It’s On: Roger Federer v. Rafael Nadal in the Madrid Tennis Masters Final
by Sean Randall | May 15th, 2010, 7:15 pm
  • 476 Comments

The Madrid Tennis Masters must have quite a deal with the Tennis Gods because for the second straight year the tournament will play host to the sport’s greatest rivalry in their Sunday final: Roger Federer v. Rafael Nadal.

But it almost didn’t happen.

Nadal, an overwhelming favorite against countryman Nicolas Almagro, was in trouble after dropping the first set and faced with a string of break points early in the second. Nadal, however, raised his level as the pressure grew and ultimately took care of powerful Almagro 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.

“I made a lot of mistakes in the first set and Almagro was playing really well,” Nadal said. “Because he was attacking me a lot I tried to play safer in the first set, that was a mistake.”

The win seals the No. 2 ranking and the No. 2 seed at the French Open for Rafa. And a win tomorrow would give the Spaniard a clean sweep of the three biggest ATP clay stops this season and put him one ahead of Andre Agassi’s 17 for most career Tennis Masters Titles.

For Federer, what an astounding difference a week makes. Last Saturday the tennis world was abuzz with further rumors of the King’s death following his shock straight-set loss to Albert Montanes in Estoril.

But just as he did a year ago, after a shoddy post-Australian Open, Federer has again (somehow) found his form this week in Madrid. As if he “flipped the switch” and said enough is enough, he’s unleashed his “A” game in Madrid notching impressive wins over Stan Wawrinka, Ernests Gulbis and today he ended the hopes of an all-Spanish final by turning away one of the best dirtballers on the planet, David Ferrer, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.

“I’m finding my form again really nicely here in Madrid so it’s one of those finals you never know,” said Federer. “It’s quick conditions; I was able to come up with the right plays at the right time last year.”

Federer started out playing some blistering tennis. He served impeccable well, kept the error count low and really had his way with Ferrer early on. But Roger cooled off in the second set before again turning his game back on to clinch the third. Ferrer hung tough, but having never beaten this Swiss in nine prior attempts had to weigh on his mind late in the match.

As for tomorrow, Federer and Nadal have met 20 times in their historic rivalry with Nadal holding an almost insurmountable lead 13-7 overall and 9-2 on clay.

“After playing him last year, you figure maybe the French, Wimbledon or down the stretch in America we would face off again but it just never ended up happening, even though his ranking briefly slipped and we could have been in the semis section,” said Federer. “Either it was me or him; we just didn’t show up in that final. It’s not always easy; it shows how incredible the past few years have been. I think it’s exciting for tennis and for us obviously.”

Said Nadal, “Playing a final against Federer, against one of the best in the history of the game is always great; it always has an extra motivation. Matches against him are always very, very difficult but they are always a challenge. My job is done reaching the final; it was a dream come true being able to play well and win.”

Neither player, I think, is playing at their highest level. Federer’s certainly playing his best tennis of this clay season and he’s certainly on an upswing while Rafa may have looked stronger in Monte Carlo than he has in Madrid, however the faster conditions may be to blame.

For Federer to have a chance tomorrow he’ll have to play like he did today. Serve well, cut down on errors and hope Nadal’s grants him a few gifts. Federer’s backhand will again bear much of the Nadal offensive, so it will have to be sturdy and on song, or he might as well go home now.

Federer’s been effectively using a lot of the dropshots lately and I’ll expect to see more of that strategy against Nadal. I also think he should try to be more aggressive on Nadal’s second serve. It’s a rare weak spot for Nadal and one that can be exploited.

Above all though, even in defeat, Federer has proven this week to fans, critics and fellow players that when he wants to, he can still turn it on. And my guess is he’ll be back in good form in Paris.

For Nadal, if he plays the game we know he can play he’ll win. It’s that simple. He just needs to serve a high percentage of first serves, return well, hit his spots and dictate with the forehand and he should come through regardless of Roger’s level. The title is on his racquet.

In the bigger French Open picture, however, this match probably doesn’t mean much to Rafa given the disparity in conditions and the best-of-3 format from Paris to Madrid. But having missed Barcelona last month and lost in this same final last year, there is no way Nadal wants to let his Spanish faithful down again.

No way.

The pick is Nadal in two tight sets. 7-5, 6-4.

Let’s hope the Magic Box lives up to its name. So far it hasn’t disappointed.

In the women’s final Venus Williams faces Aravane Rezai. And in the doubles final, the Bryan twins, Bob and Mike, bid to win a record-tying 61st career team title (Woodbridge/Woodforde) against Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic.

MANOLO SANTANA start 1.30 pm
[1] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs [2] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) – ATP – DOUBLES FINAL

Not Before 15:30
A Rezai (FRA) vs [4] V Williams (USA) – WTA – SINGLES FINAL

Not Before 18:30
[1] R Federer (SUI) vs [2] R Nadal (ESP) – ATP – SINGLES FINAL


Also Check Out:
Novak Djokovic Withdraws From Madrid Due To Right Wrist Injury
Andy Murray Withdraws From Madrid Due To A Back Injury
Nadal Handed Madrid Title by Nishikori
Roddick, Fish Out Of Madrid, And Possibly Remainder Of Clay Season
Novak Djokovic: My Wrist Injury Isn’t That Bad, I Will Play Madrid!

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476 Comments for It’s On: Roger Federer v. Rafael Nadal in the Madrid Tennis Masters Final

andrea Says:

thank you tennis gods!


contador Says:

you summed up te situation in madrid very well, shawn.

have to agree,it’s more than likely nadal in 2. unless somehow fed gets the first set. nadal in 3, in that case.

great to see fed finding his form, regardless of the outcome tomorrow.

the supporting cast members all vanished early in madrid and many are in nice this week,i see. soda, almagro, monfils, bellucci, baghdatis. baghdatits the new claycourt specialist!


Andrew Miller Says:

If I had a chance to advise the finalists, I’d say:

Rafa: conserve energy and resist the temptation (and the damage to the knees) to run down every drop shot.

Rog: run around your backhand, it’s not humming like it did in Melbourne. If you don’t, and Nadal picks on your backhand like David did today, you’re in for a beating.


Andrew Miller Says:

Or, if just to Roger: “Check out Andy Roddick’s win over Rafa in Miami on youtube, you’ll find some good stuff there.”

If just to Rafa: “Don’t run down every ball and you’re probably in good shape to win this match.”


Dave Says:

I don’t agree that the match is on Nadal’s racket no matter what Federer does. If they both play their best, it will be a battle, and, in my opinion, a toss-up on fast clay.


Wade Says:

I’m with Dave the match is a toss-up if there both at there best due to the fast suface. Hope Rafa wins though, would love to see him take out all 3 clay masters in one year he deserves it so bad.

RAFA THE CLAY KING TILL END OF TIME!!!!!!!!!


fed is afraid Says:

oh no, another loss coming for fed.
14-7 after tomorrow.


Tennis Fan Says:

Roger looking for the record against Rafa
written by Tom Tebbutt (article from the Globe)

Following his 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 semi-final victory over David Ferrer at the Madrid Masters on Saturday, world No. 1 Roger Federer has put himself in a position to equal yet another significant record.

In Sunday’s final, if he can defeat Rafael Nadal, a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 semi-final winner over Spanish compatriot Nicolas Almagro, he will remain at No. 1 in the ATP rankings no matter what happens at the French Open, which begins on May 23.

That would give Federer a total of 286 weeks at No. 1 as of Monday, June 7, tying him with current record holder Pete Sampras.

A victory over Nadal – Federer is 7-13 against the Spaniard and just 2-9 on clay – on the red clay in Madrid would mean that, even if he lost in the first round of the French Open and Nadal took the title, Federer would lead Nadal 8,430 points to 8,300 points.

If Federer loses Sunday’s final and Nadal wins the French Open, Federer would have to reach the semi-finals at Roland Garros to avoid Nadal taking over No. 1 in the rankings that come out on Monday, June 7.

It might then be difficult for Federer to regain the top spot because Nadal missed two months with knee trouble in 2009 following the French Open – including while Federer was winning Wimbledon – and has no points at all to ‘defend’ until August in the ATP’s 12-month rolling rankings.


Daniel Says:

Bold prediction: Fed in 2! You heard it first.

Fed is no Almagro and Nadal didn’t look good in several of his service games. Fed otherwise just have 1 to 3 bad foccus wise games on serve. He served extremelly well all week and will do it again tomorrow.

The only problem with Fed and Nadal on clay is that Fed can lose baddly and Nadal can’t (even Hamburgo 2007 Nadal won a set), he may lose but will be 6-4 or more.

Let’s see tomorrow if I am going to eat my words. :)


federico Says:

yes , tennis fan but remember (I don´t) how many times in a row has federer reached semi finals at the slams I know that has to end some day but i don`t see it coming specially after his return to form BUT being a fed fan i`m more worried about his ranking after SW19 were rafa isn`t defending an fed us defending 2000


Kimmi Says:

I bet Nadal thinks federer is a favorite tomorrow, ha!


jane Says:

In a weird way, Fed IS the favorite tomorrow. Call me crazy. He’s the number 1 player, and he won here last year; plus, he’s just hitting peak form, and as a result his confidence seems to be pretty high. He’s gone through a fairly tough draw here, with Gulbis and then Ferrer. By contrast, Nadal has had more difficultly at this clay event than those of Monte Carlo or Rome, and the surface seems to play faster. I think it would be exciting for Rafa to sweep the clay masters and beat Agassi’s record of MS titles, but I could not say so definitely that he will do it. For me, it’s a toss up – but I think and hope it will go 3 sets.


dc Says:

Fed will win the finals. Nadal has been playing well for just too long.It’s difficult to sustain that level of play day after day for weeks.

Fed plays extremely well on clay , however never figured out how to defeat Nadal, until last year.
Fed will also take the FO this year. Nadal always won against Fed by attacking Feds inconsistent backhand.With Feds improved backhand, this option will not be available to Nadal anymore


Kimmi Says:

jane, ok, i will not call you crazy but may I say you are kidding…

“he [federer]’s just hitting peak form, and as a result his confidence seems to be pretty high”

Lets see, between nadal and fed, who has more confidence at the moment.

1) will it be nadal who has not lost a clay match this year (14-0 record?) with 2 titles and everyone believes he is unbeatable on clay.

2)will it be federer who is just finding his form and has been playing like crap in the last 3 months (still making bunch of errors btw) who also has a poor record against nadal on clay 2-9 H2H.

Well, well well. federer can take the favorite tag anytime..no problem. I was only kidding when I brought that up, I hope he did not say it..


jane Says:

Kimmi, thanks for not calling me crazy. I know what you say has merit (i.e. Fed hasn’t been playing well in the last few events and he is still making SOME errors, though he’s cut down substantially on those, than, say, against Gulbis in Rome). But it seems like after beating both Gulbis and Ferrer, and finding strong form this week (excellent first serve %, playing aggressively, great forehand), his confidence must be better. Maybe “pretty high” is overstated, but not “on the upswing” I don’t think. Remember that last year Nadal was also undefeated on clay for the year, and yet who won in Madrid? : ) Of course a Rafa win is a likely possibility, but I still say it’s very tough to call.


ertorque Says:

i just checked out all the betting companies and all of them has their odds against Federer.
That says something, doesn’t it?

Being a Fed fan, I hope he can repeat his Madrid triumph last year. Go Roger go!


Daniel Says:

I was just watching Madrid final las year and forgot one important factor, homecrowd advantage. Last year when Fed served for the match, he got no suport at all. When he saved 2 breaks and hit a second serve ace to set his first match point, you didn’t hear a single cheers for him. They were all over him everytime he made a mistake. Maybe that motivated him a little further. It’s not always that Fed gets the crowd 100% against him.


dangerouspaul Says:

all of the predictions are just pure optimism to disguise one’s insecurity of how things may turn out 2morrow..
i get it


dangerouspaul Says:

its easy to say if nadal plays his best he ll win or if federer wins nadal didn’t play his best..making the big points..u need to be taking risks and having a bit of luck
so who ever wins tomorrow deserves it..no matter if the loser doesn’t play his best( like fed lots of times vs nadal and vice versa


Andrew Miller Says:

How about Nadal hasn’t hit peak form this tournament?

(Scary!)


dangerouspaul Says:

one could say if fed serves tomorrow in the mid 70%
makes less mistakes than usual and an high winner rate plus lots of aces and attacking the nadals second serve etc..that there’s no way he’ll lose against nadal no matter how good he plays..see what i mean?
it is pointless to do such predictions…


The Real Dan Martin Says:

Should be a good match, but I think Nadal is the favorite any time he plays on clay until another athletic animal with nerves of steel emerges. 60% chance Nadal wins.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Fed is afraid,

Who cares? Fed, 16 GS titles with more to come .history will remember that. How many does Rafa have? That’s all that matters historically in the end. Talk all u want about Rafa’s wins over Fed…..u will be forgotten ..,


madmax Says:

Skeeze!

morning to you!

No bread so no marmite this morning! :(

But! Plenty of tennis.

I.cannot.wait.

Federer is going to play very clever today. This is such an exciting climax to a great tournament so far.

Federer didn’t say he was the favourite by the way, Kimmi. It was Rafa who said that Federer was the favourite!

We all know that Rafa is the favourite. He is the King of Clay. Always will be overall, but today. I am going with Federer!

Whatever happens, this match is going to be fun! And I think having a homecrowd for rafa – fed will know that – it will make federer even more determined!

See you later everyone.


margot Says:

Tennistv is showing the doubles match for free again. Another classic!


Daniel Craig Says:

@dc: his backhand has been flaky since ao


Mike Says:

Last year, Nadal’s long three set match with Djokovic was one of the excuses given by the pundits for Nadal’s loss to Federer in straight sets. This year, Federer played three sets in both his quarter finals and his semifinals, as well as faced tougher opponents than Nadal did. Last year Nadal was distracted by his parent’s separation, this year Federer has been distracted by his baby girls. So if Federer loses we have to be fair and admit that his last two matches are to blame for draining him and weakening his knees. If Federer wins — against all obstacles — it would be his second magnificent victory in a row against the clay expert in his home country. You bet this match means more to Nadal than to Federer. Federer knows that the truth behind the 20 matches he played Nadal is that while Federer shows up in finals even when he isn’t in top form (and therefore more beatable), a player like Nadal is more likely to get beaten before te finals when he goes through a slump.


st4r5 Says:

I wished Fed would win 62 61 tomorrow


madmax Says:

federer’s backhand was pretty good when it was “on” yesterday. some strong backhands, I counted more brilliant backhands than poor ones.

Federer’s backhand is seriously under rated.

Now, what will he do today? He can do two things:

1) Hit stronger backhands more regularly (like he did at AO against Murray – awesome tennis).
Rafa will prob be serving to this quite a bit today.

2) Run around it.

It won’t take Roger long to work out what Rafa’s strategy is.

I would like Roger to be aggressive straight away and to use that wonderful 3 point serve he has – where you just don’t know where he is going to place it!

Cant.Wait.


madmax Says:

Jane, I’ll post the link in a minute.

Federer is NOT the favourite.


Kimmi Says:

madmax, what link..did nadal actually said fed was the favorite..hahahahah! Post the link please..post it.


Kimmi Says:

yeah, he did say that. i found the link madmax

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imq9m3m-u88


Naderer Says:

All the faint hearted better not watch the game…..they might jst suffer from a heart attack


Kimmi Says:

jane, are you watching wta? rezai is giving venus a drubbing at the moment. She hits the ball so hard without errors..mmmmmm, fascinating to see. 6-2 first set.

Do you see the trend now..in rome we had the breakthru by maria sanches. in madrid we have rezai…interesting…who will win the french?


Kimo Says:

Well, we all know who the favorite is regardless of what he says :P

But I must admit, after watching that video, Rafa’s English has improved considerably.

Boy, can Rezai punish a tennis ball or what?! She reminds me of Ivanovic back in 2008. I think she can do some damage in RG. I think she’s mentally a lot better than Mauresmo and will be able to handle the pressure.


Kimo Says:

madmax said:

“Federer’s backhand is seriously under rated.”

Absolutely. No one has as much variety on the backhand as Roger. I think the reason his backhand is often overlooked is because his forehand is probably the best in history, so naturally people will assume his backhand is weaker, but that doesn’t mean it’s “weak”, not by any stretch of the imagination.


jane Says:

Kimmi – no I haven’t been watching, just waking up and checking the scorses. Maybe I’ll tune in.


Kimo Says:

LOL. Rezai’s coach comes on court, tells her to concentrate on her service games. Then she steps up to serve and gets broken.

