Red Hot Rafael Nadal Ready to End Titleless Spell v. Verdasco Sunday in Monte Carlo
by Sean Randall | April 17th, 2010, 8:02 pm
  • 123 Comments

Thirteen games. That’s all Rafael Nadal’s allowed in four matches this week at the Rolex Tennis Masters Monte Carlo. And now after a 6-2, 6-3 drubbing over capable David Ferrer, Nadal is on the brink of ending an 11-month long title drought tomorrow against Fernando Verdasco and pocketing a sixth straight Monte Carlo title.

“I am playing very well,” Nadal said. “I think I played a very good match today. The last two games, I was a little bit more nervous than usual because I lost two semi-finals in a row, at [the BNP Paribas Open in] Indian Wells and [the Sony Ericsson Open in] Miami. I think I played very, very complete match.”

Nadal will meet his third straight Spaniard in the final after Verdasco stunned a lifeless Novak Djokovic 6-2, 6-2.

“I am so happy to be in the final,” said Verdasco who was appearing in his first Tennis Masters semifinal. “To beat a player like Djokovic, playing so good, with a score like it was important for me. I’m so happy to be in the final tomorrow against Nadal.”

For Djokovic it was quite shock defeat after the Serb played one of his best matches of the season in a win yesterday over David Nalbandian.

“This was quite a different performance,” said Djokovic following one of the most lopsided losses of his career.

“I wasn’t moving well, I wasn’t feeling well on court,” he said. “Actually, there’s been a little bit of a problem with allergies the last month and a half but obviously I don’t want to make excuses for the loss. He played very good but I think I made his win much easier because I made so many unforced errors.”

Allergies again? Meh. And his serve went into the crapper as well with five double faults in eight service games (four in that second set).

As for tomorrow, we all recall that slugfest Nadal and Verdasco endured last year at the Australian Open. Tomorrow’s match is best-of-three so it likely won’t come anywhere near to equaling that epic, but the two lefties should still provide us with some good mid-April fireworks.

Nadal has won all nine meetings with Hot Sauce and he’s never dropped a set to the guy on clay (9-0) including two wins last year at Madrid and Rome. Plus, Rafa’s 25-2 career in clay finals.

So for me, the pick remains Nadal – and not just for this event, but for entire clay season! As I thought after that Miami loss to Andy Roddick, he’s really come into this clay season pissed-off and ready to reclaim/restore that King of Clay crown. And Rafa is “this close” to finally getting back in the win column and he’s not going to let this opportunity slip at a tournament where he dominates. A loss would really hurt at this stage so I expect him to player incredibly well Sunday.

For Verdasco, he’s had a great week and posted an excellent win today over Novak. He has a lot of weapons with his big serve, big forehand but I don’t think mentally he can hold it together tight enough and long enough to beat Rafa, and even Nadal knows it.

“I think Verdasco [has] always had amazing potential,” said Nadal who has won 31 straight matches in Monte Carlo. “He can play very well. [The] important thing is [that] if he is focused mentally, his shots are unbelievable. He can be at very high level.”

The key phrase is “can be at very high level”. Contrast that with Nadal who we know “will be” at that high level.

The final begins 2:15pm local time or 8:15am on the East coast. The match will air on the Tennis Channel live.


Also Check Out:
Nadal Allows Verdasco 1 Game in Monte Carlo Final
Federer Reverses Monte Carlo Decision, Will Take On Nadal
Novak Djokovic: My Wrist Injury Isn’t That Bad, I Will Play Madrid!
Good News: MRI Confirms Novak Djokovic’s Ankle Injury Not Serious, He Might Still Play Monte Carlo!
Djokovic Withdraws From Monte Carlo

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123 Comments for Red Hot Rafael Nadal Ready to End Titleless Spell v. Verdasco Sunday in Monte Carlo

Ben Pronin Says:

Allergies can hurt breathing, no? Still not an excuse. This was his worst loss in terms of games since 2005 AO, aka 5 years. If he’s having allergies now he’s obviously had them before so, yeah, not an excuse in the slightest.


jane Says:

I’d like to offer the question/context of the quote Sean gave:

Q. Seems you were not physically okay today on the court. Were you sick?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. Actually, there’s a little bit of problems with allergies in the last months and a half. But, you know, I don’t want to find any excuses for the loss, obviously.

