Rafael Nadal: Playing Federer Best Of Five Outdoors Gives Me “Calm”
by Staff | January 26th, 2012, 9:34 am
  • 45 Comments

Rafael Nadal has his eyes firmly set on an 11th career Grand Slam Sunday at the Australian Open. The 25-year-old Spaniard is into his fourth straight Slam final after defeating Roger Federer 67, 62, 76, 64 a thriller Thursday night.

Nadal, who leads Federer 18-9 and 8-2 in Slam play, will meet the winner of Friday night’s Novak Djokovic-Andy Murray match on Sunday in Melbourne.

Nadal met the press after his thrilling win:

Q. Congratulations. How do you think you have succeeded to turn this match around tonight?
RAFAEL NADAL: Thank you very much. Well, I think he started playing aggressive, very, very high level at the beginning of the match.

Always you can do a little bit more, no? But I really felt that when he plays like this, it’s almost impossible to rise there to that level, no?

But after the first three games I started to have the chance to hit balls, to play with a little bit with my rhythm, so I started to hit a few good forehands so I felt that the point stays.

So before one shot winner, another shot winner, so almost impossible for me, no?

After that moment I felt that the level start to be closer and closer. I had the break in the 42, and for the rest of the set I think anything can happen.

I felt at the end of the first set that my level was there, close to him. For moments I felt dominant at the end of the first set. That gives me confidence.

You know, finally I lost the set, but even the first game of the second that he had the break he was playing with the wind in his favor, so he played fantastic game, first game of the second.

But that moment was a little bit more calm, because in just the first game of the second set I felt that I had chances on my returned, too. So was very important to have break back in the next game.

But in general, after that I think I started to play aggressive. I started to play my game finally. I had the chance to move him a little bit more. Open the court from his forehand after changing to his backhand.

I didn’t play as I played hundreds of times against him. I didn’t play all the time against his backhand like I did a lot of times.

Today I think I played more normal match, playing in his backhand, playing in his forehand, too.

I really wanted to do that before the match, because I felt that in the last match against him in London he played very aggressive with his backhand, so he was very inside the court. Was very difficult for me to find, you know, spaces to move him, no?

Even the final of Roland Garros, the same. He played more aggressive with his backhand. On clay is different. You have more time.

But today went on court with the idea change a little bit more the direction against him, and in my opinion it worked well. Because I think he was a little bit tired.

Q. When you’re in a match like that and he has started so well, can you draw on your experience to having beaten him now so many times in Grand Slam matches? Can that be an inspiration for you even when he’s playing well?
RAFAEL NADAL: Any moment is different, and what happened in the past is past. Last match against him was 63, 6Love in 50 minutes.

Q. That’s not a Grand Slam.
RAFAEL NADAL: Not Grand Slam, different conditions. What give me more calm is I play best of five. I play not indoor. I play outdoors. That’s always a little bit more advantage for me, because when you play indoor, when you play best of three, he plays aggressive. Is very difficult to come back when he start like this, no?

Playing best of five outdoor, you normally have more time to do things and to try to find solutions and on the problem that he’s causing, no?

So in general, I am happy about how I did. I think I played a good match with some mistakes, as usual. But I tried to play aggressive with my forehand, trying to hit winners with my forehand.

I did for moments. For moments I had few mistakes with the backhand. But I am trying with the backhand to not go behind the baseline, to stay in the baseline, to hit the ball earlier than before.

That’s something that I am working on and something that we believe that I have to keep improving, to don’t lose court, to play more inside. It’s working well.

I a, very happy about my result on these two weeks. I did much better than what I thought, what I dreamed for three weeks ago. So very happy for everything. It’s a fantastic victory for me. Very, very happy playing against the greatest of the history in semifinals, big match on Rod Laver.

It’s one of the victories that’s gonna stay in my mind forever, no? It’s a fantastic way to start the season. Very happy for everything. He deserves to be there because, in my opinion, he was a little bit unlucky for the last year and a half in a few matches.

He was a little bit unlucky in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon; a little bit in the semifinals on the US Open. So he had the chance to win more Grand Slams the last year and a half, and he lost a few matches that he really had chances to win.

Today he had his chances, too. So the match was close. Anything can happen there. I won.

