For The First Time It’s Federer v Nadal At Indian Wells, Who’s The Pick? Djokovic Nears Desert Repeat
by Sean Randall | March 17th, 2012, 12:16 am
  • 337 Comments

So often in tennis outcomes are determined by matchups. We saw more evidence of that today in the Indian Wells quarterfinals. The able, powerful Juan Martin Del Potro once again shriveled up like a lemming at the feet of his master, Roger Federer. And then, another Argentine underdog, David Nalbandian, pushed Rafael Nadal to the limit.

After controlling much of the match, Nalbandian stood just two tantalizing points from the match with Nadal serving down a set, 4-5 and 15-30. But an ill-time drop shot – one of many on the day – led to Nalbandian’s undoing.

Nadal, as he does so often, seized the moment, rallied to take the set and first three games of the third before some rare nerves set in. Luckily, Nadal’s third Nalbandian break turned out to be the difference as he saved multiple break points in his final service game to win it 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.

Armed with an exquisite backhand and heady court geometry, Nalbandian showed despite his age and lack of notable results of late, he still matches up exceptionally well against Nadal. He just came up short again. That said, ranked No. 74 this week, hopefully this will be the start of something good for David.

Earlier, for the fourth time in as many tournaments Federer had his way with Del Potro, crushing the Argentine 6-3, 6-2, in his best performance of the week.

“This was definitely a great match,” he said. “I sort of expected myself to come out and play a good match today after the struggle I had against Bellucci. I don’t usually struggle back-to-back days, so this was for me a really good match against a great player. I’m happy I was happy to maintain the great streak I’ve got going against him this year.”

Federer has now won 11 of 13 meetings with Del Potro and 11 straight sets! For whatever cosmic reason – I say between the ears – Del Potro just has no belief in his ability against Federer. None. It’s really become one-way traffic as Del Potro just doesn’t matchup with Federer at all these days.

“Roger played better than me,” said Del Potro. “I couldn’t be focused during all the match. I didn’t feel comfortable playing the match. That was my problem. Roger did his job, and he’s a good winner.”

Del Potro came unglued in the very first game after the hawkeye replay system failed denying him an opening service break. And that seemed to be it.

Under the afternoon sun, Federer really was untroubled and never pressed. That won’t be the case tomorrow against Nadal who not only leads Federer 18-9 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 when Nadal couldn’t finish off a 2-set, 4-1 lead in Miami seven years ago.

Again, matchups.

“He’s got a great work ethic, and obviously he’s one of the great players of all time,” Federer said of Rafa. “I have had some great matches with him all around the world by now, so I hope I can play him here.”

Even if Federer has fully overcome that viral bug going around, he hasn’t solved the Nadal forehand to his backhand on a high bouncing outdoor hardcourt like Indian Wells. And unfortunately for Federer, he’ll get a steady diet of just that on Saturday.

The gritty court will help Nadal zero in on that corner of the court and it’s going to pay dividends. I give Federer a shot. He’s won 13 straight matches and has been victorious in five of his last seven events. But against Nadal he’ll have to serve exceptionally well – he hit 13 aces today – and really, really dictate with his forehand. Can he do it? It’s possible.

But I think in the end Nadal gets him.

“I believe that it’s going to be a very difficult match for me, and I don’t know if I’m going to be able to play my best,” said Nadal who will also contest the doubles final later in the day. “But that’s part of the game, and that’s the beautiful things about the sport. I’m going to go there, I’m going to fight every ball and try to play my best tennis and I hope that’s going to happen, but I don’t know.”

In the earlier semifinal, it’s an itriguing affair between the best returner in the game, Novak Djokovic, against the game’s best server in John Isner.

Djokovic’s won both their previous meetings back in 2010, but both are far better players now.

After some shaky play for the first few rounds, Djokovic really kicked it into a higher gear in his quarterfinal win against Nicolas Almagro. Isner’s been solid as well, scraping out a tough three set win Thursday over Gilles Simon to stand on the edge of a Top 10 ranking.

“To beat [Djokovic] you have to be on top of your game no matter who you are,” Isner said. “The same goes for me. I’m gonna have to obviously serve well and take my chances after that. So it’s gonna be one of the toughest matches I’ll ever play, obviously, because he’s No. 1 in the world.

“Hopefully I’ll come out on Saturday and out together a good match and take it to him as best I can.”

Unless Djokovic has a really poor serving day he should advance. Isner will make it tough but the Serb should get enough serves back to eventually break the big man down. Conversely, if Novak is in form and confident in his groundstrokes it’s unlikely Isner will get a break, though tiebreaks are always a lottery for anyone playing a guy like John.

ABC will have live coverage of both semifinals starting at 2pm ET. There is an expectation for inclement weather to be in the Indian Wells area during the day, but hopefully we’ll get the matches in with interruption.

SATURDAY INDIAN WELLS SCHEDULE

STADIUM 1 Start 11:00 am
[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) v [11] John Isner (USA)
[3] Roger Federer (SUI) v [2] Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Not Before 3:00 PM
[1] Liezel Huber (USA)/Lisa Raymond (USA) v [2] Sania Mirza (IND)/Elena Vesnina (RUS)
Not Before 4:00 PM
Marc Lopez (ESP)/Rafael Nadal (ESP) v John Isner (USA)/Sam Querrey (USA)


Also Check Out:
Poll: Who Will Win Indian Wells: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer?
Andy Murray: The Courts At Indian Wells Are Very Slow, They’re Also Very Slow Here In Miami
Quick Poll: Roger Federer Or Rafael Nadal, Who Wins Tonight At Indian Wells?
Poll: Djokovic, Federer, Murray Or Nadal, Who’ll Win Indian Wells?
Poll: Should Rafael Nadal Skip Indian Wells And/Or Miami?

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get Tennis-X news FREE in your inbox every day

337 Comments for For The First Time It’s Federer v Nadal At Indian Wells, Who’s The Pick? Djokovic Nears Desert Repeat

Michael Says:

True that missed drop shot from Nalbandian changed totally the complexion of the match. It is mystifying as to how just one bad shot changed the outcome of the match. But that is Tennis and it is where everything happens and that is why it has so much attraction and emerged as a glamorous sport. As regards Roger Vs Nadal, I reluctantly have to agree with the analysis from Sean although I would give him a chance considering how well he has been playing. But I am reminded that the same thing happened in Australian Open too until Roger faced Nadal. The fact they are playing under the sun will make the court fast and that is when Roger will have the advantage. I hope he wins atleast this time against Nadal.


Michael Says:

True that missed drop shot from Nalbandian changed totally the complexion of the match. It is mystifying as to how just one bad shot changed the outcome of the match. But that is Tennis and it is where everything happens and that is why it has so much attraction and emerged as a glamorous sport. As regards Roger Vs Nadal, I reluctantly have to agree with the analysis from Sean although I would give him a chance considering how well he has been playing. But I am reminded that the same thing happened in Australian Open too until Roger faced Nadal. The fact they are playing under the sun will make the court fast and that is when Roger will have the advantage. I hope he wins atleast this time against Nadal.


bstevens Says:

Not much time for Nadal to recover after his semi for the doubles final. If I recall last year at Indian Wells, Fed lost both the semi and doubles final on the same day.


Michael Says:

bstevens,

The fact that Nadal played a tough three setter against Nalbandian as well as the fact that he is playing the doubles and semis on the same day should give an advantage to Roger.


jane Says:

Quote: “obviously he’s one of the great players of all time,” Federer said of Rafa. ”

Well Fed thinks it: interesting considering the discussion on the other thread! :).

Should be a good match this time I think – probably close like at the AO.

Hope Nole can beat Isner, but he is improved: really noticed it in the Simon match.


Kimberly Says:

Anyone know what’s up with robin soderling and Andrea petkovic and when are they going to play tennis again?


Michael Says:

Kimberly,

The fever had its toll and the news does not look too good for Soderling. He will not be able to play this year too and there are doubts as to whether he will ever return back to Tennis ??? I do not know about the status of Petkovic.


Michael Says:

Most likely it will be once again a Novak Vs Nadal final and how crucial that outcome would be to Nadal ?? Whoever wins this duel will have the momentum in the year ahead.


Humble Rafa Says:

The Arrogant One is GOAT. He had good forehand, good backhand,no weakness. All great.

I just beat him every time. Other than that he is GOAT. I admire him. I would kiss him if he allowed me to. A friend and philosopher..sometimes a punching bag.


nadalista Says:

“He’s got a great work ethic, and obviously he’s one of the great players of all time,” Federer said of Rafa. “I have had some great matches with him all around the world by now, so I hope I can play him here.”

Great chanmpions are not afraid to recognise greatness in other champions………

is @sienna listening? No, too busy playing the dumbass……..


Nims Says:

Humble Rafa says “sometimes a punching bag”.

What a gross understatement to say sometimes.


roy Says:

‘Great chanmpions are not afraid to recognise greatness in other champions………’

you clearly missed plenty of federer interviews when he was no.1.
i’ve followed federer since he took no.1 from roddick. praising peers has always been a challenge for him, along with taking losses like a man.


Michael Says:

Great upsets do happen in Tennis, if a Ljubicic can beat Nadal at Indian Wells, why can’t Roger ??


Michael Says:

Nims,

Understatement. Is the H2H of Roger against Rafa 0-18 ?????


Wog boy Says:

Andrea Petkovic had a stress fracture of her lower back. She was told by doctors to rest and lay six to eight weeks and should heal, that is about now. Hopefully we should see her soon:) she is a character and good player, of course.


Michael Says:

Wog Boy,

Thanks for that piece of information. More than her Tennis, I like her dance ritual after the match. We are missing it.


Nims Says:

Michael: I believe their H2H in their last 13 meetings is 10-3 for Rafa, and only one of them in Outdoors for Roger, when Rafa came from near 4 hr clay court match against Novak. People forget the context in which Roger beat Rafa in their Madrid clay.

Also last time Roger beat Rafa in outdoor Hardcourt was some 7 years ago, I believe in Miami that too in 5-sets.

Hmm..Looks like it’s an Understatement for me.


Nims Says:

Just watched the match between Roger and DelPo. I thought it was a match played with very poor quality. DelPo was just not there. This match is something more like Rafa-Dogo match.

I think this match would throw Roger out of his little rhythm he had from Belluci match.

The semis would be a 2-set practice match for Rafa, it will help him to probably win his doubles match. Looks like Rafa has luck is on Rafa’s side this year, having Roger in the semis in both AO and IW. His path to Finals looks more certain when Roger is in his half.


Nims Says:

Rafa seems to realize that he cannot beat Novak from the baseline. He is playing some nice volleys. His volleying has really picked up.

Roger also seems to realize that he cannot beat Rafa from the baseline. But he is playing some below average volleys. His volleying skill has come down drastically compared with 2006-07 when he had Roche as his coach. If he tries to hit such volleys against Nadal, Hmm.. I can’t describe much.


Roger Federer Fan Says:

Nims,

Dont be so much obsessed with the H2H. It doesnt give you the correct picture.

Lets analyze the all the Fedal matches “objectively”

Out of the 18 wins by the cheater…if you take away clay 18 becomes 6 straight away.

Lets look at the remaining 6 wins objectively.

At Miami 2004:
Federer was ill and also the cheater was a surprise factor….so that victory was illegitimate

At Dubai:
Uncle Toni conspired with the organizers to make the court tooo slow only for that year.

At Wimby:
Simple…its bcos of mono

At AO 2009:
Again Mono…and back issues….also the court was too slow

At Miami 2011:
Federer was past his prime…and also the court was too slow

At AO 2012:
Slow court…cheating…too much time between the serves…etc

And if you consider the remaining matches Roger Federer just blew the cheater away……Federer leads the H2H 9-0
All hail Roger Federer


trufan Says:

I hope both Nadal and federer are still playing after 2-3 years. Once Nadal is 28-29, and can’t run like a rabbit all the time, I think Federer will have a better chance against him on slower surfaces.

