Federer Finds A Way To Reach Madrid SF, Djokovic Doesn’t; Berdych v Del Potro Saturday
by Staff | May 11th, 2012

Novak Djokovic suffered the same fate as Rafael Nadal at the Madrid Tennis Masters. A day after Spanish favorite Nadal was ousted by Fernando Verdasco, Djokovic lost to his own countryman Janko Tipsarevic 7-6, 6-3 in the quarterfinals Friday.

Like Nadal, Djokovic grumbled all week of the controversial slick blue clay and today the low-to-the-ground Tipsarevic took advantage punishing the World No. 1 with accurate groundstrokes that caught Novak off balance.

“I’ve never won a Masters Series event. It would be something new,” said Tipsarevic. “Beating the world number one should give me enough confidence to think that I can, especially a defending champion from last year.”

After the match Djokovic maintained his stance from Thursday saying he would not return next year unless changes were made to the surface.

”I want to forget this week as soon as possible and move on to the real clay courts,” Djokovic said. ”Here you can’t predict the ball bounce or movement.They can do whatever they want, but I won’t be here next year if this clay stays.”

Following his stunning exit Thursday, Nadal was already back in Mallorca where he posted on Facebook that we went fishing Friday. “A beautiful day to go fishing in Mallorca!!”

Federer, who survived a tough test in his opener against rising Milos Raonic, was in control scoring a 13th straight win over Spaniard David Ferrer 6-4, 6-4.

“I’m always pleased beating a local hero in their own country, it’s never an easy thing to do,” said Federer who is the only Top 6 player to reach the semifinals. “I’m extremely pleased to be in the semifinals because it’s really been a tough draw for me.”

The Swiss who will return to the No. 2 ranking by winning the title has now won six straight sets on the blue clay.

The earlier semifinal will pit big men Juan Martin Del Potro against Tomas Berdych. Del Potro ran his clay streak to 10 (22-0 in sets) after easily beating Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 6-4.

Tomas Berdych had his way with Nadal-conqueror and Madrid native Verdasco 6-1, 6-2. The Czech has lost a total of five games in his last two matches.

“I feel great,” said Berdych. “I’m in another semifinal, second in a row. To beat Fernando made me feel great. It is always tough to beat Fernando, even though the score looks quite easy. It’s not easy to beat a Top 20 player and he played great yesterday.”

Del Potro, though, has won three of four with Berdych including their last three all in straight sets.

“I’m expecting a really tough match,” Berdych said. “To play Juan Martin is always tough, he’s a great guy and he knows how to win the Grand Slams. He’s definitely back after his injury. So far this year, I have already lost to him and it would be nice to get him back now. I will try to do my best, to play my game, to be aggressive.”

The women’s semifinals feature Serena Williams, who pasted Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-3 Friday, against surprise semifinalist Lucie Hredecka of the Czech Republic. The 105th-ranked Hradecka stunned US Open champion Sam Stosur behind 19 aces.

World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka meets the steady Agnieszka Radwanska for the sixth time already this year, all won by the Belarussian.

“We play in almost every tournament now,” Azarenka said. “I’ve played her five times this year, but every match is different and I never look back on any of these matches. She’s a very tough opponent whenever we play and I have a lot of respect for her game. She has been showing incredible tennis this year.”

MANOLO SANTANA start 10:45 am
[1] V Azarenka (BLR) vs [4] A Radwanska (POL) – WTA
[Q] L Hradecka (CZE) vs [9] S Williams (USA) – WTA

Not Before 3:30 PM
[10] J Del Potro (ARG) vs [6] T Berdych (CZE) – ATP

Not Before 7:00 PM
[7] J Tipsarevic (SRB) vs [3] R Federer (SUI) – ATP
[5] S Errani (ITA) / R Vinci (ITA) vs E Makarova (RUS) / E Vesnina (RUS) – WTA-DOUBLES FINAL

Also Check Out:
Tomas Berdych Says Food Is Fuel For The Body, So He Doesn’t Risk Anything When Eating
Andy Murray Withdraws From Madrid Due To A Back Injury
Rafael Nadal Feels “Very Good”, But Still Cautious And Doesn’t Expect Much At Indian Wells
Serena Williams Admits She Doesn’t Like Playing Tournaments After The US Open
Andre Agassi Doesn’t Know If He’ll Play In The IPTL; Won’t Say Never To Coaching [Video]

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186 Comments for Federer Finds A Way To Reach Madrid SF, Djokovic Doesn’t; Berdych v Del Potro Saturday

skeezer Says:

From Fox Sports:

Federer, however, said only: “If you want to be a good claycourt player, you must be able to play everywhere.

“Madrid has taken a gamble with blue clay. It’s always a little different here because of the altitude and we must sit down with the other players to discuss it.

“It is slippy, there’s no doubt about that but that has been the case here for a few years. They haven’t yet found the perfect balance. Our job each day is to adapt to the conditions that we face.”


skeezer Says:

If Fed gets by Tipsy( Tipsy has played Fed very rough at times )…if…Delpo or Tbird will be a very tough player to beat. They are both playing like monsters right now.
Regardless, it has been a tough draw for Fed, Milos in the first round??? And now beating Homeboy #5 World Ranked Ferrer to get to the Semis? Go Fed!

Michael Says:

Great players should adapt to the conditions irrespective of how harsh they are. It is good Roger has while players like Novak and Nadal are grumbling about the playing surface. The conditions are the same for all the players and as professionals you are expected to grind it out and produce the desired results. Now after Nadal, Novak too has issued this veiled threat of boycotting the tournament next year which is definitely not in good taste. I am sure the ATP takes strong actions against these players irrespective of their stature to deliver the right message. You cannot take things beyond a point.

Michael Says:

Why not they think of the blue surface as a hard court and just play ?? The surface is suited for aggressive players and right now Berdych looks quite menancing and may go as far as to win the tournament. If it is Roger Vs Berdycy I would say 55:45 in Roger’s favour and on the other hand if it is Del potro Vs Roger, I would put it at 35:65. That is however if Roger manages to down Tipsaveric which I hope he would.

Djokowins Says:

Federer is the biggest hypocrite of all.

He keeps whining, complaining and doing everything he could while playing on slow bouncy hard courts.

Now that he is getting a fast clay which suits his game, he is talking about “adaptability”.

Djokowins Says:

Federer would be back to his whining best when he sees a bouncy court (be it hard, grass or clay).

More than the speed of the court, its the bounce which he is scared of. The bounce exposes his weak back hand.

I hope Nole calls out when Federer whines about a bouncy court.

It would be great if Nole comments “If you want to be a good player, you must be able to play everywhere without whining”

Fedalovic Says:

Wow, I’ve read a lot of comments on a lot of different websites and this blue clay court thing is getting a lot of attention.

There seems to be a lot of arguments saying how bad it is: not good prep for the FO, slippery, unpredictable bounce, etc.

Firstly – not good prep? Players have only 2 weeks to prep for Wimbledon after the FO that consists of 4 tournaments (2 each week) – I haven’t heard Nadal or Djokovic complain about this. Maybe they should, and maybe then the grass major will be shifted.

Secondly – variable bounce? Probably, but then they should get rid of the lines that cause the ball to skid through.

I agree that players have a right to voice their opinion – they are the ones playing the game and they actually do know best – but the ones who are able to suck up the variables are the ones most deserved of their good results. No good complaining about the fact you can’t adapt.

Thirdly, and in opposition to the first 2 – slippery? Most definitely. No-one wants to injure themselves. Wet courts are slippery – no-one plays on these. Why shouldn’t it be the same for obviously ill-prepped Madrid show court? The organizers most likely knew the court wasn’t satisfactory well before the tournament began, but the tournament was forced to continue
because of (and I’m speculating here) money.

However, at the end of it all, play or don’t play. It’s an unfortunate position the organizers of the tournament have put the players in, but I’ve always said if you’re on the court you are fit to play and are accepting of the circumstances.

bhargava Says:

nadal and djoker must learn from federer on how to adapt to all conditions.anyhow surface is same for all players

bhargava Says:

ATP must take strong action against players who take issue out of proportion and threaten to boycott events

mrmilbury Says:

Federer never complained even after the change of the court at Wimbledon.
As years go by the english court became more similar to some green clay than grass.
He played, he lost but he never complained saying something like:”If they don’t go back to a fast grass, next year I will not come”.

Playing tennis is their work, they don’t do anything else. Tiriac has made a big mistake when he decided to change the surface without the players advice, but Nadal and Djokovic are not talking like number one and two of world tennis.
May be they have to remember their early career when they were forced to play in every condition on every court.

And they have to respect other players who are enjoying and playing the tournament.

Djokowins Says:

Nole was not complaining because it doesnt suit his game, he was complaining because it was slippery and dangerous.
But all of Federer’s complain about slow and bouncy surfaces was just because his weak back hand was not able to handle it. Federer’s complain has nothing to do with safety.

Hope the difference is clear to everyone.

Dave Says:

‘unofficial’ ATP calculation of ranking points on Monday of Nadal (9105) and Federer (9430) — if Roger wins the title. If Roger loses in final, just deduct 400 points (9030). If Roger loses in semifinal just deduct 640 points (8790). Djokovic will be 11380. I said months ago that Federer could become No. 1 (the first since Rod Laver in 1970) even without wining a grand slam title this year — this will be even more plausible if he wins Madrid. And if he wins MAdrid, any grand slam title Federer wins this year (especially Wimbledon or US Open) will likely seal the deal.

Let’s not forget that Federer came in totally cold into his first match on ATP clay (blue clay no less) after a six-week layoff and had to deal with the toughest draw. Federer faced the most number of ‘hot players’: David Ferrer was the 4th best player in 2012 year-to-date ranking points (when he reached the quarterfinal after beating Almagro); Raonic was 8th in YTD ranking points (when he reached the second round); Tipsarevic is 12th (when he reached the semifinals); and Gasquet was 21st (when he reached the third round). See the ATP site’s singles race to London for the YTD rankings. Even in the usual ATP rankings, all of Federer’s opponents are in the top 23: Ferrer (6), Tipsarevic (8), Gasquet (18) and Raonic (23), and so will the finalist.

As well, Berdych and del Potro are two big guys who should be having problems running and turning on this surface, yet also had tough draws. And Tipsarevic had to deal with Gilles Simon (regardless of his dubious match against Djokovic.).

