Will It Be Nadal v Djokovic In The French Open Final? Men’s SF Picks And Pans
by Sean Randall | June 6th, 2012
  • 242 Comments

With a full 36 hours to debate the French Open men’s semifinals, let’s get right to it. To no one’s real surprise, still in the hunt for the title are the four best players on clay: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and David Ferrer.

Thus far, Nadal has been as awesome as advertised. The King of Clay hasn’t lost a set and he hasn’t lost a match in Paris since that Soderling stunner in 2009. And despite getting pushed a little today by Nicolas Almagro, Nadal is the heavy, heavy favorite to collect a seventh Roland Garros on Sunday, and do it easily.

Nadal’s greatest threat comes from Djokovic, but the Serb should count his blessings just for making it to the semifinals. Seppi had Djokovic by the throat up two sets but couldn’t finish. Then on Monday home favorite JW Tsonga held four match points and he couldn’t finish him off either. Novak’s not playing anywhere near his magnificent level of a year ago, but perhaps it’s in the cards that this is his year and makes history completing the “Djoker Slam”.

Novak will first have to get through the man who derailed his 43-match win streak a year ago in this very round, Mr. 16-time Slam champion Federer. Like Novak, Roger hasn’t look great either and he too is a bit lucky to still be spending time in Paris. Federer capitalized on what turned out to be an easy draw, then was fortunate when a red-hot Juan Martin Del Potro’s body broke down with the Argentine in command up two sets.

The party crasher in this foursome is Ferrer who is having the week of his life after beating Andy Murray today to reach his first career French Open semifinal. At 30 and in what could be his last, best shot you have to feel good about Ferrer finally making the last four in Paris. It’s a long-deserved achievement for one of the class guys of this generation. But he’ll have a mountain to climb ahead in Nadal.

Now my picks.

Rafael Nadal v. David Ferrer
The bad news for Ferrer is that he’s just 4-15 lifetime against his countryman. The worse news is he’s 1-11 against Rafa on clay, losing 11 straight including two this spring. And the horrifying news is that he now has to play said Rafa!

Nadal has been ruthless thus far and he won’t ease up against Ferrer, a competent clay courter playing in arguably the biggest match of his career. But unlike Almagro, who actually has weapons, against Nadal, Ferrer just doesn’t have that killer shot to press the lefty. And their recent scorelines indicate that. Ferrer has lost 14 straight sets (7 matches) on clay to Rafa and on Friday, unless Nadal is having a horrible day, I don’t think David is going to stop that streak.

“We [have] played each other a lot of times,” Nadal said of Ferrer. “His game bothers everybody because he’s one of the best players in the world on every surface – on clay especially. He’s a complete player. It’s very difficult to play against him, because his movement is probably the best in the world and he’s able to hit the ball very early a lot of the time.”

Nadal is right, but he just does everything better than Ferrer! And so far in the tournament he’s only dropped serve once, so he’s also serving out his you know what.

At 30, I also don’t think Ferrer is playing at his very best. He too had a good draw beating really only one quality opponent and that being Murray who may have his eyes on bigger prizes this summer. But Ferrer will show up and he’ll put the full effort in and make Rafa work. And if Nadal is making mistakes Ferrer is a guy who can take advantage.

“I will try and play a beautiful match, my best tennis,” said Ferrer about playing Rafa. “I have great ambitions, and I’m quite certain this is going to be a very physical match.

“Winning a match against Rafa is almost impossible. He is in such good shape.”

‘Nuff said.
The pick: Nadal in three

Novak Djokovic v. Roger Federer
It’s the semifinal we all wanted to see again, and we got it. In their 26th meeting Federer leads 14-11 in this rivalry but it’s Djokovic with the recent edge winning five of their last six. The one loss was of course a crusher a year ago with a near-flawless Federer ending Novak’s magical win streak and denying the Serb, at that time, the No. 1 ranking.

That day Novak came out flat and Federer jumped on him and hung on. And that day Novak hadn’t played in four full days thanks to Fabio Fognini’s withdrawal. This time, Novak should be grooved, in rythym after consecutive five setters and most importantly playing with that flighty freedom having nearly lost Monday.

Not to be outdone, Federer authored his own 5-set escape in his last match after a four-setter against Goffin.

Thankfully, with two full days off both guys who have played a lot of tennis lately should be 100% fit and rested (please, no Federer back excuses!)

But what a change from a year ago when Djokovic was on his streak and Federer hadn’t lost a set en route to that showdown. This time around both guys are playing like crap – better to be lucky than be good, right?

Djokovic has been sloppy all spring, although he did look better in bursts against Tsonga. Federer still has yet to locate that “A” game of his and time is running out. In fact it’s expired. The Swiss, who has been patchy at best, will have no chance playing sub-par against Novak.

Significant to me in this series is that these two seem to play epic Grand Slam matches. We remember their clash last year in Paris. Then Novak saved two matchpoints at the US Open. And here we go again in what should be another memorable collision.

“You know, last year we were part of a great match that went the distance, and he played incredibly well,” Djokovic said. “I thought I played on a very high level. I just hope we can have another good match for us and for the crowd to be a part of. I think for me it’s crucial to be very focused and aggressive from the first moment, because that’s something that you can always expect Roger to have, you know, that control over the opponent from the start. I will try to be out there believing I can win.”

They also met a month ago and Djokovic pretty much blew out Roger. Bad back or being tired, pick your Federer excuse, but bottom line is Novak was having his way with Federer early. And really the way Federer looked that Saturday is the same he’s look all week in Paris. It’s that simple.

For me, Novak is playing better than Roger and he’s got that scary I-saved-four-matchpoints mojo thing happening which he had when he won the US Open last fall. I talked about the pressure Novak faced coming in with so much on the line, but those matchpoints saved should do wonders to ease that weight of what’s at stake for him this weekend. And that’s huge. It makes him that much more dangerous, that much more resilient. It’s a new mental dynamic. It’s got to help his mindset.

Still, I have to think Federer will raise his game – there’s no where to go but up! He’s a champion and he’s flipped that switch before. And this is the time to do it. To win, though, Roger will have to serve much better than he has and he’s got to cut down on the bad errors. Otherwise Novak’s going to run away with the match like Del Potro did, and Novak won’t allow his body fail him. So Roger certainly has a very good chance here, especially if Djokovic comes out nervy (assuming Nadal is the earlier match, imagine the change in pressure should Ferrer upset Rafa).

But I’m just not sold on Federer on this surface. I still can’t put much stock in Madrid and Roger hasn’t really had a good quality win since (sorry, Del Potro was injured). So I’m leaning Djokovic who has to be motivated not only by history but also by revenge for the loss a year ago. And as I said, Novak’s simply been the better player so far. House money rules.
The pick: Djokovic in four


Also Check Out:
Will Nadal Beat Ferrer And Get His French Open Snowman? Men’s Final Picks And Pans
Has Roger Federer Lost A Step? His Trainer Pierre Paganini Is Convinced That “He Has Not”
Nadal, Murray Try To Complete Fab Four’s Return To The French Open SFs; QF Picks And Pans
Will It Be Nadal v Djokovic In The US Open Final? Men’s SF Picks And Pans
Roger Federer Says He Hasn’t Heard Of Any Gays Currently In Men’s Tennis

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242 Comments for Will It Be Nadal v Djokovic In The French Open Final? Men’s SF Picks And Pans

jane Says:

Nadal is 50 wins and 1 loss at the French Open – 50 and 1!! It’s insane.


dari Says:

I bet he retires with one loss. He will win RG as his last slam then retire (whatever year that may be) after Wimbledon!


Lulu Iberica Says:

Hopefully soon to be 52-1!!!

Tomorrow is going to be so long and dull with no men’s tennis!


mat4 Says:

Rafa will break another record soon. He will be the first man to lose four GS finals in a row. A GS of his kind.


Andoegar Says:

The same way people shouldn’t use excuses for feds poor play , you also shouldn’t make an excuse up for novaks loss last year. He just lost because fed was better. The same way novak was just simply better in Rome.


Andoegar Says:

Sorry dubble post.


Fedalovic Says:

So Fed’s bad back against Djokovic is not a valid excuse for his loss, but Delpo’s bad legs/knees against Fed are?
Great double standard.
No doubting Nadal is still the heavy fav, but I wonder if he’s peaked too early? He’s absolutely smashed his opponents in the first few rounds, converting Chartrier into a bakery with all the bagels he’s been dishing out, but Almagro was the first one to get past 4 games against Nadal (even taking it to a tie break.) I can’t help but notice as well that Nadal’s opponents have all had an immense amount of UE’s – it’s only going to get harder for him from here if the likes of Fed/Nole/Fez can reduce their UE’s.
Love the anticipation of finals!


Matt Says:

As a fan of good tennis matchups I’m hoping for Nadal vs Djokovic Final.

To have another Nadal vs. Federer FO final to use a common Federer quote, “would be a pity.”


Wog boy Says:

I don’t see anyone looking for excuses for Novak’s defeat last year. If you are talking about Sean mentioning Fognini I don’t see it as excuse, just that WO didn’t do any good to Novak, I said few times before and every Nole fan that I know thinks the same, Federer played one of the best matches he ever played. Everything was going his way, serve…corners…lines. He didn’t win because Nole didn’t play his best but because he was better player that day ;( Sad he couldn’t do it in final, but that is another storry.


Michael Says:

So Murray has become the culprit in the awesome four. Many here had predicted that he would beat Ferrer on Clay, but I wasn’t convinced and here we have the result. Murray has miles to go to become an all court player. He is an excellent player on grass and hard courts but not on Clay where he is very vulnerable. As far as the Semis, I go with Sean’s predictions. It will be Novak Vs Nadal final and what a match that would be for both. One is vying for the grand slam and another to break the Borg’s record overhaul.


Voicemale1 Says:

Not so sure about Djokovic outmanning Federer. There’s a crucial difference in Djokovic 2012 from Djokovic 2011. This year he’s playing a lot more often from behind the baseline. Last year you couldn’t pry Djokovic off the baseline. This year, not so much. I don’t know if he’s being pushed back there, or if he’s electively going back there to give himself more time to get to the ball. Either way, he’s been hitting more often from feet behind the baseline. As a result, his shots have more air than heat. Probably why he’s winning a little less, and dropping more sets, especially on clay this year. The first three rounds Djokovic had a first week that couldn’t have been easier. He faced no one ranked inside the Top 96 in the world. Starace is #97; next was Kavcic who is #99; then came Devilder at age 32, who is #286 and had to go through three rounds of Qualifying to get into the Main Draw. It took #22 Seppi to expose the limits of Djokovic’s new farther-back court position. Wilander claimed the Seppi match is the kind of match that inspires and awakens great players like Djokovic, and he’s right about that. It can focus and galvinize the great ones more often than not. But it didn’t happen here. Djokovic had to force another 5th Set to stay in the tournament, and facing Match Points down is a step backward from the Seppi match, not forward. Federer hasn’t been playing as well as he has in the past here, winning only one straight set match. But if Djokovic is going to play back behind the baseline again, Federer is going to exploit that mercilessly with Drop Shots and that Short Slice he’s so fond of. Simply, Djokovic isn’t playing as well here as he was last year when Federer beat him. Nobody pushes guys farther back in the court than Federer when he’s on, and I’m thinking he’ll get by Djokovic again unless Djokovic turns things around in a very big way.

Nadal looks like he’s spent all year priming himself for this event like always, but he’s doing well here even by his standards. The only guy who’s really pushed him hard on clay this season has been Ferrer, not Djokovic. It’s hard to see Ferrer taking three sets from Nadal on clay, but this is one match that can be harder for Nadal than it would seem. Ferrer is just simply playing too well right now to go down tamely. If Nadal can straight set Ferrer it means he’ll have found another gear to step up to. And that’s bad news for Djokovic even if he does get by Federer. Nadal never takes anything for granted, and that’s what makes him dangerous. It’s scary to think Nadal might be able to play better than he has so far. He’s dropped his serve just once in 5 matches. If he has another level in him, then it won’t matter who he has to face from here on out.


Gwen Killerby Says:

Sadly, Novak in three. Nadal in four? hmm, I think in 3 too.
Finals, Nadal in 3.

this is based on the tournaments performance. Federer played liked crap, but against Delpo, he really peaked. too soon? who knows?
If I could pick, I would want Roger to win the olympics rather than any slam.


jane Says:

” Nobody pushes guys farther back in the court than Federer when he’s on” – Delpo actually pushed Fed himself back pretty far for 2 sets. He had Fed scrambling on defence.


jatt Says:

mat4

with current novak and rogers form and rafa in such a good shape..yeah..dream on…


metan Says:

I’ll pick nole, he will face nadal on final,,,,,,he is the only man can probably beat him,,,,,,but I really doubt with his form,,,
He was struggling for the last 2 matches against seppi n tsonga.


mat4 Says:

To dream is a privilege. And Nole is not in such a bad form. It would have been clear had Rafa faced Tsonga in the second and third set of that quarter.