[He was not sick. He was said he was blowing his schnoz 'cause of the allergies and because they asked him if he was ill. End of story. He made it clear that he played crap and Nando played well. They also asked him about his serve, to which he replied as follows]

Q. You got only five free points on your serve today. Was that the biggest trouble for you for the moment?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, this is one of the things that I would like to improve, the serve. I think everybody sees that my serve isn’t working. It’s not like something that I don’t know.
Just got automatically in my head that I lost my balance in the serve, I lost the rhythm. It’s not easy to get it back.
I guess I have to spend a lot of hours on the court working and hoping that it’s going to come back.


Ben Pronin Says:

“Just got automatically in my head that I lost my balance in the serve, I lost the rhythm. It’s not easy to get it back.”

This is one of the strangest things in tennis. A couple of years ago, my backhand deserted me. It always used to be my most consistent shot but I suddenly started hitting it weird. Nowadays, I just try not to think about it, I just try to relax and hit. But when I start panicking and thinking through my stroke, the problems start.

The same is probably happening to Djokovic. He’s been having problems and today his head got in the way, again. It’s a shame, but understandable. What’s lame is that he didn’t fight through in the rest of his game.


andrea Says:

it is tough to bet against rafa at this stage. however, i’ll take the underdog again and say verdasco in 3.

i know i’ll probably have to eat my words, but it’s time that verdasco has a win over nadal. he came close in australia.

surprised about novak. he was hitting the ball so cleanly in prior matches. today it just wasn’t happening.


stu Says:

thanks for pasting part of the presser here, jane. i didn’t find it on the MC website..


Kimmi Says:

if you think about it..Nadal has a lot of points to defend

MC – 1000

Barca – 500

Rome -1000

So far so good , no slip ups!


steve Says:

Ferrero and Ferrer are pretty standard clay-courters. Everything they do, Nadal does a lot better. They give him everything he wants: long, steady baseline rallies. He never had to leave his comfort zone against them.

Verdasco’s got the firepower to bother Nadal, but he’s mentally inconsistent. On the important points he will either miss or pick the totally wrong shot. Even if Nadal does give him a few chances, he won’t take them.


Von Says:

Then what’s the real or true situation, as there seems to be a dispute with what Sean/jane quoted?

Sean: “I wasn’t moving well, I wasn’t feeling well on court,”

If I’m reading it as Sean has quoted in the foregoing article, Djokovic is saying he was NOT feeling well, and what happens when a player is not feeling well?. Therefore, jane, how do you arrive at the following conclusion:

“[He was not sick. He was said he was blowing his schnoz ’cause of the allergies and because they asked him if he was ill. End of story.” ?

There appears to be two different statements, that which was stated in Sean’s article citing a quote from Djokovic and jane’s conclusion that he was *not* sick. And, where does he say he was blowing his nose because of his allergies, jane? Is this what you think (conjecture) or did he actually say that?

Also, didn’t he have the allergies when he played Nalbandian? He said he had it for over one and one-half months?


jane Says:

Because when asked if he was sick, Djoko said “No.”


jane Says:

Here’s the link to the full presser, all five or so questions, with full answers. Feel free to interpret it as you wish. Allergies aren’t flu. It’s just something people have in the spring or summer usually.

http://www.monte-carlorolexmasters.com/News/Tennis/2010/Interview-Transcripts/Novak-Djokovic-Saturday.aspx


Von Says:

I’m hoping that Rafa will win his first title in close to 12 months, in MC tomorrow, and I think he will, as he’s filled with the confidence that he’s beaten Verdasco, (he owns him) in the past, so why wouldn’t he be able to take it one step further. Go Rafa, you need this win.
____________
Steve: “Verdasco’s got the firepower to bother Nadal, but he’s mentally inconsistent.”

Yes, Verdasco is prone to brain cramps at times, but lately, say over the past three (3) months, I’ve seen instances where he’s able to regroup and win, e.g., his match vs. Montanes, and vs. Roddick at San Jose. However, I still feel that Nadal’s got the edge and he’ll use it to his advantage.


Von Says:

@ 9:58 pm, I suppose you’re answering my question, jane. However, you still didn’t answer what I asked,, vis-a-vis: “And, where does he say he was blowing his nose because of his allergies, jane? Is this what you think (conjecture) or did he actually say that?”

I know allergies isn’t the flu, and I never said so, but an allergic condition could still render someone sick, isn’t that so?

