Rafael Nadal Makes History, Completes Career Slam with Rain-Delayed US Open Title
by Sean Randall | September 13th, 2010, 11:07 pm

Like him or not, you absolutely have to respect tip your cap and salute Rafael Nadal. At the age of just 24, this evening Nadal become just the seventh man in tennis history to collect the career Grand Slam. ADHEREL

Nadal added to his only missing Major trophy by out-slugging a worthy and well prepared Novak Djokovic 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 in a rain-interrupted US Open championship match.

The victory gives Nadal nine total Slams including the last three, all on different surfaces

“First thing, congratulations, Nole and his team, for a great tournament,” Nadal said after the 3-hours, 43-minute win. “You are a great player, and you will win this trophy soon, I am sure of it. It is more than I ever dreamed (to win the US Open). It is amazing to be here in this final for me. Just to get to the final was amazing, and now to have the trophy, it is unbelievable.”

But credit to Djokovic, who looked fresh and in form following an unscheduled day off Sunday, for pushing Nadal as hard as he could. He served well, ripped his groundstrokes and went after Nadal. The guy played like a champ.

Djokovic, however, appeared in immediate physical distress with a lower leg ailment after the very first point. Minutes later into his third career Slam title match he was already down break.

Novak rallied to break back to level things and the journey began. And it was a good one.

Much like we’ve come know in this rivalry, the sets were long, the games were long and often the points were long. But the quality of tennis during the first three sets was top notch, crowd-pleasing stuff as both guys lasered groundstrokes using every inch of court geometry and firepower.

Nadal just did everything better.

“He has the capabilities already now to become the best player ever,” said Djokovic who was appearing in his second US Open final after losing to Federer in 2007. “I think he’s playing the best tennis that I ever seen him play on hardcourts. He has improved his serve drastically. The speed, the accuracy, and of course his baseline is as good as ever.

“I was feeling good on the court tonight from a physical perspective, and just running all over the court and getting a lot of balls back,” Novak added. “It was just a pleasure performing in front of the people who enjoy tennis so much and support the players.”

The title bout was a fitting end to an unusual, weather-dominated US Open which Mother Nature forced into a Monday final for a third straight year.

The players fought through extreme heat the first week, then the wind. This weekend it was the cooler temperatures before the customary US Open rains finally came.

The Sunday washout likely aided Novak who would have had to face Nadal less than 24 hours after the Serb saved two matchpoints in a physically and mentally draining 5-set thriller over Roger Federer on Saturday.

Then today, with Djokovic down a set and teetering at 4-4, 30-30, the match was halted for nearly two hours after another cloudburst. A replenished Djokovic returned to hold serve and two games later he handed Nadal his only set loss of the tournament.

But in the end Nadal was just too darn good and too darn strong. In terms of head-shakin’, how-did-he-do-that type of shots, the Spaniard’s right up there with Federer and McEnroe when they were at their bests.

“For me, in order to win against tonight, I had to be on the top of my game,” Djokovic said. “I was playing really well for most of the match, but then there were some moments in, let’s say, third and fourth set where I dropped my focus a little bit. I dropped my level of game and just a little bit on service games. It went for me. He took it away, and he never gave me a chance to go back.”

Even though he was sub-standard on break points tonight (6 of 26), he still competes so well and with his new, powered-up serve – really his only prior weakness – he’s starting to look unbeatable.

And in Slams this year he has been unbeatable. The win was his 21st straight in Grand Slam play. In fact, during this calendar Grand Slam season Nadal never lost a match point – recall he had to retire in Australia to Andy Murray. Nadal’s also the first lefty to win the Open since McEnroe did it in 1984, and he the first Spaniard since Manuel Orantes in 1975.

Nadal’s also the youngest to complete the career Slam, joining Rod Laver, Don Budge, Fred Perry, Roy Emerson, Andre Agassi and Federer in that historic group.

So now the GOAT debate really heats up. At 24 Nadal already has everything there is to win in tennis – the four Majors, the Davis Cup and even an Olympic gold medal. What else is there? Seven more Slams to catch up to Federer’s 16?

If Nadal can stay healthy and keep improving, at his age we could be watching another GOAT. How lucky we are. Vamos…

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142 Comments for Rafael Nadal Makes History, Completes Career Slam with Rain-Delayed US Open Title

Hypnos Says:

Nadal reminds me of Sampras in a way. Of course a very different style of game, but the same ability to dominate physically. Before he could only do this on clay and grass, but he has refined his game to now also do this on hard courts of all speeds — all credit to him.

ron Says:

“he’s right up there with Federer and McEnroe when they were at their bests.”

very humble of you to finally embrace the past-tense re: Federer

great article about the rear view mirror Nadal is looking in:


zola Says:

What a match!
I am so glad there was the rain delay on Sunday and gave Djoko some time to rest so that he can show us what he is capable of doing. He made this a match and played his heart out. Congratulations to Rafa for his 9th slam win and the career slam. He played brilliantly. The serve was great and a big factor in his win. Djoko’s defence was unbelievable. To hold 20 something break points! Djoko is a champion and I hope to see him win a slam very soon. I think with his last two matches he won many more fans.

Congratz to my fellow RAfa fans here and hugs to Jane, Sar, Stu and the rest of Djoko fans here. You guys have a lot to be proud of.

Loved the nice hug at the net and the great speeches. Djoko held Rafa’s 2.7 million check for him while he got his trophy.:)

The minus points go to CBS for not showing the rest of the match and to stupid ESPN for cutting off the ceremony to show football!…

jane Says:

As already said on the other thread, all hats off to Rafa Nadal; he is the the bomb! You just have to say “too good” on that display. He was rock solid.

Kudos to Nole, also, for trying his darnedest (is that a word?) and keeping it fun for 3 sets of high octane tennis. Fingers still crossed that he’ll bag that second slam, maybe in 2011. Great tournament Nole!!

jane Says:

Congrats to Rafa’s supporters too. Enjoy the win! (thanks zola ;))

Eskay Says:

The resurgence of Nole can not be missed. His shots often looked the better of the two, but the doggedness and determination of Rafa held sway. His mental strength was evident again today when he allowed only 6 breaks out of 26 opportunities. One could not miss the improvement in his forehand with his backhand power intact. He appeared much above Andy Murray and will make it difficult for Andy to achieve G.S breakthrough next year. Rafa has gone beyond comparisons with his peers now and it is only Roger’s achievements which will spur him on in the years to come. His fans would like him to improve on his return of serve and consistency on his backhand. Now there is little need for him to play more tournaments since his current tally of points are sufficient to be seeded among the top two in the next G.S to come. He appears to have fully realised the importance of remaining fresh for the G.S. Like Roger, he can take other ATP events as practice matches. He is destined to overtake Borg and Laver in the next two years in G.S tally, to say the least.

kimberly Says:

I think american med are back “in the trunk” but american boys seem to hold some promise.

I hope novak can recover for davis cup as I know that is very important to him. When he discussed rafas avhievements the davis cup was mentioned and something he considered a major accomplishment. I know it doesn’t give him ranking points but I think it would go a long way to make him feel like a hero in his heart. With that said I hope he doesn’t overdo it. But a win for a small country like serbia is big.

My mother-in law is croatian and they take that stuff pretty seriously.

zola Says:

You are welcome. You should be very proud of Djoko. As Eskay said, he is well above Murray now. I think he has found a side that wasn’t there before. I don’t know if it is hunger, or courgae, …but that will keep him in the top for a long time and hopefully will earn him slams.

I agree with everything you wrote. I hope Rafa now understand the importance f playing with purpose and having a good schedule.

I hope Djoko can recover for the Davis cup and I hope Serbia can win it now that Spain is out. Djoko deserves that title.

Swiss genius Says:

” the four Majors, the Davis Cup and even an Olympic gold medal. What else is there? ”

masters cup? fed has 4 and sampras 5.

great win for rafa. what a player. djoko and murray and delpotro are the wildcards in the goat race. can they consistently step up to rafa like he did against fed?

let us wait and see.

zola Says:

Thanks a lot for a very nice post and as usual, very on time.

vrael Says:


nadal is better than wat federer was at 24

vrael Says:

match fact

Rafael Nadal hit 49 winners and had 31 unforced errors to 45 winners and 47 unforced errors for Novak Djokovic.

Michael Says:

Hearty congratulations to Nadal, the true Champion. Although I am a die-hard Federite, yet I cannot but admire Nadal, his perseverance, fighting qualities and above all his determination to win at all costs. In all the above qualities, I would rank him even above my favourite Federer. Before this US Open, I had lingering doubts about Nadal’s capability to win in Hardcourt Slams and now that has diminished for ever. He is a real threat on hard courts as well and he is now appearing invincible what with Federer in his last stages. The likes of Murray and Djokovic are quite unfortunate to belong to this period when two great Champions are sharing the spoils in grand slam tourneys. Although Federer is still ranked the GOAT, yet Nadal has a sure chance to overtake him in Grand slam tally and if it does happen, then the GOAT status will become a question mark for Federer since his H2H against Nadal is nothing to be raved about.

Michael Says:

It is good that Federer didn’t make it to the finals this time around because with this kind of form, Nadal is appearing invincible. Moreover, Federer has lost some of his consistency and the sting in his shots are missing of late and more worrisome is his lack of footwork which makes all the difference. His serve of late has also become quite vulnerable and he is very inconsistent of late.

Voicemale1 Says:

The Hat Trick of successive Majors Nadal just pulled off is unprecedented. When Laver won 3 in succession taking the Calendar Grand Slam there were only two surfaces: clay and grass. Nadal pulling off this feat on three truly different surfaces is simply remarkable. It’s not been done before on the Men’s side (Navratilova and Graf managed it on the Ladies tour).

