Rafael Nadal: I Am Tired, But Not Worn Down for Davis Cup [Video]
by Tom Gainey | September 14th, 2011, 11:10 am
  • 100 Comments

Speaking to the press today in Cordoba, Spain, Rafael Nadal admitted that he’s tired but ready to play if called this weekend for Spain’s Davis Cup semifinal against France.

Nadal, who just lost a grueling 4-set marathon to Novak Djokovic Monday in the US Open final, said he’s thankful that Spain has so much depth to fall back on. And the World No. 2 said it’s up to captain Albert Costa to decide if Nadal will be used on Friday.

“The truth is that I am not worn down,” Nadal told the AP. “I played a little over four hours in the U.S. Open final and traveled right after various days of competing at the highest level, so obviously I am tired. But I am not worn down, luckily.”

Nadal trained just 30 minutes after landing Tuesday.

Costa says that he will give Nadal a few more days to recover and then make a decision. Spain will also have the services David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez.

France, who beat Spain 5-0 last year in the quarterfinals, has Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils, Gilles Simon and Richard Gasquet. The match will be played on the red clay at the Plaza de Toros de los Califas in Cordoba, Spain.


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100 Comments for Rafael Nadal: I Am Tired, But Not Worn Down for Davis Cup [Video]

kriket Says:

Just an observation concerning Nadal’s never-give-up attitude and image. He clearly gave up on that Novak’s championship point forehand winner. He could have get to the ball and at least try to return the shot, but he just stopped and gave up. Anyone who would watch a replay of that final point can see it. He was clearly out of steam and exausted, but the fact is he could get to that ball and return that last shot and he didn’t. He just gave up.


kriket Says:

Here’s the replay of the final point.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kK2ve6Kxl_M


Kimberly Says:

Albert Costa should not play him Friday and only play him Sunday if necessary. Nadal is showing up only so he doesn’t look like an -ss bailing on them, but its not the right thing for him. Ditto to Serbia’s captain. Both teams have enough depth without them.


jane Says:

Agree Kimberly: these two have gone deep in almost every tournament they’ve played in this year, if not all of them. They should rest and play Sunday if need be.


jamie Says:

Nadal has just one more slam in him. He will win it when he gets lucky and avoids his daddy Nole next year.


mem Says:

kriket,

to your observation about nadal giving up in the 4th. we were discussing the same thing at home, but i dont’ think that was the reason he stopped chasing every ball. i drew this conclusion based on my observation of the way the match was unfolding at the time.

i recall him saying after his lost to robin soderling in 2009 french. if you recall fans jeered and booed and cheered his defeat during that match and he made a comment later that he would never ever take his body beyond the limit to win a match. in other words, he didn’t seem to appreciate how he was treated by fans considering how he had played hurt and in knee pain in the past just to not disappoint fans. i’m thinking that has everything to do with how he reacts to certain things now.

my guess is after novak’s time out, at the beginning of the fourth, at which time nadal was clearly exhausted too, and rightly so, he didn’t figure it was worth it to him to keep running himself into the ground and running down every ball after novak seem to be rejuvenated and blasting the ball like he was early on in the match.

i just think nadal learned a lesson a couple of years ago and he would be a fool to risk his health to prove to others that he can beat novak. barring health issues, he will have plenty times to prove that.

it’s being written up as nadal gave up in the fourth, but i beg to differ. judging from the way he was fired-up after winning the third set, i think he really believed he had a chance to win the whole thing or at least take it to a fifth but after the time out, there was a shift in momentum, the tides turned, and so he didn’t put himself through any unnecessary stress. that’s what i think happened!


Skeezerweezer Says:

Giving up? It’s called quitting.

If you can finish a match, you should. You signed up for it. You owe it to the fans and to the game. Its a battle out there, not, gee, looks like I am not going to win, so, see ya. If you are not seriously injured, and can finish a match, you should. My imo.


alison hodge Says:

mem i agree for rafa to give up is not his style not in his nature,it was just that he got broken in that 4th set,i think to be fare no disrespect nole would still have won the match anyway,the way the comontators were talking rafa had the momentom going into the 4th set and it looked likely he would push the match to a 5th set sadly it wasnt to be,still better luck next time,like you i still believe in him,and i think hes got alot to be positive about next year should be very interesting,if anything i think he will be extra motivated.


C Says:

Rafa didn’t give up, he was obviously exhausted.


alison hodge Says:

i also agree with skeezer for any player to give up is disrespectful to the fans,your oponent and most of all your letting yourself down,only quit if your injured,and are incapable of finishing the match,worse case senario.


mem Says:

alison,

points well-taken, but i never know who will win a match until it’s over. tennis can be shockingly unpredictable at times. roger was up 2 sets to love against tsonga @ wimbledon, but lost in five. roger was serving for the match saturday vs. djokovic but lost in five. so there is nothing set in stone in a tennis match until it’s over. there is no guarantee that novak would have won had it gone five; how do you know for certain he would have won? fighting and believing that things can turn around no matter how dismal the situations appear is what makes champions.


skeezerweezer Says:

^Another reason NEVER to give up just because you think you cannot win.

