Flawless Federer Faces Defiant Nadal in “Fedal” 22; Who’s the Pick?
by Sean Randall | November 27th, 2010, 11:38 pm
  • 262 Comments

What a way for the 2010 “ATP” season to end with another chapter in the Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal rivalry. Two all-time greats will collide for a 22nd time tomorrow in the ATP Finals from London.

Nadal arrives in his first year-end title bout by edging Andy Murray 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(6) in a 3-hour, 11-minute semifinal nailbiter.

In the penultimate breaker, Murray built a 3-0 lead but once again Nadal showed his mental fortitude and resilience by making up the deficit and taking the match.

“It was a fantastic match,” said Nadal who has won 9 of 13 against Murray. “I am very happy to beat a great champion like Andy. For me is an amazing victory. I am very happy for everything because was a really difficult match against one of the best players of the world.

“His level is unbelievable almost always. If he plays like this, I don’t have any doubt he going to have big chances to win very important titles.”

Murray, who clawed back from a break to bad in the third, was pleased with his performance despite the heartbreaking finish in his final match of the year.

“I played a great match today,” Murray said. “Whether it’s the best match I played and lost, I don’t know. But it was a great match. I think both of us played very well. I probably played one bad game the whole match; or maybe just a couple of bad points on my serve in the third set when I got broken. I think both of us played well pretty much from the beginning of the match. I’m disappointed to lose, but it was a great match.”

While Nadal advances to the final, for Murray it is yet another tough, crushing defeat. Andy is now 0-5 lifetime against Nadal and Federer in London. And while he did play well and was oh so close, in the end he didn’t win. So the trend continues. In bigger matches there is still a vast gulf between Federer/Nadal and the talented Murray. In some ways this result only widens it.

Federer knows a thing or two about winning on the big stage. Today, the Swiss held up his end for a “Fedal” final by devouring Novak Djokovic 6-1, 6-4.

Federer’s game was firing on cylinders. He was crushing forehands and backhands, hitting deft volleys and even ripping service returns off Novak’s serve. Despite falling a break down in the second, it was quite a rousing performance from the Swiss Maestro.

“I thought Novak played a decent match,” said Federer. “I was able to outplay him at times, play aggressive. I took it to him, exactly the way I was hoping to make it. I thought it was a great match.”

Djokovic, who has now lost three straight to Federer, agreed.

“He was on top of his game,” said the Serb who will lead his country against France next week in Davis Cup. “I think he was playing unbelievable from the first moment. He deserved to win. He was the better player today. To me, he’s maybe playing the best tennis in 2010.”

And with that we have the best rivalry in tennis – and one of the best in all of sport – front and center for the final title of the 2010 season!

As for my pick…

Roger Federer v. Rafael Nadal
The head-to-head between these two is black-and-white, for the world to see. Nadal has the overwhelming lead 14-7 and he’s won six of seven since the start of the 2008.

However, on hardcourts it is 4-4 and Federer leads 2-0 indoors (4-0 in sets) beating Rafa in the 2006, 2007 Shanghai events.

I also think that Federer is playing better than Rafa this week. Roger has sailed through Robin Soderling, Andy Murray and today Novak Djokovic. Three very tough outs indoors.

Nadal’s been no slouch dispatching Andy Roddick, a one-eyed Novak Djokovic, Murray today and even Tomas Berdych. But he did drop sets to Roddick and Murray and at times against the two Andys he looked a little suspect.

Meanwhile, Federer’s looked close to flawless all week.

“It’s been a great tournament so far, clearly, having not lost a set and beaten so many good players, close rivals. Today was another great match,” said Federer. “Obviously I’m really looking forward to playing against Rafa tomorrow. Who wouldn’t? I’m no different.

“I’m really looking forward to playing him for the first time in the finals of a World Tour Finals,” he said. “I think I played him twice in the semis before, so it should be entertaining and exciting for both of us.”

I also have to wonder about Rafa mentally and physically. After a tough, emotional 3-hour win today how much will he have left for tomorrow? We’ve seen Rafa recuperate within 24 hours before, but I have think Rafa will feel some aftershock from today’s win.

Rafa, though, suggests otherwise. “I think I play better than ever on this surface. I am fresh mentally,” he said.

Nadal is playing great tennis on this surface – he was winless a year ago! – but the surface still helps Federer more. The lower bounce won’t trouble Federer as much on his vulnerable backhand and the slower speed will give Roger additional time to set up and execute an offensive, aggressive gameplan like he did today and will have to duplicate to win tomorrow.

And on the serve, I think Federer gets the big edge, both delivery and return. Fed still has so much more variety off the serve than Rafa. And I liked the way Federer started swatting the Djokovic serve for winners. If he can do that off Nadal’s second serve (run around the backhand?) then look out!

So for me, this is an easy selection. I picked Federer to win this event at the start and even in the face of confident No. 1 Nadal, I’ll stand by him here. I know Nadal has the dominated the head-to-head (especially on break chances) but indoors makes a difference so I’ll go with Federer to claim the final title of 2010 and to do it in straight sets Sunday!

Match time is at 12:30pm ET and live TV coverage is courtesy of ESPN2 Sunday.


Also Check Out:
Fedal Wars: Nadal Well Ahead Of Federer In Masters Titles, But Does It Matter In The GOAT Discussion?
Fedal Wars: Agassi Puts Nadal Ahead Of Federer On The GOAT List, Is He Right?
Fedal Wars: Hey Agassi, Who’s Your GOAT If Roger Federer Wins A Second Career Slam In Paris?
Roger v Rafa Fandom: The Fedal Wars Rage On
Who’s That Running? Who’s That Stripping? Why It’s Rafael Nadal! [Video]

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262 Comments for Flawless Federer Faces Defiant Nadal in “Fedal” 22; Who’s the Pick?

jane Says:

Sean, you’ve really turned around this season in terms of your predictions; you’ve often been right, and you were right in picking the semis. Maybe next year we should start making some bets on your calls, or maybe you should? :)


Thangs Says:

Rafa in 3… I was expecting Federer to say ‘I have won 3 slams+YEC couple of times.lets see if he can do’


FedEnd Says:

Guy

“djoker is wrong, the best tennis this year was played by nadal at monte carlo where he destroyed everybody like they were juniors.”

Guy…you are wrong…how can you talk about something played on clay…..that is not tennis.


FedEnd Says:

Thangs,
“Rafa in 3… I was expecting Federer to say ‘I have won 3 slams+YEC couple of times.lets see if he can do’”

I think Federer has learnt his lessons on challenging Rafa at USO 2010.


RZ Says:

Does anyone know if I can watch the match online after it’s over?


Amber Says:

Rafa in 3, or 2 tight ones. I’ve been following Rafa for years, but after seeing him escape from two seemingly impossible TBs, I give him the sizable edge. Let’s face, when he’s healthy and hungry, he has Fed’s number 2/3s of the time. I’m biased as a fan, but if Rafa can recover from today’s slugfest, I give him the win.


Yovi Says:

No chance for Nadal to win. Absolutely, Federer beat Nadal very very easily. No doubt at all.


ron Says:

Why is this Sean Randall guy so predictable?


FedEnd Says:

Murray played better than Rafa in the first and third sets and lost 6-7.
Murray played faaar better than Rafa in the second set and won 6-3.

Federer has to play faaar better than Rafa to beat him.
If Federer plays just/little better than Rafa, then Rafa would still find his way through…..and Federer was at the receiving end of that irony several times in the past.


skeezerweezer Says:

ron,

He has written his reasons, why don’t you write yours instead of typing a critique? Give your reasons and the stats and facts, I’m sure many will read it :)

Or just copy and paste FedWins posts. It’s easy, same stuff every time…..


WTF Says:

Why is the O2 court slow? I thought it was meant to be a fast court? Usually is at the year end masters, WTF, or whatever you want to call it.


skeezerweezer Says:

“To me, he’s maybe playing the best tennis in 2010.”

Love it. Thanks for that quote Nole. From the #3 World Ranked player no less.

Despite all the naysayers ( including yours truly ) Fed has put together a good year. Thought he was on the decline, but has put together some meaningful wins here in the Fall against the top ranked players, despite what some have said “he hasn’t played anybody”. Whatever the outcome tomorrow, he can hold his head up high for what some have said “Fed has ended”. Fed has not ended like some would have hoped….look forward to the “old man” in 2011. Will be an exciting year….


FedEnd Says:

Uncle Tony drugged the authorities and filmed them having fun with babes. Then he blackmailed them to change all the surfaces into clay and paint them accordingly with different colors to fool the people (for ex. wimbledon clay with green color, wtf london indoor clay and US open clay with blue color).
(Copyrights reserved: FEDTARDS)


FedEnd Says:

The fact is Federer is nearing his end and is on a decline.

