Inside Rafael Nadal’s Incredible Statistics On Clay
by Staff | April 29th, 2012, 11:56 pm
  • 283 Comments

The King of Clay Rafael Nadal did it again this weekend winning a second straight clay title this month. Nadal captured the Barcelona title, his seventh, defeating countryman David Ferrer 7-6, 7-5 in a very hard fought final.

At just 25, Nadal has already racked up some very impressive, historic numbers, some that will never be matched. After exactly 10 years to day since he played (and won) his first match on April 29, 2002 in Mallorca where he beat Ramon Delgado in his ATP debut, here’s what’s he amassed:

Rafael Nadal has…

* Won a record 34 straight matches in Barcelona and 32 straight sets

* Won a record 42 straight matches in Monte Carlo (also a record for any single tournament)

* Won Monte Carlo a record 8 times

* Won two titles 7 or more times (Barcelona, Monte Carlo) becoming only player with such a record with a 7th French Open

* Won his last 77 matches in April (since an April 8, 2005 Valencia loss to Andreev)

* Won his last 21 matches on clay

* Won his last 14 matches, 11 straight sets (on clay: 10-0, 10 straight sets)

* Won 48 career titles, 34 on clay and 17 total he’s won in straight sets including two French Opens (2008, 2010)

* Won clay titles in 11 different cities on 3 continents

* Won his first 31 matches at the French Open before losing to Soderling in 2009

* Only lost four times in a clay final (34-4 win-loss is a record) losing only to Federer (07 Hamburg, 09 Madrid) and Djokovic (11 Rome, 11 Madrid)

* Won the French Open six of the seven times he’s played (45-1 record)

* Won at least two clay titles every year since the start of 2005

* Compiled the longest Open Era clay win streak at 81 (2006-2007)

* Won the “Clay Slam” in 2010 (3 Masters + French) becoming only player ever to do so

* The best career clay winning percentage in history, 241-18 (93%)


Also Check Out:
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Rafael Nadal’s Post US Open Title Media Tour [Video]
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283 Comments for Inside Rafael Nadal’s Incredible Statistics On Clay

King Federer Says:

Ok, so this guy can play on clay. ;)

Give us something we dont already know. Federer is the King of the Court, Rafa – king of clay.

give us some real stats, guys!


ocgirl Says:

You’re right, King Federer, Nadal’s stats are simply unreal.


Humble Rafa Says:

Thank you for not mentioning that I have NEVER defended a non-clay court title. Thanks for the love.


Alex Says:

Without question Nadal is the greatest clay court player of all time. Say what you will about Bjorn Borg. Nadal has owned the surface like no other player in history.

One loss in seven French Opens. That’s just insane.


ismaell Says:

well barcelona is played most by spaniards, and like acapulco, is one of the 500 where not top players bother to play, nadal play just because he is local.
montecarlo is the less important 1000 in the calendar, it is not even mandatory.
so… call me when he had won 7 miami or 7 dubais.
good for him he is the king of clay, the less important surface, the surface most top players dont bother or where “others” players shine, the king of some dirt land is not the same as the king of the kingdom.


Steve 27 Says:

7 dubais is more important than Montecarlo? By who standards? clay, the less important surface, again by who standards? Like always said, if you don’t like it, then shut up and be quiet. Always are a baby criers trying to belittle the achievements of someone who beats his idol and we know we’re talking about. We must be fools not to recognize the obvious: Nadal is on clay more tan Sampras and Federer on grass, Agassi or Lendl on hardcourts, Connors or Mc Enroe on carpet, if I may, than Gonzales and Rosewall on wood. No one has such a high percentage on a surface and still have more to say on his beloved clay. Is real, the facts speak for themselves.


Roger Federer Fan Says:

Come on friends !!!!
Its time to attack Rafa.
He has just won a title.
How can he do that ?

Great post by King Federer.

I request every one of the Fed fans in this site to come here and support Federer and throw in their junk on Rafa.

We Love Federer !!!!
We hate Rafa !!!


WTF Says:

Humble Rafa Says:

“Thank you for not mentioning that I have NEVER defended a non-clay court title. Thanks for the love.”

Why would that get mentioned in an article listing his “Incredible statistics on clay”?


WTF Says:

ismaell Says:

“well barcelona is played most by spaniards, and like acapulco, is one of the 500 where not top players bother to play, nadal play just because he is local.”

Do you know much about Spanish history? Barcelona is the capital of Catalunya, which is still part of Spain but wasn’t always. Catalans do not consider themselves Spanish and actually hate all things Spanish. That includes Spanish people. They’ve been wanting independence for a long time.

I’ve never been to Barcelona, but I doubt the locals there give him a warm welcome or consider him one of their own. At best they would be indifferent or subdued about him. They certainly wouldn’t consider him a ‘local’.

Nadal is also a supporter of Real Madrid football club, which to Catalans represents the sum of all things unholy. For a Madrid supporter or player, that place is a lion’s den.


Anna Says:

I thought that if you won a title, didn’t play the next year, but went back the year after and played, you were in fact defending your title. If so, then Rafa defended his Wimbledon title on something other than clay. Thanks for this staff. I was prepared to tell you how wonderful Nadal is, but then you beat me to it. Hope the next five years are as great as the last five.


Mark Says:

Vamos Rafaaa! Just keep making history. You are the one and only Rafael Nadal The Great. Fedtards – you can stew and spill your venom. Who cares!


King Federer Says:

raf@tards crawling out of their holes. like earthworms during rain. in another month, the rain will be gone and so will the earthworms.


Mark Says:

Raf@tards don’t crawl – they walk tall!!!


hcfoo Says:

Federer fans, please hold your horses and don’t be jealous. Federer himself hasn’t say a word or start playing on clay yet.


Bom Kelvin Says:

All the Non-Nadal CHILDISH Fans,
Please grow up. As much as i don’t like Nadal. But i do respect and am amazed by his incredible achievements on clay. Even though i am a die-hard Federer fan and don’t like giving much credits to Nadal, I do acknowledge his awesome success on clay. Give credit to who when it is due. Don’t be extremist and narrow-minded thinking only their favourite players are the best and giving shits to other fans’ favourite. That is worse than a nasty selfish child. I have got no word to say about Nadal truimph on clay.I think, no one will ever repeat that records in the near future.


alison hodge Says:

Bom Kelvin well said be a fan of one or the other by all means,but at least respect them and their achievements,it all gets rather childish and nasty on this forum sometimes.


Polo Says:

This year and in the next year, Nadal will establish a record on clay that will be way and above anybody’s reach. It will be so formidable that not even future players can come near it. He may not become the best player ever in tennis but his clay surface accomplishment will eclipse anything that else that other players can establish. It will be so definite that there will be no room for question. It will be more awesome than being called the best tennis player ever which is always be debatable.


Polo Says:

some grammatic error that. sorry for not proofreading my message first.


Barbara Ball Says:

Saw a jerk write “as much as I don’t like Rafa”. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE NOT TO LIKE THE GREAT AND WONDERFUL RAFA. Some of you Fed fans go to hell.


alison hodge Says:

polo great post,i have to say sometimes it gets rather annoying when he does not get the credit he deserves because most of his titles happen to be on clay,so what if most of his titles are on clay,its as much of a surface as any other,and its not as if he never won a title on another surface anyway,and he has completed the career gs,so surely he has to go down as one of the overall greats.


Polo Says:

…and to add to that, alison hodge, when they talk about surfaces, there will be no question that Nadal is king (god?) of clay the way there will be debates as to who is lord on other surfaces. Then when talk turns as to who is the all-time best tennis player, Nadal will still figure very well in the debate.


grendel Says:

alison hodge – Polo was making a much bigger claim than that Nadal will go down as one of the overall greats.


alison hodge Says:

thanks polo and Grendel please just call me Alison though,as i feel as though im been scolded by an old school teacher and a headmaster lol.


skeexerweezer Says:

Incredible stats on Clay….l

And no mention of Chris Evert?


Brando Says:

I’d say there is no need to mention chris evert. With all due respect to her, we are talking men’s single on clay here aren’t we?

I mean IF we were to bring evert into this discussion, then why don’t we ever bring graff into the equation when talking about GOAT in tennis- since let’s face it, her record and achievements far outweigh what some of the men have ever achieved doesn’t it?

I mean 22 GS titles trumps 16, a best year winning percentage of 98% should beat all else.

How about 377 total weeks at no.1? 8 year end no.1? the golden slam? winning EVERY SLAM AT LEAST on 4 ocassions?

So I say the next time we talk about GOAT in tennis, we mention Steffi Graff, since i am sure she warrants it compared to some of the men who get paraded around as the best thing ever since sliced bread!


grendel Says:

“HOW IS IT POSSIBLE NOT TO LIKE THE GREAT AND WONDERFUL RAFA. Some of you Fed fans go to hell.”

But liking, like taste, is a personal matter. You can’t produce liking to order. And taste varies – fortunately. I have heard people say they don’t like Federer, not on the usual grounds that he (like Nadal) represents a threat to their idol. They just don’t like his style of tennis. It does nothing for them. I had to shake my head a bit when I first heard that, and then I came to my senses. People just like their dishes served up differently.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t an objective level of quality. Anyone who says Federer or Nadal are mediocre tennis players is a fool. But that’s a different matter.


skeezerweezer Says:

brando,

true. I just wish they would have mentioned that those were Male stats only in article for respect to the women like Evert and Graff ( her records are off the charts ) who have done phenomenal things on Clay ( like Everts 127 match winning streak on the Dirt ).

Irregardless, he is the KING of Clay :)


Brando Says:

@Grendel:

‘Anyone who says Federer or Nadal are mediocre tennis players is a fool. But that’s a different matter.’

That statement and the 10.24 post is spot on for me! It pretty much sums up how i feel about the fedal scenario.

Rafa’s my fave, BUT i enjoy watching federer also- i think most fans of the game do!

And i don’t mind if people root for/ defend their fav passionately- all understandable IMO. However, what does get on my nerves is when people look to belittle one in order to raise the standing of another!

Like you said anyone who tries to make one or the other look mediocre- then they are a fool!


skeezerweezer Says:

grendel,

as usual your sense of sanity ( or insanity ) prevails. You have quite nailed down with an appropriate hammer my feelings on the matter you mentioned. No need for me to muster anymore additives on that what you have said eloquently, again.


Brando Says:

@Skeez:

It’s cool- i was just messing around for a bit.

Evert’s 127 match winning streak is absolutely insane though.

IMHO- and others can correct me if they feel i am wrong in thinking this- i think its a shame where womens tennis is today.

When i look at the men’s game, whilst i never saw any of the greats pre 1995 to me one thing is clear- the succession of legends, one after another in the mens game.

Just look at the open era- laver, then borg, connors, mcenroe, lendl, becker, sampras, agassi, federer, nadal and now nole. There is HARDLY a moment in time when there wasn’t a recognised great playing.

Womens tennis, on the other hand, had billie jean king, then evert, martina, steffi, after whom most would say serena. Personally, i don’t think serena is/was ANYWHERE NEAR as popular or liked as the others. Anyhow, i would argue that the last 3-5 years women’s tennis seems absent without a true great IMHO.


Polo Says:

The truth is I am not even a Nadal fan. In fact, I want him to lose each time he plays. I am a big Federer fan and each time Nadal wins, I take it as a bite out of Federer’s resume as the best player ever. But it is simply impossible to ignore Nadal’s accomplishments on clay in particular and as a tennis player in general. So, as a tennis fan, I am compelled to give Nadal his due and applaud his accomplishments.


RZ Says:

I’m wondering if the Tennis-X site moderators/management can set up a section where the ultra-zealous Fed and Rafa fans can duke it out, and let the rest of us have a discussion on the articles without getting into bashing. It’s ridiculous that EVERY article that mentions either Rafa or Fed turns into a bashing session by both sides.

I also wish that both sides would stop using the “tard” suffix. It’s offensive (and I’m not even an overly PC person).


Kimberly Says:

My two cents: In regard to tennis style rafa game in unconventional and so unique that I can see where the tennis purists cringe. The “moon balls” are actually typically loopy spiny shots that throw your game off. The physicality and brutally of a rafa game offends the senses of some. The tics, the vamos, the time, all of it makes him enemies. Often it seems his opponents play badly because the totality of his game a d gamesmanship throws their game off.

Love him. Love his fight, love his shots, love the wat he moves, when he approaches the net he has some of the best hands in the game, I don’t even mind the shorts tug. But that’s me.

Vamos rafa!


Polo Says:

If you talk about tennis greats, male and female, Graff ranks way up there with them. The males could not just shove her aside because she achieved more than any other tennis players. She is the only one who has a golden slam. Call it luck, good timing or whatever but still, she is the only player to have achieved that.


Brando Says:

@Polo:

Yep, i agree.

For me, based on what i have seen myself and found out over the course of being a tennis fan, it goes:

mens- federer / womens- graff

Overall: I’d say fed since i have seen him play from his rise and dominate- BUT based on steffi’s record, you cannot say that she doesn’t deserve the top spot for herself. I think her records will last alot longer than most’s IMHO.


jane Says:

These stats are definitely mind-blowing. i agree with Polo that what Nadal has already accomplished on clay, and is likely to still accomplish, looks to be insurmountable. We can crown him now.

I was looking at the Wiki record pages a week or so ago and it’s so fascination what Federer and Nadal have accomplished in tennis in the last seven years – heck even Nole shows up quite frequently in some of those columns on those pages. Definitely, we’re watching tennis at a special time, no doubt.

A word about the ladies: true, it’s not like when Graff played. She was a lioness. But it’s nice that we’ve seen some consistency lately in Azarenka, Kvitova, Sharapova, Radwanska – they’re reaching the late stages of most events with regularity. Maybe Azarenka and Kvitova will go on to have a special rivalry? Maybe things will level out. We’re already seeing a number 1 with a slam. That’s good. In fact Vika, Maria and Petra are all grand slam champions. I truly think we might see some evolution in these rivalries, and the ladies will push each other to be better. Hope so anyhow.


jane Says:

Oops fascinating not fascination: really wish we had an edit button.


roy Says:

the males can shove any female tennis player aside because the general competition is weak in comparison.
we’re not talking about the fact males are better than females athletically. we’re talking about within their competitions.

far more males play sport than females, which makes male sporting competition far tougher.
not only that, it takes more time for males to develop the physical tools necessary to compete with prime males, meaning they have less of a window to dominate in.

if wta didn’t sell their tour sexually, it basically wouldn’t make anything.

and still, it’s the males who generate all the money in grandslam tournies, pack the stadiums, sell all the tickets, provide all the tv ratings and match time to sell advertising.

which is why the equal prize money situation is laughable. it’s actually a form of socialist regulation. if the female product is not generating the same revenue but the players are getting the same money, then clearly this is a form of welfare.


carlo Says:

It’s true, grendel. I’ve read posters, Nadal fans, writing how they had given up on tennis because Federer was winning and dominating tennis; they couldn’t stand Federer or his tennis, it was boring. They were saved by a magical wonder kid from Spain, immediately excited, and drawn to him with his refreshing style of tennis; especially happy that at long last he beat Federer at Wimbledon and seized #1.

That’s all understandable to me. Nadal was needed in tennis. Then, springs the weak competition era theories that attempt to explain why Federer dominated when he did. Okay, maybe something to it? But that brings some other questions: first it was Nadal, in mostly clay tournaments, dominating; but he also was just good v Federer. At this point though, commanding the clay season as Nadal has over the years, makes me wonder about a weak competition era on clay. (tongue slightly in cheek) Where’s his competition? Winning so many clay titles year after year gets absurd after awhile. Even Federer’s winning Wimbledon and US Open 5 times consecutively was bordering on the vulgar, imo, not to mention his consecutive holding #1. By 2009 US Open, even a huge Federer fan like me, was feeling a little embarrassed, thus cheered for Juan Martin del Potro.

Basically I’m one of those tennis fans who could give a rats you know what about the GOAT debate. Really for me, what it comes down to is preferring to watch Federer’s tennis and not liking Nadal’s. They are both the greatest to players of this era and perhaps, of the game. But, imo, that’s too questionable to claim due to all the changes in the game. People have short memories.

And prepare yourselves Fedfans, I say. Nadal’s style of physical tennis which places huge demands on his knees may be truly given longevity by his injections, treatments, procedure, and whatever exactly it is. He’ll likely win his 7th FO this year, perhaps a 3rd Wimbledon, I doubt he’ll win the US Open, but the rate he’s recovering so quickly post-injections, who knows? He might be on course to win at least 3-4 more FO’s or more, several more Wimbledon’s, a US open, and at least an AO or two. lol’s… My stomach will be turning, but even my favorite player ever, Federer, winning more makes my eyes roll.

Wbat a relief, thank you, tennis gods, to have Djokovic save tennis from the gaudy and kitsch of it all. And my hopes rest on Murray and others coming in to balance out the GS’s. Some fans, perhaps a slient minority, honestly do get too much of a good thing (Fedal era) and desire a varied diet of Tennis GS winners.

Just my weird 2 cents. End of the rant. Everyone has their limits or the point at which a good thing gets too much, depending…

Congrats to Nadal and his fans. Very happy Maria beat Vika but disappointed Fognini couldn’t wrest just one 250 ATP title from Simon.


Brando Says:

@Carlo:

Nice post. i too hope murray steps up asap. i like him alot, BUT i have a feeling that he MUST strike now or else he never will.