Anyway, thank you for the link, which I’m not about to read.


Kimmi Says:

I am glad verdasco mental issues are starting to get under control. To finally get wins over top players which has been his achillis heal. I remember last year YEC, commentators keep saying top 10 wins was his major problems – most of the time he chokes. The only top 10 player he beat whole of last year was Murray at AO.

This year we are in april and he already has 2. Way to go verdasco!!


Kimmi Says:

ok, typo..s/b ..has been his achilles heel.


Voicemale1 Says:

Nadal & Verdasco have played 4 of their 9 matches on clay (which span 5 years), and Verdasco has yet to win a Set. Vedasco really only has a bigger serve than Nadal; the other shots go in Nadal’s favor – Forehand and Backhand. Verdasco’s Forehand is flatter and sometimes harder, but it’s far more prone to errors. And on clay it won’t drive through the court as fast as it did in Australia. And Nadal’s backhand is much better than Verdasco’s, and Ndal also move better. So since the Serve is the only shot Verdasco has which is bigger, his handicap is the surface. As Becker & Sampras famously said about big servers playing on clay: “Your serve won’t save you”. And Verdasco in tight matches is prone to Double Faults – which is exactly how the match ended in their 09 Australian SF.

It’s still possible Nadal is the one who could tighten up, feeling pressure of 5 previous titles here, facing an opponent he owns, and having gone title-less in almost a full year. If Verdasco goes out and tries to out-hit Nadal from the back court with more “power” he’ll lose for sure, and quickly. If he can find a way to do the stare down thing and just keep the ball in play, Nadal is the one who might feel he has to go for too much.

And Sean:

I thought the key phrase from Nadal re: Verdasco was “..if he is focused mentally” instead of “can be at a high level”. Verdasco’s whole career is catalog of a loss of focus at the most crucial stages of the biggest matches.


Kimmi Says:

Actally verdasco has 3 top 10 wins (not 2 as I mention above). he also beat Cilic who is ranked # 9 in Miami. But Cilic seem to not be the same player he was in the beginning of this year…


jane Says:

Kimmi, I think, if I am not mistaken based on that link you posted earlier, that Cilic will now be out of the top ten? I think Tsonga and Verdasco may now have the last two spots, after Verdasco’s run here.


Von Says:

VM1: “I thought the key phrase from Nadal re: Verdasco was “..if he is focused mentally” instead of “can be at a high level”.”

Yes, Nadal said that, and it’s his way of telling the public how he feels about Verdasco’s mental fortitude or lack thereof. I think it’s locker-room knowledge because Roddick has mentioned similar in the past. Roddick, with his hands/gesticulating, showed in an interview how Verdasco’s mental focus undulates. Thus, I’m sure Nadal is speaking from experience and consensus of opinion.

Verdasco is going to have to be super focused tomorrow plus serve out of his mind, to win, because Rafa wants this one, like yesterday.


Kimmi Says:

yap, u r right jane. Cilic will be bumped out of top 10. That is a shame because he was really happy when he finally broke into top 10.

But verdasco top 10 wins still stands because he beat Cilic in miami when he was in the top 10…number 9 at a time I think.


Ben Pronin Says:

I guess we can downplay Nadal’s chances in case the unthinkable happens, but cmon. Of all the players who had a “shot” of beating Nadal this week, Verdasco is on the bottom of the list. No disrespect, but it’s Nadal. It’s like when people get worried about Karlovic upsetting Federer at Wimbledon, it’s just not going to happen. It just goes to show how tennis is a “what have you done for me lately” sport because Nadal only had 1 bad clay tournament in the last 5 years. One.


sar Says:

Thanks for the link Jane. Interesting. If you have asthma and allergy season kicks in, what happens? Anyhow, what a difference a day makes.


Voicemale1 Says:

Ben:

I’m sure a lot of people felt the same certitude about Nadal’s chances in the Indian Wells SF against Ljubicic…dontcha think? IW was a tournament Nadal had won twice against much better guys than Ivan. And he hadn’t lost to Ljubicic in 6 years. Yet we all saw how that went.


Ben Pronin Says:

This is clay. A huge server can’t do the same damage.


#1Rivalry Says:

I think we are in for a huge surprise tomorrow.