Voicemale1 Says:

“Delpo actually pushed Fed himself back pretty far for 2 sets. He had Fed scrambling on defence.”

So….your point is…what?


mat4 Says:

And the man–who, by the way, is the world no 1 and winner of 4 of the last 5 slams–if he makes the final, will play for the grand slam and a place in history. It won’t be a surprise if he plays his best.


jane Says:

“your point is…” You said “nobody”; I was suggesting some can push others as far back as Fed can. That’s all.


Voicemale1 Says:

“jane Says:
“your point is…” You said “nobody”; I was suggesting some can push others as far back as Fed can. That’s all.

I’m sorry. I wasn’t aware assertions are to be “fact checked” with other peoples point of view :). I’ll make sure to be more vague next time.


jane Says:

I was just adding to the conversation VM1; your comment called to mind how far back Delpo pushed Fed yesterday so I mentioned it.


jane Says:

Here’s Tignor’s piece on Ferrer: “Star Turn”

http://blogs.tennis.com/thewrap/2012/06/star-turn.html


Kimmi Says:

how was ferrer bageled by rafa in rome, i don’t think he believes he can beat rafa. He walks in on the court not believing, that is why you get a bagel. he is a better player than that.


Kimmi Says:

Ferrer has done it again, beat murray on clay. ugh! too bad for murray. congrats to ferrer. is it the first semi at RG? i think so.


Sean Randall Says:

Fedalovic, double standard? Hell yes. Thanks for noticing. That’s my point.

Federer fans should not be making excuses. I always thought excuses were reserved for Nadal/Djokovic and their followers.

But it sickens me to now read everytime Federer loses or gets close to losing there’s a “reason”.

Back injury, he’s tired, he’s got two little girls and can’t sleep or he suffering from losing his agent, how convenient. Enough of it. Is there a need to stoop to that level?


Lisa Says:

Obiviously Djokovic can win this Semifinal come Friday…..No doubt

But Federer is the favourite to get through to Sundays final…:)


Andoegar Says:

@Sean Randall I agree fed fans should not come with excuses but why don’t you ever say something when mainly nadal but also novak fans do the same things a lot worse? I have never read you criticizing those fans.


andrea Says:

‘sickens me’? wow. you’re taking it way too seriously.

no one likes to lose and all the top guys have thrown stuff out over the years when they have lost so i consider it an even playing field.


Fedalovic Says:

Sean: agreed. If you’re on the court, you’re fit to play, regardless of the circumstances. Stop the whining (players & fans) stop the “but if only’s” – it ruins the experience for lovers of great tennis, no matter their allegiance.


Andoegar Says:

@Sean well I guess I missed that then. But anyway I do agree If you decide to play no excuses afterwards no matter the player.


skeezer Says:

Well this is one Fed fan that hates injury excuses, Fed included. And if any of you can pull out a quoted Fed excuse out of nearly 1000 matches then tell me was it consistent excuse making ( like you know who ) or an anomoly?

If you can play, play. If you can’t , don’t. Otherwise, stfu. Excuses are for players that lose. You’ll never here a player (except Rafa) who’ll say they won but there knee was injured. I am not talking about months after a tourney but right after a win in a interview. Sickining and sucks. Low class cowardism at its worse.


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

You know Frenches better than I do, is there any chance that Nole can have little bit more people on his side on friday this time around. Just curious, not that I care too much. As Nole fan I am used to it that he is not spectators favourite most of the time:) Federer legacy is just too big.


Kimberly Says:

Mat4 rafa beat Tao ga on clay 60 62 63. And the reason people are making high unforced errors against rafa is because his style of play 1. Forces people to go for too much 2. The topspin on his balls causes people to spray and are tough to volley. You can hope Novak wins the tournament but it’s really annoying to hear if rafa played tspnga bla blah blah, if rafa played Seppi etc. LAst time I checked Novak lost a set to Monaco in Rome who rafa beat 62 60 60. So I assume the esxcuse is Monaco played a long match. Novak almost lost to Seppi and tspnga, I am sure his form will improve but claims that other players would have struggled are silly.

Berdych played a great match in Rome v. Nadal. How annoying would it be if I said if berdych played novak he would have won?


RZ Says:

If Fed and Nole only had 1 day in between matches, I’d have picked Fed to win the semi. But with 2 days of rest, I think Nole would have recovered enough to play better and best Fed. If that happens, Fed should hightail it to Halle and earn some grass-court points next week to add to his haul.


mat4 Says:

Kimberly:

Please read before answering. Where did I wrote that? There is one sentence in one of my posts about Tsonga and Rafa, and I just wanted to emphasize the quality of Tsonga’s game. On the heavy court the rebound was not high, and Tsonga tremendous FHs down the line or CC would have hurt Rafa’s backhand very much. His serving too. I didn’t write he would have won, but his level would have been obvious.

BTW, last time he played that way against Rafa, on a slow hard court, the result was a thorough humiliation. But the truth is he doesn’t often play that way. It seems that Rafa took it very badly and they had an altercation a few months later.

Last year Novak lost sets against Belucci, Ferrer in Madrid. Then he almost lost against Murray in Rome. He almost lost against Federer at the USO, and clearly wasn’t at his best. Then he lost a set against Hewitt, and two against Murray. So, did it changed anything?

I see that Rafans are very nervous. If Nole loses, he will be at the beginning. But if Rafa loses, could it be the end?


funches Says:

Good insight for the most part, Sean, but I disagree that Federer is playing worse than last year. If you judge by Roland Garros only, maybe, but Federer was pathetic in the lead-in tournaments last year, and I do mean pathetic. He couldn’t break Lopez’ serve and was incredibly lucky to win in the second round of one event. He lost to Jurgen Melzer. He lost to Gasquet. He sucked with a capital S. He played better at Roland Garros, but there was absolutely no evidence he would raise him game the way he did against Djokovic, when he served out of his mind.

All that being said, he still would have lost the match if Djokovic had served out the fourth set. The lack of confidence Fed had built up in a lousy year would have caused him to lose like 6-2 or 6-3 in the fifth, but Djokovic blinked (and slipped and slipped and slipped, too, in a totally out of character performance).

I agree Djokovic will win in four, and I agree saving match points against Tsonga will give him that extra burst he needs. But Federer has more reason to be confident this time than last. He’s played incredibly well since the U.S. Open last year, so a spate of mediocre matches in Paris won’t dent his confidence on Friday.


Kimberly Says:

Actually you are the one writing nasty things (rafa going to set a new record grand slam loss) and seems very nervous. Most of the rafa fans acknowledge djokovic had the game to win but we like our guys chances. If it even happens. I don’t think Ferrer and Federer are going to just lie down.


trufan Says:

Federer doesn’t have any significant injuries – what he has is OLD AGE. Guys, he’s almost 31. Its incredible that he is still playing at the level he is. By this time, Sampras was not even in the top 10. He still won one last USO (largely due to luck).

So fed can get lucky too.

Though not at the French. First, I agree, he loses to Djokovic in 4, or even in 3. Second, I don’t think he can beat Nadal at the slow red clay of French Open in best of 5. Not now. He came pretty darn close with match points in the 5th set in Rome 2006 – but that was when he was 25 years old. He can’t hang with Nadal (or anyone else) at full intensity for more than 3 hours any more.

DJokovic, however, does have a chance of beating Nadal (its obvious, we are looking at a Djoke Nadal final).

All I hope is that both players have an equally tough semi, so that one is not at a disadvantage by being tired.

And one has to look at points played, not time. For Nadal, since he takes so much time picking his butt before every point, even a match where less than 200 points are played (total) often last 3 hours. Even a 6-2 6-0 6-0 victory for him takes an hour and 45 minutes.

So lets look at how tough each guy is played in the semi.

I hope Ferrer gives Nadal a tough fight. He nearly won the first set the last time they played. He needs to win the first set to put SOME pressure on Nadal. Even Nadal is no spring chicken any more – he is 26.


rave Says:

Skeezer, completely agree with you. I can count on the fingers of one hand how many times fed has given excuses. Pretty good for the 100 matches he has played. And Nadal, I do not have enough fingers or toes to count his excuses.

Jamie, where are you? Waiting to hear your predicitons. Nadal, we know for sure he is is going to win FO, no doubts there. But who will be on the opposite end of the net?


trufan Says:

Nadal Ferrer is always an ugly match. Both win by making the other player play badly (low winners for self, high UE for the opponent). Now both will be doing the same, so don’t look for too many winners from either side!

For federer, it will be better if he loses the semi to Djokovic. That way he gets two more days of rest, can comfortably play Halle and be in good shape for Wimbledon, where he has a much better chance, especially given his recent form and partnership with Annacone.


trufan Says:

I agree with a post earlier. Much more on the line for Nadal – if he loses, that’s it, his grand slam engine could come to a complete halt (most do, at 26 or before, and it always happens unexpectedly, for every player).

If Djokovic loses in the final – he still gains points, and that’s one he is expected to lose, so not much damage done.


trufan Says:

They should start the Nadal Djokovic final earlier (perhaps 11am). Given how much time both waste, either picking butt or bouncing balls, if its a repeat of the AO final, it could be 7 hours this time, given that its on clay.


mat4 Says:

Why is a bit of pricking nasty? Why should I be nervous? Rafa is in great form, he can’t be defeated, he has already won…

Nole has nothing to lose. It’s all bonus for him, and for his fans, in another way, too. Yes, I still hope he can win. But if he loses, it will not be the end of the world. Since Madrid 2009, he’s 10-4 against Rafa, and he’s younger. So, there is good hope he can win some slams more, even 2 or 3 would be great. He can’t win it all, no?

But of course, a GS would be a tremendous success, against Rafa on clay, it would be a feat. And IF it happens, unfortunately for him, Rafa would set a record of his own: four finals lost in row, against the same man.


mat4 Says:

It is the first time my comment needs moderation. What’s happening?


harry Says:

@mat4, a couple of questions:

you say that four consecutive gs finals lost would be a record. is three not a record already?

you said in your earlier post that “they” had an altercation. you man tsonga and rafa?


jane Says:

Nole has nothing much lose at the FO now since he’s made the semis, because he’s literally matched his points from last year; I never thought he’d win here anyhow and the same goes for tennis journalists, pundits, former players,etc, who all picked Rafa. Almost everyone expects Rafa to win for good reason: he’s 50-1 here!!! It would be nice if Nole could go a round further and get to the finals this year, add a few points to his total, see how he does. But there is no shame in losing to Fed either, a winner and 4 time finalist. Besides which, Nole will have more chances to try for the career slam in future seasons as that’s the only one missing from his collection. Trying to hold all 4 at once has been proven to be a colossal endeavour – hence it’s not been done since 1969.


harry Says:

ahh errors: i meant “you mean tsonga and rafa?”


mat4 Says:

@harry:

I think too that three is already a record, but I am not sure.

Yes, I read that on welovetennis.fr. I am not sure now, but if I remember well it was in Monaco.


harry Says:

thanks mat4. i didnt know about the tsonga-nadal issue. i knew about the rafa-berd and rafa-soda tiffs…


Fedalovic Says:

Just throwing this out there – the weather forecast for Paris on Friday & Sunday is for rain (heavier on the Sunday): will the moisture in the ball (making it heavier) cause Rafa to lose a bit of his topspin, AND will the moisture in the court affect his ability to slide properly?
If this is the case, then it will make things very interesting for Rafa…


mat4 Says:

In fact, I think it will be an advantage for Rafa if he plays Novak, because he has much more power. If he plays against Fed, it could change things.


Steve 27 Says:

mat 4, another record: The Goat who lost 6 GS finals against his archival, 8 2 in their all meetings and counting.
And the worst performance of any number 1 on a grand slam final: only took 4 games. Another record.


Michael Says:

Sean,

We can always have the excuse that he is aged and he is playing against players six/seven years younger. That is a very valid one too !!


Wog boy Says:

Wasn’t that the case with the court in Rome?
I think Skeezer had a nice word, I cannot remember what it was, for the court after Rome final:)


Michael Says:

For Roger, even reaching the Semis of Roland Garros is a big bonus for him as this tournament has become purely physical and just imagine a player nearing 31 reaching the Semis. This is the least favoured surface for Federer and yet he has made seven Semis here. That tells you something as to why he is hailed as a GOAT.


jane Says:

There was an interesting article someone posted here recently about age and how players, due to technology, are playing much longer now. Link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/30/sports/tennis/older-mens-players-winning-in-french-open.html?pagewanted=all


Fedalovic Says:

Mat4: I agree – Rafa’s tactic to bounce the ball high to Fed’s BH will be negated, as the ball’s extra weight (and subsequently its slower movement through the air) won’t allow it to pop off the court as much.Though if Fed tries to mimic Rafa’s ability of bashing balls from the baseline at acute angles over the net, he will come off second best – Nico tried it in the game yesterday and after a few unbelievable shots from both sides, Rafa was simply able to run around the forehand and spank it down the line. If Fed gets to the final, the weather may help him, but he will still have to not only serve better, but mix it up a hell of a lot by coming into the net more often than not and perfect his drop shots.


jane Says:

Age is a factor, as is youth/inexperience in some cases, like first time finalists and so forth. With age/experience often comes wisdom, playing more smartly perhaps, but the body struggles to keep up eventually, maybe even concentration becomes a factor. The reverse is true for the young and/or inexperienced in which case the body is fine but the mind doesn’t have the experience from which to draw in new or tense situations. Persumably, the peak tennis age is somewhere in the middle: having had enough time to garner some good experience but the body still strong.


mat4 Says:

Fedalovic:

Nico’s main problem was his terrible return. Did he returned a first serve in the match? I watched only the first set – an excellent one, I have to add.