@C

Some here think Novak took the MTO as an excuse to recover from exhaustion ( guess the EGG didn’t help here ). But, he hung in there, despite exhaustion, injured back and shoulder, and got his second win to finish with a resounding 4th set win.


kriket Says:

mem, I remember you complaining about what you called a fake MTO by Novak taken just to stop Rafa’s momentum or whatever. I mean how wrong can you get? I know you’ve said that immediately after the match when you were maybe heartbroken about your fav’s yet another loss. But the fact is, MTO was NOT fake at all, Nadal took that time to rest as well, and it wasn’t even that close a match that Novak would even want to distract Rafa.
3rd set that Rafa won was, he did not crush Djoko. It was i tie-breaker, and it’s a lottery. If anything, Djoko gave away that set too easily when he was serving for the match. 4th set? Come on, it was 6-1, with Djoko’s “fake” injured back. So I cannot for a moment take your notion of “Nadal’s killed momentum” by a fake MTO, when he himself took that time to rest, for he was, as you say, exsausted himself. If you claim that Novak’s victory was due to cheating, you’re blind. It wasn’t even that close a match, let alone 4th set. 3rd set was, let’s say close, but even then Novak had it in it’s pocket and just blew it away by playing lousy on his serve-for-the-championship game. I was afraid, after the 3rd set, and Novak’s obvious injury, that Rafa could and would take advantage of that and take it to the 5th set, but he just didn’t have the strength, not physical nor mental. Novak was injured, but Rafa was completely out of steam. That last point just goes to show that.
He gave everything he had in that match and still it wasn’t even close. He got broken 11 times! There were very few Rafa’s service games without break points for Novak, throughout the match.


mem Says:

kriket,

you say i made certain comments because i was “heartbroken.” quite the contrary, i made comments knowing exactly what i was saying. meant every word. i spoke strongly because i wanted nadal to have every single opportunity to win. he’s my favorite, what do you expect, but the lost certainly didn’t break my heart.

this may come as a surprise to you, but i’m not obsessed with nadal losing a match the way you guys seem to be obsessed with every win every lost. this is tennis! too many tournaments to be played for me to freak out over every lost.

also, i try not to say things that i don’t mean. if i said i believe novak mto was fake, i meant it. that’s my opinion! if you want to go on and on and on over my interpretation of what occurred vs. your interpretation, please by all means do so, but you will have to do it without me because i don’t have the time. i’ve stated more than once what i believe. we both see it differently and that’s not gonna change. whatever you believe is ok with me.


mem Says:

photos of rafa in cordova for davis cup for those who are interested:

http://twitpic.com/6kqv3r

http://twitpic.com/6kve5b

http://twitpic.com/6kve0f


mem Says:

“comments are awaiting moderation” for what might i ask. apparently, i’m missing something, but what standard have i not complied with. what reason would my comments warrant moderation. if posters are complaining and conspiring because they can’t force me to see things their way, stop beating around the bush and just say so.

or if i’m being asked to leave in a subtle, round about way, i don’t have a problem with it, but i would think someone would step up and have the professionalism and courage to explain why. if not, so be it!


skeezerweezer Says:

mem,

what did you post?


jane Says:

mem, if you posted links (usually more than one) your comment will automatically be placed in moderation. It has happened to me lots. Otherwise, I think curse words will get you a spot in the queue.


Michael Says:

We should also praise the Patriotic credentials of Rafa. What a commitment to his Country !! With Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, we are blessed to have this trio ruling the Tennis World. All the best to them !!


scoreboard66 Says:

skeezerweezer:”Some here think Novak took the MTO as an excuse to recover from exhaustion ( guess the EGG didn’t help here ). But, he hung in there, despite exhaustion, injured back and shoulder, and got his second win to finish with a resounding 4th set win.”

Wouldn’t you hang in there if you’re leading by 2 sets? It’s not like the Murray match where he was losing by a set and 0-3, which gave him no incentive whatsoever to hang in there.

I think the timing of the MTO was unfair towards Rafa. Why was it allowed on his serve,and not have Novak wait until it was his time to serve? It’s obvious Rafa had the momentum going in to the fourth set. Carlos Ramos has always struck me as an umpire who has very little smarts, and I’ve seen him make lots of blunders. i suppose these umpires are afraid to make waves with the No. 1 player, coz they’ll be black listed. ATP needs to do somethikng about the MTOs and fast.


skeezerweezer Says:

mem,

well we will see if it goes through or not. Usually curse words, mean intent, name calling, etc. will get axed at times. and as Jane has said, posting links is a crap shoot at times. Some get through others don’t.

Also this is why I have encourage to trash talk players, not posters. But I am not a moderator or someone that has a say. There is no group here to moderate you, its up to the admin of the site and my guess it is automatic key words first then a looksey by them by eyeing it. Just my experience in other Blogs and forums.

You have not been posting like that as of late, so I am awfully curious why you did get moderated.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Sb66,

You really want to go there about MTO’s and what is fair with Rafa? I wouldn’t advise it but blog on . Rafa has been the ultimate user of the rules, along with pushin many other rules such as on court coachin and a fined result, takin too much time between serves, making his opponet wait before a match, there is a lot of gamesmenship going on. If Rafa is givin it its ok. But when he gets it ( maybe ) its not? C’mon!

I would check the log in your on eye first as they say..

I see… It is a conspiracy…sod took an bad mto in a match with Rafa, and then delpo, and then nole, they are all wrong and rafa is right. Uh uh…..


scoreboard66 Says:

SW, I’m only talking about the timing of the MTO, that’s all.

Look, I know that Rafa is guilty as sin of overdoing it with the MTOs, same for Novak, but in this case, I think the umpire was not being practical or adhering to the rule on MTOs, that’s all.