On-court coaching is an insult to tennis.


guy Says:

federer’s backhand isn’t underrated. it’s a liability, always will be. why? because no matter how good he gets on it, the onehanded backhand has a technically weakness compared to the twohander.

two handed backhand is superior for return of serve, high balls and can be more offensive on the stretch.

why do you think davy,murray, djoker, nalby etc can handle nadal’s forehand so well? fed will never be able to do what they can do.

nadal can continually serve to feds backhand and get a chip reply ala wimbledon. fed cannot hurt him from that side on the return like many others.

that’s a fact and won’t change.

if fed had a twohander, he might have a few more frenchs even. but then again, if tony wasn’t stupid enough to make nadal serve left handed, on his non throwing arm, nadal would have a mighty serve and basically be unbeatable on every surface. the lefthanded advantage is negligible compared to serving power.

if i was nadal, i’d sue uncle tony and get some of my money back.


Kimmi Says:

venus is back in this match now..

never a fan of on-court coaching too Kimo.


jane Says:

Venus is returning up the line. Rezai needs to adjust the serve placement towards the T or into the body so Venus can hit those unreturnable returns.

Did Rezai’s serves go off or Venus’ returns on? Quite the turn around in the 2nd set.

Oh well good hold.

But what’s with the gold lame in the dress? It’s a little distracting.


guy Says:

i’m hearing a lot about this H2H not mattering between nadal and fed, fed and his fans saying it’s only the grandslams etc.

what people are forgetting is that nadal is 5 years younger than fed. their GS record will be compared at the end of their careers. with fed having 5yr headstart it’s a little silly getting smug about it right now.

in fact to compare in this way, nadal is actually ahead, considering at 23, he is trumping 23 yr old fed for GS.

the H2H right now is almost 2 to 1 for Nadal. that ratio i don’t see improving for fed. In fact it will probably become more lopsided as fed gets older. by the end of fed’s career, i wouldn’t be surprised if nadal triples fed’s wins. it would be hard to brush a stat like that aside.


Thomas Says:

@guy
about feds backhand. So what if its not effective against nadal? Theres a reason why feds so successful against tall/bulky,strong guys like delpo,berdych,soderling,davydenko etc. His sliced backhand is the best in the game and it troubles those tall guys. The same cannot be said about nadal,his forehand bounces right into their wheel-house,and they own him on hard courts.


Ezorra Says:

Thomas says;

“…tall/bulky,strong guys like bla, bla, bla, DAVYDENKO etc.”

Erkkk… Davydenko? seriously? ;)

Btw, I got what you mean. Just I think you should minus Berdych and add someone like Cilic maybe?


Daniel Says:

guy what you are forgetting is the miles. Nadal turned pro in 2001, which means he has 9 years on tour right now. A professional tennis player usually plays conpetitive for 12-13 years. He is a veteran, not like Fed who turned pro in 1998 and is heading to his last 3-4 years, maybe less.

Maybe Nadal can be the first to have a long carrer having earlier sucess (his strenght and fitness is built to it). All players in history who hade success under 20 didn’t last long. Sampras last 15 years, Agassi is not valid since he took time away from the tour.

It’s not just age wise, there is more depth into it.


madmax Says:

Daniel,

Yes. I have made that point before. For some reason, some people just talk in Tennis age years and not turning pro years – there is really only 3 years difference between the two.

Secondly, they will both be remembered for, like, ever – for their own different styles, rivalries, sportsmanship, masters/GS’s. It will go on.


Kimmi Says:

what a come back by rezai..she needs to serve for the match here..can she do it?


Kimmi Says:

She is done it. WOW! good for her. biggest tournament of her career. Congrats Rezai :)


jane Says:

Kimmi, she did it – Rezia beat Henin, JJ, and Venus along the way. All very well deserved title indeed. I can’t believe this didn’t go three sets; it seems a certainty when Venus was up a break in the second.


dc Says:

i don’t know why Nadal fans like Guy keep bring h2h into picture.

Probably they think the h2h against Fed is the biggest achievement for Rafa.

Rafa would eagerly trade in his h2h against fed for the 16 GS’s.
You know what – Soderling has a 1-0 h2h advantage over Nadal in Grand Slams.


montecarlo Says:

@dc

You are funny and totally ignorant tennis lover. But I am sure you will gain some wisdom in few years time and think twice before posting something.

29/05/06 Nadal bt soderling 6-2,7-5,6-1 (french open)

07/04/07 Nadal bt Soderling 6-4,6-4,6-7,4-6,7-5 (Wimbledon)

So GS H2H is 2-1 in Nadal’s favor. :D LOL


Kimmi Says:

yes, jane..venus had control of that second set one time..

Like what Kimo said, she seem to be tough mentally too..the way she fought out those duece, adv games was with nerves of steel.

maybe the french can get a another RG winner soon..mary pierce was french, wasn’t she?

She looks a little nervous doing her speech. Not much experience yet i guess. If she continue to play like this, we should see her again and again standing on the podium.


montecarlo Says:

oops copy pasted scores from different sites so dates are in different order.


Gannu Says:

Hey Guys

All set to go for the feddy match.. another 45mins to go..huh, madmax, skeez, kimmi,kimo, jane, conty and all other conuntless fedfans..lets cheer for our man.. Hope he wins..

Eagerly waiting

Betn amazing that rezai won when no one picked her to do so.. i hope the same thing happens today ;-) as no one has picked feddy to win.. seems surprised that people have less confidence over the GOAT despite all his achievements!!!

Hope “The Sean reverse curse/jinx” thing works today ;-))


Kimmi Says:

gannu, jane is a djoko fan but I think she will cheer for federer today :)


NachoF Says:

Im so excited!… its just like last year all over again… Nadal is invincible bla bla bla. Go Roger!


jane Says:

Kimmi, I am still deciding, but I may not watch the final live. I may wait to watch it on the big screen. It’s so much better that way. : )

Gannu, Kimmi’s right: my faves are Djoko and then Murray a.t.m. However, I like to follow contador’s idea of “spreading the love”. : ) In other words, I like lots and lots of players because I love, love, love watching tennis. So today I am hoping these two great champs -Rafa and Fed- give us a cracker of a final!!


madmax Says:

Jane! You HAVE to watch the match! With that beautiful LCD TV saying – “JANE!, JANE!” WATCH ME! Look, I am all shiny and new –

Gannu,

I am here. sick with nerves. but will be here all the way through, cheering the Fed forward!

C’moon! Federer! Let’s do it!!!


Kimmi Says:

ah jane, it won’t be the same feeling, to watch the match delayed. TSN are killing us tennis fans, even with two channels. i thought now with TSN2 on, tennis will be live most of the time…especiaaly the finals :(

I was ofcourse joking when i said you will cheer for federer..you might probably cheer for nadal more. but no worries. enjoy.

as much as i want fed to win..this match is all written nadal i am afraid. i feel most of baseline rallies will be adv nadal. like you, so much hoping for a close competative match..c’moon.


grandslamman Says:

Federer over Nadal (7-5, 6-4)


madmax Says:

Kimmi!

The fans win! Tennis wins! Federer will work hard to win! Have some faith! You have nothing to lose to feel this way, my friend. :)


Skeezerweezer Says:

@dc

it us because H2H is all Rafa fans feel like they have over Fed, so that is why they keep bringing it up. No worries, Fed’s peers have claimed him GOAT, other professional players, both past AND present ,so why would anyone listen to anything else?

Re: fed’s BH, a ridiculous argument comparing a 2BH. Traveling now but will address that argument when I get back…go fed!


Gannu Says:

Great to have you here madmax..i am sick with nerves, jet lag, office work pressure etc ;-)

Onlya federer win today can soothe those nerves.. otherwise my entire week will be ruined ;-)

Jane: For a day you can support our man;-)

Here is the Pete bodo article which is the only one that ia balanced..
http://tennisworld.typepad.com/tennisworld/2010/05/game-on.html

All others are calling for a Nadal victory!!!

But we fed supporters are going to be there till the end cheering him even in dire circumstances..
Come on Feddy..10 more mins to go


Kimmi Says:

i know maxi..i just can’t help it. i will cheer, 10 minute maxi.

federer backhand need to be sharp, it will get a lot of onslaught today. The serve needs to be on too..the forehand….ah, everything federer. c’mooon!


Huh Says:

There’s only one armageddon in tennis right now and that is:

ROGER FEDERER

VS

RAFAEL NADAL

GO ROGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ALLEZ!!!

ALLEZ!!!

ALLEZ ROGER!!!

COME ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Gannu Says:

thats the spirit Huh.. keep it going ;-) Allez Rog!!!


Kimo Says:

Let’s go ROGEEEERRRRRRRRRR.

BE AGGRESSIVE.


Ben Pronin Says:

The mental games have begun. Woot.


madmax Says:

c’moon guys!

This is it!

Best of luck – do I believe in luck? No.

Okay, in other words, the person who has prepared the most and who takes his opportunities will win!!

So – C’moon Federer!

good relations to all rafa fans and to all roger fans!

Almost time!

Let’s go federer fans!


madmax Says:

Ben,

great to see you here!

Federer, serve better be “on” and “be aggressive!”.

Am ready!


Gannu Says:

Oh God.. i am currently just a bundle of nerves.. going to be really tough to sit through the entire match!!!

Lets hope Fed plays his best and wins..


Daniel Says:

I hope the shadow covers the court fast. Remember AO agaisnt Davy, Fed complained about the half shadow court.


Ben Pronin Says:

I think Federer needs to serve well AND Nadal needs to return poorly. Last year, that was a big thing for the both of them. (for Federer to win)


Ben Pronin Says:

Is it just me or is Nadal hitting harder than he has in the past?


Kimo Says:

Roger won the first point. I’m very optimistic when that happens.


Daniel Says:

Well, this is the best start Federer ever have against Nadal!


Ben Pronin Says:

2 straight aces on clay? Good for Rog. That missed backhand from Nadal on the first point is interesting. Perhaps Nadal remembers last year’s final more than we do.


Kimo Says:

Yay, Roger holds to love :)

And why is Rafa oooohing and aaaahing already? It’s just the first game!!!jeez!!!!


Kimo Says:

Break point Roger!!!!

Come on Roger. Break!!!


Kimo Says:

Both players are nervous as hell. You can tell they never felt this nervous in the last year.


Gannu Says:

feddy just doesnt convery BPs these days.. i just wonder why!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Ben Pronin Says:

I like Nadal’s shorts. Why does Nike screw around with his outfit so much. Sometimes he looks great, other times he gets something ridiculous.

Nadal is trying to bring the heat on the first serve. And he’s aiming at the forehand from time to time. Good mix up. He’s keeping Federer off guard because, for the first time ever it seems, Federer is ready to return on the backhand. They’re both hitting the ball cleanly, which is just awesome to see.


Kimo Says:

Roger, for the love of God, stop trying to come over Rafa’s cross-court forehand with your backhand.


Ben Pronin Says:

Federer just hit a Nadal-forehand against Nadal!!!


Ben Pronin Says:

Yeah, it looks it’s going to be one of those days :)


Kimo Says:

Both players are very edgy. Both are hitting the ball harder than they normally would.


Huh Says:

WHATEVER, GO ROGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

COME ON ROGER, PLEASE WIN!

COME THE HELL ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11


Huh Says:

I’m dying of tension right now, hell with this Roger-Rafa rivalry, it’s just so important one!


Ben Pronin Says:

Rog is rushing already.


Ben Pronin Says:

I hope this doesn’t discourage Federer. He was employing the right tactics but he’s still playing Nadal.


Kimmi Says:

Too much spin for fed BH and federer first serve not working on that game..


Kimo Says:

Rafa breaks. You can tell from Roger’s strokes that he’s kinda forgotten how much work Rafa gets on the ball. That’s the downside of not playing Rafa for 12 months.


Gannu Says:

Well its pretty disgusting to see the entire world against roger… i hate these spanish guys.. they bloody damn cheer for every federer error…really disgusted..


madmax Says:

Daniel,

you are the only one complaining about the shadow! not federer! He is concentrating on the match!

Tension – but great so far.

C’moon Federer!

Let’s go!

Just enjoy your tennis today and the match. Believe Roger,

calm Gannu. Dont worry. Challenge is great!


Ben Pronin Says:

Federer employing some high topspin ala Nadal, troubling Nadal with it. 3 BPs, let’s even this out Rog!


margot Says:

Hi jane, huh, madmax and ALL other fans: Am just stting here SO relaxed, supping a g’t doing my nails, tum ti tum and why you ask? Cos Andy’s not playing of course!
Enjoy the ride everyone!


madmax Says:

breakkkkkkkkk fed!

C’moon!


Kimo Says:

Roger breaks back. Ben is right. High loopy groundies from Roger are bothering Rafa, especially on the backhand side.


madmax Says:

margot!
Sick!


blank Says:

Hope Fed prevails!


Huh Says:

Well, gotta give credit to Rafa Nadal, he sure is the THE rival of Federer, just amazing how tense Fed sometimes become while playing him! Fed looks tense to me, all that he needs is to just play his natural game instead of being tense. Let’s see however. Hoping for Fed to win this match anyway.

GO ROGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Ben Pronin Says:

Is it just me or is Nadal more nervous? He used to get nervous against Rog like in 06 Wimbledon and FO finals where he got thrashed in the first sets of each. But here it’s like he’s back to being nervous but he’s also a lot better and he’s already had tons more respect against Federer so his nerves don’t deter him from going up breaks and whatnot.

Oh and did I mention Federer is nervous, too? Where’s the drop shot? Saving it for crucial points deep in the set/match, I’m guessing. I love seeing Federer’s forehand like this, though. It’s been a while since he’s been able to dictate with it with mishitting every other one. Who the hell gave Federer the idea of serving and volleying on his second serve… against Nadal, no less??


madmax Says:

Roger looks so pretty today. :)


Huh Says:

Thanks Mrs. Margot! :D

And Fed breaks! :D :D


Skeezerweezer Says:

This is so cool. Better than watching live and since I can’t thanks everyone for the play by plays. I can only peak now & then! Sounds like a fun match! Go Fed!


Kimmi Says:

Good good rog..lets go


Gannu Says:

And what annoys me the most are the two idiot commentators of tennis tv… they are SO BIASED and seem to favour Nadal every point.. really not fair.. just before the match they said Fedex has never beat a healthy nadal on clay!!!! ridiculous.. they should be fired for making such comments


Huh Says:

I’m also feelin at least close, if not equal or more sick than Fed at the moment. (:(


Kimo Says:

Rafa is nervous, no doubt. Haven’t seen him this nervous the whole clay season.


Ben Pronin Says:

Gannu, I’d say that’s pretty much true. Federer has never beaten a perfectly fit Nadal on clay. It’s just facts.

Federer standing 40 feet behind the baseline to return serve? Gotta recover quicker than that but not the worst idea.


Huh Says:

Hey Gannu:

Who cares as to whether the two commentators are goodies/baddies, let’s just chorus and say-

GO ROGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


madmax Says:

Gannu, buddy. Dont worry. This is great stuff and it is what the fans feel that matter.

Commentators should just shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Keep the belief! Nothing to lose here. Just to go forward.


xmike Says:

all the links at fromsport.com stopped working, is their any other place on the web where the match is on?


Huh Says:

RO RO RO RO ROGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RO RO RO RO ROGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Huh Says:

Time for me to rush to RF.com for a moment and come back. The Fed lovers and fanatics over there provide the most hilarious of reactions on each point, hehe.


Kimo Says:

Roger saves three break points. Thanks to his amazing serve.


Ben Pronin Says:

It’s amazing to see how they’re both too nervous to make any errors against each other. Afraid to give even the slightest edge to the other guy. Not that it stops them from doing so anyway. Where are the Nadal fans on here? We might as well be the Swiss guys in the stadium.


Kimo Says:

Roger very aggressive on break points. A good sign if you ask me.


Ben Pronin Says:

This is why I love these guys. Points like that. So much variety. So much spin. So much power. Everything. This is as high quality as it gets (minus the nerves for this particular match).


Kimo Says:

Ever since 2006, I’ve been saying that whenever Rafa hits a cross-court forehand, Fed should slice it up the line. It always works when Roger does it, but it appears that he doesn’t know that.


Kimo Says:

Rafa breaks again :(


Ben Pronin Says:

Tennis is lonely enough. It must be tough to have an entire stadium rooting against you when you’re playing you’re arch rival on his best surface.


Daniel Says:

Fed start serving great and now missing a lot. Nadal’s return is the best part of his game so far.


Kimmi Says:

Noo..roger..to the net.

Nadal camp is jumping up and down..


