Federer Slams Nadal, Meets Isner For Indian Wells Title; Can Big John Beat Djokovic, Roger And Nadal This Weekend?
by Sean Randall | March 18th, 2012, 12:52 am
  • 358 Comments

What a day of madness at Indian Wells Tennis Masters with two startling semifinal bracket-busting results. First, John Isner simply outserved and outsmarted Novak Djokovic 7-6, 3-6, 7-6 to earn a berth in the biggest final of his young career.

The 26-year-old Isner not only served bombs but also backed them up with some sturdy groundstrokes and timely volleys that left the World No. 1 frustrated and bewildered.

“I knew going into this year that I had the tools and I had the game to be able to at least compete with these guys,” said Isner who beat Roger Federer last month. “I take the court no matter who I’m playing expecting to win and believing to win. There’s really no reason to take the court if I believe otherwise. The win against Roger was very big for my confidence, and obviously this one will be very big for my confidence, also.”

Isner’s effort moves him into the Top 10 for the first time in his career, a level I thought he could reach when he first burst onto the tennis scene in 2007. And remarkably here he is.

The 6’9″ American has improved his backhand and has a full understanding of the limits of his game. And he maximizes it well. Just ask Djokovic.

“With that serve and with that forehand he’s got the ability to be a Top 10 player,” said Djokovic. “He had that already a couple years back. It’s just a matter of really trusting your instincts and your strokes and your quality. I think it all came together for him now, and he’s deservedly in the Top 10 now.”

Yet Djokovic was in complete control early on, getting into Isner’s service games and really dictating off the ground. Eventually, Novak got the break and just when it looked like he would cruise to a first set win, things turned. Djokovic double faulted, made a poor challenge decision giving the break back. And when you play breakers again Isner, it’s like Russian roulette.

“The first set was really key because he came out and got on top of me early,” said Isner who smashed 20 aces including one on matchpoint. “At 5-4, I got back on serve; that gave me a lot of momentum. And winning that first set tie-breaker, I knew that I was firmly in the match. At that point I believed I could win the match, but at that point it was within my reach.”

Still, Djokovic shook off the initial dissapoinment, regrouped like a champion to win the second. But he would have to break Isner again to win the match because a third set breaker is not the place you want to go against Isner, and ultimately that’s where he ended up.

“I had in the third set a couple of times 30-all and some chances really where I was in the rally, but he came up with some incredible groundstrokes winners, and that’s it,” said Djokovic. “I have to shake his hand and congratulate him for the win.”

For Djokovic, it’s just another sign that this year isn’t like last. Isner’s a “freak” alright, but “2011 Djokovic” closes that first set out and wins in straights. This season the more I see the more I think the shine is coming off the Serb.

And now he has Miami to defend with no titles in best-of-3 set tournaments since last summer in Canada. Strange.

Isner’s weekend of course isn’t done by any stretch. Not only does he still have a doubles final against Rafael Nadal, he’ll play the singles championship also Sunday against Roger Federer. The Swiss hammered a hapless-looking Nadal 6-3, 6-4 in the 28th meeting of their trancesdent rivalry.

Federer came into the match with some health questions, but honestly it looked like Nadal was the one with the flu. Be it Federer, the cool, wet, windy conditions or the 3-hour delay at the start, Nadal was just awful right from the start.

Federer saved early breakpoints in his first game, then broke and went up 3-0.

Nadal roared back to tie at 3-3 before Federer reeled off three more to take the set and then go up 5-2 in the second.

In the swirling wind and light rain, Nadal finally began to find some range and comfort clawing a break back. Then with Federer about to serve at 5-4 Rafa curiously took a bathroom break.

Federer, though, was dialed-in and untroubled. A scintialling 30-30 point gave Roger matchpoint, but we’d have one more twist. The rain grew heavier and the match was halted but only for a few minutes. With the weather uncertain Federer, like Isner did, stepped up at 40-30 and crushed an ace out wide to end it.

“He played a great game to come back into the match, and he played also a good game at 5-4,” Federer said. “I knew it was going to be tough serving it out. Obviously there is a bit more relief on top of that with the wait, having to wait at 30-40. That was special in itself. I know how well I played tonight, so I’m just really pleased with my performance.”

The relief!

“Very happy that a tough week like this gives me an opportunity to win the tournament,” said Federer. “Really it’s unbelievable that I never thought I would come so far. It’s been a great week so far, and it’s another opportunity tomorrow to make it even more special. Obviously conditions were tough today, and against one of my greatest rivals, it’s always nice if you come out on top, so I’m very, very happy.”

For Nadal, depsite the strong start to the week and the extended time off after Australia, the end results was the same: Another tournament without a title. Rafa’s forehand had no weight and his footwork foundered.

“I was feeling the ball great,” said Nadal whose last title came at the French Open. “I felt I’m ready to compete and ready to win the match, but later the crazy wind 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.”

Federer collects his first outdoor hardcourt win over Nadal since 2005 Miami, and his 10th victory overall against his lefty rival, though is still down 18-10. Roger also gets a little revenge on Nadal for the Australian Open, and tomorrow he’ll try to avenge the Davis Cup defeat to Isner as he seeks his 15th straight match win 73rd career ATP crown, 4th in the California desert.

“I know how difficult it’s going to be tomorrow,” he said. “John is playing great tennis at the moment, and I’m sure for a long period of time. It’s great and exciting for American tennis, and I’m happy it’s happening in the final, this rematch for me. I look forward to that a lot.”

As Federer said, it’s going to be tough. Big John is serving in rythym and I don’t think he’ll have a down day like Nadal did. Federer will have to again serve well and above all hone in on the Isner serve, if he can.

Djokovic did well in his service returns but I thought played far too passive during rallies, almost accepting the breaker. Federer won’t make that mistake. If he can avoid the tiebreakers he should get through. Isner, though, is going to pressure Federer every since chance he gets. So Federer will have to be on guard for an all-out assault from the American.

“I expect a hell of a match,” said Isner looking ahead to Sunday. “Roger, since I did beat him, he has not lost. He’s won 14, 15 matches in a row, whatever it may be. He’s obviously playing well.”

Isner is also trying to complete a unbelievable trifecta of beating Djokovic, Federer and Nadal (in doubles) all in the same weekend. Just wow! I just wonder if he’s fit enough to do it.

And if Federer can pull through he’ll have revenge on the only two players two beat him since the US Open and gain strength in that march to the No. 1 ranking. Dead at age 30, says who?

In the earlier women’s final, plug your ears because it’s scream queens Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova in a battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2. Azarenka has been this year’s Djokovic racing out to a 22-0 mark, and tomorrow I think she’ll get to 23.

ABC will have live coverage of both finals starting at 2pm ET. Enjoy the madness!

SUNDAY INDIAN WELLS SCHEDULE

STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
[1] V Azarenka (BLR) vs [2] M Sharapova (RUS) – WTA

Not Before 1:00 PM
[11] J Isner (USA) vs [3] R Federer (SUI) – ATP

Not Before 2:30 PM
M Lopez (ESP) / R Nadal (ESP) vs J Isner (USA) / S Querrey (USA)


Also Check Out:
Djokovic, Isner Set Indian Wells Semifinal Meeting
John Isner: Now That I’m In The Top 10, I Want To Go Higher
Poll: Roger Federer Or Novak Djokovic, Who’ll Win The Indian Wells Sunday Final?
Nadal, Djokovic Leads Seeds Today at Indian Wells
John Isner: Nadal Is An X Factor In Doubles; I’ll Have To Serve Well To Beat Djokovic

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358 Comments for Federer Slams Nadal, Meets Isner For Indian Wells Title; Can Big John Beat Djokovic, Roger And Nadal This Weekend?

blank Says:

To me the most incredible fact here is this was Federer’s first victory on an outdoor hard court over Nadal since 2005!

And, lol re: women’s finals tomorrow – “scream queens”!


bstevens Says:

Big win for Fed and boy did he need it. He has finally gotten to double digit wins against his nemesis. It should be a busy day for Isner as regardless of the result of the singles final he will have to play the doubles one right after.


Humble Rafa Says:

For a change, I can blame something other than my body for the loss. It’s the weather.


bstevens Says:

^ And I wonder how much the impending doubles final will weigh on his mind when he is playing Federer.


skeezerweezer Says:

Blank

Yes, its true, and now at 31, and 7 years later, another beatdown on HC to make the H2H 6-5 in favor of the Maestro. Sweet.

Re; Isner

Think that Isner will be a force to be reckoned with. Like Novak said, his(Nole’s) game changed when he believed he could win against the likes of Fed and Rafa. Isner seems right there, with big recent wins over Fed and Nole. Even on the Beasts fav surface last year big john took him 5 sets. This guy is for real, and give SEAN credit, he called it back in 2097!


Joe W Says:

Sean – what time did the Rafa/Roger match actually begin? And did ESPN carry it or Tennis Channel? I went out for the evening and set the DVR to record on ABC but got home to find that the match was not recorded and Instead had a variety of regularly scheduled programming.

Really didn’t expect Fed to come through. Great analysis. It should be an interesting final. And a masters final without Novak has been a rarity over the past year. Let’s go Roger and Maria!


Ajet Says:

Oh what a news to wake up to, F### YEAH!

ALLEZ FEDERER!!!


skeezerweezer Says:

Humble Rafa,

Finally, you post and yet, i find it its like a pair of dirty underwear that you throw against a wall, and it doesn’t stick.


adam Says:

I think federer should take the title tomorrow. We saw how he weathered the storm of Raonic in the earlier round, and I see them to be very similar players. I expect a similar sort of match.


Kimmi Says:

i thought milos did not serve as good as isner today. i thought his serve deteriorated as the match went on. he served poorly in the second set and fed got a good look in the final set. unlike isner who was top notch from the beginning to the end. he will be very hard to beat.


sheila Says:

i’m surprised & ecstatic that federer won nadal. did not expect it at all. its nice 2c other players besides nadal & djokovic in the finals of a big event. hope other players get into the mix this year. would like 2c murray win a major, federer win 1, & anyone else other than nadal & djokovic. i hope other players step up & show some tennis balls against nadal & djokovic. lets face it federer isnt a fvt to win tournaments as long as nadal & djokovic are still in them so this really was a pleasant surprise. mazel tov roger


contemperory Says:

Federer traditionally plays well against big players. The only exceptions are USO’09, WTF ’09, Wim ’10,11 and FO ’10. His level of play this year is better than those matches. So however well Isner plays we don’t expect Federer to lose so easily, and if he loses that may be in a similar scoreline as the Djoko match today.

If Isner’s serve is not going to be as good as today, then barring any miracles Federer is the sure winner.

So Isner’s serve holds the main key towards the title match.


V Blacklabel Says:

Two really interesting finals in the cards now in Indian Wells. Here’s my take on how tomorrow plays out: http://www.blacklabeltennis.com/2012/03/sunday-line-indian-wells-finals.html#more


nadalista Says:

skeezerweezer Says:
Blank

Yes, its true, and now at 31, and 7 years later, another beatdown on HC to make the H2H 6-5 in favor of the Maestro. Sweet.

————————–

………………..Ah, so it’s okay when you, a Fedfan, brings up the Fed/Rafa H2H stats, but not okay when it’s a Rafa fan. Thanks for the clarification.


paradox Says:

So typical of hypocratic Fed fans that when he wins,he is portrayed as an even more older than actually he is and winning over his younger generation.These fed fans can see reality only when Federer loses.The biggest gloaters with unending irrational rant are mostly Fed fans.


Sienna Says:

Roger has played and treated this match as if he where the underdog. So you just focus on the moment and give it you’re best every single point you play. He actually played this match like Nadal.
If this is really the new dimension in their match up then Fed will be better situated to win against Nadal.

Nadal has pokayed his whole life from being the uderdog and likes that way, It is his natural behavior while Rogers natural behavior is to act like the dominat tennisplayer.

Finally the lesson is learned and he can now built from this. I fancy Fed even at the more quicker service of Garros.


skeezerweezer Says:

Nadalista,

You really want to go there?

Well when u types have been playing that singular song for friggin ever….yeah, in my view to bring it back your face its appropriate. Had to read that sh!t every day all day, its all about h2h, nothing else.

I can tell you this imho, there rivalry has has made them both better tennis players.


Ajet Says:

I SLEPT WELL
FED PLAYED WELL :P

FED WON MATCH
RAFA LOST MATCH :P

FED GAINS POINTS
RAFA AND DJOKER LOSE POINTS :P

LIFE’S GOOD AGAIN
FOR THIS ROGER FAN! :P :D B-)


nadalista Says:

skeezerweezer,

Well, from your language, it is clear the H2H story meant a lot more to you than you cared to admit. Us “types” always maintained it was an important stat, you said, not………..which clearly was a LIE!


nadalista Says:

……..btw, I liked that Fed won, makes Fedal worth looking forward to, it was threatening to become a snoozefest.

Praying Fed/Rafa are on the same side of the draw in Miami again…..and they get to meet in the semi….

Vamos!!!


malher Says:

fed won because he dont let rn to pull him into his game like so many times before !!! go fed

as for isner – feds serve can trouble isner as much – look how many aces he hit against milos and thats what trouble the big servers – if they get it back!!!


Michael Says:

I do not think Isner is going to find the service range he had against Novak. It is going to come down and that should be enough for Roger. Yet it will be a tough match and I expect Roger to sail through in tight two sets.


Mark Says:

To all u Fed worshippers. Out of the kindness of his heart Rafa gave the Old Dog a little bone. And as for u Skeeze, wash yr mouth.


Job Says:

nadalista, humble rafa: before you guys starting posting so many negative comments, this was a blog worth reading. Now it is just a bunch of crybabies having it at each other. See you never again. Im out!


Skorocel Says:

„Then with Federer about to serve at 5-4 Rafa curiously took a bathroom break.“

Relly? Didn’t notice that at all… What was the reason?


Mark Says:

@Skorecel. Why do u take a bathroom? Next time maybe Rafa should pee on the court!!!!


Stella Says:

Nothing for Nadal to be ashamed of but boy did I chuckle when Roger caught him flat footed time and time again.It was a great win and shows how determined Roger is to get back #1. I believe a good win in Miami could get Roger to #2 which would make a big difference in future draws.


Djokowins Says:

“Well when u types have been playing that singular song for friggin ever….yeah, in my view to bring it back your face its appropriate.”
Whats there to bring it back ???
Fed turned around the H2H ???
Is it now 36-18 to Fed ???
Funny guys


Mark Says:

The Fed will NEVER get back to No.1. NEVER EVER!!!! Dream on.


Mr. Larvey Says:

So, if Fed wins Isner, what’s the point gap between Rog and Rafa?


federico Says:

fed has to win iw and miami and nadal has to lose before QF for fed to get to no.2 i just don´t see it hapening


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Just saw the match. I just do not see how Roger can bother Rafa in a 5-setter. He may occasionally get to him in a 3-setter like today, when Rafa is coming back after a long layoff. But looking at the second set, though Roger got the lead, I could not think Rafa letting out of the set in a GS.

Roger just turned on from 3-3 to 4-2 in the second set, as always he does against Nadal. It’s nothing new. But this is not going to cut anything for Roger in longer matches.


Mr. Larvey Says:

@Federico, yes, I don’t believe that Rafa will lose before QF in Miami… However, the the gap is reducing, which makes the game even more interesting!


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Guys, Rafa is getting to a period where he starts accumulating points. So not sure how significant the point difference will look in another 3 months.


Djokowins Says:

These fed-tards make me believe that Fed has won a golden slam.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Also one thing I saw in DelPo match had more relevance now when I watch Nadal’s match. Time and again Roger pulled DelPo out into the doubles ally using his FH crosscourt. I was wondering it was a plan to unsettle Del Po. But looks like it was a practice for Rafa match. Roger had been clearly working on this tactics from the begining of the tournament, when he went to his CC FH more than usual.

But can he do it against Rafa in a 5-setter?


Bella Says:

Damn some djoko and nadal fans getting all angry because their guys lost and start hating on fed. Pathetic.


Djokowins Says:

#1 ranking is going to be a two way race between Nole and Rafa…..Fed has no chance.
It will be miracle if he could squeeze in a couple of weeks at No.2….but no chance for #1….it belongs to Nole.


Mr. Larvey Says:

@Nirmal Kumar, Rafa can gain 800 points during the clay court season, while he has to defend 4200 points. It’s not walk in the park even for Rafa. Djoker has tons of points to defend as well, but he can “easily” gain more points from Rolland Garros, if his in the zone. Roger had also decent clay court season in 2011. In my opinion the rankings can change drastically before the clay court season is over.