“I see… It is a conspiracy…sod took an bad mto in a match with Rafa, and then delpo, and then nole, they are all wrong and rafa is right. Uh uh”

No, you’re getting carried away here, and putting words into my mouth. I’m not saying that at all. The issue is the “timing” of the MTO, not the actual MTO, so how about if we stick with the real issue, and not bring other situations into play. OK?


Michael Says:

Scoreboard66, You are blowing the MTO issue out of proportion. Do you think that was the sole reason for the defeat of Nadal ? Accept the brutal fact that Nadal was totally outplayed in the match. If at all, the match got extended to four sets it was due to Djokovic’s weak serving and nerves in the end. He was serving for the match in the third set and had a bad service game which gave new lease of life to Nadal. Otherwise the match would have ended in three sets. With the way it is, Djokovic is flirting with greatness and it may not be long before he occupies the centrestage and adorn the posters of the GREATS of Tennis.


Wog boy Says:

Nadal is wasted, thanks to Novak The Man, this was his message to selector…. ” take somebody else I am done”.
Frogs should by Novak drink for doing them favour.
Regards from Sydney, I hope Aussie can and will kick Swiss’ ….back side.
AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE
OI, OI , OI


Michael Says:

Wog boy. Watch Rafa flog the Serbian peasant’s ass in 2012. Form is temporary class is permanent, remember that. Go Rafa. 9 million fans with you. Bury this classless Serbian peasant!!!!!!!


Wog boy Says:

Peasant or not, but NOVAK THE MAN keep wipping their asses properly and on regular basis. Didn’t you notice they started to walk funny? I think, they like it.

Quality matters, not quantity, remember that.

I heard Rafa is opening pastry ( burek ) shop in Madrid, they reckon he collected enough baking dishes ( tepsija ) this year ( 6 ), but wait,there is more to come, thanks to NOVAK THE MAN.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Michael vs. Wog boy

Your trash talking duel was hilarious lol!


jamie Says:

Michael Says:
Wog boy. Watch Rafa flog the Serbian peasant’s ass in 2012. Form is temporary class is permanent, remember that. Go Rafa. 9 million fans with you. Bury this classless Serbian peasant!!!!!!!

September 15th, 2011 at 8:05 am

____________

Dream on

2012 will be like 2011

Nole wins 3 slams

Nadull flukes a slam somewhere when Nole is too tired and loses to Olderer in the SF. Then Olderer loses to Nadull in the final.


alison hodge Says:

@jamie if your so called on line pyschic is correct,nole wins 3 grand slams and rafa as you say flukes 1 somewhere next year ,as a rafa fan i will be delighted,as rafa will have 11 grand slams,no disrespect to nole but he will have 7 grand slams,still 4 less than rafa,and there will be only 3 other men with more grand slams than rafa,hope your online pyschic is correct about rafa,thanks jamie you have just made my day.


Michael Says:

No Wog boy, not a pastry shop, in fact a tennis academy! The Serbian peasants have pancake shops! That is what the classless Serb will b next yr – A PANCAKE!!! Ha ha ha!!!


Kimberly Says:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hYNOFzijOKs9__TE4B2XTTmlC7qA?docId=7bca5427d8ca4543a94f3990f957ea53

Rafa will play Friday v. Gasquet. Quite surprised but I guess they think Verdasco and Lopez too iffy.


Kimberly Says:

so jamie—is the 3 slams a year your psychic’s prediction or yours. And which slam Rafa luck out on? Will Nole complete his career slam.

Hmmmmm. My cards and analysis of Nadal’s chart say Rafa to win AO 12.


Lulu Iberica Says:

Ugh. This is all stupid! Novak and Rafa both left everything they had out on the court! Nobody retired, and I don’t think Rafa gave up, so much as he was completely exhausted and got steamrolled. I admit, match point was very sad for me, seeing Rafa not even move to the ball, but he just had nothing left and Novak did. That’s all there is to it. Right now Novak is playing better tennis than Rafa, is physically fitter than Rafa, and is mentally stronger than Rafa. Hopefully that changes in 2012. As Alison points out, even if next year is a repeat of this one, Rafa will still be ahead in the slam count, but if Nole manages to some day surpass Rafa, he would certainly deserve all the credit and glory, as it would require an incredible display of dominance. Anyhow, I still love my guy, and believe in him, and I know he’ll fight to get back on top! Vamos! Let’s get revenge on those Frenchies this weekend!


vox777 Says:

I’m Nole’s fan, and my opinion is that if he wanted to distract Nadal with MTO, he would have taken it on 6-5 in 3rd and serve rested and massaged. He showed how much he respected Nadal, playing injured and not taking MTO when he should have.
Congrats to both players, Nole for playing injured and Rafa for playing exhausted and giving everything. Give credit to Nadal, he clearly couldn’t win this match but he kept fighting and almost got a chance because of Noles injury caused by a long points Nadal made him play. If Nole was 100% fit he would have won 3:0 but I think that Nadal deserved that set! It’s not that Nadal is that worse player than Nole, it’s just that his game is more suited for Federer, it’s all about match ups. BUT Nole showed how well he could play short points in 4th set, so please Nole, keep your points short, and then you will keep both stamina and health. Nole loves so much playing chess games on court that that is impossible :)… And he does what pleases him. Luckily winning pleases him very much :D!
Nole I’ll always give this one to you, to outlast Nadal on court is a thing that only you could have done in whole tennis history! Very proud, keep on!