Nadal is this year’s US Open Champion. But I think a strong case can be made to say Novak Djokovic was this year’s US Open Hero. He was a handful of points away from losing in the First Round, and came back to rescue the match; he lost the opening set to Federer, and came back to square it – lost the 3rd Set to Federer and came back to square it; saved Match Point twice with 2 of the most courageous Forehands of his life. And still even today, hobbled with fatigue, guts out a set, staves off most of that avalanche of break points his exhausted body was leaking all night. Even in the final game of the match, he found the fumes he had left of strength and resolve to blowtorch 2 scorching Winners past Nadal to reach 30-all and hand Nadal a serious gut check when he tried to close it out. It was the first time since the Madrid SF in 2009 (ironically, played by these two guys) that I saw Djokovic leave his heart, soul and guts on the court. That he came back from that day to reach what he showed during these two weeks means his next Major Championship is not too far away.

Dan Martin Says:

The way I see the landscape heading into 2011 is Nadal as a clear #1. Nole as #2 and with hope for more. Federer’s Anacone makeover is not yet done, but it is a tactical adjustment. He can’t make a grand strategic move to get back to the top. He has to pick his spots and he can. Fed may be better off outside of the top 2 hoping to catch a guy in the quarters or semis rather than beat Nadal or the hot young player of the moment in the semis or finals only. Murray needs to not be as negative as he was vs. Stan W. JMDP needs to get healthy. Who else emerges? It is time some younger clay court player at least do what JCF did when Guga kept beating him the FO semis. I like Belluci’s verve. Anyway, Rafa is the king for now and maybe the GOAT to be. If he wins the AO in January I would be hard pressed not to put him at the top of the post-Laver players.

Skeezerweezer Says:

Congrats to all the Rafa fans and Rafa’s career slam, welcome to the club :)

Skeezerweezer Says:

Nole, a valiant effort , you’ll get one soon !

Von Says:


Von Says:

CONGRATS TO HIS FANS: Mindy, Zola, Ezorra (ever so gracious), Voicemale1,(you’ve fought for your guy with class)Kimberly, Aleish, WTF, AND Anna(I just got a B12 shot to root for Rafa), nADLINE, and any others I’ve forgotten to mention.


September 13th, 2010 at 10:12 pm

grendel Says:

Michael says: “His serve of late has also become quite vulnerable and he is very inconsistent of late”. The fact is, Federer has been the weakest of the top 4 for some time now. There is no shame in that. He’s 29, for God’s sake!

Obviously, he is still very very good by most peoples’ standards, and is still a great fighter. It is extraordinary that he should have had two match points against Djokovic after having been outplayed for large stretches of the match.

So Federer can still win another slam. But only by default. He’ll need to have a good draw and have Nadal at least beaten by somebody else. Preferably by someone who is worn out in the process. Sampras was somewhat fortunate in winning his final slam – again, not surprising at his age – and Federer will need fortune if he is to win any more. Chance can do funny things – but one of the things it can’t do is to engineer 4 more slams for Federer. That is a fantasy. Meanwhile, Nadal will win many, many more slams. It is questionable if he has even reached his peak.

YY Says:

Congrats to Rafa, and hopes he has many more to come! :o)

jane Says:

Voicemale1, that second paragraph was one of the best things I’ve read about Djoko anywhere in these last two weeks. Thanks. I agree; he fought hard in NYC and it looks like his game is coming back. Still a little work to do on the serve and at the net but it’s heading the right way.

Meanwhile, Rafa is the new King and has put himself up there with the legends. You predicted Rafa in 4 tight sets and you were bang on. Enjoy his win; what an amazing year he’s had. He is a beacon for the rest!

grendel Says:

I wouldn’t say the last set was tight. And he’s got more than a little work to do on the serve. If he could serve like he used to, he would have won more slams by now.

Michael Says:

Grendel, appreciate your views. It is not fair to compare Federer with the current crop of top Players. Age is against him. I also agree that Federer will find it extremely difficult to add to his already glittering grand slam tally what with Nadal playing at this ridiculous level. As Djokovic said in his post match interview, what is more worrying is that Nadal is improving as a player with the passage of time and that is dreadful for players like Murray and Djokovic who are aspring to win grand slam tourneys. Therefore it is likely that Federer will not add another slam to his tally. If it stays at 16, in all likelihood Nadal will surpass him sooner than later because I see him winning the French Open atleast for the next five years. There is just no threat to him at all there. Even at Wimbledon he is appearing invincible. So the title of GOAT is hanging in delicate balance. Health permitting, in all practical terms Nadal might be pipping Federer for the coveted title.

mem Says:

hats off to rafa nadal, the warrior prince! well done!

high marks to novak for a great match and tournament! tonight was terrific and i thought novak’s speech during the presentation was fantastic also. i will definitely be cheering for him to win his first davis cup. he deserves it! all the best to him!

again, congratulations to rafa and God bless!

Eric Says:

Look, the GOAT debate is idiotic, but until Rafa has won a similar number of slams AND – here’s the thing that always gets overlooked – post the kind of field-dominating records as Federer did in 2004-07 (winning 93% – yes, NINETY THREE PERCENT – of his matches over that four year span; Rafa has yet to top 90% in any one year), he’s just not in the running, sorry. (And while we’re at it, if you compare slam final appearances instead of wins, it’s clear that Federer has been a better, more complete player than Rafa, who has yet to appear in four consecutive slam finals, a feat Roger accomplished three times. Rafa stands at 3 consecutive finals, Roger had 10 in one stretch and 8 in another.)

Just some perspective on all this. Rafa COULD outdo Roger’s achievements, but he has not come anywhere near doing so yet.

zola Says:

thanks a lot for your warm congratz. It is great to come here and see this nice atmosphere after such a great match.

I totally agree with you. I think the GOAT discussion is pointless and polarizing. Rafa is nowhere near the GS numbers of Federer. Roger has been dominant in this sport for a long time and his place should not be forgotten.

this is what was asked from Rafa and his answer:

Q. What do you think you have to accomplish to convince yourself that you’re ahead of Roger, maybe the greatest ever?

RAFAEL NADAL: Remain a lot of titles, so that’s no doubt about that, no? I think I am more than happy that with my titles, for sure I think is talk about if I am better or worse than Roger is stupid, because the titles say he’s much better than me, so that’s the true at that moment. I think will be the true all my life. But, sure, for me, always, always Roger was an example, especially because he improved his tennis I think during all his career, and that’s a good thing that you can copy, no? So I try to copy this, and I know Roger and me are different, much different styles. Being better than Roger I don’t think so is the right moment to talk about that, because I am I don’t think that.

Anna Says:

Von – Thanks for the “AND Anna”. I know we’ve had our moments, so your comment was especially appreciated.

Jane – Nole just played his heart out. I wish they both could have won. It was kind of strange rejoicing for Rafa, but feeling for Nole and his parents too. I hope he has a great Asian run and nabs a second slam next year.

To all Rafa fans – King of clay, and now King of the World. He is just something else. Rafa has accomplished so much more than I ever thought possible coming back from a gut wrenching 09. I would have been happy with just the FO, so at this point my cup runneth over. I think Rafa will be providing us with some excellent tennis for years to come. Cheers all!!!

jatt Says:

Congrats to all Rafa fans..missed Fed very much during the trophy ceremony ):
Yes the era of Nadal has started..Hope he remains healthy and continues to improve further (oops..a very scary prospect indeed for the rest of the players)
On the list next is the calendar grandslam..
nothing is impossible for this Rafa.
Wow I wish I had 1/10th of Rafa’s work ethics.

Michael Says:

I think the GOAT status might be settled once for all, if Rafa can overhaul Federer’s phenomenal record of 23 consecutive Grand slam semi finals. I see that as the best of Federer’s achievements more than his grand slam victories.

WTF Says:

Is it true that Nadal tweaked the grip on his serve only a few days before the US Open started? If so, that very bold. Changing a stroke just before the most important tournament of your career is something most players would not dare to do. You’d experiment with this stuff in less consequential tournaments such as ATP 500s and 250s.

It amazes me that he could make the adjustment this fast and easily. I saw him hit servers north of 130 mph, and he was having a far easier time holding serves now (3 love service games in a row in the 4th set). He only dropped serve twice going into the final.

If he could make the adjustment this painlessly, I have to wonder why he didn’t do it years ago?

Perhaps Elena Dementieva should give him a call. If he could do it that easily, couldn’t she do it too?

As a consequence of his new serve, he is winning much easier now, and getting cheap points. No longer does he need to wear himself out scrapping for every point just to hold serve. If he doesn’t have to work as hard, this will help preserve his knees and longevity for the future. I can see a lot more slams in store for him now than I would have forecast a month ago. This is perhaps the biggest contributor to making the US Open possible to win for him. That and a quite improved volley (his volleying was poor a year ago against Del Potro when he was forced to come in a lot because nothing he tried was working).

He even served more aces than Djokovic (he normally does not out ace his opponents).

Novak Djokovic is so gracious and positive in defeat I kind of feel guilty that he lost. He deserves and needs another big win like this. I’m pretty sure Nadal would not have been as up beat had he lost the final. Federer even less so. I was moved by their embrace at the end when Novak was seated and Nadal came to embrace him. These two look like really good friends. I hope they play doubles again.

After losing the support of the crowd when he played Roddick a few years back, he’s vindicated himself well and that episode should be forgotten now.

margot Says:

Congratulations to Rafa and all his fans. He is astonishing, an amazing champ! :)
Congratulations to jane and all other Djko fans. He has shown gr8 fight, beaten Fed and got to the final. :)
Just hope Andy was watching and learning.
zinaldo: u have a lot more faith in Andy at the mo., than I have, when oh when will he get his head in order??? :(
von: saw your comment on other, re Goodall and Koenig saying masters are harder to win. Found this v. interesting and may well be the case, but alas 1) Andy is sneered at becos he’s not won a slam yet and 2) all the excitement and kudos goes to the slams. That, it seems, is tennis life.

jatt Says:

WTF Says:

Is it true that Nadal tweaked the grip on his serve only a few days before the US Open started?

Well, i do not think that is true. Reason is that when Rafa won the french open, he had already been working on this serve and his flat shots in the post season after aussie open.He himself on the court told JMac after winning the french “see you at the US open”. Even though wimby had yet to start.
He wanted to keep this weapon a secret till the US open started. Besides in such a short time, it is very difficult to do since it requires a lot of practice to just change the grip and serve at 132 mph !!!

WTF Says:

Swiss genius Says:

“great win for rafa. what a player. djoko and murray and delpotro are the wildcards in the goat race. can they consistently step up to rafa like he did against fed?”

