Federer: Clay Season ‘Decided at the French Open’, Not Madrid
by Sean Randall | May 17th, 2010, 12:25 pm
  • 261 Comments

Lots of tennis chatter this morning centered around the (overblown?) remarks made by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal following their Madrid title bout yesterday.

Federer said, Rafa’s and my claycourt seasons are decided at the French Open, and not before. It’s unfortunately – or fortunately – like that. If we win all the tournaments like Rafa now and then go out in the first round of the French, everything will be questioned. It’s just how it is, so we’ll see what happens in three weeks.”

Nadal said, “Well, that’s a respectable opinion that I don’t share. And not because I have won the three [Masters] leading up to it, which some might think, but because I think it is unfair to think the whole clay season is decided by one tournament.”

So both players are protecting their own “ground” to say. Federer, as we know, is focused on capturing Grand Slam titles and he’s saying four Majors are the tournaments that matter. (Of course Federer did lose match!) For Nadal, the spring clay season is his season and he says even the Madrid title is important, and I believe him.

And you can make the case for either argument here.

Ten years from now few will remember many of Rafa’s non-Slam titles but they will remember his Majors.

That said, having positive results in the lead-up tournaments often do provide a springboard for achieving greater results at the Slams. Just ask Federer who said his Madrid title last year gave him that spark to go on and win the French and Wimbledon titles. Fed acknowledges as much.

So it’s a little hypocritical of him to now suggest these titles don’t mean that much. In the big, historic picture they probably do not, but in the here and now and for confidence proposes they remain relevant.

Nadal’s win also moved him ahead of Andre Agassi for most career Tennis Masters titles at 18. I’m sure Roger wouldn’t mind having that record in his possession, but he doesn’t and based on his attitude he probably never will.

As for the match, the only surprise was seeing how poorly both Rafa and Roger played. They did raise their level toward the end of the affair but early on it was some of the most sloppy tennis I’ve ever seen the two play in their rivalry.

Federer’s been off his game all spring and Nadal hasn’t looked all that comfortable in quick conditions in Madrid so maybe I should have seen an error-filled match coming.

To his credit, Federer did have a real shot at winning the match but again couldn’t covert the big points.

Anyway, even though he doesn’t think so, the title for Nadal reaffirmed that he’s the overwhelming man to beat. Sorry Rafa, you are. He ready, he’s rested and he’s healthy. And I wouldn’t read into his sub-standard play too much due to the altitude and surface (he still won!).

Nadal has now won 14 of 21 meetings against Federer and 10 of 12 on clay.

For Roger it was a big, confidence enriching week. No shame in losing to Nadal, but by reaching the final with convincing wins over Stan Wawrinka, Ernests Gulbis and David Ferrer, Federer puts himself right back among the contenders at the French Open and it virtually renders (in his mind at least) those shock losses in Estoril and Rome as almost throwaways. I think it’s safe to say that he’s got his locker room swagger back, and just in time. Although one of these days he’s going to get beat early at a Slam. It’s coming.

Federer’s loss yesterday also puts the No. 1 ranking on the line at the French Open. Nadal and Djokovic will have the chance to disrupt Roger’s reign at No. 1 and block his attempt to pass Pete Sampras in total weeks at No. 1 next month.

The French Open draw will be out Friday I believe. The seedings are done and fortunately for the Top 8 players with all the withdrawals – Del Potro, Haas, Davydenko, Stepanek(?) – No. 27 Ernests Gulbis will move up into the Top 24 seeds. That means he’ll avoid a Top 8 seed in the third round. I think. Let’s hope there are no more withdrawals.


Also Check Out:
Novak Djokovic’s Physio: He Should Be Ready For Rome And The French Open
Andy Murray Withdraws From Madrid Due To A Back Injury
Roddick, Fish Out Of Madrid, And Possibly Remainder Of Clay Season
Marquee Clay Schedules: Where Will Nadal, Djokovic, Federer And Murray Be Playing The Next Six Weeks
Inside Rafael Nadal’s Incredible Statistics On Clay

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261 Comments for Federer: Clay Season ‘Decided at the French Open’, Not Madrid

andrea Says:

well, i finally watched the match. again, break point conversions for fed seem to have cost him in the first set. in particular that cross court forehand that he drilled into the net when rafa was serving at 30-40 5/4 in the first set.

that being said, nadal was not on his a-game and you could see in his face the frustration. fed could have won that match. too bad.

but congrats to rafa for the masters title record. good stuff.

not sure about the comments back and forth from fed and nadal. fed’s sounding a bit pissy….and he better perform at the french or else, by his standards, his clay court season will be judged a dud.


jane Says:

Neither Fed nor Nadal coverted break point chances well; I think Fed was 3 for 11 and Nadal 4 for 11.

Anyhow, I’m looking forward to the FO, even though, sadly, we’ll be missing some great performers there last year – Delpo, Haas – as well as guys like Davy, Steps and possibly Nalby and Gonzalez (?) who can all play pretty well on clay. Isner’s arm was injured in Madrid, Berdych has been out for a while, Tsonga didn’t play Madrid. Sheesh. Sure hope there are some healthy and hungry guys. I guess the Armada is in good shape – except for Robredo, and haven’t heard from JCF lately. Verdasco must be alright as he’s playing this week.


skeezerweezer Says:

“Ten years from now few will remember many of Rafa’s non-Slam titles but they will remember his Majors.”

Of course you know I would slice that comment out :)

Something to add here is IMO Fed got good in just one tourney. How quickly we forget his shankopotomus shotmaking and previous tourneys the last few months. He has had truly very little match play, which by his own words he said he needed prior to Madrid. So the question is, do you think he is well prepared and match tough for FO?


Huh Says:

Fed must try to be more diplomatic if he wants the anti-Feds to warm up to him a little bit. ;)
But does Fed really need that? ;)

Kudos to Fed for speaking his mind no matter if he’s liked or not for doing so. That’s called honesty. Well done Fed.

ALLEZ FEDERER!


blank Says:

I still think that comment was a bit disrespectful to Rafa’s accomplishments this season. He comes off sounding like a sore loser here. Does he honestly think he has better chances than Nadal at the FO?


NELTA Says:

Break point conversions for both players may have looked similar in the 1st set, but Rafa still won 2 out of the 3 games where he did have break points so Rafa’s conversion was really 66%. He had a 0-40 on Fed’s serve and it went back to deuce then back and forth, but Rafa still converted the break so there was no missed opportunity. Roger also had break points in 3 different games in the 1st set, but only ended up breaking once.


blank Says:

Easy to see why Nadal has been more successful this season compared to the Fed.

Break Points Saved:
Nadal is ranked # 1 (73% in 35 matches)
Federer is ranked # 9 (67% in 25 matches)

Break Points Converted:
Nadal is ranked # 2 (49% in 35 matches)
Federer is ranked # 46 (39% in 25 matches)


skeezerweezer Says:

Blank,

Great stat thanks!


Naydal Says:

Masters don’t matter enough unforunately. If the commentators hadn’t been talking about Agassi’s masters record, most viewers wouldn’t even have known about it. On the other hand, most know that Agassi had a calendar slam and that Sampras won 14 slams.

Ultimately, people (other than the most die-hard fans) only remember the slams…


blank Says:

You are welcome Skeeze.

Here are the facts. Nadal is on the 1st page of every stat (service and return of service games).

http://www.atpworldtour.com/Rankings/MatchFacts.aspx


jane Says:

blank, that’s interesting. Rafa’s got high stats in 3 or 4 of the 6 serving categories as well as all of the 4 returning categories (top 5 in three of them, top 10 in one of them) so he manages a very good job of protecting his own serve while challenging the other player’s serves through strong returning. Fed is strong in first serve returns (#4) but could improve on second serve returns, try to take more advantage – he is ranked #32 in this category.

NELTA, the way you point out the ultimate outcome of the break chances (winning the game versus the point) does put things in a different light.


Sean Randall Says:

Good stats Blank. I bet if you just looked at Australian Open only Fed would be leading in everything. Ha.

Naydal, I agree. I would not have known Agassi’s Masters count had it not been for Nadal.


Stefani Germanotta Says:

Roger is right — history overwhelmingly places most emphasis on the Majors. But Sean is spot on in his column that winning the other tournaments provide the “springboard” for winning the Majors.

I don’t think anybody BELIEVES they can take three sets from Nadal on clay. Probably not even Soderling. Roger’s best chance is that someone like a Gulbis, Tsonga, Cilic, etc. gets hot and takes Nadal out.

I honestly don’t think Federer can beat Nadal on clay. And we know it’s not a given on grass either.


J Says:

Why can’t Roger ever just say something along these lines:-

“I didn’t play as well as I could have and at the end of the day, Rafa took his chances better than I did and won. What an amazing record, congrats to him. For me, I would have liked to have won and have worked hard to improve my game over the last few tournaments but the good thing is these days I take my losses in stride. It doesn’t deter from my focus on Roland Garros, I think my game is improving at the right time and I’ll be ready to defend my title at the French Open.”

That’s being honest. That’s getting his point across without sounding surly and dismissive of other people’s acomplishments. Why can’t he talk like this? Because that’s just not the kind of guy Fed is. And more’s the pity imo.


Polo Says:

In the grand scheme of all things tennis, it is the major titles that count. Agassi may have won many more Masters title than Sampras but nobody will put him in the same league as Sampras. Agassi will always be a rung or two lower than the tennis greats of which only few can mentioned in the same breadth…Federer, Sampras, Laver and Borg. Nadal may eventually join that group.


blank Says:

One can understand why Nadal has so much success when either serving or returning. When he gets into a rally, he is simply better that almost everyone out there and almost all the time. That will be true as long as he keeps making less unforced errors, which he is doing pretty well right now. So if he plays his game, all he needs to do is get the ball into the opponent’s court while serving and returning. And from then on, it’s advantage Nadal.

As with Fed, he stopped being flawless in rallies a long ago. He needs the free points with serve and needs to make most of the break chances. Sadly, he is slipping in both areas. These days it’s become a custom for him to down a break very early in the match and not seize on the opportunities later on. His aura alone has won him so many matches in the past. I don’t think that’s the case any longer.


Voicemale1 Says:

It’s not the first time Federer has spoken strangely after losing to Nadal. As such, the more he loses in this way the more his strange comments become less portentus and more snarky. Here’s the thing. When you’re the GOAT and you break your opponent 3 times in a Best of Three Set match, that’s supposed to seal the deal for you. Federer’s real problem isn’t so much how little he breaks Nadal (although his poor record in doing so is 70% about choking and 30% Nadal coming up with the goods). His more serious problem is his abysmal record of holding his own serve against Nadal. Even when he manages to break the Nadal serve, Nadal always returns the favor, and then some. Wimbledon 2008 Nadal dropped serve just once in 5 Sets; Federer was broken 4 times. Australia 09 was a microcosm of this dilemma: Federer broke Nadal TWICE in the opening set that night, which would have been outstanding – but for the fact Federer was broken 3 times himself in the same set to lose it 7-5. So it’s not even about just clay anymore. Nadal is much better at handling the Federer Serve than Federer is about handling the Nadal Serve. That’s why Federer often gets tight playing Nadal: his serve doesn’t necessarily save him. Nadal is as good from the back court as Federer, and so the one advantage Federer has, the power of the serve, doesn’t help him against Nadal. Yesterday’s match was more of the same. When Federer does manage to break Nadal it really hasn’t done him much good. No wonder he tends to choke against Nadal. Not only does he struggle to Break, he faces even greater pressure to Hold.

Either that, or Federer has to make some kind of snarky comment like he did to save face. After all, it’s not everyone who can have the best possible setup of facing Match Point Down and get a sitter short court ball coming to your legendary “Fearhand” to crush, and then whiff the shot. Talk about humiliating.


skeezerweezer Says:

Voicemale1,

Nice insight :)


Peter D Says:

Come on, guys, I believe people mistake Fed’s comments for “snarky” because he’s just not good at being “diplomatic” and speaks his mind too freely. What he said was true and it is also what he needs to tell himself going into FO to keep motivated and believing in his chances. I’d be worried if he sang accolades to Rafa, because he needs to believe he’s better to have a chance to win.
So, I think all this talk is actually motivational for his own consumption.


MMT Says:

Great stats Blank – and Naydal, Agassi never completed a calendar slam, only a career slam – which is nothing to shake a stick at, by the way – but just to clarify.


zola Says:

voicemail1,

great post.You said it all.


Sean Randall Says:

Some familiar names playing in the French Open qualifying: Former champion Gaston Gaudio, Dominik Hrbaty, Harel Levy, Albert Martin, Filippo Volandri, Jose Acasuso and Stefan Koubek.


RZ Says:

Let’s look at what Fed said another way: would a player rather win the FO or the 3 Masters leading up to it? The real answer is that they’d rather do both, but if they could only have one, I think most players would pick the grand slam.


RZ Says:

Also, any idea how early Fed would need to lose (or how deep Rafa and Nole would need to go) for Fed not to be #1? Even though he’s done little outside the slams, I can’t imagine him not being #1 while holding the AO and Wimbledon titles and having US Open runner-up points.


Tennis10 Says:

I agree with Peter D. I think that Fed is only saying this to keep himself upbeat. Obviously he wanted to beat Nadal but if he gets himself too down after losing, he’s gonna lose the confidence he’s built up over the past week. It sounds rude but I think he really respects Nadal for his achievements and just wants to get himself motivated for the FO.


jane Says:

RZ, perhaps it depends on what the player needed/wanted points-wise (am speaking generally, not of Nadal or Fed): in other words, 3 Masters Series = 3000 points; 1 slam = 2000 points.


Fot Says:

I agree wtih RZ. Look at last year. Rafa dominated the clay season more so (up to Madrid) than he did this year. He was on a serious roll last year and everyone said the French Open was a foregone conclusion. Nadal – hands down. But we know what happened at the French and from then on out everyone remembered that Roger won the French. Heck, up until the French last year I would have said Djokovic was the 2nd best clay court player behind Nadal but no one remembers that because he didn’t show up at the French either.

So I think RZ is right. In the perfect world, a player would love to win all the master’s and the French to culminate the clay season. But if you polled the players and said you could either win all the clay master’s events OR the French Open, 100% would probably pick the French Open. Not saying it’s right or wrong, but you make your name by winning Majors/Slams. That’s just the way it is. Until Nadal and Roger started winning a lot of Master’s titles, heck, even I didn’t know about Agassi’s record. But I knew about Pete’s Slam record. The Slams are what the players live for, I believe.


jane Says:

Maybe for Rafa it’s a big deal (well it is anyhow) because he’s won the FO 4 times but he had never swept the clay Master events; moreover, no player had ever done so.

It’s true what others have said though, that until the last two years or so, I hadn’t heard about Agassi’ MS title record (or maybe I had heard talk of it when he was retiring but forgot), but that’s probably because no one was close to him or to breaking it.

It seems that – in general – we hear the most about any record when someone breaks it or is close to breaking it.


RFFan Says:

Fed also said:

1) Nadal is the favorite for RG; he is 2nd favorite

2) While he thought he played well, he characterized Nadal as “unbelievable” and “supreme”; stated that Nadal’s great shots were to be expected b/c after all “he’s Rafa.”

3)Agreed that lost the match because didn’t make use of his opportunities and got broken too many times

4)Laughed about the “whiff”, saying “I’ve had many beautiful match points in my career but that was not one of them”

Yes, Fed has a tendancy to snark, but the way the media goes, if he makes 10 classy, positive comments and 1 snarky comment, what gets the press?


Stefani Germanotta Says:

If you look at the video of Federer’s interview his body language does not suggest a snarkiness as the words might suggest by themselves. He game Rafa due respect.


Peter D Says:

What was interesting to me is how upbeat, almost giddy Fed was after the loss. And Rafa actually looked pissed off throughout the entire 2nd set (breaking Roger only to be broken back in the next game or two…) So, the wishful thinking would be that Roger felt like he had figured something out going into the FO, and Rafa felt the same and felt threatened. If there weren’t for the history of the rivalry, that would seem like an explanation. With the history in mind, though, it looks like Fed is still fooling himself…


guy Says:

history HAS placed all the emphasis on slams, but this is slowly changing because masters events are higher profile now, with more exposure, money, etc. and the weighting the atp is giving them.

years ago, esp without internet it was hard to follow the tour outside the slams, not now. and look how much money is being pumped into the tour finals these days.

this is how it should be, a more balanced tour.


Polo Says:

Although it is remarkable for anyone to win Masters events, I don’t think it carries as much significance as a major title. I believe it will remain like that because there are so many Masters tournaments in single year and none of them will ever be as big as a major. Otherwise, it would have been called a major. I bet many tennis pros would chose to have one major instead of ten Masters.


