Rafael Nadal Finals Presser: “Titles Say (Federer) Much Better Than Me” [Video]
by Tom Gainey | September 14th, 2010, 10:57 am
  • 37 Comments

Video of Rafael Nadal post-match press conference is now out. Last night Nadal etched his name permanently into the history books defeating Novak Djokovic in four intense sets to win the US Open and the career Slam.

The 24-year-old Nadal becomes the youngest player to ever have all four Slams in his pocket. Nadal also has won the Davis Cup and the Olympics, two trophies his chief rival Roger Federer has yet to win.

Despite all his achievements, the humble tennis star maintains that he’s still far from Federer in the record books.

Congratulations to Nadal and all of his supporters.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations. It’s a remarkable achievement what you did out there tonight and in such an impressive fashion with such great play. Now you have the career Grand Slam. Talk about what tonight means to you and this trophy means to you.

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, well, just thank you very much, first thing. Yeah, it was amazing feeling. I think win against Novak is always very, very difficult, and the results say that lots of times, I lost against him. So I think for the first time in my career I played a very, very good match in this tournament. That’s my feeling, no? I played my best match in the US Open at the most important moment, so I am very, very happy for that, for sure.

Q. In the career Grand Slam, though…

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I know, for you, very important, that. (Laughter.) You know, I still 24. I have, I know, for me, it’s a dream have the career Grand Slam, but this is more dream have the US Open. Is some moments unbelievable feeling because I worked a lot all my life, in all difficult moments to be here, but I never imagined have the four Grand Slams.

Q. Can you talk a little bit how you’ve improved your hardcourt game? Because obviously you started on clay and then you made a big adjustment for grass. What have you done to become a champion on hardcourts?

RAFAEL NADAL: I did, in 2009, I won in Australia, too.

Q. But you’re better now.

RAFAEL NADAL: Maybe, or maybe not. I don’t know. (Laughter.) Is part of the moment and part of the situation, no? And part of the confidence. So always when you are playing well and when you are in the right moment with big confidence, seems like you improved a lot. But, you know, there are moments when you are not playing that good, when you lose your confidence, you lose matches, and seems like you are not playing that good and you forgot to play tennis. It’s not like this, and it is not like this I improved a lot since 2009. I think I improved my tennis a little bit but is not a radical change, no? Sure, to win in here in the US Open I think is the more difficult tournament for me to play, more difficult conditions to adapt, to adjust my game on this court, for the balls, for the court, for everything, no? In Australia, anyway, if it’s hot, the ball, the bounce are higher. And in Wimbledon, is true I have to adjust a lot my game to play in Wimbledon, but in my opinion, play in Wimbledon for me always wasn’t that bad, because one of the most important things on Wimbledon is the movements, and I think my movements are good to play well in that surface. The surface help me, because my serve was not that good, that I have today, and with less serve I can do it the same, the same to the opponent as what I have today at this tournament especially and with this serve and with the US Open. For that reason I think the hardcourt always was the most difficult surface to play good for me, especially with the serve because I have to play almost every point, and probably the serve make the big difference in this tournament.

Q. I think you’re strong mentally keep point for completing Grand Slam. How you keep your mental so strong, consistent?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I think my the practice is done a lot of years ago, so is not the moment now that I have. I am strong now because I think practice everything you can practice everything. 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.

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.

Q. What do you think the future of your rivalry is with him? How long do you think it will last?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. Well, now Novak is, too, but he has to defend a lot of points now in the end of the season now, Novak, too. He gonna have his chance to be win the year No. 2, Novak, too. But Roger is there, too, to finish No. 2. You know, we start every year, and a lot of new players and good players are there like well, not new, Novak and Andy are not new, Andy Murray, but always come new players, very good players. But for the last six years, Roger and me was we were No. 1 and No. 2, no? So that’s probably a great rivalry since that six years. We will see what happens in the future. I am not a genius.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about today’s rain delay, what you did during that time and what you told yourself about the match?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, well, the delay, it wasn’t in the right moment for me, but just go back to the locker room, have a shower, and have all the tapes another time. That’s what I did.

