Can Federer Beat Nadal to Win Another French Open?
by Sean Randall | June 4th, 2011, 8:25 pm
  • 701 Comments

Roger Federer has a very difficult, almost historic task ahead of him at the French Open. One hurdle – Novak Djokovic is already out of the way – but the second is even greater. Beating Rafael Nadal on clay in a best-of-5 format has only ever been done once, and that was by Robin Soderling two years ago.

Now, less that 48 hours after stunning the World No. 2 Djokovic and snapping the Serb’s 43-match win streak, Federer has to recharge and refocus for an entirely different beast, the World No. 1 and King of Clay Rafael Nadal who’s hungry for more hardware after getting shut out in his last two events.

Nadal has owned Federer in their famous rivalry 16-8 winning 11 of 13 on the clay. Nadal also dominates on the hardcourt and even on grass, where Federer should hold the edge, it’s it’s a close affair. Roger’s lone sanctuary against Rafa is indoors and unfortunately Court Stade at Roland Garros won’t have a workable lid on it for a few more years.

Federer though can take solace knowing that he took a set off Nadal last month in Madrid, and he looked really good doing it. The problem is he’ll have to replicate that effort for not one, not two but three full sets just to give himself a chance at winning on Sunday.

That means serving huge and playing offensive, first-strike tennis. And my guess is he’ll do it or die trying. Otherwise he’ll lose. Roger cannot hope that Rafa comes out slow and sluggish like Novak did. It’s a final, Nadal knows what’s at stake and the red stuff at Roland Garros is his home away from home. He’ll have his “A” game. So Roger will have to have his. And I think he will.

As for Nadal, I don’t think he looked that great in the win over Andy Murray on Friday. He’s still making errors, serving so-so and dropping balls short, but against Andy he was hitting that wicked forehand to the Murray backhand corner much better and that’s not a good sign for Federer if Rafa gets that’s going early again.

Federer’s not likely to attack the Nadal serve on the clay like Djokovic or even Murray can, so that will ease the pressure. Nadal in Madrid also said he struggled with altitude which isn’t a problem in Paris. Still, Rafa’s shots have been off measure throughout the fortnight but tomorrow I expect everything to be back online.

The deeper numbers also point to Nadal. In their French Open meetings Nadal leads 4-0 winning three four setters and one in straight sets. And Rafa’s never lost a final in a Grand Slam other than at Wimbledon (to Federer) back in the “early days”. Nadal’s more mature now and when he gets to this stage he’s rarely turned away unless someone can put in a superhuman effort like Djokovic.

So could Federer do the same and conjure up that magic? It’s possible. The guy is a champion and after 24 matches understands what he needs to do to be Nadal, I just don’t think he can execute it over a 5-set match. But if he does it may go down as his single greatest tournament title and one of the greatest runs in history.

On the line for Rafa it would be Slam number 10, just four from Pete Sampras and he stays No. 1. For Federer, it’s another “Career Slam” and he increases his total to 17, and maybe he can win Wimbledon he can start thinking about the No. 1 ranking again in NY.

The key as usual with these two will be how well Federer’s backhand can hold up to the pressure and weight of the Nadal forehand. My guess is Roger will get a set, but in the end it becomes to much and t’s Nadal in four.

Let’s just hope the weather stays dry and it’s a good match. After a heck of a clay season it would be anti-climatic to end with a blowout.

That said, it’s a great time to be a tennis fan. Consider Federer v. Nadal probably wasn’t the final most of us wanted to see, but you know what? We’ll take it.

And a quick congrats to Li Na. She played some extraordinary tennis this week winning her first career Grand Slam today beating defending champion Francesca Schiavone.

Na reached the final at the Australian and now she wins the French, and with very little in the way of points to defend and with the way she hits the ball, it’s very realistic that the 29-year-old could be the next No. 1 on the women’s tour by October. I hope it happens. She should be a force during the US summer and at the Open.

NBC has live coverage of the men’s final starting at 9am ET.


Also Check Out:
Nestor-Mirnyi Beat The Bryans For Second Straight French Open Doubles Title
Roger Federer Doesn’t Care If He Ever Beats Nadal In Paris Because He’s Already Won The French Open!
Murray Rises, Safin Flops at French Open
Nadal vs. Soderling French Final After Fade by Berdych
Poll: Who Wins The French Open Final, Rafael Nadal Or Novak Djokovic?

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701 Comments for Can Federer Beat Nadal to Win Another French Open?

fed is afraid Says:

roger deserves to win since he did end novak’s streak, something rafa couldn’t do.
but it ends here, roger loses to rafa.


blank Says:

Hope Federer can overcome his twin syndromes of Breakpointitis and Nadalitis tomorrow. Although a long shot, it’s great that he is getting another crack at Nadal at the FO. Fed shouldn’t be afraid…like Sean says, he should go for the win or die trying. No more blowouts to Nadal.

Hope we get a great match! I’ll watch the 1st set and decide if I want to continue watching. Hope I do… :-)


Vinny Says:

The best chance for Federer is to use a mix of one and two handed backhands. It is probably a million times easier said than done but here is how it should be:

Nadal is what I would call a “selective moonballer”. His usual ground forehand strokes themselves comfortably clear the net by 3-4 feet and are very close to moonballs. However, when he senses even a little bit of trouble in a rally or if he is out of position, he throws it up even higher so that he is in a better position by the time the next shot comes in. These moonballs are almost exclusively to the opponent’s backhand. I think that Federer should take these moonballs on the rise a la Djokovic using a two handed backhand. Also, the forehands Nadal hits by running around his backhand should be returned crosscourt using a two-handed backhand (Djokovic does that spectacularly and it is impossible to consistently do it with a single hander). I think such a strategy would neutralize the main advantage that Nadal has and Fed will win the match. Another shot that he should try is the “check drive”. If he has a short ball, instead of going full blast at or trying to play a drop shot (he gives away the drop shot soooo early), he should swing normally but totally take the pace out of his shot. Nadal would be very deep and he cannot really make it: especially with the new Babolat balls which don’t bounce with no spin.

It is about time Federer stops worrying about a fancy game. To beat Nadal, you have to play ugly. The only guys who can beat Nadal and still make it look easy are Djokovic and Del Potro. They can blast him out of the court. Fed can’t do that.


Kimmi Says:

sean, great article. federer has a huge task indeed.


Eric Says:

Definitely a long shot & I don’t honestly believe he can. But he already surprised us a few times this fortnight, perhaps he has one more trick in his hat. Bring it on.


Eric Says:

Nole didn’t come out sluggish. How did he get a break so early in the first set otherwise. Also it’s just wrong. Stop spreading this rubbish. You’re cheapening Federer’s victory by not just making BS excuses for Djokovic but implying that he would have won. Maybe you don’t know half a thing about tennis, but if you did you would know that the reason Nole looked subpar was because Federer completely destroyed his ability to play the kind of match he wanted to.


Fedster Says:

I have a doubt:
Technically speaking Nole had not won his QF, he had won his 4th round, so based on my understanding on how the points system works, Nole will be getting just 360 points from FO2011 and not 720 like many people are thinking over here.

I request the experts (Eric, etc) over here to clarify.


andrea Says:

i’m still holding onto to my prediction that roger wins.

call me crazy. and if i have to eat my words, i will.

sunday is supposed to be cloudy with showers and that favors roger.

every once in a while he pulls off an amazing clay court win against nadal and he’s still the only player who has ever bageled nadal on clay. (fair enough that it’s never been at RG.)

as long as he doesn’t get rattled or mentally down a la miami, he’s got a chance. he loves his GS finals!


dari Says:

hope you’re right andrea!
what’s up with the weather, though? are we gonna get a finale tomorrow? rog says he doesnt like rain, but he is gonna have to suck that up tomorrow!
some people say sun favors roger for speed of his shot, but that it doesn’t favor him because it will allow a high bounce. some say rain will keep the ball from bouncing high, but will also not allow the pop rog needs to hit winners and aces
who knows
Allez Rog


Fedster Says:

As far as I remember the top seed has never won at RG.
Last 6 years the second seed hoisted the trophy. Till Friday the trend seemed to continue this year also.
Now that the second seed is out, I would bet that the third seed will come out victorious (purely based on historical seedings).
No chance for the top seed at RG I believe.


333momo Says:

I´ll have to agree with Eric – Novak wasn´t sluggish in the beginning of his match against Federer. The pace was very very high, and Federer happened to be slightly sharper on some points than Djokovic. Against almost any other player, his so called “sluggishness” would have been considered really good play. Federer played super-agressively, and had to fight hard for his win. Please stop talking about Novak being “sluggish”.


Humble Rafa Says:

Hurray!

70% chance of rain tomorrow.


Humble Rafa Says:

I feel like I am going to lose tomorrow. Roger is a great player :)


Kimmi Says:

hmm, the rain is not good for fed i think. he lost to soderling last year due to heavy conditions…

i think rain or no rain…its all rafa.

but hope roger can fight it out.


Antonissimo Says:

‘nadal also dominates on the hardcourt and even on grass’= bs from slanted sean randal,once again slip in the bs about sluggish play from novak and fed being dominated on grass -youve got to be kidding!


jane Says:

so much depends
upon
a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.
————————

May the best man win. Hope it is a classic.


Michael Says:

The key would be the way Federer serves. If he serves the way he did against Djokovic, then Federer has very good chances to win because his serve supplements his game overall and adds to his confidence. Federer would do well to attack Nadal’s two handed backhand more and not give him angles to hit forehand. All in all, I feel that it is 60:40 in favour of Nadal. Federer can do it if he believes in himself and plays like he did against Djokovic with Nadal slightly below par.


dave Says:

Paris weather:
Sunday afternoon: 70% to 80% chance of showers or even thundershowers on Sunday afternoon.
Monday: 70% chance of rain throughout
Tuesday: 40% chance of showers.
Wednesday afternoon: sunny
http://www.weather.com/weather/hourbyhour/graph/FRXX0076?begHour=14&begDay=156#hhView

The match tomorrow might be in bits and pieces. Rog and Rafa might not even get to play until Tuesday or Wednesday. Nadal’s A-Game depends on favorable weather conditions more than Federer’s game. In any case, both guys are lucky not to be playing Soderling under these conditions.

Eric is right. Djokovic DID NOT come out “slow and sluggish”. Watch the first two games. Federer broke Djokovic by immediately disrupting his rhythm (throwing different spins, taking away his time, suddenly firing). Djokovic broke back in the next game. It was a high-intensity start by both players. Most pundits can understand what players like Djokovic and Nadal are trying to do because it’s more straightforward. But pundits have a harder time understanding what Federer is doing because his game aims to break down the opponent’s confidence and ability to play his game. You have to get court-side seats to see the varying trajectories, spins and weights of balls hit by Federer. That’s why many players look subpar when they play Federer at his best. It’s not because they aren’t trying or aren’t ready to play.


Huh Says:

Agree with you Michael. Federer’s serve’ll decide the match. Federer’s good enough to break Nadal’s serve once or twice or thrice here per set, but the key’d be holdin it.
And if we see tiebreakers, I hope Fed plays the tiebreakers of his life today. The thing’s Federer’s looking confident(real confident, not vulnerabl) and this gives me hope somehow. Everything’d b clear by tonite thou, but I sure wish Fed doesnt lose this one to Rafa.


Huh Says:

But if the match would start after two or three days, then Federer’s momentum’d b gone and it’d be straight sets win for Nadal, n Federer’s confidenc for Wimbledon’ll dip low n he’ll regret beatin Nole in semis


Gordo Says:

Nadal has been letting the Babolat balls bother him. He is even griping about them, and he normally does not gripe.

This has all the ingredients for a classic.

If Roger plays as well as he can and if he gets the first set he has a chance, imo.

The one thing that would surprise me would be a blowout by Rafa.

Let’s hope for the 2 sluggers to serve up the best match of the year.

Either way, records will be made.

Should Roger win he will be the first man to win at least 1 GS singles title for 9 consecutive calendar years. He will also have 17 GS Titles.

Oh, and he will become the only person to have at least 50 wins at each of the Grand Slam events. (True, he will get that anyway in the first round next year, but it would be sweet to claim that mark in tomorrow’s final.)

Should Rafa win he ties Borg’s French Open titles and hits double digits in GS singles titles at 10.

Also, you have to think that after tomorrow Roger will lead Rafa in Grand Slam titles either 17 – 9 or 16 – 10. Rafa may still be able to overtake Roger’s final tally, but tomorrow would go a long way to having the feat still be possible. 9 more titles is asking a lot.


skeezerweezer Says:

Rog,

a) Your serving has been huge, especially this run. Serve your @ss off, dominate with it like you did Novak, then you only have to worry about the other 50% of the game. That remaining 50%, keep the balls deep, and then keep using the magic. If the serving is happening, you only need to win the majority of the other 50%.

b) One item Sean did not mention and has been hardly discussed.

Confidence. For whatever reason, Fed LOOKED steely eyed, calm, and appeared resolve in his mission against Nole. You could tell at the end as he wagged his finger as to say….”not yet”. Very important. Play like you own it.

c) Movement. By far the greatest movement I have witnessed in years watching Fed in the Novak match.

If he can combine these, he will for sure have a shot to win.

But, as mentioned before, really won’t care if he loses. It won’t bite, or hurt. We all know Rafa owns Fed on Clay. It is not a good matchup on Clay. Wimby, Hard, Indoors…ok. His mission imo has been accomplished. In getting into a GS final no one, no way, thought he was gonna be here at a Roland Garros final @ 29. Well maybe Fed himself ;)

Imo his game is primed for Wimby, and there I do have expectations with the way he played in this tourney.


Gannu Says:

Karma!

Thought I would get a bit more philosophical today and talk abt karma

I strong believe that life gives you what you deserve and pays you back for whatever sins/good deeds that you have done its own way…
Nadal won his first wimby by defeating Fed and perhaps life now has given an opportunity for fed to do the same at french open..

It would just be such a crowning glory of fed’s illustrious career and perhaps life needs to give this to him or rather give this to rafa in
the form of a loss!
Surprising to see the similarities and cicrcumstances that fed is in life.. when rafa defetated fed to win his first wimby he was the underdog
fed was the undisputed king, World No 1 , it was fed’s favorite surface and finals..All critics were favoring a fed win…

3 years later its exactly the same circumstances and except that fed is now in rafa’s position!

I like fed’s attitude an dhe has acknolwedged that he need sto play extraordinary tennis to win…he has said he wants rafa to be in the
final and thats the ultimate challenge for him.. the beliefe this time is more in him…
Also atleast i am happy that a diff pair of eyes in annacone will be guiding him to work out a way…

Its tough being a fed fan these days… But hope never refuses to die and eyes never stop dreaming… But what is life if there is no hope
or you cant dream for only if you can dream and hope you can achieve whatyou want

Fed – Always with you and this pair of eyes will be eagerly waiting for that crowning glory..the critics and rafa fans may think fed fans
are delusional..But trust me guys just like ur man defeated Fedex to for their crowning moment i think karma dictates that its payback time

Come on fed – all our prayers and well wishes are with you… Achieve the ‘imposisble”


steve-o Says:

It is amazing that a man who has won sixteen major titles would still put it all on the line and give everything he had against a man six years younger than he–a man who had not been defeated all year, on any surface.

Players younger and stronger than he had failed to stop Djokovic. Even the king of clay couldn’t take a set off of Djokovic on his favorite surface, and the all-time Masters winner lost four straight Masters finals as a result. Murray, Del Potro, Berdych–all tried and failed. But Federer (after several attempts) finally stopped the unstoppable man.

And he did that knowing that the prize for his victory was another Grand Slam final against the man who had beaten him in six of eight major finals, the five-time and defending champ who had lost a grand total of one match at Roland Garros in six attempts.

Federer must be truly hungry for this title to do that.

If he plays his best tennis, Federer will have his chances. Whether he will take them is up to him. Nadal will do his one thing, which he does so well, and it will be up to Federer to find his way around it.

As awesome as the semi was (and it surely ranks among the all-time best French Open matches), I think it was just a sneak peek of what we’re gonna see in the final.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Gannu

Enjoyed your post, tx ;). Karma!

Steve-o

Nice read. Saw when Rafa took his shirt off, heard the girls screaming. Then in the other semi Fed took his shirt off and I was like, whoa, dude, hurray up and put a shirt on. I am sure the girls agree Rafa should play with his shirt off and Fed should play with his on, then, we would have an entertaining match.


Michael Says:

I want Federer to badly win this one against Nadal. He has a point to prove and that is beating Nadal in the Red dirt of Paris where he has lost only once to Soderling. It will be a fitting tribute to Federer’s illustrious career overall which is already staggering to say the least. Beating Nadal in a French Open final will be the shining ornament in his crown of glory and it will be his biggest achievement to date. I hope Federer does it just for the sake of himself and his fans. Go for it Roger and do it !!!!


Ben Wade Says:

Hoping for a high quality match uninterrupted by rain.


Mark Says:

I am confuse, joko’s winnig streak ended at 41 right? Just short of equalling McEnroe 42 wins streak in 1984. According to Wiki 41 wins in 2011 and 3 in 2010 I assume.


Gannu Says:

Right on Michael! Let our man win!!


Huh Says:

GANNU DEAR, MICHAEL, SKEEZE, STEVE, MAXI, DANIEL, GRENDEL, GORDO, FoT, MR.TWOCENTS, CONTY, BEN, N ALL THE OTHR FREAKIN FED FANS,
WE PRAY N
WE SAY
ALLEZ FEDERER!!!


margot Says:

The first set was stunning, as was the fourth! Rog won it because he out tacticed Nole, broke up his game and stopped Nole playing his amazing ground strokes.
I think Fed, the most brilliant instinctive player in the game, has started to listen to some advice from Annacone? Wonder what Annacone is wispering now?
I also thought that wagging finger bit at the end, was very significant. Don’t know how others interpreted it, haven’t seen it mentioned, but I feel Fed certsinly doesn’t like being numero 3.


Gannu Says:

Yes Huh…pray pray and pray..Thats what is there in our hands ;-)…some divine intervention is reqd ;-)

Hope the match starts today and finishes off today..just cant bear this nervousness and tension for 3-4 days! got to concentrate on work also ;-)


Dory Says:

One good thing is Roger’s very much aware that he will have to play extraordinarily special to beat Rafa and hasn’t forgotten how many times Rafa has defeated him at Roland Garros and on clay in general. I just hope it isn’t a blowout like one of the matches they had this year. Federer’s victory on this occasion would mean so much for everyone, especially those who believe his 2009 FO was just a one off victory in the absence of Rafa.


madmax Says:

Can Federer Beat Nadal to Win Another French Open?

by Sean Randall

‘Roger Federer has a very difficult, almost historic task ahead of him at the French Open. One hurdle – Novak Djokovic is already out of the way – but the second is even greater. Beating Rafael Nadal on clay in a best-of-5 format has only ever been done once, and that was by Robin Soderling two years ago.

Now, less that 48 hours after stunning the World No. 2 Djokovic and snapping the Serb’s 43-match win streak, Federer has to recharge and refocus for an entirely different beast, the World No. 1 and King of Clay Rafael Nadal who’s hungry for more hardware after getting shut out in his last two events’.

Sean, remember that Federer has done what nadal has failed to do this year, and that is to beat Novak. THE BEST PLAYER THIS YEAR. Fed did it. That will give him a lot of confidence today.

The rain – should it rain, even though it wasn’t the whole way through – it rained in the final against soderling 2009. Remember it was spitting, umbrellas were up and it was thought the match would be suspended for an interval, but it didn’t happen.

It is a wonderful day for all sorts of reasons. In the main, Federer has proved the press that he is still a contender. He always believed that, so did many of his fans.

I don’t think that Novak was sluggish at all in the match on Friday. He was brilliant. He had too much pressure on him; I believe that is something that Fognini put on him by withdrawing, but that’s been and gone now.

For today, well I would love to be a fly on the wall in the Federer team. What Annacone is saying to fed. I hope he has had a lot of menthol rubs on those legs; he did so much stretching around the court against Novak.

Skeezer, speak for yourself about that shirt!

Fed looks great, and there was plenty of screaming this end!

I wonder when we have such a classic SF, and it was a brilliant match against novak, whether the final will live up to the hype?

But, once again, this is it. Really hope that fed played the way he did Friday, with that ‘look’ in his eye. He was brilliant.

Go Fed!


Eric Says:

“Federer’s victory on this occasion would mean so much for everyone, especially those who believe his 2009 FO was just a one off victory in the absence of Rafa.”

Yeah that argument only flies if you also discount Rafa’s second Wimbledon title and his USO title…


trufan Says:

Eric, that’s correct.

Actually, for anyone discounting Fed’s 2009 FO, they should discount Nadal’s 2010 Wimby AND USO. He did’t beat Fed for the title.


Possum Says:

Can’t see this going any other way but a Nadal win. I love Fed and hope he takes it, but can’t see how. The only way he has a chance is to serve at 70% or more, hit a high number of aces, and attacks the net selectively. Over a best of five and against the Toreador, I think it’s too big an ask.

Fed is a dream match-up for Nadal. He can play totally in his comfort zone as he knows Fed can’t hurt him from the back court. Nadal simply hits top spin forehands to Fed’s backhand all day and what can Fed do about it? Nothing! To counter this, Fed has to take risks and this will lead to a high error count.

Two things have led to this mismatch: 1) Nadal is a leftie and hits with enormous top spin, and 2) Fed hits a one-handed backhands. With one hand it’s impossible to get power and control on a backhand when the ball is rearing up around shoulder height.

Pure conjecture of course, but I wonder what the head-to-head would be if Fed had a two-hander – or if Nadal was a right hander.


Kathy Says:

Vamos Rafa.


Fedster Says:

” but I wonder what the head-to-head would be if Fed had a two-hander ”

I am sure about the H2H, but one thing for sure is that Federer would not have won even 6 slams with a two-handed BH.


Fedster Says:

Can someone pls clarify whether Nole would be getting 360 points or 720 points for FO 2011 ?
Technically speaking Nole did not WIN his QF match, so he should be getting only 360 points for winning R4, no points for walkovers.


Huh Says:

its so tough for me. Exam remaining just 15 hours n this Nadal vs Fed match. I clearly shoulda rooted for nole win coz in case that happened, I’d be less worried right now. These goddamn college authorities of mine always screw up my FO-WIM fun by conductin these stupid semestr xams at such freakin times! :(
gannu, i hope u sympathiz wid me due to my situation right now, tough to focus between studiz n tennis viewing, nothin xclusiv of the othr, for my mortal existenc, just damn! Cant decid between exam n fedal, wrong time to be a tennis lovin student. :/


Huh Says:

Hopefully the weather gods, tennis gods, greek gods, chinese gods, persian gods, egyptian gods, indian gods n even GOD will side with Federer this time n give him victory!!! ;)
M JUST FEELING CRAZY RIGHT NOW! CAN NEITHER READ NOR WATCH TENNIS, FULLY. :(


Miki Says:

Huh, trust me, it couldn’t be worse for me either. Cause I have an exam at 3 p.m. Exactly when the match starts. I mean it’s Sunday, can’t you choose any other day? I’m not even a Fed or Rafa fan, but I’m pissed.


Miki Says:

Fedster, win doesn’t count when you have a walkover, but Nole got to semis, so points are added according to that.


Nelson Goodman Says:

Longtime lurker first-time poster just to chime in with Eric – Sean you REALLY have to stop repeating this idiot drivel about Djokovic “coming out sluggish.” It’s really unbelievably moronic and kinda makes you out to know nothing about tennis – did you actually watch the first set? It’s already the consensus choice as the best set of tennis this year. And in that set, Djokovic broke Fed right back to even it at 1-all and then had a 4-2 lead.

So, in the best set of tennis of the year, Nole had a lead after the first half of it. So exactly when was his “sluggish start”? The first point of the match? Maybe his initial ball toss? Or when he walked to for the warm-up? Seriously dude, you look like an utter fool for saying this.


Trufan Says:

Guys

Get real. Hardly any chance for federer. Guess nobody remembers their past matches here? It’s clay, get real.

It’s also a mental thing. Nadal is in federer’s head, especially on clay. He doesnt serve as well, doesn’t move as well, just doesnt fight. The Rome 2006 loss to nadal in 5 sets over 5 hours with two match points, then the Wimbledon 2008 loss, then the AO 2009 fifth set meltdown – fed just can’t fight that hard.