Michael Says:

Vox 777. No surprise that the classless Serb outlasted Rafa. He was much the fresher with Rafa having to play 3 consecutive days while the Serb was sitting on his backside. And don’t forget the Hypabaric Chamber the Serb has been using to recover!!!!! Bloody cheat!!!!!


King Says:

What’s wrong with timing of MTO?


King Says:

Do we have two Michael’s posting here: classless filthy, mouth trashing one and nice and respectful one, or it’s the same guys with split personality. Which one is it?


Lou Says:

Novak is a true inspiration to all- what he has does is a lesson for all to learn from: Novak Djokovic- Inspiration To All http://bit.ly/n9Bq5m


jamie Says:

She told me she sees dejavu of 2011 and repetitiousness in 2012. The same 2 faces lifting trophies. She doesn’t see anyone else winning(Federer, Murray, etc.) slams. She wasn’t specific at which slams would each of Nole and Nadull win. She says that has to be done before each slam(the charts and stuff) But Nole and Nadull would have a similar year as in 2011. Hence 3 for Nole and 1 for Nadull. She sees Olderer possibly triumphing at the Olympics and in 2013 she sees Olderer achieving one more great triumph not at slams(she says he won’t win more slams) but at Davis Cup possibly. Something important for him… She sees Nole dominating until 2013. Nadull with many injuries in 2013. She sees Murray doing great at slams but he won’t be very to close to winning a slam until 2013.


jamie Says:

BTW, when she said she sees Nole dominating until 2013, does not mean he will win 3 slams again in 2013 but still reaching slam finals and winning a slam.


alison hodge Says:

@jamie seriously,is this a wind up or what,do you really believe such nonsence,if it all comes true then more power to you,if not then you will look pretty foolish,either way id be carefull if i were you,about what your saying,you could end up with egg on your face.


jamie Says:

alison hodge Says:
@jamie seriously,is this a wind up or what,do you really believe such nonsence,if it all comes true then more power to you,if not then you will look pretty foolish,either way id be carefull if i were you,about what your saying,you could end up with egg on your face.

September 15th, 2011 at 4:45 pm

_____________

If she is right, then more power to her anyway.

I personally don’t understand anything about astrology. Don’t ask me about charts or whatever. It is all Chinese to me :)


jamie Says:

Slam predictions(these are my own…)

Federer 16(no more slams)

Nadal 11(like Borg)

Nole 8(like Agassi)

Murray 2(like Hewitt)

Del Potro 2(like Safin)

As always, new players will emerge in the future and win slams. Tomic and young guns born in the nineties.


Brando Says:

@ jamie: don’t you think 8 is too little for nole. He’s only 24 and he has 4 slams, 3 in 1 year and he is miles ahead of the rest atm. I see nole winning a maximum of 12, most likely 10. Rafa, I would say most likely 12 maximum 14.


jamie Says:

@ Brando

Nole’s playing style/game(like Nadal’s) will not lead to longevity like Olderer.


jamie Says:

Maybe Nole wins 9 like Seles. Can’t see more.


alison hodge Says:

@brando i think 12 is still very likely for rafa,14 doable but i dont know how realistic,as much as i would love him to win that many,im just thinking of the injuries hes prone to,nole has to win the next 6 to draw level with rafa on 10,it depends on whether or not he can sustain this level,only time will tell,i think 8 to 10 is more realistic,i still believe roger has another 2 left in him,this is all just my opinion.


alison hodge Says:

@brando a second ao,a second uso,a second singles gold medal,meaning a second golden slam is still doable for rafa,i know only a dream,but never the less, not exactly out of the realms of possibility.


Brando Says:

@ alison, anything is possible. Right now I just want the season done with asap so that rafa can have a good, solid pre season. He did not do so last year and it is absolutely vital to so so now. AUS 2012 is a vital tourny.


alison hodge Says:

thanks brando agreed,onwards and upwards,im so excited about the ao open in january,i can hardly wait,feeling very possitive already.


jane Says:

Has a straight up Golden Slam has been done only once? By Steffi Graf in 1988 when she won four slams and an Olynpic gold medal all in the same season – I think that is a golden slam anyhow. Nestor (doubles), Rafa (singles), and others have career golden slams, i.e., winning all the slams plus Olympic gold at some point in their careers.


alison hodge Says:

jane i read that on expedia.com,i know hubby andre,and rafa both have golden slams,which is impressive,but stefis is all the more special,as she did it all within one season,i dont think to the best of my knowledge that any other player has managed,a staight up golden slam.


alison hodge Says:

jane can i ask you out of interest, on a different subject, which player would you say is the non grand slam goat,ie the greatest ever player never to win a grand slam,past or present,just out of interest.


jane Says:

That is tough alison. :) I don’t know. Rios reached number 1, but never won a slam. Nalbandian is such a fabulous player, but he has never won a slam, ditto for a bunch of Frenchies (Gasquet, Tsonga, Monfils) who haven,t won slams (well, as a junior, La Monf won nearly all of them!). And of course, Muzza! But, he *will* win slams. Baggy, too, is talented, but so inconsistent, and injury hampered. Davydenko has been top 3, in several semis, but always denied. Ferrer. Obviously, I couldn’t name a greatest. There are too many to name. In women’s, though, Dementieva immediately comes to mind. What about for you?