Nadal has yet to win a single YEC. I wonder if that bothers Nadalistas….


Nims Says:

Roger Federer Fan or other Posters in the forum – Can you guys come up with a more embarassing statement against Roger than the one Rafa makes before all of their matches, including the one in IW. This is what he had to say after his match against Nalby when asked about facing Roger in the semis

“They are always special matches, but even if it’s not the final, I playing against Roger always means a little more because I am probably playing against the best in history.”

Can any poster in the forum emulate this statement?


Ajet Says:

Forget about fedal!

now we’ve a far greater rivalry here:

Roger Federer Fan vs Humble Rafa!!!!!!!!!!!

BRING IT ON!!! LOL ;)


Ajet Says:

nims:

there’s no other option, but to listen to nadal when he keeps beating fed only to repeat before every match with him that fed is the best ever :(
and rafa’s sure entitled to his opinion, who can dare stop ten times slam winner rafael nadal!! :(


trufan Says:

Nadals game is SO great…

1. he has never defended a non clay slam.

2. 60% of his slams and titles are on clay. Nearly half his match wins are on clay.

3. He has reached only one YEC final, and never won it.

4. Even in his best year (2010), he lost 10 matches.

5. Oh ya, time violations in every game…

DOesn’t really make him GOAT eligible..


green900 Says:

Roger Federer Fan, that is quite a statement. Haha. But I hate the fact that federer mentally crumbles against nadal. Has done it so many time in his career and especially since today is a slow hard court :( – chances of federer winning are very grim. Reminds me of miami 2011 :(


trufan Says:

Even on his worst surface (clay), Federer reached 5 french finals, won one, numerous masters finals, I think at least 5 masters wins, including 1 over Nadal. Only got thwarted by perhaps the best clay court player ever.

Nadal on his worst surface (indoors) – a COMPLETE BLANK…

Nadalites??


Roger Federer Fan Says:

Ajet,

The cheater is not as great as you think….your opinion is too subjective and biased.

Let us objectively analyze all of his 10 GS titles:

If you take away clay 10 becomes 4
Wimby 08
He was lucky to get mono ridden TMF in the final
AO 09
Same as above
Wimby 10
Berdych was too tired after his heroic efforts to take out the “injured” Federer and a tired Nole.
USO 10
Nole was too tired after that epic semi final win against Federer.

This simply means that the cheater is not even a one time slam winner. I would say he is well behind Djokovic and even Delpotro who has a fabulous slam win to his credit.

No tennis fan in the world who understands the game would respect Nadal’s achievements.

I request you to bring in some objectivity in your posts.


Ajet Says:

nims:

i somehow happen to think that nadal always tries to give his absolutely ridiculous best when playing roger, may be coz indeed he thinks that he himself is one of the best and hence he can beat roger(who also is very great)!

when media had already started to hail fed as the greatest ever way back in even 2006-07, that was also the time when rafa’d already started beating fed consistently, so may be rafa started to believe that if he can beat a guy who can arguably be called the best ever so consistently even in is peak year, then why not try more and improve more to finally dethrobe him, and start counted himself as well among the greats! may be nadal sees a chance in praising fed and yet consistently beat him to make it clear in a very subtle way to all that he’s also one of the greatests along with fed(which he obviously is).

i think nadal appreciates fed’s greatness, but just it may be that he doesn’t think fed’s a whole lot better than him??

and i cannot blame nadal even if he someday comes out and openly says that he’s better than fed, as it’s within human behaviour to believe in your supremacy especially when you perform better than your rival in head-to-head encounters! that may not be fully justified, but cannot be fully discarded and ridiculed either! it’s so coz even though tennis is played against the field, yet it’s also played between individual rivals!


Roger Federer Fan Says:

“Nadal on his worst surface (indoors) – a COMPLETE BLANK…”
Well said trufan.
Especially if you consider the fact that tennis was born in indoors.
Indoor tennis is the only legitimate form of tennis…all other surfaces were added for commercial reasons…..and clay is mainly meant for pigs to play….roland garros is not a tennis tourney.
If you look at it objectively YEC is the ultimate pinnacle of tennis tournaments.
ATP should award 5000 points for winning the WTF.


Nims Says:

trufan says : 2. 60% of his slams and titles are on clay. Nearly half his match wins are on clay.

Rafa is in the middle of his career. So we may need to see how his career ends before coming to conclusions. Let’s see in next 3 years what Rafa can achieve.


Nims Says:

Ajet : I appreciate your comment. But my doubt is, does Rafa make this statement to make himself happy that he is beating the best player ever so consistently or it is to take a sly dig at Roger. I believe it’s the second one.


Roger Federer Fan Says:

Nims Says:
“Rafa is in the middle of his career. So we may need to see how his career ends before coming to conclusions. Let’s see in next 3 years what Rafa can achieve.”

The cheaters style of play will not allow him play for 3 more years.
I assure you he will break down anytime soon. His game is very heavy on his body.
I think you need to listen to the tennis experts like Dave who objectively analyze his game and predict that he wont last for more than a year.

I have been following most of tennis forums and my God Roger Federer’s fans sites for the past eight years.
One objective and consistent view about the future of Nadal is “He wont last for more than a year…or max two yrs”.
This view has remained the same for the last eight years…..I and my fellow Federer fans strongly believe this….we are as consistent as our God (RF) in our opinions and views.


Sienna Says:

trufan Says:
Even on his worst surface (clay), Federer reached 5 french finals, won one, numerous masters finals, I think at least 5 masters wins, including 1 over Nadal. Only got thwarted by perhaps the best clay court player ever

The glory of Fed is shown in the numbers Rafa has. Just imagine how many slams and masters Fed would have gotten if Nadal was not around.

Now if we turn the tables and Fed was not around we can conclude that Nadal would have won less titles.
So Fed as he stands is the ultimate GOAT and he plans to retire with 20 slams so immagine what a total and utter domination that looks to generations to come. With Rafa already well on thre decline the future looks brigth for our TMF.


trufan Says:

Nadal is not in the “middle” of his career. 26 is roughly the age when most tennis player start to decline rapidly. Nadal is 26 in 2.5 months…

If we go back to the origins of tennis, then everything should only be played on grass. Imagine how many slams and titles Fed would have then!!! Of course, if it is true grass, not with the slowed down balls of today – but the grass that Sampras played on.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Sienna says ” With Rafa already well on the decline the future looks brigth for our TMF.”

Is there a data to validate this? Last I saw he is the second best player in the world and reached the finals of the 1st GS tournament. Is that how a player declines?


Wog boy Says:

Happy St. Patrick’s day to all people who are celebrating.

Sydney is green tonight:)


alison hodge Says:

great champions recognize other great champions,eer well said roger,great comments from ajet and NK,even the voices of reasoning,amongst other comments containing such drivel.


madmax Says:

Well, I am hoping for a turn around in the match today against Rafa.

I am very pleased so far with Federer’s play and when compared to how he was faring in 2011 at the start of the year, to 2012, Federer is ahead by a country mile. He is doing great. He is great and I hope this continues for today at least. He clearly has 2012 tagged as his ‘best performing’ year so far, with the olympics his significant goal.

It would be great to see him win today.

Hope remains and clear mindset and strategy.

Wouldn’t it just shake every critic up if the result were different to Sean’s predictions?


Colin Says:

Natural History query for Sean – how do you “shrivel like a lemming”?


Sienna Says:

The decline is set and obvious. It is a matter 12 to 14 months before he starts to loose against the Nalabandians. I think this year he can still scrape through most of them but it is getting harder and harder.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Sienna says “The decline is set and obvious”

Nice. Can you show some results which shows the obvious decline?


Steve 27 Says:

Another photo of Federer? Mr randall, why so much love?

Wonder when Federer’s going to quit whining about slow courts. It’s getting very tedious. The whole tour plays on the same court. He may think he’s royalty but he doesn’t get to have special courts made just for him.

He was going on and on last year in Miami about how those courts were slower than clay. Someone went back to old pressers from six years earlier and Federer had been whining about the court being slow then. Time for him to find a new tune, a new excuse for why he loses to Nadal all the time.
less
1 fan likes this.


alison hodge Says:

wog boy sorry im not iorish lol,but i agree hope everyone whos celebrating,enjoys st patricks day.


skeezerweezer Says:

Wog boy, alison,

Re; St. patricks day. An Irishmen says Thank you!


Joe W Says:

Humble Rafa / Roger Federer Fan:

Can you please settle your differences. Perhaps a game of tennis? Or maybe at the Rome masters, a visit to the Forum and the Arch of Janus. Janus was a Roman God with two faces. You could guys could manage with one ticket. And you are garanteed a captive audience.


I am not a fat American Says:

YOU CAN DISCUSS ALL YOU WANT BUT YOU CAN NEVER AVOID THE TRUTH!!!

THE KING OF TENNIS IS DJOKOVIC!!!

Federer is over and Nadal is out!!!

FROM THE KING OF TENNIS CAMP!!!!


madmax Says:

This is very true I am not… Novak is indeed top of the tennis world.

Who is arguing otherwise?

Steve 27, federer will stop whining as you call it, when nadal stops whining about his injuries.


alison hodge Says:

i did not know you were an irish man skeezer,but from the the yorkshire gal to the irish man your welcome,enjoy your day.


trufan Says:

Nirmal,

Whether you look at slams won, titles won, matches won, matches lost, win-loss against top 5, top 10, top 20, – WHATEVER metric you look at, 2011 was worse for Nadal than 2010.

So why are you unable to see that “obvious decline”? Give me ONE stat on which he was better in 2011 compared to 2010.

Nadal almost lost to Isner at the French last year, went 5 sets…


Steve 27 Says:

why 60 per cent of American are fat? Because of the junk food, sedentary, too much TV, style of life, gluttony, and others. Wy are so mad in the world and in this forum?

Mental health humour is a difficult topic, here is what the best brains say about madness:-

There’s a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
Oscar Levant

Every man is wise when attacked by a mad dog; fewer when pursued by a mad woman; only the wisest survive when attacked by a mad notion.
Robertson Davies

Reality is something you rise above.
Liza Minnelli

I’ve wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I’m happy to state I finally won out over it.
Mary Chase

Truly great madness cannot be achieved without significant intelligence.
Henrik Tikkanen

People often write me and ask how I keep my wood floors so clean when I live with a child and a dog, and my answer is that I use a technique called ‘Suffering From a Mental Illness’.
Heather Armstrong

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined.
Samuel Goldwyn

If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.
Jimmy Buffett

Most men are within a finger’s breadth of being mad.
Diogenes the Cynic

I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.’
Umberto Eco

Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.
Unknown

One out of four people in this country is Mentally Unbalanced.
Ann Lander

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
Mark Twain

Insane people are always sure that they are fine. It is only the sane people who are willing to admit that they are crazy. Nora Ephron

Everyone is born with genius, but most people only keep it a few minutes. Edgard Varese Mental health jokes and quotes

I quit therapy because my analyst was trying to help me behind my back. Richard Lewis

When dealing with the insane, the best method is to pretend to be sane. Hermann Hesse


Nirmal Kumar Says:

trufan.OK, so you mean every year Rafa does not win 3 slams, he is in decline.

Then probably we can say, Roger was in decline in 2004-05 and 07-11, since he did not have the best year like 2006. How ridiculous it would sound.

Whom did Nadal lose in 2011? He is in consecutive 4 major finals (amazing for a decline), reached in what 6 masters finals (again amazing for a decline).

So, how do you measure a person’s decline? Is it by comparing his best year and assume all other years he is decline?

One simple definition would be, when the guy does not win a GS for a year. At a minimum, the guy stops reaching the GS finals.

I don’t think a No 2 player with 4 consecutive GS finals and won one of them can be considered to be declining. If Rafa does not win a slam in 2012, then yeah we could start talking about it. But the year has hardly started and he is doing pretty well so far. And we have not even reached the part of the season when he typically starts winning tournaments. Let’s see sometime in October where Nadal stands and talk about his decline.