Novak’s problem in such conditions is that he doesn’t follow enough balls at the net, and his volleying is sometimes shaky. Roger can do a better job there. But anyway, Rafa is the favourite, if he makes the final, of course.


jane Says:

During a quick on air interview today (Gilbert, Cahill, that crew) Fed said the heavier conditions favour Rafa. An ESPN article says “Federer’s run to the French Open final last year was helped by the hot, sunny conditions and the new brand of balls that players described as faster and harder than the ones previously used.”

http://espn.go.com/tennis/french12/story/_/id/7983007/french-open-here-roger-federer-needs-paris

I don’t know if it’s true, but that’s some additional information.


mat4 Says:

Steve 27:

Thanks for the information. I didn’t know about the second record, although I have watched that match.

It was a very bad year for my fav: I think that the matches against Rafa in Hamburg, RG, and especially at the Queens club propelled Rafa to the no 1. Nole’s desperation after his defeat in London was obvious. He made afterwards a lot of missteps before finding his way to the top.

Anyway, that rivalry, although it made them better, is physically and mentally so absorbing that it could shorten their careers.


Michael Says:

Whom would Nadal prefer to face in the finals if he does get there. I would say “Roger” more than “Novak”.


King Federer Says:

Please Sean,

Dont tell me that a repeat offender is the same as one who does it all the time.

If you have the guts, call out the players who use excuses the most, abuse the time rule and have also been cited for on-court coaching. Pull them up 1st and when they get their acts anywhere as clean as Roger, you can then tell roger fans about excuses.

Why did you make an injury excuse for delpotro then? how come a guy 23 yrs old is excused and you are blaming a 30yr old with 1000+ matches under his belt? sorry, but you are entering raf@tard IQ level with such inane analysis.

Federer talks about the injuries the least of any player on tour. That is a fact. So get off it!

Jane:

Why do you have to always bring up another player to compare when anyone says good things about federer? On the other blog, you mention j-mac saying rafa is arguably the greatest player of all time. for some one who doesn’t believe in GOAT, why is it relevant to you?

Then you post rafa’s numbers. How come you dont post them when some of those joker fan clowns post things like rafa will be losing 4th slam final in a row?

Voicemail says something good about federer, immediately you try to contradict it. Voicemail calls you out and you sheepishly say you are adding to conversation?

Do us Fed fans a favor and please “add to conversations” about djokovic 1st and then murray and then rafa. if you still got time left, which you seem to have a lot of, then please “add to conversations” about fed.

Please!


King Federer Says:

Correction :

“Dont tell me that a repeat offender is the same as one who does it all the time.”

Read it as :

“Dont tell me that a repeat offender is the same as one who does it once in a blue moon.”


jane Says:

KF I posted them on the Rafa info other thread because it was just after Rafa’s match and that’s precisely when I was reading the article! I also just posted two articles about Fed on this thread: one is about how older players are now playing better for longer and that many 30 year olds were in the draw this FO and the other one is specifically about which conditions favour Fed’s success at the FO, but if you read it you’ll notice they also say he can play in most conditions.


jane Says:

correction: “I posted them on the Rafa info other thread” should be “I posted the Rafa info on the other thread”


trufan Says:

Rafa has already set a record – 3 slam finals lost in a row to the same player. Never happened before.

Funny thing is – after the 6 hour AO final, the person who looked more tired was Nadal, even though djokovic had had a tough 5 hour 5 set semi against Murray two days earlier.

That’s what age does to you – makes you a bit more tired if a younger player can hang with you that long. Nadal never really had to face that


jane Says:

And as for the comment about pushing players back, I wasn’t sheepish. I believe it and stand by it. Delpo was hitting bullets in the early part of their QF and you can see Fed had to play tremendous defence. Also I did not contradict what VM1 said. I said that some other players can also drive players back behind the baseline TOO. In other words, yes clearly Fed can but Delpo can, Berdych, Soda, all big hitters who can run a guy ragged back there. I’ve remarked before on Fed’s defence and how fast he still is. Besides which, I can post what I like.


mat4 Says:

@trufan:

I think it is probably the weight. Rafa has 15 to 20 pounds more than Novak. It is better for a sprint, but worse for a long distance race.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

trufan says : Federer doesn’t have any significant injuries – what he has is OLD AGE. Guys, he’s almost 31. Its incredible that he is still playing at the level he is. By this time, Sampras was not even in the top 10. He still won one last USO (largely due to luck).

How ridiculous is this statement. Note, Sampras won his 1st GS at the age of 19, so at what age did Roger won his 1st slam. Roger is a late bloomer, hence he can play deep in his 20′s. Still Sampras won a slam 10 years after winning his 1st slam. But Roger’s last slam was just 7 years after he won his slam.

At the age of 30, Sampras had a GS year of 11, whereas Roger at 30 has only GS year of 8 ie from the time he won his 1st slam. Mental exhaustion takes place after a prolonged period of dominance. That’s what Sampras got into in his early 30′s.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

That’s what age does to you – makes you a bit more tired if a younger player can hang with you that long. Nadal never really had to face that

I thought Novak and Rafa are of apprx same age. Also it’s foolish to think Rafa was more tired. Novak was the one who fell flat on the surface after long rallies in the 5th. It’s was just a mental breakdown from Nadal by not putting a simle shot at the net into a open court gave life to Novak. Rafa was serving bombs in the 5th set.


Michael Says:

Nirmal,

If you are talking about that Australian Open final, Novak was clearly the better player and he should have won the match in 4 sets.


van orten Says:

Sean….what is your problem…just tell us what is your problem with fed??????? You should not be allowed to make any predictions with such low Level of journalism…maestro will make you eat your words!!!! Good night..viva el rey viva maestro!!!!
.


NachoF Says:

I dont get what people are saying about Del Potro “pushing Federer back” on the first two sets. Thats not what happened at all. Del Potro played awful tennis from start to finish. The only reason that he got those two sets was because Federer was playing even worse than he was. But there was nothing special at all about his play. He never pushed Federer back at all. Federer just made a HUGE amount of (literally!) unforced errors that cost him several breaks of serve.


jane Says:

I said it NachoF. He definitely was, at times, pushing Fed back, just look at the first few points in this video. Not through the whole match, but early on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1fA8272c-4&feature=related


trufan Says:

Nirmal,

So by your count, Thomas Muster was pretty young when he retired, right??

Nobody can fight physical age. DOesn’t matter when you won your first slam – if you are 31, you are 31. Of course, some players take more beating to their body, like Nadal does, and some less, like Federer due to his elegant game. Still, reflexes slow down with physical age, not how many years since your first slam.

Nirmal, you just don’t make sense most of the time. Federer has played more matches than Sampras (total matches). However, as per your calculation, he is “a younger 31″ than Sampras was. Boy, that’s ridiculous!!


Nirmal Kumar Says:

So by your count, Thomas Muster was pretty young when he retired, right??

But we are talking about elites right? Sampras and Roger. Then there could be 100 players to quote as an example.

Nobody can fight physical age. DOesn’t matter when you won your first slam

I never said age does not catch up. It does. But it’s wrong to compare Sampras at 30 and Roger at 30. They what about Sampras at 19 and Roger at 19. Sampras had a GS, but Roger was struttering in ATP right?

I’m Ok with people saying Roger age has a part, no denying that. My only point is wrong to compare Roger with Sampras just by age.

Nirmal, you just don’t make sense most of the time.

It depends. If you are an emotional fan of Roger, yeah it won’t make sense.

However, as per your calculation, he is “a younger 31″ than Sampras was. Boy, that’s ridiculo
us!!

Yeah, he is younger than both. Because his peak year was later to Sampras. Roger is a late bloomer. Though he won more matches, it happened in a cluster, which in itself is just amazing.


trufan Says:

Nirmal, you say

But it’s wrong to compare Sampras at 30 and Roger at 30. They what about Sampras at 19 and Roger at 19. Sampras had a GS, but Roger was struttering in ATP right?

Fed turned pro in 1998, age 17. Sampras turned pro in 1988, age 17 (in fact, they have the same birthday, 10 years apart!).

Sampras won a USO early, while Roger improved his game a bit later. BUt they were both competing, both playing.

By age 31, Roger has played more matches than Sampras, including MANY more on clay which are longer matches. Sampras was only serve and volley, so his body took an even smaller toll.

How can you say that Sampras at 31 SHOULD have been in worse shape than Federer at 31?

Just doesn’t make any sense. Its not a rational argument.

You have to look at age, and then the miles you put on your body. Fed is not lower on miles, relateive to Sampras.

He is just better than what Sampras was at this age.


King Federer Says:

You know what your agenda is, Jane. unfortunately you think other people cannot see through it. nice try!

I think I will take voicemail’s word that nobody pushes players further back than fed. he has definitely got more technical insight and tennis smarts than you do.

i will tell you how ridiculous your statement is.

A says ” nobody has won as many slams as federer”

B replies ” thomas johannason, petr korda and pat cash won slams too. in fact bruguera won 2 french opens – 1 more than fed himself”

i expect these statements from raf@tards or nolef@rts, but you made yourself look silly with that comment. that is the reason voicemail asked you what your point was! any reasonable person would ask the same question.

you are right! you are free to post what you like but other people are free to point out insane comments when they see them too!


C!P! Says:

old ,young ,who cares about that ? ,we only care if people have something smart to say (feel yourself excluded ,King Fed); you’re a whiner just like your so called King; i’ll buy you a handkerchief to cry in ,when Djoko beats Fed ; at least let’s hope djoko wins ,cause i dont wanna see another demolition from Rafa in the final


Mark Says:

To all you mixed up Fedthugs and Nole worshippers. Just calm down and stop talking gibberish. Breathe deeply, relax and repeat after me ” NADAL WINS 7TH FRENCH OPEN”!! VAMOS RAFAAA. Are you feeling better? If not repeat the words in caps again and again!


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Trufan,

Fed turned pro in 1998, age 17. Sampras turned pro in 1988, age 17 (in fact, they have the same birthday, 10 years apart!).

It only shows your ignorance. The mental pressure of playing Tennis once you get your 1st slam is different from playing tennis as an ATP pro. Sampras peaked yearly whereas Roger peaked late. He had more success at younger age compared to Roger, while Roger has more success at later stage than Sampras. Infact if Roger goes slamless, then we could say Sampras was more successful at later stage than Roger, just because he won a Slam, which is more critical than reaching Quarters and Semis. You don’t blindly compare age, you compare the peak years ie from the time you started winning the slam.

By age 31, Roger has played more matches than Sampras, including MANY more on clay which are longer matches.

Actually, clay puts less stress on the body than HC or Grass. You may need more endurance on clay, but you are less likely to get injured compared to HC or Grass.

Sampras was only serve and volley, so his body took an even smaller toll.

This just shows your ignorance. You should watch Sampras play outside Grass. He was an excellent all court player till he got back injury in the latter part of his career. He could thrash Agassi from the backcourt. He became a full time S & V only in his later stage of career. Also S & V puts lot of stress on the body and mind. It’s not too easy on the body, as you assume. That too with the stress he put on his serve, he has every reason to slow down in his late 20′s.


Michael Says:

Nirmal,

Sampras – an excellent all court player ?????

What is his record in Clay courts ? Just an Italian Open title and with one semi final at Rolland Garros to boot. Apart from that mostly beaten before the 4th round stage in this major event. Having such a record and you have the guts to say he is an excellent all court player ?? Sampras is a novice on clay. He just doesn’t know how to play on Clay. Matter ends.


metan Says:

@ mark, well said, ,,,,,,


Michael Says:

Mark,

In that case why we should have the semi finals and finals. Better to already gift the tropy to Nadal. Do not have such overconfidence. You remember 2009 when Soderling dispatched Nadal in just 4 sets. That might happen again or Nadal might go on to win for 7th time. But it is always better not to have arrogance. Even Nadal will not agree with your contention.


trufan Says:

Nirmal,

Sampras as an all court player? Yeah right, 24-13 at the French. That’s how good he was (just one semi).

All court players don’t do that badly.

And FYI, Federer has played as many matches as Sampras on hard courts too, with much less serve and volleying.

As to mental pressure – were you inside Sampras and Federer’s head to know that? Have you even played a sport competitively? I doubt it. The stress of being labeled as the next champion, and not winning a single slam for a couple of years can be equally exacting. Fed beat Sampras at 2001 Wimbledon, then didn’t win a slam until two years later. Is that less stressful than if he had won the wimbledon in 2001 and gotten the monkey off his back? Is Roddick more stressed a player since he won a USO early on, or is Murray more stressed because he can’t win one?