But I HONESTLY hope het maintains his number 2 ranking and somehow gets into more GS finals….or atleast one more finals at USO 2011….I know its a big ask…..but thats the only place he is yet to suffer the humiliation…..it would also be good if he makes one more Wimby final….it would be good for statistical reasons.

My hearty thanks to Federer for making it to the WTF finals!!!!!


Dory Says:

RF demolished Nole yesterday. After his yesterday’s performance, it’s easy to see why everyone including former greats call him the best of all time. Efficient, effortless and fluent. His style of tennis takes a lesser toll on his health too which is why he has been able to remain in the top 3 for sooo long.

Time to see Roger win this unique tournament for the 5th time!!!!!!!!!!


gannu Says:

Its tough to guage feddy bear’s mindset especially when he is playing against nadal.. But somehow I feel this time around he wants to prove something..at his best no one can even touch him..that’s why he is usinh word like”I really want to play nadal” never question the heart of a champion espcially the GOAT.. Come on fedex no matter what we fed fans will be ur loyal supporters till the last ball u hit..really hope u manage to lift this title today.. I am already on life support/ventilator ;-))
Really nervous and sweating already..

Fed fans I rely on ur postings to feel the tempo of the match.. Will not b able to watch ;-(

Best wishes


fairypin Says:

I really like the way people predicted against Rafa especially on other surfaces than clay. Tod Martin’s in ATP website is an example,on the very first match : Rafa-Roddick in which he picked Roddick in 3. After that he’s never picked on Rafa’s match again included this final…LOL.

Rafa’s metality is unequalled and he’s proved it time and time. No matter how disadvantaged he seems to be, at this stage of fight, I will never doubt on him. I really don’t know where he got this miracle from but he always did. Playing with highest standard in the most needed match like this one. Federer looks great all week ,I agree but this’s not the same as Madrid 2008 where Nole pushed Rafa beyond his limit (4hrs.++ that epic semi),it’s more like AO2009 (5hrs.++ Verdasco/semi before 5hrs.++Fed/final). The difference is the stake. To have a best chance to grab the only Big thing still eluded from his CV, I can’t see Rafa let it slip away from his bite. No matter how difficult it will surely be, Big heart will win them all.


margot Says:

jane, i am it, sar, skeeze, kimmi: thanx 4 acknowledging my comments from O2, I’d've felt pretty damn silly if no-one had noticed!
It was gr8 seeing, Raf, Rog, Andy :), Roddick et al.live (didn’t see Nole this year). If u haven’t seen the top players live, then GO, GO, Go! TV doesn’t do them justice, they’re magnificent!
As for Andy, what can I say? Fought a gr8 fight, needs to come back more determined. His game just needs a bit of tweaking IMHO, not a lot wrong.
Tennisvagabond: don’t bother to fly to the UK, there is a massive queue waiting to gave Andy a good slap regarding those awful drop shots. They gave Rafa the match. He seems to play them when tired, fuddled tentative etc- yuk! And he’s not half as good at them as Fed either. Andy STOPPIT do yer hear?
dunbar: was that really “Arthur” in deep conversation with Uncle Tone? I was staring hard and he looked more like Vera’s coach to me. Helluva good looking guy whoever, no not Uncle Tone ;)
BTW am having difficulty calling you after an American fighter pilot, allbeit a reluctant one, just not the image I have of you…perhaps “dimwitted dunbar” ?
jane: read all the critiques of Andy and Novak on previous thread and am not going to re-visit, just to say I completely agree with what you wrote. That damn glass ceiling is going to shatter at some point, let’s hope 2011 is THE year.


madmax Says:

Margot!

Got back from the 02 last night – around 11.30pm. 4 hour drive there and back, but it was worth it! where were you sitting? I was level H, seat 793. Fairly high up but with a great view.

Would like to comment on the murray match – I was really, really pleased with the way that murray was playing. It really hung on a couple of points, that match. At the end of it, Andy had more winners than nadal.

Nadal battled for three hours and 11 minutes to get past Andy Murray, 76(5) 36 76(6) (Murray hit 22 aces and won five more points in the match but could not close out the World No. 1, and when you look at these stats, you realise that murray is a hair away from beating rafa all match. He stopped him in the third taking the first match point, broke even, then when it got to the tie break, was 4:2 up! Did you hear the little boy, who must have been about 4 years old shouting – ‘RAFA, ANIMAL!’ when murray was about to serve? and Lars said ‘Please!’, also a couple of the points on the scoreboard were wrong – did you notice that? when Andy was serving, must have put him off! then the crowd started moaning saying ‘SCOREBOARD WRONG!’ and Lars said, ‘Ladies and Gentleman, try and enjoy the match EVEN if the scoreboard is WRONG. What laughter around the stadium!

And that was the first time i had been to the O2 and I thought, what an AWESOME place to experience an incredible atmosphere!

But Murray had nothing to be ashamed about. It really was a couple of points. I dont know whether they showed this on TV, but he went for a ball that rafa had hit, and went back on himself, looked as if he twisted his ankle for a minute or two? I watched his movement after that. It was impeded. That could have made the difference.

But there is no doubt about it, murray lacks the belief in key moments against rafa. At two crucial points in the tiebreaker, he had the match on his racquet. He blew it.

It was great to watch them both though. There is nothing like watching a live match.

As for today. Well, I hope it lives up to the hype. Of course, I also hope that Federer goes on to win.

Skeezer, love your comments and you are right. Federer is playing sublime tennis. Just hope he enjoys the match today and gives it his all.

This.is.it!

Allez, allez Federer!


gabsvamos Says:

I respectfully pick Rafa to win it today…Fed is playing great tennis but after seeing Rafa do what he did yesterday, and knowing that he can still go up a few levels, I have no doubt. The winning cross court FH was incredible as were so many other points. Murray was playing the best tennis I have ever seen him play and yet still Nadal triumphed. I hope that it’s a competitive match today but I don’t see Rafa giving anything away. Roger would have to be phenomenal.

Vamos Rafa!!!


Catherine Says:

The outcome of this final will depend on whether Fed will be able to keep on playing at his near-to-best level like he’s been doing so far at this tournament. If he does – Fed in two.
Unfortunately though, Fed’s surely not the most mentally versatile of the two (to put it mildly), and if he shows one (or more) of his reoccuring glitches in concentration, Rafa will run all over him. In that case – Rafa in three.

Well, whatever. Both are fully deserving of the title, being by far the best players this week. I am happy to finally be able to see a Fedal final again, it’s good to see them both back at their best level. Murray and Djokovic still have a very long way to go, if they ever want to get close to the astonishing quality of both #1′s and #2′s tennis.


Kimmi Says:

federer backhand has to be really good today, rafa will go to that wing 90% of the time..with the FH. and rafa FH is leathal. This will be a different match to all 4 matches he has played so far in this tournament..i have my fingers crossed.

Go roger


guy Says:

>fedend

yes how true. maybe one day they’ll unite the two sports, real tennis and that clay game. that’ll be nice.


Rick Says:

Federer hates pressures. So it is dangerous for him on those backhand and forehand errors. Some of his forehand and backhand might find the net. Nadal is great for wearing his forehand and backhand down. Other than that, just for a reminder. This is not a Grand Slam.


Rick Says:

One thing is good for Federer winning his matches easily. But the bad thing is that, he is not mentally challenged in this tournament. We’re all know that what he is like, when other players are stepping up with their games. When he has to deal with real threats and challenges!


Rick Says:

Seriously, with the way that Murray was playing yesterday. He could had beaten Federer if it wasn’t Nadal that he played yesterday.


Voicemale1 Says:

The court surface is a boon to Federer. If it’s “slow and low” as it keeps showing us it is, he avoids the scenario which has been most detrimental to him in the last year: he can’t be forced to play two yards behind the baseline during rallies. Some big hitter has always managed to play him that way this year to great effect. You can see the difference watching him at this event; the court allows him to stay right on, or inside, the base line. The ball isn’t scorching through the court, so Federer has more time to run around his Backhand to hit Forehands. That the ball doesn’t rise up much off the ground means his Backhand cannot mercilessly attacked, so he won’t be hitting that shot from around his ears. This court is ideal for him. And the fact this is Best of Three instead of Best of Five will help him also.

Nadal knows all of this. His best chance to win is to get into Federer’s legs. Federer will be looking to end points as quickly as possible; Nadal will want to draw out every point into a 15-plus shot rally. Federer has beaten Nadal once in their last 7 meetings over the last three years. He’s going to go into this teeming with revenge to reverse that trend. If by some remote chance Nadal wins this it will be because they’re into their 3rd Hour and deep into the Final Set. But don’t be surprised if Federer walks away with this in straight sets. Roger has a lot of advantages here that he doesn’t have in as many other places, so he’s likely to make the very most of them.


vor Says:

Either Fed will win in 2 or will loose in 3.