Steve 27 Says:

trufan
almost federer lost to Nadal seven years ago, but he didnt.
Or you live in fantasy land?


trufan Says:

Federer’s peak was 2006, and yes, he has been in decline since then, though a slow decline.

Same way, Nadal’s peak was 2010. Are you saying he has yet to reach his peak? If not, then by definition he is in decline, is he is past his peak.

Look at his results, and tell me he did better in 2011 than in 2010. You can’t, Nirmal.

As for Federer – no top player has, or will ever have, a one handed backhand. With the advancement in racket technology, so much spin is generated that is is a liability. Federer is from a different generation – that is the main reason he has lost to Nadal 12 times on clay…. Again, outside of clay, he still has a winning record against Nadal! Also the 5 year age disadvantage…


skeezerweezer Says:

@joe w
Re: “audience”
That is what they both really want and can’t get as a 1rst party poster ;)


Steve 27 Says:

yes, trufan more excuses, but you cant denied this: “Nadal has never broken a racquet. It would be showing a lack of respect to people who actually have to buy the equipment to play the sport “
Federer broke many racquets.


dari Says:

Hope the rain holds out today and we get some great marxhes without too much interruption.
Kimberly- someone posted about soda, I also read that abreast petkovic just started lightly hitting again.
Wish both of them back to the game, I have not hwars a pewp of improvement about robin :/


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Look at his results, and tell me he did better in 2011 than in 2010. You can’t, Nirmal.

Yes, he almost did, when looking at the finals he had reached. We cannot just compare just 2 year results and say he is in decline.

Before 2010, people said comparing his 2008 and 2009 and we say what happened in 2010. So why are we in a hurry to claim he is in decline when he is in finals of the GS’s and in the masters tournament.

What’s your definition of decline? Do you have one?
I think I have given my definition already, which I believe is more valid, since it does not compare with just one year result and set it as a benchmark. Typically peak years are the ones where the players win the GS and Nadal is still winning them. As I said let’s wait till October.

I don’t think we are discussing about Nadal-Fed rivalry. I’s nice you brought a very valid point that the year gap is important in considering their rivalry. That’s exactly the reason I never bother about Roger loosing to NAdal (I be more sarcastic on this on some Roger fans too). They do not belong to same era.

I’m sure if Roger had Rafa in front of him like Hewitt or Safin, their H2H would have been totally different.

Also my personal opinion is, Roger’s rivalry with Nadal on clay could have turned around if Roger won their Rome match. Had Roger won the match against Nadal in Rome just putting a simple FH in the court, I think we would not be discussing on the lopsided H2H. I’m pretty much convinced Roger would have won FO, before Rafa would have won the Wimbledon. (this is only my personal opinion)


dari Says:

And how could I forget, go fed!


Michael Says:

Nims,

Although I am a Roger Fan, I need to accept some basic facts. Their H2H record does not inspire confidence on a Roger win especially on outdoor hard courts where Nadal has reigned superior against Roger. But we live on hope. I am hoping the best for Roger and believe that since it is played in the sun, the speed of the court might help him. Also, I tend to believe the law of averages which might favour Roger this time. But law of averages do not always work out for we had Novak get the best of Nadal seven straight times. Therefore, as a Roger Fan, what else can I hope for ? A Roger win. Although my heart says Roger must win, my head says Nadal will win. The problem with Roger is that his game withers away when he sees Nadal at the other end. This has happened before and it might happen yet again. Nevertheless let us hope for the best.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Michael says ” believe that since it is played in the sun, the speed of the court might help him”

But the forecast is for Rain and wind. Not sure if court speed is going to increase in day time.


Gordo Says:

Man, nothing underlines this being a DYSFUNCTIONAL tennis blog more than reading the rants in here just before a Fed-Rafa matchup.

Hey nutbars… Really???

Can no one admit these are two brilliant athletes who are elevating this game to never before seen heights?

All this ridiculous talk of “arrogance” and “cheating” just makes me think there is something really very wrong with anyone who passionately follows this sport yet cannot acknowledge how great these 2 athletes both are.

Good heavens… Give me a break.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Gordo says “Can no one admit these are two brilliant athletes who are elevating this game to never before seen heights?”

I think we need to include Novak too in this. We have 3 brilliant athletes.


Angel Says:

Nadal will retire first than Federer. I have no doubt in my mind.


Brando Says:

I don’t think anyone really questions nole- it’s just that CLASSIC rafa v fed arguement between the fanatics of the 2 respected players. Each group trying to knock the other one down. Lol, long it may continue!


Ajet Says:

”Also my personal opinion is, Roger’s rivalry with Nadal on clay could have turned around if Roger won their Rome match. Had Roger won the match against Nadal in Rome just putting a simple FH in the court, I think we would not be discussing on the lopsided H2H. I’m pretty much convinced Roger would have won FO, before Rafa would have won the Wimbledon. (this is only my personal opinion)”

WHOLE-HEARTEDLY AGREE WITH NIRMAL…

”Although my heart says Roger must win, my head says Nadal will win. The problem with Roger is that his game withers away when he sees Nadal at the other end. This has happened before and it might happen yet again. Nevertheless let us hope for the best.”

SAME HERE ALSO MICHAEL…

But one thing I don’t agree with nirmal is to mention djoker in the same breadth as nadal and federer(as an athlete, may be yeah; but not as great a tennis great as fed/rafa until djoker further proves his mettle). Djoker has a long way to go IMO before he could be compared to even nadal, let alone federer! But if djoker continues winning slams, then he may catch up or close in nadal. But still federer’s a long shot…

I would still say in terms of greatness
FED>RAFA>NOLE


Ajet Says:

read it as in the same breath in my previos post, sorry for typo error


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Ajet says “But one thing I don’t agree with nirmal is to mention djoker in the same breadth as nadal and federer(as an athlete, may be yeah; but not as great a tennis great as fed/rafa until djoker further proves his mettle)”

Ajet, you are right in terms of career accomplishment. But if you look at the quality of tennis being played by Novak (both 2008 and 2011), he is right up there with Roger. I would even say his tennis quality is higher than what I have seen from NAdal. It’s only my opinion. If you put in Rafa’s best against Novak’s best I cannot see Novak losing the match.

Sometimes even before the guy makes a big achievement in their careers their tennis skills convinces where they could get. I still remember people calling Roger could be the greatest tennis player even before he won 2004 US Open.

Novak too has a great skill. Let’s see where he gets in next 3 years.


Andrea Says:

Here we go. The back and forth craziness about roger and rafael. I’ve heard it all before. As a fed fan, I have to be honest and say, matchup, surface and everything else aside, roger rarely plays the way he can against other people as he does against nadal. Most of it is mental. Nothing changes today. Depends which mental state shows up. Miami semi 2011 roger or year end championship 2011 roger?


sheila Says:

federer is my fvt player, but hes going 2lose against nadal once again. the matchup just doesnt work in federers favor. nadals incredible forehand topspin against federers 1 handed backhand just doesnt match up against nadal. objectively, i dont feel nadal is a better player, its just that matchup doesnt work well 4 federer. he constantly catches the topspin fh up above his shoulders & then he either shanks it or hits it back 2 nadal so that nadal finishes off the point. i would love 2b wrong & c federer win but, imho, hes either going 2 have 2 ace nadal so much or nadal wont b at his topspin best. unfortunately i feel it will be another disappointing loss 2 watch & once again nadal & djokovic will be in the final & this year, i got a funny feeling nadal will take back #1 ranking. nadal wants his alpha male dominant role back so bad u can feel it. would love 2c a federer isner final but me thinks that b a fantasy.


Jared Says:

Vamos Rafa. Hopefully he gets through today with two big wins and carries that momentum (rather than fatigue) into the final tomorrow.


Skorocel Says:

No matter who wins today, I just hope there’ll be no excuses from either loser (or better said, from his “fans”)… That is, if it’s Nadal who loses, then it WAS NOT because he played a “tiring quarterfinal” just 24 hours before, and if it’s Federer, then it WAS NOT because he was ill and all this idiotic stuff…


adam Says:

Im so sick of hearing rafa try to down play things and set up excuses before every match. He even does it before he plays people who are outside the top hundred in the world. He’ll talk about how dangerous the player is and how tough the match is going to be when everyone knows its a 95% chance he wont lose more than 3 games. And time like now when he plays federer or anyone of the top players, he is probably going to not play well, or he is not feeling well or injured. its really annoying.


jane Says:

Very sad to read that Soderling is still not well and may not even return to tennis! Just when that big forehand of his was winding up in slo-mo and he’d learned to keep his emotions more in check under that changeover towel, then boom, he is unluckily hit by illness.

It just goes to show that we never know what can happen, so enjoy! Let’s hope for some good semis today.

Like dari, I hope the weather holds.


Steve 27 Says:

19 8 or 18 10
we have to wait, fanatics.


andrea Says:

anyone have a weather update? it’s pouring rain in LA right now.


Dave Says:

Add Nalbandian to the list of players who have a chance to beat Nadal and/or Djokovic this year (and thus throw a big wrench into the linear thinking of those who expect this year’s No. 1 ranking to be most likely a two-horse race): Federer, Murray, Del Potro, Tsonga, Raonic, Isner, Monfils, Ferrer, Nalbandian, Nishikori, Baghdatis, Davydenko, Fish, Melzer, Tomic, Roddick,etc.

Nadal shouldn’t be too happy with this win against Nalbandian who is not yet at his best. Nadal was outplayed and escaped a loss to a 30-year old player with chicken legs past his prime who trains and practices only about 30% as much as Rafael “Work Ethhic” Nadal does in his prime today. In 2011 Nalbandian played only 34 matches (compared to Nadal’s 84 matches) and in 2010 Nalby played 36 matches (compared to Nadal’s 81 matches). In the past two years, Nalbandian has lost to twelve top 10 players, and beaten just two (Soderling and Davydenko). The odds were against Nalbandian closing this match as soon as he smelled victory in the second set — David simply has not been in this situation enough in recent years against top players. If Nalbandian had 90% of the athletic movement, speed and endurance of Federer or Djokovic, Nadal would have been toast.

Nalbandian’s 74 ranking will likely shoot up into the 50s on Monday. David could possibly make enough points to enter the top 20 by the end of the French Open (he has zero points to defend until after the French Open) if he builds on this momentum and works on his athletic abilities and endurance to complement his incredible anticipation, brilliant game and court smarts. Nalbandian has a unique genius that is still impressive today. The sport needs him.


Dave Says:

Possible rain for an hour at 12 noon as Isner is leading one set 5-4, 0-30 on Djokovic serve. Then rain again at 5pm as Federer is leading 6-1, 5-0 0-40 on Nadal’s serve…
http://www.weather.com/weather/hourbyhour/graph/USCA0511


dari Says:

Wow, the tv showed that john I could be #8 if he won the tourney. Go big john!


Skorocel Says:

„Add Nalbandian to the list of players who have a chance to beat Nadal and/or Djokovic this year“

Federer fanboy Dave strikes again. Where you left Roger, mate? He’s already lost 8 times vs the Argentine, hasn’t he?

——————

„If Nalbandian had 90% of the athletic movement, speed and endurance of Federer or Djokovic, Nadal would have been toast.“

If toast had 90 % of the crispness of Federer’s shots, 80 % of deliciousness of Djokovic’s movement & 70 % of size of Nadal’s muscles, he would be the king of toasts…


Brando Says:

LMAO, skorocel 2.32 post!


Skorocel Says:

Pretty weird decision from Novak may cost him the set… When serving for the set at 5-4, advantage Isner, the American hit a return on the line which the Serb, however, returned back brilliantly, but unfortunately for him, he thought that that Inser’s return was out, and therefore stopped the play and asked for a challenge. The HE showed the ball was in, and the game went to Isner. Had Novak continued the rally, chances are he would’ve won it, as the shot which he hit off that Isner’s return forced the American into a defensive mode, making it easy for the Serb to hit a winner…


Skorocel Says:

That’s how it should be played: aggressive return, net approach, and a nice volley to finish it… Great play from Isner!


