Nadal, Federer Head French Open Draw to be Released Friday
by Staff | May 21st, 2009
  • 180 Comments

Defending champion Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will be the No. 1 and 2 seeds respectively when the French Open Men’s draw is released Friday morning in Paris. The two stars of tennis will bid for a fourth straight French Open final showdown.

Andy Murray is seeded third while Novak Djokovic is in the four spot.

Nadal has never lost on the red clay of Paris. The Spaniard has never even faced a match point nor has he been extended to five sets in racking up a 28-0 record at Roland Garros. Federer, who’s one shy of Pete Sampras’ 14 Slam titles, actually comes in on a five-match win streak which includes a win over Nadal in Madrid on Sunday.

While Nadal will be placed in customary top position of the draw and Federer at the bottom, Murray and Djokovic’s halves will be determined by luck with each having a 50-50 chance of landing in either Nadal’s half or Federer’s.

Djokovic has been in Federer’s half of the draw in the last three Grand Slams, and four of the last five with 2008 French Open the exception. Nadal has defeated Djokovic the last three years en route to the French title.

The Women’s draw will also be revealed Friday. Dinara Safina is the top seed followed by Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Elena Dementieva.

Singles first round play begins on Sunday.


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180 Comments for Nadal, Federer Head French Open Draw to be Released Friday

sheila Says:

go roger go!!!!!!


Naresh Says:

I predict Djokovic to be in Nadal’s half of the draw, like it has been for the last 3 years. Even though Djokovic is seeded no.4 right now, I think the French want to see Nadal being challenged this year.. heck we all (including die hard Nadal fans) want to see the ‘Bull’ being pushed for once on the French dirt.
With the Serb in the Spaniards half of the draw, we can hope of seeing another of the great matches we’ve seen from these two this clay season and also look forward to a Roger-Rafa rematch.
Whereas if Djokovic is in Federer’s half, then only one of them will have a chance to battle the numero uno and we tennis fans will be poorer for that..keeping my fingers crossed !


wawa Says:

Nadal will draw all the seeded players by hand (or maybe Ana Ivanovic will do the men…no pun intended), so there is no room for manipulation.

I would like to see Djokovic in Nadal’s quarter though, as that would ensure Nadal – Federer final. Needless to say, Nadal will win it easily this year again.


vared Says:

Why? You don’t think Murray can push the bull?If Djok is in fed’s half there will be a great match.


jane Says:

Being a fan of Djoko, but also because he has been on Nadal’s half at the French for three years running, I’d rather see Djoko on Federer’s side. Then we could see which one deserves a shot at Rafa in the final, the one who has traditionally gotten there, Federer, or the one who has had arguably better overall results than Roger on clay in the 2009 season. I think a Federer-Djokovic semi could be very exciting anyhow, as they both seem to be finding their form even more so on clay, as was evident at Madrid.

And if Murray can make it to the other semi, which would be quite a feat given how his results have been good but not great on the surface this season, we’d get to see him play Nadal again. He was only just getting a feel for things against Rafa in that semis match at Monte Carlo, when Rafa ended it in a thrilling tiebreak.

If this were the case, and things were to play out like this, Rgoer-Novak, Andy-Rafa, then we’d not only get the top 4 in the semis, very unusual in itself, but both Roger and Rafa might be tested a bit before the final, were they both to win through and thus they would be on even keel.

Of course all four would have to make it there and survive any scares and darks horses along the way.

Anyhow, that’s how I’d dream it out – and probably it’d be a Murray vs. Djokovic final, which I realize would thwart many peoples’ wishes, but so be it. Be kind of boring if “everyone” wanted the same things.


Naresh Says:

Frankly I don’t think Murray can push the Bull like how Djoko has.. he just lost to Paul henri Mathieu, and besides, Fed vs Djoko is not nearly as exciting as Fed vs Nadal or Djoko vs Nadal .


Al Says:

I’m with you Jane on hoping Nole is on Federer’s side of the draw. That would be a real exciting semi-final. I am not sure about Murray on clay though. I am not sure if he will be able to make it to the semi-finals and if he is on Nadal half and makes it, I would be surprise if he gets a set off Nadal.
Murray vs. Djokovic final, I can not even imagine that one. It would be nice to see different faces in the final like the AO 2008.


vared Says:

Al a Murray vs Djok final would absolutely kill Federer….I had my chance but one of these a$$holes are taking it. There could be a suicide attempt.

On the other hand, Nadal winning the calendar slam this year might be the best thing for tennis.


Naresh Says:

The Mens French Open to me is all about getting the better of Nadal, which other than Djokovic and Federer, i don’t see any one coming even close to taking a set of him. So whoever can do the almost impossible (ie;beat Nadal at RG) i will root for !


Al Says:

Vared: “A Murray vs Djok final would absolutely kill Federer….I had my chance but one of these a$$holes are taking it. There could be a suicide attempt.”

ROFLAO!!!


margot Says:

Hi Jane, I think Djko is much more likely to get near the final than Andy and I hope he’s in Fed’s side and meets him in the semis, cos the winner of that one would’ve really earned a pop at Rafa.
I’ve seen somewhere that he (Novak) is seeded 3 at RG. Wonder how that effects the draw, if true of course.


jane Says:

Hello margot – I can’t see how Djoko would be seeded three as the French doesn’t use special seeding like at Wimbledon. Someone was probably just speculating. Anyhow, the draw would not be impacted either way as it’s luck of the draw for seeds 3 & 4 as to who lands on #1′s side and who lands on #2′s side. I read somewhere, however, that if Murray goes deeper than the quarters here and Federer doesn’t, then Murray would take over number 2, in which case, depending on how he does for the Wimbledon warm up at Queen’s, I suppose he could be seeded number 2 there. But I HIGHLY doubt it. Based on Fed’s stellar results at Wimbledon over the years, he’d still likely be number 2. But the number 2 would matter – a lot – during the hard court season, and unless Fed wins Wimbledon (or the French) it would stand going forward. Anyhow this is all purely speculation, but it’s possible. Less possible is my dream final. Murray hasn’t quite found his clay feet so I think the second week, quarters or semis, would be an excellent result for him. But I can dream of a Djoko vs. Murray final nonetheless.


Voicemale1 Says:

The Draw at the French, traditionally, has been done by the previous years champions in reverse. So Nadal will draw the ladies tournament, and Ivanovic will draw the men’s tournament.


jane Says:

vared it’s true that “Nadal winning the calendar slam this year” would be thrilling and newsworthy – he would be catapulted into the very top echelon of tennis with that achievement, and he’s already up there with his clay results anyhow. However, I just hope that, if the calendar slam happens, Djoko or Murray meet Nadal in a slam final or two, and that one or both of the them wins at least one slam next year, to mix it up a little. I appreciate the Roger-Rafa show, but I’d like to see something else once and a while – especially in the slams.


Kimmi Says:

The French open site will have the draw live in real time. Each name drawn will be displayed one after the other in the draw sheet online. Never seen that before, should be interesting.

http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/news/articles/2009-05-21/200905211242922065296.html


Kimmi Says:

vared “Al a Murray vs Djok final would absolutely kill Federer….I had my chance but one of these a$$holes are taking it. There could be a suicide attempt.”

LOL.


Von Says:

vared:

“A Murray vs Djok final would absolutely kill Federer….I had my chance but one of these a$$holes are taking it. There could be a suicide attempt.”

You’re so very funny and I’ll take this killing thing a bit further.

When federer lost the ’09 AO, he said “This is killing me”. Hence, it would be logical to assume if he was being killed at that time by now he has one foot in the coffin and one on the tennis court, and the FO final between Nadal/Djoko or Murray/Djoko or Nadal/Murray will definitely ‘kill’ him, and the winner will have sealed it by driving the nail into his casket. LOL.


Von Says:

Naresh: Good to see you around, wow, you have been so scarce, and thanks for gracing us with your presence. ha, ha.

“…heck we all (including die hard Nadal fans) want to see the ‘Bull’ being pushed for once on the French dirt.”

I doubt that very much. Some of them want all of the competition to be in the other half of the draw, which would make his road to the final a breeze. LOL


andrea Says:

like the first half of last year, much is being made about which half of the draw novak is in. whatever half he is in, he’ll have to find some strength and not r-e-t-i-r-e. and if he needs to go 5 sets against nadal, the odds of that happening are pretty high. so, i wouldn’t count on him pushing nadal.


Ryan Says:

Djok n fed would be a good challenge and i hope they both get a chance to take out the bull. Murray needs another year or 2 to fully become a threat on clay so nadal’s semi with him would be a waste of time.


mem Says:

from what i’ve seen thusly, personally, i think djokovic has played better than federer on clay this season, and since djokovic has already played nadal in monte carlo, rome, and madrid, it’s time for a change, which means, it’s time for novak to land in federer’s side of the draw. that way, we can look forward to a potential semis between roger/novak for a change. however, i agree with rafa when he said, “the tournament begins with the first round not the final.” so, there’s nothing written in stone, anything could happen, but if a djokovic/federer semis should materialize, it would definitely put some of our questions to rest! it would be great! let the games begin!


Twocents Says:

“When federer lost the ‘09 AO, he said “This is killing me”. Hence, it would be logical to assume if he was being killed at that time by now he has one foot in the coffin and one on the tennis court, and the FO final between Nadal/Djoko or Murray/Djoko or Nadal/Murray will definitely ‘kill’ him, and the winner will have sealed it by driving the nail into his casket. LOL.”

And the band for the funeral is handy: Nadal the drumer (per NY Times :-))); Maria S singing “Ave Maria”; Fed himself playing piano from high above…The Phantom of the Tennis — is there, inside Pillippe (sp?) Chartier…

A friend at Frankfurt just sent me a translated German quote of Fed saying this after Madrid:

“Q:Do you think that you now have a realistic chance to triumph in Paris?

Fed: There is no ground to be euphoric, but, I am confident. Until the last year of my career, I am convivced that I can win Roland Garros.”

Von, I got a quick glance at Roddick’s Twitter. Funny stuff, that boy and his gal. No wonder he gets along well with Fed, the ever optimistic.

Have a good weekend.


Ros Says:

Rafa’s been like a breath of fresh air for tennis. I’m a die hard tennis fan, but it had just gotten so boring, because Federer never had a worthy rival, now it’s much more competitive with people like Murray, Djokovich and Verdasco.

Vamos, Rafa!

http://www.christconnection.net


C!P! Says:

Djokovic on Federer’s side ,Nadal has Verdasco or Daydenko in the quarters ,and possibly Murray or Gonzo in the semis ,i can’t wait that Djoko -Fed semi ,to see who gets tired now!


NachoF Says:

I guess the bull will get his walk in the park.


Mina Says:

Nadal is the clear favorite. But in my opinion, he is not playing well like the last few years. The gap has closed between him and the rest of the field.

Bold Prediction: Winner will not be Nadal (Not saying that it will be Federer).


ferix Says:

wooooo…. the draw has been most unkind for verdasco, davydenko, wawrinka, almagro, gulbis to be drawn together. Almost all the clay court specialists from this and last year.