In general, fed’s game is about genius and elegance. He just can’t fight ugly. Nadal is just the opposite. On clay, the latter wins. That’s why fed’s 5 set record is so much worse that nadal, djokovic, or Murray, while nadal’s is the best in history.


ertorque Says:

drat…….according to forecast the current rain in Paris will not stop until 6pm local time. That could possibly mean that the match will be postponed indefinitely…………….and I thought I could enjoy this on a Sunday evening Malaysia time!


WTF Says:

“That said, it’s a great time to be a tennis fan. Consider Federer v. Nadal probably wasn’t the final most of us wanted to see, but you know what? We’ll take it.”

No one would have said that a year ago.

Their rivalry is the tennis equivalent of el clasico.


Trufan Says:

A classic rivalry shouldn’t be so one sided – as the fed nadal rivalry is.

They are half a generation apart – 5 years in age. So an unequal match to start with.


Daniel Says:

Guys, t

The finger in the end was the same finger he did when he beat Nadal in MAdrid 2009, 2 months before he return to n.1. That is a clear sign that his eyes are on being #1 again, and that was the first move. Stop Djoko from gain more points, try to beat Nadal so he loses points and Fed will gain points.
If Fed wins, it will be a 3 horse race until the end of the year, with Djoko having the upper hand due to his flawless start of the season. At least it’s my take.


Daniel Says:

This match will most certain be interrupted by rain in some points, which is smelling like Wimby 2008 all over again.
Nadal is not playing fantastic as he used to in RG. Murray was able to come back in first set when Nadal was leadin 5-1, and even when Nadal served 5-4 Murray had break points first. He almost complicated that first set. Plus, Nadal didn’t blown Murray off the court as well, and his serve is attackable.

Nadal serve will have a huge factor as well. If he goes for his wicked open serve in the ad side, painting the lines, as he did a few times agaisnt Murray, he will hold with ease.


Colin Says:

Skeezer, I agree with your analysis, but I certainly don’t agree with your applause for Gannu’s nonsense about karma.
Gannu, you really ought to be ashamed of yourself. You are demeaning religion and philosophy. I don’t believe in God, but if there were one, he’d have bigger things to worry about than the result of a tennis match. Praying for one of the players surely comes under the heading of “taking the Lord’s name in vain”.


Kimberly Says:

allright someone here has to cheer for Rafa, vamos!


laila Says:

What Vinny said! Perfect analysis..


laila Says:

I just wish del potro comes back to his true form and exposes nadal’s deficits..djokovic has done that already…but in del po’s hands it will be ruthless..thats how i imagine it..


dave Says:

Colin, you ought to be ashamed of yourself… presuming to tell God what he should and should not have to worry about. Really.

http://anglicansamizdat.wordpress.com/2009/09/12/god-made-roger-federer/


dave Says:

The match might start after all. Right now, at Roland Garros, they’re playing the girl’s final. The rolandgarros.com website reported at 2:20pm Paris time (24 mins ago): “after the diluvian downpours we had last night (rain bouncing off the pavements, quite literally), it’s warm and while the skies are cloudy, it’s blue and white as opposed to grey and black. Good news!”

Regardless, the RG website still shows a thundershower forecast.


madmax Says:

Come on Fed!

WOW. Hope the match lives up to all the expectations.


Kimmi Says:

OK, guys. cheer as loud;y as you can. wont watch it live. i am such a “chicken”. go fed!


Golf is barely a Sport Says:

Psychologically Roger does not have the worries of Nadal gaining on him in the rankings or the fear of never winning a French Open to deal with so I think he is psychologically in a better place to make an assault on Rafa than he was 06-08. Still, Rafa is a solid favorite to win in 3 to 4 sets. I think Roger has a chance, but it is a big climb.


Rumor Says:

Kimberly, I’m cheering for Rafa too! There sure isn’t much love for him on this site.

Can’t help wondering what the reaction would be had Rafa ever made a ‘No.1′ gesture like that…


madmax Says:

kimmi!

come on! dont be chicken. Fed has nothing to lose here. It should be good.


Kimberly Says:

VAMOS RAFA! I unfortuantely have to take my kids to church and go show houses as I took all yest off for the party. And yes we will say a prayer for rafa at church! I dressed them both like Nadal for good luck!


dari Says:

Well, let’s see about Zen today ;)
Allez ROG


tfouto Says:

GO Federer!!!

You can DO it!


van orten Says:

this is it!!!!


dari Says:

Rafa fans- good match


van orten Says:

hahahah begins not converting..the same same old story…what a pain in the a…


Maso Says:

And 2 break opportunities missed, 2… I hope Roger can reverse this tendency early.


dari Says:

Rog fight please get this break


Daniel Says:

He run away his backhand to attack the return and missed, at least the mindset is right. Go Fed!


Maso Says:

YES! Now he must hold.


dari Says:

Allez
Hold it


Daniel Says:

Wow, 2 aces and one unreturned!


Daniel Says:

3 serves and volleys already in 2 service games. Fed is awesome so far.


dari Says:

Nice serves, Rog


Maso Says:

Serve and volleying too. If Roger can hold on to his serve and take this set, there’s some hope.


madmax Says:

C’mon Fed!

Keep up the focus.


tfouto Says:

Sean, afterall Nadal started also choppy… Federer serve is brilliant… Hope he keeps this way…


Maso Says:

Two weird errors from Nadal on the forehand so far. Doubt it’s going to last, though.


kriket Says:

If Federer can serve as well as against Novak, and play on at least nearly the same level of consistency as in the semi-final, I think he can own Nadal, who’s not playing as good as he used to.
I for one certainly hope Fed wins FO title overcoming Nadal, since that’s about the only thing he hasn’t accomplished yet in his incredible career.


Nelson Goodman Says:

Yep, Sean. Can we look forward to hearing about Rafa’s “sluggish start.” Please.


Maso Says:

And Nadal’s on the scoreboard. Roger, hold on tight with that serve!!


dari Says:

Allez Rog, keep servin and holding


Lulu Iberica Says:

Fed is really on today. Super nervous right now – can barely watch, let alone comment! Whatever happens at least Rafa won’t be losing to Djokovic today! Happy tennis watching, all.


Maso Says:

All right! 4-1. Tough hold but Roger’s keeping it together. A double break would be nice, knowing Rafa’s ability to break back when the need arises.


kriket Says:

So far it looks as if he can win this much easier than the semi-final match. Who knows, it might even be a rout :)


tfouto Says:

Lets go Roger, lets go!


Gordo Says:

At least the memory of RG 08 is erased – so far.


Maso Says:

Let him take the set first and then we’ll talk of erasing the memory of RG 08!


dari Says:

Some good returns from roger
Keep holding Allez


Maso Says:

15-30… The stress begins.


Maso Says:

Phew, Roger’s really showed up today.


farley Says:

Yes, of course, Roger can win this match. His game are looking very perfect. It will be straight sets, for the first time Nadal loose fairly, not injured.


pigirl1 Says:

the drop shot was out only by inches =[


dari Says:

Ok, roger, let’s serve it out
Allez


kriket Says:

Our comentator says the french TV shows hawk-eye reviews, which we don’t see in the rest of the world. I wonder why is that.


Adam Says:

more like millimeters


kriket Says:

Lady luck looking Nadal’s way at these moments…


Adam Says:

are you kidding… damnit, roger is gonna have to hit a million winners to pull this one out


madmax Says:

okay, zen. stay calm.

C’mon Fed!


Daniel Says:

Nooooooo,

Can’t believe Nadal’s backhand landed in, once Fed open the court to Nadal’s forehand I knew he would made the passing shot in that corber, forcing Fed to miss that low volley.

Break for the set Fed.


dari Says:

Rog gotta keep fighting
Allez Rog


van orten Says:

congrats to everyone who is a rafa fan …this is so much easiear…fed had set point plays perfect tennis…and what happens???? nadal breaks with his firs breakpoint hahahaha wow nadal is so much in his head like a virus ….poor fed poor fed fANs…this is a never ending story


van orten Says:

how is this possible????he was up 30:15 and what happened is he choked badlyyyyy


Humble Rafa Says:

Fed will lose. He can’t close out sets.


Daniel Says:

Why tennis gods that drop shot wasn’t in, why???????!!!!!!!!


Vinny Says:

The two points that mattered: set point on Nadal’s serve and break point on Fed’s, illustrate my point about “driving short”. One one, he tried a drop shot which Nadal picked up soooo early and the drop shot itself was just wide. On the break point at Fed’s serve, he drove his backhand hard and Nadal expected it exactly. Even then, Fed dumped the volley badly. He should have gone for a “check backhand drive” and dropped it in the serve box. No way Nadal was gonna get them. The reality is that Fed is going back to his old habits.


van orten Says:

there is nothing anyone can do…nadal kisses the lines and feds go out”’i m so sure he will lose that set…its ovver guys ..fed had to win that set 6:2 he had his chance to worry nadal a little bit …and everything changed..he will win the set 7:5..i hope wimby he wont play nadal in semis or ever ever again


dari Says:

Allez


dari Says:

Allez


trufan Says:

ok guys, the fed unraveling begins. Match over in 1 more hour… 3 straight sets.

Enjoy.


Daniel Says:

Unf…ingbelievab!!!!


Adam Says:

oh come on, dont start saying federer choked. give me a break, if you are seriously saying that then you are watching the score and not watching the tennis. anyone who knows tennis knows that that is no choke. just some bad luck, and clutch defense from nadal


someone Says:

zomg nadal calls the trainer and then wins 3 games in a row. What a cheater! Always slowing things to screw with his opponents


Vinny Says:

Again went for the drop shot and gave it away! Man Fed is gonnna screw it up.


madmax Says:

ignoring all negative comments.

Doesn’t matter. Nadal is the favourite, federer is the underdog. Keep fighting fed.

Go for tiebreak.


kriket Says:

Yeah, Fed choking bigtime, Rafa back to his old ways in FO finals against Fed.


van orten Says:

fed plays like everyone expected him to play hahahhahahahhahahha wow what a choker..i have to say this now..because how many more matches or sets or games he wants to lose vs nadal like that…he had him so under controllllll …and in the end everyone will talk about how nadal raised his game in this set..and thats total bullshi,..fed dropped dramaticallyyyyy and thats always the same…nadal wins this set it goes in straightssss


madmax Says:

keep fighting. maestro.


dari Says:

Ay yay yay
Tough call on that serve, I hope roger can come back from that.
Let’s go, roger! Break him up! Allez!


tfouto Says:

Of course he choked Adam, on serve for set, Federer first set just vanished… Its obvious…


Daniel Says:

Well, that’s it. Playing Nadal is a living hell!!

And FEd went for his body in that shot, and Nadal miracously made a deep volley.

How many times have we saw the same history, 5-2 set point and now 6-5 Nadal.

Fed playing better and will lose the set. It must be passing a film on his head.

The problem is the quality of the match will decrease.


madmax Says:

stay calm is the key.


Duro Says:

Not a choke, the chokoholic of Nadal he is…


Adam Says:

this just shows how badly their games mix for federer. fed has played some unbelievable tennis, and has looked almost flawless, but if he gives nadal the tiniest opening (probably not an opening to anyone else in the world) nadal will be all over it.


someone Says:

federer vanished after nadal cheated by calling the trainer. He always calls for the trainer when he’s down. Friggin cheat


van orten Says:

look at thattttttttttttttttttt…i cant watch anymore ..nadal only hitting the bh..why does he always get away with it,..when the tennis god will be just once on feds site whennnnnnn


Daniel Says:

The crowd felt the choke and are mute now!


van orten Says:

this match is over guys


tfouto Says:

Yes game over…


Vinny Says:

Its official. Fed is back to his old ways. Can’t serve @#!t when he needs to. Can’t break when he needs to. It was a good ride to the finals though.


jane Says:

When I tuned it is was 5-2 Fed, now it ends 7-5 Rafa! I really thought Fed had set one in the bag, but there is something about this match up and it’s a mental battle as a result. Fed is not serving quite to the level he was versus Nole, but he is still serving very well.


Daniel Says:

That’s why I prefer when the guy breaks later, as Djoko was doing. Having the lead the hole set to just lose like this is pathetic. Nadal made one unforced error by my count in this stretch. He obviously rase his level as well.

Just feels bad inside, a mist of disgust, frustration and pitty.


Duro Says:

The chokoholic of Nadal he is…


dari Says:

Shucks, Rog. Had a set point!
Ah, well can’t dwell on that past.
Gotta get that serve and spirit up for the second set!
ALLEZ ROG


Humble Rafa Says:

6-1 6-0. last 2 sets. Match over. move on. Nothing to see here.

At 5-0, 40-0, I will call the trainer :)


Duro Says:

Shameful…


van orten Says:

wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww this is hard to swallowwwww ..this hurts bigtime…


Kimmi Says:

Sad sad..oh fed, he started so well.

Oh well….good luck fed at wimbledon

nadal was smiling when he saw fed in the final. he this tournament is his. i was happy that fed beat djoko but now aaaaaargh!! oh why why did fed beat djokovic??? djokovic would have done a better job today :((((


someone Says:

It’s hilarious how the fittest, most hard-prepared, hard-working mand in the sport needed to call the trainer after 7 (!) games when clearly there is nothing wrong with him? Am I seriously the only one who sees smth strange in this?


van orten Says:

disgusting defensive tennis by nadal,..one day it will be over and one will watch tennis again..


Adam Says:

tfouto and who ever thinks that was a choke at 5-3, how bout you take a look at the points instead of the score ad situation. federer played those points impeccably. he came up with great points, but nadal just found a ball or two he could get his racquet on and he made the most of it. it just shows that their games mix terribly


tfouto Says:

WTF!!!


dari Says:

NO, missed overhead!
Roger Allez!


Duro Says:

Poor Nole, you’ll have to earn your number 1 by yourself…

Maybe it’s for the best.


Daniel Says:

Well, 6-0. Moral bagle!!!!


margot Says:

jane: pouring with rain here so cannot garden and so HAVE to watch match ;)
Oh u gotta feel sorry for Fed. Dominates first 6 games, blinks and whaddya know. Rafa has won the set.
Eric: ball manufacturers sponsoring Rafa. What else would he say?


kriket Says:

From 5-2 to 5-7, 0-1. Who said Fed’s not choking?


van orten Says:

hahahaaaahh nadal does not play tennis he is like a squash wallll…but it is how it is..the match is over,..congrats dear nadal and fans…lets hope fed can pull it together at wimby..without any explaination..nadal is on fire now…and this is only feds fault only hisssssss ,..and pls nadal fans be honest enough to admit that fed choked or the tennis gods or whatever dont want fed to win ever again vs nadal


Adam Says:

now he’s just in his head. fed needs to pull a nadal stunt and take a timeout in order to get his head straight before this match slips away


Vinny Says:

Seriously, Fed should have given the match away to Djok who would have hammered Nadal. Man this is brutal.


dari Says:

Don’t go away, Roger! Allez


madmax Says:

need to change tactics fed. Come on dont give in.

Nadal too aggressive right now. Fed can beat the best player in the world right now (novak), rafa can’t beat novak, right now fed can’t beat rafa.

Beat rafa fed. why not?


kriket Says:

Too bad Fed had found that incredible serve in the semi against Nole. That’s what got him through that match. Now we’ll have another boring final, when we could have a classic if it were a Nadal-Đoko final.
Oh well…


tfouto Says:

Adam please, do you understand anything of tennis? Federer chocked serving collapsed when he need it… I am not saying Federer would won, most probably not…


Vinny Says:

Also, the sun has gone. This will hurt Fed bad. God knows he needs a fast court.


someone Says:

congrats to nadal on his 10th grand slam. Just goes to show that violating rules/cheating (i.e wasting/stalling time) can lead to success


van orten Says:

wow even nadal fans called me to say how that is possible that we were expecting a great match,,what would have been possible if fed had won the first set..he didnt now nadal will steamroll him..such but such a pityyyyy nadal is the worst nightmare …he has been the worst nightmare for 6 years now,.i hope he retires soon


Adam Says:

if someone wants to say that its a choke can they please use an argument that is not based on the score. are you guys watching this match on a live score or do you just have no experience with competitive tennis?


Vinny Says:

Adam, Fed just choked plain and simple. He couldn’t pull a first serve when he needed to. The break point was a big choke job as was the set point. He got too cute when he had the set point.


van orten Says:

wow fed must be so dissapointed with himself that he failed to serve this one out..no clutch serve when he most needed it .


Duro Says:

No, that’s not a choke, That’s a CHOKE of the century!!!


Vinny Says:

Its time Fed starts hitting two handed backhands NOW. His one hander is breaking down badly.


madmax Says:

Why is fed so nervous playing against rafa? He’s beaten the player who has beaten rafa four times this year. That should give him quadruple confidence. Federer needs to draw from this. Rafa IS beatable.

zen.


Gannu Says:

Cant take this shit any longer… Fed is mentally retarded or ill against Nadal… enuff is enuff… I am devastated frustrated angered to say the least….

I am switching off my TV and going off to sleep… Just cant take this any longer…

Heart breaks galore…Have to live with this shit.. Buy fed fans.. i know its a misery but cant help it.. we have to face this


van orten Says:

no adam it was not choking..nadal just raised his game..because he is the best and he controls every point he controls even when fed has to serve badlyyy..it s all part of his plan ..almost losing to set to finally win it and getting in feds head..he is incredible..we should be very grateful all to watch that master of tennis


Adam Says:

tfouto, wow you make it sound so simple. ya im pretty sure i have some tennis experience with tennis.


Duro Says:

Carrier ending choke this is.

Just look from now on…


Vinny Says:

Another backhand miss for 15-15. TWO HANDER NOW!


dari Says:

On the board! Something can still happen.
I am so mad at that first set, I wanna be mad at nadal for trainer call, but fed did his own to lose that set.
two ways to look at that trainer call- Rafa needed the tape cut off- simple as that
Rafa being rafa and interrupting player rhythm
Either way fez list the set!
DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT ROGER
Allez


Huh Says:

i regret rootin for roger against nole in semi. it’ll b over in 3 sets. feelin sad for roger, nadal’s just born to beat him, thats all. n even i agree dat fed realy choked today, its obviosly a mental thing of him with nadal. today’s match forces me to think dat roger’ll never ever beat nadal again in a slam. jist tryin to b realistic. Regardless of this, FED FOREVER.


tfouto Says:

Just compare first serves on 1set games…


Gannu Says:

All prayers unheard… Disgusting… just really feel that there is no justice and GOD IS BLIND


Vinny Says:

ANOTHER TWO BACKHAND MISSES FROM 30-30. FED STICK YOUR ONE HANDED BACKHAND UP YOU @$$ and PULL THE TWO HANDER NOWWWW!!!!


jane Says:

margot, finally we have sun, but everyone here is still sleeping off the hockey celebration, so I am watching quietly ;)

Nadal owns a midsized condo in Fed’s head; he lives there sometimes. Wow. But seriously, it is just one break, maybe Fed can come back.


madmax Says:

go away then gannu. It doesn’t matter.

No one expects federer to win. You should know that.

That doesn’t mean you can’t watch the match. You should just to support your man and not be so down when things dont go his way.

It’s federer.


Vinny Says:

ANOTHER BACKHAND MISS OF A NADAL MOONBALL


van orten Says:

really wanna vomit watching this match now..it has been poisened by nadal and he will bite that cup again


dari Says:

I wish the crowd would pump up roger now, but yea gotta them them something to cheer about! C’mon


madmax Says:

first serve federer or brain freeze.

This is ridiculous.


Adam Says:

im sorry, have people been known to hit service winners and aces on nadal frequently? its not as simple as pulling a clutch serve. it is extremely hard to get a serve by nadal. maybe it seems like that is easier to do after watching the djoko match but that is because nadal and djoko r two completely different returners, djoko returns way farther in on the returns and takes more chances, serves just arent going get by on nadal he stays back and returns with a much higher percentage shot.


Vinny Says:

The sad part is, If Fed was as aggressive in 2005-07 when he played Nadal, he would have won at least one of those matches.


Vinny Says:

Did you see that moonball return at 40-40?


madmax Says:

I can’t believe annacone wouldnt have pumped fed up before this match. If he didn’t he isn’t doing his job properly.

Get pumped Fed!


madmax Says:

Better. Come on. Show some fight! This is all I want to see. Some fight. I can accept that Rafa will probably win, BUT I want to seem some fight. Make it competitive then AT LEAST federer can feel he gave it his all.


dari Says:

Nice bh to hold.
I don’t wanna give up, and hopefully neither does Rog!
Allez Rog!
Hang in maxi! :)


Vinny Says:

Nice BH for the hold but for every one of those, there are 10 dumped in the net.


van orten Says:

the crowd is sick of nadal as we all are..and not because he is not a great champion,he is a great champion…but because everything everything goes his way when facing roger..that set point fed had will haunt him forever. why had it to be a dropshot,.whyyyy he was in control of the point…but thats tennis..the crowd is under shock as we all are..even nadal fans have to wonder if nadal really is that good or feds is just an unbelievable choker vs his archnemesis


jane Says:

Adam interesting point about returns. Djoko is definitely a more aggressive returner, and Nadal more safe. I guess the latter works better versus Fed?


tfouto Says:

Gannu and to all others praying to divine intervention… Why God would root for a person instead of other? There are really more important problems on the world to pray for…


Dory Says:

madmax, exactly. His game is too dependent on first serve firing.


dari Says:

Fight Rog, fight


van orten Says:

thats why i say the tennis godddd ..i am pretty sure he is spanish hahaahha or loves the wine or food whatever haha


van orten Says:

again on the lineeee ahahhahahh its incredibleeee how does he do that


Daniel Says:

Wow, Nadal made an Unforced Error on a forehand!!!


tfouto Says:

Adam again, Federer missed the first serves… on serving for 1st set. Not that Nadal returned.


van orten Says:

hahahaha daniel yeah didnt think he was capable of doing that hahah


Adam Says:

in my mind so much of it comes down to the return of serve. federers game relies so much on aces and service winners, on the first and second serve. No matter what federers serve is just never going to get past nadal because he stand back and plays such a high percentage ball. thats something that will never change no matter how federer adjusts his game and that is a reason their games dont mix among other things


Adam Says:

because you arent going to beat nadal off the baseline everytime the serve has to do something for fed


jane Says:

Fed still serving very well. Scoreboard says he is just under 70% for the match. Fed is raising his level a bit too, I feel, really going for the break back.


Vinny Says:

Another moonball from Nadal at 15-30


jane Says:

Breakpoint for Fed.


Vinny Says:

Selective moonballing at its finest. McEnroe calls it defense, Pathetic.


Adam Says:

tfouto, do you come up with 120 mph aces on the lines everytime you step up to the line? missing a first serve is hardly a choke. even when fed has made first serves how often has he really hurt nadal with it, its just too hard to get erves by him. for fed to beat him he has to be better off the baseline than nadal or hes gonna have to be on some fast indoor courts that allow his serve to be even more effective


Vinny Says:

Adam, remember Fed did not have any trouble in the first set until he faced break point on his serve. He just choked game # 9.


Adam Says:

exactly jane, he isnt serving poorly at all. but apparently serving 70% first serves when you play ur serves that close to the line is choking


Daniel Says:

YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
Fed alive, at leats for a litle while.


jane Says:

Fed breaks back. And now set two is four all.


bob Says:

who is the chinese lady next to mirka


Adam Says:

vinny, like a said earlier, if you are making a case for a choke point to the tennis, not the score. on a score tracker that looks like a choke, really just bad luck and clutch tennis from nadal


Vinny Says:

whos got a feeling hes promptly gonna give it back?


pigirl1 Says:

nadal was so luckyyyyyyyyyyyy net cord =[


Daniel Says:

Now he did the volley, when he faced first break point in set one he missed.


Vinny Says:

Adam. Agreed, Nadal DID THE BEST HE COULD on those points. Did Fed? He should have played with some more intelligence. Unfortunately, while playing Nadal, Fed stops thinking! I mean, the ball is short, Nadal is 10 feet away from the base line, just go for a short drive. These Babolat balls dont even bounce. No way Nadals gonna return them….I know its easier said than done but whats the harm in trying? Hes gonna get whipped anyways otherwise….