Kimberly Says:

Nirmal Kumar 9:43 post–my thoughts exactly.


Tennisfan Says:

Prediction: Fed back to no. 1 by end of US Open! He’s back!


skeezerweezer Says:

Lots of sour grapes today on a 31 yr old presumed has been. Its ok. I know its tough on some of you, Nole is out, and Rafa got slammed. Rafa fanatics are the worse sore losers. The old man won, complain all you want. ;).

NK/Kimberly

Agree there was some moments in the 3rd that were convincing enough to me that Rafa would have caused him all kinds of worries if this was a 5 setter.

Nadalista,

Never said it was not an importatant stat, but stated it is not THE stat that will determine there place in tennis history. More important stats? Yea, will start with GS titles….the gold standard for all time achievements,,,number of weeks at #1 and so on and so on….


Ajet Says:

”Mark Says:
To all u Fed worshippers. Out of the kindness of his heart Rafa gave the Old Dog a little bone.”

If that’s the case, then here is my humle submission to His Omnipotency Rafael Nadal:

OH LORD OF ROLAND GARROS, OH KING OF CLAY, OH HUMBLE HIGHNESS, Oh BEAUTIFUL @$$, OH INVINCIBLE ONE, Oh INFALLIBLE MASTER, I bow before THEE, and

Request shower of THY KINDNESS And EVERFLOWING MERCIFULNESS When THOU Faceth ”The Disgraced One, The Fallible One, The Mortal One, The One Who Knoweth Not What He is Doing Due To His Ignorance, The One Who Dareth Kick YOUR HOLY @$$ from Time to Time, The Fallen Sinner” [Whom THOU(THE WISE ONE), THE ALMIGHTY RAFAEL ROYALE NADAL, Remembereth As Federer(The Pitiable One)] in The Holy Grail Of Wimbledon, So That By The Glorified Grace Of THINE, THE IMMORTAL ONE, The Sinner is Gifted With A Victory Against Thy Own Merciful Self! I further knelt before THY FORGIVINGNESS to Forgive any arrogance from The FalIen One, just like THOU hath done until yet! The disresopect done to THEE brought curse and mononucleosis disease for The Fallen One and He Lost His Glory! But YOUR ETERNAL FORGIVINGESS pardoned The Fallible One and He Could Regain His Lost Glory as the disease vanished on THY ALMIGHTY ORDER! So I cannot ever have words to describe THY FORGIVINGNESS and MERCIFULNESS on even the one who dared to defy THY PERFECT SELF nor can I ever repay the GRATITUDE OF THEE! So Large Is THY KIND HEARTEDNESS! So THOU May again shower mercy on The Fallen One and Gift Him a Victory Against THY OWN INVINCIBLE SELF so as to make this humble person making this submission before THEE obliged, the way only THOU ROYAL HIGHNESS CAN!

I TAKE A MILLION BOW BEFORE THEE OH RAFAEL NADAL, THE GREATEST ONE! MAY YOUR MERCY AND FORGIVINGNESS FOREVER BE ON US ALL!!!


Dan Martin Says:

http://tennisabides.com/2012/03/18/indian-wells-final-sunday-predictions/ – My finals picks – Roger got a good win for him, but I also think it is like a wind-aided long jump. The wind was a factor. Isner won the match when he got the break back in the first set. If a player gets up a break on Isner, he has to consolidate the set. Isner puts that pressure on others, and others have to reverse it to beat him.


alison hodge Says:

congrats to Roger,and his many fans,Ajet,Swiss maestro,Skeezer,and Madmax,and any fair fed fans,the others aint worth bothering with sorry,i did not see the match,im a rafa fan,but i have to say,your man played great and was a deserved winner,no excuses, ifs,buts or maybes,the better player won end of.


Dan Martin Says:

Alison, I am a Federer fan and I am not worth bothering with? Ouch


NachoF Says:

If Federer continues playing well and manages to get either the FO or Wimbledon he might get to #1. Even before US Open. Djokovic will have hard time defending all those clay points he snatched last year. It’s all up for grabs now.


alison hodge Says:

dan martin no i did not mean that sorry,and just to clarify, i did say in my post,any other fair fed fans,theres too many to mention, but i singled those ones out as they are my favourite fed fans,and they are fair to rafa too,feelings were running high,as all week ive been hearing such drivel,from a certain lady poster,who will not give rafa credit for been a great player,even if shes in a minority,and most other posters think otherwise,is why i put that comment in,sorry again.


Jeanius Says:

Not sure what all the fuss is about. Fed overcame adversity and beat Rafa. Skeeze and my fellow Fed fans, what exactly is the barometer that Fed has changed his tactics. Surely it must count for something that he overcame the conditions and court speed to win. WTF spoiled us so much that we always belived the next year was going to be Fed’s It always fell flat. I will tell you what Fed has changed and we always wanted that. He attacked the Nadal bh more aggresively with heavier topspin. He slightly delayed his shots leaving Nadal flatfooted at times. In the past Fed used to push the pace of the match by trying to put the ball in open space, but because of slow courts, Rafas anticipation and speed, he actually rushed Fed into going for open space, hence Rafas passing shots and Fed’s UE count. Lastly the shot that fed should employ more is the slight short ball to Rafas backhand side, which will bring Rafa in and not allowing him to do anything with that ball. Rafa has a habit of just pushing that ball over the net and revert back to the baseline. The other positive is that Fed was significantly calm.


Ajet Says:

thanks dear alison for being sweet and graceful as ever. :)


Ajet Says:

to me, only if fed remained calm, he can start beating nadal more often.


Dan Martin Says:

Alison I was just giving you a hard time. No worries.


alison hodge Says:

Ajet your welcome,even though Johns a nice guy,and hes had a great week,i hope Roger finishes the job,and grabs that title,enjoy the game.


alison hodge Says:

Dan Martin yeah likewise lol.


Tennisfan Says:

Feder tactic of attacking Nadal backhand was excellent … Federer has greatly improved his own backhand due to Nadals attack of it .. now Nadal will have to figure out a way of dealing with his own weakness.


Tennisfan Says:

Funny how Fed’s win is chocked up by some as being win aided. Before itwas Nadals top spin giving him an advantage under any weather conditio s because he can always bring the ball down onto the court. But in all honesty over the years Federer has always been best at handling adverse weather conditions against anybody ( except when playing in virtual darkness). … and I great respect Nadal and his game.


Stella Says:

They say if Roger can win Miami then he has a chance at #2.Of course that also depends on Nadal but just the thought is delicious. And if Nole falters then #1 is up for grabs!!!


Dave Says:

If you listen to linear thinkers like nirmal kumar who always see the glass half empty for the GOAT Federer, you would never believe yesterday happened. And if you did believe it happened, nirmal is quick to rationalize Federer beating Nadal as an anomaly from the norm of his limited view stuck in the past.

But the failure of his apocalyptic expectations for Federer have not stopped nirmal kumar from gushing the same ole glass half empty theories: “I just do not see how Roger can bother Rafa in a 5-setter. He may occasionally get to him in a 3-setter like today, when Rafa is coming back after a long layoff. But looking at the second set, though Roger got the lead, I could not think Rafa letting out of the set in a GS. Roger just turned on from 3-3 to 4-2 in the second set, as always he does against Nadal. It’s nothing new. But this is not going to cut anything for Roger in longer matches.”

“It’s not like I haven’t beaten him in 10 years,” Federer said, laughing. LOL. Wake up, nirmal. The way Federer played yesterday, a 5 set match would have been over in three sets within two hours. When Federer beats Nadal in a 5 setter, what’s your next excuse and rationalization going to be?

Champions like Federer do not share nirmal’s limited ‘glass half-empty thinking’. Their success comes from being optimists who see their glass as being half full or even 100% full. That’s why Federer has achieved what he has.

Bottom line, Nadal’s pounding, the flu, lack of practice, tough draw, age, wind, rain, outdoor, slow court, high bounces, grunting, desperate bathroom breaks, vamos, vamos and more vamos could not stop Roger Federer’s power, precision and brilliance from steamrolling Rafa Nadal on his favourite slow hardcourt in the toughest conditions. Who’s yer daddy, Rafa?

Some thoughts:

- Since after the 2009 Australian Open Final: (1) Federer past his prime has only a 4-5 losing record to Nadal in his absolute prime (three of Nadal’s wins came on clay, as usual); (2)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); (3) Federer won three slams (2 points away from winning fourth slam at 2009 US Open) and two world tour finals, while Nadal won four slams; and (4) 30-year old Federer’s 2011 WTF beatdown of Nadal is the most lop-sided career win among 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).

- Aren’t toilet breaks required to be taken at the end of a set? Nadal’s opportunistic toilet break during the second set 5-4 changeover seemed a desperate attempt to disrupt Federer’s rhythm. Nadal took longer than the 90 second changeover. This is the latest in Nadal’s long list of dubious interruptions (e.g., medical timeouts) at critical points in matches.

- Federer has been a more severe tormentor than Nadal. Federer has inflicted several beatings on Nadal that sent him into a funk for at least part of the match. This includes World Tour Finals 2011 (6-3, 6-0), World Tour Finals 2007 (6-4, 6-1), Hamburg 2007 (2-6, 6-2, 6-0), Wimbledon 2006 (6-0, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3), Madrid 2009 (6-4, 6-4) and now Indian Wells 2012 (6-3 6-4). When Federer defeats Nadal, Roger’s average points won is 56.2% (i.e., Roger tends to roll over Rafa). When Nadal defeats Federer, Rafa’s average points won is 53.6% (i.e., the match tends to be closer). Indeed, Federer’s 2011 WTF beatdown of Nadal is the most lop-sided career win among 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).
http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=193260

- Federer switched off at 5-2 in the second set. It should have been 6-3, 6-2 had Federer not taken his foot off the pedal when serving for the match — a bad habit of Federer in recent years — and Nadal playing higher-risk tennis when he had nothing to lose.

- Nadal has looked sub-par in most of his 53 losses during his prime since January 2008 — usually because his opponent simply outplayed him. Last year alone Nadal lost 15 matches. Indeed, since January 2010, Nadal has had 28 losses, Federer 27 losses and Djokovic 25 losses. In the losing final set of those losses, Federer had significantly more 6-7 and 5-7 sets (11 close set losses), significantly less 0-6 to 3-6 sets (8 weak set losses) and zero retirements while losing. In comparison, the “energetic, relentless” Nadal (4 such close-set losses, 15 such weak-set losses, 1 loss due to retirement while losing). Djokovic (6 such close-set losses, 12 such weak-set losses, 3 losses due to retirement while losing). In other words, Federer fought to the end more often than Nadal or Djokovic.

- The media sells us Nadal’s excuse/reason for losing. As usual Nadal praises his opponent, claims he has no excuse, then slips in his excuse either at the post match press conference or a few days later. Said Nadal: “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.”

- Nadal’s KADs have told us for years that Nadal is superior on outdoor courts because his game can deal with outdoor conditions better while Federer is superior indoors because his game is best in perfect conditions. Nadal’s cheerleaders can’t have it both ways. Fact is Federer is the most successful hardcourt player in ATP history and one of the most successful outdoor players in ATP history. So it is conceivable that Federer is entirely capable of dominating Nadal outdoors. After all, Djokovic did it.

- This was the way Federer played Nadal at the last WTF. Nadal was ineffective was because Federer was in his zen zone during most of the match — he hit Nadal’s balls as if he was one with the ball. Fed’s game was ultra-aggressive, he took the ball early and on the rise (including the heaviest topspins Nadal threw at him), came to the net mostly at the right time and yet made it all look so easy. What Nalbandian did to Nadal on Friday, Federer took it to the next level. Nadal was pouting on court because his ‘Plan A’ game was ineffective and he does not have a ‘Plan B’. The tighter Nadal got, the less effective his topspin shot making and he even mishit his groundstrokes. So much for his supposed mental toughness.

- What was Federer’s secret? His ground game has been much improved in recent weeks. He is ready to beat Nadal and Djokovic.

- Bear in mind that Roger at age 30 is demolishing top younger players in their prime such as Nadal, Murray, del Potro, Tsonga, Berdych, etc. As well, 30-year old Nalbandian could have easily beaten Nadal on Friday. Both provided arguably the most spectacular and brilliants displays of tennis so far this year, even higher quality in their genius than the Australian Open final.

- 2012 is unlikely to see a two-horse race. This year both Djokovic and Nadal could face losses to a long list of players, such as to Federer, Murray, Del Potro, Tsonga, Raonic, Isner, Monfils, Ferrer, Nalbandian, Nishikori, Baghdatis, Davydenko, Fish, Melzer, Tomic, Roddick, etc.

- If Federer wins the title today, he will have a record 4 Indian Wells Masters titles. If he loses, this tourney has been gravy for the flu-compromised Federer.

- If he wins the final, the 30-year old Federer will overtake Djokovic as the 2012 year-to-date ATP rankings leader. Federer has 2,420 points after beating Nadal. Roger will have 2,820 points if he wins the final. Djokovic has 2,540 points. Nadal has 1,800 points.

- Federer is the hottest player of the last six months (since after US Open), winning the most matches (38 of 40 matches), winning the most points (5,410 pts after beating Nadal at IW, 5,810 pts if he wins the IW final), and capturing the most titles (5 titles in the last 7 tournaments, 6 titles in last 8 tourneys if he wins the final). In comparison, Djokovic has won just 3,100 points between 2011 Basel to 2012 IW, including non-countable tourneys.

- Federer hasn’t had such success since his 41-match winning streak from 2006 US Open to 2007 Dubai.

- By beating Bellucci, Federer extended his winning streak to 81 wins over players ranked outside the top 19. The last player to beat Federer who was ranked outside the top 19 was Lleyton Hewitt at 2010 Halle (Hewitt is a former No. 1, Wimbledon champion and winner of more grass court matches than Sampras or Federer). The other Big Four players have lost several matches in tournaments since Halle ended: Djokovic in his prime has lost 3 matches to players ranked No. 32 to No, 74; Nadal in his prime lost 6 matches to players ranked No. 20 to No 53; and Murray in his prime lost 6 matches to players ranked No. 20 to to 143. In 2005 and 2006 Federer lost just one match per year to a player outside the top 19 (Gasquet in 2005 and Murray in 2006).


Tennisfan Says:

Isner’s main problem of course is his movement on. ourt. It is the same thing that plagues most of the tall layer on tour ( except maybe Delpo). Isner has greatly improved his movement in the last year which has led to his results improvements .. but I don’t ever see him a top 3 player. I think Delpo has top three potential … and mayne Raonic if he can progress his mobility on ground strokes further. It is the ery rare tall guy thatcanbe in Tennis’s elite … and thats what makes it an interesting sport.


jane Says:

For Nole’s fans – I wonder if he will choose to play Monte Carlo this year? What do you think? He didn’t play it at all last year, whereas I think the other top 3 guys did. Thus, it’s one place where Nole could potentially pick up points – as many as 1000 were he to win it. Plus it’s one of 3 Masters events he hasn’t yet won – the other two being Shanghai (also did play there last year) and Cincy (a few finals but no win yet).


Sean Randall Says:

Tennisfan, true, Isner, like many other “big” guys is not the greatest mover, but he can make up for it in length – those “reach” slice backhands he hit aggravated Djokovic.

Isner also really struggles returning serve. Against top players he almost needs them to gag to break, which Djokovic did yesterday.

Stella, Federer first has to win today, do well in Miami then he can start thinking about No. 2 or 1.

Remember, Federer hasn’t even reached a Grand Slam FINAL in two years.

To return to No. 1 he’ll not only have to get back there but win.


Ajet Says:

Just watched a 9 min highlight of fedal semi, and boy, one word for fed: AMAZING!!!!!!!!

I was missing the 2004-07 days of federer tennis when nadal was hardly able to put any pressure on him outside clay; durng those days fed didn’t use to lose to nadal outside cly by playing bad, but raher nadal used to win only by playing better. this 12 IW match reminded me of the old days when I used to sit releieved watching federer-nadal matches being sure that nadal’d just not be able to trouble him, then i used to believe nadal can’t beat fed outside clay in important matches, it was like a flashback! Then not even fed was troubled if nadal hit to his BHs, I remember seeing some most ridiculously hit angled BHs in the history of tennis coming from fed to push nadal just too much outside court to be able to get back to a shot which fed would employ to switch from defense to offense, and in more than 90% of cases, such rally would end up in winner for fed! those days i used to be fascinated more by fed’s BH angled shots to force nadal out of the court to open the court for his scorching winneres! It was a glorious sight back then!