Q. You celebrated like it was a final. Did it feel like that to you?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. Didn’t feel like that. I feel like semifinals match of Grand Slam. That’s a very important match for me. Start the season with the final here is a fantastic start, and that’s give me a lot of confidence. That’s give me a lot of calm. At the same time, that’s give me confidence about how I working.

You know, I working in few things that are working well. With nothing of practice, just thinking a little bit about what we have to do to be better player. I really didn’t had the chance to practice a lot. I practiced one week and a half in Mallorca.

Seriously, Doha was a very important tournament for me. Qatar I think I played very, very well there, because I arrived without preparation. Play four matches there was decisive to my preparation for Melbourne, no?

So was a very important tournament. And for the rest, just these kind of matches actually better like this, because I played not bad the second half of the season in 2011. Not bad, but not very well.

So I really need to win points to stay in the top positions of the ranking. Because the final of the US Open give me calm, yes. But for the rest I had a few struggling results in Masters 1000.

That’s a lot of points for me. It’s a fantastic way to start the season.

Q. I guess the question is whether or not you feel like you’re playing aggressive enough with the forehand and more inside the court with the backhand and feeling calm enough if you have to play Novak this time to get over on him again.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I happy about how I am doing. Any time to do this during all the match, as I am doing for moments for moments I am playing a little bit like before  but when I am able to play inside, to play aggressive, I think the things are working fantastic.

I don’t know if it’s gonna be enough against Novak or against Andy. But what can I say? I’m very happy about my tournament. I gonna try my best to try to play a fantastic final, and hopefully I will have my chances.

But if the opponents play better than me and he beat me, I gonna go home very happy about my tournament. I gonna go home knowing that the way that I am working is working very well, and keep working on this way. Probably this way give me a good success in the next months.

Q. You said when you were interviewed on the court that if you were told before the tournament that you had made the final you would not believe it. Is that because of the injuries you have had or what?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I explained before the tournament. I explained that after my match on the first round of Monday, not what happened the Sunday before on my knee, something very strange.

But that’s why, because Sunday afternoon, 24 hours to play my first match, I was in my room crying because I believe I didn’t had the chance to play Melbourne.

So it was a very, very tough situation for me, these hours. Two weeks later I am here in the finals, so is a dream for me because having very bad expectations 24 hours before the first match, and now two weeks later I am playing well. I am in the final.

Always play Grand Slam final is very good news. I played last four Grand Slams I have been in the finals, so is a great effort, I think.

Q. How is that knee feeling?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am feeling great. No problems.

Q. Do you think having the extra days to recover on the final will be a big advantage for you? Having the extra day advantage for the final? Your opponent plays tomorrow night.
RAFAEL NADAL: I am fine physically. I believe that they are strong. They are feeling very well, very fit, so not gonna be decisive, no?

When happens like the US Open that you play the day before, yes, because if you have five hours match, four hours 30 match, next day you can be destroyed physically, no?

But one day in the middle, if it’s not something very, very crazy, you will not have problems. I had that four hours 30 match two nights ago. I was in perfect condition today.

So you can have a tougher match, yes, but four hours and a half is a lot. The recovery is very good, and they don’t have problems on that, no?

If you play a match like I played in 2009 against Verdasco semifinals, maybe yes, you can have a little bit troubles for the final. But that’s something not usual.

Q. Roger says he has the impression that you play your best tennis against him. Do you have that impression, as well?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think sometimes. London I didn’t play my best tennis. I play my best tennis against him when I am ready to play my best tennis. I don’t play my best tennis because it’s Roger in front. I play my best tennis because I am ready to play my best tennis.

That’s what I can say. Normally when I play against Roger it’s because I am playing my best tennis because I always was in a finals or was in a very important matches, and having a good confidence because I have won a lot of matches before.

It’s true I played a lot of good matches against him during my career, so is something fantastic. But I believe that he played a few fantastic matches against me too during his career, during our rivalry, no?

So I enjoy playing against him. It’s always a special feeling because our matches always have been special, and especially today after a lot of ones, a lot of important moments for our careers.

So our relationship always have always been in a very positive way. So for all of this facts our matches are special, no?

I think hopefully we will repeat soon.

Q. Would you rather play Andy in the final than Novak?
RAFAEL NADAL: I prefer the player who gonna play worse that day. (Laughter.)

That’s what I can say, no?

Q. What are your thoughts on the other semis, and how closely will you watch that match having in mind Andy changed his coach and Djokovic had so much success against you last year?
RAFAEL NADAL: Both players are top players, very, very high level.