Kimo Says:

You never see Roger jump so high to hit groudies, unless he’s playing Rafa that is. His feet are almost never on the ground when he hits.


madmax Says:

Kimo! Have a word with him!

C’moon roger! do it! Let’s go!!!!!

Buzzing, tension, nerves! Hold it Roger. Keep it together. sending you the love from everywhere!

GO Roger!


Huh Says:

“Kimo Says:

Roger very aggressive on break points. A good sign if you ask me.”

Thanks for lettin it know. Hope Roger plays his normal intelligent game and beats Nadal!


margot Says:

Bloody hell! Rafa’s upper body looks even more astonishing than usual….or is it the g’n ts talking???
Fed’s gotta get that first serve going or he’s not gonna win. he looks tense to me.


Huh Says:

Come on Roger, come on , come on, come on!!!!!!!!!!!!


Kimo Says:

Rafa has shaken off the nerves. Roger hasn’t.


madmax Says:

I imagine all the celebrity tennis players around the world all watching this match with bated breath! Must be weird to watch two masters of the game!

Roger! Let’s get aggressive now! Stay focused!

Just do it!!!!!


Ben Pronin Says:

Little bit of luck.


Huh Says:

Right said Mrs.Margot, Fed indeed looks tense, no doubt about it.


i am it Says:

X friends, are yo’ll enjoying the long awaited match of the year?
IMO both of them are playing more tactical than beautiful tennis, as they should. Nothing lacking in drama and tension.
Federer had a chance to go 3-1 but missed it. Rafa also had a few chances to take the lead. So far it is a 50-50 match, even if Rafa happens to take the 1st set.
If you are looking for clearer streaming, google “live score hunter” either as 1 word or 3.
Enjoy !!!


Huh Says:

So…. what’s up?


Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t know that Fed will be breaking Nadal any time soon.


Kimo Says:

Roger doing so much running early on. Not good if the match goes the distance.


madmax Says:

C’moon Roger!

Hold baby!

Hold!

Play for the win!


margot Says:

Hi huh! How nice to share this match with you!


Kimo Says:

Roger is not playing badly by any means, but Rafa is just the better dirt-baller.

However, I don’t like Fed’s gameplan. Hitting off-forehands to Rafa’s forehand? That’s the stupidest thing EVERRRRR.


Ben Pronin Says:

Where is the drop shot????


madmax Says:

Very decent match Kimo. Very decent. Full of tension and atmosphere. Setting perfect, Lead characters are the best movie actors, dialogue (bit noisy at times), crowd partisan – understandable.

Federer class.
Rafa excellent.

C’moon Federer!

This is living up to expectations.

Sod the h2h. Just enjoy the match Fed.

Let’s go!


Huh Says:

Roger may or may not have beaten a healthy Nadal on clay ever, but then, neither has Djokovic on clay or any other surface.


Gannu Says:

Well i just cant bear to see roger struggle like this and lose and the added pain of the entire crew – crowd, commentators wanting him to lose.. i am off the blog for a while.. cant take so much heat!!!


Ben Pronin Says:

These angles, these shots. Crazy!!!


Ben Pronin Says:

ONLY Nadal could win 45% of first serve points and still win the set off Federer.


madmax Says:

c’moon Roger!

I am it! Great to see you!


Huh Says:

U r most welcome Mrs.Margot, it’s always great to have you. :)


madmax Says:

Breakkkk roger breakkkkkk


madmax Says:

Fed!!!!

C’moon!

breaaaaaakkkkkkkkkkk!


madmax Says:

Hold it together FED!

Stay cool!

C’mon!!!!!!!! breakkkkkkkkkkkk!


Huh Says:

If Fed breaks here, he’d have a great chanc, otherwise Rafa would gain confidence and this is not even grass or HC. ;)


Kimo Says:

Even if you don’t see who’s Roger playing, you need only look at his face to know it’s Rafa.


Huh Says:

Did Fed break?


Ben Pronin Says:

The cursing at the TV has begun. Missing sitter forehands. What is this? Wimbledon?


Huh Says:

“Kimo Says:

Even if you don’t see who’s Roger playing, you need only look at his face to know it’s Rafa.”

Agree and well said.


madmax Says:

not yet huh.

its deuce.

fed needs to believe.

cmon!


Kimo Says:

Amazing tennis. AMAZING!!! From both players!!!


madmax Says:

adv fed!

C’moon Fed!

Now let’s break!!!!!!!!!!!


Huh Says:

Oy vey situation for Fed or what?

Somebody tell please.


Huh Says:

Fed, stop sucking it up and just break, will you?


Huh Says:

Amazing clay tennis from Rafa implies opponent defeat. But Roger has it in him to turn the tables on Rafa, but will he?


Ben Pronin Says:

This is so stupid. I’d rather Fed got thrashed than watch him blow opportunity after opportunity.

I’m gonna start coming to grips with the loss now.


Kimo Says:

Roger can’t expect to win if he keeps missing silly returns :(


Huh Says:

Roger-Rafa match always good for tennis, but always bad for a student who loves tennis. :(


madmax Says:

Great shot from Rafa!

Let the game begin!!!

Beware the wounded Federer!

C’moon Federer! Stay in YOUR zone and focus YOUR focus to win!

calm gannu. calm!


NELTA Says:

All too familiar


Kimo Says:

I’m having flashbacks of the 2007 RG final. Roger had 19 break points in that match. He converted only one.


Gannu Says:

after that really disgusting game.. i am off … bye bye.. i just cant take this match any longer.. no point in seeing such a tensed play from roger…He would have never los thos simple break points against someone else..


Kimmi Says:

ah..how many BP squandered..big problems for federer with nadal.

Hope he can play better here..


Huh Says:

Seems like Roger has only himself and Rafa to blame for the blown opportunities. ;)


Daniel Says:

This is the most cowrd game I have ever saw from Federer.

1 of the 4 break points he couldn’t return Nadal`s serve. What abnout thislast forehand when he totally holf his arm. Nerves!

Nadal wins more pointsa in his second serve than his first. Bizarre!


madmax Says:

Ben,

you are negative! Stop it! c’moon! Federer got to believe.

Stop the questioning fed!

It’s up to you now.

Whatever, this match is great!


Gannu Says:

madmax i just cant see how roger comes back and wins this.. i am not as optimistic as you are… I feel very sorry for roger today


margot Says:

Why can’t Roger convert break points? Lawks he looks nervy, but Rafa is hardly Mr Calm. What a tense, tight first set.


Daniel Says:

3 out of 4.


Huh Says:

Maxi:

How can a Fed fan be calm with Fed missing so many BPs, that too against Nadal!!!


Sean Randall Says:

Well, both guys are playing pretty badly. Federer’s gone back to the Fed from last week. Nadal’s in the crapper but he still won the first set!

Federer is again having problems converting on break chances against Nadal.


Huh Says:

Fed’s gets so tense against Rafa that it hurts his Mr.Calm image, if there is any.


puckbandit Says:

Hi guys,

Just got in to see last 2 games of first. Looks like the balls are bouncing sky high. Interesting 2 games but nothing spectacular. Have I missed much?

Looks like this could go 3


Huh Says:

Perfect sum up by Sean Randall of the situation.


Kimmi Says:

no drop shots..nothing today. c’moon roger..get going


blank Says:

Sean, They are not playing badly. They are humans, not machines. Understandably, each one brings the best and worst (nerves) out of each other.


Tennis Fan Says:

Federer was in a good position to take Rafa in that first set … he more or less handed it back to Rafa over and over again. Rafa didn’t really take control either … he just got enough chances back to make it over the line first.

Not the best tennis between these two … a lot of missed shots … more on Rogers part.


Huh Says:

Gone are the drop shots probably. :(


blank Says:

Like I pointed out yesterday, Fed is ranked #45 in break point conversions this year. This match isn’t going to help him in that department in any way.


Huh Says:

Rafa by winning Madrid can create history of sweeping all the three clay MS! But Fed will hopefully stop him.


Ben Pronin Says:

Yep. This is over. It’s carved in stone. Federer will always choke against Nadal no matter what. 12 months, 12 days, 12 minutes.


puckbandit Says:

Why has Nike dressed Rog in classy duds and Rafa like a weekend golfer? Not that he doesn’t look great, but this season’s line is kindof funy


Huh Says:

The match must drag long only if it is destined for a Fed victory, otherwise it must end soon. Personally I have no interest to see Rafa again winning a highly competitive match against Fed.


Kimmi Says:

thats it I am afaraid..to much spin pushing fed back…oh boy


puckbandit Says:

Ouch, Rog’s shots are a real mixed bag right now, aces and angles or into the net.


Kimo Says:

Roger not hitting hard enough today. It’s guys who hit with pace ala Soderling, Delpo, Almagro that can hurt Rafa. Roger has got to crush every forehand that comes his way.


Gannu Says:

ITS ALL OVER FED FANS.. NO HOPES.. JUST GO HOME.. GUESS WE NEED TO FACE ALL THAT CRAP ABOUT HEAD TO HEAD NOW FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES… A BDARK BLACK SPOT IN FEDDY’S “FLAWLESS” RESUME..

WHATS EVEN WORSE IS HE SEEMS TO BE DISINTERESTED AND HAS NO DESIRE OR FIRE POWER TO WIN THIS MATCH


Huh Says:

Fed might have avoided choking against Rafa here, but seemingly he’s no interest of preventing his legacy from being harmed.


madmax Says:

Ben,

considering you are the weak link in the federer fan chain gang here, may be you should take a break, because sending such negative vibes is just not the thing to do.

Who cares?

Federer is the in the final. He is playing the greatest clay courter of all time, rafa. All federer fans know that.

Federer is the second best clay courter of all time (imho), but still has a chance to win.

No more bad vibes please. Helps no one.


Kimo Says:

Shut up Gannu.


Ben Pronin Says:

2 BPs, how much should we bet that Federer will blow these.


puckbandit Says:

Huh,
I don’t think this match will harm Fed’s legacy. He’s a sure HOFer and currently holds GOAT status from anyone who matters in tennis establishment.


madmax Says:

Am I THE only federer fan here who believes!!!!!

Yes I am.

Okay, maxi, it’s you and me! Federer is gonna win!

Dont care what anyone else says!

lalalalalala!!!

C’moon Federer.


Huh Says:

“WHATS EVEN WORSE IS HE SEEMS TO BE DISINTERESTED AND HAS NO DESIRE OR FIRE POWER TO WIN THIS MATCH”

Gannu:

If wat u r feelin is true, then Rafa deserves even more credit than he’s given. Rafa surely is God’s answer to Fed, probably.


Kimo Says:

YES FED THAT’S IT. Crush everything if you wanna beat him. Slam, bam, thank you ma’am.


Tennis Fan Says:

Finally after being broken Federer no longer feels nervous and breaks Nadal …

Federer certainly capable of winning this … he just has to control his nerves and play his tennis ..


puckbandit Says:

so much for disinterested LOL


Huh Says:

After all is said and done, again

GO ROGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Ben Pronin Says:

He did it! Cmon Federer. God damnit stop missing.

I don’t care about what vibes I’m sending. This match is typical of their history. And as great of a display as they put on, I’m not a big fan of their history. Believe in what? In Nadal’s ability to destroy Federer’s spirit? Because that’s all I ever see between these guys, with some sick shots on between.

It’s about time Federer used a dropper. Where’s he been hiding it and why???


Kimo Says:

Fed is starting to think. Finally.

Gannu: Can’t you see he’s trying everything. Do you think it’s easy playing Rafa on clay? Can;t you see how Rafa tortured Roger’s backhand? Cut Roger some slack will ya?


madmax Says:

Federer is going to do it!

Dont care what you are all saying!!!!

lalalalalalalalalala *covering ears to you naysayers, negative bunch* lalallalalaaaaaa

especially Ben Pronin *poking tongue out at Ben*!


federico Says:

huh, I couldn`t have said it better


madmax Says:

C’moon Federer!

You are the best!


Huh Says:

What? Fed breaks? Good!

Again come on!


Kimmi Says:

2 drop shots and they worked..c’mon fed


Ben Pronin Says:

This is like Hamburg 08, only without the 5-1 40-15 lead in the first set.


puckbandit Says:

bad string of points there by Rafa, he needs to shake that off or this could be a turning point for Fed


federico Says:

how is the match going? i`ve lost electricity here !!!


Huh Says:

Goddamn, mom n dad are sittin not allowing me to watch the match and insisting me to study. Can anyone be more unfortunate than me right now? :(


Ben Pronin Says:

Yeah I can’t agree that Federer is trying. As far as I’m concerned, Nadal is one of the biggets, if not the biggest, reason Federer still gets up to play tennis professionally. He’s trying a lot, too much, not enough, he’s really fluctuating here with his game and his game plan.


Gannu Says:

madmax kimo… trust me.. i want feddy to win as much as you guys want to win.. its just that it hurts.. plain simple.. and i want him to so badly win this.. the best thing i can do is pray and hope.. thats wat i will be doing till the end..


Huh Says:

Fed should use more dropshots then.


Ben Pronin Says:

Wow. Fed should do that every single time in every single match.


Huh Says:

I also want nothing except a Fed victory here.


madmax Says:

Gannu,

Can I ask you to try a different tactic?

Be positive?

Believe in your man – yes it sounds a bit hokey, pokey, but federer has nothing to lose.

No pressure. Playing for the love.

Love to federer.

Shot was out.

Well done Federer!

Crowd are whistling! Ball was OUT!

He saw!

bad crowd this.

C’moon fed. rise above.

do it!


Huh Says:

Why was Fed not doing it at the beginning then? No matter what happens here, I’m already wanting Fed to face Rafa at FO & Wim and beat him in at least one of those two, if not both.

Again for this match-

GO ROGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


puckbandit Says:

okay, now this tennis is picking up in quality


puckbandit Says:

Ben,
Fed doesn’t look slow to me


madmax Says:

c’moon Fed!

Just one ace!

Hold and wrap it up!


Huh Says:

In my world, Fed is allowed to beat Rafa as slowly as he wants.

Puckbandit:

I would love to believe that a loss here would not harm Fed’s legacy, but still, Fed’s often crticised mercilessly for losing to Rafa, even after givin his best, so that’s the worrying thing for me and makes me think that way.


Kimmi Says:

top spin BH down the line..oh boy..break


Huh Says:

Hold Fed, hold, hold, hold, hold coz hold would mean gold!


puckbandit Says:

Nadal looks like a man on a mission


Eric Says:

This is agonizing. Roger’s game just collapsed.


Ben Pronin Says:

A match like this just makes you realize why Federer can’t be called the GOAT.


Daniel Says:

Unbelievable how many 30-0 40-15 games Fed lost.

At least he is using dropshots and slices. But he should have made this game to stay in front and put some pressure in Nadal. He is playng from behind the whole match.


Huh Says:

Please someone tell what happened.


blank Says:

Wish there were 3 Masters tournaments on Grass!


madmax Says:

punkbandit.

I disagree.

There will always be a great champion challenging a great champion. These two bring out the best in each other. Rather have them around than not.


Huh Says:

“A match like this just makes you realize why Federer can’t be called the GOAT.”

Plain truth.


Kimo Says:

blank said:

“Wish there were 3 Masters tournaments on Grass!”

Yeah, with one played in Switzerland no less :D

I don’t care if Fed loses today. This has been a good preparation for the French. Should they meet in the RG final, I like Fed’s chances.


blank Says:

Ben, If Fed loses to Nadal 20/20 times but wins 20 Grand Slams (more than twice Nadal’s total), why should he not be called GOAT?

Does GOAT title warrant a winning record against every player?

True, Nadal is better than Fed on Clay. But why could he not win more GS? Why was he #2 ranked for so many years?


Daniel Says:

Nadal is not missing anything and hitting his backhand way more powerfull now, and his returns are excelent. Not much Fed can do in this scenario.


Huh Says:

Fed is not the GOAT in my opinion anyway.


puckbandit Says:

Huh,

As far as criticism of Fed, remember the old adage “consider the source” – bloggers and posts among fans are one thing, but as I posted, among the folks who matter: the greats who have played the game and those that have covered it for decades, Fed’s legacy is set.


margot Says:

ooh sorry all you gr8 Fed fans, looks like he just didn’t show up for the party.


Kimo Says:

I don’t know why I have this feeling, but I think Roger takes this 2nd set.


blank Says:

GOAT is ‘Greatest Of All Time’ and NOT GATT ‘GREATEST All THE TIME’

Fed is not GATT. No one is.


puckbandit Says:

Madmax, you wrote:

‘punkbandit.

I disagree.

There will always be a great champion challenging a great champion. These two bring out the best in each other. Rather have them around than not.’