I think they can and will stop Rafa. They will stop him from taking away Fed’s GOAT status. But they won’t contend for that honor themselves.

I don’t know what happened to Murray at Wimbledon this year. He has the game to beat Rafa on hard courts, which in turn should be enough to do the job on grass too, but he lost in straight sets. It was most likely the pressure and expectation that got to him. David Beckham should have watched the match on TV instead of flying straight to London from South Africa after England lost.

It’s not all about Rafa though. I’m going to enjoy the matches Del Potro, Murray and Djokovic play against each other perhaps even more.

Also if Novak stays number 2, we can expect to see more Fed vs Nadal classics. They don’t play each other that much outside of clay, because they’ve consistently been 1 and 2 in the world and often times when one of them made the final, the other did not. They should see each other more often now, and so should Murray and Djokovic.

I’m still not used to the idea of a Fed v Nadal semi final, but I’ll take it.

Dan Martin says:

“Murray needs to not be as negative as he was vs. Stan W.”

What Murray needs to do is take a page out of Nadal’s book in mental toughness. He has the game to win anything. What stops him is between the ears.

I remember before the Australian Open final this year, Federer commented that Murray would be the one facing the pressure. Because no Brit had won a grand slam in the last 150,000 years. He also said some other unpleasant things to get inside Murray’s head. Instead of using Fed’s words as inspiration to make victory all the sweeter, he simply capitulated.

A few years ago Federer said that Nadal was one dimensional. A month later, Nadal beat him in the French Open final dropping only 4 games. A month after that, he took Federer’s Wimbledon title and made him cry. Taunting Rafael Nadal is like taunting Michael Phelps (as Ian Thorpe, Milorad Cavic, and the French relay team found out) — Don’t do it unless you want to look stupid.

Murray has to work it out inside his head, because he knows he can beat Federer and the opportunity passed him by.

“The way I see the landscape heading into 2011 is Nadal as a clear #1.”

Well aren’t you adventurous? He leads Djokovic by 4000 pts and Fed by 4500 pts.

Michael Says:

“I think the GOAT status might be settled once for all, if Rafa can overhaul Federer’s phenomenal record of 23 consecutive Grand slam semi finals.”

That won’t happen. It’s a record Fed will keep, possibly forever. No one in history has been as consistent as Fed 2004-2009.

margot Says:

WTF: totally agree with what u said about Andy. He puts too much pressure on himself, leave alone coming from elsewhere. His body language on court can be awful! He’s just got to find a way out of this negativity. I actually think he should take 6 months off and ONLY come back if he’s going to enjoy himself. Doesn’t seem as if he does at the mo.

Von Says:

“grendel Says:
I wouldn’t say the last set was tight. And he’s got more than a little work to do on the serve. If he could serve like he used to, he would have won more slams by now.”

when you’re right, you’re right. Can’t argue with you on the tight sets being four. It was three tightly fought sets and the last one was nearly all Nadal.

I thought of you when the finals got postponed, as you had mentioned to me in your final post that you’d be away on holiday. In my reply post, I mentioned you needed to cover your eyes if perchance you happened to drive past a newspaper stand. Well, did you do it? Or did you cheat?

WTF Says:

Continuing my comment about Fed’s mind games with Murray,

Fed turned his taunt into a backhanded complement, but it was still a missed opportunity by Murray to make him eat his words.

“I know he’d like to win the first for British tennis since, what is it 150,000 years?” Federer cracked during his courtside interview. “The poor guy who has to go through those moments over and over again.”

“He’s got a lot of expectations… The pressure’s going to be tough, so we’ll see how he handles it,” Federer said. “I’ll make sure I’ll make it as tough as possible.”

“You could be one of those nations that never had a Grand Slam champion, you know,” he said. “No, I mean, it’s just funny because that’s the question he probably gets asked quite a bit. Wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a bit fed up by it. I think he’s done really well, handling the pressure and considering the media in England… he’s done great.”

Victory would have tasted so sweet for Murray..

Von Says:

margot: I always like to listen to Jason’s and Robbie’s opening remarks when they commentate on the MS tourneys, and as i write this, it’s as though i hear robbie’s comments resonating. They both agree that it’s tougher to win an Ms tourney because of the short duration of the tourney 5 matches in 7 days, coupled with having to face top quality opponenets right from the get go. Additionally, the top 8 receive a bye, which means they play their second round opponent who’s alredy got a match under his belt, which can cause some jitters.

I think 2011 will be the year your Andy M. breaks through and wins his first slam. I also think my Andy will win his second GS. If you notice, they like to follow each other. This year, Andy R. was eliminated in the second round, and Andy M., not to be outdone, decided to follow suit, by losing in the third round. They did the same at the USO in 2009.

WTF Says:

The ATP just put up a tribute page for Rafa’s career grand slam.


Did they also do this for Federer last year when he won the French? I know they did a tribute for Rafa when he dethroned Fed’s 200-odd week reign at no. 1 back in 2008 also.

The guy is supported by a really smart team. I hope someone does an in depth exploration of Rafa’s camp. Toni seems pretty shrewed for a guy who never played tennis.

Losing to Soderling at the French last year was a big wake up call. They realized what they’d been doing all these years wasn’t sustainable. He’d overplayed and was tired and hurt himself. Then he was forced to miss Wimbledon. He failed again at the US Open.

He responded by cutting Barcelona and a few other extraneous events out of his schedule and a few Davis Cup weekends. Result is he went on to win a hattrick of Masters titles on clay (getting revenge on Federer whom he was too tired to beat a year earlier). A feat he never pulled off even before his decline. He reclaimed the French title (he became the only player ever to win 3 clay masters and FO in the same year), getting revenge on Soderling proving that the defeat a year earlier was an abberation and nothing more, then beat him again on the path to reclaiming his Wimbledon title. Then he worked on the adjustments needed to win easier on hard courts (improved his serve so he wouldn’t have to work as hard to hold it). Went into the US Open fresh as a daisy, took care of his knees, and got through his matches efficiently enough to deal with the gruelling final weekend schedule.

Nice adapting. He rebounded well from adversity. What could they be working on next? Winning the World Tour Finals? He’s done everything he set out to do and more. There’s not much left to prove.

leo vixen Says:

To all you Nadal naysayer and doubters may your words be forever silenced…in other words, “eat s*** and die!

Von Says:

WTF: I wrote a long post explaining about Rafa’s new grip/serve, but I hit the refresh button instead of the submit. If memory serves me correctly, I think you used to do something similar, especially with some of your long posts.

In gist, Rafa has been working on the new serve for a few months. When he lost at Cincy, he mentioned that he wil go back to NYC and practise his serve. Apparently, he kept it a secret and did not use it at all during the USO series leading up to the GS. And, it’s the reason he requested a late start at the USO so that he could familiarize himself some more with the serve on that surface before unveiling it. and unveil it he did in grand fashion.

I heard Fowler talking to Gilbert one day during the first week, and in gist he said Rafa was out late at night practising for two hours on his serve. That was before Rafa played his first match.

I hope this helps.

birdy Says:

Congrats to all tennisfans who watched the final. Especially to rafa fans but also to the fedones, as I’m sure the true fans can appreciate a great game of tennis.

After the first ball or balls you did’nt know what to think. Noles movement after the first ball and the way he lost the game was forbidding. It somehow looked like the djoker was out of his depth for the occasion, and you thought: Where’s Roger, this game needs some GAME.

But I truly think Nole showed the one thing that to me is the greatest about the game, how when you try to find your highest peak you have to throw caution out of the window and just go for the shots; win yourself, the game and the moment before you beat the opponent. Tennis is almost unique as it gives you the cance to do so over and over again, until the last game is played.

Rafa is in formidable form at the moment and I don’t think Nole could have beat him more than 1/20, but I do think he left the court as a winner, and his demeanor tells me that he knew it too. Interesting to see if it gives him wind in the sails trying to close the gap.

Michael @ 12.10Am,
On the contrary, not wanting to take anything away from Nole, i think it is a bit of a shame that we lost the true change of guard, it would have been fitting for Nadal to beat Fed in what’s considereded the best conditions for Fed to prevail. The older Federer gets, the less of a contest it will be.

(And as a fedfan you have to think that he would have had a better shot than nole because of his more potential serve. Taken the conditions, it was un-be-lievable in the Soda match. Not so against nole.)

Von Says:

Wertheim’s 50 thoughts from the USO:


Wertheim’s 5 thoughts from the USO — some good stuff on the Joker in this one as well as for Nadal:

US Tennis had some very good wins: The Bryans won Another GS, inching closer to the Woodies’ GS record.

Additionally, Bob and Likesl Huber won the mixed doubles, and Jack Solck won the boys title.

All in all, not bad for American tennis.

Von Says:

From Yahoo sports: nadal completes Career GS in NYC:


pro rafa Says:


awesome coverage at this USO
a MUST see!!:-)

leo vixen Says:

Oh yeah, thank goodness Nole was rested and fresh so that all his fans would have no excuses (even when he didn’t offer any up) for his loss to Rafa. He played a great game and was a true champion as well. Congratulations to both players and thanks for a great final.

pro rafa Says:

rafael nadal i believe has reached a point in his career where he does not go chasing after every point played in a match. this was evident in his straight set thrashing of mikhail youzhny where it looked like he was just ambling across the court and hitting winners at will on youzhny’s serve…. he carried that confidence against nole in the finals and it paid off…. there has been no radical change in the world no1’s game, insted he has added a few deadly dimension to his already enviable arsenal of serves forehands backhands and returns… he’s holding his serve more consistently than he did less than a year ago,in turn that has allowed him more free points in his game and has given him the freedom and the confidence to handle the bigger points better
i believe nadal is just beginning to enter his prime… once he is in his prime,he will be utterly invincible on any surface as federer once used to be
this AO is already promising to be a cliffhanger between the top three in the world…. hopin for nadal’s 10th grand slam
long live the king Rafael nadal

pro rafa Says:

and oh…i forgot to mention
this was the only GS where i actually felt for djoko… u were amazing and as Rafa said, u r gonna win more majors in the years to come
good luck djokovic
u play extraordinary tennis… i will always admire u for ur antics on the court as well as of it:-)

pro rafa Says:

i meant
i will always admire u for ur antics on the court as well as off it… not
i will always admire u for ur antics on the court as well as of it

Eskay Says:

It is possible for the achievements of Roger and Rafa to coexist for the fans to marvel at the era they have witnessed. Notwithstanding Roger’s loss in recent G.S, he will again be the player most feared across the net, atleast by non-elite players. Come A.O and again most of the contenders in his half will curse their luck with the draw. What may perhaps happen that he might find himself in the same draw as Rafa, being number 3 in the seedings. That would rob the fans of seeing the real finals with the best two. Roger is too proud to be number 3 for long time. One remembers the incident of Borg catching the flight out of U.S Open, never to return to any G.S. Perhaps the very thought of being the second best behind Johny Mac was irreconcilable for him. Tennis would lose a lot if the story were to repeat itself.

fern Says:

by Sean Randall

‘Like him or not, you absolutely have to respect tip your cap and salute Rafael Nadal.’