The level of tennis of both players is fantastic, so gonna be a fantastic tennis match tomorrow. I gonna watch the match, because it’s gonna be a fantastic show, my opinion.

Both are playing very well. Novak has the advantage that he won the last two Grand Slams. He’s No. 1 of the world. He’s coming with big confidence.

But Andy is doing really well. Only lost one set at the first match of the tournament. After that, he won all the matches you cannot say easy, because nothing is easy but with very comfortable result.

So when you win with a comfortable result, it is because you are playing well. That’s true. So both players gonna have chances. The player who will play better tomorrow gonna be the winner.


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Djokovic Cruises In Beijing; Murray Meets Milos In Tokyo
Favorites Roddick, Murray Win at Wimbledon; Wed. Schedule
Previews: Cincinnati, Toronto Where Sharapova, Clijsters Unseeded

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45 Comments for Rafael Nadal: Playing Federer Best Of Five Outdoors Gives Me “Calm”

Lou Says:

i think 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


Serge Says:

Well done Rafa. Congratulations to Roger also, when you guys play against each other it’s always high voltage tennis. Beautiful to watch: La Bomba.


Michael Says:

It is just a paradox in men’s Tennis. The man who is heralded as GOAT is trailing 2-8 against Nadal in slams.


Lulu Iberica Says:

Ok, good to hear that Rafa knows he is being too defensive for “moments” in his matches, and is working on it. Keep working! Love your attitude and fight, Rafa! Vamos!


jamie Says:

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


jane Says:

Congrats to Rafa & his fans. Didn’t see the match but it looks like it was very close!


Raging Bull Says:

The fedtarrds out there should really be appreciated.
Even after so many drubbings, you guys were really optimistic about Federer’s chances today.


Humble Rafa Says:

The fedtarrds out there should really be appreciated.


The fans of the Arrogant One, or “Arrotards” never learn. Just wait and see. They will be out in full force at the French Open. Some folks can’t see things even if the thing hits them on the face.


tfouto Says:

@Raging Bull are you optimist against Djoko?


GIRISH Says:

Contracts rafa I am a big fan to u


Ajet Says:

nice to see jokers like ‘Humble Rafa’ and ‘raging bull’ whining about rafa beating fed. but wait, the tournament isn’t over yet! the real djoker is still there and he may make you two jokers even funnier, should he again beat rafa in the final! I would be waiting for your funny rants, in case that happens!

All power to murray and djoker! let one of them win the trophy here!

C’mon Murray and Ajde Nole!


Ajet Says:

Even funnier is the fact that the two people posting here are just pure clowns, hence their clown like names: humble rafa and raging bull, lol! hahaha


Ajet Says:

Humble(tard) Rafa(clown):
you can really see things, I mean you can see at least yourself well, right? ;)


queen Says:

Look at you fools, whishin bad upon somebody who does nothing wrong but is working hard.Some idiot commented on this blog that he wanted Djoko to keep beating Nadal because Nadal beats Fed??? WTF??? You bunch of vindictive fucks!


queen Says:

Look at you fools, whishin bad upon Nadal who does nothing wrong but works hard.Some idiot commented on this blog that he wanted Djoko to keep beating Nadal because Nadal beats Fed??? WTF??? You bunch of vindictive jerks!


Raging Bull Says:

Ajet,
I really enjoy your posts.
Its really great fun to read the rants from fed-tards after his losses…..please keep them coming.


Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:

This will probably put a stop to the ridiculous GOAT debate. You can’t be inferior to one of yor peers and be called the GOAT even if you’ve got 6 more GS titles, especially as you are 5 years older.


Robert Says:

One player matchup is not enough to define who is the greatest overall player in the history of tennis. Look at superlatives like this:

Federer made his 31st consecutive GS quarterfinal
Nadal made his 10th consecutive GS quarterfinal

Federer has been #1 285 weeks
Nadal has been #1 102 weeks

If we take away clay, Federer leads Nadal 7-6 head-to-head.

And in sport where 24 is the peak age (Fed in 2006, Nadal in 2010, Djokovic in 2011), it’s no surprise when the #3 seed, 30-year-old player loses to the #2 seed, 25-year-old player.


Thangs Says:

/*if we take away clay, Federer leads Nadal 7-6 head-to-head*/ I really dont understand why should be take away clay…well, if you take away the indoor hardcourt,its 6-3 nadal leads.