I have no idea what you are disagreeing with me on. I agree with every word you just posted. ???


Kimo Says:

margot, he did show up, he’s just a little too nervous. However, in the RG 2008 final, he didn’t show up at all.


Eric Says:

Federer has had some rough spots which Nadal has pounced on, but I’ve been more impressed with him (outside of those spots). Nadal’s still on top so who cares, but — it’s not over yet.


madmax Says:

Huh.

stop this because I am not enjoying listening to these comments. ENjoy the match and focus.

Federer to take the second set!

C’moon Federer!

Fist pumps and C’moons!


Ben Pronin Says:

Blank, by the numbers, sure Fed is the GOAT. But Federer was pegged as a potential GOAT since 2004. And why? Not only because of his 3 slams, but because of his game. He had the perfect all around game with no flaws. Remember 2006 when he played his first FO final? That would’ve been only his 8th slam, still a long way from Sampras’s record. However, the tennis world agreed that all Federer needed to do was win the French, and he’s golden. He’s officially the greatest. It took him a few years to actually do it but he did. So his game made him look like the GOAT, he just needed the numbers to confirm it.

But look at this. This isn’t Federer’s best match, but that’s only because he’s continuously choking. He’s being outplayed by Nadal, and this is the 14th time. 14/21 times Nadal has been the better player. So as far as I’m concerned, Nadal now needs the numbers to confirm he’s the GOAT. He’s still young, he has time, no matter what the knees tell you.


puckbandit Says:

BTW,

I’m not a big Fed fan. I appreciate his skill, but as I have posted, he’s not my fav by a long shot.

I would like Rafa to win this, make up for disappointments from last year.


Huh Says:

blank:

I have absolutely nothing against Fed, but you cannot be the GOAT if your biggest rival maintains an edge over you. If I can’t beat the best student of my class most of the times, rather sllowing him to beat me, then I can’t be the best student of the university. Of course there are some factors like age, motivation etc. favouring Nadal IMO, but still, Fed needs to do better. But I was not a Fed fan after his 16th slam win, I am his fan since 2003 and nothing will change it, none ever has been dearer to me as a tennis player than Roger. SO

GO ROGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Kimo Says:

Roger should rip his groundies and dropshot anything that falls short. It’s that simple.


Ben Pronin Says:

How many break chances does the alleged GOAT need to break this guy?


puckbandit Says:

I am really sorry if anything I posted started the GOAT debate.
As a TENNIS fan, I’d love to see another set.


Kimo Says:

YES ROGER BREAKS!!!!!

GO ROGGGGEEEERRRRRRR. GOAT!!!!!!!!


blank Says:

Ben, I agree with you. If Nadal ends up winning more GS (or even the same number as Fed), I will concede he is better than Fed and he is the GOAT. But only time will tell. Right now, let the records speak for itself. And to me, based on that Fed is way greater than anyone that has ever played the game.


Kimo Says:

You never see Roger change his gameplan so many times during the course of a tournament. Against Rafa, he changes it several times within a single game.

I love how Rafa pushes Roger to the limit.


Ben Pronin Says:

Yeah, also Kimo don’t you just love how each and every game plan fails.


blank Says:

huh:

Federer is the best student in the class right now, unless you say the class consists of just Fed and Nadal.


Daniel Says:

Wow, the serve come full force at the right time!


Kimo Says:

Okay, if you guys say Roger can’t be GOAT because he can’t beat Rafa, then fine (although I don’t agree with that). But then you can’t say Rafa is GOAT just because he beats Roger consistently.

You can’t have it both ways.


Eric Says:

Ben, we all know where your sympathies lie, so just shut up about the GOAT debate. No one match or even one rivalry is the key. It’s about an entire career – and Federer has had the most objectively successful tennis career, ever, and is acknowledged as the GOAT by many other tennis greats, not just for his objective achievements but also because of their subjective assessments of his game. Who cares if he loses this match (or wins it) or has a losing record against one other great player? It’s dust in the wind. Nadal is an amazing player for sure but calling him the GOAT is laugable.


Huh Says:

Thanks for your great opinion puckbandit. As a Fed fan, I truly appreciate it and thank u for that.

And Maxi:

I love you very much, but you may have avoided asking me to stop. But I m entitled to my opinion. I have stood by Fed in his toughest times and i and my near ones know it. I don’t need to prove my loyalty towards Fed to anyone here including you. But I know that you are absolutely a BIG Fed fan and always support him, I like it very much, to be honest. Never mind what I say, but deep within I have a passion for Fed. Enjoy!


Kimo Says:

Ben, each and every gameplan isn’t failing. They’re tied in the 2nd set aren’t they?!


puckbandit Says:

IMHO

This is no such thing as a GOAT. It’s impossible to compare across generations. There are a select few that can be considered “among the greatest to ever play the game” but just can’t see how you can compare players today against a Laver or Borg. Too much is different in the game.


madmax Says:

Ben,

I cant believe the comments you are making and I would like to talk to you about this.

Federer is the GOAT, but this is NOT the issue and NOT the time to talk about it.

He is playing a partisan crowd today, hardly anyone cheering for him.

I dont care. I love the guy and he will take the second set. I dont care what you think or your negative comments. This is ridiculous.

C’moon Federer, it’s YOU and ME!

Do it for the twins Fed!

Turn this around and show Ben Pronin, the fed doubter!

C’moon Federer! Some brilliant tennis so far, really enjoying the match. Love you Roger.


blank Says:

Nadal > Fed. Maybe yes. As hard as it is for me to admit, that may is the fact.

Fed > Field (including Nadal). That’s without question.


RD Says:

Does anyone else notice the reluctance Nadal has in going after some of the drop shots? Knee worries? It’s tough to go side to side and then forward and back. I’d like to see whether Nadal really goes after any of Fed’s ‘getable’ drop shots.


madmax Says:

Huh,

I will always love you. Just trying to be calm and dont like negative comments, commentators writing federer off together with his fans? It’s not in my book, that’s all. :) peace.


Ben Pronin Says:

Eric, where do my sympathies lie? Point out where I said something that didn’t make sense. Nadal doesn’t only beat Federer consistently, he beats just about everyone consistently.

Nadal’s two biggest rivals are Djokovic and Federer. He’s 14-6 against Djokovic and 13-7 against Federer. Should Nadal win today, the only difference between Federer and Djokovic will be that Federer has one more win and they’ve played some better matches. So if Nadal goes on to win 30 Masters, completes the career slam, holds the number 1 spot for a few years, and ends with 2 slams less than Federer, who’s the GOAT?


Huh Says:

“blank Says:

huh:

Federer is the best student in the class right now, unless you say the class consists of just Fed and Nadal”

Great logic, I like it. But still Fed and Rafa are the best students in the class and in direct face-off, they have maintained a very very even record. There lies the problem. However, I must make it quite clear here to one and to all that IMO Roger has been the best since 2003 upto now. This I m not saying to please anyone by the way, it’s my absolutely personal opinion. Moreover, it is not mandatory on everybody’s part to agree with what the rest say. Enjoy!


Ben Pronin Says:

This is the perfect time to talk about GOAThood. Otherwise you can throw numbers around. I’m talking about the tennis.


Eric Says:

Ben — sure, IF Nadal goes on to do that, then we can talk. But I might win 90 Masters, complete the career slam eleven times and hold the 1 spot until the end of time, so I guess I’m the GOAT too.


blank Says:

Ben says:
“So if Nadal goes on to win 30 Masters, completes the career slam, holds the number 1 spot for a few years, and ends with 2 slams less than Federer, who’s the GOAT?”

Then Nadal is the GOAT. But that hasn’t happened yet. Can he really win 10 more GS?


Ben Pronin Says:

Wtf was that? Nadal wipes the mark and everyone claps? Replay shows the ball clipped the line and the commentator says “that was close”? What a load of crap.


puckbandit Says:

Ben,
Didn’t Fed get two serves? I thought Rafa gave him the call and they played two, it wasn’t an ace


Ben Pronin Says:

Anything that’s relatively close is called out (on Fed). This is bs.


Huh Says:

Puckbandit:

I completely agree with what you say, it’s impossible to call anyone GOAT, even if it be Fed. That’s your, mine, Ben’s and some others’ personal opinion. I dunno where the problem liesd in us stating this. Why are some so opposed to this opinion? Whatever may be the reason, but nobody can change my opinion on this and nor would I force it on anyone.


vinod Says:

commoonn FED break please !!!


Ben Pronin Says:

I wish this match was best of 5. If it ends in the next few games, then god damnit.

Puckbandit is that what happened? That doesn’t explain the clapping.


blank Says:

Huh: I am with you on this. Fed is not doing well when they face-off. But when it’s a marathon, when everyone is playing/running all thru the year, it’s Fed that has come out winning more often than not.


Ben Pronin Says:

If Federer breaks to win the set…


Kimo Says:

I don’t know why you guys are on Federer’s case. In Monte-Carlo and in Rome, neither finalist challeneged Rafa as much as Roger did today.


puckbandit Says:

Ben,
Not sure what happened. I thought they were clapping for Rafa being Rafa and being courteous. But I could be wrong. Fed seemed to play a second serve but I thought he was given two. Moot point now anyway, he got the game.


Befil24 Says:

Hey everybody!

It’s my first post here, but i’d like to say something about the class analogy. Let’s say thare are 4 different classes (one for each surface).

Federer is the absolute best against the rest of the people in three of those four. But Rafa often misses those three classes.

But, Federer is always in the class where Rafa is better than him. But he is still the 2nd best.

Who is the best?


Eric Says:

Ben, at least there’s something we can agree on. Here’s hoping for another thriller RF-RN matchup at Roland Garros.


Ben Pronin Says:

Kimo, because Verdasco + Ferrer = Federer – 2004-2010.


Huh Says:

After reading what Ben says, me thinks that was exactly a WTF moment then, shame on Madridians. And would the Nadal-is-graceful brigade not jump up and trample on everyone right now for the class act of their class guy? :(


blank Says:

When Nadal is fully fit, I don’t think he can beat him over 5 sets. At least not anymore. His best bet is 3 sets.


Ben Pronin Says:

That’s true, Eric. I’m still waiting for an epic 5 setter in the RG final.


puckbandit Says:

Ben,
one more point, Rafa only erases a mark when he’s conceding to his opponent on the shot


blank Says:

2008 FO final still makes me cringe.


Kimo Says:

Fed will win this TB.


Huh Says:

Come on Federer, come on, win the set, if it isn’t too late, please!

Allez Roger!

By the way, the question is not whether Fed challenged Rafa or not, the thing is he could have clinched the 1st set in fact.


puckbandit Says:

Cmon Roger, give us tennis fans a third set, don’t care who wins but this is too much fun to end in 2


Huh Says:

Come on Fed, come on, win the TB at least!


Huh Says:

Win Fed, please!


Ben Pronin Says:

If Federer wins this set, and still loses, it won’t be so bad.


madmax Says:

C’moon Roger! Focccccccusssssssssss!

You can do this!

C’MON!


Huh Says:

I can’t imagine the toughness of guys like Fed n Rafa who handle so much pressure! Tennis is tough, life is tough.


blank Says:

Nerves from both!


Kimo Says:

WOW. I thought “Roddick” when I say that volley at the same time the commentator did :D:D:D:D:D


blank Says:

Fed tried to be too cute there. Just rip that FH don’t mess around.


Kimmi Says:

so sad..fed what happened?


Kimmi Says:

2 match points


puckbandit Says:

OMG!!!!! what a final point?????


Ben Pronin Says:

Wow. Federer sucks. There’s your GOAT. Wiffing forehands. What a joke.


Kimo Says:

That was the ugliest match point I have ever seen.


blank Says:

Unbelievable!

Well…at least, it was a very competitive match.


Kimmi Says:

bad bounce on match point..weird!


Eric Says:

So, I say it was a fine performance from Federer….but why does his game collapse in tense moments?


blank Says:

What happened there!?


Kimo Says:

Ben, you’re the joke. A big one.


Daniel Says:

The drop shot made Federer return on set 2 but at 4-2 tiebreak he missed, irony.

And this last point was weird. first real irregular kick in the whole match on match point.


madmax Says:

congratulations to rafa fans.

Go federer!!!!!!!!!

c’mon Roger.

Still love you, still believe in you. Move on in a few days.


puckbandit Says:

Too many errors by Fed in the breaker. Terrible bounce and poor luck on match point, but it shouldn’t haven’t gotten to that point, Rog had the breaker in hand at 4-2


Kimo Says:

Eric, because it’s Nadal He’s in Roger’s head. We Fed fans have grown accustomed to it.


madmax Says:

Ben,

Im entitled to my opinion and I was very disappointed in your negative comments. Too much.


Daniel Says:

Congrats Nadal double history day: 19 masters and 3 master on clay in the same year. Remarkable for a 23 (soon to be 24) year old!


Kimo Says:

Didn’t we all agree Fed was the underdog. Well, we thought right. So why is everyone ripping him apart.

This is where we separate the pretentious fools from the real fans.


puckbandit Says:

Ben,

Your supposed to be the official blogger here right?

How can you say Fed sucks? it was a wacky bounce off the line, not


Ben Pronin Says:

Because Federer had a million chances and choked on 99% of them.


puckbandit Says:

Ben,

Your supposed to be the official blogger here right?

How can you say Fed sucks? it was a wacky bounce off the line,


Kimo Says:

Daniel, don’t jump the gun. It’s only 18 masters titles.


Eric Says:

Kimo, yeah but it’s agonizing.

Congratulations to Nadal, I guess.


blank Says:

Hope Fed does the homework and put on a better show should these two meet at the FO.

Other players, please give Nadal a tough time on his road to the FO finals. Let’s test Nadal’s fitness.


Kimmi Says:

he was close, as always but still far.

great perfomance by fed..he did well to comeback in that match.

Next time rogie


Daniel Says:

oops 18


puckbandit Says:

Oops, sorry for double post.

And I think anyone who plays Rafa on clay has to be considered the underdog. Even more so in best of 5 at FO


Kimo Says:

Ben, your posts are like that of someone who hasn’t seen enough Fed-Rafa matches. Fed struggles against Rafa. It’s a fact. It can’t be helped. It’s ingrined in their games. Sure, Fed could have converted on 50% of his chances, but believe me, he would have still lost.

It’s Rafa on clay in Spain. Wake up.


Tennis Fan Says:

Disappointing from the view that Nadal didn’t win … Fed lost.

If Fed could control his nerves when he played Nadal I think he would win most of the time … clay doesn’t help.

Still … maybe Fed won’t be as nervous at Rolland Garros now … and even though Nadal might feel more confident there I think Fed’s chances will still be good …

It will also be interesting to see if Nadal’s knees start acting up again later this year by the time they get to the hard courts …


Ben Pronin Says:

Here’s a question, why am I not allowed to be frustrated? I’ve had to watch Federer do this against Nadal so many times and there was never a single time, nay, a single point where I rooted for Nadal. And yet this is what I end up with. I woke up specifically to watch this. I even hyped myself up a little and told myself Federer has a real shot of winning the match. And I still ended up watching him fall apart not unlike he’s always done. Call me selfish, I really don’t care. There’s no rule that says I have to be selfless or positive or any of that. I’m still a young kid who’s really emotional. I’ve chucked anything that’s not too valuable around my house. And then I have to watch Federer wiff a forehand on match point.


Eric Says:

IMO, Fed outplayed Rafa except when it counted – which cost him the title. Nadal won 1 solitary point more than Roger in that match.

But at the French Open, I think Rafa is going to be back to his dominant ways. What we just saw is that even when Federer brings almost his very best game, he just can’t make good on his chances. It’s weird and frustrating and aggravating, but there it is – Nadal is just better on clay.


puckbandit Says:

Did Roger just backhand a compliment to Rafa? After mentioning his undefeated streak in the new stadium, he congrats Rafa on a great clay court season, then adds they only played each other once?
So if Rafa faced Fed more this season, he wouldn’t have had the same success?

This is what bugs me about Fed.

He can be gracious, but not 100%

Maybe he just rubs me the wrong way.


Kimo Says:

Ben, get frustrated you may. Saying Fed is a joke means you don’t know $hit.


guy Says:

nice prediction on the score…

well the scary thing for fed is that he played a great match: high 1st serve, lots of aces, positive winner to unforced errors…the backhand wasn’t shanking and he was even hitting dropshot winners…yet he still lost in straights.

he was also playing in the fastest clay conditions and nadal wasn’t even playing that great, a lot of unforced errors for him and served like crap.


Tennis Fan Says:

I think we should all vote to get Ben Pronin taken off this site … he sounds like a little kid covering this match.