Skorocel Says:

mem: “but if a djokovic/federer semis should materialize, it would definitely put some of our questions to rest!”

Looks like it will…


Naresh Says:

Alright the final for me will be Fed vs Djoko (if they come thru).. with the winner playing a charity exhibition match against Nadal ! If there was 10% hope b4 the draw, of a challenger winning.. now there’s none :) FO title no.5 for the numero uno.


Naresh Says:

Hi Von,
I’ve been around, checking out all the posts.. thought i’d share my 2 bits finally, lol !


Naresh Says:

mem: “but if a djokovic/federer semis should materialize, it would definitely put some of our questions to rest!”

You mean, questions like ‘who’s the 2nd best on clay’ ? That’s about the only answer your gonna get.


Kimo Says:

I don’t know why you guys think that Djokovic will have the upper hand aginst Fed on clay. Fed is 2-1 against Djokovic on clay and he could have one the last match in Rome had he been able to capitalize on his leads in the last two sets. Fed just imploded, while all Novak had to do was keep the ball in play.

The fact that Djokovic pushes Nadal harder on clay doesn’t mean he can push Federer the same way. Fed’s game is the polar opposite of Nadal’s. Nadal doesn’t have Novak’s number like he has Fed’s because Novak’s double-handed backhand is a lot more solid than Fed’s single-handed backhand on clay. Unlike playing Federer, Nadal doesn’t expect his super loopy cross-court forehand to hurt Novak.

All I’m saying is that just because Novak can beat Rafa on clay doesn’t mean that he can beat Roger just becasue Rafa is better. Tennis is not like that.

Federer still can’t figure out how to counter Nadal’s forehand on clay (but I thought he was able to neutralize it to some degree in Madrid, dunno if he’ll be able to do that in Paris). It’s that forehand that’s hurt him the most, and since Djokovic doesn’t have that forehand, I don’t think he’ll be able to hurt Federer as much. I won’t say Fed has Djokovic’s number on clay, but I believe he has the edge. If they do meet in the semis, I’d say Fed will win in four.


Gordo Says:

With the liklihood of James (I think I beat him once when he was off) Blake in the 4th round and Andy (God I hate this red stuff) Roddick in the quarters, Federer should be good and rested to meet Novak (I had 3 match points last week – please let me have another shot at Rafa) Djokovic.

Based on Madrid, I think this is the draw most of us wanted, with – unless there is an upset – the Djoker vs Fed in the semis with the resulting winner challenging Rafa for the title. But there is a lot of tennis to play.

As for the ranking outcomes – As a RG finalist last year, Federer is defending 1400 points, whereas Murray, who lost in the 3rd round, is only defending 150 points, while semi-finalist Djokovic is working on a defence of 900 points.

So if we take those off the current rankings we get…

FEDERER – 10470 – 1400 = 9070
DJOKOVIC – 8830 – 900 = 7930
MURRAY – 9020 – 150 = 8870

So between Federer and Murray, whoever goes the deepest in Paris will be ranked #2, possibly unless Djokovic wins the event, which would give him 9930 points. The the #2 ranking would be dependent on how well Murray and Federer did.

If the tourney goes according to the current seedings, with the Scot and Serb bowing out in the semis and Rafa beating Fed in the final, then it will look like this -

#2 – Federer – 10,470
#3 – Murray – 9,770
#4 – Djokovic – 8,830

Where Djokovic gets his chance to make a move is at Wimbledon, where last year he lost in the second round and is only defending 70 points.


Daniel Says:

Gordo, you are forgetting that this year the points are different, what it counts it’s to win it.
Final worth 1200 pts, semis 720 pts and quarters 360 pts (the same as a Masters semis).

If it goes acoording to seeding:

#1 – Nadal – 14960
#2 – Federer – 10270
#3 – Murray – 9590
#4 – Djokovic – 8650

The draw looks good for Nadal and Fed, the difference obviously being Djoko. Nadal ony has Verdasco in a possible quarter and then Murray or Davydenko, neither hurting him. Maybe his pass will be so easy that he will come to the final rusty!:)


Mina Says:

Fed beats about-to-retire-any-time Djokovic, set up Nadal final.


jane Says:

Naresh is right about this: “You mean, questions like ‘who’s the 2nd best on clay’ ? That’s about the only answer your gonna get.”

And Kimo is right about this: “The fact that Djokovic pushes Nadal harder on clay doesn’t mean he can push Federer the same way. ”

In fact, one should really give the edge to Federer in a Djoko vs. Fed semi, given their H2H. But the semi should be exciting and competitive, and should also warm up whichever guy gets the pleasure of facing, likely, Nadal in the finals.

But more importantly, mem is right about this “there’s nothing written in stone, anything could happen.”

We have no idea if the draws will play out according to seed, so l’m just hoping for some exciting matches in this, the second slam of the year.

Points-wise, things will really heat up at Wimbledon and thereafter, where, on hard court, Murray and Nadal have a lot to defend and Djokovic and Federer less, Fed a lot less at the MS events and Djoko a semi vs. final. And then the indoor season, Murray also has a lot, as I think do Rafa and Fed, relatively speaking. Would have to check on that.


Voicemale1 Says:

I agree the draw looks good for Nadal. But I disagree it looks all that good for Federer. Regardless of results, Berdych has played him tough before and he can play well on clay. And there is a guy in Federer’s Quarter who, at his best, could give him all kinds of trouble here: Gael Monfils. The met in the French Semis last year and it was a real scrap – going to a 4th Set and 7-5 at that. Had Monfils done less showboating for the crowd that day and concentrated more on the match it might have gone to five sets. Gael’s playing was described by a good friend as a “Poor Man’s Nadal”, which I thought was a great description. He’s much more highly ranked now than last year when they met, and has many more good results behind him since then. If Monfils can get rolling with a French crowd behind him, Federer could find himself again in another scrappy match. And that’s just the Quarters. He’d still have to get through another brutal match with Djokovic (most likely) in the Semis before he’d even get to the Final. I don’t see Federer’s Quarter as a breeze at all. He could very well have some long afternoons ahead of him.

As could Murray. His chances of making it to Week 2 look like a long proposition. Chela is his opener, and he can play well enough on clay to make it a long one. And his next opponent could very well be Mischa Zverev – and that kid can play. Throw in the fact Murray has two guys in his Quarter who’ve actually won titles on clay this year, Montanes and Youzhny, along with Gonzo – and you can see this is a rough section for him. Even if he gets through – he’s likely to be so battered that a match with Nadal will look like a mercy killing.

If you like betting racehorses like me, and go by Past Performances, it’s easy to see the French Open is usually decided by the two guys who’ve played the best and most consistent tennis through the clay season. And so it should be this year too, between Rafael and Novak.


naresh Says:

I think i read somewhere that Fed & Nadal were gonna be playing warmup matches b4 the FO. Fed was gonna play Wavrinka i think..not too sure bout who Nadal is going to play.. does anyone know bout this ?


jane Says:

Von – guess whose section Roddick is in!? I am starting to believe your theories – sheesh. He does seem to often land in Federer’s section.

————————————————

Voicemale1 – I read that Monfils was unsure about even playing the French due to injury (I think Von had posted a link) so in that case I don’t think he’ll be much of a threat to Federer.

————————————————

I am glad Djoko’s draw is somewhat changed up, so if he plays well, he doesn’t end up facing Nadal in the semis or quarters again like in the last three years. He has a tough opener against Lapentti. But overall his quarter looks pretty good; he does have Ferrero and Ljubicic who are both good veterans, and Tsonga and Robredo are in there but it could’ve been worse, I think. Anyhow, can only hope for the best result…

Voicemale1 – I read that Monfils was unsure about even playing the French due to injury (I think Von had posted a link) so in that case I don’t think he’ll be much of a threat to Federer.


tennis bum Says:

You heard it here first – nadal will go out in the semi finals. Final will include fed who will bag his 14th slam.

Nadal will also not make it to another slam final this year but will still retain his #1 rankiking thru 2 more masters series wins.


jane Says:

Oops, ignore v. last part of previous post – seem to have done some cut and pasting.


jane Says:

Sorry for all the posts, but I found this great article on Nadal’s accomplishments on clay – how he’s going for “one for the thunb”. The box with repeat FO title winners is interesting:

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/french09/columns/story?columnist=garber_greg&id=4195214


Fedex Says:

Alrighty! You heard it 1st here – If a Novak-Roger semi-final materialises, Roger will pull that one out in no more than 4 sets :)

Alberto martin and jose acasuso have a greater chance of upsetting the King of the Court!

Here’s hoping it will be El Mago Vs The mallorcan bull with the matador finally slaying the bull on the red clay of Paris :)


Fedex Says:

Kimo :

Very wise post. Tennis is all about the match-ups! Nadal is the tennis superman’s kryptonite. Other players who have troubled Roger over the years are defensive/counterpunching players like canas, hewitt, murray and nalbandian (though the last 2 have so much variety that it is hard to brand them as counterpunchers!). No doubt, Roger would have had lesser trouble with these players had tennis not slowed down (after the rock throwing contests of the 90s! that players like ivanisevic and other Serve dominated players imposed on tennis)

As good as Novak is at defense – he is still an offensive player who has top-notch defense (Only Rafa, Roger and Murray have better defense than him) Roger loves match-ups with such guys – see Roddick, Safin, Gonzalez and other power players – he has absolutely crushed most such players. Ofcourse Novak is the worst match up, of this offensive player lot, for Roger but I am sure he will take this match-up on every day of the week and twice on a final sunday (compared to the counter punching lot, that is!)

Go Roger! Hopefully the phone booth at RG will function like the one in madrid and hope Rafa runs out of his supply of Kryptonite ;)


Von Says:

The draw is interesting and of the top four (4), IMO, Federer has the easiest quarter followed by Djoko and Nadal. Murray has the toughest path to the QFs. Verdasco, Davydenko, DelPotro, Simon and Tsonga are the guys who have it the toughest to the QFs of the other top 10 players, but not necessarily in order of toughness. DelPotro and Verdasco have got the toughest of the bunch.

Nadal should make it easily to the R16 without any problems, then he’ll probably meet Ferrer. Third round encounters: Djokovic possibly with Kohls, Roddick with Monfils, Federer with PH Mathieu, Murray if he gets by Chela, could meet Zverev, Tipsy, Starace, Stepanek, Lopez, wow, too many possibilities for Murray in the 3rd round, and too, too tough for Andy M. Davydenko, Simon and Verdasco, also have some tough 3rd round encounters looming. All in all, Federer and Djokovic has the easiest paths of the top 4 to get to R16 and the QFs. After that the SFs will be between who’s left standing, sitting, or whatever.
________________________
jane: Yes, Roddick again in Fed’s quarter, so what else is new. LOL. Cnsidering Fed’s easy draw he’ll be waiting for Djokovic in the SF as you have been wishing, which at times can be a bad thing. The Federer we saw in Monte Carlo and Rome is not the same Federer we’ll see at the FO. He always takes it up two notches in the GS, which means that you might be sorry you got your wish. However, I could be wrong and things could play out differently.