Yet Federer, Berdych, delpo and Tipsarevic all acted professionally and adapted to the conditions they had to work on, like any other worker is expected to do. (Djokowins: wake up, lay off the Slivovitz, and stop hallucinating: Federer won four Masters titles on the slowest clay courts on tour [Hamburg] and rolled over Nadal on the slowest, most bouncy hardcourts on tour [Indian Wells] — while he may have given his opinions in an adult manner, he never once threatened to boycott those events and he didn’t repetitively whine about it like a broken record or make a big drama of it. Get it?)

On the other hand Nadal and Djokovic acted like prima donnas sucking on sour grapes, and what’s worse they acted like extortioners when they threatened to boycott Madrid next year. What a disgrace for mens tennis to have the top two players acting so unprofessionally, selfishly and immaturely. If only what Djokowins said would happen: ‘It would be great if Nole comments “If you want to be a good player, you must be able to play everywhere without whining” ‘

“As for Tipsarevic, he refused to sing the party line, just like Tomas Berdych, who earlier had thrashed Verdasco 6-1, 6-2. “It’s not the color that is the problem,” Tipsarevic said. “The guys in the locker room are not complaining about the blue. It is just very, very slippery. The bounce is normal and nice. It is just very tough to defend. That’s why Rafa and Novak, the two best players at turning defense into attack, have had problems.”

The point Tipsarevic made is very pertinent. This is not a surface for defenders and grinders, but the world’s two best players are a little better than that. They lost because they allowed the issue to override their abilities. Had they lost to first-strike players such as Berdych or Juan Martin del Potro, who defeated Alexandr Dogopolov, or a fleet-footed mover such as Roger Federer, it would have been understandable. But they lost to poor mirror images of themselves.

There is only one answer to that: mental breakdown.

Berdych, a big man who might have been expected to struggle on this surface, seemed stronger in the head. “I grew up on clay,” he said. “I don’t see it as a disadvantage. I am not complaining at all. For me, there is no problem.”

Looking as if he played on blue clay all his life, Federer swept into the semifinals with a straight-set win over world No. 5 David Ferrer. “I don’t mind this kind of court,” Federer said. “Altitude is always going to be factor here, so that helps my game. But it is always good to attack no matter what kind of clay you are playing on. And remember, it has always been slippery here. This is just more so.”

Even the loser (David Ferrer) refused to blame the court. “Yesterday, I did really good (against Nicolas Almagro), but today I tried and (it wasn’t) good enough. I have no excuses,” Ferrer said.”



Verdasco: “I’m not complaining at all about the court. For me it’s no problem, it was slippery for everyone.”

Serena Williams also insisted she would not boycott the tennis tournament next year. “This is a tough surface and it’s extremely slippery,” the 13-time grand slam winner said after routing Maria Sharapova to reach the Madrid Open semi-finals. “If I’m not here next year, it won’t be because of the clay. “I don’t think there’s been any improvement in the courts over the week, but every clay court is different. “This is not the best court — definitely not what they play like at Roland Garros. But it’s what they use at Madrid. Maybe next year they’ll put more clay on it. When it’s hot, it gets more slippery. But that’s an element you cannot control and it goes for every clay court.”

Dave Says:

Djokowins: “Nole was not complaining because it doesnt suit his game, he was complaining because it was slippery and dangerous.”

What’s hilarious is that 95% of over 210 matches have been completed (mens, womens, singles, doubles, qualifying)… yet not even one report of injury or retirement. The irony of it is that the courts are slippery because Madrid was concerned by the player injuries in Monte Carlo… the steps they took to prevent the Monte Carlo injuries resulted in the extra slippery courts in Madrid. Madrid tried to do a good thing to protect the players but it backfired — yet both Nadal and Djokovic went ballistic because their selfish personal interests were affected.

King Federer Says:

good points dave.

djokowins. stop acting like a djokfart! you can always say certain courts suit your opponent better. but making statements like “i wont be back if they continue with blue courts” is immature. tennis existed before djokovic played and serbians watched tennis. it will still exist even after djokovic finishes his career. heck! tennis will even outlast his entire lifespan.

WTF were rafa/nole doing last year when the blue clay was proposed. why do you wait till you get burnt in your @$$ before complaining that the heat is a little too much.

if anything, this surface has exposed how pathetic these 2 counterpunchers would have been on the SW19 courts of 90s. these days the baseliners run ragged and the slickness of the grass around the baseline is lost allowing counterpunchers the luxury of staying back and not coming in. the madrid surface favors 1st strike tennis. no moonballing from the baseline till your opponent makes a mistake in frustration.

Roger Federer Fan Says:


Great posts !!!

I love this idea of using two different IDs (Dave and King Federer) to attack the posters with two different ways.
Keep it up. We need Dave to attack with skewed statistics and King Federer to attack with name calling and abusive posts.

But as I have told you before, please be careful in switching between different IDs.

Tennis Rookie Says:

Too much of surface tension here.

Sienna Says:

Dave just what I have just stated on a dutch site. Ofcoursethere needs to be worked on the courts and slippery sloap action but it is niot neccessairly more dangerous. Look at Monte Carlo. Poor Benneteau is maybe out for hiowlong? An elbow fraction is career threathening.

Just because Nadal Djokovic cannot win this tournement is no reason to try this new clay. I like the look very much and it could be a welcome new underground on the tour.

Mark Says:

@RF Fan. Finally!! The calibre of the Fedtards exposed.

Mark Says:

Hey skeez. Off topic. I know you like to visit the Rafaholics site because you said so. Anyway, have a look at Rafa’s catch!!!!

van orten Says:

as far as i know fed has won the australian open 4 times on a slow and bouncy court won miami and indian wells several times too..why should he complain…he complained about the us open being slowed down…and we all know he was right about that …u bunch of whiners…;-)

Wog boy Says:

Federer won AO only once on slow court and three times when it was fast and he complained in 2008 pretty loud when he found that surface has been slowed down.

Kimmi Says:

i was wondering why this qualifier is in the semi. she has the big game.

she hit more aces than serena in this tournament. today she is over-hitting (aces) serena.

racquet Says:

Roma draw: Fed/Djoko same half; Murray/Nadal the other. Juicy possible 2nd round matches: Nadal vs Raonic (poor Rafa); Nole vs Tomic; Murray vs Nalbandian. More later.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Wow, I’ve lost a lot of respect for Nole and Nadal this week. WHat a couple of whiney brats.

Mark Says:

@ racquet. What’s with the “poor Rafa”? Rafa has beaten Raonic before

Djokowins Says:

I agree with you Wog Boy.

Among current crop of players Federer was first one to ever bring this surface speed/slow issue during interviews.

Federer took this whining to a new level when he was smacked out of AO SF in 2008.

After Rafa won 2008 Wimby, he raised the same issue there too.

To my surprise he complained about “slowing down” at USO also, which absolutely does not have any base.

He keeps whining ever since Nole and Rafa started winning more of the grandslams.

alison hodge Says:

JMO for what its worth,personally ive never had a problem with different surfaces,surely thats all part of it,and it does add to the excitement,some players adapt better than others(point taken),the only issue i have is players safety,Rafa and Nole both said they were struggling with movement,concentrating on trying to stay on there feet,they are very competitive players,and surely want to go onto a tennis court happy and in the right frame of mind to compete at the best of there abilities,isnt that the whole idea 2 tennis players on a tennis court able to compete at 100 percent of there capabilities.

racquet Says:

@mark – “Rafa has beaten Raonic before”

I know, just commenting that it’s a tough 1st match.

Mark Says:

@racquet. Somehow I can’t find the draw on the ATP site. Do you have the draw link?

racquet Says:

@mark – it’s not up yet but this pic is something to refer to in the meantime ;)


Skeezer Says:

Fed has stated that the surfaces over the years have slowed down. So what? He ‘s won 16 Slams on them. AND he never threatened a tournament that he was never coming back unless the meet his surface demands.

And BTW Djokerwins, Your bouncy court argument thingy needs some tweaking. You keep harping on it when the last man to take down Djoker at a GS was on very high bouncy stuff, who was that? The Maestro.

john Says:

at least roger never threaten the organizers like novak and rafa
roger is such a class act,but rafa and novak wow??
so if the surface is not suited for them then they whine and threaten the organizers,this shows what type of sportsman they really are

Kimberly Says:

Lebron MVP going to be announced today for those that care.

john Says:

What sort of intimidating behavior is this? Nadal and Nole after losing are turning out to be sore losers. They lost and now the surface is bad? No doubt it is not like the normal clay but then we need different clay surfaces as well. Was Roger complaining when they slowed the surfaces at Wimbl’ or any other hard court in the world? Tennis and the world needs to evolve with changing times. If clay was predominantly for baseline grinders then it’s good that ATP made the clay court faster for Madrid and gave other people a chance as well. Nadal being critical about courts is the extreme of being hypocritical. He was the one who pushed for slowing down the courts and now when he is at the receiving end of one he is threatening to quit…wow..what a nice example he is setting.

Kimberly Says:

Serena is going to beat Azarenka

Nims Says:

It’s a pity that so many people rant about Nadal’s attitude. Afterall he is going to be the 2012 FO Champion.

Does he care about Madrid? It’s a simple no. Would he have reached the Final if he cared? Yes, he would have reached the Final.

It’s bullshit to say Rafa cannot adapt. It’s simply he does not want to adapt. Period.

If we talk about adapting, then we should talk about how Rafa adapted to Grass and beat Roger, whereas Roger is yet to beat Rafa on FO. That’s real adaptability, not winning a meaningless Masters tournament.

Lulu Iberica Says:

There are good points on all sides of this issue. Obviously, the courts being slippery (according to a long list of players, winners and losers alike) is a problem that needs to be fixed. On the other hand, there was definitely too much b!tching about it, and Rafa and Novak let it get into their heads and negatively affect their games. That being said, if they believe that this court causes them to alter their movements such that they are risking injury to their hips (as Rafa stated), especially a few weeks before RG, then I think they are right to skip the tournament next year. Hopefully, the issues will get ironed out and that won’t be necessary.

Skeezer Says:

Lulu Iberica,

Good fair asessment ;)

Djokowins Says:

Nobody cares who is going to win this irrelevant tournament.

Djokowins Says:

“And BTW Djokerwins, Your bouncy court argument thingy needs some tweaking. You keep harping on it when the last man to take down Djoker at a GS was on very high bouncy stuff, who was that? The Maestro.”