Q. What did you tell yourself about the match at that point?

RAFAEL NADAL: Nothing special, no? I think — I thought before the match gonna be very difficult for me to win this match today, because the style of Novak is very difficult for me, because he play aggressive, he play very inside the court with very complete shots on the baseline, forehand and backhand, and difficult for me. But I started the match feeling the ball great, and for me what I said to myself is I did another time, so I can do it another time. So just be there, fight every point and try to play with high intensity all the time, so I know if I play with high intensely, put a lot of balls inside and play long. Finally, I think he can be more tired than me, so if the match is long, I think I gonna have a little bit of advantage, and that’s what I thought before the match. But if he starts to play like he did in Paris, is true indoor is different, my level is completely different now than what I did in the Masters 1000 in Paris last year, but when he’s playing at his best, he’s very difficult to stop.

Q. I’m sorry we broke a tradition. Normally when the winner of the Grand Slam comes in the media room, everybody claps. We didn’t do it tonight. (Applause.) Second thing, you’re ahead of Roger being 24 years old of three Slams. I’d like to know, now that you lost only five times the serve in all tournament, only one set, what is your goal now? Because you won already everything, Davis Cup, Olympic Games, all the four Slams. 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?

Q. So what else?

RAFAEL NADAL: My goal is all the time and all my life was the same, is keep improving and feel myself better player next year than what I felt this year. Being better player doesn’t mean you gonna win more than you did, because win or lose sometimes is part of the moment and part of the confidence. But my goal remains for me that the Masters Cup is the big, yeah, probably the last big tournament that I didn’t win. That’s true is the most difficult title for me to win, because we play it in indoor, and when indoor, indoor very quick surface, so gonna be always very difficult if we don’t change that. But at the same time is a challenge for me to keep improving to have the chance to play well there and to have the chance to win. So that’s what I gonna try this year. For me right now the next goal is try to finish the season much better than what I did in other years. The last part of the season always was difficult for me. Well, today it started to be less difficult, that’s true. But, yeah, I want to finish the season if it’s possible with a good feeling.

Q. I spoke to Mats Wilander, and he said that you are the most improved player this year. You’ve won 21 matches and only dropped 2 sets. He says you’re one hell of a special athlete. What could you do to improve since you’ve done so much with all these titles? How do you think you can improve?

RAFAEL NADAL: For me the most important thing is try to keep serving like I did during this tournament. I think that’s if I can do it, this most of the times gonna be a big change for me and my tennis career, because if I have that free points that I had during all this tournament gonna be different for me. I can play more aggressive. I can play with more calm when I am returning. So can change a lot. So that’s, for me, the first very important part to keep improving. After that, I can improve everything: volley, keep improving the volley, keep improving the position on court, being more inside the court. I improved a lot since last year, but never is enough. I am not a perfect player, so everybody can improve.

Q. Did you expect such good play from Novak in the second set?

RAFAEL NADAL: I expect everything from Novak because he’s the No. 2 of the world, and his level is very, very high. I’m sure he gonna win this tournament very soon, no? Because his level is unbelievable, and I think he has the right game to win here and to win in almost every place, no, or in every place. So I wish him the best of luck, because he’s a great athlete, but at the same time is a great, great person. When he lose, is not easy to do it what he do all the time when he lose matches. That’s very positive for the sport and great example for everybody.

Q. You’ve achieved so much over these brief years starting maybe with the clay court streak and then winning in so many different circumstances. In the big picture, we sort of debate what are your greatest strengths. What do you think your greatest strengths are as a champion? Is it strokes or focus, willingness to make changes, attitude? What do you think are your two or three greatest strengths?

RAFAEL NADAL: 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. So probably that’s was the best thing for me. If we talk about the game, for sure for me I think the best thing that I have is my intensity on court, no? When I am playing well, the intensity always is high. The rhythm is high. Sometimes yes but not always I have easy winners or with one shot winner, but I can have winners after three, four shots having a great rhythm all the time, no? So the focus on court I think was — that’s similar, no, the rhythm and focus. I can, I think, play at the same rhythm and the same level long time. So that’s what I think my best thing is.