Prediction:

Nando over Nadal (2 tight sets)


skeezerweezer Says:

RE: Allergies and Nole

Not to start another debate here, but Allergies CAN affect a athletic performance. My son , who grew up with terrible allergies, played Soccer at a high level at HS and College and when they were bad it did affect his breathing, and can easily mimic a bad cold. IMO It just depends on an individuals reaction to it.

Look, everyone knows Nole is not my fav but just sayin…..

That said, Hotsauce give us a match tomorrow,,,,,pllleasssee?


Mindy Says:

#1Rivalry,

Aren’t you the one who comes on here pretending to be a Rafa fan, only to spread gloom and doom about the premature demise of Rafa?

There are people here who are not Rafa fans, yet they have watched his matches and seen how he is winning. They are giving him his due, why can’t you? Let me answer that for you. Not only are you not a true Rafa fan, you aren’t even knowledgeable about clay court tennis.


Ben Pronin Says:

Ditto what Mindy said.


madmax Says:

Jane,

I suffer from hayfever (starting about now), and also have reactions to pollen from silver birch trees here, effect is that my sinuses block up, some eye stinging, sneezing, but I dont feel “sick”. I totally understand what you are trying to say.

Fact is, Novak suffers from asthma. (since a boy), sometimes has problems breathing in his matches. Heat affects him, humidity affects him. He can get this sorted out with a dr, there are remedies available to him. Novak wasnt “sick” yesterday. He said so in the presser.

Like Jane said, having an allergy doesnt mean you are sick. I still go to the gym, run, train, but going back to Novak, you could see in some of the points, he had given up, in others, he was really going for it. It was his mental attitude which got the better of him. He should have given it his all, instead, he gave in to his allergy.


Kimmi Says:

pleeeeeese nando give us a good match!


Kimmi Says:

Already three bad errors..c’mon relax


Kimmi Says:

Nadal going C’MON here instead of VAMOS

GREAT Rallies…incredible!

OK Nadal is real on…c’moon Nando, you are playing very well..continue please!


Kimmi Says:

Nadal is on..nando not playing bad at all!


madmax Says:

Nando just needs to relllaxxxxx. he is nervous out there, give him time and he’ll find his rhythm.


madmax Says:

if nando can “think” about his shots more, you know, more intelligent play, he could push it to three, but he is going to have to play the tennis of his life.


madmax Says:

No.It’s just not happening right now. write off the first set. regroup for the second. UNLESS….


Kimmi Says:

OK now we can start to say how many games is fernando is going to win..this is ridiculous stuff from Nadal


margot Says:

Hi girls! Feel almost as sorry 4 Verdasco as I did 4 Andy at AO. He’s being completely outclassed and he’s playing well too. Come on! Let’s have a match!


Kimmi Says:

yes margot..nando playing that well..almost winning the game..almost..c’mon nando!


Kimmi Says:

OMG..nadal is playing the best I have seen this week.
noone can beat nadal like this…now it is a question of verdasco get a game!

verdasco gets the trainer! maybe this is what he needs..take a toilet break or something!


madmax Says:

this is disappointing. it really is.


stu Says:

rafa, dont bagel the guy at his first masters final cmon!


Kimmi Says:

madmax, nothing nando can do..injury or not..nadal is just THAT good today.


margot Says:

Rafa’s extraordinary today. Best just to sit back and gaze in awe and wonder!
Unfortunately for me it brings back, all too clearly, AO final.


Kimmi Says:

HOLD HOLD HOLD Verdasco!! PLEASEEEEEE!!


madmax Says:

i want to see the fighting spirit kimmi of the nando we saw in Oz 09 SF against rafa. It has deserted him today. Like a rabbit in headlights.
:( . I know it’s his first final of a masters event, but he just has to believe in himself. what has he got to lose? zero! (being the operative word right now, and number!).


Kimmi Says:

Going for too much now..relax!


madmax Says:

okay, so what to do now kimmi. *drubbing fingers* (play on words).


madmax Says:

get ONE game AT LEAST nando! C’mon!


madmax Says:

right move, right shot BUT TOO WIDE. D’uh!


Kimmi Says:

Now he is getting dejected! C’moon

Why his ACE had to be looked at with magnified glass..sheesh!


madmax Says:

back to deuce. now what, nando? Hold it!


Kimmi Says:

BIG SERVE! Here nando here now!


madmax Says:

shorten the points, believe, believe. Oh Yay!!!!!!


stu Says:

yay he gets on the board!