Sean, this is such an ungracious way to start an article celebrating such a great achievement by Rafa. It is obvious that you don’t like him, but you can surpress your feelings just on this occasion.

Sazzy Falak Says:

“”I don’t go to practice just to practice. I go to practice to learn something.”

-Rafa Nadal

TGiT Says:

We may not know who but there is always somebody in the wings waiting to challenge the number one player.

Can Rafa handle the target on his back or is he still going to falsely believe he is never the favorite no matter where he plays.

grendel Says:

Eric says:”Just some perspective on all this. Rafa COULD outdo Roger’s achievements, but he has not come anywhere near doing so yet.”

Agreed that the so-called GOAT debate is nonsensical. I’ve noticed, however, that the players seem to subscribe to the GOAT concept. It has been common parley among them that Fed is the GOAT, and now Djokovic has suggested that Nadal may be in the process of becoming GOAT. Expect that line of thought to increase AMONG THE PLAYERS.

There is no reason to suppose that Federer and Nadal are immune from GOAT belief. Given that they are, for the time being anyway, the ones right at the very heart of the idea, they would be almost inhumanly modest were they to be the exceptions to the rule and to disavow it.

Of course Nadal is very cautious in his public comments, that is only sensible and natural. He will want to wait until he has overtaken Fed in the slam count – and leaving aside what that will mean to himself (imagination not here required)he will know what it means in the public eye, and there won’t be a shortage of voracious fans to spell it out for him.

Meanwhile, it may be pointless as some people have averred, but it is human nature to speculate. We all do it, it’s only natural, and it’s not as if speculation is meant to be ironclad prediction. Reality has a way of spoiling everyone’s tips and making them look silly. Even so, it’s normal, especially on a blog like this.

So personally, I am more convinced than I have ever been that Nadal will win many, many more slams. Difficult to see what can get in the way of his winning more than Federer’s haul. Put like that, it sounds a bit childish – but records in a way are, aren’t they? But it’s impossible not to be fascinated by them.

montecarlo Says:

Congrats to All Nadal Supporters and more Slaps to all the Haters. :)

THE BEST IS YET TO COME- I think this US Open Nadal’s Backhand was worst it has ever been. Usually its the more reliable shot but he was missing it ever since the Hard Court season began and it only got worse during the USO. Infact it was really poor in the final. I have never seen Rafa hitting lower part of the net so many times. Only good thing about backhand was slice was somewhat decent and that kept him in the rallies.Apart from those slices all he did with his backhand was two beautiful flick passes.

Alarming thing for other players is Nadal was nowhere near his best and yet he won this tournament so convincingly. Just get your act together with the backhand Man and sky is the limit.

Vulcan Says:

Those three aces that Nadal hit to win the third set were absolutely, unequivocally, undeniably, clinically insane. Djokovic was dialed in deeper then I think I’ve ever seen him and absolutely refused to lose a baseline rally. Nadal simply said, OK, there is only one possible way that I can take this set from him and requires doing the impossible (particularly impossible for a guy who hits what?..two aces per millennium). Those aces were the turning point in the match and Djokovic from there on in seemed deflated. This win raises serious new questions in the GOAT department analysis and should, once, and forever lay to bed all of the comments of the variety: “buuuuut noooooo, heeeee can’t play on FAST hardccccccourts – pleeeeeease teeeeeell me it isn’t sooooooooooooooooooooooo”

vrael Says:

Federer had won eight grand slam titles by the age of 25. Nadal has, at 24 and three months, won nine. The Spaniard is on record pace.



dari Says:

Congratulations to rafa. Such a prodigy! There’s no telling what this guy can do. I need to embrace him better, I suppose. Cause I think we are seeing something extra special. Mayne I aS not prepared to see it so soon, so o wasn’t ready, but… what an athlete.
Also congrats to nole getting bafk to a maojr final. I wish him another slam win as soon as possible!
Cheers to tennis.

Swiss genius Says:

” A few years ago Federer said that Nadal was one dimensional. A month later, Nadal beat him in the French Open final dropping only 4 games. A month after that, he took Federer’s Wimbledon title and made him cry. Taunting Rafael Nadal is like taunting Michael Phelps (as Ian Thorpe, Milorad Cavic, and the French relay team found out) — Don’t do it unless you want to look stupid. ”

wtf :

fed made that 1dimensional comment during 2006 clay season and it was an apt remark then. he also called rafa on illegal coaching then. both were apt remarks. contrary to what many jacka$$es claim, fed is not the one to be afraid and hide behind diplomacy. he voices his opinion as a leader must and is hardly banal or cliched. same goes for the comment he made about murray’s passive game in 2008 in dubai when he lost. many people said that was sour grapes. but most of those people were criticizing murray’s passive game 2yrs later as if they have reinvented the wheel.

fed is mature enough to know that bullies will always die a horrible death, when all is said and done. he and roddick are the best statesmen in the sports world, presently. they are pro-active and their leadership extends beyond the tennis world.

jane Says:

grendel “Expect that line of thought to increase AMONG THE PLAYERS.”

Yeah, it’s true that GOAT seems to be a topic for discussion all over the place; however, do you think this is mainly due to the pundits and press hype? Have a look at the questions asked of the players; they don’t have much choice in their replies it seems

Hope you had a fun couple of days off / away.

margot, Keep the faith. Andy M. was already in a slam final this year; next year, he can go further and win one; my money’s on him for winning Wimbledon one day, and also a hard court slam. Keep me posted on the coach situation. I checked his website yesterday but no announcements yet, only that they’re looking seriously.

Abbie from Cape Town Says:

What is not to like, Sean?

grendel Says:

jane -“Have a look at the questions asked of the players; they don’t have much choice in their replies it seems”. Yes, and of course “press and pundit hype” all play a role. But I have often noticed the players volunteering the goat idea. Like it or not, it’s caught the public mind. Silly old public.

Vulcan, yeah, those aces were something else. Alarming fella, this Nadal….

Twocents Says:

First, thank Djok for taking the beat for Fed — just kidding.

Gutsy fight from Djok. Keep it up, kiddo.

2ndly, imho, we Fed fans owe Brad Gilbert a huge “Thank u!” But for his remark of new GOAT, Fed might foolishly (again) to play their dream final, and fulfiled Nadal’s career-beat-Roger-slam :-))! I’m so glad that Fed did not play along with the media narrative this time — not that he had choices when Djok played that well.

Last but not the least, thank Nadal for zooming in. Nadal is God’s gift for some Fedtard like me. I’d rather watch Fed shanking FH & BH & everything all day just to wait for a glimpse of those beautiful shots. Facing the fatal competition from cutie pies named Charlene and Myla for Fed’s priorities, Nadal’s chase of Fed’s marks, alng with all the media hypes, now is the best tricks to keep Fed on the court, much more effective than the life-time Wilson, 10-year Nike and Credit Suisse terms. Will I fault Fed if he fails to hold off the chasing pack? Nope! Nobody beats time. But, stay on tour as long as possible.

guy Says:

Swiss genius

if fed was the amazing class act you claim, he wouldn’t be saying disparaging things about up and coming players, players who have nothing but respect and kind words for him. you won’t find an interview where nadal or murray have anything negative to say about federer. and nadal would have certainly been justified in pointing out fed’s childish hawkeye tantrums at 07 wimbledon or the stage hogging crybaby routine at the 09 Oz.

and if you think roddick is a great statesman for the sport, you really have no concept of good sportsmanship.

Kimberly Says:

Woke up this morning and had to check the web to make sure it wasn’t a dream. So happy for Rafa.

My five year old woke up and asked “who won” and cried really hard this morning as his two favs (rafa and novak) were playing. He said he wanted it to be a tie. He said that they both worked so hard its sad someone had to lose. I told him mamas internet friends Jane and Sar could sympathize with him. I told him Novak still got a trophy, just a smaller one, and has many chances to win in the future and that he beat everyone except Rafa (his other fav). Not sure where the Novak love came from. I am a Rafa fan, my husband is a Fed fan. I guess 5 year olds can make up their own mind. He is still intent on Rafa and now Novak as well coming to his birthday party as he told me this morning he needs to get a bigger chairs for Rafa and Novak so they can sit at the table with him and all of his friends. Believe it or not I will email the teams and see if they can mail a card or send an email wishing him a happy birthday.

Other than that slight hiccup I am so so so happpy! Congrats to Rafa on really bringing it to the USO 2010!!!!!

Swiss genius Says:

guy :

tell me your idea of a class act and i will show you a coward who can never be a leader. i never said fed was a class act or saint. i said he takes a stance and as has been proved, he was not wrong on those comments.

you are in the minority if you think roddick and federer’s off-court contributions are belittled by people who want to criticize them as cry babies and spoilt brats for being flawed like any other human.

i will not indulge in mudslinging by calling rafa a cheater for illegal coaching or unhygienic for picking his butt or spitting on court.

skeezerweezer Says:


Do we have to go through this again? Go to Feds wiki page and take a look at the sportsmenships awards, which is ANOTHER record he owns….