Polo Says:

Now very quickly name the winners of the last 12 Masters. Now try the last 12 majors.


fed is afraid Says:

if roger had won the 3 clay
master shields he would be
singing a different tune.
he needs to stop making
such idiotic statements.


jane Says:

Polo @ 4:14 – LOL. I think the slams are easier in this case because you can count the number of guys who’ve won the majors in the last three years on one hand (Fed, Rafa, Delpo, Djoko). This is not the same for the Masters, wherein the winner’s circle has been quite varied over the last year: Nadal (5), Roddick (1), Ljub (1), Djok (1), Davy (1), Fed (2), Murray (1), Fed (1) [this is going back to clay last year].

In the past, when the slams were more evenly distributed, i.e. not dominated by one or two players, then the task could be more difficult to rattle them off.


Polo Says:

I tend to agree with Federer. If he wins the French Open, that will overshadow the three clay Masters wins of Nadal. A Federer fan will be happier for him if he wins the French in spite of losing all those clay Masters. A Nadal fan would not be happy if he loses the French even if he has all those clay Masters titles. The French still weighs more than any number of Masters titles.


jane Says:

oops – eliminate the last “Fed (1)” from my count. To go back to the beginning of 09, add 1 more each for Murray and Rafa (Miami and IW).


Caesar Says:

The only ones making stupid statements is rafatards!

Jane – are you kidding that players would trade 3MS for a french open? You are either naive or foolish or both.

Tennis is all-about slams. ofcourse rafa and agassi fans will beg to differ, but we can understand why. maybe they should have a clay masters in nadal’s backyard in mallorca. nadal can win it every day :)


Polo Says:

Jane, I see your point. But I don’t think there is any question that Majors are more deepley embedded in fans’ minds than any of the other events. You said it is easier to name the majors winners because it is basically Federer then Nadal plus two other guys. But I even tried it with the females who had many different winners and I was able to do it. And I don’t even watch women’s tennis.


Polo Says:

Jane, I wanted them named in chronological order. Hahaha!


jane Says:

Caesar, I am not saying nor did I say above that players would “trade” 3 MS titles for a slam title. I do agree that slams historically are remembered more and clearly they are worth more points-wise.

What I was saying was that in Rafa’s case, this was simply another milestone for him on clay – being the first ever to win all three straight in one season.

And speaking very generally -not of Rafa or Fed- let’s say of a top ten player, or maybe one trying to work his way up the rankings, winning 3 MS titles has more points than a slam so it could be valued in that regard.


Peter D Says:

I love fed is afraid’s style, like a haiku, laconic and precise. Does it have a name?


jane Says:

Polo, I take your point too. I know the slams are the most prestigious and remembered the most readily. But I was just trying to say, as well, that it’s no small feat to achieve what Rafa did either. That’s all.

P.S. Chronological, starting with IW 09 to Madrid 10, is as follows, by rote: Nadal (IW), Murray (Miami), Nadal (mc), Nadal (rome), Fed (Madrid), Murray (Canada), Fed (Cincy), Davy (Shanghai), Djoko (paris), Ljub (iw), Roddick (Miami), Nadal (MC), Nadal (Rome), Nadal (madrid). : )


Polo Says:

Caesar Says: “Jane – are you kidding that players would trade 3MS for a french open? You are either naive or foolish or both.”

Then says this in his next line, ” Tennis is all-about slams…”

I am a bit confused about the discrepancy in your line of thinking there.

And I think it was not Jane who talked about trading MS with a French Open title (or should I have scrolled up further?). I did mention trading but my ratio was 10:1.


Polo Says:

Excellent Jane! I can’t even name all the Masters. In fact, I don’t even know how many there are. That’s how important the Masters feel to me. I bet most average tennis fans are not that different from me.


NachoF Says:

What Federer said makes sense… maybe for someone else its good enough to win a Masters tournament but for Federer and Nadal its about the slams… Fed can win Halle and Nadal Queens but regardless of that itll all be dediced at Wimbledon… the same is with clay. Who really remembers when Federer won Hamburg 07??.. people wouldnt even remember Madrid 09 had Federer not won the FO right after that… its all in the slams when it comes to Federer and Nadal.


jane Says:

Polo, thanks, it’s just because I am a little too obsessed with tennis. Speaking of which, I must go get some work done today. Cheers!


Polo Says:

Till next time, Jane.


Hartmut Hesse Says:

Sweet Revenge For Nadal

It was the 21st match between Federer and Nadal, and even though Nadal won 13 of the previous meetings, he has never been this eager to win against Roger like this time.
Too tough were the last 12 months since he lost the final against Roger in Madrid a year ago. His parents divorce and his knee injury ruined a great start of the season for him. He lost his first match at Roland Garros, was not able to defend his Wimbledon title and on top of that lost his no. 1 ranking to Federer again, who also took the French Open title from him. It was clear from the start, that Rafa would fight till the last drop of blood to beat Roger in the first meeting after one year of disappointments.
And it was probably the first time that Roger really had to prove something, even though he is clearly the no. 1 in the world with almost double as many points as Nadal. But a year ago he collected only his second win on clay against Rafa in Madrid. The only other time he beat him on clay was in wet and cold Hamburg, on a day Roger was not able to miss a shot in the last two sets of the match. And last year, Rafa had to play an extremely tough 4-hour match against Djokovic the day before. On tope of that too many other matches in the clay court season. Besides these two wins, Federer was always dominated by Rafa on clay and never really had a chance to win the French Open against him. And deep inside he probably knew that he would have not won the French Open by now, if Nadals knees had been fins last year and there would have been more harmony in his private life. And maybe Federer would not be no. 1 today…
Federer knew he had to prove a lot. And Rafa was eager to show the tennis world that Federer will not win the French Open, when he is healthy. Even minutes after the match he was sitting on his bench and pumped his fist again and again. This showed how much this win meant to him. It was a very, very sweet revenge after a year of torture.
So, there was a lot on the line this time. But more importantly, there was more to lose for Roger than to win. And for Rafa there was much more to win than to lose. And this is how they played. Both were very nervous, but in the crucial moments of the match, Rafa had more to win and therefore was more positive. And he was happy, healthy and not tired this time. And then it is nearly impossible for Roger to beat him.
Even though I think that Roger deserves to win the Grand Slam this year, I am afraid that it will not happen, because Rafa has gained so much confident through out the clay court season, that he will win in Paris as well. He planed his season much better this year and will be fresh and confident. On top of that Davydenko and Del Potro, the two players who could beat him on clay, will not participate at the French Open. It all went his way after the Australian Open, and that’s why he will win the French. Probably in the final against Roger, but Roger will not be happy with 2nd place again…
Because then there is no doubt at all anymore, that his win at the French last year, was only possible because Rafa lost to Soderling.

Hardy Hesse
Hesse Tennis Training
http://www.HesseTennisTraining.com
Professional Training and Coaching for Top Juniors and Professionals


Stefani Germanotta Says:

Who do you think has any chance of beating Nadal in the French before the finals? Anyone come to mind? I don’t think any of the Armada because Nadal owns them mentally. It’s got to be someone young and brash who isn’t afraid. I feel like Querry or Isner — if their games were a little more polished — could challenge Nadal.

Basically looking for a tall lefty who will be happy to have nice high groundies coming in to his forehand strike zone. Or Soderling :-)


NELTA Says:

The prestige and legacy value of a grand slam is priceless.

I asked Goran Ivanisevic if I could place 8 masters series shields on his mantle in exchange for his Wimbledon trophy and he told me to get lost.

I asked Roger Federer if I could place 10 clay court masters series shields in his trophy room in exchange for his French Open trophy and he looked at me like he just got a whiff of a rotten fish.

I asked Stefan Edberg if he would trade one of his USO titles for 7 Miami masters shields and being such a good mannered guy he politely replied, No thank you.

As you can see there is no number of masters series titles that equates to a grand slam. Someone made the preposterous argument that if Nadal wins double digit grand slams(10, 11 for example) and 25 MS shields he will be the GOAT. Keep dreaming amigos. If by the end of his great career Nadal matches Fed’s slam total then he will be the undisputed GOAT having several tiebreakers like H2H and MS titles.


manfid Says:

ANYONE ELSE think about that “cute” drop shot at 4-2 in the tie-brake, and remember that “cute” drop shot at the US for a 2-0 set lead vs del potro…
damn it, in middle court, with plenty of time, already in position, clear one side opponent court, had the best forehand in sport, just use it !!!
well as in the US was the prelude to a myriad of unforced errors, from 4-2 lead in the tie-break to the end, was federer error next one to another, and big errors as in too long shots, grade shots, not shot at all… what the hell a fail drop shot do to the man?

as for nadal
well, now after 3 master i guess i was wrong.
i say and believe nadal would win maybe just one or less, he got 3, but no so fast…
he didnt beat any top 5 but federer (who still had a mental problem when face nadal)
he lacks confidence, even he told prior the match “dont matter what happends in the final” i think he believe he will lose
he played worst the next master, declining performance
he had BIG problems with gulbis and wawrinka, where other season was trashing everyone else but federer and djokovic
he does not appear as fit as ever, i see him a little tired at the final, dont know if he could won the match if goes a 3 set.
everyone put him winning roland garros, but i had my doubts, maybe i had not faith in him, maybe i will eat my words again next month.
but i believe nadal will not win the french, a GS is different, not just for federer but for everyone else, theres more competition, match goes to at least 3 sets, motivation, prestigious is far away bigger than a master, more matches to be crowned, etc.
IF nadal win, if i eat my words next month, I believe will be the hardest win in the french for nadal so far, the new one is harder than the last one… almost always this is true.
HOPE at least see better TENNIS from 2 of them at the french, cause madrid final was…


MMT Says:

This has been a very good clay court season for Nadal, and he appears to have hit very good form going into the French Open, and hopefully fully fit. A lot of what’s wrong with Rafa seems to have been proven to be much ado about nothing, and it clearly has helped him that he didn’t play Barcelona, which although it was important to him personally, didn’t make a lot of sense professionally.

I thought Goodall and Koenig did a great job of analyzing the difference between his shot placement of last year versus this year – I think at last year he was at 35% short balls (i.e. inside the service line) whereas this year he was down to 20%. They also showed the Federer himself was way behind the baseline on a number of occassions and that was clearly down to the depth of Rafa’s shots.

With Rafa hitting deep and coming to net at opportuned moments, he’s making great adjustments that will help his clay game as well as his overall game. At the end, techique is what counts in tennis, and not all this overblown pseudo-psycho analysis which I’m beginning to believe is just almost NEVER the reason a player loses or goes through a slump. There were spots where he made uncharacteristic unforced errors, but overall, tactically he was very good.

As for Federer, I don’t remember him ever saying that Madrid was a springboard to winning the French Open last year. In retrospect, it didn’t really mean anything because he didn’t have to play Nadal to win it, and Madrid wasn’t the first clay court MS title he’d ever won, so I wouldn’t agree that it’s hypocritical of him now to say he gauges his season on his French Open performance.

I also think it’s ironic that after his rather poor results since the Australian Open, and up until Madrid, that his sang-froid reaction to questions about his a “slump” turned out to be quite correct. Despite losing to Baghdatis (for the first time) and Berdych (for the first time in 5 years, and Gulbis and then Montanes, he beat Gulbis in Madrid, and reached the final and had lots of chances to come through, so if I were him, I too wouldn’t be particularly worried going into the French Open.


NELTA Says:

I don’t see anyone beating Nadal at the French either Stefani. No way could Isner do it. Nadal was getting a lot of Isner’s serves back in play on fast clay so it will only get easier to return his serves at the French. You’re right about the Armada. He owns them all. I think JC is the only one who has ever beaten Nadal on clay. Cilic’s game matches up nicely with Nadal, but unfortunately he hasn’t figured out how to play clay court tennis yet.


Tennis10 Says:

As a Fed fan I think it’s a shame that Delpo isn’t playing cos he’d have the best chance to beat Nadal on clay.


skeezerweezer Says:

Peter D, I am afriend,

IMO Roger was just trying to take the positive out of what happened to HIM. There is nothing more to it. What if it was you or I? What did you want him to say?

“Well Mr. Interviewer I have really stunk the last since AO and haven’t won a title since, and “whiffed” on match point so it doesn’t look good for me at the FO this year, so maybe I shouldn’t even play.”

On the other hand, I don’t think he was thinking about Rafa in his statements, which is where the complaints up here are coming from. Tennis is generally known of all sports to be a “Gentlemens game”, and 99% of the time Fed is classy, I just think he could of given Rafa some more praise ( although re -read RFFan post earlier ), that way the pressers/posters after wouldn’t have been so critical of his statements, but he did what he did…..

On to FO…..


Kimo Says:

Of Rafa’s 18 MS titles, 13 are on clay.

Of Rafa’s 6 majors, 4 are on clay.

Of Rafa’s 14 wins over Roger, 10 are on clay.

Rafa is clearly has the potential to be called the clay GOAT (he still need a couple of more RGs to really be called clay GOAT. Right now it’s Borg).

But clay GOAT is not enough to be called GOAT. Sorry. His record is just too clay-court heavy.

Now Roger’s resume is well balanced. Of his 16 MS titles, 5 are on clay (with 6(!) RU showings losing to you-know-who)

Of his 16 majors, 4 are Aussie (on two different surfaces), 1 RG (with 3 finals and one semi losing to you-know-who), 6 Wimbledons and 5 US Opens (where you-know-who never made the final).

Based on what Fed has accomplished, he is clearly the hardcourt GOAT (nine majors and 11 MS titles) and has the potential to be grass-court GOAT should he win this year are Wimbledon. Rafa could be the clay-court GOAT but not yet.

Who’s the overall GOAT. Roger is. Hands down.


Kimo Says:

Sorry for the typos and grammatical errors. Was in a hurry.


Fot Says:

The question was asked: Who do we think has a shot at Nadal in the French this year? And many are saying ‘no one’. I think anyone can lose on any given day. I’ll eat my hat if anyone said Soderling would beat Nadal last year! NO ONE predicted that. Many, including myself, had basically given Nadal the tournament before he hit his first ball. But that’s why they are called “upsets”. We don’t see them coming.

So both Nadal and Roger need to be on guard so another ‘upset’ won’t happen at this year’s French Open.


Kimo Says:

Oh and did I mention Roger has 5 year-end no.1s and 4 Year End titles, while Rafa finished number one only once and has ZERO Year End titles.

Just saying.


skeezerweezer Says:

Kimo,

“Classic”. That post goes into the tennis-x archives :)

PS: Make sure BEN reads your post, lol


NELTA Says:

Nice post Kimo


Kimo Says:

I remember in 2007 and 2008 before RG, people would say that Rafa was the clear front runner but Djoko was a contender coz he just won the Australian and Roger was a contender because, well, he’s Roger. He won both years comfortably.

Last year, everybody was so sure Rafa would win that people weren’t even bothering picking contenders. There was just NO WAY someone can take three sets off of Rafa on Parisian clay. Impossible.

Nobody expected that someone who took only ONE GAME off of Rafa in Rome 2009, that was up to that point labeled an “indoor specialist”, would be the man who does the unthinkable.

Nothing in tennis is predetermined. That’s why tournaments are held and matches are played.


Stefani Germanotta Says:

Very true Kimo. I guess that makes Roger’s semifinal record even more impresive.


NachoF Says:

Exactly.. we have forgotten how easy it is for even the best to lose on a given day… rafa is the undisputed clay GOAT but that hasnt stopped Federer, Ferrero, or Soderling to beat him on a good day… Nadal definitely has the best game to win the FO but nothing is set in stone.


Fot Says:

Kimo – good post!


skeezerweezer Says:

Another worthy note to add to Kimo’s post. Just sayin….

Sampras is done. His record is:

Won 14 in 49 majors played

Fed is not, he has

XX majors (promised someone I wouldn’t use that number for awhile, everyone “knows”)in a span of 27 majors played so far…almost half as many!!!!

So let’s forget majors for a sec, what else?
Well,

“Federer won a record 26 consecutive matches against top ten ranked opponents”

and….. well here is the link for all the other “records”, look for the ones that are not clay..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_career_achievements_by_Roger_Federer

Just sayin, let’s not forget who we have had the privilege to see in our tennis lifetime. A generation ago we had sampras, agassi, beyond that borg, mac, connors, ashe, but this guy hits the stratosphere.

If you take the liberty to visit the wiki, his records speak for themselves. We focus on the great rivalry with Rafa. It is fun to watch, and it goes on…..

Rafa is early in his career, and can’t match Fed’s stats, so we wait for him. But for now, there is no doubt who and what Fed is….


puckbandit Says:

You can call Fed’s comments many things: honest, bold, snarky, heroic etc. What they are not, is surprising.


Fed Rocks Says:

Lets not forget that Nadal is 5 years younger than Federer – Fed is almost 29 guys!

Until the end of 2007, when Fed was 26 and change, he was 6-8 against Nadal, quite evenly balanced, given their close encounters on clay. It was only after that that Nadal pulled ahead, and that too primarily due to clay matches. Fed is still 5-4 on nadal outside of clay.

