Federer Has No Answer Again For Nadal In Australian Open Semifinal, Is This It For The Swiss?
by Sean Randall | January 26th, 2012, 8:44 am

Unless it’s indoors or on a grass court, I’m done thinking Roger Federer can beat Rafael Nadal anymore. On clay or on outdoor hardcourt in big matches, best-of-five Federer simply doesn’t have an answer for Rafa.

This morning at the Australian Open, Federer played the right game to beat Nadal. He attacked, he served well, though not great at the end, and his backhand held up as strong as it could. And it still wasn’t anywhere near enough.

Federer’s normal game cannot beat Nadal’s normal game. So Federer has to adjust. He made those adjustments, executed pretty well – yes, there were lots of errors and poor approaches, but that’s the new gameplan – and he still came up woefully short.

But early on it looked good for Federer. For a bit at least.

Federer won a tight first set, went up a break in the second before coming unglued spraying forehands all over the court. And Nadal jumped at the chance to take control. And he did.

After splitting the first two topsy-turvy sets, Federer held an edge in the third but just couldn’t hold off the relentless Spaniard.

With Nadal up 2-1 in sets it was only a matter of time before Rafa closed the door. After Federer missed a break chance in Rafa’s 4-3 service game he was, as we so often see, broken in his his very next service game.

Nadal then served out a nervy final game to win the match 6-7(5), 6-2, 7-6(5), 6-4.

All credit to Nadal who I don’t think is at his best but he was good enough to beat Federer. And that’s what counts. Bad knee, bad shoulder, bad shorts and heavier racquet all irrelevant. Facts are facts, he still beat an in-form Federer who had won 24 straight matches.

If Federer was going to beat Nadal this was it.

And the head-to-head numbers continue to skew one-sided in favor of Rafa. In Grand Slam play Nadal has dominated 8-2 now winning their last five. And perplexingly on an outdoor hardcourt Nadal is up 5-1.

Overall Rafa’s 18-9 series lead doubles the Swiss.

Now at 30, Federer’s not going to get any better. Not better enough to beat Nadal at a Slam outside of perhaps Wimbledon. And mentally, these tough losses to JW Tsonga at Wimbledon, Novak Djokovic at the US Open and now Nadal today have to take its toll.

He won’t say it, but they just have to.

Federer hasn’t won a Grand Slam now in over two years. That’s a long time. Unfortunately for Federer fans they might have to wait a whole lot longer. Time passes for every legend.

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90 Comments for Federer Has No Answer Again For Nadal In Australian Open Semifinal, Is This It For The Swiss?

EJT Says:

Seems like everything you say here was clear before the match started . . . yet you and so many STILL picked Fed to win. Hope dies last, they say, but maybe it’s finally becoming clear to all that this boat has finally sailed. Fed retires at the end of the year after winning 0 slams. Hasta . . .

Michael Says:

Yes, Roger and his team had a plan but that was not executed well. He tried to be too aggressive and sprayed the ball all over the court. The backhand slice which was the bread and butter of Roger was nowhere to be seen and Nadal played his normal game and produced some astounding retrievals as he is normally expected to do. Just for a change, Roger’s first serve percentage clicked but his game faltered and he just could not produce the magic he does against other players except Nadal ? Is it due to the relentless pressure of Nadal when he plays against Roger that too many unforced errors creep into Roger’s game ? For sure, Yes. But I do not agree with Sean, because even at Wimbledon, Nadal is powerful and Roger is not getting anyway younger. Roger’s best chance will come only when one of the major is converted to an indoor slam ??

Brando Says:

I think if time has taught us anything regarding tennis, it is to not right the obituary of a great player after a big loss ESPECIALLY WHEN he has performed rather well.

I repeat, its too soon to close the book on federer- especially when his 2 best slams are still remaining this year.

I’m a rafa fan, and to me this seems to be jumping to conclusions far too soon. Still a very, very long season………

EJT Says:

Sorry, Brando, but this is not the first Slam that Fed has been bounced out of, as noted in the article . . . How many times before people realize that a time has come?

someone Says:

But what happened to Rafa’s knee injury? How the hell could he retrieve all those balls with an injury. There’s only one answer – he’s on steroids.

Michael Says:

“I always think he plays a bit better against me than against other players, but that’s good for him”

How true a statement that is from Roger ? He is right in his view. I have seen Nadal missing many forehand shots against many other players but against Roger he even hits those with impossible angles. That cannot just be explained ? It just happens.

alison hodge Says:

someone same old record YAWN.

Brando Says:

Classy interview from roger:


I agree rafa plays better against roger than the rest. Why?

The answer is simple. Rafa thinks roger is the best, so he has to play at his best since anything less will not suffice.

I think its a compliment for roger.

Daniel Says:

Agree with Brando, way too soon before Wimby and US Open.

No one knows the futere, maybe Dory is right and Djoko can soften Nadal in the future, imagine if Djoko wins here and beat Nadal at RG. He will be winning 4 majors in a row and beating Nadal in all Slams finals. That can crush Rafa and his selfbelief.

No one knows, or maybe Rafa wins here and will be sure for RG and going to Wimby/Us Open with 2 Slams and a possible Grand Slam.

With Djoko, as much as right now he is invincible and should beat Murray and Nadal, you always get the feeling that anytime something can happen with him: a retirement, an injury, reathing problems. He is just not a safe bet, still! This year he can cement his stauts, but he will have to win at least 2 Majors, minimum 1 to not have a abysmal season.

grendel Says:

I hoped Clijsters, Kvitova and Federer would win.

Bad day at the office.