Q. He did a great job fighting off breakpoints. Did this make you nervous, or what did you think when he actually converted with so many great shots?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, on the statistics of the ATP I was No. 1 on breakpoints converted, so I think after this tournament I don’t want to be No. 1 on breakpoints converted. Sure, because the second set I had big chance to go for the second break and decide the set before. I had to serve for the set with 5 4, and that’s always dangerous. That’s when I didn’t convert any chance of the to do the second break. For sure was a little bit nervous for me, because especially on the 5 4 I have 15 30. So that was a very important moment, and at that moment I did something that I never did: three serves, one ace and two service winners. So that’s the big experience for me, and believe me, that’s good.

Q. Can you describe how much things have changed for you in the past 12, 15 months, whether you’re surprised at how fast things have changed?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, the life change sometimes, no? Ten months ago seems like I never gonna be another time the same. Now seems I gonna be one of the greatest, so I don’t think that’s not that bad in that moment and not that good in this moment. So always is in the middle, I think, no? Last year I had a difficult year. Well, I had a great year because when you win a Grand Slam and three Masters 1000 you have a great year, but is true the second half of the year was very difficult for me, have some personal problems, home, and after, I have a lot of injuries, here the abdominal, before, the knees. So, yeah, wasn’t an easy year. But is, at the same time, for sure, is not good have these moments but live these moments but at the same time, yes, because after that, when you come back, you are ready to (through translation) value how difficult is win titles and how difficult is be there all the time, no? When I came back and I started to win in Monte Carlo, you know, the emotion is completely different. So when you are winning and winning for a moments, you forgot how difficult this is do, is do it, no, is win tournaments no? So I didn’t win a tournament for 11 months. I played for six months very bad. So after that, I think I was ready to come back in January of this year. I started the season playing really well, but the titles didn’t came since I started in Monte Carlo, so was four months of playing well but hard moments, too. I was ready to win but without a victory. So I think I was I had great mentality at that moment.

Q. This is not a criticism, but what took you so long to get in here after you left the court? Were you celebrating with your family? Taking a shower? What were you doing that took you so long to get in here?

RAFAEL NADAL: What?

Q. To come over here. What took you so long? It’s not a criticism. But what were you doing?

RAFAEL NADAL: Before?

Q. Yeah.

RAFAEL NADAL: I had the control antidoping, and saying hello, all the US Open staff and say thanks, everybody, for the organization, for the facilities that they give me, they give to me. After that, I was with the authorities, they came, thank you very much. Infanta, she came. Cristina, sorry. Cristina came. And the president of the Spanish Federation and the family. Just be out there for the family for a few minutes, and afterwards I was in the locker room organization, and having (through translation) planning? No. Organizing all the clothes. I have show in the locker.

Q. I know you don’t like to compare, all right? You don’t like to compare this and that and that, but you had so many celebrations, so many great moments in your career, and I saw you last this summer celebrating like if you were crazy when Spain won the World Cup in soccer. I’d like to know which is the emotion that really, you know, that causes you more joy in your life as being the most, the biggest that you never forget more than others?

RAFAEL NADAL: Every feeling is different and at the same time is good, no? Every victory is special, if we speak about my victories. Some ones are more than other ones. This one is very special for me, because is the last one remain. So when Spain won the World Cup was amazing. I was crying like like today, maybe, no? But is different feelings, but at the same time every feeling is unbelievable. But is very difficult to compare. Football is unbelievable. You know how big is football in Spain, or maybe you don’t know, but we deserved that title. (Laughter.) We deserved that title a few years ago. Maybe you forgot. You forgot about the World Cup of ’94 here? (Laughter.) (Motioning with elbow .) But we don’t forgot. It was very emotional moment for us, for World Cup.