I don’t consider Lapenti a tough first round for djoko. Lapenti is close to 30 and he runs out of steam in the second round of most matches, so that should be an easy one for Djoko.
___________________
Naresh: You stated you’ve been visiting the various sites, then that tells me you’ve been pretty busy. LOL. Keep visiting us and share with us any juicy tid-bits you pick up along the way, will ya. Catch ya later.


mem Says:

we are talking like federer and nadal have already booked their places in the final. there is long ways to go before they sleep! who knows, there may be some surprises waiting around the bend! we will see!


jane Says:

Von,

“He always takes it up two notches in the GS, which means that you might be sorry you got your wish. ”

That’s true about Federer. I still think it will be better for Djoko to face him for a change. Even if Djoko loses to Federer in the semis, providing he gets that far, he will have equalled last year’s results, so I will not be sorry if that comes true. It’s a change from him having to face Nadal over and over at Roland Garros. I hope Lapentti is easy, as you suggest, but when I see his name I always think of him pushing Rafa last year in Cincinnati in the first set, and even in Barcelona this year taking Verdasco to 7-5 in one set. But you’re right that he tends to run out of steam so that’s a definite positive.

I agree that Murray has a tough quarter.


Von Says:

jane: “I still think it will be better for Djoko to face him for a change. Even if Djoko loses to Federer in the semis, providing he gets that far, he will have equalled last year’s results, so I will not be sorry if that comes true.”

My guess is that you’re concerned more about Djoko’s H2H v. Nadal, than who he really meets in the SF because his H2H v. Nadal is beginning to look pretty lopsided than against Federer, and also since Fed lost to Djoko twice previously, you’re hoping it will be a third time — your brain is working overime, ha, ha. As I said, be careful what you wish for, sometimes it could backfire, but my famous last words, only time will tell ….


jane Says:

Nah, don’t really care too much about the H2H, although you’re right that it’s lopsided! But I do worry about the mental implosion / confidence factor against Nadal. Similar to Roddick always having to face Fed versus having to face Nadal; there’s a mental component involved when the same player beats another player over and over again. Djoko is coming off a couple of wins against Fed versus several losses against Nadal. That doesn’t mean he’ll win against Fed this time (as I said above, Fed has the edge), but it does mean he might have more confidence in that match up versus the other one – which is like a Sisyphian task: beating Nadal on clay over 5 sets!!!! Good luck to anyone using 1 or 2 racquets and maybe having their dog along to retrieve a few balls. ha ha!


mem Says:

Kimo, like i said djokovic has played the better of the two to me so far. my reasoning has nothing to do with how djokovic pushed nadal, it is based solely on tactic, execution & improved endurance that he has demonstrated. in my mind, if djokovic continues to play like he has overall, his chances of beating federer are definitely great, should they meet!


jane Says:

Should mention that Dimon (link above) thinks that Federer’s draw is a cakewallk, or in his words: “This is—without question—the weakest quarter of a Grand Slam draw I have ever seen. Ever. And “weakest” is putting it nicely.”


Von Says:

jane:

Alright, have it your way re the H2H, but I don’t buy it. If I remember correctly just recently you were very concerned about that. I don’t see how Djoko could have a lot of confidence against Fed considering how he won their last two matches, and those weren’t drubbings, but just keeping the ball in play and waiting for Fed to implode. If they were outright wins like 6-0, 6-1, on both occasions, then that would definitely be a huge confidence booster, but the way both matches played out, there has to be some what ifs going around in Djoko’s mind. Anyway, that’s for you to think about and I need to think about my two little guys, the Andys, one of whom is not even in the conversation, and the other has a huge mountain to climb. I’m also looking out for the other Americans, and hopefully, Sam, Mardy, James, Robbie, et al., can make it past the third round considering they all have tough clay courters in their paths.


jane Says:

Also Wayne Odesnik, Von – he often does well on clay.


Von Says:

jane:

Thanks for that link, which I’ll read now. I wish I had the time to visit those sites to see what the experts have to say; the only news I get is from my email subscriptions, so I miss out on the talk and buzz. I know Bonnie Ford always talk of the Sisyphian tasks, having read a few of her links from some posters, but I don’t recall anything from Dimon. I’ve also read Reed’s twisted thinking. However, I’m glad to see that Dimon agrees with my analysis that Fed’s draw is the easiest. I suppose I don’t need to visit sites after all but just go by my hunches? LOL. and ha, ha.


margot Says:

Hi Von! Champagne still remaining in fridge during RG alas!
Was v. interested in your analysis of Rafa’s fitness and attitudes of his fans to it. He looked tired to me, wasn’t chasing balls down etc. now your comments make me think physcological tiredness maybe, although, of course, Madrid does not count like RG does, so perhaps a touch of the “what the hecks”?
Mentioned on another thread, have got tickets for O2, much easier 2 get than Wimbles.


Von Says:

Margot:

My champagne has been on ice for quite a while now. Andy M has got a tough draw. I agree Nadal has looked tired and he’s not playing as well as he did last year, but he looked somewhat disinterested at Madrid, as though he’d prefer to be anywhere else but there. This year he has been patchy at times and great at others, but not consistently great. However, despite it all, Nadal has still gotten the ‘W’, and in the end it’s all that matters, isn’t it, but one has to wonder. I’m not even going to talk about Roddick because of the obvious disadvantages we’ve covered for his ’09 clay season. I’ll just enjoy when he plays and have to cheer for my other faves for the rest of the tournament; that is whoever is left.

What is O2? I’ve been trying to figure it out from your post to Colin. Please enlighten this dummy. Thaks.


Von Says:

Margot; I need to clarify my statement on Nadal’s perceived tiredness. I should say the way he played makes him appear tired, but in reality he couldn’t be that tired considering how little he played in Madrid and he had 11 days off prior to Madrid. I hope I’m making some sense here.


SadSmiles Says:

Guys, Please don’t laugh on my picks. It’s crazy but that’s the way I feel….
I am picking Federer over Verdasco in the finals. I think Ferrer or Verdasco going to spoil Nadal’s party. Murray I think cannot make it to the quarters and Djoko to be derailed by Federer.

So, let’s see. This is Federer’s 11th time to French. And remember Agassi won his French on 11th turn. Yes, Roger need this luck…lol.
Have fun you guys.


NachoF Says:

I have always sad I didnt want Federer to win the FO if the final was against Nadal but since he just beat him on clay a week ago I guess I wouldnt mind if someone beats Nadal first and makes it a little easier for Fed… so heres to Roger winning the FO, however he can do it.


NachoF Says:

I meant to say “if the final was NOT against Nadal”


Von Says:

Kimo:
“All I’m saying is that just because Novak can beat Rafa on clay doesn’t mean that he can beat Roger just because Rafa is better. Tennis is not like that.”

Has Djoko beaten Nadal on clay? If so, when? I believe it’s the reason why some would like to see Djoko in Fed’s side of the draw because it’s mission impossible for Djoko to beat Nadal, and they think he has better odds against Federer. I also agree with you that it will not be that easy for Djoko to beat Fed on clay, even though he did that recently at the MS level, however at the GS level, it’s a whole different scenario, but we’ll see in week two how it will all play out.


MMT Says:

Kimo: “..just because Novak can beat Rafa on clay doesn’t mean that he can beat Roger just becasue Rafa is better.”

I don’t know what makes you say Djokovic can beat Nadal on clay when he’s never done it, and he has a losing record to Federer on the surface. There’s only one player on tour with 2 wins against Nadal on clay and it’s not Djokovic.


Von Says:

MMT:

Look at our posts, we’ve stated pretty much the same on that quoted comment. I suppose we’ll soon be able to read each other’s mind. LOL., and ha, ha.


margot Says:

von: thanx 4 your response re Rafa. I personally think it takes a huge effort being Rafa Nadal, but that’s just me.
O2 is the arena in London where the final masters will be played in November.


mem Says:

i took a second look at the draw and as usual federer’s half of the draw is a cake walk. the only real threat is djokovic. everyone knows roddick and blake are no true clay courters, and berdych is as unpredictable as the weather. it’s a shame how these draws are set up to help federer win. the same happened in madrid. what is the probability of getting a draw like this 95% of the time? there’s is no reason why he shouldn’t breeze to the semis, unless something totally unexpectant happens, which i seriously doubt. are we suppose to be ignorant or just don’t know any better or both! don’t waste your time blasting me,it won’t change the draw!


NachoF Says:

But Kimo is not alone… there are lots of people who feel that Djoko was the most successful against Nadal this clay season cause they decide not to count Federer’s victory because of Nadal not being himself for whatever reason.


Von Says:

margot: “thanx 4 your response re Rafa. I personally think it takes a huge effort being Rafa Nadal, but that’s just me.”

You’re welcome, and yes it takes supreme effort to be Nadal, and it’s why he’s the only one. The light bulb just came on with respect to ‘O2′. Are you lucky or what to get those tickets! Can I come along? I saw the new roof on TV for the Wimby celebrations with Henman playing agassi and in doubles with Clijsters. I think it’s the most relaxed I’ve ever seen him. Did you know he was one of my faves? I think the expectations of the public was very daaging to him — poo guy.


MMT Says:

mem: You should start a club with Damir Dokic – Jelena’s father and bastion of rational thought – because he too believes the draws are rigged.


NachoF Says:

Von:
you have done it again! ‘poo’ guy?
http://img86.imageshack.us/img86/7870/cookingwithpoohnl1.jpg


Von Says:

People make fun of me when I complain about the draws so I’m not going to say anything this time that I think they are rigged. I mean how could Roddick be in Fed’s side 95% of the time, regardless of what number he is ranked? Case closed.


Von Says:

NachoF: You’re making me laugh, which is what I need today, since it’s raining and yucky outside. I think my mind is rigged to have these Freudian slips. LOL
__________________

MMT: You can add me to the Damir Dokic list with respect to the draws being rigged viz Roddick. talk about paranoia! LOL.


NachoF Says:

Its one thing to complain about the draws when it comes to the privileges of being seeded.. but thats different than arguing that the random part is not actually random… if they were gonna cheat (by, for instance, putting Roddick on Federer’s quarter 95% of the time… assuming cause they want Federer to win the tournament) then they wouldnt have put Djokovic on his half either.


mem Says:

MMT, believe me i’m not the only one who thinks so. i’m just the one who said it aloud. maybe, i will start a club, thanks for the suggestion!


Von Says:

I think they put Roddick to boost Fed’s confidence. Fed only has to see Roddick’s name on his side and his confidence goes through the roof. LOL. I’m just joking so never mind me. I don’t know if they think of Djokovic as a threat to Federer, but I could be wrong.


Naresh Says:

Fed & Nadal, both just played warmup matches at RG. Nadal beat Arnaud Clement 6-3,6-3.. Clement winning 6 games of Nadal.. makes me curious bout Nadal’s form right now..

On the other hand Federer beat Wavrinka, the guy that beat him in Monaco, in straight sets 6-2,6-4.. Makes things a lot more interesting !


jane Says:

Naresh – are you there? Did you see the matches? Interesting either way … though I wonder how seriously these guys take their warm up matches.