It was a well known fact that FO 2011 conditions were really fast mainly because of the lighter and low bouncing balls.

Djokowins Says:

“AND he never threatened a tournament that he was never coming back unless the meet his surface demands.”

I am reposting this again for you.

Nole was not complaining because it doesnt suit his game, he was complaining because it was slippery and dangerous.
But all of Federer’s complain about slow and bouncy surfaces was just because his weak back hand was not able to handle it. Federer’s complain has nothing to do with safety.

Hope the difference is clear to everyone.

Djokowins Says:

“Fed has stated that the surfaces over the years have slowed down. So what? He ’s won 16 Slams on them.”

Complaining has nothing to do with whether he has 16 or not.

Why didnt he complain before 2008 ??
He started compaining when it became obvious that he cannot win anymore majors because of Nole and Rafa.

Nims Says:

Djokowins says “But all of Federer’s complain about slow and bouncy surfaces was just because his weak back hand was not able to handle it. Federer’s complain has nothing to do with safety.”

I believe Novak also complained that the courts are very slow at both AO and IW.

Not sure what’s your point for Roger?

Wog boy Says:

I am pretty sure that Novak said that IW suits his game, as for AO, he deffinitely enjoys playing downunder as he stated few times, he won three out of the last five. Maybe he stated they are slow but not complained, that is for sure.

Delpo is break up and playing well, Go Delpo!

Daniel Says:

“Does he care about Madrid? It’s a simple no. Would he have reached the Final if he cared? Yes, he would have reached the Final.”

He should have, because he may lose the n. 2 ranking (if Fed wins) during the clay season, when he is expected to shine and may impact RG seedings if Nadal and Djoko face off in the semis.

Nadal fans are assuming Nadal should skip this tourney just because never suited his game. But this is still clay and Nadal only one 1 out of 4 times the tourney was held on clay. Have to agree with Dave’s claim on this one: “Nadal king of only red clay”:)

Wog boy Says:

I jinxed him, sorry Delpo:(

Djokowins Says:

A win or a loss at Madrid is just irrelevant.

skeezer Says:

“Hope the difference is clear to everyone.”

Err…No, it’s not.

“It was a well known fact that FO 2011 conditions were really fast mainly because of the lighter and low bouncing balls.”

Have a link for that? Actually The new babalot balls created a higher bounce. I have a link for that.

Your cherry picking….

If you think this tournament is irrevelant why are you continually posting about it?

Your starting to whine now….

Djokowins Says:

“If you think this tournament is irrevelant why are you continually posting about it?

Your starting to whine now….”

LOL….It was not my statement.
Federer told the media that his loss in Madrid 2010 was IRRELEVANT.

Not me….Federer was the whiner.

dari Says:

Ah! Both nervy in that tiebreak, and tomas managed it. Was ready to celebrate Juan martin coming back in the TB, then that nothing backhand from delpo…

The beginning of the set was some.great tennis though. Go delpo!

dari Says:

Berdych, wow, breaks JM first game

senthil Says:

Breaking news:

Nadal,Djokovic called Federer to lose the SF match to make Madrid final as boring one. Roger Federer has written compliant to ban top two players to ATP.

Wog boy Says:

Berdych is sharper, Delpo is nervous.

skeezer Says:

Delpo breaks!

racquet Says:

Delpo breaks back.

Dave Says:

Nims: “If we talk about adapting, then we should talk about how Rafa adapted to Grass and beat Roger, whereas Roger is yet to beat Rafa on FO”


Pop Quiz 1: In 2003, 17-year old Rafa Nadal became the youngest male to reach the third round since 1984 of which Grand Slam tournament? (A) French Open (B) Wimbledon. [He beat Mario Ancic, the conquerer of Federerin 2002]

Pop Quiz 2: If a player could do so well on grass in 2003, how come it takes him until 2008 to adapt to grass? [Warning: do not read this question until you answer questtion 1... oops, too late]

Pop Quiz 3: In 2004, Rafa Nadal reached his first career ATP final on which type of surface? (A) Clay Court (B) Hard Court

Pop Quiz 4: In 2003, Rafa Nadal reached his first career Challenger final on which type of surface? (A) Clay Court (B) Indoor Carpet

Pop Quiz 5: In 2008, when Rafa Nadal played the best non-clay match of his life to barely win — in near darkness — his only grass court match against the mononucleosis-compromised Federer, who didn’t play his very best, how many of the 413 points did Nadal win versus Federer? (A) 210-203 (B) 209-204

Pop Quiz 4: In 2009, when Roger Federer overcame a Spanish streaker to crush Robin Soderling — the conquerer of Nadal (who had shown no signs of injury during the tournament) — at the French Open final, where was Rafa Nadal? (A) not at the French Final, but licking his wounds at his vacation (B) not at the French final, but thanking his lucky stars he wasn’t playing Federer that year after losing to Roger in straight sets at the 2009 Madrid Open… on red clay (7 months after leading Spain to Davis Cup victory in Madrid).

dari Says:

Got a link, senthill?


now that’s a start to get back in it. Vamos juan

skeezer Says:


Did u hear that music in between breaks? Shhhhaammoon!

Kimmi Says:

skeezer – you mean the kelly clackson song? the DJ has been playing that almost every change of ends :))

Kimmi Says:

go delpo please!

skeezer Says:

No …. MJ ;)

Blame it on the Boogie, MJ

“I just can’t, I just can’t, I just can’t, I just can’t control my feet.”

Poetic for the Gang who is out.

Dave Says:

Roger Federer Fan: “I love this idea of using two different IDs (Dave and King Federer) to attack the posters with two different ways. Keep it up. We need Dave to attack with skewed statistics and King Federer to attack with name calling and abusive posts. But as I have told you before, please be careful in switching between different IDs.”

I love the idea of maniacal Federer-haters who use six different IDs (you know who they are) to attack posters in six different ways — all equally desperate, maniacal and idiotic. But as I have told you before, please be careful in switching between different IDs. Just because you are jealous of posters with substance doesn’t justify desperate, maniacal and idiotic personal attacks.

dari Says:

Hahahah, that’s a good one, skeeze, didnt hear it!

I see Berdych girlfriend in the stands, why delpo never has one?

Mark Says:

There we go! Delirious Fedtard at work. Wonder who he is? Does his name start with” D”? “D” is for desperate . Must admit he does try hard!! Pfffft!

skeezer Says:

Pfft? Is that a fart? What is that? A nose blowing perhaps?

C’mon Delpo!

dari Says:

Oh, ace on match point against. Do it, delpo!

jane Says:

Close match! I had a feeling Berdych would win though. Congrats to him.

dari Says:

Awww, couldn’t get a tiebreak, delpo.
Surprisingly, tomas was the one who held his nerves today.
Congrats on him to the final.
JM not doing well in tiebreaks this year or so, is my gut feeling. I wonder if i cam find a stat…
Anyway, bring the goods in rome, too delpo.
Leys go roger

Kimmi Says:

berdych was the steady one i think. too bad for delpo.

has berdych won the masters 1000 before? I think so. Was it Shanghai he won?

Mark Says:

Berdych is more capable of beating Fed than Delpo is (that is assuming Fed gets thru). If Delpo doesn’t watch out he will fracture his wrist again.

racquet Says:

Jane, yep me too. Delpo still suffers from a few mental lapses and lets things get to him (the court, the umpire) but credit to Berdy. I think he’ll give Fed a tougher fight, assuming Fed wins later.

dari Says:

Agree with all, Berd is always a boogie man as a fed fan. He’s gotta beat janko first, then i would look forward to the challenge

dari Says:

Berdych won miami I think kimmi

dari Says:

Or paris

jane Says:

racquet, it is kind of surprising we’re saying Berdych was the more mentally tough one isn’t it? For years, he wasn’t.

Kimmi, Berdych has won a masters – in Paris 2005. He reached the finals in Miami a couple years ago but Roddick beat him.

NachoF Says:


why do you say DelPo is in danger of hurting his wrist again?

Mark Says:

Old man up next. Yawwwwwwn!

Mark Says:

@NachoF. Because he bends his wrist and hits the ball with all his might.

Sean Randall Says:

Dave, since you didn’t provide a link can I assume you authored that pop quiz post? If you did then well executed, it’s PURE COMEDY GOLD!

2008 Wimbledon final: “Rafa Nadal played the best non-clay match of his life to barely win — in near darkness — his only grass court match against the mononucleosis-compromised Federer, who didn’t play his very best” – AWESOME! I had no idea Fed was still battling or compromised by mono during what many consider the greatest match ever played.

2009 French Open final: “In 2009, when Roger Federer overcame a Spanish streaker to crush Robin Soderling” – That streaker was tough, but don’t forget, he also overcame mono, right?

I’m just thankful I wasn’t eating lunch while reading your post, Dave, otherwise I would have ruined by keyboard spitting up my soup in laughter.

As I said, you have quite the imagination. Keep at it!

Dave Says:

After Federer beat Berdych in last November’s 2011 Paris indoor semifinals to become the first man to reach the finals of every Masters 1000 tournament, Tomas said: “I would say, and I’m pretty confident to say, that that’s the old Roger,” said Berdych. “You know, the years that he was really winning everything. We can count the unforced errors that he hit, like maybe, on the fingers on one hand, which is incredible. He started every set really great and just didn’t give me any chance at all.”

What do you call a moron who reads every word of my posts as well as yawns in anticipation of watching the “OLD ROGER”? Yes, that’s right — he’s a Monumental Moron.

Sean Randall Says:

As for the match, disappointed by Delpo who just can’t get that big win this year. I’m not surprised Berdych won – his flat, power game sets up well on this surface – but Delpo can’t let those two TB calls get to him that much.

Tipsarevic is an offensive player who can give Federer trouble but if Roger plays well he’ll prevail.

Kimmi Says:

thanks dari and jane.

Dave Says:

Sean, more important issue than my imagination — how many questions did you get right?

Watch video in link. Ask yourself: had that Spanish streaker attacked you in the middle of the French Open final, what would have happened to your game?

Wimbledon 2008 may have been the greatest match ever played, but it certainly was not anywhere near the greatest match Federer ever played, otherwise he would have played better in the first 2.5 sets.

