Nadal Fends Off Inspired Federer for 6th French Open Title, 10th Grand Slam
by Sean Randall | June 5th, 2011, 4:47 pm
  • 251 Comments

It wasn’t a textbook performance from Rafael Nadal today in the French Open final, but the Spaniard will take it. Facing his arch rival for a 25th time, Nadal fended off a stubborn Roger Federer 7-5, 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-1 to capture his sixth career French Open title, and 10th Slam overall.

“It’s a big personal satisfaction to win this tournament, especially when you started without playing your best,” Nadal said.

“Roger, I think, played a fantastic tournament,” he added. “Today I think he did well. He was a little bit unlucky at the first set, and after that, he came back fantastically well in the second. In the third I had 4-2, but seriously, I think he played very, very good from that moment to the beginning of the fourth.”

At the start the match was all Federer’s. The Swiss blitzed a nervous, lackluster Nadal early racing out to a 5-2 lead thanks to some exceptional serving and vintage shot-making. With the set surely in Federer’s hand Nadal promptly woke up stringing together five straight games to steal the set.

Nadal’s run wasn’t over as the Spaniard continued to assault Federer going up a break immediately in the second. With the crowd slowly losing interest as the Federer errors began to pile up, Roger resurrected his game earning the break back. Nadal pushed back ahead and eventually served for the second set at 5-4, deuce when a brief shower interrupted play for about 10 minutes.

When play resumed it was a new Federer. The former No. 1 sparkled pressing Rafa and eventually breaking him back. Suddenly, it was a match again. But in the subsequent tiebreaker it was all Nadal who took it 7-3.

The third set was more of Nadal who jumped out to a 4-2 lead and the inevitable was near. Federer, though, began a furious rally that ended with him winning five of the last six games to take the set.

Then as the tension grew Federer quickly had 40-0 on Nadal’s serve in first game of the fourth set. Nadal, though, composed himself and brushed off the break chances with some good serving and fine play. From there, he simply wore Federer down taking the match when a Roger forehand sailed long.

Again, not the greatest performance from Nadal but a very strong showing from Federer who many of us had written off.

“Today was a very good match,” said Federer. “Overall obviously I’m very happy about the tournament. Obviously you should be disappointed after losing in a Grand Slam final. Obviously I feel that a little bit today. He’s a great champion on clay especially, and I am happy with my tournament.”

Had Roger won that first set who knows what would have happened. But credit to Nadal for fighting through it and not giving in to the moment in that fourth set.

“When I went into the rain delay, I was down basically two sets almost,” said Federer. “I almost saved myself, but I’m very competitive, and I thought he was getting tired throughout the third set and also in the fourth. It was unfortunate I couldn’t take my chances early on in the fourth. Rafa played well and deserved the win today.

As calm as ever, Rafa went about his business in that final set and we saw what happened. With the momentum 0-40 hole and the crowd on Federer’s side, what did Rafa do? He won that fourth set 6-1! That’s how the champions rise up to the occasion.

And with all the talk of Djokovic and his dominance, let’s not forget that Nadal has now won four of the last five Grand Slam tournaments which is a heck of a feat. And with 10 Slams in his pocket he’s within striking distance of Pete Sampras’s 14.

Of course today’s win also tied him with the great Bjorn Borg for most Roland Garros titles at six.

“For me it’s something very special equal the six titles of Bjorn,” Nadal said. “But for me, the most important thing is win Roland Garros, no? It’s really honor to have this record with him. I going to keep working to be here next year and to try to play well another time. But today is a day to enjoy this title, because is very difficult win this title. Six times are a lot. So seriously, it’s a real honor, the comparison with Bjorn.”

In their great rivalry now, Nadal leads Federer 17-8, 12-2 on clay and 6-2 in Grand Slam finals. He’s also beaten Federer in nine of their last 11 meetings! But Federer, at least, has managed a set in the last two.

And for Federer, there are a few more positives to take. First he showed that he can still play well, even on clay. He also may get some of the cred back in the locker room, and he won’t have to answer questions of “what’s wrong” for at least a few more weeks.

Remember, Nadal only lost three sets at the French the last two years, two of which were fluky breakers to John Isner. The other was to Federer today.

With his performance I think Roger is the second favorite behind Nadal for Wimbledon. After his poor run last year, I think we’ll see Federer back on the that final weekend at the All England Club next month.

And Federer of course beat Djokovic who has to be a little worried about where his game is at. The Serb will have a full two weeks off to prepare for Wimbledon where, like the French, he’s never reached the final.

Despite two losses to Djokovic, the clay season ends with the Nadal on top for the sixth time in the last seven years. Ordered restored and Vamos!


Also Check Out:
Not Ready for Prime Time: Safina Gags Aussie Open Final to Serena
Rafael Nadal Celebrates 28th Birthday At The French Open [Video]
Schiavone Heimlichs Choking Stosur for French Open Title
Novak Djokovic: Grigor Dimitrov Is Undefeated On Grass, So He’s The Player To Beat!
French Open SFs Open Thread: Djokovic v Nadal, Tsonga v Ferrer

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251 Comments for Nadal Fends Off Inspired Federer for 6th French Open Title, 10th Grand Slam

montecarlo Says:

Grand Slam no. played and won since start of the career for Nadal-

6,9,13,17,18,19,23,24,25,27

For Federer-

17,19,21,22,25,26,27,29,30,31,33,34,38,40,41,43

So after playing 27 slams Nadal is currently 3 ahead and well on his way to get past Roger’s 16.


madmax Says:

‘And for Federer, there are a few more positives to take. First he showed that he can still play well, even on clay. He also may get some of the cred back in the locker room, and he won’t have to answer questions of “what’s wrong” for at least a few more weeks’.

Nadal Fends Off Inspired Federer for 6th French Open Title, 10th Grand Slam

by Sean Randall

Sean I wouldn’t bank on it.


Mila Says:

No finger wagging from Federer this time. He did it after winning semi-final and, frankly, scared me. It looked kind of psycho… and did not bode well for the upcoming final. You could tell he’ll choke.

Is there any doubt now that Nadal is better than Federer? After 25 matches they have played! You can count every Federer’s win as 2 and Nadal still comes on top. I’d discount H2H stats if they played only few matches (say under 10), but after 25, sorry it is indisputable!!!

Wag you finger all you want Roger but in the final against Rafa, you are and always will be the second best.

That said, Roger deserves huge respect for the way he is fighting and trying at almost 30 years old. Congratulations for that and good luck to him at Wimbledon 2011 – probably his very last chance of winning a Slam.


dari Says:

I wore myself out trying to type/post federer to win! RG was exhausting, a la cesped!


B-Lab Says:

Wrote a blog post about where I think we stand with Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and hell, even the women. Check it out: http://bit.ly/lo8Ion


tennisfansince76 Says:

a bit disappointing. during the latter part of the 3rd and the first 3 pts of the 4th i was seeing what i wanted to see. Federer playing federer tennis against Nadal on clay. serving well, returning well, jerking him around the court w/ unpredictable shotmaking. i was loving it. do dreams come true really? well no they don’t. events reverted to form for the rest of the 4th set. can’t say it was surprising. Nadal simply plays percentage tennis against Fed. Nadal just seems to say, “i am going to hit as many high bouncing balls to your BH as i can. can you keep making that shot?” the answer is usually no. even when FED goes thru aa good patch you are still nervous watching his BH. “how long can he keep it up” you ask yourself, chewing your fingernails to a stub. not long usually. how i missed seeing Djoker punch that high bouncer repeatedly to the Nadal BH pushing him off balanve before decapitating him crosscourt. how i wish Fed could do that w/ his BH.


van orten Says:

he was unlucky he couldnt serve well when it mattered in the first set..he should have taken that one..but wimbledon he should be ready


billyboy512 Says:

No mention of Roger’s breadstick? Sean Randall choking on it?

Reading this article, it’s as if Federer’s almost winning was bigger news than Nadal’s triumph.

A little sour grapes with that breadstick, please.


contador Says:

sounds like i didn’t miss anything. happy federer at least got a set and played well.

he does need a new weapon v nadal. otherwise these GS sequels have the predictable ending.


dari Says:

I almost wish roger wouldn’t have dangled the possibility in front of us, but I guess it was nice when it lasted.
But the prodigy Rafa was the man today.
Kudos to Rafa, 10 slams, and pretty fast, too!


Eric Says:

dari, exactly… I wanted him to win this one so badly, it would have been his greatest slam victory ever, no question. But it’s no surprise he melted in the face of Rafa yet again, so I’m not too disappointed


Djerker Says:

Vamos Rafa! Double Digits!!!!!!!!!

Jamie, where are you Jamie with your COCKY predictions and shitty Photoshop pics?????? Suck it!!!!! muwahhhhhhh!!!!!!!


contador Says:

billyboy, why is just 1 breadstick of note? rafa not on his job, i’d say. this is clay, where’s the bagel?

precisely why i cannot even congratulate rafa on tx. just when i think, okay, ready to post for rafa with authenticity, the boat of gloaters docks.


Kimberly Says:

I think Huh had the best retort to Janie referencing the “defective crystal ball”


Kimberly Says:

Jamie not Janie. Would want to but any permutation of Jane in the same sentence as that clown.


Miki Says:

HAhahaha Djerker good one. I know you don’t like Novak, I am on the other hand a fan of him. But that guy Jamie was way irritating.


sheila Says:

as a federer fan i am once again disappointed he couldnt pull this out. i know everyone thinks nadal is gr8st of all time. i think federer’s 1 handed bh doesnt match up well against nadals top spin forehand, otherwise if federer had a 2 handed bh he would win a lot more. the guys got such a diverse arsenal of shots. congratulations 2 nadal. he is an incredible tennis player, but i would love 2c roger win wimbledon. if he plays as well there as he did in fo hopefully he will get 2 the finals. have 2 admit, however, very frustrating 2 watch roger losing more & more, but lets face it, his time is passing & djokovic’s & nadals is here. dont c anyone taking nadal out in any of the remaining majors. not in best of 5. the guys a machine. i can only hope that justin gimelstob & john mcenroe r right in saying federer has @ least 2 more major wins in him. that would be very terrific if that were to happen. navratalova said on tennis ch whoever won djokovic-federer match would most likely win tournament. so much for that prediction. i just dont c anyone winning nadal in the majors including djokovic. i predict nadal will win @ least 20 major titles b4 he retires. hes that unstoppable


Possum Says:

Par for the course. Same as always. As long as Rafa can hit that forehand to Fed’s back hand, the result is a forgone conclusion. It’s also a mental thing. Fed’s lost so many times to Rafa he can’t close out sets like he does with others.


Eric Says:

sheila if Roger had a two-handed BH he would probably be able to win more grinder baseline rallies with Rafa, but do you think he’d be as effective overall?

There’s no way Rafa will win 16 majors let alone 20… I don’t think he’ll win either of the next two. But maybe. I’ll be ready to eat my words in four years if he’s done as much as Roger has by winning 3 slams/yr twice more and making basically every slam final for six or seven years. till then, nope, nowhere close to the GOAT convo except as a thorn in Roger’s side.


jane Says:

Congrats again to Rafa + fans (zola, wherever you are:)).

Quote from National Post / some of Fed’s analysis:

“Obviously I’m the one that’s playing with smaller margins, so obviously I’m always going to go through a bit more up and downs; whereas Rafa is content doing the one thing for the entire time,” Federer told reporters afterwards. “So it’s always me who’s going to dictate play and decide how the outcome is going to be. If I play well, I will most likely win in the score or beat him; if I’m not playing so well, that’s when he wins. So it’s always pretty straightforward when we play each other, and maybe that’s why we are too worried playing against each other, because we know what to expect.”


stu Says:

Haha nasty quote from Roger.

Congrats Rafa. Boring, but solid.


laila Says:

Why does he keep mindlessly hitting to his backhand ALL the time, like a robot? Cant he think of something else? Djokovic would have replied really well. Unfortunately Fed’s serve did not click like in the semis, otherwise things would have been very interesting. Roger did Nadal a huge favor by defeating djoko in the semis.
And what was with the tape..C’mon Nadal, Give us a break. Commentators support him to improve tennis as a sport. But what about the fans. Subtle things do get noticed and that reflects in the paltry crowd support even after 6 years of winning. Sometimes I feel tennis itself as a sport fails when there are counter punchers like Wozniacki or even Nadal(in the early stages of his career) being revered as great talents.


jane Says:

From Bodo’s blog / some of Rafa’s analysis at the end:

“Fedrerer went deep into the well of gorgeous again in the third set, which Nadal led by 4-2—two games from a straight-sets triumph. Credit Federer with lifting his game to a wonderful new level, a level that would have opened the gates to a win on this day against anyone but Nadal—or even him, if Federer could only sustain it. But he couldn’t do it on this second occasion, either. Although he extended the match by winning the third set 7-5, Nadal soon found a higher gear that Federer couldn’t match. Nadal dug himself a hole in the opening game of the fourth set, sinking to love-40, but he resisted falling into it, saving the game. In the very next game, Federer dug a comparable hole and dropped into it for good when he made a forehand approach error off Nadal’s service return. It was never close after that. “That was a big turning point,” Nadal said later. “In my opinion Roger played a good match.”

He added, ”Today I think he did well. He was a little bit unlucky at the first set, and after that, he came back fantastically well in the second. In the third I had 4-2, but seriously, I think he played very, very good from that moment to the beginning of the fourth. So when Roger plays like this, the opponent has nothing to do sometimes. I just waited my moment, tried to be there all the time, tried to put him in not easy situations all the time.”
————————-


Kimberly Says:

So last year rafa got 5000 pts from clay
2000 RG
1000 Madrid
1000 montecarlo
1000 Rome

This year 4700
2000 RG
600 Madrid
600 Rome
500 Barcelona (he wont get points til aug but still will get)
1000 montecarlo

An average to below average clay year for rafa!

Nole will be doing a ton of defending next year but rafa too, seven finals in a row!


Lulu Iberica Says:

laila, please do not compare Rafa to Woz! Yes, both have great defense and often manage to just get extra balls back into play. Still, despite the WTA being in a state of complete upheaval Woz has zero slams, and not even any finals for some time. Meanwhile, the top men are all consistent, and Nadal now has 10 GS! Obviously Wozniaki has time to improve, but she’d better learn to turn her defense to offense, go to the net, change her strategy when it’s failing, and develop some mental steel in the face of resistance if she wants to be anything like Nadal! I’m sorry, but I think she often collapses when someone begins to outplay her. Look at the quote from Rafa Jane just posted. When Fed plays god-mode for a while, Rafa tries to stay with him until he gets the chance to attack. Woz in the same situation gets rattled and starts making her own UEs and then everything comes apart. Bah! Serena, come back strong for Wimbledon please, and show us what a champion looks like!


Lulu Iberica Says:

It’s OK, though, Kimberly, ’cause he still won Roland Garros! I didn’t think it could happen this year! Rafa’s statement about champions knowing when to wait and when to win turned out to be right on (even though I thought he was full of bologna at the time)! Now he just has to beat Djokovic and win Wimbledon, and the whole year will be WONDERFUL no matter what happens thereafter! VAMOS!

I’m supposed to be planning for a cruise I’m taking in 3 weeks, so I really have to quit thinking about tennis and go now!


andrea Says:

i’m still depressed over the loss, but do have to keep in mind that roger played very well today….better than prior FO’s. breaking back when before, he’d never to be able to get his own breaks back.

even nadal seems to recognize the importance of that missed drop shot. it was pivotal for both of their psyches. *sigh*

still lots of jabbering about goat and all that jazz. i feel sorry for the players today. GOAT debates were created by media and journalists and were never mentioned years ago. and now players are having to defend or agree with GOAT predictions, pontifications etc.

i don’t believe any tennis player ever looks in the mirror and says ‘i am the GOAT” – not fed, not nadal, not serena. certain players have amassed impressive records and those should be admired and talked about, but saying one is the best ever is nonsense.


Golf is barely a Sport Says:

This may sound crazy, but I think Rafa hit his high mark for his career last year. If he serves the way he did on clay, he’ll have a hard time on grass or hard courts against a few top guys. Maybe he just plays it safe on clay with his serve because he can do so many other things well, but I think Roger and Rafa are declining. Roger played well and without much stress most of the match. Roger put on his work boots and tried to stay out there. Still, to his credit Rafa took it home. We shall see if he was just playing it safe or if he has lost something from his game on the faster surfaces.


dari Says:

andrea I’ve gone back and forth. as soon as it happened I was cool, but then I started thinking about first set! And then the fourth, and that roger could have beaten Rafa and gotten #17. I jumped up, went swimming, got a manicure. I’ve been rude to my friends and people try to talk about other stuff and I just don’t give a shit :)
Whew okay, it felt better just saying it. It doesn’t feel good when you care about people/ outcomes you are so distant from and have no control over. Haven’t felt this bad since wimby 08. Usually playing tennis makes me feel better about anything, but that ain’t gonna work this time


dari Says:

Golf- not crazy- 3 slams, one w/o dropping a set and undefeated on clay. Forget high mark that’s astronomical


Anna Says:

laila – Don’t you think it would be foolish of Rafa not to take advantage of his strengths and Rogers weaknesses. Most certainly that’s what Roger does. You can hurl insults, but in the end they just make you look petty and small. Rafa toughed out this tournament this year and deserves all the credit. He’s an amazing champion,
the best ever on clay and deserves to be appreciated for his talent and hard work.


Anna Says:

Golf – Uncle Toni was saying that on clay Rafa doesn’t look to serve big, but rather play the percentages. When they get to grass and h/c the serve will change. I honestly think Rafa has a few more years of 2/3 slams per year in him. He seems to excel every other year. I wouldn’t be surprised if Fed doesn’t end up holding his breath for the last year or so of Rafa’s career. Then again, Johnny Mac’s attitude is records are made to be broken. Maybe Fed feels the same way.


Wade Says:

Well done Rafa huge fan of his! But I’d also like to thank Federer for really helping Nadal lift the trophy after taking out Novak who I’d say would of best Nadal in the final… Very predictable final as we all expected with Nadal hitting his high looping balls to Feds backhand who couldn’t do nothing but stand stuck in the corner. Great patches in the match from Fed but it always seems Rafa just wins the points that matter.

Here’s hoping for a good Wimby,, if Rafa don’t win it hoping Murray or Djoko can with hopefully Federer doing really well ;)


contador Says:

agree with andrea, goat debate = gibberish

actually, i don’t want to insult gibberish by comparing it to the goat debate.

but goat debate is reliable for generating posts.

i’m still super cranky, dari. no matter what i do. obsessed about another 3 GS summer for rafa…all fedal finals. when i adjust to that thought, i’ll be fine.