So this whole “Nadal dominates Fed” song has to be put in the context of two facts:

1. The domination is only on clay (10-2, versus 4-5 outside of clay).

2. The domination really started started when Fed was 26+ and past his prime, while Nadal was 21+ and hitting his prime.

Not to mention that Nadal is a quirk of a creature – lefty, infinite stamina, fast, gigantic spin on forehand. If Nadal was right handed, he wouldn’t have even dominated clay the way he does not – accept it, lefties get to play right handed players all the time, so they are used to it. Righties rarely get to play lefties, so whenever they play a lefty, the lefty has an advantage. When a lefty plays a lefty, its even.

Its just one of those things. All else being equal, a lefty will always do better in tennis. That’s luck, or a


Willie Says:

Yeah, people may not remember Rafa’s non-Slams title ten years from now but he’ll surely be remembered as the one who kicked sore loser Fed’s ass the most!


skeezerweezer Says:

Sean,

Caught up in all this chatter and probably posted too much, trying to catch up as I missed the match…bummer…my bad..traveling…. :(

But forgot to say:

Nice article, well written, and “great job serve and volleying” you’re way out of harms way with a backlash of comments from either side :). It’s great to see you folks report your own stuff and don’t just post up links ( although sometimes very helpful ), a cheap way out. Thanks for being the best and keepin us up to date on the latest, great job to you and the staff!

Skeeze


Andrew Miller Says:

I agree with Sean Randall all the way around on this post. I like the angle of “Nadal sees it this way, and that makes sense based on who he is, and Federer sees it this way, which makes sense from a Federer point of view…and both of them are right.”

I was about as impressed with Federer this tournament as I was when I saw him on TV at the French Open playing Tommy Haas last year.

Not impressed with his play but impressed he made it through anyway.

He doesn’t have to win brilliantly, not even if he’s a step off his game.

As for Nadal, not much to say. The guy won everything in sight this clay season. Once upon a time, Andre Agassi did the same in a lead-up to the US Open in ’96 before losing to Sampras in the final. There’s a crucial difference.

Nadal on clay aint Agassi (Nadal’s better), Federer aint Sampras (Federer’s better on most surfaces than Sampras, except for a hard court – I think they would have been even there), and Nadal on clay is basically Federer or Sampras on any other surface in his best year.


Ben Pronin Says:

Andrew, Agassi’s run was in 95 but yeah.


Huh Says:

Fed Rocks:

Yeah, Fed’s indeed 5 years older than Nadal and that’s something which is to be considered, but the bad thing is Fed creates many chances against Rafa, even on clay, even being almost 29, but fails to grab them and loses the matches. Of late, Rafa’s beaten Fed also in WIM and AO. There also Fed had chances to clinch victory, but he couldn’t and that’s the unfortunate thing. Is only age responsible for that? I won’t say so. Age is a factor, but not the only one or the deciding one.Age of Fed cannot be blamed at least for the MAD 10 final loss, so far as I know and saw it.
Moreover it’s to be noted that we must not say that it’s just a clay thing for Rafa. He’s time and again shown that he can beat Fed. How can we disregard Rafa’s good job on clay saying it suits him especially if we are citing Fed’s 5-4 edge vs Rafa on non-clay surfaces, that too pointing out that Fed’s preferred surfaces are HC & grass? If we being Fed fans boast of Fed’s positive record over Rafa on his preferred surfaces, then there’e nothing wrong in Rafa fans taking pride over Rafa’s domination of Fed over his preferred surface, i.e. clay, either. We cannot just say that Rafa has done good only on clay while ignoring that if anything, Fed’s only saving grace so far is that his H2H on non-clay stuff looks still positive. Anyway, waitin for FO. Hopefully Fed’ll beat Rafa there.

ALLEZ FEDERER!!!


dc Says:

1 – If Nadal was a slightly better hard court player, he would probably reach many more hard court finals and lose a large no of these to Federer.
2 – Also lets assume Fed was a slightly worse clay court player, therefore he would meet Nadal less on clay.

1 & 2 above would result in an even or favorable h2h for Fed against Nadal.
Also for argument sake, lets give 2 of Fed’s Hard court GS wins to Nadal, leaving Fed with 14 and Nadal with 8 GS’s

Therefore one could conclude that if Nadal was a slightly better player & Fed a slightly worse player, Fed would be the better player.
If this sounds absurd, the whole notion that h2h means anything is also absurd.


montecarlo Says:

@dc

Nadal is already 3-3 against federer on hard court. If he was slightly better he would have been leading 6-0. LOL :D


Ben Pronin Says:

I’m really confused by what dc said.

The thing is, even if Nadal was good enough to reach more hard court finals back when Federer was reaching them all, there is little to indicate the h2h would be anywhere near as lopsided as it is for Nadal right now. Fed was the dominator on hard and grass yet he’s barely ahead with a 5-4 record. That indicates that had clay not been in the picture, these two would have a very close rivalry, regardless of how much more accomplished Federer is. But on clay, Fed’s had plenty of chances to make a more even h2h. That indicates Nadal is in his head. Still.


Huh Says:

Sampras is an overall better player on grass than Fed IMHO(if at all we’re talkin of the TRUE fast grass as was pre-2001).


Huh Says:

“The domination really started started when Fed was 26+ and past his prime, while Nadal was 21+ and hitting his prime.”

Fed Rocks:

I agree completely with you on this point however, I myself feel that way and have stated this many times here. It’s a fact even though some would not admit.


skeezerweezer Says:

dc,

“Exactly” ….:)

and TY for takin on another dismal argument from the “other side” about how H2H means something in the record books of tennis history………it equals nothing along with Masters titles. Can we finally put this thing to bed? Along with GOAT at present day?

@MONTECARLO “AKA” RAFA FAV

Ugh and more ugh’s. That is the best you can do?
“already 3-3 against federer on hard court”, and who else? Check out my wiki link earlier to Fed’s records and then go to Rafa’s paaahhleese!

And then “If”? You lost me there….”If’s” are for wishful thinkers ( including you Ben ), not factual data….and “If” fed did slightly better in their matchups? I mean how many times did Rafa Blow out Fed? Look at the match scores, post them for all to see. all of them between Fed and Rafa.

If you want to chime in on how Rafa kick fed’s a$$ at Madrid go on, I agree, he did. :). Just say how happy you are and move on….but don’t start bringing in Rafa’s records against one guy, but against the whole field of tennis players over a career AND Fed….go to the “wiki’s”, the facts are there :)

All this stuff said, my goodness, Rafa WILL win FO, he should, he has proven he is “King of the Dirt”. No one can bring up the facts that he is NOT the favorite, the guy to beat, and SHOULD win. Vamos RAFA!

Wimby starts in a little over a month, no? Whew!

@Ben

re: Rafa in Feds head……

ABSOLUTELY, and I know we both don’t like it, but if Fed can’t overcome it, he’ll have to live with the criticism, that I cannot deny….everyone has a thorn in there side…and for Fed, Rafa is it…the painful part is he has the game to do overcome it….but he is dealing with a primal convicted lionheart, a huge heart and never say die attitude, at a monster level, and he has to have that “monster” mentality to overcome it. Until then, rafa owns him….


montecarlo Says:

@skeez

It was your dc who was making assumptions about IF and not me. :D

you missed this line in his post?

1 – If Nadal was a slightly better hard court player, he would probably reach many more hard court finals and lose a large no of these to Federer.

LOL.

My point is if dc wants Nadal to be slightly better HC player then Nadal automatically improves his HC H2H against Federer which is already 3-3.


Lorr Says:

I would just like to note that the internet and digital media is changing how we view sports – a few years ago I would definately agree that Slams were the be all and end all of tennis – many fans had no other option – the masters were simply not screened or scantily reported (unless local hero was involved). Thanks to tennistv.com I am currently learing about all the other tourneys and their individual personalities -this is definately the future and, whilst Grand Slams will continue to be icing on the cake – we will all have a lot more respect for the tennis athletes that play a longer season than any other sport. I believe that we will come to love/hate certain Masters series – this will be great for the game long term and encourage more athletes to participate. kudos to Rafa in what he, personally has achieved in widening the popularity of the Masters series.


Lenny Says:

Kimo: You make some great points.

BUT.

Everyone who compares what Fed has achieved against what Rafa has achieved is forgetting one tiny little thing.

Federer has a few years on Rafa in terms of both, their ages and the ages of their careers.

Of course, it’s still entirely probable that Fed’s achievements will still outweigh Rafa’s in terms of diversity and numbers at the end of both their careers, but until that end is here, these kind of comparisons are not entirely fair.


montecarlo Says:

If anyone follows cricket they show charts when a team is batting second comparing their scores with team batting first at same number of overs.

If applying similar rule to tennis this should be a better comparison-

http://web.archive.org/web/20050427081652/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Federer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rafael_Nadal


madmax Says:

haven’t read all the posts, but will later.

skeezerweezer Says:
Another worthy note to add to Kimo’s post. Just sayin….

just picked a couple out to comment on.

Apart from what Kimo and Skeeze said (comparison to sampras). Roger won 16 slams in HALF the time that sampras won 14. So Roger won 16 in 8 years, sampras won 14 in double the time.

And who else has won 3 slams per year, for 3 years (or was it 4? on the trot?). Roger Federer. If someone else has already mentioned this then apologies, just a quick post today as am rushing off.

Cheers everyone.


Michael Says:

Those critical errors made in the tie break cost Federer the match. He had a easy drop shot to make leading 4-2 in the tie break which if it had materialized would have made the score 5-2, but that was not to be and Federer missed that. That lost him the match. Who knows if Federer had taken that second set, the match might have loaded in his favour although you can never discount Nadal who is a valiant fighter till his last breath. But this is the story of Federer against Nadal. He just fails to convert the many break points he gets by making silly errors. As Ben rightly pointed out, Nadal is in his head and that is the reason for such a terrible record he has against him. Even in Hard Courts, Nadal owns him and it is only 5-4, but still Nadal has beaten Federer in Australian Open which means much more than a ordinary tournament.


Huh Says:

Michael:

Nadal is a valiant fighter of course, but Federer too is. But one thing we need to reaffirm is Nadal also has SHOTS, he’s a shotmaker too, not as good as Fed, but still Nadal is a classic shot maker. Whenever WIM 07/08 or AUS 09 or the clay season comes to mind, Nadal’s shot-making and his figure and posture while hitting his FHs/BH/serve automatically peeps into memory and to be honest, despite being a utter Fed fan, I give up Rafa a stand-up applause within myself. How poor tennis indeed would have been without Rafa! One cannot measure his contribution to tennis or describe his legacy in ordnary words. The picture of Rafa holding a tennis racquet and hitting his shots bouncing and jumping mid-air certainly gives me some amount of pleasure as a tennis fan and forces me to HIGHLY admire him. Fed is IMO indeed better than Rafa tennis-wise, but Rafa is no ordinary player either. Just sharing my feelings with you.


Huh Says:

Does anybody think Fed has a chance against Rafa at the RG 2010? I certainly think he has the chance, he always had! But kind of doubt that he’d not take it. Even in 2008, at his absolute worst, Fed could have broken Rafa and taken the second set, not to mention 2006 where Fed could definitely have extended Nadal to 5 sets, he’d the chance, but never took it. Am I allowed to speculate? If yes, then as per me, may be pushing Rafa to 5th set in RG 06 would have done Fed a world of good and he might have won too, who knows! I know that Rafa on clay is just too good but Fed despite that must have done something, but he didn’t and the rest is history.

People might like to believe that Nole or someone else had better chance of beating Rafa than Fed, but I totally differ. Only one guy IMO right now can stop Rafa at RG and that’s none other than Fed. Apart from Fed, may be Cilic if he gets too hot for his own sake! ;) For example, last year Sod played a perfect match and staved off Nadal’s challenge. Whatever, but only if Fed beats Rafa this year at RG(if they get to meet there of course), can that be not called surprise IMO. Anybody else beating Rafa this year at RG would surprise me, even if that ‘anybody’ be Nole. This coz Nole hasn’t even challenged Rafa at RG upto now, let alone beat him. Roger had at least challenged Rafa twice. Hopefully Fed will beat Rafa at RG this year should they face off and prove me right. However, to me, winning RG is more important than beating Rafa.

Anyway good luck to Nadal.

And of course, best of luck to Fed.


contador Says:

Peter D says @4:36 pm. may 17th

I love fed is afraid’s style, like a haiku, laconic and precise. Does it have a name?

usually fed is afraid’s posts do not contain enough syllables for haiku.

but lately he’s been very wordy for it and profound.


contador Says:

Lorr @ 5/18 5:51 am-

you make a very great point about the internet and digital media changing hpw we view sports, tennis in particular where i live.

the best i could do is read about the results of a tournament only a couple years ago. really, i only focused on the slams, federer and nadal. even then, AO and FO, i could only see highlights on ESPN. of course i could generally watch wimbledon coverage (taped, except the quarters, semi’s and final) and usually could watch most of the US Open.

everything is different now! i can stream an atp 250 tournament from Nice. France ( if i want to get up at 6 am) and see dolgo beat montanes soundly in two straight sets, marvel again at his ponytail and notice he serves like a ‘ jack in the box.’ he has spring-loaded knees! i love watching dolgo. if not for livestreaming i would not have a clue who “dolgo” is or that i like his tennis unless he won, or got close to winning a GS.

thanks to livestreaming, i do think more tennis fans will remember, certainly the masters and GS details, and be able to see early round matches and not be locked into watched the biggest names only. it’s particularly great if one is a fan of tennis and interested in seeing match play and not only wanting to see the biggest stars play.

in the past, rafa’s and others masters achievements would be lost on me, whereas now, i get it and will remember.

definitely, the internet has changed my perspective. i imagine i’m not alone.


contador Says:

and pardon me for butting in on the nadal v federer discussion,

please, carry on.

i read through all the comments and it’s mildly interesting, though it’s basically the same stories with the same or similar discussions. but everyone loves sequels, right? almost everyone, that is.

i hope someone entirely new wins the FO and both federer and nadal are knocked out. : )


Daniel Says:

The moment Masters final starts being best of 5 they can’t be compared to the same masters Agassi won, or the first masters Nada and Federer won.

After 2006 masters final changed to best of 3 (tthe worst change tennis has suffer of late) + the Year end Masters also changed to best of 3.


contador Says:

why did they do that?

i mean change masters from 5 to 3.

5 sets is a test of attention span and focus. not saying the fitness isn’t important or skill/talent.

i know some of my mildly interested tennis friends get bored watching 5 sets. maybe it’s something to do with viewer audience? 5 setters can be as long as watching an olympic marathon and as tedious, ( for many too long ).

i seriously bribe people to watch GS matches with me.


Polo Says:

There is something about 5 set matches that makes it more interesting. It just makes it harder for so-so players to win it. That is why the majors, more often that none, only has really great players as winners…well, except the French which had a lot of winners who could not win a major on another surface. Most of the French winners are retrievers whose major talent is the ability to retrieve every ball and run the whole day.


Polo Says:

Oops…should be…more often than NOT…


weloverafabutgiverogersomecredit Says:

is it official that tennis-x.com is the

http://www.unofficialrafanadalisthebestandwhyplaytheRGbecauserafaisjusttogoodsite.com

is it too much to ask to be a little more impartial????


jane Says:

contador, totally agree with your comments (via Lorr’s) on how the internet has changed being a tennis fan – I follow so much more intently now. It’s great!

huh, thought your posts on this thread were very fair minded and I thoroughly enjoyed reading them, especially the one @1:38 am and 8:30 am. You also make a lot of sense in saying that Fed is the main guy, perhaps the only guy (till Soda of course) to really challenge Rafa at the FO.

re: Masters Series – I may be in the minority, but I like these events as 3 setters (even the finals) as it sets them apart from slams. It also makes sense, to me, that if you’re playing day after day, 3 set matches, the final should be in keeping with that.

I do agree with Polo that 5 set matches have a different sort of narrative arc, and I enjoy the drama of a 5th set tremendously. But they suit the slams, with their day on/day off 2 week format, more so than the Masters. But that’s just an opinion. Of course people will feel the opposite, and I can see why.


jane Says:

One thing I will say – I think the final match of the WTF could be a 5 setter, but the regular MS finals are great at 3 sets, imo.


KillerC Says:

I hope rafa wins and fed is sent packing early’
keep pete’s #1 reign in tact. he’s still my fav #1.


Polo Says:

I’m bored.


Lorr Says:

contador, indeed that is the other big change – we can scan the horizon for new and interesting talent whilst they are still off the mainstream radar. ‘dolgo’ is an interesting character – he has only came on my radar via madrid, look forward to seeing how his career develops.