And yes, Federer was compromised throughout 2008 by his bout with infectious mononucleosis (called “glandular fever” in Europeans). This was confirmed not only by the Swiss Olympics chief medical doctor but also by Federer’s highly renowned conditioning coach, Pierre Paganini. In 2009, Pierre Paganini offered his insight on the impact of mono on Federer in 2008:

Q: “In 2008 (Federer) was set back by glandular fever. In your view, when did he recover from this, athletically?”

Paganini: “Last year (2008), he lacked always two or three percent. Glandular fever is a really hard thing. And then the back pain came in the fall, that did not help either. I would say that from 2009 he was again his old self. But it was sensational, the way he fought through everything in 2008, even though he was limited. That limitation makes a big difference at this high level, and challenged him mentally to the extreme. 2008 was from the mental side one of his best years.”

Roger Federer Fan Says:


I am your well wisher.
We should not discuss too much about your split personalities (“Dave” and “King Federer”).

Leave this topic here. Mods (or Sean Randall) can very well find out that the posts from “Dave” and “King Federer” are from the same computer.

Keep posting Dave (and King Federer) !!!

Sean Randall Says:

Roger Federer Fan, sorry, I cannot find an “electronic” link between Dave and King Federer. They do appear to be two distinct usernames.

Dave, holy crap, so Federer had mono all of 2008! Since a man on Federer’s payroll said it it must be true!

racquet Says:

@sean – “holy crap, so Federer had mono all of 2008! Since a man on Federer’s payroll said it it must be true!”


carlo Says:

Dave, I left a couple posts for you on the “Nadal chokes on Blue Dirt…” thread. I think you didn’t read my post on 5/11/12 @ 7:12 pm. Never said Madrid was at 7,000ft! lol, it’s really hardly a high elevation city, imo, having lived at 5,500ft for much of my life.

Didn’t get to see the Delpo semi. Really bummed.

max Says:

Nims Says:

“Does he (Rafa) care about Madrid? It’s a simple no. Would he have reached the Final if he cared? Yes, he would have reached the Final”

So, are you implying he tanked the match? In other words, when he was 5-2 in the third he looked up at uncle Toni and he kind of asked him “should I stay or should I go?”…like that 80′s pop song by The Clash.

In hindsight I might tend to agree with your assessment after all.

I wonder if Nole played the same song in his head against Tipsy.

Brando Says:

So let’s get this right: Feds loss to rafa in the wimby final 2008 can have an asterisk to it since he was suffering from mono BUT rafa’s loss to soda in FO 2009 had NOTHING to do with his knee injury? Fed was ‘compromised’ throughout 2008 with mono, back BUT rafa loss to delpo in USO 2009 had NOTHING to do with his ab injury? Oh okay- poor roger, only a FEW realise that he can NEVER lose a match when he is a 100%.

carlo Says:

No, Brando, who is saying asterisk on Wimbledon 2008 or AO 2008, or US open 2009, or FO 2009?

NO ASTERISKS imo, a win is a win full credit.

no asterisk on MC 2012, either. No excuses.

But there are reasons someone doesn’t come out playing their best – goes for all players. However, the better player on the day win. uhg, don’t you just get tired of excuses and pertaining to sport, there is a difference between reasons and making up excuses, imo. I might write an excuse for someone to miss school, but that’s not the same when talking sports. You show up to play and whatever the case, you win or lose.

Brando Says:

@carlo: maybe- BUT for some it seems that their fav CANNOT lose unless something is wrong with them! As opposed to the absurd idea that the other guy across the net was just PLAIN better on the day!

jane Says:

So many issues that come up somehow circle back to the Fedal world war. It’s like how everything in the 20th C, and even prior, is somehow tied to the Cold War. Take, for example, this blue clay drama. Even though a bunch of players complained of slipperiness, and the owner apologized and stepped down, we nonetheless arrive back at the tautology – Fed vs Rafa: who’s more adaptable? Who is classier? Who is right? Who is better? Nole gets thrown in there, too, since he’s an interloper in the duopoly, but it comes down to Fedal almost every time.

If Rafa wins the FO, he’ll have 11 slams, 5 away from Fed. This will amplify the tension and drama even more. I don’t expect the Fedal whirligig to end any time soon. Even when Nole was winning he was drawn into the mix. Maybe we’ll have more interlopers soon? Murray? Delpo? Raonic?

jane Says:

Anyone? Anyone? Beuller?

racquet Says:

I think he has the day off.

jane Says:

Ha, classic racquet. :)

Mark Says:

There is a desperado on this forum whose name begins with “D”. I do not think he has a mummy or daddy or wifey or kiddies since all he does is try to put across how much his head is stuck up Choc Boy’s A&&. Get a life!!

Brando Says:

Djokovic COULD have a NASTY Rome draw- delpo in qtrs, federer in sf, nadal in final- that’s tough! http://m.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2012/05/20/Rome-Draw-Preview-Djokovic-Nadal-Federer-Murray.aspx

jane Says:

^ And Tomic first match! Rafa could have Raonic and Murray could have Nalby – all tough first rounds.

jane Says:

I am going with Rafa to win Rome I think – just looking at the draw now. I think the winner will come from the bottom half for some reason.

Brando Says:

@jane: I’d probably go with rafa too! Feds probably going to win Madrid, so I think he’ll make the final from the top half. I cannot see nole beating delpo, fed and rafa after his performances on clay so far this year. Right now I’m thinking a fedal final for Rome.

carlo Says:

jane, you know I’m a Fed fan and used to be right in the fight defending fed at all costs in 2009. But really, I’m done with it. Rafa has a chance, still young enough, to pass Federer in GS’s, even if they are all FO’s and Wimbledons. Djokovic has a chance to pass Federer if he has more years like 2011. Advances in sport medicine have helped Rafa extend his career, and I used to be one that thought he would need to quit the sport sooner than later. Have changed my mind. And, even if neither Rafa or Nole break Roger’s records, eventually someone will. Who knows when? but they will, imo. At least you can’t rule it out.

All that said Federer right now represents the best tennis I’ve seen. Even that could change, but he’ll be my personal GOAT, unless someone similar and better shows up in my lifetime. I love and cheer Nole and respect Rafa but neither of them are to me, what I experienced watching Federer from 2002-2007 and in moments now. Yet, I can cheer against Fed for others to win a slam, like Murray….really Murray winning one is my mantra.

Come on Federer!! get this. yessssss!

Brando Says:

P.S: I’d love to see a rafole final though. JUST to see if MC was a one off or possibly of greater meaning.

jane Says:

Brando you should make some bracket picks – you too racquet!

Berdy vs Fed it is; this should make a good final.

carlo, nothing wrong with that. It’s just weird how issues that really don’t have anything to do with “Fedal World War” somehow get magnetized in that direction, like core gravity or something. Or all roads lead to Rome? ;)

Brando Says:

@carlo: EXCELLENT post! If fed is your personal GOAT/ fav then that’s how it should remain. At the end of the day, each to their own. No one should be forced to accept something they don’t go along with. Personally, I find this GOAT stuff a load of BS, hence I couldn’t care one way another regarding that. I’m a fan of rafa, and for me he’ll always be the best that I have seen to my liking, until maybe I take to someone else one day.

Brando Says:

@jane: I think I will- starting with Rome. By the way, well done on favouring berdych over delpo in the sf. Do you reckon tbird can win the final? I believe he has more of a chance than delpo against fed ATM.

jane Says:

Brando, I don’t know? Fed is in great form and playing really well on this surface. Maybe the Delpo test was slightly better preparation for the final for Berdych. Still, I have to lean towards Federer winning this event. He has worked his way into form. Berdych hasn’t won a bigger title in a long time, so he might be really pumped, but the fact that he has won only one Masters title in his career says something – he is not always the best “big match” player. It will likely hinge on accuracy and who has the better serving day. This surface has favoured the stronger servers. I’d pick Fed if I had my bracket to do over.

carlo Says:

Brando and Jane, I’m so tired of Fedal Wars…but it truly has a life of its own. Pretty sure it will continue on and on and on…until all stubborn Fedal warriors are dead and gone.

Berdych is due and I would bet he’s relishing the idea of beating Federer and believes he can. Actually, I lean toward Berdych winning. But he is one of the few I can’t cheer for when v the already trophy and title blessed Maestro. Go Federer in Madrid!!

Gut tells me, do not watch. Seeing the score later will suffice.

As for Rome, Wog boy, you need to get in asap, if you are going to join. There isn’t much time…well for you, you are probably sleeping. But this ATP masters 1000, Madrid, and MC gives us little time to pick and the qualifiers won’t be known. Good Luck!

Tennisfan Says:

It doesn’t surprise me that Djok whines about court conditions .. it surprises me a bit that Nadal can’t accept that different tournaments should present a spectrum of challenges.. But Nadal has been playing very frustrated as of late and I think his dominance in many ways is beginning to fade against many opponents. Federer amazingly seems to be able to handle any conditions no matter how extreme. I think thats why so many people know that he is the best tennis player so far to have played the game. That and the sublime elegance in how he moves and the incredible array of shots he commands. Fed is simply the best … and it would be a pure joy to see him reach no. 1 in the world one last time before his star fades … but will never be forgotten in the tennis world. Cheers!

Gordo Says:

Quite simply, Federer’s chances of winning the French Open improve if he wins tomorrow in Madrid, for then there would be a 50-50 chance Nadal and Djokovic would meet in the semi-finals at Roland Garros and Fed’s chances against Nole are better than they would be against Rafa.

Seriously – although it hasn’t happened yet, did ANY of you Federer bashes believe one year ago when you were telling him to retire that he would ever move ahead of Nadal in the standings again?

jane Says:

I would say most players probably complain about, discuss and/or debate court surfaces at times. Even Fed. Wasn’t it at last year’s USO he talked about the court being slower, that they had painted it differently or something? And he didn’t like the Swiss clay surface in DC this year. Anyhow, of course the surface they play on is an issue, since that can sometimes determine how well they play and move. It will probably always be a talking point – sometimes more than others, though, clearly.

Nims Says:

Of all the big hitters, Berdych is the guy capable of beating Roger consistently. It’s a bad matchup for Roger. With the kind of form Berdych in now, not sure if Roger has much of a chance. But reaching final is a good result for him.

jane Says:

Gordo, is Rome is still a factor for FO seeding or no?

Skeezer Says:

Well, Fed just did some surgery on Tipsy, 2 and 3 in a hair over an hour.

Birdsh!t is clobbering the ball. Hoping Fed can create some more magic tomorrow. Go Fed!