But the 2012 IW match turned the clock back for me almost. fed was hitting the BHs with the same ridiculous angles to force rafa too far away, it is glorious feeling to see the erstwhile TMF’s flashes in this federer!

What a match!

fed may or may not win the important matches against rafa this year, but it doesn’t matter! the glorious sight of federer dominating his rival in the battle of some of the most highly contrasting magnificent styles of play in tennis history lights up the day for this tennis purist!

HOW MUCH I LOVE FEDERER I CAN’T TELL!!!

But on a broader thinking, I find the fedal rivalry as the best thing ever to happen to tennis, no fight is more breathtaking when federer and nadal bring it on against each other in the maximum possible extent on a tennis court!!!
This rivalry is the best ever!!!

Tennis needs this rivalry the most and for the sake of us fans, I hope both of them have their fair share of wins in important matches against each other!!!

THESE TWO ARE THE TITANS!!!
Nobody can match them and nothing in more beautiful to me than watching these two classic tennis players with contrasting styles take on each other in a match where the outcome is uncertain with both playing almost equally well most of the time!!!

LOVE YOU FEDAL!!!

Seriously i hope neither one of them dominate the other and may both enjoy some great wins against each other going further!!!


Ajet Says:

this is simply the best outdoor match of federer against rafa since 2007! i have not seen fed play so well in 5 years against rafa(outdoor or indoor)!

nadal was not too hapless, but actually fed was not allowing him to be too good!

fantastic match! made my week!


Ajet Says:

JANE:

Did you see the fire in federer’s eyes??? I DID!!!

Federer hasn’t let out such ferocious roars against nadal since 2007 wimbledon 5th set as he let out today!

oh, i am so happy!!! :D :D :D


alison hodge Says:

Dave no offence your posts are great,very informative and thought provoking,and your a very clever man who does his research very well,but for a change could you send in a post or a link, saying something positive about rafa,for a change instead of negative things all the time,i mean please just this once,it wouldnt hurt you.


Ajet Says:

federer-magical-tennis>>>pizza+pasta+hamburger
+chowmin+icecream+chocolate+wine


jane Says:

So far this year:

Rafa has lost three matches in three events: Doha to Monfils, AO to Nole, IW to Fed.

Fed has lost two (or three if you count W/O) matches in six events: Doha to Tsonga (but w/o), AO to Rafa, DC to Isner

Nole has lost two matches in three events: Dubai to Murray; IW to Isner

Murray has lost three matches in four events: AO to Nole, Dubai to Fed and IW to G-Lo

So Fed and Nole have lost two matches; Murray and Rafa have lost three, and it’s nearly the end of March, so they are all doing well.

Three of the four of them have won titles already too:

Nole won the AO; Murray won Brisbane; Fed won Rotterdamn and Dubai (and probably IW unless Isner pulls another tremendous serving day like yesterday, which is unlikely).

Only Rafa hasn’t titled – but clay is around the corner, and Rafa has been in the only slam final thus far.


Sean Randall Says:

Dave, I understand you enthusiasm for Federer, but Nadal also played poorly yesterday.

Best-of-3 is a much better proposition for Roger beating Rafa, as we have seen. In a best of 5 format my money is still on Rafa regardless of surface.

We saw at the end of the match Rafa started to get things going, but the clock ran out.

Still, Federer played well and did the the right things to win.

Toilet breaks, BTW, can be taken at changeovers.

As for the beating, I would argue Nadal’s beatings on Federer are far worse than anything Roger’s done to Rafa.

Whipping Rafa and the WTF or Indian Wells are nice scalps, but nothing compares to a big win in a Slam final.

That said, despite his incredible mark since the US Open, Roger would likely trade his recent results for a Slam win. Rotterdam, Dubai, Paris, etc, are nice trophies but it’s the Slams that count in this biz.

Roger is playing well and it’s a good thing because he needs to. He’s got a lot of work to do if he wants to get back to the top. This is a great start.


jane Says:

Yes Ajet, Fed was stoked! And he was blowing that fire on his hands between points too. :) To keep them warmed up. I thought he faltered a little bit in the second set, but he closed it out well when he got the second chance. Good thing he had that insurance break! Great win for him, glad you are happy.


Sean Randall Says:

Jane, oddly Federer’s last three losses have come in best-of-five matches. Strange!

Maybe Roger’s becoming like Murray – win the ATP events, flame out in Slams!


skeezerweezer Says:

Dave,

Don’t read all your posts but your last one was most excellent!

Fed win or lose has had a great tourney, beating Roanic, Delpo and Rafa. Exquisite.


nadalista Says:

Never thought I’d live to say this but Sean, your post of 1:33 pm is reason writ large……..


Ajet Says:

If fed beats nadal in one out of the next 3 masters, then I’d raise hopes of fed beating nadal at least at wimby/uso. :p

and btw Sean Randall is very right regarding the beatings!

the beating that nadal gave fed at RG 08, oh boy!!!

and the beating at miami last year was also not anything ordinary considering fedfans like me believed upto that point(as FO 11 hasn’t happened to me to change my opinion from attributing losses to rafa to form rather than mind!) that nadal has got so many wins over fed coz most times he played on clay! but by beating fed in AO 09 and thrashing him in miami, nadal showed that these days he can beat fed even on hardcourts, and that too- remarkably easily!


alison hodge Says:

Ajet sorry off topic for a minute,but am i right in thinking,that if Rafa were to win at rg ie,his 7th title there,monte carlo,and barcelona,that would mean hes won 3 titles,at least6 6 or 7 times?


skeezerweezer Says:

On Clay Rafa gave everyone a beating….Except Soderling.


Ajet Says:

alison, yeah i think you’re correct. at least w.r.t. monte carlo and RG, i can tell you that you’re 100% correct about rafa winnign them 6 and 7 times respectively if nadal’s 7th RG were to happen this year, as i have keenly followed these two tournaments.
but about barcelona, rafa’s won it at least 5 times so far as i remember, or may be yeah, as you say 6 times! but barcelona not being a major tournament and fed not plying in it, I haven’t followed it closely. so sorry for being able to be able to answer you only partly. :(


Ajet Says:

everyone doesn’t concern me, but fed getting beaten with a 6-3 6-1 6-0 score by rafa in RG does!

people can say whatever they want, but rafa lost to fed 6-3 6-0, means he was able to win at least 1.5games per set! but in rg 08, fed could win only 1.33 games per set(4 games in 3 sets, WTF!)! worse beating imo, far worse if one takes into account the importance of respective tournaments!


madmax Says:

Mark Says:
The Fed will NEVER get back to No.1. NEVER EVER!!!! Dream on.

March 18th, 2012 at 9:22 am

Disagree wholeheartedly Mark. Always stay positive, especially where Federer is concerned. It’s all about progress and this is something which is foremost in Federer’s mind, especially this year.

Sean Randall

‘Remember, Federer hasn’t even reached a Grand Slam FINAL in two years.

To return to No. 1 he’ll not only have to get back there but win.

March 18th, 2012 at 1:18 pm’

Sean, Federer HAS made a Grand Slam Final! Last year! French Open! and that drop shot at RG..oh so nearly could have turned the match around! still gives me shivers Sean!

I see so many positives with Federer’s game right now, do you see how much he has tinkered with the tactics?

Jane, yes! The Roar, he is still so hungry. It really is a joy to watch and yesterday, Federer’s movement was absolutely superb!

Alison, ditto to you!

Fed had a great match yesterday/ when his serve and backhand work like that – it just has such an effect on his overall confidence, you can see it in his face and listen to the confidence in his roar.

Federer magnified how to exploit some of rafa’s weaknesses yesterday and that was so great to watch, for a change and a welcomed one too!

Nadal fought as he always does (he didn’t play his best, but I really believe that was because Federer didn’t allow him to yesterday)..to get in his awesome forehand shots but was limited instead by Federer’s backhand.

And the movement from Federer was just fantastic, he was keeping up with rafa so well. I am not a big fan of these baseline rallies but the high ball back worked a treat. Just look at the footwork of federer over and over. A joy!

When federer is on form and confident like he was yesterday, I really believe that nobody can beat him.

When Roger plays his best tennis, the opponent looks out of his depth and that says something with a great champion like rafa.

I am so pleased that federer played this way, it bodes well for him for the rest of the year.

Tennis wins, that’s for sure.


jane Says:

Sean, yeah I guess so: USO, DC and AO are all 5-setters and the main losses were to Nole (USO) and Rafa (AO). The USO was super close as it was the year before, but I truly believe Nole is going to save his biggest fights for slams now; we’ll see if that’s true, if it pans out, but that’s what i am hoping. Anyhow, that could’ve gone either way. The AO was close as well, but Fed would’ve wanted to win that third set to have a good chance.


Sean Randall Says:

Madmax, thanks, my mistake. Federer was of course a finalist at the French last year!

Jane, I don’t think Nole can lose in the ATP events, then magically turn it on at the Slams. There’s just too much depth these days.


Ajet Says:

although i don’t blame fed for losing like that to rafa coz at that time fed was playing quite sub-par tennis while rafa was at his dream-come-true tearing best. but when one brings up repeatedly the stat of federer handing rafa the most lopsided loss, he’s forgetting that winning 3 games only in a rr wtf match is nothing compared to winningonly 4 games in 3 sets in a slam final!!!

in fact, i don’t think nadal has given a worse imaginable beating to anyone in slams! so goodluck to those bringing up nadal’s wtf loss to fed as most lopsided. but they probaby forget to do the math that even if we take out the respective imortance of the matches from our equation, still the fact remains that losing 1.5 games per set is never worse than losing 1.33 games per set! talk of worse now!


Atom Says:

Hi guys, As a FED fan i would love to see him wins masters and slams and get back to NO 1 … lets see how this year turns out … too excited now !!!


alison hodge Says:

thanks Ajet,wonder if Jane knows about barcelona,eer Jane?


jane Says:

Sean, unclear: so he’s gotta win them all or none? I sort of think if he is getting to the semis/finals of other ATP events, and say, he wins a Masters between now and the FO, Miami or one of the clay ones preferably, since that’s the best barometer for the FO, then he is okay. In fact, winning Monte Carlo might be best, since it seems to play closest to the FO. He’s been in the final there, in 2009, so maybe he can go one further this year.

The other possibility is that Nole won’t regain last year’s form and will just continue to lose points, which would suck, but it’s a potential reality. I saw glimmers of last year’s for at IW though. He started really patchy but versus Nico, and even versus Isner – other than that “gag” as you correctly called it – I could see that Nole was hitting his stride. Better serving, returning even Isner’s bombs on a 70% + serving day, and hitting deep clean groundies. BUT, he was too patient at times, and he needed to mix it up a little more.

That’s key to Fed’s success today and I do think he’ll win it.


Andrea Says:

Dave…I really enjoyed your well researched post. Some good tidbits. The whole indoor/outdoor issue, and how, previous to this match, all pundits claimed Rafael was the one who would always prevail in outdoor matches vs roger, has been an awkward back pedal for most.

I too think this year will be interesting not only for the rankings chase on the men’s side, but how confidence shifts in the players can impact that chase.

Curiously, whenever there is a fed win over nadal in these best of 3 situations, nadal often has stretches of passive play. unfortunately, this seems to always translate into diminishing Rogers win.

What I find interesting is yesterday, fed actually verbalized his past doubts against Rafael which I think was a first. I mean, we all knew it, and I still think nadal has the upper hand in a five setter against roger, unless it’s Wimbledon or the us open.

But not every match is a five setter, so you take the win when you can.

On aside note, an editor on the tennis.com site posted an article yesterday about the match where he claimed the year end championships ‘don’t count’ and the ensuing backlash from posters was so severe, it looks like they pulled the article. Kind of funny.


Ajet Says:

”Jane, I don’t think Nole can lose in the ATP events, then magically turn it on at the Slams. There’s just too much depth these day”

completely agree with sean…


jane Says:

alison, no, sorry: not off the top of my head. But for sure Rafa has won it 5 times. I just think he has skipped it once or twice, whereas he’s never missed Monte Carlo. What I remember most about Barcelona is the size of the trophy – it’s huge!! :)


jane Says:

Ajet, so you too think it’s all or nothing? I don’t get it. Losing in the semis of an ATP event means Nole will lose at the slams? He didn’t lose in the first round or anything, and he was a hairbreadth from being in this IW final as well.


Ajet Says:

federer was laying ridiculously well with his BH today, what angled shots my goodness! and that’s why nadal just couldn’t play well, so people please stop the BS about nadal looking subpar, federer simply didn’t allow him to, at least in this match, since 2007 end! The thing is fed’s good enough to make nadal look subpar at times.


Ajet Says:

no jane, it’s not all or nothing, not by a long mile! i’d still keep nole as the fave if he wins at least one of the 4 masters before FO, otherwise i don’t think he can win RG.


jane Says:

^ Yeah Ajet, I think he needs *some* momentum going into the FO, i.e., one of the Masters titles, but in a way I think the streak last year was a hinderance as it added extra pressure. If he can fly a little under the radar going into the FO this year, it might (?) help. I wouldn’t call him the fave of course because Rafa always is, and Fed is second, Nole third, Murray fourth at the FO.


jane Says:

Vika is beating Maria again thus far (just watching scores). Anyone know what the weather is like at IW today?


carlo Says:

I disagree, perhaps there is more depth now than in 2008, but Federer lost RG, Wimbledon, didn’t win an ATP tournament: lost in Canada, Cincinnati, and won US Open. Perhaps these losses and even a couple more will take the pressure off Nole and have him swinging freely and confidently by RG. I’m still pulling for the Djokerslam. He’s going to fight.


Kimmi Says:

jane – I am watching the match, the weather seem to be cooler. they are all wearing an extra top with 3/4 sleeves. azarenka is wearing the gym 3/4 pants too.


jane Says:

Kimmi, I think that bodes well for Fed as Isner’s serves maybe won’t be kicking up as high as they were yesterday when it was warm, before the rains came. I guess Maria is taking another shellacking.

carlo, thanks – and when Fed won the FO in 2009, I think he’d lost most events leading into it, in semis, etc, but he won one masters, Madrid. So I kind of think if Nole can get one Masters between now and then it’ll be enough momentum and he can still have a great shot at winning the FO with way less hype and attention than last year. In 2009 when he went into the FO with a lot of hype because he and Rafa had battled throughout the clay season in tough contests, Nole and Rafa both lost early! So maybe going in quieter will be better? Just a thought. Never know of course.


Brando Says:

@Jane:

I have to agree with sean there- nole needs momentum going into FO.

And there is NO WAY he will be under the radar going into RG- the media publicity machine will guarantee plenty of focus on him for that event.

I think he needs to win 1 of MC/ Rome/ Madrid, and not lose to rafa on clay since IF rafa beats him on any one of those tourny’s or IF fed is still unbeaten on clay against him, then those guys will think they can take him out at RG.

And you have to remember murray gave him a greater scare than he has done to rafa or fed(if he’s played him on clay)- add lendl to the equation, then he should be alot tougher proposition- on his weakest surface.

Hence, long story short nole needs to start winning ASAP, just so that he lets the competition know the tide is not about to change!


Kimmi Says:

I agree with brando, nole is going for a noleslam..there is NO WAY he will be under the radar. remember when rafa was going for rafaslam?


Brando Says:

IF nole is smart, i think he should skip MC again. Rafa has a FAR GREATER chance of beating him there than at madrid.

IF nole were to play serbia open then madrid- a surface that suits him, then he could still maintain a HOLD over rafa going into rome, where he beat him last year, and RG.

BUT IF rafa beats him, then rafa will realise the obvious- ‘i’m still the daddy on the red stuff when im at my best’.

He would also want to avoid RF, since he is w/o a DOUBT the best clay courter post kuerten had it not been for rafa.


Kimmi Says:

sharapova cant deal with azarenka consistency. Azarenka is not doing much really, she is just making sure to play one more ball, one more…thats it.

somebody needs to play control aggression to beat her, like what petra did in the championships last year. but petra is not near that form.


jane Says:

Hmm, not sure I agree Brando. Monte Carlo is the only place Nole can gain points, as he didn’t play last year. Playing it this year, no matter how deep he gets, only adds to his total. I also don’t agree that Nole’s weakest surface is clay; imo, it’s grass. He has only one title on grass, whereas he’s won Madrid, Rome twice, Serbia, and has been in Monte Carlo finals. He has taken several sets off Rafa on clay – as far back as 2008 at Hamburg he was getting close. But when he’s gone into the FO slightly worn out (FO 09 and 11) it hasn’t worked well. I just feel that if he goes in there this year not so, it will be to his benefit. It’s a fine line between momentum and being worn out, though – ideally he finds a balance. I don’t think a loss to Fedal pre-FO would be that big of a deal, especially if it’s a close match.