He make juvenile comments … not the behaviour of the people who are suppose to be one of people who represents this site.

I say Ben should go … who else agrees?


margot Says:

Congratulations to all Rafa fans, commisserations to Fed fans. Second set much better than first, too many errors from both, there. Roll on Roland Garros!
kimo: your point ages ago about who bothers Rafa, it’s players with double handed back hands, I think. Rog at big disadvantage against Rafa with his.
dear huh, don’t be too down on Roger, he too is a mighty champion. And good luck with your exams.


blank Says:

Now Fed has to reach the SF at RG to stay # 1 and beat Sampras’ record.


Huh Says:

I truly celebrated when Fed hit that FH winner and staved off a championship point, but that was it. Then it was Rafa’s time to celebrate.

What can I say?

Well done Rafa. Congrats to u.

I would also take up this opportunity to congratulate one Rafa fan named Ezorra, who always remains graceful, no matter if Rafa wins or not. SO CONGRATS EZORRA.

And some words here also for MY CHAMPION, MY ROGER:
ALLEZ ROGER!!!
ALLEZ ROGER!!!
ALLEZ ROGER!!!

Roger always does one thing-tries his best. He gave his best as possible under the circumstances, but wasn’t luckier than Rafa. So no regrets.

I M LIKE- ONCE A FED FAN, ALWAYS A FED FAN AND NOTHING BUT A FED FAN!
SO AGAIN

ALLEZ ROGER!!!
ALLEZ ROGER!!!
ALLEZ ROGER!!!

Last but not the least, Maxi, Gannu, Kimo, blank, Kimmi and other fellow Fedfans, don’t be sad, it’s ok. Just keep supporting Fed within urself, that’s all we can do.


puckbandit Says:

I think Fed makes more mistakes against Rafa than others because he knows has to go for more to defeat his great defensive abilities. It’s a higher risk tennis than is needed to defeat the rest of the field. i also think Rafa forces him into more mistakes, even though they are officially counted as unforced errors, many of them are not unforced.


Eric Says:

Don’t be silly, Tennis Fan… if everyone who made juvenile comments got kicked off the site there would be no one left. :)


Ben Pronin Says:

Puckbandit, Federer always does that. Might as well focus on the compliment part and not the back handedness.

All in all, not a bad way for Federer to bounce back after a lousy clay season. Nadal is the heavy, heavy favorite at the French so I’m looking forward to Wimbledon even more now.


fed is afraid Says:

same ole same ole
yawn


Sean Randall Says:

Federer showed that he’s back (or never really left, he just took it easy for a bit) and Nadal’s still the undisputed King.

By my count Rafa sweeps the three Tennis Masters losing just TWO sets!

The French now sets up nicely for Nadal adding another Slam title and possibly passing Roger in the rankings.


blank Says:

Huh: Totally with you. Fed has given me more joy than anyone else in sports. How he fares from now on is not going to affect how I feel about him. I am the same age as Fed, just few weeks apart, and to see him accomplish such things gives me a vicarious pleasure!


puckbandit Says:

Tennis Fan,

Get a grip.

Sorry, can’t jump on the dump Ben bandwagon. While I may disagree often with his comments and sometimes his style, I would never lobby to have him removed.

This is a pretty open forum, and should stay that way IMHO


blank Says:

There is no way Fed can hold on to the # 1 ranking after Wimbledon. If he can win Toronto (I’ll be there) and Cincinnati, then there is a chance.


blank Says:

Tennis Fan,

I vote for you to be out.


Tennis Fan Says:

Sean .. how about you have a talk with Ben?

Don’t you have to be at least 18 to be a representative of your xblog?


Huh Says:

Hey Mrs.Margot:

So sweet of u! :P

My exams are still about two months away, but be sure of my informing you when my exam schedule comes out. I’m not going to let go the chance of having ur good wishes for the exams when they start. And absolutely no doubt that Fed’s a great champion, that’s why I’m his fan. I’m not sad at all. I’m slowly but surely coming to terms with the fact life is much much bigger than football, tennis or kidding. Again thanx for honey post Mrs.Margot. Now waitin for the FO to start.


puckbandit Says:

Blank,

I’m thinking of going to Toronto, never seen tennis there, is that a good tourney to go to?


Huh Says:

fed is afraid is finally out! God!


madmax Says:

Kimo,

“Ben, your posts are like that of someone who hasn’t seen enough Fed-Rafa matches. Fed struggles against Rafa. It’s a fact. It can’t be helped. It’s ingrined in their games”.

Rafa is better than fed ON CLAY>

NOT on HARD court. NOT on GRASS.

Big difference my friend.

Ben, sorry to say this, but you lost it for me today. Silly, childish comments from a respected writer on this blog? What on earth? No need.

Federer reached the final. He beat Becker, Wawrinka, Gulbis, Ferrer, and you castigate him for losing to rafa? Sorry, but shame on you. NOT on Federer.

And as for roger’s comments punkbandit. He said, quote:

“Rafa you were SUPREME today”.

Honestly, some of you look for things that just aren’t there. grow up please.

Huh,

Loving you. always.

Federer will learn from this. Who cares if he wins against rafa on clay? who cares? He has nothing left to prove for me.

End.


puckbandit Says:

The French is Rafa’s to lose at this point.

Verdasco and Ferrer and a few others could take him out prior to finals, but if he still standing on the final Sunday, and no reason to think he won’t be, it should be his.

Just don’t see anyone taking three sets from him on this surface in a final.


TGiT Says:

Ben is correct.

Roger wiffed too many today.

I am not sure as a Fed fan I can handle these mind lapses from Fed.

At least the Rafa fan knows when Rafa loses he will die and eat dirt. For Fed fans we get to watch Rgoer dry and tussle his amazing hair and slip on his Rolex.

What a pity!


blank Says:

puckbandit, It’s a wonderful tournament here in Toronto. Beautiful weather…beautiful stadium. It’s in York University campus. I used to live and study there not so long ago. I would camp at the tournament when it’s held there.

Tickets are in high demand. So book early if you are planning to. If you visit during the opening weekend, Sunday I think, tickets are free.

Last year I went to attend both Montreal and Toronto.


blank Says:

madmax, Mirroring my earlier comments, only if there were 3 masters tournaments on grass…the record would be so much more even…


Ezorra Says:

Happy for Nadal… This is his first win against the top 10 player. Vamos Rafa. :)

Ben, love you no matter what. Maybe you need to calm down a little bit. I know you love Federer, ‘tough love’ I guess…

That said, seeing the way some of the fans here reacted towards each other after the match, I guess TENNIS is not the winner after all… :(


puckbandit Says:

Madmax,

Please don’t tell me to grow up. I am entitled to my opinion and even qualified my remarks by saying “maybe he just rubs me the wrong way” as in, “maybe it’s me”

I do not make a habit of personally attacking posters here, and don’t appreciate it coming my way from you.

I have nothing but superlatives to write regarding Roger’s game. If I’m not in love with his personality who cares? I’m sure he doesn’t.


Ezorra Says:

‘This is his first win against the top 10 player. Vamos Rafa.’

After the injury, of course!


fed is afraid Says:

roger suffers brain farts when he plays
nadal. and he always looks so frightened.
is a pity


madmax Says:

TGiT,

Obviously not a federer fan.

“and slip on his Rolex”.
???

Roger only wears his watch for exhibition matches and AFTER A MATCH has finished, like in the presser. If you were a federer fan, you would know this.

As for Fed being No. 1 at RG?

Why are people, once again, writing him off. I cannot believe this is happening. It is almost as if you wish him the worst when he has brought all of us, time and time again, the best that tennis has to offer.

And I know for a fact (after reading many interviews from him), how much he respects rafael nadal and that he would always feel that he was a worthy successor. How could anyone not think that?

Credit to rafa today. He was brilliant.

Federer wasn’t bad either, despite what some of you said.


puckbandit Says:

Blank,

thanks for the comments regarding Toronto. I’ll decide real soon and hopefully can still get tickets.

It was while watching both Montreal and Toronto last year that made me consider visiting this year.

On another note, who are you rooting for to raise the cup this year? As you can tell by my name, I’m a bit hockey fan.


montecarlo Says:

If Nadal wins US Open, takes his GS tally to double figures, takes his MS tally to 25+ and maintains this healthy H2H against Federer and Federer fails to win Davis cup and Olympic singles Gold Nadal>>>Federer in G.O.A.T race. I know most of you beg to differ but thats my opinion.


TGiT Says:

Which he did today you blind bat.


Huh Says:

TGiT :

Roger’s hair tussling is also stylish and I like it. We Fed fans must be thankful that apart from his supreme game, Fed also possesses a fine physique, a handsome appearance, humility and other virtues instead of pitying on him for giving us everything possible he can and almost everything possible that may be given as a tennis player to his fans.


puckbandit Says:

Madmax wrote:

Roger only wears his watch for exhibition matches and AFTER A MATCH has finished, like in the presser. If you were a federer fan, you would know this.

I think that was the TGiT’s point. He was making a dig at the endorsement deal. I know he slips on the watch after the match so you don’t need to be fan to be aware of that.

Personally, it doesn’t bother me. I don’t begrudge a guy for making $$. If Rolex wants to pay him, fine.


blank Says:

puckbandit, I am not a very big into hockey as much as I am into tennis. But I like Chicago to win this year. Montreal is the dark horse here…can’t wait to see what they can do in the SF. If they win, it will be full scale riots in Montreal.


Huh Says:

Don’t just anyone of u care for football? Football WC on June, no thrills here! Very strange!


blank Says:

Fed didn’t do his ranking any favors today. But sure did help my ranking in the draw challenge. I picked Nadal as the winner b/w these two and said ’23′ for the number of games in finals. That sure did bump me up by over 1000 places!

But I’d gladly have given that up for a Fed win though.


Ben for president Says:

I can’t believe how many pro-Federer crazies hang out here.

Ben should not be forced off the site and the suggestion is ridiculous, he’s a great blogger and totally right about Fed’s performance today.


blank Says:

Huh: Count me in for Football…or Soccer so that everyone understands ;-)


madmax Says:

punkbandit.

Peace. :)

what I dont like (and I am entitled to my opinion too, so scroll by if you dont like it), is when people feel that federer is complimentary towards rafa, as if!

Voice in mic, how “supreme” rafa was, so i dont know why people want to read into that more than what is meant – Supreme, means the best? Yes?

Anyway, seems that fed fans are not in unity today.

So I’m out for now.

Enjoy evening everyone.

To all federer fans, see you for the french.

I think the draw is on Wednesday next week? AM SURE TENNIS.X will post it here first.

Just wish it had gone to a third. – almost there.

C’mon Federer for next time!

Did anyone else feel that when Fed was giving his speech, he was sooo relaxed and cool. That’s what I like about him. He seemed so chill. (unlike the fans!).


puckbandit Says:

Huh,

Roger may have many qualities, but humility is among them. LOL

But he doesn’t have to be humble. Great athletes have a right to their egos, IMO. Not sure why so often we expect humility from stars in any field, especially pro sports. And I count myself among those that sometimes hold the great ones to impossibly high standards. My aversion to Federer as a prime example, I guess.


madmax Says:

*isn’t complimentary*. He loves rafa.


Ben Pronin Says:

Montecarlo, I don’t think Nadal NEEDS 25+ MS titles, but I do think he’ll get there. If anything, Nadal could use a Masters Cup title. That, a US Open, and 10+ slams. Also, if he stays healthy, he should have a good 2 or 3 years at number 1, and I’m not including this year just yet.

In the grand scheme of things, this match doesn’t really add or detract from the rivalry. Federer needs a win over Nadal in a slam. Hell, he needs about 3.

I’m actually a little shocked at what Nadal has just accomplished. It was a long time coming, having reached all 3 finals before on 2 occasions. But he’s done it. If he wins the French, which he probably will, it’ll be the greatest clay season of all time.


madmax Says:

blank,

thanks for posting the link.

cool read.


puckbandit Says:

blank,

I’ll be rooting for the Habs. As a Devil’s fan I can find some solace in Gionta’s fine play, still love that guy and wish he was still in Jersey. Plus, the only team I hate more than the Rangers is the Flyers.

Chicago would be okay too, again, I can root for ex-devil Johnny Madden.


Ben Pronin Says:

Hahaha, puckbandit I’m from Philly and we’re all going crazy after the Flyers pulled off the win the other night.


puckbandit Says:

Ben,
I grew-up 1/2 way between Phily & NY so there are many mixed feelings here. My sister and nephew are Flyers fans, but they love Brodeur (go figure)

I like some of the Philly players: Gagne, Carter, Briere, Richards,
But can’t stand Pronger and Carcillo.

But even I can appreciate what Philly did, one of the greatest comebacks in all of sports. but I don’t have to like it :)


Huh Says:

Hey Puckbandit:

IMO Fed is extremely humble going by what he has achieved. He indeed is very humble. I can’t imagine what some other guys woulda been saying about themselves had they achieved even close to what Fed has. That’s it for me.


puckbandit Says:

Huh,

I understand completely. I think it is asking an awful lot to expect people like Fed, who have achieved so much, to remain humble. So in context, you are correct.

My point is that maybe we shouldn’t expect this. Think about Ali, not a humble bone in his body when he was competing. And why should there have been? He was the greatest, and had no problem saying so.

I just was pointing out the irony of expecting greatness, than carping about great ones admitting that they are great. Myself included.


C!P! Says:

Federer against Rafa : should’ve ,could’ve ,would’ve ,but he DOESN’T !


montecarlo Says:

BTW did I missed that part or First time ever Roger forgot to thank his own team (Wife,kids,coach etc) during the trophy presentation today?


madmax Says:

and the winner is rafael nadal.

so why is it that roger had more winners 46:45, and still lost!

damn those unforced errors!


J Says:

Congrats to Rafa! Excellent win and what an amazing record breaker he is. Here’s too many more healthy years, Masters and Grand slams to come!

As for Fed, dude has Rafa in his head. He played too tentatively at times, as we’ve seen against Rafa time and again. That h2h is only going to get worse for him from here on in I’m afraid.


montecarlo Says:

Current points-

Federer- 10030
Nadal- 6880

Nadal wins French Open and someone beats Roger in Semi Finals then points will be-

Federer- 8750
Nadal- 8700

Federer Needs to be Number 1 on 14th June to break the record. Federer plays Halle and Nadal plays Queens. Both tournaments are worth 250 ranking points. If Federer wins Halle and Nadal wins Queens Federer should have been guaranteed the record but here is the tricky part.

According to ATP rules only best two ATP 250 tournament ranking points are counted and Federer has already played two (while Nadal only one). So Federer can gain only 160 points at Halle while Nadal can gain 250 points at Queens.

So that leaves total points on June 14th-

Nadal- 8950
Federer- 8910

So in short, Federer needs to reach Finals of French Open to make sure he breaks Pete’s record, semifinal may not be enough.


thark Says:

many of the comments here demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding about the nature of human accomplishments.

one person’s accomplishments do not diminish the accomplishments of those who came before. in fact it’s quite the opposite. we all build on the groundwork that has been laid for us. nothing that rafa does can lessen what fed has done. roger’s contributions have given the entire tennis community an opportunity to elevate itself and discover new territory.

even if he has never consciously realized it, rafa’s game is a response to roger. without fed we wouldn’t have nadal in his current form. that fact is in no way affected by the outcomes of their matches.

and for those of you that are “disappointed” in federer for reaching yet another masters final, you are only demonstrating how much you have taken his genius for granted over the years.

according to wikipedia: “Goats establish a dominance hierarchy in flocks, sometimes through head butting.” i think both players in question would fit that bill…


Huh Says:

“and the winner is rafael nadal.

so why is it that roger had more winners 46:45, and still lost!

damn those unforced errors!”

Maxi:

This is like an exam consisting of multiple choice questions with minus-marking system where it doesn’t matter if you have given more no. of correct answers than someone else particularly if you have also made more wrong attempts than such other person, coz you’d be penalised for such wrong attempts by marks being deducted from you. That way the person who gave lesser no. of correct answers and at the same time made lesser no. of wrong attempts than you, would score more than you. Simple and logical system IMO.


Von Says:

Congrats to Rafa Nadal on his 18th MS shield and also creating a bit of history again for winning three (3) consecutive MS titles!

And, to Rafa’s loyal fans, especially his two most gracious ones, Ezorra and RSutherland, please enjoy his win today. it is much deserving!

_____________
RS:I suppose you’ll be composing and/or singing something melodious beffiting of this great occasion. Anyway, whichever way you choose to celebrate it enjoy!


zola Says:

Ben,
****
Wtf was that? Nadal wipes the mark and everyone claps? Replay shows the ball clipped the line and the commentator says “that was close”? What a load of crap.
****

It means that Rafa conceded the point and tells the judge that the ball was in.