Brando Says:

Koenig spot on in saying this- ‘Great mental effort from isner’.

Big john is probably the most mentally tough big man on tour after delpo- it must be him or raonic!


marrisv Says:

Big John sneaks the tie break.


Brando Says:

what a serve by big john- nasty stuff!


Brando Says:

commentator mentions nole was 10/2 in TB last year.

This year: 3/4.


Dave Says:

Skorocel, I have already correctly predicted that Isner would win the first set. Instead of rambling to impress kool-aid drinkers like Brando, you should learn to be quiet and just call me… Master.


Brando Says:

hello! nole screaming angrily!


spankanthony Says:

truely are these comments comedy? You cannot mean half the ridiculous postings here indoor only legitimate RAFA a one slam wonder, blah blah blah…

I mean at least make your arguments with a shred of logic to them.


Gordo Says:

Skorocel -

I may be wrong, but I think Djokovic called for a review a split second after he hit the ball as opposed to as he hit it. If he was more sure that his own shot was in he might not have challenged the call. I’m not saying he did anything wrong, for he only waited a beat before announcing the challenge (the ball had not crossed the net yet) but in that split second I would not be surprised if he made a quick decision that the chances of Isner’s shot being long were at least as good as the shot he himself just hit dropping in. Unfortunately (for him) he was wrong.


Sienna Says:

Gordo Says:
Skorocel -

I may be wrong, but I think Djokovic called for a review a split second after he hit the ball as opposed to as he hit it. If he was more sure that his own shot was in he might not have challenged the call. I’m not saying he did anything wrong, for he only waited a beat before announcing the challenge (the ball had not crossed the net yet) but in that split second I would not be surprised if he made a quick decision that the chances of Isner’s shot being long were at least as good as the shot he himself just hit dropping in. Unfortunately (for him) he was wrong.

If that is true then it clearly proves Hawkeye is used in a wrong way. They should try to use hawkeye in a more “hounest”kind of way. He tried to get an advantage because he thought his own ball was not reaching.


Brando Says:

Dave what are you doing posting right now?

I thought you would use this time to prepare a bunch of medical references to explain how roger was unfit to play in case he loses to rafa later on today.


Dave Says:

Brando, you need to apply the same standards in your post to yourself, lol


Dave Says:

Despite the handicap his flu has given his opponents, Federer is so good he has been winning on his instinct, guile and digging deep. But Nadal and Djokovic are opponents who can exploit a compromised Federer. There is no escaping the lack of practice and occasional blunted reflexes and slow footwork that is apparent in Federer’s game, especially his groundstrokes which were at a higher level in Rotterdam and Dubai.

But Federer being Federer, it’s quite possible he’ll channel his 2011 and 2006 World Tour Final matches to straight set Rafa in less than 80 minutes, transcending the slow surface and leaving spectators in awe. After all, he didn’t endure a lousy week to be fodder for Rafa.

However, if Nadal turns this into an ardous grind, he will likely to win this in two or three tight sets. Playing Nalbandian could work both ways: it was great warm up for Nadal to face the games of both Federer and Djokovic. At the same time, Djokovic and Federer watching the match could see exactly what new tactics and thingsNadal has been working on and where his weaknesses still are.

I would like to see Federer reminding the umpire to warn/penalize Nadal every time he exceeds the 25 second mark, even once. There is no excuse for two top players to abuse the rules when we see nearly everyone else make an effort to start play on time.

Federer’s outdoor hardcourt record with Nadal — while partly relevant to their meeting today (because it’s a slow hardcourt) — is a bit misleading:

- Their 6 outdoor hardcourt matches were all played on slow hardcourts [ Miami (3), Australian Open (2) and Dubai (1) ] mostly because Nadal was unable to reach the final rounds on faster outdoor courts more often where he might have faced Federer. Dubai courts were much slower before this year’s faster surface.

- 2004 Miami: In 2004, it was an anomaly for Nadal to have beaten Federer as he had poor results on hardcourts throughout the year — Nadal was beaten by Roddick at US Open and by Hewitt at Australian Open and Canada. Except for Auckland, Nadal mostly lost in the first or second round of hard court tourneys to low ranked players. So what explains his loss to No. 1 Federer at 2004 Miami? Nadal can thank the flu bug and Nikolai Davydenko for his first victory over Federer. Federer had won Indian Wells, dropping just one set. But Roger got a bad flu while travelling from Indian Wells to Seattle to Miami. He wanted to withdraw from 2004 Miami but, when rain delayed his first match by one day, he foolishly played on. Federer’s first match was a close three setter against Davydenko, who broke sick Roger three times and made him run for his win. Tired Federer was vulnerable to a loss in his next round. It so happened Nadal was his opponent, and beat him in straight sets. Had Federer withdrawn from Miami, Davydenko would have played Nadal and probably beaten him. Remember, Davydenko has a 6-1 head to head record over Nadal on hardcourts. Without the confidence of beating the No. 1 Federer, Nadal’s career and H2H against Fed might have been affected and history might have been different.

- 2005 Miami: The Miami final Nadal was Fed’s 33rd match of the year as Federer had won Doha, Rotterdam, Dubai, Indian Wells and reached semifinals at Australian Open. Fed was tired by the time by got to Miami, and dropped sets to Zabaleta and Ancic (whereas he straight setted all his opponnets at Indian Wells). If you can lose a set in a two hour match with Mariano Zabaleta on a hard court, you can lose two sets to Nadal. Federer was ready for a rest, not a long grind with Nadal. Once Federer finally woke up and decided to win the match, he imposed his game and won the last three sets 7-6, 6-3, 6-1. If you’re wondering who is this Zabaleta, so am I.

- 2006 Dubai was Federer’s first tourney after his post-Australian break, during which he rested his ankle which had suffered torn ligaments in Fall 2005 (causing him to miss Madrid, Basel and Paris indoors). Federer played a great first set and won 53% of total points, but eventually lost the match in three sets.

- 2009 Australian Open: After accomplishing a 5-2 record on all surfaces (clay, grass, hardcourt) over Nadal between 2006 Wimbledon and 2007 World Tour Finals, disaster struck. Federer’s mono and subsequent recurring back injury (probably from over-relying on his serve to get out of trouble) is the context for Federer’s losses between 2008 Monte Carlo and 2009 Australian Open. It is likely that Federer’s back was likely an issue during the AO final. As Tom Tebbutt reports: “Federer had a back problem after the Australian Open at the beginning of 2009, an event marked by his substandard play in the losing the fifth set of the final 6-2 to Rafael Nadal”.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/match-tough/federers-back-needs-a-break/article1301682/

- 2011 Miami: The three unexpected losses in six weeks to Djokovic dampened Federer’s motivation by Miami. He wasn’t able to build on his momentum from 2010 Shanghai to 2011 Doha. Federer’s semifinal match against Nadal looked half hearted and more like a tanking. Some speculation was that crafty Federer wanted Nadal to keep playing and losing to the hot Djokovic.

- 2012 Australian Open: As Steve Tignor said recently: “Nadal escaped a hot start from Federer, a tight third-set tiebreaker, and break points while serving for the match on a similar surface in Melbourne”. That’s a match Federer would have wanted back, despite his preparations for the Australian Open disrupted by injury in Doha and then Nadal’s dirty politics at the start of the AO.

Since after the 2009 Australian Open Final,

- Federer and Nadal have met in four finals. Federer won two finals (2010 World Tour Finals, 2009 Madrid) and Nadal won two finals (2010 Madrid, 2011 French Open).

- Federer 2011 WTF beatdown of Nadal is the most lop-sided career win between the Big 4 players in terms of percentage of total

points won and second fastest win in terms of matchtime (Fed’s 2006 WTF over Nadal was 2 minutes faster). And Roger did it at age 30.
http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=193260

- Federer past his prime has only a 3-5 losing record to Nadal in his absolute prime. Three of Nadal’s wins came on clay, as usual.

- Federer won three slams (2 points away from winning fourth slam at 2009 US Open) and two world tour finals. Nadal won four slams.


Sienna Says:

THE AMERICANS GO BIZURK? (IS THAT THE WORD)


Sienna Says:

and its gone.


Eric Says:

“Del Potro came unglued in the very first game after the hawkeye replay system failed denying him an opening service break. And that seemed to be it.”

This is simply a lie. The glitch denied him (probably) a chance to play a second serve at deuce. After Roger had already saved two BPs. If you think “second serve at deuce” is the same thing as “service break” you need to learn how to play tennis. Jesus christ.


van orten Says:

never seen isner play that well


van orten Says:

isner earned the respect from all of us beatin the world number one and fed before at davis cup …wow gotta love that guy…hats off


mat4 Says:

Kudos to Isner. Great match. Like I said, Nole is far from his best, and tonight it was evident. But Isner capacity to play well clutch moments is impressive.


Brando Says:

@Dave:

I’m a rafa fan, but i do like your posts.

I’ll give you one thing: you definately back up most of your statements with facts.

I also say your guy has a good chance today- much better than some say.


Humble Rafa Says:

isner earned the respect from all of us beatin the world number one and fed before at davis cup …wow gotta love that guy…hats off

His tennis is as interesting as watching paint dry.


Wog boy Says:

Congrats to Isner.

Good luck in final.

Nole, good luck in Miami.


Jeanius Says:

Even Rob Koenig saying that Nadal is already through. Just as pathetic as Steve 27


jane Says:

mat4 and Wog Boy, you guys are great sports. :)) Good luck to Isner indeed in the final. Can you manage if he wins the whole thing? It was just a few points here or there today, so I shouldn’t be sad. Miami up next for Nole.

Meantime the Fedal coming up… look out.


van orten Says:

hahahahah humble rafa come on his tennis is better than the artist movie which just won the oscar


Eric Says:

Anyone know where (for someone in the US) to watch the Federer/Nadal match streaming online in quality that makes it possible to see what’s going on? ESPN3.com isn’t showing it…


Brando Says:

‘hahahahah humble rafa come on his tennis is better than the artist movie which just won the oscar’.

I AGREE. Did not like the artist at all.


Skorocel Says:

@Eric: Try fromsport.com or livescorehunter.com – I guess it should work for you in the US as well…


Eric Says:

Thanks!


Sean Randall Says:

Incredible performance from Isner. What a serving day. Big John beats Djokovic and joins the top 10.

I thought Djokovic did well to get Isner’s serves back, but from the ground he looked too afraid to go for his shots and I that hurt him.

Still, credit to Isner.

Let’s hope the rain clears.


Gordo Says:

Humble Rafa Says:
isner earned the respect from all of us beatin the world number one and fed before at davis cup …wow gotta love that guy…hats off

His tennis is as interesting as watching paint dry.
__________

What is the most annoying about Isner’s serve is the quickness with which he uncorks his serve, just bouncing the ball once between his legs in prep.

With Rafa, in between his serves I can grab a beer, open a bag of chips and fill out half my tax form and get back before his ball toss.

You want to talk about watching paint dry?????

You are about to watch it… no?


jane Says:

Sean “but from the ground he looked too afraid to go for his shots and I that hurt him.”

I thought too that Nole should’ve mixed it up more, tried a little more slice, a few more droppers, angles, that sort of thing.


Dory Says:

OH NOES!!!!!!!! DjokerNole lost! :( :( :( Now it’s all in Roger’s hands.


Gordo Says:

Should Rafa win then he and Isner will face each other TONIGHT in the doubles final before going at it again in singles tomorrow.

I can’t remember that happening in a long time. :)

Of course Federer is the only person who has a chance of preventing it.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

Sometimes, I feel it was easier to be fair when I rooted for Pete or Jimbo or Mats. I was kind of prepared to a loss. Only wins mattered.