MMT Says:

Has Roddick even ever advanced to the quarterfinal at RG?


Von Says:

Naresh: Yeah I read that. here’s the link:

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/22052009/58/nadal-wins-easily-paris.html

I don’t think we can place too much emphasis on those exho matches, because some of thes players like to hold back, hence maybe that’s what nadal is doing, and the ‘W’ is what matters, I suppose. What I’ve noticed with nadal recently is that he doesn’t play to win every point as he used t do, he’s doing somewhat of a Sampras, break hold serve and let his opponent tire himself out to break Nadal. Just my silly musings though.


Von Says:

Roddick has only gotten to Round 3.


NachoF Says:

I doubt it…. especially considering that hes ‘always’ on fed’s draw and they had never played each other on clay before Madrid


jane Says:

Federer has a better chance at winning the title than Djoko; he’s been in 3 French Finals already, and he just beat Rafa in Madrid. Djoko isn’t miles behind as he’s lost only to Nadal at the French the last 3 years in a row also. But as MMT points out only Federer has actually beaten Rafa 2x on clay. These are some betting odds I read:

Nadal: 4/11

Federer: 4/1

Djoko: 5/1

Murray: 16/1

Seems a bit rough on Murray but I guess he does have a tough draw and is only this year hitting his stride on clay. Be a good pay out if he proved them wrong!


Naresh Says:

I didn’t see the matches, only read bout it and Von, you might be right bout Nadal not going for it and just feeling the red clay in Paris, but on the other hand Fed vs Wavrinka might not have been such a casual affair. I mean Fed lost to him in Monaco 4-6,5-7.. straight sets. Wavrinka had lost to fed on hard courts, so he was looking forward to meeting fed in Monaco fortheir 1st meeting on clay, which is supposedly his favourite surface. Considering all that 6-2,6-4 in Fed’s favour is pretty impressive.


MMT Says:

You’re not alone mem, there are a lot of people that believe in a lot of things – some of them very strange. But you and Mr. Dokic have one other thing in common besides your beliefs – neither of you has a shred of evidence or even an explanation of how the draw would be rigged.

Have you ever even seen a draw? Could you explain how this would be accomplished?


jane Says:

Did others know that Del Potro was a French Open Junior Champion? Didn’t know that…


jane Says:

Did others know that Del Potro was a French Open Junior Champion? Didn’t know that…


Von Says:

Naresh:

I agree with you and I believe Fed definitely wanted to beat Wawrinka for his confidence and to derail Wawa’s confidence since he beat Fed previously, so I would think Fed put a lot of effort into his match, because he had something to prove. On the other hand, Nadal doesn’t have anything to prove to Clement, except that he can always beat him, and it’s the reason why I don’t think he gave his all in that match.

___________________
jane: I didn’t know that bout DelPotro, so it’s no wonder he’s good on clay and beat Murray. Interesting ……


zola Says:

hi all,

Bodo’s FO preview:
http://tennisworld.typepad.com/tennisworld/2009/05/mens-roland-garros-preview.html

I like the thought of having a Rafa-Djoko final in the FO. Djoko has worked his way up. Playing in two finals and one semi and winning one tournament.

I also want Rafa to have avenge his Madrid loss to Fed.
so not decided yet and in my bracket I still have a Rafa-fed final.

mem,
Rafa picked the names for the WTA draw and Ana Ivanovic picked the names for ATP. So perhaps Ana is responsible for Fed’s easy draw!
But I am happy she drew Djokovic on Fed’s side!

It is true that Fed can party till the semi-final and just show up for the matches. I hope Djoko has enough energy and motivation to reach the semi and make Fed work for the money he is earning. I think he has a good chance to be in the final.

I am not sure about Murray. he lost to Clement in an exhibition match and hasn’t been shining on lay this year. For now, my pick is Gonzo to reach the semi from that quarter.


zola Says:

oops,
Murray lost to Paul-Henri Mathieu, not Clement!


Kimo Says:

No, Novak didn’t beat Rafa on clay, but he had several match points aginst him and it could have easily gone his way.

He definitely can beat Rafa on clay.

Novak’s clay game can hurt Rafa but it can’t hurt Roger. I don’t know why it’s hard to understand that. Is Rafa the best clay-court player of all time? Yes, absolutely, but it’s harder for him to beat Novak that it is to beat Roger.

Why does a guy like Nalbandian have a good rcord against Roger while Roddick is Fed’s bitch? If you think about it, Andy is much more consistent, has more fire power, and he’s a lot fitter than Nalby. What Nalbandian has for him is that he has more tricks up his sleeve. Nalby is a tougher match for Federer, even though he’s worse than Andy in terms of win/loss records and rankings.

Why is it that guys like Blake, Berdych and Youzhny have a great record against Nadal but are 2-27 against Fed?

Tennis is about how different styles match up. If Fed’s got his A-game, and Novak’s got his A-game come the semis, Fed will win in four.


Von Says:

Roddick is Fed’s bitch? What is he a she dog? You guys need to wash your mouths out with soap or didn’t your mums ever do that for you? sheesh. I suppose the other players who now have such lopsided H2Hs v. Nadal are also his bi**ches, if going by your thinking, yes? Guess what, shock attack, Roddick’s H2H v. Nadal ain’t bad at all, so you can digest that and don’t choke.


mem Says:

MMT, maybe, you were born yesterday and that would explain your naivete, but i’m not naive. like i said, i’m just voicing what others are thinking, but won’t say for whatever reason. i don’t need to explain a procedure, rational thinking tells me that it is highly unlikely for a draw to be this lopsided almost all the time. this may come as a shock to you, but things are not always the way we are told that they are! anyway, i respect your beliefs!


Kimo Says:

Von: Sorry if I offended you.


zola Says:

Kimo,
Roddick had a good match against Fed in Miami and he had no match play on clay this year. I think it was a good result ( better than fed’s in MC). They can meet in the QF in RG and ig that happens I think Roddick can give Fed some hard time. He isn’t going away!

It is true that tennis depends on the style. But there are other factors too. Will, desire and confidence. How did Rafa win over Blake,berdych and Youzhny? and how did Fed lose to Djoko in Rome? If Djoko is confident enough ( and fit enough to play 4-5 sets), he can win Federer in RG.


Kimo Says:

zola:

Nadal is the reason Federer hasn’t won the FO in the last four years. Winning the FO will pretty much seal the GOAT title for him. Believe me, he has more will and desire than you can imagine.

As for confidence, I think that winning Madrid after a horrible start to the season (by Fed’s standards) must have given him the boost he needs. I don’t know if it will be enough to beat Nadal, but it can’t hurt.


MMT Says:

Conspiracy theorists – of which you are one – always claim that they are the ones that are not naive. They just as often have no evidence, or even an explanation of how their conspiracy works. In your case, your conspiracy is so vast (all the slams and all the master series) that it would entail all the slams and all the MS series conspiring to stick it to Roddick. It would also entail finding a way to guarantee that Ana Ivanovic (and every other draw participant in the last 5 years of grand slams and masters series) picks Andy Roddick’s name apicks a name from the pot.

So again I ask, because it is your theory after all, how exactly this conspiracy is to be executed…and most importantly keep it a secret, or simply keep every sports reporter ON THE PLANET, including those who would naturally prefer any of Federer’s rivals, from breaking the biggest story in the history of tennis?

I mean honestly – do you have anything even remotely resembling an explanation of how this is accomplished, other than this fantastical conspiracy theory?


FoT Says:

Do you guys really think the draw is ‘rigged’? If so, you guys need your brain examined. The draw is down in the open by players in front of a crowd. How in the heck do you think someone could ‘rig’ the draw? It’s called the ‘luck of the draw’.

And there is no ‘easy’ draw at all. These players are ATP players – and professional players. Everyone is trying to win. Anything can happen and in grand slams we have had so many ‘upsets’ that nothing is a lock (except Nadal getting to the final again).

So people say Roger has an easy draw and Nadal has a hard draw. Please! Nadal hasn’t lost not ONE match in Paris so whoever is on his side of the draw has the ‘hardest’ time – not Nadal. Until he loses a match in Paris, there is no such thing as Nadal having a ‘hard’ draw.


mem Says:

MMT, why is what i believe is so troubling to you? you have made your point, if i sound preposterous, then so be it, move on! the draw is what it is. federer gets away with an easy draw again, but it’s not going to change based on our spectulations! you believe one thing and i believe another. simple! it’s called life!


Kimo Says:

Btw, I’ve never seen a comment complaining that Rafa’s draw was easy. Ever.

Why do ppl want Roger’s draw to be tough? Hey, if Rafa is that good, it shouldn’t matter who he’s up against, and if Roger is bad, he’ll lose sooner rather than later, so let’s just stop talking about the draws. It’s pointless, especially at grandslams.

The best player always wins in slams. The draw is only a distraction. It’s something the media likes to talk about. Player’s don’t really care much about it. They just care about who they’re facing next and they let the draw play itself out. There’s no point in trying to speculate how a Fed vs. Blake works out if Blake exists from the first round (which is very possible).


MMT Says:

And BTW, you’re right – you don’t have to explain how a draw works to me. What you should do is explain how the draw can be RIGGED, because that’s your theory and it bears explanation. After all, what you’re really talking about is the entire universe of tennis administrators conspiring to place tennis in nearly the same category as WWF wrestling. That is quite a story to be kept a secret for that long, and as far as I am concerned, I’ve never known any secret to be held by two people unless one of them is dead.


MMT Says:

First, a belief in something that cannot be proven is totally different than a belief in something that can. One is akin to religion or a belief in a way of life. That I will never argue, because that’s very personal. What you’re talking about is altogether much uglier, and it is this that I have a major problem with.

What you believe is troubling for 2 reasons: first, because it entails a conspiracy that if true would render tennis a completely illegitimate professional sport and second, it is another way to denigrate the achievements of a great player in Roger Federer, who I believe deserves more respect than that.

But now that you mention it, I don’t think you really believe it either, because if you did, you’d be wasting a lot of time watching professional tennis when the fix is in. After all, if you’re going to watch something that’s fixed, you’d be better off watching professional wresting, where you know it’s fixed, and you’re just watching for the entertainment of the absurdity of it all. But I don’t think you or I are really interested in that, are we.

I think we’re both interested in seeing who will be the best player over the course of the next two weeks starting Sunday. I think we’re both interested in the real drama of sports, where the result is unknown, and the beauty of it and the adulation of those that play it well, is in the knowledge that they ALL have a shot, but only the best comes out on top. I’m sure that’s what you like too. If not, then there is always the exhibition circuit with Mansour Bahrami where the result is irrelevant, and the tricks and gaffes are what we’re really interested in. But then again, then you’d be posting about that instead of the ATP, so my guess is that’s not exactly your cup of tea either.