By this time next year i imagine delpo, raonic and isner will have a GREATER say than atm also.


Lulu Iberica Says:

Lots of nice posts — thanks Polo, Carlo, and other fair-minded posters. Yes, Rafa’s accomplishments on clay are amazing! I would love to see him sweep the clay season this year, but that’s a big ask with Nole around.

I’m not sure there is an absolute GOAT, but if you want to name one it has to be Fed or Laver. The Williams sisters first got me to barely notice this game called “tennis,” Fed and his historic achievements got me to watch it, and Rafa made me a fan. I love his physical game, his buggy-whip forehand, his fight & determination, and his intensity. I love players like Rafa, Serena, and Sharapova who get that look in their eyes that says, “I’m going to kick your a**!”

After Nole’s rise, I felt like some Fed fans did when Rafa won Wimbledon. It was just hard to accept that this “new” (not really new, I know) guy was beating my hero! Now I’m hoping for at least a competitive rivalry between the two of them. As for Murray, I don’t dislike him, but I’m entertained by his implosions. I’m starting to think it’s more likely that a youngster like Raonic will storm the gates, as opposed to Murray. Anyway, it’s an exciting time in tennis!


Kimberly Says:

Re: the next big player. You never know who is is going to be and when it was going to happen. In may June of 2010 if someone told you djokovic would be number one you would have started laughing. Yet there he was one year later with an amazing streak and looking unbeatable. Maybe that will be Raonic, Murray, etc. djokovic seemed like he wasn’t fit and couldn’t breathe, correction made to the diet an injection of confiidence and djokovic can play his game. Maybe someone else will make an adjustment so in one year they will be number one. Maybe federer or nadal will get it back. Maybe djokovic will be five years at number one. We can only wait and see and admit we know nothing.


Danny Says:

Love the haters!,! Rafa still have 3-5 solid years to leave his true indelible mark in the sport. He s only mid way at the moment. Get ready for what’s coming! Roger will be gone soon, Nole is not cracking up to be all of that, and the newcomers are not up to the level of the top 3 players… Rafa should pass roger s sweet 16 slams


Paradox Says:

Some of the Fed fan`s logic is so laughable that you feel whether these people actually have any rational sense of tennis .To say that Dubai is superior to Montecarlo or clay is inferior to other courts or Barcelona is played only by Spanish players reveals the degree of ignorance of that person.Most revealing thing about this insanity is that ,had his hero been winning all these tournaments,he would have said the exact opposite of what he has said.When ones senses are clouded to this extend,there is not much that can be done to make them understand the facts .


andrea Says:

Why does it always turn to rafa or fed bashing on this site?


Leon Says:

Just to note, Steffi has doubled “f” in her first name only.


jane Says:

carlo, I enjoyed your post: “disappointed Fognini couldn’t wrest just one 250 ATP title from Simon” – Maybe he’s got a shot to win Serbia this week? The field isn’t deep, though Nalbandian is there. But Fognini may be able to win it.


jane Says:

^ I meant I enjoyed your entire post, not the part I quoted. I quoted that only because I was responding directly to it.


grendel Says:

carlo – I certainly recognize the kind of tennis fan you are talking about, who was just bored with Federer’s success. But actually, I was thinking about a slightly different sort of tennis enthusiast. One who, whilst happy to concede Federer’s greatness, just didn’t much like his tennis. Got no joy from watching it and so on. That’s not so unreasonable. An equivalent might be: a lover of classical music doesn’t much like Mozart or even actively dislikes him (whilst admitting his greatness etc, etc).


Daniel Says:

Kimberly,

Your 10:55 hs post sums it up for me. I play regularly as well and since Nadal came into the scene, it didn’t appeal to me. His game is kind of a “deconstruct” the other player game. I think I feel for the other player across the net, remembering the times this happened to me. For example yesterday I won first test 6-2 firing winner at will. At second set, I was broken to open the set, but break right back 0-40 with 2 Djoko like return winners. Suddenly in my next service game, it lasted 15 minutes, with my opponent playing Nadal like and I just couldn’t finish off the points, several times. I got tired and it affected my strokes, my anticipation, my power, my serve (DF). Lost the set 6-1 (couldn’t hold serve anymore) and by the end with were both so tired we didn’t even played a decider, But I was frustrated as hell and blamed the bear after a barbecue in the morning:)


Wog boy Says:

Leon,
Off topic, but about names.
In one thread you asked if Vladimir is Serbian name?
All Serbian names, unless they are from bible, are Slavic names but not all Slavic names are common in Serbia. Vladimir is and all the name that finish with …..MIR, ……LJUB, ……SLAV, ……RAD etc. Those Slavic names have meaning and usually parents are giving them wantIng their kids to become that kind of person. I am glad we manage to keep those names through history and didn’t turn only to bible names.
I hope my pries doesn’t read tennis-x :)


Kimberly Says:

Daniel—my husband doesn’t like Nadal because he is an x-college player and he cannot like a player who wins by making his oppoonents play badly. But he actually says Nadal’s game has changed and gotten much more watchable. He likes Federer but has been starting emulate his son rooting for Fish and Isner.


Wog boy Says:

Should say “priest” and not “pries”.


Daniel Says:

Nadal also tend to play great in even years.

- 2006 was the year Nadal started eating Fed regularly, at ne point, the HxH was 6-1 Nadal after RG 2006 with 4 straight victories over Fed

- 2008 was the year he finally won Wimbledon and became #1

- 2010 was his glory year, 3 Slams in a roll, career Slam, back at #1

- 2012??? Already defended Monte Carlo and Barca, didn’ t lose a set on clay, gave Djoko a spanking (even with Djoko not there, it will help Nadal in their future matches to find comfort in that particle match), he is still carrying the momentum with 4 Slams finals (even with 3 losses to Djoko). If Djoko is not up for the challenge who will on a Slam final?

So, this is a very interesting 2 months ahead. All top 4 are ready to statements tourney. All of them have a lot to prove in the next 5 Big Tourneys (MAdrid, Rome, RG, WImby and Olympics).


Daniel Says:

Kimberly,

When Nadal is in attacking mode and blasting that forehand DTL and inside out is wonderful, but when the set like that Ferrer first set, it just irks me. Off course, every great tennis player more often than not scopes this situation (Fed, Djoko and others), but Nadal is master on it, and of course is his merit in dementing the other players:)

I am attending this year RG, on first Tuesday and I am hoping to have Fed and Nadal on the same half and playing secondly. But as Rafa is defending champion I don’t know if he will open the tourney or not. Even so, my point is I want to see him play in RG more than Fed.


Tennis Coach Says:

Daniel, I would not read too much into it. Djoko will be back and then hasta la vista baby!


Leon Says:

Thanks, Wog boy. Sure, Vladimir is a Slavic name (meaning smth like owner of the world), but I so far seldom met it among say, Poles or Bulgarians, it seemed to me to be common most in Russia and (to less extent) in Ukraine. Now I have learned more, thanks again.


Wog boy Says:

Leon,
Any time.
Novak is old name too, it can be name but also surname….. Jiri Novak…..Kim Novak…


grendel Says:

@Daniel 4.50

And is Nadal enjoying his Federer meals? Grilled Federer steak with mustard and mushrooms, perhaps?


jane Says:

Daniel, does it really cost $400.00 for cheap seats at Roland Garros or am I reading this wrong?

http://www.tennistours.com/french-open-tickets


Angel Says:

BRANDO THERE IS NO WAY THAT A WOMAN CAN BE CALLED THE GOAT INCLUDING THE MEN, NO MATTER THE NUMBER OF TITLES WON. YOU CAN’T COMPARE WOMEN TENNIS WITH MEN TENNIS, IT’S LIKE COMPARING APPLES WITH ORANGES. IT’S JUST ANOTHER LEAGUE, A 1000 IN THE WORLD ATP PLAYER WOULD BEAT 6-0 6-0 TO ANY TOP 10 WTA PLAYER. NO DISRESPECT BUT IS THE SIMPLE TRUE. SO I REALLY THINK THERE SHOULD BE A LIST FOR THE WOMEN AND ANOTHER ONE FOR THE MEN. SORRY FOR BEING SO EXPLICIT BUT I HAD TO.


Polo Says:

Angel, I can almost hear your post. Hehehe!


andrea Says:

here we go again…clay season comes around and nadal is a renewed force etc…then come fall when he sputters out and fails to do any thing at the WTF, we speak of his demise. its a vicious cycle.


carlo Says:

Thanks to those liking the post I wrote this morning. Didn’t much expect it to be liked.

Thanks for clarifying with the composer/music analogy. Mozart I love, Beethoven not quite as much but both great. Tough choice. Which I like to play, isn’t the one I actually like best necessarily.(not that, that has anything to do with what you are saying.) But even some of Mozart and Beethoven’s pieces can be too commercialized to like much, imo = too much of what was a good thing.

Wog boy. as to the pronunciation of Djordje? I’m pronouncing it much as the English say “Georgie” – heard it on google translator audio.


carlo Says:

music thing was to grendel


Wog boy Says:

Carlo,
You are OK, that is correct way just softer very close to Italian, like Giorgio (Armani), at the end of the day it is same name St. George….. with varieties:)


carlo Says:

^^^ I like it, “Djordje” too bad and Marko lost, I see, checking scores from today.


sar Says:

Kimberly @1:19 pm

Nice post. Yeah no one can make predictions. I kind of like Delpo and wish he would come back. I think that win against Fed took so much out of him it “killed” him.


dari Says:

Polo, i liked the way you spoke of nadal’s legacy, it is hard to comprehend how he can be so vastly dominant on that surface… And quite spectacular on the others, too.

There will always be a BUT with nadal for me though ;)
I do not want him to beat fed’s major total because I dont like the thought of him being entirely representative of tennis for those who are more casual fan’s. He can be the face of clay, he can be the face of brut play, but not for all of tennis.
fed’s pure and beautiful play is better suited for that.


Wog boy Says:

Carlo,
From what I heard Marko is going to Uni and will stop with tennis, sounds right to me. Somebody has to run his father’s and uncle’s buisiness empire:) His uncle doesn’t have a kids, as far as I know, and he dedicated all his time to young Nole and brothers. I met him, actually bump into him and Vajda and others, last year at AO after Berdych match, they were having beer at one a Heineken bar and we just joined them. They didn’t mind, very nice people:) Vajda was so nice to say thank you for cheering Nole, and that was on behalf of Nole too. Nole likes AO and atmosphere down under, that has been confirmed:)


Kimberly Says:

Just got abc from the heat game, we won!


skeezerweezer Says:

Dari

“There will always be a BUTT with nadal for me though ;)”

(sorry, just had to add the T…naught me lol )


King Federer Says:

The thing with rafa’s game is it is a “defensive” game. It is not the spectacular shot-making game Federer brings or the super-aggressive Sampras game or the touch and feel dominated j-mac game.

The thing with defensive games is they make for boring sport. Ask yourself this question – would you rather see a brazilian football team or italian football team [ in my mind the best offense playing and defence playing teams]. the answer is quite clear for any follower of football.

Unless you are some immature teenager or worse, sport is NOT about winning [for the fans, not the players themselves]. It is about playing it in the right spirit. It is in this aspect that nadal takes a big beating. defensive game and win-by-hook-or-crook style [medical time-outs, on-court coaching, time violations]

Nevertheless, rafa is much a more mature person than the rafat@rds, most of whose reason for adoring nadal is driven by a “i donot like federer dominating tennis” agenda. It is akin to saying “I like nelson mandela more because I don’t like mother teresa getting all the praise for her humanitarian efforts”


Lulu Iberica Says:

King Federer, do you not get that admiring an offensive game over a defensive game is merely a personal preference? I didn’t care one way or another about Federer. He impressed me on an intellectual level, but I didn’t feel any emotional investment in his winning or losing. Rafa’s game and personality appeals to me more, and I’m aware that I’m in the minority, but I can’t change what I like. I know that the Beatles are more important and successful in the history of pop/rock than Fleetwood Mac, nevertheless I listen to Fleetwood Mac about 10 times more often than the Beatles, because that’s what I like!


King Federer Says:

Another question – isn’t the last decade the weakest era of clay court tennis?

Look at rafa’s top 3 clay rivals – federer, djokovic and soderling. These guys are actually fast-court/hard court players who also excelled at clay. Where are the clay court based players like ferrero,coria, gaudio, guga, bruguera, muster in this generation?

As for rafa “adapting” to the fast courts, let us look at his “indoor” record which are the real fast courts on the tour right now. there he is probably the most inferior of the top4. He has made best use of the “slowing down of the conditions”.

Rafa is a great champion, no doubt, but he is a defensive player at heart and defensive play makes for a boring game unless it is matched by an aggressive player on the other side.

in terms of excitement, two aggressive shot-makers dueling it out is more exciting than aggressive against defensive player and both these match-ups are super exciting than two defensive players duking it out. [think murray-nadal! yikes]


Lulu Iberica Says:

Kimberly, of course you are right. There’s no way to predict the future of tennis, or most anything, really. I just dislike uncertainty and am always trying to imagine what might be. (I drive myself nuts trying to determine where I’d like to buy a house, even though this is entirely dependent on where my husband can find the best job in the next year or two.)


King Federer Says:

Lulu – i think investing in winning is not the most mature/smart way of looking at things. sure we do that as kids and a lot of irrational people do that but should people like players BECAUSE they “win a lot”. I am not sure a lot of smart people would do that.

Definitely, it is about choosing a playing style but defensive playing styles lead to boring matches if you have two defensive playing styles. It is aggressive shot-making or play styles that win people’s hearts. If you look at nadal fans, you will find a lot of fans who became nadal fans primarily because they did not want federer to WIN so much. In my book people who place winning ahead of “playing styles” are immature and incapable of appreciating sport.

I don’t mind people listening to other kinds of music because it resonates with them but I have an issue with people who say Lady Gaga is greater than mozart because she has more “record-sellers or greater chart toppers” or more twitter followers than mozart.


Lulu Iberica Says:

Well, you have a point about a defensive player being more enjoyable to watch when he plays an aggressive player — that’s why Fedal matches can be so great! Aggressive players are great when they’re on song, but I hate error-fests — ugly!

Still, if two defensive players are very athletic it can be an exciting match. I really enjoyed a Davis Cup match between Monfils and Ferrer a few years ago. The camera angle was lower than usual and you could tell the ball was flying fast, and they were making incredible gets!


King Federer Says:

Sorry nadal fans but if federer is tennis’ mozart, it’s beethoven is j-mac and not nadal.

These are players who create symphonies or master pieces or epics with their spectacular tennis. winning is only incidental [again from a fan's point of view, fed/jmac will take wins as it gives them more money, soothes ego and so on].

Fans who like players because “he/she wins a lot”, sorry but you should be in school and not watching so much sport.


King Federer Says:

Lulu – I am talking about the rule and you are talking about exceptions.

I dont know if you have watched federer-santoro matches, but give it a try. they are tennis magic. sure, on occasion, two defensive players conjure up an exciting match and two aggressive players stink up the joint, but they are more the exception than the rule.


Lulu Iberica Says:

King Fed, I’m not saying I care about how often the guy wins. I’m saying that when I watched Fed, I thought, “Wow. Those are incredible shots!” but I didn’t really give much of a ****! I wasn’t going to become a fan no matter how good he was. I saw Rafa play once, and I said, “Who is that guy?! He is awesome!” The person I asked was actually a bitter Fed fan, who told me how much Nadal sucked, couldn’t win off clay, “Why do girls like him?,” etc, but I didn’t care, because I was wowed! I feel the same about Nadal as I do Stevie Nicks! LOVE THEM!


Lulu Iberica Says:

Who the f said they like a player because he wins a lot? I’m saying with Rafa I feel like I live in Boston and I’m rooting for the Red Sox. Fed didn’t inspire any fan loyalty in me.


skeezerweezer Says:

“Nevertheless, rafa is much a more mature person than the rafat@rds, most of whose reason for adoring nadal is driven by a “i donot like federer dominating tennis” agenda. It is akin to saying “I like nelson mandela more because I don’t like mother teresa getting all the praise for her humanitarian efforts”

Truth hurts. But the truth it is……

Lulu….listening to Fleetwood Mac 10 times over the Beatles? Really? Its all good I guess I listen to 40 years worth of MJ over anyone else so to each there own ( however, its hard for me to swallow that the Beatles music is not the most enjoyable tunes ever ).


Sara Says:

I’m at the BMW Open in Munich, Germany. They promoted a new tennis strength & conditioning book at the event…it looks great.

http://www.tennis-conditioning-book.com


King Federer Says:

Lulu – to be frank, I donot club you with those immature rafa fans. I think you are a good tennis fan and i am sure you have good reasons for being a rafa fan along with kimberly and brando and other rafa-fans i have no beef with.

Keep posting and enjoy your tennis.


Lulu Iberica Says:

If I wanted to root for whoever wins the most, I’d have to switch allegiances to Djoko, and that will never happen! (unless Soderling came back and became his main rival!)