Rick Says:

This is what I am talking about? Federer has been winning his matches easily, when the players are not up to his challenges. But competition is about challenges and pressures.

I agree with Voicemale1,
Federer will be looking to end points as quickly as possible;

But that is going to put alot of pressures on Federer. If balls are keep coming back. Federer might completelt falls apart. Because he is trying end his points quickly. And it is very likely for him to make those errors and double faults. I also remember how Nadal beat him in straight sets in Roland Garros 2008. When Federer being at net, he was passed on regular basis.


Rick Says:

If Federer is trying to end his points quickly. He might be able to do it to Djokovic. But he is also being play in the hands of Nadal’s. When balls are keep coming back! Federer would just gets really frustrated. And that is how Federer’s forehand and backhand become liability to himself. When some nerves coming into his mind. His serve would be gone, too!


Rick Says:

If it wasn’t the rain delayed at Wimbledon 2008. Nadal would probably won that in straight sets, too! We’re all know the scores! The only way for Federer to beat Nadal are making winners. But there are many ways for Nadal to beat him!


Rick Says:

Also I must say that, Federer would has taken this match very seriously. And wanted to prove to the world. And Nadal would probably be feeling that he already has the best year in his career and ranked number 1 in the world! So all pressures are on Federer. This is dangerous stuffs for Federer.


Skeezerweezer Says:

@rick

So tell us how you really feel :-)


dunbar Says:

Voicemale1 – I get the impression you think that if Federer wins today no conclusions can be drawn w.r.t. future Fedal meetings, because the conditions favour him in a way he can’t expect to find elsewhere. That’s a bit of a dampner for Federer fans – let’s hope this isn’t so (assuming Federer wins). Meanwhile, Nadal has proven himself, over and again, to be the great adapter -give him a surface, give him a little time on it, he’ll wring out its secrets and play as if he were born to it, at least to the uneducated tennis eye.

” Federer has beaten Nadal once in their last 7 meetings over the last three years. He’s going to go into this teeming with revenge to reverse that trend”. That’s the plus side for Federer. The downside is the very bad memories Federer will certainly carry and which, at difficult moments, may resurface to undermine the confidence without which he simply cannot perform. Remains to be seen which one of these wins out.

margot – it was certainly Bradley James, but I don’t think he was with Uncle Toni. I think he was sat next to him with a wooden partition between them. Is there a special “celebrity” row or something? “dimwit dunbar” is fine, a bit tiresome on the keyboard, though.
b.t.w.re Murray and drop shots – it’s not that he can’t do them as well as Federer, say, actually he’s one of the best droppers imo. But does he choose the appriopriate time to use the shot – or is it sometimes a result of panic, a reversion to compulsive mode, that’s the impression he sometimes gives.


contador Says:

roger does not have ” a lot of advantages here ” LOL!!

i left a counter to that on another thread. the excuses for rafa! and how rafa fans like to have it both ways.

rafa has conquered all hc surfaces fast, slow and the great indoors too. he’s at his peak, federer is not, rafa is #1 by a large margin of points. rafa arguably has more drive than federer to get this WTF. like us open it’s his first true shot at the WTF win – undoubtedly he’ll come out of the gates ready to prove who he is. count on it.

federer has been playing some great tennis but the aging champion could not close the deal in paris or shanghai. we’re talking about one player in their prime and the other in decline.

rafa wins in 2, maybe 3. rick makes a very good case FOR RAFA, who is the #1 and the favorite. it will be a miracle if federer wins.

me, agreeing with rick of all things…lol! federer has the pressure and has to end the points quickly – he can’t hang with the young improved rafa. fed is 29. he’s #2 in the world for a reason and the underdog today.

now i go hide. fedal, schmeeedal :/


van orten Says:

the surface reminds me of australian open hard courts..it is the best surface the two greats could play against each other..


Andrew Miller Says:

Basically I want Federer to win this one. I’d like him to face his fears and put a straight set win on Rafa. Everything is lined up for Federer: not much time on court, surface, confidence. He should win this one.


Andrew Miller Says:

This is not because I am a Federer fan that I say this. I am a Nadal and Federer fan. However it’s better for the sport if Federer rises to the occasion today and wins it. It’s better for Nadal too to know that Nadal can’t win every huge tournament he enters.


dunbar Says:

“undoubtedly he’ll come out of the gates ready to prove who he is. count on it.” That’s a good point, Contador. Nadal has fought hard and long to get where he is. He is the undisputed #1 in the era when the so-called “goat” is still playing. The next goal is to take over goatship (for those who don’t believe in goats, fine: nor do I. But for the overwhelming majority, the concept carries resonance – perception is all).

Nadal is absolutely not going to yield an inch of the authority so painfully gained. (Painful? Yep, that’s the behind the scenes work we don’t get to see). He’ll leave his guts out on the court if he has to. Count on seeing a different Nadal to what we saw yestreday. Yes, he took a bit of a risk, but I think he understood his Murray. He’s saved the best for today.

Is Federer’s resolve up to it? We always hope for the best, don’t we, when Federer plays Nadal…..


Kimberly Says:

my only comments prior to this match i am so excited for:

I see Fed as a favorite but I am hoping Rafa can claw past him. Fed has been playing flawless and eased his way through. Rafa has grinded it out. Can Rafa win, absolutely for the reasons contador said above. But based on both of their play this week, i would give the edge to fed.

Now, could he pull a monfils/novak/murray and start shanking balls. Of course, that has kind of been his MO. Can Rafa refuse to go down and utlimately wear Fed out? Of course. Could Federer completely choke because its Rafa. Its been done before,. But if you ask me who is playing this tourney better its Fed. And I won’t be suprised if he wins.

With that said, fingers and legs crossed, VAMOS RAFA!


van orten Says:

tennis is a complicated sport..never underestimate the matador though…
remember australian open 09??? federer would have crushed verdasco in the semis in straight while nadal had to play for 6 hours or so to beat him..then fed played a great match in the finals but didnt take his chances..so very hard to predict anything ..
i am excited very excited


Gordo Says:

An interesting point mentioned by Jason Goodall with Robbie Koenig in their preview for today’s final is that when serving from the deuce side and slicing the ball out wide Roger Federer has lost a total of 1 point in 8 sets. What they do not say is how many times he used that serve but that has to be something Federer will rely on, as that serve will be to Rafa’s backhand.

=========

Two things on quotes by Nole and by Rafa -

When Djokovic said after yesterday’s loss, “He was the better player today. To me, he’s maybe playing the best tennis in 2010.” – I believe he meant Federer is playing HIS best tennis of 2010. He was not saying the best tennis of anyone, imo.

And when Rafa says, “I am very happy to beat a great champion like Andy. For me is an amazing victory,” how do you seriously take anything that comes out of his mouth? Or do all you Rafa fans believe that Murray has reached the stature of “great champion”?

Perhaps Rafa was just applying some of that humbleness he always does – when he wins, but most of these guys are ESL,so maybe we shouldn’t analyze every word uttered.

=========

For me, this sets the stage for a very interesting 2011.

Should Federer win, he will as number 2 in the world, have knocked off the #5, #4, #3 and #1 players, and so far he has done so in straight sets. Even if he does not straight set Rafa he will still serve (pun!) notice that the riches and trophies in 2011 are not going to be easy picking for Rafa.

However,

Should Rafa win, he will serve notice that not only is he the best player on the tour – and by his GS results, his domination on clay he is indeed the best player of 2010 no matter what happens – but he may elevate himself to a point of being untouchable, and he just might steamroll in 2011 to one of the best years a player has ever had. Perhaps even better than this year. Scary.

So much of this game is in the two great champions’ (and I think you all agree these two guys can be called “great champions, no?) minds. It is a fitting way to end the season.

=======

Gee, I wonder who the head of IMG is betting on?


MalaMo Says:

Let’s go FED!!! This one’s yours baby!!!


Nina Says:

“I thought Novak played a decent match,” said Federer.

Me thinks not.


dari Says:

Decent isn’t exactly a compliment here, Nina!
Anyway for roger’s sake, I hope he can take out Rafa, and hopefully in straight sets. As things go down the stretch in ! deciding set, we know what Rafa can do. I just want rogrr to olay his absolute best tennis and bring his best mindbevause i belive him when he says he can beat anyone withholding his best tennis.
It’s time to prove thatnow, rogelio!
Let’s go Rogerrrrrr!


