are different and the matches are played in 5 sets.

fed won Rafa in Hamburg (2007) and claimed that he had found the key to win Rafa.

This match reminded me of Rome 06 too. The win just slipped off fed’s racquet the way it eluded Djoko today.

I am so glad Rafa was tested on clay before RG.


don't be silly Says:

I loved the later stages of third set, and the tiebreak was an epic masterpiece…but lets not overract to the drama and adrenaline, the match was shit for 2 and a hald sets.

Nadal hasn’t made an apperance untill then, and obviously he hates playing in Madrid conditions. Not only was that bothering him but he looked flat and slow. He had to slow his shots, couldn’t control them and freaquently dopped them short. Ton of UE’s even in important moments. I’d say for and a hald sets we were seeing 50% Rafa.

Nole played well and enojey the conditions…and still coulnd’t make it. This was the finals mental wound for him i feel…he’s not stupid, he oculd see Nadal was not himself, so it will hurt even more.

Should they meet on Nadals favorite red clay in RG you just know it will be 6:2, 6:3, 6:1 for Nadal. Rivalry? Second best player on clay? Don’t be kidding, he’s walking the path of Federer. Like Roger he didn’t take his chances on clay vs Rafa, and finaly had matchpoints…no turning back from this, he’s as done as Fed is when it comes to playing Rafa on clay.


Dan Martin Says:

Rafa may well be the GOAT. In some senses the current #1 represents the inheritor of all that came before in terms of tactics, techniques, equipment, training methods etc. Is the current #1 the GOAT in the sense of being the current culmination of a lot of striving through the history of the sport? Obviously, it needs to be a dominating #1 for this to hold (not a 3 week ride at the top etc.), but Rafa is dominating. If we plopped great champion of the past X (say pre 1990) in a time machine and had him play Rafa on any surface, Rafa would win. If we start updating players for the equipment and training methods we are in the realm of the subjective. Counter factuals have no truth value so saying Pancho Segurra with a modern racket and the cool new strings would break serve 45% of the time is just speculation. So yes Rafa might be the GOAT, but calling people Fed-Tards that just makes a person into something less than a vertebrate.


Von Says:

Wow, what an exciting match! My heart was beating so fast from the excitement. Kudos to both guys for playing with their hearts. I have newly acquired respect for both of them and they’re deserving of all the accolades thrown their way.

I think it would only be fair to say that it appeared from the first game Nadal seemed to be out of sorts, and as a result, played poorly. He began improving after his knee was bandaged, which leads me to think he was in some discomfort and his knee is probably the reason for that situation. I hope it doesn’t become worse during the FO, because if it does, he’ll probably regret playing Madrid.

Hence, in view of Nadal’s knee and the lengthy match he played today, I’m thinking it could become a problem for him tomorrow when he faces the winner of Fed/Del Potro, because I doubt theirs will be a long match and not nearly as thrilling as the Nadal/Djoko match.

I don’t know how many fans on this site watch the Tennis Channel. If any of you do, I wonder if you’ve seen where they timed Del Potro last evening on his time in between serves, and it was shown that he at times, takes about 38 seconds before serving. They did the same when Djoko was serving. That situation demonstrates that the umpires are not doing their jobs with respect to the time violation problems and as a result bad habits are being formed. I hope eventually there will be an official clock to time the players’ in-between service points.


Kimmi Says:

Good hold Federer, first set no problems.


Dan Martin Says:

Von I agree 100% on the time between points/serves being an issue that needs to be addressed.


Von Says:

Well, those who have been asking for a Fed/Nadal final will probably get their wish tomorrow. Fed has already bagged the first set. I only hope Nadal will be up to snuff, so that we can see an exciting match, and possibly a repeat of today’s excitement.


Von Says:

Dan: Thanks. Did you see the matches on TV? That time clock was done only for the commentators and the viewers and not for the umpire or players to see. DelPotro is absolutely ridiculous with his time, another one is Verdasco, and some others. I think someone needs to light a fire under DelPotro to get him moving fast. Ha, ha. for such a young guy, he moves at a snail’s pace.


Kimmi Says:

WOW !! Federer serve is very impressive, it will be interesting to see if he can serve the same with Nadal if he wins today.


dave Says:

YESS!!! Federer VS Nadal tommorow! Nadal will probably win, but Federer has a chance.