Keep the posts on Rafa, it’s is day, your day, and what a class guy HE is…..

skeezerweezer Says:

it’s HIS(Rafa) day,


I think Rafa’s BH is fine, he seemed to be trying to hit it flatter this tourney, which is gonna produce more errors for Rafa, I am sure he’ll get his UE’s down on that side once he gets to the slower courts. Just goes to show ya he is proven to always be improving and tooling his game…

jane Says:

Kimberly, adorable. : ) Thanks for sharing; you’ve got a young blooming tennis fan there!

Skeezerweezer Says:


For Rafa fans,,,,,well,,,heck,,,,wait,,,,,for all tennis fans

TGiT Says:

I think we can all come together and agree on one thing; Federer’s superior head of hair. It flows in the wind just like his game. :-)

Come on now, we all know that Nadal will be bald in a year or two, no?

TGiT Says:

I will give Nadal credit for having hotter babes in his box then Fed.

Twocents Says:

Not sure about “superior” hair. But for sure Fed was quite annoyed that his curl no.2888 was out of place when he blew up the two MPs.

Von Says:

OMG TwoCents: You are a screamer!!!!!!

LOL. His 2888th curl blew out of place, and there you were, with his Polymer curling iron to fix it for TV take No. 20. LOOOL.

I’ve had my laugh for the day. this is so funny.

killerc Says:

I will continue to say this til the end! roger is not the goat. why? he came @ a time with lack of competition!! the 90’s champs were retiring and the new wave was just coming. He was able to get his wins in – yes thus u see that high winning percentage for the 4 yrs and 20+ gs semi streak. BUT his h2h against rafas is low. RAFA is already a career GS champ @ 24. and mad upswing. I’d definitely call RAFA the GOAT of Defensive tennis! If anything I’d still say laver is the mark of GOAT in singles. calendar GS 7 yrs apart, longevity! I’d be willing to peg Sampras as the greatest fast hardcourt & grass champ any day. Agassi as the cool guy with heart GOAT. Borg with ICEMAN GOAT and FEDEX as the Domination w/butterfly movement GOAT. McEnroe the GOAT All around with Singles/DOUBLES combined.
But Congratz RAFA! bring back the sleeveless and than things will be right hah. Next yr he wont win, the competition will be back – DELPO.

Vulcan Says:

Once again a player has come tantalizingly close to achieving the Year Grand Slam. Nadal and Federer are the only two player’s since Laver to be complete enough to come close. Unfortunately it seems that Federer’s chance to do it has slipped away. The question is…is Nadal’s best chance to do it in the future or has it passed already? There seem to be three primary factors that count when it comes to the GOAT consensus: quantity of slams, completeness of slams, and consecutiveness of slams. Nadal has already outdone Federer in one of those. The fact that Nadal has a winning record against Federer in Slams doesn’t even seem to factor in much to the GOAT debate.

Twocents Says:

Now that you know, Von. Did you really believe Bernake & gang were discussig bank deposit rules in Basel this past Sunday? They were talking about the uch more urgent issue: Fed’s curl misconduct at Flushing.

Von Says:

Two Cents: a misdemeanour of the worst kind — the tragedy of the fallen curl No. 2888. Lloyd’s of London were there in the discussion also. The group was trying to come to an amicable solution of why the curl had fallen, and who’s liability insurance should be reviewed and increased. Also, should the rate be calculated in Euro dollars or British pounds? The insurance on his curl has now been funneled down to the end user — you and me. LOOL.

Stay tuned for more as the world turns on the tragedy of Federer’s fallen curl No. 28888.

margot Says:

Twocents: “Fed’s curl misconduct.” LOL :) We should have our very own Tennisx “Bad Hair Competition” and that’s just for the guys…

TGiT Says:

Now I know why everyone switched to HDTV. You can literally count the hair on his head.

Twocents Says:

Von: I’d suggest Chinese Yuan — for its uprising potential.

margot: Agassi always won “Good hair” competition.

TGiT: You’d need LaserTV to be able to count Fed’s hair. HDTV can only count Agassi’s.

TGiT Says:

I like to think I was one of the first to notice that Agassi’s “hair” was actually attached to his hat. Everytime he pulled his hat down his hair went up in the back. Shows you how good he is to win tournys with a wig on.

jane Says:

“Shows you how good he is to win tournys with a wig on.” LOL, indeed. But he got even better when he went hairless. Maybe Roger should abandon his curls altogether? ;)

Twocents Says:

“Image is everything”

— Andrew Agassi, 1990

“Let it go, Pete. We both knew the trick.”

— Andrew Agassi, 2010 (Indy Wells)

Agassi has found his Dharma.

dari Says:

Thought I put it somewhere here, but can’t find it, I want to say CONGRATULATIONS, RAFA NADAL! Looks like he is gonna take over the world and he is quite a sweet kid. Twas hard to get back after a fed loss with match points, but rafa is too superb of an athlete and too sweet a guy for me to stay down too long!
I just hope for a couple more HIGHLY COMPETITIVE finals between he and rog before its all done. Actually I generally look forward to some highly competitive tennis in general. I want nole, Andy m, Delpo, hey I will even throw in isner and the other swiss stan to start snatching up titles! MaJOR ONES! I know, far fetched with stan, etc., but I loved his tennis when I saw him at uso.
Anyway, its supposed to be about rafa, so great work, you psycho tennis playing sun of a gun.
And a BIG PROPS to nole, back in major finals and hopefully taking home another one soon!
It must be love.

Sam Says:

I’ll cut to the chase- If Rafa wins the calendar slam (4 consecutive slams in one year), achieves and equal number of slams as Roger, is No.1 for close to 200+ weeks, then one can make a STRONG case that Rafa is the GOAT. Until that time comes, everything is speculation.

Rafa is headed in the right direction and what he has achieved so far is incredible. WELL DONE!

zola Says:

I have seen several articles about Rafa’s win and a couple the commend Djoko on his heart and his sportsmanship. He was amazing. From that fantastic match against Roger, saving match points on his second serve to giving us a great fight in the final against Rafa.
Then he did even more. He came to the other side of the net and gave Rafa a hug. He held his check and then during his talk and his post match press conference gave the biggest complements to Rafa. I think he won as many hearts during this championship as Rafa did. His presence made this final very special.
Ajde Nole!

zola Says:

I think the number one in the trunk should be the TV coverage of the final in the US. First they moved the second half of the final to ESPN! and then they rushed the players during their speeches, …hey RAfa thanks here is your check, her eis the trophy, go home! and they cut it off to go to football!!!!!!????

They guy had just completed his career slam! No comments, no final words from commentators, no good bye! that was a shame! CBS and ESPN F-!

Vulcan Says:


It shouldn’t come as a surprise…after all they pulled the same thing on DP last year when they cut him off in the middle of his acceptance speech.
Rest assured if it had been Roddick or Blake or even somebody like Andy Murray or Robin Soderling there would of been more respect given.

Vulcan Says:


I find it interesting that you mention the calendar slam first in your list of achievements (in front of the quantity of slams). I find it somewhat contradictory that although commentators often cite Laver as the greatest of all time they don’t always stipulate that the reason for that assessment can only be based on his 2 calendar slams (he only won 11 slams). On the surface most commentators seem to think that its the quantity of slams that should be the most heavily weighted factor but they always cite Laver as the GOAT.

grendel Says:

But football – or what the Americans bizarrely call football – is hugely important in America. Vox populi. Tennis is not quite on a par with bowls and tiddly-winks, but it is perhaps closer to them on the spectrum than it is to “football”.

I daresay that adherents of the noble pursuit of tiddly-winks are outraged at the cursory treatment it receives from the media – such is the lot of minorities. In vain is it that your tiddly-winks man is firmly convinced the universe essentially revolves around tiddly-winks, and that to achieve the grand slam in tiddly-winks is to have scaled heights rarely known to man or beast.

The sad fact remains – the American public is unconvinced.

Why this should be so is of some interest to the aspiring sociologist, say. After all, according to Peter Fleming, over 30 million Americans actually play tennis – that is a respectable percentage of the population, and I daresay a good deal higher than the “football” playing population. Futhermore it appears that the tennis playing population is well served by availability of decent indoor courts.

What, then, our aspirant socilogist ponders (scratching his head a good deal, it has to be said) is the meaning of all this? Frankly, who knows? Possibly something along these lines? Tennis, unlike American football (but like real football) is relatively family friendly. It is, however, a surprisingly difficult game to play even at a very basic level, just getting the ball over the bloody net seems to offer almost insuperable difficulties to many would be players. You only have to watch people playing proper football in the park – and it can look pretty good – and then watch people playing tennis in a public court, and it generally looks aweful.

Possibly people who have these fairly disagreeable experiences in attempting to play tennis don’t especially want to see experts apply themselves? But it might be something quite different. People don’t mind fooling around in the tennis court – bit of a giggle for the family, so to speak. But meanwhile, when they watch sport on telly, they want something very obviously physical, hopefully ferocious, which incorporates more or less non-stop action.

Tennis is very much stop and start – something which goes against the American grain, I’d have thought. Which is why cricket, for instance, could never have taken on in America, whilst it is hugely popular in the Indian subcontinent.

Random thoughts of no significance on a rainy day in between tournaments….

grendel Says:

Vulcan – yes, but people also assume that if you hadn’t had the amateur/professional divide, Laver would have won a great many more slams. If Laver hadn’t turned pro, he’d quite obviously have got more slams. When he turned pro, he got beaten a lot – but, once he’d acclimatised himself to the new standards, he started beating everyone all over again. Everyone in the tennis world knew that Laver was somebody very, very special indeed. As was his compatriot Lew Hoad, who only got 4 slams. Winning slams isn’t only about ability, is it, but is about desire too. Laver had ability and desire, Hoad only ability and what you might call erratic desire (it was reported that often he couldn’t be bothered to win a particular match against a particular person; before all the puritans on tennisx dismiss him with a horrified gasp – it takes all sorts).