He’s getting more points everyday. Love it.

Dave Says:

Sean, I didn’t realize you were a cherry picker… and a cherry twister :) I said that Federer’s “infectious mononucleosis (called “glandular fever” in Europeans)” was “confirmed not only by the Swiss Olympics chief medical doctor but also by Federer’s highly renowned conditioning coach, Pierre Paganini.” Yet, you picked the second cherry (paganini) and twisted him into a sin of nepotism.

You conveniently chose to ignore the first cherry — Doctor Walter Frey, Phd. He is not just the head of Switzerland’s Olympics medical center for all Swiss Olympic athletes, he is also a renown sports medicine doctor. And no, he is not on Federer’s payroll. But the Swiss Olympics chief medical doctor had to assess Federer’s mononucleosis since the 2008 Olympics were coming up and Federer was a gold medal prospect for Switzerland (after all, in 2007 Federer won three Slams from four Grand Slam finals as well as won the World Tour Finals). In interviews with the Swiss newspapers (Tages Anzeiger and others), renown Doctor Walter Frey confirmed that (a) Federer played the Australian Open while suffering mononucleosis, (b) Federer’s spleen became dangerously enlarged because of the effort, (c) Federer would take longer to recover from mononucleosis because he over-taxed his body by playing the Australian Open with mononucleosis, and (d) mononucleosis is a difficult illness to overcome whose effects will linger for some time.

I only mentioned the first cherry again because you’re not happy with the second cherry.

Finally, I wish you would learn to understand what you read (but after your misinterpretations of the ATP toilet break rule I guess I shouldn’t expect too much). Note that neither the renown Paganini nor I claimed that “Federer HAD mono all of 2008!” — that was what you said, not us. What I said was that “Federer was COMPROMISED throughout 2008 from his bout with infectious mononucleosis (glandular fever)”… and what Paganini said was “Last year (2008), he lacked always two or three percent. Glandular fever is a really hard thing”. And that’s what the renown doctor Walter Frey said as well. Basically what it means is that while a bout of mononucleosis may be over in a few weeks, the effects on your body tend to linger. We’ve seen this in other tennis players and other athletes who suffered mono in tennis — their performance drops a level after they return or they are unable to return (Ancic, Soderling, Roddick, etc.).

So Nadal had to play his very best to beat a mononucleosis-compromised Federer over 413 points at 2008 Wimbledon final — that’s more points than the Nadal-Djokovic Australian Open final. Holy crap.

steve-o Says:

Woot! Roger into the final!

He brought some all-court magic with him today, and he’ll need it even more against Berdych.

dari Says:

Good for fed to fet to the final, improve on last year’s result. Berd the boogeyman is next, tough task, wish fed the best of luck and play and a safe final for both Keep going Rog

sheila Says:

i am a federer fan all the way. everytime i read this site, people r either criticizing nadal or federer. i have respect for both players & certainly have respect for djokovic as well. they r all gr8 players, but i get tired of the constant insults from whatever tennis fan u happen 2b. nadal, djokovic complain, so lets bring federer into the mix & call him a big whiner. gets old. as a federer fan i simply want federer to win because i happen to enjoy his style of play more than nadals or djokovic’s but these 2 guys r as gr8 but i always root for fed. whatever crap the media wants to fuel gets old. enjoy the tennis, root 4 the guy u want, & respect the guy you dont want to win. simple

steve-o Says:

@jane: there are often a lot of complaints about the surface. But I can’t remember when players threatened to boycott the tournament over it.

It sets a very bad precedent if the top players in the world are going to refuse to participate in the tournament over something like this. It’s pure bullying and threats: give us exactly what we want or we quit.

This means that a few players at the top can dictate terms to the tournament officials by threatening to pull out, and that is really unfair. The tour would fall apart.

There are other ways of resolving this than by making threats in press conferences.

90% of the problems with the surface are purely psychological, I feel. Maybe 10% of it is due to the surface, and of that 10%, even a smaller percentage may be due to the coloring process rather than the altitude and the fact that the courts are ripped up and relaid each year.

Because it looks different, everyone thinks it plays very differently, when most of the problems are in their head.

Gordo Says:

Jane – I don’t believe so, meaning Nole should be number 1, Fed # 2 (if tomorrow he beats Berdych who he has never lost to on clay)and Rafa #3.

Poor Milos. This is the 3rd Masters 1000 tournament in a row where winning the first round gets him a date with one of the top 4. Murray in Monte Carlo, Federer in Madrid and now Nadal in Rome). That boy needs to find points to get into the top 16 – and fast!

Sean Randall Says:

Dave, you are not just the most imaginative poster but also the most renowned! :)

Steve-o, so should the players have any say in the court surfaces or playing speeds of ATP tournaments?

skeezer Says:

Does anyone know if Fed loses tomorrow, could he overtake Rafa in Rome?

Tennisfan Says:

Federer would never threaten not to play a tournament because he doesn’t like/ think he can’t win on the courts. I am saddened to see other top players do not have as much class.

Sean Randall Says:

Skeeze, he should be able to. Rafa reached the finals last year so if he loses early the door would really be open for Fed. But winning tomorrow will help Roger’s cause!

jane Says:

This is what I am wondering skeeze – hence my question to Gordo. There must be different scenarios involving Rome, as well as the outcome at Madrid, in which either Fed or Rafa could end up seeded number 2 for FO. Unless Rome doesn’t count? But I think it does because there are still a couple of weeks after Rome until the FO.

steve-o, while I do feel like Nadal and Nole overdid it in voicing their concerns (I think after their comments post-first-match pressers, their point was made), it is nonetheless a player’s right to skip one masters event per calendar year, so if they choose to skip Madrid I don’t think they are going beyond their rights.

The blue clay surface may have its merits, though it arguably needs improving as it is clearly slippery this year (according to most players not just Nadal and Nole), and I am all for some variety – I would like to see one less clay masters and a grass one added for example – but given that it is timed as a lead up to Roland Garros and it plays drastically different, it seems like an “odd one out” in a way. Apparently, according to some (Simon, Gulbis, Isner), the courts there have always been kind of crappy in Madrid – maybe it’s just not a super well-run event? My thinking is why not have Rome and Monte Carlo, more traditional clay courts, as RG lead ups, and then make Madrid a grass masters? Just a thought, although I know it’s unlikely to happen.

Finally, I do not think Nole and Rafa are not classy because they have decided to voice their concerns, even if they could have said less. Nor do I think they are somehow not adaptable players – they both have slams or masters on various surfaces. Nole has won a YEC too. The media ask pointed questions and seek to build stories, frequently fuelled by controversy. Occasionally, I’ll ve surprised by a news article title claiming “so and so says shut the hell up!” or similar, and then when I read the article I discover so and so said no such thing.

jane Says:

p.s. I should say *I think* players are allowed to miss a Masters.

steve-o Says:

Sean: yes, they absolutely should.

However, boycotting is not an appropriate way to deal with such a comparatively minor issue.

There are evidently many decisions that tournaments undertake that the players have little to no say in.

Perhaps the ATP made a mistake trying to force this change through without getting player opinion on their side. But that’s a world away from threatening to quit because you don’t like the surface.

Did they have any say about the change in the Wimbledon grass speed?

What about when they changed the AO hard courts from Rebound Ace (green) to Plexicushion (blue)? Any threats to boycott?

What if Nadal doesn’t like the chairs at RG? Should he boycott?

You can see where this is going.

I’m telling you, 90% of it is the color change alone. If they had clay physically identical to the new clay, but red instead, the complaints would be much fewer.

jane Says:

Apparently the process of striping the brick so it can then be dyed blue is partly to blame for its slipperiness, so in that sense, the colour is to blame, because the colouring process itself makes it slick. Moya also said there was a “base” issue and Tiriac said something about rolling it too much – maybe the clay surface wasn’t bonding with the foundation or something, so they rolled it until it was too slick. There are clearly technical problems that need to be fixed.

Sean Randall Says:

Steve-o, does this sound like a “minor” issue. A majority of the men are complaining about the surface. It’s not minor. It’s not a small locker room. It’s not unwashed or dirty towels. It’s not a bad hotel. This is the ground they walk on.

And how many of the men have come out and said, “I would like to see this surface next year”? Surely someone has?

As you say, the players should have a say but in this case they didn’t. They’ve known about the impending change for over a year but despite their discontent their criticisms fell on deaf ears.

And who knows what meetings or discussions have taken place behind closed doors?

But since no player I’ve heard has supported the tournament said, “I hope they keep the surface the same for next”, I tend to agree that the courts need to be changed back. And if it takes a boycott/strike to get that done so be it.

I don’t mind the blue clay, but if the players are upset that doesn’t do us fans any good and it hurts the end product that we see. And I want to see good tennis.

Speaking of strikes/boycotts, the French Open just doled out more dough to players in part perhaps to avoid such a circumstance. So such a threat can work.

steve-o Says:

jane: I think the business about the surface causing problems with RG preparation is pretty spurious.

The grass season is a couple weeks long and there is only time for one prep tournament for Wimbledon.

That has never stopped the players from competing well at Wimbledon. And grass is said to be the trickiest surface to play on.

Nadal’s complaints, I believe, have nothing to do with the surface interfering with his preparation for RG. He has several times won non-clay Grand Slams (and/or been in the final) even with mediocre results and form in the run-up tournaments. Clearly he does not need extensive match play to prepare for Grand Slams.

For him it’s about maintaining a lock on clay season, which comprises the largest chunk of his ranking points. Losing Madrid threatens that and he wants it nice and slow so he can rake in his usual two or three clay Masters in a row.

Djokovic, I guess he’s peeved he didn’t get a chance to defend and he wants to stay #1.

That isn’t to say there aren’t technical problems, but I don’t think there’s any more than at many other tournaments.

I’m aware that they used a different process to dye the Madrid clay, but as I said, if they used the same process to prepare the clay, but with red dye instead of blue, the players probably wouldn’t make as much noise about the difference. They might just shrug and play on.

I disagree that what Nadal and Djokovic have said is harmless bellyaching. Many players have expressed their dislike of the surface, but there is a difference between that and making threats.

They may have the right to skip a Masters tournament, but public threats to walk away from the tournament if they don’t get what they want are a gauntlet that can’t go unanswered.

The ATP and tournament directors might well have been considering switching back to regular clay before this.