Skeezerweezer Says:

Gordo,

Nice read :) & “classic”. A post to visit again next summer. I Hope for a dogfight among the top 4, and a bright star youngster to emerge.


dunbar Says:

Gordo says:”When Djokovic said after yesterday’s loss, “He was the better player today. To me, he’s maybe playing the best tennis in 2010.” – I believe he meant Federer is playing HIS best tennis of 2010. He was not saying the best tennis of anyone, imo.”
This was jane’s point, and I think, on reflection, it has to be that. It doesn’t make sense otherwise – pity he didn’t say:”his” instead of “the”, but the transcription could be wrong, or just careless (Djoko’s English is exceptional).


madmax Says:

federer has been playing some great tennis but the aging champion could not close the deal in paris or shanghai. we’re talking about one player in their prime and the other in decline.

No, no, no contador! Shame on you! Please stop talking about age and decline all the time. This is a man who has proved again and again how determined he is to win, he loves tennis, unconditional love for his sport. He is playing some of the best tennis he has all year contador. You cannot deny that. Winning 4 titles this year and reaching 8 finals – that is NOT a player in decline. He is still evolving, still prepared to change his game, tweak it here and there. The passion of federer is rife. He is ready contador.

You discussed on another thread that fed is ‘nearing 30′. Hmmmmm..give the man a break. He is just 29, and 3 months – this is nowhere near 30! and let’s not forget that connors was 39 years old before he retired from tennis!

This is a wonderful time for Federer. I see real joy in the way that he plays and his movement is brilliant. Just awesome.

His match against ferrer, soderling, murray and djokovic proves just how brilliant federer still is. He is playing as well as he was playing at the AO in January in my view.

C’mon Roger! We want the win!


Kimmi Says:

congrats to nestor / zim for winning WTF. good to see they are playing well again.

sad to hear they are breaking up after this…


i am it Says:

Why are Sean and Voicemale saying almost the same but from opposite poles? See the excerpts below.***

What is at stake for Fed at this event?
To me, why WTF should matter to Fed is this is his last bastion and it is on attack.

Rafa wins the Indoor battle, he wins on every surface. You could say, “So has Fed.” But Rafa will have turned it around on every surface, if he wins tomorrow. In an oversimplified version, he adds another brick on the wall toward his silent claim of co-GOATship with Federer. For this reason, this event carries an extra emotional content for both, probably more for Federer.

Drama: A battle over legacies between the history’s two active legends.

Pressure: About the same
Surface Advantage: Federer1
Form Advantage: Rafa1
Rest Advantage: Federer2
Semi-final Unbruised: Federer3
Forehand: Rafa2
Backhand: Federer4
Net Play: Federer5
Service: Federer6
Baseline: Rafa3
Inside Baseline: Federer

Things to Watch: (1) Will Fed be able to keep Rafa deep behind the baseline while increasing his frequency of moving in?
(2) Can Fed reduce the number of times he gets pinned down to Ad court corner?
(3) Can he, to use Sean’s phrase, “swat” Rafa’s 2nd serve?
(4) How often can he come to the net without being passed?
(5) Will his forehand be reliable or liable? First Serve % less than 65?

A Rafa expert’s opinion on the things to watch about Rafa will be relevant here. Someone volunteer, please.

=======================
***At 11:38 Sean writes, “However, on hardcourts it is 4-4 and Federer leads 2-0 indoors (4-0 in sets) beating Rafa in the 2006, 2007 Shanghai events.

“I also think that Federer is playing better than Rafa this week. Roger has sailed through Robin Soderling, Andy Murray and today Novak Djokovic. Three very tough outs indoors. ..
“Nadal is playing great tennis on this surface – he was winless a year ago! – but the surface still helps Federer more. The lower bounce won’t trouble Federer as much on his vulnerable backhand and the slower speed will give Roger additional time to set up and execute an offensive, aggressive gameplan like he did today and will have to duplicate to win tomorrow.

“And on the serve, I think Federer gets the big edge, both delivery and return. Fed still has so much more variety off the serve than Rafa. And I liked the way Federer started swatting the Djokovic serve for winners. If he can do that off Nadal’s second serve (run around the backhand?) then look out!
“…but indoors makes a difference so I’ll go with Federer to claim the final title of 2010 and to do it in straight sets Sunday!”

At 11:54 Voicemale1 writes:

“That said, Nadal has virtually no chance to win tomorrow. This court, being “Slow and Low” is ideal for Federer. And especially ideal for him against Nadal. The “slow & low” nature of the court reverses the major problem Federer has suffered against big hitters all year: their shots do not force Federer to have to play from 8 feet back of the baseline. The “deadness” of the court allows Federer to camp out right on the baseline and move inside – just like he was in his prime on any surface. He also gains over Nadal in two other ways, thanks to the nature of the court. Federer will have a lot more time to run around his backhand almost at will; and he will not have to face the high bounces of the Nadal uber-topspin to his backhand. Just about every advantage will be with Federer tomorrow. It would be a serious surprise if Federer loses.”


Gordo Says:

Great to see the team of Nestor and Zimonjic end their partnership on a high by winning the doubles title. I’m sure Nestor was not unhappy seeing how well Max Mirmyi of Belarus played on the other side of the net, because starting in 2011 they are going to be paired up.

Nestor just turned 38, and he is the only player in tennis history to have won all four Grand Slams, all of the Masters Series events, the Year End Championships and Olympic gold medal in doubles at least once.

He is hanging around see if he can overtake the records for most open era match and tournament wins that Todd Woodbridge holds 782/83. Nestor is currently at 762/71. If he and Mirmyi click the first record should be his by Wimbledon. If they REALLY click? Who knows.

Good for Canada’s greatest tennis player ever!

Speaking of Canada – Nadal – Federer will be shown on TSN2 delayed during the Grey Cup.


madmax Says:

Good luck to both players today.

C’mon Federer!


Kimo Says:

I’m very surprised to see so many confident predictions. Let’s face it, when Roger and Rafa face off, all bets are off the table unless the match is on clay.

Sure, Fed will be better rested and the court surface serves him well, but it’s still Rafa we’re talking about.

And Rafa has been without question the best player this year, but he’s been tested by Roddick and Murray yet he prevailed, he didn’t play his best tennis yet he reached the final, but it’s still Fed we’re talking about.

However…

Based on their form this week, Fed has the edge. Based on mental and physical fatigue though, Fed gets the edge. Based on the surface, Fed gets the edge, but we have to admit that Roger very rarely plays free of pressure against Rafa. Just seeing Rafa on the other side of the net tightens him up which doesn’t allow him to play loose, care-free, unbeatable tennis that he can produce against everyone else. It’s not “fear” as some might say, but anxiety. And if you doubt that Rafa too fells the pressure when playing Fed is ludicrous. At the start of their Madrid final this year, neither one of them was hitting the ball cleanly.

Fed in 2.


Kimmi Says:

contador – i am going to hide too…oh noo! i cant watch!


Kimo Says:

Oh as for the 14-7 H2H, if you remove clay matches, Fed has the edge 5-4.


jane Says:

Congrats to Nesty & Z for the doubles title; I guess they go out with a bang. Yes, they are “splitting up” next year. I wish them the best. They’ve been an excellent team, and Nesty was able to add to his already tremendous achievements with Mr. Z.


Kimmi Says:

WOW! federer won the toss and ask nadal to choose. hmm!


jane Says:

Thanks for the Canadian TV coverage info Gordo. I will seek out streaming but if it’s a classic match I’ll watch it &/or tape it on HD.


van orten Says:

it s great seeing them in a huge final again!!!


rose Says:

and here we are again another match between to of the great ones this amazing sport has..rafa vs roger..roger vd rafa…i won’t even try to pick a winner cause both champions are just incredibe when they bring their A game to the court..i will just be content with a competitive match


Daniel Says:

Let’s hope for a great match!


Kimo Says:

Yessss. Easy hold for Fed. That should settle him down.


Daniel Says:

Now Fed is missing froehand second serve returns, 2 already, tigh.


Daniel Says:

Wow, 6 winners for Fed and 1 ace in 2 service games.


jane Says:

Neither are getting many first serves in yet, but they are both holding fairly easily.


Kimo Says:

WOW What a backhand!!!


jane Says:

Nicely angled backhand there.


Kimo Says:

In 5 games, Rafa has 0 ground winners.


Daniel Says:

Fed is trying to attack Nadal’s second serve with his forehand, but missed all. He better start putting the balls on court.


van orten Says:

attacking second serves going for the FH winner is one of the most difficult strokes in tennis . otherwise they would not do anything else but smashin the return back into play


jane Says:

Help! Have lost stream; anyone have a link?


Kimo Says:

So far Fed is out-rallying Rafa.


Kimo Says:

First winner off the ground for Rafa…


Daniel Says:

10-1 in winners for Fed.


rose Says:

wooww..federer is playing very sharp… winner after winner..nadal serve is giving him some issues trying to return ..a lot of missed returns..but it won’t take too long until he figures out nadal’s new serve.


i am it Says:

Beautiful tennis.
Rafa is picking up his level.
Fed is almost there.