I think you’re denigrating Roger Federer achievements, and because I love the game of tennis as much as you do, I think that’s rotten.


mem Says:

FoT, it’s not about whether nadal has lost a match in paris of not, it’s about fairness. it’s about equality. tough draws should rotate among top players. i’m saying the scale should be more balanced. people who need their brains examined are those who think that because nadal has never lost and everyone thinks he is so fit, he deserves to be punished with a tough draw everytime he plays. i say the same thing about federer on hardcourt, just because he hasn’t lost at the usopen, it would be unfair for him to get a tough draw just because he has won the tournament five times. what kind of justice is that?


zola Says:

Kimo,
I am not questioning Fed’s will and desire. I was saying that Roddick can trouble Fed even if he loses to him ten more times. Because he hasn’t given up against Fed, like Fed hasn’t given up against Rafa.

And how is a draw easy or hard? You look at the players who play well on a particular surface and see where they landed in the draw !

and whoever thinks the draw is rigged, should go after Ana Ivanovic and Rafa! they picked the players!

I suggested this before. Maybe the draw should be done based on the ranking. Like you always know numbers x and y are going to play in a certain round.
That might give players extra motivation to improve their rankings.


zola Says:

mem,
I tell you something. Tough draws work better for Rafa. He loves challenges and playing tougher players help him get better by each match. There is a day of rest between matches. Let’s go match by match as he does and see how things go. Being fresh in a match is an advantage but so is being match fit and ready for tough situations.


Von Says:

“And there is no ‘easy’ draw at all. These players are ATP players – and professional players. ”

Well, I guess you have more tennis savvy than the experts who analyze the draw and conclude which player has the easiest path to the final.

BTW, do you ever feel the urge to discuss a match, point by point? Instead, all you do when you comment, is issue directives, on who should leave Federer and Mirka alone, or what they should or shouldn’t say regarding Federer. Your comments are a “Federer based defense” on what you perceive to be unkind comments towards Federer, and not really about the sport of tennis over all. Additionally, you indulge in insulting others, making statements similar to: “If so, you guys need your brain examined.” Have you had yours examined lately? Ridiculous.


jane Says:

Kimo,

You’re right that draws play themselves out, often in surprising ways, regardless of our analyses and gripes and wishes about them.

However, I disagree with you that draws don’t matter at all; as you yourself opined, “tennis is about match ups”. Therefore, if a player happens to be drawn to face someone who is a potentially bad match up or a potentially easy match up (in your view, Roddick vs. Federer), then it can make their lives easier or harder, no matter how good the player is. And you’ve likely heard the saying “slams can’t be won in the first week, but they can be lost there” right? So those potentially bad match ups may matter a lot if the players aren’t careful from the get go.

Anyhow, I am not saying there is a definitive way to analyze a draw, only that draws do matter, and that some can certainly be more difficult than others. That’s just the way it is in sports – some match ups are tough, others, not so much.


Kimmi Says:

Zola: “I like the thought of having a Rafa-Djoko final in the FO. Djoko has worked his way up. Playing in two finals and one semi and winning one tournament.”

Do I sense a fear of Federer ? You know Djoko has never beaten Nadal on clay..that makes him easy prey maybe ? But with Federer, even if he lost 3 times in the final -you just never know. I think I know what you are thinking.


zola Says:

Kimmi,
why fear Federer? or anyone? This is a game.

I haven’t made up my mind yet. On one side I like to see Djokovic in the final because he has been in each and every clay tournamnet this season. He played two finals and one semi and won Belgrade. what has federer done? he lost early in MC, he lost in Rone to Djoko and played the final in Madrid, bacause Djoko was not on his side.

On the other hand, I would like to see Rafa avenge Madrid and go to Wimbledon with a win over Federer.

But I guess we will know perhaps when Djoko and Fed meet in the semis.

One more thing. GOAT is meaningless to me. Can anyone say fed is not one of the greatest of all times? Just because he never won FO? what about Sampras then?


zola Says:

FoT,
Don’t worry about the insults.
Keep posting. Love to see you around here more often.


Von Says:

jane: “Therefore, if a player happens to be drawn to face someone who is a potentially bad match up or a potentially easy match up (in your view, Roddick vs. Federer), then it can make their lives easier or harder, no matter how good the player is.”

There is definitely a psychological edge if a player looks at his section of the draw and sees another he has beaten several times, it most decidedly buoys his spirits. On the other hand, should he see one who’s a very real threat, it produces negativity, and as a result diminishes his will to compete. These players are first and foremost human beings, and they don’t think that much more differently from some of us, so it’s not that easy for them to look in the face of adversity and put it out of their minds, when the possibility of defeat looms in the next couple of rounds. It’s the reason I say that when Federer looks at the draw and sees Roddick, who is someone he’s beaten so many times, it boosts his confidence. Federer then knows he can make it through to the QFs, barring any unforeseen upsets. Most people don’t want to admit there’s a psychological barrier in match-ups, but there definitely is one, and if we would ask the players I’m sure they’d acknowledge those thoughts do surface at times.


Von Says:

Is this woman cantankerous or what? Yeah keep up with the insults, and she’ll fill up your head with her phoney baloney, like Federer is a great champion but in her mind, not as good as ‘my Rafa’. Oy vey and sick.


Von Says:

Why fear Federer or anyone? Sure, why? Yet, she wants Djoko to be in Federer’s half and not Nadal’s? I wonder why? This is some comedy act. LOL. And, find your own words, please. I can’t write anything without my words being copied? Sheesh, such a limited vocabulary, plgiarizing someone’s writing style and words continuously.


Kimmi Says:

“What has Federer done ? he lost in Rone to Djoko and played the final in Madrid, because Djoko was not on his side.”

Zola, Federer won Madrid and he beat Nadal on the way, which is the biggest achievement for him. The fact that he played the final because Djoko was not in his side is speculation. You don’t know what could have happened if they played in madrid. BTW Fed is playing much better, the fed of MC and Rome would not have beaten Nadal. Anyway, woulda, coulda, shoulda..He won madrid. If he reach the final it will be interesting to see what tactic he will use this time.


mem Says:

zola, i understand your point, but that does not justify anything. in all due respect, did rafa say that he enjoys battling through matches most of the time, taking the risk of being so tired at the latter stages that it could cost him a win? i just haven’t heard him say that before. i think that is something that we have associated with rafa and projected on to him because of his fighting spirit, his will to win. regardless of how we reason, all top players should be challenged consistently. this is what the sport is about. it is a key factor for measuring how good a player really is. how can we determine how great a player is if he is not consistently tested against the best?


zola Says:

mem,
Rafa hasn’t said so. He just plays the draw like any other player has to do. But having good matches , perhaps not those that take up all your energy, are really good practice for the next one. I wouldn’t worry. Let’s go match by match.

Kimmi,
that’s true. We don’t know what would have happened had Fed played Djoko in Madrid. Anyway, I am glad that Rafa ( hopefully) will play just one of them not both! I think they are both right behind Rafa on clay.

All the players play much better than MC. That was the first clay tournament and I don’t think anyone was playing their best.

And the Madrid win was good for both Rafa and Fed. Fed got a title after six months and comes to FO with confidence and Rafa does not have as much pressure as he would, if he had swept all the clay titles.

All we can do is wait and see how things play out.

Just that you know, I have Rafa and Fed to play the final in my ATP bracket challenge for now. But I have to make my mind soon!


Skorocel Says:

FoT: „So people say Roger has an easy draw and Nadal has a hard draw. Please! Nadal hasn’t lost not ONE match in Paris so whoever is on his side of the draw has the ‘hardest’ time – not Nadal.“

Amen to that!

——————–

zola: „Tough draws work better for Rafa. He loves challenges and playing tougher players help him get better by each match.“

Ditto.


zola Says:

btw,If you want to play the ATP bracket challenge, it is open till May 24, 5 pm (ET).

http://challenge.atpworldtour.com/


Kimmi Says:

Zola, I will never get it right on clay, will have to wait till clay season is over..LOL


zola Says:

Kimmi,
You should see my scores. Terrible! and surely Rafa losing in Madrid did not help! But I did better for Madrid than Rome! So not all hope is lost!

I usually play this a couple times a year. This year I started in IW and just decided to continue as long as I can.


zola Says:

Steve Tignor’s FO Preview:

http://tennisworld.typepad.com/thewrap/2009/05/the-paris-parse.html

I have similar picks with him for the semis , but I have Rafa and fed in the final ( for now).
Interesting article.

Even more interesting is that both him and Bodo pick Djoko to play the final and not Federer, although Fed won Madrid!

This is Tignor’s reasoning:
****
If Federer and Djokovic face each other, it will be a battle of two players who come in with a lot of confidence, and a lot of confidence that they can beat the other guy. Djokovic must feel like he’s figured out a rope-a-dope method of coaxing Fed to self-destruct, while Federer must feel like he’s in good enough form to put their last two matches behind him and exact revenge on a cocky whippersnapper who has always bugged him. But I think the stronger self-belief, as well as the more natural clay-court game, belongs to the Serb.

****


FoT Says:

Zola, I’m here a lot – mostly just reading but not posting that much. But heck, since it seems likeI upset some folks with my posting about Roger – I might just do it a little bit more now! lol!


Von Says:

ATP RACE TOP 20
As of Monday, 18-May-09
(means how they played in 2009)

1 Nadal, Rafael (ESP) 6705
2 Djokovic, Novak (SRB) 3540
3 Federer, Roger (SUI) 3460
4 Murray, Andy (GBR) 3170

5 Roddick, Andy (USA) 2180
6 Verdasco, Fernando (ESP) 1860
7 Del Potro, Juan Martin (ARG) 1835
8 Ferrer, David (ESP) 1240

9 Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried (FRA) 1230
10 Robredo, Tommy (ESP) 1220
11 Stepanek, Radek (CZE) 1190
12 Gonzalez, Fernando (CHI) 1105
13 Simon, Gilles (FRA) 1045
14 Cilic, Marin (CRO) 1040
15 Wawrinka, Stanislas (SUI) 895
16 Monfils, Gael (FRA) 860
17 Almagro, Nicolas (ESP) 765
18 Monaco, Juan (ARG) 720
19 Berdych, Tomas (CZE) 680
20 Nalbandian, David (ARG) 665

For those who like to know the race points, I was up all night doing the math. LOL. Now that you’re probably thinking I’m lying, you’re right, I copied this from another site.


Ezorra Says:

My prediction for RG final is Nadal vs Djokovic
My wish for RG final – Nadal vs Victor Crivoi (or any of the ball boys) – easier is better.

b.t.w. among all grand slam websites, I like RG website the most (2nd is Australian Open, 3rd US open and the last one – Wimbledon). I like the colors, fonts and everything.

Von – congrats to your husband on Man United’s success in defending their EPL championship. However, please remind him that Arsenal will come back next season with a better preparation and stronger desire. (Actually, I tell this to all Man United fans like every season but unfortunately, it never happened like those I wish…. waaaa!!!)


vared Says:

Federer is nearly six years older than Djok – who just turned 22 yesterday. This should clearly work in Djoks’ favor going forward. It may be the reason people feel that the Djok’s got a
better chance to win the French than Fed.


vared Says:

If Fed beats Djok Nadal will win again and Borg will present him the trophy. Fed will be crying buckets. Maybe he can hold it in this time.


zola Says:

FoT
lol! Yes, you should post more often.