King Federer Says:

Lulu – believe it or not, I made the 1:59 post before i read you 1:57 post or 1:54 post.


skeezerweezer Says:

Lulu,

I get your post at 1:54, its all good. But don’t forget the same may apply the other way, and Fed, has a more complete record. But, whatever, Rafa excites you, and as a result, your drawn to the game of tennis. For the game, it is a good thing. For tennis, we gained another fan. Tennis wins :)


Lulu Iberica Says:

Ok, thanks, King, just making sure you understood what I was saying. To be honest, I think my liking of Rafa is based on a complex mixture of tennis-related and non-tennis related factors. I’ve tried to imagine if I would like Rafa if he looked like Stepanek. I think he would still be “interesting,” but I don’t think I’d feel quite the same! :)


Lulu Iberica Says:

Thanks, Skeeze, and King Fed! Kimberly explained it well earlier — it’s clear how tennis purists would greatly prefer Fed. Maybe it’s easier to like Rafa when you have no notion of proper technique! (Although, Kimberly certainly does and she is a great Rafa fan!)


skeezerweezer Says:

Lulu

:-)


Lulu Iberica Says:

Skeezer, yeah, I like the Beatles, especially the more psychedelic stuff, but I can listen to Rumours over and over again. I don’t say Fleetwood is the BEST band, but I have to admit they are my favorite. (I think I like the Stones 2nd best, then Dylan. The Boss is high up on my list, too.)


dari Says:

Skeezer- lol / shaking my head!

For what its worth, I have tremendouslu improved my outlook on nadal since bad feelings from July 6, 2008. There’s still a lot of on-court annoyances and generally preferring many others’ game over his, but I find myself actively enjoying him in many cases now. Took a while to like him again ( I was just fine with him.before Wimbledon 08)


grendel Says:

I’m no expert on Nadal – I don’t watch him very often. But I am uneasy with this idea that he can be summed up as a defensive player. Clearly, he has a terrific defence – so does Djokovic, and Federer is not so far behind. But when I see Nadal, he is always looking for the opening, probing for a weakness with clever balls against which his opponent maybe comes up just slightly short. Then Nadal pounces, particularly with that lethal forehand of his which is surely one of the most aggressive weapons on the planet. It has a sinuous beauty of its own, too. Beauty comes in many guises.

Nadal, like Federer, is a complete player, great in defence, great in attack. They are polar opposites, true. But not because one is aggressive and the other is not. Not from my perspective, anyway.


Polo Says:

Grendel, I agree with you there about Nadal. He is not your ordinary defense player. He is always looking for an opening to pounce on his opponent and quickly shift into an offense mode. I don’t know the statistics about his “winner” shots. I believe it is high which should be a better gauge of his “offensive” ability.


andrea Says:

I think nadal is more of a defensive player then an offensive one. He doesn’t hit that many winners in a match really.


jamie Says:

So Nadal wins MC and Barcelona without dropping a set? Like in 2007… He’s peaked too soon during the clay season. He will win RG but not Wimbledon.


Polo Says:

If he does not hit as many winners as his opponents, that would confirm that Nadal is really more of a defensive player. I have to take note of his coming matches and compare his winners to his opponents’ winners.


Daniel Says:

jane,

I payed 300 Euros for me and my mother one day centre court (Tuesday), but I pre register and bought as soon as it was out.

grendel,

that typo was funny, it was supposed to be “beating”, but it work it that way too. Hope Fed start eating some paella soon:)


queen Says:

Hey Fed fans, have you heard the greatest joke ever? Federer hopes to win another Wimbledon and the Olimpics… hahaha


jamie Says:

Federer might win one of Wimbledon or the Olympics but not both. He will be on the wrong side of 30 very soon.


alison hodge Says:

Just going back over comments from this morning,king federer saying Rafa fans can be immature,and root for Rafa as they dont want fed winning everything,JMO but surely thats the whole point,not everyone wants the same person winning everything,whether its fed,nadal or anyone else for that matter,variety is the spice of life as they say,competition is whats good for the sport not domination,and i dont think theres anything wrong in saying so.


alison hodge Says:

Jamie at the wrong side of 30,that as maybe,its still a testament to how good he is,to still be challenging for the major titles at that age,and to still be ranked in the top 3.


alison hodge Says:

^a great number of players would have retired through burnout,years before the age of 30^.


the_mind_reels Says:

@queen: as jamie quietly pointed out, “Olympics” is spelled with a “y.”

As a Federer fan, I guess I don’t find your joke particularly funny, but I’ll certainly be laughing if it does happen.

To the point of this article, however, yes, the stats/numbers are amazing and speak for themselves. The guy is simply a monster on clay. To those people who may not find Nadal’s game or style on clay (heavy, loopy shots that drop inside the service line, moonballs, etc.) “attractive” — well, I won’t disagree, but it’s certainly effective. He puts everything back into play and looks to be offensive when he can. He’s one of the best on clay at opening up the court with (as others have pointed out) his forehand up-the-line + forehand inside-out combination, or vice-versa. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t clobber winners left and right. His defense makes others go for more, which usually results in them hitting more unforced errors. I haven’t looked in-depth at the numbers, but I suspect that while he may hit far fewer winners in absolute terms than his opponents, the ratio of winners/unforced errors in his matches on clay is far higher than most others.

***
Also, I’m a bit slow to comment, but couldn’t have stated grendel’s point at 10.24a better. (And for what it’s worth, I agree with RZ’s post at 10.55a — there are many immature/insensitive posters around here, in my opinion).


grendel Says:

andrea – it occurs to me that one could look at it this way. By default, Federer is an aggressive player and by default Nadal is a defensive player. But reality – in the shape of competition – forces the potentially great player to adapt his instinctive style. Thus Federer has been forced to come down the curve as you might say by paying more attention to defence. And Nadal has been forced to “climb” the curve by being more aggressive. Those who don’t so adapt are doomed to frustration – viz the enormously talented Verdasco.
Incidentally, andrea, the_ mind_reels (along with Daniel earlier) has put the case for the offensive aspect of Nadal more cogently than I could. Just one point: I know they are much mocked on this site, but I rather like those loopy balls which land just inside the base line (and they aren’t exclusive to Nadal, either). Tremendous skill seems to go into their production.


mat4 Says:

I’ve finally found my old blue jeans… err, time to make a detour to tennis-x, just to see that some fine debates rage with a lot of intelligent and inspiring points.

First, I would like to say hello to all the nice and knowledgeable posters I enjoy reading, and debating with, from jane to kimmi, Kimberly, grendel, Skeezer, HR, alison…

Then, some thoughts:

I think that Federer evolved from a counter-puncher to a pure attacking player in the last few years.

I shall try to illustrate it. I could be wrong – memories fade – but it seemed to me that RF favorite pattern until circa 2009 was to play a low boucing BH crosscourt, in the middle of the court, and to be ready for two possible reactions: play a BH down the line, or a CC FH. He destroyed my fav in the semi of the US open in 2008 just playing that. Nole had to approach the net, but with such a low bounce he couldn’t really prepare it with his backhand: Roger was very quick, and his FH CC on the run, then, was one of the best I have ever seen.

This never worked against Rafa, who is lefty. And after hiring P. Annacone, Roger slowly evolved with a more attacking game, improving his volleying, his approach shots, and finally, adding patience to his strategy.

Nadal is certainly a great defensive player, but I also feel that he is an attacker by nature. The same with Djokovic.

Rafa’s usual pattern of play speaks about it: yes, he is exceptional in defense, but he doesn’t rely primarily on it: his matches against Djokovic give the wrong impression. He doesn’t only move the ball waiting for an error or an opening – he actively seeks to open the court, he pressurizes his opponent. He uses high balls and high rebounds for that – to dictate the speed of the rallies, to put pressure on backhands. I don’t think that he is better in defense than RF at his physical prime: Rafa slows down the pace because, with his high bouncing FH CC he doesn’t need to hit big to attack. Just high. It gives him time to return into position.


jane Says:

Hi mat4.

Certainly Roger’s defence is underrated. People always categorize him as an “offensive” player, an attacker, etc. But really, look at how, over his career, he has managed to neutralize big hitters: Roddick, Safin, Blake, etc. In fact, it’s players who can defend and attack – like Roger – that give him more difficulty, players who use even more patience. The top guys right now are able to employ a mix of both modes well, and that is what sets them apart and makes them so formidable. If their attacking game isn’t working, they can revert to very excellent defence, or the reverse. There are differences between them, of course – for one, of the top four, Fed relies most on his serve – and his is the consistently strongest – and the least on his return game. The other three, by contrast, can turn returns into attack, and don’t rely as much on their serves to win them easy points – though when Nole and Murray serve well it seems like the rest of their games tend to click as well. Anyhow, while they all have unique traits, they all do both attacking and defending tremendously well, so it’s not easy to categorize them as one or the other. Perhaps Fed is the most aggressive and Murray the least, on a sliding scale, of the top four – but again, that could vary match-to-match.


mat4 Says:

Hi jane. Nice you’re here.

Yes, indeed. They can’t afford not to defend well with the level of competition they face. Every points count, matter.

I wrote here that I think that Novak changes his serve, and it affects his game. I hope he works now, preparing Madrid, Rome and especially RG. I looked quite bad in MC, though it is a bit understandable.

Did you watch Murray-Raonic? A bit surprising on paper.


mat4 Says:

Watching the final of MC, I thought how Nadal used his clay court mastery like a trampoline against Fed. Nole has to react and fast.


jane Says:

mat4, No I didn’t see Murray/Raonic, except bits in replay on Canadian t.v. – it was on at 3:30 am my time, too early to wake up. Glad you found your old jeans. :)


Dave Says:

Until today, I too once foolishly believed that Nadal was the “King of Clay”. Until I read these impressive statistics, and realized that Nadal is less the King of Clay… than Federer is King of Hard Courts and King of Grass. I’ll post my reasons later.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

When I finally found my old blue jeans, I also finally understood why Homer Simpson is my favourite film hero.

Did you read Markowitz’s first chapter about the trivalry on Tennis Prose? Could be interesting. He promised interviews with JMac and Wilander in the comments. He uses the Balzac’s method: first, set the stage, present the characters and only then the story can begin. I hoped for more insights, but like he wrote, there is still time.


mat4 Says:

@Dave:

Don’t overdo it. You sometimes knock on open doors.


jane Says:

Hey readers, I HIGHLY recommend Tignor’s mailbag this week – he touches on Murray, asterisks, focus, volleying, and even Maria as a contender for the FO!


jane Says:

Here’s the link; he calls it “reading the readers”, which I also like -

http://blogs.tennis.com/thewrap/2012/05/reading-the-readers-asterisked-edition.html


jane Says:

mat4, lol, DOH!

Yes, I read that link you posted a while ago, as well as your comments in the comments section, for e.g. about leaving out the politics. It could be interesting, though I am not a fan of the whole “GOAT” idea, except for when it comes to petting zoos or cheese.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

There could be a misunderstanding. I thought about the episode when Homer got so fat… but yes, it is also the title of a nice song.

BTW, I am not that big, IMO.

It is true I belong to a generation deeply invested in politics, and you can’t understand politics without knowing history. I am very concerned with the way things evolve, concerning even our elementary freedoms. It reminds me to much of 1984.

So, I was shocked a bit by DM’s writing on the subject. I was also shocked by some comments.


jane Says:

mat4, I think I understood you; I was just alluding to Homer’s favourite saying, “doh.” Good for you for speaking up about it on DM’s site.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

Sorry, I thought it was an internet acronym. DOH!


mat4 Says:

BTW, F. Perry in the Oregonian wrote an article about Nole. Tough read.


jane Says:

^ I read it – reading Novak like a book – not exactly complimentary was it? Ayn Rand? Individualism? Eep. I utterly disagree with him. He’s far too concerned about others, his country, his family for that! He’d be more like a Robin Hood? ;) Or Frodo? :)


mat4 Says:

^ Perry seems to be on a crusade. I should have known better.

BTW, he never read Tintin.


jane Says:

My son loves Tintin; I know what you mean mat4.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

A couple years ago it was still possible to claim Borg as the greatest ever clay courter. Even two years ago, Rafa’s stats dwarfed Borg, but it could easily be argued that Borg faced tougher clay competition. I think that can still be said (in terms of career overall, not just focusing on Nole’s recent prominence on clay), but Rafa’s stats are just stratospheric now. His continued dominance has lasted so long its unparalleled in men’s tennis.
He is the Clay Monster. Even if Nole beats him multiple times this year on clay, I don’t believe it hurts the body of work. Let Nole win every tournament on clay for 8 years running and then he can be in the conversation with Rafa and Borg.


mat4 Says:

@TV:

Let Nole win Roland Garros, and he’ll be in the conversation with Laver.


Wog boy Says:

mat4 9:12 pm
:-)

jane, mat4,

Can you give us a link about that article that you didn’t like, please?


Wog boy Says:

jane,

Thanks, I am just finishing lunch break, I will read it later. Thanks ones more.


grendel Says:

Nadal as Tintin? Well, that’s a novel perspective. I’ll have to think about that next time I see him play. Bad film, b.t.w. Lovingly faithful to the original – and yet flat and tedious. Maybe to be a decent film, it has to somehow escape the parental bond…Actually, a good rule of thumb is (imo) if you must make a film of a book, make it a film of a bad or ordinary book. Got a better chance of taking wing, then.

from one of jane’s links, Steve Tignor talks of Rafter as a “predator” at the net, contrasting him with Federer and Murray, the former of whom has other weapons to rely on. (But Murray?) Nice word in this context, “predator” – evocative. I liked his take on Nadal’s essential skill at the net – it’s that, like Macavity, he’s not there (except when it suits).

Tignor thinks Murray may be overcooked, contrasting him with practice avoiding McEnroe. I know someone who has lovely touch on the piano but, exasperatingly, refuses to practice with any consistency.(Think of those aspiring classical pianists, hammering away for 8 hours a day! You wonder what happens to the ones who don’t make it. Suicide in a dank bedsit, I should think.) Perhaps, after all,he is right. Perhaps the charm of his playing, which can easily induce tears,depends on a mysterious energy which cannot be summoned to order.The culture today is to work, work, work. How often do you hear someone say how much they admire the top players because of their work ethic. Interesting to hear an opinion questioning, if ever so slightly, this orthodoxy.

mat4, you turn my suggestion on its head, saying Nadal has always been aggressive, whilst Federer started off more cautious. I’m not so sure about that, but of course there are many dips and turns in a player’s career, it’s not a simple either/or. I first saw Nadal when he was 16, playing an Englishman called Lee Childs at Wimbledon. He was as intense as ever he became (an earnest Tintin!) and had this extraordinary facial twitch. That is all I remember of him, it would be very interesting to see the match, or part of it, again. He won, of course.


Wog boy Says:

Jane,

I read it, not much of an article, though I don’t know all those names it is clear what he is saying, very biased indeed. There is nonNole posters on this forum that have much better posts and when they judge Nole and his personality. To repeat, they are Roger, Rafa, Andy fans but I found them not to be biased. No names, because I will miss someone to mention. Anyway I am glad I read it.


Michael Says:

My hats off to this man named Nadal who has achieved so much in this sport at such a young age. He lacks the finesse, skill and flamboyance of Roger, but he makes it up with his tenacity, determination and never-say-die-attitude. In the beginning he was nick-named as clay court wonder, but he slowly began to dominate in other surfaces too taking a leaf out from his clay dominance. At 25, he already has about 10 majors, 20 Masters titles with an olympic gold. His superlative achievements will be an envy to every other player in this sport. If I ever saw Nadal in menacing form it was in 2008 Rolland Garros finals where he eclipsed Roger in straights (6-3,6-0,6-1) and surprisingly Roger was not playing too badly. Such was his dominance on the Clay surface and mind you Roger is the 2nd All Time best Clay court player. Now Nadal’s streak is continuing and I do not think anybody can stop it. May be Novak. But for that to happen, Novak should regain his 2011 form which may not be easy.


skeezerweezer Says:

“He lacks the finesse, skill and flamboyance of Roger”

:). Roger is Roger, the GOAT, not just a Clay court wonder. The records and achievements speak for themselves and still a comin ‘…


azrael Says:

2 wimbledon titles,one olympic gold on hardcourts…2 hardcourt slams…multiple hardcourt masters…and people are still foolish enough to call him a clay court wonder…he is one of the greatest of all times….obviously


Mark Says:

@skeez. Are they a comin’ or a goin’? Hehe.


racquet Says:

“Roger is the 2nd All Time best Clay court player”

Huh?! He’s not even close to being 2nd. What led you to that conclusion?


mat4 Says:

@Grendel:

I had a second thought about that attacking/defensive thing. I would like to be able to write about it (and about almost everything) the way you do, in a relaxed, sensitive and almost casual manner, but my English is insufficient for such intentions.

I ground my conclusions on their return games, where Roger is often content to slice, slow down the pace and accelerate suddenly. Five years ago, I remember Ljubicic saying that Roger was the best returner in the game, that you couldn’t ace him. His results against the best servers in the game could be a testimony of that – though they depend a lot of his own ability not to be broken. But he lacked the aggressiveness demonstrated by Nadal and especially Djokovic. On the other side, he didn’t need it: he could almost finish the point at will with his FH, and his strategy focused on limiting his opponent’s game worked quite well.

Federer – although he didn’t sense the danger on time – has clearly demonstrated that he can – I won’t say improve – but adapt his game to the changing circumstances. He did it twice in his career, and those shifts were important enough to be noticed even by an amateur like me. (BTW, I dreamt last night that he was retiring after the Olympics.)