Now that Nadal and Djokovic have threatened to walk, they have a strong motivation to NOT switch back because they don’t want to look like they’re caving in, for the reasons I said earlier.

Even if they return to red clay for reasons totally unrelated to the top players’ protests, it will be interpreted as a capitulation to the demands of Nadal and Djokovic. And they don’t want to set the precedent of appearing to cave in when a player threatens to quit.

What Nadal and Djokovic said put everyone in a bad position, both players and tournament officials, and now whatever the outcome someone is going to lose face and end up unhappy when this whole thing could have been avoided if everyone had just taken a little more care about what they said and communicated their concerns in a more productive way. There was no need whatever for ultimatums.

My guess is that the tournaments keep the clay blue next year, but claim that they have worked very very hard to address the problems with slipperiness. Then what happens?

Nadal and Djokovic boycott, but Federer, Del Potro, Berdych, Murray play and one of them wins. Then Nadal and Djokovic lose points and then have to make them up from somewhere else.

Or Nadal and Djokovic will back down and then they look like blustering blowhards.

There is no good out, and aside from the initial high-handedness of the ATP in implementing this in spite of player opposition–and I point out that tournaments have been just as high-handed in the past, and no threats or even serious complaints were made then–the tour officials have been pretty reasonable and have, at least in public, professed to be addressing the players’ concerns.

Tennisfan Says:

Sean Randall: Just glad your not on the circuit with Djok. … doesn’t sound like there be many tournaments played nextyear :)
There are other ways to voice your opinion than the classless way they handled it … bit of prima I’ m sort of hoping to see the quick rise of guys like Raonic and Dolgolpolov to buffer some of the chirpers at the top.

grendel Says:

jane – it is hard to deny that the vociferousness of Nadal and Djokovic owed much to their being unexpectedly beaten by their own compatriots. It’s not all that, clearly, but it comes into it. And they are a little bit diminished by it. Also, publicly announcing a boycott is both melodramatic and, as steve-o has said, carries a whiff of bullying. It is, after all, clear that the organizers are embarrassed and will do anything they can to rectify the situation. They have a year to do it in, and this time it is certain that player consultation will be welcomed. If, after all that, either Nadal or Djokovic or both are unsatisfied and still wish to withdraw, they can do so quietly and without fuss – that is their right.

w.r.t the Fedal business, there is nothing surprising about it. It used to be Federer versus Sampras, endless angry and partisan posts would fill the ether. “Two incher!” screamed one Sampras man at a Federer man (or was it the other way round?) and so on and so forth. You always get this sort of thing when two giants compete for top spot, not just in tennis, and not just in sport. Few of us are immune.

Sean Randall Says:

Steve-o, you write “That has never stopped the players from competing well at Wimbledon. And grass is said to be the trickiest surface to play on.”

Really? How many times did Corretja, Costa, Kuerten, Moya, Muster, Berasategui and Bruguera play Wimbledon???

They hated the Wimbledon grass so much they didn’t even bother showing up!!

And from reports Murray did his own mini Madrid boycott this year.

jane Says:

grendel, ” it is hard to deny that the vociferousness of Nadal and Djokovic owed much to their being unexpectedly beaten by their own compatriots. ”

They were vociferous *before* they lost to their compatriots – both of them. Look at their prematch interviews and their post match interviews, after their first matches. In both cases, they complained of the same things then that they complained of afterwards. I do wish we could see full pressers so that we could see what they were asked.

steve-o “That isn’t to say there aren’t technical problems, but I don’t think there’s any more than at many other tournaments.”

I’ll bet the players would disagree! :)

jane Says:

Roddick, Murray and Rafa also threatened to strike due to weather issues, and bubbles on the court, at the USO this year. So it’s not (ahem) ground-breaking that Nole and Rafa have said they’ll leave Madrid off their calendar.

jane Says:

Roddick, Murray and Rafa also threatened to strike due to weather issues, and bubbles on the court, at the USO this year. So it’s not (ahem) ground-breaking that Nole and Rafa have said they’ll leave Madrid off their calendar.

grendel Says:

jane – I said “not all”. There is no doubt that loss enhanced the bitterness. Furthermore, Djokovic was particularly vociferous after a poor performance which he nevertheless won.

Moya played at Wimbledon 8 times, Keurten 5 times.
I would guess the others less.

Tennisfan Says:

I like the idea idea of at least one fast clay court on the circuit. The Australian Open has slowed down … Wimbledon has slowed down … how slow does the Djok need the courts to be so he can catch up to the ball? :)

The game will be at its best when there are a range of surfaces from slow to fast on every surface represented. Then we’ll truly see who is the best all around player on this planet.

jane Says:

Sorry – not sure why they posted twice. The article specifically uses the word “boycott” and it wasn’t for a Masters but possibly a slam.

“Roddick concedes a boycott is a possibility, but insists they will not rush into anything.

“We’ve always wanted a voice. Unfortunately it hasn’t come,” Roddick said. “We’re not sure what we’d do. Whether it means a stoppage for a major tournament, that’s something we’ve got to talk about.”

Hockey players have had entire seasons “locked out”.

There is nothing wrong with tennis players standing up for themselves imo.

jane Says:

Tennisfan, Nole won Madrid last year. And he’s not exactly “slow.” The issue wasn’t how fast the court was; it was how slippery it was.

Sean Randall Says:

Tennisfan, so which players have come out in support of the surface, saying that they’d “like to see the same surface/speed next year”?

From your angle it sounds like only Djokovic and Nadal are complaining, the rest of the players approve of the surface, is that right?

Grendel, compare their appearances at Wimbledon vs. other slams. Much, much less at Wimbledon.

For example:

Muster played the Australian Open 11 times. Wimbledon 4.

Bruguera played the US Open 11 times, Wimbledon 4.

Moya played the US Open 13 times, Wimbledon 8.

Corretja played the US Open 13 times, Wimbledon 4.

Were they too injured to play Wimbledon or perhaps something else.

grendel Says:

It’s one thing to stand up for yourself when you are being put upon by an oppressive authority. Another to threaten boycott because you have a huge stake in the points business, and when your name is so big that you have the power to affect the changes you want. Nadal and Djokovic are not “tennis players” in the usual sense – they are huge super stars. In any case, boycott should be a last resort. It’s quite obvious that the organizers at Madrid will fall over themselves to get the surface right in the eyes of the players.

jane Says:

There is a recent precedent, with Murray suggesting strike, and Roddick suggesting a possible boycott, after scheduling and court issues at the USO. They said they “want their voices heard.” They feel they aren’t being heard by those in power. Similarly, one of Nole’s main issues was that this Madrid resurfacing decision shouldn’t have been passed by the ATP without some player say. Singling out Nadal and Djokovic doesn’t accurately reflect the numerous players who have remarked in their pressers about the surface being slippery: Raonic, Federer, Delpo, and others also did. Delpo called the conditions “harsh” and said others “feel the same as Nadal”. Others didn’t say they’ll leave the tournament off their schedules, but I haven’t heard that many players singing its praises .

Sean Randall Says:

And Steve-o, how would you feel had Nadal and Djokovic, instead of boycotting over the surface speed, threatened to boycott over the SEEDING!

Had they, they wouldn’t have been the first.

Read this: http://www.rediff.com/sports/2001/jun/11kuer.htm

Were the claycourters like Kuerten, Costa, Ferrero and Corretja spoiled crybabies as well?

jane Says:

Since players have begun speaking up there have been changes too: there will be a slightly longer off season this year and there will be more money allotted to early slam losers at both the FO and Wimbledon. In these cases, the top guys used their star power to affect changes that arguably benefit everyone. The bottom line seems to be that the players sometimes feel commercial interests outweigh their own.

Tennisfan Says:

Like I said there are other ways to voice your opnion without threatening to boycott .. Raonic didn’t say bouycott .. I frankly wouldn’t miss Djok if he never played another tournament … there are too many other good players set to rise into his place .. my guess is Federer will be the first.
… and sitting there argueing whether others have suggested boycotts in the past as a way of justifying these players actions is just “not good”. As you know Roddick has always been a bit out there when it comes to shooting off his mouth … I never take everything he says completely seriously and you shouldn’t either …he just uses it to blow off steam when he’s not on his game.

jane Says:

Roddick wasn’t just blowing off steam. 140 players met to discuss issues and they even discussed boycotting the AO this year:


Roddick also famously boycotted Dubai to support Peer’s Visa denial.

grendel Says:

“one of Nole’s main issues was that this Madrid resurfacing decision shouldn’t have been passed by the ATP without some player say.” And he was right. And it is almost certainly true that most of the players are hostile about the slipperiness of the court. But Djokovic and Nadal have to be singled out. Along with Federer, they are the superstars of the game, and furthermore much, much more is at stake for them than for the other players. That’s just the way it is.

there’s a certain amount of self-deception here, too, I can’t help suspecting. For instance, when today del Potro was broken he angrily kicked the surface, clearly indicating what he felt to be the cuplrit. But as Barry Cowan pointed out, he had got one first serve in over the last 9 or 10 serves. That was the cause – the court had nothing to do with it. Which is not to say del Potro did not have a legitimate grievance. And it’s not to say Nadal and Djokovic did not have legitimate grievances. But personal factors have crept in and tarnished their positions.

I don’t think myself it is a huge deal – if others want to, that’s their business. Weakness, exaggeration, exploiting genuine grievances and so on – that’s just human nature, and few of us are totally innocent of this kind of thing. That doesn’t mean you should ignore it, not anyway if you are interested in a rounded view of people. Most great people have spots on their reputations.

Tennisfan Says:

Jane: one word ” waaaaah”

Is your point that Djok is just part of a long line of today’s “my way or the hgihway player”. Your wrong, Raonic is not like that, eith is Dolgo …and alot of other talented players coming. A little bit of pushback for the traditon of what tennis once was … lots of talent and good old fashioned manners.

Now go outside and enjoy whats left of a beautiful day …

grendel Says:

“Roddick also famously boycotted Dubai to support Peer’s Visa denial”. And on this site, Noel analysed that position, and showed it not to be any sacrifice at all on his part.

jane Says:

grendel, I take your position as fair.

steve-o Says:

@Sean Randall: There’s so much sensationalism in the way you’re putting things.

Despite all the moaning and groaning, a) no one has been seriously injured and b) it is apparently possible to play tennis on this surface. They’re still hitting recognizable serves, forehands, backhands, volleys. Or is it some other, alien sport that Federer and Berdych played to get to the finals?