alison hodge Says:

yeah jane i agree its tricky,when i asked you the question,i thought of dementieva and nalby too,as well as the other ones you mentioned,i think im a bit guilty sometimes of only thinking and concentrating on the majors,and the players that win them,and therfore forget about the lessor tournaments,and the players that win them,after davey won the wtf in 2009,i thought he would go on to make a breakthrough in a major sadly though he went the otherway though,muzza did come to mind too having been in 3 slam finals,although i dont know if that makes him the non grand slam goat though,but like you say he has 18 other titles which is pretty impresive for someone whos only 24,however i dont know how many titles the others have,i thought it would make an interesting talking point as it is something that never gets discussed,i wonder what everyone else thinks,id be interested to know.


carlo Says:

allison hodge-

I like the question. But without looking anything up, would have to narrow it down to the best of the active ATP to not win a slam:

Davydenko. Easy to forget about him at the moment but he has more titles than Murray, I think.

Murray, Andy
Nalbandian
Ferrer

Love to be able to open a thread on it with a poll to see what others think too.


kriket Says:

King @ 3.55PM
Obviously there are two Michaels. One of them reasonable and a good poster and the other obnoxious hater with sociopathic issues. I’d like to see “the good” Michael adjust his nickname so that the other one doesn’t keep giving him the bad name.


carlo Says:

But Andy Murray stands out as the one with the best shot to get off that list and win a GS title. If only…


alison hodge Says:

thanks carlo yeah i agree it would be nice to have a thread about it,however its nice to get some feed back,people get so wrapped up in grand slam winners sometimes that they forget about the rest of the players out there,people forget there are other great players out there who have not been lucky enough to win a grand slam.i agree about muzza too,and i believe with him its a case of when,not if,where as with henman i believed it to be the other way round.


alison hodge Says:

@kriket i must admit its got me a little confused,there seems to be two micheals, ones pro nole and the other ones anti nole,or is it the same person with a split personality.


carlo Says:

alison-

Davydenko has 21 titles. One of them is WTF. Murray has more ATP 1000 titles and obviously deserves more than a GOAT contest for the best with no slam. He MUST win a slam! Henman doesn’t come close to Murray.

Davydenko and Nalbandian are close, not in number of titles, Davydenko has 10 more. But in a poll of who is better, Kolya or Nalbandian, I’d guess Nalbandian would get more votes probably because he matched better with Federer and is considered more talented (not that I agree).

I can’t see past the Federer – Nadal years because Fedal has been such a blockade for great players winning slams. Davydenko and Nalbandian both had career high ranking of #3. Ferrer has a career high of #4 and 11 titles. What all 3 have in common is their age and being stopped by Federer and Nadal.

I’m curious about how much of a priority Djokovic and Nadal will put on 2012 Olympics. Perhaps more important to Djokovic? Maybe an opening for Murray to win Wimbledon or US Open?


carlo Says:

edit.

Meant Nalbandian probably considered more talented than Kolya in a poll. Federer > Nalbandian, clearly.


alison hodge Says:

carlo its funny they were the ones i was thinking of, like when i asked jane,nalby,davey and muzza,although its like the goat debate i suppose its a matter of opinion,even though i agree with everybody else it should be based on grand slam titles won to determine a goat,or in this case other titles won to determine whos the none grand slam goat.


alison hodge Says:

carlo this is purely speculation,but i wonder if the priorities are these for the top 4 players,nole would probably want to win the fo,to complete a career grand slam,roger a singles gold medal at the olympics next year,andy a grand slam of any description,and rafa a wtf final,for roger and rafa thats all they have left now to do,anything else is gravy.


grendel Says:

I believe in Argentina, Coria was considered at least as talented as Nalbandian. But he is a forgotten man, now. Talent is such a hard thing to gauge, isn’t it.

No less a person than Nadal (according to Annabelle Croft) regards himself as less talented than his peers – and who are we to contradict him? After all, success is a compound of many attributes, talent being just one of them.

The unusual thing about Federer is that he combines in his person, at a very high level, just about all the attributes you can think of. But that doesn’t mean he is the best w.r.t. all of them. For instance, is he really more talented than Nalbandian at his absolute best?

Rather than pick the greatest non slam winner, what about looking at each individual slam? Thus Ken Rosewall would surely be the greatest not to win Wimbledon. Lew Hoad the greatest not to win the US. Borg and Jack Kramer tying as the greatest not to win The AO. So many candidates for the French, not much point in listing them. Special mention for Pancho Gonzalez who only won the US – but only because he was debarred from playing for most of his career.


skeezerweezer Says:

Yes going back to Lavers era there were some unbelievable players in that era that are sadly forgotten. Pancho, Rosewall( has the type of record to be cosidered on of GOAT ), Lew, Kramer, a great list indeed.


skeezerweezer Says:

W.r.t Argentina agreed! Lets not forget the first buggy whip FH = VILAS


grendel Says:

Sometimes, going to bed seems to entail almost as much effort as the appalling exertion required to get up so, desirous of putting off this whole tedious business of cleaning the teeth, preparing the bed when I have forgotten to put the damn ground sheet on and various other atrocities, I found myself closely examining the Youtube feature provided by kriket right at the start of this thread.

I’m not entirely convinced that Nadal did give the point up. Consider the miraculous shot which Djokovic hit off the Federer serve at match point: the fact is, Djokovic chanced his arm whilst barely having to move, against a rather defensive serve, too. On the other hand, even if Nadal had managed to reach the Djokovic serve, surely the best he could have done would have been to pop the ball over the net to give Djokovic a simple (and satisfying) put away.