On the other side, you can sense that Andy Murray is a defensive player watching his service games. Federer, Djokovic, and even Nadal have tested patterns of play after a good serve, aimed to finish the point with one big shot. But I feel that Andy almost lacks of it: his first serve is too risky, it is a way not to start a rally in a good position, but to finish immediately the point. When the ball comes back, he is very often just satisfied to move the ball around and wait for and error. His first serve could also be described as a visible sign of an inner insecurity: he goes for broke, it’s all or nothing.


Steve 27 Says:

Roger is the 2nd All Time best Clay court player
The innocent Day is not yet!


Bobby Says:

What Nadal has already achieved is the stuff for legends.He can achieve even more greatness.Some of the other player`s fans who try to diminish Rafa`s achievement by saying that it is on clay should understand that claycourt has much greater history than hardcourts and playing on clay require great endurance,strength,consistency and never say die attitude.Flashy shots will work on clay very rarely.So denying Rafa his accomplishment in history is a fallacy.


grendel Says:

mat4 – I have often wondered about Murray’s serve, which seems to promise so much and yet delivers comparatively little. In his recent matches against Berdych and Raonic, for instance, it was instructive to compare his serve to theirs. Every now and then, Murray would hit a serve just as good as any of theirs. But one felt it was a random thing, and so its impact was limited. Whilst Berdych and even more Raonic would crash these deliveries down again and again, making life very difficult for their opponent. Of course they’d suffer blips (although when Raonic couldn’t find a first serve 7 times in a row, he calmly put in 2nd serve aces, and so still held). But that’s in the nature of things.

Apart from lack of consistency from Murray, there is this, and this is what you neatly nailed I think. “This” being: the serve is integral to Raonic’s and Berdych’s subsequent play, whereas on the whole, as you imply, it is an isolated factor in Murray’s play. If he aces, well and good; if not, off we go again, more or less from scratch, to try to win the point. It’s bizarre.


Kimberly Says:

Re roger clay court greatness…..he had won the french open one time and since 2005 has only lost to two players, nadal and soderling. One could argue but for nadal he might have four or five or even 6 Roland garros titles and several more clay masters. But where does the line end, but for djokovic rafa could be on slam 13 and but for fed roddick could have four slams etc etc. let’s say Fed is a very good clay court player and leave it at that.


skeezerweezer Says:

^agree he is has been the 2nd best on Clay in Rafa’s era, but not all time, no way.


Brando Says:

IMHO re surfaces, it goes:

Clay: 1- Nadal, 2- Borg.

Grass: 1- Sampras, 2- Federer

Hardcourt: 1- Federer, 2- Sampras

Indoor: 1- Federer, 2- Sampras

It’s pretty CLEAR and obvious really. Men lie, women lie,BUT NUMBERS DON’T. Record books backup what i have listed there.

Re rafa: as a fan of his, for me if he is in the discussion that is more than good enough. Everything else is a bonus- and im very confident by the time he has hit his last forehand winner, he SHALL be in the discussion :-)


jane Says:

I think number 2 for hard court is closest? Pete has 7 hard court slams (2 AOs / 5 USOs), Agassi has 6 hard court slams (4 AOs / 2 USOs), Lendl has 5 hard court slams (3 USOs / 2 AOs), J-Mac has 4 (USOs), Novak has 4 (3 AOs/ 1 USO), Edberg has 4 (2 of each).

Connors has 5 USOs and an AO too, but I think there is some surface variation there.


racquet Says:

“Record books backup what i have listed there.”

You’re right, records do exist. However they don’t quite back up what you have listed (you were partly right). The FedEx Reliability Zone at the ATP site lists the all-time records and they state:

Clay: 1. Nadal, 2. Borg

Grass: 1. Federer, 2. McEnroe

Hardcourt: 1. Federer, 2. Lendl

Indoor: 1. McEnroe, 2. Lendl

I think there might be some confusion over career slam records vs all time career records.

http://www.atpworldtour.com/Reliability-Zone/Reliability-Indoor-Career-List.aspx


Dave Says:

“Won the “Clay Slam” in 2010 (3 Masters + French) becoming only player ever to do so”

There is no such thing as a “Clay Slam”. If so, we would have to anoint Ilie Nastase’s 1973 year on clay (10 clay titles, including all the most important clay titles) the “Clay Slammie Slam”. Nastase’s 1973 season on clay still outshines Nadal’s very best seasons on clay. Furthermore, Nastase won 8 of his 10 clay titles in best-of-five sets, not wimpy best-of-three sets that Rafa did in 2010 (except the French Open). More impressively, Nastase won 15 titles that year in almost all conditions (clay, hard, carpet, grass, outdoor, indoor, year-end championships) and was the undisputed No. 1 in 1973.
- French Open, Paris beat Niki Pilic 6–3, 6–3, 6–0
- Monte Carlo, Monaco beat Björn Borg 6–4, 6–1, 6–2
- Madrid, Spain beat Adriano Panatta 6–3, 7–6, 5–7, 6–1
- Rome, Italy beat Manuel Orantes 6–1, 6–1, 6–1
- Torneo Godo-Barcelona, Spain (today’s Barcelona Open) beat Manuel Orantes 2–6, 6–1, 8–6, 6–4
- Barcelona, Spain beat Adriano Panatta 6–1, 3–6, 6–1, 6–2
- Florence, Italy beat Adriano Panatta 6–3, 3–6, 0–6, 7–6, 6–4
- Gstaad, Switzerland beat Roy Emerson 6–4, 6–3, 6–3
- Cincinnati, USA beat Manuel Orantes 5-7, 6-3, 6-4
- Bournemouth, England, beat Adriano Panatta 8-6, 5-7, 3-6
http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Players/Na/I/Ilie-Nastase.aspx?t=pa&y=1973&m=s&e=0#

It’s possible that, before 1973, some other French Open champion had an even better year on clay than Nastase did.

***

“Won the French Open six of the seven times he’s played”

Max Decugis won 8 French championships in 10 finals between 1902 to 1914 (he probably would have won more titles but the tournament was suspended between 1915 to 1919 due to World War 1; Decugis was a finalist even in 1920 and 1923 at age 41). DeCugis won his two of those titles on sand (Roland Garros was built only in 1928). Before 1925 the French Championships were open only to French citizens, so international players could not play. However, Decugis also the Wimbledon doubles title in 1911.

We don’t know how good Ken Rosewall and Henri Cochet might have been due to the exclusion of professionals from the Grand Slam championships during the closed era before 1968.

- Henri Cochet won 6 titles at Roland Garros: 5 French championships (between 192 to 1932) and one French Pro (1936).

- Ken Rosewall won 6 titles at Roland Garros: he won two French championships (1953, 1968) and 4 French Pro titles (1958, 1960, 1961, 1962 — might have been 5 had the 1957 tournament been held). In all, Rosewall won 8 French Pro Championships, but his last four French Pro titles (1963, 1964, 1965, 1966) came on indoor wood when the venue changed to Paris’s Stade Coubertin. So Rosewall probably would have won over 6 French championships on clay based on the fact that (a) 19 year old Rosewall won his first French championship at Roland Garros as an amateur in 1953; (b) 23-year old Rosewall won his first French Pro at Roland Garros against the world’s very best pros in 1958; (c) 33-year old Rosewall won the first French Open in 1968 against Rod Laver (as well as the very first open tournament, on clay at Bournemouth just six weeks earlier): and (d) in all, Rosewall won 10 French titles, including 6 on Roland Garros clay, mostly during the 11 years between 1958 to 1968.

Mats Wilander and Ivan Lendl might have won more French Opens if the other wasn’t around in the 1980s. In the 8 years between 1981 to 1988, Lendl and/or Wilander were in every final of the French Open. Wilander and Lendl won three French Opens while playing in the same era (they split another four matches, including two finals).

***

mat4: a blind person often assumes his closed door is open… you sometimes assume your closed door is open. As I’ve shown before, anyone can assume his opinion is right.


Dave Says:

“Won clay titles in 11 different cities on 3 continents”
Lol, Nadal won only two clay titles in those two big continents outside Europe: 2005 in Acapulco (Mexico in the continent of North America) and 2004 in Costa Do Sauipe (near Salvador, Brazil in the continent of South America). Nadal won 32 of his 34 clay titles in Europe: French Open (6), Monte Carlo Masters (8), Rome Masters (5), Hamburg Masters (1), Madrid Masters (1), Barcelona (7), Stuttgart (2), Bastad (1), Sopot (1).

Thus 30 of Rafa’s 34 clay titles came from one region of Western Europe (Spain, France, Italy, Germany) in tournaments with similar red clay courts. Not surprisingly, Nadal has never won or even played any Davis Cup match outside Europe.

***

“Won 48 career titles, 34 on clay and 17 total he’s won in straight sets including two French Opens (2008, 2010)”

71% of Nadal’s 48 titles came on clay. 75% of Nadal’s Master’s titles came on clay. 60% of Nadal’s 10 Slams came on clay. Conclusion: Nadal wins mostly on clay, a surface that accounted for only 24% of his tournaments (4 of 17) in 2010. In comparison, clay titles make up only 47% of Bjorn Borg’s titles, which include 24 indoor titles.

In the ATP era, Nadal’s 34 clay titles is third in terms of most clay titles won (Vilas won 45 clay titles and Muster won 40).

Nadal won his 34 titles in only 9 different clay tournaments in his entire career — all were on “red clay”. Compare Nadal with Bjorn Borg who won 13 different clay tournaments in his career — including several titles in the USA on green clay (Har Tru). Ilie Nastase won ten different clay tourrnaments in a single year (1973) and Guillermo Vilas won 13 different clay tournaments in a single year (1977).

Nadal focuses on a few clay tournaments. Nadal won multiple titles in only 5 European clay tournaments — Roland Garros (6), Monte Carlo (8), Rome (5), Barcelona (7), Stuttgard (2) contributed to 30 of his 34 clay titles — which have center courts that play relatively similar (compared to other clay courts, e.g., Hamburg). Stuttgard, for example, uses clay from France and its 0.1 mm grain size is the same as Roland Garros. Nadal won once in Sopot (Poland) and Bastad (Sweden). Nadal lost once on the clay of Mallorca, Umag, Estoril, Valencia, Buenos Aires — and never returned again.

Nadal is able to adapt much faster to the change from non-clay tennis to clay tennis… compared to yesterday’s clay greats. There are reasons for this, in addition to his natural talent and techniques on clay. Throughout the 20th century, the best clay players (Borg, Rosewall, Cochet, Lendl, Vilas, Wilander, Connors, Nastase, Muster, Kuerten, Gottfried von Cramm, etc) had to deal with switching back and forth between non-clay tennis and clay tennis: not only did they play clay tourneys outside the “clay season” from Monte Carlo to French Open (e.g., Borg won Geneva shortly after losing the 1981 US Open to McEnroe)… they also had to deal with much greater differences between clay courts and non-clay courts in terms of speed, bounce, consistency, movement, etc. On the other hand, Nadal is able to benefit from the relative homogenization of the different outdoor surfaces on which he mostly plays — hard courts and grass courts are now generally slower, higher bouncing and more consistent bouncing (especially Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami before the clay season). Thus Nadal is able to play a relatively similar game on all surfaces… compared to past clay greats who had to make bigger changes in their games when they switched from grass, hard, carpet, indoor, etc. to clay. When the court surface is outside Nadal’s comfort zone, his 93% winning percentage on clay plunges to 64% on indoor hardcourts and 25% on carpet — and he simply avoids playing on such courts.

Note: In July 2007 — when Federer was Nadal’s age today — Roger had already won more titles (49), won more Slams (11), won more World Tour Finals (3), was World No. 1 much longer (about 180 consecutive weeks and 3 year-end No. 1) than Nadal. [In the past, the key argument for Nadal was that he had won more Slams at a younger age than Federer -- but now he is on the other side of the equation.]

***

“Compiled the longest Open Era clay win streak at 81 (2006-2007)”

Actually it was from 2005 Monte Carlo to 2007 Rome. It is the longest streak on a single surface. Nadal finally lost to Federer at 2007 Hamburg.


racquet Says:

BTW, several players (incl. Serena, Milos, etc) who are already in Madrid and practicing on the blue clay are reporting that it plays with a lower bounce than red clay. That could throw in a few surprises next week.


Humble Rafa Says:

In the past, the key argument for Nadal was that he had won more Slams at a younger age than Federer — but now he is on the other side of the equation.

I am bigger, stronger than him. My gf is not 300 lbs. I don’t have to have everything – for example, if I only have one child at time, I can live with it. I am Humble.


jane Says:

Dave these are interesting stats:

“71% of Nadal’s 48 titles came on clay. 75% of Nadal’s Master’s titles came on clay. 60% of Nadal’s 10 Slams came on clay. Conclusion: Nadal wins mostly on clay, a surface that accounted for only 24% of his tournaments (4 of 17) in 2010.”

In a sense, they could support an argument that he is the King of Clay, since it is THE surface for him, and he has dominated on it.

It’s also very interesting that in 2010, while clay accounted from “only 24%” of the events he played, that was the year he won 3 slams on 3 different surfaces.


skeezerweezer Says:

Dave,

Great post re; Rafa and Clay.

More on the Blue Clay and Rafa..

From the NYTimes…

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/03/sports/tennis/03iht-tennis03.html


jane Says:

I guess since the Masters are only played on clay and hard, you could probably do the reverse for Fed or Nole, for e.g., and the majority of their Masters would be won on hard courts. Probably that would be so for the majority of titles won as well. Most players probably excel more on one surface than another. Grass is somewhat of an exception, since there are so few events, but Fed, Rafa and Nole all have at least a Wimbledon, with Nadal and Rafa having other titles (Queens, Halle) and Murray having a pair of Queens.


skeezerweezer Says:

6 out of 10 Slams won were on 1 surface, 1 place. Depending on how you look at it; great? not so? One things for sure, he will have a free seat at Roland Garros when he retires.


carlo Says:

Humble Rafa LOL…

But come on, Mirka isn’t anywhere near 300.

Actually read completely and enjoyed the post by Dave @ 1:49 pm. There really is something to the homogenization of the outdoor surfaces and changes the format from 5 to 3 sets, add in racquet technology, changes in player development and training and it’s really not very accurate to say ‘best ever’ about anyone in tennis. Best clay court player of this particular generation, yes. but is it a weak clay competition era? ;)


Kimberly Says:

skeezerweezer Says:
6 out of 10 Slams won were on 1 surface, 1 place. Depending on how you look at it; great? not so? One things for sure, he will have a free seat at Roland Garros when he retires.

__________________

I wouldn’t bet on that. The French can’t stand him. They loudly cheer against him and Sharapova during the event. I hope Rafa and Sharapova show them where they can shove it this year!


harry Says:

Just saw these posts and it was fun reading many of them! Thanks grendel, jane, skeezer, carlo, Dave, and Kimberly.


mat4 Says:

@Dave:

About the open door: you just have to read the atp records page on Wiki… where everything is quite clear. There is absolutely no point arguing about Fed’s records on hard or grass, it is all well known.

You exaggerate with you attitude. Although fandom is uncharted country, there are a lot of sensible persons on this blog, ready to give his due to any player, especially great ones like Federer, or Nadal.

On the other side, there are a lot of reasons for you to give credit to Nadal, to Djokovic. In ten, twenty year, everybody will remember that Roger not only won 16 slams, but did that playing against at least one other great of the game, perhaps two. The argument of the “weak” era will be nonsense. Nadal is a part of Roger’s greatness, just like Roger is a part of Rafa’s.


Polo Says:

Nadal wins almost all the clay tournaments that he enters. This causes a skewed statistics that make it look like he does not play well on non-clay events. He has won 2 Wimbledons, 1 Australian and 1 US Open. You don’t call somebody like that a bad player on surfaces other than clay.


Dave Says:

Here’s an incredible stat: today, in football (soccer), Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick of goals to break Gerd Mueller’s 39-year-old record of 67 goals in a European season. Messi still has three more matches in which to add to his tally of 68 goals. For the moment, Messi has the records for the most goals scored in a single season in the history of any of the top European and South American football leagues (including the Spanish, English, German, French and Brazilian premier leagues) as well as most goals scored in the UEFA Champions League. At the age of just 24, Messi has already become Barcelona’s all-time greatest goal scorer. Messi also broke Pele’s personal record of 66 official goals set in 1958 for his club Santos (which before 1970 played only in regional leagues around Sao Paolo with rio de Janeiro teams, not in a Brazilian national league).
http://tinyurl.com/6uc2o3p

The great scoring machine Mueller, who set his record playing for Bayern Munich in the 1972-73 season, said of Messi: “”Technically, Messi is superb. His goals are brilliant. And despite being a genius, he’s not a selfish player (meaning Messi also gives up the ball to help his teammates score goals). There have been many great goalscorers. It means a lot that my record has stood for 40 years. Records are there to be beaten. I’d be the first to congratulate Messi if he scores 68 goals this season, it’d be an honor.” Muller is one of the five greatest goal scorers in football history (735 official goals), alongside Ference Puskas (746), Pele (767), Romario (772) and Josef Bican (805) — none of them scored more goals in a single season than Messi just did.


Brando Says:

@Dave:

Your posts re rafa are plain annoying and predictable!

You go to GREAT LENGTHS in your posts to consistently diminish rafa at each and evry single possible oppurtunity.