We just saw two high-quality semis, very different from each other but both very good.

The semifinalists were all top-ten, so the players left at the tail end of the tournament were the elite, as one would expect.

I didn’t realize that the lack of a Djokodal final was now considered incontrovertible proof that a tournament was completely out of whack. If we’re going to blame the surface every time the top two players lose early then a lot of tournaments should have egg on their faces, not just Madrid.

Regarding a strike: I didn’t say a strike couldn’t work.

But it’s not a thing to be done lightly. I’m much more sympathetic towards inequities in player pay than I am to this. This is a minor issue which can be dealt with by discussion, not through a strike.

And player unhappiness does not translate into support for a strike. Players may disapprove of the surface–maybe even a lot–but they might not be willing to strike, which is a drastic action usually taken only as a last resort when all other venues have failed.

What Nadal and Djokovic did wasn’t a strike–there is no mass organized action.

They took it on their own initiative to announce they would boycott the tournament, for their own reasons. I have not seen any indication that they consulted with other players over whether to have a boycott. No official player channels, like the Players’ Council, have announced plans a boycott. No one has said publicly that they will join Nadal/Djokovic.

They’re not acting as leaders building a consensus, just doing what serves their own narrow interests and using the dissatisfaction of other players as a cover to claim to be acting for the majority.

They are far from oppressed: both men are multimillionaires who have won the top prizes in their sport many times over. They are taking advantage of their status in the game to make a naked power play.

jane Says:

steve-o while I respect your opinion, I think the problem is that the players (some of them) felt there wasn’t enough discussion before the switch was made, and that Tiriac acted in self-interest, going for a gimmick to attract attention, rather than considering what is best for the players.

So far it certainly seems to have backfired insofar as the surface has mainly received negative press and almost all players on record have singled out the conditions as being too slippery and not comfortable to play on. indeed Federer used that exact word “comfort”. The players probably want to feel secure footed.

Apparently, too, according to Tignor, there has been no one showing up to watch the ladies’ matches as they’ve not been promoted or well-scheduled at all. When Serena and Woz played, he remarked that the stands were all but empty.

I think the ladies’ final tomorrow will be an interesting one though!

skeezer Says:

Striking/boycotting would cut off the hand that feeds you. This is not like the NBA, MLB or NFL where there is an owner. Seriously, who are they gonna strike against? These are sponsors like Rolex, Merceds Benz, Oracle, etc, they will just pull out there money and put it into other marketing campaigns. Yes the Stadiums will suffer, but a lot of the staff at each of these events are volunteers. If they think they can just show up and people will come…..maybe. But then they better just get used to getting the prize money pool from ticket sales…..minus the umps, the courtside flowers, the free hotel room and car…etc.etc

Tiriac has the one of the biggest payouts for prize money on the Tour!

There is many other ways to get what the players want and need, threatening is not it.

grendel Says:

“I think the ladies’ final tomorrow will be an interesting one though!”

Reflecting on her 1-6 record against Serena, Azarenka said: “I was much younger and just coming on the tour (for many of our matches) but I have always been competitive against her and she is one of the toughest opponents to play against,” and she added:”it’s going to be a different story this time”.

She doesn’t lack confidence, does she, Azarenka? I agree, jane, this should be an intriguing match. I think, b.t.w, her “I was much younger” is amusing, almost Serena like. After all, Serena was “much older”. It’s hard to say, in fact I have no idea, but I assume Serena’s best days are behind her? But maybe not. A lot of us have kept saying that about Federer, and it may be we were wrong.

jane Says:

grendel, I’d never count out Serena (or Fed’s) chances, but yeah Vika has chutzpah. I like that about her. Players need that confidence to make the next step. I also noticed Berdych talked about his “confidence” too after beating Delpo: “I was confident to go for the match; I believed in myself and that I could do it.”

I like MMT’s technical take on things, but I tend to agree with you that the mental part of tennis, including momentum, is huge too.

Steve 27 Says:

Two great semifinals in Madrid? Tipsarevic is a good player but nothing more, and Berdych and Del Potro are not so technical neither of them. Tipsarevic, Berdych, Del potro will not reach French open semifianls or even quarters, and Federer will not win with a hungry Djokovic.

jane Says:

b.t.w. grendel, am jealous of your cool sounding American tour (with your boys); I posted a link for you to Seattle’s “Experimental Music Project” museum. Not sure if you’ll make it to the Pacific Northwest, but like carlo said, it is “wild” or has frontier-like elements still – such gorgeous landscapes. You might want to find some prairies, though, for -almost Swedish/existential – “wild” settings.

Anyhow in case you missed the link, here it is – I really want to see the “Icons of Sci-Fi” exhibit myself.


grendel Says:

Berdych has already reached French open semifinals. I see no reason why he can’t do so again. del Potro, too. I thought Tipsarevic was unlucky today, in that he clearly could not cope with the windy conditions. So although Federer’s victory had no significance either for tomorrow or for RG nevertheless, for Federer fans, it was a delightful exhibition of tennis.

jane, I don’t know if you noticed, but I quoted Leif Shiras (d’you remember him as a player? All I can recall is when he played McEnroe in the final at Queens. McEnroe was having one of his wobblies, and generally when he did that, his opponent would quietly sit out the storm. Leify, hwever, gently mocked McEnroe – which absolutely outraged him, and he immediately tried to pull rank, calling him “junior” and that sort of stuff. I don’t think McEnroe is particularly like that, it just shows how unexpected, maybe hidden, facets of a personality can surface in moments of sporting pressure).

Leify is now an excellent and amusing commentator. But I quoted him on Verdasoc’s serve, because Cowan had asked him if he felt the problem was mental or technical. Leify gave a most MMT type response, opining that it was technical – but the weakness would emerge in moments of pressure. In other words, rather like with nurture/nature, it wasn’t either/or.

Nevertheless, it is true of course that “confidence” is a huge thing, and as you say, we saw it in Berdych today, and undoubtedly he will believe that he can beat Federer. I think it’ll be tight, a la Raonic.

grendel Says:

Thankyou for the link – I will file it away. We won’t actually be going to the East Coast – can’t do everything – but if the trip is a success, going to have one final fling in a couple of years, just after my younger son leaves school. Then we will go to the East Coast, taking in Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco and so on. I rather fancy – just as a luxury type thing – Hawaii. I’ve always wanted to examine tropical fish using snorkle etc, and I imagine Hawaii would be agood place to do this. Clear waters and so forth. as for prairies etc, why not, sounds good. On this occasion, we will be going to the Rockies for a bit of climbing.

steve-o Says:

@jane: To me the main takeaway of this whole brouhaha is that if even small–and mostly cosmetic–changes in tennis are met with this kind of behavior, threats and bullying and a general stupefyingly sensational hubbub, then what about the more significant changes that will need to be made to the game in the future?

Change is inevitable, even in sports where every obscure little rule becomes a sacred, immutable tradition. If players get so worked up about a change in color and are so thin-skinned as to threaten to quit the tournament after losing one match, that doesn’t bode well for the adjustments they’ll have to make in the future.

The fact that there was so much resistance ahead of time to the mere idea of blue clay indicated to me that the players were always psychologically predisposed to find fault with the blue clay, whatever its actual texture might be.

It’s not a surprise that they expressed negative opinions about it after playing when they had expressed such negative opinions beforehand.

Some players, like Federer and Del Potro and Ferrer, simply got on with the business of dealing with the conditions, whatever their personal feelings towards the surface. Some, like Berdych, appeared to be naturally suited to the surface.

Others just couldn’t get past the idea of blue clay and let it affect their play.

If you step on court thinking “This clay is horrible, I can’t find my footing on it or hit the ball properly on it”–guess what, you probably won’t find your footing or hit the ball properly no matter how the clay actually feels.

Change is, by definition, uncomfortable. Somebody has to push the boundaries, and there is always going to be resistance. Just hope next time everyone (including the ATP and the players) can handle it better.

steve-o Says:

Regarding the women’s final: I think it will be pretty good viewing, one of the all-time greats vs. the world #1.

I think Azarenka gets a lot of crap for being, I don’t know how to put it, comparatively brusque after the bubbly Wozniacki. Not that she’s rude, she just doesn’t have a lot of facility at banter, or apparently, much time for it. She’s there to win, after all, not do stand-up.

I have no particular liking for her game, nor her personality, but I do respect her abilities and confidence.

As for Serena, what more can be said? Girl’s one of a kind. She has undeniably brought something new and vital to a sport. And I think she is well capable of dominating into her thirties, should she choose to do so. Her physical abilities and versatility will give her an undeniable edge at the age when champions are supposed to decline.

@grendel: if you go to California, I suggest a visit to Yosemite. There’s a lot of good hiking there and spectacular views, if you like mountains, forests, and waterfalls.

If you want to get away from people in Yosemite it can be done but you’ll have to spend a day or so going deep into the wilderness. I have never done this myself, but am told that it is very enjoyable.

However, campsites are scarce so you have to reserve months in advance.

jane Says:

steve-o “Change is, by definition, uncomfortable. Somebody has to push the boundaries, and there is always going to be resistance. Just hope next time everyone (including the ATP and the players) can handle it better.”

I hear you.

jane Says:

grendel, I don’t remember Leif Shiras as a player but I do think I’ve heard him commentate. “rather like with nurture/nature, it wasn’t either/or.” Indeed, usually it’s “both and…” On that nature/nuture front, Tilda Swinton gave an melting performance in “We Need to Talk about Kevin” which hinges on nature/nurture – or really both… and.