——

I think it was a nice match for both players. I am glad Rafa won the match, considering this is the fastest clay surface and much faster than RG. If he starys health, he might have a good chance of gaining his RG title back.

It was also a good match for Federer. Not being able to pass the early rounds of the previous master series and fainling in Estoril, it was a great effort on his part to clean up his game and reach the final in Madrid. I expect him to be much better in RG.

—–
One more thing:
To me the GOAT discussion is pointless. we have discussed this many times. The guy has 16 GS titles and many more achievements. Nothing takes those away. Rafa is an amazing player with what he has achieved in this young age. I think one’s accomplishments does not take away anything from the other one.


margot Says:

puckbandit: what’s a “puckbandit”? Forgive my ignorance, don’t have ice hockey in UK.


Huh Says:

And I thought only fed is afraid is back, lol! ;)


Von Says:

Ben: Regardless of your repeated attacks towards me, I’d like you to know that you do a fine job here, and I encourage you to ignore the personal attacks, especially those requesting your removal.

Re: “Ben, sorry to say this, but you lost it for me today. Silly, childish comments from a respected writer on this blog? What on earth? No need.”

What’s more childish and silly than someone saying they’re placing their fingers in their ears and sticking their tongue out just because they are sadly incapacitated in dealing with differing opinions? Says a lot about the person, doesn’t it?? Now the madness will indeed begin and God help one and all from the poison arrows that will be forthcoming. OY VEY!!

I thought the purpose of a blog is to allow the expression of our own opinions while simultaneously embracing the differing opinions of our fellow bloggers with tolerance and civil courtesy. It’s realy too bad that such i not the case on this forum.


Daniel Says:

montecarlo,

I thought that too, but I think if Nadal wins French he may pull out of Queens. He would have won 4 tourneys in a row, and Grand Slams are 2 weeks, which meand he should rest and go full force in Wimbledon when he most likelly will emerge as n.1 even if Fed wins it.

Nadal was very smart skipping Barcelona, the first year he does it and he already has 3 Masters on clay, it was the right decision.

Guys, Nadal is the clay king and Federer is the olny active player to have ever won a clay final agaisnt him, twice. No matter how you distorce it he is the most succesfull player agaisnt Nadal on clay, he is 2-10. How are all the other players going? If somebody has enough patiance to make a list with all clay HxX agaisnt Nadal player by player.

I can only garantee Federer will stand ahead of the pack of dirtballers.
Djoko is 0-9, Verdasco is 0-5, Ferrer is 1-8, Ferrero is 1-5, Hewitt is 0-4, Davydenko is 0-3, Almagro is 0-3.

Well, Soderling is 1-2 so he is the most successfull one! :)

And Nadal didn’t have to face neither Del Potro nor Davydenko, two player with 3 straight victories over him and former RG semis (they can play on clay). Every body was expecting this match ups, god I am expecting a Nalbandian x Nadal on clay since forever.


Huh Says:

Let Rafa have another stellar season and Fed have another bad one(God Forbid for Fed!), then suddenly the ‘holy gracious’ ones would start distributing love to all in this world! Fed lost Mad 10 to Rafa and we are already seeing the signs of what’s to come, Lord save Fed fans from the crocodile tears of the ‘gracious ones’!


Skorocel Says:

Hard to say whether one shall cry or not after such loss if the person in question happens to be a Fed fan… Like it or not, the fact is, the only positive thing which can be drawn out of this match is that it wasn’t a blowout… In other words, no such loss like the FO 2008 or MC 2007 (which, even though not exactly a blowout, was still a 4-6 4-6 loss)… When we think how poorly Fed’s been playing just a week ago in Estoril, it’s certainly a respectable score, no doubt about that!
Other than that, however, this match more or less showed everything that was expected – and it wasn’t exactly positive for Fed. First of all, the old, very well known pain in his matches vs Nadal – THE BREAKPOINTS. At 1-0 in the 1st, Fed had his very 1st BP on Nadal’s SECOND serve, but what would he do? Hit a sh.tty, lousy, sloppy BH slice return into the net… Then later at 4-5, when Nadal was serving for the set, Fed had another 3 or 4 BPs, during which Nadal had to go either through a 2nd serve or only hit a rather weak (in other words, returnable) 1st serve, but oh, what would Fed do? He didn’t manage to RETURN (see, NOT hit a return winner or a good return, JUST RETURN THAT GODDAMN F.CKING BALL INTO PLAY!) even one of them… Then later at deuce (I think it was indeed in this very last game of the 1st set), Nadal once again hit a SECOND (and quite slow!) serve STRAIGHT INTO FEDERER’S FOREHAND, but the guy was so surprised (or frightened – call it what you want) that he once again dumped it into the net… That’s no longer a bad matchup, that’s PURE CHOKING, Roger! And it wasn’t the first time you did this vs Nadal…
I mean, this is simply unbelievable… When you think how unanimously almost every single tennis expert, journalist, fan, former great, or whoever else considers Nadal’s serve to be his weakest shot, it’s simply unbelievable how a guy like Federer (who many consider to be the most complete player ever, with as many different shots / hit options as one can have in tennis) CAN’T EVEN RETURN the Spaniard’s 2nd serve into play in such situations like these BPs… I’m totally speechless! It happened SO MANY times before (the 1st set of their FO 2007 final being the most glaring example), and it happened again today… UNBELIEVABLE!
And then there was the 2nd thing which is so often visible in all these Fedal matches – that is, a situation where Fed has a more than a decent chance to finish the job, but for whatever reason (be it Nadal’s fighting spirit, Federer’s choking, or just a bad luck – it doesn’t matter in the end) can’t do it… That’s exactly what happened in that fateful point at 4-2 in the 2nd set breaker. Call it a bad luck, poor shot selection, or whatever, but that f.cking dropshot (which would’ve been a winner) simply hit the net cord and fell on the Federer’s side of the court. One would argue that Federer maybe should’ve tried a FH winner instead of a dropper, but that doesn’t really matter now… Instead of 5-2, it was 4-3, and we know the rest… How ironic when you think that Fed’s dropshots (just like last year) were usually a good choice for him today… He maybe began to employ them only in the 2nd set, but out of the first 3 or 4 which he hit, 3 were a winning point for him. The most important one, though, he blew, and it cost him the set & eventually the match…
Anyhow, despite today’s loss, one thing is clear – Federer will be a force to reckon with at FO. Even the biggest anti-Fed will concur that the guy improved his game at least by 50 % when compared to his most recent showings in Estoril and Rome. He played very well vs Wawrinka, Gulbis (his Rome conqueror, btw), and also Ferrer. Heck, even today’s loss vs Nadal wasn’t a bad performance at all! His FH and BH, and ESPECIALLY his 1st serve pct. were second to none in Madrid when compared to that sh.t which he produced in Portugal and Italy, so there’s certainly some reason for a Fed fan to be satisfied with his performance in Spain… Whether he can win the FO (which, unless something extraordinary happens, will be once again all about beating a certain guy from Mallorca), however, is another thing…


Dan Martin Says:

i should have a new column up sometime Mon. or Tues. Sorry about the absence, but I had some exams to pass in my doctoral program. I am glad Rafa has played so well on the dirt this year and if Roger can maintain his Madrid form Paris ought to have a clear favorite and a defending champion/#1 in decent form. I wish JMDP and Davydenko were playing Paris and that Nole was in better form, but Madrid helped reshape the season. Nadal will be #1 again sooner or later. Fed is not going to put up enough points on other surfaces or even on clay to counter balance what looks to be a 5000 point clay court season for Rafa.


jane Says:

It was SO HARD not to check scores before watching the delated broadcast on TSN2. BUT. Congrats to Rafa for winning ALL 3 MS clay titles and the most MS titles. Cheers to his fans: Ezorra, zola, Mindy, Anna, montecarlo, can’t remember them all right now. : )

Sorry to all Fed fans : / He played a good match but Rafa seemed to come through at clutch times today. But Fed is definitely looking much stronger heading into the FO, so take that positive away from the match; take heart Fed fans! Losing to Nadal on clay?? Who hasn’t!?

Some thoughts:

I found it interesting how long it took for both players to settle into the match, till 3 all in the first set, if not longer. Both made a lot of errors early on.

I was surprised by Fed’s use of the “buggy whip” forehand! Very Rafa-like. I was also very surprised he couldn’t break back at the end of the first set – lots of missed chances. His return needs work. But his forehand, serves, angles were all great. Even his backhand held up quite well. I don’t know why he didn’t use the drop shot a little more; it seemed to work well when he did.

Neither converted on break points as well as they could’ve. I believe both had 11 chances?? But only converted 3 or 4 times.

Nadal’s forehand, loopy, spinny, whatever, was awesome. His passing shot was on fire too. And whoever says Nadal is a one dimensional player? Just re-watch his amazing volley to make it 5 all in the second set. He anticipated, got to the net, and hit a beautiful backhand volley at a winning angle – just fabulous. He definitely can play great from anywhere.

————————————
puckbandit – Iong time no see. I didn’t read all the posts, too many, but agreed with one of yours above, I think at 3:11, re: errors when Fed plays Rafa, how he goes for it more and thus may hit more UEs, and forced errors in their matches.

I posted to you when the Devils lost out but you weren’t around. I am hoping for a Habs vs. Blackhawks Stanley Cup final. Even though Chicago took out the Canucks : / But I like Toews and Kane. And the Habs are the upset Kings, it’s hard not to cheer em on, not to mention it’d be nice to see a Canadian team win the cup again, or at least play for it.


Huh Says:

I have said it umpteen times before and would repeat. Don’t think a JMDP or a Davydenko(who?) can stop this Nadal on clay. JMDP has chances of producing a fighting performance, but beating Rafa is/would have neen still not possible for him for the time being, given Rafa’s clay prowess, not to even mention that Rafa’d have absolutely convincingly beaten Davy as well. Forget about Davy beating Rafa on clay! Even Fed is being given sort of coaching by Rafa about clay tennis during their match, who the hell others are! Thus, IMO they’re lucky to not face Rafa on clay at this point, particularly Davy.


Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t think Davydenko could do much, but a healthy JMDP is fearless. I think he could push Nadal more than anyone else on the surface. His game is very similar to Soderling’s and he should have plenty of confidence. Well, would have had confidence, his injury is just the most unbelievable and unfortunate setback. My prayers are with you, Delpo.


Huh Says:

“Said Nadal, “ My job is done reaching the final; it was a dream come true being able to play well and win.””

What? Dream come true? Lol! ;)
Perfect case of turning dream into reality.
Seems like Nadal’s dreams = Federer’s nightmare :/

But as u guys know, come on Federer!


puckbandit Says:

Jane,

Yes, I haven’t been around to post, been very busy working long days and not much energy to post in my off hours. The major tourneys bring me back around and really looking forward to the next to GS’s. Also, this format, fan posting after blog posts, is hard to come back and poke your head in randomly. I wish it was threaded so it was easier to do that. I would swing by and peek in, but would feel too far behind in the conversation to join in.

Sorry I missed you comment about the Devils, sending condolences I’m sure. I will be cheering the Habs in the East and San Jose in west, but Hawks would be okay too.


jane Says:

puckbandit – Halak has been phenomenal, though the Flyers just scored. But overall, the way he all but shut down the Caps and Pens was amazing.Anyhow, hope to see you around more.


puckbandit Says:

Margot:

It’s puck (as in hockey puck-the little rubber disc) and bandit (as in thief) So basically, if you are a puck bandit, you steal pucks from your opponents, which is a good thing.

For me, it is more wishful thinking than actuality. LOL


Huh Says:

Well let me make it absolutely clear that I would love to see JMDP pushing Rafa to the limits on clay and smacking him at other places. But one point taken, i.e. JMDP is fearless, humble, calm, respectful, but fearless. Hopefully JMDP will return as soon as possible to kick the butts of Fed n Rafa, haha!


puckbandit Says:

Jane,

Yes Halak has been their MVP, hope he keeps it up. Isn’t it amazing that the Flyers got into the playoffs on the last shot on the last day of the season, and they now have home ice in the conference finals? Amazing.


jane Says:

Yep, Flyers vs. Habs – who’d've thunk it?


puckbandit Says:

Ben,

I watched that service shot again where Nadal rubbed out the mark and I (and Zola) was correct. Nadal conceded that the ball was in and Fed received two serves from the umpire. The commenter on Tennis Channel didn’t say “that was close” but that the ball “just caught” and with his accent sounded like “close”


Huh Says:

JMDP injury is really bad, I agree and miss him the most and I am still thrilled about his performance at the US 09, that was one memorable tournament. US 08 and US 09 have been my fave tournaments in the last couple of years. US 09 was absolurely amazing coz a tender 20 yr old JMDP totally blew the tough guys Fed and Rafa away, lol! :D


contador Says:

crapola. i just wrote my best post ever but lost it cos i forgot. i am not using my computer.

now i will just say:

sincere congrats ro rafa and all his nice fans here, which does include ‘fed is afraid.’

what to say about fed. ahhh, well. i didn’t have a chance to watch the match but scorocel summed up my thoughts, about all fed’s matches i’ve seen since AO.

fed needs 5 sets if he’s gonna do this ‘choke, choke, and win’ act. best of 3 doesn’t cut it anymore. with that plan in mind, things are looking up for the FO. hehehee

seriously. i can’t forget that tommy haas match last year FO if i try. or the delpo one.

and about delpo, i agree with Huh. i miss him the most. on his part, i’m glad he’s taking his time. it’s painful watching when someone comes back too soon. thinking of gilles simon’s knees.

also miss davy. does anyone know if he’ll be back for the french?

very fun reading all the posts. even the hockey ones. and i have no idea what you guys are talking about.

Kimmi. i am not at all happy about having to wait until roger’s cup to do the atp bracket challenge. they should defintely include GS, 500, and 250′s. it’s so much fun to pick then watch my picks lose, drop out, retire… i was only just learning how to always guess on a couple qualies and who those qualies might be. ahh well, on to nice…soda and verdasco are there, amongst a star studded field. ernests gulbis is not on the draw. where in the world is ernie? :D

cheers!


skeezerweezer Says:

Skorocel,

Thanks for the great analogy of the match I didn’t get to see. I could see honesty in your words, and although I know you won’t come out and say it, you a Fed fan ( Come out of the closet, Skorocel! lol ).

Your description summed it up for me, It’s not Rafa’s game that beats Fed, it’s Rafa in Fed’s head. Fed has proven again he has a hard time with Rafa in is head. You pointed out “choking” stokes and easy decisions in shot selection to win a point, yet has all the variety of shots, but WTF?
EXACTLY. And my piling on would be Fed, you have the records and titles, where is the pressure mentally? One guy? Really?

However, think about this. If Fed continues to play, and winds up playing Rafa ten more times and loses, can at that point ( kinda like what Ben said now ) call him GOAT? I think H2H is going to matter if they meet in GS titles and FEd loses.

That said….

Love the guy, still think he is GOAT as of today, but I am just mad as hell that he cannot convert these BP against Rafa. Been there, seen it so many times against Rafa. So, is Rafa that good? or Fed that bad mentally against Rafa? He USED to be the best front runner with a lead, or break a guy and run off with the lead, remember? Hope this is but a stepping stone of confidence and a continuance of playing well for FO.


fed is afraid Says:

i think it is just that fed is that bad
mentally against rafa. roger is too good
of a tennis player to have a 7-14 record
against one guy. he let rafa get in his
head from the very first match, so there
you have it. not much else to say.


contador Says:

#1a weezer, skeezer- O2 tank wearing winner of himalyan match against camel. camel with rafa-like whipping forehand. er, foremouth. i won’t forget that one. heheheeee

how ya doin’ ?

missed match too. rather happy i did, too. i don’t like wathing roger lose, unless he plays so ridiculouly bad that i have to giggle.

scoreline appears both respectable and frustrating. the very worst sort of federer loss, IMO.


contador Says:

s/b “watching” not wathing, unless i’m elmer fudd


contador Says:

fed is afraid.

not saying you are worng.

but fed did get those 7 wins in.

how did that happen?


contador Says:

s/b wrong not worng. geeesh


fed is afraid Says:

the only time roger is able to beat rafa
is when rafa is injured or not at 100%.
the only exceptions were 06 wimbledon
and the 2 indoor matches at the yec.


puckbandit Says:

First let me say that I am not a rabid fan of either player. But I am a tennis fan and these two have given us the best tennis theater since Sampras/Agassi.