I have yet to see anyone else on this blog go to such lengths just to knock a player.


Polo Says:

What is that soccer stat doing in a tennis blog?


Dave Says:

jane, skeezer, carlo, harry: I’ll respond later, where I’ll also get to my point about “king of clay”… which is that Sampras, Willie Renshaw, Laver, Rosewall, Federer and even Borg are the real Kings of Clay…. NOT Rafa for winning all those clay titles… he,he,he. I’ll explain why later.

Jane: “I guess since the Masters are only played on clay and hard, you could probably do the reverse for Fed or Nole, for e.g., and the majority of their Masters would be won on hard courts.”
Nope. 33% (3 of 9) of the Masters are clay (you could even make the case that it should be 25% — 2 of 8 — since Monte Carlo is non-mandatory). So 33% is balance point. Both Federer (21% clay — 4 of 19 Masters titles) and Djokovic (27% clay — 3 of 11 Masters titles) are much closer to the 33% than Nadal (75% clay — 15 of 20 titles). And Fed and Novak have won the World Tour Finals, which is the closest to an indoor Slam.

Nadal is probably the king of something involving Borg, Decugis, Rosewall, Cochet, Lendl, Wilander, Kuerten, etc… which I’ll get to later.

mat4, you miss my points, yet again. In any case, I started with the ATP records page, so I’m way ahead of you as we’ll see in my next post later tonight (I’m not done yet)… but how can you appreciate what I say if your door remains bolted shut and your limited thinking instinctively presumes fandom in others… instead of realizing the fandom in yourself that blocks new facts and ways of seeing things?


Dave Says:

Brando: your posts are predictable for lack of substance. You go to miniscule lengths — as you have no sound arguments — to protect the embellishment of your favorite player… other than consistently attack the poster at each and every single possible opportunity.


Brando Says:

@dave: I couldn’t CARE LESS if people knock my fav. Let them go for it. But like I said in my first post to you- your posts are predictable since that’s ALL you ever seem to do. Just consistently look to knock rafa! I’m glad you mentioned messi though- since otherwise I would have thought that’s all you ever think about – rafa and his faults!


Dave Says:

Oops, jane, forgot that Federer won 5 clay Masters (4 Hamburg and 1 Madrid) so 26% of his Masters are clay. So what I wrote above should have read: “Nope. 33% (3 of 9) of the Masters are clay (you could even make the case that it should be 25% — 2 of 8 — since Monte Carlo is non-mandatory). So 33% is the norm. Both Federer (26% clay — 5 clay of 19 Masters titles) and Djokovic (27% clay — 3 clay of 11 Masters titles) are much closer to the 33% norm than Nadal skewed clay record (75% clay — 15 clay of 20 titles). And Fed and Novak have won the World Tour Finals, which is the closest to an indoor Slam.” In Federer wins the next two clay Masters or Djokovic wins the next clay Masters, they will be at 33%. Nadal will only skew his record further by winning more clay titles.

There should be at least one Masters on grass.


tennismenace Says:

Came late to the party but had to comment on King Federer. Dude, you don’t understand Nadal fans at all. Our devotion to Rafa has nothing to do with Federer. I think Roger is an amazing champion but, like Lulu Iberica, his wins or losses never affect my nervous system… unless it involves Rafa. I became a fan as soon as I watched him for the first time. There is something gripping about Rafa in competition that pulls you in and takes you on a journey. Your opinion that his playing style is boring is just that… your opinion, and nothing more. His millions of followers would disagree.


jane Says:

Dave, again, interesting stats – I wasn’t sure how Nole or Fed would fare in the reverse situation.

I agree there should be a masters on grass too – one of them pre-Wimbledon. I love watching tennis on the lawns.

I still think Nadal’s accomplishments are outstanding and I consider him an all-time great, regardless of whether the majority of his wins are on clay.


Dave Says:

Brando: re-read my May 2nd, 2012 at 5:24 pm again since you are a predictable example of vapid fandom that rejects substantiated viewpoints contradicting your fossilized embellishment of your fav players.


Dave Says:

jane, I certainly agree that Nadal is an all-time great (better to win a lot of something than nothing at all)… but we might soon have to discard our preconceptions that he has all those wins on clay :)

There’s no getting around the fact that outdoor tennis evolved on lawns… from indoor tennis. It would be ideal to have a Masters on grass, and a proper grass court season. We already have an indoor Masters (Paris).


Steve 27 Says:

9 Of his 16 slams of Federer were in hardcourts, more of 50 per cent, so, does it matter?. I prefer 6RG, 2W, 1AO and 1UO than 6RG and 5W, this is my choice.


mat4 Says:

@Dave:

“… and your limited thinking …”
“… the fandom in yourself …”

Listen, boy, if you want to prove that Roger Federer is a great player, perhaps the greatest… there is nothing to prove there. He is.

If you want to prove that he is better that Rafael Nadal… You’re wasting your time, because everybody with some brain will answer you that such a thing cannot be demonstrated, no matter what stats you use, because it is not a matter of stats [especially biased, like yours; you didn't take in account: the number of players overall playing tennis, the number of tournaments played, the depth of those tournaments, the ability to travel, the relative importance of tennis among other sports, the physical abilities of top athletes compared with the average of the overall western population, the overall technique of players, the time devoted to training...].

There are both admirable champions, and they both deserve respect.


Steve 27 Says:

Yes, more titles on grass and less in hard courts, the surface that cause more injuries to a tennis player.
Clay and grass are the “real” surfaces, the others are “artificial”.


grendel Says:

mat4

“I think that Novak can make it four in a row and I’ve told him so,” said his coach Marian Vajda. “Four in a row would be incredible! We’re fully focussed on achieving this goal, it’s all Novak can think about…”

I quote this from the link you give. I don’t know. This can be interpreted in more than one way. Is it possible to want something too much? That could represent a constriction. Does depend on the character of the player, though, and I don’t know much about Djokovic really.

At any rate, not just Djokovic/Nadal fans are eager to see a final between these two. Spare us another Fedal final – god! – with apologies to M…


Polo Says:

There are many different types of statistical analyses and a smart statistician can skew it to create the outcome that you want to show. Those who are not knowledgeable about the intricacies of statistics can be easily mislead. Not all statistics are reliable.


mat4 Says:

@Grendel:

I think that Novak is thinking too much about it. On the other side, I can’t see a way not to think about four in a row, a secured place in tennis pantheon, when you have already won three. It is so human.

But to do it will really be an epic feat. Nobody did it for forty years, and the last time it happened, tennis was a different sport. The greatest champions of the open era have failed, so it won’t be a surprise if Novak fails too.

Honestly, although a Novak fan, I believe he will fail. But he wins, I swear I shall prove, with deep, numerous, well organised, creative and above all, exquisite stats that Novak is the best player in history, the king of hardcourt, of clay, of grass, whatever. That is the true, no?


jane Says:

mat4, I like the picture! ;) But yeah, wouldn’t it be nice?


Polo Says:

I think mat4 pointed out already what I just said. He is absolutely correct.


Brando Says:

@dave: why should I bother rereading one of your pompous posts? I’ll just let you continue on with your obsession with rafa and what he LACKS on his tennis CV. BUT please don’t obssess too much with that, so you forget about a little something called, having a life!


Polo Says:

Dave Says, while referring to Nadal: “…better to win a lot of something than nothing at all…”

That is very dismissive and disrespectful towards a player who has accomplished so much and is among the best who ever played the game.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

Of course, it would be nice. But let’s think positive: it WILL be nice!

I guess I WILL be quite creative. Every day, on tennis-x, I WILL:

1. write a haiku about Novak:

Novak in Wimbledon
A king is born
Under the summer sun

2. collect some stats proving that he is the greatest,

3. invent other stats showing that he is better that Roger,

4. copy Dave’s stats showing that Roger is the greatest, after Novak,

5. exchange a few posts with jane about grammar (Roger and Rafa) and poetry (No1e),

6. and finally, write four or five other less interesting posts focused on bragging.


mat4 Says:

Sorry, the poem should be:

Novak in Wimbledon
A king is born
Summer sun


Brando Says:

@mat4: lol, enjoyed your 6.12 post! BUT I think you made one little mistake. You addressed him as ‘boy’ when really I suspect he is a sour poster who is far older than most here that he should know by now that it is a STUPID waste of his own time to attempt to BELITTLE rafa. I think he may even recognise this too- BUT he is either too sour to stop doing this or maybe he just has nothing better to do!


skeezerweezer Says:

mat4,

What about a chant and nightly Novak breathing hummmmss?

Careful….you starting a religion? ;)


Brando Says:

@mat4: LMAO! Whilst I naturally want rafa to win at FO- it WOULD be funny to see the reaction of fed fans when all of a sudden there is a new challenger to his standing as a GOAT.


Brando Says:

@polo: it’s Dave- he just doesn’t know any better! ANYTHING that someone other than federer achieves is there to be sneered- especially if it is a someone named rafael nadal!


mat4 Says:

@Skeezer:

Didn’t think about it. Nice of you to give me such a good idea. Though… you are much more experienced, being a Fed fan ;-)

Ah, to feel like a Fed fan… just for one day…


mat4 Says:

@Brando:

I am not in the prime of my youth either, though I feel young, and I am not fat, just well built.

I am sorry, in truth. But I was provoked a bit. I should have reacted in a more decent way, ignoring the offenses.


grendel Says:

Hey, Tommy Haas beat Tsonga! Amusing photograph from Eurosport. Tommy Haas (looking rather portly, I have to say) comes suavely up to the net to shake hands, and casts a look of commiseration at Tsonga as if to say:”It can’t be helped, but frankly I’m pretty damn good when I put my mind to it, so you shouldn’t beat up on yourself…..”


Brando Says:

@mat4:

I understand. I also felt provoked too.

Like you- pretty much like most tennis fans- i also feel IF there has to be someone seen as the GOAT in the game, then yes, it is roger federer.

I have NO PROBLEMS in saying so, since more importantly, that is an honest, sincere belief of mine.

HOWEVER, what i have a problem with is when posters decide to bash the achievements of others like nadal, djokovic or even murray JUST to belittle them in comparison to whoever they think is better!

there is NO NEED for that! The ONLY thing that usually does is too belittle the posters standing as opposed to the player they dislike!


dari Says:

I’m intrigued, mat4, what does it feel like to be a fed fan?


mat4 Says:

@dari:

Come on… You don’t know? Impossible, no? Skeezer just reminded me: “RF as religious experience”…


Leon Says:

Last comments are the real feast of grace, belles-lettres, whatever. For example, take this:

At any rate, not just Djokovic/Nadal fans are eager to see a final between these two. Spare us another Fedal final – god! – with apologies to M…/grendel (aka Federer’s fan)

Honestly, although a Novak fan, I believe he will fail. But he wins, I swear I shall prove, with deep, numerous, well organised, creative and above all, exquisite stats that Novak is the best player in history, the king of hardcourt, of clay, of grass, whatever. That is the true, no?/mat4

Gentlemen, what a knight contest (not saying about those narrowly available hints and undercurrents, yum-m-m), hats off.

As a mean Roger’s fan, I have nothing to add to such a high-level conversation. Unless to remember Roger’s RG-09 reply to the question like “Did you miss Nadal in this final?” (can’t find the original text). The answer was smth like “Maybe, you guys did. Me not. We’ve already played a lot, it was nice to play somebody else”.
Well, may I think even plainer: Let Federer be there, vs whomever. With all due respect to those “whomever” (whom I’ll be watching for sure in that sad case of Roger’s absence).


dari Says:

Oh, i thought there would be more to it, mat4

It is great to be a fed fan, even/especially in these times!

Right on Leon.


mat4 Says:

@Leon:

I am flattered. No, no, indeed.


Leon Says:

@mat4:
My pleasure


Master Ace Says:

Dave,
Excellent analyses and information that add context. We can test your views because you give facts and make sense. Since it adds up we cannot deny what you said. To do so injustices Nastase and other clay players who did not play under today’s conditions. No one has rebutted your valid viewpoints. Keep it coming.


mat4 Says:

@Master Ace:

You’re wrong. Dave gives pseudo-facts and does not make sense. I really don’t have enough time to refute ALL his statistics, but it wouldn’t be difficult.

How can somebody compare Nastase to Nadal? Nasty was a great player in his own epoch, but everything else is in favour of Nadal. The level of competition, the professionalism, the global relevance of tennis.

Just to illustrate it: in the mid seventies, 50% of the top 100 were Americans. What’s the ranking of the 50th American now? How can we gauge such a fact? There are no clear cut answers.

Not to mention that then top players ducked each other most of the time, except in slams. How many times did Vilas play against top 5 opposition when he won 46 matches in a row? I don’t have the rankings to check right now, but he played just once against Connors, once against JMac. He didn’t play Borg.

Compare it to Nadal results, who has to beat Federer, Djokovic, or both, almost every time to win a master on clay. Can we weight this fairly?

Numbers are what they are: just numbers. Meaningless most of the time.


Brando Says:

@mat4:

BRILLIANT POST. you say pretty much everything i feel regarding that matter.

‘Numbers are what they are: just numbers. Meaningless most of the time.’

That’s the best part of it for me.

Im sure you watch nole because you enjoy to do so. THATS why i love to watch rafa- NOT to see where he stands in the game’s pantheon of greats.

Case closed for me in this particularly topic!


skeezerweezer Says:

mat4,

To be a official Fed worshipper you must;

-Be a member of his Facebook
-Press “Like” to everything he posts
-Have a box of Lindt Chocolates on top of the Fridge at all times
-Own a white Mercedes
-Always carry a Wilson BLX Pro Staff Six.One 90 ( twirl in you hands at will )
-ALWAYS wear collared Tennis Shirts
-NEVER not admit he is not the GOAT
-Have a Swiss flag hung in your front lawn
-And finally, always wear this;

http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Nike_Mens_Summer_2_RF_Hybrid_Hat_Anthracite_Cyber/descpageMANIKE-NRFSHHAC.html


Brando Says:

@skeez:

LMFAO! BEST POST ON THIS THREAD!

‘Have a box of Lindt Chocolates on top of the Fridge at all times’. I’m not his fan, BUT i wouldn’t mind such a situation :-)


mat4 Says:

@Skeezer:

So, no chance at all. Don’t have the white Mercedes… Mine is grey. And it’s not a Mercedes…


jane Says:

mat4, I have a grey non-mercedes too: must be the liminality of that colour that somehow relates to our Nole love? Combines the extremes of black and white.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

Grey non-mercedes and Milka instead of Lindt… What do you think of my haiku poem? Inspired, isn’t it?


Wog boy Says:

I cannot believe it, my car is gray and it is not merc, just a ute (pick up truck) :-)


jane Says:

mat4, your haiku is great but isn’t short 3 syllables? I think you need 17?

Wog boy, maybe someday we can all ride in the back, lol!


mat4 Says:

@jane:

I checked: in English, 14 is enough. But this one is a special one: it has only 13, against bad luck.

Hello, WB. Nice you’re here.


jane Says:

Ah the symbolic import of the syllable count! I love it, then, mat4. Even more. Keep em coming eh?


mat4 Says:

Just wait after RG, WHEN No1e wins! But, if you insist…

Autumn of a patriarch
Full of sound and fury
Roger’s despair

Just to give Skeez a taste of it. Do you think he will appreciate poetry at his just value?


jane Says:

That’s pretty awesome mat4 – exactly 17 too, by my count. Not 17 slams, but 17 syllables. ;)


Wog boy Says:

jane,
Why not, come for Aussie Open and we will all take a ride from Sydney to Melbourne:) There is a lot to see.

Hi mat4,

I have been here all the time and enjoying the posts, one of the best threads so far, since I am on this forum. The one can lear a lot……if he wants to :)

And it is grey ute and not “gray”…..spelling…spelling….spelling


Wog boy Says:

Should say learn not “lear”


King Federer Says:

I like how people believe they can prove anything with statistics, but will not volunteer to present any numbers. Dave does. yet, the only way they counter him is by calling him names.

If name-calling is all you can do, you are a jack@$$. If you donot have a counter argument as to why rafa’s best clay season is better than nastase’s then STFU! If you want name-calling, though Dave might not indulge, there are federer fans who deal with t@rds like you guys.

I saw a twitch on rafa’s face or I saw him scratch his @$$ – how the F%$k are these supposed to prove his season is greater than the numbers that Dave put up?


King Federer Says:

I like the most common cop out of the numerically challenged – numbers are not everything. Fair enough, with your IQ maybe that might well be true.

Even if we go by whose game is more popular or well-liked, Fed got it there too. popular with fans and peers alike – 9ATP fan favorite awards. 7 out of 8 sportsmanship awards compared to none and 1 for nadal. Here I am assuming you are not so numerically challenged that you cant even understand single digits.

going by aesthetics, fed has been compared to God, superman and his tennis to a religion. rafa to a beast, monster and kryptonite.

any other cop-outs?


King Federer Says:

As for novak, how many non-serbian origin fans has he got? I have checked this on other sites and the percentage is in single digits. not that there is anything wrong with it.


Roger Federer Fan Says:

King Federer,

Great posts.

There is another alternative too instead of posting so much here.

Track down and kill Rafa, or just cut off his left hand.

We all can live in peace with Federer’s records.


Michael Says:

Why is Nadal not able to dominate in Madrid Masters as he does in other clay court tournaments ?? Is it because the court plays more fast or lacks the high bounce ??