Vinny Says:

I knew he’d give it back!


kriket Says:

Well, Fed dug his own hole…


van orten Says:

vs djoker that volley at 40:40 is a winner…


Daniel Says:

This left hook from Nadal is the best defense shot in the history. Everytime someone goes inside out to that wing, he can push the ball up, deep and goinfg away from the court. This is the most difficult shot to control, even by a 2 hander. One shot and he cames from behind in the point.


Vinny Says:

It is pathetic that tennis has gone to the opposite extreme since Sampras’ boom boom days (which was boring as hell anyways). Now it is moonballing, and keeping the ball in the court at any cost. No matter how high you have to hit em. Sad.


van orten Says:

the net chord is not on feds site so far..go rogerrrrrr


Polo Says:

Does anybody really believe Federer can beat Nadal on clay? The outcome had been obvious since Federer beat Djokovic. How I wish it was a Nadal-Djokovic final. It would have been exciting instead of this most predicatable match. I just turned of my TV. I will turn in back on in 40 minutes to see Nadal accept his 6th FO trophy.


van orten Says:

look what federer has to do ..he is a master in shot making


Adam Says:

vinny, i can agree with that, but thats just the thing. Anyone who has played enough tennis knows that hindsight is always 20:20, i know there are a lot of nail-bitter matches that i would have pulled out if i just changed on tiny decision like a forehand over the drop shot, but the dropper has worked a lot for federer before, and he missed it by literally a millimeter. you just cant doubt yourself in tennis, you have to make a decision and stick with it. but against nadal thats what it comes down to, the smallest slip up and hes all over you. its so difficult to get a ball by nadal you sometimes get desperate and start to take bigger risks than you should


Daniel Says:

Nadal’s tactic dicipline is relentless.

Wow, rain will save Fed.


Polo Says:

Federer plays scared when he plays Nadal.


kriket Says:

And the rain will prolong the agony


jane Says:

Nadal did well to get the break immediately back, but there were some nervous errors from Fed too, imo. I didn’t see that many of those versus Nole, so I do think there is a mental factor with Nadal. Also, Fed is not doing quite as well on the return in this match. Why does he have an issue returning Nadal’s serve?

Rain!


van orten Says:

match point folks..or will he come back and win 3 in a row…is it possible ..it starts raining !!!!!


van orten Says:

whatt a moment to stop the matchhhh


RD Says:

Shades of Wimby ’08 anyone?


ertorque Says:

van orten: possible but highly unlikely. I wish he would prevail but chances doesnt favour him.


dari Says:

What a f*ING time for rain!
Maybe Rog can reset!
OMG how awkward they have the camera back there!
Oh, if Roger could do something after this break.
I think I will go for a quick bike ride or something- I have lots of nervous energy!
Allez Rog!


Daniel Says:

Damm, 40-40 Nadal serving for the set is tricky!

But he should have the advantage cause both will be rusty when they return, and it tends to favors the server.


Polo Says:

As a Federer fan, I am so glad to have accepted the fact that he will not win another major anymore. It makes the sight of him losing less heartbreaking. I am happy he has 16. That’s enough.


kriket Says:

If it’s true that Nadal’s less aggressive returns work better against Fed’s serve, then Nole should take a lesson from that and use it when playing Fed.
Cos it seems that when Fed has his service going for him, he’s tougher the opponent for Novak than Nadal.


Juiz Says:

How exactly are Federer fans seeing him? I think he is playing well in this second set after that epic meltdown in the first set, so i have no idea why people are complaining still…


Polo Says:

Federer gets a mental block whenever he sees Nadal across the net.


Daniel Says:

The good news is that they didn’t cover the courts, so they are not expecting too much rain. Play should resume shortly!

Hope Anacone tells Fed: Why the hell are you going into Rafa’s forehand instead of his backhand when you have a forehand shot?!?! Specially aproaching the net.


dari Says:

Did you see when the camera went to Mirka a bit ago and she had her head down, and someone next to her lifted her chin up.
So, chin up Rog!
Hope coaches can do something with Rog to pick him up.
Allez


Polo Says:

Any meltdown at any point in a match is fatal…except in women’s tennis where meltdowns by both players in a match is the general rule.


dari Says:

Juiz- I’m a little bit wigged out about first set, but I was thinking that he is not playing THAT bad this set. It is hard for me to analyze at this intensity level though, but I don’t feel like this set is over I guess is all I can say!
Allez Rog


van orten Says:

fed is still in the match…and u never stop hoping because you see the match u dont see nadal controlling it. fed starts serving for an entire set incrediblyyy there would be more chances to take it to a tie break at least and there can happen anything so… we all deserve a very tight match we deserve a 5 setter …we all wanna see it but fed often too often has come shortt vs nadal on clay..playing almost everytime superb tennis…but it happened before folks!!! it would be helpful to play two amazing points to even the score


Polo Says:

This set is over. This match is over. It was over before it even started.


WTF Says:

Daniel Says:

“Damm, 40-40 Nadal serving for the set is tricky!

But he should have the advantage cause both will be rusty when they return, and it tends to favors the server.”

It favors the person losing because the winning player’s rhythm is broken, and allows the losing player to confer with his coach. In a continuous game with no interruption, the players are on their own to figure out how to win.

A comeback is more possible for Fed now than it would have been if there was no rain break.


Vinny Says:

Polo

I disagree…I think Fed has 2-3 slams left. Not just the French. Surely his best shot is at Wimbledon and then the US open. Tell you what, as long as Djoko and Del Potro are around and fit, Nadal ain’t winning another hard court slam. He’ll find it incredibly difficult to even win Wimbledon.


jane Says:

Wow they are just starting before people even sit?


Ike Says:

rain or shine…doesn’t matter…Rafa is going to win this one!


Polo Says:

Federer’s best chance is at Wimbledon but that is no longer a sure thing because he does not move as well anymore. His best chance is if he gets into the final there against somebody not named Nadal. The US Open, he cannot win because there are many who can beat him there…Nadal, Djokovic, Murray and del Potro.


jane Says:

Fed wins a long rally, and had bp.


jane Says:

Breaks back.


WTF Says:

Also Nadal said the rain does not help him. It slows down the court and makes the ball less bouncy. He prefers high bounces.


Daniel Says:

Posseidon is in Fed’s bandweagon!!!


dari Says:

Turn it around Rog! Hold Allez


Ike Says:

jane

ur Canucks got lucky in first two games, but i m still confident our Bruins gonna win the Stanley cup!


Adam Says:

vinny, i agree. tennis critics tend to live way too much in the moment. yesterday everyone was saying federers back, now after only one set down to nadal people think he wont win a GS again. he’s in the finals. 5-5 lets see what happens. i think fed has at least 1 GS left in him


jane Says:

Fed is on a little roll here.


Ike Says:

@ Daniel

seems like Rafa’s “moonballs” started doing their magic again, but this brief rain might curb that bounch


Ike Says:

bounce


Vinny Says:

I think that the rest really helped old man Fed. S#!t I’m 29. Take it back. Young man Fed.


jane Says:

That isn’t luck Ike, it is goooood hockey. Your team turns over too many pucks. Anyhow, we will see.


Adam Says:

federer needs to go for broke on this return game, if he makes some mistakes and loses then so be it, but he’s gotta take a chance here


Ike Says:

jane

u r not rooting for Fed, r u?


van orten Says:

at least tie break…rafa vs rog tie break h2h is pretty even ..or am i wrong ???


Ike Says:

jane

yeah the turnovers have been killing us, but we will bounce back!


Vinny Says:

Adam, the “Critics” and “Columnists” are some of the biggest bandwagoners ever. They were all over Fed when he was winning everything. Then they were all over Nadal. Yesterday, in an ESPN show, I saw some @$$#0!e who went on and on about how Djokovic should have won the French and how he did not like the French etc….then you have idiots in ESPN website like Bodo and Garber….


jane Says:

Ike, I am not rooting, just watching and commenting. Don’t care too much either way who wins. Just want Murray and Nole to win. ;)


Vinny Says:

TIEBREAK!


dari Says:

TB!
ALLEZ ROG
time for big serving Allez


jane Says:

Why didn’t Fed play nervously versus Nole in the tiebreaks. :(


Daniel Says:

Horrible forehand when trying to attack Nadal’s feet.

Now Horrible forehand n#3 in this tiebreak, he dump 2 into the net so far.


dari Says:

C’Mon Roger!
You fought so hard to get to TB!
DO something in it!


pigirl1 Says:

nadal still one minibreak up , c’mon fed you can do it ! win this set and break nadal’s spirit!


Daniel Says:

2 forehand mistakes when attacking second serve. Bad luck!


Adam Says:

Vinny, your totally right. people always think that if you come up short in one tournament its a bad tournament. they tend to think that losing in the semis or finals is such a bad tournament and that the most recent match is some sort of showing for how the rest of their career is going to look. federer nadal and djoko can all lose matches. you have to look at the big picture. if you are putting youself in semis and finals of tournaments you cant say they wont win one eventually. the players know it, they are always telling press not to make to much of current form or one single match. no one seems to listen though


jane Says:

Well, that was an amazing point by Rafa.


Daniel Says:

Nadal retunr one more ball killed Federer to kill his spirit.


pigirl1 Says:

fed try to fight hfrom two sets down!


van orten Says:

woww fed really in trouble now ….nadal is the best..just with out errors his game ..keeping the ball in play is all he has to do


Daniel Says:

Well,

At least he showed some fight in the second, and maybe can try to play his game again and push a fourth.

Amazing how he missed so much forehands that he wasn’t missing agaisnt Djoko in the tiebreak. I thought he would have the edge due to TB agaisnt Nole, but Nadal is too much in his head.

It would be awesome if he somehow had won it, So we can have a more competitive match.


jane Says:

Adam, you are right. They keep putting themselves in the position to win, over and over, these top four guys. They win some, they lose some. But it is why they have all been at the top for a very long time, Fedal since 04-05 and Nole/Andy since 07-08.


dari Says:

La Di Da 2sets to none.
Get one, please roger
I’m still ok. Seen signs of life from fed, but against Rafa he can’t carry it out.
What about that soft overhead right back to nadal?
Shucks
Allez Rog


Vinny Says:

Fed needs an extra set of hands to win it now lol. Like a four handed beast. Two hands for the lower balls, two high up for the higher balls. Then he also needs another pair of legs so that he can switch and not be too tired.


Lulu Iberica Says:

pigirl1, Fed winning this set would not have broken Nadal’s spirit. So far Djoko is the only player I have seen truly crush Nadal’s spirit. I hope now that Djoker has lost, Nadal can put that behind him.

I really thought Fed would give us a better match. Rafa definitely does get in his head, but at least Fed kept it close both sets.


madmax Says:

7:5, 7:5 is NOT a beatdown.

Having said that, 2 sets down, is RUBBISSSSH!!!! Particularly when Fed was serving for the set at 5:2!!!!!!!

could scream.

Have to continue watching the match, come what may.

6 times fed has come back from being 2 sets down. Not sure whether he will do that here unless purple patch for fed and a dip from rafa.

No more. Match on.


jane Says:

Daniel, yes, while I am not rooting so much I was hoping Fed would win set two and make it classic, and exciting. Fed just was too nervous, too many forehand errors. But Fed did put up a good fight.


van orten Says:

woww what a match this could have been with federer winning that first set…now everyone will come short even nadal because he would have it all to easy


pigirl1 Says:

is there an UE from Nadal at all =[


Vinny Says:

But no matter what, full respect to Fed. He could have easily lost in the early rounds in the French each year knowing that Nadal would whip him anyways (kind of another hirsute chested player with 7 wimbledons we know about). But hes taking his beatings well and still fighting. Man I can’t imagine what it feels like.


madmax Says:

Lulu, it’s a difficult one. I really wantd to see fed win the semi final, but I knew at the same time that novak was probably the only man to beat rafa. It was a difficult choice.

Still, am glad for the final that he reached and I am still not giving up hope.

Double the amount of winners to rafa but its those damn unforced errors and not taking those break points.

Change up required.


dari Says:

Horrible mental stuff going on- whoa Rafa with that leaning back forehand.
Fight Rog!


madmax Says:

wHERE ARE ALL THE FEDERER FANS?

DONT BE CHICKEN!

I cant believe you guys!


Daniel Says:

Look at this last 3 points nAdal won. 2 backhand winners and this ball was in his feet.


van orten Says:

the difference between the two has always been this>> when its tight and close feds forehand or serve does not respond vs nadal..mark my words if fed continues playing this level and for once takes every chance he gets he totally can win the set..nadal just never misses when facing break point or having it..he is so focused it is amazing and frustrating


dari Says:

Vinny- hirsute chested player! Love it!
I am totally relaxing now.2 sets down…


Adam Says:

federer can still pull a set here. he’s had chances in both sets. three straight sets would be a huge stretch but he can still make this a match


margot Says:

Rog saves his very best tennis for Andy and Nole…heavy sigh…but just can’t do it any more against Rafa :(


Juiz Says:

madmax, i am here praying Federer pulls off the biggest comeback of his career


Daniel Says:

Now Nadal is holding with ease.


Vinny Says:

Madmax. I’m a Fed fan. But tell you what. If Fed plays like this at Wimby, hes taking the whole thing baby. Truth. Nadal can’t moonball him there. In 2008, if he had not choked the second set (from 4-1 to 4-6 just like today’s first set), he’d have won.


madmax Says:

Vinny Says:
But no matter what, full respect to Fed. He could have easily lost in the early rounds in the French each year knowing that Nadal would whip him anyways (kind of another hirsute chested player with 7 wimbledons we know about). But hes taking his beatings well and still fighting. Man I can’t imagine what it feels like.

June 5th, 2011 at 11:46 am

Vinny, yes.

I hear you.


dari Says:

There’s still a few here Madmax!
Allez Rog


Colin Says:

Dave – so you think it’s perfectly Ok for someone to reduce religion and your god to the level of helpers for a tennis player? What a strange Christian you are. As for telling God what he should worry about, well, somwone should, as he’s made a rotten job of things so far, hasn’t he?


van orten Says:

feds backhand is pretty solid today..people always say feds loses to nadal bc of that..but it is on or two points here and there that almost every time decide the sets…its damn close. it is not that nadal fans enjoy nadal facing federer just because he wins all the time.. i believe they know federer comes short no matter how good or bad he is playing


jane Says:

Maybe Fed can get at least a set? Come on Fed win a set for sure!!! Not another straight set slam final. Last year, 3 of the 4 slam finals were straight setters. We don’t want that again. It seems so anti-climactic.


madmax Says:

Could this possibly go to 4 sets? Probably not, but can you imagine? Federer to pull it together and remember the match he just played against novak.

Novak, where are you? :)


fed is afraid Says:

roger doing well to stay with nadal.


Vinny Says:

Look at that moonball oops topspin on the baseline! Man!


Daniel Says:

Fed started so well, he was dominating showing the same form agaisnt Nole. You could see in Nadal’s face he was unconfortable. But them that game when Nadal serving 2-5. If only Fed didn’t even had chances, he will came more determined to serve it out. Them his level dropped, and now Nadal is super confidant, but even so Fed managed to break him when he served for the second set.


fed is afraid Says:

roger even grunting a little.


van orten Says:

another difference fed has set point in the first and loses it eventually..nadal has set point loses serve but hangs in and wins the breaker …


jane Says:

First set “should” have been Fed’s given he was serving for it. But now he is fighting just to stay in the match. The second set was very close. Let’s see how this third set goes; it does seem somewhat fated to go Rafa’s way at this point.


Vinny Says:

Roger grunting is pure effort. He’s squeezing his last bit. So hes starting to grunt now. Nadal grunts from point 1. I think there should be a rule that the first person who grunts above a decibel level should automatically lose the point. Wtf is this? Competing against Monica Seles?


zinaldo Says:

How is he going to win when he is clearly scared of rafa,the guy has way too much respect for him and he is like a rich kid when he doesn’t get his way with the way rafa seems to be banging on his backhand, i mean 7 years and still he can’t handle that one tactic but what really frustrates me is to see roger money shot the forehand also completely disappear as well whenenevr rafa is on the other side of the court.

I love roger and he is maybe the most talented player to ever set a foot on a tennis court but clearly god forgot to give him some balls because anytime he meets someone who tends up to him he is always the one to lose and that is really shameful to see someone with all the tools to beat anyone just not have the mental fortitude to beat this one guy.

The other day even though i love roger but i was actually rooting for novak as at least he some balls and rafito one dimensional tactic wouldn’t have him winning the match but also because he has balls something roger lacks.

The greatest of all time but this rivalry against rafa is really going to be a stain in his legacy but also because as long as rafa gets roger in the final he is almost certain of victory which could well help him get closer to the 16 slams roger has won so far and he is more likely to get big claps as he would have beaten the greatest ever to win almost all of them go figure.

Really sad seeing roger,lucky i am not watching it as i would have smashed my tv by now.


madmax Says:

margot Says:
Rog saves his very best tennis for Andy and Nole…heavy sigh…but just can’t do it any more against Rafa :(

June 5th, 2011 at 11:50 am

Margot! So glad you’re not gardening! Yes, against andy and novak so much better. but rafa I dont like watching so much, just feel I have to, as a proper fed fan! I know. I know, I agree with you. He plays so well against other players.

Vinny,

I hear you, we hold the fort for the fed fans who are hiding.

Vinny Says:
Madmax. I’m a Fed fan. But tell you what. If Fed plays like this at Wimby, hes taking the whole thing baby. Truth. Nadal can’t moonball him there. In 2008, if he had not choked the second set (from 4-1 to 4-6 just like today’s first set), he’d have won.

I take your word for it vinny.

Come on fed, clutch tennis now.

MAKE IT A WINNER.

Sombre mood right now.
Keep thinking it’s a hard court now, wishing it was hard court, wishing it was WTF November 2010.

Well done Roge!


van orten Says:

fed would have won the two sets bringing a forehand like that at the big points..there is were nadal is lucky or determined as hell


Adam Says:

i just think it is so much easier for nadal to be clutch, because he plays such high percentage tennis. when he needs a point all he has to do is buckle down and make more balls. for roger to win an important he has to take so many more risks and go for so much more than nadal does.


fed is afraid Says:

this ain’t over yet.


van orten Says:

loook nadal is in trouble and he delivers favourite combo…serve and forehand winner..feds favourite combo two but he never ever uses it when urgently needing above all vs nadal


van orten Says:

his forehand return sucks so badly today..so bad he cannot return better vs nad


madmax Says:

yeah zinaldo you said it. 7 years, roger has been there, who else has been there for 7 years on the trot? Tell me please?

Have a bit of respect. If federer loses to nadal it is becaues nadal is playing on his favourite surface. No one else has come close to pushing rafa at the FO except federer. Doesnt matter if he loses to him, there is no shame in that.

It’s not going to be a stain on his legacy! How many slams has rafa won on clay? as well as titles on clay? Count them and you will see. He has not won the same amount of multiple wins on the other surfaces as roger. Come on!

This is Roger’s weakest surface and he still makes the final.

Out.


dari Says:

Yep, too much court open on that return, roger. Nice yet though. I am glad i dont feel as bad as you, zinaldo. Maybe I should be pissed, but-
Ah weird fh miss, c’Mon Rog


Daniel Says:

Nadal is grunting more, which means he is hitting with more determination.

Virtual match point, Fed collapsed with this drop shot.


dari Says:

Gosh damnit roger, missing that drop!
Allez


van orten Says:

so i guess this is it ..the end is near..still hoping for it to be a classic but it is not going to happen…congrats to nadal but i hope djoker stays in his head..so he can feel as roger one day..this is painful to watch it must be painful for roger!!!!


madmax Says:

fed is afraid Says:
this ain’t over yet.

June 5th, 2011 at 12:02 pm

you really care after all the obsenity you have given roger over the year?


dari Says:

Ok, I’m pissed now. Don’t go out like this roger!
Break Allez


jane Says:

Ugh. Fed broken easily.


Daniel Says:

Another mental win for Nadal, who will win his most bizarre Slam not playing one single “awe” match. Fed played the whole tourney better and will come short.

Well, at least he wasn’t afraid of this match, otherwise he could easily not beat Nole.


van orten Says:

wow tony pena from espn latin said > with all respect i have for roger federer but he completly switch his lights off by himself.


madmax Says:

Polo Says:
Federer plays scared when he plays Nadal.

June 5th, 2011 at 11:10 am

Polo you’re right, thank goodness for novak eh?


van orten Says:

3 errors in a row by fed


Daniel Says:

Nadal ball landed in, how this pisses me off. Everyball lands in, gosh!


van orten Says:

so will he come back for good will he take his chances now..come on rog show some fighttttt..


Adam Says:

ugh the mysteries of tennis… why can roger only break after hes been broken. its such a head game


Daniel Says:

Who would have thought, 0-40 break for Nadal, 0-40 break for Fed.


jane Says:

Good job Fed! break back. He needs to believe and not see playing Rafa as a gift. He needs to see it as a challenge!


madmax Says:

Polo,

Novak will compete against rafa for a long time to come and win over and over again. Do you think novak is in rafa’s head?

Come on Roge,

Let’s go and hammer the set!


dari Says:

Not a break until you hold, but good job roger!


van orten Says:

haha daniel…yeah every single one ..fed plays superb tennis and still comes short because nadals defensive balls never go out ..they love the lines too


Humble Rafa Says:

I will sit back and wait for Nadal to break right back. TY Roger.


madmax Says:

Come on Roge!


van orten Says:

wow nadal is the best roger serve returner of the gameeee ..impossible


van orten Says:

hahaha i would do the same as a rafa fan humble rafa


madmax Says:

jane Says:
Good job Fed! break back. He needs to believe and not see playing Rafa as a gift. He needs to see it as a challenge!

June 5th, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Good to see you Jane,

yes please! It’s about time fed got rafa out of his head! He can do this!

I’m going to get onto the ‘go get a sports psychologist to sort out the confusion. It can be done!


jane Says:

Good hold from Fed.


Daniel Says:

Even though he can lose in straight, this is their most competitive match in RG. All sets are beyong 4-4.


dari Says:

Well, I ain’t mad atcha, Rog. He’s fighting a little in each of theae sets!


Vinny Says:

This is Fed’s chance. I think the odds are better for him to win the set if he breaks to go up closer to the end than earlier.


Adam Says:

van orten, i dont know if best is the right word, as it doesnt seem too difficult to return feds serve the way he does, he just stands way back, gets the perfect lateral positioning so that fad cant get too much of an angle and then he just throws safe returns in with a lot of air under the ball. Id say he is easily the most effective fed returner in the game


Vinny Says:

7-5, 7-6, 6-4 . You heard it.


dari Says:

Ok, hold strong here roger. C’mon


Daniel Says:

Fed will have to hold two more times to force a breaker or hold-break-hold. Next game to stay alive first!


jane Says:

Daniel, maybe but he needs to win a set, as he has won sets before in 06 and 07. In 06 he won one 6-1, and forced a cliff hanger ending with a tiebreak.


Daniel Says:

Great hold, Fed did his part. Try to break!


dari Says:

I want a set, gosh damnit. C’Mon Rog!


Vinny Says:

7-5, 7-6, 7-6 you heard it!


Adam Says:

camooooooonnnn breakk roger


Vinny Says:

New balls for Fed lol! Would do good for his!


jane Says:

Triple break point for Fed!!!


Daniel Says:

Wow, Second service game from ANdal that Fed is 0-40. Can he do it?!


Adam Says:

alleeeeeeeezzzzzzz fedds. you deserve a set, serve it out!


jane Says:

Yep, now all Fed has to do is hold and he forces a fourth set. That will pump up the excitement.


Vinny Says:

7-5, 7-6, 7-6 still 4 Rafa.


dari Says:

What do you call that shot in the corner like that?!
C’Mon Rog!


Daniel Says:

Backhand crosscout of the match!! Amazing how Nadal is returning everything, or touching his racket. Fed is only geting winner when wrong footing Nadal. Returns were excelent.

Now can he hold his own and serve for a set.

Please make a 4th, it is already 3 hours match and we not even finished the third.


Daniel Says:

Slices are killing Nadal, he made 5-6 erros so far in the last games.


Daniel Says:

This is ITTTTTT!!!!!!


Daniel Says:

ACEEEEEEE!!!! Please make this poitn Federer.


Adam Says:

Roger needs to keep using that drop shot, he may have missed a few but its the right play. nadal is just too defensive right now, roger has to bring him in.


jane Says:

On to set four!! :)


dari Says:

Yay, we get more tennis!


van orten Says:

its only over when its over baby


jane Says:

Agree Adam. Fed used the drop shot well versus Monfils when he was way behind the baseline. He needs to use it today. And mixed up pace with slices etc.


fed is afraid Says:

you had him rafa,
you had the 3rd set.,
why


Daniel Says:

Finally!!!