Lou Says:

Maybe yes: Roger was undone by his obstinate attitude in the match. His inability to hit to Nadal’s backhand constantly defied his win today whereas Nadal stuck to the gameplan and drilled it out. Roger Federer- Responsible for his own Downfall? http://bit.ly/zpv4QI

dari Says:

EJT- I’m just not sure what kind of thinking warrents giving up what you love when you are achieving results two matches feom winning the whole shebang against guys 5 years younger than you and you’re the third best in the world at what you do.

Shouldn’t knock the great one for still giving it a shot and his fans for standing behind him!

I was cheering ass, grendel, at least I went one for three.

I’m cojnting on her and Murray to make this a “happy slam” for me.

Daniel Says:

Let’s see if someone elae share mu views on this: matches we should have of the top 4 that have never happen.

1 – Djoko x Nadal AO
2 – Fed x Murray RG
3 – Djoko x Nadal RG (not happened since 2008)
4 – Fed x Murray Wimby
5 – Fed x Djoko Wimby
6 – Djoko x Murray Wimby
7 – Fed x Nadal US Open (I know, after today none wants it, but this match has to happen before Fed retires)
8 – Murray x Djoko US Open

I guess this is it. If top 4 keep reaching semis, we may see 5-6 of those this season.

Kimberly Says:

Grendel–my trifecta came through and my basketball team (barely) won. Rare good day for me.

Between Sean Randall Jinx and Jamie Psychic Jinx Fed was fighting an up hill battle. Still, I had a gut feeling he was going to win which was wrong. My household was very unpleasant this morning as Kaiser was cursing and muttering.

Pietje Says:

Q. You now trail 82 in Grand Slams to Nadal. Is that in your mind when you go on court?
ROGER FEDERER: No, not really.

Never have I seen somebody more in denial than Roger… It’s insane.
Maybe he can shine his light upon us why he plays so crappy whenever he gets his chances. He seems never comfortable or believing, not even when he’s ahead. It’s waiting for a game full of UE’s and nervy, dumb shot choices/selection.

For full understanding of the above. Go to youtube and watch when he was a break ahead in 09 in the first set in the Australian final, how he lost his serve. Then look at today and try to find the differences. Same concept :)

Here’s a trivia question. I don’t know the answer, but I bet it shocks everbody:
– How many times has Rafa won a set from Fed after being a break down.
– And vice versa

I can name about 15-20, but I’m sure I forget a couple as well.

Polo Says:

Nadal feels very confident when he plays Roger. But not vice versa. This gets magnified in matches that really count, like the majors. Roger can still beat anybody in majors, just not Rafa. It will never happen.

van orten Says:

fed played great nadal as always played great…and fed was very unlucky in important moments such as the the 2 bp at 4:3 and 4:5 in the 4 th…dont know if he would have managed to serve it out but it shows it was really close as always…nadal is just the master in bpoints vs fed ..sometimes lucky or should i say luckier as he even admitted… that´s sport that’s tennis…it is very hard and though losing and losing to nadal having so many chances to win or at least forcing a 5th set…how can someone not like roger i mean he had so much success but the same time incredible hard losses the last couple of years…nadals losses vs djoker last year are nowhere close to the impact-losses fed suffered…djoker was clearly better player last year in most of the matches and outplayed rafa..i wouldnt go that far calling todays victory an outplay of federer.
best example was the first bp at 4:5 in the 4th. net cord first then the lob scratching the line. as i mentioned during the match that is why it is satisfying to know that djoker really can beat nadal and have the upper hand on breakpoints or better said big points.

normally i dont have anything against rafa but his constant help of the tennis gods (nadal or anti fed fans are free to call me a sore loser for considering there are tennis gods involved in feds heartbreaking losses) it is so frustrating and made most of fed fans real anti nadals not granting him more gs titles.

when i first saw nadal play at the french semis vs roger back in 05 i knew who roger was but wasn t a fan. i wasn’t even following much of tennis since sampras, becker had retired. i asked my parents who were watching downstairs who that kid was. i couldn t stand his attitude in that match and became thanks to that a roger fan ,following from then on every single tournament and almost every match of nadal and federer. but his style of play imposed me to like him or wanting him to win in general but i accepted he was an incredible mental and power machine.

of course i dont want him to beat feds number of grand slams. i admit it here and now. but i know that fed may will end up losing that record to a player type such as nadal and that is what is really bothering me. offense beats defense..nadal changed that! do i hope in the next 2-3 years they speed up the courts a bit ? of course i do .
maybe it is not noble to wish nadal bad and tough losses to suffer the same as federer or his fans( i really do believe that nadal is for federer fans worse than tooth ache and it is def. not reciprocal!) nadal fans sleep very good at night knowing he has a fascinating winnig record in GSs against the supposed GOAT( he needs to win 2 more slams to carburize this title though)

so i admit nadal is on the higher ground according to federer. but i really hope nole ( don’t think murray can pull it off) continues to beat nadal! gives him his own medicine and make him wanna cry.

but if the Tgods or any other lurking force wants nadal to keep winning slams big time. there is nothing else to do than accept that tennis is just sport and i tranquilized by the fact that at least roger federer is the most popular tennis athlete ever.
there has to be reason for that…a simple reason for that!

roy Says:

every time federer loses to nadal people say he ‘had the right game plan’ but just didn’t execute.
the game plan of course, is to just serve aces and hit winners all day long and never make errors and of course come to net and never get passed by one of the best passers.
it’s completely out of touch with reality.

you can do it for patches, you can do it at the start of matches when there is no fatigue and timing is perfect, ultra aggression can work indoors if you can get the match over fast enough. but over 5 sets, with elements, it’s a different story.