Ajet Says:

”Raging Bull Says:
Ajet,
I really enjoy your posts.
Its really great fun to read the rants from fed-tards after his losses…..please keep them coming.”

A CONFIRMED RAFA-WORSHIPPER enjoying a SUPPOSED FED-TARD’s post???????? LOL ;)
We’re in for good times at tennis-x, that means! :D


Ajet Says:

”Thangs Says:
/*if we take away clay, Federer leads Nadal 7-6 head-to-head*/ I really dont understand why should be take away clay…well, if you take away the indoor hardcourt,its 6-3 nadal leads.”

I agree here with you completely! If rafa’s record at his best surface is to be discounted, then it is only fair that fed’s record at his best surface too must be discounted. And moreover, it doesn’t matter now what was the previous recor of fed, I don’t think he’ll ever beat Rafa again in a slam unless he has the belief! And so far as fed’s best surface indoor is concerned, it’s not a slam surface at all, so who cares! At least I don’t care much anymore about those fed wins over rafa at indoors. Beating at slam is what REALLY matters, nothing more and nothing less!


Ajet Says:

moron queen:

sick b####, were not you yourself cheering against nole last year all, so thst he doesn’t face rafa and beat him??? Was not djoker working hard last year??? It’s coz of his absolute hardwork that he was finally able to stop rafa! But you hardly appreciated djoker for that, instead you were name-calling djoker and wishing for fed to crush him! I at least didn’t use those classless words against rafa here at any point of time. I still remember how happy you were when djoker was beaten at FO, so that rafa is able to win FO by facing his whipping boy federer there!

And everybody knows that it’s not rafa alone who’s working hard. Others are too! So let them have some slams! And why should I want nadal to close the gap in slams to fed??? he’s not myu fave, roger actually is! thus, it’s roge whose records must be safe, and for that to happen, rafa must be denied slams, no matter by whom! I know it’s selfishness on my part. But it’s far better than being a selfish classless name-calling dramaqueen than you B####!

And when I say name-calling of yours, it’s with reference to players like djoker whomm you keep calling names! I don’t care if morons like you call me names! I am more than capable of hitting back!


grendel Says:

“Beating at slam is what REALLY matters, nothing more and nothing less!”

I think that’s right, Ajet. I think that’s what Fed fans find so painful. It’s death by a thousand cuts. Nadal is slowly, slowly inching his way up to the magic number of first 16, and then 17. There seems to be something quite inevitable about it. I thought so right from when Nadal defeated Federer at RG for the first time in a final, to get I think his 2nd slam. There was something about Nadal – an implacable quality combined with limitless ambition – which made me feel even then that he would eventually overtake Federer in the slam count. At the time, this was greeted with chortles on the tennisx site, because Nadal was deemed to be only a claycourter, and in any case his style of play was supposed to preclude a lengthy career.

I have always been sceptical of this last point, and I think a lot of people are now. Nadal will have dips in his career, of course, but overall, he will last for as long as he wants or feels he needs to – that’s my totally unqualified opinion. So we all, for I was as guilty as anyone, looked for something else to stop Nadal. A ten ton truck, perhaps, but that being difficult to arrange, we scouted around for other heroes. del Potro for a while was our shining knight, but then he proved fallible (with a build like his, how could it be otherwise?)

Djokovic suddenly emerged from his tutelage, and even Fed fans who basically couldn’t stand him grudgingly conceded that he had his uses. In the great and holy goal of keeping Federer at the top of the slam haul, that is. But some of us are worried, Djokovic looks a little fallible, and whilst he did staunch work last year, we don’t feel he can be relied upon this year. We feel Nadal will get two for sure this year – and maybe more.

It’s a drip drip drip thing. 8 becomes 9, 9 becomes 10…..13 becomes 14……Because the process is so slow, there is plenty of time for frantic contemplation. Federer needs to do this, Federer needs to do that – change his coach, hire a sports psychologist, look into the question of a hitman, stop being so damn stubborn and start – well, start doing something or other, anyway, not quite sure what, hit the ball harder or perhaps not hit it so hard, keep the rallies short, make ‘em longer, somewhere, there’s an answer, it’s just a matter of searching diligently, all Fed fans should be engaged in active research, pool their information, relay it to headquarters and in time…