Daniel Says:

Von, agree with you too! In todays match between Nadal and Djoko several times my tv network here in Brazil showed the time between last point and it was more than 30 seconds, both Nadal and Djoko. The macth was 4 hours, but at least 1 hour was lost time.
Del Potro abuses of it a lot either.


steve Says:

Federer wins.

The lovers are reunited. There was a persistent suitor who almost got between them today, but he was finally turned away.

Now it’s just the two of them, and the ball.


Sar Says:

I think Novak is going to walk away from this one knowing it’s only a matter of time. Might be this or next year. Vajda and the new physio must be ecstatic.

I bet they place Novak in Nadal half for FO


zola Says:

Dan
who knows who the GOAT is and I don’t think many people even care about it. I live the joy and excitement that many players including Rafa bring to us and really don’t care about the GOAT!

***calling people Fed-Tards that just makes a person into something less than a vertebrate.
***

that was a good one!


zola Says:

Sar

RG is completely different. don’t bet your life on it!

I admire Djoko’s determination and heart. He might win Rafa on a clay court masters, but RG, unless Rafa is injured or something, I think not!


zola Says:

dave,

***Nadal will probably win, but Federer has a chance***

It needs a miracle for Rafa to win tomorrow.


Dan Martin Says:

Zola I agree I am working on a column talking about how the GOAT debate is really distracting from more interesting questions of how the sport changes and what remains constant between eras.


Von Says:

Daniel: I’m glad you saw it, because then you’ll understand what I’m talking about. Last night several times DelPotro hit the 38 seconds mark, and today it was Djoko. They didn’t time Nadal. The match Nadal and Verdasco played in Rome, the commentators mentioned they were playing at a snail’s pace. Verdasco is another one who violates the time rule. I think it was a smart idea for the commentators to show the clock, and I hope in the future a clock will be installed on all courts, plus Hawkeye of course. Those seconds add up and I’m sure today it was approximately an hour lost, as you stated. I think this is a step in the right direction and I’m positive the commentators are going to make their findings known to ATP.


zola Says:

Dan,
Looking forward to your column. There have been long discussions about GOAT here and in other forums. It is completely apples and oranges and frankly there is no point to it.

If I remember correctly you were expecting. Has the baby arrived yet?


Von Says:

Dan:

Maybe you’d be interested in a conversation I happened to hear between the commentators who mentioned that the present day players have a lot of down time, as compared to the players of years ago. Also, the present day players have clothing deals whereas the older players, in the days of Billie Jean King, had to purchase their own clothes. Billie Jean stated that sometimes the prize money was not enough to cover her travel expenses and clothing. Furthermore, some of the older players were forced to seek employment in addition to playing tennis due to the paltry amount of money the players were paid. I think times have changed drastically and the present day players have it made in the shade.


Sar Says:

I guess the SI website was expecting Murray to win over Del Potro. Check it out.
http://i372.photobucket.com/albums/oo169/Annabessacook_Farm/Tennis/screenshot.jpg


Kaboomm Says:

I am thinking that kid was just a crowd member who ran on to the court…cuz the security person standing near Nadal was signalling to someone to tighten up security…now that kid is probably gonna sell that headband on ebay


zola Says:

Kaboomm
I think so too. That kid just ran inside the court. But the hug was just so cute and Rafa’s reaction at that moment was so nice.


zola Says:

Sar,

**I guess the SI website was expecting Murray to win over Del Potro. Check it out.***
that link was too funny!

But Murray has improved on clay too. I expect 2010 to be even more exciting.


Giner Says:

Von Says:

“Well, those who have been asking for a Fed/Nadal final will probably get their wish tomorrow. Fed has already bagged the first set. I only hope Nadal will be up to snuff, so that we can see an exciting match, and possibly a repeat of today’s excitement.”

Believe it or not, as much as I love watching the two play each other, I am not excited for the final. To me the climax already happened. As someone else said, this WAS the final, just as Nadal vs Federer SF at Roland Garros in 05 was the climax (the real final was just a formality).

Based on my estimation of where Nadal is physically, if he doesn’t win it in 2 sets, he’s lost the match.

I’m not going to get up to see the match. I’ll just check back after.

“I think it was a smart idea for the commentators to show the clock, and I hope in the future a clock will be installed on all courts, plus Hawkeye of course.”