Seriously, you’ve got get at least a bit rational.


flaccid Says:

Nirmal

I think you need to explicitly state your definition of peak years “peak years ie from the time you started winning the slam” to…?


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Sampras as an all court player? Yeah right, 24-13 at the French. That’s how good he was (just one semi).

SMH. So if Sampras does not play great on clay, but excellent on Grass, Slow HC, Indoor Carpet, Fast HC are not considered as different courts. Let’s not fool ourselves. Is Clay the only surface to benchmark an all court player. Just that the courts are homogenous today, we are seeing guys having success across the courts. So in tennis, only guys who win all four slams are considered all court players. That’s ridiculous.

What’s crazy is people are not ready to give credit to Sampras for winning slam early, but are ready to put him down for his lack of success in later years. Why don’t we question Roger’s lack of success when he was 19? Who stopped him from winning a slam?

Then we should breakdown and say from 19-23 Sampras was better than Roger, equivalent to Roger from 23-28 and Roger is better than Sampras from 28-30.

I won’t even consider Roger to be better now, since he is not capable of winning a slam, but Sampras had a slam at his later years. Maybe he is more consistent than Sampras now, but that does not add much. Let Roger win a slam first in his 30′s.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

As to mental pressure – were you inside Sampras and Federer’s head to know that? Have you even played a sport competitively?

I have not seen you play at Wimbledon Centre Court. Have you done that? If yes, then I will stop debating tennis with you. Else we can debate. I don’t think you need to play competitively to comment. Understanding of Tennis is enough.

You talk about mental pressure of not winning a slam. That’s what 99% of players go through. What’s so special in that pressure. It’s much easier to reach the top, but to stay there is the problem. That’s where you need a much tougher mental strength ie ability to handle pressure. Till you win a slam, you go with the attitude of nothing to lose, which is much easier than playing as a GS champ. The entire media world and fans are watching you. That’s real pressure.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

flaccid says: I think you need to explicitly state your definition of peak years “peak years ie from the time you started winning the slam” to…?

Till the player retires? I think once you win a GS, you always can win later at any stage. That’s when you announce you have truly arrived. Even Sampras considered many as not played with much inspiration at his later stage won Slam before retiring.


Mark Says:

@Michael. Not arrogance at all – just utter belief in Rafa.


Michael Says:

Nirmal,

SMH. So if Sampras does not play great on clay, but excellent on Grass, Slow HC, Indoor Carpet, Fast HC are not considered as different courts. Let’s not fool ourselves. Is Clay the only surface to benchmark an all court player. Just that the courts are homogenous today, we are seeing guys having success across the courts. So in tennis, only guys who win all four slams are considered all court players. That’s ridiculous

The fact of the matter is you said that and it is on record that Sampras is an excellent all court player which he is not. Even Roger was not considered by many for the title of GOAT still he won the French Open. A great player has to win on all courts. Matter ends.

What’s crazy is people are not ready to give credit to Sampras for winning slam early, but are ready to put him down for his lack of success in later years. Why don’t we question Roger’s lack of success when he was 19? Who stopped him from winning a slam?

Sampras who won early at 19 could amass only 14 whereas Roger who started late at 23 could amass 16. 16>14.

Won’t even consider Roger to be better now, since he is not capable of winning a slam, but Sampras had a slam at his later years. Maybe he is more consistent than Sampras now, but that does not add much. Let Roger win a slam first in his 30’s.

Roger has already won 16 and Sampras who started very early and also won a major when he was 33 could win only 14. Moreover, I would say what matters is sheer consistency. Sampras did won a major when he was 33, but between 29 and 33 his record in majors was nothing home to write about as he couldn’t even reach the semis of majors like Australian and French and was only a one tournament wonder namely Wimbledon.


Michael Says:

Mark,

Nothing wrong in belief. There is a decent way in expressing it. You are pretty sure that Nadal will win this year’s French Open and well seeing his play, I do concur with your opinion. It is apparently difficult to beat him, but not impossible. Soderling has shown the way and who knows may be Novak or Ferrer can do it. Against Novak, I would put the equation at 65:35 and against Ferrer at 75:25.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Michael, I think you got the entire argument wrong. We are not discussing who is better in their career. That’s not the argument about. Argument is the performance of both the players at their respective age of 30.

If we compare Sampras and Roger at the age of 30 and say Roger is doing better, then we need to compare Sampras and Roger at the age of 19, when Sampras was doing better.

Yes 16 > 14, but 6 consecutive years of year-end No 1 > what Roger has done. Sampras still has more weeks as No 1 compared to Roger eventhough Roger has won more GS.

My only point is each have excelled in their careers, and we should not demean Sampras just so show Roger is better at age 30 right?

Sampras at his best on Grass is unbeatable. We cannot say the same about Roger on any surface. He has been loosing to Rafa on all surfaces.

So each has their own Pros and Cons. that’s why for me it’s stupid to compare them. Rather just cherish them.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Even Roger was not considered by many for the title of GOAT still he won the French Open

Not sure if there is a title exist like “GOAT”. Who awards the title? Enlighten me pls.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

I think people are under estimating Novak’s ability to beat Rafa. Though Rafa is the favourite, but if Novak reaches finals (most likely), he really can take Rafa down. I would say 55:45 for Rafa against Novak depending on Novak’s form in semis.

If Novak can beat Roger quickly in 3-sets then it would be 50:50 in the finals, assuming Rafa gets thru.


Brando Says:

“To win, though, Roger will have to serve much better than he has and he’s got to cut down on the bad errors. Otherwise Novak’s going to run away with the match like Del Potro did, and Novak won’t allow his body fail him.” sums up the SF perfectly for me. I wish fed well BUT IF he brings his present form- things will turn bad quickly for him.


Kimberly Says:

Nirmal—absolutely he can beat Rafa but I like Rafa’s chances to win. If he plays his A game and stays calm mentally I think he wins. But easier said than done. I think 55-45 is fair. Maybe I would have said 60-40.


Kimberly Says:

^^^^^^^^^^^^^
but maybe i am overestimating rafa, he did after all lose 7 times in a row to the guy. somewhere between 50-50 and 60-40. Against Fed I would give him 70-30.


Kimberly Says:

and Ferrer, not sure. EIther way, the title is a challenge, he will have to play two amazing players. But ditto for all four semifinalists. There is no cakewalk left.


van orten Says:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpUsNYQDt9Q

at 1:01 min. fed still has amazing speed and aggressivness in him. great footwork !!!enjoy!!


Mark Says:

@ Michael. ” Soderling has shown the way…”. For the umpteenth time – Soderling beat an injured Nadal. That is all I have to say to you. BTW ther was nothing indecent in my post. If that’s how you feel, that is your prerogative! Move on.


madmax Says:

Andoegar Says:
@Sean Randall I agree fed fans should not come with excuses but why don’t you ever say something when mainly nadal but also novak fans do the same things a lot worse? I have never read you criticizing those fans.

June 6th, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Geez, I wish some people would not “LUMP” all fed fans together; we support our guy, 100%. And please, let’s be fair on this. The greatest excuse ever since 2009, has been rafa’s knees. So let’s get the facts right.

Whoever wins on Friday, will win fair and square.


Mark Says:

Back to the present. Schedule for tomorrow : Nadal/ Ferrer first up at 1pm followed by the other two.


metan Says:

@mark, tks for the information., I’ll watch it.

@jamie, where were you?
Prediction for fo is nadal but who is the opponent????
I wish it could be novak,


Alex Says:

Sean you are realy an ass, you are the reason I stoped visiting this site.

Goodbye.


madmax Says:

Please don’t encourage Jamie, Metan. Jamie is having a break; the stars predicted he would win the lottery.

Silence is golden.


jane Says:

The Paris forecast is calling for 70% chance of rain tomorrow, including thunder showers. I hope there aren’t a bunch of rain delays and that Nole and Fed get through their match tomorrow; last year they were playing in near-dark at the end of the 4th set. With Rafa/Ferrer starting at 1:00, they should all finish. Fingers crossed.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Kimberly, I don’t know if it sounds too bad. But I would always give Rafa 95:05 over Fed in FO and 80:20 in other slams.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Jane, it that’s the weather forecast, it would be a big advantage to Novak. Roger needs faster conditions to have any chance of taking a set.


jane Says:

Maybe Nirmal: the article I posted last night notes, however, that Fed always did well at Hamburg where the conditions were damp and cool. But it also says the faster balls and sunny weather helped him at the FO last year. So who knows!? :)


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Jane, the balls were insanely fast last year. I know you are a great fan of tennis, so you should have watched last years FO. For me, it was playing faster than Wimbledon. Infact, Roger was having trouble at Wimbledon coming in from FO due to change in balls. Wimbledon used a very heavy balls whereas in RG they made the balls tighter and much lighter than previous years. Roger was hitting through at FO much better than at Wimbledon. They do make lot of difference for players.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Kimberly, Though Nadal maybe the greatest claycourter, matchups play a major role in tennis.

No one thought Rafa is going to beat Roger at AO2009 finals. Roger was playing unbelievable and Nadal just scrapped through to the finals. But the confidence of Nadal against Roger got thru.

Same was said for Novak against NAdal at Wimb 2011. Novak was playing poorly till then. Was dragged by Tomic and Baghdadis. But we all knew what happened when they met in the Final.

Novak has beaten too many odds in last 1.5 years, it tough to bet against him at this stage.


jane Says:

Nirmal, yeah the balls were faster at the FO last year, definitely, but changed back this year. I remember Nole said they were hard to control last year.


ertorque Says:

Could someone tell me if tomorrow’s men semis will be played at the same time or one after another? Thanks!


jane Says:

“Was Tsonga at the top of his game?
Arnaud Di Pasquale, head of men’s tennis at the French Tennis Federation, shares his thoughts on the situation. “I don’t know if he could do any better than that. He was an absolute killer during the second and fourth sets – it looked like he was going to destroy his opponent like Nadal does. Never before have I seen him play so great throughout a match.” Jana Novotna, Wimbledon champion in 1998, was watching from the stands and was floored by his performance. “I’ve never seen such an intense match at Roland Garros. It was probably the greatest I’ve seen in several years. It’s mainly thanks to Jo. He was incredibly consistent. He got to almost every ball and placed his shots perfectly. And he was able to stay focused nearly the entire match. You can always play better, but he was almost at a perfect 10!”

Should Tsonga get a coach?
Guy Forget, former Davis Cup captain who knows Tsonga well, thinks he should seriously start considering it. “He’s managing really well at the moment without a coach, but it might be time to shake things up a bit. It certainly couldn’t do any harm,” says Forget. After letting Eric Winogradsky go nearly a year ago, Jo’s been going solo. For Jana Novotna, ranked no.2 in the world in 1997, things have been fine until now but he may have reached his limits. “It doesn’t hurt to take responsibility for your own game and not have a coach. But there comes a time when something’s missing, and for Jo to take it to the next level – to beat the guys in the top four – he’s going to need to find a coach.”

Will Tsonga come back from this loss?
“Of course,” says Mary Pierce. “He was fantastic, he has nothing to beat himself up about. It was clearly a tough match to lose but he’ll get over it. He needs to look at the positives. He almost beat the world no.1, he’s gained precious experience for next year and he’s shown that he can hold his ground at a Grand Slam. There’s no reason for him to feel down. The best thing he can do is rest for a few days, take his mind off things, and get back to work.” That’s what Pierce did after her heartbreaking loss to Amelie Mauresmo in the 2005 Masters final. “Faith helped me move past my disappointment, and I was happy for Amelie,” she says. Jana Novotna, who was in tears after losing in the finals at Wimbledon against Steffi Graf in 1993, says that this kind of loss is never impossible to come back from. “On the contrary – it motivates you to work harder, to keep going,” says the Czech. “I got over my disappointment through work. There will always be another tournament, another challenge. They’re used to losing. Mark my words – Jo’s going to be amazing at Wimbledon!””

* This article on Tsonga is from the Roland Garros website.

It confirms how awesome he was playing – look at Novotna’s comments on the match, wow. They also think maybe he should consider getting a coach. I am not sure about it. Tsonga has played soooo much better since he got rid of his coach after last year’s FO. But maybe if he got a coach who lets him play his style with just some help here and there it would be a good idea.


madmax Says:

Does anyone have the stats on how long Fed, Novak, Rafa and Ferrer have been on court since round one?


jane Says:

madmax, here you go. :)

Nole: 14:29
Fed: 13:34
Rafa: 10: 36

BTW, do you know I finally got the Book Thief out of the library? I plan to read it after FO.


skeezer Says:

Time spent on court after Semi’s for all Men;

Nole: 17:29
Fed: 16:34
Rafa: 11:36

Time on court in Finals if Djoker vs Rafa

480 minutes


Ganesh Says:

When is the Federer-Djok and Nadal-XXXXX match scheduled to play in EST (eastern standard time)?


madmax Says:

jane Says:
madmax, here you go. :)

Nole: 14:29
Fed: 13:34
Rafa: 10: 36

BTW, do you know I finally got the Book Thief out of the library? I plan to read it after FO.