Now, I have been preparing myself for days for a defeat: Nole simply isn’t playing well. His serve is a work in progress, he hasn’t got enough arm speed when he hits his crosscourt forehand, the backhand down-the-line is non-existent… So it was a matter of time. Better maybe against Isner than against Rafa. But I am older and it affects my health. I had to stop to play chess because the prolonged tension started to hurt me.

I guess I shall get back to watch old matches on youtube and enjoy tennis that way, until Roland Garros, when Nole will peak and, of course, without any doubt :-) realise the grand slam.

The worst part of the story is that my wife is a RF fan. You can imagine how life will be miserable if his wins.


mat4 Says:

… if he wins. Sorry.


van orten Says:

when do they start???


Daniel Says:

Djoko lost almost 1000 points already this year: Semis in Dubai compared to winner last year, lost 320 its, and now semis in IW compared to winner last year, more 640 pts. Total lost 960 pts. He will get down to 12000 something next Monday. And from now onwards, he has nothing to win until Cincinati, only to defend.

Fed and Nadal knows this. For Nadal specially, he can close the gap if he wins this title, and maybe can reclaim number 1 before RG if he wins the clay masters Djoko won last year. The race is ON!


Dave Says:

Weather report: light rain around 4 pm Indian Wells time.
http://www.weather.com/weather/hourbyhour/92210

Brando: “I’m a rafa fan, but i do like your posts. I’ll give you one thing: you definately back up most of your statements with facts. I also say your guy has a good chance today- much better than some say.”

Thanks, much appreciated. Realistically, I thought Roger had a 30% to 40% chance of winning today’s match with the flu. [Had Federer not gotten the flu, I would have given him a 60% chance of winning, because Federer was match fit, his ground game improved since Australia, and he is motivated to beat Nadal.] However i’d increase the odds to 35% to 45% given the cooler conditions today (though wind may or may not help him), Federer will take over the 2012 year-to-date rankings lead from Djokovic by reaching the final, Federer gets closer to Nadal’s No. 2 ranking, Roger probably wants a ‘revenge match’ with Isner in the USA, and he doesn’t have to worry about his fitness facing Djokovic after a grinding match with Nadal (in that Isner is not a grinder like Djokovic). So the advantage I think is still with Nadal because he is healthy, the courts are so slow and he has been primed by Nalbandian. Roger needs to find his zen zone, get on a roll and remain focused to smother Nadal — never an easy proposition.

Of course, for Nadal, it’s a fantastic opportunity to gain points over Djokovic before the clay season, so he’ll be very, very motivated to beat Federer. And he won’t have to face Djokovic while doing it. So he’ll probably the happiest person in this weather delay.

Like I said before, every win Roger gets with his flu is gravy. If he loses, he can write it off to the flu.

As for Djokovic, two losses really don’t mean much. een if he loses Miami, his fans shouldn’t be worried. His focus is probably the clay season and to win the French Open. These early losses might actually motivate him to work harder, not get complacent. But as I said before, this year there are more players outside the Big Four capable of inflicting losses on Novak and Rafa.


van orten Says:

if i have to watch any longer the match between nadal and david i ll really go fuckin nuts…when do they start??????


van orten Says:

if i have to watch any longer the match between nadal and david i ll really go freakin nuts…when do they start??????


Sean Randall Says:

Darren Cahill says hoping for an 8pm ET start.


jane Says:

Daniel “And from now onwards, he has nothing to win until Cincinati, only to defend.”

There is the French Open, and for Nole fans, that is the big one. Honestly, if he wins the FO, I don’t care about number 1. That’s just a number. But to have a career slam and a Nole slam – that’d be more meaningful to me anyhow.


Colin Says:

Mat4, I know what you mean about tension. That’s the reason I decided, when Andy Murray did his disappearing act this week, that in future I’m not going to watch his early matches in tournaments. I’ll wait until he is at least in the quarter finals, by which time he has usually got on track. The annoying thing this week is, if he’d been at his best – and dodged the flu bug – he could have done very well, as none of the three players ranked above him have been at THEIR best. I’m in danger of becoming paranoid. Is Andy’s whole career aimed at driving me nuts?


jane Says:

mat4 I think Kimberly who posts here has it even worse: she’s a Rafa fan and her husband is a Fed fan! O_0


Sals Says:

Does anyone know if the Federer Nadal match will be on TV yet tonight after rain delay? I really want to see Roger beat “the Machine” like he did at the World Tour Final!


tennisfansince76 Says:

heavy lies the head that wears a crown


Wog boy Says:

Jane@Mat, there is worse…. Having a wife who seats and reads woman’s magazines while the steam is coming out through my ears watching Nole;(


Daniel Says:

You are right Jane, how can i foret the big one?! djoko won souch last year that I thiught he won the French already:)


Eric Says:

Jane, what’s a ‘Nole slam’?


alison hodge Says:

colin i have a husband whos not interested in tennis,but supports coventry city football club,every week of every season,they either draw matches that they should win,or loose matches that they should draw,it drives him absolutely potty,and he always says im never watching this crap ever again,but still carries on each week never the less,its all about been a true fan,through thick and thin,not always easy,but then again nothing worth while ever is.


mem Says:

Roger Federer Fan,

you’re making a mistake to suggest federer is equal to GOD. this is only a game and if i were you, i wouldn’t minimize the power of GOD.


Sienna Says:

Eric
Nole slam = he wins Garros he hold all 4 slams at the same time, but not in the calender year.


Sienna Says:

mem Says:
Roger Federer Fan,

you’re making a mistake to suggest federer is equal to GOD. this is only a game and if i were you, i wouldn’t minimize the power of GOD

AJet! Take it away.


alison hodge Says:

eric sorry to butt in as i know you were talking to jane, i think it means when a player wins 4 slams in a row,but not in a calendar year,at least i think thats what it means anyway,people can feel free to correct me if im wrong though.


alison hodge Says:

sorry did not see siennas post.


Sienna Says:

Maybe Dave can enligthen us who where the last players to come close to their own Grandslams? I always like those stats…. and I,ve missed your Anacone analyses? Iam interested in why you are not so happy with him as a coach.

Personally I feel Fed is just a bit fresher more eager with Anacone in his box. I believe they will come to wasdom eventually. But that is just my feeling.


mat4 Says:

This story about “defending points”… is just plain stupid, especially for Nole. There is no hope he could surpass Roger’s record of consecutive weeks at no 1, so he hasn’t got to think about it. What really counts is the race, that will decide who is no 1 at the end of the year, therefore the champ, and what counts are the slams, the things that everybody remembers.


skeezerweezer Says:

Sean,

We stiil good for 8pmET?

Also, does Big John break the top 10 as of now? What number?


Sean Randall Says:

Skeeze, Big John is at No. 10 with a bullet!

Court is being dried, they are still hoping for 8pm.


skeezerweezer Says:

^awesome for Isner. Who woulda thunk it? Thanks for the update…


Kimberly Says:

Sean is ABC still covering or will it be shown somewhere else?


sar Says:

In the US, what station will carry this?


jane Says:

Eric,

Yes, I mean what Sienna (at 6:53) and alison (at 6:54) said; I Nole slam would be were he to win the FO, he’d have all 4 slams at once, consecutively.

Last year at the AO, Rafa was going for the Rafa slam. That’s what they called it.

I guess it’s not a calendar slam (i.e., not all in the same season) and not a career slam (i.e., winning one of each within the span of one’s career) bit it’s like a consecutive slam. I just remember the media called it a Rafa slam (potentially) last year, so this year it would be a Nole slam, but it would be a career slam too so doubly important.

mat4, I agree! Nole should forget about points and focus on preparing for and peaking at the slams. That should be (and I think is) his focus. Not that he didn’t want to win today, of course he did. But a loss like this isn’t a real setback in the big picture imo.

Perhaps for Rafa and Fed the point crunching matters more if Fed wants another record or Rafa wants number 1 back. Last year I cared more re: Nole’s points since he was shooting for the top. Now that he got there he should focus on other goals imo.


Sean Randall Says:

Skeeze, here’s what I wrote about Big John in 2007, forecasting a possible Top 10.

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2007-08-06/191.php

Rain falling again. Some form of ESPN will air it when the weather clears. Appears it won’t start for at least another hour.


sar Says:

it will be on ESPN3 and on delay on ESPN2, when it will be broadcast at 6:00 PST.


Wog boy Says:

mat4, I am with you on that one and I said it before, i believe that is plan of Novak’s team, to peak for FO and keep it through USO and after in Asia.
I am waiting to see that fire in Nole’s eyes from last year, it is not there, not yet.
Jelena Gencic, his first coach, said in one interview that she knows when she sees Nole walking on the court wheather he is going to lose or win. I believe her, I getting there too;(
He still has four masters to do before FO, lets hope you ( and me) are right:)


Brando Says:

@Jane:

Regarding nole: Whilst i agree with you that nole’s aim should be to peak for RG, in complete honesty i think that already is not only his aim but also that of rafa, rog, murray and a few others.

Prior to the the start of this season rafa said he really wants a 7th RG title. Fed recently in the press talked about how he genuinely loves playing at RG for various reasons. So long story short, i think they are all gunning for RG.

BUT what they all understand is the importance of moemntum and confidence. That’s why rafa, fed seem so dialed in atm. That’s why andy was peeved to lose early at IW. And that’s why nole was quite obviously disappointed at today’s exit.

Nole-just like the others- wants/ needs some confidence and momentum being build up going into RG, since w/o it, unless your rafael nadal you will struggle. And even if you are rafa nadal you need major luck in order to win (RG 11). And i say that about rafa not as a fan of his, but due to his obvious stats at RG.


bstevens Says:

Cahill at espn is saying that Fedal will walk on court at 5:15 pm (8:15 ET).


Wog boy Says:

Jane, I didn’t see your post, agree.


Brando Says:

@Wog Boy:

‘I am waiting to see that fire in Nole’s eyes from last year, it is not there, not yet.’

Spot on- my exact thoughts about nole so far this year.

But you are right, there are 4 MS and serbia open still to happen, so its far to early to even entertain the thought of nole being on a potential slide.


Tom Gainey Says:

8:30pm is the new start time I am seeing.


Fed Fan 2 Says:

It’s 5:15 p.m. in Indian Wells as I write this and the match has not yet begun. I cannot find the start time anywhere. Googling hasn’t helped.


Eric Says:

They’re out on the court now, Fed Fan 2.


Sean Randall Says:

Match about to begin on ESPN3.com.


skeezerweezer Says:

Sean,

Thanks for that. So cool for us in America. Just as our top guy starts dropping out of the top 10 (AR)we get a new big guy backin to compete well withthe big boys. Love it. And love the different style he brings. No pong tennis. He is learning to take advantage of his serve game very well, and uses it well to set the attack. Something Andy never did. He served the bomb, then waited for it to fluff back to the baseline, then started a neutral rally. Isner looks for opportunities to attack.


jane Says:

Brando I hear what you are saying, but I keep reminding myself that Nole already defended the most important title of the early part of this year, and he’s the only one with a slam. Today, he was an inch from being in this final, too, so I don’t think momentum or confidence is an issue for him yet. If he loses early at Miami or something like that, then maybe, yeah. Agree: we need to wait still more to know what’s up. To me, if Nole wins one of the next few masters and perhaps Serbia, then he is still on track.


Eric Says:

Not a bad start, eh? Sadly we have learned many a time with Roger than even a 5-0, 40-0 lead against Rafa isn’t safe. So this set is far from over, not that you guys need me to tell you that… .


Kimmi Says:

they have started, the the live score shows federer leading 3-0.


Kimmi Says:

lol eric. so true.


Eric Says:

Disgusting.


racquet Says:

Break back by Nadal! Some great rallies so far.


Eric Says:

Yes, some great rallies. These guys are really showing how tennis can be a game of millimeters at times…


skeezerweezer Says:

Why does Fed think he can out rally Rafa on the slow stuff? samething all the time. Either he is stubborn, unwilling, or just doesn’t believe. With all the arsenal he has, he lets Rafa dictate the ground game. Unbelievable.