Vared,
Age probably is a factor, but Djoko has taken some steps to improve his fitness and net game. So perhaps that gives him more confidence.

and we don’t know yet what the final will be and who will win. We’ll see in two weeks. No need to tease Fed.


zola Says:

vared
thanks for the link. The third preview predicting a Rafa-Djoko final! what’s going on?


Giner Says:

There will be a new French Open runner up this year says my tea leaves. I’m not sure whether to be happy or sad.

Wertheim of SI says it will be Nadal vs Total Surprise, and Federer vs Djokovic in the semis. He believes Nadal will beat Djokovic in the final. I’m inclined to agree with the finals prediction. It’s a sound analysis. I don’t know about the “Total Surprise” opponent for Nadal. Murray isn’t the best clay courter, but who is he going to lose to? Wertheim didn’t say.

Nadal’s matches against Djokovic have been close and closer this year, and the last one should give him some pause. I wonder how confident he’d be feeling at that prospect.. He beat Djokovic all 3 times this year, but this is the big one — the only one that counts in the history books.


Giner Says:

I’ve only skimmed through the comments. This has gotten pretty nasty. It appears you’ve all agreed on who will win the title, just disagree on the minor details (namely the victim in the final). I’m surprised by the hostility.

It sounds like the event is just a formality. I wouldn’t be so overconfident. I don’t know how much can be taken from Madrid’s results, but if they are representative, we could be in for some surprises.

It’s hard to see Nadal losing before the final unless there’s an injury, so the final with Federer or Djokovic is pretty much the only match I have any interest in.

The women’s side is uncallable. Completely. Anything can happen, and I can’t think of any clear cut favourites. You can either call this ‘depth’, or a consistent lack of quality. Take your pick. I don’t think Serena or Venus will win, yet I can’t put a finger on who I think they’ll lose to.


zola Says:

Giner,
So Wertheim predicts a Rafa-Djoko final too? That makes it 4 till now! I am really surprised that fed is not picked at least by a couple after his Madrid win.

No one can “decide” who the winner will be Giner. It is all predictions. I “hope” it will be Rafa! Based on the fact that he has won two master series on clay this year to Fed’s one and Djoko’s none. besides he has not been pushed in RG. An upset is always possible, but perhaps not highly probable unless Rafa is injured.
There are two long weeks till the final! I hope Rafa stays healthy and I hope he can win for the fifth time.


zola Says:

In US, ESPN and tennis channel show RG matches:
http://tennis.com/tvschedule/tvschedule.aspx?id=67
———————–

Tennis channel website says they will show matches online.

Bookmark this:

http://www.tennis-channel.tv/tennis/


Ryan Says:

“Thats 5 in a row for Rafa!!!”……in ur dreams nadal fans.


St4r5 Says:

If Fed this time takes down Djokovic and Nadal on clay, people will introduce “weak era” conversation again!


Ryan Says:

To St4r5 : To be honest with you i dont see that happening but if it does somehow then the critics will say that the competition was tired after all a long clay court season.


Roger-Rafa Says:

“If Fed beats Djok Nadal will win again and Borg will present him the trophy. Fed will be crying buckets. Maybe he can hold it in this time. ”

Atleast Fed haters like you can be sure Roger will get through his match! With the drama queen from Serbia who plays on ATP, we are not even sure it (he/she?) will complete its match!

We, tennis fans can only hope that it will stop robbing tennis fans of their precious money and time by quitting in big matches when the opponents is kicking his ass!


Kathy Says:

Kimo Says:

No, Novak didn’t beat Rafa on clay, but he had several match points aginst him and it could have easily gone his way.

He definitely can beat Rafa on clay.

Novak’s clay game can hurt Rafa but it can’t hurt Roger. I don’t know why it’s hard to understand that

Novak’s clay game certainly hurt Federer in Rome!


Rafa--Djoko Says:

Roger-Rafa
u are right the serbian queen might retire just like he did at miami and rome in the last two months after winning the first sets. wait a minute, was that the swiss king forgetting the script on the later stage of the T drama?
I’d rather see the player retire than play injured like the 3rd set in Rotterdam and aggravate the injury and be sidelined like monfils and nalbandian right now, and not play for months because of one game.

you have have a nice name in roger-rafa but pretty gutless. because mr. roger had to and still has to bow to Rafa almost every time, you included Rafa there but the word order tells volume, Roger-Rafa, not Rafa-Roger to adequately consecrate the current number 1. that’s gutless and insulting.


sar Says:

Giner: Here are Novak’s thoughts about losing to Rafa. Sorry no link.

A week after worrying claycourt king Rafael Nadal in Madrid, Novak Djokovic feels he has what it takes to clinch the French Open at the expense of the world number one.

Spaniard Nadal, who is undefeated at Roland Garros since his debut in 2005, lost in the Madrid Masters final to Swiss Roger Federer a day after saving three match points against Djokovic in a four-hour tussle.

“The semi-final against Rafa in Madrid gave me even more self belief that I might win in our next encounter,” the world number four told reporters on Friday.

The fourth-seeded Djokovic, who has lost to Nadal in the semi-final of the French Open for the past two years, will not be in the champion’s half of the draw.

Instead, Djokovic could face Federer in the last four, leaving him to hope Nadal’s semi-final opponent would repeat the favour he did for the Swiss in Madrid.

“I have not seen the match, but they told me he (Nadal) wasn’t moving quite well. I mean, obviously because of the long match we had played the day before,” the 2008 Australian Open champion said.

However, Djokovic was aware of the size of the task facing him if he is to depose Nadal in Paris.

“If you talk about my matches on this claycourt season against Rafa, basically looking at each match I am getting closer and closer,” he said.

“So there is only one more point to go. But it’s not that easy. Again, I’m saying I played probably one of the best matches in my life against him on clay, even though I lost it.”

Source: Reuters


sar Says:

Federer says he can beat anyone at Roland Garros if he plays good.

http://eurosport.yahoo.com/video/220…ars-paris.html


Gordo Says:

What I find totally goofy about the whiners in here saying the draw is “rigged” is that to a person they always complain that the draw is rigged in Federer’s favour – never in Nadal’s, who has never lost a match in 4 years.

Guys, come on – the draw is NOT rigged – in a tennis tournament the benefit the #1 and #2 get is that they can only face each other in the final. The benefit the #3 and 4 get is that they can only play one of the other top 4 players BEFORE reaching the final.

Everything else is really, as they say – the luck of the draw, other than the assignments of seeds #5 – 32 (also by draw) to ensure a fair distribution of the elite in the sport.

I have seen a draw where the number #1 seed started against a qualifier and wound up advancing to play the winner of two other qualifiers. Is it rigged? No – it just happens that way sometimes.

But I echo the questions asked by other frustrated bloggers in here – HOW CAN IT BE RIGGED? Is Nadal in on it? Because he is the one pulling the names! Honestly.

To anyone who is a fan of any sport anywhere (and that should cover quite a few folks!) – if you honestly believe the sport you love and are passionate about is fixed or rigged or is run by crooked people and organizations – FIND ANOTHER SPORT TO FOLLOW or else what is the point of a devotion to a sport?

Well – I guess maybe if you like professional wrestling.


Gordo Says:

I believe this will be a very important tournament for the Djoker. I am not certain he can defeat an in-form Federer in 5 sets; certainly not if he is already looking forward to a final against Nadal.

As to wearing out prior to the final – this is not a Masters tourney where the men’s finalists play 5 matches in 6 days. Even though it is a best of 5, not 3, the finalists play 7 matches in 11 or 12 days. The most likely finalists, who you would have to think are Nadal, Federer or Djokovic, are masterful physical specimens. Even if they have a gruelling semi-final the winner should be more than up for the final.

One only needs to look at the exhausting AO semi-final Nadal had against Verdasco (5 hours and 14 minutes long!!!) and remember how fresh he was against Federer in the final the next day.

Whoever loses the final is going to do so because they were beaten or because they did not have their ‘A’ game with them on the day. But it will NOT be because of fitness. Injury maybe, but not fitness.


Kimmi Says:

‘HOW CAN IT BE RIGGED? Is Nadal in on it? Because he is the one pulling the names! Honestly.”

The names could be stuck together, so that when they are pulled they go to Federer side of the draw! ha ha. Can’t make everybody happy I’m afraid.


Roger-Rafa Says:

Fed Fans dont have to worry about the weak era comment. I have seen people claim the same for Sampras in his era.

Anyone who wants to make a “factual” basis for a tennis GOAT :

Here is my case for Roger -

SF or better at GS for 19GS. In 6yrs since 03 wimbledon he has lost only to Rafa (only guy to have beaten him more than once in GS), Gustavo Kuerten (one of the greatest clay courters ever), Marat Safin and David Nalbandian (two of the greatest talents of all time) and Jokebich (in a match, where Federer should have served the jokebich and his moronic fans their own medicine by retiring after the 1st set – but fortunately for tennis fans Roger and Rafa are much more wise than that :)

And if you consider remove clay, this record becomes even more intimidating – safin beat him 8-6 in the 5th, rafa 9-7 at wimbledon and a 5th set at aus open (with a lot and lot of help from Federer whose serve was underpar – surely Nadal was not the reason fed’s serve was sub-par that day! since fed served lights out in his non-clay matches against nadal in the 3wimbledon finals!). Surely jokebich’s straigh-setting of Roger is an aberration when you hold it against the fact that 2 super talents like Rafa and Safin required super-human efforts to beat Roger. (I would be less harsh on the serbian queen if its fans like vared did not demean Roger!)


Gordo Says:

Daniel -

Yes, 109 ranked Brian Dabul now is the answer to the trick question “Who was the first player to defeat Nadal on the clay courts of Paris?”

However… it was a charity one-setter and it had been raining so the courts were quite slippery and observers noted that Nadal was not going all out (Last thing you need is a sprained ankle 2 days before a Grand Slam!).

As for Mr. Dabul of Argentina, it will not take long to see if he is for real. Should he win his first round match against Sergiy Stakhovsky he will most likely by playing a guy named Djokovic in the second round.

Buh bye Brian. Thanks for the wet one-set “victory” over Rafa. :)


Gordo Says:

Hey Roger-Rafa -

Interesting points. Although I am not going to be as venomous towards the Djoker as you were in your last post, I will ask one question -

How come to so many bloggers in here Federer doesn’t have a chance against Djokovic in the FO semis because of how Djokovic beat him in the Rome Masters, but yet the Madrid final of Federer straight-setting Nadal doesn’t mean a thing, and Rafa will kick Roger’s arse should he make it to the final?

The above comes from most naysayers (and most certainly the Fed detractors) in here.

I believe Djokovic, should he get past Brian Dabul (HA!) and win 3 more rounds and face Federer in the semis is going to have a great difficulty even winning one set.


Kimmi Says:

The guy won a match against Nadal, even if it was an exhibition. Congratulations. Good luck Dabul for the rest of the tournament.


jane Says:

Giner says “Murray isn’t the best clay courter, but who is he going to lose to? Wertheim didn’t say.”