Caesar Says:

Till the end of 2007, fed was 5-2 on rafa outside clay. 2008 is when fed started blowing up breaks and double breaks because his serve was not the reliable weapon it was, it was still a weapon like he showed at 2008 wimbledon final but just not as reliable as it was before 2007. The two non-clay slam wins rafa has over fed was after fed’s level started dipping. There is no way rafa is taking out fed at his very best on a hard-court or grass.

And lets remember that rafa is a no-show after wimbledon every year. Look at what djoko did to him last year in fall. He made rafa look like a novice on hardcourts. There is no reason to believe fed would not have done the same every year from 2004-07 on the fast hardcourts of cincy, US open and european indoor and shanghai. Djoko was 3-0 against rafa last year in fall. so 2004-07, did fed miss out on 10 potential wins over nadal? very likely because nadal won 0 out of 4 sets in the 2 matches federer and rafa played in shanghai in 06 and 07.

that would give fed a 17-14 edge in the rivalry and a 15-4 record outside of clay. but well, let us just stick to 14-7 and keep claiming nadal is in roger’s head.

Also one cannot ignore the fact that this skewed one-surface/dimensional play of nadal means, he is always ahead in the H2H. Look at it this way, novak and roger are 6-13 and 7-14 against nadal, but davy boy who avoided nadal on clay for whatever reason is 5-4 and blake is 3-4. so it is unfair pressure that Roger and novak have to face for being courageous enough to man-up and be better players on clay and than nadal has ever been on the hardcourts.

If federer and novak were able to avoid nadal on clay, they would be able to avoid the “nadal is in their head” comments that get tossed up because people are too lazy or too dumb to look beyond the surface.


Ben Pronin Says:

What if Nadal goes on to win 2 USOs, 1 more of each Wimbledon and the AO, and 10 FOs total (8 more) and Federer doesn’t win any more slams so both end up with 16, will everyone still say Nadal isn’t the GOAT since his resume is too clay heavy?


Polo Says:

When that time comes that Nadal also has 16 majors, a discussion as to who is the GOAT would be more reasonable. If Nadal has at least one of each, his winning record over Federer would push him ahead of Federer. But that scenario is still many years away, if indeed it will become a reality.


jane Says:

Ben, re-check your math. Rafa has 6 slams now right?

Plus 2 USOs + 1 Wimbledon + 8 more FOs = 17 slams.

If you change it to 2 USOs + 1 Wimb + 6 more FOs (which would actually be the correct number to give him 10) it still doesn’t add up to Fed’s 16, as that would = 15 slams.

: )


jane Says:

Oops!! Ben you were right in the second scenario, as I missed 1 more of AO. So you just need to change your FO number to 6 more instead of 8 more to give him 10 of those. Can you imagine??


Tennis Vagabond Says:

A few quick points on the zoology here.
To say that Fed is NOT the GOAT because of a lousy H2H means someone ELSE is the GOAT. The GOAT doesn’t have to have a perfect record. He just has to be better than any other pretenders. So, is Nadal GOAT? No, his record is nowhere near Federer’s, its not even close.
So really, that H2H is a red herring as far as GOAT goes. He MAY get there; if his wonky knees turn out to have been an aberration, he could very well eclipse Federer- after all, he was making inroads on grass and hard- after two failed Wimby finals, he won it. Last yr, he won his first hard court major- then his knees gave out (I’m not one to give excuses for injuries in a Slam normally, Soderling took out a very game and well-moving Nadal at the French, but you’d have to be blind not to see Nadal was in BAD shape at the USO 09).

So my personal belief is that Nadal matches up very well against the greatest player of all time, but the game of tennis is not about any single match-up, but how one contests the field and in that Federer has unquestionably been better. Nadal fans should relax about all this- the H2H record against the reigning GOAT is certainly a tremendous achievement and if Nadal really can be GOAT himself, well, time will tell. But you can’t brag about achievements that haven’t happened yet.


Ben Pronin Says:

Jane you’re right it is 6 more. Woops. Well that makes it more reasonable anyway (8 seemed like too much even for Nadal).

But why would the h2h push him ahead? 10 slams on clay? That’s not like 10 slams at the USO where you can say USO and AO or both on hard at least. So as long as the numbers are equal, the h2h can be used as a tiebreaker. But the skewedness of having more than half you’re slams on one surface that’s unlike all the rest doesn’t matter?


NELTA Says:

Ben Pronin Says:
What if Nadal goes on to win 2 USOs, 1 more of each Wimbledon and the AO, and 10 FOs total (8 more) and Federer doesn’t win any more slams so both end up with 16, will everyone still say Nadal isn’t the GOAT since his resume is too clay heavy?

————————————————-

Nadal would be the GOAT IMO if he accomplished that. He would have won every slam at least twice, has an Olympic Gold medal(on hardcourt), most masters and a convincing H2H against the reigning GOAT.


skeezerweezer Says:

Tennis Vagabond,

Well said! And …….

Enough said :)


skeezerweezer Says:

Ben,

You really think Rafa has a chance to win 6 more FO titles? Wouldn’t he be like 28-29 by that time ( more math to figure out ), so 6 more years of playing to get 10 FO’s assuming he runs the table and wins the next 6 in a row…

Somehow with his knee issues early in his career it’s hard to accept that could happen……guess we’ll see

NELTA

But I would agree with you whatever mix he gets of GS titles to tie Fed, then he would be GOAT no doubt.


Ben Pronin Says:

But Nelta, right now, Federer is considered the GOAT because 1) he’s been the best clay courter except for the greatest clay court dominator of all time and 2) he’s dominated grass and hard courts like no one else. If Nadal pulled off two slams at each over the next few years, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll have dominated the surfaces.

Stefan Edberg has 6 slams: 2 at the AO, 2 at Wimbledon, and 2 at the USO. He’s not in the running for the GOAT, but nonetheless he was a great player. Nadal would be like Edberg plus unbeatable clay court skills. 10 FO slams and he’s the undisputed greatest clay courter of all time. But add a few more slams and he’s the GOAT? He’s still essentially a clay court specialist.

And as for the Olympics, not to take anything away from it but it’s hard to put stock into an event that’s played once every 4 years. Nadal was having his best year in 08 and his confidence was sky high, no surprise he won the Olympics. Federer lost the Olympics in 04, one of his best year, but had he had a chance to play it again in 05 and 06, don’t you think he would’ve picked up a medal or two? But he does have a medal, in doubles. Is that any worse than singles? Based on the Olympics, a gold medal is a gold medal. Plus, how often does Federer play doubles? And yet he beat some top notch teams en route. So in a way, it’s even more impressive than a win in singles. Long story short, the Olympics isn’t a good tie-breaker for GOAThood. Davis Cup is a much better measure.


skeezerweezer Says:

Sampras played 984 matches in his career. Retired at age 31? Help on the age……
Rafa has played 527 at 23( 24 next month )
Fed is at 859 at 28 ( 29 in Aug )

:)


ron Says:

this web site needs a new name…fedspin.com? catchier than fed-rationalization.com


dc Says:

If Fed retires today or does not have any significant achievement in the future AND if Nadal wins 16 GS’s and has 250+ weeks as #1 by the time he retires, he will tie with GOAThood with Fed.

The h2h readlly doesn’t matter as it is skewed by
- dominance of Nadal on one surface
- incapability of Nadal to meet Fed more often on non-clay surfaces during Fed’s prime years. Whereas during Nadal’s prime years (2008) Fed met Nadal a number of times.
– age factor: since Fed ages out before Nadal, you have an older Fed playing prime or (relatively less older) Nadal more often than not.

To compare players, No of GS being equal, number of weeks at #1 would be the deciding factor rather than H2H.


MMT Says:

Contador – to answer your question: in 2006, citing fatigue following their mammoth 5-hour, 5 set final earlier in Rome, both Federer and Nadal withdrew from the Hamburg Masters event, which idiotically started the following Monday.

That 2006 Hamburg tournament featured top 2 seeds of Ivan Ljubicic and Nikolay Davydenko, and was eventually won by Tommy Robredo, which was and remains the only MS title of his career.

The next year, they instituted 3 set MS series finals, heavily influenced by the withdrawals of both Federer and Nadal the previous year.

As to the prestige of the Masters Series events – they are not uniform. As a competitive entity, the series has only existed since 1990. However, with the exceptions of Indian Wells, Miami, Paris, Hamburg and Stockholm, most of the tournaments christening the series in 1990, had histories as tournaments long before the MS took shape.

For example, Monte Carlo has held a tennis championship since 1897, and has always been an international tournament, although it was dominated by British and Australian players until the 1930′s.

Rome, known as the Italian tennis championships, started in 1930 in Milan and was won by Big Bill Tilden. It moved to Rome in 1935 and became the Italian Open in 1969, and was generally regarded as the 2nd most important clay court title in the world after Roland Garros for most of it’s history.

The Cincinnati masters event was first held in 1899. Of all the mastes events, past and present, none has been dominated domestically like Cincinatti, with Americans winning the first 74 of the first 80 tournaments. Ironically, a Swede, Mats Wilander, shares the record of the most titles at 4 with George Lott and Bobby Riggs.

But of all the MS events, the oldest is the Rogers Cup – first held in 1881 as the Canadian Championships, and as an “important” tennis championships, trails only Wimbledon and the US Open in age. No Canadian has won it since 1965 when Robert Bédard beat Whitney Reed in the final. Some interesting facts about the Rogers Cup: Jimmy Evert, father of Chris Evert won the title in 1946 and the all time most successful player there was Ivan Lend who reached 9 finals between 1980 and 1992, winning his first final over Bjorn Borg and losing his last final to Andre Agassi.


Huh Says:

It’s funny to see Ben thinking that Rafa can win 10 FOs. Strictly speaking, it’s quite ridiculuous even by the standards of imagination/speculation. This has absolutely no basis.

Let him first equal Borg, then may be we can talk.


Huh Says:

So long as Rafa hasn’t surpassed Borg’s FO tally, he simply can’t be called the clay GOAT. Getting hysterical & crazy over Rafa’s recent clay court exploits is one thing and I’m not opposed to that. But history has greater significance in placing someone at a higher level, history is the judge and stats are the evidence. History is still clearly in favour of Borg’s greatness with respect to clay record. He still stands the tallest with 6 FOs in the open era. It’s a huge disrespect to a 6-times FO and 5-times consecutive Wimbledon winner Bjorn Borg if we start claiming that Rafa is the clay GOAT. Wait until he claims 6 or more FOs and then start the talk, but not before that. Just like Fed’s ‘alleged GOAThood’ was mighty disputed until he equalled and finally surpassed Pete’s tally, Nadal’s clay court GOAThood is also disputable so long as he doesn’t conquer the HIGHEST clay championship-the Roland Garros, at least 6/7 freaking times. Rafa still needs to win at least 3 more FOs to be adjudged the clay GOAT.

My point is if nobody was willing to cut Roger any slack until he actually claimed the FO and 15th GS, why let Rafa enjoy so much concession now w.r.t.? It shouldn’t be that way for anyone! Those who’re so much intent on declaring Nadal as a greater clay courter than Mr.Borg in fact don’t have the right to do so.

And those who’re already starting to dream about Rafa’s GOAThood need to be reminded that Rafa still is nowhere close to it. That’s THE reality. Let’s see if he can achieve GOAThood. Time will tell. Matter ends.


Huh Says:

BTW, Mrs. Jane:

Thanks for your nice response. Glad that you agreed with me about Fed. :)


Polo Says:

I’m still bored.


montecarlo Says:

Most tennis greats (Including sampras, agassi, borg,mcenro) already predicted 10+ French Opens for Nadal. With the way he is improving his dominance on clay and better managing his schedule now I can actually see this happening. He missed 2009 title due to knees, so its like 1 miss out of every 6 years. I expect him to miss one more before his retirement in about 6 years time.


NELTA Says:

The two factors you have to balance are the number of slams and the distribution of those slams. I don’t usually put IMO in my sentences because it’s redundant, but I did in my previous post because this subject is very open to interpretation and I do see the points you are making. What if player A has 5 Wimby/5 USO and player B has 3 AO/3 FO/ 3 USO? Player A has one more slam, but from only 2 events. Player B has one less slam, but a better distribution. They both have slams on 2 different surfaces. All else being equal who ranks higher in the hall of fame? That’s where it gets messy.

It’s my opinion that at least 2 slams is enough for Nadal to meet the distribution requirement. Now Fed only has 1 FO, but I believe that is enough because he is a 3-time finalist there and is well balanced in the other 3 slams. Nadal may be clay heavy, but he would have won at least 2 of every slam so you couldn’t make an argument that he was a 1 year wonder at any of the events. At the moment Nadal’s Wimby #s aren’t that different from Fed’s FO #s considering their ages. Nadal has been in 3 Wimby finals winning one of those. Fed has been in 4 FO finals winning one of those. So you can make an argument that Nadal is solid on 2 surfaces.

I know you were just using Edberg to make a point and I’m sure there are other guys we can name to throw a monkey wrench into the analysis, but 66%(4/6) of his slams were on grass(The 85 and 87 AO were on grass + his 2 Wimbys). With your hypothetical for Nadal only 62.5%(10/16) of his slams would come from clay and he would have won titles on all 3 surfaces so his distribution is better than Edberg % wise and surface wise.


Cristiano Tanure Says:

Roger will NEVER win the three clay Masters Series like Rafa did this year. And most important, he only won Roland Garros because Rafa was out of the picture. As time goes by, we come to know a new face of Roger, that of a REAL POOR LOSER. A fantastic out-of-this-world player, no doubt about that, but a terrible loser, who will probably have to live with a losing record to Nadal, despite of all his acomplishments.


NELTA Says:

I’m getting a headache from the hypotheticals, but one more thing I wanted to mention. This could possibly be the best chance Nadal has of winning 3 slams in a year. Obviously he is the heavy favorite at the FO. He will have an excellent chance at Wimby. The top 3 favorites will probably be Fed, Nadal then Roddick. Delpo probably won’t be playing by the USO and Davydenko might be back but probably not to his 09 level. Murray and Djoker aren’t playing great(that can change of course) so odds wise this may be his best chance at winning the USO.


guy Says:

for people that say nadal’s record is too clay heavy, he’s made 3 grass wimby finals, winning one, the oz open and olympic gold, plus more hard court masters than many of the top ‘hard court’ players. his hard court game is also improving, so expect the ratio to balance out further as he matures.

fed won his lone french open, almost by default, against a first time finalist[a common theme in his resume]. i think soderling even wanted fed to win to complete the slam, like del potro the round before. point is he’s damn lucky to have that and until he beats nadal there, it’s not to be taken too seriously. the equivalent would be nadal winning wimby with fed injured and playing the final against tommy robredo. i think everyone knows people would always put an asterisk on it. i would myself, and i like nadal.

if anything, federers record is too fast court heavy, but that’s because the tour is too fast court heavy. considering the popularity of clay courts in europe and south america, it is absurd that there is only one clay slam and the clay season is so tiny.

more people grow up playing on clay than on hard. it should at least be 50.50, and it’s also proven to be better for injuries.

furthermore, the grass situation is also absurd. why are 99% of players uncomfortable playing at the most prestigious slam? either make more grass events or…well basically that’s all you can do.

as for H2H. if you’re going to say old fed’s losses to nadal won’t count, you have to also say young nadal’s losses to prime fed don’t count. nadal is in his prime now, not back at 18,19.

the truth is nadal was a much better player than fed at a younger age and is actually better at 23 than fed was. without injuries, the only reason he wouldn’t beat all of fed’s records is because of better competition from his peers in djoko,murray etc. but of course that doesn’t make him a lesser player, it just shows that fed had a cushier era.


Huh Says:

They just gave an opinion that Rafa’s so good that he can win even 10 FOs, it must have been more metaphorical than anything else. If winning so many FOs in men’s tennis was that easy in the open era, Borg wouldn’t be sitting with only 6. Anyway, I actually need to mention that I totally differed from the opinion of those legends at that time. And was I wrong? Nope. Soderling proved it last year for me. I know and pretty well remember that journalists and fans have already lined up to conduct interviews and sign autographs of Rafa and many were congratulating Rafa in advance for his 5th consecutive FO. Most of the people were sure of Rafa’s victory at RG 09 and had even declared him prematurely the 2009 FO champion. But guess what? They were reminded by providence that they’re still human beings and they’ve not earned the right to jump to conclusions without knowing anything. The past greats are also mere human after all. They tried to be oversmart by giving such statements and pretended omniscience, but they were put in their rightful place. They were proved wrong and their bets failed. They were perhaps trying to prove consciously or unconsciously that they can see the future and know too much. In that attempt they croseed their limits and the only consequence that they could have faced is their calculation to be proved wrong, and it indeed so happened. To that effect, against everybody’s hope, expectations and imaginations, Soderling of all guys crushed Rafa. Soderling isn’t a bad player at all, but he’s not a great clay courter by any means, most like to call him a clay novice, but that didn’t prevent him from beating Nadal(the clay courter of the decade).