Daniel Says:

Federer had 0-30 or 15-40 in all his service games. He needs to serve bigger and hard otherwise…


john Says:

what a game by roger, 5-3 now god mode on


skeezerweezer Says:

Well well, Fed wins the 1rst. Why am I still not comfortable? hehe g’mon Fed!!


Eric Says:

NICE recovery from 3-3, Roger.

Rafa looks a bit dispirited. Maybe he’s finally gotten a bit of the bug going around? Didn’t even go in after that drop shot – rather un-Rafaesque acquiescence to losing set point.


Eric Says:

Skeeze, yeah. Not comfortable either. Watch Federer drop his opening 2nd set service game or something…


Gordo Says:

What match are all you Fed haters watching? The one I have is Fed vs Nadal and Federer just took the first set 6-3.


racquet Says:

Federer always starts strong against Nadal. The question is: can he maintain it? He has more of a chance in best of 3.


Brando Says:

Quick thoughts:

1-Just like a said earlier, fed has a better chance than most initially thought. 3 sets suits him against rafa.

2-Some fantastic shot making from both early on- just quite brilliant!


racquet Says:

Quite blustery out there. The ball is making some funky moves in that wind.


Daniel Says:

Fed is playing well on all fundaments: first serves in, forehand, backhand, offense and defense no bizarre mistakes when dictating the point, all opportunities he got, he went for his shots. Both are missing very few shots, but I only counted one forehand DTL from Rafa and it wasn’t a winner Nadal is content just sending balls up to Fed’s backhand


Daniel Says:

Wow, Love game to break!


Brando Says:

Rafa seems more frustrated by the conditions than roger!

I thought it would be the other way round regarding that.


Brando Says:

I dont think the ball is jumping off the court like most would have expected.


Eric Says:

Roger should always play like this.


jane Says:

Looks blustery & cold out there. This is a reverse of Miami last year. Looking like a straight-forward two-setter for Fed.


Eric Says:

…and then the easy UEs start creeping back in.


jane Says:

Brando, I think the high bounce is in the day, judging by the balls Nole was facing versus Isner. In the cooler damper conditions the balls are heavier.


Brando Says:

Conditions matter BIG TIME when these 2 play!

BUT that being said, fed is playing better atm- without a doubt!


van orten Says:

well well easy forehand miss to go up 2 breaks in the second set…and nadal still in that match…come on roger !!!!!!!!


van orten Says:

nightmare nadal again…why cant he once miss when needed!!!! vamos fed!!!!


Kimberly Says:

nadal playing terrible and doesnt look like hes moving well since i turned it on


skeezerweezer Says:

Big game for Fed to hold at 4-2.

Rafa doing strange things with his left toe left foot left leg say the commentators…lol…its called”wind”


Eric Says:

Kimberly when did you start watching? Rafa is playing great now.


Dory Says:

Am I in dreamland co-Roger fans? :) :) :)


skeezerweezer Says:

Fed ahead a break….but….you can feel the Rafa train com in…can Fed hold him off?


john Says:

roger is in god mode right now
only he can stop himself by doing errors


mat4 Says:

Got back for some more.

My first impression was the good one: Roger is in the best shape of the top three. Two other things: one, he has improved his backhand a lot in the last two years, whatever one can say. And two, he finally has a clear cut plan against Rafa.

Just like last year, we can see that nothing is granted in tennis.


skeezerweezer Says:

What is happening? WTF? :) :)


van orten Says:

fed up 6:3 5:2 serving for the match…he loses that match i quit watchin tennis at least till wimbledon ;-)


mat4 Says:

@Skeezer:

Roger finally learn from Novak how to play against Rafa… Do you think that he will pay him a drink next time they see?


Brando Says:

@Jane: I bet rafa and nole would have loved to switch their matches atm in time, lol!

Fed should seal it here!


Kimmi Says:

Shhhhh, Very quiet! federer serving for the match. omg, is this for real?


Kimberly Says:

i started watching at 2-3 in the second and all I have seen is garbage since. Rafa looks grumpy. Fed working nadals backhand that i saw and not vice versa


Kimmi Says:

van orten, me too if he loses. no more tennis for me. c’mon fed


jane Says:

Didn’t Roger lose 3 and 2 in Miami – this will be the reverse.


Eric Says:

Typical.


skeezerweezer Says:

RAFA!! THe Lion comes out….


mat4 Says:

Nah… nonsense. When you watch them, you have the impression they are playing in a mirror.


Brando Says:

VAMOS RAFAAAA!!


Kimberly Says:

now he plays a few nice points but a little late


Kimberly Says:

DF—awful


Kimmi Says:

oh noo, i should not say anything.


jane Says:

Still Fed will win: he’s the better player today from what I’ve seen (but only kinda one quarter watching as have hockey on, cooking, and marking, lol!).


van orten Says:

hahahahhahah this really a nightmare that player nadal for all fed fans..will it never end really ????


Eric Says:

Federer only average after losing that double BP midway through this set; Rafa up and down. Fed can still throw this away.


Kimmi Says:

what is going on people, i am not watching. can fed serve this out please?


jane Says:

Kimmi, Fed broken and Rafa held, but Fed can still serve it out.


van orten Says:

there you go all nadal fans ..he goes to the toilet now???? total ….


skeezerweezer Says:

Bathroom break Rafa? Timely.

Eric I feel ya a little pessimistic when it comes to Rafa…and why not? Sure want Fed to win,,, but when the same ole stuff comes out…ugh. He’s coin ok so far though ;)

@mat4,

some for sure Djoker style in Feds game against Rafa ;)


jane Says:

First point to Fed on crosscourt forehand winner.


jane Says:

Second point to Nadal on Fed backhand long. 15 all.


Dory Says:

Fed, don’t lose your first serve!!!


jane Says:

Eek, Fed double faults: 15-30.


van orten Says:

this is mental this is not happening…incredible


jane Says:

Fed second serve wide, and forehand winner – 30 all.


Kimmi Says:

what is going on..c’mon fed!


Brando Says:

my feeds gone!1!!WTF!!!!!!!!


Kimmi Says:

thanks jane. can he finish this please?


mat4 Says:

What’s the result? I have no image.


Eric Says:

Oh my god. Rafa is a disgrace.


jane Says:

Nadal forehand error! 40-30 match point Fed.


Dory Says:

Oh my god!!!!!!!! The point after 30-30!


gannu Says:

What a colossal choke by my god…feddy bear


Kimmi Says:

match point i see..one more fed


Kimberly Says:

omg rain delay on match point


jane Says:

OMG Rain? You got to be kidding me, lol. On match point. HA ha ha.


Dory Says:

WTH someone joked today here that rain’s gonna come again at match point in Fedal match and it actually happens???


van orten Says:

it s official tennis gods dont want fed to win ever when it matters vs nadal again…come on !!! this is surreal


Eric Says:

The rain couldn’t have held off another ten seconds?


Kimmi Says:

this next point must be long..or my scoreboard if frozen


mat4 Says:

“You must be kidding me!”

Really?


tfouto Says:

WTF!!! Raining on the match point…


Dory Says:

What! They should have a rule that you can’t stop play at match point. LOL.


Kimmi Says:

what rain..never seen that, could they let him just finish it..or was it too much?


Brando Says:

Feed back- uncharacteristic miss by rafa!

If this goes to a 3rd= rafa’s in business!!


van orten Says:

ace fed ace fed aceeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!


Eric Says:

That’s how to do it. YES.


mat4 Says:

I’ve got a stream again…


Dory Says:

Yes this is real! Roger’s wins against Rafa in double digits. Celebrate!!! :)


mat4 Says:

And it’s over.


jane Says:

Okay, here it is Kimmi – Fed stepping up to serve on match point and he hits an ACE!

Fed wins. Congrats. :)


van orten Says:

holyyyyyyyy shhhhhhhh he actually hit an aceeee!!!!! what a win for roger …wow that was tense


skeezerweezer Says:

FEDERER!

GOAT. He can beat the Beast on the slow stuff? Really? YES!!!!!
An ace it in the end to prove it!!!!! The man, the legend, the 31 yr old man still can beat the second best in his prime years!!!!

6-5 on HC baby!!


Kimmi Says:

so federer won eventually, cant believe it. Congrats roger. you have beaten your nemesis in the out door court eventually.


Dory Says:

Now if only he plays like this on clay against Rafa. Maybe Djoker did teach him. Ha ha.


jane Says:

Fed needed that more than Rafa methinks. Rafa just didn’t ever hit his stride consistently in that match, and even Fed had some patchiness, but he wins as he was stronger overall. Nice win for Fed tonight.


Eric Says:

Haha. Wow. Did anyone in the WORLD pick this final matchup??


Brando Says:

Fed fans: skeez, swiss maestro, dave, van orten, kimmi etc… congratulations on your man’s win!!

It was a fabolous display by federer- i told everyone he had a chance!

BUT truth be told, rafa really started to click from mid way 2nd set and had he won that set….. well that classic story may have repeated itself once again.

But nonetheless, it’s rogers day, and my congrats once again to him and his loyal fans- well played and deserved! :-)


mat4 Says:

@Skeezer:

I wrote yesterday that I didn’t believe Roger could have the patience to play Rafa’s backhand over and over again. Seems that I was wrong.


tfouto Says:

Yeah!!!!!


Andrea Says:

Straights! Brilliant. More break points taken quickly from nadal than I have seen in awhile from roger. Whose your daddy???


Kimberly Says:

Congrats Roger fans. However, Nadal seemed out of sorts. Ugly match from his side for the first set and a half. Woke up a little too late.


mat4 Says:

I am really happy for Federer, and for all the Fed fans. I think it would be very cruel from Nole and Rafa not only to win all the slams, but also the masters. ;-)

Just joking.


Brando Says:

@Jane:

I agree with your comment. Fed needed it more, i cannot begrudge him.

I think along with fed’s good play early on- the conditions bugged rafa alot more.

Nonetheless its rog’s moment- so let him and his fan’s enjoy it! :-)


john Says:

god of tennis is back,he dethrones nadal in slow court finally
the fighting spirt is back and he is back with bang .
Nole better watch out, roger will take no 1 from you very soon


van orten Says:

thanks brando …fed really played great…his backhand as strong as it can be,,and insane forehand shots to nadals backhand,.,.wow wow wow now take down that serving machine and get your revenge for davis cup…i like isner though and hope it s going to be a good match from both


Daniel Says:

Fed is the second player to beat Nadal more than 10 times, the other is, of course Djoko. A testment to Nadal’s toughness. We may not see any other player beat him more than 10 in his career.


Andrea Says:

Why is there always a ‘however’ when rafa wins??? He couldn’t deal with the conditions today.


Andrea Says:

I mean ‘loses’


jane Says:

Fed and Isner revenge match: Fed gets a chance to revenge his DC loss at home against Isner at “home”. If Isner plays like he did against Nole, who knows? But that may’ve been a one off.


van orten Says:

his attitude was perfect…he fist pumped from start to finish with lots of come ons°°°°


senthil Says:

Guys,

Fed can be No.2, if he wins IW and Miami !!.. WOW.. Come on Fed


Skorocel Says:

Well, I thought that that FH which Fed netted in the 2nd set at 3-1, 40-30, Nadal serving, would prove costly for him, but luckily it didn’t! Finally a comprehensive win against Nadal on an outdoor hardcourt! A match in which Federer was the better player FROM START TO FINISH…


Mark Says:

Geez! The euphoria from u Fed fans. He might get another caning from the Big Man tmrw. Enjoy tonite.