Nadal served 4-2 after breaking Fed 0-40 and Fed ressurgance began.
I am a proud fan now and all demons from set 1 was exorcised this set.

Go on and fight one more set Fed you can do it. Rafa’s serve is not ginving him free points, he is not taking risks, and Fed changed tactics with lots of dros and slices to disrupt Nadal’s rhytm, mforcing him into errors.


Vinny Says:

I think serving second has a great advantage for Fed. He’s always serving after the break (except the first service game) and this makes it easier to put in a good percentage of first serves. If he serves first, then his service game is always after a brutal Nadal service game when he misses a gazillion break points and is all disappointed, not to mention that hes super tired.


margot Says:

Feddie salvages some pride :)


van orten Says:

clash of the systems/./nadal 25 ue 46 fed
nadal 26 win 49 fed


tfouto Says:

Go Roger!!! You can do it…


Daniel Says:

Fed’s return is on fire, inside out backhands to Nadal’s BH corner.


jane Says:

Rafa has gotten more defensive. And Mac said his serve has become predictable and his level has slipped.


jane Says:

Nadal is imploding a little and Fed has upped the ante.


Daniel Says:

Another 0-40 game Nadal serving, third in a row. andal makes a magic backhand winner in the line.


Adam Says:

Vinny, i think ur right. I think it is a mental advantage for him to serve second. I think he likes having the pressure of staying ahead on nadal.


Vinny Says:

By the way, I loved the way Mac was going on about how Nadal could already be the greatest ever. His reasoning: Nadal owns Fed and also has an olympic gold. How convenient is it to forget the year end championships? Of course, it aint much as it is THE MOST difficult tournament to win and is always a round robin with only the top 8 players in the world.

Mac can be an idiot sometimes.


Daniel Says:

Wow, Nadal played like #1 now saving 3 BP with great play. What a time to hit an ace. The moemntum was all with Fed.


tfouto Says:

You have to credit Nadal attitude…


Vinny Says:

Fed couldn’t do much more about that game. He should have at least come to the net at least ones. Good ol chip and charge baby.


dari Says:

Ok, tfouto, that’s true about nadal that game.
Now feds turn to man up and hold back easy


jane Says:

Daniel, I agree: most competitive final between these two at the FO, especially now that Fed has won a set.


Adam Says:

It would be a complete misstatement to call nadal a p#$%y, because he is such a ferocious competitor and so tough. in my opinion he is the toughest competitor to ever play any sport. having say that I feel like he plays like such a p#$%y. He is so safe and defensive.


Vinny Says:

Adam

It is no coincidence that all three sets have been won by the person serving second. Especially the first set when Fed had the set point, then gave away his own serve in the next game. If he had some time to collect his thoughts, he could have served it out. But he did not have the changeover. Another similar match was Madrid 2009 when Fed took both sets serving second.


jane Says:

Is it looking windier? Seems like it is gusting more.


Vinny Says:

Adam

Agree with Nadal being a Pu$$y. I mean, you are number 1 in the world! Act like it! Not be moonballing and retrieving every point like you are surviving. Sometimes you have to transcend that attitude.


Eric Says:

Just getting up and rewatching the match from the beginning now… How did Federer lose the first set from 5-2 up? :/


madmax Says:

Vinny Says:
7-5, 7-6, 7-6 you heard it!

June 5th, 2011 at 12:23 pm

*clearning throat* – vinny! shame on you!

7-5; 7-6; 5-7, no tie breaker in the third!

Well, this is good stuff from fed, all we need now is some consistency and believe from the fed.

The wind is blowing!

Stop wind stop!

Federer is playing a better match, at this RG. That’s a fact.


dari Says:

Let’s go Rog, hold on here
Don’t give up what you have fought for!
@%@&# 1st df I think!
C’Mon!


madmax Says:

double fault.

We need 5 aces please. :)


jane Says:

Could be Nadal gained confidence from that hold from love-40 down because he has been going for it. Mind you the reverse for Fed: two mistakes and a double fault??


Adam Says:

Vinny

Glad to know im not the only one who feels that way. wasn’t sure that comment was going to go over well. I have a lot of respect for him and think hes a good guy, but i just cant bring myself to ever root for him, because i just cant stand how he plays. Probably because i have playing guys like him.


kriket Says:

Federer digging up his own hole yet again. Service game lost to luv.


dari Says:

Allez Rog, show us what you got


Vinny Says:

Fed’s gonna lose soon if he can’t handle the wind. What a poor service game.


Adam Says:

hate* not have


madmax Says:

I don’t understand why federer has to think so much against rafa. He’s thinking too much. I want him to play more freely. Come on fed, this is when you are at your best. Free as a bird. Who cares about what people thing?

Federer fans, need some zen here.


dari Says:

Ooh slick shot from Rog :)
C’Mon


van orten Says:

wow fed completly losing this match because he is impressed by rafas defense..his ability to hit the lines..fed had 3 break points and nothing but nothing happened..nadal has 3 break points and he converts ..as usual fed is haunting ghosts out there and his is so unlucky with the lines today wow keeps being hard to understand how cruel and tight those matches always fall onto nadals side


Vinny Says:

Adam

Not to mention the fact that he cheers and pumps sometimes after an opponent makes a very basic unforced error. I can’t support this guy ever. Yes he’s the best competitor there is. Power to him.


van orten Says:

unforced errrors nadal would never make never..go roger go


madmax Says:

Margot, I think you were talking about some hypnotism earlier on?

I don’t know about Andy, but I think fed could do with some, and come to think of it, I need a shot of it too! :)


van orten Says:

nadal is a pain in the ass. but its not his fault..fed has it all to beat him..but its over all a mental thing..as i said before hope djoker can stay in nadals head for a while ..other wise tennis will get very very boring ..god federer take for once ur chances as rafa does


Ben Pronin Says:

Winning a tennis match isn’t as simple as “playing more freely”. Federer thinks so much against Nadal because Nadal forces him to, not because he has nothing better to do than think hard.


jane Says:

Nadal has hit 40 winners to 26 errors; Fed 62 winners to 49 errors, so the ratio of winners to errors is not too far off. Nadal does make things happen; he doesn’t only play defense.


van orten Says:

rafas moonballing is really hard to watch..why does he has to have such a playing style and a butt of luck so huggeeeeeeee


Daniel Says:

How is that even possible, Why all balls land in, just concieve the winner Nadal, you make tennis ugly wihtn this shots all the time.


van orten Says:

wowww nadal the master of mooonballing ..he is the god of the moonballl ..frustrating frustrating this is


jane Says:

Although he does play amazing defense. Look at that last point. Nadal rubbing against the backboards, practially, lol!


van orten Says:

someone who ever played a moonballer know how difficult that is ..its over folks….was a good match though


Vinny Says:

Van Orten. I think that Nadal’s moonballing is what makes his luck. He’s mastered the art of moonballing so well that when done repeatedly, no person in the world can keep hitting them back. The only option to return a moonball is to throw a junk ball back but that plays right into Nadal’s hands. Djokovic did well with these moonballs in Rome. However, I doubt if he could sustain it.


Ben Pronin Says:

Haha where are all the Nadal fans? Everyone here is just bashing his style. Even though he’s a game away from his billionth win over Federer.


van orten Says:

what can you do???? as longg he can run like that he willl never lose vs fed again…


Daniel Says:

That first game in the fourth set when Nadal saved 0-40 after beinmg broken ther last tw games he was 0-40 down. From that moment Nadal was all pumped up and now with some lucky he got this game and another break.

Only if he gives the biggest choke of his career he will lose this set.


Adam Says:

Jane

It is interesting because nadal can certainly play offense. He has a interesting game style because even when he attacks its always very high percentage. He just never takes any big risks.


van orten Says:

never seen a player hit so many lines on defensive shots only to stay in the point ..it is just not possible ..hard to digest for fed..wow i m taking this pretty normal now..waas a goood match and there was hope but not winning the first set was too much for fed to handle, it haunted him all the match..congrats rafa …hope fed is strong enough to hit back at wimby


kriket Says:

Match point x3


van orten Says:

pls dont lie on the floorrrrr pls dont be humble for onceeee pls


Ben Pronin Says:

Wow Federer just gave that last point away.


Milos Says:

Great birthday present to Nadal from Rog :P


kriket Says:

Of course, Nadal very much loves his bff Federer, when he’s winning. He doesn’t show much love to Novak at the net lately :P


jane Says:

Congratulations Rafa! Six FO titles tied with Borg, and ten slam titles. Rafa fans, Lulu, Kimberly, fed is afraid, enjoy the day!

Well, that is it. Slams half over for the year.

Good on Fed for keeping it tight for three sets. He played a solid match overall and his best versus Nadal here, so no shame in the loss. Commiserations Fed fans. Take heart.

Wherever you are grendel, you were right about how this draw would play out. And now Nadal is back, likely with mega-confidence restored. He has a pretty good chance of defending Wimbledon, but not sure about the USO. That is the least likely I think.

.


Daniel Says:

I hpe I live long enough to see Nadal’s last days, boy how am I going to be happy when he won’t be able to run anymore. God!!

Congrats to him even so, the most rigid player to stick with his game plan cosistant during the whole match, to break down the most perfect game in history!!

16-10, Will he pass it?!

Will Fed keeps this form into Wimby?

How will Djoko bounce back?


van orten Says:

nadal would totally be the best player ever if he wins more gs than federer at the end of their careers…feds only chance is now win wimby and us open to safe his legacy he has to win them..otherwise rafa withoutt a problem will get him ..a pity but reality ..fed go to a shrink u suck so much at breakpoint convertion..wow wow u shouldd be the best ever with that kind of arsenal and play. now nadal moonballing and staying 4 meters behind baseline will eventually surpass you!!!!


marrisv Says:

congrats rafa!!!! Way to go….


WTF Says:

I’m a Rafa fan, but I feel kind of bad for Federer. He deserves to win at least one over Rafa.

He did the hard work taking out Djokovic and deserved more credit than he got for it.

Interestingly, the moment Nadal went down to the ground in victory, I looked up his wikipedia entry and it was updated already with his 2011 win.


van orten Says:

shit happens !


tfouto Says:

Congratulations to all true Nadal fans, Kimberley, lulu_iberica. Nadal deserve it. Of course i am not taking if you Ike an anti-fan… Cheers


Eric Says:

Ugh. So close until that last set. Rafa is still in Roger’s head — to come back from down 2-5 in the first set, then elicit a mediocre tiebreak performance from the man in the second set…. No surprise in Rafa winning or in it being fairly close but I’m still so disappointed.

Congrats Rafa and fans, at least the Spaniard is back on top. :)


marrisv Says:

Fed tried his heart out… but the three break points in the first game of the fourth… seemed to be the momentum shift….


Maso Says:

… I’m utterly disgusted. Credits to Nadal but I can’t help feeling that Roger flushed that one away by losing the first set.


dari Says:

Little bit different route, but same destination- Rafa with the RG Cup.
Proud of the way Rog played the tourney.
Felicidades, Rafa- Rey de la Tierra
If Rog keeps playing like this, he should have a good year.
Sorry it couldn’t happen here.


Adam Says:

although nadal beats federer once again and in four sets, fed has a lot of positive things to take away. Had he won that first set, or even the tiebreak things may have looked very different. It is not a stretch to say he could have won today, and it was one french open clay. Hi win over djoko was a great effort. I like his chances at wimbledon. I’m gonna take him as a favorite, although people may try to blow this result out of proportion.


Ike Says:

congrats Rafa!!!!
Once again you bring the joy to us anti-Fed fans :)

win 1 more grandslam than Fed and you will be the greatest tennis player ever!!!!!!


Ben Pronin Says:

Federer to win Wimbledon. Djokovic the US Open.


Daniel Says:

Roger once again is right. Who had the best clay court season after all, the one who won Roland Garros!


marrisv Says:

Rafa appeared very nervous even when ahead in the third and i think getting over that first game in the fourth really did it for him…


Ike Says:

i think the fate of this match was decided in the first set itself


marrisv Says:

I think we will now see a more relaxed rafa for the rest of the year… now that he got RG…and a relaxed rafa will be even dangerous….


Ike Says:

Wimby is going to be extremely exciting, I hope all top 4 players will make into the semi!


Eric Says:

Federer won 1 more point than Rafa in the first 3 sets. :/


van orten Says:

one can always say if fed wins the first he totally wins the second too he didnt he never plays his best vs nadal its a fact..its a shame but as long as fed doesnt beat once again in a slam final i will always think nadal is better than federer although it really hurts but the truth always hurts..roger played really great rg not a perfect final but a good one..hope he bounces back at wimby..congrats rafa hope ur days of winning moonballing are soon over and u become a serve and volley player


Ike Says:

marrisv
question is can Rafa win Wimby and or USO? i strongly doubt it.


marrisv Says:

yes, can’t wait for WImby… rafa in to double digits…


Maso Says:

Positive? Once again Federer misses countless break opportunities. Fucks up the important points when he can close out the first set and take a definitive advantage. It’s the same thing time after time after time. This whole match was a bunch of might-have-beens from Federer. Early break in the first set, impeccable serving until it comes to closing it out. Comes back from two breaks on two different occasions in the second and plays like crap in the tie break. Third set, thankfully, he managed to come back down from a break and close it out. Fourth set, begins with 3 break points on Nadal’s serve and blows that, too. So frustrating. A lot of those missed break opportunities can be credited to Nadal’s incredible level of play, but there’s definitely a psychological blockage with Federer when he plays Rafa on important points. There are definitely good signs from Wimbledon, but I’m not gonna be able to forget that Roger missed a lot of opportunities once again.

Congratulations to Nadal and his fans, he definitely was the more constant man in this final. But damn this one’s hard to swallow.


kriket Says:

And to answer the question in this article’s topic: obviously not!

Over and out, clay season good riddance! It was fun, but the boring end ruined it. Off to grass.


jane Says:

Wimbledon will tell a lot. I think Fed has great chances there based on how well he played the FO. He was very close today in three of the sets. Nadal has a good chance to defend Wimbledon, too, though, as I think he will be more relaxed and confident.


marrisv Says:

Ike – Yes, if he brings his serve back… He will no doubt… Wimby – He has a great shot… USO – We will see what happens..


dari Says:

Ben- hope so
Ike- how old are you? This anti-fed stuff at this moment? You are so lame.
Ok that’s all my bitchy I’m gonna give for this loss
I don’t feel horrible, somehow. I just hope federer can stay up at this level through wimby. Chin up fed fans
Sincere congratulations to Rafa and good fans!


Eric Says:

“I think we will now see a more relaxed rafa for the rest of the year… now that he got RG…and a relaxed rafa will be even dangerous….”

Indeed. Rafa’s four losses in a row to Nole are, to me, far more inexplicable than Fed’s three. This was the man who seemed simply unable to lose a really important match – to lose in four Masters finals in a row… that’s almost as many masters finals as he had lost in his entire career to 2011. Now that he has proven he can take down a red-hot Roger in fine fashion and come through a tight match like this he will be much more dangerous. Rafa’s confidence is back. You guys see his unusually personal and intimate huddle on the ground right after winning? Revealing, I think, that he was very, very, very glad to have this title again. Much more special to him than just another Slam title or something like that…


Ben Pronin Says:

Where was Djokovic when you needed him


Daniel Says:

Djoko didn’t have a chance to play Rafa in a Grand Slam after his new found form. MAybe Wimby or US Open, he has to beat Nadal at a Slam eventually if he has hopes to be n.1 for a long period. Now he has to wait at least 1 mont, untill Wimby plays out.


Daniel Says:

Oh, and Nadal now have won at least 1 Grand Slam for 7 consecutive years, remarkable as well!


van orten Says:

fed will only win wimby if nadal loses before meeting him


skeezerweezer Says:

Kimberly,

Congrats to and your favs 10th GS :)


WTF Says:

Ike Says:

“i think the fate of this match was decided in the first set itself”

If you like statistics, Nadal’s win record in slams after winning the first set is over 100 wins. He has only lost once after winning the first set… to Ferrer at the US Open.

So yes, the moment he won the first set, history was against Federer.


van orten Says:

any new fast balls for wimby ???


dari Says:

Bonjour… now English LOL!


margot Says:

Congrats to Rafa and all his nice fans.
Commies to Fed and all his too.
Looking forward to the grass:)
At Queens Rafa has Delpot/Wawa on his side. If Andy plays he has other Andy in his.
Bring it on :)
PS girls isn’t Gustav Cuertan wearing well….yummy…


van orten Says:

i will be thinking all day in that dropshot goin out having set point in the first and then having 30:15 and got broken really broke not only feds but all his followers neck ( hope)


jane Says:

Very emotional Nadal family. Both Rafa and his dad blinking back tears during the anthem.

Fed is slick with his French. :) Annacone has done great with Fed. To me, his form is much stronger again.

But is Nadal back to his best? Hmmmm. I saw it at times today, but not maybe as dominant as at other times, definitely not 2008 level, but 2010 level? Not sure.


Lulu Iberica Says:

Congratulations to Rafael Nadal on his 6th French Open title and 10th slam! I’m so proud of him for hanging tough and getting better every match in this tournament, but also I give big thanks to Roger for that win over Djoker and keeping Rafa’s #1 alive.

Thanks Jane & Eric for congratulations! I’m always nervous when Rafa plays a big match, and even though he was the favorite here, the way Fed played against Djoker and at the beginning of this match made me a bit worried. I was pacing back and forth most of the time! Fed did really well to keep fighting and get a set. I can’t feel too triumphant today, because Federer made me sooooo happy by beating Djokovic, and in that match he played the best tennis of the tournament.

Watching trophy presentation — wish Borg was here!


KL Says:

Well done Rafa! just as I predicted in the “Streak busted thread”……Rafa in 4!


Eric Says:

Van Orten, don’t know about that. Federer should have won the first set (how do you lose a 5-2 lead? even against Rafa?) and then the match would have been totally different. At Wimbledon, he’s always been just as good over Rafa as Rafa over him on clay (well, maybe not JUST as good, but close). 2008 was an aberration on both counts, but Fed is playing with much better form now than he was then. And Rafa won that match by, literally, playing 1% better than Roger (look up the point totals, he won like 4 points more than Roger out of almost 500 played). This Roger will win in 3 or 4 sets on grass. Of course that’s assuming this Roger doesn’t go away and revert to his mediocre 2009-2010 form.


dari Says:

Ooh, threw in some French at the end, nice.


Anon Says:

To Rafa fans, congrats! Rafa is a true legend, now the owner of 10 GS titles.

As a Fed fan this loss is a bit bitter to swallow. Fed played well, but Nadal’s just too good.

Thanks for your company, this forum is awesome and I am completely hooked.


Eric Says:

KL, you predicted Rafa to win the French Open final? You must be a friggin genius.


Kimmi Says:

congrats to rafa and his fans.

sad for fed but that is how it goes.

hope at wimby roger is in rafa’s half to give djokovic a chance. aaargh!


marrisv Says:

Eric – Yes, Nadal’s celebration did tell a lot… as to how much this title meant. He had very little belief when he entered the tournament and he has DONE it.


van orten Says:

federers only chance to win vs nadal in wimby is by winning three sets in the breaker..he just cannot break nadal when he really needs to..looking back he may could have won the match by breaking him to win the first set..he didnt nadal won nadal for is the best..till federrer beats him once again in a slam final…its 6:2 now and clock keeps ticking..but very confident he ll beat everybody but nadal in wimby so lets see what happens.,.make sure i have to work shift that day of the final


dari Says:

So, will roger be seed 3 at Wimbledon? It’s based on rank and grass results last one or two years?


KL Says:

Eric I predicted Rafa in 4 not JUST to win!


marrisv Says:

Fed is definitley on the right track and should start Wimby as a favorite… With his serve back, he will be extremely tough to beat.


marrisv Says:

It will be interesting to see how the seeding at Wimby will work out…. Will Fed be seeded second ahead of Novak as their formula takes in to account past performances on grass.


tfouto Says:

well the grass on wimbledon is not really grass at all. And by the time the final is played, there’s almost no grass at all. Is just dirt…

Gustavo Kuerten said two things about Federer today on twitter:

- Even playing too much and being on the auge of his confidence, he felt the pressure to close the 1set.

- Even loosing, watching Federer playing is so much beatifull…


Lulu Iberica Says:

I actually hope Rafa meets Djoker at Wimbledon, because I think Rafa can beat him there, and then he won’t have such a monkey on his back. Of course Djoker is a better hard court player, and he might beat Rafa all summer hard court season, but I just want Rafa to know he CAN still beat Djoko.


madmax Says:

Dari,

ignore this person. She is always like this, I don’t know why people here don’t see through it.

WTF Says:
I’m a Rafa fan, but I feel kind of bad for Federer. He deserves to win at least one over Rafa.

WTF, please dont feel kind of bad for fed. Really. No one expected federer to win, it would have been utterly epic if he had. And as many people will say, really, the losses dont hurt so much anymore. One day you will understand that feeling.

Just to mention, federer HAS beaten novak, (the only person to do so this year), not even rafa has been able to do that – in 4 attempts. But respect to rafa for trying.

I would like to congratulate rafa for his 10th slam, and his lovely fans here, –

I for one am happy with roger getting to the final. Well done Roge! Had some great moments which made me think roge had a chance, but rafa just too strong. Federer has had A great two weeks.

On the positive side (waiting for grendel to come in here and give a more reasoned breakdown which he is so good at ), federer has reached 5 finals -more than any other player. Something to be proud of not degraded by people like fedisafraid. Honestly. so childish these people.

As for Fed’s legacy? you honestly think this is in danger? No way. Not ever.

What I love is at the end, Roge giving Rafa words of affection, he was really warm. I love that about Roge.


tfouto Says:

Ike, you can be an anti-fed, but besides being childish and dont know how to deal with your player losses other then angry, i can tell you that Federer is loved by the majority of people fans for some reason. Because is tennis is the most beatifull to watch.

I could hate Nadal, but i dont. I admire is mental strenght and the consistency. Today it was really key on 4 set when he went from 0-40 to won that game. It wasn’t Federer that lost the bp, was Nadal that recover them…


The fighter Says:

Its the heart of a champ dat nvr dies n chooses the right moments to peak….well done Rafa!!!!!!!!!proud to be a rafan….vamos…enjoy the moment…the world number one


KL Says:

LuLu, I think Nadal suffered confidence issues at the beginning of the tournament because of the losses to Novak.

Rafa would have had a harder time had Novak made it to the final…..look how confident Rafa was in the final game…..he knew that he could beat Federer….but perhaps not Novak ver 2011.

Winning the French again may well restore Rafa’s confidence…..should be an interesting Wimbledon!


jane Says:

At Queens, I would be curious to see those possible match ups margot mentioned: Rafa vs. Delpo and the two Andys.

Rafa says “almost impossible” to match what Fed has done. He also says he will play Queens.

I think Djoko should have played Queens, arrrrgh. He will have no grass prep so how can he do well there. I have my doubts.

JMac loves Rafa, ha ha.


dari Says:

Thanks for guga quotes, tfoouto. Love that guy.


van orten Says:

we all know he lost it in the first set..but at least he fought


madmax Says:

tfouto Says:
Ike, you can be an anti-fed, but besides being childish and dont know how to deal with your player losses other then angry, i can tell you that Federer is loved by the majority of people fans for some reason. Because is tennis is the most beatifull to watch.

I could hate Nadal, but i dont. I admire is mental strenght and the consistency. Today it was really key on 4 set when he went from 0-40 to won that game. It wasn’t Federer that lost the bp, was Nadal that recover them…

June 5th, 2011 at 1:39 pm

tfouto, she’s ridiculous. A real fed hater here, pathetic comments from someone who disguises herself with niceties in buying tickets for people to watch the super bowl.

grendel, when you are ready, could you post some comments in the only way you can?

Ben,

Free tennis is what federer is good at when he doesn’t think so much – he thinks too much against rafa, but for all the crap that people write about fed, he did more than anyone expected him.

Best match of the tournament was Fed v Novak – Novak was fantastic.

Can’t wait now for wimbledon.


marrisv Says:

I agree Djoko should have played Queens… I wonder why he pulled out.May be he will play some exhos the week before wimbledon.