Jane!

Thank you! You see, even though fed played is it 3, 4 setters? and 1 5 setter, he has only been on court for 3 more hours than rafa, am happy about that. I am glad that fed has had to fight.

Jane, you will LOVE the book thief. I want your views please on THE PROLOGUE, once you have read it.

Tomorrow, I think that Novak will do it, I hope for federer,and if Fed does do it, then yey! If it is a final between ed and rafa, then will cheer him all the way, simply becuase he is the greatest.

June 7th, 2012 at 1:25 pm


madmax Says:

If Fed v Rafa, then conty, just stick around and see if there could be magic, I know you get nervous around this time!

Just hope it is a great match.


the mind reels Says:

@Ganesh:

Nadal v. Ferrer will begin at 7a (EST)

Djokovic v. Federer will begin after that.


dari Says:

Lol Skeezer, 1 hour for a daveed/rafa match? I say one hour for the first SET. then sacred falls off for a total match time of one hour and 45 mins.

I am really feeling weird about semi’s tomorrow. Last year’s was oh so magical with fed and novak coming into it playing great. This year… Well this year i somehow picked daveed winning, i hope my mistake pays off, but even more so i hope im right about picking fed!

Go Roger!


Fot Says:

Rafa/Ferrer first up; followed by Roger/Novak. The match doesn’t start until 1:00 pm (Paris time), which is 6:00 am (Dallas time/central time). Why now schedule the matches to start earlier (Paris time) since I understand there is rain in the forecast again tomorrow. I would hate for the Federer/Novak match to be interrupted by ‘darkness’ like it almost was last year.


Sienna Says:

I tell you this. Nadalwill be in for an unpleasant surprise if he should play Fed in sundays final. His whole game is set for taking on Djokovic. Big serve , flattening his groundies. More wheight on racgquet thus less Topspin. He beats every body easier even Djoker but there is a counter measure for that and that is called Federer. He loves the new clay Nadal.

It wont be easy but Fed should be closer to Nadal then last year. If he is close enough we will see. First is Djoker business.


jane Says:

Fot, I agree: they’ve been starting at 11:00 most of the tournament, so, considering the forecast, I think they should be starting Rafa/Ferrer at 11:00 to *ensure* as much as possible that the two matches are finished tomorrow.


andrea Says:

all the peeps on tennis.com are picking novak and nadal to win tomorrow.


Fot Says:

andrea – those 2 are the favorites, but you never know what can happen….that’s why they play the matches. I mean, who (at the beginning of the tournament), would have picked the 2 women’s finalist? So…anything is possible!


Achilles Says:

@Sienna: “…Nadal will be in for an unpleasant surprise if he should play Fed…”

Nadal would really be surprised if he sees Federer there in Sunday’s finals.


M Says:

I’m not seeing Rafa straight-setting Ferru; I’m just not. No one remembers those AO quarters except me?
*frets*

Allez Roger!!!


jane Says:

I picked Sharapova as a finalist. And Errani has been the other big winner on clay this year. So in a way, they are exactly the right finalists.


dari Says:

M I know ferrer is not someone to overlookx ive just seen the same show with him and rafa over and over. I will gladly eat my words if he manages this one, but rafa by most accounts is looking super sharp, anyway, he will get a set I think, and then for the rest “We gonna see” as rafa saysgo roger, go daveed!


Mark Says:

@M. ” No one remembers those AO quarters ex pet me”. Really? Then do you also remember that Rafa suffered a 2cm tear in his hamstring and played and finished the match carrying that injury??


Brando Says:

here’s my take:

rafa v ferrer: rafa hasn’t lost a SET IN ANY RED CLAY TOUNRY so far this year- YET ferrer probably has been the closest one to doing at Barcelona (both sets) and Rome (he should have won set 1 IMO). I think he’ll get a set- BUT that’s all. rafa’s just the better clay player, abit like how ferrer’s a better clay player than murray (andy even admitted this post match). there’s NO SHAME in this whatsoever for david IMO. He’ll walk of the court with his head held high no doubt about it.

Federer v Djokovic: i CANNOT SEE PAST NOVAK in this one for the following:

1- both have been less than spectacular this tourny, BUT novak has seemed the better one of the 2.

2- Rome: novak just blitzed roger there. we can argue about what affected fed’s performance, BUT the scoreboard rarely lies.

3- Tsonga match: novak won a match that, IMHO, he was SECOND BEST in the 3 competitive sets arguably. Tsonga, rightfully, won set 2 and 3, and probaly should have won set 4 since he did have 4 MPs and he was the ONE who could have won it outside the TB- BUT novak stepped up in the face of ali’s BEST PERFORMANCE ON CLAY. fed, on the other hand, did SEEM 2ND BEST when delpo was on fire- almost powerless. Novak didn’t though. And he came through- is destiny on his side?

Fed’s ONLY CHANCE is IF he serves EXTREMELY WELL- w/o it he’ll have ZERO CHANCE against novak. And he NEEDS TO KEEP THE UE or on the same level as novak’s.

Do those 2 things then he’ll have an EXCELLENT chance since despite the tough conditions, he has hit ALOT OF WINNERS ON A REGULAR BASIS.

And as tsonga and seppi showed ATTACKING TENNIS CAN HURT novak here at RG. Fed ARGUABLY IS STILL THE BEST at this form of tennis.

All in all, i think novaks the fav and probably will win, BUT IF fed has his serve with him, the UE’s at a reasonable level- HE’LL WIN as novak seems beatable so far this year at RG.


Lisa Says:

I think people seriously underestimate that Federer can beat Nadal should they meet in the final….

I think people forgot what happend in the 2011 French Open Final….

Remember Federer won 1st set, blaised through the 2nd set leading comfortably (5-2), and was serving to be 2 sets up…..


Brando Says:

^^KEEP UE LOW is what i meant- fed NEEDS to address this areas asap


steve-o Says:

For now, I am only worrying about the semifinal. If Federer beats Djokovic, then he can think about the final.

Serve is key for Federer, of course. Also the return, the forehand, the backhand, the slice, the volley, the drop shot. In other words, everything.


Mark Says:

@ Lisa. Am afraid your memory of FO 2011 fails you. Nadal won 7-5 7-6 5-7 6-1.


Brando Says:

@Steve-o: LOL, SO TRUE!

I read a comment, which to me summed it up the best- it went along the lines of:

federer will have to KEEP ON hitting great shots in order to win the point, whilst djokovic MAY NOT have to as much as fed.


Lisa Says:

@Mark

Yes….Nadal did win…..but Federer was close to being 2 sets to love up….

But uncharacteristicly of Federer, be blew that 2nd set having led (5-2)….unbeliveble


van orten Says:

it is funny it that only fed has to be sharp and play perfect in order to win…and what about djoker???? if he plays so so ,.feds so so will be enough!!!!!


Lisa Says:

@Brando

Yes I agree…..Federer 1st serve is key…


skeezer Says:

Cheering Fed here of course. But there is no expectations here. What’s expected is Rafa an Novak. Fed has made it to the semi finals on his worst surface @ 30. A great achievement in itself. Am more concerned with the other majors for the maestro. Hope he is dialed in for Wimby. If he goes further here, it’s all gravy.


Brando Says:

@Skeezer:

”Fed has made it to the semi finals on his worst surface”

mmmm…. STATISTICALLY, i’ll probably have to agree with you, BUT IMO, to steal a quote of fed:

‘ clay is NOT AN ISSUE for me, nadal is’!

BAR, he’s EASILY been the best clay courter in last 8 years!

Me thinks IF he wins the SF, he’ll go to wimby as fav, REGARDLESS of what goes down in the final. BUT if he loses 2moro- ESPCIALLY in a manner similar to Rome SF- then it COULD affect him at wimby.

time will tell, hope he does well………


harry Says:

interesting stats chart, jane. do the figures for those years include the semis and the finals too?

if so, then it is hard to believe that rafa was in a “better form” during 2005,7, and 8. i am basing this on the number of games lost.


Achilles Says:

Federer fans should be happy he reached the semifinals and forget about any notion of him winning the FO. Time to wake up. Be happy that he is still the 3rd best player. He will never beat Nadal ever again.


jane Says:

hi harry, you’re welcome. Unfortunately I don’t know the answer to you question: I was just browsing the Tennis Planet website and saw it there. It was exactly like that with no further explanation.

There are some nice photos of the two women’s finalists and the mixed doubles winners, for anyone interested.


jane Says:

Actually harry something seems off now that you mention it. Nadal lost more than two sets in last year’s tournament I believe. 2 to Isner and 1 to Fed for sure.


jane Says:

Looks like it reflects his results UP TO the semis harry. Sorry for all the posts to answer you.


harry Says:

@Brando(4:55), i agree with your conclusions that nole is the favorite in the fed match (as skeezer says too), but not necessarily for the points you listed. here are my responses corresponding to your points:
1. “both have been less than spectacular this…” — except the qrts, both have played a lot of unknown, young players; so it is difficult to judge based on that (for many reasons).
2. “Rome: novak just blitzed roger there…” true. but how much can you extrapolate from a masters series performance to a gs?
3. “Tsonga match: novak won a match that…” true. but i have not seen many players hit with the consistent power that delpo was doing during the first two sets. jane made a similar remark in this or another thread.

nevertheless, i would give a slight edge to novak. but you never know… if the court is as slow as reports say, it could help either… novak’s defense or fed’s run-around-forehand…


harry Says:

thanks jane (6:30 pm)! it now fits with my intuition :) only in 2008 did he look better in terms of games lost…


Brando Says:

@harry: TRUE- the common theme In delpo’s performance and jo ‘ali’ tsonga was: POWER. That seems CRUCIAL In these condtions. Advantage novak there IMO- BUT fed will be more aggressive- fed may have an edge there….


harry Says:

yes Brando, i think that is one more reason why rafa looks as dangerous as he does in jane’s stats chart…


thark Says:

@Voicemale1 and King Federer,

Attacking Jane is the #1 way to lose credibility on this site. I don’t always agree with her opinions but we have all taken note of her respectful and pleasant demeanor. Keeping it civil makes the debate a lot more fun and she understands that. It’s not as if anyone here ever “wins” the debate so there isn’t much value to letting it upset you. Besides, if you think you can “win” an argument with any woman you are either very foolish or very single…

@Brando,

It would be HELPFUL if you would occasionally CAPITALIZE so that WE KNOW which words are the MOST IMPORTANT!


Achilles Says:

Brando probably thinks that everybody hear is deaf hence, his need to SHOUT!!!


Lisa Says:

Correct me if Im wrong…..But why is both Mens Semifinal played at the same court??….

Given the ‘forcast’ and ‘possible long matches’….(also adding to the fact that Rolland Garros has a history of lighting problems)

They might not finish the matches today…


Andrew Miller Says:

Mr. Randall is probably right on Djokovic, much to my chagrin, and I think Nadal as the w. on Ferrer is, well someone would be crazy to pick Ferrer.

However, I think that we wont get a Nadal-Djokovic final for Roland Garros. Not sure why.

On the WTA side…I will go with Sharapova. Kudos to the Russian yankee!


trufan Says:

Stupid thing to put both matches on the same court, and start late at 1pm. No way will both be done, what with all the time wasting and then some rain.

Nadal again gets the luck of the draw, magically, as his match will most likely finish, while Djokovic won’t get a day of rest since he will need to come back to finish off Federer on saturday.


jamie Says:

Fedal final with Nadal winning his 7th Roland Garros.


metan Says:

@madmax,
I just need to double my gold here, as time is running out!
One moment in time, haha,,,,,


metan Says:

@jamie, thanks a lot jamie!
You are amazing,


trufan Says:

Achilles,

Fed will probably never beat Nadal again on CLAY. However, outside of clay, he will continue to thrash Nadal, especially in best of 3 matches. Have you forgotten the YEC and Indian Wells thrashings just in the last 6 months?

As for this French, Fed is a tad slower than what he used to be (isn’t that inevitable at almost 31 years of age?), so Djokovic will beat him – he does almost everything better than Federer these days, except volley, which is not that important on clay anyway. Djokovic is 25, at the prime of his physical prowess. No way Fed can beat him in a best of 5. Last year the pressure just got to Djoke (of being No. 1). This time, he has already won 5 slams, been No 1 for almost 45 weeks, he knows how to win big matches far more than where he was last year. And Fed is a year older (which matters more at Fed’s age than at Djokovic’s age).

So get ready for Djoke Nadal final. The only question is whether Nadal again gets lucky and has a rest day while Djoke doesn’t.


Kimmi Says:

whoever reach the final (federer or djokovic) will be spent. nadal has spent very little time on court. federer played 2 four setter and one 5 setter. djokovic 2 five sets.

I know these guys are professional but this much tennis is going to catch up with them soon.


trufan Says:

As for Federer and clay, CLAY is not the problem for him. Even Nadal isn’t the root cause of the problem. The problem is his one-handed backhand.