Eric Says:

Haha, Isner is the Big Man now? I think he still has a little ways to go before he gets a title like that…

(Is it unpatriotic of me to root against him…? Oh, who cares.)


skeezerweezer Says:

Andrea,

Love it “Who’s your daddy?”. only cause the Rafa fanatic trollers post the same about H2H all the time ;)

Brando, Alison, Kimberly……commiseration’s…Rafa for whatever reason didn’t adapt to the conditions today….:(

@mat4

I was worse than you. i posted early on that he was trying to out duel him with the neutral rally thing from the baseline…something we have all seen him do and lose. He changed it up, served well, and threw in some Djoker strategy along with his own inventiveness and basically took down the Beast in straights on a slow surface. What can be sweeter?

Bartender!! Another glass of that green beer, its St Pattys’ day and RF won!

Brando,

Thanks! And yes…he was throwing down a major charge in the 2nd…just a little to late?


Gordo Says:

There are SO many should be crow eaterts in here, but I thought I would just pick the most annoying –

Nims Says:
The semis will be a 2-set practice match for Rafa, it will help him to probably win his doubles match. Looks like Rafa has luck is on Rafa’s side this year, having Roger in the semis in both AO and IW. His path to Finals looks more certain when Roger is in his half.

Well BIG MOUTH KNOW IT ALL…

What do you have to say for yourself?

I doubt we’ll hear from Nimrod unless Isner wins tomorrow; then he’ll come in with some crap line how Roger wasn’t that good.


Eric Says:

And the question will forever remain open of whether these huge momentum shifts in Fedal matches are because Rafa “wakes up” or Roger “goes to sleep,” or perhaps vice versa. In other words, is it one R’s sharpness that keeps the other R from playing at full potential, or one R’s dullness that lets the other dominate? I expect we all have our own opinions, eh?


Skorocel Says:

Telling stat: Federer 4 BPs out of 6 (took the first 3, which is something very rare in his matches against the Spaniard)


mat4 Says:

@Gordo:

Come on… You’re a fan too. Fandome make us write often something stupid.


Gordo Says:

Eric,

This was not the first time Roger has stormed out of the starting gate against Nadal, Is Nadal a slow starter? Or does Fed just come down from the high standard he usually starts with?

This match – 75% first serves in the first set; 56% in the second.

The key difference is that he was 4 for 6 on breaks; Fed has always had problems breaking Rafa. But not tonight.


Eric Says:

Gordo, obviously, that’s why it’s a question. :)

And yes, 4 of 6 is a sight better than his typical 1 of 30.


Gordo Says:

mat4 – yes I occasionally do, but I do never demean other athletes or insult them the way some of the posters do in here. Nims is one of about 8 guys in here that absolutely hate Federer and write the cruelest insults. I don’t understand it and I never will.


mat4 Says:

And, btw, everything can change in Miami already. Rafa was a little bit rusty. Djoko, the same. But they could find their best strokes in a week or two and beat Roger a few times in a row. What then? And Murray will be there too.

Nothing is granted.

I have the impression, though, that Roger has now a good plan against Rafa, and with the work he did in the last two years he can materialize it. Basically, with Djokovic, he is the most improved player in the top ten.


blank Says:

Interesting match tomorrow, Fed vs Isner. I believe Fed played Davis cup just so that he can qualify to play at the Olympics. I am sure Isner played well and Federer didn’t mean to lose that match, but I don’t think Federer would have been very thrilled at the prospect of playing more Davis cup matches. The way Wawrinka plays these days, Swiss “team” cannot be the favorite to win DC.

Isner has to play another match tonight before the 1pm finals tomorrow, that may work in Fed’s favor. But who knows, Isner is the “MARATHON” man we all know from 2 years ago at Wimbledon! He might just pull off 2 in a row!


Eric Says:

mat4, stop providing so much perspective!

But seriously, yes, the biggest difference is that Andy M surely will not lose so early in Miami. That will make the later rounds more interesting, probably no total surprise run to the finals for Isner or anyone…


Wog boy Says:

Conrats to Fedfans.

In the circumstances this is best outcome for Nole:)
If only Isner can repeat today’s game tomorrow?

Skezeer, have that green beer, you deserved it.


Misty Says:

I just gotta say…am a bit jealous and very irritated that I missed this match….ABC in my area did not follow through with the second semi that is so rare to see these days, something I have been waiting a long time for!! It sux that I had to go online to see who won and missed out on Roger winning this match up. HOW CAN THAT HAPPEN ABC??? SERIOUSLY!


blank Says:

Just checked, no doubles finals tonight. They moved it to later in the day tomorrow, after the men’s finals.


Eric Says:

Misty, it aired on ESPN instead because it started after 5 pm (or whatever). You can watch the replay on espn3.com (or will soon be able to).


skeezerweezer Says:

Wog boy,

Thanks, already on the second ;)

Hope your boy gets fired up for the Clay court season!

______________

Where is mem? roy, Steve 27, and all the rest of the TennisTalk-a-lites?


mat4 Says:

@Eric:

Some poster made me write the obvious. Sorry.

But watching that second set, I really had the impression that this match was a shift in their rivalry. Roger was good, but not great. He was broken serving for the set. He was in difficulties at 5-4. But not only he kept his composure, he found a way to win without playing in god mode. He found the weakness and he attacked it over and over again.

Let’s add that his inside in FH was clocking like a… swiss watch, and that his backhand was good, rock solid, to borrow an expression from Robbie Koenig.


Eric Says:

mat4, great points!


tennisfansince76 Says:

@Skeezer. ha ha ha. all of the less shall we say mature Rafa fans are always popping off when they think their boy is gonna take it. then if he doesn’t the silence is deafening. no offence to all of the mature andn thoughtful Rafa fans that are regulars onn this site.


jane Says:

mat4 I love your perspective; please, keep writing! :)


Eric Says:

Yes, I was joking, if that wasn’t clear…!

Anyway, last thoughts — Rafa clearly was not quite at his best in the first set, likewise Roger later in the second. But they still played great tennis for the most part. But what I found interesting was that Rafa’s sub-amazing tennis is still very good. He plays at (let us say) 70 or 80% of maximum. But Roger tends just to bleed errors, and most of all horrible swats into the net. (The error I most hate seeing from Roger is the FH slammed into the net. That’s when I know he’s in trouble.) Instead of playing just less-well, he is more on or off… or maybe it’s just my imagination.


Brando Says:

@mat4:

I second that mat4, i also like your perspective!

We need to remember this is the 1st for most- 2nd for some- tourny that starts a spring schedule of 4/5 major tournies pre RG. Others can still turn it around (murray, rafa, nole, delpo) , some can build on an excellent start (roger) and some can throw a toilet tub in the mix (isner)!

Its a marathon not a 100m sprint, so let’s not make any foregone conclusions just yet!


skeezerweezer Says:

mat4

agree with others your quick analysys of the match. Was spot on.

tennisfansince76,

You know and I know, we know ;)


Gordo Says:

Okay, some nerd numbers after reading that Fed could replace Rafa as #2 as early as Miami…

Here are the top 3 guys, less last year’s IW points plus this year’s IW points

Djokovic: 13,310 less 1000 plus 360 = 12,670.
Nadal: 10,415 less 600 plus 360 = 10,175.
Federer: 8,710 less 360 plus 600 = 8,950.
If he wins tomorrow add 400 more = 9,350.

Going into Miami, if we remove their 2011 points from that tournament it will give us an apples to apples slate where points will only be added on depending how far they go into the tourney this year -

Djokovic: 12,670 less 1,000 points = 11,670
Nadal: 10,175 less 600 points = 9,575 points
Fed RU tomorrow: 8,950 less 360 points = 8,590
Fed W tomorrow: 9,350 less 360 points – 8,990

The points for Miami are 1000 points for the win, 600 points for the RU, 360 points for making the semis and 180 points for making the quarters.

Let’s do the math – If Fed wins IW tomorrow he indeed does make it to #2 by also winning Miami, if Rafa does not advance beyond the semis in Florida. We’ll have to see the draw.


Michael Says:

It is time for rejoicing for Roger fans. They will not be happy so much even if he won the Wimbledon. What counts is the victory against Nadal and Roger displayed the true characteristics of a Champion and his was an exceptional performance wherein he adapted to the difficult conditions on the court very well. Nadal on the other hand played mediocre Tennis and may be Roger’s game had a say in it. There were not many critics who were giving Roger even a whiffer of a chance in this match and yet he disproved them by dispatching Nadal in straight sets. Never write off Roger, THE GOAT (according to me).


mat4 Says:

@jane:

I’d rather write about Apollinaire those days.

“Let us since all passes pass
I shall look back only too often”.

BTW, why do you think Nole made that challenge on break point in the first set?


Michael Says:

Skorocel, Roger disappointed you a lot. He has outclassed Nadal on the outdoor Hard court and a very important tournament at that.


contemperory Says:

As per schedule, I don’t see Isner playing another match today. So he is playing Federer next.

He has beaten Federer at the DC, and now beaten Simon and Djoko in two good matches.

We cannot write him off for the title match tomorrow. But as some one was saying, if Fed has the “killer instinct” and if he wants a revenge, then we might see a Federer win for sure.

Federer has surprised all of us by defeating Nadal in the slow hard court at IW. What are the possible reasons of this win?

a) Fed attacking Nadal’s backhand
b) Conditions?????? Low bounce?
c) Fed more error-free today
d) Fed having a stronger mind set today…

Anything else?


Michael Says:

Mat4, I agree to your analysis. Roger was tight even when he was to break of serves up and when he lost the first one, I thought may be the demons are returning back. But even in the second chance, he seemed very tight and that break when he was serving at 40-30 helped him a lot I thought.


Michael Says:

Contemporary,

Isner can definitely win, if he serves like he did against Novak. But will it happen ? I am not so sure.


Michael Says:

Contemporary,

What all you said, it was a mixture of everything. But Roger’s mindset was shaky even when he was two break of serves up in the second set and that is a negative for me despite his win.


skeezerweezer Says:

@gordo

Thanks for that. Who even thought that Rog would be in a position to take over the #2 spot this early?

I find it hard to believe he will do that, but with his form so far I am becoming a believer that he has a very good shot at overtaking Rafa this year at #2 sometime this year. And if Djoker falters, who knows? Gonna be a very interesting year.


mat4 Says:

There was a lot of wind, don’t forget that, so errors are understandable. Rafa was not playing at 70%. He never does. Roger was patchy, but he played Rafa, not Xavier Malisse.


skeezerweezer Says:

contemperory,

“What are the possible reasons of this win?”

Just a better player.


Skorocel Says:

Michael: “Skorocel, Roger disappointed you a lot.”

Indeed he did. Boy, do I wish for more “disappointments” like that! ;-)


Eric Says:

Hey just a quick note to remind everyone that Roger is still the only player to reach all four slam finals in the same year… oh and he did it thrice… ok PSA over. ;)


jane Says:

mat4,

Lovely to look back. I am taking a page from Julian of Norwich this evening (though I could never be an anchoress; I love my freedom too much):

All shall be well
And all shall be well
And all manner of things shall be well

:)

Why did he make that challenge? Is there a romantic reason? Or was it merely a momentary a brain cramp? Who knows, but he’ll rue that tonight, perhaps.

I would refer him back to Julian.

And that old folk song “Keep your eyes on the prize”.


skeezerweezer Says:

Eric,

Awesome PSA ;)


contemperory Says:

Nadal after the match:

“I was feeling the ball great. I felt that I’m ready to compete and ready to win the match, but later the crazy wind [made it ] very, very difficult for me to play with a clear tactic. I lost court, I had more mistakes, and I think he played very aggressive. He played fantastic. His serve was with high percentage, and I wasn’t able to play my usual tactic against him with that conditions. He hit the balls, every one inside the court, and the weather conditions makes the topspin more difficult for me.”

So, basically Nadal says that conditions caused his defeat. But he can’t stop there so he had to say something good about Roger as well.


Vinny Says:

I think that Federer beats Nadal any time in Indian wells under any conditions (even conceding that the court speed favors Nadal). Here is why:

The ball flies through the air in Indian wells. This means that it takes the one thing Nadal needs when he pummels Fed’s backhand with heavy topspin: firm position. Today, he had to race just to get to the ball. Even tried moonballing a bit and didn’t work.