Kimmi, of course there will be focus but I believe it wouldn’t be to the same degree as with the streak and having beaten Rafa. It would be there, yes, but not as intense – just imo.


jane Says:

Nole has beaten Fed on clay, Brando, in Rome, but they have only met off hard courts 4 times in 6 years! Fed won two early ones and since 2009 they are one each on clay: Nole 2009 and Fed 2011. Definitely AGREE with you that Fed has more clay credentials, that’s obvious: already said he is second fave for FO after Rafa, for sure.


Kimmi Says:

another demolishion job. 6-2 6-3.


jane Says:

True about Muzza: he is better on clay than some might think. In fact, he should’ve taken a set off Rafa at the FO last year, I thought, that second set, and the other two sets were only one break as well. Plus he took a set off Rafa 6-2 at Monte Carlo when he was shot with cortisone for his elbow – last year. The year before that he played a great second set at MC versus Rafa – got it to a tiebreak. He has never played Fed on clay. He has played Nole only twice on clay, winning one set. It was close in Rome but Murray choked in that one.


sheila Says:

federer had a gr8 win over nadal, but all us fedfans should not get ahead of ourselves. it was 1 win, very impressive win, but nevertheless, nadal “aint” goin anywhere. yeah, it would be gr8 2c federer win indian wells, and any other masters 1000 event + a grand slam this year. realistically, roger would have 2 really be on his game consistently to accomplish all that and as much as i fantacize about it, realistically it would be next 2 impossible. nadal & djokovic, especially in grand slam events are near impossible 2 beat. it would b nice 2c others step up their game & @ least challenge nadal & djokovic. lets face it, nadal & djokovic went in as the heavy fvts 4 this tournament & any other tournament they play in. it was nice 2c them challenged. nalbandian did a hell of a job, and, lets face it, nadal did not have a difficult draw until nalbandian. federer had raonic & delpo. players like berdych, delpotro, should @ least be challenging nadal in their matches as should murray. hoping there is a variety of winners in 2012 & not just the top 2.


Daniel Says:

Jane,

When it comes to RG, no way Nole is going under the radar. He will still be number 1 (only a disaster and Fed or Nadal winning 4 Masters may change it) and going for Djoko Slam. The further he progress in RG, the bigger the hype will get, similar to Nadal in AO 2011 until Ferrer match.

The pressure will be huge, specially since he never made it a final there.


Andrea Says:

Poor Maria…Victoria pummels again. Let’s hope the weather holds. Apparently dark clouds looming. But it’s sunny and blustery again here in SoCal.


Gordo Says:

Dave asks (in his detailed and well written post)-

- Aren’t toilet breaks required to be taken at the end of a set? Nadal’s opportunistic toilet break during the second set 5-4 changeover seemed a desperate attempt to disrupt Federer’s rhythm. Nadal took longer than the 90 second changeover. This is the latest in Nadal’s long list of dubious interruptions (e.g., medical timeouts) at critical points in matches.

An interesting theory, but did you ever stop to think that it wasn’t Rafa trying to get into Roger’s head, but Roger’s play caused something to drop into Rafa’s pants?


Daniel Says:

To me the problem with the Fedal rivalry in the blogs, is the tone of the fans.

Almost all their matches are close and Nadal has a mental, advantage over Fed build on clay! It is a bad match up for Fed, but they all proceed spectacular tennis, even in patches and they know what the other can do to each other.

But Nadal fans tends to be let’s say, arrogant and cocky, because they can use previous meeting as standards points (the HxH). And we Fed fans got infuriated because we all know Fed can beat Nadal, as yesterday, and deep down always Feel the match is in Fed’s racket (even on clay), basically because the is the aggressive player and the one taking almost all the risks. Nadal just plays a neutralize game against Fed and only when this tactic woks (almost always) he then grows more comfortable on court.

So, if Nadal fans “respect” Fed a little more, we would get what no other beauty queen could: WORLD PEACE;)


jane Says:

Daniel, yes, if he makes the final especially. BUT, what I am saying is leading into the FO, not once he’s there. The streak just kept building and building last year adding more and more pressure and press. If he goes in slightly quieter this year, especially if the Fed express hype keeps building, it may allow Nole to go through a little more quietly. Of course there will still be some hype but it might be dispersed a little more evenly. Last year it was almost all on him.


Brando Says:

@jane: On the iPhone atm, so apologies in advance for the non paragraphing: 1- yes, point wise MC can only help nole. But he can also gain a potential 1,200 at RG, 250 at queens, and whole lot more during the indoor season. Hence, it wasn’t a vital bag of points that he needs. 2- I also agree nole’s weak surface is grass, I was referring to andy. You may have misread me or I was unclear ( that can happen alot). 3- Playing less would keep him fresh to avoid FO 09. The loss in FO 11 was to the better player on the day I feel- not a freshness issue. 4- a loss to fedal would matter IMHO- especially nadal. It can only boost their confidence against nole and when they are better on the red stuff- it’s wise not to give the extra help. 5- I’m sorry here though jane, whilst I definately respect your opinion, but I feel the media heat will be INTENSE on nole in that tourny- and it shall be as great if not greater than last year.


Kimmi Says:

serving is superb so far from isner.


carlo Says:

jane, your swimming upstream against a strong current. I’m with you. It’s not that Nole will go in under the radar at FO, but having a less perfect spring than last year will have people writing him off. Look, he loses to Murray and loses to Isner, and it starts already. It could get worse before it gets better and once in awhile, the loses and negativity serve to inspire a champion. See Federer dropping to #2 prior to US Open 2008 and Federer’s lousy spring 2009 leading up to FO. It’s tennis – we never know.


Brando Says:

@ Daniel: I agree with tone part re fedal fan blog warfare(lol at the term), but disagree about the rest. There are troll posters- from both camps- that usually set it all off and then it depends on the characteristics of the individual posters. Some may feel offended, hence they defend their fav by knocking the other guy down.


van orten Says:

3 bps saved by fed…


Daniel Says:

Yes carlo, agree with under the radar part, But is not often that you have a player going for the 4th Slam in a row (well we got spoiled with Fed, Nadal and now Djoko). We may not see it in a long, long time.
And, Fed did win Madrid 09′ beating Nadal, almost always the player needs a confidant boost prior to a Slam win.


Daniel Says:

Brando, agree reg trolls, but it’s a fun part as well:)

Humble Rafa and Roger Federer Fan are sharp.:)


Kimmi Says:

big FH return from isner, fed has to be careful. isner returning serve very well at the moment


jane Says:

“but having a less perfect spring than last year will have people writing him off. Look, he loses to Murray and loses to Isner, and it starts already.” That’s what I was trying to say carlo, but you make it so much clearer. :)

Brando, fair points all.

This match is interesting so far. Isner was serving better yesterday though; he was over 70% first serves for the entree match whereas today he’s at only 50% first serves in. Moreover he did not hit ONE double fault versus Nole yet twenty aces! He’s already double faulted today. That said, Fed’s not serving his best either; he’s about where Nole was at this point yesterday, in the 50% range.


Brando Says:

@ carlo: I agree with Daniel. I think someone mentioned that nole has not won a trophy in 7 months EXCEPT for US and aus open. Now on 1 side of the coin, if you are going to win 2 then those are the 2 to win, BUT at the same time these 2 were on his fav surfaces and also he could have quite easily lost them both- to fed at USO, to Murray or rafa at aus (5-5 in SF, and 2-4 in final- both 5th set). Ultimately he wants to make life easier going into a tourny that is difficult for him, more than the other 2, than difficult for himself- best way is to start winning again.


jane Says:

Ah crap, rain.


Brando Says:

@ Daniel: lol, true they do add a certain spice to the blogs here:-).


jane Says:

Brando, could have but didn’t. The point is he won both, no matter how close. He did win the Abu Dabi exo, but I guess it doesn’t count. After the USO he was injured and hardly played; I don’t think those losses matter too much, and I feel like with the Murray and Isner loses, both guys had excellent, excellent serving days. Of the two I feel like Nole could have, maybe should have, won the Isner match as he had the first set on his racquet, so it’s a loss I am not too concerned by. Murray will always be a tough rival of Nole’s so his loss to Murray, while concerning, is to a top quality opponent. I am not worried about Nole and I maintain that if he wins on Masters between now and the FO while getting deep in the other events, he is still on track. I am just not getting pessimistic and believe you me that’s my normal fallback position! LOL. But I don’t mind if the press and everyone else starts to write off Nole because they were already doing it at the end of this year, and he still won the AO.


carlo Says:

Yes, Daniel. I remember that Madrid win quite well and how it got asterisked due to Nadal’s fatigue.

Your point I take about how huge Nole winning FO would be: he gets a career slam AND wins a 4th consecutive Slam. I simply think putting parameters on it, like this must happen for that to happen, ect. is useless in tennis. It is within Djokovic’s ability to achieve it – there is enough evidence imo, based on his 2011 performance. Must he win an ATP 1000 on clay vs Nadal prior? Why? That didn’t secure his win last year. Having some decent results might be enough – like beating Federer. I think he’s going to figure it out and do it – however he does it.

But that’s only my guess and wish; and I know you did better than me in the bracket challenge, so congrats on your good guessing! you did pick Federer, I think?


Kimmi Says:

going to tie break?


Daniel Says:

carlo,

I too think Nole will win RG, clay was when he played the best, except for Fed in devil mode in RG 2011 + the streak.

But if he does it without winning anything prior (what would automatically add more pressure due to Fed and Nadal gaining points – if they are the ones collecting the trophies Nole loses), I will find it very hard to believe.

Will see…


Brando Says:

@jane: Lol, I see your reasoning’s, most valid, so I’ll stop speculating and pushing you into your fallback position. By the way, I saw montgomery clifts’s a place in the sun the other night. I do not usually see such films but it was absolutely brilliant, and I know your a fan of the great gatsby so it may be to your liking. I highly recommend it if you have not seen it already.


Kimmi Says:

isner attacking, federer misfires..c’mon


Kimmi Says:

bad miss by fed..aaargh


jane Says:

Isner sill with only 2 aces, deuce, maybe Fed can avoid the tiebreak.


van orten Says:

fed starting to bring back almost every first serve of isner now…set point


Kimmi Says:

break point, how tough is it to break this guy?

and he finds the biggest serve.


jane Says:

Brando, no I don’t think I’ve seen that one. I will try to check it out.

Long game here…


Daniel Says:

Brando, Elizabeth Taylor worth watching anything:)


van orten Says:

ooops fed really gave that game away…easy misses!!!


jane Says:

Tiebreak it is – where are big John’s aces today? His first serve percentage is coming up though – 68% now.


Kimmi Says:

tie break. isner the edge.


Kimmi Says:

jane -the unreturnable is almost like aces, and they are a lot of them


van orten Says:

2:2!!


Kimmi Says:

fed blinked first..


van orten Says:

what a miss by fed…


jane Says:

My favourite Elizabeth Taylor is “Whose Afraid of Virgina Woolf” despite the fact – well maybe because of the fact – that she’s a train wreck in it! lol. And I still like the big “Cleopatra” spectacle even though it lost money. :)

Game on in this tiebreak… ahh playing Isner is so tough! Luckily Fed has such an amazing serve. He usually does well in serving contests, all those years versus Roddick as proof.


van orten Says:

great return !!!3:3


Kimmi Says:

this guy is so tough to beat, you need to guard your serve very well when playing isner


Kimmi Says:

isner loses both point..can fed take the adv..


van orten Says:

costly error by isner???


Kimmi Says:

DF..oh dear. what is going on?


jane Says:

Kimmi, I know!! i watched them fly by Nole yesterday when I wasn’t covering my eyes. But add to those serves another 20 aces and Isner is near impossible! Fed’s seen quite a few seconds today which at least helps his cause

Fed gets the mini break back and another mini break advantage!


Daniel Says:

Jane,

Love her and Paul Newman in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. I think we will never see a couple in the high of their beauty as in this film, maybe Brad and Angelina in Mr and Mrs Smith.


van orten Says:

double fault and a good serve 5:4 fed


Kimmi Says:

fed gave the point right back on DF..aaargh!


Ajet Says:

nadal should join fed in returning isner serves, that way i can see them snatching a tb from this guy!


jane Says:

Oh yes, Daniel – forgot about that one – no that’s my favourite, because I can also gaze into those blue eyes! :)


Kimmi Says:

Please fed, serve it out now please!


van orten Says:

6:5 setpoint serving fed


Kimmi Says:

seriously!!!!!!!!


Brando Says:

@Daniel: totally agree. I was STUNNED by her beauty in this. I had seen her in giant, cat on a hot tin roof, so I was aware of her- but the black and White element just leaves you captivated when you set your eyes on her. And also played her role brilliantly too.


Daniel Says:

Fed is playing with fire. Twice he had an advantage and couldn’t find a first serve.


Kimmi Says:

very tentative federer today..ah


van orten Says:

my god fed really giving it away…easy misses today by fed


jane Says:

Oh goodness. Lots of back and forth here.


Ajet Says:

karlovic is a guy i never liked playing fed, but this guy’s even worse!


Kimmi Says:

there is the “c’mooon” but came a little late


van orten Says:

my god fed really giving it away…easy misses today by fed and a big serve now…set point


van orten Says:

i cannot believe what i am seeing…what a miss again by fed..come on !!! this is ridiculous by his standardds


Kimmi Says:

well well well

IN..oh yeeees!


Daniel Says:

Lucky is on his side:)


Ajet Says:

F### u fed! just get it from isner! :/


van orten Says:

fed is crazy right now !!!! hahahaha really crazy what a lucky shot


jane Says:

Fed should get it now. Two serves.


Kimmi Says:

EVENTUALLY! how many chances did he get. he was lucky isner didn’t hit those big ones.


van orten Says:

gotta love gavin rossdale ..he suffers from start to finish with fed …first set in the bag…


Ajet Says:

tell me guys whats happening, m losing my mind already!


Brando Says:

P.S: Newman/ Taylor>>> Pitt/ jolie. One pair are iconic originals, the other wooden imitators!


madmax Says:

NEVER TOO LATE KIMMI!

Love the C’mon’s by Fed / am going to have to rely on you guys for some match commentary, my stream just gone down! Darn it!


Ajet Says:

oh thanks all of you for indicating what happened, i can breathe a little easier now!


El Flaco Says:

That backhand mishit at 6-6 in the tiebreak was the same shot he hit a Wimbledon. Roddick was going to let it go then decided to late to try and hit it. Isner just let it go.


Daniel Says:

But I like her a lot in Butterfiled 8, vulnerability and she playing a hole of a women totally in control of her own sex appeal. Instead of the regular leading lady’s who sounds “innocent”.


Daniel Says:

But beauty wise on screen, they were on pair. At least close:)


van orten Says:

isner holding easy…1:0


jane Says:

Yes, Daniel and that iconic slip she wears in that film. :)

Unless Isner starts to serve aces, in which case he could get a set, I think Fed’ll win in straights today.


van orten Says:

15:30 now isner in trouble ??? not really great serve following


van orten Says:

unlucky fed net cord…40:30


van orten Says:

2:1


carlo Says:

Brando, of course I wouldn’t disagree that winning is the best way to go. But maybe he doesn’t win so much – didn’t Nole say his focus was on the slams? Fairly clear that winning helps. But didn’t Federer say winning is nice but not necessarily an indicator of how he will do in a GS? Or did that only apply to Canada and Cincinnati before winning US Open? I remember him dismissing the need for a pre GS win. That’s some confidence.

I guess when you’ve won 16 of those GS titles, you can do what you want – and never mind the pressure or what not.

Indeed Daniel, it would be hard to believe if he did it as an underdog, which adds to the excitement. Djokovic already did the remarkable by breaking the Fedal grip on tennis – my expectations are high, though realizing tennis could slip back into Nadal and Federer locking up the top 2 spots again.


van orten Says:

easy hold 2:2


Brando Says:

@ Daniel: beauty, like adage goes, is in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I do not really see jolie’s appeal.