Mark Says:

@Michael. It is the altitude in Madrid that affects his game.


mat4 Says:

@King Federer:

Who offended Dave? The one calling names are Dave and you.

My objections about his statistics are well founded. He proves nothing with them. You can’t really compare raw data from different epochs when the game changes that much.

I also don’t understand what he tries to achieve. Demonstrate that Nadal is overrated? Come on… a man who has beaten Federer 19 times, Djokovic 17 times, spent two years on the no 1 spot, won 10 GS, played 15 finals, won 19 MS, more than 40 top tournaments… He deserves already to be among the greatest ever.

Is it only fear? Rafa is only 26, he is at the height of his powers. Are you afraid he will finish his career with 15 GS, a H2H of 28:12 against Roger and 12:3 in slams? Because it is a plausible scenario, from what we have already seen. How will you argue then that Roger is the GOAT?

So stop, please? Can’t you respect a bit other players and their fans?


Mark Says:

@mat4 20 masters titles, not 19!!


Polo Says:

I am a Federer fan and I can understand why Dave does what he does and why fans like King Federer stand by his side. It is called defense mechanism. Some Federer fans are hurting so much because statistics show that Federer cannot claim outright that he is the best ever because of his poor record against Nadal. Add to that Nadal is still young and there always lies the possibility that he may eventually beat Federer’s record of 16 majors. When that occurs, they will lose any argument they have that Federer is the GOAT. I understand the fears of Federer fanatics and why they have to resort to the rhetorics we read from them. They have to do it while they come. Time is running short.


Polo Says:

while they “can” not “come”


mat4 Says:

@Mark:

Sorry. I didn’t count the last one. Guess it is not a real master shield, since Novak was in grief, Federer did not play, and Murray was eliminated in the QF. Not to mention the weather.


mat4 Says:

@Polo:

I am a Connors, Wilander, Leconte, Agassi and Novak fan and I believe that if somebody has to be the GOAT, it is Federer.


Polo Says:

If time stopped now, Federer is GOAT.


mat4 Says:

It is, of course, a matter of outstanding achievements. But not only of numbers: the versatility of his game, his on court intelligence, his overall understanding of the game, his aptitude to adapt are all important elements.

But also the level of competition he had to face: he dwarfed Hewitt, Safin, Roddick, and got a fair share of trophies against Nadal, Djokovic, five slams when they were at their peak and he was declining. And he still can win more.

I feel that to belittle Rafa, Novak, in a way is to depreciate Roger.


Mark Says:

@mat4 7.06 if that is your excuse so be it. But it is still 20 MS!!


grendel Says:

Leon

words are not set in stone. As a youngster, I remember watching with bemusement as assorted ranks of Trotskyites hurled abuse at each other, each scorning the other’s claim to inherit the mantle of the master.

I suppose you could call a Trotskyite a sort of “fan”. And fans come in all types and shapes and sizes, that’s just the way of it. But you’re always going to get a certain sort of fan who claims exclusivity to the title – and mocks the claims of others who think differently to themselves.

Although I have called myself a Federer fan, frankly I couldn’t give a damn whether I am considered one or not. For that would be to mistake a mere word for a real state of feelings. When I watch Federer, I want him to win. His style of tennis appealed to me from early on. That can be a cold business – I recall the great Australian cricketer and commentator Richie Benaud saying he was a fan of David Gower’s (this was when Gower was in a bit of trouble), and he didn’t mean it in any tribal sense, with all the emotion that conjures up. He meant it in quite a clinical way, more or less as a matter of aesthetics. He enjoyed and admired Gower’s grace with the bat, rather as he might have admired a good wine – not something, in short, to get into a spat about. At least that was my interpretation.

Few can achieve such coolness, which perhaps is as well. Most people want a bit of passion. But then, it has to be faced, we bring our own characters, not least our hangups and sicknesses,into the fray. Having a hero tends to be a massive projection job to say the least of it. And since we’re all different, we’re bound to have very different ways of feeling and expressing our attachment. So the word “fan” becomes really very vague, and not surprisingly, little coteries can form more or less spontaneously. It’s not uninteresting to observe – you can see the lineaments of how doctrines form, and even of how high priests can emerge to interpret them – and give a high priest power, mercy is rarely high on his list of prerogatives. You see a prefigurement of that, too. The archives of a tennis site like this will be an anthropologist’s dream in years to come.

Speaking for myself – though I have heard other say something similar – I don’t want to see a Federer/Nadal final for 2 somewhat contradictory reasons. One, sheer faintheartedness. It causes me undue anguish to see Nadal thrashing Federer yet again – that’s personal, of course, and a miserable weakness of mine. But the other is the wish to see a genuine contest. I believe Djokovic could provide that at RG and that Federer would not.

b.t.w. – about the Nadal twitch. Who ever said that had anything to do with anything except itself? My understanding is that twitches are involuntary, and I am curious to know how Nadal liberated himself from it. And no, that has nothing whatever to do with tennis.


alison hodge Says:

Mark, Mat4 is a very fair and balanced poster,who always gives Rafa great credit for his achievements,hes been defending Rafa all morning on this forum against the less than fair posters,read the post above yours hes doing just that,i think he was joking in his post at 7.06am.


carlo Says:

lol, skeezer…

Of your list, all I have is an RF cap signed by Jurgen Melzer. Wouldn’t mind having the chocolates. Good idea.


Mark Says:

@Alison. I honestly cannot understand why you had to butt in . The posts were between mat 4 and myself!!!


mat4 Says:

@Grendel:

I really enjoyed your last post.


mat4 Says:

@Mark:

Alison doesn’t deserve such a reaction. She is always very nice. It was a bit harsh.


Steve 27 Says:

Raonic with his monstrous serve and big forehand would be a hard court king like Federer and Djokovic. I think so.


Leon Says:

grendel,

In fact, I was very much hesitating to add that “aka Federer’s fan” and finally ventured to keep it just for the sake of brevity (and also because of my restricted English). Needless to say, by no means I supposed that you could be reduced to such a meagre term. Even if my comment might seem to be slightly ironic (oh, just a little bit!), much more it was sincerely friendly. And that we somewhat differently look at a possible final composition, etc, cannot lead to any misunderstandings, I am sure.
Anyway, I got a next interesting post from you, great.


alison hodge Says:

Thanks Mat4.
@Mark its as Grendel said to me a couple of days ago its a public forum,people are free to but in whenever they please,its completely different to the real world.


Dave Says:

“The best career clay winning percentage in history, 241-18 (93%)”
It’s WRONG to claim Nadal’s 93% is the best in tennis history! This comparison is limited to winning percentages based on ATP history and records since 1973 (see link). Thus, this comparison is not based on the entire history of clay tennis — which stretches back over 100 years. No one has done the research on clay records before 1973, so we don’t know whether there are past French Open champions (who retired before 1973) with a better winning percentage on clay based on their pre-1973 records.
http://www.atpworldtour.com/Reliability-Zone/Reliability-Clay-Career-List.aspx

At best we can say that Nadal’s 93% is the best career clay winning percentage in ATP history since 1973. However, it’s dishonest to use the stat against clay-courters before Nadal’s era without first providing context: that Nadal’s rise on clay coincided with the dissapearance of top clay court specialists in his era — the very best clay court specialists began to play more and more on other surfaces, and thus lost some of their ability on clay (in the past, relatively few were able to successfully make the switch, e.g., Borg, Wilander, Lendl). Since 2002, heavier balls were used and the clay, grass, hard surfaces had become so similar (as Wilander said: “Wimbledon is more similar to what the French is like; the hardcourts are slower, indoors is slower.” ). Nadal initially built his success by playing a lot of clay tourneys (in 2005, he won eight clay-court titles from ten clay tourneys entered) even though he already had talent for hard and grass courts. With the benefit of using advanced string and racquet technologies (which past great clay courters did not have), Nadal the “clay court specialist” was able to keep using his basic clay court game to win on other surfaces because conditions had become so similar (relative to what past clay courters had to deal with). In 2005, Nadal even won 2 hardcourt Masters titles (outdoor and indoor) to go along with his 8 clay titles.

Bottom-line, Nadal was able to (a) maintain his clay-court game throughout the season because he was using his basic game regardless of surface (and winning by being physical and relying on longer rallies to control points) even though he added improvements depending on surface; (b) plough through clay tournaments without facing much opposition from competent clay-court specialists; as well as (b) have less disruption when switching back to clay after playing on other surfaces. All this, coupled with his natural ability and technique on clay, helped him achieve a very high winning percentage.

These are advantages that the other great clay court champions in the ATP era — Borg, Lendl, Wilander, Kuerten, Nastase (partially before ATP era), Bruguera, Courier, Vilas, Rosewall (mostly before ATP era), Agassi, Laver(mostly before ATP era), Muster, Orantes — did not have

Note: even in the ATP era, we’re comparing the inflated winning percentage of an active player in his prime against that of retired players whose percentages had dropped off — thus Nadal’s winning percentage looks even better at thos point in time (just like Federer’s grass court winning percentage was at its peak when he won the 2008 Wimbledon semifinal). Remember, Nadal has played just 259 clay matches compared to, for example, Guillermo Vilas’s almost 800 matches, Ivan Lendl’s over 400 hundred matches, etc.

***

“Won a record 34 straight matches in Barcelona… Won a record 42 straight matches in Monte Carlo (also a record for any single tournament)”
I wonder how many consecutive matches were won when Richard Sears won seven consecutive U.S. Championships between 1881–87…. or when William Renshaw won six consecutive Wimbledon championships between 1881–86.

Once we use a little intelligence and objectivity to check the tennis history before 1973, it’s amazing what we might find.


rogerafa Says:

The format was different during the time of Sears and Renshaw . There used to be a challenge round and the defending champion, who used to get an automatic entry into next year’s final, had to only beat the eligible challenger to win the trophy. I think this format was discontinued only around the 1920s.


Dave Says:

I’m sure young mat4, brando and polo are reading every word I write. They always do. What agitates them even more is that others are also reading what I post. To mat4, brando and polo, protecting their favorite player’s image justifies everybody’s continued ignorance. They want to keep everybody in the dark because they lack the ability to challenge my comments with facts and compelling arguments. So they behave like frustrated idol worshippers by childishly farting at posters who shine light on the issue… all because they’re scared it might take some sheen off their idol. They have no respect for other players in tennis history with accomplished careers. To these idol worshippers “tennis history” started only a few years ago with their idol.

I was ROFTL upon reading mat4′s claim “Dave gives pseudo-facts and does not make sense. I really don’t have enough time to refute ALL his statistics, but it wouldn’t be difficult.” What’s hilarious is to read mat4 grasping at straws favorable to his idol.

Take for example: “How can somebody compare Nastase to Nadal? Nasty was a great player in his own epoch, but everything else is in favour of Nadal. The level of competition, the professionalism, the global relevance of tennis.” Lol, of course we can compare Nastase to Nadal, the same way serious experts anoint Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova and Margaret Court the greatest female players of all time by comparing them to today’s competition.. First, every era’s competition and professionalism occurs in the context of that era, and such things naturally evolve with progress. 40 years from now another idiot will be dissing Nadal’s competition and professionalism as inferior to what exists in the year 2052. Second, anyone who watched tennis in 1973 — i.e., they were actually living at the time — knows that tennis was arguably more globally relevant at the time in global sport than it is today. In 1972, about 22 million Americans othered to watch on TV two Australians play tennis (Rosewall and Laver at the WCT Finals, a precuirsor to today’s World Tour Finals). Anyone who actually looked at drawsheets in the 1970s knows how global tennis players already were. There were much more succesful Indians playing in the 1960s and 1970s than today’s Somdev. Manuel Santana had already won Wimbledon for Spain long before Nadal was born. And Niki Pilic was a Yugoslav who won a Slam title long before Djokovic was botn.

mat4: “you just have to read the atp records page on Wiki… where everything is quite clear.”
Duh, what’s even clearer is that I’m probably the poster who first told everybody here to read that Wikipedia article in the first place. I know that page better than you think you do, even the mistakes.

What’s really desperate about your nonsensical attacks is that you are trying to twist a legitimate examination of the stats regarding Nadal into “(you’re doing it only to prove) that Roger Federer is a great player, perhaps the greatest… that he is better that Rafael Nadal”. Grow up, idol worshipper — it’s not always about your idol versus my idol. Learn to thing factually and sensibly, instead of being so sensitive.


Dave Says:

rogerafa: You’re right about Sears and Renshaw.

However, Bill Tilden won 42 straight singles matches between 1920 to 1926 in winning his six straight U.S. Championships (today’s US Open). So while we hear that Nadal “won a record 42 straight matches in Monte Carlo (also a record for any single tournament)”, we never hear that Bill Tilden did the same in a Slam. In fact, Tilden had a winning streak of 51 matches in Slams (because he played in an won two Wimbledons while he won those US championships).

As well, Björn Borg won 41 straight singles matches at Wimbledon. And Federer won 40 straight singles matches at both Wimbledon and also at US Open.


Polo Says:

Dave, you are absolutely correct in saying that I read every word you write. It would not be fair to make a comment on anything you have not fully read and analyzed. In that regard, I believe you do not read, much less follow my comments on this blog. Contrary to your contention, I am not protecting from you the image of my favorite player because that player is , in fact, Federer. I have mentioned that here several times. I neither expect nor ask you to read what I write but it would not be fair to comment on it without perusing them first.

What I find quite curious is why you go to such lengths to diminish the accomplishments of Nadal who is obviously your main target in your write-up. To say “…better to win a lot of something than nothing at all…” about his wins is outright dismissive. mat4 said it best when he said, “I feel that to belittle Rafa, Novak, in a way, is to depreciate Roger”.


Polo Says:

King Federer, you don’t know the IQs of the people writing here so don’t use that in your arguments. Insults are only used by people who do not have any intelligent thing to say.


alison hodge Says:

polo i couldnt agree more,one poster maybe more knowledgeable than another so what,it does not make one persons comments better than anyone elses,we are all on an equal footing here,unlike the real world theres no such thing as class structure on an internet forum.


Dave Says:

How many people here have actually played a point on a red clay court? How many of these clay-less people (who haven’t played an point on a red clay court) are cheerleading Nadal is the “King of Clay”? (Watching TV does not count).

Most of the red clay courts used for the European professional tournaments (Roland Garros, Monte Carlo, Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, etc) actually have very little clay on them. Back in my schooldays, one of the courts was a red clay court: it had a top layer of about 1.5 inches of clay granules above the base layers of crushed stone. Because of this, whenever it rained, the clay court became muddy and unplayable for days (clay courts made of natural red clay are even worse).

That’s why there is very little red clay on “red clay courts”. This article below explains how the ‘red clay’ is laid in Roland Garros (though there may be minor differences in how the clay is laid in Madrid and other clay events). Contrary to perception, the ‘red clay’ is simply a 0.1 inch or 3 mm layer of clay grains/powder (from crushed brick) which forms the very thin top layerof the court. The clay grains are 0.1 mm in size. Underneath this thin layer of clay grains is a three-inch layer of white limestone (this hard limestone layer actually contributes to a higher bounce than would be on 100% natural clay courts). And underneath the limestone are several other layers of materials. Since this very thin layer of clay grains comes from clay brick made in a factory and then that’s crushed in another factory — and you can probably see many different colors of brick in your neighborhoods — you can create the Madrid blue courts simply by adding blue dye to the brick manufacturing process (instead of the orange-red dye) and finetuning how the bricks are burned in the kiln.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/30/sports/tennis/30clay.html

Furthermore, Nadal’s clay titles all came on ‘red clay’ even though there are other colors of clay courts: green (Har Tru, which Borg won several titles on), maroon (also Har-Tru, Houston), yellow (Seville), grey and now blue.

So, even though Nadal won 34 red clay titles, almost all these ‘clay’ titles came on courts with very little actual clay on them. (I don’t know how the red clay courts are Acapulco, Sopot, Bastad or Costa do Sauipe are constructed… although I’ve played on the hard courts at that Costa Do Sauipe tennis center but never bothered to check the clay courts there)

So Nadal is not the ‘King of Clay’… but really he is King of ‘Lmestone with a Frosting of Red Crushed Brick Grains” or King of Le FRCBG. [The more interesting question is who would probably win a competition of all tennis history's greatest 'clay courters': Nadal, Borg, Lendl, Wilander, Kuerten, Nastase, Cochet, DeCugis, Bruguera, Courier, Vilas, Rosewall, Agassi, Laver, Muster, von Cramm, Drobn, Pietrangeli, Lacoste, Orantes, Santana, etc. etc.?]

So who are the real Kings of Clay? All those champions who won lots of major titles on grass, because there is a lot more clay soil on ‘grass courts’ than crushed clay brick on ‘clay courts’. What contributes to the slower speed and higher bounce at Wimbledon today is not the grass, but really the drier and more compacted clay soil under the grass. Make sense?

If I were an idolworshipper, I’d declare Roger Federer the real King of Clay since he won a record 11 grass titles in the ATP era. But that’s not right. Tennis history should teach us that several great champions before the 1980s won more big titles on grass (including Grand Slams and Pro Slams) than Federer or Sampras ever did. In doing so Rosewall, Laver, Tilden, Emerson, Gonzales, etc., are the real ‘kings of clay and grass’.


grendel Says:

Leon – I guess one should just take a bit of irony on the chin and stop whingeing!


mat4 Says:

@Dave:

About the global growth of tennis:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/594875-the-global-evolution-of-tennis-is-bringing-the-sport-to-new-markets-an-analysis

Then, about evolution. Take the Brazilian football team of the WC in 1970, and let them play against the actual world champions. I am sure you know who I mean: Pele, Jairzinho, Rivelino, Tostao… So who would win?