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Rafael Nadal at Kia Presser: Djokovic is Not My Concern [Video]

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37 Comments for Rafael Nadal Finals Presser: “Titles Say (Federer) Much Better Than Me” [Video]

Skeezerweezer Says:

Thanks Tom!


van orten Says:

tennis is such a fast sport…if he doesn’t win all 4 slams next year he is goin to be in decline ???what if djoker wins australia nadal wins paris .fed wins wimby and delpo flushing???? who is goin to be the best or in decline..
great year by nadal he won nearly all..but don’t forget that federer won in 2006 almost everything too. people tend to forget that someday when rafa is in feds age there will be plenty of young guns around wanting to beat him…
maybe nadal wins 7 more slams maybe federer wins 2 more who knows..great for the sport…but fed is still playing awesome tennis ..he is like the last man of his kind standing against all the modern tennis kids…
people tend to oversee that fed was a little unlucky this year too..in other years he had the luck. so does nadal now..the fortune of a champion…good luck and i hope we ll see a good fight next year between all the top players


Dory Says:

Olympics I completely understand but Davis Cup is a team effort. Just because Rafa is part of the Spanish tennis factory and Switzerland hasn’t won the Davis Cup doesn’t make him greater than Federer. Davis Cup shouldn’t be counted at all in *personal* accomplishments. Only countries should be given credit.


Dory Says:

Of course Davis Cup performance should certainly be officially counted towards ranking points. It’s just that a win in Davis Cup doesn’t reflect the individual player’s greatness or achievements.


bobby Says:

I used to think why Van Orten is always finding something negetive to say about Nadal.Now i understand.I love both Nadal and Federer with Nadal`s humility more.Both are great for tennis.I hope Federer will play up to 35 years and Nadal will play atleast 7 more years.


bobby Says:

I again hope that both Federer and Nadal will play at their highest level for many more years to come.Tennis fans should be grateful to have them.No need for unecessory fighting among fans.Both are great.


fader Says:

Roger FADErer has either decline a bit or the younger players are improving.

Anyway, FADErer was lucky because Nadal was just a boy and Sampras was balding older when FADerer dominated tennis.


Gordo Says:

Fader – no, Roger Federe is lucky because he doesn’t know you, and one less moron for him to know is a good thing.


ricky Says:

Fader is right. Federer is great but during the years he dominated there was no notable Challenger. What you must consider is Nadal has accomplished what he has with the great federer on the circuit and in his Prime. Then when you look at the their win/loss stats against each other and it begins to paint a picture.


YY Says:

I’m more of a Nadal supporter… but to all of you who keeps bringing down Federer’s achievements by saying he had no serious contender, you may want to consider this >

Federer was SO GOOD AND CONSISTENT that he made everyone else look mediocre when in fact many of them would have been tennis greats if Federer had NOT BEEN AROUND! (Andy Roddick would have been a good example of a potential tennis great if Federer was not around).

If you look at many of the matches, many players have had chances to beat both Federer and Nadal over the years. They don’t lack the skill nor talent… it’s just these two incredible players have been able to play consistently at high levels over the last few years that have gotten them these amazing results.

I hope Nadal has more good years to come, but also agree with the general consensus that RF’s time is coming to an end. He can still play great tennis… but his ability to play consistently has just dropped a notch, allowing many of the good players to beat him.


Polo Says:

People such as athletes should be cheered for their accomplishments especially if they did it fair and square. Federer has done that and continues to try to achieve more. Nadal is doing the same. To denigrate their accomplishments in any way is not just unfair. It is also mean-spirited.

If there was no Federer, many others would have won several majors. Roddick definitely would have had more. Hewitt, too and Safin. Then there would have been several players taking turns winning slams. Then it would have been considered a great era in tennis with many competitive players. This reasoning that Federer dominated because the other players were bad is at best anecdotal. If Federer did not exist, would they be saying the same thing to Nadal? Those two are among the best who ever played. Give them the credit they both deserve.


zola Says:

Polo and YY, great posts.

I think it is most unfair to bring down a great champion just because a new one is in town. Can we criticize Sampras because he has 14 slams and Federer has 16?

These guys have etched their names on history and should be respected. If Federer retired at 28 with all those trophies, then what? Aren’t we lucky that he has still the fire to play and win and even look for a new coach?