Can you blame Nadal for declining to take part in this charade? I suppose you could argue that had Nadal manged to reach the ball (by no means certain) Djokovic might have missed the easiest put away in history because his mind was on other matters, but that’s kind of nit-picking.

Now, I can no longer put it off. One has to pull the bed to pieces simply in order to put it together again, the kind of madness which is about as satisfying as digging ditches and filling them up again – I’ve done that, too, and come to think of it, that wasn’t so bad. Sun on your back and so on.


mat4 Says:

To add my two cents to the debate:

I thought then that Coria was a better player than Nalbandian. He really had an unfortunate career: the doping affair, then the final of Roland Garros, then the serve.

He was an intelligent player, very complete: fast, good touch, good crosscourt forehand, good twohander, no real weaknesses. Still remember his loss against Rafa in Rome.

About the best player without a slam: it seems it could really be Murray. But I don’t remember anybody making three finals without winning a slam later. Cedric Pioline made two finals. Todd Martin also. Who else? Roddick lost four finals, but has win one. I don’t want to write about Rios.

The case seems clear: Murray has won 7 MS titles, made the semi or better of all the GS, ranked 2 in the world…

But it will be a miracle if he doesn’t win a slam.


carlo Says:

alison-

Maybe for sports that lack the huge prizes tennis offers during the year it’s different. I don’t value Olympics as much as a GS in tennis. I’d be curious to know which Federer would prefer given the choice: Olympic gold or another Wimbledon, 17th GS?

A thread will be coming for 2012 GS/Olympic predictions, won’t it? Olympics isn’t the 5 set format, which should be good for Federer. But I lean toward sticking a fork in Federer, he’s done.

Djokovic has a mind-blowing amount of points to defend. As I see it, Djokovic would be one to prioritize Olympic gold for Serbia. Tougher to win gold at 29 than at 25.


Skeezerweezer Says:

carlo,

Any player would be lying if they said an Oly Gold was more important than a GS.


Skeezerweezer Says:

^ that said i cannot deny the Nole, not Fed, would get the most bang for the buck in winning a Gold for his country, being all that the country has been through.


Kimberly Says:

at this point would a Grand Slam be more important for Federer, skeeze? I mean, he has 16. Would he prefer 16 or 17 and a gold and 18 or 19 no gold? Maybe a FO over Rafa would be nice, but an olympic gold singles (as he already has dubs)would be a nice addition to the old trophy cabinet. Also allow him to claim “Golden Grand Slam.” If he had won, 3 or 5 or even 6 I would say the GS would be more important. But when your at 16 does it really matter?


Skeezerweezer Says:

^ yes, it does. Within the 4 years of Olys, Fed, Rafa, Novak, whoever could accumulate 4 slams.

Unless tennis historians change the view of qualifications, which, it could, GS titles are still the holy grail of tennis. Does that mean gold medals and Masters wins are not important? No. A player can create his/ her own argument for being one of the best ever, no doubt. But the Olys only come around 1-4 years….just sayin. Makes sense? Open to comment as always…..

That said, Olys tennis in Wimby 2012 on grass is gonna be awesome for tennis!!!

Btw…already miss the slam season. Do we really have to wait till Jan? Love the FO – USO season….:)


Kimberly Says:

i’m just saying when you have so many GS and its highly unlikely anyone will catch you for a long time, and don’t have an olympic gold, i think it might be as or more important to him. That way he can make the short list with the “Golden Slam”


carlo Says:

Scratch out Murray. He’s too young to be considered for’the best to never win a slam.’ Coria would be in the top 10.

Looking at who is best at each individual slam through history would be a good thread/poll, yes.

Grendel- you may have read this study on innate talent- training – practice- performance.

http://www.sportsscientists.com/2011/08/talent-training-and-performance-secrets.html

The comment section after the article was very interesting, too.


Skeezerweezer Says:

^ ok yeah i see that K, :), and he has stated more than once how he was looking forward to competing in the 2012 Olympics. It is well known he is aware of ” records” , especially his own, lol. I am sure he woud love to have that on hos career resume…


Skeezerweezer Says:

@k

Off topic why aren’t you behind the Tampa Bay BB team?. I mean i know Florida Marlins suck, but isn’t Tampa in Florida? Was just there over summer, the locals were ” high” over BB ;)


carlo Says:

Skeezerweezer -

That’s exactly what I mean. Who would want an Olympic gold over a slam? Ask Andy Murray which Wimbledon win he’d prefer winning in 2012? Wimbledon the GS or Wimbledon the Oly gold?

It’s very cool that Olympic tennis will be held at Wimbledon!


carlo Says:

I couldn’t remember how many points a gold medal gets and looked it up.

750 points – basically as I thought. Better than winning Basel. Federer will probably try for the gold medal along with, you name it.

No record is safe with Nadal and Djokovic around.


Kimberly Says:

skeezer, tampa is other side of the state. the marlins are located in miami. south east florida (palm beach through monroe county) is its own part of the state, quite different place in every way from north and west florida. We should secede.

Also the marlins dolpins heat stadiums are located in Miami. Unfort. two of the teams suck.