Leon Says:

jane, I feel for you and your efforts to repulse those attacks. Sure, those egoistical stars hardly think about their fans forced to justify their sometimes ambiguous steps and expressions.
I don’t want to discuss to what extent RN/ND are right/wrong – not because I haven’t an opinion but because I see myself not competent enough to defend it – after all, I have no idea on the degree of that slipperiness, etc. What can be nevertheless concluded almost for sure – they both are making obvious mistakes. Leave moral aspects aside, it is always hard to estimate their “percentage”, especially if you aren’t close to a person. But from a purely practical viewpoint:
(i) it was highly unfavourable to say the most harsh words AFTER their losses. If you feel yourself so-o-o right, why to start playing at all? They tested the surface before the tournament, RN, by his words, even longer than usual. If it is so dangerous, boycott it at once, health first, no? Whatever you say after a defeat will be never properly accepted;
(ii) and specifically for Novak, it’s not too wise to follow Nadal so closely. “I, too”, etc. He is #1, and their rivalry is/will be cruel enough. He should be a leader in as many aspects as possible, that’s how it works. Should try to convert any moment of the rival’s frustration to his favour. Or at least to be always reasonably distant: even if frustrated, too, then in his own specific manner. To copy next day all the “procedure” (even in a slightly worse fashion) looks ridiculous and not suitable for the king.
Yeah, they both are still young. Sure, this drawback will be removed rather fast…

harry Says:

@jane, grendel, steve-o,
i liked the discussion on this thread. but i tend to go largely with grendel’s point-of-view.

to summarize my 2cents — true, the courts were slippery; true, tiriac did not take a consensual approach; true, other players did not jump with joy at the thought of playing on this surface either; but threatening to boycott, by players of the stature of nole and rafa, should have been the last resort; and it is one which should have been done after some thought and discussion; and it is one which should have been done next april if there was still no progress on this.

but it is here that i would differ from grendel, and quote jane’s post an another thread stating that post-match interviews are especially provocative of the players. so while rafa and nole have an enormous responsibility (so does roger) due to their stature and that they need to be extra careful about what they say, we need to take what they say with a pinch of salt too…

Wog boy Says:

Just thinking, not that I am good at that, being waterpolo fan, what if they decide to put some chemicals in the water to change the structure of water so that waterpolo teams that cannot swim as fast as the best ones (Serbia, Hungary, Italia, Croatia), cannot fight as hard, cannot last as long are given a chance to win something, would that be OK. I am not implying that they did that in Madrid but….;)

carla, jane, harry… I tried last night, it looked like I did OK but now it doesn’t let me to login. One more thing, I was looking in the groups section, to see who is there as carlo suggested but there is no “tennisxfans” group. I have to take girls for a lunch, it is mother’s day, but I will try again tonight. I will get back to you.

Happy mother’s day to all of you, who are entitled:)

jane Says:

Leon, I too think Nole should be wary of “parroting” too much, though we know he is wont to imitate the greats of the game – both on the court and off. ;) I love the guy, his personality and his tennis, but maybe he overdid it this time, though I still see his point and from where he was coming. I try to see all perspectives, but we’re always stuck in our own to a degree.

jane Says:

Wog Boy, keep trying! It’d be great to have you there.

harry Says:

@Wog boy,
“I tried last night, it looked like I did OK but now it doesn’t let me to login.”
That is a little surprising. Did you use your email id to login? The user name is not used to login.
“One more thing, I was looking in the groups section, to see who is there as carlo suggested but there is no “tennisxfans” group.”
You can look for a group only after you login. At least that is what i think. jane? carlo?
there is an option to search for it, and i think it is easier this way than to look for it.

jane Says:

That sounds correct to me harry; i.e., you must be logged in first to find the group. But I am not utterly certain.

carlo Says:


Wog boy, we won’t give up on you ;)

1) you followed the steps to register 1st on the atp challenge home page, right?

2) I forget exactly, but maybe check your email for a confirmation of registration link from atp bracket challenge, okay.

3) go back to the home page bracket link, go to the top right hand corner and it wants your email and password to ‘log-in’

3) after you’ve logged in as above, fill out your Rome bracket

4) after you filled out the bracket, go to groups, public groups, there are 32 members now in tennisxfans (typing a dash like tennis-xfans won’t work, it has to be “tennisxfans” ; thats why for a long time i went to groups after doing my bracket and scrolled down to where I found the tennisxfans group name. took a bit longer but i’d goof up typing ‘tennisxfans’

then you should be in!! welcome in!

on second thought, no, i think with the GS bracket I had to check my email and click a link to confirm. this one I just think try your email and password. do bracket, then join our group.

carlo Says:

of course meant register on the bracket link, then log in each time with email and password.

but you have to fill out your Rome bracket 1st to join. You can actually join as many groups as you want. There are some Serbian groups, I think.

King Federer Says:

Does the son of a b#$ch who said Dave was using multiple IDs have the courage to accept he is a dumbfu$k who has no clue and has got his head stuck way too far up rafa’s behind that he cannot accept the truth that people are not jokers like him using multiple identities?

As for rafa’s criticism of madrid courts, he handled the whole issue in an immature fashion.

he was always opposed to madrid going blue. he kept talking about tradition and history and that’s a joke. rafa is one of the least qualified to talk about tradition because he blatantly violates the spirit of the sport. he never established if “blue” is the real reason the courts were slippery. his criticism has been handled in an incoherent manner. maybe his PR should issue statements to exactly state his beef.

why should a surface be considered risky if there were 0 injuries on the surface?

if madrid doesn’t fit into his RG preparations, he can skip it. these threats about boycott is silly. tennis/madrid tournament will outlast nadal’s career and life-span as i mentioned.

nadal’s immaturity in dealing with issues has been severely exposed the last few months. he quit the player council because others did not back his views. that is very child-like. if you are on a council and people have different views, the onus is on you to convince them your point of view is right. if you cannot, the majority vote needs to be accepted.

i am sure there was definitely a much better way of fighting the madrid issue than the juvenile manner in which rafa/nole handled it. nole can be excused – most people dont take him seriously anyway. with his impersonations and goofy nature, he has been more of a clown than a leader. much more was expected of nadal, but sadly it is time to accept he is not cut out for the role of a leader. you need to know which battles to fight, where to fight and how to fight those to bring issues to a solution acceptable to most stake holders.

it takes education and/or maturity/vision to be a leader. most athletes dont have the former, but some like nadal dont even have the latter. and that’s fine. their job is to win matches. the administration is always better handled by men made for that.

Nims Says:

Roger seems to have more success on tournaments which are totally irrelevant to the build up to the slams. Not sure if it’s a coincidence or he is playing role of a perfect 3rd player in the world, when the Top 2 are chasing the GS.

Mark Says:

I wonder what Choc Boy’s reaction and comments would be if he slipped and broke his ankle today??? The mind boggles!!!

King Federer Says:

what would be rafat@rds’ reaction be if their boy dies choking on a ban@na? no, not feliciano’s! i mean the fruit.

Mark Says:

king Fart. That is the day tennis would come to an end!!!

alison hodge Says:

^Dear me just wondering if its a tennis forum,or a school playground,all getting rather chidish,my dads bigger than your dad,seriously grow up people for goodness sake.^

Lisa Says:

Am a Federer fan, but I completely agree with Nadal and Djokovic. To say that their behaviour lacks maturity is completely ignorant. I personally would have done the same thing.

Its easier to say they should stop whinning and adjust to conditions because Federer now made it to the final in Madrid. I wonder what all you Federer fans view would be on the blue clay if Federer had of lost to Raonic in the 3rd round. Think again, dont be blind, you’re fooling yourselves.

I think federer lovers are ignorant of the fact that the introduction of blue clay during a clay court season is just plain stupid and absurd. For one, its completely unfair to clay court specialists. Its like playing a clay court Masters tournament just prior to US OPEN, whoever does that! its completely absurd! So dont give the bullshit about ‘they should adjust to conditions…’

Thus those hard critics directed to Novak and Nadal about whinning, being losers and not adjusting to conditions like Federer. Think again people, you are fooling yourselves!

Skeezer Says:

“So dont give the bullshit about ‘they should adjust to conditions…’

Really? Here is a critique from a top tour player;

Janko Tipsarevic: “I think that apart from being the best player, that (Federer) is probably the best player in the world when it comes to adjusting to any situation on the court.”

WTF Says:

“Great players should adapt to the conditions irrespective of how harsh they are.”

I agree, as long as it isn’t dangerous.

“Now after Nadal, Novak too has issued this veiled threat of boycotting the tournament next year which is definitely not in good taste.”

Not if they’re concerned about slipping and injuring themselves. Safety first. I mean what if one tournament says “player must continue play in the rain”? Would it be in bad taste to boycott that too?

“Playing tennis is their work, they don’t do anything else.”

And they just kick back on the couch and relax when they’re not playing, right?

“I am sure the ATP takes strong actions against these players irrespective of their stature to deliver the right message. You cannot take things beyond a point.”

You’re allowed to miss one out of nine 1000 tournaments. Nadal and Djoko both play Monte Carlo. They can take any one of them off, and they will choose Madrid.

As for the strong actions taken against them. LOL. I only have to look at the Williams sisters boycott of Indian Wells each year and the toothless threats the WTA make against them. They are spineless and know they can’t do anything about them. So is the ATP.

WTF Says:

“WTF were rafa/nole doing last year when the blue clay was proposed. why do you wait till you get burnt in your @$$ before complaining that the heat is a little too much.”

I know for fact that Nadal has been complaining about the proposed blue clay courts since 2008.

WTF Says:

I did some research and I have a correction to make:

Players are allowed to miss one of EIGHT mandatory ATP1000 events. Monte Carlo is already optional and not mandatory. That means of the nine ATP1000 events, you only have to play seven of them.

Which means Nadal and Djokovic are well within their rights to boycott Madrid if they want to, just as Roddick skips Rome every year. There is absolutely nothing the ATP can do about them. So do your research boys.

Also, I’m not 100% certain but I think Monte Carlo can take the place of a mandatory event, so if you play that one, you may be able to skip two other events. Nole and Rafa already play MC, so Madrid is definitely going to be off their calendar. Federer chooses not to boycott because he sees it as an easy opportunity to win titles without the two better players around. He’s an opportunist.

Missing Madrid will mean they can’t get their bonus cash payout for playing in every event however. That meant a lot to Nole last year.

WTF Says:

^ Also, even if they weren’t allowed to miss any events, players have historically been able to easily get away with skipping events by providing a phoney medical certificate and claiming an injury or sore thumb. They can’t question a medical certificate, even if it’s dodgy.

skeezer Says:


Just read your stuff here, as usual there is some gems in your writing.

Just wanted to add I already knew they weren’t reqiured to attend every masters. In the older days they did just that, they would make up medical sh!t often if they didn’t want to play. The difference here is this;

Sure they can skip the tourney.

But they are threatening and protesting about returning and using it as a weapon of “or else “. THAT is different than just saying nothing and skipping a tournament. Plus, they already said NOW that they are not playing it or skipping it. Sorry , there is a difference. Finishing a tournament and then immediately say your not playing next year is a slap in the face and everyone knows it…

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