Having said that, I don’t think it is simply a mental thing with Roger. Perhaps Rafa is in his head a bit, but it is Rafa’s game that puts him there. Here is my theory:

Federer from a pure tennis point has the best game in the world. His weapons include his movement, balance and variety which is unsurpassed. His ability to play well either from the back court or in at net makes him a threat to all types of games and players. So . . . why does Nadal beat him?

IMHO it is because Nadal, especially on clay, has an answer for all of Roger’s weapons.

Nadal’s side to side movement counters Fed’s ability to move the ball.

Nadal’s high, looping forehand gives Fed trouble, forcing Fed to run around that backhand more than against others, pulling him out of court more and forcing either a difficult angle from Fed or errors.

Nadal has one of the best returns, unless he hits an ace, his serve is coming back, often in an agressive, not defensive shot.

Nadal is a lefty, forcing Roger to think more about both his serve and groundstrokes and offers up a lefty angle serve that Roger that is a different look from most players.

Nadal is strong enough and skilled enough to change the direction or angle of even the heaviest of ground strokes, he can pull a ball crosscourt or send it down the line with great disguise. This tests Fed’s anticipation and read of the game. (Similar to Murray being able keep Fed from getting a rhythm in their early matches.)

I could go on, but the most important things that Rafa brings is his competitive heart & his mental strength. He never gives up on a point, game or match.

It is no accident that Rafa has not been the second best player in the world for the past several years.


contador Says:

skeezerweezer-

if rafa gets the calendar slam ( tough for him to even win the US open) 18 more massters, 18 GS’s, is #1 for 5 more years, i still prefer federer tennis over rafa’s. not that i can’t appreciate rafa nadal. of course i do. i had too many years marvelling at federer’s style and prefer it over nadal’s, even if nadal’s playing style turns out to be overall more superior in time.


puckbandit Says:

oops, should read “has been” the second best player. Not sure where that NOT came in. haha


zola Says:

Jane,
Thanks.

I wrote a reply to you in the other thread.

Yes, calling Rafa one-dimensional is a bit unfair. He has lots of shots that he can use and his serve is getting much better. I thought Federer served really well in that match with Ferrer. Not so much today. He said he was happy with his game and I believe him. I think he will play much better in RG. I thought he was really good at the net. there were some awesome points in the match by both players.


puckbandit Says:

Rafa’s game has been developing and improving each year. I don’t know if he was ever one dimensional, but if he was, it was early in his career. He is certainly not now.

You can’t win Wimby today with a one-dimensional game. Maybe in the old, lightning fast grass days, but not anymore.


contador Says:

make that 06 wimbledon and 07 wimbledon- fed over rafa. rafa won wimbles once.

injuries and illness? not excuses. winner is the winner. tsk tsk

let’s not start splitting hairs over the physical and emotional issues players have when they enter a tounament. that said, no one is 100% all the time, though many anti-feds like to deny RF has played through his share.

but i am beginning to believe fed just might be afraid at the worst moments (bp’s) against nadal and a growing number of others.

federer has too much respect and awe of rafa and knows rafa has a tennis game that doesn’t match well with his. however, it doesn’t stop federer from trying.

you would think federer would have tanked against wawa or gulbis, fed is afraid, if fed was actually afraid. i don’t believe federer is afraid. he has struggled since winning AO. who really knows why.


Ben Pronin Says:

Zola says, “Yes, calling Rafa one-dimensional is a bit unfair.”

Even for a Nadal fan, this is a huge understatement. It has been for years. People who say Nadal is one-dimensional are just trying to insult him. I keep thinking about the Murray-Nadal match at this year’s AO and how many incredible improv shots each guy hit. And even today, there were plenty of points that blew my mind because only Federer and Nadal combined can construct them. No, Nadal is an extremely varied player no matter what anyone says.


puckbandit Says:

contador-
I agree, i don’t think Federer is afraid of anyone, even Rafa. But he is realistic, and knows he needs his A-game against him, so there is added pressure. But he has raised his game when being pushed to the wall (Wimby against Roddick) but Rafa can raise his game too.

Roddick should have won Wimby last year, he choked on that volley and that was all the opening Roger needed.


Kimmi Says:

zola – are you the same zola that was here a long time ago? can’t remember how long ago it was..if yes..then welcome back and nice to see you again.

Conty – I did very well this time with my bracket challenge, 141 is the best i have done, ok its only my second time but it beats 51 I got in Rome…big time.

Somehow I have a bad feeling with this bracket challenge game. I really feel when I play i am jinxing my favorites..strange I know but can’t help the feeling..they all lose. verdasco, Murray, Roger, Soda pop..the list goes on :)

Why in the word is verdasco playing in Nice. I really think he should rest but what do I know!

jane, congrats for staying away from the match till you watched it on that big screen..I bet it was worth it. I am too curious, don’t know if I could do that.

lastly, even if federer lost today, he played his best match with nadal that I have seen on clay..I have so much hope he will do better next time.the way he played that backhand is very promising. lets hope next time he is able to convert those break points..Go Roger!


Andrew Miller Says:

A single-dimensional player doesn’t make three straight Wimbledon finals.

Neither does a single-dimensional player make three of the last six Wimbledon finals.

And nor does a single-dimensional player win five of those six.

By that logic, Federer, Nadal and Roddick are all multidimensional players.


TGiT Says:

Fed said he is happy with his clay court game. I guess that makes Rafa even happier.


Daniel Says:

Skorocel,

Your post resumes my feelings as well: how can he not even put the ball in play?! The most impressive aspect of it is the 4 times he returned Nadal serve, 3 times he broke serve with Nadal’s errors, which means Nadal himself has doubts when playing Federer, he knows who he is agaisnt. Wimby 08 was the same thing. To me it’s the worst part of their matches, I prefer when he loses 40-30 or 40-15 then had break chances missed by not returning.


puckbandit Says:

Thinking of going to Roger’s cup in Toronto this year. Can anyone recommend hotels? Can’t find any recommendations on the website.


Andrew Miller Says:

I am not going to win popularity points by saying this, but Federer does owe Rafa a “thank you” for last year’s Roland Garros title.

(I am opening up a can of worms on this one! Onto the French Open!!!!!)


puckbandit Says:

Andrew,

Perhaps Fed should thank Soderling, no?


Kimmi Says:

last year at RG soderling played the best tournament of his life…he does not look like he is able to play like that this year.

His game requires a lot of accuracy, he was hiting hard, flat and deep. he is making too many errors at the moment.


jane Says:

puckbandit, I lived in Toronto for 5 years so I didn’t stay in hotels, but here’s some customer rated ones:

http://www.hotels.com/de1636865/hotels-toronto-canada/

You may want to stay downtown if you want to look around, as out by York University (where the tennis event is held) there is not as much going on. However, if you want to stay by the venue, here are some others, again, customer-rated:

http://www.hotels.com/de1658667/hotels-near-york-university-toronto-canada/

————————–

Kimmi, I went out for a walk and coffee with a friend when the match was on live, and arrived home only about 20 minutes before the televised version, so it wasn’t that difficult. What was harder was not to peak at ATP or here to see what happened. ; )

It was worth it to watch it big and see the great shot-making of these two. I look forward to the F.O. – bring. it. on.!


Mindy Says:

Jane,

How kind and gracious of you to include me among those Rafa fans to whom you extended congratulations today! I appreciate your generosity and great attitude on this blog. You always try to give credit to the fans of ALL the players!

Of course, I am happy and thrilled over Rafa’s historic victory. It wasn’t too long ago that I was forced to read his epitaph all too often. It would seem, to say the least, that it was premature. After what has been an extraordinarily difficult year to be a Rafa fan, things are looking decidedly better right now.

Someone asked where the Rafa fans were today. Well, the answer is simple – we have all gotten chased away by a few extremely intemperate rabid Rafa haters who tend to use profane, vulgar and highly inappropriate language when discussing both Rafa and his fans. No one wants to be subjected to that kind of filthy language and belligerence. Since there doesn’t seem to be any real moderation, these crazies are at liberty to say what they will. It’s simply easier to stay away if you are a devoted Rafa fan.

Fed fans have had much to rejoice over in the last year. Now maybe it’s Rafa fans who will have that chance. Fed seems to have regained much of his form in this tournament. That bodes well for all of his fans here. Fed fans should have confidence that he is ready to go. I extend my respectful condolences, but it was a match well fought and these two will fight another day.

Now it’s on to RG where we may well see our two great champions meet again!


puckbandit Says:

Thank’s Jane!


skeezerweezer Says:

Ben Pronin Says:

Zola says, “Yes, calling Rafa one-dimensional is a bit unfair.”

C’mon, Cause you saw rafa make a volley or two? gimme a break…….you know it’s not variety that wins him matches, it’s working his game to hit the best overpowering one shoe heavy topspin that no one has in tennis……out


Caesar Says:

Fed did not convert bps against nadal? look at his semi-final, he converted 2 out of 9 and he converted 3 out of 11 against nadal. so ferrer is in federer’s head too?

And federer’s record for the season-to-date in converting the bps is pathetic. In general, that is one of the loop holes in Federer’s game. Back in 2003, fed had like a bucket-load (easily 10+) of bps against blake in a USopen match and did not convert on any. That is just the way fed plays, instead of playing for life in every point like nadal does, fed just lets his overall game take care of business. I doubt he would be in the top 20 in bp conversion rate this year.

Fed has nadal in his head? so what nadal has fed in his head to. remember the bagel in 2006 wimbledon? the bread-stick in that year french? the collapse in 5th set in 2007? losing a 2-0 lead at 2008 wimbledon? the thrashing at 2007 masters cup semi? miami 2005? hamburg bagel? It is definitely a match-up issue. as a counter-puncher, nadal is already a head-ache for federer (like hewitt, nalbandian and murray) add in the lefty forehand to single hand backhand and fed is at a huge disadvantage. Inspite of all this fed has 5-4 on grass and hardcourts.

I find it totally foolish that people say federer is 7-14 or djokovic is 6-13 against nadal. In a season in which players play about 18-20 tournaments a season, only 4 are on clay ( common tournaments for nadal, federer and djokovic). That makes less than 25% of the total tournaments in a season. yet nadal has played 12/21 against federer on clay = about 60% and 10/19 against novak on clay = more than 50%. That is a reflection of how skewed and one-dimensional rafa’s game is compared to federer and djokovic. Rafa relies a lot on one-surface like sampras and from a tennis point of view, such players will be inferior to all-surface players like federer/borg or laver.

All said and done, I agree with whoever said (sometime back on this very site) that Madrid and Hamburg = advantage Roger. (even against Nadal) and Monte Carlo, rome and Paris = advantage nadal.

We know who is the betterer ;) on hardcourts and grass.


i am it Says:

In my only post at the conclusion of 5th game, I had said something similar to what Rafa said in later in his interview:
“I think we know each other so much that we are only focusing on how to make each other play worse. I go for his backhand and that makes the match more strategic.”
Congrats to Rafa fans for this glorious day. Commiseration to Fed fans.
Hope they meet again at RG.
See yo’ll during RG.


Caesar Says:

look at it like this : GS = 2points, MS = 1 point, masters cup = 1.5 points.

Roger has 32 + 16 + 6 = 54 points.

nadal = 12 + 18 = 30 points.

Not to mention how many MS fed would have racked up if there were 3MS on grass too. Fed did not lose a match on grass in 6 yrs = 18 MS, right there. or at the worst 2/3 of those = 12 = 28MS.

Fed is the super-man of tennis. Nadal is kryptonite man. a good kryptonite man, not a bad-ASS like lex-luthor.


skeezerweezer Says:

Caesar,

You’re on fire! great post, stats and insight!

“Classic” put that post in the archives…..


montecarlo Says:

Here is my post match analysis-

Neither player was even close to his best here. Federer’s game was up and down all the time. He produced some magical shots and some really ugly ones. He gained confidence in second set and got a good number of points when he used shorts slices and drop shots. It was going good for Federer till the end when Nadal finally chased down a good drop shot and hit a cheeky little winner and then Federer tried another bad drop shot into the net. That mentally shook Federer and he produced 3 more errors in a row to go down 4-6 in the tiebreak.

It would have been better for Roger had he played Rome so he could have tested himself against some other major threat.

As of now he has won against gulbis, ferrer and wawrinka but lost against nadal, gulbis and montanes.

Nadal’s game was bit more consistent but he was rushing on some points. He had clear winners and volleys/smashes on some occasions lined up but messed up due to sudden rush of blood. Apart from that his first serve wasn’t really working and it was his slow second serve which was more effective. To be broken back after getting a break is something we can’t associate with Nadal and if you gift a break back to Federer its almost like harakiri. So Nadal definitely needs to improve his serve going into the French open.

Good thing for Nadal is he has played and defeated almost all his major threats at FO like Gulbis, Ferrer, Verdasco, Federer, Isner, Wawrinka, Almagro. That only leaves Soderling, Murray and Djokovic (but they are facing issues of their own and they will first have to reach atleast QF to setup a Nadal match).


Twocents Says:

Good posts, Caeser.

About the poor BP conversion rate for Fed, gotta call it justice instead of blemish. Fed has achieved such sickenning dominance over the whole field, with that pathetic BP conversion. Imagine if the BP conversion were even better…it’s just un-thinkable! I’ll give it to his opponents, all of them, for fighting their guts out facing BP from Fed.

Besides, Fed should have better BP conversion in slams.


Twocents Says:

Good call on the match score, Sean.

Now, tell me what’s next week’s winning lottery nubmer?


montecarlo Says:

Most of the posters above are forgetting the fact that Nadal also only converted 4 out of 11 Break point chances.


Caesar Says:

rafa fans were driven away? look at them come out like earthworms after a rain-fall.

fed is afraid, zola, anna, rsutherland and your own wicked-self to mention a few. they were gosipping like high school girls about a posters age and what not. shame on them.

no problem though. with any luck, the atp tour will bang rafa into oblivion like they did to him, last fall.


skeezerweezer Says:

“You can’t win Wimby today with a one-dimensional game. Maybe in the old, lightning fast grass days, but not anymore.”

Hogwash….. Agassi the last baseliner to win on the fast Wimby courts ….was not just a big server or volleyer…..so WTF?

Everyone knows with Rafa’s swings you bring back the fast courts & Rafa is out…..as with the rest of the clay court specialists, but that wouldn’t be good for TV, would it?

When Rafa wins a Career slam and can dominate on ALL surfaces like he can on clay then I will be a believer….

That said, credit to “The King of Clay” Madrid is the fastest of the Clay and won the match which Fed had the best chance so enjoy the glory “season” of “dirt” for Rafa, and IMO the jury is still out on all other surfaces for Rafa….:)


montecarlo Says:

@ skeezerweezer

Hard Court H2H between Nadal Federer is still 3-3 and you are forgetting the fact that Now Nadal has beaten Federer in their last meetings on all three surfaces. wimbledon 08 (Grass), AO 09 (Hard) and Madrid 10 (clay).


Andrew Miller Says:

Watching these two players fight it out is tennis at its best. The Roddick-Nadal match was a quite a fight too at Miami.

Man, I am just spoiled. It’s like Graf-Seles or the 2001 Agassi-Sampras match, which was sick.

Seriously, as tennis fans we’re just spoiled rotten with the “rivalry” however lopsided it is on clay. It’s still awesome.


zola Says:

Kimmi,
Yes, that’s me. Nice to see you too. I am not sure I will be posting a lot. I will be back perhaps during RG or afterwards.

Sorry for Roger’s loss today, but his performance in Madrid showed that he can up his game when he wants. He says he is confident for RG and I think that is true.

Ben,
Thanks for the comment on Rafa’s game. I know you are not a Rafa fan. It is great to see some fair and objective views.
—-

montecarlo;
nice post at 12:40 am
——
Before I leave, a few links:

ATP’s tribute page for RAfa’s record-breaking win:
http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/DEUCE-Tennis/Nadal-Masters-1000.aspx

Rafa’s post match interview:
http://www.tennistv.com/tennistv/20100516/rafael-nadal-madrid-final_2252210_2053505

Roger’s postmatch interview:
http://www.tennistv.com/tennistv/20100516/roger-federer-madrid-final_2252210_2053506


Ezorra Says:

Caesar says:

“…rafa fans were driven away? look at them come out like earthworms after a rain-fall.”

Come on, everyone did that. Whether they are Nadal fans or Federer fans or whoever fans, they’re all act THE SAME when their favorites manage to do a comeback so what’s the big deal? I don’t think I’ve to elaborate too much on this. You know it yourself!


Ezorra Says:

Ton Huh, Jane, Von and others, thanks for the wishes. Really appreciate it! :)


Ezorra Says:

Ton = To. Sorry for the typo!