I hope this goldern era of tennis never ends.when was the last time the ATP had two career grand slam winners in two year?


mario franco Says:

Dear friends

What can i say, he beated the perfect,

that beated the magician. Worse, he still

has the guts to say Federer is better , of

course , he is from other planet.


Lynne Danley Says:

Congrats to Rafa. I’m a Fed fan, but this is a great achievement and he worked very hard for it. I appreciate his humble attitude, too. That said, Fed has always had serious challengers, many of whom beat him early in his career and who might have achieved much more had he not been around. That would include Roddick, Hewitt, Nalbandian, Ferrero and Safin. When Andre Agassi was asked what flaws in Federer’s game Andre could exploit, Andre said that Federer didn’t HAVE any flaws. And this was when Andre was still winning tournaments. So be fair! Roger has made all the players around him better, and Rafa would be the first to say that (in fact, in the above article, he did). Now Roger is older and some of the younger players have caught up with him, but he isn’t done yet. Lets see what he and Annacone come up with. And surely you have to give Fernando Verdasco, Feliciano Lopez, David Ferrer and Juan Carlos Ferrero, among others, equal credit for the Davis Cup victories Spain has had. Swizerland has had players like Yves Allegro, Marco Chiudinelli and Stan Wawrinka to support him. Roger’s gold medal in doubles that he earned with Stan DOES count — he has credit for a golden slam. So please don’t be so quick to dismiss Roger’s legacy in tennis. He holds or is near to holding almost every record in the sport, including some amazing streaks at #1 and in levels reached at tournaments that will be very hard for anyone to break. Maybe Rafa will do it, but until he does Rafa himself is right — it’s way too early to say he is greater than Roger. How fine it is to have two such awesome players and human beings in tennis!


Richard Says:

Rafael has like so many other great players had to make sacrifice after sacrifice to get to where he is today. I know this because I already see the sacrifices that my 11 yr. old daughter has made for her tennis and she is ranked no. 1 in Girls 12′s Championships here in Texas and just “Supered Up” to the SuperChampionship level and comes in at rank of 577. Both Rafa and Roger are great players and on any given day one will win and one will lose. Just look at NFL football. 16 teams lose every week while 16 win. To hate on Roger or Rafa is really a mental defect in the person saying such trite statements. I for one am a Rafa fan primarily because I like his attitude and favor his “lefty play” since I play lefty but endorse checks with my right hand just like Rafa. For Rafa to say that Roger is the better player speaks volumes for the respect he has for Roger and the entire game of tennis.


Anna Says:

Yes indeed. When it’s all said and done there will be plenty of reasons for both Roger and Rafa to be called the greatest. In the end it will all come down to personal choice. A few years ago I was a slam tennis fan and of course Roger was the man. After Wimbly 08 I was challenged by a couple friends to watch the clay court season. I bought tennis channel and there’s been no turning back since. What Roger has done on h/c Rafa has done on clay. While Roger is the slam leader, there’s no doubt that Rafa can get very close if not pass Roger someday. They are incredible champions and to malign one’s character for the sake of the other is hugely nonproductive for tennis. Not only that, it makes for alot of sad, miserable people who instead of rooting for their fav, are just hoping for the demise of the opponent. Some are even hoping for the demise of the opponent days after their fav has lost. I’m telling you that’s bad, bad, karma, or juju, or whatever you want to call it. Spikes in blood pressure, headaches, stomach aches, whatever, all add up over time. Learn the tenents of good sportsmanship and you’ll survive to cheer for your favs for years to come. If not, good luck.


Scotty Wright Says:

Both players are amazing- what a contrast of styles, of temperament, of interviews…

I believe their greatest achievements to date will be in the records books for a long time: Rafa’s Grand Slam at age 24, and Roger’s 237 consecutive weeks at #1.

Apples and oranges, gang- they’re both different flavors of great.


Monalysa Says:

@ Lynne Danley,

I totally agree with you. Rafa and Roger have controbuted immneskey to the sport. Rafa always acknowledges Federer’s greatness bcos Rafa know how HARD it is to achieve what Roger has, because he is trying hard to accomplish them himself!!