Ajet Says:

c’mon fed, ajet wanna go to sleep, 3 o clock night already in india, just finish the match off soon!
Thanks in Advance, if you do! If not, then F### U! ;)


van orten Says:

federer returning def. better than he did vs raonic…although isner is holding this game easy ..fed is right there


Brando Says:

@carlo: time will tell, like I said in my post to jane, it’s just speculation atm. Nonetheless, nole will CERTAINLY be there or thereabouts.


Daniel Says:

truth indeed Brando, is the same as arguing about food.


Daniel Says:

Fed out acing Isner. But 2 of those 6 were second serves ace.


Ajet Says:

I am with those who don’t find anything super-appealing in jolie. hollywood has many beautiful and sexier ladies than jolie, e.g. my favourite catherine zeta jones! ;)


van orten Says:

3:3 another under minute hold by fed


jane Says:

I see Brad Pitt’s appeal :)

Isner hits his 4th ace while Fed hits his 6th. Fed out-acing big John. Isner needs to have some sort of return game to win a slam imo. So far he’s not doing much in that regard. Fed is taking advantage when he gets second serves though: just a matter of time until he breaks through.

15-30 right now…


Ajet Says:

but yeah, can’t deny that beauty is in eyes of beholder, e.g. maria kiri beautiful beautiful! ;)


van orten Says:

15:40 two great passing shots by fed.!!!!


jane Says:

That first set was so important.


Daniel Says:

Ajet, Monica Bellucci!!! Sexiest woman alive!


van orten Says:

4:3 fed ..what a game by maestro


Ajet Says:

brad pitt is ok with me, his acting and physique i both appreciate! nice guy. :D

thankfully i’ve hit the gym these days and the muscles and stamina have already started building up, to my surprise and joy!

all hail rafael nadal for inspiring me for body building! ;)


van orten Says:

that umpire is not the best is he????


Nirmal Kumar Says:

The tidbit clown of this forum, who goes around multiple blogs to collect the tidbits for us here, posts the same information many many times, still lacks one aspect ie analytical skill, because of his lack of common sense.

Though the current repeated titbit post should make many happy, but it lacks some important aspect ie objectivity.

The clown has repeatedly put down some of the wins by Murray and Rafa against Roger claiming they were wins happened when Roger came back after a long layoff, forgets that Nadal is playing is first tournament after AO. Roger is much tournament hardened than Nadal. Also Rafa’s game has been much below par as we saw it against Nalby. He should not have been in the semis in the first place.

Again the clown has to repeat the similarity between the success Roger had in IW with WTF. But he missed out on the most important match happened between these two matches ie AO semis. We all saw how the agressive GOD like mode games by Roger gets dissipated in the longevity of 5-setter.

Also the joker’s convenient way of starting their H2H from AFTER AO 2009. What is specific about after AO, why not AFTER AO 08, when Nadal’s peak really started. I believe it would be 10-4 for Rafa.

Also this clown does not understand that in this interim period from AO 08 to IW 12, Roger has not beaten Rafa in any of their Grand Slam matches. So the question is does their Rivalry go n the way of Roger vs Murray, where Murray is on equal terms with Roger in 3-setters, but a punching bag in 5-setters?

I believe Roger got to beat Rafa in a GS to talk about any turnaround in their H2H. Roger can goahead and beat Rafa next few times in a 3-setter, bit would pale if Rafa can beat him in GS’s.

Also note, Rafa has not won a HC masters post 2009 IW. So he has not been at his best in the masters, knowing it will hurt his longevity if he has to give his best in HC’s. Last few guys who won against Rafa was Llubijic, Roddick, Novak. So Rafa has been for the taking in the HC masters for quite sometime. But he is a different player in the GS.


van orten Says:

5:4 fed…one game away !!!


Sienna Says:

Actually it is the best of the bussiness. But a little cocky to overrule that one.


van orten Says:

15:30


Ajet Says:

daniel:

I don’t deny monica belluci is ssxy and jolie too, but not appealing to me. I feel almost whoever sheds clothes can come across as sexy! but catherine is so beautiful even while being relatively much reserved and graceful!


van orten Says:

another great return but isner responding well !!!


van orten Says:

championship point federer !!!


jane Says:

Congrats all – that’s Fed’s third title already. Am off to finally get some work done. No more tennis procrastinating … until Miami! :)


Daniel Says:

Damm!! 4th title in IW, 73rd career and ties Nadal with 19th Masters Titles. The race is on….


van orten Says:

haven’t seen federer hotter than now in the last 4 years …he is on a huge roll


carlo Says:

LOL, Federer proves me wrong again. The self perma-ban is getting closer.

I don’t really like Brad Pitt


Nirmal Kumar Says:

What a tennis by Roger in the second set. He played great in the first set, till his ground game gave away in the tie-breaker.

Just comparing the match between Novak and Roger’s against Isner. It’s so glaring the difference in the quality of Roger’s FH. The way he can toy and hit winners with it, it got to the best shot ever.


Daniel Says:

So sweat seen one of her girl watching in her mothers lap and clapping hands:)


Sienna Says:

In the end it matters almost nothing. Roger takes these matches so well. A few problems but the second set was God mode as is already said on this site.

He now has a chance to overhaul Rafa in Miami if things go his way. What a big momentum shift that would be in their nearby future. Rafa could possible meet Djoker en lose in the semies… He will lose lots of points.


van orten Says:

what has to happen for roger becoming number 2 in miami ? winning it and rafa out before ???


madmax Says:

Way to go Rogerrrrrrrr!!!!!!!


tfouto Says:

Federer 2 set was simply perfect. Tennis can’t be more then this. Impossible. Absolute perfection…


Tennisfan Says:

Fed didn’t have that good a day, bit beats Isner quite easily as expected. Isner just not that good .. but congrats to him on his best week ever. Fed on a mission back to numero uno.


Ajet Says:

daniel:

my favourite hollywood ladies are catherine zeta jones, drew barrymore, eva green, gwyneth paltrow, katie holmes…

honourable mentions though are penelope cruz, naomi watts and salma hayek…

i know though that these ladies have also exposed a lot, but that’s what we’ve to live with…

but never mind, our indian girls are also incredibly beautiful… :p

But the one girl who is my inspiration above everyone else in the world is the lovely taylor alison swift!
Ideal personality for youth to follow and look upto. period..


Ajet Says:

roger listened to me and took care of the pain@$$ isner, hehe…

what a day, good news to start with and goood news to end with, couldn’t have asked for more!

ALLEZ FEDERER!!!


Nirmal Kumar Says:

I believe the best swansong for Roger would be to win Wimbledon and climb on to the players box and kiss his daughters. I wish this happens in 2016.


El Flaco Says:

I don’t think Isner serve and volleyed once the whole match which was a mistake.


Sienna Says:

van orten Says:
what has to happen for roger becoming number 2 in miami ? winning it and rafa out before ???

I believe Rafa losing before semis.


alison hodge Says:

congrats to roger on his 73rd title,Ajet you can go to bed a very happy man,and all the other fed fans will be delighted,as for my fav Rafa,fear not he will be back,roll on miami,as im after rafa getting revenge,but i mean that in the nicest possible way,as im not a hater lol enjoy anyway.


Sienna Says:

Meanwhile with Rafa in such a big hole on HC he can easily lose to top 40 player so he will find it hard do defend any points from last year. Everybody thought he would be fit and ready to go. He did not take a break or holiday because he said he wouldnot. But this is a clear indication that his best years are behind him. He just is not willing to sacrifice the training and get his body at the point which is needed to be a winner.


steve-o Says:

Congrats to Roger Federer, fourth title at Indian Wells! I was fortunate enough to be at the tournament to watch his masterclass against Nadal, it made me very happy. Great that he could back it up in the final.

I also saw Isner beat Djokovic and he showed true grit all this tournament. I’m sure he will continue to do well this year after that breakthrough over Djokovic.


tfouto Says:

I dont believe nadal loosing before SF. Only if to Isner or Del Potro…


Nelson Goodman Says:

Don’t post here much but enjoy the various comments by regulars and others. One thing though: Sean Randall’s idiotic remarks have become frequent enough that I’m beginning to think he just is an idiot. I remember last year there was the whole “Nole started poorly” in the RG semi with Fed. Hey, moron, Nole was up 4-2 in the first set, both players have remarked on what a monster set of tennis it was and quite recently Nole, reflecting on the match, insisted he played well and was just beaten. Now we have “Rafa played poorly.” I assume many others are also swallowing this bit of idiocy. Go watch the first set again – better ball striking and rallies than perhaps any other match this week. Fed just dictated on his terms and executed successfully. Yes, by set 2 Rafa looked bad at times – but, hey, guess what being outplayed does to you.

This is not to say that it isn’t sometimes true that a player’s win is partly due to an independently poor form of their opponent. Indeed that’s partly what happened in WTF London ’12 I think – Fed was unreal, but Rafa also clearly not at his best in that tourney. It’s just silly to say that here – Rafa was *clearly* the most in-form player of the top 3 going into the semis. Did the conditions affect him? Perhaps. Was he more affected by Fed’s unrelenting aggression in the face of these conditions? Much more likely.


van orten Says:

or nalbandian ..davydenko…


Tennisfan Says:

Nelson … a little harsh on Sean … but I generally have to agree. Nadal wasn’t playing badly yesterday… Feder was just on … and has always handled difficult conditions better than other players throughout his career. That is why he has won the most titles.


dari Says:

Congratulation to roger! He toughed out the win in various difficult circumstances, great win! And after not winning here for five six years, must feel good!
The draw looked rough from the start, but having faced big servers and hitters throughout, he was ready for john.

And congratulations to John I, getting to the top ten by beating the #1 player in the world in a masters event, well done!!!


alison hodge Says:

aaw thanks Ajet,thats really sweet,the lovely taylor alison swift,but i think shes way classier,and probably much nicer than i am,and also has a beautiful singing voice,and im tone deaf lol,but thanks for the lovely compliment anyway,sleep well.


NachoF Says:

I just looked at Federer’s schedule and noticed he’s not planning to play Monte Carlo this year…anyone know why this is? could be a great chance for him to earn some points and get to #2 before the FO.


Andrea Says:

A two set final against a huge server. Talk about being on a roll. Great tournament for isner. Nobody had him picked to be in the final.

Very impressive run for fed so far. Even more when you think he’s taking out players 5-6 years younger than him.

Tough to imagine him pulling off back to back wins IW and miami, but at this stage, can’t write him off.

It is so windy down here. Palm tree bits and pieces are flying everywhere.


Kimmi Says:

just got back, and see fed finished with no drama. congrats fed. amazing!! i did not give him a chance with rafa and nole here at IW..he proves me wrong again.

BTW Isner girlfriend looks like andy M girl. that hair..i cant differentiate them. They are both beutiful.

Nice to see isner in the mix with the big guns..who would have thought..


alison hodge Says:

sienna theres probably no point in rafa playing tennis anymore i suppose, its most likely that he will never win a slam,or other title,or beat another player in the top 10 ever again,he will probably fall out of the top 20 by the end of the year,all doom and gloom for any rafa fan lol.


Gordo Says:

van orten asks:
what has to happen for roger becoming number 2 in miami ? winning it and rafa out before ???

So -

The figures as of tomorrow -

Djokovic: 13,310 less 1000 plus 360 = 12,670
Nadal: 10,415 less 600 plus 360 = 10,175
Federer: 8,710 less 360 plus 1000 = 9,350.

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

Djokovic: 12,670 less 1,000 points = 11,670
Nadal: 10,175 less 600 points = 9,575 points
Federer: 9,350 less 360 points – 8,990

The points for Masters 1000 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 Miami he indeed does eclipse Rafa for #2 if Rafa does not advance beyond the semis in Florida. We’ll have to see the draw, but Fed may have a say in that as well should Nadal wind up in Fed’s half of the draw.

Gee – I guess I should say if Fed winds up in Nadal’s half of the fraw. lol


dari Says:

Nacho, have you looked at fes’s schedule througj july?
Its been PACKED. Monte is not mandatory so if he can take a break, he better do just that.
Yes, Monte could get him a shot at.moving up the rankings, but you know what else will? Getting rest and winning a slam!
I will be very surprised if he joins Monte Carlo draw, and hope that he doesn’t.

Ok that’s it, well done Roger! Scoot down to hot miami and take a rest!


Bobert Says:

In windy conditions the player with the higher margin of error should have an advantage — and nobody has more margin than Nadal and his insane topspin. In rainy conditions, the player with more running ability will have an advantage as the ball has more weight. Very surprising that Fed pulled this off.


Gordo Says:

alison hodge Says:
sienna theres probably no point in rafa playing tennis anymore i suppose, its most likely that he will never win a slam,or other title,or beat another player in the top 10 ever again,he will probably fall out of the top 20 by the end of the year,all doom and gloom for any rafa fan lol.

___

Alison – there’s a lot of that going on in here and has been for some time. When Fed never won a slam last year there were no less than 5 suggesting he may as well retire. You know what? Fed may not win a slam this year, but if he retired where else would he have made $1,000,000 for his two weeks’ work at IW?


steve-o Says:

Isner is a very busy man. First he topples Djokovic, then gets Federer in singles, and then Nadal in doubles the same day. Few players can have faced the world #1, #2, #3 in so short a span of time.


tfouto Says:

yes kimmi, i just tought Murray girlfriend just dumped Murray to Isner :)


madmax Says:

A bit of Trivia for Federer fans….In his last 73 matches against players outside the top 20 in the world, No. 3 Federer has gone 73-0.

Congrats Roger and also congrats to Isner. I enjoyed this match. Big John did good.


Dave Says:

Sean: nope, toilet breaks cannot be taken at changeovers during a set, according to the 2012 ATP official rulebook (page 128), “A player may be permitted to leave the court for a toilet break. A player is entitled to one (1) toilet break during a best of three set match and two (2) toilet breaks during a best of five set match. Toilet breaks should be taken on a SET BREAK and can be used for no other purpose… The chair umpire may allow a player to leave the court but must inform the player that any delay beyond the 90 seconds will be penalized in accordance with the Point Penalty Schedule.”

Nadal seems to have abused his status as a top player to influence the umpire to use his discretion to grant him a toilet break.

In 2009 Federer said the following about players who resorted to gamesmanship to interrupt the flow of the matches in order to give thems a chance to win: “When I came out on the tour and I was young, and I — back then the rule was different. You couldn’t — what was it, a toilet break any time you wanted except obviously between the two games you were on the court. So you could basically take it at 6-5 in the third set. So that’s changed. Now you can only take them on set breaks, which I think really works out well now.”
http://goroger.net/interview/2009/ausopen090127qt.php

At the last WTF, Nadal used a mid-match bathroom break after the second game of the third set against Mardy Fish. “Nadal appeared to have regained control when he moved 2-0 ahead in the decider but suddenly left the arena for a toilet break, leaving Fish standing alone with his thoughts for two minutes despite it not being a changeover.” The TV commentators said it was “ridiculous” that the umpire decided to allow Nadal to interrupt the game at that point.


Kimmi Says:

steve-o, lets say it was your lucky charm this time. well done fed


Dave Says:

Sean, insight drives my views, not enthusiasm :) You believe Nadal “played poorly yesterday”. But Nadal started off playing at a high level — look at the third and fourth points of Federer’s first game. Then Federer played four perfect points to outplay Nadal and snuff out his momentum. I believe it was Federer’s confidence and superior game when he plays his best — and Rafa’s fear of Federer on a roll — that made Nadal play badly yesterday. Nadal surely has been following Federer’s progress in Rotterdam, Dubai and IW and is well aware of the level Federer is playing at.

Nadal probably would have won in even worse wind conditons had he played any other top 10 player yesterday — except Federer and Djokovic.

See this clip. Robin Soderling — after losing to Federer in the 2009 French Open final — revealed that initially he used to think that he played badly after losing to Federer. Eventually he realized that it was Federer who made him play badly — that’s why it is so difficult playing against Federer. Many other players have said similar things about what Federer’s game does to them. Raonic is the latest.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzqhYkU1PEM


tfouto Says:

I think Isner played really bad. Federer just get lucky…


Sienna Says:

alison hodge Says:
sienna theres probably no point in rafa playing tennis anymore i suppose, its most likely that he will never win a slam,or other title,or beat another player in the top 10 ever again,he will probably fall out of the top 20 by the end of the year,all doom and gloom for any rafa fan lol.

You should not be offended by my posts. I am sorry if you are.
I never said Rafa would slide that fast. But he is on a steeper slide then Rogers. Last year he had serious problems in motivating him. He lost his passion for tennis. ANd now after weeks of preparation, training he comes underprepared.
I find that a big sign for his decline.


racquet Says:

It really is shaping up to be an intriguing season. Just saw an interesting stat: titles won by top 4 since us open – Federer 6, Murray 4, Djokovic 1, Nadal 0. The next 6-8 weeks are going to be compelling.