Vulcan Says:


Yes that’s true about Laver likely winning more slams but remember…the GOAT debate is initially divided into two paths right from the get go…either include speculation or not (the former could lead to the conclusion that somebody like Marcelo Rios is the GOAT!). Taking the non-speculative path and relying solely on the record books…the main question that comes to my mind is that assuming the 3 primary factors in assessing the GOAT are quantity, completeness, and consecutiveness of slams…how are these factors weighed in the minds of the expert analysts out there? The calendar year slam is all about the consecutiveness category but the main question is is how much is it weighted. Anointing Laver the GOAT seems to weigh this facet more than 33.3% when approaching the GOAT debate from the non-speculative approach.

margot Says:

grendel: I’ve told this anecdote b4 on tennisx, so, if you’ve heard it, please forgive me. I’ve an American friend and when I told her cricket matches could last 5 days she had to be peeled off the floor and revived with a stiff drink. Not in the American psyche.
As far as Hoad is concerned, I’ve seen photos and he was extremely good looking, whereas poor old Laver…perhaps that had something to do with it?

skeezerweezer Says:

There is no divide on GOAT as of this era going back. Speculative is going forward, you’ll have to wait till then.

sar Says:

When I was in Cincy a worker there told me that Novak is very popular with the tweeners so it doesn’t surprise me your child likes him. I think he might be attracting a whole new generation of fans.

Vulcan Says:


I got a chuckle out of your tiddly winks discussion…and yes tennis is relatively low on the totem pole here in the states. But the pattern of DP and Nadal being snubbed is not about tennis vs Football (recall that last year it was incredibly a rerun of a sitcom)…it’s the tip of the iceberg of other issues that exist.

kimberly Says:

Sar—he must have something that appeals to the little ones obviously. I’m trying to find his clothing in child size on addidas, not succeeding. My son has the rafa rush and crush collection but wants the novak clothes too now. he is seriously rooting for serbia in davis cup to make nole feel better.

he says rafa is still his number one but he thinks its a little unfair that he wins too much and doesn’t share! How sweet (I of course disagree, I want rafa to win everything)

grendel Says:


You are making the assumption that the criteria for goathood are commonly understood and rigorously followed. I doubt that is possible even in principle, let alone fact.

For instance, by “completeness” I take it you mean success on all the surfaces. But since there weren’t that many surfaces available in Laver’s day, that tends to rule him out. You can do that, of course – but you are thereby severely diminishing the concept of GOAT.

Furthermore, because of hugely varying factors in each generation, especially technology, but also level of competition, status of medical science and doubtless other determinants, records as such do not have the strictly classifying or grading character which superficially lends them a certain cachet. Take even something like sprinting: surely the world record holder today is by definition a much better sprinter than the world record holder of 10 years ago, let alone 50 or 70 years ago. I don’t think so. If you believe that, then you are obliged to believe that any current American international sprinter is greater than Jesse Owens – and that is patently silly.

I suspect even what you call “expert analysts” are really only indulging in a kind of quite aggreeable game (everyone likes lists – strange, that)and that when push comes to shove, would admit that the whole GOAT debate is simply something shelved for a wet Sunday afternoon, and not to be taken too literally. The trouble is, of course, some people take it extremely literally.

When del Potro went on court in the AO, prior to being demolished by Federer (that seems like a 100 years ago, doesn’t it?) he said he was about to face the greatest player in history. Frew Macmillan commented caustically that he was in no position to say that. He couldn’t have been referring to records, since anyone may consult and interpret them – he simply meant that del Potro hadn’t, for instance, ever seen Jack Kramer play (Macmillan pointed out that most of the great players he knew regarded Kramer as the best of the lot). In other words, records just aren’t as revealing as they appear.

Nevertheless, there is no doubt people are mislead by them or enticed by them – including people like me, who disavow the whole idea of GOAT. And if that makes me a little bit contradictory, so be it. I think in this kind of nebulous area, it is hard not to be, in a manner of speaking, facing both ways. Meanwhile, for the big boys, it is number of grand slams without a doubt which is the main consideration. We have seen what importance Federer attached to beating Sampras’ haul, and if you listen carefully to Nadal, he is making it quite clear that goathood depends on number of slams. He cannot say so publicly, of course – he is far too street wise for that – but I would be amazed if in his own mind he is not determined to overhaul Federer and earn Goathood.

For the record, I believe he will overhaul Federer, but this will no more make him Goat than Federer is now.

Cindy_Brady Says:

Nadal is now my favorite player. Anyone who thinks Sampras or Federer is better cannot be playing with a full deck.

I picked Nadal to win the U.S Open even though other posters like Gordo laughed at me. Now who’s laughing fatty.

kimberly Says:

Zola-i agree with your comments about djoko. I think a lot of people gained a new respect for him for his semi final and final performances as well as his on court and post match conduct after losing.

From what I see I think he is one of the most popular amongst the players (except w fed and roddick). I know him and rafa are actually friends and I think he has a lot of friendships with the other players.

Bottom line, even as a rafa fan if you ask me which top twn player I would want to go drinking with I think it would be novak!

zola Says:

***Bottom line, even as a rafa fan if you ask me which top twn player I would want to go drinking with I think it would be novak!***

lol! I would say Rafa! :)

Bur seriously, the final was much more enjoyable with Novak. he was a great sport.

I know they have become good friends. In fact they played doubles in Toronto ( and lost in the first round).I don’t know if we ever had numbers one and two in a doubles match.

fed is afraid Says:

if roger had been in the final, rafa would have been compelled to comfort him, and he wouldn’t have been able to enjoy his victory. with nole there, there were smiles all around. roger would have had his pouting face on. ugh, i shudder at the thought.

Vulcan Says:

It seems that the debate OVER the debate elicits more controversy than the debate itself!

I see nothing in principle that prevents a group of minds from agreeing on a common set of criteria (however imperfect those criteria may be) which are then evaluated to make a determination.

Now finding a set of criteria that are 100% invariant with respect to a change in time may be impossible but taking a fuzzy logic approach it is at least possible to make a comparison when it comes to recorded accomplishments that are mostly invariant with respect to time. Slams are used likely because they are not only mostly invariant but represent the highest level of recorded accomplishment in the minds of people engaged in the debate. By invariant I mean that for the most part (again not 100%) it is believed to be as difficult to win a slam today as it was in Rod Laver’s era. Something like first serve speed or amount of topsin is clearly not as invariant with respect to time.

The term GOAT and the word greatest are really the problem…the word is too imprecise. But there are recorded stats which serve as invariant barometers to measure accomplishment and I think that it is these that analysts such as tennis commentators are thinking of when they discuss the GOAT.

grendel Says:

You could say the world is divided into two types of tennis fan.

On the one hand, you have those who are fans because they love the style of play of their hero. They wouldn’t mind meeting him, to ask a few questions relating to tennis and so on. But they’d have no particular interest in spending a night on the town with them. I imagine Roddick, for example, or Djokovic for that matter, Tipsy, Gasquet – to name a few – would all be far more enjoyable company than Federer, at least from my perspective. My interest in Federer, which is considerable, is strictly confined to his tennis.

And then you have the fan who just can’t have enough of his/her hero. They take any criticism of him as a criticism of themselves, they almost appear to be in love. There is complete identification. Of course, this happens not just in tennis, or sport generally, in music you get the same thing and for all I know (I expect the field is limited)the world of chartered accountancy has it’s own glamour parade. Truly, fame is an aphrodisiac.

These different types of fan often argue, vehemently sometimes. I doubt if they understand each other.

Kimberly Says:

Grendel-I am type one. I looooove to watch Rafa play tennis, love his spirit, love his style of play, root for him to win win and win again.

However I find his interviews less interesting than Fed’s and Djokos maybe because of the language. He essentially always says the same humble modest things (which are admirable, but always the same) “I want to improve my game” “i must play my best or else it be impossible, no?” I admire all of this but it is slightly boring. It could be he said the same things because he eseentially has memorized it and is not confortable in English.

Now lets get to a night on the town. Rafa and Roger are left in the dust. Roger is the go watch a broadway show type and i don’t think rafa even goes out.

Top Five Players To Party With (some retired)
1. Ernest Gulbis (hands down)
2. Marat Safin
3. Novak Djokovic
4. Andy Roddick
5. Goran Ivanesivic

bstevens Says:

Congrats to Rafa! Though I am a Federer fan, Nadal has cemented his position among the all-time greats.

aleish17 Says:


I came here very late to send my felicitations to my fellow Rafa fans. Congratulations to all of us Mindy, Anna, Zola, Ezorra, Voicemale1, Kimberly, Guy, Montecarlo, WTF, vrael, pro rafa and others. Rafa never cease to amaze us with improvements in his game. I hope to see him win more slams in the coming years. It would bring joy to our hearts.

Kudos to Nole for fighting hard and not giving away the match. However, Rafa was the better man in that match. Kudos to Nole fans (Jane, Sar, Duro and etc.) for sticking around and appreciating what Nole has done and what Rafa has accomplished in this year’s USO. Best of luck to your fav.

Thank you for all the posters who sent their felicitations (Von, Jane, Skeeze, Dari, Michael,Grendel, YY, Jatt, Margot, birdy, twocents and etc.) It is greatly appreciated.

I was so happy when Rafa won the QF and semis en ruote to the finals that I kept talking bout tennis during work and some of my colleagues are now quite interested about tennis. 3 of them actually watched the finals, and some others, who wasnt able to watch the match asked me who won the USO. It means more tennis fans!

aleish17 Says:

Remembering what Rafa has accomplished during 2008, and comparing it with what he accomplished this year (though 2010 is not yet over), which one do you think is the better year for Rafa?

In 2008:
1. French Open champion
2. Wimbledon champ
3. Olympic Gold medalist

In 2010 (as of September):
1. 3 clay masters title
2. French Open title
3. Wimbledon title
4. US Open title
5. and achieves the Career Golden Slam

sar Says:

Kimberly, Novak wears Sergio Tacchini not Adiddas anymore.

grendel Says:


An interesting list, and from a strictly female perspective, no? I mean, you could argue that the order reflects a)good looks b)the enticing curl c)the roguish twinkle (although here surely Marat tops Gulbis, as does Goran) and d)the element of danger, although here you’d certainly want a straight swap between Gulbis and Goran, and probably Roddick and Djokovic should switch places. Am I anywhere near? Of course, given that Gulbis is demoted in two aspects, those curls must have a tremendous amount going for them….