Had Guga and Lendl been playing in this era, they would have had the same troubles against Nadal – and we consider both Guga and Lendl to be GREAT clay courters (3 french titles each, and many other clay accomplishments). The reason is both had a one-handed backhand.

If you look at the top 10 claycourters in the open era, perhaps the ranking would be as follows:

Nadal
Borg
Lendl
Vilas
Guga
Wilander
Connors (?)
Federer
Courier (?)

Federer easily makes the top 10 clay courter list in the open era. Given the unusual scenario of him having to play and lose SO MANY finals to Nadal, who is left handed (none of the others had to deal with this) – you can even make a case for Nadal to be top 5 clay courter (after Nadal, Borg, Lendl, and Vilas).

Look at Fed’s record against other top clay courters like Ferrer (and earlier Ferrero). He is 13-0 on Ferrer, even better than Nadal (who at least lost once to Ferrer on clay). Fed’s record against any clay courter today is as good as Nadal’s record against them. He has clearly been the No. 2 clay courter the last decade.

So Fed’s problem is not clay.

It’s not even Nadal, because if it was Nadal, he wouldn’t have a 8-6 winning record against him outside of clay.

Its the high spinning bounce that only a lefty can give, to his backhand which becomes a drawback since it is one-handed. Both had to be there to create the perfect storm – a lefty topspin, and a one-handed backhand.

That’s Fed’s problem on clay.


trufan Says:

BTW, Fed has the second highest number of match wins at the French Open, EVER, next only to Vilas.

And he will end up with the second highest No. of match wins EVER, next only to Nadal.

Right now Vilas is 56, Fed is 54 (but Vilas can’t increase that number). Nadal is just above 50, but will surely end up closer to 70. Fed perhaps will end up above 60.

Fed is already above 60 match wins at AO and USO, and at 59 match wins at Wimbledon. He will most certainly end up with 60+ wins at all 4 slams each – something that might not be challenged for a while.

As a reference, Sampras retired with a 24-13 record at the French. Fed is right now 54-12, will likely make it 54-13 today. And there was no MONSTROUS clay courter in the Sampras era like there is today – the French open changed hands every year, before Guga defended his title in 1998.


slicer Says:

Nadal won´t stop short of another trofé. He´ll beat Novak in straight sets this time, but it´ll be closer than a Nadal-Federer matchup would have been.


trufan Says:

If Novak is fresh, Nadal won’t be able to beat him that easily – it might go the distance. Djoke is not going to give up – there’s too much on the line. In Rome and MC, there wasn’t that much on the line.

For Nadal, it doesn’t matter, because he always plays every point as if he is taking revenge on someone.

Mentally, Djoke is at least as strong as Nadal is. Look at Djoke’s 5th set record – 17-5 in 5 set matches that have gone the distance. He is not one that gives up, epsecially when the stakes are high.

If Djokovic can win this one beating Nadal, he will suddenly elevate himself to a top 5 status in the open era (6 slams, including all 4, and then 4 in a row – only Borg, Sampras, Federer and Nadal can lay a claim similar or larger, not even Agassi and Lendl).

Djoke might lose the first set, but once the adrenalin flows, he will give it to Nadal. It’ll be a long match…


trufan Says:

PARIS WEATHER TODAY:

scattered thunderstorms start at 1, and then there is light rain from 4pm onwards till the night.

French Open officials would be UTTERLY STUPID not to start both semi matches simultaneously on different courts, and perhaps earlier at Noon.

Otherwise, FOR SURE, djokovic Federer will be playing the bulk of their match tomorrow, while Nadal would be resting up for the final.


jane Says:

^ ITA trufan. Why not start at 11:00 like they’ve done throughout the event? Especially given the forecast. If it was going to be bright, clear and sunny, fine, start at 1:00 and go until 8:00. BUT considering the weather… Ugh.


trufan Says:

And I don’t think Federer would care as much. He would love to beat Djoke, even if it means that lets Nadal win the French. That way, Fed has a better chance of securing the No. 1 ranking if he wins wimbledon.

If Fed loses, he loses points while Djoke gains points, which will make it more difficult for him to get to No. 1.

Right now Nadal’s best friend would be Federer. He can do him a HUGE favor (AGAIN) by beating Djokovic.

Last year, Nadal would have probably lost to Djokovic in the final. Heck, he almost went 2 sets to 1 down to Federer in the final!

Luck. Luck. That’s what this is called.


mat4 Says:

I rewatched finally a big chunk of the Djokovic-Tsonga match. First, Novak played much better than I thought first, especially in the beginning of the match. He served quite well, played deep, moved well. But Jo played a terrific match from the middle of the second set, Novak had a few lapses when he was a break up (the first time he didn’t see the danger coming), the court was very heavy and favoured the more powerful player, and the dynamic of the encounter was altered.

But, overall, the level was higher than it seemed to me initially.


trufan Says:

Yup, why not start at 11, on two courts, and get both the matches done by 4pm (who cares about doubles anyway, move them for later).


Kimmi Says:

sorry if somebody post this already. federer/djokovic stats through to qtr final.

http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2012/06/23/Roland-Garros-Semifinal-Preview-Statistics-Djokovic-Federer.aspx


Lisa Says:

@trufan

True…..its a ridiculous scheduling…….

For sure…..the French must be trying to play some factor/tamper here with the…..

Djokovic vs Federer (Semifinal)

You can be sure it’s something diffinately both players would bring up after the match….


trufan Says:

The French are just rigid.

These tournaments don’t care about matches or players – their main criterion is TV schedules and revenues from Advertisements. That’s why they do what they do.

Look at the US Open – the most ridiculous of slams, where they play mens semi on saturday (best of 5) followed by mens final on sunday (best of 5), with not a single day’s break (actually, less than 24 hour recovery time). So often it has happened that the player who got lucky with an easier semi, won the final the next day – Remember 2002 USO? Agassi was washed out by Hewitt match on saturday, While sampras played an easy semi against a much lower ranked player, so was fresher. Otherwise no way would he have beaten Agassi at 2002 USO Final. Remember, that was the time when Agassi was close to being No. 1, Hewitt WAS no. 1 and had won the USO recently. So Hewitt was a pretty tough opponent to beat at the USO in 2002. Is there was a day’s rest in between, things could have been different.


sheila Says:

federer is who i always want to win, but unfortunately i think djokovic will take him out in semis(federers lost last 5 of 6) and nadal will take out djokovic in finals . looking at present form i dont c how anyone can bet against nadal. if i were delusional i would say federer will win the whole tournament.


King Federer Says:

thark :

maybe not every one looks at jane or other women as $ex objects like you do.

your statement that you dont want to argue with women because it would mean you would remain single means you have not met intelligent women in your life and maybe all you have met is wh0res.

jane was being dumb and while i expect that from raf@tards like you or some nolef@rts around, jane has made posts much wiser than the one she posted. besides anyone who has known voicemail post and jane post knows who has the better tennis smarts. when it comes to tennis technicalities i am sorry to burst the bubble but jane has got very less to offer compared to voicemail. you can check their previous posts and voicemail does not BS. he makes very insightful comments.

i would not expect raf@tards like you to understand the difference between comments coming from an expert and some dumbo! you want to keep kissing jane’s @$$ hoping you will get “some”, be my guest. i meet beautiful and intelligent women in real life and i dont have to be a creep on the internet to get l@id.


Kimberly Says:

Humble Rafa—the Cleveland Traitor put on a nice little performance tonight. Game 7 in Miami on Saturday.


Ben Pronin Says:

Kimberly, there’s nothing we need to say that Lebron didn’t say on the court tonight. MVP.


thark Says:

king fed – my post wasn’t about tennis knowledge, it was about being nice – which ultimately facilitates a better discussion. i have absolutely no reason to doubt that you are at this moment surrounded by beautiful and intelligent women who admire your tennis-x posts. having said that, you should still try being nice.

as an aside, has anyone heard anything about soda’s recovery? i’ve heard he may be out through the olympics – it would be great to have him back in the mix.


Michael Says:

Nirmal,

“Sampras at his best on Grass was unbeatable”

Do you know a player named Richard Krajacek. He beat Sampras in straight sets in the quarters when Sampras was at his peak in Wimbledon. Atleast, Roger at his best was beaten only by another Great player named Nadal and that too in a cliff hanger. I am not belittling Krajacek in any way, but his performance is ordinary when compared to these Greats.

Roger’s record is consecutive weeks at No.1 and no player is yet to beat that. Ofcourse Sampras has a record in most number of weeks as No.1 and Roger is perilously close to that one which if luck permits, he may break.

You say Sampras played better Tennis than Roger at 19. May be true. But Roger’s achievements are more compared to Sampras even though he peaked a little late. In terms of most number of majors, tournaments won, semis/finals/quarters of majors, all court record, World series title, Masters tournaments etc. etc., Roger is on a scale incomparable with Sampras. That is a solid fact.


Venkat Says:

FEDEX beating DJOKO and RAFA .Then it would be a stylish end to the FRENCH OPEN


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Michael,

Sod beat Rafa at Clay. Does it put a dent on Rafa’s claim as greatest player on clay atleast of this era. It happens. One loss does not belittle your career achievements. Are you expecting Sampras to be 100-0 at Wimbledon just because be is invincible there.

Just to clarify, we are taking discussion to a wrong direction again. We are not talking about their career achievements. I clarified it above already.

It’s unfair to compare Roger and Sampras exactly at 30 years of age.


Michael Says:

Nirmal,

You said while Federer was beaten at Wimbledon, Sampras was unbeatable on Grass and only to that I responded. Infact even Roger beat Sampras in 2001 at Wimbledon in the 4th round. But that doesn’t diminish Sampras dominance on Grass. He was an excellent Grass court player and one of the best. But Nadal is a different kettle of fish. He has dominated French like no other except for that minor blemish at French against Soderling. He is appearing invincible and is without doubt the GREATEST PLAYER on clay. But I thought you do not believe in the title of GOAT ???

Are you expecting Sampras to be 100-0 at Wimbledon just because be is invincible there

Doesn’t the same logic apply to Roger too ????

It’s unfair to compare Roger and Sampras exactly at 30 years of age

When you can compare the achievements of Roger and Sampras at 19, why not at 30 ? Because 30 came after only 19. It is you who said that Federer was a late starter and to counter that there was this argument of the performance at 30.


trufan Says:

Federer has a better grass court record than Sampras – look at match records, sets won, whatever.

The only point in favor of Sampras is 7 wimbledons to Federer’s 6. That may change this year.

And Sampras was just miserable on clay. Not an all round player.


trufan Says:

Nadal on clay is better than Sampras on grass, no doubt about it.

And Nadal on grass is better than what Sampras was on clay.

Though Sampras was a much better hard court player than what Nadal ever will be.

As for Fed versus Sampras:

1. I believe they are roughly even on grass. If they played 10 times, perhaps 5-5.

2. Roger has the clear edge on hard courts. If they played 10 times, perhaps Roger would win 7-3.

3. Clay, not even a comparison. Roger would thrash Sampras 10-0 if they played 10 times. Or 100-0 if they played 100 times.

Figure it out.


King Federer Says:

Federer has a 102-15 record on grass and sampras 101-20. Fed has 11 titles to sampras’ 10. He has a 87% win record on grass to sampras’ 83%.

Fed has the open era record for most consecutive wins on grass = 65. what is sampras’ equivalent number?

Infact even mcenroe and borg have a better winning % than sampras.

The only stat in pete’s favor is 7 wimbledons to roger’s 6. well fed has 7 finals in a row and he lost one of them by a whisker – 9-7 in the fifth to nadal. nadal, by the way is much more accomplished on grass than agassi or rafter or ivanisevic who were sampras’ main rivals. just for fun, andy roddick has a greater win% on grass than all those rivals of sampras.

you can keep believing sampras is better than fed on grass, but the stats dont support that. If fed had to face agassi/rafter/ivanisevic during 2003-2012, it is plausible he would have won 7 wimbledons in a row. nadal who denied fed that lone wimbledon title in 2008 is far more accomplished on grass than those 3 were.


Michael Says:

Well said King Federer !!


trufan Says:

One of Sampras’s wimbledon finals was against Pioline. Yes, Cedric Pioline. Remember him? Perhaps no.

Roddick on grass, until a few years ago, was far more dangerous than Ivanisevic (only serve), or Rafter (great volleys, but late bloomer and never got it together on grass), or Agassi, who goofed off during Sampras’s peak years, and was never really a top notch grass court player.


King Federer Says:

thark :

i would be nice if others are nice. you might believe jane is all “sugar and spice and everything nice”. a lot of federer fans know better than that. she has been accused of trying to belittle federer’s achievements in the past, go check the archives.

that might be fine with you because you are a nadal/djokovic fan (see i am nice to you now when you are nice!) but as a federer fan i will point it out when she does that. she did exactly that when voicemail, who has very good tennis insights, gave federer a compliment. she HAD to point out delpotro and other big hitters can push people back too!

as i said that point is as sensible and wise as someone responding with “johannason and petr korda won grand slam titles too” to someone who says “nobody has won as many grandslams as fed”.

i hope you see the point. believe me, i wouldn’t be the only guy bad-mouthing on this site. if certain djokovic/nadal fans dont keep making stupid comments about fed, i would be the nicest person to talk to.