Although Rafa is my fav, its sad to read what some people say about Fed and his ‘decline’. At least Roger has the motivation and drive to continue playing so that we can be amazed by good play and always the anticipation/excitment of seeing Roger and Rafa play each other!! Give Federer a break……i dont say you have to like him (or Rafa)……….BUT at least RESPECT them btoh for what they have contributed and continue to contribute to tennis!!!!!

VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!


lub Says:

Nadull is not only specialist in clay courts, he is also specialist in MIND GAMES. Nothing new.


Rose Says:

Polo, you wrote a wonderful, consistent and true review. Congratulations a thousand times!
Tks so much!!
Regards


em Says:

Nadal and Fedderer are both great they come in different time,age gup makes different,both of them makes a very good history of tennis sport to make this sport more enjoyable to watch for all the tennis fans. congratulation to Nadal,and all the best to all tennis players.


Tran Says:

As much as I admire him as an athlete and a person, his tennis (In fact, modern tennis, or at least professional tennis) is so dull with players blasting at one another from the baseline, so physical with players running like dogs, and so boring with almost no creativity or fun or artistry.

I love tennis because of all the above aspects (After all, that what tennis was all about), so now I feel sad watching it becoming so business-like and so mechanic :-((


sonic Says:

Rafa needs to take seom resposibilites now that he’s no1 with all slams in the bag.

For one, stop shying away from the preassure. He won’t admit to being a favorite even at the RG. He keeps saying that guy is better, this guy is better, i don’t know, we’ll see….

Time so say i’m no1 and the favorite. Let’s see how long he can deal with that preassure with nowhere to hide.


sonic Says:

PS Nice going mentioning Davic Cup, but not mentioning YEC. Really nice.


DMB Says:

Could you guys stop writing it down verbatum and just edit some? It would really enhance the joy of reading it. Also you copy it wrong. He says about Novak that he is now nr. 2. He is 2. Not he is too….

other than that you guys know by now (maybe, i have posted quite a lot)that i am a big fan of the site.


madmax Says:

Do you think we can stop with these type of posts fed haters?. If you dont want to see Federer play, then don’t watch him play. I’d like to see rafa at 29 years of age still being ranked no.2 in the world. (and yes fed was still no.2 until last week). I’d also like to see him reach 23 consecutive slam SF’s, 26 consecutive QF’s, 4 consecutive masters cups and have a game that is easy on the eye and effortless.

Seriously, show Federer some respect. And if he does retire tomorrow, this man has given more to the real tennis community than anyone – his commitment, grace and style of play should be treasured not trashed.

Gordo Says:
Fader – no, Roger Federe is lucky because he doesn’t know you, and one less moron for him to know is a good thing.

September 14th, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Great comment gordo.

Weird how some fans have always talked about h2h with rafa and fed. How about 15:7 rafa/novak – does that make novak any less of a champion? Seriously, eat that.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Madmax ,

Great post :)!

They are just jealous , and hateful because there is nothing they can say or do that takes away the greatness of Fed. There just hoping for any reason to take down the maestro. They can’t. He’s trying to get labeled a has been and someone else is nipping at his heals? LMAO. His records will last for decades. Just keep reading what the past ennis greats and present tennis greats say about Fed, all the other stuff is just “air fodder”.


grendel Says:

madmax

it was Agassi who remarked several years ago that whilst the uniqueness of Federer was there for all to see, the dominance of the top player by the #2 player was a story all of its own. And this story grew and grew, a really curious anomaly where the player who many were suggesting was the greatest of all time was nevertheless being dominated by a player who was his junior.

It didn’t seem to make sense (to me neither), and led to all kinds of tortuous arguments. But of late, this argument seems to have lost its force. For not only is it obvious that Nadal is a much better player than Federer as of now (given their respective ages, nothing surprising about this), it is even possible that Nadal at his best is the equal or superior to Federer at his best. It is certainly the case that the sting has been taken out of the apparent paradox to which Agassi was alluding.