From my point of view, and assuming we’re not going for women (my taste is somewhat esoteric, I have no interest in the giants who are generally reckonned to be front cover magazine material, but find there is much to be said for Zheng Jie (her tennis, too actually, but that’s another matter), Dulko, and one or two others hovering on the border line.

But for drinking companions, oddly enough I like some of yours – all, in fact, except Gulbis. Also, Tipsy who seems quite interesting, Gasquet as an unrivalled purveyor of elegant melancholy, Ferrer looks like he could be unpretentious and fun, Monfils is too extrovert for me I’d get lost,Rafter is too nice, Rusedski has too many teeth, Henman is too English of a certain type, Hanescu has a certain sombreness which looks like it might be worth probing, Karlovic I feel would be rewarding company but maybe not on a first outing, Rainer Schuettler because he has absolutely no side to him whatsoever, ranked #4, #104,#1004 – he’ll always be the same.

Kimberly Says:

grendel-gulbis is the wildest partier of all–he spent the night in a swedish prison for getting wasted and soliciting prostitutes and is a known party animal. That’s where he came from on my list.

But Goran is one of my all time favorites and is a total nut. Go on youtube and look at goran v. woodforde. Now those are some quality pressers! Its much more civilized now, yes?

I guess the female perspective puts the good lucks in there although not intentionally. Roddick is someone you can definitely see shooting pool and watching monday night football with at a sports bar. The others are more nightclub.

Polo Says:

I am an avowed Federer fan but I could not wait to see what many great things Nadal will accomplish in his career. Lucky me to enjoy Federer in his prime, and now Nadal. Congratulations to Nadal and all his fans. Fully deserved accolades. I hope to see Rafa fly even higher.

Kimberly Says:

sar-thanks!!!! i guess that’s why i wasn’t find anything!!!! I will search for the kids clothes. I did a quick search and saw adult djokovic clothes but no kids yet.

grendel Says:

well, Gulbis may have spent the night in a Swedish prison, but I bet daddy got him out the next day, which is why I can’t take him altogether seriously. Still, I can see his appeal. Goran is certainly a total nut and it’s not all endearing stuff. I wouldn’t like to be his prisoner in a war situation. Also, he supports an English football team called West Bromwich Albion, which is practically certifiable for an Englishman to do, never mind a foreigner.

grendel Says:


Considering how gloomy you were over the prospects of Nadal winning the Open, you seem to have altered your way of looking at things very rapidly and very thoroughly. I am not accusing you of insincerity – not at all. I am actually fascinated in how and why you made the switch.

Is it that you feel that Nadal is now playing the most capable and exhilerating tennis on tour(I would go along with that – but it ain’t going to make me a fan), and therefor it makes sense to support him? Because it will be an exciting journey just to see how far he might go, just as it was once an exciting prospect to see how far Federer might go (now that we know he can only go down, it’s only kind of depressing to watch)? Is that it? Because if it is, I can only admire (and wonder at) such a detached and determinedly objective stance.

I think there are still thrills to be gained from watching Fed. He can still play lights out for the occasional set, and there is still a chance he can win another grand slam. It is interesting and even moving to watch him as he struggles to find, at least once more, the game to beat the young giants who are busily sweeping him aside. I believe there is drama yet to come in that quarter.

purcell Says:

Fed is afraid: ‘I shudder at the thought’
Yes and I fear that the collective shudder engendered by your next post will be a considerable threat to the earth’s tectonic plates. From now on, be silent.

Skeezerweezer Says:

“The talk about if I am better or worse than Roger is stupid, because the titles say he’s much better than me,” Nadal said. “That’s true at that moment. I think that will be true all my life.”

Kimberly Says:

aleish–i would say Rafa would think both years were awesome but different.

2008 was his off clay break through. I think that Wimbledon victory was pretty sweet for him and will rank as probably the all time best moment of his career.

But in 2010 he has essentially dominated the tour after being almost written off by many as an injury prone player whose best days were behind him. I think that must be very emotionally rewarding as well.

I think he has been more impressive in 2010 probably.

But in ten years, if you ask Rafa the high points of his career my guess is Wimbledon 2008 will still persist. USO 2010 will be up there but I think Wimby 2008 will always be most treasured.

grendel Says:


I have become converted to the idea that Nadal is a genuinely modest person. But he is a person. Which means – so far as I understand it, mainly by looking into my own soul, not by reading so-called expert books – he is full of conflicting hopes, desires, expectations, judgements and so on. So if you’re going to quote him (or anybody else) it doesn’t do to take it all too literally.

A year or so ago, he was asked about his status as a claycourt player. He tried to deflect the question – he was obviously uneasy – but in the end admitted that the record seemed to show he was currently the best around. And in the interview in the other thread, he says:” Now seems I gonna be one of the greatest,” – and you sense a genuine surprise that this should be so, Rafa the local lad made good. So he’s coming to terms with his destiny, but I doubt it will ever overwhelm him. I can easily see him contentedly retiring out of the limelight when his playing days are done, a bit like Stefan Edberg.

So when Nadal says “the titles say he is much better than me” he means it in a way. But he is able to mean it without any feeling of grudge or envy because he is at ease with his own tremendous talent, and knows that there are plenty more titles to come. “I think that will be true all my life” [i.e.that Federer is better than him]. That is public relations – pardonable in the circumstances, but it is (even if you don’t view it with a pinch of salt) at odds with his own cautious appraisal of what is to come:

Q. Is the major goal to reach Roger or something else?

RAFAEL NADAL: Is very, very — is too far. 16 for me is too far for me to think about that, no?

Note that he doesn’t rule it out. His response is, in fact, eminently level-headed. He wants to keep concentrating on improvements and additions to his repertoire, and sets as goals only immediate ones, such as winning the Masters Cup. But if at the back of his mind he doesn’t feel a whisper of a frisson at the prosepect of winning more slams than anyone else, a prospect many think is absolutely within his reach health and so on permitting, then he is not human in the normal way. But the thing about Nadal is that he is a very normal human being. The respect and admiration between Federer and Nadal is entirely mutual. Nevertheless, deep down it is implausible to think each would not like to think that he is the superior player. Why bother chasing grand slam records otherwise? If you want to win badly enough, and you do win, and you keep doing it, it seems to me that you are going to draw some simple conclusions from this. To think otherwise is surely to be too complicated.

Nadal has said before that his greatest asset is his mind, and here he says it again in some detail:”What’s my best thing? I think the mentality, attitude on court I think always was good for me. I am positive on court, and I fight all the time. But not the only thing. Positive attitude is not only fight on court. I think I was able to listen all the time to the coach and to have adjustments and to be ready to change things to be better and to improve.”

Earlier in the interview, he pointed out”I think the mentality, I practice it a lot, my mentality, a lot when I was a kid, so right now for me it is a little bit easier, I think.” When we think of how wayward Federer was, for instance, as a youngster, this tells a powerful story, in particular in the rivalry between Fed and Nadal. Federer, rather heroically, has made himself unusually strong mentally. But Nadal, it seems, has always been like this, how much through nurture and how much through innate disposition, we don’t know, but the thing is, his strength is completely natural. I wonder if Federer senses this, and senses also that his own grittily acquired mental strength is brittle in comparison.

I don’t think for one moment Nadal agonizes on becoming “GOAT”. But as the titles accrue, more and more people, not just fans, will lable him as such. And one day, he will reluctantly agree that it looks as if it might be the case…..

skeezerweezer Says:


I agree.

Note this is not the first and only time Nadal has made the statements in regards to Feds all time status. I can only go by what he says about it, NOT what he is thinking, I will leave that to the speculators.

Outside of that, there is no doubt Rafa will re-visit his place in among the tennis greats when his career is done or when he has several more records/slams. This is the point being made, posters are to quick to crown him with 9 GS/Masters record when the man himself says, wait a sec, there is someone with a crown now, and I am not done yet.
I love his attitude about this, humble and respective, this will take him far.Who knows? Rafa may get 24 GS or 11? The fact is he has 9, and is roared into the last 3 of those 9.

Let the kid finish his career and/or equal/exceed Fed like he is saying and then everyone can talk…

dari Says:

Haha, I love how the last major ends and we are here talking about party rankings.
For the record, Kimberly, rafa is the fan of the broadway shows! I don’t imagine roger knows how to hold his liquor. And Weve all seen how giggley he is sober, imagine a few drinks! As much as i would love to put roger on my list, daddy’s gotta get home early.
I agree with the lists here, safin for obvious reasons, gulbis surely will party into the next day with you, and novak would dance, but i would like to change a couple. swap american andy for james blake, he seems like a good time, connecticut frat boy! i would propose adding andy murray to the list.
he seems kinda fun with all his talk about footy tennis, etc, plus, he needs to loosen up as much as anybody! imagine how fun he would be after some drinks!

on another note, grendel, i have accused rafa of feigned modesty often, but now i have also softened. first of all, i thought this latest interview had less of it than usual, obviously because he won the whole thing, but maybe he doesn’t feel like he has to temper himself as much anymore. he is so undeniably special, and maybe he is feeling more comfortable with that now that this piece is in place. any moments of modesty seemed to be simple facts and genuine.
i would love to see a more confident rafa, or a rafa who expresses it more. before it pained me to see him beat up on everybody on the court, and basically not fess up to having done it, and not fess up to the fact that he had the chance to do it again the next day!
like i said, i better get used to this kid, he’s gonna be around a while…
if only he was my favorite, life would be easy!

Polo Says:

Grendel from 5:37.

Being a Federer fan, I still want him to win everything. I don’t remember expressing gloom over Nadal winning the Open but rather the gloom over the prospect of Federer losing. I am not a Nadal fan but I appreciate talent especially if nurtured with determination and hardwork. Nadal has shown those qualities. It would not be fair to overlook his achievements simply because I favor another player.

I will continue to wish for Federer to win each time he plays. But I will not begrudge anybody who beats him. If Nadal eventually surpasses Federer’s achievements, I will be amazed and will applaud him, sincerely. But Federer will always be my man.

kimberly Says:

I guess the whole goat debate has never interested me that much. Especially between nadal and fed. Maybe in ten years but neither of their careers has finished so who knows what they will end up with. They r both special players.