Kimberly Says:

the mutual respect between the two of them is amazing. I think they are the two most gracious players ever.

Thank you for the congrats from the fed fans here, true class just like your guy. I know Rafa’s not your fav but thanks anyways.

Fed did well by getting to the final when many people had written him off and nadal said in his interview that that was the best fed ever played him at roland garros.

Thankfully not pulling out of queens as that would be the death knell for the tournament with novak pulling out and murray uncertain.

Skeezer, Kaiser won the doubles tournament this morning 6-2 6-4.


tfouto Says:

he dont play queens because of tendinitis… that’s it…


Gordo Says:

Yes, he may not have won today, but I think Federer proved to a few – maybe even to some in here – that he still is a factor and can compete at the highest level. Lrt’s see if he is still “in the trunk” in here tomorrow.

A great match. Congrats – Rafa!


Miki Says:

Even loosing, watching Federer playing is so much beatifull…
Yep, so true. He gave us some pretty nice tennis on Friday against Novak. Al tough I’m a Novak fan, I just can’t watch Fed and without admiring his game and his style. Unique. Only way to describe him. And I never saw anyone using drop shots against Nadal the way Federer did today. And in such important moments.

Congrats to Rafa for his 10th Slam. Someone called him mediocre on the other thread. well, his game style may not be appealing to everyone, but thing he surely isn’t, is mediocre. You don;t win 10 Slams being mediocre. Give the guy some respect.


Eric Says:

patellar tendonitis? please… more like “sore knee, sore ego”


Krishna Says:

Frustrating to watch as a Federer fan.. blew the 1st set 5-2 lead..but that umpire messed up that 1st service call when Fed was serving at 5-5..either way.. Fed should have won the 1st set..

2nd set..same deal..he works hard..breaks back..takes it to a tiebreaker..but even then..i Saw his forehand betray him..he was shanking balls making unforced errors.. then in the tiebreaker..it totally blew up and he lost that..

4th set..he had 0-40 on Nadal’s serve.. 3 BPS..blows them all..

frustrating..but I think Fed played a good match.. if he played well during the important points this may have been a different outcome..especially if he had taken that 1st set..

I think Nadal is just is in his head..especially on clay..and especially in RG..

hope Fed can get Wimbledon :)


Maso Says:

Alright, bit calmer now. Major congratulations are in order to Rafa for reaching that rare category of players who have won 10 slams and more, what an incredible player. On the upside, Roger played an incredible open, missed a few opportunities in the final but it’s no surprise to see Nadal taking this one home. He’s the best clay court player of all time.

Hope to see Fed bring this form to Wimbledon so he can equal Sampras’ record. The rest of the season should be fascinating!


jane Says:

I think Nole would have played Eric, if he wasn’t advised not to. As Daniel showed, he could have potentially overtaken number one at Queens if he did well. He has had that knee strapped since AO, I think or for sure IW, and he has played a lot of tennis too.


Miki Says:

Eric, why are you bashing? It’s just an excuse for withdrawing without pissing the organizers. He did the same for Monte Carlo. He wasn’t really injured, we all know that. Maybe you think he is implying that it was a reason for a loss to Fed, but I don’t think so. He didn’t mention it in a presser.


tfouto Says:

One thing i miss already is the single backhand. When Federer retires will be any top 10 player with a single backhand?

Watching Federer, Wawrinka, Gasquet backhand is a beauty of his won.


jane Says:

Miki, do you think it is a good idea for Nole not to play Queens? What is your opinion.


Eric Says:

It’s totally unsurprising that Rafa won of course. What was surprising was that Roger actually played better for three straight sets and could have won in straight sets. This was by far the best he’s ever played against Rafa at Roland Garros. Blows a 5-2 lead in set 1, loses a TB in set 2, wins set 3. Check the stats: he won more points total than Rafa in the first 3 sets. To me this proves once and for all that Rafa is just in his head.

Roger, you have done something very special to reach yet another RG final when even your fans were writing you off and to fight so well there. Too bad you couldn’t avoid tightening up and playing poorly on so many important points, but you know you can beat Rafa if you just play your best on every point….

And of course mega-congratulations to Rafa for staying solid and recovering from so many holes, big and small alike. You are too good!


tfouto Says:

Djoko made the wise move not playing on queens. He played too many games this year.

I really hope that Federer would be on Nadal half on Wimbledon.


Miki Says:

Jane I don’t think he is injured or something. I just think he wants few days of rest. After that, he maybe wants to practice something in particular, and workout some strategies. Sure some prep for Wimby would be nice, but we will see. I hope he bounces back on track.


tfouto Says:

Eric, Nadal played better on the 4 set… He raised his game and played more offensive…


Eric Says:

jane, miki no, I know. I just think it’s funny that players always have to cite some bogus medical issue when they want to withdraw instead of just saying they don’t want to play. I didn’t mean it as a knock against Nole, just the sham in general.


Polo Says:

…and then he won Wimbledon …and then he won the US Open. Deja vu all over again. Congratulations!


madmax Says:

Krishna,

Remember it was 5:2 on rafa’s serve, not fed’s, and that moment when the ball was one millimetre outside of the line, what can you do? tennis is a game of millimetres :)

I honestly don’t know how Federer can improve on the BP conversion? Does anyone?

WTF Says:

“i think the fate of this match was decided in the first set itself”

If you like statistics, Nadal’s win record in slams after winning the first set is over 100 wins. He has only lost once after winning the first set… to Ferrer at the US Open.

So yes, the moment he won the first set, history was against Federer.

June 5th, 2011 at 1:21 pm

WTF,Fed has come back 6 times from being 2 sets to love down and gone on to win. Just seems against nadal, it’s a whole different ball game – not sure how he can overcome this, but I did see a much better game plan from federer and he has proved in the last 7 months that he can beat rafa AND convincingly, it’s just on hard court – fed’s equal best surface with grass.

Still happy.


KL Says:

Krishna I think you don’t give Nadal enough credit……sure Nadal gets to Roger’s head….but that’s because he knows that Nadal isn’t just your average top 10 tennis player.
Nadal has great skill and tactical tennis brain not to mention his great mental strength.

In truth Rafa just wasn’t there for the early part of first set, and it was only towards the middle of the first set that Rafa found his game and that’s when Roger started losing his early advantage.
If Roger had taken that first set, I’m not sure the end result would have been much different, as Nadal doesn’t tend to let losing sets effect his concentration, just look at when he lost the third set, Rafa played his best tennis in the 4th.


Eric Says:

tfouto…right, that’s why i was talking about the first 3 sets.


rave Says:

My heart always breaks when Roger looses,but he really really played better than he has in the past year. The positives to take from this is he is getting his level up again and he keeps trying, never giving up. That is my champ. Nadal may be in his head, but he will not give up trying. And congrats to Rafa, his mental strength is off the charts.
All this talk of Nadal being the greatest ever, may be he is, but lets give it a little more time. He still has to overtake Rod Laver if we keep insisiting on looking at parts rather than a whole body of work. Nadal needs to win all the slams, twice if he is to be considered the greatest. That is my two cents.
I still believe Roger will win 2 more slams. He remains my champ and my greatest ever player and that is not going to change.


jane Says:

Miki, thanks. I hope he bounces back too.

Tfouto, my wish is for Nole to reach the semis of Wimbledon again and at least not lose points. If he gets to the final for the first time, that would be awesome. But grass has never been his best surface. I think Fed, Rafa and Andy M are probably better bets at Wimbledon.


Eric Says:

Also, as I’ve said before, I doubt Nole really cares when he gets the no. 1 ranking, whether it’s next week or next month he knows it’s his to take just by defending his points basically. If he really wanted it, sure he could have played Queens but the fact is he’s a lot more interested in trying to win his first Wimby (his “dream”) than in getting the no. 1 ranking ASAP (his “goal,” which he knows he’ll accomplish by the fall hardcourt season).


KL Says:

Eric I am surprised you use the total points won stat…….everyone that knows the game of tennis is well aware that it is not the amount of points you win but WHICH points you win.

So no there is no case to argue that Federer played better than Nadal in the first 3 sets……he didn’t because Rafa won more of the important points than Federer.

As Rafa keeps saying, tennis is all about winning those important points.


steve-o Says:

Congrats to Nadal and his fans. He is simply relentless. He’s now at least on par with Borg, which is remarkable.

Federer gave it the old college try, produced some brilliant tennis, but not quite ever on the big points. He did attempt new tactics and shots which worked, but he couldn’t continue to execute them consistently.

Still it is amazing that he continues to strive to win these big titles even after so much success.


jane Says:

KL, it is true that the loss of a set rarely alters Rafa’s focus or determination. He is one of the most focused players during a match. Rarely have I seen him rattled.


Miki Says:

Jane, I didn’t actually see your previous post. So I didn’t rally answer your question. Is it good that he skips Queens? Well I don’t know, but we will see. But I’m quite sure that he and his team know better then me and you, or anyone else here :). He most probably isn’t injured, but I bet he is a little tired and fatigued.


contador Says:

grendel, where are you posting these days? if you please, could use some levity. asking for some kind of anthropological point of view on these FO fedals ….something. i can’t form a mature response atm. kicking the furniture is not an option. and it’s too early for alcohol where i live.


Ike Says:

Honestly I believe Rafa vs. Nole would have been better final.

Anyways, great win Rafa, go get few more grandslams (at least 7) before retiring!

Nole, Andy, Delpo …keep improving and win some grandslams


kriket Says:

Miki, just a reminder on your notion that nobody played dropshots against Nadal like today. Just remember those dropshot-lob combos that Novak pulled on Rafa in their recent matches. Those drove Rafa competely crazy. If you’ve seen those you wouldn’t be claiming that about Fed’s dropshots today.


KL Says:

Jane, after Nadal went 5-1 down in the third set against Andujar in the second round he came back to win the third set and the match.
When asked afterwards what was he thinking when he was 5-1 down Rafa replied, I play each point and as long as I am in the point I have a chance to win!


steve-o Says:

Nadal wins important points by default, because he plays 100% on every point. Unlike Federer, he doesn’t pick and choose when to maximize his game and when to pull back a bit. He just goes full bore all the time.

It’s a simple, brute force solution.

Why doesn’t Federer simply do the same thing? Because he doesn’t have unlimited strength and stamina. If he tried to go full throttle all the time he would run out of gas after a couple sets, and forget about winning a Grand Slam tournament, where you have to budget your energy for a potential seven matches, each of five sets.

Nadal doesn’t have to worry about that problem, ever. He can keep running down every ball for four hours, five hours, if he has to, and then come back and do it again the next day. Nice work if you can get it.

Federer against Nadal is a human being playing against a wall.

The shocking thing isn’t that the wall wins–of course it wins, because it never tires and never makes mistakes.

The shocking thing is that the human being can make these matches so close, and win, on rare occasions.


Thangs Says:

Had Fed won, we could have seen a post by Sean by now..It’s Rafa..So, it would be only by tomorrow. Hope Sean makes me wrong.


Eric Says:

Kl, yes obviously…I know how tennis scoring works, thanks. But if you want to actually look under the surface of the set scoreline (which is often very misleading), the total points won is one of, if not the, most interesting stats. It’s mathematically possible to lose a match in spite of winning more than half the points, although it almost never actually happens. The fact that Roger won more points in the first 3 sets implies, to me, that he played better OVERALL, just not at the key moments. Rafa, on the other hand, did play better at the key moments, which got him the match.


Miki Says:

Of course I saw those. I’m after all a Novak fan. And he really became good at it, I mean the dropshot-lob combos. But most of Roger’s drop shots today were winners, and I must they were really beautifully executed :)


KL Says:

kriket would you STILL describe Nadal as “mediocre”…..of course any old “mediocre” player can match Borgs record 6th win at Roland Garros can’t they!!!


Seth Says:

Congratulations to Rafa and his fans for his historic sixth Roland Garros title. Shame that Fed can’t convert more break points after working so hard to get them.


Twocents Says:

Novak: Told you so, Roger. he’s not ur cuppaf tea…
Fed: But you said the same thing in New York and you were wrong. Plus, why didn’t you save 3 Mps on Friday?
Novak: I saved 2. But it was too dark…

Congrats on another awesome FO: Fed’s spoilers, Novak’s great run, and Murray’s resilence! Of course, Na Li’s China smile.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, everyone :-)).


madmax Says:

come on grendel,

you have had two requests now.


andrea Says:

well, officially eating my words.

roger better go back home, watch that ridiculous drop shot on set point in the first set and think of what might have been.

his strategy his year was being executed better than i have ever seen.

congratulations nadal! what an achievement.

however, i will make a point about nadal taking that time out just before federer was serving for the set. me thinks that was a bit of a mental game on nadal’s behalf, although he’ll never admit it.

but, i won’t let that diminish his win today. fed blew it.


topspin Says:

what else can you ask from roland garros, an amazing semi-final and final. There are no excuses everyone played at their best and one guy had to win it. The fans are the true winners here :)


kriket Says:

Eric, regarding the points won stats. I haven’t checked the numbers, but I think that Fed’s serve is what actually gave him the edge in the semi against Novak. I remember you checked that Fed had more winners even without taking aces into account. But taking aces and service winners together, maybe that would show Novak had more winners not taking those into account.
That being said, someone claimed that Fed’s serve doesn’t work so well against Rafa because he returns less aggressively than Novak, but more safely hence actually returning more of Fed’s serves. There’s a lesson there for Novak to take into account when playing Fed. Cos once ball is into play and they enter exchange, Novak has the edge over Fed, and Nadal too, as we’ve all witnessed this season.


KL Says:

Eric, your argument about who played better “over all” is a false one.

Nadal played better “over all” because he won the important points……it’s something he does pretty routinely…..why?……because he knows when to really go after points and when not to over exert himself on the less vital points.
Many points Rafa, left even though he could have made the point if he put all his effort into it……but that’s his great tactical brain at work……he thinks of the long term and would much much rather reserve his enegry for important points.

So no Rafa played better tactically so it is false to say Federer played better for the first 3 sets on account of the points tally.


kriket Says:

KL, I did not mean Nadal is mediocre overall, I meant his mediocre play this season, of course comparing to his previous season dominance. Mediocre by his own standards, not mine.


tfouto Says:

i am hoping for Del Potro and Murray to raise their games and join the party…

Murray needs mental work…

Del Potro just need more time and work…


Miki Says:

Yes kriket. As much as Novak is a great returner, sometimes he needs to chill out. You cant hit every return to Fed’s feet. I mean, when something isn’t working, you change it. Novak should have realised that Fed was serving very well, and because of that, he should have returned less aggressively.


Krishna Says:

Hey madmax.. I thought that missed call was in the 1st set 5-5 when Federer was serving? they called one of his 1st serves out even though it was in..Mcenroe was even saying it caught the line (up the tee).. soon after he was broken to 5-6..then Nadal served out for 7-5 1st set.. u might be talking about the missed call on the drop shot on set point in the 1st set when Rafa was serving at 2-5…

KL just to clarify.I give Rafa credit for getting into Fed’s head..it is just frustrating to see..no other player has gotten into Roger’s head like Rafa has.. it is his court coverage and tenacity that gets to Federer..he knows he has to be playing 100% otherwise he has no chance to win the match..I think ultimately that is what costs him every time on clay..he has patches of brilliance..but cant sustain it for a 3 hour period.. which is of course pretty impossible to do anyways..


billyboy512 Says:

breadstick!!!!


kriket Says:

…and I still think he would lose to Djoko, if he made it to the final. Of course, you can deny me and claim that if Fed has beaten Novak, and Rafa has beaten Fed, then Rafa would have beaten Novak. But I don’t think it quite works that way.

Anyway congrats to you on your fav’s winning another slam, even if it’s his usual FO. Rafa is a great player, no doubt, just not my favorite style.


The fighter Says:

guys..moonboalling or not…rafa also hits a lot of winners n if moonballing works for him, why on earth will he not do it?

van orten
if u dn wnt to watch it then go do sum meaningful work.u r a sore loser…sitting around watching sumbdy moonballing..


Ben Pronin Says:

Federer should’ve won today and retired. It would’ve been epic. Instead once again we all realize Federer isn’t and never will be the GOAT. His awful record in what is wrongly touted as the “best rivalry in tennis” is increasingly ruining his legacy and only helping Nadal’s. Since 2008, Federer has been to Nadal what Roddick is to Federer, a tough competitor who will always buckle when things get tight and only wins when the planets align at just the right time.


Ike Says:

After I made the following comments @ June 5th, 2011 at 1:11 pm:
congrats Rafa!!!!
Once again you bring the joy to us anti-Fed fans :)
win 1 more grandslam than Fed and you will be the greatest tennis player ever!!!!!!

I received some nasty personal comments, here are some:

dari @ – June 5th, 2011 at 1:18 pm
“Ike- how old are you? This anti-fed stuff at this moment? You are so lame.”

tfouto @ June 5th, 2011 at 1:39 pm
“Ike, you can be an anti-fed, but besides being childish and dont know how to deal with your player losses other then angry,
i can tell you that Federer is loved by the majority of people fans for some reason. Because is tennis is the most beatifull to watch.”

madmax @ June 5th, 2011 at 1:44 pm
“tfouto, she’s ridiculous. A real fed hater here, pathetic comments from someone who disguises herself with niceties in buying tickets for people to watch the super bowl.”

Here is my response:

dari, tfouto – I am very disheartened to see bitter personal comments from you, I thought you were nice persons :(

madmax – I thought we had unwritten agreement that we won’t post any comments on each other.
And btw madmax, I am not female, I am male. Probably you don’t know much about history, Ike was nickname of Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States. He lead allied forces in World War II and saved millions of lives.


kriket Says:

Ben Pronin, I was thinking about that just lately – this “great rivalry” has been a one man show for the most part. I don’t know how it can be a great rivalry when one of the rivals wins most of the matches, but hey, people need their myths :)


tfouto Says:

ike, and you which that anti attitude makes you what a better peston? dont see that is you who are childish and refuse to see the truth?


tfouto Says:

better person and not peston…


Ike Says:

tfouto
I didn’t say I am a better person (than you), but I didn’t make any personal comments, even my comment about Roger wasn’t personal. I don’t think you are getting what I am trying to say.


tfouto Says:

to mcroe who says that Nadal is probably the goat now because Nadal owns Federer, i say Djokovic owns Nadal.


tfouto Says:

i am doing personal comments, of course. Cant i? I am being bad person because of that? If someone says something bad on this forum and have a wrong felling or attitude, cant the other person blame (on a personal basis)? I am not saying you are a bad person. I dont know you. You probably a excelent person, but you should think if its not better to accept the defeats and the adversary wins. Give them credit instead of hate. That’s all i am saying.


Ike Says:

tfouto
I have lot of respect for Roger, especially his attacking / aggressive style of tennis, he pretty much always hits more winners than unforced errors, which is great.
What I don’t like is one player winning lot of tournaments. I kind of like each grandslam in a year won by different player.


KL Says:

Krishna, one of the most underestimated reasons that make Rafa such a great player is his tactical brain.

Rafa knows that Roger is weakest with his backhand and Rafa targets his backhand like no other player.
Against Novak its different.
Novak will play his best game against Roger’s best game…..and sometimes Rogers best is better than Novaks best and vice versa.

Rafa is VERY different……he doesn’t simply think okay I’ll play my best game and hope its better than Roger’s best game…..nope If he did that he knows he could come off second best.

What Rafa does is deliberately make Roger play his worst game (Which is STILL god enough to beat most players….but not Nadal).

If you noticed the best game of RAFA was the won that played the last few points of the final game…..but throughout the match Rafa played the game that would produce Rogers worst game….and that’s how he keeps beating Roger and Roger knows that too but he can’t seem to find away to stop Rafa bringing out his worst game…Rafa has too much skill.


Ike Says:

tfouto
I haven’t called you bad person or anything, all I said was
“I am very disheartened to see bitter personal comments from you, I thought you were nice person”


Miki Says:

http://www.imagebam.com/image/e524fb135342396

This photo shows how much this title and RG means to Rafa. Congrats one more time :)


fed is afraid Says:

congrats rafa.
roger saved you by beating nole.
now it’s time for you to start beating novak again.


WTF Says:

It’s called a great rivalry because it happens a lot and was usually only happening in finals because both were 1 and 2. The record is more towards one guy’s favor than evenly split, but the matches were always entertaining and produced good tennis.

Sampras and Agassi’s rivalry was also decidedly in Sampras’s favor. Did that diminish it at all?

“WTF,Fed has come back 6 times from being 2 sets to love down and gone on to win. Just seems against nadal, it’s a whole different ball game”

Yes but normally not against top opponents. He did it once against Nadal when Nadal was 18 and ranked over 50 in the world and tired. He did it against Berdych, a talented player but a choker.

RE: moonballing. I don’t know what the problem here is. It’s a valid tactic. It’s not cheating, it’s not dirty, it’s not dishonest or against the rules, it’s not gamesmanship. All he’s doing is varying the pace to put the other guy on their toes. It achieves the same effect as someone who almost always serves to the backhand but occasionally throws in a forehand serve to mix it up and be less predictable. Or into the body when it’s least expected.

Is serving into the body a dirty tactic? It’s not used often, always throws them off and you can injure the guy.

If it’s within the rules, go for it. As long as it isn’t cheating, anything that gets you a win goes.


Eric Says:

KL, all I will say is that you should look up what “overall” means.

Ben, I realize you are just disappointed but Fed is unquestionably the greatest of all time. Until and unless Rafa proves he is as versatile and dominant as Fed it’s not even a question.


Ike Says:

hey Miki,
thanks for the link for that photo, that is so nice.
I hope Rafa can win 8 FO titles, so he will have the record of winning highest number of particular grandslam


Miki Says:

I agree WTF. Anyone can say that the moonballs are ugly but it works and that’s what matters.


WTF Says:

Ike Says:

“I have lot of respect for Roger, especially his attacking / aggressive style of tennis, he pretty much always hits more winners than unforced errors, which is great.
What I don’t like is one player winning lot of tournaments. I kind of like each grandslam in a year won by different player.”

Did you like Roger’s 04-07 where he won 11 slams out of 16 and was runner up a bunch of times?


Eric Says:

Miki, great photo, thanks! I love Rafa just a bit more every time I see how much it means to him.


Lulu Iberica Says:

OK. I am a huge Rafa fan, but I don’t see how Fed’s match-up problem/mental block against Rafa disqualifies him from being the GOAT. I think Fed is the GOAT (at least up to now, and admitting that I can’t really evaluate how Laver would compare) because he has won the most slams and because he is among the greatest players on each of the three surfaces. Rafa is the greatest on clay, and among the top few on grass, but he is not one of the very top hardcourt players, though still very good. Also, Rafa has never had a sustained period of dominance comparable to Roger’s. Rafa probably is the GOAT competitor, but not the GOAT tennis player (not yet, anyway!)

As for the rivalry between Fed & Nad, I think that mostly applies to Wimbledon and Rafa getting progressively closer to Fed and finally beating him.


Ike Says:

fed is afraid

it’s going to be very interesting to see how Rafa and Nole matchup against each other for the rest of this season. I hope we will get to watch some classics.


KL Says:

Eric all I would say is your argument is a false one…..not much more to say than that.


marrisv Says:

IMO, nadal has had an excellent start to the season… 7 consecutive finals. Champion in 3. Great stuff…


tfouto Says:

Ike, but you are ok with Nadal winning almost all slams…


Ike Says:

WTF

04-07 Roger was lethal, I was very happy to watch such a high class tennis, but as a tennis and sports fan I was very disappointed to see a “dynasty”.
Michael Jordon was great, but 6 NBA titles in 8 seasons…too much.
Same with Michael Schumacher

Many people will say that I just hate No.1 players / teams, I disagree with that, I like equality, unpredictability in sports, otherwise there is not much difference between sports and movies.


Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t think so, Eric. First, let’s understand that there doesn’t have to be a GOAT. Im not saying since it’s not Federer, it’s Nadal, or if it’s not one of these two it’s Sampras, or something like that. I’m saying Federer isn’t the GOAT. Nadal isn’t either. There is no GOAT, there’s just a list of greats, some in higher leagues than others, but strong cases for and against a bunch of them, Federer and Nadal included. But there is no single GOAT.


Dory Says:

BIG CONGRATS to all Nadal fans. He is a great player no doubt about it. Some people like his style of play, some do not. That doesn’t make this achievements any less.