Again and again you hear – not least from me, actually Ajet – that Federer’s tennis is uniquely beautiful. Well, it is. Unfortunately, this is sport and not art, and however highly you prize beauty and technical proficiency, in sport, the warrior quality is deemed highest. And Federer is a great warrior, there is no doubt in my mind at least. But Nadal is the greater warrior, that is equally clear to everyone except a few of the faithful, who obstinately cling to the old style liturgy and regard any deviation as tantamoint to heresy…

Galling, but there it is. What can you do about it? Meanwhile, I find myself in the usual quite ludicrous quandary which afflicts Fed fans above all. I would like Murray to beat Djokovic simply because I like Murray (I quite like Djokovic), but on the other hand, I don’t give Murray any chance of beating Nadal in the final. Djokovic might, even if he is not at the same high level as last year. Thus do we squirm and wriggle……


WTF Says:

“And in sport where 24 is the peak age (Fed in 2006, Nadal in 2010, Djokovic in 2011), it’s no surprise when the #3 seed, 30-year-old player loses to the #2 seed, 25-year-old player.”

Yes, but when Roger was that age, he shouldn’t have been losing to a teenager either… Nadal has the age advantage now, but Fed had the age and experience advantage back then, so it’s only even.

A teenage Nadal played the best player in the world in his prime and won. That’s all there is to it. The #1 player in the world aged 22 lost 6-3 6-3 in Miami to a 17 year old who’d never won anything, got broken 3 times and never held a break point of his own. That shouldn’t be happening.


Michael Says:

Grendel,

Nice post yet again. It is really a disaster for Roger to lose this one against Nadal. Earlier I thought that the lop sided H2H in majors were more due to Nadal’s histronics on clay. Surely, they didn’t have much opportunities atleast in majors to play each other. It well was and I thought that the 2009 Australian Open was a one-off phenomenon when Roger was not at his best and in Wimbledon 2008, I had not regrets because Nadal was brilliant on that day and yet Federer not being at his best kept fighting till the last. But this Australian Open semi-final contest between them has changed my opinion altogether and now although being a Roger fan I need to grudgingly accept that Nadal is more consistent, more atheletic and has more mental strength than Roger. Nodoubt Roger has the grace, elegance but that doesn’t count today in this age of power Tennis and unbelievable atheleticism. Now coming to this match, obviously Roger was in the best of his form till he played against Nadal. He despatched Delpo and Tomic in straights which is no mean feat and yet again when he came to the crunch and the actual test against Nadal he faltered. Most of the shots which were clearing the net and finding the line against other players didn’t happen against Nadal when Federer unravelled and was consistently hitting the net or getting it out. Ofcourse there were some good shots from Roger but very few and not enough to make a difference. 63 UEs tells it all. You just cannot expect to win with such a high count of errors. On the other hand, Nadal despite trailing Roger by a set and a break was never yielding and I would say that Roger was indeed lucky in the 1st set tie break else the match would have finished in straights. Roger broke Nadal again and again only to give it back the next game with some patchy play. Might be the pressure Nadal was exerting on him was telling in his game and that is the reason may be Roger has not been able to show his best against Nadal like he does against other players. It is an irony that a Player who is being heralded as GOAT by a majority of commentators has such a lop sided H2H against his great rival and that too in majors which counts. I am sorry to say this but Nadal despite what he might say about Roger outside has really diminished his stature in Tennis today.


Michael Says:

This Australian Open will make all the difference and the winner if that is Nadal will surely surpass Roger in slam count because he has age on his side and still only 25 and has more French OPens to go.


Michael Says:

When I play Roger it gives me calm – Nadal. Yes that is because more often than not you beat him. Whereas you will be restless against Novak Djokovic.


madmax Says:

Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:
This will probably put a stop to the ridiculous GOAT debate. You can’t be inferior to one of yor peers and be called the GOAT even if you’ve got 6 more GS titles, especially as you are 5 years older.

January 26th, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Yeah, the same argument goes the other way.

You can’t call someone the GOAT if the majority of their slams have been on clay, the one surface that has allowed this argument to creep in.

Enjoy the greatness of both. Different players.