Kimberly Says:

Finally an end to curse of the number one seed at Roland Garros. The number two seed has won for the last 5 years.


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?


someone Says:

congrats to Nadal, the biggest cheater in sports history! It’s OK to cheat people.

How come noone has mentioned that when Nadal was down 2-5, he called the trainer just because of some stupid taping, and spent a few extra minutes, making Federer to wait so that he can disturb his rhythym?


jane Says:

Rafa is sounding quite confident about Wimbledon, with the boost and win today: “It is such an emotional time for me, to win this again is very special. I am sorry for Roger, he played incredible and it was a big fight. “But this win takes the pressure off me for Wimbledon, I will go there remembering what I did well to win there and how I did it. “I will play at Queen’s this week to get ready, because here I wasn’t sure I was playing well enough to win. “But by keeping focused I did it and it makes this victory even more special “Paris is always where I feel I have the best chance of winning, now I have my confidence high as well as my level of play.”


oui Says:

Obviously I’m the one that’s playing with smaller margins, so obviously I’m always going to go through a bit more up and downs; whereas Rafa is content doing the one thing for the entire time. So it’s always me who’s going to dictate play and decide how the outcome is going to be. If I play well, I will most likely win in the score or beat him; if I’m not playing so well, that’s when he wins.

Roger Federer on Rafael Nadal


Dory Says:

Hard to say who would win Wimbledon but I bet this hardcourt season Djokovic will dominate.


Kimberly Says:

Miami heat won, series score 2-1


jane Says:

Saw that Kimberly: great day for you hey?!


Eric Says:

Kimberly, awesome! I didn’t even know they were playing again so soon. Was disappointed by their loss the other day…2 points… very close kind of like a certain other match ;)


Kimberly Says:

Great day, my husband won his tournament then brought his trophy and played 6 for the right to it. It is now in Colino6s room.

But honestly, I am sitting here starving. Unable to eat due to nerves all day!


Kimberly Says:

I meant colino6. Eric, tonights was a close win only two pints and nowitski had 4 sec on for the final shot. And missed. Thank god.


Kimberly Says:

Adidas already has the Wimbledon outfits out but not Nike yet. I found a preview of maria’s dress and i think I will purchase it once available. Rafa to wear essentially the same outfit as last year.


Eric Says:

Well at least the Heat are continuing to show they can win close games.


kamal Says:

For some reason i wish we have had a real match for all the Clay marbles between Djoko and Rafa. Federer spoiled the party though. Can’t blame him for his valiant attempt but after his loss to nadal again it was almost humiliating for fans to see him lose 8 games in a row and figuring out how to win a game leave alone a set. Will give him credit to making a match of it later. On the brighter side for Federer this effort keeps his hopes alive to win another grand slam on another surface. As a fan some times i wish that Fed was only as good as Sampras on clay and never made it past the qtr finals of clay tournaments. May be win one when nadal was knocked out. Then H2H against nadal he would be just about even or 6 to 5 in his favor (12 to 2 nadal on clay).


Michael Says:

The first set was very crucial. At 5-2 that drop shot which landed just on the tip of the line or outside we never know. Probably it is time that we need a hawk eye at the French. That made all the difference in this match in my opinion. If Roger had won that first set, then things would have been very different more so psychologically. He lost that critical point and also couldn’t serve out the set. The first serves were just not clicking like the way they did against the unlucky Djokovic. Nadal is an excellent player but also he is tremely lucky. Now after that first set, it was a familiar story and although Federer did make the match interesting by taking the 3rd set, I just had no hopes about him winning the match because it appears in almost important moments he just falters against Nadal. After this, the H2H with nadal stands at 8-17 in Nadal’s favour and this is a big blot in Federer’s career that he has not been able to dominate his toughest rival and it is extremely lop sided. Federer infact made Nadal a big favour by beating Djokovic. If Djokovic had been in the finals, things would have been pretty different especially the way Nadal was playing which was well below his level. It is a pity Federer could not take advantage of it. All said and done, Federer may not be able to win any more grand slam if he has to face Rafael Nadal and being No.3, he might possibly meet him in the semis at Wimbledon. And although Wimbledon is Roger’s territory, yet against Nadal, he will sink. Just a cursory look at Nadal will make Federer lose his head and the match. It is such a pity that such a great player is not able to hold on against his competitor. The H2H says it all and sorry to say that Federer cannot be considered the GOAT with such a lopsided H2H with his main rival. He can be credited with being consistent but not good enough.


zola Says:

Sean, thanks for the nice and timely piece.

Congratulations to my fellow Rafa fans. I am thrilled for this victory, mainly because it was so important for Rafa. After losing 4 finals to Djoko,-two on clay- and not playing well at the beginning of this tournament, a loss in the final could have been very destructive for Rafa. I am glad it did not happen.

Congratulations also to the Federer fans. Yes, he lost in the final, but he played some outstanding tennis. what I love about tennis is to see players who try to improve. And Fed was one of them. This Federer at almost 30, and No 3 in the world, played a much better clay tennis than the Fed in 2008, who was number 1. I think he still has a couple of majors in him.

wimbledon will be very interesting with the top four in great shape.


Michael Says:

Nadal has to give a very big treat to Federer for stopping Djokovic. It is Federer who made Nadal add one more slam crown in his cabinet. It is a favour Nadal can never forget. If only it had been Djokovic in the finals, then things would have been much different. I am not saying that Djokovic will win for certain, but Rafa would certainly not breathe easy seeing Djokovic at the other side of the net.


Trufan Says:

Michael and others,

Suppose Sampras was better on clay, much better. Then, between 1997 and 2002 he would have reached many clay finals, only to lose repeatedly to Guga, the top clay courter of that era. Also, Guga was 5 years younger to Sampras. Suppose they had played on clay 14 times. Perhaps Guga would have led 12-2 H2H.

Now, being so miserable on clay, Sampras avoided losing to a top clay courter repeatedly, since he rarely if ever reached clay finals.

Sounds familiar? This is the story of nadal federer. Nadal leads him 12-2 H2H on clay. That’s the reason for the lopsided record. Main reason is

1. Fed is exceptionally good on clay, so reaches so many clay finals

2. Nadal is the best clay courter EVER. So he wins most of them.

And remember, nadal is 5 years younger!!

So this whole argument that how can fed be goat if he cannot dominate his own generation is just comPlete bullshit, propagated by people who don’t understand the game.


Michael Says:

Truefan, Guga is not Nadal. He is just a floater whom Sampras can afford to lose but will not make much effect. On the other hand, Nadal is a direct competitor to Federer and is World No.1 and his dominant rival for many years. Beaten by him repeatedly just hurts Federer and his reputation. You say that the H2H is so much lop sided just because Nadal is 12-2 on Clay. I do not know why many are side stepping Clay as an inferior surface but yet even if we consider leaving out in our calculation the H2H stands precariously at 5-6 in favour of Federer. Nadal has beaten Federer in all the courts – Clay, Grass and hardcourts of all Slams whereas Federer has only beaten Nadal twice at Wimbledon. The other argument of Nadal being much younger to Federer holds true to an extent, but even a much younger Nadal was able to often beat Federer in his prime at many of the hardcourt events like Miami and even at the Australian Open when Federer was just 27. Therefore, the argument forwarded is not bullshit as you imagine but totally valid. Nadal is in Federer’s head and the game of Federer just sinks when seeing Nadal at the other side of the net. That the supposedly greatest player is just not able to hold on his game against his competitor is certainly not to be taken light.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Michael,
You and others all of the sudden have so much to say about how Fed is not best ever cause Rafa won again on Clay? Has Rafa won 3 or 4 grass or HC’s? How many slams has he got against the field on all surfaces?. And Yet Sampras, considered the best of his ERA, won greatly on grass and Hard couldn’t do jack on Clay. You guys need to wiki and research your sh1t before you start claiming Rafa this and that after another expected Clay court title. Emotions for there fav is rapid after a big win. Go wiki Fed, then Rafa, then whoever and come back with some intelligent facts to back your scenarios. No “ifs” please, they don’t count.

BTW, it’s a shame and a sham how Novak has not been mentioned as of late, who has repeatedly beaten Rafa and Fed on a variety of Masters surfaces. Oh wait, Masters aren’t important, right Rafa fans?


Krishna Says:

Totally agree with Trufan’s article..it is very true.. if Nadal was so good on hard courts..he would have gotten to more hard court finals during 2005-2007 and Federer would have beaten him in there most of those.. it goes to show that Federer is very good on clay so he can at least get to clay finals..Nadal was not good enough to get to hard court finals during that time..

to even compare Nadal to Federer is ridiculous.. H2H doesnt indicate who is the better player overall in the grand scheme of things.. for example Davydenko leads the head to head against Nadal..does that make him better than Nadal? Nope because against the rest of the field, Nadal is better than Davydenko.. similarly against the rest of the field.>Federer is better than Nadal..

more emphasis should be placed on the body of work.. and that is where Federer outshines Nadal big time..the records, numbers of each player speak for themselves.. Fed has some records that wont be touched ..23 straight grand slam semis, 28 straight QFs and counting, 3 slams in 3 separate years (someone might get this at some point)..


Michael Says:

Skeezerweezer, Just do not count me as a Rafa fan and side step my view. I am not. Infact I am a fan of Roger and I just love his game which is so sublime, artistic and has so much variety. I greatly respect Federer and his numerous achievements. How can anyone bittle a Champion who reaches 23 consecutive Slam semi finals ? I will be a idiot if I did. But, to say it quite frankly, I am just frustrated by the fact that Federer is often beaten by Nadal. I know for sure that his game is superior to Nadal and yet he just cannot beat him and falters at important moments of the match. This is happening in so many slam finals and tournaments. Day before yesterday we saw a Federer who was just going hammer and tongs going at Djokovic, but against Nadal we once again see a Federer who is shanking easy shots and hardly serves well at important moments. I cannot for sure say that Nadal is just lucky that he often finds a Federer who is in such a poor form just against him because I do not believe in the concept of luck, yet the fact is Federer hardly plays his A game against Nadal. Whether it is a problem of poor match-up, psychological or something else I am just not able to understand. But a Federer who is continuously losing to Nadal does not in any way enhance his stature. It almost seems that when Federer is set to meet Nadal, the match is as good as dead.


Michael Says:

Krishna, The H2H of Davydenko against Nadal is 6-4 which in no way is a complete washout. But I do not think this can be compared with the Fed-Nadal rivalry simply because they are the Worlds top two players while Davydenko is just a journeyman. If you compare any era, there has been no H2H that has been so much lop sided like the Fed-Nadal rivalry the two top players. That being said the assumption of Federer beating Nadal in many of the hardcourt slam events is a mere delusion. For our own mental satisfaction we can assume that to be true.


Michael Says:

Even it is quite embarrasing for Federer to be quite often beaten by Nadal. Federer’s best shot would be at Wimbledon, but here too Nadal will be a big threat and may be Federer will meet him in the semis. The carryover effect of the French will play during the match and Nadal will be a confident lot going to the match against Federer if that fructifies. It will be a steep mountain to climb for Federer if it is Nadal at the other side of the net even in his most favourited court. That is the realy tragedy. Nadal is invincible on Clay while Federer is not so on Grass and gets beaten by Nadal.


Skeezerweezer Says:

@Michael

Agree. We’re good ;)

All’ I can say is wait till his career is over, compare it to others, and me thinks you’ll see things a little brighter compared to the field, including Rafa. Rafa has yet to find his Achilles heel ( Novak?), and what then? Then we will be looking at what was accomplished, not 1 guy he had trouble with.


Huh Says:

My only wish befor I die, as an ardent Fed fan, is to see Federer beatin Nadal at a slam again. And Congrats to Kimberly and all other Nadal fans,
Nadal’s a great champion, but I wish he’d be stopped from winning WIM/USO, hope he never wins anothr USO/AO/WIM ever again. If Fed cant stop Rafa, he shouldnt get in the way of othrs stoppin him, he should lose from now onwards to whoever’ll be able to beat Nadal. It may be ironical, but looks like Fed losin to Nole is required, if Rafa’s to meet him next round, for the sake of his own legacy. No matter what, the H2H hurts me badly coz Fed’ simply supreme, but is jinxd n seemed eternally destined to lose to Rafa. The first set of yestrday’s match makes my heart bleed. BEST OF LUCK TO MY ROGER THOUGH, HOPE HE SOMEHOW PICKS UP TWO MORE SLAMS. Whatever, its one of the wishes of my life: to see Federer beatin Nadal at a slam, sooner, or later.
But one thing’s for sure, Nadal’s been pushed to 5 sets here for the 1st time ever. This is inevitabl signal that the end of Nadal’s aura is near. I really hope Nadal’s aura vanishes by next year’s FO.
Last but not the least, MAY FEDERER WIN THE 2011 WIMBLEDON…


jojostryus Says:

“When you talk about these statistics, when you try and make these comparisons, really it’s not very interesting to me,” continued Nadal, who would have ceded the No. 1 ranking to Djokovic with a loss Sunday. “I’m very happy with what I have, with who I am. I’m not the best player in the history of tennis. I think I’m among the best. That’s true. That’s enough for me.”

:)


Michael Says:

Huh, Yes we are all waiting for the moment Federer will beat Nadal in a slam final and how fitting that would have been if Federer was able to beat Nadal in his most favoured Surface and that too at such a age. But that was not to be and the reason is Federer himself. Even yesterday I had high hopes after watching Federer demolish Djokovic in a spectacular fashion. But all my hopes were dashed once I saw Federer lose the first set when he was definitely on the winning mode. It seems he snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. This is the reason I wanted Djokovic to enter the final even by beating Federer. Djokovic has got the measure of Rafa and he is the one who is oozing with confidence at the moment. But Roger did Rafa a favour by demolishing Djokovic. Yes you are right Federer henceforth must avoid Nadal considering his age. He just cannot afford any more hammering by Nadal.


blah Says:

1- I don’t agree with using h2h to judge who’s better (when their careers are in roughly the same period, 16 slams>10 slams, always.)

But that’s no reason to take out clay and discredit the h2h. Nadal’s hardcourt game was weaker against rest of the field earlier in his career, but he would have presented the same match up problems had he ran into federer.

call it what it is, when the two play each other, more than likely nadal is going to win. doesn’t mean he’s going to get more slams though (maybe but i doubt he’ll win 7 more), and tennis is not decided head to head. it’s against the field, up to the final match.

2- I think federer’s best chance from now on is at uso hardcourts, I can still see him beating anyone there. For wimby, not unless he runs into a cushy draw and someonlike murray in the wimbledon finals.

3- Nadal is no longer a level above everyone else on clay, and I don’t see him returning to that level of absolute blowout dominance. Soderling has the lone distinction of hitting Nadal out of the FO during his peak, injury or not.

4- It may be just me but when talking about “beauty” of playing styles, I think Murray’s game is the ugliest of the top four, I don’t know why people like his tennis, and more importantly, I don’t think he’ll win a slam with the players in front of him; I just can’t see him beating a tough finals opponent to win that first slam.

It’s a combination of a lack of a consistent weapon (fed has a serve and forehand, nadal has that lefty topspin, djokovic can consistently hit offensive shots in a defensive position, del potro has huge flat groundstrokes) and an unresolved mental block in slam finals.


Lenny Says:

About this Fed quote

“Obviously I’m the one that’s playing with smaller margins, so obviously I’m always going to go through a bit more up and downs; whereas Rafa is content doing the one thing for the entire time,” Federer told reporters afterwards. “So it’s always me who’s going to dictate play and decide how the outcome is going to be. If I play well, I will most likely win in the score or beat him; if I’m not playing so well, that’s when he wins.”

WOW! I can just imagine how that would’ve been jumped on as disrespect for the opponent if it were Rafa saying that! Fed used to be such a class act, but more and more he’s beginning to sound like a sore loser. Sure, he’s not technically wrong in what he’s saying, but isn’t there a REASON he has to play with smaller margins? That he has to do that because of how Rafa can shrink the court for his opponents? Yes, Fed has more variety, more overall brilliance, but it’s hardly as simple as Rafa only winning because Fed plays badly! This is, IMO, in fact the BEST match I’ve seen him play against Rafa on clay. Rafa wins because he has the tenacity of a dog with a bone. He Just. Won’t. Let. Go. That’s a skill and a beauty all by itself, and so few people here acknowledge it, just choosing to grouch about his moonballs and the general ugliness of his tennis. Bah.


MyRafael Says:

It’s amazing, really, that he never lets on that he hears the crowds in Paris, hears the chants and roars for the man that he always beats here, Roger Federer. How has Rafa gone 45-1 in front of fans who act like they wish he would disappear? By enjoying the suffering, of course. From Steve Tignor.

Yes, that’s true. Amazing.


Michael Says:

Lenny, I do not think there is anything disrespectful in Federer comments. If you take his interview overall, he was all praise for Rafa and his game. You are just dissecting that interview in parts and interpreting your own way. Federer is in no way a sore loser. Ofcourse he was disappointed to lose the first set which he should have won hands down and the complexion of the game then would be entirely different. But, Nadal turned lucky once again against Federer and he was able to extract victory from the jaws of defeat. That set sealed the match. Imagine if Federer had won that set at 5-2 when Federer produced a drop shot which according to the linesman missed the line by a whisker but was extremely close call. But as usual against Nadal it was not Federer’s day and he lost it. Even at the Australian open where Federer lost he should have won the match with ease despite such poor serving. But somehow he snatched defeat from the jaws of victory which is Federer’s style against Nadal. It is this goof-ups in matches which upsets the psychological mindset of Federer against Nadal. Nadal is in his head.


Dan Martin Says:

I agree that Nadal does not look as dominating as last year or on clay, but he is still way out in front of the field on clay at this time. He lost 3 sets and beat the #5, #4 and #3 players in the world in an event where he did not look great.

Nadal has a claim on the GOAT title. There is certainly an argument to be made. I think Federer is the most consistent player of all time (the slam final, semifinal and quarterfinal streaks, 5 season ending titles, 2nd most Masters shields, ….). The computer ranking for a year is the average results of 52 weeks. Ranking a career is for me an average result of that career and Roger’s averages are beyond great. Rafa though does have the h2h, 10 slams, the most Masters Shields and of course Davis Cup and Olympic success. The debate is there.