Kimo Says:

VERY GOOD HOLD by Fed.


Gordo Says:

That was the first sniff for either player – love-30 on Fed’s serve. But he pulled out of it nicely.


i am it Says:

Good save from Fed.


Kimo Says:

Come on Rog…Try to break here…


Daniel Says:

Last Nadal service game Fed was in control of the dfirst 3 points but won 1, missed a volley and Nadal made a forehand couter pounch. You see Nadal was ready to go after that hold.


jane Says:

Another backhand winner from Fed.

Rafa having a bit of trouble this service game; not getting in his firsts at all, double fault.


Kimo Says:

All the points are on Roger’s racket, either winners or UEs.


Kimo Says:

WOW!!!!

Roger is firing on all cylinders now. Off the backhand, off the forehand, the serve.

I love this man.


Daniel Says:

My God, his backhand is better than AO 2010. Amazing.


Gordo Says:

The boys are starting to get a slight read on each others’ serve.

Fed has only won 7 points on Nadal’s serve, but 5 of them were in this break game.


jane Says:

Good play by Fed to get the break; Rafa will rue that missed inside out forehand to give deuce. Also, today going to the backhand isn’t working. At least not thus far.


Kimo Says:

First set to Rog.

Roger’s slice serve on the deuce side has baan a killer for his opponents all week.

So far, this match is going exactly like I thought it would.


Kimmi Says:

GO FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDDDDDDDDEEEEEEEEERERRRRR


Daniel Says:

15 winners in 9 games!!


Gordo Says:

For once a SOLID back up of a break. Fed has not lost a first serve yet.

So far, so good. Now that Fed has won the first set I would say it is 50-50.


i am it Says:

1st set for Fed in 30 min. or so. Awesome.
Yesterday Rafa was the Da Man, today Roger is the Da Man.


sar Says:

Looks like a Fed revenge tour.


Kimmi Says:

concentrate federer..2nd set!


Kimo Says:

I can see Annacone’s influence on Roger. His groundies are very deep into the court of very angled. His volleys are crisp. He’s being aggressive whenever he has the chance.

Rafa with only two winners in the set to Roger’s 14. Roger is out-rallying him….Badly.

Where’s Fedend and Rick when you need them…


van orten Says:

he got punched by those two winners from fed!!!FH & BH are ultra on fire


Sean Randall Says:

Federer on fire. Making Nadal look ordinary. Easy first set for Fed.


Kimo Says:

I love watching Roger’s strokes in slo-mo…

Mesmerizing…


Daniel Says:

Fed played great in first sets all week. Everything in his game is working. He didn’t make a single forehand unforced mistake when agressive.


blank Says:

I have never seen Roger hit so many backhand winners in one 5 set match, leave alone in just 1 set and against Nadal


sar Says:

Nestor and Z won their final tournament. Very pleased for them and it gives Z a lot of confidence for DC.


Pro_B Says:

Is Fed playing the BEST i’ve seen him in 2010 or is it just me?


margot Says:

woe Fed, just wow! Rafa needs to dig deep!


Gordo Says:

As impressive as Fed has played, the most impressive stat, as it goes between these 2 when they play is -

Federer – Break opportunities – 1 for 1


Kimo Says:

Pro-B, he was like this in the Australian Open. :)


Andrew Miller Says:

In 1st set, a bit of OZ Open final from Federer – showing some serious court and tennis knowledge with the tactic of waiting a split second longer to see what direction Nadal commits to, and then putting the ball in a part of the court no one ever knew existed (some of those backhands were pretty unreal). It’s an advantage of wisdom to counteract the effect of age on speed.


Andrew Miller Says:

Kimo, wavelength! Awesome, I totally agree. Some OZ final right there in the 1st set. Freeze the opponent, exploit court knowledge.


jane Says:

sar, lol. Yes, it does. Just warming up though so we’ll see if Rafa can raise his level; I thought, as Sean said, he looked very ordinary that set. Partly due to where his own level was and partly due to Fed’s aggressiveness throughout. Fed, as VM1 has suggested, had plenty of time to run around the backhand when Nadal tried to pin Fed back, and then Fed could rip the forehand. Although, that said, Fed’s backhand looks very solid and he hit some great winners from that side. Let’s see what the second set holds. I don’t really care who wins, but it’d be nice to see a 3 setter, from my perspective.


Gordo Says:

A bellweather for Fed is how he plays the first service game of the second set after he has won the first set. Often he has had a let down recently.

Not today.


Kimo Says:

Roger’s defense today is superb.


Andrew Miller Says:

Though this may be inappropriate, Rafa’s got good taste in the gf dept. Apologies to tennis-x, but I am just calling a spade, a spade.


fed is afraid Says:

so far roger is not choking like he usually does against rafa. he is playing great.


jane Says:

“Is Fed playing the BEST i’ve seen him in 2010 or is it just me?” It’s not just you Pro-B; that’s what Djoko said yesterday and he should know since they’ve played a ton this year, and also I suspect Murray would concur because he also felt Fed’s fire.


Andrew Miller Says:

Kind of believe the key here like Gordo mentioned, Fed’s ability to regroup and keep confidence high after either (1) excellent set or (2) mishits. That backhand mishit should be nothing more than a mishit/nonfactor in Fed’s play today.


Daniel Says:

Fed missed a few serves and now is 15-40. He needs to serve!!


Kimo Says:

Dammit…


Kimmi Says:

WOW! nadal breaks


Daniel Says:

Early second set walkabout.


Daniel Says:

First attacking forehand he misses is on BP.


jane Says:

This happened versus Djoko and Fed righted the ship almost immediately by breaking right back. I wonder if he can do the same versus Nadal?


van orten Says:

fed breaks nadal by playing two incredible winners ..nadal breaks because fed misses two crucial balls..
the story of fed vs rafa is never ending !!!


Gordo Says:

There is a difference between the two – Nadal is on for every point and Fed’s brain clicks off at times.


Sean Randall Says:

Oh boy. Federer really needs to win this in two sets.

Roger’s lost his first set aggressiveness, his confidence.


jane Says:

BTW, Nadal has won only 1 point off 18 of Fed’s first serves, but he’s winning 44% off seconds. Meanwhile, Fed is doing better returning Rafa’s firsts as opposed to second serves. Go figure. Rafa has slowly raised his first serve percentage for the match, whereas Fed’s now down to 53%. Fed’s won 37 points; Rafa 35.


van orten Says:

the difference is also that nadal plays steady ..the same the same amazingly high level..while fed has to outplay him almost every point


Kimo Says:

Fed has to work on these early second set mental lapses. They’re so annoying.


Gordo Says:

Serving 27% on his first serve is not going to get the job done for Fed. Especially when he was 15 for 15 and 68% in the first set.


Kimmi Says:

federer in second set 3 out of 11 1st serves..cant expect to win against rafa.

he better wake up


Pro_B Says:

Crap! And JUST as i say that Rafa breaks! :( Fedlovers, don’t kill me for jinxing him. Fed is afraid- i see you are still around- well, enjoy for the moment i guess. Lenny- Waiting to see how the set goes?


jane Says:

Easy hold there.


Kimberly Says:

As I am married to a Fed fan, the fighting in my household has already started. Separate rooms to watch the match. Worse than tennis-x a week ago!

Apparently I make excuses, downplay my guys abilities, and am smug.


Gordo Says:

First set – Fed wins only 7 points on Eafa’s serve, but 5 were in the 1 break game.

Second set – Rafa wins only 5 points on Fed’s serve, but 4 were in that one break game.

Two dudes, or what?


jane Says:

OMG, dear Kimberly, my empathy. It’s bad enough in the virtual world let alone RL.


madmax Says:

this is amazing tennis from both players.

Fed is a different player playing against nadal today.


Gordo Says:

Here we go, boys and girls – for ALL the marbles.


Kimo Says:

Roger’s first serve went AWOL for most of that set. If he doesn’t get more 1st serves in, it’s over.


madmax Says:

3 sets. OMG.

C’mon Federer! Dont let this match out of your hands!


van orten Says:

nadal wins this if fed has another off-game on serve
fed wins this if fed has another on-game on nadals serve


fed is afraid Says:

i always enjoy watching rafa.
someday someone will come along
who has his number. but right now
he is the king.


madmax Says:

All sorts of questions now. Federer has to hold. The serve needs to be back on! It was way down in the second -


Pro_B Says:

Awww, Kimberly, i had a CLOSE relationship with a Rafa fan for about 6 years so you can imagine what that climactic Wimby final was like for us when we were watching it simultaneously and i can imagine YOUR plight right now :)


jane Says:

Yay 3 setter! I hope it goes to a tiebreak!!!