Thus, seeing all this, it’s actually understandable that it is not that easy for someone to stack up GS at will.

I’m not saying the past greats aren’t entitled to their opinions, but unfortunately or fortunately I could see the flaw in their statements, despite being a person of pretty mediocre brain/talent/foresight/hindsight in comparison to them. I myself used the word ‘ridiculous’ as the describing word for their statement/prediction at that point w.r.t. Rafa. And I gladly stick to what I am saying.


montecarlo Says:

Nadal has now played 23 GS. His performance distribution in these 23 SLAMS is-

W-6
F-2
SF-3
QF-3
4R-3
3R-3
2R-3
1R-0
LQ-0

Federer’s first 23 slams-

W-3
F-0
SF-0
QF-2
4R-6
3R-4
2R-0
1R-6
LQ-2

I can see no reason why Nadal can’t surpass 16 (or whatever number federer puts up). He is infinite times more talented at similar age and similar amount of tennis played. I am not putting up MS records coz they are way too lopsided towards Nadal.


montecarlo Says:

@Huh

It has been discussed infinite times now that it wasn’t soderling who defeated Nadal it was the knee injury. Without knee injuries soderling is only 6-1,6-0 material as nadal showed in Rome.

I am leaving one more year due to an injury. so apart from this year’s French Open Nadal will manage only 5 French opens out of next 6 years.


Huh Says:

Fed right from the start had much tougher competitors in Safin, Hewitt, Ferrero, Guga, Sampras, Roddick, Moya, Agassi etc. What competiton Rafa has faced. By the time Rafa finally started raising his head, most of the great players were well past their prime. Fed had the misfortune of facing a near prime Hewitt, prime Safin, peak Roddick, tough Agassi, legendary Sampras & Guga, the active Moya etc. What competiton has Rafa faced? Murray? Simon? Monfils? Tsonga? How many slams have these guys won among themselves? Zero! Compare this to the slam count of the guys like Hewitt, Rod, Safin, Moya, Ferrero, Guga, Agassi, last of all Pete himself, these guys with whom Fed had to deal with in the beginnign of his career and during his peak! Fed also has to deal with Djoko and DP at the age of 28+. All this points to one simple thing and that’s Fed’s faced way more tough competiton than Rafa might ever face. Rafa is VERY VERY lucky in this respect in comparison to Fed. End of story.


skeezerweezer Says:

Boy the Rafa fans are passionate, just in time for FO! Yes he is great, but all those facts about “he didn’t win the 2009 title cause of his knees” and “Fed won by default” and “more people grow up playing on clay than on hard” and “why are 99% of players uncomfortable playing at the most prestigious slam?” and “fed had a cushier era”….what else? oh now let’s compare the “first 23 GS slams”

…what the facts are as of now don’t count anymore…. therefore and if….I know…Let’s turn all the courts into Clay :)

Seriously, my two cents is the great variable for Rafa, facts are he is injury proned, with chronic knees. If he can manage that, then yes who knows? No one here I have seen doesn’t think Rafa is great and his potential is the sky. But it is silly talk to try make any predictions….

Who was the guy who posted earlier…Ron? about the Fedspin zone? He needs to come back and read some of this stuff :)lol


Ben Pronin Says:

I’m just saying, going just by the numbers is unfair. Edberg retired how many years ago? He won his last slam how many years ago? And yet when I say what slams he won, Nelta, you have no problem remembering 4/6 were, in fact, on grass. So why would anyone have any problem remembering Nadal won 4/6 on clay, or in my hypothetical, 10/16 on clay. Everyone’s going by Federer’s 16. 16, 16, 16. But wait, only 1/16 was on clay. Now the fedfans will remind me he’s reached 3 other finals at the French, losing only to the greatest clay courter ever. But wait, that extends beyond the magic 16. My point is, tennis isn’t just about the numbers, it’s about the tennis, too. As of right now, no way is Nadal the GOAT, but he can be some day, and he doesn’t need to equal or surpass Fed’s 16 to do it.


montecarlo Says:

@Huh

Oh nice, Nadal has won 6 slams (defeating federer everytime) So judging by your logic Federer is easy competition for Nadal?
And Safin,Hewitt,Ferrero,Guga,Sampras,Roddick,Moya,Agassi are all better than Federer? Federer couldn’t beat them in his initial days coz they were better than him and its only when they aged Federer got the chance to win Slams?

So why that makes Rafa lucky?

Great logic. Hats off. That proves how good you know your tennis. Wow. LOL :D


Ben Pronin Says:

Hahaha, Huh. That is hilarious. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen someone say Fed’s competition was tough and NADAL’S wasn’t. I don’t agree that either one had weak competition.

Since Nadal’s first slam, Federer has won 9. That’s more than half. And he’s currently number 1, so whether he’s past his best years or not, he’s still playing some top notch tennis. Djokovic has been a force for years. A lot more consistent than Safin ever was, despite both of them being head-cases. How different is Hewitt from Murray? If Murray had peaked during a transition time, I’m sure he’d have two slams, too. Guga, actually, has a winning record over Federer, something I’m sure Fed would’ve turned around had it not been for injuries. Roddick is playing better tennis this year than he did in 03-05, and he’s still challenging both Nadal and Federer. I could keep going, but I think I’ve made enough comparisons. Nadal is not lucky, his competition is extremely tough and steep. Federer also had tough competition, but he gobbled up all the slams anyway. Potatoes tomatoes.


Huh Says:

montecarlo:

Good grief, is all I can say. Nadal fans sure know the way how to discredit someone’s well-deserved win over your guy, but sorry, not everyone can be forced to buy it. The knee was all fine until the Soderling match or at least Nadal fans deemed it so. But why did they not raise it until Rafa lost? I certainly can’t forget how voraciously Rafa fans were celebrating Nadal’s demolition of Hewitt in FO 09, the match before he faced Soderling. But things changed all of a sudden, the tune, the obsevation, the conclusion everything, I guess, in a span of two days then. Sorry guys, it’d be a lot better for you Nadal fans if you learn to give some credit to Rafa’s opponents when they beat him, instead of taking the usual unfounded pleas. Try to learn something from Nadal, if I may suggest.

Not saying Rafa’s knees were in the best condition, but that didn’t alone determine the outcome of that match. Soderling’s racquet was the main culprit that stole Rafa’s thunder in FO 09.


montecarlo Says:

@Huh

You don’t seem to follow tennis regualrly and looks like you din’t follow any discussions here before so lemme repost some links for you. Rafa injured his knee at French Open itself before his first round match and there were serious doubts whether he will be able to even compete or not.

http://www.eurosport.fr/tennis/nadal-genou-touche_sto1952750/flashnews.shtml

http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=144512


Ben Pronin Says:

That Hewitt match is always an interesting factoid to bring up when talking about the state of Nadal’s knees. Logically speaking, the only thing I can think of is that tendinitis is a come-and-go type of pain so it is possible the knees didn’t bother him against Hewitt and may have hurt against Soderling.

Just my guess, not that I really believe in all the hooey anyway.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Its great to see optimism for Nadal’s career, and certainly its possible for him to eclipse Fed and do all his fans are banking on, but let’s wait till the shows over before applauding. Things are easier said than done. Sure Nadal LOOKS like he’s got a lot of slams in him. Probably Mac in ’84 or Wilander in ’88 had fans thinking they would hold a dozen slams by the time they were through. And I’m sure Tiger’s fans thought he’d have surpassed Nicklaus long ago.
But doing things for many years is a lot harder than doing them for a few years- and Nadal certainly hasn’t shown he can vanquish guys like Murray or DelPo the way Fed did Hewitt and ROddick.
So let’s just wait and see before donating imaginary crowns.


Sean Randall Says:

Well I’ll continue to maintain that Rafa’s knees were fine at the French Open last year. He was having parental issues at home (divorce) which was the real issue.

I have yet to read a single story saying that his knees caused that Soderling loss. And i’m talking “day of” story, not stories written the week after or since then.

so did the divorce play a role in Nadal’s loss. It could have. But his knees were fine.


montecarlo Says:

@Sean

Saw the above link? Its not week after or since. Its 4 days before the Soderling match.


Huh Says:

Ben:

No matter how you or anybody else try to spin it. The GS records of Fed’s peers speak for themselves. But you are most welcome if you want to say the peer group of Rafa consisting of one-slammer like Djoko and non-slammer like Murray is better than the peer group of Fed consisting of GS/multiple GS winners like your very own Safin, Hewitt, Roddick etc. And I have mentioned others as well. But well, you seem to enjoy the more logical posts like that of montecarlo and co., lol! ;)

You provided me more laugh than Safin did in his entire career. You outshine Safin in terms of wit. Lol! ;)

And to burst your bubble, Hewiitt compensated in terms of his grit and determination whatever he lacked in comparison to the talented Safin. And so far as I have seen , Safin’s 2005 win vs Fed and Hewitt’s 2003 win vs Fed stand on almost equal footing, may not be in terms of significance, but certainly in terms of matchplay, shotmaking and fighting spirit. You could have remembered much better anout the great victorieds of players like Hewitt or Nalby against Fed alongwith the win of Safin, but it’s a hope against hope to expect this from you considering your absolute biasedness towards Marat Safin. For you there’s only Marat Safin and no Hewitt or Roddick or anyone else. By the way, I am by no way insulting Nadal here, nor have I got any interest in doing that unlike you who not only have failed to give proper respect to Fed, but like most others on this site, have always failed to properly acknowledge the true talent of someone like Roddick. For you he’s also a mediocre player and you were claiming that Murray, Djoko etc. are either slightly/far better than Roddick. You were even repeatedly reminding everybody in a disgusting way as to how DP took advatage of Fed’s bad serving, ata the same time either deliberately/ unknowingly ignoring that the similar kind or related thing can be used to discredit Nole’s AO 08 win vs Fed citing the mono, as many of the Fed fanatics do. But oh, I shouldn’t do that as Nole is your fave, right? Different yardsticks for your favourites and different for those about whom you don’t care that much, no?

But this is just not going to cut it for you Ben, coz I or other people needn’t agree to or accept everything that you believe as the only truth. So, it’s better to move on.


montecarlo Says:

And come on man. The guy was unable to play competitive tennis for 2 months after that and even had to skip the chance to defend his Wimbledon title and you people still don’t believe he was injured? See the match again. I have it right here on the tape. Nadal was unable to generate any sort of push from his knees resulting in most of the balls dropping short and failed to bend on numerous occasions.


NELTA Says:

Ben,

Well we disagree then. In my opinion it will come down to the numbers in the end using your scenario. If Nadal has 10/16 from the French then 2 from everywhere else he is heavier on one event then Fed, but has at least 2 in all the others. Fed is more balanced on 3 of the 4 slams, but he only has the one FO. Neither has a perfect distribution of slams and I don’t see how you could rate one better than the other. Then all you are left with is the slam total. At 16-16 you go to tiebreakers. If it’s 16-15, 16-14, 16-13 etc. in favor of Fed you can’t give GOAT status to Nadal.


Sean Randall Says:

Monte Carlo, just show me one story written the day of his loss that hinted the knees were a problem?

How could the entire media tennis world have missed that on that day? And if word was his knees were giving him trouble wouldn’t somebody have asked that day?

It doesn’t add up.

Nadal also made no mention of any knee troubles leading up to that match, at least not in the english transcripts I read.

Feel free to give a look yourself:
http://2009.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/news/interviews/index.html


montecarlo Says:

@ NELTA

16 makes Federer the best GS player of all time not the GOAT. Nadal already got more MS, more DC titles, more Olympic singles gold medals and 14-7 in his favor. I am not saying Nadal is the GOAT but he got too many factors in his favor if his Slam count reaches double figures with multiple titles at every one of them.


Sean Randall Says:

Monte Carlo, I watched the match and saw Nadal getting punched in the mouth as I wrote last year. That’s it.

And no commentators that I know of hinted of any knee issues during the match nor did the press immediately after.


Huh Says:

Ben:

Roddick was definitely playing during 03-05 as well as or even better than he did in 2009. The rain in 2004 WIM final broke Roddick’s momentum otherwise the Fed of 2004(who was far superior to the current Fed) was certainly having problems upto that point handling Roddick. It won’t be too absurd/out of the mind to state that Fed might have lost even the 2nd set without the rain interruption or even the match, who knows what’d have happened without the rain? So Roddick was certainly not as bad during that time as you would like others to believe. At least don’t try to convince ardent Roddick admirers about how Roddick was and how he is. I have certainly taken much more interest and passion in the ‘player Roddick’ than you and it’s only natural that I have followed him more keenly than you and thus seen things in him which you have failed to observe. I certainly know Roddick more than you as you know Djokovic more than me.


Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t follow where my biasedness comes into this. I’m in no way trying to discredit Federer or his competition. I have always defended it. Hell, you forgot Juan Carlos Ferrero, who used be number 1 not too long before Federer. The point is, you’re discrediting Nadal and his competition. Nalbandian, for example, has accomplished more personal milestones during Federer’s reign than before it. Hewitt used to own Federer until 2004. So on and so forth.

But you’re trying to say Nadal doesn’t have tough competition. Uhm, does the name Roger Federer do anything for you? How about the fact that, I already mentioned this, Roddick is playing arguably the best tennis of his career right NOW. In 2010. He beat Nadal just a few months ago. Hell, he was the last player to beat Nadal. Where am I calling him mediocre or anything? Limited talent compared to Murray and Djokovic, yes, you’d have to be a fool to think otherwise. But boy does he make up for it in grit, determination, hard work, mental toughness, fitness, etc.

Show me where I overlooked Hewitt or Roddick for Safin. Let’s face facts, Safin was never a real threat to Federer. He played a few good matches against him and only won 2 out of 11 matches, one happened to be an epic 5-setter. Besides that, he was inconsistent and mentally unstable. Hewitt fought as hard as he could for many years but 1)he’s extremely injury prone and 2)Federer owns him simply because of a bad match up.

Btw, Del Potro is one of my favorites. He’s definitely above Murray, for me. And it’s not like I said Federer had a bad back like others did. Federer did serve poorly, that was evident. But as the match progressed, I’m fairly sure that Federer’s double fault count grew because he had to go for a lot on his second serves since Delpo was just crushing them from both wings.

I have failed to give proper respect to Federer? Now you’re just trying to be a comedian.


Skeezerweezer Says:

@Montecarlo

Why don’t you show me another link where Rafa is quoted that he lost that match because of his knees?

Sorry, I am with Sean on this one.

He also went on to say he hopes to play better in future rounds, which means he wasn’t concerned with it enough for it to be an issue. If so, why didn’t he just pull out after the 1rst rd? WTF?

I must be missing something also, he said he was annoyed, felt pain, but never said he was hurt or injured…..

“Rafael Nadal is annoyed: the Spaniard has intimated that he was suffering somewhat from the left knee on the sidelines of his first match at Roland Garros, won against the Brazilian Marcos Daniel from qualifications (7-5, 6-4, 6 -3). Pain caused by stress and shock during training.

Monday, and despite the pain felt when the second set, Nadal won his 29th consecutive victory at Roland Garros. It is a record since even Bjorn Borg, who won the title six times, did no better (the Swedes had retired this year after his 6th title in 1981, its fourth straight. His victories: 1974, 1975 then 1978 to 1981).

“I still won in three sets, which is important, although I probably would have won even more easily. I had some good passages in the third set. But my footwork was not point. I hope further gains in future rounds. ”

This stuff is all so yesterday anyway…..who cares? Another “IF”


montecarlo Says:

@ Sean

If you follow Nadal (which I know you do)he never talks about his physical problems after his defeats because he never tries to take credit away from his opponents. Nadal only mentions his issues when he is a winner. I can dig out a presser by Nadal where he himself said this when he had that stomach muscle tear but I guess you already remember that).


Ben Pronin Says:

Nelta, what if, not Nadal, but another player won 3 of each slam for a grand total of 12. That’s perfect distribution.

What montecarlo said makes a lot of sense. Federer is, by far, without any dispute possible, the greatest Slam player of all time. Even at this time last year, he had 13 slams and, what was it, 20 straight semis? That’s as consistent as it gets.

Huh, relatively speaking, Roddick was playing well in 03-05. But, the Roddick of 2010 is a much better player. He’s more complete, has more variety, is more fit, is tactically smarter, mentally tougher, etc. I’ve watched his come back against Nalby at the US Open back in 03 and jeez was he doing some crazy things. Huge serve followed by… 10-15 feet behind the baseline going for broke against a counter puncher. I’m sorry, I don’t care what you think I say about Roddick. Besides the fact that I have a lot of respect for him for the way he’s come back time and time again, I enjoy the way he plays today. He’s smart. Not young, brash, and crazy.