As for age etc., I think Rafa himself would admit his style is more taxing than Roger’s. So while he has won more at a younger age, he almost has to. Rafa pulled out of the 06 Aussie Open and 09 Wimbledon events. He was hobbled to various degrees at Wimbledon 07, FO and USO 09, and Oz 2011. He defaulted Down Under in 2010. He has won more than Federer did at a comparable age and has been injured more than Federer at the same ages as well. Stress fractures, knee issues, abdominal issues … To put it another way Boris Becker had a much better early pace for slam victories than Pete Sampras did. The end total is what matters, and Rafa’s history of injuries make one think he won’t be reaching a lot of slam finals late in his career.


tfouto Says:

Lenny, Nadal is the king of defending. That’s it. It defends every ball. Its beauty to your eyes. That’s it. Of course he wont let go. He DEFENDS like nobody. He’s probably the best defenser of all time. Boring, boring to me. Sometimes Nadal can be aggressive too, but mostly is a defending boring guy.

That h2h its just bullshit. From now on, Djokovic will dominate Nadal, so i presume that Nadal wont be also the GOAT even if he wins more GS then Federer…


tfouto Says:

Lenny, there’s should be a reason why yesterday on the final public, like 90% was rooting for Federer. Do you think 90% roots for Federer over Nadal over no reason or illogical thinking?


Michael Says:

The magic of Federer lies in his aggressive Tennis which are more prone to errors. Whilst Nadal is more or less on the defensive trying to retrieve every ball and put it across the opponent to force him to make a mistake by playing that extra shot. For a Tennis spectator, an offensive rather than a defensive game will be more entertaining to watch. Nadal’s brand of tennis will have chances of more success, but it will be less attractive to the audience, while Federer brand of tennis will be pleasing to even to laymen not interested in Tennis. That is the difference in the play of Federer and Nadal.


Dan Martin Says:

I do think H2H is not a great measure as tennis players play the draw in front of them. If this were boxing, H2H would matter a lot more. Sampras’ 1997 Wimbledon title is not diminished because he did not play Krajicek in the final. UConn did not cry over getting to play an over matched Butler for the college basketball championship. Having said that, Rafa has an excellent record vs. Federer. There is no denying that.


Possum Says:

This GOAT debate is so bloody boring. It’s just a media beat up and pub-talk, nothing more. It’s not as if there’s an esteemed panel sitting somewhere waiting to pass judgement, forensically examining every detail of every match played, comparing every single stroke of every player that ever lived and to ultimately proclaim a GOAT. It’s not the Nobel Peace Prize or the academy award for best actor, where votes are cast and the results are tabulated by a firm of beancounters. Federer is one of the very best. His many records put him on the highest pedestal, but on that pedestal there’s also room for the likes of Laver, Sampras, Borg and, of course, Nadal. Why not leave it at that.


trufan Says:

If you don’t want to take clay out – then what about Sampras? He completely drops out of the GOAT debate. He was MISERABLE on clay!


trufan Says:

SO between Sampras and NAdal – who do you think has better claims of being GOAT?????????????


Djerker Says:

JAMIE, COME OUT COME OUT WHEREVER YOUR ARE…….

BIG MOUTH JAMIE WHO MADE A BOLD ASS PREDICTION:

jamie Says:
Nole will win FO without dropping a set. I think he will also win Wimbledon. At the USO he will go with a great chance to complete the CYGS. Can’t see anybody stopping Nole from winning the first CYGS for a male player since Laver in 1969.

May 23rd, 2011 at 12:10 pm

jamie Says:
BTW, I’ve got news for ya’ll, Federer and Nadal are finished winning slams. We have entered a new era. The Novak “GOAT” Djokovic era. Enjoy the ride. It will be a long, beautiful ride.

May 23rd, 2011 at 12:17 pm

JAMIE, HERE IS A LESSION FOR YOU: DON’T COUNT YOUR CHICKENS BEFORE THEY’RE HATCHED. YOUR BOY COULDN’T HANDLE THE PRESSURE. BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MASTERS EVENT AND A GRAND SLAM YOU COCKY SOB.


farley Says:

tfouto Says:

Lenny, there’s should be a reason why yesterday on the final public, like 90% was rooting for Federer. Do you think 90% roots for Federer over Nadal over no reason or illogical thinking?

To me:
The more suffering, he gets stronger. I really love Nadal because he is so much hated but did not affect his performance (in Paris). It was great. This is what needs to emulate. That’s real life. Sorry, there’s no need to emulate from Federer. He’s only human who has the talent to play tennis more than any other. Stop.


trufan Says:

Lets look at the players in a bit of depth:

Sampras:

Probably the top, or at least top 3 grass court player in the open era.

Certainly the second best hard court player in the open era.

Miserable on clay.

BORG:

Top 3 on grass.
Top 2 on clay (open era).
not really top 5 on hard courts – never won a hard court slam.

Nadal:

Perhaps TOP clay courter (open era).
Not even top 10 on hard courts (open era).
Not top 10 on grass (open era).

Federer:
TOP hard court player in the open era (9 hard court slams, many many other titles and records).
TOP grass player, certainly top 2 (6 slams, best win-loss record, better than sampras, best sets won record, etc.).
Perhaps top 5 clay courter in the open era (5 french finals, 1 title, many other clay titles, many many clay finals, only denied due to the BEST clay courter ever – only Lendl, Borg, Guga, and Nadal and claim to be better than Federer on clay – not wilander).

So now Who is GOAT?

You decide……

If Nadal is GOAT, then why does he have such an ordinary hard court record (Djokovic has better)?

Nadal just loses to different players on hard courts, often lower ranked. Federer mostly ONLY lost to Nadal on clay, hence the warped clay H2H.

Point is – you have to look at the information a bit carefully, rather than blindly (like people like Mary Carillo do!)

Nobody should discount clay, but then nobody should discount hard courts or grass either. Let Nadal acquire top 5 status on hard courts, then we will talk.


trufan Says:

If Federer had been miserable on clay, he would have hardly faced Nadal on clay. Then he would have had 15 slams, even H2H against Nadal, and none of the nitwits would have said Nadal is better.

Now that he is so good on clay, the nitwits actually penalize Federer for that!

WOW, that some illogical inference. YES, completely ILLOGICAL.


Djerker Says:

How about this for stats on clay:

Borg lost 25 sets in his 6 titles at RG, Rafa lost only 13 sets!!!!!!!

YEAH, Nadal is the best clay court player EVER!

VAMOS BABY!


trufan Says:

As for H2H:

Wilander-Connors 5-0.
Mcenroe-Becker 8-2.

Would you say Wilander was better than Connors, or Becker was better than Mcenroe?

BS.

Wake up.


Djerker Says:

YOOHOO JAMIE, WHERE ARE YOU???????????? COME OUT SUCKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


gonzalowski Says:

Hi to everybody

Congrats to Nadal! It’s a pleasure to read your opinions, it’s funny being a Nadalfan.

- someone: you have 5 posts about nadal cheating… are you a french chicken?
- GOAT: Nadal is not, but he is in his (improbable, IMO) way to get it. Impressive his record of 10 GS finals win – 2 loses.
- Djoko still scares me
- Nadal grateful with Paris crowd… that’s really mental toughness – cheating!


stu Says:

Hey Von,

Where have you been all these days?


Djerker Says:

JAMIE’S GREATEST HITS! BAWAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

jamie Says:
Michael wrote:

“I would rate Nadal in the league of Borg”

Disagree, mate. Until Nadal wins 11 slams he will never be in the league of Borg, who won 11 slams.

May 28th, 2011 at 10:30 am

JAMIE, HE HAS 10 NOW, HE’S IN THE TOP TIER MORON!

jamie Says:
Nole’s streak will go over 50.

May 28th, 2011 at 10:33 am

THANK YOU FABIO FOGNINI AND ROGER FEDERER!

jamie Says:

Bettors now convinced:

Djokovic – 2.20

Nadal – 2.70

May 28th, 2011 at 10:37 am

HAHAHAHAHAHHA SUCKER!

jamie Says:

I believe Nole will win the Calendar Year Grand Slam in 2011. He will win all 4 slams this year. First player to do this since Graf in 1988. Too bad there are no Olympics this year otherwise Nole would win the Golden Slam like Graf in 1988.

May 28th, 2011 at 10:39 am

LOLZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

jamie Says:

Ike Says:
“jamie, come on, 9 vs. 11 grandslams, that’s not huge difference, but it may take lot longer for Rafa to win 2 more grandslams”

Tier 1 players won 10+ slams

Tilden
Laver
Borg
Sampras
Federer

If Nadal wants to be in the league of Borg, he HAS to win 11 slams.

May 28th, 2011 at 10:43 am

OK THEN, WE’RE ALMOST THERE!!!!!!!!!

jamie Says:

Let’s just give the trophy to Nole already. Next week will just be a formality. Everybody knows who the winner will be. The undefeated guy this year. Ajde.

http://imageshack.us/m/829/7664/djokovicrg2011winner.jpg

May 28th, 2011 at 5:46 pm

THE COCKIEST AND SHITTIEST PHOTOSHOP JOB EVER!

VAMOS RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Djerker Says:

AND JAMIE, VAMOS TAMOS UP YOUR F*CKING ASS!


roy Says:

“Obviously I’m the one that’s playing with smaller margins, so obviously I’m always going to go through a bit more up and downs; whereas Rafa is content doing the one thing for the entire time,” Federer told reporters afterwards. “So it’s always me who’s going to dictate play and decide how the outcome is going to be. If I play well, I will most likely win in the score or beat him; if I’m not playing so well, that’s when he wins.”

it seems federer doesn’t play well 17 times out of 25 then. quite worrying wouldn’t you say roger?

in fact if you remove aces, federer only hit SEVEN more winners than nadal in the final. clearly nadal is not the defensive pusher federer likes to pretend.
the truth is, nadal is aggressive, he’s just smarter. there is a limit on how risky you can play before it costs you.

nadal only hit 7 less winners, but over 20 less unforced errors. not only is he a better defensive player, clearly he’s a better aggressive player as well if you look at the ratio of winners to unforced.


Swiss Maestro Says:

As of today,

Rafa is the clay GOAT.

Federer is the over-all GOAT. Rafa’s pursuit of overall GOATness will depend heavily on what djokovic/del potro and murray can achieve themselves.

Allez Fed!!!! Roger for 2011 SW19


Swiss Maestro Says:

Stu – why are you baiting Von? by your stupid logic jamie must be duro, right? or wait, is it jane? LOL

remember king Federer on tennis talk? you want me to post his hilarious take on you and your gang? gets me laughing just thinking about the little skit he had prepared for your guys! LOL!


Swiss Maestro Says:

H2Hs concerning rafa must be taken with a pinch of salt, or should i say a bucket-load of red clay?

He has commanding H2Hs against Roger/djoker/ and even murray too.

why is it that on a tour which has 25% clay court tournaments, rafa has played roger on clay 56% of their matches and around 50% with djokovic?

because fed/djoko are much better against the field on clay than rafa is outside clay.


Kimberly Says:

trufan Says:
SO between Sampras and NAdal – who do you think has better claims of being GOAT?????????????

Neither. Maybe Nadal will have a better claim in a few years but for right now, neither.


killerc Says:

I agree with what someone mentioned, “As of today RAFA is the CLAY court GOAT”.

10gs, at least another 5 years left in em. Depending on how well Djokovic raises his career or Delpo or Murray- Rafa can potentially get another 5-8 slams.

I believe Federer has enough to get maybe 2-3 slams.. If he serves with fire and played with the heart he had when he beat djoko in the semifinals he can definitely win anything!

Careers aren’t done yet. Hard to compare eras or say who is the GOAT. Laver’s CGS 8 years apart still beast! Federers GS semifinal streak badass, Sampras’s year end number 1 streak still spartan – Jonny Mac’s Singles, Doubles & Davis cup Championships still awesome. Jimmy Connors fire and longevity still awe inspiring.

It’s all personal preference on who you prefer as the GOAT. Back in the old days lol competitors didn’t play the AO and sometimes not even the FO. Only WIMBY AND USO MATTERED to them- so records can be skewed because of that.. Federer is great but I felt he came about when the 90s gen was just retiring and had 3 years of open valleys to win everything! To me, Having heavy competition around you matters, not being owned by one nemesis matters. I always loved watching the flare and beauty of well executed serve volley game or overall game (net work); the longevity of a career matters; the overall gameplay – not just grandslam singles (but davis cup, doubles) so I lean more towards the McEnroes/Connors/Sampras/Lavers as GOATs. RAFA plays a lot of doubles, wins in Davis Cup – Rog doesn’t. LOL doesn’t mean ROG is not GOAT.. his career ain’t over yet! It’s just something that will be judged when you compare the two in the end.

Shoot if Space Aliens came down and demanded we play a team tennis match for the survival of the race and you could only pick 8 guys (of any Era in their prime) who’d you pick!?!?… I’d say Johnny mac, BORG, FEDERER, NADAL, CONNORS, LAVER, SAMPRAS, Agassi.

Looking forward to Wimbledon!


Kimberly Says:

Dreams do come true..In top 10 with one of my best friends in the world @andyroddick for the first time…
- Mardy Fish at 10:33:14 am ET Jun 6th

How sweet is that. Mardy is such a good guy. BTW, if anyone is looking for daily amusement you must follow Ivo Karlovic’s twitter account.


Twocents Says:

Sean,

I would not put a 29-year old FO finalist as 2nd favorite for WO, even though he has a tennis royal last name, when there are plenty of nicely-matured and very hungary young and not-so-young smoking guns around. Fed can still deliver sublime tennis, sure, but at much less frequency compared to his hay days. He had a great FO run, and will try hard at WO. One can’t have as strong hold of one’s body and mind at 29 as at 25. Time stops for no one. Fed actually played pretty well too last year at FO and WO. But he ran into two red-hot smoking guns in Paris and London. This year, he manged to pass a slightly-off Djok, but could not summon up as much fight in the final — sure it had to do with his namenises Nadal, but Djok contributed greatly too, imho.

Instead of WO promise, I harvest two other things from Fed’s FO:
1)Fed will stay on court for quite a while. The better his results, the longer he would likely to last on tour.
2)Fed’s unweavering passion for fight. Time cannot take THAT away from him. The Fedtard in me is so proud that at 29 with gizillions trophies not only he did not run away from confronting his worst nightmare on his worst surface, and remained unyielding even after another disappointment. Talk about running into sharp blade, again and again :-).

“I’ll come back next year” from Fed is the best perennial music of RG: nerdy, gooffy, stubborn, and trumphant.


stu Says:

LOL Kimberly, I just went thru Ivo’s last few tweets, he’s hilarious! I love twitter for the insight it gives you into these guys’ lives and their relationships with each other. And I’m always surprised at the ones that end up being funny. Nole is not funny AT ALL! More sentimental/ emotional.


Kimberly Says:

and ivo is no mr. no personality in the interviews but he’s hilarious


Lulu Iberica Says:

Skeezer, please do not start impugning all Rafa fans! Fed has a ton of records that Rafa can never touch, like the 23 (right number?) straight slam semifinals. I think Fed is a more talented tennis player and obviously has more variety than Rafa and can excel on any surface. Rafa is better on clay, but otherwise he just matches up very well against Fed, and is usually the tougher competitor in their matches.

As to Djokovic, he is obviously amazingly talented, and what he did this year was phenomenal. If not for him, Rafa would have over twenty MS titles by now, and be very secure in the no. 1 position. Djoko may become to Rafa what Rafa is to Fed, or even worse, what Fed is to Roddick! That was my concern just one week ago. However, even if Djoko wins all the MS and gets to no.1, if he doesn’t win a bunch more slams he isn’t going to be in the same category with Fed or Rafa. Of course MS matter (after all, my guy holds the record in MS titles!) but getting it done in the slams is much more important, and I think Djoko will get at least several more.


skeezerweezer Says:

@Lulu..

Totally agree…and thanks for the gentle scolding…I needed that, and coming from the great Rafa fan you are. :)Got too hot. :(


jane Says:

Dr. Ivo and “top banana boxers”, lol.

Twocents! Hey how are you? Good to see you saunter in and give your…twocents.:)

Lulu, I don’t think anyone can reasonably put Nole in Fedal echelons, nor is Nole by any means Rafa’s nemesis like Fed is Roddick’s or Nadal is Fed’s: all you have to do is look at the H2Hs and see Rafa is still considerably ahead, so do not worry. :) It has beem good to see Nole win a few of the finals he played versus Rafa as he had lost all of them prior, and it would be nice to see him get a big win against him at a slam, but not at all because of anything against Rafa, but just the opposite: because Rafa is his age, a big champion, and a more than worthy rival. It would be cool if at some time in his career, Nole gets to sit at number one for a bit, and maybe wins a few more slams. But I would be happy to see a number of guys winning slams.


JF Says:

Djoko is very good no doubt, but he has to accomplish alot more to be considered Nadal’s nemesis.
As much as I admire Nadal, I do admit that Federer was at his prime a more well rounded player than Nadal as well as more consistant However, Nadal seems to have a tougher mentality which has helped him overcome alot.

About the foot situation in the first set, Nadal did not make a big deal, he quietly called over the chair umpire and you could see when his shoe was removed that the wrapping was loose. Now the fact that Federer couldn’t close at the set, that’s on him.
It was a good game however, and Fed did play well.
I don’t think Nadal (as much as I’d love it) will reach 16 titles, I say somewhere around 14.
But who am I to say… :)


Twocents Says:

Hello, Jane.

Hope Sean allow me keep my twocents here giving the scarcity of its appearance. LOL.

Fed fans should applaude more Roddick’s fight, instead of complaining about Nadal’s ownership of our man. But then, you Novak fans own Fed thanks for relieving him the stupid burden of streak. All these guys have had enough money to live trice a life, they really should just enjoy tennis and thus entertain us with good product.

It bugged me a bit that Djok’s dad left after he lost 1st set in the semi. Comparing it to the master-minded Uncle Toni and the ex-corporate exec Robert Federer, Djok (and Murray) do not seem to have the best mentors from his closest curcle. Then, it increased my appreciation of these two boys still growing-into such fine young men.


WTF Says:

Why does Nadal have two 0 pointers counted towards his ATP500 ranking points? Why isn’t Barcelona’s 500 points counted? Is he being penalized for something?


skeezerweezer Says:

@JF

Surely he has a great shot at 2 more FO’s. This is means he only has 1 Wimby and and 1 more HC let’s say(which he has proven he can do) to hit your 14 ……so yeah, at 25, I think your 14 is about right, AT LEAST :). Only thing imo that would stop him would be injuries, which he is prone to get, and either a cooling off of Nole or figuring out how to beat him as of now…..


Djerker Says:

WTF, those points will be added towards the end of the year, not exactly sure when.


Kimberly Says:

The points will be added in the first week of august i read somewhere


Kimberly Says:

wtf, yes he was penalized for not playing enough 500s last year


Daniel Says:

I am adding this post here from another tread, because I want some here to discuss it too.