jamie Says:

The winner of Djokovic-Murray SF will win the AO.

jane Says:

It’s strange with Fedal matches. Fed just can’t get over the hump. He starts so well (by reading reports/comments he did last night too), like at the FO, and he even keeps it close, wins a set, but he cannot get 3 sets off Rafa at a slam anymore – last time was 2007? Don’t know if it’s just mental or if it’s his backhand, or both. But I really thought this time, the way Fed was playing up until he met Rafa, the other quality opponents he had beaten, that he’d have a great chance of winning. I guess it is one of those rare things in a rivalry. It’s kind of fascinating but I can see how frustrating it is for Fed’s fans. Commiserations. Nole and Muzza have also lost a lot to Rafa, he is just such an incredible competitor. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him win here.

van orten Says:

jane it was not his backhand…a few points here and there even though he had many many unforced errors ..if he converts his chances he wins…break up in the second break up in the third breakpoint at 4:3 in the 4th…

it wasnt supposed to be, again!!!

jane Says:

So mental then?

Humble Rafa Says:

But what happened to Rafa’s knee injury? How the hell could he retrieve all those balls with an injury. There’s only one answer – he’s on steroids.

I get tested like everyone else.

The Arrogant One is my chump. I can have him anytime I want (except at the end of the year)…Peace

andrea Says:

i read nadal’s interview that he went for a different tactic this time…not just hitting endlessly to fed’s backhand (which, on a hard court is not as devastating for roger) but trying to move him around. so, good for him to try new things.

obviously sad that roger is out. the match sounded great. have to watch the highlights.

after reading that he played brilliantly in the first set i have to agree with jane…so often fed starts off strong against nadal. i think it was monte carlo 07 or 08 where he was playing brilliantly and aggressively and was up 2 breaks in the first set against nadal – and this was during nadal’s clay prime – and even nadal looked surprised.

you’d think at 5-2 roger could close it out, but nadal stormed back and won the set 7-5, the won the next set and it was over. always puzzling.

ah well…on to the final. for sure nadal would love murray, but it sounds like novak has been on fire…

Ajet Says:

I’m the saddest guy in the world to see fed again losing to nadal, it’s too painful, too heartbreaking, disappointing and depressing, morale-breaking, hurtful, and what not! :(

Ok ok, let nadal win all the matches against fed, let him beat fed wherever they play, let rafa play his heart as many times as he can, let rafa crush my spirit as much as he can, by beating roger… :( nevertheless, I would still root for fed, always and forever, and above all…



Thangs Says:

I bet you guys again will pick Roger if him and Nadal happen to meet anywhere…thats because you guys love Roger so much…Its not a blame…I would pick Nadal 99% even if he loses 50 times to Nole..As a fan, thats common.. As tennis pundits, you guys must analyze the factors without any bias.

Brando Says:

Moving onto the murray v djokovic match, do any of you guys give andy much of a chance?

The following help andy this time around i feel:

1- SF instead of a Final: Massive difference psychologically speaking for andy.

2- Energy: Last year andy played nole after a near 4 hour SF against ferrer, which he could have lost quite easily. Ferrer, as we know, does take a lot out of his opponents. This time round andy has spent less time on court, hence more in the tank.

3-More proactive: The passive, self-pitying, self destructive murray has noticeably not shown up in australia so far this year- has andy turned the corner in this regard?

4- Forehand: His biggest weakness has improved, especially the cross court FH. Still needs to improve this shot- not enough pace or power on this side.

5- Nole: Last year andy faced a nole who had won the davis cup, beat a strong berdych in the qtrs, straight setted a competitive federer- nole was at his vintage best. This year, nole has somewhat dipped in the last 4 months post USO, struggled at times against hewitt and ferrer- could it be that he isn’t at his best yet?

All in all, i still fancy nole in this one BUT andy does have a chance. He needs the 1st set desperately i feel, and needs to be aggressive.

E Bergman Says:

Once again….”Fed is Dead”. We’ll see! He’s not gonna win as often as he used to but he’s still one of the “big four”.

Note: Would you guys please start spell-checking your articles?! Every one seems to have errors and it makes you look bad/illiterate.

skeezerweezer Says:

Congrats to Kimberly, lulu, brando, alison, thangs and all the very Rafa fans. Rafa’s is the only consistent player who seems to have the kryptonite to beat the Maestro.

Sean, great write and although always hopeful I agree with your article. However, always enjoy watchin Feds shotmaking. Best ever. Wistfully wishing Fed was in the same age group with these guys, but then I have to say it is just as fun to see other fans and players be so worried about him still being relevant and dangerous at 30. Too funny. Just shows what a master legend he already is, and he is still gettimg to semis in Slams.

jane Says:

Of course Andy has a chance Brando, I think 50-50 in this one given all the variables. The question I’d ask is this: if Andy M wins the semi, can he beat Rafa in the final?! We know he lost in three slams to Rafa last year, on all the surfaces. He did win in Tokyo, and he is playing better than he was last year, too, I personally think so anyhow. Plus, back in 2010 (was it?) Muzza was beating Rafa before Rafa retired. But Rafa is so tough in finals!!! I noted the other day that had Nole not been up two sets at both Wimbledon and USO versus Rafa, Rafa might’ve come raging back. That will be central if Muzza and Rafa meet. Murray will want to get two sets in the bag. Otherwise I think Rafa wins #11 here, edging his slam count closer to Fed’s 16, and with the FO coming up, likely putting him to #12.