The ball speed through air at IW is similar to Madrid. Except the court is much slower in Madrid obviously.

If Feddy bear meets Rafa in Miami where the court is ultra slow and the humidity makes it impossible to gain some air speed, it should be a 6-3/6-2 beatdown against him similar to last year.

On a side note, its about time they have an indoor hardcourt grand slam. Move the Aussie open to March and play it indoors on a court similar to YEC courts in London. Gives guys like Nalbandian, Isner, Roddick (yup) and the rest a fair chance of winning a slam. Plus the shotmaking is so much more mercurial and exciting indoors than endless retrieving (which it has come to on any court nowadays). I like risk being rewarded and the best shot of that is indoors. Plus we’ll see some goddammn serve and volley for a change from some players.


andres Says:

Contemperory

I will also add a tactical mistake by Nadal as another cause for his defeat:

He played as usual to Feds backhand creating space on the forehand side to make the winner, but he didn’t go for it, and keep hammering the backhand expecting it will crumb eventually. He tried to rectify that at the end of the second set but it was to late


mat4 Says:

@jane:

I usually work at night, when my family sleeps. Alone, reading or writing – or watching tennis, from time to time.

So I could accept that being an anchorite is just another step toward freedom.


andres Says:

Its weird how Federer ended up taking advantage of the conditions on court today, given that his game is based on pressicion and that in comparison Nadal always plays his shots with more margin


Michael Says:

Contemporary,

The conditions are the same for both the players and if Rafa is offering that as an excuse then he is a poor loser.


skeezerweezer Says:

“So, basically Nadal says that conditions caused his defeat.”

Yep, thats Rafa.


mat4 Says:

@Michael:

I don’t agree. The wind doesn’t affect all balls the same way.

I also don’t agree that Rafa is a poor loser.


Eric Says:

Rafa wasn’t blaming the conditions. He said the wind made it tough to play with a “clear tactic” which certainly describes what we all watched in the first hour…


blank Says:

If he can’t handle it in 2012, wonder how Rafa won in 2009 beating Murray 6-1 6-2 in very windy conditions at IW while making Murray look like a novice.


Swiss Maestro Says:

Nice slap in the face for raf@t@rds like Nims!. fed slapped them hard and force-fed a nice plate of crow down their mouth or whatever orifice they eat/talk through. [here's a clue - it is another name for a donkey!]

As they said ” God Made Roger Federer “. One of those rare sportsman like pele, jordan, schumacher, woods, phelps, bolt, bubka, ali who transcend sport and enter the realm of Genius.

Take a bow, the original Swiss Maestro!


Sienna Says:

Just woke up to see the result. I am so proud of Roger.

So he makes up over 1200 points on Djoker, almost 1000 on Ndal if he wins the whole tourney….
Wow he can becom #2 before the clay.

He throws Rafa at Djoker in the draw at Garros! HOW about them apples.


andres Says:

That toilet break just before Federer served for the match was a joke, although it is aloud that tactic isn’t worthy of Nadal


Sienna Says:

HAHAHAHAHA Just saw that the match had to be resumed on MP after an raindelay?????

DAVE You absolutely talked about that to happpen. Athough how come you said it was on 0-40 on Nadal’s serve?

This is ot Dave You must have Psychich powers for that to have happend


Michael Says:

Mat4, So what is your point ? I was commenting about Rafa complaining about the conditions on the Court and offering that as an excuse for his defeat. In my view, he should have avoided that. But Rafa often with his broken english just doesn’t explain things well and often ends up creating a controversy.


Brando Says:

**My final post regarding this match is part of rafa’s post match presser.

**IF you read it with an open mind, you’ll find he IS NOT being disrespectful, offering an excuse, he’s just saying it like it is from his point of view:

—-
Rafael Nadal had an interesting analysis on how the wind affected him in his 6-3, 6-4 loss to Roger Federer on Saturday.

Nadal loves the topspin, and he always hits it high to Federer’s backhand. But he couldn’t do it in the semifinals.

“His serve was with high percentage, and I wasn’t able to play my usual tactic against him with that conditions. He hit the balls, every one inside the court, and the weather conditions makes more difficult the topspin for me,” Nadal said. ”But, you know, here is a place that the ball have high bounces with the normal conditions, hot; but today was colder, the ball stays lower, and that’s makes the match a little bit more comfortable for him, I believe.

“So I tried. Fighted until the last ball. I lost against a player who played better than me this afternoon. Congratulations. That’s all.”

But Nadal said that’s not an excuse for his loss.

“The excuse, the real excuse was he played better than me. That’s the best excuse that I can find, and that’s it,” Nadal said. “The game is simple. I tried but wasn’t enough, and that’s all. No more things.”

Remember that these quotes are usually answers to questions, that are obviously not in the article.

ENJOY!


Sienna Says:

andres Says:
That toilet break just before Federer served for the match was a joke, although it is aloud that tactic isn’t worthy of Nadal

Was it really a toilet break? WOw that whas something. I will have to watch that. How low can a former #1 fall in trying to throw off Fed?


Nims Says:

Great win for Roger, though i have not seen the match yet. But based on analysis of the match, still Roger is mentally not there yet to win a 5-setter nor 3-setter on clay against Nadal.

To put things in perspective, this is the first tournament NAdal is playing after a break from AO. Whereas Roger is much tournament hardened.

Typically their match should turn around the mid of second set, from thereon Rafa takes control. In a 3-setter Roger can escape it, but I can’t see this happening in 5-setter.

But being a Roger fan, it gives me great satisfaction that he has started talking negative things about Nadal. I believe that was the starting point. This is the first time I hear Roger lowered his own expectation against Nadal outside clay. It’s always been the other way, where Nadal keeps repeating how the conditions would favour Roger.

Nice starting point for Roger, but let’s wait till Miami and the clay season. Till then let’s rejoice.


Nims Says:

Gordo Says:
mat4 – yes I occasionally do, but I do never demean other athletes or insult them the way some of the posters do in here. Nims is one of about 8 guys in here that absolutely hate Federer and write the cruelest insults.

Gordo, what was the cruellest thing I have said about Roger?


Daniel Says:

I think Nadal feeds of Federer error’s. Note that in all his comebacks agaisnt Fed, even on clay, he onlny start playing his aflgressive and confiant game when Fed is makin errors. More often than not, when Fed is really playing great, Nadal knows there is nothing he can do unless Fed’s level drop and he seema hopeless. All 4 WTF matches, this one, Hamburgo 2007 and even Madrid 09′. Only Rome 2006 And Wimby 2008 where matches where they were both in similar shape. Almost all the pther ones we can see the uneveb balance after the first set.


Ajet Says:

”On a side note, its about time they have an indoor hardcourt grand slam. Move the Aussie open to March and play it indoors on a court similar to YEC courts in London. Gives guys like Nalbandian, Isner, Roddick (yup) and the rest a fair chance of winning a slam. Plus the shotmaking is so much more mercurial and exciting indoors than endless retrieving (which it has come to on any court nowadays). I like risk being rewarded and the best shot of that is indoors. Plus we’ll see some goddammn serve and volley for a change from some players.”

I agree with vinny here. it’d be nice if ewe’ve an indoor slam for the reasons precisely stated above by vinny.

——————————-

Skorocel:

I want more and more disappoints like this to happen to you too! ;)

——————————-

And btw Rafa wasn’t being a sore loser by just offering how could the match have been better for him under different condition, although his bathroom break was quite annoying and raises doubt.
To be honest, I dunno why people mind so much if fed thinks he wasn’t 100% and lost to nadal/anyone else while nadal thinks he wasn’t 100% and lost to federer/anyone else! that’s the way a champion is supposed to think!
I sure hope people get it that the day a man, who’s a great tennis player/sportsman starts believing someone else’s best is better than his own best, then he may as well join us here for blogging instead of competing in tennis/sports!


Ajet Says:

daniel:

agree with your last post completely except the part where you say fed and rafa were on even terms in wmbledon. No(as per me)!

The difference to me was that roger was in bad form in that wimbledon and lack of practice and loss of winning momentum due to mono had taken its toll on fed and fed was looking less than ok with that big scar on his cheek left by mono! Add to that the fact that I’ve never seen nadal play better in wimbledon than he has in 2008! In fact rafa was in is most destructive form in 2008 even though he won three slams in 2010. I feel nadal of 2007, 2010 and 2011 wimby will all lose to the rafa of 2008 wimbledon at wimbledon!
thus, i think fed was at great disadvasntage in that wimby, as his game was at ONE OF HIS lowest ebbs during A0-WIM 08 stretch…
it was a wimby where fed stretched nadal to 5 sets solely basiung on his tenacity as his true great game has deserted him.


Sienna Says:

You just cannot have a slam man and woman and doubles with 164 draw indoors? What kind of an enterprise that would be building facilities and accomodations for everybody.

Please people stay real. Maybe in Dubai they have the money to built one in Dubai. But then it still wasnot one of the slams.

USA has problems financing a roof over their centre soto take the whole slam indoors?


Dave Says:

Sienna,
Lol, my original psychic prediction was Nalbandian in the semifinal (he was 2 points from winning) and John Isner in the final. My prediction of rain delay at 0-40 on Nadal’s serve — instead of matchpoint on Fed’s serve — was because my astrology charts were thrown off when Skorocel and Nadalista woke up yesterday.

The greatest tennis players only consider the Calendar Year Grand Slam and Career Grand Slam. Martina Navratilova won four consecutive slams in 1984/1985 but she does not describe it as a ‘Martina Slam’ or grand slam. The so-called Golden Slam was orginally used to describe Steffi Graf’s Calendar Year Grand Slam with Olympic gold in the same year (later it became bastardized to hype Agassi and NAdal’s Olympic achievements). The closest to a Calendar Year Grand Slam has been Federer in 2006 and 2007 (all four slam finals, won three slams). The closest to four consecutive slams has been Federer in 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2009/2010 (all four slam finals, won three slams). In 1937/38, Don Budge won 6 consecutive slams, so if you want to have consecutive slams, six is the standard.

As for Annacone, bottom line, federer has failed to win a slam after six slams with Annacone. He should have been playing at this level and achieving all these things one year ago. He should have been ready to handle Nadal’s topspin better one year ago, e.g., design a ball machine to shoot Nadal’s heaviest topspins, special hitting partners, build four courts to the exact specs of the grand slam surfaces, etc. Better opponent analysis, etc. Ivan Lendl or Jim Courier might have made better coaches.


Sienna Says:

Well they have got to this level together. Maybe later then you wanted, but he is now again well at par with Djoker and Nadal. I think at the moment he iseven a little better. Djoker and Nadal need to catch up with him and they’ll have to do it swift otherwise TMF year will be constructed. For now TMF year is under construction.


Daniel Says:

Actually, agree with yog as well Ajet, regarding Wimby 2008.

But due to the nature of it being one of the most competitive matches between then, where Nadal wasn’t still the mental giant he is today, I placed it along with Rome 06′. That match point Fed saved in fourth set tiebreak and Nadal not crumbling in the fifth set even serving behind was THE moment when he switched to a great player. Wimby 2008 is Nadal most important tourney.

Top story: Andy Murray Reportedly Engaged To Girlfriend Kim Sears, Makes Coaching Changes
  • Recent Comments
Rankings
ATP - Nov 24 WTA - Nov 24
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Kei Nishikori5 Ana Ivanovic
6 Andy Murray6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Tomas Berdych7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Milos Raonic8 Caroline Wozniacki
9 Marin Cilic9 Angelique Kerber
10 David Ferrer10 Dominika Cibulkova
More: Tennis T-Shirts | Tennis Shop | Live Tennis Scores | Headlines

Copyright © 2003-2014 Tennis-X.com. All rights reserved.
This website is an independently operated source of news and information and is not affiliated with any professional organizations.