What I mean is Fed managed 12 finals on clay, all favourable courts to Nadal. NAdal managed 3 finals in Wimby, losing one and 1 final in WTF London, also losing.

There 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.


Peter D Says:

I was so depressed yesterday. I even chickened out of watching the match after Fed lost the first set out of some sort of superstition, trying not to jinx him. Later I saw that he came back and felt bad for not watching and for chickening out.
But it was even more depressing, seeing how close he was to finally beating Rafa at RG.
But after all the depressing thoughts, I still can look at the bright side. And the bright side is that IF Fed really wants it, he can still turn it around. He still has a lot of chances of meeting Rafa this year. He can beat him at Wimby and at the USO and at all the other Slams and Masters where he gets to play him. He may not erase the H2H but any win on a big stage will put a big asterisk on H2H, Fed being in the latter part of his career.
Believing he can do it brightened me up :)


WTF Says:

Kimberly Says:

“wtf, yes he was penalized for not playing enough 500s last year”

Way to go. Penalize a player for not playing a 500 by… giving him even less incentive to play another.

Daniel, RE: surfaces.

You’re pretty biased. You’re the only one I know calling hard courts of any type a surface in favor of Nadal. Everyone else says clay is Nadal’s domain. Hard courts of any type do not produce high bounces and are rough on his knees.

You called “slow” hard courts a favorable surface to Nadal. The fact is, if he lost those matches, you’d be calling them a favorable surface for Fed. You’re picking which surface is favorable based on results, not any objective analysis. If a player loses a lot on that surface, you’ll say it doesn’t favor them. If they win a lot on that surface you’ll say it does. All you’re doing really is making excuses.

Unless you could have predicted the outcomes of all these matches long ago (when I presume you knew which surfaces favored whom before seeing the results) you’re basically akin to someone who interprets Nostradamus predictions after they happen and shoehorn them to fit his vague prophecies.

Neither player gets to dictate what surfaces should be used more on the tour. They can only meet on the surfaces being used at the time.

If Nadal had a winning record in indoor hard courts, then you’d be saying “if only fewer events were played on indoor hardcourts, Fed would have a winning HxH.” The point is.. so what? Federer should learn to get better at more surfaces. Or at least the surfaces used most often. He can’t always pick his favorite surfaces every time he plays. Neither can Nadal.

All of this is conjecture. If you want to make a valid point, pick Fed’s favorite surfaces (Cincy, USO, etc..) for the rest of the tour, and tell me if Fed will win should they meet. We’ll wait and see, and I’ll congratulate you if you end up being right, and I’ll quote you if you’re wrong. If your points about surface favoritism are right, then your predictions should be right too.

I have a history with dealing with Fed fans. Believe me, they know how to move goal posts, and so do you. In the beginning of Nadal’s career, they said he was a one surface wonder, and he would be no match for Fed on grass or hard courts. Then he started beating Fed on hard courts… and then they said Miami is a slow hard court, it doesn’t count. Nadal will never win on grass. And then he won Wimbledon.. and suddenly Wimbledon’s grass was no longer considered a fast court anymore. So he can win on slow grass now. But he’ll never win a US Open. It’s too fast for him.

Right. Keep moving those goal posts. I think it’s the WTF indoor that’s not winnable by Nadal at the moment. There’s not too many positions left for the posts to move.

“What I mean is Fed managed 12 finals on clay, all favourable courts to Nadal. NAdal managed 3 finals in Wimby, losing one and 1 final in WTF London, also losing.”

I can’t believe you compare 12 clay finals to Wimby, an event where there is only one of each year. And O2 WTF in London, which only happens once a year. Of course Fed is going to make more clay finals than Nadal is going to make Wimbledon finals in each year. There are far more of them in the calendar. Fed plays 4 clay events a year. He only plays one Wimbledon. Are you surprised that they meet each other on clay more often than they do at Wimbledon?

Nadal managed 4 finals at Wimby by the way, not 3. Which is more than anyone other than Federer.

“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??”

The fact is, that’s just not how the calendar is planned. You can’t stage such a thing. This is a fantasy scenario. Some surfaces will favor one player, others will favor the other. You will lose some on unfavorable surfaces, but you’ll win some on favorable ones to make up for it. To be a better player you have to get better at more surfaces, and to have a winning record you want to be better at the surfaces used most often since you can’t choose to always play on your favorite surfaces. Nadal did this, Federer didn’t.

18-7 record was won fair and square and absolutely legit. Sure you can say that on the fastest surfaces Federer has the superior record. But those surfaces are used so infrequently during the calendar it doesn’t count for much. Having a winning record in the WTF indoor finals is like being the tallest dwarf. If you could play every match there, then great. But you can’t. You can only play where the ATP says you can, so you’ll just have to work around it by making those surfaces your best.

If your guy has a losing record because 80% of the surfaces used throughout the year favor the other guy then it’s too bad. He should have spent his time getting better at the 80% of surfaces rather than the other 20%. It’s simple economics. There’s nothing unfair about it.


KL Says:

laila you ask:

“Why does he keep mindlessly hitting to his backhand ALL the time, like a robot? Cant he think of something else?”

Hmmm, I think you will find that it is far from being “mindless”…….it’s a deliberate tactical ploy that certainly works for Rafa as you have seen.

It’s no coincidence that the ONLY tennis player to have such a winning record over Federer is a certain Mr.Nadal.

Now you have to give credit where credit is due……Nadal is a very smart court tactician who will look for weakness in his opponents game and exploit them.

It’s been widely known that Nadal deliberately targets Federer’s backhand……and yet noone else seems to able to employ the same tactic…..and this is because you need to be extremely skilful to be able to actual control the rallies against Federer to get him to use his back hand…..Nadal has that level of skill that noone else seems to be capable of.

Being able to target Federer’s backhand so consistently is no mean feat, even if Novak was instructed to target Federer’s backhand…..would he be able to do it…..I’m not too sure.

Nadal is a fantastic match player especially when up against the better players…..and that’s why he keeps winning.


stu Says:

margot,

was wondering whether you had seen these? muzz wants wimby bad eh?

http://the-slice.com/2011/06/murray-training-at-queens-club/


madmax Says:

Gulf News

Dubai: Seven months ago when he crashed out of the US Open, observers of the game raised their eyebrows: Has the magic begun to fade?

Seven weeks ago when the clay court season got under way, they pondered: Is Roger Federer on the decline? Is this the end of an era?

Seven days ago, they wondered: He looks ominous.

Seven matches on they declare: He is, after all, the greatest to have played the game of tennis. He still mesmerises.

The stories of decline metamorphosed into eulogies of a king wanting to rule again. He may have lost the Roland Garros campaign, but he had won his crown back — Federer could now conquer Wimbledon.

Such is the fickleness of the human mind. Sing the glories of success, but pen the dirges too. One, after all, must be prepared for the perceived fall.

When Rafael Nadal was troubled by a painful knee two seasons ago and hit a rough patch, these observers wrote him off.

The crown prince would never see coronation day. Sunday saw him making history as he lifted his sixth Roland Garros title, equalling the great Bjorn Borg’s record.

When Novak Djokovic gave up his role as court jester and started winning 40-odd matches in a row, the observers wondered who would end this pretender’s streak?

The glorious run ended in Paris — he was beaten by the “underdog” Federer, who had lost to Djokovic in three previous matches this year.

The question is: Are we human beings just waiting to see others fall?

Federer has won 16 grand slams — the highest ever. He has set one record after another. The statistics speak for themselves, but on a human level, away from the nitty gritty of numbers, he is arguably the greatest to have played this sport, the most sublime practitioner of the game. Anyone who has put a ball to a racquet would know how difficult it is to keep the ball in play let alone hit an overhead slice, a tweener or a kick serve that rises and moves away from reach.

Never ending repertoire

Federer has all this and much more. His repertoire of shots is never ending. One sees something new each time he takes to the court. But if tennis is all about footwork, fluid racquet swings and head speed, it is also a game of the mind.

The difference between finding a place in the history books or being buried in the pages of time most often boils to that one point that is lost because of human error, made when the adrenalin is flowing and the mind is working overtime. That error can creep in when the arm begins to tighten and the feet feel they are made of lead.

But most often Federer has overcome those moments on court, when there can be no margin for human error, no margin for self doubt, no margin for the ball hitting the net cord. He knows he can stand the test. And yet he is human.

The statistics are mind-boggling to the point they can be pedantic. Yes, the statistics did tell a different story after the Australian Open in 2010.

Federer has not won a grand slam in more than a year. The start of 2011 did not augur well either. Djokovic emerged a dominant force, so fearsome that he even rattled the tenacious Nadal on his favourite surface — clay.

Life is a roller coaster. It has its ups and downs. And Federer is no exception. He aches like all other tennis players, albeit he has had no major injuries. He too must have those passing moments of doubt. He, like all players on the circuit, must suffer from the rigours of the game and the punishing all-year schedule. They can take a toll. It is human. It is also human to bounce back. And it takes an artist such as Federer to overcome all this and prove that he still is the force to reckon with.

He has had also to beat the mind games off court. The observers have been vocal about the stories of decline, of an ageing Federer not being able to battle the new game of power and fitness, of a king who can no longer rule his kingdom because the rebellion of youth has started to spread. It would have been human for Federer to lash out and challenge his critics with those pedantic statistics, but he kept a dignified silence.

Dignity is a human attribute. The clay of Roland Garros has seen the king win his crown back. But did he ever lose it?

This slam saw a clinical performance by Federer. He put away one opponent after another with the magic that only he can produce. From precision serves, to lethal forehand cross-courts, chilling backhand slices and teasing drop shots, we have had the privilege to see them all. Memories that will stay etched forever.

Tennis needs Federer.

And as human beings we must hope that Nadal will be injury free and rise to greater heights; we must hope that Djokovic will soon be number one for the sake of the sport; and we must hope that for generations to come there will be immensely talented tennis players like the ones we have been fortunate enough to watch.

Sport is a celebration of human spirit. It must not be an avenue for a bitter few to vent their impotence and try to take the greats down because they have a platform to spew.

The old order must give way to the new, but dirges need not be sung.

The new will bring with them a symphony and the old will make the overtures — that is the beauty of the sport.

Vulnerable moments

What the game does not need are critics who wait for the opportunity to pounce and shred greatness because life brings vulnerable moments. Yes, there may come a time when the statistics may not pronounce Federer king; there will come a time when he would like to leave the game, but let us as human beings allow him to say the day has arrived.

Until then let us celebrate a man who has enthralled us with his genius.

Let us celebrate the human spirit, the triumph of man.

To question Federer’s game would be a re-enactment of a scene from the glorious film Amadeus where Mozart performs before the emperor and asks whether he had liked the piece.

The emperor replied: “My dear, young man, don’t take it too hard. Your work is ingenious. It’s quality work. And there are simply too many notes, that’s all. Cut a few and it will be perfect.”

And Mozart said: “Which few did you have in mind, Majesty?”

A really supportive, well written article from reporter of Gulf News.


andrea Says:

the sad state of fed/nadal on clay begins with the match up of lefty/righty with righty having a one handed backhand and lefty having super ferocious spins. this has always been the problem. what has compounded this match up is the fact that mentally, fed started to let nadal into his head and now that is equally, if not more, the problem.


madmax Says:

What I feel is so hugely unfair is when posters (tending to be on the ‘I hate federer’ camp), want to post a paragraph or two of Fed’s interview so that it can be misread and misquoted. We all know that Fed is honest, straight and has a winner’s mentality. He doesn’t BS with niceties. He gets to the point and he believes that he can win every match. Personally, I see nothing wrong with that. I expect to hear that fighting spirit from all players. He is a champ and will not give up on his goal of being at the top of the game once again. There is nothing wrong in that.

I think that over the last 12 months Fed has been supremely happy to give credit where credit is due. People want to twist his words? Go right ahead. For all the great things that Federer has done, I would hate to be questioned 10 times a day for 2 hours at a time. That’s pressure.

My god. Fed said so many positive things about rafa, and yet that goes amiss, not even quoted here.

Here is the FULL INTERVIEW for those of you who care.

Federer interview after losing to Nadal @ Roland Garros final 2011. 2011 Roland Garros: Roger Federer Post-Match Interview

R. NADAL/R. Federer

7 5, 7 6, 5 7, 6 1

An interview with: ROGER FEDERER

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. At 5 2 in the first set, was that a moment that you’ll never forget, I mean, about this final? Because then you served 5 3, and out of six times you served, only one first serve in, and then you lost the break.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, that’s how it goes. Rafa is tough. I definitely thought that I got maybe a touch unlucky there and he got a touch lucky. There was a lot of close calls with the net, like right close to the lines plays and so forth.
So it was a tough moment. I think that was one of my bigger chances of the match. And then going to maybe a potential rain delay, just having won a set in the bag is obviously a good thing to have.
But when I go into the rain delay, I’m down basically two sets almost. I almost saved myself, but I’m very competitive, and I thought he was getting tired, you know, throughout the third set and also in the fourth. It was unfortunate I couldn’t take my chances early on in the fourth.

Q. Congratulations for a nice game, Roger. After that unlucky dropshot in the first that made you miss the 6 2, you did some back into the match, although you were at 4 2 twice, you never left it. Could we say that even when you came back, the weight of the first set, was it too much on you, especially when playing Nadal on such a close game? Or did you feel you could always come back and do it in those comebacks from 4 2?
ROGER FEDERER: Sure, you’re not thinking of winning down two sets to love and 4 2, but you’re thinking of coming back and turning around the match. All of a sudden at 0 0 in the fourth set you think, Okay we have a match again.
He has to go a long way to beat you again, and momentum is on my side. All of a sudden, we know what can happen in tennis. All of a sudden it almost looked like he was going to miss the beginning of the fourth set and I could maybe run away with that.
In the fifth set, I would have felt very, very strong like I did back in Miami when I beat him from being down two sets to love. So I knew I had it in me. It was unfortunate I couldn’t make it more competitive in the fourth set.

*****Rafa played well and deserved the win today*****

Q. You lost today, but you returned to a Grand Slam final today. I think this is positive sign for you. Could you get your confidence again?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I’ve been confident for almost a year now. I think I lost some confidence maybe through the French Open and Wimbledon last year, but, you know, I was in the finals of Halle as well in this period, so I didn’t feel like I was running after confidence.
It was just important to get to another Grand Slam final, keep on playing well. I’m feeling better physically than I have in a long time, so that’s been very positive.
Also, after this sort of tough weekend I feel really good, so that’s been positive, too. Sure, it was a huge match with Novak. Obviously I’m happy about that win.
Today was a very good match. Overall obviously I’m very happy about the tournament. Obviously you should be disappointed after losing in a Grand Slam final.

Obviously I feel that a little bit today.

Q. There were a few periods in the match where you really dominated him, when if you had sustained that level you could have won the match. Was it a level that’s sustainable humanly for you or anyone else? What was the reason you think it fluctuated a little bit?
ROGER FEDERER: Obviously I’m the one that’s playing with smaller margins, so obviously I’m always going to go through a bit more up and downs; whereas Rafa is content doing the one thing for the entire time.
So it’s always me who’s going to dictate play and decide how the outcome is going to be. If I play well, I will most likely win in the score or beat him; if I’m not playing so well, that’s when he wins.
So it’s always pretty straightforward when we play each other, and maybe that’s why we are too worried playing against each other, because we know what to expect.

*****But I thought Rafa played well. I mean, I think he dug deep to come back in the first set and get himself into the match. And also the second set. It was tough all the way through. I thought we played at a very high level, and I was pretty happy the way I played today.******

****I don’t have huge complaints, but just obviously some miss the opportunities, because you’ll always have plenty against him on clay. So if you lose, you always look after those.*****

It’s unfortunate the way it is, but it was a good match.

Q. Just watching Rafa play, I was thinking that if this guy was a boxer you would just way he just refuses to go down. You have to put one, two, three, four shots against him because he’s constantly getting things back at you. Is that one of the things that makes him so tough to beat?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, sure, it’s one of the things. But I don’t mind that, to be quite honest. I like to see him running left and right and left and right and see how long he can sustain it, you know.
Like I said, I thought he was getting quite tired actually midway through the third set. That’s why I definitely got a lift, because I was feeling well all the way through. And even though sometimes you feel you’re a little bit tired, I wasn’t.
That’s why I’m very happy the way I came out of the match. Four sets, sure, it’s disappointing.

****I thought he played some good tennis there towards the end. Obviously with the wind coming in and the missed opportunities early on in the fourth and then the sun, it was just making it kind of a tough fourth set for me who is trying to make the plays.

****But I couldn’t at that point anymore, because Rafa was having good length on his shots. So, yeah, I’m not in any way frustrated with his play. I’ve played against guys who play like that many, many times, starting with Lleyton Hewitt when I came along. He’s not the first guy.

Q. How did you feel during the tiebreak back in the second set? Because you were pretty strong in that moment, and then suddenly it didn’t work for you in the tiebreak.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I thought I took some chances early on. Clipped the tape and maybe didn’t take the right decisions. But I was just coming back from almost being down two sets, so I gave myself a chance.
Maybe I didn’t serve great in the breaker, but plus, it got a bit more slow because of the rain delay. So obviously it was a tough period for both players to go through, because we were both figuring out how we were going to play after the rain delay.
I got very good inputs from Severin and also from Paul, and that really got me going again. Actually, I played really well coming out of the break. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to win the second set; but I won the third, ****and could have done much better today****

Q. Whenever he was done with a match with Pete, Andre was asked, Did you feel honored to take part in a great match? Did you feel the greatest of the occasion? Basically, Andre’s response when he lost was always, It sucked. I thought it sucked. Can you step back at all during a match like this and appreciate the moment and how big it is for tennis as well?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, you can, sure. I mean, when I won the third set and it was already very competitive all along and I was able to push it to a fourth set, sure, I knew the importance of the match, you know, just I guess the attention on everybody.
It was a big occasion. I was aware of it. You know, you’re not aware of it when you’re trailing in the score like I did a few years ago and you’re just hoping to get games. This was completely different.

I was very much concentrated in the moment and trying to push him to the brink, which I almost achieved today.

Q. Especially in the first three sets, can we say you were either making the points by hitting winners or making the mistakes and Rafa was only trying to keep the ball in the game and you were mostly winning or losing the points? Is that how you felt on court?
ROGER FEDERER: Um, yeah, I mean, sort of. I wasn’t just going for broke. I was trying to make the plays and moving him around, make him tired, and frustrating him with quick play sometimes. Mixing it up. That’s what I always do, and he does his things.
I prefer to mix it up. You know, I think he’s happy to be Rafa; I’m happy to be Roger. That’s why we like to play each other maybe. I don’t know.