Anna Says:

Skeezerweezer – When Roger puts his #16 jacket up for sale on e-bay I’m going to buy that damn thing for you. You surely will have earned it with as many times as you’ve referred to it on this sight, as if someone didn’t know Roger’s won 16 slams. But Jeez, can’t we just enjoy this Rafa win without dragging out the “16″ within a few short hours of his victory.


madmax Says:

Thanks for all the links to the post match interviews everyone. Interesting indeed.

Thark, your post was so good, have reposted here because it is true class – thanks for that -

thark Says:
many of the comments here demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding about the nature of human accomplishments.

one person’s accomplishments do not diminish the accomplishments of those who came before. in fact it’s quite the opposite. we all build on the groundwork that has been laid for us. nothing that rafa does can lessen what fed has done. roger’s contributions have given the entire tennis community an opportunity to elevate itself and discover new territory.

even if he has never consciously realized it, rafa’s game is a response to roger. without fed we wouldn’t have nadal in his current form. that fact is in no way affected by the outcomes of their matches.

and for those of you that are “disappointed” in federer for reaching yet another masters final, you are only demonstrating how much you have taken his genius for granted over the years.

according to wikipedia: “Goats establish a dominance hierarchy in flocks, sometimes through head butting.” i think both players in question would fit that bill…

May 16th, 2010 at 5:05 pm

von,
everyone knows what you are trying to do here, your deliberately choose ONE post from me whereas there are 7 others pointing out same/more than myself, and you do this because you want to start something. You have a serious problem lady. Clearly you dont understand loyalty or passion.
If federer fans were all together in the same room, we would be in unity, praising roger, willing him forward. But no. not you, you have deliberately come on, end of the match and rather than choosing a whole host of posts, you dive in there to grab one from me. Fine. You continue doing that von, because clearly, what I say makes you “feel” something. So I hope I help you in your recovery. Ben and I are fine, always will be. I just hope you lose it again and sean has to tell you off, because your behaviour can only be compared to that of a 3 year old. So do carry on. :)

Huh,

thanks for the explanation – :) I know (the exam analogy on method), it is just it makes me realise how close things are between these two.

Plus, rafa brings out the best in Roger, and vice versa. They are both truly awesome.


Ben Pronin Says:

I’m not sure why everyone keeps saying Nadal brings out the best in Federer. That has happened only a handful of times. Federer brings out the best in Nadal just like he brings out the best in a lot of guys. They are so determined to beat him plus Nadal is as tough as it comes mentally and physically. As for Federer, you get some of his worst. Choking. Choking. And more choking. Oh yeah, and some ugly choking.


Ben Pronin Says:

Von, I didn’t see your post until now, but thanks. I genuinely appreciate and I have a lot of respect for you despite all the arguments. Not arguments, debates :P


montecarlo Says:

@ Ben
Totally agree with you. The same was talked about Sampras and Agassi too but when I recently read their respective autobiographies I noticed something really interesting.

Sampras wrote how Agassi always brought Best out of him and Agassi wrote how Sampras always brought the Worst out of him.

May be after the end of his Career Federer will write an autobiography stating the same (although right now he never accepts this).


Ben Pronin Says:

Montecarlo, I’m glad you brought up Agassi and Sampras. It’s almost a reversal of roles, but in their respective rivalries, Sampras and Nadal are known to have undeniable resolve and mental strength that is impalpable. The problem is that when I say this, everyone mentions Federer’s mental strength to win all the slams (16 to be exact, no one forget, 16, SIXTEEN). Hey, Agassi won 8 slams, no easy feat either. Mental strength is a must, no? Point is, Federer cracks like crazy against Nadal. Nadal cracks, too, just not as badly. He holds it together enough to win most of the time.


madmax Says:

May be because Ben, its what UK commentators say over here all the time, that federer and nadal bring the best out of each other. Not a problem of you dont agree with that. I happen to. Dont worry Ben, i see where your loyalties lie and that is fine with me.


Twocents Says:

Ben@2:26pm:
You hit the nail right into the head!

The most hyped up rivals of all times is about worst match-up and contrasting styles. Nothing more.

It’s bluntly unfair to all those beautiful tennis played btw Fed and Djok, A.Rod, A. Murray, Gulbis etc…


skeezerweezer Says:

montecarlo,

You’re never going to convince me on the H2H issue. I don’t know what you were refering to in my post.

It equals what? That Rafa is BETTER than Fed because he has won more H2H therefore, he is BETTER than Fed which means he is the GOAT which means he is #1 all this time which means why don’t you just hand him over XX ( respect to anna ) GS TITLES Fed has that he doesn’t deserve? What argument is this? Sorry, dude, tennis doesn’t work that way. Tournaments are not determined by H2H. It depends on who is entered and the last two standing. We have been blessed to see two of the best of today’s game meet this often. It is quite a feat for both of them if you really think about it.

But the bigger question is, how well do you play against ALL the players over time? That is why the Majors are the biggest tests, 3-5 set matches, etc….and the most important….Right now IMO it’s still Fed…maybe later it will be your man…hope for you he has the stats later when he he is done to prove it.


skeezerweezer Says:

@Anna,

I apologize Anna, you do deserve this time and this victory, you and Rafa deserved it and EARNED IT, kudos to Rafa!

Regarding the “XX” titles, I will lay low for now out of respect, but I will bring it up every time someone tries to take down Fed’s accomplishments or use another player to do so..

RE: The Fed jacket on Ebay….U betcha! Except it won’t be XX, it will be a higher number :)


Ben Pronin Says:

Skeezer, honestly, if you just look at yesterday’s match, it’s clear that Federer and Nadal are essentially equally gifted players. They both hit some incredible shots yesterday that you wouldn’t see anywhere else. Hell, it really doesn’t have anything to do with GOAThood or number of slams or anything. On the court, they’re both out of this world. But Nadal is tougher mentally. He’s better at keeping it together and playing well on the big/important points.

The thing is, any player that beats Fed’s records will be the GOAT. And the most likely candidate to do that is Nadal. A lot of the former champions who claim Federer is the GOAT also say “but we should wait for both Federer AND Nadal’s careers to be over to judge.” I love Federer’s pretty game just as much as the next guy, but that doesn’t mean Nadal has to be ignored.


skeezerweezer Says:

Ben, honestly,

“but we should wait for both Federer AND Nadal’s careers to be over to judge.”

Who said that?

I am talking as of today, right now. Not when Nadal’s career is over. It isn’t all about Nadal, and I am not ignoring his accomplishments. Never have. So we have to wait until Nadal’s career is over? Why don’t we wait for Gulbis too? Or Nole, Murray, JDP, etc? Just keep waiting….

Babe held the HR title for years and years and was the HR king until the record was broken. Until the record was broken, he was the KING! Did we have to wait to decide that until Hank Aaron came along? Just sayin……honestly……

And about it never having anything to do with Goat hood and H2H I was only responding to montecarlo @ May 17th, 2010 at 1:08 am, no creating another endless debate…….

out


Skorocel Says:

Skeezerweezer: I think it’s a combination of both (i.e. a bad matchup and also choking). It’s no secret that Nadal’s game (especially his topspin FH to Fed’s onehanded BH) doesn’t suit Roger well. But consider this: people like Lansdorp claim that it’s indeed possible for Fed to counter this (or, in other words, that there’s a chance for Fed to improve his BH to such extent that it can bear that Nadal’s spin better), but that’s still only the „technical“ part, so to speak… What I mean is that, even if Fed had managed to improve his BH to such extent that it wouldn’t be a problem for him to hit a winner or two off that crazy 5000 rpm FH of Nadal, that alone wouldn’t do the job, because Nadal is simply the better player mentally. Now I don’t want to say Fed is some pushover (after all, how can he be when he has already won 16 slams?), but Nadal is simply tougher than him. Call it „Nadal is in Fed’s head“ or something else, the fact is, Nadal’s mentally tougher than Federer. He simply handles the critical situations better than Roger. Better than anyone, I should add.

They say that a good attacking player (i.e. Sampras or Fed) always beats a good defensive player (Agassi, Nadal), or all these things like „Federer’s best is always better than Nadal’s best“, but when I look at Federer and Nadal, I’m not quite sure about that. They’ve already met 21 times, and we’re yet to see a match where Federer COMPLETELY dominates Nadal from start to finish. It’s maybe true the other way as well (if we don’t count that FO 2008 final drubbing, of course), but the fact simply is, Federer hasn’t „rolled over“ Nadal (so to speak) even once. The Shanghai 2007 semi was the closest you can get, but even there it was extremely close till 4-4 in the 1st. Actually, Nadal was slightly better up until that point, once even having a 30 love lead in one of Fed’s service games, and only Federer’s excellent serving disposition at that time (remember, he had something like 80 % + 1st serve pct. in both his semi vs Nadal and final vs Ferrer) saved him from losing that 1st set. In other words, we’re yet to see a match where you’d have absolutely NO DOUBTS about Federer’s victory…

In almost all of the matches between Fed and Nadal (but especially on clay), you see Fed playing good tennis, but only IN PATCHES. Once that „patch“ is over, Nadal always finds a way how to turn it around. A good example is the MC 2008 final, where Fed played well in the beginning of both sets, but still lost both of them. In short, you see Fed doing well, telling yourself: „This looks promising, he’s got a chance here!“, etc., but deep in your mind you still know that Nadal will win it… Fact is, Fed was playing catchup throughout the whole Sunday’s final. Whether it was the 1st set or the 2nd, he was still behind (save for the very 1st game of the 1st set and the last few games of the 2nd, if I remember). He broke Nadal 3 times, but he always did so when Nadal, so to speak, „could’ve won“ the game, but DIDN’T HAVE TO, because he was still in the lead, having already claimed the first blood… But when they were equal (i.e. when it was all about who will strike first), or when Nadal HAD TO win the game (for example at 4-5 and 5-6 in the 2nd, also the 2nd set breaker), he did so.

I’d say it’s a pretty bad combination for Federer. Nadal’s game itself is a bad matchup for him, but Nadal’s also mentally tough as nails, and (as if it wasn’t enough) Federer often chokes vs the Spaniard as well. It simply works both this and that way, like those communicating vessels… But I still think, if it had been only for that bad matchup (like Federer’s early H2H vs Hewitt, Nalby, or now Simon), Nadal wouldn’t have had such good H2H vs Fed. Simply, Nadal’s tougher mentally (not only vs Fed, but vs everyone else, maybe even vs Soderling), and that’s what’s most important in the end… Although this is debatable, I bet that it wouldn’t surprise you had someone here told you that Murray or Djoker have more talent for the game of tennis than Nadal could ever have. This may be indeed true, but the truth also is that these two, just like Nadal, match up pretty well vs Federer, yet neither of them has such favorable H2H vs Fed as Nadal has. Why? Because NEITHER OF THEM is as mentally tough as is Nadal…

Anyhow, those BPs which Fed blew on Sunday, that was, first and foremost, choking… It’s maybe true that Nadal, whenever there’s a big point on his serve, often tends to surprise Federer with some „unusual“ kind of serve (either hitting it to Fed’s body, or to his FH), and he’s pretty good at it (just remember that all-important BP which Fed had at 4-3 in the 5th set of their Wimby 2008 final!), I bet that, had there been someone else standing on the other side of the court this past Sunday, Fed would’ve at least returned those serves into play, if nothing else.

I’m not gonna beat about the bush, I’m absolutely FED UP with all these Fedal matches! It’s the same picture over and over again… Fed tries to „make“ the play, goes for the winners (not always, but most of the time), and Nadal just spoils, destructs, counters, waits, and so on… And what’s absolutely worst is when you have to wait for the whole match to see Federer having a chance – and then he blows it (just like it was on Sunday with those returns, or with that damn dropshot at 4-2 in the 2nd set breaker). I mean, if Nadal wins the point by hitting an unreturnable FH, then that’s too good. All you can do after such points is to take your hat off and say well done! But if Federer has a chance and he blows it, then that’s really a nail in the coffin!

I seriously ponder that, if Nadal and Fed once again meet in the FO final and Federer loses, it’ll be the last match I’ll watch between these two… It just frustrates the hell out of me, plain and simple! When Fed beat Nadal in the 2009 final, many were saying that he played differently, that he tried a new tactics, hitting all those dropshots, and so on… In other words, that he „found a recipe for Nadal“, and all this BS, but after watching the Sunday’s final, I’d say the 2009 final was more an exception to the rule than some new, „successful“ pattern… Even those dropshots (which he so successfully implemented in the 2009 final) – he maybe won some points here and there with them on this past Sunday as well, but as soon as he screwed one, it cost him the set & the match… And just consider how good Federer was serving in this match! 69 % of 1st serves in and 9 aces to 0 DFs – that’s as close to best as you can do vs Nadal on clay, yet it didn’t suffice… Not only it didn’t suffice Fed to win a set, it didn’t even suffice him to have a setpoint… And this on a clay which (allegedly) suits Nadal the less of all clays…


Skorocel Says:

“But he (Fed) has raised his game when being pushed to the wall (Wimby against Roddick) but Rafa can raise his game too.”

Exactly, puckbandit! And that’s the problem for Fed…

———————-

Kimmi: „lastly, even if federer lost today, he played his best match with nadal that I have seen on clay..“

I don’t think so. Like I said, it wasn’t a bad performance from Federer at all, but in Rome 2006 (which was a best of 5 sets match, no less), I think he played even better – and still lost :-(

———————

„To me it’s the worst part of their matches, I prefer when he (Fed) loses 40-30 or 40-15 then had break chances missed by not returning.“

Same here, Daniel!

——————–

caesar: „Not to mention how many MS fed would have racked up if there were 3MS on grass too. Fed did not lose a match on grass in 6 yrs = 18 MS, right there. or at the worst 2/3 of those = 12 = 28MS.“

If you’d been just slightly objective, you’d have known that Fed has thus far enjoyed MORE THAN UNFAIR advantage over Nadal in having 6 MSs on hard (Nadal’s least favourite surface) compared to only 3 on clay (Nadal’s favourite surface). Think about it other way. What would’ve happened had there been just one more MS event on clay? I’d safely say that Nadal’s number of MS titles would’ve been higher than it is now… But anyway, let’s say there’d be one MS event on grass too (say in Queens or Halle, it doesn’t matter), right? Then, how do you think would Fed’s and Nadal’s MS events trophy cabinet look like? Based on Nadal’s recent showings on grass (2 times a Wimby finalist, 1x a winner, 1x a winner in Queens), I’d say pretty much the same, IF NOT EVEN BETTER for Nadal!

——————-

montecarlo: „Most of the posters above are forgetting the fact that Nadal also only converted 4 out of 11 Break point chances.“

Yeah, but that’s still ONE BETTER than Fed did ;-)


Skeezerweezer Says:

Skorocel,

Nice Read.

Yeah I agree am getting tired watching the matches also. It’s getting old unless Fed can come up with the goods. Interesting you see the same things, very predictable matches. They are close, exciting and all that but the overall story is the same. Rafa is mentally tougher, and it shows glaringly on the court. How many times have I seen Fed up a break (or two)in matches on Rafa and Rafa then comes storming back and then a Fed collapse. I will probably get stung for saying this but facts are facts. He seems too stubborn, not willing, or just weak minded against Rafa. Then there is also the point of view, Rafa is just the better player…..


Ben Pronin Says:

I completely agree with Skorocel. It’s just ridiculously frustrating watching Federer blow opportunity after opportunity. He even choked on that drop shot. The same drop shot I’ve been drooling over last year, fails him against Nadal. He wouldn’t have missed it against anyone else. It’s just… frustrating.


skeezerweezer Says:

Skorocel & Ben,

Funny, go back and read Ben’s article:

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2010-04-28/4025.php

Sound remotely familiar to what we are talking about? And a pattern of behavior?

What even gets me more upset is this:

How did you get all those GS titles?
How did you get #1 for all this time?
How did you get to so many semi’s & finals?

That should be glued in your head! You should have the confidence of a Lion going into every match. You should have implanted in your head when you are about to hit a return of serve on a BP and say to yourself ” yes, I am #1, I can do this ” AND do it!

Maybe Fed needs to watch Serena? Ok, ok…below the belt…my bad :)

And maybe Rafa is just too good for him…

Ben took some heat for writing that but it sounds truer today than it did yesterday….

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Rankings
ATP - Dec 15 WTA - Dec 15
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Kei Nishikori5 Ana Ivanovic
6 Andy Murray6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Tomas Berdych7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Milos Raonic8 Caroline Wozniacki
9 Marin Cilic9 Angelique Kerber
10 David Ferrer10 Dominika Cibulkova
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