Kimmi Says:

HOLD ! Phew! Lets hope this is a catalist for nando to rekax and unleash those FH!


madmax Says:

okay, can stop cleaning for 5 seconds now. c’mon nando, take the second set 6:0. go man go!


margot Says:

Thank God!


madmax Says:

no. not the drop shot. leave it well alone and go for what you know, lets have some rocket like forehands, something with turbo fuel behind them nando, stop with the sissy drop shots!


madmax Says:

okay, now come on nando, do your spanish flamenco!


Kimmi Says:

madmax..lol! turbo FH..he had two of them there!


madmax Says:

c’mon nando, let’s go for it. 6:1. let’s make it a match.


Kimmi Says:

BIG serve here nando


madmax Says:

it’s just not going nando’s way right now. DF


Kimmi Says:

not a DF..oh boy..c’mon don’t give him free points


madmax Says:

I just dont think I have ever seen him so nervous.

Second double fault. C’mon nando, the crowd is behind you. we want a match!


Kimmi Says:

two DF..what! now he is going to lose this game


madmax Says:

it’s just disasterous for nando right now.


madmax Says:

well. a little ray of light – ???


Kimmi Says:

YES, c’moon hold


madmax Says:

Yessssssssssssssss nando! Good shot!


C!P! Says:

it looks to me that Verdasco is doing all the show here ,him making the mistakes ,him making the winners!


Kimmi Says:

oh boy..now if he lose this..


Kimmi Says:

what a shot by nadal and he breaks..that it for nando I am afraid…


margot Says:

yes kimmi, you can’t give Rafa two free points in a game and expect to win it. Verdasco does look very nervous and dispirited now, but who can blame him?


Kimmi Says:

what a shot by nadal!


Kimmi Says:

nando needs to hold here or it will be just one game for him..joining berrer and de bakker


margot Says:

Verdasco just wants to get off court as quickly as possible and go and hide. Poor man.


Kimmi Says:

can he break back here!


Kimmi Says:

hahahaha what a point..now break him!


Kimmi Says:

nadal taking toooooo much time between points too…yai yai yai!!


Kimmi Says:

2 match points..

6-0 6-1 nando joins Berrer and de bekker..

great perfomance by nadal today

I say HE IS BACK!

NADAL CRYING! OMG This win must be very important to him

CONGRATS NADAL!!


stu Says:

awww congratulations King of Clay!


margot Says:

No more superlatives left for Rafa! Who can possibly beat him playing like this and moving like a blooming gazelle!


rose Says:

congrats to the “king of Clay”.. glad to see him win a tittle after 11 months..he played exquisite tennis this week. 6 times consecutive champion in Monte Carlo ..wooowww..just unbelievable


Duro Says:

And who’s gonna pay for this? Mighty GOAT.


Karthick Says:

Congrats Nadal… You are rocking… Was waiting for this moment for the past 6 months… You made it finally. Proud to be a nadal fan…


funches Says:

Anyone want to claim Federer is better on grass than Rafa on clay now?

I’m a Federer fan, but come on, it’s not a matter of numbers or frequency of tournaments. Just watch with your two eyes. Rafa is far more dominant on this one surface than any player ever has been on any surface. Fed wins on grass, but he doesn’t humiliate good players.


stu Says:

And he won the tournament having lost only 14 games! Haha!


Daniel Says:

Wow! I think Nadal will win that trophy of player who deivers most 6-0 sets in a season this year, he already won it 3 times. Just in this tourney and he won 3 bagel sets, insane.

Well Nadal winning on clay became one of those certainties in, life. But I am looking forward for Rome if DelPo, Davy and Soderling wil be there at least we will have more close matches.

Barcelona he will win agaisn hands down, nobody there can even treaten him.

In Rome if Djoko under perform Madrid will determine who will be seeded 2 for French Open.


Kimmi Says:

“nadal the only player to win 6 times in row in a major tournament in open era”…yes yes we know! congrats nadal!


Rsutherland Says:

…very happy for him as a diehard fan. I will believe that the Nadal clay universe is back in order with wins over Del Potro, Djokovic, Federer and/or (esp for me) Soderling.