One thing about Fed and Rafa: I wonder if Fed’s friendliness with Rafa hurts their rivalry on his behalf. He always seems “fine” now when he loses to Rafa, no bitterness, or frustration or even dejection. Is that good? I mean he still gets up for the matches etc, but after he says things like “we plpayed a nice match for the fans etc”. Maybe it doesn’t matter, but I do sometimes wonder whether if their rivalry were a little more charged, if Fed would be more determined? Probably makes no difference…

dari Says:

Just chuckled reading that I was “cheering ass” its suposed ro say aza as in azarenka.
General consensus that fed fans aren’t as bummed about this one? Fed fans confirm or deny?
Hope its not that we’re just getting used to nadal getting the best of fed !

rogerafa Says:

@ jamie

”The winner of Djokovic-Murray SF will win the AO.”

Is this your opinion or your Psychic’s prediction?Her credibility has taken a severe hit with all the other results contradicting her. The only player left is Novak and you seem to be diluting that also with your latest comment. Wasn’t Novak’s chart perfect? It was after a detailed reading, wasn’t it? I think Djokovic should still win the title if he is physically alright. Allow me to make a prediction that will not go wrong. I think the winner of the match between Rafa and the winner of Djokovic-Murray SF will take the AO ;)

Ajet Says:

I just hope Djoker/Murray stop nadal from winning this! I don’t want Nadal to win another AO and move a slam closer to fed!

Ajet Says:

Thankfully I kepy myself engaged in studies and didn’t waste time and energy over watching this nadal-federer encounter. talk of properly utilising time! ;)

Ajet Says:

By the way I seriously hope the Nadal-Federer grandslam head to head does not become 20-2 in favour of nadal by the time federer retires! :( :/

Brando Says:

@Skeez: Thanks. Your fav did really well in the match i felt, and to be 30 and competing at this level just shows what an exceptional player fed is. It’s a privilege to see him play. It really is.

@ Jane: It depends on how the SF goes, should andy get through. If it is a long drawn out affair that is physically taxing on him then that would hurt his chances. BUT if he were to put on a dominate display against nole, his confidence could be sky high for the final.

I think IF andy where to play rafa he would get a set quite easily, but really the SF shall determine whether he can go all the way. Nole is, after all, the numero uno for a reason.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Sadly, I think everyone believed ROger had a chance except Roger.

If I looked at the match in isolation, I would say, Roger should beat this guy! He sprayed unforced errors, hit COUNTLESS net cords, double faulted through the whole fourth set. Another day, those balls will bounce differently and he wins.

But he’s had other days, and other days, and it is ALMOST always like this. Roger just doesn’t have the will and belief to beat Rafa that Rafa does to beat him. If I judged just on today’s match I would say Roger was unlucky, but based on their history, I have to say Roger needs to be very lucky to win.

rogerafa Says:

Murray is probably not ready to win a major final against a beast like Rafa who does not concede even an inch. It will surprise me if Murray wins the title. Rafa is brimming with confidence after his win over Roger. He has the extra day of rest and no physical issues at all. The second semi final will likely be a war of attrition. If it goes long, it will certainly compromise either player’s chances in the final against Rafa but Novak has no mental issues against Rafa. He can even win comfortably if he is at his very best and avoids a fitness test in the process. I hope whatever issues he had in the Ferrer match have been resolved. Murray appears slightly undercooked for the semi final. Novak is in a different league. The lack of tough matches in the earlier rounds could hurt Murray. Rafa fans will definitely want Murray in the final. The sight of Novak makes Rafa fans react in a fashion not dissimilar to the way Roger fans react to the sight of Rafa.

marrisv Says:

Congrats to all rafa fans. Commiserations to Fed fans.

What a fightback from Rafa!!!. Phew… Now i can breathe easy for the next two days and enjoy the Djokovic/Murray match.

2011 AO – Novak beat Berdych in QF, Fed in Semis and Murray in the final last year for the title…

2012 AO – Rafa beat Berdych in QF, Fed in Semis and maybe just maybe Muzzzzzaaa….??? :)

Djoker -Murray should be a cracker. Whoever wins this second semi, lets hope for a great final

rogerafa Says:

@ Tennis Vegabond

You have summed up the situation nicely. Roger looked to be in championship-winning form going into the match. Had he not been meeting Rafa, he would probably have been my pick to lift the trophy on Sunday. He would have given Murray or Djokovic one hell of a challenge. The moment he comes across Rafa, everything else becomes totally immaterial. It is sad to see a champion like Roger not being able to control his nerves or find solutions against Rafa even after such a long time.

alison hodge Says:

thanks skeezer and sorry about roger,tbh i thought roger was gonna go ahead and win this match,especially after that 1st set,and after the last two years rafa exceeded my expectations by getting this far in the 1st place,and regardless of what happens against muzza or most likely nole,hes had a fortnight to be proud of,so has roger for that matter,and to still be playing that kind of tennis at 30 is absolutely amazing,and im sure he will still have a cracking year.

Lulu Iberica Says:

Thanks, Skeezer. Yeah, your man put up a good fight and it’s amazing he’s still in the mix at 30. I certainly don’t think Rafa will be playing at that level (or at all, really) in five years.

I tend to agree with rogerafa re: Murray and Djoko’s chances in the final. It’s not that Murray can’t win against Rafa, but it would take a tremendous effort and discipline, whereas Nole would definitely be the favorite. I’m torn because I want Rafa to beat Nole and get the monkey off his back, but I’m not sure he’s ready to do it. If Murray were to beat Rafa though, then Rafa would have ANOTHER threat to deal with. Basically, I need Rafa to win the whole thing! I picked Murray in my bracket, but I’m not really going to root for anyone in this semi. May the best man win!