Q. The win over Novak and this today, the great performance, very competitive, do you feel like you sort of changed the conversation and you’re back where you want to be in the hunt again and set up perfectly for Wimbledon?

ROGER FEDERER: *****Yeah, absolutely. That’s obviously the huge priority right now, to win Wimbledon in a few weeks’ time. That’s always, for me, the sort of No. 1 goal in the season.****

This is where it all started for me back in 2003; or even with Sampras earlier in ’01. So that’s why I always really enjoy coming back.
Yeah, I mean, I told people that we should wait six months after the Australian Open when people thought Rafa and me were done. It’s unfortunate that it goes so quickly at times.
Now we’re back in the finals and now it’s different talk again. I don’t go even there, because I knew it wasn’t the case.
I felt that even though people don’t understand how Rafa was able to win this tournament after the shocking start he had, I’m not.

**** He plays better against the better ones, and that’s what he showed today.****

****He’s a great champion on clay especially, and I am happy with my tournament. Like you said, I think I played fantastic all the way through. I had a tough draw like most of the top guys, and we were able to make it to the last four.****

I thought I had a good weekend. It’s unfortunate that I don’t get the trophy, but I still think it was a very good finals today.
THE MODERATOR: French questions, please.

Q. Do you still intend to play in Halle?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes, but I’ve not yet discussed this with my team. I don’t know what they will think. I still have a few days off before that, so I’ll either make the decision this evening or tomorrow. I don’t know. We’ll see. I have to discuss this with my team.

Q. Roger, now Rafa has ten Grand Slams. He’s a bit younger than you were when you reached the same level, that is ten Grand Slams. It’s not at all 16, but do you have the impression that he’s getting closer when you look in the rearview mirror? I know you haven’t finished yet.

ROGER FEDERER: ****Yes, who cares. Who cares where you stand. It’s when it’s over that you can’t do anything any longer, that’s when you’re proud of what you accomplished.

***That’s why I’m happy for him that he’s won these Grand Slams and these tournaments. He can prove to people that he can play a good type of tennis. This is what counts.****

On clay, as I said at the beginning of the season, he had won a few matches on clay. I said he could win a few more, and this is what he’s proven today. For some it was not sufficient, but today he managed to show that he could win a match on clay.

***I should have been able to do the same as well, by the way, but I’m happy for him.***

For me, of course it’s a bit disappointing, but it was a good tournament for me as well. Ten Grand Slams is a lot. He knows this; I know this; everybody knows this. It’s really good for him.

Q. During the final, would you say you had regrets? If yes, which ones?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, a few chances or occasions I missed, which is normal. Each time I finished a match against Rafa and I was defeated, I know I had opportunities to seize. He doesn’t serve at 220.
There was once when he served an ace. You can’t call this an opportunity to seize. I had many breakpoints, many opportunities to hit the ball and to finish.
But, you know, it’s normal. It’s how Rafa wins the points. He likes the rallies. I’m not too sad because I’ve played a good match.

Q. Would you say mentally it was easier than the other three? At the other three you had not won Roland Garros, and then you won Roland Garros and this was like a weight off your shoulder. Therefore, mentally did you feel more at ease for this final?
ROGER FEDERER:

****To some intent probably. But I think year in and year out he has been really good on this surface. You know, the year he dominated me during the final here, I knew that I was not playing well enough. He was so incredible at the time and that the match didn’t start well for me.
That’s when I thought, Okay, this is going to be tough. It was my third year in a row playing semifinals, final, and then another final against Rafa. So when I started the match, I must say I was like distracted due to his results.****

But today, no, I was confident. I was feeling good. I knew it was would be something difficult, which was the case today. But I was almost doing it, and I knew I would play a good match. The beginning was intense.
Against Novak it was long rallies as well; against Rafa it was long as well. But I managed to finish the match, and I’m rather satisfied.

Q. You’ve played really well today, and even the other day against Djokovic. These are two different players. Do you think you played better the other day against Djokovic or today? Is it more or less the same? Can you compare your level?

ROGER FEDERER: No, I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. The two matches are so different. I have to change my game, you see. If you look at how I returned today and the way I returned against Novak, it’s different and even the rallies.

The match started completely differently. You can’t compare the two matches.

Q. Never mind the scores or tactics, I have the impression you’re physically at your best. Have you changed anything in terms of your practice or the way you consider playing on clay? What about Wimbledon?
ROGER FEDERER: No, not really. I’ve played many matches. I was really tired after Rome, and it was not the match against Gasquet that tired me so much.
But it was part of the puzzle. I’ve trained and practiced a lot after Monte Carlo. I decided to play Monte Carlo because I was fit. I played a lot from Dubai until Rome. I didn’t take a longer break.
Sometimes after Miami I’d take ten days off in the past, but this year I didn’t wasn’t to do this. Therefore, you know, I was extremely tired and at the end of Madrid as well and also during Rome.
I hoped I could practice more here, but I was so tired that I said, Okay, I’ll practice just what is enough. That’s why the beginning of the tournament here for me was important.
At the beginning, I didn’t think I would manage this way, but after two matches, I thought, Okay, I feel better. I’m in the tournament. I could never hear the alarm clock in the morning ringing I was so tired.
That’s why in the middle of the first week I thought, I’m on the right tracks. I was playing really well. Even though I knew that, I was like, I respect this immense fatigue I have gone through.

Q. You used the word “proud,” being proud at the end of the match. Is that what you feel, pride?

ROGER FEDERER: No. I’m not a 15 year old, so, no. I’m happy with this match. That’s what I can say. It’s a pity I lost, but it’s normal.

****Rafa played again an excellent match.****
It was a normal match with quite a lot of regrets, but also I played well. So I’ll focus on Wimbledon. This is the moment when I can do good things. I’m on the right tracks. It’s positive.

Q. Were talking about missed opportunities. There was a set point when you tried a dropshot close to the line. When you were playing it, did you think it would go into the court?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, so so. You know, I saw the mark. It was really close, but I knew it could be out.

Q. If you had to do it again, would you try the dropshot again?
ROGER FEDERER: I don’t know. I can’t really remember this rally. I think he would’ve won the game early. He was up 40 15, I think, and then all of a sudden I had this set point for me. It was a bit surprising for both of us.
I regret perhaps more the service game. That’s about it.


madmax Says:

trufan Says:
Lets look at the players in a bit of depth:

Sampras:

Probably the top, or at least top 3 grass court player in the open era.

Certainly the second best hard court player in the open era.

Miserable on clay.

BORG:

Top 3 on grass.
Top 2 on clay (open era).
not really top 5 on hard courts – never won a hard court slam.

Nadal:

Perhaps TOP clay courter (open era).
Not even top 10 on hard courts (open era).
Not top 10 on grass (open era).

Federer:
TOP hard court player in the open era (9 hard court slams, many many other titles and records).
TOP grass player, certainly top 2 (6 slams, best win-loss record, better than sampras, best sets won record, etc.).
Perhaps top 5 clay courter in the open era (5 french finals, 1 title, many other clay titles, many many clay finals, only denied due to the BEST clay courter ever – only Lendl, Borg, Guga, and Nadal and claim to be better than Federer on clay – not wilander).

So now Who is GOAT?

You decide……

If Nadal is GOAT, then why does he have such an ordinary hard court record (Djokovic has better)?

Nadal just loses to different players on hard courts, often lower ranked. Federer mostly ONLY lost to Nadal on clay, hence the warped clay H2H.

Point is – you have to look at the information a bit carefully, rather than blindly (like people like Mary Carillo do!)

Nobody should discount clay, but then nobody should discount hard courts or grass either. Let Nadal acquire top 5 status on hard courts, then we will talk.

June 6th, 2011 at 8:20 am

GREAT POST TRUFAN.


Daniel Says:

WTF,

First of all, The HxH is 17-8 HxH not 18-7.

Second, I say Wimby finals agaisnt Fed and Nadal made 3.

Third, I picked Wimby and London because those are the only 4 matches on super fast courts they have played, Feed backyard, but I also mention Cincy and US Open where fed and NAdal never meet each other.

My point is about ballance. Fed year after year manage to face Nadal in at least 4 places where Nadal was the favorite, by Surface. Nadal only in 2006 reach 3 finals where Fed would be favorite, Dubai (hwre Fed lost), Wimby (Fed won) and WTF Shangai (Fed won). The other other 3 matches were in Nadals best surfaces: MC, Rome and RG.

My point is not to denegrate Nadal, people in the beggining of his carrer thought he would never achieve what he did, because he was onedimensional, now he isn’t. Even with defensive play, His forehand and Federer, to me are the most lethal weapons of the history of tennis.

And it is not a biased point of view since everybody says Maiami, AO, are slow hard courts which allow high bounces.

Just watch Nadal’s matches in cincy, he can do his spectacular defense like points because the court doesn’t allow it. Even in US open he played the most agressive he had ever played in his life, because he knew that was the only way to win it.

Some consider Wimby of today slow, but I mention courts that favor each playes in particular and by their success in this surfaces we can safelly say which they are, as I exemplified.

If you look at Nadals best surfaces titles
- RG: 6 titles, 5 victories over Fed
- MC: 7 titles, 3 victories over Fed
- Rome: 5 titles, 2 victories over Fed
- Madrid: 1 title, 1 victory over Fed and 1 defeat
- Hamburg: 1 title, 1 victory over Fed and 1 defeat
Nadal is 12-2 agaisnt Fed. Played 14 times in 7 years 2005-2011.

But if we look at Fed’s best surfaces titles
- Wimby: 6 titles, 2 victories over Andal and 1 defeat
- Cincy: 4 titles, 0 wins over Nadal
- US open: 5 titles, 0 wins over Nadal
- WTFinals: 5 titles, 3 win over Nadal

They played 6 times and Federer is 5-1 against Nadal, over 6 years 2006-2011

Thsi proves my point the raio, is basically the same. Had they met more in this.

Fed managed finals in all courts of all tourneys (except Paris Masters) and faced Nadal in all surfaces which favors his game. The contrary is not true. Yes, NAdal reached US Open, but not agains Fed.

Again I am not saying it will be even but confidance wise Fed would have more wins in those surfaces and maybe the mental aspect wouldn;t be so huge. It made a big difference on te long run.


Daniel Says:

WTF,

Let me put anothe rperspective.
Looking at Fed’s schedule of tourneys

- Doha (super fast)
- AO (slow hard)
- IW (hard)
- Miami (slow hard)
- MC (slow clay)
- Madrid (Fast clay)
- Rome (Slow clay)
- RG (Slow clay)
- Halle (grass – fast)
- Wimby (grass – fast)
- Canada (hard)
- Cincy (super fast hard)
- US Open (fast hard)
- Basel (fast hard indoor)
- Shangai (hard)
- Paris (fast hard indoor)
- WTF (fast hard indoor)

1 – So we have 8 tourneys played on fast hard courts (almost half of his season)
2 – We have the non fast conditions
3 played on regular hard courts
2 played on slow hard courts
4 played on clay

Form this last 9 tourney they played 18 times, with Fed lossing 15 to Nadal and winning 3 (5-1 ratio)

From the fast conditions Fed lost 2 times to Nadal and won 5 (5-2 ratio)

That was suppose to be 7-6 in favors of Nadal, which would be something along 60-40 to Nadal.


Vvx Says:

@Andrea

Federer didn’t LET Nadal into his head. A 17 year old Nadal FORCED his way into Federer’s head from their very first meeting in R16 Miami 2004 where Nadal showed no fear and took Federer apart in straight sets on Fed’s favourite surface: hardcourt.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbFPE1NYFr8

Please watch the highlight reel and see Federer towards the end of the match shaking his head in disbelief at the standard of Nadal’s play. He was clearly rocked by that performance.

Nadal has EARNED his psychological dominance over Federer the same way that Federer earned his psychological dominance over the likes of Roddick and Hewitt so I wish Federer’s fans would stop talking about Nadal’s psychological advantage in their matches as if it is some unfortunate, inexplicable problem.

NADAL IS IN FEDERER’S HEAD FOR A REASON BECAUSE HE IS A BETTER PLAYER THAN FEDERER FROM THE BASELINE.

If Federer’s serve was as bad as Nadal’s has been for most of his career, the H2H would be 25 – 0 to Nadal.

For sure, Nadal’s game isn’t as pretty as Roger’s and he doesn’t move as beautifully but from the baseline he makes far fewer errors off both wings. Their forehands may be comparable but Nadal’s backhand is a much more dangerous shot.

This creates incredible pressure for Federer who is not used to it. He knows against Nadal that he has to serve well to have any chance whatsoever and even if he plays his best tennis it may not be enough. I don’t think Federer feels that way about any other player but deep down he knows that Nadal is better adn IMO that is partly why he finds it so hard to stay calm and take his opportunities when they arrive against Nadal.

Federer is in Roddick’s head. That is clear to see. I don’t suppose for a minute that Roddick would have missed that sitter of a backhand volley in the second set tie break (that probably cost him the title in 2009) at Wimbledon against anyone else. But Federer has earned the right to be in Roddick’s head because he has given him so many beatings because he is a much better player than Roddick with far more options.

So Fed fans, please give Nadal credit for his psychological dominance of Federer. He has earned it by being clearly the better player in the majority of their matches.


oui Says:

Swiss Maestro/Djerker/Jamie/Von
Grow up.


Kimberly Says:

a comination of the Fedal wars and the GOAT debate, how original


Kimberly Says:

I don’t know how mental the Fed/Nadal thing is. Maybe it is just an extremely bad match-up for Fed and any right handed one hand backhand. It would be interesting to see how many losses Nadal has to a right handed one handers other than Fed. I can think of one or two to Youzney back in the old days but only on hard. One of the reasons Nadal was supposably a good match up for Soderling Del Potro was his high bouncing shots didnt bother their two handed backhands combined with their height they could hit through it. But I don’t think either of them really move well enough to trouble Rafa long term despite most of the high hopes for Delpo from most people on this site. Murray and Djoko are on par with Nadal with movement.


Vvx Says:

Maybe it is just an extremely bad match-up for Fed and any right handed one hand backhand. It would be interesting to see how many losses Nadal has to a right handed one handers other than Fed.

……

It is perhaps more interesting to see Federer’s record against other left handers on clay and other surfaces. The truth is that Federer has a great record against all left handers apart from Nadal. If winning was a simple matter of targetting Fed’s one hander with lots of topspin then he would be losing to all sorts of left handers. He doesn’t. There is a lot more to the Fed – Nadal dynamic than forehand to backhand.

It is actually very disrespectful to Federer in many ways to believe that his game is so limited that relentlessly hitting to his backhand is enough to freak him out and win you the match. Is that the stuff of greatness?


zola Says:

Jane,
sorry, I just saw your comment. Thanks a lot. Congratulations to you for Djoko’s great run. Although the streak is broken , I think he will be a real threat in Wimbledon.

—–
I think Rafa’s 10th GS title has initiated some “GOAT” debates. I think both Roger and Rafa are great champions and Djoko is joining them. Both Rafa and Roger are active player right now and I hope they both play for many years. Such conclusions can be made after they both retire.


Kimberly Says:

If winning was a simple matter of targetting Fed’s one hander with lots of topspin then he would be losing to all sorts of left handers.

Nobody hits a wicked high kicking super spinning shot like nadal, that’s what troubles fed. The reason nobody else does it is probably nobody else can. That one shot pretty much sums up the Nadal/Fed matchup IMO


Kimberly Says:

On a slower high bouncing court Fed knows he’s going to do it, we all know he’s going to do it, but I honestly believe Fed simply can’t really defend it throughout the course of a five set match most of the time. He has, but more often than not he hasn’t.


Djerker Says:

oui Says:
Swiss Maestro/Djerker/Jamie/Von
Grow up.

June 6th, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Is that you JAMIE????????? MUWAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

While the filthy French crowd was booing Nadal who ONCE AGAIN WON THE FRENCH FOR A 6TH TIME, NADAL WAS SAYING IN HIS HEAD “OUI OUI OUI OUI!!!!!!!!!”


Trufan Says:

Again, as far as H2H goes:

Wilander Connors 5-0
Becker McEnroe 8-2

NADAL fans have yet to answer my question: among the pairs above, who would you say was a better player, and achieved more?

Guess they are all SCARED to answer this question!!!!


Kimberly Says:

I have no idea about that era of tennis, so I cant answer you.


trufan Says:

Again, if Fed was miserable on clay, he would have hardly faced Nadal on clay, H2H would be even, and we would have never talked about it!

So now that he is SO good on clay (just not the BEST EVER like Nadal), we consider him inferior BECAUSE he is BETTER on clay?

Nonsense.


Nina Says:

Hi guys,
No time to read through it all, but I think I’m finally over Nole’s loss and i can post here again. Sprry it has to be so late.

First, congrats to Roger on a brilliant match against Mr. Invincible. He did what nobody could do this season -beat Novak Djokovic- and he also did it in such a brilliant straightforward fashion, which makes it impossible not to think about him as the favorite to win Wimbledon. So congrats to his fans, specially Madmax, who made me laugh and care through the final. Your love and passion for your fave is remarkable. I’m sorry you didn’t get your final wish though. At the end of the day we all know it’s about match-ups.

Where does that leave us? Roger can beat Nole but can’t beat Rafa. Rafa can beat Roger but can’t beat Nole. Nole can beat Rafa and can beat Roger. :P

In all seriousness, hearty congrats to Rafa fans. Your guy had the toughest path to the French Open in his career, not because of the opponents he had to face, but because he was not at his best and he was clearly suffering through all the tournament. He did overcome the demons and started playing better in the later stages of the tournament though. Uncle Toni must feel proud. It’s a big achievement to win a slam when you’re playing your best, but it is even a bigger one winning when you’re playing below your best. For that reason, my hat off to Rafa. What a contender, what a fighter, what a great champion.

The match wasn’t as close as some people may suggest. Roger indeed had his chances, specially in the first set. After his comeback in the third I actually believed that he could win it. But it wasn’t meant to be. As it wasn’t mean to be that Novak won this tournament. I believe that things happen for a reason. I believe that both Nole and Roger will have their rewards in the forthcoming months. And maybe even poor Murray can have his first slam. Wouldn’t it be great if the Fantastic Four were to win something each one? I’d be very happy.

On the downside, I’m heartbroken for Nole. Even though I think he will have other chances this year. His moment will arrive, I’m always the optimist playing to Jane’s pessimism. :))
He’s been playing too great, too consistently, too impressively, to not do it again. USO is his best chance, but my secret dream is that he wins Wimbledon. As it is his. Maybe luck and fate will be on his side this time.