Yes Roger has a lopside record against Nadal. Whatever the reason – his game does not suit Rafa’s game, he is mentally fragile and Rafa is in his head, his BH falls short of attacking. But that does not make Roger’s achievements lesser than Nadal. Record wise, Roger is the greatest. Playing style wise for me, he’s the greatest. And is there no middle ground between No.1 and retirement? Should all other players in the tour who lose in the 1st or 2nd round retire? Federer is finding considerable success on the tour still. As long as keeps reaching finals and semis everywhere, everyone should stop talking completely about his retirement, can you please?

It might be very realistically possible by this year end or next year that Djokovic has a great head to head record against Rafa. Does that mean Djokovic’s achivements are greater than Rafa? Certainly not yet. Although I am beginning to feel we are going to see the very best of Djokovic from now on.

Why are some of you behaving like a child and going on a hate-fest to defend the player you love and not admire the one you dont? It’s not only their head to head which counts. It’s also the achivements against all other players on tour. Everyone’s game matches differently against the other. Doesn’t mean head to head reflects who’s the greater player. The ATP records are there to tell you who’s the best player.


jane Says:

Marrisv I feel the same about Nole: seven titles including a slam and four masters. I am not too sad he lost in FO semis to resurgent Fed.

Also Murray’s season has been pretty strong other than the drop off in the two hard court masters. He reached another slam final, he reached two clay masters semis, and he got the deepest he ever has at Roland Garros, losing only to Rafa. So a solid beginning to 2011 for Andy M but for that short slump after AO. He bounced back well.


tennismonger Says:

@ fed is afraid:

well…he ain’t afraid of Nole…!

@ Adam & Vinny:

1) To paraphrase the immortal Brad Gilbert:

“There ain’t no style points in tennis”

You must be confusing this w/another sport.

2) No one cares who wins the year-end championship. It’s an 8-man exo where the top 8 go to pick up bonus checks for Christmas. Can someone tell me who won it last December? Fed? Nole? No one cares.


Ike Says:

tfouto
Believe it or not I am not fan of Rafa’s dominance on clay in general and FO in particular. I wish Nole or Delpo will stop that next year.

I like Roger’s elegance/efficieny
I like Rafa’s fighting & passionate tennis
I like Nole’s overall tennis
I like Delpo’s super aggressive tennis
Not sure what I like about Andy Murray’s tennis, but I still like him.
I like David Ferrer’s tenacity


Ike Says:

Ben Pronin
Totally agree with ur comments re. (no) GOAT


Ben Pronin Says:

The year end championships are not an exho in the slightest. They’ve just lost American interest in recent years due to it being played so far away (from Houston to shanghai, quite a leap). It’s still incredibly difficult to win and adds to any players legacy.


jane Says:

Ike I like your likes. But would revise to “I like Murray’s natural variety, touch and creativity”


Dory Says:

Tennis is also a game of match ups. Do you completely rule out the possibility of Nole winning against Rafa if they were in the same draw at FO? When Fed defeated Nole, Agassi just yesterday once against said Federer is certainly the greatest of all time. (http://www.theage.com.au/sport/tennis/federer-the-best-of-all-time-says-agassi-20110605-1fn5q.html). Head to head does not SHRINK your records. Doesn’t Davydenko have a positive h2h against Nadal. Does that make him a greater player than Rafa? Conclusively not. And yes, there is a GOAT. The one with the most records across all categories, all dimensions and all aspects. MOST if not ALL. And he’s Roger Federer. And Nadal himself has acknowledged it several times and said it will be true for all his life.


tfouto Says:

ike yes… i agree with your likes…

i would add mental on Nadal and like Jane, add Murray touch&variety.


Ike Says:

tfouto, dari,

here are some excerpts from my email to a friend after Nole was beaten by Fed on Friday

“Fed just played too good! Excellent serves, great return of serves, back-hand never weakened, forehand great as always, very aggressive tennis, 68 winner – 41 unforced errors, that’s just too good”

do you still think I hate Fed & don’t respect Fed?


marrisv Says:

Jane – yes. IMO, the top 4 are all in great shape as they head to Wimbledon. Murray and fed peaking at the right time… Novak with the weight of the streak over can go back to starting a new one. Rafa can be relaxed now that he has defended RG and can play at his best.


Ike Says:

tfouto
agree with ur addition “add mental on Nadal”, amount of break points he saves is incredible (and probably a record in ATP), he is mentally super-strong


sheila Says:

congratulations to raphael nadal, but as a federer fan, i must admit, i am simply getting 2frustrated w/watching federer lose most times 2nadal. nadals lft handed forehand spins 2federers 1 handed backhand just doesnt match up well. i shut this match off after 2nd set because it is just too much to watch roger losing so consistently against nadal. nadal is a gr8 player, but so is roger. i just think its a mismatch of style & roger cant get the momemtum w/the 1handed backhand. anyway once again congratulations to nadal. i hope roger plays this well @ wimbledon & can take that tournament although i think nadal is unbeatable in majors against anyone including djokovic. best of 5 much different from best of 3. i will boldly predict nadal will win remainder of slams remaining.


tfouto Says:

Ike, its ok…

You respect and hate Federer at the same time.

You have all the right to do it… I also prefer that Djokovic in future win against Nadal on GS final so Nadal record dont pass Federer. But i dont consider myself an anti Nadal fan. And because i also prefer Djokovic tennis then Nadal.


Lulu Iberica Says:

tfouto, I’m probably jumping into a discussion I should avoid, but Rafa has only won “almost all slams” for one season. He won two slams in one other season. Four seasons he only won one slam, and he has one so far this year. That is not anywhere close to Fed’s dominance. Yes, Nadal has owned the clay season for years, but other than that he’s had one unbelievable banner year when he dominated slams. I understand people preferring Fed’s game, but I don’t get people saying they hate one player winning everything when they talk about Nadal, yet they didn’t mind Fed winning everything except RG for three different seasons. That just seems like sour grapes.

I’ll admit — I’m happy when my fave wins everything! I would be happy if Rafa wins Wimby without dropping a set, and has a few Golden Sets thrown in for good measure! LOL! I don’t begrudge other people winning sometimes, though. Even with the Djoker, as long as Rafa wins Wimbledon I won’t mind too much if Djoker takes the USO.


Ike Says:

jane
thanks for “I like Murray’s natural variety, touch and creativity”

But, probably I like him more because of “pity”… I just feel too bad for him for not being able to win a grandslam yet. But if you watch his semi match against Rafa, we know why Andy can’t win a grandslam, he just doesn’t have that go to winner shot from either FH or BH, all he has is those drop-shots. He has to be more aggressive, no one is going to hand him that grandslam. I still believe he will improve and win few grandslams (my guess is 3-5)


Eric Says:

Ben, okay, sure, everyone will never agree on who the GOAT is/was. In that sense, there’s no (consensus) GOAT. But if you accept the possibility that some players might be “great” and even “greater” than other “greats,” which you obviously do, then it follows that you think that one player is or at least could be considered the “greatest.” I know there are plenty of challenges to considering Fed the GOAT – Rafa’s superior record against him, being ahead of him in Masters titles, just to name two – and I know lots of people will never accept that Federer is the GOAT when it seems like he can’t even beat Rafa consistently on any surface (and this is without even getting into whether Fed is “better” than Laver or whatever, which is IMO unanswerable and stupid, except in the trivially obvious sense that obviously Fed and every other top 40 player is ten times the athlete and much more dedicated to improving at sport than any athlete from back then, it’s just a fact about modern sports training & medicine that’s why new records are set all the time in everything from marathons to tennis…). But the point is, Federer had a period of unprecedented dominance of the entire field of men’s tennis from 2004-2007, Rafa was the only player who came anywhere near standing up to him and that was only ever at the French and Wimby (where Fed was still clearly superior, more so than Rafa at the French arguably), more slams than anyone in history, plenty of WTF titles, masters trophies, etc. etc. etc. The main obstacle is just the losing record against Rafa, which only holds on clay (Fed leads on non-clay) and wouldn’t be nearly as bad without the age difference. But more importantly, you can still be the best player of an era even if you have a losing record against someone. Davydenko COMPLETELY OWNS Nadal on hard courts, but no one would suggest that Rafa’s record and legacy is somehow diminished by it… Obama lost Texas but he’s still the president… we can go on. Even in his twilight years Fed has proven he’s a gigantic force to be reckoned with, he just snapped Djokovic’s best-ever streak (something the invincible Rafa failed to do four times in a row in Masters finals – where he never loses) and played the most competitive Rafa-Fed clay match ever… so yeah Fed is the GOAT.


Queen Says:

BUHAAA HAAAAA in your face all Nadal haters!!!!!
LONG LIVE KING NADAL!!!!!!


tfouto Says:

lulu iberica, first of all you are not even iberica, i am :)… just kidding…

well i think Nadal is now dominating the tour, well with Djokovic rise that’s not totally true now. But Federer is not dominating now, he’s playing still great tennis tough. How much time do you think is enough that someone is winning a lot? 2 years in a row, 3, 4?

In the end its just about preferences…


Ike Says:

Eric
“Davydenko COMPLETELY OWNS Nadal on hard courts, but no one would suggest that Rafa’s record and legacy is somehow diminished by it… Obama lost Texas but he’s still the president…” … sarcastically funny LOL!!!

that’s probably the only time I ever heard Obama’s name being mentioned in tennis discussion.
Btw, Obama is not much of a tennis guy, I read somewhere that he was going to remove tennis courts from white house lawn & build basketball courts (of course with taxpayer’s money)…not sure what finally happened


Ike Says:

I am signing off, see you at Wimbledon!
Go Nole!!!


sam Says:

Nice post Eric @June 5th, 2011 at 3:36 pm.


Krishna Says:

KL u r right.. the Rafa high bouncing ball to Fed’s one handed backhand is something he exploits every match.. it is the main reason he is able to beat Roger.. Roger has never had an answer for that.. Djokovic can deal with it..since he hits a 2 handed back hand..

but ya..no doubt..Nadal is a mental animal.. :) Sampras said that a few years back I believe..he is probably mentally the toughest guy on the tour right now..


simba Says:

Roger really really choked.

The crowd is behind him. The organizer change the ball to a smaller size to suit his game. Nadal’s confidence is seriously damaged. Yet he could not beat Nadal. Retire, Federer. Retire. Retire.


skeezerweezer Says:

Eric,

Great post @3:36. Ben somehow someday thinks H2H is the determining factor of GOAT. WTF? Tennis does not compute that way. It is not a boxing match. You have to play through the tourney and win it. I guess Rafa can just be thankful then he only owns 4 GS titles, cause Fed was in the other 6, and that is the only reason he owns 6 of them? C’mon man!

It’s the summation of the totality of one’s career that will be stand up once the dust is settled, despite how media want to put H2H i the front. Hey it’s newsworthy for the moment. Like Sampras before him, you have to have GS titles, doesn’t matter how you got them, and on all surfaces.

It is pointless arguing with Ben, in his personal world, he wants Fed to own Rafa. He ain’t gonna happen. They have played a zillion times together and we all can predict the outcomes depending on the surface, especially Clay. What matters is how you match up to the FIELD, not on guy. That’s Tennis. All that was done here was order was restored to Rafa’s Home base, his 6th GS. He’ll probably get 1 or 2 more, then the next generation will be on him ( it’s starting to nip at his heels already thanks to Novak ). If Ben thinks that losing to Rafa time and time again is tarnishing his record maybe Fed should have retired after the 2009 FO? Ridiculous.


madmax Says:

Ben Pronin Says:
Federer should’ve won today and retired. It would’ve been epic. Instead once again we all realize Federer isn’t and never will be the GOAT. His awful record in what is wrongly touted as the “best rivalry in tennis” is increasingly ruining his legacy and only helping Nadal’s. Since 2008, Federer has been to Nadal what Roddick is to Federer, a tough competitor who will always buckle when things get tight and only wins when the planets align at just the right time.

June 5th, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Ben,

You should go back and read your comments, about 6 months ago quoting federer as the GOAT, OMG, talk about turncoat when it suits you.

You think fed’s legacy is degraded by losing to rafa today? Your opinion Ben, but don’t lump us all together on that one. It’s the lamest argument yet.

No one denies rafa’s glory today. He was superb, but you are saying that his multiple wins on clay equate with Fed’s multiple wins on grass (to rafa’s 2), Fed’s multiple wins on hard (to rafa’s 2), Fed’s records speak for themselves.

You don’t.


madmax Says:

may be you should retire Ben from TX?

seems the days of devastatingdjokovic produced much more balanced arguments;fairer; more discursive not this, let’s have a go at fed because he has lost to rafa AGAIN. Yes, AGAIN at Roland Garros! Who else has beaten the guy? One other person at RG, Fed has tried 5 times in a final and failed, though this is the best I have seen federer play, he still came up short. Didn’t take his chances, but this is federer.

I wondered tonight whether it would have been better for Federer to lose to Novak, and for Novak to get to his first RG final and beat Rafa (because sure enough, that would have been a huge probability).

That was the deal with the devil though wasn’t it? Beat Novak, (which would raise Fed’s confidence), but not enough to beat Rafa.

Rafa should stop with all the ‘I’m not playing well enough to win the tournament’ in his pressers now. Also, reporters said he should have been warned for time wasting on court. He wasn’t. When is this ‘tactic’ ever going to stop – and that is just stating the obvious rafa fans, nothing more.

Federer needs to keep plugging away and you know what Ben, if his game abhors you so much, then don’t watch it anymore.

Go back to working on becoming a better writer. Like you used to be.


madmax Says:

The Guardian

“What a hard tournament this is to win,” said the man who now owns six Coupe des Mousquetaires, drawing alongside Bjorn Borg in the record books with the prospect, surely, of more to come, “and what a special day it was. I want to congratulate Roger. I think we had a good match.”

Celebrations do not come more unaffected.

Both made mistakes. How could it be otherwise as they played the lines to the inch and stretched tired sinews to the limit? Federer caught Nadal cold in the first set and, like the crowd, he could hardly believe it when the champion netted the simplest of forehands from maybe 10 feet to drop serve. The whiff of an upset was in the warm Parisian air.

The Swiss continued to hurt the world No1, his first serve searingly accurate and his forehand returns from near the baseline pulling Nadal inside out. In that dramatic opening and at other key moments Federer’s subtle changes of angle and shot made for an intriguing final.

Federer had the first set in his pocket at 5-2 when a sliced backhand fell short and Nadal held serve. Federer served for the set at 5-3 but Nadal was energised and reeled off seven games in a row to swing the contest back his way; briefly it was Federer who looked gone.

He hung in the fight, though, and Nadal accommodated him when serving at 5-4 in the second. Having wasted his chance in the first set, Federer was under pressure to find something special to stay in contention and he broke for parity. But Nadal, livid with himself for his slip-up, got to the tie-break breathing fire and again snuffed out Federer’s revival 7-3, with some decent serving and a withering cross-court forehand, to go two sets up.

The third went with serve before Federer cracked again, going 4-2 down and, behind in the serving cycle, he was badly bruised. However, for all his bank clerk mien – Juan Ignacio Chela put it best earlier in the week when he said he needed to “get his socks dirty” – Federer has a fighter’s heart and he broke back to love.

Just short of three hours Federer hit his 11th ace to stay in the match at 5-5. He then lifted his game one more time and held three break points. He netted a forehand to waste the first but a charge at the net and a majestic chip to an empty court gave him the game and a glimmer of hope. He served out to take the set 7-5 and now it was Nadal who looked shattered.

Federer was gathering strength and confidence, punishing Nadal for staying deep with a series of exquisite drop shots. The next shift in the drama arrived in the fourth game of the fourth set, as Federer’s concentration let him down on his own serve and Nadal hurt him for two wayward ground strokes to go 3-1 up.

A close call against Federer left him frustrated but the ball was out and, after a few more flourishes, so was he.

He showed admirable restraint as Nadal shamelessly indulged in time-wasting on the Swiss’s serve at 1-4 but there was little he could do about his opponent’s brilliance. An outrageous forehand and a backhand volley drove him to the break, and Federer netted to drop serve.

When Federer hit long on the last shot, it was as if someone had let all the oxygen out of Paris, a deflating end to an enthralling contest. “I thought he was getting tired in the third and fourth sets but unfortunately I couldn’t take advantage of it,” Federer said. “At 0-0 in the fourth set you think we have a match again. We know what can happen in tennis. In the fifth set I would have felt very, very strong. But Rafa played well and he deserved to win today.”

Federer always adds “today” because he yearns for tomorrow. He is still dangerous.


Vvx Says:

1) You cannot be considered the greatest of all time when you were not without doubt the greatest of your own era. That really ought to be obvious.

It is very hard to argue that you were the greatest of your own era when you are 8 – 17 against your greatest rival.

Meaning that you lost two thirds of your matches against your greatest rival, mostly in finals of the biggest and most important tournaments in the world.

Meaning that you are now 2 – 6 down to your greatest rival in Grand Slam finals. That’s right, you only converted 25% of the times against your biggest rival when everything was at stake.

Meaning that your greatest rival had your number on every slam surface, especially when your rival was an inexperienced youngster and you were in your prime.

If there is such a thing as a GOAT, for sure his name is not Roger Federer.

2) Re: World Tennis Finals. What would the Federer fans be saying about the importance of this title if Nadal won it virtually every year because it was played on clay? The WTF is an important tournament but no way is it in any way a bench mark of greatness, more an indication of just how brilliant Federer is indoors. There is more to tennis than that.

3) I think this is Nadal’s best ever slam. He really came into it short of confidence, not playing well and through sheer determination and courage he struggled through the rounds to finally unleash his talent and produce his best tennis when it really mattered in the semifinals and especially today. He is a truly great champion.

4) Novak will be back. The tennis he has played this season has been scary and frankly I have never seen anyone play better tennis than he has done at times this year. He probably deserved to win the French Open and he must be bitterly disappointed that he failed so close to the final where he must have fancied his chances against Nadal.

Let’s hope he doesn’t have a let down and keeps up the standard because things are really coming to a boil and I think and hope we are in for one of the greatest grass and hardcourt seasons with Fed, Rafa, Nole and Murray are all in great form.


madmax Says:

Ben,

You obviously don’t know what you are saying at the moment. I’ll tell you why. Firstly you say that Federer should retire, then you go on to say he is going to win wimbledon. Make your mind up!


madmax Says:

Vxx,

Yeah, I guess you have a point. Especially when the point is that Rafa is the greatest on clay, but not the other surfaces, of which fed IS.

You can’t call someone the greatest of the era if the majority of their slam wins have come on ONE surface. Why can’t you see that?

What if there had been more grass tournaments? (of which there are 4). Rafa is living in a clay court heaven with the amount of tournaments on clay starting from March through to June.

Take away his clay court wins in slams, and what have you got?

You should be celebrating your man’s win today not degradding Roger’s status. It’s embedded in the history books.


simba Says:

@madmax, if you want a totality of record, Roger still lacks 3 Davis Cups and an Olympic Gold medal and fewer Master titles than Nadal for sure. No matter what, Nadal has earned the right to say “Who is your Daddy?” with the head-to-head Grand Slam records of 6-2 and 17-8 overall.


Eric Says:

“1) You cannot be considered the greatest of all time when you were not without doubt the greatest of your own era. That really ought to be obvious.”

Vvx against my better judgment I’ll get into this with you… if you think Rafa is the better player of this era then explain how come:

Starting with the beginning of the Fedal duopoly as nos. 1 and 2 (mostly)…

Federer has won more slams?

Federer has reached over 150% as many slam finals as Rafa?

Federer has won a higher percentage of his matches on tour?

Federer and Rafa have won the same number of titles but Federer reached more finals?

Federer spent way more time at no. 1 in the rankings?

Rafa has never won the WTF, which is one of the hardest titles on tour to get?

And by the way all of that is in spite of Rafa having a huge age advantage (which you pretend is really a disadvantage for him) – and it also leaves out Federer’s two first entire years in the top of the rankings, during which he won four more slams.

One head to head doesn’t define an era and Federer has owned this one.

Your argument is basically just a bigger version of “well Djokovic is four-zip against Rafa this year, ERGO he is the better player” which I’m sure you would not buy…


Eric Says:

And by the way Federer leads Rafa in their head-to-head if you don’t count clay matches, which is pretty damn impressive considering how good Rafa is and that Fed is 5 years older than him.


Eric Says:

And the only reason they’ve played so many more matches on clay than on hardcourts is that Federer is only a hair worse than Rafa on clay but Rafa can’t get through the guys Fed brushes aside easily on hard…


Eric Says:

The prevalence of the idea that Rafa is better than Federer just because Fed has fallen a few inches short (or, in this case, wide, with that dropshot that lost him the match in the first set) in their matches on clay just shows that no one cares about actually thinking about HOW the statistics we bandy around get formed… Rafa is unquestionably one of the all-time greats and his resilience against Federer is his biggest claim to fame…but that just goes to show how important Federer is for tennis history…

anyway sorry for hijacking this thread with Federer talk… just filled with passion to defend his legacy after such a narrow, star-crossed loss to Rafa… we should be talking about the guy who won the tournament and laid down another great triumph for us to marvel at!


Skeezerweezer Says:

@simba
Who’s your daddy is all you can claim vs Feds records in totality.. When your fav gets many more slams and finals on more than Clay then your statement will hold weight. For now the anchor is still on the bottom of the sea.


Skeezerweezer Says:

^ yeah give it up for Rafa today, 10 slams, he deserves the talk today, leave Fed out of it


simba Says:

@Skeezerweezer

I claimed a lot more than just “Who’s your Daddy, Roger”. One more Dingle Olympic Gold Medal; Three More Davis Cups. Two more Master Series. All this at a much younger age.


contador Says:

Eric, i thank you and madmax.


Kimberly Says:

skeez-did you see my post, kaiser won the tournament!


simba Says:

It is not “a hair” worst when Fed was handed a yummy breadstick in the fourth.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Just realized how can u not have a discussion without Fed & Rafa when discussing either one? My bad


Skeezerweezer Says:

Kimberly,

Awesome and congrats!

@simba

Fed has a Gold, so? Call me when he geta close to 16 sla and not 10 of them on Clay. Just enjoy the win, he has his own Rafa now, its called Nole


Eric Says:

It is pretty shocking that Rafa leads their head to head by such a huge margin, and it’s 9-2 in their past 11 matches which includes wins on grass and hard over Roger… that’s why everyone says Rafa is in Roger’s head, it’s a stupid way to talk about it but it’s true. Their games just don’t match up that well, or rather Roger’s doesn’t match up that well to his.

That the match today was so close (and it was close, simba, much closer than Djokovic/Fed for example – Fed could have won in straight sets if he just didn’t suck on key points, that’s always his downfall) is testament to how good Fed is when he’s on… but we saw again today he just can’t play those important points well against Rafa… you feel bad for him, it must be like playing a brick wall and you know even the tiniest mistake spells disaster…so of course the mistake comes…

But anyway Rafa is definitely the greatest clay courter of all time, at least since Borg although these eras are too far apart to really say who is better… which of course is an implied caveat with the GOAT talk, tennis is really a different sport now from the Laver era, even the racquets are completely different. But I digress.


simba Says:

@Skeezerweezer,

I am talking about Single. Nobody cares about doubles, except the Bryan’s brother.


Kimberly Says:

maybe this is wishful/delusional thinking but I think if Rafa can take on Novak at Wimbeldon and win, he’ll have that monkey off his back. He should have the confidence of this title so maybe he can play a little better. Rafa should really win that match, his grass court resume is far above with 2 titles at Wimby, 1 title at queens, and two finals at Wimby. I wouldn’t be so quick to call a Novak win in that match, if its even played.

But I could be delusional. I was in fact convinced Maria Sharapova was going to win the French Open. But crazily enough, she is the betting favorite right now for wimbledon. These people just want to get me excited all over again. I am already starting to convince myself she has an excellent chance of winning.


Kimberly Says:

btw, while i have never cared or been into the GOAT debate, I find it an honor for my fav to be mentioned in the same sentence as Fed. Never disliked Fed, i think Fed fans don’t like Rafa but Rafa fans don’t really dislike Fed. Prob most dislike Novak! I actually liked Novak and still kind of do, more until his overcelebrating in ROme and Madrid. Rafa needs to right that ship fast.