Gordo Says:

That’s pretty well it in a nutshell, van orten – who will have that 1 bad service game first?


rose Says:

second set to Mr. Nadal ..wowwo..these two cant stop impressing every single time they play each other..now it’s do or die ..let the best man win..no more nails to bite for me :p


margot Says:

And Rafa does indeed dig deep! Here we go for a decider!
jane: how nice it is to be able to sit back and enjoy the tennis, without getting stressed ;)


jane Says:

margot, indeedy.


Pro_B Says:

Does anyone know what happened to Von?


Kimo Says:

Does Rafa have to be so damn graphic all the time? Sheesh.


jane Says:

Exciting! Can’t pick it.


Daniel Says:

Well, this game Nadal was in the zone. Several great shots by Fed and he responded with one better.


madmax Says:

these two just bring the best out of each other.

It’s so hard to watch sometimes. But great at the same time. Fed is picking up his serve and he needs to. Rafa is right on him.


vrael Says:

anyone else think rafa is below par today or is it just me….this certainly isnt the uso10 rafa


Kimo Says:

I’m so nervous right now. Can’t imagine what Fed feels like.


madmax Says:

kimo, I am nervous, but I just feel that I have to watch Federer in every match now, whatever happens. He is a joy to watch. Rafa is world number 1 and deserves to be in terms of the slams he has won this year, but federer will always be my number 1. Just want him to win and finish the year the way it started for him! Winning!

C’mon Federer!


van orten Says:

fed will have to come up with some amazing stuff to win this


Pro_B Says:

Fed in the 3rd set against Rafa scares me, Any other Fed fans feel the same way?


madmax Says:

brilliant federer!


jane Says:

Deuce for Fed…


jane Says:

Break point!


Daniel Says:

HOLDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!


vor Says:

Fed Broke Nadal…


madmax Says:

c’mon Federer!

Pro_B! Got to support Federer ALL THE WAY!


Kimo Says:

YESSSSSS. Roger DESERVED to break. He worked for it and earned it.

And for all those who game him $hit for BP conversion this year, he’s 2/2 vs. his nemesis.


jane Says:

Nadal shows nerves there, misses first serve by a mile and Fed breaks! That could be the match. Ronnie Wood’s wife (or daughter? lol) is happy.


Kimo Says:

I meant gave, not game.


Gordo Says:

Two deuce games in the whole match – 2 Fed breaks.

Fed is 2 for 2 on break points. Is this the SAME Roger Federer who has trouble breaking Rafa?

The next game is HUGE!!! Can RF reinforce the break???


madmax Says:

GIRLFRIEND Jane!

Federerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr HOld!!!!!!!!!!!


Daniel Says:

Nadal being able to find Fed’s backhand.


Gordo Says:

Oh no! First deuce on Fed’s serve!


madmax Says:

Federrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr hold!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Daniel Says:

ACEEEEE


madmax Says:

Federer MUST NOT go walkabout. Has to hold.

He CAN do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

C’mon Federer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Kimo Says:

He held, Daniel. He held. OMG I can’t stay in my seat.


Daniel Says:

Now two more holds or go for the kill and try to break again, just in case. You never know with Nadal king of comeback.


Kimo Says:

Fed’s wide serve on the deuce court was soooooo good this entire tournament.


Gordo Says:

Fed is back to over 70% on his first serve. He is 33 for 36 on his first serve. If he can maintain this it may be his for the taking. 2 service games to go!


jane Says:

sar, check out the photos of Nesty & Mr.Z with their little ones at the ATP site, so cute!!!


fed is afraid Says:

very disappointed, but all credit to roger.


Pro_B Says:

I love Fed in Red


Daniel Says:

Wow!!!


Daniel Says:

BREAKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK


Kimo Says:

A double break against Rafa in a final set?!!!!

Somebody pinch me coz I think I’m having a wet dream.


madmax Says:

c’mon Federer! Hold it! Hold your serve!!!!!

Go Federer!


Daniel Says:

Yeah, My prayers are all attended!!!


i am it Says:

It is almost safe to say Federer beats the hell out of Rafa.


Kimo Says:

Thank you, fed is afraid.

Now for God’s sake change your nickname :)


Gordo Says:

I will never say it is over when Nadal is on the other side of the net, but boy! Does it appear some demons are being laid to rest here, or what?

I was wrong – 1 more service game to go.


mrmilbury Says:

With three unforced errors from Rafa? Is he human? Let’s hope Roger keep the focus.
Ace.


jane Says:

Fed’s got this one in the bag; congrats to him for a big and meaningful win, and a tremendous tournament and end to the year!!! Also, kudos to his faithfuls; there certainly are a lot of you ;)

Also kudos must go to Rafa as well, for a very much improved indoor season. Rafa fans, take heart. He got to the finals here; we know what that means: next year, he will win the whole thing. :)


Pro_B Says:

Fat lady, sing pls? LENNY, Where art thou?


Daniel Says:

Just one decent first serve!!!


Kimo Says:

ROGEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

I LOVE YOU.
I LOVE YOU.
I LOVE YOU.

LONG LIVE THE KING.
LONG LIVE THE KING.
LONG LIVE THE KING.

THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME.


someone Says:

Wow, Federer won 17 of the last 22 points. Total domination!


Gordo Says:

So the “old man” is not about to put his teeth in a jar and watch reruns of Matlock just yet.

2011 should be a riot.

Congratulations, Fed fans. Get out the RF caps and the Red and white banners and fly them proudly.

And fedisafraid, Rick and Fedend – put on your battle gear and bring your knives and forks. Time to take your lumps and eat some crow. Yumma yumma yumma yumma yumma!!!

PS – I almost shouldn’t include fedisafraid in here. She has never been nasty about Roger, she just pointed out how he had a tendancy to choke against Rafa. Not today, girl!

But Frdend – show your face!!!!!


dc Says:

the GOAT has done it…beaten the championship of the top8 players in the world 5 times..


i am it Says:

Congrats to the King Roger for his record tying 5th. A victory in style.

Tears for good Rafa fans, not Fedend, Mindy, and Rick.


Kimo Says:

BP conversion rate: 3/3.

Now stop giving my Roger $hit about his BP conversion.


Daniel Says:

Told yeah yesterday, every year Fed won AO he won YEC.

Tying Pete and Lendl with 5 titles. 66 of his career, beating the hell out of everybody, inlcuding a 6-1 set over Nadal in his prime. Amazing stuff. One of the best tournaments for Fed.

Nadal is so good that was the only one who could catilize on a single poor service game by fed and win a set.

Now the tone for next year is set. Nadal will rule clay, Fed is back playing awesome on HC and I hope they meet again at Wimby.


Kimo Says:

Roger was the best player this entire fall, and he deserved the biggest jewel in the fall crown, the World Tour Final trophy.


someone Says:

FEDEND AND RICK, YOU NADALITES, GET YOUR HEADS OUT YOUR BUMS AND FACE THE PAIN!!!


madmax Says:

yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

soooooooooooooooooooooooo happyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So pleased that I watched the whole match. Got to watch Federer, federer fans – come what may!

He has beaten rafa!

woot!

Sar!!!!! you hear me???!!!! :)))))

Very special players.

Great Rivalry. Just love it when they play each other. They bring out the best in each other.

No one can say that rafa is in his head!

Federer. You.are.the.best!


Kimo Says:

First YEC for Fed as a daddy. :)


van orten Says:

i said so ..fed had to come with some amazing tennis and he did so !!! completly outplayed nadal
what a tennis year!!! great champions they are…
2011 gonna be superb


vor Says:

Fedend is supporting Fed using some other handle so we won’t see him posting as Fedend for some time…


Kimo Says:

Rafa’s English has improved a great deal, no?


gannu Says:

Haven’t seen a point but I am todaty the happiest in world. Because my feddy bear won


Pro_B Says:

Awww, bromance at its best!


Kimo Says:

Both guy are extra classy in their speeches.

And the prophecy is true. Whenever Roger wins the AO, he wins the YEC (not counting 2003).


Mirka Federer Says:

Roger” “If I don’t see you here (O2 Arena), I will see you at Wimbledon.”

What the hell! I mean come on! Don’t be silly!


madmax Says:

credit has to go to Annacone. The guy has helped federer to become the real federer once again!

Sar, am sooooo happy today! Great pictures of federer!

who cares about the h2h! Federer has beaten rafa in a final!!! woot!

Feels good!

A great final. Very clever play by federer.


Daniel Says:

Nadal couldn’t end a season with less than 10 defeats, even in his best year. I think he end with 71-10, and Fed with 65-13.


Kimberly Says:

Congrats to Fed fans, very well played match and fall season.