Dave Says:

Sean, in a best of 5 format my money is on the guy who has won more best of 5 grand slam matches, more grand slam finals and probably more five set finals than any other player in modern tennis history. Why? Just look at the recent improvements in Federer’s confidence (possibly at his best level since his 2005-2006 years) and in his ground game. A great champion’s track record and game are nothing without his superior confidence.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATP_World_Tour_records#Player_Totals

Sean: “That said, despite his incredible mark since the US Open, Roger would likely trade his recent results for a Slam win. Rotterdam, Dubai, Paris, etc, are nice trophies but it’s the Slams that count in this biz.” It’s both the total number of titles as well as type of titles you have that counts. Even though the media is over fixated on the slams, the WTF year end championships does count (Tennis Magazine’s Ed McGrogan found out from his readers when he tried to dismiss the WTF). Regardless, it is ridiculous to question Federer the slam record holder on his slams, as if he has some deficiency. He does not need to prematurely panic as he works to win more slams later. Federer knows he has to go through the process of winning these other tourneys to give him the confidence to win the slams again. Even if he never wins another slam again, it only adds to his resume to increase his total titles (he needs 3 more titles to tie McEnroe for third place and 21 more titles to tie Lendl for second place).

As my earlier menstennisforums link site shows, Federer has laid more deeper beatings on Nadal than Rafa has on Roger. Of course Federer would love to have a big win at a slam final, but Roger is well aware of the mitigating factors that affected the outcome of the two non-clay slam finals he lost to Nadal while his game was compromised by mononucleosis and back injury: “So sometimes I’ve gone into matches with Rafa where I knew it was gonna probably difficult because either maybe he’s coming in on an incredible hot streak or I’m coming in from an end where I know I probably shouldn’t be winning this match tonight just because I’m not feeling right, my game is not up to par. I’ve maybe come through some other matches against other players, but against Rafa it’s a different story.” Federer can’t help it if Nadal — who is from a different tennis generation — wasn’t able to get to more non-clay slam finals while Federer was in his prime or on a hot streak.


skeezerweezer Says:

Fed is awesome. Isner is for real!!

Dave, you sure about that rule? Is it possible Rafa broke another rule? Unreal! But of course Rafa gets away with it, he’s Rafael Nadal.


Dave Says:

skeezerweezer, yes. Google for the PDF copy of “The 2012 ATP Official Rulebook” and check page 128.

Technically Nadal abused (not broke) the rules since it was the umpire who granted him the toilet break when he requested it. But yeah, he gets away with it. There was a graphic during the Roger Rafa match that showed Nadal took an average of 30 – 31 seconds to serve, yet was not warned even once.

I think the part of the reason Djokovic beats Nadal is that he grunts, celebrates and is willing to exploit/abuse the rules as much as Nadal

Gordo, lol

Andrea, Yeah the Tennis Magazine editor Ed McGrogan got a earful after he made a stupid remark in his report on the Federer-Nadal match when he suggested that Federer’s wins over Nadal at the World Tour Finals don’t count, that the WTF was less important than IW: “it’s been a while since Federer has beaten Nadal in a tournament of such importance (sorry, the year-end championships don’t qualify, for me at least)” The article is still there:
http://blogs.tennis.com/racquet_reaction/2012/03/indian-wells-federer-d-nadal.html


skeezerweezer Says:

Beating 3 Very Big very Good Players on his route to a ATP 1000 title. No cakewalk draw here, hehe. Keep bringing Fed for as long as you can!!


jane Says:

racquet, “It really is shaping up to be an intriguing season. Just saw an interesting stat: titles won by top 4 since us open – Federer 6, Murray 4, Djokovic 1, Nadal 0. The next 6-8 weeks are going to be compelling.”

Yes, compelling, though some of these are from last season, at the tail end, so not sure whether or not they pertain to or reflect a trend in this season? However, we’ll soon find out. Fed’s carried momentum through to this season obviously. Murray did too, with another good showing at the AO, finals in Dubai, and the Brisbane title. Rafa actually improved his result at the AO though fell back one stage at IW. Nole defended the most important title but has lost in the semis defending the other two. I am definitely curious to see what happens in Miami but especially on clay. It’s really uncertain to me right now – except for the fact that Rafa will win titles.


Wade Says:

Poor old Isner losses twice. Shout out to Roger and Rafa well Done both CHAMPS!!!!!


dari Says:

Just watched the vika Maria match, Congrats to Azarenka! What is Maria (and the rest of the tour) gonna do to beat her!


Brando Says:

I have a gut feeling murray is going to reach the finals- at least- and probably win miami.

He’s probably had 10 days with lendl there by now (it is his base), the surface suits him and he has won there before.

I expect a response from him there- big time. He screwed up big time at IW, expect him to make up for it at miami.

Also expect a reaction from rafa and nole- i think both would also be peeved at the way their SFs turned out.


jane Says:

I agree about Muzza Brando; I think he’ll be gunning for it in Miami.

Congrats to Rafa/Lopez on the doubles title.


Wog boy Says:

Jane, if you are stiil there, my information is that Nole will play MC but not so sure about Serbia Open. That should be better for him, imo.

I also think that he himself will not have as much pressure for FO as he had last year, he had to much on the plate last year, played great match but Federer played even better.

Congrats to Fedfans.

BTW, Federer is no stranger to bathroom brakes either. Do you remember AO and Davydenko beating the crap out of Roger, then he had problem with sun and shade that sun was making and decided it is time to pee:)


Brando Says:

did not know about the double.

Well done rafa/ lopez!

At least rafa won some title and got plenty of matches in now for miami, upwards and onwards!


sar Says:

Wog boy
I’m glad Nole might play MC as he has never won it and lives there!


Brando Says:

@Wog boy:

I read today a article dated the 16th of this month in which nole CONFIRMED that he shall play serbia open.

He said his involvement in the davis cup shall depend on how he does in miami and MC.

Serbia play czech republic on clay, so he said WANTS to play but he does not know if he will.

I looked at the dates for miami, davis cup, monte carlo and serbia open anf my gut feeling/belief is that he plays miami, 5- days rest, plays davis cup on clay (i think it is QTRS), weeks rest then he plays serbia open.

I think he will ditch Monte Carlo, BUT if he fails to play miami final, ONLY THEN he will play MC.


Wog boy Says:

“should be better for him” meaning to play MC and not SO.


racquet Says:

Jane, yes I’m also eagerly awaiting the clay stretch (which used to be my least favorite part of the season). However, seeing Andy’s marked improvement last year and Nole’s taking down Rafa twice makes it slightly less predictable.


Wog boy Says:

Hi sar, that is exactly what Nole said few weeks ago.

Brando, you are probably right about SO, my information is older. It is hard to say NO to people that love you and you love so much, plus uncle Goran and family. I wish I can go and watch but I am done with Europen hollydays for next to years, 2014 if…. Spring is beautifull in Belgrade ;(


Nina Says:

Before fedfans get ahead of themselves, which is already happening, may I point out that Rafa played one of his worst matches ever? And Im not even a Rafa fan, just pointing out the obvious. However I have to acknowledge that at moments I saw vintage Fed and he was unplayable. But he could have chocked the second set big time and he almost did, showing signs of fear and doubt like we’ve seen in him many times over the last three years. A shot for nº1? he might be in the discussion but I don’t see that happening.


jane Says:

Wog Boy, sar – excellent news! I hope he does play.

racquet – EXACTLY! For the first time in a long time, while I am sure Rafa will win titles and while he remains, obviously, the favourite on clay, full stop, it does feel, as you put it, “slightly less predictable.” Which is good. Makes for excitement going towards the next slam.


Brando Says:

@Wog Boy:

I might have to check out eastern europe one day.

He’s definately confirmed for miami and serbia open.

Davis cup because of what happened last year in the SF,skipping round 1, it being the qtrs against Czech rep., nole being a patriotic player, i think he will play- he probably feels that they need him (i think they do) and that he owes them.

Monte Carlo is so soon after miami and davis cup- just 5 days rest- and immediately serbia open, madrid masters is after that- i think he shall SKIP IT UNLESS he doesn’t do well in miami.


Sean Randall Says:

Dave, per your quote where does it say a player cannot take a toilet break on a changeover? It doesn’t. It says “should”, not “must” or “can only”. Big difference. So there is leeway.

That’s not to say Nadal doesn’t skirt the rules, he does. But in this case he was OK by the book, though his decision was questionable.

And I disagree, top players play for Slams. It’s not a media fixation, it’s the players themselves pushing it.

Show me a quote from any top player stating his goal for the season is to win Cincinnati or Indian Wells. There aren’t any. Their goals are Slams (and gold medals). That simple.

Further, are you really saying Federer’s beatings on Nadal have been worse than Nadal’s on Federer????

Maybe the scoreline, but geez, those losses Nadal gave Federer at the French, Wimbledon and Australian were far more consequential and damaging than say this one Federer gave Rafa over the weekend or their match in London last fall.

I really can’t see any argument otherwise, unless you are going purely on score.

And, Dave, you do know Nadal has owned Federer in Slams, 8-2? Roger does have more match Slam wins, titles, but the H2H suggests Rafa has the clear edge.


Brando Says:

OFFICIAL DATES:

1- Miami: 21/03/12- 01/04/12

4 DAYS REST.

2- Davis cup QTRS: 06/04/12-08/04/12

7 DAYS REST.

3- Monte Carlo: 15/04/12- 22/04/12

7 DAYS REST.

4- Serbia Open: 30/04/12-05/05/12

NEXT DAY.

5- Madrid: 06/05/12 – 13/05/12,

NEXT DAY.

6- Rome: 13/05/12- 20/05/12.

7 DAYS REST.

7- Roland Garros: 27/05/12…..

******

Officially, and publically, djokovic is committed to playing 3 weeks back to back, a weeks rest, then FO.

Frankly speaking, he will be naive to play MC in addition IF he also plays davis cup.


Brando Says:

That would then give him 4 tournys in 5 weeks, 1 week of then the FO- definately suicidal scheduling if you ask me.


Wog boy Says:

Brando, you should go. British were the first one to discaver the beauty of Kopaonik (Nole’s) ski resorts, I was in Serbia then, You are masters to find good and cheap holyday places :)
Make sure, please, not to get hooked on plum brandy:)
I have my Aussie friends last year with me in Serbia, they came from Wimbledon, now I have to keep supplying them with brandy, it is easy to get hooked:)


Brando Says:

@Wog Boy:

Sold. I will do one day- hopefully very soon too- it is a cheap part of the world, relatively speaking, to travel plus it is very beautiful from what i read, been told (by people like yourself), seen of in the media, books, brochure etc.

Beautiful scenary, beaches, weather, history, food, women- sounds like GAME, SET, MATCH to me for a holiday destination :-)


jane Says:

I think Nole will skip DC and play Monte Carlo.


Wog boy Says:

Brando, he will not play DC. doesn’t have to if he is smart, he has one. There is more important things to try to achive this year. Nobody , from Serbia, has any rights to get upset if he decides not to play. Rafa said no for this year and Nole should do the same.
We will wait and see.


Brando Says:

@ WB: True. Rafa is playing DC qtrs however.


sar Says:

Right. Nole helped Serbia win DC and now he has to concentrate on himself. It’s hard because Nole is a team player.


Wog boy Says:

Brando, I was sure that Rafa said he is not going to play DC this year, I think that was few weeks, month ago. I was wrong.


Brando Says:

Ultimately it’s upto to the player and his team. I can COMPLETELY understand his fans wishes to see him play MC- he has not won it before, 0 points to win etc.

BUT from a practical point of view, like i said 4 tourny’s in 5 weeks, that too much prior to FO- would be very bad planning.

Add in the fact that he is going for the nole slam, the media pressure that shall come with it plus the fact that he has historically had his allergy problems mainly during the european swing- it all makes playing MC not worth the effort.

He can win MC another time, he isn’t 25 yet, the nole slam is not a chance that he shall have as often. And the ranking- ultimately it’s just a number. NO ONE can take the fact that he has been number 1 once his career is over.

ULTIMATELY its his decision- may he make a sensible one.

The article i read was, for those interested:

http://www.ceskapozice.cz/en/news/society/czech-davis-cup-tie-overshadowed-djokovic-uncertainty


Brando Says:

@Wog Boy:

The davis cup captain said he shall ask rafa again, and uncle toni said in the media recently that he shall play.

And we all know what uncle toni says, just like Don Corleone, it goes :-)


rave Says:

I am ecstatic over ROger’s winning IW for the 4th time. ANother record broken. Yes, we Fed fans are euphoric, because the old man of tennis broke another record. It seems some people on this blog thinks it is wrong to celebrate. So moronic. Fed won even though he had been sick. He won even though his family was sick. I am sure Fed took care of his twins, even gettin gup at night with them. That fact seems to have been forgotten. FOr all of those who have kids, you know how much attention they need, so many nights of sleep deprivation.

Fed won and he will win again. And yes, I realize that the competition is tough, and he may lose some matches. The important thing to remember is that he never gave up, he kept working hard. That is the tru hallmark of a champion. Lastly, we Fed fans will never ever give up either, win or lose.


sar Says:

What’s with IW tournament owner Larry Ellison who is pushing 70 and his young gf? She looks like a teenager.


Brando Says:

@sar:

LMAO, whenever i saw him with her during the tourny i honestly thought it was his daughter!

Got no impression to think it was his girlfriend! surely not?


Wog boy Says:

Don Corleone:)


Wog boy Says:

sar..Brando…

It must be love…love …love


sar Says:

Brando, can’t be his daughter, she’s 25.
LMAO too.


Wog boy Says:

Rave, do you really belIeve that Roger sleeps with his doughters or in next room and wakes up in the middle of the night if they cry, be serious.
Swiss people are tighta$$es but he can afford nanny or two:)


Humble Rafa Says:

Congratulations to fans of the Arrogant One. Today was your day. Days like don’t come often anymore. Enjoy the day!


sar Says:

Wog boy and Rave
I don’t believe Fed gets up in the middle of the night for the twins during a tournament and neither would Nole or Rafa if they had kids.


Skorocel Says:

re: Dave’s March 18th, 2002 1:04 pm post:

One word: D Y N A M O

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

Ajet: „but when one brings up repeatedly the stat of federer handing rafa the most lopsided loss, he’s forgetting that winning 3 games only in a rr wtf match is nothing compared to winningonly 4 games in 3 sets in a slam final!!!“

Yeah, but the problem is losing to Nadal on clay doesn’t count. Not to even mention losing to Nadal on clay with stereo… LOL ;-)

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

@Sean: Very reasonable & down to earth post at 1:33 pm… Pretty much agree with everything except the first sentence. Nadal may’ve played below his level, but so did Federer in many of their matches which Nadal won. At the end of the day, only the final result matters… Fact is, Federer beat him fair & square yesterday. Yes, it was obvious that Nadal was struggling badly with the conditions, but if he can’t cope with the wind, well, then too bad for him. It blows the same for both players…

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

jane: „What I remember most about Barcelona is the size of the trophy – it’s huge!! :)“

It is ;-) Remember when Safin once won the event, it simply fell apart in his hands when he tried to lift it up ;-) Poor Marat! ;-)

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

Nirmal Kumar re: Dave’s March 18th, 2002 1:04 pm post: „Also the joker’s convenient way of starting their H2H from AFTER AO 2009. What is specific about after AO, why not AFTER AO 08, when Nadal’s peak really started. I believe it would be 10-4 for Rafa.“

Why not after AO 2008? Because after AO 2008, it’s 9-4 for Rafa (including the FO & Wimby final debacles), whereas after AO 2009, it’s only 5-4 ;-) 5-4 simply looks better than 9-4, no matter how you look at it ;-)

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

sar: „I’m glad Nole might play MC as he has never won it and lives there!“

„De-taxes his earnings here“ should be more apt I guess ;-)

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

Wog boy: „Rave, do you really belIeve that Roger sleeps with his doughters or in next room and wakes up in the middle of the night if they cry, be serious.“

LMAO ;-)


Wog boy Says:

sar,
That was more precise, thanks.


jane Says:

Brando, “like i said 4 tourny’s in 5 weeks, that too much prior to FO- would be very bad planning.”

But Rafa has played this many: Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome and Madrid.


Gordo Says:

Humble Rafa Says:
Congratulations to fans of the Arrogant One. Today was your day. Days like don’t come often anymore. Enjoy the day!