Fedreer is unique.


margot Says:

grendel :7.23 gr8 post! Summing up our moral dilemmas nicely. Did u feel Rafa “out bullied” Fed or “out played” him? I definitely felt the latter.
These days Fed can only play his beautiful game for part of the time. Against 90% of players, that’s enough, at the moment.
As you know I can’t understand how anyone who loves tennis cannot love his game. First 3 games against Rafa were pure magic, Fed of old, as were interestingly first 3 games against Delpot. But these days he can’t sustain it and, not being able to sustain it, seems to lose something more.


grendel Says:

In the end, both margot. Because at the end of the day, I guess you can’t distinguish between them.
Meanwhile, best of luck to Andy – that is – er- um – if Andy wins, that means – oo, well, I’m not sure about that – I know, good luck to Andy, let him get everything right except just that small matter of winning, since we know who we need in the final to face Rafa, don’t we……


S Green Says:

Grendel says, “Djokovic suddenly emerged from his tutelage, and even Fed fans who basically couldn’t stand him grudgingly conceded that he had his uses. In the great and holy goal of keeping Federer at the top of the slam haul, that is. But some of us are worried, Djokovic looks a little fallible, and whilst he did staunch work last year, we don’t feel he can be relied upon this year. We feel Nadal will get two for sure this year – and maybe more.”

I am not contesting your position, which is perfectly fine; however, let me share my side of the story that not all Fed fans on all sites and continents would limit Djoko’s usage to keeping Fed’s 16 safe. Actually, a lot of the matured Fed fans I know elsewhere see the Serb as someone possessing potentials in filling the inevitable gap, which is already in the process of happening, or providing simply a substitute of some sort, and/or somebody to continue in Fed’s footsteps in the sense of challenging the defensive brand of tennis, if not quite the beauty.


Skorocel Says:

Ajet: „Beating at slam is what REALLY matters, nothing more and nothing less!“

Agree. Just look at the H2H between Fed & Murray: the Scot leads 8/6, but you wouldn’t need to ask him twice if he was to trade that winning record for beating Roger in those 2 slam finals which they played…

=================

grendel: „Nadal is slowly, slowly inching his way up to the magic number of first 16, and then 17.“

He is. But even when he overcomes Fed there, he still won’t be better than him in the eyes of some people here because his wins at slams would need to be „more distributed“. Nevermind that he, when the season 2012 is over, could very well have 2 or more wins at each slam (which even the „GOAT“ Federer couldn’t achieve), he needs his slam count to be more distributed, LOL :-)

================

WTF: „A teenage Nadal played the best player in the world in his prime and won. That’s all there is to it. The #1 player in the world aged 22 lost 6-3 6-3 in Miami to a 17 year old who’d never won anything, got broken 3 times and never held a break point of his own. That shouldn’t be happening.“

But he got sunstroke here, man! Everyone except you knows it. That shouldn’t be happening – especially here at tennis-x.com… LOL :-)

===============

Michael: „Might be the pressure Nadal was exerting on him was telling in his game and that is the reason may be Roger has not been able to show his best against Nadal like he does against other players.“

But what if his „best“ simply isn’t enough to beat Nadal? In Wimby 2008, he didn’t lose a set before meeting Nadal in the finals, here in Australia he too was pretty much flawless – yet he lost to Nadal in both of these matches. How many of these painful defeats will you need to witness in order to realize that this „at his best argument“ simply won’t work, Michael?


Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:

Lou Says:

i think 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

Fedfans have to finally accept that between Nadal and Federer, Nadal is the boss.

After 8-2 in slams to Nadal there is nothing more to say. Roger can’t beat Rafa in a 5 setter. He did it twice at Wimbledon when Rafa was young, but he won’t do it again.


Michael Says:

Scorocel,
But what if his „best“ simply isn’t enough to beat Nadal? In Wimby 2008, he didn’t lose a set before meeting Nadal in the finals, here in Australia he too was pretty much flawless – yet he lost to Nadal in both of these matches. How many of these painful defeats will you need to witness in order to realize that this „at his best argument“ simply won’t work, Michael?

Honestly you tell me whether Roger played his very best against Nadal in this match. He made about 63 unforced errors and whenever he broke Nadal, he gave it back the very next game. That is pretty much unlike Roger. I am not anyway discounting the brilliance of Nadal. He exerts much pressure on Roger by returning every ball in the corner of the court and he knows that Roger is bound to do mistakes once he sees everything returning back. Nadal does that very well and I feel that irritates Roger when he sees unreturnable balls being sent back to his end and he starts to make errors. Nadal has a one dimensional game but he does that very well and plays to his strength. Roger on the other hand looks confused as to the kind of strategy he needs to adopt against Nadal. He comes with a plan but when it doesn’t work, he is seemingly helpless. For example in this particular match, Roger simply forget to play that back hand slice which he uses to such perfection against other players. Many of the incredible drop shots he made in earlier matches just dried out in this match and even if he did that it just failed to pass the net. But my perception is while Roger doesn’t play his best against Nadal, Nadal plays his best against Roger and that is evident in every match they play.