Huh Says:

“montecarlo Says:
@Huh

You don’t seem to follow tennis regualrly and looks like you din’t follow any discussions here before so lemme repost some links for you. Rafa injured his knee at French Open itself before his first round match and there were serious doubts whether he will be able to even compete or not.”

As I actually followed what happened then very keenly, I was even more surprised when suddenly after Rafa’s loss, they jumped on others’ throat citing knee injury as the absolute cause for his loss! Until that, they were all sounding like the FO is Rafa’s to lose. Not a single voice of sincere concern was raised by any Rafa fan anywhere in the world. Only after his defeat, the realisation set in. This speaks volume about who follows what.


Ben Pronin Says:

At this point, does it matter how Nadal’s knees were last year? As long as they’re fine now, and they are fine now, and he takes care of himself in the future, it’s all good and fair.


Sean Randall Says:

Monte Carlo, I wouldn’t expect Nadal to come out and admit to knee issues after a loss (though he curiously did a few days later).

But my question is simple. On the day of that defeat how did the entire tennis world miss that his knees were bad. With all the media experts and TV analysts watching courtside how did they all miss that? How can that be?

If you want to make the case that his parents divorce was bothering him that day I’ll buy it. But without some “day of” evidence I can’t buy the knee argument.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Throw in another curveball to the mix. Borg won 6 FO in his career. Retired at only 26. What “IF” he didn’t(Retire?). What if he still had the motivation? See there are so many scenario’s one can make up….:)


montecarlo Says:

@Ben

Totally agree. All I want is people to stop jumping to the conclusions before Nadal hangs his courtballistecs and Fedrer hangs his Nike lunarlite vapor tour.

As of today Federer is well ahead in numbers but only time will tell the real deal. Anything can happen. May be Federer not only ties the H2H but takes a lead in future (like he did with Hewitt and Nalbandian. May be Federer not only beats Nadal in FO final but takes the YEAR SLAM in 2010. Who knows may be Rafa suffers another injury and retires before the FO. Tennis is as unpredictable as life. So anything can happen. We can only wait, watch and enjoy Tennis as it comes.


Huh Says:

Ben:

Read my 4.28 p.m. post. I did not forget Ferrero at all.

You need not actually care what I say you think about Roddick just like I don’t care what you say I think about Djokovic or Safin. Good to think independently but stating it when required. Who cares what Rod was then? The fact that he won the US 03 at the time of competitor peers like Hewitt, Safin, Fed, Nalby etc. is testament to the fact that he was a better player then coz only when nobody in the world is able to stop you, do you win a GS. The veruy fact that most of the guys liek Safin, Hew, Nalby, Fed, Ferrero, Agassi or even Gua etc. were young and near their prime makes the US O3 win of Rod that much more creditable and that much more special. That’s enough to suggest that Roddick used to perform better at that time than now. Most importantly if it were not for Fed hitting his absolute peak, there’d be nothing to discuss for us here re. Rod as he’d have been sitting with multiple slams and guys like Nole and particularly Murray would be now being considered as inferior talents (or whatever you say that) than him.


Huh Says:

Anyway, late night here already. Bye all till tommorrow.


NELTA Says:

The total slam count is more important and is the primary factor, but you look at distribution as a potential mitigating factor. Winning each slam 3 times would be amazing, but does not trump someone who has 16 slams with an excellent distribution on 3 of the 4 and then 1 FO. Maybe he would be called the most balanced player of all time because he produced equal results at 4 slams on 3 different surfaces, not the GOAT though.

and MC… Fed is the GOAT. I know your heart feels otherwise.


Skeezerweezer Says:

NELTA,

Ben and I have had “A history” of GOAT discussions, wish you were there. I got Ben to finally admit Fed as GOAT, with him clawing and scratching the whole time. Believe me, Ben wants Fed to be GOAT and has admitted so. The issue we discussed, involved Rafa of course. ( Ben chime in if I spoke on your behalf wrongly ). Fed’s thorn.

IMO ( and I know Ben feels the same, I saw his post after the Madrid match, it was like “ouch” ) the more Fed, now, and in the future, loses to Rafa in H2H, the more questions are going to come up. That’s just the way it is. May not make sense to you, or me, or anyone else but that losing more and more to Rafa is only going to lessen his ability to hold on to GOAT status. He has got to get some wins against Rafa IF they meet more times, he doesn’t have to win the H2H win/loss record, but he cannot continue to lose against him period. He could “cover” this by Rafa not getting to GS finals and he gets more GS titles, but as far as them meeting many more times in the finals, Fed is going to have to win a few from here on out.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Ron,

Thanks for the link :), us crazies needed a “time out”, LMAO


Purcell Says:

Excuse me Guy and Christiano Tanure. Can you change the record with regard to Roger’s RG victory. It smacks of sour grapes, the accusation often levelled at Roger by Nadalites.
CT: Terrible loser? Bandwaggoning I’m afraid. It’s clear in your writing that you dislike Federer so how can you expect your opinions to carry any weight or influence. What happened to balanced views? Both of you, try to come up with something original, interesting and fair or I will wave my wand, or better still Roger’s Wilson and you will be banished for ever to that cesspit of hormonal Nadal worship, Tennistalk.
CT again: Fed will probably have to live with a ‘losing’ record against Nadal. How cheeky is that? Surely it’s more bothersome to you as it reflects the insecurity wrought upon us mere mortals by the sight of Roger’s 16 trophies,org***** forehand, airborne feet, better legs, better hair, better looks, hairy chest, shapely bottom, multi-linguistics, sexy on-court stroll, suit-wearing excellence……………………Now look what you’ve made me do. Apologies to all.


montecarlo Says:

By the way I don’t understand all this hoopla about Federer missing that ball on final point. Its nothing new for Federer. If Montanes’s spin can do it then Nadal’s is much heavier.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t43hZp0BIA8

Anyway, signing off now. will be away for few days. Hopefully will be back to discuss French Open draw once its out.

Regards to Skeez, Ben, Sean, NELTA & Huh.


Ben Pronin Says:

Skeezer, you’re right. And I think my reactions and outrages during the Madrid final are a testament of that. It drives me nuts that Federer has so much trouble beating Nadal. If they were 10-11 right now, fine. But Federer does so much right and comes up short because of a few errors here and there. I digress…

Montecarlo, the missed shot was a microcosm of the whole match: Fed’s missing opportunities. Besides that, Federer has been a tennis player his whole life, I doubt he cares too much about that particular shot.

Huh, I simply don’t agree. I think Roddick is much better than he used to be. That’s not an insult or a discrediting statement, it’s just the way it is. I still consider him a co-champion at last year’s Wimbledon and that was a much more impressive performance than the 03 USO. And I’ll even admit that I was doubting Roddick would even get through Berdych last year (Von will remind you) but he did and the way he played the semi and final, well, if you think he played better in 03 then I don’t know what else to say.


NELTA Says:

Ha ha Skeez,

You know that was the 1st day I came to this message board and I added my 2 cents at the time. I remember you, Ben, Contador and Skorocel among many others debating the issue.

I don’t know why people keep referring to the whiffs that Federer has on clay without mentioning that the ball checked when it hit an uneven patch of dirt. I have seen other players whiff completely on a bad bounce, but usually it just results in a bad miss or shank. Fed takes the ball on the short hop or on the rise many times and that is why he whiffs. I don’t know if Nadal has ever whiffed on a ground stroke because he doesn’t take the ball off the short hop very often. I have seen Nadal hit a serve that bounced into his own service box before hitting the net. Of course it wasn’t in a tiebreak final of a masters event.


jane Says:

In and amongst all this Fed-Rafa stuff, what a FABULOUS post by MMT on the history of the Masters Events. I had no idea that Canada’s Roger’s Cup had such a lengthy and in some ways illustrious history. Thanks MMT – your post was to contador but I thoroughly enjoy these tennis history lessons you give us from time to time. Cheers!


skeezerweezer Says:

NELTA,

I didn’t know that was you first time up here :)
Well, you are ( and have ) been a welcome addition :)


NELTA Says:

Skeez,

Fed losing to Rafa on clay doesn’t reduce his claim on GOAT status. If he loses more to Rafa at Wimby, USO and AO then that will create more questions as you stated.


NELTA Says:

TC is showing the Madrid semi right now and I just saw Ferrer whiff on a forehand at the end of the 2nd set, but fortunately for him the ball was called out


skeezerweezer Says:

NELTA,

I bought that :) Agreed.


jane Says:

NELTA ” I don’t usually put IMO in my sentences because it’s redundant” – True point. I have a habit of using “imo” and “I think” to qualify claims, on this site in particular. But at the same time, I’m always telling my students to stop writing “I believe” and “I think” and “I feel” in their essays because if his/her name’s at the front of the essay I already know these are his/her ideas! Hence the redundancy, as you point out. Mind you, they could be plagiarizing, but that’s a different can of worms. : )


dc Says:

@ montecarlo – let Nadal win 16 GS’s, career slam, 275 weeks as #1, then we can compare him with Fed.

Also, Soldering beat him fair & square in FO 09. Let’s not blame it on Nadal’s knees.
If he is the king of clay, he should have won if he played. If he was hurt he should have opted out.
For now, Borg was and is the king of clay


Skeezerweezer Says:

Dc

it is true and something often overlooked. Borg beat all comers and won 6 FOs, and stopped at 26. Presently he is King of Clay, Although most believe that will be short lived by Rafa let us keep honoring the man until that happens


Andrew Miller Says:

Ben is right! Sorry about the ’95 with Agassi. I thought it was ’96, but it was definitely ’95.

What about other players? Surely other players have an outside chance.

On the WTA side, I’d like to see one of the Williams hoist the French trophy and knock off Henin at the French. Serena may have been upset with the gamesmanship on Henin’s end but it would be sweet if she could beat Henin and win Roland Garros.

(Then Henin takes Wimbledon, and in the shock of shockers, Flavia Pannetta takes the US Open.)

Ridiculous as it may sound…actually it is just simply ridiculous. It just isnt happenning.


Andrew Miller Says:

Ben/tv – in terms of Roddick and his performance at Miami 2010 and Wimbledon 2009, that’s the best I’ve seen him play since early 2008 and before that, since 2003. He’s a superior player now, but the competition is also better.


NELTA Says:

Here is the serve I was talking about where Nadal bounces it in his own service box then it hits the net. The commentators said they had never seen that before.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3whPQTL76nI


juljo724 Says:

I can’t believe you guys are buying into this crap! Anyone who follows Rafa KNOWS that he waited a week after his loss at the FO 09(until he got results back from the doc) before he mentioned his knee problems. For crying out loud, all the Rafa fans KNOW that he had problems transporting all the physio equipment he was using to combat the knee problems to the point he hired a private plane. Let me ask you this…..do you think it is wise to announce your shortcomings and weaknesses to your opponents before a match?

Why don’t some of you look at fed’s prematch interview at the AO08. Not a mention of the word virus..he says he is fine. Yet he loses, and BOOM! All the sudden he is saying it is the virus. It’s all in the archives. Similar to the crap fed pulled at IW after his loss complaining then about “maybe the lung infection took more out of me than I thought.”


Andrew Miller Says:

Um, Federer in his loss to Djokovic actually looked yellow and sick. Djokovic took it to him in one of the better matches he’s ever played (and if the match had been at the US Open in 2007, Djokovic, playing that well, would have held the crown). There’s no question though, Federer was a step slow that day and he looked awful, he looked like he had mono!

That said, Djokovic would have beat him anyway that tournament. Djokovic had been playing the better tennis of the two since the early part of 2008, and besides, Federer chose to play the match.

You play the match, and you suffer/enjoy the consequences.


Andrew Miller Says:

Sorry to switch gears, but the WTA actually looks interesting. Two straight weeks, two surprise champions (even moreso than Ivan Ljubicic’s win at IW, which may be his last hurrah).


Kimmi Says:

Contador: Hope you see this. I saw this link on tennis planet lol. Gulbis..classic!

Ernests Gulbis, speaking somewhat sarcastically to ABC.es about being fined and kept in jail overnight in Stockholm last fall on a charge of soliciting a prostitute:

“It was great, a lot of fun. I’m never going back to Sweden in my life. When I meet a girl I don’t ask her her profession, it doesn’t matter to me if she’s a hairdresser or anything else. All of a sudden in jail for no reason. Everyone should spend a night in jail. I was there for six of seven hours and then paid the bail. The next day was a tournament, or I would have stayed longer.”

source: http://www.tennis.com/ticker/index.aspx


Andrew Miller Says:

Took a look at Aravene Rezai – she plays a lot like Serena Williams! Agressive, uses the angles. Maybe like Clijsters too – because of the “weaker” serve. Serena has the best serve on the WTA.


Kimmi Says:

Andrew – Venus and JJ after they lost to Rezai, they both said, they have never played with anyone who hits the ball consistetly harder like her. I will search for those quotes hope I can find them.


Kimmi Says:

this is from JJ – “Some players hit the ball really hard, but no one hits every single ball like that. Doesn’t matter if it’s a high ball or a low ball. It was tough to read.”

this is from venus – “I hit hard, Serena hits hard but Aravane hits hard every shot. But I think there is a difference when you’re not supposed to win, you hit hard and then, when you become the favourite you have to understand how to deal with that pressure every week”.


Stefani Germanotta Says:

Federer giving props to Rafa:

In an interview last week with the Spanish newspaper El Pais, he said, “Look, no matter what people say, I never thought my problem was clay. My problem was Rafa. The guy is unbelievable. There are some people who don’t want to believe it, but that’s the truth, unfortunately for a whole great generation of clay courters.”


sheila Says:

federer fans are far less critical of nadal, than nadal fans are of federer. geez, it gets old. they are both great players and very different individuals. anything that comes out of federers mouth after losing to nadal is always criticized. the guy cant win on or off the court. if he doesnt win a match hes not as great as nadal. if he wins a match against nadal its because nadal isn’t 100% and then winning fo last year, hes criticized because he didnt play nadal, as if that was federers fault. they are both terrific competitors for the tennis world.


jane Says:

Kimmi, I read that JJ and Rezai don’t like each other too much (maybe I read that here??). I guess JJ’s comment about the hard ball hitting was a bit of a dig in that context. But who knows? The press love to play up these angles to add to the drama. LOL.


Kimmi Says:

jane – yap, i read something about them not liking each other at tennis.com ticker…looks like things started long time ago…but i think JJ comments were a genuine compliment.

here is what I saw…..

Aravane Rezai, who criticized Jelena Jankovic’s personality earlier this year, took another dig at the Serb after defeating her in the Madrid quarterfinals. “She tried to intimidate me but me, I did my thing,” said Rezai. “She can say what she wants, it’s me who won. She was nervous and is someone not very pleasant off the court. But I respect her as a player.”

Jankovic did give a positive review of Rezai’s performance after the match, saying, “Some players hit the ball really hard, but no one hits every single ball like that. Doesn’t matter if it’s a high ball or a low ball. It was tough to read.”


puckbandit Says:

Kimmo,

Thanks so much for that Gulbis quote. Best laugh of the day.

as for GOAT, Who cares? So much haggling about records and retirement ages and surfaces . . . The FO starts in a few days, YEAH!! Let’s just enjoy it, okay?


Kimmi Says:

puckbandit – you are welcome. I laughed too, he is a very funny guy.


Caesar Says:

Sampras = 11 MS and 14GS

Agassi = 17 MS and 8GS

yet no one mentions agassi in the GOAT discussion.


Andrew Miller Says:

Hi Kimmi and Jane, I had no idea how good this Aravane was! I was not too surprised to see Venus Williams lose in a final against a player “unknown to me” (who I just have not heard much about because, watching the slams, only a few hoist the trophies!)

But just seeing her play, she hits the daylights out of the ball. I watched some clips of her playing Vaidisova, but this clip against Maria Jose (last week’s surprise winner over JJ) made me think huh…this player hits the stuffing out of the ball.

I thought, maybe another Patty Snyder – all the shots, just not enough to make it happen, or Flavia Panetta – tough player but a little bit like Jankovic.

But this Rezai’s game has some deception in it! She disguises the direction really well, reminding me of Serena.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLhW8wmMPaw


Andrew Miller Says:

and…of the great Monica Seles, who I think Serena also modeled some of her toughness after.


Kimmi Says:

thanks for the link andrew. (i have not seen those singles courts for a while, they make tennis look funny :))

I agree with you about rezai, her shots are very deceiving and hard ofcourse. JJ comments are spot on. very hard to see where she will hit the ball.

If she can continue to play like this and her shots goes in (because she seem to play a very high risk game) then the sky is the limit. Her problems so far has been she is making too many errors..she was able to play a very clean game in madrid. i like her, so i hope she continues her great form..