Then, put Borg with his Donnay in one corner and Nadal with his Babolat in the other. Who would win?

I am perhaps an idiot as you stated, but you are a vain moron.


Wog boy Says:

For the record:

Nikola Pilic never won single GS title, just one GS double title.

Nikola Pilic is Croat from Yugoslavia, so Novak is first Serbian who won GS. There is no such thing as Yugoslavs (as nation) it was always Serbs, Croats, Slovenians etc. Yugoslavs were people from mix marirages who didn’t want to insult one of the parents.
Same as Ana Ivanovic is first Serbian girl who won GS even Monika Seles won 8-9 of them but for Yugoslavia as Hungarian born in Serbia. She never took Serbian citizenship, but she did get Hungarian few years back. They are both great people, Niki Pilic doesan’t care less who is who and proved that by leading Serbia to DC win which wasn’t really nicely accepted in his native Croatia so he wasn’t on the Serbian bench during match Croatia:Serbia in his native Split. Better to be safe than sorry.

One should know more about things before posting them.


Dave Says:

Wog boy: I correctly stated “Niki Pilic was a Yugoslav who won a Slam title long before Djokovic was born”. I never claimed Pilic won a singles Slam. So what if he won a GS doubles title? It’s still a Slam title. And Pilic reached the 1973 French Open singles final and reached a career high ranking of 12.

It is not true there is no such thing as Yugoslavs. That’s what your people were officially called in 1973 while the state of Yugoslavia (Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) existed during the Soviet regime. It doesn’t matter Serbians, Croats, etc in 2012 — driven by etnic patriotism want us to believe. Today there are people in Quebec, Canada who do not see themselves as Canadians and want to break away — same principle applies and they have to use Canadian passports in the meantime. You should learn from your own ‘wisdom’: “One should know more about things before posting them.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yugoslavs


Wog boy Says:

Yugoslavia was federation made from different NATIONS, and those nation didn’t become one nation ( like Americans, Australians). When I think that you are trying to tell me that you know more about my country than me ….well that that speaks for itself about youself. Best way to prove how wrong you are is to tell you to have a look at stats ( you like them) how many people in former Yugoslavia declared themselves as Yugoslavs. Canadians are Canadians, Americans are Americans, Australians are Australians but Yugoslavs were Serbs, Croats, Slovenians …you don’t get it, do you?
You have more examples in Europe, Soviet Union, UK, Czechoslovakia.
The good thing about this forum is that we have person that knows better everything about everything from everybody, how lucky we are :)


grendel Says:

Actually, both Wog boy and Dave can claim to be correct about Yugoslavia.

Dave is correct that Pilic won a slam doubles title. But Wog boy is correct in the sense of common usage – most of us assume a slam title refers to singles. That’s just the way the language works.

Again, of course Dave is correct that Yugoslavia existed as an official entity, and of course Wog boy knows this. But it was not a free choice. Federation and communism were imposed upon the peoples of Serbia, Slovenia etc. Wog boy’s point was really a philosophical one – Yugoslavia could only be said to be a nation in a pedantic sense, it was not properly a nation since the people themselves withheld consent – apparently, Serbs and Croats did not intermarry, and this is a demonstration of the artifical nature of the union.

So both Wog boy and Dave can claim to be right – they are talking at crosspurposes and essentially about different things. But I do think one should respect Wog boy’s position on “Yugoslavia” – he does after all come from there, and nobody likes being told about his own home by a foreigner. That’s just human nature.


Dave Says:

grendel: nobody appointed you the judge so your biased opinion is irrelevant. But if you want to be a judge, at least get your basic facts and arguments right, even though they are tainted by your personal values. If it wasn’t an irrelevant minor, I would point out the several flaws in your comments… starting with Serbs and Croats did not intermarry (the Croat Pilic married a Serbian actress in 1970 — two Yugoslav celebrities marrying happened). Suffice to say you have no credibility as an impartial broker on this matter.

Regardless, I made a made a fair first comment “Niki Pilic was a Yugoslav who won a Slam title long before Djokovic was born”. It was Wog Boy who chose to challenge it — the onus is on him to get his facts right instead of presenting his version of the truth based on post 1990s ethnic Serbian nationalism. Things in Yugoslavia in 1973 were different from what they were in the 1990s.


Dave Says:

mat4:

- Your time-wasting bleacher report article written by a baseball journalist is irrelevant to your contention that “How can somebody compare Nastase to Nadal? Nasty was a great player in his own epoch, but everything else is in favour of Nadal…the global relevance of tennis.” The issue in question was Nastase’s 1973 year, yet nothing in your BR article supports your case about tennis in the 1970s being less globally relevant than today. The author admitted his period of study was from 1980. 1980 is not 1973.

- mat4: “Just to illustrate it: in the mid seventies, 50% of the top 100 were Americans. What’s the ranking of the 50th American now? How can we gauge such a fact? There are no clear cut answers.” Huh? In 1975, Only 28 of the top 100 were Americans. Stop exaggerating and get your facts right. Changes happen: today 13 to 15 of the top 100 are from Spain. In 1975, only 4 were Spanish.
http://www.atpworldtour.com/Rankings/Singles.aspx?d=15.12.1975&r=1&c=#

- mat4: “Not to mention that then top players ducked each other most of the time, except in slams. How many times did Vilas play against top 5 opposition when he won 46 matches in a row? I don’t have the rankings to check right now, but he played just once against Connors, once against JMac. He didn’t play Borg.” What you omit to tell us is that Vilas played his 46 matches in clay tournaments AFTER Wimbledon when (a) young McEnroe was not yet a top 20 player; (b) Borg was injured and did not play between Wimbledon and US Open (which he lost early); and (c) Connors (who won Wimbledon) took time off and played just three tourneys before US Open… while Vilas lost Wimbledon early, then played 5 clay tourneys and took time off before US Open… then Vilas beat Connors at the 1977 US Open final on Har Tru clay. Between Vilas and Connors, they actually covered all three ‘Masters level’ events (Grand Prix Championship Series) — Washington, Indianapolis, Boston — but they were both on a sepaarte schedule after Wimbledon. After the US Open, Vilas continued playing on clay while Connors played on hardcourt.

- mat4: “about evolution…. put Borg with his Donnay in one corner and Nadal with his Babolat in the other. Who would win?” I want you to ponder carefully why the Tennis Channel’s 100 Greatest Of All Time ranked Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Margaret Court, Chris Evert and Bille Jean King with their ancient racquets… ahead of Serena Williams with her modern racquet. Until you have attained basic enlightment, please don’t post to me again. [And use some common sense: what do you think would happen when you send Nadal back in time and make him use Borg's Donnay and play on the slower and inconsistent claycourts of the 1970s. On the other hand, Borg would be overjoyed to play with Nadal's super light racquet and copoly strings which he does not have to string tightly for topspin.]

Your comments are getting even sillier with each post. If you had any vanity, you’d try to improve the quality of your comments.


Dave Says:

Young Polo couldn’t be more wrong and disingenuous when he jumps to the conclusion that I was “very dismissive and disrespectful towards (Nadal)… go to such lengths to diminish the accomplishments of Nadal” simply because I had written:

Dave: “I certainly agree that Nadal is an all-time great (better to win a lot of something than nothing at all)”… in as an appropriate response to jane’s comment “I still think Nadal’s accomplishments are outstanding and I consider him an all-time great, regardless of whether the majority of his wins are on clay.”

Polo dishonestly left out that part where i stated “I CERTAINLY agree that Nadal is an all-time great” (even though I do not yet consider him among the top ten players of all time, as I’ve stated why in depth before ). That is more than enough respect, no?

Polo omitted this part of my comments in order to make a mountain out of a molehill about the other part of my comments “better to win a lot of something than nothing at all”. Young Polo — who probably has watched much less greats play than I have — has the attitude of a Soviet commissar: I had deviated from his view of Nadal, and so he labels me dimissive and disrepectful. Duh, I already made my case earlier that a measure of success is having a more complete record of success on all surfaces of tennis competition. It’s no different than than how you would view a student who scored ‘A’ grade in most subjects versus a student who has a perfect score in one subject but B or C grades in everything else. Similarly, it is certainly not a balanced resume to win 71% of 48 titles on clay… when top tennis players play about 25% to 30% on clay, 5% to 10% on grass and about 65% on hardcourts (further outdoor/indoor) — while your rivals achieve a more balanced record. Objective analysts have also noted that Nadal’s record is skewed to clay, so it’s nothing new. But take away his clay record, and Nadal would not even have been considered an all-time great. So I appropriately said it’s “better to win a lot of something than nothing at all”. So it is really Polo’s rigid thinking that is the problem. He was me to set the bar lower and ignore the deficiencies in Nadal’s record so I can idolize Nadal as much as he does. He needs to grow a brain with some objectivity.

The same posters keep misusing the word “belittle”: Polo, Brando, mat4. So let’s see what’s wrong with mat4′s comment: “I feel that to belittle Rafa, Novak, in a way, is to depreciate Roger” — that Polo and Brando endorse.

- Wrong. By remaining silent, you idol worshippers are belittling, undermining and depreciating other legends throughout tennis history. Your values are screwed: you prefer to hide the truth in order to protect (false myths of) the legend of Nadal, Djokovic or Federer. Nastase’s 1973 clay season desrved more. Bill Tilden deserved more by winning 42 straight matches in a Slam. We have to give context to these stats to set the record right.

- What Polo disingenuously left out was that mat4 made that comment in a larger context that seemed to belittle several players from Federer’s age generation: “But also the level of competition he had to face: he dwarfed Hewitt, Safin, Roddick, and got a fair share of trophies against Nadal, Djokovic, five slams when they were at their peak and he was declining. And he still can win more.” There remains a warped view that Federer racked up his Slams in a ‘weak era’. But Federer had to fight off several diverse challengers during his prime — Safin, Hewitt, Roddick, Nalbandian, Ferrero, Coria, Nadal, Davydenko, Ferrer, Agassi, Gonzalez, Ljubicic, Henman, Moya, etc. had supplanted most of the Sampras/Agassi’s generation into history and several remained in the top 10 between 2008 to 2012.

Federer won 12 of his 16 Slams AFTER Nadal won his first Slam (Nadal won 10 titles on clay, hardcourt, indoors in 2005). And 2.5 years of fed’s 4 years of unprecedented dominance in mens/womens tennis history occured after Nadal won his first Slam. It’s unlikely to be a coincidence that Federer had a 5-2 winning record over Nadal from 2006 Wimbledon to 2007 World Tour Finals… and then Nadal and Djokovic suddenly jumped to their peak in the same 2008 year that Federer’s game was compromised by mononucleosis and back injuries.

But don’t worry. Federer fans are honest enough that we don’t mind “depreciating Roger” for the sake of the truth.

Finally, let’s not pretend we are all on an equal footing on an internet forum. This is not an internet forum in a communist or socialist society. We are here to exchange views, so the content of those views is subject to scrutiny of facts, logic, principles and intelligence. But the hypocrisy of it all is that those who preach about tolerance of views tend to be quick to misjudge views that contradict their personal worldviews.


Sean Randall Says:

Dave, you keep taking your Federer fandom to new heights. Heights I thought didn’t exist – questioning Nadal’s King-ness on clay?

It’s truly remarkable, though it’s getting downright disturbing and kinda creepy.

As you were.


Master Ace Says:

Sean,
You’re not hurt that Dave questioned the issues in your stats, are you?


Wog boy Says:

Dave:
“Things in Yugoslavia in 1973 were differrent from what they were in the 1990s.”

I don’t have prove anything to you after reading this because you proved that you know nothing about Yugoslavia by saying this. End 60s begining 70s Maspok ( google it) happened in Croatia wanting independence, croatian terrorist entered Yugoslavia from Austria killing everybody on their way until they were hunted down in Bosnia, they planted bombs in cinema and train station in Belgrade killing people, they planted bomb in JAT airplane killing everebody but one above Slovakia. Constitution was changed , Serbian intelectuals who protested have been arrested and labeled Techno-
liberals and sent to jail. Political emigrants were hunted down and killed in Germany, france, Belgium, USA (Chicago) etc.
Yes you are right, Yugoslavia was different in 1973, you bigot.


mat4 Says:

@Dave:

I certainly won’t waste my time with you any more. I am even worried for you. You seem not to be well. Nadalitis, perhaps? A very dangerous illness for a Fed worshipper. Could be fatal.


King Federer Says:

Polo,

YOU donot know IQ of people here. Other people are capable of judging people’s intelligence. There’s a reason I prefer to talk to humans than donkeys. they are more intelligent. similarly, I would like to engage conversation with people capable of reason and logic an who use that instead of just saying something is true because they believe it is true.

I do not agree with all of Dave’s claims, but he has posted his reasons. compare this to dumbF$%$ks like those rafat@rds who jump to rhetoric suggesting fed fans wont be happy till rafa dies. hello? how about this raf@tard pulls his huge-empty-head out of rafa’s @$$ so that he will stop scratching his @$$ every freaking time he serves. maybe that might make a few more people like rafa.

you guys should thank yourselves that Dave only sticks to numbers. as I said rafa has zilch to show in the aesthetics of the game – the more noble aspect of the game. he is referred to as the beast/monster while describing his tennis because it is fugly (except for raf@tards). When raf@tards make comments like federer is arrogant or fed fans are insecure then be ready to be called out on rafa’s fugly game and his constant violating the rules.

Sean, instead of blanket statements about Dave, why don’t you contend the points he makes? like a real analyst.


King Federer Says:

matt,

you got even bigger issues of sucking up to other people so they are not offended.

let us not play psychoanalysts here, i can list a million diseases you might have based on your posts.

and stop getting your head too much up jane’s behind. it is too disgusting in a public forum. there IS something called email, you know. you guys can use that and spare your adoloescent posts about poetry and books.


mat4 Says:

King Federer:

A million diseases? So you can count more than ten?

Joking aside, I don’t care if I offend an illiterate moron like you.


skeezer Says:

Sounds like we need some tourneys to talk about. Madrid, Madrid, where are u?


King Federer Says:

mat4 :

i dont give a rat’s @$$ about dumbf*(k’s like you either.

keep at your suck-@$$ haiku’s and poetry for the mentally challenged.


Polo Says:

So Dave, what’s your point? If it makes you happy, feel good and superior by doing what you do then keep doing it. But if somebody finds anything to disagree about, don’t get so discombobulated about it.


Mark Anderson Says:

Some people actually like Raphael, for the same reason they like Federer. People with any real aesthetics like Nadal for the same reason they prefer Donatello. If tennis can’t be athletic in this age it will simply go away. “If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor” Albert Einstein.


Dave Says:

Sean: Have you played on and rolled a clay court in your life… before anointing Nadal the “King of Clay”? The “King of Clay” is an overused cliche that’s not just applied to Borg… it was also applied to Thomas Muster, Mats Wilander and several other ‘clay’ greats. It insults Nadal to refer to him as just another King of Clay. If he wins a seventh French Open — without losing again to Djokovic in Madrid and Rome in straight sets like he did last year — you should put your Rafafandom to good use and refer to him as the GOAT of ‘whatever that surface is’. Is that a height you know that exists?
http://tinyurl.com/cle7zp5

If you read carefully, you’d realize what I really questioned was the term “clay courts” given there is so little clay content on those limestone-based courts. So how could Nadal be the ‘King of Clay’… if those courts are not truly clay courts?

Now onto things that are remarkable: what I found even more disturbing and creepier are the quality of some of the fandom in “Rafael Nadal’s Incredible Statistics On Clay” that I raised in my posts, no?


Kimberly Says:

Nadal is an amazing athlete but what distingushes him is his explosive power. Him and Monfils could probably play in the NFL as a wide receiver.


Dave Says:

Wog Boy: There were 3 to 4 Yugoslavs among the top 100 players in the mid 1970s (Nicola Spear was the only Serbian, the rest Croatians). In 1973, they were were officially called Yugoslavs by the state of Yugoslavia at the time… so I’m not going to be a revisionist historian. The bigger picture is that it contradicts mat4′s claims that tennis had less global relevance in the 1970s.

You proved you ‘know everything’ about Yugoslavia when you parroted the Serbian propaganda about Croatian terrorism: “they planted bomb in JAT airplane killing everebody”. First, the evidence is that it is more likely a Czechoslovak Air Force MIG shot the plane down the plane in 1972 (Google the British newspaper report titled “Too good to be true? Miracle woman who survived ’33,000ft fall’ ” ) Bottom line, no terrorist group ever claimed responsibility for what happened, no arrests were ever made, and the cause of the crash remains controversial. Second, it was still called a JAT Yugoslav Airlines plane in 1972, before Serbia renamed it JAT ten years ago.