So you see, madmax, Fed’s h2h with Nadal has far more piquancy, because of the special circumstances, than does Djokovic’s with Nadal.

Some of Fed’s records Nadal will get nowhere near, such as 23 semi-finals on the trot. But whilst we cannot of course know, the scenario in which Nadal gets more than 16 slams is absolutely plausible. You can easily see how it might happen, and you can see how it might not happen, too.

But whether it happens or not, madmax, you and I and countless others will get far more pleasure from watching Federer than from watching Nadal. But we have been spoilt. The days of victory after victory are long gone, so henceforth, pleasure must largely be derived from the style of play which is uniquely Federer’s, and not from revelling in his triumphs. If this is not admitted, you’re likely to have a bitter time for the last phase of Fed’s career, and that would be a great pity. I wouldn’t worry about the people who can’t stop the compulsive insults of Federer. It’s their own smallminded way of paying tribute – I should look at it like that.


margot Says:

Tran@16/09 4.19: U must therefore be an Andy Murray fan! Welcome!
grendel above: agree pretty much. Fed is the most beautiful player, movement wise, I’ve ever seen and for me personally, number of slams, etc. etc is almost an irrelevance. But I really, really do not want him to go on and on playing until he’s repeatedly beaten by lower ranked players, that would be horrible to watch.


grendel Says:

know what you mean margot. At the moment, Federer is just about holding his own immediately below Nadal and Djokovic. But the next tier is catching up fast, and you can only wonder beyond that. What I keep hoping is that even though he suffers some defeats from lower ranked players, every now and then, when it counts, he’ll summon up memories to ease in the old form. Every now and then Safin, in his tennis dotage, would give glimpses of what he had been like. Since Federer likely works much harder than Safin, I like to think that he can do more than that. But I don’t konw, there’s something about his game which seems to me to demand the lightening quick reflexes of his younger self. Can’t really justify this thought, just a hunch.


margot Says:

grendel: I too think movement is the key and all else follows. His game has always seemed to me to be both beautiful and vulnerable and, as he gets older, just that bit more vulnerable. I’m sure he’ll give us many, many “glimpses” but won’t that make us sadder?
I remember many champs, Borg, Sampras Mac and so on but they just didn’t have that fragility.


jane Says:

margot, I did find another little blurb on Murray.

http://www.tennistalk.com/en/news/20100919/Bollettieri_offers_to_work_with_coachless_Murray

Re Fed – his tennis seems so easy, no laborious at all, which must be due to the way he glides around the court. Very special indeed. Steffi had really special movement too. Anyhow, I hope Fed leaves the sport near the top, maybe once he’s out of the top ten, or near to being, he should pack it in. I think he’ll play until the 2012 Olympics, give that a go, and reassess from there. Just a guess but I assume that’s still on his radar – that Olympic gold in singles. Always good to have a carrot, you know. : )


grendel Says:

I wish Federer hadn’t made such an issue, in such a public way, about wanting that Olympic gold in 2012. We may most of us be sentimentalists – there will be plenty of non Federer tennis fans who will want him to get that gold. But the other players are not sentimental. They will make it just as difficult for Fed to win the gold as to win a slam. Furthermore, he’ll be two years older. On the face of it, it’s most unlikely he’ll get that gold. The surprising certainly happens from time to time, but it seems to me some ambitions are best kept close to the chest.


jane Says:

“it seems to me some ambitions are best kept close to the chest” True – but on the other hand, sometimes the pressures one puts on oneself publicly can spur one on. And it’s on grass lest we forget – so he’s always a top contender on that surface. Additionally, if he and Anacone are working on serve & volley technique or shortening points, that’d surely work well on the lawn. Anyhow, I wish Fed the very best of luck in reaching that singles gold (so long as he’s not playing Nole or Murray in the final ;))!


jane Says:

Speaking of Olympics 2011 – Serena W. and Andy Roddick will be a threatening duo in the mixed doubles. I hear they’ve already agreed to do it.


blessing Says:

serena and andy? well that will be really fantastic to watch.


margot Says:

jane: I believe Serena and Andy are playing in Hopman Cup.

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