Michael Says:

Now going to the French Open, obviously Nadal is the favourite for the title and in all probability will take the crown and make it five. If there is anyone who can stop him there, frankly to admit No. That makes Clay Court to a certain extent boring, but I would say that is the best surface for Tennis where the ball plays true and is less taxing for players relatively when compared to a hard court which takes a huge toll on the players. As regards Federer chances, I will be surprised if he makes it to the semis considering his present form. But Federer is always a different player at the Grand slams and therefore let us hope for the best. Again a Federer Vs Nadal final would be truly enthralling for the spectators but not for Federer as that will place tremendous pressure on his shoulders to prove that his last year win at the French happened just by chance due to elimination of Nadal. He has more to prove if he reaches there and meets Nadal and the added pressure might mar its prospects. Yet as a tennis fan I would like to see Federer and Nadal play out for the title. As regards the dark horse, I would bet on Gulbis or even Soderling. But this is too early, let the draw be out and then we can have a clear picture about the competition of each player.


Andrew Miller Says:

Can Gulbis go 3 of 5? I feel like it’s the Davydenko argument all over again!

Delpo did it – he came so close at other tournaments (French Open, a wipe out at Wimbledon), so he was definitely “building confidence”


Andrew Miller Says:

Aravane Rezai – Kimmi, maybe this player will bag a slam sooner than other challengers. Jankovic has come close, Ivanovic is playing better, still some doubts; of the new guard, Azarenka doesnt respond too well to pressure down the stretch (the collapse vs. Serena, past few years now); and Oudin, though I love her spirit, seems to lack some tools.

Maybe the Rezai is for real?!


Andrew Miller Says:

I forgot Wozniaki. Sheesh. She definitely has the grit and the strokes.

If ever any of the new guard had a volley…asking too much maybe.


Fed Rocks Says:

Slams determine who is GOAT. The main reason people talk about Sampras so much more than Agassi is 14 versus 8. Otherwise Agassi has many accomplishments that Sampras doesn’t.

Fed has 16 slams, 22 finals, 23 consecutive semis, 18 of 19 consecutive finals, Slams on all surfaces, at least 4 finals in all 4 slams, 5 consecutive semis in ALL 4 slams – such a superlative and well rounded record is what makes him the undisputed GOAT.

As for Nadal, he is way behind right now – he is almost 24 now, so still has perhaps 2 more years when he can really run around fast. Nobody retains their peak form after turning 25 or 26, not even Federer. And the moment Nadal slows down even 2%, he will lose many more matches.

And since 2/3 tournaments are on hard courts, nadal will never be able to win that much year round. He has his two months of fame every years, which is the clay season.

of ALL the players who have won 6+ slams, Nadal is the most one-dimensional – nobody else had such a high percentage of victories on just one surface. Prove me wrong if you can!

As for comparison to Borg – he had 6 FO and 5 Wimbledns, Nadal is not even close to that.

Nadal should thank his stars that he turned out to be a lefty!! A right handed nadal could have never dominated Federer even on clay!


Ben Pronin Says:

Nadal isn’t a natural lefty.


Andrew Miller Says:

Nadal is amazing. I dont think he cares about the all time slam records really. I’m pretty sure that, at the end of the day, Nadal is pretty happy to dominate Federer in the H2H and probably pretty happy to have 6 slams and to be the best player in Spanish history, with Davis Cup titles too.

I don’t pity the Rafa!


Caesar Says:

haha….. nadal winning 10FO and 16slams? i will give a more realistic picture. he will have a kneee surgery within 3yrs and it is going to be the end of his tennis career. maybe he can play one more year and then end up living in a wheel-chair the rest of his life.

i agree, this might be nadal’s best chance to win the US open though. i am quite positive that federer, roddick or murray will win this wimbledon. and if djokovic gets fit, you can be assured nadal will not go beyond semi-finals at wimbledon.


Huh Says:

juljo724 Says:

Guys like u are the reason why we have to time and again point out Rafa’s inherent human shortcomings. But out of respect to Ezorra and aleish 17, I wouldn’t do that. I won’t go into what Rafa thinks after losing or what excuse he gives/gives not afterwards, but what I am entitled to do here is to state that Fed hardly, if ever, uses excuses or fails to give credit to his opponent. Fed certainly respects every player, God knows he’d have never achieved so much if he didn’t have the respect for the game of tennis or for his compatriots. Fed certainly needn’t dishonestly claim Rafa/anyone else for that matter as a superior player than him/something like that just to satisfy fanatic Rafa fans like you. FEDERER IS THE KING OF THE CURRENT TENNIS ERA AND HE KNOWS THAT.

By the way, what bugs you so much if Fed honestly replies what he feels/knows, on being asked about his own illness? It’s similar to what Rafa does when he faces similar situations. Further, Fed never hides his sentiments or distorts or spins his take on anything and states just frankly what he thinks is true. Thank God, he’s not an artificial man/pretender! He simply isn’t afraid of the consequence of giving his personal opinion nor does he want to race for Mr.Goodwill Gesture award, it’s just Fed’s so great a plyer and so great a person that awards of every type including those testifying his sportiveness, spirit and sincerity are being bestowed on him! Only Fed among the current guys has won the award for good sportsmanship(or whatever word is used for that) for 4 or 5 consecutive years. No wonder Fed bashers like you are feeling the pain about that and want to malign Fed’s image, but sorry, you fail completely in your mission.


SheWho Says:

@ Huh – What about a Rafa-basher like FedRocks? Please see the relevant bitter and ridiculous post upthread. Any ‘harsh’ words of wisdom for him/her too? Or is it ok because it’s not Fed that’s being bashed?


Kimo Says:

To Huh and juljo724:

All tennis players, no exceptions, make excuses. Steve Tignor of Tennis magazine wrote an article about this last year. He said, and I agree, that because of the mano-e-mano nature of the sport, it’s very difficult to be at peace with any of your losses. That’s because by accepting your loss you inadvertently also admit that the one who beat you is better than you, and if you think that he/she is better than you then it will be even harder for you to beat them the next time you face them.

Have you ever heard a tennis player say: “The better man won”? No, they always say : “Today I wasn’t able to produce my best tennis”, “I had a bad serving day”, “My timing wasn’t very good today”, etc. It’s as if the person on the other side of the net has nothing to do with why you lost, which of course is not always true. More often than not, you play badly because your opponent makes you play badly, anyone who know anything about tennis knows that. Which is why it’s understable that tennis players sometimes deny it. Fed does it, Rafa does it, Djoko…oh don’t even get me started about Djoko. The guy has already produced more excuses in less than half a career than Fed ever did in twelve years.

Probably the best and most sincere excuse I ever heard a tennis player say was Kuznetsova’s after asked her for reasons behind her early exit from the Australian: “The tennis ball is perfect, I am not perfect.”


Andrew Miller Says:

Kuznetsova’s saying is awesome! Makes me want to see her raise another Slam trophy soon.


Andrew Miller Says:

Roddick says the best man won!


MMT Says:

I thought you’d like that Jane – BTW, I didn’t know the Rogers Cup had so much history either.


contador Says:

MMT-

thanks for your post to me 5/18 @ 2:50 pm

blame roger and rafa in 2006 after exhausting themselves, eh?
R & R needed R & R and it’s not good for tennis to have them pulling out of tournaments.

but i wish a few of the masters still had 5 setters. my opinion.

and thanks for taking the time to write about the tennis history of the masters tournys. gives me a new appreciation. had no idea the masters like cincy and rogers cup were so old.

Lorr and jane-

speaking of livestreaming- i have been watching soda struggle to keep up with ollie rochus. rochus is taking soda the distance, up a break in the decider –big big upset if soda can’t get a clue. Olivier is serving for match!

and dolgo is taking a court with gasquet.

the crowd in Nice makes me even more excited for the FO! french crowd rock! heheheheeeee


contador Says:

and this is a brand new 250 tourny in Nice? no?

looks warm and beautiful there.

Ollie won! good for him.


Elwin Says:

http://emagazine.credit-suisse.com/app/article/index.cfm?fuseaction=OpenArticle&aoid=282034&lang=EN&WT.mc_id=Feed_Credit%20Suisse%20-%20In%20Focus

In his book “Winning Ugly,” former tennis pro and coach Brad Gilbert describes what is essentially psychological warfare on the tennis court. Is that the way you see it too?

I always have to smile to myself a little when I see what people read into some of the things I’ve said. For example, in an interview after my win in Australia, John McEnroe said that I had used all my experience of psychological warfare by stating before the final that Murray was under a lot more pressure than me because I had already won everything. I then apparently also exploited Murray’s injured foot to the maximum. Of course, that’s absolute nonsense, especially as the supposed foot injury turned out to be no problem at all. I don’t see that sort of thing as psychological warfare, I just say what I think. The fact that Murray, with no Grand Slam wins, would need the win in a final more than me and therefore be under more pressure is just the way it is.
______________

Tennis-X could try to remember this, they often zoom in on Fed’s words way too much, but yea, that’s why it’s Tennis-X :-)


Kimo Says:

WOW, Roger lives in an apartment!!!! You’d figure he lived in a house, a pretty big one too. Where does he put put all his trophies?! In a Swiss bank?


Dory Says:

Federer losing class too, not just matches. Move on.


Huh Says:

SheWho:

It is my job to defend Federer first being a Fed fan, and I have also supprted Nadal whenevr I deemed just, before and would do so after. I know you’re upset about FedRocks calling one-dimensional and you’re justified in being such. Nadal CERTAINLY is anything, but one-dimensional. No matter what others think of him, he’s a GREAT talent, A GREAT shotmaker, one of the most mentally tough guys ever to have played tennis, and also very grounded. Ndal has so many good qualities that most people either love or admire his play and his personality including me. Believe me, none except anti-Nadals would call Rafa as one-dimensional. However, nobody is buying it.

If somebody is trying to insult Rafa by stating unreal things, then certainly nobody’s gonna accept it, not me at least. Stay cool, Nadal has a great reputation among the tennis fans and anti-Nadals can’t take that away. NADAL ROCKS!


jane Says:

contador, I’ve found Dolgo and Gasquet, It looks like Richard should come through. Very bad picture at my end though.


juljo724 Says:

Love your comment shewho (“@ Huh – What about a Rafa-basher like FedRocks? Please see the relevant bitter and ridiculous post upthread. Any ‘harsh’ words of wisdom for him/her too? Or is it ok because it’s not Fed that’s being bashed?”)Is that because this is a fedfan site??–LOL

Granted, none of us know what goes on inside fed’s head if anything, BUT, he acts like a petulant brat who didn’t get his lollipop. If he had simply said the FO is the most important tourney of the clay season rather than dismissing Master tourney’s as basically non-essential to the tennis career, then people would say okay. But he doesn’t care who he hurts, downgrades, denigrates in the process. As long as fed gets what he wants–lol.

I started this cuz one of your lying members was talking trash about here over at TT and I wanted to check it out. She said everyone had gone loony. Of course I found out that she also was talking trash about TT over here. Yet she claims NEVER to say a bad word about anything, especially Rafa (even though she has several names here[ she told us that]) and now, right after fed loses, she starts up another campaign of hate, saying Rafa wasn’t hurt “because he didn’t announce it within 24 hours.”

Also, while I’m at it, I would like an admins email because there is a serious issue that they may want to take care of that has nothing to do with Rafa, fed or any other player.


Purcell Says:

Juljo-what are you trying to say here? That Fed lied about his illnesses? You seem to contradict yourself between the first and second paragraph. I’m afraid you are too much influenced by biased reporting in sections of the Fed hating press and too much influenced by your love of Rafa.
Just because an illness isn’t necessarily visible whereas an injury is more in your face, it doesn’t mean to say the former isn’t true. If you want evidence of moaning, grimacing and ‘primadonnering’ fair enough. There are plenty of examples out there.
I agree with Ben that Fed looked truly awful in Aus 2008, and again with his back injury later on, which is the first time I saw a medic time out from him. I also agree that even if a player has known medical problems/injuries but chooses to play, he/she should finish the match and certainly not use time-outs to disrupt the opponent. I don’t appreciate your language regarding Fed’s infection either. You should learn from nice posters-like myself for instance-ha ha, Sheila, Huh, Twocents….the list is endless.


juljo724 Says:

No purcell, it is that fed did NOT announce his illness (weakness shall we say) to his future opponents much like Rafa did not announce his knee problems to his future opponents. Rafa waited one week until he got the results back and then posted them on his website. Fed only waited until he lost to announce that it was the virus.

fedfans want us to totally negate any loss fed had in 2008 due to the illness when you can only really say up to the FO. By fedfan standards, if he was that sick, THEN DON’T PLAY!!!!


juljo724 Says:

the only reporting I have Purcell, is by your own maxi. She started this crap and is as usual, nowhere to be found now.

The AO stuff I got from the archive section of their website.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Wow


juljo724 Says:

I want to say that we have many decent and fair minded fedfans on our own site and discussions are quite enjoyable and about tennis. I am not trying to sway anyone to Rafa’s side, just as the fedfans on our site do not try to sway us to fed’s side. We all just enjoy tennis!!! All I ask is that you look at our side of the debate!


juljo724 Says:

I also would still like an admins email to let them know of a possible pedophile (proven and deported) that has been lurking on here.


Ben Pronin Says:

If nothing else, the YEC should have a 5 set final. There are no tournaments after that to worry about. Talk about losing a crap load of its dynamic.


Desirai Says:

Roger Federer is a TOOL, but he’s a competitive athlete so we’ll excuse his words.


guy Says:

you cannot make a grandslam semi final with mono. it’s absurd. ancic actually did have mono and he could not play a match. it also took him year + to recover. how do people explain that?

also fed did not play terrible at AO 08, further proving the fishiness of the affair. the match against djoko he barely lost and it was a very high standard. the same standard as the usopen final before it and the usopen semi after it, when the magical mono was nonexistent. djoko won the AO tourny. so fed barely lost to a top 3 quality player who was in grandslam winning form. you call that playing badly? i call that losing a close GS semi final. but not because of mono.

you wanna bring up the tipsy match, i’ll bring up the berdych setter a year later, or the haas 5setter at the french. if he’d lost those, i bet that mono might have made a comeback too.


madmax Says:

Guy,

you are unbelievably rude when you talk about Federer. Read Purcell’s comment earlier, it might help calm you down. I guess you will have to question federer’s doctor’s qualifications as clearly he must have been lying or maybe he was some kind of witch doctor?

How ridiculous. Your comment just reeks of sour grapes. I feel sorry for you. Juljo, Fed was diagnosed when he was playing, NOT before he played – I agree with you, if he had been diagnosed prior to playing and then decided to play and lost, then that was his decision. But he didn’t make any excuses.

Rafa knew about his injuries beforehand (or so he says – I will have to read Sean Randall’s post earlier), but still felt well enough to play. There is a difference.

Anyway, changing the topic,

Feeling very excited about the upcoming FO, and to add to the excitement, here’s the:

ROGER FEDERER CLOSE TO WEEKS-AT-NO. 1 RECORD AS ROLAND GARROS APPROACHES
Posted by Randy Walker on May 18, 2010 · 1 Comment

By Randy Walker

Roger Federer has a very important goal at this year’s 2010 French Open.

Of course, as with all tournaments, his main priority is to win the title and add to his growing tally of major tournament titles. But Federer is on the verge of another important milestone in tennis history.

As of Monday, May 17, Federer has been ranked No. 1 in the ATP World Tour computer for 283 weeks. He is guaranteed to be ranked No. 1 for the two weeks of the French Open, but if Rafael Nadal wins his fifth French title, which he is a heavy favorite to do, Federer will have to reach at least the semifinals to maintain his No. 1 ranking on Monday, June 7 and tie the record of Pete Sampras for most weeks ranked No. 1 in the world (286 weeks).

Whether Federer holds on to break the record by holding the ranking for another week still is uncertain, depending on his exact result at the French Open and what happens during the Halle, Germany and Queen’s Club tournaments the following week.

Browsing through the 792-page volume THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS ($35.95, New Chapter Press, http://www.NewChapterMedia.com), there are many more records for Federer to take aim at in addition to his weeks-at-No. 1 accomplishment. For example, would it realistic for Roger to take aim at Margaret Court and her 24 career major singles titles as a goal? Could Roger, at age 28, possibly win eight more major singles titles? With six more major singles victories, Federer would equal Steffi Graf’s tally of 22 major singles titles (which is No. 2 all-time to Court’s 24 titles). With three more major singles titles, he would tie Helen Wills and her 19 major singles titles; two more majors and he will stand with the efforts of both Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, who both won 18 major singles titles.

Roger currently has won six Wimbledon titles. One more title at the All England Club and he will equal Pete Sampras’ modern record of seven. (Sampras is also tied with Willie Renshaw, who won seven titles from 1881-1886, 1889 but Renshaw only played one match to win five of his titles as the tournament holder).

At the U.S. Open, Federer has won five singles titles, the most in the Open Era (since 1968) with Jimmy Connors and Pete Sampras. He was painfully short of winning a sixth straight title, falling in a five-set final to Juan Martin del Potro. One more title at Flushing Meadows will place him in a league of his own as Flushing’s greatest champion. Bill Tilden, Bill Larned and Richard Sears, however, all won U.S. seven titles, the record, but in the pre-1968 era and Larned and Sears played in the era when the defending champion received a bye into the final.