Dari-james blake is a good addition. But I feel the ultimate reality is that gulbis will drink evryone under the table. I have to keep andy. At least to watch miami heat games with.

Wonder which is now considered more hateable, my status as a rafa fan or a miami heat fan. Probably the heat as americans obviously care much more about basketball an football (as evidenced by pitiful tv coverage of uso final). All I can say is I worshiped rafa in 2009 when he wasn’t very good and ditto for many many years of average play by the heat.

dari Says:

Don’t worry, Kimberly. Rafa has been good for some time now! Much longer than .2009 ha!

sar Says:

West Bromwich Albion has another famous supporter-Robert Plant of Led Zep. What is it about that team?

Andrew Miller Says:

Nadal, Federer, Djokovic all had great tournaments at the US Open. I just saw a clip of Del Potro however – I think he’s a different challenge to all of them. 2011 should be interesting.

zola Says:

I think the GOAT debate is just pointless. It is something to get the sport media going. It will always be apples and oranges.

I think we are lucky to have 2 all time greats at the same times. 2 career GS winners in two years! Amazing.

Rafa is on the top of my “party” list and I think Roger will be good company, as well as Novak and Roddick, but if you insist:

Michael Llodra
Gil Simon
Baggy! (how did I forget him?)


margot Says:

Is this “Goat” argument a blokey thing?
List: Becker, Andy R, Djko, Pat Cash, Vera’s coach, the divine Mr Chardy. 4 for entertainment, two for eye candy. Perfect.
Girl’s night out much easier, they all seem to merge. Serena, Ginny Wade, Maria S ???

Anna Says:

Rafa said that titles indicate that Roger is the best. He then added “at the moment” just before stating that “I think that will be true all my life”. I thought the “at the moment” comment was very telling. And as you said, his thinking is always subject to change as the reality changes. I can’t imagine in what way Rafa could tell the media that he’s pretty sure he can catch Roger and maybe surpass his record without causing a firestorm. I think one of the keys to his success is that he doesn’t allow himself to think very far beyond his next match or immediate goal. I am confused about the whole goat controversy because no one is really quite sure what the criteria is. Some folks think slams only, others bring up other records. It seems totally futile to try to compare players of today with players of 30-40 years ago. After Rafa’s USO win alot of the commentators and analysts are pushing him for goat, so their criteria obviously extends beyond slams. Basically I think it’s a wasted effort as long as everyone has their own idea about what goat means.

Kimberly Says:

girls night out-serena, maria s, kirilenko, azarenka i think would be a lot of fun too.

Baghdatis is definitely one i overlooked. i’m sure he would be a riot.

Polo Says:

With Serena, Sharapova and Azarenka, it will be one noisy party.

Kimberly Says:


thoughts and highlights from the us open:

1. Victoria Azarenka should have withdrawn prior to collapsing. silly to try and play with a head injury.
2. Andy Roddick needs to learn some respect for officials that aren’t allowed to talk back to him and learn some offensive tennis while he’s at it.
3. Janko Tipsarevic needs to learn how to win consecutive mathces.
4. Jelena Jankovic needs a new game plan.
5. Ryan Harrison is a couregeous guy.
6. Istomin can become a very good player.
7. Andy Murray needs a coach.
8. Wawrinka can get back to the top ten.
9. Sam Querry needs to learn how to perform in non-250 events
10. Fernando Verdasco/David Ferrer arguably best match of tourney.
11. Wozniaki overrated.
12. Stosur Dementieva prob womens match of the tourney.
13. Berdych, Davydenko?????? where are you.
14. Federer has the best tweener shot ever.
15. Soderling can’t play in the wind.
16. Finalist Djokovic almost lost in first round to countryman, then compared shade to sleeping with his lady.
17. Monfils was a clown.
18. Gasquet started to show his old form.
19. Youzney couldn’t match Nadal in semis.
20. Novak saves 2 MPS to beat Fed and go to finals.
21. Fed needs to stop shanking the ball and get his ground game under control in case his serve deserts him again.
22. Venus, so close yet so far.
23. The Womens final was pitiful.
24. US Open Needs a roof, thrid striaght year of Monday Finals.
25. Nadal brought it to a conteseted final and won career slam.
26. Djokovic is a gracious runner-up.
27. TV Coverage of this final was an insult.

Vulcan Says:

Wow, that’s some list…great job…I especially concur with number 2,17, 26, and 27.

Regarding number 2 suffice it to say that Roddick is a disgrace and a terrible role model for all of the kids that look up to him. If everybody in society treated authority figures the way he does things would be on the brink of anarchy. He’s basically a spoiled frat boy that acts like the umpires are his private servants that he can berate and mock at will if they don’t fetch something for him quickly enough…he needs to learn some humility…and he surely enough will as he will go down in history as the point at which American tennis went from Champions to just Top 5 Players.

17. Monfils is a fun guy to watch – as is Tsonga…I’ll take the sillyness as long as it comes as a package deal with the charisma.

26. From what I’ve seen he can be a fairly mercurial kind of character…against Roddick in Cincy he barely showed up…against Federer he showed more mettle than I think he’s ever shown (with the thumping of Roddick back in USO 2008 a close second)

27. Since ESPN2 handed over alot of their tennis coverage to Tennis Channel what little coverage that remains shows their shift away from the sport.

Vulcan Says:

Whoops forgot…I wanted to add one more to your list:

Nadal must have a “secret ops” division back at his compound in Mallorca where analysts similar to the ones seen at Wheeler Labs in the movie A Beautiful Mind came up with a way of increasing his serve speed by 10 MPH 5 years ago and advised Rafa to unveil the serve precisely at the 2010 USO…talk about stealth!

Polo Says:


Spot on observations and thoughts about the recent US Open.

Regarding #14: Federer has the best tweener shot ever. I agree but Federer should avoid hitting that shot from now on. I believe he has lost in all the tournaments where he used that shot, once in Australia and twice at the US Open. Spectacular but that seems to be the only thing memorable about him in those tournaments.

grendel Says:

oh, come on! Federer’s match with Safin was deeply memorable, a great match between two wonderful players even if -er – the wrong man won. And then last year, Fed’s match with delPo was certainly memorable for a number of things, but especially the confirmation of DelPo as a burgeoning young champion.In this tourney, for sure Federer’s dismantling of Soderling in the wind was memorable. Also, I think, in a different sort of way, the fact that he so nearly squeezed a victory against the run of play in the semi with Djokovic. If Fed is to win another grand slam, he’s going to have to do a lot of that kind of stuff, I can’t help thinking, only being just that little bit better than “nearly”.

grendel Says:

Some people have suggested that Nadal has been working on his serve for some time, and hid from view his results – so the increased speed didn’t just pop out of nowhere. But Nadal says:”The truth is I was not serving very well in the tournaments leading up to the US Open,” he said.

“I’ve worked hard on the service because it needed it. I decided to change my grip two days before the tournament, to make it (the ball travel) quicker especially when serving against the wind there always is on centre court at Flushing Meadows”.

By any standards, this is very remarkable. What, you wonder, will this unusual young man do next?

Von Says:

Add this to the list:

The joker unmercifully bangs his head with his racquet repeatedly, and whatever sense was in it is now on the court of the USO. He further beat his racquet to smitereeens without being penalized for racquet abuse.

The repetitive comments on the TV airing of the final is so without reasoning. When are people going to understand that football pays for a lot of air time on the major networks? Also, to be fair to CBS, is it their fault that the programming had to be interrupted so many times due to the rain, throwing their schedule into chaos?? Tennis is not the only sport that has first dibs on coverage, so it would be best not to become so frustrated over such little stuff. I think CBS would have shown the entire final had it not been for the rain.

Andrew Miller Says:

Nadal is a great champion. It’s great to celebrate his victory. But one thing is clear: it’s the end of Nadal-Federer at the top of the game: 50 percent of every final is open to another competitor not named Nadal or Federer – it’s a power struggle.

Nadal’s bad 2009, Federer’s slight decline at the end of majors in 2010 (QF, SF) opens the door to another player to compete, and that means different finalists each tournament. Dont take my word for it! The last 8 slam finals have proven it.

AO 04: Federer-Safin
FO 04: Coria-Gaudio
W: Federer-Roddick
USO: Federer-Hewitt

Federer 3/8 finalists, vs 5/8 other opponents.

AO 05: Safin-Hewitt
FO 05 Nadal-Puerta
W 05: Federer-Roddick
USO 05: Federer-Agassi

Federer 2/8 finalists (50 percent of individual possibility), Nadal 1/8, Other 5/8

Ao 06: Federer-Baggy
FO 06 Federer-Nadal
W 06 Federer-Nadal
USO 06 Federer-Roddick

Federer 4/8, Nadal 2/8, 2/8 Other

AO 07: Federer-Gonzalez
FO 07: Federer-Nadal
W 07: Federer-Nadal
USO 07 Federer- Djokovic

(4/8 Federer, 2/8 Nadal, 2/8 other)

AO 08: Djokovic-Tsonga
FO 08: Nadal-Federer
W 08: Nadal-Federer
USO 08: Federer-Murray

(3/8th Federer, 2/8 Nadal, 3/8 other).

AO 09: Federer-Nadal
FO 09: Federer-Soderling
W: 09: Federer-Roddick
USO 09: Federer-Del Potro

(4/8 finalists Federer, 1/8 Nadal, 3/8 other again)

AO: Federer-Murray
FO: Nadal-Soderling
W: Nadal-Berdych
USO: Nadal Djokovic

(3/8 Nadal, 1/8 Federer, 4/8 other)

So the trend is now there in 2010: 50 percent of finalists are not Federer or Nadal. This hasnt happenned for a while, since 2005! – so this is certainly a big deal. It’s as much of an opening as there’s been since 2004 and 2005 – so as much as it may seem Federer and Nadal rule over the trophies, the numbers say there’s quite the power struggle afoot.

Kimberly Says:

Andrew Miller–Interesting point about the finals, but still 2010 50% was Fed/Nadal and 100% of the trophies went to the duopoly.

At least in 2009 and 2008 another person got a win.

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