Just sad that he couldn’t sustain the streak further than Mac’s and Villa’s, a real shame. He’s stopped a few inches short of making history. But in my mind his streak is the most impressive. It’s not every day that you beat Fedal 7 times. I hope his heart is not broken like mine. He has to bounce back and keep playing like he’s been doing. He must not let this loss dent his determination and confidence. I believe the best is still to come. Ajde!


skeezerweezer Says:

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

Fed, it’s so awesome that one just needs to see that link of GOAT of achievements. You are the best ever, and the BS H2H is a cheap out to justify or pee on your greatness and achievements no other has touched. Keep listening to your peers of the game, who still hold you as the greatest ever to pick up a racket, not the rabid un-qualified jealousies of the unknowing.


Ben Pronin Says:

I’m pretty sure a lot of the experts are starting to lean towards Nadal. McEnroe, Gilbert, Carillon, Agassi, and probably several others.


skeezerweezer Says:

@Ben

You are the problem. How are you sure? “Starting to lean?” I think if you pressed them they would say “let’s wait and see”. I am talking now……what they have already said, not what they MAY say based on a projected possible graph curve.


al Says:

Yeah still a little gutted Novak didn’t get to the final and claim the No.1 spot. And with Federer losing there he will still be number 2 for some time but I hope not for long. Too bad he was not playing his best at the crucial moment, while Federer played brilliantly.

Hope he regroup and do well in Wimbledon. Start Another streak maybe? :)


Eric Says:

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.


Kimberly Says:

Sorry Jane, rough game, they will bounce back.


Kimberly Says:

Poor rafa, wins his tenth grand slam and all we have to read is how not great he is. Okay he’s not as great as fed. No one but Bitter Ben is sayingnhe is. But he’s pretty fab.


Eric Says:

Kimberly, indeed.. Rafa is so good it’s ridiculous.


Swiss Maestro Says:

” No one but Bitter Ben is sayingnhe is. But he’s pretty fab. ”

amen Kimberly! Bitter Ben just wants to keep stealing nadal’s thunder. remember the doping discussion during USO. (sorry ben, but you have too much nadal issues. not fed, but you!)


Kimberly Says:

For wimbledon Vegas is calling nadal a minuscule favorite, almost a co favorite with fed and djoko a pretty close third. Murray a distant fourth and delpo fifth. Shocked they would put delpo fifth as I’m not sure he’s ever been past the fourthbround. Would certainly put Andy R with three finals and maybe evennthe b squad Americans ahead of him. Djoko a slight favorite for USO with nadal right on his heels and Fed close on his.


Eric Says:

Del Potro has never been in the THIRD round, let alone past the fourth.

They’re already taking bets for USO? Sheesh. And Fed is definitely ahead of Rafa for that, unless Rafa starts playing like he did in fall 2010 again, which obviously we won’t know until the fall Masters…

At least they have the good sense to put Fed closer for Wimby! :)


Skeezerweezer Says:

What were the odds on Isner?
:)


sar Says:

Fed pulled out of Halle due to groin injury. I guess they all need rest.


billyboy512 Says:

What’s the Fed vs. Nadal record in grand slam finals? Oh wait, Nadal wins 6-2…just saying


Kimberly Says:

Actually rafa was pretty dismal in the toronto and cincinatti masters last year. As was Novak. That was the federer Murray show.


Eric Says:

As I recall he romped his way to the semis in Toronto and only lost to Murray (who won), not so dismal. Don’t remember Cincy… but yeah, you’re right – he didn’t debut his USO Serve until the USO. Forgot about that.


Kimberly Says:

They all need rest but not rafa and Murray, playing doubles and singles in queens. Rafa played more matches than anyone elsenthisnyear, shocked he didnt pull put. Rafa kind of had a lackadaisical attitude in his interview with johnnie Mac, I would be surprised if he goes deep and sort of expect a feliciano lopez type loss like last year. Which in a way is good, even if he is physically playing ane practicing on grass maybe is mentally relaxed sort of?


Kimberly Says:

Eric, lost to bagdahtis in Cincy and almost lost to plaid poorly. Then was called a sandbagger and sucker puncher, again, at the USO.


Kimberly Says:

UGHHHHH, ipad woes, almost lost to benneteau.


Skeezerweezer Says:

If Fed really pulled a groin that is not good. Ya don’t get over those quickly. Hope its not serious.


sar Says:

Who is Nadal playing doubles with?


Eric Says:

The fearsome Marc Lopez, world no. 724… Interesting choice!


Kimberly Says:

He’s nadal’s friend and hitting partner. He plays dubs a lot with other guys though. They actually won Indian wells I. 2010 together.


Kimberly Says:

They also won doha together this year. According to nadal marc could get. A lot better partners than him and is doing him a big favor by playing with him.


Eric Says:

Haha, cool. Yeah, I checked up a bit more after realizing he is probably a doubles specialist – he’s 15 in the world in doubles. Although I doubt he feels like he is slumming too much, playing with Rafa…


Eric Says:

Also, he’s won 3 of his 5 titles partnering with Rafa, so it must not be that bad!


Borg Says:

Federer fans cannot beat around the bush by claiming that Clay doesn’t matter. Aren’t Clay tournaments part of tennis ?? Infact Clay is the best and natural surface to play Tennis more than Hard courts and Grass. Nadal just doesn’t own Federer on Clay, he owns on other Courts as well. Remember Federer was not able to beat Nadal even when the latter was just a starter. Federer was thrashed in straight sets at Miami by a 17 year old chap named Nadal and that was Hard Court. Next year too, Nadal was two sets up at Miami, but Federer came back only by virtue of a tough tie breaker and then went on to win the match. This means Federer at his prime was not able to manage a young Nadal who was a starter at that point in time. Now this 17-8 H2H advantage Nadal has over Federer is ridiculous to say the least. Here is the World’s greatest player as some hallucinates not able to get the better of his immediate competitor and gets beaten by him often – black and blue. This year’s Wimbledon is interesting with Nadal and Federer possibly clashing in a probable Semis and if that happens, Federer dreams of another grand slammay be good as over.


Rick Says:

Nadal is crazy! He is already in Queen’s. He really needs the rest that Federer and Djokovic are taking right now. Federer would had never won the French. If Nadal wasn’t hurt in 2009.


Rick Says:

How many matches,Federer choked these few years in the Slams? Like last year @ the US Open against Novak. And he choked again with a 5-2 lead against Nadal @ the French final.


Rick Says:

Nadal was rested well last year. And he had a terrific year! And I laughed at the arrogancy that Federer had for beating a tired Nadal at the YEC. Remember in the ad for all their exhibtion matches, he told Nadal that he would let him won the first set!


Borg Says:

Rick, I agree with you in part. Not only 2009 French Open where an injured Nadal fell to Soderling in the 4th round, but even Wimbledon 2009, had Nadal taken part in the event, Federer would not have won it. As simple as that. Federer just cannot beat Nadal. The testimony to this is the lop sided H2H in Nadal’s favour. Even Federer at his prime was not able to Nadal when he was 17 and that too in a hard court. So much to say about Federer counted as a champion.


The fighter Says:

Chhan: Nadal is the ‘King of Play’
Newly crowned French Open Champion Rafael Nadal won’t admit to it but he really is the greatest tennis player of his time.
By Marcus Chhan
The Spaniard’s 7-5 7-6 (7/3) 5-7 6-1 victory over old foe Roger Federer at Roland Garros allowed him to win his 10th Grand Slam. The manner of which Nadal beat Federer was fascinating.
Federer may still be the greatest tennis player ever with 16 Grand Slams to his name but at the same time he’s not even the greatest player of his time – that tag belongs to Nadal.
For Nadal to be judged as the greatest to have lived, he’ll need to win more Grand Slams than anyone before him which means knocking Federer off from the top. Until that happens – I really do think that day will come – the Swiss master rightly deserves to retain his lofty status in the game. In the mean time, Nadal continues to chip away at Federer’s legacy and aren’t we blessed (or cursed if you’re a Federer fan like me) to be able to watch it all unfold?
Rafa was relentless against Federer in the French Open final last weekend. He was a machine. It may not have been the all-action, winners flying from every direction sort of match we saw when Federer played Djokovic but it was nonetheless enthralling.
Federer will be 30 this August and he knows he isn’t going to win a five-set match against Nadal, so it was encouraging to see him come with the right approach. He flew off the blocks in a flurry of winners to take a 5-2 lead in the first set. Even serving at 5-3 to try and win the first set, his game plan looked spot on. He served and volleyed the first point and won it. He was the aggressor but nobody can match Nadal’s physical intensity.
The Spaniard simply refuses to give up on a single point but he doesn’t just scamper around the baseline hoping to get some part of his racket on the ball. Nadal is a master at turning a defensive situation into an offensive opportunity. Federer knew this before Sunday’s final and when he failed to win the first set they might as well have given the trophy to Nadal there and then. Demoralized is one way of describing how Federer must have felt at that moment.
Countless times during the French Open final, Federer hit a shot that would’ve been a winner against anyone else only for Nadal to conjure up a return with pace and land it deep into his opponent’s court. There was one rally in particular in the second set – just when it looked like Federer was starting to build some momentum again after throwing away the first set – the Swiss hit three superb shots in a row but the ball just kept coming back with such speed he must have thought he was playing against a brick wall. Demoralized may be one way of describing how Federer felt; intimidated is another way of looking at it.
People sometimes forget what a brutal sport tennis can be. The physical side of the game is obvious, but the mental battle can be just as important. This year’s French Open final was a classic in that every single point was thought out and debated in the minds of the two players just like the way two heavyweight boxers try to feel each other out with different combinations.
Tennis is such a mental game that it’s crazy. There were times when it seemed Federer was playing the ‘man’ – by thinking too much about what Nadal was doing or the score – and not the ‘ball’ and it landed him in trouble.
Andre Agassi once said tennis is the sport which you talk to yourself – “No athletes talk to themselves like tennis players. In the heat of a match, tennis players look like lunatics in a public square, ranting and swearing and conducting Lincoln-Douglas debates with their alter egos. Why? Because tennis is so damned lonely”.
In the end, the cold hard truth is this: In the 25 times Federer and Nadal have faced each other, the Spaniard has won 17 of those matches.


tfouto Says:

how many on clay The fighter?

you see from 4 years the h2h between Nadal and Djokovic. Nadal will embarrassed…


trufan Says:

Borg,

Your posts are nonsense.

If you really have the courage, then why don’t you answer my question – which is very simple:

Who do you think was a better player with more accomplishments:

1. Wilander versus Connors
2. Mcenroe versus Becker.

As for Fed versus Nadal – how do you explain the repeated beat downs, including in 2010 nov, that Fed gives to Nadal at the year end championship?

FACT IS. the warped H2H is ONLY due to clay (12-2). Outside of clay, Fed still leads Nadal 6-5. Period. That’s a fact.

Nobody is saying clay is not important. But hard courts are equally (actually more) important.


The fighter Says:

Genius is not replicable. Inspiration, though, is contagious, and multiform — and even just to see, close up, power and aggression made vulnerable to beauty is to feel inspired and (in a fleeting, mortal way) reconciled.”

– David Foster Wallace

I still don’t know what I saw Sunday. Roger Federer missed a drop shot by the thickness of a sheet of paper; three hours later, Rafael Nadal became the greatest tennis player who ever lived.

Or he did not.

[+] Enlarge
AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau
Rafael Nadal won another French Open cup, this time by out-Federering Roger Federer.
Some thoughts today on the confusions of greatness.

Five years ago when the late David Foster Wallace wrote this, Federer was the best tennis player in the world by almost every measure. Two years ago when I wrote this, it was still possible to consider Nadal and Federer equals and opposites, brawn versus intellect, violence versus music. But as the shadows lengthened into night in Paris on Sunday, it became clear that this is no longer true.

Given every chance, Federer cannot beat Nadal. Because Nadal has become Federer.

He has adapted, improved, evolved. Somehow, Nadal has made his game beautiful. Where there was once only slug and grunt and run, Nadal’s poetry is now as tough and supple as anything the game has ever seen. Once thought of as nothing but la brute, a player even DFW disdained as a muscle-bound baseliner preening in a sleeveless tee, Nadal has continually remade himself in the game. He plays smarter, subtler angles, both off the groundstroke and on his serve, and softens his attack in the manner of a judo master turning an opponent’s energy back on itself. Whereas he used to shy from the net as though it were an electric fence, he now slides with confidence and purpose. Like an intelligent machine out of science fiction, he learned these things from Federer in order to destroy him.

Always physically stronger than Federer, especially on clay, and with an incrementally sharper killer’s instinct, Nadal on Sunday reduced Federer’s greatness to a polite topic of conversation by embracing subtlety. What was once, as David put it, a battle between Mozart and Metallica, is now, in Nadal, the triumphant synthesis of the two.

[+] Enlarge
AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau
Once the undisputed best, Federer’s place in history is now only a part of that discussion.
By itself, even this is only moderately interesting. Every champion must be overtaken. Even the greatest of them. But for the rest of us to have seen these careers overlap, to watch these men playing head-to-head in the same age, is a rare gift of history.

But just as it is in art, in sports there is no entirely reliable measure of greatness. Our heroes are always more mythology than math. Who of these two is greater? And by what standard? Slams? Streaks? Total wins? Money earned?

If Nadal’s body breaks down before he can equal or surpass the number of Slams won by Federer, does that mean he’s the lesser of the two? Having won all those Slams but having lost so often to Nadal, is Federer the smaller man?

The dismal arithmetic of statistics is useless here.

Ask yourself instead: Am I changed by having seen them? Am I changed by having known them? Have they inspired me? Reconciled me to my own humanity?

And to those of us who still ask those same things of the work and the memory of David Foster Wallace, gone without goodbye, his friend the novelist Jonathan Franzen has this. Find it in full where you can and brace yourself against its candor and its love.

Because history is the same for writers, it turns out. Greatness or failure is measured by the page, by the thickness of a single sheet of paper.


montecarlo Says:

This is getting absolutely disgusting how people are actually undermining the importance of Clay slams. A point can be made that if there were two Grand Slams on Clay and only one on Hard then Nadal would already have had 15 slams and Federer around 12. So isn’t Federer lucky that two slams are held every year on a surface where he has won 9 out of 16 slams?


The fighter Says:

trufan

clay is a surface too n dats d writer’s opinion…i m just posting sum articles…wen madmax did dat u had nothing to say n djoko is still not ahead in the h2h with rafa…wen he will be we will talk…n oh yes, rafa has won d important matches agnst djoko.(olympics, french semi, us open final) remember?


The fighter Says:

Rafael Nadal: A Most Unique Combination of Competitiveness and Humility
By Matt Goldberg
As all tennis fans know by now, Rafael Nadal won the 2011 French Open final 7-5, 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-1 over longtime rival Roger Federer on the red clay of Roland Garros. If you are reading this column, you also know that this was Rafa’s 10th major victory, and record-tying (with Bjorn Borg) sixth French Open title.

Match recaps abound on Bleacher Report and elsewhere, but my initial focus is this: Can you name any athlete, other than Rafa—current or retired—who has the same combination of all-out, fiery, take-no-prisoners determination and a disarming graciousness and humility?

I have been following tennis (and many other sports) for 40 years or so, and find Rafa to be uniquely compelling for this apparent duality. Over the years, my favorite tennis players have included the late Arthur Ashe (the consummate gentleman and noble, scholarly man off the court as well), Ilie Nastate (frankly, a flamboyant and brilliant train wreck on the court), Boris Becker, Patrick Rafter, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer and Nadal.

To me, the closest tennis player who exhibited similar elements of the fire-breathing warrior and the modest mensch was Rafter. Ashe? Not a fire-breathing dragon. Borg? His style of play was also too cool. Jimmy Connors? He had the fire-breathing part down pat, but he was not exactly modest, or anything but a self-centered jerk on and off the court. Yes, I enjoyed his elder statesman phase, too, but I’m just being honest. McEnroe? Are you kidding me?!

How about Federer? His style is also too effortless, and as polished (and admirable) as he is, he can be borderline arrogant. He can even cross that border at times when he embraces and pays tribute to his own greatness.
Perhaps, what I am trying to describe here is difficult. There are many athletes who are “killers” on the field and nice guys off it. It’s just that Rafael Nadal is among the most competitive athletes I have ever seen, and also just about the most humble.

If Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis were as soft-spoken as Tony Dungy, he’d rival Rafa in this category. But, of course, Ray Lewis is pretty much Ray Lewis off the field as well.

Two football players better fit the bill for me. The late, great Walter Payton and, currently, Saints star quarterback Drew Brees.

Still, Rafa heads this hard-to-define list for me. Readers: Perhaps, you can find other, and better, examples.

Gold Notes: Five Quick Passing Shots

1. Much was made of the drop shot that Federer just missed when he had a set point in the first at 5-2. Was it a turning point? Maybe, but let’s not go crazy here. Nadal pulled up when he saw the ball land wide—if just inches wide. Rafa was in perfect position to not only cover it, but to (as he can uniquely pull off) produce a winner off of it.

2. Too much, in my opinion, was also made of Federer choking to blow that 5-2 first-set lead, and others pointed to his 56 (supposed) unforced errors. I’m sorry, but that’s utterly disrespectful to both Fed and Rafa.

When you have to consistently hit three to four winners against Nadal just to win a point, many of your errors are not really unforced. Federer played a more aggressive game yesterday against Nadal, and that strategy inherently involved more risk. For instance, he was moving in much more on Nadal’s second serve, and at times it paid off.

I suspect that if one re-watches (I have not yet had the opportunity to do so), the five consecutive games Nadal won from 2-5 down, he/she would be quite impressed with the high quality of play by both players.

3. Nadal is often, and rightfully, given lots of credit for his speed, power and mental toughness. How much credit is he given for his touch? Not nearly enough.

Rafa can not only pound balls into submission, but he can also shape them when needed. He’ll never (although, should I ever put anything past him?) become a serve-and-volleyer, but he has great reflexes and soft hands when at net.

One of my favorite points of the tourney happened in the fascinating, and pivotal, 5-5 game of the first set—the game where Nadal would break Federer again to have the opportunity to serve for the set. After a long rally, Fed was in perfect position to pass Nadal. He loaded up on a topspin backhand—right at Nadal—who countered with an extraordinary lob volley.

Fed did a brilliant job of chasing it down, but Nadal was able to put away the crucial point. A boatload of greatness was displayed on that point, with Rafa’s amazing reflexes and touch volley at the head of the list.

4. The question was posed by NBC analyst Mary Carillo and others: “Can Roger Federer be considered to be the greatest of all time when he is not even the greatest of his own era?

Most of the premise of this question was based on the fact that Rafa dominates Roger head to head (17-8 overall, and 6-2 in major finals).