Ty Says:

Ahh.. memories. Watching Federer fail again and again on break points. I’m bored of it. Federer either be the greatest or don’t. The best form I’ve seen Federer in in two years, Nadal the worst I’d seen him in two years. On hard courts. Still. Federer goes home. Nadal scratching himself along the way, continues on. Ugly over method. A fine allegory for the modern world I suppose, but it gets tiring. Sometimes it appears Federer simply cannot do a single thing out there that Nadal has not firmly anticipated. That last break point, 4-5 in the fourth, adv Fed… I think I know why Federer attempted that obscure overhead from the baseline when the ball surprisingly kissed the baseline; it was a concession. Just cannot beat the man. Had played a perfect point, finally, after flaming out on the many breakpoints before in that set, to see something like that. A log hit 20 million feet in the air, to come resting down firmly right at his feet. “Screw it” he probably thought. Can’t beat luck.

Raging Bull Says:

skeezerweezer Says:

Wistfully wishing Fed was in the same age group with these guys, but then I have to say it is just as fun to see other fans and players be so worried about him still being relevant and dangerous at 30. Too funny. Just shows what a master legend he already is, and he is still gettimg to semis in Slams.

January 26th, 2012 at 12:37 pm

You mean Federer lost this match just because he is old ?
You can try to paint different colors…..but the fact is Federer has lost to Rafa atleast one GS match in every year from 2005 to 2012 (except 2010). 17 yr old Rafa started beating 22 yr old Federer….same story continued for next 8 years…..and it will continue to do so.

adam Says:

That was basically how I saw the match going from the start. It is just too hard to maintain the level that roger has to play to win over three out of five against nadal. Nadal as always is just a bad matchup for federer, and thats not gonna ever change. He just plays a much safer game than roger, which requires roger to have to do so much to just win one point. The safer game is gonna hold up in three out of five every time. The real cause of concern however is that federer has just not been clutch in these grand slam matches recently. even in this match he had plenty of chances.

alison hodge Says:

raging bull why are you not just enjoying rafas win?instead of taking a pop at roger and his fans,the jobs only half done anyway,rafa has to beat nole or murray yet.

Kimberly Says:

skeezer, thanks, you are like Federer, gracious in defeat and victory. It was a good match, but my husband has thrown in the towel and said he is never watching one of their matches again because he doesn’t need to, they all essentially look the same. But memories are short and by the next one he will be watching.

madmax Says:

Ah, just finished watching. Recorded and didn’t know the result. Then misread the result, thinking that Fed was 2 sets up, but reflected and dari, you are right. It doesn’t hurt so much any more. Congratulations to Kimberley and rafa’s entourage. I wouldn’t miss their matches for the world. I love watching Roger play. I hope they play many more times, win or lose. To see Roger play is a joy. I mean that.

He played well. A 30 year old, fit athlete, very fit and he worked hard. It was not a walk in the park.

What I take strength from is the comparison of the slam they contested at RG (the worst one Roge played, when was that? 5 or more years ago?) it was a straight set beat down. But look. 5 or more years later, Roger IS playing better, he IS using a variety of shots and he DOES believe he can win.

It is just that for some reason, he can’t figure the rafa riddle out.

I think now, as the tables of turned in terms of 5 setters in slams (Fed would get more tired), his best chances of success are in the masters series now, where he can be aggressive and do what he does brilliantly, in 3 sets.

As Nadal said, he feels calm and he feels that 5 sets, he has time to think and can out think Roger.

But I am not down about this. Just realistic and I feel Roger is still in the mix and that he will win a slam or more again. Even this year.

Wog boy Says:

The only think that worries me with Novak is that he is not 100%. I am just not convinced. The moment I see him tonight I will know. I like Andy but if he wins tonight, I don’t think he stand a chance against Nadal and that is not good pointwise for Novak, not at all.

Lulu Iberica Says:

Wog Boy,
I am the opposite of you. I will never believe something is wrong with Novak unless one of his limbs falls off on court. (Of course a lot of people say the same thing about Rafa. ;))

Humble Rafa Says:

Just a foot note.

This beating of the Arrogant One was after my knee popped. I had shoulder issues. I had no interest in tennis…so on. Wanted to put the win in perspective.

I hope the Egg Lover doesn’t win tonight. Lady Forehand aka Master Choker is welcome :)

van orten Says:

i m going out now…i need a drink ok i need to get wasted and drunk to quit thinking bout that match…just hoping i see the same desperation in nadals face as in us open facing djoker …go djoker go ….pls give us fed fans some well deserved peace hahahaah

rogerafa Says:

@ HR

You will win the final despite all those serious injuries and fatigue(and then some)and you will lose the final ONLY because of those issues. You were born injured and fatigued. You will not lose a single point in any match if you are physically fit. In fact you will only need to play 72 shots to win a best of five match and only 48 shots to win a best of three match. You play at 0.001 to 1% fitness level when you win. When you lose, your fitness level is zero to minus____%(put a number yourself depending on the severity of the loss). In other words, you are either more unfit or less unfit when you win but you are virtually crippled when you lose.

Humble Rafa Says:

pls give us fed fans some well deserved peace

Why is it always about the Arrotards? I mean, don’t we by now, know for a fact that the Arrogant One can’t beat me. You have known it for 5 years, yet you won’t accept it. You need peace, I understand but be rational and accept things as they are.