I agree that the analysts aren’t really giving Murray a lot of credit, but I guess they go solely by current form and/or past history more so than what a player is actually capable of on any given day.

That said, I have read some who suspect Gonzalez could be the one to oust Murray.


ojo caliente Says:

I would be less harsh on the serbian queen if its fans like vared did not demean Roger!

Roger Rafa I doubt that Vared or anyone else is what is bothering you. You just don’t like Serbian tennis players. You must be a Croatian or Albanian and it shows you are jealous not only of Novak but Ana and Jelena. What is the reason for that? I asked you before but you don’t want to answer why you hate Serbians. Proof is your statement below.

Roger-Rafa Says:

Jackblack

Hard to beat the 3 drama queens from serbia, jankovic, ivanovic and djokovic

Posted May 19th, 2009 at 12:56 pm


Gordo Says:

Jane – you may be right that Gonzalez would certainly have a shot.

Much like Rafa reaching the finals of Wimbledon for the first time, until Andy has a deep run into the second week at the FO he can’t really be expected to live up to his ranking.

Even he says he has set his goal not to win the tournament, but to reach the second week.

Who are we to doubt him?


Kimmi Says:

For murray, everything is great. No pressure. This was he can go quietly deeper in the draw. Unlike the AO where a lot of media made him the favorite, there is a great potential to reach the semi here.


Kimmi Says:

meant to say “this way he can go quietly deeper in the draw”


jane Says:

Gordo,

“How come to so many bloggers in here Federer doesn’t have a chance against Djokovic in the FO semis ”

Is this really the case? I mean some of the analysts are talking up Djoko’s chances, yes, but I think if you read through the posts on this link, mine included – and I like Djoko obviously – you’ll see that many of us actually give the edge, if that semifinal is to occur, to Federer. Fed’s played 3 finals there so he knows his way around the court.

Personally, I was hoping Djoko would land on Fed’s side *for a change* because he’s lost of Rafa in the semis the last 2 years and the quarters the year before that. Admittedly, I thought Djoko’s confidence might be a bit better against Fed since he has beaten Fed lately; even if they weren’t great wins, (i.e., Fed not at his best in Miami and Rome) Djoko was still able to break Fed’s serve a number of times and close the matches out. Djoko himself knows Fed is a mighty threat; recently he said:

“Roger’s a player who has a lot of credit in the history of this sport,”

“He’s loved by fans worldwide. He’s number two now, has been number one and he’s back on a winning streak. Tennis must be happy to see that because he’s a big champion.”

source:
http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?sectionName=HomePage&id=b018c261-3a2b-4534-a2a6-9553a6f965c2&Headline=Nadal+defiance+means+nothing+now%2c+says+Djokovic

So I don’t think it’s as biased one way as your question impies, at least not by the bloggers here. More seem to think Fed will win as far as I can tell. I guess they all have to get there first!


Gordo Says:

Jane -

I admit you are right. Perhaps is just that so many Fed bashers go so far out of their way to discredit him and his accomplishments.

You have to admit, Fed winning Madrid has certainly livened things up in here and in the world of tennis in general!

I am hoping Fed and the Djoker meet. It should be a great match and will tune up the winner for what will probably be Rafa’s title defence.

But if it were played on paper and by speculation then the players wouldn’t have to play, would they?


jane Says:

Gordo,

“But if it were played on paper and by speculation then the players wouldn’t have to play, would they?”

That’s true – and on any particular day, even the best of them can be off and blow it. I had a painful time last year watching Djoko lose abysmally to Safin at Wimbledon – even though I love Safin it was an awful match. So I just hope we see these guys at their bests and see some great matches. The best men on the day will win and that’s what it usually comes down to.

“Perhaps is just that so many Fed bashers go so far out of their way to discredit him and his accomplishments.”

Hey, I empathize. While even I have had some problems with some of the choices Djoko has made in the past, I think he’s a good person and a great tennis player. But let me tell you – he gets bashed a lot. Usually I just try to ignore it as that’s the nature of blogging to a degree. Bashing abounds! LOL.


Gordo Says:

Basher should have been the name of one of Santa’s reindeer.

Come to think of it, Rafa and Djoker would have made good reindeer names too! :lol


jane Says:

LOL Gordo. Yeah Basher instead of Dasher – he’d be the one always crashing I assume.


jane Says:

vared – good link. I’d never seen that tennis site before and the writer uses a lot of wit in his analysis, which is to be appreciated in this serious world of sports. It’s also a very in-depth analysis -wow.

Other posters who are interested in draw analysis and may’ve missed the link vared posted, I’d recommend it. Scroll up to “May 23rd 12:51 am”.


Colin Says:

Gordo – Djokovich is a “masterful physical specimen”? I wouldn’t think that was the general opinion. As for Federer, he may well be very fit, but there’s this little thing called age to take into account.


Roger-Rafa Says:

Gordo :

I see a lot of people are picking Joker but I saw most of these people have egg and rotten tomatoes on their faces at the aussie open where a lot of so-called tennis analysts picked the guy over Roddick.( I downgraded the harshness coz I dont see Joker fans poke any lame comments at Roger yet – if they do i can upgrade it again :)

As you said, most of it is speculation, and I feel personally, from the matches between El Mago and Joker so far, that the game is on Federer’s Racket. As some one else mentioned, Djokovic is a good match-up for Roger. Ofcourse, Fed-fans can all rest better if the Dubal guy knocks off Novak, but if Novak and murray make the semis, I would prefer Novak over murray, to face Roger, for two reasons -

1) Fed’s game matches better against Novak’s than Murray and if murray made the semis, it means he has the RG puzzle solved to much greater extent than previous years, so he’s having his game in groove.

2) Murray actually has better chance of ousting Nadal on clay than Novak, in a best of 5. I know, I know Novak did yada yada this year, but he has won 0 sets in 3 tries at the french against Rafa. On clay, especially, best of 5 is a much different beast compared to best of 3. Of all the surfaces, the difference b/w best of 3 and 5 is exacerbated on clay due to the fact that it diffuses the advantage of power and reflexes. There is a very good reason why Nadal is 43-0 in best of 5 on clay :) So, until Novak wins a set off Nadal on clay, I aint picking him to win 3 against Rafa (assuming Rafa is fully fit that is!). I would rather gamble on the unknown entity Murray, whose game matches better against Rafa and more importantly can aspire to match Rafa if the duel gets to fitness. Novak, we all now, is the King of Retirements.

In the bigger picture, Novak fans can safely go and try their luck in Vegas, because he is not getting through Roger and Rafa at RG, definitely not after he retired against Roddick in the slam before that. In a strange, funny way, I think Murray has a better shot than Novak if things go to seedings. Of the top 4, Novak is the most unfit physically and mentally to win a GS on clay – assuming all top 4 make it. To quote Sean ” he is the garbage man! ” more so on clay. He has never won a title on clay beating either Rafa or won a set off Rafa on Parisian clay! Roger, my dear Federer-haters (or as you refer to yourself, djokovic fans), has done both.

Let us wait and see if the no.4 seed gets to the semis! We have all seen him fall flat once he becomes the hunted! All his crap-talk goes unnoticed when he is the underdog! Now everyone raised the expectations and last time they did that, after Roland Garros last year, where he apparently gave Nadal “the toughest match in Paris” last year, he started his descent to the no.3 position. Let us see if he learnt his lessons!


Roger-Rafa Says:

obviously I meant no.4, in the above post


zola Says:

Gordo
***What I find totally goofy about the whiners in here saying the draw is “rigged” is that to a person they always complain that the draw is rigged in Federer’s favour – never in Nadal’s, who has never lost a match in 4 years.****

lol! Whoever rigged Rafa’s draw was probably drunk! with Hewitt, Ferrer and Verdasco on his path to QF!


Von Says:

I’ll probably anger some Djokovic fans, but considering I don’t have a vested interest in either Djoko or Federer, I can speak with what I feel is an unbiased view, and I am not in any way ‘bashing’ either player. Moreover, his fans should look at my statements and ask themselves, if in any way, what I’m saying is truth or fiction, and if it’s the truth, then they shouldn’t have any cause for anger. However, I know at times, the truth is difficult to handle due to denial.

Before this discussion came up, and after Djoko beat Fed in Rome, I mentioned on a few threads ago that I feel it’s unfair that some are saying Djoko is the No. 2 player because he beat Federer and reached two finals on clay. At that time I felt they were not looking at the whole picture with respect to both players’ achievements in previous years, but only doing so on the present results. After that, Fed beat Nadal in Madrid, and the whole complexion of the picture changed. In view of that change, I still adhere to my original post by saying Fed is the better on clay, for the following reasons:

Over the years Federer has consistently proved he’s the second best, as opposed to Djoko who has only this year reached two finals. Djoko’s win over Federer in Rome, was pure and simple that Djoko absolutely got lucky, but a win IS a win regardless of how we look at it, but sometimes there are circumstances that need to be viewed objectively and the what ifs should be accommodated. In that Rome match, Fed was in all of Djoko’s service games in the first set and won that set easily 6-4. The second set he had a break and was about to break Djoko again, then the rain came. The rain provided Djoko with a wonderful respite, because he was literally winded, and he was able to recharge, talk to his coach, who probably advised him to just hang in the match and allow Federer to implode with their Miami match in mind. I believe it’s the reason Federer imploded by breaking the racquet, et al., due to visions of Miami surfacing again, the old demons were very strong. Hence, I feel based on what I saw, that Fed was definitely the better player in that match, even though he lost. the rain has helped Federer on many prior occasions, but was his downfall at Rome. Maybe some sort of justice after all?

Additionally, people are overlooking the fact that Federer has won an MS title in Madrid, and has gotten to the SFs in the other clay tourneys, as opposed to Djoko’s two finals and one SF in MS tourneys on clay, with zero titles. Ergo, I don’t understand how Djoko could be the decided No. 2 on clay in view of those facts. In my estimation, I think they are both equal going by the results attained.

One other thing we need to take into consideration, and that is Djoko’s still questionable fitness. In his SF match v. Nadal, Djoko had 2 trainer calls for cramps. What is the likelihood of a fit player cramping in a match? In reality, that shouldn’t happen, unless it’s a super hot day where he’s losing more bodily fluids than he’s ingesting, or that he’s not physically fit. We can’t say he cramped due to the heat, because it was NOT a hot day, so the only other conclusion would be he’s not as fit as some are claiming despite his new fitness regime. At the AO, which was considerably hotter than Madrid, Djoko retired due to heat exhaustion, not for cramping, which could have been a legitimate reason had he used that, because those conditions could definitely lead to cramping, more so than Madrid. Hence, the only conclusion one can arrive at for Djoko’s cramping and his two trainer calls, is that he’s still not physically as fit as he should be. I know I’ve been harping on Federer’s fitness, but judging from both guys’ performance, I think Federer is the fitter player.