Ben Pronin Says:

He finished the way he started. Great win for Nadal. It’s a shame Verdasco didn’t push him but I’m not surprised. The King of Clay is ready to reclaim his throne.


jane Says:

HUGE CONGRATS TO RAFA – the undisputed King of Clay. Way to go: a 6-peat!! What a way to end a drought.

Rafa fans – woot!! : )


tennismonger Says:

Yes indeed – look Rafa has returned to full Mr. T\Rocky III\Wrecking Machine form.

I pity the fool that has to play him from now to RO final!


tennismonger Says:

Whoops – shoulda been RG final.


dc Says:

@funches Says
Anyone want to claim Federer is better on grass than Rafa on clay now?

I’m a Federer fan, but come on, it’s not a matter of numbers or frequency of tournaments. Just watch with your two eyes. Rafa is far more dominant on this one surface than any player ever has been on any surface. Fed wins on grass, but he doesn’t humiliate good players
————————————————–
DC: Rafa got outclassed by Soderling on Clay early in the tournament.

When did Fed loose at Wimbledon so early. In the past 7 years, he lost only once to Nadal in the final after Nadal took the match to twilight with his match delaying tactics (the lengthy pause between serves).With his superior eyesight because of his age, he then beat Fed.

Unless Rafa wins 5 consecutive FO titles, no way he is better on clay than Fed is on grass.


montecarlo Says:

@dc

Don’t worry. Rafa will still win FO 2010,2011,2012,2013,2014 and 2016 To make it six French Opens in row just to satisfy your demands.

LOL


Kimo Says:

Congrats to Rafa and all his fans.

I wouldn’t be too quick to say that he’s a sure thing for RG though. Remember how the last clay season went. He seemed unbeatable in Monte-Carlo, Barcelona and Rome until Djoko almost knocked him out of Madrid before the Fed finished the job and then he went on to lose in RG for the very first time.

But here’s something sure to fire up a debate: Is Rafa now back to being a clay-court specialist? I would say so.


montecarlo Says:

make it 2015 in above post. I was laughing so loudly at your senseless post that resulted in mistake.


Voicemale1 Says:

Daniel:

It’s Nadal’s 4th Bagel Set this year: De Bakker, Berrer & Verdasco here; and Davydenko in Doha in January.


Ben Pronin Says:

Kimo, it’s not the same. Last year, he didn’t play his best in MC and Barcelona and so forth. He still won because he’s Nadal, but it wasn’t his all time best performance. Three of his 5 matches this week had a 6-0 6-1 scoreline, that’s telling. FO isn’t a SURE thing, but it’s extremely likely.


madmax Says:

Ben, hold ya horses. Federer is hungry and FO is his Main Course, with Wimby for desert.


madmax Says:

*dessert*. pfft!!


jane Says:

Kimo, I wouldn’t call Rafa a “clay court” specialist. I think we should wait and see how he does on grass, no?


Kimo Says:

jane, We’ll see :)

And madmax is right. Fed will be eager to prove to those who say he wouldn’t have won RG had Rafa been in the final that it made no difference.

I just hope we get a Rafa-Roger final. It would be a shame if they meet in the semi.


Ben Pronin Says:

Nadal is still the top favorite to win RG, Federer or not.


Voicemale1 Says:

DC – Funches;

It’s an “apples and oranges” comparison to make between Federer on grass and Nadal on clay as to “who’s better?” on a surface. Federer’s extraordinary, almost super human feat of 5 successive titles at a Major is something he’s done TWICE. In fact, it’s his run at the US Open that’s more impressive than his 5 at Wimbledon because there are far fewer guys who play their best on grass (The Wimbledon Final is testament to this: in the last 6 years there have only been 3 guys to reach the Title Match – Federer, Roddick and Nadal). Hard courts offer up a LOT more threats to Federer than a grass court. That Federer can get 5 straight at two different Majors, with their Best of 5 format and 128-man draws played over two weeks is something we might see again in our lifetimes.

Conversely, Nadal’s not only 6 straight Monte Carlo Titles is jaw dropping, but his overall clay record of 186-16 life time on clay is beyond comprehension. None other than Laver himself paid Nadal an incredible compliment after his 81 match win streak on clay ended. The Rocket had said Nadal’s streak then was already better than anything Borg had accomplished for one reason: there are FAR more “clay court specialists” today than there ever were in Borg’s day. Given Laver’s praise was given 3 years ago, what Nadal has been able to add to that since has only made his accomplishments even more historic.