In the 1960s to 1970s, there was much less violent terrorism INSIDE Yugoslavia… than in many other countries with secessionist movements (e.g., Spain). In those 20 years, Serbian propaganda cites only the two incidents you mentioned (there were conflicting accounts about how many civilians actually died, from 1 to 14). There many worse violent secessionist movements demanding independence around the world. In Canada at that time, Quebec’s FLQ was responsible for over 160 violent incidents which killed eight people and injured many more, including the bombing of the Montreal Stock Exchange, kidnapping of the British Trade Commissioner and murdering a Quebec minister by strangulation. Québécois nationalists don’t consdier themselves Canadians but every Quebecer supports these secessionist movements and Quebec remains part of Canada despite several independence referendums. There have been far worse home-grown terrorist groups inside the USA.

Of course when there is no-going-back ethnic cleansing and political violence, any country would fragment into the its various ethnic or other groupings. I have a Serbian friend who married an Italian man partly because she was fed up with ethnocentrism of her family and how they viewed other South Slavic people.

You’ve given us the ethnocentric version of Yugoslavian nationhood. We can read the other side of the Yugoslavia story in my earlier Wikipedia link on “Yugoslavs’ in my May 3rd, 2012 at 7:53 pm post above as well well as in the link below. Don’t call me a bigot because I’m not willing to be a revisionist historian about Yugoslvia in 1973… when you’re the real bigot about Yugoslavia in 1973.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yugoslavism

***

mat4: You’re funny and pompous… you don’t realized that you were really wasting my time by making your big dramatic claims… then having no valid and relevant evidence or sound arguments to back them up. Now that’s an even more dangerous illness for an idol worshipper that should worry us all.

Polo: Like your buddy mat4, you’re also funny and pompous. Your ego got discombobulated when I posted, so you challenged my posts. Your ego got even more discombobulated when I responded to your challenge… yet you are now trying to tell us that I’m discombobulated, LOL.


Dave Says:

Kimberly: If Nadal had chosen to be a wide receiver, he has the athletic talent to probably outshine Jerry Rice and Randy Moss… though maybe he would need to add an extra one to two inches to his height. Methinks he would prefer to play golf now, though.


Dave Says:

Nadal Vs. Borg: Statistical Comparison of their ‘Clay Court’ Performance
http://www.tennisnow.com/News/STATISFACTION–Nadal-Vs–Borg-Clay-Court-Compariso.aspx


Brando Says:

@Dave:

thanks for those nadal v borg articles. they are a good read.

Let’s just say i have my opinion on this matter- and you have yours. We’ll agree to disagree on the king of clay thing.

BUT what i wanted to know is where do you feel cristiano ronaldo is/will end up in the pantheon of footballs greats, considering – and correct me if i am wrong- that you feel messi is on course to be the all time best.

By the way i do agree about messi (the best i have ever seen) being on course to finishing as the best, BUT for now IMHO it goes: 1- maradonna 2- cruyff then the others.


Dave Says:

Brando, you’re welcome. Actually in the end there’s not much difference between us on the important issue. I don’t take the Borg vs Nadal debate lightly because I understand the history and stats, I’ve played on clay courts and I’ve seen Borg play. I actually bought his Donnay racquet to play with (a mistake) so I admired the guy. In this era, Nadal has benefited from the rationalization of the tennis tour and calendar as well as the relative similarities of clay, grass and hard court surfaces. And Borg’s career essentially ended at age 25. In Nadal’s age, Borg ended his productive career in October last year… although he did try to make a comeback at Monte Carlo this year.

But Nadal’s compelling stats are such that he needs to win only one more French Open title *in his career* to seal the deal for him as the greatest of all time on this surface — there can be no argument thereafter. If he retired today without winning another FO, the majority of experts would probably still vote for Nadal as the GOAT on this surface, but there will still be some who will say it remains too close to call.

On football/soccer: Maradona, Cruyff, Pele and Messi I feel are are on a special pantheon, above the rest in greatness.

I think Cristiano Ronaldo could be considered in the next pantheon which includes Platini, Zidane, Beckenbauer, Alfredo di Stéfano, Garrincha, George Best, Lev Yashin, Eusebio, Ferenc Puskas. Ronaldo’s career is far from over so he could have a few stellar years in future. Ronaldo would have been World Footballer of the Year another one or two more times if there was no Messi.

Brazil striker Luis Fabiano, who played for Spanish club Sevilla from 2005 to 2011 and has about 50 caps for Brazil’s national team, claims that Brazilian wonderkid Neymar, who plays with Santos, is already better than Cristiano Ronaldo: “I think that because of not playing there [Europe], I can’t see (Neymar) challenging Messi. But without a doubt (Neymar) is already much better than Cristiano Ronaldo. Not yet Messi, I admire him a lot and I have seen him play from very close.”
http://www.goal.com/en-au/news/4016/main/2012/05/02/3073369/neymar-is-already-better-than-cristiano-ronaldo-says-luis


Wog boy Says:

Dave,

You just proved that you are what I said, bigot and very biased one if that can be. You pick only two out of few examples I gave you to prove nothing. I could give you more but what is the point. I cannot change you, bigot is going to stay bigot, and what I said was for the other posters. It was 19 terrorist who entered Yugoslavia and guess where they were trained ( they were very well trained and armed with modern western weapons)… In the hills above Albury NSW, Australia . Australia of course didn’t have a clue about that until, few years later, part of that group decided to poison Sydney water supply, they were put in prison. In 1972 in Yugoslavia was 14 victims with names and graves, 15 terrorists were killed 4 capture, 3 executed after trial, one spared and sent to 20 years prison, he was to young. About JAT plane, well that theory is plain stupid, of course nobody claimed responsibility because they would lose support of countries where they lived and trained, do I have to tell where was that?
I didn’t mentioned killing of Yugoslav ambassador in Stockholm and the same terrorist, after he was released from Swedish prison, went to hijacked plane in USA. I can go on and on but that is not going to change anything with you but at least the other will read.
But the best way to prove you wrong would be to tell you to enter any Croatian club in Australia, USA, Canada and tell them they are ( in 60s and 70s) or they were (these days) Yugoslavs. They would carry you out on strechers.
This is first and last time I post about politics on this forum, this forum is too good to be spoiled by politics. End of story.


Dave Says:

Wog Boy: Your big word “bigot” means a person who — despite the evidence — is intolerant of any idea, belief, opinion or creed (especially on race, religion or politics) that differs from his/her own. Your other big word “bias” means a strong inclination of the mind or a preconceived opinion about something or someone — either for/favorable or against/unfavorable — that prevents unprejudiced consideration of a question or issue.

You bigotry surfaced when I said in my post (May 3rd, 2012 at 3:33 pm): “Anyone who actually looked at drawsheets in the 1970s knows how global tennis players already were. There were much more succesful Indians playing in the 1960s and 1970s than today’s Somdev. Manuel Santana had already won Wimbledon for Spain long before Nadal was born. And Niki Pilic was a Yugoslav who won a Slam title long before Djokovic was born.” This was in response to mat4′s comment about the differences in “the global relevance of tennis” during Nadal’s era today and Natase’s era in 1973.

You were unhappy that I mentioned Yugoslav, Pilic and Djokovic in the same sentence. Fact remains that in 1973 your country was called Yugoslavia (the Kingdom of Yugoslavia from 1918–1943 and Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1943–1992). And my links above show my use of Yugoslav is correct. Therefore, I am absolutely correct that Niki Pilic was a Yugoslav (or Yugoslav citizen) in the 1970s — Pilic carried a passport of Yugoslavia and he represented Yugoslavia from 1961-1977 in 23 Davis Cup ties (playing 62 matches). Djokovic’s parents were also Yugoslav citizens at the time. Novak Djokovic was born a citizen of Yugoslavia in 1987 (he became a Serbian citizen only after 1992). [In the 2002 Serbian census, 1.1% of Serbian citizens still identified themselves as Yugoslavs and 3.9% of Serbian citizens identified themselves as Hungarians].

However your bigotry and prejudices — due to ethno-nationalism — motivated your arrogant comment to me : “One should know more about things before posting them”.

Your subsequent bigoted babble was irrelevant to my point (May 3rd, 2012 at 6:59 pm): “Nikola Pilic is Croat from Yugoslavia, so Novak is first Serbian who won GS. There is no such thing as Yugoslavs (as nation) it was always Serbs, Croats, Slovenians etc. Yugoslavs were people from mix marirages who didn’t want to insult one of the parents. Same as Ana Ivanovic is first Serbian girl who won GS even Monika Seles won 8-9 of them but for Yugoslavia as Hungarian born in Serbia. She never took Serbian citizenship, but she did get Hungarian few years back…”

I find your bigoted comments about Monica Seles particularly disturbing given that Seles was born in Novi Sad in then Yugoslavia — you cannot take that away from her. Today Novi Sad is the second largest city in Serbia. Seles won 8 of her 9 Grand Slam titles while she was still a citizen of Yugoslavia. The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia broke up by 1992. After Seles became a US citizen in 1994, Seles won her 9th Slam in 1996 (her first after her stabbing). She became a Hungarian citizen only in 2007. What you said just shows your attitude to non-Serbians.

Regardless, Niki Pilic was officially a Yugoslav citizen in the 1970s. There is no need highlight 1970s Pilic as a Croat… or give us your bigoted revisionist history on the factional divisions between the Yugoslav peoples. Pilic saw beyond Djokovic’s Serbian ethnicity in 2000 — a few years after the ethnic tensions erupted between Serbs and Croats — to train the boy for a reduced fee and later Pilic helped Serbia’s Davis Cup team.

In the 1960s and 1970s, though there were secessionist movements inside Yugoslavia, they were generally not violent and the majority of Yugoslavia’s citizens did not actively push for independence at that time (otherwise Yugoslavia would have already been in turmoil). There were internal divisions, separatist/secessionist movements and/or violence in many countries around the world at the time: Britain, Canada, Spain, France, USSR, Iraq, Turkey, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, China, many African states, Indonesia, Italy, etc, etc.

What I said above is what is relevant to my original comment and your initial response.

The rest of your bigoted mumbo jumbo is irrelevant to our original issue.

Besides, if you can’t get your few facts right, you have lost your credibility to lecture us. You still insist on pushing your debunked propaganda: “About JAT plane, well that theory is plain stupid, of course nobody claimed responsibility because they would lose support of countries where they lived and trained, do I have to tell where was that?” Wake up: what’s far more stupid is that anyone still believes a human person can survive after falling over 6.5 MILES through the sky. Any objective person can read this article and do their own checking: “Too good to be true? Miracle woman who survived ’33,000ft fall’ Forty years after a bomb on a Yugoslav jet, the official account is still being called into question”
http://tinyurl.com/7s8wohw

Yes, I knew those 19 Croatian exiles were from Australia. Now give us a CREDIBLE source (preferably non-Serbian) to prove there were “14 (civilian) victims with names and graves” of that 1972 incursion… because different sources said different things (from the attacks were prevented, no one was killed to lower casualty numbers). The worse case scenario is that 15 people were killed in two terrorist incidents within a 20 year period… that’s relatively low compared to far more frequent and violent acts of terrorism around the world.

I could have debunked more of your examples but it would waste time. The other incidents you mentioned did not happen inside Yugoslavia: the “killing of Yugoslav ambassador in Stockholm… hijacked plane in USA” were sporadic terrorist attacks by Croat exiles (living outside Yugoslavia) on Yugoslav political/embassy and travel targets in places like Europe, Australia and USA — outside Yugoslavia.

It’s clear your ethno-nationalist prejudices and bigotry cloud your thinking. Google and read “Xenophobia, Fantasy and the Nation: The Logic of Ethnic Violence in Former Yugoslavia”. Also Google Fred Singleton’s “A Short History of the Yugoslav Peoples”.

We’re done.


Wog boy Says:

13 people killed by ustasha terrorist group Fenix jun/july1972:
Milos Popovic 1934-1972
Branko Blecic. 1953-1972
Luka Bosnjak. 1926-1972
Kasim Alijagic. ? -1972
Ismet Colic. 1951-1972
Ahmo Gelic. 1943-1972
Franjo Ivanda. 1930-1972
Stjepan Radic. 1935-1972
Milan Sabljic. 1938-1972
Branko Ljubicic. 1946-1972
Franjo


Wog boy Says:

Didn’t finish:

Franjo Grbesic. 1934-1972
Mile Odak. 1936-1972
Marijan Bradic. 1949-1972

One more thing, I wasn’t born Serbian ( same as Monika Seles), but I was born in Serbia (same as Monika) and I live overseas 30 years but I took Serbian citizenship though I didn’t have to. Monika could do the same thing but she chose to take Hungarian one instead, what is fair enough but that makes Ana Ivanovic first Serbian to win GS. This makes me not qualified for you definition of ethno-nationalist, my father wasn’t Serbian but was loyal to Serbia and he raised me same way.


jane Says:

Wog Boy, history is just so sad. :( Maybe you should come join the bracket challenge? It’s fun on there! This draw is tough to pick though – especially Isner’s section.


Dave Says:

Wog Boy, I asked for a credible source (e.g., non-Serbian newspaper reports) to back your claims about Yugoslavs killed in 1972. But you have provided no credible source to support your case. Instead you’ve listed 13 people (down from 14 people you claimed before) whom you claim were “killed by ustasha terrorist group Fenix jun/july1972″.

What you do not tell us is that — even if your figure of 13 killed is true — none of them were civilians. Those you listed were all were members of Yugoslavia’s police and territorial defence militia sent to quash the 19 Croatian HRB terrorist insurgents (those terrorists were not local Yugoslvs but exiles living abroad — the aim of Operation Pheonix to turn the Croation Spring from a goal of greater economic automy within Yugoslavia (which most Yugoslavia’s Croatians supported at the time) into a revolution that would collapse the country and bring about an independent Croatian state (which most Yugoslavia’s Croatians did not support at that time). Hundreds of Yugoslav militias were sent to confront the terrorists. So your armed Yugoslavs were killed during their armed battles with the cornered Croatian terrorists from abroad. Yugoslav forces killed 15 terrorists and captured the remaining 4 terrorists. Thus the terrorist attacks were prevented, and no civilians inside Yugoslavia were killed.

So far I have found only 1 Yugoslav civilian killed (in 1968) inside Yugoslavia by terrorism throughout 1960s and 1970s. That’s very low compared to most other countries with secessionist/separatist movements. Nothing to be that sad about until things took a turn for the worse in the 1980s.

You wrongly claimed “end 60s begining 70s Maspok ( google it) happened in Croatia wanting independence”. Nope. Maspok (“mass movement”) was the Croation Spring driven by Yugoslav’s Croats — at end 1969s and early 1970s, they really wanted democratic and economic reforms as well as greater rights for Croatia within Yugoslavia… which led to the change in the constitution in order to reduce the domination of Serbians in the system. You want me to go on and keep correcting you? If you want to criticize me for not knowing stuff, you better know what you are talking about — but so far all you are telling are serbian folktales which I have debunked.

So what if Monika Seles chose not to take Serbian citizenship after how she was treated by Serbians and Croatians while she was playing — I remember there was a lot of criticism against her even from Serbians. She was probably fed up with all the ethno-nationalism and bigotry. Bottom line, Seles was born in Novi Sad (Yugoslavia) and she won about 8 Slam titles while she was a citizen of Yugoslavia.

It doesn’t matter if you weren’t born an ethnic Serbian or that you adopted Serbian citizenship while living abroad… you were still born in Serbia and seem to have been socialized by Serbian ethno-nationalists. Hence your ethno-nationalist attitudes. Just because a person is a Serbian born in Serbia or a Croatian born in Croatia does not make him an ethno-nationalist… it’s whether he has been indoctrinated by ethno-nationalism and chooses to follow those ideas without question. As I showed with the case of the JAT Yugoslv Airlines Flight 367, you were not willing to consider the new evidence that has become public knowledge since 2009.


Brando Says:

@Dave:

I agree re your take on cristiano ronaldo. For me he also falls short of the big 4 that you listed.

Good post re CR7 and nadal/ borg there.


Steve 27 Says:

Cristiano is a selfish top scorer, let see his performance at Poland and Ukraine. He has 27, at his peak, hopefully not disappoint, as 4 years ago against Germany in the quarterfinals of the euro.


Dave Says:

Thanks Brando. The knock on CR is supposed to be his selfishness. But he has matured a lot since his early Manchester United days, and is much less selfish nowadays for a striker (of course, compared to Messi, most strikers look selfish). In his 37 Spanish La Liga matches this season, Ronaldo scored 45 goals on 255 shots — but he also had 12 assists to help his team mates score goals. In comparison, Messi played 36 La Liga matches, scored 50 goals on 195 shots — and also had 15 assists. So if Messi is lauded as an unselfish striker, we have to admit that Ronaldo is not that far away. Unfortunately his reputation for being selfish and showboating in his youth have followed him… but the reality is he has improved. And he still has at least 2 to 3 more years to try to give Messi a run for his money.

If you ask me who was Manchester United’s greatest player, a lot of people today think it’s Ryan Giggs because of his longevity, talent and contribution over the years. But it’s always been George Best for me (although Dennis Law and Bobby Charlton and Giggs were not bad as well). Now I think Ronaldo has earned his place alongside Best as the greatest Man U players ever.


Nayeem Huq Says:

Federer has career titles on all surface/environments that include Hard, Clay, Grass, Indoor, Outdoors.

Nadal’s performance fades outside the clay season.
Since winning US Open 2010, Nadal did not win a single top level singles title (Grand slam/Masters/ATP tour finals) on either grass, hard court or indoors!

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