Eric Says:

Sharapova is defintely a favorite for Wimbledon but not THE favorite by any stretch of the imagination..it’s just hard to think of anyone who would be a bigger fav than her. Li I’m sure will be up there but I don’t think she’ll deliver a third successive slam final… and then there’s Kim, the Williams sisters, Woz…Vera even… but none of them can be counted on as much or at least no more than Li or Masha, so I see why Sharapova is the leading favorite amongst the bookies.

Rafa is definitely the overwhelming fav over Nole if they play at Wimbledon. I love Novak but his streak is over and he’s never beaten Rafa on grass AFAIK (have they ever even played, though? i don’t think so, maybe once?). Whereas Rafa has a growing and fearsome Wimbledon pedigree… it’s weird because he is always shaky there, he’s never romped through the field like he and Roger do at the French or Roger does in Wimbledon..but he’s always so strong in the final. Anyway… Roger is the favorite to reclaim wimbledon in my mind, with Rafa a close second and Nole and Murray distant thirds.


Eric Says:

Kimberly I love both Rafa and Fed and Djokovic too! Fed will always be my favorite and every time he loses (especially to Rafa) it hurts a little bit more ’cause I know he can do better…but Rafa and Nole are both amazing players too and they all seem like great people… Nole of course a bit less boring than Roger and Rafa. :0


simba Says:

If we get Roger-Rafa Wimb Final, I would bet $100 that Rafa would win it. No evidence to bet the other way.


Ben Pronin Says:

Madmax, you misunderstand. I don’t think Federer should retire. Not anytime soon, anyway. I’m saying if he had won today, it would’ve been been epic if he had retired that way. I mean c’mon, what a way to go.

Federer’s h2h against Nadal can’t be compared to Nadal and Davydenko or any other small time rivalry. I don’t care about all the Masters wins and losses. It’s all about the slams, no? Well Federer basically gifts Nadal slams by making finals. I mean c’mon, 5 tries and 0 wins at the French against Nadal? How the hell is he the GOAT? 2-7 in the slams overall, ON EVERY SURFACE?


Eric Says:

Ben just stop reducing an entire decade of tennis to one head to head and you’ll see that, poor record against Rafa or not, Fed is certainly the best player of this era… whether that means he’s GOAT or not, is up to you.

Anyway as we’ve all said a billion times before the GOAT debate is stupid, each of us has different ideas about it… to me, there’s no question that it’s Fed and I love arguing so I constantly make the arguments…but the fact is I don’t really care that much about GOAT. We’re definitely privileged to live in an era with so many unbelievable tennis players… from the beginning of the decade on it’s a nonstop parade of excellent, from Marat and Lleyton ushering in a completely new era of shotmaking at the USO and Wimbledon to the current triumvirate at the top… I dunno if any earlier tennis era comes close!


Eric Says:

simba I’ll take that bet, just mail me a benjamin now and if Rafa wins I’ll send it back… :)


Ben Pronin Says:

And let’s not forget that, before Nadal’s prime years and during Federer’s own, Nadal still came out with an 8-6 edge. Since Nadal hit his peak, he’s 9-2.

This isn’t a typical h2h, this is “the greatest rivalry in tennis”. These two defined this era. But Nadal owns Federer. I mean he straight up owns him. There is no rivalry.

The Patriots had the best regular season record last year. The Packers were the best team in the league, though.


Kimberly Says:

My take on Rafa wimbledon, the early round are tough because the grass is faster and more slippery, he often struggles early, kind of like this tournament and then TURNS IT ON in the second week. His performance against Soderling and Murray in WImbledon 2010 were spectacular. Also the baseline is worn down at the end and it is almost a clay court. Rafa also can use the slice well there i noticed.


Ben Pronin Says:

Federer is the best against everyone else, yeah, but he’s still not the GOAT if there’s a guy who owns him in al the big matches. Murray beats Federer in best of 3 set matches more often than not but it doesn’t matter since Federer won all their slam matches, the ones that count, you know.


Eric Says:

I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree, Ben, ’cause all I can say is that if Rafa had made it to 5 USO and AO finals to face Roger their slam H2H would be a bit different (and yes I know he beat Roger in the 2009 AO, in a tight five-set match… think he would have won all the others, think again).


Daniel Says:

Ben, lets hope they meet again in Wimbledon, Cincy, US Open and again in WTF London. I bet Fed wins at least 3 of those, if not all.

Fed managed to reach 4 finals in RG, Nadal’s backyeard, 3 in Monte Carlo, his summer house, 2 in Rome, Madrid 3 times (winning) one, Plus 2 in HAmburg winning one = 12 times. How many times did Nadal got to Fed’s best surfaces. 3 Wimby, Fed got 2, none in Cincy, none in US Open and 3 times in Year end, where Nadal won 1 set in 3 matches.

So of the Nadals best surfaces (considering only clay), NAdal won 2 out of 12 and in Fed’s best surfaces
NAdal won 1 (Wimby 2008) out of 6.

Nadal even have the edge in non friendly Fed’s surfaces like Miami and AO where Nadal leads 3-1 (2 miamis and one AO agaisnt Fed’s 1 miami).

See the HxH is like this because NAdal is only ggod enough to face Federer in courts who favors his game. He is not good eneough to play and reach finals in super fast courts. The only exception is Dubai where they are tied.

But we all know, grass, Cincy, US Open and WTF finals indoors are FEdere best surfaces, where he has a total of 6 titles in WImby to 1 runner up, 4 titles in Cincy, 5 titles in US open to 1 runner Up and 5 titles in YEF to 1 runner up.

If Nadal manages to reach this finals he will lose to Federer in the same ratio as Fed loses on clay.


Eric Says:

Daniel, it’s actually 5 finals in RG now. :) Plus a close semifinal in 2005 when Nadal was “only” no. 4…

But thanks for expounding on the big point that I’ve been trying to make… good luck convincing anyone though. :)


Eric Says:

I just realized you only meant the Fed-Rafa finals so ignore what I said about 5 RGs…


Eric Says:

BTW Ben the Steelers were the best team in the league they just played like crap in the first half of the SB. ;)


skeezerweezer Says:

Vxx & WTF tourney;

“What would the Federer fans be saying about the importance of this title if Nadal won it virtually every year because it was played on clay?”

And what if FO was played all this time on HC or Grass, or better yet Indoors? I know ya all are excited for Rafa’s slam, he deserves it, but this other rant just not acceptable. Meaningless.

Keep twistin it, the round peg still won’t fit in the square hole. Fed GOAT until further notice.

This was Rafa’s greatest Slam? WTF? If I was his fan I would take USO & Wimby 2008, hands down.


skeezerweezer Says:

Ben,

So your saying because of Feds’ H2H against Rafa in big matches ( Finals & GS Finals ) Fed is not GOAT. So who is, Rafa with 10 Slams, 6 on Clay, only 2 wimbys, 1 AO an 1 USO? Was it important when it was Sampras’s time? Was H2H important or the amount of Slams he had? Was Laver’s H2H the reason he was called GOAT or his Slam record? History does not prove your theory correct, your just trying to invent a new one. This hype will not stick unless Rafa gets the more variety of slams and closer to Feds record.


jane Says:

I liked Daniel’s metaphor for Monte Carlo, ha ha: “4 finals in RG, Nadal’s backyeard, 3 in Monte Carlo, his summer house”


jatt Says:

I do not understand this.. Why roger had to beat novak in the semis ? He planned so hard for it and was successful and in the end just lost out to Nadal. I mean why to spoil jokers run and his world number 1 ranking ? The final with Novak and Rafa would have been a cracking final and may be we would have got a new champion at Roland Garros this year .. Now I wish Rog should have lost the SF as we all knew what would be end result of his match against Rafa :(


Ben Pronin Says:

This was Nadal’s best slam because he won it while clearly not playing his best and with some shot confidence (supposedly).

Anyways. This isn’t simply an h2h issue. Federer and Nadal are the “greatest rivalry in tennis,” it’s not a typical h2h and you’re disrespecting both by treating it as such.

If Federer was the GOAT, he’d have beaten Nadal at least once in 5 times at the French. I don’t care if it’s not his best surface and it’s Nadal’s best. Nadal beat Federer on grass, didn’t he? Oh it plays like clay, you say? Well he beat him on hard courts in Australia, too. Two of Federer’s best slams, no? And honestly, a missed forehand by Djokovic last year and Nadal would probably have a win over Federer at the US Open, too.

Had Federer won today, he would’ve EASILY cemented his status as the GOAT. EASILY. All he needed to do was win this one match, it would’ve been the biggest, best, most incredible, improbable, awesome win of his career. He didn’t. It’s a shame. That doesn’t make it his worst loss, if anything it was a pretty solid loss considering it was their closest RG match yet. But, once again, it’s clear that he’s not the GOAT.

You’re telling me that if Federer ends with 16 slams and Nadal with, say, 13 or 14, or even 15, Federer is still greater? I envy you guys for being able to set aside Nadal owning him like it’s meaningless, but it’s not. History will always remember because Fedal has it’s own historical significance. Federer will be judged when he’s done, Nadal, too, and then Fedal will be examined and discussed and will always play a role.

This is a statistical anomaly that cannot be overlooked. Federer won most of his slams playing various players, great, but he couldn’t beat his greatest rival, the most important guy he had to beat, with any consistency whatsoever. The most important player he’s even faced in slam finals has owned him 75% of the time.

I’m not discrediting Federer by any means. I’m devastated that he lost. And he will go down as the most consistent player ever. Five RG finals, despite losing to Nadal so much, HAS to put him in the discussion as top 10, if not top 5, greatest clay courters. But he’s not the GOAT.


Eric Says:

So Ben, you’re basically saying that the 3-4 points by which Nadal won the first two sets instead of Roger are the difference between Roger as GOAT and not? Please.

You need to look at the big picture. Tennis is about way more than one rivalry, even the “most important” one of the decade, and Roger’s greatness (and for that matter Rafa’s) isn’t determined by just a few matches but by the entirety of his career.


Eric Says:

I definitely agree with you that Roger’s victory today would have ended the debate. And it’s not like there’s no case for Fed as not-GOAT. But the fact is Fed played close matches with Rafa at RG every year except 2008 and this year he was literally inches from victory. If he had made that one single drop shot on set point in first set it would have been his match to win. Even in 2008 at Wimby, Rafa barely edged him – of course matches at this level are always just a few points here and there, but it’s not always true that the eventual loser was so close to winning and so good. So to say that this one loss ends Roger’s claim to GOAThood is inane.


KL Says:

Eric I fully understand both sides of the GOAT argument, but by the same token, If Muhammed Ali’s greatest nemesis Joe Frazier beat Ali more times than Ali beat Joe then would Ali STILL be considered “The Greatest” by many boxing fans?


Ike Says:

Ben Pronin @ June 5th, 2011 at 8:55 pm
Great, unbiased comments re. GOAT

I wish Rod Laver’s career hadn’t been divided between amateur / professional / open era mess.
I wish there was more TV footage of his glory day tennis, and rivalry matches (vs. Rosewall, Emerson, Gonzalez, etc).


skeezerweezer Says:

Ben,

A lot of “ifs’ in the argument. But the records of Fed remain, UNMATCHED. And it’s not against one player, this is where you fail to discuss about. your argument shuts down because you are disappointed Fed can’t beat Rafa. So? If anyone wants to talk “IFS’ I would be careful in that regard, and “A” h2h matchup at big events. One can say that Nole “owns” Rafa now, on ANY surface, and has won all the recent H2H in finals of Masters on variety of surfaces. Nole, now, along with a couple of other players, could “own” Rafa H2H from here on out. I only speak in the now….GOATHOOD as we have talked before is a moving target. If we are all talking this time next year and Rafa has been thrashed in all the GS, does Fed Goathood come back into play? Why? This reasoning baffles me and it seems now Fed will have to retire for people to look back and say, yeah, that guy was did it all, and did it at the highest level like none other..


skeezerweezer Says:

@Kl,

Short answer; YES. Ali arguably lost 2-3 Ken Norton and Leon Spinks, but still considered the greatest of all time? Why? He beat the greatest player in that time (Foreman), which Frazier got creamed by (Rafa vs Nole anyone?). It’s all about matchups in individual battles, but what was the summation of your career against the field? Boxing historians knew batter. Can’t you guys get it? This is not BOXING…I knew this is where the Rafa fans want to go. Not worried, Tennis history and the way they count achievements is not H2H battles, although not sayin there will be a footnote, only cause the rivalry matches were so entertaining.
@Ike,

Give you props for wanting to bring Laver back in the discussion, now THAT is a worthy debate ;)


Eric Says:

skeeze, exactly… if we wanted we could dig through the tx archives and see all the times Ben has called Fed the GOAT…. disappointment reigns supreme at the moment though

GOAT is exactly what it says…all time. You have to look at the BIG, BIG picture….Djoko just had, IMO, the best five/six-month stretch in the history of tennis…but he’s (for now) not even a footnote in the GOAT discussion.

KL I don’t know anything about boxing so I can’t comment on that… but tennis is a lot less about H2Hs than boxing. it’s about tournaments. And Fed has done better at tournaments even if you only look at the span of time since Nadal rose to prominence. Check out the list I posted at 5:38


Kimberly Says:

I am so over hearing Novak would have beat Rafa. He wasn’t there, Federer was. End of story.


Ben Pronin Says:

Whenever McEnroe is mentioned, doesn’t Borg’s name quickly follow? Then Connors then Lendl. When we will talk about Federer in 10 years, Nadal’s name will be quickly mentioned. Why do people put an asterisk on Federer’s 09 FO? Becuase you can’t talk about him, and the French, without mentioning Nadal.

Nadal is a big part of the big picture. If Djokovic starts owning Nadal at all the slams then that’ll be it’s own issue. Federer is one of the greatest but he’s not THE greatest. He can’t be if his rival is better than him.


KL Says:

skeezerweezer,

Ali officially beat Norton 2-1 and the Spinks fights probably are discounted because everyone knew that Ali was not himself at that stage of his career.

Ali also beat Sonny Liston twice, and Foreman in the famous Rumble in the Jungle.

However I did say Ali’s nemesis who was without question Frazier.
If Ali got beaten twice by Frazier I can see who things would complicate Ali’s claim to being “The greatest”

The same is happening here with Nadal…..Federers nemesis….. can Federer really be the Greatest when he gets beaten routinely in Gran Slam finals by the same man?

Like I said it’s not clear cut as some of you guys seem to be making out.


skeezerweezer Says:

Kl,

Just so I understand. Let’s just say, Fed ends up with 20 slams. Rafa stays at 10. Rafa beats Fed a few more times in t the future H2H. Your saying based on the results that Rafa is GOAT

@Ben,

So what you saying is Rafa is GOAT with 6 FO’s, 10 slams total, cause you sayin Fed is not.


Ben Pronin Says:

No. I’m saying there is no GOAT.


Ike Says:

Greatest Of All Time (GOAT):

- Must win all FOUR majors (grandslams)
- Must have highest total of grandslam titles
- Must dominate his era / rivals

Laver, Borg, Sampras, Federer, Nadal, in my opinion are the GOAT candidates
But none of these guys meet all the above mentioned criteria
Even though I am anti-Fed fan, I have to admit that Federer is the closest one to being the GOAT

I hope I will get a chance to watch that “true / undisputed” GOAT before I die!

P.S. Being an avid NFL fan, tennis GOAT discussion brings NFL QB GOAT into my mind
Who is the NFL GOAT QB – Unitas, Montana, Elway, Marino, Favre, Manning, Brady?


KL Says:

skeezerweezer

I allude you back to the boxing analogy…..had Frazier won the “Thriller in Manilla” as he nearly did…..would I claim that Joe Frazier was “The Greatest”……no certainly not……but it would cast doubt upon Ali being “The Greatest”.

It’s difficult to call someone “The greatest”….whether in boxing, tennis or any other sport if they have a losing record against their greatest rival.

Hope that clear things up a bit.


Ben Pronin Says:

Ike, atm, it’s Favre. It’ll probably be Manning by the time he retires. I don’t like either, hopefully Rogers surpasses them but I don’t think it’s possible.

And Steelers were obviously not the best team in the league.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Montana, hands down;)


Kimberly Says:

Favre


Eric Says:

I agree with Ben that, really, there’s no such thing as GOAT… no one is perfect, so no one has an unquestionable claim. But if there were a GOAT… hands down, it’s Federer. No one else’s claim is as good, so even if Fed’s isn’t perfect (never said it was), it’s gotta be him. Nadal’s “dominance,” if you want to call it that (I think it’s certainly a completely wrong term to use if you consider where they play their matches — again, if Rafa had made it to every AO or USO final from 2005 to 2008 to face Roger their H2H would be very different…), is a problem but certainly not the definitive answer. Even Rafa has said, in only slightly politer terms, that anyone comparing him and Fed is an idiot who knows nothing about tennis. You can say he was just being polite but it’s true.

Anyway I’ve said all I have to say about this…sorry for fomenting an idiotic debate (again), I’ll try to keep quiet on the subject in the future.

But as for the greatest QB question, that’s a whoooole ‘nother ballpark. Arguing about the greatest such-and-such on a team sport is an even bigger black hole of nonsense because the players surrounding them are so important. Tennis is just you! But…it’s got to be Montana, Favre or Elway. Rogers? Maybe one day, it’s hardly unquestionable whether he’s the greatest QB in the league today. Kind of like some of you on Roger ;)


Michael Says:

Federer can be credited for consistency in Sport, but not for excellence. His lop sided H2H with Nadal says it all. A few years ago, even I had contested this H2H arguments with many of the Rafa fanatics about it not being so important. It was about 13-7 at that time. Now things have changed and it now stands at a ludicrous 17-8 in favour of Nadal. This is real bull shit. A supposedly greatest Player is not able to get the better of his rival in any event that he faces and just tanks. The argument that the H2H would have been different had Nadal been in many of the hard court slam finals is redundant. We can have only analysis of what we have before us not what would have beens. Even one can argue that had Nadal made the finals in many of them, Federer would have lost considering such a lopsided H2H. So in a sense Federer was lucky that Nadal was just not good enough to get to the finals. I think the player who plays well against Nadal is a person named Djokovic. He is the player who can give sleepless nights to Nadal and Federer did a big favour to his competitor by eliminating Djokovic. All in all Nadal has to give a big treat to Federer for his benovolence.


Vvx Says:

So your saying because of Feds’ H2H against Rafa in big matches ( Finals & GS Finals ) Fed is not GOAT.

…………

Yep. How can you be the GOAT when you weren’t greater than your biggest rival when it really counted?

So who is, Rafa with 10 Slams, 6 on Clay, only 2 wimbys, 1 AO an 1 USO?

………..

Rafa is only just 25 years old. How many did Federer have at that age? Did he have the full set?

Was it important when it was Sampras’s time?

……….

It would have been important and seen as a serious weakness if he was 8 – 17 with Agassi, Becker, Ivanisevic, Courier, Chang, Rafter or any other key rivals during his reign at the top.

History does not prove your theory correct, your just trying to invent a new one. This hype will not stick unless Rafa gets the more variety of slams and closer to Feds record.

………

Rafa already has more variety. He has 2 slams on grass, 2 on hardcourts and 6 on clay and more often than not he had to beat Federer (the supposed GOAT) to amass that total.

Federer has 6 slams on grass, 9 on hardcourts and only one slam on clay.

As for closer to Federer’s records, he is ahead on Masters titles already even though there are only three claycourt masters per year compared to six hardcourt masters.

If / when he surpasses Federer’s slam total there will be no question who is the GOAT but if he doesn’t make it then IMO there is no GOAT but several great candidates: Borg, Laver, Sampras, Federer and Nadal.


WTF Says:

Ike:

“Many people will say that I just hate No.1 players / teams, I disagree with that, I like equality, unpredictability in sports, otherwise there is not much difference between sports and movies.”

Then you really must love the WTA tour, right?


WTF Says:

Madmax says:

“You can’t call someone the greatest of the era if the majority of their slam wins have come on ONE surface. Why can’t you see that?”

While it’s true that Nadal dominated Federer on clay, for your point to be true, Roger would have needed to dominate Nadal on the other surfaces.. which he has not. They’re about an even split.

“What if there had been more grass tournaments? (of which there are 4). Rafa is living in a clay court heaven with the amount of tournaments on clay starting from March through to June.”

I don’t see any indication that Federer would have dominated Nadal on grass. Their record is only 2-1 in Fed’s favor, and one of those wins was a 5 setter which Nadal could have won, and for most of the match played better.

Secondly, it’s debateable to some people that grass and clay are any different. Many say the grass is so slow these days it’s just another clay surface, and that would have just served to diminish Nadal’s achievement if he had a winning head to head on grass.

“Take away his clay court wins in slams, and what have you got? ”

What you’ve got is an even record… When you include clay you’ve got a lopsided record. Which means Federer does not play well against Nadal. For the clay dominance to be discounted, Fed would need to have a winning record on other surfaces. Only then can you say Fed is a better player and that clay misleadingly skews their record. You can’t simply discount results from an entire surface to make a point. You are going by the assumption that if they played less on clay and more on hard/grass, Fed would have a winning record, but there is no reason to assume this would be the case.

He has had hard court losses to Rafa which shouldn’t be happening if Fed is that much better a player.


WTF Says:

Daniel:

“See the HxH is like this because NAdal is only ggod enough to face Federer in courts who favors his game. He is not good eneough to play and reach finals in super fast courts. The only exception is Dubai where they are tied.”

The fact that he reached the WTF final in London (and made it a three set match) and US Open final last year already contradicts your statement.

“If Nadal manages to reach this finals he will lose to Federer in the same ratio as Fed loses on clay.”

How many “super fast” surfaces are there out there? Are you saying that all of Nadal’s wins on hard/grass were not on these fabled courts? They’ve played at Wimbledon 3 times and if I was to believe you, I would have expected 3 straight set wins for Fed. It couldn’t be further from the truth. In 06 Nadal was unfancied but he was the only one to take a set from Federer all tournament, and almost took two. In 07 he became the first player to bring Fed to 5 sets since his dominance beginning in 03. In 08 he became the first man to beat Federer, 5 time defending champion.

If Fed is as good on “fast” surfaces as Nadal is on clay, then I would have expected Fed to beat Nadal once or twice at the French (he’s had enough opportunities to do so) since Nadal did beat Federer at Wimbledon.


KL Says:

Michael I agree with you about Novak, and that he could become the player that Nadal most fears.

That said though much will depend on whether Novak can maintain the belief that he is the “best” player in the world.
How much of a dent of confidence has his loss to Federer put into his mind……bearing in my that Novak was “unbeatable” and “supposed” to win the French Open…..and he has just been beaten by the old guard who got beaten by the man who everyone though was struggling to find form?

Time will tell.


KL Says:

If we look at the Gran slams exclusively then the most telling fact in the Rafa/Roger rivalry is not only that Rafa leads 17/8 but also that Rafa has beaten Roger on his best surface grass at least once in 3 attempts, furthermore on Roger’s other favourite surface hard courts, Rafa has beaten Roger in their only hardcourt Gran slam final clash.
Roger on the other hand has not been able to beat Rafa on his best surface clay in all 4 attempts.
And I think even Roger will be the first to admit that his sole French open title against Soldering was rather won by “default” so to speak, especially when the Federer that turned up yesterday would have easily beaten the Soderling of 2009.


Daniel Says:

Nadal didn’t won easy against Fed on clay as well. What I mean is Fed managed 12 finals on clay, all clay events, all favourable courts to Nadal. NAdal managed 3 finals in Wimby, losing one and 1 final in WTF London, also losing.

Thereb are other super fast courts which Nadal doesn’t make finals: Cincy, never and 1 US Open, not agaisnt Fed.

Federer is so good that he manages to face Nadal in all this non favourable courts and eventually he scraps a win. But if things were to be fair they should be even in all courts around the season.

Anothe rway of looking, from the 25 matches they played:

- 3 Wimby (Grass) Federer
- 5 FO (Clay) Nadal
- 3 MC (Clay) Nadal
- 3 Madrid (Clay) Nadal, even with altitude
- 3 Miami (slow Hard) Nadal
- 3 WTF (Fast Hard indoor) Federer
- 2 Rome (Clay) Nadal
- 2 Hamburg (Clay) Nadal, but we could say even,
- 1 Dubai (Fast hard outdor) Federer

- So 7 times where in Fed’s surfaces, the HxH being 5-2 Fed
- 18 times in Nadal’s favoruable surafaces, but we can say in RG, MC and Rome, which Nadal really loves, he reign supreme, with a 10-0, the others Fed manages 3 win, 5-3 HxH (Miami, Hamburg and Madrid). But they are more friendly to Nadal than Fed.