Too bad for Rafa, but he had his share of wins so can’t cry too hard.


jane Says:

I really did think Fed was the fave going into this match based on their play this week. And he proved to be so. Nadal looked beatable versus Roddick (what I saw of that match) as well as versus Murray, heck, even in the first set with one-eyed Nole. Fed never looked really tested this week in the matches I saw; he dominated both Murray and Nole, who had both troubled him in other matches. Fed’s tennis looked the strongest of the field. With Nadal, his will and fight prevailed in his matches, and he even pushed this match to 3 sets, when after set one it looked like Fed would win in straights.

But Fed’s win today really does raise the stakes for the AO, another slowish hard court. It will be an exciting 2011. Fed will have to defend a title right off the bat, and then Nadal will have 3 to defend. Will anyone else rise and challenge these two? Hope so!!!


aleish17 Says:

Congrats to Fed and all Fedfans!

Feeling so sad for Rafa. He wants this one so badly. But we (Rafa and Rafa fans) cant have everything this year. I am certain he will be back next year (and hopefully win the YEC). Before that time comes, I’d like to believe his camp has already sorted out means to improve his indoor hard court play, just like the improvements Rafa has shown in USO 2010.

This is a more than stellar year for Rafa. On to AO 2011!!! No time to feel sorry when he has achieved so much this year.


i am it Says:

Where is Conty, show your face, dear?


steve-o Says:

Congrats Roger! 5th year-end championship and great victory.

Nadal played extremely well, but the man from Basel was always on the attack.


FedEnd Says:

Absolutely great win for Federer.
Congrats !!!
Its your time to enjoy fedfans and FEDTARDS….have fun.
Im happy that the loss for Rafa would help him out to iron out his game for AO…which will be his BIGGEST EVER GS on a favorable surface for him.


Daniel Says:

Djoko and Murray better join forces, practice together, and discust tactics. Otherwise will be another year of dominance by Nadal and Fed.

Nadal: RG, Wimby and US Opens
Fed: AO, YEC


sar Says:

Congrats to Max, Kimmi and all Fed fans. Sorry for Nadal but he got to the final which is waaay more than he achieved here last year. One step closer. I expect Rafa will be a winner next year.


FedEnd Says:

Rafa has played really well here….he will be at a different level at AO because of the bounce of the surface there……AO now looks very very promising.
Would be a boring 7 weeks till the AO….hope the FEDTARDS here keep it entertaining till then….they have got a lot to chew on now.


van orten Says:

a final worth the expectations…the only minus this year- we didn’t see them playing each other in a grand slam final, above all at us open


Dan Martin Says:

Nadal is clearly #1 and Fed is clearly #2. In 2008 it looked like Roger might be on a serious decline. In 2009 Rafa looked physically whipped. In 2010 both were healthy for the most part and they out pointed everyone by a long margin. Taking into account all of the surface speeds, Rafa is #1 by a wide margin. Roger proved he is still solid for all 11 months of the tour. The biggest problem Nole, Murray, and others have is they cannot do what Rafa and Roger do and play well in almost every big event. Until that changes, Rafa and Roger will be the top 2 when any serious amount of time is measured on tour.


Daniel Says:

Of the last 4 times they played, they split 1 on hard for each and 1 on clay.

Nadal: AO 09, Madrid 10′
Fed: Madrid 09′, YEC 10′

Their rivalry was virtually even when 2007 ended, 8-6 Nadal. The problem was the 4 defeats Fed had in 2008 (3 on clay), his worst year.
Now 14-8 looks a lot better than 14-7, or 15-7.
I hope we begin 2011 with a bang: these 2 playing the final in Doha, where both are schedule to play once again.
Fed can be the only player to beat Nadal 10 times, I think he is the only one with more than 5 wins against him.


margot Says:

Gr8 play by Fed, lovely clean, aggressive tennis. Played better than for ages and ages during this tournament. Definately the better player today too.
Commiserations to rafa fans? But whatever happened in the last set? Never seen Rafa go away like that b4:(


fed is afraid Says:

i guess i have to eat a huge helping of crow.
i never believed roger would ever beat rafa again.
congrats to roger.


jane Says:

Daniel “Djoko and Murray better join forces, practice together, and discust tactics.”

May the force be with them. :) They both need coaches; look what Fed’s did for him, or look what Toni does for Rafa. Nole and Murray need coaches to help them evolve as players. Murray’s already got all the shots; for him it’s more tactics (staying aggressive), mental (staying focused), and yeah (i am it, I am looking at you :)), improving his forehand. For Nole, he needs a coach to help him transform his serve into a consistent weapon and to help evolve his transition/net game so he doesn’t have to grind quite as much. Nole’s tennis from the baseline is strong. I am not worried about it. It’s the serves and the volleys. He could use some confidence too.

With margot, I hope for breaking glass.


Kimberly Says:

Just realized something really really sad, no tennis for over a month and i have to end with a rafa loss? What to do?

NFL and bowl games. FEDAL lovefests on tennis-x?


FedEnd Says:

“Fed can be the only player to beat Nadal 10 times, I think he is the only one with more than 5 wins against him.”

Nole has 7 too.


Kimo Says:

Tennis.com just crashed.


madmax Says:

It’s such a Shame that Kimberley and Aleish who are as classy as rafa in defeat are joined by some real unworthy rafa fans – especially when just televised on sky, you saw rafa’s mother, anna maria, father, sebastian and his sister in the corridor of the players’ rooms waiting to congratulate roger, kissed him, put their arms around him – just so nice.

And then federer also kissed his father!

Love the great fans and the greatness of federer and nadal!


Dan Martin Says:

On the history side a YEC is one of the few non-slam marks worth noting. Fed has now tied Lendl and Sampras with 5 season ending titles. It is amazing the history that has been made since 1999

1999 – Agassi’s career slam in Paris, Pete tied Emo in London, Pete wins his 5th ATP World Championship tying Lendl
2000 – Pete broke the all time slam mark
2002 – Pete extended the mark to 14 majors
2004 – Andre sets the all time masters series mark at 17, Roger wins 3 slams in 1 year for the first time since 1988
2007 – Roger wins 5 straight Wimbledon titles tying Borg
2008 – Aside from THE MATCH at Wimbledon, Roger sets the all time consecutive weeks at #1 mark, Roger wins 5 straight US Open titles
2009 – Roger gets a career slam and ties Pete at 14 in Paris, wins #15 in London
2010 – Roger gets #16 down under, Rafa wins 3 consecutive majors in the same year, Rafa wins the career Golden Slam matching Agassi, Rafa wins #18 of his masters series titles taking over for Agassi, climbs the slam ladder to 9, Federer ties Lendl and Sampras with 5 YECs
2011??? – Rafa Slam?


jane Says:

Also has Rafa tied Borg at the French? I think so? And both Fed and Nadal got Wimby-FO doubles, Nadal twice! These two are so utterly dominant. It’s good in some ways. Not so much in others – that’s just my opinion.


mem Says:

congratulations to roger on defeating my boy!

and to rafa a class act, congratulations on making the final. a fantastic tournament for you!

btw sean, nadal was ordinary compared to roger, but what player wouldn’t be after three consecutive tough matches in three days. let’s not allow our imagination to run away with us, we all know why nadal wasn’t able to compete at his usual level; it was clear in the match seeing how many balls he didn’t even attempt to reach. before you response with “sore loser or sour grapes” let’s just say what i’m saying is not an excuse but a fact that seems to get lost in the main scheme of things.

once again roger played an outstanding match and deserved the victory; as always all the best to rafa!


madmax Says:

Dan Martin Says:

Rafa wins #18 of his masters series titles taking over for Agassi.

Remember, it was joint 17 with federer Dan. If only he had won Toronto! He would have been joint 18 with rafa!

Great tournament!

Kimberley, it won’t be a whole month without tennis – remember two things. You have the davis cup with Serbia -v- France and then you have two exhibition matches with fed and rafa, the first one being on 21st December in Zurich, which you can get a live stream for.

Tickets sold out in 2 minutes apparently!


Gordo Says:

Sometimes a new coach does not extract results immediately.

PC as Fed’s new coach has been worth his weight in gold.

Can he help him overcome Rafa on clay? Or will Roger have to be satisfied once again with winning AO, Wimby and USOpen in 2011.