March 18th, 2012 at 10:53 pm
————-
1st sentence: backhanded compliment.
2nd sentence: classic understatement.
3rd sentence: ? That’s okay – when I eat crow my grammar goes on a walkabout as well .
4th sentence: Thank you, we will.

You take a lot of shots but you show class as well. It’s fun reading your posts over the Fed haters in here.


sar Says:

„De-taxes his earnings here“ should be more apt I guess ;-)

Skorocel, well Nole has to live someplace in December/January. What better place? :-)


Brando Says:

@Jane:

True- and equally true is he paid a price: 2009

MC: played=won
Barcelona: played=won
Rome: played=won
Madrid: played=RU

FO: out 4th round

Subsequent to it, we all know he missed wimby due to an injury.

It’s a heavy lies the crown kind of scenario here for nole. Rafa wanted to protect the no.1 spot and look what happened to him in 2009!

It will be very interesting to see the decision he makes…


Wog boy Says:

The thing I like about Monte Carlo tournament is a view of Mediterraniean sea. There is no tournament that you can ejoy tennis and beaurifull scenery at the same time. Thumbs up for MC.
Was it V(e)rdasko that kicked Nole out of MC year before the last one?


sar Says:

Wog boy
I would love to go to the MC tourney. Someday when I win Lotto.


Brando Says:

@Wog Boy:

Yes he did, and if he remember correctly the scoreline was shocking also.

Look, i can understand, as i said earlier, the sentiment for him to play MC, but all things in to consideration he should skip it this year and go for it the next!

Personally, i would love it if rafa skips madrid- even if he loses 600 points!

He hates playing there due to the altitude, he’s won it indoor/outdoor so there is nothing to prove, the blue clay shall make it the comic event of this year, and he’s vulnerable there ( could dent confidence)- so i hope he skips it.


andrea Says:

i guess some people have to make noise about the rafa/fed GS wins head to head, to overlook the fact that roger still has 16 of them and rafa only 10.

and in terms of roger’s GS wins over Nadal, the wimby finals two years in a row – while maybe not beat downs in terms of games won/lost – were still fine GS wins for Roger…especially the 07 final when there were 3 or 4 15-40 opps on fed’s serve in the fifth set for nadal to break and he didn’t. and there was tons of pressure in that match for roger to win – 5 in a row, borg watching etc.

In the shanghai masters in 07 , when roger beat nadal 6-4, 6-1, in the last set, nadal spent most of his time walking from one side of the court to the other, not even hitting balls cos roger was acing him all over town.

in matching the semi again from yesterday, nadal really didn’t play poorly, despite people saying otherwise. he hit his usual shots but federer just executed a better game plan.


Dave Says:

Sean: The ATP Players’ Council President (Federer) has the inside knowledge to understand and interpret the toilet break rule: “(in the past, a player could take) a toilet break any time you wanted except obviously between the two games you were on the court. So you could basically take (a toilet break) at 6-5 in the third set. So that’s changed. Now you CAN ONLY take (toilet breaks) on set breaks”. After all, the ITF/ATP has to inform the Players’ Council about rule changes. That’s why my comment reflected what Federer said. On the other hand you, as an outsider, are probably guessing or presuming there is leeway in the interpretation of the rules — unless you have credentials for intrepreting such rules. In any case, common sense should tell us that (a) if a player gets only 1 toilet break and (b) if there is leeway as you claim… then (c) there is no need to specify that toilet breaks should be taken on a set break since according to you there is leeway the toilet break can be taken on any changeover or end of game. But think about this: would umpires allow lower-ranked players such as Gilles Simon or Florian Mayer to take a toilet break within a set unless it was an emergency? Given Federer’s understanding of the rule, Roger likely was annoyed that Nadal abused the rules at such a critical juncture before Rogerserved for the match (possibly affecting Roger’s play on a few early points in that final game) and Nadal was possibly counting on Federer being upset. We have look at the track record of the player — whether he has a long history of resorting to actions that interrupt the flow of the game at critical points.
http://goroger.net/interview/2009/ausopen090127qt.php


Wog boy Says:

sar,

You never know,” God works in mysterious ways”, don’t give up hope:)

Brando,

Yes and Verdasco did it in Rome, again in 2010.


jane Says:

Brando, is 2009 the only year Rafa played all four?


Brando Says:

@Jane:

He played all four in 2009, skipped barcelona in 2010, he played all 4 last year.

Won MC, barcelona, RU at madrid, rome.


Dave Says:

Roger Federer said his goal was to win Basel and the World Tour Finals… in reply to the media obsessing whether his 2009 USO loss would strengthen his resolve to win the next grand slam (Australian Open): “There’s a lot of time between now and the Australian Open. We have some big ones, you know, along the way. So I hope I can keep it up because I’m playing great tennis right now. I’m confident and I think I’m hitting a good ball. This doesn’t take away anything from how much I’ve achieved this year, so I’ve had a wonderful season in terms of Grand Slams. Next to that, I also got back to No. 1 in the world. I hope I can defend that until the end of the year and then hopefully win the World Tour final in London. Along the way, I hope I can get some other titles like my home tournament in Basel. We’ll see how it goes.”
http://goroger.net/interview/2009/usopen090914final.php

This should answer your comments: “That said, despite his incredible mark since the US Open, Roger would likely trade his recent results for a Slam win. Rotterdam, Dubai, Paris, etc, are nice trophies but it’s the Slams that count in this biz… And I disagree, top players play for Slams. It’s not a media fixation, it’s the players themselves pushing it. Show me a quote from any top player stating his goal for the season is to win Cincinnati or Indian Wells. There aren’t any. Their goals are Slams (and gold medals). That simple.”

Your comment “Roger would likely trade his recent results for a Slam win” is a meaningless hypothetical, since he can’t trade his results for a slam.

The big picture is why would a great player be interesting in winning those 6 non-slam singles titles? Because every title gives the player the points to get to the No. 1 ranking.

Why don’t we ask a great player such as Ivan Lendl whether those non-slam singles titles are useless: Ivan Lendl’s website describes his tennis career: “Ranked as the world’s top player 1985-87 and 1989; Held World #1 ranking for a total of 270 weeks; Captured 8 Grand Slam titles, Australian Open (1989, 1990), French Open (1984, 1986, 1987), US Open (1985, 1986, 1987); Won 5 year-end Masters Championships; Competed in a total of 19 Grand Slam singles final; Career prize money: $21.2m… 1994: Retired from the professional tour with 94 career singles titles and 6 doubles titles… 1985: Captured 11 singles crowns in 17 tournament appearances, defeated John McEnroe in a straight sets win at the US Open, lost to Mats Wilander at the Austrailian Open, won the tour’s year-end Masters championships, named Player of the Year… 1982: Won 15 of the 23 singles tournaments entered and achieved a 44-match winning streak, runner-up at US Open to Jimmy Connors, won the tour’s year-end Masters championships”

Even Pete Sampras site mentions he has 64 singles titles.

Let’s look at the Federer page on the ATP website: Why would the player profile on the ATP website list ranking, total titles, win-loss and prize money if these were not relevant? Career highlights include info such as “2006 – Finished No. 1 for third straight year highlighted by an ATP-best 12 titles, including three Grand Slam crowns for second time in three years and four AMS shields for second straight season…His 12 titles were most in a season since Thomas Muster in ‘95…Became first player in Open Era (since 1968) to win at least 10 titles three straight years…”

Slam titles are not the only measure of greatness. Martina Navratilova on what it takes to be considered the greatest player: “It’s a combination of how many grand slams have you won, how many tournaments have you won, how many years you were number one”. At the 2009 Australian Open, Federer was asked: “Which is the most prestigious record in men’s tennis? Is it the most Grand Slams?” Federer: “Yeah, I mean, I guess this one is — yeah, to me it almost seems like, you know. Or weeks at No. 1 maybe, because that shows how long you’ve been at the top. More than slams, I guess. But then there’s many other ones as well. I feel those two are the most important at the moment.”

OK, your turn: show a quote from any top player who said his non-slam titles are unimportant :) Never mind.


Dave Says:

Sean, my last comment was a reply to your 9:06 pm


jane Says:

Brando, yeah, it was last year I was thinking of specifically. The way I see it, it worked well overall for Rafa last year: 2 finals, 2 pre-FO titles, including a Masters and a smaller title, not to mention the FO itself. Not too shabby.

I think 2009 was an exception because Rafa was going through personal stuff with his parents which you could tell was affecting him as early as Miami, and he’d won the AO in some gruelling matches, which may’ve put some strain on his knees – I think this was before he discovered that special way of treating them.


Steve 27 Says:

I am deeply concerned about Rafa because he doesn’t­ seem to be enjoying his tennis. This is more important­ than improving his serve, tuning the backhand or refing­ the drive. His place in the history of the game seems­ to be a burden to him. He has lost the freshness and­ daring of his pirate-pants days, the unpredicability­ and gusto of competeing for the sheer hell of it. His­ game has become boring, predictable and stale. There­ are still the occasional magical shots like the running­ forehand down the line but they are few and far­ between, and in general he is playing percentage­ tennis. I couldn’t help comparing the courage and­ daring of John Isner with the conservative approach of­ Rafa on key points. And also the infectious grin of­ delight on Isner’s face when he made vital shots.­ He was loving it out there! How refreshing to see a­ wide smile after all the fist pumping, rabid screams­ and chest-thumping we get from other top players. Isner­ was simply delighted, and showed it. Rafa’s leaps­ into the air used to express a similar joy. Now his­ fist pumping is simply a desperate attempt to screw up­ the will to keep on suffering. Maybe he needs a break­ from tennis a la Andre Agassi, to get away from all the­ expectation and pressure. Maybe he needs a fresh­ approach from a new coach. I don’t pretend to know.­ But I do know that unless he recovers his freshness and­ begins to enjoy tennis again he will continue to be­ bogged down in a sea of doubts and become increasingly­ easy to beat. I have followed him since 2005, and I am­ a fan. But even in the dark days of 2009 when injury­ seemed likely to end his career I never had the feeling­ that I have now that he may be finished as a force in­ modern tennis. You can never excel at something you­ don’t like doing, and right now Rafa doesn’t­ seem to like playing tennis.


Brando Says:

@jane: I cannot argue that it’s shabby, lol! BUT as a rafa fan I think, IMHO, he got lucky at FO with fed beating nole. Rome he struggled against lorenzi in round 1, complained about not being well and then had to resort to MB against nole. Madrid he dislikes due to the altitude and he nearly lost in SF to federer. He won MC, Barcelona and got those results, IMHO, whilst not playing his best clay court season due to him being rafael nadal on clay- possibly the best ever on the surface. So ultimately, I respect your viewpoint on this matter, but I think it’s a tricky road for anyone to take- playing all those tourny’s in close proximity to one another be it rafa or nole. Either way, it’s too far ahead…. Let’s enjoy the Miami tourny 1st:)


rave Says:

Wog Boy, get your head out of your ass. You talk like you are the king if the hill but you are nothing but a moron who thinks he knows it all.
Ajet, you too, you talk big but you make no sense at all. Morons and idiots like you post here who are so full of themselves that it makes me want to throw up.


Dave Says:

Sean, you took my comment out of its context, which was to show that the most one-sided matches tended to be Federer’s beatdowns of Nadal rather than vice-versa, even though Nadal beat Federer in more ematches. I was pretty clear in stating “As my earlier menstennisforums link site shows, Federer has laid more deeper beatings on Nadal than Rafa has on Roger.” The stats are self explanatory:
http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=193260

You downplay Federer’s beatdowns of Nadal at the World Tour Finals year-end championships but the WTF title is highly valued by all the great players of the last forty years — except Nadal, who has a mediocre indoor record (his only indoor title was won in Spain without facing any top 10 players). When Tennis Magazine’s Ed McGrogan tried to downplay Federer’s wins over Nadal at the WTF he faced massive criticism from enlightened readers.

In the big picture, Federer holds two important grand slam records: most number of titles and fastest rate winning titles. We already know that Federer’s 16 slams is the men’s grand slam record. As well, Federer was the fastest to win grand slams since winning his first title: Federer won over 63% (12) of the 19 available slams since after Nadal’s first 2005 French Open to 2010 Australian Open. Rod Laver won 61% (11) of 18 available slams. Bjorn Borg won 52% (11) of 21 available slams. Pete Sampras won 44% (12) of 27 available slams during his most productive period. Rafa Nadal won only 43% (10) of 23 available slams. Thus, so what if Nadal won 8 of 10 slam matches — half of which were on French Open clay — since it does not have consequent damage on Federer’s record as either the biggest grand slam winner as well as fastest winner of grand slam titles in tennis history. Adding a few more titles just changes the numbers to records he already holds.

History remembers slam wins (Ivan Lendl won 8 slams) not slam losses (Lendl lost 11 slams to Becker 3, Wilander 3, Connors 2, McEnroe 1, Borg 1, Cash 1). In 10 to 20 years, tennis history will be celebrating Federer’s 22 or more major championship titles and the fact that Federer won more slams and lost less slams than any other player in history.

History tells us all other the greatest tennis players lost more opportunities to win slams than Federer. No one will be mentioning Nadal’s 8-2 over Federer in slams, except Nadal’s fans. Tennis history does not obsess over H2H in the long term.


Swiss Maestro Says:

Allison :

Thanks for the shout out. You really are the sweetest person on tennis-x blog :)

I will be wishing the best for rafa and rooting for him against everyone except Mr. Genius!

Long Live Fedal! The 2 biggest icons of tennis in this millenium [huge advantage living at the turn of a millenium, huh? :)

Congrats to all the great Fed fans – madmax, kimmi, skeezer, daniel, dan martin, andrea, FOT,Gordo, ben and others. also to undercover fed-fan mr. randall ;)

Last but not the least – Dave for all his wonderful research and pro-fed posts. however, I will support allison in toning down things on rafa. i dont mind you taking shots @ the dome-headed and ever-snorting like a cocaine addicted one, though :) Keep posting Dave.


Wog boy Says:

Rave, what was that for?

You forgot to take your pills today, no good Rave.

Make sure you don’t choke in your own vomit like all pigs do.


Steve 27 Says:

you re wrong dave.
Borg defeats against McEnroe y his retiring is always remembered. yeah the Swiss has the most grand slams record but the truth is he Nadal is dominated Federer in majors and Ndal defeats Federer is his reign, unless the swiss he NEVER coul defeat the spaniard in RG .
Yes, must be hurt fede fans, but is the truth and the truth always caused pain you like or not, por Dave.


King Federer Says:

Why are we making a big deal about rafa being 8-2 against Roger. It only supports the theory that a less versatile player will always have a good H2H against a more versatile/complete player.

Exhibit A : john mac 7-7 agianst borg. while they played matches @ wimbledon/usopen – relatively faster surfaces, they never played on clay where borg would have whupped mac’s @$$ 100 times out of 100 even blind-folded.

Exhibit B: agassi, 3-7 against sampras in slams. agassi got only 3 shots @ the relatively one-dimensional sampras @ the more pro-agassi slams of AO and FO. agassi again, like borg would have whupped sampras blind-folded @ FO [maybe even on one leg, given sampras' abilities or lack of them on clay]. the relatively incomplete player got 7 freaking cracks @ Agassi @ the faster wimbledon/USO courts.

now, fed is 2-8 against a lesser versatile rafa. add to the fact that rafa is half a generation younger than fed. if that is the best argument rafat@rds or sampr@$$es can bring out to diminish fed’s legacy, you guys are on thin ice!

Long Live King Federer!


Ajet Says:

rave:

i can throw my loads on you too n f### u like you never thought you’d be, if you came in front of me
but internet doesn’t allow that and psychos like you can get away doing anything!


Ajet Says:

non-slams are important like slams for the fedtards if fed cannot win slams but when fed was winning slams and losing minor tournaments fedtards used would say slam is that all matters!
you know, what else to expect from tards except this kind of sick vacillation!


Michael Says:

Steve 27, I do not know how you come to the abrupt conclusion that Nadal is bored with Tennis ? In 2011 which was a bad year by Nadal’s standards, he came to seven finals to be beaten by Novak and Murray. In 2012, at the Australian Open which was the only tournament apart from the exhibition and Indian wells, he once again came to the finals. That is a very good achievement by any standards. It appears to you that Nadal is fading only because of the belting he had from Novak Djokovic who has had the full measure of Rafa’s game and know how to tackle it. Rafa has not faded away or jaded, still he makes the finals and semis which is awesome. I do not think he needs a break. What all he has to do is to devise a strategy as to how to combat Novak who has been a thorn in his flesh. Unless he finds that solution, I do not think Nadal can win more majors.


jane Says:

Brando, that is true: Rafa is an exception to beat all exceptions on clay, so maybe it isn’t wise for Nole to try to blaze that path. He has some decisions to make, for sure. Last season, part of his success was based on judicious scheduling. Hope he continues that way.