I have a question about how they time the players. When does the clock begin? Does it begin when the ball bounces the second time (on a winner) and when a ball bounces the first time if it lands out and when the ball touches the net (for errors)? Or does it start after the umpire calls the score?

And what happens between first and second serve? Let’s say the player took 24 seconds to toss the ball up, hits a fault. Does the clock get suspended between serves and give the player another 25 seconds for the second serve? Or does it continue? How much time does a player have between first and second serves? Does the clock’s timer stop the moment the ball is tossed in the air, or only when the ball is struck? Can an opponent do a fake toss, then catch it to cheat the system?

If a player disputes a call with the umpire (and there is no hawkeye) or raises an issue about someone/something, does the clock get suspended? Can he/she do this deliberately as a stall tactic?

I presume the clock is stopped if a player challenges a call, or calls the umpire to inspect a mark. Does it then restart from 0 after Hawkeye/umpire resolves it?

RE: GOAT discussions. These can be made as long as they are based entirely on raw numbers, for example Slams won, or weeks at #1. If they are based on a player’s talent and potential, then it’s subjective and unresolvable. I don’t find that Slams won is a true measure of a GOAT, but it’s the only thing we can work with and not introduce supposition.

It’s true that different eras have varying levels of quality in competition. Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray are bigger challengers to Federer than Roddick, Hewitt, and Safin were before these guys arrived. The same can be said of different generations. But that shouldn’t be relevant because no one has control over standards.

Fed raised the bar, and today’s challengers have met it. I don’t think players of the 70′s to 90′s could beat today’s players had they been in the same generation with the same tools (just as Mark Spitz would never outswim Phelps — the standard is too much higher), but I won’t count that against them. For the moment Pete Sampras is the overall GOAT, though not necessarily the best or most skilled, talented, or complete player of all time. The word ‘great’ is too vague to have meaning in my opinion.


Voicemale1 Says:

The clock became pretty much a joke. They showed it also yesterday in the Murray-Del Potro match, and who would have though that those tow would be running into the same 30-plus and 40-plus seconds between games just like these two today.

If anything, it’s the 25-second rule that’s outdated. The dynamics of the game today because of the racquet and string technology have made play far more demanding than it was in the days of Borg, McEnroe, Lendl – and even the Sampras-Agassi heyday too. The technology, strings, and slower hard courts have made the game more physical than ever. Either change it to 45 seconds, or keep the 25 and never ever enforce it. They work too hard to be nitpicked for something that stupid.


jane Says:

Voicemale1 “They work too hard to be nitpicked for something that stupid.” Well said! I agree with you 100%.


Sar Says:

Does anyone have a Djokovic/Nadal press link from today? Djok said something like ” I played the best clay match of my life and still I lost.”


goodluck Says:

Good Luck Nadal! Your mental strength is your assets and you can win this match over Federer. Stay cool, patience and calm. Concentrate. Don’t loss your temper which is no good. Can spoil your game. Go Nadal go!! God bless you all the way!


zola Says:

Voicemale1
***If anything, it’s the 25-second rule that’s outdated.***

Exactly. They gave us a nailbiter. Even Fedrer said that and to try to scorch them for taking over 25 seconds is not fair. especially when none complained bout it. Some rallies were over 20 shots.

It is good to put the clock in other matches too. It is not just Rafa and Djoko.

And if we want all the players to be perfect, why not list the offesnsive manners of some others too?


zola Says:

Sar
I don’t think they have presser links for Madrid. Just bits and pieces here and there.


Von Says:

Voicemale1:

“The clock became pretty much a joke. They showed it also yesterday in the Murray-Del Potro match, and who would have though that those tow would be running into the same 30-plus and 40-plus seconds between games just like these two today.”

I know of DelPotro’s abuse of the time rule. He moves at a snail’s pace.

I mentioned the clock because there has been so much talk on what should be done with respect to time violations, and I wanted to show that the commentators are doing something about it with respect to the players they feel are violating the rule. sheesh.
_____________________
“And if we want all the players to be perfect, why not list the offesnsive manners of some others too?”

Am I losing something here? Let’s stick to the subject matter — the clock and time violations. What in hell’s kitchen does perceived offensive behavior on the court, con sidering they all do it, watch David Ferrer’s many tantrums, kicking, cursing, etc., got to do with a time violation? One is an attitude the other is how the game should be played with the rules in force. This is ridiculous. the madness has begun. OY VEY.