Just saying… I wouldn’t award Rafa the 2011 AO just yet; not if Roger continues to play as well as he did this past week.


madmax Says:

jane,

i’ll check, but didn’t borg win 6 consecutive FO’s? – rafa won 4, then was stopped in his fifth consecutive FO by soderling in the QF’s and won last year against soderling, making it an overall 5 FO’s.

mem,

“btw sean, nadal was ordinary compared to roger, but what player wouldn’t be after three consecutive tough matches in three days. let’s not allow our imagination to run away with us, we all know why nadal wasn’t able to compete at his usual level; it was clear in the match seeing how many balls he didn’t even attempt to reach. before you response with “sore loser or sour grapes” let’s just say what i’m saying is not an excuse but a fact that seems to get lost in the main scheme of things”

how can you say the above when firstly, rafa played the earlier match – and so had more time to recover – I was at his match at the 02 yesterday and he is as fit as can be. – he will have had physio and probably straight to bed by 9.30pm. Roger didn’t finish his match either until 9.30pm.

C’mon mem. Dont you remember the 5 setter AO last year against Verdasco in the SF’s? then he went on to beat Federer at the AO final. There really is no excuse and you shouldn’t make one for him either.


Kimberly Says:

Madmax-that it is true. And I think tennis channel is televising the davis cup. Will be intersting to see who both France and Serbia play in their lineups.

Obviously Novak but:
Troicki ot Tipsy?
ANd Obviously Monfils but:
Llodra, Gaquet, Simon?

Again Congrants to Fed and his fans. Hope we have a great 2011 with more than 2 FEDALS! At least 5!


Kimo Says:

max, Bord didn’t win 6 consecutive RGs. He won it in 74, 75, 78, 79, 80 and 81.


Kimo Says:

I meant Borg.


Kimo Says:

mem, what are you talking about? Rafa was totally pummeling the ball in the 2nd set and early in the third.


Dan Martin Says:

Jane, I think Borg won 6 non-consecutive FO titles. Both probably won 4 straight. Amazing for both men. I do have a column in the works that may look like Nole worship, but I hope it is worth the wait.


dc Says:

I am really tired of hearing the “Nadal was tired” excuse.
– If Nadal was tired, how come he played better in the 2nd set than in the 1st? I would presume that if he was tired in the 1st set, he would be more tired in the second set.
– How do you know that Nadal was tired and Fed was not? Is it that Fed plays good even when he is tired.


mem Says:

madmax,

i speak the truth, something few people choose to acknowledge.

you might as well accept it. you saw the match just like i did. everybody watching know what contributed to roger’s win; so, do yourself a favor and don’t try to compete with me in words because you won’t win! anybody with half a brain know you don’t compare a five-set match in a slam with a three-set match in round-robin format where only the best players are included and on different surfaces and under different circumstances. goes to show you haven’t a clue what’s going on. nadal lost, roger won, congratulations to him; you got what you wanted, it’s done! over! what i say shouldn’t matter to you.

you are certainly entitled to see the match anyway you choose, but don’t instruct me on how i should view it! understood!


jane Says:

Dan, I can’t wait! Or I will wait with bated breath. Not much Nole worship to be seen, so I’ll happily take what I can get. ;) Congrats on your fave’s win today b.t.w.; it was a meaningful one and sets an interesting tone for next year.

And thanks to maxi, Kimo, & you too, for clarifying on Borg @ the FO. I guess Rafa needs one more to be tied with him there. I suspect he’ll do it.

Kimberly, I am curious about who will be the seconds for DC too. I think it’s going to be a tough contest based on how the French players looked at Paris Masters.


fed is afraid Says:

roger won fair and square
no whining from rafa fans


scineram Says:

Nestor beats Mirnyi, his partenr next year, Zimonjic teams up with Llodra, Bhupathi reunites with Paes. Hilarious and interesting.


mem Says:

fed is afraid,

you’re 100% correct, roger won fair and square; and this is not whining, if you are referring to me; i have a problem with people trying to pretend that everything is done on an equal playing field when it comes to nadal and federer, when i know differently. as far as rafa losing, that’s the least of my concern; rafa’s year is/has been one of the greatest in the history of tennis. i didn’t expect him to win against roger or novak; so,today’s results are no surprise to me. he did incredible well under the circumstances; this is not meant to take anything away from roger; i’m just keeping the facts straight!


madmax Says:

you are certainly entitled to see the match anyway you choose, but don’t instruct me on how i should view it! understood!

November 28th, 2010 at 3:40 pm

calm down mem. you should stop making excuses for rafa. If he was too tired to play, he certainly didn’t show it.

And if you want to talk tired. Well, go back to Toronto when murray beat nadal and federer back to back – fed made the final and must have been really tired after playing some 3 setters (berdych and novak)but reached the final, NEVER made any excuses for losing to murray – just played the match fair and square.

you just come across as a sore loser mem. I’m not going to bother with your silly rsponses again. It was a great match by both great players. Unfortunately for rafa fans today, your man was just not as good as federer. And as for the tiredness excuse? Federer did over 2 hours in media conferences yesterday, one in English, one in Swiss French and one in German – he must have got to bed around midnight – At least rafa had 24 hours to recover, so dont instruct me on what really happened mem, I was actually there.

Were you?


madmax Says:

Thanks Dan, I knew I was almost there!

Jane,

These records were attained in the Open Era of tennis regarding borg.

Grand Slam Years Record accomplished Player tied
French Open 1974-75, 1978-81 6 Titles (as Dan said above) Stands alone

French Open 1974-81 6 finals overall Stands alone

French Open 1978-81 4 consecutive wins Rafael Nadal

French Open 1978-81 4 consecutive finals Ivan Lendl
Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer


mem Says:

madmax,

call it whatever you like,
we all know the truth, don’t we? even you!


skeezerweezer Says:

FedWins says

“hope the FEDTARDS here keep it entertaining till then….they have got a lot to chew on now.”

And you have a lot to swallow.


madmax Says:

federer has been playing some great tennis but the aging champion could not close the deal in paris or shanghai. we’re talking about one player in their prime and the other in decline.

rafa wins in 2, maybe 3. rick makes a very good case FOR RAFA, who is the #1 and the favorite. it will be a miracle if federer wins.

contador! Eat your words now! :)

mem,
mem Says:
madmax,

call it whatever you like,
we all know the truth, don’t we? even you!

November 28th, 2010 at 4:16 pm

yup. we all know the truth! even you! Fed is the the greatest and once again has proved that he has the game to beat rafa.

This was a great final. Just accept it today mem. rafa played some awesome shots, fed was just uhmm. more awesome today. I really enjoyed the match. He played different today mem, with more confidence and a fantastic gameplan. Rafa didn’t know what to do, serving to fed’s backhand in this first set was exactly what annacone knew rafa would do, and fed had the perfect response.


St4r5 Says:

I can’t believe it! Roger Federer en-route to championship defeated Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal! Three of them couldn’t do anything at all to the greatest tennis player ever in human history! What a shame!


mem Says:

madmax,

i’m flattered! i didn’t know my opinions meant so much to so many fed fans. i must be on to something!

sweetheart, if it makes you feel any better, i’m sure fed is the greatest, just not in my book; i know what defines greatness; winning one match doesn’t change one iota in my book; i don’t deny that roger played great, but i prefer to wait a while and let consistency decide; in other words, today’s match was what i expected and it didn’t convince me of anything other than roger has a terrific week on a surface where he specializes and got a break between matches; however, i can’t argue with you because apparently you live with roger and his family, probably babysit his twins, so in that case, you would know his every thought. i’ll have to take your word for it!


raven Says:

Before the match, I had the feeling that Rafa fans would say he was tired from the Murray match if he lost, and if he won he did it in spite of the Murray match. So predictable.

Fed won today. That does not take away Rafa being the best player of 2010. Both are great champions. For me, the hall mark of a great champion is that both men worked hard to get better dspite being down, and these two are so deserving.

And, to clarify again, I am a Fed fan all the way. Thnkyou Fed for the best xmas present ever.


skeezerweezer Says:

raven,

Same for me, best Christmas gift this year for sure! Tough year as a Fed fan, use to always being at the top, was so nice to have this “un-official” 5th Slam, beating the best of the best. How cool for the Fed fans we can spend the Holidays remembering the last great match this year. It’s all good! Hope he continues with the “new” game throughout next year. Way to end the year with a “Bang” Rog!


sar Says:

Kimberly,
As of today, it’s going to be
Novak/Llodra
Troicki/Monfils
Llodra-Clement vs Zimnjic-Tipsa


Kimberly Says:

Hmmmm, so Serbia decided to play troicki, I would tend to agree. Llodra is a little more of a surprise. Simon had a good fall too. Thanks sar.


Catherine Says:

Happy to have been proven wrong about this one. I truly thought Rog would have had to take this in two, if he ever were to have a chance of bagging this title.
So happy to NOT see him fold like a cheap tent after losing the 2nd set this time. Fantastic job, Rogelio, VAMOS for 2011!


elaine Says:

last laugh: fed fans!! LOL

RF kicked rafa’s butt!! and its really amazing how he did it.

RF rules!!

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