But as I have said, my alma mater is FSU and tonight is a big night in Tallahassee and several of our frinds are drove all the way up there last night, to wake up early and park outside Doak Campbell stadium to drink heavily with the hope that FSU actually has a chance to beat Oklahoma, the #1 team. They crushed us last year.


margot Says:

Carlo: the good thing about the Olympics, from Andy’s point of view, is that the spotlight/pressure will be tremendous on all the British athletes, not just him.


alison hodge Says:

roger doesnt have anything left to proove in terms of winning grand slams,anything now is just gravy,a gold medal would just be something else to put on his resume,if andy were to win wimbledon i doubt hed care about winning a gold medal.


grendel Says:

carlo – thankyou for the link, which I have not come across before. I have read Matthew Syed’s “Bounce”, with which your author takes issue. I remember thinking it engagingly written with some genuinely interesting information (for instance on the problematic issue of race and what, if any, role it plays in athletic success). But he does beat a very heavy drum, doesn’t he, for the notion that all sporting (or any other, so far as I can see) success is determinable by the amount of practice engaged in. He does cover himself a bit, as does one of the posters in the comment section, by pointing out that naturally the practice, for it to work, must be correct, well validated practice.

Like your author, I wasn’t remotely convinced, although I have no knowledge of this area and am just going on common sense basically. I mean, it’s pretty damned obvious that some people just are better at some things than other people – just use your eyes. I am close to someone who is very gifted at the piano – he picks stuff up very quick – but he just will not practice very much. Not his style. This will inevitably limit him in some ways, but on the other hand if he were to be forced to practice endless hours, the resentment this would create in him would be so enormous it would probably kill all his enthusiasm. The variations are so endless that it seems to be ludicrous to try to draw simple, all embracing conclusions. Especially of course where genetics are concerned, as some of the the posters in the comments section indicate. Again, I have no knowledge here, but I am aware as everyone should be that genetics is an endlessly subtle and complex business and that to hunt for specific genes for particular abilities, say, is too gross to be even wrong.

By the way, I was amused by the telling point your author makes: whilst it can be true that the very gifted may practice a lot more than mediocre talents, the causal relationship (assuming there to be one rather than correlation) could be the other way round to what environmental determinists claim. i.e. the gifted practice a lot because they like it, the less gifted practice less because it’s a hassle if you’re not very good at it.

However, none of this quite reaches the question of talent which I hesitantly raised. I don’t mean its provenance – of course both nurture and nature are involved and heavily intertwined. I mean identifying it as such. It can’t be graded in a sport like tennis in the same way it can in athletics, where “times” are all important.

I mentionned Coria, and he always struck me as supremely talented, but it would be hard to put it into words quite why. And why the hugely successful Sampras, for instance, does not seem to me to be so talented, though obviously that is debateable.

For another time, perhaps.


Tennislover Says:

The “golden slam” is nothing more than media hype. Had Graf not won the gold in the same year as she won the real grand slam i.e. the calender year grand slam , I doubt this term would have been coined. Now, it is loosely extended to include a career slam too. I don’t think an Olympics singles gold should be given any importance while evaluating the merits of different tennis players’ career achievements.

Sampras treated the Olympics with contempt. Majors remain the holy grail in tennis and that is the way it should be. Winning a best-of-three event(the singles final will be a best of five affair in 2012),where the field is depleted/restricted, is not that great an achievement. The value of a singles gold is exactly the same as that of any other gold(doubles/mixed or trampoline for that matter) i.e. it adds one gold to your country’s tally. Of course, one can argue that the singles gold carries more prestige. However, the men’s 100 meter gold is WAY more prestigious. Micheal Phelps and Usain Bolt were the real stars in Beijing. A Nadal or a Federer can’t even remotely have that kind of attention in an Olympics. Their real stage is at the majors. The blokes at the ATP and the ITF themselves think that it is worth much less than even a masters series event. The top players today are more committed to the games than the previous crop of top players and this has increased the perceived importance of a singles gold somewhat. Still, we saw what Murray did last time(I don’t blame him either) and that is why we can’t take the Olympic tennis event too seriously given the scheduling and the priorities of many professionals. IMHO, the Olympics singles gold is highly over-rated whereas a tough event like the YEC/TMC/WTF is not given the importance it deserves.

I look forward to the Olympics to watch those events that come under the limelight every four years and where the depth and quality of competition is absolutely the best. Very high-profile sports should, imho, be kept out of the games or an age restriction, as in soccer, should be introduced.


Kimberly Says:

as an athlete you would want to earn one of the ultimate honors in your sport. But Frankly I don’t think any points should be awarded. Players should compete for the honor of winning the medal.

btw my favorite events in the olympics are swimming and gymnastics. Didn’t even follow tennis last time and I was already a hard core rafa fan.


alison hodge Says:

i have just been watching atp tour uncovered,that i recorded,and novaks at the top of the rankings leading by 4310 points,i dont know if its correct but acording to the list roger has now dropped to fourth,all be it by a mere 150 or so poins,although this list on my computer says something completely different altogether,does anyone know whats going on.


Swiss Maestro Says:

Count me in – olympic gold medal in tennis is BS. with such great winners as marc rosset, kafelnikov and massu, the medal loses its significance. i am thinking fed would prefer a 2nd GS at fo or 7th SW19 more than the singles gold.

alison @ 554:

fed is 3rd in the atp ranking and 4th in the atp race (remember that? it includes points starting from january of this year only). for all practical purposes there is no difference between ranking 3rd or 4th. atleast in the case of no.1 and no.2, the pecking order is at stake. no.3 and no.4 is almost like tomato/tamato.


grendel Says:

Tennislover

I agree with you, and would go further. No tennis at the Olympics and certainly no football.
The Olympics (if you leave aside Athletics, which is at its heart)is the place to watch weird stuff you would never dream of normally watching. Handball, for instance. What about a spot of dressage? Then there is swimming – just about the most tedious spectacle it is possible to imagine. You have no idea who is who, whether they are going fast or slow, how much more of the interminable “race” (as they crawl along) there is to go – and somehow, this is all part of the Olympics. You put up with it, like watching Andy Warhol.