Von Says:

“It is good to put the clock in other matches too. It is not just Rafa and Djoko.”

Read, read, read, I mentioned DelPotro’s match v. Murray. The commentators were not singling out Djoko and Nadal — they were experimenting. Is it really Djoko we’re defending or only Nadal, or are we being benevolent today?

This is ridiculous, if someone cannot mention an introduction of an experiment they’ve shown on TV, then is it worth mentioning anything at all? sheesh and Oy vey!!!!


Von Says:

Voicemale1 says:

“The clock became pretty much a joke. They showed it also yesterday in the Murray-Del Potro match, and who would have though that those tow would be running into the same 30-plus and 40-plus seconds between games just like these two today.”

What did Voicemale1 state? Murray-DelPotro, didn’t he? Why not stick to the facts and use some comprehension, but that’s not at all possible, is it? Just can’t wait to take a swipe at ‘some others’ meaning Roddick? Lose the madness, please, it’s truly wearing.


Von Says:

Giner:

“I have a question about how they time the players. When does the clock begin? Does it begin when the ball bounces the second time (on a winner) and when a ball bounces the first time if it lands out and when the ball touches the net (for errors)? Or does it start after the umpire calls the score?”

I believe they started the clock after the last point was over, and when the towelling, gathering the balls, serving etc., began. I didn’t pay much attention to it, until I heard them saying this is ridiculous, then I saw the graphics, and seconds ticking by. I thought to myself, hey they are actually thinking of doing something. I believe they are targeting those players they perceive to be the ones who do not adhere to the time rules and are the violators.

I felt I would mention it today because so many discussions took place in the past on time violations and I mentiond it for informational purposes only.


Von Says:

My initial comments:

“I don’t know how many fans on this site watch the Tennis Channel. If any of you do, I wonder if you’ve seen where they timed Del Potro last evening on his time in between serves, and it was shown that he at times, takes about 38 seconds before serving. They did the same when Djoko was serving. That situation demonstrates that the umpires are not doing their jobs with respect to the time violation problems and as a result bad habits are being formed. I hope eventually there will be an official clock to time the players’ in-between service points.

Posted May 16th, 2009 at 3:45 pm

Got it? “Del-Potro match and “Nadal/Djoko” match. Now chill, puhleeze. sheesh.


Von Says:

Footnote to my comment @ 1:48 — Stop taking little bits and pieces out of context to start the fire. Read, read, and read AND comprehend! IS THAT POSSIBLE? HELL NO, NOT IN A MILLION YEARS.


JoeM Says:

Sean, either you know nothing about tennis or writing stinks. You open with “Arguably the best rivalry in tennis right now”. Lol! Who’s “arguing” and what other rivalry is there in tennis??

You go on to say “I think the moment and the occasion will also catch up to DelPo”. Huh?? Delpo won FOUR straight tourneys last year and beat Nads this year! It had nothing to do with the “moment” and everything to do with the fact that Fed is simply a TERRIBLE matchup for Fed. Besides, Delpo got what he wanted in defeating Murray.

I hope you took a writing course before you got hired as a writer (and this website should be renamed to tennis-xcrement.com)


Skorocel Says:

Zola: “It needs a miracle for Rafa to win tomorrow.”

LOL :-)))))))))))))


Skorocel Says:

Giner: “Even though Novak didn’t win the match, he succeeded in doing one thing: Planting some seeds of doubt into Nadal’s mind for the next time they meet.”

Nah. On the contrary, it will raise Nadal’s confidence even higher when these two play next. I’m repeating myself, but BETTER LOSE 0-6 TWICE THAN IN SUCH A PAINFUL WAY AGAINST NADAL!


Danica Says:

I personally don’t mind longer periods between the points. I noticed they timed them during the Rafa-Nole match (they timed both of them). Time is not supposed to be going while the audience is still cheering after the point. But this is exactly what was happening and thus, 30+ secs time in between the points.

As I said, I am fine with 10 or 15 secs more (not much more than that). Why rush things? All the players have a routine. Some like to go back to business asap, some need more time to prepare. I wouldn;t like to see players getting frustrated over time limits and rushing to serve if that’s not in their nature.

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