I own the Arrogant One. He is mine!

rogerafa Says:

@ van orten

Your honesty is admirable but as Becker once said, it is just a tennis match. Nobody died. It must be very difficult for die-hard Roger fans to take this repeatedly but certain things are just not meant to be. As I said on some other thread today, the tennis Gods have been more kind to Roger than any other player in the history of the game. However, they need to make sure that the tennis world does not deify Roger as the God. Hence they created Rafa and, to stop Rafa, they created Novak….

sheila Says:

federer is my fvt player & always will b & it disappoints me that he cannot solve the nadal game. i think its simply a bad matchup. nadals topspin fh to federers 1 handed bh doesnt matchup well. federer did get thru quality players: karlovic(huge server), tomic(up & comer) & delpotro(big big hitter), but 4 some reason nadal gives federer a hard time. i think federer might have had a better shot @ djokovic. unfortunately roger cannot win a major again if he has 2 go thru nadal or djokovic & possibly murray. i feel nadal & djokovic will dominate again in 2012. if djokovic gets thru murray it will be interesting, indeed, 2c if he can win nadal again. i feel nadal is trying 2 send a msg that he is still the man & therefore, i think he will own djokovic again in 2012. lots of people put tsonga, delpo, berdych in mix, but tsonga losing to nishikori tells me otherwise & berdych losing 2 nadal on hardcourt says otherwise. federer did make it 2 semis which aint bad 4 a 30yr old. maybe someone will break up the nadal/djokovic party & i would love 2c that happen. if nadal wins ao, which i think he will, i am sure he will win @ least 3 of the 4 majors. its all about his confidence.

Ajet Says:


you’re clearly in an unenviable position as you’re a staunch rafa fan while your GOOD GUY(because he is a fed fan, lol :D) husband is a fed fan. it must be a divide within family, lol ;)
I am amused by how it must be happening within the family when on one side you must be gladly consoling your man at fed’s losses to rafa, I would like to be a fly on your wall if I can, just to watch the fun ;) and I am not even mentioning about your kids, LOL ;)
your family must be a treat, lol ;)

Ajet Says:


are you from india??? btw, agree with you that rafa’s the fave to win this aus open. i also think he’ll dethrone djoker and regain the slams and no.1!

Thangs Says:

Indoor winning streak is nothing to do with outdoor tennis. Federer,Tsonga both fell short.

Kimberly Says:

Madmax, thank you for the congrats. I really appreciate it. I missed most of the match and most of Sharpaovas match as Australian Open watching several nights in a row has worn me down. my Fed fan husband set the alarm and woke up at 3:30 and watched it and said same old thing. He agrees with you that Fed can beat Rafa in best of 3’s even maybe on clay but thinks winning at 30 in a GS against him would be a challenge given the unfavorable matchup. He fully believed he could have won the tournament had he made it through this match.

Your Fed is a beloved athlete. The security guard at my kids school, my tennis pro (who put $$$ on Fed), my husband, and other parents at the school and the tennis courts want nothing to do with me today! By tomorrow it will all go back to normal.

Kimberly Says:

Ajet, we used to have to watch the fedal matches in different rooms but we have both chilled out a lot. Wimbledon 2008 was testing on the marriage.

Angel Says:

Tennis is a sport of matchups, all who knows about this sport knows that for sure. Nadal’s game is just a bad match up for Federer’s game, there is no secret about that and it’s really difficult to overcome that in a best of 5 set format independently of the surface. It’s no secret either that Novak had to overcome physical issues to get where he is right now and now that there isn’t that barrier between him and his tennis guess what he represents a really bad match up for Nadal’s game. If Novak beats Murray (and he will if not physical issues involved) in less than 3 hours then you can put all your money with your eyes closed that Novak is going to beat Nadal in the final. There is no even the slightest doubt in my mind about that. If the macth between Novak and Murray goes the distance then Nadal has a real shot.

aggi Says:

It always surprises me that Federer is adored so much. No one can deny he is a great tennis player but I really didn’t like how his over emotional state, when Nadal beat him at the 2009 AO, completely
detracted from Nadal’s win. I find Rafa to be humble and hard working – you can hardly call Roger humble and why does he feel the need to have his ‘RF’ logo on clothing. The best man won the semi-final but I can’t see anyone beating Djokavic unless he has an injury. I will be cheering for Rafa though.

S Green Says:

Sean and I made similar observation of the match, to a large extent.
Here is what I said this morning at 7:27 AM:
Federer wins the match on the court, but Rafa wins in the scoreboard. Federer was again mentally fragile.
That’s how I’d sum up the match.
Congrats to both.

[Stat: Fed-Rafa—64-36 unforced errors and 45-36 winners (in my count).]
At the start of the match, I said: “Strong start from Federer not simply because he won the 1st game in love (2 minutes) but because he won all points from inside the baseline. None he played from behind the baseline. Good sign.”

At 3:54 AM: As a result of playing inside the baseline and quickening the pace, Fed breaks right away.
At 4:01 AM: if Fed manages to continue imposing his brand of tennis, Rafa won’t have chances.

4:13 AM: One bad 1st serve from Fed, Rafa breaks back and is into the set.
At 4:16 AM: And Rafa is slowly and securely getting into rhythm, and Fed is being forced to play in Rafa’s turf. The momentum swings to Rafa, at least for now.
At 4:43 AM: One BH overhit from Rafa, Federer takes the 1st set. That’s how close this match is.
If this match is played this closely, Rafa’s chances will increase.

At 4:47: Wow, simply wow, Federer’s attack is on song. Breaks in love in the 1st game of the 2nd set.
What can Rafa do?
At 4:50: Rafa breaks back right away in love. That’s bold.