What Federer & Nadal do at their best is make the extremely difficult look extraordinarily easy. It’s what makes the matches between them so compelling to watch.


Ben Pronin Says:

“but his overall clay record of 186-16 life time on clay is beyond comprehension.”

I couldn’t agree more. This stat is beyond human comprehension. It’s just absurd.


jane Says:

OMG – “186-16 life time on clay” – fantabulous. This is when numbers speak for themselves.

VM1 – great post at 12:45. I mean, why even compare? Two different and amazing performances by two great tennis stars.


sar Says:

Wow! I guess it’s a great thing that Novak got a set off Rafa here last year when he was Hot, Hot, Hot.


dc Says:

montecarlo Says:

@dc

Don’t worry. Rafa will still win FO 2010,2011,2012,2013,2014 and 2016 To make it six French Opens in row just to satisfy your demands.

LOL
———————————————-
Now that you have said this; i have to reconsider my post. Wish you had given such insightful opinions before. Maybe ATP should cancel all tournaments and you can decide who wins what.


dc Says:

Over the past seven seasons, Federer is 72-1 (98.6 %) on grass.


Kimmi Says:

dc..OMG federer numbers on grass are insane! only one loss in 6 years..unbelivable!


jane Says:

That stat of Fed’s accomplishments on grass is also amazing; to me one relevant difference is the number of events on each surface. It’s too bad there aren’t more grass events (i.e, 3-4 events leading up to Wimbledon) so we could see what he would have accomplished then!!


Ben Pronin Says:

Well Federer is 88-12 lifetime on grass. That’s 7.33 wins to each loss. Nadal’s record puts him at 11.31 wins to each loss. Since Nadal’s dominance, 2005, he’s 128-6 (I could be off on the wins) which is 21.33 wins to every loss. Federer’s is obviously 76 wins to each loss since 03.


dc Says:

Feds dominance in the last 7 years on grass (only 1 loss) is beyond belief.
Well, Nadal has an unbelievable lifetime record on clay, but no way i would say he is a better Clay court player than Fed a grass court player.

One loss in 7 years on grass!! you have to be on grass to even believe that!!


jane Says:

OK so: Fed lifetime on grass = 88-12 (7.33 wins to 1 loss) and Nadal lifetime on clay = 186-16 (11.31 wins to 1 loss).

It still doesn’t tell us definitely who’s better on which surface, of course, since there aren’t more grass events, and perhaps this debate has a subjective element to it as well. But BOTH of their surface records are amazing.


jane Says:

“you have to be on grass to even believe that!!” HA HA! Good one dc! Thanks for the laugh. : D


challengerlevel Says:

Rafael Nadal is starting to quickly, and I do not think he will sustain this level. Should he win Barcelona which I think he will than he will Rome immediatley following that. He will take one week off and than play Madrid. I promise you guys Nadal is not going to skip Madrid. No way! I am not a Federer fan, and find his pre-madonna arrogant ways totally sickening, but I have said it all year and will say it again. Federer is going to win the French Open again, and he hopes Nadal is healthy as well so he can go through him to get it. I would not be saying this had he not won last year, but since the monkey is off his back he is going to beat Rafa at Roland Garros, and possibly go on to win a calendar slam. Thw whole time this is happening I will be gagging, but there is nothing going to stop it so get ready.


Ben Pronin Says:

Jane, the stats kind of tie them up. Nadal has a better ratio career-wise, but Federer has a better ratio during the dominant phase. In other words, who cares who’s better? These are ridiculous numbers that may never be achieved again. Let’s not forget Federer also has a record number of grass court titles. Nadal is pretty far off from that (even with a staggering 26 title on the surface) but I’m pretty sure he has the record number of Masters on clay.

Is it just me or does challengerlevel remind me a lot of #1rival.


jane Says:

Ben, “Federer also has a record number of grass court titles.” Wow, really? Would that include before, when more than one slam was played on grass, and when more events were played on it, etc? (I don’t have a great grasp on when all the surfaces changed, but weren’t both USO and AO played on grass? So does Fed have more grass titles than Laver, for example?)


Ben Pronin Says:

Definitely not more than Laver. He holds the Open era record with 11 grass titles, one more than Sampras.

Top story: Djokovic, Murray Advance At US Open, Azarenka Survives; Federer, Monfils v Dimitrov Tuesday
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