My take? The premise is faulty. Just because you dominate someone head to head does not mean that you are the top player of your era. Right now, Federer has achieved too much to not be considered the top player of his era, even with that 8-17 head-to-head record versus Nadal.

Pundits need to wait till both of their careers are over to determine this, and even then, there are no real objective metrics of which to adhere.

5. For that matter, I could not resist doing my own ranking of the top 32 players last September, after Nadal won the U.S. Open to achieve the (rare) career Grand Slam. In that ranking I ended up placing Federer, Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras and Rafa Nadal (for now) in my top four.

I personally ranked the players of the last 40 years, which excluded the great Rod Laver from garnering this mythical title. If I included Laver, I’d have to put him at No. 1. He is one of only two male players to win the true (calendar year) Grand Slam, and the only one to do so twice, in 1962 and 1969. He was, essentially, barred from playing in majors from 1963-68; how many more would he have won?

If he only took half of them, he’d have added 12 more, for a grand total of 23. Since he went 4-for-4 in both 1962 and 1969, that almost seems like a conservative projection!


The fighter Says:

trufan
care to explain y hard courts r more important?


skeezerweezer Says:

^”Right now, Federer has achieved too much to not be considered the top player of his era”

Thank you fighter

And I post this in respect to Rafa, who might wind up to be the best ever……


Miki Says:

Good post The fighter, some Tennis-X posters could learn a few things from you.

I’s disgusting how people can bash so much about any of these too. Why everyone even think that they are in position to do any criticism on Rafa or Fed.
Saying that Rafa is just about clay is ridiculous, he is much more than that, and it’s not like he is at the end of his career, he has many more years to prove himself, and he is the biggest Slam contender in the upcoming years, I believe Djoko would be there as well, but still behind him. Rafa can also play well on HC, he already proved that. And Fed, well everyone is bitching about their H2H, which is very lopsided, but most matches were played on clay. Well, I have that I think it is as important as other surfaces, but hey, we are talking about Rafa here, who is just better than Fed on it. And Fed shouldn’t be criticized for not having more success on clay, after all, was any of those legendary players equally good and successful on all surfaces. I think not. And I repeat, he has possibly the greatest clay courter of all time against him. Then there is also the match up issue. His game just doesn’t match well with Rafa’s. Djoko already has a better H2H with Rafa than Fed does, but that doesn’t make him a better player. But what I ultimately want to say is, give the guys some respect.


gonzalowski Says:

trufan has posted:

Nadal:
Not even top 10 on hard courts (open era).
????
He’s got US open and AO, much masters…
You’re blind, man


stu Says:

the funk-trunk guy is mean today!


JF Says:

WTF – you had me rolling with that “tallest dwarf” analogy earlier LOL…
These GOAT comments are getting old and repeatative I think.
Daniel you are way off, I agree with WTF on your response. Daniel, there are too many factors that go in determining tournament brackets and outcomes. I consider your statements circumstantial ad hominem at best.


gonzalowski Says:

O.k. trufan, you were right, Nadal is not top ten in HCs (open era);

I see in wikipedia these ones in front of him, in number of HC G.Slams won:
Fed, Sampras, Lendl, Rosewall, Agassi, Connors, Mac, Wilander, Newcombe, Edberg, Becker and Vilas.
Others with 2, like Djoko, would be prior too.


Ben Wade Says:

tfouto Says:
how many on clay The fighter?

you see from 4 years the h2h between Nadal and Djokovic. Nadal will embarrassed…

June 7th, 2011 at 9:19 am

Rafa leads Federer 17-8 overall and 7-2 in grandslams.

As of now Nole is 11-16 overall and 0-5 in slams.

To embarass Rafa (simular to the Federer’s embarrassment inflicted by Rafa), Nole has to beat Rafa 23 straight overall and 18 straight in slams.

So easy right ??

If that happens Nole will have a 34-16 overall and 18-5 in slams against Rafa.

Yes Nole will do it easily in 4 years…..dream on !!!!


gonzalowski Says:

No trufan, definitely you blind! :)

Rosewall, Newcombe, Vilas, Edberg didn’t win more HC GSlams than Rafito, they played in grass/clay in Australi or US.

So We can put Nadal in top 10 HC open era


Ben Wade Says:

“Nobody is saying clay is not important. But hard courts are equally (actually more) important.”

trufan,

On hard courts its 4-4.


Ben Wade Says:

The fighter Says:
trufan
care to explain y hard courts r more important?

June 7th, 2011 at 9:58 am

That is because Federer cannot beat Rafa on clay.


Skeezerweezer Says:

You guys can twist all these stats all you want, but ask Rafa or Fed who they would not want to face in a Final right now….Nole. The guy has been dominant. If you want to put up stats, let’s just start from 2011, k? After all, it seems most of you that post here are in the “what have you done for me lately? matches. Just cause Fed took him out in one match doesn’t mean he is still isn’t great as of today. Heck, it’s possible he may get the #1 ranking very soon!


Ben Wade Says:

Rafa has the highest overall (all surfaces) winning percentage (82.8%) of all players.

He is the MOST dominant tennis player ever against the field.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Ben W

So what are u really tryin to say?


Ben Wade Says:

Nothing more….LOL


Eric Says:

Ben, that’s only true if you include the entire career. But if you start counting in 2003 or 2004 (when Federer started actually playing well), Fed is significantly better. Nadal’s best years are about 88%, which is average for Fed. But to include the entire career and think that proves your point is asinine – Fed shouldn’t be penalized for getting off to a slower start. If Rafa had four mediocre years at the start of his career his winning % would be a lot lower… You should look at the actual important part of their careers — no one is talking about Fed 99 or 2000…


margot Says:

Cautiously opening the door and peeping round….
“are u guys still discussing The GOAT?”…”um yes”….
….backing out of the room and quietly shutting the door……


Nina Says:

@skeezer… I always enjoy your equanimity and knowledge. Great post. :)


Ben Wade Says:

Eric,

Why do you want to be selective with respect to years, period, surfaces, etc ??

If you want to compare players, you have to compare their careers completely. You cannot be selective.

If you want to compare only with their best phases, then I guess Nole 2011 beats most of them hands down including Federer 2006 (he was not able to beat the teenage Rafa on clay) and Rafa 2010.


Eric Says:

margot…yeah. sorry. :) It’s so easy to get drawn in!


skeezerweezer Says:

@Nina

Thanks, and I will leave this thread with a quote from the great Nina :)

“Where does that leave us? Roger can beat Nole but can’t beat Rafa. Rafa can beat Roger but can’t beat Nole. Nole can beat Rafa and can beat Roger. :P”

I think we are in a good place now for tennis fans ;)


Ben Wade Says:

Eric Says:
margot…yeah. sorry. :) It’s so easy to get drawn in!

Mee too….


Ben Wade Says:

“I think we are in a good place now for tennis fans ;)”

skeezer,

I agree….its the golden era for the tennis fans.
Lets keep our fingers crossed about the wimby draw.


contador Says:

margot,

really, i can’t get enough of muzza’s fb add on ATP website. “like.”

i’ve watched it so many times now that i’m feeling guilty. ; )

good for roddick winning his match v feli. and i see EG can’t find a way to beat adrian mannario now.


skeezerweezer Says:

Conty , margot…hey I know you girls and that Andy commercial. Let me guess what your favorite scene was…..errrr….uhhhh…mmmmm??


contador Says:

shhh…..skeeze, i know, i am so busted for lurking.

livescore appears like berdych was shaking off some rust.

streamed dolgo v haase yesterday or bambi v bambi on ice. robin really twisted an ankle. and if dolgo doesn’t routinely include splitz in his warm-up, i’m guessing his groins are both hurting. no comment on groin muscle pulls. your welcome…


Nina Says:

Thanks Squeeze. :)

Yeah, Murray’s ad for Head is very good, I don’t understand those who say Andy is all moody and grim. He’s actually a very funny, cute and thoughtful guy. I wish people respected him more. He will earn respect with slams and hard work, just like Nole did eventually.

Now onto Wimbledon… I just have one wish. Please let’s not have Federer fall in Novak’s half! PLEASE!


stu Says:

Nina, there’s no avoiding it. Fed and Rafa will NOT be in the same half. I’d be willing to bet on it.


marrisv Says:

I don’t know, if Fed will be seeded third or second for Wimby because i think Wimby takes in to account past two years performances… In case if Fed is seeded second, then it will be which half Novak falls in.


marrisv Says:

I meant past two years performance on grass…


contador Says:

racket ad…oh yeah. pull your mind out, contador.

oh please stu and nina. i was just starting to smile again :/

trying to stream monfils in halle. monfils on slick grass…


Tennis Says:

Could not agree more with Krisna and Trufan. The whole H2H argument is complete horse s***. Nadal is somehow seen as a better player because he consistently lost between the 3rd round and QF at hard court majors from 04-07 rather than making the finals and losing to Federer. Federer, in contrast, if he wasn’t so good on clay, wouldn’t be making so many finals, and would therefore HELP his resume by losing early more in clay tournaments so he didn’t ruin his H2H vs Nadal.

Sorry Rafa, losing early in Federer’s prime years at majors early in the tournament doesn’t help your resume more than making the finals, that makes no sense.

Bottom line: Grand slams: Federer 16 Nadal 10

Federer 5 straight titles and TWO different major championships, 23 straight GS semis (lets see Rafa accomplish that) 18 out of 19 GS finals at one point, and career slam.

Also, Nadal has 10 majors. 60% of them have come at the French Open. Clay is a more than legitimate surface, but Federer has won multiple times at every major except the French. Nadal has won multiple times ONLY at the French.

The H2H can be used as a tiebreaker if Nadal gets even close to Federer’s accomplishments. But no more than a tiebreaker. Like Krisna said, I guess Davydenko is better than Nadal because he has a winning H2H right? lol. People who use H2H to determine the better player know nothing about tennis.


Tennis Says:

Federer is nearly 30, Nadal is 25, I wonder what the H2H would be if Nadal was nearly 30 and Federer was in his prime at 25. I bet Federer would beat him even on clay. Nadal will be no where near the same player he is now at 30, and on hard courts it would be no contest.


contador Says:

it was raining on the grass monday and they closed the roof – 85 seconds it took.

the grass has dried out and it’s a clear evening sky in halle. nice. it’s well-lit too. allez le monf!


stu Says:

sorry conty. im not complaining, just stating facts!

marrisv, Djokovic will be #2, after taking 100% of the 2010 grass points and 75% of the 2009 points into consideration.


Kimberly Says:

Just in case anyone wasn’t sure i thought i would post that I love Rafa, he’s just awesome as a tennis player and a person.


Kimberly Says:

OPINION: We want our heroes to play the beautiful game. We want Federer and Pele and Tendulkar and Seve and Campo. It’s a joyful thought, but true sporting greatness is often what the French call a jolie laide or an ugly woman who is pretty.

Rafa Nadal can do ugly. He takes forever between points. He picks away at his shorts like a man who had mistakenly put on a G-string that morning. The Rafalutionary hairline is headed south. He rearranges his water bottles and won’t step on the lines like a teenager with OCD.

It’s enough to drive you crazy. And when you are teetering on the brink of madness, Nadal whips up one of those helicopter forehands or fetches back another ball that has already crossed the border. Greatness can be beautiful, but just as often it is grim and gritty
_______________________________

I copied this from some article. Thought it was amusing. I guess its the “you don’t need to paint a picture on the scoreboard” argument.


Borg Says:

Trufan, Before labelling my posts are nonsense, look at the hardfacts. I am in no way discounting the greatness of Federer and his consistency, but he just wilts against Nadal. In the very first tournament they met at Miami in a hard court, Nadal was about 18 years and Federer was in his prime at about 23. Do you know the scoreline then it was 6-3-6-4. Federer was butchered and he just shaked his head while congratulating Nadal at the net for the customary shake-off. In the next edition at Miami, Nadal was two sets up and just Federer scraped through with a tie break win in the third by the smallest of margins and then went on to win the match. All these were played on hard courts. What is the H2H record in hardcourts, it is 4-4 and in that Nadal has beaten Federer in a grand slam event namely Australian Open and even on Grass, the results were extremely close in 2007 when Federer scraped through and also 2008 when Nadal won. Federer just did not dominate Nadal on other Courts just like Nadal dominates him on Clay. That is incontroverible fact. More than that Federer is struggling at hard courts against Nadal. Therefore, just to dismiss the H2H as a clay phenomenon is too much to digest. As far as who is the better player like Wilander Vs Connors, Mcenroe vs Becker. Sorry that doesn’t fit in here since because they were all in different eras. Connors was nearly 30 when Wilander came into the scene and Mcenroe was past his best when Becker came into the limelight. It is not the case with Federer against Nadal. As I said, Nadal thrashed a prime Federer when he was young in a hardcourt. You may be a Federer fanatic, but facts are quite embarrassing for Federer. Ofcourse he is definitely one of the greats but to herald him as the Greatest of all time (GOAT) will not be valid just because he is not even the greatest in his time.


skeezerweezer Says:

“…will not be valid just because he is not even the greatest in his time”

Borg….”nonesense”, I second the motion….

See what I mean Kimberly?

Disclaimer: When Fed gets dissed so to build up another players accomplishments I could hurl. It just shows that some Rafa fans can’t let Rafa’s great achievements lie on there own. In order for Rafa to be great to them, they have to continually show how he is so much better than Fed. How sad. WTF?

This is all getting so old I am yawning at these exaggerated posts. Rafa “thrashed” Fed, he “butchered” Fed, did this, he did that, the only truism in your post is that they are 4-4. A win is a win, no matter how you get it. I am sure Fed would have taken a 76,67,76,67, 100-98 victory at the ’11 F0. A lot of Feds wins for GS titles especially have been in 4 sets or more. He hardly looks like Rafa at the scoreline. But he has 16 slams along with a sh!tload of other magnanimous records.

What matters is the wins, the GS titles, ON THERE OWN, no matter who against. Twist your H2H mojo all you want but show me a H2H wiki in the past era that was judged on H2H results = GOAT or “best ever”.

Titles, records, and GS titles is what ultimately prevails.

Ok I am going underground now in a deep hole of GOAT itis syndrome …:(


trufan Says:

Borg,

Your arguments are completely wrong. Let me go one by one (you have conveniently omitted relevant information, and twisted the rest).

First, Mcenroe’s peak year was 1984, Becker stormed on the scene in 1985 (becker’s peak year was 1989). They were HALF a generation apart, with becker starting and peaking early. Quite similar to Federer and Nadal (Fed’s peak year was 2006, Nadal 2010, 5 years age gap). SO the comparison is very valid – you just don’t want to admit that Because Mcenroe is clearly a greater player than Becker, even with a 2-8 H2H.

Now for Fed-Nadal matches – you have tNow lets look at Fed Nadal matches one by one:

1. 2004 Miami – Fed had food poisoning. It was in the papers – its well known. He was considering withdrawing from the match, but decided to play anyway.

2. 2005 Miami – it was Nadal who mentally wilted in the third set. Close match though. No surprise given that Miami is perhaps the slowest hard court out there.

3. 2005 FO – Nadal in 4, no surprise here, its clay.

4. 2006 Dubai – close match, fed lost in 3rd set, bad loss for Fed on a hard court that is fast (perhaps the only one).

5. 2006 Monte Carlo – close 4 set match on clay, Nadal won.

2006 Rome – REALLY close 5 set 5 hour match on clay, Nadal won, but barely.

2006 FO – close 4 set match, Nadal won 7-6 in the 4th.

2006 Wimbledon – Fed won in 4 sets.

2006 YEC – Fed won in 2 sets, fast hard court.

2007 Monte Carlo – Nadal won in straight, clay.

2007 Hamburg – Fed beat nadal in 3 sets, 6-0 in the third, ON CLAY.

2007 French – Nadal won in 4.

2007 Wimbledon – Fed won in 5 sets, Nadal wilted in the 5th.

2007 YEC – Fed thrashed Naadal on fast hard court, 6-4, 6-1.

H2H till now – 6-8…… PRETTY DARN CLOSE. Considering Fed had 2 match points in Rome. Record in deciding sets? 3-2 in favor of Fed. No way was Nadal in Federer’s head, it was very competitive, with 1-6 on clay, 5-2 outside of clay.

And this was with the very extreme scenario of lefty nadal versus federer with a one-handed backhand, and being 5 years older.

2008 onwards, of course, Fed has been in decline (what do you expect from a tennis player after he tunrs 26? Look at history). Even then, Fed beat him last november on a fast hard court.

Nadal’s success is ALL due to his age advantage, being lefty, and clay dominance. THOSE ARE THE FACTS, you can of course choose to deny facts.


trufan Says:

Del Potro (before he was injured) and now Djokovic clearly showed that once you blunt Nadal’s heavy topspin moonballed lefty forehand to your backhand, you can beat him over and over again.

Its clay coupled with today’s racket technology that makes his lefty forehand so effective against a one handed backhand.

See what happens 2012 onwards, when Nadal starts to slow down with age. He will have a much steeper decline than Federer.


trufan Says:

For everyone still hung up with Nadal being an “all-court” champion:

Lets look at Nadal’s BEST year, 2010:

Overall match record – 72-10 (not even close to Federer’s best years) – 22-0 on clay, 50-10 outside of clay.

Total slams – 10, 6 on clay.

Total titles – 46, 32 on clay.

Overall match record 515-107 – 227-18 on clay, 288-89 outside of clay.

His success is VERY LARGELY dependent on clay. Those are the FACTS.

Nadal is perhaps the BEST clay courter in history, who is pretty good on other sufaces too. BUt to be GOAT, you have to be more than “pretty good” on all surfaces.


scoreboard66 Says:

“Where does that leave us? Roger can beat Nole but can’t beat Rafa. Rafa can beat Roger but can’t beat Nole. Nole can beat Rafa and can beat Roger.”

They CAN all beat each other. Fed beat Rafa at the WTF, Rafa beat Nole at the USO, and Fed beat Nole at the FO. Let’s see what they do over the next 6 months, then we can revisit this topic of can’t.