At 5:08: This is insanely beautiful tennis. What treat for fans (I like good fight)!!!

At 5:25 AM: Finally Rafa takes the 2nd set. We have a match, real one (1 set all).

At 5:37 AM: Since the 2nd set, Fed’s serve has been miserably poor. And that’s not a good sign.
Now he commits 2 double faults to face 3 BPs in his 1st service game of the 3rd set. He saves all 3 and earns a game point. He holds with a drop volley. That’s winning psychological battle.
From another angle, Rafa squanders all chances, not good for him.
Momentum fluctuates back and forth.

At 6:05 AM: Fed fails to consolidate his break, too many UEs, so 4-4. Are we heading for another tiebreak or what?

At 6:31 AM: Rafa wins the tiebreak after wasting 4 chances and he takes the 3rd set (change of equation, 2 sets to 1).
Fed self-destructed himself in most part in this set. Lot of UEs and serve did not co-operate in the tiebreak esp. when he needed.

6:43 AM (reflection): Despite playing a lot better than Nadal and executing his strategies in most part, Federer is down 2 sets to 1. Bizarre.

6:54 AM: Fed saved 2 BPs big time to hold, 3-2. He has to believe he is in it to win. (at this point I begin to doubt Fed’s belief and think Rafa is running away with match, and that’s what happens)

Wog boy Says:

Lulu Iberica,

Is he (Novak) so bad :-)

Btw, as somebody who is neither Federer nor Nadal fan, I was watching last night and Federer didn’t look, to me, like a winner even after he won 1st. set.

Humble Rafa Says:

We need to negotiate some kind of group discount at a psychologist for the Arrotards and get their minds reprogrammed.

rogerafa Says:

@ HR

Only for Arrotards? Not for Humbletards? And while we are at it, why not for even your humble self and the Arrogant one as well.

Lulu Iberica Says:

Hi Wog Boy,

No, Nole is all right. Honestly, you make me like him a little bit more because you’re so reasonable and nice. It’s just that last season every time I thought he seemed tired and/or slightly injured and expected him to lose steam, he came roaring back! At least, he did until after the USO, when Rafa was in no shape to challenge him, or was absent altogether.

When it comes to Roger/Rafa matches in slams I wouldnt be worried unless Rafa was down by two sets. By the time Rafa had a two set lead I knew he would win. With Nole, I would be worried until it’s game, set, match Rafa!

Wog boy Says:

Lulu Iberica,

Thanks for the nice words, they don’t come often my way:-)

esquilax Says:

Fed was trying to execute what he knew was needed but couldn’t all-the-while his serving was shot to bits after the second set. It was all over. It certainly is mental.

As a match, I thought the standard of play was pretty poor actually with some freaky shots thrown in to keep everyone aghast.

RZ Says:

I agree with those above who say it’s mental. Federer always gets tight against Nadal and starts shanking balls or hitting straight to Rafa. One positive from this last match was that Fed was finally doing a decent job converting those break points, but the downside is that he kept losing his serve right after he broke Nadal.

I don’t think this is the end for Federer though. You can’t count out a guy who consistently gets to the semis.

tennisfansince76 Says:

the disheartening thing about this match for a fed fan is that it had the “taste of inevitability” as the cyber villain from the matrix would say. in 2009 i thought the better player didn’t win. the better player served like a donkey and left alot of chips (bps) uncashed on the table. this match by contrast, Nadal seemed like the better player for most of the match w/ Fed scratching to stay in it. Fed serve % was OK and he left no more bps on the table than did Nadal. and just from the look of it Nadal seemed stronger which did not seem like teh case in 09 ( to my eye ) anyway. and the other area that separates them is movement. Fed has always been a great mover ( you cannot be a great tennis player w/out being a great mover imo) but Nadal was always a bit better in this area. now at 30 and 25 respectively i think teh gap has widened a bit. Fed to me hits the ball as good as he ever has if not always as consistently ( his BH is better as far as pace ) but his movement is subtly degraded. Nadal punished Fed moving to his FH side in this match ( as he did in Miami ). that did not happen in 2009. anyway thats my analysis.

tennisfansince76 Says:

that would be agent smith from the matrix. come to think of it Nadal is kind of like agent smith against Fed. but the problem is Neo (Fed) hasn’t quite figured out the matrix yet ( and time is running out).

WTF Says:

They’ve never clashed at the US Open amazingly enough. And that’s a surface more in favor of Federer than Nadal. But I disagree that a Wimbledon match would go the Swiss’s favor.

Raging Bull Says:

rogerafa Says:
@ HR

Only for Arrotards? Not for Humbletards? And while we are at it, why not for even your humble self and the Arrogant one as well.

January 26th, 2012 at 7:03 pm

No one will throw shit (like you guys are doing now) at Nole if he beats Rafa on Sunday.

Rafa is playing well…..but Nole is playing better…..and the better player will win.

Its the job of Fed-tards to bring up n number of excuses for his beatings against Rafa.

Rafa may not be playing as good as USO 2010. But I doubt Rafa 2010 would be good enough to beat Nole 2011. Nole’s best is slightly better than Rafa’s best. Rafa’s best is better than Federer’s best…..but the Fed-tards will never accept that fact.

Raging Bull Says:

There are two possibiliies for Federer to win a slam again:
– Move all fours slams to indoors and play them only between September to November.
– Manipulate the rankings/seedings with the help of his friendly organizers and put Rafa and Nole in the same half of the draw.