Michael Says:

Scorocel,

I would like to admit here quit frankly. Nadal is in Federer’s head and I realized that yesterday. Nothing more, nothing less !!


grendel Says:

S Green

My post was, partly, knockabout you know. I was poking fairly gentle fun at a certain type of Federer fan among whom I am (alas!) to be numbered. However, it is perfectly possible to hold views which are actually inconsistent, or seem to be. I do all the time, partly dependant on mood and things like that. Because part of me, increasingly a bigger part I’d say, subscribes to the view you have put. I never used to, but over the last year or so I have come to greatly admire Djokovic – and, what is more important, to enjoy and appreciate his tennis.

Michael – re the bh slice. There is a theory that this great weapon (in Federer’s hands), generally so successful, doesn’t work with Nadal. So perhaps Federer deliberately under uses it in his matches with Rafa. The other main point you make, about Nadal always making you play the extra ball – Federer has commented on this, and if it irrtates or confuses him, it is up to him to find a way to deal it. If he cannot, then you have to say that in tennis terms he has failed. After all, the problem is the same for everybody else, and one or two players are beginning to learn how to, at least sometimes, overcome the problem. We’re in uncharted waters here , but maybe the only way Federer could tackle this difficulty would be to radically re-organize his game. perhaps he doesn’t feel inclined to do that – or perhaps he just can’t.


Steve 27 Says:

The GOAT thing is only a mtyh like the bible: many people wants($$$) us believe Federer is the GOAT? What the fuck is this? Are we all so stupids, no have brain to thinks? A great tennis player he is, but from 2004 to 2007 his slams (11)in that period Federer was made ​​to believe that the best player he had practiced the sport. The most talented players of his generation: Safin and Nalbandian preferred to live the life they pursue tennis with all the professionalism that this requires, but the party is unforgettable Russian deservedly won the Swiss, of just see the face of Basel I : How well did this sport. Federer thought he would win all their matches in the slams other than clay, good, and besides injuries prematurely ended up with them.
What to say about Rodick, Hewitt and Ferrero: very good players but very limited, especially the first two: The worst one in history, the American. The Australian ran out of gas after 25 years as Courier, Chang, Wilander and many others. And the other good Spanish clay (won his only slam! Verkerk!) But knew there was more Swiss rival.
He won 3 slams in 2007 to Nadal at Wimbledon 21 years and a 20-year Djokovic at the U.S. Open. I think we deserved to lose those two games, I will not detail the reasons here, but since then his reign was over, the 2009 and early 2010 was only a stroke of luck and all that had happened then came the fallacy rethink GOAT that the media and other experts would have us believe


Steve 27 Says:

a guy with a prodigious technique ever seen, with perfect shots and a champion’s head: but that’s only partly true: what else can draw conclusions for each of ourselves dispassionately and with clear mind and determine whether someone like can be ostentatiously named “Goat.” Match point.


skeezerweezer Says:

Steve 27,

I don’t know what points you are trying to make, but if you are doubting Feds stature in the record books just visit his wiki. Rafa or Djoker or Murray may very well break or meet his achievements. BUt until then, the man is due….his due.

Too bad Tennis is not about just having to beat Rafa. OR in Rafa’s case beating Djoker. You play against a field, those are the rules. This isn’t boxing, as much as some want to turn it into. I am not denying that Rafa has Feds number H2H. However, they all will be judged by the records they have created and will create. All professional Tennis greats past and present agree on this.

If you think Fed is arrogant, fine. That is your opinion. If you think Rafa has nasty on court habits, fine. But no one can debate what has been accomplished against a field of players and the result of 16 GS titles and the host of other outstanding stand alone records. Its there. Its uncontested. Immoveable. It is a shame clearly, as Fed passes into the last years of him playing, that some want to kick him down on the way out. He has only done great things for the game, and when you continue to harp on him, it only shows to this fan he is still relevant at 30. Go Fed!


mat4 Says:

@Skeezer:

Why debate? In ten years, the only thing that will matter is the slams number, and the records set: 10 finals in a row, 23 semi, 3.. quarters, the career GS… why bother?