King Federer Says:

thanks michael. There is no doubt Sampras is an all time great, but people cant make claims without numbers supporting them.

Federer is the GOAT of Grass and Hardcourts and GOAT of tennis.

If you donot believe in GOAT of tennis, you should shut your trap about GOAT of clay or GOAT of grass too. keep out of the discussion. but no, people want to make assertions that sampras is GOAT of grass without any statistics to back that up.


trufan Says:

Sampras is certainly a tennis great. Nobody can deny that.

However, Federer is clearly the best tennis player ever. Not only is his game so complete, all court, elegant, the stats support it. Grand slam stats are what matter the most:

1. 16 slams (max ever).
2. 23 finals (max ever).
3. 10 finals in a row, 18 of 19 finals (unbelievable streak), twice all 4 finals in a year.
4. 11 slams in 4 years, 3 times 3 slams a year.
5. Won all 4 slams.
6. At least 5 finals in all 4 slams (that’s not going to be topped easily).

Lets not even get to semi, etc. or rankings, or other records. Just bare slams record, only including titles or finals.

Except for the 5th one in the list above, nobody can match the others. Not Borg, Not Sampras, not Nadal.

Period.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Michael, Trufan and KF,

I appreciate your emotional responses. But just that Grass at which Sampras played in different from Grass at which Roger is playing.

Have you guys seen Sampras destroy Boris (a Wimbledon great) at Wimbledon. If you guys have SEEN Sampras play at Wimbledon, you won’t be making this argument.

What Roger plays is a Clay Grass. Roger does not even play S & V tennis at Wimbledon, which shows the difference between the surfaces before and now.

Also most of Roger’s title credit comes from Halle. Is that how you want to benchmark Roger’s success? It makes me laugh. Halle is the weakest field. So it’s just Natural that Roger has excelled in it.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Michael,

I never compared Roger with Sampras at 19 years. I just said if you compare them at 30, then you should also compare them at 19. Roger at 30 is not winning slams, whereas Sampras at 19 had won a slam. So a point in time comparison is a stupidity is my argument.

Also I don’t believe in GOAT. You missed the statement which I said. I meant Rafa is the greatest of this era, not for ever. Which I believe is right.


King Federer Says:

As for today’s semis – fed is in a very enviable position of nothing to lose. this is his worst surface, he has already achieved everything. even if he loses, djokovic might prove a greater threat to nadal’s legacy and minimise nadal’s assault on fed’s.

djokovic has all the pressure in the world to achieve the nole slam and if he comes out flat like he did against seppi, it will only make fed’s life easier.

this is exactly how it was last year, with novak having the burden of the 43 match streak and it showed in crunch situations. he missed the same shot he made at uso, a few months later – the forehand cross court return. surely he was under much lesser pressure in new york with no.1 secured and no winning streak online.

i am just happy that federer can relax and let his game flow. if it does like it did @ fo 2011 or uso 2011, i will be more than happy. novak will have to play his very best to get through federer if fed brings his A game.

allez fed!


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Federer is the GOAT of Grass

I thought 7 > 6 right? Did that change?


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Federer is clearly the best tennis player ever

SMH. Just explain me, how come Rafa beats Roger in every slam surface. Except Grass, why is that Roger has not beaten Rafa on other surfaces. I’m confused.


King Federer Says:

Nirmal :

if the grass was faster, believe me, fed would not be the worst hit, it would be rafa!

fed won his 1st wimbledon on the back of S&V. he adapted to the changed conditions. by the same token, sampras would win 0 wimbledons if he played on this clay grass. atleast roger would win a few fast-grass wimbledons. how many GS finals (not even titles) does sampras have on clay = 0.

federer almost matches sampras on wimbledon with 6wins in 7 finals. he then has 5 halle to 3 queens. if halle was so easy, sampras could have played there, no one stopped him, did they? so stop making asinine statements and bring out the numbers if you have any. or are you going to keep pulling stupid statements out of your @$$ and keep acting like those sampr@$$es who are worse than rafat@rds?


Nirmal Kumar Says:

This is exactly how it was last year, with novak
having the burden of the 43 match streak and it showed in crunch situations. he missed the same shot he made at uso, a few months later – the forehand cross court return.

Absolutely wrong. The only difference is Roger hit an down the line ACE at matchpoint in FO, which he did not do at USO. That’s what had made the difference.

For me, both Roger and Novak played a higher quality match at FO compared to USO. USO Roger was the better player except at sets 3 & 4. He was a dominating Novak in the 5th set. Just that he lost his mind while serving for the match. At FO, they were even at 4th set. Infact I believe Novak was serving for the set with a break up. Just because Novak lost it should not be assumed that he was playing bad. He played great tennis but lost.

It’s a simple fact that When Roger plays his absolute best, then I doubt anyone can beat him other than Nadal on clay.


King Federer Says:

oh yeah, indian wells and shanghai and london 2010 and 2011 and miami and hamburg and madrid are grass.

i did not get that memo!


Nirmal Kumar Says:

if the grass was faster, believe me, fed would not be the worst hit, it would be rafa!

Why are we talking about Rafa now.

federer almost matches sampras on wimbledon with 6wins in 7 finals. he then has 5 halle to 3 queens.

By nature, Sampras never cared about tournaments outside Slams. That’s how he positioned his career.

People with tennis knowledge would agree that it’s difficult to have success at faster grass which Sampras played.

keep pulling stupid statements out of your @$$ and keep acting like those sampr@$$es who are worse than rafat@rds?

I’m pretty sure you have a deep doubt to which man you have born. you won’t be such a messed up soul to make such personal attack otherwise.


Sienna Says:

The Nadal tards will have a big surpirse waitint when Roger reaches the final.Last year he just needed a little luck to win the match in 3 sets. This year Roger is in better fysical shape although his wins are nit as comfortable but he is in great shape. It just needs to click an this week starting today is the right time.
Nadal has worked this year around Djokovic. After AU Open he was convinced that that is the way for him. He just beat Fed and lost again to Djoker. From that day on het was changing his style to compete with Novak. It clearly showed in the trashing he gave novak twice and the trashing in straight set he got from Fed.

Nadal’s current game is less formidable against Roger then last year. I am not saying that it would be a pushover but certainly given all the circumstances. Fed has his best chance in beating Rafa at Garros…..


Nirmal Kumar Says:

oh yeah, indian wells and shanghai and london 2010 and 2011 and miami and hamburg and madrid are grass.

Oh, i thought there were only four GS in a year. When did that change?


trufan Says:

Nirmal,

you say that “what ROger plays is clay grass”.

Then how can you say Nadal is a good player on grass? he is just playing on a different kind of clay, right?

As for Sampras beating Becker at Wimbledon – Becker was WAY past his prime then, while Sampras was in his prime. Becker peaked very early – in 1989, which was clearly his best year (4 years after he won his first wimbledon, and this was his last wimbledon where he destroyed Edberg in the final, 6-0 in the first set). After that, Becker barely won one AO in 1996. Becker basically goofed off into womanizing and other things.

So Sampras NEVER beat a peak becker.

In fact, this is the biggest misnomer about Sampras. Sampras NEVER beat Edberg, Becker, Lendl, Mcenroe, or Wilander at THEIR peaks. the only great player he faced at THEIR peak was Agassi, but he too goofed off after 1995, leaving the turf empty for Sampras to win easily against weak players.


King Federer Says:

anyway roger VS rafa is for another day. the point under discussion is fed VS pete on grass.

if pete played rafa in the present wimbledon conditions he would not even have won the 2006 or 2007 finals. atleast roger did beat rafa there bageling rafa in 2006.


Michael Says:

Nirmal,

I appreciate your emotional responses. But just that Grass at which Sampras played in different from Grass at which Roger is playing.

Absolutely right. But if the Grass courts really played much faster today, then take it from me Roger would have gone on to win 8 straight Wimbledon titles and nobody would have stopped him. I do not think Nadal even at his best would have stopped him if the Grass indeed played faster.

Have you guys seen Sampras destroy Boris (a Wimbledon great) at Wimbledon. If you guys have SEEN Sampras play at Wimbledon, you won’t be making this argument

What is the fun in dismantling a Veteran. What was Boris age when Sampras beat him. I think he was over 30 and past his best. I have seen Sampras at Wimbledon many number of times. He was a Great player, nodoubt about that. But surely not the GREATEST.

What Roger plays is a Clay Grass. Roger does not even play S & V tennis at Wimbledon, which shows the difference between the surfaces before and now

Infact Roger today is playing at a great disadvantage since he is basically a fast court player. If Sampras had indeed been in this era, take it from me, he would never have won Wimbledon.

Also most of Roger’s title credit comes from Halle. Is that how you want to benchmark Roger’s success? It makes me laugh. Halle is the weakest field. So it’s just Natural that Roger has excelled in it.

I never brought Halle. Roger has made 7 straight Wimbledon finals and that is a unique feat which Sampras was not able to match. Matter ends.


trufan Says:

Nirmal,

you are confused because you don’t know tennis stats well.

Fed and Nadal have met ONLY at the AO open (twice) on hard courts – never at the USO, which is a faster hard court. AO is slower. ANd, of course, 2009 or 2012 – Fed was 28 and 30 years old.

If the grass at Wimbledon was faster, NAdal would never win it. Federer still would. Don’t you remember how Fed beat Sampras in 2001 on a fast grass court at Wimbledon?


trufan Says:

On really fast surfaces (aka YEC indoors), we know what happens – Fed has 6 titles, more than anyone in history, Nadal has none. Sampras had 5. And even a 30 year old Fed beats a 25 year old Nadal 6-0 6-3.

So don’t wish for wimbledon to get back to the fast courts they used to be. Roger will relish that, and Nadal will just explode with frustration.


Michael Says:

Nirmal,

If the grass was faster, believe me, fed would not be the worst hit, it would be rafa!

Why are we talking about Rafa now ?

Because he is the nearest Roger’s competitor today and he was the first one who managed to dislodge Roger at Wimbledon.

By nature, Sampras never cared about tournaments outside Slams. That’s how he positioned his career.

People with tennis knowledge would agree that it’s difficult to have success at faster grass which Sampras played

In that case, Borg is a much greater player than Sampras on Grass because

Major matters but other Tournaments do matter. If not, why should they be played and why the ATP makes it mandatory participation in some of the tournaments ? It is a combination of everything which determines one as a GREAT player. If Sampras did not care about tournaments outside Slams, then he is not fit to be a GREAT player. You know Jimmy Connors and he is called as Great not by major wins but tournament wins.

People with tennis knowledge would agree that it’s difficult to have success at faster grass which Sampras played.

Then in which case, Borg is a greater player compared to Sampras on Grass as he made six straight finals there.


trufan Says:

Oh, Sampras cared a HECK OF A LOT about his ranking.

The best example is the Fall of 1998. Sampras desperately played the entire European indoor circuit in Oct Nov to get JUST enough points to get his 6th year end No 1 ranking.

He cared plenty. He was just not as good as Federer on the slower surfaces.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Trufan..We can’t discount a player reaching a slam final as past his peak. Boris was great even till mid 90′s, atleast till he won his last AO. Same applied to Edberg also.

We talk about Sampras vs Agassi. Then what about Nadal vs Roger. Roger has been beaten in all surfaces by Nadal. So what’s the argument about?


Nirmal Kumar Says:

In that case, Borg is a much greater player than Sampras on Grass because

I don’t think Borg would stand a chance against Sampras on Grass, but just to look at Borg’s record in itself is mind boggling.

I think other points from you are pretty hypthetical assuming Roger would have won more if the surface was faster.

But actually when the surface was faster, Roger did not have much success at Wimbledon. He was able to succeed only on the slower surface of Wimbledon. Roger is not Rafa who started tennis at 2003. He started in last 90′s when the surface were faster. Roger did not stand a chance against aging Rafter and Henman at Wimbledon. We are talking about him winning 8 in a row. No it will not happen.

Roger vs Sampras at 2001. Yeah, that’s the year Wimbedon courts were changed. It might have had an effect. But see even Berdych beat Roger in 4-sets, not even 5-sets. Does that make him a greater player. No.

We are trying to compare a bunch of unbelievable players which is an absolute bullshit.

My entire argument is not to compare them, but you guys just go on and doing the same. I just wish we cherish them as greatest players (not just one) of tennis. Period.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

People say that other tournaments should be considered. So can we award GOAT status to Connors, as per you guys argument.