Steve 27, don’t worry. Rafa may just be transitioning again? But I do get what you’re saying about his pirate pants days and the exuberance he showed back then; I got a kick out of that :). He’s been on a long layoff, so IW was really Rafa getting his groove back. I’ll bet he will be back to his winning ways soon. Until he ran into a hot Nalby, Nadal looked strong at IW, imo, and he won in doubles, so no need to fret too much just yet. I think people can still succeed even when they don’t love something, though it surely helps with motivation when they do.


Steve 27 Says:

Nadal is more worried in fashion, having a house in the Caribbean, playing golf with his friends, he is a Spaniard and like the Cyndy Lauper’s song he want have fun. He, unless the swiss, has other interest in life, not only tennis, he is so young in terms of life, he wants explore more and tennis i only a small part. He searchs a “joie de vivre”


Sienna Says:

Rafa indeed has lost his drive and passion for tennis. Maybe not when he is in the zone in a match or at the slams. His edge is gone he doesnot traing anymore like he once did.

It is all natural but he should find his range to kep it going for the next few years otherwise I feel he would lose interest at all.

I also do not like his negative attitude towards tennis and towards Roger. He looks like a bitter person and he should lead tennis into the next generation. He has not succeded in that aspect. Not the way Roger has done and still is showing the way.


alison hodge Says:

thanks swiss maestro,and may i say congrats to roger on another milestone in his ever illustrious career,tying rafa on masters titles won grr lol,may i say also great to see you posting again,and thanks for the positive words about rafa,i actually like daves posts,hes a clever man,who does his research very well,but id love to here him say something good about rafa,and send in some positive links or posts about him occasionally,welcome back sm.


Ajet Says:

Steve27:

just because you love nadal doesn’t mean you can say baseless things like fed isn’t interested in anything except tennis. just because nadal keeps saying in evry press conference about his supposed interest in enjoying life while fed keeps relatively reserved about his other interests doesn’t mean fed doesn’t enjoy life. may be he enjoys life much more thsn nadal, who plays every match with the singular body language as if his life depended on winning it! fed never seems so concerned about losing a match or two, nor does he fight so madly for each and every point for rafa, for others to come out say that fed is obsessed about tennis while rafa’s a detached person!

tennis is bread and butter for both nadal and fed, that’s why they’re working so hard in it. And for we all know, nadal is interested in tennis until he continues playing, same for fed. only when they quit tennis, can you say that they lost interest.


Ajet Says:

steve27:

no offence intended at you though in previous post.


Ajet Says:

however, it is a general observation of mine that nadal somewhat has seemed to lost his super pre-2011 or 2008 motivation! i didn’t see him trying too hard against djoker in clay last year.

i cannot imagine the nadal of 2006/07/08/10 losing 2 matches in a row in clay in straight sets to djoker, JUST NO BLOODY WAY!!!


Ajet Says:

and nadal also was a lot more formidable and indomitable at wimby in 2007 and 2008 than he was in 2011, it occured to me. I don’t think djoker’s best game can beat nadal’s best game in grass or clay, just like I don’t feel nadal’s best game can win against djoker’s best at AO/USO…


Michael Says:

Ajet,

I don’t think djoker’s best game can beat nadal’s best game in grass or clay, just like I don’t feel nadal’s best game can win against djoker’s best at AO/USO…

There is no point in going to the past. Let us live for the present. Novak is a much improved player today than he was when Rafa was at his peak. Today, things are quite different and Novak has every chance to beat Rafa even on Clay and Grass. He has done that once at the Major namely Wimbledon and if not for Roger, he would gone on to win the French Open too in my opinion.


Swiss Maestro Says:

Alison,

I will be on and off posting, as I have started working on a real important project. I will always look out for your posts, though!

As for Rafa being not motivated, I think that is hogwash that only raf@tards like steve will believe. Rafa has been on the tour close to 10years now and apart from the natural decline in people as they progress in their career, he is still as fiercely motivated. All champions are!

He is going through a tough phase where the dome-headed one has taken control of the tour and el swiss mago, and murray keep making good runs and tsonga and berdych and the likes start stepping up. He will be the better for it and I am sure he is planning to overcome these challenges.


alison hodge Says:

sienna@march 18th 7.15pm on the contrary,im not offended by your post,and theres no apology deemed necassary,but you have been going on all week 1st rafas only a good player,but not one of the greats,then hes in decline hmm,let me point out,jane,wogboy,mat 4,ajet,nk,swiss maestro,skeezer,skorocel,nina,etc etc i could go on,between them have there differences,dont get me wrong,but one thing that they all agree on ,rafas not a good player hes a great player,and another thing they agree on,is rafas far from been in decline,and is still relevant be it slams or other tourneys,of course i may be in a minority,but judging by everyone elses comments clearly i am not,am i.


alison hodge Says:

thanks swiss maestro good luck with your project,and take care.


Skorocel Says:

@Dynamo Dave: Ask Federer this simple question: If you had to choose betweeen these 2 scenarios, what would you pick? Winning the USO 2011 (by beating Djoker in the semis & then Nadal in the finals), OR winning the WTF 2011 (beating Nadal in the RR stage)? Jesus Christ, is it really that hard to understand?!

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

„I think 2009 was an exception because Rafa was going through personal stuff with his parents which you could tell was affecting him as early as Miami“

That’s a weak excuse, jane. Just think of it, WHY isn’t it affecting him NOW? I mean that divorce…

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

Steve 27: „His¬ (Nadal’s) game has become boring, predictable and stale. There¬ are still the occasional magical shots like the running¬ forehand down the line but they are few and far¬ between, and in general he is playing percentage¬ tennis.“

Uhm, was it really that much different in his „pirate-pant days“? Nadal’s always been & will be the definition of percentage tennis. He may indeed not feel that comfortable or hungry on the court these days as he used to be in the past when he was on the way up (only he knows this), but I don’t think his game in essence changed all that much… He’s never been the one to do the „dirty job“ of going for winners, but the one who was, more often than not, craftily exploiting the opponent’s weaknesses & winning the matches by simply breaking their games apart.


Sienna Says:

alison hodge Says:
sienna@march 18th 7.15pm on the contrary,im not offended by your post,and theres no apology deemed necassary,but you have been going on all week 1st rafas only a good player,but not one of the greats,then hes in decline hmm,let me point out,jane,wogboy,mat 4,ajet,nk,swiss maestro,skeezer,skorocel,nina,etc etc i could go on,between them have there differences,dont get me wrong,but one thing that they all agree on ,rafas not a good player hes a great player,and another thing they agree on,is rafas far from been in decline,and is still relevant be it slams or other tourneys,of course i may be in a minority,but judging by everyone elses comments clearly i am not,am i.

It is just a matter of oppinion. I say he is great on clay. but he still not 1 of the greats in tennis period. I will call him a great player whenever I feel that he has done enough.

So that means winning another non clay slam against Djokovic or returning to #1 and hold it for another 40 /50 weeks.

As he stands he is at par or just below Agassi, but well down form the through Greats of tennis.

As far as the decline. EVerybody is talking about his lost drive and passion. Now that is for me his biggest asset. udo not see a young men figting and planning a return to the top. We see a bitter disappointied player making foul calls on Federer.


Sean Randall Says:

Dave, I appreciate you taking the time backing up your arguments re: slams v. ATP events. I won’t continue with that discussion.

In regards to the toilet break, what matters is not what Federer says, but what’s actually printed in the rule book. You know that!

From your post of the actual rule, “A player may be permitted to leave the court for a toilet break. A player is entitled to one (1) toilet break during a best of three set match and two (2) toilet breaks during a best of five set match. Toilet breaks should be taken on a SET BREAK and can be used for no other purpose… The chair umpire may allow a player to leave the court but must inform the player that any delay beyond the 90 seconds will be penalized in accordance with the Point Penalty Schedule.”

For me, the keyword is again “Should”. It doesn’t say players “CANNOT” leave the court.

In fact, Dave, players can leave the court anytime they wish, and of course on changeovers like Nadal. But if they do leave during a set, like Nadal did, they are usually subject to the time code.

As the announcers said on ESPN, fortunately for Rafa there was a bathroom just off the court so he was able to take care of his business within the 90 seconds.

Perhaps you can time-check the actual length of Nadal’s toilet break in that instance. IIRC, there didn’t seem to be any delay in starting that final game. But if he did take longer than 90-ish seconds then maybe he got away with something.

Otherwise Nadal was within the rules to leave the court for a toilet break (though I still think it was questionable for him to leave at that moment). And yes, the same privilege would have been afforded to lesser players like Simon, etc. Under the rules it’s allowable.


Sienna Says:

of course Rafa is still young and he can have his second tennislife. But he will have to change some things drastically.

He has got to cut out the uncle.
Why hasnt that been done years ago? He is still the teenager and he listens to the Boss. Their relationship is that of a Master-pupil or parent-child based relation.

Rafa is a grown up man, but I feel he is not in control of his own life. May be he should merry his special girlfriend and settle down. Something has gotta give. And from that new life. (he is still young) he could built a new team and set new targets etc. I just feel he is not perfectally happy with his life.

Rafateam has been dosed into sleep because things where going so well. All of a sudden the reality has caught up with them. They have brought the manchild to the top of the tennismountain, but they didnot think he would get a private life and now they cannot change the direction or use a different tone in the coaching/training.


skeezerweezer Says:

Sean,

I’ ll make it short and throw my 2 cents in and leave it at that also;

“should” and “cannot”

Then why even write “should” into a “Rule Book.”?

A rule book is a book with rules in it, no?

Never got that “should” thingy.


skeezerweezer Says:

Sean,

BTW,

Thanks for engaging some of the posters at times, that is great stuff. Be careful though, you don’t want to become a member of this disfunctional group ;-)


Skorocel Says:

Sienna: “So that means winning another non clay slam against Djokovic or returning to #1 and hold it for another 40 /50 weeks.”

Uhm, so that means winning 2 (two) consecutive non clay slam finals vs the supposed GOAT Roger + another 1 (one) vs his current nemesis Djoker isn’t enough in your book?


Steve 27 Says:

As for Rafa Being not motivated, I think That is hogwash raf That only like steve @ tards will believe. Rafa Has Been on the tour close to 10years now and apart from the decline in people naturally As They In Their career progress, is still as I fiercely motivated. All champions are!}}
Swiss teacher you are a jerk
you should not insult, is poor in mind as you
Nadal should, says Sienna, cut the umbilical cord and aim for a maximum of life: “renew or die”, you should hire a specialist on hard courts, but will lose more and more games against minor players in this surface, causing a lower confidence in their game. He is still young, we’ll see what happens this year whether to renew or light finally goes off prematurely of a great champion


Sean Randall Says:

Skeeze, by using “should” players are allowed a break in emergency situations without severe penalty, though their “biz” needs to be done in 90 seconds.

Had they used stricter language, like “cannot”, players would perhaps be subject to a greater penalty, even default in the need of an in-set toilet break.

Nature calls everyone! That’s my read.


rave Says:

Aww! Wog Boy. keep coming back, thrice as hard. Just goes to show what kind of person you are. May be you should be the ones taking pills. You want some of mine. I share.


Sienna Says:

Skorocel Says:
Sienna: “So that means winning another non clay slam against Djokovic or returning to #1 and hold it for another 40 /50 weeks.”

Uhm, so that means winning 2 (two) consecutive non clay slam finals vs the supposed GOAT Roger + another 1 (one) vs his current nemesis Djoker isn’t enough in your book?

?? I dont think I said that. But I will try to explain.

Rafa is not yet a alltime Great player because he lacks weeks at #1. And he lacks slamvictories. Two more Garros titles would still not be sufficient in my book to claim a spot with 5 all time greats. Beating Djokovic in a nonclayslam would edge him to #5 all time and if he happens to do so he would have a good chance to become #1.

WHen he defeats Fed again in a AU Open then he is doing something he has already done. It is either Djokociv or through the numbers and he doesnot look like a man who has the drive to continue his quest for slams many years to come.


jane Says:

Skorocel, “That’s a weak excuse, jane. Just think of it, WHY isn’t it affecting him NOW? I mean that divorce…”

I think his folks reunited since then actually? I thought I read that somewhere: here maybe? I know you’re a “no excuses” kinda guy, and i respect that. But I do think a couple things were affecting Rafa going into that FO: the separation, the knees (this is the year he won the AO and swept the clay events so he had put in some hard yards). Obviously, too, Soda just managed to hit through Rafa so that was a huge part – and to you perhaps the only part that matters. If what mem said on the other thread is true the surface had been changed too, so it played faster than FO 08.

Anyhow, just saw your comment so thought I’d respond.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Sienna..Being the most intelligent poster in this forum, I would like to know if Roger is a great player or good player, since he has not beaten Rafa in GS starting 2008.

Also can u enlighten us what’s the difference between Good vs Great player? I’m not sure if you have already done it before, but pls enlighten me again.


Sienna Says:

Roger is because of the numbers and the weeks #1 a Greater then great player. He tops the board in every single categorie.
He is triple A rating.

For nadal to become a Great player he will either need to get to >12 slams or get another non clay slam against his rivale (same age) Djoker.
Or he could do it the hard way en become #1 for another year.
Weeks #1 he is now in 7 or 8 place and that is only if you consider modern era.

Rafa is still young but his legacy is not yet considered to be among the Greatest.
Of course people do not want to be offensive but if he stops at this moment playing tennis.
Where would he be rated? He falls just below the great ones.

Below Federer,Laver
Borg, Sampras, Lendl, MCENROE, Connors, ..

He would be in the second or third groupe because I consider Fed, Laver (and perhaps Borg) to be a groupe of their own.

So Rafa would be with Agassi, Becker, Edberg just behind the great players.

Not to sabby position to be in and I am sure he will get into the second groupe along with Sampras, LENDL, CONNORS, MAc


Nirmal Kumar Says:

It’s Ok to take Nadal as a good player because of your hatred towards him, but to call Becker and Agassi as a good players is a pity. I just wish we have moderators in this forum.


alison hodge Says:

NK yeah completely agree.


nadalista Says:

Nirmal Kumar,

……..they have moderators on tennistalk and they banned sienna………now you know why!


alison hodge Says:

Nadalista eer they banned sienna on tennistalk seriously?


alison hodge Says:

^mind you one poster compared another to a terrorist the other day,and also insulted him about his personal life,where were the modarators then?^


nadalista Says:

alison hodge Says:
Nadalista eer they banned sienna on tennistalk seriously?

——————————————

yes, seriously………..cross my heart and hope to die….


skeezerweezer Says:

Sean,

Well I don’t know if I agree with that cause…………………………………………wait………………………………..

Gotta go….

;)


Steve 27 Says:

Sienna is a fan Juventus F.C “The Vechia signora”


Wog boy Says:

I know what is “Vecchia Romagna” but what is “Vechia signora” :)


Steve 27 Says:

is the nick name of the fans of Juventus, in english, Old Lady, Wog boy


Wog boy Says:

Steve 27, thanks. I got it now. I am a bit slow:)


King Federer Says:

tennis talk is the worst sports forum, i’ve known. some of the most dumb people I know post there!

If you are a f$%king adult, why do you need moderators? does your mommy still wipe your @$$? if yes, then get your @$$es to some retarded/raf@tard sites and live in a cave.


King Federer Says:

The change in tennis landscape over the one year is phenomenal.

Rafa, who looked on track to overtake Roger (atleast in GS count) is in serious danger of coming out 3rd best in the federer-nadal-djokovic trifecta.

If nole achieves nole slam and wins about 8-9 slams and spends 100 weeks @ number one and gets into the positive with his H2H with rafa, you will have to say he is the 2nd best of the 3.

Good luck nole.

Top story: Coric Ends Nadal's Season In Basel, Federer Overwhelms Dimitrov; Ferrer v Murray In Valencia
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Rankings
ATP - Oct 20 WTA - Oct 20
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 David Ferrer5 Na Li
6 Tomas Berdych6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Kei Nishikori7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Marin Cilic8 Ana Ivanovic
9 Milos Raonic9 Caroline Wozniacki
10 Andy Murray10 Angelique Kerber
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