7 out of 25. To make things even they will have to play 10 straight matches, only on Grass, Toronto, Cincy, US Open and WTFinals.

The question I ask is this: Do you really think that if they only meet 10 straight times, spreaded in Wimby, Cincinati, US Open and WTfinlas that Nadal will have a 7-3 lead?? No way, he may get one in a Slam because he is hard to beat in best of 5 in a final and one more on an occasional Fed fluke.

This is what nobody ever puts in perspective, they playede 70 % of their matches in surfaces which favors Nadal. I am not saying the HxH wouldn’t be positive for Nadal, due to match up, but it wouldn’t be this loopsided.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Daniel

Nice :)


WTF Says:

I replied to you in your other thread. It doesn’t matter that Nadal’s wins came on surfaces that suit him. He doesn’t get to choose what surface to play on.

He’s just better on more surfaces than Rog. Seems whenever Fed loses it’s on an unfavorable surface. Why not improve on it and turn it into a favorable surface? Surely that’s what Nadal had to do after starting his career as a one surface wonder? Go back to 2005 when Nadal started his clay run and ask any Fed fan if they can see Nadal completing a career grand slam. Not a single one of them will say yes.

What does kind of surprise me that a guy with 15 slams on hard and grass manages to lose to Nadal at all on these surfaces… He is by far the GOAT. Granted not all of these losses to Nadal came at slams. But aren’t the surfaces similar? Are the slams he won 15 of using completely unique surfaces that can’t be approximated anywhere else?


madmax Says:

simba Says:
@madmax, if you want a totality of record, Roger still lacks 3 Davis Cups and an Olympic Gold medal and fewer Master titles than Nadal for sure

simba, you are contradicting your self.

Look at what you wrote here…the tenuous link.
simba Says:
@Skeezerweezer,

I am talking about Single. Nobody cares about doubles, except the Bryan’s brother.

June 5th, 2011 at 6:20 pm

You are talking about 3 davis cups. I know that during one of the rounds, Nadal didn’t even play!!! so are you saying tht he takes the benefit of his spanish compatriots successes? Okay, so we have verdasco, ferrer, ferrero, (nadal), Almagro, Garcia-lopez, Lopez, Gimeno-Traver, Granollers, Robredo – davis cup team.

10 plus players. Who ALL contributed to the Davis cup so let’s divide by 10. 3 divided by 10 = .3. So Nadal has .3 of a davis cup trophy and no more than that.

Swiss Davis cup team: Federer, Wawarinka (chudenelli doesn’t really count).

You cannot compare 10 plus spanish team players to 2 swiss davis cup players.

Rafa has 19 masters. Fed has 2 less. That is hardly a chasm apart.

Yes, rafa has olympic gold. All his. Fed has half olympic gold, but to beat the bryans to the No. 1 medal as they went out in the first round, doesn’t matter. T. Half is better than one. They will take it (fed and stan).

The WTF is regarded as the 5th slam. Fed has won this 5 times by playing the top 8 players in the world. Don’t degrade this achievement because rafa hasn’t one one of them.

Ben Pronin Says:
Madmax, you misunderstand. I don’t think Federer should retire. Not anytime soon, anyway. I’m saying if he had won today, it would’ve been been epic if he had retired that way. I mean c’mon, what a way to go.

Federer’s h2h against Nadal can’t be compared to Nadal and Davydenko or any other small time rivalry. I don’t care about all the Masters wins and losses. It’s all about the slams, no? Well Federer basically gifts Nadal slams by making finals. I mean c’mon, 5 tries and 0 wins at the French against Nadal? How the hell is he the GOAT? 2-7 in the slams overall, ON EVERY SURFACE?

June 5th, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Ben

I don’t mind saying it here. Federer is the GOAT. One day when he is gone you will become a reflective writer and argue the case for him.

You were a better writer when you were DD and SS. Federer is unique and it is his uniqueness which makes him the GOAT.

You don’t seem to be able to grasp the fact that federer has reached 5 finals and won 1 on his weakest surface! He still can be regarded as the 2nd best clay courter next to rafa. It is not federer’s fault that rafa did not make the final of 2009, the best that he could do was to take out the player that took out nadal, which he did when he beat soderling. That is the essence of federer’s greatness on clay which should hold no asterisk. You don’t appreciate this fact Ben. That’s a shame. Rafa is a purist on clay and he will be beaten one day, the closest Federer has come was yesterday. First time he took a set from him on clay in 4 tries, so when he was younger (federer, and supposedly at his peak, he couldn’t do it? Now, 4 years on he takes a set and is playing worse? NO way. He played the best he ever did against rafa yesterday and that’s a fact.


madmax Says:

Ben,

This is zola’s post Here’s the link.

This is what I call class writing Ben, from someone who knows what they are talking about.

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/tennis/simon-reed/article/6276/


Ben Pronin Says:

Mad ax you’re so biased it’s ridiculous. When I was SS or DD, Federer’s h2h against Nadal wasn’t as embarrassing as it is now. It has nothing to do with my writing. Simon Reed doesn’t make any sense. All he points out is that a fantastic Federer STILL can’t beat a sub par Nadal. How is he the greatest? Isn’t Nadal unique? Isn’t Djokovic unique? Murray? What kind of argument is “his uniqueness makes him the GOAT”. No, his uniqueness makes him yours and a lot of other people’s favorite player. It doesn’t mean he’s the greatest. Every player is unique.

And the argument that clay is Federer’s weakest surface is absolute bs. Federer is one of the best clay court players of all time. 5 FO finals speak for themselves, not even gonna bother mentioning his success at the various Masters that are on clay. But he can’t beat Nadal. Why? Because Nadal is better than him. And don’t bring up their records against the rest of the field. If someone tells me they’re better than me at tennis because they beat someone I lost to, but then I beat them, then they’re not better than me. Especially if I beat them every 2/3 times.

Federer’s pretty game doesn’t make him the GOAT and never will. You haven’t in any way explained why Federer’s poor record against Nadal on other surfaces is unimportant. Take clay out of the equation all you want. Nadal won their only hard court final despite Federer owning 9 hc slams and being, statistically, the best hard court player of all time. Nadal is 1-2 in grass finals even though there is only one player who has more Wimbledon titles than Federer in the Open era. But Federer couldn’t get a single win over Nadal at the French despite having so many more chances.

It’s not fun for me to admit this stuff but it’s fact. Federer isn’t the GOAT because Nadal is better than him.


Kimberly Says:

Ben, its a question of match ups not of who is “better” if you play tennis you should know this. It’s a cumulative win loss that determines who is better. I lost to someone recently whose game really frustrated mine. And that person lost to someone I beat 0 and 0and/or 0 and 1 most tmes I play her.


Ben Pronin Says:

You’d think Nadal has a poor record over the field or something. How many players have a winning record over him?


Kimberly Says:

Hey I’m his fan, but you cant compare him overall to federer, at least not now. And i understand where the fed fans are coming from. Their guy has 16 slams. Its annoying ton say someone with 10 is superior.

I understand, when a few posters calling Novak the clay goat with no RG final ever over rafa with 5 (at the time) RG titles it was annoying.

If rafa had 16 slams and say, Murray delpo etc had 10 and people were saying they were superior it would be irritating. That’s 6 slams. One and a half years of winning everything. To even equal him.

I think only 2 players have a winning record against rafa, davydenko and maybe nalbandian. Or maybe he evened it with nobly. Or some no one that he played once in the beginning of his career. Not many.


Ben Pronin Says:

Nadal isn’t better overall, he’s just better than Federer in particular. I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s there.


Swiss Maestro Says:

Nadal is not better than federer at wimby, us open or WTF. he is better than fed at fo and AO i would say even.

This inspite of having the lefty to righty advantage ( can you think of a one-handed backhand guy who thrashes nadal like djokovic did in rome/madrid?) and let us not forget the 5yr difference (in tennis, 5yrs is a generation!) and the HUGE advantage of being the “hunter” rather than the hunted. look at how fragile nadal has looked mentally against djokovic this year. he is the one with all to lose against novak. fed is always the top dog when he plays nadal. it is much easier being the underdog rather than top dog.

and definitely fed deserves extra points for how effortless he makes the game look. That’s the indelible mark of a genius. huffing and puffing your way to wins shows competitive genius. but tennis genius is about making the most ridiculous shots look elementary. and in that regard fed comes first and then daylight and then anyone else.


Swiss Maestro Says:

WTF says :

What does kind of surprise me that a guy with 15 slams on hard and grass manages to lose to Nadal at all on these surfaces… He is by far the GOAT. Granted not all of these losses to Nadal came at slams. But aren’t the surfaces similar? Are the slams he won 15 of using completely unique surfaces that can’t be approximated anywhere else?

——————————————

which is better? losing to the GOAT of clay 5 times at fo or getting thrashed by tsonga, gonzalez, delpotro, youzhny, ferrer, murray? at various matches in us open/aus open?

ben and WTF, please answer that.


Swiss Maestro Says:

Ben:

stop living vicariously off Federer. Everyone knows you despise and loathe nadal, so much so, that if federer fails to beat him, you look at it as your failure against nadal. get real.

Federer is not peRFect. but he is the closest thing ever to peRFection on a tennis court. his major flaw is his inability to put it across nadal at FO. that’s much better than nadal getting hit off the court by relative nobodies or sampras’ woes on clay or borg’s “giving up” at 26 or mac’s sudden demise after 26years or so, connors’ lack of enough big titles, laver doing it in tennis’ dinosaur era.

Fed is the GOAT. till nadal gets one more GS than him.


skeezerweezer Says:

Ben,

You keep harping on the circular reference that does not computer. How many times does anyone/everyone need to tell you that tennis is NOT determined or won by H2H matchups? Your BS is getting old, stop it.

Two guys enter a draw, they play against a FIELD, not “I CHOOSE U OUT DUDE”. It’s me against you, and whoever wins is the champ, screw everyone else. Fed has a WAY better record against all the other players, Rafa has not. How come Fed has made it to the finals of so many GS and no other hasn’t? Because he has played the best against the Field.

Why don’t you just continue to put Fed and Rafa in your “Fantasy” draw, with no one else, so you can draw up the comparisons you want to justify your position. Geez

BTW…here is Fed’s “pretty game” for ya…since you didn’t take the time to study the link before you posted on the other thread.

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

out


skeezerweezer Says:

@SM

Shaaamooon!


Swiss Maestro Says:

kimberly :

i love you! LOL. too bad you are married. haha!


Swiss Maestro Says:

Skeezerweezer :

Ben is all “woozy” that nadal won another GS. let him be. he says there is no GOAT and then wants to say Fed is not the GOAT. if he believes there is no GOAT, he should shut his pie-hole and let others who believe in GOAT discuss it out. if he wants to discuss, then he should shut his trap about there being no GOAT.

this is the same guy who accused rafa of doping as soon as he won USO 2010. ahem! enough said.


Ben Pronin Says:

Jeez SM. I don’t think Nadal is greater than Federer. I just don’t think Federer can be considered the single GOAT.


Ben Pronin Says:

I accused Nadal before the final, not after he won.


Swiss Maestro Says:

Here’s an absolutely orgasmic fact (LOL) if you are a Federer fan :

Only male player ever to be in 5 finals at the 5 most important tournaments on tour (4GS and WTF). [have to check if martina/graf did the equivalent on women's side] i know graf won each GS atleast 4 times! i am not sure abour her record at year end finals.


Swiss Maestro Says:

” I just don’t think Federer can be considered the single GOAT. ”

So tell me NEO, do you believe in a GOAT? LOL!

and ben, you have not answered the question i asked you and WTF.


Swiss Maestro Says:

Ben says:

I accused Nadal before the final, not after he won.

——————————-

my point still stands ben. You loathe nadal like col. jessep hates kaffee ;)


Eric Says:

(sorry to be one of those annoying people who post the same thing on multiple threads, but I just saw that the convo was continuing over here, not the other thread…)

Ben, if I had a dollar for every time McEnroe had called something the “best” I would be a very rich man indeed. If you look through Wikipedia pages on tennis players you will find at least six people who he has said have the “best” backhand on the tour and probably similar numbers with the “best” forehand. He is just given to hyperbole. And I would be shocked if Carillo has ever said anything insightful. Keep in mind that both of these guys are just commentators trying to find something newsworthy and exciting to say all the time, so it’s not really a surprise.

The fact is, Rafa is still in the middle of his career and it could continue to rise astronomically, or it could level off, or it could slowly drop off….who knows. Federer, for now, has certainly accomplished far more than Rafa. That’s just an objective fact.

If you don’t think Fed is the GOAT, fine. That’s up to everyone to decide for themselves, whether it’s because they think someone else is the GOAT or just because they don’t think he can be GOAT when he rarely beat Rafa on clay.

But to say that Rafa is the GOAT is just inane. He still hasn’t accomplished even half of what Federer has, except in Masters tournaments. Almost two out of each three of his slams are from the very same event. FO and Wimbledon are the only slams where he has been a finalist more than once. Federer reached has every slam final 5-7 times, and won almost all of those except at the French. So Rafa is better than him on clay and in Paris. Fine. Federer is better everywhere else and better than everyone else. Rafa isn’t.

Agassi btw has never said that Nadal is the best ever; what he has said is that Nadal was the best on tour at that moment (and this was last year sometime, so obviously true — Rafa tore it up for most of 2010).

In five or ten years when we are watching Milos Raonic, Dolgopolov, and a bunch of people who are currently 12 years old tearing up the tennis circuit… we can look back more objectively and dispassionately at the Federer era. The fact is, it’s his accomplishments and titles that are going to be what he is judged by, and of course “but Rafa always beat him on clay” will follow immediately to everyone’s mind…but if Rafa doesn’t win at least 2-3 more slams at the AO/USO and Wimbledon there’s no way he can challenge Fed as GOAT. All he’ll be is the thorn in the Maestro’s side, the man who owned him on clay and denied him the exact same record of dominance at the French as he enjoyed at the other three slams.

In the final analysis…. Rafa might stop Fed from being considered the GOAT by some people. But he’ll never be the GOAT himself unless he wins a bunch more of those pesky hardcourt slams.


Swiss Maestro Says:

Ben says:

” Nadal won their only hard court final despite Federer owning 9 hc slams and being, statistically, the best hard court player of all time. Nadal is 1-2 in grass finals even though there is only one player who has more Wimbledon titles than Federer in the Open era. But Federer couldn’t get a single win over Nadal at the French despite having so many more chances.”

wasn’t 2009 AO final after nadal hit his peak and fed was on decline? fed got blown off the court by journeymen (relativel speaking) like fish, blake, simon, heck even karlovic on hardcourts by that time. nadal had won his biggest hardcourt title at olympics and coming off his greatest season to date.

federer is the 2nd highest wimby winner, but keep in mind, nadal is the only multiple wimby winner in the last 2decades other than pete and roger. and again 2008 was fed on decline and game in dumps. if anything props to fed for not folding in straights (which djokovic did at AO to fed, so nadal wasn’t doing anything out of this world) and making the final an absolute classic.

A prime fed (2004-2007) version would beat prime nadal atleast 6 times out of 10 at AO. 1 in 10 at french, 7 in 10 at wimby and 8 in 10 at USO and 9 in 10 at WTF.

that gives fed a 31-19 H2H at the five most important titles, in my book.

what are your numbers for the same, ben?


Swiss Maestro Says:

Eric says:

“He still hasn’t accomplished even half of what Federer has, except in Masters tournaments. ”

—————————

even at the masters, nadal has 19. fed has 17. the 5 WTF should count, theoretically speaking, as 7.5 masters titles (because, 1500points for WTF and 1000 for masters).

which means fed has an equivalent of 24 Masters. oh, ofcourse it is so much easier to just dump the 5WTF and claim nadal is the greatest masters player ever! (this is for the rafatards and stupid tennis writers, not you eric!)


Kimberly Says:

I’m posting on mutliple threads too. Rafa’s career is not as great or even comparable to feds at the moment. He is probably better than federer at the moment, Definitely better on clay and prob on slow hard. But the guy just won his tenth grand slam. Can we say something nice about him? Jeez, lets celebrate his RG win by saying how awful he is. No one but Bitter Ben who hates him is sayingnhe is the GOAT.the guy wins a grand slam and gets roasted. If any other player won it would be two to three days of ranting on how rafa is done and how great the winning player is. UGGGH


Eric Says:

the WTF and Masters events are not the same at all… The WTF is something special ’cause of the round robin format. I think of them more as an addendum to the “year end no. 1″ status, maybe because of Sampras winning a zillion in a row the same years he was always YEN1.

But of course you are right… they should be in the convo too. Fed has reached the finals of the WTF six times facing six different opponents and only lost once, to Nalbandian. And even that match he should have won (he lost 3 sets in tiebreakers, one of them ridiculous long and close, but won 2 sets 6-1 6-2…). That’s pretty impressive.

It’s too bad Federer never managed to beat Rafa at the French. This was the year, and he was SO CLOSE…but just blew it. It makes it pretty hard to argue that Rafa doesn’t basically own him. If he had just been able to make that drop shot…

But this, Ben’s line of thought and one I totally understand, is exactly what’s wrong with the whole stupid debate… how can one point make the difference between Fed as GOAT or not??? The fact is, he’s reached twice as many slam finals as Rafa… twice as many! and twice as many SFs…


Eric Says:

But Kimberly is right too… Rafa is definitely not the GOAT or even close IMO (there’s way more to it than just slam #s…I would peg Agassi as better, maybe Borg..then of course there’s Connors, Mac, that whole group I don’t know anything much about… they’re about as close as Rafa?). But he is something different and very, very special. There has probably never been a Rafa, at least not since Borg, and whether there will be another one ever, I don’t care to speculate. But he and his tennis are something from out of this world.


Swiss Maestro Says:

i will join the multiple thread posting too :)

kimberly, dont worry, with greater achievements come greater no. of haters. if it helps, google rafael nadal in google news and you will see tonnes of articles praising rafa’s great achievement. i get what you are saying, but believe me every tennis fan would definitely have to acknowledge rafa’s amazing feats.

eric: super posts! loved reading them. madmax, skeezer weezer and other fed fans, keep the RF flag flying high.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Kimberly,

Same here. I started out just trying to give praises to Rafa and his fans but Rafa fans had to pee on Fed , and it wasn’t you. So some defense was called for. As I said before, Rafa has 10, and the GOAT of Clay, or at the very least in the same breath as Borg, and had a draw that tested him. He is very deserving of his achievements, no one can pee on that. What is wIth the pee? Don’t know, but there was a lot of it up here the last few days :)


Borg Says:

Federer in his prime was not even able to beat a young Nadal aged 17 at Miami the first time they met and got thrashed in straight sets. Remember Miami hosts hard court and not Clay. Now tell me how this in any way solidify Federer claim to be the GOAT ?????


Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t think Nadal is the GOAT. And had federer won on sunday, you’d have gotten an article from me proclaiming federer the undisputed GOAT.

SM, Nadal’s losses are worse, I guess, but he still has winning records over all the players you mentioned.

And the excuse that federer was on decline does not fly. Federer played amazing at the 09 AO and even won more points in the final. Wimbledon 08 was won/lost by a hair. His game wasn’t in the dpsmto go 5 close sets twice but it was in the dumps since he lost?

Eric, agree with with you about McEnroe. But Nadal’s case is getting stronger and stronger with each slam. If he surpasses Federer’s slam count, will Federer’s uniqueness still make him the GOAT, madmax?

Point is, no one has the necessary credentials to be the GOAT. If Nadal passes the slam mark, it’s him. If he doesn’t and federer beats him at the French, it’s him.


Swiss Maestro Says:

*********If he surpasses Federer’s slam count, will Federer’s uniqueness still make him the GOAT, madmax?

—————–

then, nadal’s the goat.

**************Point is, no one has the necessary credentials to be the GOAT. If Nadal passes the slam mark, it’s him. If he doesn’t and federer beats him at the French, it’s him.

—————–

sorry ben, but fed doesn’t have to beat nadal at french. if nadal has more slams than fed, he is goat. if not Fed is goat. if fed has to beat nadal at french, then nadal has to beat fed at us open and indoor and carpet.

ben, you cannot be serious that fed’s game from 2008 AO to 09 french was not in a slump. fed between 04 and 07 was at his prime. from 08 his game has been on and off, while nadal hit his prime. till 08, their h2h was 8-6 which is absolutely normal. it is only after fed’s decline started and nadal hit his prime that he pulled away winning 9 of the next 11. that is normal too. if you have 2 all time greats playing at the same time and one is 5 years younger than the other and has the natural lefty to right advantage, it would be abnormal if the younger lefty did not have a commanding lead. credit to nadal for holding his part of the deal, but federer did his rep no harm by beating nadal on clay (madrid 09) and at the 5th slam, even when he was on the decline and nadal’s star on the rise.

another way to look at this saying mcenroe is higher on the GOAT list than borg. i mean, mac did bear borg in wimbledon, but borg never beat mac at USopen did he? mac won the last 3 matches in their rivalry. who knows if borg had not given up, mac might have won the next 10/15 matches against borg!!! atleast fed is man enough to face his rival even when he is on decline and his rival is in his prime years!

borg:

federer bageled nadal at hamburg in 07 and breadsticked him in RG in 06. this was nadal’s best surface – clay. how can that make nadal the clay goat? do you realise how stupid this logic sounds?


Eric Says:

Disagree that GOAT is just a bout slams…there’s a lot more. Rafa has only had one decent WTF, for example, and he still lost to Ol’ Man Rog.


madmax Says:

Ben

I put forward an argument to you about the majority of nadal’s slams being on clay. You said it wasn’t a valid argument? Really?

Read this…

I just saw you on CNN discussing Rafa’s 17-8 record against Roger and whether he should be considered the best. Tough one! Rafa’s in his prime and Roger is not. Roger’s been the second-best clay player for the last seven years [had he been worse, he might have never met Rafa on clay and would be even at 6-6 I think; of course, he would also have been a worse player, i.e., the head-to-head record may not be the best metric of relative ability] while Nadal only recently became a top player on other surfaces, so they didn’t meet often on other surfaces where Roger was dominant for several years (they played 13 times on clay but only 12 times on all other surfaces). Question: Assuming Rafa had been born the same day as Roger, whom do you think would have been the dominant player both in general and on the various surfaces?
–Maurice, Washington, DC

• I wanted to say bah to the G.O.A.T. questions and dodge the Federer-Nadal/Is-there-a-new-king? line of inquiry altogether. It all seems kneejerk and premature. But the questions keep coming and clearly this is “top of mind” in Tennis Nation, especially after Mary Carillo’s dumped petrol on the fire during the Sunday’s NBC broadcast.

So here’s my take: Federer is still the G.O.A.T. And he doesn’t even feel Nadal’s hot breath on his neck. At least not yet. Federer has six more Slams. He’s been to nearly twice as many Slam finals. Plus, he has that vastly underrated semifinal streak to which Nadal hasn’t come close. If you were trying to argue against Federer, there’s no question that his 8-17 record against his rival would be Exhibit A. Unquestionably, this cuts against Federer. But it’s still a tad misleading. The bulk of Nadal’s wins have come on his preferred surface and Federer’s least favorite surface. Nadal is younger, he’s a better competitor — which is to say, a peerless competitor — and, body willing he may ultimately take the mantle. But I don’t think we’re there yet.

I’m ambivalent about this discussion. It’s great that it engages and captivates so many fans. I was at a kids’ piano recital yesterday and two moms, otherwise dignified, were about ready to throw cocktail weenies at each other, debating this issue so fiercely. But, necessarily, it diminishes either Federer or Nadal. My suggestion: we take a step back, acknowledge how fortunate we are to be fans in this era, marvel at a rivalry which — six years in; after almost twice as many matches as McEnroe/Borg — is still vibrant and vital. I say we table this. At least until July 4th

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/jon_wertheim/06/08/french.open.mailbag/index.html#ixzz1OifhcAgc


madmax Says:

Eric Says:
Disagree that GOAT is just a bout slams…there’s a lot more. Rafa has only had one decent WTF, for example, and he still lost to Ol’ Man Rog.

June 7th, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Eric, I didn’t think Rafa had won any year end tournaments?

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