King Federer Says:

When a versatile player gets stuck with a less versatile player, the versatile player will always be the one with inferior H2H.

borg-mcenroe

clearly borg is the more versatile player. borg played mcenroe twice at wimbledon and even on other fast surfaces like uso and carpet. but check how many times they played on clay, where borg would have beaten mcenroe even playing when he was asleep. they never even played at french.

sampras-agassi.

sampras leads 7-3 against agassi. that is domination, right? but check this, they played 2 times at wimbledon and 5 times at uso – both pro-sampras surface. they played twice in AO and once in french open and agassi beat sampras all 3 times. but obviously sampras sucked so bad on clay that he did not meet agassi more times in french. his relatively less versatile game never let him get deep into the french. he made 1 semi and 0 finals. contrast that with agassi, who on his worst surface, grass made 1win, and 1 final and 2 other semis. fair to say, agassi would have had a better h2h, if sampras wasn’t like a cow on ice when playing on clay.

federer-nadal

nadal leads 8-2 but half of those meetings are on clay. 3 on grass and 2 on slower hardcourt and 0 in USO. you can even argue federer has been more dominant at uso. he has made 8 consecutive semis and even the last 3 matches he lost, the opponent needed 5 sets and he had match points in 2 of those. by contrast, fed lost a 4 setter to berdych @ the clay grass as mr. nirmal points out.


King Federer Says:

“Roger vs Sampras at 2001. Yeah, that’s the year Wimbedon courts were changed. It might have had an effect. But see even Berdych beat Roger in 4-sets, not even 5-sets. Does that make him a gr”eater player. No.

well, in the 2001 match, federer S&V as much as sampras. you can go check the match. most of the points were less than 8shot rallies. lots of aces and service winners. in other words, it was sampras beaten at his own game.

your logic about berdych is flawed. if berdych goes on to win 5 wimbledons in a row, i will concede he is atleast as good as roger.

your logic would be valid if we said george bastl is greater than sampras because he leads sampras 1-0 in H2H matches, beating sampras in wimbledon in 2002.

This is two greats and the only match they played on the surface in consideration, roger got the Win. Again, where are the numbers for sampras regarding win streak on grass? even @ wimbledon fed has a 41 match streak. sampras’ longest was 31.

you got only 7 wimbledon against 6. roger got the greater winning %, more titles and longer winning streak.

your argument that sampras cared for only GS is moot, if he did, it is his foolishness! unfortunately, we cannot award brownie points for foolishness to you or sampras!


King Federer Says:

“People say that other tournaments should be considered. So can we award GOAT status to Connors, as per you guys argument.”

Why are you worried about GOAT? you said you did not believe in GOAT? or were you speaking through your a-hole then?

do you believe in GOAT? if you do not, STFU and dont try to act like a dumb@$$. if you do, state your considerations for GOAThood and dont keep arguing like a moron without numbers, pull up the stats and argue like sensible people.

statements like “sampras is greatest because he only cared for wimbledon” will only make you look juvenile and ret@rded.


trufan Says:

Nirmal,

You have difficulty understanding sentences written on this forum, it seems.

Edberg and Becker were at their peak till mid nineties? huh, never heard such a stupid statement before.

Reaching a slam final means you are at your peak? please tell us what you smoke. Fed reached French final last year – was he at his peak? So many lesser players, and players past their peak reach finals. Don’t you remember Agassi reaching 2005 USO final? Was he at his peak then, at 35 years of age?

As for counting other tournaments – other tournaments should ALSO be considered. Slams are most important. other tournaments have a small role – not zero, but not immense either. Hope you understand the meaning of “ALSO”.


trufan Says:

Nirmal,

You have difficulty understanding sentences written on this forum, it seems.

Edberg and Becker were at their peak till mid nineties? huh, never heard such a stupid statement before.

Reaching a slam final means you are at your peak? please tell us what you smoke. Fed reached French final last year – was he at his peak? So many lesser players, and players past their peak reach finals. Don’t you remember Agassi reaching 2005 USO final? Was he at his peak then, at 35 years of age?

As for counting other tournaments – other tournaments should ALSO be considered. Slams are most important. other tournaments have a small role – not zero, but not immense either. Hope you understand the meaning of “ALSO”.


Sienna Says:

The grass was changed in 2001 but wimbledon slowed down in 2002… The proof is there look at the semifinalist of both years. Serve and volley was gone with the wind in 2002. So Roger beat Samprass on the fastest grass there is.


King Federer Says:

in my point about the rivalries, borg and federer were disadvantaged because they were facing GOAT candidates who are 3 and a half (mcenroe) and 5yrs (nadal) younger than them.

no wonder, both got dethroned at wimbledon. djokovic is just 1yr younger than nadal and he beat the stuffing out of nadal last year. atleast federer pushed the match to the limit. any person with atleast a pea-sized brain will admit that federer was closer to the 2008 Wimbledon title than rafa was to the 2011 title.

everyone loses out to youth/hunger/ambition. if you have 2 GOAT candidates and 1 is younger than the other, you can be sure the younger guy will overpower the older one. atleast nadal is lucky djokovic is a year younger. with federer, nadal was 5years younger. imagine rafa being 30 and trying to defend this FO. heck he was 25 and still lost wimbledon, no.1 ranking, uso, ao to a guy just 1year younger.

as for the sampras-agassi rivalry, agassi was rarely the consistent no.2 that nadal was when fed was dominating. agassi even fell outside the top 100 at times. nadal never left the top 5. it was only after 99 that agassi started playing consistently great and sampras won only 2 slams after 99. whichever way you spin it, federer has had a more formidable foe in nadal than sampras in agassi.


King Federer Says:

tru fan @ 412 :

this guy nirmal does seem to be a little “slow”. his name appears to be indian and i know from my friends that they are not so good when it comes to english.

they need to take special english classes to do well in reading/listening comprehension.

you make great points, tru fan. keep posting!


Nirmal Kumar Says:

King Federer Says: I understand you are getting lost by your blindness of Roger. What Roger played is not the grass which Sampras played. Hope you understand that.

It’s much easier to play at current grass n Wimbledon. Hence you will see higher win % for Roger. I don’t think it will make a difference when we compare their Records.

I just can’t believe there would be a single GOAT. For me it’s a bunch of players since each have excelled than others in some area. No single player has excelled in all the areas.

I remember in one interview Roger said if someone could go on and win around 30 GS, then he could be considered GOAT. I just don’t think with the numbers these guys have, we can have a single unanimous player as GOAT.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Then how can you say Nadal is a good player on grass?

I really don’t know. I just want someone to beat Rafa at FO to judge it. I would consider him a good GC player if he can win Wimbledon after losing in FO. It happened in 2009, but he did not play at Wimbledon.

I always believed Rafa just carried forward with his success on clay into Grass due to his confidence. It was a pity everytime Roger has to face Rafa at Wimbledon finals after losing to him at FO.

That’s one of the reasons why I want Roger to lose in semis. I would like them to meet at Wimbledon finals without playing FO finals.

It’s something I would like to see.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Edberg and Becker were at their peak till mid nineties? huh, never heard such a stupid statement before.

Did you see the 96 masters match between Sampras and Becker. It was Becker at his very best. So how come he was a toast by late 80′s. I just can’t understand.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

When a versatile player gets stuck with a less versatile player, the versatile player will always be the one with inferior H2H.

You mean to say a less versatile player will beat versatile player in all surfaces. But a versatile player cannot repeat the same. SMH.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Ideally by the age difference, Roger should have had the advantage. He should have beaten Rafa who was younger rival at earlier stages.

It’s not like their career started with Roger beating Rafa everywhere and Rafa turned it around. It’s always been a one way traffic. Rafa had always beaten Roger earlier in Clay and HC. I still remember, their first match was at Miami. Even when they met second time at Miami, Roger needed 5-sets to beat a 20 year old Rafa, while Roger was at his peak.

I would have expected Roger to beat him in 3 easy sets. Then the argument of age would be acceptable.


Sienna Says:

Well the second greatest tournement we can measure open era players is WTF.
And it gives more variaty because it is indoor. Indoor tennis makes for more atp points then clay I believe was told not so long ago.

Maybe To enligthen you guys a bot. The fact that Roger has the recordof 16 slams and has the record of WTF wins is not by accident. He understands that thos are the 5 majors in the tennis year. SO with 22 majors it will be a tough coocky who takes those numbers away.


Michael Says:

Nirmal,

don’t think Borg would stand a chance against Sampras on Grass, but just to look at Borg’s record in itself is mind boggling.

This too is hypothetical. On what basis you say that ?? I say that on the basis of record at Wimbledon which is presumed to be Sampras favourite surface, Borg has done better.

you are pretty hypthetical assuming Roger would have won more if the surface was faster.

No, I am not hypothetical. Roger’s success in the faster courts of US Open, World Series, and Dubai Open suggests that he plays well on faster courts than slower courts.

when the surface was faster, Roger did not have much success at Wimbledon. He was able to succeed only on the slower surface of Wimbledon. Roger is not Rafa who started tennis at 2003. He started in last 90’s when the surface were faster. Roger did not stand a chance against aging Rafter and Henman at Wimbledon. We are talking about him winning 8 in a row. No it will not happen.

May be. Roger took sometime to peak. But in 2003, he beat Mark Philopousis in the finals at Wimbledon and Philopousis is a fast court player. If the Courts had indeed been slow, he would not have had the chance to reach the finals. Now
Roger winning Wimbledon 8 times is possible, but in a row is impossible.

Roger vs Sampras at 2001. Yeah, that’s the year Wimbedon courts were changed. It might have had an effect. But see even Berdych beat Roger in 4-sets, not even 5-sets. Does that make him a greater player. No

If Sampras cannot adapt and can only play in fast court, what kind of a player is he ? Is he fit to be called as GREAT ???? You just cannot compare a player like Berdych with a player of stature like Roger. That is not fair.

We are trying to compare a bunch of unbelievable players which is an absolute bullshit.

There is nothing wrong in comparing the players and debating their achievements. It enhances our knowledge of the sport.


Michael Says:

People say that other tournaments should be considered. So can we award GOAT status to Connors, as per you guys argument.

Connors is called as one of the GREATEST. I think this is mainly on virtue of his durability and winning the most number of titles. Yes Connors would have called as GOAT if he had won more majors. Winning just 8 will not do because out of the 8, 2 were against an aged Rosewall in the finals.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Michael, Are you serious. Borg better than Sampras on Grass. Note, Borg played with wooden racquets. At Wimbledon with Racquet technology change, it was a big revolution and the way tennis played has been changed completely. With Sampras serve, I can’t see Borg has much chance to beat him.

Roger winning Wimbledon 8 times is possible, but in a row is impossible.

Yeah, I would like to see him beat Rafa there in finals. Unfortunately it may not happen. To have 8 would be dramatic. I can’t see him winning 7 with the kind of balls being used at Wimbledon.

Roger’s success on faster courts today are true, more because of other players being slow court players. That’s what Roger is catching on. Though Roger himself is a great player on a slow HC. But with the slick grass of 90′s it needed a different type of skill, which Roger could not muster in his early years.

You can’t define Grass as a faster surface and compare with HC, the style of play required in Grass was different from HC.

If Sampras cannot adapt and can only play in fast court, what kind of a player is he ? Is he fit to be called as GREAT ????

No matter what, Sampras would be called GREAT. I would like to see if Sampras would have adjusted if the change happened in mid 90′s.

There is nothing wrong in comparing the players and debating their achievements. It enhances our knowledge of the sport.

So true, but as long as we talk positive about them, not putting one down to hype others.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Connors is called as one of the GREATEST.

Exactly. That’s how Roger should also be called. One of the GREATEST. Because Connors has more tournaments which Roger does not have and Roger has more GS which Connors does not have.


Sienna Says:

There is always one greater then the other.
We just happen to live now and thus Roger Federer is the Greatest tennisplayer of all time. His successor is yet to pick up his racket or maybe just has at the age of 4? We never know what will happen in future but among todays players and earlier times there is not a single player who stands beside TMF.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

We never know what will happen in future but among todays players and earlier times there is not a single player who stands beside TMF.

Rafa stands way ahead of Roger on Clay.


skeezer Says:

^I am sure he is better at Playstation too, c’mon!


skeezer Says:

^^i notice u continually are minimizing Feds GOAT status. Go to his wiki page and compare the totality of his career, achievements and records against the field and your discussion is over.


Sienna Says:

we will have to look at the big picture. Indoor tourney hold even more ATP points then clay.

There are 5 major tournements in a tennis year and Fed hold 22. Nadal hold 10. The difference is immense. There can be no comparisson between them,.
Roger has 8 semis in Garros How many Nadal?


Nirmal Kumar Says:

skeeer, I did, it’s impressive, but not to the level of calling him GOAT.

Sienna,

Does indoor have a GS? I never thought so.

5 major tournaments?

Maybe to soothe the hearts of Rogers die hard fans but that’s not a reality.

Roger has 8 semis in Garros How many Nadal?

He has time right? There is a gap of atleast 5 years between them, so why are we in a hurry. Nadal will trash most of the records in another 3 years.

Some of us assume that this is the last year of Rafa playing tennis. He is in the mid of his career. He has atlease 4 more years than Roger to compete.


Steve 27 Says:

The best of all time is Aaron Kirchstein!

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