Borg Says:

Skeezerweezer and Trufan, You need to basically understand that Tennis is an individual sport more like Boxing and here the H2H do count a lot. It is not a team sport damit. All these assumptions that Nadal did not come into many hardcourt finals etc. for the lop sided record does not carry weight. We can even go on to argue that had Nadal been in those finals, Federer slam record would be much less given the ludicrous H2H when they meet. Infact Federer was fortunate in a sense that he did not run into Nadal. Many will endorse that Federer won 2009 French and Wimbledon mainly due to the absence of Nadal. Sorry to say it is deeply embarrassing for the Great Federer and his fans how much they pretend otherwise. They know deep inside their heart that Nadal is just getting the better of Federer on Court they face most of the times. As for Trufan giving an argument of the Becker-Mcenroe H2H, Mcenroe peak years were from 1980-84 and Becker from 1985-1991. Becker started his career and won his first grand slam when Mcenroe was career descended not like the case of Federer Vs Nadal when the former was in his prime and yet lost to Nadal. Moreover the lop sided H2H of Becker Vs Mcenroe happened much after Mcenroe’s sabbatical from Tennis after which he was never the same player. The best time for their clash would have been the 1985 Wimbledon but unfortunately Mcenroe fell then to Kevin Curren who was serving like inferno. You say Federer prime years were only from 2004-2007 and his decline started after 2008. Federer was just 27 years in 2008 and that must be his prime years. How the hell you think that is the age of decline ? I just cannot understand. In the same way one can argue that Nadal was a kid when he lost to Federer in the 2006 and 2007 finals at Wimbledon. A mature Nadal would have got the better of Federer just like he is doing today. Regarding the World tour finals recently which Nadal lost, he was the only one who took a set off Federer in that tournament and many impartial commentators thought that Nadal was just not in the best of health in finals when he seemed very tired.


trufan Says:

Borg abruptly left tennis in 1981. Had he continued for another 3-4 years, his H2H against Mcenroe would have been pretty bad, since Mcenroe was beating him pretty consistently by then – again, primarily because of being younger!!

And they never faced each other on clay – otherwise Borg would have had such a stupendous H2H against Mcenroe!

Federer plays Nadal mostly on clay, and continues to play even close to 30, so obviously the H2H will be skewed!!

Details matter guys…….


trufan Says:

BOrg,

Yes, you are quite right, whenever Nadal loses, he is either injured or tired. Wait, he himself always sneaks this excuse in interviews!!

BTW, Nadal did play French 2009.

See how he gets hammered in teh hardcourt season this year!


Borg Says:

Trufan, Mcenroe beating pretty consistently Borg -in which world are you in ? Their H2H is 7-7 and yes Mcenroe was fortunate in the sense that he did not meet Borg in the Claycourts where Borg would have delivered a whacking of sorts since everybody knows the superiority of Borg on that surface. But even in other Courts the score was even and not like the Federer-Nadal score. Again the clay court argument being forwarded for the lop sided record, I just cannot understand how the Clay courts can be inferior to other Courts. It is the most natural surface and unlike Hard courts or Grass, it is the most stable and Tennis essentially started only on Clay courts. Grass and Hard are invented surface afterwards when Tennis modernized. As I said in 2008, Federer was 27 and yet lost to Nadal at Wimbledon which he claimed as his territory and everybody knows that in the first two sets of that match, Nadal was just whacking Federer in every corner that Federer just could not answer and he was just lucky to scrape through in the 3rd and 4th sets by virtue of close tie breaks and in the fifth set despite having the advantage of serving first could not win against Nadal. Even at the Australian Open, Federer was just 27 and yet again lost to Nadal despite the fact that Nadal had a 5 hour long match against Verdasco the day before and Federer had an extra day to recuperate. Despite this, he lost to Nadal. Just see the facts as it is Trufan, it will be deeply embarrasing for you.


Borg Says:

Trufan, it is never an excuse. Yes Nadal lost that World tour finals since Federer played better that day but if you closely see the match, Nadal’s atheleticism in the third set was just not there and he did not attempt to stage even a semblance of a fight when Federer was serving for the match. That is not the usual Nadal that we see on the Courts who always fights till the last point. That prompted many Commentators to say that Nadal was very tired during that match. But that is not an excuse. The fact is he lost the match and Federer was the deserving winner on that day.


Borg Says:

Yes Nadal did play the French Open 2009 where he lost to Soderling. But in the heart of hearts every Federer fan know that had Nadal been in the finals, Federer would never have won the match as the record speaks for themselves. The fact that Nadal had a severe problem was demonstrated by the fact that he withdrew from Wimbledon and Soderling did manage to outlast an unfit Nadal in 2009 French


Borg Says:

If Nadal is the greatest Clay Court Player as heralded, how can Federer be the Greatest as Clay court are part of Tennis and Federer is second best ???


trufan Says:

BOrg, you are hilarious. Just don’t like fact, ha?

Borg lost his last three matches to Mcenroe in 1981, including wimby and USO finals. THat’s what evened the H2H, and he knew he couldn’t beat Mcenroe now, even outside of clay. He has even acknowledged that.

You really twist statements ha?

Turn on your logic please, don’t save it for the future.

Nadal is the best on CLAY – but remember, there are two other surfaces???? Or is clay everything to you, and other surfaces don’t matter?

Ridiculous.


Borg Says:

I do not want to go to the nitty gritties of the H2H between Borg and Mcenroe, but the fact of the matter is it stands at even (7-7)whereas in the case of Nadal and Federer it is 17-8. What would have happened had Borg met Mcenroe on Clay etc., or that he would have never beaten Mcenroe and so he retired etc. etc. are all best academic interest which are only fit for debates. I base my assumption that Borg would beat Mcenroe hands down on Clay on the basis of his wonderful record on that surface. But Borg never met Mcenroe on Clay and it is mere assumption. Whereas this logic does not fit into the Federer case where Federer has been beaten by Nadal on Grass as well as Hard courts of major Slams as well in the finals. When this is a fact you cannot merely assume that Federer would have beaten Nadal had he been in many hard court finals when the fact is it is even on hard courts with the edge to Nadal by virtue of his victory in the Australian Open – a Grand slam. We can only come to a conclusion with the records we have on hand and not on what would have been. Even my assumption that Federer would have won far fewer grand slams than he actually have if Nadal had been on tour since 2003 would have basis considering the lop sided H2H. But, that is not the case. Federer has 16 and his loss in grand slam finals is 7 – six of them have been against Nadal – some food for thought.


Borg Says:

Federer is Nadal’s bunny – as simple as that.


Polo Says:

Why would people even compare McEnroe with Borg? Borg is on a higher plane and McEnroe is a couple of rungs below that level. He only beat Borg when he was losing interest in tennis and then retired.


Borg Says:

Polo, Although I am a great admirer of the great Bjorn yet I have to admit that Mcenroe is a far more talented player than Borg. Infact it would not be out of place to mention that Mcenroe is one of the most talented players in the history of Tennis besides Nastase, Pancho Gonzales, Hoad etc. As regards Mcenroe beat Borg when he was losing interest in Tennis, can we also assume that Mcenroe by virtue of his beating to Borg made him lose interest in Tennis ? That logic fits quite well than yours.


Sorcer Says:

It is not rivalry between Federer and Nadal, it is just hammering to say the least and pity is more often than not Federer is at the receiving end.


trufan Says:

In the same way, Federer is a far more talented player than Nadal.

THE difference? Federer has 16 slams, Nadal has 10. At the end, that is what matters. We’ll see in a couple of years.

Nadal is done for the year. The decline will be steep.

Borg, you better get some zanex!


skeezerweezer Says:

Borg

Boxing you get to choose or negotiate your opponent, tennis is played in a tournament against a field that you cannot pick or choose…You seem stuck on the theory of the boxing….”I choose you out dude”, LOL.

Slams are Fed’s bunnies….


Tennis Says:

Borg is an idiot, rofl. I guess Murray is better than Federer then, and Davydenko is better than Nadal. After all, tennis is all H2H. The 16 slams means nothing…. Or the 23 straight GS semi, or 5 straight wimbies/us opens


Tennis Says:

Btw, if you think we can’t assume Nadal would have lost, why did he repeatedly lose to mediocre players like Blake or Youzhny at the US open? Federer was at his peak. Watch the 2004 US open Final Federer vs Hewitt on youtube, you see that forehand? LOL, good luck rafa.


Ben Wade Says:

trufan Says:

Nadal is the best on CLAY – but remember, there are two other surfaces???? Or is clay everything to you, and other surfaces don’t matter?

Ridiculous.

June 8th, 2011 at 5:41 am

Trufan,

Rafa’s win loss record on different surfaces is as below:
92.65%
83.33%
76.64%

Fed’s win loss record on different surfaces is as below:
87.3%
82.5%
76.78%

Rafa on his worst surface (hard) won 76.64% of his matches.
Fed has won 76.8% on his worst surface (clay).

I dont know by what means Federer is a better all surface player.

Can you pls care to explain objectively ?


Ben Wade Says:

Tennis Says:
Btw, if you think we can’t assume Nadal would have lost, why did he repeatedly lose to mediocre players like Blake or Youzhny at the US open? Federer was at his peak. Watch the 2004 US open Final Federer vs Hewitt on youtube, you see that forehand? LOL, good luck rafa.

June 8th, 2011 at 11:49 am

Mr.Tennis,

Federer has lost once before the first round (quals), once at third round, and three times at fourth round in US Open to players who are not even mediocre.

Why is it so ??

Can you pls care to explain objectively ?


Ben Wade Says:

Rafa on hard courts is simply as good as Federer on clay.
Its a FACT.


trufan Says:

Ben Wade,

You need the zanex too!

Hard courts:

Slams: Fed – Rafa 9-2
Slam finals: Fed – Rafa 11-2

GET IT? See for yourself if Rafa is ANYWHERE NEAD fed on hard courts!!!

LOL…


trufan Says:

Also, Fed on clay – 5 slam finals.

Rafa on hard – 2 slam finals. (when two slams are on hard courts every year, so double opportunity)

THAT objective enough for you?


skeezerweezer Says:

For all you GOATER’s;

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/jon_wertheim/06/08/french.open.mailbag/

In all fairness, Fed has ALREADY acquired 16 Slams, record semi’s and finals…and some don’t want to discuss…..the relatively injured free career ( How many tourneys has he NOT played due to injury ) of Roger Federer. This has to calculate into the “complete” player and will when all is said and done…..but often is overlooked.

He has almost always come to the plate to bat, 100% or not. Win or lose, he is seemingly already there. We all assume he just going to be there, but it’s not that easy. It’s amazing. What recent stat confounded me lately of this has been in 28 STRAIGHT GS quarterfinals. Really? Not Masters, not 500′s, but Slams. That means IF you have been watching Tennis the last 7 years you’ve seen Fed always just 2 matches away from a Championship. A very high rate of consistency at the “finals” level over a period of 7 years.

Fed has been to 23 GS finals, Rafa has been to 12. He has some road work to do before he gets to 23 GS finals or close. The Qtr final record he will never touch.

Fed’s has went through way more many matches that Rafa. If I played 20 matches, and am 20 – 0, my stats look great. But if I am 100-30, my record is still very dominant but I don’t have a 100% ratio.

Fed’s career is in the bank, per se, from here on out is gravy. Others are not. So claims is what is current, not what Rafa or anyone else can and maybe will do, we have to wait and see. Will Rafa get hurt? Will other players come up and test him in GS? He has a good 4-5 years ( If he stays healthy ) to play against others, will they come up and start dominating him or have a winning record ( like Nole? )? These are things Fed was looking at when he was 25…

Fed has already answered that with 16 Slams while participating in over 950 matches to date…….


trufan Says:

Key parts of the article referenced above:

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.


trufan Says:

And BTW, nadal violates the time rule in almost every game he plays. If tennis rules were enforced, he would either be disqualified from every match, or be forced to play faster which would take away from his strategy of “making his opponent wait all the time”.

Prime example was Wimbledon 2008. Of the 288 minute match, 110 minutes were spent by Federer WAITING to receive serve from Nadal, based on video analysis. In contrast, Nadal spent 32 minutes waiting for Federer to serve.

Make your own inferences about gamesmanship, sportsmanship, or whatever from this FACT.

Borg, any comment???? You can’t deny the fact, so I am waiting for your excuse, or just a repeat of your old rants without answering this question.


skeezerweezer Says:

Trufan,

Almost 2 hours? You sure? Wow…Thank God for DVR…


Swiss Maestro Says:

what is rafa’s winning percentage on indoor hard-courts or carpet? or have we forgotten them coz he sucks on those surfaces?


Swiss Maestro Says:

let me help you – indoors, rafael nadal is 45 in all time winning list – well below fed (6) murray (9) roddick (11), djokovic (13) hewitt (16) nalbandian (17).

and on carpet, nadal is not even in top 50. fed is 13th.

so who is the all-surface, all-weather man. the peRFect player? = RF.

suck on that, you haters!


trufan Says:

Skeezerweezer,

Yes, it was 110 full minutes! There’s a book written about the 2008 wimbledon final where this was analyzed.

Too bad they continued to play in darkness, when the winner/loser was decided largely by luck (try playing in complete darkness – then skill doesn’t matter at all, right?). the worse the conditions, the less role skill plays.

If Fed had won that, it would have been the greatest victory ever in the history of tennis. That’s the only one I feel bad about.

As for Federer’s “weakest” surface – clay:

1. he has 5 slam finals (only Lendl, Borg, Nadal, and Wilander have 5 or more).

4. He is 4th in match wins at the French, ever (49 wins). He will definitely end up second in match wins at FO, ever (after Nadal, eventually).

That’s his record at his WORST surface!!!


gonzalowski Says:

Skeezer, trufan:

I tought every one said that the important was G.Slams won, not slams Qfinals, or Slams finals, or GSlams matches percentage, or why not 4th rounds played in a row.

If not maybe Murray will be the goat some day.


trufan Says:

Of course, slams are most important. But people shouldn’t get shortsighted by just one stat either.

Borg made 4 USO finals, didn’t win any, lost only to Mcenroe and Connors. You can’t say Borg and Guga were equals on hard courts! Other numbers, though less important, certainly help produce a more complete picture of results.

Many players have a single French open title to their credit (e.g. Agassi, Gomez, Moya, Ferrero, Gaudio, Chang, Muster, etc. etc. etc.). Can’t say they are the same as Federer as far as clay goes!!!

So you have to look at other numbers too, especially if they are so strong.

Only Nadal, Borg, Lendl can claim true superiority over Fed on clay (so far!! – Fed might win some more!!). Wilander and Guga, perhaps. Depending on how oyu look at it, Federer is perhaps the 4th, 5th, or 6th best clay courter in the open era.

Even out of these, even Borg and Lendl would not have dominated Fed the way Nadal does on clay, since they wouldn’t have had the lefty advantage.


trufan Says:

One more thing. An article today sums it up very accurately I think – that Nadal its very unlikely Nadal will top 16 slams:

1. Nadal is 26 next year. Speed and agility are the first to decline with age. These are more important for Nadal then for players like Fed. Even with 90-95% of his peak speed, Nadal will find it tough to win slams now, especially outside of clay.

2. Djokovic has arrived. He will take a few. Murray and Del Potro (and some new guy is bound to show up soon now) may take a couple too.

3. Fed is not done. He might win a couple in the next 2-3 years.

A 30 year old (slower) Nadal is not winning slams, that’s for sure.

Signs of decline already (at 25)? Nadal lost 2 matches and perhaps 10+ sets on clay this year, the most since 2004. First 5 setter at French. Two other 4 setters. He is not dominataing on clay like he did even last year. We saw him panting and more tired than Djokovic after 3 hours in Miami – the Nadal of 2008 would never be like that after JUST 3 hours of tennis, especially given his slow pace of match play.

Just lost a set to a 32/33 yr old stepanek on grass!


trufan Says:

My prediction? Federer Nadal will end their careers 18-14 in slams. Fed has another wimbledon and USO in him (its a fast hard court). Nadal has perhaps 2 more French, a wimbledon, and an australian (slow hard court). Then people can decide!!!


trufan Says:

Read this today:

Nadal has met federer 14 times on clay but only 3 times on grass. Imagine the H2H if it was the other way around!!


trufan Says:

Well, Borg seems to have disappeared!

Anyway. Nadal lost today, and as usual, had an excuse ready – that he was “tired”! He doesn’t have the balls to give his opponent “true” credit. He is always backhanded about his compliments, even when he gives them.

He lost because its not clay anyway.

Would love to see Nadal-Isner in the first round. That’s one Nadal will lose, especially on fresh grass. I hope he has to beat Roddick on the way, and not get lucky with the draw like always.


madmax Says:

Borg Says:
Skeezerweezer and Trufan, You need to basically understand that Tennis is an individual sport more like Boxing and here the H2H do count a lot. It is not a team sport damit. All these assumptions that Nadal did not come into many hardcourt finals etc. for the lop sided record does not carry weight. We can even go on to argue that had Nadal been in those finals, Federer slam record would be much less given the ludicrous H2H when they meet. Infact Federer was fortunate in a sense that he did not run into Nadal. Many will endorse that Federer won 2009 French and Wimbledon mainly due to the absence of Nadal. Sorry to say it is deeply embarrassing for the Great Federer and his fans how much they pretend otherwise.

fEDERER TOOK OUT THE GUY THAT BEAT RAFA IN 2009 FO. THAT IS THE BEST HE COULD DO, AND HE DID IT. BECAUSE RAFA WS SMASHED IN THE 4TH ROUND ISN’T ROGER’S FAULT. HE WON IT FAIR AND SQUARE AND FOUGHT TO GET THERE IRRESPECTIVE OF RAFA. REMEMBER DELPO MATCH? TOMMY HAAS MATCH? BOTH CLASSICS SHOWING FEDERER’S TENACITY TO WIN. RAFA WAS JUST OUTCLASSED BY SODERLING THAT DAY.


Tennis Says:

I love how Nadal fans strictly emphasize H2H as for their man being the best. Nadal loses miserably to Federer in every other department. As for Nadal owning Federer on clay, Nadal owns EVERYONE on clay. Federer is, quite frankly, probably the 3rd best clay courter of all time, behind Nadal and Borg. He would still probably beat guys like Guga and Wilanter, honestly, who else would consistentlybeat federer on clay other than Nadal, and Borg if he played in Federer’s era? Federer being a great clay court player has hurts his legacy, just because one guy beats him.

Federer has dominated 3 slams, Nadal has dominated 1. As I am not a Nadal hater or a Federer fan by any means, Nadal is a very legitimate GOAT contender IF he keeps up his recent accomplishments. Nadal will be GOAT if he has a couple more years of winning 2-3 slams/year, and if he gets close to Federer’s consistency records like 23 straight GS semi. Until then, the facts speak for themselves. Federer remains the GOAT until Nadal can accomplish what he has.


Tennis Says:

Federer really is very dominate on all surfaces, their just happens to be one guy on one surface that can’t ever beat. Granted, Nadal did beat him on Grass and Hard Court in major finals. However, Nadal has failed to reach finals when Federer was in his prime on surfaces other than clay. Nadal, still, cannot beat Federer CONSISTENTLY away from clay. If they played 100 times on a Hardcourt/grass, I don’t think anyone would argue that federer would win well over 50 of them.

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