Federer has won 62 career ATP singles titles. Jimmy Connors’ record of 109 is well out of reach, as is Ivan Lendl’s 94 titles that place him in second place, but moving ahead of Sampras, who won 64 titles and stands in fourth place, would seem an attainable goal. Moving ahead of John McEnroe and his 77 career singles titles may also be achievable.


Huh Says:

guy:

You can whine as much as you want, but that doesn’t change the truth one bit. Fed was indeed affected by mono which harmed him in many ways, of course it led to his loss of momentum, drop of level and end of winning streak. What more do you want to know? Iguess you neither actually know the truth nor are you willing to know. But that’s the price of being a Fed hater, no? Carry on anyway, in your usual ugly manner with sickening rhetorics and blatant hypocrisy.


Huh Says:

“Desirai Says:
Roger Federer is a TOOL, but he’s a competitive athlete so we’ll excuse his words.”

Oh, so you will excuse Fed and his words, right?
Good joke! ;)


Huh Says:

To ALL:

I’ve nothing against any particular player and one thus shouldn’t try to interpret any of my posts as per his/her own whims and fancies. But one thing is for sure, I’d tolerate different (baseless) accusations towards Fed only so long as it can be tolerated. The moment the insult towards Fed exceeds the limit, I’d be forced to hit back at those anti-Feds with vengeance. You can count on me for that.


Purcell Says:

Guy-I won’t dignify your emotive language with a response. Oops that was a response. Sorry.

What on earth is the matter with you Juljo? Stop shouting. Why have you posted multiple responses? Why have you described Madmax as mine? Not that I object-she seems perfectly nice to me.

I suggest you both get out and play a couple of sets. That’s where I’ve been and jolly enjoyable it was.
Anyone for tennis?


Andrew Miller Says:

I’m gonna say it: if Serena doesnt win FO 2010, I’d like the Aravane Rezai kid to win it.


Fed Rocks Says:

SheWho,

Where in my post above did I bash nadal? Please list even one sentence where I bash him. If you can’t, then please stop lying.

For everyone else as well -please point to even one sentence in my post which is “unreal” or “not true”.

Federer’s grand slam record is WAY better than ANY other player’s. Nadal’s record is WAY too much due to his clay court success. Both of these are facts.

They make Fed the GOAT, and Nadal close to being the clay GOAT (Borg is still the clay GOAT, until Nadal wins at least 2 more FO titles).

Anyone disputing what I have said above needs to provide some evidence to the contrary.


Fed Rocks Says:

And remember history – don’t forget it or misrepresent it. It is not common for a top top player to face another top top player 5 years younger – Sampras never had to face a 6+ slam winner who was also 5 years younger – he got lucky in that respect. When players like Safin and Hewitt came along, they chewed him up at the US Open.

Federer has been in the unusual situation of having to face, from very early on, a player who was 5 years younger, and a 6+ slam winner. Yet Federer has 16 slams. Infer what you want from it.

Perhaps only Lendl faced tougher competition (his era was just littered with 6+ slam winners).

Lets see if Nadal gets lucky too, like Sampras, or if he also gets to face a much younger 6+ slam winner who knows how to win slams repeatedly.


skeezerweezer Says:

Fed Rocks,

Nice new angle on your May 19th, 2010 at 10:06 pm post :)

Regarding the “Bashing”. It seems to me when posters from TT come over all this starts. Stay over there was Rafa is G0Dlike. MOST fed fans up here don’t go on a Rafa tangent bashing, I see quite the opposite, with lots of other favs up here. It just depends on who is in the tourney and who is progressing. All the “IF’ stuff is fun talk but the facts on the records stand. This is not by any means a Fed site.


Fed Rocks Says:

Next to Borg, Nadal is the best clay court player of the open era, no doubt about that. He might even end up with a record stronger than Borg, on clay.

There, I said it, this is not Nadal bashing, I am praising him for who he is.

As for non clay – Even courier had two non clay slams – so until Nadal gets a couple more non clay slams, he is still primarily a clay courter.

And don’t give me crap that being a lefty doesn’t help in tennis!


Fed Rocks Says:

As for age, somewhere between 23 and 26, players stop winning slams. That’s a fact. There are VERY FEW players who have won more than one slam after turning 26, especially in the last 20 years. And the game is even more physical now. Nadal is 24 – so he doesn’t have too much time either….


dc Says:

Fed has developed a new technique to counter Nadal’s topspin shots on his backhand. He did not want to use it at Madrid and wants to catch Nadal by surprise at the FO finals.

Look out for Fed to take the FO title. F

Fed will take the first two sets easily using his new technique and strategy. By set 3 Nadal will develop a counter strategy and fight back and take that set.
Fed will win the fourth set and the title.


Fed Rocks Says:

And may I ask, how do you know this dc?????

I don’t believe in any such thing. Nadal IS a better clay court player than Federer, period…..

As for federer’s chances of beating Nadal at the FO – I would say about 20%, not zero, but small. Fed has to be at 100%, and Nadal less than 95% that day for Fed to win.

This is just on clay. On all other surfaces, Fed’s best beats Nadal’s best any day.


dc Says:

I really wouldn’t say Nadal is a better clay court player than Fed.

All he does is consistently attack Fed’s backhand.

If there were a forehand to forehand rally contest, Fed would smack Nadal on clay.

Nadal does defeat a lot of players on clay, but that does not mean he is the best. His tactics are the best. Looking from a purely shot making perspective, i don’t think he is the best.

If Fed was a lefty, Nadal would be slam free.


montecarlo Says:

[quote] Federer has been in the unusual situation of having to face, from very early on, a player who was 5 years younger, and a 6+ slam winner. Yet Federer has 16 slams. Infer what you want from it.
[/quote]

Man your theory is totally wrong. Nobody is born with slams and Federer has faced the 6 Slam winner Nadal only twice so far (Last year and this year in Madrid). when Federer faced him in AO final Nadal was only 5 slam winner while when they met at wimbledon final for the third time nadal was only 4 slam winner.

Infact at very early stage (when Federer was something like 2-6 against Nadal) Nadal was only a 1 slam winner.

The point is Federer (especially) and Nadal have been so good that other players barring Djokovic and Delpotro (once each) have been unable to win slams.

Grand slams have to be earned the hard way and there are no shortcuts. your point about Sampras not having to face 6+ slam winner who was also 5 years younger is total BS as well. The new players of that era din’t manage to win more slams because Federer have dominated Slams like crazy. but for Federer Hewitt and Roddick both would have had 6+ slams.

@dc
If Fed was a lefty, Nadal would be slam free.

This is a joke. My reply to this is-

If Sachin Tendulkar was a Tennis player, every other player would be slam free


Fed Rocks Says:

That’s what I have been saying! If Nadal was right handed, he would be slam free…….

Nadal has given hope to all lefties out there. Develop a monster spinning forehand, supreme fitness and speed, and mental strength, and you will rule on clay since tennis rewards lefties more than righties. Of course, lets not forget the racket technology that allows him to put 3200 rpm spin – wooden rackets would do 600 rpm. Give Nadal a wooden racket, and he even loses his clay court advantage.

So a lot of things had to fall in place to make Nadal be who he is. Not exactly the most talented tennis player though.


Fed Rocks Says:

montecarlo,

inference is not your strong suit ha?

Now that Nadal has won 6+ slams, we know he a 6+ slam winner. We know he knows how to win a slam and how to win in crunch situations repeatedly. When federer faced him at RG 2005 semi, it was the same Nadal – though he had zero slams then. We now know that Fed faced a player capable of winning slams repeatedly.

Sampras never had to face anyone like that, ever, who was 5 years younger. His career is long over, so we now know for sure.

Just because some information is revealed later doesn’t change the relevance of that information.

As for Sachin – he’s no Viv Richards. He has choked in plenty of important situations. Quantity doesn’t equal quality.


madmax Says:

nice post huh – and i mean it. You dont come across as someone who goes on a beat, but a defender of federer when needed.

Purcell – I havent seen the jul comment, but will check. and yes. I am *perfectly nice*, well I try. Just difficult sometimes when Federer is hated by some for no apparent reason. Purcell, you also bring a certain humour to this forum which lacks sometimes. (i suppose we are serious debaters, yah?). :)


madmax Says:

Oh Purcell, I’ve found it – i see what you mean.

and for this person to call me maxi, can only be one of the fed haters from TT intent on ruining an otherwise interesting, intelligent discussion.
Juljo get a life will you and if I am not here, it is for no other reason than work calls, or the toilet or food, you know. the usual life things. If you are hellbent on making up lies, go back to where you came from and enjoy a purile discussion elsewhere.

Am having none of it.

Let them get on with it and do continue Purcell…


Huh Says:

Fed Rocks:

I have nothing against you at all, but you appear like a anti-Nadal while stating Rafa’s one-dimensional. It’s as much insulting to Nadal as is calling Fed a lucky guy who faced weak competition. If you say Nadal’s options are limited in comparison to Federer, that’s one thing; but he’s not one-dimensional. It’s just that Nadal’s SO GREAT on clay that his goodness on other surfaces gets almost completely over-shadowed by his clay performance. It’s noteworthy however that Nadal’s proved to be outstanding on grass (what a scare he gave to Fed even in 2007 WIM, though it was justice that Fed finally won, he was simply better. :) ) and great on hard courts too. But on clay, Nadal is simply unbelievable, kinda unreal, that’s why one non-fan may not fully be able to see beyond his clay performance! But that certainly doesn’t make Rafa one-dimensional. Hope I’m clear.

Anyway, I’m glad that you’re a Fed fan like me. You’re most welcome on this site.


skeezerweezer Says:

For TT aka Rafa-ites,

“No-one happier to see Nadal firing for Paris than Federer”

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE64J0H420100520


skeezerweezer Says:

@Fedrocks

Just so you don’t misunderstand I wasn’t accusing you of “bashing” :) I was just going on after the compliment about “the others”


Huh Says:

dc:

If one has talent regarding a particular thing, then he’d prove it no matter what. That’s why it doesn’t make much sense when people say that if Fed was a lefty, Nadal would be slam-free or if Rafa was a righty, then he’d have failed to dominate Fed on clay. Don’t forget that the legendary Bjorn Borg was also a right-hander, yet won RG 6 times! If Borg could win RG so many times vanquishing the whole world, why should we claim that Nadal would have failed to do it 4 consecutive times by now if he was right-handed? Nadal’s nearly as much great on clay as Borg (THE reigning de facto ‘KING OF CLAY’!).


madmax Says:

For federer fans, some pics of roger training and also (for a change), the vidlink is really, really clear.

Pictures of novak and also ivanovich.

Can’t.Wait.

http://www.menstennisblog.info/2010/05/roger-federer-to-play-guinot-mary-cohr.html


Huh Says:

skeezer:

Manyu many thanks for providing the reuters article about Federer. Fed’s thoughts regarding Rafa must put the Fed-haters to shame, if they’re not already ashamed, especially idiots like ‘tennis bullies’.


skeezerweezer Says:

Huh,

:)

Maxi,

Thanks for the link also, nice to see a playful Rog, looks like he is still enjoying the tennis life :)


Ezorra Says:

dc, it’s kind of rare for me to say this to other posters here in Tennis-X but I’ve no option but to tell you that your statement above is totally BS!

- I really wouldn’t say Nadal is a better clay court player than Fed.
Are you serious? I thought as a Federer fan, you believe in “number-of-slam-titles-tell-all rule” because by using that rule, Nadal shall be much better clay court player than Federer. I’m lost!

- All he does is consistently attack Fed’s backhand. –
I call it effective tactic with an efficient technique. If that is the only way to beat Federer, what do you want him to do? Keep attacking Federer’s great forehand like what other players do when they play against him? That is stupid! Federer was praised by his fans when he trounced Nadal by consistently attacking Nadal’s backhand in Madrid final last year but why it is different when it comes to Nadal?

- If there were a forehand to forehand rally contest, Fed would smack Nadal on clay. –
Is tennis all about forehand? Sheesh… That said, I strongly suggest you to propose the contest to ATP. They might be very interested with your proposal…

- Nadal does defeat a lot of players on clay, but that does not mean he is the best. His tactics are the best.
Erkkk… WTF? Nadal IS the best clay court player (at least among the current players) because his tactics have successfully made him the player with the most clay court titles in the world. Period.

- If Fed was a lefty, Nadal would be slam free.
Nadal fans are not the only one who play the ‘IF’ game after all!

Huh, thanks for everything. Really appreciate it! :)


Skeezerweezer Says:

Ezorra with a WTF? Lol…..made by day :)

Nice read Ezorra. TY!


Huh Says:

“- I really wouldn’t say Nadal is a better clay court player than Fed.
Are you serious? I thought as a Federer fan, you believe in “number-of-slam-titles-tell-all rule” because by using that rule, Nadal shall be much better clay court player than Federer. I’m lost!

- All he does is consistently attack Fed’s backhand. –
I call it effective tactic with an efficient technique. If that is the only way to beat Federer, what do you want him to do? Keep attacking Federer’s great forehand like what other players do when they play against him? That is stupid! Federer was praised by his fans when he trounced Nadal by consistently attacking Nadal’s backhand in Madrid final last year but why it is different when it comes to Nadal?

- If there were a forehand to forehand rally contest, Fed would smack Nadal on clay. –
Is tennis all about forehand? Sheesh… That said, I strongly suggest you to propose the contest to ATP. They might be very interested with your proposal…

- Nadal does defeat a lot of players on clay, but that does not mean he is the best. His tactics are the best.
Erkkk… WTF? Nadal IS the best clay court player (at least among the current players) because his tactics have successfully made him the player with the most clay court titles in the world.
the world. Period.

- If Fed was a lefty, Nadal would be slam free.
Nadal fans are not the only one who play the ‘IF’ game after all!”

COMPLETELY AGREE WITH YOU EZORRA.


skeezerweezer Says:

Ezorra & Huh,

Huh, you? WTF? too? Ok, now we need to start a WTF! club….LOL

Same here. I say keep hitting it to Fed’s BH every time or dominate the point around it every time like he has been doing until Fed can do something about it( Do something about it Fed! ).

And that is what Rafa is doing. Personally I think Fed is stubborn in his thinking or weak minded against Rafa.

Guys that have success against Rafa have pounded his second serve, which has a pretty low MPH, and went on to be one of the keys of winning and getting ahead in the point against Rafa…

I remember watching a match between the two and the took Rafa’s serve placement after a a set and a half. Something like 99 % of the serves, First AND second were to Feds BH. Obviously Rafa knows something…….he feels he can beat Fed everytime if he works his BH…….


skeezerweezer Says:

Rafa still needs to keep Unc Toni as coach I guess? OK but geeez….but fire him as his PR. I am sure Rafa wouldn’t have said this to the pressers.

“Arriving at Roland Garros a year ago, Nadal could not flex his knees and was in a lot of pain, Toni Nadal, Rafael’s uncle and coach, said Thursday.”

Again Fed has some nice stuff to say about Nadal and says himself that Nadal is the favorite to win…..just sayin :)

The link:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jYfIHo1cbbmM-RBveWHaZRlgZWbgD9FQOQ880


guy Says:

serving to fed BH is effective becvause you get a chip reply. it’s a good tactic to use against any one hander, and players know this.

actually rafa isn’t the first person to target fed BH during rallies. hewitt did it with great success early on, and he’s RH and has a FLAT backhand. you don’t need a loopy lefty forehand[even if it helps], you just need a better backhand than fed, which isn’t that hard.see nalbandian, davy, djoko, murray,the list goes on.

nadal doesn’t actually bash the backhand as often as madeout. u see him do it occasionally, but really tennis depends on what the other guy is doing too.

also, there is nothing stopping fed bashing nadal’s backhand…oh wait. it doesn’t work. why? because his backhand isn’t so flimsy.

so fed only has himself to blame. or actually the coach who encouraged his one hander…but then again, how come youzhny and blake used to have so much success against nadal? both are RH one handers…yep, i guess fed’s backhand just ain’t all it’s made out to be.


Ezorra Says:

Skeez, I don’t believe I said it too!!! LOL!!! :)


Huh Says:

Welcome all… to the WTF club! ;)


Willie Says:

Is it really about Nadal being a lefty the reason Federer has a very lopsided H2H record him? If so, then explain this :

Fed vs Verdasco – 4-0
Fed vs Lopez – 7-0
Fed vs Nieminen – 10-0

So I guess it’s not so much as being lefty but more of being a great player instead. Afterall Fed consistently crushed all other lefties out there not named Nadal.

Top story: 2014 N. American Hardcourt Schedules: Where Will Federer, Nadal And Djokovic Be This Summer?
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