Eric Says:

WTF, it’s not that surprising. They’ve only met twice at the Australian Open, too; historically, Rafa has usually lost before reaching a stage where he might encounter Roger at hardcourt slams. Of course, now it’s as much the other way around, with Roger losing to Djokovic at the USO, and Rafa to Ferrer at the AO last year.

Angel Says:

Ranging Bull the thing you cannot accept and that’s for sure it’s that Federer will be remembered as The Greatest Of All Times and Nadal will be remembered as just another great player. I’m sorry for your pain. Now I hope you enjoy how Djokovic is going to kick Nadal’s butt big time.

Raging bull Says:

I agree Federer will be remembered as the GOAT even on clay by the Fed-tards….some Fed-tards even believe he is God.

madmax Says:

Havenn’t had a chance to read all the comments yet, got to this one and though, amazing that ‘tennis’ fans call the match a ‘crappy’ match if federer loses against nadal.

No way was it a crappy match. Great match. Proud of Federer. Playing better than ever, 30 years old, playing and most 99% of players, 99% of the time. Except one person who, plays his own brand of tennis, and is fortunate that the majority of his slams have been on clay. Fact.

Pietje Says:
Q. You now trail 82 in Grand Slams to Nadal. Is that in your mind when you go on court?
ROGER FEDERER: No, not really.

Never have I seen somebody more in denial than Roger… It’s insane.
Maybe he can shine his light upon us why he plays so crappy’

Really want to support Roger at this time in his career and just say, well done, we love you and you played a great match against a great player.

It’s a joy to watch these two. Don’t care about another loss to Rafa. It was close, not crappy.

Wrong ‘C’.

Federer will be rememberd as the greatest of all time to those of you who think otherwise, well your opinion.

Federer played great and the positives were a second tie breaker that was so close and another close one in the fourth set.

I’m proud of the way he played. If Annacone can work with him on the analysis side of things, it will happen, a matter of time.

There are still 3 more slams on offer this year, as well as the olympics.

Go Roger!

Maso Says:

Congrats to Rafa for another win over Fed, I’ve had a day to digest it and feel a little better now. What I don’t understand though, is the aggressive behavior between Fed-Nadal fans on this board and in general. Roger and Rafa manage to get along and behave quite courteously with one another, but their respective fans seem like they’re in an ideological war against one another. Pretty frightening. It ain’t the cold war, guys, it’s tennis!

Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:

It not a case that Federer DIDN’T execute his game plan, it’s a case that he can’t. Federer plays his game and it’s not good enough to beat Nadal. He may change things up for a couple of games, but if it’s not his style it’s not his style, he will always revert to playing on instinct.

fed=overrated Says:

I say piss on the swiss

he was always soft, mentally, but he never had to push that hard until nadal really burst into his prime around 2007 as a legit challenger. Once nadal exposed “The Genius” as human (I think this may have come as early as the 2006 FO when nadal came roaring back from a set down to win), federer’s time on top was cruelly compressed and the writing was on the wall. He never had it in him to fight and grind and that’s why he can’t handle the mallorcan.

Sad that people still call this rivalry; it’s been an incredibly one-sided rivalry since early 2008.

Humble Rafa Says:

Sad that people still call this rivalry

I agree. It should be called “Rafa Thumps Roger”. Please come & see great tennis :).

Federer Fanatic Says:

I think a couple of things contributed to Rogi’s loss. First, he was having a bit of a lover’s spat with Rafa over some comments and ATP politics. Second, Rogi seemed to be annoyed by the fireworks break. Third, he was not feeling the usual love coming from the other side of the net and feared that he and Rafa’s romance might be over for good this time. Hard to play tennis under those circumstances, just sayin…

Jamie Says:

Psychic predictions for the upcoming months:

AO Djokovic(duh)

FO Nadal

Wimbledon and USO is where it gets exciting for Murray. She thinks he might win both and become #1.

Murray will become Nole’s new nemesis and beat him many times. AO is a just a preview of Murray’s future. He will only get better. Great times for Murray fans in the second semester of 2012. She thinks Del Potro might win a slam in 2013.

No more slams for Federer, BTW.

Michael Says:

I think Roger brought the age factor subtly in his interview after his loss to Nadal. He told that it doesn’t matter if he beat say Hewitt 10 out of 10 or Agassi. What he means is that he is five years older to Nadal just as those guys who were older to Roger. The age difference is certainly advantageous to Nadal. But is that the only factor why Roger lost ???

Skorocel Says:

madmax said: „No way was it a crappy match. Great match. Proud of Federer.“

Yeah, great match. 63 UEs equals great, agree.


„Federer played great and the positives were a second tie breaker that was so close and another close one in the fourth set.“

Well, if you, after seeing your beloved Federer lose to Nadal in 18 out of 27 tries, consider 2 sets which Federer LOST as a positive, then good for you…


„If Annacone can work with him on the analysis side of things, it will happen, a matter of time.“

A matter of time indeed. Too bad that at 30, the time is running out for Roger…

Skeezerweezer Says:

Yeah right…63 UE’s. And still went a tough 4 sets. Its not like he got thrashed 6-3, 6-0…. Uhh… Remember that one?

“Too bad that at 30, the time is running out for Roger…”

Too bad for what? WTF? Time can end tomorrow for Fed and doesn’t change the facts of his Slam records and best of all time achievements. Your attitude towards the arrogant one is a lost cause. Too bad you can’t erase his records that no one in this era has come close to touchin.

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[…] as they bring storied rivalry to California, but he’s won 10 of their last 13 including a four-set win at the Australian Open in January. And surprisingly, Rafa dominates the Swiss 5-1 on outdoor hardcourts with the Roger only winning […]

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