I believe some fans are not seeing the whole picture, because they are discounting Fed’s win over Nadal, due to Nadal’s tiredness, but if we look at the SFs, Nadal was not playing any better v. Djoko, and it’s the reason we saw the nail-biter match, because Djoko was enabled by Nadal’s poor performance, and was able to play the match on his terms. I still keep wondering if the Nadal we saw at Rome, was playing in Madrid with conditions similar to Rome, would Djoko have been able to win that set and impose his game so much on Nadal, and I can only deduce that the answer would have been a resounding no. I also feel the same applies to Federer’s win, new attack plan et al., would have probably ended up with a Nadal win.

In view of the foregoing, and the whole picture, and going by the results, I conclude they are both even on clay, and going from prior years’ results, Fed posted better results than Djoko — summation Fed is still the No. 2 on clay, and better than Djoko. However, only time wil tell. I should mention also, that I think Nadal’s level of play has dropped considerably since the AO, and we’re not seeing the Nadal of ’08 on clay this year, hence there could be an upset. I don’t know if he’s feeling the pressure, or he’s playing just enough to win, and lulling his opposition into thinking he’s not up to snuff, but I think something’s amiss, and we’ll know at RG.

To the fans of both guys, please remember these are just my unbiased observations, and I again reiterate, I don’t have a vested interest in any of the players, viz.: Nadal, Federer and Djokovic. If you take umbrage to my remarks please do so objectively and respectfully, minus name calling, by asking yourselves if anything I’ve written is an ambiguity or prejudicial. If you can come up with a reasonable explanation and not one driven by anger or denial, I’d be glad to discuss my observations with any logical rebuttals you can proffer.


Von Says:

I’d also like to address the draws. I think many of you take me seriously when I say the draws are ‘rigged’ or that Federer requisitions Roddick. Let me make this perfectly clear (ala Richard Nixon, LOL) I only say this in jest, but I’m in no way mentally deranged, or ‘need my brain examined’. I’m perfectly cognizant how the draws work and there’s luck for some and bad luck for others — I also know about the ‘luck of the draws’, hence no explanation is necessary. My statements ONLY concern Roddick, not the other players, because I’m so angry that Roddick is so unlucky to fall into Federer’s side of the draw 95% of the time, hence his sickening H2H. Federer is a bad match up for Roddick, period. I know many feel it’s because Roddick is not up to Federer’s standard, which I can agree, because they have different styles, and Roddick does not move as quickly as Nadal to impose his game on Federer. However, be that as it may, Roddick is a very good player and one who’s been consistently in the top 10 as long as Federer has been, and no one can deny that or take that away from him — he’s earned his stripes! Bad match-ups are detrimental, for example, Roddick can beat Simon in straight sets easily, but Federer can’t. Does that mean Simon is a better player then Roddick? Hell no. Roddick has beaten Djokovic, whereas Fed implodes against Djokovic. again, it’s all about matchups. Is djokovic a better player than Federer? I personally don’t think so.

In view of the above, I hope you all understand where I’m coming from and I don’t need my brain examined, or all of the other stuff I see written. As a matter of fact, I feel I’m a lot more sane than many, but that’s my feeling, so don’t mind me. I would not have said anything about the draws due to the past misinterpretation of my statements, until jane drew it to my attention, to which I replied, ‘what else is new’. Anyway, it still doesn’t change my views that of the top 4 Federer has the easiest luck of the draw at RG, followed by Djokovic. Also, I still feel that when Fed sees Roddick in his part of the draw it buoys his confidence and he sees SF written all over that match-up if they were to meet in the QF; how could Federer not feel happy in view of their H2H. This is in no way bashing Fed, but facts are facts, and no one can deny that. Again, is it a lie or truth — search your hearts before you reply.


Von Says:

Roger-Rafa:

“I know, I know Novak did yada yada this year, but he has won 0 sets in 3 tries at the french against Rafa.”

Didn’t Djoko win one set from Nadal at RG last year in their SF? I think so, hence you need to change your stats. ha, ha.


jane Says:

Von,

“Didn’t Djoko win one set from Nadal at RG last year in their SF?”

Nope Roger- Rafa has that right. But Djoko was the only one to get Nadal to a tiebreak last year. He won 12 games in their semi vs. the 4 games (or was it 5?) Fed won in the final.

“Federer has consistently proved he’s the second best, as opposed to Djoko who has only this year reached two finals.”

I do agree that Fed is the second best on clay, but one should remember that due to how well Federer did on the other two surfaces he was always in a position to never face Rafa on clay BEFORE the finals, as he’s always been number 1 or 2. Therefore, given how well Fed plays on dirt, he made his way to those finals without facing Nadal.

But Djoko – for instance in Hamburg and at the last few RG – could only ever get as far as the semis before meeting Rafa – he was seeded third and usually drawn on Rafa’s half.

He was drawn twice on Fed’s half last year though – once in Monte Carlos, where Fed was beating Djoko soundly before Djoko retired. And once in Rome, where Fed lost early to Stepanek and Rafa also lost early to Ferrero. Djoko won the title.

So yeah – Djoko is third on clay considering his results the last two years.

But hopefully he can get better and closer in the future; he has a great clay game in my opinion.


Skorocel Says:

To Von:

As crazy as it may seem, I actually feel it’s a pretty dangerous scenario for Fed should he and Roddick meet in the quarters – simply because A-Rod will have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to lose here (contrary to other slams, where he still has a bigger chance to win), whereas Fed can easily waste perhaps his last shot for winning that darn FO title… Huh, can you imagine that? Roddick beating Fed at FO? Of all the players on the tour? Well, strange things have happened…


Von Says:

jane:

Thanks for the correction, and Roger-Rafa, sorry. I thought Djoko won that tie-breaker. Geez, my memory is in need of some of a jolt of something. LOL. this is so not me. ha ah

Yes, the draws do make a difference, and it’s why I wish Roddick wouldn’t be so unlucky. The draws can stagnate a player, depending on which side he falls, and it’s assured his nemesis will stop him from progressing further, ala Roddick.

I think the matter of who’s better on clay, Djoko or Federer will be settled at RG this year. As I mentioned previously, I don’t see anyone in Fed’s path who will stop him from getting to the SF, and he usually takes his form up two notches, so we’ll see.


Von Says:

Skorocel:

“Huh, can you imagine that? Roddick beating Fed at FO? Of all the players on the tour? Well, strange things have happened…”

Oh wow, that would be super terrific! Now you’ve set my imagination in gear, and I’m smiling, thinking of the coluldas, wouldas. LOL. Could you just see the headlines? I think the threads will light up like a Christmas tree. LOL.

Thanks for being so nice, Mon Ami!


Von Says:

jane:

“But hopefully he can get better and closer in the future; he has a great clay game in my opinion.”

He will get better and probably become more of a challenge to both Nadal and Fed, and win. He does have a good clay court game, which is not surprising, considering he mentioned on the Tennis Channel that he grew up playing on clay until he was 12 years old in Serbia, and then continued on clay in Germany, so it should be second nature to him as it is to Nadal and Federer.


Skorocel Says:

“I think the threads will light up like a Christmas tree.”

LOL! Indeed they will, but still, it’d be only a local fire compared to what could theoretically transpire on tennis forums in case Fed beats Nadal in the final… LOL! Wishful thinking, one would say ;-)


sar Says:

Novak’s comments regarding Madrid:

“Carlos Moya, we all know he was a former No. 1 and winner of his Grand Slam here, he came up to me and said it was the best three-set match that he ever watched on this surface. Of course, all the people that have watched the match and have the opportunity to tell me something, they’ve all been saying positive things and comments regarding that match. So, I must be very proud.”

– Nole, on the greatest compliment he’s received since his 3 set heartbreaker to Rafa in Madrid.


sar Says:

“At the AO, which was considerably hotter than Madrid, Djoko retired due to heat exhaustion”

Von here is coach Marian Vajda’s view regarding Novak’s retirement–

On the AO Djoker retirement during his match with Roddick, Marian Vajda, said he feared Djokovic might faint. “His blood pressure was 150 over 110; he almost collapsed; it was incredible,” Vajda said. “It’s not worth it to continue.”
http://press.iflove.com/show.asp?id=1021


zola Says:

Sar,
I am glad Moya made that comment. It was a great match. For me, one of the best.

***On the AO Djoker retirement during his match with Roddick, Marian Vajda, said he feared Djokovic might faint. “His blood pressure was 150 over 110; he almost collapsed; it was incredible,” Vajda said. “It’s not worth it to continue.”***

Did they measure his blood pressure on court? That’s dangerous. I still remember Azarenka.

I think Djoko has improved a lot both on hard and on clay. This year he was better on clay than federer. we will see in RG semi ( hopefully) which one is better now.


Von Says:

Sar:

I mentioned the AO as a sort of comparison with respect to Djoko’s cramping at Madrid. Here’s my point: Considering how much talk there is on his fitness, and in view of the many posts where it’s been mentioned that he has stepped it up with regard to his fitness, even hiring a new trainer, and adding a new regime, to me, it appears the new program is not working very well for him. He had to take two (2) medical time-outs for cramping in Madrid and it wasn’t a hot day.

If an athlete is truly physically fit, then cramping should not happen. As far as I know, cramping should only occur on a very hot day, when they are losing pints upon pints of fluids e.g., as at the AO where he cramped and had heat exhaustion. And, the other, is if an athlete is not fit, e.g., as in the case of Baghdatis, where his fitness is definitely a huge problem and it’s the reason why he can’t play and have consistently good results. Djoko’s cramping at Madrid in mild weather is a cause for concern, and it says one of two things: (a) either his new fitness program is not achieving the desired results, and he’s still not physically fit, or (b) he’s using the wrong fluids and/or not ingesting enough. Further, if the cramping occurred after only playing for 2 hours, then what’s going to happen if he has to play for 4-5 hours at the GS?

Due to the above situation, it’s the reason I say Federer is the fitter of the two and Djoko fans could be disappointed, if and when, he meets Federer in the SF at the FO.

I never knew Djoko’s blood pressure was 150/110 at the AO. I didn’t see the trainer taking his blood pressure in the second set, so when was it determined his blood pressure was that high? I know in situations like that the players are advised to stop playing immediately, so why did Djoko keep playing for 2 more sets? But then again, blood pressure changes by the minute, so it could have dropped. BTW, didn’t Azarenka have food poisoning?


sar Says:

I don’t know how they determined his BP was that high but if Vajda says so I think I believe him, esp. when he said it just wasn’t worth it. Maybe someone took it and it was off camera? I do remember something about a stomach flu for Vika but other places said heat exhaustion. Who knows. Bartoli succumbed too but she’s overweight.

For Azarenka, this was a long time coming, as she looked to be on her way to defeating Williams at the Australian Open, before she was forced to retire when she was visibly suffering from dizziness and heat exhaustion.http://sportsscoop.wordpress.com/2009/04/04/sony-ericsson-open-victoria-azarenka-def-serena-williams-to-win-the-title/


Von Says:

Sar: Thanks. All I can say, if Djoko were my fave, I’d be very worried about this cramping problem. Visions of Baghdatis at the USO v. Agassi come to mind and Serena at Wimby v. Hantuchova.

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