Archery, now. Can you imagine seriously sitting down to watch that? You could be going for a pint, or for a bike ride, or to a brothel, just about anything would be more enjoyable – but: it’s the Olympics. So you solemnly arrange yourself in your armchair, and prepare to listen to reams of information about people you have never heard of, concerning matters which are entirely unintelligible conveyed with enormous enthusiasm by people who apparently are well versed in this outlandish pastime.

And so it goes on. It is all utterly mad and yet – curiously engaging. Precisely to the degree to which an activity makes little sense are you prepared to give it a look in. It is a Festival of the inconsequential, and this is somehow soothing. And then you see there is some football on, and the hallucination is shattered, and you want to go and weep or bawl or break things. Football, in this context, is like a peculiarly hideous virus which threatens to overwhelm everything. Tennis too has no place in this environ.


alison hodge Says:

thanks swiss maestro,i see what you mean,i tend to only think about whats written in front of me,its not difficult to confuse me at the best of times,also didnt henman win a gold medal,i think he would gladly swap his gold medal for any 1 of rogers grand slams.


jane Says:

I couldn’t take my eyes off the Olympics when the Winter version was held in Canada last year. Even found myself watching, and cheering for, curlers! Learning things like “hammer” & “skip.” But there is little doubt thar the GOLD in Hockey was the ultimate gold medal. It trumped all other golds, though they are the same in tally and merit. I guess even golds have their ratings.

And then, when you think about tennis, the slams seem to have their ratings too. At least in the eyes of some.


Kimberly Says:

grendel—that was one of the funniest posts I have ever read on this site. Part of made it so funny was how true it is.

As I said, swimming and gymnastics are my favs. But I couldn’t even tell you any american gymnasts competing (is it relevant, they will just lose to the chinese and russians anyway)And after the olympics I would never watch these again for another four years. As you said, what could be more tedious than watching swimming.

I enjoyed the track and field quite a bit last time too. Although I have never sank low enough to watch archery, sorry. I’ll take the pint and the brothel, even during the olympics.

And when you say football, I assume you mean European football? American football could never be anything but fabulous, no matter where it is.

Speaking of one hour to kick off.


alison hodge Says:

jane i suppose its a matter of opinion really,i enjoy it because it only comes around every 4 years,all the hype surounding it,although sometimes it can be an anti climax,it gives the uk a bit of a lift,pretty much the same as the world cup been a festival of football,the olympics is a festival of sport.


Kimberly Says:

another idea Grendel–revenue generating sports to be banned from the olympics?


Kimberly Says:

but i would still think any athlete would like the self-validation of earning an olympic gold (or any type) of medal in their sport. Especially for smaller countries it makes the athletes national heroes.


Swiss Maestro Says:

alison, AFAIK, henman won no medal at olympics. surely no gold. someone can correct me if i am wrong.

the pros have absolutely no place in olympics. there presence seems to tarnish an event that is about placing your country ahead of other stupid stuff [not that i agree] and tennis is the last sport where players’ country matters much. i have cheered for rogi/juju over american players all the time and still do. i would never cheer the swiss/belgians/any other country over US of A in olympics.


alison hodge Says:

swiss maestro maybe i got it wrong about henman,but i could have swore ive read it or heard someone mention it somewhere,i see what you mean though ive cheered for roger and rafa at the olys even though im from the uk,but would never cheer against the uk in the other events,been a brit we dont tend to do any good at sport anyway,but i still try to be patriotic,still things are gloomy here so i live in hope.


alison hodge Says:

sorry yeah i did get it wrong about the henman gold medal,could have swore i read it or heard it somewhere,we all make mistakes,anyway i agree with everyone else i doubt any player would swap a gold medal for a grand slam.


Tennislover Says:

Grendel: You have really hit the nail on its head in your inimitable style. Your excellent post captures precisely what the games are all about.

The Olympics must be restricted to those events where a gold is considered the ultimate achievement and whose participants treat it as the greatest stage to display their talent/skills. Most of the Olympic events pass this qualification even if they have their own world, continental or other championships. However, sports like Tennis and Soccer(albeit in the age-restricted avatar)just do not seem to fit here. Despite tennis being my favorite sport, I really don’t find myself following it as closely at the games as track and field, aquatics, gymnastics(synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics are incredible) and Boxing. I don’t mind shooting, weightlifting, wrestling, volleyball or even archery(the Koreans are fantastic,aren’t they).

It is just once in four years that these athletes/events get such worldwide attention. The Federers and the Messis have much bigger stages in their sport to demonstrate their gifts and they get their opportunities more frequently too. It is a stage for the likes of Popov, Redgrave, Khorkina, Karelin, Bekele or Savon whose unbelievable skills in the boxing ring often used to leave me mesmerized.

BTW, your absence during the USO -you were sorely missed- had me worried just a wee bit. I know I am being selfish here since my own participation is close to zilch but, to me, and, I am sure, to quite a few others, Tennis-x isn’t quite the same without your regular inputs.

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