I just hope Fed will continue to play as long as he can.

Then, another thing: in 1980 everybody thought that Connors’ GS days were gone, but he won three more. I honestly believe that Federer will win at least one more.

But we got to face it too: Roger still makes the mistake to think that beating Rafa is a question of tennis abilities, a question of backhand and serve. No. Just like Lendl said it to AM: it is a matter of pain.

I also believe that Roger is quite honest when he repeats Rafa is not in his head, and that he is not afraid. On the contrary: I think that those victories on clay gave Rafa the ultimate confidence that he is better. Everybody makes mistakes under pressure, but the pressure is much less when you are certain, in you inner self, that you will win.


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:

Grendel,

There is a theory that this great weapon (in Federer’s hands), generally so successful, doesn’t work with Nadal. So perhaps Federer deliberately under uses it in his matches with Rafa. The other main point you make, about Nadal always making you play the extra ball – Federer has commented on this, and if it irrtates or confuses him, it is up to him to find a way to deal it. If he cannot, then you have to say that in tennis terms he has failed. After all, the problem is the same for everybody else, and one or two players are beginning to learn how to, at least sometimes, overcome the problem. We’re in uncharted waters here , but maybe the only way Federer could tackle this difficulty would be to radically re-organize his game. perhaps he doesn’t feel inclined to do that – or perhaps he just can’t.

Well he has tried this backhand slice in earlier matches against Nadal too, some of which he has won and lost. But my point is in this particular match, he totally forgot to play this shot. Regarding that extra ball thing Nadal gives back to Roger, yes as you rightly said he has to deal with it and if not he has to pack up. I agree 100%. It is not an excuse but mere explanation for frequent defeats. But one thing you need to note that Nadal always does well against aggressive players say Berdych, Soderling, Del Potro etc. and that is his strong point. Roger too is an aggressive player. Yes, he can play defence but he is only second best in that department to the likes of Novak, Nadal, Murray etc. It is now too late to reorganize and reframe his game. Roger has to live with it. It is misfortune that today’s Tennis is not fit for his type of play where you have defensive players ruling the roast.


Skorocel Says:

Michael: „It is misfortune that today’s Tennis is not fit for his (Federer’s) type of play where you have defensive players ruling the roast.“

Then how he could win 16 slams in „today’s tennis”? ;-) Doesn’t that sound strange to you?

=========

“Well he has tried this backhand slice in earlier matches against Nadal too, some of which he has won and lost. But my point is in this particular match, he totally forgot to play this shot.”

BH slice usually works best when it is hit crosscourt (as much as low, of course) to the opponent’s BH. Problem for Federer is, Nadal is a lefty, so he doesn’t have that many problems to pick these shots up. And when Roger hits it to Nadal’s BH, he’s usually quick enough to run around it and then blast it, once again with his vicious FH. Nadal’s simply too smart for having this shot work for Fed…


Michael Says:

Scorocel,

Michael: „It is misfortune that today’s Tennis is not fit for his (Federer’s) type of play where you have defensive players ruling the roast.“

Then how he could win 16 slams in „today’s tennis”? ;-) Doesn’t that sound strange to you?

Roger has been around for well over a decade and he has seen two eras unlike the current lot of Novak, Nadal and Murray. It is not that Novak, Murray, Nadal have just arisen. They were there since 2006 when Roger was winning slams at will beating them on the way to win titles. It is only since the later part of 2010, there is a severe drought in his slam collection which he is not able to turn around. But, he has been a regular in the last stages of majors even now at this age which is an achievement by itself. Now we have the defensive players ruling namely Nadal and Novak. But Roger plays well against Novak even if he is to lose. It is only against Nadal he just gives up even without a fight. That is really perplexing for a player who has such a good record against defensive players like David Ferrer, Davydenko, Hewitt etc. who he has blasted them away from the court and has such a fantastic record agains them. Today the courts are much slower than they used to be in the past and it is certainly a disadvantage to aggressive players like Roger. Just see his performance at the tour finals and fast surfaces, it will be much better than it is now.


Michael Says:

Skorocel,

I have seen Roger try this Backhand slice shot against Nadal in the past and won many points. The point is in this particular match, he didn’t even try it once. He just totally forgot that shot.

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